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  • Friday, April 30, 2004


    Signs of the Apocalypse

    This week, a rare success visits the Gurdon household as daughter Uvula wins a library short-story contest making America's Worst Mother™ so giddy that she accidentally feeds the other children, (Spartacus, Umlaut, and Mote) cake and ice cream in the afternoon, which angers God (who has commanded only carrot sticks for after school snacks. See: Deuteronomy 3:12). God then proceeds to inflict a plague of locusts on the greater Washington DC area. Yeah, it's kind of a good news/bad news story. Meghan's. Not Uvula's. So let's get started before the rain of frogs starts, okay?

    We are freshly back from school and the children are piling into the front hall as I pick up the phone message "Beep.... This is the Georgetown Public Library calling...we will be announcing the winners of our short-story competition shortly...and ah...well, we urge you to bring Molly to the ceremony."

    You see, that "ah" tells us that Uvula has won the contest. That's called 'foreshadowing' which is easier to do in an online column than eerie music because a lot of readers don't have the speakers turned up. Anyway:

    I hang up the phone and stand there silently, adrenaline surging. There are times when we are required heroically to defy our own natures, and for me this is one of them. I am a blurter, this is potentially big news in our small world, and it will be three excruciating days until the awards, and I can't wait --

    With a sudden access of maternal maturity, I realize that it is crucial that I keep the message to myself.

    "Food...must...have...food..." says the literary genius, dropping her book bag and wilting against the wall.

    As we can see, Uvula is a good writer because at the age of nine or ten or whatever, she is already experiencing Starving Artist Syndrome™. She is also a good writer because her short story doesn't contain these gems:

    The children look at each other and their mouths drop open. Paris starts rubbing his stomach and licking his lips, like a cartoon wolf who's just discovered a straw hut filled with pigs, and flings himself at me with violent enthusiasm, "Aw, wow, yes!" he yells.


    "No more than usual," says old poker face, grinning hugely.


    We take our sundaes outside to enjoy the delicious bug-free air. Someone liberates Twitchy from his hutch, and he capers about around our ankles, lolloping now and then through a collapsible wire-and-fabric tube we got at Ikea when Paris was a baby.


    Azaleas have taken over where the dogwoods left off, pierced anti-IMF protesters stomp in and stump off, and children frisk about on lawns and fields which in a week -- or two-- or three-- will erupt, we are told, in horrible whirring clouds of shiny flying insects an inch and a half long.

    Ah, yes. The locusts (who are always proceeded by pierced anti-IMF protesters) and who bear a remarkable similarity to feminist leaders:

    Washington is bracing for a plague of cicadas. Every 17 years, a type known as "periodicals" hatch like nightmarish time capsules from their underground pods and burst out of the ground, filling the skies and grossing out the populace. Apparently it is Hitchcockian: Commuters have to bat the things away with tennis racquets while they run for their cars; everyone who can stays inside, gazing longingly at scenic decks now crawling with creepitude. According to my friend Paul, small children dare each other to eat live cicadas. According to the Washington Post, expatriate Frenchmen saute dead ones with butter, parsley, and a dash of white wine. For a month the trees are revoltingly full and vibrating, and for the rest of the summer dead bug husks crunch underfoot like the wire hangers on the Mall left by last weekend's infestation of feminists. One could hope that Kate Michelman and Gloria Steinem would erupt only once every 17 years, but alas, no.

    Which is probably a good thing since it's hard to tour the Mall while kicking aside the dried-up and empty carapaces of successful and well-known women. Anyway, to make a long story shorter than Uvula's: go to library, fierce tribal gods, cookies Seven-Up, breathless anticipation, and finally:

    And there is the librarian.

    She coughs shyly, looks around the assembly, and abruptly says, without introduction,

    "Ladies and gentlemen, the first prize winner is...."


    We are spared Meghan's victory dance where she spikes a copy of The DaVinci Code and calls all the other children "losers" and taunts their parents.

    Then the locusts come.

    As foretold by prophecy.

    You can look it up.

    posted by tbogg at 7:44 AM


    Thursday, April 29, 2004


    Say allo to my leedle fren'

    Via Southpaw, we see that a Left Coaster commentor had the line of the day about President Senor Wences' Fist appearance before the 9/11 commission.

    "Whenever Kerry publicly demands debates with George, he should be sure to insist that Cheney can't come."

    As for Bob Kerrey and Lee Hamilton bailing on the Bushcheney testimony, Kerrey said he had to leave because he got a headache from rolling his eyes for two hours, and Hamilton's right arm cramped up from making continuous jerk off motions while Bushcheney spoke....

    posted by tbogg at 11:06 PM



    Pitching for pennies

    For just pennies a day you can help Steve at www.oreilly-sucks.com stay online. Steve has run into a bit of bad luck, and could use your help.

    Tomorrow morning, buy a grande instead of a vente...and then send Steve the difference.

    Otherwise, O'Reilly wins....

    posted by tbogg at 10:52 PM



    More good news for people who love bad news*

    For Dick Cheney this must read like a good news/bad news joke:

    A pipeline that pumps petroleum from refineries in the San Francisco Bay area ruptured, gushing diesel fuel into a marsh that serves as a key nesting ground for migratory birds.

    The spill, which began Tuesday, prompted an emergency cleanup effort at Suisun Marsh, about 30 miles northeast of San Francisco. Several dead animals, mostly ducks, were found at the scene, said Coast Guard spokeswoman Clare Maranda.

    State officials estimated that 40,000 gallons of fuel spilled. Initial worst-case estimates had put the spill 1 million gallons.

    Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, the Houston firm that owns the pipeline, estimated that 500 to 1,000 barrels, containing 42 gallons of fuel each, leaked into the marsh, spokesman Jerry Engelhardt said.

    On the one hand, Cheney must be appalled at the loss of precious fuel ("Oh, the humanity!"). On the other hand, he just found another cool way to kill ducks.

    *Hat tip to Modest Mouse.

    posted by tbogg at 10:42 PM



    Death by proxy

    Shorter Andrew Sullivan:

    How can I feel safe if you guys won't kill for me?

    posted by tbogg at 10:31 PM



    No. It's the LA Times. Not the Washington Times. You know... a real newspaper...

    Hugh Hewitt, who writes a column for WorldNet Daily (which is about all you need to know about him) has some suggestions for new La Times Editorial Editor Michael Kinsley:

    First, hire Roger L. Simon as a weekly columnist. Do the same with Dennis Prager. Two Angelenos with broad folllowings, writing talent, and deep knowledge on issues that matter assure you of some familiar faces from around town and a finger on the pulse of the west.

    You need to entice Patt Morrison to add a column a week. Patt's from the land of the far left, but she can write, and she'll keep LA's hard left happy. Ink Estrich as well, as Susan is another local with zing.

    My colleague in the talk radio business, Laura Ingrahm, should be a regular as well, as there aren't many former United States Supreme Court clerks from the right with nationally syndicated radio shows on which they will almost certainly discuss their Los Angeles Times' column. Want traffic? Hire Laura.

    Keep Max Boot, the only reason I presently check your page. And grab Lileks' column from Newhouse, and perhaps even dedicate a weekly space to a guest columnist from the ranks of the bloggers. Give us Krauthammer and Will on a regular basis. If you can re-teach Mickey to write in complete sentences, bring him in as well.

    For those keeping score at home, that's Roger Simon (who's a nice guy, but basically a mystery writer), Dennis Prager (who is the rightwing's answer to Humbert Humbert), fashionista Patt Morrison (anyone else getting a Devo vibe?), Fox Commentator/Faux Democrat Susan Estrich, ignorant slut Laura Ingraham, James Lileks (make your own joke...really. It's sooo easy), dyspeptic crank psychologist Charles Krauthammer, and George "Axiomatic" Will.

    That's not an editorial page, that's an ensemble cast for a sitcom.

    posted by tbogg at 10:24 PM



    Goddammit. I'm Mickey Kaus and I don't have time to actually research anything I read in a Drudge headline before I write something!

    Black holes don't suck as badly as Mickey sucks at being a journalist:

    Let me get this straight. Gore lost the 2000 election by, like, 17 votes and he had $6 million sitting in a bank? Couldn't he have done something with that money that would have put him over the top? [Thanks to reader B.B.] ... Q: What would be fitting punishment? A: Making Gore donate the money to help elect a guy he can't stand! ... Nevermind? From knowledgeable reader M:

    Gore's $6 million was in his GELAC -- General Election Legal Compliance Fund. It's used for legal compliance only. He couldn't have used to, say, contest Ohio and Tennessee. The money was directly raised for -- and could only be spent on -- lawyer-type stuff...proving that donors exist...that type of stuff.

    Couldn't he have transferred the funds somehow--e.g. gotten the donors that gave to this fund to give to another fund that could have been used to, say, get out the vote in close states (maybe by giving the donors back their money--once it was clear it wouldn't be needed--with a 'suggestion' on where to send it instead)? ...

    Couldn't Mickey have spent five minutes looking into this before posting?

    Actually, no. So, after being called out, he changes the subject. Mickey ought to take his Slate check and send it to knowledgeable reader M.

