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  • Friday, January 31, 2003


    Like the thought of Marta mounting Rush....

    I was going to write something about Title IX in reference to this article in the National Review.

    Girl Power
    Will feminist mau-mauing kill Title IX reform?

    I was mainly attracted by author Jessica Gavora's use of the term "mau-mauing", used recently by conserva-bimbos Ann Coulter, Michele Malkin as well as post-menopausal bimbo, Mona Charen. ("mau-mauing being a term made popular in Tom Wolfe's Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flack Catchers written back when Wolfe was still vaguely relevant. To "mau-mau" is to angrily send a message that implies a threat. The NRA is good at it, but then they have all the guns and they're pretty much lily-white, so they call it: "lobbying") Anyway...I was looking to see who Gavora was when I discovered that she is Policy Advisor and speech writer to Attorney General and Boob-aphobe John Ashcroft. That explained a lot. But what I discovered next really shook me to my core.

    Gavora is the wife (meaning that she presumably has sex with him...with Republicans, you never can tell) of famed, pudgy, neo-con court jester and momma's boy Jonah Goldberg.



    posted by tbogg at 11:26 PM



    I hope the leatherette wimple from Amazon makes it there in time.

    Amy at Rubber Nun is having a birthday on Monday...let's all meet at her place about 7:30ish....

    posted by tbogg at 9:43 PM



    The Blair Bush's-Bitch Project

    Looks like the Saddam regime isn't the only one President Cartman is going to overthrow. Tony Blair has plenty of trouble at home:

    Iraq could be a catalyst for a new, and much tougher, phase in Labour's hitherto largely unchallenged political ascendancy. It could be a lightning rod for pent-up and far less generous judgments about many aspects of the Blair project. It is one of those moments in politics that simply makes everything else look different.

    This is bad news for Mr Blair, as some recent random events show. In the last couple of weeks, the government has abandoned its commitment to a more democratic House of Lords, has threatened the firefighters with the scrapping of the right to strike, has committed itself to a system of student finance that threatens future generations with heavy debts, has threatened to pull out of international treaties protecting the rights of refugees, and has announced that it is minded to allow Fylingdales to become a central pillar of America's missile defence system.

    Sounds like a Baby Bush to me. But wait...there's more:

    In the past, Mr Blair might have been able to persuade the public of the merits of one or even all of these controversial, even scandalous, stances. At worst, he would have persuaded most voters to allow their general confidence to overcome their scruples. But not today. Today it is all much harder pounding for him. Today everything feeds into everything else. Not all of that is fair, but then it was not fair either that Mr Blair had such an easy ride in the early years. What is clear is that he now has an immense task to capture the trust that used to fall effortlessly into his lap. If nothing else, the consequences for Mr Blair's continued wish to take Britain into the eurozone have been put at real hazard.

    There have been controversial policies before and they did not do this sort of damage to Labour. What has changed? The answer, above all, seems to be Iraq - or more bluntly George Bush. The Bush administration is doing terrible damage to Mr Blair. Washington's aggressive world view, and Mr Blair's seemingly unshakeable desire to be its fellow traveller, have drained Mr Blair's political capital at an alarming rate. The polls, whether they are taken on the telephone or the internet, show clear, consistent and continuing patterns of damage. Mr Blair's personal ratings have slumped. The government's record is far less highly regarded than it was. The erosion of confidence in its economic competence, revealed in a YouGov internet poll yesterday, is particularly striking - nearly halved since the general election a mere 20 months ago

    Tony Blair thought he was hitching his wagon to a star...turns out it's a block of cement.

    posted by tbogg at 9:34 PM



    Who cares what they think

    If there is one consistent theme running through your average warblog (outside of the fact that none of them are scheduled to do any actual fighting themselves short of, maybe a few hours playing Splinter Cell), it is the constant harping on Germany and France, whose people also did not elect President XBox. Vodka Pundit, for example, says:

    Now comes word that 21 nations will allow US forces access for next month’s Iraq war. A further 20 will allow overflights by US warplanes. We’re talking almost a quarter of the world’s governments. Now we’re getting into some serious numbers here. And that doesn’t even include places like Lithuania, who don’t have anything useful to offer us, but will at least wish us well in our endeavor.

    And who is on board? Maybe not all the biggest countries, but certainly some of the finest – and most of the ones who matter. The United Kingdom, Australia, Italy, Spain, Poland, Canada, Turkey, Kuwait, Romania, Bulgaria, Israel and more. Maybe you don’t like all of them. I know I don’t. But if, like us, none of them is perfect, at least, like us, they’re mostly trying to do better.

    Yet two countries that used to be in the Top Ten, Germany and France, are not only doing everything in their meager powers to stop us, they’re accusing us of acting unilaterally. I’m starting to suspect that in parts of western Europe, “unilateral” means “without the express, detailed, written-in-triplicate consent, and under the overly scrutinizing overview of Paris and Berlin.”

    The sad part is, many Americans agree.

    Look, whether you’re for or against this new phase of the Terror War, by what principle does Franco-German meddling in the goal of a 42 nations carry more weight and is deemed more “multilateral” than the 42-nation coalition?

    Shouldn’t Paris stop its cowboy ways and rejoin the Mostly Decent nations of the world? Isn’t it high time Germany stopped goose-stepping on the dreams of 22 million oppressed Iraqis?

    While it true that most countries appear to be supporting Operation Inigo Montoya, well, the citizens beg to differ:

    A 39-nation public opinion survey published Friday found sentiment in favor of military action against Iraq strongest in the United States and Australia, while six in 10 in France and Russia and half in Germany opposed it under any circumstances.


    Poll results also can be affected by question wording. The Gallup International survey asked, in native languages: "Are you in favor of military action against Iraq?" with response alternatives "Under no circumstances," "Only if sanctioned by the United Nations," "Unilaterally by America and its allies," or don't know/no opinion.

    In the United States, 33 percent favored "unilateral" action by America and allies - by far the highest percentage of any country surveyed (Uganda was next with 20 percent) - while 34 percent favored military action if U.N.-sanctioned.

    In Australia, 56 percent favored U.N.-sanctioned action and 12 percent favored "unilateral" action. Other countries with majorities favoring one or the other of the pro-war responses were New Zealand (60 percent), Ireland and Holland (58 percent each) and Canada (56 percent). Those responses combined got 50 percent in Switzerland and other countries within sampling error of that mark were Britain, Hong Kong, Romania, Germany, Denmark, Uganda and Cameroon.

    In Britain, Bush's strongest ally in the campaign against Iraq, 41 percent said no under any circumstances, 39 percent would support U.N.-sanctioned action and 10 percent agreed with unilateral action.

    In France and Russia, whose leaders have opposed unilateral action by the United States and Britain, a majority of respondents said no under any circumstances - 59 percent in Russia and 60 percent in France. In Germany, whose government also opposes a unilateral war, 50 percent said no under any circumstances.

    Twenty-one percent of Americans said no to war against Iraq under any circumstances. At the other end of the sentiment scale, about 80 percent in Argentina and Uruguay and roughly 75 percent in Macedonia, Bosnia and Spain opposed military action under any circumstances. Six in 10 in India and Pakistan also felt that way.

    So yes it is fair to say that many countries support the Boy Emperor....but unlike us, they don't have representative governments (insert irony here) . If the war goes badly or causes terrorist attacks to start up in countries with large Muslim populations, look for some governments to change.

    Apocalypse now.

    posted by tbogg at 9:18 PM



    Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Ashcroft

    Looks like Crisco John just can't get enough of that old time executin':

    Attorney General John Ashcroft has ordered federal prosecutors to seek the death penalty for a murder suspect, even though he had agreed to testify against others tied to a deadly Colombian drug ring in exchange for a life sentence

    Lawyers said it appeared to be the first case nationally in which Mr. Ashcroft had insisted on seeking the execution of a defendant who had secured a promise of life in exchange for information. Some lawyers said his decision here could hamstring federal prosecutors in the toughest cases because it would shake defendants' confidence that a federal prosecutor at the local level could deliver on a proposed deal in a death penalty case.

    Mr. Ashcroft has stirred a controversy in federal prosecutors' offices nationally in recent months by insisting that they seek executions in some cases in which they had recommended against it. Under Justice Department rules, local federal prosecutors can only recommend whether to seek the death penalty; the final decision is up to the attorney general.

    The John Ashcroft Ten Commandments:

    I - I am the Lord your God. You shall not have strange gods before me.

    II - You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

    III - Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day.

    IV - Honor your father and mother.

    V - You shall not kill.

    VI - You shall not commit adultery.

    VII - You shall not steal.

    VIII - You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. Unless he's Ronnie White

    IX - You shall not desire your neighbor’s wife.

    X - You shall not desire your neighbor’s goods.

    Only eight left to go...

    posted by tbogg at 8:54 PM



    Yeah. I gotcher loaf of bread right here, ya bastud....

    Teens use bad words.

