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  • Friday, June 29, 2007


    Been there...failed that

    Steve Benen:
    For years, one of the principal concerns on the left was creating a political and intellectual infrastructure that the right developed over decades. Conservatives had the think tanks, the massive membership organizations, the media outlets, the conferences, the deep-pocketed benefactors, etc. The left scrambled to catch up in the late '90s, but the right has a big head start.

    But as it turns out, the envious looks cut both ways. The right wants its own MoveOn.org.

    Veteran Republicans say they have quietly raised millions of dollars for a pair of nonprofit organizations that will launch this fall with the ambitious aim of providing a conservative counterweight to the liberal MoveOn.org, Politico.com has learned.
    But...but...they already have one:
    MoveOn.org grew out of the impeachment crisis, as lefty Democrats grew disgusted with Republicans and with what they considered to be round-heeled Democrats.

    Today The Victory Caucus is seeing tremendous traffic for a site that is five days old, and an impressive commitment of resources from virtual volunteers around the country. Before long the Caucus will be identifying the congressional districts which have twice voted for George W. Bush but which are represented by Democrats. It already has a list of the 17 white flag Republicans up. I expect a great deal of effort to go into the identification of candidates for these 68 districts, candidates committed to supporting victory in the war.
    Eh. Not so much

    posted by tbogg at 11:20 PM



    If Watergate taught us anything, it is that you can't trust the President too much

    Easy on the nipples, Karl.
    It's bathing suit season.

    What Fred Hiatt doesn't want to know can't hurt us:
    IT'S A CONSTITUTIONAL tug of war nearly as old as the republic, yet there aren't many clear rules about the scope of the president's power to assert executive privilege in the face of congressional demands for information. That's good: It's better for the two branches to work out these disputes case by case, without bringing in courts to referee. That is what ought to happen in the showdown between the Senate and House Judiciary committees and the White House over subpoenas for documents and testimony involving the firing of U.S. attorneys. The White House has offered too little with too many conditions and no apparent willingness to negotiate; its latest, far-reaching assertion of executive privilege over all material the committees are seeking cannot be justified. Yet lawmakers, while understandably frustrated with the White House's stance, are demanding too much with, so far, too little justification.
    Here is the kicker:
    Congress, though, often has legitimate arguments for piercing the privilege, and some are present in this case. Nothing is being sought directly from the president; in fact, the White House has been doing its utmost to emphasize the absence of presidential involvement, which undermines the privilege claim. Congress has an important interest in finding out whether the White House was complicit in a plan to fire some U.S. attorneys for improper purposes, such as refusing to bring politically advantageous cases before the election, as appears to have happened in the case of David C. Iglesias, who was ousted as U.S. attorney for New Mexico. But it's important to note that -- in contrast to the Iran-contra congressional investigation, in which President Ronald Reagan turned over personal notes -- there is no allegation of criminal misbehavior at the White House in this affair.
    So Congress can investigate the White House's involvement in the Justice department firings as long as they don't, you know, actually use the means provided to them to investigate.

    There is a reasonable initial compromise. The president offered to provide communications between White House officials and outsiders, including those at the Justice Department, about the U.S. attorney firings, and to make aides available to testify about them -- as long as lawmakers promised that was the end of the matter. Congress rightly rejected that. But if such information could safely be provided as part of a deal, the White House's current claim of executive privilege rings hollow. It should start by providing the information it dangled -- without the unacceptable conditions attached. The committees should put their subpoenas on hold. And the parties should work out the rest, if necessary, down the road.
    Because you know how much this administration loves compromise and transparency, particularly when there is a hint of a criminality...

    Back when the WaPo used to have some balls and journalistic integrity, then Attorney General John Mitchell famously threatened publisher Katherine Graham over a Watergate article with, "Katie Graham's gonna get her tit caught in a big fat wringer if that's published". Nowadays, when Karl Rove makes a similar threat, Hiatt just giggles girlishly and calls him a big tease...

    posted by tbogg at 10:21 PM



    Friday Night Palate Cleanser


    posted by tbogg at 8:32 PM



    A Citizen Journalist's job is never done

    Battle weary from a week spent shooting down the "Shamnesty" bill thereby stopping the brown invasion from the south and eliminating all Mexicans from the face of the earth except for that one guy who works at the fruit stand on the corner because he's "kind of a nice guy" who gives good weight, Citizen Journalists had hoped to spend Friday resting on the asses laurels and surfing the internets searching for naked pictures of Fred Thompson's child bride. But no.

    A car bomb in London!

    This will lead to an endless collection of links to like-minded bloggers who are "on the case" which means that those bloggers are linking to the usual EmmEssEmm suspects that they normally don't trust as well as repeating whatever they heard on Fox news while (and this is where the Citizen Journalist skill set kicks in) providing all the expert commentary one might expect from an unemployed former Piggly Wiggly manager writing from his personal newsroom that also happens to be the spare bedroom/office/sewing room/ and Best Museum of Star Wars Action Figures in The Tri-State Area Ever.

    Quite frankly, after the events of this past week, these Warriors of The Keyboards of Freedom must be exhausted and I worry that they may not be up to the task should, say, those sneaky Canadian bastards attack us on our northern flank in a vain attempt to reclaim their precious Stanley Cup.

    More on that here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here....... with updates from Pajamas Media in Wichita Falls here.

    posted by tbogg at 8:21 AM


    Thursday, June 28, 2007


    ¡Viva Us!Mexicans caught sneaking over the border
    in an enormous piñata

    Ha Ha! We killed our President's immigration bill.
    We win! We win! U-S-A! U-S-A! Now all of the Mexicans are gone! I'm sorry... what?...they're not?

    posted by tbogg at 11:53 PM



    A Bleg

    Dear Doubleday Publishing a Division of Random House Bored Anonymous Cubicle Monkey:

    At the risk of possibly losing your dead end job reading and editing really crappy novels that are mostly the same story about a woman returning to her rural home from the big city to take care of her dying mother/father/sister/grandmother only to learn great truths about herself and ponder the choices she made like not marrying Dirk or Bo down at the Ace Hardware store... Well, anyway, if you're tired of the reading that kind of shit and are planning on quitting and writing your own roman à clef about love and lust and power at a publishing house/MFA program/vegan lesbian writers retreat workshop, and you happen to find a galley proof of Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism: The Totalitarian Temptation from Justin to Kelly* just sitting on someone's desk with nobody around...


    Just drop me a line. I'm very discreet. No smokers or Libras, please.

    *Title stolen from Jay B.

    posted by tbogg at 10:27 PM



    First we round up all the Lopez's...

    Kathryn Jean Lopez:
    Do Idiots Run Washington? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]

    I don't blame any American for wondering. Did you see the NYTimes picture of the illegal immigrants immigration-bill proponents brought to the Senate??

    As a Senate friend said to me about it: "all they did was remind people what the problem is. These guys aren’t living in the shadows—they’re walking around unabated in the United States Capitol. Why, if you’re trying to make the case for amnesty, would you remind people of the local 7-11, where you sometimes can’t get to your car for all the day laborers? Dumb, dumb move."

    And so it went down.
    Because all of the guys in the picture are obviously illegal immigrants, except for that guy on the right who is either a professional athlete or a carjacker.

    posted by tbogg at 9:37 PM



    I gotcher stare decis right heah...

    Shorter Recently Concluded Roberts/Alito Court Term:

    Well, lessee... we screwed over the atheists, the coloreds, the tree-huggers, consumers, the pregnant sluts, and we were this close to killing a crazy guy. ..It's Miller time!

    posted by tbogg at 7:32 PM



    Pre-Friday Random Ten
    That's why I say hey man nice shot,
    what a good shot man.

