TBogg - "...a somewhat popular blogger"

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  • Saturday, March 08, 2003


    It's Saturday morning now...

    ...but here is the weekly Bush Administration Friday afternoon atrocity:

    New clean water regulations requiring small construction sites to develop plans for storm water will not apply to the oil and gas industries, officials of the Environmental Protection Agency said today.

    The new rules, which take effect on Monday, will require construction sites bigger than one acre to have plans to handle storm water, which can carry chemical and metal runoff from the disturbed soil. Existing rules already require such plans for sites larger than five acres

    The agency says it is giving the oil and gas industries a two-year exemption from the requirement at the smaller sites while it conducts further study. Critics in national environmental groups and in Congress say the oil and gas industries are taking advantage of close ties to the administration to lay political groundwork for broader exemptions to the Clean Water Act.

    John Millett, an environmental agency spokesman, said the agency had received conflicting information about the environmental impact of oil and gas construction sites.

    "It's different because of its short time frame compared to other construction," Mr. Millet said, adding that the agency did not have enough data to properly understand how the rule would affect the oil and gas industries. "All that information right now is residential and commercial construction."

    "Oil and gas differs sufficiently enough to warrant further evaluation," he said.

    Since 1990, construction sites, including oil and gas facilities, that are larger than five acres or in more densely populated areas have been required to obtain permits. Oil construction sites larger than five acres often dealt with the regulation by building ponds to collect the storm water and soil runoff.

    Senator James M. Jeffords, independent of Vermont, the ranking minority member of the Environmental and Public Works Committee, criticized the exemption.

    "While small communities and small construction projects in every other sector of the economy must comply with strong storm water standards," Mr. Jeffords said, "the Bush administration is giving a free ride to the oil and gas industry."

    These guys don't even bother to pretend anymore....

    Thanks Ralph.....

    posted by tbogg at 1:10 AM



    Would you like your Postum with an ephedra back?

    Digby points out that the son of Orrin Hatch (R-High-collared Hypocrite) is one of the big lobbyist's helping to keep ephedra untested and on the market. Jeez, Mormon's aren't even supposed to "indulge" in caffeine, but give them a couple of million dollars and suddenly the Book of Moroni becomes Naked Lunch to these people.

    posted by tbogg at 12:47 AM



    Indulge me here...

    After writing about the shafting I got from Ticketmaster (see below), I got to thinking about all of the concerts I have been to in my not so short, yet not so long, life. Stuck in traffic I began listing singers, bands, and artists I have seen over the years. With the help of my wife who reminded me of whom we had seen together, and after racking my brains going back to the seventies, I compiled a list of the popular, the obscure, the what exactly was I thinking, and the people I am glad to have seen before they faded from sight or from life. I should point out that the very first concert I saw was in 1969. Kenny Rogers and the First Edition. I believe that tickets were about $6.50 which sounds about right. Here they are in vague and hazy somewhat chronological order. One hit wonders and all timers. See how many you recognize:

    Kenny Rogers and the First Edition The Beach Boys Don McLean Crosby Stills and Nash Argent 10CC's The Grassroots Steve Miller Band Seals & Croft Rare Earth The Moody Blues Chicago Chase The James Gang Blood, Sweat, and Tears Jesse Colin Young Yes Jethro Tull Emerson, Lake, and Palmer OC Smith Santana The Byrds Atlanta Rythym Section James Taylor The Who The Rolling Stones J Geils Band Blue Oyster Cult The Outlaws Molly Hatchet Robin Trower Lee Michaels Bachman Turner Overdrive America Loggins & Messina Poco Pure Prarie League The Eagles Linda Ronstadt Jackson Browne Sammy Hagar Quarterflash Karla Bonoff Warren Zevon Roxy Music Elton John Norton Buffalo Sonny Rollins Herbie Mann King Crimson Neil Young Hall & Oates The Doobie Brothers Cheap Trick Fleetwood Mac Graham Parker Randy Newman Paul Simon Orleans Emmylou Harris Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Nick Lowe Josie Cotton George Thorogood Joe Jackson Elvis Costello Stevie Ray Vaughan Jimmy Buffett Tommy Tutone Split Enz Robert Cray Dire Straits Peter Gabriel The Romantics Rachel Sweet The Go Go's The Rockets Joan Armatrading Husker Du Phranc Genesis The Golden Palominos The Stranglers Ultravox Howard Jones Echo and the BunnyMen Johnny Cougar The Motels Camper Van Beethoven The Lemonheads James REM Ricki Lee Jones Bruce Hornsby Los Lobos Lou Reed Townes Van Zant Maria McKee Ry Cooder Lyle Lovett Toni Childs The Cowboy Junkies Chris Isaak The Indigo Girls Dinosaur Jr Janes Addiction Counting Crows Natalie Merchant X Nanci Griffith Matthew Sweet Paula Cole Joan Osbourne The Bo Deans Son Volt Was Not Was Social Distortion Shawn Colvin Nirvana Pearl Jam Red Hot Chili Peppers Beck Green Day Diana Krall The Roots Sevendust Jimmy Eat World Blink-182 Unwritten Law The Distillers Sum 41 Garbage No Doubt Sugar Cult The Crystal Method Cassandra Wilson and...Tool

    I know I'm missing some, but, what the hell. Those that I regret I never saw were the Lowell George-led Little Feat, For Squirrels, the Refreshments, the Posies, Badfinger, Harry Nillson, Steve Goodman, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Helmet, the Stone Roses, and Harry Chapin.

    That was my exercise in self indulgence. Thank you for your attention...

    posted by tbogg at 12:27 AM


    Friday, March 07, 2003


    Referrals from around the world

    As I'm sure most of you know, we bloggers can sometimes look to see how you got to our particular neck of the Internet woods. Lots of time it's thru someone seeking something through Yahoo or Google that causes them to stumble upon us. For example, way back when I started this thing I linked to an article about Disney pushing Disney TV pop tart Hillary Duff as a "singer" on Radio Disney, when all the other stations wouldn't touch her. On the other hand, Disney Radio had her in heavy rotation. Anyway, ever since then I 've somehow become the home of Hillary+Duff+naked in google.

    Tonight though, I had a new one:


    Hell, I didn't know Elian had a computer...

    posted by tbogg at 6:43 PM



    A great analysis of President Qualude's press conference.

    The Road to Surfdom.

    George Bush may not be stupid, as some like to claim, but he sure is unimpressive. His "interview" last night showed a man of pointless arrogance, incapable of making an honest case, and someone who would wilt under the scrutiny of the sort of parliamentary system that operates in, say, Britain and Australia.

    posted by tbogg at 2:13 PM



    I want to see her sing..I don't want to buy her for the night.

    This is a rant.

    Remember when you used to go line up to buy tickets to concerts? You would stand in some crappy windy parking lot for four hours just hoping to get decent seats to see someone that you really wanted to see. Of course you wouldn't admit to seeing half of those bands today because you are soooo much cooler now. (Mine was Blue Oyster Cult with The Outlaws and Molly Hatchett...what the hell was I was thinking?). Then they started giving out wristbands so you could come back at an appointed hour...but you still had to get in line for the wristbands. And even then, all the good seats were gone because the "ticket agencies" (scalpers) had either made deals with the promoters or they paid homeless guys to camp out overnight to stand in line so you were sitting in nosebleeds making Sammy Hagar (yes...I saw him too, with Quarterflash.....groan) look even dinkier than he already was.

    Now, when you go to a concert, you just get screwed financially. Two weeks ago I bought tickets for the Dixie Chicks (no...not for me...for the wife and daughter, and I love them anyway) and paid $62 apiece for them, to which Ticketmaster added a "convenience charge" of close to $10 per ticket, then there was the "Order Processing Charge" of $3.50. Final price: $150 to see a chubby little singer and a couple of pickin' and grinnin' sisters cover a Stevie Nicks song.

    Today...Annie Lennox. Okay, Annie is special. Rarely tours...doesn't record much, so I could justify the $52 tickets (top price ticket $102). Covenience charge $9.70 per ticket. Order Processing Charge $3.10. Total price (I bought six tickets for our "group") $373.30.

    Now keep in mind that the tickets were purchased online, so that the convenience cost of $58.20 for Lennox was for using my computer and Ticketmaster's site. The order processing charge is to spit out the tickets and mail them to me First Class. The extra charges for six tickets were more than the cost of one ticket. Yeah, yeah, it's what the market demands, but only because of exclusivity agreements between the promoters, venues, and Ticketmaster.

    This must be the invisible hand that the Libertarians speak about. I'm just not too wild about where the fingers of that hand are going....

    posted by tbogg at 1:28 PM



    Just a thought...

    I was thinking about President Bed Wetter using an Ari-supplied list of "safe" reporters that allowed him to avoid Helen Thomas, and wondered what would have happened if one of the favored few had stood up and said, "Mr. President(sic). I would like to defer to Helen Thomas of the Hearst papers".

    I imagine that's why he wore a dark suit as protection. So we wouldn't be able to see the wet spot on the front of his pants.

    I guess we know that Terry Moran won't be allowed to speak at the next press conference in May 2004.

    posted by tbogg at 12:10 PM



    It's alive.....

    Yea! The Hamster finally appeared over in the Hot Links...twice.

    Fine. Go visit him twice.

    I give up.

    posted by tbogg at 11:53 AM



    ...you are a traitorous baby-killing communist, how dare you, don't you value your freedom?