    Even in this age of raunchy rap and tasteless television, high school drama coach Ruth Ridenour warned students trying out for "Les Miserables" that it contained swear words

    Three, precisely: "hell," "bitch" and "bastard."

    The students were all right with that, but some parents were not.

    What a bunch of dicks.

    posted by tbogg at 3:59 PM



    Crime and Punishment

    Feds turn up heat on Martha Stewart

    Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have stepped up their insider-trading investigation of Martha Stewart, reinterviewing witnesses and meeting with her lawyers in recent weeks, according to sources close to the case.

    Ken Lay goes skiing.

    Harken inside trader meets with English poodle.

    The Secretary of the Army doesn't know anything about any phonecalls to Enron

    Assorted other perjurers set American policy in the Middle East, South America, and snoop into American's lives.

    posted by tbogg at 3:02 PM


    Thursday, January 30, 2003


    Be the first one on your block...

    Wouldn't this look lovely on the bumper of a car that already sports a Bush/Cheney 2004 bumper sticker...even if you don't know the person?

    Think of it as a gift that keeps on giving....

    posted by tbogg at 1:55 PM



    Loon Interrupted.

    I felt at the end of the speech not roused but moved, and it took me a while to figure out why. It was gratitude.

    Yes, it's our girl Peggy Noonan, who....was...oh....so...close, but George failed to bring her to Bush-gasm. A case of Loonas interruptus if there ever was one. But Bush, a man not used to regular conjugal relations, was undeterred:

    His voice seemed lower and there seemed a kind of full head-heart engagement in his grave but optimistic message. For a moment I though of earnest Clark Kent moving, at the moment of maximum danger, to shed his suit, tear open his shirt and reveal the big "S" on his chest.


    But it wasn't quite like that because it wasn't theatrical.


    Mr. Bush's language was interesting. It was Elevated Bushian--plain and pared of personal emotionalism. "The liberty we prize is not America's gift to the world; it is God's gift to humanity." "The course of this nation does not depend on the decisions of others." "If this is not evil then evil has no meaning."


    People talk about "great lines" in speeches, but this speech was distinguished in that it didn't highlight them--it didn't toot its horn.

    So...close...weak with want.....panting....

    Mr. Bush seems uniquely resolved to be as courageous as the times require and as helpful as they allow. There is a profound authenticity to him, and a fearlessness too.

    That's it!...right there...oh yeah!...come to mama!

    A steady hand on the helm in high seas,

    Steady hand...mmm hmmm.

    a knowledge of where we must go and why,

    Right there...right there!...yes!

    a resolve to achieve safe harbor.

    Oh yeah...thats the spot!...Bring momma home!

    More and more this presidency is feeling like a gift.

    Got a cigarette, sailor?

    posted by tbogg at 1:51 PM



    Typo at Drudge...


    I believe that it is spelled: s-t-e-a-l.

    Upon review of the picture, leave it to Bush to screw up a deal with the devil, so that he shows the advancing moral rot while the picture in the attic still shows the moral rot, circa 2000.

    posted by tbogg at 12:56 PM



    Money for nothing and your check's in the mail

    Time magazine had some space to fill this week, what with advertising revenues being down and all. So they devoted a few column inches to a couple of wacky kids out at Berkeley who started up a conservative tabloid (gasp! man bites dog) and darned if it isn't so popular that people are paying top dollar to read it.

    Actually, they're not:

    ....the California Patriot comes as something of a surprise. On the walls of its editorial offices in a small house near the campus, campaign signs for nearly a dozen Republican candidates sit alongside a large American flag and a massive poster of George W. Bush. In its pages, articles argue against abortion and for war with Iraq. "At Berkeley's campus, you can only hear one side of any political or social debate, and it obviously tends to be the liberal side," says Tyler Monroe, 22, who started the monthly with fellow conservative Kelso Barnett, 22, three years ago when they were sophomores. "We felt that without having a loud and powerful conservative voice, we couldn't have an intellectual debate on Berkeley's campus."


    The magazine may represent a minority opinion on the Berkeley campus, but a recent survey showed that this generation of students is more conservative than their parents were, and the Patriot is having no trouble finding an audience. "I like reading the Patriot, but I don't agree with everything they say," notes local resident Devora Liss, 21. "They have an impact because there's a very large contingent of students they're appealing to."


    Because it carries barely any advertising and gives its 4,000-copy print run free to students, the Patriot has relied on donations from wealthy individuals and conservative foundations across the country.

    You would think that advertisers would be falling all over themselves trying to reach these highly-educated free-marketeers, but I guess that's not the case. In this case it just a matter of the "invisible hand" of the marketplace reaching for the "invisible wallet" of the conservative foundations that can't give their philosophy away.

    Next week, hilarious hijinks ensue when a couple of zany business majors open a Randian lemonade stand, Atlas Squeezed, at the University of Chicago with a grant from the Capitalism Defense Project.

    posted by tbogg at 12:37 PM



    I'll have the Limbaugh "New in Town, Sailor" Bottom Feeder Fish Feast...and supersize it

    Atrios points out that CBS Marketwatch points out that the King of Pilondial Cyst's advertising base is collapsing faster than his arteries.

    Of particular note is the fact that loathsome corporate seafood chain, Red Lobster, is still advertising on his daily Preachin' to the Cretins fest. Why don't you drop them a letter and let them know that you won't be in tonight for Walt's Favorite Fried Shrimp.

    posted by tbogg at 11:30 AM



    That wasn't frozen yogurt. It was you brother...or your sister....or both

    Deploying troops have always squared away their wills and other legal and financial affairs before going into harm's way. But now, a small number of servicemen are choosing to make a stop at a sperm bank before heading out.

    Troops say having their sperm frozen gives them peace of mind in case of death or infertility.

    "You may never use your deposit, but it's always good to have that option there," said Sgt. Patrick Atwell.

    Atwell is an Army National Guardsman who expects to deploy to the Persian Gulf. Fiancee Angela Cruz urged Atwell to preserve his sperm after a 1991 Gulf War veteran in his unit told the sergeant he came back from Desert Storm to find he was sterile.

    "I feel more hopeful with our future," Cruz said. "And if God forbid, he doesn't come back, then I'll be able to have a piece of him here still. A little Patrick running around."

    I'm speechless...

    Actually I'm not. Many of us, born after WWII, are referred to as "baby boomers" (bet you didn't know that), leading me to wonder: what will we call this generation of "microwave before using" kids? Kid'whiches? Bon Bon Babies? I'm open to suggestions...E-Mail Me

    posted by tbogg at 10:57 AM



    ...looking like something hocked up by Liberace during a laudanum-infused Barbarella nightmare.

    Thanks to the Mad Coyote for pointing me to this Mark Morford column that I obviously missed:

    But there was something very wrong about this, something a little off, and you couldn't put your finger on it right away, because Shania's eight-minute soul-molesting medley was script perfect and Vegas tacky and she hit all her stage marks and sported that godawful glittery faux-goth trailer-park hotpants ensemble thing, looking like something hocked up by Liberace during a laudanum-infused Barbarella nightmare.

    Too harsh? Nah. She lip-synched every word. She completely faked it. She was a walking mannequin, all hair and teeth and strings pulled from above. Nothing new there, though as a culture we're probably more accustomed to such simulated performance from non-singers like Britney or J.Lo, rather than someone who professes to be an actual crossover diva "artist," but still.

    But then No Doubt and Sting came onstage, immediately after Shania's perfect prerecorded fist-pumping lounge act and just after she tossed around her perfectly shellacked faux sexuality like dimestore confetti, and from the first note of the other acts, you saw it. You got it. And you understood.

    They actually sang. They talked to the audience. They were genuinely into the music they wrote and their movements weren't at all scripted and their voices weren't perfect and they were breathing hard into the mics because they were running around the stage, and Gwen was moving and gyrating spontaneously like a love goddess on ecstasy and therein lies the biggest difference: They may still be pop confections, but at least they genuinely taste good.

    posted by tbogg at 10:42 AM



    Why he doesn't teach Political Science...

    What? No reference to being a "running dog lackey" or a "quisling" or even a "com-symp"? Prof. Instapundit explains it all to us:

    HESIOD DOESN'T GET IT, so I'll try to speak very slowly:

    Antiwar protesters aren't Communists by definition.

    But A.N.S.W.E.R. and the WWP basically are. (And of the extra-nasty Stalinist variety.)

    Communists are, in my opinion, as bad as Nazis: mass murder, totalitarianism, etc. (And calling them "Marxists" instead doesn't fool anyone.)

    Going to a march organized by Communists doesn't make you a Communist, any more than going to a march organized by Nazis makes you a Nazi.

    But knowingly going to either one makes you icky. And calling it McCarthyism when people point that out, or point out that the Communists really are Communists, makes you either dishonest, or stupid. (my emphasis)

    Then Reynolds rushed off to his next class: "Guilt by Association: Too Icky To Be Associated with Natural Law"

    posted by tbogg at 10:19 AM



    Let the trials begin....

    The wonderful Jeanne D'Arc writes about war criminals and the ones that will get away.

