TBogg - "...a somewhat popular blogger"

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  • Wednesday, May 31, 2006


    The Boobies of Mass Destruction

    I killed an Islamist and made his couch into
    this lovely ensemble. Freedom is on the runway!

    If hysteria was a weapon, we would so be winning:
    So it is not enough that the mainstream media has become the propaganda tool for the Islamists and the enemies of America. Not satisfied with the results of their daily brain washing (or should I say brain clubbing) now they intend to shame the American people for having the courage of their convictions.

    Over at CBS News, they want to know "Why So Little Protest On Iraq? (hat tip Steverino)

    Why? Because we are at war you little shit you! Because we are fighting an enemy so insidious, so dangerous, so shadowy -- it will take the whole of the nation, all hearts and minds to defeat it.


    Hey dotty Dotty, every loss is huge, every death is enormous. We are all on the front lines now. Shut up and fight or get out of the way.
    Are they still giving out Purple Hearts for a broken nail?

    posted by tbogg at 11:52 PM



    But the little girl understands

    Meet the new boss...

    John Derbyshire, the Humbert Humbert of the Corner fears the Little Girl Overlords of the Aztlan:
    A nearby family has a sweet little girl aged 6 or 7, currently attending kindergarten or 1st grade (I'm not sure) in the local elementary school. She's taking all her lessons (except English) in Spanish. It's an option the school offers. Her parents are pleased: "She can already speak a lot of Spanish!"

    No offense to anyone, but I think this is awful. I wouldn't mind if it were being done with some other language—-Latin, say, or Hungarian, or Sumerian, or Chinese. Since it's being done —- and ONLY being done —- in Spanish, it's hard to resist the conclusion that this is part of a deliberate program of Hispanicization on the part of our political and bureaucratic elites.

    The logical end-point of this path will be the situation in Quebec, where a person not bilingual — in our case, in English and Spanish — will be at a disadvantage in the job market. Is this a thing Americans actually want? Did anyone ask us?

    When stuff like this is seeping in even to drowsy middle-class outer suburbs like mine, bilingual America is well on its way. Our masters are sick or(sic) our boring, unimaginative monolingualism, and they mean to do something about it, whether we like it or not.
    While I imagine that the ability to speak Sumerian might come in handy...

    Okay. Let me start over. Regardless of what the Derb says, learning to speak Sumerian would most likely be a waste of time, so let's move on and just say that his whole point is rather dumb, or as we like to say in SoCal: muy estúpido. The parents of the little girl, have chosen to let their little girl learn in Spanish (which is an excellent idea at an early age) and he presents no evidence who these "masters" are and how they have coerced this family into letting their precious little daughter be Hispanicized. Or Hispanicalized. Whatever.

    There isn't a day that I wish that I hadn't just gone through the motions in high school Spanish and actually learned to speak it conversationally, outside of my ability to ask Sr. Rojo how his day is going. And in over thirty years I have yet to meet a Sr. Rojo. Sr. Rojas, yes. But it's just not the same. When the Derb says that someone who is not bilingual will soon be at a disadvantage in the job market; well welcome to the real world. I don't know too many people who don't already pay more for employees who speak multiple languages. I have a half-dozen employees who speak Spanish, as well as a few who speak Tagalog, Vietnamese, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Korean, and their ability to speak more than just English made them more desirable to me as employees over other applicants.

    One of my cousins who was touring Europe in the seventies told me a story about a German couple he met on a train in France who told him: "We say that a person who speaks three languages is 'trilingual' A person who speaks two languages is 'bilingual', and a person who speaks one language is called 'an American'."

    One gets the impression that the Derb is one of those people who thinks that by speaking louder to someone who doesn't understand the language, they will finally understand him.


    posted by tbogg at 10:44 PM



    Okay. But we don't really
    want Ken Mehlman...

    The captain caught the first boat out

    One wonders how messed up your party has to be for the former Chairman of your state party to jump ship.

    On top of that:
    Johnson County District Attorney Paul Morrison also switched parties from Republican to Democrat to challenge Attorney General Phill Kline, a Republican, in the November election.
    Kline, you may remember, is the Head Republican Panty Sniffer, Junior Petite Division, of Kansas

    posted by tbogg at 10:08 PM



    There are men too gentle to live with wolves*

    Rick Santorum: Needs to be protected from women.
    “Your business is not wanted here. They don’t want you here anymore. If you don’t leave, you’re going to be arrested. If you can’t post bail, you’ll go to prison. Those of you who are under 18 will go to Ferris [the juvenile detention center]. And those of you over 18 will go either to Gander Hill Prison or the woman’s correctional facility. Any questions?”

    *This title comes from a book a friend of mine had back in the early seventies. Some kind of New Age-y whatnot.

    posted by tbogg at 10:01 PM



    Thank you ...

    to John in Baltimore for the Metal Hearts CD and the Oppenheimer biography.

    You're a pal.

    For those who commented that Metal Hearts sounds like Yo La Tengo... that is a dead-on description. There are lots of worse bands to be compared to and Socialize is really well done.

    posted by tbogg at 9:46 PM



    All of our Republican women are as warm
    and soft as freshly baked cookies

    Tom Curry, who should know better, writes:
    Klobuchar is going to be a delicate assignment for Kennedy: she has a witty, self-deprecating personality; she’s at ease with herself; she doesn’t seem doctrinaire or brittle, as some Democratic women candidates do.
    Add "doctrinaire and brittle" to the list of descriptors for female Democrats. A list that also includes "relentlessly driven", "power hungry", and the default setting: "man-hating dyke-bitch". As for "some Democratic Republican female candidates"?

    Soft as a summer rain...

    posted by tbogg at 8:53 PM



    Dumber than a sack of Hewitts

    Can we please have a moratorium on using the word meme, particularly when people don't know what the hell it means? Case in point: Mary Katharine Ham who was hired by Hugh Hewitt to make him look smarter by comparison.
    In the same story, the MSM created its own meme:

    Senior U.S. Republican Senator John Warner vowed to hold hearings on atrocity allegations against Marines in the killings of up to two dozen Iraqi civilians last November -- a case some U.S. media have compared to the 1968 My Lai massacre in Vietnam.

    Now, that's just silly. Within a couple days, it will be "a case some in the U.S. have compared to the 1968 My Lai massacre in Vietnam," and then "some have compared to the 1968 My Mai massacre." Soon, no one will remember it was the press that started it, and it's quite an incendiary comparison given that the investigation is not yet over.
    To see an analogy between My Lai and Haditha isn't a meme. It is a historical analogy that contains many similarities: an unpopular war, a battle for "hearts and minds", a slaughter of innocents, and a cover-up, all involving American troops killing the very people that they are supposed to protecting. And if one looks at how many immediately made the same point regardless of their political outlook, and then dismiss it as a "MSM meme" isn't just silly, it's downright stupid.

    posted by tbogg at 8:28 PM



    Blogger Enforced Vacation

    ...back tonight. Although the time off has been nice...

    posted by tbogg at 4:46 PM


    Tuesday, May 30, 2006


    Blowing off the whistleblowers

    The Bush Court:
    The Supreme Court on Tuesday made it harder for government employees to file lawsuits claiming they were retaliated against for going public with allegations of official misconduct.

    By a 5-4 vote, justices said the nation's 20 million public employees do not have carte blanche free speech rights to disclose government's inner-workings. New Justice Samuel Alito cast the tie-breaking vote.

    Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing for the court's majority, said the First Amendment does not protect "every statement a public employee makes in the course of doing his or her job."

    The decision came after the case was argued twice this term, once before Justice Sandra Day O'Connor retired in January, and again after her successor, Alito, joined the bench.


    Dissenting justices said Tuesday that the ruling could silence would-be whistleblowers who have information about governmental misconduct.

    "Public employees are still citizens while they are in the office," wrote Justice John Paul Stevens. "The notion that there is a categorical difference between speaking as a citizen and speaking in the course of one's employment is quite wrong."


    The Bush administration had urged the high court to place limits on when government whistleblowers can sue, arguing that those workers have other options, including the filing of civil service complaints.

    Kennedy noted in his ruling that there are whistleblower protection laws. The ruling, which had the votes of the court's conservatives including new Chief Justice John Roberts, showed great deference to the government.

    "Official communications have official consequences, creating a need for substantive consistency and clarity. Supervisors must ensure that their employees' official communications are accurate, demonstrate sound judgment, and promote the employer's mission," Kennedy wrote.
    Even when that employer might be a political employee with an agenda that is inconsistent with or detrimental to the departments mission (see FEMA, the EPA, the CPB, etc.) This is just an invitation to more secretive leaking to reporters.

    posted by tbogg at 9:26 AM



    Mau-Mauing the Bowties

    Shorter George Will:
    White guilt had nothing to do with my voting to give my homie, Shelby Steele, the Bradley Prize.

    posted by tbogg at 12:06 AM


    Monday, May 29, 2006


    Down to the sea

    So take this veil from off my eyes
    My burning sun will some day rise
    - Bradley Nowell

    Among other things, Memorial Day signals the beginning of summer where it joins the 4th of July and Labor Day as the Tinker to Evers to Chance of beach-going. Now I know you people in fly-over country don't really have beaches, but being the good red-staters that you are, well, you've got God instead.

