September 30, 2004

Post #20---Why Dubya Won

Bush won because he sounded like Gary Cooper from High Noon,
while Kerry sounded like Mrs. Olsen from "little house on the prairie" (heavens, how much is this fighting terrorism costing!)

Also, because markets don't lie while MSM pundits do, Bush's reelection contract is on the rise at Tradesports, while the Kerry Election contract is falling. (Up $.70 for Bush to $66.7, Kerry down $.60 to $35.4) (see updates below at least to answer Glenn's question---yes, they are responding)

I feel a little like Randolph or Mortimer Duke here watching the Trading Screen.....mmmmmmmmm....Pork bellies, up!.....Frozen orange juice, down!.......Kerry, escargot!

Third reason: let me use a tennis analogy. Why did Pete Sampras always win? Because he was steady, consistent, and had the fewest unforced errors. Long-haired pre-Steffi Agassi had the style, the hair, and the moves, but Pete has twice as many Grand Slam trophies in his den. Why? He was more consistent.

Bush did what he had to do: no unforced errors, played to his strength, and didn't try to be what he isn't.

Kerry, oddly enough, was at his best when the two were talking about their kids--you could see the bobblehead routine stop and he acted, oddly, human. But that was around the eightieth minute.

BTW, the numbering got screwed up when I put in the pshop of the John Kerry Bobblehead doll....

Supremo LLama YIPS to our old pal INDC Bill and to the Creator of Worlds for the linkety-bling bling. Thanks, guys!

FURTHER UPDATE: The non-committed voter in the house is refusing to answer political questions at the moment, and I sense it's in my best interests to leave it at that.

MORE FROM THE MARKETS: Check out the tracking of the market during the debates. Here's the "Bush reelected" contract:

bush reelect contract.gif
The market time is five hours ahead.

Here's Kerry during the same time period:

kerry market debate 1.gif

Notice the fear early in the day, which lessened over the course of the evening when he didn't pull an Al Gore. Bush's numbers rose during the day as Kerry's fell (coinciding with the "we're going to tear the lights off with a screwdriver" spin) then both realigned right at the start, and Bush has bounced around while Kerry has rose from the low of the day.

Here's the list of all their election contracts, which I'm too beat at the moment to comb through.

A couple of things stand out though: look at the Kerry/Bush contracts on who will win the popular vote---Kerry is rising in that one (by $4). Bush fell during the day but is rising now too (still down $1.9 for the day). The Bush electoral college collection numbers are rising, with the contract betting that he gets at least 300 electoral votes up to $52. In terms of individual states, huge swings all around. Big gains for Bush in the Florida contract (+$2.3 to $67.3), Arkansas, and West Virginia (+$5 to $86), with big downturns for Ohio (-$5.9 to $67.1), as well as New Mexico and Oregon.

We'll revisit these numbers over the next 48 hours to see how the market judges the outcomes, and compare them to the quickie @800 person polls the networks will run with.

END of the Day analysis: Kerry dropped during the day, rose in the evening, closed even. Bush rose during the day, dropped in the evening, rose during the debate, dropped during the spin period after, down $2.3 for the day.

Posted by Steve at 10:59 PM | Comments (4)

Kerry's big boner

Watch it folks, I'm not talking Al Gore airbrush Rolling Stone cover city---I'm talking gaffe city.

I missed it at first, but then it sank in from my notes:

Kerry mentioned our attacking Iraq after 9/11 would have been like FDR attacking Mexico after Pearl Harbor.

Now here's a question: what exactly did Nazi Germany have to do with Pearl Harbor?

Absofreakinglutely nothing.

If you go and read FDR's "Day of Infamy" speech, there is not one single reference to Nazi Germany or a role for America in the war in Europe. Not one.


Yet, within months, FDR decided to pursue a "Europe First" strategy which involved our putting the core of the United States Army into North Africa and then into Europe, on the other side of the planet from the perpetrators of the Pearl Harbor attack in Japan.

Why did he do this? Partly in response to the belief that Nazi Germany was developing a nuclear weapon.

Can you imagine what would have happened to Tom Dewey if he had tried to rip into FDR in the campaign of 1944 on this issue? He would have been crucified, and rightly so.

And of course, fifty nine years later we still have two US Army heavy divisions stationed in Germany.

The other gaffe for Kerry was consistenly referring to Osama bin Laden as a "criminal" therefore implying that the proper context of the war on terrorism is one of law enforcement, not military action.

The third was the inconsistency on North Korea: why do we need to jettison our allies (Japan and South Korea) as well as China so that we can give Krazy Kim what he wants, billateral talks that he can then get up and walk away from? Is it that France has no interests at stake there, hmmmmm? (Use your best Judge Smales voice when pronouncing that "hmmmm")

UPDATE: Bill as the Fonz? I'm thinking Potsie, at best....

UPDATE DEUX: Controversy is roiling in the Tasty Bits Comments section over my analysis of why we entered into WW2 against Nazi Germany and the connection (or lack thereof) to Pearl Harbor.

First of all, the erudite and classically trained rhetoritician "BUSHIT" writes in "LEARN YUR HERSTORY BEFORE YOU VOMIT FOR THE CHIMPEROR!" Well, I punched it up a bit, but you get the drift. Another writer quite soberly asks if that in fact came letter.

I have a long answer to these questions up above, in the post "9/11 and the Invasion of Iraq, I."

Posted by Steve at 10:45 PM | Comments (9)


Kerry mentions draft, 1008. CBS News collectively pees in its pants. Personally, I'm waiting for Kerry to explain his policy on Darfur from this email forwarded to him by CBS which offers a plan to end the genocide, if only he'll send them his SSN and mother's maiden name....

Bush mentions always keeping an all volunteer military 1030.

Bush is rolling with clear declarative sentences, active voice.

Wrap-up in a bit.


Here's Reynolds, Hugh Hewitt too.

Ace of Spades is being perfectly honest and taking the night off (at least from blogging). So if Oliver Willis winds up with a flaming bag of poop on his doorstep, I know who I'm going to thank.....

calls it a draw, gives it to Kerry on points but has this beaut of a line about the Chimperor's demeanor: 的 have a country to protect, and the man I知 standing next to won稚 do it as well as me葉hough he値l tell you what you want to hear. And I知 tired of his listening to his bullshit.

Wizbang: oddly, not much debate stuff, but this gem: Mike Moore is coming to Charlottesville. Looks like a chance for me to steal some schtick from Bill and do some Moonbat research of my own.

Sandcrawler: Rusty's stuck at Tataoine Tech. But I'm sure we'll hear more later.

Posted by Steve at 10:30 PM | Comments (1)


I think this North Korea angle is going to not work, because it undermines the whole multilateral issue for Kerry.

Allah is on a tear too.

Posted by Steve at 10:26 PM | Comments (0)


Kerry hasn't scored any points I don't believe; more so, I think Bush is showing his strength, which is sober consistency.

What's the deal with Kerry's goof grin?

Bush---Beslan angle.


tee hee.

The Commissar is on a roll.

Posted by Steve at 10:21 PM | Comments (1)


Mixed messages....

wasn't that a bad Rod Stewart song, circa 1978?

Oh yeah, right, bad Rod Stewart song is an oxymoron...

Kerry's admired Bush's daughters......? Perv.

bush twins.jpeg


Kerry---I've never wilted.


My positiong is consistent---I will do what it takes to nail down the Democratic base.

Posted by Steve at 10:15 PM | Comments (1)


Stephen Green is ripping up a storm at Vodkapundit right now.

Posted by Steve at 10:07 PM | Comments (0)

Hong Kong Fooey

kerry karate.jpg

Green is on a roll, too.

Posted by Steve at 10:04 PM | Comments (1)

11--How much do you trust the French and the UN?

The next war question

Bush is bringing up Libya---good point.

He's chanelling Gary Cooper from High Noon.

What this coming down to is do you trust the French and the UN?

If Bush can hang the issue on that.......

Here's an oldie but goodie from the Llama files on this point:

kerry retreat small.jpg

10:01---cites de Gaulle in context of having world leader's whose respect you want. Harry S Truman's zombie walks in and bitch slaps Kerry.

Posted by Steve at 09:58 PM | Comments (1)


Ooops--J. Francois just lost France and Germany!

"Iraq useful for Israel....."

Long term designs on Iraq---can you imagine Tom Dewey making that comment in a debate in 1944?

Bush is hammering this consistency point

A stir is caused slightly off camera as Secret Service drags out zombie ghost of Woodrow Wilson, wearing a rainbow Afro wig ala Rockin Rollen, waving a sign that says "Jesus Saves, but Never Trust the Effing French!"

Posted by Steve at 09:50 PM | Comments (0)

John Kerry Bobblehead doll

john kerry bobblehead.jpg

Available from Llamabutcher Industries!

Posted by Steve at 09:48 PM | Comments (0)


Did Kerry just apologize for his 1971 Testimony by impugning the vets?

Posted by Steve at 09:47 PM | Comments (0)


Who else has a military that can deploy with us other than the Brits and Aussies?

Maybe I'm missing something here.

Posted by Steve at 09:39 PM | Comments (0)


Kerry: L'aide est sur le chemin!

9:29--2nd Vietnam reference. Two shots of teqila.

And who are the missing allies?

Ah, oui.

9:33---Halliburton reference.

Bush---Totally absurd.

What's the deal with Kerry's smirking?

What do you say to Tony Blair? PM of Poland?


Zombie ghost of FDR rolls onto stage, punches Kerry in the nuts.

I don't appreciate it when a presidential candidate denigrates our allies...

Strangely reminiscent of the line from Animal House, "And frankly, I'm not going to stand here and listen to you denigrate the United States of America! Gentlemen? (Deltas leave auditorium, humming Battle Hymn of the Republic)

Posted by Steve at 09:33 PM | Comments (0)


Wonder how long it will be until the draft question?

9:27----Bush articulates neocon vision. Leo Strauss gets out of his grave, pisses on the grave of Hubert Humpherey.

Posted by Steve at 09:28 PM | Comments (0)


Kerry----First responders line?

Notice how pissed Bush looks?


Best way to protect homeland is go on offense---we have to be right 100%, they only have to succeed once.

Good line.

Will the public link the tax cuts to homeland security? Not sure if that's a sale line.

Bush---best way to be safe--hunt the terrorists down.

Kerry looks agitated, but maybe that's just me.

Posted by Steve at 09:25 PM | Comments (0)


Can he tie Iraq into GWOT?

"Main reason we can succeed in Iraq is if people want to be free."

What's the deal with Kerry's makeup? He's gone from the Great Pumpkin to Caspar the friendly ghost in 48 hours.


He's opened up issue of body armor---Bush is going to open him up on this. Who voted against this stuff for years?


He voted for it, now against it.

Why is Kerry bobbling his head?

Posted by Steve at 09:20 PM | Comments (0)


Gravitas gap....

"where do you want me to begin (silly laugh)"

9:14---first Vietnan reference

200 billion for blah blah blah


Flip-flop attack 9:16 p.m.

Bush saying UN not following through

pre september 10th mentality....hoping on others to make world safe.

Good line.

Posted by Steve at 09:15 PM | Comments (0)


"I am going to hunt down and kill the terrorists..."


General Admiral Crowe?

Outsourced that job.....?

Posted by Steve at 09:11 PM | Comments (0)

Debate 1

"People know where I stand......."

That was the only way to answer that question.

He's on a roll here.

Dial-up connection is slow.

Posted by Steve at 09:09 PM | Comments (0)

Snap Debate Prediction

Jim Geraghty over at the Kerry Spot is predicting that J. Francois will do pretty well tonight, keeping his cool, concentrating on selling himself and not being overly wordy.

Maybe. But one thing to keep in mind is that it probably isn't enough for Kerry to play short yardage in this debate. He can't just do a series of three yard dink passes. That'll leave the swing voters as tepid as they already are. He's got to make something happen to reverse the trends, notwithstanding the fact that the MSM are already busy drafting their "Kerry Surges Back" stories. It isn't so easy to fool people any more. Kerry genuinely has to inject some fire into his campaign. Here. Now. In other words, he's got to throw deep.

Furthermore, to extend the analogy, I can't seriously believe that Bush is going to play back and give him the short passes. Bush is going to (or should) try and pin Kerry down, to blitz, as it were. Kerry's foreign policy position is about as porous as the Miami Dolphins' front line these days. It's the single weakest part of his platform. And more people are going to watch tonight than either of the remaining two debates.

Given all that, I'm not so sure Kerry isn't going to give in to his instincts.

Bottom line - if it's a dull, cautious debate, the status quo (i.e., a steady trend towards Bush) probably won't change much. That's not going to help Kerry. If the candidates mix it up, I think Kerry will wind up hurting himself. But at least he'll go down in a blaze.

What a choice.

Posted by Robert at 06:02 PM | Comments (0)

Someone Is Trying To Uncover Steve-O's Stack O' Political Porn

Google search that led here: "Nancy Pelosi pic."

I think it must be this one. Here ya go, Sonny:

fahrenheit cast party.jpg

Posted by Robert at 05:05 PM | Comments (0)

More Llama Musickal Posting

This may surprise those of you who think this Llama is a stuffed-shirt on matters musical: Playing at the moment, the Chieftains - Bonaparte's Retreat.

Apart from the horse's-assed romanticizing of the French Revolution (a chronic Irish problem), a good album.

Despite my Scots background, whenever I listen to the Chieftains, I always feel like my eyes are starting to shade from blue to green.

Which reminds of an old one:

It is said that the Irish brought the bagpipes to the Scots some time in the 12th Century. The Scots still haven't caught on to the joke.

Posted by Robert at 03:46 PM | Comments (0)

What Would We Do Without Researchers?

Caffeine withdrawal is real.

[Insert Elaine Beniss-like "Get....OUT!"]

[A]nalysis shows as little as one cup of coffee can cause an addiction, and withdrawal from caffeine produces any of five clusters of symptoms in some people:

- Headache, the most common symptom, which affects at least of 50 percent of people in caffeine withdrawal

- Fatigue or drowsiness

- "Unhappy" mood, depression, or irritability

- Difficulty concentrating

- Flu-like symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, and stiffness.

"Onset of these symptoms typically occurs within 12 to 24 hours of stopping caffeine and peaks one to two days after stopping," Griffiths tells WebMD. "The duration is between two and nine days."

12 to 24 hours, my fanny. I wake up with all of them every day! It's only after I get my cup o' joe that they go away.

Coffee-crazed Yips! to Jen(nifer).

Posted by Robert at 03:11 PM | Comments (1)

Liveblogging the debate

I'll be liveblogging the debates tonight, so I'm going to log off and do some chores. Stephen Green has a good debate prep round-up. See you back here later!

(hopefully I'll be able to pull off some livepshopping too!)

So I'll leave you with this:

great pumpkin kerry.jpg

YIPS! from Robbo: Just so you know, I don't intend to liveblog. (With AOL and dial-up access? Are you freakin' kidding me?) I'll certainly watch and maybe even take some notes. If I have anything brilliant to say, I'll save it for afterwards.

Posted by Steve at 02:57 PM | Comments (3)

That was then, this was now

John Edwards appealing to white evangelicals in West Virginia:

John Edwards says voters should know that religion is important to him and to presidential candidate John Kerry but the issue shouldn't be used to divide people in the election.

"My faith is very important to me, and the same is true of John Kerry," the Democratic vice presidential candidate and son of a deacon said in a brief interview with The Associated Press after a campaign stop in West Virginia.

"The two of us talk about our faith with each other," he said Wednesday. "Our faith is important to us and it's always been important to us, and people should know that."

Edwards, a Methodist, said most Americans want a good leader a man who is a good husband and a good father "and if they're a person of faith, that helps."

"I don't think that faith should be used to divide us," he said.

As both parties battle for votes, their candidates are making multiple stops in West Virginia, a Bible Belt state with five electoral votes.

President Bush (news - web sites), who has visited West Virginia nine times since April, has found staunch support among conservative Christians. At rallies across the state, dozens have cited his faith in God as the main reason for their support more important than jobs, the economy and the war in Iraq.

John Edwards last Sunday speaking to an African American congregation in Detroit:

Edwards: Attack ad is 'immoral"

DETROIT Blasting the 妬mmoral forces working to re-elect President George W. Bush, Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards called on churchgoers to rise up against a batch of increasingly venomous attack ads.

Addressing a congregation of about 200 at the New St. Paul Tabernacle Church of God in Christ on Sunday, the North Carolina senator lashed an ad now running in Iowa and Wisconsin that shows images of September 11 hijacker Mohammed Atta, Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein before fading to a photo of John Kerry. 展ould you trust Kerry against the fanatic killers? the ad asks.

典hey池e trying to exploit one of our nation痴 greatest tragedies for personal gain, Edwards said. 的t is immoral. This is not a political issue. We池e all going to do whatever it takes to keep this country safe.

The ad is by Progress for America Voter Fund, an affiliate of a group created by longtime Republican consultant and former Bush aide Tony Feather.

Michigan Republican Party spokesman Chris Paolino called Edwards comments 塗ypocritical. The Democrats ... have associated themselves with groups that compare President Bush to Adolf Hitler and that痴 inappropriate.

... This election and our country is very much affected by what happened September 11 (and) it痴 an issue that should be talked about, Paolino said.

The Kerry-Edwards campaign responded quickly to the ad with a response ad titled 泥espicable. It quotes a New York Times editorial condemning GOP tactics insinuating that a vote for Kerry is a vote for the terrorists. The Kerry-Edwards ad calls the tactic 殿n un-American way to campaign.

Congregation member Forlendi Quarles, 44, of Detroit laughed at the thought of connecting Kerry to terrorism. 典hat痴 like saying if you vote for Bush, you池e voting for organized crime, Quarles said. 的t痴 ridiculous.

Edwards sought to use the ad as a means to rally the Democratic faithful in Detroit. 典hey池e trying to divide us on an issue that is very important, Edwards said. 的t痴 important to stand up and speak out against the immoral forces out there.

Okay, so let me see if I have this straight: religion shouldn't be used to turn out the base when it's the other guys base that's being turned out. When it is your base, it's okey-dokey, because Bushitler is the anti-Christ.

Posted by Steve at 02:37 PM | Comments (0)

Good thing Kerry will have his magic hat with him

A little last minute theatre:

An angry exchange between representatives of the Kerry campaign and the Commission on Presidential Debates took place just hours before the candidates were to meet at the University of Miami for the first of three debates, according to several officials familiar with the meeting. Kerry's team threatened to remove the lights when they visit the debate site with the candidate later in the day.

"We'll do what we have to," Kerry strategist Tad Devine said after his meeting with the commission. But he also suggested the dispute will pass once Kerry's team makes its point. "We'll beat them over the head a little bit, then we'll see what happens."

What is it with these Democrats and their threats of physical violence?

Posted by Steve at 02:26 PM | Comments (1)

Okay, Okay! We Get it! We Get It!

Judging from certain, uh, subtle comments left here lately, it finally occured to us that INDCent Bill just might want us to vote for him in the WaPo's "Best Inside The Beltway Blog" competition. I quote you the latest:

.. ... ... kill kill kill kill kill ... with ussss ... againsssst usssss ... kill .... kill ... ... ... ... ...

We'd have picked up on it earlier, except Bill's got such a Kerry-like nuance about him.

Anyway, we went and had a look at the ballot. Bill's chief concern is taking down The-Blogger-We-Will-Not-Name-Who-Nonetheless-Has-Mysteriously-Reappeared-On-Our-Blogroll. Well, since this poll is presumably based on quality of blog content, as opposed to which blogger you'd most like to take to a latex convention, we'll be happy to go with Bill. You should to.

Now, speaking of nuance, you did notice Bill, did you not, that we *ahem* just installed a new tipjar?

YIPS from Steve: Just so everyone knows this bit of inside pool: INDCent Bill has declared a fatwah against all things Wonkette. Why? Because she's a no-talent skank, I guess. However, after meeting Wonkette at the political science association a month ago, and falling sway to her fetching charms and powers of persuasion, we have declared the Llamabutchers the official Anti-anti-Wonkette blog. Consider us the Salman Rushdie of blogs, if you will.

Still, we have now voted for INDCent Bill as "best inside the beltway blog" a total of 43 times (requiring too many separate logins and registrations, mind you). I'm actually thinking of assigning it to my classes, and have mentioned it on the radio when I did a call-in guest spot yesterday. But is that enough for INDCent Bill???? Noooooooooo!

Will he force a recantation? Perhaps the rack and hot tongs will do the trick---there is no mercy lurking behind the cruel heart of INDC Journal. Yet, even if I publicly recant my Wonkette-luvin' heresy, I will hang my head, look down to my lap, and mutter, "Eppur si muove!"

Posted by Robert at 01:29 PM | Comments (2)

Good Question

Roger Simon asks a question I've thought of posting half a dozen times this morning. I'm glad I'm not the only one wondering about this.

Posted by Robert at 01:00 PM | Comments (0)

Waugh-king Tall

Alright, a terrible, terrible title, I admit.

But Stefan Beck of the New Criterion has a piece over at NRO today about Evelyn Waugh, the sin of Sloth and American political attitudes towards Iraq that is very much worth reading.

Posted by Robert at 12:14 PM | Comments (3)


Terry Teachout posts a quote that all fans of flicks such as LOTR and Master and Commander should have burned into their foreheads:

There is a simple law governing the dramatization of novels: if it is worth doing, it can't be done; if it can be done, it isn't worth it. Trash can be just as trashy on the stage as in an armchair, but when an artist has conceived of something as a novel, let those who think they know a reason why his matter should not be married to his manner forever hold their peace.

John Simon, Acid Test

Posted by Robert at 11:51 AM | Comments (4)

Bloggers are from Mars


Eric Cartman, Star Tribune Reporter: Ai! There are no goddam alien bloggers! This is not happening! Son of a BITCH!!

Eloise the Spitbull reaches for the probe......

UPDATE: Kathy the Cake Eater is masked, gloved and gowned as well.

Posted by Robert at 11:16 AM | Comments (1)

Oh my.

I don't know exactly why, but this could very well be the most sincerely hilarious yet at the same time most absolutely pathetically sad thing I've ever read.

I wonder if there's a way we could empirically measure the paranoia level over at the Democratic Underground and come up with a rating level---the far left desperation indicator perhaps. It would be useful right up there with the electronic political futures markets as an indicator ahead of the polls.

BTW, John Hawkins is keeping tabs on the DU for us---personally, I haven't gotten the proper shots to observe the fevered swamps up close and personal.

Posted by Steve at 10:37 AM | Comments (3)

Llama A.P.B.

Just wanted to let all y'all know that Liz and Pep are back manning Truly Bad Films. If you don't read it regularly, you should. Think of it as a shot of rum in your morning coffee.

Posted by Robert at 10:28 AM | Comments (0)


I apologize for the lack of chattiness this morning. I'm still tangling with something of a cold that's making the rounds. Watery eyes, soar throat, yadda, yadda, yadda.

I hope it doesn't develope into anything worse, as I happen to have tomorrow off. Did I mention that? Oh, yes. One of the perks of guv'mint service is the availability of a compressed work schedule that, at least theoretically, gives one every other Friday off. (I say "theoretically" because it is, of course, subject to the pressures of workload and deadlines.) Happily, my caseload is pretty light at the moment, so there's no good reason for me to come in tomorrow.

I know two people who are clenching their teeth even as they read this. One is our Llama Military Correspondent, to whom even the appearance of slacking is anathema. The other is the Butcher's Wife. Now that the kids are all in school, she has gone back to teaching full time. In fact, I do believe that tomorrow, apart from sick days, will be the very first time that she has to get up and go to work and I don't.

Well, I've got only one thing to say to the LMC and the Missus: HA-ha!

(Lest you think I'm going to spend the whole day eating bonbons and watching Oprah, let me just say here and now that I intend to rise with the lark, put on my wellies and head to the garden for a serious session of transplanting and pruning. But I'll save the details of that for another post.)

Posted by Robert at 10:21 AM | Comments (1)

Big Llama Yips!

Allow us to extend add our congratulations to INDC Bill for another solid piece of investigative blogging on CBS's bogus bringing-back-the-draft story, based entirely on an email scam that's making the rounds. It's not every day that someone we know gets picked up by Glenn and NRO's Kerry Spot.

Well done, indeed!

My favorite quote of the piece comes from Linda Karas, a CBS producer:

"The truth of the e-mails were absolutely irrelevant to the piece, because all the story said was that people were worried. It痴 a story about human beings that are afraid of the draft. We did not say that this (e-mail) was true, it痴 just circulating. We are not verifying the e-mail."

I gasped when I read that. (As an aside, isn't this exactly the way the MSM has been treating junk-science environmental scaremonger stories for years? Never mind if the reports of Alar-contaminated apples are false! Never mind that the "Greenhouse Effect" is still, at best, only a theory! People are still worried about these things and therefore we're justified in running with them!)

If CBS is looking for a "feel good" story, might I suggest the new economic optimism some people are experiencing based on emails they've been receiving from various former African Heads of State promising untold wealth if only they do a minimal amount of banking work? After all, according to CBS, the veracity of the emails is irrelevant - if they're making people happy, surely that's the important point.

Posted by Robert at 09:36 AM | Comments (1)

September 29, 2004

Teaching While Intoxicated?

The Smoking Gun has a silly little story. Apparently, some margaritas accidentally were served to third, fourth and fifth graders at Alexandria VA's Country Day School. (The stuff was left over from a staff party and had been placed in the school fridge, where it was mistaken for "limeade" by someone looking for lunch drinks for the kids.)

What struck me about the story was the letter of apology sent home with the kiddies by someone called "Alexander Harvey IV" who styles himself the Head of School. Smoking Gun reproduces the doc. Take a look at it and bear in mind that this is a very pricey private school. You'd think that any parent sending a kid there would expect the very best for their little Jayson or Dakota. Mr. Harvey's note suggests to me that such expectation might be a wee bit overblown. The thing is poorly worded, grammatically incorrect and long-winded to the point of being nearly incoherent. Were a student to turn in such work, any teacher worth their salt would tear it to shreds immediately.

I'll be charitable and suggest that Mr. Harvey probably was disposing of the last of the offending beverage as he wrote this note. The alternative explanation, that the man is only semi-literate, does not bear worth thinking about.

Quis custodiet, indeed.

Posted by Robert at 05:02 PM | Comments (0)

Finally, the issues amerikans care about the most!

From the Tasty Bits Mail Sack:

"Enough snarking about Oompah-loompahgate, Tribegate, Rathergate, Draftgate, schmate tate freight late bait mate weight crate-gate! We 'Merikans want you bloggers to give us the ISSUES! Snark-assed college boy losers!"

Well now. Issues? We blog the issues, buddy!

For example: Sheila wants to know who is your favorite muppet, and why?

And no, the durn Sesame Street rotters don't count!

BTW, the correct answer is "Beaker."

Posted by Steve at 04:56 PM | Comments (4)

Yoiks! Hark Forrard, Hounds!

Reason No. 1045 why the Blogsphere so totally rocks: The Official Anglican Fox Hunting Webpage, courtesy of Ecclesia Anglicana (BTW, 1928 Prayer Book rules, Taylor!)

I think this is hysterical. However, if your idea of nature was formed by Bambi, don't look at the photos. Me, I revel in them. I've never hunted fox, although I can ride hunt seat and even used to do a bit of jumping. I've always wanted to try it. Indeed, I wish this lot would come round my neighborhood, as there are foxes all over the place.

Yips! (or is it Yoiks?) to The Irish Elk.

Posted by Robert at 04:39 PM | Comments (3)

inside pool

I blame Rusty!

Posted by Steve at 04:05 PM | Comments (0)

Afternoon sneeze guard alert

"Danger Will Robinson!" indeed.

Posted by Steve at 03:45 PM | Comments (0)

More Musickal Posting

Terry Teachout has an interesting review of a revival of Rameau's 1745 opera Platee.

I've never heard this work, but I've always enjoyed the Rameau that I do know. I don't for an instant pretend to have any expertice on the subject of the French Baroque, but I dimly remember reading about the range of dramatic emotion Rameau injected into opera, as well as his bold harmonic structures. I do know from personal experience that his keyboard works translate better to the piano than do those of Couperin or Lully, FWIW.

I have a great recording of Rameau's Dardanus Suite. I also have a book of his Nouvelles suites de pieces de clavecin, in which I occassionally dabble. In fact, I was fiddling around with No. 11 - la poule ("the hen")- the other day when my oldest girl commented on it. The piece has a distinct "clucking" feature specifically meant to imitate a chicken and she remarked that it sounded very "fussy."

Aaaanyway, I digress. I really wanted to bring up the link just for drooling purposes. [Insert Homer Simpson-like sounds o' slobber.]

Posted by Robert at 03:40 PM | Comments (0)

Goose in orange sauce?

Annika's asking the questions that Mary Mapes dares not.

Posted by Steve at 03:40 PM | Comments (0)

afternoon humor

I adore any joke that involves James Madison kicking Osama in the balls.

UPDATE: More in the Virgnia humor vein.

Posted by Steve at 03:35 PM | Comments (1)

Bitch slapping Lurch into submission

We'll hold Brain Fertilizer's coat while he does the work.

Posted by Steve at 03:31 PM | Comments (0)

Thar she blows!

No, not a Wonkette link. Rather, Mt. St. Helens pics. Cool stuff.

Posted by Steve at 03:29 PM | Comments (0)

Tradesports Electronic Futures Market

The Kerry Elected Contract is still flat, but notice the band of prices in the bid/ask column, compared to the band of prices in the Bush Reelected Contract.

What does it mean? I'm not entirely sure. But it's interesting.

Posted by Steve at 03:10 PM | Comments (0)

I guess hating America didn't extend to its protection of prisoner rights

Johnny Taliban wants his sentence commuted.

Posted by Steve at 03:04 PM | Comments (1)

Banned Books Meme - Update

The little Banned Book Meme that I started up yesterday has been flitting far and wide across the Blogsphere. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who thought of this, but I can at least claim to be one of the headwaters. (BTW, see the comments to my post for some additional good stuff.)

Anyhoo, even though I was just playing for fun, I asked some questions about how exactly the list of "100 Most Frequently Challenged Books" came about. Well Beth over at Booknook has some background, along with facts and figures and some very sensible thoughts on how and where libraries should restrict book access, most particularly in the school context.

I think that most reasonable people naturally revolt at the idea of censorship insofar as it brings to mind images of Nazi book-burning and Farenheit 451. But the info Beth serves up also serves as a warning not to go overboard in the opposite direction, notwithstanding American Library Association sensationalism.

Posted by Robert at 03:01 PM | Comments (0)

Grasping at straws

The Red Sawx have a new good luck charm: Pedro Martinez's lucky midget. (And yes, that would be a good name for a blog).

The Irish Elk has all the details, of course.

Posted by Steve at 02:59 PM | Comments (0)

Bloggers go mainstream

How long will it take to have blogging become a story line in a cheesy sitcom? Probably after blogging is the featured angle of a murder on Law & Order: Classic.

But in the meantime, blogging goes mainstream with the debut of Pundit Radio. What's our angle? We're going to flog the heck out of this in the vain hope of becoming a guest. What with Rusty breaking onto the air on MSNBC, it's time to get the LLamas off Animal Planet and go nationwide, bay-beeee!

Yips! from Robbo. Have I ever mentioned that I do impressions? S'true! My wife has said for years that I ought to be doing voices for The Simpsons. And just ask my kids about my Grover impersonation while reading The Monster At The End Of This Book. I guar-on-tee that if we ever get this gig it'll be a solid laugh riot.

Posted by Steve at 02:31 PM | Comments (1)

Does a screenshot of your blog on MSNBC count as a media appearance or better yet a publication for tenure?

Rusty drives the Sandcrawler right up Keith Olberman's puckered wazoo.

Way to go, Rusty!

Posted by Steve at 02:26 PM | Comments (2)

Campaign Issue Keep-Away

Despite his newfound Tall Horseness, J. Francois must be trembling with frustration at the campain issues that keep getting tossed out of reach over his head.

Headline from CNN's site this morning: Poll - Economy Give Kerry Opportunity.

Story from the WaPo this afternoon: U.S. economic growth adjusted upward for Second Quarter.

To quote Nelson Mutz: HA-ha!

Posted by Robert at 02:14 PM | Comments (0)

Bonfire of the Vanities---Coming Next Week to the Llamabutchers!

Next week we'll be hosting the Bonfire of the Vanities! Any ideas or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Hopefully for then we'll have the roll-out of the new look template, plus all the bells and whistles (pay pal, Llamabutcher T-Shirts, blogads) of muckety-muckdom. Woo-hoo---early retirement here we come!

Posted by Steve at 02:10 PM | Comments (0)

Paint it red!

Wizbang with some interesting news regarding the "swing" states.

Posted by Steve at 01:56 PM | Comments (0)

Flailing 'Fins

Just how bad is it? Go look at Dr. Z's Power Rankings this week. Top team - the Pats. (Pace Steve-O, BOO!! HISSSS!!!) The back marker? You know who.

In all the years I have been following Dr. Z's weekly polls, I have never, ever seen Miami in the cellar. In fact, I've never even seen them out of about the top 15.

Oh, the pain.....the pain....

Posted by Robert at 01:25 PM | Comments (0)

Fish in the water, starboard bow and closing

Swift Vet #6 (by my count at least): how do you think the wives of our POWs took to John Kerry's 1971 Testimony?

Posted by Steve at 01:15 PM | Comments (0)

Vote early and often

INDCent Bill is threatening to drop Rob's daughter's pet goldfish into the blender and serve up the Nemo Smoothie to an unsuspecting Glenn Reynolds unless you vote NOW for INDC Bill as "Best Inside the Beltway" Blog.

Folks, I'm serious here: we are all fond of Bill, and we know Bill well enough to know that if he loses to Wonkette, he'll be surlier than the Archbishop in Caddyshack, after he's struck by lightning. He'll be cranking around in his bathrobe demanding that we call him "Fred" and dropping links-o-wrath into our humble little endeavors. Sooooooo....if he loses he'll blame us, the Official Anti-Anti-Wonkette blog. PLEASE! FOR THE LOVE OF THE LAWHD GAWHD! Vote early and often! Stuff the sucker like a Cook County Ward Healer at the all-U-can-eat $3.95 monday lunch buffet at Golden Corral!

I've voted 23 times already.

Posted by Steve at 01:08 PM | Comments (4)

And You Thought He Just Looked Patrician!

We're talking royalty here now. A Dog's Life provides interesting pictoral evidence that J. Francois Kerry may be a long-lost Habsburg.

I suppose that's where all that European nuance and sophistication come from. You have to know these things when you're a king, you know.

Yips! to Lynn S.

Posted by Robert at 12:58 PM | Comments (0)

Red Alert! Incoming Klingon Battlecruisers!

Well, not really. But there is coo-el space history being made right now with the big X-Prize attempt and JohnL is live-blogging it over at TexasBestGrok.

Go on over and check it out.

Oh, Yeah: While you're over there, be sure to vote for Nurse Chapel in John's Babes of Star Trek poll. Yeoman Rand is way out in front right now. What's wrong with these people?

Posted by Robert at 11:33 AM | Comments (4)

Danger Will Robinson! Danger!

If you read the Creator of Worlds this morning while drinking hot beverages you WILL wind up needing a new monitor.

Here's just a little sampler (what Old Man Prizi would call "a leetle cookie")

We close with a few words from Kid Rock, who, between his perspective on the war and his habit of bedding down gorgeous blondes, is precisely the kind of idiot we all wish we could be. So saith the pimp of the nation:

"You see this thing now where like Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi - like I love all these guys as musicians - they're gonna raise money for John Kerry. God bless 'em.

"But, before you go and do that, why don't these motherf**kers go over there and play for our soldiers in Iraq? I'm not vocal about my views on the war. I'm just vocal about my views on the troops."

Eddie Vedder responded by grimacing, growling incoherently, and lighting up a Marlboro with a thousand-dollar bill.

From now on, I'm wearing a bib when I check Allahpundit.

Posted by Steve at 10:24 AM | Comments (0)

One Step Closer!

Announcement expected today that baseball is coming back to Dee Cee.

Peter Angelos can kiss my sweet Texas patootie.

UPDATE: But, Jim! What about the name? Well, Senators would be fine, of course, but I understand that name would have to be purchased from the Texas Rangers. So here are a few alternate suggestions:

-The Beltway Bandits -The Mixing Bowls -BarryBall -The Only White Guys In South East -The Congressional Pageboys -The Half Inch Of Snow Sissy Boy Panic Attack -The Blame Canadas -The Red Tape Rascals -The Washington Crack -Veto This!

I'm sure other names will come to mind.

Posted by Robert at 09:39 AM | Comments (2)

William Hogarth


Enoch Soames, Esq., has a nice link to an exhibition of the works of William Hogarth, one of my very favorite 18th Century English artists. Hogarth is primarily known as a printer, although, as noted, he was quite a master of painting as well. His prints and paintings, along with those of such other artists as Thomas Rowlandson and James Gilray (also favorites of mine), are the forerunners of today's political cartoons, providing humorous and sometimes scathing caricature and commentary on the various social and political issues of the times.

The above print is entitled "The Enraged Musician" and has always been a particular favorite of mine. Its companion piece is a plate called "The Distressed Poet." From time to time I look for these prints, but have never been able to find them. If you know of any sources, you might drop me a note in the Tasty-Bits (TM) Mail Sack.

Posted by Robert at 09:18 AM | Comments (3)

Homer and the Wall Socket

You know, as in Zzzzzzzzt...D'OH! Zzzzzzzzt...D'OH! Zzzzzzzzt....D'OH!

You would think that after the fake National Guard memo incident, Dan Rather would have learned where not to stick his finger. But apparently not. RatherBiased is all over him for running a draft scare news story based on phony docs last night.

Un-freakin'-buhlievable. What else is there to say?

Yips! to the most merciful Allah for guiding us Llamas to this truth.

Posted by Robert at 08:40 AM | Comments (0)

Now Hear This

When I am crowned Emperor, use of the phrase "winning the peace" will constitute a flogging offence.

That is all.

Posted by Robert at 08:28 AM | Comments (0)


Jonah on "Kerry Syndrome" today. Enjoy.

Posted by Robert at 08:10 AM | Comments (0)

September 28, 2004

Good for What Ails Ye


Heading out from the office in the middle of the remnants of Jeanne this afternoon. Bucketing rain. Six blocks over and one block down from the Metro, a wicked gust catches my umbrella and breaks its spine. Result: a thorough soaking.

On the other end of the Metro, I still need to stop and pick up a few things. Result, further soaking.

So. After the kids were put to bed, I took a hot shower and popped in my copy of Lawrence of Arabia. A great flick, not the least because of Alec Guinness's portrayal of Prince Feisal. One of my favorite Guinness quotes from the movie:

For Lawrence, mercy is a passion. For me, it is a matter of good manners. I leave it to you to decide which is the more reliable motivation.


As I had hoped, all those images of sand, sun and lack of water warmed me right up.

Years ago, I read Lawrence's Seven Pillars of Wisdom. I don't really recall taking anything away from it aside from the impression that the man was a raving egomaniac.

UPDATE: Despite all measures, it looks as if I've picked up the cold going around after all as a result of my ducking. So much for the virtues of cinematic healing.

Posted by Robert at 11:05 PM | Comments (3)

Is Soros getting his money's worth?

Kaus has an interesting observation on whether the 527s are the threat they are made out to be. Nathan at Brain Fertlizer has further thoughts.

My question is whether the top contributors are feeling that they are getting their money's worth, or are the leftie 527's the most elaborate ponzi scheme in American history?

YIPS! from Robbo - I don't know what the hell is going on, but Soros is now scatter-blasting blog ad requests. Joyner and Dean have both picked him up. The New England Republican says no thanks (see comments below). Exactly how much of an impact does Soros suppose he is going to make tossing money at right-leaning blogs? (Note to George. Feel free to send the Llamas money, too!)

Posted by Steve at 02:54 PM | Comments (2)

What Broder is afraid of

Bloggers like this.

Posted by Steve at 02:50 PM | Comments (1)

What the....?

Melon-scented condoms. Apple too.

This is what happens when you drink the Munuvian Kool-Aid!

Posted by Steve at 02:42 PM | Comments (0)

Mein Gott! Now it's Schubert Blogging

The local classical station is running a recording of Schubert's 9th Symphony as performed by John Eliot Gardiner and the Vienna Philharmonic. As if the piece wasn't long enough already, Gardiner actually takes the repeat in the first movement. (I'm live-blogging this. He's making up time by rushing some other bits.)

Although as a general rule, I don't care much about Schubert's symphonic music one way or the other, I actually enjoy this piece a great deal. It's way too big and sloppy for its structure, but it has some good ideas. (I once described it as a suit made of excellent material but badly tailored.)

For my money, the best performance available is by Sir Georg Solti and the Vienna. And by that, I mean this is one of the best symphonic performances of anything I've ever heard. Solti has the orchestra absolutely under control and the nuance he's able to pull out of it is, well, what I imagine J. Francois Kerry always dreams of.

UPDATE: Gardiner kinda steamrolls a couple of spots in the second movement.

FURTHER UPDATE: The fourth movement seems rather rushed. Not necessarily too fast, just rushed.

FINAL UPDATE: Not bad, but I think I'll stick with Solti.

Posted by Robert at 02:32 PM | Comments (1)

A Perfect Day For Reynolds Fish(ing)

Jeff Goldstein has the right lure. Be sure to read the comments. And be sure to put your after-lunch coffee down first.

Posted by Robert at 02:16 PM | Comments (0)

Twofer Time

I promise these are the last for a while......

William Safire
You are William Safire! You're ruthless and
cunning, and a conservative demigod. You used
to write speeches for Nixon. Now you write
another column on the English language which
has made you the world's most popular
etymologist. You hate media deregulation, but
love the Bush administration. If only you
weren't such a brilliant writer. You bastard.

Which New York Times Op-Ed Columnist Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Found at Lady Debby's Yankee Pride.



What herb are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Yips! to Mixolydian Don.

Posted by Robert at 01:46 PM | Comments (4)

Kerry's October Surprise


It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

UPDATE: Okay, Matt Margolis tops me on this one.

Posted by Robert at 01:35 PM | Comments (0)


I used to be fond of a one-panel comic strip called They'll Do It Every Time, a humorous look at the trials and tribulations of ordinary life. (Among other things, the phrase "The Urge To Kill" has long been a part of my family lexicon. If you know the strip, you know what I'm talking about.)

I bring this up because today is the one day in ten that I didn't bring lunch from home and it also happens to be the one day in ten that it's pouring outside. Llama wool does not smell particularly good when it's wet.

Posted by Robert at 01:07 PM | Comments (0)

Haven't we seen this movie already? (And boy did it suck!)

Stephen Green's "Abandon Ship" update of (usually quite) bad advice being offered by pundits to John Kerry takes a high-larious turn of events.


Posted by Steve at 12:43 PM | Comments (0)

Gaia vents her fury over the failure of the Bush Administration to ratify the ICC and the Kyoto Protocols

I question the timing of these so-called "natural" disasters in swing states!

Clearly, the Chimperor will stop at nothing to dupe the Amerikan people by distracting them from the Imperial Designs of his Sith Masters at Halliburton!

I blame Ashcroft, Cheney, the PatriotAct, and Fox News too.

Posted by Steve at 12:24 PM | Comments (0)

Does this count for Rusty's tenure file?

Al-Zarqawi's website was hacked sucessfully, and My Pet Jawa is claiming a slice of the glory.

On a related note, is anybody else having trouble getting to Allahpundit today?

Posted by Steve at 12:18 PM | Comments (1)

You mean Afghanistan isn't Switzerland yet?

The Commissar has the shocking truth.

Posted by Steve at 12:15 PM | Comments (0)

Heinz 57: The Official Condiment of Ankle-Biters Everywhere

heinz 57 ankle biting.jpg

Posted by Steve at 11:41 AM | Comments (4)


Take a ride over to Simpsons Crazy. This page has a full offering of musical downloads from the opening and end credits, minor ditties and songs.

Just reading down the list I see some of my old favorites like the Stonecutter's Song ("We Do!") and "We Put The Spring in Springfield!" Even seeing the titles of some of these songs is enough to start me giggling.


Yips! to Lynn S.

Posted by Robert at 11:03 AM | Comments (0)

It's So....Hurtful!

John Kerry is now whining about negative campaign ads, labelling them (in an apparent attempt to make voters confuse him with Bush) as "misleadisments."

I should think this would delight Al Qaida. If Kerry is elected, they won't even have to bother with complex and expensive terror campaigns. All they'll need to do is run a couple ads criticizing J. Francois to get him to run away!

Okay, let's run this baby through the works:


Posted by Robert at 09:22 AM | Comments (0)

Banned Books Time

Jen(nifer) notes that we are in the midst of Banned Books Week and provides a list of the "One Hundred Most Frequently Challenged Books 1990-2000." I really don't know what that means - Challenged where? By whom? How? But it is amusing to see that there is no particular ideological monopoly at work here.

So here's today's game - go through the list and highlight the ones you've read. Feel free to add commentary, as I have.

I've never even heard of a great many of these. And I certainly object strongly to some of them. But the idea that they should be "banned" - in the sense that a government agency should decide whether or not they are available - is, of course, appalling.

Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
Daddy痴 Roommate by Michael Willhoite
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck In fact, the only Steinbeck really worth reading.
Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
Forever by Judy Blume
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Giver by Lois Lowry
It痴 Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
A Day No Pigs Would Dieby Robert Newton Peck
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Sex by Madonna
Earth痴 Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel
The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L脱ngle
Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
The Witches by Roald Dahl
The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein
Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
The Goats by Brock Cole
Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
Blubber by Judy Blume
Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
Final Exit by Derek Humphry
The Handmaid痴 Tale by Margaret Atwood
Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
What痴 Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Beloved by Toni Morrison
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
The Pigman by Paul Zindel
Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
Deenie by Judy Blume
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz
A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
Cujo by Stephen King
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
Ordinary People by Judith Guest
American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
What痴 Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons by Lynda Madaras
Are You There, God? It痴 Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
Crazy Lady by Jane Conly
Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
Fade by Robert Cormier
Guess What? by Mem Fox
The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Native Son by Richard Wright
Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women痴 Fantasies by Nancy Friday
Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
Jack by A.M. Homes
Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle
Carrie by Stephen King
Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
Family Secrets by Norma Klein
Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
The Dead Zone by Stephen King
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
Private Parts by Howard Stern
Where痴 Waldo? by Martin Hanford Why? Why on Earth?
Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
Sex Education by Jenny Davis
The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

Posted by Robert at 09:04 AM | Comments (5)

Did Kerry in fact say this?

I think part of what galvanized the Swift Vet malestrom in early August was when Glenn Reynolds schleped over to an otherwise closed law library on a Sunday morning and took a picture of the page from the Congressional Record showing Kerry's "seared" memories of being in Cambodia on Christmas Eve, 1968, which of course turned out to be untrue. Why it worked was the picture of the text, which to me was much more effective---and damning---than say a link to the Congressional Record on Lexis or something. The proof was in the picture. I had been skeptical (to say the least) of the whole Swift Vet campaign until that point, but afterwards was much more open.

