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  • Thursday, July 31, 2003


    Sources & methods

    Tom Toles

    posted by tbogg at 10:37 AM



    The stations of the crossed

    Andrew Sullivan is trying desperately to hang onto his deeply felt, yet one-sided, love affair with Commander Codpiece. With todays Rose Garden announcement regarding gay marriage, Andy has slipped into the third stage of the Elisabeth Kübler Ross model. To wit:

    Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance

    Here's Sullivan:

    I cannot believe that they will ostracize gay citizens for ever in an impulsive and explosive constitutional amendment. I also cannot believe that this president wants to marginalize an entire group of citizens for good simply because of who they are. Certainly, if this amendment is pursued by this administration, it's the end of any relationship between the gay community and the Republican party. Those of us who have tried to build a bridge between the two are watching helplessly as the White House mulls burning it. They won't, will they? Or will they?

    Okay, so here's something that I don't support but offer to the president as a suggestion. He wants to reserve marriage to heterosexuals but he doesn't want to hurt, wound or marginalize gay people. I'm prepared to accept that is his genuine position. But it won't be convincing if all he does is back the FMA, as currently worded. How to avoid that nightmare? He could back an alternative amendment that says merely that no state should be forced to recognize the marriages in any other state. That essentially codifies federalism and prevents a nationalization of gay marriage through the courts (a highly unlikely scenario, in my view anyway). And it doesn't tell states what they can and cannot do for their own residents. It doesn't impose a single definition of marriage on the whole country. And it preserves state autonomy. That seems to me a sensible compromise if some kind of amendment looks impossible to stop. It's conservative in the right sense. I, for one, want to see federalism work on this matter. Why? Because I think the experience in one state will reduce the fear and panic elsewhere. But those who predict disaster also have a chance to prove their case. Isn't that the way this country is supposed to work?

    Why do fools fall in love?

    posted by tbogg at 1:35 AM



    Careful... you don't know where that tongue has been.

    My new pet rock (see here), The Count de'Ubaldi, writes:

    Does that mean that those same people refuse most classic works of authors who laid fifty-cent words down thicker than asphalt on an overfunded, heavy-tonnage-vehicle highway project? We have a rich tongue: let's use it.

    ...and use it, he did:

    Here's the king:

    We've got a lot of our fellow citizens who are in e-mail contact, phone contact with people who live throughout Iran, and I want to thank them for that.
    Interestingly enough, there's a TV station that I think people have read about that's broadcast out of L.A. by one of our citizens. He or she has footed the bill. It's widely watched.

    The people of Iran are interested in freedom, and we stand by their side. We stand on the side of those who are desperate for freedom in Iran. We understand their frustrations in living in a society that is totalitarian in nature. And now is the time for the world to come together to send a clear message.

    An Also Sprach Zarathustra moment in public relations, truly. For a man of an often derided, "modest" vocabulary, I have been privy to an American president and reelection candidate who very well may, politics obliging, absolutely steamroll the equivocal, vicissitudinous, empty and morose ramblings currently offered by the gaggle of his rivals.

    Howard Fineman couldn't have fellated said it any better....

    posted by tbogg at 12:25 AM



    Strike three. Caught looking...stupid.

    Steve at The Daily Kos points out that Bill Safire can't even hit the Mendoza line when it comes to predictions.

    When Iraqi scientists are permitted to talk to inspectors and journalists without fear of having their tongues later cut out and their families slaughtered by Saddam, the truth will out in vivid detail about the decadelong deception of the U.N.

    Despite vigorous efforts, the U.S. government has been unsuccessful so far in finding key senior Iraqi scientists to support its prewar claims that former president Saddam Hussein was pursuing an aggressive program to develop nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, according to senior administration officials and members of Congress who have been briefed recently on the subject.
    No matter the circumstances, all of the scientists interviewed have denied that Hussein had reconstituted his nuclear weapons program or developed and hidden chemical or biological weapons since United Nations inspectors left in 1998

    We can expect an explanation from Mr. Safire...when?

    posted by tbogg at 12:11 AM


    Wednesday, July 30, 2003


    Wrapping up the California Jewish Virgin vote

    We hear that Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank will actually have an opponent this year. His name is Chuck Morse, a Boston-area talk radio host with no political experience. Why is Chuck, who favors the puffy-faced receding hairline look so popular with many radio hosts, running? Well, among other reasons, Chuck says...

    Individual rights:

    The Declaration of Independence states, "We are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights" which means that rights emanate from "our Creator" not the State. Government exists to preserve and protect those unalienable rights.

    Restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms should be minimal.
    School Vouchers and/or tax credits.
    English as the National Language.
    Abolition of the Department of Education.
    An evaluation of the size and purpose of all federal agencies

    I believe that you can find "our creator" discussing these and many other interesting Constitutional issues in Galatians 2-4. So far Chuck's candidacy has attracted the attention of these stock photo models and a certain little scamp from across the country who, unfortunately, can't actually vote for Chuck.

    "Talk-radio hosts running for office is a great idea -- talk radio is gaining popularity," Humphries observes. "But if you have a 10-share in the ratings, which is outrageously high, that's only 10 percent of the population of the city. You've got a lot of people who have never, will never hear of you. Most of them are great guys, and it would be wonderful if they won. But they're entertainers. Could they do a better job than most of these politicians? Yes. But it's a different arena. I'm skeptical. Maybe it will change, but I don't think that talk-radio hosts get respect -- true respect -- from the political arena."

    That could change. Michael Reagan, son of Ronald and nationally syndicated host, has been discussed as a possible candidate for the Senate. Nationally syndicated host Larry Elder of ABC Radio recently switched party registration from independent to Republican; many consider him a possible candidate. Senatorial rumors have surrounded Sean Hannity, ABC Radio's syndicated talk-show host based in New York.

    Morse remains optimistic for the future of talk-radio candidates. He's looking forward to debating Frank, telling me to expect "some real wild and raucous debates." At the very least, a solid Morse showing should solidify the trend of campaigning radio hosts. At the most, a stunning Morse upset could usher in a wave of talk-radio congressmen.

    Kids say the dumbdest things.....

    posted by tbogg at 11:49 PM



    "President Bush is on a faith-based roll"

    Gary at the Self Made Pundit is back.

    This makes us happy.

    posted by tbogg at 10:02 PM



    With six you get filibuster

    Miguel Estrada has been shot down more times than this guy in a singles bar:

    Senate Republicans lost a seventh filibuster vote Wednesday in their fight to make Miguel Estrada the first Hispanic on the federal appeals court in the nation's capital. Democrats appeared to be setting up more filibusters on President Bush's judicial nominees.

    As Congress worked toward an August recess, Republicans pressured Democrats to confirm Bush's nominees.

    "The American people deserve it," said Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn. "They understand that we are not fulfilling our responsibility in this body without an up-or-down vote. That is our job. That is our responsibility in advise-and-consent."

    But the GOP fell five votes short of the 60 votes needed to cut off debate and move Estrada's nomination to confirmation, and Democrats appeared to be setting up another filibuster for Henry Saad, an Arab-American judge from Michigan whom Bush has nominated to the federal appeals court. A Saad filibuster would be the sixth for federal appellate nominees this year.

    Republicans, who also lost a filibuster vote Tuesday for Texas judge Priscilla Owen, will try Thursday and Friday to win confirmation for Alabama Attorney General William Pryor and California judge Carolyn Kuhl. But both nominees are expected to be filibustered, as is Mississippi judge Charles Pickering when he comes before the Senate again.

    Meanwhile, National Reviews Byron York, who is the Bush Administration's cabana boy when it comes to judicial nominations repeats the Anti-Catholic talking point, but with many reservations:

    The GOP campaign knocked Democrats back on their heels, and last week's debate in the Judiciary Committee turned into a bitter argument in which Democrats, almost beside themselves with anger at having their motives challenged, accused Republicans of injecting religion into the confirmation process. Questions of Pryor's alleged extremism and alleged improper fundraising took a back seat as frustrated Democrats defended themselves against Republican charges of anti-Catholic bias.

    For Republicans, it was a brilliant turnaround. But it came at some cost. To turn the tables on Democrats, the GOP had to resort to the kind of interest-group-sensitivity attack they have condemned when Democrats used them against Bush nominees. For example, the GOP's accusations of Democratic anti-Catholicism are strikingly similar to oft-repeated Democratic charges that Republican nominees are "insensitive" to issues of civil rights.

    The problem with such charges is that they are almost always phony. There is no more evidence that Democrats on the Judiciary Committee are anti-Catholic than there is evidence that Republican nominees are racists or judicial activists or religious zealots.

    In addition, the Republican counterattack led to an extraordinary and uncomfortable scene in the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing room, in which members of the committee engaged in a semi-theological debate over what "good Catholics" do or do not believe. Democrats were aghast, but had little room to complain, since on many occasions in the past their own tactics created other extraordinary and uncomfortable scenes over other inappropriate allegations. Last week, they found themselves the target. One might say it couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of guys.

