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Thursday, September 30, 2004
Jay Nordlinger just lost any chance to be on Fox ever ever again.
I thought Kerry did very, very well; and I thought Bush did poorly — much worse than he is capable of doing. Listen: If I were just a normal guy — not Joe Political Junkie — I would vote for Kerry. On the basis of that debate, I would. If I were just a normal, fairly conservative, war-supporting guy: I would vote for Kerry. On the basis of that debate.
And I promise you that no one wants this president reelected more than I. I think that he may want it less.
Let me phrase one more time what I wish to say: If I didn't know anything — were a political naïf, being introduced to the two candidates for the first time — I would vote for Kerry. Based on that infernal debate.
As Ari Fleischer once said, his comments "have been noted in the building."
posted by tbogg at 10:45 PM
While I was out fooling around (soccer game won 5-1, wheee!), Oliver Willis
was doing the tough work tracking the debate.
I saw the last twenty minutes or so.
Hmmmm. I'm torn between petulant
I don't want anyone to tell me that George Bush should be president because he's a regular guy who is just like their neighbor. I don't want my neighbor to be president (actually I don't even want him to be my neighbor.) I want someone capable of speaking for more than two and a half minutes on anything. Anything at all.
Remember this: he actually spent the week studying up for this. Imagine that.
Oh. And in case you think that anyone
posted by tbogg at 10:04 PM
The return of So You Don't Have To Watch...
As you may remember, I didn't get around to watching Mumbles The President when he gave his acceptance speech during the Republican National Convention and Hookerpalooza, but I was kind enough (because that's the kind of guy I am) to provide you with comments
to use the day after so you could keep up the pretense of being an informed citizen as opposed to coming off as a complete sucking black hole of reason and facts, also known as a Fox viewer.
Well, to be honest, I won't be watching the debate tonight either, due to a 5 o'clock soccer game, and then there's that episode of King of Queens
where Doug wants to do something that Carrie doesn't want him to do (you know...that episode). So, because I'm still
that nice guy, here's your crib sheet for tomorrow should the whole sordid topic of the debate come up.
"Did they ever figure out how Kerry snuck that boxcutter onstage?"
"I don't think having Bush begin each answer with "So, I'm all, like...." helped sway the youth vote."
"We've come a long way from Al Gore's sighs to John Kerry making a jerk-off motion whenever Bush said something."
"Having them answer in the form of a question didn't work quite as well as expected."
"Although I welcomed the change to a bathing suit competition featuring two-piece suits, I think a wax job was in order for both of them."
"The stoppage in the debate where Karen Hughes came out and got the Mac and cheese spot off of Bush's chin using her finger and spit probably resonated well with the overbearing stagemother demographic."
"I'm still on the fence about having Kerry dress up as Rambo although watching his well-oiled muscles gleam under the lights was certainly different as far as debates go."
"Don't shows like this have a wacky neighbor? It really needed a wacky neighbor."
"That part where Jim Lehrer started laughing and couldn't stop was pretty good. He really should team up with Tim Conway more often..."
"Those jumbo cups that said Coke sitting on the lecterns was a brilliant job of product placement. Kudos to Coke."
"Having George Bush answered every question by saying "9/11" and then smirking may hurt him somewhere down the line."
"Laura was so heavily medicated that she didn't even notice Teresa making devil-horns behind her head whenever the camera was on them."
"Who knew that Darth Vader was Luke's Dad?"
(Sorry, James Lileks
""Having Karl Rove toss George Bush an anchovy after each correct answer was mildly amusing."
"MSNBC had Jesus on after the debate and he kept saying he wouldn't comment because he didn't want to get involved."
"Have you ever seen so many Ashcroft ninjas in your life?"
"I thought Kerry's flashing a shiny dime at Bush when he was trying to answer was really unfair."
"George Bush's firm manly answers caused my skin to flush as my breath became ever more shallow. My hardened nipples pressed against my sheer white blouse as I contemplated him taking me in his strong arms and thrusting into me over and over again with his steely rod. God. I have never been so wet."
(Sorry. Peggy Noonan
only...maybe James Lileks)
"I never thought of George Bush as a slapper when it came to a fistfight, but there it was for all the world to see..."
"Remember when George Bush's 'hearing aid' fell out and he just stood there saying "Karl? Karl? Helloooo...Karl?" That was pretty cool."
"Having Andy Card come out and whisper in George's ear probably set off a lot of alarms with people."
"Kerry grimacing and saying it was just the shrapnel shifting was pretty smooth."
"Thank god for the five second delay or we might have seen Dick Cheney's nipple...again."
"What the debate really needed was Dennis Miller's monkey...or Miller. Whichever."
"CBS called it CSI: Debate which is probably why their ratings were so high."
"I think only having one public service commercial interuption was a good idea, although having Lynne Cheney talk about the heartbreak of vaginal dryness was kind of icky."
"I don't see this being picked up for the fall schedule. Well, maybe on UPN."
You can thank me later. Or send gifts.
posted by tbogg at 1:59 PM
Hey look! Another document in the file. I never saw that one before...
I'll bet that James Lileks wishes he had as many places to hide his porn stash as the Pentagon has to hide George Bush documents. Looks like they found another
President Bush (news - web sites), accused by Democrats of shirking his duty in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War, wrote that he had "inadequate time" to meet future Reserve commitments in his Nov. 1974 letter of resignation released on Wednesday.
The letter was released by the White House on the eve of the first presidential debate, in Miami on Thursday, between Bush and his Democratic challenger, John Kerry (news - web sites), a decorated Vietnam veteran.
In the one-page "Tender of Resignation," Bush hand-wrote the following reason for resigning: "Inadequate time to fullfill (sic) possible future commitments."
The document does not address the controversy over gaps in his service in the Air National Guard in the early 1970s.
I took the document
and matched it up with the same document written in WordPerfect (because they have a font called Chimp Scrawl MT Bold
) and discovered that, not only was the document actually written in the seventies, but at the time it was written, the author had a blood alcohol level
of .17, traces of cocaine in his system, and was in the midst of one nasty-ass herpes flare-up.
So, I'm going to call this one authentic...
posted by tbogg at 1:27 PM
As an abstinence tool, it's quite effective...
"I dunno, I think it's a man, but some of the kids think it's a woman. Whatever. We're just all creeped out
"A fluent polemicist with a gift for Menckenesque invective...and she can harness such language to subtle, syllogistic argument."--Washington Post Book World
"Ann Coulter is a trailblazer."--Los Angeles Times Book Review
"She can zing one-liners faster than Zeus can throw lightning bolts."--Kansas City Star
"You know those pundits who bore you to tears trying to balance everyone's point of view? Coulter isn't one."--People
"A great deal of research supports Ms. Coulter's wisecracks."--New York Times
"The conservative movement has found its diva."--Bill Maher
"Ann Coulter is a pundit extraordinaire."--Rush Limbaugh
"Less stable than Iraq at election time"--TBogg
and let's not forget what Bill Maher
really told Ann Coulter:
"You just make shit up."
posted by tbogg at 11:44 AM
101st Fighting Keyboarders Update
This morning's attack riles 'em up
Is today's carnage in Iraq...
... timed for the debate tonight? It's hard to know, but it's far from impossible. We do know, the terror mongers have tried to influence elections before, in the very recent past and with regrettable success. This particular outrage once again defines them as child murderers. We saw that before only a few weeks ago. I don't know about the rest of you, but this only stiffens my resolve! (Yes, I do. It's obvious most of the people on this site are on the side of the angels. But still, what a way to wake up in the morning!)
With their stiffened resolve, we can expect the warbloggers to deploy the big guns, the doomsday weapon:
More exclamation points.
Oh, the humanity....
posted by tbogg at 11:13 AM
Wednesday, September 29, 2004
But I hear he's big in Japan....
Just got my Bush Meetup notification. Looks like a table and two chairs may be overkill:
Since you haven't RSVPed yet, you might not know that San Diego
Bush in 2004 Meetup Group has an event in two weeks.
See who's coming and help your Organizer better plan the event
What: San Diego Bush in 2004 October Meetup
When: Tuesday, October 12 at 7:00PM
Where: Living Room Coffeehouse (Large coffee and slice of any
cake only $4.50) 1417 University Ave in Hillcrest @Richmond
San Diego CA 92103
So let's see the signups
0 responded 'Yes'
0 responded 'Maybe'
0 responded 'No'
Sounds like a bunch o' undecideds to me.
Ironic note: For the uninitiated, San Diego's Hillcrest neighborhood
can be best be described as....well....let's just compare it to the Castro in San Francisco and leave it at that. I'm sure Bush supporters will be quite welcome there...
posted by tbogg at 10:16 AM
I will consider the pebble snatched from my hand
I've always said that my readers were a lot smarter than me (I just figured they were slumming).