    I, for one, am willing to call it even.

    Over fifty years ago I was born and raised in a house just one block from the ocean. Except for a few scattered years here and there, I have always lived close enough to walk to the beach and even now I can still wake up at night and, if the wind is blowing right, I can hear the waves breaking and smell the salt and the fullness of high tide or the sharpness of low tide. I don't do as much when I go to the beach when one considers that I grew up in the Golden Age of the Frisbee, the Hobie Cat, and all shapes and sizes of surfboards, and nowadays the off day is spent flip-flopping down to the shore with beach chair, iPod, book, and Mr. SPF8 in tow where I park myself and read and work on that pre-cancerous glow that we call 'a tan'. (It is a well-known fact in San Diego that man is only as deep as his tan. You can look it up).

    Recently I have been the recipient of quite a collection of wonkish political books from publishers anxious to have a "somewhat popular blogger" read and comment upon and I thank all of you who have sent them along. I try to make a habit of commenting on the ones that I like and, in contrast to all other aspects of life, if I don't have something nice to say about the others, then I say nothing. It's important to occasionally be gracious...or so I hear.

    Summer though is the time for lighter fare and in these post-Da Vinci Code times, I'm always looking for something that engrosses or amuses me. Having said all of that, here are a couple of recommendations that I'd like to pass along for your summertime blues whether you are beach-deprived or not. First off, after more than a few distractions, I finally finished Kevin Brockmeier's The Brief History of the Dead which might be described as To Build a Fire as written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez with advice from Stephen King. Intriguing, no? Go read it. You can thank me later.

    Currently I'm knee-deep in Lapham Rising by Roger Rosenblatt which has just enough misanthropy and snark to keep me coming back. Here's a favorite passage:

    On the opposite shore, the Lapham's thirty-six-thousand-square-foot-castle rises on eight acres like a mutant flamingo alongside fortifications belonging to other royal pretenders just like them. The Klimers, the Courters, the McWalmarts, the Hooligans, the Caesars, the Wontons, the Rapynes, the Bolognas, and the Bonanazas - ah, the Bonanazas. I have never laid eyes on them, including Lapham. But he consumes my special attention because his house is the biggest and gives off the most bang for the buck, and also because his family creeps back into the gothic caves of American history. Third mates on clipper ships, assistants to slave auctioneers, pale and lascivious clergymen, disbarred magistrates, corrupt patroons, embezzler quartermasters, informers for Andrew Carnegie - a genealogy of disappointed ambition. They made money nonetheless. (In 1878, Moses Lapham of Cincinnati, in a failed effort to fashion a tooth-yanking device, inadvertently invented the asparagus tongs, which soon gave rise to escargot tongs, the grape scissors, the lobster cracker, and other instruments associated with dining and grasping.) The family continued to reproduce like inbred collies until their heads became so pointed that there was no room for brains, and yet fortunately, no need.

    Today, the latest of the breed, still quite wealthy thanks to untouchable trusts and the irrational though lucky investments of his forebears, is not gainfully employed. Lapham's occupation is a Web site he created, on which he offers America his opinions both on current events and on life in general, called Lapham's Aphms. He either seems to have misunderstood or misspelled aphorisms. The English language, though his own, presents him with challenges. Yet he shows great confidence. One of Laphma's aphms is: "He who does not promote himself will never be promoted." He is currently said to be at work on a memoir titled Lapham Is Here. As if that were in question.
    As Edith Wharton might have put it: That's some pretty funny-ass shit.

    posted by tbogg at 9:53 PM



    Bastards in Suits

    Kung Fu Monkey:
    The problem is, these yahoos have managed an ugly trick. They have turned criticism of the policies of Bastards in Suits into criticism of The People in Uniform Getting Shot At. This, of course, is completely wrong, as one can easily tell the difference between the Bastards in Suits and The People in Uniform Getting Shot At. One group is in Suits, and Not Getting Shot At, while another is in Uniform, and Getting Shot At. Please, try to grasp this. Not the same.

    There is a flip side. Some people confuse supporting the Bastards in Suits for supporting The People in Uniform Getting Shot At. This is, again, ridiculous. If the history of modern warfare has taught us anything, it's that the Bastards in Suits spend an awful lot of time working the kinks out of plans involving The People in Uniform dying unpleasantly. They often screw that up. When they do screw up, it is incumbent upon Bastards in Suits to suffer criticism and fix the situation, as by comparison The People in Uniform are suffering shattered skulls, missing limbs and death. Which is, on my scale, exponentially more traumatic than criticism.

    Some people even seem confused on how we are criticizing the Bastards in Suits. The Bastards have a job to do. They are not doing it. Period. Tommy Franks recently trotted out the classic bit of misdirection, attacking critics of Donald Rumsfeld.

    "I don't care about your politics. I don't. Don Rumsfeld is an American patriot."

    Yes, well, that's lovely. But we're not criticizing his patriotism. We're criticizing his job performance. One of the great mysteries of the last six years was how and when the Bush Administration turned public policy into Special Olympics. "Oh, I know Donny knocked over all the hurdles, but HE LOVES THE RACE, so you SHUT YOUR FILTHY, CYNICAL MOUTH." Jesus H. Christ.

    There's lots more where that came from.

    posted by tbogg at 9:40 PM



    Dumbass with a calculator

    ...and on this screen you'll see that Alabama
    surpasses Fallujah in reported cases of rickets

    Dan Riehl, a crunches some Haditha numbers:
    While hundreds of thousands of military personnel have cycled in and out of Iraq, there has always been, at minimum, more than 100,000 there at any one time during the course of the war and there were 160,000 in country with 30,000 in theater during November 2005. That would mean that we are talking about less than .000044 percent of our force total at the time, or the possibility that approximately 4.4 in 100,000 of in country military personnel may have committed murder.

    According to the 2004 FBI Uniform Crime Report (pdf), - p. 15. In 2003, America experienced 16,528 murder offenses for a rate of 5.7 per 100,000. In 2004, America experienced 16,137 murder offenses for a rate of 5.5 per 100,000.

    While we should not excuse any offenses which come to light, we should also remember that despite the pressures of battle endured by our men and women in arms, they are no more likely to commit a violent crime than the average citizen. If anything. the likelihood of that is actually less.

    Indict, try and hopefully convict the guilty. But critics would be wise to not indict the whole of our military, unless they are prepared to stand for indictment themselves as part of a civilian society just as, if not more capable of illegal violent acts.
    Oh sweet Jeebus. I hear Animal House calling again:
    Otter: But you can't hold a whole fraternity responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn't we blame the whole fraternity system? And if the whole fraternity system is guilty, then isn't this an indictment of our educational institutions in general? I put it to you, Greg - isn't this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America. Gentlemen!
    [Leads the Deltas out of the hearing, all humming the Star-Spangled Banner]
    You know, I don't know if anyone is willing to indict our whole military over Haditha, or even Abu Ghraib (although we could hardly find in our hearts to indict anyone for those hilarious hijinks), but that notion makes a lovely strawman for Riehl because he's really got nothing else going for him here. The Haditha "unpleasantness" is probably more of an issue in Iraq than in the U.S. where we can scarely get off the couch to get exercised about torture, a fake war, or the slow-motion erosion of our civil liberties much less killing a few more Iraqis. Perhaps Dan would like to go over to Iraq and explain to the people of Haditha that the, and we'll insert "alleged", slaughter is within an acceptable tolerance if compared to the U.S. murder rates and, even if we did invade their country and destroyed their economy and infrastructure, they should be happy that they're not living in Detroit. I know I am.

    I suggest that Dan goes with a PowerPoint presentation. A spoonful of graphs and colorful charts makes the medicine go down, don'cha know.

    posted by tbogg at 8:38 PM



    Blow it out your ass, fratboy

    I'm too pretty and smart to die

    Joel Malchow, who can't be bothered to become one of the few and the proud himself, instructs us on patriotism:
    This is Memorial Day. I thought I would offer several items throughout the day, but as the sun is quickly descending on this very day in Baghdad, it is only proper to address first what has been weighing relentlessly on everyone: the politicizing of the War on Terror, the insolent drumbeat of the anti-Americanists, the love of the bad in this war and the ignorance of the good, and how it all hallows the enormous, just pride all Americans should feel for their Armed Forces—who in all of their storied history are almost without exception liberators, and not occupiers.
    Speaking on behalf of the many who opposed this war from the outset: Fuck you Joel, you cowardly little shit.

    What has been weighing on everyone is not the politicizing of "The War on Terror", but the lies and utter wrongness of the Iraqi war. The Bush administration has been wrong about Every. Fucking. Thing. about this war from its justification to its prosecution and now twenty-four hundred and sixty five men and women who didn't hole up in college in order to pontificate to their their betters on what it is to be an American are dead. They're dead and they shouldn't be and their families should have been having a barbeque and playing baseball in the park today instead of taking flowers down to the cemetery and quietly wondering what might have been. You want insolent? Take a look in the mirror, you little craphound. With absolutely nothing on the line and having done nothing but wave your little flag from the sidelines, how dare you even question anyone's patriotism or call them an "anti-Americanist", which I assume is the latest in epithets from bedwetting set.