    But some Republicans were uncomfortable as well, and were left wondering: Where would this new strategy lead? To win a momentary advantage on Pryor, Republicans had acted like Democrats at their worst. And no one was terribly happy about that.

    Note one thing that stands out in Yorks comments:

    Questions of Pryor's alleged extremism and alleged improper fundraising took a back seat as frustrated Democrats defended themselves against Republican charges of anti-Catholic bias.

    Looks like Lil' Perjuring Pryor's Excellent Fundraising Adventure hasn't gone away yet.

    posted by tbogg at 6:40 PM



    Lying, inside-trading, coke-snorting, AWOL, dry-drunk, fake cowboy, election thief claims gays are "sinners"

    President Bush said today that federal government lawyers are working on legislation that would define marriage as a union between a man and woman.


    Mr. Bush was responding to a question premised on the assumption that many of his political supporters believe "that homosexuality is immoral" and has been given too much cultural acceptance.

    "As someone who's spoken out in strongly moral terms, what's your view on homosexuality?" a reporter asked the president.

    "Yeah, I am mindful that we're all sinners," Mr. Bush replied. "And I caution those who may try to take the speck out of their neighbor's eye when they got a log in their own. I think it's very important for our society to respect each individual, to welcome those with good hearts, to be a welcoming country.

    Speak for yourself, monkeyboy.

    And what is with this "welcoming country" crapola? Did I miss John Ashcroft designating all gays as Resident Aliens? Repeat after me:

    They're here, they're queer, and they aren't going to vote for you.

    Meanwhile the Log Cabin Republicans issued a statement from their closet:

    Log Cabin Republicans are concerned following comments from President George W. Bush today in a Rose Garden press conference.

    Responding to a reporter's question on the morality of homosexuality the President responded, "...I think it's very important for our society to respect each individual, to welcome those with good hearts, to be a welcoming country." The President then went on to say that he would not compromise his long standing belief that marriage should be between a man and a women and that White House lawyers are looking at ways to codify that position.

    "Log Cabin reminds the President that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), signed by President Clinton in 1996, defined marriage as being between only a man and a women. The bill passed Congress with bi-partisan support. There are far more important priorities facing our nation than duplicating existing federal legislation. We encourage the White House to focus on winning the war on terror and jump-starting the American economy.

    Guerriero continued, "Log Cabin Republicans believe in civil recognition of gay and lesbians couples in committed relationships. This basic recognition would encourage stable families, offer tax fairness, insure inheritance rights and guarantee hospital visitation rights for American families. Despite misinformation from the radical right, this civil recognition would in no way interfere in religious freedom or religious traditions."

    Log Cabin Republicans agree with Vice-President Dick Cheney on this issue. In his vice-presidential debate in 2000, Cheney stated, "People should be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want to enter into. It is really no one else's business, in terms of trying to regulate or - or prohibit behavior in that regard. ...I think we ought to do everything we can to - to tolerate and accommodate whatever kind of relationships people want to enter into."

    Log Cabin Republicans were also relieved to hear that, when John Ashcroft sets up the Reparative Therapy Camps, they will get first shot at staying in the John Paulk* cabin which is the one with the nice Italian marble floors and interesting window treatments.

    *I had forgotten all about Matthew Glavin (noted in the Paulk article). Nice guy, but if you run into him, you may not want to shake his hand.

    posted by tbogg at 5:26 PM



    Bulwer-Lytton with a laptop

    I think that most bloggers tend to write in a voice that is similar to the way that they speak with allowances made to make them sound smarter than they really are. So what are we to make of someone who writes like this:

    Discourse and Dissemblers

    I had hoped, on Sunday, that the debate on the war begun anew by Steven den Beste might remain civil and thoughtful. Sadly, in just a few days Steven has been impugned by the likely sources, and it's ad hominem ad nauseum with the odd hackneyed, long-since-disproven shibboleth mixed in between near-run-on sentences of full-bore screeds.

    Steven, why even bother to take note of some of those replies? It's not debate, it's profanity. Stick to the serious opposition, who actually do share a common interest in defeating our enemies.

    A few days ago I sent him a helpful Churchill quote - most likely lost in the flurry of e-mails and, being benignly pleasant, buried under what must have been a torrent of vitriol. All the same, another one:

    You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.

    Winston Churchill, certainly no stranger to vituperative attacks and many political losses over the course of his life. Steven, know that you are supported; when others have invested in spoiled philosophies and cannot afford to consider them wrong, it's not easy being right.

    I have two theories about this. Either we have a laptop-owning Victorian living amongst us, or George Will has a lovechild which, considering his past, isn't as unlikely as it seems.

    I hope to resolve this conundrum in a fortnight...

    (get your dose of the real Bulwer-Lytton here)

    (Added:) Good lord. It gets worse.

    (Added redux): It looks like Parson Ubaldi is of a delicate nature (possibly due to the difficulties in obtaining laudanam in these stressful days). I dropped a comment off over this post which apparently caused him to come down with a case of the vapors...but not before responding, in part:

    Just a bit of advice: it's probably not best for being taken seriously by filling your blog with brittle attacks against people with whom you disagree, rather than, say, challenging their arguments.

    I wanted to repond by pointing out that I don't expect to be taken seriously, while on the other hand, he does. But that there is still hope for him. All he has to do is pretend that uBlog is a parody blog written by someone who fancies himself erudite and thinks that writing stilted prose is a sign of deep thought. But alas, I find myself banned from his generally unused comments section that are as barren as Ann Coulter's womb.

    Jeez. You try to help someone out......

    posted by tbogg at 3:14 PM



    Straining to make a point

    Let us now turn our attention to two seemingly normal people (well, one of them, at least) whose seem a bit obsessed. Of course, Professor I Just Link'em gives them his seal of approval.

    First off, we have the BBC Obsessive with this:

    MORE CHEATING AT THE BBC? A reader sends this:

    You tell me.

    I ran across this on an Afghan website I frequent. Specific URL of
    forum thread is --

    Link to BBC story (Afghans 'live in climate of fear')

    ...NOTE THE PICTURE with this story...


    Yahoo says...."Afghan women and girls watch the arrival of Afghan
    President Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan"

    Yahoo link

    SAME PICTURE? Uncropped.

    See the smiles they had to crop out to put it in the BBC piece?

    Is this common practice?.

    Um. Okay. Here are the pictures again. BBC and Yahoo.

    Boy, if that doesn't knock the shit out of the Zapruder film, I don't know what does.

    Of course Glenn smiles benignly and nods approvingly:

    At the BBC? It's starting to look that way. The cropping certainly makes the photo fit the headline better, doesn't it? (If you'll follow the Yahoo! link you'll see that they're actually craning for a better view of Hamid Karzai; the actual story hook is a $1 billion aid package for Afghanistan, which doesn't seem especially worrisome.) I'd call this a minor example of the BBC's tendency toward spin, but it's more evidence of just how pervasive that is.

    Yeah. Pervasive.

    Moving on, Glenn links to pretend economist and all-around general flake, Donald Luskin:

    ALL SEXED UP AND NO PLACE TO GO: Is Paul Krugman really George Bush's secret weapon?

    In yet another futile effort to attack Paul Krugman, and thereby defend the honor of our great and glorious leader, Luskin leads with his most serious charge: creeping Mo Dowdism...

    Paul Krugman wrote in his New York Times column Tuesday that House Majority Leader Tom DeLay "reveals a powerful contempt for the public." Krugman's in a snit over something DeLay said last week, addressing a group of college Republicans in Washington:

    To gauge just how out of touch the Democrat leadership is on the war on terror, just close your eyes and try to imagine Ted Kennedy landing that Navy jet on the deck of that aircraft carrier.

    Never mind that Krugman took two words out of what DeLay really said, without an ellipsis (that kind of slop is S.O.P. at the "newspaper of record" nowadays). What counts is that what DeLay said was actually pretty funny.

    Whoa there, Sparky. Krugman took two words out of DeLay's quote?

    Let's look again at what Krugman wrote:

    To gauge just how out of touch the Democrat leadership is on the war on terror, just close your eyes and try to imagine Ted Kennedy landing that Navy jet on the deck of that aircraft carrier.

    Here is what DeLay said with the all-important missing two words highlighted:

    To try to gauge just how out of touch the Democrat leadership is on the war on terror, just close your eyes and try to imagine Ted Kennedy landing that Navy jet on the deck of that aircraft carrier.

    Thta's it. That's Luskin's best shot. Sad thing is, that's better than most of Luskin's "Truth Squad" ramblings. Maybe Luskin should look into the domain name www.poorandreallyreallystupidandsadandludicrous.com. I hear they're holding it for him.

    In the meantime, as Tom DeLay might say, Glenn Reynolds "problem is not a lack of patriotism. It's a lack of seriousness. "

    Heh. Indeed.

    posted by tbogg at 2:48 PM



    These three Ashcrofts walk into a bar

    Sent in by reader Chris, from the Playboy joke page:

    Attorney General John Ashcroft visited an elementary school to give a civics presentation. After he finished, he asked the young boys and girls, "Are there any questions?"