Thanks to the multitudes who sent me this link
to the Intelligent Design article in Wired that I couldn't seem to find on Sunday night.
Now lets see if any of you smartypants can find a link to naked Mariska Hargitay pictures.
...and don't act like you've never looked before.
posted by tbogg at 10:04 AM
Tuesday, September 28, 2004
James Lileks has a penis and he knows how to use it....
If a major newspaper is going to allow someone to nominate James Lileks blog as "Most Original
" shouldn't we just sneak up on America and smother it with a pillow like Randall Patrick McMurphy, since it's obviously brain dead anyway? Here is some "original
6:23 AM. I’m standing at the urinal when the hotel desk clerk barges in the bathroom. He’s a short old fellow with a big nose and thin hair plastered over a white bald pate; black vest, black-rimmed glasses. “Man,” he says. “When’s the last time you took the load off?” He barged into the stall next to the urinal. Zip, hiss, a sigh of relief. “I’ve been working since Friday!” he crowed. “Can’t beat the tips. I love a good convention. They’re drunk and happy and ten feet tall.
6:23:01 AM I’m awake in my bed, having been jerked from a dream by a stuffed-up nose. I stare into the dark as an impossibly rich and detailed world drains away, lost for good; all I can remember is the hotel – it had all the trappings of a 20s hotel made over in the 60s – and the building across the street, whose ornate carvings over the doors had been painted so many times they were barely legible. Time had not been kind to the Richards Building, I thought. And then it was all gone for good.
6:24 AM Get Kleenex, or rather Target branded tissues; drain; return to sleep.
We go from Jim standing at the urinal coaxing out the last few drops, to him sexually assaulting some tissues before drifting off into post-onan bliss in a mere two minutes ( a speed record Mrs. Lileks is probably all too familiar with). Now if Jim had regaled us with tales of playing tent-pole with the hotel room sheets...well, that
would be "original".
Otherwise it's just the usual Jim jerk off...
posted by tbogg at 11:24 PM
Even by the rock-bottom standards we have come to expect from him, The Thing From Lucianne's Vagina
provides us with an example of why he's still sitting on the bench in Single-A punditry:
Okay just to be clear: the people she mentions before Dan Rather, Joe Wilson and Gen Shinseki were political appointees of the White House. So when she writes "If you cross this administration you get your head handed to you" her examples are from a very select group of people. Al Franken, Michael Moore and countless others have gotten very rich by saying the very same things that Lawrence Lindsay and Paul O'Neill did. So her opening statement would be a bit more accurate if it was "If you are serving at the pleasure of the president and you cross them you will have your head handed to you." Of course, her examples don't back that up either because Lindsay and O'Neill were canned for lots of other reasons besides their candor.
As for Joe Wilson, well, a smarter liberal would be close to mortified to trot him out considering the laughingstock the 9/11 Commission report made of him.
And as for General Shinseki, an honorable man to be sure, is it really such a horrible offense to "scold" a general for being "incorrect"? Does Babs now subscribe to the school which says the civilian leadership of this country cannot declare a general incorrect without being authoritarian in some way?
And as for Dan Rather, his questionable "choice" was not to investigate Bush's record so much as his decision to drag CBS through the gutter by rushing to air documents his own experts warned him were probably fake. Numerous news organizations have raised the same exact issues as the CBS story over the last four years. None of them have been investigated by the FCC because they didn't use forged documents which have apparent -- though not proven -- ties to the Democratic presidential nominee's campaign. The reason the press isn't discussing these issues as much as Babs would like is precisely the reason she's making a fool of herself: they've discussed them endlessly already -- and never paid a price for it. Meanwhile, Dan's Nixonian self-immolation is news.
And, again: most people who "cross" this administration go about their lives doing just fine. I would be much more persuaded if Babs had cited a cab driver or one of her aroma therapists who paid a price -- any price -- for crossing the admistration (sic), or is(sic) she simply made an intelligent argument. But that would take more resources than even she has at her disposal.
Although we should give him credit for writing over 400 words without once resorting to a Simpson's reference, is this the best he's got? Referring to her as "Babs" and mentioning "her aroma therapists"? I don't supposed he's embarrassed that a professional singer can argue circles around him. I mean, crap, he is
Jonah Goldberg after all and how he be any more embarrassed than to have to live with that?
If William F. Buckley weren't already incontinent, he'd be shitting all over himself over where The National Review has gone.
posted by tbogg at 10:47 PM
Monday, September 27, 2004
Thus spake Dr. Zaius...
Unfortunately there is no link available, but the latest edition of Wired
has an excellent article on the frightening inroads that the "Intelligent Design" people are making into the schools. Titled The Crusade Against Evolution
, it's in the October edition and is a must read. Author Evan Ratliff does an excellent job of showing how they are slipping their noses into the real
posted by tbogg at 9:27 PM
Afterwards Kerry drinks the blood of his debate victims from their bleached skulls.
Scotty McClellan on John Kerry's debating skills
Q How are the debate preparation sessions going? Are you in on them? Are you --
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, he had one Saturday night that lasted a couple of hours. And then more of a working session yesterday where they went through some questions. The President knows he's going up against the most skilled debater he has ever faced. Senator Kerry has been preparing -- preparing and practicing for this all his life, from the time he was in prep school to being a star debater for his Ivy League school, to being a prosecutor, to spending 20 years on the floor of the Senate debating the issues. And I expect the President will do fine but he's up against a very formidable debater.
McClellan failed to mention that at the same time a youthful John Kerry was preparing for his future presidential debates, George W. Bush was weaving about Texas in a drunken stupor when he wasn't snorting powdered horse tranquilizer off a 15-year old hookers ass.
Well, McClellan may
have mentioned it, I didn't really read the whole transcript...
posted by tbogg at 9:27 PM
Another Bush = Hitler comparison
A few hours after George W. Bush dismissed a pessimistic CIA report on Iraq as "just guessing," the analyst who identified himself as its author told a private dinner last week of secret, unheeded warnings years ago about going to war in Iraq.
This exchange leads to the unavoidable conclusion that the president of the United States and the Central Intelligence Agency are at war with each other.
Paul R. Pillar, the CIA's national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia, sat down Tuesday night in a large West Coast city with a select group of private citizens.
This high-level CIA officer was not talking off the cuff. Relying on a multipaged, single-spaced memorandum, Pillar said he and his colleagues
concluded early in the Bush administration that military intervention in Iraq would intensify anti-American hostility throughout Islam.
Through most of the Bush administration, the CIA high command has been engaged in a bitter struggle with the Pentagon. CIA officials refer to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Undersecretary Douglas Feith as "ideologues." Nevertheless, it is clear the CIA's wrath has now extended to the White House. Bush reduced the tensions a little on Thursday, this time in a joint Washington press conference with Allawi, by saying his use of the word "guess" was "unfortunate."
Modern history is filled with intelligence bureaus turning against their own governments, for good or ill. In the final days of World War II, the German Abwehr conspired against Hitler.
Sounds like just another shrill Bush-hater
and we should probably ignore him.
posted by tbogg at 8:59 PM
Sunday, September 26, 2004
Like Tristram Shandy, but with more cursing...
All the blogs (okay...not all
of them) are atwitter about Billmon's piece
in the LA Times (which is very perceptive) and about the New York Times magazine article
on blogging (which made me want to have sex with Ann Marie Cox). Among those that are twittering (for lack of a better word) are Daily Kos
, and Kevin Drum
. Part of what interests me about this kerfluffle (having moved on from atwitter
) has been the speed with which blogging has become so...meta. If there was any money in it, blogging about blogging would be a cottage industry.
In most cases, writing about writing is the domain of professors of literature at small midwestern colleges who, when not maintaining their lit street-cred in postmodernism (with a side order of semiotics), write novels about professors of literature at small midwestern colleges who can't seem to finish their
novel but do manage to have a fling with a student or three. But, for some reason, there seems be this confessional compulsion that impels bloggers to come clean about what they do and why they do it
. For some it's the daily outrages of a country gone bull goose loony (thank you, Mr. Kesey). For others it's the culture ( or dumbness of it) and for yet another it's a place to publish something that's so unique that it might not find a home anywhere else (as David Neiwert
pointed out over dinner last night). Mostly we blog because we can and some will go pro and some will not and most will keep nattering into the void and their readers will follow or not. Nothing new there.
Something Billmon wrote did strike home with me:
In the process, a charmed circle of bloggers — those glib enough and ideologically safe enough to fit within the conventional media punditocracy — is gaining larger audiences and greater influence. But the passion and energy that made blogging such a potent alternative to the corporate-owned media are in danger of being lost, or driven back to the outer fringes of the Internet.
