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  • Thursday, March 31, 2005



    Brilliant. Just brilliant.
    It's the "Bobby's Law" column by Robert Friedman that you've probably already read, but I'm linking to it for some friends to read.

    I do too have friends. I do....

    posted by tbogg at 11:23 PM



    ...and there shall be one Bob Dylan song to fit them all

    As commenter Jane Hamsher points out, the Big Trunk only has one Bob Dylan song on his iPod and he keeps playing it over and over.


    In "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll," Bob Dylan expressed the righteous anger of a witness to justice gone awry. Dylan's damning refrain has wide application:

    You who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears,
    Take the rag away from your face.
    Now ain't the time for your tears.

    Following the last verse that recites the ultimate miscarriage of justice, Dylan changes the chorus:

    You who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears,
    Bury the rag deep in your face
    For now's the time for your tears.

    Terri Schiavo, RIP.

    Back in January:

    Democratic Senators are now using their constitutional powers to demoralize and humiliate Alberto Gonzales in the service of lies that can have no effect other than service to the enemies of the United States. At roughly the same time, California Senator Barbara Boxer turns on the tears as she objects to the certification of Ohio's electoral votes (story photo and slideshow available here) in the service of another set of lies that have equally destructive purposes. Bob Dylan captures the Boxer phenomenon perfectly in "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll":

    You who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears,
    Take the rag away from your face.
    Now ain't the time for your tears.

    Yeah Trunk, we get it. You know some Dylan lyrics. Impressive. And we gotta give you credit for at least reading the lyrics this time unlike last time when you used a song about a servant being beaten to death to defend torture "thumbs-up!" guy Alberto Gonzales in a post of such dumbfuckery that dumbfucks everywhere stand before it dumbfounded.

    Here. Try another song:

    But now we got weapons
    Of the chemical dust
    If fire them we're forced to
    Then fire them we must
    One push of the button
    And a shot the world wide
    And you never ask questions
    When God's on your side.

    In a many dark hour
    I've been thinkin' about this
    That Jesus Christ
    Was betrayed by a kiss
    But I can't think for you
    You'll have to decide
    Whether Judas Iscariot
    Had God on his side.

    So now as I'm leavin'
    I'm weary as Hell
    The confusion I'm feelin'
    Ain't no tongue can tell
    The words fill my head
    And fall to the floor
    If God's on our side
    He'll stop the next war.

    Don't let the cognitive dissonance hit you in your slack white ass.

    posted by tbogg at 11:00 PM



    If Mary Cheney liked dick, she'd have a cushy government job by now.

    Another Cheney (son-in-law) lands a federal job:

    President Bush has nominated Vice President Cheney's son-in-law, a prominent Washington lawyer who represents companies in the homeland security field, to be the general counsel of the Department of Homeland Security.

    Philip J. Perry, who is married to Cheney daughter Elizabeth Cheney Perry, is a partner at the Washington law office of Latham & Watkins, and has represented Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin Corp. in dealing with the department.

    In Bush's first term in office, Perry was general counsel to the White House Office of Management and Budget, where he helped draft the 2002 legislation that created the Department of Homeland Security.

    Earlier, Perry, of Virginia, was acting associate attorney general.

    After a stint in mid-2003 with the Bush reelection campaign, Perry rejoined Latham & Watkins as a litigator and a leader of its homeland security practice. In 2003 and 2004, he was registered as a lobbyist for Lockheed Martin.

    Lobby registration documents he filed with Congress state that he helped the firm secure liability protection from lawsuits prompted by terrorist attacks, under the 2002 SAFETY Act. The department granted the liability protection in June, making the firm one of only about eight whose products have been certified for coverage.

    Among Perry's other clients in the last two years were private prison firm Corrections Corp. of America and hospital proprietor HCA Corp., but he did not represent them on any work with Homeland Security, the congressional filings said.

    Perry didn't have to do any lobbying work for HCA. They've already got a lobbyist working on the inside.

    posted by tbogg at 10:39 PM



    Thursday Night Basset Blogging

    Beckham awake and not destroying something... Posted by Hello

    posted by tbogg at 9:19 PM



    No. No. I think we're in the right place...

    In Japan a long neck is considered highly erotic.
    But only on women... Posted by Hello

    le skank goes to Kansas:

    Coulter received several standing ovations during her speech, but she also found herself interrupted several times by a small, scattered group of hecklers.

    "I think there are some people in the audience who meant to be at the sexual reorientation class down the hall," Coulter said, in response to the heckling.

    I'm sure it was an honest mistake.

    We also see that Ann draws her usual quota of freaks and geeks:

    John Altevogt, a conservative GOP activist from Wyandotte County, also welcomed Coulter.

    "Ann Coulter is logical, rational and an independent thinker," he said. "In essence, everything the left hates in their womenfolk."

    That would be flat-earther John Altevogt

    ...who is quite the charmer:

    After a decade of frustration, John Altevogt and several fellow conservative Republicans saw a way to get back at a group they'd battled regularly. They took the group's name.

    Their target was the Mainstream Coalition, a Prairie Village nonprofit with the stated goal of keeping church and state separate. It has been in an ideological brawl with conservatives over issues such as abortion and gay rights.

    The name now belongs to a corporation Altevogt helped form earlier this year, and he says the nonprofit group increases its legal risk every time it uses the name publicly, as it still does. He says his corporation is likely to sue.

    While the nonprofit and its allies see grabbing its name as political prank -- and some conservatives find it amusing as well -- Altevogt said his goal was a serious one. He calls the Mainstream Coalition a hate group akin to the Ku Klux Klan.

    "I'm going to do everything I can to put this group out of business and have it recognized for what it is," he said during a recent interview.

    Caroline McKnight, the group's executive director, said its activities were continuing as planned. As for the dispute, she said, "There's seemingly no limit to some of the idiocy."

    ...and he has professional standards:

    My Philosophy
    I try to treat each client as a personal friend. I am an advocate for my clients and act accordingly. I am a professional and attempt to maintain the highest professional and ethical standards.

    Which are fungible depending on the circumstances...

    posted by tbogg at 12:08 PM



    What's a guy gotta do to get a date with Mary Cheney?

    World O'Crap has a contest going on. We would like to point out that we submitted ours back in the day.

    posted by tbogg at 10:34 AM



    ...and then I took the salad fork and shoved it up my nose and into my brain.

    The question once asked was: If you could have dinner with any three people, who would they be.

    Lileks gives a clue if they added, "Oh. And the dinner would be in hell."

    The debate about Schiavo argument is, as Hitchens says, “stupid and degrading” - and I suppose it would seem so if you confine your exposure to people pulling long faces on cable TV. In the last few weeks I’ve listened to Dennis Prager, Michael Medved and Hugh Hewitt discuss the issue from different perspectives –...

    Above this passage, Lileks goes on about drugs and smoking crack.

    You'd have to have a lump of crack the size of Lileks' enormous fucking fivehead to survive ten minutes with those sanctimonius droners.

    posted by tbogg at 9:57 AM


    Wednesday, March 30, 2005


    Just make sure my mouth is open when you pie me...

    Jonah wants it:

    ITHACA [Jonah Goldberg]

    That story Ramesh posted about Bill Kristol getting smacked with a pie reminds me: I'll be at Ithaca college on April 6 talking about diversity & stuff.

    But then he adds this which should cause America to giggle like a schoolgirl for about a week:

    I suppose Bill responded the correct way, but transforming oneself into a helicopter of fists certainly has its appeal as well.

    A "helicopter of fists"?

    I'm thinking more like a slow-moving mudslide that wheezes.

    Here we see Jonah "Fat Fists of Fury" Goldberg with Marty and Byron York and Byron York's hair which still hasn't let go of it's John Cougar fixation.


    posted by tbogg at 11:34 PM



    I'm ready for my "Lisa, you ignorant slut" moment...

    You probably already seen it, but I'm still laughing at Lisa Daniels' national humiliation on Scarborough Country. I guess graduating cum laude from Harvard Law ain't what it used to be.

    Be that as it may, it's just too bad that Dr. Cranford didn't concede that Joe Scarborough has more than a smattering of knowledge about women being struck down at an early age and suffering traumatic neurological trauma.

    Perhaps he's like to share...

    (Not too surprisingly Wolcott was on this hours ago.)

    posted by tbogg at 10:17 PM



    Did you make disease, and the diamond blue? Did you make
    mankind after we made you?

    Please God. Deliver me from my parents who are pimping me out for the cameras to show what pious Christians they are when I would rather be at home playing Halo 2 and leafing through Dad's porn collection. Oh yeah, and would you let mom know that it wouldn't hurt to just have a salad every once in awhile. Posted by Hello

    posted by tbogg at 10:05 PM



    "I will stand with you for about five hours...or until cocktail hour. Whichever comes first."

    Having stopped the scourge of young men joining gangs in America, Laura "Straight Outta Crawford" Bush takes her roadshow to Afghanistan to show solidarity with women who are forced to stand in the shadows of their men:

    Laura Bush says she has been waiting a long time to tell the women of Afghanistan that American women stand with them.