With that said, I'm going to try to amble over to the library at UVa today and check out the Congressional Record to check out this speech being reported about over at Real Clear Politics.

If it's in fact the real thing, say hello to the media story of the next week, at least.

On the corrections front, we quoted the piece in the New York Times last Friday by historian Doug Brinkley calling into question Kerry's "war hero" status. Brinkley now says he was misquoted out of context, that he was talking about public perceptions rather than his own belief which according to the article has not waivered.

(I have to scoot to the dentist, but later I'll provide the link to our original statement and his correction)

Posted by Steve at 08:22 AM | Comments (0)

Something interesting to ponder on a cold and raining morning

From David Ignatius in today's WaPo: "Are the terrorist's failing?"

Kepel believes that the United States has stumbled badly in Iraq, and he's sharply critical of U.S. policies there. But that doesn't mean the jihadists are winning. Quite the contrary, their movement has backfired. Rather than bringing Islamic regimes to power, the holy warriors are creating internal strife and discord. Their actions are killing far more Muslims than nonbelievers.

"The principal goal of terrorism -- to seize power in Muslim countries through mobilization of populations galvanized by jihad's sheer audacity -- has not been realized," Kepel writes. In fact, bin Laden's followers are losing ground: The Taliban regime in Afghanistan has been toppled; the fence-sitting semi-Islamist regime in Saudi Arabia has taken sides more strongly with the West; Islamists in Sudan and Libya are in retreat; and the plight of the Palestinians has never been more dire. And Baghdad, the traditional seat of the Muslim caliphs, is under foreign occupation. Not what you would call a successful jihad.

Kepel argues that the insurgents' brutal tactics in Iraq -- the kidnappings and beheadings, and the car-bombing massacres of young Iraqi police recruits -- are increasingly alienating the Muslim masses. No sensible Muslim would want to live in Fallujah, which is now controlled by Taliban-style fanatics. Similarly, the Muslim masses can see that most of the dead from post-Sept. 11 al Qaeda bombings in Turkey and Morocco were fellow Muslims.

Posted by Steve at 08:08 AM | Comments (0)

Growing Pains

It looks like someone came through last night and posted a bunch of random comments to old posts - all quotes from famous wits that obviously came out of a digest and that don't seem to have anything to do with the subject matter. All the urls are for debt consolidation and credit card rackets.

I assume this is spam commenting.

This must mean we're getting notorious enough to show up on somebody's radar.

Now if we can only pick up our very own troll, I'll really feel like we're hitting the big time!

Posted by Robert at 07:50 AM | Comments (2)

Random Commuter Thoughts

The only thing I really dislike about the drawing in of the days is the fact that now I am leaving the house before dawn and, especially on cloudy, rainy days like this one, not getting home until after dark.

I call this the Time of the Mole People.

After a while it begins to jangle the nerves a bit. Not yet, but it will.

Posted by Robert at 07:44 AM | Comments (0)

September 27, 2004

The Adlai Stevenson Syndrome

Here it is on full display.

Posted by Steve at 05:41 PM | Comments (2)

What the-?


Someone visited a while ago from a site named http// Intriguing. However, if you hit the link, it just takes you back to the Mu.Nu. Homeworld.

Very strange. Either someone is trying to mess with our heads or else we've just been contacted by our Bearded Spock Universe twins.

Posted by Robert at 04:14 PM | Comments (0)

Karl Rove's stationery, part deux

Goldstein's thank you note from Rovey is sweet. I wonder if it came with a Hickory Farms Sampler?

Posted by Steve at 01:43 PM | Comments (0)


If Kerry loses the Althouse vote, methinks he's screwed.

Posted by Steve at 01:34 PM | Comments (0)

This One's For Steve-O

The Sci-Fi Hall of Shame lists a number of otherwise respectable actors who appeared in cheap sci-fi roles, mostly on Lost in Space.

Scrolling down the list, I notice with some sense of satisfaction the presence of Kurt Russell. You will note that Patrick Swayze is not there, thus once again reenforcing my longstanding belief that he and Russell are, in fact, the same person.

Heh, indeed.

Yips! to Lynn S.

Posted by Robert at 01:11 PM | Comments (2)

The Monday Llama Salt Lick

Monday's my busiest day, so instead of doing the usual full blown dozen links I'm doing a link dump. Here's a smattering of the good stuff:

Want the latest on riflegate? We've got you covered!

Rusty: Why I like King Abdullah

Commissar: Wishful thinking, indeed.

Allah: I question the timing!

Ace: "It's NOT enough that he served!" from an unexpected source.

Green: Set your tivo---Vodkapundit will be drunkblogging the debate! Also, Buyer's remorse and Dean nostalgia.

Irish Elk: one stop shop for the romantic (and perpetually doomed) Red Sawx fan.

Note to self: never EVER piss off the Cake Eater!

Alec Baldwin dissected as only the Crack Young Staff is capable.

Paypal: the root of all evil?

"The failure of the revolution that never was": David Frum has some advice for Josh Marshall that somehow I don't think he's going to take...

But of course: Karl Rove uses "Hello Kitty" stationery! (I'm so glad blogtirement didn't suit Michele).

Rocket Jones: Bad news sells more magazines? Who knew!

"Nice Gams!": Gordon has been playing with the pshop and airplane glue again and the results are oddly disturbing....

Finally, Annika has a sentiment that I can entirely support: Vinny Testaverde sucks! Maybe when Dallas is done with him he can play for the Dolphins...

Posted by Steve at 01:00 PM | Comments (0)


***Llama Exclusive!*** ***Must Credit Llamas!***

Earlier today, INDC Bill made this categorical assertion: And I have never claimed to be a "30 foot pile of ham sammiches."

As those following the RatherGate controversy know, Bill has recently catapulted to the top rank of political bloggers and can rightly claim Dan Rather's scalp for his own as much as anyone else can. Bill's meteoric rise is indeed to be congratulated. But at the same time, if he has taught us any lesson from this episode, it is to constantly ask the ageless question: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Bearing this in mind and sensing something rather fishy about the above quote, this Llama decided to do some independant investigation. My first step was to pick up the phone and call Bill's Mom. Here is a transcript of our conversation:

Llama: Um, Bill's Mom? Don't hang up, but I'm a Llama and I'm trying to determine whether your son has ever claimed to be a 30 foot stack of ham sammiches.

Bill's Mom: Wha-? Goddamit, Ed, there's another one o' them weirdo punks on th' phone!

Voice in Background: I'll git the flyspray! Meb' we can a-poison him over t'line!

I hung up at this point, as my investigation had already uncovered an important clue: As you can see from the transcript, Bill's Mom never answered the question! I began to smell cover-up and denial.

Sensing that Bill's smooth-fronted facade was beginning to develop some cracks, I made some further inquiries. A quick Google search revealed the name of a certain Annie "Ann" Jones who was a classmate of Bill's in college. I called her to pose the same question. Here is a transcript of her reply, edited to delete some initial confusion over whether I was selling porno magazine subscriptions:

Well, I don't remember that he claimed the sandwich part. But he did always insist that he had a 30 inch "kielbasa." Man, I can tell you that guy had some serious delusions about himself. It was kinda sad, in a way.

Seizing on that telltale word "delusions," I plugged it into my online dictionary and got this result:

deキluキsion ( P ) Pronunciation Key (d-lzhn) n.

1. a. The act or process of deluding.
b. The state of being deluded.
2. A false belief or opinion: labored under the delusion that success was at hand.
3. Psychiatry. A false belief strongly held in spite of invalidating evidence, especially as a symptom of mental illness: delusions of persecution.

Bingo! A well-documented medical condition and an eye-witness.

In order to be thorough, I did some additional research on the subject of ham sandwiches-related claims. I spoke to Dr. Ima Pseudonym of the University of Southern North Dakota at Hoople, a recognized expert in the area of sandwich engineering and lunch-food based mental illnesses. Here are the relevant portions of our conversation. (N.B., I transcribe this roughly, as I feel it's important to get the story out fast.)

Llama: Doctor, would it be possible to construct a 30 foot stack of sandwiches?

I.P.: Vat kind?

Llama: Ham, for instance.

I.P.: Well I really tink dot depends on how tick you zlice it. If you get der really tick zlices, you can make der pretty large stack - assuming, of course, dot you are able to put ze larger pieces towards der bottom und der smaller ones up top.

Llama: How about the bread?

I.P.: Ja. It vould be ezzential to use a kind dot does not get too zoggy ven it gets moistened. Pumpernickel, for example.


Llama: would it be possible for a person to BE a thirty foot stack of ham sandwiches?

I.P.: Vell, no. Dot ist not somezink dot could happen. But over der course of years I have seen unt read of many cases of people who TINK dey are der sandwiches.

Llama: Indeed.

I.P.: Ja! It ist really very interestink. You see, I hof noted a direct corrolation between der depth of delusion in der subject und der height of der sandvich ze zink zemselves to be. I haf developed ein scale to track zis - der Pseudonym-Sandvich-Grandeur Scale. Zo, for example, a PSG-1 rating vould be a mild delusion, somevon who might tink ze ver a simple turkey club. PSG-5 vould cover, say, a zix-foot hero. And zo on.

Llama: What about the 30 foot hammerstack we spoke of earlier?

I.P: Ach! Der subject vould be a total loon!

Llama: And what are they external symptoms of this condition?

I.P.: Vell, dot ist der other interestink ting. Typically, people zuffering from zis delusion go to great lengths to DENY it. For example, you und I vould not even tink to bring up ze possibility of being a stack of zandviches in ordinary converzation. On ze ozzer hand, those suffering from zis condition feel an overvelming need to assert zat zey are NOT doing zo. I belief dot somever in zer minds ze are aware of zer zickness und this ist und attempt to cry out for help.

Llama: That's kinda weird.

I.P.: Ja! You aren't vistling "Dixie", boychick! But remember - zees volks ist loco!

Llama: Very interesting. Thank you, Doctor.

Summing up these findings leads to certain inescapeable conclusions about Bill's hammiches non-claim:

1. Sources very close to Bill categorically refuse to directly answer questions that would prove or deny the veracity of his original statement.

2. Other sources reveal Bill's long-standing history of meat-related pyschiatric issues - issues that Bill failed to disclose at any time prior to making his hammich statement.

3. The recognized leading expert in the field - without any prompting from this Llama - described and diagnosed Bill's otherwise inexplicable statement with textbook precision.

Given these startling revelations, we Llamas have some serious doubts about whether Bill deserves to keep the crown he so recently usurped from Dan Rather. We are not here accusing INDC Journal of any kind of conscious skulduggery or any effort to manipulate its reporting in order to serve its own ends. Instead, we believe this episode reveals that Bill has some serious pork-related issues to contend with, issues that might very well cloud his judgment.

We also have to ask how far back this problem goes and how it has affected his writing to date. Do Bill's past accusations that Reynolds was ignoring him have anything to do with Glenn's possible penchant for pork chops? Does Bill's systematic damnation of the Wonkette have anything to do with bacon? And is Bill looking across the Blogsphere at us Llamas and thinking "Hmm....the other other white meat!"?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Posted by Robert at 12:31 PM | Comments (1)

This Is Cool.

Our pal John at TexasBestGrok is doing Aircraft Cheesecake Posting again. This time it's my favorite plane of WWII: The Chance Vought F4U Corsair. Go check out the photo and John's links as well. (I used to watch Baa Baa Black Sheep all the time, too.)

And while you're over there, be sure to vote in John's Babes of Star Trek poll. Nurse Chapel and I need your help!

Posted by Robert at 09:40 AM | Comments (2)

I Have Never Claimed To Be Cool

I have to confess something that is probably going to fill a goodish part of our readership (and probably also Steve-O) with disdain, if not downright horror: Last evening, after an exhausting weekend, I sat down to try and watch Pulp Fiction. This was my third or fourth attempt over the past year or so.

I don't get it.

I just don't get it.

I completely fail to see why this movie holds such a fascination for some people.

I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to toss this one into the file labelled "Movies People Hype Because They Think It Makes Them Look Coo-el." Other such movies include The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Harold and Maude and The Graduate.

Then again, perhaps it's just me. As regular readers know, I'm the one around here who's most like the waiter at Milliways: I'm so unhip it's a wonder my bum doesn't fall off. However, that doesn't worry me, since I long ago adopted the updated motto of the Complaints Department of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation.

UPDATE: Quentin Tarantino sucks. Seriously, his movies are not holding up too well. Resevoir Dogs is a great movie, original and bold. It was the last non-derivative movie he has made. Pulp Fiction is becoming the cinematic version of the avacado colored kitchen appliance, Jackie Brown makes no sense and Kill Bill was pure self indulgent cinema out of the Spike Lee school of crap.

Time will show that Paul Thomas Anderson is the much better moviemaker of that age cohort, long after Tarantino's days as a bad boy of Sundance and Cannes are just memories. Anderson's movies keep getting better because each one is new: it is not derivative or self referencing to his previous work. Look for Tarantino and Kevin Smith to headline what ever the baby busters come up with as the post modern, "hip" and ironic version of Branson Missouri in about twenty years, where they'll have their own theatre right next to a lesbian bookshop/do-jo run by Justine Bateman. Neil Patrick Harris will have the chiropractor/holistic healing/crystals office/temple on the third floor, right down the street from the Baldwin Brothers Review.

Can't you just wait for the Baldwin Brothers to do a special show together with the Osmonds?

FURTHER UPDATE: Just for clarification, that was Steve-O's rant, not mine. He's way far more up on these things than I am. I just said I didn't get it. So if there's going to be any mud-wrestling with Kathy over this one, Steve is going to take on the role of Dewey "Ox" Oxburger, not me.

YIPS from Steve: My bad. I "update"ed rather than "Yips"ed. I'm the philistine around here!

Posted by Robert at 09:21 AM | Comments (7)

Monday Morning Quiz

Which member of J.D. Salinger's dysfunctional Glass family are you?

You are Zooey. You are intelligent, determined,
and have a quick sense of humor. You have
compassion the lost, broken, and forgotten.
Unfortunately, you also judge too quickly and
have a tendency to alienate people. Not that
you care.

Which member of J.D. Salinger's dysfunctional Glass family are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

I haven't read Franny and Zooey in years, so I'd better scurry back to it.

Yips! to Chan the Bookish Gardener.

Posted by Robert at 09:05 AM | Comments (1)

Oh. And. Three.

The pain!....The pain!

Now that I know how to do images, I'll be sure to post a pic of Wannstedt's head when they stick it on a pike atop Pro Player Stadium.

Posted by Robert at 08:43 AM | Comments (0)

An interesting wrap-up

From a rat-lover, no less.

Posted by Steve at 12:03 AM | Comments (0)

September 26, 2004

Paint it red

Numbers wrap:

Real Clear Politics Poll Summary (as of Sunday night):

Two way head to head 7 poll average Bush 48.2 Kerry 43.8, with only Rasmussen tied (but on Rasmussen's site they are reporting a 1 point Bush lead).

Their Electoral College
has Bush with 291 Electoral Votes (21 more than necessary to win), with Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Oregon as toss-ups.

This set of tracking polls from the Tarrance Group are fascinating too: this poll was quite reliable in 2000.

Tradesports Electoral Futures Market has the Bush Reelected contract trading at $69.7, with the market for the number of electoral votes for Bush to win at 300.

Zogby has the electoral college at Bush 241 Kerry 264 and Bush with a 3 point lead in the head to head.

Finally, Larry Sabato's two cents:

As we pass the sixth week until the election, it is clear that while John Kerry won the spring and early summer, Bush won August and the first-half of September because of the Swift Boat Vets controversy and the considerable success of the Republican National Convention. The president enters the final six weeks of the campaign 2004 with about a 5 percent lead in the polls, but with large challenges to come: Iraq, possible terrorist action before the election, the debates, the October jobs numbers, and other unknown issues that will surely emerge to affect the election results. There can be no doubt that this is a highly competitive and unpredictable election with six weeks to go, but Bush is in a slightly better position that Kerry to win at this point.
Posted by Steve at 11:58 PM | Comments (0)

Score one for the good guys

Daniel Pearl's murderer breathes no more.

Posted by Steve at 11:31 PM | Comments (0)

What liberal media bias?

Powerline---but of course!---nails the AP's hide to the wall. And they want help in letting the AP know of their displeasure.....

Posted by Steve at 11:29 PM | Comments (0)

Somedays it is extra hard to be the only Anti-anti-wonkette blog out there

Ace has the headline proof.

Posted by Steve at 11:19 PM | Comments (0)

Why the Commissar is a genius

And no, that's not a simple arse-kissing: let me explain.

We almost finished cleaning out the garage this weekend, which was truly a Heraculean task involving throwing out tons of stuff that had descended on our basement from my darling wife's pack rat father. In there too was some stuff that we had never unpacked when we moved in here six years ago, including a box of books of mine.

I found some stuff in there that made me laugh, and a lot of blogging material (let's just say I'm going to do a bit of self-mockery fisking of my clueless self by scanning and posting various letters and notes I received when I was in college. Rob: be very afraid).

Anyhoo, I came across this gem of a book:

commie textbook.jpg

Rob likes to joke that we attended college at the People's Collective Trotsky Academy #53, Middletown Ct. I, however, as part of my major (I was in this wacky Politics, Philosophy, and Economics program) had to take "The Economics of Planned Societies" aka "Commie-nomics" as I dubbed it. This was in the fall of 1987, mind you: I got a "C-" (about the lowest grade one could receive while still frosting a mirror) because of incessant fighting with the professor---I used to annoy the hell out of him sitting there with my dog-eared copy of Hayek's The Road to Serfdom in front of me. I wrote my final paper on the Yugoslavian Economy, with the thesis that it was basically held together with chewing gum, bailing wire, and tanks, and that it and the whole society could only but fly apart at the first prodding.

There are some things one would rather not be right about.

Needless to say, the paper got me an "F" and the instructor of course had tenure, but I'm left with this book sitting in my garage containing these beautful concluding words. Written in 1981, here's what the authors Paul R. Gregory (then of the University of Houston) and Robert C. Stuart (then of Rutgers) had to say on the subject of "Conclusions and Prospects: Prospects to the Year 2000":

Are there any bright spots for the Soviet leadership in these otherwise gloomy projections? The most important is the fact that the Western world enters the 1980s with significant troubles of its own. Productivity growth is declining, high rates of inflation coexist with high rates of unemployment, and real wages are actually declining in some countries. The Soviet Union has no monopoly on economic problems. Moreover, the Soviet population may have adjusted its expectations downward, so that slower rates of growth of consumption may be tolerated without open public strife. Finally, the Soviet economy continues to supply the Soviet leadership with military power that is at least equal to that of its major competitor, the United States.

The authors mention gulags for two paragraphs, and conclude with this zinger:

Moreover, the sense of alienation of former prisoners and their families (along with deteriorated health) would not render them enthusiastic "builders of socialism" after their release. Furthermore, it is likely that forced labor is less productive than free labor. The diversion of labor from the labor market into concentration camps more than likely caused a loss of output due to a general lowering of labor productivity.

It is likely that the authors were delusional at the time: it is a certainty that they were full of shit.

Anyhoo.........back to The Commissar.

The Commissar is probably the shrewdest marketeer in the blogosphere for a whole variety of reasons. To say he's the Elvis Presley of link-whoring would be absolutely wrong: when done by a true pro, it's entirely a different game played than that pursued by wankers of the likes of your humble LLamas, Rusty, or Bill.

Case in point: the Commissar's famous maps. Genius! Put together a funny map/picture thing which has a whole lot of blogs on it (but not everyone, so as to create a sense of an "in" crowd), paste it up and voila! Beaucoup linky-link, more trackbacks than on Keith Richards' arm, and next thing you know you are hob-knobbing with the other playful primates in the top 100.

Lots of people do that, only not as well as the commissar. But he takes it to the next level: slap the picture/map thing with all sort of blogs on it on a coffee mug. So of course, everyone is going to want to buy it!

I bow down to this new chapter in the 2004 edition of "Soviet Economic Structure and Performance."

And yes, I bought 3.

UPDATE: The Show Trials Return!

Posted by Steve at 11:00 PM | Comments (2)

Google Madness!

Some poor soul came to the Llamabutchers after googling

"surprises for your girlfriend in rowan county to keep her from getting pissed off"

Any ideas folks?

I would suggest not blogging in your underwear from the kitchen table, but hey, that's just me, Mr. Vegas....

Posted by Steve at 03:02 PM | Comments (2)

September 24, 2004


Michele at Letters from NYC explodes the pajama blogger mythos.....

I've got a pshop I've been meaning to get around to---it's a pic of Hef from back in the day wearing his jammies, robe, and holding his pipe in that jaunty New Frontier sort of way. The key is the fireplace behind him, which is going to have the stuffed head of Dan Rather.

Posted by Steve at 11:57 PM | Comments (0)

C'est la guerre

Is it just me, or is the whole Frank J. thing like soooo 2003?

I'm Steve the Llamabutcher and I approve this message!

Posted by Steve at 11:51 PM | Comments (0)

Hey Liz!

Let Pep know we found a great blog for him: Consent of the Governed, which likes to talk a lot about three of our favorite topics---alcohol, tobacco, and firearms. Lots and lots of firearms.

We're a big pro 2nd Amendment household, and I think we own somewhere in the neighborhood of 12-15 guns.

And I tell ya, if we can use glue to repel those invading Canadians, we'll be all set.

Posted by Steve at 11:48 PM | Comments (2)

Shhhh...Nobody tell Sully!

Let's not harsh his crazy Brit uncle yapping about Churchill while drooling on his mustard colored cardigan groove by letting him know about good things going on with fiscal policy these days....

Posted by Steve at 11:44 PM | Comments (0)

Where is Thomas Dolby when you need him?

Now THIS is definitely blinding them with science, if you know what I mean....

Thanks to Reverend Pixy, who is about to take a sabbatical with the Sims. Have fun, Andrew, but be careful: two on the pipe is bad luck!

Posted by Steve at 11:41 PM | Comments (0)

Nothing to see here folks, move along, old senile geezer ranting on...

Well, now, I'm sure this story won't match the "fake but accurate" standards: file it under the "true but irrelevant" pieces on the 60 Minutes cutting room floor.

Posted by Steve at 11:34 PM | Comments (0)

A Cure?

As some of you know, I hate flying. But as a result of my new job, I'm going to start having to do a goodish bit of it. What to do?

Well, playing around with the idea of J. Francois Kerry as C-3PO gave me an idea. Just image, if you will, the following:


Yup, time to kick the tires and light the fires! Bring it on!

Posted by Robert at 11:30 PM | Comments (1)

C3PO~Kerry update

Building on Robbo's post from earlier, I ran this beaut through the Kerry Sloganator:

kerry c3po.png

Posted by Steve at 11:29 PM | Comments (0)

Well, THAT sucks!

Rocket Jones has the details.

Posted by Steve at 11:23 PM | Comments (0)

Spread the word

Rusty is taking on Kos, mano a mano.

I'm putting my money on the mack daddy driving the Sandcrawler Escalade...

UPDATE: With "love mail" like this, how can he not win?

Posted by Steve at 11:19 PM | Comments (1)

The Joe Don Baker Haiku Contest

Annika has declared a winner, but if you ask me, it's pretty durn close.

Mmmmmmm.......Joe Don Baker!

Posted by Steve at 10:59 PM | Comments (0)

As we used to say in the old country, "this is wicked awesome"

The Commissar pointed us over to this.

Posted by Steve at 10:51 PM | Comments (0)

Act like you've been there before!

Yeah, right. I'm skipping like a school girl on this one, doing the LLama Bling-Bling dance around the basement kingdom: we made the Commissar's latest map! Sweet!

Posted by Steve at 10:38 PM | Comments (0)

All Together Now: AAAAAW...

My six year old has been gung-ho about running a lemonade stand with a couple of her little friends. Today was the big day - they set up at their school just in time for dismissal so that they would catch the crowd coming out. At 25 cents a pop, the Butcher's Wife informs me they made thirty seven dollars.

But the nice thing is that they had decided they were going to donate all their proceeds to charity. So they gave the money to the school and the school cut a check to Share Our Strength for the Capital Area Food Bank.

I think that's pretty sweet.

Yip! at you later.

Posted by Robert at 05:12 PM | Comments (2)

Thank the Maker! This New Meme Is Going to feel Sooo Good!

The Candidate?

Taranto today is all over the latest meme devised by The Spin Swimmer - John Kerry as C-3PO. Allow me to quote James at length:

'Let the Wookie Win'

A blogger called "bkm" has come forth with one of the most inventive insights of the 2004 campaign: John Kerry may actually be C-3PO, the neurotic, English-sounding metallic droid, who by the way served in the Clone Wars. We weren't about to take the word of some jammie-clad no-name, so we went out and bought the "Star Wars" DVD box set, released just this week (Karl Rove must've had something to do with the timing), watched the first movie, which is now called "Star Wars IV" for obscure reasons, and jotted down a bunch of Threepio quotes:

"We'll be destroyed for sure! This is madness! We're doomed."

"Hey! You're not permitted in there! You'll be deactivated for sure! Don't you call me a mindless philosopher, you overweight glob of grease!"

"Secret mission? What plans? What are you talking about? I'm not getting in there! I'm going to regret this."

"How did we get into this mess? I really don't know how. We seem to be made to suffer. It's our lot in life."

"Where do you think you're going? Well, I'm not going that way. It's much too rocky. This way is much easier."

"What mission? What are you talking about? I've just about had enough of you! Go that way! You'll be malfunctioning within a day, you nearsighted scrap pile! And don't let me catch you following me, begging for help, because you won't get it!"

"No more adventures! I'm not going that way."

"That malfunctioning little twerp! This is all his fault! He tricked me into going this way, but he'll do no better."

"Protocol? Why, it's my primary function, sir. I am well versed in all the customs."

"No, I don't think he likes you at all. No, I don't like you either."

"It wasn't my fault, sir! Please don't deactivate me! I told him not to go, but he's faulty, malfunctioning. Kept babbling on about his mission."

"I suggest a new strategy, R2: Let the wookie win."

"Help! I think I'm melting! This is all your fault!"

The resemblance to Kerry's foreign policy is uncanny. C-3PO also has a lot of awkward arm movements, just like Kerry when giving a speech. On the other hand, Threepio has a certain lack of self-regard that is quite unlike the narcissistic Kerry. At one point, he tells Luke Skywalker: "I'm only a droid, and not very knowledgeable about such things. Not on this planet anyway. As a matter of fact, I'm not even sure which planet I am on." Apart from the confusion about what planet he's on, this is a decidedly un-Kerrylike comment. You can't imagine this droid ever demanding: "Do you know who I am?"

If Kerry is C-3PO, which "Star Wars" character most closely resembles President Bush? The obvious candidate is Han Solo, whose cocksure attitude is reminiscent of the president's. "Bring 'em on," he actually says at one point, and at another, Princess Leia mocks him as a "flyboy."

On the other hand, some readers of the "bkm" blog see a resemblance to C-3PO's counterpart, R2-D2. As one explains anonymously: "He's not real articulate, and he doesn't say much, but he's resolute, calm in a crisis, and usually solves the problem while other people are arguing about it." Another reader, Nicole Griffin, offers this suggestion:

Perhaps the Kerry as Threepio and Bush as R2D2 thing would work well in the debates. Just picture it: Kerry can blather on and on in his Threepio fashion and Bush can just beep in response--it's not like anything Kerry will say will warrant a real response anyway. The level of discourse might actually be raised by such a tactic!

[Insert sound of malicious cackling.]

UPDATE: Let's give it a try, shall we?


Oh, I like this.....

Posted by Robert at 04:12 PM | Comments (2)

Pining for Nantucket

Brian B. of Memento Moron brings together two choice strains: Kerry-bashing and Monty Python. Enjoy!

Update: Full Yips! to A Large Regular, who crossed the streams originally.

YIPS from Steve: Annika takes it in a different direction with a reader quiz.

Posted by Robert at 03:54 PM | Comments (1)

Now This Is Pretty Cool


On June 19, 1864, the U.S.S. Kearsarge caught and sank the Confederate raider C.S.S. Alabama off the coast of France near Cherbourg. The Alabama was probably the most notorious of the South's commerce raiders and had been scaring the willies out of Yankee merchants for about two years before she was stopped and sent to the bottom.

This week, the Civil War Preservation Trust named Cherbourg a Historic Civil War site. Matt Hurley over at Weapons of Mass Discussion has a nifty round up of information, including ship histories and the battle report of the Captain of the Kearsarge.

Posted by Robert at 03:07 PM | Comments (3)

You Sass this Hoopy Action?

Here is something for Douglas Adams fans - the new Hitchhiker Adventure Game. It's one of those type-command deals. I suppose I should have read the instructions first. The bulldozers got me three times in five minutes before I gave up! But that's me, the Towel-less Wonder.

Yips! to Alan the Acord-giving Okie.

Posted by Robert at 02:37 PM | Comments (1)

It's Friday, so Kerry must be PRO-War...

Latest forecast on the Kerry Whether Report from Wizbang.

Posted by Steve at 02:21 PM | Comments (0)

Dangerous stuff

Sheila's talking dirty to me---she's got a long insightful post on one of my favorite episodes in American history, the contested election of 1800.

Mmmmmm.........Aaron Burr.

Seriously: you've got a tied presidential election, an aloof southern governor, a back-slapping ambitious and corrupt as hell New Yorker, a Wall Street lawyer who now owns the New York Daily News and had been driven out of high office by a salacious sex scandal. You've got Islamic terrorists declaring war on the U.S. and brutally killing their hostages. You've got a gun fight right by the swamps of Jersey.

All you need is some car chases, a hot love interest, and you've got a feature film.

I've often wondered, in that vein, when Jerry Bruckheimer is going to bring us a movie about Stephen Decateur and the Barbary War....

Posted by Steve at 02:17 PM | Comments (1)

Makes sense to me

Rocket Jones has an idea whose time has come.

Posted by Steve at 02:10 PM | Comments (1)

Best. Pshop. Ever.

You-Know-Who shows why He is the creator of worlds.

I should just go and burn my copy of the Photoshop Manual, as nothing could ever quite top this one.

The funny thing is, I'm at work, I was laughing my arse off, but couldn't really share it with anybody for fear of harshing the mellow of the liberal academic cocoon.

UPDATE: Wickedest VDH ever.

UPDATE DEUX: This pshop from Wizbang is pretty durn good too!

UPDATE TROIS: Goldstein. Ah pity da fool!

Posted by Steve at 01:55 PM | Comments (0)

A Little Touch of Dubya In The Night

Matt Margolis over at Blogs for Bush relays a White House Press Pool story that is all class.

"Hoooah," indeed.

Posted by Robert at 01:43 PM | Comments (1)

Dare Ya

Take a look at this sick-making optical illusion.

Oh, hep me! Hep me! I been hyp-mo-tised!

Cross-eyed Yips! to Jonah.

Posted by Robert at 01:32 PM | Comments (3)


Big Llama Yips! go to Lawren for passing her Bar Exam! Congratulations! Yip! Yip! Yip!

With any luck, she is currently too blotto to read this post......

Posted by Robert at 01:12 PM | Comments (0)

Undermining the Church's One Foundation, One Stone At A Time

Well, tomorrow is the start of this year's session of a program called Disciples of Christ in Community ("DOCC") at our Church. This is an adult education course that was invented somewhere out west about 30 years ago.

Basically, it is an exercise in what I call Applied Christianity, an attempt to emulate the small group structure of the Early Church and to emphasize the Commandment to love thy neighbor. The group gets together to discuss matters of spirituality and through this, to draw closer together as members of a discrete community. It isn't traditional Bible study and it isn't group therapy, although elements of both of those are included in its general characteristic.

I participated in the program last year and found it very rewarding. This year, I was fool enough to volunteer to lead the thing. This is hard. My personal Eleventh Commandment has always been "Thou Shalt Mind Thy Own Bloody Business." To be put in the leadership position of having to try and coax a group of folks into reaching out to each other (both physically and spiritually) has me a bit apprehensive, not so much because I object to the process, but because my own natural inclinations might not set the best example.

The other thing to worry about is the group itself. We have some strong personalities that will be there this year. As my pal Sparky knows, the wrong group dynamics can ruin the whole experience. So I'll have to watch that. I figure I'll just keep asking myself, "What would B.A. Baracus do?" I pity da fool who tries ta hijack da group fo his own ego-centric pu-poses!

Wish me luck!

Posted by Robert at 01:04 PM | Comments (1)


The superb Michele is, uh, Pinto-blogging.

Buhlieve me, just go on over. You'll be glad you did. Even if it does make your spine start to ache in sympathy.

Posted by Robert at 12:38 PM | Comments (0)

Holy Cow

The NYT interviews Kerry haigographer Doug Brinkley, and he's beginning to back away from the party line. David Halberstam offers some bad advice for Kerry too.

UPDATE: Gordon has a new Kerry slogan. Off to the sloganator with that one, Gordo!

kerry vietnam slogan.png

Posted by Steve at 10:20 AM | Comments (1)

Swift Vet #5

The "Hanoi Jane" Fonda Ad.

Posted by Steve at 10:12 AM | Comments (0)

More Sci-Fi Babe Polling

This week John of TexasBestGrok gives us a choice among the lovely ladies of the original Star Trek series.

Personally, I have to go with Nurse Chapel. That husky voice and that big, Scandinavian figure. Yup. Yeoman Rand always looked stupid and cranky to me, like she was having trouble with basic arithmetic again. Uhura comes a very close second to Chapel, but I think I'm going with the Viking thing.

UPDATE: Because I'm a strong leader not afraid of alienating the base to do what's right, I'm going to have to come right out and put my vote in for Captain Janeway.


Posted by Robert at 09:45 AM | Comments (4)

Nostalgie de la Boue

Go and read Theodore Dalrymple's book review critique of middle class tatooing over at The New Criterion.

This is one of those pieces that, were I to read it in dead-tree form, would be covered with stars, circles, exclamation points and the like by the time I got done with it. Also, copious amounts of coffee launched from my mouth and nose. As a flag-nailed-to-the-mast Tory, I take particularly fierce delight in commentary that skewers people who ought to know better. Would you like a sample? Here you go:

Here we see the bodily consequence of an intellectual climate that has long extolled opposition and hostility to what exists as the only honorable and ethical stand to take towards it. Of course, such an attitude is fundamentally ahistorical and lacking in respect for the achievements of the past, and only people who live in an eternal, egoistic present moment could adopt it. (The eternity of the present moment is, of course, the key to modern shallowness.) The tattoo is thus the art form of the cultural vandal, and it is no accident, as the Marxists used to say, that the cultural vandal痴 views should almost always be expressed with inarticulate sub-demotic vulgarity.

It is also no accident that some members of the middle classes should have adopted a typically proletarian form of bodily adornment as a badge not only of independence, but also of liberal virtue. A tattoo establishes them as tolerant, open-minded, and sympathetic towards those below them in the social scale: the highest virtues of which they can conceive. The tattoo thus appeals to the kind of modern bourgeois who believes that foulness of language is a token of purity of heart, or at least of sincerity. The tattoo, like the constant resort to the swearword, is an attack on bourgeois propriety, and as such a demonstration of largeness of heart and generosity of spirit.

As they say, go read the whole thing.

Yips! to Mr. Enoch Soames, Esq.

Posted by Robert at 09:39 AM | Comments (0)

It's A Nuance Thing

Mom's Favorite Columnist, Charles Krauthammer, sticks it to Kerry over his arrogant treatment of our allies this morning. Fingers crossed on the Australian presidential election - an Aussie pullout now would be disastrous. As Krauth notes, it looks like the Kerry camp is doing what it can to make this a reality.

Bear in mind that when Kerry talks about bringing in other nations to help in Iraq, he really just means the French. Can you say it with me again, Senator? France is not our Ally. France is NOT our Ally! FRANCE IS NOT OUR ALLY!!

Posted by Robert at 08:51 AM | Comments (1)

Taking the Temperature of the Dee Cee Political Culture

Don't say this Llama isn't afraid to get his hooves dirty doing a little field research. I pass by the Olsson's Books on 7th Street next to the Shakespeare Theatre every day. Olsson's, for those of you not familiar, is a local chain of four or five stores that considers itself to be a cut above Borders, Barnes & Noble, et al.

Here is a list of the political books prominantly displayed in their window today:

Bush Must Go - Bill Press
The Best Democracy Money Can Buy - Greg Palast
Sore Winners - John Powers
America the Vulnerable - Stephen Flynn
Wreckage Begins With "W" - Jeff Danzinger
The 'I Hate George Bush' Reader - Clint Willic
Bush's Brain - James Moore & Wayne Stater
Plan of Attack - Bob Woodward
Worse Than Watergate - John Dean (nb, no, he's not talking about Dan Rather)
House of Bush/House of Saud - Craig Unger
Bush League Diplomacy - Craig Eisendrath & Melvin Goodman
Rise of the Vulcans [Bush's Cabinet] - James Main
What's The Matter With Kansas? - Thomas Frank
Obliviously On He Sails - Calvin Trillin (nb, no, this isn't about Kerry's time in swift boats)
Bush-Whacked - Molly Ivins
The Book on Bush - Eric Alterman & Mark Green
The George W. Bush Quiz Book - Paul Slansky
Cronies (Oil, The Bushes and the Rise of Texas, America's Superstate) - Robert Bryce
The Lies of George W. Bush - David Corn
The Dick Cheney Code - Henry Beard

I exclude the various buttons, cards and novelties of a similar bent that are also offered.

Now Olsson's is a private company. It has a perfect right to sell whatever it wants. It also has an obligation to sell what people are willing to buy. I offer this list not because I think Olsson's should be boycotted or protested, but rather, because I think it is a very accurate reading of the mentality of folks 'round here. It is also a useful indicator of why the Dems are so gob-smacked that their boy is not doing better against Dubya. Call it a mass case of Pauline Kael Syndrome - everybody they know is going to vote for Kerry. How could anyone vote for that eviiil moron Bush? Heavily tilted collections like this one just reenforce that attitude.

Posted by Robert at 08:32 AM | Comments (3)

September 23, 2004

New from Llamabutcher Films: All the President's Men "2"

all prez 2.jpg

I mean, if they can remake the "Dukes of Hazzard" and "Walking Tall".....

Posted by Steve at 10:01 PM | Comments (1)

Hillary 08 Watch

goofy hillary pic.jpeg

Smile: forced, quasi-reptilian
Ambient temperature: 62 degrees and rising
Mojo: swinging


Novak in the Sun Times:

High-level Democrats, including some inside the Kerry campaign, were appalled by this week's political sideshow. Just as John Kerry began finding his voice on Iraq, he was in danger of being drowned out by Democratic operatives Joe Lockhart and Terry McAuliffe. But the Democratic presidential candidate had only himself to blame.

Democratic critics can hardly comprehend that Lockhart, President Bill Clinton's spokesman who was recently taken aboard the campaign by Sen. Kerry, telephoned a notorious Bush-bashing eccentric who was CBS's source of the discredited documents. They also are unhappy that McAuliffe, the Clinton-selected Democratic National Committee chairman, has launched an advertising campaign attacking President Bush's National Guard record.

The complaints are not limited to specific cases. One party activist with a nationally familiar name calls Lockhart and McAuliffe ''attack dogs'' who go beyond the facts and get Kerry off message. But the nominee brought Lockhart into the campaign and could, with a single telephone call, suppress McAuliffe's Bush-bashing. This is Kerry's campaign, and he is responsible for these distractions from his new focus on Iraq.

It is hard to believe that so experienced a political operative as Lockhart followed a CBS producer's suggestion to telephone retired National Guardsman Bill Burkett, whose claims of evidence to destroy Bush were rejected by Al Gore's campaign in 2000. (Both Lockhart and Burkett say the documents were not even discussed during their brief conversation.) Lockhart was added to the Kerry campaign team because he is renowned as a smart political insider who knows everything. Anyone vaguely familiar with politicians was aware of Burkett's unstable background, but Lockhart told CNN interviewer Bill Hemmer Tuesday: ''I didn't know who the guy was.''

Gosh, it's almost as if these two core members of the Clinton "A" Team want Kerry to lose or something........oh, yeah, right.

(Update: if Lockhart is B.A. Baracus, then I guess that makes Terry Mac Hannibal?)


Ace: "This third-rate forgery is a cancer on the liberal media."

Commissar: Tina Brown: Blame INDC Bill!

Allah: CBS, phone home!

Posted by Steve at 09:01 PM | Comments (1)

This is Getting Too Easy...


Posted by Robert at 05:40 PM | Comments (1)

Make it So.

Our pal Kathy the Cake Eater, even though she can't resist a few snarky jabs against us, hereby gets full credit for a brand new term in the Blogsphere: The Llamalanche.

What do y'all say we keep her sitemeter pegging right up there? Really, go on over. Always something worth reading.

Hey, Kathy! Maybe the next time we have a literary smack down, someone might actually read it!

Yip! Yip! Yip!

UPDATE: I've been meaning to say this - It seems like a flood of new folks are coming in and not just reading us but blogrolling us too. Frankly, it's tough to keep up with all of that - I don't think the TTLB Ecosystem snags all of the links - so it's distinctly possible that you have blogrolled us and we just missed it. If that's the case, please drop us a line in the Tasty-Bits (TM) Mail Sack. Thanks!

FURTHER UPDATE: Bad news, Kathy - It turns out that The Emperor of the Geeks beat you to it. We bow and scrape in humiliation before Francis the Great! Fortunately, we Llamas are pretty slutty when it comes to it, so everyone should feel free to claim credit on this. The more the merrier, say we!

Posted by Robert at 04:32 PM | Comments (3)

Quick Test--Who is showing signs of desperation?

Read this article in the Chicago Sun-Times and ask yourself, "which one is the candidate who is getting desperate, and which is the candidate hitting his stride?"

Rosemary Queen of the Sith Republicans also prints an email solicitation showing the Democrats are already trying to raise money for the recount. Real? I have no way of knowing. Would I be surprised if it were genuine? Absolutely not.

Panic time.

Posted by Steve at 02:57 PM | Comments (1)

Separated At Birth?

shatner2.jpg lockhart.jpg

Jess askin'.


Posted by Robert at 02:41 PM | Comments (1)

See?......See?...It's In the Freakin' Cards!

The Hierophant Card
You are the the Hierophant card. The Hierophant,
called The Pope in some decks, is the preserver
of cultural traditions. After entering The
Emperor's society, The Hierophant teaches us
its wisdom. The Hierophant learns and teaches
our cultural traditions. The discoveries our
ancestors have made influence the present.
Without forces such as The Hierophant who are
able to interpret and communicate traditional
lore, each generation would have to begin to
learn anew. As a force that is concentrated on
our past and our culture, The Hierophant can
sometimes be stubborn and set in his ways. This
is a negative trait he shares with his zodiac
sign, Taurus. But like Taurus he is productive.
His traditional lore can provide a source of
inspiration for the creatively inclined, and
his knowledge provides an excellent foundation
for those who come into their own in the
business world. Image from: Morgan E.

Which Tarot Card Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Yips! to The Inpenetrable One.

Posted by Robert at 01:20 PM | Comments (0)

Fisking Mike Moore

Mike Moore has a new message for his loyal fans that we were able to pick up by installing the special frequency receiver in the back molars of our stuffed Bill the Cat doll.

Let's do what we do best with these things:

Dear Mr. Bush,

Not to be a stickler for details, but that's President Bush to you, Mikey. Maybe you skipped the part in civics class in high school about the Electoral College when you were out pretending that your upper middle class arse was a true righteous son of the working class, but it's the way we've been electing presidents for 216 years now. Show some respect for the office, if not for the man: it's the least we did for President Jiggy-fly.

I am so confused. Where exactly do you stand on the issue of Iraq?

What the Democrats are starting to be really afraid about is that Bush could very well win precisely because an increasing number of the public, while not necessarily agreeing with his positions, are comfortable with the fact that it's clear that the President knows where he stands on the issues, and John Kerry doesn't. This scares the bejeebus out of them because it directly strikes the Adlai Stevenson Syndrome at its heart: Democrats like Mike would much rather have a president (like our last one) who is articulate and polished but doesn't mean a word he says, rather than a president (like our current one) who is inarticulate but acts on strongly held beliefs. One wonders what the current effete doyennes of the Democratic Party would do with the likes of Harry Truman, let alone Andrew Jackson. Well we saw what they would do with Jackson last month: he would give the keynote address for the Republicans and they'd pronounce him a lunatic! But I digress.

You, your Dad, Rummy, Condi, Colin, and Wolfie -- you have all changed your minds so many times, I am out of breath just trying to keep up with you! Which of these 10 positions that you, your family and your cabinet have taken over the years represents your CURRENT thinking:

Wolfie...heh. Why not pronounce it like you want to, Mike: Wuhlf-oh-witsch. Let the last syllable rolllllll out for all its anti-semitic glory, as your pals in Cannes did....Come on Mike, we know you know you want to say it.......Think of the adulation in Europe if you let rip a tirade about the "Joooooooz".....We know it's in you!

1983-88: WE LOVE SADDAM. On December 19, 1983, Donald Rumsfeld was sent by your dad and Mr. Reagan to go and have a friendly meeting with Saddam Hussein, the dictator of Iraq. Rummy looked so happy in the picture. Just twelve days after this visit, Saddam gassed thousands of Iranian troops. Your dad and Rummy seemed pretty happy with the results because 禅he Donald R. went back to have another chummy hang-out with Saddam痴 right-hand man, Tariq Aziz, just four months later. All of this resulted in the U.S. providing credits and loans to Iraq that enabled Saddam to buy billions of dollars worth of weapons and chemical agents. The Washington Post reported that your dad and Reagan let it be known to their Arab allies that the Reagan/Bush administration wanted Iraq to win its war with Iran and anyone who helped Saddam accomplish this was a friend of ours.

Fair enough, but aren't you forgetting a couple of things?

1. The public moral support for Saddam from the Carter Administration, especially Zbignew Brzezinski, which made sense in light of the Revolution in Iran.

2. A little thing called the American Embassy in Iran being seized and our diplomats and personel being held hostage? Ringing a bell?

3. A little thing called the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, a result of the feckless pacifism of the Carter Administration?

Supporting Saddam (who was then and always a military client state of the Soviets) against the Ayatollah was an act of realism, attempting to contain the Iranian Revolution. It was a bet doubled down by the Reagan Administration in helping the Iranians....against Saddam, funneling them parts as well as intelligence in their war. Ruthless? Yes. Ugly? Yes. Necessary at the time? Yes.

And of course, all a result of the "blowback" effect of our support of the Soviets in World War Two. Yes, our support of Stalin seemed necessary at the time to bring down the greater evil and threat, which was Hitler. Foreign policy is like that, sometimes.

1990: WE HATE SADDAM. In 1990, when Saddam invaded Kuwait, your dad and his defense secretary, Dick Cheney, decided they didn't like Saddam anymore so they attacked Iraq and returned Kuwait to its rightful dictators.

Gosh, where to begin. This was something even the French and the Syrians supported (of course, John Kerry didn't, but that's before he voted for it after he voted against it). Something's registering about a dozen or so resolutions of the UN Security Council.......

