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Friday, January 10, 2003

They're not too big on "dead baby" jokes either...

Sarcasm not funny to most children

There goes half my demographic. Thank god for the MILF's.

posted by Tom at 9:32 PM

Welcome to

Democratic Veteran to the Hot Links.

posted by Tom at 9:29 PM

Weekend note.

With multiple soccer games to be played this weekend (tune into ESPN this Sunday to see the US Women's National team play Japan, featuring a cameo appearance by my daughter as "The Perky Yet Serious Ball Girl") I probably won't be posting anything until Sunday night, for your Monday morning amusement.

Additionally we also will not be seeing LOTR: The Two Towers this weekend, which is keeping me from drawing any geopolitical analogies or making any pop cultural references, particularly since I have never read the books, and have no intention of doing so. Our family hopes to correct this deficiency within the next two weeks so that we will no longer be shunned by the really cool people who have seen it, like, four times already.

Enjoy the weekend NFL playoff games, and if you are watching alone, remember: Never eat pretzels unless you have a pretzel-buddy standing by.

posted by Tom at 3:40 PM

If we can't steal the money...let's steal the credit for nor stealing the money.

The Republicans are mighty proud of themselves for rolling back the Great Eli Lily Handout Act of 2002.

Republicans said Friday they would reverse a much-criticized provision in the Homeland Security bill that would limit lawsuits against vaccine makers

SENATE MAJORITY Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., who supported the original vaccine provision and said he still hopes to take up the issue later this year in more comprehensive legislation, said he would include the change in a fiscal 2003 spending bill the Senate will take up this month.

You have to go to the third paragraph to find out that the Democrats took the lead in this.

Next Monday Republicans are expected to pat themselves on the back for not raping all of the environment and for not crowning George Bush, Most Powerful Potentate and Warrior God of All The least not yet

posted by Tom at 3:22 PM

The economics game

Faced with a budget deficit, Gov. Davis of California is calling for cuts in spending as well as new taxes to cover shortfalls. The state does not allow itself to run deficits, so Davis has made a balanced but important decision on what to do. After all, he's a grownup.

Faced with budget deficits as far as the eye can see, according to the Washington Post, VP Dick Cheney is calling for a massive giveaway to the rich. After all, if you have big bills that are going to come due, the best thing you can do is shrink your income. And if we don't give all this money away to the rich? Well the economy is going to go in the tank...the same way it has been going since Bush & Cheney were handed the keys to the car.

So you know what that means?

( I broke my rule...kinda.)

posted by Tom at 1:52 PM


A letter posted on Media Whores Online


I am a lifelong liberal and Democrat. No, really... back away from the "delete" key! As you know from my many fan emails to Media Whores Online, I'm not one of those crazy Freeper poseurs. No one despises the GOP and their Whore enablers more than I.

That being said, I want to state something here to everyone in the Democratic party who might happen to read it. This is a pledge and I will stick with it, though I hope to God that I don't have to:

If the Democratic party nominates that spineless, gutless, fence-straddling GOP waterboy Joe Leiberman as their 2004 presidential candidate, I will walk into the booth, plug my nose and vote Republican across the whole f**ing board.

As I said, I pray that it doesn't have to come to this. But hey, at least I won't be voting Green.

Steve in Denver

posted by Tom at 12:20 PM

Cleaning up after the Republicans....

After 12 years of Reagan-Bush deficits and high unemployment, it took Bill Clinton to get the economy going again and give us a surplus. So it shouldn't suprise anyone that Democrat Bill Richardson should be called in to help out President Axis Of Stupidity with his North Korea problem.

If they sent Dick Cheney in, Tokyo would probably be a smoldering ashpile right now.

posted by Tom at 12:04 PM

A sports note

Allen Barra at Salon and Rick Reilly at Sport Illustrated have been dumping on referee Terry Porter for the call he made during the Ohio State-Miami National Championship game. They mostly seem aggravated by the time it took Porter to throw his flag, while giving a cursory look at the play itself. The fact is, that Glenn Sharpe of Miami did interfer with OSU's Chris Gamble from the moment he came off the line until the ball was thrown.

The call was correct, and who cares if he took his time to make it. Any sports official will tell you the important thing is to get the call right.

Additional note...sportswriter Will McDonough passed away yesterday while watching the sports news on TV. I won't say that that is the way he would want to go (I'm thinking it would involve a rotating bed and multiple cheerleaders), but it seems weirdly fitting. He was a pretty good sportswriter and there aren't that many around.

Okay...back to fighting the bad guys.

posted by Tom at 11:46 AM

I get great e-mail:

Good post on the unemployed individuals in NYC. Delay's statements are so blatantly stupid, but I'm very afraid that what we are witnessing in America is the death of altruism and a kind of sadistic, vicious societal stupidity whose antidote may not be good, virtuous, moral liberals attempting change at the polls, but rather pissed-off just-folks, armed by the Republicans through their nutcase NRA laws, taking back their government and doling out rough justice to the Republican Marie Antoinettes. What about a tax revolt at all levels of government which demands a return to moral Liberal government, and I don't mean American Indian costumes on deadbeats tossing tea? Reverse Venezuela-style.

When do good, virtuous Liberals take back the word "evil" and apply it to Delay? When do good, virtuous, Liberals take back the word "enemy" and go after this corrupt bunch? What would it take for Liberals to appear dangerous, and I mean lots of us.

The Republicans have successfully recombined the DNA of Ayn Rand with the noxious sperm of the Christian, born-again Right and come up with an indestructible alien with acid for blood, and multiple jaws-within-jaws to savage all opposition. Liberals believe the American people will turn out to be Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), eventually, given the facts, but I have a terrible premonition that the American people, like the Delay-type ideological f****r scientists in the movie, will find the monster fascinating, preserve its many offspring, and clone the hell out of it.

Well, O.K., the metaphors went a little haywire, but then I learned vicious hate-talk at the feet of Grover Norquist, Rush Limbaugh, add your own names.

Thanks for listening.


(tbogg note: I made one little edit to John's letter that I want to explain. There is one word that I don't use on Tbogg and you probably know which one it is. It's not that I'm prudish about it (I use it often and with relish), it's just that if I put it on the blog, my wife can't access it at work at lunchtime to see what I'm up to, because of a filter at her work. So I am F-word free in writing if not at heart--Tom)

posted by Tom at 11:26 AM

Private First Class Ben Shapiro...yeah, I like the sound of that.

Looks like our little Ben can't wait to get his war on.

No it won't. We know they have chemical weapons (which they have had since the last Gulf War). Why should we compromise our intelligence sources to get France's help?


This is called a material breach. Which means war.

So we should expect our little Benny to enlist any day now, right? I mean, he's eighteen, it's an all volunteer Army. It's not like Ben could use the old "I'm a lover...not a fighter" excuse, because we know better. I'm sure they have a spot for a dedicated anti-Islamofacist. Add to that, his comprehensive military knowledge acquired through multiple viewings of The Two Towers, and I think we've got officer material sitting in a dorm room at UCLA.

But, faced with actually having to fight a war that he so wholeheartedly supports, Ben bashfully demurs.

And so he sits in his dorm room, frantically altering the title of his memoirs, copy by copy, from:

I Haven't Got Time To Breed


I Haven't Got Time To Bleed.

...By Chicken Little Hawk Shapiro.

posted by Tom at 11:03 AM

Got a rocket in your pocket....Keep coolie cool boy

I don't think the Suzanne Fields column on what is "cool" is going to make people forget about Susan Sontag's Notes on Camp anytime soon. Apparently she was so bedazzled with La Noonan's latest about why "we" like Bush (which she quotes from), she decided that she too could discourse on something that she knows nothing about: coolness.