    The first lady arrived in the country for a five-hour visit early Wednesday with plans to visit women who are training to be teachers and others who have made a business of selling handicrafts. She was also to meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and have dinner with U.S. troops stationed at Bagram Air Base north of Kabul.

    Mrs. Bush had wanted to visit Afghanistan for a couple of years but delayed the journey, mostly because of security concerns about travel to the war-torn country, where American forces are still battling a stubborn Taliban-led insurgency. Her trip was kept secret until just before she left from Andrews Air Force Base near Washington.

    ``I have been so looking forward to going to Afghanistan,'' she told reporters on the tarmac of the military base in suburban Maryland. ``When I really realized the plight of the women under the Taliban, I also found that American women really stand in solidarity with the women in Afghanistan.''

    Yes. They really really do.

    A former teacher and librarian, Mrs. Bush has expressed concern about the limited educational opportunities for Afghan girls under the former Taliban regime.

    ``We want to encourage them to send their girls to school to get educated,'' Mrs. Bush said Tuesday. ``We are very, very interested in their well-being and then, of course, in the broader Middle East as well. I think it is a message to them that the United States stands with people who are building their democracies.''

    And it's very important that these women (whom she is standing with in a symbolic but still very meaningful way) know that there is nothing more important than gettng an education which can lead to a career that can last up to five years before they land a man, quit working, pump out a few Afghanizoids, and then retire to a life of quiet desperation and private drinking broken up by occasional symbolic gestures about standing with people whom they will cease to consider once the plane leaves the tarmac and the first Harvey Wallbanger is served.

    Girls outside of cities still do not often go to schools. Some are back to wearing burkas, or all-covering veils. White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the Bush administration is working to advance the rights of women in Afghanistan.

    ``We will continue to support those efforts and do all that we can,'' he said Tuesday from the White House as Mrs. Bush was en route to Afghanistan.

    The first lady was accompanied by Education Secretary Margaret Spellings. Her twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna, did not go along.

    Standing not being one of their talents...

    And with Laura out of town, well, you know....

    posted by tbogg at 12:07 AM


    Tuesday, March 29, 2005


    Dammit. I had James Dobson in my trifecta...

    Just when you thought that Terris Schiavo was going to win the I'm Closer To Jesus Than You Are Stakes by edging the Pope out (and, trust me, that Pope hat is pretty formidable on the lean at the tape) here comes dark horse Jerry Falwell from out of nowhere down the stretch.

    In Jerry's case, Hell called. His room is ready.

    posted by tbogg at 11:55 PM



    Blasphemers at the gate

    President Bubble Boy almost got his bubble pricked in Denver:

    President Bush's spokesman says a diversity of views is welcomed at events across the country as the president builds support for his Social Security reforms, even as three people say they were singled out and removed from an event last week because of a bumper sticker.

    During a news conference Tuesday, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the president hears different viewpoints on the news, and the events are meant to educate the American people about the problems facing Social Security.

    "That's what they're designed for, to talk about the problems that we face and to talk about possible ideas for solving it," McClellan said.

    Internet technology worker Alex Young, 25; marketing coordinator Karen Bauer, 38; and lawyer Leslie Weise, 39, were approached by what they thought was a Secret Service agent and asked to leave the March 21 event at the Wings Over the Rockies Museum.

    The three said they had obtained tickets through the office of Rep. Bob Beauprez, R-Colo., had passed through security and were preparing to take their seats.

    Bauer said the agent put his hand on her elbow and steered her away from her seat and toward an exit.

    Tom Mazur, a Washington-based spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service, said an inquiry found none of the agents responsible for protecting the president were involved with the group's removal. He said it didn't appear any laws were broken because tickets were issued and a host committee has the right to remove people who might be disruptive.

    Young said event officials told them the next day they were identified as belonging to the "No Blood for Oil" group. The three say they belong to no such group but the car they arrived in had a bumper sticker that read: "No More Blood for Oil."

    You know it's all fun and games until someone like Dick Cheney sees a bumpersticker like that and next thing you know he's clutching his chest and flopping on the ground like a landed trout...

    posted by tbogg at 9:43 PM



    Blogger ate my homework

    Somewhere in cyberspace, words...are...floating...by

    Jeebus. It's the first time I've been able to get in for two days.

    Back later....

    posted by tbogg at 7:10 PM


    Sunday, March 27, 2005


    Welcome to Gilead. You can leave your uterus with us...

    A growing problem keeps growing:

    Some pharmacists across the country are refusing to fill prescriptions for birth control and morning-after pills, saying that dispensing the medications violates their personal moral or religious beliefs.

    The trend has opened a new front in the nation's battle over reproductive rights, sparking an intense debate over the competing rights of pharmacists to refuse to participate in something they consider repugnant and a woman's right to get medications her doctor has prescribed. It has also triggered pitched political battles in statehouses across the nation as politicians seek to pass laws either to protect pharmacists from being penalized -- or force them to carry out their duties.


    An increasing number of clashes are occurring in drugstores across the country. Pharmacists often risk dismissal or other disciplinary action to stand up for their beliefs, while shaken teenage girls and women desperately call their doctors, frequently late at night, after being turned away by sometimes-lecturing men and women in white coats.

    "There are pharmacists who will only give birth control pills to a woman if she's married. There are pharmacists who mistakenly believe contraception is a form of abortion and refuse to prescribe it to anyone," said Adam Sonfield of the Alan Guttmacher Institute in New York, which tracks reproductive issues. "There are even cases of pharmacists holding prescriptions hostage, where they won't even transfer it to another pharmacy when time is of the essence."

    After reading the article you will notice that no mention is made of pharmacists declining to sell condoms, which are disposable gulags for the pre-Fetus-Americans. And ribbed condoms? Forget it, Sparky. Sex is for babies, not for pleasure. Well, her pleasure anyway.

    If female pharmacists suddenly started refusing to dispense Viagra or Cialis to men, Congress would reconvene in the middle of the night and George Bush would make another midnight run from Crawford to sign the Tentpole Act of 2005 (also known as Bob Dole's Law).

    posted by tbogg at 10:56 PM



    Now that was commitment....

    It's a good start.... Posted by Hello

    Am I the only one in America who saw the shots of these please-fill-my-live-up meddlers in Terri Schiavo's (white woman, vegetative, won't be reading this blog...that Terri Schiavo) case and the first thought that comes to mind is:

    Ellen Jamesians.

    From the Village Voice:

    There are a lot of weird angles to the coverage of the Terri Schiavo case. One that's popped up in the past day or so is the ubiquity of pictures featuring people with their mouths taped shut. Paradoxically, it seems that a good way to get the media to pay attention to your protest is to insure that you can't speak to them.

    Thursday's New York Sun spreads a huge picture of Rachel Stedman, outside the Supreme Court, gagged with red tape bearing the word "Life." Similarly silenced in the pages of Wednesday's New York Times was Jesse Engle, while Aysha Rogers stayed mum in the Daily News. They were both outside the federal courthouse in Atlanta.

    Meanwhile, foxnews.com's photo essay featured a woman with her mouth taped and a group of silent protesters outside the Florida hospice where Schiavo is located. Newsday's online photomontage has another gagged group outside the hospice as well as a woman who was keeping quiet in front of the local courthouse.

    According to a nexis search, The Tampa Tribune and St. Petersburg Times have also featured photos of Engle and Rogers, although it is unclear how they appeared in those pictures.

    The idea behind the protest, according to participants, is that Terri Schiavo also has no voice in the case. Strictly speaking, that's true, even though members of Congress returned from recess to approve a bill that aimed at prolonging her life, and the president of the United States rushed to Washington to sign it.

    But whether Terri's voice would vote for "life" is at the heart of the dispute. So the message of the red tape is a crafty way of simplifying a fairly complex issue—like the phrase "pro-life" itself, which some media organizations avoid because of its implication that advocates of legal abortion are "pro-death."

    Some pictures are worth a thousand words. The duct-tape shots—like their subjects—say very little, but get plenty of play.

    I was relieved to see from the Village Voice comments that someone else made the same connection:

    This all has such surreal, 'truth-is-stranger-than-fiction/life-imitates-art" qualities. Much of it brings to mind the brilliant book by Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale (forget the dismal movie version).

    But also, and the images you write about are especially evocative of, the Ellen Jamesians from The World According to Garp, by John Irving.

    The very radical, very purposeful and wholly righteous Ellen Jamesians all cut out their tongues in honor of their purported figurehead and martyr, Ellen James, who had been brutally raped, her tongue cut out by the rapist -- just a brutal indictment of the silencing of women's voices and the prevalence of violence against women/girls in our culture.

    Problem was, Ellen James never wanted these women to mutilate themselves in her name.

    Posted by: apb [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 24, 2005 06:25 PM

    Bravo apb wherever you are.

    Far be it from me to want the Christian do-gooders to cut their tongues out. That would be wrong and messy. But if the Jesus-Americans feel that wearing tape over their mouths will bring their point across, well, I say that we should encourage them.