    More Mark Morford.

    Let us now speak blasphemy. Let us point up something no one seems to be mentioning, as Shrub sends in 300,000 of our youth to blast a cheap thug who is, by every account, no serious threat to the U.S., and never has been, and who had nothing to do with 9/11, and whose ties to terrorism are tenuous at best, all while rabid North Korea happily buys more nuke technology from desperate Pakistan and sells the finished product to the highest bidder.

    Here it is: The military does not protect my freedom. Our soldiers are not out there right now safeguarding me, or you, or us, from some sort of total, '50s-era, Red Scare-esque dictatorial overthrow of our nation; nor is the military guaranteeing I have the right to write this column any more than it is protecting your right to read it, or to protest the war and speak freely and smoke imported French cigarettes and watch porn and drive really fast. Not anymore, they're not. Not this time.

    More than ever before in recent history, the otherwise worthy U.S. military is right now in service not of the people, not of the national security, but of the current government regime and its corporate interests. Has it always been this way? Of course. But this time, with our smirky Enron president and cash-hungry CEO administration, it's never been so flagrant, or insulting, or invidious.

    posted by tbogg at 10:49 AM



    Jealous, I am....

    Charles Kuffner is coaching Little League, reminding me once again that this is the first year my daughter isn't playing ball after eight years.

    I am soooo jealous. Guess I'll live vicariously through his season.

    Casey's last game. (She's the lefty)

    1 for 3...bases-loaded single to drive in two runs in a 5-3 league championship game.

    At least I have that.

    posted by tbogg at 10:34 AM



    He would look kinda hunky in a wifebeater and a mullet....

    My Media Research Center CyberAlert just showed up and the MRC makes a devasting accusation against the Warrrior President. This isn't up on their site yet, so here is the cut and paste from my email:

    2) President Bush was hit at his Thursday evening press
    conference with a bunch of challenges to his Iraq policy, but
    ABC's Terry Moran certainly encapsulated the attitude brought to
    bear every night by Peter Jennings which presumes Bush's approach
    "has drawn millions or ordinary citizens...into the streets in
    anti-war protests" and made the U.S. "an arrogant power."

    Moran, ABC's White House correspondent, argued in the guise of
    a question: "In the past several weeks, your policy on Iraq has
    generated opposition from the governments of France, Russia,
    China, Germany, Turkey, the Arab League, and many other countries;
    opened a rift at NATO and at the UN; and drawn millions of
    ordinary citizens around the world into the streets in anti-war
    protests. May I ask what went wrong that so many governments and
    peoples around the world now not only disagree with you very
    strongly but see the U.S. under your leadership as an arrogant

    And when did you stop beating Laura?

    posted by tbogg at 9:53 AM



    Headline trifecta

    Boy. You got to love these headlines from Media Whores Online.




    posted by tbogg at 9:37 AM



    I have my reservations...

    Although I would like to throw my full support behind Jim Cappozola's Quixotic run against Arlen Specter, I do have a few questions:

    Is his brow furrowed? Furrowed brows connote deep thought that may be incompatible in a Senate chamber filled with smooth brows unruffled by complexities and gray areas.

    His hair. Does he have a full thick shock of hair that requires expensive upkeep? Should the good people of Pennsylvania suffer runway shutdowns at Philadelphia International Airport because he needs a crème rinse and possibly some highlights?

    Although his name indicates that he is Italian, he has mentioned that he contains some Irish blood. What happens if some of this Irish blood is tainted by Jewish blood? What is he hiding and is this indicative of the way that he changes ethnicity to suit the latest restaurant he visits? Is he Thai today but Cracker Barrel Down Home Cooking tomorrow?

    I remember that Jim wears predominately black clothes. Black can be an earth-tone. What does this say about him?

    I personally know that Jim has never ever seen a James Bond film. Not one. What happens if he draws duty on the Senate Intelligence Committee? Will America's Silent Warriors be denied exploding watches, pens that shoot nerve gas, and exciting opening chase scenes, simply because he hasn't done his homework? What of femme fatales like Pussy Galore or Lotta Cleavage? Who will keep them in catsuits? I also think the risk of unchecked super villain masterminds in their secret island lairs is just too great a risk to take.

    And lastly...Mildred's pet cause is autoerotic poo eating and that one is already taken by Lynne Cheney.

    posted by tbogg at 9:17 AM



    "I just thought he looked wiped."

    Usually there is nothing Sullivan likes better than a spent man.

    posted by tbogg at 8:47 AM



    Advertising to ourselves...

    NewsMax, which is an online news-service for the profoundly retarded, still has their skid-marked, stretched-out Fruit of the Looms in a twist over France not rolling over like a rolled-up, paper-smacked Tony Blair. Never mind that Germany, China, and Russia also oppose the war, they've got France in their sights and their gonna take her down.

    As the war on terrorism heats up, now is the time for all patriotic Americans to show their support for our President and our country.

    That is why NewsMax is launching our national "Boycott Cowardly France Campaign". With your help, we can reach millions.

    If Paris wants to keep profiting from Saddam Hussein, Americans should just say no to French goods.

    Boycott all things French: their gooey cheeses, their overpriced wines, their rip-off Perrier and Evian water, their crummy automobiles...

    And most of all we will be boycotting their white flags. As President Bush said, we shall not surrender to evil and terrorists.

    Please take a moment now and stand up for our country, our boys in uniform, and all who oppose terrorism by supporting our "Boycott Cowardly France Campaign".

    NewsMax plans a nationwide ad campaign to encourage Americans to boycott France. You can help us. Please send what you can afford $50, $20, even $10. It will send France a message they will never forget.

    Which you can send to their PO Box, because these guys obviously work out of a trailer. Here's what your money will do:

    NewsMax plans to take out newspaper ads, internet ads, and if funds allow, radio and TV commercials to encourage Americans to boycott French goods, products, travel and services.

    This will send a wake up call to the Paris elitists – betray America and the Western alliance at your own cost!

    NewsMax has an ambitious program to reach millions of Americans – if contributions allow – for ads in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and major papers across the country.

    This will not only inform millions of Americans, but send a wake up call to France, and make them reluctant to obstruct America, Britain and other allies.

    We believe France, by not making a united front against terrorism, has put America at risk to terrorism. They have also weakened Western resolve as American troops are on the line in the sands of the mid East.(sic)

    Your contributions can make a difference. NewsMax has done these informational campaign to great effect during the Elian Controversy and Election Crisis of 2000. We reached millions in those campaign with full pages ads in the NY Times and TV commercials on Fox News and elsewhere.

    Just so you're clear here...the kind of people who watch Fox News(sic) should send money to NewsMax so that they can advertise on...Fox News(sic) to reach the kind of people who watch Fox News(sic).

    But wait...there's more. Check out the great premiums you can receive with your "contribution":

    Contribute $50 or more and receive a FREE “Home of the Brave Land of the Free” t-shirt - a value of $25

    Contribute $100 or more get a FREE copy of the coffee table book “The Great Greatest Speeches of Ronald Reagan” - a $40 value with shipping

    Contribute $250 or more and get a FREE edition of “Resolve” - the official portrait of President George Bush framed with his most resolute quotation.

    "His most resolute quotation"?

    Was last night's "Show your cards" more resoluter?

    Personally I take solace in the fact the every dollar sqaundered over at NewsMax is one less dollar going towards ammunition and Toby Keith CD's.

    posted by tbogg at 8:43 AM



    Stoned and dethroned

    Bush was tweaked to the gills. Tom Shales says so.

    The contrast between the foggy Bush of last night and the gung-ho Bush who delivered a persuasive State of the Union message to Congress not so long ago was considerable. Maybe Bush thought he was, indeed, coming across as cool and temperate instead of bored and enervated, and this was simply a rhetorical miscalculation. On the other hand, it hardly seems out of order to speculate that, given the particularly heavy burden of being president in this new age of terrorism -- a time in which America has, as Bush said, become a "battlefield" -- the president may have been ever so slightly medicated.

    He would hardly be the first president ever to take a pill.

    There were brief interludes during the news conference -- especially the long languid pauses -- when some viewers might have flashed back to the presidency of Richard Nixon. That is, the Nixon Years at their most tumultuous and Twilight Zoney, when the old Trickster would come on TV and you'd sit there not just fascinated but a trifle terrified of what he might say, who he'd accuse of persecuting him, and whether he might come completely unglued or just melt into a hideous puddle right before your horrified eyes.

    posted by tbogg at 8:17 AM


    Thursday, March 06, 2003


    See? He is a uniter.

    Everyone hates us.

    Then the Toronto Globe and Mail newspaper conducted a (hopelessly unscientific) poll on its Web site, asking Canadians whether they agreed that "Americans are behaving like 'bastards.' " The returns aren't good: as of yesterday, 51 percent were saying yes.

    When even the Canadians, normally drearily polite, get colorfully steamed at us, we know the rest of the world is apopleptic. After all, the latest invective comes on top of the prime minister's spokesman calling Mr. Bush a "moron" last fall.

    Canada's incivility is a reminder that the U.S. and its allies are slugging one another to death while Iraq watches from the sidelines. If, as Mr. Bush suggested in a press conference last night, the U.S. may lose a vote in the U.N. and then promptly go to war anyway, the internecine warfare within the West will grow far worse.