There's ample precedent for this. America has always had a knack for absorbing, and taming, its cultural revolutionaries. The rise and long, sad fall of rock 'n' roll is probably the most egregious example, while the music industry's colonization of rap is a more recent one.
Lately I've caught myself self-censoring some snotty little remark I was about to type for fear of alienating longtime (or newer) readers, and there's really no reason for that. I don't do ads or derive income from this blog so what have I got to lose other than a reader or two? I doubt anyone comes to this blog and has their mind changed by anything that I've written. I do what I do because it's my way of amusing myself and you're welcome to come along for the ride.
If blogs are going to mirror the "long, sad fall of rock 'n' roll" I want to be SubPop
records or I don't want to do it at all.
And that's my confession and I'm sticking to it.
posted by tbogg at 10:46 PM
The perfect investment for a country preparing for perpetual war
The United States Department of Homeland Security is buying a tiny town in the western state of New Mexico to turn it into a lab for terrorism response training, The New York Times reported Sunday.
A small New Mexico engineering school will buy Playas, population 50, from a mining company with $5-million provided by Washington, the report said.
The town, located in empty desert plains just north of the Mexican border, was built by a mining company in the 1970s and had a peak population of 1 000 before the copper smelter was shut down.
Though now practically deserted, it "has all the characteristics of a contemporary American community: the churches, the bank, the health clinic, even the baseball diamonds," said Van Romero, vice president for research at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.
The health clinic should come in particularly handy. They can call it a Women's Health Center, underfund it because it provides birth control help and then, after the faux terrorists bomb it, they can practice looking the other way.
Another school, Texas A and M, operates Disaster City, a facility in College Station, Texas, where high-rise buildings can be collapsed in mock-disaster scenarios for training purposes, it said.
It's probably in poor taste to point out that Texas A & M has a grim kind of experience
in these kind of matters.
Anyway, as a cost savings they can build the Michelle Malkin Re-education Camp and Muslim Day Spa
close by so that they'll have a consistent supply of "extras" for their exercises. Money for fighting terrorism being tight, don'cha know....
posted by tbogg at 9:59 PM
Proving there isn't a bottomless well of idiots...
made it to the remaindered bins in land speed record time.
posted by tbogg at 9:18 PM
Saturday, September 25, 2004
It's pretty much a "no duh!" that John Kerry's success is going to hinge on the Get Out the Vote efforts of state Democratic organizations, so this
has got to be good news:
A sweeping voter registration campaign in heavily Democratic areas has added tens of thousands of new voters to the rolls in the swing states of Ohio and Florida, a surge that has far exceeded the efforts of Republicans in both states, a review of registration data shows.
The analysis by The New York Times of county-by-county data shows that in Democratic areas of Ohio - primarily low-income and minority neighborhoods - new registrations since January have risen 250 percent over the same period in 2000. In comparison, new registrations have increased just 25 percent in Republican areas. A similar pattern is apparent in Florida: in the strongest Democratic areas, the pace of new registration is 60 percent higher than in 2000, while it has risen just 12 percent in the heaviest Republican areas.
Looks like Jeb! has his work cut out for him: how to disenfranchise as many African-American voters as possible without being busted this time since all eyes will be upon him.
In the meantime, here in sunny San Diego, we know that California will go heavily for Kerry, but that hasn't stopped the GOTV effort locally. Thursday night while going to Petco Park to see the Padres play LA (Dodgers suck) I was stopped twice by cute young things asking me to help "elect John Kerry" and offering to sign up unregistered voters. On any given day, in my neighborhood of Pacific Beach, GOTV workers are working the hub at Garnet & Cass (home of more coffee houses and tattoo parlors than you can shake a stick at... if you're the stick-shaking kind, and who isn't) signing up voters. While this is well and good, it's not going to be another 100,000 votes in California that sends Commander Bunnypants back to Texas. The battleground states are the key and you can help by contributing here at Act for Victory.
If you live in one of the blue states (those would be the states with the smart attractive people*) make sure you send in a few dollars to help bring a few of the red states back from the Dark Side.
(* Disclaimer: There are
some attractive & smart people who live in the red states and we shouldn't hold it against them that they live in a state with a high concentration of dumbasses. Anyway, they would be the ones who read TBogg or some of the other fine high quality blogs that you can access on the left of your screen. No...
Your other left...
posted by tbogg at 10:33 PM
Someone at Halliburton just popped a boner...
Looks like we're going to have to play some more Follow The Money
President Bush, under election-year pressure from Democrats and some fellow Republicans over Iraq, promised on Saturday to step up the pace of spending on reconstruction contracts in that country despite the violence.
Bush cited what he called “steady progress” in Iraq to counter warnings by his Democratic presidential rival, Sen. John Kerry, that the situation in reality was deteriorating.
Bush said more than $9 billion would be spent on contracts in the next “several months” to rebuild Iraqi schools, refurbish hospitals, repair bridges, upgrade the electrical grid and modernize the communication system, although congressional aides and some administration officials said spending would increase more slowly.
So even administration officials are saying the Bush is lying.
Bush on Saturday also touted efforts to train Iraqi security forces. He said nearly 100,000 “fully trained and equipped” Iraqi soldiers, police officers and other security personnel were already working and that the Iraqi government was on track to build a force of over 200,000 security personnel by the end of 2005.
Documents prepared by Defense Department officials and given to lawmakers showed fewer than 100,000 would be trained by the end of this year. They also showed that of the nearly 90,000 now in the police force, only 8,169 had the full eight-week academy training.
Whoops! Lied again.
Thanks Jeebus he's not a flip-flopper. At least with a liar you know what to expect...
posted by tbogg at 10:25 PM
Friday, September 24, 2004
Another blow to the Old Media
Looks like the Washington Times Editorial Board is going to have to make an apology and resign in disgrace
Matt Drudge and the Washington Times are discussing a Kerry appearance on Crossfire from 1997 for which we (PROBABLY!) have the transcript, and we smell a rat.
This was kicked around the blogosphere this spring - Disquietingly, I am not matching King's quotes exactly, but the transcript seems to be here. [Transcript less incisive/annoying commentary here.]
HUGE CAVEAT - maybe King and Kerry came back for an encore appearance; the Wash Times quotes Kerry as saying, "We know that Iraq is a danger to the United States, and we reserve the right to take pre-emptive action whenever we feel it's in our national interest", but I can't find anything exactly like that in this transcript. Hmm, could the Wash Times be quoting King paraphrasing Kerry? Weird, but possible - Kerry does say things that are similar to the quote above.
In favor of this transcript - from the Wash Times: "Mr. King says the U.N. Security Council had just adopted a resolution against Iraq that was watered down at the behest of the French and the Russians.
From the transcript: SEN. JOHN KERRY, (D), MASSACHUSETTS, FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: Well, John, you're correct that this resolution is less than we would have liked.
Wow. One can imagine the internal investigation, the anguish, the finger-pointing, the rending of garments over such a horrible fraud at the Washington Times
Okay. We're just kidding about that embarrassment part. I mean, c'mon, it's the Moonie Times. Like Fox News, no one actually expects them to act
like a real news organization. This is one of those roll your eyes, boys-will-be-boys moments before the right goes back to bitching about Dan Rather and CBS...
posted by tbogg at 10:06 PM
Post of the day
...at Brilliant at Breakfast
posted by tbogg at 9:43 PM
REM- Around the Sun
I can't vouch for the rest of the CD, but REM's first single from Around the Sun
(due Oct 3), called Leaving New York
is absolutely gorgeous. Gives you goosebumps gorgeous. Pull-over-by-the-side-of-the-road-and-listen gorgeous.
It's that good.
On the other hand the new U2 single Vertigo
is...eh. I actually stopped listening to it halfway through and couldn't tell you a thing about it.
And, if anyone knows Trent Reznor whould you please tell him to release Bleed Through
posted by tbogg at 9:17 PM
Friday Night Basset Blogging
Chapter 5: One of Nature's Mysteries...
Because of their chameleon-like abilities the North American Basset Hound has the ability to blend into its surroundings to avoid having to do anything or acknowledge any commands. By turning your head sideways and squinting you may be able to spot a young male in the above picture as he adopts the colors and patterns of a cheesy faux leopard-skin pet bed.
posted by tbogg at 8:42 PM
Breakfast in America: Mummy-style
Life is back to normal for America's Worst Mother
and, for us, that means that Meghan (and the kids: Miasma, Pinot Noir, Gravitas, and Mersault) hit all of their marks; all of the things that compel us to morbidly return each week to read the car-wreck that is The Fever Swamp
. So, let's get started, eh?
