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  • Saturday, March 01, 2003

     

    At least John Ashcroft can start returning their calls....

    "I'm sorry. The Beast isn't in. Can I take a number and have him call you back when he gets in from his date with Lynne Cheney?"



    posted by tbogg at 10:06 PM

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    Sweetie....run down to the store and pick up mama's prescription....

    You have to hand it to Florida....they're a special kind of stupid there:

    Not long after school lets out, the cool and elegant home of Wayne LaRue Smith and Daniel Skahen, on a shady street near the historic district here, is transformed by the boisterous whoops of two boys.

    They exclaim at a bee on the porch, at the lime tree in the backyard, at the consequences of mixing dirt with water. They jump in the pool and welcome a visitor's applause at each twisting fall and cannonball.

    One is 5, the other 6; one white, the other of mixed race. They are bursting out of their skins with questions and energy.

    Mr. Smith, a 47-year-old lawyer, and Mr. Skahen, a 36-year-old real estate broker, would like to adopt the boys, who have lived with them as foster children for about two years each. But they are a gay couple and Florida is the only state that forbids any adoption by a homosexual.

    On Tuesday, a federal appeals court in Atlanta will hear their challenge to the law.

    Gay people are the only group categorically restricted from adopting children in Florida. Even people who have abused drugs and alcohol or people who have a history of domestic violence may adopt under some circumstances.

    Meet your new mom, boys...






    posted by tbogg at 9:52 PM

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    Waving their little flags...

    Look like the big Freeper rally in DC to support the war wasn't the big draw they thought it would be.

    About 150 backers of President Bush's policy toward Iraq gathered in the gray, slushy cold near the Washington Monument yesterday to express support for U.S. military forces gathering in the Persian Gulf and to urge the prompt ouster of Saddam Hussein.

    Former U.S. representative Robert K. Dornan (R-Calif.) and other speakers pilloried both Hussein -- whom Dornan dubbed a "mini-me Hitler" -- and the millions of protesters who have thronged Washington and other world capitals in recent months to oppose war in Iraq.

    The Bush supporters countered with yellow "Don't Tread on Me" flags and signs calling for the liberation of Iraq. One man wearing a rubber Hussein mask held a sign that said, "Thank You Anti-War Protesters, Love, Saddam."

    "We are the good guys," said Dornan, a former Air Force fighter pilot and longtime conservative firebrand. "Never again will we put up with this kind of person who tortures children in front of their parents."

    Of the war protesters, Dornan said, "They were wrong during Vietnam, and they're wrong today." He also called Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), a candidate for president who fought in Vietnam and then led protests against it, "a Judas Catholic." Kerry has criticized Bush's handling of Iraq.

    How sad is it when Great White can draw a bigger crowd than a rally to support Operation Inigo Montoya?





    posted by tbogg at 9:35 PM

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    Wednesday, February 26, 2003

     

    Out the porthole....down the rope...and onto the pier.

    Glenn Hubbard has decided that he's done enough damage. Time to abandon ship.

    Looks like he ran out on a $300 billion tab still sitting on the table.





    posted by tbogg at 5:17 PM

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    Live from the AEI! It's the Bush Pie In The Sky Show.

    In a nutshell. A superpower wants to go into a sovereign country and kill it's leader...and this will promote Democracy.

    How did we ever come to be led by a smirking suit-monkey?

    Don't answer that.....




    posted by tbogg at 5:07 PM

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    Stuck inside of Florida with those California Blues again

    Here I am, stuck in Delray Beach, which is truly God's waiting room (why don't they call it AARP City?) just working and hoping to get back home soon. I've been here since Sunday and have been out of the loop politically and socially. Here's what I have seen:

    ~~I got to see Ann Coulter (for the first time!) on Bill Maher's new HBO show last night. As I've mentioned before, I don't really watch TV, so this was my first exposure to the notorious man/woman. I can see why she isn't taken seriously; it's all schtick (as my new friends here in Florida might call it). She is no more a serious political commentator than Limbaugh or your average air conditioner repairman. She just throws shit out there (as Maher pointed out several times) as well as baldfaced lies (which Maher also pointed out), and then fails to back anything up, choosing instead to change the subject. I wouldn't call her a dumb blonde since she lacks their more endearing qualities. Just call her a wasp-y self-promoter who's closer to the end of her 15 minutes of fame than the beginning.

    ~~Looks like the press is finally starting to really ask questions about the cost of the war. About time....slackers.

    ~~I actually enjoyed seeing Ari Fleischer at work (also for the first time). You have to admire him in the same way that you can admire Pete Rose; a sleazy, reprehensible, slimeball who is good at a couple of things. In Ari's case it's lying & slithering around questions.

    ~~My flight from San Diego was full of Christian Missionaries going to Houston. Too bad the Rapture didn't happen. I could have used the leg room.

    ~~Why does anyone employ Margaret Carlson? She's a more moderate Mona Charen....and equally worthless.

    ~~Florida sucks

    ~~Dial-up sucks more

    ~~The Bush administration sucks the most.

    I wanna go home.



    posted by tbogg at 1:45 PM

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    Friday, February 21, 2003

     

    Tbogg has left the building...

    Since I have to leave town on a rare business trip, I don't expect that I will be blogging again until next weekend 3/1.

    You'll get over it.

    I will be in lovely Delray Beach, Florida for the duration...lucky me. Florida with a flight change in Houston. Proof that god hates atheists.

    In the meantime please keep up to date by checking in with all the good folks in the Hot Links. Because someone has to keep an eye on President Cowardly Lyin'.

    Now...a little song to fill your mind for the next 170+ hours. Everybody sing:

    It's a world of laughter
    A world of tears
    It's a world of hopes
    And a world of fears
    There's so much that we share
    That it's time we're aware
    It's a small world after all

    There is just one moon
    And one golden sun
    And a smile means
    Friendship to ev'ryone
    Though the mountains divide
    And the oceans are wide
    It's a small world after all

    It's a small world after all
    It's a small world after all
    It's a small world after all
    It's a small, small world

    (repeat until you go insane....)

    It's a small world after all
    It's a small world after all
    It's a small world after all
    It's a small, small world...........



    posted by tbogg at 9:29 PM

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    "You talkin' to me?"

    One of the joys of writing a blog, besides the supermodels and non-stop oral sex, is looking at where my visitors come from. This one was a suprise, to say the least, until I looked at the lead article:

    Pope hits out against sarcasm

    Pope John Paul II described sarcasm as a modern form of martyrdom, suggesting a sarcastic person delights in "isolating the righteous with mockery and irony".

    "We know that the persecutor does not always assume the violent and macabre countenance of the oppressor," he told this week's Wednesday audience at the Vatican.

    The Pope's comments on sarcasm were part of a series of catechetical talks on the Psalms and Canticles of the Old Testament.

    For those I have mocked and disparaged: the Virgin Ben, Steven Den Beste, Matt Hoy, Shania Twain, Michael Kelly, Charles Krauthammer, the Other Virgin Erika Harold*, everyone in Indiana, Andrew Sullivan, President t-Ball, the late Ronald Reagan, Scott Stapp, all the Freepers in Freepville, Glenn Reynolds, Jenna Bush and the other Bush twin, Howard Fineman, Mike Taylor the androgynous Senate candidate, and especially Peggy Noonan...

    Welcome to martyrdom. Enjoy your stay.....

    As for Lynne Cheney and Ann Coulter: here's a strap-on. Start to freakin'....


    * Why does this picture not suprise me one bit.







    posted by tbogg at 1:28 PM

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    Elsewhere....

    Maru over at WTF has lots of good stuff up.

    (thanks Kimberly)

    and Nathan Newman points out that Big Brother eBay is watching you.

    We don't make you show a subpoena, except in exceptional cases," Sullivan told his listeners. "When someone uses our site and clicks on the `I Agree' button, it is as if he agrees to let us submit all of his data to the legal authorities. Which means that if you are a law-enforcement officer, all you have to do is send us a fax with a request for information, and ask about the person behind the seller's identity number, and we will provide you with his name, address, sales history and other details - all without having to produce a court order. We want law enforcement people to spend time on our site," he adds. He says he receives about 200 such requests a month, most of them unofficial requests in the form of an email or fax.

    The meaning is clear. One fax to eBay from a lawman - police investigator, NSA, FBI or CIA employee, National Park ranger - and eBay sends back the user's full name, email address, home address, mailing address, home telephone number, name of company where seller is employed and user nickname. What's more, eBay will send the history of items he has browsed, feedbacks received, bids he has made, prices he has paid, and even messages sent in the site's various discussion groups.

    Now I really wish I hadn't bid on that Osama & The Pussycats lunch box.



    posted by tbogg at 12:15 PM

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    Who says warbloggers don't have a sense of humor?

    Stefan Sharkansky is just a stitch when it comes to topical humor. Prepare to have your sides split:

    Most importantly, I am also organizing as a counter-protest a "Virtual March on Hollywood", where the virtual marchers send jars of mayonnaise to the various celebrity spokeshairdos for the Virtual March on Washington -- Janeane Garofalo, Martin Sheen, Mike Farrell, Anjelica Huston, et al

    Why jars of mayonnaise? So these actors can refill their heads when they start to leak.

