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Barack Obama
"Lincoln Sells Out Slaves"
by: Rob Kailey - Sep 13
1 Comments
If You Haven't Seen This
by: Rob Kailey - Apr 28
5 Comments
Impeach the President?
by: Rob Kailey - Mar 16
15 Comments
It's the system, stupid!
by: Jay Stevens - Oct 24
7 Comments

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Rob Kailey is a working schmuck with no ties or affiliations to any governmental or political organizations, save those of sympathy.
Scott Boggio

All I did was sniff a beer!

by: Jay Stevens

Thu May 27, 2010 at 08:34:32 AM MST

Uh oh. Brad Johnson got sh*t-faced and went out on Montana's roads. As Pogie said, "the most amazing part of the story...is that he doesn't believe that he did anything wrong":

Johnson, 59, said he's convinced he was not in violation of Montana's DUI law, although a breathalyzer test showed his blood-alcohol content at 0.24 percent - three times the legal limit for drunken driving.

"The thing that has really come out of this experience for me is, that I think it's incredibly stupid to have so much as a sip of alcohol and get behind the wheel," he said. "I'll never let it happen again."

With a BAC three times over the legal limit, that means, as Pogie points out, 12 to 15 beers...

At a .24 BAC, Johnson would be "feeling dazed/confused or otherwise disoriented. May need help to stand/walk....Blackouts are likely at this level so you may not remember what has happened."

Doesn't Johnson's excuse sound familiar?

Scott Boggio, after breathing a .14 BAC during the 2007 legislative session: "Well, I guess that, you know, anyone who goes out for dinner and has a few drinks along with their meal can get a DUI." (At a .14 BAC, Boggio would be experiencing "Gross motor impairment and lack of physical control. Blurred vision and major loss of balance....Judgment and perception are severely impaired."

Greg Barkus' lawyer, on having a .16 BAC an hour after the Flathead Lake Boat crash: ""We adamantly disagree with those alleged levels set forth in the charging document....We have several witnesses that will testify that Mr. Barkus was not impaired at the time of the accident." At a .16 BAC, Barkus would be experiencing impairment and lack of physical control, blurred vision and loss of balance, and "The drinker has the appearance of a 'sloppy drunk.'"

What? Is there a Republican boot camp somewhere that teaches GOP lawmakers a strategy of denial to dismiss DUIs?

Discuss :: (19 Comments)

Sen. Craig Invokes the 'Do-Over' Rule, Unresigns, Retracts Guilty Plea

by: Matt Singer

Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 20:46:11 PM MST

Larry Craig is calling a do-over. Since he's retracting the guilty plea, no doubt conservatives will come back to his defense, since he's no longer admitting his guilt of a crime.

It still leaves a giant gaping question as to why it was worse to solicit sex in a bathroom than it was for Rep. Scott Boggio to drive drunk with Rep. Elsie Arntzen in the vehicle. But I'm sure there's a sound reason in there somewhere.

Discuss :: (5 Comments)

Sen. Larry Craig Resigns

by: Matt Singer

Sat Sep 01, 2007 at 10:54:23 AM MST

Well, Senator Larry Craig is out. New West's coverage is very solid.

No big news here. But I do think it's worth revisiting Dave Lewis's comments, not because I think that the guy ought to be hung for what he admits was a stupid over-the-top statement (one of the things that will eventually hopefully come with this whole Internet thing is an ability for press, people, and political parties to accept that we all sometimes talk before thinking), but because I think his more recent comments reflect a continuing grasping to justify his anger toward Senator Craig in a non-homophobic way.

Check out his back-and-forth with Jay where he says his problem with Sen. Craig is that "embarrassing and stupid behavior is unacceptable" and that he doesn't "care if he [Craig] is gay."

Well, sure, but when Jay asks about David Vitter, a man who has admitted to hiring a prostitute -- even though it is a crime unlikely to ever be charged. Lewis's response is that he'd feel the same way if Vitter is "found guilty of a crime." But isn't public admission basically the same as being found guilty?

And maybe Vitter isn't the best example. So let's look closer to home Rep. Scott Boggio faced precisely 0 calls from within his own party (as far as I can recall) to resign when he was arrested for driving drunk with a BAC of .14%.

That wasn't just stupid and embarassing -- it was extremely dangerous. A man with a similar BAC in Billings had recently struck and killed a pedestrian. Even worse, both Boggio and his passenger Rep. Elsie Arntzen either knowingly lied or made clear that they are too stupid to legislate when they said either that it was a "few drinks" with dinner (one wry commenter noted that 'quite a few' is still 'a few') and that they didn't know he was impaired.

Now, my point in all this isn't to make it sound like only Republicans do bad things. It's really any attempt to gain some clarity from people demanding Sen. Craig's head as to what, exactly, made his offense so much worse than sex with a prostitute or a drunk driving incident?

