Tuesday, March 30, 2004

WIPE YOUR ASS WITH THE CONSTITUTION...

(...And Other Random Thoughts on A Tuesday Night)

Members of the Republican National Committee have managed to persuade the Federal Election Commission to look at new rules that would shut down non-profit groups that publicly criticize the Bush Administration or members of Congress--which, of course, we should all be doing.

According to information compiled in part from moveon.org and partly from the Federal Election Commission's own press release (available at http://www.fec.gov/press/press2004/.html), the proposed rules changes could redefine nonprofit organizations as political committees if they "criticize or commend members of Congress or the President based on their official actions or policy positions."

This change would hurt many groups ability to raise and spend funds, increase government scrutiny on the organization in question and limit discussion about government policy within the organization and in the group's publications and websites. If the rules are adopted, any non-profit that was reclassified as a political organization would be exempt from receiving grants from any corporation, union or individual in excess of $5,000. Just for being attached to a statement like, "the Bush Administration miscalculated by sending troops into Iraq searching for weapons of mass destruction." This ruling wouldn't just apply to non-profit groups with known political ties either. It would affect cancer research charities, poverty reform groups, environmental and civil rights organizations. What it really is, of course, is a way to nibble at our civil liberties and Constitutional rights in a way that most Americans won't notice--at first.

There's the old cliche about "slippery slopes". Well, it says here that this is one slippery slope that will slide all Americans right into hell if we don't put the brakes on this insidious ploy by conservatives to scare people into supporting a corrupt and morally bankrupt administration. I urge anyone who reads this to research it, write your congresspeople and put a stop to the FEC's hearings while we will still can. I have.

She Lives In His Lap

Dr. Condoleeza Rice will finally get to appear before the bi-partisan 9/11 Commission on Wednesday, the Bush administration having backtracked on it's earlier position that it's national security advisor shouldn't "set a precedent" and be forced to answer questions about why the U.S. misled the American people into a bloody, expensive and still unfinished (despite what you may have heard) invasion of Iraq. Don't expect much. Her answers will be so vague, so wrapped in bureaucratic doubletalk that I doubt there will be any bombshells. The Puppetmaster, Dick Cheney, along with his accolyte Donald Rumsfeld, will carefully craft Rice's statements to make the administration look as innocent as possible, while still hewing just close enough to the truth to avoid any obvious purgery (Rice will be under oath). I'm sure there are days when Dr. Rice wishes she were back at Stanford, tomorrow will certainly be one of them, but I'm not going to feel sorry for her in the least, given that there are plenty of American soldiers and Iraqi citizens who, despite the unquestionable good that came from deposing Saddam Hussein, have nonetheless suffered a great deal from the actions resulting from this ill-begotten war.

And the worst, from a foreign policy standpoint in the Middle East, is yet to come.

Every Day I Feel A Lot Older

I went on a wonderful date yesterday (don't get excited, it's not THAT kind of blog) and participated in the live satellite broadcast of the Prince concert from Los Angeles's Staples Center. The concert was terrific, Prince hasn't lost anything now that he's fortysomething and I promise to give a full concert review in Friday's blog. But for now I just have to tell you the one surreal moment for me from the concert (other than realizing that Prince's main concert foil, co-vocalist and lead saxophone player is none other than Candy Dulfer, Arsenio Hall's former bandleader. She looks younger now than she did ten years ago, but I digress).

During the encore, the people in the audience raised their lit cellphones to beg Prince for more, in lieu of using matches or cigarette lighters. It was...well, weird! I had never seen that before and I was wondering if that's what's done around the world (in a day) now, or if it's just an LA/Orange County thing. You tell me, but between that and the 20th anniversary of Purple Rain, I felt instantly, inescapably, old.

Quick Hits

--For all the pools that got blown up over the last two weeks, didn't you just know that somehow Duke, Connecticut and Oklahoma State would find their way into the men's Final Four? Even Georgia Tech isn't exactly Cinderella...they're a #4 seed if memory serves me right. My pick to win the whole damn thing is Oklahoma State, but I'm having a hard time giving a damn this year.

