TBogg - "...a somewhat popular blogger"

Faithful husband, soccer dad, basset owner, and former cowboy
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  • Sunday, July 31, 2005


    Tomorrows cannon fodder, today

    We welcome Dependable Renegade to the blogroll and we see that President Can't Attend Even One of 1795 Military Funerals has time to stop in and visit the Boy Scout Jamboree being held at Camp Don't-Stick-Your-Tongue-In-The-Socket. (It's one of those Indian-name campgrounds like Camp Cha'kwaina or Camp Nock-a-ho-up).

    Later the President wondered aloud if the Pentagon could drop the recruitment age to thirteen.

    Old enough to get morning-wood, old enough to fight.

    Although I see, from here, some aren't ready for the Iraqi heat, but you go to war with the Boy Scouts you have, not the Boy Scouts you wish you had.

    posted by tbogg at 11:43 PM




    Brian of Ain't No Bad Dude has a companion blog called The Lefty Directory (also known as the Library of Babble) that turned three years old today. Brian was blogging before blogging was, well, maybe not cool, but he was still way ahead of the curve, okay? 800+ links. Enough to keep you occupied all day...until your boss starts asking where the TPS reports are and if you got the memo about the cover sheets.

    Meanwhile, here at Tbogg central, we broke the 4 million visit mark over the weekend. (The four millionth visitor will be getting a Hermes watch just as soon as Oprah picks it up for me). Four million is a lot unless you're Kos who can get four million hits while he's in the bathroom. If there is one thing that I have learned since I've been blogging it's that it doesn't hurt to put up a picture of a total babe like this

    Hit magnet Posted by Picasa

    ...every once in awhile.

    Come for the snark. Stay for the hot babe and crude sexual innuendoes.

    That's my motto...and I'm sticking to it.

    posted by tbogg at 11:15 PM



    H.I.V. Halliburton

    Fuck off and die. We're more concerned with
    our shareholders financial health.
     Posted by Picasa

    Privatization. The wave of the future:

    Even within the troubled Alabama penal system, this state compound near Huntsville was notorious for cruel punishment and medical neglect. In one drafty, rat-infested warehouse once reserved for chain gangs, the state quarantined its male prisoners with H.I.V. and AIDS, until the extraordinary death toll - 36 inmates from 1999 to 2002 - moved inmates to sue and the government to promise change.

    Alabama's solution was to fire the local company in charge of medical care and hire Prison Health Services, the nation's largest commercial provider of health care behind bars. Prison Health's solution was to recruit Dr. Valda M. Chijide, an infectious-disease specialist who arrived last November with a lofty title: statewide coordinator of inmate H.I.V. care.

    She was an unlikely candidate for the job in one sense, having never stepped inside a prison. But it did not take her long to conclude that the chaos was continuing, and that much of the problem was Prison Health itself.

    Though the company had promised the help of other doctors, she said, she was left alone to care for not only the 230 men in the H.I.V. unit, but the 1,800 other prisoners, too. Nurses were so poorly trained, Dr. Chijide said, that they neglected to hand out life-sustaining drugs or gave the wrong ones. Medical charts were a mess, she said, and often it was impossible to find such basic items as a thermometer, or even soap.

    Dr. Chijide lasted barely three months. After she complained in writing, Prison Health suspended her for reasons it would not disclose, and she quit.

    Her short, frantic stint - battling for drugs, hospitalizations and extra food for skeletal inmates, she said - was not unusual in the world of Prison Health Services, which has had a turbulent record in many of the 33 states where it has provided jail or prison medicine. But her story, a rare firsthand account of a doctor in charge of a prison's health care, offers an intimate glimpse of the company's work at a moment when the need for change could not have been more pressing, and the spotlight on Prison Health could hardly have been more intense.

    Even then, interviews and the reports of a federal court monitor show, the state and the company made promises they did not keep, settling for care that jeopardized inmates' health. And Prison Health, which often laments the difficulty of finding qualified doctors to work in jails and prisons, searched nationwide for a specialist, only to question her integrity.

    "If you bring up a problem that they don't want to hear about, they will attack you," said Dr. Chijide, 45. "I felt better resigning than staying on and bending my principles to their principles."


    Around the nation, the company has drawn criticism from judges, government overseers, and whistle-blowers, and has paid millions of dollars in fines and settlements. In New York, state regulators have faulted Prison Health in several deaths, and are investigating whether it is even operating legally in the state. Yet the company has continued to grow, absorbing rivals and winning new contracts; its largest, serving New York City's jails, was renewed in January, as Dr. Chijide was lodging her complaints.


    There is, of course, a higher authority that Prison Health must answer to: the state official charged with making sure it lives up to its contract. That person is Ruth Naglich, who as associate commissioner of the Alabama Corrections Department is supposed to review the company's work.

    Three years ago, Ms. Naglich was a Prison Health executive, vice president for sales and marketing, at the company's headquarters outside Nashville.

    Ms. Naglich said her connections to the company helped her coax it to improve care. And though her department has moved to fine Prison Health $580,000 over the last year for failing to meet certain performance standards - the company is fighting the fines - she said, "I'm pleased with the progress they've made."

    Hmmmm. Failure to provide promised services, stalling to avoid paying fines, rank incomptence, slagging whistleblowers, a former executive in high places overseeing the work that they're supposed to be doing.

    I think we've seen this movie before.

    posted by tbogg at 10:49 PM



    Back in the game

    When we last left our lil' soccer muffin on Wednesday she was leaving the hospital on crutches and out for three to four weeks.

    That was then, this is now. Meeting up with her mother in San Francisco she joined her team in Pleasanton for the College Showcase Tournamnet Yesterday she got her mother, the concerned but accommodating Mrs tbogg, to buy her a knee brace and then convinced her coach to let her go in and play a little as a sub. Today she played the entire game in a 1-0 win and fifty minutes in the second game in a 0-0 tie. She told me she was bored standing on the sidelines on crutches.

    Tough cookie.

    Of course when she gets back on Monday and I ask her to straighten up her room she'll come up lame. You can bet the house on that one.

    posted by tbogg at 10:09 PM


    Saturday, July 30, 2005


    Nazi Germany Reconsidered

    I saw this quote from Victor Davis Priapus Gravitas Hanson over at Wolcott and figured that it needed context:

    For the first time, Afghans and Iraqis have a stake in their own future — and know the United States is at last on the right side of history and intends to stay and win by their side.

    But, no, there wasn't anything that preceded it that would qualify the statement.

    Odd. I never figured Hanson for a Lindberghian isolationist. I guess he's just a sucker for the triumph of the will and some shiny new jackboots.

    posted by tbogg at 11:34 PM



    My apologies to Michelle Malkin...

    Mr. Schmidt dreams of a day
    when he can smother his looney wife
    and feed her body to the poodles.
     Posted by Picasa

    After viewing this I can no longer in good conscience call Michele Malkin, America's Crazy-Assed Bitch™.

    Jean Schmidt reminds of the mom of my friend John when I was growing up and how none of us would ever go to his house because we knew she was nuts and we didn't want to possibly have to talk to her so we would wait out in the street. Her name was Mrs. Swingle and she used to harangue her husband and kids unmercifully. When I was in my twenties my mom called me and said that Mr. Swingle had been arrested for killing her. He was this meek little guy who just wanted to sit in his chair and read Cahiers du cinéma magazine and drink coffee and one day he had enough of her shit and he went into the garage and got an axe and came back in whacked her in the head with it from behind while she was watching TV. The he called the police.

    True story.

    posted by tbogg at 10:42 PM



    Marketing says to not mention this in the recruiting ads.

    This makes the US Military recruiting shortfall look like a smoothly operating machine:

    RABIAH, Iraq (AP) - Some survivors of a suicide bombing targeting Iraqi army recruits were shot and wounded immediately afterward when U.S. and Iraqi soldiers opened fire at the scene, police, doctors and witnesses said Saturday.

    The bomber wandered into a crowd of Iraqis waiting Friday to enlist in the army and detonated his explosives, said police and witnesses to the attack in this northern town near the Syrian border. Al-Qaida in Iraq claimed responsibility in a statement posted on the Internet.

    After the blast, U.S. and Iraqi troops opened fire believing they were under attack, Rabiah's police chief, Col. Yahya al-Shammari, told The Associated Press.

    He said some of the army recruits were killed by the gunfire, although it was unclear how many because dead and wounded were taken to several hospitals across a wide area of northern Iraq.

    He said the death toll from the suicide attack had risen to 52 dead and 93 injured by late Saturday.

    The account of the shooting comes amid increased focus on the professionalism and training of the Iraqi army, with the Bush administration eager to improve Iraq's security forces so that the United States and its partners can begin withdrawing troops next year.

    The Iraqi Defense Ministry said that it was unaware of any shooting in connection with the bombing at Rabiah, a town 230 miles north of Baghdad, and that all casualties resulted from the blast.

    The U.S. military press office in Baghdad acknowledged receiving a query about the alleged shooting but said it had no information on it yet.