Son Mersault in his role of incipient manly man:
Molly and I laugh out loud. "It depends — " I begin, as she is saying, "No dog is that thin," when I say, " — but in general, if you're measuring from nose to tail — " at which point she asks, "Why do you want to know, anyway?"
He shrugs. "I was just wondering." And that, really, is that. Paris is bouncy and curious but so far as we can tell he is totally lacking in introspection. This seems to me very healthy and linear and manly. Pick him up from school and ask, "So, how was your day?" and more often than not he will answer, "Great!"
"Great how?" you may pursue, "Socially great? Academically great? Was there a great snack?"
"I don't know," he'll say, shrugging genially. "It just was. Great."
Obviously Mersault will grow up to be like a certain President who is also known as The Steely-Eyed Rocket Man
or the Dress Up Flightsuit-Bunny
depending on whether you live in a red state or a blue state.
Moving on we find Mr. Meghan fleshing out the fifties sit-com dad archetype; a man of few words dispensing sage advice over the top of the newspaper when he's not shaking his head over the exploits of his zany, but delightful, mate:
Looking around the table I cannot believe my good fortune. This morning is different from all others because...after ten years of Balkanized mealtimes, with children eating at this time, in this room, and adults eating at that time, in that room; and worse, of breakfasts wherein children sit around a table being served by adults who stand and gulp their cereal from bowls held in their hands or turn their backs to the chewing throng to read the op-ed pages — well! After all this time, a foot has been put down. A line has been drawn in the oatmeal.
"If our family does not start eating together at least once a day," I told my husband a month ago, "I will explode." He gazed apprehensively at me. "Since you are not home early enough in the evening," I plowed on, "I propose that we eat a proper breakfast together. In the dining room."
He took this as well as could be expected of a man who is about to have his early-morning newspaper reading interrupted. "I'm sure," he sighed, "it will be very nice."
...and he goes back to pretending to read his paper all the while wondering if his mistress will let him sleep over since he would rather wake up to a hummer than a muffin, and, hey, who wouldn't?
Then there is AWM herself in the role of Mother-Who-Tries-So-Very-Hard-But-What's-A-Mother-To-Do:
Warm family breakfasts with informed, lively discussion about current events! Cheerful back-and-forth about what's happening at school! Steaming hot chocolate! Cereal with berries! Bacon, melon, juice!
Constitutionally I am inclined to wear rose-colored glasses anyway, but I tell you, for the first two weeks of the new regime I was so totally engulfed by a rosy miasma that you could only see my feet. Up at dawn, slip into clothes, nip downstairs. Put the coffee on, retrieve the newspaper, set the table, pour the juice, remove some baked good from the oven, and call up the stairs in a sparkling voice, "Children, husband, breakfast!"
"Wow, home-made muffins!" the children would say one morning, and "Gee, chocolate-chip pancakes!" the next. "Oh, boy, cantaloupe!" and "Is that sausage?"
So it has been a month of splendid breakfasts.
Alas, things fall apart, the center cannot hold. The Martha-Stewart mania that roused me at dawn each morning has waned. Once again I must struggle to get out of bed as under the ancien regime. The crisp discipline that had me putting fresh linens and silverware on the table each evening before bed has deteriorated, too. Often now there has to be a hasty sweeping-off of textbooks and watercolor sets before anyone can eat.
Worse, the dissidents are growing bolder. "Some day can we just have plain cereal?" said one the other day, as she dolefully contemplated a table groaning under the weight of sliced nectarines, Greek yogurt with honey drizzled on top, and toasted English muffins. The next day, someone else actually complained, "Do I have to have French toast?"
And last, and always least, there are the girls who each week are drug kicking and screaming out of their rooms to do something cute, and merely exist as a aside in this potentially dysfunctional Where's Tennesee Williams When You Need Him freakshow:
To maintain my grip on power under this new arrangement, I begin to perceive that I will have to allow for more diversity of opinion and appetite, for the sitting-down-togetherness is priceless. The other day, after Phoebe had sung everyone the teapot song, with realistic pouring actions, Violet announced that she had a song for us, too.
"It's from The Sound of Music," she said, beaming, and began: "How do you solve a problem like Maria? How do you catch a clown and pin it down?"
As I say: Priceless.
As I say: No wonder the terrorists hate us.
posted by tbogg at 7:11 AM
Thursday, September 23, 2004
Yeah. This is surprising...
Radio station drops CBS News over Guard flap
A news-talk radio station in southeastern Virginia has dumped CBS News because of listener outrage over Dan Rather’s “60 Minutes” report questioning President Bush’s National Guard service.
WNIS switched Thursday to ABC News.
“We had so much outcry from our listeners. They were calling and complaining and saying they wouldn’t listen to a CBS newscast anymore,” said Lisa Sinclair, general manager of Sinclair Communications, which owns WNIS and four other stations in the Norfolk area, home to the world’s largest naval base.
“This is a conservative market, and people felt that CBS was exhibiting a great deal of liberal bias and lost credibility with this situation,” Sinclair said, referring to the Sept. 8 story.
Hmmmm. Sinclair Communications wouldn't have any relationship to Sinclair Broadcasting
, would it?:
Tonight, ABC's "Nightline" will pay tribute to U.S. troops killed in Iraq by airing a 40 minute special – the names of the fallen will be read by anchor Ted Koppel as their photographs appear on screen. But Sinclair Broadcast Group – the country's largest owner of TV stations – will not allow its ABC affiliates to air the show. In a statement, Sinclair claims the special "appears to be motivated by a political agenda designed to undermine the efforts of the United States in Iraq." While Sinclair claims it is pre-empting Nightline because it is an attempt to "influence public opinion," the record shows that Sinclair media has repeatedly leveraged its control over the airwaves to manipulate public opinion in favor of President Bush's right-wing agenda.
SINCLAIR REQUIRES JOURNALISTS TO READ PRO-BUSH STATEMENTS: In September 2001, Sinclair Broadcasting required its affiliates to air messages "conveying full support" for the Bush administration. At a Baltimore affiliate, WBFF "officials required news and sports anchors, even a weather forecaster, to read the messages, "which included statements such as "[the station] wants you to know that we stand 100% behind our President." Several WBFF staffers objected on the grounds that reading the statements would "erode their reputations as objective journalists" because it made them appear to be "endorsing specific government actions."
SINCLAIR REFUSES TO AIR AD HIGHLIGHTING 2003 BUSH ERROR: In July 2003, Sinclair Broadcasting refused to allow WMSN TV – its FOX affiliate in Madison, WI – to air a DNC advertisement that featured a clip of President Bush making the false claim "Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa" in his 2003 State of the Union Address. Three other Madison stations, including ABC, NBC and CBS, readily agreed to air the ad. The Madison CBS affiliate, WISC, said the advertisement was "no worse than any other political ad."
SINCLAIR PRODUCES CENTRALIZED RIGHT-WING CONTENT FOR 'LOCAL STATIONS': In a controversial business practice, Sinclair Broadcasting has fired much of the staff for the local affiliates it owns, instead producing content for its local stations from a central facility outside Baltimore which it then airs on "local" news broadcasts. The centralized content features nightly commentary by Sinclair corporate communications chief Mark Hyman. Hyman regularly refers to the French as "cheese-eating surrender monkeys," the so-called liberal media as the "hate-America crowd," and progressives as "the lonely left" On one recent commentary, Hyman called members of Congress who voted against a recent resolution affirming the righteousness of the Iraq war "unpatriotic politicians who hate our military." You can see all of Hyman's commentaries this month HERE. (Read more from American Progress about the problems of media consolidation.)
SINCLAIR AIRS FAKE NEWS BROADCASTS PRODUCED BY BUSH ADMINISTRATION: In March, it was discovered that the Bush Administration was producing "television news stories, written and paid for by the government, which have the appearance of legitimate news segments delivered by independent reporters," and distributing them to local newscasts as a way of promoting administration policies – including its ill-conceived Medicare prescription drug law. On the broadcasts, a public relations professional named Karen Ryan pretended to be a reporter. Among the stations which aired the administration propaganda as news: WPGH in Pittsburgh "the Sinclair Broadcasting station that fired much of its news staff in favor of feeds from a centralized newsroom in Baltimore."
SINCLAIR EXECUTIVES MAJOR BUSH CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTORS: Sinclair executives have contributed more than $16,500 to President Bush since 2000. This year, Sinclair CEO David Smith gave President Bush the maximum $2000 contribution. Before soft money contributions became illegal, Sinclair Broadcasting gave more than $130,000 to the president's political allies but no money to his opponents
I'm just asking....
posted by tbogg at 2:05 PM
Incredible cheap shot to follow...
You've been warned.
