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  • Wednesday, March 31, 2004


    You've got to fight...for your right...to ex parte

    Maybe he just wanted to invite him to go duck hunting:

    President Bush's top lawyer placed a telephone call to at least one of the Republican members of the Sept. 11 commission when the panel was gathered in Washington on March 24 to hear the testimony of former White House counterterrorism chief Richard A. Clarke, according to people with direct knowledge of the call.

    White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales called commissioner Fred F. Fielding, one of five GOP members of the body, and, according to one observer, also called Republican commission member James R. Thompson. Rep. Henry A. Waxman, the ranking Democrat on the House Government Reform Committee, wrote to Gonzales yesterday asking him to confirm and describe the conversations.

    Waxman said "it would be unusual if such ex parte contacts occurred" during the hearing. Waxman did not allege that there would be anything illegal in such phone calls. But he suggested that such contacts would be improper because "the conduct of the White House is one of the key issues being investigated by the commission."

    White House spokesmen were unable to get a response from Gonzales.


    Thompson declined yesterday to say whether he spoke with Gonzales. "I never talk about conversations with the White House," he said. Asked about the source of his information for his questioning of Clarke, Thompson said: "I ask my own questions."

    During the commission's 21/2 hours of questioning Clarke, Fielding and Thompson presented evidence questioning the former official's credibility.

    Fielding, a former White House counsel under President Ronald Reagan, raised questions about Clarke's "integrity," and suggested classified testimony he gave a congressional inquiry in 2002 was different from his current version of events.

    Thompson, a former Illinois governor, pointed to Clarke's remarks praising Bush in a previously anonymous 2002 news briefing. It was reported on Fox News two hours before the hearing started; the White House that morning had authorized Fox News to identify the anonymous briefer as Clarke.

    I see the Great White GOP Smear Machine is still hitting on all cylinders....

    posted by tbogg at 11:54 PM



    Getting home late...reading the headlines

    Everything you need to now about Operation Inigo Montoya without actually reading the articles. From the Washington Post home page:

    Mob Unleashed Its Rage
    Witnesses to Fallujah rampage say slain Americans were treated "like slaughtered sheep." – Sewell Chan

    U.S. Civilians Mutilated In Iraq Attack

    White House: Iraq Showing Progress

    I'm not sure how much more "progress" we can stand...

    posted by tbogg at 11:48 PM



    Yeah. Like you need another blog to read.

    But it's a good one.

    posted by tbogg at 11:21 PM


    Tuesday, March 30, 2004


    Fashion 911

    Ms. Laura's dress from Anselma's Brocaderia: For Fabrics Too Ugly For A Couch.

    Blame it on the Clinton's for stealing all the White House mirrors.

    On the other hand, she is starting to appear more lifelike....

    posted by tbogg at 11:17 PM



    What will we tell the poppets?

    Alert reader Sean points out this little blast from the past from Ameica's Worst Mother™:

    "Molly, did you know that when Saddam Hussein ran Iraq, there was one newspaper and it said only what he wanted it to say?" I tell her, "And did you know that now, during the Occupation That Silences Everyone, there are more than 50 newspapers in Baghdad alone?"

    Upon hearing the recent news, daughter Crumpet has yet to come out of her room and refuses to eat her steak and kidney pie, while son Fiver flips desolately through his copy of Boys Life, scarcely able to muster a weak smile over the latest in Think & Grin.

    posted by tbogg at 11:08 PM



    Liberal radio....

    Julia has the stations. How the hell did the Inland Empire get it and not San Diego?

    Oh. I forgot. We're a little conservative Navy town.

    posted by tbogg at 10:55 PM



    Flipping and flopping out of the primordial ooze...

    Wow. Even CNN is jumping on President Which Way Are The Polls Blowing:

    Some previous Bush reversals in the face of criticism:

    He argued a federal Department of Homeland Security wasn't needed, then devised a plan to create one.

    He resisted a commission to investigate Iraq intelligence failures, but then relented.

    He also initially opposed the creation of the independent commission to examine if the 2001 attacks could have been prevented, before getting behind the idea under pressure from victims' families.

    He opposed, and then supported, a two-month extension of the commission's work, after the panel said protracted disputes over access to White House documents left too little time.

    He at first said any access to the president by the commission would be limited to just one hour but relaxed the limit earlier this month.

    His supporters will say he is just "evolving". Or, in his case, "creationing".....

    posted by tbogg at 10:52 PM



    The last honest journalist...

    How sad that this is refreshing:

    In the wake of Richard Clarke's dramatic personal apology to the families of 9/11 victims last week -- on behalf of himself and his government -- for failing to prevent the terrorist attacks, one might expect at least a few mea culpas related to the release of false information on the Iraq threat before and after the war.

    This has not happened so far, with President Bush on Wednesday going so far as to joke about the missing weapons of mass destruction at a correspondents dinner in Washington.

    While the major media, from The New York Times on down, has largely remained silent about their own failings in this area, a young columnist for a small paper in Fredericksburg, Va., has stepped forward.

    "The media are finished with their big blowouts on the anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, and there is one thing they forgot to say: We're sorry," Rick Mercier wrote, in a column published Sunday in The Free Lance-Star.

    "Sorry we let unsubstantiated claims drive our coverage. Sorry we were dismissive of experts who disputed White House charges against Iraq. Sorry we let a band of self-serving Iraqi defectors make fools of us. Sorry we fell for Colin Powell's performance at the United Nations. Sorry we couldn't bring ourselves to hold the administration's feet to the fire before the war, when it really mattered.

    "Maybe we'll do a better job next war."

    Mercier admitted that it was "absurd to receive this apology from a person so low in the media hierarchy. You really ought to be getting it from the editors and reporters at the agenda-setting publications, such as The New York Times and The Washington Post."

    posted by tbogg at 8:11 AM



    The reviews are in...

    World O'Crap has the goods on Karen Hughes new book: Walk A Mile in My Size 14EEE's.

    posted by tbogg at 8:07 AM


    Monday, March 29, 2004


    Have a beer. Rap is evil. Can I get you another beer? Gangsta rap is dangerous. One more for the road?

    Bill O'Reilly, who hopes he dies before he becomes a minority, still has a hard-on about rapper Ludacris and he managed to find Abe Gustin, who owns "19 restaurants and 26 convenience stores throughout the USA" to talk about dropping Anheuser-Busch from his establishments to protest AB's affiliation with the "gangster rapper" (a genre description rarely heard these days except in conversation with older white people who really miss Journey). Of course, Mr. Gustin didn't make his decision to drop Budweiser and it's beer brothers lightly. He talked to his priest about it first:

    ABE GUSTIN, RESTAURANT OWNER: Well, I've had a marvelous association with Anheuser-Busch for about 16 years. And about three or four weeks ago, I don't recall what the exact date was, I was watching your show, Bill, and saw the segment on Anheuser-Busch's sponsorship.

    And I talked to a few friends about it, actually talked to a good priest about it that was a friend of mine. And said, you know, why doesn't the Catholic church get involved in stopping all this? He said well, what are you going to do? And I said well it's my intention to pull the products out of my restaurants. We have 19 restaurants. Three we're in partnerships with. And my son and I - my two sons and I own the other 16 restaurants, which 12 happen to be Applebee's.

    So I decided after listening to this priest, that was a friend of mine, and he actual got on the pulpit and said, you know, someone has to take a stand against what corporate America is doing. And he said I've got a very good friend that is taking that stand. And he's removing their products from his restaurants tomorrow.

    Well, it so happened there was a gentleman in his audience that was with the news media. And he called me and he said I don't believe you're doing this. And I said well, this is one man's approach that -- at trying to speak up for the little man in America, that's finally gotten tired of this. And I just felt somebody had to stand up and take a stance and say we're tired of corporate America sponsoring immorality...

    O'REILLY: Yes, I mean we...

    GUSTIN: ...we're tired of Hollywood...

    Gustin failed to mention whether he and his priest buddy discussed Coors or Miller Lite. (Warning: very cool pictures that Sister Mary Margaret might not approve of)

    Thank the imaginary deity of your choice that they don't use "gangsta rappers"....

    posted by tbogg at 11:12 PM



    Why they never get laid....

    Not to be an anti-intellectual or anything but, let's say you're at a party, wouldn't you slowly move over towards the guys discussing which bar has the best hot wings if someone brought this up?

    Just look at the conservative blogosphere. There's all sorts of stuff about Burke, Hayek, von Mises, Oakeshott, Kirk, Buckley, Strauss, Meyer, the Southern Agrarians, et al. I can't think of a single editor or contributing editor of National Review who can't speak intelligently about the intellectual titans of conservatism going back generations. I'm not saying everybody's an expert, but I think everybody's made at least the minimal effort to understand their intellectual lineage and I think that's reflected in conservative writing, for good and for ill. I would guess that the same hold true about the gang over at Reason.

    I just don't get the sense that's true of most liberal journalists. When was the last time you saw more than a passing reference to Herbert Croly? When was the last time you read an article or blog posting where a liberal asked "What would Charles Beard think of this?"

    And Jonah wonders why he used to get his ass kicked everyday in middle school....

    posted by tbogg at 10:06 PM



    Why I don't let the Pentagon negotiate car purchases for me....

    Your tax dollars being frittered away:

    The Air Force gave the Boeing Co. five months to rewrite the official specifications for 100 aerial refueling tankers so that the company's 767 aircraft would win a $23.5 billion deal, according to e-mails and documents obtained by Knight Ridder.

    In the process, Boeing eliminated 19 of the 26 capabilities the Air Force originally wanted, and the Air Force acquiesced in order to keep the price down.

