Tell Me A Story

The legend goes like this. Somebody once challenged Ernest Hemingway to tell a whole story in six words. He replied: “For sale: baby shoes. Never used.” Other writers were challenged to do the same. Witness replies to this 2003 contest: John Updike: “Forgive me!” “What for?” “Never mind.” Tobias Wolff: “She gave. He took. He forgot.” Michael Cunningham: “My nemesis is dead. Now what?” And our own staff favorite, from Norman Mailer: “Satan – Jehovah – 15 rounds. A draw.” Go. A. Continue reading Tell Me A Story

Gaggle Extra: Bolton Edition

Too much good stuff today: Q First on Bolton, and then another question about today’s discussion. Is the President concerned about the apparent error on Mr. Bolton’s questionnaire to the Senate, in which he said that he had not been questioned in a federal investigation in the preceding five years, when now it has been revealed that, in fact, he was at least interviewed in the context of the Inspector General-CIA investigation of the uranium potential sale from Niger to Iraq? MR. McCLELLAN: No, I think the State Department addressed that last night and it was John Bolton who pointed … Continue reading Gaggle Extra: Bolton Edition

Today on The Gaggle: Republicans Asplode!

Stem cell woes for the preznit and for Scottie: Q The Republican Party appears to be moving away from this President on this issue. How does he react to that? MR. McCLELLAN: I think that there are many Americans that share the President’s view that we need to continue to explore and advance science, but we need to make sure that we maintain ethical standards. As I said, these are decisions that have far-reaching consequences. And that’s why the President worked to find common ground on this difficult issue. Q Okay, let me just interrupt. Most Americans — MR. McCLELLAN: … Continue reading Today on The Gaggle: Republicans Asplode!

La Vie en Roses

From Tena: Robert Jeffers, posted this piece by Krugman (and Jeffers has the link; my registration was wiped out when I cleared my cookies to be able to logon to First-Draft) yesterday, and predicted it would be all over the blogosphere by today. So here’s a contribution to the spread: The point is that to the extent that the French have less income than we do, it’s mainly a matter of choice. And to see the consequences of that choice, let’s ask how the situation of a typical middle-class family in France compares with that of its American counterpart. The … Continue reading La Vie en Roses


First of all, how fun is it that Frist is jumping ship on the Holy Embryo Issue? Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist on Friday threw his support behind House-passed legislation to expand federal financing for human embryonic stem cell research, breaking with President Bush and religious conservatives in a move that could impact his prospects for seeking the White House in 2008. “It’s not just a matter of faith, it’s a matter of science,” Frist, R-Tenn., said on the floor of the Senate. Frist’s announcement immediately dented his support among Christian conservatives but won lavish praise from former first lady … Continue reading Fristed

Today on the Gaggle

Today on the Gaggle, there’s a lot of serious talk about the energy bill and Helen jamming her questions directly up Scottie’s ass and displaying an attitude I think we all love a whole lot, but I’d like to focus on something that barely gets a mention, and that something is: President Asshole. Here’s Scottie’s response to a reporter’s question: Q Scott, last night on the Tonight Show, Jay Leno, who apparently is subbing for Johnnie, displayed a video of the President at the Capitol yesterday. In that video, the President walking away from the press lifts his hand and … Continue reading Today on the Gaggle

Perlstein has the answers for ’06 and ’08 and beyond – ”Unfucking the Donkey”

From Tena: link here [with a nod to Atrios, who has also posted a link to this speech by Perlstein] It’s simple. Barack Obama put it exquisitely in his victory speech: “Government can help provide us with the basic tools we need to live out the American dream.” Here’s a dirty little secret. The Republicans know this. Nothing scares them more than us returning to our simple answers. Here’s Bill Kristol, in a famous 1993 memo I’m sure you’re all familiar with: “Health care is not, in fact, just another Democratic initiative . . . the plan should not be … Continue reading Perlstein has the answers for ’06 and ’08 and beyond – ”Unfucking the Donkey”

Har De Har Har

OMG Senators SO FUNNY!!11! One senator asked Mr. Bruno if the state would steam ahead on Medicaid reform with a governor who was now a lame duck. Another: “More casinos.” Another: “Maybe we can do our fall session” on conference calls. Then, one by one, the senators started to sign off. Mr. Bruno thanked a senator, whom he called Billy, for a tie. One of his colleagues asked Mr. Bruno, “Did you get that Mercedes I had delivered to your house?” The NY GOP. Feast your eyes, voters. A. Continue reading Har De Har Har


