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  • Friday, January 30, 2004



    I just listened to this by her.

    This isn't phony American Idol pseudo-soul histrionics.


    posted by tbogg at 6:21 PM



    Too bad it's not catching....

    The gentlemen of the BBC have done the correct thing:

    British Broadcasting Corp. reporter Andrew Gilligan, whose story about Iraqi weapons led to a feud with the British government and a judicial inquiry, said Friday he was resigning from the BBC.

    In a statement, Gilligan apologized for mistakes in his May 2003 story.

    "My departure is at my own initiative," he said. "But the BBC collectively has been the victim of a grave injustice."

    The BBC's two top officials resigned and the corporation apologized to the government after senior judge Lord Hutton, appointed by Prime Minister Tony Blair to investigate the death of a scientist caught up in the dispute, said the BBC had been wrong when it quoted an anonymous source as saying officials had "sexed up" intelligence to justify war in Iraq.

    As of this writing George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and George Tenet are all still drawing a paycheck.

    Don't even get me started on our so-called liberal media.

    posted by tbogg at 5:54 PM



    Consistency being a hobgoblin and all that...

    Eli at Left I watched Dennis Miller on a different night and pretty much saw what I did.

    Glad to see Miller is already in reruns after four days.

    By the way, people have emailed me to point out that Miller announced on the first night that he was working without an audience in much the same way that Tom Snyder used to, which isn't too surprising since they both laugh at their own jokes. Most times, alone.

    posted by tbogg at 5:23 PM



    What once were snarks have become bombs

    Go to Google and type "America's Worst Mother".

    You know. Google never lies.....

    (Thanks to Matt for pointing it out)

    posted by tbogg at 1:28 PM



    What the fu---?

    Excuse me?

    'YOU'RE GOING to have to go on record. The Holocaust happened, right?" Peggy Noonan asks of Mel Gibson in the Reader's Digest for March.
    Gibson: "I have friends and parents of friends who have numbers on their arms. The guy who taught me Spanish was a Holocaust survivor. He worked in a concentration camp in France. Yes, of course. Atrocities happened. War is horrible. The Second World War killed tens of millions of people. Some of them were Jews in concentration camps. Many people lost their lives. In the Ukraine, several million starved to death between 1932 and 1933. During the last century, 20 million people died in the Soviet Union."
    (My emphasis).


    Mel's got some 'splainin to do.

    posted by tbogg at 11:01 AM



    Fortunately the children didn't go all Lord of the Flies while Mummy was locked outside

    Well it's Friday and that means that we turn to America's Worst Mother™ to see what's cooking with her and her children: Mowgli, Selma, Chignon, and Crinoline-Jean.

    Call Child Protective Services, Meghan has locked herself out of the house and left the children inside with the gas stove on:

    Ten minutes ago, I was conscientiously trundling bags of newspapers and glass bottles out to the sidewalk for recycling. Nine minutes ago, I was rattling a front door that had uncharacteristically locked itself behind me. Eight minutes ago, my nose and extremities began to freeze. On possibly the coldest day in Washington, ever, I am trapped outside, while inside the house there is a banana-wielding two-year old wearing a tutu. There's also a pot of beef simmering on the gas stove. I do not know which will be the more combustible, if I don't get in soon.

    Unfortunately for Meghan, feral daughter Chignon is unfamiliar with the concept of doorknobs and locks meaning Mummy has to talk her down:

    "Phone, Mummy!" I wonder what she thinks I'm doing out here.

    "I know, sweetheart," I shout soothingly. "Say, Phoebe, can you let Mummy in? Can you open the door?" Even as I say it I realize the impossibility. Not only did our doorbell fatally fry itself months ago, but also lately the knob mechanism has been sticking. Strong men have to struggle violently to get out of the house.

    "Darling, try to open the door. Just try. Okay?"

    A small hand reaches out, and with ridiculously simple "click," the front door opens. Evidently it, like Excalibur, prefers the gentle touch.

    As we can see, the house is still in horrible disrepair, probably because Meghan spends most of her time on the phone (see last week) gossiping about the neighbors, including another Mother who is scandalously 1960's modern:

    "She" is the Capable Mother, an impressive figure at our children's school who arrived last year and immediately set about massing an army of followers. In addition to trouncing other women in the giving of coffee mornings (ahem), the Capable Mother started an afterschool song-and-dance group that has the subversive feel of a cult. She distributes junk-food snacks and plays music that other parents abominate. She puts elementary-school girls in sexy stockings, and urges her charges to gasp with Bob-Fosse-esque satisfaction when they've completed a move. I am told that thong underwear plays a small role in an upcoming production.

    Gasp! Because if there is one thing parents should "abominate" more than the sultry jungle rythyms of Fosse-esque music, it's the dreaded "thong". But Meghan is on the case helping out equally flummoxed mothers who just don't know what to do with this saucy trollop of a mom who is turning their precious little darlings into common whores:

    "Listen," I say firmly, opening my invisible vial of spine-straightener. Having bottled the genie of erotic jazz dance in our previous school, I am utterly unafraid of seeming ungroovy when it comes to putting children in fishnets. The Capable Mother is what happens when good people do nothing. She is the human equivalent of Nintendo.

    "Tell your daughter the main reason mothers exist is to protect children. Tell her you wouldn't be doing your job if you paid for her to spend two hours a week under the influence of someone who makes such Dubious Moral Judgments."

    "Dubious morals ? ?" the other mother falters, "I mean, I don't like the club, but I'm not sure I'd go so far as to call ? "

    "Well, of course," I concede, spooling back a bit from my scary Day of Reckoning tone, "Then you could say, oh, it's not a nice atmosphere, or "How vulgar!" ? we both laugh ? "Or it's not 'appropriate.'"

    "Dubious moral judgments," the mother says wonderingly, her spine audibly straighter. "You know, I might try that. It does sound persuasive."

    Meghan, of course, has no fear of being labeled "ungroovy" which is only natural in someone who actually uses the term: ungroovy. On the other hand, "dubious morals'" and "vulgar" are terms that are quite "hip" and "cool" and some might even say "with it".

    Meanwhile, while Meghan gabs on the phone about "Capable Mother":

    We hang up. My sous-chef climbs up on the kitchen counter, and I lift the lid off the fragrant beef. It's one of those absurdly simple Italian concoctions that is meant to yield a succulent, melting, gorgeous hunk of mouth-feel after a lengthy bout of slow cooking. I check my watch: Only five minutes to go, better give it one last stir ?

    " - clonk," goes the wooden spoon. I prod the meat, and look incredulously at my watch. After two hours burbling quietly on the stove, my magnificent, enormous portion of "marbled" beef has turned...to stone.

    Oh, sweet irony.....

    posted by tbogg at 9:19 AM


    Thursday, January 29, 2004


    America is more closed and more secreter than anybody! USA! USA! USA!....

    Cover-up Condi is talking about balking:

    President Bush (news - web sites)'s national security adviser acknowledged on Thursday there may have been flaws in prewar intelligence about Iraq (news - web sites) but brushed aside calls for an independent investigation into the matter.

    "I think that what we have is evidence that there are differences between what we knew going in and what we found on the ground," Condoleezza Rice (news - web sites) told CBS.

    She added, "That's not surprising in a country that was as closed and secretive as Iraq, a country that was doing everything that it could to deceive the United Nations (news - web sites), to deceive the world."

    Yeah. Deceiving the world is our job. The big copycats...

    Rice said the Iraq Survey Group, which is continuing to search for weapons in Iraq, should complete its work and that the intelligence community had already launched its own investigation.

    Because we know what a bang-up job they did last time. And if they screw this one up.....ooooooo...we're gonna make 'em stay after school and write "I will not abuse the President's trust again" on the chalkboard about eighty kabillion times...

    posted by tbogg at 11:33 PM



    Is that a nightstick or are you just glad to see me?

    I can't say that this got a lot of play in the local paper:

    A San Diego policeman who sold videos of himself masturbating after removing a police uniform was wrongly dismissed from the force, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Thursday.

    An officer named in court documents only as John Roe sold the videos on the Internet vendor eBay Inc., where his hobby was discovered by his supervisor. Roe never identified himself as a San Diego police officer in his sales pitch and gave a fictitious address in northern California.

    The San Francisco-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with Roe that his dismissal by the San Diego Police Department in 2001 was unjust because his off-duty actions were protected by First Amendment rights to free speech.

    I can only imagine the uncomfortable pause when the client offered to shake his attorney's hand after the decision....

    posted by tbogg at 11:24 PM



    Hurry. Before Fat Tony Scalia stops the voting

    The Koufax Awards await your vote.

    By the way, they're a good place to find some blogs you may never have read before.

    Go ahead. Kill another hour at work. Pretend it's research......

    posted by tbogg at 10:40 PM



    Fair and balanced on Dennis Mill-----Oh, for the love of god, it sucked.

    Faced with an evening where I just wanted to watch TV I somehow ended up at the new Dennis Miller Show. Now, I've made it painfully clear that I'm not a big Miller fan. Quite frankly, he hit his peak back in the late eighties and his HBO rants were funny the first, oh, three times, but after that they just became schtick, like watching Gallagher hit a watermelon, ha ha, yeah that's real funny...again. But I thought I give him a chance to check out the new Miller. I swear, I went in giving him the benefit of the doubt. I swear.

