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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

I'm busy. Talk amongst yourselves. Or check out some of the fine blogs linked to your right. Or do what you're actually being paid for. Cuz I'm going to be a little busy for a few days, and I definitely won't be blogging anywhere near last week's rate.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Box Turtle's Taint. Just because we don't have Ben Domenech to kick around anymore, that certainly doesn't mean the fun is over. Behold, the taint of BenDom.

Fat Kitties. You know you love them.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Congratulations to The Commodore for claiming victory in the 2nd Annual Your Logo Here NCAA Tournament Challenge. Nobody in the pool has LSU, UCLA, Florida, or the Cinderella team of the year, George Mason, reaching the finals. And so it is done. Crack Your Skull was the first loser coming in at 2nd Place. Axis of Evel and the Nut Busters tied for 3rd Place. Had Villanova won, Axis would have taken the Major Award for a second year in a row, driving Mrs.AxisofEvelKnievel crazy by placing the Matchbox cars next to Don, The Undercover Ninja Turtle. My bracket finished in 5th, Airpolonia was 6th, procfreak in 7th, and Tibbylicious gets a ribbon for participating.

As soon as I have The Commodore's mailing address, your loot will be in the mail. And no backing out. You knew the terms and conditions of entry. I'll be damned if I'm going to keep these things any longer.

Plagiarism, plagiarism, plagiarism everywhere.
While we've been piling on BenDom the past week, he's really just the latest posterboy for a broader conservative movement gone bankrupt. I didn't know that Jerome Corsi, one of the authors of the craptastic Swiftboat book, and Nixon-apologist Monica Crowley are also both plagiarists.

Not bad as a career batting average for a Major League ballplayer. Very bad as a percentage of articles that you plagiarized. The Flat Hat catalogues Box Turtle's work for them.

Question: What do Ben Domenech and Russian President Vladimir Putin have in common?

Answer: They're both plagiarists.
The embarrassing revelation that the former KGB agent may have cheated and lied about his qualifications follows a long search by US scholars for evidence of the President's academic prowess. A copy of the thesis was eventually found in the electronic files of a Moscow technical library.

According to Clifford G. Gaddy, a senior fellow at Brookings, 16 of the 20 pages that open a key section of Mr Putin's work were copied either word for word or with minute alterations from a management study, Strategic Planning and Policy, by US professors William King and David Cleland. The study was translated into Russian by a KGB-related institute in the early 1990s.
Maybe Jim Brady at the Post can hire Putin to write a blog if he doesn't choose Gen. J.C. Christian, patriot.

Hear N Aid. This is too good to leave in the comments. It's like a hair metal who's who. Wikipedia explains.

Meanwhile, back in the real world... Iraq is still a mess. And another piece of evidence that Bush was intent on invading Iraq no matter what. Whaa? I'm shocked.

Recommended viewing: Megadeth, "Peace sells, but who's buying?"
"What is this garbage you're watching? I wanna watch the news!"
"This is the news!"

That guy is totally my brother circa 1986.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

The Golden Goose. Keeps on giving. Another case of BenDom stealing from a future employer.

Yesterday was a whirlwind of activity in the short story of Ben Domenech's life as the's anti-pinko commie Red Dawn blogger. As someone who followed this from the very beginning (see past posts), it was somewhat disappointing that I was driving in the car on the way to get that haircut when I heard on Air America that Box Turtle Ben had resigned. As commenter BlakNo1 said later, "this space looks ripe for gloating."

It was even more disappointing because when I got home, I found my internet connection to be dead. I would put this disappoinetment as second only to our O.M. team's second place finish in the regional competition back on March 20, 1993, a day that will live in infamy.

When the connection finally came back up later last night, I was surprised to see that BenDom had actually posted an apology on Red State for his years of plagiarizing other people's works, and a true apology for calling Coretta Scott King a communist, rather than blaming everyone else for his problems. And all of his brethren at Red State responded with a sober recognition of Ben's crimes against humanity rather than come up with assinine conspiracy theories about how this was a coordinated take-down of Ben planned since 1999.

No, wait...that didn't happen. Eight hours later, presumably after someone noticed Ben down in a hole with a shovel, Ben gave it a second try and admits his wrongs.

Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake has some questions for Jim Brady, the man responsible for bringing us BenDom, the man who gets Wanker of the Day status from Atrios, the man who should also resign. The Flat Hat clarifies a few things, and P.J. O'Rourke says he didn't give BenDom permission to use his stuff.

I had no idea when I put up my first post, Meet Ben Domenich (sic) that things would unravel so quickly. But they did. And that is a good thing. The question remains of whether the Post has learned any lessons from this. I expect that Ben has. But there's the larger issue of media outlets kowtowing to pressure from conservatives to provide a balance to the truth--truthiness. They didn't get away with it this time, but they're certain to try again.

As for me, well, this little blog that I've been keeping up for over two years suddenly went from an average of forty hits a day to 57,723 hits this week. I'm now an "adorable little rodent" in the blogging ecosystem. For all of the new people who have been here this week, I hope that a few of you will stick around after all this dies down. For the regular readers, the ones who know me more for fat kitties, two-headed turtles, and my other same-sex object of obsessive bashing, Scott Stapp, don't worry, I won't forget my roots.