    The Air Force then gave Boeing competitor Airbus 12 days to bid on the project and awarded the contract to Boeing even though Airbus met more than 20 of the original 26 specifications and offered a price that was $10 billion less than Boeing's.

    The Boeing tanker deal has been under investigation since it became public two and a half years ago and has been suspended pending the outcome of the probes.

    But the e-mails and other documents show just how intent the Air Force was on steering the deal to Boeing, even though Airbus' tankers were more capable and cost less.

    In one document, Bob Gower, Boeing's vice president for tankers, noted that one objective in rewriting the specifications was to "prevent an AoA from being conducted." "AoA" stands for "analysis of alternatives" or, in essence, a look at serious competitors.

    Among the original Air Force requirements Boeing eliminated was that the new tanker be equipped to refuel all the military services' aircraft, refuel multiple aircraft simultaneously, and carry passengers, wounded troops and cargo. Boeing also eliminated an Air Force requirement that the new tankers be at least as effective and efficient as the 40-year-old KC-135 tankers they would replace.

    Why does the Air Force hate America?

    (Thanks to Rich P.)

    posted by tbogg at 9:42 PM



    Where's a laugh-track when you need one?

    I guess I should have mentioned the viewer letters on Sixty Minutes last night, in particular the one that Lesley Stahl read from a woman who wondered why Sixty Minutes couldn't be "fair and balanced like Fox News".

    The writers of Everyone Loves Raymond should be that funny....

    posted by tbogg at 9:39 PM



    White and dead like me


    posted by tbogg at 7:45 AM


    Sunday, March 28, 2004


    BS detectors going off all over the goddam place....

    A couple of days ago:

    I could be wrong, obviously, but I have feeling this guy is as ephemeral as a moth. He’ll be a footnote in two weeks and his book will be consigned to the remainder bins.

    I’m sorry if this is a flip and lazy response. It is. I know it is. But the man hasn’t demonstrated he’s worth my time. He seems to me an arrogant self-aggrandizing phony.

    Two days later:

    Mark Steyn zeroes in on exactly what it is about Richard Clarke that bugs me.

    No, it's not because he's criticizing pre-911 anti-terrorism failures. That's what he's supposed to do. Obviously there's plenty of blame to go around. Neither the Bush nor the Clinton Administrations did a particularly bang-up job, although I'm willing to give both of them a pass for mistakes made before that dreadful date for the same reason I don't blame FDR or Herbert Hoover for Pearl Harbor.

    It's this kind of nonsense that's makes it hard for me to take the guy seriously.

    The media were very taken by this passage from his book, in which he alerts Mr Bush's incoming National Security Adviser to the terrorist threat: "As I briefed Rice on al-Qa'eda, her facial expression gave me the impression that she had never heard of the term before, so I added, 'Most people think of it as Osama bin Laden's group, but it's much more than that. It's a network of affiliated terrorist organisations with cells in over 50 countries, including the US.' "

    Now, when I heard that Clarke had said that, every BS-detector in my head went off. Turns out my instincts were sound.

    Clarke getting the impression that Rice wasn't familiar with al-Qa'eda from her facial expressions is "BS".

    Totten getting the impression that Clarke is an "arrogant self-aggrandizing phony" is perceptive analysis.

    Or..maybe that's bullshit too...making it kind of hard to take the guy seriously.

    posted by tbogg at 11:39 PM



    Hookers...we need lots of hookers

    The Republican Convention is coming up and that can only mean one thing...their quadrennial encounter with sex:

    Washington's power players are looking to show heartland delegates a good time at the Republican National Convention in New York City this summer, but it seems the Beltway insiders need a primer of their own about the city's trendiest spots.

    To help them plan the perfect parties, two D.C. insiders have brought down representatives from Manhattan-based Saxton Group/A-List Strategic (search) to meet with the would-be hosts and offer some advice about where to go and what to do in the Big Apple.

    "[Lobbyists] know Washington, and they know it well, but can't come into a new city, responsible for an entire company's presence at the convention and not be prepared," said GOP media consultant Monty Warner. "I don't think people realize how close it's coming on."


    "We know where all of the A-lists hotspots in New York are, we know the things about the city that lobbyists, lawmakers and others outside of New York aren't going to know," said O'Sullivan, whose group met with 75 lobbyists in Washington, D.C., earlier this month to help them get organized.

    "We provide the city landscape, we know who the players are. We know the things that lawmakers and lobbyists outside of New York aren't going to know," he said.

    O'Sullivan's firm will craft a guest list of "must" invites for a successful New York soiree. It will also handle decisions on locations, security, transportation, invitations, public relations and even servers.

    "From soup to nuts," O'Sullivan said. "We're in the middle of proposing a bunch of things for people who have hired us to do what we know how to do, and that's how to make a big splash."

    Some Republicans admit that their reputation as stiff and formal may make it more difficult to launch a successful event in Manhattan, especially coming from the Capitol, which is known as the base of political power and influence, but criticized as parochial and uptight.

    "It's a different animal -- you go outside the Beltway and don't know what is going on," said Republican pollster Jim McLaughlin, who is based just outside of New York City. But that doesn't mean they don't know a good time when they see it.

    "I was a young Republican once. The joke was we date Democrats but marry Republicans," he said.

    Keelan added that while millions of dollars will be pumped into the main event, the companies and associations holding the hundreds of sideshows and parties are there to make an impression and are counting on their events to succeed.

    "You could end up with a lot of egg on your face," he said.

    So, you see, there's something for everybody...even Matt Drudge.

    posted by tbogg at 11:06 PM



    Everyone else sucks.

    Look who popped out of the bunker:

    On how the Bush White House viewed the Clinton team's approach to terrorism:
    There was the sense that they hadn't handled it very well.

    On Clarke:
    He's taken advantage of the circumstances this week to promote himself and his book. I don't know the guy that well. I have had some dealings with him over the years, but judging based on what I've seen, I don't hold him in high regard.

    When you think about it, the Bush Administration has done a bang-up job of handling terrorism with the exception of 9/11.

    Just like Captain Edward J Smith did a pretty good job with his boat with the exception of that iceberg.

    posted by tbogg at 9:46 PM



    Jonah and the strap-on

    Wish I had caught this one.

    posted by tbogg at 9:39 PM



    Well, it looks like we've finally established the price...

    In case you're wondering what's the going rate for a dream date with Mickey Kaus and his bag of Kerry attacks:

    Please Go Back on Vacation, Part I: Kerry's back from Idaho, and his campaign's crack "rapid response" team has produced a 100% posturing condemnation of Bush's joke about failing to find WMD's, which Bush made at last night's black-tie broadcast correspondents' dinner. ("'This cheapens the sacrifice that American soldiers and their families are dealing with every single day'" says Kerry's release, quoting an Iraq veteran.)

    I was at the dinner last night as a guest of, yes, FOX News, and I thought Bush's jokes were funny and self-mocking--maybe the closest he's come to actually admitting upfront that he was simply wrong in thinking the WMD's were there.

    I bet they didn't even have to supersize his dinner.

    posted by tbogg at 9:29 PM



    Sorry. You're not ready for democracy just yet. Try us again on Thursday and we'll see...

    Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

    American soldiers shut down a popular Baghdad newspaper on Sunday and tightened chains across the doors after the occupation authorities accused it of printing lies that incited violence.

    Thousands of outraged Iraqis protested the closing as an act of American hypocrisy, laying bare the hostility many feel toward the United States a year after the invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.

    "No, no, America!" and "Where is democracy now?" screamed protesters who hoisted banners and shook clenched fists in a hastily organized rally against the closing of the newspaper, Al Hawza, a radical Shiite weekly.

    The rally drew hundreds and then thousands by nightfall in central Baghdad, where masses of angry Shiite men squared off against a line of American soldiers who rushed to seal off the area.

    posted by tbogg at 9:07 PM



    Condi comments

    Just about every blog (here's some good stuff) is already on Rice's appearance on 60 Minutes tonight (which I found less interesting than the other piece on Freddy Adu which was pretty cool) so I only have a few things to say about the interview.

    I didn't hear Rice say anything that hadn't been said by Scott McClellan during the past week. I don't think she hurt herself, other than her comments that she would like to testify but can't, which is yet another lie, but she didn't help her case either. Having said that, I'd like to change my mind about what I said about Rice the other day when I said I wanted to see her under the lights and testifying under oath.

    I don't want Rice to testify now. I think she does more damage to the Bush Administration by avoiding the 9/11 panel at a time when the Bush re-election strategy is to run on their 9/11 response and the war on terrorism. The more she avoids testifying, the more it looks like they are hiding something. I don't know if they are hiding something (other than incompetence) or not, but it is the appearance of secretiveness that is causing them to take on water.

    Our number one goal is to make this administration go away. We can look into the missteps of 9/11 later.

    Stay in the bunker, Condi.

    posted by tbogg at 9:01 PM


    Saturday, March 27, 2004


    I know that checkstand 3 needs a managers okay, but my country needs me now!

    Thanks to crasspastor, may I introduce you to:

    Justin Darr- Retail manager by day... "political philosopher" by night.

    Oh hell, let's just let Justin introduce himself:

    Justin Darr is a veteran retail manager from the Philadelphia area where he lives with this wife, Erin, twin children Brandon and Brittany, three mice, two cats, and a spoiled dog named Xena. He grew up in rural Western Pennsylvania were he learned the values of hard work, honesty, family, and the downfalls of Liberalism

    Justin is an expert in political philosophy, western world history, and the development of American society. He has worked on various political campaigns at all levels, served as an election official to verify ballot counts, and is a well know "aggressive debater" to all that know him. He is also a fountain of relatively useless knowledge do(sic) to years of University study.

