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  • Wednesday, April 30, 2003


    ....you can hang out with all the boys

    Oof. Todd Jones of the Colorado Rockies:

    The Colorado Rockies criticized reliever Todd Jones' recent anti-gay remarks Tuesday night, saying they were "unfortunate" and did not reflect the team's views.

    Jones told The Denver Post on Sunday that he would not want to have a gay teammate. The comments were part of an entertainment story about the Broadway play Take Me Out, in which a major league baseball player announces that he is gay.

    The article compares the story line of the play with what might happen if a real-life player announced he was gay.

    "I wouldn't want a gay guy being around me," Jones told the paper. "It's got nothing to do with me being scared. That's the problem: All these people say he's got all these rights. Yeah, he's got rights or whatever, but he shouldn't walk around proud. It's like he's rubbing it in our face. 'See me, Hear me roar.' We're not trying to be close-minded, but then again, why be confrontational when you don't really have to be?"

    Here's Todd Jones, you may remember him from his stint in the Village People as the biker guy.

    Jones also said in the story that the player better be good "Because if (the team) thinks for one minute he's disrupting the clubhouse -- if he doesn't hit 50 homers or win 20 games -- they're not going to put up with that."

    Like they will with a, say, 6.35 ERA. Jones last appearance: 1 inning....5 hits....3 runs, all earned.

    I'd say he's throwing the ball a bit too straight and getting hit on pretty hard..

    posted by tbogg at 1:19 PM



    Elizabeth Smart and Danielle Van Dam

    You've probably heard about both of the above young ladies. You probably know more than you want to know. One made it home safely and the other didn't. The culprits in both cases were caught.

    What brings this to mind is a post over at The Rittenhouse Review about Ashleigh Moore.

    Savannah police had no new information Saturday on the condition or whereabouts of missing 12-year-old Ashleigh Moore, said police spokesman Bucky Burnsed.

    It was the eighth day since the girl's disappearance from her southside home.

    Police suspect foul play.

    Earlier in the week, investigators scoured the densely wooded, marshy areas of Hutchinson Island following what they said was a credible tip. However, the search yielded no trace of the girl.

    Ashleigh was reported missing April 18 by her mother's live-in boyfriend, Bobby Buckner. The girl's glasses were left in her room, though she cannot see without them

    Of course, until Jim at Rittenhouse and Atrios mentioned this in their blogs today, I had never heard of her and the fact that she was missing. Jim rightfully points out a glaring point...Ashley is a little black girl. The other more famous girls weren't.

    Here's another one you probably haven't heard of: Jahi Turner.

    Two-year-old Jahi Turner's stepfather, Tieray Jones, claims he left the child unattended at a sandbox in San Diego's Balboa Park for about 15 minutes at about 2:30pm on April 25, 2002. When he returned, the toddler was gone. The official police search of the area lasted for about three days, and then a team of volunteers -- many of the same people who helped in the search for Danielle van Dam two months earlier (including Brenda van Dam, her mother) -- took over.

    Police questioned a woman (with two young children) who had been in the area when Jones said Turner disappeared. She was never considered a witness, and polcie did not reveal what she told them.

    Jahi had been living with his maternal grandparents in Maryland until April 21, when he came to live with Tieray and Tameka Jones in Navy housing (Tameka was a sailor assigned to the U.S.S. Rushmore, and was on maneuvers the day of Jahi's disappearance)

    Tramane Sampson, Jahi's biological father, has recently been released from prison and lives in Maryland.

    If you lived in San Diego during this period, it was all Danielle Van Dam all the time even two months after Danielle's body was found 25 days after she disappeared (of course the fact that Danielle's parents were dope-smoking suburban swingers added to the titillation factor). By that time the police had picked up David Westerfield and the local tabloidization of TV was in full swing. But Jahi Turner? After a few weeks, the local media got tired of it. Too Danielle'd out I suppose. Besides, Jahi was just a little black boy, and it's not like it's rare when little black children go missing.

    Just ask Florida.

    Five days ago there was a mention about the one year anniversary of the disappearance of Jahi Turner in the local paper.

    A website called jahimissing.com is no longer operating, but a police hotline set up specifically for the case at (619) 235-8477 continues to function.

    We can all go back to sleep now.

    posted by tbogg at 10:28 AM



    ...that vicious, isolationist Us-versus-Them mentality so beloved by BushCo and the warmongers and Fox News

    You look like you could use a little Mark Morford today.

    He is 78 and fragile and suffering from symptoms of Alzheimer's and hasn't made a decent movie in decades, unless you count how he sadly made himself look quite the undereducated, largely unsympathetic, defensive fool in the Oscar-winning "Bowling for Columbine."

    And now, Charlton Heston is stepping down as the High Lord Gunmaster Poobah (or whatever they called him) of the phallically righteous increasingly paranoid adorably manly National Rifle Association. They are sighing in tribute. They are hugging each other and giving reassuring pats though not in an icky scary gay way. They are raising their rifles in salute.

    posted by tbogg at 9:27 AM



    Got a couple of hours to waste?

    Rubber Nun directs us to Rock & Roll Confidential's Hall of Douchebags.

    Caution: not for the mullet intolerant.

    You've been warned.

    posted by tbogg at 9:15 AM



    Leaving no white children behind.

    Compassionate racism.

    The number of black Americans under 18 years old who live in extreme poverty has risen sharply since 2000 and is now at its highest level since the government began collecting such figures in 1980, according to a study by the Children's Defense Fund, a child welfare advocacy group.

    In 2001, the last year for which government figures are available, nearly one million black children were living in families with after-tax incomes that were less than half the amount used to define poverty, said the new study, which was based on Census Bureau statistics and is to be released publicly today. The defense fund provided a copy in advance to The New York Times.

    The poverty line for a family of three was about $14,100, the study said, so a family of three living in extreme poverty had a disposable income of about $7,060, the study said.

    In early 2000, only 686,000 black children were that poor, the study said, indicating that the economic circumstances of the United States' poorest black families deteriorated sharply from 2000 to 2001.

    I think it's about time these black children pull themselves up by their bootstraps and become white.

    posted by tbogg at 8:57 AM



    When the lights dim, the cockroaches come out.

    Now that the media glare on Rick Santorum (R-Sexual Bigot) has moved on, the Republican party vermin are showing their faces again:

    Republican leaders in Congress gave strong backing to Senator Rick Santorum today, dismissing calls by gay rights groups and Democrats for him to be replaced as the third-ranking Republican in the Senate for remarks about homosexuality.

    Senior officials in both houses swiftly rose to Mr. Santorum's defense as Congress returned from a two-week recess and the lawmakers faced questions about him from reporters.

    "I think Senator Santorum took a very courageous and moral position based upon principles and his world view," said Representative Tom DeLay, the House majority leader from Texas.

    Mr. DeLay said he was proud of Mr. Santorum for "standing on principle."


    Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee, the majority leader, said today that Mr. Santorum's support among his fellow Republicans in the Senate was solid.

    "Absolutely, he will remain in leadership," Dr. Frist told reporters. "He has the full, 100 percent confidence of the Republican leadership in the United States Senate."

    Dr. Frist went on to praise his colleague for his "inclusiveness, in terms of growing the Republican Party."

    Officials said Mr. Santorum thanked his fellow Republican senators for their support in a closed strategy luncheon and received a round of applause.

    People at the meeting said Mr. Santorum even received expressions of support from fellow Republicans who last week had expressed some misgivings about the comments.

    Mr. Santorum, who did not speak in public today, has refused to apologize and said that his remarks were more directed at the right to privacy rather than homosexuality. He said his position was shared by a majority of the Supreme Court in upholding a Georgia antisodomy law in 1986.

    I'll be waiting to hear what Andy Sullivan and the North American Man/Dog Love Association have to say about this.


    posted by tbogg at 8:52 AM



    The big time

    I clicked on this CNN link expecting to see some crappy mainstream writer.

    Imagine my suprise.


    posted by tbogg at 8:32 AM



    Big Chief Rummy of the Bechtel Tribe

    Um. Nice hats.

    posted by tbogg at 8:25 AM



    Actually, just the fact that her name is "Priscilla" creeps me out

    Democrats give an intentional walk to Sutton to face Priscilla Owen.

    Senate Democrats said yesterday they will block the judicial nomination of Priscilla R. Owen, marking the second time this year they have employed filibuster tactics to thwart President Bush's efforts to name conservatives to the federal bench.

    Democrats said Owen improperly inserted personal views into decisions while serving on the Texas Supreme Court. Owen now joins Miguel Estrada, nominated for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, in waiting for an end to the Senate's increasingly contentious partisan impasse over judicial appointments.

    The administration scored one success yesterday when the Senate voted 51 to 42 to confirm former Ohio solicitor general Jeffrey Sutton to the Cincinnati-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. The vote was largely along party lines.