    It's also a good thing that men like Pinochet and Kissinger have as much need for their lawyers as they do for their suitcases on foreign trips. I agree with Donald Johnson that we're never going to see Henry Kissinger facing a war crimes tribunal. But he's wanted for questioning in Chile, Argentina and France, and there are countries where he can't travel, because they can't guarantee his immunity from legal proceedings.

    posted by tbogg at 10:03 AM



    Misty, watercolored memories of the librarian she was

    Looks like the White House had to put Laura Bush's pet project down:

    White House Cancels Poetry Symposium

    The White House said Wednesday it postponed a poetry symposium because of concerns that the event would be politicized. Some poets had said they wanted to protest military action against Iraq.

    The symposium on the poetry of Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes and Walt Whitman was scheduled for Feb. 12. No future date has been announced.

    ``While Mrs. Bush respects the right of all Americans to express their opinions, she, too, has opinions and believes it would be inappropriate to turn a literary event into a political forum.'' Noelia Rodriguez, spokeswoman for first lady Laura Bush, said Wednesday.

    Ms. Bush then turned back to her well-thumbed copy of Fahrenheit 451, giggling uncontrollably while sipping from a large tumbler of vodka....

    posted by tbogg at 9:57 AM



    Bob Novak seems to have some doubts about the Boy King


    The function of the State of the Union was to make clearer to the nation and the world the necessity for a regime change in Baghdad, though that phrase was not used. No new evidence was presented Tuesday night as Bush offered the same thin gruel offered on Capitol Hill last week in a senators-only top secret briefing by Secretary of State Colin Powell and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, which was widely described as a fiasco. While the senators could ask embarrassing questions behind closed doors, the president was uninterrupted by his cheering listeners.

    Thus, Bush rhetorically connected the Iraqi regime and al Qaeda without providing a smoking gun. This justification for war implied lack of confidence in the argument that Hussein's alleged weapons of mass destruction constitute a valid cause for war. The White House promises to bolster that claim with future declassification of secret evidence.

    "This speech is the beginning of a series of speeches," said the "Senior Administration Official." While acknowledging that the State of the Union "spends a great deal of time on Iraq," he added: "One of these days, there will be an 'Iraq only' speech. And plans change. Who knows what's going to (happen)?"

    On reading Novak's column, and combining it with Michael Kelly's latest, one has to wonder: is there anyone is this administration who is willing to go on the record about anything? Witness...


    On the day before the speech, a source officially described as a "Senior Administration Official" insisted that President Bush is undecided


    "This speech is the beginning of a series of speeches," said the "Senior Administration Official


    According to the White House, he was moved by his Walter Reed Hospital visit with veterans of Afghanistan


    "Committing troops is a difficult, tough decision for the American president," said the "Senior Administration Official


    People who "know a heck of a lot more about the markets" than the president "will tell you that is part of the reason why our investment is not as strong as it should be," said the "Senior Administration Official

    Now Kelly:

    "This is not a declaration of war," said the senior administration official, speaking on the day before the president's State of the Union address


    I spent half an hour or so on Monday interviewing, with some others, a "senior administration official," as the White House ground rules dictate the nomenclature.


    The senior administration official described a president who would accept an eleventh-hour peace,


    There won't be much more of this, the official said


    "Look, Saddam is a creature of habit," the senior administration official said


    "We cannot allow Iraq to get to the same position where North Korea is," the official said


    The official described both Hussein and al Qaeda as "a great danger to America" in their very "nature"


    The official talked of the conflict, now and coming, in historical and frankly moral terms.

    ...and on and on.

    I thought it was only Steno Sue Schmidt that used to uncritically just take down notes and quote them verbatim in her articles, but now it looks as if the likes of Novak & Kelly just turn on a tape recorder, then go outside for a smoke.

    It's good work if you can get it....

    posted by tbogg at 9:21 AM



    "Invite a bunch of journalists...oh yeah, and invite Cal Thomas, too."

    Well now we know one of the "journalists" that got a preview of the SOTU from President Cartman: Cal Thomas

    President Bush called some journalists into the Oval Office last Monday (Jan. 27) for a "background " briefing on his State of the Union address. As one of the favored few, I was impressed by how comfortable he is with being in charge. George W. Bush has a hide stronger than an armadillo and a vision that what he is doing and wants to do is completely and undeniably right. And yet he has a soft heart, tearing up when he talks about what his "faith-based initiative " can do to help the hopeless and the helpless.

    Yeah. It's the usual "comfortable in his skin", "focused", "compassionate" crapola, that is more about Bush's performance ("look! He didn't set himself on fire, knock over the podium and poop himself again!") than on substance. And, jeepers, he even teared up for the assembled "favored few".

    The performance never ends....

    posted by tbogg at 9:02 AM


    Wednesday, January 29, 2003


    Shania only fakes it with her husband.

    Moving on to important subjects, Slate informs us that Shania Twain wasn't lip synching at the Super Bowl despite all evidence to the contrary.

    Paul Liszewski, who produced the sound for the show, says Shania's mic was hot and her vocals were live. (Other audio engineers who watched the broadcast agreed.)


    It's not like Liszewski is looking to lose a gig doing sound for Trailer Park Cher.

    posted by tbogg at 1:35 PM



    The Barefoot and Pregnant Act of 2003

    Now the Bush administration's interest in Title IX makes sense:

    A federal commission considering changes to Title IX is focusing on sports, but that's just one part of the sweeping changes the 1972 law brought to education.

    Title IX prohibits gender discrimination in public and private schools that receive federal funding, which almost all do - through student loans, for example. It's enforced by the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights.


    Title IX is credited with creating a boom in women's sports and also increasing the number of women graduating from college, earning graduate degrees, becoming doctors and lawyers, and entering other fields traditionally reserved for men.

    Know what you call a college that doesn't encourage women to get degrees, but to instead find a husband?


    posted by tbogg at 8:59 AM



    The reviews are in...and it looks like the show may close in 2004

    Well, they weren't impressed in Florida.

    Tuesday afternoon President Bush held one of several key engagements in his run-up to the State of the Union speech. He had lunch with television's big-name anchors and Sunday chat show hosts. The day before he met with big-name columnists. He was doing what he could to influence his address' instant reviewers, who themselves would shape this morning's water-cooler caucuses. But the schmoozer-in-chief won't spin his way out a crisis of his own making.

    The state of the Union is insecure and uncertain -- not because of terrorism, which was last year's fear, and not because of any new threat to the nation's security. But because of economic policies at home and military adventures abroad that are bankrupting the nation's treasury and moral standing in a twin plunder of unparalleled recklessness. The country is looking down the gutter of another recession and down the barrel of another war. For what?

    Bush had no convincing answer Tuesday night.

    But isn't it helpful to know that George had snacks and beverages, prior to the speech, with the people who would be reviewing it afterward? This explains so much. To us it's our future. To them it's just a game to play and watch.

    posted by tbogg at 8:24 AM


    Tuesday, January 28, 2003


    Live! From the Shapiro space/time continuum

    Ah youth...

    An interview I did with Speak Out Live, a wonderful radio show based in Washington D.C., will be aired on Saturday, February 1. Even though the piece will be aired live, I recorded it earlier (not on Shabbat). I think it's great stuff. Go to the website and listen!

    Okay Ben! I'll listen to it yesterday, tomorrow.

    posted by tbogg at 11:49 PM



    Sorry Miguel..you've got no papers.

    The New York Times comes out against Miguel Estrada.

    Mr. Estrada, a native of Honduras and graduate of Harvard Law School, has a strong legal résumé. But people who have worked with him over the years, at the solicitor general's office and elsewhere, report that his interpretation of the law is driven by an unusually conservative agenda. Paul Bender, a law professor and former deputy solicitor general, has called Mr. Estrada an ideologue, and said he "could not rely on his written work as a neutral statement of the law." In private practice, Mr. Estrada defended anti-loitering laws that civil rights and groups have attacked as racist.


    Senators have a constitutional duty to weigh the qualifications of nominees for the federal judiciary. But they cannot perform this duty when the White House sends them candidates whose record is a black hole. Mr. Estrada's case is particularly troubling because the administration has more information about his views, in the form of his solicitor general memos, but is refusing to share it with the Senate

    Estrada is a stealth candidate and should be shot down on the Senate floor. Maybe this is a chance for Russ Feingold to make up for Ashcroft...but I kind of doubt he'll do it.

    posted by tbogg at 11:21 PM



    Let David E. explain it all to you

    David Ehrenstein shows why he is one of my favorite writers...and fast too. The whole Bush speech with between the lines interpretation.

    ...and if you want a view from the emotionally stunted side there is always Andy Sullivan who is in full swoon over the speech.

    But there was something else here - the glimmers of a real core of compassionate conservatism. By mentioning the lonely elderly, or the AIDS orphan, and calling on us to get involved person by person, I felt morally led by a president in ways that I cannot recall in my lifetime. I was particularly struck by the president's defense of the newly or prematurely born, and their right to be treated with dignity and compassion rather than with brutality. So sue me for being moved. I was.