    Bobby raised his hand and said, "I have three questions. How did Bush win the election with fewer votes than Gore? Are you using the Patriot Act to limit civil liberties? And why haven't you caught Osama bin Laden yet?"

    Just then, the bell rang and the teacher announced it was recess. Half an hour later, the children returned. Ashcroft said, "Let's start where we left off. Are there any more questions?"

    A girl raised her hand and asked, "Is it really legal to hold suspected terrorists without letting them talk to attorneys? Why did the recess bell go off 10 minutes early? And where the hell is Bobby?"

    posted by tbogg at 12:05 PM


    Tuesday, July 29, 2003


    I'll pretend like we want disclosure...you pretend like you know what 'disclosure' means

    Good news. The Saudis are down with the cover-up:

    The Saudi foreign minister said Tuesday that he was disappointed that President Bush would not declassify 28 pages from the congressional report on the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, but he said he understood Bush’s reasoning and did not dispute the decision.


    Prince Saud said his government continued to “believe that the missing 28 pages would allow us to respond to any allegation in a clear and credible fashion.”

    But he said Bush explained that publicizing the missing pages would compromise U.S. intelligence sources and investigative techniques. Although he said he was “disappointed,” he said he accepted the decision and strongly defended Bush against accusations that he was trying to “cover up” Saudi involvement.

    “We have nothing to hide, and we do not seek nor need to be shielded,” the prince declared.

    In related news, every polygraph between the White House and Riyadh spontaneously combusted this afternoon. No deaths were reported...

    posted by tbogg at 4:36 PM



    There'a a hole in daddy's arm where all the money goes*

    Via Leah at Eschaton, here is what President Inigo Montoya is putting American soldiers through to get revenge for his daddy, and to get our oil out from under their sand.

    Remember this the next time some Barcalounge Warrior is quick to say what "We" need to do in Iraq when they're sitting safe and sound at home where the only 'popping' noise they hear is coming from a bag of Orville Redenbacher in the microwave.

    Media Whores Online pretty much nails it right here.

    *Sam Stone

    posted by tbogg at 3:07 PM



    I'm just a rambling gambling man

    Bill Bennet really should learn to quit while he's, well, not quite ahead:

    I'm not down; I'm up and I'm back and nobody's going to drive me out of public life," Bennett says in the prerecorded interview with Russert.

    Three months after admitting his wagering woes, he says he has learned his lesson: "You will lose at the end of the day." Bennett, 60, was tagged a hypocrite by his critics when Newsweek magazine and The Washington Monthly detailed his gambling habits.

    "I way overdid it," he said. "I gambled too much, given who I am and what I do."

    Still, "I'm not a hypocrite," he declared.

    "I never got on the soapbox about gambling," says former President Ronald Reagan's ex-education secretary who also served as drug czar under former President George Bush.

    "Did I fall short of my standards by doing too much, by engaging in this at an excessive level? Yes, but that doesn't make my arguments any less good or not."

    Using Bennet's standard that he "never got on a soapbox about gambling", one has to wonder what other vices the One Armed Pundit indulges in that he hasn't condemned. I mean, there's a whole world of bad stuff out there that he could be doing...

    Leaves the seat up, takes the biggest piece of pie, parks in handicapped spots, drinks from the carton, leaves the cap off the toothpaste, dog raping, talks during the movie, uses a penny at 7/11 but never leaves one, only tips 5%, doesn't use his turn signals, never rewinds videos, goes right to sleep after his orgasm, never replaces empty toilet paper roll, bogarting that joint, never answers in the form of a question when watching Jeopardy, doesn't return mix-tapes, never recycles, eats last Entenmanns and leaves empty box on the counter, reads over your shoulder on the bus, still tells dead baby jokes, hasn't returned power drill he borrowed in May, orders 12 CD's for a penny from BMG music club...and never pays, doesn't rinse dishes before putting them in dishwasher, still owes you $1 million dollars from that night in Vegas when he said he was "red-hot", plays "got'cher nose" and never gives it back when he's done, slurps his spaghetti one strand at a time, steals crayons from Dennys, always bumming cigarettes, leaves tissues lying around after evening of watching Spice channel, wipes nose on sleeve, calls everyone "dude", breaks up with mistress right before Christmas so he doesn't have to buy her a present, always borrowing your comb, thinks Everyone Loves Raymond is funny, sings out loud when wearing his Walkman, hogs TV remote, leaves cap off of anal lube, doesn't wipe his feet, always bumming Viagra, leaves in the 7th inning, can't tell Olson twins apart, always borrows sports page before going to the bathroom, 14 items in 12 item only line, spells 'color' as 'colour' for no good reason....

    You get the idea.

    posted by tbogg at 2:27 PM



    Who cares what you Richard Shelby thinks

    President Sleeping With The Enemy doesn't want us to know about his good pals in Saudi Arabia:

    President Bush refused to declassify part of a congressional report on possible links between Saudi government officials and the Sept. 11 hijackers, saying Tuesday that making the entire document public "would help the enemy" by revealing intelligence sources and methods.

    The administration's decision was a rebuff to Saudi Arabia, which was upset by the contents of the intelligence report. Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal was meeting later in the day with Bush.

    "I absolutely have no qualms at all because there's an ongoing investigation into the 9-11 attacks, and we don't want to compromise that investigation," Bush said at a news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in the Rose Garden.

    "If people are being investigated, it doesn't make sense for us to let them know who they are," Bush told reporters before meeting with al-Faisal.

    Moreover, Bush said, "declassification of that part of a 900-page document would reveal sources and methods that would make it harder for us to win the war on terror. ... It would help the enemy if they knew our sources and methods."

    The top Republican senator on the 9-11 inquiry, Richard Shelby, said Sunday that 95 percent of the classified pages could be released without jeopardizing national security. Bush ignored a reporter's question on Shelby's assessment.

    Richard Shelby was involved in the production of the report and has actually read the report. It would be fair to say that George W. Bush (who we are told is "not a fact checker") has not read the report and his knowledge of its contents is limited to what Condi Rice wrote down for him on one side of a 3 X 5 card. And, as we all know, Condi Rice hasn't exactly laid claim to the tiara for Miss Due Diligence for 2003, or for 2002 or 2001, for that matter...

    posted by tbogg at 1:06 PM



    Welcome to the Hot Links

    Sadly, No.

    posted by tbogg at 11:02 AM



    When John looks in the mirror he sees Eric

    You know if Eric Rudolph was just a bit more swarthy it would make John Ashcroft's decision a bit easier:

    Rudolph will stand trial for the bombing the New Woman, All Women Health Care Clinic in Birmingham, Alabama, in January 1998. Birmingham police Officer Robert Sanderson was killed by the bomb, while a nurse was critically injured.

    Earlier this month Rudolph pleaded not guilty to the bombing charge, which carries a maximum sentence of the death penalty if he is convicted.

    Attorney General John Ashcroft has not made a decision on whether to seek the death penalty.

    Rudolph, 36, is also charged in the 1996 Olympic bombing in Atlanta that killed one and injured more than 100, as well as bombings the next year in Atlanta at an abortion clinic and a gay nightclub.

    One country's terrorist is another man's tool of God.

    posted by tbogg at 10:38 AM



    My name is Bill. (Hi Bill) And I....don't have a gambling problem.

    Chain smoking, overweight, liar Bill Bennett is thinking about suing a few Vegas casinos.

    Morals czar William Bennett is considering filing lawsuits against Las Vegas casino companies that may have leaked documents detailing his gambling habits.

    Bennett, the architect and leading advocate of Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" anti-drug campaign, was outed in the May issue of The Washington Monthly magazine as a gambler who has wagered -- and lost -- millions over the past decade at Bellagio and Caesars Atlantic City.

    During a 60-minute interview with Tim Russert on CNCB this weekend, the former education secretary complained his privacy rights had been "deliberately damaged" while also mocking Las Vegas' latest national marketing campaigns.

    "By the way, there's a commercial on that people may have seen about Las Vegas, that 'What happens here stays here.' Well, not in my case. Some people there were trying to do me great harm," Bennett said.

    The "What happens here" ad campaign is part of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority's latest marketing campaign to boost tourism to the city.

    He argued the magazine report stemmed from the release of "some documents" by the casinos themselves which was not legal and violated his privacy rights.

    He alleges documents were selectively leaked to create a false impression that he had a gaming problem.

    First you have to admit that you have a problem. Losing $8 million is a problem.

    I'm waiting for Bill to later claim that playing slots "isn't really gambling". It would be the first true thing he's said about the affair.

    posted by tbogg at 10:12 AM



    "...does the ailing profession of American journalism really need to be indulging freaks right now?"

    Great letter in the local paper:

    "Manifestly there is no civil liberties crisis in this country. Consequently, people who claim there is must have a different goal in mind. What else can you say of such people but that they are traitors?"