    Townspeople also spoke of gunfire from U.S. and Iraqi soldiers after the blast.

    "Two of my relatives were wounded with bullets," said Akram Zeidan, who lives near the blast site. He pointed to the walls that showed hundreds of bullet holes.

    The police chief said Iraqi soldiers fired Russian-made PKC automatic rifles mounted on top of their trucks. Dozens of empty shell casing could be seen scattered on the ground Saturday. He said U.S. troops also took part in the shooting.

    In the nearby village of Oweinat, where 14 of the wounded were being treated, a doctor showed a reporter four PKC bullets he had removed from some of the wounded. He refused to allow his name to be published, fearing government reprisal.

    Maybe it's just me, but if I was one of those Iraqi recruits who just got shot up by the good guys, I might start considering a job in food service or at the Baghdad Wal-Mart.

    Okay. Maybe not the Wal-Mart.

    posted by tbogg at 4:08 PM



    The Plot To Destroy Genius

    The Butt Bomber had to take precious time out from masturbating

    I've always like the Sun newspaper, and not only for its Page 3 girls.

    to point out that the MSM-LMNOP MOUSE are not paying enough attention to the attempt to assassinate the American DaVinci. Um. That would be Bush (squinty guy...kinda dumb. Immature. That Bush):

    What I find rather weird about this is the almost total lack of coverage of his assassination attempt and subsequent capture in the American press. As best I can tell from a Google Search, the Washington Times is the only American newspaper that has even noted Arutyunyan's arrest. How is it possible that American journalists have so little interest in an attempt to assassinate our President?

    Well, maybe they read this:

    During a conversation with the head of the Georgian police press center, Guram Donadze, who was quoted by Izvestia newspaper, Arutyunyan apparently said: “I will tell you why I did it. Because Bush is a prick!”

    ,,,and they had to admit that, when you get down to it, the guy really had a point.

    Then again, if Arutyunyan had managed to kill the Butt BuzzBomb's President we would have been forced to invade Georgia, which has it's upside. I've been wanting someone to kick Saxby Chambliss's chickenhawk ass.

    Rocket Rump Ranger also adds:

    The only parallel I can think of is the ho-hum attitude that journalists showed toward Saddam Hussein's attempt to assassinate former President George H. W. Bush--which was, in my view, more than ample reason to oust Saddam from power. Coverage of the disclosure of that attempt was so sparse that I would guess many Americans have no idea that Saddam tried to murder the former President.

    Well, we were never really that fond of H.W.Bush which is why we let him go after four years because we thought the company country needed to move in another direction and it was best for both parties to part ways and explore other opportunities.

    Really it's been swell. Stop by someday and we'll have lunch.

    Just call first.

    posted by tbogg at 12:13 AM


    Friday, July 29, 2005


    Okay. God says he'll take the blame for the platypus, cheese-in-a-can and Amway, but he's not taking the rap for that hairstyle

    We didn't know that the marvelously coiffed Cheri Yecke would like to use BC to teach science.

    PZ Myers, whose poop is probably smarter than me, explains.

    posted by tbogg at 11:59 PM




    We must assume that, when Dick Cheney retired from Halliburton, they gave him a solid-gold defibrillator.

    Which is why he's paying them back.

    posted by tbogg at 11:53 PM



    Footleing and thrumming

    It seems like it's been a month of Sundays (or Fridays) since we checked in on America's Worst Mother™ and her kids: Manichea Sue, Spindle, Ponce De Leann, and Hud. Well this week we have familial tension, a catfight, and seafood and who can pass those three up? Not us. Let's get started:

    It is a beautiful July evening on the coast of Maine. The sky over the small, largely deserted harbor is tinged a deep pink when we finish ordering our supper from a teenaged girl behind a mosquito-netted window and find a picnic table on the dock. My father, his wife, and I slide into our seats, and our combined six children (it's a long story) race happily down to the beach to footle about until the food comes.

    Stop right there. It's not "my mom" or "Mummy Sr.". It's "his wife". Is Meghan on the outs with her mother, possibly over the prospect of adding another Gurdling to brood forcing her mother to spend even more time playing "Grammy" when she rather be pounding down martinis and chain-smoking Camels? When Meghan wants something at dinner, does she ask her dad to ask the "fat drunken cow" to "please pass the salt"? We'll be generous and assume that Meghan parents broke up somewhere down the line (possibly over the stress of raising a twit) and now he's remarried and the pain of it all has made Meghan overcompensate by thrusting her own married life in our faces and going "See! See! I'm not damaged! I have children who love me and don't sit in their rooms listening to At Seventeen over and over again really really loud to cover the sound of their parents marriage breaking apart like a ship upon the rocks!".

    But I digress...

    "Ugh, girlies, take those off and put them together neatly under the table," I tell them, thinking how unpleasant it would be for anyone to have one of these nasty objects rubbed along their trouser leg as they sat eating supper. The girls take off their shoes, put them under the table, and curl their clean pink toes beneath themselves on the picnic table seat.

    "Hurrah, food!" Paris crows, arriving at the same time as a waitress carrying two giant trays of steaming clams, lobsters, and fish and chips. The other children have just joined us at the table when seven-year-old Tommy sits down, looks ruefully at his sodden shoes, and asks, "May I take these off?"

    "Sure," says his mother. "Fine with me," I agree.

    It is at this point that I become aware of a presence behind me.

    "Why is he taking his shoes off?" comes a tense female voice.

    Oh oh. Trouble in River City.

    I turn to see sitting at the table behind us a middle-aged, dark-haired tourist dressed in "nautical" clothes (blue capris, blue-and-white-striped bateau-necked top, brand-new navy raincoat with white topstitching knotted around her waist). It crosses my mind to explain about the seawater and the green ooze, but as our food has arrived I merely shrug in a friendly manner and say something along the lines of, "Oh, his shoes are wet."

    The woman makes no reply to me, but snorts and mutters something to herself.

    I am, at this point, genuinely puzzled. "Why, is that a problem?"

    She turns to face me and there is a tinge of outrage in her voice. "The kids will get splinters, walking around barefoot on these planks."

    Even apart from the fact that the children are all quiet, well-dressed, and not walking around anywhere, or that the planks in question are soft and weathered and no menace to anyone's soles, it is obvious that this seething individual is not thinking of the children's well-being. Nevertheless, I decide to take her at her word. "Well," I say, with a little gesture towards the other adults, "we're their parents. I guess
    we'll take that risk."

    "Fine. Good," she fumes. "Let them get splinters. I don't care."

    I turn back to her, amazed. "Obviously you do care."


    "Well, I've just never seen anything like it."

    "You've never seen children take their shoes off before? Outdoors? In the summer?"

    At this moment, another tourist, bless her, walks past with her son and says lightly to my assailant, "Yep, it's one of the best things about this place. We come every year. Kids can play barefoot, you can eat your lunch in your bathing suit. You can even bring your dog."

    Our entire table throws the woman a grateful look, but she has already gone. Still, it is enough to break the moment, and I turn away at last. Before me is a row of stricken faces.

    "Unbelievable," murmurs my father's wife.

    My father winces. "I'm all churned up," he says quietly, and I know it is from the effort of keeping his temper.

    "Me, too."

    Now Dad...watch your blood pressure. Fuck you Mom. I hate you, you drunken harpy.

    Behind us, in a furious sotto voc, the shoe fetishist is ranting about us to her newly arrived husband. She hisses on and on and on. The husband doesn't say anything.

    "Mummy," Molly says in a frightened whisper, "she just called us animals."

    I squeeze Molly's arm reassuringly, but my blood is surging.


    Whoops nevermind.

    Normally, in a fair fight, I wouldn't hesitate to take on a dame like this one and trounce her. But we've driven for two days to get to Maine, another hour to get to this picturesque spot, it's still a lovely evening, our food is cooling — and six pairs of young eyes are on me.

    "Yum yum," I say in a bright voice that shakes only a little. "Now, children, who would like to try a bit of lobster?"

    Awwww. Chicken.

    "She called us animals," Molly says, still horrified. "I bet if Daddy had been there she wouldn't have called us that."

    She is right. "That reminds me," I tell them. "Only three more days until Daddy comes to Maine."

    "Yay!" rejoices everyone. Including me.

    Because, as usual, Mr. Meghan has stayed behind to get some work done bang his administrative assistant on the Chippendale dining table.

    Next week, Meghan and her drunken cow bitch-mom go at it, Anejo and knives a-slashin'.


    posted by tbogg at 7:39 AM



    The weather is here, I wish you were beautiful

    Mr. Judith Miller has been working on his tan while Mrs. Judith Miller has been working in the prison laundry...and she's cool with that:

    A WELL-DESERVED BREATHER: I was pleased to hear from sources that New York Times reporter Judith Miller, still behind bars for refusing to reveal confidential sources, is delighted that her husband, Jason Epstein, was able to take a Mediterranean cruise and escape, if briefly, the emotional strain of their predicament. Miller is telling pals that Epstein soon will return to help her fight the good fight.

