Friday, July 23, 2004

Back in a week
I implore my global readership not to abandon me - I will return, honest.  I'll see you both week after next.

In the meantime, go see what Satan and Skonrokk are up to.


"Man of action"
That's what Condoleeza Rice called Mr. Bush this morning.

Yes.   We all remember how he sprang into action on 9/11.


Thursday, July 22, 2004

Not politically motivated, oh no
The GOP House plans to investigate the Berger incident: 

Also Wednesday, the House Government Reform Committee announced it would launch a separate investigation into the matter.
Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., chairman of the Government Reform Committee, said the panel was launching its own inquiry because the Berger allegations "are deeply troubling."

Remember how "deeply troubled" Mr. Davis was when officials of the current administration blew a CIA agent's cover?  Me neither.
The FBI does not find the Berger allegations to be "deeply troubling": 

. . . a government official who asked not to be identified because of the political sensitivity of the matter said that FBI agents did not regard the Berger inquiry as "a front-burner-type of investigation."
. . . the FBI did not consider the incident to be a major threat to national security, a government official said.

I for one am deeply troubled by the GOP's selective sense of what is deeply troubling.

Update:  Kevin Drum  was deeply puzzled by this as well last night.   I think I may in future stick to blogging about my personal life and my hairstyles and such (I love to talk about my hair)  since I doubt I'll ever have any particularly original political observations . . .

Sandy Berger
Via Jack O'Toole, Fred Kaplan in Slate  gives a neat summary of the Sandy Berger affair.  My first reaction on hearing this on one of the a.m. shows a couple of days ago was, "Oh God.  Not again with the Clinton people.  WHAT is he covering up . . . "  But then it became increasingly clear that there was much less to the story than the initial reports indicated, and the GOP, abetted by lazy and/or dishonest broadcast media, was doing what it does best, which is keep the Democrats on the defensive.

Mr. Berger's carelessness with the documents ought to disqualify him from ever holding another national security post.   But the former National Security Advisor deserves points for diligence - no longer in office, he nonetheless spent days poring over national security documents, while the current NSA, bless her heart, can't even be bothered to read the ones that are handed to her.   (psst, Condi - look under the Neiman Marcus catalogue)


Wednesday, July 21, 2004


Too late
Andy says Mr. Bush "needs to avoid lapsing into incoherence."

Yeah.  That would be bad.

Poker with Dick Fucking Cheney


Tuesday, July 20, 2004

To my global readership
I probably won't be posting much this week, and I won't be posting at all next week (vacation, you know).  So don't go calling the state troopers when you can't find me, like my mom STILL does.
Maybe later this week I'll tell you about the handsome kayaker who this past weekend rescued me from the very jaws of death in the north inlet of Pawleys Island . . .


Thursday, July 15, 2004

The illustrious Rogue Planet blogroll
Just added:  Wookie.    ;)

What a maroon! 
Via Kevin Drum, the Libertarians pick another winner.

The Tawanna Brawley of France
Found her Al Sharpton in Andrew Sullivan.   Is that unfair?  Yes, but so what.  It's Andrew Sullivan.
You may recall reading a few days ago about a French woman who claimed to have attacked on a commuter train in Paris.  Her attackers were "six young men, who appeared to be of North African and African origin." 
One young man grabbed the woman's backpack and examined her identity papers, which gave her address as the upscale 16th Arrondissement of Paris.
"At this, one of them said, 'She's a rich kid,'" the police spokesman said.  "And then he adds, 'There are only Jews in the 16th.'"
The woman said the men slashed her clothes with a knife and drew three swastikas on her stomach.
Mr. Sullivan pounced on the story and used it slam Jacques Chirac.  "Yet another sickening anti-Semitic attack in France, and the usual blathering from Chirac about it.   When Chirac actually criticizes his favorite Arab states for fomenting anti-Semitism, then I'll take him seriously," huffed Andy.
What did Mr. Chirac say that Andy characterized as "blather?"   This:  President Jacques Chirac, in a statement on Saturday, asked that everything possible be done "to find the authors of this shameful act."
I guess that is blather.  It reminded me of some other blather I heard not too long ago: 
 "I want justice," Bush said. "And there's an old poster out West, I recall, that says, 'Wanted: Dead or Alive.'"
Now THAT'S some good blather.  Top that, Chirac, you . . . French person!
Anyway, so, Andy cannot take Mr. Chirac's promise to try to catch the perps seriously until Mr. Chirac "actually criticizes his favorite Arab states for fomenting anti-Semitism."    Yes, that makes perfect sense.    No, one cannot take Mr. Chirac's promise to catch anti-semitic lawbreakers in France until he denounces his "favorite Arab states."   I wonder what Mr. Chirac's "favorite Arab states" are?  Whoever they are, I think it is a dubious prospect that he will denounce them by name as vigorously as Mr. Bush has denounced, say, Saudi Arabia.
Of course as you now know the woman made up the whole story, and the usual blathering from Chirac about it:   "When there is a manipulation, the manipulator must be punished with the rigor of the law," [Chirac] said.   Puh-lease.   I'll take him seriously when he actually criticizes his favorite manipulator states for fomenting manipulation.
Btw,  Andy has apologized.    So I hope it's not wrong of me to make fun of him.