Damn. The point here is that the invasion of Iraq was part of a much larger, long-term policy that had to do with the U.S. imposing its will, militarily when necessary, throughout the Middle East and beyond. The war has gone badly, and the viciousness of the Iraq insurgency has put the torch to the idea of further pre-emptive adventures by the Bush administration. But dreams of empire die hard. American G.I.’s are dug into Iraq, and the bases have been built for a long stay. The war may be going badly, but the primary consideration is that there is … Continue reading Herbert

The Guess Jeans

Hi. My name’s Athenae. I’m a recovering Catholic schoolgirl.

I got a funny e-mail about the post below asking me, basically, why all the anger toward the poor, misunderstood DLC. I’d like to explain my thought process a little, how I came to the conclusion that a lot of people apparently haven’t come to yet, but which I believe is right. And the easiest way to do that is to tell you the story of the Guess jeans.

Continue reading “The Guess Jeans”

Today on The Gaggle: Athenae Is Obsessed With Hockey

My beloved college hockey team’s fans have a cheer. Goes something like this: Gimme a V. Gimme an I. Gimme an A. Gimme a G. Gimme an R. Gimme an A. What does it spell? VIAGRA! Keep it up! Keep it up! Keep it up! From the mouths of the Crease Creatures to the pencils of the press corps, because they’re not letting up on Karl Rove’s security clearance: Q Has Karl Rove offered to resign, in view of his problems? MR. McCLELLAN: Again, you keep asking these questions that are related to an ongoing investigation — Q Does he … Continue reading Today on The Gaggle: Athenae Is Obsessed With Hockey

Iraq to U.S.: Off Our Lawn, NOW

Iraqis have had enough of our freedom: Iraq’s transitional prime minister called Wednesday for a speedy withdrawal of U.S. troops and the top U.S. commander here said he believed a “fairly substantial” pullout could begin next spring and summer. Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said at a joint news conference with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld that the time has arrived to plan a coordinated transition from American to Iraqi military control throughout the country. Asked how soon a U.S. withdrawal should happen, he said no exact timetable had been set. “But we confirm and we desire speed in that regard,” … Continue reading Iraq to U.S.: Off Our Lawn, NOW

Department of Yes, Yes, Oh God Baby Yes

Today on Romensko’s buffet of vanity, stupidity, greed and nonsense we find two tasty morsels of journalism wisdom, two people who’ve somehow managed to climb over the mountainous terrain of whatever CNN is spewing these days about hip young bloggers and how they’re gonna kill journalism, and actually survey the landscape that’s there instead of the one Daryn Kagan told them was there. One. Newspapers have become strangely enamored with Web logs, a.k.a. blogs, recently adopting an “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” mentality. Examples range from ink-stained curmudgeons blogging away at the TV Critics Assn.’s semiannual gathering in … Continue reading Department of Yes, Yes, Oh God Baby Yes

More Happy Democrats

Via Americablog, this story is just chock full of things that make a blue-state girl smile: White House strategist Karl Rove helped Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele raise $75,000 Tuesday night at a Capitol Hill event picketed by demonstrators angry over Rove’s possible role in releasing a covert CIA officer’s identity to the press. About 65 people showed up at the event at the headquarters of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. The fundraiser was closed to the media. [snip] Steele and Rove both entered through a side entrance, bypassing about 40 protesters from the liberal group Progressive Maryland, who stood … Continue reading More Happy Democrats

Today on The Gaggle, Mars, Bitches! Edition

Today Little Scottie is the target of some high quality snark from reporters who’ve noticed we’re not exactly terraforming the red planet as we speak or anything: Q So the President supports a Mars mission? MR. McCLELLAN: Well, this is a long-term mission that the President outlined, John, so I think you have to look at the overall perspective in what the President said. But he wanted to make sure that there’s a clearly defined mission for our space program, and there is. And he believes it’s important to continue to advance space exploration and for the United States to … Continue reading Today on The Gaggle, Mars, Bitches! Edition

‘Everybody for 500 miles knows the shuttle went up’