    She's in jail and she's "delighted" that he can "escape" the "emotional strain" of her incarceration. Suddenly her New York Times WMD stories now seem credible by comparison.

    posted by tbogg at 6:30 AM



    Friday Random Ten...Damn, I'm Up Early Edition

    The globe-trotting and frolicsome Mrs. tbogg had an early flight this morning which means I was up at five. Oy. Here's the Random Ten:

    Keep Me - The Black Keys
    Deathly - Aimee Mann (Live)
    Jeru - Miles Davis
    Darkness On The Delta - Cassandra Wilson
    Love For Sale - Talking Heads
    Cold Hard Bitch - Jet
    Rattlesnakes - Tori Amos (this is a really good cover of a great Lloyd Cole song)
    The Boy With The Thorn In His Side - The Smiths
    Bangs - They Might Be Giants
    Surface To Air - The Chemical Brothers

    posted by tbogg at 6:03 AM


    Thursday, July 28, 2005


    Pictures good. Words bad, like fire, burn. Make eyes water.

    Callimachus at donkleupagus is miffed/incensed/disgruntled/on the verge of testy that AP isn't using the right photos from Iraq to tell the true story of our fight against terror and stuff for the benefit of Pre-Verbal-Americans (the last group of Americans that it is still acceptable to make fun of...besides John Roberts family, I mean).

    So how are we doing in Iraq? What are those tens of thousands of our sons and daughters, brothers and wives, doing in that distant land? We went there to help build freedom and make the world safer for all. What’s the progress report?

    I checked the Associated Press photo wire today to get an overview of the war as it is seen through the eyes of the Associated Press.

    Here is what he saw:

    * Sixteen pictures of Sgt. Kevin Benderman and/or various members of his family and defense team. Benderman is an Army mechanic who refused to go to Iraq while he sought conscientious objector status. Apparently, he is the most newsworthy U.S. soldier. There are far more pictures of him than anyone else in uniform.
    * Three file photo headshots of U.S. soldiers & Marines recently killed. Also one photo of a casket of a female Nebraska Army National Guard medic who was killed in the line of duty in Iraq. Also, one photo of an Army captain kneeling before a memorial to one of his soldiers who was killed near Abu Ghraib. Apparently, the most important thing our soldiers do in Iraq, other than desert, is die.
    * Three photos of “Electronic musician Moby.” Why? Because “Moby says he has a newfound respect for Eminem, who once mocked him in a song, because the rapper criticized U.S. President George W. Bush and the war in Iraq in his last album.”
    * Three pictures of U.S. troops standing helplessly amid the smashed cars and shreaded flesh at the scene of a suicide bombing that killed dozens of people. Other than deserting and getting killed, this apparently is the number three most newsworthy activity for U.S. troops.
    * One photo of a U.S. Army soldier who is doing something other than deserting, dying, or not preventing a suicide attack. But it’s a file photo from 2004, from the fighting in Najaf. The AP re-ran the photo this week because the “photograph was among those honored by the Associated Press Managing Editors Association in its annual awards to the AP staff.” It’s a story about the AP, not the soldier.

    Oh, and five pictures of Michael Moore.

    Now, the AP photo wire doesn’t set out to be a complete picture of anything. But it does show you where the big media’s camera lens is firmly focused in any given period. And for most American newspapers, including mine, AP is the only source of pictures for the world. You need pictures to make a paper. If it doesn’t have art, chances are it won’t run.

    We shall alert the Wall Street Journal.

    Boy will they feel stupid.

    We direct Callimachus here.

    Ooooooo. Pretty colors!

    posted by tbogg at 11:54 PM



    How should I put this?

    In a polite society this would be called a faux pas. I don't live there and neither do you.

    John Bolton; Lying motherfucker.

    posted by tbogg at 11:44 PM



    The two faces of Cheri Pierson Yecke

    We will start with Cheri Pierson Yecke's article decrying mean old liberals commenting on conservative women's appearances:

    While healthy civic discourse involves disagreement on issues of policy, too often people are prone to bully and harass their opponents with attacks on physical appearances when they are unable to articulate a valid and logical opposing argument.

    Consider the criticisms of the president's new nominee to the Supreme Court. John Roberts has impeccable legal credentials, so what can the pundits attack? Why, the clothing of his wife and children, of course. A fashion maven in the Washington Post looked down her nose and mocked the family as "a trio of Easter eggs, a handful of Jelly Bellies, three little Necco wafers." They were then duly admonished with a sniff: "Please select all attire from the commonly accepted styles of this century."

    Condoleezza Rice, our dignified secretary of state who started college at age 15 and earned a doctorate in her early 20s, is one of the most powerful women in the world.

    Nonetheless, she has been mocked and ridiculed -- not for her intellect or knowledge of international diplomacy, but for her hair. It has been likened to that of June Cleaver, but her critics are not content to stereotype her as a dowdy relic from the supposedly subservient '50s. She has also been criticized as a "dominatrix" who oozes "sex and power" for wearing fashionable boots and a fitted black coat.

    Katherine Harris, the Florida secretary of state whose crime was correctly interpreting Florida law in the 2000 election, was described by Time magazine columnist Margaret Carlson as Cruella De Vil. An article about Harris in the New York Times was subtitled "Mascaragate 2000," and the Washington Post suggested that she "applied her makeup with a trowel."

    And then there is Linda Tripp, whose appearance became a national joke. She looked like anyone you might bump into at the grocery store, but suddenly her looks and her weight became fodder for late-night comedians.

    Her role in revealing President Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky would have made her a villain in the eyes of far-left partisans regardless of what she looked like, but for some reason her lack of a fashion-model appearance gave critics self-permission to attack with a viciousness that should have been a media embarrassment.

    The attacks were relentless and clearly demoralizing to Tripp. In one interview she said: "I didn't realize how ugly I was until I saw the pictures. I was horrified as well as the rest of the nation."

    Tripp underwent major plastic surgery to remake her physical appearance, only to receive more ridicule. According to one person: "It looks like she's had a head transplant." And that was a friend. Clearly, the stigma of "bad looks" remains even after a physical transformation.
    (links provided by me)

    Fair enough. But then this:

    The fact that women fought for many years to be taken seriously in the arenas of government and public policy makes the "lookism" attacks on successful women reveal a deep double standard -- not of men against women, but of women against their own gender.

    Where are the feminists? Their silence speaks volumes about their convictions and partisan leanings. After all, it is mainly conservative women who have been the victims of this sort of media slashing.

    Whoa there, little filly. We have gone out of our way to make fun of Jonah, the Pod, Brent Baker, Gary Bauer, the Derb, Joel Mowbray, Mitch McConnell, Tom DeLay, Steve Forbes, John Bolton, and Ann Coulter. All of them conservative men. So don't be saying that we haven't been fair.

    But let's talk about your face. Which one should we make fun of?

    "Nothing could be more clear. The federal government needs to stop micro-managing state affairs, and decreasing its role in education would be a good place to start." So said current Minnesota Education Commissioner Cheri Pierson Yecke, in a speech to the Education Leaders Council Conference in Dallas, Texas, in September 1997. At the time, Yecke was a member of the Virginia State Board of Education, and was among those who had successfully opposed an attempt by the Clinton administration to adopt national tests for students in America's public schools.

    In another argument in her speech against Clinton's national test proposal, Yecke quoted a section of a federal law that says, "The establishment of the Department of Education shall not increase the authority of the Federal Government over education." But if we flash forward to the education policies emerging during the Bush administration, and Yecke's role in implementing them, her position on Washington's involvement in local public schools seems to be more a matter of partisanship than principle.


    Yecke has played an active role in changing education policies at both the federal and state levels. Shortly after President Bush was elected, he appointed her to be director of teacher quality and school choice at the U.S. Department of Education. In January of this year, after Governor Pawlenty had named Yecke to the state's top education post, federal education commissioner Rod Paige said, "Cheri Yecke has played a critical role in our efforts to implement the No Child Left Behind Act."

    Once in Minnesota, Yecke helped ram through the new reading and math standards required to get No Child Left Behind funding. This September, almost exactly six years after she decried encroaching federal involvement in education, she praised the act as "a strong law, a morally righteous law." (A spokesperson for Yecke at the education department did not follow through on a pledge to get a statement from the commissioner for this story.)

    It's now clear that Yecke's earlier objection to Clinton's education policies had less to do with federal intervention than with who is doing the intervening. Ironically, the clamoring for more local autonomy in education stems from a nationally coordinated, ideologically driven movement that seeks to deprive public schools of stable funding and force them to compete in the private market. And Yecke is clearly a part of that movement.

    This explains why Yecke has frequently stated that the amount of money a school receives does not necessarily affect its performance, and why she readily acquiesced to Pawlenty's budget cuts in education during the last session. It is why her 1997 speech was reprinted as the cover story in the February/March 1998 edition of Intellectual Ammunition, a public policy magazine published by the Heartland Institute, a conservative think tank based in Chicago, whose education philosophy is prominently displayed on its website: "Government schools are islands of socialism in a sea of competition and choice."