    The U.S. debate on the antipathy toward us has been misleading, I think, in its focus on France. (There's now an American bumper sticker: "Iraq Now, France Next.") It's not just the prickly Gauls who are taking potshots at us — it's even our buddies, like the Canadians and the Irish.

    In a survey, The Sunday Independent newspaper of Ireland polled Dublin residents about whom they feared most, Saddam Hussein or George Bush. The result: 39 percent picked Saddam; 60 percent, Mr. Bush. Even in Britain, a poll by The Sunday Times of London found that equal numbers called Saddam and Mr. Bush the "greatest threat to world peace."

    So let's take stock of how our invasion of Iraq is going. The Western alliance is ferociously strained, NATO is paralyzed, America is resented by millions, the United Nations is in crisis, U.S. pals like Tony Blair are being skewered at home, North Korea has exploited our distraction to crank up plutonium production, oil prices have surged, and the world financial markets have sagged.

    And the war hasn't even begun yet.

    Read the whole column. The end is devastating.

    For those contemplating a trip to Europe later this year, may I suggest a t-shirt that says: He's Not My President.

    posted by tbogg at 8:40 PM



    You show me your cards..I won't show you mine

    Looks like President Preserve and Protect got into Laura's prozac collection tonight. There's not much I can say about the speech...mainly because he didn't say much of anything that we haven't heard before. He got his soundbite phrase in: "Show your cards", yet when pressed to explain why we are going to war, he failed to show his.

    "I believe (Iraqi President) Saddam Hussein is a threat to the American people. I believe he's a threat to the neighborhood in which he lives."

    But what is the threat to America?

    Bush ain't saying...and he doesn't care what you think.

    posted by tbogg at 8:29 PM



    Tonight's press conference

    Digby has a list of questions that will probably be asked of the Putz behind the Podium.

    The real problem is not so much that Bush is unable to answer anything directly, truthfully, or in actual english words that 4th graders use on a daily basis. It's the press. Since Bush give press conferences about as often as Spencer Abraham gets laid, each reporter realizes that they may only get, what Eminem would call, "one shot" to get a question in. So they go with their little pads with one question written at the top...and the rest blank to scribble down the inanities.

    What happens then is someone asks a good question...Bush dodges it by reciting a canned answer, and then Bush calls on someone else...who doesn't follow up on the previous question, pinning the chimp down. Helen Thomas may ask, " Why war? Why now?" which Bush will mumble his way through before calling on a Fox News correspondent who will ask about God in the Pledge of Allegiance. This allows Bush to call a hostile reporter, then follow with someone sympathetic to the Administration, whose job it will be to change the subject.

    Afterwards Peggy Noonan and Howard Fineman will call Bush "masterful", recalling former President and current okra casserole, Ronald Reagan in his prime.

    A little teamwork by the reporters would go a long way to exposing this weak little man who has all of the depth of a mirror.

    posted by tbogg at 3:04 PM



    Justice Thomas would like to review the type of porn that will be filtered...Can he have it for the weekend?

    The delightful Dahlia Lithwick covers Ted Olson trying to make libraries safe for people with no health problems or bodily parts:

    You really have to hand it to U.S. Solicitor General Ted Olson. The man can say absolutely anything and still keep a straight face. Here he is in the Supreme Court today, arguing for a law that conditions federal funding to public libraries on their willingness to install wildly ineffective "smut filters," and he actually manages to argue—three times by my count—that these filters will enhance free speech.


    A good question from Kennedy: Wouldn't it be a lot easier just to have two separate computers, a filtered one for children and an unrestricted one for adults—you, know, in the section behind the black curtain, with the bound back editions of Hustler and the very sticky floors? Olson replies that Congress could have done this lots of ways, but it chose a rational mechanism (the financial blackmail method) that is constitutionally sufficient. Olson then offers up the incredibly weird argument that this statute actually saves librarians from being inundated with lawsuits from authors suing because their book wasn't stocked. Because if the blocking software is unconstitutional, then "so are the types of decisions librarians have been making all along." This is part of Olson's whole "librarians love this" defense of a statute librarians seem to pretty universally detest—as evidenced by the fact that the named plaintiff in the case is, in fact, the American Library Association.

    Supreme Court FunFact: In Lithwick's article the following Justices make comments:


    I count eight. Interesting that the one Justice with first-hand (his right hand) knowledge of porn is strangely silent on the issue...if you don't count the low moans and the occasional "Who's your daddy?".

    posted by tbogg at 2:02 PM



    I'm not mad at you...I'm just terribly disappointed.....

    Howard Fineman, who last week was telling us that God speaks to man through President Hooked on Galatians, has gone all Judas and shit (but not Catholic Judas) on Bush's ass.

    I’M THINKING of the Grand Bazaar as I look at the hash George W. Bush has made of the diplomatic gamesmanship surrounding the pending war with Iraq. All the world was not going to be with us in a war to take out Saddam Hussein. And if taking him out is the right and necessary thing to do, so be it. But diplomacy has its uses (we’re depending on the United Nations to pick up the pieces in Baghdad), and what’s the use of making things harder than they need to be?

    A lot of this has to do with the president’s negotiating style. It’s a mix of Bible Belt certitude and West Texas bluster: You declare that you are in the right, stake the most aggressive land claim in all the oil patch, talk big and strong, and dare them to call your bluff. But it doesn’t work that way in the Grand Bazaar, where you need to hide your intentions and examine the merchandise with care. The president hasn’t always done either. As a result, he’s been outmaneuvered by some of the world’s slickest shopkeepers: the Turks, the French, even Saddam. And now Bush is buying war at what could be a very high price.


    Of course the smoothest operators of all are the French. They want into the Iraqi oil fields, but it’s not all about the money — at least not in the minds of the Gauls. They want respect. They want to be known as the paragons of principle. They want to be known as the conscience of Europe. The president’s father is a longtime friend of Jacques Chirac. Perhaps Dad can explain French thinking to his son. Dad might explain that there’s a time for tough talk and a time for a diplomatic peck on the cheek (or even a metaphoric kiss on the butt). Because, for better or worse, we’re not in Midland anymore.

    That's quite a tongue-lashing on Bush from Fineman. But then, it's not the first time Fineman has used his tongue on the Warrior President.

    posted by tbogg at 12:59 PM



    She's a real emotional girl

    Ann Coulter took a few days off to deal with her genital herpes, but she's back and inflamed as ever:

    If impeached former president Bill Clinton had ever caught a fish as big as Mohammed, he would still go down in history as America's worst president, but at least he would have a single foreign policy accomplishment. Last September, Clinton was among those braying that it was insanity to go to war with Iraq rather than concentrating on al-Qaida: "Saddam Hussein didn't kill 3,100 people on Sept. 11; Osama bin Laden did."

    Then again, Clinton didn't allow 3100 people to die on his watch while he was taking a month off in Texas.

    Ann then shows that, after two years, she still hasn't gotten over Clinton's turgid member, as she writes:

    After an arrest like that, Clinton would have held 17 press conferences to praise himself and attack Republicans. Bush has held no press conferences on the capture of this major al-Qaida leader


    THE 8 P.M. ET news conference will be televised live nationally. The president will begin with an opening statement about successes in the war against terrorism and the importance of disarming Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer told reporters.

    This is the kind of thing that happens when you miss your RNC blastfax because you're stumbling around the apartment in a vodka haze and forgot to put paper in the machine. Not that that keeps you from writing:

    Human rights groups have responded to the capture of this major al-Qaida figure with the plea: DON'T HURT HIM! They are hysterical at the possibility that the government is torturing Mohammed for information. There are dark rumors that terrorists are being stripped, humiliated, strapped down and subjected to total sleep deprivation with lights and noise. Then it turned out the hapless victims of such brutal tactics weren't terrorists, but airline passengers since Sept. 11.

    We now know why she calls her new screed "Treason". It's the closest she will ever get to the word "reason".

    posted by tbogg at 12:36 PM



    Hedging your bet in a game of Texas poker

    Robert Novak tells us that President Smirky is playing cards with America's future.

    ''This is Texas poker, with the president putting everything on Iraq,'' a Republican senator (who thoroughly approves of this policy) told me.

    But the impression I get from Novak's column is that he isn't convinced that Bush is playing a strong hand. Some excerpts:

    The extraordinary gamble by Bush leads to deepening apprehension by Republican politicians as they wait for the inevitable war. They consider the Democratic Party divided, drifting to the left and devoid of new ideas. Yet, Bush's re-election next year is threatened by two issues: the economy and the war on terrorism. Success on both is tied to war with Iraq.

    Few Republicans discuss even in private whether the president had to make this bet. The usually unasked question: Was it really necessary to focus on Saddam's removal from power? With U.S. troops ready to head into harm's way, patriotic politicians do not want to speculate whether this war was avoidable.


    The senator who told me the president is playing ''Texas poker'' is delighted to march with Bush in a crusade for democracy in the Arab world, a goal that colleagues well-versed in diplomacy view as unrealistic. That is the heart of George W. Bush's gamble, with his presidency and the course of the nation at stake.

    If things go poorly in Iraq or the economy tanks worse than it is now, expect Novak to be the first to say "I told you so". My impression of Novak, when I see him on TV, is that he is not Bush's biggest booster. Novak, who is a very smart man, seems more of an economic conservative than a cultural one, and I think, deep down, that he believes Bush is a simpleton. I would guess that he gets up every morning with his fingers crossed and a tightened sphincter wondering what Bush is going to do that day.

    posted by tbogg at 12:10 PM



    Monosyllabic cretin to make rare public appearance

    Bush has held eight news conferences since taking office two years ago.

