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Saturday, December 31, 2005
Happy New Year...
Last chance for a ménage à trois this year...
Happy New Year if you believe in that whole artificial construct of months and years and shit like that. I'm still not down with this whole "day of the week" thing either which is creating "problems" as they sneeringly put it at work.
Anyway, it has been our pleasure (if by "our" I mean me) to entertain you and keep you from doing your job which is probably the reason why we are losing our status as an economic superpower in the world. On the other hand I've probably been keeping you out of www.nakedkateobeirne.com* for which you can thank me later in small out-of-sequence bills of varying denominations.
So as we move into the New Year let us remember this:
It must be very strange to be President Bush. A man of extraordinary vision and brilliance approaching to genius, he can't get anyone to notice. He is like a great painter or musician who is ahead of his time, and who unveils one masterpiece after another to a reception that, when not bored, is hostile.
See you next year.
If you believe in that whole artificial construct of...
posted by tbogg at 7:43 PM
What a difference a day makes
MSNBC on 12/29
:Like it or not, Kobe has cleared his name
2½ years since sexual encounter, Lakers star has resurrected public image
In the decades of Monday Night Football, celebrities ranging from John Lennon to Ronald Reagan surprised viewers by popping into the announcers’ booth. But their visits may have seemed commonplace in comparison to the guest who appeared via satellite during halftime of the Green Bay-Baltimore blowout this month: Kobe Bryant.
Interviewed by Al Michaels, Bryant deftly helped promote the NBA’s marquee Christmas Day matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat. Viewers must have wondered if their Tivo was going haywire – after all, the last time Bryant was watched by a national television audience away from his beloved basketball court, he looked grim in numerous clips as he fought to stay out of prison after being accused of rape in Colorado in 2003.
Today, 2½ years since an admitted sexual encounter with a resort employee at the Lodge and Spa at Cordillera, the Laker guard — along with ABC/ESPN, the NBA and Nike — is attempting to resurrect his public image in a very public manner.
Consider: ESPN featured NBA players, including Bryant in 15- and 30-second spots before the season in a campaign to promote the virtues of the league. And ESPN and ABC, both owned by Walt Disney Co., are definitely embracing Bryant as the Lakers will be featured on national telecasts more than 30 times this season, tops in the NBA, and it’s not because broadcast executives are salivating over the moves of rookie guard Von Wafer.
MSNBC on 12/30Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant was suspended for two games without pay Friday for elbowing Mike Miller of the Memphis Grizzlies in the throat.
Bryant was called for a flagrant foul for elbowing Miller with 8:24 remaining in the fourth quarter in Wednesday night’s 100-99 overtime loss to the Grizzlies. He is scheduled to serve his suspension Sunday, when the Lakers host Utah, and Tuesday, when Los Angeles plays at the Jazz.
“Very surprised. Shocked, actually. Very, very surprised,” Bryant said after practice Friday. “Angry and frustrated. I’ve been hit with a couple of flagrant fouls already this year. I’ve been hit with a clothesline and no suspensions come of that. and I get two games for this?”
The suspension was just the latest in a series of nastiness from Bryant ... although most of it has been directed at teammates.
The New York Post said people sitting near L.A.'s bench for the Rockets and Wizards games were flabbergasted at the things he screamed at his teammates.
The Post also reported Friday more about a major confrontation between Bryant and teammate Lamar Odom after the Lakers’ loss at Washington.
The confrontation reportedly led to smashing of lights and damaging of a TV monitor belonging to the Lakers' flagship station in front of the visitors’ locker room.
Bryant was angry at Odom for supposedly botching a pick-and-roll that was to set up a three-point shot for Bryant that could have tied the game, the Post said.
The newspaper said as the pair got closer to the Lakers' dressing room, Bryant was yelling at Odom. Odom yelled back and that's when Bryant reportedly went after Odom. In doing so, The Post said Bryant kicked over the lights and a chair holding the TV monitor. The newspaper said Bryant’s security force of two quickly intervened and separated the pair.
The Post said they again exchanged heated words and challenges in the locker room and that the tension was so intense one of the security guys accompanied Odom to the back of the charter bus and sat nearby on the trip to the airport while the other sat in the front with Kobe, the last member of the Lakers to board.
That was quick.
posted by tbogg at 10:11 AM
Thursday, December 29, 2005
Pre-Friday Random Ten (and a commercial plug)
Last one of the year. Christmas music still eligible.Bad Boyfriend
- GarbageThe Hardest Part
- Ryan Adams and the CardinalsWhen the Stars Go Blue
- Ryan AdamsFade Into You
- Mazzy StarBridge of Sighs
- Robin TrowerMike Mills
- AirLove Is Not Enough
- NINMiles Runs The Voodoo Down
- Miles DavisHe Drives It
- Amy CorreiaInner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)
- Marvin Gaye
...and now for a word from our sponsor.
I hate the earplugs that come standard with the iPod. Besides the fact that they're uncomfortable, they're kind of cheap sounding. I bought some different ones that were better and was fairly content with them until the generous and thoughtful mrs tbogg bought me these
Oh. My. God. Night and day. Now an iPod doesn't exactly generate perfect sound but these make it sound better than I ever thought possible. Sure, they cost as much as an iPod, but just like a home stereo, why skimp on the speakers?
Besides, when I wear them to bed I can't hear Satchmo snore.
I can feel it, I just can't hear it.
posted by tbogg at 9:05 PM
Thursday Night Basset BloggingYou see two dogs.
I see a tilted lampshade.
posted by tbogg at 9:00 PM
Have central casting send over some negroes.
But make sure they're not too negroeyRepublicans roll out new improved black candidates.
I had to go to Steve Gilliard's blog to learn that former Charger Scott Turner
is running for Duke Cunningham's old seat here in San Diego. That is if Cunningham didn't steal the seat also.Scott Turner, 33, a political neophyte, made his announcement Tuesday from a makeshift lectern placed on the 50-yard line at Santa Fe Christian School's Beauchamp Stadium.
Flanked by his wife, Robin, Turner said he's in the 50th Congressional District race despite naysayers who, he said, have told him he needs a Hail Mary-type completion to overcome his better-financed and more experienced rivals.
"Many have already tried to dissuade me from one, running for Congress, and two, entering this particular race which is filled with professional politicians and other candidates," Turner said. "They state that I don't have a chance. But through perseverance, hard work, faith in God and determination, I have been able to succeed in many areas of my life, and in my own personal dictionary I have crossed out the word 'impossible.' "
Turner made no mention of ethnicity in his announcement, instead talking of his humble upbringing in Texas and what he said was his lifelong ability to overcome adversity. He cited his ability to play professional football from 1995 through 2004 despite lacking NFL size. He played for the San Diego Chargers from 1998 through the 2002 season.
"The same attributes that allowed me to be successful on the fields of play are the ones that I will take with me to be not just a successful, but a wonderful representative of the people of the 50th District of California," he said.
Okay. Here it comes. The Chargers record during The Scott Turner Era
2002 8 -8
2001 5 -11
2000 1 -15
1999 8 -8
1998 5 -11
Little math here...carry the four...hmmmmmm
I come up with 27 - 53. Excellence on the field, indeed.