    So which face is it, Cheri? This one or this one.

    Notice we didn't say anything about the hair. And we're not going to.

    Talk about the hair, I mean.

    Because that would be wrong. Just as wrong as this.

    Very wrong.

    posted by tbogg at 11:07 PM




    I don't normally link to articles from The Onion, but if this doesn't pretty much describe a blogger, I don't know what does:

    OMAHA, NE—Responding to the negative press coverage Tom Cruise has received in recent weeks, University of Nebraska financial-aid clerk Ben Matherson, 28, announced Monday that things would be different if he were the megastar's publicist.

    "Tom is a force of nature, no question," Matherson announced from his one-room efficiency apartment in the Cornhusker State. "You can't control him, but you have to at least steer him in the right direction. That's how you handle a star of his caliber."

    According to Matherson, Cruise's "PR nightmare" began with an article in the German publication Der Spiegel, which reported that Cruise arranged to have a tent for the Church of Scientology set up on the set of War Of The Worlds.

    "I have no idea what he was thinking, promoting Scientology when he's supposed to be shooting a film," said Matherson, who was on a movie set only once, when he took the Universal Studios tour in 1988.

    Matherson added: "I would have redirected the questioning the moment the reporter started asking Tom about religion, or maybe just said, 'Okay, let's wrap this up.'"

    Although not a regular reader of Der Spiegel, Matherson said he gleaned information about the publication from the celebrity-news program Insider, which he typically watches alone in his room while eating cold cereal.

    posted by tbogg at 9:25 PM



    Thursday Night Basset Blogging

    We're not exactly sure how Beckham managed to get
    his harness...down there. As usual, he's not talking...
    (click to enlarge) Posted by Picasa

    ...also, the return of the dog penis, but you've really got to look for it.


    posted by tbogg at 9:02 PM



    This shit just writes itself...

    Glad to see that during my exceedingly brief hiatus, Republicans are picking up the "Are You Fucking Serious?" flag and waving it for me. Both of these are from Kos, so you've probably already read them...but they're too good to pass on:

    First there is the Anal Strap-On from Powerline, who apparently wrote this with a straight (or as Chris Muir might put it strait) face:

    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.

    C'mon. If you said that in front of Laura Bush at lunch she would probably shoot milk out of her nose.

    Next, the Cat Killer Who Would Be King on why the Gun Manufacturers & Racketeers Protection Act is more important than the defense appropriation bill.

    And linking the bill to the war in Iraq, Frist said that Beretta, the manufacturer of pistols to U.S. forces in Iraq, warned that it may go bankrupt if the lawsuits are not stopped.

    "These frivolous suits threaten a domestic industry that is critical to our national defense," Frist said. "Given the profusion of litigation, the Department of Defense faces the very real prospect of outsourcing sidearms for our soldiers to foreign manufacturers."

    That is absolutely dazzling in its complete bullshittedness or bullshitosity...take your pick.

    posted by tbogg at 4:43 PM




    Good news. (see below)

    No break and no tears. It looks like Casey just has a severely strained LCL with a lot of swelling. She's on crutches and should be playing again in 3-4 weeks. She doesn't want to come home from camp and is going to meet up with her mom in San Francisco for the weekend to go watch a tournamemt that she was supposed to play in.

    Her one goal in life is to play soccer at the collegiate level and at her age and development, an ACL injury would have pretty much snuffed that out. She's very lucky.

    Many thanks for the comments and emails....and now we can get back to business.

    Bush sucks and here is what he thinks of us.

    We await the Conservative Right's comments on how vulgar this is and how it lowers the level of discourse and....Oh, who am I kidding? Joe Wilson is a liar. Yadda yadda yadda.....

    posted by tbogg at 9:29 AM


    Wednesday, July 27, 2005


    Bloggus interruptus

    Hang in there, #6 Posted by Picasa

    Well this ain't good.

    Blogging will be temporarily suspended. We've got us a soccer injury and we're waiting to hear from the hospital up on Whidbey Island so I'm more than a little distracted. Preliminary indications: not good.

    Let's hope for the best and I'll be back soon.

    (9:45 update) In x-ray right now. We just spoke with the trainer and she says it presenting like a broken fibula but that there is a possibility of a torn ACL. Spoke with Casey at the hospital and she being a trooper. Wish we could say the same here at home. We've been through a fractured collar bone, a hamstring torn twice, and a broken toe (done on the stairs at home of all things) this past year. This is getting old.

    posted by tbogg at 9:02 PM



    Pynchon and DeLillo and Eugenides, oh my!

    Via Rox Populi a link about our favorite reclusive jokster.

    Don DeLillo It was as though, in some odd quantum stroke, Hemingway died one day and Pynchon was born the next. One literature bends into another. Pynchon has made American writing a broader and stronger force. He found whispers and apparitions at the edge of modern awareness but did not lessen our sense of the physicality of American prose, the shotgun vigor, the street humor, the body fluids, the put-on.

    I was writing ads for Sears truck tires when a friend gave me a copy of V. in paperback. I read it and thought, Where did this come from?

    I'm trying to imagine a DeLillo Sears truck tire ad...

    posted by tbogg at 7:25 PM



    Today's Featured Hannidate

    "I'm just looking for a nice girl who'll
    let me tell her what she can do with her body" Posted by Picasa

    Hey Ladies!

    I'm a 25 year old born-again Christian and God is the most
    important thing in my life. Family is also very important to
    me and at this point in my life, I find myself wanting to
    start one of my own. I have one sister and no brothers. My
    parents and I are best friends and they have shown me what
    being a true christian really is. I'm a senior at East
    Stroudsburg University majoring in Sports Management. Sports
    are a major interest of mine. Baseball is my favorite sport
    and I love going out and watching the Phillies often. I
    coach my church softball team and umpire softball games. I'm
    also a big basketball, football and hockey fan. Politics is
    also very important to me. I believe that the morals in
    which our country were based on are being torn down and it's
    our job to fight for God and our country. I'm very proud of
    President Bush and the morals he stands for. Fighting
    against abortion is something I'm extemely passionate about.
    I'm presently training to be a counselor for women at
    abortion clinics. Being a Republican conservative is
    something I'm very proud of. I spend most of my time with my
    family and love either going out and spending some time with
    them or just staying in and having a nice quiet evening. I'm
    a huge animal lover and dogs are by far my favorite. There
    isn't an animal that I don't love.

    He's also got a bitchin' wicked car (a red Subaru Impreza with 7 Bush stickers!) and he's a snappy dresser...but you probably already figured that one out for yourself.

    The line forms on the left right...

    Oddly enough on Hannidate, I hat no luck when I entered that I was a male looking for a male. even if I included Jeff Guckerts zip code.


    posted by tbogg at 3:12 PM



    Like an evening watching TNT but
    without The Shawshank Redemption

    Like eveyone else I went and read Cheryl Felicia Rhoads whine about The Great Satan Bill Clinton Hillary Clinton Dan Rather John Kerry Frank Rich Barbra Streisand The Dixie Chicks George Soros ...pant...pant...pant... Michael Moore, which is better covered here and here.

    But I was more interested in Cheryl Felicia Victor Davis Hanson Rhoads mention of The Traverse Bay Freedom Film Fest which I haven't seen mentioned by Entertainment Tonight or People Magazine or Tiger Beat or Fangoria. Here you can see the agenda for the Film Fest which should have the glitterati flocking to Traverse City like Jonah and the Pod to an all-you-can-eat Ding-Dong buffet.

    Let's see:

    America's Heart and Soul
    - Nobody went and saw it when you had to pay for it, so free is good and then there is the air-conditioning which is... gooder.

    Charlotte's Web - Anthropomorphic animals. Although spiders and pigs living together might be offensive to Rick Santorum

    On The Waterfront - Union corruption. Betryal. Porn for conservatives. Elia Kazan directed it and he named names which is more conservative porn.

    Top Gun - Gayest. Movie. Ever.

    Raiders of the Lost Ark - Government secrecy. War. Weapons of mass destruction. Nazis. God. Government cover-up. I think it's a documentary except this time...the weapon exists.

    Best of all is the earlier breakout when you can see Echoes of Innocence with an introduction by Morgan Brittany who apparently is famous because she got an invitation to the premiere of Without A Paddle which was almost like touching the face of God.

    If anyone attends, would someone please ask Morgan about the American values exemplified by The Wild Women of Chastity Gulch

    It's quiet in Chastity Gulch, a small town in the Wild West. The men of the village are all in the army and fight their battles far away. The women are getting very bored! At once a bunch of robbers drops into the saloon. They love the beer but are also looking for beautiful women. Will the town-whores keep these delightful men for themselves or will the doctors-wife and the mayors-wife also get a part of the fun?