I'm asking because I don't understand how the outrage meter on the right really works. A President getting a blowjob from an intern? Impeachable. A Senator allegedly attempting to solicit gay sex in a bathroom? Kill him and/or make him resign. A Senator hiring a prostitute? Crickets chirp. A Representative driving while wasted? Crickets chirp.

Is it that it occurred in a public restroom? Because I agree that's distasteful, especially for a U.S. Senator. But after seeing everything else the Republican Party seems willing to tolerate within its ranks, I have a tough time seeing what's such a big deal about this.

And since I'll inevitably be called a hypocrite, let me just say this: Yes, Rep. William Jefferson should resign. He should have resigned a long time ago. And Congressional leaders should pressure him to step down.

Update -- Patrick Ruffini, a young GOP web consultant, is taking issue with those of us on the left who think that the outrage aimed at Craig is an indication of homophobia on the right. He has one fair point -- I think it is possible to believe in a religious definition of marriage that excludes same-sex marriage without being anti-gay. But I don't see where Ruffini gets off claiming that opposing LGBT folks in the military isn't an anti-gay stance. He claims it is a public policy issue, not a personal judgment. Well, sorry, buddy, but it's both.

See -- Jim Crow was public policy. It was also horrendously racist public policy. Now, you can make either that "I hate gay people and don't want to serve with them" argument or the more paternalistic "I don't hate gay people, but I know some people in the military would be uncomfortable around gay people, so I support discrimination to protect the feelings of bigots." Both arguments are fundamentally embracing of discrimination. For Ruffini to claim that such a stance doesn't make him anti-gay is a load of crap. And Marc Ambinder is wrong to acknowledge his point. He didn't really have one.

Update 2: It's worth noting that Senator Lewis did the proper thing here. I'm raising these questions publicly not to beat up on a public official who admitted a pretty minor screw-up, but because Dave has shown himself to be thoughtful enough to grapple with criticism. And I'm one of those folks who is arrogant enough to think my criticism worthwhile. He deserves respect for taking time to respond to his critics, for owning up to his mistake, and for not blaming anyone but himself for his poor thinking. We could all use him as an example on this stuff.

Discuss :: (7 Comments)

Rep. Scott Boggio Ticketed for His Car's Offense!

by: Matt Singer

Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 19:32:03 PM MST

Woe is Scott Boggio.

First he gets in deep doo doo for having a few drinks with dinner (what's up with that -- did we reinstate prohibition when I was passed out?).

Now, he's being ticketed by the Helena cops because his "car didn't have up-to-date license plates." Got that? It was his car that broke the law, not him. I think this paragraph will clarify it:

He said he thought the tags had been renewed in April 2006, but it turns out they weren't.
See -- it all happened in the passive voice.

So, look here, Mr. Helena Cops -- stop making Scott Boggio your punching bag. It's not his fault.

Discuss :: (9 Comments)

Nailing the Boggio Story

by: Matt Singer

Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 15:05:55 PM MST

Ed Kemmick looks at the Boggio DUI story in his column in the Gazette today and nails it. His basic message? Take some responsibility.
Discuss :: (5 Comments)

.14% BAC is "a few drinks with dinner" according to Rep. Scott Boggio

by: Matt Singer

Wed Mar 21, 2007 at 09:23:38 AM MST

Scott Boggio got pulled over for a DUI after he ran over a curb while turning a corner (oops!) and drove a car that had its temporary plates taken off (oops!). His defense is that he had a "few drinks with dinner." Strangely, though, he blew a .14% on the breathalyzer.

Now, I'm sure I've been way drunker than .14% BAC in the past, so that's not what shocks me, but I've also had the chance to use home breatalyzers in the past and on a casual night of drinking, it's actually not that easy to hit .08%, much less nearly twice that. According to this BAC calculator, if a 180 pound man was drinking over the course of three hours (a long dinner, with a drink before hand), he'd need to consumer roughly 8 drinks on the rocks to get to this point.

Even stranger, his companion that evening was Rep. Elsie Arntzen of Billings, who is a member the Yellowstone County DUI Task Force. She says she had no idea he was impaired. That's a bit odd -- you'd think a DUI Task Force member would have some notion of how this drink-to-BAC stuff would work.

The first comment at the Gazette's website runs through these relevant numbers and makes it clear that most people are unlikely to fall for Boggio's numbers game. If Rep. Scott Boggio ate dinner, he was almost certainly in the 7-8 drinks range. Either he or Rep. Arntzen should have known that was too many.

The curb hop doesn't help his case.

See also --

Update -- Should also mention that I just heard that American Research Group (a Republican polling firm, I believe) is doing a poll in Montana on underage drinking legislation. Anyone know more?

Discuss :: (3 Comments)
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