TBogg - "...a somewhat popular blogger"

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  • Monday, May 31, 2004


    One is an economist, the other one knows how to spell "economist"....

    Right hand meet the left hand. The NY Times publishes this by David Brooks on the same day that it publishes this by Paul Krugman.

    posted by tbogg at 11:17 PM



    Now she'll never know how that whole Harry Potter thing is gonna work out....

    Ramona Trinidad Iglesias Jordan, who at age 114 was recognized as the world's oldest person, has died after a bout with pneumonia, her family said Monday.

    Iglesias died Saturday in a nursing home in San Juan, said Rene Matos, a great nephew who lives in El Paso, Texas. She was three months from turning 115.

    Imagine living to be 115 years old and still getting the same discount at Dennys that any 55-year old punk could get.

    I bet you never thought of it that way....

    posted by tbogg at 11:05 PM



    My 2004 Memorial Day Observation.

    Infinity has nothing on a high school Track & Field dinner and award ceremony.

    You're just going to have to trust me on this.

    posted by tbogg at 10:58 PM



    Well, I always thought they were "stroking it"....

    I don't have much of an opinion about the content of this article from the American Journalism Review (which basically reads like every mainstream article about blogging over the past 2 years). But I have to wonder why the AJR would let one of their writers write this:

    There are the rock stars of political blogging--Glenn H. Reynolds (www.instapundit.com), Andrew Sullivan (www.andrewsullivan.com), Joshua Micah Marshall (www.talkingpointsmemo.com) and Mickey Kaus (www.kausfiles.com)--moody maestros who stroke their keyboards more quietly but no less fervently than Coldplay's Chris Martin. (my emphasis)

    That is one gawdawful awkward analogy.

    posted by tbogg at 10:50 PM



    Everyone gets a vote...but only one vote counts

    Oh bother. Viceroy Bremer seems to be having a spot of trouble with the natives:

    The rift between Iraq's Governing Council and the United States over the nomination of the president erupted in acrimony Monday, with council members accusing the chief U.S. administrator of trying to railroad them into accepting America's choice for the post.

    Members of the U.S.-appointed Governing Council were to meet Monday to finalize candidates for the government that will run Iraq after the United States restores limited sovereignty June 30, but when they arrived at the U.S. administration headquarters, they said they were greeted by a message from administrator Paul Bremer that the meeting was postponed.

    "Mr. Bremer won't let the council vote, and he says if we vote, he won't accept the result," said Mahmoud Othman, an independent Kurdish council member. "He is a dictator. I don't know how he can behave like that. He's imposing his will on everybody."

    Under normal circumstances Bremer would have Othman taken out and flogged, but we don't do those kinds of things.

    At least, we don't anymore....

    posted by tbogg at 10:22 PM


    Sunday, May 30, 2004


    Online suicide

    Jonah slits his throat with Occam's Razor. First this from a few days ago:

    I BET MOORE'S LYING [Jonah Goldberg ]
    Occam's razor, my friends, the simplest explanation is usually the best.

    Today this:

    I WAS WRONG [Jonah Goldberg]
    Moore didn't lie about having Berg footage.
    Posted at 08:52 AM

    Perhaps in place of Occam's Razor he should have cited Noonan's Law:

    Is it irresponsible to speculate? It is irresponsible not to.

    And remember, kids, it doesn't count as lying if you post from another country.

    posted by tbogg at 10:36 AM


    Saturday, May 29, 2004


    Maybe he can blame this on "old media"

    Now we know why he doesn't teach at the film school:

    MY SISTER SAW THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW today, and summarizes it thusly: "The world's better off without people, with lots of special effects." Julian Sanchez, meanwhile, says that the film isn't likely to hurt the Bush Administration, as some have speculated: "George Bush should be buying people tickets to this movie. It's preposterous from start to finish."


    Once again, the Gore endorsement looks like the kiss of death.
    (My emphasis)

    From Drudge:


    posted by tbogg at 9:37 PM


    Friday, May 28, 2004


    There will be no biffing about while the wildebeest slumber by the waterhole

    There's not much to say this week about America's Worst Mother™ as Meghan admits that her children (Malificent, Anorexia, Cleon, and Episiotomy Ed) are feral due to the fact that she really is America's Worst Mother™.

    A speedy wildebeest can outrun a pack of predators, or hide from them, or feint in a frantic zigzag until its attackers lose interest and seize some less fleet-footed prey. A parent, on the other hand, is for 18 years vulnerable to ambush at all hours, from all sides.

    A parent must become skilled at sensing the predator and reading its intentions before it pounces. So, for example, an experienced father will, without looking, automatically brace his spine a split-second before his son leaps from the second-floor landing at his unprotected back. A wily mother knows that if she kneels on the floor to play horsie with the youngest child, she must expect all the children to pile on, no matter how brute their force, spiny their limbs, or how large and gangly they have grown. It's not fatal, like an encounter with hyenas, but it comes close.


    There is nothing more annoying than hearing an upper-middle class stay-at-home suburban mom whine about how hard it is to raise her children when there are millions of working moms (including single-parent working moms) who daily manage the feat without letting their brood turn into a pack of slavering scavengers. But it reminds us that there are two important lessons to be learned here:

    1. Don't have more kids than you can handle. With rare exceptions (the Santorum family comes to mind), human children do not come in litters. There is a reason for that. Birth control is widely available and if you can't avail yourself, practice the rhythm method, but only if you keep a beat. Besides, if you have too many kids too close together you end up looking like this which is nature's way of warning men off.

    2. Teach your children well. You're the mommy. You make the rules. Enforce them. You've probably had years of practice with the daddy, and look how well he's turned out. A time-out, a stern word, a threatening glance, or a well-placed burst of pepperspray can turn even the most uncontrollable child into a docile little angel...once the screaming and face-rubbing on the carpet has concluded.

    These are proven rules. One need only look at how well I turned out...

    posted by tbogg at 6:42 AM


    Thursday, May 27, 2004


    With a little blush and perhaps a perm, Iraq will be able to go out for a night on the town with the other better-looking countries...

    It must be Pick on NRO Night because we now turn our well-meaning but non-lifted eye on Myrna Blyth who brought her Ladies Home Journal experience over to the National Review to get Jonah off the couch and out of those ridiculous weightlifters pants, get KJL to lay off the blue eye shadow, and make the Derb quit clipping his toenails at his desk.

    Today, Myrna compares Iraq to the Fox reality show, The Swan:

    Maybe those moronic soldiers at Abu Ghraib thought they were taking part in some kind of reality show, only slightly more grotesque than the ones that are now a staple on television, during what used to be family hour. Reality shows, we are told, are especially appealing to young viewers — both men and women — that important demographic the networks and their advertisers are always desperately seeking. Expect even more next season. For all we know, dimwitted Lynndie England and her companions were recording their misdeeds to serve as their very own audition tapes.

    As for The Swan, its tastelessness is so over-the-top that it makes ABC's Extreme Makeover — yet another current show devoted to transformations — look downright prissy. In case you missed it — fear not, it will be back again next year — during the nine-episode series 18 women (who, we were told, were ugly ducklings "lacking in self-esteem") were made over with the assistance of a panel of "experts."

    A few of the women, I grant you, did have misshapen teeth, and one or two had a nose that could have used some work*. But most would have looked just fine with a haircut, a little make-up, and a membership to Curves. It was The Swan's "experts" — a plastic surgeon, a cosmetic dentist, a psychologist, and a "life coach" (who also happened to be the show's creator and executive producer) — who decided what the women really needed. And they needed plenty. No a la carte plastic surgery for these girls.


    In truth, makeovers, even ones this drastic, rarely work. When I was a magazine editor overseeing the more traditional makeovers of the past — which consisted of paint, polish, and a change of hair color — we knew that within a week the makeover candidate would go back to looking like herself. Even extensive plastic surgery simply cannot create beauty, and sometimes the transformation isn't even appreciated. On one news report about makeovers, an unimpressed husband complained, "I used to be able to see her mother's face in hers. I can't see that anymore" — which proves that at least some men prefer the woman we are becoming to the girl we might have been.

    Knowing what I do about the problems with makeovers, I am concerned about what we are hoping to achieve in Iraq. We all believe the Middle East needs more than a cosmetic change. It needs a far-harder-to-accomplish transformation that must come from the inside out.

    You see, makeovers are a lot like what the Bush Administration is doing in Iraq because we're nipping and tucking and lifting and spending a lot of money and when it's all over and done with all the public seems to notice is a couple of boobs.

    At least that's what I think she means.