Now I'm no big Chargers fan but, honest to Jeebus, I've never heard of the guy before so I guess that means we can't blame him for that 1-15 season.
Doesn't mean we have to vote for him though...
Meanwhile I see that Jeff Jacoby is late to the bash Gilliard party
:NOTHING BRINGS OUT RACIST slurs like an ambitious black man who doesn't know his ''place." So when Maryland's lieutenant governor, Michael Steele, announced his candidacy for the US Senate recently, the bigots reared up. On one popular website, The News Blog, Steele's picture was grotesquely doctored, making him look like a minstrel-show caricature. ''I's Simple Sambo and I's Running for the Big House," read the insulting headline accompanying the picture.
This wasn't some white supremacist slime from the right-wing fringe. The News Blog is a liberal site, and the reason for its racist attack on Steele, a former chairman of the Maryland Republican Party, is that he is a conservative. Specifically, a black conservative. As far as too many liberals are concerned, blacks who reject liberalism deserve to be smeared as Sambos and worse.
''Black Democratic leaders in Maryland say that racially tinged attacks against Lt. Gov. Michael Steele . . . are fair because he is a conservative Republican," The Washington Times reported. ''Such attacks . . . include pelting him with Oreo cookies during a campaign appearance, calling him an 'Uncle Tom,' and depicting him as a blackfaced minstrel."
Ah yes. The Oreos of Mass Destruction
.Yet his spokesman recalls a veritable shower of Oreos:
Paul Schurick, Ehrlich's communications director, said last week that he saw people passing out packages of the cookies outside Morgan State University's fine arts center before the debate and that when Steele entered the auditorium about 15 minutes before the start, people let fly with the cookies.
"It was raining Oreos," Schurick said. "They were thick in the air like locusts. I was there. It was very real. It wasn't subtle.
Wow, locusts. That must have caused quite a mess:
Several debate attendees, however, could not corroborate Ehrlich and Schurick's version of events.
"It didn't happen here," said Vander Harris, operations manager of the Murphy Fine Arts Building at Morgan State. "I was in on the cleanup, and we found no cookies or anything else abnormal. There were no Oreo cookies thrown."...
Clint Coleman, a spokesman for Morgan State who was at the event, said he saw lots of unseemly behavior but no Oreos.
"There were a lot of things, disturbances, by this group of outsiders who were bent on disrupting the debate," Coleman said. "But I never actually saw Oreo cookies being thrown at him."
As for "raining Oreos," Coleman said, "I can tell you that did not happen."
Neil Duke, who moderated the event for the NAACP, said last week that he didn't see any cookies....
Funny, because the shower of locusts apparently even hit people, they said:
Most of the accounts in the past few weeks have described Steele being "pelted" by Oreos. Ehrlich said on WBAL radio that his father was hit in the head by one of the cookies. Schurick also said Ehrlich's father was hit. Schurick would not make Robert L. Ehrlich Sr. available for an interview yesterday.
Kind of makes you wonder how a media organization
can allow such misreporting.
Well it makes me wonder and maybe you, but not everyone
Somebody should alert Mr. Jacoby. Maybe he could write a column on bullshit from the right.
posted by tbogg at 4:44 PM
...for all the nice comments and emails on Casey. She will be reading them when she gets home tonight. By the way, her team won the tournament for the first time since they've been going, starting back in 1995. Yea, them.
Additionally, thanks to frequent commenter sidhe for the Al Franken book.
I'm soaking in it right now.
posted by tbogg at 4:28 PM
He lost it at the moviesSpeaking of "sloppily dressed"
Victor Davis Sam Peckinpah Was A Pussy Hanson goes to the movies and cherrypicks a few to prove that Hollywood is failing us
and that is why their profits are down and the terrorists have won.When terrorism goes to the movies in the post-Sept. 11 world, we might expect the plots, characters and themes to reflect some sort of believable reality. But in Hollywood, the politically correct impulse now overrides all else. Even the spectacular pyrotechnics, beautiful people and accomplished acting cannot hide it.
Instead, moviegoers can anticipate before the opening credits that those characters who work for the American government or are at war with terrorists will likely be portrayed as criminals, incompetents or people existing on the same moral plane as killers.
Take this fall's "Flightplan," in which the U.S. air marshal on board and a flight attendant turn out to be the true terrorists. Meanwhile, four Middle Eastern males are unfairly put under suspicion in the lynch-mob atmosphere on the plane.
The film warns us that the real threat after Sept. 11 is certainly not young Middle Eastern males on planes who might hijack or crash them into iconic American buildings. No, more dangerous in Hollywood's alternate universe are the flight officials themselves — who in reality on Sept. 11 battled terrorists only to have their throats cut before being blown up with all the passengers.
Because the film would have been so much more thrilling
if only they had gone with the obvious choice and not kept us guessing and then we could have left early and gone home and boned up on our Aeschylus. Afterall, surprises in movies suck...at least they do in M. Night Shyamalan films.A slickly filmed "Syriana" is the worst of the recent releases. The film's problem is not just that it predictably presents the bad, ugly sheik as a puppet of American oil interests while the handsome and good independent crown price is assassinated for championing his oppressed people against Western hegemony. Or that the conniving corporate potentates have big bellies and Southern accents while the goodhearted, sloppily dressed George Clooney is double-crossed by his stylish, pampered CIA bosses safe in the Washington, D.C., suburbs.
"Syriana" also perverts historical reality. Everything connected with the oil industry is portrayed as corrupt and exploitative, with no hint that petroleum fuels civilization. Hollywood producers might not see many oil rigs off the Malibu coast, but someone finds and delivers them gas each morning for their luxury cars.
So, really, oil companies are actually the (choose one):
A) Mother Teresa
C) Harvest God Who Feeds The Little Children
...of Western Civilization and the ivory tower elites with their fancy tree farms
should just bow down in the oil companies general direction and thank them all the sacrifices
they make.Actors, producers, screenwriters and directors of Southern California live in a bubble, where coast, climate and plentiful capital shield the film industry from the harsh world. In their good intentions, these tanned utopians can afford to dream away fascist killers and instead rail at Western bogeymen — even in the midst of a global war against Middle East jihadists who wish to trump what they wrought at the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
Because, if the jihadists want another shot at us (and they are
coming because Hollywood refuses to unleash the Movie Of Mass Destruction on them) they're not going to come through LA or New York or Chicago or Washington DC. Oh no, that would be too obvious. They're coming straight after Fresno.
would be a surprise.
posted by tbogg at 1:21 PM
Soon they will be calling him Rod Gayher
Rod Dreher: HereticI LIKED "BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN" [Rod Dreher]
Don't believe the hype! It's a good (not great) work of art that is not at all the propaganda tract that both its amen chorus on the left and their antagonists on the right claim. As I write in my column today, it does what Flannery O'Connor says true art does, which is to make "concrete details of life that make actual the mystery of our position here on earth"
Lets go the Dreher review: My friend Victor Morton turned me around. On his "Right-Wing Film Geek" blog (www.cinecon.blogspot.com), Victor wrote a long, impassioned post that said, in effect, Don't believe the 'Brokeback' hype, from either side! The film is good, not great, Victor argued, but what makes it worthwhile is its fidelity to the tragic truth of its characters, not its usefulness to anybody's cause.