    He is known to think that White House news conferences are too formal, and that they include too much preening by reporters

    Watch for the "hearing aid".

    (Update): I just realized that the Ex-Gov. Bush will be speaking at the same time The Simpsons are on. I expect that my wife will walk through the room, glance at the TV and comment that "Homer looks like he's lost weight".

    posted by tbogg at 11:25 AM


    Wednesday, March 05, 2003


    Take It To The Limit Bank Tour

    Over-the-hill country rockers The Eagles, who we thought were Already Gone, are hiting the road...again, letting us see what Life in the Slow Lane With Your Left Blinker Going is like.

    Thousands will flock to their concerts reliving the imaginary wild times they think they had when the Eagles were at their peak, ignoring the fact that no matter how long they grow their hair on the sides, they're still bald on top and they can no longer Chug All Night.

    Me? I waiting for next year's Droolin' Daltons Tour. I hear they're going to play The Disco Strangler.


    posted by tbogg at 11:00 PM



    I told you there was something funny going on between Frodo & Sam

    Previously I mentioned that I sensed some homoerotic tension between Mr Frodo and Sam in LOTR: The Two Towers. I guess it wasn't just me. Wal-Mart has some very special editions of The Hobbit.

    The Hobbit: Or, There and Back Again
    Author: Tolkien, J. R. R.

    On the Battersea Reach of the Thames, a mixed bag of eccentrics live in houseboats. Belonging to neither land nor sea, they belong to one another. There is Maurice, a homosexual prostitute; Richard, a buttoned-up ex-navy man; but most of all there's Nenna, the struggling mother of two wild little girls. How each of their lives complicates the others is the stuff of this perfect little novel.The adventures of the well-to-do hobbit, Bilbo, Baggins, who lived happily in his comfortable home until a wandering wizard granted his wish.

    Boxed hardcover bound in green leatherette with gold and red foil stamping, two-color typography, and five full-page color illustrations by the author

    So that is why the Virgin Ben likes these books so much. I think I'm beginning to see why they called it The Two Towers, although The Two Turgid Throbbing Towers has a nice alliterative ring to it....

    (Thursday update) Damn. Wal-Mart pulled the page. I'm sure someone cached the screen somewhere....

    posted by tbogg at 10:42 PM



    Is that an Air Stratocaster or are you happy to see me?

    If Glenn Reynolds takes a few days off...here is probably the reason why.
    He strikes me as a My Woman From Tokyo kinda guy...

    posted by tbogg at 10:31 PM



    These are the final days of peace in America.

    Mark Morford...who Andy Sullivan dearly wishes he was....

    These are the final days of peace in America. Please remember to turn off the lights and lock up when you leave.

    These are the last days of relative calm before we start bombing and massacring hundreds of thousands of people and in so doing enter into what many believe will a very long, drawn-out, insanely expensive, volatile, destabilizing, completely unwinnable war against a cheap thug of an opponent who has negligible military might and zero capacity to actually harm the U.S. in any substantive way. U-S-A! U-S-A!

    This will not be Desert Storm. This will not be quick and painless. This will be 3,000 guided missiles launched on the first day of the war, 10 times that of Desert Storm, turning Iraq into an instant wasteland. This is already a minimum of $200 billion, with an additional $50 billion to try and bribe Turkey alone, just to begin with. This is total unabashed war gluttony....

    posted by tbogg at 10:22 PM



    From the wonderful folks over at Whitehouse.org

    Last night, the President called an emergency meeting of his top advisers in the Presidential Prayer Squad to discuss the Administration's overarching concern and principal goal for America's future: his reelection in 2004. Working feverishly until dawn with PPS leaders Deacon Fred and Brother Harry Hardwick, the President arrived at a plan of action which will ensure that his political future does not mimic that of his vaguely effeminate father. Let the record state that the Prayer Squad's painstakingly objective analysis involved reviewing opinion polls of NRA members, Heritage Foundation economic forecasts, back episodes of the Greatest American Hero and, most importantly, the Holy Bible.

    Meanwhile, Dick Cheney's lawyer doesn't want you to see this.

    After earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Colorado College, the not-yet-Mrs. Dick Cheney found herself still without a bread-winning spouse. Wisely hedging her bets, she took refuge in post-graduate education, earning both a Masters Degree and Ph.D. in the profoundly non-practical, yet supremely lady-like academic province of poetry studies. Fortunately for Pre-Mrs. Dick Cheney, a life of scholarly spinsterism was narrowly averted, when one fine July evening in 1964, she would cross paths with Mr. Dick Cheney, an old high school acquaintance. The two would dine together the next evening at a Roy Rogers Family Restaurant, then venture out for a night of dancing and sloe gin fizzes. Two weeks later, they were married in an intimate ceremony at a Las Vegas motor chapel. Mrs. Dick Cheney would go on to sire two daughters, Mary and Elizabeth, the latter of whom would fulfill her Godly obligation to couple with men and produce grandchildren in a naturally biological fashion.

    posted by tbogg at 10:13 PM



    An email form reader Jeff

    Just a note:

    This quote:

    Koppel set the tone for the evening by opening the March 4 live broadcast (EST/CST feed) with this supposed joke which undermined the moral superiority of the U.S. position: “There's a sardonic two-liner making the rounds in Washington these days: 'How do we know that Saddam Hussein has biological and chemical weapons? We have the receipts.' Nasty, but there's an element of truth to it.”

    Just wanted to point out the great standup comedian, the late Bill Hicks, used to do this in his routine. Something like (paraphrased of course):

    “Iraq has terrible weapons, awful weapons. How do we know? Uh, we looked at the receipt. In fact it’s a check, but as soon as that sucker clears we’re goin in!”

    Not suggesting Koppel plagiarizes from stand up comics, but…. When Bill Hicks said it, we were in Bush The Elder’s Reign Of Bombs. This is such a well-worn joke, we laugh about in locker rooms and over holiday dinners when we talk to our weird uncles. It’s been a water-cooler snicker for over a decade, and not just among racial comics. There’s much more than an element of truth to it. Everyone in America, from the stoner in my mailroom to my sister the Soccer Mom has been chuckling over the absurdity of it for years.

    But when Koppel says it actually seems cutting edge and controversial.

    Do these guys really believe they are offering insights? Do they really think we don’t know? How badly out of touch is our media? How dumb do they think we are? How poorly have they served us? Does our government also think we are chumps, that Bush’s constant reminders to “go tell a neighbor you love em” actually passes for sense and leadership.

    There’s a deep sense of the hypocrisy in US policy eating at all of us. And younger people are growing up totally disillusioned. I had to come by my own cynicism as an adult. I believe the media and the establishment have no real idea how widespread is the sense of our government being totally immoral and false. And it may seem like they can lead us into anything with a blank check now, while there are still some people tethered to the ship as it goes down. But there’s also another class of people totally cynical, who never had anything noble to believe in and never will. And with Bush ripping the nest egg out from under them too, you’re going to have a scary kind of political nihilism jumping out at us from a corner not too far in our future

    posted by tbogg at 10:01 PM




    Long before I started blogging I used to read The Hamster, which makes me wonder why I haven't linked to him before. You can now find him under the Hot Links with all the other good folks. Visit often. Send him money. Buy things there. Let him marry your daughter. Stuff like that.

    (Well...he should show up soon, once friggin' Blogger gets their template updates fixed. Blogger has had a bunch of problems since Google bought them. Good thing it's free...Hang in there, Eric)

    posted by tbogg at 9:46 PM



    A spoonful of Bosco makes the Karl Marx go down.

    Andy Sullivan (balding guy...English...lover, not a fighter) writes this today:

    THE NEW YORK TIMES ON STALIN: Yes, this was the 1953 obit. (Thanks to NRO's Corner.) Always useful to see how the Times dealt with murderous dictators then. Some things never change.

    Oddly enough, Andy passed on the opportunity to blame the Stalin obituary on then ten-year old Howell Raines who was at the time establishing a 5th grade Communist cell in his native Birmingham, Alabama.

    posted by tbogg at 6:51 PM



    Can we kick out the people who buy Creed CD's too? Because I could get behind that...

    In reading about Mall-Gate I found this to be amusing:

    On Monday, Stephen Downs, 61, and his son were asked by mall security guards to remove their peace-slogan shirts or leave. Downs' 31-year-old son, Roger, took off his shirt. But Downs refused.

    The guards called police, and he was charged with trespassing and pleaded innocent.

    Police Chief James Murley said: ``We don't care what they have on their shirts, but they were asked to leave the property, and it's private property.''

    The men had had the T-shirts made at a mall store and wore them while they shopped.

    Soooooo...you can buy the t-shirt there, but you can't wear the t-shirt there....

    I see.

    posted by tbogg at 2:59 PM



    I see Marvin's Word of the Day Calendar is a big hit.

    Marvin Olasky, who is rumored to be George W Bush's spiritual gardener (which would explain the weeds, rocks, and dead plants) has a column up pointing out that those who oppose Miguel Estrada (El Topo) are...you guessed it: Marxists. In fact, Marv (can I call you Marv...?) is so sure that they are Marxists that in his 648 word column he uses the term Marxist, Marxists, or Neo-Marxist 11 times. On the other hand, he uses the word "and" 13 times.

    posted by tbogg at 2:42 PM



    Soon to become Pro-I Didn't Think They Would Retaliate Against My Family.