    The Desperate Man - The Black Keys
    The Weakest Part - Yo La Tengo
    Paper Thin Walls - Modest Mouse
    Waiting Room - Fugazi
    Hey Man Nice Shot - Dick Cheney Filter
    Sorrow - Bad Religion
    White On Blond - Texas
    Takk - Sigur Rós
    Riot Van - Arctic Monkeys
    Gravity Fails - The Bottle Rockets
    and a little extra on the side: Slippin' Into Darkness - War

    Still the best live video on YouTube

    posted by tbogg at 7:04 PM



    Thursday Night Basset Blogging

    They were extremely uncooperative this week.

    I should just strap them on top of the family station wagon and....

    Labels: ,

    posted by tbogg at 6:57 PM



    The cover-up

    It is as if they have nothing to hide.

    "With respect, it is with much regret that we are forced down this unfortunate path which we sought to avoid by finding grounds for mutual accommodation," White House counsel Fred Fielding said in a letter to Leahy and the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. "We had hoped this matter could conclude with your committees receiving information in lieu of having to invoke executive privilege. Instead, we are at this conclusion."

    Thursday was the deadline for surrendering the documents. The White House also made clear that Miers and Taylor would not testify next month, as directed by the subpoenas, which were issued June 13. The stalemate could end up with House and Senate contempt citations and a battle in federal court over separation of powers.

    "Increasingly, the president and vice president feel they are above the law," said Leahy, D-Vt., after getting the news from Fielding in an early-morning phone call. "In America no one is above law."

    In his letter, Fielding said Bush had "attempted to chart a course of cooperation" by releasing more than 8,500 pages of documents and sending Gonzales and other senior officials to testify before Congress. The White House also had offered a compromise in which Miers, Taylor, White House political strategist Karl Rove and their deputies would be interviewed by Judiciary Committee aides in closed-door sessions, without transcripts. Democrats Patrick Leahy of Vermont and John Conyers of Michigan, the chairs of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees, have rejected that offer.
    Pretty much everyone who went to work in the Bush White House went in the knowledge that, come Jan 20, 2009, they would receive a Get Out Of Jail Free card, so they could feel free to do whatever they wanted. The big trick is how to stall for time. When he leaves office, George Bush is going to issue so many Weinberger pardons that Josh Bolton is going to have to run down to Staples to pick up an extra printer cartridge.

    posted by tbogg at 8:02 AM


    Wednesday, June 27, 2007


    ...you had me at Hegel.
    It is better to watch things than to do them.

    Making good on his promise that:
    It is a very serious, thoughtful, argument that has never been made in such detail or with such care.
    ... Jonah Goldberg has bowed to pressure from his publisher and has changed the title of The Most Eagerly Awaited Book Evah to:
    Liberal Fascism: The Totalitarian Temptation from Hegel to Whole Foods.
    Oh dear. I could barely make it to Whole Foods before considering the possibilities of Jonah's notes comparing Hegel with the other great thinkers......

    Hegel: "Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion”

    Homer: "Son, if you really want something in this life, you have to work for it. Now quiet! They're about to announce the lottery numbers."


    Hegel: “What experience and history teaches us is that people and governments have never learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it”

    Homer: "When are people going to learn? Democracy doesn't work."


    Hegel: “God is, as it were, the sewer into which all contradictions flow”

    Homer: "Flanders, it's no use praying. I already did the same thing, and we can't both win."


    Hegel: “Truth in philosophy means that concept and external reality correspond.”

    Homer: "It takes two to lie, Marge. One to lie and one to listen."


    Hegel: “Poverty in itself does not make men into a rabble; a rabble is created only when there is joined to poverty a disposition of mind, an inner indignation against the rich, against society, against the government.”

    Homer: "Kill my boss? Do I dare live out the American Dream?"


    Hegel: “To be free is nothing, to become free is everything.”

    Homer: "How come the bear can crap in the woods and I can't?"


    Hegel: “Only one man ever understood me, and he didn't understand me.”

    Homer: "Television. Teacher, mother, secret lover."


    Hegel: "The History of the world is none other than the progress of the consciousness of Freedom... The destiny of the spiritual world, and... the final cause of the World at large, we claim to be Spirit's consciousness of its own freedom, and ipso facto, the reality of that freedom... This final aim is God's purpose with the world; but God is the absolutely perfect Being, and can, therefore, will nothing but himself."

    Homer: "If the Bible has taught us anything—which it hasn't—it's that girls should stick to girl's sports like hot oil wrestling, foxy boxing and such and such."


    Hegel: "America is therefore the land of the future, where, in the ages that lie before us, the burden of the World's History shall reveal itself”

    Homer: "In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the power, then you get the women."
    Coming soon: Baruch Spinoza
    Spinoza: “Desire is the very essence of man”

    Homer: "I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer."

    posted by tbogg at 7:01 PM



    Oh, sweet mystery of life....

    Godlstein the Hausfrau makes fun of John Edwards for having his wife DO THE DIRTY WORK by calling Ann Coulter. As we well know, stay at home moms have better things to do with their lives than confront people who make comments about their kids*. It's sad because, much like Godlstein, Elizabeth Edwards has done extensive doctoral work in English (in her case, at UNC) and taught writing. Why interject yourself into a rough and tumble campaign when you could be putting all of that education to work?

    *Apparently there is some gray area here depending upon whether the child in question is alive or not.

    posted by tbogg at 6:03 PM



    Dick says you should tell them that I'm The Decider...

    Tony Snow gets a little snippy when pointing out that George Bush is not Dick Cheney's bitch:

    Q Did the Vice President sign off on the decision made by the President last week with regard to --

    MR. SNOW: As you know -- look, the President makes the decisions in the White House; the Vice President is an advisor. We also make a careful point, as we've said many times, to allow those deliberations to remain confidential.
    It looks like someone hads been reading something other than the boxscores and Maramaduke in the Washington Post

    posted by tbogg at 7:51 AM


    Tuesday, June 26, 2007


    Bad news for Romney/Kudlow '08

    Kids. Whattya gonna do? You "get down" with them in My Space and you're still the "creepy guy who looks like my dad's friend":

    More than half of Americans ages 17 to 29 — 54 percent — say they intend to vote for a Democrat for president in 2008. They share with the public at large a negative view of President Bush, who has a 28 percent approval rating with this group, and of the Republican Party. They hold a markedly more positive view of Democrats than they do of Republicans.


    In one potential sign of shifting attitudes, respondents, by overwhelming margins, said they believed that the nation was prepared to elect as president a woman, a black person or someone who admitted to having used marijuana. But they said that they did not believe Americans would elect someone who had used cocaine or someone who was a Mormon.
    Actually Americans have been surprisingly accepting of candidates who toot. Not that it has panned out all that well...

    Live and learn.

    posted by tbogg at 10:50 PM



    Auditioning for the slime team

    Ann Coulter does her schtick and is loathsome as ever. Meanwhile, the lesser Crittenden (and how that must sting to play second fiddle to Danielle, fucker of Frum) decides it looks like good fun (a woman with cancer! dead children! wheeeee!) and decides to use the occasion to fluff up his floundering career at a third-rate newspaper by rooting in his nose and sharing the bounty with the few who stop by.
    Gets cancer, says screw it and that family thing, takes the cancer and the kids on the road, stays out there for John, who apparently we need running our country that bad. He’s trying to play both sides saying he’s for civil unions but against gay marriage, and she comes out for gay marriage at San Francisco’s gay parade. It’s meant to be a wink and a nod, I suppose, either that or she’s the trial balloon, but it just makes him look lame. Now she’s duking it out with Ann Coulter, who said the other day if she is going to say anything about John Edwards in future, “I’ll just wish he was killed in a terrorist assassination plot.” She also famously called Elizabeth Edward’s husband a “faggot.” This turned out to be highly divisive language, as of course it was intended to be. John Edwards is, however, indisputably a wienie, and hardly likely to be a terrorism target. He’d be too valuable to them in the off chance he actually became president. But when’s he just going to get out of the way and let the wife be the failed 2008 candidate?

