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  • Monday, January 31, 2005


    And today is another day

    John Podhoretz, who has been stationed over in Iraq since the beginning and has personally killed twenty-three Islamofacists with his Keyboard of Doom:

    Yesterday was a day for Democrats and opponents of George W. Bush to swallow their bile and retract their claws and join just for a moment in celebration of an amazing and thrilling human drama in a land that has seen more than its share of thrilling human drama over the past 5,000 years.

    But you just couldn't do it, could you?



    31-Jan 4 Dead

    Three U.S. Marines were killed in combat south of Baghdad on Monday and a fourth was killed in a separate operation in Iraq's western Anbar province, the military said.

    Unfortunately none of the four Marines were born into the Lucky Sperm Club that would have allowed them to fight the war from New York City like John. who is part of our great neo-con meritocracy.

    He's Jonah Goldberg without the good looks.

    posted by tbogg at 10:42 PM



    I can name that book in one note...

    According to a link supplied by Steve at No More Mr. Nice Blog we see that:

    Mary Cheney, the daughter of Lynne and Vice President Dick Cheney is shopping a book — her first — about her life and times on the campaign trial, tentatively called, "Travels with My Father."

    Mary Cheney's lesbian lifestyle emerged as a point of controversy when it was referred to in the debates by Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards and presidential nominee John Kerry.

    The proposal is just beginning to go out to publishers. She is being represented by attorney Robert Barnett.

    We're just going to call it:

    Cheney: Without the Dick.

    ...and leave it at that.

    posted by tbogg at 10:22 PM



    Will work vote for food

    Nice little election you got going there. Be a shame if you didn't vote and your family starved:

    Voting in Baghdad was linked with receipt of food rations, several voters said after the Sunday poll.

    Many Iraqis said Monday that their names were marked on a list provided by the government agency that provides monthly food rations before they were allowed to vote.

    ”I went to the voting centre and gave my name and district where I lived to a man,” said Wassif Hamsa, a 32-year-old journalist who lives in the predominantly Shia area Janila in Baghdad. ”This man then sent me to the person who distributed my monthly food ration.”

    Mohammed Ra'ad, an engineering student who lives in the Baya'a district of the capital city reported a similar experience.

    Ra'ad, 23, said he saw the man who distributed monthly food rations in his district at his polling station. ”The food dealer, who I know personally of course, took my name and those of my family who were voting,” he said. ”Only then did I get my ballot and was allowed to vote.”

    ”Two of the food dealers I know told me personally that our food rations would be withheld if we did not vote,” said Saeed Jodhet, a 21-year-old engineering student who voted in the Hay al-Jihad district of Baghdad.

    There has been no official indication that Iraqis who did not vote would not receive their monthly food rations.

    Many Iraqis had expressed fears before the election that their monthly food rations would be cut if they did not vote. They said they had to sign voter registration forms in order to pick up their food supplies.


    Just days before the election, 52 year-old Amin Hajar who owns an auto garage in central Baghdad had said: ”I'll vote because I can't afford to have my food ration cut...if that happened, me and my family would starve to death.”

    Hajar told IPS that when he picked up his monthly food ration recently, he was forced to sign a form stating that he had picked up his voter registration. He had feared that the government would use this information to track those who did not vote.

    Calls to the Independent Electoral Commission for Iraq (IECI) and to the Ministry of Trade, which is responsible for the distribution of the monthly food ration, were not returned.

    You know, it's not democracy unless there's a little intimidation thrown in to make it exciting...

    posted by tbogg at 9:48 PM



    Pundit payola, fake "newscasts", and Potemkin journalists

    David Brock writes to Tap Dancing Scotty:

    In light of recent revelations about the Bush administration's relationship with conservative writers Armstrong Williams, Maggie Gallagher, and Michael McManus, as well as about the administration's repeated use of fake video "news" reports to promote policies, the public is understandably concerned that the White House seems to be trying to manipulate public opinion using fake "news." Given that Talon News seems to be little more than a partisan political organization and given that, based on what Mr. Gannon has written, you apparently know what he will ask during your briefings, Mr. Gannon's continued participation in White House press briefings would seem to exacerbate those concerns.

    The public has a right to expect that when you hold press briefings, the reporters are real and the questions are not staged beforehand. They have a right not to be deceived into thinking they are seeing and hearing reporters ask honest questions when they are really seeing a staged performance by partisan operatives.

    posted by tbogg at 9:25 PM


    Sunday, January 30, 2005


    When he turns in his book report, I'll believe it...

    I'm calling bullshit:

    Natan Sharansky, the former Soviet dissident, was in Philadelphia in early November promoting his new book on democracy when his publisher, PublicAffairs, got a call from the White House. Would Mr. Sharansky be available to meet with the president the next day?

    Less than 24 hours later, on Nov. 11, 2004, Mr. Sharansky found himself in the Oval Office in an hourlong conversation with the president about the book, "The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror." Mr. Bush apologized for not finishing it, Mr. Sharansky said in a telephone interview last week from Jerusalem - "He said, 'I'm on Page 211' " - but otherwise threw his arms around Mr. Sharansky's theme that spreading democracy is in the strategic self-interest of free societies.

    "I felt like his book just confirmed what I believe," Mr. Bush said in an interview on Thursday in the Oval Office. "He writes it a heck of a lot better than I could write it, and he's certainly got more credibility than I have. After all, he spent time in a Soviet prison and he has a much better perspective than I've got."

    We would like the President to sit down and write a 5-page summation of Mr. Sharansky's book (single spaced) on live pay-per-view TV. We'll even make it an open-book test.

    Oh. And no hearing-aids allowed.

    posted by tbogg at 11:56 PM



    A mans with the courage of his pimped-out ride

    Ali Fadel shouldn't buy any green bananas:

    The man replacing the mayor of Baghdad — who was assassinated for his pro-American loyalties — says he is not worried about his ties to Washington.

    In fact, he'd like to erect a monument to honor President Bush in the middle of the city.

    "We will build a statue for Bush," said Ali Fadel, the former provincial council chairman. "He is the symbol of freedom."

    Fadel's predecessor, Ali al-Haidari, was gunned down Jan. 4 when militants opened fire on his armor-covered BMW as it traveled with a three-car convoy.

    Fadel said he received numerous threats on his life as the council chairman, and expects to get many more in his new post.

    "My life is cheap," Fadel said. "Everything is cheap for my country."

    How cheap?

    As for his own protection, the new mayor will be traveling in a new $150,000 SUV complete with bulletproof windows and flat-resistant tires.

    posted by tbogg at 11:35 PM



    Speaking of whacked...

    If you wondered why Doug "Motel Messiah™" Giles is the only Clownhall columnist not getting a check from the Bush administration, wonder no more. Highlights:

    Packed, Stacked and Ready to Whack

    Yeah. And that's just the headline. Then it goes downhill:

    Our Constitution is currently under a greater threat than a teenaged boy at a Michael Jackson sleepover.


    I don’t know about you … but I do not like the fact that the very people who should uphold our rights are stretching them thinner than Fiona Apple on a rack.


    One of the basic human rights that constantly has to be defended is the right to keep and bear arms. Why did the original founders of this great American experiment toss this given, no-duh, entitlement into the Constitution? Well … it wasn’t so that we would be guaranteed that we could hunt squirrels and woodchucks without serving time, as great as that is.


    For those of you who missed your world history classes because you were taking transgender sensitivity training, let me highlight a few ignoble moments in the world’s gun-ridding record.

    Take Germany for example. Soon after WWI, the liberal powers thought that relieving citizens of their rifles would restore peace in the streets. The general populace bought this nonsense because at that time there were no astute bloggers, Fox News, NRA or ClashRadio.com to shoot down such a stupid idea.


    The warm and fuzzy feelings, however, gave way to cold hard reality when the Austrian Jerk Emeritus goose-stepped his way into power and began to unfold his Mein Crap. This was relatively easy for Adolf to do. Why was his big lie easy to sell? One major reason was that the ones who were not buying his crack really couldn’t do squat about it … because, you see … they had allowed the government to seize their weapons just a few short years prior to The Dipstick’s ascent.

    Sure, they could and did resist as much as possible, but when dealing with a tyrant, sometimes the only way to communicate your displeasure with his dementia is with the crack of gun fire. Unfortunately, the dissenters were, by and large, weaponless. The only ones allowed to own firearms were Hitler, his wizards and the ones who danced to his tortuous tune.


    And for those who need more examples of how a disarmed populace stands more vulnerable than Ashlee Simpson before a Bose voice processor


    I guarantee that if the Gestapo had been strafed with 180 grain 30/06 lead, or pounded repeatedly at close range with 00buck from 12 gauge riot gun … the numbers lost during that crazy crew’s reign of terror would have been far, far less.


    For the record, Doug has a degree from Texas Tech. No. You won't find him in their listing of famous alumni.