George Bush reflects cowboy cool which comes naturally, compared to, say, the Democratic wannabees who want to fill his boots.


Ever since George W. shaded Al Gore in the presidential debates, he has been described as a rugged man at home in his body. No beard, no couturier earth tones, no hot tubs, at least not on TV. Unlike Bill Clinton, George W. engages women without an eye for the opportunity to shamelessly exploit. He's seductive with the safe aura of a faithful husband. Is there anything cooler than a guy who knows himself and keeps it to himself?

Yes. What woman could keep her knickers in place when confronted by the Golfcart Cowboy?

Here's a simple rule: if you are talking about George Bush, Laura Bush, and Donald aren't talking about cool. They have never been cool (although there is a certain coolness factor in Laura since she is the only First Lady to actually kill someone, but that is negated by...well, she is mousy librarian, secret-lush Laura Bush ), they will never be cool. They weren't even cool in the fifties.

I did like this line, though:

Conservative cool comes with a preference for uncomplicated leaders, plain guys who could play linebacker.

Here's a picture of linebacker George W Bush crushing a receiver on a crossing route.


posted by Tom at 10:31 AM

I'm shocked! Shocked I tell you....

CalPundit is losing what little faith he had (and it wasn't much) in the Bush Administration.

See. It is all about oil.

posted by Tom at 9:33 AM

Dialectics at a Standstill: A Methodological Inquiry Into the Philosophy of Xander

I know some bloggers will find this interesting.

Professors talking about...Buffy.

I'd go but I'll be at the International Punky Brewster Conference in Oslo that week.

posted by Tom at 9:13 AM

Parables for stupid people

Short Bus Sean Hannity

Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up at the table anymore.

Oh. Right. Apparently if we tax those darn rich people too much they will just take their diamond-encrusted ball and go...well, we don't know where they will go...but just you watch.

posted by Tom at 9:04 AM

Oh, the humanity....

Spilled Fuel, Ham Combine To Create Mess During I-40 Morning Commute

Officials said a tractor-trailer went off the side of the road at 1:46 a.m. Thursday taking down the guardrail along westbound I-40 at Aviation Parkway, between Wade Avenue and Interstate 540.

The truck landed on its side and slid under a bridge abuttment. Officials said the driver told them he fell asleep before the accident occurred. Officials said the driver was not injured and there was no structural damage to the bridge.

The truck was carrying 40,000 pounds of fresh ham, which crews transferred to another truck. Officials said 250 gallons of fuel, which spilled from the truck, also had to be cleaned up.

Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham was spotted standing by the side of the road sobbing uncontrollably.

posted by Tom at 8:55 AM

...a less than judicial temperament.

EJ Dionne.

Moreover, conservatives are increasingly willing to use federal judicial power to achieve political ends. Forget Florida 2000 and consider a redistricting controversy in Mississippi last year. It involved none other than Rep. Charles W. Pickering Jr., a Republican who is Judge Pickering's son.

Mississippi lost a congressional seat after the 2000 Census, and Pickering's district was merged with that of Rep. Ronnie Shows, a Democrat. A state judge drew district lines favoring Shows. A federal three-judge panel, all Republican appointees, then drew a plan favoring Pickering. The judges said they would impose their plan if the Bush Justice Department did not quickly clear the state plan for civil rights purposes. By dragging its feet, the Justice Department sealed Shows's fate. The final blow came from none other than Justice Scalia -- a friend of the Pickering family who presided over the younger Pickering's first swearing-in as a congressman. Scalia ruled to allow the Republican judges to impose their map. Pickering beat Shows this fall.

Or consider the ruling of Judge John D. Bates in December declaring that Congress's General Accounting Office -- and thus the public -- had no right to learn the specifics about meetings between Vice President Cheney's famous energy task force and various energy executives and lobbyists. The same John Bates, an appointee of the current president, was an attorney for Ken Starr's Whitewater investigation and pushed hard (and successfully) for the release of various White House documents related to Hillary Rodham Clinton's activities.

"When that guy was working for Ken Starr, he wanted to go open the dresser drawers of the White House," said Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. "I guess it's a lot different when it's a Republican vice president." Such suspicions of partisanship in the judiciary are corrosive because, unfortunately, they are now plausible.

posted by Tom at 8:34 AM

Scenes from a Bush Presidency


Arms race

High unemployment

Massive deficits

and bad music.

posted by Tom at 8:21 AM

Jesse does Noonan.....eww.

Noonan Strikes.

posted by Tom at 8:13 AM

Thursday, January 09, 2003

There�s nothing so stupid that Sean won�t say it

The Daily Howler takes on Short Bus Sean Hannity.

HANNITY: You don�t understand, Gene. When you cut taxes, Gene Sperling, you double revenues, you increase revenues, you spur economic growth.

posted by Tom at 1:01 PM

The few...the proud...the can't leave yet.

Everyone planning on leaving the Marines soon, take one step forward....not so fast there, Bunky.

Preparing for possible war against Iraq, the Marine Corps has taken the unusual step of stopping all Marines from leaving the service for the coming 12 months, officials said Thursday.

The decision was announced to all Marines in an internal message Tuesday from Gen. James Jones, the Marine Corps commandant. He said it applies to active-duty as well as reserve Marines and is effective Jan. 15 through Jan. 31, 2004.

It's not just a career, it's a form of involuntary servitude...hoo-yah.

posted by Tom at 12:51 PM

The employment picture

Bob Herbert:

Ms. Escobar is 43 and single, and lives in a small apartment in Queens. She has worked for a number of airlines over the past several years, most recently as a ticket agent for T.W.A. That job vanished with the World Trade Center.

"We were laid off Oct. 14, 2001," she said. "I haven't been able to find work since then. I've applied everywhere. I've gone back to school to improve my computer skills. I've learned another language. I feel very bad because I want to work so I can pay my bills. I've always worked. But now I can't find a job."


Or Joe Bergmann. Mr. Bergmann, who lives in Midtown Manhattan, was a creative director for a firm that did interactive advertising. He was laid off Oct. 2, 2001, and, to his amazement, has been out of work ever since. When I asked if he ever imagined it would be so hard to find a job, he said, "Not at all. There's no way."

Mr. Bergmann, 54, is married and has two daughters. His wife works, but her employment outlook, even in the short term, is uncertain. The family has had the benefit of some savings and a bonus Mr. Bergmann earned at a previous job. But he does not know what will happen if he doesn't get another job soon.


Unemployment benefits for Ms. Escobar and Mr. Bergmann ran out last July. The extension signed by President Bush yesterday does not apply to them.

Now lets cut to a comment by Tom DeLay:

In the Senate, newly elected Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., sought passage of a five-month extension as the first order of business when the Senate convened on Tuesday. But by then, Democrats in both houses, noting that unemployment has continued to rise, decided to press for additional benefits for jobless people who have already exhausted their 13 weeks of benefits.

"Frankly, it's the least they can do," said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California. "But we can do better."

But Texas Rep. Tom DeLay, House majority leader, said, "nothing is good enough" for Democrats. "I would venture to guess that they would have unlimited unemployment compensation so somebody could stay out of work for the rest of their lives."

Now back to Ms. Escobar:

Ms. Escobar has taken the president's policies somewhat personally. "I'm a Republican and I'm not ashamed to say it," she said. "But I'm very upset that they have done nothing for us."