    Screenplay by Lynne Cheney, we assume...

    posted by tbogg at 1:05 PM



    Doug Giles or James Lileks?

    You decide:

    I had long conversations about Islam and Christianity with cabbies in DC, and they always ended with happy faces and salaam and go in peace. I’ve no doubt millions and millions of Muslims are content to let the Christians go about their errant path, content that in the end a just God will say okay, you crazy lug, you’re in. Just as millions of Christians are willing to say Koran, Shmoran, you’re just and upright and believe in the One Big Guy, meet you at the Old Country Buffet in the sky. Bacon bits on my side, hummus on yours, whatever. But when you have your Clash of Civilizations, people retreat. MOOOON GODDDD! Oh yeah? Cough up the dhimmi tax, kaffir!

    The point is not to get to that point. We are seriously need in live-and-let-live juice applied globally by aerosol spray, the sort of thing that makes people swallow big chunky doctrinal differences and concentrate simply on the idea of a God who is out of the smiting business for the time being. Take that as your daily verse: smite not. And the first one who says “but” gets sent howling down to hell? Smite not. Tomorrow, smite we might. After a day of not smiting we might actually refocus and agree who is smite-worthy, who truly profanes God’s gifts. But today? Smite-free.

    Answer here.

    ...and we need a Godwin's Law for taxi-cab conversations. At least that's what my last cab driver and I agreed upon.

    posted by tbogg at 12:47 PM



    The only turd on the comics page is Mallard Fillmore

    I guess it's okay if you're the President, but not for Garry Trudeau:

    Why did Garry Trudeau use Karl Rove's "Turd Blossom" nickname in Tuesday and Wednesday's "Doonesbury" strips?

    "Given that I'm writing for a general audience, I try not to use crude or vulgar language gratuitously," replied Trudeau, after E&P e-mailed him several questions this afternoon. "But in this case, I felt that [President] Bush's nickname for Rove was illuminating. 'Turd blossom' has so many connotations, none of them flattering. It's a small masterpiece of nastiness."

    About 10 to 12 newspapers pulled or edited the "Turd Blossom" strips, according to an Associated Press story. Trudeau is OK with the pulling part, but not the editing part.

    "Editors obviously have a responsibility to determine what's appropriate for inclusion in their papers," said the Universal Press Syndicate cartoonist. "The syndicate and I accept that from time to time individual editors may object to particular strips and decide to drop them. What's not acceptable to us, however, is for editors to alter the content of a strip and represent it as what I sent them. In most cases, changing the dialogue compromises its meaning or rhythm or humor. Sometimes, the strip no longer even makes sense. Who benefits from that? We'd prefer that an offending strip be dropped altogether."

    In today's "Doonesbury" comic (which can be viewed here), an aide tells Bush: "Sir, we're still getting pretty beat up on the Rove revelations. We can't get traction on any other issue. It's just the leak thing 24-7!" Bush responds: "Yeah, I know. Karl's sure been earnin' his nickname lately." Aide: "Boy Genius? I'm not so sure, sir." Bush then calls out to Rove: "Hey, Turd Blossom! Get in here!"

    Meanwhile, Chris Muir goes meta...and still isn't funny. What's really sad about Muir is that he uses the same computer images over and over again and so the only work he really does is the copy...and he can't even get that right.

    posted by tbogg at 12:19 PM



    US to dispatch crack marketing team to UK

    Pity Tony Blair. One would think that, as one of George Bush's bestest buddies, he would have learned at the feet of the master how to use an act of terror to whip up the masses and kick some Islamofacist butt. But after the London attacks....not so much.

    To review:

    After 9/11 the United States burned up what sympathy the attacks generated for us in the world and invaded two countries, only one of which had anything to do with 9/11. Oh yeah, also Freedom Fries.

    After 7/7 London Police shoot a Brazilian guy in the head.

    This is either a marketing problem or because England doesn't have a Toby Keith.

    In fact we noticed, right after the first London attack, that it took America's Crazy-Assed Bitch™, Michelle Malkin to set the terms of reference:


    "The 7/7 attacks"

    We assume that over pints at the pub hearty British resolve would have been evident from converstaions that included, "Sure I was bloody pissed about that wanker Glazer taking over Man U...but after 7/7, it just seems so inconsequential." or "Everything changed after 7/7." But, outside of an ocassional reference at The Corner, 7/7 hasn't developed that cachet that says: 'Put me on a t-shirt or use me to sell music'. Oh, sure you can get a Remember 7/7 t-shirt, but really, lime-green? And the music? Not exactly "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)" now, is it?

    Further evidence:

    : 30,500,000 Google links

    7/7: One.

    So what Blair really needs is someone to come in and fire up the troops and rebrand him from "George Bush's Lap Dog" to something along the lines of Steely-Eyed Rocket Man or The Iron Lady. Unfortunately Karen Hughes is otherwise occupied, but I hear that Karl Rove may soon be available.

    MI5 beware.

    posted by tbogg at 11:09 AM


    Monday, July 25, 2005


    Make him an offer he can't refuse

    "Look. You gotta a couple of cute kids. It would be a shame if anything happened to them because you legislated from the bench." Posted by Picasa

    It was truly heartwarming to see Sen. John Cornyn make nice with John "I'm Not Aware of Being A Member of 24 Hour Fitness" Roberts, after spending the year threatening other judges.

    Now Roberts just needs to make sure he makes the right decisions, lest he wake up in bed with a horses ass.

    posted by tbogg at 11:07 PM



    We don't get many ambassadorial nominees
    wearing solid gold suits. Very nice though.

    Sure, it's not a Medal of Freedom, but Richard Jones gets a new gig:

    President Bush on Monday picked Richard Jones, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's senior adviser on Iraq, to be the next U.S. ambassador to Israel.

    Before Jones joined Rice at the State Department, Jones was second-in-command at the Coalition Provisional Authority, the U.S. civilian entity that ran Iraq after the American-led invasion in 2003. Jones, a career diplomat with long experience in the region, has also been the U.S. ambassador to Kuwait, Kazakhstan and Lebanon.

    His nomination must be approved by the Senate.

    Perhaps it's too much to ask, but maybe, just maybe, a Senator might gently ask, "So. Where did all the money go?"

    ...and speaking of the whiz kids of the CPA, we see in comments over at Voice of the Taciturn (which is like Captains Quarters but much more butch) that Michael Ledeen makes a cameo commenting appearance:

    How right you are. Remember that, a few years back, Prof Kennedy said there were three world empires: the American, the Japanese, and the Russian (Soviet). He said, at enormous length, that the American Empire was the least stable, and would fall first.

    But hey, he's at Stanford, hardly anyone holds him accountable for his errors, and so he's free to pronounce on a subject about which, as you say, he doesn't know S&%$.

    A coupla months back I was involved in a debate with Buchanan and Novak, and Novak said that what really got to him was Washington intellectuals who never sent their own kids to fight, but sent the underclass to die for the intellectuals' crazy ideas.

    I suggested that he NOT try that out on 2nd Lt Gabriel Ledeen, USMC, or on Simone Ledeen, now a civilian working with the Pentagon in Afghanistan, or countless other children of "Washington intelletuals" (and New York intellectuals, even). We've entertained a lot of young Marines in our house the past few years, and most people would be surprised at their backgrounds: kids with advanced degrees from places like U of Chicago, Yale, Berkeley and Rice (only college grads qualify for Marine Officer Training School, which most people do not know). And the same holds true for the other services; we've got many friends with children in the Army, some are Rangers, others have Seals, you name it.

    The Kennedy article made me sick. Thanks for nailing it.
    michael ledeen
    (my emphasis)

    Leaving aside Ledeen's membership in the Washington Intellectuals He-Man Club, we note that his daughter who was such a help in Iraq during the CPA "Hey. Anyone seen my Hefty Bag full of hundreds?" era, is now in Afghanistan.

    Simone says they did a good job in difficult circumstances, but as Krugman pointed out:

    Checks and review? Yesterday a leading British charity, Christian Aid, released a scathing report, "Fueling Suspicion," on the use of Iraqi oil revenue. It points out that the May 2003 U.N. resolution giving the C.P.A. the right to spend that revenue required the creation of an international oversight board, which would appoint an auditor to ensure that the funds were spent to benefit the Iraqi people.

    Instead, the U.S. stalled, and the auditor didn't begin work until April 2004. Even then, according to an interim report, it faced "resistance from C.P.A. staff." And now, with the audit still unpublished, the C.P.A. has been dissolved.

    Defenders of the administration will no doubt say that Christian Aid and other critics have no proof that the unaccounted-for billions were ill spent. But think of it this way: given the Arab world's suspicion that we came to steal Iraq's oil, the occupation authorities had every incentive to expedite an independent audit that would clear Halliburton and other U.S. corporations of charges that they were profiteering at Iraq's expense. Unless, that is, the charges are true.