    As for Estrada and Owen, Republicans say Democrats are hurting themselves politically by working so energetically to derail prominent female and Hispanic nominees. Some GOP officials said this week that the White House has a strategy of nominating Republican women, Hispanics and African Americans for lifetime federal judgeships partly to force Senate Democrats to appear to oppose diversity if they block the conservative choices.

    Thanks for the advice, Republicans. Because we all know how much you guys loooooove women, Hispanics, and African Americans. And gays. You guys just love gays. Even if they are filthy sodomites who are reponsible for bringing god's wrath down upon America.

    Remember: Love the sinner, hate the fact that they exist.

    Several freshman senators have been trying to find a way out of the impasse. Yesterday, one of them, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), chairman of the judiciary panel's constitution subcommittee, scheduled hearings on what he called "reform of the broken judicial confirmation process."

    Here's a simple way to reform the process: renominate all of Bill Clinton's nominees who never got a hearing.

    Accept nothing less.

    posted by tbogg at 8:16 AM



    Bash says "it's not my default".

    Proof that they grown-ups are back in charge.

    The Treasury Department says the United States could face the prospect of not being able to pay its bills in late May unless Congress raises the government's borrowing authority, now capped at $6.4 trillion.

    Treasury's debt managers have taken a number of steps since February to prevent the government from defaulting on the national debt, but "on current projections, the extraordinary measures taken since Feb. 20, 2003, will only be adequate to meet the government's needs until the latter half of May," said a statement released Tuesday.

    After that - absent a boost in the government's borrowing authority by Congress - Treasury would breach the current $6.4 trillion ceiling on the national debt

    Let's see.....the government can't pay their bills.....hmmmmm....that means they need to bring in more money to fulfill their obligations.

    Time for a tax cut.

    posted by tbogg at 7:56 AM



    I guess it depends on what your interpretation of "combat" is....

    Dueling headlines on MSNBC

    Bush to announce combat over
    In national address Thursday


    U.S. troops again fire on protesters

    posted by tbogg at 7:50 AM


    Tuesday, April 29, 2003


    Senators who roll

    The US Senate just approved Bush nominee Jeffrey Sutton to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Sixth Circuit, on a vote of 52-41. Two Democrats voted for Sutton, although suprisingly one of them was not Zell Miller (D-Turncoat) of Georgia.

    The offending two:

    Ben Nelson of Nebraska and (I'm so embarassed) California's own Diane Feinstein.

    Crap. Even John Breaux voted against him.

    Please email them with proper sentiments.

    posted by tbogg at 12:24 PM



    It's a WalMart wetdream

    Jesse points out that wages are plummeting in Iraq.

    The wages of skilled workers were to be cut to $22 (£13.80) a month, those of the unskilled to $10. Graduates and trained professionals, who had been working as translators and drivers for about £1.30 a day, found themselves being paid 50p or less. The effect was immediate: less than three weeks after liberating Iraq’s second-largest city, the British forces had a strike on their hands.

    Sounds like a blueprint for the Bush economy.

    Without the strike, of course.

    posted by tbogg at 10:51 AM




    The anti-criticism shield

    posted by tbogg at 10:17 AM



    "simple observation validates these assumptions"

    Now that the Santorum debate is subsiding, because everyone who disagrees with him is a hateful anti-Catholic, anti-Christian bigot (and probably a closet fag when you get right down to it), it's time for the religious right to make sure that they have their talking points in order just in case another wingnut Senator accidently slips up and says what he really thinks. For that we turn to the Abiding Truth Ministry:

    The Rick Santorum controversy has illuminated a serious problem in the Republican Party: its leaders seem woefully ill-prepared to defend the pro-family position on homosexuality. As an attorney who trains pro-family activists how to debate this issue, I would like to offer my fellow Republicans the following advice.

    First, don't dodge the issue in fear of political correctness or pro-"gay" media bias. Stand confidently upon the essential pro-family presuppositions that resonate with people of common sense: 1) normality is that which functions according to its design, 2) the heterosexual design of the human body and the natural family is self-evident, 3) respecting the design of life produces good results (conversely, rejecting that design produces bad results) and 4) simple observation validates these assumptions. No special education or "scientific" study is required.

    Failure to articulate the logic of our position cedes the moral and intellectual battleground to the militant "gays," and leaves the impression (even among our own supporters) that we have no reasonable response, other than religious belief, to their attack on family values.

    Second, contest the hidden false assumption underlying most pro-"gay" arguments that homosexuality is immutable. We have a strong case on this point since 1) proponents of the "gays are born that way" justification for normalizing homosexuality bear the burden of proof, 2) proof is absolutely necessary due to the severity of social change which is contemplated by their demands, 3) proponents cannot prove that homosexuality is immutable (Indeed, ex-homosexuals can prove that it is not.), 3) if homosexuality is not immutable, then logically it must be acquired (children being the most likely to acquire the condition because of their vulnerability to social conditioning), and 4) society must err on the side of caution, actively discouraging the normalization of homosexuality in order to protect children and others from the possibility of acquiring a homosexual condition with its attendant health risks

    Who is passing on these gems of wisdom? That would be noted gay obsessive Scott Lively

    ...and don't forget: The Nazis were Gay!

    (Edited: the pflag article previously linked was noted as a "what if" parody that I missed. Sorry for the confusion)

    posted by tbogg at 9:40 AM



    They thought they were in Kentstatistan.

    Remember that old line about setting someone free, and if they didn't come back to you, hunting them down and killing them?

    Apparently that our policy in Iraq.

    One U.S. Army sergeant said he shot at what he saw, "and what I saw was targets. Targets with weapons, and they were going to harm me."

    "It's either them or me, and I took the shot, sir, and I'm still here talking to you," he said.

    Don't these people know that President Iraqi Liberator is going to call it a win on Thursday? Oh, for those fond memories of pulling down statues and sharing MRE's. It seem like it was just weeks ago......

    posted by tbogg at 8:56 AM



    Remember when the US was cool?

    From Bathtub Goulash.

    We were the fun, rich, good-looking, popular country. We drove the coolest car and had the tasty girlfriend with the big tits and the pool. We hung out with all the other cool countries, but still said hi to Mexico in the hallways (even though he smelled like a spicy sweatsuit). We were the best athlete and played guitar in a shitty band. We would get drunk and prank Russia and do coke on the away bus.

    Go read the whole thing.

    (Thanks to Chris)

    posted by tbogg at 8:41 AM



    “Were safe here. Thank God we’re in a bowling alley Starbucks!”

    Well, look what showed up in my email box.

    As noted in my post below, the EPA Enforcement Division has been put in the position of becoming roadies for the Christy Whitman Caffeine & Crumpets World Tour (t-shirts available by the concession stands) and a few of the agents don't think too much of it. Well, J.P. Suarez, Assistant Administrator Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance for the EPA wants all the EPA folks to know that he didn't do it, and besides, it's all about 9/11 anyway. Here's the memo that he sent out yesterday:


    April 28, 2003


    SUBJECT: Correcting the Record: EPA's Role in Homeland Security,
    Enforcement, and Protective Security Detail

    TO: All EPA Employees

    FROM: J.P. Suarez, Assistant Administrator Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance

    Some of you may have read recent media stories about EPA's involvement in homeland security, enforcement, and protective security detail issues. Here are the facts.

    Since September 11, 2001 our government has experienced an enormous increase in the need to protect its citizens from acts of terrorism. Agencies across the government came together and established an effective, strong homeland security presence. EPA responded immediately and continues to play a critical role in homeland protection. EPA's strategic plan for homeland security was held up as a model for other Agencies and Departments. Every EPA program and region has reallocated some of its resources to address important and essential homeland security functions.

    EPA's focus since September 11 has been to support our nation's effort at combating domestic threats while at the same time ensuring that enforcement of environmental crimes continues. Homeland security is a critical new aspect of EPA's mission, and we have dedicated resources to support this essential effort. At the same time we continue to achieve significant success in prosecuting environmental crimes in fact, EPA's enforcement numbers in several categories are at an all time high.

    Some of EPA's Criminal Investigations Division agents participate on the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Department of Justice's Anti-Terrorism Task Force. Participation on the task forces allows these EPA agents to respond to any domestic incident that may involve a threat to the nation's infrastructure, including drinking water supplies, chemical storage and manufacturing facilities, illegal importation of dangerous or hazardous substances, or other incidents that may require the expertise of an environmental enforcement agent. In addition to homeland security investigations, agents assigned to the Terrorism Task Force also carry traditional environmental crime caseloads.

    EPA's enforcement record is outstanding as we continue to aggressively pursue those who pollute.

    In 2001 and 2002, EPA's Office of Criminal Enforcement referred 506 cases to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution. In 1999 and 2000, 477 cases were referred. In 2002, enforcement cases resulted in criminal sentences totaling 215 years, and in 2001, the total was 256. These two years represent the two highest years in the last five in EPA's criminal enforcement program The 674 enforcement cases initiated in 2002 was the highest ever in the program.