    Only Andy Sullivan can say that he was "morally led" by this president without grasping the irony.

    Jesse (thank Jebus he's back) weighs in:

    The same abortive economic policy, the same flimsy "evidence" thrown up to support the war on Iraq...Bush's policy is modeled in the Creationist vein - an explanation in search of facts rather than the other way around. I can't remember him ever having a new idea, or even a substantive idea, other than his immediate response to September 11th. The world will justify Bush's beliefs, or he will ignore and demonize what doesn't. Leadership isn't a wish list, and Bush's inability to respond beyond his programming will be his downfall.

    ...and the New York Times:

    President Bush sought to revive a sense of national resolve last night with a State of the Union address that readied the country for a showdown with Iraq and demanded another huge tax cut for wealthier Americans. No one watching the somber Mr. Bush's delivery could doubt his determination. But the combination created far too mixed a message. It was hard to reconcile the president who vowed not to "pass along our problems to other Congresses, to other presidents and other generations" with the one whose fiscal policies have helped create gigantic deficits for taxpayers of the future

    Maybe Howell Raines will loan Andy a cup of irony....

    Finally, William Saletan at Slate:

    If you went to the refrigerator during the first three minutes of President Bush's State of the Union address, you missed the part where he discussed the state of the union. After a few words about his record on the economy, education, corporate responsibility, and homeland security, Bush spent the rest of the hour outlining plans and promises. It was the kind of speech a president gives when he's been in office two weeks, not two years.

    Why didn't Bush talk about the state of the union? Because the state of the union is nothing to talk about. The stock market is in the toilet. The economy is going nowhere. Unemployment is up. The deficit is out of control. Remember those State of the Union speeches Bill Clinton gave? The guy couldn't stop quoting happy numbers. That's one problem Bush doesn't have

    posted by tbogg at 11:16 PM



    I was neither disarmed nor deceived...

    Not having had time to re-read President Nu-Cu-Ler's State of My Re-Election Speech, but having watched it and assorted punditry afterwards, here are some quick thoughts.

    ~Too close to Jesus and the Button:It is tradtion at the SOTU to have one member of the Cabinet not attend in case something awful happens like Spencer Abraham having cabbage and chili for lunch resulting in massive destruction, death, and misery much like Nagasaki, but with lots more lingering fallout. Anyway, the idea is the continuity of the current government in case a pack of howler monkeys can't be rounded up within a week or so. This years "designated Despot" was....John Ashcroft. If, prior to the SOTU, industrial engineers had placed small lumps of coal in the sphincters of half of America, we would currently be awash in diamonds at the idea of "I Can't Dance. Don't Ask Me" John sitting on the Boy Emperor's throne.

    ~Jenna Bush Two Whiskeys Two Bourbons, Not Just For Breakfast Anymore Award: If you and your roomates were doing shots whenever Verbal 566 said "Nook-yalur"...welcome back. It's Thursday.

    ~Smirk of the Night: Big suprise. It was Nancy Pelosi when Tax Cut for The Rich Boy mentioned the average amount that a taxpayer would save. Nice try. Now tell us how much we would save, not counting the top 1%.

    ~Monty Burn's "Exxxxxcelllennt" Award": Dick Cheney did an admirable job of not drooling oil into his neck folds while on camera. Also the Cheneymaster 3000™ Defibrillator and Bacon Fryer was kept out of camera range.

    ~No Gloves and No Love: The Democrats should have very warm hands tonight since they sat on them most of the night in obvious disagreement with a very partisan speech. Good for them. Meanwhile the Republicans were jumping up and down in their seats like pre-teens at a Shakira concert. Apparently they're crazy about the boy having not been confronted with so much testosterone since Ann Coulter mudwrestled Lynne Cheney at the last Heritage Foundation Husband and Trophy Wife Key Swap.

    ~Bess You is My Woman Now: Nice pander to African-Americans with the Africa AIDS proposal. I'm sure a little Federal money thrown at the right regimes should grease the skids for a few US corporations to start pillaging their natural resources in earnest. As for Affirmative Action...look we're giving money to Africa! High black unemployment...money for Africa! Racism...let's save the African AIDS victims. Civil War revisionists running the government.....why don't you all just go back to Africa?

    ~I Fought the Law and the Law Said They Would Look Into It with Indictments Just Around The Corner: "To insist on integrity in American business, we passed tough reforms, and we are holding corporate criminals to account" (insert laugh track here)

    ~Throw Momma from the Medicare: "Instead of bureaucrats and trial lawyers and HMOs, we must put doctors and nurses and patients back in charge of American medicine." .............(babble babble homily homily)......... "And just like you, the members of Congress, and your staffs and other federal employees, all seniors should have the choice of a health care plan that provides prescription drugs." And that health care plan will be administered by...an HMO. Has Bush even seen Memento?

    ~Liar, Liar. Forest on Fire:Clear Skies legislation and Healthy Forest initiative. Christy Whitman in a rare cameo appearance as "The Beard". Nobody bought it with Nicole Kidman why should we buy it with Friskin' Christy?

    ~Dude. Where's My OxyContin?: "Too many Americans in search of treatment cannot get it. So tonight I propose a new $600 million program to help an additional 300,000 Americans receive treatment over the next three years." Unless Noelle Bush has a relapse, in which case we'll have enough money left over to buy those other 299,999 tweakers a tube of Pringles and a ticket to Matrix: Reloaded. Whoa......


    ~War. What Is It Good For? Absolute Manhood for Chickenhawks: We're going. Americans will die in Iraq and possibly at home in retaliation. The oil companies will get their oil after the US government (us) pays to restore the fields to workability. Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle will share a deep wet kiss...with lots of tongue. Michael Kelly will finally have an erection...his wife won't notice or care. Poppy Bush will finally be avenged, but not in time to stop his moral rot. And little George Walker Bush will get his first pubic hair.

    Quick get a camera.....

    posted by tbogg at 10:25 PM



    Just a quick recommendation...

    Get thee to thy local independent CD emporium and purchase Ry Cooder's Mambo Sinuendo and all your cares will melt away (except for the ones about the coming war and depression and shit like that).

    And if you don't have a copy of Traveling Miles by Cassandra Wilson...well, what the hell is wrong with you? It's only been out for, like, 3 years.

    Okay. Back to our daily snark.

    posted by tbogg at 9:06 PM



    Just like the first one...but a lot worse.

    Gulf War 2 game (caution...some sound)

    Thanks to Chris for passing this along.

    posted by tbogg at 1:55 PM



    This I have got to see.

    Bush Says Address 'Will Rally' Americans

    President Bush, confronting an ailing economy and the prospect of war in Iraq, declared he will ``rally the American people to some great causes'' in Tuesday night's State of the Union address.

    Hours before the speech to Congress and a global television audience, Bush said, ``Tonight I will talk about the great challenges that face our country. I have no doubt we will be able to handle those challenges because we are a great country.''

    Bush did not mention Iraq - only his ``deep desire for peace'' at home and in the world's trouble spots. He said his address will also lay out a vision for improving health care, improving the economy and helping Americans help each other.

    ``It is a moment where I will rally the American people to some great causes and remind them that we will accomplish those causes together,'' he said after meeting with his Cabinet.

    You know. I can't remember when was the last time I heard a President (elected or unelected) tell the American people about the "great challenges" they face only to follow up by pointing out that they will be able to surmount those problems because "we're a great country".

    Oh yeah. Now I remember. It was last year.

    Well, that didn't turn out very good....

    posted by tbogg at 1:43 PM




    My favorite line of the day, courtesy of the Rittenhouse Review:


    -Tina Brown is special. Very special. God or the media has granted Brown nine lives or something, each seemingly destined to be less interesting -- and less successful -- than the last.


    I bow in the general direction of Philadelphia....

    posted by tbogg at 1:28 PM



    My ever diminishing respect.

    I would truly like to think that Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit) is basically a straight shooter. That he doesn't just post comments in his blog to fill time between classes or producing CD's by bands you will never ever hear of. But then he puts something like this up:

    DOES SADDAM HAVE NUKES? ARE THE FRENCH SPYING FOR SADDAM? Trent Telenko has info on both. I've gotten some email from military folks suggesting the latter based on the behavior of French ships and aircraft in the Persial(sic) Gulf region.

    If it's true, paybacks should be severe.

    The link takes you to this:

    A friend of mine called me up and directed me to a thread over on the FreeRepublic.com on a Fox News Channel interview with a former U.N. weapons inspector named Bill Tierney. Tierney was a former US Army Military Intelligence Chief Warrent(sic) Officer who was recruited in 1996 as a weapons inspector. He made two highly charged accusation(sic). First, the French were spying on the U.N. weapons inspection teams by providing the Iraqis lists of sites to be inspected. Second, he is convinced the Iraqis have operational nuclear weapons.