    Then he ought to try working for a living.

    Yeah. That'll happen.

    posted by tbogg at 5:47 PM



    Defining "babe" down.....

    It goes without saying that making fun of people's looks is inherently wrong (with the exception of making fun of James Lileks' looks, in which case, it should be the National Pastime, with fantasy leagues and everything). It lowers the level of discourse, it debases both the commenter, the reader, and the object of derision, and it is not the type of behavior that a civil society should find acceptable. It is the last refuge of a shallow person who is unable to reasonably articulate a position.

    Okay. I don't believe any of that either. So let's go have some fun.

    In my mucking about in various rightwing sites I came across IMAO, a site I had never seen nor heard of until today. Along with some French jokes which always a hoot around the Slim Jim barrel, it appears that they are having a IMAO T-Shirt Babe contest.

    It's finally here! Here are twenty contestant(sic), and I think we have a good mix of young'ns and more experienced babes. I almost wish we could pick more than one, but someone has to be the IMAO T-Shirt Babe, get all the IMAO t-shirts, and, upon modeling them, one hundred dollars cash and a hundred dollar shopping spree at ThoseShirts.com. Because of the great turnout, second and third places winners will also get a t-shirt, plus I'll try to think of a little something to give all the contestants as thanks for competing.

    Now in all fairness (to me) these young and more "more experienced babes" posed for and submited their own pictures for consideration. They have voluntarily put themselves out there to be judged, and, well let's face it, you don't get much more judgemental than me. Herewith is a sampling of the fair, the formerly cute, and the "Low carb diet doesn't mean you eat the whole goddamned cow" babe. :

    First there is the Pat Buchanan "Come hither, you little gropenfurher" look.

    Then there is the "Democrats are dumb and I have a big ass" look accessorized with a sweat-band and choker.

    For those who were wondering, here is where Paula Jones' nose ended up.

    The "When I lose twenty more pounds my boyfriend is going to shoot me on the hood of his Firebird for an amateur porn site" look.

    The "Fanny pack pretty much says it all" style.

    The "No. It's not a demented look. I'm being coy. Jesus. You're so obtuse" look.

    Submitted without comment

    The "Michelle Malkin would deport me if she could" look.

    and finally, the "War is sexy...but no matter how hard I try, I'm not" look.

    I have to go now.

    My eyeballs feel dirty.

    posted by tbogg at 2:30 PM



    Some have the talent and some don't, I guess...

    Remember this?:

    Stanford colleagues, who remember provost Rice during controversies over affirmative action and minority hiring, have seen her steely side coming to the fore in the current controversy. A telling moment came last month when reporters asked her about Clarke's charge that during a briefing shortly after Bush's election he could tell by her expression that she had never heard of al Qaeda.

    Rice's reply to reporters was a deft, understated, stiletto thrust: "I find it peculiar that Dick Clarke is sitting there reading my body language. I guess that -- I didn't know he was good at that, too."


    The president said he felt the testimony "helped them understand how I think ... and how we run the White House."

    Asked about critics who claim he and the vice president wanted to testify together in order to present the same story, the president responded: "Look, if we had something to hide we wouldn't have met with them in the first place."

    "It was important for them to see our body language, how we work together," he added.

    Getting beyond the fact that body language reading has just been given it's imprimatur by the Two-Headed Committe Witness, what is up with the "how we work together" comment. He does know that this is an investigation into 9/11, and not a tryout for the US Ice Dancing pairs competition, doesn't he?

    Maybe he was confused by all the spinning he and Dick did....

    posted by tbogg at 1:44 PM




    I'm back. Just took a bit of time off to deal with life, family, and the animal that I call Puppy-Breath Satan.

    posted by tbogg at 1:28 AM



    Calls for comment by the all-powerful, all-knowing deity went unreturned...again

    This should probably be a campaign issue for people who don't have really deep thoughts:

    Rep. Jim McDermott, a Washington Democrat who criticized President Bush while visiting Baghdad, omitted the words "under God" as he led the House in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance this week.

    McDermott, of Seattle, was one of seven lawmakers who voted against a House resolution last year condemning a federal appeals court ruling that reciting the pledge in public schools is unconstitutional because of its reference to God.

    Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, accused McDermott of "embarrassing the House and disparaging the majority of Americans who share the values expressed in the pledge."

    The "disparaged" are expected to begin physical therapy and begin throwing on the sidelines within the next three weeks.

    God willing, of course....

    posted by tbogg at 1:20 AM



    0 for 32

    With just 4 more hits, he'll be at just a little under a million dollars a hit.

    This guy is already there.

    All under-rated at $2.5 million.

    (I just had to throw some baseball in here)

    posted by tbogg at 12:36 AM



    In the future, everyone will be ignorant of the world like Lileks...

    I hadn't checked in on old "F-Bomb" Lileks lately. He didn't disappoint:

    Boring stuff ahead, but there’s a treat at the end.

    Ah, Fallujah. Peaceful, verdant Fallujah. City of Gardens. City of Perfumed Alleys, the Mesopotamian Eden. One day a quiet happy burg of peace, the next a victim of American overbearance. From the Boston Globe, a lede by Thanassis Cambanis:

    U.S. warplanes fired on Iraqi insurgents Tuesday in Fallujah in strikes that shattered a fragile cease-fire negotiated over a week ago.

    Got that? We had a nice cease-fire going, and for no reason U.S. warplanes went and shattered it without provocation. I just stopped reading right there.

    In the future, I think, newspapers will become almost entirely devoted to local news and happy fluff, like me. I depend on my paper for local news, because I don’t watch TV news.

    Besides, the local paper always has those great ads from Target for shampoo at 30% off. You know, the big 64 oz. bottles. For Jim, that's like a years supply.

    posted by tbogg at 12:30 AM



    I can't think of any other reason to have sex with her....

    Whoops. The curbside flagwavers who make up the 101st Keyboarders are getting their camouflage tighty-not-so-whities in a bunch now that one of their role models is taking some flak (of course it's not the kind of flack that people who actually served might have to face):

    Leave it to the Democrats to have no shame. This is just outrageous:

    Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg on Wednesday called Vice President Dick Cheney the ``lead chickenhawk'' in an escalating war of words over the Vietnam-era military service of President Bush, Democratic rival John Kerry and the vice president.

    "We know who the chickenhawks are," the New Jersey senator said on the Senate floor. "They talk tough on national defense and military issues and cast aspersions on others, but when it was their turn to serve, they were AWOL from courage."


    So now we have Democratic leaning groups and the Chairman of the DNC saying that Cheney got his wife pregnant to avoid service, and prominent Senators are calling Cheney a 'chickenhawk' from the floor of the Senate, and re-iterating that Bush was AWOL.

    Well, Bush was AWOL. And as for Cheney knocking up Lynn to avoid the draft, I'll let you make the call.

    Although I hear she does spin one hell of a hot girl-on-girl fantasy....

    posted by tbogg at 12:08 AM


    Wednesday, April 28, 2004


    All quiet on the warblogger front...

    When it comes to this:

    American soldiers at a prison outside Baghdad have been accused of forcing Iraqi prisoners into acts of sexual humiliation and other abuses in order to make them talk, according to officials and others familiar with the charges.

    The charges, first announced by the military in March, were documented by photographs taken by guards inside the prison, but were not described in detail until some of the pictures were made public.


    In one photograph obtained by the program, naked Iraq prisoners are stacked in a human pyramid, one with a slur written on his skin in English. In another, a prisoner stands on a box, his head covered, wires attached to his body. The program said that according to the United States Army, he had been told that if he fell off the box, he would be electrocuted. Other photographs show male prisoners positioned to simulate sex with each other.

    "The pictures show Americans, men and women, in military uniforms, posing with naked Iraqi prisoners," states a transcript of the program's script, made available Wednesday night. "And in most of the pictures, the Americans are laughing, posing, pointing or giving the camera a thumbs-up."

    The CBS News program said the Army also had photographs showing a detainee with wires attached to his genitals and another showing a dog attacking an Iraqi prisoner. The program also reported that the Army's investigation of the case included a statement from an Iraqi detainee who charges that a translator hired to work at the prison raped a male juvenile prisoner.

    At the Abu Ghraib prison, where the photographs were taken, American forces have been holding hundreds of Iraqis since the American-led invasion of Iraq. The prison is infamous as a site where Saddam Hussein tortured prisoners while he was in power.

    You can go here...or here....or here and not read a thing about it.

    In fact, when it comes to atrocities against the people that we are "freeing", they're quieter than John Ashcroft having sex.

    Hearts and minds. Hearts and minds. We only want their hearts and minds.....

    posted by tbogg at 11:44 PM



    A situation that requires a choice between options that are or seem equally unfavorable or mutually exclusive.

    This is a dilemma. Should I pay $47.00 - $77.00 to see Dennis Miller when he comes to the San Diego Civic Theater in July?

    Or should I let Miller pay me $15 to sit in the audience at his TV show and laugh when the little sign comes on?

    Or maybe I should just take curtain number three that contains the colonoscopy. At least it comes with a mild sedative.

    posted by tbogg at 11:29 PM



    The NY Times Stylebook is unclear on whether "chickenshit" is a hyphenate or not....