    EPA's Office of Criminal Enforcement, Forensics & Training was delegated the authority to provide protection to the Administrator and Deputy Administrator on September 27, 2001. Prior to this date, protection services were provided by the Inspector General pursuant to the Inspector General Act of 1978. The Criminal Investigations Division staffs Administrator Whitman's protection detail to the extent necessary after an evaluation of both specific and general threats has been made. These professional law enforcement agents are the only officers within EPA with the training to carry out the level of security protection (including carrying firearms and having the authorization to make arrests) required to protect all Cabinet-level officials and to address homeland security incidents.

    The level of protection is appropriate in light of the Administrator's significant responsibilities related to environmental
    threats and her status as a Cabinet Officer within the Administration. Issues raised regarding personal services are simply not accurate at no time have agents assigned to the protection detail been required to provide personal services for the Administrator. EPA welcomes the opportunity for any employee to raise concerns about the management and direction of any office within the Agency.

    The "dos and don'ts list" mentioned in media stories was prepared by EPA's Criminal Investigations Division management. This list was apparently prepared as a checklist to help agents who normally do not provide personal security protection. Neither myself nor Administrator Whitman asked for, or were aware of, such a list. The Enforcement Office has recently compiled a confidential protective services manual for protection service agents. This manual fully defines the functions performed by these agents while they are assigned to protective services detail.

    EPA continues to produce significant environmental results for the American people through its enforcement program, as is evidenced by the more than 674 cases initiated last year alone. At the same time, I am also proud to have the many professional enforcement officials who are helping to fulfill the counter-terrorism protection role for the nation following September 11, 2001


    There you have it. Mr Suarez don' know nothin' bout no dropping cars off at the airport, looking for cozy bookstores, saving tables at restaurants, or whether "Administrator" Whitman wants chocolate sprinkles or maybe just a dash of cinnamon on her latte. It's all about 9/11 and terrorism.

    Based on this memo, should we suffer another terrorist attack, and you don't have the wherewithal to hide out at Offut Air Force Base, I suggest you get yourself to whichever Starbucks Ms. Whitman is bunkered down in.

    There is safety to be found there.

    And they have Wi-Fi too.....

    (Thanks to the nameless EPA employee who passed this along to me)

    posted by tbogg at 8:31 AM


    Monday, April 28, 2003


    Fear of a black planet no-foam latte

    I think the NY Times headline writer kind of missed the subject of the Christy Whitman story. EPA investigators are tracking down Barnes & Nobels and places to get designer coffee for the Socialite Secretary when they should be doing their jobs. But the headline writer says this:

    E.P.A. Is Said to Be Concentrating on Terror

    If, by terror, they mean losing a good table by the restaurant window.

    How come she still has a job?

    Oh wait...they're EPA investigators. If they're picking up dry cleaning or rotating her tires, they can't be out tracking down corporate polluters Dick Cheney's friends.

    Forget I mentioned it.

    Can I buy you a double-non-fat-hazelnut-venti latte, Christy?

    posted by tbogg at 11:39 PM



    Shorter Paul Krugman

    Poor Paul, he's starting to sound despondent. He knows, and he keeps reminding us, that the Bush administration lies to us all the time, the media passes it along with scarcely a glance, and the public gobbles it up and then goes back to watching American Idol or some other brain anesthetic.

    Can't say that I blame him. They say we get the government that we deserve, but they are neglecting the fact that more people voted for Gore than the coward of 9/11. Those people don't deserve this.

    posted by tbogg at 11:29 PM



    If this is Tuesday...act compassionate.

    George Bush is temporarily slipping into his "compassionate conservative" sweater for the day to shore up the mushy middle. It's AIDS help, this time.

    As usual, the devil will be in the details, but Rove will get the headline he needs.

    Same as it ever was.....

    posted by tbogg at 11:21 PM



    Consistently brilliant.

    Whitehouse.org hits a homerun everytime they step in the box. Today is no exception.

    I bet Steven Den Beste and Professor Instapundit wish they could get one of these.

    posted by tbogg at 1:45 PM



    Councilman is affronted by women's long supple legs, their pert upturned-breasts, those taut buttocks......

    Why Your Wife Won't Have Sex With You informs us that the female form is an affront to Charleston, South Carolina City Councilman Wendell Gilliard.

    One city councilman says the display is inappropriate in a place frequented by families and surrounded by churches. Councilman Wendell Gilliard says he is ready to take a stand, comparing the activity to the hot-selling "Girls Gone Wild" videos of college students in various stages of drunken undress.

    "I've seen them pushing the limit. They have their breasts exposed, their ... rear end exposed, wearing a G-string bikini," he said.

    ...and I thought the only person in South Carolina who would find this upsetting would be "bachelor-for life" (wink, wink) Lindsey Graham.

    posted by tbogg at 9:08 AM



    Scraping the bottom of the Drudge barrel

    Matt's going all 'literary' on us these days. First it was the Blumenthal book (see below). Now it's Hillary Clinton's book with the headline:


    with the subhead:

    Book titles:

    Katherine Graham -- Personal History
    Hillary Clinton -- Living History

    Apparently that bitch, Hillary Klintoon has almost plagiarized and stolen the word 'history' which rightfully belongs to Bill Bryson, Howard Zinn, Dani Shapiro, Mel Brooks, Michael Jackson, Kid Rock, and the History Channel.

    I think a $30 million investigation is in order.

    posted by tbogg at 8:52 AM


    Sunday, April 27, 2003



    Yeah, we're talking Matt Drudge, the hat-wearing assbite of the Internet. As noted on Drudge's site, former White House advisor Sid Blumenthal has a book coming out detailing the Clinton years. Drudge's immediate take on the book is that it isn't being serialized anywhere (as if all books are) and that it " ranked #23,588 on AMAZON's hit parade Sunday night". Of course by the time I clicked on Amazon it was up to 146 Matt has a special reason for trashing the Blumenthal book before it hits the street...because he's in it and (like Matt) it isn't pretty.

    For those who don't remember, la Drudge working in conjunction with notorious woman beater John Fund, completely concocted a story that Blumenthal beat his wife. Blumenthal proceeded to sue Drudge who ran safely into the hands of Manuel Klausner, an LA lawyer also associated with Richard Mellon Scaife. With the backing of the Scaife-funded Center for the Study of Popular Culture, Drudge was able to economically swamp Blumenthal, so that the case was dropped. Afterall, where else would Scaife get a wholly-owned rightwing megaphone like Drudge, who works for crumbs and stays bought?

    Between now and when Blumenthal's book gets released, expect the usual suspects like Lloyd Grove, Howie Kurtz, and the gang over at Townhall to join Drudge is more smears, snide asides, and pre-emptive attacks on Blumenthal.

    That's how the mighty wurlitzer works.

    Oh. And go buy the book, just to flip the bastards off.

    posted by tbogg at 10:19 PM



    Let's see...we have shuffleboard at 10am and the incest and suicide festivities on the Lido deck right after the lunch buffet

    Outside of going to a rave with this guy, what could be more fun than a cruise with Robert Bartley, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Victor Davis Hanson, Paul Johnson and Michael Novak? Yes, it's the Hillsdale College benefit cruise:

    Explore the breathtaking beauty of the lands that gave birth to Western Civilization

    Savor the elegance of traveling in luxury aboard the BRAND NEW six-star Crystal Serenity

    Plumb the rich history of the West and discuss current issues with an extraordinary line-up of speakers

    Enjoy royal treatment from the acclaimed staff, whose personalized European service sets the Crystal Cruises apart and above

    Share conversation with like-minded people as guests and friends of Hillsdale College

    But when you share conversations with those like-minded people from Hillsdale make sure you don't mention George Roche III and his affair with his daughter-in-law.

    In November, another right-wing wolf cloaked in family values sheepskin was unzipped to the American public. George Roche III resigned as president of conservative Hillsdale College in Michigan after accusations of a quasi-incestuous relationship with his daughter-in-law, Lissa.

    On the morning of Oct. 17, 42-year-old Lissa and her husband, George Roche IV, visited the 64-year-old Roche at the hospital, where he was undergoing treatment for diabetes. With her husband and father-in-law as witnesses, Lissa claimed that she and the elder Roche had been off-and-on lovers for 19 of the 21 years she and her husband had been married. Lissa returned to her campus house after the confession and armed herself with a .38-caliber handgun. She walked out of her backyard and through the college's arboretum to a stone gazebo, a secluded location where students once went to relax, guzzle a few beers or liaise with members of the opposite sex. There, Lissa ended her life.

    Boy, those conservatives sure know the meaning of "fun for the whole family". No wonder they scheduled this cruise.

    Book your passage now and enter a drawing to apply tanning oil on the tawny buttocks of a glistening and thong-clad Jeane Kirkpatrick.

    posted by tbogg at 10:11 PM



    Lean to the left...lean to the right....okay, just lay there.

    Like any other 22 year-old who spends her days embalming people and writing obituaries, Amity Cash likes to unwind with a little....cheerleading.