    Added: History and the wingnuts. Matter and anti-matter.

    posted by tbogg at 10:39 PM



    Real men don't bother with details

    The Big Trunk, one of three who make up the Wanker Triad over at Powerline (Ask us about Rathergate!!!) sets out to hunt the great white Dayton...and flails and fails.

    In May 2004 the whole country witnessed Senator Dayton's weirdly dissociated performance at the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing with Secretary Rumsfeld. Dayton hectored Rumsfeld:

    You're increasing the number of forces, the number of tanks over there. How can this have anything to do but to escalate the level of violence, the opposition of Iraqis, intensify the hatred across the Arab world to the United States, and more atrocities? How can this have any result other than to put us deeper into this situation and make the conditions there worse for our forces and for our nation and for the world?

    So. Who's weirdly dissociated?

    The Associated Press
    Updated: 2:58 p.m. ET Nov. 30, 2004

    WASHINGTON - Fueled by fierce fighting in Fallujah and insurgents’ counterattacks elsewhere in Iraq, the U.S. military death toll for November equalled the highest for any month of the war, according to casualty reports available Tuesday.

    At least 135 U.S. troops died in November. That is the same number as last April, when the insurgence flared in Fallujah and elsewhere in the so-called Sunni Triangle where U.S. forces and their Iraqi allies lost a large measure of control.

    On Nov. 8, U.S. forces launched an offensive to retake Fallujah, and they have engaged in tough fighting in other cities since then. More than 50 U.S. troops have been killed in Fallujah since then, although the Pentagon has not provided a casualty count for Fallujah for more than a week.

    From the viewpoint of the United States and Iraqis who are striving to restore stability, the casualty trend since the interim Iraqi government was put in power June 28 has been troubling. Each month’s death toll has been higher than the last, with the single exception of October, when it was 63.

    The monthly totals grew from 42 in June to 54 in July to 65 in August and to 80 in September.

    Advantage: Dayton.

    The Trunk:

    On October 12 Dayton became a national laughingstock when he evacuated his Washington office in the face of what he declared to be "a heightened risk" of terrorism. Fox News correspondent Brian Wilson archly referred to the hallway outside Dayton's office in the Russell Senate Office Building as the "Zone of Death." We noted the evacuation in "Yellow alert" and posted Dayton's Star Tribune column explaining the rationale for the evacuation of his office in "Terminated with extreme precaution."

    Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist Nick Coleman took up the defense of Dayton in his column "Dayton fires back at 'rats'" (now unavailable). The column quoted Dayton defending his actions, first before a Minneapolis Rotary Club audience and then a teachers' union gathering:

    "They try to destroy you in order to defeat you," he says with anger in his voice. "They are sewer rats, and they're down in the sewer. If people want their politics down in the sewer, they're going to end up with sewer rats rather than public servants."

    Dayton, 57, isn't up for reelection this year but has inadvertently found himself in the cross hairs in a brutal election battle fought against a backdrop of muddled terror threats and juvenile name-calling.

    The scion of a wealthy department-store family, Dayton sometimes seems wide-eyed, has a stiff, formal manner and sometimes stumbles over his syntax - making him a popular target for right-wing hatchet bloggers [Ed.: He was talking about us -- the guy really has a way with words, doesn't he?] and operatives...


    Coleman then returned to Dayton's address to the Rotarians:

    "It should be considered unpatriotic," he says, "to brag at the country club about not paying taxes." [Ed.: We still have no clue whom he was talking about.]

    The Rotarians listen respectfully, then brace themselves when he finally is asked why he closed his office.

    He explains that, given the terror briefing he attended, he could not let his staff remain in Washington while he and the rest of Congress were back home, politicking. It would be immoral and cowardly for him to leave "other people's sons and daughters" at risk while he was safe at home.

    "I pray to God I'm wrong," he says. "I probably am." [Ed.: And not just about that!]

    The Rotarians relax and seem reassured that their senator is not from another planet.

    We didn't entirely credit Coleman's interpretation of the Rotarians' response to Dayton. Indeed, Coleman's spin suggests why we describe Coleman as a reliably partisan hack. But we understood Coleman's message: Minnesotans were to join the teachers and the Rotarians in appreciating Senator Dayton's special brand of courage, "the courage to shut his office."

    Here's the story from when it happened:

    U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton, D-Minnesota, closed his Capitol Hill office Tuesday until after the November 2 election, fearing a possible terrorist attack that could harm his staff or visitors.

    However, U.S. government officials said there was no new intelligence concerning a possible attack, and authorities said congressional members have not been advised to close their offices.

    "There's no new threat or information pertaining to a threat that's come in. We continue to advise (people) to take caution ... but there's no new information that we've put out," said Sgt. Contricia Ford of the U.S. Capitol Police.


    But Dayton told reporters in Minneapolis that Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tennessee, recently briefed lawmakers on a "top-secret intelligence report on our national security."

    "I would not bring my two sons to Capitol Hill between now and the elections," he said.

    Dayton issued a statement earlier in the day, announcing that he was closing his Washington office until after the election.

    "I do so out of extreme, but necessary, precaution to protect the lives and safety of my Senate staff and my Minnesota constituents, who might otherwise visit my office in the next few weeks. I feel compelled to do so, because I will not be here in Washington to share in what I consider to be an unacceptably greater risk to their safety."

    Dayton said he could not give details of the intelligence report that Frist presented to senators two weeks ago. Dayton said he's asked Frist three times to convene a meeting of all senators to discuss the situation, but Frist has not agreed.


    Dayton will move part of his staff to his office in the Fort Snelling Federal Building in Minnesota and other operations to Senate office space away from Capitol Hill. Telephone calls will be routed to his Minnesota office.

    Congress is in recess until after the election.

    The Trunk implies that Dayton closed his office and hightailed it back to the relative safety on Minnesota (where, incidentally, Mr. Trunk happens to live and work and hide out himself) when Dayton was already back in his home state and was concerned for the safety of his staff and visitors. These distinctions seem lost on Trunk-man. He's out to make a point and nuances and facts be damned

    Let's count the ugly innuendoes

    "Senator Dayton's special brand of courage"

    "Coleman is by far the Star Tribune's worst columnist, but last week Star Tribune columnist Doug Grow took the baton from Coleman in detecting courage in the senator where it would not otherwise have been apparent.."

    "That's good enough for Grow, although it leaves a few questions in my mind regarding the courage necessary to impute deliberate dishonesty to a high government official who appears to have been operating on the same intelligence information that other government consumers of intelligence were."

    "You might expect Dayton to understand what it means to be the victim of imperfect intelligence, and of the responsibility to take action that errs on the side of safety for those whose safety is in your hands, but you would of course be mistaken. Such an expectation would be based on the assumption that Dayton's public comments on the evacuation of his office were bona fide, or that he applies a principle of consistency to his actions."

    "In his opposition to the confirmation of Condoleezza Rice last week, Senator Dayton stood shoulder to shoulder with former Ku Klux Klan Grand Kleagle Robert Byrd as well as eleven other Democrats. Recall that Dayton is the occupant of the senate seat once held by Hubert Humphrey. The word that comes to my mind in connection with Dayton's remarks and his vote against Condoleezza Rice is not "courage," but rather "disgrace.""
    (my emphasis)

    So. Is the Trunk a partisan hack or is he just sloppy and negligent with details and numbers and facts which , we would think, would be detrimental to him in his capacity as an attorney and senior vice president for a bank in Minneapolis?

    Or is he just another fucking wanker?

    Survey says: wanker.


    "Coleman is by far the Star Tribune's worst columnist..."

    Odd. Lileks never mentioned anything last week about losing his job, although that would explain why he's been sleeping in every morning.

    posted by tbogg at 8:46 PM



    ...and the winner is:

    Well it's Sunday night and it's time to unveil the winner of Name Roger Simon's Next Book Which In All Likelihood You Won't Read contest. For those who came in late, Roger Simon, who once marched for civil rights (something he only mentions on days ending in -day), this past year became the rightwing's favorite pet rock ex-Democrat following his ugly divorce from the party that reminded many in Hollywood of the Elizabeth Taylor/Larry Fortensky split (with Roger in the Fortensky role but without the glorious mane of hair).

    Anyway, we like Roger (because we like all God's children even though we don't believe in Him and if we did He would have to explain to us why Action didn't get a full season run at Fox) so we ran a little contest to come up with something suitable for naming.

    To create some suspense, here are the Close But No Cigar All-Stars:

    •Discard Your Principles for Fun and Profit: An Attempted Justification for Changing My Beliefs Like A Pair of Shorts When I Found Myself in the Minority

    •We Too Have "Plans": Roger L. Simon, A Laura Ingraham Poster, and His Left Hand*

    •To Baldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before, Unless Michael J. Totten Counts As A Man

    But the nod has to go to Sean W. who slipped this one in at the buzzer to win:

    From Selma to Sell Out

    Ooooo. Good one. (golf clap...golf clap). Sean will be receiving a copy of James Wolcott's Attack Poodles or a fun-filled weekend at Neverland Ranch...his choice.