    Peace on Earth and all that...

    posted by tbogg at 9:04 PM



    Got no time for resurrection...

    Guess what we spent Easter weekend doing.... Posted by Hello

    posted by tbogg at 12:23 PM


    Saturday, March 26, 2005


    And the bunny says...

    Creepy, ain't I? Posted by Hello

    Happy Easter from the TBogg's. Remember: bite the ears off first...

    posted by tbogg at 10:29 PM



    Henry Hooligan Carlton


    posted by tbogg at 6:55 PM



    I did it all for the nookie

    Finally we see why Paul Wolfowitz had a woody for invading Iraq. Digby has the details. So maybe it wasn't all about the oil. Unless it was baby oil and they were using it for...

    Oh. Let's not go there.

    Gawd. I can just see them meeting up through a personal's ad:

    Oxford-educated divorced female professional who enjoys long walks on the beach, truffles, reading the Economist, collecting Beanie Babies, and destabilizing large geographic regions, seeks confident professional man capable of influencing powerful governments into launching invasions without provocation. If you can invade the marshy swamplands of Babylon, my marshy swamplands are yours for the taking. Email me at jihadmama@aol.com. No smokers.

    (For those keeping score at home, that would be two Limp Bizkit references this week, a new record.)

    posted by tbogg at 11:22 AM



    Scurrying away

    I've pointed out that the local San Diego Union-Tribune is a fairly conservative newspaper, which makes their lead editorial today so much goshdarned fun:

    Congressional Democrats probably would love to divide the GOP, undermine the conservative agenda, and turn Americans against the Republican majority. But, frankly, they don't have that kind of power. A job that big calls for the handiwork of Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas.

    Looking back on Congress' handling of the Terri Schiavo controversy – which included passing an emergency bill aimed at prolonging Schiavo's life – it's hard to decide which of DeLay's comments was more offensive.

    Was it when DeLay referred to Michael Schiavo's lawyer as "the embodiment of evil"? Or when he accused those who disagreed with him of being "so barbaric as to pull a feeding tube out of a person that is lucid and starve them to death for two weeks"?

    No, what took the prize was what DeLay said when he let his guard down at what he obviously thought was a private meeting of like-minded social conservatives. After insisting that Congress' intervention in the Schiavo case had nothing to do with politics, DeLay used the issue to rally the faithful at a meeting of the Family Research Council. DeLay went so far as to describe the anguishing plight of this 41-year-old woman as a gift from God and a boost to the cause of Christian conservatives.

    "One thing that God has brought to us is Terri Schiavo to elevate the visibility of what's going on in America," DeLay told his audience.

    DeLay believes that part of what is "going on" is that his political opponents are out to get him and other conservatives with what he considers frivolous charges. DeLay, the House majority leader, was admonished last year by the Ethics Committee for three separate issues, and he now faces questions about foreign trips funded by outside groups.

    How distasteful that DeLay would try to use the heart-wrenching Schiavo story to try to explain away the ethical cloud that now follows him.

    There's more...

    posted by tbogg at 12:05 AM


    Friday, March 25, 2005


    Goddamit. I'm going to keep plugging it until you read it.

    As the Terri hysteria mounts (soon to be replaced with a post-death terrigasm...then cigarettes for everyone) I am again reminded of my favorite novel The Origin of the Brunists by Robert Coover, which brilliantly predicts all of the elements that we are witnessing today.

    Here's a pretty good overview.

    Now go find a copy and read it.

    posted by tbogg at 11:46 PM



    Film criticism chokes on it's own vomit.

    Somebody send Roy some money for being the one who actually read this to reach the point where he could share this little nugget of literary self-abuse:

    The guns of tradition — strangely assembled, an eclectic mix no one could have predicted — have already begun to congregate, as Mary Eberstadt demonstrated in a brilliant piece examining the thematic roots of the more grim members of popular music, which often lie in seething anger at divorce. The fortress of sexual liberation is already doomed, though none can say with any certainty what will follow it...

    As the University of Pennsylvania historian A. C. Kors one wrote, if you want to discover the most powerful objections to Christianity, look not to the haughty doyen of the modern age, the Darwinists and Nihilists and Rationalists; look instead to the sed contra objections of the great mediaeval Schoolmen.

    What most marks the Modern Age is that thing from which the creed of the Cross recoils most sedulously...

    Yeah. It's a film review, but you have to go see which film it is to believe it.

    Although it does remind me of a piece I've been working on for some time called:

    The Transgressive Aesthetic In Films Where Jennifer Connelly Gets Naked, or Why I Have To Wait For The Credits To Finish Rolling So My Boner Goes Away

    Mind you, that's just a working title...

    posted by tbogg at 11:15 PM



    Yeah. But those Sharpies you make posters with? You could put somebody's eye out with one y'know.

    Wanker Emeritus, John "Ridiculous Nickname" Hinderaker:

    I can understand how people can view the Terri Schiavo case differently. To me, the right result seems clear, even though the facts are complicated and the legal history is tangled. But I can understand how others can see the case differently, and I can foresee that in other cases, involving people on ventilators and other life-support systems, whose medical condition is not in doubt, I may part company with some who agree with my view of the Schiavo case. What I don't understand is why this tragic case should be an occasion for the partisan hatred which currently bedevils our public life:

    I don't know how to account for it, unless one concludes that for some liberals, politics is about hate, period.

    Whereas, for some Christians, religion is all about Jesus and faith and...a gun

    God is a bullet, you know.

    ...and here's a cheery type

    Somebody broke the cross on my flag. Posted by Hello

    Oh yeah, The "legal history is tangled".

    Jesus. Wanker.

    posted by tbogg at 10:29 PM



    I read, therefore I despair

    When I was a young(er) man I picked up Robertson Davies' Deptford Trilogy because I seemed to see it everywhere and it looked "interesting". Now I have what I consider to be a bad habit which is that, once I start a novel, I have to finish it no matter how bad it is (a recent exception being The Emperor of Ocean Park which was horrendous beyond belief). And so it was that I read and read and read Davies' trilogy only to finish one day and say, "What the fuck was that about?" Okay, maybe I just didn't get it but, crap, I was reading the Williams (Gass & Gaddis) and Borges at that time, and I didn't have any trouble with them. And yet there was this cult thing about Davies in those days so I just nodded and smiled and called Deptford "complex" and directed the conversation elsewhere lest I be found out.

    Which brings me to today's America's Worst Mother™.

    I don't get it.

    I mean, all the usual elements are there: the kids (Jamocha, Lovecraft, Colander, and Glabella) being strainingly semi-cute, Mr. Meghan being semi-wise and helpful, the odd anglicisms ("mummy", "porridge" - does anyone else in America eat porridge? Jesus, would it kill her to give the kids a friggin' Eggo?), the kid gibberish:

    “Did you know?” Paris interrupts, “Caroline is part chicken. She likes chickens and she likes to act like a chicken, so she’s part chicken.”

    My husband and I laugh. Molly rolls her eyes.

    “She’s really a chicken?” Violet asks interestedly.

    “Part chicken.”

    “What about you?”

    “I’m part cheetah and part monkey,” he says firmly, and drains his glass. “Patrick says he’s part machine gun, but I don’t really believe it.”

    ...and we wonder why she's going to homeschool him.

    And, of course, the smug "my kids may only have fun if it's educational and that makes me a better mom than you" moment:

    “Of course he will,” Molly interjects, with a sidelong look at me, “And not only that, but I bet in Canada the Easter Bunny will be able to give us Kinder Eggs.” These, if you haven’t had the thrill, are hollow German chocolate eggs filled with tiny toys that one assembles oneself, and that don’t seem to be available in the U.S.

    Oh. Groan.

    Anyway, I give up this week. Life's too short to try and make something out of nothing. Not that that has ever kept Meghan from making her deadline every two weeks...

    posted by tbogg at 9:17 PM



    Bored...can't think...must post something

    Friday Random Ten on the iPod:

    Don't Take That Attitude To Your Grave - Ben Harper
    Cisco Kid - War
    Alex Chilton - The Replacements
    Strung Out Again - Elliott Smith
    Red-Eyed and Blue - Wilco
    Shenandoah - Keith Jarrett
    I Believe In Symmetry - Bright Eyes
    Bought and Sold - Neko Case and Her Boyfriends
    Are You A Hypnotist? - The Flaming Lips
    Syracuse - Pinback

    I'll be back tonight with America's Worst Mother™ and other...stuff

    posted by tbogg at 3:25 PM



    Can I get a "heh".


    Only a NY Times reporter could be gullible enough to think that a career politician takes a stand without any thought of future advantage and just happens to receive political advantage anyway 'cause that's kinda how things work out. That a politican becomes "a prime contender" by accident or historical caprice. (It's opposing the religious right that would be the disadvantageous stance to take in the Rovian Republican Party, which every future Republican candidate damn well knows.)