1991: WE WANT SADDAM TO LIVE. After the war, your dad and Cheney and Colin Powell told the Shiites to rise up against Saddam and we would support them. So they rose up. But then we changed our minds. When the Shiites rose up against Saddam, the Bush inner circle changed its mind and decided NOT to help the Shiites. Thus, they were massacred by Saddam.

Actually, no, here's the root of the problem: we didn't want Saddam to live, but our "multi-national coalition" (read: The French) wanted him to. Further direct action was vetoed by our the realities of the UN.

1998: WE WANT SADDAM TO DIE. In 1998, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and others, as part of the Project for the New American Century, wrote an open letter to President Clinton insisting he invade and topple Saddam Hussein.

I seem to remember something about an Operation Desert Fox.... What a tricky bastard Karl Rove is: he was able to advance the cause of the Chimperor by travelling back in time and shaping Bill Clinton's speech! Here's what President Jiggy-Fly had to say:

am convinced the decision I made to order this military action -- though difficult -- was absolutely the right thing to do. It is in our interest and in the interests of people all around the world.

Saddam Hussein has used weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles before. I have no doubt he would use them again if permitted to develop them.

When I halted military action against Saddam last November after he had terminated the UNSCOM operations, I made it very clear that we were giving him a last chance to cooperate. Once again, he promised in very explicit terms that he would fully cooperate.

On Tuesday, the inspectors concluded that they were no longer able to do their jobs and that, in fact, he had raised even new barriers to their doing their jobs.

Then yesterday morning, I gave the order because I believe that we cannot allow Saddam Hussein to dismantle UNSCOM and resume the production of weapons of mass destruction with impunity.

I also believe that, to have done so, would have in effect given him a green light for whatever he might want to do in his neighborhood. I think it would be a terrible, terrible mistake.

We acted yesterday because Secretary Cohen and General Shelton strongly urged that we act at the point where we could have maximum impact with minimum risk to our own people because of the surprise factor.

We also wanted to avoid initiating any military action during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which is slated to begin in just a couple of days.

Our mission is clear -- to degrade his capacity to develop and to use weapons of mass destruction or to threaten his neighbors.

I believe we have achieved that mission and I'm looking forward to getting this briefing.

bill clinton and great gazoo.jpg

Added extra Llamabutcher Tasty Bits: follow the link above to the CNN page and it has the link to the video of Al Gore defending the attack on Iraq, sounding downright Neo-con-esque.

Damn that Karl Rove! Now's he gotten to Al using the Wayback Machine!

2000: WE DON'T BELIEVE IN WAR AND NATION BUILDING. Just three years later, during your debate with Al Gore in the 2000 election, when asked by the moderator Jim Lehrer where you stood when it came to using force for regime change, you turned out to be a downright pacifist:

的--I would take the use of force very seriously. I would be guarded in my approach. I don't think we can be all things to all people in the world. I think we've got to be very careful when we commit our troops. The vice president [Al Gore] and I have a disagreement about the use of troops. He believes in nation building. I--I would be very careful about using our troops as nation builders. I believe the role of the military is to fight and win war and, therefore, prevent war from happening in the first place. And so I take my--I take my--my responsibility seriously. --October 3, 2000

2001 (early): WE DON'T BELIEVE SADDAM IS A THREAT. When you took office in 2001, you sent your Secretary of State, Colin Powell, and your National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice, in front of the cameras to assure the American people they need not worry about Saddam Hussein. Here is what they said:

Powell: 展e should constantly be reviewing our policies, constantly be looking at those sanctions to make sure that they have directed that purpose. That purpose is every bit as important now as it was 10 years ago when we began it. And frankly, they have worked. He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors. --February 24, 2001

Rice: 釘ut in terms of Saddam Hussein being there, let's remember that his country is divided, in effect. He does not control the northern part of his country. We are able to keep arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt. --July 29, 2001

A had an uncle when I was a kid who used to rant and rave about FDR lying in the 1940 election and got us into the needless War in the Pacific. We were nice to him because he was old, he was a relative, he had seen some hard times, and that it wasn't nice to point out he was full of shit.

September 11th showed you can't wait until they are powerful enough to strike at us.

2001 (late): WE BELIEVE SADDAM IS GOING TO KILL US! Just a few months later, in the hours and days after the 9/11 tragedy, you had no interest in going after Osama bin Laden. You wanted only to bomb Iraq and kill Saddam and you then told all of America we were under imminent threat because weapons of mass destruction were coming our way. You led the American people to believe that Saddam had something to do with Osama and 9/11. Without the UN's sanction, you broke international law and invaded Iraq.

Which international law, the one about skimming money off the oil for food program? The one about doing nothing about Genocide in Sudan because it will embarass the UN Human Rights Commission, that includes Sudan as a member? The international law that says "hey, whatever you do, don't point out that our Resolutions are printed on Charmin, because if you do that, it means we are going to actually have to do something difficult rather than go to swanky resorts to pass resolutions condemning Israel?" No interest in going after Osama bin Laden or the Taliban, hence the invasion of Afghanistan was just, what, practice?

Mr. Bush, please tell us -- when will you change your mind again?

I know you hate the words "flip" and "flop," so I won't use them both on you. In fact, I'll use just one: Flop. That is what you are. A huge, colossal flop. The war is a flop, your advisors and the "intelligence" they gave you is a flop, and now we are all a flop to the rest of the world. Flop. Flop. Flop.

Wow, THAT'S a persuasive political argument! Have you been boning up on your Aristotle lately, because your rhetoric, she's en fuego.

And you have the audacity to criticize John Kerry with what you call the "many positions" he has taken on Iraq.

It's interesting but a major theme used by the Democrats is that you can't criticize John Kerry about anything. No one has the moral authority! It's funny, because truly great pols---Reagan and Clinton come to mind---have the ability to laugh off criticism, and their supporters pick up on this confidence and use it as a strength while it has the opposite effect on the critics, who become increasingly shrill. Lousy pols---Dukakis, Bob Dole, and John Kerry come to mind---are incredibly thin skinned, and it rubs off on their supporters.

By my count, he has taken only one: He believed you. That was his position. You told him and the rest of congress that Saddam had WMDs. So he -- and the vast majority of Americans, even those who didn't vote for you -- believed you. You see, Americans, like John Kerry, want to live in a country where they can believe their president.

I saw a funny bumper sticker yesterday: "When Clinton Lied, No One Died." I guess you'd need to overlook Rwanda and the first years of Bosnia to be acccurate in that assessment (please, no Vince Foster jokes--it's not funny). So it's rich, hearing a partisan Democrat like Mike Moore talking about that.

Seriously, read the above text of Clinton's briefing about Operation Desert Fox, and go and look at the clips from CNN about Al Gore talking about Saddam and WMDs and try to make that statement for us again, Mike. We'll wait right here....

But seriously, Mike's showed us the real fear that the Democrats have: they really think they are going to lose this election. The Republicans are going to open Kerry up like an overripe Mango on this issue.

Just one position, Mike? Here's two right off the bat:

"Those who doubted whether Iraq or the world would be better off without Saddam Hussein, and those who believe today that we are not safer with his capture, don't have the judgment to be president or the credibility to be elected president." (December 16, 2003)

"Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator who deserves his own special place in hell. But that was not, in itself, a reason to go to war.[...] I believe the invasion of Iraq has made us less secure and weaker in the war against terrorism" (September 20, 2004)

So much for the "single position" theory---if you are a die-hard Kerry supporter on this, you've got to stick with the theory that there is a lone Kerry speaker, and ignore all evidence of the Kerry speaker on the grassy knoll, stealing all Howard Dean's best lines.

That was the one, single position John Kerry took. He didn't support the war, he supported YOU. And YOU let him and this great country down.

What the....? So what you are saying is that John Kerry should be elected president because he's a guillible idiot easily gulled by a man you lovingly describe as fool? Huh?

And that is why tens of millions can't wait to get to the polls on Election Day -- to remove a major, catastrophic flop from our dear, beloved White House -- to stop all the flipping you and your men have done, flipping us and the rest of the world off.

We can't take another minute of it.

The funny thing is, that millions of us are going to go to the polls to vote for the President not only because we have faith in his leadership, and not only because we think Kerry would be a disaster, but also for the added extra benefit of shoving our votes right down your pie hole. I want to see you cry, Mike, and that's the worse thing a partisan pol can do for the other side.

Posted by Steve at 11:30 AM | Comments (2)

Why I love blogging

It's because of the readers.

Take this nugget from the Tasty Bits(TM) Mail Sack from "Jim in Chicago":

I personally date the decline of Britain to 1971 when they decided to get rid of ye olde 12 pence to the shilling, 20 shillings to the pound, and replaced this age-old system with a thoroughly Frenchified one of 100p to the pound.

Now of course they have the whole metric system bullshit. It's like
Napoleon had beaten Wellington or something.

Burke has been revolving in his grave fast enough to air-condition the
apartement of every elderly pensioner in Paris during their next heat

Did I mention that I hate the French?

We do too, Jim, we do too. That's the LLamas for you---miss one day, and you lose out on a random sample of righteous fiskings of Susan Estrich and Mike Moore, Burkean fustings about changes in procedure in the House of Commons, holding the Cake Eater's coat when she beats down Randy Andy Sullivan, the Bridezilla update, Paint it Red poll watch, pshop mockery of the effete junior senator from Massachusetts, the Boobygate update, outerspace potty jokes, wedgies for INDC Bill, pics of the Democratic nominee for Vice President felllating a microphone, and an ode to Autumn by Keats.

Yips! from Robbo: Bring on the groupies, says I!

Posted by Steve at 09:38 AM | Comments (0)

I hadn't thought of this angle

Long-time reader TmLutas writes in regarding Rathergate and the Kerry campaign:

Here's something that's even worse. What if they (the Kerry campaign) weren't conspiring but were actually incapable of spotting the forgeries? The brightest lights of the Kerry campaign, the guys who are going to be manning tier 2-5 of the executive branch if Kerry gets elected are so credulous that they can't spot such an obvious forgery.

Would you trust these people with the government? I don't.

I confess I hadn't even thought of this angle, and had assumed that they new they were forgeries all along. But what if they were taken in by an obvious fraud like this? That, combined with their approach to treating real classified documents (as evidenced by Sandy "Sticky Fingers" Berger) makes one realize just why so many foreign leaders support Kerry: it would usher in the golden age of anti-American espionage and spycraft. It would be the secret agent Full Employment Act. Oh, wait, that would never happen.

Posted by Steve at 09:29 AM | Comments (4)

Childhood Reading

The Silver Fox has a post up linking an article about an archeological dig at Little Big Horn. He goes on to lay out the roots of his interest in this topic and brings up The American Heritage Junior Library series.

I have to admit that my own interest in Little Big Horn stems from childhood viewing of the Disney movie Tonka, the story of a horse that was the only 7th Cavalry survivor of the massacre. But I do remember reading Indians of the Plains at some point. As for other volumes, I loved Battle of Waterloo and I believe I could still quote passages from Carrier War in the Pacific.

I tried not too long ago to see if this series was still in print. I don't believe it is. But if you ever come across a used edition somewhere, by all means grab it. It'll be well worth it.

Posted by Robert at 09:19 AM | Comments (2)

Listen To the Dingo

Dick Morris, after having spent much of the summer circling around the candidates waiting for one of them to stumble, has started tearing into J. Francois Kerry's intestines.

Posted by Robert at 08:54 AM | Comments (0)


The Flying Space Monkey draws a blindingly clear point: The Blogsphere is like Voltron! I love this, having watched Voltron pretty religiously in my college days. (Just don't even ask.)

Thanks for making my morning!

Yips! to Glenn.

Posted by Robert at 08:39 AM | Comments (1)

Literary Dinner Companions

Enoch Soames, Esq., asks the following question:

If you had to choose...With whom would you dine at the Cafe Royal: Brenda Last, or, Pamela Widmerpool? And depending on you choice, would things progress after your meal?

Well, I can only half answer the question, but it's a definite half-answer. A Handful of Dust is a great favorite of mine in large part because of the feelings of anger and horror that it always evokes. To me, Brenda Last is one of the most appalling characters in literature. Waugh penned some other stinkers to be sure, but at least someone like Virginia Troy, for example, for all her self-centered shallowness, has some shreds of humanity about her. Brenda, on the other hand, is rotten right through and what she does to poor old Tony in the end fills one with dread and loathing. Now, of course, Mr. Soames isn't looking to the long term, but rather to a single no-strings-attached evening. Even here, though, I can't get enthusiastic (as I might very well with Virginia). Brenda's so completely self-absorbed that I would think dinner and, er, anything else with her would be pretty trying - tedious if not downright boring.

On the other hand, I've never read Anthony Powell so I wouldn't know Pamela Widmerpool if I tripped over her. Which leads me to a question - If I were to dip into Powell's works, where would I best start? Any suggestions would be most helpful.

UPDATE: Another reason to love the Blogsphere can be found in the comments to this post. Thanks very much for the recommendations, folks! To all Robbo The Llama Butcher family members who always complain that they never know what to give me: Here is an ideal Christmas present.

Posted by Robert at 08:34 AM | Comments (3)

September 22, 2004

Son, what we have here is a failure to communicate

One of the things I'm enjoying about Rathergate is how the dinosaur press is feeling like they need to do an article on "the blogosphere for beginners" to explain what all the fuss is about.

What's funny is that they think they can do the article and bloggers won't, you know, do what we do: viciously and instantaneously respond.

Case in point: the righteous fisking laid down on Newsday by Ace of Spades. Think back alley, tire iron to the knee caps, bottle broken over the head. Surly biker and a J-School type. The result is beautiful.

I'm waiting for the night soon when Marvin Kalb or some old hand has to utter the word "fisking" in one of these "what's gone wrong with journalizm" panels on cable.

Posted by Steve at 08:43 PM | Comments (1)

5 New Questions

From Rocket Jones:

1. Why did you start a blog?

Because I had been talking back at the tee-vee for way too long. Seriously, I don't remember why, exactly. I started about half a dozen which only lasted a day or two tops. Then it dawned on me Robbo and I had been emailing little things back and forth for years and the light suddenly went on.

That, plus the bales of twenties carried by the hookers Karl Rove regularly sends over us with our marching orders from our Sith Masters at Halliburton. Long live the Chimperor!

2. Do you have a blogmother/blogfather?

September of 2002, I pshopped a picture of Saddam Hussein into a Bugs Bunny still frame of Bugs and Daffy doing the "Duck Season" bit, with Saddam holding up a sign that said "Saddam Season" and then emailed it to Glenn Reynolds. He responded back in about 10 mintues and said "Post it and I'll link to it." Alas, I was like the clueless eleven year old saying "hey, Mister O-G, which end of the pipe do I use?" Needless to say, I froze, and the moment passed.

Once we were actually up and running for a few months, The Commissar as well as Dean Esmay were very encouraging and helpful. So if anyone deserves credit for us, blame the Commissar. Spasibo, Comrade!

3. Has it helped/hurt/had no effect on your professional life?

No discernable effect. One bigfoot in our field figured out the connection, as he was sitting in front of my when I took one for the team and asked Wonkette the question about amateur porn at the political science convention a couple of weeks ago; when I wrote the whole thing up (and we got Instalanched) he emailed the next day to tease me about it. (The King of the Jawas knows who I am talking about). So, other than being outed as a vicious partisan Republican, no effect that way. It hasn't interefered with my teaching or writing (if anything, it has helped my writing by just breaking down all pretenses to writers block). Often I blog a bit just to get my brain loose, and then dive into the real stuff that pays the bills.

No one at work (other than Chai-Rista) and our IT guy know, but that's for the best. But the area that it has really helped is around the home front: my wife is amused by the whole concept, and there's been a marked decline in the generally cranky factor that I would ordinarily have in an election year. And that's very good.

That, and the Halliburton bribe money and hookers have helped. Thanks, Karl Rove!

4. Do your 'real world' friends know that you blog?

"What do I do in my spare time? Well, Phil, I sit in the basement in my jammies pretending to be a Llama hopped up on airplane glue and use photoimaging software to make the wife of the Democratic nominee look like Elton John. That, and I "fisk" people, which is an imaginary rhetorical beating...."

The answer would be no. Rob and I are opposites on this: I haven't told anyone in my family. One buddy is a regular reader (props to Barry! Woo-hoo! Go Huskers!) but other than that, no, my neighbors think I'm weird enough as it is.

5. Do you have a blog crush?

Umm, no, not that I know of. I mean, other than Jeff at Beautiful Atriosities sending flowers and candy, but that's the real thing.....

Seriously, though, I think what would be fun would be for all our blog-buddies to descend on Las Vegas for a wild weekend of blogalicious fun! The LLamas in Vegas, bay-bee! It can be the start of a bona fide blogging convention---Blogacon 2005! Vegas!! Woo-hoo! Dan Rather will be there, dressed like Liberace's driver and carrying INDC Bill's bucket of quarters.

Posted by Steve at 08:32 PM | Comments (3)

Hear! Hear!

Mark Steyn, speaking of an apparent move to abolish the position of Serjeant at Arms in Parliament, lays out some important principles that are at the very core of my own deep-felt Toryism. Here is the heart of Steyn's piece:

What does it say when you go to a busy working legislative body and see a guy wandering round in knee-breeches and buckled shoes? To me, it says that you're part of an ancient continuous constitutional tradition tested by centuries rather than merely being the subject of whatever modish fancies Blair's spinmeisters have picked up at some rebranding workshop.

If you mooch around the Caribbean, you'll know that the Speakers of those tiny, British-derived island parliaments love their wigs and maces and copies of Hansard: they advertise, in stark contrast to their neighbours in Cuba and Haiti, that they are the legal heirs to centuries of peaceful political evolution.

Blessed are those societies whose institutions endure long enough to become "anachronistic". It's one of the things that differentiates Britain from the Continent, where your average Mediterranean constitution dates all the way back to the 1970s. And it speaks volumes about the warped perspective of the Blairites that our customs' longevity should now be their principal offence.

That's what connects Labour's antipathy to both silk stockings and jodhpurs. In the normal ebb and flow of history, some things survive, some evolve, some wither. Given demographic trends and development pressures, I doubt if hunting would have been much of an issue in another 50 years.

But its abolition by national fiat is a repudiation of the past, a partial tear in the golden thread of history. A healthy society is like an iceberg: seven-eighths of it is below the surface, the accumulations of a shared history. When you hack away at that seven-eighths as obsessively as New Labour to leave only the here-and-now floating on the surface, it's easy to cut a country adrift.

And once you start hacking where do you stop? If the political establishment decides the people can do without the Serjeant at Arms, hereditary peers, the Lord Chancellor, the Royal Ulster Constabulary, etc, it can hardly be surprised that, increasingly, the people seem inclined to the view that they can also do without the political establishment.

'Zackly. And I think this principle applies to an awful lot of different aspects of life.

Yips! to Mixolydian Don.

Posted by Robert at 04:45 PM | Comments (1)

Long overdue and well deserved

Kathleen the Cake Eater opens up a major league can of whuppass on Andrew Sullivan.

Posted by Steve at 04:45 PM | Comments (0)

Serious bidness

The crack young staff of The Hatemongers Quarterly reminisces over six months as a player, and they also ask for some timely help.

Our response? In the immortal words of the wise Stoic philosopher John Blutarski, "My advice to you is to begin to drink heavily."

Cough syrup works for us.

Posted by Steve at 04:42 PM | Comments (0)

Bridezilla update

Britney is channeling Carol Channing over at Wizbang.

Plus (didn't you see this one coming?) there's no such thing as a free lunch, let alone a free car. Thanks for the increase in our income taxes, Oprah!

Posted by Steve at 04:34 PM | Comments (1)

Bad economic news for the president: unemployment is on the rise

The Commissar has the details.

Posted by Steve at 04:24 PM | Comments (0)

Score one for the good guys

Rusty has the latest.

Posted by Steve at 04:21 PM | Comments (0)

The Left in a nutshell

Free speech for me, everyone else should be muzzled.

Case in point, idiot du jour Brian Leiter, posting a letter from a reader as part of a deranged point jagging on Glenn Reynolds:

"Don't get me wrong, I am all for debate, and always enjoy getting into intense arguments on politics, religion (I'm an atheist at a Jesuit law school). And I definitely support the open dissemination of ideas (Which is why I despised the 'free speech zone' at my undergrad university). Nevertheless, it scares me that such a character is allowed to openly spread lies.

Sounds like Comrade Glenn is in need of some re-edumahcation!

Posted by Steve at 04:17 PM | Comments (0)

Football Fans for Truth

Gordon the Cranky Neocon is en fuego with the linkety love lately, and has the details on the latest 527, Football Fans for Truth.

If you're not checking out Gordon's place regularly you missing out on some world class extra-sharp snark.

That said, I lifted this pic from Gordon's site because it's a perfect metaphor for the Kerry campaign so far:


You can almost hear the Damon Wayans-esque Nancy Boy squeal.

Contest caption:


kerry dwight clark.png***

Dwight Clark and "The Catch"

keep eye on ball.png


Try your own with the Kerry Sloganator!

Posted by Steve at 03:22 PM | Comments (0)

Boobie-gate comes to a resolution

CBS is fined $550,000 for exposing to America the sagging, lifeless booby of the sister of the King of Freaks.

Justin Timberlake's reaction:

"Besides being scarred permanently by the post-traumatic stress of being exposed to that corpulent sack of fetid cheese, it's not really a big deal: It's not like we fraudulently used forged documents to try to influence a presidential election, and then lie about it."

Smart man, that Justin.

Which makes me realize we haven't chummed the Google waters lately:

Booby-gate / never late / say you're sorry / then commit hari-kari
Olsen Twins / bite your shins / INDC Bill / threatens to kill
me my-lai / oprah doprah lah/ free pontiac / don't smoke crack
Powerline / Kerry has no spine / Illuminati / Shrum's track record is spotty
beheading video / Issac's serving drinks on the lido
deck to dance / I hate France

deep breath, drum solo

edward r. murrow / brow in a furrow / courage bottle / up dan's wazzu he will throttle
andy rooney is lame / which is really a shame / as he was incredibly funny / in, like, 1920
steve croft aloft / is incredibly soft / when issues are at stake / rathergate? clambake!
bradley, ed / fame has gone to his head / should we fire it? / he thinks he's a pirate!
leslie stahl will appall / when it's the election fall / "President Bush, on your life, / when did you stop beating your wife?"
wallace, mike /i admit I do like / from when i was a tike /he broadcast into our home /and blew the lid of Teapot Dome
when i see the checked shirt /i become extra alert /Morley Safer is on the trail / and evil Republicans will not prevail!

UPDATE: Don't miss out on the Joe Don Baker Haiku contest over at Annika's.

Posted by Steve at 03:08 PM | Comments (2)

Outer Space Potty Jokes

I dunno. Somehow I find it especially amusing that our friend Lynn S. should be posting about farting Martians.

Posted by Robert at 01:15 PM | Comments (0)

But You Knew This

This is probably a coals-to-Newcastle post, but if you're not already reading National Review's Kerry Spot three or four times a day, you're really missing out.

This morning, he has some thoughts on the latest Swift Boat ad that highlights Kerry's meeting with the Cong in Paris back in the early 70's. In particular, he quotes John O'Neill, one of the founders of the Swift Boat Vets organization: "It would be like an American today meeting with the heads of al Qaeda," he said.

Boy, if that one sticks, Kerry had better start sending resumes out to college poli-sci departments right now.

Posted by Robert at 09:34 AM | Comments (0)

The Piano Man

goofy edwards pic.jpeg

Someone needs to tell Johnny that that line in Billy Joel about "making love to the microphone" was just a metaphor....

Posted by Steve at 09:05 AM | Comments (1)

Why the kerry campaign is going to fritter away another week on this story

Their instincts are all screwed up--they don't respond for weeks to the Swift Vets, yet they lash out against Dubya because somehow he used Rusty's Sith Mind Control Tricks to get Gunga Dan to use forged documents......?


Let's go to the tape:

Sen. John F. Kerry's campaign fired back hard at the White House yesterday, saying President Bush was using the CBS documents scandal as a ``gutless political attack'' and smokescreen to duck questions about Bush's National Guard service. ``You have to question the motives of the people who are asking these questions,'' senior Kerry campaign adviser Joe Lockhart said. ``The White House is raising questions about this because they don't want to answer questions.''

Hmmm. Now why in the world would Joltin' Joe think this is an effective argument that will get the pirhana off his tail? Is this some sort of turn 180 degrees into the path of the torpedo and hope to plow into it before its fuses have engaged? Does he really think that a whole pack of reporters, who are starting to wonder "hmm, do you think I can get Ashton Kuchar to play me in the movie version of this like Bernstein got Hoffman to play him?" are going to say "hey, we've got a story here about a major news outfit coordinating attacks with a political party 6 weeks before a presidential election, but hey, let's drop that story and run with the one Joe and Terry Mac say is good, about some 35 year old issues that the President really doesn't even dispute?"

Hello? Even Estrich has figured this one out.

``This campaign had nothing to do with these documents, nothing to do with this story,'' Lockhart said on CNN. ``I didn't know who the guy was. I talked to him on the phone for three or four minutes. That's the beginning and the end of the story.'' Lockhart said during their brief conversation, Burkett urged the Kerry campaign to respond more aggressively to the attacks by anti-Kerry Swift boat veterans. But Republicans pounced on the Burkett-Lockhart phone conversation, saying it raised questions about the possible role of the Kerry campaign in the document scandal.

Kerry should fire Lockhart's ass instantaneously, but he won't. He's a liability because the story is now focusing in on him, and while he says there's no story here, one wonders how exactly the Dems were able to flount their "Operation Fortunate Son" ad campaign with the 60 Minutes documents provided by Burkett the day after the story aired?


"Yes, Horseshack?"

"Because they pulled an all nighter?"

Umm, no. Because the had the documents ahead of time, and were working in tandem. Which would be this generation's equivalent of Watergate.

This morning's Judd Nelson/Breakfast Club Award for the person who sits there and asks to be whacked again with detention just to show what a macho idiot he is is none other than Terry Mac:

Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe blasted Bush for shirking his Guard duty, saying the president did not deserve his honorable discharge. ``The president says he received an honorable discharge, but that honorable discharge seems less honorable every day,'' McAuliffe said.

No, what seems more apparent every day is that you are tanking the Kerry campaign to make way for Hillary in 2008.

That's your conspiracy, folks.

Aint Karl Rove a genius?

Posted by Steve at 09:04 AM | Comments (2)

First Day of Autumn

How about a little Keats?

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,--
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

This is absolutely my favorite season, in part at least because it comes as a relief from summer, which I loathe.

But there is considerably more to it as well. Mr. John Keats, five foot two, reflects largely on the bounty of the season and I truly agree with that sentiment. But what I love the most is the feeling of the impending close of the cycle, the knowledge that in another few weeks the first frost will hit, the leaves will begin to turn and fall, and Nature will curl into her defensive huddle to begin the long winter sleep. I particularly love days with forty-five degree highs and steady drizzle. But I don't love them because they match some kind of inner moroseness. Rather, I find they make me extremely cheerful.

To me there is a certain melencholy pleasure in reflecting on the fleetingness of worldly things that is reflected in and enforced by the season. I suppose this is why I've always been drawn to stories like that of King Arthur - stories in which Man is able to temporarily bask in the light of a higher sun, only to see all that he has worked for swept away by the oncoming night of chaos. It isn't that I enjoy the downfall. Rather, the knowledge of the downfall makes me savor the achievement all the more for its fragility. (For you Tolkien Geeks out there, yes, I take this same pleasure in the story of the Noldor and the rise and fall of their kingdoms in Middle Earth.) I also get this feeling when reading Hawthorne, although there it is more atmospheric than anything else. No matter what the subject matter of the particular story, I can almost always smell the odor of dank leaves and drifting wood smoke, and hear the the sound of crows off in the distance swearing at each other as it comes down the wind.

A parallel that I've noticed is that I naturally turn more towards Baroque music, and that of Bach in particular, in the fall. I call this a parallel, because just as I think about the fleetingness of worldly things, I come more into that frame of mind to absorb glimpses and reminders of the permanance of higher matters. I've long argued here that Bach's music in particular seems to cause one's soul to resonate in harmony with the Music of the Spheres. In the hot, fat, lazy days of summer, this can be almost a hardship. In the more sober days of fall as we contemplate our little span on Earth, it is a positive delight.

God only knows why I'm like this. Perhaps it's an ancestral thing - a weirdo combination of Scots Presbyterianism with a measure of sunny but respectful Catholic sympathies. But there you have it. I love fall.

Posted by Robert at 08:47 AM | Comments (5)

September 21, 2004


Sorry, Dan, but you're wrong on this one.

Posted by Steve at 11:44 PM | Comments (0)

Fish in the water off the port bow

Swift Vet #6, inbound.

Can you say "Logan Act"?

Posted by Steve at 11:33 PM | Comments (0)

Toss some lucre in the guitar case

We like to give INDCent Bill the occasional wedgie around here only because we go way back and he knows how to kid back. Anyhoo, Bill's rattling the cup quite deservedly after this week and you should definitely go over and lend your moral if not financial support!

And mark our words: when they make a bad tee-vee movie out of all this (and you know they will!) our dime is on Screech from Saved By The Bell to play Bill! (I'm thinking Bill Paxson and Jeff Bridges for the Powerline guys, and Christopher Lloyd as Charles Johnson of LGF)

Who would you cast in the blog/Dan Rather cheesy tee-vee movie?

BTW, what will be the first tee-vee crime show to use blogs and bloggers as a plot device? Law & Order or CSI?

Posted by Steve at 11:22 PM | Comments (7)

Rather Roundup

Allah, of course.

Howie Kurtz

Posted by Steve at 11:12 PM | Comments (0)

"One--ONE" equals Eleven: Kerry's Eleven Positions on Iraq

Kerry asserted today that he has always had "only ONE---ONE position on Iraq."

Sure: as my five year old would tell you, "one one" is eleven.

Clear enough for me!

Posted by Steve at 11:02 PM | Comments (1)

Susan Estrich and the Adlai Stevenson Syndrome

Mommy make the mean men stop!

Susan Estrich---a mere two weeks ago talking tough like some B-school professor talking about "going to the matresses" because, you see, he'd seen the Godfather once---throws in the towel.

Am I the only Democrat who doesn't quite get this National Guard business? Why are we wasting our time?

Good question, Suze. I've been wondering that myself. The person who has been pimping this meme is Terry McAuliffe, and it seems that it only makes one Democrat smile:

goofy hillary pic.jpeg

It's also a theme being aggressively pimped by Mikey Moore and the DU types, for reasons that escape me.

Why are they wasting their time? Beats me.

I'm no George Bush fan. I'm a card-carrying member of the Democratic Party. I don't buy the toughness applied to the wrong war and all that. But for the life of me, I can't figure out what the National Guard and the privileged son has to do with it, or how it helps John Kerry out of his Swift Boat swamp.

It doesn't, that's the beauty of it. It's the same reason why all the paranoid delusionary theories imbided by the right during the Clinton years added up to electoral losses on the top of the ticket (although real success on the undercards).

But I think for the Democrats it's the engaging in a virulent indulgence of what I like to call the Adlai Stevenson Syndrome. In other words, Democrats like to think they are smarter than Republicans (and everyone else), and so therefore think that if Dubya is dumb, that he should be easy to beat. They'd almost rather lose than admit otherwise. It's kind of like the trap the Dauphin of France falls into in Henry V---how could he be beaten by that whoring drunk Prince Hal? That's why this whole CBS debacle should shape up to be the Democrats' Agincourt, where the magnificent charging armour of the aristocratic nobles of the press are slaughtered in the mud by a bunch of rude, coarse, yeoman bloggers with the longbows, clad only in their jammies.

For the time being, National Guard has become synonymous with the questions raised about the liberal media. Did CBS fall for a hoax, or did the right-wing conspiracy set up CBS? How could the conservative bloggers have known, even before CBS got off the air, about supposed inconsistencies in documents that were yet to be released publicly? CBS is down but not out. The problem is, it'll be fighting its battles until the next election cycle.

Yep, it's gotta be a conspiracy! And it was---a conspiracy involving CBS knowingly using fraudulent documents in collusion with the Democratic Party to influence a presidential election. Sorry about the "Rove Must Have Done It!" line, Suze, it's just not going to fly!

Meanwhile, how could this be any better for George Bush? The impact of a very bad story, albeit on a peripheral subject for him, is totally blocked.

Yep. He's won immunity on this one, against all the sorts of sleazy stuff that you were advocating in your editorial just two weeks ago (you remember, where you were holding out the hope of Larry Flynt and Kitty Kelley doing your dirty work for you?)

It's different for Bush than it is for Kerry. Bush wasn't running for re-election on the strength of his record in the National Guard. Did anyone ever think he was anything other than the privileged son of a rich Texan who did what he could to fly planes here and not risk his life in Vietnam? Did he ever deny it? Not that I heard.

I think I just heard the lightbulb click. The reason why the Swift Vets stuff hulled Kerry below the waterline was because it directly challenged the whole "reporting for duty" mantra. Band of Brothers, my arse. But the Guard stuff never registered against Bush for exactly the reasons she now realizes: he never pretended to be something that he's not. The Democrats aren't used to that, having been married to Bill for the past 12 years. The secret to Bush's success politically is that he knows who he is and does an excellent job of projecting that inner confidence. That's why he's beaten two liberal icons---Ann Richards (remember her?), and Prince Albert.

So how much does it matter if he did or didn't show up in Boston or Alabama, if there was or wasn't sugarcoating, or pressure, or missed flight checks? What do you get if you win? Does it really raise questions about Bush's competence to lead in the future, or only about CBS' competence to report?

That's the beauty of it: they get nothing except the story boomerangs back upon them. Unfortunate for them, yet completely predictable. Just ask former Presidents Bob Dole, Lamar Alexander, and Steve Forbes---this sort of attack doesn't work.

And the story is not about CBS' incompetence, but its bias and fraud.

Bush is losing nothing in this comparison. He didn't run on his National Guard record. He wasn't trying to get anything from it, so he isn't losing anything. Big surprise: Did you know George Bush is a child of privilege? His record might have been sugar-coated, and now it turns out it wasn't.

John Kerry gets hit because he tried to meet the toughness test as a war hero. The Swift Boat Veterans called that into question. Even if they got their facts wrong, they challenged his claim to toughness. And then they became the media darlings, which earned them $32 million, and still counting.

Yeah, life's rough when you aren't scarfing at George Soros' trough. That's why the top 7 527s are all left leaning, and have together raised over $120,000,000.

And the Swift Vets have been successful because they haven't had their facts wrong, as the whole Christmas in Cambodia story became seared---SEARED---into our consciousness.

Terrible luck. Unfair. Should've seen it coming. Whatever. It is the past. Kerry has to move on.

Yep, it was, and this is why the front-loaded primary process plus the Little Lord Fauntleroy campaign finance/media hissy about "negative campaigning" damaged them. Edwards, or Lieberman, or Gephardt coulda/shoulda run with the equivalent of Swift Vet ads 4 + 5 in the primaries (the ones featuring Kerry's 1971 testimony and his Dick Cavett show interview about throwing away his medals). Kerry tried to be both the guy on the cover of Doug Brinkely's book--Mr. Reporting for Duty clean-cut war hero--all the while being the long haired punk testifying before the Senate in 71 about "Jenjisss Caaahn" and war crimes he may (or may not) have witnessed. You can't be both, and you can't have it both ways. The Democrats can blame it all they want on Karl Rove and Halliburton, but the truth of the matter is that there boy gone done screwed the pooch.

John Kerry might even be a worse candidate than Bob Dole, and that says a lot.

Enough with the war hero. Enough with having things both ways. The war is the measure of toughness. Not the war 30 years ago. This one. It's harder to make it simple. If you're that smart, you can do it. Raise the level of the debate by making it simpler.

For now, George Bush has managed to go from being the dumb president to the tough president, from the president depicted by Michael Moore to the president depicted in the Republican Convention. Democrats need to get off Vietnam and challenge him. Raise the stakes. Make the toughness real. One mistake. That's all it will take.

Here's why I think the Democrats are going to screw it up: they can't admit that Dubya is a smart pol and an effective campaigner. Its the Adlai Stevenson Syndrome again. Kerry did it today, going on the Regis show and joking about how Dubya wanted to have the debates allow for a "phone a friend" life-line. I was pumped when I heard that, because as we shift into debate mode, I thought for sure they had learned the lessons from last time and would begin talking up Bush's skill in debates. But they're not going to do it---they're going to do the same thing they did four years ago, and he's going to go in there and mop up the floor with Kerry.

Alas for the Democrats, the "One Mistake" Suze is hoping for is being committed by them: but I'm coming to the conlusion that the Democrats would rather lose the White House and the Congress than to admit that George Bush is smarter than they've given him credit for.

Aint Karl Rove a genius?

Posted by Steve at 10:47 PM | Comments (0)


Remember that scene in Star Trek: First Contact where Cochrane, Riker and Jordi blast into space in Cochrane's first warp-drive ship with "Magic Carpet Ride" pounding in the speakers? Well that's how I feel today as the altimeter soars past 50,000 hits. Thanks to everyone who's made this possible. I'm at once delighted and mystified that this collection of bubble-gum and baling-wire ever made it off the ground.


Steve and Robbo in the early days: "Wait, how do you spell 'Blogger' again?"

Meanwhile, another milestone has been passed by Gordon the Cranky Neo-Con, who hit the big 10,000 today. Go on over and congratulate him.

Yip! Yip! Yip!

Posted by Robert at 04:25 PM | Comments (8)

Chill, Rick

I know that we rank amatures should always be respectful of professional pundits, but I have a few bones to pick with Rick Brookheiser writing in The Corner today. He has this to say on the election:

REVEILLE [Rick Brookhiser] Yut-dut-dut-dut-da-da! Yut-duh-duh-dut-dut-daaa!

Wake up! Put down your Dan Rather teddy bears! The election is not going to be a smooth coast home, flipping through memos from Burkett to Barnes to Lockhart to Dan. As Rich says, Kerry has engaged the main issue.

The Nader vote, which was showing signs of life, will disappear again. Kerry has a position, finally, and the flip flop meme is about as valuable as mulch. Who cares what he said yesterday, if what he says today seems to make sense? A foolish consistency, etc.

Terrorists can get on board the Kerry campaign, in Iraq and elsewhere. Every death in Iraq can be a black mark against Bush, and every death anywhere else in the world can be a black mark against Bush, because he shouldn't be distracted in Iraq. No, I don't believe Kerry welcomes terror, or that he is anything but a patriot. But the terrorists will see it in their interest to help him by making the big push in October. They were going to do it anyway; once more, with feeling.

Bush will have to explain why Iraq was right, why it is better to have Saddam gone, and how we are going to prevail there; and how we intend to prevail over all. He will have to say it in big speeches, and he will have to say it in sound bites. It won't be Lincoln Douglas or the Federalist Papers, but it will be as close as we come.

A couple points:

1. Who the hell is coasting? After each successive piece of good news, the conservative blogsphere echoes to the rafters with the line, "Great kid, but don't get cocky." And so far as I can tell from my humble station, no one in the Dubya camp is sitting around drinking pina coladas and chomping fat stogies yet.

2. I don't think J. Francois gets a free pass on all he's said in the past now that he's "got a position," not by a longshot. There's just too much there to be ignored.

3. I think for every Nader vote Kerry picks up for equating Iraq with Vietnam, he loses a swing voter who believes he's going to do a bolt as soon as he's sworn in. As I said a while back, those who disapprove of Bush's handling of the war fall into two blocks - those who think we're doing too much and those who think we're not doing enough. Kerry can't woo both of these constituencies at the same time. And being painted as a defeatist lib will be every bit as damaging as being painted as a flip-flopper.

4. Yes, it may well be a bloody fall, either because the bad guys step up the pace or because we do or both. If that is the case, who would you rather have in charge - someone who is steady and constant or someone who tacks all over the place. Furthermore, how are Mr. and Mrs. Mainstream America going to respond if they think the bad guys are trying to scare them into voting Bush out of office?

5. Let's not forget that foreign policy is the Republicans' home turf. (Remember how only a few weeks ago everyone was saying Kerry should concentrate on domestic issues?) I believe Rove and company are confident that in a face to face showdown on the issue, Dubya will blow Kerry away. That's why I can't shake the sneaking suspicion that one of the reasons behind Bush's recent streak of optomistic remarks has been to provoke Kerry into going for the draw.

So really, Rick, I agree with you about what Dubya needs to do, but I think he's going to do it anyway. Less of the warning flags, please. All you're doing is giving Andy Sullivan a woody.

Posted by Robert at 03:18 PM | Comments (2)

Practical Applications for Useless Pets

I like Kathy the Cake-Eater's husband's views on cats. Seems like a sensible fellah.

Posted by Robert at 02:44 PM | Comments (5)

It's The Art, Stupid

ACD at Sounds & Fury rips into artists (musicians, in this case) who forget that the art itself is the only thing that matters.

This reminds me of a snippet I read somewhere or other. Apparently, P.G. Wodehouse was once asked how he wrote all his wonderful works. Plum replied, "Oh, I don't know. I just sit down at the typewriter and swear a bit." As a matter of fact, Wodehouse slaved over his books. But he was enough of a true artist to understand that this was irrelevant in judging the final product.

In a related coincidence, our friend Lynn at Reflections in D Minor is hammering on people who forget that composers are as human as the rest of us.

Posted by Robert at 01:09 PM | Comments (0)

Blogroll Update

Just wanted to give everyone the head's up about a couple more sites that have gained the dubious distinction of being added to the Llama Blogroll.

First, we have a trio of Lay-Days of the Blogsphere:

The American Daughter is tracking the perfect moonbat storm that is gathering over J. Francois Kerry's foreign policy.

Jane at Armies of Liberation is French-bashing.

Nicole of Potomac Ponderings has some very sensible things to say about the notion, floated by Robert Novak yesterday, that the Bush Team might be thinking of cutting and running in Iraq. I just have this to say: I really really don't think it's going to happen.

Welcome aboard!

Then in the fell-off-the-back-of-the-blogroll category, we've reinstated Jeff's Beautiful Atrocities. We lost Jeff when our blogroll crashed a week or two back, as he wasn't on the old blogger list that we used to plug the gap. Welcome back, Jeff.

Yip! Yip! Yip!

Posted by Robert at 12:43 PM | Comments (2)

A meme even Robbo could love

Donut blogging.

Will the Carnival of the Donuts be not far behind?

Posted by Steve at 12:39 PM | Comments (0)


Remember last week or so when Lurch was brandishing a shotgun, talking about how it was too bad that he couldn't bring it with him to the debates? Ah, political assassination humor. But it's okay, because it's a Republican, right?

Now there's someone taking him seriously on the loose in NY.

Can you imagine what the reaction would have been from the MSM if Rush or Newt had waved a rifle and joked about killing Clinton, only to have someone set out to do just?

But we know what the reaction is when its a Republican: crickets chirping.

Who is the scumbag now, Senator?

Posted by Steve at 12:32 PM | Comments (2)

Paint it Red!

The latest poll update via Real Clear Politics. (Via Kevin)

Posted by Steve at 11:30 AM | Comments (0)

Happy birthday, pixy!

Reverend Pixy, the Commander Adama to this motley, rag-tag band of space voyagers that is the Munuvian Nation, celebrated his birthday yesterday---happy birthday, Andrew! And at least they didn't sing the ("you look like a monkey, and smell like one too!" version)

YIPS! from Robbo! Bending the metaphor ever so slightly, I guess that makes us MuNuvians look kind of like this:


(Okay, it's only a Starbuck and Apollo link, but I find this pretty damn funny!)

Yips! to Tim Ireland at Bloggerheads.

Posted by Steve at 11:20 AM | Comments (2)

schaudanfraude roundup

Schaudanfraude---the act of taking delight in the misery of Dan Rather.

Absolutely the most ridiculously hilarious link of the moring comes from the creator of worlds, who takes us to this fevered-pitch strand at the Democratic Underground about their plans to leave the country now that the Chimperor and his fascist thugs have "silenced" Dan Rather.....

It's sad, but when you read some of their deluded crap it almost makes Mike Moore seem like the saner, more rational member of the group.....

UPDATE: Rocket Jones weighs in with this link: George Bush Killed my Dog!

And this one is a pretty damn funny link too!

UPDATE DEUX: Podhoretz nails it (and Kevin deserves the golden groan for the title "anchors aweigh")

UPDATE TROIS:Balloon Juice has the timeline of events. (Via Glenn)

Posted by Steve at 11:16 AM | Comments (1)

Sorry to ruin your morning java

But this is an exercise in grand delusion---Michael Moore's latest letter to his friends. Unlike CBS, I didn't make this up:


Dear Friends,

Enough of the handwringing! Enough of the doomsaying! Do I have to come there and personally calm you down? Stop with all the defeatism, OK? Bush IS a goner -- IF we all just quit our whining and bellyaching and stop shaking like a bunch of nervous ninnies. Geez, this is embarrassing! The Republicans are laughing at us. Do you ever see them cry, "Oh, it's all over! We are finished! Bush can't win! Waaaaaa!"

Well, fatty, yes we are and no, we don't go crying to our mommies when the attacks come. Unlike the French, we fight back.

Hell no. It's never over for them until the last ballot is shredded. They are never finished -- they just keeping moving forward like sharks that never sleep, always pushing, pulling, kicking, blocking, lying.

I truly love the theme that Democrats have convinced themselves they are the party of virtue incapable of any dirty tricks. It's a wonderful delusion. It's just not true: of course they fight dirty. Their problem is that other than Team Clinton (and by this I mean the Boss himself and not his proxies) they don't know how to do it well. LBJ and old man Kennedy would be pissed to see how lame the Democrats have gotten in this the electoral tactic they invented and perfected.

They are relentless and that is why we secretly admire them -- they just simply never, ever give up. Only 30% of the country calls itself "Republican," yet the Republicans own it all -- the White House, both houses of Congress, the Supreme Court and the majority of the governorships. How do you think they've been able to pull that off considering they are a minority? It's because they eat you and me and every other liberal for breakfast and then spend the rest of the day wreaking havoc on the planet.

Me, personally, I've never had roasted pig for breakfast--I'm much more of a Cheerios, skim milk and apple juice sort of guy myself. But thanks--I had a hunch your monomaniacal hatred of us was rooted in your secret love and admiration for us----Mikey Moore, closeted Republican? You know what they say about the most vicious homophobes being self-hating gays? Maybe the most vicious Republiphobes are driven by an intense rage that they can't understand that stems from a funny feeling in their pants every time they see Margaret Thatcher.