In the meantime, as I said in my first post, , "Behold, the tasty goodness of my blog."

Friday, March 24, 2006

Guest poster alert! James' internet connection has been sapped of its precious bodily essence, so this is his stronger, more intelligent and successful older brother pitching in temporarily to pass on a big YLH "thanks" to all the people who squandered valuable seconds of their lives reading and commenting on his same-sex obsession with Ben Domenech over the past three days. I don't ordinarily extend any sincere credit whatsoever in my brother's direction -- if you met him, perhaps, you'd understand why -- but when Ben choked out his resignation manifesto this afternoon, I felt proud to be related to one of the intrepid bloggers who (in the words of one of yesterday's commenters) handed Ben an anvil on his quick descent into the sea.

My brother and I are both academics, and plagiarism is serious shit. Whether it happens in a college classroom or a college newspaper, we presume that our students are adults and that -- as principled conservatives once liked to remind us -- their ideas and actions have consequences they should be prepared to accept. Ben Domenech not only committed a series of loathsome ethical violations in college and beyond, but today -- confronted with massive evidence of his own pilferage -- he could not even bring himself to utter the words "I fucked up. I stole someone else's ideas without attribution." He comes closest to an admission of guilt when he writes that "While I am not a journalist, I have, myself, written more than one thing that has been plagiarized in the past" — a grammatically-ambiguous sentence that only underscores Ben's venality and stupidity. Instead, he offers a stream of implausible, defensive accusations, blaming everyone but the garden gnomes in his parents' front yard for sabotaging his published record:
Virtually every other alleged instance of plagiarism that I’ve seen comes from a single semester’s worth of pieces that were printed under my name at my college paper, The Flat Hat, when I was 17.

In one instance, I have been accused me of passing off P.J. O'Rourke's writing as my own in a column for the paper. But the truth is that I had met P.J. at a Republican event and asked his permission to do a college-specific version of his classic piece on partying. He granted permission, the piece was cleared with my editors at the paper, and it ran as inspired by O’Rourke’s original.

My critics have also accused me of plagiarism in multiple movie reviews for the college paper. I once caught an editor at the paper inserting a line from The New Yorker (which I read) into my copy and protested. When that editor was promoted, I resigned. Before that, insertions had been routinely made in my copy, which I did not question. I did not even at that time read the publications from which I am now alleged to have lifted material. When these insertions were made, I assumed, like most disgruntled writers would, that they were unnecessary but legitimate editorial additions.

I suppose if Ben ever gets stopped at the border with five condoms of heroin packed into his ass, we can look forward to a similar line of defense.

The Flat Hat has taken notice of Ben Domenech's serial plagiarism and has now added this note to the top of every one of Ben's columns, "Editor's note: It has been brought to the attention of The Flat Hat that Ben Domenech, a writer for The Flat Hat from 1999 to 2001, copied from and failed to cite sources in several articles. The Flat Hat is currently investigating these allegations."

The Flat Hat also writes a Staff Editorial on Ben's serial plagiarism. They, too, think plagiarism is bad.

"I'm not a journalist."
Ben makes the understatement of the year in speaking with Howie Kurtz for this craptacular article. As for the allegation of plagiarism, Ben "said he needed to research the examples but that he never used material without attribution and had complained about a college editor improperly adding language to some of his articles." Yes, maybe it was that meddling college editor who inserted a chapter from P.J. O'Rourke's "Modern Manners" into the entirety of one of your columns, custom-fitting it for the kids in Williamsburg. Not your fault, right, Ben?

So then did that meddling college editor follow you to the New York Press? Reader PB at the [and at DKos] picked up on Ben plagiarizing from his future employer:
'Don't Move! You Just Shot 2 of My Men!'
By Michael Powell and Saundra Torry
Sunday, July 26, 1998; Page A1

Across Constitution Avenue from the Capitol, Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), a heart surgeon and trauma specialist, has just finished speaking on the Senate floor and heads to his Dirksen Building office suite. "Something bad has happened at the Capitol," an aide tells him.

He does what everyone on Capitol Hill does; he looks at the television and sees only standard programming. So Frist grabs a folder and heads out. He's late for his flight already.

As an aide drives him out of a Senate garage, he calls the Capitol's attending physician and finds out two people "are down" at the Capitol.

In his shirtsleeves, Frist gets out of the car and sprints onto the Capitol grounds, past police and camera crews, tourists and reporters, and into a ground-floor door.

A security guard puts his hand up to stop Frist, then realizes who he is.

A man is being wheeled out on a stretcher.

"This was Chestnut," Frist recalls. The officer has massive head trauma. His heart has stopped. He can't breathe. The Capitol physicians have put in a breathing tube.

"You've got to get air into the lungs, you have to compress on the chest," Frist remembers. "I had a medic compressing on the chest, as I was ventilating through the breathing tube, squeezing the bag."