    How did Def-Jam Comedy Night miss this guy?

    I gotta go lay down.


    posted by tbogg at 11:55 AM

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    Virtual March on Washington

    Lisa over at Ruminate This has all you need to know about next weeks Virtual March on Washington.

    Glenn Reynolds is advocating that people who support the war also fax that day. Works for me. The politicians should be so swamped with emails and faxes against the war, they won't be reading but a few, if any at all. Many pro-war messages will just get counted in with the anti-war.





    posted by tbogg at 11:24 AM

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    Okay. This is just funny.

    "Joe Millionaire" runnerup Sarah Kozer is fit to be tied over the way she was treated by the blockbuster TV reality show.

    She said she and the other 20 women who flew to the French chateau where the show was taped were duped by the show's producer, who never even told them "there was going to be a guy there."

    "I thought it was going to be 'Sex and the City' in France," said Kozer, 29, breaking her network-imposed silence from her home in Beverly Hills, Calif.

    "The way [they described it], it was going to be 20 single, sophisticated women in France, looking for romance and adventure. Then, once we got there, [they said] 'Oh, it's going to be a dating show.' It was a setup from the get-go. We didn't know what we were getting into."

    "20 single, sophisticated women " and Kozer.

    "I'm hoping to do ... a cookbook, and [there's talk of] a reality cooking show," said Kozer, who has a broadcasting degree from George Mason University. "I've also had some hosting offers. I've got an audition with E! for a style show

    Yup. Sounds about right.

    Tonight on SarahStyle we discuss what to do when your underwire gives out.....







    posted by tbogg at 10:55 AM

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    Letterman Top Ten

    Top Ten Ways Dumb Guys Are Preparing For A Terrorist Attack


    posted by tbogg at 10:47 AM

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    Not ready for the Catskills....

    Ben Shapiro, still winded from writing that Poli-Sci paper "What Wall? The East German Appeasement Monkeys" has taken to writing a separate "lighter side" column called "straight from the hip" which is like the coolest title ever. In it, Ben shares the kind of humor those wacky college kids are into these days. Hey...he's trying, cut him some slack.

    But I think he needs to explain this comment:

    The other day, I watched the 1946 classic "The Best Years of Our Lives." Every patriot should see that movie. Rent it tonight.

    I think that maybe he didn't understand the movie. It's not exactly a testament to the glory of war. Here's a synopsis:

    The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) is producer Samuel Goldwyn's classic, significant American film about the difficult adjustments (unemployment, adultery, alcoholism, and ostracism) that three returning veteran servicemen experienced in the aftermath of World War II. Major stars (Fredric March, Dana Andrews, and WWII vet Russell), each giving the performances of their lives, are involved in three romances (with Myrna Loy, Virginia Mayo and Teresa Wright, and Cathy O'Donnell).

    The germinal idea for the literate, meticulously-constructed film came from a Time Magazine pictorial article (August 1944) that was then re-fashioned into a novel titled Glory for Me by MacKinlay Kantor. Kantor's blank-verse novel was the basis for an adapted screenplay by distinguished Pulitzer Prize winning scriptwriter Robert E. Sherwood (his earlier works were The Petrified Forest and Idiot's Delight).

    The ironic title refers to the troubling fact that many servicemen had 'the best years of their lives' in wartime, not in their experiences afterwards in peacetime America when they were forced to adapt to the much-changed demands and became the victims of dislocating forces. [Photographs in the houses of each of the returning servicemen recall an earlier time that was irretrievably past.] The poignant, moving film realistically transports its present-day audiences back to the setting of the late 1940s, where the film's three typical protagonists return from their honored wartime roles to their past, altered middle-American lives and are immediately thrust into domestic tragedies, uncertainties, conflicts and awkward situations - handicapped (both physically and emotionally) by their new civilian roles.

    Yeah. I bet they're showing this to the troops on their way to Kuwait.....

    Why is it, every time I write about Ben, I feel like I can hear Bobby Goldsborough singing "...me and God watching Scotty grow" in the background?

    I apologize to all who now have that song stuck in their head.





    posted by tbogg at 10:34 AM

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    The Bill Bennett "Well that's different" Award.

    Charles Krauthammer, who has crushing self-esteem issues, is down on Chirac (meaning his fax machine and the fax machine at the RNC are both working) for bullying all those brand new countries that just showed up on the US doorstep, like Christopher Buckley's baby, and want Bush to be their daddy. You know, obscure little spots like Poland, Estonia, Romania, Lithuania...call them "New Europe".

    The division between the New Europe (newly liberated Eastern Europe) and the Old Europe (centered on France and Germany) has long been visible. As the center of gravity of American influence in Europe has shifted east to the Iron Curtain countries, it is no accident, comrade, that the only state dinner President Bush has hosted (apart from the traditional one for the president of Mexico) was for the president of Poland.

    Europe did not take to the streets against America last weekend; only Western Europe did. The streets of Eastern Europe were silent. The Poles, and their Eastern European neighbors, have an immediate personal experience of life under tyranny -- and of being liberated from that tyranny by American power. The French and their neighbors are six decades removed from their liberation. They think freedom is as natural as the air they breathe, rather than purchased at the price of blood -- American blood in no small measure.

    This division in experience sets the stage for the division in politics. And for France's fury at finding an American fifth column in the New Europe. When 13 Eastern European states came out in support of the United States on Iraq, Chirac lost all reserve. His scolding of the Eastern Europeans has inadvertently demonstrated how much France's current dispute with the United States is not really about Iraq.

    Sure, France has contracts and loans that will be jeopardized if Saddam Hussein is deposed. And French leaders may have dirty hands from dirty dealings that will show up when Hussein's archives are opened after a war.

    Leaving aside the fact that the American Tourister luggage set full of bio-toxins sitting in Saddam's guestroom have 'D. Rumsfeld' on the luggage tags, Krauthammer (the irony of that name never fails to amuse me) fails to point out what each of these fledgling democracies has to offer in the war with Iraq...and what they are being offered for their support. Somehow I don't think that they are getting Turkey kind of money, but, like Turkey, they better get it in writing. Just ask Afghanistan or the NYC firemen.

    The "New Europe" shouldn't be suprised after spending the evening with One Night Stand George if he never calls them again.

    ...and one more thing. Krauthammer writes:

    France is reaching to become not only the leading power in Europe (hence the pique with those pesky Eastern Europeans) but also the leader of a new pole of world power opposite the American "hyperpower."

    Not a bad vocation for a country whose closest brush with glory and empire today consists of patrolling the swamps of Ivory Coast.

    Not to mention the botch job they did on Vietnam. Good thing we went in and cleaned up that mess.....






    posted by tbogg at 10:05 AM

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    I only read it because Noonan was included....

    Slate provides us with a list of, well, semi-famous people who are supposed to have a clue about politics and war and stuff to give their opinions regarding the upcoming war festivities. Mark Green is the most reasoned one and Tony Kushner seem the most passionate. This one is the only (intentional) funny one:

    Ben Karlin is co-executive producer of The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.
    Do I favor a U.S. invasion of Iraq? I am only in favor of war with Iraq if the entire affair takes place between the morning of February 21st and the evening of Sunday March 2nd. This is because The Daily Show will be on hiatus during this period, and, historically, massive loss of life has proven not conducive to producing a comedy news program. I would remind the president as he and his generals go about their plan that in a war, the first casualty is the ease of my job





    posted by tbogg at 9:40 AM

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    "Sound science" is for the environment...this is about 'splodin stuff.

    Digby has a link and comments on the rush to get the Missile Defense System up and going...even if it doesn't work, cause, you know, it might.

    This is good news in case North Korea attacks us with mylar ballons with homing beacons attached to the strings...and they let us know that they are launching them...and its during the day....and we don't mind if a few of them get through.

    Feel safer yet?


    posted by tbogg at 9:14 AM

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    I'll say it...because nobody else will.

    While the deaths of 54 85(!) 95(!!!) people at a night club in Rhode Island is tragic.... they were there to see Great White.

    Yeah. Great White.

    Let your inner music critic take it from there.....

    (Added) Reader Matt Writes:

    When the clock radio woke me up this morning, the first story was about this fire. And the first thing that came to mind after the initial shock of two nightclub disasters in one week was "Who knew there were still 54 Great White fans?"

    I feel guilty when my inner cynic gets the best of me, but what can you do?

    Notes from Atlanta also comments.







    posted by tbogg at 9:03 AM

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    Well, I "signed on" ....but only to wave a flag from the curb...

    Sullivan is slightly disturbed that the Bush Administration isn't any more a fan of democracy in Iraq, then they are at home.

    But the administration needs to be put on notice by its supporters as well as its opponents. Many of us signed onto this war not merely to protect the West from terrorists with weapons of mass destruction, but as an attempt to grasp the nettle of Arab autocracy. If we make no effort to foster democratic institutions, the rule of law and representative government in Iraq, then we will lose the peace as surely as we will have won the Iraq war. And losing that peace means losing the wider war on terror as well.