    In the interview, Tierney detailed how the French had a spy at UN HQ in NY who was caught rifling thru a desk that held the inspection site list and how a French inspector was caught passing info to the Iraq(sic). Tierney's inspection team went as far as feeding the French spy phony sites they planned on searching. (Now you know why the Iraqis accused Tierney of being a spy!)

    This article from Newsmax (really sick) excerpts the part of the Hannety(sic) and Colmes interview relating to Tierney's nuclear accusation:

    It then goes on with the Newsmax article (smirk) soon to be followed by this:

    While, as mentioned previously, Bill Tierney was accused by the Iraqis of being a spy. That wasn't what got him in trouble with the Clinton Administration. No, he was removed from the inspection teams for the "crime of proselytizing." The following is from the Tampa Tribune Online: (my emphasis).

    "The Clinton Administration." Of course....

    In my best Tennessee Law Professor voice: (ahem...cough cough...) "Indeed".

    posted by tbogg at 1:16 PM



    Bomb them now.

    Bomb them now. Seal their borders. Decimate the countryside. Destroy their infrastructure. Kill their leaders and convert them.

    It's Texas.

    Via Rubbernun, we find out that the most popular comic in the Dallas/Ft Worth area is...Family Circus.

    Readers have always participated well in the nonscientific survey. The last survey, in 2000, brought 3,362 responses via mail and e-mail. In 1999, there were 1,033 responses.

    This time, we employed Internet technology and gained 2,506 responses. Meanwhile, mail-in responses climbed to 4,030 -- a record response as well.

    Family Circus appears to be the most-read feature (71.7 percent) followed by For Better or For Worse (65.4 percent) and Hagar the Horrible (65.3 percent).

    Christ in a tube top! How does a whole state suffer blunt head trauma? Yeah, I know Dallas/Ft. Worth isn't the whole state, but, outside of Austin, do you really think it's any better in Houston or El Paso? I mean, look at what they elect for Governor...

    posted by tbogg at 12:41 PM



    Reality TV

    ...over at Sisyphus Shrugged.

    I guess I would have to say that my favorite guilty pleasure is the new series "How Weird Is That?," in which a group of bureaucrats who have never themselves fought in a war are locked in the "Decision House" and allowed to select any country in the world for America to go to war with, for reasons they must invent on the spot.

    posted by tbogg at 12:26 PM



    America will not be reassured...

    I don't think the Bob Dole impression is going to win the public over.

    posted by tbogg at 12:01 PM



    Jesus on the mainline....

    If this is part of the State of the Union, he's even stupider than I ever suspected he was:

    President Bush will assert in his State of the Union address that Saddam Hussein poses a "serious threat" to the United States, but will stop short of declaring or justifying war Tuesday night.

    That step would come later if Bush concludes that Iraq cannot be disarmed any other way, the White House said Tuesday. Much of Bush's speech will focus on domestic concerns, officials said.

    Pushing a new plank in his "faith-based initiative," Bush is asking Congress to direct drug treatment dollars to religious organizations. His plan would give addicts treatment vouchers that would allow them to seek help at any center, including those with religious approaches, two senior White House officials said.

    A country that is worried about a dry drunk with his finger on the button and an economy in a death spiral is not going to go to work happy tomorrow if his main concern is sending Noelle Bush to see Father Hernando (although a faith-based hairstylist might be an option).

    On the domestic front, Bush's voucher plan for drug treatment is sure to be controversial because many religious drug treatment programs do not employ medical approaches and do not use staff that have been licensed for this work. It would cost $200 million in the next fiscal year.

    The officials said Bush also planned to propose a significant increase in spending on research of hydrogen fuel-cell cars, part of an expansion of a program he announced in November.

    Bush's self-proclaimed "compassionate agenda" also will include money to expand mentoring programs for prisoners' children and for middle-school students from low-income families, officials said.


    Balancing domestic and international issues in the speech will be like forcing "10 pounds of stuff into a five-pound bag," said Ken Khachigian, who wrote speeches for presidents Nixon and Reagan

    Unfortunately, we know what the "stuff" is.....

    posted by tbogg at 8:27 AM



    Slanting the playing field upward.

    Tapped directs us to this article on an Affirmative Action student who was given unfair advantage.

    Back then, Yale's student body was disproportionately made up of white, upper-class students from the nation's most elite prep schools. But without a Yale legacy, even a student from the most select private high school needed excellent grades and SAT scores to get in. Like other Ivy League colleges, Yale at the time had its own criteria for "diversity." It looked for students with strong athletic abilities or special skills such as musical or theatrical talent, as well as students from different parts of the country. These non-legacy students had to meet Yale's basic academic standards, of course, though the college no doubt rejected plenty of one-dimensional students who may have had higher grades and SAT scores but lacked other qualities Yale was looking for. (At the time, however, Yale made little effort to recruit minorities. In the fall of 1964, there were only 28 African-American students out of 4,093 undergraduates.)

    Other than being a legacy, Bush had no qualities that would have gotten him into Yale. Had he been a National Merit Scholar finalist, an outstanding athlete or actor or editor of the Andover newspaper, or had he perhaps organized his fellow students to tutor underprivileged kids, we probably would know by now. In fact, he was a mediocre student -- he never made the honor roll -- and demonstrated no particularly outstanding talents to warrant being admitted to Yale. He was head cheerleader during his senior year, organized the school's stickball league and played baseball, basketball and football. But, unlike his father, who was an outstanding baseball player, W. was not a star athlete, and certainly not good enough to be recruited by Yale's coaches. Perhaps Yale was looking for students from west Texas to add some cultural and regional diversity, but, if so, why accept a kid from Midland, Texas, who had attended prep school in Massachusetts?

    posted by tbogg at 8:11 AM


    Monday, January 27, 2003


    Credit where credit is due...

    I have to give credit to Andrew Sullivan for posting the following email on his blog. Even though he makes a mild attempt to discredit it afterward, there aren't many rightwing bloggers who would post such a pointed attack on the Boy King:

    Since breezy theories are all the rage among the punditocracy these days (your slap at the "intelligentsia" is amusing, given that almost all political and media elites throw themselves at Bush's feet) try this on for size: Those who support Bush, who cram their theories to fit a man of his stature, are simply afraid to admit to any flaw in him because it will bring the whole house of cards tumbling down. So you invent a jut-jawed man of action, determined and resolute with a clear vision of world harmony. But the whispering in your head won't stop: he's a vile and craven little momma's boy, a snooty insider trader and coward who deserted his National Guard post while the great unwashed were still dying in Vietnam, and who rushed off to save his candy ass on September 11 and invented a lie about Air Force one being a target while the great unwashed were once again dying under the rubble. But you're too damned afraid to admit it. Sick of it? Too bad.

    Ouch. That's gonna leave a mark.

    Looks like Andy is still a bit peeved about the Thacker appointment.

    posted by tbogg at 10:37 PM



    Let's see....Howard, Peggy, George, Tucker, Micky, Sean, Jonah, Brit, Fred, and Michael Kelly. Yup. They're all here.

    The Warrior President had a shirt made up for his next press conference.

    posted by tbogg at 10:14 PM



    Make that a double non-fat decaf Kopi Luwak with a shot of vanilla, no foam and easy on the hairballs, thank you.

    Cat scratch de-caf.

    Possibly one of the most expensive coffees in the world - at well over $A1,000 a kilo - is only found in the droppings of a cat-like creature in Indonesia.

    The so-called Kopi Luwak is also about as rare a "delicacy" as any.

    And third-generation coffee roaster Darmawan Widjaja may be just about as rare as the coffee.

    As a child Mr Widjaja remembers his family selling the rare bean to rich Dutch officials in the 1930s, when Jakarta was still under the rule of the Netherlands.

    About 10 kg were brought every two months to the Chinese shop-house which opened in 1878 in north Jakarta.

    "It was very aromatic, incredible," Mr Widjaja recalled.

    "I don't know what happened in the stomach but it came out so tasty."

    The bean is named after the nocturnal Luwak, known in English as a civet.

    Coffee pickers are believed to comb the civet's droppings for the berries, clean them and remove the husk.

    posted by tbogg at 10:00 PM



    So much for "Hot Chick-on-Chick Days" at Mall of America

    MADISON, Wis. -- Madison police arrested two women early Saturday for allegedly engaging in sexual acts for display.

    Amy J. Williams, 23, of Michigan., and Meagan E. Kleinheinz, 22, of Madison, are both charged with lewd and lascivious behavior, police said.

    Officers were on foot patrol in the 500 block of State Street around 2:40 a.m. when they saw a large crowd in front of a storefront window, watching two females who were directly in front of the window, with the lights on, engaging in sexual acts for display, police said.

    Williams was not wearing any clothing, except for her pants, which were around her ankles, police said.

    When the officers tried to stop the show, the crowd booed and the women told police they didn't do anything wrong, according to police.

    posted by tbogg at 9:54 PM



    Bark, bark. Bark at the moon.....