    *Since Myrna offered some suggestions to the ladies of The Swan, I thought I would return the favor on their behalf. Here's Myrna. I'm thinking definite eyelift, a slight narrowing of the nose, and would it kill her to have a top lip? Don't even get me started on her ass.....

    posted by tbogg at 9:42 PM



    Later I'll discuss books I've never read and music I've never heard

    Mark Krikorian over at the Corner is one of the NRO writers who base their posts on headlines they read and things they've heard. When they actually need to write something substantial to justify their phoney-baloney jobs, they "bleg" which is another term for getting their gullible readers to use Google for them because you know how complex Google can be. Anyway, yesterday Mark, like, heard about this movie, and like, he hasn't seen it or anything cuz it's not at the mall and stuff, but he, like, thought he could write about it to make it look like he's been working this week instead of playing DDRMax 2:

    A mockumentary entitled "A Day Without a Mexican" opened earlier this month in several dozen theaters in California and Texas. I would have written a review for NRO, but it's not being shown anywhere I can get to (I understand Steve Sailer is reviewing it for the upcoming issue of The American Conservative). The premise is that Californians wake up one day and all Hispanics have magically disappeared -- not just illegal aliens or even all immigrants, but all Hispanics. Much hilarity is supposed to ensue, as clueless white and black people haplessly try to wash dishes and rake lawns.

    Without passing judgment on the movie as such, it's clearly based on the usual false assumptions of the open-borders crowd: there are jobs Americans won't do, the price of produce would skyrocket without foreign labor, only racists want to enforce immigration laws, etc. Perhaps most insidious is the effort to blur the difference between legal and illegal immigrants, and between citizens and non-citizens. The very premise of the movie is thus blood-and-soil nationalism of das Volk (or rather, La Raza), which is only socially permissable when advocated by approved ethnic groups.

    I'd love to hear the reactions of any Corner readers who've seen the movie.

    His reader(s) responds:

    Only one reader who'd actually seen the movie "A Day Without a Mexican" has contacted me, his assessment being that is was "freaking hilarious, and makes some very valid socio-economic points."

    Be that as it may, readers who hadn't seen it had much to say. The idea for the movie seems to have come from a play, "Day of Absence," by Douglas Turner Ward, where all the blacks in a southern town in 1965 magically disappear and the feckless white people are unable to cope.

    So you see, the Corner readers have much in common with the Corner writers in that they may not know much or have experienced much, but they sure have an opinion on whatever that much is and it's probably has something to do with people of the dusky hue who don't show up for work when they should.

    posted by tbogg at 8:33 PM



    Just for the record...

    I thought he should have called this: Après moi, l'idiot

    posted by tbogg at 1:52 PM



    Lawyer, doctor, fireman, cowboy, cage fighter, flamboyant exercise guru....

    Remember when little boys wanted to grow up and become, well, something other than an actuary?

    Richard Simmons is off the hook -- the assault charges have been dropped, Phoenix police say. In March, he slapped Christopher Farney, a cage fighter, after Farney allegedly made a sarcastic remark about the flamboyant exercise guru at an airport. Lawyers say a private settlement was reached.

    I'm thinking that Farney said something about Simmons not being real, you know, masculine and stuff....

    posted by tbogg at 8:26 AM



    Shorter James Glassman

    "Al Gore is a "pitchman for a dimwitted, scientifically clueless movie". On the other hand, I was remarkably prescient when I wrote Dow 36,000".

    posted by tbogg at 12:08 AM


    Wednesday, May 26, 2004


    Time to come out of the closet. No. Not you gay guys. You stay where you are.

    Larry Elder, who makes a living in conservative circles by being black, wants all you mature Bush lovers (which sounds like a porn site to me) to stand up and be counted.

    heard of a local high school teacher who, in front of the class, likened George W. Bush to Adolf Hitler. A friend's hairdresser loudly and blithely informs all who listen that Bush "created Osama bin Laden." A nearby florist wrinkled his face as if a skunk had waddled by, and called the Iraq war "Bush's War."

    Why do the "decent, tolerant and open-minded" people throw social caution to the wind while denouncing President Bush? Call this the Pauline Kael syndrome. The former New Yorker film critic once made a remark that captures this I-hate-the-president-and-any-sane-person-agrees-with-me mentality. In the 1972 presidential race, Richard Nixon destroyed George McGovern, winning every state except Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. The results surprised and stunned Kael, who said, "Nobody I know voted for Nixon."

    Social Bush-bashers depend on something they feel Bush supporters lack -- civility. Mature people avoid making others uncomfortable or getting into disputes over politics in social settings. They avoid unnecessarily offending people whom they don't know. They don't assume the world marches in lockstep with their views.

    Bush's critics call the president "arrogant." But there's a special type of arrogance that assumes any fair and open-minded person must think as I do.

    What about you? Have you bitten your tongue while somebody you just met demeans the president by calling him a moron, evil or reminiscent of Hitler? How many times have you fought back the urge to defend the president against unfair, hysterical, emotional, nonsensical and childish "Bush-makes-me-feel-ashamed-to-be-an-American" type remarks?

    Write me. I'm collecting stories.

    Here's one.

    Here's another.

    Then there's this.

    And let's not forget this.

    And this sure dopesn't sound very civil to me.

    What about this guy?

    This seems indelicate.

    All of that, without even linking to Emperor Flacid.

    Civility. It's not just a one way street.

    posted by tbogg at 11:17 PM



    Although the puppet suit fit him well, he was disturbed by the big friggin' target on the back of the jacket

    Hussain al-Shahristani wants to live a little longer:

    A Shiite Muslim nuclear scientist tabbed as the top candidate for prime minister of an Iraqi government that is due to take power June 30 does not want the job, the U.N. envoy said Wednesday.

    The scientist, Hussain al-Shahristani, who was imprisoned for years under former President Saddam Hussein, was among several people being considered for the post, Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawer, president of the Iraqi Governing Council, confirmed Wednesday.

    U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, who was in Baghdad helping Iraqis agree on an interim government that will take over June 30, said he met al-Shahristani and thought highly of him, Ahmed Fawzi, Brahimi’s spokesman, said in a statement.

    “Mr. Shahristani, however, has himself clarified that he would prefer to serve his country in other ways,” the statement said, without elaborating.

    Preferably something that doesn't involve having John Negoponte's hand up his ass.

    posted by tbogg at 9:42 PM



    When spam gets out of control....

    Mixed in with the Ci@lis come-ons and the hot teen monkey-sex links, comes this spam which, I just know, was sent to me by mistake:

    From the desk of:
    Don Nori
    PO box 351
    Shippensburg, PA 17257 USA
    Destiny Image Christian Publishers
    "Twenty-one years of publishing the word of the Lord"


    Greetings to you in Jesus' wonderful Name. He is our ever appearing King.

    We are preparing for the new season of book releases throughout Europe, Africa and the USA. Since you are probably working on a manuscript now, you are the perfect candidate to contact first. Sorry this is a form letter, but if you are ready to proceed, this will be only form letter you will get. Our contacts from now on will be personal.

    We are seriously looking for cutting edge, prophetic books that contain a 'now' word for the nations.

    We are also looking for manuscripts that lay Christian foundations or deal with relationships, children, teens; or carry a personal testimony of hope and love.

    If you have a manuscript in progress, or need help in preparing a manuscript for publication before the end of 2004, please write to me so we may begin the publishing process.

    I stopped reading right about here....

    posted by tbogg at 9:26 PM



    American I-don't-care

    Another cultural footnote is born.

    More shitty Diane Warren-esque pop pap to follow.

    posted by tbogg at 9:21 PM


    Tuesday, May 25, 2004



    This is what it sounds like when a chickenhawk cries:

    In discussing the Iraq war, both Clancy and Zinni singled out the Department of Defense for criticism. Clancy recalled a prewar encounter in Washington during which he "almost came to blows" with Richard Perle, a Pentagon adviser at the time and a longtime advocate of the invasion.

    "He was saying how (Secretary of State) Colin Powell was being a wuss because he was overly concerned with the lives of the troops," Clancy said. "And I said, 'Look ..., he's supposed to think that way!' And Perle didn't agree with me on that. People like that worry me."

    Our troops...Perle's pawns.

    posted by tbogg at 11:04 PM



    Crawlin' from the wreckage, Crawlin' from the wreckage
    You'd think by now at least that half my brain would get the message

    Some people learn from their mistakes. Others just go on making new ones, leaving it to others to clean up the mess. Can there be any doubt that when President Whistleass leaves office (hopefully soon) that this will be representative of how he views his job performance?:

    Q Second question. Has the President seen or heard the statement Mr. Ahmed Chalabi said yesterday, on various television programs, about his offer to come to Congress to clear his name of the accusation? He's charged George Tenet directly with the charges.

    MR. McCLELLAN: Well, obviously, that's up to members of Congress to decide.

    Q Yes, but has the President been made aware --

    MR. McCLELLAN: I think the President is focused on moving forward on the mission at hand and implementing the clear strategy we have for building a free, democratic and peaceful Iraq. He is looking forward and, you know, if others want to look back to the past, that's fine, but he's going to continue looking forward.

    posted by tbogg at 10:39 PM



    Terror alert to change to "Oh, shit..." color.

    According to the AP:

    Terrorists Planning Summer Attack

    This looks like the first salvo...

    Those bastards....

    posted by tbogg at 10:00 PM



    If he starts doing* Meghan Gurdon, my career is so over....

