Saturday, April 23, 2005

Everybody's doing it!

Margot, Margot, Margot:
A political scandal is engulfing the Social Democrat Party in Sweden. Hitherto it had only affected small fry, but this week it has washed up to the doors of the two possible successors to the job of PM Goran Persson. Pär Nuder and our own self styled [European Union] Commissioner for Public Relations, the blessed Margot [Wallstrom].

The bottom line is that in Sweden private donations are frowned upon, and parties are funded by the state. Each party gets money per paid up member. Over the past couple of weeks it has become apparent that members of the SDP were engaged in a vast enterprise of looting of the public coffers. An enterprise which is somewhat looked down on in prudish Sweden.
I guess the prudes in Sweden are getting the same kind of education as the ones in Canada, eh? And what is it about left wing politicos and the public purse? I suspect it's a result of always viewing the plunder as "the government's money," but I really do admire the idea of the hitting up the taxpayers for a stipend based on the number of paid-up party members. If we tried that in the USA, the Donks would have more party members in large cities than there were citizens. On the other hand, the concept of "paid up" is clearly too discriminatory for US leftoid tastes. Heck, to hear the Democrats tell it, whole herds of their voters don't even have any personal identification.

As for Margot's current job as EU PR czar - You are now part of the project:
"It is the first time that senior editors from both public and commercial Television, Radio and Online news outlets have been asked to contribute directly to the development of a new European Commission communication strategy".
As readers of this blog will be aware the purpose of the simpering Swede (and now [we] learn corrupt and simpering Swede) is to improve the Commission's information and public relations policy. Having realised that having a multi million team of over 200 press officers doesn't seem to help she has decided to co-opt the private and national public sector. Thus the conference.
I am also considering inviting you, every year, to propose programmes aimed at national or regional audiences and describing how EU policies affect ordinary people. For 2006 we are considering significantly increasing the budget for calls for proposals of this kind, so that as many as 70 TV stations and 100 radio broadcasters could be involved. The best proposals would be awarded a contract and we would place at your disposal the Commission’s technical facilities."
What this looks like to me is a massive power grab, as private and nationalised broadcasters compete for resources by producing more and more EU friendly copy. Those programme makers who retain independence would be cut out of the financial loop.
You have to admire the bald-faced arrogance of it, don't you? On the other hand, since Margot mentions "online news outlets," maybe she'd toss some dough my way! Here's my proposal: a massive weekly series of lengthy pictorial posts with the theme "EU good! Margot hot!." Make the check out to cash, Margot.

Update: I'm ready!

Friday, April 22, 2005

Who knew those stolid Canadians had such a talent for larceny?

It's not just about ripping off the Canadian taxpayers anymore. Now it's United Nations kleptocrats and Saddam bucks. (Hat tip: London Fog)

UPDATE: If that wasn't bad enough - Bono is 'annoyed' with Paul Martin's delay on foreign aid hike. The good news, of course, is that while the airbrain is humping the PM's leg, he isn't annoying the rest of us.

Something's stirring in tofu land

Marin County, California once again leads the way - Sexy, sassy and strutting their stuff:
On a Friday night in San Anselmo, 18 women are invoking the goddess. Before them isn’t a New Age crystal or a statue of some Hindu goddess. No, before them is a pair of black satin, 7-inch-high platform heels, and the women, sitting on colorful mirrored and tapestry pillows in a semicircle, are listening to Diane Greenberg talk about women’s divine sensuality and the gift of sharing it with others. Of celebrating one’s beauty. Of the sacredness of stripping.
Who knew?
And so a half-dozen 40- to 60-something women — gathered on a rainy Tuesday night for a weekly burlesque class — walk, eyeing themselves in the mirrors before them. But it’s not just any walk; it’s a pointy-toed, hip-swaying, look-at-me, leg-stretching sassy strut. A lady of the evening walk. And they are clearly loving it.
A funny thing has happened with female confidence-building and bonding. It’s taken a decidedly erotic turn.