By now, Frist is in the ambulance with his patient, stabilizing him, getting his heart beating again. Three medics are there by now, so Frist sends the ambulance off. He already knows it is a losing battle. "This severe a head trauma, I have seen nobody survive," Frist recalls.
Now, let's see what Ben Domenech wrote in the New York Press three years after the Powell and Torry article:
Across Constitution Ave. from the Capitol, Republican Tennessee Sen. Bill Frist, a heart surgeon and trauma specialist, had just finished speaking on the Senate floor and was headed to his Dirksen Bldg. office suite to pack up for the trip home when a staffer phoned to tell him what happened.

"Something bad is going on at the Capitol," the staffer said
--television stations were reporting that two people were down, seriously injured, and possibly the gunman as well. "You might want to get back here fast."

Frist hung up and told the aide driving the car to turn around and head back to the Capitol. He’d catch another flight back home.

In his shirtsleeves, Frist got out of the car and sprinted onto the Capitol grounds, past police and camera crews, tourists and reporters, and into a ground-floor door. A security guard put his hand up to stop him, then realized who he was.

"Where is it?" asked Frist.

The Senator looked down the hallway into unadulterated carnage. Desperate staffers were tending to an officer with a gaping gunshot wound in his chest, blood pooled on the floor. Frist noticed another man being wheeled out of the Document Entrance on a stretcher. It was Chestnut. Frist, helping the medics carry the stretcher out the door, became a doctor, not a politician, and saw: massive head trauma, a stopped heart, the man unable breathe.

"You’ve got to get air into the lungs, you have to compress on the chest," he yelled over the sirens. The Capitol physicians put in a breathing tube. A medic started compressing Chestnut’s bloodstained chest as Frist ventilated air through the breathing tube, squeezing the bag.
He helped them load the stretcher into the ambulance, then stayed until Chestnut was stabilized. Frist sent the ambulance off knowing that Chestnut was fighting a losing battle.

"This severe a head trauma, I have seen nobody survive," Frist would tell The Washington Post afterward.
Reader Dan who brought this to my attention adds, "My stars, a citation!!!" But I wonder how BenDom's colleagues at the Washington Post feel about his plagiarizing their work. Of course, plagiarism is no big deal, right? Right??

This is how we deal with plagiarists at William & Mary.

But according to the posters at Red State who have decided to stand by their Ben, it's no biggie:
Assume, for a moment, that the plagiarism charge is true. For the sake of argument, assume that.
Now, having accepted this, what are we left with?
1. It is the sole critique of Domenech by the left with any objective merit.
2. It does not have much merit, as the profferred examples are:
-- Old, dating wholly from Domenech's teen years.
-- Confined wholly to movie reviews.
I have always felt that "plagiarist" has been one of the weakest criticisms of someone claiming to be a journalist. There as such more effective molotovs to toss such as "falafel fetish." This, I believe, is a much more effective critique of someone's acumen.

Another of BenDom's defenders writes, "The plagiarism stuff is hardly relevant to Ben's clear talent for writing." Good lord. Do these people even read what they write? Or do they have an army of trained monkeys typing for them?

And for the record, here is how the College of William & Mary actually handles cheaters and plagiarists. (thanks to Dan for the link)

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Ben likes the attention. Really, he does. So I'm sure he is thrilled with Joe Conason's piece on Salon about Ben's little problem with plagiarism, and their documentation of said plagiarism. (I even get a mention)

So it's now only a matter of time before other news outlets start to take notice. Here's a Google news search for BenDom. Not really much right now, but this shitstorm has been brewing for a couple days now, and there's an industrial size fan waiting in the wings.

Update: Holy crap! Is there anything BenDom didn't plagiarize?

More plagiarism. Ben Domenech has a problem. And more plagiarism

Update: I totally missed Cowboy Jesus in the piece of toast. Good on reader Slim for noticing.

Nail? Meet Coffin.
As if we didn't have enough evidence that Ben Domenech was not the smartest hire at the Post, here is one more example.

It would appear that Ben Domenech is a plagiarist.

Thanks to Oregon Guy and anon, we find out that Ben's lyrical stylings on a real party are completely lifted from P.J. O'Rourke's "Modern Manners" - a chapter entitled "Real Parties." I should have known as this is one of the gifts my older brother gave me years ago that did not involve punching me in the nads.
O'Rourke, p.176: Office Christmas parties • Wine-tasting parties • Book-publishing parties • Parties with themes, such as "Las Vegas Nite" or "Waikiki Whoopee" • Parties at which anyone is wearing a blue velvet tuxedo jacket

BenDom: Christmas parties. Wine tasting parties. Book publishing parties. Parties with themes, such as "Las Vegas Nite" or "Waikiki Whoopee." Parties at which anyone is wearing a blue velvet tuxedo jacket.

O'Rourke: It's not a real party if it doesn't end in an orgy or a food fight. • All your friends should still be there when you come to in the morning.