Intrigued, I found on the Internet a link to the Annie Proulx short story on which the movie is based and was shocked by how good it was, especially at embodying the "concrete details of life that make actual the mystery of our position here on earth" – Catholic writer Flannery O'Connor's description of what true artistry does. Though director Ang Lee's tranquil style fails to capture the daemonic wildness of Ms. Proulx's version, I came away from the film thinking, this is not for everybody, but it really is a work of art.
Of course, to provide himself with cover, "Rod" builds his column around the strawman that Brokeback
was meant as some sort of cudgel with which to beat the masses over their homo-hatin' heads. In fact the reviews
pretty much say exactly what "Rod" says. He just doesn't want to get 'the gay' on him.
With a quickness, the Pod weighs in
:MOVIE WARNING [JPod]
Rod Dreher also loved American Beauty.
Which reminds again us of why we sometimes wonder why a man would want to have sex with another man.
...or why a woman would, now that I think about it.
posted by tbogg at 12:33 PM
President Ball-CrusherC'mon. Take one for the team.
Crooks & Liars has the audio up of John Yoo
defending anything that the President wants to do. Anything
If George Bush thought that, by having Dakota Fanning baked alive and served to the troops, we could win the war on terror, Yoo would hand him the baster.
It's a pity Albert Gonzales is keeping Yoo from his true calling.
posted by tbogg at 11:48 AM
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
When I was a child I spoke as a child I understood as a child I thought as a child; but when I read LGF I became a man.
A big stupid racist chest-thumping keyboard-cowardmanAll aboard The Charles Johnson Express
From the comments over at Glenn Greenwald's Unclaimed Territory
we find Mr. Credibility. From his first comment
: Anonymous said...
LOL I'm one of those raging, genocidal fascist commentators on LGF. I'm an atheist who supports gay marriage and is opposed to teaching "intelligent design" in public schools. Furthermore, I joined LGF while I was still a Democrat who had supported Howard Dean's campaign for the nomination and even had my Dean t-shirt signed by Mr. Yeeaaarrgghhh himself.
What I expected to find on LGF was a bunch of narrow-minded far-right-wing bluster. What I found instead was a moderate host, plenty of intelligence, common sense, a diverse membership, and FACTS about Islamic fascism, left-wing perfidy, and mainstream media bias that opened my eyes in a big way....
But I think he realized that his coming of age story lacked juice, so he elaborated
:You need to understand, Glenn, that I'm an independent and critical thinker and that at the time I joined LGF, I was highly critical of George W. Bush, John Ashcroft, et. al. and had been voting straight Democrat for at least 8 years. I'm an atheist who posted regularly on Internet Infidels. I'd visited conservative sites and was not "converted." I was highly skeptical of LGF and went in biased against it.
It was in THAT context that I became convinced that Charles Johnson had it right. Maybe you should take the time to actually READ what he posts. After a while, the evidence of media bias, leftist treason and defeatism, and Islamofascist imperialist intentions becomes impossible to deny.
If he had just mentioned the dinner party
where he came to realize that liberals were just a bunch of utopian simps who hogged the shrimp platter I would have totally
bought into his former 'Democrat' party street cred, but as it is he doesn't even have a decent LGF nom de guerre
. I mean what kind of pussy LGF name is tigger2005
Real LGF'ers have names like Greyhawk: The Cockpuncher of Thermopylae
Don't even think about it. I'm trademarking that sumbitch...
posted by tbogg at 10:46 PM
Just another post I was hoping I
wouldn't have to writeWarning: This is a soccer post. You may skip it
if you're looking for snark. We won't hold it against you.
You callous bastard.
I haven't touched on soccer
for some time, but the phone call this afternoon brings it to the forefront.
Me: How'd the game go?
The lovely yet distraught mrs tbogg: We're on our way to the hospital.
Oh. Shit. Not again.
Now the last time the lovely and talented Casey was in an ambulance on her way to the hospital was this past July when she was playing up at Whidbey Island and what we feared was a blown-out ACL turned out to be a dislocated knee that popped back into place.
Not so lucky this time.
Twenty minutes into the second half in a tournament game up in the OC, she plants her left foot and attempts to save a ball headed out using her right foot. Twist
. But the cleat holds and "pop" (heard by everyone on the bench) there goes the knee. Early diagnosis (until the swelling goes down and we can get an MRI) is a torn LCL (not so horrible) and possible damage to the ACL (not so good) meaning that she is out anywhere from six months to a year which eliminates this years high school season and possibly all of next years club season. This is not a good thing for a sixteen year-old determined to play Division I soccer in college.
When I spoke with her tonight she didn't seem upset ( but it could have been the combination of morphine given at the field and vicodin talking) but she seemed to be determined to play once more even after I asked her if she wanted to call it a career and try being a normal teenager. She said "no" and that she wanted to be back in six months; six months being key since she is supposed to go play in Costa Rica next July and I know she doesn't want to miss that. And it's not as if she doesn't know what she is facing. Two years ago when Casey was recovering from her first torn hamstring, one of her teammates was at the same rehab facility working her way back from a torn ACL. After fourteen months her friend was ready to play...only to tear it again ten minutes into her second game back forcing to have to quit the sport. I know this is on Casey's mind but she seems determined to not let the idea of something like that happening to her stop her from trying.
I can't speak from experience because we didn't have club sports like this when I was a kid, but I guess if you've been playing something since you were four, you play somewhere near to 70-80+ games a year, and you have spent the better part of your teen years passing up on trips to Disneyland because you have a tournament that weekend, not sleeping over at a friends house because you have to be up at 5:30AM to get to a game fifty miles away, and learning how to Ace bandage a bag of frozen peas to a swollen knee, it's not an easy habit to break.
If you go into the hallway and up to Casey's bedroom door you will read a sign that says:There is only one real sin and that is to persuade oneself that the second best is anything but second best
That is a quote from Doris Lessing. I don't know where she got it, I don't even know if she knows who Doris Lessing is, but it's just one more thing that impresses me about my daughter.
She impresses me more and more every day that I get to know her.
posted by tbogg at 9:03 PM
I pick Yoo
There is some ancient business advice about picking an accountant which suggests that you should keep asking prospective applicants how much two plus two equals until you get the response: "How much do you want it to be?
Then you have your man.
I was reminded of this by Digby's post
on John Yoo who rose from mid-level paperpusher to George Bush's Calvinball/WOT Game Master.
posted by tbogg at 2:54 PM
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Illin'Sick as a dog.
Everybody at work has had that sniffling, sneezing, coughing, impeach George Bush, aching, stuffy-head, Worst. President. Ever, scratchy-throat thing...and now I have it.
I'm going to bed with the dogs and a good book.
By the way, the girls
are gone again. This time to LA until Friday.