    Looks like Andy is starting to realize that he was promoted from "idiot" to "useful idiot" without his knowledge.




    posted by tbogg at 8:55 AM

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    You try and fill three hours with Toby Keith

    According to the Drudge Report (yeah...I know...) liberal media giant CBS is telling artists that they may get their microphone silenced if they attempt to make any anti-war comments during the Grammy's.

    Top CBS executives are deeply concerned that Sunday night's GRAMMY Awards may turn from a celebration of music -- into a giant anti-war politically rally, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

    The GRAMMY broadcast, which is set to air live from New York City, will feature performances by Eminem, Sheryl Crow, Springsteen, Coldplay, James Taylor and others.

    Word has reached network suites how one star is allegedly planning a dramatic anti-war gesture.

    "I would hope the artists will remember they are on stage because of their music," a top CBS source told the DRUDGE REPORT Friday morning.

    The CBS executive warned microphones may be unplugged on Sunday night if live performances turn political.

    "It, of course, is a final option [to cut the microphone.] But it's a very real option," said the top source, who demanded anonymity.

    "There is a time for political commentary, this is not one of them!"

    Although this may very well be a ploy to get people to watch the Grammy's to see what happens (let's face it...the Grammy's are crap), you have to wonder what CBS will do if an artist chooses to not make a comment during an acceptance speech, but instead, stops mid-song during a performance to make a statement? Will they pull the plug if Sheryl Crow switches in mid-song from "Soak Up the Sun" to "Masters of War"? I don't think so.

    It would send a strong message if the somewhat independent-minded Dixie Chicks suprised CBS with a cover of Tracy Chapman's "Subcity".

    That would be must-see-TV.


    posted by tbogg at 8:48 AM

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    Thursday, February 20, 2003

     

    Blogger is all screwed up

    Sorry. I'll post again tomorrow.


    posted by tbogg at 5:40 PM

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    I guess we're just supposed to shut up and take it...

    Proving once again that there is some truth to the phrase "Those that can...do. Those that can't...teach", Prof. Reynolds gives us a lesson in cause and effect:

    "PEACE" PROTESTS MAKE WAR MORE LIKELY:

    BAGHDAD, Iraq, Feb. 19 -- President Saddam Hussein's government, apparently emboldened by antiwar sentiment at the U.N. Security Council and in worldwide street protests, has not followed through on its promises of increased cooperation with U.N. arms inspectors, according to inspectors in Iraq.

    No Iraqi scientist involved in biological, chemical or missile technology has consented to a private interview with the inspectors since Feb. 7, the day before the two chief U.N. inspectors arrived here for talks with Iraqi officials. The United Nations also has not received additional documents about past weapons programs, despite the government's pledge to set up a commission to scour the country for evidence sought by the inspectors, U.N. officials said.

    Useful idiots? Looks that way to me.

    Reynolds can afford to be glib. I mean it's not as if terrorists will be retaliating against the US in Knoxville. Their beef is with western civilization, so I guess Cooter's Biscuit and Gun Emporium down on Kingston Pike is safe, what with the Cracker Barrel-Maginot line screening out all the “swarthy” types.






    posted by tbogg at 1:18 PM

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    "...he is potentially very dangerous both for America and the world."

    It ain't the guy with the mustache.

    No More Mr Nice Blog directs us to this great column in the New York Observer by Will Hutton formerly of the London Observer:

    These apprehensions may be mocked and derided by the American administration and its take-no-prisoners outriders, who dominate the American media and national conversation, but that does not mean that our fears are not genuine—or well-founded. The majority on the European street is extremely wary about the doctrine of pre-emptive, unilateral intervention and the willingness to disregard international law and the U.N. process if it produces the "wrong" results; but that doesn’t make us anti-American. Rather, we want America to be the better Europe that generations of European immigrants set out to make it, believing in the promise of a new continent with its Enlightenment Constitution and passionate commitment to opportunity, liberty and an equal chance.



    posted by tbogg at 11:18 AM

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    Tens of Bush Supporters Take To the Streets In Support of the President

    The unsinkable Betty Bowers

    "You know, when you are sitting in your BVDs and holster before breakfast, reading hundreds of posts that say exactly what you had typed late last night, it is a real affirmation knowing that there are so many people who don't question the same things you don't," said Felix Willinghouse. "But to see almost five of my fellow Freepers care enough about what they are typing to actually show up to shout down the peacenik jerks was a real rush. I haven't been this choked up since my seven-year-old bludgeoned an effigy of Janet Reno with his scooter on our front lawn during all that mess over that little commie Cuban boy."

    Better yet..here is an actual Freeper response:

    This woman is a rude, crude, socially unacceptable, and even tacky liar.

    2 posted on 02/20/2003 9:52 AM PST by Quilla

    See? Reality is funnier.






    posted by tbogg at 10:00 AM

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    Like clockwork

    You can just about set your watch to it. Every time President Blown Surplus talks about the economy...the Dow gets droopier than Bob Dole's dick. Down 70 points.

    President Bush, on a day that new government reports documented a troubled economy, argued Thursday that his multibillion-dollar tax cut plan would significantly improve the business outlook.

    Bush traveled to Georgia not only to tout his stimulus plan but to single out Sen. Zell Miller, the only Senate Democrat who has come out in support of his economic proposals.'

    "I agree with Zell, with this economic theory that when a person has more money in his pocket, they're likely to demand that somebody produce them a good or a service," he said. Miller, who accompanied the president to the stage stood alongside, applauding Bush's remarks.

    As English speakers aound the world cringed, Miller noted that President Bush uses his mouth "purtier than a $20 whore".

    Ari Fleischer had no comment...thankfully.







    posted by tbogg at 9:39 AM

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    All shook down

    Nitpicker invites us to a sing-along as we travel merrily, merrily down the road to destruction.

    Julia over at Sysiphus Shrugged thinks that black leaders in Georgia are being boneheads...mainly because they are.

    The Daily Kos points out that it looks like the White House has found a scapegoat for why they haven't been able to get their war on yet. One hint: he's no longer valuable since his credibility is in the crapper. Looks like Harry Belafonte was right after all.

    Media Whores Online has been working overtime. Lots on the bashing of le French. When are the neo-cons going to start picking on China and Russia? And what about those money-grubbing Turks? When will we start getting the Midnight Express references?

    Today's Doonesbury.

    Tom Toles

    Ann Telnaes

    ...and Andy Sullivan directs us to this highly amusing quote from Tina Brown, of all people:

    Is it just the residue of fashion week that makes me wish there were more, or should I say any, gay men in the Bush Administration? At The Sunday Times in the Seventies one top editor used to shake his head when the paper became too humourlessly high-testosterone and say that what it needed that week was 'more pooftah power'. In lieu of outright womanhood — except for Condoleezza Rice, who crosses the gender barriers by becoming the most zealous enabler — perhaps an injection of androgyny could be brought to bear on diplomatic relations in this moment of crisis. The Bush crowd's only management style, like that of many who subscribe to the outmoded cult of America’s Toughest Bosses, is to unzip and thwack it on the table.

    More from Brown:

    The offence of it is enhanced by the fact that we know how unauthentic Bush is in this role of macho man. Unlike the war vet Powell, who never swaggers, he has no credentials for talking the tough talk.

    And finally.....yesterday I bought my first $30 tank of gas. Just want to say to the oilmen who are in charge:

    Thanks!..............................dickheads.








    posted by tbogg at 8:36 AM

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    After the deluge...

    Kevin Drum over at CalPundit asks some very good questions about the upcoming war (the one in Iraq, not to be confused with all the other ones that will be a part of the continuing re-election drive known as Operation Manhood).

    Read the links....ponder his questions.

    There'll be a test later, and you must show work....



    posted by tbogg at 8:04 AM

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    Wednesday, February 19, 2003

     

    Goodbye...soon

    I admit it. I'm a geek for comic strips. Growing up I was a avid reader of comic books: Classics Illustrated, Batman, Fantastic Four, Silver Surfer, Flash, Green Lantern, all kinds. I wasn't a collector, I was a reader. I moved on to the little paperbacks of Peanuts, BC (back when it was funny), Tumbleweeds, and The Wizard of ID. As I hit high school it was Doonesbury strips and the books that soon followed. Then there was the late great Bloom County, taken from us too soon. But I have always read the comic strips in the paper. From the greatest of them all, Calvin and Hobbes, to the high school bizarro-world of Gil Thorpe (which is now too painful to even glance at these days). These days popular favorites like Dilbert, Baby Blues, and Foxtrot mix with more obscure regional favorites like Sherman's Lagoon, Pooch Cafe (I luv Pooch Cafe), and The Duplex. Hell, I even read Family Circus even though it makes me cringe and causes my eyes to bleed. Comic strips are the comfort food of reading. They make us laugh, they make us put them up on the refrigerator or on a cubicle wall, and sometimes they even make us think about our lives and our family and what is is to grow up and to grow old.

    Which brings me to this report of the imminent demise of a strip that has done all of the good things that I believe that the creator set out to do: For Better or for Worse.

    She was raised in British Columbia, where her parents ran a jewelry store. Her mother "should have been a career woman," Johnston said, while her father was the more gregarious of the two and found it easier to deal with children. "You couldn't have put two more unlikely individuals together, yet they were devoted to each other." They died only a few months apart.

