Feb 22, 2007

Beware of 'Sconsinites!

Wisconsin is a very different place than the rest of the world. Some of the world's friendliest people cruise the tree lined streets in monster trucks carrying firearms and cases Pabst Blue Ribbons. With such notable exceptions as Jeffrey Dahmer, these well armed people are extremely generous and willing to help out their fellow man.

It is understandable understanding the natives that the first circus took place in Wisconsin. As did the invention of the ice cream sundae. Lots of sight and sound - signifying nothing. This great state contains the bratwurst capital of the world (Sheboygan), the Morel Mushroom capital (Muscoda), the U.S. seed-spitting and speed eating championships (Pardeeville), the world's largest outdoor fish fry (Port Washington), the Cow Chip Throw (Sauk Prarie), and plenty more unusual, yet entertaining, activities. Including on of the best festivals ever - Summerfest.

When there are no exciting activities happening in the Cheese State, people seem to hang out and drink a bit. This leads to many fun times. Among them shooting folks out of your hunting tower, tipping dairy cows (the state domestic animal), and escaping from self made devices (Harry Houdini is from Appleton). Sometimes people just stay home alone and, like the gentleman whose name was not released in the police report, watch porno.

James Van Iveren was sitting around his mother's house where he lived listening to music on the night of February 12th when he heard shrieks from a woman apparently being raped in the apartment upstairs. At first our hero did nothing hoping the screams would go away. When they did not he flew into action.

Grabbing a family heirloom, a cavalry sword and bounded up the stairs to save this poor woman. He pounded on the door until the frame and lock busted and the door flew open.

"Where is she?" James yelled at a very surprised man on his couch.

The unnamed man had no idea what this crazed neighbor, thrusting a 39 inch sword, was talking about. This made James angrier. James held the sword at the neighbor and made him walk around the apartment opening closet doors to prove that there was no woman present. Frightened, the man obliged.

After a full search of the house, James was convinced that there was no wrong doing in the apartment and headed back downstairs. A few moments later he saw a police cruiser outside the apartments. Knowing that they were there for him, he walked outside to talk to the police about the "rape" sounds that he had heard.

The police discovered after what had to be an entertaining moment that the lady was on a DVD. A pornographic DVD. They had the neighbor replay the section that Mr. Van Iveren apparently heard.

James Van Iveren is charged with criminal trespass while using a dangerous weapon, criminal damage to property while using a dangerous weapon and disorderly conduct while using a dangerous weapon. He faces up to 33 months in prison if found guilty.

Now my advice.

  • When watching pornography in your home, keep the volume at a reasonable level. This is especially true if you are into rape porn.
  • If you bust into someone's apartment for any reason, do not take any heirlooms that you may want to keep.
  • If you are 39 and live with your parents, try as hard as possible not to make the news. Steve Bartman will verify that one for me.
  • If you are an ear witness to a rape, do something or don't do something. Do not admit to not doing anything until it became unbearable to you.
  • If an incident happens at your house involving pornography, do everything in your power to keep your name out of the papers.

Feb 21, 2007

The View Below

I had a friend who once told me a very amusing story. Whether or not it is true is irrelevant.

My friend was an outstanding writer. Specifically, a poet. he submitted some pieces to the New Yorker as some sort of amateur contest. He was one of the four finalists that gets published. He wound up an honorable mention. I thought it was awesome. He was heartbroken. He decided to go on a little bit of a binge to "get it out of his system."

During his binge he met a very flirtatious and attractive woman. So attractive, in fact, that he actually danced for the better part of the two or so hours that they were on the dance floor. The rest of the time they spent kissing and rubbing against each other in non-dancing way. They retired to the bar for some drinks and barstool "snuggling". Leaving the bar hand in hand he was pretty sure that he would get the sadness of the poetry loss out of his system and possibly even some new inspiration.

The next morning he left her apartment very concerned. During the course of the evening he had developed some red markings on his shmengy. He went to friend who worked at a pharmacy and therefore was a medical expert to take a gander at his friend and let him know if he thought there should be concern. The pharmacist friend told him he did not have to look at his genitals to tell him that any strange markings were always a sign of concern. At least to him. But sometimes people get things in their heads and are unwilling to let them go. Later that night there was a pantaloon-drop and peek.