I just know
that a waiver from Girls Gone Wild: Christmas Break
is going to show up on the fax machine any moment now...
posted by tbogg at 10:04 PM
Stone the bitch and then go out for beers.
-Works for me.And it stoned me...
" Gallagher links somewhat approvingly to a story where a woman who was having an affair wasn't sufficently punished
:Who Owes Faithfulness?/Maggie Gallagher
Lynne's post reminded me of another key part of marriage norms that we are in danger of losing: not only do married people owe each other a duty of sexual fidelity, but other people also owe "fidelity" to the couple.
In a marriage culture, people understand: You have an obligation not only to be faithful to your own wife, but also (whether married or single) not to have sex with anyone else's wife. (ditto: husband).
In privatized, contractual schemes of marriage, this element gets lost or downgraded. (If adultery is wrong only because it violates a private understanding of two people, then that's their business, not any one else's.)
A judge in New YOrk, in the middle of quite properly punishing a man for killing a friend who had become involved with his wife, was apparently operating on this deep understanding: "Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Carol Berkman noted that Elio Cruz 'made this selfish, emotional decision to punish Mr. [German] [Dionisio Cabrera], when, in fact, it was his wife doing bad things.'"
JUDGE CAGES KILLER - RIPS CHEATER WIFE
DAREH GREGORIAN. New York Post. New York, N.Y.: Dec 14, 2005. pg. 017
A man who gunned down his cheating wife's lover in a Chelsea subway station was sentenced to 18 years to life in prison yesterday - as the judge suggested the hubby retaliated against the wrong person. Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Carol Berkman noted that Elio Cruz "made this selfish, emotional decision to punish Mr. [German] Cabrera, when, in fact, it was his wife doing bad things."
"She is the one who was unfaithful," Berkman said.
Cruz, 34, a room-service waiter, was convicted last month of killing the brash rival for wife Belkys Pena's affections in February 2004.
The judge noted that even before the shooting, Cruz would vent his anger over the affair at Cabrera instead of his wife - and Cabrera would just goad him on.
Prosecutor Peter Casolaro had asked the judge to sentence Cruz to the maximum of 25 years to life, but Berkman refused, noting he had no criminal record and "was on some level provoked."
Still, Berkman said, the goading aside, she didn't understand why Cruz made Cabrera the target of his anger.
"I suppose one might add salt to the wounds of the victim's family by saying, 'Gee, he wasn't perfect.' He was a young man, and he acted like young people sometimes do," Berkman said, wondering why Cruz "addressed the victim rather than his wife."
Well actually it was both his wife and
the friend who was (as Ms. Gallagher might put it) "boning her
" that were doing bad things, but Maggie gets some sort of visceral thrill about harlots being taken to the rhetorical woodshed for being total ho's (not that Mags herself doesn't have a spot on her virginal rapsheet
). Nonetheless I think that is beside the point. Somehow I get the feeling that Maggie posted this article as a warning to her husband, as if he hasn't already been punished enough... being married to Maggie Gallagher.
posted by tbogg at 9:35 PM
Monday, December 26, 2005
Little Green Lords of the FliesUnsupervised children with sharp sticks. Wolcott
:Civilized people were appalled, disgusted, and sobered by the vicious execution of Daniel Pearl, and the beheadings that followed. But many of the warbloggers are not civilized people. It is clear that despite their sincere protestations of horror, rage, and pity, the execution of Daniel Pearl aroused them on some primitive, subconscious level. They got off on it. It functioned as death porn to their seething, frustrated psyches. (Frustrated, because the war in Iraq simply hasn't gone the way they thought it would or should. They have been denied the glorious clearcut victory they craved.) The beheading ritual tapped into their sadistic impulses, and excited their own fantasies of torturing their foes. When rightwing bloggers and posters conjure that under Islam, Democrats--which they've come to call dhimmicrats--will get what's coming to them (i.e., the business end of a butcher's blade), it's as if it's a horrible fate that couldn't possibly happen to them*--because it's a death wish directed outward. The Islamic terrorists serve as proxies and stand-ins in this imaginary theater of cruelty, enacting what they (the warbloggers) would like to mete out to us (their domestic adversaries). Sometimes the punishment they seek is more Jacobean, as when Michael Fumento greeted Cindy Sheehan's threat to tie herself to the fence in Crawford, Texas to protest the 2000th military death in Iraq with the sentiment, Good, let her lash herself to the fence: "Leave her there and maybe the crows will do the world a favor and eat her tongue out."
It's no accident that it is the rightwing bloggers and pundits who have been avid about defending the use of torture against suspected terrorists. Nor is it an accident that many of them pooh-poohed Abu Ghraib, sluffing it off as no more harmless than fraternity hazing. But what their decapitation odes reveal is that what they'd really like to do is permit torture closer to home. Domesticate it. Trivialize it. Completely destigmatize it as a tool of the state.
Jane has a post
up today about the tools over at Pajamas Media and how these guys (in particular, Charles Johnson, Roger L Simon, and to a lesser degree, Glenn Reynolds
) landed some VC bucks for their little business model based on pissing down a few dollars (it's the new 'trickle down') to their merry band of goobers, shut-ins, and wannabes. One has to wonder how much these three are pulling down, although it's pretty obvious it's not enough for any of them to stop going to Fantastic Sams
. Meanwhile their affiliates are probably looking at their PJM stipend and wondering whether they should save it for their kids college fund or blow it on a Cheetos Big Grab
But what really gets me is the swill that you find on the major anchors like LGF, that Wolcott describes above, and how PJM advertisers like Victoria's Secret and Circuit City feel about having their ads placed on StormFront Lite and its lessers...unless of course Victoria's Secret is getting ready to launch their Illsa, SheWolf
line and Circuit City is having a sale on nipple clamps and car batteries, in which case it all makes sense.
Maybe someone should ask them.
posted by tbogg at 10:30 PM
Which HuntShe turned me into a newt...
:Normally, it's front page news when Colin Powell, or someone who knows Powell, criticizes any aspect of Bush administration policy. But I didn't see anything on the Post's front page (or anywhere in its news section) about Powell's support for Bush's policy with respect to electronic intercepts of terrorist communications. Powell told ABC's This Week that "I see absolutely nothing wrong with the president authorizing these kinds of actions. . . .He was trying to protect the nation. And we have done things like this in the past."andUPDATE by JOHN: Michelle Malkin has much more on the Times' latest leak. It sounds to me as though the data-mining project that is the subject of today's story is something quite different from the much more limited surveillance that was described in the Times' original stories. Both, I think, are good ideas. The data mining project is reminiscent of Able Danger, and it sounds exactly like the Echelon program that briefly stirred controversy during the Clinton administration. I think the NSA intercepts that are the subject of today's article have been going on for years, if not decades.andUndoubtedly NSA vacuums up enormous amounts of communications traffic outside the US in a fairly indiscriminate manner and then analyzes it with powerful software (think Able Danger) for relevance and for more directed targeting. By targeting those non-USPER operatives NSA may learn the identities of al Qaeda operatives within the US. Those operatives within the US may or may not be USPERS--citizens or resident aliens who acquired their status without fraud (for example, not by lying about their hostile intent toward the US) qualify, but no other categories of persons within the US qualify.