I asked if she had voted for Mr. Bush. "I sure did," she said, then added, "I feel very betrayed."

posted by Tom at 12:17 PM

More bad news for Bush

From a Salon Premium (no link without membership) article sent in by alert reader Chris:

Mary Landrieu: "Unfortunately, the president's package is very short on stimulus,"


Even if you could get an effective enlargement, some women would still like your penis to be bigger and some women would like it smaller. It is simply a matter of taste because, anatomically, a woman�s most sensitive regions are well within reach of even the smallest penis. The clitoris, labia and outer third of the vagina are the most richly innervated areas, while the inner third of the vagina is less sensitive. So if you have 2 inches, you have enough to do the job.

So. Is his package up to it?

Actually, don't answer that. This is the love that dare not speak it's name.


posted by Tom at 11:40 AM


of good new stuff over at Media Whores Online.

Why are you still here? Go!

posted by Tom at 11:25 AM

Apparently Kissinger wasn't available for this gig either.

Rep. Christopher Cox, a senior member of the House GOP leadership, will head the newly created homeland security committee.

You may remember Cox from his work on the China technology issue, back during the Great Presidential Fellatio Crisis. The Cox report was, well, it was a bit over the top when it came to accusations on how the Chinese were able to acquire missle technology, particularly when it came to technologies that were "stolen" during the Clinton administration.

Reagan...never heard of the guy.

I'm sure that Rep. Cox will limit his review of what went wrong with "homeland security" to the years 1992-2000. Because that's when all the bad stuff probably happened.

posted by Tom at 10:26 AM

Proof that the people get the government that they deserve....

Apparently a major growth industry in Texas is cranking out dumbass Governors. Rob at Get Donkey reports on Gov. Perry who makes the previous guy look like a braniac.

And we know better...

posted by Tom at 10:06 AM

Southern Strategy Redux

Self Made Pundit on the Pickering re-nomination.

posted by Tom at 9:58 AM

"Okay. One million dollars and we throw in a copy of the Muffy The Vampire Layer "

Clarence Thomas has a book deal with Rupert Murdoch's Random House for "seven figures". Those figures are reputed to be Jenna Jameson, Christi Lake, Syndee Steele, Stephanie Swift, Jacklyn Lick, Jewel De'Nyle, and Maria the SnakeBabe.

Chu presented editors at the major publishing firms with a 125-page manuscript Thomas drafted over the last year. Thomas later met with those who showed serious interest, spending over two hours with at least one prospective publisher. The project received a mixed reception -- with reactions tracking the polarized reception the justice evokes from the public generally.

Those publishers who bid on the book, which includes an emotional, detailed account of Thomas's early years on the streets of segregated Savannah, saw it as a readable personal saga that would appeal to conservatives and African Americans, two of the strongest segments of the book-buying public.


But others found Thomas's writing inadequate and questioned whether the book could sell well enough to justify the advance Chu sought. Also, in a business dominated by liberal-leaning New Yorkers, some editors recoiled at working with Thomas.

"At least one house I talked with told me they wanted nothing to do with him," said Michael Cader, editor of the online newsletter Publishers Lunch.

"The word I was given was that it wasn't a free-flowing book, it had some difficulties -- and it was him," said one executive from a publisher that passed on the book. "To pay a million dollars, you have to believe you can sell 250,000 hardcover, and that's a lot. You've really got to believe you've got a person and a story and a whole publicity track."

The working title is "Original Intent, Natural Law, and Why I Like Big Butts", but is subject to change depending on what he sees on the Spice channel the night before it goes to press.

posted by Tom at 9:31 AM

That would be the empty chair...right over there...

Today in Washington:

� 11:00 am, Congressional Black Caucus holds press conference on Judge Pickering and other Bush judicial nominations

I wonder what the black Republican Congressmen will have to say? Oh, wait.......

posted by Tom at 9:10 AM

The bandersnatchulous Frum

David Frum gets Kakutani'd in the NY Times.

What is surprising about "The Right Man" is how tired, disingenuous and knee-jerk so many of its arguments are. The book serves up a handful of personal observations about the president: for instance, Mr. Bush's "id seems to have been at least as powerful and destructive as the Clinton id" but had been "captured, shackled and manacled, and locked away" by the time he entered politics.

The volume as a whole, however, is less an insider's view of the Bush White House than a shrill polemic about the administration's response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 and its campaign against Saddam Hussein. It is a polemic that exults in the president's shucking of "half a century's worth of conventional wisdom about the Middle East and the world," a polemic that celebrates the younger Bush as the right man for his job.

...and then the finishing stroke:

Mr. Frum's penchant for facile analogies and bellicose language underscores the dogmatic, hectoring tone of this book, a book that plays solely to readers who already share all of his certainties and that makes no effort to persuade others through historical knowledge, foreign policy acumen or simple logic

Man. That's gonna leave a mark....

posted by Tom at 9:07 AM

The door is go through it.

With his announcement that he will not be running for President, Tom Daschle has assured himself of one sure thing. Everytime he criticizes one of the Republican's policies, he won't get that snide "Daschle, who is running for President..." attached to his every utterance, as if the only reason he was saying anything was because it would help his election bid. Now he has the opportunity to just be the Democratic leader he's supposed to be, and oppose the Bush policies that are destructive to this country as well as the world (which is pretty much all of them). The only question is: will he step up and play hardball?

posted by Tom at 8:40 AM

Welcome to...

A couple of new blogs to the hot links. The Sideshow, which I should have had listed for months. And a special welcome to David Neiwert at Orcinus. David wrote one of my favorite books, In God's Country, about the militia movement in the Northwest, and is one of the last of the honest journalists in America. Put him right up there with JM Marshall, Joe Conason, and Eric Alterman (but without all the Springsteen worship).

posted by Tom at 8:18 AM

Wednesday, January 08, 2003

Cartoonists do what journalists won't

Ben Sargeant

Tom Toles


posted by Tom at 11:19 PM

A new style of class warfare � the affluent afflicting the afflicted

Looks like Mo Dowd has had enough:

But at their convention in New York, they can produce a hip-hop show that camouflages their hip-G.O.P. policies. Just as they did in Philadelphia in 2000, when they put on a minstrel show for the Babbity white guys in the stands.

A black woman sang "The Star-Spangled Banner," a Latino activist yelled "Puerto Rico, I love you!" Hispanics wore sombreros and a woman spoke who had won the Miss America pageant with an insulin pump under her evening gown.

This urban pageant was meant to signal suburbanites that W. was not scary, even if he had made that pilgrimage to Bob Jones U. � where the minorities on stage wouldn't even be allowed to hold hands with the white delegates.

The Bushies are giving tax breaks to the wrong Americans, hyperventilating over the wrong country and the wrong villains, and labeling the wrong Pakistanis terrorists.


The gangs of New York have nothing on the gang in the White House.

posted by Tom at 11:04 PM

Welcome back........................(dickheads).

Democrats Who Backed Tax Cut in '01 Balk Now

A number of moderate Senate Democrats who were instrumental in helping President Bush pass a tax cut in 2001 said today that they opposed eliminating the federal tax on dividend payments, clouding the Congressional prospects for the central feature of the new Bush economic plan.

In 2001, President Bush was able to garner enough bipartisan support in the thinly divided Senate to pass his $1.35 trillion tax cut package. This time, however, even the president's Republican supporters predict a tougher road.