    He considers himself the hottest new conservative writer on the web so book mark this page and you can say you knew him before he was famous! His writing will definitely make you think, probably make you laugh, and possibly p*** you off.

    Okay, I don't want to be cruel (actually I do, but it's almost Sunday and I don't think the Pope would approve) so I will just offer "the hottest new conservative writer" a small piece of advice:

    A bit of anonymity and mystery would go a long way...

    Here's a sample of what "will definitely make you think, probably make you laugh, and possibly p*** you off:

    Well, it is that time of year again. All the little liberal elves are busy in their Berkley workshops trying to find new ways to take all the fun out of the Holidays for normal people.

    For the last two years the Liberal assault has been focused on that red vested oppressor of the masses, Santa.

    Why are Liberals opposed to the Jolly Ole Elf? "Santa lords his wealth over the proletariat by giving gifts out to kids!" "What has Santa done for AIDS research?" "Santa discriminates against same sex couples because he only visits people with kids!" "Santa should be charged with have(sic) crimes against the naughty!" Or maybe he just looks too much like Rush Limbaugh before he lost all that weight.

    There are three main reasons for this new annual event of cultural destruction. The first we all know well: Liberals hate any form of ethics or moral code that tries to differentiate right from wrong (or should I say right from left?) Secular Humanist philosophy is based on a crude pleasure/pain principal. If it feels good do it; if it causes the least bit of inconvenience then there should be a law against it (and the obligatory formation of a new government agency.) And, unfortunately for Christians, the gentle ethics and morals of Jesus Christ are indeed a little inconvenient. Why how can you properly enjoy the NAMBLA (North American Man Boy Love Association) with some bozo Deity telling you that it is wrong to rape children!

    The second reason is subtler. Many Liberals are fundamentally unhappy people. To their minds, children singing Christmas carols is not harmless enjoyment but a bitter reminder of the Christmas when they were 8 and only got a bunch of hemp necklaces from their parents.


    That just sucks.

    posted by tbogg at 9:57 PM



    Sitting on the porch doin' some heavy pondering...

    Two weeks after the Madrid bombings, Kathleen Parker, the sage of South Carolina, takes up the issue...and still gets it wrong:

    Timed just three days before the country's election, the train explosions that killed nearly 200 and wounded 1,800 had the desired result.

    One day conservative Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, among the staunchest U.S. allies in the war on Iraq, was certain to win election for a third consecutive term. Boom! Seventy-two hours later, he's gone, and newly elected socialist leader Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero immediately begins threatening to withdraw Spanish troops from Iraq.

    Any way you cut it - however one explains the electoral shift - that's effective terrorism.

    Some have explained Aznar's overthrow as a protest against his secretive government rather than as a concession to terrorists. In the immediate aftermath of the bloodbath, the Aznar government attributed the bombings to Basque separatists - not an unlikely supposition given decades of attacks by the ETA, a terrorist group seeking to make the Basque region of northern Spain into an autonomous homeland.

    It's possible that the Spanish vote was a mandate for truth in government. More likely, it was exactly as it will be interpreted by the terrorists - a massive display of appeasement by a people reeling from the sight of human body parts propelled from exploding train cars. They effectively said that Spain would withdraw support from the imperialist United States if terrorists would just leave them in peace.
    (my emphasis)

    Then again:

    Seldom has mythology arisen so quickly about an event as it has with regard to the election results in Spain. Hordes of conservative pundits in the United States have rushed to condemn the unexpected defeat of the right-wing Popular Party as a vote for the appeasement of terrorism. According to the conservative conventional wisdom, Spanish voters, in an appalling act of cowardice, reacted to the terrorist bombings in Madrid by ousting the party that had loyally supported the Bush administration's war on terror, and especially the war in Iraq.

    Such an interpretation profoundly misreads the election results. Although Al Qaeda may believe that the outcome vindicates a strategy of intimidation, there is no evidence that Spanish voters intended to convey a message of appeasement. Indeed, in his first news conference, the new prime minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, emphasized that combating terrorism would be a top priority of his government. Spain has been resolute all along in helping the United States identify and disrupt Al Qaeda cells in that country. Now that Spanish blood has been shed on Spanish soil by the terrorists, that resolve is likely to be strengthened, not weakened.

    But just because the Spanish people are determined to combat radical Islamic terrorism does not mean that they have an obligation to endorse the U.S. intervention in Iraq. The election results confirm that a majority of Spaniards make a distinction between those two missions. That is not surprising, because large majorities around the world have made a similar distinction. Indeed, it is a distinction that seems to elude few people -- except for a majority of conservatives in the United States.

    Public opinion surveys before, during, and after the Iraq war showed that 80 to 90 percent of Spanish voters opposed the U.S. policy. Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar's government took a great risk in defying such overwhelming sentiment by supporting the U.S. war and occupation. It should not come as a surprise that, in a healthy democratic system, a political party that arrogantly ignores the public's near consensus on an important issue may go down to defeat in the next election.

    True, opinion polls showed the Popular Party with a modest lead over the opposition Socialists before the Madrid bombings. That was largely because the Iraq war had faded as a salient issue for most voters. The bombings of the commuter trains again elevated the prominence of the Iraq issue. And when that happened, voters remembered their irritation with the Aznar government.

    What do you call a Monday Morning quarterback who still gets it wrong sixteen days later?

    Besides Ryan Leaf, I mean....

    posted by tbogg at 9:29 PM



    Shorter Neil Cavuto

    Water under the bridge...spilled milk...get over it...and, by the way, I'm still alive and you should be concerned with keeping me that way.

    posted by tbogg at 9:17 PM



    Like Ann Coulter ...but without the testosterone...

    Mark Steyn, the Conservative hobbit/go-to guy, doesn't want to be taken seriously as a political commentator,which is why we get factless drippings like this:

    The latest is a mid-level bureaucrat called Richard Clarke, and by the time you read this his 15 minutes should be just about up. Mr Clarke was Bill Clinton's terrorism guy for eight years and George W Bush's for a somewhat briefer period, and he has now written a book called If Only They'd Listened to Me - whoops, sorry, that should be Against All Enemies: Inside the White House's War on Terror - What Really Happened (Because They Didn't Listen to Me).

    Having served both the 42nd and 43rd Presidents, Clarke was supposed to be the most authoritative proponent to advance the Democrats' agreed timeline of the last decade - to whit, from January 1993 to January 2001, Bill Clinton focused like a laser on crafting a brilliant plan to destroy al-Qa'eda, but, alas, just as he had dotted every "i", crossed every "t" and sent the intern to the photocopier, his eight years was up, so Bill gave it to the new guy as he was showing him the Oval Office - "That carpet under the desk could use replacing. Oh, and here's my brilliant plan to destroy al-Qa'eda, which you guys really need to implement right away."

    When, in fact:

    ``I think al-Qaeda probably came into existence in 1988 or in 1989, and no one in the White House was ever informed by the intelligence community that there was an al-Qaeda until probably 1995,'' he said.

    Clarke's testimony came in the wake of his controversial new book that slams Bush for ignoring the threat of terrorism and instead obsessing over attacking Iraq.

    The commission also released a staff report saying that confusion over whether the CIA had permission to kill al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in the 1990s prevented the agency from taking him out.

    The report said White House officials believed Clinton had clearly given authorization to kill bin Laden but that CIA officials thought the carefully worded instructions gave authority only to capture him.

    ``To further cloud the picture, two senior CIA officers told us they would have been morally and practically opposed to getting CIA into what might look like an assassination,'' the report states.

    But CIA Director George Tenet and former National Security Adviser Samuel Berger disputed that account when they testified before the commission yesterday.

    ``There was never any question in my mind that if capture was not possible, kill was acceptable,'' Berger said. ``And I imagine a confrontation with bin Laden in which there would be a lot of guns fired, and chances are he'd be killed.''

    But that's not important to Steyn (although I enjoyed him calling Clarke a "mid-level bureaucrat") because, you see, intern jokes are still pretty funny to guys like him...

    posted by tbogg at 9:11 PM



    On the other hand, he agreed that weekends are still made for Michelob....

    The Pope (old guy, saintly vibe, didn't comment on The Passion...that guy) says that Sunday isn't for golf or football or entertainment.

    Pope John Paul (news - web sites) on Friday said Sunday should be a day for God, not for secular diversions like entertainment and sports.

    "When Sunday loses its fundamental meaning and becomes subordinate to a secular concept of 'weekend' dominated by such things as entertainment and sport, people stay locked within a horizon so narrow that they can no longer see the heavens," the pontiff said in a speech to Australian bishops.

    The Pope also added that Saturdays are fair game and that he hoped Notre Dame kicks SC's ass before he...goes to hang out with all the other popes.

    posted by tbogg at 8:13 PM


    Friday, March 26, 2004


    The care and feeding of poppets

    It's "Getting To Know You" day in this week's installment of America's Worst Mother™, where Meghan Cox Gurdon wisely seizes upon an all-to-brief moment of sobriety and quickly jots down some notes about her children: (Guernica, Aubergine, Roseofsharon, and Dr. Phil) like what they like to eat as well as general descriptions of the kids just in case she has to indentify them in a lineup or something.

    It seems that, back in her younger days, when Meghan and Mr. Meghan were still having conjugal relations, America's Worst Mom never considered the fact that hosting his turgid manhood in her hoohah while he thrust and grunted for those 41 seconds of questionable pleasure might someday result in a series of poppets who needed to be fed, bathed, and clothed. But here she is, and there they are, and what's a stay at home mother to do, but spend five minutes each day pondering what minimum daily requirement she needs to fulfill to keep Child Protective Services off her back...again.