If the operatives that are discovered within the US turn out to be non-USPERS, then NSA can continue surveilling them when they communicate with persons outside the US. If, by further investigation, it is determined that the surveillance has identified USPERS within the US and that it is desirable to "intentionally" target those USPERS within the US, then of course FISA comes into play--usually through or at the instigation of the FBI, our primary Counterterrorism and Counterintelligence agency. It seems to me that something like this would be the overwhelmingly most likely scenario, and that the authors of FISA recognized and allowed for this type of situation--while not necessarily foreseeing the specific circumstances of the GWOT.
PAUL adds: This is an excellent analysis of 50 U.S.C. 1801(f)(1). If the activity at issue constitutes surveillance under FISA, it more plausibly does so under section (f)(2), which encompasses
the acquisition by an electronic, mechanical, or other surveillance device of the contents of any wire communication to or from a person in the United States, without the consent of any party thereto, if such acquisition occurs in the United States. . . .
But the NSA intercepts avoid this prong to the extent that the acquisition of the wire communication can be said to occur outside the U.S. andI'm still trying to reach firm conclusions on the legal issues surrounding President Bush's decision to have the NSA conduct, without court approval, electronic surveillance of communications between foreign terrorists and Americans (who might also be terrorists). I've reached the firm conclusion that the Fourth Amendment does not blanketly prohibit search searches. As John has noted, the Fourth Amendment prohibits unreasonable searches, which is not the same thing as searches without warrants. There are clear exceptions to the search requirement. For example, as Bill Otis notes, "exigent circumstances" will justify searching without a warrant in ordinary criminal investigations. So it can certainly justify such searches, under certain factual circumstances, when it comes to figuring out how al Qaeda plans to attack this country.
It also seems clear that the president has the inherent authority to authorize warrantless searches where necessary to protect this country from foreign enemies. This appears to have been the holding of every court of appeals that has considered the question. I haven't seen any contrary authority.
Power Line then
:JOHN adds: I enjoyed the film for its excellent jazz music, its lovely black and white aesthetic, and its portrayal of 50s vices. (At one point I wondered whether the audience was supposed to be aware of a certain parallel between Murrow's smoking himself to death and McCarthy's drinking himself to death.) And to its credit, the film does briefly acknowedge the existence of actual Communists in the federal government, specifically Alger Hiss. On the whole, though, the movie's perspective was too cartoonish to be very informative, or to generate much sense of conflict.
One of the things I can't figure out is how the McCarthy story is supposed to have anything to do with today's issues. George Clooney clearly thinks that it does, and there are a couple of portentous moments in the film that indicate that we are supposed to draw some kind of a parallel. But what is it? The closest potential parallel would be if there were a "witch hunt" for suspected Islamic terror supporters going on. For better or worse, however, there isn't. Maybe the parallel is supposed to relate to the abuse of Congressional committees. But who has been unfairly hauled in front of a committee in recent years? The closest "witch hunt" analogies I can think of are Ronnie Earle's persecution of Tom DeLay and other Republicans, and the special prosecutor's hauling of Karl Rove, Scooter Libby and many others before a grand jury to investigate the Plame pseudo-story.
But somehow I doubt those are the parallels Clooney had in mind.
posted by tbogg at 9:15 PM
Shorter Mark SteynFear of A Black Planet is both a recording and an effective pick-up line at Christian Singles Night.
posted by tbogg at 12:05 AM
Sunday, December 25, 2005
They call them "Dittoheads" because Sean Hannity's posse already had dibs on "Toostupidtoliveheads"Rush's kids
Now that the War on Christmas has been declared a quagmire and stored in the attic for another year we turn to theYellow Elephant
front, where we see that they are taking the fight (that would be the whining sniveling "I got bad grades" fight as opposed to the "bang bang...I'm hit! Medic!" fight) to the college campuses with a story here
in the NY Times and this one
from Faux News with this priceless quote:"This is where reform should happen: on the local levels, on the state levels," said Flickinger, whose ire is mostly directed at what he says is liberal bias in the classroom. He said a "quiet rebellion" is occurring among students who Flickinger calls "(Rush) Limbaugh babies" — students were brought up in households where the popular conservative talk radio host could be heard. "They have developed critical thinking skills and don't take at face value what the left is saying."
They are so cute when they try to frame an argument...
posted by tbogg at 11:10 PM
Jesus of Manzanar
Michelle Malkin celebrates the birth of the Christ child
...and if that swarthy Lord of the so-called "religion of peace" happens to enter our borders she wants him secretly surveilled
and possibly interned
, him being a Middle Easterner with his phony claims of being be "persecuted
" and all.
posted by tbogg at 9:43 PM
Something About Roy
There is a reason that some of us feel that Roy Edroso is one of the best writers, not only only the blogs, but on the internets.This
posted by tbogg at 4:59 PM
Meme meWith four you get eggroll
Accepting the challenge from Tom Tomorrow
(Defender of Democracy), nine sets of four:Four jobs you’ve had in your life
: Roofer, travel agent, running-shoe store owner, merchandise manager for a menopause catalog (hah! beat that one)Four movies you could watch over and over
: Chinatown, The Godfather, Babette's Feast, Annie Hall.
Four places you’ve lived
: Pacific Beach Dr (twice), Law St, Hornblend St, Felspar St. Let's face it, I have never lived more than five miles from where I live now. Four TV shows you love to watch
: Law & Order SVU, Desperate Housewives, Sabado Gigante
(I have no idea what they are saying but Don Francisco is the shits), the late great Action
, sample quotes here
. Four places you’ve been on vacation
: Maui, Cancun, Nanaimo, White Horse (Yukon).
Four websites you visit daily
: Eschaton, Roger Ailes, Firedoglake, First Draft (those are just a few of the blogs)Four of your favorite foods
: Fried chicken, hot & sour soup, dark chocolate nonpareils, calamari.
Four places you’d rather be
: Barcelona, Ensenada, San Francisco, on a boat far from land .Four albums you can’t live without
: The Stone Roses (eponymous CD), Aimee Mann - Whatever
, Cassandra Wilson - New Moon Daughter
, Charlie Haden & Pat Metheny - Beyond the Missouri Sky
...and so we pass the baton to: Roger Ailes the Good and Not A Prick
posted by tbogg at 3:11 PM
There goes our shot at Parents of the YearThe girls are back in town
Not to sound too maudlin, but the best part of my Christmas is having the girls back. Now I have to have a talk with my wife about keeping my daughter out of bars.
The fact that she looks older than sixteen is no excuse...
posted by tbogg at 2:56 PM
Saturday, December 24, 2005
Christmas Eve Basset BloggingSee the good dogs?.
Obviously the above bassets are not Satchmo & Beckham. You can tell because they are behaving. Instead we present Beverly & Fred owned by Gene Lyons (that would be this Gene Lyons
) of whom I'm a big fan and someone that I share basset stories and questions with infrequently.
I imagine that while Gene's dogs were sitting patiently having their picture taken with Santa, my dogs were probably doing this:Feral bassets.