    "I respected my parents. They were talented, resourceful and kind," Johnston said, yet they were two people whom she "didn't really love."

    Contrast that with Johnston's loving but realistic portraits of the Patterson family — Elly, John and their kids Michael, Elizabeth and April — and their extended circle of friends and relations. Her humorous, often touching style has struck a chord with millions of readers. "For Better or for Worse" appears in more than 2,000 newspapers worldwide, including The Seattle Times, and is translated into several languages.

    But the end is near for the 24-year-old strip. Well, maybe not "near," but in sight. Johnston plans to end the strip in four years, when her contract with distribution syndicate United Media runs out. She then intends to write a book to tie up the loose ends and reveal what happens to her characters.

    "I'm ready to wrap up the strip and end it because all things come to an end," Johnston said in a phone interview. She also wants to avoid dealing with production deadlines when she's in her 60s.

    Unlike many strips, the characters in FBFW have grown up (no arrested development like Family Circus, here), they have had parents and pets pass away, children move out and start families of their own. The main characters have grown older and have shown us that you never stop having growing pains; that they are a permanent condition of life. A teenaged boy came out...and was rejected by his mother. A daughter has her heart broken. A lonely widower moves in with a widow and starts a new life. In FBFW things happen like that, life is lived and time rushes by.

    That's why I love For Better or For Worse, and I'm going to miss it when it goes away, probably in a lot of the same ways that the Patterson's miss their beloved dog Farley; because he had become an indispensable part of the family.






    posted by tbogg at 10:00 PM

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    "...not to mention a lack of representation by squinty-eyed ideologues..."

    They brought out the armas grandes for El Topo Miguel Estrada today. Well, at least the biggest guns a lily-white party that is trying to play the racecard can muster. Featuring a Hispanic Republican Senato---whoops they don't have one of those. Okay, featuring a Hispanic Republican Congressma--- uh oh. Okay, they dug up some guy named Robert de Posada of The Latino Coalition to be the front man.

    "This is a very serious issue for our community and no politician can take this quietly."

    Race pimp.

    Anyway, apparently Mr. de Posada was unfamiliar with Jorge Rangel, Enrique Moreno, and Christine Arguello. Perhaps this will refresh his memory:

    Some Senate Republicans have attempted to dismiss concerns about Mr. Estrada’s nomination. Senator Rick Santorum said at a pro-Estrada rally, “`This is Clarence Thomas all over again. If you're conservative and a minority, they hate you.’” Suggesting that Mr. Estrada’s ethnicity has anything to do with concerns over this nomination ignores the Republicans’ own history in blocking highly capable Hispanic nominees during the Clinton years. Fifth Circuit nominees Jorge Rangel and Enrique Moreno, both rated Well Qualified by the American Bar Association, and 10th Circuit nominee Christine Arguello never received hearings under the Republican-controlled Senate, and it took the Senate a record four years to confirm Richard Paez to the 9th Circuit. In the case of Paez, 31 Republican Senators voted to indefinitely postpone the final vote on his nomination, including then-Senator Ashcroft, Senators Lott and Santorum, and current Judiciary Committee members Brownback, DeWine, Grassley, McConnell, Sessions, and Thurmond, all of whom ultimately voted against his confirmation.

    Debe haber deslizado su mente. Cómo suprising!






    posted by tbogg at 8:30 PM

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    Threat assessments, geo-political ramifications, and that long-haired guy who got all the ass back in college.

    Good to see that President Frat House is using his best judgement when it comes to understanding the millions who are demonstrating against Operation Inigo Montoya. According to Royal Court Fellator, Howard Fineman, the Cheerleader King is having college flashbacks:

    Images of global demonstrations against war with Iraq linger in the minds of heads of state and talking heads: millions of citizens marching in the name of peace in streets from London and Glasgow to Rome and Tokyo. But I can tell you that the marchers impressed President George W. Bush, too. They convinced him — if he needed more convincing — that he is surely on the right course in confronting Saddam Hussein.

    Shaped by the Yale of the ’60s and by his own father’s career, the president views the demonstrators as weak-willed moral relativists, afraid to take on — as only faith-filled and freedom-loving leaders can — forces of evil on earth.

    The president’s stark, black-and-white outlook stems from many sources, among them his Bible-centered faith, his success at quitting drinking “cold turkey,” his upbringing on the playgrounds of West Texas and the fierce sense of mission he found on the morning of 9/11/01.

    But his view of the wider world was shaped as much by Yale as by anything else. The New Haven of the mid-’60s was divided into two cultural worlds, and Bush knew only one of them. He was a fraternity man — a fraternity leader, in fact — who had little sympathy or contact with the “other side” of the campus, the portion then helping to nurture a radical “Black Power” crusade and the potent antiwar student protests of the late Vietnam years.

    Bush was a loyal son (his dad was a prowar member of Congress), a defender of the Old Social Order at Yale (though Bush himself was utterly without its preppy snobbery, racism or anti-Semitism) and a proud DKE who saw the increasingly dominant liberals on campus as pretentious hypocrites (because, he said, many “radicals” had trust funds). Above all, they were that species most despised by the frat house world: intellectual show-offs.

    ....meaning people who could speak in sentences of more than twelve words, and no, "uh" doesn't count as a word.

    Anyway, there you have it. Untroubled by the fears of a world that believes that he is about to start World War III, Bush harkens back to the day when American students were protesting the Vietnam war, while he was concerned with more important issues such as how many pimento-stuffed olives a pledge had to have shoved up his butt before he could become a DKE.

    My confidence in him has never been higher. Really.


    posted by tbogg at 7:37 PM

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    America Shrugged

    Many politicians have come into office inspired by great books, great deeds, a commitment to public service, or a vision of a better tomorrow. With this Administration's disdain for foreign relations, Rumsfeld's criticism of "Old Europe", and now the desire to start building new improved nuclear weapons in violation of established arms treaties, we have to ask: what is it that has inspired the George W. Bush Administration to take these bold steps? On what new road have they taken us that we may obtain the fulfillment of our Manifest Destiny?

    Michael Tomasky, over at Altercation, submits that is is based on a document called the Defense Planning Guidance written back in the spring of 1992.

    The document described for the first time the Cheneyite vision for America’s role in the post-Cold War world. It spelled out a policy toward the rest of the world, even our allies, that was far more unilateral and belligerent than anything that any postwar American president, Ronald Reagan included, had ever envisioned.

    It said that the United States had to be, as Colin Powell put it at the time, “the bully on the block.” This meant that other nations would have to understand that it’s our world, they’re just living in it; no other superpower could even think about emerging; collective action was rejected (NATO won a partial exemption here, but only partial) in favor of “ad hoc assemblies, often not lasting beyond the crisis being confronted”; preventive military action would prove necessary, somewhere, just to make the point that it was our prerogative to do so (the DPG mentioned Poland, Lithuania, the Philippines, North Korea, and Iraq); and more. The writing of the document was overseen by Paul Wolfowitz.

    Evidence suggests that the guiding philosophy goes back much further; all the way back in the spring of 1972 during the Nixon Administration. A mere few months before the infamous Watergate break-in, an obscure Californian penned a treatise contained in a folio entitled "Sail Away" that suggested a bold vision of a dominant America astride the planet and brooking no dissent. Daring, yet succinct, it has provided a roadmap for the men of this administration who were just coming of age at the time of its publication.

    Published under the title "Political Science", we can see how captivating its siren call must be to these strong-willed and passionately focused men we call "our leaders":

    *****

    No one likes us
    I don't know why.
    We may not be perfect
    But heaven knows we try.
    But all around even our old friends put us down.
    Let's drop the big one and see what happens.

    We give them money
    But are they grateful?
    No they're spiteful
    And they're hateful.
    They don't respect us so let's surprise them;
    We'll drop the big one and pulverize them.

    Now Asia's crowded
    And Europe's too old.
    Africa's far too hot,
    And Canada's too cold.
    And South America stole our name.
    Let's drop the big one; there'll be no one left to blame us.

    Bridge:
    We'll save Australia;
    Don't wanna hurt no kangaroo.
    We'll build an all-American amusement park there;
    They've got surfing, too.

    Well, boom goes London,
    And boom Paris.
    More room for you
    And more room for me.
    And every city the whole world round
    Will just be another American town.
    Oh, how peaceful it'll be;
    We'll set everybody free;
    You'll have Japanese kimonos, baby,
    There'll be Italian shoes for me.
    They all hate us anyhow,
    So let's drop the big one now.
    Let's drop the big one now.





    posted by tbogg at 3:29 PM

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    Meanwhile, in cockfighting news...

    Looks like Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz are going to go to the front lines and fight for America's freedom.







    posted by tbogg at 2:16 PM

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    ...and don't forget your Ranger Ridge™ Decoder Rings too.

    Lucky-to-have-a-job Tom Ridge has some handy tips for your Surviving Dubya's Reign of Error goodie bag.

    Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge on Wednesday unveiled a national campaign to advise families on what they can do to protect themselves against terrorism, urging vigilance because terrorists “seek to turn our neighborhoods into battlefields.”

    “TERRORISTS FORCE us to make a choice. We can be afraid, or we can be ready,” Ridge said in a speech in Cincinnati, a city he hailed as a model for how it has prepared for terrorist attacks.