    Huh? Even if Coulter had actually invested the time and wit to show that "manifestly" there is no civil liberties crisis in this country, how does she possibly come to the conclusion that those who say there is are traitors? Aside from the very specific legal description of treason, of which Coulter, as a lawyer, should have some passing knowledge, this doesn't even measure up to the most superficial layman's understanding of that highly charged term.

    Someone who says there's a civil liberties crisis in the country is not engaging in treason, but rather the oldest, most honored act of Americanism – expressing a free opinion.

    What is difficult to understand is why the mainstream media persist in providing this unstable woman with a platform for her extremist ramblings. I know that she has a legion of fans who buy her books to feed their fantasies of a one-party state, not unlike those in Cuba, Iran, and Korea. And I know there's a tendency in the culture to find amusement in over-the-top caricatures modeled after professional wrestlers. But does the ailing profession of American journalism really need to be indulging freaks right now? Is rational discourse in this deeply polarized country at all served by her willful slanders?

    I know it sounds like I may be calling for the media to blacklist Ann Coulter. But all I'm really calling for is a little editorial judgment. If it ends up being a blacklist, however, as an avowed champion of McCarthyism, Ann Coulter won't mind.


    posted by tbogg at 9:32 AM



    Shut-in von Clausewitz

    This would be funny if it weren't so sad.

    When I was a kid, I used to play Risk too. I guess it never occured to me that it qualified me to be a geo-political strategist.

    posted by tbogg at 3:01 AM




    Proclamation by the President

    NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the laws of the United States and consistent with United States Code, Title 4, Chapter 1, Section 8, as amended, do hereby proclaim that effective Wednesday, July 23, 2003, Executive Flag Desecration and Defilement Privileges are hereby permanently expanded to include whatsoever George W. Bush feels like doing, up to and including drawing on it, painting on it, or even taking a big steaming Presidential dump on it.

    posted by tbogg at 2:04 AM



    The empty calorie President

    The good work on this was done by reader Andrew.

    NY Times:

    ``I have recently seen for myself the great possibilities of Africa and the great needs of Africa,'' he said. ``That continent's economic future depends upon trade. We'll continue to help African countries become full partners in trade and prosperity.''

    Mr. Bush said, as he has often in recent months, that one key to prosperity is lower taxes, so people can spend more.

    ``We've been through a lot: recession, war, emergencies and corporate scandals,'' he said. ``But I'm optimistic about the future. I'm optimistic about the future because I see hopeful signs.

    Renana Brooks:

    Bush uses several dominating linguistic techniques to induce surrender to his will. The first is empty language. This term refers to broad statements that are so abstract and mean so little that they are virtually impossible to oppose. Empty language is the emotional equivalent of empty calories. Just as we seldom question the content of potato chips while enjoying their pleasurable taste, recipients of empty language are usually distracted from examining the content of what they are hearing. Dominators use empty language to conceal faulty generalizations; to ridicule viable alternatives; to attribute negative motivations to others, thus making them appear contemptible; and to rename and "reframe" opposing viewpoints.


    Another of Bush's dominant-language techniques is personalization. By personalization I mean localizing the attention of the listener on the speaker's personality. Bush projects himself as the only person capable of producing results. In his post-9/11 speech to Congress he said, "I will not forget this wound to our country or those who inflicted it. I will not yield; I will not rest; I will not relent in waging this struggle for freedom and security for the American people." He substitutes his determination for that of the nation's. In the 2003 State of the Union speech he vowed, "I will defend the freedom and security of the American people." Contrast Bush's "I will not yield" etc. with John F. Kennedy's "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."

    The word "you" rarely appears in Bush's speeches. Instead, there are numerous statements referring to himself or his personal characteristics--folksiness, confidence, righteous anger or determination--as the answer to the problems of the country. Even when Bush uses "we," as he did many times in the State of the Union speech, he does it in a way that focuses attention on himself. For example, he stated: "Once again, we are called to defend the safety of our people, and the hopes of all mankind. And we accept this responsibility."

    posted by tbogg at 1:40 AM



    Buying our friends

    So this is how you create a "coalition":

    The Pentagon has agreed to pay more than $200 million in airlift and support costs for a multinational peacekeeping division under Polish command that should be deployed to southern Iraq by the end of September, a senior defense official said.

    Dov S. Zakheim, the Pentagon comptroller, said Friday that a letter of understanding signed last week with the Poles calls for the Defense Department to pay $30 million to $40 million in airlift costs for transporting most of the 9,000-member division to Iraq and about $200 million to cover meals, medical care and other support costs.

    "It guarantees that within the next few months, this division will be on the ground," a senior defense official said.

    They will join these famous fighting forces:

    In addition to the Polish and Spanish troops, the Polish multinational division will include a 1,640-soldier brigade from the Ukraine and smaller battalions from Hungary, Romania, Latvia, Estonia, Slovakia, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mongolia and the Philippines, the Polish have announced.

    Just like when Zell Miller votes with the Republicans allowing them to say that the measure has "bi-partisan support", this allows them to call it a coalition...when we're paying for it and our soldiers are the ones dying.

    posted by tbogg at 1:16 AM


    Monday, July 28, 2003


    The Liars Club

    Geoff Hoon meet Condi Rice.

    Condi...Geoff, Geoff...Condi.

    You two have a lot in common.

    posted by tbogg at 12:22 AM



    Because if you tear down Neil Cavuto, you're tearing down Fox News, and if you're tearing down Fox News, you're tearing down America....

    For some reason Townhall gives Neil Cavuto bandwidth not to write well-reasoned analytical columns on the issues of the day, but instead to write these personal pissy letters to his readers or viewers or whatever. This weeks endeavor hits a new low in faux patriotic bluster:

    But occasionally I get particularly hurtful e-mail that even I must admit hits a chord. One concerned my wearing a flag pin each night on my program. I don't make an issue of it, but one particular viewer did. A Fred C. (I'll leave out his last name) wrote "it bordered on the sickening, day in and day out, shoving your pseudo-patriotism on viewers who want news, not cheerleading."

    He went on to say that since I didn't serve in the military, who was I to talk up the military; and since I enjoyed an apparently cushy life, how dare I act "like a bleeding patriot."

    This is as much an opportunity to respond to Fred as it is to make a point in general.

    First off, I don't make a big thing of wearing a pin. It is, after all, just a pin. But it's a powerful symbol for me. It represents a country that lets me do what I like to do, in an environment in which I'm free to do it.

    (Cue swelling patriotic music....)

    Fred, I don't take issue with people who do not wear flag pins, so why should you take issue with those who do? You go on to claim in your letter that my patriotic bias shows through again and again. You're right there, because I do like it here. I like the opportunities this country affords me, all made possible by people who made big sacrifices before me.

    You say that I cannot salute because I haven't served. I strongly disagree, because you see, Fred, you don't have to march in the parade to proudly wave and honor those who do. You don't have to give blood for your country to never forget those who did that and much more for your country.

    (Bring up sound of Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing the Battle Hymn of the Republic...)

    Frankly I'm sick and tired of journalists who prefer to honor a profession more than the country that makes that profession possible. I believe strongly, Fred, that you can be a good journalist and a good American at the same time. The two are not mutually exclusive.

    I ask just as penetrating questions and probe just as critical issues. But I do so with a firm appreciation of the place from which I'm doing it . . . the United States of America. You're right, Fred, I didn't serve this country. But I do love this country. I'm the son of a World War II veteran who fought to make sure I could enjoy the good life I do today. I'd much sooner salute that generation than cavalierly forget that generation.

    ( Images of bombs bursting in air....explosions....backdrop of enormous flag waving slowly in the wind...turn music up to 11....)

    I'd much rather emphasize the good in this country than harp on the bad in this country. All is not perfect here, but I'll tell you this . . . it's a hell of a lot better than almost anywhere else. I believe that, and I report that.

    You're right, Fred. That makes me biased. I'd much sooner look at those who serve my country and say "thank you" than "screw you." They're the reason I'm here. The least I can do is let them know how grateful I am that they are here.

    A pin is a small thing, but for me it's a powerful thing . . . a daily reminder of a country and a system of government that lets me do what I love every day.

    Fred, you call me a cheerleader. You're right. I am. And I'm damn proud of it . . . first as a citizen, then a distant second . . . as a journalist.

    (Crescendo! Jets flying overhead. Twenty-one gun salute. Fireworks over the Statue of Liberty. Little Jon-Jon saluting his father's casket. Fade to Iwo Jima statue. More flags. More music. More everything. Cavuto's potato-head morphs into Uncle Sam....)

    Boy. If that doesn't get you all goosebumpy and nipple-hardened.....

    posted by tbogg at 12:08 AM


    Friday, July 25, 2003


    You know, putting Let The Eagle Soar in heavy rotation just might make these little problems go away

    Clear Channel is having a little Justice Department problem.

    The Justice Department is investigating Clear Channel, the nation's largest radio owner, amid complaints about consolidation and the use of coercive tactics by the company, officials said Friday.