The pharmacist, who was already uncomfortable with the whole shebang, took a good hard look. At least that's the phrasing that makes us laugh hardest at the bar when we recount this story. Then he asked a question that is normally reserved for strangers in dark alleys after the Pride Parade.

"Uh, could you rub it for a sec."


"With some, oh God, uh, something wet."

"Like what?"

"Um, spit or a sponge or something."

The order was followed and the answer to the ailment was found.

I'll get back to this story in a minute. Before the "punch line" I would like to discuss the non-resigning of Ron Rivera as the defensive coordinator fro the Bears. I won't say that it was a mistake because that will be determined by play on the field in the next year or so. I will say that it was unnecessary. A little like making your way to the top of the Sears tower and then spending money to look back down to where you were with giant, immobile binoculars. Or a doctor leaving th room while you get naked.

There are one of two things that this could relate to. The first, as in all sports discussions, is money. By not resigning Rivera there is more money for Lovie. That's alright I suppose but it begs the question of who then becomes the cheapest owner in the Windy City, McCaskey or Wirtz? This man put together one of the best defenses in the league and despite there inability to change a gameplan at halftime they have been top ten for three straight years now with Rivera as their coordinator.

The second option is that the Bears (or Lovie who has built some considerable clout) are sick and tired of hearing about the '85 Bears. Rivera was known for having former '85 Bears players "bless" the team before each season. He would often invite them to give the defense a pep-talk before games and during practices. Enough so that it seemed to loose some of it's specialness. During the weeks leading up to the Superbowl, we heard more about the '85 Bears in this town than the '06 Bears. That may have been too much for the organization.

Either way, he is now in San Diego as a linebacker coach after interviewing for four head coaching jobs. Our new coordinator is Bob Babich, longtime friend to Lovie Smith and the world has continued to turn. Time will tell if this was a good move but I believe that this was just a move. Sometimes, like my binocular analogy above, you just need to know. But sometimes you are missing a spectacular view by not looking around with your own eyes. On the other hand, maybe the doctor doesn't inadvertently laugh at the patient's Scooby-Doo boxer shorts at the wrong time.

The ailment, by the way, was lipstick. Curable with a shower and some scrubbing.

Feb 19, 2007

Baseball news

The five words that let you know baseball season is right around the corner... No, it's not "Pitchers and catchers report tomorrow".

It's "Ken Griffey injures himself again".

Insert the words Kerry Wood as well, and you've got yourself a baseball season!

Meanwhile, rules changes for the first time in about a decade. Most are kind of silly, for instance, you can't scuff a baseball anymore. There's also some kind of shot clock now for pitchers. 12 seconds. So what's the penality to say, a Steve Traxel, who will be violating this new rule on every pitch? Automatic walk? Traxel, so long, buddy.

Under another change, a player may no longer step into a dugout to catch a foul ball. He still will be allowed to reach into a dugout. But can't go in it. Why? Dumb new rule. There's advertising there - why wouldn't we want to see that?

Or how about this one: You must run the bases out in a game ending home run if there are two outs, and a man on base. Because the man who doesn't run is considered a third out - or something - and the home run does not count. Imagine what's going to happen in Detroit when on a late night game at the end of the 17th inning - this happens when Neifi doesn't advance, and instead dogs it to the duggout to hug his teammates, creating the third out. Then the ump will call him out, and point out the new rule. How much blood will spill before this rule is taken out again?

Wrong! Neifi will never be on second, because that assumes that he somehow got a double with two outs!

Also - No mention or advancement of the strike zone enforcement. This is probably the biggest problem facing the game - and nothing even mentioned! But if there's a rain out, when a game is tied in the bottom of the fifth inning or later and is called because of weather, it will be suspended and resumed before the next scheduled game between the teams at the same ballpark.

Question posed? Do any of these changes make the game better? Are they at all needed?

Apparently there are also some scoring changes, but since the article I was reading to GET this information kind of ended there, I have no idea what these scoring changes actually are.


So I looked it up and it's mostly how to score the A.J. Pierzynski third strike, steal home stuff that decided the Sox winning the World Series a couple years back. Maybe you heard about it from some South Side Chicago folks?

Well it oughta be an interesting pile of garbage until Mid August when a couple teams start ramping up and winning some games. Looking forward to making my picks, and then licking my wounds in October.