Wicked cool. I’m a space geek. I’m a sci-fi geek, so naturally I’m a space geek who’s frustrated because we’re not colonizing Mars (bitches!) yet and finding all the aliens and forming a universal alliance to fight the Klingons and the Goa’uld and the Scarrans and the Cylons and the Shadows. I watched Space Camp once a day for an entire summer when I was 16. (“Three concentric circles spinning in different directions simultaneously. Object to stabilize from central point utilizing hand controls.”) But at heart, I’m a space geek. I look up at the stars and I want to … Continue reading ‘Everybody for 500 miles knows the shuttle went up’


From Tena: Since I post much less frequently than Holden or Athenae at all times, the fact that I haven’t posted anything for quite some time now may not have been noticed by many. I couldn’t do anything while I was on the road, coming up here to the mountains. After I got here, I just fell into the habit of continuing to do nothing online. There’s a whole lot going on this time of year up here, and I had guests twice. Both times, I went nonstop. I usually end up the summer up here with one really wild … Continue reading Midsummer

All Apologies

The family of Mr. De Menezes received an apology today: LONDON — Prime Minister Tony Blair apologized Monday for the police killing of Charles de Menezes, a Brazilian electrician mistaken for a terrorist who was shot eight times in a subway car. The family of Mr. Dilawar is still waiting. Dilawar was a shy, frail, uneducated cab driver who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time — driving past a base that had been the target of a rocket attack earlier in the day. He was arrested by Afghan militiamen who turned him over to the … Continue reading All Apologies

Your Idiot Cornyn Quote Of The Day

On Judge Roberts’ membership or lack thereof (he won’t say) in the Federalist Society: “Obviously it wasn’t central in his life. But it’s not like being a member of the Communist Party,” Cornyn said after meeting Roberts. “The Federalist Society is an organization that hosts debates from people with a lot of different viewpoints. I think serves a very useful purpose for lawyers and people interested in these viewpoints. But I don’t think that should be a limiting factor at all.” Thank God the senator was around to clear that up. Because I hear people say every day that the … Continue reading Your Idiot Cornyn Quote Of The Day

Today on Holden’s Obsession With The Gaggle, Holden’s On Vacation

But we can’t let an opportunity to poke fun at Scotty go by: First, we have a segment I like to call “John Roberts: In or Out (of the Federalist Society, That Is)” Q It was reported, as you know, that he was in the Federalist Society, which is an important legal group in the conservative — on the conservative side. Then the White House said, no, it was not the case. And now it appears that he was part of the leadership group. What is the real story here? MR. McCLELLAN: He has no memory of ever joining or … Continue reading Today on Holden’s Obsession With The Gaggle, Holden’s On Vacation

Joe Wilson History Lesson

Stephen Crockett reminds us of something I think is getting a little lost in all the back and forth blather about what Joe Wilson said and when he said it. Namely, what an unbelievable badass this guy was during the First Gulf War: Wilson had served as an Ambassador to Iraq. He had faced down Saddam Hussein on behalf of the American government. Wilson understood both the power and limits of Iraq’s threat to peace under Saddam Hussein. He was certainly no friend or supporter of the Iraqi dictator. The freepi and their “grown up” minders aren’t just smearing any … Continue reading Joe Wilson History Lesson


The procedure of the judgment is described in Matthew 25:31-46, and in the Apocalypse 20:12. Commentators see in those passages allegorical descriptions intended to convey in a vivid manner the fact that in the last judgment the conduct and deserts of each individual will be made plain not only to his own conscience but to the knowledge of the assembled world. It is probable that no words will be spoken in the judgment, but that in one instant, through a Divine illumination, each creature will thoroughly understand his own moral condition and that of every fellow creature (Romans 2:15). — … Continue reading Judgment

Newspaper Blogging

Atrios is wondering why alt weeklies haven’t been all over the blogging thing. For my part, it’s pet peeve of mine, newspapers’ “official” blogs. I think a lot of them either have nothing to say or say such good stuff it shames the rest of the paper’s commentary and criticism. I’d rather newspapers (alt weeklies included) do what newspapers are good at, or better yet, come up with something new all their own instead of jumping on the latest fad in yet another more-desperate-than-a-prom-date attempt to garner new readers. Not all journalists make good bloggers. But, since I’ve been meaning … Continue reading Newspaper Blogging