    Elizabeth calls in on MSNBC, wants Coulter to stop the personal attacks. It’s an OK move. As I recall, her husband got a lot of headlines and sent out a fundraising letter off that attack. This one, too. Look for a fundraising letter that cites the mental trauma Elizabeth endured bickering with Coulter shortly. But I’d like to see her cut loose. A little more bombastic, self-righteous. Loose (sic) the self pity. A little more, I don’t know, Coulter. Crank it up, Liz, and let’s have a show.

    On that son thing, by the way, Coulter might have more sensitively joked about a bumpersticker that said, “Ask me about the 52-foot-long memorial at the high school, the 10-foot statue and the computer education center in memory of my son.” I’ve always wondered how the poor people with dead kids in Raleigh feel about all of that.
    For those keeping score at home, Coulter is the bitch. It's Crittenden who's the cunt.

    posted by tbogg at 4:46 PM



    Senator James Webb to lose seat in 2012 by two votes...

    You heard it from J K-Lo first:

    Webb voted for cloture. Constituents Laura Ingraham and Mark Levin will never let that go.
    It's sad when friends turn on you. It really is.

    posted by tbogg at 10:20 AM



    "We should get someone out here who can answer our questions."

    "NotOpining" Dana Perino has a rough day.

    posted by tbogg at 8:00 AM


    Monday, June 25, 2007


    Little Iraqi ingrates fail to appreciate
    their freshly painted schools
    One day you'll thank Bill Kristol for freeing you
    from ever having to buy a Mother's Day card

    Scenes from an invasion:
    Marwa Hussein watched as gunmen stormed into her home and executed her parents. Afterward, her uncle brought her to the Alwiya Orphanage, a high-walled compound nestled in central Baghdad with a concrete yard for a playground. That was more than two years ago, and for 13-year-old Marwa, shy and thin with walnut-colored eyes and long brown hair, the memory of her parents' last moments is always with her.

    "They were killed," she said, her voice trailing away as she sat on her narrow bed with pink sheets. Tears started to slide down her face. As social worker Maysoon Tahsin comforted her, other orphans in the room, where 12 girls sleep, watched solemnly.

    Iraq's conflict is exacting an immense and largely unnoticed psychological toll on children and youth that will have long-term consequences, said social workers, psychiatrists, teachers and aid workers in interviews across Baghdad and in neighboring Jordan.

    "With our limited resources, the societal impact is going to be very bad," said Haider Abdul Muhsin, one of the country's few child psychiatrists. "This generation will become a very violent generation, much worse than during Saddam Hussein's regime."


    In a World Health Organization survey of 600 children ages 3 to 10 in Baghdad last year, 47 percent said they had been exposed to a major traumatic event over the past two years. Of this group, 14 percent showed symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. In a second study of 1,090 adolescents in the northern city of Mosul, 30 percent showed symptoms of the disorder.

    Today, toy weapons are among the best-selling items in local markets, and kids play among armored vehicles on streets where pickup trucks filled with masked gunmen are a common sight. On a recent day, a group of children was playing near a camouflage-colored Iraqi Humvee parked in Baghdad's upscale Karrada neighborhood. One boy clutched a thick stick and placed it on his right shoulder, as if he were handling a rocket-propelled grenade launcher. He aimed it at cars passing by, pretending to blow them up. Two soldiers pointed at the children and laughed.

    Many of the children Abdul Muhsin treats have witnessed killings. They have anxiety problems and suffer from depression. Some have recurring nightmares and wet their beds. Others have problems learning in school. Iraqi children, he said, show symptoms not unlike children in other war zones such as Lebanon, Sudan and the Palestinian territories.

    posted by tbogg at 11:35 PM



    "My message is important and critical to
    get out into this country.”

    Back before we knew he had five sons whose church mission was considered an adequate substitute for fighting the Islamonotlatterdaysaints, Mitt Romney held a "call-a-thon" where, before a gullible press, his supporters manned the phones for a day and raised $6.5 million in pledges and actual contributions. I guess nobody ever considered the possibility that many of the donors had been lined up beforehand in order to create a Dog and Potemkin Show in honor of the Little Candidate Who Could. Part of the success, such as it appeared, was attributed to a software package named ComMitt:

    Former Gov. Mitt Romney's (R-Mass.) campaign said it raised $6.5 million for his presidential exploratory committee, Monday, thanks to an all-day call-a-thon featuring the candidate and a group of his biggest supporters.

    Romney spokesman Kevin Madden said the $6.5 million total is a combination of "actual contributions and signed pledges."

    A press release from the Romney campaign said 400 volunteers placed 15,000 calls to potential Romney contributors.

    "I am overwhelmed by this support, heartened by the friendship, and hopeful for the future. I can only say thank you," Romney said, according to the press release.

    The "National Call Day" is an attempt to showcase Romney as an "innovative and entrepreneurial leader," according to spokesman Madden. As evidence, Madden pointed to the use of a new system called ComMitt -- a sales software developed specifically for Romney's campaign. Romney hopes the software will help organize and coordinate the raising of the $100 million he wants to collect in 2007. Madden explained that ComMitt is an attempt to professionalize past fundraising programs, which were "done with a spreadsheet or worse paper and pencil."
    Unfortunately it appears that ComMitt must have more bugs than features because it's chugging and huffing along like Jonah Goldberg going up two flights of stairs:

    Mitt Romney said yesterday he had once more turned to his personal fortune to help finance his presidential campaign and might do so again, suggesting that his fund-raising has fallen off since the first three months of the year.

    Mr. Romney, who spoke to reporters at a news conference in Boston, declined to say how much of his own money he had put into his campaign this time, although the amount will become clear soon, when second quarter fund-raising results are released.

    In January, Mr. Romney said financing his own campaign would be “akin to a nightmare.” But his campaign said yesterday that he had put in more money to maintain the gains he had made, especially in the early voting states Iowa and New Hampshire.

    At the news conference, The Boston Globe reported, Mr. Romney, asked why he was putting more money in, said: “Because I have to, all right? My message is important and critical to get out into this country.”
    Ooooo. Tes-ty.

    One would think that the money would be flowing like wine Postum to the candidate who is wowing them in Iowa and Cow Hampshire, because everybody likes a winner, but, as they say: Sadly, No.

    Of course, that doesn't mean that the press will cast a skeptical eye on any other fund raising stunts:

    Mitt Romney told an audience of hundreds of his top fundraisers Sunday night that the United States was headed in the wrong direction, using some of his most unambiguous language to date to distance himself from President Bush.

    "We're going to change the course of America," Romney told about 800 donors gathered for a pep rally at the Boston Red Sox's Fenway Park.


    Romney's assessment came at a private fire-up-the-troops session held in the fabled ballpark here as the Red Sox were on a West Coast swing. His campaign has brought in some of Romney's most dedicated contributors from as far away as California and Texas to gather for an all-day phone-a-thon Monday in advance of the June 30 quarterly campaign finance deadline.