As for the majority/minority thing, part of what's driving the rage of the far left (other than their secret love that dare not speak its name) is that while Republicans are ascending into majority status, Democrats have fallen from that role. Think of it: basically for sixty years Democrats and Democrat-defined ideas and agendas controlled the House of Representatives and the Senate as well as the Supreme Court. They lost their grip on the presidency in 1968, and only have won ONE presidential election with more than 50% of the total vote since (in the freak election of 1976). Sure Bill Clinton won twice, but with 43% and 49% of the vote, and I think historians of American political development are going to mark him down as a centrist Republican anyway---I mean, what were his big legislative achievements? Free trade, welfare reform, balancing the budget by growing the economy (supply-side, anyone?) There has been a major realigning of the country ideologically since 1980, and the flavor of Donkeyism espoused by rabble like Mike Moore is on the way to the dustbin of history. The problem is, that the last part of their hegemony is finally crumbling---the control by the left of the major news media. It's like they've finally looked out the window from their palace and are seeing the trundle carrying their paladin Dan Rather off to the guillotine, which they've just noticed for the first time.

"But, but, but, how can this be happening? I mean, the NYT and the LA Times and CBS News and the BBC all said Bush was going to lose.......?

Look at us -- what a bunch of crybabies. Bush gets a bounce after his convention and you would have thought the Germans had run through Poland again. The Bushies are coming, the Bushies are coming! Yes, they caught Kerry asleep on the Swift Boat thing. Yes, they found the frequency in Dan Rather and ran with it. Suddenly it's like, "THE END IS NEAR! THE SKY IS FALLING!"

Get it? Poland, Germans, Bush is a NAZI!!!! Har! Har! Good one, Mike. Original.

But what's classic here is how the left is perceiving the Swift Vets, that their perception is even worse than ours: to use a sail-age navy metaphor, they hulled him. And the left knows it. And the dropping of Dan Rather to the wolves is priceless.

No, it is not. If I hear one more person tell me how lousy a candidate Kerry is and how he can't win... Dammit, of COURSE he's a lousy candidate -- he's a Democrat, for heavens sake! That party is so pathetic, they even lose the elections they win! What were you expecting, Bruce Springsteen heading up the ticket? Bruce would make a helluva president, but guys like him don't run -- and neither do you or I. People like Kerry run.

Get it----born to run? Heh, er, not. I like the admission that Kerry's a lousy candidate. Maybe all their fixture on the Republicans being so mean is really a way of talking about how lame they know they are?

Yes, OF COURSE any of us would have run a better, smarter, kick-ass campaign. Of course we would have smacked each and every one of those phony swifty boaty bastards down. But WE are not running for president -- Kerry is. So quit complaining and work with what we have. Oprah just gave 300 women a... Pontiac! Did you see any of them frowning and moaning and screaming, "Oh God, NOT a friggin' Pontiac!" Of course not, they were happy. The Pontiacs all had four wheels, an engine and a gas pedal. You want more than that, well, I can't help you. I had a Pontiac once and it lasted a good year. And it was a VERY good year.

And the message here is "John Kerry: he's no camaro, but I'm voting for him anyway, even though the wheels will fall off in a year?"

What Jumbo here needs to realize is that in politics, the motivating drive to put someone into office is much greater than the motivating drive to drive someone out of office. So, if you and your mob are jazzed up to drive Bush out, it will only work if we're luke warm about keeping Bush in. See election of 1992. In a year in which you are jazzed up to drive our guy out, and we're equally if not more motivated to keep our guy in, we're going to win. Even more so, in a year in which you want our guy out but are lukewarm about your guy you want in, and we're really motivated, we're going to blow you out. See election of 1996.

The problem for you, Mike, is what your vanity won't allow you to see: we hate you more than you hate Bush. So everytime your jowels swing on to the screen, you deliver twice as many votes for Bush than you do for Kerry.

Unless, that is, you're working for Hillary.....

My friends, it is time for a reality check.

1. The polls are wrong. They are all over the map like diarrhea. On Friday, one poll had Bush 13 points ahead -- and another poll had them both tied. There are three reasons why the polls are b.s.: One, they are polling "likely voters." "Likely" means those who have consistently voted in the past few elections. So that cuts out young people who are voting for the first time and a ton of non-voters who are definitely going to vote in THIS election. Second, they are not polling people who use their cell phone as their primary phone. Again, that means they are not talking to young people. Finally, most of the polls are weighted with too many Republicans, as pollster John Zogby revealed last week. You are being snookered if you believe any of these polls.

Just ask Governor Gray Davis about those polls. Seriously, polls are becoming more innacurate for many of the reasons megalon describes; it's just his assessment of what that means is screwy. Sure, polls underrepresent the youth vote but guess what? The youth vote underperforms anyway, and plus, this year its skewing right. For a whole variety of reasons, this is why I'm following the political futures markets instead of the polls this year.

2. Kerry has brought in the Clinton A-team. Instead of shunning Clinton (as Gore did), Kerry has decided to not make that mistake.

Oh my goodness this truly deserves a pshop of epic proportions: the only question is who gets to be in the B.A. Baracus part pioneered by Mr. T? I think I'd have to go with Lockhart on that one (I pity the fool who passed on the forgeries!)

the a-team.jpeg
Watch out, Bushitler the Chimperor! Kerry's called in the Clinton A-Team! I pity the fool!

3. Traveling around the country, as I've been doing, I gotta tell ya, there is a hell of a lot of unrest out there. Much of it is not being captured by the mainstream press. But it is simmering and it is real. Do not let those well-produced Bush rallies of angry white people scare you. Turn off the TV! (Except Jon Stewart and Bill Moyers -- everything else is just a sugar-coated lie).

Yep, there is a hell of a lot of unrest, and much of its been ginned up by you and your sleezy lies. If I were you, Mike, I'd keep an eye out for angry crowds carrying a big vat of tar and large bags of feathers---you wouldn't look good riding a rail.

4. Conventional wisdom says if the election is decided on "9/11" (the fear of terrorism), Bush wins. But if it is decided on the job we are doing in Iraq, then Bush loses. And folks, that "job," you might have noticed, has descended into the third level of a hell we used to call Vietnam. There is no way out. It is a full-blown mess of a quagmire and the body bags will sadly only mount higher. Regardless of what Kerry meant by his original war vote, he ain't the one who sent those kids to their deaths -- and Mr. and Mrs. Middle America knows it. Had Bush bothered to show up when he was in the "service" he might have somewhat of a clue as to how to recognize an immoral war that cannot be "won." All he has delivered to Iraq was that plasticized turkey last Thanksgiving. It is this failure of monumental proportions that is going to cook his goose come this November.

So, do not despair. All is not over. Far from it. The Bush people need you to believe that it is over. They need you to slump back into your easy chair and feel that sick pain in your gut as you contemplate another four years of George W. Bush. They need you to wish we had a candidate who didn't windsurf and who was just as smart as we were when WE knew Bush was lying about WMD and Saddam planning 9/11. It's like Karl Rove is hypnotizing you -- "Kerry voted for the war...Kerry voted for the war...Kerrrrrryyy vooootted fooooor theeee warrrrrrrrrr..."

Yes...Yes...Yesssss....He did! HE DID! No sense in fighting now...what I need is sleep...sleeep...sleeeeeeppppp...

WAKE UP! The majority are with us! More than half of all Americans are pro-choice, want stronger environmental laws, are appalled that assault weapons are back on the street -- and 54% now believe the war is wrong. YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE TO CONVINCE THEM OF ANY OF THIS -- YOU JUST HAVE TO GIVE THEM A RAY OF HOPE AND A RIDE TO THE POLLS. CAN YOU DO THAT? WILL YOU DO THAT?

"Joel, get off the babysitter!"

I mean seriously, dude, take a breath. You can almost envision the fine froth of Krispy Kreme donut glaze pornographically coating itself to the keyboard as he types this, one handed, the other cramming that desperate 23rd in his mouth, crumbs falling like so many people jumping off the poop deck of the Titanic into the cold, dark abyss of his lap....

Just for me, please? Buck up. The country is almost back in our hands. Not another negative word until Nov. 3rd! Then you can bitch all you want about how you wish Kerry was still that long-haired kid who once had the courage to stand up for something. Personally, I think that kid is still inside him. Instead of the wailing and gnashing of your teeth, why not hold out a hand to him and help the inner soldier/protester come out and defeat the forces of evil we now so desperately face. Do we have any other choice?

Finally, agreement! We too believe that long-haired inner punk/soldier/protestor/preppy is still inside him too. So do the Swift Vets. So do an increasing number of Americans.

And we too are going to hold out a hand for him, and help the John Kerry's inner punk come out--but our hand is a fist.

Payback's a bitch and all.


Michael Moore

Swift Vet ad #7, anyone? Help J. Francois get in touch with his inner child?

UPDATE: Gordon the Cranky Neo-Con (which is like saying Geoffery, the Intemperate English Lit PhD working at Borders) calls this exercise a "grenade of love."

UPDATE DEUX: Blackfive opens up a can of whupass on Kerry's new Iraq tack.

Posted by Steve at 09:35 AM | Comments (9)


I do believe I'm coming down with a bug - I'm almost positive I picked it up from a friend of mine at Church on Sunday morning. All the symptoms are there - eyes getting heavy and itchy, headache, sinuses starting to spike a bit. Bleh. So I don't know how much glittering wit and laser-like insight I'm going to be able to serve up today. [When do you ever? - Ed.] But I'll try.

Posted by Robert at 09:27 AM | Comments (0)

Our new slogan

pajama blog for victory.jpg

Posted by Steve at 01:09 AM | Comments (0)


How did Viacom get CBS News to admit to the obvious that Danny Boy had been complicit in a massive fraud?

The truth can now be told from our sources deep inside CBS Corporate HQ who forward this still from the security camera in the men's room just down from the corporate board room:

rock and dan.jpg

The truth must be pursued!

Posted by Steve at 12:37 AM | Comments (1)

The next domino to fall

There's a wonderful sequence in the original Lethal Weapon movie where Mel Gibson, after having been tortured by the weird looking Vietnamese dude with the electro shocks, kills the guy and then a whole series of bad guys who run in. Mel, looking like he's going to burst a blood vessel in his head roars out "WHO'S NEXT???? WHO'S FUCKING NEXT??????"

May I make a suggestion?
joe lockhart.jpeg

What's funny about all this to me is how short a time all this has taken: could it only be two weeks ago that Susan "Darth" Estrich, former Dukakis campaign manager, was offering this advice to Democrats?

My Democratic friends are mad as hell, and they aren't going to take it any more. ...

The trouble with Democrats, traditionally, is that we're not mean enough....

Too much is at stake to play by Dukakis' rules and lose again. That is the conclusion Democrats have reached. ...

So watch out. Millions of dollars will be on the table. And there are plenty of choices for what to spend it on.....

Or maybe it will be Texas National Guardsmen for Truth, who can explain exactly what George W. Bush was doing while John Kerry was putting his life on the line. Perhaps with money on the table, or investigators on their trail, we will learn just what kind of wild and crazy things the president was doing while Kerry was saving a man's life, facing enemy fire and serving his country. ...

The arrogant little Republican boys who strutted around New York this week, claiming that they have this one won, would do well to take a step back. It could be a long and ugly road to November.

Indeed it has been. The Democrats followed Darth Estrich's advice, and we all know what followed: Kitty Kelley's book straight to the remainder bin, and Dan Rather's head stuffed and mounted for the wall in the Northern Alliance clubhouse out in the pin oak behind the garage at Jasperwood.

So my comment would be for those arrogant little Democratic girls who strutted around claiming they have Bush whacked: "neener!"

And in the immortal words of Bill the Cat: "THHPFFFT!"

UPDATE: The Commissar is preparing for the show trial. One ticket to Siberia, coming up....

Posted by Steve at 12:10 AM | Comments (0)

September 20, 2004

INDC BILL Exposed!

INDCent Bill: prom queen drama fiend? You make the call.

UPDATE from The Tasty Bits Archives: Bill's talking about the hatemail he's getting complaining of his link-whoring---but to criticize INDC Journal for link-whoring is like criticizing the Mona Lisa for her cryptic smile.

Here's our take on it from back in the early summer:

link whore sans blogger sign.jpg

Posted by Steve at 05:18 PM | Comments (2)

Swift Vet #6: Don't Forget Paris

forget paris.gif

According to the ever reliable Wizbang! Coming soon.....think Forget Paris, starring John Kerry and Ho Chi Minh instead of Billy Crystal and Debra Winger...

Posted by Steve at 05:05 PM | Comments (0)

What the....?

Someone visited our site by googling "Jennifer Millerwise naked"

Huh? Rusty, you're our resident porn expert--can you fill us in on this?

Posted by Steve at 05:00 PM | Comments (8)

Pajama Party Update

Michele at Letters from New York City has the latest in blogging fashion tips.

Frankly, as far as the clothing goes, I'm pretty broad-minded. Suit. Jammies. Naked. Whatever. To me, the key is the right accessories:


Posted by Robert at 03:32 PM | Comments (3)


Since Rob's created the all things skanky upload strategy, here's my addition:


Ohhhh no, there goes Tokyo, watch out BRIDEZILLA!

Posted by Steve at 02:31 PM | Comments (0)

Holy crap!

Rusty's strategy to get major linkety-bling-bling by being your one stop shop for all things Islamic beheading snuff films is paying off with a serious hate-a-lanche from the Democratic Underground.

As one great Amerikan said: "BRING.IT.ON!" (That is before yelping "Mommy make the mean men STOP!"

My sense is that early next week, there's going to be a whole lot of new-to-you used droids for sale out by the Sandcrawler....

Posted by Steve at 02:21 PM | Comments (3)

Tradesports Presidential futures market in the WSJ

A long write-up in the Wall Street Journal looks at and its presidential elections futures market. We've been following this since January, and our contention that the futures market run there would be more accurate than polls has been borne out so far. The idea is that markets are more accurate than polls because they are measurements of what a large group of people believe is going to happen, rather than a measure of a small selected group of people want to happen. Precisely because anyone can participate (and therefore add their information to the market), and precisely because they can do so making a large amount of money if they are correct, it's been my hunch that this would give a more reliable and creditable sense of the trends in the election than watching the polls, which are plagued with methodological problems driven primarily by technology which interferes with the ability to get a truly random sample of the population.

And where is the market at today? The "Bush reelected" contract is trading at $71, only $4 below its all-time high after the capture of Saddam.

UPDATE: Vodkapundit has the roundup of the polls and the electoral markets. It's not quite "Party like it's 1984" but we're getting there.....

Posted by Steve at 02:11 PM | Comments (0)

Been there, done that

Somehow, this story was much more amusing when it featured George Clooney, Ice Cube, and Mark Wahlberg; but since it features the French military peacekeepers stealing money from desparately poor countries, you know somehow the US rejection of the ICC and Kyoto are somehow to blame...

Posted by Steve at 01:59 PM | Comments (0)


Howard Kurtz writes the mainstream media account of how the blogs beat CBS. I've always liked Howard Kurtz's reporting, and I think his reporting on this story over the past two weeks has been fair and objective.

Let me tell you, the mood in the campus faculty lunch place (conveniently named "Le Bistro") was grimmer than the siting of Paris Hilton in a convention of epidemilogists: let's just say the "huff" factor (the "well...hmmpph..Bush is still the bigger liar!") was rampant. I was quite diplomatic and saved the "Neener!" for later.

UPDATE: It's official! Here's Kurtz's account.

Last week, amid increasing questions about the authenticity of documents used in support of a 60 MINUTES WEDNESDAY story about President Bush's time in the Texas Air National Guard, CBS News vowed to re-examine the documents in question -- and their source -- vigorously. And we promised that we would let the American public know what this examination turned up, whatever the outcome.

Now, after extensive additional interviews, I no longer have the confidence in these documents that would allow us to continue vouching for them journalistically. I find we have been misled on the key question of how our source for the documents came into possession of these papers. That, combined with some of the questions that have been raised in public and in the press, leads me to a point where -- if I knew then what I know now -- I would not have gone ahead with the story as it was aired, and I certainly would not have used the documents in question.

But we did use the documents. We made a mistake in judgment, and for that I am sorry. It was an error that was made, however, in good faith and in the spirit of trying to carry on a CBS News tradition of investigative reporting without fear or favoritism.

Please know that nothing is more important to us than people's trust in our ability and our commitment to report fairly and truthfully.

I'm at work and I don't have pshop on this machine, otherwise I would do a evacuation of the Saigon embassy as CBS HQ-esque thing. In the meantime, I think this is a great time to launch the Llamabutcher line of TShirts with the picture of Dan Rather's head stuffed and mounted on a nice wall plack.

UPDATE: The Commissar has the leads on where the story goes next. Because this aint over yet....

Also, I haven't been able to link into INDC Journal yet. Congrats to Bill, I hope he's getting beaucoup traffic out of this, which he completely deserves. And I hope that mounting the head of a liberal icon on your cubicle wall isn't a career no-no in Bill's neck of the woods....

Ace of Spades has a new Top Ten Mottos for CBS News, plus the latest from Teh-RAYY-zah "Lovey" Heinz Kerry Howell III (note to Rob's mom: don't follow the link, as T-Ice calls your son a "scumbag").

DIGITAL LYNCH-MOB UPDATE: Annika has the all the linkety about how to contact CBS affiliates to demand Dan's head on a platter.

I think this is what they invented "tar and feathering" for...

Posted by Steve at 01:46 PM | Comments (2)

Speak That I May See Thee

Which British Literary Period are you?


1660-1785--Pope, Swift, Johnson. Times they are a changing. You're very cynical and you like looking out for the little guys. You have a sense of humor a lot of people just don't get.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz
Brought to you by quizzes and personality tests.

Not to be a complete Brit-Lit nerd about it, but this is really more Augustan that Restoration.

Yips! to Lawren.

Posted by Robert at 01:22 PM | Comments (0)

Llama Yips!

Thanks muchly again to Sparky the Unclimber and Mr. Sparky for a very pleasant evening Saturday night.

If you will direct your attention to the "Hot 'n Spicy" column, you will see that I have added Sparky to our blogroll. As I mentioned at one point during dinner when the tide of our combined five daughters had ebbed, I've been meaning to do this for some time. Her blog mostly concerns home-schooling and religious matters, with occassional forays into other fields, and is well worth a read. Sparky doesn't have sitemeter at the moment, so if you go over be sure to leave a calling card in the comments.

Yip! Yip! Yip!

Posted by Robert at 10:23 AM | Comments (1)

Tom Clancy Watch

The American Daughter has fascinating video of a tactical missile attack in Fallujah as recorded by a fighter-jock's camera. Go read her description of the attack and then check out the film.

To quote the radio voice at the end, "Oh, Dude."

Yips! to the New England Republican.

Posted by Robert at 09:20 AM | Comments (0)

Haasenpfeffer Watch Update

I meant to mention over the weekend that I had a go at trying this anti-rabbit suggestion. Perhaps I used too heavy a concentration of the stuff because I wound up burning most of the leaves I put it on.


I am starting to get itchy fingers for transplanting things - perhaps as the result of the gloriously cool weather that rolled into Dee Cee over the weekend once the remnants of Ivan blew out. One of the things I plan to do is move the oregano and parsley I have in pots on the porch out into the garden. I've already got a very large clump of thyme - the sole survivor of my first year's planting - and I figured I would put the other herbs in along side.

Needless to say, I'm really going to have to crack down on securing the fence once and for all. The furry little bastards nibble at the black eye susans and purple magnus. But I think they would absolutely devastate the parsley.

Posted by Robert at 09:08 AM | Comments (3)

Floundering 'Fins

We're doomed. Doomed. 0-2 after losing to the Bungles, fer cryin' out loud! Oh, the pain....the pain!

Posted by Robert at 08:35 AM | Comments (0)

New To Me Music

Had an interesting little nugget of enlightenment in Church yesterday morning - the offertory anthem was by one Alexander Gretchaninov, a Russian-born composer who studied under Rimsky-Korsokov and later came to the West.

I'd never even heard of the man. But the anthem - "Adore Almighty God" - was really rather nice. Surprisingly conservative and very Western in form, except that it had a curious little flare every now and again that gave it a slightly exotic feel. Not Russian per se, but just a bit different from what you'd expect from something out of the standard canon.

Posted by Robert at 08:32 AM | Comments (0)

September 18, 2004

Dan Rather's head mounted on the wall

Wizbang has a nice variation on the theme. Personally, I like our version from Friday a week ago, but Kevin's has room for the producer and CBS president too. When I get around to it, I'd like to do a variation with the heads of Dan Rather, Trent Lott, and Howell Raines.

Posted by Steve at 10:45 PM | Comments (0)

Oh Yeah!

Someone visited our site after googling "when llamas go mean"

I guess it's for vicious stunts like this:

home alone.jpg

Posted by Steve at 10:31 PM | Comments (1)

Allah commands, Llamas pshop!


"We close with a few words from one Mr. Bill Burkett, whose opening sentence here would look very smart crocheted on a Bush/Cheney throw pillow.

We happen to agree:

burkett pillow.jpg

UPDATE: Monday afternoon, CBS names Burkett as the forger.

Posted by Steve at 03:17 PM | Comments (1)

September 17, 2004

Llama Weekend Contest


Count the pores.

If your answer is correct, you could qualify to win a new mountain bike. Good luck!

Posted by Robert at 03:43 PM | Comments (9)

This one's going to leave a mark

Here it is, folks, the most viciously effective go-for-the-jugular political ad in American history.

I had to play it three times to let it sink in.

Swift Boat Ad # 5 is going to scuttle Kerry.

Meanwhile, what type of return is George Soros getting on his $12,600,000 million donated to left/socialist 527s? What about Peter Lewis, and his $14,230,000 to the same groups? Stephen Bing's $8,086,273? Or Andrew and Deborah Rappaport's $2,910,000? Or John and Lawrie Harris's $1,714,000? Or anyone else in the overwhelmingly liberal top 23 donors to 527s?

What's it like to get their shorts eaten by a group whose raised a paltry in comparison?

Or are the liberal 527s some sort of pyramid scheme?

Posted by Steve at 03:01 PM | Comments (3)

More Sappy 20th Century British Composer Blogging

The local classical station is finishing off its afternoon with Ralph Vaughan Williams' Fantasy on a Theme by Thomas Tallis.

I really don't much care for 20th Century music, although I like a few bits and scraps of a few composers like Walton and Holst. Of this lot, the largest pile of scraps probably belongs to Vaughan Williams. I rather enjoy his Fantasy on Greensleeves, his English Folksong Suite and his Overture to The Wasps. (As I'm sure the O.F. is thinking even now, these pieces are for the most part derivative of other forms, not pure composition, so are not really good examples of the period. Well, that's right. But I still like them.)

The Tallis Fantasy is my favorite though, in large part for sentimental reasons. I may have mentioned before that when I was in law school I played Lysander in a production of Midsummer Night's Dream at my wife's (all girl) college. The design was all Maxfield Parish fantasy and the music was mostly Vaughan Williams and Holst.

They played the Tallis Fantasy at intermission and I used to sneak out into the wings behind the curtain and just sit and listen to it. The stage was mostly dark at that point, with dim blue lighting and all the columns and whatnot picked out in silhouette. Just to show you I'm not all cold, hard logic and reason, I always thought there was a certain magic to all of it. (It might have had something to do with how much I enjoyed being in the production too. I can readily see how people get bitten by the acting bug.) At any rate, whenever I hear it now, I get taken back to those days.

As I say, pure mush. But even we Llamas unbend sometimes.

Posted by Robert at 03:01 PM | Comments (3)

I'd Rather Not Be Dan

Wow. Ken Summers at It Comes In Pints? has got the single biggest link-dump I've seen for CBS snarkiness. Go on over and wallow! (And thanks for adding us, Ken!)

Posted by Robert at 02:30 PM | Comments (1)

This is an Issue?

CNN: Less Talent, More Skin At Pagent


[I can see Steve-O shaking his head that I ever figured out how to upload pictures. Just wait till I get my hands on Photoshop, Boy-chick!]

Posted by Robert at 01:47 PM | Comments (5)

Iraq, The Numbers

By order of Special Llama Decree 9/17/04/01, no blogger shall henceforth offer any opinion on the situation in Iraq - pro or con - without first having read and digested Wretchard's information over at The Belmont Club. Part 1 is here. Part 1.1 is here. Part 2 is here.

That is all.

UPDATE: Are you done? Then go read Ralph Peters in the Post. Also, if you can get a dead-tree copy, read today's lead editorial in the WSJ.

The primary "mistake" we have made in Iraq in the past year has been playing softball in the Sunni Triangle, hoping that we could use a little more carrot and a little less stick. Contra the spittle-flying ranting of Andrew Sullivan and others, this was a calculated gamble, not the product of Pollyanna-ish blindness in the White House. Nonetheless, recent events would suggest it has not worked. Frankly, I always believed that we should have dropped the hammer from Day One. As the links demonstrate, we can still do so, and I think we are going to soon, but it is going to be all the messier for that.

Unfortunately, with an election coming up, there is no way to separate the policy from the politics. So what does the Iraq issue mean politically? A slim majority of people say they support the war effort to date. I believe the majority of these people, like me, may quibble with some of the White House's strategic and tactical decisions, but overall believe that Dubya is serious about winning. To the extent they vote based on the war effort, they're probably going to go with Bush. I think the White House is holding off on a major offense at least in part because it doesn't want battle raging just before the election. But if the recent string of bombings keeps up with no apparent sign of our fighting back, support may fall off anyway. The worst thing Dubya can do is make people think he's no longer serious about winning.

On the other hand, a sizeable minority say they don't support the President's handling of the war. However, no poll that I've ever seen goes on to break down that figure into people who think we aren't doing enough and people who think we simply shouldn't have gone in the first place. My guess is that it's a pretty even split. Poor J. Francois Kerry is put in the difficult position of trying to woo both of these groups at the same time, which may go a long way towards explaining why he is all over the place on the issue. My guess is that he is going to go with the MoveOn.Org crowd and embrace the old McGovernite isolationism line once and for all. The alternative, that he tries to out-hawk Bush, is a risible non-starter. But as Steve-O notes in a post below, embracing the Dark Side is not going to help Kerry either.

IMHO, the bottom line is that the White House should get on with fighting the war the right way, doing the things that need to be done. Voters will understand that. As for Kerry, well, sorry kid, can't help you.

MORE: Read Mom's Favorite Columnist, the superb Charles Krauthammer, on Kerry's Iraqi flip-flopping. (Registration required. Don't worry - it won't bite.)

STILL MORE: Via Drudge, Kerry is accusing Bush of a stealth troop buildup. Now if I were one of those people who doesn't think we're doing enough, my first reaction would be "Kick ass! About time, too!" My second reaction would be "Nice going, John. You suppose the Bad Guys ever read the papers?" As I said above, this sort of thing will appeal to the MoveOn crowd. But it isn't going to excite voters who want to see some definite action.

Posted by Robert at 12:37 PM | Comments (2)

Llama Market Research

Bumper stickers and/or Tee-shirts.

"Meaty. Woolly. Snippy."

Suitable Llamas-in-Shades Logo.

Yes? No? Maybe?

Posted by Robert at 11:41 AM | Comments (4)

Adventures in Symbiosis

The ever-delightful Meghan Cox Gurdon manages to seemlessly blend two of our favorite themes 'round here: Dan Rather-Bashing and Gratuitous Domestic Posting (TM). Go check it out!

Posted by Robert at 10:07 AM | Comments (0)

Lies! Lies! Nasty, Wicked, Tricksy, False!

I honestly don't know why I even look at these things since it's very bad for my blood pressure, but here is a run down of additional scenes from the upcoming extended version of The Return of the King. (Please, don't read it if you want to be surprised.)

Just from glancing over this, I can see that the movie - in keeping with tradition - bolloxes both the end of Saruman and Aragorn's trip on the Paths of the Dead.

We hates it! We haaaates it! We hates it forever!

Yipsssss! to Jeff.

Posted by Robert at 09:56 AM | Comments (7)


Victor David Hanson provides the long view of Iraq. Go. Read.

Posted by Robert at 09:25 AM | Comments (0)

Automated Snarkiness

Introducing the Snark-O-Tron 8300. This is a wee bit too much like the Orgasmitron for my taste, but when you're feeling lazy, it's handy to have by.

Just for laughs, I punched in "James Carville" and got this:

What's lamer: Hitler, a pus-filled sore, or James Carville?

Gotta say. I prefer to go natural, but isn't technology amazing?

I'm sure Steve-O will be playing with this thing all day......

Yips! to Sheila.

Posted by Robert at 08:56 AM | Comments (0)

Hmph. Satisfied Am I With These Results

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

Yips! to John of TexasBestGrok, who is hatin' life right now.

UPDATE: I forgot to mention that John is running a new weekly Sci-Fi Babe Poll. This week - the Ladies of Lost In Space. Go vote. Nobody will find out.

YIPS from Steve: All I can say, in the immortal words of that great Stoic philosopher Nelson Muntz, "Ha HA!"

Read it and weep, monkey boy:

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

An impassioned commander with more respect for individuals than for authority, you have a no-holds-barred approach to life and its obstacles.

I don't believe in the no-win scenario.

Of course, to truly be Kirk, you have to cheat, go through to the end, find the Kirk code and cut and paste. Just like the Kirbiasha Moru (or however the heck it's spelled)

Posted by Robert at 08:47 AM | Comments (3)

Uh, Huh


Aw, what an adorable picture of J. Francois revealing his inner child.

But then we get this:


Kerry Supporters attack Little Girl.

Nice. Nice.

SPECIAL BONUS UPDATE: Attaturk over at Rising Hegemon ID's the dad in the photo as a serial gadfly. Fair enough, from what I see. The guy seems to be something of a wingnut, although it doesn't excuse people from going for him. But Attaturk also suggests that the dude in the black shirt is, in fact, one of the guy's sons and also is the one who ripped away the sign, thereby making the whole thing a fake incident. Not enough information from the article to make that call, I'm afraid. Be sure and read the comment thread too. I find the rightious suggestion that libs don't use small children as political props to be particularly amusing.

Yips! to Jonah.

MORE: The IUPAT apologizes. Freeper conspiracy plots notwithstanding and bearing in mind that talk is cheap, this is the right thing to do.

STILL MORE: Michelle Malkin sticks her stiletto in Attaturk's theory of deep-cover Freeping.

Posted by Robert at 08:32 AM | Comments (2)

Heh. Indeed.

Gordon the Cranky Neo-Con has an exclusive interview with INDC Bill who, with Dan Rather's scalp dangling from his belt, is the O-fficial Rising Young Turk (TM) of the Blogsphere. Go read it.

[Insert sound of malicious sniggering.]

Posted by Robert at 08:26 AM | Comments (1)

American legal history, pimp-style

I'm copying all my work files off the laptop onto CDs to transfer to the new desktop at work.

So while I'm waiting for the disks to copy, I decided to return to the Pimp Name Generator of earlier today and run through the names of the current U.S. Supreme Court.

Here goes:

William Rehnquist.....................Silicon Slick Rehnquist Skillz
Sandra Day O'Connor...............Professor Truth Sandra Day Flayva
John Paul Stevens....................Sheik John Paul Smoove
Antonin Scalia..........................Pimp Daddy A. Tickle
Anthony Kennedy.....................Sticky Fingers Anthony Shizzle
Clarence Thomas.....................Funk Master Thomas Dogg
David Souter...........................Professor Truth D. Slimmm
Stephen Breyer.......................Sugartastic Stephen Shizzle

and, of course,

Ruth Bader Ginsberg................Snake Eyes Ruth Bader Beautiful.

And in case you were wondering,

Oliver Wendell Holmes.............Golden Brown Oliver Wendell Rockefeller
Woodrow Wilson......................Deacon Dr. Wilson Slither
Theodore Roosevelt.................Treacherous Roosevelt Schmoove
James Madison........................Macktastic James Beautiful
William Jefferson Clinton...........Pimptastic William Jefferson Dazzle
William Howard Taft.................G. Digital Taft Slither
Warren Harding........................Shiek Warren Rock
Calvin Coolidge........................Calvin Coolidge (that's already about as macked up as you can get!)

and, of course:

Richard Milhous Nixon...............Pimp Daddy Milhous Dogg

The authors of the Federalist Papers? Funk Master Alexander Gates, Macktastic James Beautiful, and Vicious D.Jay Glide.

And let us not forget the famous 1804 duel between former vice president Deacon Dr. Burr Kicks and former Secretary of the Treasury Funk Master Alexander Gates, nor that on July 4th, 1826, fifty years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, in Massachusetts, Big Playah Adams Schizzle spoke his last words, "The 4th, and yet Tricktickler J. Valentine still lives." Alas, Tricktickler J. Valentine had died at Dopetastic Monticello Quick earlier that same day.

Posted by Steve at 12:54 AM | Comments (0)

The Wonkette-ization of the Llamas is paying off!

Someone visited our site after searching for "college whores"

Sorry, Liz, I'll buy you a new I'm sure you just put a full cup of Hot chai through your nostrils all over the screen....

Posted by Steve at 12:11 AM | Comments (0)

September 16, 2004

Who are you going to believe?

Sully, reporting from the Starbucks in DuPont Circle, or someone on the ground who knows "harrassment and interdiction" is not related to sex in the office?

Posted by Steve at 11:56 PM | Comments (0)

Vote Libertarian?

A colleague at work emailed to ask if I was voting Libertarian in November. My response:

ann, ann, ann.....

if i've said it once, i've said it a thousand times, libertarianism is something to talk with friends about while ripping off a clip from your Sig-sauer at bottles of sam adams tossed off your back porch, the heavy smell of the cigars and BBQ hanging in your nostrils while the mosquitoes meet a nasty death in the sorrowfully embracing arms of mother bug zapper, but it sure is hell is NOT the way to vote in the cold sobriety of an election booth!


Posted by Steve at 11:20 PM | Comments (2)

Holy crap!


This is the money shot image from the latest ad.

Are they out of their freakin' minds????????

The 1968 Riot at the Democratic Convention cost the Democrats their place as the majority party in American politics. In the thirty six years--an entire generation!--since the Yippies let go with their rage at the Hubester and Mayor Daley (the old reptilian one) the Democrats have earned more than 50% of the total vote in a presidential election once. 1976, and that was in retrospect an anomaly of Watergate.

This one ad might cost them the next thirty six years.

Because it sure as hell is going to cost them the presidency as well as the Senate seat of Tom Daschele.

Forget Duke in the Tank--this is as if Goldwater's own people had put out the Daisy/Nuke ad themselves.

For. the. love. of. gawd. how. stooooopid. are these people?

Posted by Steve at 11:10 PM | Comments (0)

I Can't Resist


Posted by Robert at 05:06 PM | Comments (0)


How is it that after Beautifully Atrocious Jeff goes to all the trouble to suggest suitable pajamas for various members of the blogging community, Wonkette appropriates the idea for herself (with, granted, a not-very-noticable link) and, in turn, gets her own shout-out from Sully?

(Suitably polite email sent to Sullivan, btw. We like Jeff here at Llama Butcher Central.)

There ain't no justice in the world, I tells ya.

UPDATE: Yes there is! The Llamas get results!

Posted by Robert at 01:52 PM | Comments (6)

Getting to "No" Again

As both regular readers may remember, yesterday I posted on the Boomer Generation's self-made child-rearing crisis, as skewered by my friend Sparky.

Today, The Barely Attentive Mother, another real-life friend, weighs in on the issue from a slightly different perspective - the apparent traditional backlash in parental attitudes among Gen-Xers. BAM quotes the following suggested explanation for this from an article in the Oregonian with a considerable amount of skepticism:

Gen-Xers grew up in the aftermath of a time of much social upheaval, in an era of rapidly increasing divorce rates and mothers rapidly re-entering the work force," says Chung. "Some of them want to raise their families different from the way they grew up."

She goes on to suggest that the real reason Gen-Xers might be becoming more attentive parents is a disillusionment with the culture of material greed pursued by their elders and their own consequent refocusing of values.

Maybe, but from a personal perspective I think there is room for multiple explanations, including one both theOregonian and BAM might have overlooked: The article defines Gen-Xers as those born between 1965 and 1979. As it happens, I was born in 1965. My parents, now in the neighborhood of 70, were emphatically not Boomers, but rather of the generation just preceeding them. As such, they held on to the more traditional way of doing things right through the storm of the Boomers' Social Revolution - My mother was always home when we were young, my father's medical practice was one that always saw him home for dinner, and divorce was considered a social pathology, not an acceptable lifestyle alternative. Values such as hard work, prudence, delayed gratification and self-discipline were hammered into us.

I believe that there is a fair-sized chunk of older Gen-Xers who fit this model, never having been directly subject to the Boomer approach to begin with but rather looking on as horrified spectators. I often refer to such people as the "Reagan Youth" - those born between 1965 and, say, 1970 to pre-Boomer parents and who came of political age during the first flower of Reaganism. At least speaking for myself (and for the Butcher's Wife, for that matter), now that we are parents we seek to emulate our folks' way of doing things, not to run away from it. (N.B., of course we do some things differently, but these are variations on the theme, not rejection of the entire model.)

As for younger Gen-Xers seeking to be more sober fathers and mothers than their Boomer parents, I don't think there really is a difference between the bases of their rejection suggested by the Oregonian and BAM. The social upheaval and out of control consumerism witnessed in our society over the past 30-odd years are both phenomena that arise out of the common root of undisciplined narcissism, which, a I said, I believe to be the defining characteristic of the Boomer generation. In this, the Gen-Xers are simply rejecting two sides of the same hippie.

Either way, I am encouraged.

Posted by Robert at 01:17 PM | Comments (9)

A meme takes off

Jeff Goldstein picks up on our Dan Rather/Mark Fuhrman evidence planting theme by playing with its corollary: what's the Johnny Cochrane defense?

We had started the ball rolling with "If the typeface don't kernel, they didn't come from the Colonel."

Goldstein adds: "If they were done in Word, your defense is absurd!"

Commenator Fat.Elvis: "If the pajamas do not fit, you must acquit!"

Feel free to join in the madness.

UPDATE: Jeff has over 50 commentators joining in the Johnny Cochrane fun!

I just want to take a minute to editorialize for a sec: we're getting a huge traffic surge from Jeff's Johnny Cochrane bit, which he gives us credit back to our original "Dan Rather Uses the Mark Fuhrman Defense" post. It's what we call a secondary or tertiary Instalanche---Glenn links to Jeff, who linked to us, next thing you know, badda-boom badda-bang you've got Police Captain brains all over your nice Ivy league suit. Wait, that's Sonny Correlone. But you get the point.

What I'd like to think is the difference between your humble Llamas and certain OTHER bloggers I could name is that certain OTHER bloggers would spend the next week pouting and sulking about that Glenn didn't link them directly, like somehow the top ten bloggers owed them traffic or something. Get. Over. Yourself! Whereas your humble Llamas looked at the sitemeter report and broke into the "The Linkety-Bling Bling is the Thing-thing" merry traffic dance (which, set to the soundtrack of Oceans Eleven, is a cross between "The Hustle" and an epileptic seizure).

We're not too proud to admit we're link whores!

As to the whole "affair de Wonkette" my advice to you is taken from that ancient Stoic philosopher Sgt. Hulka: "Lighten up, Francis." I mean seriously, lighten up folks. Wonkette stole from your site? Hello? That's what she does, for chrissakes! Plagiarism, deviant sex jokes, and strawberry-blonde smiles are what she does: reading Wonkette is basically like reading the blogging of Howard Kurtz's naughty au pair. Sex and public policy, who wouldda thunk it? Take it as the compliment it is, and leave it at that. I mean, you don't want to start sounding like the Larchmont Episcopal Junior League biddies with their (starched) shorts in a twist because Martha Stewart just lifted their creme de menth chili cheese fries recipe.

And no one should take my defense here of Wonkette as having ANY relationship to my recent business venture of setting up her live viewer request cam shows (which, as the server will be in the island nation of Nairu we'll avoid all sorts of pesky Mann Act issues). Or the DVDs. Definitely not the DVDs. (Trust me, the Wonkette version of "I'm just a Bill, sitting here on Capitol Hill" sizzles....) No siree. You can preview it at Capitol Hill Skanks, our new blog dedicated to all the naughty things in the Evil Dr. Spock Universe inhabited by Wonkette.

If the web teaches us one thing, it's that mockery is Kryptonite to pretension. (And plagiarism is its cabana boy!)

Want to be a contributor at Capitol Hill Skanks? Drop the Llamas a line in the Tasty Bits(TM) Mail Sack (complete with pics, of course!)

UPDATE: The blogger with a heart of gold! See, I told you so. Wonkette emails us:

i do all my links that way... it's not an intentionally hard to see link. and i totally give him snuggily studmuffin of an Andean pack animal!

Okay, so the last part I made up, but the rest is real!

Posted by Steve at 12:19 PM | Comments (0)

Who Da Man?

Yo - check out the Pimp Name Generator.

Talkin' to me? That's Macktastic R. Tickle to you now, dawg.

Props to Pimp Daddy M. Silk.

YIPS from Steve: What the.....? Professor Truth Steve Gates. That's gotta be the lamest pimp name ever. Too much Mac, not enough mack....

Posted by Robert at 12:13 PM | Comments (3)

HFS!.....MARKET BREAK IN ACTION!!!! election futures contract update:

Bush reelected now trading at $69 (the highest its been since late December and the capture of Saddam)

Here's the chart that goes up until last night:
bush 9 15.gif

here's the chart showing the "Kerry elected President" contract since the 60 Minutes story broke:

kerry dan.gif

Kerry was trading at 40.7, and dropped to $36.0 yesterday. Today, after CBS invoked the Fuhrman defense the contract dropped five dollars, down to $31.5.

Kerry's contract (the futures market's assessment of the likelihood of Kerry winning the election)has dropped 23 percent since CBS ran with forged documents to smear Bush. Thanks, Dan!

What about the swing states, that went marginally to Gore that Kerry needs to win if he has any hope of winning?

Wisconsin: last traded at $59


Minnesota: last traded at $41.7


New Jersey: last traded at $24.3


The only state that went to Bush in 2000 that is not going his way in the markets is New Hampshire (currently trading at $41.0).

The state that the media (and history) declared Bush must win: Ohio, currently trading at $78


The other Gore states that Kerry needs to carry:

Pennsylvania (21 Electoral votes) $43.4
Iowa (7 EV) $45

(These are all expressed as futures contracts of the event of GW Bush winning the electoral votes of that state).

Add it up:

States in which futures markets on Bush Reelect is trading above $80 (out of a possible $100): 25 states with a total of 224 electoral votes

States trading between $60 and $79--four states (Florida, Nevada, Ohio, and West Virginia) for a total of 57 electoral votes.

Add it up: altogether, investors/bettors are picking that Bush will win handily at least these 29 states with a total of 281 electoral votes.

That doesn't include Iowa and Wisconisn (7 and 10 EVs), which they place in realistic possible striking distance, as well as Minnesota (10), New Hampshire (4), Oregon(7) and Pennsylvania (21).

Thank you, Dan Rather!

UPDATE: Compare this to our assessment of the futures market on the Electoral College back on March 18th.

Posted by Steve at 11:06 AM | Comments (0)


Cary Grant. Katherine Hepburn.

Thanks, Sheila! As usual, that was exactly what I needed to get my mind off things.

Mega-Yips! from Robbo! While Sheila mostly talks about Bringing Up Baby, I have to note that Holiday is one of my all-time favorite films.

Posted by Steve at 09:57 AM | Comments (2)

Willow's back!!!

As if we were surprised by this.

I for one have missed the acerbic cans of whup-ass delivered upside the head that turned "to willow" into an action verb around these parts....

Posted by Steve at 09:51 AM | Comments (1)

Teh-Raaaay-Suh Watch


I don't understand why everyone thinks she's so haughty, regal and Marie Antoinette-ish. After all, when a hurricane hits, what is her advice? Get naked!

I love this woman. I really do. It'd almost be worth electing J. Francois just to have her in the White House for four years.

YIPS from Steve: Is it just me, or does she have a sort of queen lizard from Aliens sort of thing going on the monitor? I mean, I'm almost expecting a buff and butch Sigourney Weaver to come blasting through the ceiling, and say "Eat this, bitch!" while blowing her away with one of those cool blaster rifles....

UPDATE DEUX: Teh-RAYY-zuh Antoinette speaks....
theresa kerry antoinette go naked.jpg

Posted by Robert at 09:49 AM | Comments (2)

Paint it Red?

Ann Althouse Wisconisn update: Russ Feingold, running for reelection with a comfortable lead, refuses to appear with Senator Kerry at a major rally today in Madison, citing "business in the Senate."

Wisconsin's 10 electoral votes went to Gore by a wafer-thin margin in 2000.

Yips! from Robbo. Hey, let's stop worrying about these Nancy-boy swing states and go for the jugular!

UPDATE: Minnesota, 10 electoral votes that went blue in 2000: Bush 46 Kerry 44.

Also, check out Election Projection's electoral map.

MORE: Is Bush going to take Illinois? A former 13 point Kerry lead now down to 4.

Posted by Steve at 09:37 AM | Comments (0)

Blogger Pajama Party!

Jeff at Bee-a-ootiful Atrocities takes some snaps of Bloggers in their Pajamas, including your humble Llamas.

We're gonna go ahead and invoke the No Hot Beverages rule on this one.

Posted by Robert at 08:14 AM | Comments (0)

Random Commuter Thoughts

I've never much liked the practice common amongst DeeCee women of wearing business clothes and sneakers. Utilitarian considerations of comfort aside, it's just not very.....stylish. Nonetheless, I'm willing to let it go.

However, men who indulge in this practice wake the sleeping fiend in my heart. When I become Emperor, one of my first acts will be to require such men also to sport a paper bag with eyeholes, a handbell and a large sign labelled "I am a Dork."

Posted by Robert at 08:05 AM | Comments (4)


Newest CBS authenticator: former LAPD Detective Mark Fuhrman! fuhrman.gif


Think about it.

Fuhrman "knows" OJ did it (because, in Fuhrman's mind he's black, so of course he did it), so he "improves" the evidence by making sure the bloody glove is back at OJ's. It's not actual evidence, but symbolic of the larger truth, right?

Rather "knows" Bush did it (because, in Rather's mind he's conservative, so of course he did it), so he "improves" the evidence by making sure the faked memos are in the report. They are not actual evidence, but symbolic of the larger truth, right?

What's the difference between Dan Rather using memos he knows are fake to support a story he earnestly believes to be true, and Fuhrman planting evidence to frame a man he earnestly believes to be guilty?

Absolutely nothing.

The statement of CBS news is nothing less than a defense of journalistic planting of evidence to frame the president of the United States six weeks before the election.

UPDATE: Of course this leads to the horrendous argument "If the typeface don't kernel, they didn't come from the colonel!" defense....

Posted by Steve at 12:10 AM | Comments (2)

September 15, 2004

Behind enemy lines

It's official: New Jersey's 15 electoral votes are in play.

Posted by Steve at 11:56 PM | Comments (2)

Howie Kurt leaves Dan the bottle of whiskey and the loaded revolver

In tomorrow's Washington Post:

"If the documents are not what we were led to believe, I'd like to break that story," Rather said in an interview last night. "Any time I'm wrong, I want to be right out front and say, 'Folks, this is what went wrong and how it went wrong.' "

Rather spoke after interviewing the secretary to Bush's former squadron commander, who told him that the memos attributed to her late boss are fake -- but that they reflect the commander's belief that Bush was receiving preferential treatment to escape some of his Guard commitments.