Blogger is TOTALLY pissing me off.   They've just fiddled with it and Cheneyed up the block quote feature.  Now you can block a quote, but it just blocks the whole rest of the post.  You can't unblock the following, non-quote text.   *&#@*&  it!


Michi notes that Jenna is listing .  .  .

But Saddam was a bad man!

Speaking of Busy Busy Busy, check out this analysis of recent Bush remarks. Mr. Bush is not as simple as he appears to be. It's not easy to pack that many factual errors and logical fallacies in one short statement.

Shorter Vermeule and Posner

"The mission of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel is not to be the executive's disinterested adviser, let alone its conscience. It is to be the executive's enabler."

Via Jack Balkin.

("Shorter" concept stolen from Busy Busy Busy)

The state of South Carolina has hired dreaded trial attorneys with an eye toward recovering the state's costs for removing mold from the governor's mansion. The state spent $5.6 million renovating the mansion a few years ago.

State hopes to recoup Governor's Mansion expense

By Aaron Gould Sheinin

Knight Ridder

COLUMBIA - Ridding the Governor's Mansion and two other buildings of mold will cost more than $1 million, State Budget and Control Board members were told Tuesday.
In response, the board members hired attorneys to try to get some of that money back.
Cleaning the mansion itself will cost $550,000, estimates Risk Tech, the Charleston company the state hired to fix the problem.
Repairs to two other buildings in the mansion complex, the Lace and Caldwell-Boylston houses, will cost a combined $491,000.
The state's top financial officers agreed to hire the law firm of Young Clement Rivers to investigate whether the state can recoup any costs.


Monday, July 12, 2004

Just 'cause there's a conspiracy theory

doesn't mean there's no conspiracy . . .

It couldn't happen to a nicer guy

Billmon on the investigation of Tom DeLay.

Maybe my invite got lost in the mail?

Yes, that must be it . . .

We could delay the election if necessary.

We're not saying that we would. Delay the elections. We just want to be ready. In case we have to. Delay the election. But don't worry! We're not going to! Unless, you know, it becomes necesssary. To delay the election. Not that we have plans to, like, delay the election. Just sayin', you know, it might - MIGHT - be necessary to delay the election. That's all. Don't worry. Let's talk about something else, like how a vote for Kerry is a vote for terror.

The unexamined booger is not worth . . . well, you know

Via tbogg, I learn about Meghan's trip to the shore. Will Meghan escape the oppressive minutia of her life as a servant to four imperious children and a remote husband and experience a spiritual and sexual awakening? And then, later, walk far into the sea? Naw. No such luck.

Thanks to tbogg I and many others have been introduced to the chronicles of America's Worst Mother, as tbogg calls her (I would just call her America's Most Pretentious Mother), and her four children, little Blake, Taylor, Brittainy, and Joshua. Ha! Just kidding - nothing so pedestrian and middlebrow for Meghan, whose children are actually named Philippa, Hyacinth, Persephone and Desenex. Kidding again! I'll leave the snarky commentary and names to tbogg, who does it so well.

I DO wonder one thing, though: When Meghan is frantically looking for little Phoebe, who'd just gone missing, did she REALLY describe the child to a stranger thusly:

An anxious woman emerges from the crowd, "What are you looking for?"

"Two year old, bright blonde hair, about this tall — " I gabble, looking past her.