    You want to honor the American fighting man on Memorial Day? School is out. Stop studying history and go make some. Go enlist. They'd be honored to have your pasty-ass take one of their spots when they rotate out.

    In the meantime, don't speak for them. Although you've got the freedom to do so, you just haven't earned it.

    posted by tbogg at 7:16 PM


    Sunday, May 28, 2006


    What were once constitutional views are now idiosyncratic views

    If Dick Cheney clutches to life like he clutches at power he may never die:
    The office of Vice President Dick Cheney routinely reviews pieces of legislation before they reach the president's desk, searching for provisions that Cheney believes would infringe on presidential power, according to former White House and Justice Department officials.

    The officials said Cheney's legal adviser and chief of staff, David Addington , is the Bush a dministration's leading architect of the ``signing statements" the president has appended to more than 750 laws. The statements assert the president's right to ignore the laws because they conflict with his interpretation of the Constitution.

    The Bush-Cheney administration has used such statements to claim for itself the option of bypassing a ban on torture, oversight provisions in the USA Patriot Act, and numerous requirements that they provide certain information to Congress, among other laws.

    Previous vice presidents have had neither the authority nor the interest in reviewing legislation. But Cheney has used his power over the administration's legal team to promote an expansive theory of presidential authority. Using signing statements, the administration has challenged more laws than all previous administrations combined.

    ``Addington could look at whatever he wanted," said one former White House lawyer who helped prepare signing statements and who asked not to be named because he was describing internal deliberations. ``He had a roving commission to get involved in whatever interested him."

    Knowing that Addington was likely to review the bills, other White House and Justice Department lawyers began vetting legislation with Addington's and Cheney's views in mind, according to another former lawyer in the Bush White House.

    All these lawyers, he said, were extremely careful to flag any provision that placed limits on presidential power.

    ``You didn't want to miss something," said the second former White House lawyer, who also asked not to be named.


    ``In every administration, Democratic and Republican, there are officials with strongly held constitutional views, including somewhat idiosyncratic views," said Lederman, now a law professor at Georgetown University. ``What is new is that the extremely idiosyncratic and aggressive constitutional views are being adopted by the vice president and, therefore, by the administration."


    The use of signing statements was rare until the 1980s, when President Ronald W. Reagan began issuing them more frequently. His successors continued the practice. George H. W. Bush used signing statements to challenge 232 laws over four years, and Bill Clinton challenged 140 over eight years, according to Christopher Kelley , a political science professor at Miami University of Ohio.

    But in frequency and aggression, the current President Bush has gone far beyond his predecessors.

    All previous presidents combined challenged fewer than 600 laws, Kelley's data show, compared with the more than 750 Bush has challenged in five years. Bush is also the first president since the 1800s who has never vetoed a bill, giving Congress no chance to override his judgments.

    Douglas Kmiec , who as head of the Office of Legal Counsel helped develop the Reagan administration's strategy of issuing signing statements more frequently, said he disapproves of the ``provocative" and sometimes ``disingenuous" manner in which the Bush administration is using them.

    Kmiec said the Reagan team's goal was to leave a record of the president's understanding of new laws only in cases where an important statute was ambiguous. Kmiec rejected the idea of using signing statements to contradict the clear intent of Congress, as Bush has done. Presidents should either tolerate provisions of bills they don't like, or they should veto the bill, he said.

    ``Following a model of restraint, [the Reagan-era Office of Legal Counsel] took it seriously that we were to construe statutes to avoid constitutional problems, not to invent them," said Kmiec, who is now a Pepperdine University law professor.

    By contrast, Bush has used the signing statements to waive his obligation to follow the new laws. In addition to the torture ban and oversight provisions of the Patriot Act, the laws Bush has claimed the authority to disobey include restrictions against US troops engaging in combat in Colombia, whistle-blower protections for government employees, and safeguards against political interference in taxpayer-funded research.
    9/11 has been the gift that keeps on giving to this administration, because nobody, not even Halliburton, has benefitted more from it.

    Who knew Memorial Day would be a time to reflect upon the untimely passing of the Constitution.

    posted by tbogg at 12:33 PM



    State Secrets...or What We Have Been Doing Behind
    Your Backs In Order To Maintain A Free and Open Society

    What happens behind the closed door,
    stays behind the closed door

    In the War On Terror™ the White House needs to spy on every one of us in order to keep us free:
    The Bush administration has asked federal judges in New York and Michigan to dismiss two lawsuits filed over the National Security Agency's domestic eavesdropping program, saying litigating them would jeopardize state secrets.

    In papers filed late Friday, Justice Department lawyers said it would be impossible to defend the program's legality without disclosing classified information that could aid terrorists.

    John D. Negroponte, the director of national intelligence, invoked the state secrets privilege, writing that disclosure would cause "exceptionally grave damage" to national security. The administration laid out some of its supporting arguments in classified memos, filed under seal.

    The motion, widely anticipated, involves two cases challenging an N.S.A. program that allows investigators to eavesdrop on Americans who communicate by phone or e-mail with people outside the country suspected of terrorist ties.
    It is probably safe to say that the invocation of the state secrets privilege is what is known in legal circles as a "load of crap" when it is fairly obvious that they are trying to avoid any type of judicial oversight that might harsh their penchant for the extra-legal. As Glenn Greenwald once wrote:

    The administration has repeatedly claimed that it has ample legal justification for all sorts of extremist measures -- from indefinite detention of American citizens in military prisons without a trial, to its use of torture and rendition policies, to its eavesdropping on American citizens without warrants -- but it then invokes every possible maneuver to prevent judicial adjudication of the constitutionality and legality of its conduct.

    The two most transparent and truly outrageous instances of these evasive maneuvers, as Hilzoy points out, were in the cases of Yaser Hamdi and Jose Padilla -- two American citizens whom the administration abducted (in Padilla's case, on U.S. soil) and threw into a military prison without bringing any charges or even allowing them access to a lawyer or any contact with the outside world. The administration held them there for years, claiming -- based solely on George Bush's secret decree -- that they were such dangerous terrorists that they had lost the constitutional right not to be imprisoned by the U.S. Government without a trial.

    But when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Hamdi had a right to challenge Bush's decree and that the administration therefore had to prove the validity of its factual allegations against him, the administration simply released Hamdi from its custody altogether. And in Padilla's case, the administration -- one week before its brief was due to the Supreme Court, which was to rule on the legality of Padilla's 3 1/2 year lawless incarceration -- suddenly and finally brought criminal charges against him, and then told the Supreme Court that there was no longer any need to rule on Padilla's claims that the administration had violated his constitutional rights, thus (yet again) avoiding a judicial determination of the legality of its conduct.
    In essence what the the Justice Department is doing under Alberto Gonzales is gaming the legal system in order to achieve whatever George W. Bush or Dick Cheney want in much the same way that defense attorneys file endless appeals in order to forestall the inevitable. Keeping anything and everything out of the hands of the legal system lets Gonzalez act as judge, jury, appeals court, and Supreme Court.

    It's no wonder that when there were two openings on the Supreme Court, Gonzalez was passed over. Why give up all that power when consensus may be arrived at much more easily when there is only one vote instead of nine.

    posted by tbogg at 10:04 AM


    Saturday, May 27, 2006



    Illegal wiretapping? So?

    Torture? Whatever....

    Returning evidence in a corruption probe. Hey hey hey...I quit!

    Nice to see that Gonzales has some principles...

    posted by tbogg at 11:01 AM


    Friday, May 26, 2006


    The Metal Hearts

    Go listen to Gentleman's Spell here.

    If you've got a thing for early Modest Mouse, Belle & Sebastian, or Pinback they're definitely up your alley. They're playing at San Diego's Casbah on 6/6/06 (gasp!) but I'll already be in Las Vegas for Yearly Kos...although I still haven't registered yet and not for lack of trying.

    posted by tbogg at 6:57 PM



    Baby, give me one more chance. I swear I'll be good to you...

    Shorter Victor Davis Historical Mulligan Hanson:
    All efforts by previous administrations in the Middle East were FUBAR, but this time, whoa baby, we finally got it right. High five!

    posted by tbogg at 3:42 PM



    Payoff for panty-sniffers

    You have done well. Here is a judgeship.
    No. I don't want to shake your hand

    Courtesy of Pajamaline, a list of those who made their bones by sniffing around Bill Clinton's bone:
    The confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, a top aide to Kenneth Starr during his time as the Independent Counsel in the Clinton investigations, led me to come up with a partial list of alumni of that office and the public service jobs they hold or have held since:

    Brett Kavanaugh -- DC Circuit judge and Staff Secretary to the President;

    Steve Colloton -- US Attorney in Iowa; 8th Circuit judge

    Amy St. Eve -- federal district judge, N.D. Ill.

    Rod Rosenstein -- Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Tax Division, then US Attorney, D. Md.

    Karen Immergut -- US Attorney, D. Oregon

    John Bates -- federal district judge, D.D.C.

    Bill Duffey -- US attorney for the N.D. Ga.; federal district judge, N.D. Ga.