    When, exactly, did the pro-war people morph into "pro-liberation" people? Did this happen during the ever-changing rationale for going after Saddam? Looks like they have gone from Pro-1441 to Pro-He Tried To Kill My Dad to Pro-He Has WMD's to Pro-He Double Dates With Osama to Pro-Democracy In Iraq Before America to Pro-Aluminum Tubes! Aluminum Tubes! Aiiiieeeee! to Pro-Well, The Soldiers Are Already There to Pro- Bush's Vestigial Manhood Is At Stake to Pro-Reclaim Our Precious Bodily Oils That Are Under Their Sand to Pro-Liberation in mere months.

    Anyway, for those keeping score at home, pro-war = pro-liberation...anti-war = Marxists.

    posted by tbogg at 2:21 PM



    11 out of 13 can't be right

    I'm really loving my cyberalerts from the Media Research Center (see below), they make life so much easier. In today's alert, we see that Nightline is "liberal" because, in a Nightline Town Meeting, good common folks, real salt of the earth types, actually had the audacity to question the administration's rush to war. Gasp! Let's let MRC 'splain it to you:

    ABC's Nightline Town Meeting on Tuesday night put the burden on those in favor of a war on Iraq, a tilt evident in the title of the 90-minute special, “War in Iraq: Why Now?” While Ted Koppel presented a balanced panel of three experts for and three against a war, an amazing 11 of 13 questions posed from the audience, at St. Johns Episcopal Church within sight of the White House, expressed hostility for President Bush's policy or outright disdain for the U.S.

    Remember: asking "War in Iraq: Why Now?” is putting a "burden" on the administration, and we wouldn't want to burden them with explaining why they want to blow $100+ billion, kill ten's of thousands of Iraqi civilians, and put America's fighting forces in harm's way just so we can get at that guy who tried to kill the President's dad. That would require some heavy lifting from a bunch of white collar criminals and these homies don't play that. And speaking of 'burdens" it looks like the MRC doesn't want to have to explain why 11 out of 13 people "expressed hostility for President Bush's policy or outright disdain for the U.S". The MRC says:

    But the really biased element to the show was all the hostile questions from the left. The audience for these Nightline Town Meetings is carefully selected by ABC producers who then decide who can pose a question, so the questioners normally are pretty balanced. But not on Tuesday night, a slant which really makes ABC look pretty irresponsible given the very small audience they were able to fit into the church.

    Proof of an ABC conspiracy? The fact that 11 out of the 13 questioned the war is all the proof that MRC needs, although I found it interesting that they claim that "the really biased element to the show was all the hostile questions from the left". Does this mean that no one from the right is opposed to the war? Are they really in such tight lockstep over there? Didn't they all get the Rove-a-gram?

    But my favorite part was Ted Koppel's little joke that probably really steamed Bozell's clams:

    Koppel set the tone for the evening by opening the March 4 live broadcast (EST/CST feed) with this supposed joke which undermined the moral superiority of the U.S. position: “There's a sardonic two-liner making the rounds in Washington these days: 'How do we know that Saddam Hussein has biological and chemical weapons? We have the receipts.' Nasty, but there's an element of truth to it.”

    posted by tbogg at 1:34 PM



    It's only Hardball off-camera

    Thanks to the thin-skinned folks over at L. Brent "Where's My Scaife Check" Bozell's Media Research Center for transcribing Chris Matthews latest comments from the Don Imus show. This says a lot about what is said on the air, and what they say during commercial break.

    MSNBC's Chris Matthews, whose Hardball show has fewer viewers than the cancelled Donahue had, went on a tear against President Bush, whom he described as “a kid,” and others in the administration over their Iraq policy. Matthews charged on Friday's Imus in the Morning: “It's going to make every Arab kid grow up to hate our guts for the next thousand years.”

    Matthews argued that the policy has nothing to do with any danger posed by Iraq's arsenal. Instead, “it's about changing these governments around so that they play ball with us.”

    On Bush, Matthews bemoaned: “This kid has got religion, he goes to bed at 9:30, he doesn't drink, he's got God on his side, his family doesn't complain against him -- he's basically got the bit in his teeth and he's going to war, and the people around him aren't questioning it.”

    MRC analyst Jessica Anderson took down some of what Matthews spewed on the February 28 Imus in the Morning radio show simulcast on MSNBC:

    -- "It looks like Bush 43 is going to go, he doesn't care. There's an interesting little item in the paper today about how Bush 41, the family as it's called, are concerned about going it alone, ripping apart the alliance that Bush Senior had going into Baghdad the first time, or going into Kuwait. I think they're worried about it, I'm worried about, but you know, this kid has got religion, he goes to bed at 9:30, he doesn't drink, he's got God on his side, his family doesn't complain against him -- he's basically got the bit in his teeth and he's going to war, and the people around him aren't questioning it. I think Colin Powell is aboard, Wolfowitz is out there, you know, almost like a fanatic saying, 'I don't even know how much the thing is going to cost, but we're going.' These guys are going to war and there's no way around it. At this point, they probably have to."

    -- "Well, you know my gut, I've been against this war. They said it was anthrax, then they said they did '93, then they said they did 2001. They've got every excuse, it's like throw it against the wall and see if it sticks, and it's basically an attitude that the guys around the President are ideologues, they don't like despotisms, they want to go in there and knock off those Arab leaders, they want to change the Middle East around so it's peaceful and the Israelis can cut a better deal, and it's all about ideology and, to some extent Israel, but it's hardly any of it is about guns. I think the gun part of this thing has always been BS.

    “It's about changing these governments around so that they play ball with us and I think that's what the game has been from Wolfowitz and Feith and Rumsfeld and Cheney -- they're all hardliners. You know, when they get off the air with me they always giggle, 'You know, I hope they don't disarm.' That's their worst fear, that Saddam Hussein will throw all his guns out in the street in front of 'em, then we can't go to war and these guys will be miserable. It's not about guns. It's about ideology. These guys want to change that part of the world and they're damned, they'll come up with any excuse to do it. And look, that's an idealistic Wilsonian notion. I think it's squirrelly. It's going to make every Arab kid grow up to hate our guts for the next thousand years, but that's they're(sic) point of view and I've got mine."

    So why doesn't Matthews confront them about their off-screen comments the next time they come on? Is it Hardball or T-Ball?

    posted by tbogg at 9:18 AM



    ...and starring Khalid Sheikh Mohammed as the Hedgehog.

    It takes a special kind of person to notice this.

    posted by tbogg at 8:32 AM


    Tuesday, March 04, 2003


    Yadda yadda yadda...to spend more time with my family...yadda yadda yadda

    Janet Rehnquist leaving under a cloud.

    Grassley and Montana Democratic Sen. Max Baucus asked the GAO to perform a management review of the inspector general's office in October after whistleblowers complained that Rehnquist had forced out a number of senior staff members.

    One former staff member told CNN that Rehnquist "moved people and destroyed careers because she thought they were disloyal."

    In a television interview in January, Rehnquist said she made the staff changes "for the good of the organization."

    The GAO has also been investigating whether Rehnquist delayed an audit of Florida's pension fund at the request of Gov. Jeb Bush's office.

    HHS documents show that the audit had been scheduled to begin in April 2002, but Rehnquist, after speaking with the governor's chief of staff, ordered it postponed. The audit did not begin until September 2002, which meant the results would not come out before Bush's re-election in November.

    posted by tbogg at 9:35 PM



    Turkey is, like, totally ruining the Pentagon's war feng shui

    The Daily Kos explains the implications of Turkey's decision.

    posted by tbogg at 9:26 PM



    Looks like Mystery Science Theater 3000 has a new silhouette

    But still the same bad movies.

    posted by tbogg at 9:03 PM



    The first humanitarian disaster

    Martin Amis.

    There are two rules of war that have not yet been invalidated by the new world order. The first rule is that the belligerent nation must be fairly sure that its actions will make things better; the second rule is that the belligerent nation must be more or less certain that its actions won't make things worse. America could perhaps claim to be satisfying the first rule (while admitting that the improvement may be only local and short term). It cannot begin to satisfy the second.

    We contemplate a kaleidoscope of terrible eventualities: a WMD attack on Israel, and a WMD response (conceivably nuclear); civil war in Iraq. and elsewhere, together with all manner of humanitarian disasters; fundamentalist revolutions in Egypt and Jordan; and, ineluctably, an additional generation of terror from militant Islam. Meanwhile, common sense calmly states that an expanded version of the present arrangement (inspectors, monitors, full exposure to world opinion) is sufficient to contain and emasculate Saddam until pressure builds for a coup; and that the "war on terror" can start only with the dismantling of the settlements in the territories occupied by Israel

    posted by tbogg at 8:38 PM



    Bush Offers Taxpayers $300 If We Go To War

    The Onion, what else...

    WASHINGTON, DC—Amid growing anti-war protests and polls indicating eroding public support for an invasion of Iraq, President Bush is offering U.S. taxpayers a rebate in the amount of $300 if we go to war.


    "The plan is almost identical to the tax rebate offered in 2001," Bush said. "With the minor exception, of course, of the provision that Americans react favorably to the deployment of 210,000 troops to the Persian Gulf."