"Bright" blonde hair? If you were in a panic, describing your missing child, would you have the presence of mind to add such a qualifier? At least Meghan didn't say, "Bright blonde hair, cornflower blue eyes, peaches and cream complexion . . . "

Of course her child wouldn't have plain ol' dirty blonde hair.

I feel hopelessly mean for even posting this. Maybe I'll delete later. No one will know . . .

New to the illustrious Rogue Planet blogroll

Go visit rightie Alec. Why? Because I'm fair and balanced. And because he emailed me. Yes, I am that easy (and no, he didn't ask for a plug. But he managed to relate gun, er, awareness to drunken-canoe-tipping prevention. I was impressed).

&#(O@&$in' Blogger. I've got a half a mind to demand a REFUND.


Thursday, July 08, 2004

Unravelling like a cheap sweater

Once again Mr. Bush gets a mite testy with a reporter:

President Bush on Wednesday questioned the fitness of Sen. John Edwards to assume the presidency, lashing out at the North Carolinian on his home turf just 25 hours after he joined Sen. John F. Kerry's ticket.

Bush had cordially welcomed the freshman senator to the race hours after Kerry announced his choice of running mate, but when asked here how Edwards would stack up against Vice President Cheney, he snapped: "Dick Cheney can be president. Next?" Then Bush pivoted away from his questioner and toward the next one.

Bush's criticism of Edwards reflected the determination of the White House to undermine him and prevent the Democrats from getting a significant boost from the choice, especially in the South.

Still, Bush's remarks surprised officials in both parties, especially as Bush had no national experience when he was elected to the top job in 2000.

In fairness to Mr. Bush, despite his lack of experience in 2000, after three years as Number Two he surely now is capable of taking over should, God forbid, anything happen to President Cheney.

Blogroll is broken

I didn't do it!

Velociman sent a nice email. I hope he doesn't mind me saying he says he was a little harsher than he intended to be in his Cos post.

He seems like a decent guy, and in that spirit I changed my blog description . . .


Wednesday, July 07, 2004

I TOLD you Satan was a Republican

I WEEP for our political discourse!

Sport crabbing

Acidman and daughter went sport crabbing. Sport-crabbing is when you lure the wily blue crab with a chicken neck or fish head tied to a string, as opposed to catching it in a trap.

I went sport-crabbing once with a couple of friends in a canoe in the creek in Garden City Beach. We loaded a cooler full of beer, a crab net, an empty cooler for all the crabs we were going to get, and a bag of chicken necks into the canoe. Then we climbed in. Before we set off, S said, "Whatever you do, if anybody's hat blows off, don't try to grab it. We said, "OK, got it."

So we we were paddling along. I'm sitting in the front, and my baseball cap blew off. T, sitting in the middle behind me, gallantly reached out to grab it. And the canoe started to tip. The horizon tilted before my eyes. I realized we were going all the way over, and just had time to let out a tiny squeak of dismay. Then I was hanging upside down in the drink. I extricated myself from the canoe, but I couldn't come up to the surface of the water - it was a cloudy day, raining intermittently, and I had on this rubber slicker. It filled with water and weighed me down. Also, I was laughing my ass off underwater.

I finally flailed to the surface and the first thing I heard was this man, on his porch overlooking the creek, just GUFFAWING. "AHAHAHAAHAHAHA! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! AHAHAHAHAHAHA!" Like that. That made me laugh even harder. S and T were grabbing the beers and scooping them back into the canoe and laughing their heads off. We got the canoe and everything out of the creek - luckily we hadn't gotten any crabs so we didn't have to contend with a bunch of pissed-off crabs swimming around us - out of the creek and back on the car, laughing uncontrollably the whole time. The guy on the porch was laughing the entire time too. I'm glad we were able to entertain him.

Later, I said, "I thought I was going to drown. I couldn't get my head above water." S and T said, "Yeah, we saw your ponytail floating on top of the water. We were like, 'why doesn't she come up?'"

"Why the heck didn't you pull up me up?" I said.

"We were saving the beers," they said.

The exclusive Rogue Planet blogroll

I've added some new links recently. I followed a link from that grouchy old bastard Acidman to Andymatic here, and wound up adding him because he's liberal and cute. Upon further perusal of his blog I have a sneaking suspicion I'm not his type, but he's still cute.

When I first checked out Andy's site he was in the thick of a heated discussion with Velociman here . I don't think I agree with anything Velociman says, but he seems to be fairly funny, unlike most righties, plus he has a picture of Angel Eyes on his blog, plus he linked to this guy, who was kind enough to rescue a poor little sick kitty with a diseased eye.