--On the women's side, they do need to do something about having UConn, Tennessee, Louisiana Tech and/or Duke win it every year. Just once, give us some fresh faced gals from, say, Northern Arizona cutting down the nets and someone might pay attention. (But unfortunately, probably not.)

--24 may not be a great show anymore, but they seem to be setting up one hell of a finale this year. Every year, their writing staff does the worst job of writing themselves into a corner and does the most amazing narrative backflips to get themselves out.

--In the future, I will devote an entire blog to the collapse of customer service in this country (followed by a related column on the decline of logic and reasoning skills on a widespread level), but for now I'll just say that if you think it's a simple thing to send a one-pound package across town via an unnamed shipping company (that may or may not drive shit-colored trucks), you'd better think again. And be prepared to spend a lot of time talking to several disinterested service reps repeating the same information over and over again...

--Why exactly is it taking John Kerry so long to name John Edwards as his running mate?

--Scary Fact of the Week: geneticists have already developed the means by which potential parents can accentuate certain physical characteristics in their unborn offspring. And there is as yet no formal law that deals with this issue.

--Weird Music Trivia That Probably Only Interests Me: John Lennon contributed lyrics to David Bowie's classic hit, "Fame". Among the backup vocalists--Luther Vandross.

Ta ta for now. Don't let the Conservatives grind you down...

Thursday, March 25, 2004

IT'S A LONG WAY TO NOVEMBER, BUT...

"I believe...that security declines as security machinery expands."
--E. B. White

Lessons from the 9/11 Commission

In a way it doesn't matter what the commission comes up with after all of their hearings. No side, neither Liberal nor Conservative, Republican or Democrat, will emerge completely blameless or entirely at fault. Clinton had ordered Osama bin Laden assassinated. If that mission had succeeded would the world be safer or in more chaos? Bush pursued the invasion of Iraq practically the day after the terrorist attacks. If there had been no 9/11, does that mean the Bush administration wouldn't have found a pretext for going to war? I think we already know the answer to that question--they didn't really have a pretext for the war and occupation we're now in, but there we sit anyway.

So what then, are the real lessons from these hearings? The real lessons are real old lessons, things you probably see in your personal life every day if you're paying attention:
--Always put off until tomorrow what you can get away with not doing today.
--The more comfortable you feel, the less comfortable you should probably be.
--Good intelligence (information gathering) is only as good as the intelligence (ability to think and reason) that gets it.
--Finding solutions is never as important as finding someone to take the blame.

September 11th should be investigated and we should try to find ways of making sure that it never happens again...except that you can never guarantee that it will never happen again and that for every security measure, piece of intelligence or new public policy that arises to try and protect us, those that wish to attack and/or destroy the United States will develop some new way to counteract it. And of course, the best way to bring down the lion is to make it doubt itself.

The 44 Percent Solution

A recent poll (headlined in Fox News, no less) showed that 44 percent of those surveyed would choose John Kerry in the upcoming presidential election and 44 percent would choose George W. Bush. Those of us who have watched the economy stagnate for three years, seen hundreds of soldiers die in Iraq, thousands more civilians die there, watched thousands of jobs get shipped overseas and marveled at the hysteria over gay marriage and the erosion of our civil rights are naturally wondering why it's even that close. It's a long way to November, but the Democrats are angry, on message and actually mounting a fairly competent campaign so far. Shock, in the GOP camp, probably explains why they've been unusually bumbling so far in 2004. What a week to be a neocon--the 9/11 Commission, bad news in Iraq, you lose an ally in Spain, the economic numbers are going up except for the one that will most likely get your guy reeected--the number of jobs created. There's so much flop sweat on the Right now that even Bill O'Reilly was seen whipping out his umbrella.