    Dubbed the Ready Campaign, it will include television ads advising Americans how to prepare for the worst. The ads don’t have a single catch phrase, although most of them include the words, “Be ready” and “Arm yourself with information.”

    Other phrases to be used include:

    "Whoops! We misunderestimated them...again"

    "Are you ready for the Rapture?"

    "But Condi said she didn't think they would do that"

    "Laura has the car keys. Get off of the road...NOW!"

    "It wouldn't hurt to buy a share of Halliburton, just in case, y'know."

    and

    "Stock up on plenty of mixers. You never know when Jenna will drop by"










    posted by tbogg at 2:01 PM

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    It's a good thing Blogger is free.

    I couldn't get on all day. I thought they were bought by Google, not Microsoft.

    Anyway...I love this post over at Digby's place:

    It’s too late to be wondering whether this amateur hour of a foreign policy team is capable of handling so many crises’ at the same time, seeing as they “don’t even like to travel.” And the fact that they “spend so much time infighting over policy” is a direct result of not having a real President who guides policy, but one who is guided by whomever is in favor or has his ear at a given time.

    It is too late to be wondering whether a party that would spend 100 million dollars to install a callow, empty suit like George W. Bush as President of the United States purely because he had “brand name recognition” is serious enough and smart enough to be leading this country into war. It certainly appears that the rest of the world is very, very nervous about the caliber of our leadership.

    Go read the whole thing.





    posted by tbogg at 1:47 PM

    |

    Tuesday, February 18, 2003

     

    Well, at least he's off of Howell Raine's ass....

    Poor Andy Sullivan. He's only one man, but now he has to take on both the New York Times and the BBC (or as he calls it: The Baghdad Broadcasting Corporation...lol, bump, ping). Four rambling posts that point out that...the BBC doesn't agree with him. I did enjoy the treatment given to Tony Blair by a BBC interviewer:

    *******************

    TONY BLAIR: Well I can assure you I've said every time I'm asked about this, the [sanctions] have contained [Saddam] up to a point and the fact is the sanctions regime was beginning to crumble, it's why ... we had a whole series of negotiations about tightening the sanctions regime but the truth is the inspectors were put out of Iraq so -
    JEREMY PAXMAN: They were not put out of Iraq, Prime Minister, that is just not true. The weapons inspectors left Iraq after being told by the American government that bombs will be dropped on the country.
    TONY BLAIR: I'm sorry, that is simply not right. What happened is that the inspectors told us that they were unable to carry out their work, they couldn't do their work because they weren't being allowed access to the sites. They detailed that in the reports to the Security Council. On that basis, we said they should come out because they couldn't do their job properly.
    JEREMY PAXMAN: That wasn't what you said, you said they were thrown out of Iraq -
    TONY BLAIR: Well they were effectively because they couldn't do the work they were supposed to do
    JEREMY PAXMAN: No, effectively they were not thrown out of Iraq, they withdrew.
    TONY BLAIR: No I'm sorry Jeremy, I'm not allowing you to get away with that, that is completely wrong. Let me just explain to you what happened.
    JEREMY PAXMAN: You've just said the decision was taken by the inspectors to leave the country. They were therefore not thrown out.
    TONY BLAIR: They were effectively thrown out for the reason that I will give you

    **********************

    Can you imagine President Thin Skin actually sitting down with a reporter for a chat like this?

    No. I can't either...


    posted by tbogg at 11:56 PM

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    General Powell's Coalition of the Lemmings

    Looks like Colin Powell did a real bang-up job at the UN:

    Nation after nation from all parts of the globe demanded weapons inspectors have a chance to disarm Iraq peacefully, defying intentions by the United States and Britain to seek a resolution authorizing war.

    Only Australia, Japan, Argentina and Peru, in varying degrees, supported the tough U.S.-British position during 27 presentations on Tuesday by U.N. members who do not have seats on the 15-nation Security Council. Another 29 ambassadors address the council on Wednesday.

    But most speakers, many from developing nations in Asia, Africa and Latin America as well as Iraq's neighbors in the Middle East, spoke out against war and backed France's position to let arms inspectors have more time to account for Baghdad's weapons of mass destruction programs.

    So did Greece, New Zealand, Ukraine and Belarus.

    South Africa's U.N. ambassador, Dumisani Kumalo, head of the 115-member Non-Aligned movement, which called for the meeting, said that "Resorting to war without fully exhausting all other options represents an admission of failure by the Security Council in carrying out its mandate."

    Iran's ambassador, Javad Zarif, whose country was invaded by neighboring Iraq in 1980, said "the prospect of another destabilizing war in our immediate vicinity is a nightmare scenario of death and destruction."

    Zarif said that war would produce "the prospect of appointing a foreign military commander to run an Islamic and Arab country is all the more destabilizing and only indicative of prevailing delusions."





    posted by tbogg at 11:45 PM

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    Oh Crap....

    More nukes is good nukes for the warmongers in power.

    The Bush administration is planning a secret meeting in August to discuss the construction of a new generation of nuclear weapons, including "mini-nukes", "bunker-busters" and neutron bombs designed to destroy chemical or biological agents, according to a leaked Pentagon document.
    The meeting of senior military officials and US nuclear scientists at the Omaha headquarters of the US Strategic Command would also decide whether to restart nuclear testing and how to convince the American public that the new weapons are necessary.


    The leaked preparations for the meeting are the clearest sign yet that the administration is determined to overhaul its nuclear arsenal so that it could be used as part of the new "Bush doctrine" of pre-emption, to strike the stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons of rogue states.

    Greg Mello, the head of the Los Alamos Study Group, a nuclear watchdog organisation that obtained the Pentagon documents, said the meeting would also prepare the ground for a US breakaway from global arms control treaties, and the moratorium on conducting nuclear tests.

    "It is impossible to overstate the challenge these plans pose to the comprehensive test ban treaty, the existing nuclear test moratorium, and US compliance with article six of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty," Mr Mello said

    Think about this...They want to have "tactical nukes" so they can "pre-emptively" attack sovereign countries who might just have weapons like...the United States. Forget about an American Empire in the Middle East. That's kid's stuff. This is world domination.

    And it gets worse:

    The panel would also contemplate the "requirements for low-yield weapons, EPWs [earth-penetrating weapons], enhanced radiation weapons, agent defeat weapons".

    This is the menu of weapons being actively considered by the Pentagon. Low-yield means tactical warheads of less than a kiloton, "mini-nukes", which advocates of the new arsenal say represent a far more effective deterrent than the existing huge weapons, because they are more "usable".

    "Usable".

    The Bush administration has been working to reduce the amount of warning the test sites in the western US desert would need to be reactivated after 10 years lying dormant.

    One more time...Thanks Ralph....you assclown.


    posted by tbogg at 11:22 PM

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    Yeah, sure...and I want a pony...

    For all of his world travels and reputation for expertise when it comes to reporting on foreign relations/policy you have to wonder how Thomas Friedman manages to remain so naive. He's honest enough to make the following observation:

    Tell people the truth. Saddam does not threaten us today. He can be deterred. Taking him out is a war of choice — but it's a legitimate choice. It's because he is undermining the U.N., it's because if left alone he will seek weapons that will threaten all his neighbors, it's because you believe the people of Iraq deserve to be liberated from his tyranny, and it's because you intend to help Iraqis create a progressive state that could stimulate reform in the Arab/Muslim world, so that this region won't keep churning out angry young people who are attracted to radical Islam and are the real weapons of mass destruction.

    That's the case for war — and it will require years of occupying Iraq and a simultaneous effort to defuse the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to create a regional context for success. If done right, such a war could shrink Al Qaeda's influence — but Al Qaeda is a separate enemy that will have to be fought separately, and will remain a threat even if Saddam is ousted.

    Then he goes all "wish-upon-a-star":

    Some of this we can't control. But some we can, which is why it's time for the Bush team to shape up — dial down the attitude, start selling this war on the truth, give us a budget that prepares the nation for a war abroad, not a party at home, and start doing everything possible to create a global context where we can confront Saddam without the world applauding for him.

    The Bush Administration has had months to do any and all of this, but they haven't, and they won't, because they don't think they have to. Besides, that would mean admitting that the Cheney-Rice-Powell-Rumsfeld Axis of Incompetence have been leading us down a two-year boondoggle. Those four wasted the world's sympathy following 9/11 by exhibiting every possible facet of ugly-Americanism: arrogance, thoughtlessness, bullying, anti-intellectualism, self-righteousness, and provincial religiosity. Let's face it; they have been mirroring the best attributes of the Boy Emperor.

    So Tom Friedman had best disabuse himself of hoping for a change for the better. The Bush Administration can no more change its spots than George Bush can change the yellow stripe down his back.

    (Added)

    Andy Sullivan mentions the Friedman column and makes this statement:

    IS CHIRAC BUSH'S FAULT? Tom Friedman seems to think so. I wish I thought that the visceral hostility of Chirac and Schroder were a function of George Bush's bad diplomacy. But I fear their positions would be the same whatever president was in power, if he were trying to accomplish the magnitude of what Bush is aiming for in the war on terror.