    Thanks to all who played and remember that, even though you didn't win, your secret is safe with me losers

    *Explanation for this one can be found here.

    posted by tbogg at 7:25 PM


    Saturday, January 29, 2005


    Assistant Manager Trainee-Without-Pay Coffin reporting, Sir.

    Crap. How low in the NRO hierarchy do you have to be to have to suck up to Jonah?

    WOW [Shannen Coffin]

    Ok, after begging, scratching and pleading to see an advance copy of Jonah's Groundhog Day piece, I had to read it in the magazine like everyone else. All I can say is "Wow." And I thought it was a boy gets girl movie. Jonah's writing on the slap to post-modernity that is a 1 1/2 hour Bill Murray classic (though arguably not in his top three -- Caddyshack and Stripes are better comedies, whether or not they are "greater" films), reminds me of three things: 1) the essay I wrote in freshman year at a Catholic college analyzing Darth Vader in terms of Soren Kierkegaard's Sickness Unto Death (all that self becoming the self stuff); 2) the time I met Bill Murray at a Chicago White Sox game (delightfully funny in person); and 3) that I really have no business writing on these pages. So just continue to consider me among the lesser lights of NRO. I've got to say, Jonah, that you really worked that one over.

    We've always considered you one of the lesser lights who has no business writing for NRO, Shannen, and publicly fellating Jonah did nothing to change our opinion.

    Don't ever change.

    posted by tbogg at 11:01 AM



    The only one who could ever reach me
    Was the son of a weasel man

    World O'Crap on Jenna's boyfriend and his father who almost makes George Bush look good in comparison. Almost. Except for the coke problems, alcoholism, AWOLing, insider-trading, and warmongering.

    You have to admit: it's a pretty high bar to clear.

    posted by tbogg at 10:24 AM



    Happy Election Day in Iraq

    Her parents won't be voting... Posted by Hello

    posted by tbogg at 1:55 AM



    Another sign that things are turning to shit in Iraq

    A frustrated Glenn Reynolds morphs into Ann Coulter:

    When Ted Kennedy can make an absurd and borderline-traitorous speech on the war, when Michael Moore shares a VIP box with the last Democratic President but one, when Barbara Boxer endorses a Democratic consultant/blogger whose view of American casualties in Iraq is "screw 'em," well, this is the authentic face of the Left. Or what remains of it.

    There was a time when the Left opposed fascism and supported democracy, when it wasn't a seething-yet-shrinking mass of self-hatred and idiocy. That day is long past, and the moral and intellectual decay of the Left is far gone.

    He's just one paycheck from HHS away from a regular gig at TownHall.

    posted by tbogg at 1:30 AM


    Friday, January 28, 2005


    The Fire This Time

    It's the welcome return of America's Worst Mother™ Multicultural Edition.

    This week Meghan, emboldened by watching America's Worst National Security Advisor™ elevated to Secretary of State, tackles race in America in an unMeghan kind of way. Normally, using her exclusive Fever Swamp Column Template, Meghan uses her kids (Meniscus, Parsley, Polly Amory, and Tugboat) as a literary device to touch on hot button issues like the time she wrote:

    Try as we might we couldn't find the Littles new Baby-Pees-A-Lot™ and I was overwhelmed with a great sadness as the loss of the babydoll reminded of the forty million babies who have been aborted since Roe v Wade and how their bodies are, to this day, fed into a woodchipper to make stem cells for selfish people like Nancy Reagan whom I otherwise adore.

    You know, stuff like that. Anyway, this week Meghan discovers The Negro In The Homework:

    Outside the streetlights have come on, casting an orangey glow on the snowy street. From upstairs comes the sound of the three girls splashing and shrieking in the bath, while in the sitting room, where we are, my husband is building a fire. "I have to go to school on Monday dressed as a bla — " Paris breaks off. "I mean, as an African American."

    "Wow. What kind of costume?" I ask, arrested by the idea of schoolchildren dressing up as members of a racial minority. Imagine the scandal if a white child turned up in blackface.

    "A baseball one. I'm being Jackie Robinson. Also I have to make a poster about him." Paris rummages in his backpack and pulls out a sheaf of computer printouts about the brave ballplayer. Then he hands me a list of celebrated black figures shortly to be impersonated by his second-grade class.

    "Fredrick Douglass," I read aloud to my husband. "Harriet Tubman, Booker T. Washington, Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, aw, wait a — "


    "Malcolm X?" I continue, with a little squawk.

    A negro...and a muslim! What is this world coming to?

    "Willie Mays? Hank Aaron? Sugar Ray Leonard?"

    "Very good boxer, but hardly a racial pioneer," my husband remarks dryly, standing up and brushing bits of wood off his trousers. "I wouldn't think there's much didactic purpose in devoting a school project to him."

    "I wouldn't think there's much didactic purpose in devoting a school project to him."

    This is another of Meghans literary tricks where she inserts a grown-up word into one of her little kiddy tales in a cry for help for just a moment of adult interaction. This device was previously seen here:

    Molly turns around in the back seat. "I need to invent a name and an emblem for my class," she calls over everyone's heads, "it's part of my homework."

    "Ugh," I say, despairingly, getting back in my seat and driving us all away. "What is the pedagogical point of that? Next thing you'll be bringing home a Vasco da Gama crossword puzzle."

    You get the idea.

    Back to Tugboat and his great awakening:

    "That's who Dante is being, that Sugar whatever guy," Paris says, upending his backpack on the floor. Out bangs an empty lunch box, half a dozen pieces of Lego, a math book, and crumbs sufficient to get Hansel and Gretel home again.

    "Aargh, don't — "

    "Oops. Sorry, Mummy. Anyway," Paris continues, shoveling his things back in the bag, "I think he ought to dress up as a white person because he's already black."

    My husband and I exchange a look. Until now, Paris has never shown the slightest awareness of his friend's race. Gee, thanks, teacher.

    Or, possibly he has never mentioned it to his parents in the fear that they might wonder why he isn't spending more time with that Swensson kid around the corner instead of hanging with Dante, cold hoopin' it in front of the fourth grade ho's.

    At this point Meghan and Mr. Meghan start suggesting some whiter shade of pale African Americans for Tugboat to impersonate:

    I look gloomily at the list again. "Someone should at least go as Colin Powell." I say. "First black secretary of state, Paris? If you went as him you could carry a globe."

    "How about Tiger Woods, with a golf club?"

    "Oprah, in the library, with a rolled-up copy of her magazine — "

    "Not Michael Jackson."

    "But Condoleezza Rice, now there's-"

    "Or Clarence Thomas," my husband says at the same moment. "Although a costume would be — "

    I guess Tiger Woods would be okay since all they would need is a Nike hat and a hot girlfriend. Condoleezza Rice would be problematic due to gender issues (although I'm sure eight year-old Tugboat is currently sporting the proper orthodonture). Clarence Thomas? Write your own joke.

    Later Meghan worries that we are starting to slip down that slippery slope of understanding that the Great American Melting Pot isn't just full of white chocolate:

    It is as we pursue this line of questioning that the full weirdness of the project becomes clear. Asking second-graders to explain why they admire certain black people a) presupposes they do admire them, and b) assumes they understand why these individuals are admirable in the first place. And that's barmy; they're just too young to wrap their minds around slavery, or the Civil War, or Jim Crow, and as bright and earnest as he may be, no second-grader can even glimpse what a man like Jackie Robinson risked — and won — by walking on to that diamond the first time. To ask them to try is an exercise in phoniness. It is then that I remember seeing the string of posters hanging outside the fourth-grade classroom. 'I Have A Dream..." each one begins, after which the children have written in such sticky pieties as "...to make the world a Better Place."

    Ugh! Bleah! Phony!

    Thank you. I feel better now. But you have to wonder where this scratching away at old racial and political wounds as a means of inculcating respect and "tolerance" will end. With kindergarteners marching around dressed as suffragettes? With parades of seven-year-old Charos and Cesar Chavezes?

    Because "respect" sucks, especially when the only famous Hispanic woman you can come up with is Charo Not Frida Kahlo, Eva Peron, Dolores Huerta, or J-Lo...okay, I was just kidding with that last one. I meant Shakira.

    The rest of the column is devoted to a cute story about Mr. Meghan growing up in Libya which will probably cause Michele Mangamanga Malkin to ask to see his papers next time she sees him even though he doesn't look Libyan.

    But you can never be too careful...

    posted by tbogg at 10:34 PM


    Thursday, January 27, 2005


    ...and then he hitched up his drawers and shuffled back to his chair on the porch.

    Shorter Jeff Jarvis:

    "Get off of my goddamed lawn you damn kids!"