    This may sound trivial at a time when Iraqi policemen are being blown to bits, and of course, ultimately, it is, but I assure you that the exigencies of lunch-box packing are a kind of bamboo splinter driven daily under the fingernails of the bourgeoisie.

    On any given Sunday night, across the country, millions of weary parents will kiss their children goodnight, turn off the lights, walk back into the kitchen, and smack their foreheads in dismay. "Aargh, lunchboxes," is roughly what will go through their minds. They will begin rooting around in the cupboards for something their unsupervised children will eat when surrounded by their peers, which adheres to school requirements ? "healthy, no candy, and no nut products, please" ? and which includes at least one brick from the FDA's Food Pyramid.

    Before you snort in disgust and mutter, "Any idiot can pack a lunch box," let me first concede that you are right. Any idiot can pack a lunch box, and if he fills it with cheese puffs, chocolate brownies, and canned mandarin-orange sections, any child will eat it. It takes, however, a highly refined type of intelligence to devise a nutritious lunch that a child will actually eat every day, week after week, year upon year, and alas, only the Japanese possess such intelligence.

    Meghan, who is no idiot (because that would require effort), then muses upon the wily Japanese and their smartypants miniature transistorized lunches and wonders why her children aren't Japanese, and, as expected, this line of thinking goes nowhere.

    Later we learn that Meghan used to live under the iron Timberland boot of Canadian oppression:

    Still, it is easier to pack a lunch box in the United States than it is in, for example, Canada, where environmentalism is the established church and recycling its principal ritual. When we lived in Toronto, our school banned the use of any containers that could not be washed and reused. This was a sliver of bamboo all in itself. Denied biodegradable juice boxes and milk cartons, parents had to (and still must) pour drinks into those plastic screw-top boxes with built-in straws. These things are mold factories. So after boiling them ? waste of resources! ? or running them repeatedly through the dishwasher ? waste of resources! ? you would eventually throw them out ? yay! ? and buy new ones.

    Which is easier than actually washing them daily when you would rather be watching Judge Judy and working on your second pitcher of Harvey Wallbangers. But never mind that, because now Meghan has to acquaint herself with the two kids who do go to school (unlike Aubergine & Roseofsharon who quietly lie around the house all day after a hearty breakfast of porridge and Nyquil) and see what they will eat:

    " ? But how about sandwiches?"

    "Ham!" Paris shouts, "And salami with Nutella!"


    "No Nutella," I say, "Because of no nuts."

    "Tunafish?" Molly ventures, "But not all the time." This is her delicate way of referring to the time when I bought a case of tuna and gave it to her every day for a solid month. "Cheddar cheese is nice, too," she adds.

    "Oh no!" Paris throws up his hands as one warding off an attacker, "Not cheese!"

    "But you like cheddar cheese ? "

    "Only melted," he cries, suddenly scarlet with emotion.

    It looks like the animated and emotional Dr. Phil hasn't been getting his Ritalin again.

    Meghan really needs to learn to share.

    posted by tbogg at 8:25 AM


    Thursday, March 25, 2004


    Better yet, she could just leave a note in one of the members lockers....

    Putting Condoleeza Rice on TV is not one of the administration's best moves. She comes across as shifty, defensive, and thin-skinned (possibly because she is shifty, defensive, and thin-skinned), so it comes as no surprise that she wants to talk about 9/11...in private:

    Richard Clarke's testimony to the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks was considered so damaging that national security adviser Condoleezza Rice planned to ask the panel for a private interview to answer his allegations, a senior White House official told NBC News on Thursday.

    During his appearance before the committee Wednesday, Clarke, the former counterterrorism coordinator in the Bush and Clinton White Houses, placed the bulk of the blame for the attacks on President Bush and apologized to the families of the approximately 3,000 victims, saying, "Your government failed you."


    Rice, who has met privately with the commission once before, may not get her wish, however, because the commission could insist that any new appearance, even if in private, be conducted under oath. A source familiar with the commission's operations told NBC News that the panel has consistently required anyone rebutting sworn testimony to be similarly under oath.

    Rice has come under heavy criticism for refusing to testify before the commission under oath or in public. She said Wednesday in an interview on "NBC Nightly News" that she had a responsibility to protect the president's constitutional guarantee of executive privilege, arguing that the president could not rely on his advisers to speak to him openly if they could be questioned about their advice to him.

    I want Rice testifying live, under the lights, and under oath.

    And I want her to apologize, like Clarke did, for failing to do her job.

    posted by tbogg at 3:35 PM



    Consumerism watch

    Lileks goes shopping again.

    Stands up for privacy.

    Spurns Sam's Club.

    Target breathes a sigh of relief.

    Gnat doesn't say anything cute.

    Neither does Lileks.

    That's pretty much it.

    posted by tbogg at 12:48 PM



    I hate it when this happens

    Next time, call each other in the morning and figure out who is going to wear what.

    posted by tbogg at 12:30 PM



    Live!....from the Wonkette Cell at Gitmo:

    We all need to send a word of thanks to Wonkette for leading the charge on the Bush/Cheney Sloganator. Now you can re-live the magic of a not-so-gentler time(warning sound..and good sound it is).

    posted by tbogg at 12:24 PM



    It added four more inches to my penis...Did I mention the four hour erections?

    I insist that you have some fun with these people.

    posted by tbogg at 12:18 PM



    Yes. I know New York was just attacked. But I need this Josh Groban CD now!

    From The American Street we learn that, in the event of another attack, your CITIBANK card will still be operational. Otherwise the terrorists win

    posted by tbogg at 12:12 PM



    To hell with what Bush knew...Peggy Noonan knew about 9/11 back in the nineties!

    It should be no surprise that Our Lady of the Dolphins saw it all coming...Oh. And it's Bill Clinton's fault:

    One summer day in the late 1990s I had a long talk with an elected official who was a friend and longtime political supporter of President Clinton. I asked him why, if Bill Clinton cared so much about his legacy, he didn't take steps to make America safer from terrorism. Why didn't he make it one of his big issues? We were at lunch in a New York restaurant, and I gestured toward the tables of happy people drinking golden-colored wine in gleaming glasses. They're all going to get sick when we get nuked, I said; they'd honor your guy for having warned and prepared.
    Yes, the official said, but you have to understand that Clinton is purely a poll driven politician, and if the numbers aren't there he won't move.

    Too bad, I thought, because the numbers will someday be there.

    The lunch was off the record, and I appreciated the official's candor; he didn't try to spin me. I wasn't shocked by what he said--Mr. Clinton was a poll driven animal. But you didn't have to be psychic to know bad things were coming; you only had to be watching the world. I found myself marveling at Mr. Clinton's thinking, which in the short term was savvy and in the long term spoke of a kind of moral retardation.

    It is not the job of a president to say, "I'd like to do what's necessary to protect our country, but the people won't understand it or appreciate it." It is the job of a president to say, "I have to do what is necessary to protect our country, and so I'll try to persuade the people as to the rightness of my thinking. But if it comes to that I'll do what's needed and pay the price."

    Mr. Clinton did not do that. He did not attempt to rouse the American people.

    Sadly Prescient Peggy didn't roam the cities and towns of this great country of ours warning us that "The terrorists are coming!". She had other priorities.

    Those Reagan books don't write themselves, you know.

    posted by tbogg at 12:02 PM



    Jokester in chief

    It's funny what some people think is funny:

    President Bush (news - web sites) poked fun at his staff, his Democratic challenger and himself Wednesday night at a black-tie dinner where he hobnobbed with the news media.

    Bush put on a slide show, calling it the "White House Election-Year Album" at the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association 60th annual dinner, showing himself and his staff in some decidedly unflattering poses.

    There was Bush looking under furniture in a fruitless, frustrating search. "Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere," he said.

    These people are not amused.

    posted by tbogg at 11:25 AM


    Tuesday, March 23, 2004


    It all starts right here

    The Corner seeks the "best Conservative fiction".

    How could they have skipped this?

    And this certainly had some fictional elements.

    The National Guard Years has some wonderful elements of fantasy....

    posted by tbogg at 8:29 AM


    Monday, March 22, 2004


    You and me have a disease,
    You affect me, you infect me,
    I’m afflicted, you’re addicted

    You know that you waste too much time on the Internet if you have time to check on Mickey Kaus. But there I was, actually reading his column, with it's umpteenth reference to the Feiler Faster Thesis, when it occurred to me that Kaus himself is exhibiting a hitherto undiagnosed mania. Let's call it Kaus Kerry Derangement™.

    Victims of KKD™ are completely unable to consider any speeches, utterances, actions, stories about, or pictures of John Kerry without seeing them in terms of how they show that Kerry is ill-suited to be President of the United States. KKD™ is particularly pernicious in putative members of the Democratic Party or people who identify themselves as "progressive", despite all evidence to the contrary (see Tottenology).

    The only cure for KKD™ is for John Kerry to drop out of the race, thereby clearing a path for John Edwards.

    Unfortunately, this may lead to an onset of KED™ which mimics many of the same symptoms of KKD™, in addition to causing the afflicted to constantly repeat, "As much as I like Edwards, he's just not ready yet...".

    Although neither is considered contagious, doctors recommend ignoring those diagnosed as KKD™ and KED™ -positive with a knowing smirk.

    (Since I quoted Bad Religion above, it's only fair that I plug their next CD, The Empire Strikes First, due out 6/8. Something tells me that it's not going to be too complementary to the current regime)

    posted by tbogg at 9:45 PM



    More strawmen than a Kansas cornfield

    Lileks rants again.