    Whoa there, Prince of Provincetown....

    "whatever President was in power"?

    If another President were in power, say the guy who got more votes, we wouldn't be beating the wardrums about Iraq. Last I heard, Saddam never made an attempt on the late Sen. Gore.

    Oh, and as for this:

    And does Friedman think Colin Powell's ceaseless efforts around the globe were window-dressing?

    See this

    Window-dressing would be putting a positive spin on it. After last week, Powell's credibility is approaching Michael Jackson territory.



















    posted by tbogg at 10:30 PM

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    Cut it out! I'm being serious here..really.

    Global analyst, Howell Raines scourge, and Pet Shop Boys aficionado Andy Sullivan noted this the other day:

    A WASTE OF SPACE: Reading Maureen Dowd's characteristically inane column today, I asked myself once again why, at this moment of gravity and importance, a major American columnist has simply nothing to say, except occasional lame pop-cultural associations and a superficial account of the views of others. I'm not the only one.

    Here's Andy during today's moment of gravity and importance:

    SHOW US THE PHALLUS!: In an encouraging sign of non-p.c.-ness (what a word), Harvard students busied themselves over the weekend building a large penis out of snow. It was quite a work of art, apparently, and was featured in the Crimson, under the headline, 'Winter Wonder." But now the photo is nowhere in the web and the usual suspects are "offended." A letter-writer to the Crimson wondered whether the Crimson would ever show a photo of a snowy vagina. I think this deep and troubling issue cannot be fully understood or debated until we actually have a picture online of the great white monster, don't you? C'mon, fellow Harvardians. Post it!

    I guess we should give Andy the benefit of the doubt and assume that he wishes to enlighten us with his views on both political correctness and the anti-phallocentrism permeating our leftward-leaning institutes of higher education in this era of deep seriousness and rising Islamo-fascism.

    Or he just wants to see the big snow dick...

    I report...you deride.














    posted by tbogg at 1:54 PM

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    Ready for a good shearing...

    Ann Telnaes

    (thanks Kim)



    posted by tbogg at 1:17 PM

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    Too bad ctrl+alt+delete doesn't cause regime change at home.

    War for dummies

    (thanks Chris)



    posted by tbogg at 1:10 PM

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    We'd like to leave no child behind...but we're using that money to buy a friend.

    The Bush administration's plans for a northern front against Iraq reached a critical point today, as Turkish leaders ruled out a deal to allow American combat troops to use their country without agreement first on a multibillion dollar economic aid package.

    With time running out, a senior Turkish official said the government would present its final offer to American diplomats tonight. If the Bush administration agreed to the proposal, the official said, Parliament would probably vote this week to allow American combat troops to use the country as a base against Iraq.

    If the Americans rejected the offer, the official said, Turkish leaders would decline to put the question to Parliament this week. In all likelihood, the Turkish official said, such a decision would mean that the American plans for a northern front from Turkey would be all but dead.

    [snip...]

    A senior Bush administration official said American aides told the Turks that the White House's offer of $26 billion — $6 billion in grants and $20 billion in loans — was "final."

    Turkey requested more than twice that sum, the official said, but President Bush made clear that he would go no higher and that time for the Turks to make a decision was short.

    Obvious question: wouldn't it just be cheaper to offer Saddam a billion dollars to go away? The we could use another, say, $5 billion to buy Bush some manhood, and we would be $20 billion ahead.

    Oh yeah. And a bunch of people would still be alive....





    posted by tbogg at 10:55 AM

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    Where can we get us one of those "leaders"?

    George W. Bush who spent most of his younger days in a drunken stupor, who dodged the draft by going into the National Guard, and then proceeded to desert, and who became our first appointed President with the help of his father's friends had this to say today about why he is still going to go to war:

    "Size of protest, it's like deciding, 'Well I'm going to decide policy based up on a focus group.' The role of a leader is to decide policy based upon the security - in this case - security of the people."

    Then again, a leader would make a case for going to war which Bush and his bumbling, stumbling Administration have completely failed to do. This ignorant, brain-damaged frat boy is about to plunge the country into a war that may see countless American soldiers killed or wounded, that will surely result in an increase in terrorism against American citizens both here and abroad, that will further destroy an American economy already reeling from his mis-administration, and that will serve as a pretext for the further erosion of our freedoms.

    George Bush is killing America.











    posted by tbogg at 10:06 AM

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    Monday, February 17, 2003

     

    I know that Saddam and Osama sound a lot alike....

    Why exactly is it that the warbloggers can't figure out that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11? I really hesitate to link to some of the "take that hill, hoo-yah" hyperbole that comes so naturally from those who will be watching the war front-row-center on Fox news, with a Zima in one hand and a box of Screaming Yellow Zonkers in the other, but this is so over the top that I thought it was fairly amusing in a watching-the-guy-in-the-wifebeater-tank-on-COPS kinda way.

    We're in a war at the moment, a war that might get very very ugly before its over, but nevertheless the consequences of NOT fighting it are very likely to be even WORSE.

    And we're the only damn CO on the planet. Or, at the very least, the only nation capable of backing up our claim to the rank, a rank that we never asked for in the first place.

    But we're on Omaha Beach right now, pinned down by enemy machinegun fire from the bunkers up ahead, watching our fellow soldiers being cut down by the Grim Reaper while we cower behind the obstacles on the beach, every logical fibre of our being screaming to us to keep hugging the ground rather than advancing into the killing fields ahead.

    But deep within, at the back of our minds and as a result of our training, we KNOW that if we don't knock out those positions up ahead, we'll all end up dead sooner or later, so it's up to us or somebody else to stand up and cry "who wants to live forever?, ON ME!" and charge up towards the sea wall.

    And we're the only ones likely to take the initiative. If we do, the rest will get the message and follow, but if we wait for somebody else to jump of first, we're likely to get disappointed... And dead...

    It's time to put our mouthes(sic) where our money is, to show the world why we're the strongest nation on Earth and to leave them to either follow or piss off into infamy as the filthy cowards they are.

    U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! (....repeat until all logical thought and facts are just misty water-colored memories of the people we were....)











    posted by tbogg at 11:34 PM

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    Selling the war.

    Paul Krugman takes on the media, particularly cable news:

    What would someone watching cable news have seen? On Saturday, news anchors on Fox described the demonstrators in New York as "the usual protesters" or "serial protesters." CNN wasn't quite so dismissive, but on Sunday morning the headline on the network's Web site read "Antiwar rallies delight Iraq," and the accompanying picture showed marchers in Baghdad, not London or New York.

    Krugman's assertion is that the networks who see the war as inevitable are selling it as their patriotic duty. Let me add my cynical voice in agreement, but also add that it's also about ratings. CNN's glory days harken back to the forst Gulf War and they would love to see those numbers again. As for Fox...they'd show America's Funniest Lynchings if they thought they could get a 24 share.







    posted by tbogg at 10:31 PM

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    Disturbing...but not too suprising.

    New York Times.

    Overall the entire article is disturbing in that, with all that is discussed within it, the Administration is still is rushing headlong into war. But I've underlined something that I thought was illuminating in the way it was phrased by authors David Sager and Thom Shanker:

    Senior Bush administration officials are for the first time openly discussing a subject they have sidestepped during the buildup of forces around Iraq: what could go wrong, and not only during an attack but also in the aftermath of an invasion.

    Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld has a four- to five-page, typewritten catalog of risks that senior aides say he keeps in his desk drawer. He refers to it constantly, updating it with his own ideas and suggestions from senior military commanders, and discussing it with President Bush.

    His list includes a "concern about Saddam Hussein using weapons of mass destruction against his own people and blaming it on us, which would fit a pattern," Mr. Rumsfeld said. He said the document also noted "that he could do what he did to the Kuwaiti oil fields and explode them, detonate, in a way that lost that important revenue for the Iraqi people."

    That item is of particular concern to administration officials' postwar planning because they are counting on Iraqi oil revenues to help pay for rebuilding the nation.

    As I read this, they are "particularly" concerned about losing the oil revenues than they are about Hussein using weapons of mass destruction against his own people, and even then they're only concerned with being blamed for it.

    Oh, wait...Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Don Evans....never mind. Nothing too suprising here...






    posted by tbogg at 9:54 PM

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    "This is Ashleigh Banfield reporting...from The Rhumba Room at the Kuwait Hilton"

    Look's like a good time to stock up on bush jacket futures and world-weary expressions. The journalists are coming...the journalists are coming....:

    For the first time since World War II and on a scale never before seen in the American military, journalists covering any United States attack on Iraq will have assigned slots with combat and support units and accompany them throughout the conflict

    [snip...]

    According to a Pentagon document outlining some of the rules of journalistic engagement, reports of live, continuing action cannot be released without the permission of the commanding officer.

    There will be strict prohibitions on any reporting of future operations or postponed or canceled operations, the document further states. The date, time and place of military action, as well as the outcomes of mission results, can be described only in general terms. Other ground rules remain to be spelled out.

    Yet both the Pentagon and news executives welcomed the initiative. It is a sharp about-face from the restrictive news policies the Pentagon has maintained since the Vietnam War, which to many commanders showed the psychological perils of broadcasting a war into the nation's living rooms. In the Persian Gulf war, for example, only pool reporters were given regular front-line access.