    Here's a great excerpt from Foamin' Jeff:

    Alterman said, well, gee, the CIA has done weird things before so why couldn't they do this?

    That's responsible journalism? Not in any universe I know. That's the worst of tabloid, tin-hat, anti-intellectual, ammoral rumor-mongering. That's Eric, the rumor monger.

    What he did was, let me repeat, not journalistic. Any editor worth his salt would have killed that speculation in print (well, except at the NY Times).

    Or maybe the Wall Street Journal:

    The great unanswered question of course is: What was driving Mr. Clinton? What made him do such a thing? What accounts for his commitment in this case? Concern for the father? But such concern is wholly out of character for this president; he showed no such concern for parents at Waco or when he freed the Puerto Rican terrorists. Concern for his vision of the rule of law? But Mr. Clinton views the law as a thing to suit his purposes or a thing to get around.

    Why did he do this thing? He will no doubt never say, a pliant press will never push him on it, and in any case if they did who would expect him to speak with candor and honesty? Absent the knowledge of what happened in this great public policy question, the mind inevitably wonders.

    Was it fear of Fidel Castro--fear that the dictator will unleash another flood of refugees, like the Mariel boatlift of 1980? Mr. Clinton would take that seriously, because he lost his gubernatorial election that year after he agreed to house some of the Cubans. In Bill Clinton's universe anything that ever hurt Bill Clinton is bad, and must not be repeated. But such a threat, if it was made, is not a child-custody matter but a national-security matter, and should be dealt with in national-security terms.

    Was it another threat from Havana? Was it normalization with Cuba--Mr. Clinton's lust for a legacy, and Mr. Castro's insistence that the gift come at a price? If the price was a child, well, that's a price Mr. Clinton would likely pay. What is a mere child compared with this president's need to be considered important by history?

    Was Mr. Clinton being blackmailed? The Starr report tells us of what the president said to Monica Lewinsky about their telephone sex: that there was reason to believe that they were monitored by a foreign intelligence service. Naturally the service would have taped the calls, to use in the blackmail of the president. Maybe it was Mr. Castro's intelligence service, or that of a Castro friend.

    Is it irresponsible to speculate? It is irresponsible not to. A great and searing tragedy has occurred, and none of us knows what drove it, or why the president did what he did. Maybe Congress will investigate. Maybe a few years from now we'll find out what really happened.

    I guess journalism has changed a lot since the Golden Era of TV Guide...

    posted by tbogg at 11:36 PM



    Thursday Night Write-Your-Own-Lileks-Joke Blogging

    Have at it:

    Gnat woke me up. Daddy, I have a nosebleed but it’s stopped, okay?


    Wake up!

    Okay. Fine. What time is it? Good Lord, it’s ten. How long have you been up?

    Since four eight?

    Did you say you had a nosebleed?

    Uh huh, but it’s all better. Let’s go have some maple sausages!

    We did, but only half a ration, since lunch was right around the corner. Afterwards she played with Mr. Potato Head, and I ran upstairs to straighten up before we left.

    I think he's taunting us by making it too easy.

    posted by tbogg at 10:39 PM



    Thursday Night Basset Blogging Rewind

    We decided to go back in time and re-use our first Beckham picture from when we first got him. Here you see young Beckham sticking his tongue out at me when my wife wasn't looking. Nowadays he just gives me the finger. Posted by Hello

    posted by tbogg at 10:19 PM



    I am considered high risk

    While doing some reading over at Walt Disney's Wonderful World O'Crap I noticed the mysteriously initialed S.Z. (sounds foreign to me, buster) mentions a poll from Christianity Today where the good Christians (not the bad Christians, who were too busy cashing their HHS consulting checks to be bothered with the poll) were asked about demonic possession and 35% responded that it is not taken seriously enough by Christians. But another 24% felt that it was possible, but only for non-Christians.

    Terrific. I spend years trying to escape my Catholic upbringing only to find out that I'm stuck playing in a game long after I took my bat and ball and went home. So now along with having to worry about Islamofascism enslaving America and not letting us watch Cinemax After Dark anymore, I have to worry about some random demon that I might pick up off of a doorknob or at a bar or something.

    So I have some questions (boy, do I have questions) about what I can expect if I suddenly come down with Sudden Unbidden Demon Syndrome:

    •If I am possessed by a demon will I have to pay extra at the movies? Even if Joel Schumaker directed it?

    •Do I have to provide snacks? I mean, what do demons like? I'm guessing Fritos and bean dip. Slim Jims too.

    •Will I suddenly find PAX TV more hilarious than usual?

    •Will my erections that last more than four hours (although rare) still occur?

    •Will I occasionally write fact-challenged spittle-flecked screeds that give Adam Yoshida an erection that lasts longer than four hours? (Sorry. Ann Coulter only)

    •Boxers or briefs?

    •Will I come to feel that my political party has left me and not vice-versa?

    •Will I attempt to foist my talentless daughter off on the American public? (Sorry. Joe Simpson and Joan Rivers only)

    •Will I want to buy a Hummer?

    •When I'm in a bookstore and I see a Left Behind book, will my eyes start to bleed? I mean more than usual?

    •Will I be stalked by Buffy? Okay, how about Mel Gibson?

    •Will I start cat blogging?

    •Will it feel similar to having Joementum?

    •Will my Josh Groban fan fiction improve?

    ...and finally:

    •Will I start getting late night calls from Antonin Scalia warning me that "this country ain't big enough for the two of us"?

    I need answers now. Won't you please help?

    posted by tbogg at 8:33 PM



    A little stingy with the truth, don'cha think?

    Ever since Al Gore invented the Internets, rightwingers have used it to keep urban myths alive. Take Cifford May, for example:

    Remember that U.N. official who complained about Washington's contribution to the tsunami victims? He neglected to mention that even as he was deriding Americans as "stingy," the United Nations was refusing more than $50 million in aid.

    Now don't feel bad that you don't remember the UN official singling out Americans as "stingy", because it never happened.

    Wrong. Jan Egeland, U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, said no such thing. According to a transcript of a Dec. 27 news conference, what Egeland was talking about was, generally, what he considered low levels of foreign aid money from wealthy nations and, specifically, the fear that these countries would spend all of the new year's foreign aid allocations on tsunami relief, leaving little money for the other emergencies that typically happen:

    We were more generous when we were less rich, many of the rich countries. And it is beyond me why are we so stingy, really, when we are -- and even Christmas time should remind many Western countries at least how rich we have become. And if actually the foreign assistance of many countries now is 0.1 or 0.2 percent of their gross national income, I think that is stingy, really. I don't think that is very generous.

    So the bad news is that May lied at the beginning of his column. The good news is that now you don't have to read the rest of it as Cliff joins Armstrong Williams and Maggie Gallagher as just another Clownhall columnist with credibility problems.

    posted by tbogg at 2:42 PM



    Later they tormented him with the Falafel of Doom

    Well, Aren't we the creative torturers:

    Beginning in April 2003, “there hung a short skirt and thong underwear on the hook on the back of the door” of one interrogation team’s office, he writes. “Later I learned that this outfit was used for interrogations by one of the female civilian contractors ... on a team which conducted interrogations in the middle of the night on Saudi men who were refusing to talk.”

    Some Guantanamo prisoners who have been released say they were tormented by “prostitutes.”

    In another case, Saar describes a female military interrogator questioning an uncooperative 21-year-old Saudi detainee who allegedly had taken flying lessons in Arizona before the Sept. 11 terror attacks. Suspected Sept. 11 hijacker Hani Hanjour received pilot instruction for three months in 1996 and in December 1997 at a flight school in Scottsdale, Ariz.

    Interrogator decided to ‘turn up the heat’
    “His female interrogator decided that she needed to turn up the heat,” Saar writes, saying she repeatedly asked the detainee who had sent him to Arizona, telling him he could “cooperate” or “have no hope whatsoever of ever leaving this place or talking to a lawyer.”’

    The man closed his eyes and began to pray, Saar writes.

    The female interrogator wanted to “break him,” Saar adds, describing how she removed her uniform top to expose a tight-fitting T-shirt and began taunting the detainee, touching her breasts, rubbing them against the prisoner’s back and commenting on his apparent erection.

    At which point, Bill O'Reilly burst into the room and confessed....

    posted by tbogg at 1:49 PM



    Silver and Gold

    They just announced that U2 is coming to town to start their US tour. Looks like the boys need some quick cash. Ticket prices:


    Not including Ticketmaster's "you left nut" handling and shipping fees.

    Instead of paying $52.50 to see U2, I could better use the money to see (all coming soon to San Diego) a combination of:

    Hem $10
    Dave Alvin $15
    Modest Mouse $22
    Shonen Knife $12
    Aimee Mann $25
    Ani DiFranco $33
    Michael Franti $18
    Sugarcult $16


    Captain and kings
    In the ships hold
    They came to collect
    Silver and gold

    Not this time, guys...