    Some days, she embalms the dead; other times, she comforts the living and helps plan funerals. She drives the hearse. She carries flowers. She types obituaries from the newspaper into the funeral home's records, which is how she found the date and time for BlueCats cheerleader tryouts.

    "I was typing in an obituary, and when I flipped it over, I saw the BlueCats ad," Cash said. "I cheered in junior high, high school and college (at Vincennes University), and I really missed it."

    She tried out in November, easily making the National Indoor Football League cheer team.


    "I can smile at work, but I can't be this spirited," Cash said. "When I'm out there dancing, I have to hold myself different. My poise is different."

    You don't say?

    I always knew there was a connection between cheerleaders and that rictus grin they tend to sport.

    posted by tbogg at 9:38 PM



    Please step away from the VCR.....

    Sam Heldman has become the source for all that is interesting about Judicial nominee David Pryor and you should be following it here. Of particular note is Pryor's opinion about the All American pursuit of the orgasm (insert Laura Bush asking "the what?" here). Going back to The American Prospect back in December 2000 we read:

    As these cases make clear, the sexual revolution did not destroy the old regime. Puritanism (which H.L. Mencken described as fear that someone else might be having a good time) is tenacious; at least, it remains a respected tradition in the federal courts, as Justice Scalia's opinions suggest. Just a few weeks ago, in Williams v. Pryor, a federal appeals court actually upheld Alabama's ban on the sale of sexual devices, in an opinion that is either amusing or appalling, depending on your mood.

    A lower federal court had struck down the ban, by declaring it simply irrational. This was, as a matter of law, a highly unusual decision. The requirement that a law must have a rational relationship to some legitimate governmental objective is the most permissive standard of judicial review; its use is usually a signal that a law is about to be upheld. It is only applied to statutes that courts do not consider infringements of constitutional rights (and the lower court in Williams v. Pryor declined to recognize a fundamental right to engage in the private use of sexual devices). The court did find that Alabama had a legitimate interest in banning "the commerce of sexual stimulation and auto-eroticism, for its own sake, unrelated to marriage, procreation, or familial relationships." In other words, sexual pleasure, especially when it involves masturbation, may be banned unless it involves some greater good. Still, the court found the Alabama law arbitrary and irrational, partly because it interfered with "sexual stimulation and eroticism" in the approved context of marital relationships. (Two of the plaintiffs in the Alabama case were married women.)

    The federal appeals court reversed this decision--not surprisingly, considering the lower court's reasoning. In applying the rational-relationship test, judges are not supposed to substitute judicial for legislative judgment and invalidate laws that strike them as foolish. So in deciding whether the Alabama law was rational, the appeals court was quite deferential to the state's power to regulate sexual morality. It did not laugh at the state of Alabama's argument that "a ban on the sale of sexual devices and related orgasm stimulating paraphernalia is rationally related to a legitimate interest in discouraging prurient interests in autonomous sex." Instead, with a straight face, the court quoted Alabama's brief approvingly: "[I]t is enough for a legislature to reasonably believe that commerce in the pursuit of orgasms by artificial means for their own sake is detrimental to the health and morality of the State."

    This, of course, made me wonder who is going to be the one to confiscate Peggy Noonan's copy of Backdraft.

    I sense a SWAT team action sometime in the future.....

    posted by tbogg at 9:25 PM



    Boy....isn't that just like a kid?

    They get a new toy, play with it for a few days, then totally neglect it. Take, for example, the Virgin Ben.

    Posts on 2/20, 3/26, and 4/14. And I do so miss the delightful bon mots over at "Shots from the profoundly unhip".

    But it's spring, and young master Shapiro's fancy has surely turned to willing and eager coeds when the next Lord of the Ring movie comes out. I imagine he's already in line...waiting...waiting....

    posted by tbogg at 9:11 PM



    But seriously folks......

    Funny guy at Fox:

    Fox News Vice President John Moody faults the manic-depressive approach: "We maybe made some snap judgments, such as 'This is a cakewalk.' 'Oh my God, we're bogged down.' 'Will we ever reach Baghdad?' 'How did Baghdad fall so easily?' Some networks were a little down at the mouth and ready to declare unilateral surrender." At Fox, Moody said, "there were moments when I wanted to make sure we did not cheerlead," such as barring correspondents from referring to "good guys" and "bad guys."

    ...but he got over it.

    You know, Howie Kurtz may be the only person in journalism who actually believes that Fox is a news organization.

    posted by tbogg at 8:59 PM




    Project For A New Century Of Freedom has a link and some thoughts on censorship in America.

    posted by tbogg at 8:51 PM



    The free speech ghetto

    We don't like your kind. We don't want to see you. You have no rights here. Go away or be arrested.

    Next time a rightwing yahoo (and is there any other kind?) tells you that people who dissent aren't being censored, tell them about Brett Bursey:

    There he was at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport with his antiwar sign. There were the thousands of Republicans gathering to welcome a president. There were the police officers arresting him for trespassing.

    The first time this happened was in May 1969, before a visit by Richard M. Nixon. The charges against Mr. Bursey were dropped after the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that if protesters were on public property — as the antiwar demonstrators were — they could not be charged with trespassing.

    Last Oct. 24, 33 years later and about 100 yards away, the now graying Mr. Bursey was again arrested for trespassing, this time before a visit by President Bush. The charge was soon dropped.

    But last month, the local United States attorney, J. Strom Thurmond Jr., brought federal charges against Mr. Bursey under a seldom-used statute that allows the Secret Service to restrict access to areas the president is visiting. He faces six months in jail and a $5,000 fine.


    In particular, Mr. Romero said, there is a growing practice of corralling protesters in "free-speech zones," which are often so far from the object of the protest as to be invisible. "It's an effort to mitigate the effectiveness of free speech," he said.

    And he does not buy the argument that such zones are necessary to protect the president and other officials. "John Hinckley wasn't carrying an anti-Reagan sign when he shot him," Mr. Romero said.

    It was just such a "protest zone" that got Mr. Bursey in trouble last fall. A spokeswoman for the airport said officials there had established a protest area on the verge of a highway, a good half mile from the hangar where the president would be speaking. (Airport police are not sure if anyone actually protested at the official zone, she said.)

    Mr. Bursey hoped he and some friends could protest somewhere closer, maybe across the road from the hangar, he said. The police in Charleston and Greenville had been accommodating, he said, when he had asked to avoid the protest zones, which he described as being "out there behind the coliseum by the Dumpsters."

    It did not work this time.

    "We attempted to dialogue for a while, them telling me to go to the free-speech zone, me saying I was in it: the United States of America," Mr. Bursey said. Finally, he said, an airport policeman told him he had to put down his sign ("No War for Oil") or leave.

    " `You mean, it's the content of my sign?' I asked him," Mr. Bursey said. "He said, `Yes, sir, it's the content of your sign.' "

    Mr. Bursey kept the sign and was arrested; he said he watched Air Force One land from the back of a patrol wagon and spent the night in the county jail.

    During the Civil Rights era people would tell African Americans to go "back you came from". I guess the powers that be could tell Mr. Bursey to go back where he came from, but the America Mr. Bursey came from has been dismantled and boxed up by the Bush administration and they aren't about to let us have it back again.

    We need regime change now.

    posted by tbogg at 7:48 PM


    Friday, April 25, 2003


    That's it for today.....

    The wife and I have a hot date tonight to go see her, and afterwards we'll probably do something that Rick Santorum wouldn't approve of ....and it doesn't involve Satchmo, the Wonder Basset.

    See you all on Sunday night...

    posted by tbogg at 1:09 PM



    Giuliani's dog cowering under the bed.

    Rudy Giuliani is only one leg away from completing the Santorum trifecta.

    According to CNN, Giuliani is finally going to make an honest woman out of the heavily-banged (I mean hair...but who knows) Judith Nathan. As you may be aware, Giuliani was having an adulterous affair with Ms. Nathan while he was still married to Donna Hanover. Later a judge ruled that Ms. Nathan was no longer welcome to visit Gracie Mansion as long as Mr. Giuliani's children were there, saving them the sight of their father, as the judge put it, "bumping uglies with with that home-wrecking skank-ho" .

    It's a little known fact that, prior to his marriage to Ms. Hanover, Mr. Giuliani was a party to an incestuous marriage to his second cousin, Regina Peruggi, for 14 years.

    Giuliani now has the option of choosing between bigamy, polygamy, or the "love that dare not bark it's name" to finally earn a raised eyebrow from the stern, unforgiving, but "inclusive" Mr. Santorum.

    posted by tbogg at 11:24 AM



    Quagmire update.

    But which quagmire?

    A firefight near the Pakistan border in Afghanistan's Paktika province killed two U.S. soldiers Friday and wounded several others, including at least one Afghan soldier, U.S. Central Command said.