But it’s not just a soccer-mom, baby-boomer version of “Girls Gone Wild.” Instuctors say they noticed a marked increase in interest in the sensuality-fueled classes they’ve been offering in Marin dance studios and gyms in the past year. It’s women’s liberation, but not our mother’s liberation.
Practicing to be a street walker isn't on Granny's list either.
“Women are just two seconds away from awakening. We turn each other on,” says Greenberg, a Novato resident and former professional dancer who teaches “The Sacred Art of the Striptease.” “Women have an appetite. We just don’t have permission.”
More heaping doses of Marin County blather by following the link.

Pondscum alert!

Why Dodd fights Bolton:
Why did Monday's Democratic assault on John Bolton at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee have so little to do with how he would perform as U.S. ambassador at the United Nations and so much about Cuban biological warfare?

It may be partially explained by tactical considerations. But the more significant reason is Sen. Christopher Dodd's long-range goal of normalized relations with Fidel Castro.
I wonder Fidel has on ole Chris? Maybe it's pictures of the solon in a waitress sandwich? And if you're curious as to what kind of State Department employee Chris would like to see:
Bolton also came under fire from Dodd for questioning CIA officer Fulton Armstrong's assessment on Cuban arms.
But should Armstrong have been free of criticism? During his tenure as assistant secretary of state, Reich on several occasions asked, without success, that Armstrong be removed. This CIA analyst was notorious inside the national security bureaucracy for faulty judgments on not only Cuba but also Haiti, Venezuela and Colombia.

To his critics, Armstrong always favored positions of such anti-U.S. heads of state as Haiti's Jean-Bertrand Aristide and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez. It is doubtful that Democratic senators questioning Bolton, other than Dodd, knew about Armstrong's background.
I'd say that was being real charitable to the other Donks.

It's all in the family!

The NY Sun reveals A Kennedy Relative Acted as Informant in Democrat Circles:
A New Orleans political consultant who is Senator Kennedy's brother-in-law, Raymond Reggie, has been operating in Democratic circles for the last three years as an undercover informant for the FBI, sources close to the matter said yesterday.
Ted's going to be grumpy if he sobers up!
The New York Sun reported yesterday that an unnamed witness with ties to a prominent political figure has been involved in recent federal investigations of campaign fund-raising violations, including a probe into alleged financial misreporting in Mrs. Clinton's bid for the Senate in 2000. The informant, described in court papers only as a "confidential witness," was part of an FBI plan to secretly audiotape conversations with political operatives, including a well-known person who prosecutors said was seeking to funnel donations from foreigners to federal campaigns.

Several people with knowledge of the case identified Reggie as the informant described in the Sun article.
Hill and Bill are going to be grumpy too! Hit the link for more details on the kind of sleazy hustler the Clintons always seem to get hooked up with, but leave it to the NY Post to provide the little details we love so much:
Reggie hobnobbed at the very top Democratic levels. A month after he'd raised $100,000 for Hillary Clinton's Senate campaign in 2000, Bill Clinton invited him to a state dinner for the king of Morocco — and a sleepover at the White House.

Reggie told The Times-Picayune of New Orleans that he and his wife later got a post-midnight knock on their bedroom door. The Clintons had come to chat.
Pajama party! Or worse.

And speaking of the dysfunctional duo and hot steaming cash - Senators Dorgan and Kerry try to block a report on Clinton-era abuses:
Perhaps you remember Henry Cisneros. He's the former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development who pleaded guilty in 1999 to lying to FBI investigators during his pre-appointment background check about hush payments to a former mistress, on which it also happens he hadn't paid the requisite taxes.

Well, the special counsel report investigating all this still hasn't been made public, thanks largely to procedural roadblocks by Mr. Cisneros's attorneys. And now, all of a sudden, a rash of news stories and editorials are urging Independent Counsel David Barrett to wrap up his investigation forthwith, without releasing his findings.
Er, why's that? Turns out the Clintons were using the IRS to cover up ole Henry's hanky panky.
So what don't Democrats want everyone to know? We're told that early on the Barrett probe moved away from Mr. Cisneros and his mistress and focused on an attempted cover-up by the Clinton Administration, especially involving the IRS.
What else would you expect from those two?