    Kevin Martin -- Commissioner, then Chairman -- FCC

    Bill Kelly -- Deputy White House Counsel

    Eric Dreiband -- General Counsel of the EEOC

    Julie Myers -- Deputy Assistant Secretary of Treasury, Chief of Staff, Criminal Division, US DOJ; Assistant Secretary of Commerce; Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security.

    Other alums have gone on to become partners at top law firms, law professors, or high ranking corporate counsel.
    All of them graduated summa cum blue dress

    posted by tbogg at 1:50 PM



    I lost it at the movies

    Neely O'Hara: That's a switch from the fags you're usually stuck with!
    Helen Lawson: At least I never had to MARRY one!
    Neely O'Hara: YOU TAKE THAT BACK...
    [pulls off Helen's wig while scuffling]
    Neely O'Hara: ... oh my God, it's a wig! HER HAIR'S AS PHONY AS SHE IS!
    Helen Lawson: Get your hands off of me... GIMMIE BACK MY HAIR!

    It looks like Hollywood anti-power couple Jason Apuzzo and Govindini Murtry are on hiatus and so we are left with the mysterious Dirty Harry, a "writer-director" at Libertas, to explain to us everything that is wrong with Hollywood that the good folks the Liberty Film Festival are unable to correct because nobody at the big studios will return their calls offering advice. Small wonder.

    Here's Harry pitching a blockbuster:
    What I want are to see are mainstream films that find insidious conspiracies in the environmental movement. I want to see films that treat the United Nations like the Nixon White House. I want to see films where the World Court is shown to be feckless and dangerous; where Castro’s Cuba is portrayed as soul-crushing; the ACLU as fanatics out to remake America in their own depraved image; Hillary as a megalomaniac; Richard Clarke as an opportunistic glory hound; The New York Times as agenda-driven liars.

    I want PETA treated like the oil companies. I want Amnesty International treated like the CIA. I want terrorists treated like Bush. And I want conservatives treated like liberals. Where’s the movie of the self-made man who dropped out of college, struggled till he was forty to reach the peak of his profession, was almost destroyed by a handicap and an overzealous prosecutor, but prevailed? Where’s the Rush Limbaugh story?
    It would be sort of like Horatio Alger meets Valley of The Dolls...

    posted by tbogg at 12:23 PM



    Everybody Gets A Trophy Day

    Our second-place finishers will enjoy a
    penthouse cell and three meals a day

    Putting a positive spin on it:
    "Certainly we're surprised," a shaken Lay said Thursday after a jury capped a four-month-long fraud and conspiracy trial and in its sixth day of deliberations returned guilty verdicts against him and Skilling. "I think it's more appropriate to say we're shocked. This is not the outcome we expected."

    Besides all six counts in the main trial, Lay, Enron's founder, also was convicted of four charges of bank fraud and making false statements to banks in a separate non-jury trial before U.S. District Judge Sim Lake related to his personal finances.

    Skilling was convicted of 19 counts of fraud, conspiracy and insider trading at a trial spawned by one of the biggest business scandals in U.S. history, the toppling of a high-profile energy trader that once was the nation's seventh-largest company.


    "They'll each be in a prison uniform," agreed Douglas Young, a San Francisco-based white collar defense lawyer who's followed the case. "But I don't think 100 years or 50 years."

    Whatever their incarceration, he said, it could be stalled for a year or more.

    "They have excellent defense lawyers," Young said. "I think they performed extremely well. They tried a heck of a good case. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. That same quality is going to go into post-trial motions, advocacy motions.

    "Expect the same level of intensity."
    (my emphasis)

    You have to hand it to the Skilling and Lay legal team, they did come in second place. That has to count for something...

    posted by tbogg at 10:30 AM


    Thursday, May 25, 2006


    Shorter Our Lady of the Dolphins

    Peggy ponders another column

    My yellow ribbon SUV magnet trumps your World War II sacrifice

    posted by tbogg at 11:35 PM



    Premeditated and cold-blooded slander

    Haditha is about to blow up in our faces:
    A military investigation into the deaths of two dozen Iraqis last November is expected to find that a small number of marines in western Iraq carried out extensive, unprovoked killings of civilians, Congressional, military and Pentagon officials said Thursday.

    Two lawyers involved in discussions about individual marines' defenses said they thought the investigation could result in charges of murder, a capital offense. That possibility and the emerging details of the killings have raised fears that the incident could be the gravest case involving misconduct by American ground forces in Iraq.

    Officials briefed on preliminary results of the inquiry said the civilians killed at Haditha, a lawless, insurgent-plagued city deep in Sunni-dominated Anbar Province, did not die from a makeshift bomb, as the military first reported, or in cross-fire between marines and attackers, as was later announced. A separate inquiry has begun to find whether the events were deliberately covered up.

    Evidence indicates that the civilians were killed during a sustained sweep by a small group of marines that lasted three to five hours and included shootings of five men standing near a taxi at a checkpoint, and killings inside at least two homes that included women and children, officials said.

    That evidence, described by Congressional, Pentagon and military officials briefed on the inquiry, suggested to one Congressional official that the killings were "methodical in nature."
    You might remember this:
    John Murtha’s said some extremely outrageous things the past 6 months but nothing as outrageous as his latest pack of lies. He was barely tolerable when he was hurling lies about conditions on the ground. This latest tripe is the stuff that should get him expelled from the House. Here’s his latest pack of lies:

    Rep. John Murtha, an influential Pennsylvania lawmaker and outspoken critic of the war in Iraq, said today Marines had “killed innocent civilians in cold blood” after allegedly responding to a roadside bomb ambush that killed a Marine during a patrol in Haditha, Iraq, Nov. 19. The incident is still under investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and Multi-National Forces Iraq.
    “It’s much worse than was reported in Time magazine,” Murtha, a Democrat, former Marine colonel and Vietnam war veteran, told reporters on Capitol Hill. “There was no firefight. There was no [bomb] that killed those innocent people,” Murtha explained, adding there were “about twice as many” Iraqis killed than Time had reported.

    Frankly, this is the actions of a traitor or a sellout. He deserves to be ridiculed, excoriated and frog-marched off Capitol Hill, then remanded to jail. No bail. Doesn’t this idiot know the type of damage this inflicts on the Marines? Or is it that he’s so intoxicated with the thought of becoming the next chairman of the House Armed Services Committee that he’ll say anything?

    When Murtha’s made prior outrageous statements, I’ve advocated that the Pennsylvania voters should fire him. This goes beyond him advocating “immediate redeployment” of the troops or his claiming that “our troops are living hand to mouth”. This rises (sinks?) to the level of harming the U.S. military at a time of war. That takes it beyond Pennsylvania. Now it’s the nation’s business.
    Or how about this one:
    James Taranto makes a great point about the comments of Rep. John Murtha regarding the investigation into whether U.S. troops committed war crimes in a November incident where 15 Iraqi civilians were killed in Haditha, Iraq. Murtha claims that an internal investigation will show "there was no firefight, there was no IED (improvised explosive device) that killed these innocent people. Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood."

    As Tananto notes, however, Murtha's description is self-contradictory because if the Marines "overreacted," then the killings were not premeditated. And if the killings were not premeditated, they were not in cold blood.

    Moreover, if the killings were not in cold blood, then Murtha is slandering our troops by saying that they were. If the killings were in cold blood, then Murtha, in characterizing them as an overreaction to the pressure of the mission, is making an excuse for horrific crimes.
    It looks like the murders were both premeditated and in cold blood.

    We will wait for the apologies to come tumbling in to Congressman Murtha who was absolutely correct.

    Fat fucking chance redux (see below).

    posted by tbogg at 10:34 PM



    On a mission from his political consultants

    We left our bikes in the Green Zone

    The future Mr. Kathryn Jean Lopez makes a surprise stop in Iraq:
    Traveling under tight security, Governor Mitt Romney yesterday wrapped up an unannounced, one-day trip to Iraq to visit troops from Massachusetts, and warned against a ``cut and run" pullout from the war-torn country.

    Romney, traveling with two other governors, will conduct a round of talks with national leaders in Afghanistan today and meet US troops, as part of a Department of Defense-sponsored visit to the two countries at the center of US military activity in the region.


    In the past, Romney has criticized the lack of good intelligence leading up to the Iraq war. Yesterday, he sidestepped the question when he was asked in an interview with the Globe if he would have supported the war had he known then what he knows now of the intelligence failures, and in light of the continued heavy civil strife that is wracking the country.

    ``I am not engaging in Monday morning quarterbacking," Romney told the Globe. ``I supported the war, as did Congress and many Democrats. We have learned some lessons about the period immediately following major conflict. I believe we are doing the right thing."

    Romney is traveling with Governors Matt Blunt, a Republican from Missouri, and Brian Schweitzer, a Democrat from Montana. The governor scoffed yesterday at suggestions by Democrats and political analysts that he was burnishing his foreign policy credentials, noting that he is the 29th governor to visit Iraq during the war and that the tours sponsored by the Defense Department are primarily focused on meeting members of guard and reserve units.
    So when Mitt starts his presidential run in earnest, he won't be mentioning the time he spent in Iraq talking to the soldiers, right?