    R. Hewitt Pate, assistant attorney general for antitrust, told a House subcommittee that there is an investigation into Clear Channel. Officials would not disclose any details about the nature of the probe.

    Pate said in a hearing Thursday that the Justice Department had interviewed people that Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., had referred to the agency after they complained of coercive tactics.

    San Antonio-based Clear Channel, which owns 1,200 radio stations, played down the investigation, saying in a statement that the department "has evaluated, on a routine basis, nearly every acquisition that Clear Channel has made and approved each one.

    "When you run a big company, engaging in complex transactions, inquiries of this sort become fairly routine. We are cooperating fully with all DOJ requests and we are confident the DOJ will find, as it has in the past, that our company is managed with the highest degree of integrity."

    Berman wrote the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission in 2002 complaining that consolidation in the entertainment and media industries was hurting recording artists, copyright holders, advertisers and consumers.

    Hopefully they'll look into Clear Channel's flagrant playing of the music of Creed.

    Because Creed sucks.

    A lot.

    posted by tbogg at 10:18 PM



    Training wheels for Paul Bremer

    Looks like the CEO President is having to give a Paul Bremer a helping hand. In this case, the hand belongs to Bush Family consigliore James Baker:

    THE PLAN is being debated as the White House grapples with the enormity of rebuilding the chaotic country. The administration is under pressure to demonstrate progress in order to maintain domestic support for the effort, which is costing the Pentagon about $4 billion a month.

    “We’re confident of long-term success,” a Bush aide said. “We need to show short-term success.”

    As part of the effort, the White House is considering asking several major figures, including former secretary of state James A. Baker III, to take charge of specific tasks such as seeking funds from other countries or restructuring Iraq’s debt. “A lot of different things are being discussed,” a senior administration official said. “Nothing has happened yet.”

    Baker brings exceptional experience to the job of setting up fake governments. The Beltway is still abuzz with the job he did in 2000 of creating the illusion that a certain country with the initials "U S A" still had a representative government. It's a business model that is proving to be popular in some of your finer Third World countries.

    Should he take the job we bid Mr. Baker bon voyage, good luck, don't let the bedbugs bite, and watch out for those RPG's when you're out touring our new colony in your Humvee.

    posted by tbogg at 10:08 PM



    Birds do it. Bees do it. Even educated twits do it.

    We have long made fun of Glenn Reynolds for posting links to unconfirmed stories, or even absurd ones, and then just moving on, nothing to see here. Sometimes it appeared as if he hadn't even read what he was linking to. Now if he were the New York Times or the BBC, we would be treated to diatribes and accusations about their so-called liberal agendas, and then he would pontificate about "New Media", and real time reporting, and blogs, and yadda yadda yadda. Anyway, you get the idea.

    Now it looks like Andrew Sullivan has become the Insta-Sullivan.

    Here is Sullivan on Wednesday:

    CNN AND IRAN: A truly disturbing story, if true. Will CNN confirm? Are they still sucking up to the mullahs?

    Here's Andy today:

    CNN CORRECTS: The media giant sends the following message: "It is entirely untrue that CNN declined to air a video tape purporting to show an attack by agents of the Iranian regime on students in their dormitory. CNN was never offered such a tape, does not know if such a tape exists, does not have an office in Iran and never has."

    Now it's not like Andy was lying in the first post. He was just passing on something that he heard. But, of course, he didn't apologize or take responsibility for it either.

    Weird. It's like he has a role model for something like this. Maybe two.

    posted by tbogg at 1:08 PM



    Lil' lyin' Pryor

    Sam Heldman makes a compelling case for not approving William Pryor. Not that there weren't compelling reasons before, mind you.

    posted by tbogg at 12:31 PM



    "If that's Bush, you gotta put a flight jacket on him"

    Jeff Danziger

    ...and let's not forget Tom Toles.

    posted by tbogg at 11:55 AM



    I want a line, just like the line, that was written by dear old dad.

    Eric Alterman catches William Kristol plagiarizing...his own dad:

    It cannot possibly be a coincidence that William Kristol has chosen to defend President Bush and his slacker war against terrorism by impugning Richard Gephardt with the same phraseology that his father used half a century ago to defend Joe McCarthy. In this morning’s Washington Post, Kristol writes, “But the American people, whatever their doubts about aspects of Bush’s foreign policy, know that Bush is serious about fighting terrorists and terrorist states that mean America harm. About Bush’s Democratic critics, they know no such thing.” In the journal Commentary in 1952, during the McCarthy era, Irving Kristol wrote, “For there is one thing that the American people know about Senator McCarthy; he, like them, is unequivocally anti-Communist. About the spokesman for American liberalism, they feel they know no such thing.”

    Looks like the neocon doesn't fall far from the con.

    posted by tbogg at 8:40 AM


    Thursday, July 24, 2003


    Passing the buck

    Ann Telnaes

    posted by tbogg at 11:57 PM




    If you stuck lumps of carbon in Scott McClellan's sphincter, you could make diamonds by just mentioning the word "Saudis":

    Q Why are you keeping secret the Saudi -- the report on the Saudi role, the role they may have had in connection --

    MR. McCLELLAN: We commend Congress for its hard work on this critical issue. We were pleased to work closely with the joint inquiry on the report. We provided substantial amount of information and documents, direct access to hundreds of intel and law enforcement officials, and worked to make sure as much information as possible could be shared publicly. I think it's nearly 80 percent of the report. Only the most sensitive of national security information, which could potentially compromise the sources and methods or otherwise harm our national security, is not being de-classified.

    Q That wasn't Shelby's assessment, though. Shelby said this morning that it didn't rise to the level of classification and that he suspected it was removed because it would be embarrassing. He didn't say embarrassing to whom, he just said that it might be embarrassing.

    MR. McCLELLAN: I think I described it the way we look at it.

    Q Only the most sensitive of national security information -- that's what you're maintaining has been redacted?

    MR. M cCLELLAN: That's what I just said.

    Q Scott, who's traveling with us today, what lawmakers?

    MR. McCLELLAN: Both senators. Okay.

    Q What if the Saudis were to --

    MR. McCLELLAN: Remember, you know that the President's highest priority is protecting the American people. That is why he's providing strong leadership to win the war on terrorism and make sure we are doing all we can to protect the homeland. I think the horrific and tragic attacks of September 11th made clear in a very vivid way the importance of confronting the new threats we face. And the best way to protect the American people is to go after the terrorists where they are and confront these threats before the killers can carry out their evil acts on innocent civilians. And we are making great progress in winning the war on terrorism. We commend the joint inquiry for the hard work it did in completing this report and we were glad to work -- we were pleased to work closely with them.

    So you don't want to talk about the Saudis, is that it, Scott?

    posted by tbogg at 11:41 PM



    I cannot tell a lie...I'll just omit pertinent facts

    VP Dick Cheney came out of his hidey-hole long enough to, well, try and confuse the issue. But Mike Allen of the WaPo wasn't biting:

    In his speech, Cheney laid out a detailed rationale for the war Bush launched on March 20, quoting at length from declassified sections of a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iraq issued in October. White House officials have cited the NIE as their prime justification for the conflict. Cheney said it would have been "irresponsible in the extreme" to disregard the warnings.

    As part of an effort to rebut criticism that the administration had exaggerated the threat, the White House last Friday released eight pages of excerpts from the intelligence report.

    Cheney quoted some of the declassified passages, saying that Iraq was "continuing, and in some areas expanding, its chemical, biological, nuclear and missile program," and that Iraq "could make a nuclear weapon in months to a year once it acquires sufficient weapons-grade fissile material."

    Although Cheney quoted the report as saying that Iraq, if left unchecked, "probably will have a nuclear weapon during this decade," he did not read the next sentence, which referred to a dissent from the State Department's intelligence experts. They called the assertion "highly dubious."

    Cheney cited a passage that said all key aspects of Iraq's offensive biological weapons program "are active and that most elements are larger and more advanced than they were before the Gulf War." He omitted a qualifier at the start of the passage in which intelligence analysts said they "judge" that to be the case.

    Cheney was then hustled back to his quarters before the sun came up, and tucked into his "bed" lined with soil from his native Wyoming.

    posted by tbogg at 11:19 PM



    Send the case of jelly dongs over to the Senior Center....oh, and
    I think Bishop Jay said he had dibs on the nipple clamps....

    Church Buys Out Adult Store

    A Connecticut church is the new landlord of Video Pleasures.

    The Kingdom Life Christian Church in Milford is buying the building that houses the porn shop. Bishop Jay Ramirez says they'll shut down the adult video store.

    His congregation raised 245-thousand dollars to buy the place.

    Ramirez says that's just the beginning.

    He says the church will be collecting more money to buy-out other porno shops in the community.

    posted by tbogg at 10:50 PM



    We're here, we're queer and we're registered at Crate & Barrel

    Rick Santorums biggest nightmare is slowly coming true:

    Opposition to gay marriage has dropped significantly among Americans in recent years, according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.