"I think this is very, very serious," said Bob Schieffer, CBS's chief Washington correspondent. "When Dan tells me these documents are not forgeries, I believe him. But somehow we've got to find a way to show people these documents are not forgeries." Some friends of Rather, whose contract runs until the end of 2006, are discussing whether he might be forced to make an early exit from CBS.

In her interview with Rather yesterday, Knox repeated her contention that the documents used by "60 Minutes" were bogus. Knox, 86, worked for Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian while he supervised Bush's unit in the early 1970s.

"I know that I didn't type them," Knox said of the Killian memos. "However, the information in there is correct," she said, adding that Killian and the other officers would "snicker about what [Bush] was getting away with."

Rather said he was "relieved and pleased" by Knox's comments that the disputed memos reflected Killian's view of the favorable treatment that Bush received in the military unit. But he said, "I take very seriously her belief that the documents are not authentic." If Knox is right, Rather said, the public "won't hear about it from a spokesman. They'll learn it from me."

But he also delivered a message to "our journalistic competitors," including The Washington Post and rival networks: "Instead of asking President Bush and his staff questions about what is true and not true about the president's military service, they ask me questions: 'How do you know this and that about the documents?' "

The former secretary, Marian Carr Knox, is the latest person to raise questions about the "60 Minutes" story, which Rather and top CBS officials still defend while vowing to investigate mounting questions about whether the 30-year-old documents used in the story were part of a hoax. Their shift in tone yesterday came as GOP critics as well as some media commentators demanded that the story be retracted and suggested that Rather should step down.

"This is not about me," Rather said before anchoring last night's newscast. "I recognize that those who didn't want the information out and tried to discredit the story are trying to make it about me, and I accept that."

Posted by Steve at 11:53 PM | Comments (0)

Pardon me while I have a scooby-doo moment...

I keep waiting for Dan Rather, being carried away in cuffs, to blurt out angrily "Would've gotten away with it weren't for those meddlin' kids!"

Posted by Steve at 11:15 PM | Comments (1)

Coming this fall to CBS: CSI: BLOGISTAN

csi blogistan.jpg

The roles cast so far for CSI: Blogistan are:

The integrity of CBS..................................the corpse
Powerline.................................................Chief Inspector Gil Grissom
Instapundit...............................................Captain Brass
LGF..........................................................Nick Stokes
INDC Bill..................................................Sarah Sidle
Ace of Spades..........................................Warwick Brown
My Pet Jawa.............................................Greg Sanders
Politburo Diktat......................................The Sheriff
Wizbang..................................................Dr. Robbins, the one legged coroner.

What, no Allahpundit? But of course, the role of Allahpundit on CSI: Blogistan is played by none other than the scrumptious Marg Helgenberger.

And your Llamas?.....................................Ruprecht the Monkey Boy

What character do you play on CSI: Blogistan? Let us know in the comments or by email, and I'll post the link back to you.

UPDATE: Bill's pissed that he, and I quote, "has no balls"; Allah is elated, as is Rusty.

Grandma Deece....................................Highway patrol cop #3 (recurring non-speaking role, turned into a major character in season 4)

Posted by Steve at 11:11 PM | Comments (7)

Hold On, Mr. President!

Dan Rather to George Dubya: Answer the Questions.

We Llamas have a couple questions too:

- Yes or no, Mr. President, have you stopped beating your wife?

- Can you prove, Mr. President, that you were nowhere in the vicinity when Baby Bear's oatmeal was stolen and his chair was broken?

- Can you prove, Mr. President, that you haven't sold out the Human Race to the Cylons?

- Can you prove, Mr. President, that you never ate all the Cracklin' Oat Bran?

- Can you prove, Mr. President, that you didn't steal Fuzzy Lifting Water?

- Can you prove, Mr. President, that you were not behind the Grassy Knoll?

- Can you prove, Mr. President, that all you need is love?

- Can you prove, Mr. President, that it wasn't you who made a yummy sound?

We didn't think so.

We're with you, Dan!

UPDATE: And remember, Allah likes your style!

Posted by Robert at 04:57 PM | Comments (0)


Take the What High School
Stereotype Are You?

Carol Burnett voice: I've been hurt a lot.

There were three major social divisions in my old high school: the band geeks, the jocks and the waste-o's. There also were a couple of smaller cliques - the drama crowd and so forth. Then there were the odds and sods like me who floated around in the middle, never really attaching to any of them. Just never really clicked. But my home life was perfectly stable, thank you.

Yips! to LDH. Geek!

Posted by Robert at 04:31 PM | Comments (1)

Speakin' Of Markin' Yer Calanders, Ye Dogs...

Be not forgettin' that Sunday, September 19 is International Talk Like A Pirate Day. Arrrrrr.

As it happens, meself will be startin' as a mentor to a young scalliwag of a Confirmation Class student at me Church. Arr, methinks I'll have ta keelhaul the puppy.

Posted by Robert at 03:55 PM | Comments (1)

Mark it on your calendar

October 25.
Nine days before the election and right at the end of the World Series.
Let's party this year!

Posted by Steve at 03:04 PM | Comments (1)

Is this Right?

Attention Coloradons Coloradoites Coloradomians? Citizens of Colorado!

James Joyner notes a wire story about John Elway appearing at a recent Bush rally. Watch that guy - he may be your senator down the road.

But what struck me as odd were some poll numbers that James cites indicating Colorado is a closely contested race this year. Now I don't pretend to know the first thing about Colorado politics, but it strikes me as rather unlikely that Kerry could pull it off. Any thoughts from all y'all out there? (I'm not doubting James, I just wonder if the poll numbers accurately reflect the state of things.)

UPDATE: Never mind.

Posted by Robert at 01:34 PM | Comments (4)

Darth Estrich's Plan Backfires

One word: heh.

And considering the source, that's a might big "heh," indeed.

Posted by Steve at 01:30 PM | Comments (0)

Because I Can...


Ladies and Gentlemen, it's the Kerry Sloganator. If you've never tried it before, go on over and have some fun!

YIPS from Steve:

Here's my entry:


Posted by Robert at 12:04 PM | Comments (0)

Battle Stations

CBS supposedly is going to issue some kind of statement at noon on RatherGate.

Let's keep phasers locked but get ready a boarding party just in case they're surrendering.

UPDATE: Well, it's just about 1:00 PM EST and either I'm blind or they still haven't signalled. Stand by.....

FURTHER UPDATE: Kerry Spot says CBS is now focusing on Killian's 86 year old former secretary. You know, the one who's already said the memos were fakes? What's Rather going to do, poke her with the soft cushions?

MORE: One of Glenn's readers suggests CBS is stalling around so they can, er, finish faking the new fakes to cover the old fakes. This reminds me of that Bloom County strip from way back where Milo is stalling the press while Opus frantically copies out fake Elvis diaries.

EVEN MORE: There is a feeling developing as we wait for the CBS announcement (now scheduled for 3:30), that it is going to take the it-doesn't-matter-that-the-memos-were-fake-because-Bush-is-still-an-AWOL-scumbag approach. I certainly hope they don't a) because I think they should face up to the music and b) because I really want to see this.

MORE: Sumbitch! Drudge is saying it's not coming out til 5:00 PM now. I give up.

Posted by Robert at 10:38 AM | Comments (1)

Getting to "No"

My real-world pal Sparky is in a rage over a recent Newsweek article about the "problems" modern parents are facing in trying to set limits for their children.

Count me in as a fellow-rager. Sparky and I don't see absolutely eye-to-eye on the matter of raising children. (I believe in asserting more academic and social control than she does. My response to the kid who'd rather go surfing than study for his SAT's would be that once he's a grown-up he can spend his life on the beach if he wants but in the meantime it's my job to see that he gets as good an education as possible so that he can reach for higher things if he later wants to.) But I heartily agree with her disgust over this pablum of justification, selfishness, guilt, whining and groupthink.

From the article, it's abundantly clear that the problem is with the parents, not the kids. These are the Boomers, after all, a generation (WARNING: gratuitous overgeneralization approaching) for whom I have a great deal of contempt. Having rejected their own parents' family values and child-rearing techniques, they simply haven't the faintest idea what to do themselves when trying to factor children into their narcissistic worldview. Hence the pig's breakfast they're making of their responsibilities to their own kids and their panicky summons of therapists and other "experts" to provide them a way out. God give me strength.

Sparky is right. Saying "no" really isn't that difficult. (In fact, one of my well-worn Dad phrases is "What part of 'no' are you having trouble understanding?") You simply need to be enough of an adult to sit down with yourself and do some honest thinking about what is truly best for your child over the long run (hint: it ain't keeping up with the neighbors or making sure that you're the kid's "buddy") and then commit yourself to keeping your eye on these long-term goals despite all the distractions around you. In other words, grow up.

Posted by Robert at 10:22 AM | Comments (10)

Step Away From the Speeder With Your Hands In The Air

Tainted Bill has got a rap sheet as long as your arm against George Lucas for his latest round of tinkering with the original Star Wars movies.

Get a rope.

Posted by Robert at 08:46 AM | Comments (0)

You're Fired!

As a matter of general principle, once I start reading a book I try to see it through to the end, even if it turns out not to be all that great.

Well, my friends, after days of struggling with it, I've determined that James Fenimore Cooper's The Wing and Wing is one of those books that does not deserve this courtesy. I happen to be of Scots Presbyterian ancestry, so I am resigned to the idea that Mankind is doomed to soofer in this life, but Hoots and Toots, Mon! The thing can go too far, ye ken?

Of all the pompous, self-satisfied, long-winded bloviators I've come across, Cooper easily makes the varsity. Sixty pages in and he's still futzing around with the opening scene and setting up his plot. And this in what is supposed to be an adventure story, fer cryin' out loud. After having dozed off reading W & W on the Metro for the third day in a row yesterday, I decided it was high time to yank him from the line-up.

So who gets the coveted Metro-book spot in his place? Ha! Someone who knew how to write a gripping story. Someone who knew how to say in five words what it took Cooper fifty to say even though English wasn't his native language. And furthermore, someone who had something worthwhile to say about the human condition instead of swanking around over his own goddam ego and erudition. I refer to none other than Joseph Conrad. I've read several of his books, most recently The Secret Agent, but I've never read Lord Jim . Seeing that I wanted to keep to a sea-going theme, this seemed like the perfect opportunity. So Conrad's Lord Jim it is.

Posted by Robert at 08:24 AM | Comments (5)

Going after Wisconsin's 10 Electoral Votes

John Kerry: tell the crowd of Cheeseheads how excited you are to visit Lambert field.

Dick Cheney:"I thought after John Kerry's visit here I'd visit Lambert Field," Cheney told a crowd at a Republican fundraising dinner Thursday night. Then he went in for the kill. "The next thing is he'll be convinced Vince Lombardi is a foreign leader."

The Washington Post opines:

Still, it might take more than the Kennedy mystique to put the "Lambert" moment behind Kerry -- a moment Kerry aides call a slip of the tongue. The Bush campaign is planning to rehash the comment until Election Day as a way of portraying Kerry as detached from the beer-drinking, bratwurst-eating folks of Wisconsin. College Republicans in Madison, where Kerry will visit Wednesday, are planning to greet him with a new sign: "It's Lambeau, Stupid!"

"He tries [too] hard to fit in with Wisconsinites, and he fumbles every time," said Jennifer Millerwise, a Bush campaign spokeswoman. "He should stick to windsurfing analogies -- only problem for Senator Kerry is that most people watch the Packers on Sunday."

This strategy is not confined to Cheeseland either. Republicans poked fun of Kerry for talking about the Buckeyes (of Ohio State University) while visiting arch rival Michigan (home of the Wolverines). These seemingly innocuous digs fit into a larger Bush-Cheney plan of fashioning the president as a common man and Kerry as a pandering patrician.

Posted by Steve at 12:08 AM | Comments (0)

September 14, 2004

A La Recherche Watch

This evening I caught part of a Dave Letterman rerun on the Trio Channel. It was a 1986 show featuring Jonathan Winters, viewer mail and Kevin Sandborne sitting in with Paul and the Band.

Damn, thems was the days. I don't watch much tee-vee and never have. But in the mid-80's when I was in college, Thursday night was a solid NBC lock. Remember that?

8:00 - The Cosby Show. (Before it got weird.)
8:30 - Family Ties. (Ditto.)
9:00 - Cheers. (Okay, I thought Shelley Long was seriously hot in a repressed-English Major way. We were all extremely emotionally involved over whether she and Sammy would ever get together.)
9:30 - Night Court. (I must be the only person who preferred Ellen Whatsername to Markie Post.)
10:00 - Hill Street Blues. ("Let's be careful out there." All police dramas since then pale in comparison.)
11:00 - 12:30 - Minimal study to skate through Friday classes. Or else just starting the weekend early. Oh, and don't forget to order the pizza.
12:30 - Dave Letterman. Viewer Mail night. How's it hanging? Sky-cam. Chris Elliot as the Guy Under the Seats. Throwing things off a ten story building. Bud Melman.


Posted by Robert at 11:35 PM | Comments (2)

Life Imitates MTV

This evening I climbed aboard my old Stairmaster for the evening workout. While I have a treadmill, I do the stairs about one out of every four or five times just to mix things up a bit.

Anyway, the Stairmaster is tucked away in my workshop in the basement. The only light in there at the moment is provided by a couple of elderly flourescent bulbs that no longer can reach full illumination, but instead produce a subdued glow punctuated by flickers of full light.

As is often my habit, I popped Duran Duran's Decade CD in as suitable workout music. The effect was rather interesting. Here you had this goofy, at times dreamy 80's music, coupled with light that bore a remarkable resemblance to lightning on a sultry summer's night. I figured there must be a video in there somewhere.

This got me thinking about the hey-day of MTV. (Full disclosure: I haven't watched the damn channel in over 15 years, so don't really know what I'm talking about.) I used to see it sometimes in college in its first, fresh, vibrant phase. Looking back, I can only remember a few videos that I liked. Here, to the best of my memory, is the list:

- The Police: Every Breath You Take. (Sting bashing rows of candles for no apparent reason.)

- The Police: Little Black Spot. (If memory serves, the black spot looked more like a distant pterodactyl than anything else.)

- Men At Work: It's A Mistake. I just remember that shot of the guys walking along a road in camo and thinking that I wish I had a bush hat like that.

- Falco: Rock Me, Amadeus. Don't even ask. It was a favorite among my crew buddies. Steve-O knows.

- Sam Kinneson covering Wild Thing. 'Nuff said.

- Thomas Dolby: Airhead. I was a Dolby geek up through Aliens Ate My Buick, then sort of lost interest.

Okay, you know what's coming. What were your favorites?

Posted by Robert at 11:19 PM | Comments (4)

Gratuitous Llama-ette Posting

This is what happens when I razz one of my children (see below):

- I got home this evening and my six year old came running out as I fetched the mail. The first thing she told me was that she had played some sort of sweepstakes game on a cereal box to win a Jimmy Neutron playhouse and lost. (Sorry! Play again! was the result she had got.) She didn't mind at all, she said, because she already has a very nice playhouse and didn't want to be greedy about things. (Swack!)

- She also was telling me again about the plans she and one of her friends have to set up a lemonade stand in the neighborhood. The latest twist is that she plans to donate all the money she earns to charity "to help people who don't have anything to eat." (Swish-Swack!)

- By a nice coincidence, the book her new teacher is reading to her class is C.S. Lewis's The Magician's Nephew. I say this because I read this book to her not a month ago. At bath time this evening, she was opining about what a spineless coward Uncle Andrew was for forcing someone else to try the magic rings instead of trying them himself. (Pow!)

- For story time, we currently are reading The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe for the third time. This evening, the girl insisted on reading a passage to me herself. I am reasonably certain that she had been practicing, because she had not just the words but the inflection down to a tee. (Game, set and match.)

Friends, there are plenty of times when I want to strangle the child but I am just overwhelmed by all this.

Posted by Robert at 11:03 PM | Comments (1)

Evil Spock Universe News Update


Rusty drives the Sandcrawler into a ditch---empty tequila bottles, open cans of paint thinner, and 23 empty tubes of Testors model airplane glue found in the back.

My best advice is: leave the substance abuse to the experts, Rusty, those of us with tenure!

Seriously, though, I think the strategy of generating linkage by being the one-stop-shop for Islamic terrorist snuff films is backfiring on morale......

Posted by Steve at 09:59 PM | Comments (1)

Hedging the bets

Larry Sabato, one of the most astute political analysts around, is starting to give credence to the idea that the election results might not be all that close:

By and large, 2004 is not about the Democrats, but Bush has still had some success already in typecasting John Kerry as a classic liberal, elitist Massachusetts Democrat. Kerry's weaknesses, and a recovering economy, can give Bush hope. At the same time, everything so far suggests that the 2004 presidential contest will be exceedingly competitive, hard-fought (nasty, that is), and possibly close. (Since America has not had two consecutive close presidential elections since the four elections between 1876 and 1888, we wonder if November will really turn out to be a squeaker.)

This is a different trend than what he saw a month ago (which I foolishly failed to blog and link at the time), in which he argued that everything would have to break perfectly for a Bush reelection.

For the Senate races, of the six unsafe Democratic seats he has two going to the Republicans (Georgia and South Carolina), three "toss-ups" (Florida, Louisiana and South Dakota), and only one staying with the Democrats (North Carolina). For the Republicans, they have five unsafe seats, but Sabato projects two staying with the Republicans (Oklahoma and Pennsylvania), two "toss-ups" (Alaska and Colorado), with only Illinois switching to the Democrats.

We'll stay tuned.

Posted by Steve at 09:42 PM | Comments (0)

Danger Will Robinson! Danger! Danger!


Robbo has discovered how to upload pictures and paste them into the blog, as indicated by the posting below.....


I think we are about to be indulged by Robbo's, er, Mia Hamm fetish...

Posted by Steve at 09:07 PM | Comments (2)

A girl's best friend...

Is her Mom.


Caption: Trashy? Moi?

Posted by Robert at 05:46 PM | Comments (0)

Lil' Llamas Secret Decoder Message and Response for the Day...

Yahoo search entry that brought a reader here: leprechauns don't play fetch compare the specials

Our reply: Admiral, the kumquats filibustered tithes of waving melodies. Proceed to ogle the banshees as planned.

That is all.

Posted by Robert at 05:19 PM | Comments (1)

Gonna Be A Loooong Season....

I happen to think Gregg Easterbrook's Tuesday Morning Quarterback is the all-around best weekly football column out there and no, it isn't just because of his obsession with cheer-babes. He's funny, caustic and right - the perfect, er, post hoc quarterback.

Given this, however, I kinda shudder about what he might do to us this year, especially after our miserable opening day.

Maybe the 'Fins should all start wearing glasses. You wouldn't hit a guy with glasses on, would you?

Posted by Robert at 03:07 PM | Comments (4)

Electronic Political Futures Market Update

At British firm

Bush reelect: $63.0 (total volume of contracts 503,301)
Kerry elected: $35.2

Bush wins popular vote: $59.6 (up $4.6 today, up from $42 one month ago)
Kerry wins popular vote: $42.0 (down $3.0 today, down from $57 one month ago)

Here's the lifetime chart for the Bush Re-elect contract:


UPDATE: Baby Seal Club has the polling roundup. Biggest surprise: New Jersey has Bush within the margin of error behind Kerry (46-43).


here's what Tradesports has on the contract "Bush wins electoral votes of NJ"


For comparison, here's Ohio:


and Florida:


two states Bush needs to win to get to 270 in the Electoral College.

Posted by Steve at 02:37 PM | Comments (0)

Count Us In!


Thanks to Bird for creating the banner.

Posted by Robert at 02:31 PM | Comments (0)

Hurricane Llama-Ette

Pursuant to my post below, here is my eldest already busy trying to drown me a couple weeks back.


(This is my very first picture post, btw.)

Posted by Robert at 01:40 PM | Comments (5)

Neener, neener!

Kathy is bitching about being left off the list of hurricane names for the forseeable future.

Well, no Roberts there, of course, but I'm delighted to see my oldest girl makes the list for 2009. Lessee, that will make her eleven at the time, probably just teeing up for pre-adolescence.

Catgory 5. I'd bet money right now.

Posted by Robert at 01:31 PM | Comments (0)

This is Just Wrong

Jessica Simpson to play Daisy Duke.

The whole concept of a movie version of The Dukes of Hazzard - with different people playing the characters - is just plain wrong. Wrong, wrong. wrong.

Give me just one example of a really successful movie remake of an iconic television series. Just one. Jeesh. Might as well get Leonardo DiCaprio to play Jim Kirk, David Spade to play Gilligan and Pamela Anderson to play Mary Richards while we're at it.

BTW, I still haven't got the faintest idea who this Jessica Simpson person is anyway.

Posted by Robert at 12:50 PM | Comments (7)

What the.....?

I was going to post this picture, and then decided not to. Life's too short, and for a llama, I'm a chicken.

I link, you decide.....

(totally work safe, just absolutely ridiculous).

Posted by Steve at 11:36 AM | Comments (4)

Valley Forger

prayer at valley forger.jpg

As an old cowpoke like Gunga Dan knows, once your horse turns against you....

Posted by Steve at 11:12 AM | Comments (1)

Make the Voices Stop, Dave!

I'm working on a project that involves the hiring of management level employees. As I sit here trying to proofread several docs I have to turn in today, I am bedevilled by the voice of Eric Idle yelling, "Manager! Manager!" in the Michael Ellis episode of Monty Python.

Despite the absense of John Cleese, I've always thought this was one of the best Flying Circuseseses ever. The Victorian Poetry Reading bit is a family favorite and we routinely speak of William Wadsworth, Percy Bysshe, Mr. John Coot and Alfred Lord Tennisball. Tea and pramwiches, anybody?

I really think I need to see somebody......[I assure you you do, Mr. Ellis - Ed.]

Posted by Robert at 10:37 AM | Comments (3)

Your official Llamabutcher "Why is Hillary smiling?" update

Nader ordered on the ballot in Florida.

goofy hillary pic.jpeg

Eerily lifelike.

UPDATE: More smiles for Hillary, as the AP declares "Despite Edwards, NC Leans Republican."

Posted by Steve at 10:34 AM | Comments (1)

Holy crap!

An important rule of media dynamics is when an attack on a candidate fails (as the Bush/AWOL story has, spectacularly), then there is an almost inevitable reaction against the other candidate on the same general issue: if he's clean as a whistle, fine, but if there's any potential of a story, watch out. Is it fair? Absolutely not. But it's the media's version of the law of thermodynamics calling for every action to have an equal and opposite reaction.

We wrote about this back on February 24th:

The second mistake was his "How dare you talk about Vietnam" letter of yesterday. I think this is why reports that his campaign was less than pleased with Terry MacAuliffe's playing of the Bush National Guard card so early make sense: the story raged for a week, but then burned out for lack of, well, substance. However, stories like that never just die--they tend to then rebound and lash back at the other side. In this case, it's not Kerry's service in country that's the problem, but rather what he did when he got home with the "Junkie Vets," as many referred to the Vietnam Veterans Against the War. Kerry needed to get his image and perceptions set with the public before the story inevitably turned to the early 1970s, which he then could distance himself from. Instead, he now has to address this issue as most of the general public is getting their first full look at him. So which is he--the saluting guy with the medals in his ads, or the long haired guy throwing his medals over a fence? The problem is for Kerry that he's both: and this whole point of Kerry's having it both ways is the opening move that the Republicans are going to make on him. Worse, he's got himself in a classic two-front bind--by opening up on Bush and Vietnam, his party's leaders in effect kicked off the general election campaign before Kerry had sewed up the nomination. Terry Mac "misunderestimated" Dubya once again: they thought if they opened up on Bush and the Guard, that he wouldn't respond, at least until later. It's insane in politics to make such an assumption--they should only have raised the Guard issue if they had the proof of their charges. Instead, they've accidentally started the general election, but in a way that's going to hurt Kerry. John Edwards doesn't have to go negative on Kerry: Dubya's folks are going to do that for him. The last element to this is that letter's such as Kerry sent have the opposite effect: instead of focusing the issue back on Bush, they in effect call in the fire on Kerry himself. Kerry--if he becomes the nominee--might have to run not only against Dubya and Ralph Nader, but also against the haggard long haired John Kerry of 1971. And that's not the way to win 270 electoral votes.

Reviewing the story on April 27th, we said this:

That's why Terry Mac starting the general campaign boasting about John Kerry's "chestful of medals" and attacking Bush for being AWOL [without the proof to seal the deal] was politically insane.

As I said yesterday, it's almost as if Terry Mac wants Kerry to lose.

Oh, yeah, I forgot....

So, what does this mean? Say hello to more prime time coverage for the Swift Vets who, after establishing that John Kerry has lied for years about being in Cambodia on Christmas Eve 1968, and causing the Kerry campaign to concede the basic issues over the first purple heart, are now zeroing in on the Silver Star, as their charge that Kerry had written the after-action report are now confirmed.

I confess I misunderestimated this angle--I thought it was insanely foolish to pursue this story. Now, I'm having real doubts. If any of this sticks, Kerry's toast. And if it's true, there'll be no helping him.

Posted by Steve at 10:30 AM | Comments (1)

HEY, hey, hey!

fat al.jpg

TRAGEDY struck suburban Nashville Sunday as diners at the Golden Corral's $3.99 All-U-Can-Eat Sunday brunch buffet were subjected to a deranged Al Gore who, under the influence of gravy, mistook the gathering for a political rally, and proceeded to harrangue the diners with his views on global warming, flatulence, and the Chimperor's meglomaniacal desire to rid the world of safe, decent, affordable pecan pie.

After twenty minutes, Al was led away by Tipper and a group of orderlies from the Shady Grove Rest Home disguised as Secret Service Agents.

Posted by Steve at 09:43 AM | Comments (1)

Ranking Game

This is a cool little game for anyone wanting to take a break from RatherGate this morning. The lists started out in alphabetical order. I switched them to reflect my preferences in order of rank. Now it's your turn:

1. Reagan, Bush II, Bush I, Clinton [Of course, the verdict is still out on Dubya, depending on what happens his second term.]
2. Jerry, Elaine, Kramer, George
3. Coke, Diet Coke, Diet Pepsi, Pepsi [Not that I drink any of it.]
4. Ringo, Paul, John, George [Ringo wins for his work as the Stationmaster on Thomas the Tank Engine.]
5. Mike Nesmith, Davy Jones, Peter Tork, Mickey Dolenz [at least Nesmith has a modicum of talent, even if he's a tool.]
6. Fonzie, Richie, Potsy, Ralph
7. NKJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV [Actually, it's straight King James Version for me and be damned to all substitutes!]
8. Blanche, Dorothy, Rose, Sophia [Golden Girls. Never watched 'em. No preferences.]
9. Superman, Superman II, Superman III, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace [Actually, didn't like any of them.]
10. Rocky, Rocky II, Rocky III, Rocky IV, Rocky V [Actually, never SAW any of them.]
11. Luke, Matthew, John, Mark
12. Psalms, Ecclesiastes, Job, Proverbs
13. Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy, Leviticus, Numbers [Half of these books are a gripping account of a people's cultural and religious history. The other half are about as exciting as reading the Code of Federal Regulations.]
14. Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Aquaman
15. Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Ariel, Snow White [Snow White always annoyed me with that damn trilly voice.]
16. Chandler, Joey, Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Ross
17. Linus, Charlie Brown, Lucy, Peppermint Patty [Sorry, Sir!]
18. Baseball, Football, Soccer, Basketball
19. Hardees, McDonald痴, Burger King, Jack in the Box
20. Donald Duck, Goofy, Mickey Mouse, Pluto [Truth be told, I really don't like any of 'em.]

Yips! to Jordana at Curmudgeonly, who picked it up from Thinklings.

Posted by Robert at 09:17 AM | Comments (2)

September 13, 2004

A Matter of Blogging Credibility

I find this whole blogging in pajamas thing to be hilarious. But now Nicole at Potomac Ponderings has taken it up a notch by claiming that she sometimes blogs naked.

Which makes us Llamas wonder: Is it time to start demanding proof of these claims?

(Yips! to Stephen Green, who's got some pretty serious eye-candy of his own.)

Posted by Robert at 05:49 PM | Comments (1)

Gratuitous Llama Movie Reviews

It looks like Liz at Truly Bad Films is going to be back in business soon. In the meantime, I thought I'd give you some brief thoughts on the movies I wound up seeing this past weekend:

Joe Kidd - Not a great Clint western, but not absolutely the worst either. Robert Duvall is appropriately sinister and Eastwood gets some decent one-liners, but altogether there is an air of 70's-ishness about it that I don't much like. Best scene: Where the bad guy Mingo is sniping long distance at Kidd, Luis Chama and their party. I love the way the bullet hits long before you hear the report of the gun. But when Kidd shoots back with his own rifle, you see the crosshairs lined up on Mingo's chest. Given the distance and the fact that Mingo is up on a ridge, I'd think Kidd would be lucky to knee-cap him with that shot. To quote The Duke in one of my favorite westerns, "Windage and elevation, Mrs. Langdon. Windage and elevation."

Who Framed Roger Rabbit - Lileks wrote about this movie a couple weeks back, thereby planting in my brain the urge to see it again. I agree with James about the way classic cartoons celebrate their roots in 40's culture and appreciate the movie's effort to capture this in a kind of Toon Film Noir, but it left me pretty flat for all that. The rabbit is too goddam energetic and dopey. And to we really need to see Bob Hoskins' hairy back?

The Patriot - If you've got the hots for Mel Gibson, by all means drool away. But as a depiction of the Revolutionary War? Gimme a break.

EXTRA TEE-VEE SHOW REVIEW: I have to confess that I think The Fairly Odd Parents is very funny. Not that I think it's especially improving for kids, just that I think it's funny. My six-year old and I were watching an episode last evening where Timmy and the OP's pop into various other classic cartoons - Charlie Brown, Flintstones, Space Ghost, etc., etc. Plenty of good, snarky humor.

Posted by Robert at 04:30 PM | Comments (2)

Tim? Tim Gore?

Have you seen this AP photo of AlGore? Creepy. He looks more to me like the bastard love-child of Gore and Tim Russert.

I reckon the reemergence of Gore as an attack dog pretty much signals the kiss of death for the Kerry campaign. He tends to have that effect.

UPDATE: Vodka Boy is channelling a different doppleganger. And James Joyner is running a Caption Contest.

Posted by Robert at 03:05 PM | Comments (3)

Chalk And Cheese Book Reviewing

I'm currently reading two books new to me, one in the evenings and the other on my daily Metro commute.

My evening read is The Discovery and Conquest of Mexico by Bernal Diaz del Castillo. Diaz, after having gone on two other exploratory expeditions from Cuba to the Yucatan, was one of Cortez's soldiers in the campaign against Montezuma and wrote a gripping eye-witness account of his adventures. (Victor David Hanson cites to Diaz's account a great deal in his chapter on the fall of the Aztecs in his Carnage and Culture.) The prose style is extremely dry and straightforward, a soldier's story of what he remembers. In this, Diaz reminds me very much of other soldier-writers like Caesar and Xenophon. Nonetheless, it is absolutely fascinating. At the moment, I am reading of Cortez' contact with various Indian tribes that were sick and tired of the Aztecs' hegemonic cruelty and were eager to ally themselves with a power they thought capable of taking down Montezuma. So much for the myth that the New World was a garden of peace and love before the Eviiiiil Europeans showed up.

My commuter book is James Fenimore Cooper's The Wing and Wing, a novel about the adventures of a French Privateer during the Napoleonic Wars. Talk about radically different styles! While I am hoping to find a lot of good, meaty action in this book, I am chagrined by Cooper's tendency toward long-windedness and a certain air of superiority. Dayum, the man takes a long time to say anything - and to make sure that you know that he knows all about it! His description of a lugger making its way into the harbor at Elba is practically in real-time.

The only other book of Cooper's that I've read is Last of the Mohicans, which was not only long-winded, but pompous and sanctimonious as well, wallowing as it does in a good deal of Noble Savage goo-gooism. I reckon that I'll at least be spared the sanctimony here, since he's talking about the French, the British and the Italians. As for the long-windedness, eh, I've got time.

UPDATE: Outstanding! Don at Mixolydian Mode left a comment linking to Mark Twain's opinion on the writings of James Fenimore Cooper, widely regarded as one of the funniest pieces of literary criticism ever penned, and no less so because Twain is absolutely right. Thanks, Don!

Posted by Robert at 01:42 PM | Comments (5)


What happened to all those millions over whom I once was a prince?

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Trek goes, anyway. 'Nuff said.

What Star Trek Movie Villain Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Yips! to Phil at Shades of Gray.

Posted by Robert at 10:01 AM | Comments (3)

Holy Baying Bloodhounds, Batman!

Kevin at Wizbang has some interest information about who might be behind the forged docs.

We Llamas want to know what color pajamas Kevin is wearing.

Posted by Robert at 09:37 AM | Comments (0)

Han is My Co-Pilot

Last week, Sheila was musing on the top five moments in the original Star Wars trilogy. Her post garnered some interesting responses, as usual.

I got thinking about this because there is one moment in the original Star Wars movie that has a keen practical application in my own life. (WARNING: EXTREME GEEKINESS AHEAD. PROCEED WITH CAUTION.)

You see, I really hate flying. In fact, I'm quite frightened of it. It isn't the rational kind of fear about terrorists and airline safety compliance issues. It's the irrational kind of fear that says the only thing that keeps the wings from falling off the plane is the force generated by the clenching of my stomach muscles.

I especially hate take-off. There is something about that feeling of finding yourself helplessly in the grip of an inevitable series of events that will result in your being catapulted into the sky that adds a shot of extra spice to my already considerable anxiety. But I have found a way to deal with it, thanks to Star Wars.

Just before we start the roll-out, I flip back in my mind to the escape of the Millenium Falcon from Mos Eisley. I run the film right from the point of "Stop that ship! Blast them!" with extra emphasis on the musical score and the sound effects. By the time the Imperial cruisers have been outrun and the Falcon kicks into hyperdrive, my own jet has completed the worst part of its climb and I can relax just a bit.

Call it what you want, but it works.

Posted by Robert at 09:30 AM | Comments (0)


Mr. Enoch Soames, Esq., brings word of a new Tom Wolfe novel! Looks like Wolfe is tilting at the Ivory Tower this time around. I, for one, am quite excited about this. (For all of you faithful readers who know the real Stanley Ipkiss behind the Robert the Llama Butcher mask, I'd point out that it's never too early to be thinking about Christmas presents.......)

As it happens, Wolfe is an alum of Washington & Lee University and spoke at my law school commencement there. I got the curious sensation that half the faculty - ardent libs, most of them - didn't really know much about Wolfe's writing or what to expect from his address. What a show! Wolfe launched into a withering damnation of campus political correctness and virulent multi-culturalism that had jaws swinging on the stage inside of five minutes, but that had the (mostly) conservative student body grinning from ear to ear.

I'm guessing this latest book is going to have a healthy dose of those sentiments in it.

Posted by Robert at 09:13 AM | Comments (0)

More Beethoven Blogging

The O.F. weighed in with some comments on my remarks about Beethoven over the weekend and also forwarded this interesting piece on old Ludwig Van's 5th Symphony, providing not just background but also a survey of current recordings. It's quite interesting and informative if you like this kind of thing. (As a footnote, I know why the Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique nearly beats Toscanini himself for speed - John Eliot Gardiner, for reasons known only to himself, takes the second movement waaaay too fast.)

I suppose I should clarify that what I was getting at earlier about Beethoven's music was the underlying sense of the presense of a large, if somewhat insecure, ego. The article discusses this a bit in its brief outline of the rise of Romanticism. I should also clarify that I don't hold this against Beethoven's music, rather just that I am aware of it while listening.

On the whole, I don't much care for Romanticism precisely because it invites an artist to indulge in the worst sort of self-centered bloviation. (Yeah, I'm talking to you, Percy "Bysshe" Shelley! I got yer unacknowledged legislator right here, pal!) I don't think Beethoven overdid this. But I sometimes wonder how much of his restraint was a product of the fact that he was an early innovator coming out of the Classical tradition. A Beethoven writing, say, forty years later would have produced a completely different kind of music and I wonder how much of a brake he would have maintained on his inner demons in such circumstances. Not much is my guess.

Also, as a matter of general temperment, I usually find the shouting of naked feelings from the rooftops to be rather ickey-pooh. (Not in the street, children. It will frighten the horses.) Every now and then I wallow in it myself, of course, but I just can't take all that emoting on a day to day basis. I suppose this is why the bulk of the music I listen to is from the Classical, Baroque and earlier periods and why I listen to more modern music relatively less often.

UPDATE: Following Fausta's comments back to her site, I found this nifty post on piano playing. I'm in total agreement with much of what she says and often paraphrase Oscar Wilde when asked why I don't play for people: The trouble with sight-reading is that when one plays well, nobody listens. And when one plays poorly, nobody talks.

Posted by Robert at 08:50 AM | Comments (5)

September 12, 2004

Blogroll rebuild

For some reason we lost our blogroll late Friday---I still haven't figured out exactly how. Anyhoo, as I'm an idiot, I hadn't backed it up, so I had to go and rebuild it based on the blogroll from the old site. So, if we've added you in the past month, we haven't purged you: we just need to re-add you. Drop us an email.

Thanks for hanging with us. Ovyez, what a week--two Instalanches, plus a full scale blogswarm attack on Dan Rather. Hobbies aren't supposed to be this much fun.

Posted by Steve at 09:43 PM | Comments (0)

Time to Call Those Nice Young Men In The White Coats

How did you spend your late Sunday afternoon? I'll bet you didn't do what I did, which was to booby-trap black-eye susans and coneflowers with tobasco sauce against the furry little demons from hell that have been munching their leaves.

[Insert Chief Inspector Dreyfus-like twitching of the eyes here.]

Posted by Robert at 05:37 PM | Comments (0)

September 11, 2004

9/11 Anniversary

Never forgotten. Never again. That is all.

Posted by Robert at 05:23 PM | Comments (0)

Gratuitous Garden Posting

A perfect morning for weeding the garden - cool and moist, and with all the rain we've had this week the weeds were practically leaping into my hands.

I noticed a very seriously bad-assed looking spider had set up shop on one of the Joe Pye. It is about three inches long including legs, which are black towards the end and tan towards the body. The body itself is black with a bright yellow pumpkin-shaped pattern on its abdomen. The thing was big enough to take down a honeybee, which it was doing as I watched. Personally, I wouldn't go anywhere near it.

Christ Almighty - first I get plagued with Sauron's Wraith Rabbits, now it looks like Shelob is taking up residence. What have I done to deserve this?

Posted by Robert at 05:22 PM | Comments (0)

Those Meddling Kids!

I can tell that the Llama-ettes have been using the ol' home computer a lot lately, as the action on the mouse is nearly shot. It isn't exactly like flying with a dead stick, but it's taking a bootfull of opposite rudder to keep this damn thing on course.

Posted by Robert at 05:17 PM | Comments (1)

Musical Snacks

I get a lot of questions in the Tasty Bits (TM) mailsack like this one:

Tom, can you recommend any piano pieces for those times when I have a few minutes to kill, like when waiting for the babysitter to show up or just before starting to make dinner?

I sure can - Beethoven's Opus 119 and 126 Bagatelles. Charming little pieces, most of which barely last a minute if that. As the name implies, Beethoven just tossed these off as little essays. One of their virtues is the absense of any sense that the B-man was trying to prove something (which, IMHO, is a trait that haunts a good bit of his music). They are music simply for its own sake, pretty easy to play, but very satisfying nonetheless.

Posted by Robert at 05:13 PM | Comments (1)

Capybara Watch

Go on over to Glenn's to catch a round up of the latest. Suffice to say, CBS is chin-deep in the water and surrounded by piranhas. Very hungry ones. Wearing pajamas, apparently.

"Piranhas in Pajamas" would be a great name for a rock band (pace Dave Barry).

I keep going back and forth on all this. Assuming (as I more or less do now) that the docs were faked, there are two possibilities:

1. CBS and Dan Rather knew they were fake and ran with them anyway; or
2. CBS and Rather got duped.

(I'm using "CBS" and "Dan Rather" interchangibly here. That might have to be revised soon.)

I'm still not comfortable believing the first possibility. Dan Rather is no friend of Dubya, but to pull a stunt like this - deliberately using forged docs to impune him, especially given the stakes of this election - would be an evil of such breath-taking proportion that I would think even Texas Dan would shy away from it. Then again, the they-can't-possibly-catch-this arrogance of the Old Media might well have been enough of a spur to make him believe he could get away with it. Or perhaps it was a matter of desparation. I just don't know.
I still believe that CBS got duped as a result of a combination of sloppiness and institutional prejudice. But I can't help thinking that I might change my mind about it some time this week.

The other interesting thing to watch is the possibility of a libel charge. Under the NY Times v. Sullivan actual malice standard, public figures almost never win libel suits. To do so, they would have to prove, among other things, that the writer had knowledge of falsity or else acted with a reckless disregard for the truth. However, sometimes such public figures do win. If things pan out as they might here, I believe a case might very well lie.

The other thing to watch in a libel situation is what one might call the Institutional Embarrassment Factor. In law school, I worked on a project that examined the central paradox of the Sullivan decision - that it actually resulted in the creation of judicial standards of journalism which can jeopardize the "breathing space" that Sullivan was supposed to create for the press. The basic problem (well, one of them) with Sullivan was that while the Supremes created an actual malice standard, they never articulated how a lower court was supposed to go about applying it. In this void, the lower courts started stepping in and creating their own norms of acceptable journalistic conduct at all three stages of news gathering (research, writing and editing). If you go through the cases, you will see courts getting into a tremendous amount of detail about media quality control procedures - fact checking protocols, number and reliability of sources, etc.

Now if nothing else, were Bush to go after CBS (or the Boston Globe or whomever) on a libel charge, CBS would find its news-gathering and editorial procedures exposed to a whole lot more publicity than I would imagine it might want. Remember those piranhas in pajamas? Still there. And still hungry.

UPDATE: Extremely hungry and (we happen to know) wearing bright mauve p.j.'s with little Krusty the Clowns all over them: King Piranha INDC Bill. Go read his latest chomp on the Boston Globe right now.

Posted by Robert at 12:14 PM | Comments (1)

Missing Blogroll - Day 2

Evidently, our blogroll has pulled a John Kerry and vanished.

Posted by Robert at 09:22 AM | Comments (0)

September 10, 2004

But of course......

Who's behind the forgeries? Karl Rove!

Posted by Steve at 11:15 PM | Comments (1)

What the...?

Just came back in to check what's going on and our blogroll has vanished.......? What the......?

Posted by Steve at 04:08 PM | Comments (1)

Another Nail In Dan Rather's Coffin

NPR News right now is airing a story on the forged CBS docs. The piece (now done) is remarkably balanced.

Man, when Brian Naylor is running with the story, you know it's all over but the eulogy.

UPDATE: Well that didn't take very long. YIPS! to K-Lo.

Posted by Robert at 03:03 PM | Comments (1)

CBS Source REvealed!

linda lovelace.jpg

(Sorry for the scatalogical Watergate humor...)

Posted by Steve at 01:42 PM | Comments (1)

But let's not let these forged documents obscure the #1 issue in the campaign: gay marriage

Ordinarily king of the Mardi Gras parade that is blogger triumphalism, Andrew Sullivan is a bit subdued today. How far has Sully descended? Well, he's linking to Kos arguing how the docs are legit, you know, for balance.

I'm looking for a lot of beagle, BF, and exploding toilet commentary from Sully to try to change the subject....

UPDATE: The good Reverend Pixy weighs in. "What's the font size, Kenneth?!?" indeed!

Posted by Steve at 01:33 PM | Comments (3)

A Grand Coalition

Blogs for Bush passes the 1000 mark. Congrats to the entire BFB staff and to everyone else who has worked to make this phenom happen!

Posted by Robert at 01:03 PM | Comments (1)

Henry V Blogging

Steve-O sometimes calls me Prince Hal to his Jack Falstaff here at Llamabutcher Central. I've always taken that very kindly.

Perhaps fittingly, the radio is currently running William Walton's Suite for Olivier's movie version of Henry V. As a rule I don't much like Walton's music, but I've always enjoyed this piece.

I have three specific favorites:

First is the Globe Theatre music. I suppose I like this because of its mock-Tudor style. I frequently whistle the fife melody heralding Henry's first entrance on to the stage.

Second is the charge of the French cavalry at the Battle of Agincourt. Walton's music perfectly captures the essense of the gathering wave, as the knights start from a walk and gradually build up to an all-out gallop. A truly spine-tingling sequence. (This, btw, is one of the weaknesses in Branagh's cut - not enough emphasis on the size and strength of the wall of metal and horseflesh bearing down on the English.)

Third is the Te Deum that accompanies the aftermath of the battle. This is another movement that gradually builds, gaining strength as it does so until it hits that climactic clash of cymbals and triumphant statement of the theme by the horns. To me it represents the weight and momentousness of the battle as a milepost in the course of history and also the sense of God's intervention in that course in that place and on that day. In this way, it backs up Olivier's panoramics of the carnage on the field and the long, annoymous line of soldiers marching towards the distant castle. Not to be persnickety about it, but this is another weak point in Branagh's version. His long walk with the boy in his arms, while moving, is self-centered, suggesting we should only view the day from the point of view of the individuals who fought there. Given this, it is rather odd that he should accompany the shot with a choral Te Deum. That is, unless he is being snide about Henry's stated belief that God fought on his side.

Mmmmm.....could be!

Posted by Robert at 12:53 PM | Comments (2)

"No Kidding" Dept.

"Study Shows Men Also Suffer From PMS."

Posted by Robert at 11:52 AM | Comments (0)

Make room over the mantle, Bill

stuffed rather.jpg

Bill wants "The Rock" to play him in the movie, although I have a feeling it will be more likely to be Dustin Diamond aka "Screech"....

UPDATE: See what I mean? This works so much better...

screech as indc bill.jpg

Posted by Steve at 11:21 AM | Comments (1)

Where's What must be the crankiest geezer on the Vineyard

Remember this gem from last month?

Lamenting the lack of depth in television news, the man considered the most trusted person on TV, Walter Cronkite, ends his current job this coming Tuesday right back where he started, as a newspaperman.

In his final column in a year-long stint writing for the King Features Syndicate, Cronkite, 87, calls his decades as the nightly news anchor for broadcast network CBS "rewarding," but "not entirely satisfactory" due to time limitations that prevented deep reporting of any one story.

"We're talking about covering one of the most complicated and important nations of the world ... and it's patently impossible to do an adequate job of covering the major stories of the day, around the world, in 17 minutes," Cronkite recently told Reuters, alluding to the on-air time in any half-hour news telecast.

The veteran reporter, who has covered presidential elections and armed conflicts from World War II to the Vietnam War, said he would like to see the numerous news "magazines" on TV devote more time to "instant documentaries" of current topics instead of "so much coverage of sex and Hollywood and crime."

In his farewell passage for King Features, Cronkite writes that because newspapers can provide depth and breadth, they can become a "custodian of our history."