    Also check out Roy's collection of suicide tunes over at alicublog

    posted by tbogg at 1:10 PM



    Feith and Friends

    I bow in the general direction of James Wolcott:

    However, I can exclusively report that the Pentagon's gain is broadcasting's loss. According to my highly placed imaginary sources in a certain skyscraper on Sixth Avenue, Feith has just been signed by Fox News, which intends to build a weekend show around him called "Feith and Friends."

    Breaking the news to the wage slaves and overpaid hosts at Fox, Roger Ailes said, "When I heard that General Tommy Franks had described Feith as 'the fucking stupidest guy on the face of the planet,' I knew he was the man for us." Ailes took a George Burns draw on his cigar. "But I was also taken aback, since I thought we already had the fucking stupidest guy on the face of the planet listed on our payroll," he said, stealing a sly glance at Sean Hannity, who jovially quipped, "I guess that makes me the second fucking stupidest guy on the planet!" "And me, third!" piped up Cal Thomas.

    Morale is very high at Fox News these days. They're swearing like sailors over there.

    Asked whom the "friends" on Feith and Friends might be, Ailes said he was already in contact with Armstrong Williams and Maggie Gallagher. "A black conservative on the take, a white woman on the take, and the fucking stupidest guy on the planet--sounds like the right mix to me. Certainly no one can say Fox News isn't doing its part for multiculturalism," Ailes chortled, leaving the cafeteria staff no choice but to join in.

    posted by tbogg at 11:56 AM



    "A stealth government marriage courtesan"

    Greg Beato provides us with almost everything we need to know about Maggie Gallagher.

    Gallagher was paid $21,500 by the government in 2002. She wrote the columns in question in 2002. Does she really get so many five-figure checks each year from her various benefactors that she can almost immediately forget one for $21,500?

    In return for the $21,500, Gallagher's primary task was to draft a 3000-word essay for one Wade Horn, assistant secretary for children and families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Ultimately, the essay was published by Crisis magazine; in it, Gallagher, writing as Horn, exclaims: "Adults, too, benefit from healthy and stable marriages. They tend to live longer, healthier lives and are more affluent. Married mothers suffer from considerably lower rates of depression than their single counterparts. Like a good education, a good marriage is a real asset. Married men earn between 10 and 40 percent more than similar single men, and married couples accumulate substantially more wealth. By the time they’re ready to retire, married couples have, on average, assets worth two and a half times as much as their single counterparts. (The figure for married couples is $410,000, compared with $167,000 for those who never married and $154,000 for divorced individuals, according to Linda J. Waite and Maggie Gallagher in their book, The Case for Marriage.)"

    As John Lott can no doubt attest, it's a nice bit of postmodern reflexiveness to quote yourself in a piece you're ghost-writing.

    Now I mentioned above that Greg was supplying with almost everything we need to know about Marrying Maggie. Julia at Sisyphus Shrugged sent me this link wherein we learn that Ms. Gallagher herself was once an unwed mother.

    Some readers may remember the squall over Dan Quayle and Murphy Brown. At that time Maggie Gallagher published anon the op-ed page of the New York Times “An Unwed Mother for Quayle,” and it deserves not to get lost in the memory hole of yesterday's news. Ms. Gallagher, too, is a journalist and unwed mother, but in the real world. After ten years as an unwed mother, she has some thoughts on what it takes.

    So we see that we should go easy on Ms. Gallagher, who had to learn the hard way about one parent families, and who knows the shame and pain of raising a child alone and wants to share that knowledge with young women so that they won't make the same mistakes she did when she was young and foolish.

    And, obviously, a slut.

    posted by tbogg at 11:36 AM



    Surprisingly only four entries featured a crucified George Bush sticking out of a pool of quicksand

    Okay, all you Maya Lin-wannabes, here's your chance to start working on the National Iraq War Memorial.

    Welcome to the Planning Project for the
    National Iraq War Memorial

    In anticipation of the future need to build a memorial to America’s war in Iraq, the National Iraq War Memorial Council created the National Iraq War Memorial Foundation to commemorate those Americans who gave their lives in this conflict.

    Please join us in this national effort to plan for this important memorial.

    Get your submissions in early...which will still leave you time to get cracking on our National Iran War Memorial, our National Syria War Memorial, and our National Norway War Memorial (because those bastards have really got it coming).

    (thanks to Chris for the link)

    posted by tbogg at 11:11 AM



    Condi moves up, Dougie moves out

    Doug Feith is leaving the Defense Department to spend time with Tom Ridge/Karen Hughes/Colin Powell/John Ashcroft's family or something like that.

    Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas J. Feith announced today that he would leave his position this summer. As he has informed Secretary Rumsfeld, Mr. Feith made his decision for personal and family reasons.

    That would be this Douglas J Feith:

    At the same time, an investigation conducted by the Senate Select Intelligence Committee is looking into "back channel" meetings between officials from Feith's office and the former Iran contra arms dealer Manucher Ghorbanifar and other Iranian exiles, dissidents and government officials.

    Finally, according to the Boston Globe, a third investigation is currently underway, this time by the House Judiciary committee, concerning yet more goings on at Feith's office. This one also focuses on the Ghorbanifar/Iran back channel meetings, with the key players attempting to destabilize the government of Syria. Specifically, the Globe says that "The investigators are also looking into a more serious concern: whether the office engaged in illegal activity by holding unauthorized meetings with foreign nationals to destabilize Syria and Iran without the presidential approval required for covert operations, said one senior congressional investigator who has longtime experience in intelligence oversight."

    While the FBI is interested in a criminal probe, reporters might wish to consider the disturbing pattern of administration actions involving a combination of ideology, secrecy and incompetence. As the Washington Monthly recently reported, this behavior "typifies the out-of-control bureaucratic turf wars which have characterized and often hobbled Bush administration policy-making."

    While all this would appear to cast serious doubt on Feith's continued job security, he has been in hot water before, but keeps bouncing back. Feith, whom Bob Woodward quotes former Army Gen. Tommy Franks as calling "the fu**ing stupidest guy on the face of the earth," is creator of the Office of Special Plans, a secretive intelligence unit that was conned by Iraqi exile Ahmad Chalabi and his cronies concerning the existence of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and connections between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda.

    Sez Rummy:

    Commenting on Mr. Feith’s planned departure, Secretary Rumsfeld said, “Doug Feith has contributed to the security of the country. He is creative, well organized, and energetic, and he has earned the respect of civilian and military leaders across the government. Regrettably, he has decided to depart, and he will be missed.”

    Well, he was creative, You've got to give him that....

    posted by tbogg at 1:14 AM



    Der Dick

    "When I'm done with Abu Ghraib, Auschwitz will look like EuroDisney" Posted by Hello

    Well, that ought to piss the wingers off...

    posted by tbogg at 1:06 AM


    Wednesday, January 26, 2005


    Volunteers of America

    Guess the 101st Fighting Keyboarders™ were all over on MSNBC. Posted by Hello

    (Click to enlarge)

    posted by tbogg at 11:28 PM



    It's what all the wankers are wearing this season...

    Coincidence? I think not.

    Geopolitical deep-thinker and DVD maven, Joel Mowbray

    Footnote to a cultural footnote, Michael Wilson, "director" of Michael Moore Hates America.

    Former Democrat turned squishy Independent turned Tech Central Station outcall whore, Michael Totten.

    "Doughy pant-load" Jonah Goldberg

    Vestigial facial hair mandatory. Smirk optional.

    (Okay. The pudgy Jonah is a bit of a stretch, but a wanker nonetheless)

    posted by tbogg at 9:52 PM




    When lying on your resume...try not to smirk Posted by Hello

    The sampler on Condoleezza Rice's wall:

    No one likes us-I don't know why
    We may not be perfect, but heaven knows we try
    But all around, even our old friends put us down
    Let's drop the big one and see what happens

    We give them money-but are they grateful?
    No, they're spiteful and they're hateful
    They don't respect us-so let's surprise them
    We'll drop the big one and pulverize them

    Asia's crowded and Europe's too old
    Africa is far too hot
    And Canada's too cold
    And South America stole our name
    Let's drop the big one
    There'll be no one left to blame us

    Sounds about right.

    Given her track record, ten years from now, conservatives will be using her as an example of what is wrong with Affirmative Action.

    posted by tbogg at 9:17 PM


    Tuesday, January 25, 2005


    Since I'm being horribly sexist this evening...

    NBC producer Brian Balthazar, always striving to help us understand the world we live in, asks 10 questions of...Carmen Electra.