    Shorter NY Time editorial:

    The President is a non-responsive chickenshit dumbass.

    posted by tbogg at 11:14 PM



    Mickey's my name...stalking's my game

    Is there anything more pathetic than the Kerry Obsessive Disorder™ exhibited by Mickey Kaus? No trivial detail about Kerry, no obscure comment about Kerry from Joe "Used To Be A Democrat" at Doublewide & Proud of It Blog, and no reader comment commending Mickey Hack on his dogged pursuit of Kerry is beneath his bottom-dwelling sonar. It used to be that Kaus was just a poor little rich boy from Beverly Hills who made a living off of hating people on welfare who didn't have the drive to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and be born into the Lucky Sperm Club like himself. Now he sniffs around the Kerry Estate garbage cans and pulls out Snapple bottles going, "Ooooo. Raspberry-flavored. How very French!"

    Here's Mick's latest:

    Where Kerry Slept: John Kerry didn't throw his own medals over the wall in that 1971 antiwar protest and he didn't sleep on the Mall with his Viet Vet buddies either. He snuck off and slept in a Georgetown townhouse.

    Microsoft actually pays him for stuff like this.

    The guy makes Margaret Ray look a mental-health poster child.

    At least the embarassment of having Mickey writing for Slate made Michael Kinsley leave for a better job.

    posted by tbogg at 11:01 PM


    Monday, April 26, 2004


    Some catching up to do...

    I missed this Get Your War On.

    I hope you didn't.

    posted by tbogg at 7:46 AM


    Sunday, April 25, 2004


    Well, as long as he wasn't talking about strippers...

    This must be that religious hatred coming from the left thaI hear so much about...

    Ann Coulter and Michele Malkin must be swooning...

    posted by tbogg at 11:42 PM



    "I knew the intelligence right up until the day of the war and I knew it wasn't there, the threat. "

    I was a little bit out of the loop this weekend, but not so out of it that I didn't read this Q & A with Anthony Zinni, Former Commander in chief of U.S. Central command, in the local paper. Here are some of the most important quotes:

    Do you think Saddam had any stocks of banned weapons?

    I believe there probably might have been some laying around that he wasn't aware of. They would have been obsolete, even dangerous to move around. There might have been some that were destroyed, there just wasn't proper accounting. But he wasn't even focused on that; they (the U.N. arms inspectors) were. So my belief of what was there was the possible, the potential that you had to plan for, of old stocks, artillery shells, rocket rounds. There was probably about two dozen Scuds (ballistic missiles) that were unaccounted for at the outside that could have possibly been weaponized. But as time went on, these things would have been much more difficult to move, much more difficult to upload. If he possessed those tactical weapons, these things would have had maybe marginal tactical effect on the battlefield in the short term. But certainly nothing of a great threat to the United States. So I really did not think this was a major or imminent or grave and gathering or potential threat.

    What should we have done, then, in your view?

    Continue to contain them. Containment worked. The president has said containment didn't work. I disagree. First of all, containment worked with the Soviet Union, the Cubans, the North Koreans, thus far. Containment was done at very low cost. In Centcom, in my time there when we had the dual containment policy, there were less troops on a day-to-day basis in the entire theater than than report to work at the Pentagon every day in the entire theater.


    You said all of the generals were against this war and the civilians were for it. What were the Chiefs of Staff doing? Weren't they doing the planning? How come that stuff that you're recommending wasn't done?

    Look, when I was the commander in chief of Central Command, Gen. Hugh Shelton was the chairman of the Joint Chiefs. He required all the service chiefs and all the CINCS, to read "Dereliction of Duty," written by H.R. McMaster, a young Army major now colonel. It talked about the negligence of the joint chiefs during Vietnam who all knew what was being done was wrong in many aspects. Not only the strategy and policy in Vietnam, but also the way we were fighting the war, decisions like individual rotations rather than unit rotation. And we not only were forced to read the book and told to read it, we had a meeting in Washington where he brought in young McMasters, who addressed us about that negligence. So you ask why? It's a good question. There's going to be another dereliction of duty written in the future.

    So you're suggesting the administration came in and said this is what we're going to do, shut up and do it?

    The worst-kept secret in Washington is that as soon as this administration came in there was talk about taking down Iraq from day one. It's the worst-kept secret in Washington. There were Cabinet meetings where the deputy secretary of defense and others were pushing this. And certainly after 9/11 it was even more intense.

    posted by tbogg at 11:33 PM


    Friday, April 23, 2004


    Now a polecat is a right smelly feller....

    Compliments of reader Nathan: Operation Texas-Style Success.

    Yeah. There's bad words in it...but probably nothing that James Lileks hasn't used before.

    posted by tbogg at 8:21 PM



    My son, the Towelhead

    Thank the English and/or American God it's Friday, because that means it's America's Worst Mother™ day and it's time to relive the hilarious hijinks of America's Most Disturbing Family (registered trademark applied for): Meghan, Mr. Meghan, Felspar, Belfast, Precioso, and Addendum.

    In today's unlikely episode, featuring a cameo appearance by Mr. Meghan as "the reluctant stroller-pusher", the Gurdons are off to church with son, Precioso, who has accessorized his standard English schoolboy look with a head scarf and driftwood scimitar.

    Paris is standing inside our front door, waiting for the rest of the family to come downstairs. He is dressed in shorts, polo shirt, socks, and shoes; in his belt he has tucked a curved length of driftwood. And on his head, he is wearing --

    "Oh no," I say, coming into the front hall, "Sorry, but you're not wearing that to church."

    "Why not?"

    "Well, because it's -- " My husband comes down the stairs and I appeal to him. "I'm just explaining to Paris that it's the wrong time in history for him to ? "

    "What's that on your head, Paris?" Molly interrupts from the landing.

    "He's a bedouin," says my husband, amused. "Right?"

    "What's a... whatever-you-said?"

    "Bedouin are Arabs who roam around, nomadic people."

    And roam the Gurdon's must, biffing ("biffing" being to Gurdon what "axiomatic" is to George Will) off to church. Unfortunately a rowdy gang of Little Green Football readers passes by in car, and seeing Precioso decked out like The Littlest Arab, they jump out and kick his ass. Then they high-five each other and run home to embellish the story so that they can post it in the LGF comments.

    Okay. That part didn't happen, but it would have made this week's column a lot more fun and interesting and satisfying.


    Molly drops into place beside me, who am striding along in the middle with the empty stroller. The marital arrangement is that my husband pushes strollers uphill, whereas I push them on flat or downhill portions; perhaps it is my imagination, but the route always seems to be flat or downhill. In fact it is like walking on an enormous Mobius strip that a giant is forever tipping against one's favor.

    As you can see, God (in the role of the giant) hates Meghan despite the fact that she is pious and takes her kids to church to worship Him and even though she makes her husband leave his slutty The Hill intern love poodle on Sundays to come home and make a great show of going to church for the neighbors. God is funny that way. He really is.

    As we can see from Meghan's "wrong time in history" comment, she's having a little case of the Big Bad Liberal PC Blues, but she soon gets over it when she sees some of them:

    Up ahead, Paris has unsheathed his makeshift scimitar and is jumping around making "Pfwaah!" noises as he beheads invisible baddies. Washington streets on Sunday mornings are generally pretty quiet, apart from the inevitable joggers, but today by embarrassing coincidence we cross paths with two women swathed in head-to-toe black who are coming from the vicinity of a mosque in the direction from which we have come.

    Paris biffs and pfwaah's past them, and I see them exchange a glance. They pass the rest of us without acknowledgement, but I cannot resist looking back. When I do, I see that they too are looking back, at our small swashbuckling sheik, and only the Supreme Bee knows what is passing through their chador-shrouded thoughts. I hope they are not feeling mocked; at the same time, I hope they are not thinking what I would be thinking if I happened to be strolling through Riyadh and saw a local boy in G.I. camouflage, firing off a wooden M-249, which would be, roughly, "Huzzah!"

    Because, you know, the "chador-shrouded" probably all think that way and are probably on their way to hijack a plane and crash it into the Chuckie Cheese where the Gurdon children will playing later in the day. Their God is funny that way.

    Oh. And he's probably American or English, because that's what the Bible is written in.

    You can look it up.

    posted by tbogg at 8:22 AM


    Thursday, April 22, 2004


    It does look pretty impressive on a resumé

    As you can see here, The Corner has now hired Jonah Goldberg's dog, Cosmo, as a contributor, which has not only raised the level of discourse, but now The Corner can proudly say that it has two contributors capable of licking their own dicks.

    They won't say who the other one is...but my money is on Stanley Kurtz.

    posted by tbogg at 11:43 PM



    Ahem...(raised eyebrow...knowing look)

    I'm only linking to this so that my wife will read it.

    posted by tbogg at 11:26 PM



    Fraud, corruption, cronyism. Welcome to the occupation.