"The decent newspapers try to be fair and present both sides of a disputed story in the community and our nation, and that is the essential of our history," he said. "It is where historians go to do their research. This is an absolutely vital link in the chain of culture that we call our democracy."


There are some things that each medium -- television and newspapers -- does distinctively. Television, of course, gives viewers a better sense of how people look and act, but newspapers provide a record that can be stored for people to read and study events for years to come.

In the case of presidential elections, Cronkite said the TV industry should be forced to give away air time to candidates to avoid multi-million dollar TV ad campaigns and keep offices from being up-for-sale to the candidate who raised the most money.

The newsman said he values the Internet as a research tool, but he finds some stories published on the Web -- scandals especially -- play too fast and loose with the facts.

"I am dumbfounded that there hasn't been a crackdown with the libel and slander laws on some of these would-be writers and reporters on the Internet. I expect that to develop in the fairly near future," he said.

Say goodnight, Walter.

Posted by Steve at 11:05 AM | Comments (0)

Three years later

A moving tribute to December 6, 1944 over at Hugh Hewitt's.

Posted by Steve at 10:53 AM | Comments (0)


I just can't keep up with this forgery business, which now looks like it might consume not only CBS News but the Kerry Campaign as well, but I know who can. Keep checking back with Bill at INDC Journal and the guys over at Power Line, who lead the charge on this one. And for divine round-up coverage, bow down before Allah.

Un-freakin'-believable. The Blogsphere: The New Army of One.

Posted by Robert at 10:53 AM | Comments (0)

Shut Up, Already!

Anthony Daniels (aka Theodore Dalrymple), writing over at The Social Affairs Unit, brings balm to my Tory soul with his thoughts on the rise of mass self-importance.

Yips! to Mr. Enoch Soames, Esq.

Posted by Robert at 10:14 AM | Comments (0)

Hot Bunnies Here!

(That oughta drum up some serious Googlage!)

Our good friend Chan the Bookish Gardiner passes on another method for dealing with Sauron's Wraith Rabbits. I don't think it should be an either/or proposition between this and resorting to firearms. Rather, I like to think of them in tandem: sending the fluffy little bastards to hell and giving them a taste on the way.

Of course, waving a little bottle of tabasco sause around in the garden probably wouldn't give the neighborhood as much pure entertainment value as Kathy the Cake Eater's suggestion, but I simply can't please everybody all the time.

Posted by Robert at 10:02 AM | Comments (4)

Not In Front of the Children

Yesterday I was ruminating on the aggravation of getting overstimulated little girls to go to bed and mentioned that on such occassions my parting words to them are often, "Go to sleep, dammit!" My real-life friend Sparky gently commented on this and suggested a milder alternative.

I confess to using a moderate amount of profanity in front of the kids in times of irritation and annoyance - damns and blasts and what P.G. Wodehouse, in The Pothunters, put this way:

At this Jim gave vent to the exclamation which Mr. Barry Pain calls the Englishman's shortest prayer.

'My dear sir,' said Charteris. 'My very dear sir. We blush for you. Might I ask why you take the matter to heart so?'

(And speaking of Wodehouse and foul language, I heartily recommend to you the short story "Chester Forgets Himself" from The Heart of a Goof. It is a cautionary tale about the dangers of bottling it all up and features one of literature's funniest golf foursomes, the Wrecking Crew.)

I don't have any legitimate defense for cursing in front of the children except that it's an old habit and I'm getting to be a moderately old dog. At the same time, I'm not particularly worried that it's going to warp them in any way. In fact, it might be to their benefit in the long-run, insofar as I am teaching them by example that it is better for grownups to use these words for venting their emotions rather than something far fouler. (I positively detest obscenity, considering it both crude and vulgar.) In the meantime, they know that Daddy says dammit but that they are not supposed to. I can live with that.

Posted by Robert at 09:03 AM | Comments (0)

INDC Bill versus the New York Times

Not to sound like a blogger triumphalist type (who we all know need to follow Wonkette channeling Sgt. Hulka's koan: Lighten up, Francis), but today is a singular day in the history of blogs and political coverage: the day that INDC Bill scooped the New York Times. Or the New York Times plagairized INDC Bill.

Let's go to the tape:

"Commander's Son Questions Memos on Bush's Service"

The headline is admirable: one would expect "Right-wing deranged smear-artist hack, probable illegitimate son of Chimperor's former Guard commander, questions (alebit in halting English) documents provided to CBS by Kerry Campaign"

So far, so good.

A day after memos emerged suggesting that George W. Bush received favorable treatment when he was in the National Guard during the Vietnam War, the son of Mr. Bush's squadron commander said he doubted the authenticity of some of the memos his father was said to have written.

The White House, meanwhile, for the second day in a row dismissed renewed questions about Mr.Bush's service as "recycled" and said they were part of a "coordinated attack" by Senator John Kerry, Mr. Bush's Democratic opponent in the presidential campaign, and his associates.

Fair enough so far, although of course you have to admire the objectivity and professionalism of the Times et al that after weeks of ignoring and then dismissing the Swift Vets stories that they leaped on this story like maggots on a meat pinata.

The new fracas over Mr. Bush's service began after CBS News and its program "60 Minutes'' reported on four memos they said were from the personal file of Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian, who died 20 years ago. The memos said that Mr. Bush had disobeyed a direct order to go for a physical in 1972 and that Colonel Killian had felt pressure to "sugarcoat'' Mr. Bush's record.

In an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday, the officer's son, Gary Killian, said he doubted that his father had written some of the memos. "I am upset because I think it is a mixture of truth and fiction here,'' Mr. Killian said.

CBS said in a statement that it stood by its story and the memos' authenticity.

"As is standard practice at CBS News, the documents in the '60 Minutes' report were thoroughly examined and their authenticity vouched for by independent experts,'' the statement said.

I presumed Trevor Roper was, like Franco, still dead: perhaps they had popsicled him up like Teddy Baseball and defrosted him for this last yeoman's labor.

If anyone's seen a defrosted corpse cashing any checks from CBS this week in suburban Arizona please let the Llamas know....

Still, throughout the afternoon and evening, questions arose about the authenticity of the memos as various forensics experts told news organizations, including The New York Times, that the fonts of the documents resembled those of modern-day word processors, specifically Microsoft Word.

I love that line: "Questions arose about the authenticity...." That's the beauty of the left-wing old media's primary weapon of attack: things are never done by reporters, things are always done to reporters. Questions arose like the ghost of Hamlet's father appearing to him (perhaps in the NYT restroom? or the back booth at that NYT bar that Jayson Blair dealt coke to NYT staffers from?) No, these questions didn't "arise" by themselves: they were dug up and put forward by serious amateur journalists.

Will the NYT acknowledge this work that came out yesterday (as the Chicago Sun-Times does)? We wait with baited breath..... It's almost as if this organization has trouble acknowledging the work of others or something.

What follows is the money shot, if you pardon my Sully-ism:

Philip Bouffard, a forensic document specialist from Ohio who created a commonly used database of at least 3,000 old type fonts, said he had suspicions as well. "I found nothing like this in any of my typewriter specimens," said Dr. Bouffard, a Democrat. He also said the fonts were "certainly consistent with what I see in Times Roman," the commonly used Microsoft Word font.

However, Dr. Bouffard said, a colleague had called his attention to similarities between the font in the memos and that of the IBM Selectric Composer of the early 1970's.

But he said it would be unusual for Mr. Bush's commanding officer to have had the IBM machine because of its large size.

Dr. Bouffard said he would see if the fonts match more closely on Friday. "The problem I'm going to run into if this matches and Times Roman matches, to the extent of what we are able to see on these poor miserable copies that are passing around,'' he said, "then I don't think anybody's going to be able to say for sure.''

Compare this interview from today with INDC Bill's interview with Dr. Bouffard yesterday:

的t痴 just possible that this might be a Times Roman font, which means that it would have been created on a computer. It痴 very possible that someone decided to create this document on a computer... I致e run across this situation before my gut is this could just well be a fabrication.

Needless to say, Bill's interview with the same source, the previous day, is much more hard hitting as it lays out in great depth the problem with the documents, which, of course, the NYT fails to do.

I guess day's like today it's hard to be a blogger who prides himself on being like crisco to donuts.

A senior executive at CBS said said, "We are convinced our source who got the documents had access to them and we trust the source.'' He added, "Can we produce the typewriter they came from in 1972 or 1973? Obviously not.''

Somebody needs to kill Carl Bernstein just so he can roll over in his grave on that one (I'm kidding of course): that quote right there symbolizes the death of serious investigative journalism on the part of old media. If there's any chance that a line of inquiry is going to harm their candidate or exonerate the Chimperor, then, mon dieu!, it must not be pursued.

"We did have a number of experts,'' he said, adding that the producers also showed the documents to numerous people who worked with Colonel Killian and who said the memos were consistent with what he thought and representative of the sorts of documents he produced back then.

Simple: name them. It's not that complicated: who are they? Because it's beginning to sound suspicously like the "top experts" that the feds assure Indiana Jones at the end of Raiders who are studying the Ark: top experts. So expert you've never heard of them.

"It would be unbelievable for a forger to have written documents that could so closely reflect what the people closest to Killian said,'' he said, "that this is his tone of voice, what he thought back then, this is the situation back then. It would be a little odd to think that these things could have just surfaced.''

Think of the naivete in that loaded first sentence: unbelievable? Chucky, that's what forgers do, for chrissakes! You might as well say "It would be unbelievable for the Kerry campaign to deliver us forgeries that confirm our preconceived notions about the Chimperor's AWOL status--why would they do such a thing?"

Because they want to win. You know, it's funny: France tries to forge intel documents on Saddam's search for uranium, and the NYT is all over Bush's gullibility like Oliver Willis on a donut truck, and that's good journalism. But Kerry's people forge documents that the NYT wants to believe and, hey, that just can't happen? Huh? Do they even realize how stupid this makes them look?

CBS News executives also produced a document released earlier by the White House about Mr. Bush's service that was clearly from a typewriter and had a superscript "th'' in it. CBS said it proved that some typewriters did indeed have superscript keys. But the characters were hard to make out after so much reproducing of the document, a problem, the CBS News official acknowledged, with the documents in the initial "60 Minutes'' program; those documents were not originals and have been copied repeatedly.

CBS News declined to say how it obtained the memos.

But of course. And it is good to know that Carville and Begala have been on the job now for what? three days? and they are already earning their retainer.
And now the funny part:

The White House itself did not contest the memos' authenticity and handed them out to reporters. It continued on Thursday to handle questions based on the memos, particularly about the accusation that Mr. Bush failed to take a physical "as ordered." The physical exam was required for Mr. Bush to remain a pilot.

Asked about a passage in one memo saying Mr. Bush had failed to take the ordered physical, Scott McClellan, the White House press secretary, deflected the question and told reporters on Air Force One that such attacks were expected because Mr. Kerry was "falling behind in the polls" and because Mr. Bush had had "a very successful convention."

Chucky, I'd sure as hell love to play poker against you--my kids' college funds would be stocked like a trout stream on the first day of season in no time. Of course they're not going to question the authenticity---because if they do, you write the headline "White House Questions Memos Showing He Went AWOL", arcing the story in a way detrimental to their interests and in favor of your candidate. You know, like you were hoping. Instead, they passed, and let the documents speak for themselves. So you had to scrap the story you had set for today (Day 2: WH in crisis mode as new documents show the Chimperor's Vietnam deceptions) is toast, and you are forced into this story instead. And tomorrow's story will have to be: where did the memos come from? That thing you feel around your neck is rope, dude, and if you've never heard the phrase "give someone enough rope to hang themselves with," well, you're going to undertand it in about another day or so, BIG TIME.

At the same time, Democrats stepped up their criticism of the president. Senator Tom Harkin, the Iowa Democrat and a Navy flier in the Vietnam War era, called the president a liar for claiming to have fulfilled his Guard duty.

"This is about George Bush not doing his duty in the National Guard and then lying to the American people about it," Mr. Harkin told reporters at a news conference at the Democratic National Committee.

I guess this would be the same Tom Harkin who repeatedly lied about being a combat pilot in Vietnam in the 1992 campaign?

(Image courtesy of Instapundit)

It's like the NYT has never heard of Google..... Look, Chucky, Mr. Guttenberg has invented this thing that allows us all to read the text and decide for ourselves, instead of relying on you priests to tell us what it all means. Get over it, and get over yourselves.

Understatement of the story:

While the two parties were absorbed with the actions of Mr. Bush and Mr. Kerry more than three decades ago, both Mr. Bush and Mr. Kerry steered clear of the issue on the campaign trail.

Neither candidate was available to reporters.

According to Hugh Hewitt, that would make it 39 days since Mr. Kerry made himself available to reporters. I guess his "magic hat" must function as some sort of Cloak of Invisibility or something. Who knew the CIA was sending powerful wizards via Swift Boat into Cambodia....damn that Richard Nixon!

Meanwhile, the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which has ties to the Republicans and has attacked Mr. Kerry's service in Vietnam, said Thursday that it would spend $680,000 to put up a nationwide commercial that criticizes Mr. Kerry for tossing his war decorations.

The spot, which already ran for three days in Florida during the Republican National Convention this month, is to run for seven days on several cable channels.

It opens with film of a rally where Mr. Kerry and other veterans who had turned against the war tossed their decorations, and a voiceover declares: "Symbols. They represent the best things about America." It then shows Mr. Kerry telling an interviewer that same year, "I gave back I can't remember, six, seven, eight, nine."

The voiceover then asks, "How can a man who renounced his country's symbols now be trusted?"

This is the third commercial by the boat group. The Kerry campaign said the Swift boat group was desperate to keep alive accusations that had already been discredited.

Actually, it's at least the fourth commercial: the original one, the one featuring the POWs and the "Jenjis Caaaahn" testimony, and the one on the holiday in Cambodia. If this transcript is accurate......DAMN that one's going to leave a mark!!

And the article ends on a high note:

"This group has less credibility than a trashy tabloid magazine," said Chad Clanton, a spokesman for the campaign.

You mean like Kitty Kelley?

Posted by Steve at 08:19 AM | Comments (0)

Bravo Zulu, Bill et al!

The forged documents story breaks into the old media (the New York Post, natch, but once blood is in the water it becomes impossible to get it out...) Powerline is mentioned.

YIPS! from Robbo - I went out to fetch my dead-tree copy of the WaPo this morning and damme if the story wasn't on the front page. I laughed out loud. I also see that CNN has posted it on their webpage.

Abso-freakin'-lutely brilliant!

Posted by Steve at 07:10 AM | Comments (0)

September 09, 2004


Utt-oh, just as things were starting to look good for the Bush campaign, CBS News got its hands on a NEW document underscoring the problems of George Bush's military service, from one of America's most respected political and miltary leaders.

Our mole at Black Rock sent this over:

more evidence.jpg

I don't know how they're going to finesse this one.

Posted by Steve at 11:04 PM | Comments (0)

Day 40 since Francois met with the press

Hugh Hewitt is keeping tabs on the time since John "F means Feckless Frenchman" Kerry met with a member of the old media, to answer questions about Christmas in Cambodia, magic hats, gun-running exploits, and whatever else is seared--SEARED--into his memory.

According to Hugh, we're at 40 days on Saturday.

As a public service, we here at Llamabutchers will sneak these into the cafeteria at the National Press Club to help things along:

kerry milk carton.jpg

BOO-YEAH! Welcome back Instapundit readers---the Llamabutchers cover the waterfront so you don't have to, coming back with all the rats grilled on a stick with a nice pesto sauce. Pshop wackiness, Wonkette worship, Gratuitous Domestic Blogging, Sauron's wraith rabbit, the latest from the British bookies on the election, righteous fiskings of the Boston Globe---a little bit of everything.

And while you're here, visit some other blogs that we think are peachy keen up-and-comers, like Gordon the Cranky Neo Con, The Hatemongers Quarterly, and Kathleen the Cake Eater.

where is kerry.jpg

Posted by Steve at 10:36 PM | Comments (3)

Welcome Back, Bill!

As our long time reader (i.e. Robbo's Mom) knows, we like to rag on INDC Bill regularly---we do this because Bill can take it and dish it back with extra relish on the side. Nothing we Llamas like more than that.

So.....Bill takes a sudden sabbatical, and we send him nothing but the hopes everything is A-O'TAY, as Buckwheet was wont to say. And sure enough, he comes back with the posts that blow Dan Rather and CBS News and the Washington Post right out of the water: slam-dunk proof that CBS's "Bush AWOL" documents are forgeries.

Because, like, he called up the expert in the field and asked him.

Too bad blogs don't have the investigative resources of the old media, eh?

If this pans out---and I've got a hunch that it will---this is going to be BIG.

Congrats, Bill!

UPDATE: What the.....? INDC Bill has been emailing Rusty saucy videos? And here I thought we were friends.....thanks guys!

Posted by Steve at 10:13 PM | Comments (2)

The Blogger with the heart of gold II

For the doubters out there (I'm talking to YOU Gordon!)

wonkette and llama.jpg

I've got some further thougths on blogging entitled "what we can all learn from Wonkette" coming soon....

And below the fold? The real picture sans pshopping.

wonkette and ben.jpg

What can I say, I'm a stud, even though my blogging is even worse than my acting....

Posted by Steve at 04:21 PM | Comments (3)

Holy Old Media Meltdown, Batman!

I don't really know what to make of the contention sweeping the blogsphere today that the documents the Boston Globe, CBS and 60 Minutes are trumpeting as smoking-gun evidence that Bush was AWOL from National Guard duty are, in fact, forgeries.

Charles at Little Green Footballs seems convinced of it. The Big Trunk at Power Line is all over it, as is National Review's Kerry Spot. Now Drudge is running a top o' the page banner on it.

Whether they're right or not will soon be seen. But this story perfectly illustrates what I was saying this morning - anybody who thinks the Internet - and especially the conservative section of it - isn't shaping the course of the political debate is a blind fool. If these docs do turn out to be forged, it will be a disaster for both Old Media and the Kerry campaign, as well as a huge scalp for the belt of the blogsphere.

UPDATE: INDCent Bill is back and he's not taking any prisoners. Go read his independent research right now.

Posted by Robert at 04:07 PM | Comments (0)

Steve Is The Seventh Wave

I would just like to point out that thanks to Steve-O's Wonkette blogging, we are now getting links from both Instapundit and this porn industry blog.

I think a passage from this classic is in order:

At the still point of destruction
At the centre of the fury
All the angels, all the devils
All around us can't you see
There is a deeper wave than this
Rising in the land
There is a deeper wave than this
Nothing will withstand

Yup, that's our Steve-O.

Posted by Robert at 02:47 PM | Comments (2)

Your Tax Money At Work

Well StephenEsque ought to be pleased. I just picked up my U.S. Gov'mint Transportation Subsidy for the next quarter - basically $300 worth of Metro cards. Yup, I'm back to Metro after having spent the last year driving in and out.

Alas, while this gift from Uncle ought to cover my trips on the Metro itself, I still get whanged for parking out at my local Metro station. Currently, it's cheaper to go for the metered parking ($3.00 for 12 hours and hope you don't run overtime) than it is to pay the flat lot rate for all day parking ($3.75 for my station).

Speaking of Jeeps, I left the back off mine all day yesterday as the remnants of Frances dumped on us. When I got out from work, I discovered two inches of water sloshing around on the floorboards. But you know the nice thing about a jeep? All I had to do was reach under and pull the drainage plugs.

Stephen is obviously a confirmed urbanite. I, in turn, am a stalwart suburbanite. The idea of being completely dependent on public transportation to get into and out of the city gives me the willies.

Posted by Robert at 12:37 PM | Comments (3)

New Llama Yips! And A Confession

Phoenix at Villains Vanquished, a site new to me, has some very flattering things to say about us. Thanks muchly! He also fleshes out one of Steve-O's recent allusions that went rocketing right over my head.

I have to confess that I'm one of those six people who have never read a Harry Potter book nor seen a Harry Potter movie. Really just not interested. Hey Lynn! What's the response to the "Alien Look" for this one? The Cellist Comeback? "You mean you've never heard of Lynn Harrell? Whaaat? What about Yo-Yo Ma? You're freakin' kidding me! Well surely you've heard of Leonard Rose? No? Oh. My. Gawd!"

Posted by Robert at 12:00 PM | Comments (2)

Your Coffee-Snarfing Political Post for the Day

Mickey Kaus on J. Francois Kerry's proposed Federal "Department of Wellness".

You've been warned.

Posted by Robert at 11:48 AM | Comments (0)

Oh, Where Have You Been Billy Boy, Billy Boy?

Our pal Gordon, the Cranky Neocon is pining, pining I tell ya, for the return of our other pal INDCent Bill.

We miss Bill, too. On the other hand, we've never been quite so expressive about our feelings for other bloggers as is Gordon. (Insert sound of malicious cackle.)

Posted by Robert at 11:40 AM | Comments (0)

Slimy Sid Is Huffing Paint Fumes Again

Here is Blumenthal's take on the present state of the campaigns. Read it if you like. Personally, I feel as if I should go take a shower now.

Posted by Robert at 10:31 AM | Comments (2)

Say It With Me, Friends, "Change Is Bad!"

London is scrapping its double-decker buses. It does not appear that the alternatives being developed do much to improve things. It seems to me that in cases where either choice presents problematic issues of utility, style and tradition ought to count for something.

Posted by Robert at 10:24 AM | Comments (1)

What Academic Bias?

Oh, Boy! Yesterday I received the latest copy of the alumni magazine from the People's Soviet of Middletown, CT. Usually I just look at the class notes and toss the thing, but there was an article this time entitled Politics at Grassroots that purported to be about politics and the Internet, so of course your humble Llama had to read it.

First I had to find it, though. The cover said the article was on page 24. It was actually on page 20. It would be useless to complain about so glaring an error, because I already know what response I would get: "Hey, man, don't be so anal. Anyway, page numbering is just an artificial construct that enables the continued hegemony of phallo-centric Western Civilization over oppressed indigenous cultures that approach life, wisdom and knowledge in a more holistic, nurturing and non-hierarchical manner. By the way - got any pot?"

Aaaaanyway, most of the article is pretty harmless yadda yadda about online political ads and fundraising, although it is (as you would expect) heavily tilted towards the Donks. But get a load of this:

Will the Internet prove to be truly effective in politics? Assistant Professor of Government Melanye Price says the Dean campaign shows that the jury is still out on that question. 撤eople saw Howard Dean痴 campaign as a watershed, because he had so many people involved and he raised a lot of money, but it didn稚 translate to votes.

No, Dear. All the Dean experiment proved is that for all a campaign's whistles and bells, if the guy at the center is a total loon, it's not going anywhere. And in fact, I'd argue that the true power of the Internet in Dean's case was in the way it aided and abetted his flame-out. YEEEEEAAAAGGGH!!!!!

But here is the real money quote of the piece:

Also unclear is the extent to which the Internet will influence the political process and outcomes. Both parties have raised funds on the Internet, but the Republican Party, particularly its religiously oriented conservative wing, has not used it to mobilize in the way the Democrats have. 典he Christian Right痴 way of mobilizing is fundamentally through churches and face-to-face meetings and through the commitment of people to the beliefs of the Religious Right, says Boyd. 典he religious divide is currently the most important political divide in this country預nd that痴 a social movement that does not depend on technology for its effectiveness.

I'll even set aside the gratuitous swipe at those silly Bible-Thumping Jeebus Freaks, who apparently rely on speaking in tongues to communicate their eviiiil plans for nationwide cultural domination. Instead, I'd note that this paragraph illustrates the political version of what Douglas Adams called the Somebody Else's Problem effect- the predisposition of the human eye not to see what it doesn't expect or can't explain. Has the author of this piece never even heard of Blogs for Bush? Has she not bothered to check out a sampling of other conservative grassroots blog confederations like the Victory Coalition or Katie's Eowyn Bloggers? Granted, I never went to J-school. But this shore looks like mobilization to me.

Also, I think the article doesn't really comprehend the way in which blogging current affects politics most directly - through its increasing power to shape and present arguments, ideas and images. Trent Lott, anybody? Howell Raines and Jayson Blair? The Plaime Game? "Sticky Fingers" Sandy Berger and the 9/11 Commission?

The Swiftboat Vets story is a perfect example. Without the conservative side of the 'Sphere, this movement would have been strangled in its crib. The mainstream press would simply have buried it. Only after the story had spread across the Web and allowed the Vets to generate some notoriety and money did the NYTimes and its ilk deign to take notice. Once the SBV's story could no longer be ignored, it seriously altered the public image of J. Francois Kerry's carefully crafted image of Vietnam hero. And as the polls demonstrate, this is having a profound impact on his chances of getting elected.

That is where the political power of the Internet primarily lies these days, I think. And there is a great deal of conservative firepower here. If my only on-line political effort was simply to email all my friends and tell them to go vote for Dubya, I wouldn't have much of an impact on the vote. But by engaging in the debate of facts and ideas on-line and in front of a largely anonymous audience, I am (hopefully) influencing the way people think about the issues and the candidates. And that is going to translate into numbers come November.

Posted by Robert at 10:09 AM | Comments (0)

Meaty Bleating

Lileks is architecture-blogging today and kinda, sorta defending McMansions. As is almost inevitably the case, James takes some very sensible views - his position is more an attack against snotty liberal elitism than a defense of the excesses of the Starter-Castle Culture.

Speaking of which, check out these monstrosities. I point them out because "La Panorama" and "La Chateau" are literally just down the street from my house. They are among a half-dozen such places jammed together cheek-by-jowl and known locally as "Chevron Estates" because they are built right on top of a corner gas station. I have no idea how this builder makes any money. All of these houses were built on spec and most have remained unsold for years.

I frequently see cars in front of one of them in the evening, but seemingly never the same cars. My theory is that the builder lends the place out to people to make porn films. It would be the perfect set for that sort of thing (I mean, I guess).

Posted by Robert at 09:19 AM | Comments (1)

Gratuitous Aussie War Movie Review

I finally watched Gallipoli for the first time last evening (after finally getting the girls to go to sleep). Yawn.

If you want a really first class Aussies-getting-kicked-around-by-bloody-minded-Brits-in-the-hell-of-war film, watch Breaker Morant instead. Different war, of course, but same principle and much better done.

Here's a bit more about Morant himself. A tremendous amount of controversy swirls around whether he and other Bushvelt Carbineers - a kind of horse-back Delta Force - went over the line in their guerrilla fight against the Boers, or whether they were railroaded by Kitchener to protect his own image. I don't know the answer. Certainly the perception that Moran and Handcock were judicially murdered to cover Kitchener's backside had a tremendous impact on relations between Australia and Great Britain. Of course, the film takes the pro-Morant view to the hilt. I'd be interested to see a more judicious treatment of the business. The only history of the war I've read, Boer War by Thomas Packenham, skips over the incident in just a few sentences. (If memory serves, Packenham suggests the Australian martyrdom of Morant was not completely justified.)

Posted by Robert at 08:44 AM | Comments (2)

More Llama-ette Blogging

Back to school means a change in the daily cycle which means everything is off which means extremely wired girls last evening. Grrrrrr.

We've always been Bedtime Nazis at our house. Eight o'clock. In bed. No excuses. Period. And aside from these occassional bumps, it works out very well. Which makes it all the more frustrating the times when they do start giving us trouble because we so depend on those few hours of peace and quiet in the evening.

Still, I need to make a better effort to control my temper. I'd hate to think that if I were squashed by a malfunctioning space probe or hurled in front of a speeding bus by one of John Kerry's flipflops some fine morning, the last words I'd have left with my girls were, "Go to bed, dammit!"

Posted by Robert at 08:12 AM | Comments (1)

7 AM News Roundup

Boston Herald:

Decribing "swing" voters in Pennsylvania:

The postconvention bump for Bush has been substantial here, and it appears to be at two levels. Some got a good long look at George Bush and liked what they saw. Others, not necessarily wild for Bush, accept the notion that Kerry is already toast. (When a 90-something resident of the assisted living facility my mom resides at says, ``What's that expression? `Put a fork in him?' '' you know Kerry's in trouble.)
The ``he's toast'' phenomenon can truly become a self-fulfilling prophesy.
Bush did what he needed to do in New York. The constant reminders that this was the president who helped see a nation through the worst trauma it has ever experienced were everywhere. This weekend there will be more - more memorials, more remembrances, more harkening back to that day.

Dick Morris:

The Democrats don't understand the need to move to the center. Bob Shrum, Kerry's and Ted Kennedy's key strategist, makes his living by appealing to the party's base. The addition of James Carville and Paul Begala to the team just reinforces the tendency to tack to the left, embracing an economic populism that resonates with 40 percent of the voters but leaves the rest cold.

After all, when Clinton needed to win 43 percent of the vote to get elected in 1992 against Bush, as Ross Perot split the Republican vote, he relied on Carville and Begala. But when he needed to win half the voters in the 1996 campaign, as Perot's appeal diminished, they were nowhere to be seen.

Carville and Begala will likely focus on "the economy, stupid," which is a needed correction for Kerry whose current strategy of trying to beat Bush on terrorism brings to mind Winston Churchill's characterization of fighting a land war in Asia against Japan in World War II: "Going into the water to fight the shark."

But in its focus on the economy, the Kerry team is likely to lose sight of one basic problem: In running against a bad economy, it is helpful if the economy is bad. With an unemployment rate approaching 5 percent, they'll have a hard time making the case.

The decision to bring in Carville and Begala also begs a more fundamental question: Do they want Kerry to win?

Both men are primarily loyal to the Clintons Bill and Hillary. Clearly, the former president would like the former first lady to be president in 2008. And a Kerry victory would stand in the way.

An axiom of politics is that generally you want your campaign advisers to hope that you win and Carville and Begala may not pass that standard.

New Jersey: Toss-up state

Boston Globe:

Consultants can persuade Kerry to recycle Howard Dean's effective critique of the conflict in Iraq as "the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time." But they can't erase Kerry's recent statement that he would vote for the war knowing what he knows today, nor can he eliminate his litany of back-and-forth statements regarding Iraq and Saddam Hussein. (See the link to on the Republican National Committee website.)

Democrats continue to believe that if only they put the right people in the back room or on the candidate's airplane, they will defeat George W. Bush. Strategy counts, but the candidate counts more. Bill Clinton, not James Carville or Paul Begala, won election and reelection.

No one is yet writing off Kerry's presidential aspirations, given his history of strong finishes. However, no one should overstate those finishes, either. Kerry's Massachusetts victories came in a state dominated by liberal voters who valued liberal ideology over personality. His presidential primary season victories began with Dean's momentous collapse in Iowa.

And the dynamics of Kerry's national campaign differ from any political race he waged in the past. This time around, Kerry is wary of embracing his natural liberal constituency. So liberals must trust that the gun-waving candidate who says he would vote all over again to authorize war will turn into a president who will put down the hunting rifle and bring home the troops as soon as possible.

This obvious political charade does not engender strong passion. The left is resigned to Kerry, the right to Bush. Everyone else looks at the two candidates and tries to decide whether they want the incumbent -- a candidate committed to one mistaken policy -- or the challenger -- a candidate committed to shifting policies -- running the country.

That makes personality -- or likability -- the driving force in the campaign for the undecided voter.

To that end, political advisers should keep Kerry away from large pools of water that tempt him to wind-surf. Advisers can toughen up his rhetoric and sharpen his political advertising. But they can't change his longwinded speaking style, his long history of political calculation, or his Senate-bred instinct to equivocate. Anyone-but-Bush advocates should weigh in now with angry e-mails deriding the president as a smirking, draft-dodging dummy who is being marketed to gullible Americans by a passel of evil political strategists. Enough average Americans agree or the incumbent wouldn't be in such political trouble. Even so, Bush the candidate is so far more successful than Kerry the candidate.

Part of his success is due to issue framing. "Am I safe or not?" is a more compelling question, than "Will I have a job or not?" That is especially true as Americans approach the third anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and view horrifying pictures out of Russia, where hundreds of school children, parents, and teachers were killed after terrorists took them hostage.

But like it or not, part of it is also due to Bush's ease with voters, as viewed in snippets on the evening news. There's one guy in a blue oxford shirt, with his sleeves rolled up, as he presses the flesh and tells voters over and over that Iraq is a critical piece of the war on terror. The way to honor fallen troops, he says, is to complete the mission.

Then, there's the other guy. Yesterday Kerry gave a speech on Iraq, accusing Bush of misleading the United States into war on the basis of "false evidence." But this other guy also says he would vote to authorize Bush to wage war knowing everything he now knows. And this is the same guy who, when arriving in Cincinnati on Tuesday night, said, "More than 1,000 of America's sons and daughters have now given their lives on behalf of their country, on behalf of freedom, on behalf of terror."

Remember the sound in Tommy Boy when David Spade hit Chris Farley square in the forehead with a 2 by 4? That one's gonna leave a mark....

WAIT! DON'T ORDER NOW! EXTRA BONUS LINK! Can you imagine the US Senate without Tom Daschele? Apparently, South Dakota voters can. The latest from from the Thune v. Daschele blog....

Posted by Steve at 07:26 AM | Comments (0)

September 08, 2004

I guess that would make Al Gore the one-eyed guy with the monkey

This bit in the Telegraph is priceless:

Watching Mr Kerry try to take on Mr Bush brings to mind a classic moment in that cult film of the 1980s, Raiders of the Lost Ark. Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones is trapped in a back-alley in an Egyptian souk.

A crowd closes in as a giant Arab steps forward wielding a scimitar. Snick-snack it goes through the air, faster and faster. The audience tenses. Indie shudders.

Then he draws a pistol from his belt and shoots the Arab in the forehead. Game over. The crowd drifts away.

Such is America's polarisation that the crowd enveloping the two presidential candidates is not yet drifting away. But, notwithstanding his own twists over Iraq, Mr Bush plays a convincing straight shooter. His pistol is already drawn and all the while Mr Kerry seems happier whirling a scimitar than reaching for a gun.

The whole article is both hilarious and insightful.

Posted by Steve at 10:28 PM | Comments (0)

I know I'm Not Supposed To Enjoy This, But....

Yes, yes, I'd still bloviate here even if no one but my Dad ever read a word I wrote. Yes, yes, I do this mostly for myself and for Steve-O. Yes, yes, I really, really like the circle of blogfriends we've made around here.

But owing to Steve getting Instalanched again last night, we just passed 2000 hits for the day, which is better than 10 times our normal daily average (and we've still got better than six hours to go), and I just have to say......

I love it! I love it! I love it! Oh, gimme summore o' those bee-uuteeful hits! Gimme, gimme, gimme! Aaaaa-Ha-Ha-Ha-Haaaa!!!!!

YIPS from Steve: We're #257!!!! Woo-hoo! In your face, ABC's The Note!

Yeah, I know these things don't last, but what the hey: this is still a lot more fun than burning down other civilizations playing Age of Empires: The Conquerors.

Posted by Robert at 05:31 PM | Comments (6)

More Musical Thoughts

Last evening I was able to take some time to play some of my favorite Haydn piano sonatas. This afternoon, as I'm putting together some document request letters, I'm listening to Alfred Brendel playing Beethoven's early sonatas, Opus 2, Nos. 1-3, written when he was quite young and dedicated to Haydn.

The link between Haydn and Beethoven's musical ideas is perfectly obvious to my ear but almost impossible for me to explain. That is the most aggravating part about never having seriously studied theory - by not practicing the academic analysis of music I have not developed the vocabulary necessary to talk about it intelligently.

If you want an extremely intelligent discussion of classical theory (by "classical" I mean the works of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven), may I suggest the writings of Charles Rosen. Rosen has the ability to explain these things even to slacker dilettantes like me. Unfortunately, while I can follow along perfectly well as long as I'm reading, I lose it as soon as I put the book down.

Posted by Robert at 04:59 PM | Comments (2)

"'W' stands for "Wrong'"

But of course "F" stands for "French", "Fecklessness", and, of course, "Fraud."

Kathleen Parker nails it:

Kerry's decision to impugn all those people now seems a near-fatal miscalculation. Yet, characteristic of the entitled class to which he belongs, Kerry seeks to blame others, especially his campaign managers, for his flagging popularity.

In the past few days he has turned to his party's godfather, Bill Clinton, and his apparatchiks, campaign advisers James Carville and Paul Begala. Talk about heaping insult atop injury: No sooner does Kerry escape the shadow of Clinton's autobiographical oeuvre-in-one, "My Life," than the former president seizes the kliegs with chest pains.

Doling advice from his hospital bed, in between interviews with Larry King, Clinton urged Kerry to drop the Vietnam gig. The rest of the world would like to respectfully add that he also abandon windsurfing and lose the sporting wardrobe.

Given today's climate, in which girlie-men are juxtaposed against child-butchering terrorists, Kerry's daily checklist might include the question: What would Hemingway do?

Posted by Steve at 04:03 PM | Comments (0)


Genesis space probe goes down in Utah. Location of U.S.S. Reliant currently unknown.

UPDATE: Kevin at Wizbang has a larger photo of the mess. If you check out the upper left quadrant, you can almost make out the curly blond locks of Dr. David Marcus. No loss there.

Posted by Robert at 04:03 PM | Comments (1)


Robert Kuttner, in today's Boston Globe:

Five big things are wrong, and each can (belatedly) be fixed.

Toughness. First, Kerry waited too long to forcefully criticize Bush's ample defects and vulnerabilities. The campaign's grand strategists made two big decisions for the Democratic convention that seemed like good ideas at the time. First, they decided that the tone needed to be relentlessly positive. This became such a mantra that whenever a rare speaker actually landed a good punch on Bush, TV commentators tsk-tsked that the speaker was "off message."

Please. The whole point of challenging a sitting president is to question his record. Better late than never, but Kerry should have been a lot tougher a lot earlier.

Clarity. The convention's second big mistake was to mistake biography for a strategy. Yes, Kerry needed to be introduced to the broad public, and yes, he needed to be credible as a leader on defens, and yes, his Vietnam record made for a compelling personal story as well as a contrast with Bush.

But they overdid it. Elections are about the competence of the incumbent and the challenger's vision for the future, not about candidate biographies. If they were, Bush never would have been elected (actually, he wasn't elected).

You can't blame Kerry's Vietnam emphasis for the right-wing veterans' smear. That was orchestrated in advance and ready to go in any case. But by overemphasizing Vietnam, the convention message inadvertently reminded voters that Kerry had both fought in the war and then opposed it. Many Americans, of course, did. But in Kerry's case, this could seem another flip-flop.

Most important, the Vietnam focus diverted attention from Kerry's vision for the future. Bush's actual policies and new proposals are so bogus and so disconnected from the problems they purport to solve that Kerry should be having a field day knocking them down and advancing his affirmative vision for America. He needs to stick to a few strong themes.

Too Many Cooks. While I respect most of the people newly brought into the Kerry campaign, I got a sinking feeling in my stomach when I heard of the latest shake-up. If anything, the campaign already has too many hands on the steering wheel. Yes, it's a source of strength to listen to multiple views -- Roosevelt and JFK certainly did. But Kerry needs to clarify the chain of command or the campaign will degenerate into a dynamic where a lowest common denominator defines a feeble consensus position or, worse, positions will shift depending on which adviser is momentarily on top. That dynamic did in Al Gore.

Hostile Media. The press (with some heroic exceptions) continues to cut Bush and the right-wing smears a lot more slack than they cut Kerry. There is no offsetting left-wing Fox.

Likability. Bush is one likable fellow. Some believe it is hard for the candidate who is less likable to utter tough criticisms of a sitting president who is liked personally, even if voters mistrust his policies. But that's just not so.

Each of these problems has the same solution: toughness. If Kerry is much tougher on Bush, he will come across as tougher generally, including on defense -- tough enough to lead. By being decisive, he will lay to rest the sense of a drifting campaign. He will get more respect from the media. And even voters who might prefer to go out for a beer with Bush will take Kerry more seriously as a potential president.

Because the Globe is an objective and independent analyst of the news, here's the link to Kutner's equally slashing criticisms of the pre-prepated slander by Kitty Kelley

(insert sound of crickets chirping)

Posted by Steve at 03:58 PM | Comments (2)

Another Torpedo In The Water, Captain! is the site of a group of former POW's that has been putting together a documentary about how "Hanoi John" Kerry's war record directly affected them.

A couple of these guys have already spoken out, I believe. The film they're putting together looks like one-stop shopping for all your Kerry-bashing needs. I gather it makes its debut tomorrow morning here in Washington.

This is far, far worse than either a) squabbling over Kerry's medals or b) looking for gaps in Dubya's National Guard service records.

Geesh. At first I thought Kerry was playing a gutsy game making his Vietnam service the focal point of his campaign. Now it's beginning to look more and more like the man is playing Russian Roulette with an automatic pistol.

Yips! to Kate O'Beirne over in The Corner.

Posted by Robert at 03:53 PM | Comments (0)

I'm sure Ron Reagan Jr. will have something snide and irrelevant to say about this

Oh yeah, that's right: his second 15 minutes of fame are up. Sorry Ron: back to community theater productions of Peter Pan.

Anyhoo, the city of Krakow, Poland is renaming its Central Square--seen of Solidarity and anti-Soviet demonstrations in the 1970s and 1980s---after Ronald Reagan.

Somehow, this is a far more fitting tribute than that horrible office building in downtown Dee-Cee.

Posted by Steve at 03:52 PM | Comments (2)


French failure to get their hostages back? Must be the fault of Amerika!

Later in the day, another French Muslim leader who visited Iraq wondered whether the US offensive around Latifiya, in an area south of Baghdad where the hostages are thought to be held, had been a deliberate effort to thwart their release.

I bet the Chimperor personally ordered this, right before sitting down to a nice lunch of cold peasant salad with a blood smoothie!

Seriously, though, the article from the Jordan Times is interesting as it shows the fear in France that appeasement and flattery are not getting the desired results. If that doesn't work, what's left?

Oh, right....

Posted by Steve at 03:25 PM | Comments (1)

We don't need no education.....

I've always hated Pink Floyd, and have been a firm believer that their music is the sort of overrated crap composed by an unholy combination of electric guitars and electroshock therapy.

Apparently I was right: Allahpundit of course has the graphics to prove it.

Posted by Steve at 03:10 PM | Comments (1)

This has easily got to be the stupidest story of the year

The IHT breathlessly reports that in a survery of "world" public opinion, Kerry trounces Bush.

If the world could cast a vote in the United States presidential election, John Kerry would beat George W. Bush by a landslide, according to a poll released on Wednesday that is described as the largest sample of global opinion on the race. . "It is absolutely clear that John Kerry would win handily if the people of the world could vote," said Steve Kull, director of The Program on International Policy Attitudes of the University of Maryland, a co-sponsor of the survey. "It is rather striking that just one in five people surveyed around the world support the re-election of President Bush."

It is rather striking that Professor Kull (I wonder, does his mate call him "Kull the Conqueror" in bed? Maybe it's just me....) thinks that is so amazing, really, on a number of levels. First, it somehow is premised on the idea that to be an effective promoter of American interests equates to remaining popular in certain areas abroad. Second, it's part of the Adlai Stevenson Fallacy subscribed to by the hardcore left in America (excuse me, Amerika) that somehow citizens would look up from their morning NYT, drop their scone, and say, "Mon dieu! We can't let this happen! How will we be received next sabbatical at our favorite cafe in Provence if this were to happen?" Respected abroad is not the same thing as being safe at home, as we found out because of our foreign policy under Warren Christopher and Madeline Albright.

The most negative attitude toward the U.S. came from France, Germany and Mexico, where roughly 80 percent of those surveyed thought that the foreign policies of President Bush had made them feel worse about the United States.

Hmmmmm, if you ran the same poll in, say, 1942 you'd probably get the same result. Let's just face the facts: to the left, the "international community" translates to just that: France and Germany. And the foreign policy of these two benighted countries translates to one thing: appeasement.

It's also the Cornelius Fudge Theory of Leadership and Public Opinion in action as well: when faced with overwhelming evidence that your world view is shattered by the presence of evil, it's much better to demonize the messenger than confront the demon. Of course the US is unpopular, because the fecklessness and paper soldier mentality of the UN has been proved to be the ridiculous sham that it is. "Never Again" has become "Never again be reminded of the need to do the unpopular and difficult thing in the face of danger and difficulty, when it's much easier to slouch off to Starbucks for a latte and to check out the latest Ted Rall cartoon in the weekly free newspaper."

Posted by Steve at 02:54 PM | Comments (0)

What the......?

Wizbang reports that Koffi & Co. are ticked off with the US because we destroyed or allowed to be removed from Iraq machinery capable of making WMD..... you know, the stuff that they didn't have.

So it's really a two-fer: smack Amerika for invading Iraq over its WMD program by claiming it doesn't exist, and then smack Amerika again for removing Iraq's WMD capabilities!

Got that straight? Errr, didn't think so.

Posted by Steve at 02:37 PM | Comments (1)

Embracing The Dark Side

John Kerry is officially a Neo-McGovernite.

Well, he's always been one. But now at least he's coming out and saying it.

Posted by Robert at 02:26 PM | Comments (2)

Auntie Em! Auntie Em!

Tornado warning just went up for my neck of the woods. Apparently, there's a storm just south of the Beltway Mixing Bowl headed in. Dutiful Dad just called home to go over which room the Missus and the Llama-ettes should flee to in the event of trouble.

I used to date a girl named Frances, but we broke up reasonably amicably. I'd hate to think she was hexing me now.

UPDATE: It's gone to play in Montgomery County now.

Posted by Robert at 02:17 PM | Comments (2)

Now This Is Weird

We're getting an awful lot of traffic today from Salam Pax, the Blogger of Baghdad. That in itself is great. The strange part is that he's been on hiatus since September 3 and linked to one of Steve-O's pieces of silliness way back on August 28. We got a bit of a boost back then. I don't understand why we're getting another one now. Is it possible that today is just a big day for traffic on his site?

Posted by Robert at 02:06 PM | Comments (1)

Bizarre Meme of the week

Annika has the update on the whole John Kerry brandishing a shotgun he would have banned story.

Posted by Steve at 01:17 PM | Comments (0)

The Ethical Cowardice of Al Gore

From the New Yorker:

的知 not of the school that questions his intelligence, Gore went on. 典here are different kinds of intelligence, and it痴 arrogant for a person with one kind of intelligence to question someone with another kind. He certainly is a master at some things, and he has a following. He seeks strength in simplicity. But, in today痴 world, that痴 often a problem. I don稚 think that he痴 weak intellectually. I think that he is incurious. It痴 astonishing to me that he壇 spend an hour with his incoming Secretary of the Treasury and not ask him a single question. But I think his weakness is a moral weakness. I think he is a bully, and, like all bullies, he痴 a coward when confronted with a force that he痴 fearful of. His reaction to the extravagant and unbelievably selfish wish list of the wealthy interest groups that put him in the White House is obsequious. The degree of obsequiousness that is involved in saying 惣es, yes, yes, yes, yes to whatever these people want, no matter the damage and harm done to the nation as a whole葉hat can come only from genuine moral cowardice. I don稚 see any other explanation for it, because it痴 not a question of principle. The only common denominator is each of the groups has a lot of money that they池e willing to put in service to his political fortunes and their ferocious and unyielding pursuit of public policies that benefit them at the expense of the nation.