Wonkette provides us with a picture of Presidential candidate John Kerry heading a soccer ball
Unfortunately no one has been able to provide us with pictures of Republican Congressman David Dreier
juggling any balls on his chin...but we're sure it just a matter of time.
Yes, that was cheap.
No, I'm not sorry.
posted by tbogg at 11:19 AM
Elections are coming, this I know, cuz the Prime Minister told me so.
Pre-emptive plausible deniability
Standing beside Iraq's interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, President Bush on Thursday denied that he has sugar-coated the situation in Iraq and said that elections are possible as scheduled in January despite ongoing violence “because the prime minister told me they are.”
Earlier the Prime Minister told Congress:
Elections will occur in Iraq on time in January because Iraqis want elections on time,” Allawi told a joint meeting of Congress, an appearance that President Bush’s advisers hoped would ease American voters’ doubts about the troubled campaign in Iraq.
Despite struggles and setbacks, “the values of liberty and democracy” are taking hold in Iraq, Allawi said. “We could hold elections tomorrow” in 15 of 18 provinces, Allawi said, even though terror operatives hope to disrupt them.
Those three Iraqi provinces are Broward, Volusia, and Palm Beach which is currently trending very heavy for Pat Buchanan.
posted by tbogg at 11:02 AM
George Bush: The Basement Tapes
One Whiskey, One Bourbon, One Beer
Just what kind of guy was President Bush during his character-defining early adulthood?
An aimless, inconsiderate, womanizing drunkard - if you believe Rolling Stone's article detailing how the 26-year-old Bush allegedly used his family connections to evade National Guard duties, was lazy and unreliable at his civilian job and boasted to colleagues about the benefits of being the grandson of a powerful United States senator.
Author Paul Alexander writes about Bush's so-called missing year from May 1972 to May 1973, when the future President was on the campaign payroll of failed Alabama Senate candidate Winton Blount and trying to "game the system."
"George W. Bush did not fulfill his obligation to attend Guard drills on a regular basis while in Alabama," Alexander writes. "Exactly what was he doing? For one thing, he was drinking heavily. ... Bush had a regular group of drinking buddies he hung out with, and during his stay in Alabama he was said to have dated an array of local young women. ... Throughout the summer, Bush maintained his heavy social life. By September his behavior had become a problem."
According to candidate Blount's nephew, Murphy Archibald, "Bush regularly didn't show [at campaign headquarters] until noon or later, and then would leave four or five hours after that," Alexander writes.
"He'd spend most of those few hours in his office with the door closed. When he did talk to the staff - and he made the rounds each day as soon as he came in before he locked himself away - his conversation was often disconcerting.
"I found it so strange," Archibald says in the story, "... this guy who was 26 years old would come in and goodnaturedly talk about how plastered he had gotten the night before."
"Bush seemed to assume no liability for his behavior - and knew he didn't have to," Alexander writes, and again quotes Archibald: "George had one story he told a lot ... about how he was always getting picked up by the police in New Haven during his time at Yale, and how they would always let him go when they found out his grandfather was [former Sen.] Prescott Bush. ... I thought it was stunning. He knew he was bulletproof because of his family.' "
White House Deputy Press Secretary Claire Buchan dismissed Rolling Stone's exposé as "the same old trash that has been out there for 10 years. It's riddled with inaccuracies and innuendo and uninformed editorial judgments."
Now, of course, this comes from Rolling Stone
which once falsely reported that Paul was dead, and they never apologized or retracted or anything so the Bush story probably isn't true.
Oh. And the sixties never happened.
posted by tbogg at 10:50 AM
The breast and the brightest
Titillation kingpin Russ Meyer, the mastermind behind soft-core classics like Vixen! and Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! and the mainstream melodrama Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, died Saturday at his Hollywood home. He was 82.
Back in the days when there was actually a hard line between pornography and mainstream movies, Meyer blurred it. He brought plots to nudie flicks, showcasing big-busted women in storylines that usually turned violent but were more sexually teasing and suggestive than explicit.
In the 1960s, when Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill and Vixen! achieved a broader kind of cult success, Hollywood took notice. Fox studios hired him in 1970 to direct Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, a sort-of sequel (scripted by thumb-happy critic Roger Ebert) to the camp show-biz saga The Valley of the Dolls.
posted by tbogg at 9:43 AM
Wednesday, September 22, 2004
Less fact-based by the minute
Dispatch from the Non-Partisan Chair
at the UofT:
OUCH: "It would be like an American today meeting with the heads of al Qaeda."
UPDATE: Heck, even Chris Matthews saw this one coming.
ANOTHER UPDATE: But it wasn't secret -- well, it may have been when it happened, but not later.
From the article
The meeting, however, was not a secret. Kerry, a leading antiwar activist at the time, mentioned it in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in April of that year. "I have been to Paris," he testified. "I have talked with both delegations at the peace talks, that is to say the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and Provisional Revolutionary Government," the latter a South Vietnamese communist group with ties to the Viet Cong.
Let's jump back to early 1971....
An 11-year old Glenn Harlan Reynolds races home from fifth grade hoping that he will be home in time to see one of his favorite Gilligan's Island reruns (the one where the castaways come up with a plan to get off the island, but Gilligan messes it up again...that episode). After plopping his Hawaii Five-0 lunchbox down on the kitchen counter he heads to the den where he watches, in order, Gilligans Island, Deputy Dawg, and The Banana Splits. During a commercial break between Deputy Dawg and the Splits, an idle thought occurs to Reynolds, who calls out to his mother.
"Hey, Mom? Do you happen to know the whereabouts of John Kerry, the charismatic leader of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War?"
"No, Glenny, I don't," she replies " Now go wash up for supper. It's Flip Wilson night y'know."
Young Reynolds slips off of the couch, pokes his head into the kitchen and says, with a toothy grin, "Heh. Indeed."
So, you see, it was a secret.
Now this may or may not have happened...but it could have.
posted by tbogg at 4:24 PM
Tuesday, September 21, 2004
James Lileks needs to get out of the house
Mrs. Lileks, who is already living in her own circle of hell, must sit up nights wondering why she works all day so that her husband
can stay home and...
It’s Elvis, honey.
Is he good?
He’s the best.
No one’s bad in this movie, at least in the ethical sense.
It’s – it’s how you tell who’s good and who’s bad.
Is Elvis a hero?
Some people think so.
Does he have powers?
Yes. He sings and women fall down.
That’s a silly power.
I imagine it comes in handy.
She had walked into my room while I was watching “It Happened at the World’s Fair” in the corner of the monitor. Just got it the other day. My first and only Elvis movie; I’m not a big fan of the King’s movies, but this one was shot on location at the 62 Seattle Fair. Lots of location shots, which is the reason I bought it.
Lileks also has a copy of Girls! Girls! Girls!
, but it's not the Elvis one. It's more the "Daddy? Why is the door locked?" kind of one.
In the meantime...
Is Lileks a hero?
Some people think so.
Does he have powers?
Yes. He writes and people fall asleep.
posted by tbogg at 11:19 PM
Ain't nothing' but a houseparty
C'mon baby, dig that crazy soul
Last Saturday. Two of the worst parties. Ever. Thrown.
Contestant number one
Phyllis Schlafly, queen of the conservative movement, reigned over her 80th birthday celebration Saturday with 450 friends, family and colleagues lavishing praise and thanks.
The high profiles of her well-wishers — Jack Kemp, Bob Novak, John Fund, Brent Bozell and Grover Norquist , among them — said as much about her drawing power as a conservative activist Republican as their tributes to a woman whose vast influence and deep understanding of political issues allowed her to take on any foe.
Mrs. Schlafly seemed little changed from her 1960s self in a poppy-red gown and double strand of pearls as she held court during a pre-dinner VIP reception at Arlington's Marriott Crystal Gateway Hotel. A line of fans waited patiently to have their pictures taken with the woman who first gained national attention with "A Choice Not an Echo," her best-selling — and self-published — book about 1964 presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, and then became even more famous for engineering the defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment and championing the Eagle Forum, the grass-roots organization that has elected countless conservative Republicans around the country.