    Honestly, after reading this,there is nothing that I could do tonight that could come within miles of its genius.

    *By "doing" Meghan Gurdon (America's Worst Mom™...but you knew that)I meant parodying her. Not really, you know, doing her. Ick.)

    (Added) By the way, for you Steven den Beste fans (and you know who you are), I recently read a passage in Jonathan Lethem's The Fortress of Solitude that reminded me of a certain blogger. Does this ring a bell?:

    Arthur Lomb sat with one leg folded under his body like a kindergartner. His monologues were all brow-furrowed and lip-pursed, craven machinations cut with philosophical asides and vice versa. His jabber had a glottal, chanted quality, seemingly designed to guide you past the territory where you might wish to tell him to shut up already or even to strike him, into the realm of baffled wonderment as you considered the white noise of a nerd's id in full song.

    Eerie, ain't it?

    posted by tbogg at 9:35 PM


    Monday, May 24, 2004


    The Baathist-Zarqawi-NYT-CNN-MSNBC-WAPO-FOXNPR-ABC-TIMEWARNER-Miramax alliance...

    Why Andrew Sullivan gets the big bucks (or why people take pity on him and contribute so he'll just go away on vacation for a few weeks and the world will have a chance to relax and get a bit smarter again):

    I also liked the way the president unapologetically linked what we are doing in Iraq with the broader war on terror.

    Yeah. Because he's never ever mentioned that before in any of his stump speeches, press conferences, commencement addresses, interviews, asides, or in the midst of telling a dead baby joke to Dick Cheney. So other than those, it was most refreshing...

    And then:

    In the wake of 9/11, a Saddam-Zarqawi alliance would have been a terrible threat. Now we have a Baathist-Zarqawi insurgency. And we have had a year to defeat it. Threading the needle of sovereignty, transfer of power, battling terrorism and coordinating elections is still a massive undertaking. But I was reassured by the president's speech. It's a beginning. He now has to make a version of it again and again and again. He is up against a press corps determined to make this transition fail, in order to defeat a Bush presidency. He will need true grit to withstand it.

    Why would the media want to defeat a Bush presidency? Bush = war+corruption+scandals+human degradation+stupid human tricks.

    The media lives for this stuff.

    posted by tbogg at 10:30 PM



    Making a list...checkin' it twice, gonna find out who's in the thrall of our Dark Lord Satan or nice

    It's a sad fact that many Christians either can't remember all the 10 Commandments or they do remember them but choose to break a few every once in a while to keep their street cred for those Jesus Raves. So it comes as no surprise when the Presidential Prayer Team got together to make up a list for Pray the Vote, well, they may have left something off the list:

    In this election year, the need for prayer is as great as ever. The Presidential Prayer Team will launch its unique initiative, Pray the VoteTM, on June 21, 2004. The goal of Pray the Vote is simply to stimulate prayer for the fall elections. Believing that when Americans pray we open a door for God to work in our nation, The Presidential Prayer Team is encouraging people to get involved in a variety of ways that include:

    Making a commitment to pray for the upcoming elections
    Prayer Parties—invite your friends and neighbors to pray
    October 5th Virtual Prayer Rally, one month before the election
    November 1st Virtual Prayer Rally, Election Eve
    Downloadable resources available soon on the website

    November 2. Sit down with a nice cup of tea, a stack of Amy Grant CD's, and then proceed to read all the Left Behind books non-stop, in order.

    We'll let you know how the election went on Wednesday.

    posted by tbogg at 10:07 PM



    Otherwise occupied

    I was going to watch the Mumbler-in-Chief's speech tonight but Everybody Loves Raymond was on and it was that episode where Raymond whines about something, his brother says something stupid and his parents argue (you know? that episode) so I didn't get to see it.

    Actually I didn't watch Raymond either.

    I'm such a liar.

    But Jesse watched it.

    That's thirty-one minutes he would probably like to have back...

    posted by tbogg at 9:56 PM


    Sunday, May 23, 2004


    Then they all goose-stepped over to the Neo-Nazi Club bake sale....

    Via democraticunderground.com's Top 10 Conservative Idiots (which is a must read) we learn the story of Principal Gary Tripp who...oh hell, just read this:

    In March 2003, a teenage girl named Courtney presented one of her poems before an audience at Barnes & Noble bookstore in Albuquerque, then read the poem live on the school's closed-circuit television channel.

    A school military liaison and the high school principal accused the girl of being "un-American" because she criticized the war in Iraq and the Bush administration's failure to give substance to its "No child left behind" education policy.

    The girl's mother, also a teacher, was ordered by the principal to destroy the child's poetry. The mother refused and may lose her job.

    Bill Nevins was suspended for not censoring the poetry of his students. Remember, there is no obscenity to be found in any of the poetry. He was later fired by the principal.

    After firing Nevins and terminating the teaching and reading of poetry in the school, the principal and the military liaison read a poem of their own as they raised the flag outside the school. When the principal had the flag at full staff, he applauded the action he'd taken in concert with the military liaison.

    Then to all students and faculty who did not share his political opinions, the principal shouted: "Shut your faces."

    Via Radley Balko, here's more.

    posted by tbogg at 10:47 PM



    No head for you

    My goodness we're a thin-skinned people:

    Cartoonist Garry Trudeau (search) apologized and several newspapers cautioned readers or refused to run Sunday's "Doonesbury" (search) strip, which showed a man's head on a platter, two weeks after an American was beheaded in Iraq.

    Although Sunday's strip was unrelated to the war and was drawn weeks before Nicholas Berg (search) was beheaded, Trudeau said the strip was "unfortunately overtaken by events."

    "To 'hand someone his head' is a common expression, not normally associated with actual violence," Trudeau said in a statement on his Web site. "I regret the poor timing, and apologize to anyone who was offended by an image that is now clearly inappropriate."

    The extended forecast calls for periods of fake outrage followed by the usual drooling.

    posted by tbogg at 9:30 PM



    Wow. The fish does rot from the head down...

    Somebody broke the President's Dorian Gray portrait.

    Okay. I'm no cyclist, but is wearing a mouth guard really part of the normal equipment?

    Bush, who was wearing a safety helmet and mouth guard when the mishap occurred, declined the offer of a car ride home from Secret Service agents and instead pedaled the remaining mile to his house, Duffy said.

    "It's been raining a lot. The topsoil was loose," the White House spokesman noted.

    Bush was the subject of a presidential safety scare in 2002, when he fainted after choking on a pretzel while watching a football game on television.

    I'm just so darn proud of this president and the way he confronts everyday dangers. Next week: he gets his head stuck in one of his desk drawers looking for a dropped Tootsie Roll. Hilarious hijinks ensue...

    posted by tbogg at 11:43 AM



    Laura was heard to mutter, "Better a missed graduation than a missed period..."

    Jenna goes AWOL:

    President Bush wasn't the only one who skipped the pomp and circumstance of his daughter's graduation from the University of Texas on Saturday. Jenna Bush did not participate either.

    Despite her name being listed on the commencement program, Bush was not among the more than 150 English majors receiving degrees Saturday afternoon at the Austin campus. Attendance at the event is not required to graduate from the university.


    A White House spokeswoman said she did not know why Jenna Bush did not attend the commencement but added that the administation declines to comment on matters related to the president's daughters.

    Jenna claims that she instead attended graduation ceremonies at the University of Alabama...but no one remembers seeing her there.

    posted by tbogg at 11:38 AM


    Friday, May 21, 2004


    And you can get cool sweatshirts with some guys dog on it....

    Clifford May says:

    Actually, NRO is more than that. It's the 21st-century version of the sidewalk café in Paris, the posh men's club in London, that out-of-the-way bar in Budapest where the most-intriguing people gather to drink and whisper, the Greenwich Village hideaway where, it was once said, "the beat meet the elite."

    ...and here I thought it was like the corner booth at Dennys where people never seem to leave because they have no real job, no one to go home to, and the coffee refills are free.

    posted by tbogg at 10:43 PM



    I see a helmet in your future....then an early grave

    JuliusBlog has our Phrenolgist in Chief.

    posted by tbogg at 9:57 PM



    Messing with the dumb people's heads

    So I'm reading TPM when I come across this little tidbit:

    Accusing top Pentagon officials of "dereliction of duty," retired Marine General Anthony Zinni says staying the course in Iraq isn't a reasonable option. "The course is headed over Niagara Falls. I think it's time to change course a little bit or at least hold somebody responsible for putting you on this course," he tells Steve Kroft in an interview to be broadcast on 60 MINUTES Sunday, May 23 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
    The current situation in Iraq was destined to happen, says Zinni, because planning for the war and its aftermath has been flawed all along. "There has been poor strategic thinking in this...poor operational planning and execution on the ground," says Zinni, who served as commander-in-chief of the U.S. Central Command from 1997 to 2000.

    He blames the poor planning on the civilian policymakers in the administration known as neoconservatives who saw the invasion as a way to stabilize the region and support Israel. He believes these people, who include Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, the undersecretary of defense, have hijacked U.S. foreign policy. "They promoted it and pushed [the war]...even to the point of creating their own intelligence to match their needs. Then they should bear the responsibility," Zinni tells Kroft.