"There are a number of Democrats who voted with him on the last tax cut, and also a number of Republicans, who are not willing to just accept this one as a fait accompli and take it as it is," Senator John B. Breaux, Democrat of Louisiana, said in an interview, adding that the dividend tax cut would have to be "replaced and/or dramatically scaled down."

The support of Mr. Breaux is considered crucial to passage of any economic stimulus legislation by the Senate, where Republicans have the barest majority. In 2001 he helped the White House win 12 Democratic votes for tax cuts.


Senator Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat who voted for the 2001 tax cut, described the president's plan as "a nonstarter."

"Right now," Mrs. Feinstein said, "I don't know of any Democrat who's going to vote for it."

They seem pretty cowed by that November election that made President God I Need A Drink, the Titan of the 21st Century.

With the English balking at a early start to Operation Inigo Montoya, it looks like its going to be a long year for Bush..

heh heh heh

posted by Tom at 10:33 PM

I hear the Nissan Flaming Pustule kicks ass...

All the good car names are taken.

One of the oddest named vehicles at the Detroit show was Volkswagen AG's Touareg SUV, which takes its name from a Nomadic tribe of the Saharan desert.

"The name may sound strange but we wanted to differentiate the vehicle from everything else," said Jens Neumann, a VW board member who is responsible for the U.S. operations of Europe's largest car company.


posted by Tom at 10:22 PM

Wealthiest .0001% of Americans praise Bush economic package.

Andy Borowitz.

posted by Tom at 10:18 PM

Get it on, on the bus, Gus.

Two Silver Lake students had sex on a school bus as other students cheered, Kingston police said.

The incident took place Dec. 12 in Kingston as the bus was on the way to Silver Lake Regional High School in Kingston and Silver Lake Regional Junior High School in Pembroke, authorities said.

The two students allegedly involved in the sex act were a 16-year-old male high school student and a 15-year-old female junior high school student, police Lt. David Griffiths said.

Three students cheered while the girl performed oral sex on the boy, he said

Where is Erika Harold when you need her? Isn't she a role model for teens?

No. Not really....

posted by Tom at 10:15 PM

I love him...I love him not...I love him....

Howard Fineman can't make up his mind whether he still loves George W Bush.

BUT ONE PIECE of war prep is missing: a clear, comprehensive rationale for the role in the world America will assume the moment the smart bombs start falling on Saddam�s armored palaces. President Bush � by nature a doer, not an explainer � thinks he�s said enough to prepare the nation and the world for war. He hasn�t. The clarity of purpose that seemed so evident after 9/11 has been lost. He needs to re-explain things, to his own people and to the planet.

But then he snaps back to his essential Howardness:

At various times, he�s played the presidency as Dirty Harry, Emperor Augustus, Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher and Dag Hammarskjold.


More like Count Rugen, Harry Dunne, Irwin Corey, Shemp, and this guy.

posted by Tom at 10:05 PM

Stop me before I blog again

Now that Andy Sullivan has managed to shake the money tree to pay for his blogging I guess he feels compelled to write even when he's unprepared. That must be why he has taken to starting his posts with a disclaimer:

THE ECONOMIC PLANS: To be perfectly honest, I have no idea what benefits an end to the tax on dividends might (or might not) bring to the economy.


NORTH KOREA: I haven't written much about the most recent events because I don't have anything new to say.

...and the he proceeds to say it.

posted by Tom at 8:21 PM

Well, if you won't sleep with women, somebody has to do it...

The Virgin Ben, keeper of a faith that is clean and pure and wholesome and godly in that blinding-white-light-avert-your-eyes-kind-of-way, and also doesn't require a strap-on, nipple clamps, and copious amounts of lubricant, is getting all squicky know....chicks, like (snicker) doing it, with other (giggle, snort) chicks.

Goblin Queen e-mailed me angrily about my Rolf Eden post, saying that as a woman, she should know about the state of womanhood. If she's any example of modern womanhood, it's safe to say that modern womanhood is in decline. Explore her website, and read about her desire to sleep with a woman as a man. If that's modern womanhood, it's surely in trouble.

No, Sparky. The minute women decide they would rather sleep with other women is the day you are screwed, or not screwed as they case most definitely will be.

posted by Tom at 1:51 PM

"This stimulus program will put Americans back to work by --- oooooo! Pudding!"

See The Forest directs us to this excellent Robert Reich column that is so easy to understand that even George Bush could figure it out...if it were condensed to one page...with bullet points...and short easy-to-say a large font...and he wasn't distracted by something shiny in the room...and he was sober...and Howard Fineman wasn't blowing him at the time...and there wasn't a baseball game on.

I'm sorry where was I? Oh yeah:

The president calls it a "jobs and growth" plan, but it's neither.

His latest round of proposed tax cuts won't create jobs and won't grow the economy. It will only do more of what his last round did -- make the rich even richer.

posted by Tom at 1:24 PM

Georgians given chance to disgrace themselves again in '04. "Yeehaws" are heard back in the piney woods...

So Zig-Zag Zell Miller is going to take a walk after 2004. (link from Atrios) Part of me is happy (guess which part!) because he was basically a doormat for Bush anyway, but then again, after the shameful antics of the Georgians in '02 when they booted war hero Max Cleland for Chickenshit Chambliss, you have to wonder who will take Miller's place.

I guarantee you Ralph Reed has been working on this for Bush dating back to last November. Klansmen may apply, but only compassionate Klansmen...

posted by Tom at 12:25 PM

I see blogger is screwed up again today. Ads are back and you might get "defense tech" which is not exactly my thing...

posted by Tom at 12:15 PM

Maybe they could do an anti-ecstasy ad to run during that Army recruiting gay porn show....

There has been a rash of anti-drug ads on TV lately, and not cool ones where a hottie busts up a kitchen with a frying pan. busybusybusy takes on the most annoying one.

posted by Tom at 10:49 AM

Vintage whine from a Great Presidential Fellatio Crisis survivor.

Gary Aldrich (remember him...FBI guy turned Clinton stalker) is upset because Time Magazine gave the Man of the Year Award to "whistleblowers" and he thinks he should get an award too, since he blew first. And blow, he does:

My candidate for �Hypocrite of 2002� has to go to Time magazine for suddenly discovering the dangers and benefits that come from whistleblowing. The cover of a recent issue features their �Persons of the Year� � three women who blew the whistle on corporate and government incompetence or wrongdoing.

I don�t want to discourage whistleblowers or those who choose to ride on their coattails; surfacing the truth about corporate and government wrongdoing is usually considered a good thing.

But I find it difficult to understand how we can turn truth �on� and �off� like a switch.


But, when my best-selling book, �Unlimited Access: An FBI Agent Inside the Clinton White House� was published, Time had a field day � along with the rest of the national media � destroying my credibility on the say-so of the Clinton White House. My book was 98% about the national security breakdown inside the Clinton White House and 2% about the ill manners of some liberal Democrats. Nevertheless, national media like Time scoffed at the well-documented claims of a senior FBI Agent who had been working in the Clinton White House, full time, for more than two years.

They preferred to believe that somehow I had lost my mind. History unfolded, however, has vindicated me. The lack of �DNA� evidence for Clinton�s reckless womanizing, as described in my book, is hardly ever mentioned these days. What is recalled is that I was a serious whistleblower who tried to surface wrongdoing, abuse, and corruption occurring in the White House right under the nose of the national media.

Back then, Time thought differently about whistleblowing. They went on to ignore or demonize every single whistleblower that bravely stepped forward to describe Clinton�s shameful conduct or Clinton administration corruption. Most of these whistleblowers were women, like RTC investigator Jean Lewis, or Linda Tripp, or Juanita Broaddrick, or Paula Jones, or Kathleen Willey, or Gennifer Flowers. All were attacked and dismissed as bimbos and liars.