Not a creature was stirring, my butt.
posted by tbogg at 8:04 PM
Friday, December 23, 2005
A Very Lileks ChristmasComin' to town.... Twas the night before Christmas, and through Jasperwood
We shut it down early, like good Lutherans should.
The presents were finished with none left to wrap.
In each festive package some more Target crap.
Gnat tucked in her bed and dreaming sweet thoughts,
After one boring story and three Nyquil shots
And mama was upstairs beginning to snore
While I finished watching Stargate Season Four.
When out on the lawn there arose a kerfluffle
Startled, my foreheads, they started to ruffle
I snuck to the windows and peeked through the drapes
But I could see nothing, my knees they did quake
The moon it shown down on the undisturbed snow
That I had not moved since my blower won’t blow.
There was someone out there! Someone bad I just knew it.
If only I was brave like my good friend Hugh Hewitt
There’s bad people out there they envy our stuff,
Because they've no Targets, their life is quite rough..
They want to invade us and make us their slaves.
Live in our ranchstyles, not in their dark caves.
Islamists! Jihadis! and Birkenstocked hipsters!
They'll destroy our pop culture and marry our sisters
No more "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year"
They'l make fun of my matchbook collection, I fear.
These people are evil, they must be interned
Or they'll fly into buildings, this much we have learned.
I can't live in a world without DVD sets
But my wife is relieved there will be no more sex
And then in a twinkling I heard a small crash
Like a door that was opened too quickly, too fast.
This is it! I just know it! They've invaded our block!
Up the walkway, the stairs to the door they did knock.
Because of the wife I don't have a gun
She said if I did I'd blow off my left thumb
So I went to the door and peeked through the crack
Omigawd, it's a man! Omigawd, he is black!
He stood there and waited and rapped hard once more
I knew it was hopeless, I opened the door.
And there stood a UPS man all in brown
He held a small package, his face held a frown.
"I've got a package for Lileks", he held out a pad
I grabbed it and signed it, I scribbled like mad
He gave me the box and he went on his way
No "Merry Christmas" No "Happy holidays".
I slammed close the door, my heart slowed a little.
But the front of my pants showed I'd done a small piddle.
So I went to the kitchen and I put on the kettle
And soon my fast breathing, it started to settle.
I made some green tea and I climbed up the stairs
My wife sat there giving me one of those stares.
"Well, that was a close one", as I set down my cup.
She said, "Jim come to bed... and shut the fuck up."
posted by tbogg at 6:32 PM
She'll never make it home for Christmas in this blizzard.
We might as well go inside and have sex.
Just like every Hallmark Hall of Fame Christmas movie ever made where one of the characters doesn't look like they'll make it home for Christmas because:
A) A big snow storm
B) Brain tumor surgery
C) Their parole board has adjourned for the holidaysAmerica's Worst Mother
bursts through the door with her moppets in tow (Anne-Brulé, iPolly, Myrrheena, Buck Manlyman, and baby Braxton-Jicama) and her arms laden with presents and
Okay. Maybe not so much with the presents:It’s not as though Christmas and all its gift-giving obligations come as a surprise, exactly, but with one thing and another the sense of urgency hits progressively later each year, which is pretty foolish when you consider, as I ought to, that lots of our relatives live overseas, beyond the reach of FedEx next-day delivery.
“Shush, secret-agent guy, I’m on the phone!” I call, on hold and typing furiously and wondering whether it would be cheesy to send a bottle of port with her name in calligraphy on it to my mother-in-law. Does she even drink port? Or what about the fruit and nut platter? No one wants a fruit and nut platter, surely, but I’m getting anxious.
‘T’was the night before Christmas/ And there in the house/ A woman was freaking/ And clicking her mouse.
“Confirm order,” I click, and off to one household goes a box of groovy stemless wine glasses. I hit “Confirm order” again, and whistling along the cables go two wine-and-cheese baskets, a box of truffles, and enough books to stock a village library. I am beyond wincing — over the predictability of these gifts, over the delivery fees, over their lateness — and must must must get them out.
Because we must remember that it's not the thought that counts or even getting it there on time. It's that you make a effort to pretend that you care so people won't think that you're self-absorbed or that you think buying them something for Christmas is as undesirable as changing Dick Cheney's colostomy bag. And it's not like you have any family members who hop on the internets to read the quaint anecdotes that the mother of their grandchildren sharing with the world. Heavens no.
And you why wonder there is tension at holiday dinners.The fact is, my husband and I are feckless layabouts when it comes to timely gift-giving, and Internet shopping is our enabler, the destroyer of any motivation to pull our socks up. We act, in short, as people generally do when their bad behavior is subsidized: Our pathologies become evermore deep-seated. I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few years’ time we’re reduced to getting up before dawn on Christmas morning in order to get something delivered to the house before the children wake up.
And you wonder why they'll all be on a very special Dr. Phil : 'Children Who Say "Mummy" and Why They Get Their Asses Kicked
'. Still, it is a lovely time of year, isn’t it? The mailman has been dropping off brown paper packages tied up with string (from kind friends and relations who are not so shamefully disorganized), and colorful cards with nativity scenes that make Violet and Phoebe argue about which one of them gets to be the angel, or the Virgin Mary, as if, by pointing at a small reproduction printed on a card of, say, a Raphael, they actually can become that elegant figure to the exclusion of all others. The baby is always Flora.
If we remember correctly it is oldest daughter Anne-Brulé (she's the serious one with her nose always in a book) who is auditioning for the part of Virgin Mary, by interning with K-Lo (" ...and these are all my cats, named after children I will never have. Over here is my shrine to Mitt Romney. sigh. He's so dreamy..."
) But back to baby Braxton-Jicama:Flora herself is a kind of Christmas pudding, very sweet and sturdy and possibly the least volatile infant in history. Her job is to sit in whatever spot she’s placed, beaming at whatever face looms into view and, unfortunately, doing rather a lot of coughing. Such is the fate of babies born in the autumn, just when their siblings start coming home with microbes nurtured in steamy pre-k classrooms, but we could have done without that 36-hour hospital stay some weeks back, when her breathing went all shallow and rapid. She’s fine now, and exists in a constant mist from the portable humidifiers that travel around the house with her.
“Hey, cut it out, Paris!”
“Don’t shoot at your sister,” I say automatically. “A boy should always protect — “
“I’m not shooting at her, just near her.”
And you wonder if he is going to end up in Iraq.Just then, Violet comes down the stairs with Flora in her arms. Phoebe follows close behind, trailing a pink baby blanket which she is wearing like a toga.
“Yikes, Violet, careful on the stairs,” Molly says.
“Hello, Galapagos Glaow,” Paris says tenderly, using his nickname for her.
Okay. Maybe not.”Ok, Mummy, here’s everything,” Molly says, bustling in with an armload of wrapped presents. Happily, it appears she hasn’t inherited the gene that leads to seasonal incompetence. “Will you put these in the Forbidden Closet? Or shall I — ”
“No, no,” I cover hastily, “let me do it. I wouldn’t like anyone to see anything they shouldn’t.”