    Addressing his Fenway Frank-chomping supporters as part of a thank you in anticipation of their fundraising on Monday, Romney offered remarks that were as casual as his attire (khaki trousers and a blue button-down shirt sans jacket or tie -- as casual as the former business executive ever seems to get).

    Part pleading pol, part stand-up comic, part emcee, Romney displayed a sardonic side as he bantered with his family, light-heartedly offered instructions to the crowd and encouraged his backers to bring in bucks.

    "Hey, that's my seat, kid," Romney joked while filibustering before a final busload of late-arriving Californians assembled for the festivities. "Oh, it's my grandson."

    Oh sweet Jesus, don't let this canned ham become President....

    posted by tbogg at 10:41 PM



    George Bush lies to children

    President Bush was presented with a letter Monday signed by 50 high school seniors in the Presidential Scholars program urging a halt to "violations of the human rights" of terror suspects held by the United States.

    The White House said Bush had not expected the letter but took a moment to read it and talk with a young woman who handed it to him.

    "The president enjoyed a visit with the students, accepted the letter and upon reading it let the student know that the United States does not torture and that we value human rights," deputy press secretary Dana Perino said.
    Fortunately there were no polygraphs nearby and Perino was multiple shrapnel lacerations.

    That the US doe not torture is only true in the sense that Dick Cheney's office is not an actual part of our Constitutional government (as he insists) but is, instead, a shapeless ill-defined cloud of vapor made up of flatulence, Old Spice, and the aerosolized blood of children.

    posted by tbogg at 6:39 PM



    Why we are going to be in Iraq forever...

    From Michael Yon, the Ernie Pyle of the bedwetting set:

    On the night of the 23 June, for instance, a police checkpoint called in to say they were under heavy small-arms attack. The same checkpoint then called frantically saying they were under RPG attack. The next even more frantic call was about a mortar attack. Yet when a Shadow UAV and Apache helicopters were dispatched, they saw no activity in the immediate area. Colonel Steve Townsend, commander of 3-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, brought this up to a senior Iraqi officer at a meeting on Sunday the 24th, and the Iraqi officer answered with some disgust that those particular police panic at the sound of two shots, and that each member of that police detail needs two Humvees protecting them in order to feel safe.

    Also on the 24th, while I accompanied LTC Fred Johnson at a downtown meeting regarding humanitarian assistance, local enemy fighters were attacking the Iraqi Army convoys each time they passed by, about 500 yards from the meeting. The sounds of battles sometimes echoed through the police hallways, yet the Iraqi police refused to respond. Two of Johnson’s men went up to the dangerous rooftop, and SSG Matt Hudgeon patiently waited for a shot on a man about 500 yards away who had been attacking IA convoys with RPGs. Hudgeon saw the man fire two rockets, and he kept trying to get crosshairs on the enemy. When he finally got a shot, Matt steadied his breathing, slowly exhaled and squeezed the trigger of his M-14. Bam! Matt’s bullet shot the man in the stomach, and the man rolled off the two-story roof, landing in the dust next to his RPG.*

    Iraqi police were called—they were all around us—to recover the body or at least the weapon, but one hour later when we went to lunch, the body was still on the ground near the RPG. Although we tried to get to the RPG later, we were in a hurry to get to a cache that had just been discovered by the Iraqi Army, and our Navy and Army were on it. An F-16 was about to drop a 500-pound bomb onto a house rigged with explosives 300 yards from us and the cache but the F-16 broke off to refuel. By then, we were heading to another meeting. The body and the RPG were abandoned.

    There is much work to do here, especially if the Iraqi Police continue to perform below expectations.
    No. Andruw Jones is "perform(ing) below expectations". The Iraqi police are a joke, and we are the worst nation-building nation evah.

    *For those who are not warbloggers, somewhere between the "BAM" and the man rolling off of the roof is when you were supposed to ejaculate (if you are an Ejaculatory-American).

    Try to keep up....

    posted by tbogg at 7:17 AM


    Sunday, June 24, 2007


    Alas, Babbling on
    Tomorrow we breakfast at Denny's...

    Victor Davis Luke sum ipse patrem te Hanson ponders ending it all over his morning Metamucil:
    Watching those film clips and pictures of the Taliban kidnapping Afghans who were de-mining the countryside, and Iranian thuggish police in black hoods hanging a sort of slop bucket around the necks of free-speech dissidents, and the various semi-official and popular Iranian, Pakistani, and Middle Eastern new threats to Sir Rushdie — while a silent West worries instead that the meals for Guantanamo inmates cost only 2-3 times more than the soldiers who guard them — and wondering on a Saturday morning how a post-civilized West can marshal the will to win a war of ideas against pre-civilized Islamists.
    I kind of feel bad for letting him down. He really had his heart set on being the Imperial Administrator in the city-state of New Fresno.

    posted by tbogg at 11:10 PM



    How Dick Cheney threw off his Constitutional carapace

    Two out of three Powerline Monkeys agree: Dick Cheney knows that, when the going gets tough, the tough treat the Constitution like last weeks shopping list:
    According to the report, before the end of the very day on which we were attacked, Cheney had put together a legal team consisting of David Addington (Cheney's counsel), Alberto Gonzales, Tim Flanagan (Deputy White Counsel), and John Yoo of the Justice Department. Cheney's team promptly came up with the "authorization for the use of military of force" that Congress approved on Sept. 18. Soon thereafter, it put into place, with the president's approval, the program under which the NSA intercepted communications by al Qaeda into the U.S. without a warrant.

    In doing so, Cheney kept various bureaucracies out of the loop. For example, he excluded John Bellinger, the ranking national security legal advisor in the White House, as well as the State Department's legal team. Cheney and his team also out-maneuvered Bellinger and others when they persuaded President Bush to treat captured al Qaeda fighters as unlawful combatants with no rights under the Geneva Conventions.

    The Post points out that Cheney's efforts to bypass large chunks of the bureaucracy were inconsistent with his own philosophy for White House decision-making, as he had articulated it on various occasions in the past. Under the extraordinary circumstances created by 9/11, I find it commendable that Cheney did not feel wedded to his prior, hyper-cautious approach -- let's call it "growing in office."
    I've said before that these are the kind of people who start pondering cannibalism when the motor on the boat conks out ten feet from shore.

    (Updated) Read this. War criminal isn't strong enough term for Dick Cheney. One thing that comes through loud and clear is how gutless people in the Bush Administration were, and are, as Dick Cheney and David Addington continually rat-fucked them. George Bush, on the other hand, comes across a mindless non-entity within his own administration. That's not exactly news.

    posted by tbogg at 8:49 PM



    How baseball brings us together as Americans

    After saying "no thanks" to several offers of tickets to today's Padres-Red Sox game (tickets that seemed impossible to acquire two weeks ago), I suddenly became available for the afternoon at the same time that I received yet another offer of tickets. The Padres lost 4-2, but I found it interesting that, at a pivotal game between to division leading teams, Red Sox fans and Padre fans could come together as one to chant "Yankees suck" even though the Yankees were up in San Francisco.

    It was really quite moving...

    posted by tbogg at 5:14 PM



    Cruller to be kind
    Ann Althouse: "My God! Look at all of the vaginas..."

    Because they are sufficiently hating on brown people, Michelle Malkin encourages her readers to eat lots of Dunkin' Donuts, thereby clogging up their already constricted arteries which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

    I'm not exactly sure why Ms. Malkin wants to kill off her readership (some pathologies are best left unexamined) but we want to note that at Chicken Charlies you can get "4-ounce fried all-white meat chicken patty, topped with Swiss cheese, and nestled between a “bun” made out of a sliced Krispy Kreme donut" for those who choose the sweet relief of eternal darkness to listening to her yammer on and on about how she fucking hates everything.