Today Howard Dean (I can't help it, I still love the guy) endorsed John Kerry, as we all knew he would since, well, Dennis Kucinich is still in the race but just a leetle bit behind in the delegate count. Besides, all Dean and the other Democratic stalwarts want is to, in the words of Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis, "just win baby." Hopefully, Dean's base of "Deaniacs" can generate the same kind of lucrative grassroots campaign for Kerry that once made Dean the frontrunner. Former Reagan and Bush adviser Roger Ailes once famously opined that the real presidential race begins after the conventions and that's when the real mud starts to fly (he certainly flung enough of it himself). That's probably true. But for now, it's an unusually good time to be a Democrat. One can only hope that it will at least last until the summer.

The Friday Media Review - The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Deadwood

From now on, I will try to include a review of a new movie, TV show or book every Friday. I give this ambitious effort about three weeks, but what the hell?

The best movie I've seen so far in 2004 is Michel Gondry's The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. This movie is inventively directed, with a modicum of digital effects, features terrific performances and, most importantly, has a terrific script that manages to be philosophical without being heavy-handed and melancholy while still holding out hope for romance.

In fifty words or so, the synopsis: Joel (Jim Carrey) discovers his ex-girlfriend Clementine (Kate Winslet) has had all traces of him erased from her memory. Outraged, he decides to do the same to her, only to find out in the process that he doesn't want her erased after all.

Carrey doesn't do much mugging here--the role doesn't call for it and he manages to be believable as a good-hearted sad sack stricken with jealousy. Winslet is amazing as usual in a difficult role that calls for her to build a character almost exclusively through non-linear flashbacks. Mark Ruffalo, Kirsten Dunst and Tom Wilkinson all excel in well-drawn supporting roles.

The movie has heartbreaking moments, laugh out loud funny moments and head-trippy, "what-the-hell's-going-on-here-moments?", but the script, largely shaped by uberwriter Charlie Kauffman, is definitely the least gimmicky, most character based work Kauffman has ever done. This is science fiction--yes, it is a sci-fi movie--for adults, by adults and with a terrific premise.

TV's Deadwood, on HBO, plays like Gunsmoke if it were envisioned by David Mamet. The David behind the show is actually writer/creator David Milch, famously of NYPD Blue, and the dialogue certainly crackles, as does the character of Al Swearingen, played by veteran British character actor, Ian MacShane (now that's a good name for a Western character). Swearingen is that latest hot character type in "edgy" TV dramas, an amoral profit seeker who may not be all bad to the core but who is certainly willing to go pretty far to protect his little empire on the frontier.

Judging from the pilot anyway, only Swearingen, Calamity Jane (Robin Wiegert) and Wild Bill Hickock (Keith Carradine) stand out as characters so far, and the South Dakota of 1876 is so convincingly rendered I wanted to shower after watching the show, but potential is there and on television, potential is 9/10 of the battle. Or maybe 9/10 of the law. Perhaps that's possession. Anyway, it's not a wasted hour if you aren't bothered by extreme profanity, violence, darkness and female characters so dehumanized it borders on misogyny. (Calamity Jane is the token strong female character so far, but she does border on parody). We'll see where it goes.

Could This Posting BE Any Longer?

It could, but why torture the few readers I have? I'm going to peel a papaya, take a shower and call it a night. Until next time...

EVERYBODY REMEMBER - REGISTER TO VOTE!

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

I'VE FOUND THE W.M.D'S! (give me the Million dollars)

Read this article from Rolling Stone and Salon.com. It's more terrifying than any old zombie pic...

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2004/03/23/armageddon/index.html

Hey, I Don't Just Follow Politics

From the potential end of the world, to the end of television as we know it...no, just kidding. I have a confession to make. I am a big fan of America's Next Top Model. I know that it is pure cheese that is rotting my brain (perhaps constipating it, as cheese is prone to do), but God help me, I love it so. This post won't make much sense to anyone who doesn't watch the show, but I am shocked, SHOCKED, I tell you that Shandi didn't win it! Shandi, the tall, geeky, blonde from Missouri with the winning smile and the cheating ways, seemed to win or finish no worse than second in almost every single challenge, only to lose out in the end to both Yoanna and Mercedes.