    From Paul Krugman:

    Sure enough, the administration was unprepared for predictable security problems in Iraq, but moved quickly — in violation of international law — to impose its economic vision. Last month Jay Garner, the first U.S. administrator of Iraq, told the BBC that he was sacked in part because he wanted to hold quick elections. His superiors wanted to privatize Iraqi industries first — as part of a plan that, according to Mr. Garner, was drawn up in late 2001.

    Meanwhile, the administration handed out contracts without competitive bidding or even minimal oversight. It also systematically blocked proposals to have Congressional auditors oversee spending, or to impose severe penalties for fraud.

    Cronyism and corruption are major factors in Iraq's downward spiral. This week the public radio program "Marketplace" is running a series titled "The Spoils of War," which documents a level of corruption in Iraq worse than even harsh critics had suspected. The waste of money, though it may run into the billions, is arguably the least of it — though military expenses are now $4.7 billion a month. The administration, true to form, is trying to hide the need for more money until after the election; Mr. Cordesman predicts that Iraq will need "in excess of $50-70 billion a year for probably two fiscal years."

    More important, the "Marketplace" report confirms what is being widely reported: that the common view in Iraq is that members of the U.S.-appointed Governing Council are using their positions to enrich themselves, and that U.S. companies are doing the same. President Bush's idealistic language may be persuasive to Americans, but many Iraqis see U.S. forces as there to back a corrupt regime, not democracy.

    Is anyone surprised?

    posted by tbogg at 11:23 PM



    It's news to us...

    Amidst all the furrrowed brows and experts in journalistic ethics earning their pay for their phony baloney jobs comes this admission regarding the coffin photos from our nice clean "nobody-that-I-know-is-getting-hurt" war:

    Executives at news organizations, many of whom have protested the policy, said last night that they had not known that the Defense Department itself was taking photographs of the coffins arriving home, a fact that came to light only when Russ Kick, the operator of The Memory Hole, filed his request.

    "We were not aware at all that these photos were being taken," said Bill Keller, executive editor of The New York Times.

    John Banner, the executive producer of ABC's "World News Tonight," said, "We did not file a F.O.I.A. request ourselves, because this was the first we had known that the military was shooting these pictures."

    Once they started calling Geraldo Rivera and John Stoessel "investigative journalists" we should have known that investigative journalism was deader than Bill Janklow's career...

    posted by tbogg at 11:16 PM



    But I'm one of Bush's enemies and people like me...

    Usually on Thursday I "do" Peggy Noonan (not in the Biblical "do" sense because that would be... wrong as well as icky) but the not-too-evil Roger Ailes did such a good job of it that...well, I just feel unneeded at this point.

    posted by tbogg at 10:41 PM



    Where the hell was I?

    I don't have much to say about this Neal Bortz column. I don't really know who Neal Boortz is, I've never heard him on the radio, and generally I don't even bother with his column. But I thought this was just weird:

    Pat Boone, a musical icon of the ‘70’s has chimed in. Still smarting over the failure of the keepers of the community standards to derail the rise of that fanny-wiggling upstart from Tupelo, Boone shares with us his belief that government is just grand.

    A musical icon of the 70's?

    Was that before he was replaced by David Lee Roth?

    I must have missed that.

    posted by tbogg at 9:42 PM


    Wednesday, April 21, 2004


    Back in a jiffy... and a half

    I apologize for the lack of blogging but with the new "young'un" (as they like to call them in the red states) in the house, there has been a lot of rapid deployment "puppy-proofing" as well as pee/poo cleaning-up, and, of course the feedings (boy, are my nipples sore...) so there has been little time to write about destroying democracy and bringing America to its heels why Geoge Bush may be an inappropriate choice as a "leader".

    So...filling in for me is Mark Morford at his most Morfordesque:

    We all do it. We all smack our palms to our foreheads and trip on our own ideological shoelaces, and we are exasperating and thoughtlessly cruel without knowing it, running roughshod over our noble or ignoble intentions on a daily basis because, well, we are just wired this way. Just ask Mel "Spurtin' Blood" Gibson -- I mean, how much more wrong can you get?

    But then comes the hard part: We apologize. Profusely and maybe even a bit meekly, we ask for forgiveness or at least offer an olive branch and recognize our shared messy humanness as the thing that differentiates us from the saccharine sexless drone people of the world -- like, you know, Laura Bush. Shudder.

    But then there's Dubya. He is, apparently, immune. He is perfect and flawless and without the slightest taint of guilt or error, and, despite looking like a bowl of Jell-O salad in a universe of divine tiramisu, he is, apparently, an angel of purity and light. It's true.

    For here is Dubya, mumbling his way through another shockingly insulting news conference just recently, screwing up both his face and his intelligence data (again) and still a-huntin' for nonexistent WMDs in Iraqi turkey farms (?) as reporter after reporter asks him, point blank, why he won't simply come clean.

    They ask him, repeatedly, why he cannot find a single mistake in any policy his slithery admin has unleashed upon the nation, much less confess to any rampant missteps and botched decisions and oily ulterior motives and blatant screw-ups regarding 9/11 and Saddam and WMDs and his fetish for warmongering and for rewriting intelligence data to suit his corporate needs, all while taking more vacations than any president in history.

    His answer? Nope. Nossiree, no mistakes were made. In fact, we as a nation are more on track than ever and hey lookit my shiny new boots okey doke thanks fer comin' gotta run. Plants wilted, children cried, even semicomatose cats couldn't help but wince at Bush's weird deflections and alcoholism-grade denials. What a surreal and sad country we swim in.



    Read the whole thing....

    I'll be back Thursday afternoon/evening.

    posted by tbogg at 11:44 PM



    If we were to count killing brain cells, George Bush would have lapped the field

    Just in case you were interested:

    John Kerry was "unofficially credited" with killing 20 enemy fighters during his six months in Vietnam, according to military records just released by the Democratic presidential candidate's campaign. The body count reference is included in a glowing 1969 Navy report that noted Kerry, a junior grade lieutenant, exhibited "all of the traits desired of an officer in a combat environment."

    For those keeping score at home:

    John Kerry 20
    George Bush 0
    Laura Bush 1

    posted by tbogg at 7:55 AM


    Tuesday, April 20, 2004


    If we keep chanting loudly, it will drown out the other stuff

    Prof. Insta:

    It's time to talk about Oil-for-Terror.

    Especially with the U.N.'s own investigation into Oil-for-Food now taking shape, and more congressional hearings in the works, it is high time to focus on the likelihood that Saddam may have fiddled Oil-for-Food contracts not only to pad his own pockets, buy pals, and acquire clandestine arms — but also to fund terrorist groups, quite possibly including al Qaeda.

    Oddly enough (okay, it's not that odd) Glenn has yet to say anything about oil for votes.

    posted by tbogg at 8:20 AM



    Speaking of which.....

    After months of Dems haggling over President Bush's military records, the GOP now moves to demand full-disclosure from John Kerry!

    The day after Kerry told MEET THE PRESS he would make all of his military records available for inspection at his campaign headquarters, a spokesman said the senator would not release any new documents, leaving undisclosed many of Kerry's evaluations by his Navy commanding officers, some medical records, and possibly other material.




    Any word yet on when Matt Drudge is coming out of the closet?


    posted by tbogg at 8:14 AM


    Monday, April 19, 2004


    S'cuse me...busy day

    But this, is bad this is worse, this is ridiculous, and this doesn't surprise me.

    posted by tbogg at 10:42 PM


    Sunday, April 18, 2004


    A helping paw

    Many thanks to blogger Chris at Southpaw for hosting pictures of our new "baby"

    May I introduce Beckham who later got tired of having his picture taken.

    Yeah. Yeah. Awwwwwwww...

    posted by tbogg at 11:23 PM



    Things we never said when Bush At War came out...

    Poor KJL. Her ox just got gored:

    Why does the president sit down with Bob Woodward in the first place? We have, evidently, in the Woodward book, based on 60 Minutes and Post excerpts, a portrait of a simple-minded Christian who thinks he was sent by God to give the whole world freedom, and who doesn't consider himself accountable to Congress, the Constitution, or anyone else. Which would just a typical Beltway book--one current account of history, from the angle of its main sources or writer--if it weren't for the legitimacy stamp it gets from having the president as one of its only on-the-record sources.
    Posted at 07:41 PM

    That's it...blame the source.

    Of course, we've been doing that for three years....

    posted by tbogg at 9:42 PM



    In case you had forgotten

    Tom Burka is brilliant.

    posted by tbogg at 9:35 PM



    Mission accomplished

    Hoping to deflect criticism of Condi Rice and President Mumbles, the rightwing echo chamber took the lead from John Ashcroft and start a wilding on Jamie Gorelick. Looks like all their hardwork paid off:

    Jamie Gorelick, a member of the commission investigating the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, said Saturday that she received death threats this week after a number of conservatives alleged that her former work in the Justice Department may have contributed to failures leading to the attacks.

    In the mid-1990s, Gorelick served as deputy attorney general of the United States.

    During that time, she wrote a memorandum establishing distinctions between intelligence that could be used for law-enforcement purposes and intelligence that could be used for national security purposes.

    That separation was originally required as a safeguard against abuse of citizens' rights by government investigative agencies. But passage of the Patriot Act in the wake of the attacks eliminated the requirement.