    Adam Nagourney really ought to be writing for Tiger Beat. Because only a groupie with a byline could write of Jeb Bush's posturing in the Schiavo story, "[The] events of recent days have fed the mystique of Mr Bush as a reluctant inheritor of perhaps America's most famous dynasty since the Adams family two centuries ago."

    So much for the Kennedys, but more to the point only the most starry-eyed hack could use the word "mystique" about an uninspired lump of political dough like Jeb Bush, and describe him as "a reluctant inheritor," as if Jeb would really rather be in Taos fulfilling his dream of becoming a watercolorist. You don't become governor of Florida and rig things to help your brother become president because your soul is Hamlet-torn.

    Nagourney's article is what happens to reporters when their soul is possessed by the ghost of Howard Fineman.

    posted by tbogg at 10:07 AM


    Thursday, March 24, 2005


    Okay. I'll put your penis in my mouth. But if you think I'm going to run my fingers through your hair, you got another think coming...

    Rox Populi tracks down Wolfowitz's girlfriend.

    Here's the lucky gal. No wonder he was so hot to trot to move over to the World Bank.

    Hubba hubba.

    (Disclaimer: I only did this post so I could use the headline. Carry on.)

    posted by tbogg at 10:06 PM



    Boldly going...

    This may or may not be in bad taste. Your mileage may vary.

    You've been warned.

    May I add Aztec Camera's Oblivious.

    posted by tbogg at 9:14 PM



    Thursday Night Basset Blogging

    Don't blink. Don't blink. Oh shit, you blinked.... Posted by Hello

    posted by tbogg at 9:04 PM



    Friends of Dorothy.

    No brain. No heart. No courage. Posted by Hello

    You may caption as you see fit.

    posted by tbogg at 3:17 PM



    Wait. You mean that you're not already brain dead and useless?

    Roger Ailes, who can read more Mickey Kaus than most of us can stomach, points us to this:

    Notice to All Potential Mickey Kaus "Surrogates"-- If I'm ever in Terri Schiavo's situation, and not in any pain, please follow these simple steps: Keep the feeding tube in, and keep Dr. Nuland out.

    This reminds us of an old Drew Carey joke where he posed the question: what if you were in a coma and at that point it was the best your life had ever been, and they were going to pull the plug?

    Welcome to Mickey's World.

    posted by tbogg at 11:47 AM



    We report. You decide. We never said anything about doing research and stuff.

    Fox news. You gotta love 'em. They currently have this picture up of Terri Schiavo with her parents, with the following caption:

    Terri Schiavo, center, is shown in this undated family photo with her parents, Mary and Bob Schindler.

    Now, I'm going to go out on a limb here and speculate that this might, just might, have been taken on her wedding day. Unless, of course, she had a job with the Frilly White Bush Rangers of America.

    By the way, Fox is reporting that Jeb! Bush has filed for custody of Terri Schiavo.

    I think that they should give Jeb! custody, with the stipulation that Jeb! has to personally care for Schiavo 24/7. Oh, and he's got to keep Noelle out of Terri meds.

    That would probably make his jaw drop. Not to mention starting a chins-valanche.

    posted by tbogg at 10:24 AM


    Wednesday, March 23, 2005


    ...or I could just lay on the couch all week and masturbate to Victoria's Secret catalogs

    Life (such as it is) with Jimbo:

    The good news: the next book may be pushed back, giving me a little more time to polish it up. The bad news: that would mean this site gets short shrift for another month or two, and the big stone block hanging over my head will stay there into the summer.

    ...and here we thought this was a win-win for us. But here's the really big news.

    But I cannot continue to spend my days drinking Seed Corn Smoothies forever. I need two days to myself and two days after that. Looks like I’ll get them, too – my wife and child will be taking a trip with her Mom and sister in the summer, and I’ll have nine days alone.

    I know exactly what I’ll do. I’m going to drive home along the old highway 10, the road that tied Fargo and Minneapolis together before the interstate was built. Small towns every 20 miles. I’ll stop whenever I want, take pictures, maybe even hole up in a small motel, drop into town, find a bar, open the laptop, and get my ass kicked for being from the city. No, that wouldn’t happen – Highway 10 is the road all the big city folk take to their cabins and resorts; they’re used to the cosmopolitans showing up Friday with their creels and creased pants.

    That’s my dream, anyway. Dog in the back and the road ahead. We’ll see.

    We assume that this little trip will bear Jasper's forthcoming Steinbeck-ian travelogue: Travels with Forehead-Boy. But in the meantime, we want to address Lilek's inability to actually get any writing done.

    Now, we've read his Newhouse columns that he's always going on and on about (" Finished Friday's column on the mysteries of mayonaise and went outside to smoke a cheroot and see if the neighbor lady left her blinds up again") and we're not talking high art or even middle-brow art that risks inducing a "It's funny because it's true" snort before we turned to see what hijinks Marmaduke is up to these days. So it's obvious he's not suffering tortured artist/writers block syndrome. Or at least not suffering enough. So it must be the books? Go here to see the hard work he puts in. I'll wait. Hmm hmm hmmmm

    (Its all about the he says she says bullshit
    I think you better quit
    Lettin' shit slip
    Or you'll be leavin with a fat lip
    Its all about the he says she says bullshit
    I think you better quit talkin that shit
    (Punk, so come and get it)
    Its just one of those days
    Feelin' like a freight train
    First one to complain
    Leaves with a blood stai-)

    Okay, you're back. So I assume that you saw that we're not talking meticulous wordsmithing here. So why does it take him so long to generate a book that Joyce Carol Oates could knock off while buttering a bagel (did you know she writes an entire 600 page novel everytime she takes a poop? You can look it up). Maybe because of this:

    Today: the second week of spring break, continued. For variety’s sake we played Crazy Eights, which is UNO without the drama. Off to the Play Place to kill some time; much fun, and an excellent opportunity to observe other parents. A few Dads – some have the stolid big-belly look of a grandpa spending time with the squirts, or an older guy who married a younger woman and finally said, okay, what the hell, we’ll have kids. One young Goth dad watching his wife and child with no expression whatsoever, but you could hear the wheels whirring: let me out let me out let me out. Then we went to Target to get the chairs for the gazebo.


    Anyway, the boxes didn’t fit in the Galileo, so I had to drive back after supper. Why? Because I want the gazebo with the chairs and sofa in the backyard. Because I want to spend at least one summer day reading a book in the shade, or at night by lamplight listening to crickets itch themselves, drinking a cool Effen, working on a harsh cigar, pausing only to get up and dance with Gnat in the twilight to “Jump in the Line” by Harry Belafonte and the PSB “Ab Fab” mix. (Sorry, they came up on the shuffle while I was writing.) And I’ll have it. I will.

    We don't begrudge Lilek time with Gnat (although she may differ on that account) but, Jesus on a feeding tube, can he go a day without running down to Target to buy more crap? So when he starts talking about hitting the road with laptop and dog in tow like a Kerouac for mouthbreathers; don't believe it. He's going to be watching Saved By The Bell: Season Two on DVD and wondering how he can stretch three columns and five complaints about how busy he is out of it.

    ...and maybe another book. Sooner or later.

    posted by tbogg at 11:51 PM



    About this whole comments thing.

    When Blogger wasn't busy last week making all of our posts go the way of George Bush's Alabama National Guard records, they were offering a blogger comment function which I signed up for and...then it never appeared. Until today.

    I'm not sure I know why it is set up the way it is, nor do I really want to be futzing around in the template to fix it. So we'll just let it run the way it is now and see how things go. Most bloggers have previously told me that it's probably a good idea that I don't have comments considering the style of this blog. I guess we'll see if they were correct.

    Meanwhile, I'm busy at work on some more Jonah fiction so feel free to commence getting all nipply over the prospect of that.

    posted by tbogg at 10:35 PM



    Click to enlarge

    Get your war on. Posted by Hello

    ...or just go here and read them all. Nothing this week made me laugh as much as this one.

    Except for maybe this.

    posted by tbogg at 10:26 PM




    Someday (soon we hope) this dark era will end and someone will collect Frank Rich's columns into a book and people will read it as history.

    Senator Bill Frist, the Harvard-educated heart surgeon with presidential aspirations, announced that watching videos of Ms. Schiavo had persuaded him that her doctors in Florida were mistaken about her vegetative state - a remarkable diagnosis given that he had not only failed to examine the patient ostensibly under his care but has no expertise in the medical specialty, neurology, relevant to her case. No less audacious was Tom DeLay, last seen on "60 Minutes" a few weeks ago deflecting Lesley Stahl's questions about his proximity to allegedly criminal fund-raising by saying he would talk only about children stranded by the tsunami. Those kids were quickly forgotten as he hitched his own political rehabilitation to a brain-damaged patient's feeding tube. Adopting a prayerful tone, the former exterminator from Sugar Land, Tex., took it upon himself to instruct "millions of people praying around the world this Palm Sunday weekend" to "not be afraid."