After the Pledge of Allegiance, the singing of "The Star- Spangled Banner" and a steak-and mashed-potatoes dinner, the tributes began with Mr. Kemp's teasing greeting to "fellow members of the 'vast right wing conspiracy.' "
Contestant number two
SAT. [Michael Novak]
Kate O'Beirne--and Jim--hold the greatest parties. Kate did not forget those wonderful little pastries for dessert that I have tasted only in her house, the chocolate one to die for, the vanilla one merely exquisite. And it was really fun to meet so many readers and fans of NRO, and to listen to exciting observations and analyses from them, and get some questions and probings... I was, however, startled to meet so many fellow writers on NRO, whose names have become famous to me, but whom I've never met. Wow! are you fellow writers young! ...I have seldom in my life felt so grandfatherly... And I do not think that marvelous Communist rendition that John Derbyshire managed with enormous aplomb and feeling actually was sung in Mandarin Chinese, as he said. It sounded to me like a dialect far, far to the South of that. But the Communist feeling was authentic. Especially if one imagines Communists as if they were actually in the cast of Les Miserables (Al Gore's favorite show). John was heroic, and he alone would have made the evening...But everything about the evening was sweetened by the hostess and her welcoming, laid-back, happy ways. She does a party right. So that the conversation flew fast and furious. The drinks flowed, and the smoke soared skyward.
from party number two.
The only thing I can think of that is worse than putting on a suit to go to a party on a Saturday night would be....well, those curtains
for a start. Who is Kate O'Beirne's decorator and why hasn't he been beheaded yet?
The pink walls...the black and white curtains. So that's what it's like to live in a Good N' Plenty
posted by tbogg at 9:28 PM
Cuz, you know, I'm a guy and I was busy thinking guy-stuff
You know us guys, always forgetting anniversaries and stuff.
TBogg: The Blog (as opposed to TBogg!: The Musical
or TBogg: The Me
) turned two years old on Sunday.
It seems like just yesterday when I felt that what the blogosphere really
needed was a blog about actuarial tables written entirely in Aramaic, but then I got over that and started TBogg instead.
There are just so many people I want to thank like President Inigo Montoya, Peggy Noonan, The Virgin Ben, Jenna & NotJenna, America's Worst Mother (and her children Calico, Danzig, Octaroon, and Mandible), Michelle Malkin, The Not-Ready-For-A-Real-Media-Gig Players at The Corner, Ann Coulter, and particularly all of the 101st Fighting Keyboarders for being what they are: snark fodder.
And thank all of you for stopping by. As a token of my appreciation I'm buying all of you a car. The keys are in the glovebox. Fill up the tank when you're done.
posted by tbogg at 10:11 AM
Monday, September 20, 2004
The Big Shmear
Roger Simon doesn't like
I'm beginning to think that George Soros has the greatest case of Jewish guilt of all time, even though the numbers posted for his 527 donations at opensecrets.org barely put a dent in the multi-billionaire currency trader's fortune. Still I would imagine those donations constitute a fair proportion of the financial support of moveon.org, an "org" whose allegiance to the truth is the rough equivalent of Dan Rather's and whose latest propaganda effort at least contains no Bush=Hitler slurs.
The new moveon.org ad contains the sad but hardly startling fact that more than 1000 US soldiers have died in Iraq. Needless to say no mention is made that those same people were predicting casualties in excess of Vietnam before the war or that many of the deaths were accidental and could have happened at home. They are what they are - horrible. I suppose Soros, one of a nation that lost six million in World War II, is rightly concerned by each individual death.
But still, one wonders about his motivation in all this.
At this point you would think that Simon would look into why Soros dislikes George Bush so much. It isn't hard, one of his commenters even provides Roger with a link
Whatever the justification for removing Saddam Hussein, there can be no doubt that we invaded Iraq on false pretenses. Wittingly or unwittingly, President Bush deceived the American public and Congress and rode roughshod over the opinions of our allies. The gap between the Administration's expectations and the actual state of affairs could not be wider. It is difficult to think of a recent military operation that has gone so wrong. Our soldiers have been forced to do police duty in combat gear, and they continue to be killed. We have put at risk not only our soldiers' lives but the combat effectiveness of our armed forces. Their morale is impaired, and we are no longer in a position to properly project our power. Yet there are more places than ever before where we might have legitimate need to project that power. North Korea is openly building nuclear weapons, and Iran is clandestinely doing so. The Taliban is regrouping in Afghanistan. The costs of occupation and the prospect of permanent war are weighing heavily on our economy, and we are failing to address many festering problems—domestic and global. If we ever needed proof that the dream of American supremacy is misconceived, the occupation of Iraq has provided it. If we fail to heed the evidence, we will have to pay a heavier price in the future.
Meanwhile, largely as a result of our preoccupation with supremacy, something has gone fundamentally wrong with the war on terrorism. Indeed, war is a false metaphor in this context. Terrorists do pose a threat to our national and personal security, and we must protect ourselves. Many of the measures we have taken are necessary and proper. It can even be argued that not enough has been done to prevent future attacks. But the war being waged has little to do with ending terrorism or enhancing homeland security; on the contrary, it endangers our security by engendering a vicious circle of escalating violence.
The terrorist attack on the United States could have been treated as a crime against humanity rather than an act of war. Treating it as a crime would have been more appropriate. Crimes require police work, not military action. Protection against terrorism requires precautionary measures, awareness, and intelligence gathering—all of which ultimately depend on the support of the populations among which the terrorists operate. Imagine for a moment that September 11 had been treated as a crime. We would not have invaded Iraq, and we would not have our military struggling to perform police work and getting shot at.
Declaring war on terrorism better suited the purposes of the Bush Administration, because it invoked military might; but this is the wrong way to deal with the problem. Military action requires an identifiable target, preferably a state. As a result the war on terrorism has been directed primarily against states harboring terrorists. Yet terrorists are by definition non-state actors, even if they are often sponsored by states.
The war on terrorism as pursued by the Bush Administration cannot be won. On the contrary, it may bring about a permanent state of war. Terrorists will never disappear. They will continue to provide a pretext for the pursuit of American supremacy. That pursuit, in turn, will continue to generate resistance. Further, by turning the hunt for terrorists into a war, we are bound to create innocent victims. The more innocent victims there are, the greater the resentment and the better the chances that some victims will turn into perpetrators.
But Roger skips over that like a hole in a plot that he can't be bothered to fix. Immediately after questioning the motivations of Soros, he writes:
Soros is protesting his conviction by a French court last year for insider trading. His reputation for fooling with the value of the British pound is also well known. But now he is financing the most extreme know-nothing do-gooderism. Is he out to impress himself, others or both? He's obviously a brilliant man, but one also wonders whether he studies the geopolitical situation with the same alacrity he studies the currency markets. I have my doubts. Emotions, not facts, are at play here.
Insider trading...currency manipulation...
Yup. Soros must be one of those money-loving Jews we keep hearing about
. That's his motivation. He's just a devious Kerry-loving Shylock funneling drug money
to the Democrats.
Yakov Bok wept.
posted by tbogg at 11:06 PM
The pieces on the board are starting to annoy me
, a man who never actually served but who, nonetheless, talks a good game, says we don't know what we are doing in Iraq
They will report, too, that average Iraqis are frustrated – “tearing their hair out,” was how I heard it phrased on National Public Radio – because Americans have not done whatever is required to make them safe.
The problem, of course, is that Americans don't know what is required. Iraqis may genuinely find it difficult to believe that a superpower hasn't managed to figure that out. But we haven't.
Everyone has heard the truism that generals fight the last war. In recent decades, under Republican and Democratic administrations alike, Pentagon planners created a military machine designed to deter any Great Power that might arise -- a fighting force that could not be challenged on the high seas, in the skies or on the plains of Europe.
They didn't foresee how unlikely it was that such a war would be fought again – certainly not over the next half century or so. By contrast, it is almost inevitable that we will spend many difficult years engaged in “small wars,” hunting down unlawful combatants wherever they hide, train and plot. Preparing for this kind of war was not a Pentagon priority in the past.
You will notice that May conveniently avoids mentioning Viet Nam, possibly because the Killian memos were fake, so Viet Nam probably never happened.
Now, America's military leaders – and the troops on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan – must struggle to learn how to defeat a clever, ruthless and elusive enemy. They must learn the hard way: by doing, by experimenting, by making mistakes, by suffering casualties.
The shorter version of this is that the military brass, many of whom did not want to go into Iraq while pointing out that we didn't have the manpower to do so since we were still fighting that earlier war in Afghanistan (the one that the neocons found so dreary
) were overruled by the likes of Cheney, Wolfowitz, and sundry other chickenhawks who whispered in the boy king's ear, and now here we are where we shouldn't be, 1034 dead
and for nothing.
Not that this will keep May up at night:
If they fail it will mean not merely that Iraq will be lost and that Iraqis will return to life under the jackboot of some despot. It also will mean that Osama bin Laden and other Jihadis will have developed a weapon that can defeat the Great Satan, a model they can -- and will -- adapt to other parts of the world.
As for the expensive and sophisticated military machine that the United States has assembled, that would be a white elephant. Why have the capability to conquer Baghdad within weeks if, a short while later, Baghdad has to be given back to the enemy, or to others equally hostile?