Feb 15, 2007

Sports Thoughts by Masongil

The last anyone heard of One F* was Killre an hour before Superbowl XLI kickoff. One F was giddy with excitement at the thought of the ferocious Bears mauling the Colts. No way could a choke artist like Manning having a post-season where he throws more picks than TD's** beat my beloved Bears. How can a defense ranked so low beat the mighty Bears.***

That was a sad night.

I thought about giving up writing about sports for a while. Much like I did about politics. I also decided that top ten lists and link posts were overdone in today's blog age. That left me . . . nothing left to write about. Maybe it was time to post the image of the three-toed dog. I have lost readers (Smussy, I look at you) because of my fight to wait for the "moment." I figured lack of anything else was not a "moment." At least not one that belonged in quotes. And where would my surprise VP come from to send me over the top if I decide to run for President****? I was in a bind.

Then I gave myself an out as I am wont to do. I decided I would not post about sports until catchers and pitchers report or until Killre gives his fragile allegiance back to the Cubs. So February 14 it was. Good day. Too many flowers but still mostly a good day.

I awoke yesterday ready to go. I had patiently waited my opportunity to resume my life as a blasphemer. I had a cup of coffee, watched some CNN, laughed at the three-toed dog, yelled at neighborhood kids, and generally went on with life as it had been a few weeks earlier.

I am not going to lie and tell you I have not been preparing for a Presidential campaign. That I have not been preparing quips to use at the debates, not been writing inspirational speeches to use for announcing, the convention, etc. But all that comes with time. There is almost two years before the election and my campaign cannot afford a misstep. So back to sports it was for the time being.

I opened the paper to see what has occurred that I could write about. There was Tim Hardaway claiming that he hates fags. That's a good one. Bulls in a slump. I could back them and explain why we will have two second place teams in this city. Mmm-hmmm. Cubs stuff, blah blah blah, Killre's department. Then I saw it and I knew immediately.

I had the Blasphemer of the Month, the entire Cubs organization.

Seems our friends are going to advertise in the ivy. You know those green doors in the outfield? They are now the Under Armor doors under the Bud Light bleachers. Not even a green screen thing. Just a straight up billboard INSIDE the baseball field.

This, my friends, is the first step. And not just for the Cubs. Next, they will paint the pitching mounds and advertise right there. Need to get over the hump? Try Red Bull. They have already tried advertising on the bases. Chevy, prices so low there a steal. What about on the base paths? Lots of room there. Slide head first, you can SHOUT! it out later. Balls themselves? Who will get whacked? Sopranos at 7ET. Bats? Viagra: get wood. The numbers on the scoreboard itself, "That was a three run home run by Barrett. Put a Pizza Hut 3 on the board!!!! YES!!" Morganna: Look at those tits!*****

I myself have looked into advertising on the stadium seats themselves. Might be a good investment. Vote One F. He will keep your ass safe.

* In sports related pieces you are allowed to refer to yourself in third person.
** He is now the first quarterback to do it.
*** First non-top ten defense to win a Superbowl.
**** Exploratory committee still looking into it.
***** She was the "kissing bandit" for all you kids out there wondering where the tits are.

Feb 13, 2007

A Rabid Pack of Wolf

The world ended last Thursday. Did you notice?

Did you hear anything about it?

Probably not.
There are a couple of reasons why you didn't hear about the world ending. The first, and best, reason is that it didn't really end. Sorry, but I was just resorting to hyperbole to make a point. And my point is this: The second reason why you didn't hear anything about the world ending is that even if it had, nobody would have known about it because CNN was too busy telling us that Anna Nicole Smith had died.

'This is Wolf Blitzer in the Situation Room, where we have Breaking News about a Developing Story at this hour: Several hours ago, Anna Nicole Smith died...

'That's pretty much the whole story, right now, and it's unlikely that we will know anything more until tomorrow, but we're not going to let that stop us from yammering away about it non-stop and commercial-free for at least the next two hours. There are probably other things of much greater importance happening in the world today, but this is real news: The largely innocuous death of a former Playmate...

'Anna Nicole Smith was a former model and actress who was probably best known for having once upon a time popped the cork of an 89-year-old billionaire, whom she met while working as a stripper-- which means I should probably amend her list of credentials. Anna Nicole Smith was a former model, actress and exotic dancer whose sudden death in a Florida hotel room today was the shocking, shocking end to more than a decade of binge drinking, drug use and erratic behavior...