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Today's Hoot!

She heard some of our conversation and chimes in "So yeah, if you're interested we're petitioning the church not to ratify this Pope."

Ratify? The Pope?

Oblivious to my frightened stare, she continued "We're getting a petition going and then maybe a march somewhere to get the Cardinals to not confirm this guy as Pope." I stammer a reply that he isn't ratified.. he's been selected. Done deal, got the cool hat and the new name and the roman numerals, finito.

"Oh, well, then we need to pressure these guys to put someone more liberal in there.. someone who's not a tool for the neocons."

Neocons again?

"Its a college, right? So they can take tenure away from the cardinals in the college if they don't impeach this guy. If we all band together, we can do it. We just have to get it to the President of the college.. that's the leader of Rome, I think".

Jeeeesus Murphy and his 21 piece orchestra. I say nothing. What can I say?
Thankfully, the heartbreak of terminal flatulence is rare. But not as rare as it should be.

A bow to the pros

The USA's Democrat party is well known for its innovations in obtaining the votes of the dead, deranged, dubiously registered, and derelict. In the latter case, the going rate always used to be a pack of cigarettes, but I don't how how long that can last if the "clients" hear about what the French are up to - EU denies free air ticket bribes for Yes vote in French poll
The European Commission denied yesterday it was bribing French voters to vote Yes in next month's referendum on the draft constitution.

That was despite its unveiling a scheme to offer free and subsidised transatlantic air tickets to residents of Martinique and France's other overseas territories and departments.

Under France's colonial traditions, Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana and Tahiti are legally treated as parts of the mainland and are known in French as "Dom-Toms". That grants residents of those palm-fringed corners of the world a perfect right to vote in the French constitutional poll on May 29.

In the 1992 French referendum on the Maastricht treaty, the result, which was decided by a margin of less than one per cent, was swung in favour of the Yes camp at the last moment, when France announced the fortuitous arrival of huge numbers of Yes votes from the Dom-Toms.
That was lucky, I'm sure! The first Mayor Daley was similarly lucky when the votes finally came in for JFK from all the urban wards in Chicago in the 1960 election.
The commission said it had approved a French request to offer state aid to "offset the permanent disadvantage suffered by the inhabitants of Martinique" and other Dom-Toms trying to reach the EU, thousands of miles away.
A commission spokesman "categorically denied" the decision was linked to polls showing a steady majority for the No camp in France. But Chris Heaton-Harris, a Tory MEP, said: "It is outrageous. The commission clearly thinks 250 euros a year will do the trick again."
Maybe George Soros can kick in a few more bucks to the Donks to bridge this price gap.

A hat tip to EU Referendum which has the latest polling numbers.

Remember, kids! You can't spell fun without the UN!

Muppets Come Under Oil-For-Food Scrutiny:
Authorities believe that Muppet proximity to the UN Secretary General and his wife make for "very strange bedfellows." Two of the five Muppets pictured here are expected to be indicted this week. Mr. Annan remains above indictment because of congenital stupidity.
Actually, it's satire, but it's hard to tell these days as more United Nations scalawags get revealed every day. What would you expect when the operative philosophy at the UN seems to be "If it moves, screw it. If it doesn't move, steal it" and the head honcho, Kofi Annan, claims to be "exonerated" because he never noticed all the raping and plundering going on around him.

Of course, that was cast into some doubt too after Roger Simon revealed that two of the three field investigators on Paul Volcker's team resigned because the Volcker committee was letting Kofi off the hook.

Then there's Deputy Secretary General Louise Frechette. who personally intervened to keep the Oil-for-Food program from being audited and Kofi's bosom chum and Special UN Envoy to the Korean Peninsula, Maurice Strong, who just "suspended his work" after turning out to be a business partner of one of the shady characters in the Oil-for-Food racket.