    Looks like Krugman was right and...Simone landed herself another job, proving that, in the Bush Administration, the Peter Principle is no longer operative and the sky is the limit.

    posted by tbogg at 10:10 PM



    Shorter Roger L. Simon

    I don't understand CNN's fascination with the killing of an innocent man, but then I never understood Shirley Jackson's The Lottery either.

    Link to The Lottery for you slowpokes...

    posted by tbogg at 9:47 PM



    Rock breaks scissors
    Scissors cuts paper
    Picture crushes text

    Do not adjust your monitor Posted by Picasa

    From the screedy one:

    I dress casually in the summer, because it’s hot. But for the last few years I’ve returned to good slacks and decent shoes and a crisp shirt and a tie. Grown-up clothes. Dad clothes. A man ought to be able to put on a shirt and tie without thinking he’s putting on a costume to deal with The Man; he should regard it as the Rainments of Masculinity, the costume we wear to project the impression of seriousness. If we’re not serious, it’ll be apparent quite soon. Likewise if we’re a peacock, a grifter, a poseur, a drone, a cog – the uniform only says that you’re part of the hard plain world, not whether or not you really belong there. I just know that I feel different in a shirt and tie. I stand up straighter. I don’t feel as though I’m owed more respect; on the contrary, I feel obliged to be more respectful. It’s hard to describe, but to paraphrase a drunken Marge Simpson after six Long Island Iced Teas – you guys in the audience, you know what I’m talking about.

    No. No we don't. But about that shirt...and the bolo tie....

    posted by tbogg at 9:29 PM



    Is there some sort of Brooke Shields
    merit badge we haven't heard of?

    I went to read this article about the four Boy Scout leaders dying in a freak accident (and, no, I was going to avoid being glib about it. Give me a little credit.) but this is what caught my eye to the right of the article:

    Related Stories

    | What's this?
    • Brooke Shields returning to Broadway
    • Mormon church added as defendant in $14 million forest fire lawsuit against Boy Scouts
    • Brooke Shields battles postpartum depression
    • Boy dies while apparently playing choking game
    • Brooke Shields rips Cruise's 'rant'

    Maybe I don't really want to know what this all means....

    posted by tbogg at 9:13 PM



    Shhh. Here she comes. Shut up, you dick....!

    Today is Jane at firedoglake's birthday. Let's all go over there and, when she gets back from Koffee with Kobe, we'll all jump out and type "Surprise!".

    It'll be really cool.

    posted by tbogg at 8:25 AM



    A soft titter behind a white-gloved hand will suffice...

    Oh dear me. Charmaine Yoest on "humour":

    And finally. It turns out some of you are a whole lot funnier than Wonkette. You want funny? This is funny:

    Patch asked: "Plaid pants??? May I see the part of the Constitution that mentions anything about clothing styles."

    David replied: I think it is in the Declaration of Independence, "life, liberty, and the pursuit of plaid pants". And who can forget the Boston Plaid Pants Party. And Patrick Henry's stirring "No Plaid Pants without representation" speech before the Virginia House of Burgess.

    Good one, guys.

    Thus ends any debate on "conservative humor".

    Or "humour".


    posted by tbogg at 1:15 AM


    Sunday, July 24, 2005


    iPod Nation

    We are all Steven Jobs' bitches now Posted by Picasa

    500 Million downloads...and those are only the legal ones:

    Legal music downloads in America and much of Europe more than tripled in the first half of 2005, according to a report released Thursday by the international recording industry.

    The report, from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, came just three days after Apple Computer Inc. announced that downloads from its iTunes online music store had topped 500 million.

    After I read this, I checked my iPod to see how many total songs I have on it (3397) and how many of those I downloaded (27). Because I have a fairly extensive CD collection (I prowl the used CD stores every week) I haven't availed myself of iTunes as much as apparently everyone else has. I've limited myself to the hard-to-find (Life In The Air Age (Live) - BeBop Deluxe) and the no-need-for-the-whole-CD song (Baby Got Back - Sir Mix-A-Lot...see norbiz about this one). In fact, of the 27 tunes, 12 are from the purchase on one album (Everyone Deserves Music - Michael Franti & Spearhead) which I knew I wouldn't find used. Eleven of them are ones I downloaded Saturday night because I was bored, which would explain Funk #49 by the James Gang.

    There is a case to made that using iTunes is a good thing since the reality is that most CD's these days have about four good songs maximum on them and spending $4 on those four is better than spending $12 to $14 new (or $6-8 used) for a CD full of filler. The downside is the loss of musical community that comes from hanging out at the record shop and maybe finding or hearing something new. iPods already let us tune out the outside world (for which, I will admit, I am most grateful) but there is something special about spending a couple of hours going through the stacks and finding a gem or something that you had forgotten but always wanted to try or hearing something that the shop employees (who are way cooler than you) are playing while they stand at the counter and make fun of you behind your back.

    There is also the Bowling Alone factor that maintains that we are less of a community because our leisurely pursuits have become more solitary, making us more disconnected from the world. But I'm more concerned about people becoming disconnected from any type of music that doesn't fit into a particular niche or genre. Listen to alternative? Try some old fashioned soul. Listen to hip-hop? Add some jazz to your diet. Listen to easy-listening? Kill yourself. Okay. You don't have to kill yourself, but at least try something that has a beat that is faster than your heartbeat. Go on. It won't kill you.

    Me? I love the used CD store. At prices as low as $2 I've found bands like Hem, For Squirrels, God Lives Underwater, and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (first CD) that I never would have heard on the radio and definitely never would have found on iTunes. The time spent looking to find them was cheap for what I found.

    ...and if anyone has an mp3 of Zebrahead's cover of the Spice Girls Wannabe...drop me a line.

    That one is a bitch to find.

    (Added) Courtesy of The Chemist, we present Wannabe for your listening pleasure

    posted by tbogg at 11:39 PM



    K-Lo Watch

    One less man in the dating pool Posted by Picasa

    Aunt Jenna at The Girl Gets Away on Kathryn Jean Lopez and outing gay Republicans:

    ...And the acceptable way to think, if you're a gay man, is to not work for the political party that considers you an abomination. It's considered an unacceptable way to think not because of some liberal lockstep thought police, but for one's own mental health. If you work for people who consider you less than human, the psychological toll must be enormous. That's the reason people get upset about this - the evidence of self-hatred where none is necessary is disturbing to gay rights advocates.

    posted by tbogg at 11:11 PM



    Waiting on the man

    Not Harry Potter Posted by Picasa

    My copy of Cormac McCarthy's latest hasn't shown up yet, but here's Walter Kirn's review from the NY Times as well as a fascinating interview with McCarthy from 1992 just prior to his becoming a household name or,at least, a household name in homes where literature is taken seriously. McCarthy is one of only a few authors who can make me go back and read a passage just to wallow in the language. I did a post back in 2003 on Blood Meridian which contained this passage:

    They began to come upon chains and packsaddles, singletrees, dead mules, wagons. Saddletrees eaten bare of their rawhide coverings and weathered white as bone, a light chamfering of miceteeth along the edges of the wood. They rode through a region where iron will not rust nor tin varnish. The ribbed frames of dead cattle under their patches of dried hide lay like the ruins of primitive boats upturned upon that shoreless void and they passed lurid and austere the black and dessicated shapes of horses and mules that travelers had stood afoot. These parched beasts had died with their necks stretched in agony in the sand and now upright and blind and lurching askew with scraps of blackened leather from the fretwork of their ribs they leaned with their long mouths howling after the endless tandem suns that passed above them. The riders rode on. They crossed a a vast dry lake with rows of dead volcanoes ranged beyond it like the works of enormous insects. To the south lay broken shapes of scoria in a lava bed as far as the eye could see. Under the hooves of the horses the alabaster sand shaped itself in whorls strangely symmetric like iron filings in a field and these shapes flared and and drew back again, resonating upon that harmonic ground and then turning to swirl away over the playa. As if the very sediment of things contained yet some residue of sentinence. As if the transit of those riders were a thing so profoundly terrible as to register even to the uttermost granulation of reality.

    As the well-read yet vampish Mrs. tbogg put it, "You can't get away from images like that. That's disturbing."

    The overview of No Country For Old Men reminds me somewhat of Robert Stone's great Dog Soldiers, so we'll see. If I disappear for a few days you'll know why.

    posted by tbogg at 10:31 PM



    Clapping for Tinker Bell

    Michael Barone is still working from last weeks talking points

    This summer, one big story is replaced by another -- the London bombings July 7, the speculation that Karl Rove illegally named a covert CIA agent, the nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court, more London bombings last week. But beneath the hubbub, we can see the playing out of another, less reported story: the collapse of the attempts by liberal Democrats and their sympathizers in the mainstream media -- The New York Times, etc., etc. -- to delegitimize yet another Republican administration.


