Archives for January, 2004


What’s he going to do for an encore? Moon the crowd at CPAC? . (Link courtesy Radley Balko).

Posted on Jan 29, 2004 in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Testing, Testing

Which Founding Father Are You?

Politically, I’m with TJ, of course, but this is more of a personality test. I can’t account for it. I couldn’t “inspire great loyalty” in a puppy. And anybody that “set their watch by me” would be chronically late.

On this, the Select Smart test for presidential candidates, I got even weirder results. The Libertarian came first, but Dennis Kucinich came in second, three points ahead of George W. Bush, who tied with Al Sharpton. A friend of mine supports Sharpton in the hopes that he’ll pick James Brown as his VP nominee, and give us a VP debate of transcendent weirdness. Hat tip Kate Duree.

Posted on Jan 28, 2004 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

No, I Said I’m a Dioniac

Ronnie James Dio, who does the primal scream better, has entered the presidential race.

Posted on Jan 27, 2004 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Al Franken Bodyslams Dean Heckler

Wise-cracking funnyman Al Franken yesterday body-slammed a demonstrator to the ground after the man tried to shout down Gov. Howard Dean….Franken emerged from the crowd and charged one male protester, grabbing him with a bear hug from behind and slamming him onto the floor.

“I was a wrestler so I used a wrestling move,” Franken said.

Hmm. Maybe he can kick Rich Lowry’s ass.

Posted on Jan 27, 2004 in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Healthy Living Through Coercion


Mayor Bloomberg’s minions continue their search for smoking-related program activities, according to the New York Post, raiding a political fundraiser put together by groups opposing the ban:

The Health Department do-gooders checked for illegal puffing and took up the restaurant manager’s time for nearly an hour. Perhaps not coincidentally, the event was sponsored by four organizations who have criticized the Bloomberg smoking ban — the New York Nightlife Association, United Restaurant and Tavern Owners of New York, the Lesbian & Gay Nightlife Association and the Empire State Restaurant & Tavern Association. We’re told the smoking-ban enforcers did not catch anyone and no citations were issued.

Link courtesy of Susie Jenney.

Posted on Jan 25, 2004 in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Hot Damn!

I just set up wireless web at home. How did I live 33 years without it?

Posted on Jan 25, 2004 in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Hard on Howie

Far be it from me to stand up for a politician in his time of misery, but aren’t we all being just a little hard on Howie? Everybody’s jeering like it’s lunchtime and a fat kid just tripped with his cafeteria tray. OK, yes, he did sound a little crazed–but wouldn’t you be a little crazed if you’d just spent several months trucking around to every goddamned Arby’s in Iowa, forced to act like you were happy to be there? I’d have cracked a lot sooner.

Posted on Jan 25, 2004 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Nixon is to Cambodia as Bush is to…

Lebanon. Noah Schactman at Defensetech sends along a report from Jane’s Intelligence Digest about the next front:

US secretary of defence Donald Rumsfeld is considering plans to expand the global war on terrorism with multi-pronged attacks against suspected militant bases in countries such as Lebanon and Somalia…

Sending US troops into lawless Somalia would not be new, nor is it likely to cause serious diplomatic waves. Covert US forces have periodically infiltrated the country over the past two years in order to conduct surveillance and even snatch [Al Qaeda] suspects…

However, sending US special forces into Lebanon – and in particular an area like the Bekaa Valley (which is virtually Syrian territory) and where the bulk of Damascus’ military forces in Lebanon are deployed – would be an entirely different matter. Deployment of US forces in the area would almost certainly involve a confrontation with Syrian troops.

Posted on Jan 22, 2004 in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Political Mysteries

I’ve been preoccupied lately with trying to figure out why anyone who supports limited government would support George W. Bush and the G.O.P., particularly after that State of the Union speech. Part of it, I guess, is Red-team/Blue-team tribalism. I wish somebody who knew something about evolutionary psychology (Will Wilkinson?) could write up a quasi-scientific take on this.

The other reason, I guess, is the supposed lack of viable alternatives. I think about that scene from Officer and a Gentleman (a lousy but endearing flick featuring Richard Gere and Debra Winger, the thinking man’s hottie of the early ’80s). Louis Gossett Jr. is beating the piss out of Richard Gere, and Gossett screams “Why you wanna be a Marine, Mayonaisse?” And Gere, doubled over, snot and blood dripping from his nose, screams back: “CAUSE I GOT NOWHERE ELSE TA GO!! [sob] I got nowhere else ta go…”

Can any of you Red Teamers give a more inspiring answer?

Posted on Jan 22, 2004 in Uncategorized | 31 Comments

Fun with Acronyms

Note to self: from now on, it’s no longer “WMDs”. It’s “WMDRPAs”.

Posted on Jan 22, 2004 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Dean’s “Barbaric Yawp”

Can I get this as a cellphone ring?

Link courtesy of Alan Gura. Clever title courtesy of Max Sawicky, who proves that Walt Whitman isn’t just for picking up interns anymore.

Posted on Jan 22, 2004 in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Death and Taxes

I found out recently that under Bush’s tax package, the estate tax scales down incrementally until 2010, when it disappears. In 2011, though, it comes back at Clinton-era levels. Which, if Grandma is just hanging on to life going into December 2010, creates an odd incentive structure. Hmmm. I wonder if Ashcroft was hip to this when he started cracking down on euthanasia.

Posted on Jan 21, 2004 in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

An Argument for Kucinich. And Against Everyone Else.

An Associated Press canvass of the candidates on what album they’d most like to pop into their CD players turns up gospel, opera, hip-hop, country and rock.

The rock fans are Wesley Clark, who likes Journey’s “Greatest Hits”; Sen. John Edwards, “The Essential Bruce Springsteen”; and Sen. John Kerry, the Beatles’ “Abbey Road.”

Howard Dean singled out the music of Grammy-winning hip-hop singer Wyclef Jean. Rep. Dennis Kucinich chose country’s Willie Nelson (who has endorsed him), and Al Sharpton favored gospel’s Yolanda Adams. Sen. Joe Lieberman’s favorite album is “Sueno,” by classical Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli.

I’ve got this image of Wes Clark with that thousand-yard stare, hunched down in his bus seat, muttering to himself “wheel in the sky keeps on turning/wheel in the sky keeps on turning” on and on and on through the frozen wasteland of NH. [Link courtesy of Atrios.]

Posted on Jan 21, 2004 in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Bully Pulpit

You know, I bet he’s going to get a lot of grief from the Right over that business about fighting steroids in sports. But I think it shows promise. What if, instead of using the SOTU to tout failed policies and announce new schemes to spend other people’s money–what if the President just used the bully pulpit to sound off on cultural trends over which he has no authority and no intention of doing anything but grouse?

“And Mr. Speaker, I say here tonight that crack is not the new cleavage! Not in America!”

It’d be a big improvement.

Posted on Jan 20, 2004 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Martian Survivor

Did you realize that a round trip to mars will take two and a half years and require a substantial stay on the teeth-gnashingly dull Martian surface? That the health risks of long-term low gravity living and exposure to cosmic rays (no, they’re not just from comic books) are substantial? That facing 30 months of living in a confined space, cheek by jowl with each other, in the most desolate, depressing, hideously lonely place imaginable, one or more of our pioneers may go berserk, like the characters in that Jack London story, forced to wait out the winter in a tiny quonset hut?

This is either the stupidest idea yet from the Bush administration, or the set up for the greatest reality show in television history.

Posted on Jan 20, 2004 in Uncategorized | 1 Comment