Both Yoanna and Mercedes are beautiful, Mercedes especially so, but in the end the judges chose "Audrey Hepburn" over "pretty mall chick"; conniving and driven over sweet and sassy. Given the bitchiness and almost surreal self-centeredness of the fashion industry, that's probably a wise choice, but not one that left this viewer happy.

Until the madness starts all over again with ANTM 3!

A Bad Case of the Munchies

These aren't jokes, just actual stories pulled off the newswire (or the Internet):

--A 96-year old grandmother in North Carolina was arrested last week for possession of crack cocaine and crack paraphernalia that was found in (wait for it) her wheelchair. The grandmother claims to have no knowledge of how the crack got there, but prosecutors, in their zeal to "win the war on drugs" are considering going through with an arraignment since she apparently had enough product to potentially sell. Perhaps this is the alternative the GOP had in mind when they rammed through their prescription drug care package for seniors.
--A ten-year old boy in (I'm sorry, I can't remember the city) was being investigated for sprinkling marijuana on his lasagna at school. Apparently, the boy brought a bag of marijuana in from home and told some of his classmates that it was "oregano". Yeah, I've used that line too. I think the kid's pretty smart. If you use marijuana, you're already hungry so why not sprinkle it on your food? Of course, the parents are being investigated too (and rightfully so), since most people don't have a bag of pot lying around in their house where their kids can get a hold of it. Makes you wonder if Dad accidentally packed a PBJ in his lunchbox for that "business meeting" in the park...

Fun Fact of the Week

Doctors with the World Health Organization estimate that 20 million people have died during the AIDS epidemic, which began in the early to mid-80's. The vast majority of these deaths have occurred in Africa and the majority are straight females. American pharmaceutical companies, which manufacture most of the drugs used to treat HIV and AIDS, continue to refuse to provide these potentially life-saving drugs at a cost that will allow African governments and medical authorities to purchase them.

In South Africa, it is still not uncommon for men to torture and murder prostitutes who are diagnosed with either HIV or AIDS.


Sunday, March 21, 2004

TRUTH IS A W.M.D. AND THEY'RE BOTH M.I.A.

Bush's Own People Rat Him Out

On 60 Minutes Sunday night, and also in wire reports, former Bush aide Richard A. Clarke, who worked as the Resident's counterterrorisme coordinator talked of how this administration "is doing a terrible job in the war on terrorism." Clarke, who does have a new book coming out today (Monday), claims that of the first 100 national security meetings in the White House prior to September 11th, only two directly dealt with the known al-Qaeda threat and the nation's preparedness for potentially calamitous terrorist attacks.

Clarke also said that immediately after September 11th, Bush himself began looking for a way to link Iraq to the attacks, although all intelligence at the time (and now, for that matter) showed that Iraq had no link to major terrorist networks and certainly could not be tied to the 9/11 attacks.

Said Clarke, "..Frankly I find it outrageous that the president is running for re-election on the grounds that he's done such great things about terrorism. He ignored it. He ignored terrorism for months, when maybe we could have done something."

Don't believe me? Read for yourself at http://www.salon.com/news/wire/2004/03/21/clarke/index.html.

Will the lies, misrepresentations and cover-ups ever stop? If anyone out there thinks that this isn't the most corrupt administration to rule the White House since Nixon, then feel free to share what you're smoking and pass the duchy on the left-hand side (please). And at least Nixon was fairly elected.

Numbers Games

Number of Weapons of Mass Destruction so far found in Iraq: 0

Number of Weapons of Mass Destruction believed to be housed in missle silos in North Dakota alone: over 1,000