    In his upcoming book, Battle Ready, written with Tom Clancy, Zinni writes of the poor planning in hars--....

    Whoa there, little neocon.

    Zinni... writes a book... critical of the war... with Tom Clancy, the patron saint of wannabe von Clausewitz warbloggers? The man who launched a 1000 "Well, I never served, but as a student of Sun Tzu..."

    That Tom Clancy?

    Boy. If the warbloggers had problems getting erections before.....

    posted by tbogg at 9:42 PM



    Randy Newman is the Nostradamus of our age...

    George goes to LSU:

    Trying to counter the attention that Democratic rival John Kerry is paying to Louisiana, President Bush on Friday defended his administration’s efforts in Iraq as he combined a commencement address with fund-raising in a state he won comfortably in 2000.

    Stressing the need to serve society in remarks aimed at projecting the image of strong leadership, Bush received an enthusiastic welcome from the faculty and 3,200-member graduating class of Louisiana State University. Several members of the audience sat in silent protest as everyone else stood and applauded as Bush was introduced.


    And colleges men from LSU
    Went in dumb. Come out dumb too
    Hustlin' 'round Atlanta in their alligator shoes
    Gettin' drunk every weekend at the barbecues

    posted by tbogg at 9:00 PM



    If I link to enough stuff, I'll be proved correct. That's how blogs work you know...

    Like watching a man beg for sex, this is getting really sad to watch.

    A poll from Fox
    Donald Sensing
    The Moonie Times
    Jeff Jarvis
    Joel Mowbray at Townhall?

    At which point do you bust through the bottom of the barrel and start tunneling?

    Ooops. Mickey Kaus.

    Better bring a flashlight.

    posted by tbogg at 8:38 PM



    ...and starring Twitchy the rabbit as Barfy the dog.

    You don't have to wait for the Sunday papers to get your minimum daily requirement of America's Worst Mother™, we've got it right here.

    Today we learn for a fact what we have always suspected; the Gurdon family is the model for Bill Keane's Family Circus, except in this case, the kid's names are Laodameia, Fructis, Maoliosa, and Moe. In this week's episode we are introduced to Granny (just like in Family Circus) but not Gramps who (just like in Family Circus) is dead and just hanging around in a white robe tied at the waist with the rope he probably hung himself with in order to get away from this creepy family. Granny has come to stay for the weekend so that Meghan and Mr. Meghan can get away from their clutching mewling devil-spawn Children of the Corn brood for a weekend of relaxation, birthday celebrating, and ugly-bumping (which we dearly hope involves birth control because we are running out of good names).

    Did we mention a birthday? Damn straight!:

    You are not going away!" Molly's face is suddenly fierce. A white hand grips my arm.

    "Oh, but we are," I say lightly, with a leaden heart. Granny has come to stay so that my husband and I can go away for an unprecedented long weekend to celebrate my — well, my — look, how hard is it to say? As it happens, I'm about to turn —

    "Why can't you have your birthday at home?"

    "How old are you, anyway?" Paris asks grumpily, having taken his cue.

    I unpick Molly's fingers from my forearm, and gently push her into the backseat.

    "At this exact moment," I repeat for the hundredth time, "I am thirty nine."

    I do not like utilitarian arguments for the existence of children — that their future tax dollars will pay to support our materially gorged generation, for example, or that without them immigrants from hostile societies will inherit the United States, or that in some misty sense they are "our future" — but it is a fact that children justify themselves in a thousand small ways, not least of which is in providing a humbling sense of perspective to the passing of time. Bumping up against a large-ish birthday, as I am about to do, is only an italicized version of the little homily that children deliver every time they outgrow a pair of shoes. They are getting taller, you are getting older, and no amount of alpha-hydroxy acids can make it stop.

    Or, to shorten the preceding: children are not bundles of joy. They are a living countdown to your inevitable dirt nap.

    Anyway, since Meghan is about to turn forty (which is 280 in Barfy years) she turns her impending middle-aged eye on those other women that aren't aging as well as she is:

    Children are not absolutely required to make this point. Washington cocktail parties will also do the trick. We attended one the other day so packed with surgically altered middle-aged females it felt as though we'd walked onto the set of the Stepford Mothers-in-Law.

    "Memento mori..." my husband murmured, fascinated, and repelled. Champagne glasses rose to innumerable silicone-plumped mouths set in wide-eyed girlish faces. Loose necks quivered gently above countless pastel distressed-tweed cocktail suits. As with portraits in a haunted house, staring mascaraed eyes seemed to follow us around the room. I left vowing to greet each birthday with noisy insouciance. My friend Danielle thinks if women are going to lie about their ages, they ought to round them up. No surgery needed: One white lie and you'll will always look younger than you "are."

    Meaning they should kill them just like in Logan's Run which isn't very Family Circus-like unless, when the people are on the run, they leave those little dotted lines behind them which would be pretty cool but would make it easier to find them.

    Anyway, we later find out that Granny is a liberal which means that while Meghan and Mr. Meghan are gone for the weekend she will force the girls to have abortions, burn the family bible, subscribe to Spice TV, and tell the kids that they are descended from apes (which would explain Meghan's feces throwing and the thick growth of hair on Mr. Meghan's back):

    There is an outraged pause on our side, a defensive one on Granny's. Then she laughs and shrugs. "I guess I'm just a typical soft-hearted liberal," she says, "I see a pale bean, struggling for life, and I have to give it water."

    As opposed to a conservative who would rip it out by the roots, stuff it in it's mouth, and invade another house looking for more. At least, that's what Grandpa did before he died...

    posted by tbogg at 7:25 AM


    Thursday, May 20, 2004


    Just more fraternity hijinks....

    This is how we go about winning hearts and minds in Iraq:

    Previously secret sworn statements by detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq describe in raw detail abuse that goes well beyond what has been made public, adding allegations of prisoners being ridden like animals, sexually fondled by female soldiers and forced to retrieve their food from toilets.


    The statements provide the most detailed picture yet of what took place on the cellblock. Some of the detainees described being abused as punishment or discipline after they were caught fighting or with a prohibited item. Some said they were pressed to denounce Islam or were force-fed pork and liquor. Many provided graphic details of how they were sexually humiliated and assaulted, threatened with rape, and forced to masturbate in front of female soldiers.

    "They forced us to walk like dogs on our hands and knees," said Hiadar Sabar Abed Miktub al-Aboodi, detainee No. 13077. "We had to bark like a dog, and if we didn't do that they started hitting us hard on our face and chest with no mercy. After that, they took us to our cells, took the mattresses out and dropped water on the floor and they made us sleep on our stomachs on the floor with the bags on our head and they took pictures of everything."

    The prisoners also provided accounts of how some of the now-famous photographs were staged, including the pyramid of hooded, naked prisoners. Eight of the detainees identified by name one particular soldier at the center of the abuse investigation, Spec. Charles A. Graner Jr., a member of the 372nd Military Police Company from Cresaptown, Md. Five others described abuse at the hands of a solider who matches Graner's description.

    "They said we will make you wish to die and it will not happen," said Ameen Saeed Al-Sheik, detainee No. 151362. "The stripped me naked. One of them told me he would rape me. He drew a picture of a woman to my back and makes me stand in shameful position holding my buttocks."


    Kasim Mehaddi Hilas, detainee No. 151108, told investigators that when he first arrived at Abu Ghraib last year, he was forced to strip, put on a hood and wear rose-colored panties with flowers on them. "Most of the days I was wearing nothing else," he said in his statement.

    Hilas also said he witnessed an Army translator having sex with a boy at the prison. He said the boy was between 15 and 18 years old. Someone hung sheets to block the view, but Hilas said he heard the boy's screams and climbed a door to get a better look. Hilas said he watched the assault and told investigators that it was documented by a female soldier taking pictures.

    "The kid was hurting very bad," Hilas said.

    We came to bring them freedom. Instead we gave them the home version of HBO's Oz... but without the humanity.

    posted by tbogg at 10:20 PM



    So the whole prison abuse thing was just made up. Who knew?

    The Professor attempts a soft assassination with his "new media" popgun

    SEYMOUR HERSH: Some surprising people have been criticizing him. Arthur Schlesinger: "the most gullible investigative reporter I've ever encountered."

    Jules Witcover: "Hersh's attributions generally fall short of normal journalistic yardsticks."

    Ted Kennedy: ""Scurrilous."

    Who knew?

    Which means the abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison is probably bogus.

    Just like the Plame scandal.

    posted by tbogg at 7:27 PM



    Pointing out that George Bush has mustard on his chin means that you hate our fighting men and women.

    Nancy Pelosi points out the obvious and the Republicans piddle all over themselves with outrage:

    "The situation in Iraq and the reckless economic policies in the United States speak to one issue for me, and that is the competence of our leader," Pelosi said. "These policies are not working. But speaking specifically to Iraq, we have a situation where -- without adequate evidence -- we put our young people in harm's way."