    It was...awful. And I only watched the first ten minutes before I turned it off because I was embarassed for him.

    First, while doing his standard Weekend Update news reading routine, he rushed his jokes. Why did he rush his jokes? Possibly to fill the dead air. I don't know if he has a live audience but someone should have woken them up. All you could hear was some scattered hollow echoey laughter that honestly sounded like it was coming from the crew. It sounded like Flopsweat Night at the Village Grinnery.

    Second, the shot of him at the desk was pulled waaay back making the news video monitor behind him look like a 24" TV. Why was the shot pulled back? To get the....chimp sitting on his desk into the shot. That's right. He has a chimp, just like Sean Hannity, only this one is slightly more insightful. Oh. And there was a little buzzer knob on the desk that made the Howard Dean scream everytime the chimp hit it. No. Really. The show is that edgy.

    After a merciful commercial break, Miller was back with Newsweek journalist Michael Isikoff to discuss the Kay report and testimony. Bad idea. After Miller couldn't get Isikoff to confirm Miller's assertions about the non-existant WMD being shipped into Syria, Miller fell back into his "well, Saddam was a lunatic" defense that becomes more half-hearted with each repetition. From a humor standpoint the segment was worth it only to see the look on Isikoff's face while Miller tried to frame questions to elicit the answers that he wanted. To his credit Isikoff didn't roll his eyes or smirk, but his answers did have that calm slow-talking patient sound of a father explaining to a not-too-bright son why he shouldn't stick his tongue in the wall socket.

    That was about all I could stand.

    It would be unfair to judge the possible success of Miller's new show based on only watching ten minutes it, but I'm not going to let that stop me.

    The show is awful. Amateurish with low production quality. Not enough red meat for the type of audience that Miller attracts now. CNBC has modest expectations for the show and Miller is meeting those...so far. But unless they do something to juice up his act, I can't see the typical Fox viewer mustering up the energy to push a button on the remote.

    To put it the way that even Dennis Miller can understand: It looks like Miller's going to be out of there faster than a fat girl in a dodgeball game.

    posted by tbogg at 10:28 PM



    Things to do at NRO when you're dumb

    I did my daily stop over at The Corner to see what they were babbling about today, but it seems that they've been given the go ahead to just post emails because, well, it's easier than working, don'cha think? And being the hipsters that they are (South Park Republicans all... except for the Derb and Tim Graham) you would have thought that they would have linked to this.

    Maybe they're waiting on Mickey Kaus to post a "sophisticated exegesis" so they would know what the hell is going on.

    I did enjoy this letter that Jonah shared with us:


    I think that the letter posted at The Corner that describes Bush as the neighbor next door may be onto something.

    Please let me share a demonstrative anecdote. I was recently in my local Meijer store, which is a Wal-Mart like mega-store, and walked down the cheap art aisle and was stopped in my tracks by a painting of George W. Bush. It was at least 18x12 in size and portrayed our President on one knee, with an open Bible in his right hand, and a clear and distinct wedding ring on his left. He is wearing a shirt and tie, but has the sleeves rolled up.

    It surprised me, in that, even out here in red country, there is still plenty of cynicism about our leaders. I guess I just don't expect our generation to lionize heroes like our parents generation did.

    Or maybe this whole NEA thing is a plot to lionize W in velvet like Elvis or James Dean.....

    I find this funny in so many ways....

    posted by tbogg at 1:11 PM



    "Jonathan? Sweetie? Have you ever seen The Crying Game? ....Why? Oh, no reason...."

    We see from World O'Crap that le Skank thinks that John Kerry goes around getting all hitched and stuff to rich ladies.

    Coulter: Kerry is like some character in a Balzac novel, an adventurer twirling the end of his mustache and preying on rich women

    Now, not to be catty or anything (because that would be wrong), but if I remember correctly, it wasn't to long ago that Ann was out on the town with some hunky rich guy. Hmmmmmmm....Oh, yeah!:

    The blonde in the black micro-mini, cocktail thin, was ANN COULTER, the conservative author. When we saw her at the American Songbook gala at Lincoln Center on Monday night, we asked her about her new book. She told us it was about "liberals." The tone she brought to that one word was one you might use after months of living in a deeply carpeted apartment with a dog that cannot be house-trained. "Top secret, they're no good," Ms. Coulter said. "That's the seminal insight of the book."

    She was reluctant to give away the title, so she shared one that didn't make the cut. "My title, much more vicious and vindictive, was "Enemies List: The Coulter Collection."

    A few words about our own oeuvre to her date, JONATHAN LEDECKY, who must be an excellent audience since he said barely a word: "Have you ever read their Boldface Names?" Ms. Coulter asked. "Yeah, second page of Metro. It's always about those people who you've never heard of, who no one has ever heard of."

    Jonathan Ledecky?

    Jonathan J. Ledecky has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Company since June 1998. Mr. Ledecky is currently Vice Chairman of Lincoln Holdings LLC, which owns the Washington Capitals, the Washington Wizards and the Washington Mystics sports teams. Mr. Ledecky founded U.S. Office Products Company in October 1994 and served as its Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer from inception through November 1997 and thereafter as a director until May 1998. In February 1997, Mr. Ledecky founded Building One Services Corp., now Encompass Services Corporation, and served as its Chairman until February 2000 and Chief Executive Officer until June 1999. Mr. Ledecky is also a director of publicly traded Aztec Technology Partners, UniCapital Corporation and School Speciality.

    Boy. I bet rich- boy Ledecky never thought he had much in common with Eddie Murphy.

    Oh. And lest we forget, Ann used to date a Guccione, but she says she wasn't "arm candy"

    Coulter's columnist job coincides with increased rumblings that she plans to run for Congress. The rumors first arose in the Washington Post's Reliable Source column, which noted that Coulter -- whom Reliable Source called former Spin publisher Bob Guccione Jr.'s "one-time arm candy" -- "obviously wants to be taken more seriously" and, though "she won't say so yet, since she wants to keep working as an unaffiliated pundit," would run for Connecticut Republican Rep. Christopher Shays' seat. (Shays, who enjoys wide support from his constituents, ruffled some feathers with his recent vote against impeachment.)

    In a letter to the Post, Coulter said, "I must write to correct a few of the many egregious misstatements in your ... Reliable Source column. I am not, and have never been arm candy for Bob Guccione Jr. The Gooch was my arm candy -- my boy toy -- whom I eventually, and regretfully, had to replace with a much younger man."

    Yeah. He was a Big Hunk and she was a Chick-o-Stick ...in more ways than one.

    posted by tbogg at 9:19 AM



    Two weeks later Billy found his dream job on monster.com....

    It's good to know that, during George Bush's jobless recovery, even a poor boy from Louisiana can still find a job that pays slightly over the living wage:

    The House's top Democrat, Nancy Pelosi of California, strongly criticized a Republican lawmaker Wednesday for his consideration of a lucrative job offer from the pharmaceutical industry -- an offer that came weeks after he helped to negotiate a sweeping Medicare bill that established a prescription drug benefit for America's seniors.

    Pelosi called it "inappropriate" and an "abuse of power" for Rep. W.J. "Billy" Tauzin, R-Louisiana, to consider the offer from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturing Association (PhRMA), one of the city's most powerful lobbies, to head up the organization. The job would pay him more than $1 million a year, according to sources.

    "Seniors who are wondering why the pharmaceutical companies made out so well in this bill at their expense, need only to look at this example of abuse of power and conflict of interest," Pelosi said at a news conference.

    It's a good thing Tauzin read Wendy Gramm's book: The Private Sector Bounce- It's Not Graft If You Wait A Few Weeks.

    He's the top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee and a big recipient of Enron campaign contributions. She's on Enron's board and audit committee. Together, they are Phil and Wendy Gramm, a Washington power couple entangled like no other in Enron's fall.

    By their own accounting, the Gramms lost nearly $700,000 when the company went under. But sympathy may be hard to come by.

    Wendy Gramm is named in a suit filed by investors against Enron executives and directors. And Phil Gramm's role in reducing government oversight of energy trading, which helped Enron in its rise to power, is under the microscope as well.

    As devoted free-market economists, the Gramms have long espoused a hands-off approach to government regulation. One of their two sons, Marshall, is named after British free-market economist Alfred Marshall. President Reagan liked to call Mrs. Gramm his favorite economist.

    The Gramms' economic philosophy jibed perfectly with Enron's business interests. Sen. Gramm collected almost $100,000 in campaign contributions from Enron over the past 12 years, the second-biggest draw in Congress. And Wendy Gramm collected between $915,000 and $1.85 million from Enron in salary, attendance fees, stock options and dividends between 1993 and 2001, according to Public Citizen, a Washington watchdog group.

    Wendy Gramm took a seat on Enron's board in 1993, just five weeks after resigning as chairwoman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, where she pushed through a key regulatory exemption that benefited Enron.

    Here's more on Wendy.

    posted by tbogg at 8:49 AM


    Wednesday, January 28, 2004


    Happy smiley Virgin Ben

    His column is a yawn...but he has a new picture.

    Buh-bye Brooding Ben.

    posted by tbogg at 12:05 AM


    Tuesday, January 27, 2004


    So. What do they have to hide?