'With me now in the studio is Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who used to be a real doctor but now just plays one on TV. Sanjay, can you speculate about what might have happened here?'

speculate (SPECK-you-late) [verb] a three-syllable word for guess... which, coincidentally enough, was the the jeans company for which Anna Nicole Smith was a model.

'Well, Wolf, there was a time in my career when I would have felt uncomfortable conjecturing so publicly about a case with which I was this unfamiliar... but those big, fat checks I've been getting from Turner have kinda changed my tune. So... yeah, I'll shoot my mouth off for a while, if it'll help you fill air time.'

'Thank you, Sanjay, for that insight. Joining us now via satellite is CNN talk show host Larry King, host of Larry King Live Weeknights At Nine Eastern Here On CNN. Larry, I understand you had Anna Nicole Smith as a guest on your program a number of times. What were your impressions of her, and what is your reaction to her suddenly sudden and shockingly shocking death earlier today?'

'Well, it certainly is shocking and sudden, Wolf-- there's no question about that. As for my impressions of Anna Nicole... she wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer, and there were times when you felt uncomfortable and downright embarrassed for her because she was making such a complete fool of herself, but despite all that, she had blonde hair and a pretty face and a nice set of jugs, so you couldn't help but like her.'

'She certainly was, Larry, thank you for joining us. I know you'll be talking about this tonight on your show; we look forward to it. Right now we turn --as we do every day at this time-- to Jack Cafferty with
(obligatory dramatic pause) The Cafferty File. Jack, what do you have for us?'

'Wolf, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is taking a lot of heat these days for using a military aircraft that she is fully authorized by the Air Force to use. She says the criticism is motivated by the fact that she's a woman. Republicans say her lack of balls isn't the issue-- it's that she's from California. They don't like it. They say it wouldn't be such a big deal if she were from Illinois like former Republican Speaker Dennis Hastert, but the fact that she's from California makes it wrong. So, our Totally Unscientific and Often Downright Silly CNN Poll-question of the Day probably goes something like this: Should the United States Air Force be authorized to authorize the use of its own aircraft? Log on to c-n-n-dot-com-slash-cafferty-file to demonstrate statistically that your very existence is, right at this moment, largely useless...

'And before I go, Wolf, I have a question for you,' Cafferty said, with a knowing look...

"Is Anna Nicole Smith still dead?"

'Ah-ha... yes, Jack, yes, she is,' Wolf answered in slow motion, wearing a bang-you-got-me smile. Then he turned to the camera and said, 'And for those of you who may have forgotten in the past 60 seconds that Anna Nicole Smith is, indeed, still dead: Don't worry. We're going to beat you over the head with it non-stop for the next 35 minutes...'

At 6 p.m. eastern time, Blitzer passed the baton to Lou Dobbs. I wasn't listening by then, but I can well imagine how Dobbs led off his show...

'On tonight's edition of Precisely How You're Getting Screwed: Tragedy, today, in Florida. Former model, actress and exotic dancer Anna Nicole Smith collapses in her hotel room outside of Fort Lauderdale; she is later pronounced dead at a local hospital...

'Smith came from humble beginnings, pulling herself up by her own g-string and mammalian attributes to make something of herself by popping the cork of an 89-year-old oil tycoon. Her mysterious death at the age of 39 is just one more example of the ongoing War on the Middle Class. Between this and whatever horse manure Bud Selig is up to today, it's pretty clear that the End is nigh...'

Feb 6, 2007

Fun with No-fun

The road narrowed as we headed into the mountains.
What thin lip-service of a shoulder there'd been disappeared completely, and the edges of the pocked and pitted and pothole-patched pavement visibly crumbled under the weight of a badly faded white line.

The tires made a fast ripping sound on the roughening road surface and the heavy darkness of a late-night-early morning seemed to tighten the headlight beams as I practically yanked the car into a tight curve. When the road straightened, I have to admit, I wobbled just a little.

One F pretended not to notice. He took a swig of his Molson Canadian and asked, "So where are we going?"

"You'll see."

He probably frowned at me. I don't know that for sure, because I kept my eyes on the road, but he probably did. From the speakers, Buddy Holly sang: "...in the valley of tears..."

I took one hand off the wheel and turned the stereo up a notch. The tire-ripping sound seemed to be getting louder, you see. Besides, I knew "Ready Teddy" was the next song. Then, having boosted the volume, I paradoxically raised my voice and said: "You know, this is the actual album Buddy Holly, from 1958. I mean: It's a CD, but it's the same song line-up. It was his second album."