BenDom: It's not a real party if it doesn't end in an orgy or a food fight. All your friends should still be there when you come to in the morning.
And on and on it goes. How do we know this wasn't some misunderstanding? Because BenDom adapted his column to include particular William & Mary references such as the fraternity Psu-U, former President of the College Tim Sullivan, and Sam Sadler, vice president for student affairs.

Been nice knowing you, Ben. Thanks for the memories.

Update: BenDom is back online and issues a weak-ass apology for calling Coretta Scott King a communist. It would seem, then, that he is indeed Augustine of Red State. He also tries to convince that he likes the attention. I don't think you'll like this latest bit, friend.

Update #2: Wouldn't you know it, BenDom had something to say about plagiarism:
And who says there's no fallout from plagiarism? 2/27/02

In other words, famous people can get away with plagiarism as long as they're generous with the positive blurbs. 2/25/02

Chatterbox has a solution to the plagiarism epidemic.... 1/29/02
Fall-out, huh? For the record, William & Mary has strict policies against plagiarism which cover works "submitted for publication in a College-sponsored or other publication."

Update #3: Alex Koppelman points out a quote from an article BenDom wrote for NRO in which he goes all Red Dawn on Rolling Stone:
Indeed, the only solid articles still to be found inside RS's pages are ones by P.J. O'Rourke (their occasional political correspondent).
Ben Domenech. Pure Comedy Gold.

Party On, Ben!
Who knew that Ben Domenech was such a party animal? Okay, we had some indications, but I had no idea that Ben was pro-orgy. On the distinctions between "real parties" and "other social events," Ben says:
Large parties require much more than a gram of cocaine and, usually, other people besides yourself.... It's not a real party if it doesn't end in an orgy or a food fight.
I had no idea you were such a wild and crazy guy, Ben! Other pieces of wisdom from 17 year old Ben:
Whom to invite:
- All neighbors within earshot.
- Everybody you've ever slept with (unless they insist on being accompanied by a lawyer).
- A lawyer of your own.
- Sorority girls who take their clothes off at the slightest provocation.
Such a gentleman that Ben. He also recommends parlor games:
Strip Russian Roulette: a single bullet is put into a revolver. Each player spins the cylinder and pulls the trigger. Anyone who doesn't kill himself has to remove a piece of clothing. Strip Russian roulette's combination of sex and death makes for a highly psychological game.
My, that sounds interesting. Though in my four years at William & Mary, I don't recall a game of Strip Russian roulette ever breaking out, not even at the tuck-in we had during freshman orienation with the lovely ladies of Brown Hall.

Now I fully understand what Ben meant when he said in her first post as the's in-house Red Dawn blogger, "This is a blog for the majority of Americans."

Update: Jane writes a letter.

(hat tip to commenter Rege at the carpetbagger report)
[Picture: The Orgy, c. 1735, Oil on canvas, 62,5 x 75 cm, Sir John Soane's Museum, London]

BenDom. Alex Koppelman has something to say.

Ben, the two of us need look no more
We both found what we were looking for
With a friend to call my own
I'll never be alone
And you my friend will see
You've got a friend in me
(You've got a friend in me)

Regular Programming. NCAA Tourney Challenge is back on tonight! Some sweet match-ups with Duke playing LSU and Gonzaga going against UCLA. Will Airpolonia hold the lead, or will his bracket be like hisblogs--strong start and then fizzling out? Can the Nut Busters move into first? Or will he have to place his hopes on the Axis of Evel Knievel to bring home the major award?

Word is Bond.
Okay, last one before I fall asleep. From Ben's old blog on 4/28/02:
I don't mind that being Puerto Rican probably helped me get in to this school. I had the grades, SAT scores, and (especially) extracurriculars to ensure that I was admitted Early Decision. But I was also designated a William & Mary Scholar.
At the time, being a W&M scholar meant getting four years of in-state tuition and fees covered. The program has since been restructured and the selection process is more involved. And as far as I recall, people got early decision admission because in the application they make a binding commitment to enroll if admitted. It wasn't some sort of special status like Ben makes it out to be. But I digress.

Long story short, Ben claims that an administrator somehow confirmed to him that W&M Scholars were chosen based on ethnicity. And at the thought that he only got the scholarship because he could check "Hispanic" (he's of Puerto Rican ancestry), he "could feel nothing but disgust."

Now here's the money quote:
Someday, when I can stand on my own two feet financially, I will pay back the College for their scholarship.
Ben is now gainfully employed by the as their in-house anti-pinko-commie Red Dawn blogger.

The question then is: Is Ben a man of his word? Ben attended W&M for three years from Fall 99 through Spring 02 before dropping out. That amounts to $14076 in tuition and fees that Ben pledged to return. Maybe he can work out an installment plan.