    Mmmmmmm. So good it makes your left arm tingle...

    posted by tbogg at 11:18 AM



    Sunday Five Brothers Blogging: Disco & Shots Edition
    Tagg, Josh, Matt, Ben and Undercover Brother

    This week Tagg and Josh (The Crazy Eye Twins™) were in Cedar Rapids campaigning for DadMitt and they ran into some guys at the hotel who, according to Josh, were in town for some kind of Harley convention.

    The biker guys (or "Bears" as they called themselves) were really nice and they invited Tagg and Josh to "tagg along" to a popular Cedar Rapids hot spot called The Coal Chute for a little "shooting pool and dancing". Unfortunately the boys were already committed to serve as celebrity judges at the Greater Cedar Rapids Tuna Casserole Bake-Off and an evening of hilarious misunderstandings was averted.

    Also, Week Two: still no JonJon.


    posted by tbogg at 10:07 AM



    Dick Cheney is

    ...so secretive.

    posted by tbogg at 9:18 AM


    Saturday, June 23, 2007


    Liberté! Egalité! Fraternité!
    Okay. Maybe not 'fraternité', but those other two thingies

    Machu picchu about nothing

    In a stunning display of solidarity with their Brown-Brothers-To-The-South, various right wing bloggers have ceased their BrownHate for a moment to sneer at American Ambassador ... Secretary of State ... Senator ... actress Cameron Diaz for the Fashion Faux Pas That Shook the World.
    The voice of Princess Fiona in the animated Shrek films may have inadvertently offended Peruvians.

    They suffered decades of violence from a Maoist guerrilla insurgency by touring there on Friday with a bag emblazoned with one of Mao Zedong's favourite political slogans.

    While she explored the Inca city of Machu Picchu high in Peru's Andes, Diaz wore over her shoulder an olive green messenger bag emblazoned with a red star and the words 'Serve the People' printed in Chinese on the flap, perhaps Chinese Communist leader Mao's most famous political slogan.
    As Gaius (yes, he calls himself Gaius because Tacitus and Victor Davis Hanson were already taken) at Blue Crab Blvd points out:
    It not just Che images emblazoned on t-shirts these days, apparently. Cameron Diaz has touched off an uproar in Peru by carrying around a tote bag carrying one of Mao Zedong's slogans. And the Peruvians are very angry.
    So much so that they are rioting in the streets and have torched the American Embassy and are now threatening to cut back on cocaine exports, driving the New York street price of Crema de Kudlow to all time highs...

    Actually none of those things happened:
    A prominent Peruvian human rights activist said the star of "There's Something About Mary" should have been a little more aware of local sensitivities when picking her accessories.

    "It alludes to a concept that did so much damage to Peru, that brought about so many victims," said Pablo Rojas about the bag's slogan. "I don't think she should have used that bag where the followers of that ideology" did so much damage.
    But he said it with a tinge of anger, his eyes flashing like knives drawn at noon in the hot Peruvian sun. In the distance a woman wailed and a dog whimpered, searching for shade under the unforgiving eye of a vengeful God...

    posted by tbogg at 10:36 PM



    And the Lord did sayeth, "Pick Me up an HP printer at Target, and use My God Discount, if you know what I mean" and He did wink and smile knowingly in that wise God-like way He has...

    From Townhall, where they don't just let anyone write a column, Nathan Tabor, soy farmer, media mogul, and failed congressional candidate, writes that our morally relativistic culture of theft is the fault of ungodly people who won't allow the Ten Commandments in our schools making them into madrassas for malfesance, or something like that.
    A recent headline points out why it wouldn't be a bad idea to post the Ten Commandments in our schools.

    "Theft Rising at U.S. Wal-Mart Stores" noted a recent Associated Press business story. The article pointed out that the retailing giant is being hit by a tidalwave of shoplifting. Employers and customers alike are hauling out goods without paying for them.

    Last year, Wal-Mart decided it was not going to prosecute minor shoplifting cases. Instead, it chose to concentrate on major shoplifting rings. While the AP claims that Wal-Mart has cuts its security force, the news organization also reports that the company denies it has reduced security staff.

    Of course, Wal-Mart, just like any other company, has a right to decide how best to police shoplifting and fraud. But I don't think the issue here is whether the company is cracking down hard enough on thieves. The real issue is this: some people walking through Wal-Mart's doors believe that they are entitled to steal.

    While it may seem astounding to think that entitlements now include theft, it only makes sense, given the permissiveness of our society. If schools, courthouses, and municipal buildings don't post the command, "Thou Shalt Not Steal," it stands to reason that children would grow up believing that stealing isn't all that bad.
    There is something to be said for posting "Thou shalt not steal" in in our schools and municipal buildings for, as the twig is bent so grows the Claude Allen:
    Last week, Slate broke the news that Claude Allen, until recently the White House chief domestic-policy adviser, was arrested for theft in suburban Maryland. The president has expressed his shock and disappointment. How could one of his top appointees, a devout Christian who passed a series of FBI background checks, have been a common thief? But the more we hear about what Allen is accused of, the less it sounds like kleptomania and the more it sounds like an application of Bush economic policy.

    Allen's alleged scam was something called "refund fraud." According to the police in Montgomery County, he would purchase a home-theater system or a computer printer from a department store and put it in the trunk of his car. Then he would come back to the same store with his receipt, pull an identical item off the shelf, and take it to the return desk for a refund. Using this technique, a brazen perpetrator pays for the item once but derives value from it two times—he gets his money back and keeps the merch. Allen is alleged to have stolen more than $5,000 worth of merchandise over the past year in this way.
    I guess it's only fair to point out that, regardless of their name, the Ten Commandments are more like guidelines really...

    posted by tbogg at 11:53 AM



    They are all al Qaeda now

    Four years ago we went into Iraq because Saddam had weapons of mass destruction and/or Saddam was supporting terrorists and/or George Bush needed a war to create the illusion that he was doing something and thus keep the online Piddle Pants NotPress in a state of fear and dampness and thus (again) happy to vote for him. Now it turns out that we have turned everyone in Iraq into al Qaeda members.

    Well, at least anyone that we kill...

    posted by tbogg at 8:09 AM


    Friday, June 22, 2007


    Friday Night Afterweek Mint

    Nkosi Sikeleli Africa

    C'mon. Everyone sing along...

    posted by tbogg at 9:44 PM


    Thursday, June 21, 2007


    What do you mean "Superfriends" is trademarked?
    We're from the U.S. We're here to help. Where's the Captain Morgan?

    Mitt Romney the Mormon with a mission...TO SAVE AMERICA AND THE WORLD!1!! has a swell idea how to fix Iraqachusetts and those other places in the desert full of theocrats (yeah, we're talking about you Utah. So watch yer ass) :
    The Republican presidential candidate will also call for a “Special Partnership Force,” made up of personnel from the Army’s special forces and the intelligence community.