    He must have gotten his ass seriously kicked by some hippies back in the seventies.

    posted by tbogg at 9:11 PM



    Steel cage smackdown

    After reading this transcript of Condoleeza Rice on American Morning, I would pay good money to see her meet Clarke on live TV to "hash out" their memories pre-9/11. Rice twice sticks it to Clarke:

    But what's very interesting is that, of course, Dick Clarke was the counterterrorism czar in 1998 when the embassies were bombed. He was the counterterrorism czar in 2000 when the Cole was bombed. He was the counterterrorism czar for a period of the '90s when al Qaeda was strengthening and when the plots that ended up in September 11 were being hatched.


    I will say this: Dick Clarke was the counterterrorism czar when attacks took place in '98 from al Qaeda and in 2000 from al Qaeda, when plots were hatched against the United States by al Qaeda. He has a different view of how to fight the war on terrorism. It is a narrow view that it has to do with killing bin Laden and dealing with Afghanistan. The president has a broader view, which is that you have to take the fight to the terrorists. We have eliminated their base in Afghanistan. We have freed 25 million Afghans.

    Rice forgets to mention who was the National Security Advisor on 9/11/2001 and who was playing golfcart Dale Evans in Crawford, Texas for the month of August proceeding the attack.

    The buck stops...somewhere other than her office.

    posted by tbogg at 8:46 PM



    For those keeping score at home...

    Richard Clarke: liar and disgruntled ex-employee

    Rand Beers: liar and disgruntled ex-employee

    Paul O'Neill: liar and disgruntled ex-employee

    John Diullio: liar and disgruntled ex-employee

    When all of them still worked for the administration they were considered truthful and...gruntled.

    posted by tbogg at 8:19 PM



    Hence the interest in gay sex....

    I'm sure it was a typo over at CNN...or maybe someone with a sense of humor:

    Congressional supporters of a constitutional ban on gay marriage unveiled a change in their proposal Monday that they said would leave state legislatures with the unambiguous right to recognize civil unions.

    The deletion of five words did nothing to lessen the opposition of Democratic critics of the proposed constitutional amendment. They responded by seeking an indefinite delay in a hearing set for Tuesday.

    "This new language makes the intent of the legislation even clearer," said Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colon., the amendment's leading advocate in the Senate. "To protect marriage in this country as the union between a man and a woman, and to reinforce the authority of state legislatures to determine benefits issues related to civil unions or domestic partnerships."

    posted by tbogg at 8:09 PM


    Sunday, March 21, 2004


    Advertisements for myself

    Richard Clarke outs Condoleeza Rice as an incompetent:

    WASHINGTON - President Bush (news - web sites)'s national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice (news - web sites), "looked skeptical" when she was warned early in 2001 about the threat from al-Qaida and appeared to never have heard of the terrorist organization, according to Bush's former counterterrorism coordinator.

    Her facial expression gave me the impression that she had never heard the term before," wrote Richard A. Clarke in a new book — "Against All Enemies" — that is scathingly critical of Bush's response to the 2001 terror attacks against New York and Washington. The Associated Press obtained a copy of Clarke's book before its Monday publication.

    Clarke said Rice, who previously worked for Bush's father, appeared not to recognize post-Cold War security issues and effectively demoted him within the national security council. He said Rice has an unusually close relationship with Bush, which "should have given her some maneuver room, some margin for shaping the agenda."

    Rice responds with an Op-Ed here, of which the short version is:

    It's not my fault. Clinton let the hijackers in. Everyone else is a liar. I'm a doctor.

    posted by tbogg at 11:36 PM



    How the U.S.A. stands for freedom

    I was very pleased to see this Op-Ed from Jackson Browne on the plight of Cuban musicians and the stupidity of American policy towards Cuba:

    In a profound way, our government takes on the role of oppressor when it tries to control which artists will be allowed access to our minds and our hearts. We may think we are isolating Cuba with our embargo and our travel restrictions, but it is we Americans who are becoming isolated. People travel to Cuba from Australia, Britain, Canada, Italy and Spain — countries we consider staunch allies.

    United States foreign policy toward Cuba is unpopular in America, and for good reason. It stops Americans from traveling to Cuba and Cubans from coming into the States. It stops us from sharing medicine with the ill and restricts our ability to sell food to the hungry. This policy is an outdated relic of the cold war and exists only as a political payoff to Republican-leaning Cuban-American voters in Miami.

    The policy of punishing Cuba works only when Americans see the angry face of Cuban repression. But in the face of Carlos Varela, and the language of his music, Americans would not find the mask of a demon, but hear the aspirations of people just like themselves.

    posted by tbogg at 11:10 PM


    Saturday, March 20, 2004


    Trip like I do

    Amy at Rubber Nun likes to travel the same way that I do, and she describes it perfectly:

    The staff apparently was required to call me "Miss Carlton" at all times, which made me uncomfortable and kept me from my preferred travel mode of sulky anonymity. (my emphasis)

    ... that pretty much nails my travel persona. And I really hate it when they call me "Miss Carlton"....

    posted by tbogg at 11:19 PM



    White dopes on punk

    Dude. These guys are so edgy:

    Mr. Rizzuto is the founder of Conservative Punk, one of a handful of Web sites and blogs that have sprung up recently as evidence of a heretofore latent political entity: Republican punks. With names like GOPunk, Anti-Anti-Flag and Punkvoter Lies, the sites are a curious blend of Karl Rove and Johnny Rotten, preaching personal responsibility and reflexive patriotism with the in-your-face zeal of a mosh pit. When he's not banging his head to the Misfits, the Vandals or the Bouncing Souls, for example, Mr. Rizzuto spends his time writing essays denouncing Michael Moore and "left-wing propaganda," and urging other conservative punks to join his cause.

    "Punk has been hijacked by an extreme left-wing element," Mr. Rizzuto said. "It's blame America first. Everything is America's fault, and everything is Bush's fault." Mr. Rizzuto said his goal "is rallying conservative punks and getting people to vote."

    I remember when they used to call "conservative punks" skinheads.

    While Conservative Punk does not have a roster of bands exactly, it has inspired the interest and involvement of a consortium of conservatives with proper punk credentials, like Michale Graves, a former singer for the Misfits, who writes a column for Mr. Rizzuto's site. Mr. Graves regularly performs wearing a skull mask and is known for belting out lyrics like: "A fever rots/The brain goes numb inside/I feel a blackout coming/The boiled blister pops inside." He allows that he doesn't fit the profile of your average red-state Republican.

    "I look like someone who should be hanging out with Marilyn Manson — in fact I have hung out with Marilyn Manson," Mr. Graves said. "It doesn't affect what my morals are."

    "I think George Bush is a wonderful, competent leader," he added. "And I believe that he is bringing this country on a right and just course and he understands the true nature of evil."

    The fact that he's proud of having hung out with a ho-hum shockrocker like Marilyn Manson, who only upsets people like Joe Lieberman, tells you all you need to know about Graves. I'm sure all the little twelve year-olds think he's pretty cool, though. Ooooo, scary.

    Now, this guy is pretty funny:

    Andrew Heidgerken, the founder of GOPunk and the proud owner of metal-spiked leather jacket with "G.O.P.," "N.R.A." and "U.S.A." on the sleeves and a portrait of Ronald Reagan on the back, said he took special pleasure in the unpopularity of his views among other punks. "I can tell you the part of punk we like," he said. "The willingness to speak out even if it annoys people, shouting at anyone who'll listen." Mr. Heidgerken is not beyond using traditional means to annoy people; he's currently running for committeeman from his Chicago neighborhood.

    Here's a picture of GOPunk Heidgerken.

    And here is a bit of his "philosophy":

    I thought all punks were anarchists. What's your deal?

    In a perfect world, anarchy would be a fine system of government; everyone could do as they pleased, and that would be that. Unfortunately, we live in an imperfect world, chock-full of Saddam Husseins, Muammer el-Qaddafis, and Hillary Rodham Clintons. The only way to protect ourselves is to utilize a somewhat more sophisticated system than anarchy; ideally a system strong enough to protect us from internal and external threats, yet limited enough to prevent infringement on our personal freedoms.

    The Democrats are supposed to be the party of the people. Shouldn't you be supporting them?

    Let's make one thing clear: today's Democratic Party is a vile socialist organization, thriving on hate, fear, and class-warfare. The upper echelons of the DNC are the ultimate social parasites; they can only thrive at your expense. If you're not suffering, they can't benefit. Welfare, universal health care, unions, and many other Democrat favorites are all fine sounding ideas that actually do nothing except increase the government's control of you and your family.

    As Joe Strummer once sang:

    'N' every gimmick hungry yob digging gold from rock 'n' roll
    Grabs the mike to tell us he'll die before he's sold
    But i believe in this-and it's been tested by research
    That he who f***s nuns will later join the church

    Looks like someone sold out before they ever knew they were for sale....

    posted by tbogg at 11:07 PM



    My name is Robert Moran...but it's pronounced "moron"....

    This column for NRO doesn't call for an editor so much as someone who has the common sense usually found in one of your lower primates, or possibly a smooth stone. Robert Moran is unhappy with the coverage given to Kerry's snowboard fall as opposed to Bob Dole taking a header off of a stage in 1996:

    It was September 19, 1996. I woke early, hurriedly dressed for a long day at the office during campaign season, walked out the front door of our townhouse, opened the Washington Post and beheld a vast, above-the-fold, picture of Bob Dole falling off a stage at a campaign rally in a Little League field in Chico, California. It was so patently wrong, so unfair, so mean-spirited, so petty that anger, pity and sadness all fought inside me for equal time. I was not alone.