    In the poll, 53 percent of respondents said they opposed gay marriages, while 38 percent said they backed them. In 1996 65 percent said they opposed such marriages, while 27 percent favored the idea.

    At this rate one or more of Rick's six kids may be able to bat for the other team someday if their heart so desires. (I have Peter Kenneth Santorum in my office Which One Of Santorum's Kids Will Be Gay pool...go Petey!).

    That would be Rick's second biggest nightmare.

    This is Santorum's third biggest nightmare.

    It's a nightmare we all share.

    posted by tbogg at 10:22 PM



    The Ugly American

    Holy shit!...who the hell let Tom DeLay go to the Middle East?

    Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, never tires of reminding people that he is just a former pest exterminator from Sugar Land, Tex. But beginning this weekend, he will travel to the world's most complex and troubled region, meet with prime ministers, speak to a foreign parliament and, by his presence, remind the Bush administration to pay heed to its right flank as it seeks to make peace.

    As he travels next week through Israel, Jordan and Iraq, he will take with him a message of grave doubt that the Middle East is ready for a Palestinian state, as called for in the current peace plan, known as the road map, backed by the administration and Europe.

    "I'm sure there are some in the administration who are smarter than me, but I can't imagine in the very near future that a Palestinian state could ever happen," he said in an interview today, as he prepared to leave for a weeklong official tour.

    "I can't imagine this president supporting a state of terrorists, a sovereign state of terrorists," he said. "You'd have to change almost an entire generation's culture."


    As an evangelical Christian, he is the most prominent member in Washington of the Christian Zionist movement, a formidable bloc of conservative Republicans whose support for Israel is based on biblical interpretations, sometimes putting them to the right of Israeli government. His persistent skepticism about Mr. Bush's peace initiative indicates that the president may yet have to wrestle with his right flank in pursuing a plan that ultimately calls for a Palestinian state.

    Like we don't have enough trouble over there. The mind boggles....

    posted by tbogg at 10:02 PM



    Bobo on the editorial page

    According to Drudge ( I know) the New York Times will be adding Weekly Standard Senior Editor David Brooks to its editorial stable.

    David Brooks named an Op-Ed page columnist for The NY Times. His column will appear twice a week beginning in early September...

    Meaning that the NY Times is following in the steps of MSNBC by hiring a conservative in a faded effort shed the false stigma of being "liberal". Brooks is a broadbrush painter who thinks he's a pointillist, wheeling out easy targets ike Noam Chomsky and Jane Fonda (!) to liven up his strawman dances.

    Frances FitzGerald recently wrote a long essay in the New York Review of Books headlined on the cover "Bush and War." In the piece FitzGerald portrays the Bush foreign policy team as a coterie of superhawks driven by a fierce ideological desire to act unilaterally. This unilateralism leads the Bush advisers, FitzGerald asserts, to see or invent enemies, such as Saddam Hussein. "If one decides to go it alone without allies or reliance on the rule of law, it is natural to see danger abroad."

    If you are a writer setting out to evaluate the Bush foreign policy team and its longstanding worries about Saddam, it would seem reasonable to measure whether or not those fears are justified or exaggerated. This is Journalism, or Scholarship, 101. But this is the question FitzGerald cannot ask, because that would require her to enter the forbidden territory of Saddam himself. FitzGerald raises the possibility that war against Saddam might lead to a Palestinian revolt in Jordan, oil shortages, and terrorist attacks. She mentions the daunting cost and scope of an American occupation of Iraq. She approvingly quotes Brent Scowcroft's warning that taking action against Saddam would inflame the Arab world and destroy the coalition that we need to wage war on al Qaeda. But what of the risks of doing nothing? This issue she does not touch. This is the issue that must remain shrouded in the fog of peace.

    FitzGerald, of course, won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer prize for her classic Fire in the Lake: The Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam. Brooks is famous for Bobos In Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There, a gawking, finger-pointing study of a class that he yearns to be a part of. Imagine a more political Dominick Dunne and you get the idea.

    So it looks like Brooks gets called up to "the show" while a crushed Andrew Sullivan weeps into his latte. Always a bridesmaid......

    posted by tbogg at 9:50 PM



    A simple "No thanks, I don't want the job" would have sufficed

    New Mexico oilman Colin R. McMillan, nominated by President Bush to be Navy secretary, has died, the Pentagon said Thursday.

    Bush submitted McMillan's nomination to the Senate in May to fill a post left vacant since January, when Gordon England left to become deputy secretary of the new Homeland Security Department. Hansford T. Johnson has served as acting secretary since February 7.

    A Pentagon spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed McMillan's death but had no details of when or where he died.

    McMillan, 67 at the time of his nomination in May, lived in Roswell, New Mexico. He ran Permian Exploration Corp., and was chairman of Bush's New Mexico presidential campaign in 2000.

    McMillan is expected to be buried in New Mexico after which, in about a thousand years, he will be pumped back to the surface as light sweet crude, eventually becoming 94 octane.

    posted by tbogg at 7:57 PM



    "Things were different my first summer in New York."

    Honestly, I don't remember where I found this article, but I bookmarked it for later, loved it, and now you should go read it

    posted by tbogg at 4:04 PM



    I've got nothing to say today....

    Maybe tonight.

    posted by tbogg at 1:26 PM


    Wednesday, July 23, 2003


    Bitchslapped by reality

    Sullivan promoting fellow Orwell wannabe, Christopher "Oh Bugger. I Think I Just Shat Myself...Again" Hitchens:

    QUOTE OF THE DAY: "And on the al-Qaida link, it seems to me [the press] are just not doing their job at all. There are innumerable links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida that have been demonstrated very many times. And now every broadcast and every utterance by the Ba'ath Party is as if it was written by Osama bin Laden, and half the fighters in Iraq, half the bandits there, are imported from outside jihad forces. This relationship did not begin yesterday. They are, in effect, now a fusion of those who believe in the one party and those who believe in the one-God state.

    From Talking Points Memo:

    According to a story just hitting the wires by UPI's Shaun Waterman, the report from the joint congressional 9/11 inquiry, which will be released tomorrow, concludes not only that Iraq had no connection with the 9/11 attacks but that there was no evidence for any Iraq-al-Qaida connection.

    Some interesting tidbits ...

    Former Democratic Georgia Sen. Max Cleland, who was a member of the joint congressional committee that produced the report, confirmed the official's statement.
    Asked whether he believed the report will reveal that there was no connection between al-Qaida and Iraq, Cleland replied: "I do ... There's no connection, and that's been confirmed by some of (al-Qaida leader Osama) bin Laden's terrorist followers."


    "The administration sold the connection (between Iraq and al-Qaida) to scare the pants off the American people and justify the war," said Cleland. "What you've seen here is the manipulation of intelligence for political ends."

    Whoops. Look like that "Quote of the Day" is swirling down the crapper faster than Hitch's career.

    I wonder what the real journalists are doing tonight.....

    posted by tbogg at 11:00 PM



    "letting a tomboy rapscallion exult in perfect freedom"

    If a Freeper could blog, what kind of blog would a freeper blog? Or something like that.

    I uncovered a thread over in the Land That Darwin Forgot titled "Bloggers. Add yourself to the Free Republic Blog Directory.". Who could pass up good fun like that?

    Here's a sample from Freeper Cathryn Crawford, who fancies herself a bit of the fiction spinner:

    Annabella McKee shrieked with laughter and leaned way, way out on her pink and green stallion.

    "Get back, get back, doofus! You'll fall and die for sure," shouted her father, barely audible over the calliope. The angled mirrors around the ornate carousel center reflected back shards of blond hair, white Mary Janes gripping tiny stirrups on the most wonderful wooden horse at the fair, a daddy torn between letting a tomboy rapscallion exult in perfect freedom and intruding on her ecstasy for safety's sake.

    Wilson McKee and Annabella hadn't really turned loose since Rachel died. But now that Rebecca, Rachel's sister, had come to help with Annabella until Wilson could get his life back together, there was laughter in the house again. Sometimes, even, there was singing. But never like it used to be. Rebecca wasn't sure she wanted there to be. A lifetime, it seemed, of torch singing, climbing the ladder, paying the dues, learning the ropes, came to little when Jack left her.

    Jack Aikman was a producer for Capitol records with an eye for talent who took Rebecca under his wing, dropping her when the next best thing came along. A few years of depression, booze, and recriminations from those Rebecca stepped on on her way up left her a career of ashes and regret. Maybe Rachel was the lucky one, she sometimes thought. The worst thing that can happen to you is to die, and Rachel has got that out of the way already. But Annabella... Annabella has something in her voice. Something very strange.

    As the years passed, Annabella grew to think of her aunt as her mother. Wilson moved into the international division of Lamdox Limited, a job that took him away from home for much longer absences than he wanted, leaving him burdened with knowledge that he was shirking the part of his life that actually mattered for the part that merely kept him busy.

    Sooner or later, it had to happen, and it did.


    I'm speechless.