    The president was not about to be outpreached by these saps. The same Mr. Bush who couldn't be bothered to interrupt his vacation during the darkening summer of 2001, not even when he received a briefing titled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.," flew from his Crawford ranch to Washington to sign Congress's Schiavo bill into law. The bill could have been flown to him in Texas, but his ceremonial arrival and departure by helicopter on the White House lawn allowed him to showboat as if he had just landed on the deck of an aircraft carrier. Within hours he turned Ms. Schiavo into a slick applause line at a Social Security rally. "It is wise to always err on the side of life," he said, wisdom that apparently had not occurred to him in 1999, when he mocked the failed pleas for clemency of Karla Faye Tucker, the born-again Texas death-row inmate, in a magazine interview with Tucker Carlson.

    posted by tbogg at 10:06 PM




    It looks like I have comments now when you click on a specific post link. Go figure.

    And behave yourselves.

    posted by tbogg at 3:51 PM



    Hey. Over here! We know about memos. Ask us. Wanna see our Time award?

    Over at Power Line one of the three stooges (Shemp this time) thinks that the Schiavo talking points memo is probably bogus because, well, it makes Republicans look bad (like they weren't already doing their best to look like ghouls):

    We have expressed skepticism about the authenticity of the "talking points" memo; the most recent developments have only served to heighten our skepticism.

    Those developments include:

    Typos- because typos never ever happen in real life.
    Not everybody got the memo- that never happens either.
    Democratic staffers are the ones who gave it to reporters- and that is so unfair and not by the rules and besides all Democratic staffers are former felons who prey on young women and then force them to get abortions and then become lesbians who shoot down the advances of attorneys who are visiting Washington from Minnesota whose wives either don't understand them or giggle uncontrollaby at their putative penises. Oh yeah, Democratic staffers lie too and are well versed in the Black Arts of kerning and fonts and that is some scary shit.
    It plagiarizes the Traditional Values Coalition- who are a completely different group than the Republicans and have never had any contact with any Republican politicians ever ever ever and, in fact, the TVC isn't even aware that the Republican party exists or what country they are in.

    ...and besides, when has Shemp ever been wrong before?

    posted by tbogg at 3:21 PM



    Exclusive!: Pope takes lead in Deathrace 2005

    ...and as we come into the final turn, Pope JP surges forward.

    Meanwhile, the Brides of Jesus ponder whether the the Little Black Cocktail Dress will be appropriate for both mourning and wake binge drinking.

    posted by tbogg at 9:55 AM



    ...and there was much eyes-closed, head-averted slapping at each other.

    Hey everybody! Hurry up back behind the gym, because Andy and Jonah are about to get into a:

    (circling each other)
    "C'mon man. I'll kick your ass"
    "No way man. I'll kick your ass!"
    "Give it your best shot bi-otch."
    "C'mon pussy. Let's go..."
    "No man. You start it"
    "No you."
    "No you."
    "No you."
    "No you."
    (one hour later)
    "Chickenshit. C'mon lets go."
    "You are so gonna get your ass kicked."


    ...fight over a chick.

    posted by tbogg at 9:43 AM


    Tuesday, March 22, 2005


    ...and here they come tumbling out of the tiny little car.

    The clowns at Clownhall are going all Schiavo all of the time. Here's their "What's New" list:

    Thomas Sowell
    'Cruel and unusual'
    Matt Towery
    Inside the numbers: Terri Schiavo
    David Limbaugh
    More prayers For Terri
    Donald R. May
    Terri’s Case -- It’s All About Money, Power, and Our Constitution
    Cal Thomas
    Schiavo case matters in symbol and substance
    Jack Kemp
    Another chance to open markets and expand trade

    Jack Kemp, by golly, always the wonk. They're going to take away his funny red nose.

    By the way, Thomas Sowell makes the "what the fuck?" statement of the day:

    The fervor of those who want to save Terri Schiavo's life is understandable and should be respected, even by those who disagree. What is harder to understand is the fervor and even venom of those liberals who have gone ballistic -- ostensibly over state's rights, over the Constitutional separation of powers, and even over the sanctity of family decisions.

    These are not things that liberals have any track record of caring about.

    Dishonest or incipient brain death? You decide.

    posted by tbogg at 2:18 PM



    Okay kids. Smile at the camera and say "Dad's a ghoulish cheeseball".

    Via Atrios:

    U.S. District Court Judge James Whittemore has defied Congress by not staying Terri Schiavo's starvation execution for the time it takes him to hold a full hearing on her case, a leading Republican senator said Tuesday.

    "You have judicial tyranny here," Santorum told WABC Radio in New York. "Congress passed a law that said that you had to look at this case. He simply thumbed his nose at Congress."

    "What the statute that [Whittemore] was dealing with said was that he shall hold a trial de novo," the Pennsylvania Republican explained. "That means he has to hold a new trial. That's what the statute said."

    Maybe, just maybe, if Lil Ricky calms down a bit about this, Michael Schiavo will let him take Terri Shiavo's body home with him for the day so the little Santorums (Ricky Bob, Ricky Joe, Ricky Steve, Ricki Sue, Ricki Mae, and Ricki Condoleezza) can pose for pictures with her . If he doesn't use them for his Christmas cards this year, I'll bet they'll make a great campaign poster for 2006.

    As an added note: you do realize that if both Terri Schiavo and the Pope leave this mortal coil within days of each other, the Brides of Jesus (that would be Peggy Noonan & Kathryn Jean Lopez) will have a meltdown that will make Chernobyl look like a snuffed birthday candle.

    posted by tbogg at 11:19 AM



    Ann Telnaes...

    Nails it. Posted by Hello

    (Image courtesy of link from Rubber Nun, your source for high quality nunsense.)

    posted by tbogg at 12:02 AM


    Monday, March 21, 2005


    Like "meatless" meat that has meat in it.

    Fun with language:

    Once companies decide to drill, it is unclear how extensive the network of drill pads and connecting roads, pipelines and shelters and supply vehicles will be, and how they will change the landscape and the habitat of the animals that move through the area.

    During last week's Senate debate, which marked a turning point in the long struggle over energy and environmental policy, supporters of drilling argued that the development would be minimal. "When we talk about the roadless areas we have available for exploration, we mean it," said Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska. "We do mean that we are going to put down an ice road that will disappear when the summer comes."

    But there are other areas of Alaska's northern coast that can give some indication of how development may proceed. Once exploration was over and drilling had begun in other Alaska oil facilities, like the Alpine field west of Prudhoe Bay, the concept of "roadless" became more fungible as gravel roads were constructed within the sites. Responding to questions about this in a recent environmental impact statement on oil development in an area farther west, Interior Department officials wrote, "the term 'roadless' does not mean an absence of roads. Rather, it indicates an attempt to minimize the construction of permanent roads."

    I guess this is similar to the way we refer to someone as "brainless" when we know fully well that they have a brain but they choose not to use it, or someone that we refer to as "dickless" when they actually do have a dick.

    Except for Mickey Kaus.

    He is dickless.

    posted by tbogg at 9:27 AM


    Sunday, March 20, 2005


    We're dancing for Dear Leader as fast as we can

    Kathryn Jean Lopez, who apparently stayed up all weekend making sure that her close personal friend and soulmate Terri Schiavo was rescued from some guy she married years ago, points out that President Compassion is slightly more evolved than members of the Texas legislature:

    During the debate tonight, Democrats in the House have said that the president is inconsistent on Terri Schiavo because when he was governor of Texas he signed a bill that was recently used in a terrible case in Texas to deny lifesaving treatment to a baby against the child’s family’s wishes.

    But according to a source familiar with what went down in Texas, the then-governor signed into law something better than what Texas hospitals were already doing. There were not enough votes in the Texas legislature to require life-saving treatment to patients, which is what the governor would have preferred….

    Maybe if he had shown up at the "lege" in his little flightsuit costume he could have twisted a few arms with his God-given powers and maybe saved a few lives. But, you know, the Rangers were playing a televised doubleheader that day and Ken-Boy was coming over with some chips and a six pack of Lone Star and then they decided to barbeque some steaks and then some buddies stopped by with some more Lone Star and, long story short, next thing you know the redwood deck is on fire and a bunch of drunks are trying to put it out by peeing on it...

    What? Like that's never happened to you?

    posted by tbogg at 10:03 PM



    Whoredum meets dum-dum.

    Yes it's about a journalist but not in the way that we usually call journalists "whores" in that "I'm kidding. I kid. No. Really I'm just kidding...You whore" kind of way.

    First...the set-up:

    One evening last summer at the Players Club, Kimberlee Auerbach, an almond-eyed 32-year-old with a moony smile, a voluptuous figure and an ear-splitting laugh, was introduced to some men as an employee of Fox News Channel.

    “One of the guys said, ‘God, and you look so nice,’” she recounted. “And I started to get defensive, saying, like, ‘Hey, they’re opinion shows, they cater to a certain demographic, and that demographic is a very real demographic.’ And I’m getting uppity about it, and he said, ‘God, you sound like a stripper defending your profession.’ And I’m like, ‘Are you calling me a whore?!’ And then someone chimed in: ‘A media whore!’”