    Washington Post executive Leonard Downie Jr. received more than 150 irate calls that day. His response at the time was that if Bill Clinton had fallen off a stage somewhere, there was "no doubt" the Post would have run the picture.


    It is now March 20, 2004. It is one day after John F. Kerry had a spill on the ski slopes and cussed out one of the secret-service agents duty-bound to protect him.

    I woke early, walked out the front door of our home, opened the Washington Post and was greeted with a full color, above-the-fold, picture of children injured in the fighting against terrorists in Pakistan. But, I was not greeted with a picture of a falling John Kerry. I was greeted by a ridiculous non-story about a Bush-Cheney 2004 sweatshirt made in Burma. But, I was not greeted with a picture of a falling John Kerry. I was greeted by a full color "gallery of soldiers who died in Iraq" on pages A14-15. But, there was no picture of Kerry's spill.

    In 1996, the Los Angeles Times wrote that Dole's fall was a "visual metaphor for a presidential bid that has stumbled." Given Kerry's week, couldn't the same thing be said of Kerry's campaign?

    Let me be blunt. If the Washington Post thinks it is newsworthy to run a picture of a conservative falling off a stage at a campaign rally, why wouldn't it run a picture of a liberal falling down and cursing a security agent there to protect him?

    Bear with me, Bob, and I'll explain it all to you (I'll even type slowly):

    People fall down when they snowboard. It's a inevitable part of the sport, like sweating when you play basketball.

    Candidates don't normally take a dive off of a podium no matter how much the adoring throngs want them to body-surf the crowd.

    One more time;

    Snowboard...some falling involved. Normal.

    Speech...usually delivered upright. Plummeting to earth while speaking: not normal.

    Jeez. Even Mickey Kaus isn't that stupid.

    posted by tbogg at 7:04 PM


    Friday, March 19, 2004


    Only the hottest bands..okay, they're not really that hot...actually that's my mom on drums. But she's really really good and she lets us use the minivan.

    So I'm reading about the latest little Freedom of Expression case where some teenager feels he's being oppressed (which is so uncommon in teens these days) and I come across "Rock For Life - a pro-life youth organization". Well, I had to go look:

    RFL is committed to offering the truth about abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia to America's youth through music and ministry.

    Young people are being deceived and manipulated by the music industry! Many of today's popular artists speak out for abortion rights and raise money for pro-abortion causes. They are feeding our youth with the lie that abortion is not only an answer to their problems, but a right they must fight to protect.

    To counter this assault on young people, Rock For Life works to bring together bands who stand for the truth - that life is sacred from fertilization until natural death - with no exceptions, no compromise, and no apologies. Rock for Life is dedicated to this fight until abortion is abolished and a respect for the gift of life is restored.

    Dude! I am so there. So who are these bands that so totally Rock for Life and God and stuff? That would be these guys;

    5 Minute Major, 5 Bucks Short, 7000Years, 13th Tribe, a second too late, Adam's Rib, Agnus Dei, All Star United, All Access, Alter-Ego, Alleged, Already Famous, America Gomorrah, Ammi, Angelina, the Polka Queen & King Ira, Angel Mine, Annie's Apology, Anti-Blue, AOK, Apologetix, Apostles of Rock, Ashfield, Ascension, Assignment Vine, Asight Unseen, The Asylum, aT a GLaNCE, Audio Adrenaline, Aunt Martha, Autumn Hates Winter, Autumn War, BioGenesis, Big Tent Revival, Blackball, The Blamed, Blindside, b.l.i.n.d, Bloodshed, Bob David, Bride, Brian Ferry, Broomtree, Broken Chain, Buck Enterprises, Burnside Cadillac, Calicoes, Cannibal Culture, Cast Out, Caravan 2:11, The Carry Outs, catawbadeathsquad, Cathy Sanders, Gary Cherone (Former Extreme, Van Halen Member), Chasm, Christafari, Chrome Donuts, Chis Lindsay Electronic, Christ Connection, Clash Of Symbols, The Clergy, the colorside, Cool Hand Luke, Common Children, Comunalien, Cranium, Crashdog, Crispin, Crisis 112, Critical Mass, Crucified, Crux, Dan Numbers, Danger To Self Death, Through Adam, Decree, The Dietrichs, dEnied, Desert Juniper, Devoted Molded, Dirt, The Discarded, Disciple, distraught, Dogwood, DWELL, eephus, Eklezia, the Echoing Green, Effatha's Fiend, Elroy, encounter, Eternal Death Strike, Evermore, Every Day Life, Fade Out, Fade 2 White, Fatal Charm, Finger Prints of God, Fine China, Five Iron Frenzy, Five O'clock People, Five Ways from Sunday, Fish Stix, Fifth Wheel, Five Thousand Fed, Flight 180, Focal point, Focused, Fold Zandura, forget about emily, Foreknown, The Forgiven, Forthwright, xFrontlinex, Galactic Cowboys, G.C.P, Ghoti Hook, Gideon's Press, Gifty, Glisten, Godcomplex, Grace for the Fallen, Grammatrain, Gransane, Havalina Rail Co., Hardiment, Headnoise, Heaven's Burning, Beki Hemmingway, HOLISTIC, Homesick, House of Wires, Huntingtons, Hyperstatic Union, Hypo 12%, Infant Discarded, Inflict, Inscribed, The Israelites, Israell-Dei, The Insyders, J.L.F.S, Jeni Varnadeau, Jennifer's Regret, Jesse and the Rockers, Jimmy Ordinary, Joshua Generation, Joseph Experimental, Jobe, Joy Electric, Justin Good, Kavanah Star, Kamikaze Friday, Kemper Crab, The Killer Seat Belts, King Pin Wrecking Crew, The Kry, The Lakepipes, Larry Norman, Lec Zorn, Lent, Left Out, Leprosy of the Soul, Life In Your Way, Linus, Lions Den, Living Sacrifice, Long Goodnight, Love Bomb, Madison Greene, Makeshift, Mark Oshinski, Mary-Louise Kurey, Maybe Tuesday, MC Hammer, McCabe, Mediatrix, Mercy 78, Mercy St., Mercy's Wake, Messenger, Metropolis, Mindset7, Mike Devine (ex 2 Live Crew), Morella's Forest, Mortal, Motor Mouth, MxPx, Nailed Promise, negative-zero, Neutral Agreement, Nickel Plated Punk, No Compromise, No Innocent Victim, Nobody Special, No Purchase Necessary, No Substance, Not Yet, Nova One, Narcissus, NITCH, Nu Kreashun, O2, Octane Blue, Officer Negative, One Bad Pig, ONE CROSS, onedayheard, One Less Addiction, One Way Ticket, Orville Conspiracy, Ordinary Day, Overcome, The Over-Reactors, Patience is Suffering, Pax217, Pensive, Pep Squad, Persevere, Piqqadown, Plankeye, P.O.D, Poor old lu, Poor John, Precious Death, Prescription, This Present Darkness, Prodigal Sons, Project For Pablo, Quest, Racket and Drapes, Radar Cookiejar, Raspberry Jam, Ravage Downfall, Refuge, Red Shoed Star, Remember When, Remission, REV21, The Right Youth, Ripped Upheart, Rise, Robi, The Rock Band, Rocket Rats, RockSalt, Safe Haven, Sandra Fields, Saviour Machine, Times 7, Scarecrow and Tinmen, Scatered Few, Sean Forrest, The Second Thought Project, The Sentenels, Severance, Shorthanded, Shutout, Silage, Singlestone, Sisterpete, Six Feet Deep, Skateyate, Sky's the Limit, Slick Shoes, Society's Finest, Soda Cans Only, Sometime Sunday, Some Great Angst, Solace, Soulfood 76, SoulSeed, Spitfire, Spooky Dawn, Spyglass Blue, Squad-5-0, Stale, Starflyer 59, Steadfast, Stellar, Stereo Deluxx, Straight and Narrow, Strongarm, Subject 2 Blackout, Supertones, Switched Up, Svetlana Marie Sejrah~Charlotte, TANTRUM of the THE MUSE, Three On One, Through and Through, Tim Urich, Times of Silence, Torn N2, Tragedy Ann, TriGger, Twin Sister, Twitch, Unabridged, Unashamed, Unchained, Veer Chasm, Vessel, Visitor 3, Viva Voce, The W's, Warlord, Warp Factor 9, Water2Wine, Wedding Party, Wendy Baily, Windsor, Wilby Dunn, Willing To Bleed, YUTZ, X-conformist, ZAO, ZOEgirl

    (No! Not TANTRUM of the THE MUSE and The Killer Seat Belts!)

    Anyway, with bands like that it may be difficult get to get tickets for Summer Tour 2004: The Ain't Nobody Getting Laid but the Roadies Tour, so you might want to pick up the CD right here. Best of all, it's cheaper than a box of condoms.

    And remember "life is sacred from fertilization". This is refered to as the Rock For Life Masturbation Loophole.

    Make good use of it.

    And rock on.

    posted by tbogg at 10:44 PM



    Oh yeah, baby....snowboard. Say it! Snoooowboooard.....

    Somehow I knew Mickey Kaus was going to be all over the John Kerry snowboard incident:

    Small-but-damning Kerry incident of the day: From today's NYT--

    On his first full day off, though, Mr. Kerry awoke determined to hit the slopes of Mount Baldy.

    The image-conscious candidate and his aides prevailed upon reporters and photographers to let him have a first run down the mountain solo, except for two agents and Marvin Nicholson, his omnipresent right-hand man.