    The independent commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks announced on Tuesday that it was seeking an extension of its deadline to complete the investigation until at least July, raising the prospect of a public fight with the White House and a final report delivered in the heat of the presidential campaign.

    The White House and Republican Congressional leaders have said they see no need to extend the congressionally mandated deadline, now set for May 27, and a spokesman for Speaker J. Dennis Hastert said Tuesday that Mr. Hastert would oppose any legislation to grant the extension.

    But commission officials said there was no way to finish their work on time, a situation they attribute in part to delays by the Bush administration in turning over documents and other evidence.

    The commission said Tuesday that it had not yet received a commitment from the administration for public testimony from prominent White House officials, including Condoleezza Rice, the president's national security adviser. The panel said it was still in negotiations over the possibility of testimony from President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

    "We are telling the Congress and the president what we need to do the best possible job," said the panel's chairman, Thomas H. Kean, a Republican who was formerly governor of New Jersey, in announcing the panel's decision to seek an extension of at least two months. "Much work remains, and some hard work in finalizing our report."

    If the White House uses their button-men, Hastert and DeLay to kill the extension, the DNC needs to run commercials featuring survivors of those who died on 9/11 asking why George W. Bush doesn't want us to know what happened and what is he hiding.

    Simple. Effective. Devastating.

    posted by tbogg at 10:43 PM



    Gathering threats and the threats that they gather

    Boy. That Scott McClellan sure can stay on message, can't he. Knowing that he was going to be hammered with the Kay Report he had his talking point (he only needs one) down.

    "Gathering threat(s)"

    18 times.

    But at the end he wearied and slipped up:

    MR. McCLELLAN: Well, you're asking questions. But Saddam Hussein was a grave and gathering danger, and he has now been removed from power. The world is safer and better because of the actions that we took.

    Q Thank you.

    MR. McCLELLAN: Thank you.

    No. Thank you.

    posted by tbogg at 10:27 PM



    Now hold on there, buckaroo.....

    I wonder how many readers of WorldNet Daily (home of David Limbaugh, Rebecca Hagelin, and Les Kinsolving. Publisher of Michael Savage)) had their world spin out of control and everything got all woozy and they felt the need for a cool damp compress and a lie-down in a dark room after reading this letter (you've gotta scroll down a bit):

    I am a regular reader of WorldNetDaily, and I find most of your views consistent with my own – save in one area. That area is your attitude toward people whose sexual orientation differs from your own.

    Like the married cowboys portrayed by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal in "Brokeback Mountain," I too am married, in love with my wife, the father of three children and, with the blessing of my wife, in love with another man. Mine is a common story and it is only attitudes like yours that require most of us to remain hidden, mainly so that our children will not be ostracized.

    I admire Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal for having the courage to portray the lives of people like me. There are a lot of us – carpenters, football players, lawyers, doctors, journalists and, yes, even cowboys. We do not appear in most polls, and our numbers are unknown, even to us. You would have no idea whatsoever who we are unless we decided to tell you. And many of us despise the liberal agenda and consider ourselves conservatives.

    My children are grown now. My son is in his late twenties and is an associate partner at a large law firm; he and his girlfriend will be getting married next year. My oldest daughter, in her mid-twenties is a first year medical student. My youngest daughter, in her early twenties works in the entertainment industry.

    I count my blessings that my wife, early in our marriage, came to understand my dual love nature. Her capacity for love, more than anything, has made it possible for us to become a very happy, close family. Some of my friends have not been so lucky – they feel compelled to hide this aspect of their lives from their wives, which causes a great deal of tension. I would not want to live that way.

    By the way, I do not like the term "bisexual," which implies that one is ready to jump anyone's bones. I am, perhaps, "biamorous" – that is, capable of falling in love with a man and a woman simultaneously and capable of maintaining long-term relationships with both.

    Too tough for you? Get used to it, pardner. You ain't seen nothing yet.

    Name Withheld

    Last I heard, Joeseph Farah did not claw his eyeballs from their sockets while screaming, "This is not our demographic! This is not our demographic! la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-lal-a-la...".

    (Thanks to Sadly, No for the inadvertent link)

    posted by tbogg at 2:16 PM



    It Is As It Sucks

    It's an old story. An A-list actor with an 'interesting' background invests a great deal of personal money and time and puts their reputation on the line to bring to the screen a story they think needs to be told.

    Unfortunately...they screw it up.

    Mel Gibson reportedly put 20 to 30 million dollars into Passion: A Date with Lethal Jesus and has been out generating whatever buzz he can by ginning up fake controversies and paranoid fantasies because...

    ...his movie blows.

    That's spooky. Frank Rich made an interesting point in his New York Times column: that the audiences that have been selected to see this film before the release are all very conservative Christians like the Senate Republican Conference, the White House Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives, and Rush Limbaugh -- but it hasn't been shown to critics or Bible scholars or Jewish groups. Do you think Mel knows he has something to worry about, here?

    I just don't think it's very well done. I think if someone wants to get into some interesting cinematic treatments, they should go see "The Gospel According to St. Matthew" by Pasolini. Or even the old Hollywood blockbusters. ["The Passion"] reflects a very morbid kind of theology. If the idea is to just provoke, it may do that. I thought it was a lot of dull, unless you like watching protracted torture scenes.

    So you didn't feel like it was going to be a tool of great conversion or anything.

    No, not at all. It's 100 percent Hollywood trash. There's so many stories that can illumine the meaning of suffering and redemption and forgiveness, and renewal of life, and they're not all in the Bible.

    This is Gibson's Battlefield Earth.

    posted by tbogg at 12:47 PM



    As a spokeswoman for Trudi's Plus Size Emporium for the Big and Manly.....

    It's nice to see that the marvelously androgynous Karen Hughes is back in the fold again:

    Mike George, from Washington, DC writes:
    Where are the WMD?

    Karen Hughes

    I think the only answer is that we are trying to find out. The evidence on which we acted was based on 15 years of information and analysis from the intelligence community, gathered during both Democratic and Republican administrations. I saw a recent interview with a senior career CIA employee, who said the information we were given did not suddenly change -- and had been consistently the information given American presidents and the Congress for 15 years.

    It was based on the best information and analysis available. In his report, Inspector David Kay found-- and I quote -- evidence of "ongoing weapons of mass destruction activities" and Iraqi deception -- although the media frequently ignores that -- I notice it wasn't mentioned in several newspaper stories this morning. Those "ongoing weapons of mass destruction activities" would be ongoing to this day had we not acted.

    We are continuing to seek all the facts, and the President will share them with the American people as we learn them.

    Now go play with your XBox while Karl and I work on our plans to blow smoke up America's ass...again.

    posted by tbogg at 11:54 AM



    Prayers, good vibes, best wishes... whatever you've got, send it.

    Steve Gilliard is pretty darn sick. You should be thinking about him today.

    posted by tbogg at 11:32 AM



    You f----d up, you trusted us!

    Mickey Kaus thinks that John Kerry isn't suited to be President because the guy who is President lied to Kerry and Kerry believed him so Kerry is out and the guy who lied should probably stay in office.

    In case you have missed it, Kerry explains his vote this way:

    I voted to give the authority to the president to use force under a set of promises by the president as to how he would do it: build a legitimate international coalition, exhaust the remedies of the United Nations, and go to war as a last resort. He broke every single one of those promises.

    And that's why I'm the best candidate to run against him and beat him, because I knew we had to hold Saddam Hussein accountable but I knew how to do it the right way. President Bush did it the wrong way.

    Never mind what it says about Kerry's judgment that he trusted the vague promises made by a president he now claims is so unfit for office. (You'd think before such a momentous decision Kerry would have met with Bush in private, to obtain the assurances Bonesman-to-Bonesman--or maybe even gotten them in writing.)

    Never loan Mickey any money....

    posted by tbogg at 11:19 AM



    Let's not forget the herpes.....

    AP is covering Neil Bush and doing it badly.

    Rex John, who has known Neil Bush since his Denver days, said he has never known Neil Bush to use his family connections to obtain business opportunities.

    "I'm sure it has opened many doors for him, but it wasn't Neil out there trying to get them open," John said. "Neil would never do anything like that. That's not his style."

    Oh really?

    Neil Bush, most famous for the scandal surrounding the corrupt practices of Colorado's Silverado Savings & Loan, where he served as a director during the 1980s, also picked plums from Persian Gulf orchards. In 1993, after his father left the White House, Neil went to Kuwait with his parents, brother Marvin and former Secretary of State James A. Baker III. When his father left, Neil stayed to lobby for business contracts, and after returning home evolved a set of lucrative relationships with Syrian-American businessman Jamal Daniel. One of their ventures, Ignite!, an educational software company, also included representatives of at least three ruling Persian Gulf families.

    AP also states:

    It is not the first time Neil Bush has caused his family some trouble. At the end of his father's presidency, Neil was among a group of defendants who agreed to pay $49.5 million to settle a negligence lawsuit over the $1 billion collapse of the savings and loan he directed in Colorado.

    Bush denied wrongdoing and was not charged in the grand jury investigation, but the U.S. Office of Thrift Supervision found Bush's conduct "involved significant conflicts of interest and constituted multiple breaches" of his fiduciary duties.

    Oh really?