    "Psychological perils"....Americans dying, civilians dying, destruction, horror...You know. War stuff. Reality.

    Only, to the XBox generation, you can't hit restart on your controller, and a dead child or woman is neither "collateral damage" nor free. They're just dead.

    ***********

    A good resource for excellent war reportage from that era of "psychological perils" is Library of America's Reporting Vietnam vols. I & II. Among other pieces it contains Michael Herr's complete Dispatches.










    posted by tbogg at 9:39 PM

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    Lyrically speaking

    I thought I would put this up before Norah Vincent does and tries to claim it as her own

    Lives in the Balance

    I've been waiting for something to happen
    For a week or a month or a year
    With the blood in the ink of the headlines
    And the sound of the crowd in my ear
    You might ask what it takes to remember
    When you know that you've seen it before
    Where a government lies to a people
    And a country is drifting to war

    And there's a shadow on the faces
    Of the men who send the guns
    To the wars that are fought in places
    Where their business interest runs

    On the radio talk shows and the T.V.
    You hear one thing again and again
    How the U.S.A. stands for freedom
    And we come to the aid of a friend
    But who are the ones that we call our friends--
    These governments killing their own?
    Or the people who finally can't take any more
    And they pick up a gun or a brick or a stone
    There are lives in the balance
    There are people under fire
    There are children at the cannons
    And there is blood on the wire

    There's a shadow on the faces
    Of the men who fan the flames
    Of the wars that are fought in places
    Where we can't even say the names

    They sell us the President the same way
    They sell us our clothes and our cars
    They sell us every thing from youth to religion
    The same time they sell us our wars
    I want to know who the men in the shadows are
    I want to hear somebody asking them why
    They can be counted on to tell us who our enemies are
    But they're never the ones to fight or to die
    And there are lives in the balance
    There are people under fire
    There are children at the cannons
    And there is blood on the wire

    -Jackson Browne
    (c) 1986 SWALLOW TURN MUSIC, ASCAP




    posted by tbogg at 9:17 PM

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    This "snow" that you speak of..it is white, yes?

    As a native born San Diegan, and having never lived anywhere else, I look at those pictures of the east socked in snow and wonder how you folks who dwell in those parts live with something like that. We get two inches of rain here and panic sets in. Barry over at bloggy makes the snow seem so damn pretty.

    Hang in there everyone...

    .



    posted by tbogg at 8:48 PM

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    Wimpy candy-assed coating outside, chewy ass-kicking Teamster inside...

    Much has been written today about Rod Dreher's comments quoted in the Moonie Times:

    National Review's Rod Dreher was around Grand Central Station in New York on Saturday after the anti-war demonstration ended, and he did not like what he saw.

    "I grant that there are morally serious people against the war. I just didn't see any of them today. This is what I saw: a child whose parents hung a poster around her neck that read: 'More candy and ice cream/less war and bigotry.' I'm not making that up.
    "I also saw this slogan on a poster: 'The Iraqi people need our love, not our bombs.' Ooh yeah, and mean people are bad," Mr. Dreher writes in the Corner on the magazine's Web site.

    But that was not the worst of it.
    "I also saw a woman carrying a poster that had an image of President Bush with a Hitler mustache drawn on.
    "I nearly lost it over that. What kind of decent person would have anything to do with a movement that likened the president of the United States to a genocidal mass murderer?
    "Just to see them walking the street is to put oneself in touch with one's inner Teamster."

    Fortunately Dreher's anger management skills kept him from beating up a woman (looks like Morgan Pillsbury fell in with the wrong guy...), but then again, this is the incredible fearsome Mr. Dreher. Jeez, he makes Justin Timberlake seem awfully butch.

    It looks to me that, even if Dreher tag-teamed with compatriot Christian film critic Michael Medved, they'd be hard pressed to beat up a 12 year-old blind girl.






    posted by tbogg at 5:54 PM

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    Ich bin ein Ashcroftian...

    Digby has a link and a few words to say about the Justice Department under John "Does goose-stepping count as dancing?" Ashcroft.


    posted by tbogg at 4:20 PM

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    The Laura-Bush-Well-Groomed-No-Terrorism-All-Clear-Alert

    There is much in Peggy Noonan's latest to make fun of: reading people's minds (again), assumptions about how people are going about their lives:

    Something that is happening is that the leaders of networks and the executive producers of shows and the managing editors of magazines are all fully aware that they set the tone for their organization. The young look to them for cues and clues. So they kiss the wife or husband goodbye and hug the kids and leave the house in the morning wondering if today is the terrible day and they won't get home again. Then they get into work and lounge against the wall in front of their office as if this is a snoozy Tuesday in August. They glide through the halls making jokes and referring to plans for the big summer meeting in July. They're cool as a cuke for the kids in the hall.

    but this is my favorite:

    Wednesday I was in town for a lunch for Laura Bush, who had been invited to the mauve walled dining room of Good Housekeeping magazine to speak about literacy. About halfway through her speech there came from the streets a howl of sudden sirens, and no one moved or altered his expression. Mrs. Bush continued talking.

    I looked at my watch: 1:37 pm. I wondered if the journalists around me were going through the same thought-stream I was. 1. Oh no, is this the trouble? 2. I'm with the first lady at a dramatic moment in history, take notes. 3. Maybe being with the president's wife isn't a bad place to be; her Secret Service detail knows how to handle things like this and they must carry gas masks, etc. Then a romantic sense of history kicked in: Maybe this is like being with Mary Todd Lincoln the morning of first Bull Run. In five seconds or so the sirens died down and moved on. Mrs. Bush seemed wholly unaffected.

    Earlier, when I'd asked how she was doing, she said she was fine, this is obviously a difficult time for people but anxiety has a way of diminishing with time, people get used to it and then don't feel it so sharply. I asked how the staffers in the White House were doing, and again she said fine; she was mindful that they'd been forced to flee the White House by foot on 9/11 and had had some hard days. She mentioned to the table that she thought people were watching things like Michael Jackson and Joe Millionaire "to distract ourselves." In her remarks she said, "I know we will get through this," and that she finds herself thinking, "This too will pass."

    She was poised and composed in the way of someone who isn't trying, and she was humorous. When Good Housekeeping's editor, Ellen Levine, stepped in to pick the first questioner in the ensuing Q&A, a bright woman in eyeglasses began to ask a question. Mrs. Bush asked her to identify herself and her organization. She gave her name and said she was the deputy editor of . . . Good Housekeeping. "Oh great, this must be the setup," Mrs. Bush said, to laughter.

    She was in a well-tailored dove-gray wool suit, collarless and double-breasted, with a knee-length skirt, dark-gray heels and pearl earrings. Her makeup had been applied with some art, her auburn hair was subtly highlighted, and her nails were professionally manicured, with red-orange nail polish. I mention this because sometimes grooming is a statement. Mrs. Bush said: Don't worry too much, we'll all be fine; if I didn't know this I wouldn't have been able to put on my eyeliner in such a straight line. Good grooming and a cheerful demeanor are sometimes heroic.

    Using this as a barometer, the next time Laura Bush shows up in public with uncombed hair, in a housecoat, with a scotch in one hand and a cigarette hanging off her lip....kiss your ass goodbye.



    posted by tbogg at 10:19 AM

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    San Diego...conservative Navy town no more...

    Since I don't have time to do much this morning, I thought I would share a few letters from the normally conservative San Diego Union. It is the Union's policy to publish letters proportionate to the sides of an issue involved. Please note that all six letters are critical of President Get Your War On. My favorite:

    Bush says it's time for people to show "some backbone." He's right. Let's start with him.

    He can have a press conference and go before the American people in a forum that isn't as staged as his gatherings with Republicans, hand-picked religious groups or tightly controlled appearances at military bases. He can stand up and answer questions that aren't offered up by his administration's selected reporters.

    After all, he is asking for a commitment that will kill hundreds of thousands of mostly innocent people, a fact that is the least talked about part of his patriotic bravado.

    To ask people to support such a war, Bush needs to give them more than catch phrases without substance. Americans are probably the bravest, kindest people in the world; but there are things they won't forgive– such as being misled.

    If Bush cannot stand in front of this country and answer hard questions, he has no business plunging the United States and the rest of the world into this war.

    MARION LEWISH
    San Diego





    posted by tbogg at 9:55 AM

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    Saturday, February 15, 2003

     

    Photo from Samizdata

    I really like the sign to the right.


    posted by tbogg at 4:08 PM

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    I'll get your hat and coat, Mr President.

    Gwen Hodges, a self-described "former liberal" (why are conservatives so embarassed to admit they have always been conservatives?) showed up at U of T the other day to protest the last elected President's visit there and said this:

    "If Bill Clinton were a Republican, he would have resigned instead of sitting through the impeachment trial," Hodges said. "We [Republicans] are the type of people that if we mess up, we step aside from the leadership role."

    Blown surplus...rising unemployment....deficits as far as the eye can see...allowed 9/11 to happen...alienated most of our allies.