Um, yeah. 98% about 'national security...then he goes on to mention Lewis (Whitewater...dismissed), Tripp (sex...ewwww), Jones (sex...ewww, again), Broaddrick (sex...never happened), Willey (sex...looking for a job), and Flowers (sex...again).

That is his collection of "whistleblowers". Lots of blowing...not many whistles to be found.

posted by Tom at 10:34 AM

Whoops! I did it again.

Looks like Michelle Malkin, who doesn't like anyone unless they are white like her, got suckered in by the terrorists-from-Canada-who-don't-exist-story, and now she's stamping her dainty little feet.

So the FBI was apparently fooled into hunting for five non-existent, Middle Eastern fugitives smuggled in from Canada. It now looks like a weasel named Michael John Hamdani made the whole thing up to avoid facing old document forgery charges.

Gee, Michelle, looks like you got fooled too. And then wasted an entire column (yeah, yeah...I know...they're all a waste) on creating a scenario for the fictional swarthy-evildoers (who aren't white like you) to enter the country. But the upside was that you got to promote your Regnery Press ("If it's shit...we can get it on paper!") book, Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists Criminals & Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores with a phony story. How very Cassie Bernal of you.

Then again...the fact that you have, well I guess that's egg, all over your face hasn't deterred you from your appointed rounds:

Hamdani may have pulled a fast one, but our air, land and sea ports of entry are still sieves -- and the continuing hunt for fugitive terror suspects is no joke:

...and off she goes again, tracking down evildoers who aren't white like her.


posted by Tom at 10:12 AM

Looks like the stimulus package got right to work today.

Dow down 60 points.

(Added at 12:30 PST) Dow down 144 points. The Bush economy working overtime....


Don't bank on companies rushing to offer dividends

Now the tax on dividends is set to be eliminated, some investors may be waiting for companies to step up and dole out the cash. But Steven Bank, tax law professor at UCLA, warned investors not to expect a dividend gold rush.

Bank told Squawk Box that is history's any guide, companies really don't care about the tax rates of their shareholders when making decisions on whether to pay dividends.

"Each time (a cut on dividends) is brought up, managers have quietly lobbied it away," Bank said. "They prefer other (tax cuts or incentives) which benefit their bottom line rather than the shareholders bottom line."

He said he expects the tax cut on dividends to have a reinvestment option in the final bill -- that's where management will be able to offer a dividend but have the option to put it back into the company rather than give it to shareholders. This way the company can boast about offering a dividend but use the cash however it wants, he added.

Bank said he does expect a few new dividend payments, but the question is whether they will come from new companies, or whether traditional dividend companies will just up their payouts.

posted by Tom at 8:47 AM

Signs of a spine

Chuck Schumer.

New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer will announce this morning that he will filibuster the nomination of Charles Pickering to a place on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.More to come later today.

That's a start...

posted by Tom at 8:34 AM

When he gets out of jail, he'll get his Eddie Eagle Marksmanship Award

N.C. man hit by stray bullet shot half a mile away

Every year between Christmas and New Year's, Burke County authorities say, residents hear guns popping and sometimes find bullet holes in their cars, storage sheds and homes.

Last week, a Burke County man was shot in the leg by a 17-year-old half a mile away. The boy had received a .22-caliber semiautomatic rifle as a Christmas present, sheriff's deputies said.


Deputies planned to consult this week with prosecutors, who will decide whether to charge the boy, sheriff's Lt. John Suttle said. Authorities declined to identify the boy pending the decision.

They also urged people to keep close watch on young people when they're shooting.

"They're new, they're toys, they want to play with 'em," Suttle said. "If you're just some idiot shooting into the trees or just shooting at a target in your yard, you're being negligent, in my opinion. But there's no charge for stupidity. I wish there was."

If there was a charge for stupidity, Suttle would be arresting himself for referring to a .22 caliber rifle as a "toy".

posted by Tom at 8:18 AM

Now is the time for the Democrats to grow a spine

As pointed out over at Eschaton, President Uniter/Divider has renominated Charles Pickering for a federal judgeship even though he is an unreconstructed racist, much like his sponsor, Trent Lott. The fact that Bush, religious cultist Orrin Hatch, and Bill the Cat Killer Frist also support Pickering can only indicate that they support his way of thinking and implies that they accept his racist leanings.

In addition, Bush has renominated thin-lipped, tight-assed, Enron-whore Priscilla Owen, and stealth candidate Miguel Estrada.

Each of these candidates should be filibustered until withdrawn. If the Senate comes to a be it.

Charles Schumer, Ted Kennedy, Barbara Boxer, Patrick Leahy, John Kerry...this is your cue.

...and John Edwards....if you have any desire to be the Democratic nominee for's time to step up to the plate and be a man.

Joe Lieberman, on the other hand, will probably roll over on his back and pee on his belly.

posted by Tom at 8:03 AM

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

I am an Army of One....I am also a hot throbbing hunk of manhood.

Looks like the Army is trying to get enlistments up again.

Television viewers in Webster were startled Monday night when a community access show about the U.S. Army was interrupted by roughly 20 minutes of explicit gay pornography.


The unscheduled programming found its way onto the air on Webster Cable Access 12 between 8 and 9 p.m., apparently during the middle of Army Newswatch, a program produced by the U.S. Army.

By the time Auger was able to get to the office last night, the pornography was off the air. Supervisor Cathryn Thomas said residents have told her the station apparently reverted back to Army Newswatch.

Callers to the Brother Wease morning show on WCMF-FM said that the gay porn program seemed to have a German military theme to it involving an older officer and younger men.

I remember that Hogan's Heroes episode. It was something about Major Hochstetter, Newkirk, and a tunnel...

posted by Tom at 2:34 PM

Driving Miss Daisy Lott

Looks like Trent won't have to get behind the driving wheel.

The Senate this week will take up a measure allowing former Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., to keep his taxpayer-subsidized car and driver, senior Senate sources from both sides of the aisle told Fox News.

However family retainer, Rochester, may have to go, news of which has caused Miz Lott to take to her chambers with the vapors where she will consume an appropriate dosage of laudanum sent over by Miz Laura who has moved on to heavier barbituates and absinthe since the girls went off to college and she doesn't have to share anymore.

posted by Tom at 1:49 PM

Okay. They can sit at the lunch-counter, but they have to keep their hands off the white women.

Journalists! What are you going to do with their kind? Looks like three of them were acting all uppity in Texas

A small group of journalists invited to tour the Bush ranch in Crawford, Texas, last Thursday "limited themselves to small talk" for 90 minutes, as one of them put it, after White House officials suggested Bush might otherwise cut short the tour. But another group of reporters was not so compliant. Three journalists, suspecting Bush would pay a visit to the Crawford Coffee Station on New Year's Eve, strolled over for lunch in hopes of being there if he arrived. A White House staff member appeared, wrote down their names and urged them to leave, telling them Bush "has said he won't come if you stay." The scribes stood by their cheeseburgers. "We told him that we were paying customers and had no intention of leaving," said Rachel Graves of the Houston Chronicle. The White House backed down, and Bush got his burger

Those obstreperous little scalawags wouldn't have gotten away with this if Trent Lott were still alive, by cracky....

(thanks to Jon for this...)

posted by Tom at 1:10 PM

That was then, this is now.

Yesterday Republicans mouthpieces said the stock market surge was because of President Can't Count To Twentyone With His Pants On's impending stimulus plan. Today he announced it....Dow down 30 points.