    In 1990, Bush paid a $50,000 fine and was banned from banking activities for his role in taking down Silverado, which actually cost taxpayers $1.3 billion. A Resolution Trust Corporation Suit against Bush and other officers of Silverado was settled in 1991 for $26.5 million. And the fine wasn't exactly paid by Neil Bush. A Republican fundraiser set up a fund to help defer costs Neil incurred in his S&L dealings. Friends and relatives contributed -- but not then-President and Barbara Bush, which would have been unseemly. Since then, the Bush political combine has done such a remarkable job keeping Neil in the background that what seemed like a 10-year news blackout didn't end until mid-February, when the Austin Business Journal reported that Bush "quietly is heading a local start-up that's raising at least $10 million in second-round funding." According to the business newsweekly, Bush has already raised $7.1 million from 53 investors underwriting Ignite! Inc., an educational software company. After being banned from banking and all but airbrushed out of the family portrait -- or at least the family news profile -- Neil Bush is back.

    Bush wasn't just an average S&L exec drawing a big salary and recklessly pushing a federally insured institution beyond its lending limits. As a director of a failing thrift in Denver, Bush voted to approve $100 million in what were ultimately bad loans to two of his business partners. And in voting for the loans, he failed to inform fellow board members at Silverado Savings & Loan that the loan applicants were his business partners. Federal banking regulators later followed the trail of defaulted loans to Neil Bush oil ventures, in particular JNB International, an oil and gas exploration company awarded drilling concessions in Argentina -- despite its complete lack of experience in international oil and gas drilling. It probably helped that the Bush family had cultivated close ties with the fabulously corrupt Carlos Menem, former president of Argentina.

    When JNB's rights and obligations were assumed by other investors, Neil tried to persuade another American oil and gas exploration company, Plains Resources, to invest in Argentina. Plains wasn't buying. But it was hiring, and picked up Neil as a consultant for its Argentine market -- because, as Plains executive Carlos Garibaldi told The New York Times' Jeff Gerth in 1992, Neil had "traveled [in Argentina] and played tennis with President Menem." Plains President J. Patrick Collins told Gerth at the time that Neil Bush "bent over backwards not to trade on his name."

    That claim was hard to make in 1993, when Neil, Marvin, James Baker III, John Sununu, and Thomas Kelly (who had served as director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Gulf War) joined President Bush on a trip to Kuwait. Three months out of office, the elder Bush was traveling on a Kuwait Airlines flight to accept an honorary degree from the country's university and its highest honor from its leader: Emir Sheikh Jabir al-Ahmad al-Sabah. The rest of the Bush entourage was following along to exploit the market in a country that considered the ex-president its savior. Former Secretary of State Baker was doing deals for Enron (the Houston-based energy-related company and contributor to Bush the Elder and later a $525,000 donor to George W. Bush's two gubernatorial races in Texas). Marvin was representing U.S. defense firms selling electronic fences to the Kuwaiti Defense Ministry. And Neil was selling anti-pollution equipment to Kuwaiti oil contractors.

    There is "no conflict of interest. ... We're just capitalizing on whatever good feelings exist," an executive from the company Neil Bush represented later told Seymour Hersh, who laid out the embarrassing story on the pages of The New Yorker in September 1993. Neil, according to Hersh, later returned to Kuwait and set up shop in the International Hotel in Kuwait City, where he tried to secure a management contract with Kuwait's Ministry of Electricity and Water. Neil's deal included foreign and Kuwaiti members of the Enron consortium, and would have had the Kuwaiti government paying a management fee to a Kuwaiti company that was owned in part by a private company set up in the Caribbean or some other tax haven. "The offshore firm would have various owners, in Europe and elsewhere, one of which would be a company in which Neil Bush had an interest," The New Yorker reported. The scheme was ingenious, a financial analyst told Hersh."If you looked at one of the contracts, how in the hell would you know that Bush was in it?" The whole deal was as unsavory and unpardonable as a round of golf with Hillary Clinton sibling Huey Rodham.

    Nice to see that AP did their homework...they just failed to turn it in. I give them a C-.

    Next time, show work.

    posted by tbogg at 10:05 AM



    Dennis Miller watch...or 'not watch' as the case may be with most of America

    Dennis Miller (scruffy beard, high-pitched annoying laugh, Republican lamprey. Yeah that guy) had Arnold Schwartzengroper on, I guess, and Wonkette watched it so that you didn't have to, not that you were going to because it was on at the same time as that re-run of Everybody Loves Raymond where Raymond makes fun of his brother for being stupid and Peter Boyle is mean to Doris Roberts.

    Anyway, it looks like Miller was as predictable as Raymond, as in: neither one of them is funny, so the whole night wasn't a total loss.

    Oh. And Arnold broke the law too.

    I don't think Dennis mentioned it though.

    posted by tbogg at 9:08 AM



    Cuz the dolphins tell me so....

    Peggy Noonan says that Wesley Clark is a:

    first class strange-o

    That he is:

    arrogant and opportunistic


    a man who has no real beliefs save one: Wes Clark should be president

    temperamental and unpredictable and strange

    ...and then adds;

    We can't afford flip-outs, or people who are too obviously creepy.

    Along the way she lies:

    He is passionately for the war until he announces for the Democratic nomination facing an antiwar base, at which point he becomes passionately antiwar. He thanks God that George Bush and his aides are in the White House, then he says they're the worst leaders ever. Anyone can change his mind; but this is not a change, it's a swerve, and without a convincing rationale.

    and shows that she doesn't get out much:

    It is not terrible that he was introduced the other day in New Hampshire by a bilious activist, Michael Moore, who called the president a "deserter." Gen. Clark didn't address the charge when he took the stage. He could have been distracted, and it certainly would have been ungracious to say, "Thanks for that introduction, which I must disavow because it suggests a grassy knoll extremism with which I cannot associate myself." But in the days afterward Gen. Clark was repeatedly questioned about Mr. Moore's charge. He dug the hole deeper by leaving open the possibility that it was true.

    Even though it is true.

    Which is probably why Republican Peggy starts this whole mess with:

    Let me assert something that I cannot prove with a poll but that is based on serious conversations the past few months with Republicans and also normal people

    I think she made her case.

    posted by tbogg at 8:49 AM


    Monday, January 26, 2004


    When you ask if women can have it 'all', well, please define 'all'. Because I came in here thinking 'all' meant, you know, stuff you actually wanted to have...

    Naturally after obtaining that picture of America's Worst Mom™ (see below) I had to go check out the source, which is something called America's Future Foundation which is some kind of foundation for the socially awkward where they try to make them feel like society isn't sniggering behind their backs, and if they are, well they're actually laughing with them and not at them. Oh hell, here's how they put it:

    America's Future Foundation is an innovative and growing organization that identifies and develops talented young people who will play important roles in the movement for freedom and in American society. Our entire mission is focused on helping these bright liberty-minded people in their mid-20s and 30s build their social networks and become better at what they do so that they can move up to leadership positions quickly -- whether they work in journalism, policy, business, academia, or the arts.

    AFF employs an operating strategy of self-development where participants have an opportunity to help plan and implement our programs directly. At any given time we work closely with our most active and capable members to do everything from preparing events to editing and laying out our magazine. AFF cuts the teeth and harnesses the talent of these likeminded young stars through the following core programs...

    Basically it's a Rotary Club for the kind of young people that society has decided must really really remain abstinent for obvious reasons so why not give them a place to hang out so they don't bother attractive desirable people in their 20's and 30's who just want to have a good time and don't want to talk about the dirty parts in Atlas Shrugged.

    Among the topics covered at AFF Round Tables are:

    Women Can Have It All unless, of course, by 'all' they mean guys who weren't dressed by their moms who are waiting outside in the car with the heater going and a thermos of hot chocolate, in which case a gift certificate to Good Vibrations would be greatly appreciated.

    What the Heck Is A NeoCon and do they get some kind of card that lets them buy hair gel by the gallon really cheap?

    Same Sex Marriage but not us. Nope... we're straight. Just looking for babes. That's what we're doing. Yup. We're here to score...with babes, of course.

    Euthanasia. Guess which one?

    and Cloning, which may not be for everyone, if you know what I mean....

    All in all, it looks like good clean fun, phallic imagery notwithstanding...

    posted by tbogg at 10:41 PM



    If we lower this bar any further, we're going to need a backhoe...

    It was with some amusement today that I read this via a link at World O'Crap:

    But I feel we must include in the line-up Washington DC’s resident brainy blonde mom, Danielle Crittenden, columnist author of Amanda Bright @ Home and Things Our Mothers Didn’t Tell Us; my lovely friend Meghan Cox Gurdon (another brainy blonde) who has parlayed her experience as a national radio reporter and feature writer into a popular home-life column for the National Review Online..

    Meghan Cox Gurdon? "Lovely" and "a brainy blonde"? Have I misjudged her? Could she be some kind of Hot Hausfrau who looks like this?


    (Thanks to Megan for the picture...I think)

    posted by tbogg at 9:59 PM



    First of all, it needs to delete all parishilton.mov files....

    NASA's Mars off-roader Spirit is having problems doing its job sending back important pictures of rocks, stones, pebbles, dirt, dust.....