(kudos to my Legal Counsel for this find)

Ben during his many years of active duty service playing "Contra."
Thanks to reader M.O. for the picture.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Ben's greatest hits.
Before any scrubbing starts, I got a screencap of Ben Domenech, aka Augustine, calling Coretta Scott King a communist. Here's a cropped version:

Drink, Ben, Drink!
As we continue to familiarize ourselves with the Post's new conservative blogger, 24 year old Ben Domenech, we learn that Ben might not be the complete stiff that his affection for Antonin Scalia suggests that he is. Here's a funny story from someone on livejournal who apparently used to work with Ben at the Flat Hat, the W&M student newspaper.
When I was a sophomore in college, there was a young conservative boy who worked with me at the college paper. He would follow me around a bit, asking me lots of questions about how I wrote my column, and being a bit odd in terms of social grace. He was a homeschooled lad with an "aw shucks, you liberals are like animals at the zoo" attitude. He viewed everyone as a liberal.

As the year went on, he developed a bit of an adoration for me. I say this not in some kind of bragging way, but because it led to one of the strangest moments of my life. He showed up at Psi U for Halloween, wearing khakis and a blue blaze, a goofy tie on with his dress shirt. "What are you supposed to be?" the doorman asked. "I'm Jon!" he said, raising a notepad with a heading that said "Confusion Corner" on it.

For those who don't get the costume, in addition to writing a weekly humor column called Confusion Corner, I was also a member of the premier college acappella group, the Gentlemen of the College, who wore khakis, blue blazers and wacky ties.

Anyway, the moment of having someone dressed as me for halloween has always stuck out as one of those "is that my fifteen minutes of fame" moments in my life. I will alsways remember it fondly.

Today, I found out what my old friend and wannabe protege was up to. His name, by the way: Ben Domenech.
Funny, no? But it gets better. A poster by the name of "btdome" shows up and leaves the following comment:
As I recall, the reason for that costume was a bet, combined with a large amount of alcohol (at least for a freshman). But which of us ever did something stupid when they were seventeen? Heh.
Why, it's Ben Domenich! That meme about homeschool kids being the ones who go a little crazy once they leave home seems to hold true in this case. Ben is right though, who didn't do a little underage drinking in college? So let's not fault Ben for this. He was just a crazy 17 year old kid trying to find his way in this world. It's not like there are any pictures of Ben doing unnatural things with box turtles. Are there?

But it doesn't end there. Ben leaves another comment responding to well wishes on his success:
Ha - in this case, I think "success" may not be worth it, if said success means that half the blogosphere paints you as a racist homophobe on day one.
Poor Ben. Imagine that, people getting the wrong idea about Ben just because he called Coretta Scott King a communist on the day of her funeral. I, for one, did not call him a racist or a homophobe. Like Ben, I think name-calling lowers the discourse. Oh, wait, I did call him an asshat. Hopefully Ben's feelings aren't too hurt. Nothing a viewing of "Red Dawn" can't cure, I'm sure.

Even Ben doesn't listen to himself.
In his third installment of the blog sensation sweepting the nation, Red Dawn America, Ben Domenech does his best to convince us that he is amused by the firestorm created by his hiring, calling it an "impressive reaction." In jest, Ben says:
I'm happy that no one's engaged in any ridiculous hyperbole, unfounded accusations or unintentionally hilarious name-calling. We can all agree that such things lower the quality of debate on the Internet, play to the worst side of our knee-jerk partisan nature and have no place in the modern public square.
By name-calling, does Ben mean calling Coretta Scott King a "communist"?
Do statements such as "Al Gore can suck it" lower the quality of debate? Granted, regular readers know that I've done a good deal myself to lower the quality of debate. But the Post would never hire me because my father wasn't Jack Abramoff's man in Interior.

Ben also says that they'll be rolling out comments soon. I cannot wait.

I Love Ben Domenech. Who knew that a post about a 24 year old conservative hack at the Post is all it would take to get 10,000+ 20,000+ hits a day? All this time, I thought it'd be fat kitties, ruminations on donuts, or that video of a monkey washing a cat (though it has been pointed out that it's likely a chimp, not a monkey, but really, "monkey" scores higher on the comedic scale than "chimp" when it comes to washing a cat.)

Update: This is funny.

Run, Stephen, Run!
Ben, it IS you! Via RedDan, here's some more information regarding the quest for "Augustine," Ben Domenech's suspected screenname at Red State. From Hotline:
Later that p.m., a RedState post titled "We Need John Shadegg" was posted by "The Directors" -- Krempasky, Ben "Augustine" Domenech, Erick Erickson and Clayton Wagar -- urging in bright red oversized letters: "Call (202) 224-3121 and urge your congressman to support John Shadegg for Majority Leader. This matters."
So the National Journal's Hotline says that Ben Domenech is, in fact, the poster Augustine. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find the choicest Augustine post and ask the Washington Post why they employ someone who referred to the recently deceased Coretta Scott King as a "communist" and how this adds to the substantive debate. They're already getting an earful on the that people aren't taking to Ben's lyrical stylings.

Update: Even more evidence that Ben is Augustine. Thanks to Amanda from ThinkProgress for the info.

Ben, is that you? RedDan has a theory that Ben Domenech has posted at the conservative blog, Red State, under the pseudonym "Augustine." I think he may be on to something. Augustine always ends his posts with the line, "This story shall the good man teach his son," from Henry V. Ben Domenech likes to reference Henry V.