    Asked specifically if she was calling Bush incompetent, Pelosi replied:

    "I believe that the president's leadership in the actions taken in Iraq demonstrate an incompetence in terms of knowledge, judgment and experience in making the decisions that would have been necessary to truly accomplish the mission without the deaths to our troops and the cost to our taxpayers."

    Pelosi charged the Bush administration has proved itself wrong on a number of issues with Iraq, including its initial assertions that Iraqis would welcome U.S. troops and that Iraq itself could pay for much of the reconstruction effort.

    "Rocket-propelled grenades, not rose petals, greeted them," Pelosi said of U.S. troops. "Instead ... of Iraq being a country that would readily pay for its own reconstruction ... we're up to over $200 billion in cost to the American people."

    Then it started:

    House Majority Leader Tom DeLay blasted Pelosi, casting her comments as detrimental to U.S. troops.

    "Nancy Pelosi should apologize for her irresponsible, dangerous rhetoric," DeLay, R-Texas, said. "She apparently is so caught up in partisan hatred for President Bush that her words are putting American lives at risk."


    "The San Francisco/Boston Democrats led by John Kerry have now adopted 'Blame America First' as their official policy," RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie said in the statement.


    At the White House, spokesman Scott McClellan was asked about Pelosi.

    "I just don't think that such comments are worth dignifying with any response from this podium," he said.

    More from MSNBC:

    Steve Schmidt, a spokesman for the Bush-Cheney campaign, said Pelosi’s comments “represent a grotesque political attack. They’re simply outrageous, and the American people will reject that type of blame America first. ... American troops are bravely fighting the terrorist enemy, and it is the terrorists who are responsible for the violence, not the president.”


    And Rep. Tom Reynolds, R-N.Y., chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said if all Pelosi could offer is taunting U.S. troops “by saying they are dying needlessly and are risking their lives on a shallow mission, then she should just go back to her pastel-colored condo in San Francisco and keep her views to herself.”


    “It was a good team meeting,” said Sen. George Allen, R-Va. “There are those who will question whether or not we will stay and fight” in Iraq, Allen said.

    Referring indirectly to the prisoner abuse scandal, Allen added: “Of course the president believes that those who are serving very honorably ought to have our gratitude and appreciation.”

    Some in Congress, including Republicans, have criticized the Bush administration for not keeping Congress abreast of the cost of the Iraq war and reconstruction, the abuse of Iraqi detainees and the transfer of power.

    But Allen said there was no dissent in the room.

    “None that I heard,” Allen said. Bush was interrupted by applause “probably dozens of times, and several standing ovations,” he said.

    Being a quisling means never having to address the real issue.

    posted by tbogg at 7:13 PM



    In the future, all journalists will have glow-sticks shoved up their ass. In fact, I've got one there right now...

    James Taranto of the WSJ thinks it's okay for journalists to be assaulted my our military:

    Marshall claims that before their arrest, the Reuterians were thrown to the ground and threatened with guns, and afterward they were kept in a cold cell, had bags put over their heads, and were forced to listen to loud music and do gross things with their fingers.

    The U.S. military denies the charges. We leave it to our readers to decide which is more credible, the U.S. military or the wire service that routinely gives us such headlines as "Giuliani Lauds 9/11 'Heroes' Amid Angry Hecklers."

    But we have to say, even if the allegations are true, we don't understand why Marshall is so upset. After all, official Reuters policy is that, in the words of global news editor Stephen Jukes, "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter." If that's so, isn't one man's maltreatment another man's saturnalia?

    posted by tbogg at 1:51 PM



    I call it continuity

    White House Spokeshead Scott McClellan on McCain/Hastert:

    Asked about McCain's remarks, Speaker Dennis Hastert, a former Illinois high school wrestling coach who was rejected for military service because of a bad shoulder, said, "If you want to see sacrifice, John McCain ought to visit our young men and women at Walter Reed and Bethesda (two Washington area military hospitals). ... We have to react to keep this country strong not only militarily but economically.

    Asked on Thursday how President Bush viewed the exchange, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan steered clear.

    "I certainly wouldn't want to get in between someone who has a history in wrestling and someone who has a history in combat," he said.

    So said the spokesman of someone who has a history of running away from a fight.

    Wow. The more things change....

    posted by tbogg at 1:45 PM



    Live. From the henhouse, it's Chickenhawk Denny

    Dennis Hastert, who does double duty as both House Speaker and Tom DeLay fluffer, on John McCain:

    In a rare public swipe at a fellow Republican, House Speaker Dennis Hastert on Wednesday questioned the GOP credentials of John McCain, a U.S. senator who has often challenged party orthodoxy.

    Talking to reporters, Hastert pretended not to know who McCain was when asked about a recent statement by the GOP senator from Arizona.

    As other House GOP members stood behind him laughing, Hastert, R-Illinois, then expressed doubt that McCain was indeed a Republican.

    The exchange started when a reporter asked: "Can I combine a two issues, Iraq and taxes? I heard a speech from John McCain the other day..."

    Hastert: "Who?"

    Reporter: "John McCain."

    Hastert: "Where's he from?"

    Reporter: "He's a Republican from Arizona."

    Hastert: "A Republican?"

    Amid nervous laughter, the reporter continued with his question: "Anyway, his observation was never before when we've been at war have we been worrying about cutting taxes and his question was, 'Where's the sacrifice?' "

    Hastert: "If you want to see the sacrifice, John McCain ought to visit our young men and women at Walter Reed and Bethesda. There's the sacrifice in this country. We're trying to make sure they have the ability to fight this war, that they have the wherewithal to be able to do it. And, at the same time, we have to react to keep this country strong."
    (my emphasis)

    John McCain spent five years as a POW in VietNam.

    During that time, Dennis Hastert was teaching young high school boys how to wrestle...and surreptitiously touching himself.

    posted by tbogg at 9:52 AM


    Wednesday, May 19, 2004


    You want me to put my what where?

    Via Pandagon:

    "We are not talking retarded people here, but a couple who were brought up in a religious environment who were simply unaware, after eight years of marriage, of the physical requirements necessary to procreate."(my emphasis)

    You know, with some religious people it's kind of hard to tell....

    posted by tbogg at 11:49 PM



    Yeah. But how many people were killed? Shouldn't that be in the story?

    Since "big media" bashing (big media being defined as successful, profitable, well-respected news organizations as opposed to a guy in his jammies tapping away at his Dell when he gets bored with Everquest) is all the rage now with those who make an "interesting post" of their blogs, I thought I would pick on the NY Times over the editing of this story:

    About 40 Iraqis were killed Wednesday by American forces in an attack near the volatile border with Syria. American officials said they had fired on a suspected guerrilla safe house, but Iraqis said the Americans had strafed civilians at a wedding party.

    Both the American and the Iraqi accounts agreed that about 40 people had died. But some Iraqis and several reports in the Arab press said the attack had killed civilians, not insurgents.


    The Associated Press quoted Lt. Col. Ziyad al-Jbouri, the deputy police chief of Ramadi, as saying that between 42 and 45 people had died, including 15 children and 10 women.

    The Associated Press also quoted Dr. Salah al-Ani, a hospital worker in Ramadi, as saying 45 people were dead.

    That was all just in the first 300 words of the article.

    Is it any wonder that people are turning to other sources for information like shut-ins, verbal jerk-off artistes, and guys you hope to god never move into your neighborhood?

    posted by tbogg at 11:19 PM



    I think I can understand his need for anonymity...

    Blogs will replace "big media"...at least that's what a blogger thinks, not that he's biased or anything:

    A JOURNALIST I KNOW emails that the loss of credibility his profession is suffering is "seismic," and that he's considering quitting. What's more, he's hearing depressed comments from quite a few colleagues.

    Another reader -- who probably doesn't want his name used because he works for a major newspaper -- emails: "I've tuned out the MSM and rely on the 'Net -- bloggers, Lucianne.com, etc. -- to keep me informed, which it does quite well. That way I get all the info but don't have to endure Dan, Tom and Peter, Wolf, etc. I miss nothing that's happening but I gain all the stories that the mainstream media simply ignore." If you saw his address line, you'd know how striking a statement this is.

    Perhaps, as this bit of graffiti I photographed outside the UT Main Library today suggests (or at least illustrates), the loss of credibility suffered by mainstream journalism is at a tipping point.

    Leaving aside the hilarious reference to Lucianne.com as a source of information (Lucianne being the website that makes Free Republic look like a forum for Mensa members) one really must wonder if "mainstream journalism is at a tipping point" or if it's just facing a new paradigm..... or maybe someone just needs to snap out of their hubris-induced navel gazing.

    posted by tbogg at 10:42 PM



    Bill Bennett isn't lying. In gambling, it's called a bluff....

    I think that Steve is being a little hard on that great bloated fraud that is America's Vice Principal.

    posted by tbogg at 10:26 PM


    Tuesday, May 18, 2004


    We're Americans. We have priorities...