"I know," One F said. "My dad and I went on a road trip together last year, and his Buddy Holly CD was the only music we could both agree on."

"So you've heard it," I said. "You know something? You're no fun."

He didn't say anything to that. He took another swig of beer. And maybe another. After a short while, he asked: "So where are we going?"

"You'll see."

I careened through a couple more curves and then the road ripped and soared, steep and sudden, to the top of the ridge. I took my foot off the throttle as we reached the summit. I know from experience how all those narrow, half-assed California mountain roads tend to buck and dive and twist when they crest a ridge. I for one did not want to experience that stomach-dropping, adrenaline-shot, endless-second parabola, we're-going-to-die feeling. Not just then, anyway.

Buddy Holly sang, "...you're so square... baby, I don't care..."

One F didn't spill a drop.

We flew down the other side of the pass, ripping and roaring through the night. Eventually, the road dropped us down to a relatively flat plateau, nested among the peaks. The pavement got smoother and wider and the tire-ripping sound diminished. I whispered a silent prayer to the Creator of the Cruise Control, and set it.

A few miles further on, we approached a stoplight. The gods that govern traffic signals must have seen us coming, because the light --which had been green for, I'm sure, about four hours-- turned yellow and then red, for no apparent reason. There were no other cars in sight: We hadn't seen another car since we'd left the Interstate.

Buddy Holly sang, "...take your time... I can wait..."

A few miles beyond that, we came to another intersection. I pulled over onto the shoulder and put the transmission in Park. We were about 20 miles from... well, from anywhere, anywhere at all. The intersection was shaped like a large Y that was trying to make something of itself-- specifically, a T. One lone streetlight on a close-set utility pole hung its head like a tired old man and spilled a dull, half-hearted orange glow over not very much of the area.

I turned down the stereo and swept an index finger from left to right, indicating the highway that crossed in front of us: It came sliding gently down a ridge from our left and swung through the junction on a curve and disappeared into the darkness to our right, at an angle that took it directly away from us. "That," I said, "is State Highway 46. Fifty years ago, it was U.S. 466."

I looked at One F. He was frowning. It was his quizzical frown. I took that to be a good sign. From the speakers, Buddy Holly sang, "...you're gonna miss me... early in the mornin'... one of these days..."

I pointed to the left again and started my story: "He came flyin' over that ridge doing, like, 75 or 80 down the hill. He was driving a 1955 silver-colored Porche--"

"James Dean?" he interrupted.

I felt my shoulders sag. I'm sure he enjoyed the disappointment on my face. "You know something?" I said. "You're no fun."

He smiled and shrugged. "You shouldn't have said 'silver-colored Porche'. It was a dead give-away. No pun intended."

I told the story anyway, albeit with less enthusiasm. After all, here we were at the actual spot where the actual James Dean had actually died... so I told the story anyway. I told him how Dean had come barreling west down the hill at something like 80 miles per hour because he'd been either too stupid or too lazy to leave L.A. the night before; how some poor sap in a Sherman tank of a Studebaker, coming the other way, had pulled up to the intersection looking to turn left; how Dean's supposed last words to his passenger were, "He has to see us... He has to stop"; how the poor sap didn't stop but instead turned directly into Dean's path; how Dean's real last word was probably a high-pitched "Shiiiiiit!" as he slammed his foot down on the brake pedal far too late; how the guy in the Studebaker and the German mechanic who was riding shotgun with Dean in the Porche both survived, but Dean was pronounced dead at the scene.

One F chuckled. "It amuses me that he called that guy his 'mechanic'. The guy probably serviced Dean's Johnson rod more than he ever worked on the car."

"Well, anyway," I said as I put the car in gear, "The guy died in a car crash back in Germany sometime in the 80's. I heard it was 'alcohol related', although I don't know if he was the one who was drinking or if it was someone else." I pulled up to the intersection and made a left. "Legend has it, the Porche sat here in the field near the junction for, like, years afterwards. Some people even think it's still here, but it isn't."

"Where is it?"

"I don't know. But I've been through here in the daytime, and it isn't here."

The CD was over, so I hit Eject and told him to pick something. He reached into the glove compartment and selected a Stephen Lynch Special Mix that he'd made for me. Then he twisted around in his seat and reached into the back, where we had the cooler.