    Okay. No I'm not. But I'll let my buddy Joe take it from here:

    Did he live his life again in every detail of desire, temptation, and surrender during that supreme moment of complete knowledge? He cried in a whisper at some image, at some vision- he cried out twice, a cry that was no more than a breath--
    "'The horror! The horror!"

    posted by tbogg at 10:41 PM



    The lame leading the pathetic

    Dumb-ass radio talk show host (are there any other kind?) Tom Leykis has taken it upon himself to broadcast the name of the young woman who claims she was raped by Kobe Bryant.

    Meanwhile Tom Leykis, host of a radio talk-show based in Los Angeles and aimed mostly at young men, began using her name on the air and told Reuters that he has no plans to stop.

    "We're told that rape is violence, not sex, and if that's true there's no reason she should feel shame or embarrassment," Leykis said, adding that he felt it unfair to name Bryant but not his accuser.

    The talk-show host, who is heard on 60 stations across the country, also said he did not believe the woman's claims. He said he believes the woman was seeking attention and money and that Bryant could be the "real victim" in the case.

    Which leads to the question: What the hell is a Tom Leykis? This is Tom Leykis. And here is a little bit about this useless flap of skin attached to a similarly useless but much smaller flap of skin:

    Equally provocative is his "Leykis 101." An unapologetic primer to help men get laid with minimum effort, its "rules" - a retort to the women's self-help guide - include Never spend a lot of money impressing her on the first date, Stop seeing her if you don't get laid by the third date, and Never date single mothers. Like Flash Fridays this, too, began innocently enough, with Leykis lecturing a staff member about his love life. While most male listeners have welcomed "Leykis 101" like manna from heaven, many women see it as the Black Plague. On "Politically Incorrect" in February 1999, Leykis defended his position amid a hostile group of female panelists: "We don't fall in love with you until we get some tail!...If you think that we hear a word you say before we get in your panties, let me tell you something, we don't!"

    Wait a minute. This manatee* has a love life? He gives dating advice? To whom?

    Oh. Studboys like this: The Tom Leykis Rohypnol Posse.

    It all makes sense now.

    * My apologies to the lovable manatees.

    posted by tbogg at 10:12 PM



    He's no Ari, that's for sure.

    New Presidential Lying Weasel, Scott McClellan, is proving to be...hmmmmmm......(think! think!...someone incompetent...out of their depth....not ready for prime time....Ooooo! I know! I know!) the George W Bush of Press Secretaries:

    Asked again yesterday whether Bush should ultimately be held accountable for what he says, White House press secretary Scott McClellan told reporters, "Let's talk about what's most important. That's the war on terrorism, winning the war on terrorism. And the best way you do that is to go after the threats where they gather, not to let them come to our shore before it's too late."


    I think the Washington Post printed that little bit of ineffectualness in authentic McClellan flop-sweat.

    With the shitstorm still to come (see here) the White House Press is going to have Scottie-boy for lunch.

    posted by tbogg at 9:44 PM



    400-21...good thing Powell hit those three extra points

    What an ass-kicking. Michael Powell won't be able to sit down for a month.

    The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed legislation today to block a new rule supported by the Bush administration that would permit the nation's largest television networks to grow bigger by owning more stations.

    The vote, which was 400 to 21, sets the stage for a rare confrontation between the Republican-controlled Congress and the White House, because there is strong support in the Senate for similar measures, which seek to roll back last month's decision by the Federal Communications Commission to raise the limit on the number of television stations a network can own. The F.C.C. has ruled that a single company can own television stations reaching 45 percent of the nation's households, but the House measure would return the ownership cap to 35 percent.

    Looks kinda veto proof, don'cha think?

    posted by tbogg at 9:22 PM



    Lots of new links on the left. No, really. They're over on the left...
    over here.

    Just added:
    Charles Murtaugh
    Elayne Riggs
    Ain't No Bad Dude Which has that cool fade-in thingy.
    Liberal Oasis
    Mark Kleiman (Hah! Got his name right, finally!)
    Nathan Newman
    Skippy the Bush Kangaroo
    The Talent Show

    Click and learn...

    posted by tbogg at 9:14 PM



    "I'd do a drunken crawl through a packed gay bar to see The Passion"- Laura Ingraham

    Leah over at Eschaton points out to us this quote regarding Mel Gibson's new movie The Passion: Beyond Thunderdome:

    Another invitee, right-wing radio host Laura Ingraham, flew here from San Francisco to see the film but arrived too late and missed it. "I'm so bummed," Ingraham told us. "I want to see any movie that drives the anti-Christian entertainment elite crazy."

    I wonder if Laura used to feel that way back in her fag-hag days?:

    One night, after downing several cocktails and snorting an unidentifiable white powder an acquaintance had given me – which turned out to be the cat tranquilizer Ketamine – I was sick in the bathroom for several hours trying to get my bearings as Laura [Ingraham], in a drunken stupor, crawled through the packed two-story dance club on her hands and knees looking for me. Her purse had been locked in my car trunk, causing her to call a friend in the wee hours of the morning to rescue her. In the meantime, she had managed to leave me a series of violent messages, threatening to "break every window in my house" if I didn’t return the keys immediately.

    But then , that was back before Laura became a 'blond, bland, middle-class Republican wife'....

    posted by tbogg at 2:21 PM



    What Would Ann Eat

    The National Review which prides itself as being...well, I'm sure it's proud of something...anyway, we're supposed to take it seriously, I suppose. So what are we to make of guest columns like this?

    So, I'm barreling down I-95, on a 200-mile excursion, when yellow arches loom on the horizon, and I instinctively tap the brakes.

    I have four kids, see, from 10 months to 10 years, and long car trips with them require multiple McFlurries. But this time, I'm traveling alone and have no good reason to stop. But I really, really want an ice-cream cone.

    Then, from out of the blue, it hits me: WWACD?

    What would Ann Coulter do?

    Now, my husband and I, we're Catholic, and therefore not "What Would Jesus Do?" kind of people. I only occasionally encounter the phrase while idling behind aging minivans at busy traffic lights. (It's a cultural thing.)

    But it's apparently seeped into my consciousness, as has the radiant visage of Ann Coulter, who is now — hair shining and teeth gleaming — flitting around my peripheral vision, like the proverbial tiny angel and devil dueling from opposite shoulders.

    The arches beckon. The exit is here. What would Ann Coulter do? I look away resolutely and drive on.

    Later, stomach growling, it occurs to me that I have hit upon a new and exciting weight-reducing plan, one that will rapidly dispatch my marshmallow tummy and propel me to diet-book fame. The South Beach Diet will be toast soon. It's time for the Ann Coulter/Strom Thurmond Diet, based on two principles: WWACE, and an egg.

    The Ann Coulter part is self-evident. Dieters on my plan will receive a WWACE lapel pin or beaded bracelet, and when it's time to eat, they'll simply ask the question, "What Would Ann Coulter Eat?"

    The answer, of course, most of the time will be "Nothing!"

    No, Ann Coulter won't eat that McDonald's cone! No, she won't eat fried shrimp! No, she won't eat a slice of the birthday cake (butter-recipe yellow, with white frosting) that my grandmother just lovingly prepared!

    Ann Coulter weighs maybe 90 pounds soaking wet. As far as I can tell, she eats only celery and flaxseeds. But it is a finely constructed 90 pounds, and I aspire to look like her. In this society of guiltless consumption — created, I think, by the recent decline in stern nuns — the specter of Ann Coulter inspecting our dietary choices can only do us, as a nation, some good.

    Actually the Ann Coulter Diet is simpler than most people suspect.

    posted by tbogg at 2:01 PM



    America 11, Bush 0

    According to today's paper, it appears that, even in conservative San Diego, people think that Bush Lied.

    While there are many differences between this conflict and the Vietnam War, there is the same cold calculus at work. How many Americans in black body bags will it take before people in this country are willing to ask the hard questions? How many lies and distortions will have to be uncovered before the editors of this newspaper and others begin to question the legitimacy and necessity of this war?

    Those of us who have tried to ask these questions for months are waiting. While this wait is excruciatingly painful for us, it is deadly for the men and women this administration has recklessly put in harm's way.

    How long will it take before we realize that this administration has shamelessly manipulated this country's anger over 9/11 and plunged us into a war that will neither leave us more secure nor liberate the people of Iraq?

    posted by tbogg at 12:08 PM



    Who knew conservatives were so....complex.

    I enjoyed reading this.

    Politically conservative agendas may range from supporting the Vietnam War to upholding traditional moral and religious values to opposing welfare. But are there consistent underlying motivations?

    Four researchers who culled through 50 years of research literature about the psychology of conservatism report that at the core of political conservatism is the resistance to change and a tolerance for inequality, and that some of the common psychological factors linked to political conservatism include:

    Fear and aggression

    Dogmatism and intolerance of ambiguity

    Uncertainty avoidance

    Need for cognitive closure

    Terror management

    "From our perspective, these psychological factors are capable of contributing to the adoption of conservative ideological contents, either independently or in combination," the researchers wrote in an article, "Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition," recently published in the American Psychological Association's Psychological Bulletin.