Number of U.S. servicemen and women killed so far while invading Iraq: 588

Things more likely to happen than finding W.M.D's in Iraq:
--Bert and Ernie come out as gay puppets, get married in San Francisco.
--Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon orders Israeli troops to cease military action against Palestinians, tears down wall, stops occupying Palestinian territory and says, "let's share all of Palestine with our brothers in a show of good faith."
--Hamas and Hezbollah decide to take Sharon at his word and declare a truce.
--The Gropinator, Gov. Arnold Schwarzeneggar, admits his sordid history as a molester and degrader of women and donates $10 million of his own money to the National Organization of Women and to domestic violence awareness.
--The Red Sox beat the Cubs in the World Series, four games to three.
--Director Michael Bay wins an Academy Award as best director for his moving remake of "The Miracle Worker."
--Mel Gibson replaces Nathan Lane in The Producers on Broadway.
--A startling late spring snowstorm shuts down the Los Angeles Basin, blanketing the Southland in four inches of snow. Absent snowplows, the city convinces Paris Hilton to try and snort the streets clean.

You get the idea...

Movie Picks of the Week
You won't go wrong with Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I also recommend Starsky & Hutch, with the one qualification that if you don't have a fondness for pop culture in the 70's, a lot of Hutch may seem pointless or derivative.

I'll try to visit more often. It would help if you sent money (is that illegal? Can the FCC fine me too? I don't think they regulate the Internet, do th-






Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Al Qaeda Endorses Bush

Please let this be true. If it's not, someone somewhere is paying attention.

An excerpt:

The statement said it supported President Bush (news - web sites) in his reelection campaign, and would prefer him to win in November rather than the Democratic candidate John Kerry (news - web sites), as it was not possible to find a leader "more foolish than you (Bush), who deals with matters by force rather than with wisdom."

In comments addressed to Bush, the group said:

"Kerry will kill our nation while it sleeps because he and the Democrats have the cunning to embellish blasphemy and present it to the Arab and Muslim nation as civilization."

"Because of this we desire you (Bush) to be elected."

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Eek!!! or, Get Ready to Trot Out That Well-Worn Orwell Reference

OH MY GOD. THESE PEOPLE HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO SCRUPLES WHATSOEVER.

Fake News, Real Ad. A "made for television 'story package'."

I'm just too tired to dissect it tonight.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition + From Russia With Love

The Spanish people have rejected George W. Bush.

90% of Spaniards opposed the Iraq War, and now they've rejected Aznar's center-right party's alliance with the Bush regime. ETA or Al Qaeda? Doesn't everyone want to know. The CW has it that the Spanish gubmint tried like heck to prove an ETA link worried that an Al Qaeda attack would be largely regarded as retribution for Spain's support of the Iraq War. Well.

and

The Russian people have rejected George W. Bush.

Putin's got democracy problems all his own with this "election" approaching the level of FLA 2000 chicanery, but he's not taking any guff from W.: "No one has a right to think that if they criticize others, they cannot be criticized themselves," he said, adding, "Nearly four years ago we watched in bewilderment how the United States electoral system suffered glitches."

Russians loved Putin standing up to W. in the rush to war. And for all the authoritarianism and centralizing going on, they still prefer a strong Putin and a strong Russia to taking orders from the Busheviks.

Why Do Republicans Hate Their Children?

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

A LETTER TO A FRIEND - The Gas Man's Got Us Down

GAS PAINS

This is an excerpt from a response to an email I received about boycotting Exxon to protest higher gas prices. I'm sure many of you have seen some version of this email several times over the years. I encourage everyone to do everything possible to stand up to oil profiteers and the politicians who support them, including curtailing driving as much as possible. Do everything, that is, except continue to forward this email!

__________________

Hi (name withheld),

It's good to hear from you! I totally feel you on these ridiculous gas prices and I don't buy Exxon either--although it's usually because they have some of the most expensive gas here in California. However, my friend Liz and others have pointed out to me that some version of this boycott has been going around the Internet forever and while it seems like a good idea--it IS a good idea in theory--it's not necessarily the most effective protest action because Exxon/Mobil is merely one of a consortium of oil companies, all of which are profiteering equally from the American dependency on crude oil. The only effective protest would be an impossible one--if the vast majority of Americans stopped buying any gas from ALL suppliers for at least two weeks. In many parts of the country, this is impossible because alternative means of transportation are unavailable or unreliable. Even if this could somehow happen, in a month the oil companies would recover their losses and eventually return to their greedy ways.