...and uggabugga asks a question that, you know the press would never, ever, ever ask:

From the White House website:

"This is a plan that provides tax relief to the working citizens. It's a plan that is a very fair plan."

So why is it that half the cost of the plan will come from eliminating taxes on dividends - an income stream you get without working?


posted by Tom at 12:56 PM


Ted Barlow does a good job on Mickey Kaus who really should be spending his peri-menopausal years reviewing hot fast cars and the latest in hair replacement technologies, and not economic policy.

posted by Tom at 12:41 PM

Now that's the kind of math George Bush can understand...

From The Hampster:

No, no, those were, those were great. I'm going to misuse one now. In the six years, about six years of both Bush administrations, the elder and the younger, there has not been one net new job created, and so here . . .

(Off Camera) Private sector.

No, not one net new job, just in the whole economy. So this is, extending that logically, that means that if the Bushes had run the country from its inception to the present, no one in this country would have ever worked. We'd be the poorest country, we'd be poorer than Somalia.

(Off Camera) I don't think the Columbia Economic Department is gonna be hiring you any time soon.

Numbers don't lie

posted by Tom at 12:27 PM

Dildos, Free Markets, and Ben Shapiro

I have to admit that Ben Shapiro became my favorite rightwing punda-loon only after the SD Union dropped the columns of Joseph Perkins. Perkins, for those who never read him, was a former aide to ex-VP Dan Quayle. Perkins managed to parlay that "insider" gig into one that allowed him to rewrite Heritage Foundation press releases into profoundly fact-challenged columns that the UT found fit to publish. The fact that Perkins was black and conservative, making him rarer than a George Bush deep thought, allowed the UT editors to bite their collective tongues and ignore the many sarcastic Letters to the Editor that inevitably followed a Perkin's column.

But then I discovered Ben, the Hey Arnold! of conservative punditry and I knew I had discovered a new source for twisted conventional wisdom, a narrow minded outlook, and stunted social development. Much has been made of Ben's failure to dabble in the conjugal arts (he claims religion, but I think we all know better), and he wonders why everyone is so obsessed with his "sexual status".

Maybe it's because of columns like this from the Daily Bruin:

UCLA has entered the zone of no return. The Zone d'Erotica, that is.
Zone d'Erotica is a sex shop located just 375 feet from Gayley Terraces. This store, offering the only kind of deviancy UCLA lacks, adds a great deal to the campus: a place to buy assorted pornographic videos, sex toys and lingerie. Just what the homeowners, students and faculty need...

There are limits to capitalistic enterprise, and this is one of them. While the government should keep involvement in the workings of the free market to a minimum, the sex industry is one market that shouldn't be too free. It is an illegitimate, unfortunate function of the market that distribution centers exist for such twisted items, and while the government cannot ban them, it can restrict them. Gayley Avenue is a good place to start.

The Westwood Homeowners Association has every right to protest this travesty. Would you want a sex shop opening across the street from your home? If you had a five-year-old child, would you want him to ask "Mommy, how much is that vibrator in the window?"

Sex shops happen to have a certain, less-than-reputable audience. Such stores gather a very exclusive, perverted clientele likely coming from near and far to find such a treasure trove. Must we wait before the shop is already established to realize that sordid men walking around Westwood holding Wicked Enterprise videos will make the area look bad?


Any paper equating a Christian bookstore with a pornographic sex shop is not worth the paper it is printed on. This is another disgusting example of an attempt to strip away stable values and implement a set of "subjective, tolerant, diverse" values.

Anyone who believes that a Christian bookstore promoting God, love and morality is as offensive as a sex shop promoting animal lust and the degradation of sexual intimacy into a merely hedonistic act is quite simply a disgrace to the human capacity for knowledge and reason.

The Westwood Homeowners Association has the moral and intellectual high ground. The kind of situation that would allow a child to be exposed to pornography mandates some sort of action, governmental or otherwise. There is no benefit to having this sort of smut in any decent neighborhood.

For those keeping score at home, sex involves "deviancy", and is "twisted", "perverted", "sordid", and involves "animal lust and the degradation of sexual intimacy into a merely hedonistic act"...but only if done right, I might add.

I think that we can safely say that young master Shapiro's "sexual status" indicates the soul of Carol Ledoux trapped in the body of a young, male, socially inept, poli-sci undergrad.

Now that's twisted....

posted by Tom at 12:10 PM

The Sally Quinn Suicide Watch

DC Social life is deader than Bob Dole's dick with President Cartoon Network at the helm.

The capital's most glamorous annual evening, the Kennedy Center Honors, was far from over. The gala finale, a stirring rendition of "America the Beautiful," led by James Taylor, was still under way � and the supper dance had yet to begin � when Karl Rove, President Bush's political mastermind, darted out of the center's Opera House last month.

Mr. Rove had a good reason: his boss was leaving, too. "The security aide came and said, `Mr. and Mrs. Rove, it's time to move now,' " he recalled. Last fall, at a Kennedy Center concert commemorating the first anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, the finale was taped for television at the end of the first act, so the president could leave early, stranding the live audience to sit through the rest of the show

Apparently that was the night of a "very special episode" of Boy Meets World.

"Well, it's difficult to make a judgment, because these are serious times," said Buffy Cafritz, a veteran Republican hostess. "The Reagan years were more joyous, and people were out more. President Clinton could stay up and keep my hours, 2 and 3 a.m. in the morning. The town is just different. If it's not Iraq, it's the market. There isn't a lightness as there has been in the past."

Looks like Buffy the Vampire Hostess misses Big Bill.

posted by Tom at 10:00 AM

Tax code gives hummer to owners of Hummers

This is just grotesque:

You see SUV's on the road everywhere these days, but sport utility vehicles are some of the least efficient and most expensive vehicles out there-- unless you get an unusual tax break that will save you plenty.

Karl Wizinsky just bought a giant Ford Excursion, even though he says he doesn't really need it.

"You certainly get a good view of the road," he says.

But he admits that he bought it because of the big break he can get on his tax return.


At a time when the nation's priorities are to improve gas mileage and reduce dependence on foreign oil, the government has instead provided an incentive for just the opposite -- the biggest, least efficient SUVS available.

Here's how:

The incentives were designed to give tax breaks to small business owners buying trucks for construction or farming. But the tax code was amended before the very largest class of SUVs -- those over 6,000 pounds, existed. The SUV's carry the classification "light truck" even though they are used almost exclusively as passenger vehicles.

As a result, people whose business involves hauling nothing more than themselves reap huge benefits buying Land Rovers, Cadillacs -- even Hummers.

A new Land Rover, for example, with a sticker price of nearly $72,000 will cost only $50,000 after the tax break -- a savings of more than $21,000.

"I don't think the intent of the law was large luxurious SUV's," Jenkins said. "But that's been exactly what's happened."

posted by Tom at 9:30 AM

Daschle says "No thanks"...If only Joe Lieberman would follow suit

The very uncharismatic Tom Daschle has decided to take a pass on running for President since Gephardt has already filled the "no-chance-to-win" slot.

posted by Tom at 9:22 AM

Chain, chain, chain, Cheney's a fool.....

JM Marshall talks about the total screw-up in the Bush Administration...and it's not the usual suspect.

Cheney's bad judgment is akin to Trent Lott's ugly history on race: Everyone sort of knew it was there, only no one ever really took notice until it was pointed out in a way that was difficult to ignore.

posted by Tom at 9:16 AM

You scratch my yellow stripe, I'll scratch yours....