Either way, here is what "Augustine" had to say about the Coretta Scott King's funeral:
The President visits the funeral of a Communist. And phones in a message to the March for Life. I think we can get a little pissed about this.
Way to respect the dead, asshat.

So, two questions:
1. Are "Augustine" and Ben Domenech the same person?
2. Does the Post truly believe that calling Coretta Scott King a communist is adding substantively to the national debate?

You can read all of "Augustine"'s comments at Red State here.

Update: Ben, it IS you!

More fun with the Domenech family. Turns out, Daddy Domenech has some connections with Jack Abramoff.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Meet Ben Domenich.
The question of the day is how Ben Domenech, a 24 year old with little journalistic experience who lists among his credientials being the "youngest political appointee of President George W. Bush", was hired by the Washington Post to be their conservative blogger providing balance to...I dunno, their editorial page which was gung-ho for the war in Iraq.

Here's an interesting tidbit about Ben Domenech. Turns out Ben isn't the only Bush appointee in the family. His dad, Doug Domenech, former Loudon County Republican Committee Chairman, was appointed in January, 2002, as the White House Liaison for the Department of the Interior.

How do I know this? Ben Domenech said so.

Perusing an old blog of Ben's, here's some wisdom from Ben Domenech, the college years:
Hopefully today's military action will be the first of a long campaign, though I've always preferred drop teams to smart bombs.

Peace Through Superior Thermonuclear Capability.[10/7/01]

Never trust a male cheerleader. [12/12/01] (You know, Ben, Bush was a male cheerleader)

If I was two or three years younger, I would at this very moment be emerging from the warm smells of popcorn and ju-ju bees to the air outside, fresh from the glory of the first showing of The Lord of the Rings. [12/19/01]
(but wait, Ben, I thought "Red Dawn" was the greatest movie ever...)

Post-9/11 TV Host of the Year: Jon Stewart
Ugly Old Bat of the Year: Helen Thomas
Winner of the Year (uncontested): God [1/4/02]

“It never fails to amaze me how little respect they have for women’s capacity to understand what goes on in our bodies,” [NARAL President Kate] Michelman said. “I faced a crisis pregnancy after having three children, and I didn’t need anyone to show me a sonogram to inform me that my pregnancy would result in giving birth to a person.”

How about the fact that having an abortion would result in the death of a person, Kate? Did you need a sonogram to remember that? [2/2/02]

Al Gore can suck it. [2/4/02]

Antonin Scalia openly questioned the Catholic Church's opposition to the death penalty today, proving once again that he is a man of deep spiritual intelligence, a modern St. Augustine of jurisprudence. [2/5/02]

I don't know about you, but the more Colin Powell insults the French, the more I like him. [2/20/02]

On Protest: It's totally different to protest against war before troops are sent somewhere and to protest against war after our boys are over there with guns in their hands and blood on the ground. The former, in my mind, is a totally legitimate act of political expression. The latter is horrendous and vile. [3/24/03]

I believe this war will take longer than the pundits were saying beforehand, but I also don't think we're going to be forced into a long door-by-door campaign in Baghdad. [3/30/03]

Al Qaeda is getting smoked out in Iraq -- and anyone who thought there was no connection better line up for their serving of crow. [3/28/03]

And here is my absolute favorite find so far:
Claude Allen is as clearcut as a razor's edge. He's a stand-up, principled Virginian. [5/13/03]
Claude Allen, of course, was recently arrested for a felony theft scheme.

And there's much, much more. But my eyes are beginning to bleed, so I'll leave it to others to find some other golden nuggets of wisdom.

And if you want to, you can buy Ben Domenech stuff at Cafepress, including a "Marine Sniper: You can run but you die tired" t-shirt as well as "Re-elect Reagan" and "Contra, Freedom, Nicaragua" t-shirts.

(And let me add at how embarrassed I am that Ben attended my alma mater)

Hello to the Eschatonians. Usually, most of my traffic comes via people googling for video of a monkey washing a cat, so it's nice to get some legit attention. And someone suggested in the comments getting screencaps. That's a good idea. Hopefully someone does that.

Update: Ben, is that you?

Update #2: Ben, it is you!

The Enemy. Pat Robertson, American Taliban, strikes again. Watch what you say on those course evals, kids.

Congratulations to me. My team won the regular season in a fantasy NBA league. With an incredible 20 week unbeaten run, my team demolished the fantasy competition. In a fantasy world, I'm unstoppable.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Shrub. Still an asshole after all these years.

You know what I like? Dates and Polish chocolates.

Spoilers. We don't have HBO. So we get the Sopranos on tape delay. And I absolutely hate it, hate it, when entertainment headlines or some stupid poll on ESPN give away major plot developments. Do they not realize that not everyone has HBO, and some of us have to wait for tapes or DVD to catch up? Jackasses.