Gosh, with all these hijinks going on, you'd think the Mainstream Media would be circling like sharks. They're circling all right, but what they are circling are the wagons. Hey, they wouldn't want to do anything embarassing like report that Emperor Kofi is up to his neck in scandal - they might get kicked off the gravy train at the UN Correspondents Association. Besides, ole Kofi has some heap big plans:
Yet more scandal at the United Nations? Secret deals, millions in bribes, leading to billions in global kickbacks? What to do?

Have no fear, reform is here. The United Nations has already put in place a sweeping set of improvements, with Secretary-General Kofi Annan reorganizing and streamlining the world body to bring about, according to a U.N. reform dossier, "a culture of greater openness, coherence, innovation and confidence."
[yadda, yadda]
All of which sounds terrific. Except that the reforms cited above, heralding the new era of openness, coherence, competence, integrity and improved peacekeeping are all plucked from a U.N. dossier released almost three years ago, in June 2002. These reforms were shepherded through by Mr. Annan starting in the late 1990s, with the help of his handpicked special adviser, Undersecretary-General Maurice Strong.
Bwahaha! They sure worked out good, didn't they! And it's ole Maurice Strong turning up again like a bad penny. You can't make this stuff up!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

We missed the big SPECTRE shindig!

But all the malefactors of great wealth were there plotting their schemes - Soros says be patient:
George Soros told a carefully vetted gathering of 70 likeminded millionaires and billionaires last weekend that they must be patient if they want to realize long-term political and ideological yields from an expected massive investment in “startup” progressive think tanks.

The Scottsdale, Ariz., meeting, called to start the process of building an ideas production line for liberal politicians, began what organizers hope will be a long dialogue with the “partners,” many from the high-tech industry. Participants have begun to refer to themselves as the Phoenix Group.
"Phoenix Group"? SPECTRE is much cooler!
Rob Stein, a veteran of President Bill Clinton’s Commerce Department and of New York investment banking, convened the meeting of venture capitalists, left-leaning moneymen and a select few D.C. strategists on how to seed pro-Democratic think tanks, media outlets and leadership schools to compete with such entrenched conservative institutions as the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute and the Leadership Institute.
I'm a tad puzzled why something new is required since they already control academia and most of the media and large foundations; run a variety of nonprofit front groups; and have such hoary leftoid thinktanks as the Brookings Institution and the Institute for Policy Studies to carry their water.
Sarah Ingersoll, de facto spokeswoman for Stein’s Democracy Alliance, said it was “a very preliminary meeting of committed donors interested in building a community to support progressive infrastructure.”

The Democracy Alliance will act as a clearinghouse and is expected to channel much of its money to new organizations and existing ones such as John Podesta’s Center for American Progress and David Brock’s Media Matters for America.
See, I knew they wouldn't forget their old flying monkey pals! And what better way to say you care, than some freshly laundered greenbacks!

Meanwhile, at SPECTRE's biggest subsidiary:
Senior Democratic National Committee (DNC) officials were quietly briefed about the meeting in recent weeks. DNC Chairman Howard Dean was aware of it, in part though his friendship with Stein, but one senior DNC source said the organizers “kept that list [of attendees] kind of tight.”
One source at the DNC with direct knowledge of the agenda said that the Phoenix Group had three specific goals at the outset. It wants to create liberal think tanks, training camps for young progressives and media centers.
I like the training camps idea, myself. We'll just call 'em The Soros Youth.

That'll stop all the wussy whining

Vatican Spins Off U.S. Catholic Church:
In one of his first official moves, Pope Benedict XVI today announced that the Vatican would "spin off" the U.S. division of the Roman Catholic church, but retain a 49-percent stake in the new entity, called R.C. Lite.
To counter Pope Benedict's dogmatic conservatism, several church sources said America's leading Roman Catholic politician, Sen. John F. Kerry, D-MA, is considered a shoo-in for the New-World Papacy.