    For those who don't want to click on the link, his questions were:

    1. Will you have sex with me?
    2. Will you have sex with me?
    3. Will you have sex with me?
    4. Will you have sex with me?
    5. Will you have sex with me?
    6. Will you have sex with me?
    7. Will you have sex with me?
    8. Will you have sex with me?
    9. Are those real?
    10. I don't care. Will you have sex with me?

    posted by tbogg at 10:57 PM



    With that kind of money you would think she could afford something nicer than a bowl-cut.

    Maggie Gallagher...busted.

    Okay. This is probably unfair but since we bloggers won't have a code of ethics until those wankers at Harvard publish their findings, I have to make this up as I go along.

    You're a guy who has to make a decision about whom to marry and your choices are Maggie or him.

    Hey. I'm as hetero as the next guy. But I'm not that hetero...

    posted by tbogg at 10:11 PM



    "It might help her self-esteem and encourage her to start taking an interest in her appearance."

    The general public seems to be divided on Condi.

    posted by tbogg at 10:02 PM



    ...and starring Jim Geraghty as Milton Waddams

    After the election was over National Review Online did a little downsizing. They thought about getting rid of Jonah, but since he works for yesterday's muffin stumps they figured "what the hell" and kept him on (saving them a daily trip to the dumpster). One of the ones who was get let go was Jim Geraghty who posted on the Kerry Spot which was the NRO source for all news, fake or semi-real, about John Kerry. With the election over, Geraghty was the odd man out (not to be confused with NRO's "odd man").

    Well --long story, short attention span-- Geraghty was using a little PTO time getting his back waxed the day that his pink slip came through, and so he still shows up at his cube everyday and cranks out drivel for the dribblers and nobody has the heart to tell him that he's yesterday's excuse for invading Iraq news.

    Today he writes:

    So chalk me up as one of the folks who was really surprised that Oscar voters didn’t give “Fahrenheit 9/11” a Best Picture nomination.


    But here’s an interesting dog that isn’t barking… Michael Moore gets passed over for the big award he coveted… and the lefty bloggers aren’t up in arms. In fact, nobody on the left is talking about Moore today.

    I still strongly believe that no blogger is obligated to write about any topic, but I just find it interesting that web personalities who one would think would be big Michael Moore fans are collectively shrugging their shoulders over this. You know a lot of Christian conservatives are grumbling about the three nominations in technical categories for “The Passion of the Christ,” and Kathryn’s already noted this on the Corner.

    Nothing (so far) at Eschaton, Daily Kos, James Wolcott, Josh Marshall, Kevin Drum, Matthew Yglesias, Tapped, The Left Coaster… Did I miss some Moore fans? I realize most of these guys are policy wonks, but none of them has any take or opinion on Hollywood’s elite giving the thumbs-down to the most prominent anti-Bush piece of work from the past year?

    I guess it's time to let the cat out of the bag.

    We're disorganized.

    We don't have a central Vast Left Wing Conspiracy HQ that blast-faxes our daily talking points to us which means that we are forced to think up stuff on our own. As our President might say, "That's hard work". Also we don't have a central organizing Cult of Personality that demands that we focus on "Him" and what would He do or what would be best for Him, and thus forces us to view all other topics as somehow influenced by His magnificent gravitational pull. We don't even have enough money to buy a third-tier pundit to parrot our party line even if we were together enough to have a party line, fercryin'outloud.

    We're screw-ups. We can't even win an election.

    Thank god we're not running a war.

    (Full disclosure: I haven't seen Fahrenheit 9/11 so I don't really have an opinion on it. Of course, I understand that this confession may make me less of a liberal putting me at risk of being stoned in some Blue State public square for "heresy", but I'm willing to take that chance. Besides we already used all the sharper rocks on that simmpering nit, Michael Totten.)

    posted by tbogg at 8:40 PM



    Wasted days and wasted nights

    Well it looks like Michelle Malkin wasted a bunch of time getting all nipply over TERRORISTS CREEPING OVER OUR BORDERS!!!! RUN! RUN! AAIIEEE!!!:

    The FBI said Tuesday that the possible terrorist plot reported against Boston by a tipster last week was a false alarm.

    "There were in fact no terrorist plans or activity under way," the FBI said in a statement. "Because the criminal investigation is ongoing, no further details can be provided at this time."

    Not that Michelle is giving up, mind you:

    KGTV San Diego reports on an arrest in the alleged Boston "dirty bomb" plot. The brief article notes:

    Mexican police arrested Jose Beltran Quinones in Mexicali, Mexico, Monday. Beltrans claimed that he helped a group of Chinese nationals illegally cross into the United States from Mexico.

    According to his tip, they were intent on detonating a dirty bomb in Boston. Beltrans is now being questioned by U.S. and Mexican officials about his motives.

    ...Still leaves a lot of questions unanswered.

    Like why any newspaper other than the My Weekly Klan Reader would bother to purchase a syndicated column written by Miss Maladroit.

    Yup. It's a mystery...

    posted by tbogg at 8:12 PM



    Well, he's certainly a bright one. Sign him up for infantry

    Buried in an article about all the inaugural visiters who didn't make it to the front of the line to see the audio-animatronic President:

    Justin Moidel, 17, who lives in the Pittsburgh area, attended the swearing-in with friends, but after venturing outside the security gates for food, the group ditched plans to return for the parade because of the angry protesters and daunting lines at the weapons check.

    "I liked being part of history, and the passage of power," said Moidel, who said he considers himself a conservative Democrat. "But the long lines and being protested against. . . . There was one lady who yelled at me, 'Are you prepared to die?' I guess she thinks Bush is an aggressive leader who will get us into war."

    Somewhere in Pittsburgh an Army recruiter just got the hard-on of his life...

    posted by tbogg at 7:47 PM



    Who gets to keep the foosball table?

    This is so like when Chandler moved out on Joey. Or the other way around. I never really watched that often.

    We'll add a link to Ezra later tonight so we don't miss any of the action.

    posted by tbogg at 1:19 PM



    Democrats with balls...and one who just licks them

    Somebody handed out some huevos this morning:

    Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and other Democrats assailed President Bush’s decision to go to war with Iraq Tuesday and declared they would oppose Condoleezza Rice’s nomination as secretary of state as a principal architect of a failed policy.

    Kennedy, of Massachusetts, keyed the Democratic attack with charges that Rice, as Bush’s national security adviser, provided Congress with “false reasons” for going to war. Had she not, he said in a speech, “it might have changed the course of history.”

    Sen. Mark Dayton, D-Minn., following up, accused the Bush administration of lying and said he was voting against Rice’s confirmation as a way of trying to stop mistruths.

    And Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., charged she concealed the Central Intelligence Agency’s skepticism that Iraq was trying to obtain uranium for a nuclear weapons program from Africa.

    Rice claimed there was a “consensus” within the administration on on Iraq’s activity when the Department of Energy and the State Department had reservations. “She exaggerated and distorted the facts,” Levin said.

    But, and there is always a but:

    Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., spoke in Rice’s favor.

    Looks like someone is going to get a good scratching under the chin from the President. Good boy! Gooooooood boy! Now, fetch!...

    posted by tbogg at 10:14 AM


    Monday, January 24, 2005


    America Gone Wild

    George Bush's words:

    America's vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one. From the day of our Founding, we have proclaimed that every man and woman on this earth has rights, and dignity, and matchless value, because they bear the image of the Maker of Heaven and earth. Across the generations we have proclaimed the imperative of self-government, because no one is fit to be a master, and no one deserves to be a slave. Advancing these ideals is the mission that created our Nation. It is the honorable achievement of our fathers. Now it is the urgent requirement of our nation's security, and the calling of our time.

    George Bush's war:

    The newly released reports detail allegations similar to those that surrounded the documented abuse at Abu Ghraib -- such as beatings with rifle butts, prolonged hooding, sodomy, electric shocks, stressful shackling, and the repeated withholding of clothing and food -- but they also encompass alleged offenses at military prisons and checkpoints elsewhere in Iraq. The elite soldiers with Army Special Forces and other Special Operations personnel stationed in various parts of Iraq were also implicated in some of the abuse but did not admit involvement, according to the documents.


    A January 2004 probe, for example, found that nine soldiers in the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment based at Fort Carson, Colo., and deployed in Iraq "were possibly involved in a criminal conspiracy to rob Iraqi citizens of currency" at traffic-control points. Two members of the unit affirmed the plan in sworn statements and named its participants. But the investigation was terminated after the commander "indicated an intent to take action amounting to less than a court proceeding," the report said.


    We will persistently clarify the choice before every ruler and every nation: The moral choice between oppression, which is always wrong, and freedom, which is eternally right. America will not pretend that jailed dissidents prefer their chains, or that women welcome humiliation and servitude, or that any human being aspires to live at the mercy of bullies.


    Another case involved a 73-year-old Iraqi woman who was captured by members of the Delta Force special unit and alleged that she was robbed of money and jewels before being confined for days without food or water -- all in an effort to force her to disclose the location of her husband and son. Delta Force's Task Force 20 was assigned to capture senior Iraqi officials.