    The so-called "wall" governing intelligence uses has been a key subject at hearings of the commission. It has been blamed for being a main obstacle to better sharing of information in connection with the September 11 attacks.

    "I can confirm that I've received threats at my office and my home," she told CNN on Saturday. "I did get a bomb threat to my home."


    A law enforcement source told CNN that the FBI is investigating the threats.

    Why not? Ashcroft lit the fuse.

    posted by tbogg at 11:22 AM


    Friday, April 16, 2004


    Not the kind of present he had in mind....

    Happy sixth birthday to Satchmo the Wonder Basset. Six years being 42 years in dog years, or 9/10ths of a lifetime in Cheney years.

    So, what did Satchmo (who also goes by "Blobbo" and "Lardamus") get for his birthday?

    A puppy.

    Short story, long dog:

    Wife calls from Palm Springs where she and daughter have been tanning all week.....8 week-old basset puppy with freckles on nose and large white feet...AKC registered and microchipped........"Satchmo needs a buddy"........"We'll take care of him"........"Three year warranty" (no...really!)........ "Omigawd, he's soooo cute"...$500 later...

    Beckham the Basset.

    Pictures to come later (if I find someone to host them since Blogger won't let me upgrade...Bastards...See below)

    posted by tbogg at 11:02 PM



    It's late....I'm tired...go make fun of her yourself

    This morning I had an absolutely brilliant post about about America's Worst Mother™. A post that was so good that, dare I say it, it might have won me many awards from distinguished but obscure journalism societies as well as presents from admirers and possibly even a backrub from Jennifer Anniston (yes...it was that good). Unfortunately after years of research, months of writing and minutes of proof reading, Blogger ate it. I am distraught and emotionally shattered by the experience and am considering filing suit in a suitable venue where I stand a good chance of hitting the jackpot and never working again which is one of the things that makes this the greatest country ever in the history of mankind, USA! USA! USA!

    At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it.....

    (Added: Since many people sent me the link, you can read about Mr. Meaghan here. (scroll down) Apparently he's America's Worst Boss™)

    posted by tbogg at 10:43 PM




    Complete post on America's Worst Mother™ blown out by Blogger...and it's time to go to work.


    See you tonight.

    posted by tbogg at 8:32 AM


    Thursday, April 15, 2004


    Biscuits for smut*

    Last night I wrote a rather self-indulgent post about my day that I later decided I just didn't care for (the post...not the day). Included in the post was a cookie recipe that more than a few people wanted...and then it was just gone. Poof!

    For those that requested it:

    Using a non-stick mini-muffin pan (like this one), fill each little muffin cup a little less than halfway with the pre-made Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookie dough that comes in the tube. Place in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for about 8 minutes. Remove from the oven. Insert a previously unwrapped Reese's Peanut Butter Cup mini into the top of each cookie/muffin, pushing it down so the top is flush with the top of the dough. Place back in the oven for about 2-3 more minutes. Remove and allow to cool.

    Make sure that you have unwrapped the Reese's minis before you pull the cookies out at the 8 minute mark. Trust me on that one.

    Did I mention that I paid Neiman Marcus $250 for this recipe?

    (*Okay. The headline doesn't have anything to do with the cookies. It's just the name of one of my favorite Helmet songs and I wanted to use it)

    posted by tbogg at 11:49 PM



    The view from here

    I was just reading faux economist Donald Luskin (don't ask why..it's like reading Marmaduke. It's just there) who wrote:

    How would you like go to a doctor who takes your temperature with a thermometer that says you're running a fever even when you're perfectly healthy? Sound good? Well then step into the examining room ? Dr. Kerry will see you now.

    Never mind three back-to-back quarters of great GDP growth. Never mind new all-time high levels of household wealth. Never mind strong consumer spending, low inflation, and a recovering job market. Presumptive Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry has come up with what he calls the "Middle-class Misery Index" ? and it purports to prove that the economy is sick, sick, sick.

    It's all quackery, of course. And as you'll see in a moment, this economy is so healthy that even John Kerry and his brainless-trust of liberal economists couldn't come up with a fraud nasty enough to make it look really bad.


    Let's turn it over to the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce who can normally find a silver lining in an oil spill:

    Looking for a job with a real future in San Diego County?

    You might want to give hamburger-flipping a try.

    Nearly one-fourth of the jobs created in the county between 1999 and 2002 were for restaurant cooks and servers, with an average salary of $18,043 per year, according to a report released yesterday by the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.

    The chamber's report warns that the rapid growth of low-income jobs is mirrored by a shrinkage in middle-wage jobs, as the county becomes increasingly stratified between rich and poor.

    "We are creating some high-end jobs and a lot of low-wage jobs, but the middle class is getting squeezed out," said chamber economist Kelly Cunningham, who wrote the report. "We run the risk of becoming like Santa Barbara, with a stratum of wealthy people and the workers on the lower end who serve them."


    Of the 70,810 jobs created in San Diego County between 1999 and 2002, 42,320 ? or 60 percent ? paid less than $30,000 a year, according to the chamber's report.

    Leading the pack were 26,110 new office and administrative workers, earning an average of $29,703 a year; 15,880 cooks and servers, averaging $18,043; and 2,550 janitors and maintenance workers, averaging $22,167.

    Many of those salaries are far below the level needed for survival in San Diego, said Paul Karr, communications director at San Diego's Center on Policy Initiatives. In a recent study, the center estimated that a family of four requires at least $50,000 a year to provide such basic necessities as food, rent, clothing and child care.

    "That doesn't include such costs as saving for college or the luxuries we all take for granted, such as birthdays, holidays and back-to-school expenses," Karr said. "As a regional local economy, relying on that kind of job growth is unsustainable, since we'll have a large class of folks who are unable to pay basic needs. How can they afford increased costs in housing, let alone gasoline, energy, child care?"

    The price of an apartment in the less desirable parts of San Diego is currently about $400 per bedroom. In my neighborhood (and, granted, I live in one of the nicer coastal areas) an average three bedroom house is currently going for $2850 per month. Buying gas today, the cheapest unleaded is selling for $2.39 per gallon which is reportedly the highest in the country. Take those two numbers and then imagine having a family of four and the costs involved in taking care of that family. Now do the math.

    To Republicans like Donald Luskin, the idea of "...a stratum of wealthy people and the workers on the lower end who serve them" is like Viagra....

    posted by tbogg at 11:17 PM



    Putting the "fat" in fatuous

    There's a slap-fight over at the Corner Corral:


    Andrew - I have neither the time nor the inclination to restart an argument we've (meaning all of us at NRO) have had many times before. But let me say for the record that I'm often astounded by the inability of drug war opponents to treat with respect or good faith those they disagree with.

    I know you obviously meant no offense to me personally, but the phrase "fatuous and self-indulgent," it seems to me, could very well apply to countless legalization advocates who refuse to recognize that there is a good faith argument on the other side.

    You gotta admit though, that the terms "fatuous and self-indulgent" do call to mind images of a certain momma's boy pundit who might also be described as a lazy, puffy, couch-dwelling, Star-Trek-quoting, girly-boy.

    Not that there's anything wrong with that.

    Calling him that, I mean....

    I just think it's funny to see someone named Andrew Stuttaford getting in a fight with Jonah Goldberg. Call it The Thrilla in Vanilla...

    posted by tbogg at 3:35 PM



    More evidence that Iraq is not like Viet Nam

    I don't remember this kind of thing happening in the sixties:

    Brandon Hughey is a teenager living among strangers, thousands of miles from his friends, family and home in San Angelo, Texas. The 18-year-old is one of two American servicemen who recently deserted their units and fled to Canada to claim asylum as refugees. "We plan to argue that the war in Iraq is illegal under international law and that I have a right not to choose to participate," he says.

    Hughey, who has been taken in by a Quaker couple in the Ontario city of St Catharines, spends his days preparing his legal case. For breaks, he takes solitary walks downtown. He seems mature, composed, and hopeful that he will be able to build a new life for himself in Canada.

    Hughey signed up for the army when he was 17, during his final year in high school. "I joined because it was the only way I was going to get a college education," he says. He went through basic training, and in his spare time began learning about the campaign in Iraq on the internet. He says he became increasingly uncomfortable about the mission, then so disturbed that he considered killing himself. He brought his questions to a commanding officer, who told him to stop thinking so much.

    posted by tbogg at 3:07 PM



    As God is my witness, we're gonna keep them that way....

    Who knew the Rush Limbaugh Show had a mission statement?

    “This is the one business in America journalism where the news consumers are always assumed to be wrong, dupes, morons, idiots and glittering jewels of colossal ignorance, incapable understanding the weighty issues the press is dealing with.”

    It may be a niche, but it's his niche....

    posted by tbogg at 12:12 PM



    Mr. Wolfowitz also stated that he thought "...the Chargers will totally kick ass in the 2004 Super Bowl".

    I sure as hell wouldn't let Paul pick my lotto numbers.