    NASA’s Opportunity rover sent back a sweeping color view of its surreal surroundings on Mars, and engineers said Monday that Spirit, its ailing twin, may have suffered computer problems because it was trying to keep track of too many files.

    As part of a weeks-long process to nurse the Spirit rover back to health, engineers will tell it to delete hundreds of files that accumulated during the spacecraft's seven-month, 300-million-mile cruise to the Red Planet, mission manager Jennifer Trosper told journalists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

    No sign of alien life yet. At least on Mars.

    posted by tbogg at 12:59 PM



    No end to the good news...

    This ought to piss some people off.

    posted by tbogg at 12:40 PM



    AWOL, Deserter. Deserter, AWOL. Let's just admit he skipped...

    David at Orcinus has done a terrific job of pulling together all of the threads of the George Bush's lost year of military service as well as links to some laughably beside-the-point defenses of Lt. Chicken Run. Since I'm still the midst of American Dynasty, I thought I would add Kevin Phillip's two cents:

    The second intriguing discovery, brought to light in 2000, was that George W. had interrupted the fulfillment of his Air National Guard obligations for almost a year, beginning in May 1972. One reason, journalists suggested, might have been to avoid taking a required air force physical examination that was subject to random drug testing. Senior officers seem to have covered for him; he was not discharged or drafted, as he might have been. Questions have been raised about Bush aides allegedly tampering with the air force files. The substance of the events is not in doubt.

    Neither episode proved there had been any cocaine-related arrest, and the exculpatory explanation accepted by the press for George W.'s voluntary service at PULL, the Houston inner-city group, was that George H.W. Bush himself had arranged it after his eldest son had turned up one night after driving while intoxicated. Further pursuit of this issue by the major media was negligible, although pointed coverage did run in the Sunday Times of London. Among U.S. newspapers, the closest attention came in the Boston Globe of May 23, 2000:

    Still, the puzzling gap in Bush's military service is likely to heighten speculation about the conspicuous underachievement that marked the period between his 1968 graduation from Yale University and his 1973 entry into Harvard Business School. It is speculation that Bush has helped to fuel: For example, he refused for months last year to say whether he had ever used illegal drugs. Subsequently, however, Bush amended his stance, saying that he had not done so since 1974.

    From a broader evidentiary standpoint, cocaine usage was no longer the issue. Had a cover-up been proved--a disposal or tampering with records akin to he cover-ups for which Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton were pursued-- it might have scuttled any plausibility of a Bush-led moral restoration. Clinton and Bush would have become fellow scamps, not dragon and putative Saint George. The extended adolescence of a dauphin or Prince of Wales is benignly tolerated; the politics of moral supremacy requires a stricter standard.

    posted by tbogg at 11:54 AM



    It is as it was...when Boogaloo Shrimp walked the Earth

    Good to see that Pope is staying on top of popular culture:

    In an unusual spectacle at the Vatican, Pope John Paul II presided Sunday over a performance of break-dancers who leaped, flipped and spun their bodies to beats from a tinny boom box.

    The 83-year-old pontiff seemed to approve, waving his hand after each dancer completed a move, then applauding for the entire group. He watched the performance from a raised throne.

    "For this creative hard work I bless you from my heart," he said.

    During the show, one dancer -- part of a Polish group that helps poor and marginalized youths -- planted his head on the inlaid marble floor of the Vatican hall and spun to loud applause from his group and from Vatican officials. Another performer flung his body around in a series of spins and handstands.

    "Artistic talent is a gift from God and whoever discovers it in himself has a certain obligation: to know that he cannot waste this talent, but must develop it," John Paul said.

    You'll notice that he didn't talk like that after he saw Mel Gibson's Pop 'n' Lock Jesus: Electric Messiah, now did he?

    posted by tbogg at 10:32 AM


    Sunday, January 25, 2004


    Writing one more book than George Bush has read

    We see that Bill Clinton, the last elected President of the Former United States, is struggling to finish his book:

    With the clock ticking, Clinton is buckling down. Although he is still traveling (this week to the World Economic Forum in Davos), aides are "trying to keep him under house arrest," says one source. He even has "book time" built into his schedule as if it were a meeting or a speech.

    But it's still going slowly. In addition to putting pen to yellow pad (he does not use a computer) and relying on the 85 audiotapes he recorded while in office, the former president tapes conversations with his former speechwriter Ted Widmer several times a month. A former aide familiar with the system explains that Clinton likes to "talk out ideas first," and Widmer is his sounding board. Sometimes specific topics are covered; other times Clinton prefers Widmer to ask him questions. Once the inexhaustible Clinton starts, says the aide, "the floodgates open."

    One person familiar with the draft describes the book as "really long and searching," an attempt to "pull all the pieces of his life together." It's hard for him to decide what to leave out. And it's also difficult for Clinton to "make final judgments and come to terms with things," says a friend. The writing has been taxing both "physically and psychologically," says another. The book runs from his birth to the present, and will likely include his own account of the Lewinsky scandal. Clinton "sees the book as a big part of his legacy," says an associate.

    Although Clinton is still writing, plans are being made for a rollout that will trump that of Hillary Clinton's when "Living History" debuted last year. There will be appearances on morning shows and primetime specials. Although he won't elaborate, lawyer Bob Barnett teases that "in some ways [the rollout] will be unique." Clinton won't avoid weighing in on the presidential contest; according to a source, "there will be enough in there" to keep interviewers occupied with the book, so Clinton will "kind of balance it" with answering the inevitable questions about the race. The book is still untitled. Someone close to Clinton says, "With a person like him, titles don't matter."

    Might I suggest titling it, in keeping with this evening's French theme:

    Après Moi, Le Dolt

    posted by tbogg at 10:36 PM



    Must be why she lets her kids pee on the Proust

    Meghan Cox Gurdon wants to be part of KJL's He-Woman French Haters Club. First K-Lo writes:

    Kerry just practiced his French during the after-rally greet and meet.
    Posted at 07:59 PM

    Gasp! or should that be: le gasp!

    Then Gurdon, who is desperate for any kind of relationship with an adult in an attempt to escape the soul-deadening life she has made for herself by squeezing out Anemone, Claire-Bob, Polyamory, and Ramses in little over six years (causing her obstetrician to suggest a velcro episiotomy) writes to K-Lo:

    Meghan Gurdon caught more of Kerry's French moment than I did. She e-mails: ""J'espere" he said, to his froggy well-wishers, who evidently called him M. le President, though it was hard to hear through the roars of enthusiasm."
    Posted at 08:08 PM

    Because, my God!, we can't have a President who speaks more than one language, or in the case of the current President, slightly more than half of a language. And to speak french, no less....

    Later K-Lo wrote back to Meghan to point out that she just discovered that the french don't have a word for 'fellatio', causing Meghan to ask what fellatio is...which would explain all those kids and the reason that Meghan's husband never comes home...

    posted by tbogg at 10:05 PM



    Whatever happened to good old-fashioned books about dysfunctional American families headed by strong sensible women who spend every afternoon at 3 watching Oprah?

    I'm not really a literary snob in the mold of Meghan Gurdon where I ponder an ancient weather-beaten copy of De Laclos that once belonged to a swashbuckling great-uncle who fought in the Boer War and later died in a drinking contest with Hemingway, but not before he invented the drink coaster and bikini waxing, but I would have thought that Oprah would have learned her lesson with The Corrections.

    I'm all for people reading One Hundred Years of Solitude, but... well, expect to find thousands of copies of the Oprah edition at your neighborhood used bookstore in the coming months.

    Only the first seventy pages will be 'used'.

    (Disclaimer: One Hundred Years of Solitude is my second favorite novel, surpassed only by The Origin of the Brunists)

    posted by tbogg at 8:19 PM



    Case in point

    Over a week ago I mentioned that George Bush (that would be the unelectable one, not the one we fired) made a pitstop in Atlanta to fulfill every Republican's dream and piss on lay a wreath at Martin Luther King Jr.'s memorial in between fundraising stops. You remember: the Fifteen Minute One Stop Photo-op .

    From Kevin Phillip's excellent American Dynasty:

    George W. Bush, by contrast, developed the use of minority imagery into a calculated routine. In 1999, as he went from million-dollar fund-raiser to million-dollar fund-raiser, his cavalcade regularly stopped for photo opportunities in black and Hispanic schools and community centers. In the words of New York Times reporter Frank Bruni, "He prayed in black churches. He went to Central High School in Little Rock, site of one of the most famous battles in the South to integrate schools. He embraced no past president as tightly as Abraham Lincoln, who put an end to slavery. The apotheosis of this trend eventually came in the Republican National Convention in late July, where the stage featured as many black performers as the Apollo Theater in a good month.' When visiting cities like Chicago, Milwaukee, or Philadelphia, in pivotal states, he would drop in at Hispanic festivals and parties, sometimes joining in singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" in Spanish, sometimes partying with a "Viva Bush" mariachi band flown in from Texas.

    Shame on those protestors for disrupting his fifteen minutes of media manipulation.

    posted by tbogg at 7:54 PM



    Just like the Golden Globes....

    ...but without the glitz and glamour and having to pretend that Tom Cruise is a good actor.

    The Koufax Awards. (scroll down..you'll find 'em)

    posted by tbogg at 7:27 PM


    Friday, January 23, 2004


    Like the sister I never had.