"We need a pope with nuanced ideas," said one unnamed U.S. Bishop. "He needs to be a uniter, not a divider. He can't be afraid to change his deeply-held convictions in light of shifting public opinion. He must be courageous enough to keep his beliefs separate from his behavior and decision making."

If Mr. Kerry accepts the R.C. Lite leadership post, insiders say he will assume the name Benadryl XIII.
Pope Benadryl should make his first priority "reaching out" to Andrew Sullivan.

Strange ways

(Via FR) Ukraine’s Yushchenko Starts Anti-Corruption Campaign With Bath Ban. That stinks! Well, not exactly:
Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has started the corruption clean-up campaign with an informal ban on visiting bath houses (banyas) for government officials, The Independent daily reports.
Shades of San Francisco!
“It’s all about showing the new face of Ukraine,” presidential spokesperson Irina Gerashchenko said.
I'll say!
“It’s no secret that you get all kinds of unsavory types there, and they are not the people with whom officials should be mixing.”

New Ukrainian authorities believe that a traditional place where Ukrainians, and indeed Russians, go every week to wash away their sins has become the check point where officials are nobbled by corrupt businessmen, the paper writes.

In the modern Russian and Ukrainian tradition the banya has become a staple of business culture, often replacing informal meetings and even business dinners.
OK, whatever you say. Follow the link for a fetching snap of bath house denizens.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Cookie's ringing the dinner bell down at the chuckwagon!

But not so fast, pardner - USDA to unveil Nutrition Frowny Face:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is retiring the Nutrition Pyramid, that familiar triangle crammed with assorted comestibles which has graced a wall on every grade school in America for 15 years. To replace the outmoded pyramid, the USDA has designed a brand new icon to reflect the very latest culinarily correct nutrition standards.
For yet undisclosed reasons, the department rejected these designs, and approved the new icon to be unveiled tomorrow: the "Nutrition Frowny Face." This graphic, shaped like a stylized wincing human visage, segregates all foods into two broad categories: "Food You Can't Stand," and "Food You Like." The "Can't Stand" category is further subdivided into three groups: Smelly Food, Foreign Food, and Revolting Food. The government now recommends 18 daily servings of Food You Can't Stand, while Food You Like is not recommended at all in any quantity whatsoever.
Sheesh, leave it to the government to spoil the party. Hit the link for the pictures and I'll bet that you, like me, prefer the rejected Food Martini design.

Actually, that was Sean Gleeson having a little fun with the bureaucrats. The real deal is described in One-Size-Fits-All Food Pyramid Is Replaced:
Concerned about steadily expanding waistlines, the government flipped the food pyramid on its side, adding a staircase for exercise and giving consumers 12 individually-tailored models for improving their eating habits.

Inside the pyramid released Tuesday, rainbow-colored bands representing different food groups run vertically from the tip to the base.
Zzzz ... take a gander at it here. Even the Frowny Face is better - it actually has little pictures of food.

And while we're on the subject - Obesity Danger May Have Been Overstated:
CHICAGO - Being overweight is nowhere near as big a killer as the government thought, ranking No. 7 instead of No. 2 among the nation's leading preventable causes of death, according to a startling new calculation from the CDC.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated Tuesday that packing on too many pounds accounts for 25,814 deaths a year in the United States. As recently as January, the CDC came up with an estimate 14 times higher: 365,000 deaths.
Gives you confidence, doesn't it? But what about all that whining about obesity that's been going on?
CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding said because of the uncertainty in calculating the health effects of being overweight, the CDC is not going to use the brand-new figure of 25,814 in its public awareness campaigns and is not going to scale back its fight against obesity.
Fake but accurate, I guess. I wonder if the bureaucrats pick up the clue phone when it rings?

Ruh Oh!

No more Carmen Miranda - Biden Claims Bolton Staring at Him During Hearing:
Sen. Joseph Biden, D-DE, today asked the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to prevent President Bush's nominee for U.N. Ambassador, John Bolton, from staring at him during confirmation hearings.