    "Which reminds me, have you seen these new iPods?" added Bush, pulling an Apple-brand MP3 player from his pocket and holding it up to the crowd. "It costs $299 for one of these little buggers, but it holds a thousand songs. They're amazing."

    posted by tbogg at 4:19 PM



    Why we blog

    Cowboy Khalil.

    I can't add much to what he has to say, other than to add that I do it because sometimes I have something to say, and sometimes I just like being a smart-ass.

    Nothing much more than that.

    posted by tbogg at 10:59 AM



    More on Kristof

    There's a great discussion of Kristof's column over at Atrios, which contains this quote:

    "We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart." -- H.L. Mencken

    contributed by Tresy.

    Then there is this email I received from Matt:

    "I was brought up to respect other people's religions (although nobody ever explained why...)"

    Here's why:
    "We have enough religion to hate each other, but not enough to love each other." -- Jonathan Swift

    Or, one could argue quite easily, if UBL and his crew had grown up respecting other people's religions, Al Qaeda would not exist.

    The problem with Kristof's article is that he jumps from disdain for *evangelicals* to disdain for *Christianity*, in the same way that incautious warbloggers might jump from condemning Wahabbism to condemning Islam.

    It's an uncommon lapse in Kristof's usually solid intellectual rigor; perhaps he still has mixed emotions about once dating a girl from a Pentecostal denomination, and isn't quite ready to say that, although she was bright, she was also a follower of a religion that makes no freaking sense.

    At any rate, he's wrong, but not entirely so--and I respectfully submit that you are making the same error (failing to distinguish between radical and mainstream) in reverse, if not to quite the same degree.

    Very good points.

    One serious flaw, pointed out by many over at Atrios, is that Kristof fails to differentiate between "evangelicals" and "fundamentalists". This is a nuance I failed to account for. I'm sure someone's god will forgive me.

    posted by tbogg at 10:07 AM


    Monday, March 03, 2003


    Better living through dumbing down America.

    Nicholas Kristof today takes time out to point out that educated Americans need to reach out to snake-handling, speaking-in-tongues, backwoods morons. Okay, maybe that's stretching the point a bit, but Kristof fails to convince me why I should respect the views of these people:

    Evangelicals are increasingly important in every aspect of American culture. Among the best-selling books in America are Tim LaHaye's Christian "left behind" series about the apocalypse; about 50 million copies have been sold. One of America's most prominent television personalities is Benny Hinn, watched in 190 countries, but few of us have heard of him because he is an evangelist.

    President Bush has said that he doesn't believe in evolution (he thinks the jury is still out). President Ronald Reagan felt the same way, and such views are typically American. A new Gallup poll shows that 48 percent of Americans believe in creationism, and only 28 percent in evolution (most of the rest aren't sure or lean toward creationism). According to recent Gallup Tuesday briefings, Americans are more than twice as likely to believe in the devil (68 percent) as in evolution.

    He then says this:

    I tend to disagree with evangelicals on almost everything, and I see no problem with aggressively pointing out the dismal consequences of this increasing religious influence. For example, evangelicals' discomfort with condoms and sex education has led the administration to policies that are likely to lead to more people dying of AIDS at home and abroad, not to mention more pregnancies and abortions.

    But liberal critiques sometimes seem not just filled with outrage at evangelical-backed policies, which is fair, but also to have a sneering tone about conservative Christianity itself. Such mockery of religious faith is inexcusable.

    Why is it inexcusable to point out the ridiculousness of those who seem hellbent on sending us back to the dark ages, who would let people die because of a misguided belief that sex and pleasure are sinful, who find evolution unbelievable yet unquestionably accept the notion of a unknown, unseen, cosmic producer/director who works in "mysterious ways", and who read crappy endtime pulp fiction written by a hack evangelist, but fear children's books written about a boy wizard? I was brought up to respect other people's religions (although nobody ever explained why...) but that was in a time when religion was a private matter, before evangelicals decided it was their mission to share their devotion to their god whether you wanted to hear it or not. Quite frankly, I don't find the god-smacked to be that interesting.

    So sure that's sneering, but how should I approach the willfully ignorant who would dictate social policy? People's lives are at stake while they're playing theological Calvinball.

    Kristof then writes:

    Robert Fogel of the University of Chicago argues that America is now experiencing a fourth Great Awakening, like the religious revivals that have periodically swept America in the last 300 years

    History is full of "Religious Awakenings" and, if I may be so humble to note, millions have died because of someone else's notion of "god" and what "he" wants. Quite simply, that joke's not funny anymore.

    posted by tbogg at 11:17 PM



    Minority Report

    Below I linked to the story about Toni Smith, a brave young woman athlete standing up for what she believes. I think it also important to give acknowledgement to two more female athletes who are standing up for women playing sports everywhere: Donna de Varona and Julie Foudy.

    It has been the Bush Administration modus operandi to appoint a "commission" that is stacked with like-minded members to confirm whatever is on the administration's agenda thereby giving it the thinnest patina of legitimacy available, without causing outrage or the threat of waking up a docile and generally compliant, press. Some of the show commissions flamed out spectacularly (revamping Social Security) and some are still stumbling around (the 9/11 commission and the Henry Kissinger debacle). One of these Potemkin commissions is Education Secretary Rod Paige's Commission on Opportunity in Athletics, with the ostensible task of reviewing Title IX. The end result was a predictable attempt to seriously weaken opportunities for female athletes in order to reassert male athletic financial dominance at the collegiate level.

    Fortunately de Varona and Foudy (two of the US's more famous and respected athletes) chose to not toe the line, and insisted on issuing a minority report that can be used as a 'backdoor" into all the weaknesses and double-talk of the commissions report. From their introduction:

    After careful review and deliberation and unsuccessful efforts to include adequate discussion of our minority views within the majority report, we have reached the conclusion that we cannot join the report of the Commission. We are instead releasing this Minority Report and request that the Secretary include this document in the official records of the Commission’s proceedings.

    Our decision is based on (1) our fundamental disagreement with the tenor, structure and significant portions of the content of the Commission’s report, which fails to present a full and fair consideration of the issues or a clear statement of the discrimination women and girls still face in obtaining equal opportunity in athletics; (2) our belief that many of the recommendations made by the majority would seriously weaken Title IX’s protections and substantially reduce the opportunities to which women and girls are entitled under current law; and (3) our belief that only one of the proposals would address the budgetary causes underlying the discontinuation of some men’s teams, and that others would not restore opportunities that have been lost.

    This Minority Report is divided into three sections. The first presents the findings and recommendations that we believe the Commission should have included in its report — a substitute report. The second section addresses the reasons that we cannot support a number of the Commission’s key recommendations. The third section identifies some of the problems with the Commission’s process that we believe contributed to the problems with the report and with the recommendations that will weaken Title IX’s protections.

    With regard to this last point, in our view, the problems with the report are the result of a process, established by the Commission staff, that did not adequately focus on critical issues, did not compile all of the evidence necessary to fully address the state of gender equity in our nation’s schools, and did not allow sufficient time for Commissioners to conduct either a careful review of the evidence that was compiled or an assessment of the potential impact of various recommendations.

    The full Minority Report can be found here (in pdf. format)

    posted by tbogg at 10:34 PM



    What is in a word?

    Larry Kramer is an activist, Eve Ensler is an activist, Morris Dees is an activist, and Ellen Malcolm is an activist.

    James Charles Kopp is an accused murderer.

    You would think CNN would know that.

    posted by tbogg at 9:42 PM



    Toni Smith...the quiet hero.

    I'm sure I'm coming a little late to this story. I heard Charles Barkley mention Toni Smith last week on CNN but wasn't aware of the story.

    Thankfully good folks like Democratic Veteran are on top of the story, and he provides a great link to ESPN's Ralph Wiley.

    Two million hits on a once-lonely Manhattanville College Web site in response says the Quiet War of Toni Smith has been effectively transmitted out to the world. This was not her intent, to become TV programming, to become debate material for the rest of us. She is a 21-year-old sociology major who stands facing away from the American flag during the playing of the pregame National Anthem before her collegiate games. Big deal. She did not begin doing this for notoriety. It was her quiet, private expression to herself of her own thoughts, her own ideas and moral judgments.

    Things you'd want your own 21-year-old daughter to do.

    Go read this...

    posted by tbogg at 7:20 PM



    Lee Greenwood to pass flag to a new generation of patriotic crapmeisters

    Ted Barlow points us in the direction of the next big thing that will thankfully only last about 9 minutes in America's collective cultural consciousness.

    Have You Forgotten

    I hear people saying we don't need this war
    I say there's some things worth fighting for
    What about our freedom and this piece of ground
    We didn't get to keep 'em by backing down
    Now they say we don't realize the mess we're getting in
    Before you start your preaching let me ask you this my friend

    Have you forgotten how it felt that day?
    To see your homeland under fire
    And her people blown away
    Have you forgotten when those towers fell?
    We had neighbors still inside going thru a living hell
    And you say we shouldn't worry 'bout bin Laden
    Have you forgotten?

    They took all the footage off my T.V.
    Said it's too disturbing for you and me
    It'll just breed anger that's what the experts say
    If it was up to me I'd show it everyday
    Some say this country's just out looking for a fight
    Well after 9/11 man I'd have to say that's right

    Have you forgotten how it felt that day?
    To see your homeland under fire
    And her people blown away
    Have you forgotten when those towers fell?
    We had neighbors still inside going thru a living hell
    And you say we shouldn't worry 'bout bin Laden
    Have you forgotten?