    Fat fucking chance.

    posted by tbogg at 10:06 PM



    Pre-Friday Random Ten

    Birds hovering over head
    Waiting for love or for prey
    Will you decide which of these I will be today

    I finally maxed out lil Tbogg (that would be the iPod not...well, you know) so I had to do a music dump (see you Bright Eyes...don't let the door hit you in the ass, Secret Machines and Arcade Fire) and added some new stuff. Let's see what happens, okay? Won't that be fun? Yeah. Whatever. Just get on with it.
    Pressure and Heat - Patrice Pike*
    Rocket In My Pocket - Little Feat (live)
    A Passing Felling - Elliott Smith
    My Name Is Jonas - Weezer
    Can't Stand Me Now - The Libertines
    Otis Redding - Everclear
    Backstreets - Bruce Springsteen (live Hammersmith Odeon)
    Into The Mystic - Van Morrison
    Life Is Sweet - Natalie Merchant
    She's Automatic - Rancid
    Bonus... Bastards of Young- The Replacements

    * The Patrice Pike is an mp3 that Jane sent me from SXSW and is one of my absolute favorites. You can find out more about Pike here.

    posted by tbogg at 9:33 PM



    Thursday Night Basset Blogging

    The Satchmo and

    The Beckham

    Since I can't seem to get them together for one picture, it's a Basset two-fer.

    Labels: ,

    posted by tbogg at 9:10 PM



    Otherwise occupied

    You used the "S" word

    I've been tied up elsewhere but I did want to note that, when reading this article, I had a hard time focusing after the mention of Bill Frist using a blowdryer. Oh sure, talking about gorilla musk opens up many avenues of thought, but I guess I was surprised to find out that there will still men who use blowdryers just at a time when I thought we had hunted the last Member's Only jacket to extinction.

    Secondly I would like to suggest that anyone who, in any public setting, uses the term "soul" or "soul patrol" in reference to that...thing called Taylor Hicks, be taken out an executed in the street. Wilson Pickett: soul singer. Solomon Burke: soul singer. Sam Cooke, James Brown, Al Green: all soul singers.

    Taylor Hicks?: Karaoke Goober

    I say that we start hunting these people down.

    Do it for the children.

    (Added) One more reason to hate America.

    (Added...again) If anyone is interested, Ifuckinghatetaylorhicks.com is still available. You can thank me later.

    posted by tbogg at 7:46 AM


    Wednesday, May 24, 2006


    Foxy Lady

    Susan Estrich:

    What about Fox News Live? What about Greta Van Susteren, whose only agenda, as far as I can tell, is to help find missing girls and punish wayward teachers? What about Brit Hume and Brian Wilson and Carl Cameron and Ramblin' Rick [Leventhal, FoxNews.com reporter and blogger] and Steve Harrigan and Shep[ard] Smith and Laurie Dhue and the hundreds of other people who do their jobs every day without giving anyone a hint of who they support in their private lives?

    Enough is enough. What gives people who have never worked a day in the news business the right to throw stones and call names with impunity, because Fox News is the target?

    I've taken a lot of heat from the left for working for Fox News, and frankly, I'm a little bit sick of it. The truth is that I've been very well treated at Fox: I say what I want; I'm treated with respect; and I'm paid well.

    I don't feel compelled to add anything to that that you aren't already thinking.

    posted by tbogg at 9:25 AM


    Tuesday, May 23, 2006


    Faking It. It's What I Do.

    Watch me pull a controversy out of my ass

    Clearly exhausted from faking ragegasms, Michelle Malkin takes to faking controversy:
    Meet "Jessie MacBeth." He's the latest cause celebre of the anti-war Left -- a "former Army Ranger and Iraq war veteran" who accuses his fellow troops of committing a litany of atrocities against innocent civilians. Anti-Vietnam War veteran John Kerry and the Winter Soldiers cast a long shadow.


    MacBeth's story started to crumble after my colleagues at the Hot Air blog (www.hotair.com) called attention to the Peace Films video interview and asked military bloggers about MacBeth's appearance and claims. Harnessing the specialized knowledge of the blogosphere, military bloggers debunked a photo purportedly showing MacBeth in his official uniform (with his beret backward, incorrect flashes and tabs, and missing wings).


    Anti-war zealots initially defended the bogus soldier's tale, but are now moving quickly to cover up the MacBeth stain. The video was yanked Tuesday afternoon. But not to worry.

    I hear former CBS producer Mary Mapes, champion of "fake but accurate" journalism, is interested in publicizing Jessie MacBeth's tall tales.
    If you have never heard of MacBeth, well, welcome to the machine. A check here would seem to indicate that, outside of a few open liberal forums where anyone can post, the only people who were making MacBeth a "cause celebre" were the warbloggers who were in full-on kerning circlejerk mode as they complimented each other on noticing that MacBeth was rolling up his sleeves incorrectly.

    The closest thing that I could find to a major blog defending MacBeth is here, and the comments are heavily sceptical from the first comment on. Outside of that, it looks like the left-leaning blogs pretty much stayed away from the story, found it laughable, or didn't find it worthy of comment.

    In the long run, this is just a case of Jessie MacBeth faking a story, and Jessie's Girl faking outrage over a fake controvesy over a fake story.

    I believe that would make it a trifaketa.

    Meanwhile JEWS TO WEAR YELLOW STARS IN IRAN!!!! and if it's not true, well, it could happen.

    posted by tbogg at 9:45 PM



    Flounder's Brother's Car Died For Our Sins

    Was it over when Saddam bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!

    Taking a clue from Animal House, J.H. Colter of Lindon, Utah uses the "You fucked up -- you trusted us!" defense in support of his President in the WSJ's readers responses:
    The Opposite of Progress
    J.H. Colter - Lindon, Utah

    Under the Constitution, the president makes war, but Congress declares war. Thus, if the president wants to use force (in other than an emergency situation), he must come to Congress with his evidence and convince Congress to declare war. Leaving aside whether that was done in the Iraq case, what that means is that if there is a flaw in the evidence, it is up to Congress to test it, to find it, to challenge the president, to make sure he is not leading us to war on a lie. Congress is allowed to review the classified information, to make sure it is valid and supports a declaration of war. They are not to take the [resident's word; they are to find out for themselves, to talk to the intel folks. It is called oversight. That is why we pay those guys.

    Thus, if Mr. Bush pulled a fast one on Congress, exactly which of the two is the inept one? Which of the two did not do their job? Which of the two should be fired for incompetence? All this talk from senators about how Mr. Bush misled them is nothing but an admission that they were completely inept at their core job responsibility, and now they want to blame someone else for their own incompetence.
    I believe that he is saying that George W. Bush punk'd Congress.

    How hilarious except for the families and friends of the 2450 soldiers who have died in George Bush's "fast one". My advice to them is to start drinking heavily.

    posted by tbogg at 4:21 PM


    Monday, May 22, 2006


    And now they're blonde, bland, middle-class Republican wives
    They all have blonde, bland, middle-class Republican children
    Blonde, bland, middle-class Republican lives

    Trade in my freedom for the illusion
    of security? Sure, sign me up!

    Princesssparkleponystepfordwife would like to apologize to all of America's students for not returning the country to the fifties where it rightfully belongs:
    Heaven knows I'm not the Publisher of the New York Times. I'm just a small voice. A wife, mother, caretaker, volunteer, and activist. I'm not powerful and I'm not rich, but I would like to apologize to all graduates this year as well.

    I'd like to apologize that our country never let the people decide about abortion, that they allowed a billion dollar a year industry to thrive off the agony of women. I apologize that no one ever listens to the millions of women who suffer from their abortion. My generation hasn't done a good enough job of telling you when the heart of your child starts beating or the horror of abortion on that child.

    I apologize that my generation never took the time to stop illegal immigration and now it is an almost impossible task to remedy.

    I apologize that we made divorce so easy and made people believe that it wasn't that big of a deal so that even grown children of divorce are still suffering from the pain of their parent's divorce in more ways than we can even imagine. I apologize that instead of seeking ways to solidify marriage for children, we are only looking at more ways to re-define marriage. In doing so, we are opening up a pandora's box of which the family will likely never recover.
    And I also want to jump in here and apologize to the graduates for not having snuffed out boring conformity, priggishness, suburban soft-core racism, vapidness, and nannyism compliments of do-gooder pecksniff housewives with too much time on their hands; who are willing to trade in your freedoms so they won't have to suffer one more excrutiatingly complex thought for the rest of their stultifying monotonous soul-dead lives.

    We're sorry. Now go have some deviant sex.

    You'll be glad you did.

    posted by tbogg at 11:13 PM



    Pictorial Brendan Loy

    I see on my cell phone that the mayor who fiddled while New Orleans drowned has been re-elected. Sheesh. Welcome to America, where criminal incompetence is OK, being responsible for hundreds of deaths is no big deal, and the race card trumps reason.

    posted by tbogg at 8:33 AM



    Pictorial Wall Street Journal

    The great mistake that leading Democrats and anti-Communist liberals made during Vietnam was not speaking up against a left that was demanding retreat and sneering at our war heroes. Will any Democrat speak up now?

    posted by tbogg at 12:03 AM


    Sunday, May 21, 2006


    Blogiquette for beginners

    And always pass to the right...