    “Their goal is to build national institutions of stability and freedom, and to promote the rule of law and human rights,” Romney will say.
    'Special Partnership Force' has a real focus group feel to it that marries the best of business "consensus team-building" with unstoppable and righteous military might. Other names from the short list:

    • The Double Gitmounties
    • The Laughing Crusaders
    • Mohammed Has Two Mommies
    • ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Consultants

    All of those were run up the flagpole and, quite frankly, nobody ululated...

    posted by tbogg at 11:09 PM



    We can all hate together and that's what makes us good Americans

    Moe passes along a list of bands that should get back together. You've got to love the last one:

    We’ll just go out and say it: we want Creed to get back together because…we miss having them to kick around

    Music lovers hated Creed. It didn’t matter what color your musical stripes were; if you loved music, you hated Creed. What people overlook is how incredibly rare it is for one band to rub so many people the wrong way. This actually makes them special. Look at the music scene today. Is there anyone that is universally loathed like Creed was? Not even close. Yes, there is a strong anti-emo movement taking shape, but since there are so damn many emo bands, fans are torn between hating Panic! at the Disco more than Fall Out Boy or Taking Back Sunday. Kevin Federline was just a punch line; no one cared enough to hate him. But people did care enough to hate Creed, and their decision to call it quits in 2004, frankly, has thrown the rock & roll universe out of whack. Not only did their breakup create a void at the bottom of the rock food chain, it also created a void at the top. Quick, who’s the biggest band in the world? It’s a trick question: there isn’t one, and that is not a coincidence but merely the result of the rock & roll universe balancing itself out.

    Like it or not, the music world needs Creed. They sell millions of records to the people who are least likely to buy music, which is good for the industry. More importantly, their existence makes every other band try a little bit harder, so they won’t be compared to Creed. And Lord, could we use a few musicians that are willing to try a little bit harder. Look at the tossers that pass for rock stars now. Pete Wentz is dating Ashlee Simpson? That’s like Robert Smith dating Taylor Dayne. James Blunt, meanwhile, will sleep with anything with a pulse. Pete Doherty is such a loser that he made the world stop caring about Kate Moss.

    These guys are child’s play compared to Scott Stapp.

    Stapp will perform songs about God while unapologetically drunk (or, if his recent arrest report is accurate, stoned); shoot sex tapes with Kid Rock; throw glass bottles at his wife; and start bar fights with 311. All the while he’s shirtless, holding his arms in a Christ pose, and meaning every single word of nonsense that comes out of his mouth. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a rock star acting like a rock star, and there are few rock stars who are more fun to hate than Scott Stapp and Creed. Admit it: you sort of miss them, too.

    To add to the list of bands that should reunite I'm going to add the Pixies, the Posies, Rockpile, and Uncle Tupelo which would be better now that Jeff Tweedy and Jay Farrar have matured as songwriters.

    posted by tbogg at 9:56 PM



    Thank you...

    to Nancy for the Amores Perros DVD. If you're not familiar with Nancy, she has been known to castrate James Lileks occasionally.

    A thing of beauty.

    posted by tbogg at 9:47 PM



    Pre-Friday Random Ten
    I'm leavin' my family
    And leavin' my friends
    My body's at home
    But my heart's in the wind
    Where the clouds are like headlines
    On a new front page sky
    My tears are salt water
    And the moon's full and high

    Great Dub In The Sky - Easy Star All-Stars
    Rodeo Girl - Rickie Lee Jones
    Big Calm - Morcheeba
    Terrible Lie - NIN
    Shiver Me Timbers - Tom Waits
    Sparkys Dream - Teenage Fanclub
    That's Not The Way It's Done - The Minus 5
    Slave To Love - Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music
    Please Don't Talk About Murder While I'm Eating - Ben Harper
    Plantation Lullabies - Me'shell Ndegéocello
    Bonus # 11: Valley of Debris - Heartless Bastards

    Okay, so I was watching a preview for the film Paris, Je T'aime (warning; sound) and I heard this song and I fell in love with it. On first guess I thought it was Sally Ellyson from Hem but doing that googling that I do it turns out to be Leslie Feist (warning; sound. Again.) from Broken Social Scene. A very lovely song.

    In the meantime, here is Teenage Fan Club. Nice harmonies. Very Big Star.

    posted by tbogg at 6:56 PM



    Thursday Night Basset Blogging

    Satchmo stops to smell the flowers

    Beckham glowers

    Satchmo does his Allen Ginsberg impression

    I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by
    madness, starving hysterical naked,
    dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn
    looking for a Milk Bone...

    Labels: ,

    posted by tbogg at 6:24 PM



    The Dangerous Book for Boys can kiss my ass...

    Weirdness abounds:
    NEW DELHI - The 15-year-old son of two doctors performed a filmed Caesarean section birth under his parents’ watch in southern India in an apparent bid to gain a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records as the youngest surgeon.

    Instead, the boy’s father could be stripped of his licenses and may face criminal charges, officials said Thursday.

    Dr. K. Murugesan showed a recording of his son performing a Caesarean section to an Indian Medical Association chapter in the southern state of Tamil Nadu last month, said Dr. Venkatesh Prasad, secretary of the association. The video showed Murugesan anesthetizing the patient.
    I've never quite understood the obsession with getting into the Guinness Book of World Records. I assume that it allows people some kind of Willy Lomanesque way of getting the world to admit that they existed and that attention must be paid. I imagine that somewhere in the world someone recently turned to the person next to them and said, for no apparent reason, "Did you know that I hold the world's record for playing naked Pong? 132 hours." And the other person replied, "That's great Mr. President. Now just veto the stem cell legislation and we'll go have cheeseburgers for lunch."

    posted by tbogg at 8:02 AM



    "I'm not going to be ig-nored!"

    Shorter Ann Althouse:

    I am Spartacus
    I am Spartacus
    I am Spartacus
    Actually I am Alex Forrest

    posted by tbogg at 12:43 AM


    Wednesday, June 20, 2007


    Mrs. Pantload...

    ...uses the same super logical powers that come with the Goldberg name to make the case against Title IX:

    Federal fiat, it turns out, can provide for the additional sports for girls, but it can’t make them come out and play. When gender bean counters told Martin County high schools that they “didn’t have enough” girls playing junior varsity sports, the county instituted a full court press to lure more freshman and JV female athletes. But response was so poor that one school had to cancel plans for girls’ varsity soccer, another couldn’t get enough players for JV basketball. At Martin County High School, the athletic director had trouble getting four girls out of a female student body of over 800 to come out for the new bowling team.

    The reason high schools are having trouble finding as many girls to play sports as there are boys clamoring to take the field is apparent to anyone who takes the time to look: Girls have more varied extracurricular interests than boys. Girls out-participate boys in every extracurricular activity — band, drama, debate, student government — every one, that is, except for sports. The extracurricular gender gap so favors girls that the Independent Women’s Forum calculated that if the government were suddenly to require the same gender quota for participation in other extracurricular activities that it does in sports, 36 percent of female choir members, 25 percent of female orchestra members, and 33 percent of female debaters would have to be eliminated.
    But band, choir, and debate don't have separate 'teams' for girls and boys.... so ...oh never mind. Maybe someone from the boys debate team can explain what a false equivalency is to the silly woman.

    On another note: maybe it's because I live in a sunnier clime where we can go outside in the sun year round, but we don't really consider bowling to be, you know, a sport even though the anti-Title IX folks have a strange attachment to it.

    Either way, you can blame it on football.

    posted by tbogg at 11:47 PM



    Extraordinary hubris

    Deep within this article about the grotesque piggishness of former Smithsonian chief executive, Lawrence M. Small ( and please read both articles about Small who should be pelted with pig shit every time he leaves his front door), is this amazing statement by his deputy Sheila P Burke:
    The report also focused on compensation paid to Mr. Small’s deputy, Sheila P. Burke, who resigned on Monday, effective Sept. 30. From 2000 to 2006 Ms. Burke was absent from her Smithsonian post for about 400 business days* — roughly one-quarter of the work days — because of her service on boards and other non-Smithsonian activities, the report said. For serving on these corporate boards Ms. Burke earned about $10 million in outside income.