    According to Media Whores Online, former journalist Wolf Blitzer is starting to question some of his own polls...when they don't skew the way he wants them to:


    Wolf Blitzer featured a poll on Monday's program:

    When it comes to Iraq, whom do you trust more: The Bush administration or the UN?

    The result:

    Bush administration: 32%

    UN: 68%

    After reading the results, Wolf introduced Lou Dobbs, whose program follows Wolf's. Lou made a point to ask, "Wolf, let me ask you a question...Do you trust that poll?"

    Wolf responded, "no," and a good laugh was had by all.

    Why did Lou Dobbs single out this poll among all others for ridicule?

    Of course ALL online polls are self-selectively bogus, and no respectable news network should feature them. But this poll happened to yield results that aren't too far off from results of a scientific poll asking essentially the same question, reported by Bill Schneider on Monday's Inside Politics:

    Bush Administration: 47%

    UN: 47%


    Schneider failed to comment that, when you exclude African-Americans, women, poor people, actuaries, Union members, bubble boys, people who still think that REO Speedwagon "totally rocks", hookers, people who actually work for a living, Hispanics, lesbians who used to work for Coors until their dad became the Vice President, albinos, and, well basically everyone who isn't a CEO of a oil company from the poll, a whopping 99%* support President Bush and war with Iraq. The guy who didn't support Bush is like gay or a communist or something.

    Ashcroft is looking into it.

    (*The bolding of 99% was made possible by a grant from the Micky Kaus Foundation)

    posted by tbogg at 9:49 PM



    Live! From under Bush's desk...

    It's Media Whore of the Year, Bob Woodward who chosen from a select group of Bush concubines (sit down Howard...not this time, Bruno...put down your steno pad, Sue) to breathlessly inform us that Bush is going to share super-duper-for-your-eyes-only-double-Top-Secret stuff about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction, including the ones that can be launched further than 12 miles.

    The Bush administration has assembled what it believes to be significant intelligence showing that Iraq has been actively moving and concealing banned weapons systems and related equipment from United Nations inspectors, according to informed sources.

    After a lengthy debate over what and how much of the intelligence to disclose, President Bush and his national security advisers have decided to declassify some of the information and make it public, perhaps as early as next week, in an effort to garner more domestic and international support for confronting Iraqi President Saddam Hussein with military force, officials said

    Seeing as how his national security advisers did such a bang up job with intelligence information prior to 9/11, this should be good. Hey, maybe this time they'll get it right.

    posted by tbogg at 9:32 PM



    The Dreaded Kaus Syndrome: stop me before I bold again.

    Micky Kaus, the pre-menopausal automotive writer for Slate finds delicious irony in the fact that Nancy Pelosi appointed Rep. Robert Matsui to head the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Why? Because, according to the Mickster, Matsui cost the Democrats control of Congress in 1994. At least that's what Mick advertises in his annoying usage of bold letters in the middle of his sentences to let you know he is saying something that is very important. At least to him. Anyway, it seems Matsui lost Congress because he bottled up welfare reform, a cause that is near and dear to Micky's heart since it kept him from hiring a maid cheap to keep his head polished. Not to mention rotating the tires on his '97 Dodge Neon that he calls the Kaus Kruiser.

    Anyway, Micky seems pretty sure about Matsui hurting the Democrats, and when a guy just yells it out like that, hey, who can dispute it?

    Not me.

    posted by tbogg at 9:12 PM



    In the grand scheme of things...

    Where do you fit in. Just type in your birthdate.

    I was 8 years old at the time President Kennedy was assassinated...and I have an alibi.

    More Monday mindless fun...

    posted by tbogg at 3:52 PM



    Today in home school Life Science we will study the beaver, with guest lecturer, Dr. Laura.

    Internet Porn Princess Dr. Laura thinks we should shut down the public schools:

    That absurd state of affairs has come about because this generation of teachers, and probably a few generations before, have themselves been raised to believe there are no right answers, anyway. So what difference does it make?

    For example, our public-school children hear that the Founding Fathers are not to be revered. They were greedy, patriarchal oppressors who were in it for the money and the power. America is not a noble experiment in freedom and equality. That was the cover story, as we stole the land from the indigenous people. America wasn't recently attacked by terrorists. America is the terrorist!

    Furthermore, there are no such things as great books, since all the books we were misguided enough to think of as great, were written by those same old white male misogynists from the evil empire of Western culture. What's just as great is any diary written by any woman, slave or Native American and recently discovered in someone's trunk. And woe to anyone who disagrees.

    Whoa! Sorry to stop your rant there, "Doc." but are you done?

    Apparently not:

    Of course, none of it matters anyway, because language itself is fatally tainted, and words don't mean anything. They only mean what my idiosyncratic point of view believes they mean. Just ask the deconstructionists.

    Those deconstructionists have been very busy, because they didn't stop with the English language. They have also pretty successfully deconstructed family, religion, values, ethics and morality as well. We all know that, if there can be no right answers, there obviously is no right and wrong. No one's behavior can be judged because the most heinous acts can be excused on the basis of what the perpetrator may have suffered at the hands of his parents, the police, the inequitable society. Yada, yada, yada.

    Dammit! If there is one think I can't stand in a kid, its a little smart-ass 8 year-old Foucaultian. And don't even get me started on those Semiotics classes right after drawing time and before song time. Next thing you know, they'll start deconstructing the essence of Self as well arriving at an understanding that calling oneself "Doctor" doesn't necessarily make one a "Doctor" in the "Medical" sense. Meanwhile, Laura rants on:

    God is dead (although the Wiccan goddess still has a fighting chance, I guess) – traditional morality is destructive; excellence is discredited and devalued; grades are antiquated. Discipline is discriminatory because there's no such thing as bad behavior, just children with "special needs."


    For a few years now, I've been urging parents to send their kids to private religious schools and/or homeschool them. I truly see no other options for raising and educating children to be morally fit, well informed, appreciative Americans and contributing members of society.

    A shortage of teachers, a kaleidoscope of standards, endemic failure, annual budget shortfalls, states taking over local school districts and guns in the classroom are unavoidable signs of public-school collapse. I think Oregon may have the right idea. They are looking to shorten the school year by 15 days. How long before it's clear to them and to us, that we should simply close them altogether?

    The unspoken advantage of homeschooling is that if the teacher dies during the class day, her students will usually find her body in less than four months.

    Class. Dismissed.

    posted by tbogg at 1:26 PM



    Welcome to the Hot Links

    Courting Disaster. Not only a great blog, but an important resource for Bush information and criticism.

    Check it out.

    posted by tbogg at 11:48 AM



    "Try tossing your hair when you speak. It lets people know you're smart and coquettish..."

    Noonan wants to give President Noun Mangler some speaking tips for his SOTU:

    Nothing is more beautiful, more elevating, more important in a speech than fact and logic. People think passionate and moving oratory is the big thing, but it isn't. The hard true presentation of facts followed by a declaration of how we must deal with those facts is the key. Without a recitation of hard data, high rhetoric seems insubstantial, vaguely disingenuous, merely dramatic. Without a logical case to support rhetoric has nothing to do. It's like icing without cake.

    Once the facts and the declaration are put forward it's fine to use eloquence if you can muster it, and ringing oratory too if it will help people to see things as you do, and help them lean toward taking the course of action you recommend.

    So to sum up: Moving oratory is what you use to underscore a point. It is not in itself the point.

    It's obvious that Noonan has forgotten the rule that insists that you "know your audience" (her audience, presumably being President SAT Verbal 566). Keeping that in mind, why mention "lofty oratory" and "facts" to the man who would "persecute" evildoers who use "new-cu-lar" weapons? Better advice is: keep it simple, stupid.

    But then we are dealing with a irrational man who wants to start a war based on an irrational hair up his butt. Witness:

    An example. I'm going to refer to a private conversation about another conversation, I hope in a good cause. Four months ago a friend who had recently met with the president on other business reported to me that in conversation the president had said that he has been having some trouble sleeping, and that when he awakes in the morning the first thing he often thinks is: I wonder if this is the day Saddam will do it.

    "Do what exactly?" I asked my friend. He told me he understood the president to be saying that he wonders if this will be the day Saddam launches a terror attack here, on American soil.

    Yeah. Saddam is suicidal.

    You know, there is only one moron in the upcoming "war", and its the one threatening to use nuclear devices.

    Meanwhile Bush continues his terrorist attack on the US economy.

    posted by tbogg at 11:30 AM



    "I find the 320 thread count sheets make a much more comfortable hood on those hot Mississippi nights..."

    According to Drudge, Dr. Cat Killer is turning to Trent Lott (R-Klan) for advice.

    For some reason this makes me happy....

    In the accompanying picture, Frist appears to demonstrating how Tom DeLay (R-Sociopath) keeps Denny Hastert (R-Sock Puppet) in line. That's got to hurt....

    posted by tbogg at 11:06 AM



    Boy is this going to piss Chuck Colson off...

    See what happens when you get the Mooks all riled up...

    4.5 million ''Girls Gone Wild'' videos sold in just the last year.

    posted by tbogg at 10:58 AM



    Remember when we thought "neo-con" meant neo-conservatives?