"Need a Coke?" he asked.

"No, I'm good."

He sat back down and I heard the kiss-hiss of the cap being twisted off another Molson. He took a long drink and said, "I can't believe you brought beer."

I shrugged. "Just don't drink all of 'em. I might want one when we get to L.A."

There was a pregnant silence.

"That's the last one, isn't it?" I asked.

"Um..." he said, and I felt him regard me with that look he gives you when he's trying to think of something to say but wants you to think it's just a dramatic pause. "Maaaybeee?"

"Seriously," I said, sparing a full second to look him in the eye, "you're no fun!"

I looked back at the road. He said, "I wouldn't worry: I'm sure Holly Would will have beer when we get there."

"Yes... but it won't be Molson Canadian," I pointed out. "Did you notice the labels?"

He looked down at the bottle he was holding. "What about 'em?"

"It's part of their marketting campaign. They're not just selling beer; they're selling tiny conversation pieces. The back label of every bottle has a different bad pick-up line."

He reached up and snapped on the dome light and read aloud: "Ask me about my all-over tan." Then he sniffed. That was his way of saying, "I'm trying to be amused, but it isn't working very well."

"Every bottle has a different one?" he asked.

"Well, probably not every bottle in the world, no. But usually every bottle in a given six pack does."

He reached under the seat and brought out one of the empties: "I may be your best option." He replaced that one and grabbed another. "Hey, this one says 'Bud Selig must go'."


"No, not really."


New York Senator and 2008 presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton was a featured speaker at the Democratic National Committee's winter meetings late last week. She began her address by heralding the recently-won Democratic majority in the House of Representatives. Then she alluded to the practical 50/50 split in the Senate, saying that there will have to be some bipartisan agreement (back room deals) in order to get anything done. (She said this without actually using the term "back room deals," of course... nor, for that matter, "bipartisan agreement.")

Then she said: "This is what I pledge to you for the next two years: That I will work with my colleagues in the Senate to do everything we can to change the direction of this country."

Uh-huh. Translation: "This is what I pledge to you between now and Election Day 2008, after which you can all go suck an egg for all I will care: That I will stick my saliva-wetted finger up into the air and judge as best I can which direction the political wind is blowing that day; then I will say absolutely anything I feel I have to say in order to convince the voting public that any legislation they like was my idea, and any legislation they don't like is something that I was against from the very beginning... even if I wasn't."

Later, the Senator provided an example of just such leadership: "I want to be very clear about this... If I had been president in October of two thousand and two, I would not have started this war."

Translation: "Please forget that I voted in favor of invading Iraq. Please forget that I have been hawkish on the war until just last week. Please ignore that I am moving one small, slow step --no sudden movements; that would call attention to it-- one small, slow step to the left with each passing day. Don't look over there to the right; look over here to the left. I'm not over there anymore. In fact --ha-ha!-- I never was (except, of course, when I was)...

"And oh, by the way, when I said 'two thousand and two', I actually meant '2002', not '2000.2'.

She quickly followed that up with this little nugget of male bovine manure: "If we in Congress don't end this war before January two thousand and nine, as president I will."

"Read my lips: No new taxes." --George H.W. Bush, 1988.

The Senator then addressed the class divisions in America today, sounding not unlike CNN's Lou "This Country is Waging a War on its Middle Class" Dobbs. In particular, Clinton took aim at Big Oil: "I wanna take those profits and I wanna put them into a strategic energy fund that will begin to find alternative, smart energy..."

"I wanna take those profits..." Translation: Socialism.

Now let's all sing along to the tune of "Sodomy" from the musical Hair...

"Socialism; fasc-illio; commu-nism... would be classy.
Father, why do these words sound so nasty?
Manipulation... can be fu-u-u-un.
Join the Hill'ry Clinton Campaign Orgy... and get fuuucked."

She went on to "reject" criticisms of some of the ever-shifting planks in her watery platform. You know: 'They say that if you do this, then something bad will happen. Well, I reject that. They say that if you do that, then something bad will happen. Well, I reject that.'

It's a debate tactic borrowed from George W. Bush: Don't discuss, consider, or argue reasonably and logically against someone else's idea or opinion-- just deny outright that it could possibly have any merit.