Certainly, no nation with a military so unsuited to its mission could be called a superpower.
But America's fighting men and women are not likely to accept such an outcome. The military may be the only bureaucracy that transforms itself – because the price of inertia really is death.
And if a few thousand, or even ten thousand soldiers, have to die because May and the neocon fratboys thought it sounded like a good idea at the time, well, too goddam bad. They should have found a job at a think tank where war is just an afternoon game of Risk
and afterwards everyone goes out for beers.
posted by tbogg at 10:38 PM
Authentic western gibberish
President Premature Invasion says
In a speech in New Hampshire on Monday afternoon, Bush was countering by saying the nation needs "consistency" in its leadership -- not a change in the middle of the war, and not a series of contradictions, said campaign spokesman Scott Stanzel.
Which brings to mind an old Texas saying:
Don't change horses in the middle of a quagmire
posted by tbogg at 10:07 PM
We are the champions
Yelladog on the bloggers
who would overthrow the Main Stream Media.
posted by tbogg at 10:02 PM
Kerry does Dave
Kerry’s “Top 10 Bush Tax Proposals” are:
10. No estate tax for families with at least two U.S. presidents.
9. W-2 Form is now Dubya-2 Form.
8. Under the simplified tax code, your refund check goes directly to Halliburton.
7. The reduced earned income tax credit is so unfair, it just makes me want to tear out my lustrous, finely groomed hair.
6. Attorney General (John) Ashcroft gets to write off the entire U.S. Constitution.
5. Texas Rangers can take a business loss for trading Sammy Sosa.
4. Eliminate all income taxes; just ask Teresa (Heinz Kerry) to cover the whole damn thing.
3. Cheney can claim Bush as a dependent.
2. Hundred-dollar penalty if you pronounce it “nuclear” instead of “nucular.”
1. George W. Bush gets a deduction for mortgaging our entire future.
So when is President Bubble Boy going to be on Dave?
Oh. That's right. It's CBS
, and Bubble Boy isn't quick enough on his feet to defend himself which should come as no surprise considering the lousy job he's done defending the country for the last four years.
posted by tbogg at 9:49 PM
We don't do missing persons. But call us if you have any questions about kerning...
For those keeping score at home, the fact that the Killian papers may be fake
proves that George Bush did
fulfill his National Guard service.
Just like the fake Hitler Diaries
proved the World War II never happened.
You can look it up...
posted by tbogg at 9:30 AM
Friday, September 17, 2004
Collect'em and trade'em
Those zany not
over at Powerline
have posted a picture of John Kerry (who served in VietNam) and compared it with a picture of George Bush (who couldn't be bothered to show up for National Guard duty between cocaine and mescal binges).
Hey. We've got pictures too.
posted by tbogg at 11:17 PM
They put the 'ass' in compassion
Years ago, Watergate thug Charles Colson
said "I would walk over my grandmother if necessary to assure the President's reelection."
Compared to what we have today, Nixon's boys were a bunch of bra-strap snapping pranksters.
about a war hero who served his country and came home a multiple-amputee.
Moreover, if we're going to start delving into exactly who did what back then, maybe Max Cleland should stop allowing Democrats to portray him as a war hero who lost his limbs taking enemy fire on the battlefields of Vietnam.
Cleland lost three limbs in an accident during a routine noncombat mission where he was about to drink beer with friends. He saw a grenade on the ground and picked it up. He could have done that at Fort Dix. In fact, Cleland could have dropped a grenade on his foot as a National Guardsman – or what Cleland sneeringly calls "weekend warriors." Luckily for Cleland's political career and current pomposity about Bush, he happened to do it while in Vietnam.
another hero who didn't use his father's connections to leap over other wait-listed candidates for an opportunity to hide out in the National Guard:
In an affidavit released in July, Larry Thurlow claimed that Kerry’s statements that the five boats on that patrol came under small arms fire on March 13, 1969 was “totally fabricated”.
The Washington Post reported that the military records of Larry Thurlow, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, contain several references to “enemy small arms and automatic weapons fire” directed at “all units” of the five-boat flotilla. Both Kerry and Thurlow were awarded Bronze Stars for their actions on that day. According to the Washington Post, Thurlow’s citation praises him for providing assistance to a damaged swift boat “despite enemy bullets flying about him.” 
But James Rassmann, who Kerry pulled back into the boat after he was knocked overboard following an explosion, “said he has never had any question that Kerry deserved the Purple Heart.”  In response to the controversy fueled by the SBVT campaign, the Kerry campaign has released an advertisement featuring Rassman, who describes himself as a Republican.
The success of the SBVT campaign in gaining profile has also prompted reluctant participants in the debate to come forward. William B. Rood was an officer serving in another swift boat on the day Kerry’s actions led to him being awarded his Silver Star. Rood, now the editor of the Chicago Tribune, wrote a 1600 word account of the events that day.
“The critics have taken pains to say they're not trying to cast doubts on the merit of what others did, but their version of events has splashed doubt on all of us. It's gotten harder and harder for those of us who were there to listen to accounts we know to be untrue, especially when they come from people who were not there,” he wrote. 
“But I know that what some people are saying now is wrong. While they mean to hurt Kerry, what they're saying impugns others who are not in the public eye,” he wrote.
They have no qualms about ripping
into little girls:
Listening to a 12-year-old publicly mock the Republican vice president of the United States brought Democrats almost orgasmic pleasure, especially since no Democrats had the courage to do so in their speeches.
Of course, this girl has accomplished nothing compared to Dick Cheney. She has no wisdom, no humility and no knowledge beyond the leftist platitudes spoon-fed by her parents and schools. She is a mere child, more foolish than most, in that she actually thinks she has earned the right to publicly ridicule the vice president of the United States.
young women on the ground.
...when they're not pulling their hair
We could call these people chickenshits, but that would be an insult to both chickens and shit....
posted by tbogg at 10:20 PM
Friday Basset Blogging
Here's your Friday basset picture to tide you over until AWM,
posted by tbogg at 8:22 AM
Taxicab Confessions: Vol. XXVIII
Republicans. Always finding drivers who say whatever they want to hear
MY RIDE HOME [John J. Miller]
I was on CNBC last night to discuss a subject of enormous interest to me, and the network offered me a ride home, which I gladly accepted. My driver was Bosnian; he has lived in the United States for eight years. We were together for about 50 minutes (the studio is in DC, and I live outside the Beltway), and we talked about politics, what he thinks of America, and so on. He leans a bit to the left, but mostly enjoys chatting with the people he drives around. Toward the end of the ride, he mentioned that he thinks Republicans are much more polite than Democrats. "Someone can be in the car with me for three minutes, and I'll know their party just from how they behave," he said. I told him that sometimes my wife takes phone calls from people I'm trying to interview, and always tells me who is friendly over the line. The most polite phone caller, hands down: Ken Starr. He once returned a call of mine, got my wife, and immediately apologized for interrupting "the dinner hour." (In my house, "the dinner hour" is about 20 minutes of madness involving children, toys, vegetables, messes, and quarreling over who sits where.) At any rate, I mentioned this bit about Ken Starr--and my driver turned around (we were at a red light) and lit up: "Ken Starr is the nicest man in Washington."
(Added: I see Roy
beat me to it. Damn East Coast elitists with their fancy-schmancy early timezone)
posted by tbogg at 8:09 AM
Thursday, September 16, 2004
Like the real thing. Only plush!
Reader Dave sent me this
We make stuffed animals that look like tiny microbes—only a million times actual size! Now available: The Common Cold, The Flu, Sore Throat, Stomach Ache, Cough, Ear Ache, Bad Breath, Kissing Disease, Athlete's Foot, Ulcer, Martian Life, Beer & Bread, Black Death, Ebola, Flesh Eating, Sleeping Sickness, Dust Mite, Bed Bug, and Bookworm (and in our Professional line: H.I.V. and Hepatitis).
Each 5-to-7 inch doll is accompanied by an image of the real microbe it represents, as well as information about the microbe.
They make great learning tools for parents and educators, as well as amusing gifts for anyone with a sense of humor!
...and who wouldn't be amused by:
posted by tbogg at 1:30 AM
Them slow children over at the Corner
as well as the Professor
Maryann Michelle: She-Wolf of the Internment Camps
are all giggly over the idea of bloggers in pajamas
Yeah. That's a new one
posted by tbogg at 1:05 AM
Visions of concertina wire danced in her head
Does anyone else think that Michelle Malkin got major woman-wood
over this idea of a large group of Muslims...confined to a limited area...fenced in....