    But...but...but...that was, like, one war ago. We've moved on.

    posted by tbogg at 9:37 AM



    From the Philadelphia Inquirer

    Tony Auth

    posted by tbogg at 9:32 AM



    More on the Chicks

    Although I don't agree with everything in the cartoon, I do like how Bush and his advisors are portrayed.

    "Thug radio".

    Can I get a Insta-pundit "heh"?


    posted by tbogg at 9:20 AM



    Hell froze over. Bush invited to join Mensa.

    ...and David Horowitz's FrontPage actually has something worth reading.

    Did the Left Go Too Far on Iraq?

    I'm suprised that Horowitz didn't edit out some of the liberal's arguments. Some great quotes:

    Jamie, the simple answer to the question you pose about "the Left" is that George Bush has antagonized many people on both sides of the Atlantic so much that they don't trust a word he says and don't believe the claims his leading officials make. In contrast to his promises to be a uniter, not a divider, Bush has pursued a very divisive social and economic policy and has made no concessions at all regarding fiscal, monetary and environmental policy. He has draped himself in religion in ways that most secular liberals--not just "the Left" find most unsettling. His Texas roots are linked to some corporate officials who may soon be behind bars following the Enron scandals, and he seems not to mind in the slightest that his tax cuts will make already existing economic inequalities worse. In Europe, he is reviled for his decisions on the death penalty in Texas, environmental policies and then the Manichean religious rhetoric with which he led the war on terrorism after September 11th.


    Did the anti-war left go too far? Well, despite the fact that we had the largest peace demonstrations in American history, we had a war didn’t we? What a strange question! To raise principled questions about whether a war was just and your government is not “going too far.” In fact, I would argue it’s my right and obligation as an American to point out the mistakes my government is making. And, by the way, just because we won the war still doesn’t make it right. This war doesn’t become a better idea just because it was easily accomplished. History is filled with easy wars after all.

    I do find it fascinating how people don’t seem to care that WE built Saddam into the frightening power he was until a few weeks ago. We provided him with $40B worth of aid in the 1980s and are responsible for the monster we created. As a historian, I find this puzzling but I guess in the illiterate and ignorant nation that is America today I shouldn’t be surprised. Heck, a huge number of Americans think Saddam was intimately involved in 9/11, an assertion, no matter how many times W repeats it, for which there is absolutely no evidence.

    As for the “ends justify the means” arguments advanced both before and after the war, I just can’t sign on to these arguments even now. In fact the most frightening thing is to think back on the lies told to get us into this war. Think about how few of the major arguments made by W and the boys to get us into this war have turned out to be true so far: Where are the WMDs? Where are the Al-Qaeda terrorists? If his military was really so weak, he wasn’t much of a threat to his neighbors, was he? There isn’t much that has been proven true of the cassus belli arguments advanced by the administration in the last few weeks, eh?

    I am, of course, glad that Saddam is gone. Who wouldn’t be? I’ve said I’d be glad to see him go since I began blogging about the proposed war in August. It’s a red herring to try and tar those who oppose this war as “anti-American” or, to use Instapundit’s now infamous phrase “objectively pro-Saddam” because that simply isn’t the case. Most of us who were against the war are glad to see Saddam go and to try and tell us that our principled opposition to the war was somehow anti-Semitic or pro-fascist is, quite simply, a load of you-know-what. It’s a question that involves the old McCarthyite trick of guilt-by-association and unworthy of a response. I refuse to be drawn into that bogus discussion.

    Of course many Americans may be whistling a different tune about this war in the next few months as our occupation / democracy-building / oil-extracting / empire-building scheme will cost tens of billions of dollars and add greatly to our federal deficit and possibly even be a drag on our economy.

    Lots of good reading here, all the more suprising when you consider the source.

    posted by tbogg at 9:06 AM



    New to the Hot Links.....

    War Words. It's good to have someone stalking Rummy. I like this one. I particularly like this:

    "Proverbs for Paranoids 3: If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers."
    Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow, page 251


    posted by tbogg at 8:51 AM


    Thursday, April 24, 2003


    That My Lai cover-up experience pays off.

    Colin Powell, a man that many Americans used to admire, seems to be covering up for another military assault on civilians:

    Secretary of State Colin L. Powell has written a letter to the Spanish foreign minister defending the shelling of the main hotel for journalists in Baghdad that killed two cameramen, including one from Spain, on April 8.

    "Our review of the April 8 incident indicates that the use of force was justified and the amount of force was proportionate to the threat against United States forces," Mr. Powell wrote in the letter, dated April 21 and addressed to Ana Palacio, Spain's foreign minister.


    Repeating that initial explanation, Mr. Powell said a United States tank fired on the hotel in response to "hostile fire appearing to come from a location later identified as the Palestine Hotel."

    Journalists who were at the hotel said that they did not hear gunshots coming from the hotel.

    The commander of the unit that fired the shell was quoted this week by Le Nouvel Observateur, a French magazine, as saying his tank team acted after spotting the sun's reflection on binoculars believed to have been in the hands of an Iraqi on the hotel's roof. The magazine quoted the commander, Capt. Philip Wolford, as saying he authorized the attack because the team believed that whoever was holding the binoculars was directing Iraqi fire. He also reportedly said that he did not know at the time that the hotel housed journalists.

    Lou Fintor, a spokesman for the State Department, said the review that Mr. Powell referred to in his letter was "based on our intelligence, which we never comment on."

    You would think they would at least make an effort to get their stories straight.

    Here's some info on Powell and My Lai. More here. Bet you didn't know that.

    He's always been a "good little soldier".

    posted by tbogg at 11:32 PM



    Keeping Congress in the dark

    Apparently John Ashcroft, our snake-handling Attorney General, can't get the Justice Department secretive enough. Now Justice Department employees can't talk to Congress without a chaperone:

    The Justice Department has directed employees to clear any contacts with Congress with its Congressional liaison office, and Senator Charles E. Grassley, the Iowa Republican who heads the Finance Committee, called the order "an attempt to muzzle whistle-blowers."

    The directive, issued on March 27, told officials to inform the Office of Legislative Affairs "ahead of time and as soon as possible — of all potential briefings on Capitol Hill and significant, substantive conversations with staff and members on Capitol Hill."

    "We will assist in determining the appropriateness of proceeding with potential briefings," it said.

    The directive was issued "in response to a request by the attorney general," Jamie E. Brown, acting assistant attorney general, said in a covering memorandum. The order told employees that liaison officials would almost always "accompany you to briefings" and said "please let us know when you receive a phone call from or plan to place a call to House and Senate staff and members."

    Barbara Comstock, director of the Office of Public Affairs at the Justice Department, said the directive simply reflected "longstanding practice of this department, predating this administration." It was intended to coordinate efforts to keep Congress informed, Ms. Comstock said, adding, "It is a way of folks knowing what's going on in our department."

    Ms. Comstock rejected Mr. Grassley's contention that the order was intended to silence department officials who wanted to tell Congress of shortcomings in the department. "This doesn't have anything to do with whistle-blowers," she said. "Whistle-blowers have all the protection of the Whistle-Blower Act," which forbids reprisals by supervisors.

    Senator Grassley was not the only skeptic. Senator Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee and a frequent critic of secrecy in the Justice Department, said, "If this was intended to facilitate answers, that would be one thing. But the administration's overwhelming impulse has been to limit the flow of information, and that has made Congressional oversight of this Justice Department a neverending ordeal."

    Like his boss, Jesus Johnny A works in mysterious ways...and he's going to keep it that way. It's his country, you just live in it.

    posted by tbogg at 11:16 PM



    A serious discussion of something that won't happen

    Paul Krugman discusses Gephardt's health care trial balloon. Here's the great quote to remember when discussing Bush's tax cut:

    Most Americans were never going to get much of a tax cut, anyway. If all the Bush tax cuts — those actually passed in 2001, and those the administration is now pushing — were fully in effect, they would reduce annual taxes collected per family by about $2,500. But averages can be deeply misleading. When Bill Gates enters a bar, the average net worth of the patrons soars, but that doesn't make everyone in the bar a billionaire.

    posted by tbogg at 11:01 PM



    As if the bowtie wasn't enough to make you disregard him

    Little Tucker Carlson. Glad he's not on our side. Here's the kind of debate you get from him:

    CARLSON: And why won't you answer the simple question, what is wrong with bestiality? Now, I'm asking it; you dismiss it as if it's a joke, but it's not a joke.

    SHRUM: I think it is clearly a terrible thing to do to animals who absolutely have no say in this, have no free will, no volition. But if you want to do this, go ahead.

    CARLSON: Are you a vegetarian, is that what you're saying?

    Remember...it's not a joke. Tucker said so....

    posted by tbogg at 10:57 PM



    T-Ball Tom Brokaw

    I guess we shouldn't be suprised, Tom Brokaw long ago stopped being a journalist. Now he's just your standard issue talking head with an uncontrollable compulsion for stalking WWII vets. But this interview with the Steely Eyed Rocket Man...egads. Bush hasn't had his leg humped like this since...well, when was the last time Howard Fineman dropped by?