    She said she was also stripped and humiliated by a man who "straddled her . . . and attempted to ride her like a horse" before hitting her with a stick and placing it in her anus. The case, which attracted the attention of senior Iraqi officials and led to an inquiry by an unnamed member of the White House staff, was closed without a conclusion.


    We will encourage reform in other governments by making clear that success in our relations will require the decent treatment of their own people. America's belief in human dignity will guide our policies, yet rights must be more than the grudging concessions of dictators; they are secured by free dissent and the participation of the governed. In the long run, there is no justice without freedom, and there can be no human rights without human liberty.

    Some, I know, have questioned the global appeal of liberty - though this time in history, four decades defined by the swiftest advance of freedom ever seen, is an odd time for doubt. Americans, of all people, should never be surprised by the power of our ideals. Eventually, the call of freedom comes to every mind and every soul. We do not accept the existence of permanent tyranny because we do not accept the possibility of permanent slavery. Liberty will come to those who love it.


    Another detainee said he was whisked off a Baghdad street by two U.S. soldiers, blindfolded and taken to an unknown location, where he was beaten by wooden sticks, sodomized and given electric shocks during an interrogation session. He was also one of three detainees who said in separate cases that he was forced to drink urine.

    "They made me take a picture with the captain giving me a hundred-dollar bill," the detainee said. "They then threatened to show the picture to the Iraqis and say I was working with them."

    Medical examinations corroborated the injuries to the detainee's wrists and noted injuries to his anus. Military lawyers ruled that the "investigation did not further diminish the integrity or credibility of [the] allegation," according to a report dated Aug. 5, but they closed the case.


    All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you.

    On your feet or on your knees.

    posted by tbogg at 10:21 PM



    Quit it. I'm being serious here...

    Shorter David Brooks:

    "I fail to see what is so amusing about having the President discuss America as a meritocracy, so stop your hysterical giggling."

    posted by tbogg at 9:33 PM



    Funny because it's true

    Via Norbusiness we get to watch people eviscerated with a laser. Sample:

    4. Dick Cheney

    Crimes: So loathsome his own party is frightened of him. Manages to deliver stunning lies with an air of sneering authority. Shamelessly employs scare tactics in order to strip the federal government of any resemblance to the one described in the constitution. So visibly evil that all of the documented evidence against him is superfluous. The kind of guy who starts talking cannibalism the minute he steps on the lifeboat.

    Smoking Gun: Managed to make his own shame at producing gay offspring into a negative for Kerry.

    Punishment: Hacked to death by Mexican migrant workers.

    posted by tbogg at 9:06 PM



    Monday Afternoon Jenna Blogging

    Make me spill my drink and you'll be wearing orange at Gitmo... Posted by Hello

    (Image courtesy of Gawker)

    posted by tbogg at 3:07 PM


    Sunday, January 23, 2005


    Like how some preachers get a real church and I have to share the Loco Coco Room with a seniors clogging class

    I think the Motel Messiah's™ sermon this week is Bitchslap Me Jesus Past the Minibar of Life. He seems, I dunno, bitter:

    How many of you have prayed … believed … desired … hoped and worked for something, and then, in one fell swoop, all your efforts seemingly get crossed up and don’t pay off? And there you sit, gobsmacked, as you watch all your best work and dreams go straight down the crapper. Am I the only one who has stood next to life’s toilet and had this unfortunate point of view?

    Yes. You are the only one...but go on, we're sure this will be interesting:

    You see other people’s lives, and everything they touch seemingly turns to gold. No trials. No waiting. No pain for them!

    And here’s the kicker. You know they’re no better than you. You know they have the same proclivities toward evil as you do. You know they, too, think most of Religious TV is an absolute ostentatious carnivalesque Elmer-Gantry-meets-Liberace side show. You know they, too, sneak a peak at Springer’s daily televised assault on humanity. You know they surreptitiously enjoy a dose of schadenfreude when something goes south for their nemeses. You know you’re not being singled out for being more evil than your fellow creepy mortals. You’re left thinking … hey, Yahweh … what gives? Cut me some slack here, why don’tcha?

    Speaking on behalf of Doug's deity (who really doesn't want to get involved and, please, no pictures): No. No slack for you until you quit writing things like these:

    So … to acquiesce, you grunt a grin of mock civility … but inside you feel more lost than Anna Nicole Smith taking the FCAT.


    He will give you the desires of your heart” have all the appeal of dirty dancing with Janet Reno.


    Well … you tried to delight yourself in Him, yet your spiritual vision is still as blurred as Boris Yeltsin’s eyesight on a weekend vodka binge during a Russian blizzard.

    Okay, Doug's deity (whom we'll call "Scooter") is trying to teach him and us (well, not me...but probably you and you and that guy over there with the comb-over) that He is like a wife-beating husband who really loves us but has a problem expressing it particularly when Sports Center is on:

    Secondly, to help us understand cross acts of providence, we must realize that often God’s hand is set against us when His heart is set toward us. The Bible is Windex-like in its clarity about God really digging us and also having no problemo giving us a good life-lesson butt-whipping at the same time.

    Listen. No man can conclude where the heart of God stands by His hand. Are you getting this? Look … God can and will kick butt and take names. He can penalize us for our weird penchants. He can spiritually smack us so hard that He makes Jackie Chan look like Urkel. All the while, He really really likes us. God loved his spiritual sons like Job and David, and in His love, He allowed for disastrous things to rock their world for their ultimate good.

    And later they thanked Him but they really could have done without all the drama and would have settled for a life of quiet contemplation and maybe a little Tivo.

    Thirdly, know that all cross providences that smack the saints are for the purpose of some noble good that God intends to prefer upon them. Take Joseph, for example. Joe got sold into slavery to a distant country through the envy and malice of his ministerial alliance. Then brother Joseph was falsely imprisoned after he radically obeyed God. Nevertheless, through all this intergalactic bad junk, The Dreamer was getting closer to his dream.

    Put that in your irony bong and smoke it!

    Um. We really don't know what Doug is talking about here nor do we know what an "irony bong" is either, so we're going to put it in our confusion hypodermic, mainline it, and hope for the best.

    Check it out. What Joseph’s brothers sought to diminish … God used to promote. His brothers sold Joseph so that he would not be exalted over them, yet he was exalted because he was sold.


    "Scooter" would like it to be known that He hates people who use the expression "Hello!" and marks them with the Sign of the Beast which is a cleft chin and pouty expression

    The Holy Spirit is out to work in us that which is pleasing in His sight and folks … our flesh does not do the electric slide in that direction. It usually takes a good shake down before we shape up.

    So, apparently we were lied to when we were told that doing the Electric Slide at weddings would get us into heaven when we really should have been slow-dancing to Lady In Red instead of banging the Maid of Honor in the hotel coatroom while it was playing.

    At least I think that's what I think "Scooter" said before He went out for cigarettes....

    Deities! Can't live with them, can't incur their wrath without them.

    posted by tbogg at 11:59 PM



    Write Your Own Punchline Monday


    Saturday afternoon I drove to the Mall of America to receive my boon from the wise and munificent gods of Cupertino: Pages, the new word processor for the Mac. While I was in the Mall I decided to see if the Bath & Body Works store had any of those shampoos I discussed the other day.

    I left the Mall with nineteen bottles
    . I am set for the next year. This week has promise.

    That's the barrel. Here's the fish. Commence firing...

    posted by tbogg at 11:47 PM



    Operation Look Busy

    This ought to do it:

    With the trail of Osama bin Laden gone cold, the U.S. State Department is revving up a new publicity blitz to remind Afghans and Pakistanis of the $25 million bounty for al-Qaeda's chief. Bin Laden is still thought to be hiding somewhere along the 1,640-mile, mountainous Afghanistan-Pakistan border, but intelligence officials in Kabul and Islamabad say there has been no trace of him for the past 20 months. By the end of February, the White House is expected to double the sum on bin Laden's head, to $50 million, acting on legislation passed in November by Congress.

    Because, these days, $25 million is chump change in Kabul. But $50 million? Now you're talking, Sparky.

    Jesus. This is like "double secret probation".

    posted by tbogg at 10:51 PM


    Friday, January 21, 2005


    Moses Whine

    We (that would be either the royal plural 'we' or the multiple personalities 'we') noticed that Roger Simon, the be-hatted novelist/screenwriter turned be-hatted Presidential loafer-humper is in the midst of putting the final touches on his coming of age memoir in which he recounts his metamorphosis from youthful idealist to 9/11-changed-everything worrywart and mainstream media loather. Roger writes:

    When my agents were circulating the proposal for the book I'm writing - which is in part about my political migration - one rather famous editor at a big publishing house rejected it by saying "I don't understand why he changed." I've been at the lit game for too many years to take these things personally, but that was a head scratcher since my reasons filled about half my twenty-page proposal. Had she read it? (Well, maybe she hadn't.)