    The exchange stung, said Ms. Auerbach. But she regularly confesses much, much more before large crowds at the Moth, the “urban storytelling” series held at the club.

    “I can be a bad little girl!” she once declared. “I can embrace my inner whore!”


    Ms. Auerbach is a woman addicted to public confession. She put that stage performance on a tape reel she distributes to comedy festivals to advertise her talents as a monologist. She hopes those skills will one day translate into a job as the host of her own self-help TV show.

    Presently, Ms. Auerbach has a five-year plan to broadcast a message of honesty, empowerment and self-esteem to fearful, weepy women everywhere. But right now, she said, her offstage confession—that she works at Fox News—is making her double life all the more painful.

    Ms. Auerbach was sitting in a café on the Upper West Side on a Sunday evening, wearing a pink sweater, blushing like a secretly naughty bride and punctuating her story with that crackling laugh. She veered between her obsessions with tarot cards (she once gave an on-site reading to a Fox producer) and women’s identity issues (“A lot of women cry a lot and want to be loved a lot and have something safe”), but continually returned to the thorny reality of her day job, which clearly challenged her self-image as a cultural healer.


    Andy Borowitz, the comic author and CNN contributor, said that Ms. Auerbach had won a number of competitions at the Moth. “To get to her level, you have to complete with people who take it very, very seriously,” he said. “She’s very charismatic. She’s got a lot of character.”

    One story in particular stayed with him, he added, “something about her mother and sex toys. That detail is lodged there.”

    “My mom gave me a ‘back massager’ when I turned 16,” Ms. Auerbach explained.

    On to the good stuff:

    She tried Off Broadway acting, but she didn’t like how her emotions waxed and waned with audience approval. So she moved to California and got into documentary filmmaking.

    “I was working for two lesbian documentary filmmakers in Sausalito and one of them fell in love with me, and I got caught in a bizarre lesbian love triangle,” said Ms. Auerbach. “I had no idea about it until it was too late, and then I went back to New York and got into this kind of news world.”

    She got a job at Worldwide Television News as a “broadcast coordinator,” helping outsource news crews around the globe. While there, Ms. Auerbach got a preview of the conservative media universe. It centered on a mystical figure named “Jonah.”

    “When I was living in California, when I was very lonely and had no friends, I fell in love with a street sign named ‘Jonah,’” she explained. “I have no idea why, but I became obsessed with it, and I thought that I was meant to marry a Jonah. Maybe I was a Jonah in a past life. I had no idea what Jonah meant.”

    One day she got a call from a man named Jonah, who was looking for a news crew in Japan. “I flipped out, because I’m like, ‘Oh my God, this is my future husband!’ And I’m so excited, and I’m on the phone with Jonah!’” she recalled.

    After some extended flirting, she had the man fax her a handwritten note that she immediately analyzed using a book on graphology. “The loop of his ‘J’ meant he was strong and passionate and I had met my soulmate and it’s crazy!” she said. “I was so crazy!”

    But when they met one night on the Upper West Side, she knew within 10 minutes that he wasn’t the fantasy Jonah. It was Jonah Goldberg, the conservative columnist at The National Review, son of right-wing Web pundit and Bill Clinton antagonist Lucianne Goldberg.

    Ms. Auerbach laughed so hard and loud she could hardly breathe. The man sitting behind her at the café made a pistol with his hand and pretended to shoot. Her laugh was exceptionally loud.

    The punchline:

    After meeting Mr. Goldberg, she said, she concluded: “The universe is totally fucking with me!”

    Mr. Goldberg noted that he was heavier at the time, but when he looked at Ms. Auerbach’s picture on her Web site, he didn’t recognize her. “It did not ring a bell,” he said. “I truly, honestly don’t remember it. Clearly, she got a very good handwriting analyst.”

    Yeah, right. And the day this story came out in the New York Observer, people thirty miles away could hear Jonah's scrotum shrivelling up like a salted snail.

    (Thanks to Steve at No More Mister Nice Blog for tossing me this lil Scooby snack instead of running with it himself. Besides, he's on the Schiavo beat. Poor bastard.)

    posted by tbogg at 9:23 PM



    "...and I got this medal for rounding up yokels. But enough about me. Let's talk about your future."

    Recruiters are getting shot down more than Brent Baker in a singles bar:

    Today, Shelley is on duty in what he calls a "one-man fighting hole" on another battlefield -- a Marine recruiting station in Lexington Park, Md., in St. Mary's County -- with a mission to persuade young men and women to enlist, and probably go to war.

    One recent night, after making dozens of fruitless phone calls to high school students, Shelley said his recruiting job is more taxing than combat. "I hear 'no' more times in one day than a child would hear in their entire childhood," he said. "If I had hair, I'd pull it out."


    Shelley, for example, has signed up four people in nearly six months, despite working 16-hour days. Asked why recruiting is so difficult, he has a quick reply: "The war."

    Increasingly, surveys show that the main reason young American adults avoid military service is that they -- and to a greater degree their parents -- fear that enlisting could mean a war-zone deployment and death or injury. One survey showed such fears nearly doubling among respondents from 2000 to 2004.


    Shelley's situation exemplifies the pressure on today's recruiters. Up at 6:30, he consults his "plan of attack," a white sheet of paper on which he pencils in his activities by the hour. At lunchtime, he hits fast-food restaurants. When school lets out at 2:45, he starts calling potential recruits at home. In early evening, he goes to gas stations or the 7-Eleven, scouting for youths with "less desirable" jobs. At night, he is out "AC-ing," or "area canvassing," until 10:30.

    Palming the steering wheel of his steel-gray Dodge Stratus one night, Shelley cruises slowly past a Chick-fil-A. Scanning the cars, he estimates who's in the restaurant and whether it's worth going in. It's not.

    He makes one last, failed pitch of the day -- to an overweight young man stacking tomatoes at Giant -- and heads home. As long as the war drags on, recruiting won't improve, he predicts. "I think it's going to get worse."

    Keep in mind that Shelley represents the Marines which is the top of the food chain of the services.

    posted by tbogg at 9:05 PM



    Of little slithering snakes

    Michael Schiavo:

    Angered by the latest political developments in Washington, Michael Schiavo said Saturday that it isn't just the Florida governor who should visit his wife to learn about the case.

    Jeb Bush's brother, President Bush, should visit Terri Schiavo, too, he said.

    "Come down, President Bush," Schiavo said in a telephone interview. "Come talk to me. Meet my wife. Talk to my wife and see if you get an answer. Ask her to lift her arm to shake your hand. She won't do it."

    She won't, Schiavo said, because she can't.


    Weary after an emotional visit with his wife, Schiavo said he is astonished that politicians want to interfere in such a private matter.

    "Instead of worrying about my wife, who was granted her wishes by the state courts the past seven years, they should worry about the pedophiles killing young girls," Schiavo said, referring to a local case. "Why doesn't Congress worry about people not having health insurance? Or the budget? Let's talk about all the children who don't have homes."

    He said U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who is leading a charge to extend Terri Schiavo's life, is a "little slithering snake" pandering for votes.

    "To make comments that Terri would want to live, how do they know?" Schiavo said of the members of Congress who want to keep his wife alive.

    "Have they ever met her?" Schiavo said. "What color are her eyes? What's her middle name? What's her favorite color? They don't have any clue who Terri is. They should all be ashamed of themselves."

    Now that would be a miracle...

    posted by tbogg at 9:00 PM



    Harmonic convergence

    It all comes together.

    As you can see from at the bottom of the post, Terri Schiavo is actually a cleverly disguised Zacarias Moussaoui so....

    Moussaoui is an America-hating terrorist.

    Terrorists must die.

    Therefore, Terri Schiavo Moussaoui must die.

    Someone call Eugene Volokh and tell him to bring a baseball bat.

    Now is everyone happy?

    posted by tbogg at 9:52 AM



    Bishop Blowback

    John at Americablog (links all over the place) has been doing some cross-country covering of the denial of a Catholic funeral to John McCusker here in San Diego. Let's just say that the people of San Diego aren't rushing to get behind the skirts of Bishop Brom:

    As hundreds of people memorialized a gay San Diego nightclub owner yesterday, the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego defended its decision to deny him a Catholic funeral by stating that a pornographic video had been filmed in his club.

    At least 500 people packed the pews and aisles of St. Paul's Cathedral, an Episcopal church near Balboa Park, to pay respects to John McCusker, 31, who died Sunday of apparent heart failure. He owned Club Montage, which has a large gay clientele and is one of the city's most popular dance spots.

    Outside the church after the funeral, McCusker's friends and other members of the gay community expressed outrage at the diocese's action. Theresa Bolton, who spoke at the funeral and teaches at a Temecula prep school operated by McCusker's parents, called it "ludicrous."

    "I'm leaving the Catholic Church because of it," said Bolton, 36.

    Earlier this week, citing McCusker's "business activities," San Diego Bishop Robert Brom announced that McCusker couldn't receive a Catholic funeral at any parish in the diocese's jurisdiction, which encompasses 98 parishes in San Diego and Imperial counties.