In other teevee news, A&E is having a marathon of the first season of "24." I can't wait until Nina kills Jack's wife. doh!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Tourney Update. After four days of watching way too much basketball on television, I'm fairly certain that I'll be unloading this year's Major Award. Here are the standings heading into the Sweet Sixteen:
1. Airpolonia
2. Fair Oaks Nut Busters
3. The Commodore
3. Crack Your Skull
5. Axis of Evel Knievel
6. Your Logo Here
7. procfreak
8. Tibbylicious
Airpolonia definitely had the best calls, going with Northwestern State in the first round, and putting Wichita State into the Sweet Sixteen. Should've had more school spirit and put GMU past UNC. Crack and The Commodore have both lost Final Four teams; procfreak lost two. Still enough variation that several brackets are still in the hunt.

Friday, March 17, 2006

And while we're at it, let's end any talk about the GOP being the family values party.

Charge it. Anyone who refers to the GOP as the party of "fiscal responsibility" should be beaten. Severely. And tazers, I'm seeing tazers. Thanks for the $30K in debt.
Congress agreed to let the government borrow another $781 billion Thursday, allowing lawmakers and President Bush to pay for the war in Iraq and combat terrorism without raising taxes or cutting popular domestic programs.

The Senate, on a 52-48 vote, sent to President Bush a bill raising the ceiling on the national debt to nearly $9 trillion and preventing a first-ever default on U.S. Treasury notes. When the government reaches the new ceiling, expected sometime next year, the debt will represent $30,000 for every man, woman and child in the United States.
$9 trillion. That's a lot of zeroes. So you're telling me that cutting revenues and increasing spending doesn't work? I'm shocked.

NCAA Day 1. After the first day of competition, Fair Oaks Nut Busters are in 1st place. One game back in 2nd are Procfreak, AirPolonia, The Commodore, Crack, and Your Logo Here. Axis and Tibbylicious are bringing up the rear. More good games on tap for tomorrow.

And in case you're looking for yet another way to be shiftless at work, you can enter the NCAA Women's Tournament Challenge. Axis of Evel Knievel set up this one, so there may not be the Major Awards you've come to expect.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

It's on! So here's how the entries look at first glance:
Axis of Evel Knievel: Champion: Duke beats UConn. Michigan State the only 6 seed to survive the first round. Otherwise, this bracket is completely neutered. No repeat this year. Fair Oaks Nut Busters entry is so weak, it's not worth mentioning.

Procfreak: Champion: BC over Duke. Third time's the charm? Arkansas beats Memphis in Round 2, Kent State wins one for the 12 seeds, and UConn is out in the Sweet Sixteen. Somebody let their school spirit get the better of them.

Airpolonia: Champion: Gonzaga over BC. Also likes Kent State over Pitt. Indiana the only 11 seed to make it to the weekend. Big upset pick: Northwestern State (14) over Iowa (3). If past history is an indicator, Airpolonia will stop keeping up with the bracket before the end of the month.

Tibbylicious: Champion: UConn over Duke. Marquette into the Sweet Sixteen. Big Upset: Iona (14) over LSU (4). Bracket the odds on early favorite to win it all. Tibby Power.

Crack Your Skull: Champion: Duke over Ohio State. UCLA to the Final Four. Texas A&M (12) knocks out Syracuse (5). Like several others, has Arizona winning a game. I'm seeing your future...and it doesn't involve Hot Wheels.

The Commodore: Champion: UConn over Texas. Pitt to the Final Four. Earliest exit for Gonzaga, losing to Indiana. Likes GMU over Michigan State and Georgetown to the Sweet Sixteen. Somebody's been drinking too much Kool-Aid.

Your Logo Here: Champion: UConn over Gonzaga. Washington the only 5 seed out of Round 1. LSU in the Final Four. Big Upset: South Alabama (14) beats Florida (3). This is the greatest and most powerful bracket in the history of the universe. Solid.

Major Award!

There it is. Your Major Award for the 2nd Annual YLH NCAA Tournament Challenge. The winner will receive Five Hot Wheels cars, one of which was on my 7th, 8th, or 9th birthday cake (the rocket car). You'll also receive one bad-ass rap mix. Here's what you'll get--"Hits from the Bong," "Gin and Juice," "Whatcha Want," "Jump Around," "Hip Hop Hooray," "Bust a move," "California Love," "Hotstepper," "Big Pimpin," "Country Grammar," "Fuck tha Police," "Fight the Power," "Regulate," "Insane in the Membrane," "Passing Me By," "Fire It Up," "Baby Got Back," and "Ice Ice Baby."

You've gotta be in it to win it. So what are you waiting for? Do it! Do it now! If you don't enter, the terrorists win. (Entries lock at 12:00 EST)

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Bucknell vs. Wichita State? Sounds like a winning bracket to me. Kudos to the three of you who have submitted entries. The rest of you, I assume, are still doing your research on the Salukis' starting five. Or maybe you're waiting to see what the Major Award will be.
Don't miss out on your chance for eternal glory. That means you, fat kid in Missouri.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Second Annual YLH NCAA Tournament Challenge
Last year, my old brother took home first place and the major award amid rumors that he was injecting himself with copious amounts of HGH, Deca-Durabolin, Winstrol, and Trenbolone.
This year, we've got a new major award to be sent to the winner. Losers still receive nothing but the sting of humiliating defeat.