"Mr. Chairman, he's looking at me again," said Sen. Biden. "Make him stop looking at me."
How awful! And there's more - Bolton Denies Boxer's Claim: 'I Am Not the Walrus':
In perhaps the most substantive attack to date on President Bush's nominee for U.N. Ambassador, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-CA, today accused undersecretary of state John Bolton of secretly engineering the British invasion of American pop music in the 1960s.
Mrs. Boxer based her allegations on anonymous reports from terrified former schoolmates who said Mr. Bolton not only bought Beatles albums, but encouraged others to do so, "and brutally disparaged American jazz and big band music."
How low can you go?

Hey, wait a sec - it's ScrappleFace. But it's sure hard to tell.

Err America Hijinks!

Brian C. Anderson in the LA Times (!) - Why the Liberals Can't Keep Air America From Spiraling In:
The liberal Air America Radio, just past its first birthday, has probably enjoyed more free publicity than any enterprise in recent history. But don't believe the hype: Air America's left-wing answer to conservative talk radio is failing, just as previous efforts to find liberal Rush Limbaughs have failed.

Wait a second, you say, didn't I read that Air America has expanded to more than 50 markets? That's true, but let's put things in perspective: Conservative pundit and former Reagan official William J. Bennett's morning talk show, launched at the same time as Air America, reaches nearly 124 markets, including 18 of the top 20, joining the growing ranks of successful right-of-center talk programs (Limbaugh is still the ratings leader, drawing more than 15 million listeners a week).

And look at Air America's ratings: They're pitifully weak, even in places where you would think they'd be strong. WLIB, its flagship in New York City, has sunk to 24th in the metro area Arbitron ratings — worse than the all-Caribbean format it replaced, notes the Radio Blogger. In the liberal meccas of San Francisco and Los Angeles, Air America is doing lousier still.
Randi Rhodes or steel drum music? It's so hard to choose!
So why do liberals fare so poorly on air? Some on the left say it's because liberals are, well, smarter and can't convey their sophisticated ideas to the rubes who listen to talk radio.
So that's why Al Franken's comedy isn't funny!
Former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, whose own stint as a talk-show host was a ratings disaster, gave canonical expression to this self-serving view. Conservatives "write their messages with crayons," he maintained. "We use fine-point quills."
Based on observing Mario over the years, I'd say his only fine-point is on his head.

More low amusement by following the link, but I liked:
If some liberals had their way, Congress would regulate political talk radio out of existence. Their logic is that scrapping Air America would be no loss if it also meant getting Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and Bennett off the air.

To accomplish this, New York Democratic Rep. Maurice D. Hinchey has proposed reviving the Fairness Doctrine to protect "diversity of view," and John Kerry recently sent out some signals that he too thought that might be a good idea.
Oh gosh, it's the Lurchster and wingnut Maurice! C'mon Maury, tell us again how Rathergate was a Karl Rove plot.

But it turns out that Maury is late to the party - Democrats long for 'Fairness Doctrine': Congresswoman seeks to lessen impact of talk radio by resurrecting law. For those of you too young to remember the 'Fairness Doctrine," it was a joke in view of persistent MSM bias. It was just another way of regulating speech that the limousine liberals didn't want to allow. Which is, of course, why they want it back.

A learning experience?

The grad student shot in a home-invasion horror on the Upper West Side is a peace activist who hails from a small Pennsylvania town and moved to the Big Apple only last year, friends said yesterday.

Keith Whitmoyer, a 24-year-old philosophy student at the New School, is battling lung and stomach wounds in St. Luke's Hospital after Sunday's vicious attack. He was shot in front of his terrified fiancée after a thug followed her into their building on West 108th Street and pushed his way into the apartment, demanding cash.