    From the very conservative Union Tribune editorial page:

    Whatever happened to the age-old Christian precept, "Hate the sin and love the sinner."?

    San Diego Bishop Robert Brom apparently rejects this maxim of charity and tolerance. His highly rare decision to deny a Catholic burial to a gay businessman who owned a gay-oriented nightclub sends a message that is the sheer antithesis of charity and tolerance.

    To the bishop, a Catholic funeral for John McCusker, who died Sunday of congestive heart failure, would be a "public scandal" because the business he owned, Club Montage, was "inconsistent with Catholic moral teaching."

    In our view, the real scandal is Bishop Brom's narrow-minded ostracism of McCusker after the family arranged for his funeral at the Immaculata Catholic Church at the University of San Diego, which McCusker had attended. Brom rescinded the arrangements and decreed that McCusker's funeral could not be held in any of the 98 Catholic churches in the diocese of San Diego and Imperial counties.

    To our knowledge, McCusker never has been accused of doing anything illegal. If Bishop Brom has information to the contrary, he should step forward with it.

    We respect the Catholic Church's denunciation of homosexual acts on moral grounds, just as we respect the church's denunciation of abortion on moral grounds. At the same time, we respect the many morally upright individuals who do not share the church's views on homosexuality and abortion. What should bind people on both sides of these divisive issues is a shared respect for the dignity of every human being. Bishop Brom's decree runs counter to the wisdom of St. Augustine, the 5th century bishop of Hippo, who wrote, Cum dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum: "With love for mankind and hatred for sins."

    From the letters page:

    The San Diego Catholic Diocese cites "inconsistent with Catholic moral teaching" as its reason for denying John McCusker his due right as a practicing Catholic to be allowed services at the Immaculata Catholic Church.

    Yet the Catholic church, specifically The Holy Name Church in West Roxbury, Mass., allowed a vicious predator of innocent children, John Geoghan, a full and dignified Catholic service.

    McCusker was a businessman who operated an establishment for mature, consenting adults. The children raped by Geoghan were defenseless and went along with his warped motives because of his collar.

    I pose this question to Bishop Brom: Exactly which of these two men is more deserving of a Catholic service and burial?



    How heartening and reassuring it was to awake to the morning newspaper and television reports. I am so relieved that the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego, and specifically Bishop Brom, is protecting our morals by refusing to hold the funeral services of one of its own because "the church has deemed his business "inconsistent with the Catholic moral teaching."

    Such compassion and forgiveness are so overwhelming. It is a shame that so many convicted murders, rapists, wife and child abusers, mafia hit men, pedophile priests, drug kingpins, burglars, gang thugs, and other predators apparently have either slipped through the cracks of this moral code or their business is deemed consistent with the moral teachings of the Catholic church.

    Bishop Brom, John McCusker may not have been the model Catholic you believe he should have been, but in his life he gave of himself to those less fortunate than he and showed considerable compassion to others. Bishop Brom, your sense of compassion and forgiveness offer me and others insight that is most enlightening.

    San Diego

    I didn't know John McCusker, nor am I Catholic.

    Being a Jew and not a Catholic, I can't presume to fully understand Catholic doctrine.

    The church cited "public scandal" for canceling McCusker's funeral rites. Ironically, the church itself has now created its own "public scandal," as it did a number of years ago when it denied Communion to a wonderful public servant, Lucy Killea.

    The church owes an apology to the family and partner of John McCusker, a young man who graduated from the Catholic University of San Diego, who donated tremendously of his time and money to charitable causes, and who loved his friends, nieces, nephews and extended family very much.

    Again, I am not a Catholic, but isn't this service part of what being Catholic is all about?

    The church must apologize to the McCusker family and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community for the tremendous hurt it has caused McCusker's friends and family in this time of great sadness and pain.

    San Diego

    ...and, as John pointed out, Bishop Brom has a bit of history himself.

    posted by tbogg at 8:45 AM


    Saturday, March 19, 2005


    "Smithers- release the hounds"

    Protesters prayed yesterday outside the home of Michael Schiavo after a judge's ruling that his wife Terri's feeding tube could be removed. Posted by Hello

    posted by tbogg at 8:13 AM


    Friday, March 18, 2005


    Infantile reasoning

    Arianna Huffington:

    The groupthink in the nation's capital would be the envy of Dear Leader Kim Jong Il.

    How did this cozy unanimity come to pass? Is it something in the water, I wondered, perhaps as a result of Bush gutting the EPA? But then I thought back to my time at Cambridge, when I took a course in elementary logic, and studied the Fallacy of the Undistributed Middle.

    For those of you in need of a refresher on the concept, here's an example: "All oaks are trees. All elms are trees. Therefore, all oaks are elms."

    See how easily you can go from point A to point Z, jumping over all the important steps between?

    So: We invaded Iraq. Change is afoot in the Middle East. Therefore, the Middle East is changing because we invaded Iraq.

    See how simple it is? And how illogical?

    The Bush White House has been masterful at this infantile reasoning: America is free and democratic. Terrorists attacked America. Therefore, terrorists hate freedom and democracy.

    And that's all anyone needs to know.

    America in a nutshell.

    (Via Bump in the Beltway)

    posted by tbogg at 11:37 PM



    Worried WASPs

    "Will my Social Security money be there to use on Oxycontin and Xanax?" Posted by Hello

    Social Security must be in a lot worse shape than we think.

    President Bush enlisted his 79-year-old mother on Friday in his campaign to overhaul Social Security, with the former first lady, in a cameo role as a participant in a "conversation" on the issue, appearing with him on stage in Pensacola to express her concern about the program's solvency.

    In a sign that the White House was using every part of its arsenal to try to gain support for transforming the retirement program - or as evidence that any man can use help from his mother - the popular Barbara Bush led off testimonials from five other panelists vetted by the White House. Hers was a plea on behalf of numerous Bush family offspring who, she implied, might never see their Social Security checks.

    "I'm here because your father and I have 17 grandchildren," Mrs. Bush told the president, adding that they were all born after 1950. "And we want to know, is someone going to do something about it?"

    For the record, Barbara Bush only gets $422 a month which takes care of rent, a nice dinner at Black Angus once a month, and still leaves her with a few dollars to put away for her bi-monthly Brazilian.

    (Okay. Ew.)

    posted by tbogg at 11:01 PM



    The fluid that was my brain belongs to Daddy

    Let's see.....the Save Schiavo Shock Troops, having lost at every legal level, have exhausted their bench (Tom DeLay? Jesus, if someone gave Tom DeLay twenty bucks on the sly, he'd slip into Terri's room and Orkin her ass in a minute) so they've turned to the heavy guns.

    Patricia Heaton. (Mom-looks, on TV's Everybody Loves Raymond or Home Improvement or Yes, Dear...who the hell knows, they all look alike. That Patrica Heaton):

    Two-time Emmy winner and New York Times best-selling author Patricia Heaton pled for the life of Terri Schiavo today as Terri's life-sustaining feeding tube was removed. Heaton serves as Honorary Chair of Feminists for Life of America.

    "We must not let Terri Schiavo be starved to death," said Heaton. "This deliberate and painful destruction of a woman's life cannot be justified or tolerated. Terri deserves better."


    The star of Everybody Loves Raymond says she is outraged. "By his actions Michael Schiavo has demonstrated that he should not be the one making the ultimate life or death decisions for a woman who, only in legal terms, remains his wife. His belief that this was Terri's wish counters the views of Terri's family who, no doubt, know Terri well. Removal of a feeding tube will result in a slow starvation that is cruel and painful."

    "Feminists have always challenged the idea that married women have no rights of their own," said Heaton. "A husband should not be granted absolute control over his wife's fate, especially a disaffected husband with dubious motives."

    "Terri has parents whose unselfish desire is to simply love her, care for her and let her live. She is not in a comatose state and she is not suffering from terminal disease. Terri may no longer be perfect or complete but she has a fundamental right to life. Her feeding tube must be re-inserted."

    Because as a feminist, you can separate yourself from your husband, but you will always belong to Mommy & Daddy.

    ...and speaking of brain death, La Noonan was in Full Metal Elian Mode today:

    At the heart of the case at this point is a question: Is Terri Schiavo brain-dead? That is, is remedy, healing, physiologically impossible?

    No. Oddly enough anyone who sees the film and tape of her can see that her brain tells her lungs to breathe, that she can open her eyes, that she seems to respond at times and to some degree to her family. She can laugh. (I heard it this morning on the news. It's a childlike chuckle.) In the language of computers she appears not to be a broken hard drive but a computer in deep hibernation. She looks like one of those coma cases that wind up in the news because the patient, for no clear reason, snaps to and returns to life and says, "Is it 1983? Is there still McDonald's? Can I have a burger?"

    Again, life is mysterious. Medicine is full of happenings and events that leave brilliant doctors scratching their heads.

    It also leaves editors at the Wall Street Journal scratching their heads. "Who hired her and why doesn't she understand that Terri Schiavo's brain is liquified?"