    You get his bags, Gwen. I buy the one-way ticket to Crawford.





    posted by tbogg at 3:38 PM

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    We're here to be there when our kid has three goals and an assist. And especially when he doesn't

    This Rick Reilly column is reprinted in this weeks Sports Illustrated. Considering all that has gone so horribly wrong in the past few years it reminds us that, back in 1999, life was a whole helluva lot better:

    So we were lying on our backs on the grass in the park next to our hamburger wrappers, my 14-year-old son and I, watching the clouds loiter overhead, when he asked me, "Dad, why are we here?"

    And this is what I said.

    "I've thought a lot about it, son, and I don't think it's all that complicated. I think maybe we're here just to teach a kid how to bunt, turn two and eat sunflower seeds without using his hands.





    posted by tbogg at 1:22 PM

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    Would someone please put a muzzle on that loose cannon?

    Want to lose friends and influence no one? Looks like Rummy is your man:

    Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's cranky frankness made him a star in a bland administration, but now his periodic slaps at Europe are being blamed by some for adding to the administration's difficulties in recruiting a coalition to confront Iraq.

    [snip...]

    ...when Rumsfeld dismissed France and Germany as "old Europe" last month, and provocatively included Germany with Libya and Cuba as "three or four countries that have said they won't do anything" to assist in reconstructing a postwar Iraq, his comments offered a measure of vindication for Europeans who contend that Bush has no interest in working with officials who do not instantly agree with him.

    Maybe someone needs to explain to Old Man Rummy that those aren't "damn kids" and they aren't on "his lawn."






    posted by tbogg at 12:45 PM

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    ...but admitting we were wrong would be, well…wrong.

    Starship Commander. Den Beste of the aptly named USS Clueless thinks we have to "diplomatically nuke France or Germany" because they refuse to fall in line with an administration that could very well be out of office in 2004.

    If we do not, and if other nations in the world see both France and Germany standing up to us without having to pay a price for doing so, more and more nations will rally to them. There is opposition to the US all over the world; it threatens to crystallize into a unified force if it is not derailed soon.

    And those who have taken the risk of standing beside us will also share that peril, and in some cases are even more vulnerable than we are.

    In the immediate future we cannot be loved. That is not possible; there is nothing we can do which will cause our opponents to change their minds and hold us in high esteem. Our only choice in the short run is between being feared and being held in contempt. France and Germany must pay for what they have done to us, or we will stand exposed as cowards whose threats and demands can be ignored with impunity and who can be attacked without risk. And once that happens, the physical peril we face will grow as other enemies begin to threaten us in other and far more dangerous ways.

    It is too late now for us to be seen as nice guys. Our only choice remaining is bully or wimp. We thus must become bullies, because being wimps would be disastrous. France and Germany are standing up to us and calling us out. They must be crushed.

    In other words: destroy those that would point out that the emperor has no clothes. We have always been at war with France and Germany…..

    Meanwhile, like-minded Star Trek nerd, Admiral Quixote chimes in with:

    I do not believe Bush is bluffing. Other than some leftists who think this is about oil (which shows they have little understanding of economics – if someone disagrees, send me a note why and I’ll be glad to post it and comment), this is about national security. Even Bush’s opponents agree that President Bush sincerely feels Saddam Hussein is a danger to the security of the US. He may be wrong – and this is the position of France, Germany, and several other nations. But since he believes the US is at risk, he will follow through and remove this particular threat.


    Even if you doubt Bush’s sincerity, there are now political reasons for Bush to attack Iraq. 30-40% of American citizens almost always vote Republican, just as 30%-40% of American voters support the Democrats. It’s the folks in the middle (like myself) who aren’t really attached to either party who decide each election. According to most polls, Americans are not too impressed with Bush’s handling of the economy. However, they strongly support Bush’s handling of the war on terror (America considers the Iraq problem as a part of this larger effort). If Bush backed down against Iraq at this point, he would lose the 2004 elections in a landslide. He knows this, and like most politicians he wants to stay in office.

    America is a diverse nation and you will see pro-war protests and anti-war protests. I have friends who are strongly against the war. However, I have noticed something – Almost every single anti-war protester is a confirmed Democrat and did not vote for President Bush in 2000 and will vote against him in 2004 no matter what Bush does. Do you think President Bush cares about appeasing this group? Of course not – from a political perspective there is nothing to be gained and a lot to be lost. (By the way, I am NOT saying all Democrats are anti-war – there are many Democrats who also believe the risks of leaving Saddam in power are much higher than the risks of removing him from power).

    Let's see: Bush really really really believes that Saddam is a threat to the United States, although he and Powell, Rice, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Tenet, Perle, Wolfowitz, and even the White House janitor have failed to make that case. Instead we are given shifting rationales for war with Iraq: terrorism, WMD, gassing the Kurds, friend of bin Laden (whoops! that one backfired...), murdering his countrymen (hello, General Pinochet...), and even the benefit of a more stable supply of oil. How any one can dismiss the oil factor when the Administration is run by those so steeped in the oil bidness that it runs through their black sludgy hearts, is beyond me.

    …and here is the heart of a true believer: “He may be wrong – and this is the position of France, Germany, and several other nations. But since he believes the US is at risk, he will follow through and remove this particular threat”

    Such a good soldier….

    Then there is the "Admiral's" second point: re-election. Is he implying that Bush would put not only the fine men and women of the military at risk, as well as increasing the possibilty of more "homeland" terrorism, just so he can get re-elected?

    I am shocked, shocked, I tell you! Not that el Presidente would do such a horrifyingly selfish thing, but that true believers like the Quixote’s of the world would actually admit it.

    The next step is admitting that we have a problem here. That maybe, just maybe, President Bush and his motivations are...just...wrong.












    posted by tbogg at 12:28 PM

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    New to the Hot Links

    Hammerdown


    posted by tbogg at 11:30 AM

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    Friday, February 14, 2003

     

    It's lightweight Friday night

    We have just returned from Valentine's dinner #1 (wife, daughter, and myself) to be followed by Valentine's dinner #2 (wife & moi, only) tomorrow night at one of our favorite restaurants. I am content, happy, and in no mood to look into whatever atrocities the Bush administartion has commited today (this being the exception).

    I would like to mention a couple of things of little world-wide consequence....

    One, I bought Phrenology by the Roots today, and its probably the best music I have purchased in the past year. While rap/hip hop isn't exactly my thing, there is a lot to be said for a group as talented as the Roots. I had the opportunity to see them last summer at San Diego's Street Scene (along with Sugarcult, Crystal Method, Unwritten Law, and Ja Rule) and I've kept them in the back of my mind since then. Take a gamble, you might like them.

    The secong thind is that I will be taking off for a week from blogging starting 2/22 because I have to go to friggin' Florida for a friggin' week on friggin' business. Up until now, I have managed to avoid Florida like it was a Scientologist selling Amway, but business calls and I have to answer. I'm not sure that time will allow me to do any blogging from there and if not, I intend to use what free time I have to catch up on my reading, which has been badly neglected because of ...well, blogging. For those interested (no, it's not a tbogg Bookclub..) I am, and will be reading, The Life of Pi by Yann Martel, The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford by Ron Hansen, and Fierce Pajamas- An Anthology of Humor Writing from The New Yorker.

    Like you care.

    See you on Sunday night.





    posted by tbogg at 10:54 PM

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    Clarification

    Alert reader Rich writes in:

    Charles Krauthamer is a psychiatrist (they're MDs and don't want anyone to forget it), not a psychologist (I'm a psychologist and we have enough problems without having Krauthameer being considered one of us). He's also laughable when he spouts off about psychiatric issues. I think he got himself board certified (an exercise in memorization) so that he could try to show off, but he's obviously never seen a patient since his medical training.

    -Rich

    My apologies to psychologists...my sympathies to psychiatrists.


    posted by tbogg at 10:15 PM

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    First it was Sullivan's Book club...now it looks like it will be Tony Blair. War is hell.

    As George W. Bush moves ever closer to military action against Iraq, a key consideration to be factored into his calculations is that his staunchest ally does not end up becoming the first political casualty of the war.

    [snip...]

    Without a second resolution, Mr. Blair may well have only a few weeks in which to save his political career. For no matter how high his standing might be in Washington, where he is now referred to in some circles as Mr. Bush's "wedding planner," at home Mr. Blair is a prime minister at bay. One needs only to visit the Commons during the weekly "Questions to the Prime Minister" to gauge the depth of hostility he faces, primarily from his own Labour backbenchers, who make no secret of their opposition to war, nor of their almost rabid anti-Americanism.

    At what point does Blair start chewing his arm off in order to get away from Coyote George?



    posted by tbogg at 10:11 PM

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    Okay. I'll say it.

    Who picked out his tie?

    Good lord....



    posted by tbogg at 10:05 PM

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    Not following the leader.

    Looks like not everyone is as enthused about World War III as President Deserter and Prime Minister Poodle are.

    Tens of thousands rally against war

    Massive antiwar protests begin

    Big Protests Planned in Europe

    ...and one big question. How come both warhawks and chickenhawks alike blame this all on France, Germany, and Belgium? Is Russia 'Old Europe' or 'Young Europe'? Is China 'Old Asia' or 'Young Asia? Are they "irrelevant" too?







    posted by tbogg at 4:49 PM

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