Ahhh. Finally. The appearance of Daddy“Say,” Molly interrupts, “What are you giving Daddy for Christmas this year?”
“A helicopter, or what?”
“She can’t give him a helicopter — “
“How about a book?”
A brief bolt of anxiety runs through me — oh, man, what am I going to give my husband? — then dissipates almost immediately. Five small, interested faces are turned my way, and suddenly I feel like the mother of the Gracchi brothers, who told a highly ornamented friend that her children were her jewels.
“Oh, I don’t know,” I say lightly, “probably a sweater.”
And you wonder why he has affairs...
It's a winter wonderland.
posted by tbogg at 7:08 AM
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Song of Solomon 2:3 will totally get you a blowjobWhat team would Jesus play for?
For your last minute
Christmas gift-giving pleasure or for the Promisekeeper on your list...providing you didn't already buy him some manhood.Christian Throwback Jerseys
(Thanks to Kevin for the link)
posted by tbogg at 11:57 PM
Vice-King Dick(Image courtesy of BloodForOil.org)
The New York Times pulls back the curtain on the cancer that is Dick Cheney
. Here it is in all of its glory:Mr. Cheney's Imperial Presidency
Published: December 23, 2005
George W. Bush has quipped several times during his political career that it would be so much easier to govern in a dictatorship. Apparently he never told his vice president that this was a joke.
Virtually from the time he chose himself to be Mr. Bush's running mate in 2000, Dick Cheney has spearheaded an extraordinary expansion of the powers of the presidency - from writing energy policy behind closed doors with oil executives to abrogating longstanding treaties and using the 9/11 attacks as a pretext to invade Iraq, scrap the Geneva Conventions and spy on American citizens.
It was a chance Mr. Cheney seems to have been dreaming about for decades. Most Americans looked at wrenching events like the Vietnam War, the Watergate scandal and the Iran-contra debacle and worried that the presidency had become too powerful, secretive and dismissive. Mr. Cheney looked at the same events and fretted that the presidency was not powerful enough, and too vulnerable to inspection and calls for accountability.
The president "needs to have his constitutional powers unimpaired, if you will, in terms of the conduct of national security policy," Mr. Cheney said this week as he tried to stifle the outcry over a domestic spying program that Mr. Bush authorized after the 9/11 attacks.
Before 9/11, Mr. Cheney was trying to undermine the institutional and legal structure of multilateral foreign policy: he championed the abrogation of the Antiballistic Missile Treaty with Moscow in order to build an antimissile shield that doesn't work but makes military contactors rich. Early in his tenure, Mr. Cheney, who quit as chief executive of Halliburton to run with Mr. Bush in 2000, gathered his energy industry cronies at secret meetings in Washington to rewrite energy policy to their specifications. Mr. Cheney offered the usual excuses about the need to get candid advice on important matters, and the courts, sadly, bought it. But the task force was not an exercise in diverse views. Mr. Cheney gathered people who agreed with him, and allowed them to write national policy for an industry in which he had recently amassed a fortune.
The effort to expand presidential power accelerated after 9/11, taking advantage of a national consensus that the president should have additional powers to use judiciously against terrorists.
Mr. Cheney started agitating for an attack on Iraq immediately, pushing the intelligence community to come up with evidence about a link between Iraq and Al Qaeda that never existed. His team was central to writing the legal briefs justifying the abuse and torture of prisoners, the idea that the president can designate people to be "unlawful enemy combatants" and detain them indefinitely, and a secret program allowing the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on American citizens without warrants. And when Senator John McCain introduced a measure to reinstate the rule of law at American military prisons, Mr. Cheney not only led the effort to stop the amendment, but also tried to revise it to actually legalize torture at C.I.A. prisons.
There are finally signs that the democratic system is trying to rein in the imperial presidency. Republicans in the Senate and House forced Mr. Bush to back the McCain amendment, and Mr. Cheney's plan to legalize torture by intelligence agents was rebuffed. Congress also agreed to extend the Patriot Act for five weeks rather than doing the administration's bidding and rushing to make it permanent.
On Wednesday, a federal appeals court refused to allow the administration to transfer Jose Padilla, an American citizen who has been held by the military for more than three years on suspicion of plotting terrorist attacks, from military to civilian custody. After winning the same court's approval in September to hold Mr. Padilla as an unlawful combatant, the administration abruptly reversed course in November and charged him with civil crimes unrelated to his arrest. That decision was an obvious attempt to avoid having the Supreme Court review the legality of the detention powers that Mr. Bush gave himself, and the appeals judges refused to go along.
Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney have insisted that the secret eavesdropping program is legal, but The Washington Post reported yesterday that the court created to supervise this sort of activity is not so sure. It said the presiding judge was arranging a classified briefing for her fellow judges and that several judges on the court wanted to know why the administration believed eavesdropping on American citizens without warrants was legal when the law specifically requires such warrants.
Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney are tenacious. They still control both houses of Congress and are determined to pack the judiciary with like-minded ideologues. Still, the recent developments are encouraging, especially since the court ruling on Mr. Padilla was written by a staunch conservative considered by President Bush for the Supreme Court.
Too bad this won't be run in every paper in the country.
posted by tbogg at 11:41 PM
This time to frequent commenter Cap'n Phealy for the Throne of Blood
Festive holiday viewing!
posted by tbogg at 11:36 PM
Friday Random Ten
holiday songs are still on it.Time To Waste
- Alkaline TrioGonna' Make You Love Me
- Ryan AdamsTwo For The Road
- Charlie Haden & Pat MethenyThat's How I Knew This Story Would Break My Heart
- Aimee MannYulunga
- Dead Can DanceKnockin' On Heaven's Door
- Warren ZevonSleeping Beauty
- A Perfect CircleDisenchanted
- For SquirrelsThe Music We Never Hear
- MorcheebaBlame It On The Tetons
- Modest Mouse
Bonus #11 Why Can't We Be Friends?
By the way, this week Ryan Adams released his third CD in six months, each one on a different style.Cold Roses
(2 CD set)Jacksonville City Nights29
Everyone else in the industry is a slacker
posted by tbogg at 11:20 PM
Next Tuesday See you there
posted by tbogg at 11:12 PM
Thursday Night Basset BloggingThey've taken over the bed again.
posted by tbogg at 10:51 PM
Thanks for playing...next.
Jeanine Pirro, we hardly knew ye
:Westchester County District Attorney Jeanine Pirro (R) ended her campaign against New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday, bringing to a close a brief and decidedly rocky attempt to unseat perhaps the country's most famous Democratic officeholder.
Even as she announced she would shutter her campaign against Clinton, Pirro jumped into the state attorney general's contest. A recent independent poll showed her trailing the two Democrats seeking that office.
In a statement released by her campaign, Pirro said her "law enforcement background better qualifies me for a race for New York State Attorney General than a race for the United States Senate."
Oh, c'mon now. From the minute she held her press conference to announce her candidacy and stood there and shuffled papers and looked for help
her candidacy has been on a Schiavo-like deathwatch.
This was a mercy killing that everyone agreed with. Even the freepers
didn't think she had a chance against the Hildebeast666, and they can convince themselves of anything
posted by tbogg at 7:43 AM
It's not a bug. It's a feature.