Also, it is not the oil companies who are currently behind this latest bit of price gouging, although they do benefit...somewhat. The distributors in this country and the oil refiners have gotten together to artificially hike prices until at least the advent of the summer vacation season, citing "distribution shortages" and various short term excuses (like the Mississippi River barge crash) as their reasoning. I think we should write to our Congresspeople and tell them not to accept money from oil and gas lobbies and try to look out for consumers for once! (Crude oil prices have gone up about 10 percent since the beginning of the year, but gasoline prices have gone up about 25 percent in the same time span. It's the refiners and oil suppliers who are getting rich here.)

Nonetheless, it's good to hear from you and stay committed to the cause of making people aware of the evil that corporations perpetrate on us every day!

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

GOOD NIGHT, JOHN BOY

Well, it's official. It's going to be Kerry-Edwards, although we haven't gotten around to the part where Kerry names John Edwards as his running mate, although it's just a formality. Some pundits are throwing names out there like Indiana Gov. Evan Bayh, Rep. Dick Gephardt, Gen. Wesley Clark, New Mexico governor Bill Richardson and even Sen. Hilary Clinton. Let me briefly break down why none of those choices make any sense (how come pundits get so much money to get on TV and be so incredibly stupid? Was there a course on this that I missed in college?):

Bayh: Has the sex appeal of a potato (that's without the "e" at the end, as a reminder to Indiana's former senator Dan Quayle).

Gephardt: Popular with blue collar voters in the Midwest, has the reputation of being a national loser. Also has trouble translating the charisma and intelligence of his stump speeches to TV.

Wesley Clark: General, the late Andy Warhol called. You're 15 minutes are almost up.

Richardson: Not well known nationally and a potential GOP tackling dummy considering he ran the Nuclear Regulatory Agency at the time of one of it's greatest debacles--when a spy sold secrets stolen from Los Alamos, right in his own backyard.

Hilary: Why settle for refried beans when you can have the whole enchilada to yourself in either four or eight years?

So it will be Kerry and Edwards, with Kerry filling the role of everyone's "best choice to beat Bush" (although few Democratic voters can tell you exactly why) and Edwards playing the role of the charismatic, good looking populist who will help make inroads into the South. A CBS News poll last week had a Kerry-Edwards ticket beating Bush-Halliburton by eight points, but that was before the Resident had even begun campaigning or spending any of that $100 million plus war chest. It'll be a long close fight to the end and look for Republican operators to begin their efforts to disenfranchise minority voters in Florida, Ohio and other key swing states any day now.

Free Condoms in Every Box of Thin Mints

The AP reported on Wednesday that many people in the former Governor Bush's hometown of Crawford, Texas are boycotting the purchase of Girl Scout cookies on the grounds that the organization has a "cozy relationship" with Planned Parenthood.

Apparently, many parents are uncomfortable that the local Girl Scout organization had given a "woman of distinction" award last year to a Planned Parenthood executive. The Girl Scouts also endorsed a Planned Parenthood sex-ed program in which girls and boys are given literature on homosexuality, masturbation and condoms. (Of course, there's no way educating girls about their own bodies should be a mission for an organization like the Girl Scouts. This is obviously a role best handled by peers in the girl's lavatory and the Internet.)

The good news is that cookie sales have skyrocketed in the Wacko--er, Waco area as a result of the scandal as other local residents have ordered more cookies as a show of support for the Scouts. Still, the hypocrisy and insanity of this whole thing can best be illustrated by a comment from parent Shannon Donaldson, who after studying a sex-education pamphlet distributed by Planned Parenthood and partially sponsored by the Girl Scouts, had this to say:

"It embarrassed me to look at it with my husband."

Folks, let the joke write itself.