    Okay. I already have a sister, so she's like another sister that I never had.

    Whatever. I just really like Wonkette who, based on her graphic might be Lisa Loeb.

    posted by tbogg at 1:13 PM



    If only there was way to make that Law & Order "dunk dunk" noise

    Isn't this like the best episode of Law & Order ever:

    Prosecutors rejected a proposed deal offered by Rush Limbaugh’s attorney that would have seen the radio commentator enter a court-sponsored drug intervention program rather than face charges, according to records.

    Instead, Palm Beach County prosecutors wanted Limbaugh to plead guilty to the third-degree felony of “doctor shopping” — visiting several doctors to receive duplicate prescriptions of a controlled narcotic.

    According to records of exchanges between prosecutors and Limbaugh’s attorney, the prosecutors’ offer included three years’ probation, participation in a drug treatment program and random drug testing.

    I really hope this goes to trial. Someone over at CourtTV just got major wood.

    posted by tbogg at 9:47 AM



    Setting free the Greenspans

    Dean is proposing the Alan Greenspan should be told that his services have been appreciated but that the country is thinking about going in a new direction and thanks, here's a watch and don't let the door hit you in your flat ass on the way out.

    Well, that's not exactly what he said:

    Democratic presidential contender Howard Dean said on Friday that he thought Alan Greenspan had become too political and should be replaced as chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve.

    "I think Alan Greenspan has become too political. If he lacks the political courage to criticize the deficits, if he was foolish enough -- and he's not a foolish man -- to support the outrageous tax cuts that George Bush put through, then he has become too political and we need a new chairman of the Federal Reserve," Dean said in response to a question from an audience at a town hall meeting in Londonderry.

    He said he thought the Fed had done a "terrific job" and that it was "absolutely critical" to make sure it remained independent.

    I's sure the thought of Alan moping around the house watching Dr. Phil, and waiting for her to come home from her job each day has Andrea Mitchell cringing.

    By the way, Dean's comments have just officially become the official hot topic of this Sundays blithering pundit shows. You've been warned.

    posted by tbogg at 9:31 AM



    "Mummy? Are we pretentious or just banal?"

    When we last left America's Worst Mother™, her children, Persephone, Daisy Mae, Arugula, and Oedipus, were foraging for food and trapping feral rabbits in order to survive. The kids, while paging through a copy of Thirty Minute Rabbit Recipes pointed out that the Latin term for rabbit is cuniculus, prompting Meghan to smile inwardly and remember that night in college when she and her roommate Stephanie drank that whole bottle of peppermint schnapps and one thing led to another... and, well, let's just say there were lots of awkward silences for the next three semesters and leave it at that, okay?

    Anyway, this week finds the frequently ignored children playing with age-appropriate puzzles amid massive dangerous stacks of dusty books that really need to shelved properly to make those "nosy bitches at Child Protective Services get off Mummy's back...Jesus, do I need another drink".

    I am on the phone as Phoebe picks her way towards me through crags and buttes of novels stacked on the floor. She climbs up on to my chair, and sits behind me on another literary pile.

    Ten months ago, the movers shoved all our accumulated volumes indifferently on to shelves throughout the house. An hour ago, I conceived a fierce Howard-Dean-like desire to organize them by storm.

    Of course, there is a large divide between developing "a fierce Howard-Dean-like desire" to do something, and getting off the phone, even when one of your children is trying to get your attention:

    " -- Mummy?" Phoebe inquires behind me.

    "Just a minute, darling -- Go on," I say to my English sister-in-law, who is planning an Anglo-Canadian raid this summer on coastal Maine, where I grew up and where our family has for the last two years rented a tiny cottage.

    Phoebe taps on my head.

    "Sweetie, I'm on the phone. See? I show her the handset and return my attention to London.

    Now, for all Meghan knows Arugula could be lying at the bottom of the stairs in a pile of Toynbee and Waugh, but Meghan can't be bothered.

    Phoebe is saying something urgently: " -- And go!"

    Partly absorbed in the long-distance family logistics, partly aware of Phoebe trying to communicate, I am also thinking of the small weather-beaten, leather-bound copy of Rabelais that 15 minutes ago I actually threw out. No spine, terribly fragile, who's ever going to know what it is when they see it on a shelf, let alone read it? Still, throwing away a book. I think of Fahrenheit 451. I think of Mussolini. With a sick feeling, I retrieve the book with its falling-off front cover and discover that it belonged to my husband's grandfather, a swashbuckling Englishman who flew in the first-ever squadron of the RAF, ran off with a mistress, and died on the Italian Riviera.

    " -- Mummy!" Phoebe says desperately.

    But to no avail, as Meghan distractedly talks on the phone while making up more dramatic relations in her mind in an effort to fill her empty and unfulfilling life as a mother to four mewling demanding little yard-apes, and why, of why, couldn't she learn to insert that diaphragm correctly, like it was so hard or something? Jesus!

    Meanwhile, Arugula has started to bleed from her ears...

    I gaze at the heaps of books on the floor. What a mess. I roll my sleeves down absent-mindedly. After an hour of hither-and-yon, the room looks like India after Partition. Abandoned nonfiction books huddle worriedly on shelves that used to be full of their own kind, but which are now packed with pushy newcomer novels. Poetry collections and yellowed lit-crit paperbacks sit in small stacks, some here, some there, because I still don't know where they can be allowed to settle. Meanwhile, the dust is unbelievable, like wind whistling through an ashtray.

    "Just a minute," I say, then: "Oh heavens, the Proust!"

    A tinny trans-Atlantic laugh comes down the telephone line.

    "Sarah, I'll have to call you back, Phoebe's just -- "

    "Sorry, Mummy."

    We are then relieved that to see that Arugula is fine and that Phoebe (who also goes by Persephone or Busty McBoomboom) has merely used pages 11-14, 17,18 of In Search of Lost Time, Volume 5 : The Captive, The Fugitive for toiletpaper when she knew that it was being saved for company and the kids were supposed to be using Trollope's Sir Harry Hotspur of Humblethwaite.

    What's a mother to do?

    posted by tbogg at 9:09 AM


    Thursday, January 22, 2004


    I'm not talking about me, silly!

    Former President of Feminists for Life, Rachel MacNair writes:

    Psychologists have been aware for decades now that people have a basic need for consistency in their thinking. If they don't have it, they have "cognitive dissonance." This is a form of tension, and to relieve it people will go through all kinds of mental gymnastics. Anyone who has watched people make the case for abortion availability could provide examples.

    Like perhaps a woman who identifies herself as a "feminist", in an attempt to establish a bit of credibility, yet would deny another woman the right to make a personal decision about her own body? Those kind of gymastics?

    MacNair, who is a psychologist much like Charles Krauthammer, also lies, much like Charles Krauthammer:

    Experience shows that women are often pressured into abortions (so much for increasing their freedom to choose), and that the aftermath of an abortion can be devastating to women. Researchers have found a link between abortion and increased risk of breast cancer. There has been an upsurge rather than a decrease in child abuse. (My emphasis)

    Breast cancer from abortion? I don't think so:

    In 2002, spurred on by the Coalition, 28 members of Congress sent a letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson requesting that the National Cancer Institute (NCI) review its fact sheet on abortion and breast cancer.

    As a result, the fact sheet was pulled from the NCI website in July, and a workshop on Early Reproductive Events and Breast Cancer was held on February 24-26, 2003. After reviewing the literature, the workshop attendees, who were all experts in breast cancer research, concluded that there was no link between abortion and breast cancer.

    On March 24, the NCI posted on its website the summary report from this workshop. You can read the summary report here

    How the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer will respond to this report remains to be seen. Over the past two years, the Coalition was working to push states to require that doctors inform women that abortion may increase their breast cancer risk. Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Montana were four of the states that responded by implementing what is referred to as "Women's Right to Know/Informed Consent for Abortion" requirements. It is not yet known whether these states will amend their requirements in light of the NCI expert panels' findings.

    Should you be concerned? Yes. Not about breast cancer risk, but about the way in which anti-abortion groups are exploiting women's fear of breast cancer. These statutes and lawsuits are being pushed forward despite the fact that the research does not show a link between abortion and increased breast cancer risk. Groups such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the American Cancer Society (ACS), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the National Women's Health Network, and the National Breast Cancer Coalition support this position.

    The WHO, ACS, NCI and others agree that a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1997 should be viewed as the definitive answer to the question of whether a link between abortion and breast cancer risk exists. That study, based on information on 1.5 million women in Denmark's national abortion and breast cancer registers, concluded: "Induced abortion has no overall effect on the risk of breast cancer."

    And there has been no study establishing a link between the increase of legal abortions with a concurrent increase in reported child abuse cases. None.

    Don't they have fact checkers at NRO?

    posted by tbogg at 11:43 PM



    I Don't Like The Drugs But The Drugs Like Me: The Passion of Rush

    When Marta "Whalerider" Limbaugh holds out on Rusty, well, it shows in his commentary:

    “I believe we're born with certain behavioral traits, and women have certain ones and men have certain ones, and it was those natural human nature traits that the feminists didn't like and tried to change. They succeeded for a time and everybody was all screwed up not knowing who they were supposed to be, when, how, or with whom, and it was just a mess.”