    Now the unsupported charges that "Bush lied" about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq have been rekindled via criticism of Karl Rove. A key witness for the Democrats and mainstream media was former diplomat Joseph Wilson. Unfortunately for his advocates, he turned out to be a liar. A year after his famous article appeared in The New York Times in July 2003 accusing Bush of "twisting" intelligence, the Senate Intelligence Committee, in a bipartisan report, concluded that Wilson lied when he said his wife had nothing to do with his dispatch to Niger, and Chairman Pat Roberts said that his report bolstered rather than refuted the case that Saddam Hussein's Iraq sought to buy uranium in Africa. So despite the continuing credulousness of much of the press, it appears inconceivable at this point that Karl Rove will be charged with violating the law prohibiting disclosure of the names of undercover agents. The case against Rove -- ballyhooed by recent Time and Newsweek cover stories that paid little heed to the discrediting of Wilson -- seems likely to end not with a bang but a whimper.

    If that seems oddly out of touch, this seems positively delusional:

    The bombings and attempted bombings in London have brought home to the American public that we face implacable enemies unwilling to be appeased by even the most emollient diplomacy. Yet, mainstream media coverage of Iraq has been mostly negative. But mainstream media no longer have a monopoly; Americans have other sources in talk radio, Fox News and the blogosphere. Bush's presidency is still regarded as illegitimate by perhaps 20 percent of the electorate. But among the rest, the attempt to delegitimize him seems to be collapsing.

    Um, yeah. Pick a poll, any poll.

    ...and these are from before Rove became last weeks cover boy.

    Meanwhile 'Fredo' Limbaugh, who is as fact-challenged as his stoner bother, weighs in:

    Before President Bush's Supreme Court nomination of Judge John Roberts completely overshadows the misidentified Karl Rove scandal, I think we better take a second look at the twisted direction this sad story has taken.

    As far as Karl Rove's conduct in the Plame/Wilson affair, there is no scandal. He didn't come close to committing a crime, nor even an ethical infraction.

    He didn't set out to expose a CIA operative, much less an undercover one. He was the recipient of a phone call in which he cautioned Time's Matt Cooper not to be taken in by the politically driven Joe Wilson, whose operative wife, Valerie Plame, had played a great role in securing Wilson's "fact-finding" trip to Niger.

    Rove, who didn't even mention Plame's name, couldn't have known she was an undercover CIA agent -- because she wasn't. He manifestly wasn't motivated to expose her for the purpose of punishing Wilson -- because "exposing" her non-covert status couldn't possibly have damaged her.

    But Rove did have a motive to share his information with Cooper: to warn him of the nepotistic connection between Plame and Wilson and to thus take Wilson's claims with a grain of salt.

    There's more, but we quit reading when Limbaugh mentioned nepotism because we started giggling uncontrollably...

    posted by tbogg at 9:51 PM



    Bitchslap and Associates has a nice ring to it.

    If you hire Will Folks to provide political advice don't piss him off. I mean it, don't make him come in there. I'm warning you!

    A spokesman for Gov. Mark Sanford was arrested after he kicked open the door at his home and shoved his fiancee into furniture, police said.

    Will Folks, 30, turned himself in to police Saturday and was charged with criminal domestic violence. He was released on a personal recognizance bond.

    Folks' fiancee, Ashlee Smith, a lobbyist, received a slight injury to her back but did not receive medical attention, an investigative report shows.

    Smith told police that Folks kicked the door down but declined to press domestic violence charges. However, police became suspicious and investigated.


    Folks previously announced he would resign from from Saford's office Aug. 1 to run his own political consulting business.

    Maybe Will can pick up a little business from Don Sherwood. They can meet, have dinner, and talk about how the stupid bitches just won't fucking listen.

    Then, maybe, a nice cappuccino and a little sponge cake...

    posted by tbogg at 5:26 PM


    Saturday, July 23, 2005


    My name is Jonah. You know? Jonah? J-o-n-a-h? Jonah Goldberg? Um, G-o-l-d......

    I thought this was pretty funny:

    Ana Marie Cox hates me Ana according to an interview (transcribed by Cathy Seipp) and conducted by Mickey Kaus:

    Mickey: Who do you hate?

    Ana Marie (after a pause to think, and a comment that Bush is actually quite personable): I just can't stand Jonah Goldberg...

    Mickey: Really? I think he's incredibly talented.

    Ana Marie: Michelle Malkin...But these people are like cartoon characters.

    Eventually they opened it up to questions from the audience, and someone said, "I'm a little surprised that with all the evil going on in Washington, the only people you can think of to hate are people most of us have never heard of."

    I suppose I could get into a long diatribe about how it takes a lot of chutzpa for a potty-mouthed media creation like Wonkette to suggest she's an even remotely reliable judge of who to take seriously, but in reality I just don't care. On a personal level, I'm a bit surprised because our interactions had always been friendly. Oh well.

    The one mildly interesting thing is that a questioner in the audience would know who Wonkette is but not me or Michelle Malkin.

    That's because Cox used their real names instead of their nom de blogs: Doughy Pantload and Crazy-Assed Bitch.

    "Oh! Them."

    ...and Mickey thinks that Jonah is "incredibly talented" which is the only reason Jonah linked to the story.

    No comment necessary...

    posted by tbogg at 10:48 AM


    Friday, July 22, 2005


    Baby steps

    One small step for ain't gonna happen in my lifetime:

    The House Friday overwhelmingly endorsed
    President Bush's vision to send man back to the moon and eventually on to Mars as it passed a bill to set NASA policy for the next two years.

    The bill passed 383-15 after a collegial debate in which lawmakers stressed their commitment to not just Bush's ambitious space exploration plans but also to traditional NASA programs such as science and aeronautics.

    Meanwhile the space shuttle launch has been put off again until the doohickey under that thingamajig quits making that bonking noise when they turn the key.

    Oh, and the XM radio isn't working. Again.

    posted by tbogg at 11:24 PM



    I oughta put my size twelve right up his flabby ass...

    First Draft catches Karen Hughes (big gal...looks like John Lithgow in World According To Garp, that Karen Hughes) totally bagging on Karl Rove.

    Way harsh.

    posted by tbogg at 12:56 PM



    Friday Random Ten..I'm Up Because It's Humid Edition

    If 6 Was 9
    - Jimi Hendrix Experience
    Otis Redding - Everclear
    Universal Traveler - Air
    Take Control
    - Weezer
    Love Spreads - Stone Roses (this is one of my favorites)
    Parker's Band - Steely Dan
    Ten Little Kids - The Jayhawks
    In The Name of The Father - Black Grape
    Parasol - Tori Amos
    Talk About The Passion - REM

    posted by tbogg at 7:25 AM



    Yesterday's fashions today

    "Hold still, Beaver. The fifties are almost over..." Posted by Picasa

    Crazy-assed bitch Michelle Malkin jumps to the defense of John Roberts creepy family:

    Time and again, Washington Post Style reporter Robin Givhan hides behind fashion snarking and culture reporting to savage conservatives. She did it with Katherine Harris and Dick Cheney and John Bolton--and I'm sure you can remember many more examples of partisan mockery.

    Well, today's conservative-bashing Style commentary sinks to the lowest low. The piece, "An Image A Little Too Carefully Coordinated" attacks the wife and children of SCOTUS nominee John Roberts for the neatness of their clothes:

    It has been a long time since so much syrupy nostalgia has been in evidence at the White House. But Tuesday night, when President Bush announced his choice for the next associate justice of the Supreme Court, it was hard not to marvel at the 1950s-style tableau vivant that was John Roberts and his family.

    There they were -- John, Jane, Josie and Jack -- standing with the president and before the entire country. The nominee was in a sober suit with the expected white shirt and red tie. His wife and children stood before the cameras, groomed and glossy in pastel hues -- like a trio of Easter eggs, a handful of Jelly Bellies, three little Necco wafers...

    For God's sake, a mother and her children just wanted to look nice for the most historic moment in her husband and their daddy's life--and the Style attack dogs turn it into an opportunity to sneer at and dump on a loving family. Read the whole thing if you can stomach it.

    Malkin then makes the logical leap and points out that Mrs. Roberts could have dressed like Alexandra Kerry and the kids could have dressed like lil pimps and hos, because, well, because that would be the only alternative, you know.

    First off, nobody wants to see Mrs. Roberts dressed like Kerry. She's already ball-shrivelling enough. Secondly...well look at them. Who the hell dresses their kids like that? The boy is wearing black & white fucking saddle shoes. Why not just name him Paris and get it over with?

    As Givhan points out:

    The wife wore a strawberry-pink tweed suit with taupe pumps and pearls, which alone would not have been particularly remarkable, but alongside the nostalgic costuming of the children, the overall effect was of self-consciously crafted perfection. The children, of course, are innocents. They are dressed by their parents. And through their clothes choices, the parents have created the kind of honeyed faultlessness that jams mailboxes every December when personalized Christmas cards arrive bringing greetings "to you and yours" from the Blake family or the Joneses. Everyone looks freshly scrubbed and adorable, just like they have stepped from a Currier & Ives landscape.