Of course, it apppears that the park was going to be closed for the day and rented out to a Muslim group for a private party
I just telephoned Six Flags Great Adventure in NJ. I asked if what I had heard was true, that I must be a Muslim to be eligible to visit the park this Friday. I was told that the park is closed on Fridays. Seeing the loophole, I asked: "So the park is not open this Friday?" The Six Flags employee hesitated a second and then told me the park would be open this Friday, having been reserved by and for the use of a private group.
...but good Christians and Jews complained and now:
WorldNetDaily is now reporting that Six Flags says the park will not be used exclusively by Muslim groups on Friday and that one of the Muslim organizations is backing off claims that the park will be "exclsuively (sic) for Muslims" on Friday.
Which is probably a good thing since we don't currently have the manpower to invade the Jersey Six Flags and kill their leaders and force them to ride good Christian rides like the Stigmat-a-Whirl
or the Road to Golgotha Bobsleds
posted by tbogg at 1:01 AM
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
A case for a hyphenated name...
I'll let others wax eloquent over the rapid depletion of our National Ramone Reserves
, but for some reason I found this quite amusing:
Johnny Ramone, guitarist and co-founder of the seminal punk band "The Ramones," has died. He was 55.
Ramone died in his sleep Wednesday afternoon at his Los Angeles home surrounded by friends and family, his publicist said. He had battled prostate cancer for five years, and was hospitalized in June at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Along with his wife, Linda Cummings, Johnny Ramone was surrounded at his death by friends Eddie and Jill Vedder, and Rob and Sherrie Zombie.
For the record, Rob Zombie's real name is Rob Cummings, but Sherrie Cummings is so...Target shopper.
posted by tbogg at 11:39 PM
Blogging while patting oneself on the back....
I haven't been able to blog much for the past few days but that hasn't kept me from reading all the goings on.
Exactly when did bloggers start to believe that they are the next step in the evolutionary process
that started with cave drawings (although some, like Misha, have evolved so far that they've come full circle back to pre-grunt) and has led to this?
The end of old media as we know it will arrive when the majority of editors come to respect the blogosphere for what it is instead of sniffing at those of us who contribute to it like we’re a bunch of gap-toothed peasants raising pitchforks at the palace.
First off, let's start with the fact that bloggers couldn't exist without the so-called Main Stream Media (MSM) to provide them with blogging fodder. Cyber-gossip and closet case Matt Drudge would be running an all-night adult bookstore if he didn't have the mainstream media to link to, and bloggers, many of whom obviously check Druge hourly, use him as their launching pad as they speculate, postulate, and mentally masturbate for their respective echo chamber of fans. In other words, there ain't a whole lot of heavy lifting going on.
You see, the MSM (a pejorative used by the ankle-snappers who would kill for a paying media gig) actually employs people who leave the comfort of their home office (also known as the spare bedroom) and go to real offices where they make calls
, or they interview people
where they ask questions
, or even to the scene of the crime where they see things
and then, using their expertise, they assemble these details (which we will call "facts
") into a coherent storyline that the average yokel can understand while eating his Frosted Mini-Wheats.
At this point the bloggers bumrush the blogosphere
with their unrestrained opinions, untrained eyes, incomplete education, and whatever psycho-sexual baggage that they thankfully keep hidden away, and "weigh in" on the topic at hand. When they are good at it, it makes them into an editorialist. When they are horrid, they land a gig at The Corner
Blogging is just a cyberspace letter to the editor, instant venting, and little else. It's not "new media" (which sounds like hubris reflux from the dot.com days Fast Company
, anyone?). Just like Penthouse Forum was a collection of phony stroke stories designed to give teenagers hope and older white men false memories, blogs are like newspapers made up entirely of op-eds for the likeminded. Critical thinking is rarely the price of admission, and, speaking of admission, how many blogs would you pay to read?
This isn't to say that all blogs are worthless. Some are thoughtful, some are well written, and some are entertaining. Others have become useful vehicles for raising campaign funds for various causes. But if you were to take the whole blogosphere and separate the wheat (the good blogs) from the chaff (the bad blogs) you'd barely have enough to make a Triscuit.
posted by tbogg at 9:08 PM
All things reconsidered...
From James Wolcott's Attack Poodles
Here's a helpful tip for future fun seekers. Play a tape of Dan Rather's exclusive interview with Saddam Hussein, conducted before the war began, and then play a tape of Colin Powell's U.N. Speech, or any tape of Condoleezza Rice, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld from Meet the Press, or any one of Tony Blair's full-wingspan flights of eloquence-- then judge who was the most veracious.)
posted by tbogg at 8:35 PM
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Posting may be a bit erratic this week since we are having Casa D'Tbogg termited and will be in a hotel for the next few days. They say they have high-speed access.
posted by tbogg at 4:04 PM
Take a ride on Scottie's mobius strip
Q What do you think of Senator Kerry's remarks about North Korea in today's New York Times?
MR. McCLELLAN: Do you have a specific question about it?
Q Well, he said it's become a nuclear nightmare because the administration has kept its eye on Iraq instead of North Korea.
MR. McCLELLAN: And Senator Kerry would have us return to the failed Clinton administration policy. That failed policy allowed North Korea to dupe the United States. It would be the wrong approach to go down that road again. We see where that leads. The President has all of North Korea's neighbors actively engaged in a -- six-party talks to achieve a diplomatic solution to North Korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons. The goal is the complete and verifiable end of North Korea's nuclear program -- not a freeze.
Q Scott, on the weapons --
Q -- (inaudible) --
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, the 1994 agreed to framework. North Korea did not abide by that framework. They said that they would agree to a freeze on their nuclear weapons programs. And we found that they, in fact, did not freeze their nuclear weapons programs.
Q What have you guys done to make North Korea any less of a threat? Aren't they as much of a threat now as they --
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, that failed bilateral approach is the wrong way to go. What we did was the President got all the other nations in the region engaged in sending a clear message to North Korea that it needs to end its -- that it needs to abandon its nuclear ambitions. All five countries in the region are sending a clear message to North Korea, and they're all saying that they want a nuclear-free -- nuclear weapons-free peninsula.
Q Scott, where is that getting you?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, we're continuing to make progress through the six-party talks. Those talks are ongoing. We expect that another round of talks will be coming up. And now, for the first time, you have all those nations in the neighborhood actively engaged --
Q Right, but that's not a new concept. The point is, you don't have any tangible progress.
MR. McCLELLAN: -- in a solution -- what this President is doing is confronting all the threats we face. And there are different strategies for confronting different threats. But we are pursuing a plan that will lead to the dismantlement of North Korea's nuclear weapons program, not a freeze.
Q Besides talk, name one piece of progress that you've made.
MR. McCLELLAN: I'm sorry?
Q Besides talk, name one piece of progress --
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, we've put forward, now, a dismantlement plan in the last round of talks. We're waiting on North Korea's response to those talks.
Q -- piece of progress --
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, what we saw over the last decade, under the 1994 agreed to framework was that North Korea had not abandoned its nuclear weapons ambitions. They were continuing to pursue nuclear weapons. So that policy was a failed approach. That's why the President went to the other nations in the region. China has been very involved in these efforts. China has stepped forward now to say, we want a nuclear weapons-free peninsula. And they've been actively engaged in those talks. So we're continuing to work through those talks and make progress to get North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons ambition.
Q In four years, have you been able to remove one nuclear weapon from North Korea or reduce the threat at all?
MR. McCLELLAN: I'm sorry, what?
Q In four years, have you been able to reduce the threat at all in North Korea? Are they any less dangerous now?
MR. McCLELLAN: It's an issue that this President is leading the way to confront, by bringing all five parties in the region together in the six-party approach.
...and we're back where we began.
That was fun.
Actually go and read the whole thing. McClellan sets a new record for avoiding every single question lobbed at him.
posted by tbogg at 10:00 AM
Battleground state blitz
to a venue near you...if your state is tipping one way or the other.
posted by tbogg at 9:12 AM
Monday, September 13, 2004
The 'official' funeral was this morning and, quite frankly, I'm not in the mood.
See you tomorrow. Thanks for checking in.
posted by tbogg at 1:01 PM
Sunday, September 12, 2004
Biff! Bam! Boom!
From the comic-book world of Matt Drudge
Faster than a CBS eye can blink, dogged Dems are set to take to the airwaves anew hoping to keep questions about President Bush's National Guard duty in play, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.
Candidate Kerry apparently has rejected former President Clinton's advice not to get further locked in a 2004 Vietnam quagmire.
"George W. Bush's campaign literature claimed that he 'served in the U.S. Air Force.' The only problem? He didn't," slams a new DNC press release set for distribution.
"George Bush has a clear pattern of lying about his military service," DNC Communications Director Jano Cabrera blasts in the new release.
'More to come...", the internet cyber-gossip later crapped