    Yeah. Some men are whiners and have addictive personalities and have certain urges that can lead to a build-up of bodily fluids and...

    “I think the real damage the feminist movement did is with interpersonal relationships.”

    ...said the thrice-married Rush as he pondered what kind of buzz he might get off of Marta's unused birth control pills.

    posted by tbogg at 10:59 PM



    We are so very very sorry

    Tony Hendra over at TAP:

    George W. Bush cannot be, as we've screamed till we're blue in the face, the cretinous finger puppet of an incalculably cynical and malevolent cabal and a ruthless neo-Confederate, bent on creating a plutocratic ruling class at home and a rapacious corporate imperium abroad. He's one or the other. We cannot have it both ways. We see that now.

    Similarly, we can hardly denigrate Rupert Murdoch and his "gutter press" while at the same time carping that without him the right would be a marginalized mob of obscurantist paranoids kept on life support by retrograde trust-fund nut jobs. Mr. Murdoch is a great populist. Lowest-common-denominator programming is an honorable tradition in both the United States and the United Kingdom. Taking such programming to China, where he is equally solicitous of a proto superpower whose interests are frequently inimical to ours, does not mean that Mr. Murdoch is giving aid and comfort to the enemy, or that NewsCorp's money is somehow "tainted." It's despicable of us to suggest that all those hardworking journalists -- from Bill O'Reilly to William Kristol -- who take his supposedly dirty money are likewise tainted! We see that now.

    The whole thing is friggin' brilliant. Email it around.

    For you oldsters, you may remember Hendra from his work with National Lampoon.

    ...and for you young punks, he's Spinal Tap band manager Ian Faith, famous for this bit of dialogue:

    Ian: Oh there's uhh...the other thing is that the uh...the Boston gig has been cancelled.

    Nigel: What?

    Ian: Yeah. I wouldn't worry about it though, it's not a big college town.

    Bonus fun!: Deteriorata

    posted by tbogg at 9:29 PM



    Please let it be in a slow-motion Bonnie & Clyde-like hail of bullets....

    Finally. A reason to see a J-Lo movie:

    The on-again, off-again relationship between Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez is off. Again.


    She also famously dated Sean “P. Diddy” Combs — back when he was still “Puffy” — for two years before the couple broke up in February 2001.

    Now the former couple will appear on screen together again in “Jersey Girl,” due out March 19.

    Lopez plays Affleck’s wife, but she dies 12 minutes into the movie.

    posted by tbogg at 4:31 PM



    Fortunately she was tapped for Beer & A Shot as the supersecret Gin & Tonic Society was already full

    Barbara is letting down the Bush dynasty:

    YALIE Barbara Bush has broken a family tradition. Barbara, 22 and a senior, has not been "tapped" to join the exclusive and secret Skull & Bones society. "It's particularly galling for Barbara, because both her father and grandfather were members of the Skull & Bones, as was her great-grandfather, Prescott," reports the London Telegraph. "Sadly, her contribution to campus life has been lacking." As an alternative, she'll join the Yale Potato Sack Relay Team, but the Telegraph said, "it's almost considered better not to get 'tapped' for anywhere at all."

    Well, it is the Potato Sack Relay Team's gain...

    (Thanks to Nina)

    posted by tbogg at 1:53 PM



    Mr. Purdum? There's a woman named Peggy hyperventilating on the phone for you...

    Reader Michael writes in to point out that the New York Times' Todd Purdum went a little Leni Riefenstahl on the SOTU:

    Above all, in the splendor of the Capitol, Mr. Bush portrayed himself as the best defender of American interests, from tax cuts at home to terrorism abroad. And he reminded his listeners, and his Democratic rivals, that he begins this election year conspicuously atop the political equivalent of Everest, while the men who would replace him are scrambling in the foothills of the White Mountains. Mr. Bush spoke like a man who is headed to the Moon and Mars, while the Democrats are headed to Manchester, N.H.

    In fairness to Todd, the rest of his analysis doesn't read like this, but lesser words have moistened Peggy Noonan's thong in the past....

    posted by tbogg at 1:45 PM



    Mel Gibson Thinks Children Should See R-Rated Movies!!!


    Sorry. I was feeling a little Drudge-y at work today and that just spilled out.

    But here's Mel offering up a bit more hype swaddled in paranoia about his new movie which, although it's about some Jewish guy, well, Mel won't let any Jews see it.

    The controversy that has followed Mel Gibson's film about the death of Christ could be persecution or just inspired publicity, but the film-maker himself predicted "the worst is yet to come" on Wednesday at a meeting with 4,500 evangelical Christian pastors.

    A day after reports that a high Vatican official denied that Pope John Paul gave a thumbs up to his film, "The Passion of the Christ," Gibson prepared to show it to another hand-picked audience, this time the Global Pastors Network conference meeting in Orlando.

    As with past screenings, media were barred, as were Jewish groups worried that the film could incite anti-Semitism if it suggests Jewish authorities in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago were largely responsible for the crucifixion of the man Christians worship as the incarnation of God.

    On Tuesday, an aide to the pope denied media reports that the pontiff had praised the film's Biblical accuracy, saying, "The Holy Father told no one of his opinion of this film."

    Gibson did not mention the Vatican denial when he addressed the pastors. He thanked them for their prayers, but warned, somewhat ominously, "I anticipate the worst is yet to come. I hope I'm wrong. I hope I'm wrong."

    Is that a chill I feel up my spine? Is that portentous music I hear in the background?

    Nope. Someone just opened up a window and turned on a radio..

    Anyway, Mel wants the kiddies to see Jesus Christ, Superhype. Particularly kids that already speak Aramaic.:

    While Gibson thanked the pastors for their support, his publicity director, Paul Lauer, urged them to send youth groups to the R-rated flick when it opens on February 25 on 2,000 screens in the United States.

    The rating, apparently based on the graphic depiction of the crucifixion, means those under age 17 must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian.

    Lauer predicted that if the film posts good numbers on its opening weekend, "I think there'll be a lot of powerful people in Hollywood saying, 'Somebody get me a Jesus picture.' "

    Because nothing says Date Night USA! like "Jesus picture".

    Oh, and parents? Make sure you keep the kiddies through the credits for the hilarious outtakes like the scene where Jesus (Jim Caviezel) is on the cross and he says: ""My God, my God, why hast thou ---....sorry, sorry.... line please. Sorry, I'll get it this time..." and you can hear the crew crack up.

    I laughed, I cried, I stigmata-ed...

    (By the way, I really like how imdb lists Caviezel's role as: Jesus, the Christ . Because, you know, we might confuse him with Jesus, the actuary in a movie called The Passion of Christ.)

    posted by tbogg at 1:28 PM



    Eeek! A conundrum!!!

    Poor Andy. He's so dizzy, his head is spinning. Like a whilrpool, it never ends:

    WOBBLY ON BUSH? Well, I've never tried to please everyone with this blog but the torrent of abuse and mockery yesterday because of my criticisms of the SOTU caused me a little grief. According to many Republicans, I'm selling out to the "hard left." According to some Democrats, I've finally seen the light, ha, ha, ha. How about applying principles to changing events and circumstances? It says something about what has happened to the Republican party that supporting fiscal responsibility is now the position of the "hard left." And it says something about some Democrats that you either have to hate this president or love him unconditionally. Why can't a grown-up have a complicated position?


    So I'm stuck, and trying to figure things out as I go along. Hence my attempt to look at the Democratic candidates as possible presidents and subject my support for Bush to further scrutiny. Why is that such a crime? Isn't part of what's wrong with our politics that this kind of weighing of options has become so taboo?

    So, does this mean that, say a Senator who's runing for the highest office in the land (no, not Rush's job), gets a pass when they say that they voted for the War Resolution, but now says that it was a mistake and that they were lied to?

    And does this mean that a politician can have a complicated position on an issue that won't fit into a Drudge headline and Andy won't jump on it like a duck on a June bug?

    Not likely...

    posted by tbogg at 10:04 AM



    Another brick in the wall

    Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Thursday he had no intention of resigning after prosecutors announced they were considering whether to indict him in connection with a corruption case.

    "I am not about to resign. I stress -- I am not about to resign," Sharon was quoted as saying by the Yedioth Aharonoth daily. "If the question is whether recent developments are liable to bring about my resignation, the answer is no."

    Wednesday, a Tel Aviv court charged a property developer linked to the ruling Likud party with trying to bribe Sharon when he held lower government posts in the 1990s.

    Sharon should held out for a hot tub. Instead, all he got was a lousy wall.

    posted by tbogg at 9:32 AM



    More lying

    Jeebus. They just can't stop:

    Ahead of a five-day trip to Europe, Vice President Dick Cheney said Thursday that the administration has not given up on the so far fruitless search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The “jury is still out,” he said.

    “It’s going to take some additional, considerable period of time in order to look in all the cubby holes and the ammo dumps and all the places in Iraq where you might expect to find something like that,” Cheney said in an interview with National Public Radio. “It doesn’t take a large storage space to store deadly toxins, or even just the capacity to produce it.”

    Cheney also said that he’s confident that there was a relationship between al-Qaida and ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. The Bush administration, however, has said in the past that there is no evidence that Saddam was behind the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

    “I continue to believe — I think there’s overwhelming evidence that there was a connection between al-Qaida and the Iraqi government,” Cheney said. “I’m very confident that there was an established relationship there.”