    In his testimony, Mr. Wolfowitz ticked off several reasons why he believed a much smaller coalition peacekeeping force than General Shinseki envisioned would be sufficient to police and rebuild postwar Iraq. He said there was no history of ethnic strife in Iraq, as there was in Bosnia or Kosovo. He said Iraqi civilians would welcome an American-led liberation force that "stayed as long as necessary but left as soon as possible," but would oppose a long-term occupation force. And he said that nations that oppose war with Iraq would likely sign up to help rebuild it. "I would expect that even countries like France will have a strong interest in assisting Iraq in reconstruction," Mr. Wolfowitz said. He added that many Iraqi expatriates would likely return home to help.

    posted by tbogg at 12:03 PM



    Scientists still working on that ancient photo strip from the Little Photo Booth of Turin

    MILAN, Italy (Reuters) -- Italian scientists have found a matching image of a man's face and possibly his hands on the back of the Turin shroud, believed by many to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ, one of the researchers said on Thursday.

    The discovery that the ghostly image on the back of the linen cloth matches the face that adorns the front is likely to reignite debate over whether the shroud is genuine or a skilful medieval fraud.

    The new image is here.

    That's kind of what I expected...

    posted by tbogg at 11:11 AM



    That low regard for the Fourth Estate does not apply to us. We're America's newspaper, you know-ed

    Spin so forceful it took two days to write and it still almost flies off the page:

    The president, who understands very well that Americans are divided right now over the best strategy for achieving victory in Iraq, did not filibuster. Nor did he attempt to deliver some empty, feel-good speech, or play the gotcha game — coming up with some phony confession of incompetence. As a result, frustrated members of the press now say the president is just stubborn and suggest that his unwillingness to admit failure is evidence of a personality defect. But given the low regard in which the Fourth Estate is held by the American people, Mr. Bush shouldn't worry too much.

    An admission by Bush of incompetence would be the first time that he has told the American public the truth since before he announced his intention to run for President.

    The Times does admit that Mumbles The Speechifying Clown failed to make his case:

    Instead of playing the media's game, he offered a sober-minded assessment of the challenges that lie ahead for the allied coalition. As the president made clear, there would be serious consequences if the United States failed to follow through on its promise to bring stability and self-government to Iraq. Mr. Bush did a solid job of explaining what is at stake in Iraq, pointing to the connection between the Iraqi insurgency and outside terrorist groups.


    Given the reality that Americans are polarized over the conduct of the war, Mr. Bush's speech and subsequent performance at the press conference probably will not change many minds. Rather, they will solidify support among wavering backers of the president.

    If his cause is just (and can't you just see him using exactly those words when speaking at the South Carolina Christian Contractors Association Prayer Breakfast and Abstinence Festival?) then shouldn't he have been able to change at least a few people's minds? I mean, if you're going to bump American Idol off the air...

    posted by tbogg at 10:59 AM



    Memo to Andy: Ditto

    Sullivan makes an apology of sorts to Captain James J. Yee:

    Very few incidents have made me as angry as the disgraceful, foul and malicious attempt by the U.S. military to accuse Captain Janes(sic) J. Yee, the Muslim chaplain at Guantanamo Bay, of treason and espionage. They had no solid evidence, but, at the time, I worried that the story might be true. I feel terrible for leaping to that tentative conclusion. But it got worse. When the espionage charges fell apart, the military then tried to frame Yee for adultery and for downloading porn from the Internet, dragging his family into the entire affair. It recalled to me the way the military trashes and defames the lives of honorable gay servicemembers. Yesterday, all the charges were dropped.

    You see, Andy feels bad because it reminds him of how gay servicemembers are treated which is what truly offends him. I imagine that Yee's response to Sullivan might be similar to what Sullivan had to say to Osama in the post above his Yee comments.

    posted by tbogg at 10:33 AM


    Wednesday, April 14, 2004


    Now available with the Super-Stigmata™ grip....

    You probably aren't going to find this too surprising.

    (Thanks to Chris)

    posted by tbogg at 11:10 PM



    New to the links


    Make sure you read this.

    posted by tbogg at 11:02 PM



    What I saw at the elocution

    Here's Tom Shales on He Who Cannot Speak:

    Bush similarly struggled, a few minutes earlier, to cite the single biggest mistake of his presidency. He looked baffled and incredulous. "I'm sure something will pop into my head here," he said, noting the intense "pressure" of holding a news conference on TV. Of course people watching throughout the country expect a president to be able to handle that kind of pressure without blinking, based on the assumption that this is one of the milder forms of pressure that come with the office.

    Earlier still, Bush stopped in mid-answer and for a few seconds appeared to have lost his train of thought. Looking anxious, he fell back on phrases and thoughts he'd used earlier, saying he and the world changed after 9/11, which was a truism, and that in the 21st century, America is no longer protected by the oceans on either side. But that's been true since the invention of nuclear weapons and of missiles to deliver them from halfway around the world.

    After the news conference, CBS News anchor Dan Rather said Bush had come across as "steady, competent and forceful" while answering questions but that he delivered his opening statement "in a rather flat monotone," perhaps intentionally. It was a peculiar performance; Bush would look down, read a sentence, look up, look around, pause slightly, then look down and read another sentence.

    Although the short speech was well-written, especially toward the end, Bush looked upon it as an address in which all sentences were created equal. He never stressed any particular point or added any emphasis. He might as well have been reading letters off an eye chart.

    And here is Peggy Noonan sitting at Bush's knee, looking up with adoring Daddy-eyes:

    What do I think public opinion of the president's news conference will be? Generally positive. Here's why: The president spoke uninterrupted for the first 17 minutes, when most people were tuning in to see what he had to say. His speech/announcement hit every point that had to be covered, crisply and yet somberly.

    Here's Peggy calling journalists, with their smarty-pants questions and obsession with facts, traitors:

    Imagine it is April, 1943 and FDR is meeting with the press. Mr. President, why did you fail us on Dec. 7? You call it a day of infamy, but didn't it reveal your leadership style to be infamous? Why did you let the U.S. fleet sit sleepy and exposed at Pearl Harbor? Do you think your physical infirmity, sir, has an impact on your ability to think about strategic concerns, and will you instruct your doctors to make public your medical records?

    But of course they wouldn't have asked these questions. Our press corps in those days was more like Americans than our press corps is today. They were both less self-hating and more appropriately anxious: Don't be killing our leaders in the middle of a war, don't be disheartening the people. Win and do the commentary later.
    (my emphasis)

    ...and here is Peg summing up:

    More and more it seems to me Mr. Bush is not only Bill Clinton's successor but his exact opposite: Mr. Clinton perfectly poised and hollow inside, a man whose lack of compass left him unable to lead within the Oval Office but who gave a compelling public presentation of the presidency, and Mr. Bush a strong president with an obvious soul, decisive at the desk, but with no dazzling edifice. It's actually amazing that two such different men came so close together. Lucky for us, considering the history, that Mr. Bush was the one who came now.

    Unfortunately for the unlucky 3000, President Decisive At The Desk wasn't sitting at his desk in August 2001 instead of choosing to take a one-month vacation after only seven months on the job.

    That Presidentin' is hard, should be apparent to even the most obvious, if not oblivious, soul....

    posted by tbogg at 10:54 PM



    More help on the way for Penis-Americans.

    Penis talk that you won't find at Wonkette:

    New Erectile Dysfunction Ad Is Blunt

    She asks in a sultry voice if you want to know a secret. And when she spills the beans, she is quite explicit. The latest ad for an erectile dysfunction treatment is taking the battle for dominance in the $2 billion market up a notch with its frank description of the medicine's purpose.

    The Levitra ad, slated to begin airing Thursday, features an attractive brunette saying the drug improves erection quality and how that experience increases her partner's desire to "do this more often."

    "For him Levitra works - just look at that smile," she purrs.

    First of all, exactly what kind of guy (outside of Karen Hughes' husband) doesn't want to do "this" more often?

    And shouldn't that headline have read:

    New Erectile Dysfunction Ad Is Straightforward

    posted by tbogg at 10:17 PM



    President steals scientist's thunder

    After last night's press conference, researchers at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee and the University of California San Francisco are just kicking themselves over taking Good Friday off and not releasing their report.

    posted by tbogg at 10:04 PM


    Tuesday, April 13, 2004


    Meanwhile, on Planet Looking For A Way To Forgive Him About That Whole Gay Marriage Thing

    Andrew Sullivan, who apparently used the word "freedom" for his Presidential Press Conference Drinking Game, likes what he saw:

    I've just watched the press conference later on C-SPAN. Not only was the transcript encouraging. I found the president clear, forceful, impassioned, determined, real. This was not an average performance. I found it Bush at his best. He needs to do it more.

    It's 2am, the bar is closing, and Bush is the only thing left standing for Andy...

    posted by tbogg at 11:37 PM



    "This guy was a torturer, a killer, a maimer."...of language.

    President Not Quick On His Feet in his own, uh, you know, like, words:

    QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) Mr. President. To move to the 9/11 commission, you yourself have acknowledged that Osama bin Laden was not a central focus of the administration in the months before September 11th. I was not on point, you told the journalist Bob Woodward. I didn?t feel that sense of urgency.