To get in on the action, send me an email to join the group. If you don't have an ESPN account already, it's free and easy to create. Tell your friends. Tell your enemies. And tell them to complete their brackets by tip-off on Thursday at 12:20. Go Aztecs!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Mmm...donuts...and meat.

Regular readers of this grand waste of space know that I loves me some donuts. And so when I read about this monstrosity, I was intrigued:
The Gateway Grizzlies of the Frontier League promised to create "Baseball's Best Burger" in time for the team's opener in late May. And they appear to have succeeded.

The ballpark sandwich will include a hamburger topped with sharp cheddar cheese and two slices of bacon -- all between a "bun" made of a sliced Krispy Kreme Original Glazed donut.
If I got high off of a few Monster Thickburgers, I can only imagine the euphoria induced by a couple of these.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

"I'm not very ambitious." With those words, my journey at the Ground Round began.
Day One, 6/13/02
Training. Day one. I love my job. It is totally awesome. It brings the noise and brings the funk. There is no feeling in the world like when a 19 year old is showing you the proper way to roll silverware. I thought to myself, "So this is where 21 years of education gets me?" Sweet.

Though it had been six years since I had set foot in a restaurant as a worker rather than as a customer, the memories came flooding back as I sat next to a five-top (table of five for those of you not in the biz) with children screaming while I filled out the safety quiz in my server training workbook. One way to prevent slips and falls? Walk, don't run. I can already sense that my sociology master's degree will pull me through.

The five hours I was there will pay for my uniform. Fortunately, I don't have to wear a dorky hat or silly shirt like those tools at TGIFridays. We rule at the Ground Round.
Expect recycled crap like this because I'm busy. And because this time eleven years ago we were in the middle of an unnaturally long period of not seeing Unnatural Man. And it's better than getting worked up over the latest Bush crime family shenanigans.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Your lying eyes.
"I'd say they're going well. I wouldn't put a great big smiley face on it, but I would say they're going very, very well."
--Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Peter Pace on Iraq, March 5 [link]

BAGHDAD, March 6 -- The top commander of the Iraqi army division in Baghdad was killed Monday when his car came under small-arms fire while traveling through the capital, the U.S. military said. [link]
Asked about Charlize Theron's gown at the Oscars, Pace said, "Fabulous, just fabulous."

It's hard out here for a pimp. Just ask John Negroponte. “On many a workday lunchtime, the nominal boss of U.S. intelligence, John D. Negroponte, can be found at a private club in downtown Washington, getting a massage, taking a swim, and having lunch, followed by a good cigar and a perusal of the daily papers in the club’s library. ‘He spends three hours there [every] Monday through Friday,’ gripes a senior counterterrorism official.”

Friday, March 03, 2006

What's wrong with this picture?

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Little ditty bout Jack and Bugman.
Two american kids doin´ the best they can.

Tom DeLay sent out a letter recently saying, "Jack Abramoff and I were not close personal friends. I met with him only occasionally, in fact less frequently than numerous others who brought issues before Congress — never did he receive preferential treatment. To be certain, I knew nothing about the crimes for which he has pled guilty."

So why is he seen in this video hugging Jack Abramoff? Sure seem cozy to me. Especially Tommy in the funny hat. And it seems that two first class tickets costing $14K for Tom and his wife were charged to Abramoff's American Express.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Bush is a liar.
But you already knew that. And here's your video proof.

I hate to say, "I told you so," but I did.

Music Video Flashback: Rollins Band, "Liar"

There's a funny story Kristin enjoys telling about me at freshman orientation carrying around a Henry Rollins book. And...that's pretty much the story. I had a chin-goatee that I'd been cultivating since h.s. graduation and a corduroy driver's cap fashioned backwards, if that helps put it in context. Apparently, I was a bit surly. You'd be too if you got all the way to college and were forced to play "Duck, Duck, Goose" with the ladies of Dupont Hall.

Dispatches from Academia.
A reader sends in this email from a student in which the student actually offers a bribe in order to take an exam at a different time.
Morning [Professor],

This morning I was placed in charge of running the [Famous Entertainer] In-Studio Event here at [Corporation X] (where I work) and it takes place [Month Xth], 2006 from 4:30-7pm. I need to know if there is any way to take the exam sooner or to take it around 8pm when I can try to get there. The only thing I could offer you is a pass to come see this in-studio event (unfortunately only you and a guest could come, not the whole class). Let me know what you think I should do.

"Only you and a guest could come." Fantastic. Beside the unethical nature of the email, the terms of the bribe make absolutely no sense. The student wants to take the exam at a different time because of a conflicting schedule. Accepting tickets to the event causing the conflict would thus create a scheduling conflict for the professor who presumably would be administering said exam. If you're going to try to bribe someone, at least give the person a feasible offer.

It can't be. But it is. March already? It seems not long ago that it was still February. That also means that it's only 16 days until Spring Break. Crazy.

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