    An alternative explanation is that she had read it but the words made no impact. Bad writing? Again, possible (although several other publishers were interested and one ultimately bought it). In any case, this particular rejection had gone the way of myriad similar events in my life, into deep memory, only to surface again yesterday when I was trying to calm myself down about two news events, both related to a woman named Boxer.

    We will assume that Roger will devote about six chapters reminding us he was involved with the Civil Rights movement, one chapter about his Academy Award nomination, four chapters about Rathergate, three chapters about what a swell guy Hugh Hewitt is despite his personal hygiene issues, and a few paragraphs about how the Democtratic party left him and not vice versa, which turned out to be good career move for both parties. Unfortunately, as Roger indicated, he's got his hands full explaining his change of philosophical heart (also known as succumbing to the blandishments of the bland) so, we thought it would be downright neighborly if we all pitched in and came up with a title for what is currently called: Roger Simon's Work In Progress That Is Not A Blog.

    That's right, it's another contest, just like the one a year and a half ago when we named Clarence Thomas' book: The Founder's Intent, Natural Law, and Why I Like Big Butts.

    Just submit your title here with Simon in the subject line by Friday 1/28 and next weekend a panel comprised of me, will select the best one to be passed on to Mr. Simon. The winner will receive a copy of James Wolcott's Attack Poodles and Other Media Mutants personally autographed by me (Hell, I'll even sign his name if you want me to...I'm not proud). So put on your fedoras and get to cracking. And remember, there are no losers, only people whose best just isn't good enough.

    At least that's what I used to tell the Little League team I coached when the little bastards blew a big lead.

    posted by tbogg at 8:02 PM



    Shorter Peggy Noonan

    And I remember thinking: This speech would have been better if I had written it.

    posted by tbogg at 1:00 AM


    Thursday, January 20, 2005


    Okay. Maybe "warriors" is a bit of an exaggeration....

    Maybe they should call themselves Protest Wa--Oh, Shit! Run away! Aieee!!!:

    I hope our Fellow Freepers stay safe out there... the Protest Warriors ran into a little trouble a few minutes ago:

    12:12 p.m. ET
    Not So Peaceful Peace Rally
    Hundreds of people gathered at both ends of Meridian Hill Park in Northwest Washington for a peace rally sponsored by the D.C Antiwar Network.

    But there were interlopers: Thirteen members of ProtestWarror, supporting the Bush administration and its policies in Iraq. When the Bush supporters arrived, about 20 black-clad, self-described anarchists emerged from the crowd, shouting profanity and epithets and demanding that they leave the peace rally.

    When the Bush supporters refused to leave, the anarchists tore the sign out of the Bush supporters' hands and stomped on them. When ProtestWarrior leader Gil Kobrin objected, several male anarchists knocked him to the ground, kicking him in the back and punching him. Other anarchists punched and shoved Kobrin's 12 colleagues.

    After D.C. Antiwar Network members broke up the fight, the Bush supporters heeded their order to leave the park. Kobrin then called D.C. police, who are now guarding them at the entrance of the park as they hold up their pro-war signs. "We're going to hang tight," Kobrin said. "We're expressing our freedom of speech just as they are expressing theirs." --Robert MacMillan

    Actually, those expressing their freedom of speech who weren't Bushistas were treated a bit differently by the police.

    posted by tbogg at 11:30 PM



    Thursday Night Jenna Bush Blogging

    Having spent all night in a post-concert threesome with Hilary Duff and Reuben Studdard, Jenna Bush yawns and wonders when the Secret Service is going to show up with her Bloody Mary Big Gulp™. Meanwhile sister NotJenna practices her Nicole Kidman-like blank stare. Posted by Hello

    Thanks to Chris for the link.

    posted by tbogg at 10:29 PM



    Thursday Night Basset Blogging

    I don't really remember when I took this picture of Beckham which is weird since you would think I would remember the one time when he actually cooperated. Posted by Hello

    posted by tbogg at 9:28 PM



    Because grieving mothers are such an hoot

    Tim Graham reminds us of why The Corner is the natural habitat of nitwits:

    Yes on the MSM, K-Lo. ABC's Good Morning America really hit hard this morning on the notion that the Inauguration is too "lavish" for the times. Claire Shipman insisted on it as she interviewed the First Lady. When that was done, Peter Jennings chimed in: "Now, it's a little risky, George Stephanopoulos, to contradict the First Lady, it is pretty lavish and it was pretty lavish last night." Jennings also pressed the "lavish" issue on Rudy Giuliani.

    PS: Just for added fun, GMA also interviewed Cindy Sheehan, who's protesting the Inauguration because her son died in Iraq last April.
    (my emphasis)

    This is Cindy Sheehan's son, Casey.

    You've got to hand it to Tim, for a tone-deaf fat fuck, he sure has a way with words.

    You can e-mail Tim's employers at the MRC here and ask them why he hates American soldiers and their grieving parents.

    Just for added fun, mind you.

    posted by tbogg at 6:28 PM



    I guess it depends on which side of the fence you're on.

    KJ Lopez writes:

    HUH? [KJL]
    Judy Woodruff said on CNN a little ago that the increased security reminds us that we are divided country. Weird. Reminded me we're at war with an enemy that wants us all dead and managed to kill a bunch of us on 9/11/01.

    The Bush administration isn't afraid of terrorists. It's afraid of Americans.

    Like these
    and these
    and these
    and these
    and these

    And so this becomes the face of "freedom and liberty".

    Of course KJL knows better since she reported 2 1/2 hours earlier:

    CNN might want to kill its audio. As parade gets moving, pass protesters who seems to be chanting F*** Bush.

    Yeah. They must be terrorists.

    posted by tbogg at 6:00 PM



    Inauguration 2005

    Ready to piss on America some more... Posted by Hello

    The VP says:

    Vice President Dick Cheney (news - web sites) said Thursday that he overestimated the pace of Iraq (news - web sites)'s recovery from the U.S.-led invasion because he didn't realize the lasting devastation wrought by Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) on his people after the first Gulf War (news - web sites).

    That would be this devastation.

    Whoops. We did that. Our bad.

    Anyway, they love us now. Or not.

    posted by tbogg at 11:18 AM


    Wednesday, January 19, 2005


    Jenna & NotJenna: The bimbos of Babylon.

    Here we get to don our official Matt Drudge fedora and scream:


    President George W. Bush
    The White House
    1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
    Washington, DC 20500

    Dear Mr. President:

    We celebrate with you this week because Christ has allowed you to be His servant in this nation for another presidential term. But already there is a challenge to the biblical norms that you stand for, and it comes from within your very own family. This Thursday, your two daughters, Jenna and Barbara, will appear before the earthly world in attire that cannot be described in any sense as modest.

    As you know, dress and appearance are an important reflection of our Christian values. "We are what we wear," as the saying goes, and according to this edict, your own daughters, bejeweled and bedecked in garments that plunge of neckline and cling of fabric, cannot be said to reflect the deeply-held believes (sic) of the tens of millions of "values voters" who sent you back to that highest office in the land.

    As you prepare to lead this country for another four years, remember your role as leader of your own family. "For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior." (Ephesians 5:23)

    When you advise your daughters as to the essential importance of dressing to glorify God, remind them of these words from Timothy: "I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes."

    You have four years -a brief time only - to leave an imprint for righteousness upon this nation that brings with it the blessings of Almighty God. Do not risk offending Him in these early days of your second term by presenting forth your own daughters as Oholah and Oholibah, who, like Jezebel, painted their eyes and decked themselves with ornaments to entice men to commit adultery with them (Ezek 23.)

    Lewis Sheldrick
    Coalition for Traditional Values

    Beverley Hayden
    Concerned Women of America

    Robert Wilder
    American Family Organization

    Randy Thomas
    Campaign for Families

    Dennis Patton
    Silver Ring Thing

    Sandy Slokum
    Defend Our Marriages

    Roy deLong
    Baptist Leadership Council

    Far be it from me to correct the "values" folks above, but I believe it was Oholah and NotOholibah that were doing all the decking and the painting and the slutty stuff.

    Oh, and Dennis Patton from the Silver Ring Thing above isn't a spokesman for The American Cock Ring Trade Group. Instead it's these guys, who spend their time convincing dorks (and I'm including the old guy) that they are choosing abstinence when it is abstinence that is choosing them.

    Anyway, now that we've cleared up the whole Silver Ring Thing, um, thing, we hope that we have helped you avoid any awkward attempts at placing an order over the phone for the Cheney Choker™, what with the "sizing" and "fit" issues and, well....

    Oh, never mind.

    (Added: It looks like the letter was a fake (I picked it up from The Swift Report). You got me. I should have kerned it, but I didn't, and now I have to go and fire three producers and a Vice President. Damned Bush economy)


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