    I suggest some type of therapy...possibly using a Skinner box.

    (Added:) Greg at The Talent Show has a few things to add,

    posted by tbogg at 11:55 AM



    No wonder Jenna and the other one drink....

    I had the
    chance to hear President
    George W.
    Bush give his Rose Garden
    speech on the
    radio this morning on my
    way to work. I
    still haven't figured out why he
    talks this way, but I'm
    guessing that Laura
    made him read e.
    e. cummings, or something like

    Either way, he is
    the worst public speaker I
    have ever

    posted by tbogg at 10:13 AM



    Peace through genocide

    Why would President George W Bush appoint a man who said this:

    "How is a change of heart achieved? It is achieved by an Israeli victory and a Palestinian defeat," Pipes continued. "The Palestinians need to be defeated even more than Israel needs to defeat them."

    to a Congressionally sponsored think tank whose mission is:

    to promote the prevention, management, and peaceful resolution of international conflicts.?

    Maybe Bush doesn't know that he nominated Pipes. Maybe, just like his State of the Union speech, his keepers just put the words in front of him and then pray that he pronounces them correctly. That would explain so much.

    posted by tbogg at 10:07 AM



    Perjury is cool with us

    No link yet, but the Senate Judiciary Comittee just approved Lyin' Billy Pryor on straight party line vote.

    Time to contact your Senator about another filibuster.

    posted by tbogg at 9:43 AM



    Playing Calvinball with Orrin

    Tapped points out that Orrin Hatch just changes the rules to fit his daily psychosis:

    GOING PRE-NUCLEAR. Orrin Hatch, breaking with a Senate tradition that he and other Republicans gleefully made use of when President Clinton was in office, is scheduling hearings for four of President Bush's nominees to the federal bench over the objections of Michigan's two Democratic senators. This is important because the nominees are being appointed to Michigan district courts or from Michigan to the Sixth Circuit, which includes Michigan. In both scenarios, the home-state senators have traditionally each been allowed to place indefininite holds, known as "blue slips," over the nominees. When Bush became president, Hatch summarily changed the rule to require opposition from both home-state senators. And now he's changing it again to say that neither senator will have that privilege.

    posted by tbogg at 9:40 AM



    Tbogg saves.

    Jesus saved your immortal soul. I'm saving you eight bucks. Go here and you won't have to go see Mel Gibson's new Passion movie.

    You can thank me later.

    posted by tbogg at 12:01 AM


    Tuesday, July 22, 2003


    Nevermind the bollocks perjury, here come the Whiny Senators

    William Pryor perjured his Christian ass off in testimony, and four Republican Senators want to change the subject:

    The integrity and credibility of the United States Senate and the judicial confirmation process cannot remain under this cloud for long without suffering serious damage. Accordingly, we ask that you open a formal committee investigation (or request an investigation by some other appropriate entity) to determine how these documents came into the possession of this committee, and to report any findings of criminal activity, including any such activity by any individual employed by the United States Senate, to the appropriate law enforcement authorities. Nothing less than the reputation of the Senate is at stake.

    At what point does Pryor go on TV and call this a "high-tech crucifixion"?

    posted by tbogg at 11:07 PM



    Trampled underfoot

    Mark Kleiman shows that the Bush administration will stop at nothing to defend their lies, even exposing one of our spies and the people that she has come in contact with.

    It's official: the Bush Administration deliberately blew the cover of a secret agent who had been gathering information on weapons of mass destruction, endangering the lives of her sources and damaging our ability to collect crucial intelligence. (And, not incidentally, committing a very serious crime.) The apparent motive: revenge on Joseph Wilson, her husband, for going public with the story of his mission to Niger, which blew a hole in the Yellowcake Road story.

    You really need to read this...and write a letter to your local paper asking for hearings.

    (thanks to Jo Fish at DemVet for sending me the link)

    posted by tbogg at 10:54 PM



    We're all about 'sanctity of life not 'quality of life'....

    Paying too much for much needed drugs? Lou Sheldon says too goddam bad, we got zygotes to protect you big whiny baby:

    A Christian lobbying group fighting the proposed importation of low-cost prescription drugs has received behind-the-scenes help from the drug industry, the latest example of pharmaceutical companies trying to influence Congress clandestinely.

    The Traditional Values Coalition, which bills itself as a Christian advocacy group representing 43,000 churches, has mailed to the districts of several conservative House Republicans this sharply disputed warning: Legislation to allow the importation of U.S.-made pharmaceuticals from Canada and Europe might make RU-486, called the "abortion pill," as easy to get as aspirin.

    The Traditional Values Coalition (TVC) portrays its campaign as a moral fight for the "sanctity of life." Documents provided to The Washington Post, however, show that drug lobbyists played a key role in crafting its argument and in disseminating the information to lawmakers. Pharmaceutical companies oppose the legislation -- which would legalize the reimportation of U.S.-made prescription drugs that sell for less in Canada than in the United States -- not over abortion but because it would erode their profits.


    A recent TVC letter sent to Congress was signed by the coalition's executive director, Andrea Sheldon Lafferty. It was originally drafted, however, by Tony Rudy, a lobbyist for pharmaceutical companies and a former top aide to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), computer records show. Lafferty also circulated a memo -- linking the legislation to RU-486's availability -- that was drafted by Bruce Kuhlik, a senior vice president at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), a trade group funded by the nation's biggest pharmaceutical firms.

    A Republican close to TVC said Rudy also helped arrange funding for the group's direct-mail campaign, which targeted nearly two dozen Republicans even though they generally oppose abortion rights. Several Republicans said pharmaceutical companies, through their lobbyists, contacted other conservative groups, including the Christian Coalition, about waging a similar campaign against the reimportation measure. The Traditional Values Coalition was the only taker because several abortion opponents questioned the accuracy of the drug industry's argument, according to lawmakers and conservative activists.


    House Republicans were so offended by the mailings that they recently barred the TVC and its leader, the Rev. Louis P. Sheldon, from attending future meetings of the Values Action Team, an umbrella group of socially conservative Republicans. "We stand united in opposition to the unethical and unacceptable tactics you have employed to force pro-life members of Congress to support your views," Rep. Joseph R. Pitts (R-Pa.) said in a letter to Sheldon.

    Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.), an abortion opponent who was targeted by the TVC mailings, said in an interview: "It makes me so angry I could spit."

    It is unclear who paid for the direct-mail campaign, although several Republicans said drug companies were behind it. Rudy, whose clients include PhRMA and Eli Lilly, declined to comment for this story

    Who knew hating the poor and the sick were "Traditional Values"?

    Here's a fun little tidbit about the Reverend Lou's little crotchfruit, Andrea from the OC Weekly:

    Daughter/trained parrot of the Reverend Lou Sheldon, executive director of the Anaheim-based Traditional Values Coalition. Like daddy, she just loves gays. Loves ’em! She has criticized George W.’s appointment of a miniscule number of gays to executive branch positions as "promotion of the homosexual agenda," and decried a bill allowing gays the chance to adopt children as an attempt by "homosexuals to mainstream their lifestyle . . . and they want to showcase Rosie [O’Donnell], who’s become a household name. It’s no longer just bisexual; it’s transgender." Crazy? You betcha. Mitigating Factor: She’s also nuts about science! Lafferty once told a conservative action group that doctors were using fetal tissue for such mad science as putting "human livers in monkeys to make monkey-humans."


    posted by tbogg at 10:22 PM



    Yeah. There's that guy too...

    According to Drudge:


    Yeah. Cuz we don't care about this guy anymore. You know, the one who masterminded and financed the attack on America.

    Remember that?

    Sullivan doesn't:

    The basic and under-reported news - of slow but measurable progress in Iraq - got a fillip yesterday with the killing of Saddam's two vile sons. Of course, no one but a few crackpots can be anything but thrilled by this news. But the best part of this event is that it focuses us back on what really matters: not quibbles over intelligence lapses months ago, but the war against terror and tyranny now. What happened yesterday will help remove the fear among some Iraqis that the Baathists might return; and so help the reconstruction immeasurably. It's wonderful news. But of course this focus - on our current progress and on how we now move from one success to another - is exactly the kind of topic the anti-war left (and right) want to avoid. It is vital to them that we forget just how evil the Saddam regime was, that we ignore the immeasurably better life Iraqis (and Afghans) now have, that we do not build on this success to take the cause to Iran and Syria and Saudi Arabia. Why? Because all that will merely strengthen Bush and weakening Bush - regardless of its effects on the wider world - is the prime obsession of the antis. And his success will only legitimize the future use of American power and that again is something these types want above all to prevent. Boy, did they love those 16 banal words. How much easier to obsess on that than on the true dangers that confront us in the Middle East, the growing confluence of state terrorism and WMDs, the rise of fanatical Islamo-fascism, and on and on.

    Yeah. When do we start invading Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia? Andy needs more dead Middle Easterners to feel safe.

    Kill them all...let's Andy's God sort them out.


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