    Paul Robeson, Jr., son of civil rights renaissance man Paul Robeson, delivered a deliberate but passionate speech condemning the Bush administration and American apathy toward human rights to a crowd of around 60 Dartmouth students and local residents Thursday afternoon in Dartmouth Hall.

    Robeson spoke in a calm, measured fashion for over an hour and delivered a polemic message against President Bush, his administration and particularly the potential American invasion of Iraq.

    Robeson also outlined his theory that America is developing into two separate and distinct countries, one dominated by African-Americans and one controlled by the ideals of white Southern Protestants.

    I always thought that the Republicans wanted to take us back to the 50's. I just didn't know they meant the 1850's.

    posted by tbogg at 10:47 AM



    Well, Chimp-Americans were underrepresented at Yale...

    I know that everyone has probably already read Michael Kinsley's article on how Affirmative Action helped President Prehensile Tail get into Yale, but I just had to link it because I liked the illustration so much.

    If our President had the slightest sense of irony, he might have paused to ask himself, "Wait a minute. How did I get into Yale?" It wasn't because of any academic achievement: his high school record was ordinary. It wasn't because of his life experience — prosperous family, fancy prep school — which was all too familiar at Yale. It wasn't his SAT scores: 566 verbal and 640 math.

    posted by tbogg at 10:31 AM



    Looks like Supreme Court Barbie just got put on the backburner.

    Tort Reform. The current administration wants to crack down on "frivolous" lawsuits when it comes to product liability or medical malpractice. But what about frivolous lawsuits by corporations? For example:

    Toymaker Mattel lost a Supreme Court appeal Monday over a mocking pop song that called the iconic fashion doll Barbie a "blonde bimbo."

    The high court did not comment in turning down Mattel's request to reopen a trademark fight over the 1997 dance hit "Barbie Girl." Mattel claims the preteen girls who buy Barbie dolls were duped into thinking the song was an advertisement for the doll or part of Mattel's official line of Barbie products.

    A five year old trademark fight over a doll and a pop song. That must be more important than a mistaken mastectomy, don't you think?

    posted by tbogg at 10:23 AM


    Sunday, January 26, 2003


    Garofalo speaks:

    Thanks to Atrios for linking us to the transcript of Janeane Garofalo on Reliable Sources. It's funny who you have to turn to for the truth these days...

    KURTZ: Now, obviously, you open yourself up to a little bit of criticism of being a cause celeb, since you're not famous as a Middle East policy expert...

    GAROFALO: Right.

    KURTZ: But that has not deterred you.

    GAROFALO: No. You know, I don't know that I would need to be famous as a Middle East policy expert to see that unilateral imperialism is bad policy.

    But I also -- if I am uninformed, like a lot of citizens in this country are, that is the fault of the White House and the mainstream media. We don't get enough information. We don't get enough news with our news. And how can we function as a democracy without information?

    We are given disinformation and White House propaganda all the time. We have no history to our news, no context to our news, no global perspective. We don't see people outside our borders as humans. And if I am uninformed, which I'd like to think I work very hard not to be, uninformed, it is the fault of the White House and the mainstream media.

    posted by tbogg at 9:36 PM



    Wow. What an ass-kicking...

    Raider deflNation.

    Speaking on behalf of all of San Diego, thank you for visiting.

    Now leave....

    posted by tbogg at 9:29 PM


    Friday, January 24, 2003


    Reason #423: Why I love the freepers.

    Topic: Rush's advertisers being DU'd

    This would be Take Back the Media's boycott of advertisers of Rush Limbaugh's show.

    Random postings:

    I am a frequent customer of Spatula City especailly around Christmas time. They and all other sponsors will continue to get my business.
    -20 posted on 01/24/2003 11:36 AM PST by phil1750


    World of Wicker is another sponsor I will continue to support.
    -25 posted on 01/24/2003 11:39 AM PST by new cruelty


    The DUmmies are unhappy with me. LOL They don't like being called on the fact they are members of the anti-American terrorist loving Saddam Hussein fan club.
    -40 posted on 01/24/2003 12:00 PM PST by finnman69 (Bush Cheney 2004)


    I keep getting spamed by Spatula City.

    Seems there is a huge sale going on with free S&H for orders over fifty dollars.

    Those 2003 Spatulas are sweet!
    -49 posted on 01/24/2003 12:09 PM PST by battlegearboat

    posted by tbogg at 12:40 PM




    Even by Ted Ralls' normal standards.

    posted by tbogg at 12:22 PM



    He's a moron

    The latest Bushism:

    "When Iraq is liberated, you will be treated, tried, and persecuted as a war criminal."—Washington, D.C., Jan. 22, 2003

    posted by tbogg at 11:46 AM



    Leave it to BeaverBushie

    Pat Oliphant.

    posted by tbogg at 11:40 AM



    From the Washington Post


    SOME VIRGINIA Republican legislators described a final version of a proposed bill regulating abortion clinics as better than the original. Better in this case must mean more euphemistic. An original version included language that was, well, just too obvious about its authors' real intentions, with digressions about "violence against innocent human life" and "profound" psychological consequences. By the final version yesterday, the orations had been excised and the bill was boiled down to its essentials: a list of health and safety codes as thick as a Russian novel and equally complex.

    If one had never heard of the abortion debate, one might mistake the authors of this bill for people who wanted to make abortion as comfortable and efficient as possible. Sponsored by Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William), the bill would change the designation of abortion clinics from physicians' offices to outpatient surgical hospitals. This would ratchet up the standards they must follow, requiring them to have elevators wide enough for gurneys, larger hallways and doors, and showers for employees. The bill then expands on those existing requirements, adding special recliners, outpatient services, a sufficient supply of fresh hand towels, and entrances free of snow and ice at all times.

    Some of this is just standard stuff any responsible physician's office would have, but some is easily recognizable for what it really is: the latest tactic of antiabortion activists, who have managed to pass similar restrictions in 35 states and counting, forcing clinics to shut down or spend a lot of money. Virginia's bill is in fact explicitly modeled on the most restrictive, the new laws in Louisiana, Texas and South Carolina.

    As usual with abortion, it's difficult to sort out the truth in all the noise. Mr. Marshall describes the state's clinics as kin to Josef Mengele's office: "atrocious things going on, blood on the floor, fetal remains in the garbage disposal, people working there who are misusing drugs, convicted of felonies, sexually abusing the women." But state health officials say they have received no more complaints about abortion clinics than about any other physician's office. And Nancy Hofheimer, director of the state's Center for Quality Health Care Services, which oversees outpatient surgical hospitals, said it would be inappropriate to elevate the abortion clinics to hospital status, especially because the bill does not apply to any other clinics that similarly perform outpatient surgery.

    Welcome to the slippery slope....

    posted by tbogg at 11:22 AM



    "...and the brussel sprouts were kind of soggy...Hey! ...Who's that kicking down my door?"

    Alert reader Jon points us to this story about Fear and Eating in Washington DC.

    Cafeteria Complaint? Eat Your Words

    If memory serves, Richard M. Nixon was the most perturbed of presidents who would complain regularly about leaks from the bureaucracy. For many years the conventional wisdom was that nothing could be done about civil servants who wanted to express their views.

    But the Bush administration has succeeded most spectacularly, it seems, in cowing bureaucrats so that they not only reveal no secrets, but also will say nothing at all about matters of great national import.

    That's what the Federal Paper discovered after it ran a survey of the food in government cafeterias. Predictably, the weekly got a huge response. "We picked several of the comments," an editorial this week noted, "and asked permission to print them as letters to the editor on this page. Much to our surprise, several writers said they had to get clearance, and some withdrew their comments rather than go through the process."

    Now that's keeping everyone on message.

    posted by tbogg at 11:02 AM



    Back to the kitchen with you...

    Another setback for women compliments of President Vestigial Penis. Now it's Title IX.

    Colleges and universities would be allowed to limit the number of scholarships awarded to female athletes without regard to enrollment under the most controversial recommendation being considered by a national commission studying reform of Title IX, the landmark law that bans sex discrimination in collegiate sports.

    UNDER THE proposal, which is among two dozen the panel is studying, schools could devote as little as 43 percent of their athletic scholarships to women and still comply with the law — even though women comprise 55 percent of the enrollment in the nation’s four-year colleges.

    The proposals, obtained by The Washington Post, are the first indication of the Bush administration’s plans for changing Title IX, which is widely credited with increasing female participation in collegiate sports over the past three decades.

    Anyone think that the Soccer Mom's won't notice this? I guess Bush is counting on a boost from the all-important "Wrestling Moms"...see Catfight, below.

    Maybe if the universities weren't paying Bobby Bowden, Mike Krzyzewski, Bob Stoop, and Roy Williams millions of dollars to coach their respective sports, the schools would have enough money to fund wrestling, swimming, and volleyball for men. But that will never happen.

    (Added) No More Mr Nice Blog provides a good article on athletic financing.