I have only one thing to say to Al Gore about this:


Remember Johnny Chung? We do.

Posted by Steve at 01:11 PM | Comments (2)

The Literary Life

My mother is convinced that my blogging here at the Butcher's Shop is a warm up for an eventual foray into the world of book authorship. At this point, I don't see it. If I have a book in me, it's locked away deep in the vault somewhere.

At any rate, Terry Teachout has some excellent advice for novice authors today. His Prime Directive:

Anyone who writes a serious book with the expectation of making a lot of money and/or becoming famous is a fool. If you can稚 afford to write a book in your spare time for its own sake, you池e in the wrong business.
Posted by Robert at 01:01 PM | Comments (0)

Religion of Irony Update

The Sandcrawler has the details.

Posted by Steve at 12:53 PM | Comments (0)

Polls? POLLS? We got yer stinkin' polls right here!

NE Republican has the poll roundup with all the linkety-links you need.

Posted by Steve at 12:44 PM | Comments (0)

A Message from the Crack Young Staff

Our good friends at The Hatemonger's Quarterly report that Blogspot is on the fritz and preventing them from posting their daily installment of erudite ranting. What a shame. All we can suggest that you go over and flip through the archives. THQ posts suffer none at all with age.

(As Dave Barry would say, "Blogspot on the Fritz" would make a great name for a rock band.)

UPDATE: They'e BAAAAAA-aaaaaack!

Posted by Robert at 12:42 PM | Comments (3)

Beslan Update

Freakin' Jen has the latest.

Posted by Steve at 12:41 PM | Comments (1)

Happy September 8

Rocket Jones commemorates today, which includes the birthdays of Patsy Cline, Lyndon LaRouche, the original Star Trek franchise, and of course Rocket Jones!

Posted by Steve at 12:38 PM | Comments (1)

Dems Going Postal

J. McIntyre has a good post up over at RealClearPolitics about the media's newfound interest in restoking the Bush/National Guard/AWOL meme.

Frankly, I don't think this business is going to go anywhere. In fact, it may very well wind up hurting the Donks, smacking as it does of whiney despair. I think there is a psychological "Sleeze Event Horizon" in most people's minds, below which they stop paying attention to the substance of the attacks and start looking more at the motives behind making them. The Left has been hammering Bush without result about this business for years - pushing it ever closer to this SEH. All most people are likely to see now is the desire of the Dems to tar Bush with something, anything, in order to discredit him.

Posted by Robert at 12:05 PM | Comments (0)

Llama Bleg

Here at the Butcher's Shop, we're always on the lookout for ways to improve our product. (Okay, we don't have any graphics up right now and we haven't figured out the problem with the columns yet, but we're working on it.)

Anyway, we thought it might be cool to install that blogroll thingum that lets you know when a site has been updated. Anyone know where we can get our little hooves on that? Thanks!

Posted by Robert at 09:29 AM | Comments (2)

Wodehouse Roundup

The perfect way to start the morning! Mark Shea has links to Stephen Fry and George Orwell on Wodehouse, plus a very funny poem Plum wrote on the alarums and excursions caused by printing errors.

Yips! to Ramesh Ponnuru over at the Corner.

UPDATE: Mr. Enoch Soames, Esq. , is all over these links as well. Plus, he gives us a divvy in the form of the Official Drones Club tie! Oh, make my day!

Posted by Robert at 09:22 AM | Comments (2)

Sports and Politics

Has the Curse of the Bambino left the Sox and settled on a new host? Bill Whalen suggests J. Francois Kerry may be facing more trouble than he thinks.

Posted by Robert at 09:12 AM | Comments (0)

This Is Going To Be Interesting....

So today is the first day of school for the Llama-ettes, including my youngest who starts preschool. I think she is going to thrive in the place. Montessori preschool puts lots of emphasis on tactile activities and this girl has the hands of a raccoon. Her classroom is loaded down with all sorts of puzzles, gadgets and props and I don't doubt she is going to go right through all of them within the first half hour or so.

In a way, I feel rather sorry for her teacher, the long-suffering, patient Mrs. Wood. You see, the preschool/kindergarten program at the girls' school is a three year cycle and my oldest girl just graduated from Mrs. Wood's class up to the lower elementary class. My youngest doesn't actually turn three until January, so she is starting the preschool program a bit early and will be there for four years before going upstairs. Seven solid years of Llama-ettes is enough to merit any teacher combat pay and some kind of medal.

Speaking of my oldest, her eyes were practically blazing last night as she picked out which uniform she was going to wear her first day. She is also excited because this is going to be her first experience with what she calls a "boy teacher". As if this isn't enough, she also gets her own locker and finally gets to take her backpack to school - something she's been dreaming of for years. Her new class is a mix of first, second and third graders. Fortunately, she's going in with three or four of her friends from last year, so it should be a smooth transition.

Meanwhile, the middle child [Gasp! Don't SAY that! - Ed.] is on her third year in the preschool/kindergarten program. (She started early, too, so will be there another year after this.) She has a reputation around school as a natural leader because she has always gone out of her way to help out the smaller kids and to make friend with new students. She also has a reputation for fearlessness and indestructability - last year she fell off the monkey bars and landed flat on her back. After brushing herself off, she was right back on them. Alas, she has recently got considerably more snippy than she used to be. I fear she may gain yet another reputation this year. Fortunately, her teacher, Ms. Reichner, does not stand for uppity behavior from her charges.

I used to be a bit dubious about Montessori. It's got something of a bad reputation as a hippie-dippie do-your-own-thing kind of education. But this is largely confined to places that call themselves Montessori but really aren't. The purists manage to combine both structure and creativity in the same setting. And I must say that my older girls have done splendidly in this environment. My six year old reads better than many second graders and is well into multiplication and division, while the four year old is getting to the point of being able to read simple sentences. Combine that with all the exposure they get to art, music, geography, natural science, etc., etc., and I think they're in good hands.

Posted by Robert at 08:56 AM | Comments (4)

More staff shake-up for the Kerry Campaign

Dennis at Classical Values has the scoop.

(Of course, he'll help make Joe Lockhart and Begala look sane, rational, and believable!)

(BTW, but of course I'm kicking myself for not thinking of this one first....)

Posted by Steve at 08:44 AM | Comments (0)

Gratuitous Domestic Posting (TM) - Garden Division

Just a random note from the garden - perhaps its the rain we're supposed to get from the remains of Frances that makes me think about this today.

I can well see now where the Blackberry Lily gets its name and why Thomas Jefferson was so interested in it. The seed pods on mine are opening up, revealing big clusters of large, round, dark seeds. Damme if they don't look like blackberries. I can also see why this plant is so prolific a self-spreader. There is something about these seeds that just oozes life and heartiness. You know perfectly well that anywhere they drop they're going to thrive. My godparents started out with a single specimen two or three years ago and now the stuff is all over their garden. I won't mind if that happens with mine too.

(Oh, speaking of the garden, I finally gave in and decided to give Kathy the Cake Eater's anti-rabbit folk remedy a try. With all the hamburger I'd eaten over the weekend, I reckoned it was time to lock and load. Sorry, no pictures. I'll let you know how it turns out.)

Posted by Robert at 08:21 AM | Comments (4)

Yips! To Steve-O

Another Instalanche in his pocket this morning for his slumming with tawdry blogskanks fearless questioning of one of today's leading voices in the Blogsphere.

By the way, the pictures! Where are the pictures?

YIPS from Steve: I'm not being a tease (although that would be page 1 in the "blog like wonkette!" book now wouldn't it be?), I just lost the durn USB cable and have to get a new one (this afternoon, I promise!)

Also, all thanks and gratitude to Pixy Misa for doing a lightning fast fixxy fix to our archive pages which it dawned on me that we didn't have sitemeter on. Thanks Andrew!

Posted by Robert at 07:59 AM | Comments (0)

September 07, 2004

I Love it When A Meme Comes Together

Ever since some time last winter, I have been referring to J. Francois Kerry as the "Maginot Candidate," that is, someone who looked big, impressive and "presidential" to the Dems but when put to the test has proven slipshod, obsolete and damn near useless. Oh, and of course he's French too.

The New England Republican has a meaty round-up of the latest polls documenting the Bush blitzkrieg around the embattled Kerry fortifications. The basic upshot is that Bush has got the Big Mo' going for him right now and if Kerry doesn't do something fast, he's toast.

Meanwhile, Mr. Vietnam himself is now waffling over, well, waffles.

Posted by Robert at 05:57 PM | Comments (2)

Yipperoo, Another Milestone!

Even as I type this, the Llamas are rolling past the 40,000 hit mark. Not too shabby for a couple of complete goobers, if I do say so meself.

Thanks so much to everyone who has made us the most lovable four-hooved South American herbivores in the Blogsphere.

Yip! Yip! Yip!

Posted by Robert at 03:18 PM | Comments (5)

I'll take that bet

The Silver Fox has the news that the Red Sox are going to Wrigley for inter-league play, in June 2005.

Let's just say whatever Dan promises to do publicly to get his paws on good tickets, I'll do backwards and in heels...

Yips! from Robbo. After all, Steve, it's not like you haven't done that before....

Posted by Steve at 02:13 PM | Comments (1)

Music to write by

Sheila has a funny post about finding herself propelled along a serious writing jag by the music of the Everly Brothers.

My experience with that is that it's sometimes the bizarre random stuff that really works. For the paper I cranked out the week before last, I was listening to a playlist that looped non-stop between Patsy Cline, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and John Coltraine. Of course, the downside of this is that now everytime I hear "Walking After Midnight" I'll be reminded of Indian assimilation, the Wounded Knee Massacre, and the Ghost Dance religion...

Posted by Steve at 11:33 AM | Comments (0)

More Musickal Posting

Interesting thing happened Sunday. (Well, I think it was interesting.) Before the processional hymn at Church, the organist usually plays a prelude or some other piece of a suitable religous nature. Lots of Bach, of course, but sometimes someone else. This time, however, he swung into a transcription of the 2nd Movement Larghetto from Beethoven's 2nd Symphony. I've never heard that done before. (There may be some history behind the music that I'm not aware of, but I'd never have thought it had any kind of religious connections.) Listening to such a familiar secular piece in a spiritual setting was vaguely disconcerting.

Just one more example of us crazy Palies living on the edge, I suppose.

Posted by Robert at 11:27 AM | Comments (0)

What the....?

The resplendent mango with the oddest headline of the day.

Because, remember, just because you find the guy in the middle of the school dressed like the terrorists and holding a gun doesn't necessarily make him a terrorist......

Posted by Steve at 11:26 AM | Comments (0)

Democratic activism, Cook County style

Everybody's favorite newspaper The Guardian is featuring an online poll asking their left readers what went wrong in the Kerry campaign.

I think a little ballot box stuffing is in order---to the Batpolls, Robin!

Posted by Steve at 11:20 AM | Comments (0)

Adventures in Aggressive Furniture

I have the most uncomfortable office chair. This is the only chair I know of that causes one to pull one's bum muscles just by the act of sitting. The Gov'mint must have bought it from Crazy Torquemada's Discount Consignment Mart. Wish they'd gone to Cardinal Fang's House o' Comfy Chairs instead.

Posted by Robert at 10:54 AM | Comments (0)

Light Fuse, Stand Back

After having watched The Empire Strikes Back over the weekend, I think I've got to come out and say this: For space-based science fiction, Star Trek beats Star Wars, hands down and on all fronts - characters, plot, vision, space and space travel - I can't think of any way in which the Star Wars universe is superior (well, other than Carrie Fisher in a slave-girl get up, but that's a gimme).

Especially given the way the Star Wars saga has spun in, looking back at ESB I am even more agitated by George Lucas' delusion that he is some kind of modern day cross between Homer and Sophocles. It just ain't so, George.

At least I did have one nice surprise - Lucas' tinkering with the reissued ESB isn't anywhere near as bad as his reworking of the first movie (which had always been my favorite of the lot).

Even given the awfulness of Star Treks I, III and V, I'd still take the Trek cycle over its Star Wars counterpart if made to choose between them. And that's before the last of the Star Wars movies comes out - I have every expectation that this one is going to be as big a stinker as the last two.

UPDATE: As our Llama Military Correspondent points out, Natalie Portman's six-pack abs almost make the last movie worth watching.

Posted by Robert at 10:16 AM | Comments (3)

Now That's Gotta Sting

Pejman points to an article by Roger Simon arguing that comparisons of Kerry to Dukakis are really Dukakis.


Now even though I expect that Bush is going to win comfortably (barring some unforseen turn of events), I realize that we've still got eight weeks to go and that the cocky enthusiasm we Republicans are feeling post-convention will have to be replaced by disciplined focus and determination. But not today, Oh Lord, not today. I am going to indulge in just a wee bit more crowing. In that spirit, allow me to direct your attention to Brendan Miniter. He's pointing at the upper deck in left-center field.

Posted by Robert at 09:32 AM | Comments (0)

September 06, 2004

Pimping out the Sandcrawler

Looks like Dr. Rusty Shackleford is going to upgrade to a Sandcrawler Escalade, complete with the rotating hub caps. My Pet Jawa has cracked the top 100 of the TLLB (putting him on Wonkette's "Getting to know you" list)!

Congratulations, Rusty!

Posted by Steve at 11:47 PM | Comments (2)

Go over and give a howdy

John at Texas Best Grok is looking for style votes on his new design: I like it!

Posted by Steve at 11:43 PM | Comments (0)


Maybe Farenheit 9/11 isn't a shoo-in for Best Documentary at the Academy Awards after all....

Posted by Steve at 11:27 PM | Comments (0)

Is she back?


Go on over and give Michele a hug and thanks for manning the post for us these past three years.

You've carried it long enough, Michele. Laying it down is no disrespect. You're a stronger person than I am, that's for sure.

Posted by Steve at 11:18 PM | Comments (0)

Darth Sidious Estrich

darth estrich.jpg

Give in to the anger, Susan.....feel its power in your veins.....the Dark Side will give you the power to combat those meany Republicans....


UPDATE DEUX: Is THIS all you've got, Darth Estrich? Kitty Kelley? Man, I can't wait until Kerry's divorce records get "accidently" unsealed....and what exactly was he doing during his "wandering" years, as he called them, between marriages to heiresses? Hopefully not pulling a Tom Ripley, if you know what I mean....

Posted by Steve at 11:01 PM | Comments (2)

Perhaps the most bizarre Quiz yet!

Which English Civil War faction are you?

You are a... CATHOLIC!!
Top o' the mornin tae ye!! You're likely a
bog-trotting Paddy or dashing Spanish
Cavalerie, and spend your free time plotting
the demise of the heretic Protestant faith.
Paradoxically, you may find yourself fighting
for a King who last week was oppressing you
whilst the week before was trying to bribe you
whilst the week before was preventing you from
taking political office who the week before
that married a Catholic, and who also happens
to be the head of the Anglican Church who were
were fighting against in the first place.
Huh...? Bejeasus!! Is it any wonder you take a

What English Civil War Political Faction would I have supported?
brought to you by Quizilla

The silly thing is today in American Political Development I was making fun of English Civil War Reenactors as quite possibly being more pathetic than both American Civil War Reenactors and Klingon speakers.

Yips! from Robbo. You don't think I'm going to let this one pass by, do you? No surprises here:

You are a... ROYALIST!!
You believe in wholesome traditional family values
like the Monarchy, burning witches and fighting
the French. Youre also a snazzy dresser and a
demon in the sack, but watch out - the Puritans
are coming and theyre obviously not getting
enough at home!!

What English Civil War Political Faction would I have supported?
brought to you by Quizilla

I was remarking to someone last evening that, now that I work for the government, I really wish we had a constitutional monarchy in this country. It's one thing to say "I represent the government". How much cooler is it to be able to say, "I represent HM Government" or, even better, "I represent the King"? For some odd reason, my remark inspired hoots of laughter. Go figure.

There is a more serious point to be made about the virtues of making a distinction between the Head of State and the Head of Government and having a titular (but essentially poweless) figure serve as the embodiment of the nation. But damme if I'm going to start in on that on the morning after a three day weekend.

Posted by Steve at 10:28 PM | Comments (0)

A pox on both yer houses!

Tainted Bill brings the joyous news that two of my least favorite groups are in a panicky snit: the Democrats, who now have to contest New Jersey, and the Yankees, who are having to contest the American League East.

My answer to them both: neener!

UPDATE: Blackfive has perhaps the weirdest twist on the Sox season so far...

UPDATE DEUX: Captain's Quarters with the tick-tock of the Kerry Meltdown from the Boston Globe

UPDATE TROIS: Irish Elk has the scoop on the Royal Rooters, perhaps even more bizarre than the story about the Babe's house above.



Hey, a fella can try, can't he?

Posted by Steve at 09:31 PM | Comments (0)

The Blogger with a heart of gold

I'm going to do a convention wrap-up later tonight, with my analysis of the whole blogging panel plus the long-awaited pics of Wonkette. In the meantime, Rocket Jones is basking in the glory of winning the Llama's"Ask Wonkette a question and Embarass Steve in front of his colleagues" contest. Congrats, Ted!

Posted by Steve at 05:16 PM | Comments (3)

Holy Social Contract, Batman!

A rather gloomy afternoon here in Your Nation's Capital for hosting a Labor Day cookout, which is what this Llama is about to undertake. Fortunately - touch wood - it isn't pouring rain yet, so I should be able to grill without any trouble. Unfortunately, it is sufficiently soggy to prevent people from milling around outside, which is what I'd been hoping they would do.

Now, it'll probably collapse into a kitchen party. We hates kitchen parties! Those builder's ads that trumpet the big open kitchen with the island in the middle - perfect for casual entertainment - give me the screaming heebie-jeebies. We've got a perfectly good living room, a perfectly good dining room and a perfectly good library. Why the hell do people have to congregate in the kitchen to watch all the preparations? Takes all the style and mystery out of it and replaces them with a familiarity I can do without. I mean, if you and your significant other are going to spend a romantic evening together, you don't hang around the bathroom watching each other get ready, do you? (If you do, I don't want to hear about it.)

Anyway, I have never yet hit upon a line that at once lifts people out of the kitchen and at the same time does not appear very rude. So rather than appearing surly, I just try to use my diabolical mind control to will them into another room. Alas, it usually doesn't work very well. Grrr.

UPDATE: All is well. The rain held off, the kids disbursed into the yard, the adults drifted on to the porch and we spent the evening snarking about the Dems' panic. Yours truly was responsible for cooking 16 burgers and 20 dogs on my trusty Webber 30 inch grill. I had 'em rotating through in a manner that would put an O'Hare air traffic controller to shame. Finally, what better way to cap things off than the two year old literally pushing the Missus and me upstairs and saying "Bedtime! Bedtime!"

In other words, I had a good time in spite of myself.

Posted by Robert at 04:32 PM | Comments (3)

Pulitzer Update

Glenn with the latest examples of press gullibility and laziness in service of their political agenda.

If only they had editors.....

Posted by Steve at 02:21 PM | Comments (0)

This just in:

Osama still not captured.

But, in the good news, Franco is still dead.

Posted by Steve at 02:14 PM | Comments (1)

Back to School Day for the Terrorists

Paul at Wizbang has a depressing link to the usual pro-terrorist blather from the Muslim radicals in Britain.

I mean, if muslim terrorists were to seize a po-mo comparative lit humanities class reading such "texts" as Welcome Back, Kotter and Brady Bunch lunch-boxes as a means to discover Amerikan imperialism, that would be a different thing....

UPDATE: The Commissar has a message to the comrades in the struggle with a wee bit of advice....

Tainted Bill has further thoughts. I have no doubt that if AQ could do such a thing in America that they would.

Posted by Steve at 02:10 PM | Comments (0)

Mommy make the mean man stop!

The Chicago Sun Times reports the Democrats whine that the Republicans have been "mean" to John Kerry, and that that has caused the bounce for Dubya in the polls.



I mean it is quite well known by political insiders that Kerry has a skin thinner than typing paper. But what's hilarious about this is that it creates the ability for Republicans to portray Kerry as too thin-tempered to be president. My prediction is that over the coming two weeks they will do lots of things to try to provoke Kerry to get him to blow up as he did last Friday. As much as many in the traditional old media want to cover for him, if he continues to do this they can't help but cover it. They'll explain it away, blame it on "mean" republicans, but in the end the message will get out: how the heck can Kerry be president if he can't stand the heat?

The other side of the "mean" coin is the idea that Democrats are always draping themselves in that Republicans succeed because they are willing to do things that pure as the driven snow Democrats would never be able to do because of their inherent goodness.

You know, Republicans are goons and Democrats noble fighters. But since politics is played by the rules of the goons, Democrat losses are not a result of bad ideas or poor leadership but because of their inherent nobility. It's an obnoxious yet hilarious derivative of the Adlai Stevenson Syndrome: that it's better to believe yourself to be smarter and the Amerikan people stoopid-er than to acknowledge one's own real problems.

There's no better example of this than this gem from Susan Estrich, entitled "Lies move Democrats to dig up dirt":

My Democratic friends are mad as hell, and they aren't going to take it any more.

Now you don't have to have read very much Sun Tsu, let alone Plunkitt of Tamany Hall or Hardball for that matter to realize that the person saying this is about to do something incredibly stupid from both a strategic and tactical perspective.

They are worried, having watched as another August smear campaign, full of lies and half-truths, takes its toll in the polls.

This raises the question: if it was a "smear, full of lies and half-truths," why exactly is the Kerry campaign changing its story on things like Christmas in Cambodia? Also, what exactly the lie or half-truth in showing Kerry's 1971 Testimony and its impact on the POWS?

I think Estrich is patrolling the watery border between paranoia and irrationality....

They are frustrated, mostly at the Kerry campaign, for naively believing that just because all the newspapers and news organizations that investigated the charges of the Swift Boat assassins found them to be full of lies and half-truths, they wouldn't take their toll. The word on the street is that Kerry was ready to fire back the day the story broke, but that his campaign, believing the charges would blow over if they ignored them, counseled restraint.

Hmm, qualities I want in the Commander-in-Chief, no? He would've struck back against the terrorists, but Mary Beth Cahill convinced him that France would no like, so, what could he do? I mean, it's not like he's the candidate running for president, hmmmm? Where exactly does the buck stop in the campaign, anyway? Clearly not with the candidate.

Thanks for clearing that up for us Susan!

But most of all, activist Democrats are angry. As one who lived through an August like this, 16 years ago - replete with rumors that were lies, which the Bush campaign claimed they had nothing to do with and later admitted they had planted - I'm angry, too. I've been to this movie. Lies move numbers.

Remember the one about Dukakis suffering from depression after he lost the governorship? We lost six points over that lie, planted by George W.'s close friend and colleague in the 1988 campaign, Lee Atwater. Or how about the one about Kitty Dukakis burning a flag at an anti-war demonstration, another out-and-out lie, which the Bush campaign denied having anything to do with, except that it turned out to have come from a United States senator via the Republican National Committee? Atwater later apologized to me for that, too, on his deathbed. Did I mention that Lee's wife is connected to the woman running the Swift Boat campaign?

What do you do, Democrats keep asking each other.

The answer is not pretty, but everyone knows what it is.

Oooh! Oooh! Mister Kotter! Ooooooh!

Yes Horshack?

Mister Kotter, the answer is quite simple: set up a whole network of barely legal organizations and raise hundreds of millions of dollars from people like George Soros claiming lord knows what type of shadowy political obligations in the process, and run all sorts of ads comparing the president to Hitler, out drinking the blood of peaceful Iraqi people who only wanted to fly kites for their beloved leader Saddam!

The trouble with Democrats, traditionally, is that we're not mean enough.

Yeah, I'm sure Bob Bork sleeps like a baby at night thinking just that. Or David Koresh and his followers. And it's sure nice to know that our foreign policy in the 1990s was motivated by a desire not to be mean---heaven forbid we decide to do things like take the war to them, rather than do the kind and decent thing and let them slaughter thousands of American civilians as a means to register their displeasure that we, ummm, exist.

Too much is at stake to play by Dukakis' rules and lose again. That is the conclusion Democrats have reached.

What is the obsession among the Democrats with Dukakis this way? What has the "rapid reaction" done for them? This is being presented as if it's some sort of new insight, rather than the operating principle of the Democratic party since at least 1992.

The problem here is not that they are not responding, but they are failing at presenting their candidate well. The August collapse was due to the failure of the convention, and its overemphasis on Vietnam.

I mean, come on already: just because you were dumb enough to frontload your primary system and let "Anybody but Bush" win the nomination, did you really think the Republicans were not going to go at Kerry's great weakness, the whole Vets Against the War phase? There were things they could have done to minimize this, innoculate their candidate. But when Lurch walked out and "reported for duty," that opened up this whole issue like flicking on the neon "free meth and tequila" sign at a high desert biker bar.

So watch out. Millions of dollars will be on the table. And there are plenty of choices for what to spend it on.

I cannot suggest enough the need to watch either the Good, the Bad, or the Ugly, or at least Die Hard: if you come to shoot, shoot, don't talk. So you've alerted the Republicans that you are going to attack, and you're alerting the Federal Election Commission that you are about to enter into a conspiracy to violate the McCain/Feingold Act. Announcing that "there are plenty of choices for what to spend it on" sounds to me like illegal coordination.

But of course such illegal coordination is only done by mean Republicans.

Will it be the three, or is it four or five, drunken driving arrests that Bush and Cheney, the two most powerful men in the world, managed to rack up?

Um, old news. Stale.

After Vietnam, nothing is ancient history, and Cheney is still drinking. What their records suggest is not only a serious problem with alcoholism, which Bush but not Cheney has acknowledged, but also an even more serious problem of judgment.

Oh please, please, PLEASE go after Cheney on this: after the job he did to Joltin' Joe in the 2000 debate, can you imagine what he's going to do to Edwards? He's going to light him up like a cheap pinball machine in an Elton John video.

What if Bush were to fall off the wagon? Then what? Has America really faced the fact that we have an alcoholic as our president?

Please try this one too. I mean, for 10 years now the Dems have been misunderestimating Dubya, starting with that notorious drunk Ann Richards. And if this is the best that she can come up, I'd think they would make sure to hide Ted Kennedy (let alone "former" cocaine addict Hon. Patrick Kennedy, (D-RI) in the closet. Let alone President Clinton with his sex addiction, let alone the legacy of JFK I with his issues with pills and women.

Didn't the mean Republicans try to do this against President Bartlett and Leo? Doesn't she know how that one would play out?

Piss off the AA crowd, what a great campaign strategy!

Or how about Dead Texans for Truth, highlighting those who served in Vietnam instead of the privileged draft-dodging president, and ended up as names on the wall instead of members of the Air National Guard.

Or maybe it will be Texas National Guardsmen for Truth, who can explain exactly what George W. Bush was doing while John Kerry was putting his life on the line. Perhaps with money on the table, or investigators on their trail, we will learn just what kind of wild and crazy things the president was doing while Kerry was saving a man's life, facing enemy fire and serving his country.

This gets to the whole problem of Vietnam for the Democrats: you can't have it so that John Kerry and the people who liked him were the only good guys, and all the rest of the vets were and remain a bunch of blood-thirsty, baby-killing war criminals. It's the blindness to this point that created the August collapse for your candidate; it's the moral ambiguity you've created that only Kerry served nobly and all the rest of the Swift Vets are opportunistic hacks and war criminals that is ringing hollow.

The "who died in his place" tactic was tried against Grover Cleveland and failed, and it was sure as heck tried against Bill Clinton and failed then too. But maybe we didn't devote enough resources to it: and what Estrich is blind to is that it is exactly the type of story that will follow the line she wants to open.

And as to who died in Dubya's place, we still haven't heard from the mother/brother/wife/son/veternarian of the wounded VC Kerry shot in the back to earn his Silver Star.......

Or could it be George Bush's Former Female Friends for Truth. A forthcoming book by Kitty Kelley raises questions about whether the president has practiced what he preaches on abortion. As Larry Flynt discovered, a million dollars loosens lips. Are there others to be loosened?

So this is what it has come to for the late, great party of Jackson, FDR, and Truman: our success hinges on the slander of Kitty Kelley and the slime that is Larrry Flynt. Or Dubya's ex-girl friends: move on, indeed!

Larry Flynt: the great hope of the Democratic Party.

Stew on that one for awhile.

Are you shocked? Remember Dukakis? Now he teaches at Northeastern University. John Kerry has been very fair in dealing with the Swift Boat charges. That's why so many of my Democrat friends have decided to stop talking to the campaign, and start putting money together independently.

Again, sounds to me like illegal coordination. Glad you are telegraphing for us, Susan.

The arrogant little Republican boys who strutted around New York this week, claiming that they have this one won, would do well to take a step back. It could be a long and ugly road to November.

Yep, it's going to be long and ugly, but what we've learned so far this year is the Democrats can dish it out, but they sure as hell can't take it. Can they take the public release of John Kerry's divorce and annulment records? That was done to John Ryan, but that's okay---he's just a mean Republican. Dish dirt on the Bush twins? Sure--I'm fully confident that the Kerry girls have been living in a convent. Can they take the full public release of John Kerry's military records, including why he has three distinctly different versions of his Silver Star Citation and why, after he threw away ? Can they take the full and public release of Teh-RAY-zah's tax and financial records?

I didn't think so.

But the thing I AM sure of is come November, Susan Estrich & Co. will be whining again about how low the Republicans took the race.

Because, remember it's only a smear if it's against a Republican, and it's only "dirty tricks" if it's done against a Democrat.

So, I've only got one thing to say to Susan Estrich: Release the hounds.

And as God says to Moses in that great Bill Cosby bit, "how long can you tread water?"

Because while John Kerry likes to posture in a macho fashion to "BRING. IT. ON!" when the going gets tough, his reaction seems to be "mommy make the mean man stop!"

UPDATE: Wizbang muses on the theme.

Posted by Steve at 01:41 PM | Comments (3)

Next up for Roger Cossack

What with the Eagle County D.A.'s office blowing the prosecution of Kobe Bryant, it looks like the Court Tee-vee pack of jackals are going to have to invest in some flak jackets and guides to where to get lattes in the green zone:

(from the Arab News)

BAGHDAD, 6 September 2004 Iraq痴 interim government said yesterday that toppled leader Saddam Hussein and his top aides would go on trial within weeks and announced the capture of Saddam痴 trusted lieutenant Izzat Ibrahim Al-Douri. However, the commander of the Iraqi National Guard, whose troops were reported to have battled with Ibrahim痴 supporters, denied knowledge of any such operation in the area and the US military said they had no information on the capture of the sixth most wanted Iraqi on a list of55 .

Iraqi Minister of State Kasim Daoud told a news conference in Kuwait City after talks with top officials that 鉄addam Hussein and his band will stand trial within a period of weeks.

Asked if the United States will play any role in the trials, he said: 展e have barred the US government from playing a role. How can we allow a foreign government to have a role in Saddam Hussein痴 trial? No... Saddam Hussein will be tried by the Iraqi judiciary and it will issue its just sentence against him.

In mid-August, Iraq痴 Interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi urged an Iraqi court to speed up proceedings against Saddam. Saddam was arraigned before an Iraqi judge on July 1 and charged with crimes against humanity. Several of his top aides also appeared separately before the same judge for their arraignment.

This begs the question--Saddam and his band? I thought Wings had broken up years ago...

Posted by Steve at 12:37 PM | Comments (1)

Panic Viewed from across the Pond

Kerry's campaign problems from the Times of London.

Posted by Steve at 12:32 PM | Comments (1)

September 05, 2004

Well THAT'S interesting....

Instapundit, Sunday, Sept. 5, 2004:


LLamabutchers, Wednesday, July 28, 2004:

kerry and duke in tank II.jpg

Well, even genius needs inspiration, I guess....

Posted by Steve at 07:17 PM | Comments (3)

How Sweet Is That?

I have the greatest wife in the world. She had to go off to school this afternoon to help set up for the return of the kiddies next week. However, on the way home, not only did she stop to rent The Empire Strikes Back, which I haven't seen in years and years and recently mentioned that I'd like to see again, she also picked up a used copy of The Magnificent Seven out of the bargain bin.


Posted by Robert at 06:03 PM | Comments (1)

The Times, They Are A'Changing

Working out in the yard yesterday, I noticed for the first time this year the very subtle shift in the sunlight that signals Summer is getting ready to pack it in for the year. Roll on Fall, say I. My very favorite season. Can't come too soon for me.

Posted by Robert at 05:57 PM | Comments (1)

A Good Week's political futures market has the Bush Reelect contract trading back above 60:

Here's the lifetime chart (which has traded almost 475K $100 contracts!):


Here's the Kerry Elected Contract chart:

kerry contract.gif

Here's the Bush Wins the Popular Vote chart:

bush popular vote.gif

Posted by Steve at 12:16 AM | Comments (1)

Eleven Points, Commissar!

Going to need a lot of airbrushing to delete that story!

Posted by Steve at 12:06 AM | Comments (0)

This is going to get ugly

The Kerry Navy Records story just gets weirder and weirder....

Posted by Steve at 12:03 AM | Comments (0)

September 04, 2004

Pop-Psyche Quiz

Robert the Llama Butcher is a chatty, outgoing, extroverted fellow who care-freely talks about whatever wanders into his mind. His alter ego in the Real World is bedeviled by a self-conscious streak that makes him think everyone else knows his faults, weaknesses and foibles as well as he does and results in his being standoffish, aloof and somewhat boring.


UPDATE: Thanks for all your cards and letters. Really, it's not as bad as all that. But this concept of the "closet extrovert", which is what I am, really, fascinates me. As the psychiatrist said of Basil Fawlty, "There's enough material there for an entire conference." I may explore this theme in greater detail at some future date. If you send lots of money, I won't.

Posted by Robert at 11:51 PM | Comments (3)

Oh Lord, Now He's Bach Blogging

Despite the fact that we have squandered considerable sums of money over the years on Julie Clark and the Baby Einstein Company, I have never really subscribed to the theory of the "Mozart Effect", the idea that if you play Mozart to infants and toddlers it will stimulate various desirable bits in their brains to such effect that they can rest assured of easy entry into Harvard Med School.

However, this does not mean that I don't think there is some kind of link between music and cerebral activity. Indeed, I do. Interestingly, though, in at least one case what I see is the reverse of the Mozart Effect. Rather than the music stimulating brain activity, I find that the firing up of a given set of synapses suddenly makes the music much more accessible. And I see this with respect to one particular composer: J.S. Bach.

It isn't a question so much of listening as it is of performing. I have been playing the piano for about 33 years now. While it's been a very long time since I seriously studied a score, I have become familiar with many composers and individual pieces over the years through sight-reading and steady repetition. Most of the music that I play - Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Handel, Telemann, Mendelssohn - I manage to understand and execute more or less consistently and, if I do say so myself, reasonably well.

But Bach is a totally different case. I have learned through much trial and error that I cannot just sit down and play his music the way I can with most other composers. Attempts to do so often end in much frustration and extremely bad language. But when I am in what I have learned to recognize as the Bach frame of mind, the case is utterly altered. In such instances, I feel like Dr. McCoy putting Spock's brain back in his head. "It's so simple. A child could do it!"

This happened this morning as I was indulging in my weekly concert. I pulled out the Two-Part Inventions and blazed through them. I played some Sinfonien I've never tried before. I had a great time with two pieces I studied years ago - the A minor English Suite and a Toccata in E minor. And I was amazed because in each case, old favorite or brand new piece, I wasn't just playing the notes, I was making the music effortlessly, intelligently, comprehensively. Mistakes (and there were plenty, to be sure) did not interrupt either the flow of my hands or the argument of the piece. And it wasn't because I was being excessively careful or studious. Rather, it was because I was locked in on the essense of the stuff. (How do you kids say it? I was channelling Bach.) Indeed, I had to stop myself from wondering too much about this, lest I suddenly became McCoy after the alien knowledge injection started to wear off. "So many ganglia! It's impossible!"

Again, I am a reasonably competent amateur pianist. I can play a great deal of music pretty well. What is remarkable here is that I cannot approach Bach as casually as any other composer and achieve the same results. But when my head is lined up right, the possibilities are astonishing.

Now I've never been able to figure out exactly what the Bach state of mind is or how it comes about. But I strongly suspect that there is a particular spot deep in the ol' grey matter that is humming (as it were) when this condition is in effect, and is dormant when it is not. There must be some direct connection between the man's music and a particular kind of neural activity.

I have long thought Bach was the greatest musical genius ever to walk the Earth. (The late Douglas Adams actually thought Bach's music wasn't written by Bach, but rather was salvaged from the computer banks of an alien spaceship in order to allow Mankind to retain some small scraps of data concerning the very music of Existence itself. But it's a long story involving a ghost, a time machine, the poet Coleridge and a horse in a bathroom, so I won't try to explain it here. Go read Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency if you are interested.) I can only surmise that the neural spark that occassionally flits across my brain, giving me momentary powers of expressing the beauty of Bach's music, is a brief and pale shadow of the force that was constantly hammering away on all twelve cylinders in the Old Gentleman's head. It makes me slightly dizzy just to think about it.

Posted by Robert at 09:52 PM | Comments (0)


Busted, I am---by Gordon the Neo-Con no less.

Now, I don't want to start any rumors, but in light of this incredible statement passed off so flippantly, some important questions need to be answered.

1. Steve claimed the panel didn't start until 4:15 pm EST. but the post didn't appear until 7:11 pm EST. If Wonkette's presentation began at 5:00 and presumably went on for an hour, what happened during the two hour and eleven minute blackout period?

Now of course, I had said it started at 4:15 PM Central Daylight Time. He explains the missing hour of coverage as some sort of conspiracy on my part, seeing if I could leverage a Wonkette Exclusive for a nudie spread in Better Homes and Gardens or something, since of course my explanation that we were in a damn room with no wi-fi because we were stuck between the laundry and the kitchen is obviously not sufficient as the truth.

Perhaps I was only at the watery border between the Chicago Hilton and Kenosha.....

So you can believe Gordon (who has pics) and his conspiracy theory, or you can believe I'm just a doofus.

Take your pick. But I'd like to think my record speaks for itself!

(i.e. doofus!)

Posted by Steve at 05:10 PM | Comments (1)

I'm Back!

For some darn reason, I brought my USB cable for my scanner instead of the camera, so I'm going to have to find an outlet tomorrow to upload the pictures of Wonkette.

Posted by Steve at 12:42 AM | Comments (0)

September 03, 2004


[NOTE: I've updated, polished, and punched it up quite a bit, and include a lot of links]

"The Power and Politics of Blogs"

Of course, it would take a bunch of political scientists to host a panel on blogging in a room without wireless access, so this report is filed late. Hopefully it didn't jerk anybody around. Befitting the newfound prestige allotted to blogging, we are located on the back of the fifth floor of the Palmer House Hilton, right behind the catering kitchen but in front of the laundry. It's not that we're in an out of the way part of the hotel, but I'm pretty sure I just saw Harrison Ford go by being chased by Tommy Lee Jones, muttering something about a one-armed man killing his wife. Well now.

The room has the uncomfortable quiet muttering you get at academic conferences when everyone gets there early but it's not time to start. The crowd is actually quite large for the APSA, with about fifty people here.

Needless to say, I'm already feeling a bit, well, naughty. Was that really Wonkette who left the comments on our blog this morning? Only time will tell.

My cover was blown by a guy sitting a couple of rows in front of me who turned around, smirked, and said, "Hey, you're ace of spades' buddy--right?" Guilty. I mean, I was undercover and all in my political science professor BDUs--Blue blazer, light blue oxford shirt, maroon striped rep tie, khakis, brown suede oxfords, round frame glasses.

Fortunately I'm wearing my "Dr. Rusty Shackleford" forged name badge.

Wonkette is here, sitting on Drezner's right. If this were a cheezy Dan Brown novel, she'd be his Mary Magdelane in drag to his Jeebus. Sully's here too--I think. They haven't announced everyone yet, and if it is in fact him, he's sporting a different look---kind of a young James Coburn thing, with a big shock of white hair and slightly pudgy. Kind of like Andy Warhol after he'd been locked for the weekend in Ghirardellis, complete with the Beagle, the BF, and the exploding toilet.

The question that seems to be floating in the air is who is here for the serious academic discussion of blogging, and who's here to see Wonkette?

In other words, who is really in need of getting a life, and who should just save us all the trouble and go back to their parent's basement and their online Dungeons and Dragons game?

We'll find out soon enough. Of course, you know where I fit in on that taxonomy: after all, my wizard has a cloak of studliness, with 5+ hit points!

There are however, quite a number of guys here with barely contained smirky grins, so there is that.



Time to start, for chrissakes!

Drezner has a smirky grin, and is looking fabulous in a Brooks Brothers-type outfit---Navy Blue. Wonkette's wearing a grey sleeveless thing, with a black sweater draped around her shoulders.

It feels odd to be blogging in public, fully clothed. So not right.



First up is Henry Farrell (the guy I mistook for Sully), who did a paper together with Drezner. (follow the link to the paper archive, search by their names to download the papers)

Here's my attempt at the shorthand transcript:

"Blogs present an interesting puzzle..."

Blah blah. Get to Wonkette, already! Politics and porn, woo-hoo!

Blogs easier to recognize than define.
A certain Potter Stewart quote about "knowing it when you see it" comes to mind.

Minimal editing, hyperlinks, political commentary, reverse chronological order etc.

And what about the cheesy graphics? Attention to detail, man! No pshop, no blogosphere!

Overhead has picture of blogger home page.

I'm seriously wondering if I've fallen into some Protein Wisdom-esque delusionary state---in my best Bill Murray voice I mutter "It's not the speed, really, I just wish I hadn't drunk all that cough syrup this morning."

Trent Lott, Valerie Plame, blog triumphalism--these our are heads on the wall!

Christmas in Cambodia? Hmmmm.......

But what are the characteristics of blogs? What is their influence?

No resources, no investigative reporters, small pool of readers

Google me, baby!

no cohesion, highly ideological atmoshphere

Hey! He's describing us!

BTW, what is the technical Political Science definition of "hack"?

4:20 pm--"blogosphere" used at the 100th Meeting of the American Political Science Association

Woodrow Wilson, first president of the American Political Science Association, officially rolls over in his grave.

We need to pay attention to the structure of the blogosphere....

Some are more important than others (Duh!)

Focal point blogs. Secondary impact on mainstream media---frame events, stories.

4:25 Still no Sully. I can hear Tommy Lee Jones out in the hallway:

Your fugitive's name is Dr. Andrew Sullivan: What I want out of everyone of you is a hard-target search, of every gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse, doghouse and Pottery Barn in that area!

He's showing a graph representing a "power index"---ie the ranking system.

TLLB Ecosystem mentioned at APSA meeting. Woodrow Wilson rises from his grave in the National Cathedral, goes outside and wretches.

Small number of bloggers with big influence, whole bunch who don't.

Umm, I think he's talking about us, Robbo.

That's what political science does! Answer the hard hitting question. At least he didn't compare it to high school, except a weird Evil Spock Universe High School ruled by the geeks.

Shiver me timbers, but he's actually giving a formal empirical model of "link-whoring"---Woodrow Wilson's dead body gets in a cab, goes downtown to find INDC Bill, they go out and do tequila shots. The zombie Wilson body swallows the worm.

Link whoring is being presented as a filter---small blogs try to get big shots to pay attention---elite blogs have a filtering role to play.

This is the secret of the power of the blogosphere.

They find that media elites read the big blogs because
1. free expertise
2. most reporters are generalists--can rely on blogs for expertise----
read this as reporters are lazy and have never heard of Google.

Blogs as "early warning system" for stories.
Media types then don't need to do research themselves.

Another strength---immediacy---quick framing of debates which then "mainstream" media can use.

Conclusions are twofold (which sounds cool with a Trinity College Irish accent)

1. Salient blogs matter.......okay
2. Blogs role in framing events for mainstream media that the media then uses to present to wider audience.

Links of mainstream blogs to mainstream media the key.

Sarcasm aside, some interesting points. It's nice to know you can put methodological lipstick on the pig that is link-whoring.

Second paper is from Antoinette Pole & Laura McKenna, the only problem being that THEY ARE NOT WONKETTE! ON WITH THE SHOW, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY!

Promise of weblogs for democratization.....okay, but I've got a bad feeling that "Bowling Alone" and "New England Town Meeting" are coming. If so, I'm going to have trouble keeping it down...

no/low cost, small group or individual, no editorial control

"Blogroll" is uttered at APSA---body of Woodrow Wilson and INDC Bill go and start shooting at "moonbats" from a bypass on the beltway

Blogs are increasingly influencing readers for participation, donation, etc.

2-5 million blogs.

Anyone can start one---you don't need a PHD!

For the love of the lahwd gawhd, if people start getting their een-pho-may-shun from something other than PhDs, how will the Republic survive? Isn't this what Plato warned about???!!!

The horror, the horror....(said, of course, with the appropriate Elmer Fudd accent)

Women's influence

Good lawd gawd, it's the New England Town Meeting analogy.

Blogs form a new basis of participation.

Bowling Alone, but Blogging Together.

Fortunately, I didn't eat lunch today, so no problem here. Anyone reserve

(Apparently yes)

Do blogs increase social isolation, or are they a new form of participation?

5 Questions:

1. Bring in the disenfranchised?
2. Is blogging a form of participation?
3. Do they encourage

rats, they pulled the overhead. Slow down, for chrissakes!

They surveyed a bunch of top political sites

Who writes, and do they spend a lot of time?

Didn't ask, how often are they written in your underwear sitting in the basement?

Audience---more educated than population.

Perhaps too much education....Hmmmmmm? (said in my best Ted Knight/Judge Smales voice)

Plurality--spend over 1-2 hours/per day, frequently updated (well sure, how do they get to the top 100?)

No A/C in the room, we're now up to 100 people, and they are getting ready for dinner next door.

There's en fuego, and then there's hot stinkin' stuffy. We're like a bunch of stuffed bell peppers in here.

The lengths I'm willing to go for you people!

Survey finds that people do believe blogging a form of participation.

How do blogs facilitate participation?

"track back" discussed empircally---Woodrow Wilson and INDC Bill round up Marion Barry, score some crack.

Comments section---modal value of #

Blogrolls- average 100 links.

I'm sitting here wondering when someone's going to bring up Laurence Simon's Dead Pool. Or trolls.

Wonkette UPDATE---she's scribbling furiously, hunched over. Roots appear to be red.

There are some things I just will not do for you!

"Blogads" mentionned. Marion Barry, by carried away by cops, screams "Bitch set me up!" at INDC Bill and dead zombie body of Woodrow Wilson.

Survey indicates that bloggers think that blogging more effective means of participating.

Allows for real ideological diversity and niches.

Blogosphere not conservative phenomena.

Conclusions---bloggers not a previously marginalized group.

Speaker spits out in sarcastically "most influential bloggers are white, well educated men, a socially advantaged group."

Well now. Socially-advantaged, yet almost all bloggers probably played Dungeons and Dragons in High School. Let's face it: the blogosphere is like the scene in Sixteen Candles, when Farmer Ted displays the trophy of Molly Ringwald's panties. Draw your own conclusions.