    In a telephone interview yesterday Ms. Burke said the report’s observations on her missed days were a “mischaracterization.”

    “The institution has always been my first professional priority and will remain so while I’m here,” she said. “There is no suggestion in the report or by anyone else that at the end of the day I didn’t do my job. There is every indication that I am in fact an extraordinary individual with a very strong work ethic.”
    Well then, now that you put it that way....

    From the Washington Post:
    Small, while taking substantial time off, earned his full salary -- $915,568 his last year on the job -- because he was permitted unlimited leave. Burke, who also had no restrictions on leave, earned $400,000 in her last year on the job. The terms of Burke's employment were known in most instances only to Small and Burke. Information about Burke's outside employment and activities on more than a dozen nonprofit boards and commissions was not shared with the Board of Regents, the report found.

    Small resigned in March and Burke announced her resignation on Monday on the eve of the independent review report.
    For those keeping score at home, that $400,000 a year that Burke was paid for showing up for work, let's call it 3 days a week, comes out to $33,333 per month.... not including her outside board income. It looks to me like Shaha Ali Riza hitched her wagon to the wrong sugar daddy.

    *An update to the WaPo story points that actually it was Small who missed 400 days while Burke missed 550 days.


    posted by tbogg at 10:51 PM



    Only if you like baseball...

    The Red Sox are coming to town this weekend and the games have been sold out since they went on sale. Pitching match-ups:

    Friday - Greg Maddox & Dice-K
    Saturday - Chris Young & Tim Wakefield
    Sunday - Jake Peavy (9-1 1.98 ERA) & Josh Beckett (10-1 3.14 ERA)


    Having said that, I still hate inter-league play.

    posted by tbogg at 7:59 PM



    The Kids Are All Right

    Having recently lost his job for the sin of being himself, former Senator George Allen has decided to get busy:
    Former Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) is adjusting to life after the Senate, starting a political action committee (PAC) and finding other ways to stay busy.

    So busy, in fact, Allen said this week he has no interest in running for chairman of the Virginia GOP or mounting another Senate run should Sen. John Warner (R) retire.
    Nope, he's got himself a new gig that's going to be taking up a whole mess of his time:
    “Not with the responsibilities I’ve taken on,” Allen said of his new PAC, the Good Government Action Fund, and his appointment as the Reagan Ranch Presidential Scholar for the Young America’s Foundation. “They would make that impossible.”

    Just more than a year ago, Allen was considered by many Republicans to be the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination.

    Yes, if you can't be President of These Great and Glorious United States of America (a Limited Liability Corporation), your next career stop is as the "Reagan Ranch Presidential Scholar for the Young America’s Foundation". This allows George to hang out with other "young Americans".... like Young America's Foundation President Ron Robinson

    Vice President Patrick Coyle

    ...and other Vice President Richard Kimble
    Quite obviously the Young America's Foundation have had to amend their standards as to who exactly qualifies as "young" possibly because the young Republicans who make up their membership are all currently fighting Islamofacists over there so we don't have to fight them over here... in the steam table lines during Early Bird Supper at Coco's .

    posted by tbogg at 6:18 PM



    Don't think of them as beatings.
    Think of them as "Hitts for Mitt!"

    Spare the rod and spoil the run:
    Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) has collected hundreds of thousands of dollars through the fundraising efforts of a supporter targeted by several lawsuits alleging child abuse.

    In a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, 133 plaintiffs have alleged that Robert Lichfield, co-chairman of Romney’s Utah finance committee owned or operated residential boarding schools for troubled teenagers where students were “subjected to physical abuse, emotional abuse and sexual abuse.”

    The complaint, which plaintiffs amended and resubmitted to the court last week, alleges children attending schools operated by Lichfield suffered abuses such as unsanitary living conditions; denial of adequate food; exposure to extreme temperatures; beatings; confinement in dog cages; and sexual fondling.

    A second lawsuit filed by more than 25 plaintiffs in July in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of New York alleges that Lichfield and several partners entered into a scheme to defraud them by operating an unlicensed boarding school in upstate New York. The suit does not allege physical or emotional abuse.

    These are two active lawsuits against Lichfield. Several others suits have alleged child abuse on behalf of dozens of plaintiffs, but judges have thrown out the suits for procedural reasons. As a result, the merits of the allegations have not been weighed. In some suits, plaintiffs have settled their cases for undisclosed amounts of money.
    Why couldn't Mitt just find himself a nice coke dealer to help out with his campaign?

    Good help is so hard to find these days...

    posted by tbogg at 7:55 AM



    Le Fantôme de la liberté
    Nader woos the progressives again

    The party crasher:
    Six years ago, the Take Back America conference was just a meeting of a few dozen progressive activists held in a local office building, where they talked about how to voice their liberal views at a time of Republican domination in U.S. politics.

    On Tuesday, the ranks of the conference's attendees had swelled to more than 3,000 people from all over the country, enough to fill a sprawling hotel ballroom here and command a parade of the leading Democratic presidential candidates to seek their support.


    Meanwhile, lurking in the shadows of the conference are mavericks such as Ralph Nader, some of whom grumble that the progressive movement isn't being bold enough with its early moment in the sun.


    To be sure, there was plenty of skepticism amid the activity. Nader questioned why ascendant progressives wouldn't be more eager to take on powerful corporate interests.

    Call for justice

    "When you look at an agenda of a progressive conference like this, you ask questions like, 'How much of it is focused on distributional economics, like making sure there's aid to hungry children?'" Nader said. "'And how much goes to challenging the power structure?' A society that has more justice needs less charity."
    Crank, heal thyself:

    During his presidential run in 2000, Nader laid out his view that union organizing is an important friction point between citizens and mega-corporations: "Employing union-busting consultants and motivated by an anything-goes, anti-union animus, employers regularly confront union-organizing campaigns with threats to close plants; harassment, intimidation, and firings of key union supporters; captive meetings; supervisor one-on-one meetings with fearful employees; threatening literature; use of surveillance technologies; and much more." Nader also said, "Although it is illegal for employers to fire workers for supporting a union, approximately one in 10 union supporters in union-organizing drives are, in fact, fired."

    As it turns out, Nader as a nonprofit entrepreneur has had his own experience with union organizing -- from the employer's side. In one case, unhappy workers at Public Citizen were persuaded to drop their drive to hold a vote on affiliating with the United Auto Workers, and an in-house union was created that over the years won important benefits and worker protections for employees. But in another case, labor-management relations weren't so smooth.

    Amid a dispute with the staff of one of his flagship publications in 1984 over its editorial content and a bid by staff members to form a union, Nader responded with the same kind of tactics that he has elsewhere condemned: He fired the staff, changed the locks at the office, unsuccessfully tried to have one employee arrested, and hired permanent replacements.

    When the fired workers appealed the action to federal authorities, Nader filed a countersuit. Applying a legal tactic that employers commonly use to resist union-organizing efforts, Nader claimed that the fired workers were trying to appropriate his business. Nader spurned efforts by other progressives to mediate the fight, and he refused an offer to settle the litigation by simply signing a declaration that his workers thenceforth would have the right to organize.

    "I was shocked by how Ralph acted," said John Cavanagh, director of the Institute for Policy Studies, who tried to mediate the dispute. "He seemed unable to see how this conflicted with his ideals." Cavanagh, who says he likes and respects Nader and supported his 2000 presidential run, said he was particularly surprised that Nader refused a dialogue on the dispute: "That's not the way progressives are supposed to act."
    Fuck off, Ralph.

    posted by tbogg at 7:17 AM


    Tuesday, June 19, 2007



    Rudolph Giuliani's membership on an elite Iraq study panel came to an abrupt end last spring after he failed to show up for a single official meeting of the group, causing the panel's top Republican to give him a stark choice: either attend the meetings or quit, several sources said.