    His next trip down, a reporter and a camera crew were allowed to follow along on skis — just in time to see Mr. Kerry taken out by one of the Secret Service men, who had inadvertently moved into his path, sending him into the snow.

    When asked about the mishap a moment later, he said sharply, "I don't fall down," then used an expletive to describe the agent who "knocked me over."

    Suggested Kerry camp spin: Kerry was joking, in his macho, towel-snapping manner! Richard Holbrooke phones reporters to question the NYT's use of the adverb "sharply." ... Note to Maureen Dowd: You're only allowed to get two columns out of this, OK? ... Update: Kf's suggested spin won't work, since ABC'S O'Keefe bascially confirms the NYT's account (key word: "glared"). But if the skier whom Kerry cursed wasn't a Secret Service agent who was there to protect him, Kerry's annoyance seems less objectionable. ...

    I find solace in the fact that Slate pays Kaus with bottles of expired Propecia. Even with that, he's overpaid...

    posted by tbogg at 10:15 PM



    A bad day to run out of 'sic's

    Eric Alterman gets all the cool emails:

    Name: Barry Evans
    Hometown: Healdsburg
    Altman, where do you get off saying that the war on Iraq was not about terrorism? Rather than accuracy you spew lies (along with Rep Waxman). Why do you not recall or identify the threats and plot to assasinate the 1st Bush as acts of terroism?

    The natural progress for Kerry's socialism agenda is on to fascism, which will result in the demise of our democracy and freedoms.

    Additionally, terrorists have sought and recieved protection in Hussen's rogue regimen. Isn't the killing and torturing of his own people what terroist's would do? The socialists in Viet Nam did the same as what is now happening in Iraq and Spain. They killed and wounded innocent civilians, without hesitation to achieve their goal of control. These socialst actions remind me of the Democratic Party's hate mongering rhetoric and unsubstanciated tirades against Bush.

    Please explain why the action of terroism in Spain was planned and supported by its socialist party?

    You may fool some of the people most of the time, but you will not fool me with your guiled rhetoric!

    Let freedom ring, and may we all carry the banner of freedom and peace. Our flag is a symbol of our committment to world-wide freedom from oppressors.

    You see, this is what happens when you get in the habit of typing with one hand because...well, let's not get into that....

    posted by tbogg at 10:07 PM



    I, the Mummy

    It was cold out this morning. Gray and wet, like Lynne Cheney at a Chippendales. I sat looking at the daily rag, reading about death and destruction while drinking my coffee and Wild Turkey. My name is Mummy, but you can call me America's Worst Mother™.

    I shoved a butt in my mouth and fired it up, sucking the sweet nicotine deep into my lungs as I looked over the top of the paper at my four yard-apes: Frangelica, Popeil, Becky Bob, and Utz. Good kids. Strong kids. Smart kids...except for Becky Bob who sat at the dining room table chewing on her shoelaces. I thought to myself: three out of four ain't bad.

    I turned my eyes back to the paper. A bombing in Spain. War in the Middle East. A sale at Barneys. The world is a sad place.

    Utz looked over my shoulder at the pictures of death and destruction. He didn't even blink. Only ten, he'd witnessed more deaths than a Governor of Texas, and we had a backyard full of hamster graves to prove it. He ordered porridge and toast and looked out the window with dead eyes.

    Out of the corner of my eye I watched Frangelica, her hair messed up like Jenna Bush's after pulling an all-nighter at a frat house. She yawned while flipping through a fashion magazine, her long stiletto nails tapping out a death march on the filthy formica table. I thought to myself: she's a stone killer, that one, and made a mental note to start locking my bedroom door.

    Morning is tough around our house. The cold bitter coffee. The overflowing ashtrays. Sulky pre-schoolers with hooded eyes muttering threats and vague obscenities at each other. Maybe, for once, we could get through breakfast without drawn guns and screamed curses. It was going to be a long day. No rest for anyone. I figured we'd sleep when we were dead.

    I stabbed my butt out on the scarred table and lit up another. It was car pool time.

    Before leaving the house, I checked in on Twitchy.

    Twitchy is the kid's rabbit. A wild black thing with a droopy ear and a taste for human blood. He lay in his cage:

    In the semi-darkness, my breath catches at the sight of him lying on top of the papers, stretched out and prone.

    "Bunny...?" I draw closer and pull a bit of hanging twine that clicks on the light. In the cruel glare of a bare bulb, Twitchy is motionless. Perhaps it's only because there's been so much death in the news, but I seem to be seeing the Reaper everywhere I look.

    I reached out and touched Twitchy and he leaped up snarling like Dick Cheney after his weekly defib. Jumping back, my heart pounding like George Bush's at the idea of a press conference, I hit the light-bulb with my head causing it to swing back and forth, casting crazy shadows on the wall.

    In the flickering light, Twitchy looked at me with his one good red eye, snarling. Bad juju.

    With shaking hands, I turned off the light and walked out into the gray light of day.

    It was going to be a long one.

    No rest for the wicked.

    posted by tbogg at 7:39 AM


    Thursday, March 18, 2004


    Go read this.

    Just go.

    Why are you still here?

    posted by tbogg at 10:33 PM



    Forgot to carry the four...

    The high cost of Operation Inigo Montoya:

    On April 23, 2003, Andrew S. Natsios, head of the U.S. Agency for International Development, laid out in a televised interview the costs to U.S. taxpayers of rebuilding Iraq. "The American part of this will be $1.7 billion," he said. "We have no plans for any further-on funding for this."

    That turned out to be off by orders of magnitude. The administration, which asked Congress for another $20 billion for Iraq reconstruction five months after Natsios made his assertion, has said it expects overall Iraqi reconstruction costs to be as much as $75 billion this year alone.

    The transcript of that interview has been pulled from the USAID Web site, the agency said, "to reflect current statements and testimony on Iraq reconstruction." The earlier $1.7 billion figure was "the best estimate available at the time, based on very limited information about the conditions inside of Iraq."

    Natsios was far from the only one to offer low-ball figures. Similarly, a report by the White House Office of Management and Budget in late March 2003, said: "Iraq will not require sustained aid." Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz, in February 2003, dismissed reports that Pentagon budget specialists had put the cost of reconstruction at $60 billion to $95 billion during the first year -- in retrospect, relatively accurate forecasts. In testimony to Congress on March 27, 2003, Wolfowitz said Iraq "can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon." In fact, the administration has already sought more than $150 billion for the Iraq effort.

    On the other hand, George HW Bush got the best-est Christmas present ever. And what price can you put on old man's happiness?

    posted by tbogg at 10:15 PM



    More reasons why they call it dope


    After years in which marijuana, cocaine and heroin were by far the main focus of the nation's war on drugs, the Bush administration is now attacking the rising abuse of prescription drugs.

    While marijuana remains the nation's most abused drug, according to government and private studies, narcotic pain relievers like OxyContin and Vicodin, along with a variety of some other prescription medications, have overtaken amphetamines to rank second.

    A recent nationwide study by the University of Michigan showed that from the 2002 to 2003 school year, nonmedical use of prescription drugs among students in the 8th, 10th and 12th grades increased even as use of other illicit drugs dropped by 11 percent.

    Doctors, other health care providers and law enforcement officials say prescription drug abuse produces the same problems as street drugs: addiction, crime and broken families.

    posted by tbogg at 9:32 PM



    Republicans hate democracy

    Paul Krugman hits it out of the park:

    A year ago, President Bush, who had a global mandate to pursue the terrorists responsible for 9/11, went after someone else instead. Most Americans, I suspect, still don't realize how badly this apparent exploitation of the world's good will — and the subsequent failure to find weapons of mass destruction — damaged our credibility. They imagine that only the dastardly French, and now maybe the cowardly Spaniards, doubt our word. But yesterday, according to Agence France-Presse, the president of Poland — which has roughly 2,500 soldiers in Iraq — had this to say: "That they deceived us about the weapons of mass destruction, that's true. We were taken for a ride."

    This is the context for last weekend's election upset in Spain, where the Aznar government had taken the country into Iraq against the wishes of 90 percent of the public. Spanish voters weren't intimidated by the terrorist bombings — they turned on a ruling party they didn't trust. When the government rushed to blame the wrong people for the attack, tried to suppress growing evidence to the contrary and used its control over state television and radio both to push its false accusation and to play down antigovernment protests, it reminded people of the broader lies about the war.

    By voting for a new government, in other words, the Spaniards were enforcing the accountability that is the essence of democracy. But in the world according to Mr. Bush's supporters, anyone who demands accountability is on the side of the evildoers. According to Dennis Hastert, the speaker of the House, the Spanish people "had a huge terrorist attack within their country and they chose to change their government and to, in a sense, appease terrorists."

    So there you have it. A country's ruling party leads the nation into a war fought on false pretenses, fails to protect the nation from terrorists and engages in a cover-up when a terrorist attack does occur. But its electoral defeat isn't democracy at work; it's a victory for the terrorists.

    posted by tbogg at 9:11 PM



    Must avoid TV

    SouthKnox Bubba watched more Dennis Miller than I could, and you can read about it here.

    I will admit that I watched about 10 minutes tonight before turning to the last thirty minutes of No Way Out on Bravo (how sad is that?). Miller's guest tonight was terrorism expert/conspiracy freakette, Laurie Mylroie. If you never seen or heard Mylroie, let me paint a picture with one word: phlegmatic.

    An evening spent listening to her would cause the most patient person to take a coffee spoon and shove it through the roof of their own mouth and into their brain just to end the suffering.