    If we are to believe that that Internet search popularity is an indicator of popular sentiment that "big media" ignores (at its own risk) in this country, then it looks like Nick Berg story has slipped off the national radar.

    Yahoo's #1 sought after picture.

    Beheadings are so last week...

    posted by tbogg at 11:09 PM



    And no Get Out of Jail Free cards for the evildoers...

    Six million dollars and two years of research later, the Department of Homeland Security has decided that the Wheel O'Terror™ is a more effective tool than the Yahtzee Cup of Destruction Dice. Meanwhile, Tom Ridge recommends a new way to evacuate people from towers such as this that may be attacked.

    posted by tbogg at 10:49 PM



    Baby needs a new pair of Jimmy Choos

    Finally! Relief for families who barely have enough to fill up the Hummer tank:

    The House would not only make permanent the $1,000-per-child tax credit enacted as part of the 2001 tax cut but would dramatically increase the income limits for eligibility. Currently, married families with incomes of up to $110,000 receive the full credit; the bill would more than double the income ceiling, to $250,000. Under existing law, families with two children and incomes up to $149,000 receive a partial tax credit; the bill would make that partial credit available to families with two children and income of between $250,000 and $289,000; families with three children would be entitled to the partial credit up to an income of $309,000.

    ...and we all know how hard it is to get by on $289,000 a year. Don't we?


    posted by tbogg at 10:33 PM



    Not having a pledge week

    I just wanted to point out that this blog is not having a pledge week, not that there is anything wrong with that (having one, I mean)...unless a certain blogger takes the money and immediately goes on a vacation like a certain other blogger has done...twice.

    Now I just have to figure out what I'm going to do with a warehouse full of TBogg totebags....

    posted by tbogg at 10:05 PM



    Hold their manhoods cheap ...

    I'd like to buy Roy Edroso a drink.

    Where did you get the idea that freedom of the press, as an inalienable right, is something to be "allowed"?

    There was a time (in my misty water colored-memory) when I used to enjoy reading Reynolds who, although I disagreed with him occasionally, was entertaining and thoughtful. But then he seemed to become unhinged by the neocon Iraqi war drumbeats (those drums...those infernal drums...aaiieeee..)and he decided to become both follower and leader in the Fighting 101st Keyboarders (We few, we happy few, we band of brothers who won't be fighting in this particular war. Thanks for asking, though...). Having painted himself into a corner as a supporter of the war, he now has nowhere to go without admitting that he might (just might) have been wrong. That it might be a quagmire. That we have lost a war for hearts and minds that would never have been ours. That the ever-shifting reasons for invading Iraq might have been a cover for a group of men with, in the deathless words of Dick Cheney, "other priorities". That they planned poorly, miscalculated immensely, and lie about it daily.

    Harping on the French, "big media", the 9/11 Commission, and Oil-for-food, has become the last gasp attempts of someone who wants you to pay attention to the bald spots on the lawn because they don't want you to notice that the house is on fire....

    Added) It looks like the Professor got the attention he wanted, although I can't imagine why he would want this kind of attention.

    posted by tbogg at 9:09 PM



    Setting out to prove a thesis statement

    It's not like he didn't warn us. Lilek's writes:

    I’ll tell you why I haven’t written more about this lately – it’s because there are others who do it so much better, have more to say, and have first-hand experience.

    And just to prove his point, he writes:

    Time magazine had a Brad-Holland-style cover illo of the prisoner in the Klan hat, and over the magazine’s logo the editors deployed this plaintive cry: How did it come to this?

    The crucial word in that sentence is “It.” What is “it,” exactly? The Iraqi campaign? The world birthed on 9/11? The American experience? Us? Them? I suspect it’s intended to be all of the above. It is the promise and glory of America that took a horrid wrong turn and ended up with “this.” That’s the sum total of the planet, right there, a man in a pointy hood. The potential: it. The result: this. The postlapsarian dialectic, as the academics might say, if they wanted to impress their tenured peers.

    The story of the prison abuse might have had a different impact if the media had chosen a different tack. The only news that hits the front page is bad news; the innumerable small fragments of good news don’t make A1 because papers have their standards, you see. We are expected to repair Iraq’s dilapidated electrical grid, so replacing an old generator and turning on the power to a neighborhood that’s had brown-outs for ten years is not news. Two Marines dead in an ambush is news because A) death leads, and B) that “mission accomplished” aircraft carrier photo op needs to be debunked, however subtly, as often as possible. The media has come to believe that reporting more good than bad somehow makes them suspect; it goes contrary to The Mission, which is to find out what’s wrong. I had the idea before Jarvis, but he was first to float it: a rebuilding beat. Every day, a story about what’s being accomplished large and small. I’d also pump for the occasional story of heroism, but I suspect that this would make editors uncomfortable. It might be true but it’s not . . . helpful. It would seem like cheerleading.

    And we can’t have that.

    This smothering gloom, this suppurating corrosion – this isn’t us. This isn’t who we are. If it is, well, we’re lost, because it contains such potent self-hatred that we’ll shrink from defending ourselves, because what we have built isn’t worth defending. Thanks for the push, al Qaeda! We’ll take it from here.

    And with that, James gives credence to the Lilek Family Motto:

    The unexamined life is probably a pretty good idea.

    posted by tbogg at 8:56 PM


    Monday, May 17, 2004


    Point taken

    I think that Non Sequitur has it in for a certain group of Americans.

    Here's today's.

    Here is yesterday's.

    posted by tbogg at 8:22 AM


    Sunday, May 16, 2004


    Shorter Jeff Jacoby

    Just because we've done a shitty job of explaining our opposition to gay marriage, doesn't mean that we don't have some pretty darn good reasons which probably have something to do with the children. We'll get back to you.

    posted by tbogg at 11:14 PM



    I was saddened by a singer who had no voice until I met a singer who had no career.

    Far be it for me to defend tone-deaf Pop Tart Britney Spears, but what better way to get a little press than for a little known "Christian" singer to express sorrow over the way Spears career has gone.

    Rebecca St. James, a star of the U.S. Christian music scene, said she was disappointed that role models from the world of music and movies such as Spears led youngsters astray with their message of "anything goes, if it feels good do it."

    "The biggest thing I feel for Britney is I feel sad for her," she told Reuters in an interview on Saturday.

    "I also feel sad for the nine or 10-years-old watching her who see her dressing in a very promiscuous fashion, almost asking for people to treat her as a sex object. They are going to start dressing that way too."

    Australian-born St. James, who fronts the True Love Waits organization in the U.S. which urges teenagers to avoid pre-marital sex, is embarking on a whirlwind European tour during which she hopes to spread the group's message.

    Stacie Orrico (you may now say "Who?") tried this back in February.

    America yawned.

    Then again, Christian rock has that effect on people.

    posted by tbogg at 10:36 PM



    Lie down with shiksas, wake up with credibility problems...

    In the footsteps of his dream date, Ann Coulter, it looks like the Virgin Ben's Big Ole Book O'Brainwashing has some credibility problems.

    Shapiro says while his social conservatism stems from his upbringing as an Orthodox Jew, his financial conservatism comes more from researching – "You read up and figure out whether this is what I believe," he said.

    He says he hasn't chosen a set style of writing yet but added, "I can do an Ann Coulter – one liners, very caustic ... Or less caustic, more factually oriented."

    Looks like he's 0 for 2.

    I bet he's even lying about being a virgin.

    Then again, maybe not.

    (Thanks for all of the emails regarding this)

    posted by tbogg at 9:48 PM



    After that first kiss, can the oral sex be far behind?

    While you were celebrating the Sabbath, World O'Crap was checking out what the real Christians are up to. Just scroll down to Jesus Christ. You'll be glad you did.

    posted by tbogg at 9:30 PM


    Saturday, May 15, 2004


    Pay for play...

    Access, GOP-style:

    As Bush "Pioneers" who had raised at least $100,000 each for the president's reelection campaign, or "Rangers" who had raised $200,000 each, the men and women who shot skeet with Cheney, played golf with pros Ben Crenshaw and Fuzzy Zoeller and laughed at the jokes of comedian Dennis Miller are the heart of the most successful political money operation in the nation's history. Since 1998, Bush has raised a record $296.3 million in campaign funds, giving him an overwhelming advantage in running against Vice President Al Gore and now Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.). At least a third of the total -- many sources believe more than half -- was raised by 631 people.


    Of the 246 fundraisers identified by The Post as Pioneers in the 2000 campaign, 104 -- or slightly more than 40 percent -- ended up in a job or an appointment. A study by The Washington Post, partly using information compiled by Texans for Public Justice, which is planning to release a separate study of the Pioneers this week, found that 23 Pioneers were named as ambassadors and three were named to the Cabinet: Donald L. Evans at the Commerce Department, Elaine L. Chao at Labor and Tom Ridge at Homeland Security. At least 37 Pioneers were named to postelection transition teams, which helped place political appointees into key regulatory positions affecting industry.