    As you may be aware, over 7,000 new blogs are created on the internets every second, at least thirteen of which are not dedicated to discussing episodes of Battlestar Galactica. Because of such rapid growth it goes without saying that some of those who have joined we few, we happy few, we band of bloggers are not wise in The Way of The Blog™. There are many blind alleys that you don't want to go down and, in fact, some have read this only to discover to their dismay that, not only doesn't it explain The True Path To Multiple Links From Like-Minded Sociopaths, but that it also wasn't printed on cushiony twin-ply, rendering it chafing if not entirely useless. You don't want to be one of those people and even if you are, don't admit it, taking full advantage of one of the benefits of blogging: you can lie like a Pentagon spokesman.

    As a long time blogger, as well as a "somewhat popular" one to boot, I thought I might pass along to you assistant night-manager trainee bloggers (you know who you are) a few of the rules that will put you on the road to your Bh.D (a necessary requirement to either riches beyond your wildest dreams or being mentioned by Howie Kurtz for those who like to lay the bar on the ground and then trip over it). Tonight's lesson is:

    Implications and allusions

    It is very important that you keep in mind that, when discussing people in the news or the punditocracy, you are mindful that each and every one of these persons are human beings with feelings and hopes and dreams deserving of respect. They have families and parents who love them and are proud of the way that they conduct their lives in the public eye. Except for Ann Coulter. She has no internal emotional life and even her parents think she's a skank. But other people aren't like Ann, and they should be treated in a dignified manner lest you be labeled "uncivil" and then even Josh Treviño won't defend you when you show up on CSpan being pulled off of Ana Marie Cox at the White House Correspondents dinner while wearing a stained wifebeater and puking your guts out. Now I know that I'm dropping a lot of Inside Blogging names here but just nod and pretend like you know who I'm talking about. Remember: you're a blogger. Pretense is your co-pilot.

    The following are some examples of how to treat people in an acceptable manner.
    • Example #1: Two men from the Middle East are arrested on a misdemeanor trespassing charge so they must be terrorists and it is completely not racist to mention it.
    • Example #2: A black man, who happened to be the incumbent, wins re-election as the mayor of one of America's biggest high-profile cities. Because he is a black man the logical conclusion is to call the voters stupid and compare him to another black mayor who smoked crack and took bribes. Again, not racist.
    Example #3: A woman entrepreneur gives an interview with a major daily newspaper and expresses ambivalence about immigration policies in America. You link to everything that you can about her while skipping the text of her full feelings about immigration and then you wonder if the state shouldn't investigate all of her employees to make sure that they aren't here illegally and while they're at it they should make sure that she is in complete compliance with every state and federal law. Oh, and here's her fax number. Not even racist, once removed.
    Every one of those posts are perfectly acceptable because they are in the spirit of Noonan's Law which states:
    Is it irresponsible to speculate? It is irresponsible not to.
    But what isn't within the bounds of blogging good taste and speculation? I'm glad you asked. This is just wrong:
    Example of The Bad #1: A blog takes a look at a pundit of dubious research skills who also makes frequent appearances on a major cable news network despite the fact that she has the stage presence of a slightly stunted fourteen year-old and then the blogger asks whether she might have additional skills hitherto not revealed or mentioned in any of her poorly written books or in her official biography.
    This is totally racist and unhinged and so not funny, you bastards. And so we ask: Is it irresponsible to unhinged?

    You make the call.

    Next week- The Pot & The Kettle: Both Black. Both Probably On The Welfare

    posted by tbogg at 11:35 PM



    I'm #6!

    I got the flag pin, so I know what I'm talking about

    Mike Gallagher who is pretty damn proud to be "the 6th most listened-to radio talk show host in the country" (which gets him cuts in line at Hardees) is tired of all of those smarty-pants celebrities and college graduates who are messing up the graduations that he's not invited to speak at (I hear the seventh most listened-to radio talk show host in the country is doing the Stanford gig. Don't tell Mike.) Says Mike about Jodie Foster:
    But if some America-hating, Bush-bashing, Al Gore-loving movie star takes to the stage to rail against anything conservative or Republican, I think I’m going to demand at least a partial refund of all that tuition money we’ve spent on our son’s education.

    Don’t University of Pennsylvania officials take their students’ graduation ceremony seriously? Do they really believe that the Penn Class of ’06 cares about the rantings of a pampered movie star as the seniors prepare to send out resumes’ and go out on job interviews?
    Well? Do they!?
    I’m told the students gave Foster a standing ovation.
    Big deal. College kids would give a standing ovation to Bart Simpson if he spoke to a graduating class. But maybe a college or university would want to consider someone who could actually enlighten tomorrow’s leaders, not browbeat them into liberal submission.
    So the students at the institution where Mike pays good hard money to educate his son leave the school, not only as malleable as cookie-dough, but they cheer being browbeaten. I'd say that Mike should get back more than a partial refund and then he should enroll his son in a trade school because that Temple diploma isn't worth crap. Maybe an internship at Hardees is in the cards.

    Later, Mike says:
    Don’t misunderstand my opinion of Jodie Foster, the entertainer. Like a lot of people, I think she’s a great actress and I have enjoyed her films. But I also like Barbra Streisand’s voice or Alec Baldwin’s acting or even Al Franken’s “Stuart Smalley” on Saturday Night Live. Who gives a rat’s rear end what an entertainer thinks about important issues like the war or a nation’s response to a hurricane? These aren’t people who have been elected or even appointed to serious positions of authority or credibility. They are pampered, out of touch performers who use their fame and celebrity as a platform for their vicious, nasty opinions
    Did I mention that Mike is a talk radio host who got his big break doing "Tiger Tailgate Show" on the Clemson Football Radio Network?

    As for "vicious, nasty opinions":
    I have a suggestion for the University of Pennsylvania for next year’s commencement speaker. I hear Ronald McDonald is available. He’s ready to rise to the occasion and speak to the eager young students about the Ham Burglar and the secret sauce in a Big Mac. He’d make as much sense as Jodie Foster.
    Oh, snap! Talk show host #5 better watch their ass. This guy is the total talk radio package: a face for radio and the rhetorical chops of a twelve year-old.

    posted by tbogg at 9:24 PM



    Not really what I had in mind

    Um, yeah. Thanks....

    I just noticed that Dr. Seuss's Oh, The Places You'll Go! is making its annual pilgrimage up the charts which can only mean that it must be graduation season.

    A word to the wise:

    High school and college graduates don't want a copy of Oh, The Places You'll Go! as a graduation present. They'd rather have an iPod. Or a Miata. Keep in mind that this bright-eyed, fresh-faced graduate with their whole life in front of them might someday be your primary caregiver as you enter your twilight years of reflection and remembrance. The last thing you want to hear as the pillow is placed firmly but insistently over your face is, "Oh, the places you'll go."

    I suggest the 60GB one. In black.

    posted by tbogg at 8:49 PM



    If you keep pouting like that
    a little birdie is gonna poop on your lip

    We are so dissing you

    Rightwingsparkle (not to be confused with rightwingfuzzykittens, rightwingunicornposter, or rightwingooooprettyshinyobjects!) stamps her delicate little feet because mean old poopie-head college students were totally all mean and stuff to a nice old man:
    It just makes my blood boil to think of all that McCain did and gave for his country and these snot nosed no experienced little arrogant selfish lefties who wouldn't know sacrifice if it slapped them in their smug youthful faces, stand up there and bash him. ARGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I assume that Miss Sparkle was too busy alphabetizing her Barbie Collectibles to notice when this happened:
    Having run Senator John McCain's campaign for president, I can recount a textbook example of a smear made against McCain in South Carolina during the 2000 presidential primary. We had just swept into the state from New Hampshire, where we had racked up a shocking, 19-point win over the heavily favored George W. Bush. What followed was a primary campaign that would make history for its negativity.

    In South Carolina, Bush Republicans were facing an opponent who was popular for his straight talk and Vietnam war record. They knew that if McCain won in South Carolina, he would likely win the nomination. With few substantive differences between Bush and McCain, the campaign was bound to turn personal. The situation was ripe for a smear.

    It didn't take much research to turn up a seemingly innocuous fact about the McCains: John and his wife, Cindy, have an adopted daughter named Bridget. Cindy found Bridget at Mother Theresa's orphanage in Bangladesh, brought her to the United States for medical treatment, and the family ultimately adopted her. Bridget has dark skin.

    Anonymous opponents used "push polling" to suggest that McCain's Bangladeshi born daughter was his own, illegitimate black child. In push polling, a voter gets a call, ostensibly from a polling company, asking which candidate the voter supports. In this case, if the "pollster" determined that the person was a McCain supporter, he made statements designed to create doubt about the senator.

    Thus, the "pollsters" asked McCain supporters if they would be more or less likely to vote for McCain if they knew he had fathered an illegitimate child who was black. In the conservative, race-conscious South, that's not a minor charge. We had no idea who made the phone calls, who paid for them, or how many calls were made. Effective and anonymous: the perfect smear campaign.