    Two and a half years later, do you feel any sense of personal responsibility for September 11th?

    BUSH: Let me put that quote to Woodward in context, because he had asked me if I was -- something about killing bin Laden. That's what the question was.

    And I said, you know, compared to how I felt at the time, after the attack, I didn't have that -- and I also went on to say, my blood wasn't boiling, I think is what the quote said.

    I didn't see -- I mean, I didn't have that great sense of outrage that I felt on September the 11th. I was -- on that day, I was angry and sad. Angry that al-Qaida -- I thought at the time al-Qaida, found out shortly thereafter it was al-Qaida -- had unleashed this attack. Sad for those who lost their life.

    Your question, do I feel -- yes?

    QUESTION: Personal responsibility for September 11th?

    BUSH: I feel incredibly grieved when I meet with family members, and I do quite frequently. I grieve for, you know, the incredible loss of life that they feel, the emptiness they feel.

    There are some things I wish we'd have done, when I look back. I mean, hindsight's easy. It's easy for a president to stand up and say, now that I know what happened, it would have been nice if there were certain things in place.

    For example, a Homeland Security Department. And why -- I say that because that provides the ability for our agencies to coordinate better and to work together better than it was before.

    I think the hearings will show that the Patriot Act is an important change in the law that will allow the FBI and the CIA to better share information together.

    We were kind of stovepiped, I guess is a way to describe it. There was, you know, kind of departments that at times didn't communicate -- because of law, in the FBI's case.

    And the other thing I look back on and realize is that we weren't on a war footing. The country was not on a war footing, and yet the enemy was at war with us. And it didn't take me long to put us on a war footing.

    And we've been on a war ever since.

    The lessons of 9/11 -- one lesson was we must deal with gathering threats, and that's part of the reason I dealt with Iraq the way I did.

    The other lesson is, is that this country must go on the offense and stay on the offense. In order to secure the country, we must do everything in our power to find these killers and bring them to justice before they hurt us again. I'm afraid they want to hurt us again. They're still there.

    They can be right one time; we got to be right 100 percent of the time in order to protect the country. It's a mighty task.

    But our government has changed since the 9/11 attacks. We're better equipped to respond. We're better at sharing intelligence. But we've still got a lot of work to do.


    ..."There was, you know, kind of departments that at times didn't communicate.."

    He's just three "like" 's and one "so I'm all..." away from being a 14-year-old girl at the mall.

    posted by tbogg at 11:02 PM


    Monday, April 12, 2004


    Looks like I'm going to have to do a little research

    I have no idea what the hell this is.

    posted by tbogg at 11:22 PM



    "Tonight we'll be taking questions from "Stretch", "Dolce", "Poncho", "Fine", "Skippy", the "Will-Meister", "Junk in the Trunk", "Peckerhead", and "Fishlips". The rest of you can just sit down and shut the hell up."

    On the eve of George Bush's third Prime Time press conference it is worth remembering that a little over one year ago, the Dodgeball Champion-in-Chief held a press conference where the reporters who were allowed to ask questions were pre-selected:

    March 7th, 2003, at an official press briefing, White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer twice admitted under questioning that the President's staff preselected which reporters to call, and the order, for the East Room Press Conference on the evening of March 6th, 2003. This Press Conference was President Bush's eighth solo news conference since inauguration, and the second formally presented in the East Room during prime time.

    Mr. Fleischer responded to a reporter's query over a short gaffe in which the President was heard to say to a reporter, "You'll be there in a moment," upon which he then called CNN correspondent John King and remarked "...this is a scripted...[pause]", after which an outburst of laughter from the press pool could be heard. The president then moved directly onto the next question.

    So you have to wonder, with his withering poll numbers and the public's increasing disatisfaction with his job performance, whether he's going to take a chance with any "journalist" who's not on his team.

    Personally, I won't be home in time to see the post-mortem, but I imagine Peggy Noonan will make her way onto Hardball where she will tell us how "masterful" Bush is and how he really has "grown in office and in stature".

    Later an MSNBC janitor will mop up under her chair.

    posted by tbogg at 11:03 PM



    Lack of blogging

    Sorry about the general lack of blogging lately. The girls (wife and daughter) are off in Palm Springs this week getting their pre-Summer tans and, although that should free me up somewhat, I've got MAN THINGS to do around the house while they're gone.

    Unfortunately, tonight, one of those things was cleaning up the house before the housekeeper comes tomorrow.

    Don't ask....

    By the way, thanks to all of you who have stuck around for my new limited schedule. Over the weekend, this blog went over the 1.5 million hits mark. If some one had told me two years ago that I would someday break 1.5 million hits on my blog, I would have said: What's a blog?

    No. Really. That's what I would have said.

    posted by tbogg at 10:39 PM



    Leading us to the conclusion that it wasn't a good pl---pl---pl--- C'mon. You can say it....

    Professor Reynolds provides us with the inadvertent WTF? of the evening:

    "Kos and Atrios are fighting the last war. The issue for the Democrats should be that Bush has mismanaged Iraq, not that we shouldn't have invaded in the first place."

    That's certainly what the Democrats should be arguing -- except that then they'd have to come up with a plan. Despite Ed's urgings, Kerry has shown no sign of one beyond obviously empty platitudes about "more international cooperation" and the like.

    Did the Administration have a good plan going in? I don't know -- but whatever plan they might have had was overtaken by events.
    (my emphasis)

    Excuse me? If one is invading a country with the expectation of occupying it for, oh, a few months or so, shouldn't one have a pretty good plan in place taking into account all the variables (which are the pupal stage of "events") that could come into play and which might result in things going awry?

    This administration is more like the car-chasing dog that finally caught one and now doesn't know what to do with it.

    posted by tbogg at 10:02 PM



    Flying the friendly skies of Air Cheney...

    Just in case he has to start flying business class next January:

    Most commercial airplanes now must have cardiac equipment on board to help passengers who suffer heart attacks. The new Federal Aviation Administration rule, which affects about 2,600 airliners, went into effect Monday.

    Airliners staffed with at least one flight attendant must have the device, known as an automated external defibrillator. Some already carry the equipment. In 1998, a Boston man became the first person on a domestic flight to have his life saved by a defibrillator.

    posted by tbogg at 9:21 PM



    War advice from the Captain Roach Bomb

    Regarding Tom DeLay:

    Another Democrat questioning President Bush's leadership during the ongoing war in Iraq is former President Jimmy Carter.

    Mr. Carter goes so far as to say that "President Bush's war was ill-advised and unnecessary and based on erroneous statements, and has turned out to be a tragedy."

    "I'm just glad President Carter wasn't in charge after Valley Forge, Bull Run or Pearl Harbor," reacts House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas, a Republican. "Unfortunately, this is becoming a dangerous pattern. Democrat(sic) leaders continue to undermine our troops and our coalition's ability to win the war and bring peace and stability to the Middle East."

    Former President and Nobel Prize winner Jimmy Carter's military background:

    James Earle (Jimmy) Carter, Jr., who in 1976 became the fifth consecutive President with prior Navy service, was born in Plains, Georgia on 1 October 1924, to Lillian Gordy and James Earle Carter. Carter grew up in a rural atmosphere and attended public schools. Graduating from Plains High School in 1941, he attended Georgia Southwestern College in Americus, Georgia. After a year there, Carter transferred to Georgia Institute of Technology to study mathematics for a year in order to qualify for the U.S. Naval Academy. In 1943, Carter received an appointment to the academy and became a member of the Class of 1947. After completing the accelerated wartime program, he graduated on 5 June 1946 with distinction and obtained his commission as ensign.

    After he graduated, Carter was stationed at Norfolk and assigned to USS Wyoming (E-AG 17), an older battleship that had been converted into a floating laboratory for testing new electronics and gunnery equipment. On Wyoming, Carter served as radar officer and CIC officer. Detached when Wyoming was decommissioned on 23 July 1947, he was assigned that day to another similarly used battleship, USS Mississippi (E-AG 128) as Training and Education Officer. After completing two years of surface ship duty, Carter chose to apply for submarine duty. Accepted, he began the six-month course at the U.S. Navy Submarine School, Submarine Base, New London, Connecticut from 14 June to 17 December 1948.

    Upon completion of the course, Carter was assigned to USS Pomfret (SS 391) based at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii where he reported on board on 29 December. Pomfret left on a simulated war patrol to the western Pacific and the Chinese coast on 4 January 1949. On board, Carter qualified in a submarine on 4 February, and served as Communications Officer, Sonar Officer, Electronics Officer, Gunnery Officer and Supply Officer. On 9 March, he served as the approach officer for a simulated torpedo firing at target ships, and scored a "hit." The submarine returned to Pearl Harbor on 25 March. Soon after Carter's promotion to Lieutenant Junior Grade on 5 June 1949, Pomfret was sent in July to San Diego where the submarine operated along the California coast.

    Detached from Pomfret on 1 February 1951, Carter was assigned as Engineering Officer for the precommissioning detail for USS K-1 (SSK 1). K-1, the first postwar submarine built, was under construction by Electric Boat Division, General Dynamics Corporation, Groton, Connecticut. After K-1's commissioning on 10 November 1951, Carter served as Executive Officer, Engineering Officer, and Electronics Repair Officer. During this tour he also qualified for command of a submarine.