    A more important reward than a job, perhaps, is access. For about one-fifth of the 2000 Pioneers, this is their business -- they are lobbyists whose livelihoods depend on the perception that they can get things done in the government. More than half the Pioneers are heads of companies -- chief executive officers, company founders or managing partners -- whose bottom lines are directly affected by a variety of government regulatory and tax decisions.

    When Kenneth L. Lay, for example, a 2000 Pioneer and then-chairman of Enron Corp., was a member of the Energy Department transition team, he sent White House personnel director Clay Johnson III a list of eight persons he recommended for appointment to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Two were named to the five-member commission.

    Lay had ties to Bush and his father, former president George H.W. Bush, and was typical of the 2000 Pioneers. Two-thirds of them had some connection to the Bush family or Bush himself -- from his days in college and business school, his early oil wildcatting in West Texas, his partial ownership of the Texas Rangers baseball team and the political machine he developed as governor.

    "It's clearly the case that these networking operations have been the key driving Bush fundraising," said Anthony Corrado, a visiting scholar at the Brookings Institution and a political scientist at Colby College. "The fact that we have great numbers of these individuals raising larger and larger sums means there are going to be more individuals, postcampaign, making claims for policy preferences and ambassadorial posts."

    Asked whether the president gives any special preference to campaign contributors in making decisions about policy, appointments or other matters, White House spokesman Trent Duffy said, "Absolutely not." The president, Duffy said, "bases his policy decisions on what's best for the American people."

    A statement that caused polygraphs within a three hundred mile radius to burst into flames, injuring seven.

    By the way, I find it extremely offensive that Nancy Brinker who founded the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation is a Pioneer. It must be nice to turn a blind eye towards the Bush administration's policies towards women, but what the hell, she got to play ambassador in Hungary which proves that most everyone has a price.

    Some are just cheaper than others.

    posted by tbogg at 10:33 PM


    Friday, May 14, 2004


    I mean, I've never been naked and forced to simulate sex, but I can't imagine it's that bad....in fact, I'm willing to give it a try. Please.

    Scraping underneath the bottom of the barrel, Scarborough Country delivers up The Virgin Ben to talk about torture and being naked and moral equivalency and stuff:

    Let me begin with you, Ben Shapiro. You wrote a book about brainwashing. A lot of middle Americans think that “The New York Times” and “Boston Globe” and other elite media outlets are really the ones that are brainwashed. How are they responding to this coverage, this uneven coverage, we‘re seeing?

    BEN SHAPIRO, AUTHOR, “BRAINWASHED”: Well, I think clearly you‘re seeing a lot of uneven coverage. You‘re seeing a massive amount of coverage of the Abu Ghraib scandal and very little coverage of the Nick Berg beheading.

    And it‘s incredible to me, because I think what this really does is promote a moral equivalency between the terrorists who are beheading Nick Berg and these soldiers who committed reprehensible abuses in Iraq. But clearly these are exceptions to a rule of an honorable U.S. Army in Iraq, while the terrorist photos are clearly representative of something much larger.

    SCARBOROUGH: Well, you say there is a moral equivalency. If there were a moral equivalency, then they would be running stories on Nick Berg‘s execution and slaughter as much as they‘re doing on the prison scandal. It just seems like there‘s absolutely no perspective.

    SHAPIRO: I think that‘s absolutely true.

    I think what you‘re looking at is very much like what you see on campus. You‘re seeing a real bias towards one side and attempts to paint the U.S. military as evil, as the terrorists are, and you‘re seeing this clearly in the coverage of the Abu Ghraib scandal vs. the beheading of someone. I don‘t know how you equate getting some people naked and piling them up or possibly even abusing them in a reprehensible manner with beheading.

    I think if you‘d give any of those people in the Abu Ghraib prison the choice between being beheaded and being forced to pose naked, I think they would choose being posing naked.

    Yes. Scarborough really thinks that Ben actually wrote a book about 'brainwashing'. Hell, that's close enough to 'expert' for Joe....

    Added Bonus Ben-Blast-From-The-Past

    All you need to know about our little neocon is contained in this little snippet from this column he wrote in Feb. 2003:

    If Western Europe has its way, this will never happen. France, Germany and their other accommodation-minded cohorts are in the palms of Middle Eastern Islamic dictatorships. For these countries that never experienced the tyranny of Communist rule during the Cold War, the idea of evil is anathema.(my emphasis)

    Really makes you wanna go out and buy that Brainwashed book doesn't it?

    Speaking of which, I've added it to my Amazon Wish List list if anyone else is willing to pay for it, since I won't...

    (Thanks to reader Robert for the Scarborough link)

    posted by tbogg at 10:21 PM



    Next thing you know, they'll be telling us that Dr. Laura isn't really a therapist...

    Honestly, I've never even heard of The Swan, but it's a reality show on Fox for crying out loud. I mean, Brit Hume has been playing pretend journalist for years.

    Isn't this a bit like finding out the giant Mickey Mouse at Disneyland isn't really the real Mickey?

    posted by tbogg at 10:09 PM



    The Most Important Post You Will Read Today

    is right here.

    posted by tbogg at 10:06 PM



    Accuracy is for wimps...

    Looks like the Not Ready For A Good Paying Gig folks at NRO had a bad day today with, you know, facts...

    I LIED! [KJL]
    Bob Newhart didn't attend CUA. His son did. Apologies. The rest of the list is accurate.
    Posted at 05:57 PM

    Peter Robinson:
    OOPS [Peter Robinson ]
    From a reader:
    Dear Peter,

    Clive James is Australian.


    Posted at 05:40 PM

    John Kill'em All Derbyshire:
    DERB QUOTE MESS [John Derbyshire]
    Egg on face. The Orwell quote I passed on from a reader -- "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf" -- is bogus. See full details here.

    In my defense:

    (a) I was only passing it on from a reader. Can't stop to check everything. Not my chob.

    (b) Orwell -- in the Kipling essay I started with -- passes very similar opinions, and would undoubtedly have agreed with the remark.

    (c) True quote or not, the proposition ITSELF is true!
    Posted at 03:50 PM

    NRO: We Make Shit Up...And Sometimes We Get Caught.

    posted by tbogg at 9:44 PM



    Dumbfest redux

    Frank Lynch has some thoughts (Instapundit always says that. Even when he's referring to Lileks who never has any thoughts)

    Brian Linse was thinking along the same lines.

    ...and none of us have a chair at any university anywhere.

    posted by tbogg at 9:14 PM



    Where once we biffed, now we just footle

    It's Friday and that means that America's Worst Mother™ is back and ready to tell you that her children (Abercrombie, Stilton, Gatsby, and Grok) are like Greek or Homeric gods except for the fact that they're not from Greece or Homeria.

    With a surprising nod toward popular culture (which would be anything that became popular after, say, 1959) Meghan acknowledges that Troy is being released to the unwashed masses which means that her son's name will soon be explained to all the riff raff, particularly those who associate him with that trashy rich slut whose video Mr. Meghan seems to have a fondness for.

    "Aw, was he conceived in Paris?" comes the sidling and astonishingly intimate question from Group A. This group is made up of generally well-meaning people who have not been much exposed to classical themes. Group A will sometimes pursue the question by bringing up the surname Hilton. On these occasions my hand involuntarily closes around an invisible cudgel and it is a struggle to keep smiling.

    Of course the more intimate question would have been: "Is he called Paris because he's the result of a broken Trojan®?", but that would have just given Meghan the vapors and she would have scarcely recalled it.

    Anyway, the release of the movie (as opposed to her husbands release which created Paris) allows her to show off how classically trained she is, with mentions of Waugh, Sysiphus, Jupiter, harpies, bacchantes, and the Augean stables which she uses to remind everyone that, for a stay at home mom, she's a lousy housekeeper:

    And whereas Hercules had the task of mucking out the Augean stables once, your average housewife digs through the grisly sediment in the corners of childrens' rooms every fortnight. Unlike Hercules she doesn't have the luxury of diverting a river to do her dirty work, and furthermore, for all the Augeanness of those mythological stables, I feel sure they did not contain mummified citrus fruits.

    Perhaps if she put down the Proust and picked up the broom she wouldn't be having these problems and then she could invoke the Greek Goddess of Cleanliness: Domestica.

    From there, Meghan (The Slovenly American Goddess of Self-Deprecating Bon Mots) reminds us that her life is not only like a Greek tragedy, but it has Biblical overtones too, because a plague o' locusts is about to plague her life:

    According to news accounts, countless millions of nymphs have begun crawling out of their underground pods in the last week. As with the one we find, they grab on to something, let rip, and then, having emerged in cicada form, with tender wings, make their way into the trees. In a week or so, the air will be full of them.

    And with any luck they will invade her house, like the ants in Leiningen Vs. the Ants leaving it cleaner than they found it.

    Meanwhile, before the bug invasion her son gets in a quick manly lesson in that most manly of sports (tennis) while Meghan and her daughters "footle" (around in the park. Footle-ing being more girly than the gender neutral "biffing".