    Some aspects of this smear were hardly so subtle. Bob Jones University professor Richard Hand sent an e-mail to "fellow South Carolinians" stating that McCain had "chosen to sire children without marriage." It didn't take long for mainstream media to carry the charge. CNN interviewed Hand and put him on the spot: "Professor, you say that this man had children out of wedlock. He did not have children out of wedlock." Hand replied, "Wait a minute, that's a universal negative. Can you prove that there aren't any?"

    The problem here was that the college students were rude to McCain's face whereas the Bush operatives were, you know, just gossiping behind McCain's back. Next time the students should just slip a really really nasty note in McCain's locker and then, like, totally ignore him at the mall.

    That would be so cool....

    posted by tbogg at 11:58 AM



    Success has many parents but failure is an orphan

    Doughy Pantload:
    Lamest Non-Retraction Retraction Ever [Jonah Goldberg]

    Truthout doesn't say they were wrong, they don't say they were right. They say:

    The Rove Indictment Story as of Right Now
    By Marc Ash,

    Fri May 19th, 2006 at 04:23:39 PM EDT :: Fitzgerald Investigation

    On Saturday afternoon, May 13, 2006, TruthOut ran a story titled, "Karl Rove Indicted on Charges of Perjury, Lying to Investigators." The story stated in part that top Bush aide Karl Rove had earlier that day been indicted on the charges set forth in the story's title.

    The time has now come, however, to issue a partial apology to our readership for this story. While we paid very careful attention to the sourcing on this story, we erred in getting too far out in front of the news-cycle. In moving as quickly as we did, we caused more confusion than clarity. And that was a disservice to our readership and we regret it.

    As such, we will be taking the wait-and-see approach for the time being. We will keep you posted.

    Marc Ash, Executive Director - t r u t h o u t

    Me: What the hell is that? This strikes me as a new twist on the fake-but-accurate defense, this time using the temporal escape clause. How about something like this:

    On Saturday afternoon, May 20, 2006, National Review ran a story titled, "New Line of Urine-Powered Hover Cars Comes off Assembly Line." The story stated in part that such hover cars actually exist and were powered as set forth in the story's title.

    The time has now come, however, to issue a partial apology to our readership for this story. While we paid very careful attention to the sourcing on this story, we erred in getting too far out in front of the news-cycle. Such hover cars do not yet exist, but we all know it's coming, so it was an understandable case of jumping the gun.
    Speaking of which...

    We're waiting

    posted by tbogg at 11:40 AM



    O'Reilly gets beat up by a girl

    The Long Island Loofah Lover goes all fanboy and gets smacked down:

    At the Time 100 party a few days before this interview, the Dixie Chicks performed "Not Ready to Make Nice." Afterward Ms. Maines recounted, the Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly — who has regularly denounced her, and whom she pointedly calls "despicable" — rushed over to greet them. "It's like, 'Just want to say that was great!' " Ms. Maines said. " 'I really like that new song.' "

    "And I go, 'But two million tops, right?' And he goes, 'What?' And I said, 'I saw your show when you said we wouldn't sell more than two million, tops.' And he was like, 'Oh, ah, well, two million's pretty good these days, right?' And I was just like, 'Right, yeah. You were saying it in a positive way.' "

    Ms. Robison interrupted, laughing. "That's what you call a no-spin zone."

    "So then he was just backtracking," Ms. Maines continued. "He says: 'We really respect what you did. And we really respect that you stand up for yourself and blah blah blah. We just wish you would say it over here.' And I said, 'I'll say it over here.' "
    Too bad. I bet Bill was just getting up the courage to tell Maines that she had really nice breasts.

    posted by tbogg at 10:16 AM


    Saturday, May 20, 2006


    Making Jesus's baby cry

    We are going to get such a talking to from the Pope.
    4th Update: *I've learned Da Vinci Code earned "just under $30 million" for Friday U.S. box office. That number should smash Sony estimates for the pic's domestic gross. Foreign box office reports continue to soar.*

    3rd Update: *First U.S. numbers: I'm told Regal Union Square in Manhattan was virtually sold out Friday, with returns of more than $56,000. Here are more anecdotes I've learned: Da Vinci Code earned 2 million euros ($2.6 million) on its opening night in Italy, nearly double the take of Italy's previous top film, Oscar-winner Roberto Benigni's Life is Beautiful. Italian news agencies reported record lines at theatres around the country for the film. To see Da Vinci Code at the Toho Cinema Roppongi in Tokyo, Japan, moviegoers have to wait for the Sunday 3 a.m. show, because everything else is sold out. The widest Hollywood release ever in China, the pic is having one of the biggest opening day box office returns for a non-Chinese film. In Taiwan, a typhoon was expected to hit, but changed course at the last minute: the result was a very strong Friday opening.*

    2ND UPDATE: *I'm told Friday night U.S. box office "very strong" for Da Vinci Code and early estimates of $60 mil by the studio for the domestic gross "too low."*
    Hugh Hewitt is flagellating himself as we speak.

    No. I said flagellating. Not that other thing.

    One more thing:

    Evil Albinos. Box office gold.

    posted by tbogg at 8:24 AM


    Friday, May 19, 2006


    I am not of this world

    I know what boys like. I know what guys want.

    There is much that is amusing over at NRO today.

    There is Doughy Pantload on D-Cup Hugh:
    For reasons I'm not entirely sure I understand, several readers think I said Hugh Hewitt is dishonest. I didn't. I wrote "One can call Hugh Hewitt a dishonest and hackish partisan (which I am not doing), but let us not slander dishonest hacks by saying they are no better than Sid Blumenthal."

    If for whatever reason that sounds unfair to Hewitt, I apologize. As I thought I made clear, I wasn't calling him a dishnoest hack. I was saying that even if you think he is one, that still makes him a far better man than Sid Blumenthal.
    To clarify:

    Hewitt - dishonest partisan hack.

    Blumenthal - More dishonester, partisanier, and hackier.

    Then John Miller teases us with the possibilities of the "top 50 conservative rock songs of all time":
    What makes a great conservative rock song? The lyrics must convey a conservative idea or sentiment, such as skepticism of government or support for traditional values. And, to be sure, it must be a great rock song. We’re biased in favor of songs that are already popular, but have tossed in a few little-known gems. In several cases, the musicians are outspoken liberals. Others are notorious libertines. For the purposes of this list, however, we don’t hold any of this against them. Finally, it would have been easy to include half a dozen songs by both the Kinks and Rush, but we’ve made an effort to cast a wide net. Who ever said diversity isn’t a conservative principle? ...

    Rock on!
    For the record, using the expression "rock on!" is de facto evidence that John Miller has at least one Richard Marx CD in his collection, a Quarterflash 1981 Harden My Heart Tour t-shirt in his closet, and children who privately cringe when their friends come over and Dad wants to "hang out" and "rap" with them.

    Finally Katherine Jean Lopez, or K-Lo to the uninitiated, a woman who presumably met men and spoke with them when she attended college, writes (in all seriousness. Seriously! I'm not making this up) this:
    When the Duke story broke, I reflexively thought, looking beyond the (big) rape allegation: “Why are college guys having stripper drunken parties? That’s conduct unbecoming sensible young men."
    Never has hilarious and sad been so connected in such a deep, mysterious and unexplainable way.

    It's like looking into the face of God. And He's laughing too.

    posted by tbogg at 4:56 PM



    The Curious Incident of No Dog In The Backyard

    Family portrait: Rick, Karen, and Orville

    Via Atrios we learn that Rick Santorum has people sneaking around his theoretical primary residence in Penn Hills and wife Karen has unleashed the hounds. Okay, not the hounds, but the local constables who have nothing better to do than check up on an empty house.

    Since Vince Galko obviously needs help in explaining away what might be an awkward situation, we put our crack team of excuse-makers on the case.
    • Since Karen and Rick Santorum truly care about those with mental disabilities they are letting their close personal friend Mr. Arthur "Boo" Radley live in the house rent free. Mr. Radley is a very private man and we would ask that the public respect his privacy. No peeking in the windows or looking behind the doors.
    • You may not know this but Karen and Rick Santorum are patrons of the arts and the house in Penn Hills is the current home of an installation entitled "Negative Space with Dust Bunnies". Viewings are by appointment only.
    • Current statutes in the state of Pennsylvania state that a home is considered "occupied" as long as one member of the family makes it their primary residence. Currently Gabriel Santorum is the sole occupant. He resides in a large jar on the mantle in the family room. (Yes, that is sick, but no sicker than making your young children cuddle and kiss a dead baby)
    • The Penn Hills Homeowners Association has a strict "No dogs" restrictive covenant and the Santorum kids so love their little Yorkie, "Orville Reddenbarker", or as Rick calls him: "Orifice".
    • The Santorums love children and know that no child should be denied the childhood memory of having a spooky empty neighborhood house, particularly at Halloween time. The fact that there may or may not be a baby in a jar on the mantle in the family room provides the house with a frisson of creepiness that you just can't get with a scarecrow, fake spiderwebs, or a cranky old man with a shotgun on the front porch.
    • Karen Santorum hired a feng shui expert who told her "Nothing. Leave it completely empty." then handed her a bill which Rick's PAC paid for.
    • The Penn Hills area is woefully under-IKEA'd
    • The Santorums are getting the property ready for sale because Rick is expecting to get laid off at the end of the year.
    I kind of like that last one. It has the ring of truth.

    posted by tbogg at 12:11 PM



    Dirty Deeds Done Discreet

    Merchandising the mercenaries...or
    butching up the chickenhawks

    Coming soon to a ravaged neighborhood near you, highly-paid privatized mercenaries doing the jobs that the National Guard would be doing if we hadn't sent them over to Iraq to get their asses shot off:
    Tens of thousands of Hurricane Katrina victims remain without homes. The environment is devastated. People are disenfranchised. Financial resources, desperate residents are told, are scarce. But at least New Orleans has a Wal-Mart parking lot serving as a FEMA Disaster Recovery Center with perhaps the tightest security of any parking lot in the world. That's thanks to the more than $30 million Washington has shelled out to the Blackwater USA security firm since its men deployed after Katrina hit. Under contract with the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Federal Protective Service, Blackwater's men are ostensibly protecting federal reconstruction projects for FEMA. Documents show that the government paid Blackwater $950 a day for each of its guards in the area. Interviewed by The Nation last September, several of the company's guards stationed in New Orleans said they were being paid $350 a day. That would have left Blackwater with $600 per man, per day to cover lodging, ammo, other overhead--and profits.