UPDATE: I wasn't kidding when I said I probably don't agree with anything Velociman says. Take this particular post, which is a perfect example of white man dumb-assness. Bitching about Bill Cosby not doing ENOUGH . . . Bill Cosby, for the love of Bejus, who has given hundreds of thousands of dollars for scholarships. Whiny-ass white people, Christ.

DOUBLE SECRET UPDATE Actually if I'm not mistaken Velociman is bitching not 'cause he thinks Bill Cosby hasn't done enough to help black people . . . he's bitching 'cause Cosby didn't start blasting black people earlier.

Fahrenheit 9/11

It's actually playing in Myrtle Beach. To packed houses!

It's wildly flawed, but wildly inspiring. I agree with much of what this article has to say about it, so read it. I'll just say that this movie had many shocking and troubling images: A dead Iraqi infant, wounded children, women with their faces horribly burned and maimed, all by our bombs; U.S. soldiers with their limbs blown off; our commander-in-chief, sitting frozen in a Florida classroom like, well, a deer paralyzed by onrushing headlights, for SEVEN MINUTES after being told the nation was under attack; Matt Lauer's spray-on hair circa 2002; Katie Couric's radioactive orange skin tint as she gushed, "Navy Seals rock!" You may have to avert your eyes from some of these scenes. I know I did.

One of my favorite parts that you probably won't read about anywhere else was a clip of President Cheney and Mr. Bush standing on an airport tarmac (it looked like) in 2000. President Cheney is defending his association w/Halliburton, saying he's proud to be associated with Halliburton, etc. Then Mr. Bush butts in, all eager-like, and makes this dopey remark to the effect that "they're [Cheney's critics] just mad 'cause they don't have an energy policy."

You could almost hear President Cheney thinking: "God damn it, shut the fuck up, Junior. I'll tell you when you to talk."

Damn you to HELL, blogger!


Thursday, July 01, 2004

It's all about ME!

The other day I went to the mall and bought myself a new skirt, made in India, and as I read the washing instructions on the label I thought about how textile workers in South Carolina were now free to pursue careers as spine surgeons or migrant farm laborers or fast food engineers thanks to the workers in India who fabricated my new skirt (pink, double-layer cotton voile). Later I went to the bookstore/cafe, and as I sipped a latte and skimmed the New York Times I pondered to myself on the importance of avoiding the temptation to talk about myself all the time, to insert myself into every anecdote, to act as I'm the center of the universe, to bore my readers with my banal musings. I absently played with one of my earrings as I pondered this. As I played with my earring I remembered purchasing it from a Mexican man who rented a table at the slave market in Charleston, next to Gullah women weaving baskets from native grasses. "Gracias, senorita, gracias!" said the vendor, flashing his teeth in a grateful grin. I wandered over to inspect one of the sweetgrass baskets, and as I stooped down, one of the weavers said, "Missy, w'enebbuh you ben' yo buzzum sho am bus' out yo clawt'! Lawd jedus, you oughts to haa'ness dem 'tings! You is ondeestunt!" Even though I had no idea what she was saying, I sensed the warm good will in her voice and laughed gaily in reply, whereupon she rolled her eyes elaborately, which I believe is a Gullah way of expressing hospitality. Then my earring got tangled in my hair, jolting me out of my reverie, and I made a mental note to myself not to fall into this trap - the trap of blathering incessantly about myself - when posting on my blog.

Then I thought, Oh, why the hell not? It's not like I'm some big shot JOURNALIST, with a column in the NEW YORK TIMES, for Chrissakes . . . why shouldn't I write about ME?

Blind loyalty

It's not just for Bush supporters:

By Lin Noueihed
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Saddam Hussein stands accused of gassing Iraq's Kurds, crushing its Shi'ites and condemning thousands to death in his dreaded torture chambers, but some Iraqis still want him back as president.
"I don't know why they are trying Saddam. He is guilty of nothing," said Ahmed Abdallah, a student from Baghdad's Sunni Muslim Adhamiya district, once favored by Saddam.
"If it were up to me, I would bring him back as president today, not tomorrow."


THE PRESIDENT: "I'm honored to shake the hand of the man who shaked the hand of the man who cut off the hands of those other brave men whose hands I shaked."


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