    Now I've been there with the soldiers
    Who've gone away to war
    And you can bet that they remember
    Just what they're fightin' for

    Have you forgotten all the people killed?
    Some went down like heros in that Pennsylvania field
    Have you forgotten about our Pentagon?
    And all the loved ones that we lost and those left to carry on
    Don't you tell me not to worry about bin Laden
    Have you forgotten?

    Have you forgotten how it felt that day?
    To see your homeland under fire
    And her people blown away
    Have you forgotten when those towers fell?
    We had neighbors still inside going thru a living hell
    And you say we shouldn't worry 'bout bin Laden
    Have you forgotten?

    Have you forgotten?

    Have you forgotten?


    Well, that certainly was a steaming pile. So who is this month's Toby Keith?

    Darryl Worley.

    With the requisite just-so facial hair, that lets us know he's manly, and a kicky post-yuppie hairstyle that says: 'sensitive', Darryl's fifteen minutes of fame has started, so don't blink or he could be gone faster than you can say "Billy Ray Cyrus". And considering the sterling work his publicist is doing, he could be gone even sooner.

    From his own promotional website, they link to a USA Today article about this newest flag-wavin' country heartthrob.

    By Brian Mansfield, Special for USA TODAY

    Country artist Darryl Worley is first out of the gate with a record that endorses war with Iraq. The top new song on this week's country chart at No. 43, Have You Forgotten? may seem to equate Saddam Hussein with Osama bin Laden, but the record is striking a chord.

    "Almost everybody that calls wants to know: a) how can I get it? and b) will you play it again right now?" says Scott Lindy of WPOC-FM in Baltimore. (Related item:Read Have You Forgotten? lyrics.)

    Worley and Wynn Varble wrote the song, which will appear on Worley's next album in May, after Worley traveled to Afghanistan with the USO in December. The West Tennessee native, who topped the country charts last year with I Miss My Friend, premiered Have You Forgotten? at the Grand Ole Opry in January.

    "We did four separate performances of that song out there that weekend," he says. "Every one of them was a standing ovation."

    Of course Worley and his crack A&R team hope that you are like most country music fans and get tired of all that fancy city readin' stuff. Then you won't read this from the same article:

    Steve Warren, who consults for about 40 country radio stations, wouldn't have applauded. "Singing a song about going to war with Saddam because bin Laden hit us is a leap of logic that I don't think any informed people outside the White House can make," Warren says. "I wouldn't play the thing, no matter how many requests I got for the sucker."

    Whoops. How did that get in there? Got to love the promo picture though. It just screams...Wal-Mart endcap...$8.94.

    posted by tbogg at 7:01 PM



    Brought to you by Lockheed and Viagra...Official Sponsors of ShrubCo LLC

    Oliver Willis has the lowdown on reality TV...coming to all the major networks this fall.

    posted by tbogg at 4:57 PM



    No! It's my flag! Gimmeeeeeeeeeeee..!!!!

    Brent Bozell's Scaife-funded Media Resource Center has it's long woolen-undergarments-that-hide-their-evil-dirty-naughty-parts in a twist over Bill Moyers decision to wear a flag lapel pin on TV.

    Bill Moyers sported flag lapel pin on Friday night's Now on PBS, not to proclaim his patriotism and/or pride in the U.S., but to “take” the flag “back” which has been “hijacked and turned into a logo -- the trademark of a monopoly on patriotism.” Citing how President Bush and Vice President Cheney wear flag lapel pins, Moyers was reminded of communism: “When I see flags sprouting on official lapels, I think of the time in China when I saw Mao's little Red Book on every official's desk, omnipresent and unread.”

    Moyers went on to complain that “more galling than anything are all those moralistic ideologues in Washington sporting the flag in their lapels while writing books and running Web sites and publishing magazines attacking dissenters as un-American.”

    Moyers decided to wear the flag for one night as a “modest riposte” to the “people whose ardor for war grows disproportionately to their distance from the fighting. They're in the same league as those swarms of corporate lobbyists wearing flags and prowling Capitol Hill for tax breaks even as they call for more spending on war.”

    I had no idea that Bozell had laid claim to the American Flag lapel pin for his party. You would think they would they would be satisfied with exclusive rights to the Cheneymaster 3000™ Defibrillator/Bacon Fryer, and the Lil' Himmler Buttplug that was all the rage at this year's Heritage Foundation Trophy Wife Swap and Gun Show.

    posted by tbogg at 2:05 PM



    The all-important 21-65 year old demographic was unimpressed.

    Charlotte Beers is being outsourced to the private sector where she will be re-branded as a Bush Administration Failure™.

    Charlotte Beers, the former advertising executive who has been the Bush administration's point person in efforts to improve America's image among Muslims, is quitting her State Department job after 17 months, the State Department said today.

    Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said Ms. Beers, who is 67, was resigning for health reasons. Another department official said her resignation would become effective in about two weeks.


    Mr. Powell came to the defense of Ms. Beers soon after she was appointed. "Guess what?" he told a group of senators in November 2001. "There is nothing wrong with getting somebody who knows how to sell something."

    Ms. Beers concentrated on ways to erase stereotypes about Americans that are widespread in Islamic countries.

    She acknowledged only last week that her mission has been daunting. "The gap between who we are and how we wish to be seen and how we are in fact seen is frighteningly wide," she testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

    Ms. Beers is expected to use the next few months to "stop looking so dead" when her picture is taken.

    posted by tbogg at 1:28 PM



    Selling the networks an empty suit.

    Day in and day out, Ari Fleischer goes before the press and...lies. So why were the major networks suprised when Ari talked them into carrying President Hooked on Phonic's speech before the AEI last week? Do the heads of the news divisions even watch their own programs?

    ABC, CBS and NBC broke into regular programming to carry President Bush's speech on the Middle East Wednesday evening after White House spokesman Ari Fleischer made off-the-record calls to their Washington bureau chiefs. But when Bush's address to the American Enterprise Institute, also aired by the cable news networks, dealt only generally with the future of a post-Saddam Middle East, some network bigwigs felt they'd been had.

    The White House had been "lobbying" for live coverage of Bush's remarks, ABC's Ted Koppel said on "Nightline," but "in one form or another, he has said all of these things before."

    Fleischer says no formal request was made and that his calls had "nothing" to do with the fact that Hussein was getting an hour of airtime that night in Dan Rather's "60 Minutes II" interview.

    "It wasn't sold one way or another," Fleischer says. "I read them paragraphs from the president's speech, a very factual read-through. They made their own decision. . . . None of them on the phone suggested to me that it doesn't sound newsworthy."

    Says one network executive: "The White House was incredibly heavy-handed with the request. At a time when we're leading up to war, they said it was going to make news." An executive at another network allows that "they didn't bully us. . . . They don't quite ask for time, but they say it's going to be quite important."

    Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice...I'll hire Michael Savage for "balance".

    ...and speaking of the Savage Weiner...looks like he's off to a rousing start:

    Savage is angrily threatening to counterattack "with all the abilities I have," including filing lawsuits and, if necessary, mobilizing his army of listeners.

    "I'm not Dr. Laura and I'm not going to lift my skirts and run," Savage told The Post, referring to the tough radio shrink whose 2000 TV show was set upon by gay-rights groups that scared away advertisers and, arguably, forced a toned-down program that few watched, resulting in an early demise.

    "If we let these bastards win, they will have elevated themselves to being a de facto national television censorship board," said Savage.

    The Bronx-raised Savage says he's being persecuted because of "my conservative beliefs, pure and simple" and vows to counterattack if he feels his career is threatened - alleging, if necessary, a litany of abuses like "civil and/or religious rights violations, hate crimes, economic terrorism" and even racketeering.

    Yeah. yeah. Everyone from the Bronx is real tough....especially guys named Weiner who have to change their names to Savage. Too bad "Wolf Blitzer" was already taken...

    posted by tbogg at 8:19 AM



    So I guess that we can go from yellow alert down to eggshell or maybe taupe...

    The war on terrorism must be almost over. Let's attack Iraq, says Andy Sullivan:

    A MAJOR VICTORY: The capture of KSM is big news. In fact, it's surely the biggest news in the war on terror in months. The nabbing followed previous arrests and interrogations, all of which have clearly helped stymie and disorient al Qaeda. In terms of the broader debate about the war, one conclusion is obvious. It's time to retire the frayed notion that somehow we cannot go to war against Saddam and al Qaeda at the same time. In fact, it would be hard to think of a more perfect refutation. Could the administration be more preoccupied with Iraq than it is today? It's a little hopeful to think that this phony argument against waging war on more than one front will now be retired. But it is useful to remember that, as an argument, it was never based on any actual assessment of how the government works. It was an argument entirely designed to make the Democrats look tough on terror while they were counseling appeasement of Saddam. It was a pretty obvious ploy at the time. Now it's transparent. I'm glad we've finally cleared it up.

    I'm sure the invasion by 200,000 American soldiers following the "shock and awe" bombing of Iraq that may kill thousands of civilians, including women and children, will cause terrorism to just disappear much like Andy's Pulitzer hopes.

    posted by tbogg at 12:44 AM



    I guess Gray Davis is on the wrong side of the hemp issue...

    Looks like the 'trust-afarians' who make up what is aptly called the Green Party feel like they haven't done enough damage to the country.