    Here are some of the important things T-Ball Tom asked Prince Hal Young Churchill George:

    Q Let me ask you about that day that the prisoners were captured. Everything played out on television. There's been probably no more televised event in the history of mankind. Suddenly you look on the screen and from Iraqi television there are five American prisoners of war, including a woman who was a cook, Shoshana Johnson.

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, I believe that was a Sunday. And it was a tough day. It was a tough day for America, it was a tough day for the Commander-in-Chief, who committed these young soldiers into battle in the first place. Which made their release even more joyous. But war is -- it's tough.

    Q Did you make some calls?

    THE PRESIDENT: No, I didn't. I've written a lot of letters, but I didn't call any parents then. I prayed for them, but I didn't call.

    Q Did you talk to Laura about it? THE PRESIDENT: I did. I talked to Laura a lot during this period of time. She's been a steady source of strength and inspiration and love. You know, any time there's war and a lot of action, a lot of movement of troops and equipment, people are -- there's going to be death. And it's the hardest aspect of this job, frankly, is to know that those lives were lost because of orders I gave.

    and this:

    Q As you know, there's still a lot of skepticism around the world about American motives in Iraq.


    Q Why not fold in some of the U.N. inspectors to this effort, not turn it over to them, but make them a part of it? Would that help with the credibility, do you think?

    THE PRESIDENT: I think there's going to be skepticism until people find out there was, in fact, a weapons of mass destruction program. One thing there can't be skepticism about is the fact that this guy was torturous and brutal on the Iraqi people. I mean, he brutalized them, he tortured them, he destroyed them, he cut out their tongues when they dissented. And now the people are beginning to see what freedom means within Iraq. Look at the Shia marches, or the Shia pilgrimages that are taking place.

    The world will see that the United States is interested in peace, is interested in security and interested in freedom.

    Q But it is important to find the weapons of mass destruction, or the evidence that he had a massive program underway, isn't it?

    THE PRESIDENT: Yes. I think we will. I'm pretty confident we will.

    and then:

    Q Were you surprised by the degree of looting that occurred almost instantly?

    THE PRESIDENT: No, I wasn't surprised at all.

    Q You were not? Why?

    THE PRESIDENT: I mean, these were people that hated the regime under which they lived.

    Q But they went after hospitals and museums and --

    THE PRESIDENT: I don't like that part. And that was the -- you know, the hospitals and museum were the absolute worst part. The good news is, is that the hospitals are now up and running, they've got enough medical supplies to take care of the people that need help. That museum was a terrible incident. I couldn't agree more with people who say we're sorry that happened. We are, by the way, helping find treasure, restore treasure and we'll provide all the expertise and help they need to get that museum up and running again.

    and finally:

    Q Did your dad talk to you every day?

    THE PRESIDENT: No. I check-in with him on occasion but, now, we don't talk every day.

    Q How about Barbara, what does she have to say, your mother?

    THE PRESIDENT: She's as feisty as ever. She's doing well. She doesn't follow everything in the news and the opinion like Dad does; he's an every word man.

    Q Do you seek his counsel? It's a little tricky. Here's your father, somebody that you revered and love, and he's been there before. But at the same time, you're now the President. How do you work that out?

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, I really don't spend a lot of time hashing over policy with him. He knows that I am much better informed than he could possibly be. He gives me -- our relationship is more of, and our conversations are more along the line of a dad and a son, a dad conveying to his son how much he loves him. Which is important, even at the age of 56 years old it's important.

    Q Did you call him the day the statue came down of Saddam Hussein?

    THE PRESIDENT: I can't remember.

    Q Because that was a memorable day.

    THE PRESIDENT: It was. It was.

    Q Did you watch all that?

    THE PRESIDENT: I watched some of it. As you know, I've got a schedule to keep; I don't have time to sit around watching TV all day long. But somebody -- I think the Ashley or Blake said, the statue, they're about to get it down. They had a guy hammering on it for a while, and I watched the hammering --

    Q It took a while to pull it down.

    THE PRESIDENT: I watched them hammer. And then they said, they're hooking it up and they've got the crane out there. And I said, well, let me know. They said, well, it's about to come down. So I hustled and then watched it.

    Q And what about the Iraqi information minister? (Laughter.)

    THE PRESIDENT: He's my man, he was great. (Laughter.) Somebody accused us of hiring him and putting him there. He was a classic.

    Q Al-Sahhaf.

    THE PRESIDENT: Al-Sahhaf.

    Q He said: we are repulsing them at the airport, this war is just about over. (Laughter.)

    THE PRESIDENT: He was great. (Laughter.)

    Q Did you watch him actually? (Laughter.)

    THE PRESIDENT: I did watch some of his clips. You know, a lot of the stuff I get, people come in and report to me -- did you hear what so-and-so said, or, did you see that? So I get a lot of things secondhand.

    But in the case of the statue or Sahhaf, somebody would say, he's getting ready to speak, and I'd pop out of a meeting or turn and watch the TV

    It goes without saying that on any substantial question, Brokaw allows Bush to bluster his way through with scarcely a peep from Tom.

    Got to keep that access, Tom.


    posted by tbogg at 10:34 PM



    Santorum Redux

    I linked to this back in March, but considering all the press that Never Had A Blowjob Rick is getting, I thought it might be of interest to those who haven't read it before.

    Keep in mind as you read it that the lovely Karen Santorum is now pregnant with their eighth child leaving her little time to file more of the kind of frivolous lawsuits that her husband thinks should be capped.

    posted by tbogg at 1:29 PM



    Can I laugh now?...Now?....How 'bout now?

    Many bloggers have written about the death of the great Nina Simone (including this one over at Body & Soul) but few, if any, have mentioned the passing of the legendary Charles Rolland "Charlie" Douglass.

    Okay. He was the guy who invented canned laughter without which we would never have known when to laugh at something Bob Saget said.

    We'll miss you, Charlie.

    [cue gentle laughter.... fading into end of show applause........good, that's a wrap]

    posted by tbogg at 1:08 PM



    "...comparing homos to child rapers and kin-pumpin' Mormons"

    Well, you just knew the folks over at whitehouse.org were going to be all over this like a man on a dog, or whatever it is that Santorum does when his wife is cranking out another baby:

    SENATOR SANTORUM: Good morning. I want to thank the President for inviting me to join him today. As you know, recent comments by yours truly, asserting not only that Americans have no Constitutional right to privacy, but also accurately comparing homos to child rapers and kin-pumpin' Mormons, have whipped up Washington's smartypants sodomite elite into a pink-codpiece-chafing snit. And though it seems increasingly likely that I may have suffered a gruesomely damaging self-inflicted political blow, I'm going to hold my ground on this one – just like the snarling little Pennsyltucky froofy dog that I am

    posted by tbogg at 12:48 PM



    A lovely letter from lovely Zurich

    One of the benefits to all the time that I put into blogging is getting to "meet" people through the blog, many of whom are alternately brilliant or entertaining or just fun to hear from. Thought I would share a very nice e-mail from Andrew in Zurich:


    Dear Tom

    I cycle to work -- 45 minutes each way. (And since it's Switzerland, there is a bike lane the whole way, and nobody ever honks, yells, flips me the bird, etc. for riding my silly little bike on their road.) It was lovely this morning -- sunny, just slightly cool, flowers blooming; a pleasant spring morning. I'm listening to the new Lucinda Williams CD while riding and it was great -- the sublime pleasure of hearing new music that is destined to become a good friend.

    Then I get to work and -- as is my habit -- read the papers and skim the blogs. And experience the range of emotions that the news brings these days -- disbelief, anger, confusion, despair ... and so on and so on.

    How did this happen? I've only been out of the country for two-and-a-half years and the US today just seems so completely unfathomable.

    Anyway, I think that Mario Cocco has a good take on the Euro reaction.

    From Tuesday's TSC:

    Europeans Are Baffled by Bush's America

    I also sense the beginnings of a change in attitudes here about the US. That is, the Euros used to make a distinction between the Administration and the people. In the recent period, the headline for this was: dislike/distrust the Prez and his Administration, (generally) admire/respect the US -- or least the idea of the US (liberty, energy, tolerance, etc.). Gross generalizations, of course, and there is a much longer and more nuanced discussion around the general topic of "Euro attitudes," but I don't have the time or skill to develop it further than this.

    I sense that the second part of the headline may be changing. Or at least is being scrutinized. I sense that many Europeans are asking themselves, "Remind me again what it was that I admired about the US? And its people?" The papers here report the poll results, i.e., that 70% of Americans now" support" the war in Iraq and that equivalent numbers "approve" of the Prez's actions and performance. They also watch CNN and, as others have noted, are shocked by the propaganda quality of the reporting. As I talk about "stuff" with my colleagues (mixed group from several different countries), they are very perplexed by all this. And it appears that the distinction between the Administration and the country is beginning to blur. While they recognize that Administrations -- and policies – come and go, they have perhaps clung to the belief that there are certain fundamentals about the US and its people that don't change. Or that don't change much. Now, the comments I hear suggest a concern that the US – as a collection of ideas, values, aspirations, etc. -- is turning into something quite new and different. And something that is very, very scary. There is an apprehension and wariness about the US -- not just the Administration -- that I hadn't seen before.