Touching Oscar

I was going to write something about the Oscar telecast this past Sunday, only to realize with some relief that I'd already forgotten about most of it. (Overblown and untrue stories about Bill Murray throwing a hissy fit about not winning notwithstanding). One thing I'll never forget though is my friend Andy Sacks winning an Oscar for his role as producer of the victorious Live Action Short Film, TWO SOLDIERS, directed by the talented Aaron Schneider. (It's an excellent film if you can find a way to see it). He was generous enough to let it stay in this apartment last night and even though I sometimes try to pooh pooh all the hype that goes with the big awards shows, it was quite a thrill to see one up close and personal and to pick it up and realize how heavy it is. You could probably kill Joan Rivers with one, if it didn't get somehow bounce off of her taut, collagenized, stretched and injected face. But I digress.

Anyway, I just want to say thanks to Andy, congratulations and--what's your next project? :-)

Random Musings

You think this blog is too long? Tough--I've been busy and I was constipated with the truth. Now I've had the fiber of information and I'm going to let it flow:

--We're coming up on the one-year anniversary of the U.S. misled invasion of Iraq and there are still no weapons of mass destruction found, although earlier this week over 300 were killed and many more wounded in two separate, coordinated car bomb attacks in Karbalah and Baghdad. Funny, how many more terrorists are in Iraq now then before the U.S. invasion, which was justified at least in part as part of the global, neverending War on Terrorism (yeah, how's that going? Found Osama yet?) Don't get me wrong, there's no love lost for Saddam Hussein (although the U.S. was instrumental in putting him in office in the first place) and eventually one has to be that a Democratic Iraq will be safer for its citizens than one ruled by Saddam, but an entire region has been destabilized and thousands have lost their lives with no Constitution yet in place and U.S. gas prices climbing towards $3.00 a gallon. If the Democrats can't win on this issue in 2004, they seriously ought to disband the party.

--Howard Dean won his first primary on Super Tuesday, in his home state of Vermont. In a speech that night, Dean was quoted as saying that afterward he was "going to Montpelier, then Burlington, then Mt. Washington, then on to Lake Champlain..." But seriously, I don't think I can ever get over how much the media built Dean up and then tore him down with such malicious relish. Pray they don't do it to John Kerry (you know they won't touch their journalistic golden goose and patron, George W. Bush).

--In a shocking development, McDonald's announced it was doing away with the supersize option in all of it's restaurants. In a separate press release, the fast food chain reassured the public that this change in no way referred to any of its customers.

--A former teammate of Barry Bonds, and a current baseball announcer, stated that he knew for a fact that Bonds had taken steroids and indicated that his incredible home run numbers late in his career were a direct result. While Bonds continues to deny emphatically that he uses steroids, even as his trainer and some business associates are being investigated for trafficking in steroids and other illegal athletic enhancers, Pete Rose was giving 3 to 1 odds that Bonds would fail a steroid test.

Did you miss me? Yeah, that's what I thought. Until I next write again, which is probably when some really stupid lie gets sold as fact or the media reports something that totally pisses me off, arrividerci...

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Ducks and Dicks

My favorite quote from the latest UNBELIEVABLE story:

"Scalia and his daughter were Cheney's guests on Air Force Two on a Jan. 5 flight to Louisiana. Cheney and Scalia were guests of the president of an energy services company on a duck-hunting vacation."

Should we roll our eyes for the outrageous overreaching going on? Nah. We should be thankful. At least in a banana republic, this chicanery may never see the light of day. In ours, at least we get a bellylaugh out of the unmitigated gall these hubristic jokers have to throw this in our faces as if we are powerless, as if we are not paying attention, as if we will do nothing in response. Well, I'm so peeved I'm writing this. That'll show 'em.

Where to begin? The Supreme Court just prior to this petite vacance agreed to hear a case in which Cheney is the defendant. Of course Scalia recused himself, you think. Of course he did not. Of course Chief Justice Rehnquist strongly recommended Scalia do so, you think. Of course he did not. He did, in fact, just the opposite and stated that Scalia should have power of judgment in determining his own impartiality. How did that conversation go, I wonder. Scalia, do you feel a conflict of interest? No, Scalia, I do not. Do you feel a conflict of interest? No, Scalia, I do not.

Nobody here but us chickens.