Much of the rest of Senator Clinton's speech bore a striking resemblance to her presidential campaign announcement. For those of you who missed that, oh, well, allow me to summarize...

Picture if you will Hillary Clinton in a carefully choreographed Relaxed Pose on a Neutral-toned couch, in a room painstakingly staged to look Slightly Upscale Warm and Cozy. Picture the Senator making Very Deep Like to the camera, and saying...

"Hi. I'm Hillary Clinton. Notice that I did not say 'Rodham'. That's because my advisers have finally convinced me that including 'Rodham' in my name makes me seem just a little too austere for many of the voters that I plan on bull-shitting over the course of the next 21 months. While I have cultivated that very austerity in the past, I now want to project an image of such transparently insincere warmth and openness that even the most casual observer can plainly see just how full of shit I really am...

(*deep breath*)

"Bull-shit, bull-shit, bull-shit, bull-shit, bull-shit, bull-shit, bull-shit, bull-shit and, of course, health care bull-shit...

"I think you'll agree that after six years of George W. Bush, the time has come for a new kind of bull-shit. Bull-shit, bull-shit, bull-shit, bull-shit and any bull-shit that will make you forget that I voted in favor of all that bull-shit in Iraq...

"Now, I was born the son of a sharecropper, and I learned early on the values of bull-shit, bull-shit, bull-shit, bull-shit and more bull-shit...

"But I'm not just starting a campaign. I want to start a conversation. Let's chat. Let's bull-shit. Bull-shit, bull-shit, bull-shit, bull-shit, bull-shit, bullshit, bull-shit and, of course, health care bull-shit...

"Now, before I go, I'd like to address my rather excessive use of the word 'bull-shit'. I could have instead used the word 'snow-job', but I chose not to for a couple of reasons. First, I didn't want you to confuse anything I said today with one of White House Press Secretary Tony Snow's daily press briefings. Second, 'snow-job' sounds a lot like 'blo'-- well, you know what it sounds like. You're not really going to make me say it, are you?"


Also in Washington on Friday, when everyone else in America was thinking about the weekend, the National Intelligence Council declassified a small portion of its latest National Intelligence Estimate. A couple of things regarding Iraq were of particular note.

One of the semantic debates that has been raging for a year or more is whether or not the conflict in Iraq should be called a "civil war." Oh, how This Blinkin' Administration and other Republicans hated the liberalmediabias' use of that term! "It's inaccurate," they cried. "The situation in Iraq is not that bad."

Turns out they were half-right: It is inaccurate. I now quote directly from the recently released National Intelligence Estimate: "The Intelligence Community judges that the term 'civil war' does not adequately capture the complexity of the conflict in Iraq."

Translation: It's worse than a civil war... it's an Alistair MacLean novel.

The report went on to say that a rapid withdrawal of U.S. troops would have devastating consequences. The Iraqi Security Forces "would be unlikely to survive as a non-sectarian national institution" (assuming that that's what they are now, which is also "unlikely") and neighboring countries such as Iran, Syria, Turkey and perhaps even Saudi Arabia "might intervene openly in the conflict; massive civilian casualties and forced population displacement would be probable." Not to mention Al-Qaeda would have free reign in Al-Anbar Province.

Translation: We are stuck between Iraq and a hard place.


Hair was written by Galt MacDermot, Gerome Ragni and James Rado.

In the time it will take you to read this sentence, Exxon will have made nearly $7,000... in profits.

In the time it takes for that to sink in, they will have made about $5,000 more.

You have to wonder --don't you?-- if Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig ever envisioned his independent investigator, former Senator George Mitchell, being quite so independent...

Feb 1, 2007

What's the Stigmatta You?

Haven't done a list in a while. So how about the top ten best things about having stigmata.
  1. Easy to donate blood.
  2. Always have a handy place to strap in your ski poles so that you do not lose them.
  3. Ladies, there is no need to bleed just once a month.
  4. Easier to be sainted. But please show more class than Reggie.
  5. Can fit in smaller sized shoes.
  6. Perfect for visors.
  7. Can get drunker off of fewer beers.
  8. Only takes a white shirt to pull off the "Mobster-Who-Got-Shot" Halloween costume.
  9. Easy to pick up goth chicks at the bar.
  10. Who doesn't love picking scabs!
Feel free to add your own choices.

P.S. The Presidential Exploratory committee has begun it's work.