    There's a shout from the courts, and Paris races off to play tennis. For the next 45 minutes, the girls and I footle about in the kiddie park, playing tag, and hide-and-seek, and find-the-cicada. At length, I unpack sandwiches and chocolate milk for them, deputize Molly, and stroll over to watch the last few minutes of the lesson.

    As I arrive, Paris is practicing his serve.

    "Not so hard, Bam-Bam," the instructor calls out, as the ball sails high over the fence and into the playground.

    "What do you mean, Bam-Bam?"

    "Bam-bam," the man repeats with a shrug, his voice trailing away. "Gee, I guess nobody watches The Flintstones anymore."

    Other children are serving neatly over the nets, or into the nets, and balls are bouncing obediently within opposite service lines, when —

    Thwap! Another ball soars into over the fence.

    "That boy is like Hercules," I hear a father remark approvingly to the people standing with him.

    "Actually," I call, casting the die, "His name is Paris."

    "Oh, after the hero," he says, nodding.

    "Well, yes," I reply, "And thank you."

    As she gazes, Jocasta-like....

    posted by tbogg at 6:15 AM


    Thursday, May 13, 2004


    Pitching in

    I can't think of a better way to spend some money and help out a blogger or two.

    Go. Donate. Send Mary Beth to State office and help Jim help her.

    posted by tbogg at 10:54 PM



    Still cutting through the bullshit

    The New York Times is actually doing their job:

    Watching President Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld this week, it was hard to avoid the sinking feeling that they had already moved on from the Abu Ghraib prison mess and were back to their well-established practice of ignoring all bad news and marching blindly ahead as if nothing unusual had happened. That was the impression that emerged from Mr. Bush's disconnected performance on Monday, when he viewed photos and video stills of the atrocious treatment of prisoners by soldiers under his and Mr. Rumsfeld's command, and then announced that the defense secretary was doing a "superb job." It was stronger than ever yesterday, during Mr. Rumsfeld's road trip to Iraq, where he drew a curious parallel between himself and Ulysses S. Grant and announced his approach to the prison scandal: "I've stopped reading newspapers."

    Mr. Rumsfeld told the soldiers that they had broad public support at home despite the Abu Ghraib scandal. That is obviously true. It is also beside the point. The proper way for Mr. Bush and Mr. Rumsfeld to show support for the troops is not to use them as a screen from the heat over the mismanagement of the military prisons. It is to fix the problem, now. The solution is real changes, not cosmetic ones like yesterday's announcement that Abu Ghraib's inmates would be moved within the prison grounds to new temporary quarters, which have been dubbed Camp Redemption.

    There is also a list of things to do. Unfortunately resigning in shame and going back to Crawford didn't make the cut.

    posted by tbogg at 10:44 PM



    This must be that circle of life thing I keep hearing about.

    Keeping up with the daughter's sports:

    Football season last fall leading to...
    High school soccer during the winter which turned into...
    Track season finished last Friday running concurrent with...
    Club soccer tryouts last week.

    Spring football starts tomorrow.

    posted by tbogg at 9:28 PM



    Little help here?

    The daughter's laptop has been running slower than the Plame investigation, and the culprit seems to be something called MPGLe.exe.

    Sometimes it using up to 99% of the CPU (greedy little bastard).

    Anyone have an idea what the hell it is?

    posted by tbogg at 9:10 PM



    While searching for a cogent discourse on the Wilsonian concept of democracy and human rights I came across this cool beheading video...

    Let's face it, the Internet is a regular Chuckie Cheese of Perversion for creeps and geeks looking for porn, forbidden pictures, fetishes, and anything else that gets their motor running. You know it, I know it, even Rick Santorum knows it (check out hotdalmations.com). So it takes a special kind of dumb to discover that people are jumping all over the internet searching for the Nick Berg death video and interpret that to mean, "See? People care more about Berg than Abu Ghraib or the war in Iraq or if Britney will quit smoking or not." But when it comes to that special kind of dumb,well, welcome to the Great American Dumbfest.

    Meanwhile, when the Berg story does get attention, they don't like what it tells them.

    I just listened to the CBS news on the local CBS radio affiliate. Amazing. Here, is an accurate but abbreviated form is CBS's report: Item one: Rumsfeld in Iraq-because of the "growing" outrage over the prison photos. Item two: Kerry called and spoke with Berg's family. Item two: Berg's family is blaming "the Bush administration" for his death. I'm not making this up. CBS managed to place everything at the feet of George Bush. They even turned Nick Berg's death into an opportunity to make Kerry look good and a reason to bash Bush. Simply amazing.

    I teach writing and critical analysis. One of the first things I teach is that writing is an intentional act. Words don't just happen. Neither do news reports.

    Hey! Dammit! He's our martyr!!!

    (Welcome Tom Tomorrow readers...go here to the top to read about America's Worst Mother™. You'll be glad you did. You'll also feel superior, and isn't that what life is all about?)

    posted by tbogg at 4:35 PM



    The Freeway Blogger

    ...strikes again.

    Don't think that people don't notice....

    posted by tbogg at 11:40 AM



    The focus group was also high on "Rolled Up, It Smacks the Dog Real Good"

    The "center right" New York Sun which lost $12.8 million last year thinks it's about to turn the corner...in 2008:

    It also has to upgrade its audience. So far, the memo confesses, The Sun has found "potentially negative" readership data: Its readership appears to be older and poorer than anticipated.

    But the paper is eagerly adaptable. Already, in two years, the memo recounts, the paper has changed its slogan from "New York on Page One" to "Expect a Different Point of View."

    "More recently we have been testing the slogan ‘Illuminate Your World’ to signal that the newspaper is hospitable to a broader audience," the memo adds.

    The memo also signals The Sun’s intentions to change its underlying income structure. According to the cash-flow statement, the paper is currently circulation-driven rather than ad-driven, with last year’s income divided roughly 58-42 between circulation revenue and advertising revenue.

    The Sun’s financial projections call for that difference to narrow to 54-46 in 2004 and then to reverse—to 57-43 in favor of advertising—in 2005.

    That doesn’t mean, however, that circulation will be stagnant. The memo predicts that circulation revenues will grow four times over by 2005. Advertising will come out ahead by the simple trick of growing from $794,000 to $5.9 million in those same two years—more than a sevenfold increase.

    Such explosive growth will launch a rocket ride: The table projects revenue gains between $6 million and $7 million for each of the next three years. It culminates in 2008, when revenue tops $30 million. Then in 2008, for the first time, The Sun expects to turn a profit: $1.316 million, to be exact.


    posted by tbogg at 11:31 AM



    Conservatives are criminals - P. Noonan

    Let's start with the fun quote:

    This being "The Sopranos," signaled plot twists are usually head fakes--we haven't seen the Essex County prosecutor in a while--but it makes sense. Because Tony wants to get away from Port Newark. He thinks the world has reached some terrible critical mass. He'll probably soon start talking about cloning. Being a mobster he would be a particular kind of conservative--aware of the bottom line, free of illusions about who human beings are, open in his own sick way to the idea of God, or at least the practical benefits to society of others believing in God--and would immediately intuit what cloning is. At least until A.J. needs a new kidney.(my emphasis)

    Now here is a wrap-up of what Our Lady of the Dolphins has to say this week:

    The Sopranos
    Her "inner fears...echoed in the outer culture"
    The Port of Newark
    The Roman Catholic Church
    John Kerry
    Why "happiness is a cat"
    The strong thighs and six-pack abs of a NY fireman named "Dirk"*
    The Sopranos (again)
    A hard rain is gonna fall
    Where's the Daddy state when you need it.

    All in all, it reads like a public service announcement for Adult ADHD

    *Okay. I made that one up.

    posted by tbogg at 10:59 AM



    Thank Jeebus that when the apocalypse starts we'll be on the good side

    The West doesn’t have the power to change Islam; it only has the power to destroy it. We have a lot of nukes. We could kill everyone. We could just take out a few troublesome nations, kill millions, and irradiate Mecca so that the Fifth Pillar is invalidated. The hajj would be impossible. Every pilgrim a martyr. I don’t think we’ll do either; God help us if we do, but inasmuch as we have the capability, it’s an option. But it would be a crime greater than the crime that provoked such an act, and in the end that would stay our hand. They know we won’t do it.

    Strong horse, weak horse.

    There is another path, of course. Simply put: if a US city is nuked, the US will have to nuke someone, or let it stand that the United States can lose a city without cost to the other side. Defining “the other side” would be difficult, of course – do you erase Tehran to punish the mullahs? Make a crater out of Riyahd? These are exactly the sort of decisions we never want to make. But let’s say it happens. Baltimore: fire and wind. Gone. That horrible day would clarify things once and for all. It’s one thing for someone in a distant city to cheer the fall of two skyscrapers: from a distance, it looks like a bloody nose. But erasing a city is a different matter.

    Everyone will have to choose sides. That would be one possible beginning of the end of this war.

    ...and wouldn't you want to be on the side that teaches children how to make jellybean spermatozoa?


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