    Shortly after the hurricane hit, Blackwater "launched a helicopter and crew with no contract, no one paying us, that went down to New Orleans," says company vice chairman Cofer Black. "We saved some 150 people that otherwise wouldn't have been saved. And, as a result of that, we've had a very positive experience." Indeed. It was only days after the company arrived that it started reeling in lucrative deals.

    According to Blackwater's government contracts, obtained by The Nation, from September 8 to September 30, 2005, Blackwater was paid $409,000 for providing fourteen guards and four vehicles to "protect the temporary morgue in Baton Rouge, LA." That contract kicked off a hurricane boon for Blackwater. From September to the end of December 2005, the government paid Blackwater at least $33.3 million--well surpassing the amount of Blackwater's contract to guard Ambassador Paul Bremer when he was head of the US occupation of Iraq. And the company has likely raked in much more in the hurricane zone. Exactly how much is unclear, as attempts to get information on Blackwater's current contracts in New Orleans have been unsuccessful.


    While companies like Halliburton may have raked in more profits since George W. Bush took office, few have seen growth as dramatic as Blackwater's. The firm has been at the front of the line at the domestic and international taxpayer-funded feeding troughs and has recently hired some high-profile former government officials, like Cofer Black, former chief of CIA counterterrorism, and former Pentagon Inspector General Joseph Schmitz. In March Black represented Blackwater at a conference in Jordan, announcing that the company was seeking to broaden its role in even more conflict zones. Blackwater is rapidly expanding its operations, creating a new surveillance-blimp division, launching new training facilities in California and the Philippines, and increasingly setting its sights on the lucrative world of DHS contracts. It is clamoring to get into Darfur and has also hired Chilean troops trained under the brutal rule of Augusto Pinochet. "We scour the ends of the earth to find professionals," company president Gary Jackson told the Guardian. "The Chilean commandos are very, very professional, and they fit within the Blackwater system." The business magazine Fast Company recently named Jackson one of its "Fast 50," predicting that the company and its president are in for "a very strong (and long) decade."

    It's hard to imagine that the cronyism that has marked the Bush Administration is not at play in Blackwater's success. Blackwater founder Erik Prince shares Bush's fundamentalist Christian views. He comes from a powerful Michigan Republican family and social circle, and his father, Edgar, helped Gary Bauer start the Family Research Council. According to a report prepared for The Nation by the Center for Responsive Politics, in all of Erik Prince's political funding generosity since 1989, he has never given a penny to a Democrat running for national office. Company president Jackson has also given money to Republican candidates. For his part, Joseph Schmitz--the former Pentagon Inspector General turned general counsel to Blackwater's parent, The Prince Group--lists on his résumé membership in the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, a Christian militia formed before the First Crusade. Like Prince, he comes from a right-wing family; his father, former Congressman John Schmitz, was an ultraconservative John Birch Society director who later ran for President. Joseph Schmitz was once in charge of investigating private contractors like Blackwater, but he resigned amid allegations of stonewalling investigations conducted by his department. He now represents one of the most successful of those contractors.
    What kind of person do you get from Blackwater?:
    "I like being some place where stupidity can be fatal, because here you work with people who think about their actions," said Rich, who asked for security reasons that only his first name be used. He and his colleagues voice disdain for what they consider the soft, even pampered lives of most Americans in a society he sums up as one that "puts warnings on coffee cups."

    Rich is typical of the men drawn to Blackwater USA and scores of other private security firms now doing a booming business in Iraq. They're driven by money and a lust for life on the edge, but also by a self-styled altruism. Sporting blue jeans, wraparound sunglasses and big tattoos, they look the part of gun-slinging cowboys -- but most are experienced enough to know that a hot-dog attitude is the fastest way to get yourself and others killed.

    With more hired guns in Iraq than in any other U.S. conflict since the 1991 Persian Gulf War, Rich and other armed contractors also admit their role is cloudy and controversial. They do shoot to kill, but they aren't legally considered combatants. U.S. military officials have expressed concern about violence in which the private contractors open fire. The contractors' mission is to protect the lives of individuals and cargo but not necessarily to support the broader interests of the U.S. counterinsurgency.
    And they're good at their jobs if, by good, you mean that they're out of control and make situations worse:
    The arrogant tactics of the private military company that escorted top US officials around Iraq are partly to blame for the rebellion against the US occupation that has taken scores of American and thousands of Iraqi lives, according to a Marine colonel who helped train Iraqi troops in the initial stage of the war.

    "They made enemies everywhere," Colonel Thomas X. Hammes, an expert on guerrilla warfare and a senior fellow at the National Defense University told a conference on military contracting last week. He was referring to the tactics used by Blackwater USA, the North Carolina company that was hired by the Coalition Provisional Authority to provide security for L. Paul Bremer, the US administrator who was dispatched by the Bush administration to run Iraq in 2003.

    A few minutes earlier, Chris Taylor, Blackwater's vice president for strategic initiatives, had boasted about the protective cordon his company provided to Bremer. Under a "turnkey security package" with the CPA, Bremer was accompanied by 36 "personnel protection specialists," two K-9 dog teams and three MD-530 helicopters built by Boeing Corporation.

    "The fact that he (Bremer) is home with his family is the only measure of success," said Taylor. "He survived and that's good." Blackwater provides the same kind of protection today to US ambassador John Negroponte, who succeeded Bremer when the formal occupation (theoretically) ended on June 30, 2004.

    But Hammes, who was in charge of training and equipping the fledgling Iraqi army that Bremer hastily recruited after his disastrous decision to disband the army once loyal to Saddam Hussein, said the Blackwater team acted more like storm troopers.

    "The problem is, his guys are trying to protect the ambassador. But I would ride around with Iraqis in an Iraqi truck, and they were running me off the road. We were threatened and intimidated. But they (Blackwater's security) were doing their job, doing what they were paid to do in the way they were paid to do it. And they were making enemies on every single pass out of of town." The "first rule" of an insurgency, said Hammes, is "you don't make any more enemies."And Blackwater clearly failed in that mission.

    Hammes told his story to make a point: that there is an an inherent conflict of interest between contractors, who are in Iraq to make money, and the military itself, which is there to attempt to win a war. And because that war has now become a classic guerrilla war, with both sides competing for the "hearts and minds" of the Iraqi people, anything that the United States does to anger and alienate the population becomes a weapon - one that the fighters have managed to exploit (this may explain, in part, the apparent decision by many of the Iraqi fighters not to disrupt the voting yesterday).

    In his response to Hammes, Taylor dug himself into a deeper hole. He agreed that "there's an aggressive nature" to Blackwater's tactics in moving US officials from point A to point B. But "you're paying us for our judgement," he said. If someone suggests that these tactics are having "an adverse affect in our operations in Baghdad," Blackwater will take that into consideration. "We'll try to work something out while still being able to provide the service under the contract we've provided." Exactly.

    Hammes pushed on. It all "depends on the integrity of the company," he replied. He then offered up a scenario of a situation where a contractor might be called into, say Liberia. "If my job as a contractor is to keep the peace, suppose I'm really successful and there is peace. My contract ends, right? So suppose I stir up a little on the side?"

    That was too much for Taylor. "Oh, come on," he responded. But his only assurance that something like that couldn't happen was his company's patriotism. "All of us are absolutely in support of security and peace and freedom and democracy all over the world," he said. "Its from that part of the heart that our people come to work." That's why he "hates the M word." The term mercenary is a "misnomer, inappropriate and certainly inaccurate," he insisted.
    Now that the President can do anything that he wants to under the guise of "National Security", the US Congress is uninterested and unwilling to provide oversight, and the courts are willing to let governmental misdeeds go unpunished, we have the all the makings of a perfect storm where the CIA or the NSA can discretely outsource domestic "projects" to Blackwater or DynCorp and can then claim plausible deniability when certain civil rights are, say, crushed underfoot in the post-9/11 world.

    Like they say, your taxdollars at work...


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