Looks like noted chickenhawk and flag-draped coward Saxby Chambliss is settling into his new role in Washington. And he found a friend who has a lot in common with him:

"I value his advice on terrorism," Mr. Bush said of Mr. Chambliss at a March campaign rally in Atlanta. "He's sound when it comes to counterterrorism. He's been in the Oval Office to give me sound, solid advice. And I've listened to it every time he's come in there."

Maybe President Cowardly Lyin' will invite Mr Chambliss to fly on Air Force One with him to Nebraska during the next terrorist attack so they can hide out together at Offutt Air Force Base which has been recently code-named Chicken Coop 1 by the Secret Service.

posted by Tom at 8:04 AM

Take my advice...don't take my advice

"Focus group moderator" Frank Luntz, who has given up any appearance of non-partisanship, has some advice for Republicans.

Since 9/11, there has been a sea change in the mindset of America. As a focus group moderator, I hear a very different voice of a very changed America. In these uncertain times, people are no longer content to subsist on the sound bites, sloganeering, and other stratagems of political gamesmanship.

Then he says:

As long as Republicans make a show of cutting waste, fraud and abuse, they will be forgiven for a little red ink.

They just need to be sure to not use sound bites, sloganeering, and stratagems of political gamesmanship while they make a show of cutting waste, fraud, and abuse.

This looks like a job for ...Karl Rove.

posted by Tom at 7:49 AM

Monday, January 06, 2003

Like an anti-semite.... Touched for the very first time

The Virgin Ben pulls out what few rhetorical tricks he has in response to the Rittenhouse Review. He claims he is being called a "nazi" when it didn't happen, and then points out that refering to him as a virgin, besides being "lame" is also......wait for it....."anti-semitic".

Who knew?

I hope non-Gentile Ben (also referred to by my good friend Will as the Original Wanksta) eventually gets someone to touch his pee-pee soon since the last time it was handled by foreign hands was at his bris.

Then again, considering his........ Ben-ness....maybe that's asking a lot.

posted by Tom at 11:34 PM

No time for lunch, I have "Doing Your Daughter-In-Law" at 1, with "Suicide is Painless...To Me" at 3.

Snotglass is not available since he is attending a George C. Roche III "family values" conference at Hillsdale College.

You remember George Roche III. The guy who was humping his daughter-in-law and drove her to suicide? Yeah, that "family values" guy.

Hope Snotglass (named after the Apostle the Bible doesn't like to talk about) picks up some valuable tips...

posted by Tom at 11:10 PM

The Winter of Our Disconnect

Iraq has no nuclear weapons and is not even close to having them. They are threatening no one. What few allies we have left aren't too interested in war but Bush can't wait to go after them.

North Korea is close to having them, continually threaten their neighbors, and are desperate enough to do it. A million people could die and the world economy could be shattered. The administration can't get together with more of our allies who could be the most affected by war. Bush won't talk to the North Koreans and changes his mind on policy like he's explaining away his insider trading days again.

We are so screwed.

posted by Tom at 10:51 PM

It is class warfare.

As Paul Krugman shows, the Republicans are engaging in class warfare and the mainstream "journalists" are afraid to call them on it.

Nonetheless, the faithful laud our glorious leader's wisdom. For a variety of reasons, including the desire to avoid charges of liberal bias, most reporting is carefully hedged. And the public, reading only praise or he-said-she-said discussions, never grasps the fundamental disconnect between problem and policy.

And so it goes with the administration's "stimulus" plan

posted by Tom at 10:32 PM

Why I love the Freepers....

It's irritating that Noonan (a great writer and good conservative who's nonetheless occasionally too saccharine for my taste) would perpetuate the myth that Bush "wobbled" for a few hours after the Twin Towers were hit. He did not wobble! As the leader of the nation he was forced to be very careful about his personal security at a time when multiple unknown factors existed about the resources and intentions of the enemy.

He behaved prudentially, and exactly as he should have! Noonan should know this.

3 posted on 01/06/2003 6:42 AM PST by beckett

I'd get me a freeper for a pet, but it wouldn't be prudential.

posted by Tom at 3:54 PM

New batty time, same batty Peggy

I think that the Wall Street Journal moved Noonan the Loon to Mondays because The Bachelorette is on Wednesday nights and poor Peg just couldn't concentrate on that Thursday deadline, what with all those cute guys after just one woman. But that's okay, because Peggy has found her Mystery Date, a steady guy as comfortable as an old shoe. He's uncomplicated by deep thoughts, a religious man, a family man, and best of all, he's not a cow's head suspended in formaldehyde. He just: George.

The whole world was watching, and America was watching with keen concentration, when he did his best work: his visit to ground zero and "I can hear you; the world hears you"; his Oval Office interview a few days after the attack when he said, "I am a loving man, but I have a job to do"; his speech to Congress in which he described the nature of the menace we face and spoke of American resolve; his spectacular live question-and-answer session with children when Vladimir Putin was meeting with him in Texas, in which both took questions from kids and Mr. Bush's humanity shined through; and a host of other public moments. The boy done good.

Yup. He was pretty "spectacular" handling those tough probing questions from those eight and nine year olds, and live no less. But wait, there's more...

But with Mr. Bush things aren't a big emotional drama. He seems stable. This is a relief. You get the impression he's like what he of course was, a businessman. When things work, good; when they don't, change. It's not personal. It doesn't have to be messy. It's not Shakespearean.

...and he's still that bright-eyed, fresh-faced businessman, doing the same thing to the country that he did to his businesses...plunging them into debt and chaos. You've got to admire that kind of steadfastness, that blinkered tenaciousness.

Peggy then clues us into why liberals just haven't taken the steady, rock-solid, emotionally vacant, George Bush to our collective bosoms:

Liberals like their leaders interesting. I always think this may be because some of them have not been able to fully engage the idea of a God, and tend to fill that hole in themselves with politics and its concerns. If the world of government and politics becomes your god, and yields a supergod called a president, you want that god to be interesting.

Well, I wouldn't say that we make government and politics a god (especially those of us that are atheists...which would be...kind of absurd) but we do tend to like our leader, also known as the "Leader of the Free World", to sometimes have deep thoughts or express an interest in something other than reading baseball box scores or avenging the the near asassination of his dad ("After all, this is a guy that tried to kill my dad."). We see the world as a kind of complex place that sometimes requires complex answers. We're funny that way.

Peggy finishes with a flourish:

Conservatives, on the other hand, don't look for god in government, for part of being a conservative is holding the conviction that there is no god in government. They like complicated personalities in their TV shows and from actors and opera singers, but they want steadiness and a vision they can agree with from their presidents. Actually I think conservatives want their presidents the way they want their art: somewhere in the normal range. They don't like cow's heads suspended in formaldehyde and don't understand that as high art; by 1998 they thought Bill Clinton was the political version of a cow's head in formaldehyde, and they didn't like that either.

And so my liberal friends say: Why do people like Mr. Bush? And they want an interesting answer. But I do think part of the answer is: Because he's not complicated and perhaps not even especially interesting as a person. We just love that.

"Bill Clinton was the political version of a cow's head in formaldehyde"

Just roll that phrase around in your mouth. Mull it over. Think about it.

It's somewhere in the Peggy Noonan "normal range".

Enter at your own risk.

No More Mr. Nice Blog on Peggy

Jesse at Pandagon on her too

Looks like a Peggy pile-on. She wishes...

posted by Tom at 1:33 PM

What I didn't learn in law school....