    Yes, the "PACE" flags are ubiquitous in Italy (and are becoming more common here in Switzerland). But I suspect that more and more the message is not directed just at the cabal in Washington, but more generally at the American people.

    Early days and this, too, could pass. But it IS starting to feel different.

    I don't know if my ramblings are interesting to you .... but I really like your blog and just wanted to, you know, share these thoughts with you.

    One other thing: I liked your comment awhile back about your daughter's reading To Kill A Mockingbird. You wrote: Told in the voice of a wise child, it is the tale of being an adult. How we lose things as we grow older and have to find lesser things to fill up the space. This really resonated with me because at the same time my daughter (turns 10 next week) was reading (and re-reading) The Diary of Ann Frank. I was a little concerned that she wouldn't have the emotional maturity for this quite yet, but we've talked about it a lot and she seems to have a pretty good sense of the sorrow -- and joy -- of the story. I mention this because we're leaving tonight for a long weekend in Amsterdam. I'm very much looking forward to taking her to Ann Frank's house, which, if you have not been there, truly is a living bit of history. Incredibly moving. I suspect the experience of fixing the story with the actual spaces in which it took place will be very .... uh, profound? meaningful? the words all seem so banal ... for her. (And later in the spring we hope to make a trip to Verdun so my son can have a similar complement to his recent reading of All Quiet on the Western Front.)

    So, yeah, as we grow older, we do have to find lesser things to fill the space. Especially in these crazy times. Like the pleasure of watching my kids learn about -- and hopefully learn from -- history in a very intimate way. And good new CDs. And Manchester United's masterful 4-3 defeat of Real Madrid in last night's Champions League match. (Totally brilliant. If you can catch it on cable or get a copy, highly recommended. Ronaldo is awesome early on, then Beckham comes in late and steals the show.) And my great good fortune to be living in a small, affluent, heavily armed, widely bike-laned and staunchly neutral land.

    Sorry again for the rambling. Quiet at work and probably drank too much coffee.

    Best regards,


    posted by tbogg at 12:04 PM



    What a difference a headline makes...

    Remember his headline form Drudge yesterday:


    making it sound like the Dixie Chicks were getting all weepy and apologetic to the Steely Eyed Rocket Man.

    Here's today's CNN's headline on the same story:

    Chicks defiant with interview, nude cover

    Band defends antiwar sentiments, cites concerns about safety

    Hmmmm. That sounds slightly different....

    posted by tbogg at 11:15 AM



    "The banal secret about our most hyper-moralistic politicians is they generally have dirtier minds than the rest of us"

    Matt Bivens:

    (Santorum):"The idea [now holding sway] is that the state doesn't have rights to limit individuals' wants and passions. I disagree with that. I think we absolutely have rights because there are consequences to letting people live out whatever wants or passions they desire."

    Time was when the Republican Party stood, rhetorically anyway, for people shouldering their own risks, reaping their own rewards, and paying the consequences of living out their wants or passions. That's too tolerant, however, for the born-again-Bush Republicans: People must be sheltered from perceived personal failures by a government that "absolutely" has the right to know what's going on in your bed room and to "limit" your pursuit of happiness. In Santorum's world, those who cheat on their spouses would be hauled in for questioning; while only eternal vigilance would protect America's Labrador Retrievers from being violated by their owners. That's sick. A man like that has no business in government.

    posted by tbogg at 10:39 AM



    The party of compassion

    Barry over at Bloggy wants to remind us of how Republicans view gays.

    posted by tbogg at 9:01 AM



    Coming soon to a rodeo grounds near you.

    It’s the All Hat, No Battle Tour™.

    The Ruffriders of the Swinging D, three country superstars, none of whom ever served in the military that they so bravely salute. Join Darryl Worley, Toby Keith, and Clint Black as they sing songs of jingoism and vengeance while looking like they're posing for gay cowboy porn.

    They’re young...they’re butch...and they wear hats.

    posted by tbogg at 8:37 AM


    Wednesday, April 23, 2003


    Let's not forget about Dale Petrosky

    When last seen, the Baseball Hall of Fame President and former Reagan Administration liar was making a pathetic attempt at apologizing to Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon after undergoing a metamorphosis from "obscure ass" to National Ass of the Week . Strange as it may seem, Petrosky actually gets paid for, well, doing HOF Presidenting stuff. Who pays him?

    We do:

    Congress' doling out $90,000 to Fort Worth's National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, $350,000 to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and $750,000 to the Baseball Hall of Fame prompted one Arizona lawmaker to suggest a Pork Barrel Hall of Fame.

    Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., was so put out by his colleagues -- many fellow Republicans -- that he blasted them for earmarking the funding in the $397.4 billion spending bill Congress approved Thursday.

    "I've got nothing against cowgirls, rock and roll or baseball, but why are my tax dollars paying for their halls of fame?" Flake asked. "This would be laughable if it wasn't so serious."


    The $750,000 for the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y., was offered by Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, the powerful chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. The congressman who represents the district, Rep. Sherwood Boelhert, R-N.Y., was unaware of the provision beforehand, his press secretary said, and a spokesman for the museum did not know of the funding

    Your tax dollars at work.

    Thanks to soundbitten for the link.

    posted by tbogg at 10:46 PM



    So much for Operation Iraqi Freedom

    What? Do they think this is a democracy or something?

    BAGHDAD, Iraq, April 23 — The American military moved today to strip Baghdad's self-appointed administrator of his authority and warned Iraqi factions not to take advantage of the confusion and the political void in the country by trying to grab power.

    Lt. Gen. David McKiernan, the commander of ground forces in Iraq, issued a proclamation putting Iraq's politicians on notice, saying, "The coalition alone retains absolute authority within Iraq." He warned that anyone challenging the American-led authority would be subject to arrest.

    Freedom's just another word for you ain't ready for it yet.


    Ever hear the expression "he could f*** up a wetdream"? Here's America screwing up giving away money:

    By the time angry Iraqis called the town councilmen liars and the councilmen began shouting at their American and British sponsors, it was clear that the U.S. attempt to deliver dollars to unpaid Iraqi government workers was not going well.

    The idea was simple enough. The Bush administration, to buy time and goodwill, would pay $20 to Iraqis who have gone without salaries since the war to overthrow Saddam Hussein began five weeks ago. The cash would help the wheezing economy and boost faith in the U.S.-led occupation.

    But nothing worked out as planned today in the southern port town of Umm Qasr. The giveaway was abandoned, and the U.S. money caravan retreated with its cargo of $130,780 in small bills.


    The first part of the mission went well: The cash arrived under U.S. guard in neat bricks of ones, fives and tens. U.S. officials chose the allotment after reasoning that the smaller bills would be easier to spend. But they were soon informed by Iraqis that single dollar bills are difficult for average people to use. Iraqis in Umm Qasr, it emerged, are most likely to change the dollars for Iraqi dinars, the currency in use before the war. And because money-changers prefer bills that are larger and more portable, a $20 bill is worth 25 to 50 percent more on the informal currency market than 20 $1 bills.

    "All right, we learned a lesson," Buck Walters, head of the U.S. postwar effort in southern Iraq, told an Iraqi official as they studied a black footlocker containing the bills.

    All workers in Umm Qasr who worked for the government or the many government-controlled industries were entitled to a payment of $20, using rolls active when the war began. The new town council, which volunteered to fill a power vacuum after the Baath Party government fell, decided that payments would take place simultaneously at six different schools.

    But the council members forgot to choose people to keep records and hand out the cash. Then they came up with 210 more names than the Americans had. After the Iraqis huddled, exactly 210 names disappeared. Lt. Col. Peter A. Jones, the British commander who has been pressing the Iraqis to handle matters themselves, reported to Walters, "Democracy in action, sir, 210 people have been taken off the list."

    Such unanticipated delays kept men in trousers and women in black head-to-toe robes waiting at the schools in 90-degree heat for money they had been told they would receive today. After helping to count the money into six piles, a British soldier did a quick calculation and reckoned it would take 29 hours to empty the largest box of cash if a worker claimed a payment every 30 seconds.

    It was after 1 p.m. when the well-guarded motorcade reached one school, only to find the worst of two worlds. Not enough people were present to justify setting up a table, but those who showed up were furious. Tensions rose on both sides of the gate as the outsiders blamed the town council and the council blamed the foreigners.

    Call them the Coalition That Couldn't Shoot Straight.

    posted by tbogg at 10:05 PM



    Another supporter of Santorum

    I don't dispute that individual fairies may be fine folks. But, I am offended by any effort that attempts to equate faggitude with normalcy or to attack anyone who is unwilling to make such a comparison. Fairies are deviant perverts, always eager to spread their sexual preferences to clean, fresh meat.