After robbing the pair, the burglar appeared to linger, prompting Whitmoyer to ask, "Are you going to shoot me now?" The thug then pumped three bullets into him.
I recall the story of a writer of crime dramas who rode around for months with friends in the LAPD to get police procedural background and observed that many of the homicide cases involved folks who said, "Go ahead, shoot me!" They did.
Whitmoyer and van Leeuwen are human-rights activists and volunteer with "The War Resistors League," friends said.
Maybe he has learned something. Probably not.

Monday, April 18, 2005

A rootin' tootin' good time!

That's what Howie Dean has been having in California. When he wasn't busy telling folks what a great political issue Terri Schiavo's starvation death is, he was complaining about big money political donors - Republican ones:
Even though the biggest money donors in the last election cycle were Democrats, DNC chairman Howard Dean complained this week that Republicans have been "utterly corrupted" by the process.

"The reason we need you to give money is because the political process on both sides - but particularly on the Republican side - has been utterly corrupted by people who give huge amounts of money from large corporations," Dean told a high school audience in Vancouver, Ore.
Howie enjoys the big lie, apparently. For years, the Republicans have been the party of the small, individual, hard money donor. As for the Donks:
The top Democrat made no mention of donors like George Soros or Peter Lewis, who spent upwards of $50 million between them to try to defeat George Bush in last year's presidential election.
And made a candidate out of Howie, who had negligible public support as the primaries demonstrated so clearly. Hmm, maybe that's why he's trying to change the subject!

Sunday, April 17, 2005

I don't remember that part of the movie

Maria meets El Mariachi

Today's Hoot!

Mark Steyn's Bolton's just too hip for scaredy-cat Dems:
Boy, this confirmation battle over John Bolton, the president's plain-spoken nominee for U.N. ambassador, is really heating up. Sen. Barbara Boxer, the Democratic Party's comely obstructionist, has charged that Bolton needs ''anger management lessons.''

I don't know about you, but nothing makes me want to hurl a chair through the window and punch someone's lights out like being told I need anger management lessons.
Especially when the teller is that fuzz brain, Babs "Wingnut" Boxer.
So I was interested to hear about the kind of violent Boltonian eruptions that had led Boxer to her diagnosis. Well, here it comes. (If you've got young children present, you might want to take them out of the room.) From the shockingly brutal testimony of Thomas Fingar, assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of Intelligence Research:

Q: Could you characterize your meeting with Bolton? Was he calm?

Fingar: No, he was angry. He was standing up.

Q: Did he raise his voice to you? Did he point his finger in your face?

Fingar: I don't remember if he pointed. John speaks in such a low voice normally. Was it louder than normal? Probably. I wouldn't characterize it as screaming at me or anything like that. It was more, hands on hips, the body language as I recall it, I knew he was mad.

He was ''standing up'' with ''hands on hips''! Who's he think he is -- Carmen Miranda?
Dang, that's scary!
As for the job Bolton's up for, what would make Barbara Boxer and Joe Biden put their hands on hips? Child sex rings run from U.N. peacekeeping operations? Sudan sitting on the Human Rights Commission while it licenses mass murder in Darfur? Kofi Annan's son doing a $30,000-a-year job but somehow having a spare quarter-million dollars to invest in a Swiss soccer club? There are tides in the affairs of men when someone has to put his hands on his hips and toss his curls. And, if the present depraved state of the U.N. isn't one of them, nothing is. Unlike most of the multilateral blatherers, John Bolton is hip to that.
I'm waiting for the Donk wussies to bring up the WaPo haircut critique.

I'm so excited!

Democrats Adjust Social Security Stance:
WASHINGTON - House Democrats have decided to quit emphasizing that they will not negotiate changes to Social Security until President Bush drops his idea for private accounts. The switch in strategy comes after Democrats learned from focus groups that people frown on the lawmakers for being obstinate.
The Democrat party can't break wind without a focus group. Hmmm, this really is good news!
"People feel like it doesn't show a good-faith effort," said a top House aide, who like several others spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the internal data. "It makes us seem like we're `typical politicians.'"
As opposed to what, exactly?