    The Administration says that there is no evidence. Dick Cheney thinks there is "overwhelming" evidence.


    posted by tbogg at 9:23 AM



    The administration misled the American people

    It looks like it's Lyin' Thursday (see below). Richard Cohen reflects on the SOTU:

    But within the Bush White House lies an ugly beast that never gets acknowledged: The administration misled the American people, either purposely or out of incompetence. This is not a minor matter, because war, with all its unforeseen consequences, is not itself a minor matter -- nor is the loss of some 500 American lives. Hussein is gone, and that is all well and good, but gone too is the confidence of the American people that this administration levels with them. Bush certainly did not do that Tuesday night.

    This State of the Union address was as rhetorically flat as it was intellectually dishonest -- a political pitch designed to obscure uncomfortable facts and to solidify the conservative Republican base. Thus we got Bush's pledge to support the institution of marriage (think Britney Spears) and to ban gays from enjoying it (think Britney Spears again) and the promise to trifle with the Constitution so that love will not, as we are told, triumph.

    posted by tbogg at 9:06 AM



    Men. They lie.

    Poor Peggy Noonan. It looks like she got spun like a top/ taken to the cleaners/ sold a load of poles (choose one) about the Pope and his reaction to Lethal Jesus: 2 Fast 2 Jewish:

    My Dec. 17 column reported that Pope John Paul II had seen Mel Gibson's movie on the crucifixion of Christ, "The Passion," and had offered a judgment on it: "It is as it was." The quote came from the film's producer, Steve McEveety, who told me that it was given to him by the pope's longtime private secretary, Archbishop Stanislau Dziwisz.

    At almost the same moment my piece ran, the National Catholic Reporter ran a piece by Rome correspondent John L. Allen Jr., saying the Vatican had given a "thumbs up" to Mel Gibson's film. It quoted a senior Vatican official who spoke on condition of anonymity: "The Holy Father watched and enjoyed the film. His comment afterwards was, 'It is as it was.' "

    The next day Reuters reported in a dispatch with a Vatican dateline that it had a Vatican source who said the pope had seen the film, was "moved" by it, and afterward said, "It is as it was."

    A week later, on Dec. 24, reporter Cindy Wooden of the Catholic News Service wrote a piece saying that "a senior Vatican official close to the pope," who insisted that his name not be used, had denied that the pope said what he was quoted as saying. "The Holy Father does not comment, does not give judgments on art," Ms. Wooden quoted the official as saying. "I repeat: There was no declaration, no judgment from the pope." She quoted another Vatican official saying, "The Holy Father saw this film, but did not express any opinion on it."


    Which brings us to this week.
    On Sunday Frank Rich of the New York Times, in a column attacking the marketing of the film and those who have supported it, reported that he contacted the Italian translator in the McEveety-Dziwisz meeting. The translator backed the quote up--Archbishop Dziwisz had quoted the pope saying "It is as it was"--and added that the archbishop had also used the word "incredible" to describe the film.

    The day after Mr. Rich's piece ran, Cindy Wooden of CNS returned to the story--with a blockbuster. Archbishop Dziwisz--the man quoted as the source of the papal quote--denied that the pope had told anyone his opinion of the film. "I said clearly to McEveety . . . that the Holy Father made no declaration," he said.

    What gives?

    Okay, Peggy.

    Remember when you were in high school and that guy said that if you let him touch "them", he wouldn't tell his friends? He lied.

    Remember when you were in college and that guy told you the next morning that he would call...and then he didn't? He lied.

    Remember when that guy said he would tell you when he was going to c-, well you know.... and then he did, and he didn't? I'm sure you're aware by now: he lied.

    Remember when President Ronnie said you would always be his little girl? You aren't. He lied.

    Remember your marriage ceremony when you both said "Till death do you part"? Well, you both lied on that one.

    Remember when he said they had Weapons of Mass Destruction? Yeah, he lied, although it appears that they have "weapons of mass destruction-related program activities" but that's not the same...so it remains: he lied.

    So when a Hollywood producer that is out promoting a movie that the major studios won't touch with a ten foot cross, and he calls and tells you that the Pope gave it two thumbs and five Pope Hats up, what do you think happened?

    You get two guesses.

    posted by tbogg at 8:38 AM


    Wednesday, January 21, 2004


    I mean, it will at least take until after....when is election day again?

    Looks like we're a couple of years away from really really understanding those weapons of mass destruction-related program activities:

    It could take years before investigators are able to uncover the details of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs under Saddam Hussein, according to the House Intelligence Committee's chairman.

    "Every day is a new day for the intelligence people," said Rep. Porter Goss, R-Florida. "I would say that we are probably a couple of years away from getting through all the material and talking to all the people we need to talk to about exactly what was going on, not only with the Saddam Hussein regime but with some of the Taliban and some of the things that have been going on in North Korea, Libya, Iran and other places."


    In his State of the Union address Tuesday night to Congress and the American people, President Bush cited the Kay report as support for the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

    "Had we failed to act, [Saddam's] weapons of mass destruction programs would continue to this day," Bush said.

    Well, the activities would have continued meaning daily calisthentics, weekend yoga retreats, and that trip to Disney World for Islamofascism Day. But weapons programs....?

    Meanwhile: Good poodle! Good boy!

    posted by tbogg at 1:15 PM



    All the best pundits have Oxycontin eyes...

    When we last left I Don't Like The Drugs But The Drugs Like Me Theatre, a suddenly-sober Rush Limbaugh had discovered that the ACLU wasn't picky about who they're seen with in public, his fans didn't know about his other "medication" needs, and that while he was drying out at Rancho Stoned & Dethroned, Howard Dean had somehow become the Democratic frontrunner. Although he only has misty watercolored memories from that nothing-he-can-hang-himself-with-in-his-room period, Rush is taking the blame for Dean because he's a big guy and big guys step up to the plate when something needs to done, unless, of course the big guy has a cyst in an embarassing place, and then they just sit (gingerly) in a warm bath and eat Ding Dongs and think about how cool it would be if they had found that genie bottle from I Dream Of Jeanie and Barbara Eden were to suddenly appear in the bathroom and then she...well, you probably don't want to hear the rest because, even if it did happen in a tub, it's still pretty darn icky.

    Anyway, here's what Rush had to say yesterday, right before his Snapple colonic:

    “Here's the theory: the mainstream media never took Dean seriously, but I was making such a big to-do about him that the mainstream press finally started paying attention and had to take him out.”

    “Everyone is blaming me for Dean's loss. If I just kept quiet about Howard Dean the mainstream media wouldn't have gotten onto him. If I had just shut up and been promoting Kerry or any of these other guys, we'd be sitting tight today.”

    Wait a minute. Isn't "sitting tight" some of that street slang used by tweakers?

    posted by tbogg at 11:54 AM



    Sincerely stupid

    Margaret Cho has some fun with an emailer who just wants to get along. But then he doesn't know when to stop and all the ignorance starts spilling out and he can't stop it and omigod! someone get a muzzle...or a bucket. Sample quote:

    I pay more taxes than I would if I were black, Asian, female, etc.

    Yeah. I hate paying the White Male Tax.

    posted by tbogg at 10:45 AM



    Leave it to the pros

    The bloggers have had their say about last nights speech which, in my mind, has slowly merged into something about a steroid-pumped Ashley Pearson being involved in weapons of mass destruction-related program activities like wallet making and dodgeball but not gay marriage... at least until she turns ten or two, whichever comes first. Here's the best of what Professional TV Watcher Tom Shales had to say:

    We like a confident president, but we don't like a cocky president, and George W. Bush had too many moments of cockiness last night as he delivered his third State of the Union address to both houses of Congress and the viewing nation. Often the words of the speech were written to sound lofty, but Bush had such a big Christmas-morning grin on his face that they came out sounding like taunts -- taunts to the rest of the world or taunts to Democrats in the hall.


    Dan Rather of CBS News, who sometimes goes out of his way not to upset the Bush people -- since they are all ready to pounce on him for what they perceive (or claim to perceive) as a bias against their exalted glorious potentate -- said afterward that Bush's was "a strong speech, strongly delivered." It was one of the few times Rather sounded less than astute.

    Over on the Fox News Channel, Fred Barnes, sounding as if he had walking pneumonia, allowed as how he'd heard George W. Bush deliver many an important and eloquent speech over the years, "and this was not one of them." It takes courage to say something like that on the Fox News Channel, normally a Bush cheering section.


    And so Bush had, among others in the audience, representatives of U.S. troops plus Adnan Pachachi, president of the Iraqi Governing Council, who got that prime gallery seat right next to Laura Bush, who was looking slightly hypnotized as usual.


    One of the bigger surprises of the night was instantly evident, even as Bush made his tedious way down an aisle before delivering the speech. Though he's favored blue ties (sometimes baby blue) throughout his presidency, Bush wore a red necktie last night. Could this signify a change in terrorism alert status? Or maybe just the fact that Bush is now in full ramming mode, not merely a president but a politician again, up to his collar in the rigors of an election year?

    It was obviously the latter, and the fact that Bush appeared to be so happy, so elated, so giddily primed for another political slugfest was a little bit disheartening, and even a little bit scary.


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