    Fairy practices are not normal, fairies are not normal. No level of protest, mincing, or bitching will change that. Politicians who are fairies or are afraid of fairies and, therefore, try to argue that faggitude is equal to normalcy are just flat out wrong.

    And, for fairies and their political "friends" to argue that I don't have the righht to express such an opinion is also wrong

    -From Free Republic


    The Republican Party: Come for the racism…stay for the homophobia™

    posted by tbogg at 9:55 PM



    Going where no Ben has ever gone before

    I guess it had to happen. The Virgin Ben weighs in on the whole Santorum debacle:

    Gay rights and the end of American morality

    Where do you draw the moral line regarding sexual behavior? Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), a Catholic, draws the line at homosexuality. Regarding a pending Supreme Court case on the Texas state sodomy law, Santorum told the Associated Press: "If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual (gay) sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything."

    This statement was directly in line with the Judeo-Christian values upon which this country is based. Gay and lesbian activist groups immediately attacked him


    This issue comes down to the conflict between Judeo-Christian morality and arbitrary morality. The gay-rights advocates I interviewed were forced to admit that their logic gives bigamists and polygamists the right to pursue their lifestyle legally. Their stated moral boundaries changed during the course of our conversations.

    While there can be a reasoned debate about whether the state has business legislating sexual activity, there can be no doubt that any moral system condoning homosexuality must also let other, less widely accepted sexual practices through the door. If that fluid, careless amalgam of values based on feelings and personal logic ever takes precedence, America will suffer the fate of ancient Rome.

    Leaving aside the fact that we don't live in a theocracy (yet), the Virgin Ben immediately confuses subjects like bigamy and polygamy with sex, something I needn't remind you Ben is intimately not acquainted with. Carrying the argument further we have to assume that Ben figures the main feature and benefit of marriage is specifically for the readily availability of sex.

    Boy, is he in for a suprise.....

    posted by tbogg at 9:29 PM



    Just a reminder....

    DRUDGE REPORT editor Matt Drudge is set to make a rare public appearance on Wednesday, April 23, 2003 at Philadelphia's University of the Arts.

    In a freewheeling downtown discussion on internet and news trends, Drudge will be introduced by university professor of humanities and media studies, Camille Paglia.

    One likes girls...the other doesn't.

    I'll buy a copy of Big Lies for the person who hits either one of them with a pie.

    posted by tbogg at 4:15 PM



    Thank the deity of your choice for editorial cartoonists




    and let's not forget the Boondocks

    posted by tbogg at 4:11 PM



    This just in....

    Greens are still stupid.

    Far from being chastened by the way life has turned out under Bush -- the U.S. launched on neo-imperial expansionism and a massive military buildup, civil liberties under wide assault, deficits soaring and government programs being slashed, and the influence of the Christian right being demonstrated in everything from judicial appointments to Pentagon prayer meetings -- many Green Party officials still cling to their line that there's little difference between Republicans and Democrats. "I've never been so disgusted in my life as seeing how the Democrats contributed to going to war in Iraq," says Medea Benjamin. "They simply capitulated, with the leadership telling the party that they should vote for Bush's war resolution to get the whole Iraq thing behind them. It was a repeat of the Florida debacle, where the Gore campaign refused to let their supporters take to the streets. They told Jesse to go home -- I was there, I was flabbergasted! They're not interested in activating people, they're interested in raising money."

    Some even advocate running Greens against progressive Democrats, as the California Green Party is considering doing against Barbara Boxer in next year's Senate race. "It can push the campaign dialogue away from the right, by making left-wing Democrats run to the left," says Robinson.

    As for running a Green Party candidate for president in 2004, Robinson admits that "Bush has certainly given me pause; in fact I think Greens everywhere are thinking about it." But in the end, she says, it's more important to build the party than to defeat Bush -- and to do that, the Greens need to run a national campaign. "If we didn't run a presidential candidate, our organizing efforts would be set back years," says Robinson, who divides her time between the Green Party and law school at the University of Michigan. "Under state election laws, you need to field a candidate to maintain your line on the ballot. Running a national race also gives you invaluable exposure. If we didn't run a candidate next year, it would just confirm in voters' minds their suspicion that we're simply a different shade of Democrat."

    But some high-profile Greens, like Medea Benjamin, are clearly more torn over 2004. "I wonder if we would have gone to war under Gore. I certainly think we would have had a better chance of stopping it. Seeing what Bush is doing to this country and our standing in the international community, I'm having great dilemmas about the next race. Never before have I felt the need for a multiparty system, but never before have I felt so afraid of another Republican presidency. I'm stunned by how extremist the Bush presidency has become on foreign policy. We never could have predicted this."

    It's gotta be the hemp. I blame it on the hemp.....

    posted by tbogg at 10:39 AM



    No. It's not the Onion. It only reads like the Onion.

    I have to give Roger Ailes a ton of credit for turning up this nugget:

    William F. Buckley Jr.’s latest novel, Getting It Right, is set in the upheaval of the 1960s. The Cuban missile crisis has brought the Communist threat to within miles of the United States, and extremist movements roil the American Right.

    Two college students, Woodroe Raynor and Leonora Goldstein, meet in the fall of 1960. They embark on separate paths: Woodroe goes to work for the indiscriminately anti-Communist John Birch Society, while Leonora becomes a novitiate in the libertarian-objectivist cult of novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand. But a singular romance blooms as they make their way through a tumultuous era, navigating the political fault line that would change American history.

    Woodroe, a former Mormon missionary to Austria, has experienced firsthand the workings of Communist repression, and has the bullet wound to prove Soviet tenacity. Through his eyes, we see how anti-Communism defined American politics, and how Communist-in-every-bed extremists nearly defeated their own cause.

    Leonora, meanwhile, works at the feet of the brilliant, resourceful, and imaginative Ayn Rand. Through her, we witness how sexual passion shaped Rand’s movement.

    Along the way, Buckley takes us into John F. Kennedy’s Oval Office as the president wrestles with Castro, the Soviet Union, and his domestic opponents in the GOP. We are at Oxford, Mississippi, when student riots overwhelm the city following the court-ordered integration of Ole Miss. We go into backroom meetings with Barry Goldwater as he fights for the presidency, dogged by demands that he disavow the radical conservatives. And, along with the Warren Commission, which is probing the assassination of President Kennedy, we enter a bizarre world of domestic political intrigue.

    Buckley sweeps us along, as we meet and mingle with some of the towering figures of that age, from Robert Kennedy to Richard Nixon, from General Douglas MacArthur to the blustering General Edwin Walker. There is a glimpse of a bright young economist named Alan Greenspan, and of an energetic young journalist named Bill Buckley.

    Getting It Right has all the Buckley trademarks—wit, passion, and a heady view of political life. It is a riveting story and an original contribution to the history of postwar America.

    I sooooooo want a copy of this. Does anyone have a review copy? I need it. I want it. I must have it.

    And there is this: Woodroe Raynor and Leonora Goldstein

    Remind anyone else of Hubbell Gardner and Katie Morosky?


    posted by tbogg at 9:43 AM



    Wait until the royalty check start rolling in....

    Taking a cue from perky widow/entrepreneur Lisa Beamer of Let’s Roll™ fame, I went ahead and trademarked the following before the Republicans have a chance to hold their Presidential Nominating Convention Coronation in New York.

    The Republican Party: Come for the racism…stay for the homophobia™

    I figure I can retire on the t-shirts sales from Rick Santorum’s office alone.

    posted by tbogg at 9:31 AM



    Take the Fredo challenge....

    David Limbaugh, the lamprey of the Limbaugh family, tries to defend accusing anti-war protestors of being un-patriotic:

    We've heard a lot of bellyaching from liberals in the past few months about the "unfair" questioning of their patriotism. Aside from the merits of the charge, it occurs to me that liberals are finally getting a taste of their own medicine.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not childishly invoking "turnabout is fair play" or "what is good for the goose is good for the gander." But the Left's hypocrisy is quite pronounced here.

    For as long as I can remember, I've witnessed the Left's assertions of moral superiority. They've forever labeled conservatives as reactionaries and themselves as progressives; they've smugly contrasted their compassion with our heartlessness, their egalitarianism with our racism. Their attacks have been categorical and based on our beliefs more than our actions, saying, in effect, that conservatives, by virtue of their conservatism , are morally inferior creatures.

    In those cases where conservatives have arguably impugned the patriotism of certain liberals -- such as the Hollywood types -- they have done so on a case-specific basis. They haven't impugned liberals across the board just because large pockets of liberals have uttered indefensibly shrill and often pathetically conspiratorial criticisms of America's motives and policies during wartime.

    ...and speaking of "indefensibly shrill":

    "Tim Robbins, who thinks he can say any thing at any time . . . I have a question: How is it that Tim Robbins is still walking free?"
    -Rush Limbaugh

    posted by tbogg at 9:21 AM



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