    When Admiral Hyman G. Rickover (then a captain) started his program to create nuclear powered submarines, Carter wanted to join the program and was interviewed by Rickover. On 1 June 1952, Carter was promoted to Lieutenant. Selected by Rickover, Carter was detached on 16 October 1952 from K-1 for duty with the U. S. Atomic Energy Commission, Division of Reactor Development in Schenectady, New York. From 3 November 1952 to 1 March 1953, he served on temporary duty with the Naval Reactors Branch, U. S. Atomic Energy Commission, Washington, DC to assist "in the design and development of nuclear propulsion plants for naval vessels."

    From 1 March to 8 October, Carter was preparing to become the engineering officer for the nuclear power plant to be placed in USS Seawolf (SSN 575), one of the first submarines to operate on atomic power. He assisted in setting up training for the enlisted men who would serve on Seawolf. During this time his father became very sick and died in July 1953. After his father's death in 1953, Carter resigned from the Navy to return to Georgia to manage the family interests. Carter was honorably discharged on 9 October 1953 at Headquarters, Third Naval District in New York City. On 7 December 1961, he transferred to the retired reserve with the rank of Lieutenant at his own request.

    Tom DeLay's military service:

    In 1988, a little-known Texas congressman gathered a crowd of reporters in the lobby of a downtown New Orleans hotel housing several state delegates to the Republican National Convention. Clutching a pole topped by a drooping American flag, 22nd District two-termer Tom DeLay launched into a rather implausible defense of Dan Quayle, an Indiana senator freshly picked by George Bush as his presidential ticket partner.
    Bill Clinton's draft-dodging efforts would become an issue in his successful campaign against Bush four years later, but now Quayle's own past manipulation of family ties to get into a national guard unit was touching off a classic feeding frenzy among the convention press corps.

    DeLay seemed to feel the issue applied personally to him, and perhaps it did. He had graduated from the University of Houston at the height of the Vietnam conflict in 1970, but chose to enlist in the war on cockroaches, fleas and termites as the owner of an exterminator business, rather than going off to battle against the Vietcong.

    He and Quayle, DeLay explained to the assembled media in New Orleans, were victims of an unusual phenomenon back in the days of the undeclared Southeast Asian war. So many minority youths had volunteered for the well-paying military positions to escape poverty and the ghetto that there was literally no room for patriotic folks like himself. Satisfied with the pronouncement, which dumbfounded more than a few of his listeners who had lived the sixties, DeLay marched off to the convention.

    "Who was that idiot?" asked a TV reporter who arrived at the end of the media show. When he was told the name, it drew a blank. DeLay at that time was a national nobody, and his claim that blacks and browns crowded him and other good conservatives out of Vietnam seemed so outlandish and self-serving that no one bothered to file a news report on the congressman's remarks.

    posted by tbogg at 8:28 PM


    Sunday, April 11, 2004


    Destroying two towers in order to save a political career

    I just finished reading Greg Easterbrook's "alternative history" where George Bush actually does something before 9/11, and I have to say that I'm ashamed of the way I have acted in denouncing this brave steely-eyed rocket man who simply had the best interests of America his political career in mind back on Aug. 6.

    Sure, three thousand people died on 9/11, but, in a country of over 290 million, that's a small price to pay for the steady hand of this great leader.

    I am abashed, apologetic, bashful, blushing, chagrined, compunctious, conscience-stricken, contrite, crestfallen, debased, demeaned, discomfited, disconcerted, distraught, distressed, embarrassed, flustered, guilty, hesitant, humble, humbled, humiliated, meek, mortified, muddled, penitent, regretful, reluctant, remorseful, repentant, shamed, shamefaced, sheepish, shy, sorry, stammering, stuttering, submissive by my treatment of our leader.

    Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go hang my head in shame...

    posted by tbogg at 11:27 PM



    Endless vacation

    It's not as if he's the Hardest Working Man in Politics:

    ...it's good to know that George W. Bush has found time for a 500th vacation day, even as the ever-rising American death toll in Iraq reaches 628. (For all of you shrill semantic hair-splitters out there who divide war zone sacrifices into those that count and those that don't, the toll of Americans killed in full-on combat action stands, at this writing, at 455. It's no doubt rising even as I type this.)

    And yet Bring 'Em On Bush is taking it manfully in stride. As The Washington Post reports, "This is Bush's 33rd visit to his ranch since becoming president. He has spent all or part of 233 days on his Texas ranch since taking office ... Adding his 78 visits to Camp David and his five visits to Kennebunkport, Maine, Bush has spent all or part of 500 days in office at one of his three retreats, or more than 40 percent of his presidency."

    posted by tbogg at 10:47 PM



    No Bush lovin' in San Diego

    Lead Letters to the Editor in San Diego:

    I take exception to the March 19 letter to the editor stating that the electorate has a choice in the fall between the equivalent of Winston Churchill and Neville Chamberlain.

    There is no way on God's green earth that President Bush can be compared to Churchill. Not only was Churchill an outstanding orator but also he was a graduate of the Sandhurst Military Academy and fought courageously in India and Africa, participating in cavalry charges against the Dervishes at the battle of Omdurman. Churchill was captured during the Boer War in South Africa but escaped across enemy lines and became a national hero.

    Bush has never participated in any military action. Kerry, however, bravely served his country in Vietnam, being awarded no less than three Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star for Valor.

    The Alabama National Guard, meanwhile, was looking for Bush who was believed AWOL.

    Yes, we do have a choice in the fall -- between a coward and a decorated all-American hero who is more like Churchill than Bush will ever hope to be.

    La Mesa

    I think it is appropriate in every election to reflect on an American president's accomplishments. President Bush is inextricably linked to the attacks on our soil. He should be allowed to run advertisements of the leadership he exhibited.

    I think it is as appropriate that Democrats should be able to run advertisements examining his leadership. They should show the 600-plus body bags coming back from Iraq, the testimony of several of his former key Cabinet appointments and advisers. People should be informed how he has led character assassinations of dissenters.

    Certainly, debate Sept. 11, but make sure that Americans understand that Bush's leadership on terrorism and foreign policy has been lackluster and misguided, possibly creating an even more dangerous world in which to live, spreading terrorism to more nations.

    His legacy may be that he created a dispersion of terrorism from Afghanistan to more nations than one coalition can destroy.

    San Diego

    Your editorial of March 25, "Task too important / Keep partisanship out of 9/11 probe" tries to make the important point that politics should be kept out of the commission's proceedings. Unfortunately, the point is lost because of the partisanship in your editorial. You devoted two paragraphs to the partisanship of Democrat Jamie Gorelick but made no mention of the partisanship of any Republicans such as James Thompson.

    San Diego

    The judgment of history will be that the war in Iraq was not at all about Sept. 11, 2001, but all about November 2004.

    San Diego

    posted by tbogg at 8:58 PM



    9/11 as a mulligan...

    President All Hat, No Clue didn't let a little document entitled "Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US" keep him form his appointed rounds:

    President Bush was in an expansive mood on Aug. 7, 2001, when he ran into reporters while playing golf at the Ridgewood Country Club in Waco, Tex.

    The day before, the president had received an intelligence briefing -- the contents of which were declassified by the White House Saturday night -- warning "Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US." But Bush seemed carefree as he spoke about the books he was reading, the work he was doing on his nearby ranch, his love of hot-weather jogging, his golf game and his 55th birthday.

    "No mulligans, except on the first tee," he said to laughter. "That's just to loosen up. You see, most people get to hit practice balls, but as you know, I'm walking out here, I'm fixing to go hit. Tight back, older guy -- I hit the speed limit on July 6th."

    ...and America hit a wall on 9/11 because the Golfcart Cowboy was asleep at the putter.

    posted by tbogg at 5:02 PM



    Blinding glimpse of the obvious

    Kaus takes off his Kerry Tunnel Goggles™ and states what a lot of people have been saying for, oh, over a year:

    The grimmest lesson of Fallujah? Will any democratic government we could conceivably leave behind in Iraq be strong enough to stop Sunni towns like Fallujah--filled with well-armed, well-trained America-hating young men--from becoming ongoing hotbeds of terrorist plotting? The lesson of recent events in Iraq would seem to be a pessimistic one in this regard. (You'd need a strong, non-American military force able to thoroughly police Fallujah and Tikrit. But the Iraqi national forces haven't exactly proven to be a mighty hammer. And the Sunnis, in a loose federal system, seem unlikely to want to crack down on their own.) ... That's true even if the Marines are able to completely clean out the current Fallujah "vipers' nest"--something that also looks increasingly unlikely, given the political pressure for a cease-fire. ... It means that the Iraq War--even if we basically succeed in nation-building--could result in the creation of a new series of towns that --like the towns on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border--are a terrorist Petri dish. If that's the outcome, then in one respect at least we will have succeeded in replacing one terror threat (Saddam) with another, no? .... 12:42 P.M.

    Welcome to "No, duh" Nation, Mick....


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