    Malkin then links to the profoundly boring Charmaine Yost who is, as always, a pair of sensible shoes in a world full of fuck me pumps:

    Just a caution for my male readers: if there are any extant photos of you from the '70's in plaid pants, better get rid of them now. And it's not just the evidence of questionable fashion sense. Apparently now that's the goods on being gay.

    Call it the Mary Cheney Strategy. Call it desperation. Some on the Left have started a "maybe he's gay" whisper campaign against John Roberts.


    Of course it is the height of hypocrisy for the (allegedly) pro-tolerance crowd to start questioning someone's sexual preference. It's a strange and twisted tactic for those who are allied with the gay rights movement to try to make an issue out of someone supposedly being gay.

    Who cares?

    Well, that's just the point: they think we do. They think that they can undermine support for someone among conservatives if they can dredge up some sort of homosexual connection -- or, in this case, just the manufactured whiff of a question.

    No. Actually we don't care if you care. We do it to annoy you in the same way that you annoy us with pictures of your marginally cute kids with their stupid nicknames: Diva, Dreamer, Dude, Dancer, and Darlin' Boo . . .

    Excuse us while we fwow up.

    Yes, you have children. Bully for you. But it's not half the talent you seem to think it is (although, to give you credit, it's something that the Roberts couldn't manage to pull off on their own). But if you want us to admire the miracle of how wonderfully wonderful your most specialist of all special kids are, well lady, you're too late. Kathy Lee Gifford rode that train to hell years ago with Cody and NotCody.

    You've got a kid and I've got a kid. Swell. We like to tell stories about them. Also swell. But nobody wants this overly cutesy-poo rendition of childhood served up like sugared Rice Krispie treats to the world, least of all your kids who will hate you for it later. Remember, the child with the stupid nickname today is tomorrow's sullen Goth who will scream "I hate you, you fat drunken cow!" at Thanksgiving dinner with Grammy and PaPa.

    Oh. By the way. Mary Cheney is gay.

    ...you fat drunken cow.

    (Updated): Captain Cubicle, whom we are pretty sure is an elastic-waist Dockers kinda guy, chimes in from the SS Banal:

    For God's sake ... this wasn't a fashion show! In fact, on Fox the only shot we saw of his family during the announcement was a head shot of Jane Roberts. I didn't even know the kids were there until I saw still shots of Jack getting impatient. To me, it looks like a normal family outing in what used to be called their "Sunday best," trying to look nice and unobtrusive for Roberts' nomination announcement. Perhaps Givhan would have considered it more realistic if Jane showed a little bit of a thong and Josie dressed like a Bratz girl?

    Highly disappointing. I thought that the Washington Post took politics, and journalism, a bit more seriously than this.

    Um. It was in the Style section. Which is maybe why Captain Ed didn't get it. Terra incognita and all that...

    posted by tbogg at 6:24 AM



    Life among the cubicle monkeys

    ...at Rubber Nun.

    posted by tbogg at 12:31 AM



    Dick Cheney erection warning

    Looks like Lynne Cheney is going to be getting some sweet Dick-action after hubby sees this headline tomorrow morning.

    Oil industry awash in record levels of cash

    Just look for the Lynne O-face.

    posted by tbogg at 12:11 AM


    Thursday, July 21, 2005


    Dogs sleeping with cats
    Girls playing baseball
    Me agreeing with the Pod
    It's a strange world.

    Bats left...Posted by Picasa

    Oh sweet Jesus. I actually agree with the Thing from the Pod Lagoon on the Bad News Bears remake:

    There's a remake of the 1976 movie "Bad News Bears" opening tomorrow. This may be the most wholly unnecessary remake in the history of the planet. I recently saw the original, and what's so startling -- and wonderful -- about it is that it could practically be released today with not a word changed and not be in the least dated. Only the cars would suggest the original 70s setting, and even those might be explicable given the California setting. Only the fact that there's a mild point made of the team's female pitcher -- who immediately earns respect by throwing at somebody's head -- suggests we are not yet in full Title IX territory. Every theme in the movie, down to the excessively involved parents, the excessive importance attached to little league sports and the desultory pre-teen attitudes of the excessively sophisticated youngsters who don't even know what they're cursing about, remains a vivid and potent issue today. And though Billy Bob Thornton is a very good actor, there is no way on earth he can match the shambling Walter Matthau as a middle-aged drunken former pitcher who finds purpose in his coaching until he just takes it too far.

    Oddly enough, as I read his review and as I write this, my daughter and her friends are upstairs watching the original. Sure there are some minor things to quibble about in the original, but then it was never meant to be Rules of the Game.

    Having spent seven years toiling in Little League hell, there is so much that is accurate in TBNB. It seems like Little League exists solely to take all of the joy out of baseball for both kids and parents alike. I was on the Little League board for six of those years in various capacities all leading up to being league president, which I wouldn't wish on anyone. From t-ball dads who can't understand why five year-olds shouldn't play 24 games in twelve weeks to mothers calling at night because the coach hates little (Austin, Cody, Aspen, Garfunkel...pick one) and won't let him pitch in games, when I've seen the kid and he can barely make the throw from second to first. Then there were the parents who would drop the kids off at practice and practically peel out of the parking lot so that they can go to the mall for a few hours because they had a free babysitter and then would they show up late to pick the poor kid up while we waited in the parking lot in the gloaming (a word only used with baseball).

    Even worse than the meddling overbearing gonna-make-a-star-out-of-my-boy types were the ones who didn't even show up to watch. I had no problem with the parents who had to work or, with quite a few of my kids, the ones whose dads were in the navy and were out to sea. But to see a kid get dropped off before the game and then watch that car disappear only to show up a couple of hours later used to break my heart. For an eight year-old to slap a single through the hole or make their very first catch in the outfield (no small feat at eight) and not have a mom or dad there to see it is, in my opinion, far worse than missing their very first steps. Because that small achievement is a moment that should be shared by both a proud child and a prouder parent.

    The object of Little League should be to teach fundamental skills and then just throw the kids out on the field and let them figure out the rest. If someone thinks he should pitch and he can't, the other kids will disabuse him of that notion in that special kid way ("You can't pitch." "Why not?" "Because you suck.")

    Throws left Posted by Picasa

    As has been noted here before, our family loves baseball. A lot. Up until Casey was born we were under the impression that she was going to be a he. In fact her name was going to be Brooks Robinson tbogg. You can look it up. As it is, she ended up with Casey (after Casey Stengel) via her real name: Cassandra. And although she was not born a Penis-American, there was never any doubt that she was going to play some baseball in her life and that no one would ever say that she "threw like a girl". At five she was one of about thirteen girls in the league. By the time she hit minors she was one of two, the others having moved on to softball. It took until she was about nine and was pitching regularly before dads stopped asking why she was playing baseball, to which my wife had previously answered, "Because she can."

    After a brief foray in softball about which the less said the better, Casey moved over to Pony League which is to Little League what the NFL is to Arena Ball. Pony League is serious metal spikes, secondary lead, brush'em back baseball. Here Casey was the only girl amongst three hundred players and there hadn't been a girl in the league for several years. On the first day of tryouts Casey and I got there early because she was nervous. We used that time to throw and she eventually went into the bullpen and threw off of the mound. One of the team managers who was also there early walked over and asked where she had played before and some other general questions while I caught her. When we were done, he said, "Do me a favor. When they have pitcher tryouts, don't pitch her." I agreed, although I can't say exactly why.

    Casey then proceeded to have mediocre tryout.

    Legend has it that, at the player draft, Andy (the manager I had spoken to), used a draft pick in the pitchers draft saying, "I'll take the girl. I know her dad." This is what's known as 'sandbagging'. He'd managed to snag a lefthander to go with two other lefties he already had.

    To say that Casey struggled at the plate that season would be an understatement. The kids in Pony threw harder, had decent curves, and weren't afraid to pitch inside to her like they were in Little League where nobody wanted to hurt the girl. She flirted with the Mendoza line all season and only stayed in the regular lineup as a pitcher and the starting first baseman (because she could get down low and pick it easily). We pretty much realized that it was the end of the line as far as baseball went. The boys were getting bigger and stronger and club soccer travel was becoming more demanding.

    It was a good season and after eight years of playing ball she finally played on a championship team. In the championship game she managed to slap one of those singles through the hole past the second baseman with the bases loaded to drive in two runs. It was her only clutch hit of the season. When the final out was recorded with two on and her team leading 5-3, Casey was in the bullpen warming up, meaning it wasn't a fairy tale ending but it was close enough for baseball and I couldn't have been prouder of her for sticking it out.

    And that was it...except for this:

    Jump ahead four years. Casey and I are at a Padres/Indians game. Down 3-0 in the third inning, San Diego's Brian Giles leads off and hits a shot down the right field line. Giles shoots up the line and rounds first about half way, but then retreats. I mention to Casey that I was surprised that Giles didn't try and take second base and she glanced at me and said, "Well you don't want to make the first or third out trying to get an extra base when you're behind"...and then she went back to her nachos.

    And here I thought I couldn't be any prouder of her.

    Silly me.


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