    Democratic Gov. Gray Davis, facing a recall threat from conservatives, may have to fight the battle on two fronts -- with former Green Party candidate for governor Peter Camejo saying he is "seriously" preparing to organize Democrats and independents in support of the recall and put his name on the ballot.

    "I'm going to start getting ready . . . to put forward a candidate who can really win," Camejo said in an interview with The Chronicle.

    Camejo said Green Party executive committee members are scheduled to meet Monday to decide whether they'll join the recall effort.

    A Green candidate who "can really win".

    Words fail me.....

    While he stressed that not all Greens support it -- and internal debate is continuing -- Camejo said it may present a crucial chance to "test the protest vote" and get their voices heard.

    But, Camejo added, "We don't want the Republicans to get control because that's going from the frying pan into the fire."

    Jeez, yuh think so, Pete?

    Lemmings have more common sense than members of the Green Party.

    (thanks David)

    posted by tbogg at 12:30 AM



    Math for snobs...

    Peggy Noonan let's us in on why she became a Republican. Democrats are snobs.

    There is another problem. You have become the party of snobs. You have become the party of Americans who think they're better than other Americans.

    ...and Peggy points out another problem for Democrats:

    All of it came together bit by bit, and I started to become a conservative, and in time a Republican. And for the very reasons that my father was a Democrat.

    Not a word of what I am saying is new. You've heard stories like this before. But it is still fiercely pertinent to your fortunes, because the journey I describe was common. It was the journey millions and tens of millions of people were taking at the same time, in the same era, for the same reasons. By the '80s their numbers were massive. They were the ground troops of the Reagan revolution. They left the Democratic Party. They left you. Here's your problem: To this day they haven't come back.

    At the risk of flaunting my math skills, acquired through fancy-pants book learnin', I thought I would help Peggy overcome that "fuzzy math" problem that seems endemic to Republicans:

    1992 election

    Clinton 44,909,806
    Bush 39,104,550

    1996 election

    Clinton 44,300,236
    Dole 36,985,693

    2000 election

    Gore 50,996,582
    Bush 50,456,062

    Just thought I would point that out to rural-jes'-common-folk-barefoot-and-pregnant-Upper-East-Side Peggy Noonan.

    posted by tbogg at 12:10 AM


    Sunday, March 02, 2003


    We had to take all of our legal affairs reporters and put them on the Monica beat...

    The Washington Times Lite, formerly the Washington Post, is still having a problem understanding why the Democrats are blocking the vote on stealth candidate, Miguel Estrada. The Times Lite/Post is taking a "pox upon both your houses" approach to criticizing both parties involved...but then they end up putting the onus on the Democrats.

    The question at stake in the Democratic filibuster of Mr. Estrada's nomination ultimately has nothing to do with race or with Mr. Estrada's allegedly inadequate answers. It is simply whether a conservative president can reliably place on an appeals court a qualified conservative against whom no serious complaint has been made. The answer must be yes; for if he cannot, the courts will become the province of those anodyne centrists whose views don't offend anyone with power. Former Clinton Justice Department official Walter Dellinger noted in a recent op-ed article that the Democrats' problem is not really Mr. Estrada but the monochromatically conservative nature of the larger slate of nominees this administration has advanced. But while it is tempting to attach a name and a face to the problem, it is also wrong. Democrats should, as Mr. Dellinger suggests, make recommendations, and President Bush should listen and accommodate. The future of the judiciary is certainly a legitimate electoral issue. But a presidential election does not take place each time the Senate must vote on a judge.

    Leaving aside the absurd notion that Bush should "listen and accomodate", seeing as he only answers to God according to the latest Howard Fineman blowfest, it would seem that the Post purged all legal reporting prior to the 2000 election. Let's refresh their memory:

    May 23, 2000

    Senate Republicans and Democrats agreed Tuesday to bring up a package of long-stalled presidential nominations, which includes judges and a controversial appointment to the Federal Election Commission.

    The Senate will debate and vote this week on a package of 65 of President Bill Clinton's nominations, including the 16 judges who have been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    In exchange for Republicans allowing votes on judicial nominees, many of whom GOP senators view as too "activist" for lifetime appointments, Democrats agreed to stop blocking the Republicans' pick for the Federal Election Commission, Bradley Smith.

    John Ashcroft

    The issue isn't just appointments. Women and minorities have been disproportionately at odds with Senator Ashcroft because those rising from their midst often have policy differences with him, which shouldn't be surprising given that their life experiences are so different. He is wedded to the values of the Assembly of God church and has little tolerance for these differences. He is not a racist in the usual sense. It's just that he is so locked into the rightness of his views that he sees spokespersons for those who differ as enemies to be destroyed rather than opponents to be debated. Senator Ashcroft is constantly described as a man of integrity, but what does that mean if it leaves him free to use government office to destroy the reputation of others for political expedience.

    That is what many Missourians believe he did to Ronnie White. It wasn't just African Americans who were offended. He blocked a highly respected Missouri Supreme Court judge from a federal position through deliberate misrepresentation and character assassination in order to create a law and order issue for his race against Mel Carnahan. He played the race card with court-ordered desegregation to advance his prospects to become governor. Someone rooted in religious values should set an example. Instead, his actions worsened race relations in a state that continues to struggle to improve interracial understanding. They diminished respect for justice and the courts at a time when more than ever we need to restore confidence in the law and the courts. They lowered the tone of debate between candidates and political parties. John Ashcroft polarized Missourians; his appointment will do the same for the country.

    Or maybe the Post could just go here for a primer on judicial obstruction:

    Won’t Republicans at least admit that their own inaction during the Clinton Administration created the judicial vacancy crisis?

    When Democrats gained controlled of the Senate, they inherited 110 judicial vacancies – almost twice as many vacancies as existed when Republicans took control in 1995 (63). Today, after 80 confirmations, vacancies have decreased to 77 (including an additional 47 vacancies that have arisen since the shift in majority). By approving far more judicial nominees for this President than past Senates did for other Presidents, the Democratic-led Senate has reduced the number of vacancies and brought relief to the federal judiciary.

    Also, vacancies on the Circuit Courts more than doubled during the period of Republican control of the Senate, increasing from 16 to 33. Two-thirds of these vacancies (22) were considered "judicial emergencies" by the Administrative office of the U.S. Courts because of high caseloads. Republicans blocked Clinton nominees who were waiting to be confirmed to 15 of these 22 “emergency” vacancies.

    The Democratic-led Judiciary Committee held the first hearing for a Fifth Circuit nominee in seven years, the first hearings for Sixth Circuit nominees in almost five years, the first hearing for a Tenth Circuit nominee in six years, and the first hearings for Fourth Circuit nominees in three years.

    Speaking of delays, why did Republicans block more than 50 Clinton judicial nominees by refusing to give them hearings or votes?

    Republicans must know, but they' not talking. More than a dozen, well-qualified Clinton nominees had to wait over 500 days to be confirmed, including nine who waited over 700 days, four who waited over 900 days, two who waited over 1,000 days, and one, Richard Paez, who waited 1,520 days from nomination to confirmation.

    Imagine that.....

    posted by tbogg at 10:55 PM



    Making short work of it....

    I honestly expected to read Moonie Times columnist Suzanne Fields entire column about the anti-war protestors, but only got as far as this:

    The worldwide antiwar movement hasn't accomplished much, but it has made George Bush and not Saddam Hussein the villain in certain European precincts. The demonstrators, who might have attacked Franklin D. Roosevelt instead of Adolf Hitler two generations ago, are looking through the wrong end of their binoculars. They're appealing to abstract notions of compassion instead of real issues of humanity.

    To point out the obvious, once again:

    The demonstrators, who might have attacked Franklin D. Roosevelt instead of Adolf Hitler two generations ago

    No need to read anything she has to say after that....

    posted by tbogg at 10:00 PM



    Apropos of nothing...

    The Pointless, Yet Poignant, Crisis of a Co-Ed
    ~~Dar Williams

    I'm not a leader, i'm not a left-wing rhetoric mobilizing force of one,
    But there was a time way back, many years ago in college, don't laugh,
    But I thought I was a radical, I ran the Hemp Liberation Group with my boyfriend,
    It was true love, with a common cause, and besides that, he was a Sagittarius.

    We used to say that our love was like hemp rope, three times as strong as the rope that you buy domestically,
    And we would bond in the face of oppression from big business and the deans,
    But I knew there was a problem, every time the group would meet everyone would light up,
    That made it difficult to discuss glaucoma and human rights, not to mention chemotherapy.

    Well sometimes, life gives us lessons sent in ridiculous packaging,
    And so I found him in the arms of a Student Against the Treacherous use of Fur,
    And he gave no apology, he just turned to me, stoned out to the edge of oblivion,
    He didn't pull up the sheets and I think he even smiled as he said to me,
    "Well, I guess our dreams went up in smoke."
    And I said, No, our dreams went up in dreams, you stupid pothead,
    And another thing, what kind of a name is Students Against the Treacherous Use of Fur?
    Fur is already dead, and besides, a name like that doesn't make a good acronym.

    I am older now, I know the rise and gradual fall of a daily victory.
    And I still write to my senators, saying they should legalize cannabis,
    And I should know, cause I am a horticulturist, I have a husband and two children out in Lexington, Mass.
    And my ex-boyfriend can't tell me I've sold out, because he's in a cult.
    And he's not allowed to talk to me.

    posted by tbogg at 8:23 PM


    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



    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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