    Giuliani left the Iraq Study Group last May after just two months, walking away from a chance to make up for his lack of foreign policy credentials on the top issue in the 2008 race, the Iraq war.

    He cited "previous time commitments" in a letter explaining his decision to quit, and a look at his schedule suggests why - the sessions at times conflicted with Giuliani's lucrative speaking tour that garnered him $11.4 million in 14 months.

    In defense of Rudy I would like to point out that tiaras don't grow on trees

    Let them eat cannoli

    posted by tbogg at 6:47 PM



    Grace under pressure

    The Romney family was indeed fortunate that a video crew happened to stop by last Christmas to film them pondering dad's possible presidential run ...because he hadn't made a final decision yet. No. Really. They were really really seriously discussing it and this camera crew just happened to come by, um, caroling, yeah, they were caroling and they looked cold so Ann Romney invited them in for Postum and cookies and history was recorded. Just like the Zapruder film, but less grainy.

    I think the highlight might be Ann Romney's calm admission that one of the Romney babies was missing. A lesser potential First Lady might have blamed the theft on a dingo.

    Well played, Ann...

    posted by tbogg at 8:08 AM



    One Trick Pony

    I'm not sure that I knew that a side effect of gay panic was a tendency to plagiarize oneself.

    Saturday nights must be a bitch when you have to choose between a "tricked-out" jackhammer and a bacon and Play-Doh sandwich.

    posted by tbogg at 7:53 AM


    Monday, June 18, 2007


    While you were sleeping...

    ....apparently we devalued the following words: "notable", "Democrat", and "strategists".
    Tonight’s “Mondays with Michelle & Kirsten” segment tackled two topics: Why liberals hate Fox News so much, and the politics behind illegal immigration.

    The answer to the first is easy: Fox is a right-wing mouthpiece for the Bush administration, even though it criticizes Bush as often as anyone and routinely gives air time to Bob Beckel, Pat Caddell, Ellis Henniken, Laura Schwartz and Kirsten Powers, among other notable Democrat strategists.
    Heniken is a radio personality and writer in New York that, quite frankly, I have never heard of. As for the others, exactly how many campaigns have they been identified with this... millennium?

    Appearances on Fox, like a lot of cable news, is a paycheck and a way to let people know that the world hasn't swallowed you up after your fifteen minutes, or less in most of these cases, are up. What kind of person works these gigs? Let's take the case of Debbie Schlussel who hates brown people in much the same way that Michelle Malkin hates... brown people:

    Right-wing pundits appear on Al Jazeera only because they're paid to do it. When Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute showed up for an interview, she told Rushing, "You're paying me. There is no way I would set foot here if you weren't." Blogger Debbie Schlussel is another pundit for hire. "So both Schlussel and Pletka believe Al Jazeera is a terrorist organization that should be treated as an enemy of the United States; they would never lower their good names by appearing on such a dangerous network, unless of course they were paid $300."
    As they say, we know what they are, now let's haggle over price...

    posted by tbogg at 9:43 PM


    Sunday, June 17, 2007


    Don't know much about history
    Don't know much frontier iconographyKilled by Mexicans 3/6/1836: Never forget!

    Former Senator Fred Thompson has an official website called: I'm With Fred, the express purpose of which is to lay the groundwork for his run for the Presidency once he gets done with sitting on the front porch and whittling and finally moseys on into town to file papers with the county recorder or some other act suitably bucolic enough to make Chris Matthews swoon. In the meantime, the website needs to built up his authentic folksy credibility and what better way to sell Fred Dalton Thompson than to equate him to famous Americans in the past who, when duty called, responded with greatness.From Fred's official bio:
    In March 2002, in the aftermath of the loss of his adult daughter, Senator Thompson announced that he would not seek re-election to the Senate. He has two sons who live in Nashville. He retired with an 86% American Conservative Union rating and a 100% rating from National Right to Life.

    Divorced in 1985, he remarried in 2001. He and Jeri have a three-and-a-half year old daughter, and a seven-month old son.

    In the tradition of Daniel Boone of Tennessee and President George Washington, citizen-legislators and leaders Thompson had admired growing up, he walked away from an easy reelection victory to seek new challenges.
    One small problem...

    Daniel Boone of "Tennessee":
    Daniel Boone (October 22, 1734 – September 26, 1820) was an American pioneer and hunter whose frontier exploits made him one of the first folk heroes of the United States. Boone is most famous for his exploration and settlement of what is now the U.S. state of Kentucky, which was then beyond the western borders of the Thirteen Colonies. Despite resistance from American Indians, for whom Kentucky was a traditional hunting ground, in 1775 Boone blazed the Wilderness Road through the Cumberland Gap and into Kentucky. There he founded Boonesborough, one of the first English-speaking settlements beyond the Appalachian Mountains. Before the end of the 18th century, more than 200,000 people entered Kentucky by following the route marked by Boone.[2]

    Boone was a militia officer during the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), which in Kentucky was fought primarily between settlers and British-allied American Indians. Boone was captured by Shawnees in 1778 and adopted into the tribe, but he escaped and continued to help defend the Kentucky settlements. He was elected to the first of his three terms in the Virginia General Assembly during the war, and fought in the Battle of Blue Licks in 1782, one of the last battles of the American Revolution. Boone worked as a surveyor and merchant after the war, but he went deep into debt as a Kentucky land speculator. Frustrated with legal problems resulting from his land claims, in 1799 Boone resettled in Missouri, where he spent his final years.
    I think they meant Davy Crockett:
    Colonel David Crockett (August 17, 1786 – March 6, 1836) was a celebrated 19th-century American folk hero, frontiersman, soldier and politician; usually referred to as Davy Crockett and by the popular title "King of the Wild Frontier". He represented Tennessee in the U.S. House of Representatives, served in the Texas Revolution, and died at the age of 49 at the Battle of the Alamo.
    To be fair, all white guys in coonskin caps look the same to me too.

    Next up: University of Kentucky center Sam Bowie who not only was selected before Michael Jordan in the draft, but invented the Bowie knife and died at the Alamo too...

    posted by tbogg at 11:07 PM



    Klubhouse Kapers!


    Bill O'Reilly's right-wing politics may rub a lot of people the wrong way in New York, but his views had nothing to do with his ejection from the Mets' clubhouse yesterday before their game against the Yankees at the Stadium.

    O'Reilly, the FoxNews Channel talking head, got inside the visitors' clubhouse before Stadium security realized that he was not wearing a credential granting clubhouse access. He and his party then were escorted out of the room.

    According to a reporter from The Record of Hackensack (N.J.), the Big Righty complained to the security officer, "You don't have to escort us out - we're going."
    It seems that Bill came up behind Paul Lo Duca in the shower and, well, let Lo Duca tell it:
    O'Reilly said: “If I took you down there then I’d want to take a shower with you right away . . . You would basically be in the shower and then I would come in and I’d join you and you would have your back to me and I would take that little loofa thing and kinda soap up your back . . . run it all over you, get you to relax, hot water . . . and I would put it around front, kinda rub your tummy a little bit with it, and then with my other hand I would start to massage your boobs, get your nipples really . . . hard . . . and then I would take the other hand with the falafel (sic) thing and I’d put it on your pussy . . .”
    At which point Lo Duca realized that O'Reilly was looking for A-Rod who was down the hall and in the home team locker room.

    Actually the whole thing was kind of awkward...


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