The WaPo on America's Turd-Filled Pinata, Scottie McClellan
:Last Friday reporters battered McClellan over a New York Times report that the president had authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop without warrants on people in the United States. Over several minutes, McClellan emphasized that:
The president is doing all he can to protect the American people from terrorists (10 times);
The administration is committed to protecting civil liberties and upholding the Constitution (seven times);
Congress has an important oversight role, and the administration is committed to working with it on these difficult matters (five times); and
He would not discuss ongoing intelligence activities (five times).
"I would urge you not to confuse clarity with rigidity," says Nicolle Wallace, the White House communications director, who works closely with McClellan. "There is great clarity in the way the president wants us to communicate, and Scott embodies that."
When briefings get tense, McClellan's voice can become robotic, as if he's a hostage reading a statement. His body language can betray unease: He starts blinking rapidly and he clenches his shoulders as an interrogator unfurls a question.
"There's no question the dynamic of the briefing room has changed with live TV," says senior White House aide Dan Bartlett, who also works closely with McClellan. "When you have live cameras rolling, it makes for an even more stressful working environment. You're talking about difficult issues, and mistakes get compounded."
Colleagues (on-message) say McClellan has held up well in these difficult months. Others (off-message) say he's had a tough time, has lost hair, gained jowls and looks stressed, especially over the Plame case, which made a return to the briefing room Thursday after an absence of a few weeks.
It started when the president told Fox News's Brit Hume last week that he believed that Rep. Tom DeLay was not guilty of money-laundering charges in Texas. This undercut McClellan's vow that he would not comment on the Plame matter because it is an "ongoing investigation," something he has repeated hundreds of times in recent months. We join Thursday's episode in progress:
Reporter: "Why would that not apply to the same type of prosecution involving Congressman DeLay?"
McClellan: "I just told you we had a policy in place regarding this investigation, and you've heard me say before that we're not going to talk about it further while it's ongoing."
In a flurry of follow-ups, McClellan repeated that the White House had a policy on the Plame case (four times) and that the policy was not to comment (three times).
NBC's David Gregory broke in, declaring the administration to be "inconsistent," then "hypocritical."
"You have a policy for some investigations and not others, when it's a political ally who you need to get work done?" Gregory asked.
McClellan: "Call it presidential prerogative; he responded to that question. But the White House established a policy." He mentioned that the DeLay case is a "legal proceeding."
Gregory: "As is the Fitzgerald investigation. . . . As you've told us ad nauseam from the podium."
After more back-and-forth, McClellan said, "You can get all dramatic about it, but you know what our policy is."
Which ended that exchange
posted by tbogg at 7:24 AM
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
VirginBirthmas Advent Blogging - Day Four Somebody needs to have a talk with the girls in receivables....
Was at the Company-That-Tbogg-Works-For
Holiday Extravaganza all evening. Not much to report. Brazilian food. Brazilian beer (Brahma). Brazilian waitresses.
The employees showed remarkable restraint. No knife fights this year.
I view this as progress....
See you in the morning.
posted by tbogg at 11:51 PM
The picture says it allMerry Christmas losers.
posted by tbogg at 8:33 AM
Stuck on idle
Nothing like a little union strike to bring out the best from they-work-hard-for-the-money lunch-pail crowd over at the Corner
. These are the Travel the Country and Beg For Cash All-Stars coming soon to a Holiday Inn Express near you seeking donations in return for a little face time so that they don't have to keep sneaking into Bill Buckley's room late at night and raiding his wallet while he lies in state.
First we have The Derb
- "Did you know that "Overall, 90 percent of public employees enjoy a defined-benefit pension, compared with only 20 percent (and falling) of the private work force"? (Quote from Time magazine, 10/31/05 issue, "Where pensions are golden".)
When you are in your seventies, you will still be schlepping to work every day, so your taxes can fund the Caribbean cruise of some cop, subway motorman, or schoolteacher who retired at 55. How will you feel about that? Mad as hell, that's how. Inevitably, your mad-as-hell-ness will translate into politics sooner or later. Government people--enjoy it while you've got it. It won't last much longer.
So I guess we've gotten over that post-9/11 "we honor the policemen who put their lives on the line" banalities. Buncha donut-eating slackers.
And speaking of donut-eating slackers, heeeeeres Jonah
!:Derb raises what I've long thought is one of the Democratic Party's most under-reported liabilities. The Dems believe they are the party of the working man. Obviously, lots of working men (and women) are Democrats. But the lunch-bucket factory workers increasingly aren't. Meanwhile, they are becoming simply the part of government, and not in a metaphorical sense. Government unions have become hugely influential within the ranks of the Democratic Party. How to promise plausible innovative reforms when one of their core constituencies is so deeply invested in government bloat and inefficiency is going to be a major challenge for decades to come.
Jonah, who 'blegs' for others to do his work so he has time to bring us the finest in timewasters, should never ever
I think the humor in Jonah lamenting "bloat" is pretty self evident.
posted by tbogg at 7:21 AM
Make mine Wal-Mart
K-Lo, who recently was pushing for a little blingage from Wal-Mart
, is tired of the Kay Jeweler commercials
which remind her that she is, in the words of Jenny Fields, a "sexual suspect". KAY JEWELERS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Stop. Now. You give a lot of cover to guys who can afford to buy diamonds to not buy 'em for Christmas. Your tradition just gives me more e-mail complaints (or thank yous, from men).Every "kiss" does begin with "K." So: Enough.
posted by tbogg at 7:11 AM
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
This. Completely. Sucks.
Casey is going to be so pissed
I've met Larry Lucchino (he's a friend of a friend from when he was in San Diego) and this a major
screw-up and I can't believe it happened on his watch. Now they can't trade Manny and they better start scrambling to fill lead-off.
Have I ever mentioned that we're big Red Sox fans?
From the comments....reaction to the Damon signing
posted by tbogg at 11:23 PM
VirginBirthmas Advent Blogging - Day ThreeOh, but I'm alright, I'm alright
I'm just weary to my bones
The boys have been very good today. This makes me suspicious. Earlier I went into the lovely and talented Casey's room to see how the housekeeper fared and Satchmo snuck in behind me and started sniffing around. When I turned around to shoo him out he bolted out the door and into our room with something in his mouth. Shooting under the bed he met up with the Lil Bastard and they started giggling and chewing.
Later I found the remnants of a part of a pack of Orbit gum.
The dogs (now with minty fresh breath) ate dinner, did their business outside and hopped onto the bed (as you see them above). They are plainly exhausted which I attribute to the stress of a day of being terrorized by the Dyson. That and I think the housekeeper pepper-sprays them occasionally.
I don't ask. They don't tell.
No word from the girls. Last night the vivacious yet protective mrs Tbogg told me that the lovely and talented Casey got her first taste of dancing in a nightclub in Cabo. At some point a young man got a little too 'familiar' while dancing with Casey and mrs Tbogg was there to set him straight. I'm not sure if pepper-spray came into play.
I don't ask. They don't tell.
Story of my life.