    I'm dead serious.

    posted by tbogg at 9:00 PM



    Adventures in Babysitting

    I'll hold the kid while you go die for oil.

    posted by tbogg at 8:42 PM



    What was that about 'absolute power corrupting absolutely'?

    Congratulations Antonin Scalia! You just officially tainted Cheney, 03-475:

    A defiant Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia refused Thursday to remove himself from a case involving Vice President Dick Cheney, a close friend, dismissing questions about a possible conflict of interest.

    He rejected a request by the Sierra Club, which said it was improper for Scalia to take a hunting trip with Cheney while the environmental group's lawsuit involving the vice president was pending at the court.

    "Even one unnecessary recusal impairs the functioning of the court," Scalia wrote in a 21-page memo.

    The Sierra Club is suing to get information about private meetings of Cheney's energy task force.

    Scalia has maintained there was nothing improper about the trip he took with Cheney three weeks after the court agreed to consider the case.

    Pressure on Scalia to stay out of the case had mounted in recent weeks, with calls from dozens of newspapers for the conservative Reagan administration appointee to recuse to protect the court's image of impartiality.

    With one and possibly two vacancies expected on the Supreme Court in the next year or so, John Kerry should make this an issue.

    posted by tbogg at 9:51 AM



    Appearances can be deceiving

    No matter what this looks like:

    suicide bomber blew up a car Thursday near a hotel in the southern city of Basra as a British military patrol passed by, killing three bystanders -- the latest in a series of attacks just before the anniversary of the start of the war.

    In other strikes, three Iraqi journalists were gunned down northeast of Baghdad while eight Marines were wounded in a mortar attack near Fallujah. Two Iraqis were killed in the flash-point city in a gunfight that followed the attack, according to eyewitnesses.

    Also, the U.S. military said three soldiers were killed in overnight rocket attacks on two bases, bringing the death toll on the eve of the invasion anniversary to at least 567, according to the Pentagon.

    ...it is not, I repeat, NOT a quagmire.

    It only looks like one if your eyes are open.

    posted by tbogg at 9:35 AM


    Wednesday, March 17, 2004


    I love you...you love me

    It's a circle jerk at the Corner Corral :

    What the world needs now is the love, sweet love that's in The Corner.
    Posted at 09:34 PM

    MODESTY CONT'D [Jonah Goldberg]
    I'm not sure I deserve any praise on that score, but I'll take it with gratitude. Kathryn, on the other hand deserves all praise including that praise only voiced in parallel universes, alternative dimensions and bizarro worlds.
    Posted at 07:05 PM

    MODESTY [Rick Broookhiser]
    Kathryn and Jonah were too modest to highlight the heart felt plug I gave them in my New York Observer column for their efforts to highlight Syrian, Iraqi and Iranian voices, so here it is.
    For hearing Iranian, Syrian and Iraqi voices, the best forum is the blogosphere. I have to praise Jonah Goldberg and Kathryn Lopez of National Review Online, even though they are my friends. They serve the function that The New York Review of Books did for Eastern European dissidents in the last days of the Soviet empire: letting them speak truth to indifference, with the result that the indifferent become concerned.

    In the most important struggle in the world now and for years to come, these are heroes in one of the most important fronts. We cannot listen to them, praise them, help them too much.

    Posted at 04:38 PM

    Isn't it too cute how they all build up each other's self esteem. It's just like hug time at fat camp.

    posted by tbogg at 11:50 PM



    I hope he'll still talk to me....

    Kevin Drum has hit the big time. I'll be keeping both of his links below.

    Good for him.

    posted by tbogg at 11:31 PM



    Just say you were in Alabama. I hear that works.....

    I guess the rules have changed:

    A soldier who says he refused to report to duty because he opposes the war in Iraq (news - web sites) will be assigned regular duties while commanders decide whether to prosecute him for a five-month absence, a Fort Stewart official said Wednesday.


    Mejia, 28, a Florida National Guardsman, is seeking conscientious objector status. On Tuesday, a Florida Guard spokesman said Mejia has been classified as a deserter.

    If Mejia is charged with desertion, he could get up to five years in prison.

    In the old days, if you didn't show up, you got sent to Business School.

    Which is actually worse when you think about it....

    posted by tbogg at 11:12 PM



    Compare and discuss

    Dick Cheney:

    If John Kerry had been in charge during last year's Iraq war and the 1991 Gulf War, Saddam Hussein would still be in control of Iraq and Kuwait, Vice President Dick Cheney said on Wednesday.

    John Kerry's military record.

    Dick Cheney's record.

    ...and since the Republicans are getting all snippy about fighting terror:

    House Speaker Rep. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., said Spain was "a nation who succumbed ... to threats of terrorism, changed their government."

    "Here's a country who stood against terrorism and had a huge terrorist act within their country, and they chose to change their government and to, in a sense, appease terrorists," Hastert said.

    Added GOP Rep. Henry Hyde of Illinois, chairman of the House International Relations Committee: "The vote in Spain was a great victory for al-Qaida."

    House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, expressed his condolences to the people of Spain, particularly to the victims of last week's deadly railway bombings in Madrid. But DeLay said he hoped Zapatero will come to believe in the U.S. position — "that Iraq is central to winning" the fight against terrorism.

    ...see if you can match up the correct Republican name with their "What did you do in the war, Daddy?" story:

    1. Dennis Hastert
    2. Tom DeLay
    3. Henry Hyde

    A. Too busy wrecking homes
    B. Teaching wrestling
    C. The negroes took all the good military jobs

    No peeking...

    posted by tbogg at 11:05 PM



    How much do you want it to add up to?

    There is an old joke about finding the right accountant for your business. It is said that, when asked how much 2+2 equals, the prospective accountant will reply, "How much do you want it to add up to?". Which is why this should be of concern to most Americans:

    Conventional thinking has Greenspan departing in 2006 and Bush appointing Harvard economist Martin Feldstein as his successor. The former Reagan economic adviser has strong ties to the administration, dating back to Papa Bush and extending through Bush Jr.'s presidential run, when he sat on the campaign's economic-policy committee. Since then, he has frequently briefed both the president and vice president. As president of the National Bureau of Economic Research and a prolific writer, he enjoys considerable credibility inside the economic establishment.

    But the recent Washington buzz is not about Feldstein -- it concerns former Bush II economic adviser Glenn Hubbard.

    That would be this Glenn Hubbard (not the one who used to play second base for the Braves)

    Most observers thought Hubbard, who's a first-rate economist with unimpeachable credentials—Harvard Ph.D., teaching positions at Northwestern and Columbia—would make a first-rate CEA chairman. But from the start, Hubbard wanted to do more than conduct dry academic research on the effects of proposed policies. He wanted to be an active player in formulating and suggesting specific positions that the Bush administration should adopt. As he told the New York Times upon his nomination, "You have to see how these things evolve, but my hope for the Council of Economic Advisers is that it plays a very strong participatory role in developing economic policy."

    Hubbard's fierce advocacy of specific tax reforms—both within and without the administration—has made him increasingly willing to adopt the administration's politically expedient, rather than economically sound, justifications for its proposals. It's not fair to expect Hubbard to check his beliefs at the White House door, nor is it objectionable that Hubbard is a conservative economist—after all, he's been one for years. The problem is that his eagerness to enact his preferred legislation has made him willing to adopt the bad logic of the administration's talking points and spin. In Hubbard's book, the best policy is tax reform, not honesty.

    In 2001, he uncorked an economic whopper in a Washington Post op-ed, writing, "It is a major fallacy to praise new spending plans as stimulus." That's "not even right-wing economics," a former CEA member told the New Republic. "If an undergrad wrote that, you'd give the statement and the logic behind it a D."

    I suppose we shouldn't be too concerned about Hubbard's name being tossed around, particularly when the tosser is Larry Kudlow. That would be this Lawrence Kudlow.

    Maybe he's just back on the blow....

    posted by tbogg at 10:51 PM



    Time heals all heels

    We are coming up on the one year anniversary of the death of journalist/warhawk Michael Kelly in Iraq, and his former associates are about to go all misty-watercolored-memories about him. For example:

    At the time of his tragic death, at forty-six, Michael Kelly had already packed several lifetimes' worth of accomplishments and triumphs into a relatively short career. His membership in the Fourth Estate spanned two decades, but it was only during the last thirteen years of his life that he truly came into his own as a journalist, producing a body of work that is remarkable for its variety, incisiveness, wit, literary grace, and enduring value.

    Not to rain on anyone's wake, particularly on St. Patricks Day, but here is an example of Kelly's "literary grace":

    Distasteful as it may be, some notice should be paid to the speech that the formerly important Al Gore delivered Monday at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco.

    This speech, an attack on the Bush policy on Iraq, was Gore's big effort to distinguish himself from the Democratic pack in advance of another possible presidential run. It served: It distinguished Gore, now and forever, as someone who cannot be considered a responsible aspirant to power. Politics are allowed in politics, but there are limits, and there is a pale, and Gore has now shown himself to be ignorant of those limits, and he has now placed himself beyond that pale.

    Gore's speech was one no minimally decent politician could have delivered. It was entirely dishonest, cheap, low. It was utterly hollow. It was bereft of policy, of solutions, of constructive ideas, very nearly of facts--bereft of anything other than taunts and jibes and embarrassingly obvious lies. It was breathtakingly hypocritical, a naked political assault delivered in smarmy tones of moral condescension from a man pretending to be superior to mere politics. It was wretched. It was vile. It was contemptible. But I understate.

    Maybe if Kelly hadn't been so blinded by his hatred of Al Gore, he's be alive today.

    I suppose I could be called "cheap" and "low" for pointing that out.

    I don't particularly care...


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