Mona Charen, who, for some reason gets paid to write columns, takes on John Edwards:

John Edwards, the handsome, and comely and attractive senator from North Carolina (well, those are his chief assets) has announced plans to seek the Democratic nomination for president. A relative newcomer to politics, Mr. Edwards has caught the eye of party elders due to his, well, his looks.

Mr. Edwards does start with one big disadvantage, though. He's a trial lawyer, and while this allows him ready access to the deep pockets of his fellow trial lawyers, it causes many Americans to wrinkle their noses. Clearly, Mr. Edwards has been working on how to spin the trial lawyer handicap, and he's decided to frame it this way: His multimillion-dollar business mau-mauing companies out of large settlements is really being "a champion for regular people."..... (my emphasis)

The law school-educated Charen makes the assertion that Senator Edwards was "mau-mauing" companies . for big settlements. She doesn't explain the term 'mau-mauing' and I assume it's not a legal term. I do know that the expression is a favorite of Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin, so I guess it involves some feminine, right-wing Mandingo fantasy that must keep Trent Lott up at night, dampening his sheets. Anyway, since she brought it up, what kind of settlements did he manage to 'mau-mau'?

According to The Washington Monthly:

The defining case in Edwards' legal career wrapped up that same year. In 1993, a five-year-old girl named Valerie Lakey had been playing in a Wake County, N.C., wading pool when she became caught in an uncovered drain so forcefully that the suction pulled out most of her intestines. She survived but for the rest of her life will need to be hooked up to feeding tubes for 12 hours each night. Edwards filed suit on the Lakeys' behalf against Sta-Rite Industries, the Wisconsin corporation that manufactured the drain. Attorneys describe his handling of the case as a virtuoso example of a trial layer bringing a negligent corporation to heel. Sta-Rite offered the Lakeys $100,000 to settle the case. Edwards passed. Before trial, he discovered that 12 other children had suffered similar injuries from Sta-Rite drains. The company raised its offer to $1.25 million. Two weeks into the trial, they upped the figure to $8.5 million. Edwards declined the offer and asked for their insurance policy limit of $22.5 million. The day before the trial resumed from Christmas break, Sta-Rite countered with $17.5 million. Again, Edwards said no. On January 10, 1997, lawyers from across the state packed the courtroom to hear Edwards' closing argument, "the most impressive legal performance I have ever seen," recalls Dayton. Three days later, the jury found Sta-Rite guilty and liable for $25 million in economic damages (by state law, punitive damages could have tripled that amount). The company immediately settled for $25 million, the largest verdict in state history. For their part, Edwards and Kirby earned the Association of Trial Lawyers of America's national award for public service

I can see how a case like that would offend all right-thinking Americans.

Maybe this is why Charen writes bad columns instead practicing law before a jury.

posted by Tom at 11:36 AM

Let the blog-god sort them out.

Steven Den Beste over at USS Clueless feels that the best way to solve the Palestinian problem is just to kill them all.

But increasingly I'm finding myself feeling as if the world would be better off if someone went in and shot every damned one of them and piled the lot in an unmarked grave


I know that's wrong. I know it could never happen, and that it will never happen, and that it should never happen, and I would never actually advocate anything like that. But what I'm finding is that every time I read about a Palestinian being killed by the Israelis, my first emotional reaction is, "Good riddance." I've reached the point where I feel nothing at all when I read about them dying. I have reached the point where I don't care at all, not even slightly, about their pain and hardship. They have ceased to be persons to me. I'm no longer even interested in hearing their side of the story.

He later uses the unfortunate term: final solution.

I suppose not, but as time goes on it is harder and harder for me to tell myself that it is the wrong answer. In any war, there is one way to positively settle the issue, and that's for everyone on one side of it to die. Whatever else you might say about that, it is at least a final solution.

You have to read the whole thing (sorry) to understand his point, but I still find it odd that someone who can go on and on about the most mundane matters in his blog can be so exhausted by a war in which he has no vested interest.

posted by Tom at 9:44 AM

Tax the poor, feed the rich

Seeing the Forest explains the Give Steve Forbes a Hard-on Act of 2003.

Remember, your Social Security retirement money was given away to the really rich in the 1980's, through tax cuts. Now the money you currently pay into the Social Security system is also being handed to the rich through even more huge tax cuts. And the portion of the tax money that you pay that goes out as interest on the debt is also being given to the rich in the form of debt interest payments. A lot of the military budget is handed to wealthy corporations. The pension money that you would have received if you worked at a corporation was handed out to the rich in the 1980's in the form of increased stock price when pensions were stopped, and you were instead told to save your own money through an IRA or a 401K account.

posted by Tom at 8:22 AM

Sunday, January 05, 2003

The man fromn Ar-busto.

This is not a joke.

He, on the other hand, is.

posted by Tom at 11:12 PM

Pay no attention to that floundering economy behind the curtain

Looks like those five terrorists from Canada may not be terrorists... or even exist.

posted by Tom at 10:50 PM

Can he just keep her from making movies?

Antonio Banderas says "no" to anymore Melanie Griffith surgeries.

posted by Tom at 10:43 PM

Too Much Time On My Hands Watch

While there is a certain humor factor in the notorious CAP Alert reviews, you've got to hand it to Ken Waight over at Lying In Ponds who has come up with a way to quantify the partisanship of newspaper columnists.

...and wouldn't you just know it that Paul Krugman came out on top as the most partisan of all columnists. Not Michael Kelly or Bob Bartley. Of course he only reviewed the The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and New York Times. Not that conservatives like Andrew Sullivan will point this out when refering to the rankings. This implies that Krugman is somehow more partisan than columnists like Ann Coulter, Rich Lowry, or Cal Thomas, who don't write for those publications, but are syndicated.

Seems dishonest doesn't it? And dishonesty is so hard to quantify...

posted by Tom at 10:38 PM

Welcome back

Media Whores Online is back....tan, rested, and ready to overthrow the dominant media paradigm or, more to the point, shine a spotlight on the toads in the journalistic pond.

Be sure to vote for Whore of the Year. has sound. Additional warning, Howie Kurtz isn't even nominated. That is an oversight.

posted by Tom at 9:27 PM

"Duh" story of the year.

Reuters discovers the concept of "freeping".

Democrats and Republicans alike turned to the Internet for news during last fall's elections, but conservatives were more likely to weigh in on online polls, according to a study released on Sunday.


Nearly half of Republicans who went online for election news said they liked to register their opinions in online polls, compared with 28 percent of Democrats

Of course online polls are the kind of "sound science" that conservatives believe long as they reflect their views. Kind of like "intelligent design".

posted by Tom at 9:21 PM

Let's not kid ourselves...

The Virgin Ben 'splains why he is a virgin.

Yes, I am a virgin. Being an Orthodox Jew, I am required by halacha (Jewish law) to remain abstinent until marriage. If calling me a virgin is supposed to be an insult, than it is a poor attempt at an one. It makes me wonder why the Rittenhouse Review is so concerned about my virginity. Then again, they are oversexed whores who enjoy the bedtime company of pigs, so I shouldn't wonder at all

As I have said before: some people choose abstinence, some have it thrust upon them.

Like many, I'm not concerned with the Virgin Ben's sexual status so much as his misogynistic and sniggering attitude regarding women. Regardless of Shapiro's sexual status, his attitudes towards women is medieval at best. Whores or saints.

Here is the deal, I refrain from discussing Orthodox Judaism since I don't know anything about it, Ben should do the same about women.

posted by Tom at 8:51 PM


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