    (A handy tip: Peggy Noonan doesn't have a feeding tube, but if you slipped into her place and broke all the highball glasses you would get the same result. You're welcome.)

    Our differences with the right come down to this:

    We see Terri Schiavo as a person who no longer has any higher brain functions, emotional responses, and who lies in bed each day unable to communicate with her fellow humans or perform any physical tasks. She is a sad case without a future or possibilities.

    Republicans look at her and say, "Hey. That's our base!"

    And, as Steve points out, a handy talking point to boot.

    posted by tbogg at 9:51 PM



    Today on the American Street...

    I make a very special cameo appearance.

    posted by tbogg at 8:30 AM



    If it will speed up my check, I'm all for it...

    Let's connect some dots.

    Larry, Moe, and Shemp over at Power Line are all for drilling in ANWR.

    The only company that is still interested is Exxon/Mobil.

    Still another question is how eager oil companies will be to try their luck in ANWR. BP, ConocoPhillips and ChevronTexaco have withdrawn from Arctic Power, the business coalition formed to lobby for drilling in ANWR. Among big oil companies, only ExxonMobil Corp. remains.

    ExxonMobil did not have a direct comment on its plans, but a spokesman referred to an earlier statement in which the company said, "ExxonMobil supports environmentally responsible development within the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge."

    Shemp, otherwise known as the Rocket, is a partner at Faegre & Benson who took the lead in the Exxon Valdez class action suit.

    So, as a partner at Faegre & Benson, what will the Rocket's cut be? And what does he really think about class action suits? And how does he feel about Exxon being entrusted with ANWR?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    posted by tbogg at 12:00 AM


    Thursday, March 17, 2005


    He's a wacky God, isn't He?

    It being St. Patricks's Day, Peggy Noonan started drinking a wee bit earlier than usual:

    It is an idiot's errand to follow such testimony with commentary. It's too big. There is nothing newspaper-eloquent to say. We have entered Flannery O'Connor country, and only geniuses need apply.

    Here are mere facts. They were together seven hours and each emerged transformed. He gave himself up without a fight and is now in prison. She reported to police all that had transpired, the police told the press, and now she is famous.

    Tuesday evening on the news a "hostage rescue expert" explained that she "negotiated like a pro." Actually what she did is give Christian witness. It wasn't negotiation. It had to do with being human.

    It is an amazing and beautiful story. And for all its unlikeliness you know it happened as Smith said. You know she told the truth. It's funny how we all know this.

    I'm having a bit of trouble with this Flannery O'Connor connection. Is she talking about Good Country People where a fake Bible salesman steals a womans leg? Or is it The Life You Save May Be Your Own?

    Either way, it appears that Peggy is cool with God letting Brian Nichols slaughter four people before He brought Nichols to Ashley Smith's door to be saved and she could write a book about it.

    Boy, He does move in mysterious ways...

    posted by tbogg at 11:19 PM



    The AP Style Book is silent on the "izzles", yo.

    Here is part of the AP report on Lil' Kim:

    The shootout occurred outside WQHT, a.k.a. Hot 97, when Lil’ Kim’s entourage crossed paths with a rival rap group, Capone-N-Noreaga. Kim’s entourage confronted them about the song “Bang, Bang” from a Capone-N-Noreaga album, which contained a scathing dis to Kim from her longtime rival, Foxy Brown. A shootout erupted, leaving one man injured and more than two dozen rounds fired.

    The shooting took place outside the same station where the posses of 50 Cent and The Game traded bullets last week. No arrests have been made in that shooting, which left one of Game’s henchmen wounded in the leg.

    "a scathing dis"? "posses"? Who do they think is reading this stuff? Next they'll be concluding each paragraph with "know what I'm sayin'?"

    posted by tbogg at 5:14 PM



    Thursday Basset Blogging - Memorial Edition

    The late great Cooder. Posted by Hello

    St. Patrick’s Day has a special meaning in our family. We’re not Irish (far from it), but when every St. Patrick’s Day arrives we get a little sad and a little sorrowful (just like the Irish…but without the drinking) because it was on this day seven years ago that we had to have our first basset, Cooder, put down.

    Here’s my Cooder story.

    About eighteen years ago, I was in negotiations to take a job where I would be doing a considerable amount of traveling and so my wife said she wanted to get a dog to keep her company while I was away. Fine. We both grew up with dogs and it was inevitable that we would end up with one anyway. Now I’m a pure breed kind of guy, my parents bred hunting dogs and we had our share of Springer Spaniels, German Shorthaired Pointers, and Golden Retrievers, so we starting looking into what kind of a dog we wanted. For some reason, we initially looked at West Highland Terriers (also known as Westies) but, after sitting in a room with what appeared to be a heavily caffienated one, I said “no way”. In an off-handed remark, I mentioned that maybe we should get something like a basset that didn’t require too much action and was content to sleep while we were away at work..

    Long story…short dog. I was in Riverside when I received an urgent call from my wife. She had found a basset puppy, the last male of the litter, and she wanted me to see him before he was sold. I hurried back to San Diego and didn’t even get to sit down before we headed out the door for the breeder’s house. There were three puppies left: two females and a slightly undersized male who had enormous ears. I had the impression that he was the runt of the litter which is why he was still around, but, damn, he was cute and snuggly, and so I told my wife, “Let’s take him” which it turned out was a forgone conclusion since she had already paid for him earlier in the day.

    We called him Cooder. Now, if you remember, Cooder was supposed to be my wife’s dog and he liked her just fine, but he loved me. Wherever I was, there was Cooder. If I was sitting on the couch, he was sitting next to me. If I lay down, he lay down next to me with his head on my shoulder and minutes later he would be asleep, softly snoring in my ear. If my wife made his dinner, he wouldn’t eat it. I would have to go pick up his bowl, take a spoon and stir it, and then he would eat. On walks he treated strangers with indifference. They could pet him and talk to him, but he would just look away until they were done. Only my parents could elicit a tail-wag from him. He made himself my dog without my ever asking.

    Cooder was a climber. One post-Halloween, while we were gone, he pulled himself up onto a dining room chair, then onto the table, and knocked down Casey’s bag of Halloween candy. When I got home that afternoon there were ripped wrappers everywhere across the floor. Cooder was on the couch and, without even lifting his head, he gave me a few tail thumps.

    “What did you do?”

    Faster thumps.

    I walked over and pulled his lips back to find the hard candy that comes on Tootsie Roll Pops caked to his teeth. I spent the next half-hour picking it off. I know he probably should have died from all the candy and the chocolate, but he didn’t even get sick, which is probably why he was able to eat an entire birthday cake some months later. His other trick (and outside of “sit” he knew no other tricks) was to climb up on a dining room chair, cross the table, leap onto the bar, walk across the stove, and sit in the sink that had a window box above it so he could watch out the window for me to come home. I was always afraid he would somehow hit the garbage disposal switch and lose his tail.

    We walked a lot. Cooder loved to walk. For a while, I had to be at work at six in the morning and we would go out for our morning walk at four in the morning. That’s when I learned to love the absolute quiet and peacefulness of that hour. Even the drunks are in bed by then. It was just the sound of his nails on the sidewalk, the shuffle of my feet, and the little grunts he made when he pooped (I just had to mention that). On warm summer days we would walk the nine blocks to the beach and on the way home we would have to stop so he could lay on under a tree in someone’s yard and cool off. It always took twice as long to get home as it did to get to the beach.

    Cooder gets sick. It started out as a lump on his right hip. At first we thought it was fatty tissue but it kept getting larger and then we knew what it would turn out to be. An operation and it was gone, but then another one showed up. Another operation and we thought we had it knocked. Then I started noticing the blood in his urine. Outwardly he seemed fine, but the bad stuff was working overtime inside of him. St. Patrick’s Day 1998, I got up to take Cooder out and he couldn’t stand up. I kept trying talk him into willing himself to get up, but he just couldn’t do it. Then I pleaded, I begged. Then I hugged him to me and I cried. We knew then what we had to do and I picked Cooder up and carried him to the car for his last trip to the vet. The last thing I will ever remember about him was the look of bewilderment on his face. His mind was there, but his body was gone. Then, soon enough, so was he. My wife and I took the day off, and we walked down to the beach past all the bars where the St. Paddy’s Day celebrations were in full swing. We talked about what a great dog he was and we talked about what we would tell Casey when we picked her up from school. But mostly we talked about us and how he had been there for most of our married life.

    Every year, prior to Christmas, I climb up into what passes for an attic in our house to bring down the Christmas decorations. Sitting next to those boxes full of ornaments and lights and wrappings is a small lidded-box. Inside that box are Cooder’s collar, tags, food bowl, and his last rawhide chew. And every year I pull them out and look at them and remember. Then I put them away for another year and remind myself to always keep them and to always remember the dog that I loved and who loved me. He was my friend.

    So if you’re going out tonight to heft a beer for St. Paddy, have one for Cooder. He would have ignored you, but you would have loved him anyway.


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