"Cross-linking" mentionned. Still no sign of Sully. Dogs are sent out to look for the Beagle. Tommy Lee Jones is yelling at the actor who played a good cop, but was also Guido the Killer Pimp and the psycho on the Sopranos. All the deputies blame Noah.

About 125 people now. Getting hot, and no, not the good kind of hot---rather, the stinky political science professor type of hot. Wonkette still staring at notes, no Sully. Perhaps is Andrew afraid of the Llamabutchers? I report, you decide!

Blogging provides outlet for political non-conformists

Now to the roundtable!!!


Drezner announces Mark Kleiman and Ana Marie Cox, of Wonkette (at the mention of "Wonkette" a snickering broke out in the audience)

Kleiman---freedom of press means only something to those with a press---blogger levels that playing field. anybody with access to a computer can do it.

BTW, Kleiman's site is pushing the meme that Bush has fallen off the wagon, and that Cheney's a drunk too. Hey Mark---don't forget Lynne Cheney drinking the blood of public school kids, too!

"Blogging like screaming at your tee-vee set, and people hear you"
(without being certifiably mentally ill)

Effect of Blogger---cost of producing info went WAY down.

All good points so far.

Blogging is solution to problem of UseNet discussion groups, flaming, and decline of value.

Idiots can do it, but nobody has to read it.

We're living proof of that!

Link structure is filter, the secret--helps the reader. (yep!)

Hope of blogging as a medium

Anybody can reach anybody via modem

Existing media market structure going to collapse

Blogging is self-publishing----information disintermediation (cutting out middle man, between writers/stories and readers)

What are the ethical issues in blogging?

No one knows. Clearly not fairness---ie no reason why it has to be impartial "one hand/other hand" nonsense.

Bloggers think you shouldn't outright lie.

Apparently this doesn't apply to his own blog pushing the "Bush off the wagon" meme, but let us not be picky...

Big thing---intellectual honesty.

Blogging as politcs

1. Cocooning---individuals pick info sources so that all their prejudices are confirmed.

He only gets 500-1000 hits in an Instalanche (We got 10K---woo hoo!)

Higher turnout in 19th century perhaps do to openly partisan media? Maybe more partisan cocooning--drive UP participation measured in voting.

Bogging might be much more cost-effective form of participation.

He's saying "you write a blog, talk about politics, talk about your grandchildren you're building community"

Wonkette rolls back her head, blushes, snickering from crowd. (or talk about porn and naughty bits, of course!).

He hasn't heard of Blogs for Bush---just said blogs not being used by campaigns. Sorry Matt.

Is this the new CB craze?

10-4, good buddy! We got us here a kahn-voy!

Problem of blogs is you have to "milk the cows"---fad, because it takes real work, blogging is just a fad.

I don't think so.



"I didn't realize I had to talk so this is going to be brief"

Said with her best "tee hee-aint I naughty!" voice.

"My blog's biggest power is free dinner and drinks."

combatting blogger triumphalism (like Sully!--everyone laughs; poor Sully, the Left isn't going to take him back)

For a Revolution you need to leave the house.
(and I would add, you need to be wearing pants)

Blogging a form of participation to the degree that having an opinion is like participating.

I don't want to interact with people (laughter) (for free, I guess)

Wonkette's Pet Peeves About Blogs:

1. Makes bad writing pretty.

when you don't have the aesthetic cues, people won't be able to get to know whether they'll get something

"Fact check your ass" mentioned, but no credit for Ken Layne.

Woodrow Wilson's dead body and INDC Bill go piss on the JFK Eternal Flame

2. Fact checking things you want to believe to be true.

3. No matter how pretty a site is, bad writing is still bad writing.

good blogs are professional knowledge workers.

Eerily too much like "professional sex workers." Ewwwwww....

4. Wingnuts are disproportionately represented in blogging.

(Lt. Llamabutcher, reporting for duty!)

So how do we stack up on Wonkette's Pet Peeves o' Blogging(TM):
bad writing made pretty, check; wingnuts, check; selective bias; check!

6. Demands of blogging are high---I personally don't leave the house much, I just blog and drink--but that takes up a lot of time too!

So we've got THAT going for us!

I wouldn't be Wonkette if there was no sex reference:

In the end blogging is most like AOL Dirty chat rooms.

Community of people seeking to pleasure themselves, and leaving the house interferes with that.

(Crowd loses it. Men snickering, fair amount of eye rolling. Obviously has never met INDC Bill)

Cass Sunstein's speaking, and he's wondering what the hell he's doing following Wonkette.

He's making the point with jurors and judges that the more reinforcement they have with other like minded ideologically, more extreme they get---group effect.

Is there direct evidence of blogs getting stories covered? He's saying no.

Drezner is blushing bright red. This is turning out perhaps to be one of those ideas which sounded great six months ago....

Non-facts get spread by cascading effect---references anti-Kerry stuff.
I guess Glenn's dig pic of Kerry's "Seared" Testimony is one of those painful non-facts.

Talking about how white people with racial prejudice become more racist when talking to others who are similar. Oooooooooo-kay.

Wonkette's huched over, head down, looking like she wants to be somewhere else. (The bar?)

Something about blogs--the energy, lack of something, that makes them work.

It's got to be 90 degrees in here, and the laundry now is going strong.

Some pompous guy is going on and on....

Now, what you've been waiting for: the money shot!

The question from the Llamabutcher to Wonkette:

LB : "Do you feel at all guilty or responsible for the unholy convergence of amateur blogging and amateur porn?" (Gasp, as quite a number of jaws hit the floor)

WK: "I don't know what you mean---explain it as graphically as possible for me" (emphasis in the original)

LB: "Is this becoming more common--are you unleashing a scary phenomena on the world? I mean, you got Jessica Cutler onto the Washington Post Magazine and then Hustler..."

WK: "she did it herself. And, it's Playboy, not Hustler"

LB: "But still---will there be a convergence between amateur blogging and amateur porn?"

She fumbled around a bit, and then said, "Well, they are a lot alike. But only the best go pro..."

Well now.

Someone asked a question about blogging in more authoritarian states ( mentions China, but of course Iran is huge)

Kleiman---blogging is going to be incredibly destabilizing for authoritarian regimes.
Farrell---no it isn't at least yet. But Iran is interesting ---farsi is 4th most common language for blogging. (that's cool)

Difficult to stop and control---

Wonkette--anti-blogging point~ studying difference between top bloggers and everyone else

"super bloggers" versus Slimy Mollusks.

Cass Sunstein---blogs can undermine pluralistic ignorance---for people who don't realize how much everyone else hates the regime---radically destabilizing.

he's talking about South Africa, but I'm thinking of the NYT.

Farrell's going on power distribution curves, with a chart.....hehehehehehehehe, he said "log." (insert Beavis voice)

Someone from Crooked Timber is going on about mapping the blogosphere, cross-linking, data on who actually reads them (small size of pool as compared to all computer users).

Blah. Blah. Blah. Get in on the joke, son. (seriously, it's an interesting point.)

Someone asked about libel standards. Drezner---no real cases not between bloggers. Sunstein---same as for everyone else. Public figures, anything goes, private figures, be very careful.

Someone asks Wonkette---do public figures & families have private lives---are you basically a paparazzi?

Quip---I don't mind ruining someone's day, but not their lives.

Drug addict, alcoholic, love affairs---no. Because they're not funny.

"Affairs, drugs are sad.

S&M, gambling, mistresses---high-LARIOUS!"

"Not real journalism, therefore you don't have to follow rules."

Satire--leave it to the pros, kids!

So there you have it: quite possibly the first panel at the 100 year history of the American Political Science Assoication to feature two University of Chicago professors, and the subject of S&M, naughty bits, and power indexes all were discussed.

I'm so glad I didn't become a historian......

I went up afterwards and asked if I could get a picture---she gave me this look that was quite understandably determined by her fumbling for her mace in her purse---and I said, it was for my blog---and she asked what one?---and I said, The Llamabutchers. Drezner is looking at me as if I'm from Mars. And she laughs and says, "I thought that was you." (Her comments answers are legit, folks!) We posed for the pic, but she was still holding the mace, just to be careful.

I'm willing to do many things in the pursuit of science, but getting maced by Wonkette is not one of them.

The things I'm willing to do to bring real political science to the people.

!. Zombie Woodrow Wilson and INDC Bill? Last seen heading to Bolivia, with a plan to start over and rob some banks.

2. BTW, Wonkette was an incredibly good sport about the whole thing, and was quite gracious and in on the joke. I sense a spot in the blogroll being re-opened. Her point was perhaps the most important one, but lost on most folks: in the immortal words of Sgt. Hulka,
"lighten up, Francis."
Bloggers need to take the whole enterprise a whole lot less seriously.

2. Richard Skinner of Polysigh was there too and has some observations....

Thanks for the links for Rusty, Jeff, the Commissar, Ace of Spades, and Outside the Beltway.

FURTHER UPDATE: Daniel Drezner was also a good sport about all this too.

Posted by Steve at 07:11 PM | Comments (12)

Great, Kid. But Don't Get Cocky - Watch

Bush is now up 52/41 in the latest Time poll.

That's great. But remember, it's sixty or so days until the election. I think Bush's lead probably will increase some in the next week or so, given his strong convention and Kerry's self-inflicted wounds, but sooner or later someone in the Kerry camp is going to knock some heads together and get their man back in the game. The press will naturally fall in behind this, in part because they want Kerry to win and in part because they love an underdog.

I still think Dubya's going to win. In fact, I still think it's not going to be that close. But to quote Princess Leia, "It's not over yet."

Posted by Robert at 05:22 PM | Comments (3)

Watch This Space

Steve-O's live blogging of Sully and She Who Is No Longer On Our Blogroll is scheduled (or sheduled, as they say across the pond) to start in a few. Please stand by.

In the meantime, I'm outa here.

Yip! Yip!

UPDATE: Ya got me. College professors - who can figure 'em?

Posted by Robert at 05:11 PM | Comments (3)

Gratuitous Domestic Posting (TM) - Labor Day Division

No enormous plans for the long weekend. However, we are having some folks over Monday for a cookout, which means that tomorrow I have to give the yard what we call the Full Monty treatment. (This means mowing and trimming everything, including the front ditch and the little meadow behind the back fence. It usually takes at least three hours to do a thorough job.)

The cookout is one of those obligatory return engagements. We're doing it for the parents of one of the girls' little school friends who had us all over earlier this summer. At first I was rather concerned that these might be the only people coming. It's not that I actively dislike them. They're nice enough, I suppose, but I really don't have anything in common with them. In such situations, I tend to get rather tight-lipped. Especially here, where I'm supposed to be the host after all, this really isn't fair. (The Butcher's Wife, who is very much more outgoing than I am and also has the gift of all-purpose social gab, tells me that I tend to intimidate people with my coldness. I don't really believe this. I think I just bore them instead. Either way, tho, it's not very enjoyable for them.)

Much to my relief, I found that two other families are coming as well. They're also school friends, but they have much more in common with us in terms of tastes and interests. (Furthermore, as one of them is a big muckety-muck with The Carlyle Group and another works for Cheney, I can get all the inside dope on what's cooking at Vast Right Wing Conspiracy High Command.) Given this level of social dilution, as it were, I ought to be able to hold my own and play the game.

In the meantime, if I don't yip at you before then, I hope all of our readers out there have a very nice, long, relaxing holiday.

Posted by Robert at 04:39 PM | Comments (0)

Gratuitous Domestic Posting (TM) - Garden Division

A long time reader recently asked me, "Tom, how are things in your garden?"

Super! Thanks for asking!

As a matter of fact, as I paused to look around last evening after chasing Sauron's Wraith Rabbit off for the umpteenth time, I really was filled with a sense of delight.

For those of you who may be new to this particular aspect of the Butcher's life, my primary gardening activity these days is centered in a bed approximately 140 X 60 feet at the back of my yard. It had been used as a vegetable garden by the former owner. Our first year it pretty much lay fallow. The second year, during which we had a new baby to deal with, the jungle swept in and conquered it. Last year, I beat the weeds back and put in a rectangular gravel walk with grass in the middle. This year really has been the first in which I have been able to go on offense and make the beds look like real flower beds.

Well, much diligence and hard work has really paid off. Starting mostly from seed planted indoors last winter, I now have firmly established clumps of purple and white coneflowers, black-eye susans and joe-pye weed. There is a long row of columbine and another of shasta daisies. There is a group of big, fat-leaved hollyhocks in one corner that are going to bloom like God Almighty next year. There also is some salvia that, if left to itself, would swamp everything. I also have some wonderful orange and white butterfly weed and a big, sloppy blue-flowered butterfly bush. The garden has been full of bees, butterflies and hummingbirds this summer.

In short, I now have in place the backbone of a sturdy, heat and drought-tolerant perennial garden. Other than a little bit of transplanting I need to do this fall, I really like the way it's coming out.

The next phase will be to start bringing in specimen plants. I began that earlier this summer by transplanting some Russian sage and blackberry lily from my godparents' place out in the country. I am now begining to scan the catalogues for other goodies to start under the lights in my workroom and/or maybe plant this fall. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Among the ideas I'm noodling is some coreopsis to define the fronts of the borders a bit better, and maybe some oriental lilies mixed in among my siberian iris which, being the first thing to bloom in the spring, don't have much to say later on in the year. I also need some more red - poppies, perhaps? - scattered lavishly about to liven things up a bit.

Eventually, I'm going to put in a lot of foxglove - one of my favorite of all flowers. But I have to create a new bed for them farther up the hill towards the house. (The topography of my yard tends to focus sun and heat on the main garden. I tried foxglove there the first year and it didn't work out.) Ditto for the lupin and delphinium I'm going to try at some point. I've got a cool, part sun bed picked out for them at the side of the house, but it's full of old pachysandra and weeds at the moment and will need a complete overhaul.

This fall, however, my main task will be to deal with the ditch by the street and the shady western side of the house. The ditch, which is overshadowed by very large trees, is such that little grass grows in it. Also, whenever it rains heavily, water runs off the street and sidewalk down our driveway, forming a small lake by the garage. So this fall I am going to build up a couple of fieldstone retaining beds on either side of the driveway and plant them with, oh, I dunno, ivy or pachysandra or something. (In fact, I might just save a ton of money and kill two birds with one stone by transplanting the pachy from around the side of the house.) I also need to deal with the western side yard by the garage. It's all shade and devoid of any real growth. I plan to put in a hosta border with lily-of-the-valley in front.

When I was a kid, my brother and I had to slave away every weekend doing yardwork for my father. I never wanted to see another garden in my life. I guess you can tell how long that wish lasted.

Posted by Robert at 04:00 PM | Comments (0)

Cat Blogging

Take a look at this picture of Jessica Duchen's cat Solti (as in Sir Georg, one of the best conductors of the 20th Century).

I bring this up because Solti is a dead ringer for one of our cats named Jeeves. As some of you may know, I don't like Jeeves very much. He's fussy and vindictive. He bites the kids when they get too close. He yaks his din-dins all over our nice rugs and every night after we go to bed he wanders the house moaning like a lost soul. (It isn't because we lock him in anywhere. We don't. He has the run of the place. He yowls because we're all upstairs and he wants us downstairs.) Indeed, every evening when I get home he starts yowling at me to sit down so he can jump into my lap. Not because he really likes me, you understand, but rather because he thinks I'm his own personal property.

In fact, the damn cat is jealous of anyone else getting between him and me. This is rather ironic, considering that I am the one in the family who likes him least of all.

Anyway, all this is by way of an offer to Jessica: if you would like a Solti lookalike in order to make a nice matched set, say the word and I'll toss Jeeves into a FedEx box.

UPDATE: Of course, as Jessica gently points out, I muffed Sir Georg's name. Now corrected. Sorry 'bout that. Dang ferriners and their weirdo spelling!

As someone asked, yes, we did have a cat named Bertie. He came from the same litter as Jeeves and was the sweetest and most intelligent cat I've ever met. (I forgot to mention earlier that Jeeves is also an idiot.) Alas, Bertie died of a stroke when he was about two years old.

Our other cat now is named Jenny. (Short for Jennyanydots. T.S. Eliot's "Gumbie Cat" was a great bedtime favorite when I was very young.) Jenny is extremely friendly. However, she ain't exactly discriminatin', if you know what I mean. My sister calls her "Jennyanybody".

Posted by Robert at 01:29 PM | Comments (4)

It's That Time Of Year

The ever-delightful Meghan Cox Gurdon reflects on the bittersweet moment of sending her youngest off to school for the first time.

We're doing the same thing at the Butcher's House this year - our 2 1/2 year old starts preschool next week, while the 4 1/2 year old goes to kindergarten and the 6 year old starts first grade. However, the girls go to a Montessori school, so this is incorrect terminology. The preschoolers and kindergarteners are all mixed together in the downstairs classrooms. At our girls' school, the youngest kids, who only stay for the morning, are known as "Morning Stars" while the over 5's who stay for the afternoon are known as "Lunchbunchers". Also, first through third graders are all mixed together in what is known as the Lower Elementary class.

So does this mean the Missus is going to get to spend her mornings eating bon-bons and watching Oprah? Not bloody likely. In true busman's holiday fashion, she is going to be teaching in one of the upper elementary classes at the girls's school. But I wrong her: The Butcher's Wife is one of St. Maria's most fervent acolytes and I know almost nobody else who enjoys their work as much as she does. So she is looking forward to the start of things as much as the girls are.

Posted by Robert at 12:41 PM | Comments (0)

I Think I'm Being Profiled

My new commute involves about a fifteen minute walk between 6th Street and Metro Center here in Your Nation's Capital. Every afternoon as I saunter along D and E Streets, I pass some Earnest Young Things shilling for the Kerry Campaign.

For some reason, they never ask me if I want to contribute. I begin to think this is because I look, you know, conservative to them. Sort of NQOKD, if you know what I mean.

Frankly, I'm insulted. I learned long ago on my mother's knee never to assume, because it makes an "ass" of "u" and "me". But this is exactly what these kids are doing.

An outrage, I tell you.

(BTW, if they ever do solicite me, I already have a bunch of questions lined up. I'll be sure to post the results. Poaching on INDCent Bill's Moonbat Hunting Ground, I suppose, but there's plenty of game to go around.)

Posted by Robert at 11:38 AM | Comments (5)

Kerry Throws Ball At Bush's Chest, Hits Bar Door Window Instead

[Moved Up A Bit for all the Updates]

Of course I didn't wait up to watch Kerry's midnight whine-fest in Ohio. But Katie the Resplendent Mango fisks his prepared remarks nicely. And Paul at Wizbang live-blogged it. From what I can tell, Kerry's speech seems to have been personally crafted by Michael Moore. Folks, this man is coming unglued.

You know what's rich about all this? For years the President has been subject to the most outrageous slander about everything from his intelligence to his loyalties and said nothing. Nothing. Zip. Nada. Zilch. Come now the Republicans not to question Kerry's patriotism, but rather his complete lack of leadership and judgement, surely legitimate questions, and Kerry responds with a complete hissy fit.

All fooling aside, let me offer the Donks a bit of gratuitous advice. It strikes me that part of Kerry's problem is that he's never really gone to the bigs before. He's cruised for years and years in Massachusetts politics and has come to think pretty highly of himself for it. Now he's come to the Show and is facing a real fight, probably for the first time. In this, he reminds me of Ebby Calvin "Nuke" LaLoosh:

Ebby: I ain't pissing nothing away. I got a Porsche already; a 911 with a quadrophonic Blaupunkt.

Crash Davis: Christ, you don't need a quadrophonic Blaupunkt! What you need is a curveball! In the show, everyone can hit heat.

Words of wisdom, I think. Outbursts like last night's show that Kerry still has a five cent head.

UPDATE: Cat at What Now? live-blogged Meat, too.

Yips! to Right on Red, who have compiled a handy-dandy list of Blogger reaction to last night.

FURTHER UPDATE: The all-powerful Allah has liveblogging of Dubya's speech and reaction to Nuke Kerry's wild pitch.

FURTHER STILL: The Cracker Barrel Philosopher has more. So does Spoons. And Nick Queen has pictures. It's ALIIIIVE!

LAST THOUGHT: Just out of curiosity, why hasn't CNN had a story about Kerry's Rally on its front page this morning? Jess askin'.

REALLY LAST THOUGHT: John Hawkins of Right Wing News spells out the foolishness of this stunt in words of one syllable that even Kerry should comprehensimate.

POSITIVELY LAST THOUGHT UNTIL I HAVE ANOTHER ONE: Erick at Red State looks at Meat's "heater". Yips! to Pejman.

Posted by Robert at 11:10 AM | Comments (1)

She's Baaaaaack......

Moxie is back from hiatus, providing daily dispatches from VRWC HQ, Los Angeleeze Chapter. If you don't read her keen combo of politics/Life in LA/beat-up old Porsche blogging daily, you really should.

Posted by Robert at 10:39 AM | Comments (0)


Why the hell are we No. 2 on MSN search for "lopez calls afleck weekly since marrying marc"?

I mean, why would we care?

Posted by Robert at 10:06 AM | Comments (0)

This Will Make You Toops

Introducing CrankyKid, daughter of Gordon the Cranky Conservative.

Very nice. Hiya, CK! Give us a couple years and my girls will probably be able to cross link with you.

How many other examples of family blogging are there out in the 'Sphere? I know about the father/daughter combo of Rocket Ted and Mookie and, of course, the spousal dynamic duo of Dean and The Queen of All Evil, but there must be dozens more.

Posted by Robert at 10:02 AM | Comments (3)


wonkette interview.jpg

In our continuing attempts to provide our regular readers (okay, so we only have two: Robbo's mom and dad) with a full service cutting-edge 24/7 wide-world of bloggy non-stop wall to wall Tasty Bits (TM), we now bring you our new feature: the official Llama Guest Interview. We provide the celebrity, you provide the questions---what could be better? Okay, so the first time we tried this it didn't work so well; I knew Dear Abby was dead, but I really did think the Oija Board would work. Live and learn. Anyhoo, we now provide our new edition: the Llamabutcher Wonkette Interview!

In the immortal tradition of Dave Barry, no, we are not making this up.

Why bother coming to the panel? I'll answer your questions here....

1) Do you think blogging will ever gain widespread acceptance without it needing to be "sexed up?"


LLAMABUTCHERS: This just creates all sorts of unfortunate images of the "Steven den Beste Live Cam Show".......I think I can speak for all of us when I say eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwww

2) do you think that the type of writing you do and subject matter you cover on your blog is an appropriate topic of conversation at the most important national conference for the discipline of political science?

ANSWER: Are you talking about politics or ass-fucking or the politics of ass-fucking? In any case, all three seem appropriate to discuss here. But my judgement on these matters is suspect.

3) "Why did you say that the only African-Americans at the RNC were janitors?"

ANSWER: Some of the janitors are also Latino.

4) "Is she a natural redhead. If the answer is in the affirmative, ask her to prove it and get pics."

ANSWER: I don't see how a picture of my red-headed grandparents would prove anything to you.

5) Since there's no requirement to even pretend impartiality, what's your view on bloggers disclosing (or not disclosing) the fact that they are paid or sponsored to write what they do?

ANSWER: I'll answer this question after your check clears.

6) I want to know if Playboy are paying finders fees these days?

ANSWER: Not to me, they aren't.

Stay tuned.

Posted by Steve at 09:14 AM | Comments (1)

Obligatory Convention Posting - Day 4

I've decided this is going to be yer one-stop shopping post for convention thoughts all the rest of the day. So stop by often for updates.

I flipped on the tube in time to watch George Pataki. Is it only me or does he remind anyone else of Adam West? I felt like yelling "Holy Waffling Liberals, Batman!" at the screen. For all that, I thought it was a terrific speech.

I don't even know where to begin with Dubya himself. First part of the speech got a bit dull. Second part - over the center field fence. And when he misted up while recounting meeting the families of the fallen, I started getting teary-eyed.

For a terrific moment-by-moment analysis, go read Vodkapundit. Hit the link and just scroll up. Read all of them, but pay special attention to the wrap up at the top. I wish I could write half as insightfully when I'm sober as Green does when he's drunk. Stephen's waaaay more of a libertarian than I am, but I like the way he's talking.

Are you still here? Go read. Now.

Posted by Robert at 08:19 AM | Comments (0)



Remember, tomorrow is the big live Llama Ambush of Wonkette and Sully! 4:15 Central Daylight Time.

Okay, I did the checklist this evening:

fresh batteries for the dig cam, check
laptop bag, check
penicillin, rubber gloves, and a wire brush, check
"Dr. Rusty Shackleford" official APSA ID Badge, check

I got two different answers on whether the room has wireless (um, yes, and then no). It would be just like a bunch of political scientists to have a panel on blogging in a place without internet access. Anyhoo, I'm going over there tomorrow morning to test it out---reconaissance, you might say (insert John Belushi recon music from Animal House here). I'll keep you updated.

So far, Dr. Rusty, the Commissar, and Ace of Spades are beating the, err, bushes to get just the right questions.

Note to the Commissar: considering the circumstances, perhaps we should skip the traditional "clenched fist salute," if you know what I mean...

And, can someone get Jeff Goldstein's attention on this? I can try to go into a trance and channel some Protein Wisdom-level of hilarious insanity, but the real thing would be that much better....

YIPS! from Robbo: Jeff has his questions up. So does Kathleen the Cake Eater.

Posted by Steve at 12:38 AM | Comments (3)

September 02, 2004

En Fuego

Ace has the Top Ten Signs That Zell Miller Is On Fricken' Fire. Number One is well deserved. Heh, indeed.

Posted by Robert at 05:40 PM | Comments (0)

Papa Blogging

No, this is not a Gratuitous Domestic Post (TM) about my kids. Rather, I am currently listening to "Papa" Haydn's Trio for Piano, Violin and Cello No. 34 in B flat major, Hob. XV:20. I have a performance on the Harmonia mundi label by Patrick Cohen, Erich Hobarth and Christophe Coin.

I am continually amazed by Haydn's relatively low popular standing these days. (I've been stewing about this business ever since I read Lileks' dismissal of Haydn in this morning's Bleat .) On the radio, for instance, not much of his work gets played other than the London symphonies and occassionally one of his quartets. I believe this is generally true of concerts as well. And it's truly a shame. Haydn didn't have Mozart's genius or Beethoven's driving energy, but he was immensely admired by both younger men. And neither of them would have achieved what they did without Haydn leading the way. Furthermore, on pure musical merit, I'd take Haydn in an instant over most of the 19th Century posing blowhards who dominate the fashion these days.

The reason I'm amazed by Haydn's relative invisibility is that I can't think of any other composer off the top of my head who combined such fine craftsmanship with such accessibility. Haydn is an excellent composer for helping someone new to classical music to understand the forms. Anyone with a reasonable amount of musical ability can pick up the broader outlines of his ideas at once. At the same time, his work cannot be dismissed as mere kiddie-music. (Well, okay, maybe some of it can be.) Rather, it is a source of pure listening pleasure for even the most sophisticated ear (if that ear can be crow-barred away from its biases, that is).

The CD I have on now is a prime example. The great thing about the trios is that they can be as elegant and sophisticated as anything else Haydn wrote, but at the same time they have a cosy intimacy and lack of formality about them that gives Haydn free rein to indulge himself in fancy. These pieces are peppered with jokes, asides and occassional stormy outbreaks while at the same time never losing their outward structural integrity. This isn't Haydn trying to pack a subscription concert in London. Rather, it's Papa and some of his intimates amusing themselves, playing for the pure pleasure of the music itself.

And what good music it is.

Posted by Robert at 05:03 PM | Comments (1)

The Big "LLamas Ambush Wonkette" Contest

The live-blogging should take place tomorrow starting at 4:15, CDT.

And remember, we have the digital camera to bring all the bloggy goodness as it's happenning! So be sure to send in your questions!

I'm off to to a reception later, where I'm going to see how many times I can work in the words "Jawa" and "sandcrawler" in polite conversation with Rusty's PhD advisor....

Posted by Steve at 04:13 PM | Comments (2)

LLamas Undercover in Chicago

People often ask me, "Dave, what is that political scientists actually do all day at political science conventions?"

The answer is obvious: in the old days, it was a fair amount of sitting around the bar lobby, drinking at lunch and watching espn on the wide screen tee-vee. Now, of course it's that AND blogging.

So there.

Here are some panels I'll be avoiding this afternoon (and no, I'm not making any of these up):

Political Philosophy Come to Rick's: Casablanca and American Civic Culture

Postmodern Body Politics, which includes the paper "Carnal Hermeneutics and Political Theory" (which, oddly enough, is also playing on Spectravision, I believe)

Heteronormativity and the Politics of Heterosexuality

Shades of Black: Despair, Disappointment, Pessimism

Here's one I actually went to:

Taking Infotainment Seriously: The Emerging Role of Nontraditional Media in Politics

This one looked cool but was at the same time as my bloviating was occuring:

Comparative Empirical Analyses of Television News Coverage of the Iraq War

This one looks pretty cool, but that's just because I'm a Thucydides nerd:

Political Theory and International Security

Things I would rather be stuck in an elevator with Howard Dean and Denny Kucinich during a barium enema than go to:

Public Intellectuals and the Left in America: Toward a Ruthless Criticism of Everything Existing

Later, I'll link these to the pages where you can actually look at the papers themselves!

Well, that's enough for now. Time to head back to the bar.

Posted by Steve at 04:08 PM | Comments (0)

They're Baaaaack....

Here's some good news: The House of Payne is again open for business. Welcome back, guys!

Posted by Robert at 03:49 PM | Comments (1)

Not That The Llamas Are Biased or Anything

Okay, Robbo's Rule of Memes: When I see it more than once in the space of a day, I have to get in on it.

So here's a twofer.

First, the John Kerry Loyalty Quiz.

My result? 0 out of 10:

Your score is 0 on a scale of 1 to 10. You hate John Kerry with every fiber of your being. He is the embodiment of everything you despise in a politician: a weak, liberal, flip-flopping, elitist, condescending appeaser who threatens all that is good and decent in America. Worst of all, you think he looks French.

Well that's pretty definitive.

And now, the George W. Bush Loyalty Quiz.

My score? 9 out of 10.

You are a True Believer in President Bush. Your loyalty and devotion to him is matched only by your desire to see his liberal detractors locked away and declared enemy combatants. If all Americans thought as you did, and were it constitutionally viable, George W. Bush would be president for life.

I'll give you all time to recover from your shock.

Yips! to The Inpenetrable One and Jen(nifer) .

Posted by Robert at 03:40 PM | Comments (0)

Red Headed Movie Ramblings

Tired of Llama political bloviating? Frankly, so am I.

And now for something completly different, Sheila has got a serious Billy Wilder jones going on. Go on over and just start scrolling.

As is inevitable when talking about BW, Sheila also has some things to say about Marilyn Monroe. I've got to confess that I never understood the appeal. But then, that's just me.

Posted by Robert at 02:47 PM | Comments (0)


Someone googled in on "Santeria, breaking with one's godparents".


I gather Santeria is some kind of mystic Caribbean religious exercise akin to Voodoo. Lots of magic, talismen n' stuff. Hope whoever is contemplating this "break" is only thinking spiritual and doesn't have any physical manifestations in mind.

Sorry we can't help.

Posted by Robert at 02:31 PM | Comments (0)

Undercover Llama Reports

Well, I made it to Chicago fine, and did my paper this morning. So, now this opens up some free time until Sunday, so what better to do than to give our regular readers (i.e. Robbo's Mom) a sense of what type of ecstatic wackiness transpires when you get 3000 political science professors together in one spot.

Let's just say it puts Mardi Gras in New Orleans to shame!

Well, that's a bit of an exageration. Okay, more than a bit, but I need to tell myself these things to prevent a complete nervous breakdown.

I'm going to take the liberty to point out some of the panels I won't be attending:

for instance "Black Presidential Bids in 2004: Their Significance and Impact in the American Political Process" A pretty short panel.

Anyhoo, the big news is tomorrow's panel is

The Power and Politics of Blogs

featuring Andrew Sullivan, Dan Drezner, and.......Ana Marie Cox, aka "Wonkette."

I've got the wireless laptop and the digital camera (and tenure, so I can pull stunts like this), so I'm going to see if there is wireless access in the room. If so, I'm going to live-blog it, and as a measure of interactivity, I'll ask the three best questions you our loyal readers suggest: given the chance, what would YOU ask Wonkette?

Consider this your double-Llama dare of the day!

(Rusty, I'm calling you out on this one!)

More later this afternoon as my time limit on the public computers is up.

Yips! from Robbo - The obvious question for Ms. Cox: "How much?"

Posted by Steve at 12:13 PM | Comments (12)


I have found that the printer outside my door makes a sound almost exactly like Homer Simpson chugging Duff Beer. Now that I have this image in my mind, I can't shake it. People coming to pick up their print jobs are beginning to wonder why I giggle so much.

Posted by Robert at 10:31 AM | Comments (0)

Gratuitous Personal Blogging - Nightmare Watch

For those of you keeping score at home, last night I had a variation on the nightmare that has been haunting me this week. This time around, however, the overriding feeling was more one of annoyance than fear. I simply wanted everyone and everything to go away so I could get some sleep.

I think that this represents progress. Still tired, tho.

Posted by Robert at 10:28 AM | Comments (0)

G'Day, Mate

Want to know how you'd vote Down Under? Go take this quiz. Apparently in Australia, my free-market economic stance and social Toryism make me something close to a Liberal. But then again, everything is upside-down there.

Yips! to John at TexasBestGrok.

Posted by Robert at 09:14 AM | Comments (3)

Amen, Bro

Dan at Obscurorant seems to have been called out of God's bullpen.

I'm beginning to get that twinge in the stomach that comes to all Red Sox fans, even casual ones like myself, round about the beginning of September. Maybe this year, God really is on our side and this is a sign. After all, didn't Tuco also say that "God hates the Yankees, too"?

Posted by Robert at 09:03 AM | Comments (2)

Gratuitous Domestic Post (TM) - Llama-ette Division

So my six year old went swimming with some friends yesterday. When she got home, she was practically bursting with the news that she had jumped off the ten foot diving board. (She's quite the fish. The other day she was doing rudimentary flips off a low board at a friend's house.) But being the kind of girl she is, she felt she couldn't just leave it at that:

Yes! I jumped off into the air and started flapping my arms like a bird and just floated there until the lifeguard blew his whistle at me. Then I stopped floating and went down into the water. It was fun!

The vision of my daughter hogging the airspace between the board and the water while an exasperated lifeguard ordered her to get down, was about the funniest thing I've come across in a long time.

Posted by Robert at 08:40 AM | Comments (0)

Obligatory Convention Blogging - Day 3

I just can't help myself. Again, these are just personal impressions. Everyone else on the planet can get you the transcripts and probably argue individual points better than I can.

First, Zell. Day-um! Gimme some o' that ol' time religion! I've never actually heard him speak before, although I've seen his op-ed pieces from time to time. I strongly suspect many people didn't even really know who he was before last night. They do now. Impact? Well, FNC's tame liberal Mara Liasson made a rather lame comparison between Zell's old-fashioned stem-winder and Howard Dean's "EEEEEAAAAGGGGHH!" but I don't think that is going to fly.

Then there was Cheney. Stolid, unflappable Cheney. In a way, I think he may benefit from the hysterical villification of the Left. Cheney doesn't appear in the spotlight very often and, after listening to the shrieks of his detractors, I think people are mildly surprised and pleased when they actually see him to find that he doesn't have horns and a pitchfork or a voice like James Earl Jones. And every time I hear him speak, my immediate sense is one of security, one of knowing that the grown-ups are in charge. One other thing - I'll bet John Edwards is already having nightmares about having to debate Cheney.

So What Does It All Mean? Well, I think I agree with Bill Kristal on this - the Dems have gone into the campaign reckoning that better than half the country loathe Dubya and that all they (the Dems) had to do was present someone with half-way decent credentials in order to get the nod. The Republicans refused to roll over on this. They have not stepped back an inch from Dubya's record, but instead have stood solidly behind it, at the same time hammering Kerry's weak spots (and he has many) mercilessly. In this way they have been able to cast the election as a stark either/or proposition, one made all the more important by the fact that we're at war. That was the task of Miller and Cheney last night and I think they did a pretty good job.

Oh, one other thing. There was some debate earlier in the year about whether the Republicans would be smarter to paint Kerry as an unrepentant liberal dove or as a weak, cynical flip-flopper. From what I saw last night, they seem to have managed to do both.

UPDATE: Alas, I seem to have missed Zell putting the hurt on Chris Matthews later in the evening. Kevin at Wizbang has the juicy bits.

FURTHER UPDATE: Holy hell. Allah is in the House.

FURTHER, FURTHER UPDATE: The Commissar exposes the Woody Allen nightmare in which we are now living. Heh, Comrade.

Posted by Robert at 08:03 AM | Comments (0)

September 01, 2004

No Llamas Were Doinked In The Writing Of This Post

Dave Barry, writing from the GOP Convention, has some disturbing fantasies:

I tried to get into a party hosted by Rep. David Dreier of California at a bowling alley in Greenwich Village, but they wouldn't let me in, so I can't say what went on in there. For all I know, Rep. Dreier had carnal relations with a llama.

But that is pointless speculation, since, as I said, they refused to let me in, apparently because they don't care about Freedom of the Press, not to mention the welfare of innocent animals.

Let me just assure you, Dave. Didn't happen. Ain't gonna.

Yips! to Taranto, who's got a great round-up of Global Village Idiots today as well.

Posted by Robert at 05:25 PM | Comments (1)

Llama Bleg

Attention all Movable Type v. 2.64 users! Where's the freakin' spell-check on this thing? I'm embarrassing meself.

Posted by Robert at 04:25 PM | Comments (2)

Actually, Maybe They SHOULD Panic

He of the Vodka, shaker and chilled glass links to and quotes Josh Marshall's attempt to get the Donks to keep calm, also indulging in a little well-earned "I told you so"-ing along the way.

Actually, I think Josh is half right and half wrong, while Stephen is definitely on the right track. Josh believes the recent signs of panic are simply par for the course with the Dem mentality, but I think it goes farther than that this year. Why? Because the Dems are trying to pull a fast one - they've nominated a dovish liberal who, on the basis of nothing but a few months of combat 35 years ago, is trying to convince the American public that he'd be a bona fide Wartime President. In other words, to modify Stephen's metaphor just a bit, they're trying to win the pot on a pair of twos.

The Donks know perfectly well that Kerry's campaign strategy is a fraud. Their worst nightmare is that the Voters will see right through it and call 'em. From recent poll numbers and other signs, it looks like this is beginning to happen. Yeah, I'd probably start getting the heebie-jeebies too.

Posted by Robert at 03:19 PM | Comments (0)

Creature Comforts

Finally, after much fooling about and at my own expense, thank you very much, I managed to have the last of my "stuff" transported from my old office to my new digs. Among the two most important items: my radio/CD player and my coffee-maker.

Despite the fact that I'm in an interior office, my radio picks up the local classical station reasonably well. However, what interference there is causes a kind of cricket-chirping effect. This proved very humorous a while ago when NPR ran an audio clip of J. Francois Kerry's address to the American Legion Convention today. Made it seem as if he was addressing one of those silent, stone-faced cartoon crowds. Which probably wasn't that far from the truth.

As to the coffee-maker - Ah! sweet ambrosial beverage of the Gods! Since this is a government office, there's no free coffee to get one through the day. And assimilation by the Starbucks Borg is no longer financially reasonable for me. But having procured a can of french roast of my own, I can now go to town. In between having to get up at 5:30 AM, being back to regular hard work and having not slept well recently, I need all the java I can get.

Posted by Robert at 01:58 PM | Comments (2)

When Worlds Collide, Or Never Cross the Streams, Ray

I forgot to mention this earlier, but I think it's kinda neat.

There were plenty of camera shots of Dick Cheney and family last night on Fox's Convention coverage, as there had been the night before. (I have never seen Dick Cheney with any expression on his face other than that half-smile of his. At the same time, he always looks like he's about two seconds away from clutching his chest and keeling over.)

Anyway, last night, the Missus and I noticed at one point a little girl hanging around with the Veep. She must have been about fourish or so - long, darkish hair. I am just about positive she was/is one of Cheney's granddaughters. There is also an extremely good chance that she was the one christened in the same baptismal service as was our own four year old girl. The Llama-ette's Godfather? Steve-O. The Cheney girl's Godfather? Dick himself. They stood right next to each other during the presentation, with self but a few feet away.

Looking at the girl, my first thought was how fast she'd grown. Then I had to remember that my own wasn't a baby anymore either.

Posted by Robert at 12:58 PM | Comments (0)

Christmas In September

My good friend Sparky, aka "Mrs. Friend" is blogging recommendations for Christmas books for the kids. Seriously, this is the time to start thinking about this sort of thing. I know the Missus is already revving in to high gear.

As far as the books themselves go, I don't have much to say except that I believe that Sparky and I have very similar opinions as to what Christmas is actually supposed to mean and her descriptions of this selection amply illustrate her priorities.

I'll throw in one Cranky Tory (TM) anectdote about Christmas and the Culture. As corny as it sounds, I never cease to get all misty-eyed when Linus recites Luke 2:8-14 (KJV, of course) in A Charlie Brown Christmas. To me, that is one of the rare moments when pop culture - in this case in the form of a simple, badly animated cartoon - gets it absolutely bang on. Very moving. I hope my kids feel the same way some day. If so, I'll have done my job, at least on the spiritual front.

Yips! to Anne the Barely Attentive Mother, who has an interesting round-up of Mommy Blogs fitting for the impending start of the school year. (Like Anne's, my kids don't go back for another week.)

Posted by Robert at 12:24 PM | Comments (2)

I'm Having A Fawlty Moment

The local classical station just put on Brahms' Third Symphony. As a fanatical devotee of Fawlty Towers, I can never hear the opening measures of this piece without imagining a wild-eyed John Cleese yelling, "That's Brahms! Brahms' Third Racket!"

Posted by Robert at 11:11 AM | Comments (2)

Gratuitous Personal Blogging

I very rarely bore you lot with talk about myself. However, I feel I should mention that I've had the same nightmare three nights in a row now. This is unfair.

It's one of those awful anxiety dreams. In it, I think I'm lying in bed awake. All the kids are in our room and various improbable disasters constantly threaten them - ceiling falling in, arrows out of the dark, falling off the bed, etc. - despite my frantic efforts to shield them.

It's positively exhausting. And I can't imagine why I'm having anxiety dreams now - I'm quite content and excited about my new job and all, and everything else is going just fine. Perhaps it's just some kind of post facto venting. Perhaps it's just that I don't like change very much and typically take a little while to adjust to new things.

Either way, what's the point of trying to go to sleep if you just wind up making yourself more tired?

Posted by Robert at 09:37 AM | Comments (3)

Act Casual, Say Nothing

I've got an FBI agent coming in here in a while to interview me as part of my U.S. Gov'mint (TM) security check. So you guys just pretend you don't know me for a while. M'kay?

UPDATE: Okay, he's gone. The man was a ringer for that Sienfeld Library Cop. No j'accuse! surprises, although he did ask a screwball question at the end that demonstrated he's already done a fair bit of snooping.

Posted by Robert at 09:30 AM | Comments (5)

Non-political news

Sheila has a great post on film noir.........mmmmmmmmmmmm, film noir.

Posted by Steve at 08:56 AM | Comments (0)

Chicago Recommendations?

I'm off to Chicago today for the American Politcial Science Association meeting, so posting will be lighter from me for the next couple of days.

If anyone has any suggestions for places to eat/drink/go, I'd appreciate it. I love Chicago--it's my favorite city to visit. I love walking around, soaking it all in. This time I'm staying at the Sheraton right on the river by the Wrigley Building, which is going to be fab---I've wanted to stay there for awhile. It's close to everything, except where I'm giving my paper, which is down at the (1968 Riot) Hilton, which is a bit of a hike. Oh well.

Later this fall, when the deadline is approaching for submitting a paper proposal for next year, I'm going for an all out blitz to make sure Herr Doktor Shackleford is going to go too: I'm thinking a panel on "Neo-Institutional Analysis of Attitudinal Factors Shaping News Coverage: The View From Inside the Sandcrawler" might do the trick.

Anyhoo, there's a good chance I'll be in the bar of the either the Sheraton, the Palmer House or the Riot Hilton tonight, and hey, I'm buying the first round!

(SPECIAL SECRET MESSAGE TO ROB:) My theory is correct, bay-bee! Plus, I rebooted the template and dumped the bumper sticker icons--I think they might have been too wide. Let me know how this looks.

Posted by Steve at 08:53 AM | Comments (4)

Obligatory Convention Blogging - Day 2

I flipped on Fox News Channel about 9:30 or so to see what was going on. I didn't take notes and I'm sure everybody else in the Universe will link to transcripts, so here are my general impressions of last night's Prime Time speakers:

Ahnold - Like Giuliani the night before, Der Governator was having the time of his life up on the podium. This is the kind of political figure that drives his opponents to drink: telegenic, at ease, humorous, a lot smarter than he pretends to be. And his speech, if lacking in any real substance, was politically untouchable: The Immigrant Dream. Mom and Apple Pie. Ameerica and Collyvornia. Republicans rock. What fun!

Barbara and Jenna - I can't think of a nice way to say this: they blew. Who the hell vetted this routine? Cosmo Kramer? When Jenna made that joke about Sex in the City, the Missus and I turned to each other aghast. At that moment, the FNC camera was dialed in on some elderly silver-haired matron in the crowd. You could almost see the blast wave mussing her coif as the joke went rocketing over her head, but she had a look on her face that suggested she knew enough to consider the whole thing in pretty bad taste. So did I. I think the Twins realized that they were in trouble early on - both looked like they wanted to make a run for it. Fortunately, I don't think their performance is really going to matter much in the overall scheme of things. The GOP should just take its mulligan and move on.

Laura - I was beginning to fade in and out while she spoke, so I can't offer too much commentary on what she said. From what I remember, it seemed about what anyone could reasonably expect: George is a great guy. That's just fine. She could have said anything short of announcing that she was having an affair with Rosie O'Donnell and I think it would have passed muster. The unspoken point of having Laura speak at all was simply to demonstrate that she wasn't a flaky whack-job like Theya-RAY-Suh.

Some other FNC-specific observations:

- I don't watch talking heads shows very much at all. But it seems that every time I catch a couple of minutes of Hannity & Colmes, Sean is handing Alan his head on a plate. Doesn't Combes ever get tired of this?

- Hannity interviewed McCain last night and McCain got ranting about 527's and campaign finance reform. So far as I could understand his argument, McCain seems to think that McCain-Feingold is good legislation because the Supreme Court upheld its constitutionality. Mmmmmm'kay. Hannity kept pressing McCain on why unlimited funding with full disclosure wouldn't be a better idea. McCain wouldn't bite except to say that some senators have testified that big money influences elections. Gasp! Stop the presses!

- Charlie Rangle was on as well. I have a strong suspicion that he was drunk. That's the most charitable explanation for the stream of blather flowing from his mouth.

Posted by Robert at 08:20 AM | Comments (2)