    I also want to add a disclaimer here. I have a daughter who is an outstanding soccer player with an eye on a college scholarship in a few years. It would be safe to say that cutting back on Title IX is goring my ox. So sue me...

    posted by tbogg at 10:49 AM



    Ted Barlow: Purveyor des plaisanteries de Lightbulb

    More from Ted. My new favorite:

    ---Q: How many Howard Finemans does it take to change a lightbulb?

    ---A: His predecessor would have hosted all-night bull sessions on the intricacies of indoor lighting, But unlike Bill Clinton, Bush has little patience for the intellectual jousting of policy wonks. Comfortable in his own skin, he is sure of one thing: the lightbulb must be changed. Those who know him best predict he will address the crisis with the same quiet intensity he brings to his afternoon games of computer solitaire.

    Just over two years ago, an untested governor of Texas became president of a deeply divided America. Today, a leader of almost mythic proportions, George W. Bush is poised to lift the nation out of darkness. His journey is our journey. His story is our story. The story of all fifty-something white males with incomes over $200,000 a year.

    posted by tbogg at 10:02 AM



    There's a hullabaloo over at Hullabaloo.

    I'd point you to one specific post but Digby was working overtime last night. Lots to read today. Racism, abortion, floundering economy, war... all those things that we missed during Clinton's eight years of peace and prosperity.

    posted by tbogg at 9:56 AM



    If your thing is gone and you wanna ride on; cocaine

    Looks like Larry Kudlow is back on the blow (pdf file) again.

    The great investor class is mightily worried about all this -- and it's holding its breath, waiting for President Bush to launch a counter-offensive. Meeting with economists in the White House Cabinet Room is not what shareholders want to see. They want the new great communicator George W. Bush out selling his plan in the key heartland red states, and maybe even in some of the blue bi-coastal states.

    posted by tbogg at 9:39 AM



    Choosing to not understand

    Lawmaker proposes 'Choose Death' slogan for S.C. license tags

    One lawmaker said he has a compromise for the debate over ``Choose Life'' license plates for South Carolina - ``Choose Death'' tags.

    The law allowing the ``Choose Life'' plate was created in 2001, but Planned Parenthood and others sued, claiming the state discriminated by providing a forum for only one political viewpoint.

    The state has appealed last month's ruling by U.S. District Judge William Bertelsman, who said the slogan ``Choose Life'' on tags violated the First Amendment.

    ``My bill is simply a reaction to the abortionists,'' said State Rep. John Graham Altman. ``They're pro-choice. Well, they've got a choice - whether to buy (the tag) or not.''

    posted by tbogg at 9:20 AM



    America's revenge

    Canadians won't see hyped Super Bowl ads

    Dave Hamilton, vice-president of promotions and publicity for Global TV, said he could not confirm which Super Bowl commercials would not be seen in Canada.

    Global has the broadcast rights to the ABC-TV program, including the right to insert its own commercials which, more often than not, are the same old ads one sees during the rest of the TV week, not the so-called "new creative" content airing south of the border.

    But here is the real revenge:

    Canadians tuning into Sunday's Super Bowl telecast will see the football game. They'll also see the pre-game and halftime shows, with Shania Twain and Celine Dion among the big stars.

    Canadians. Both of them.

    Blame Canada.

    posted by tbogg at 9:16 AM



    The night of the mooks

    Chuck Colson (you know...the guy who would" walk over my grandmother to get Nixon elected") is warning us against the "mooks".

    In other words, Miller is saying that every young American male is at heart what advertisers and media experts call a "mook." A mook is a perpetual adolescent. He is preoccupied with sexual matters and cannot rise above the level of the trivial.

    As Douglas Rushkoff of New York University says, the mook is entirely "the creation of marketers." He is designed to sell to young men by appealing to an exaggerated version of their worst instincts.

    What then happens is that, in what Rushkoff calls a "feedback loop," young men imitate what they see on the screen, which in turn prompts similar images—a vicious circle, in which what people see shapes their self-understanding, as well as their behavior.

    So why are we getting all worried about the mooks right now?


    Anyone watching this year’s NFL playoffs has probably seen Miller Lite’s newest commercial. The ad features two attractive young women seated next to a fountain. They are debating what’s best about the beer: "tastes great" or "less filling"?

    Suddenly the argument degenerates into "an angry, clothes-shredding wrestling match," and the women end up in the fountain. They strip each other down to their undergarments before continuing the match in a cement trough. How degrading to these women.

    The ad then cuts to a bar where it turns out that the fight was merely a male fantasy. It was two guys’ idea of the perfect beer ad. In the network version, their dates then look at them in a way that says, "What morons!"

    ...and that is the point of the ad. (Colson neglects to point out that the cable version of the ad ends with one of the young ladies telling the other "Let's make out"). The sex is the bonus. But the road goes both ways. Apparently Colson had no problem with a previous beer ad where a somewhat dorky man is given oversized bowling shoes at a bowling alley. When a woman at an adjacent lane sees the length of the shoes, her eyes light up and we hear the sound of a horse. Then there is the current Budweiser "True" commercial where a girlfriend wears her old boyfriends t-shirt instead of one belonging to her current one because it's "huge" and she likes huge things. The ad ends with the woman commenting on her current boyfriends "cute, tiny hands". Perhaps these ads hit a little too close to home for Mr. Colson

    The fact is that sex is used to sell beer and Colson finds this suprising. You would think that someone who has been out of prison as long as he has would have settled into the culture by now.

    posted by tbogg at 9:05 AM


    Thursday, January 23, 2003


    I think they're going to bump the Jenna & Barbara "Twins" Coor's ad...

    Talk Left gives us a preview of this years Super Bowl drug ads.

    "The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) today announced the launch of two new sets of advertisements, premiering during the Super Bowl and pre-game show, designed to further educate Americans about the risks of drug use. Two of the ads aimed at teens are a response to research showing that American youth want to be provided with the facts about marijuana. A second pair of ads will follow up on the groundbreaking spots linking drugs, terror and violence that were released during last year's Super Bowl. The ads are part of the ONDCP's National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, which is designed to help America's youth reject illicit drugs."

    "This campaign is designed to show teens some of the ways that using marijuana can cripple a young person's future," said John Walters, Director of National Drug Control Policy.

    ...unless Antonin Scalia steps in and stops the vote counts.

    posted by tbogg at 6:27 PM



    The childrens crusade

    Digby has this up about Patty Murray's bin Laden (remember him?) comments:

    Now, the campaign against Patty Murray's supposedly treasonous comments about Osama bin Laden to a senior honors class in Vancouver, Washington has been similarly exposed for the cynical manipulation it was. The students feel so strongly that the story was misrepresented that they also went to the media with a correction.

    This seems to be a pattern.

    Luckily for the future of the Republic, high school students have a far greater grasp of rational argument than right wing bloggers and Republicans do. It also appears that they are better able to understand the nuances of foreign policy than is the President of the United States. (But then, they are in a high school honors class so it's probably unfair to make a comparison to the cheerleader legacy frat boy...)

    Murray has probably spoken bin Laden's name in public more in one week than President Dead or Alive has in three months.

    As for Murray, I'm sure an apology from Sean Hannity is right around the corner....right along with his acceptance to MENSA.

    posted by tbogg at 2:45 PM



    You can't say that gun lovers are lacking in personality(-ies)

    MyDaddysBlog points out that Lott isn't the first of the Second Amendment Sybil Brigade:

    When it comes to criticizing federal agents for their missteps at the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, or castigating President Clinton for his belief in gun-control laws, few are as strident or prolific as Theodore H. Fiddleman

    posted by tbogg at 11:36 AM



    Thacker's out....Fred Phelps waves hand saying "Pick me! Pick me!"

    A Christian activist chosen by the White House for a presidential AIDS (news - web sites) advisory panel is withdrawing his name under pressure after characterizing the disease as the "gay plague," along with other anti-homosexual statements.

    The administration had chosen Jerry Thacker to serve on the Presidential Advisory Commission on HIV (news - web sites) and AIDS. He was to be sworn in along with other new commission members next week by Health and Human Services (news - web sites) Secretary Tommy Thompson.

    On Thursday, however, Thacker was sending a letter signaling that he would not accept the appointment, administration officials said.

    I guess it occured to Thacker that he would be about as welcome as a Scientologist selling Amway

    posted by tbogg at 11:16 AM



    More bad news for John Lott.

    No. Mary Rosh isn't stepping out on him. But a new study contradicts Lott's previous findings.

    State laws that allow private citizens to carry concealed weapons do not reduce crime and may even increase it, according to a study released Wednesday by the Brookings Institution.

    The findings, by Stanford University law professor John Donohue, contradict an influential study by economist John R. Lott Jr., a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute who in 1997 concluded that by adopting such laws, states can substantially curb violent crime.

    posted by tbogg at 10:16 AM



    It's a dirty job...

    Looks like JWA drew the short straw:

    Charen Watch

    posted by tbogg at 10:01 AM



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