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October 7, 2005

al-qaeda plots i have foiled

Yesterday in a speech given before the type of people who sit for such things, President Bush started with the speechifying again.  You know, the whole, "Iraq is the front lines of the war against terror, we are good, they are evil, pay no attention to any difficulties I may be having and plus also my favorite Stooge is Larry," song and dance.  In the speech, Bush also claimed that his administration had foiled no less than ten Al Qaeda terrorist plots.

What a coincidence!

I, too, have foiled no less than ten Al Qaeda terrorist plots!  Let me run them down for you:

One.  Single payer health care.

Two.  Really dirty rest areas on westbound I-80 in Iowa.

Three.  "Queer Eye For The Straight Girl".

Four.  That guy with the ears staring at my wife at Bistro Du Vent.  Who's starin' now, porkchop?

Five.  The poisoning of an entire generation of young minds with that rock and roll music.

Six.  Tainting the nation's high fructose corn syrup supply with actual sugar.

Seven.  Scary nightmares!  Yikes!

Eight.  Hijacking the Maid of the Mist and keeping it tantalizingly close to Horseshoe Falls, but not close enough to actually get the tourists misted, rendering the rainslicks that are handed out useless.

Nine.  President John Kerry.

And ten.  Pro wrestler Mohammed Hassan's sneak attack on entertainment great Bob Denver.  Unfortunately, where Hassan and his dastardly Al Qaedan steel chair failed, age succeeded.  Sorry, little buddy.

Groove on, Bush Administration!  Race ya to twenty!

Posted by mrbrent at 10:24 AM

T.G.I.F.!

Don't know if you've all heard, out there in etherland, but here in New York we're having a subway party!  People from all over the world are coming to our subway party, and it looks to be the finest subway party ever!

Heck, I just got off the subway fifteen minutes ago, and, lemme tell ya, I'm not sure if catered breakfast is your thing, but it sure is mine!  And they even had biscuits and gravy, which you never see in New York, even though it is the Platonic ideal of breakfast!  There was also a live band, some kind of doo-wop thing, but I couldn't hear it over the sound of me eating.

And then there were monkies on trapezes!  And elephant chorus lines!

Okay, I'm lying.

There was no subway party.

But there was no asploding, either, so, you take what you can get.

I usually like to remain healthily skeptical in these little Darwinian panic exercises, but anytime the Department of Homeland Security contradicts the NYPD, I kinda have to go with the NYPD's version.

But seriously.  The mood in New York this morning?  Absolutely no panic.  If anything, crankiness because the 95% humidity makes you sweat like a pig, even though it's seventy degrees out.

So maybe all you Forces of Righteousness out there can worry about the ferriner turrist threat for us and panic all you want, 'kay?

Posted by mrbrent at 9:03 AM

October 6, 2005

same old song again, sung by crazy insane person

I know, I read too much.  It's why I had a "difficult" childhood.  But I been reading all these bloggy rumours of some serious medical condition affecting the president, you know, all the debate-time droopy-face, the coke spittle, the box under his shirt, falling off bikes, choking on pretzels, etc.  During his "Harriet Miers is the best little gal ever" presser two days ago, Bush looked haggard and defensive, with a new undertone of condescension, which I'm sure plays well with independents.  Bush's once robust and folksy image is now just a wee little blot in the rear-view, and my first thought when I see video of him is, "Dude, you okay?"

And how to best shore up the scary public disintigration of the Bush persona?  Why, put him on TV just two days later, to give his old favorite, "The Terrible Piano Lessons Of 9-11".  Holly Martins is funnier than I am; go read his live-blogging.

Josh Marshall has a theory on why all the public appearances.  I hope he's right.

Oh, and meanwhile, James Cramer (your basic financial advice columnist -- like I have "finances") has decided to join the Chicken Little/Nostradamus Admiration Society.  Stockpile that gold, you'uns!

Posted by mrbrent at 11:15 AM

October 5, 2005

harriet miers (sp)

I have been asked what I really think about the nomination to of Harriet Miers to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.  Usually I reply, "Practice, practice, practice!"  They think my response is some kind of weird comedy bit or something that only I think is funny, but they're wrong.  I have a friend in the Niagara Falls area who also thinks that's funny, among other things.

Here's a few brief points about the nominations.

I've heard the allegation that Miers' has never even been a judge parried with, "Aha, neither have other Supreme Court Justices!" and then there is frowning and sulking.  But there should not be.  True, past justices had never served as a judge prior to their confirmation on the Supreme Court, including Justice John Marshall.  However, Miers' c.v. is lacking of any truly distinguished service anywhere.  Perhaps her service to George Bush has been exemplary -- opposition researching the National Guard issue and allegedly delivering the "BIN LADEN DETERMINED TO STRIKE IN THE U.S." daily briefing to the president -- but she strikes me as the very picture of the "company man" (gender notwithstanding).  Unless a seat on the bench of the Supreme Court is supposed to be the finest sinecure in the land, an "Entourage" of jurisprudence, Harriet Miers is hardly the best candidate for this job.

Of course, there's no guarantee that she will remain the nominee.  Last night, pressed during a dinner party on my opinion, have in the bag, as they say, I predicted that Miers would withdraw from consideration in a couple of days.  Only because of the ruckus raised by the Forces of Righteousness in light of the fact that she's never signed any kind of pledge to only decide cases how Pat Robertson tells her to.  I'm just guessing that she'll have to fall on her sword just to protect the president with his base.  Besides, wouldn't she rather have a Medal of Freedom?

I could be wrong.  I usually am.  Or maybe Miers is some kind of straw man being constructed by the White House to use as cover for the replacement nominee -- Grover Norquist.

And finally, as happy as I would be to have a "Harriet" on the bench, she unfortunately misspells her surname, which should be typed "Meyers" or at least "Myers".  Maybe you, like me, went through high school and college with folk who would capriciously change their names and expect everyone to honor it.  If so, you will remember that these name-changers were shallow and annoying, so this time, as far as the nomination goes, spelling counts.

No on Harriet "Miers".

Posted by mrbrent at 1:12 PM

here's to my sweet spambot

In the past, I have o-pined that the spambots were taking our language away from us.  In a Seinfeldian way, with their appropriation of humankind's array of terrible subject lines in e-mails.

This morning, spambots may have actually become "self-aware", as the futurists would put it, as I received a piece of spam whose title was so intriguing that I opened a Cialis pitch for the first time in years.  The subject line:

"re: The infiltree"

I was all hoping that someone smart was starting a novel that would listserv its chapters out.  But it was not so, and there ain't no dysfunction in my erectile, if you weel, so let's just all bow down to our spambot overlords and get this over with.

Posted by mrbrent at 11:02 AM

October 4, 2005

NOLA now

It's been a month since Katrina hit the Gulf, and a week or so since Rita trailed behind.

To my direct knowledge, none of the regular visitors to Titivil are from down that way, so I'm guessing that our concerns about the devestated region have been supplanted with our more casual, every day thoughts about groceries, sports, DeLay indictments, etc.

My friend SJB actually was in Texas for Rita's landfall, and then headed over to NOLA (what the cool kids now call "the K-Hole").  She took some pictures.  You can find them here and here.

It's good to go and look, for remembering.

Posted by mrbrent at 8:54 AM

October 3, 2005

further to my fillings

Let me clarify the immediate subsequent post concerning ennui and outrage.

My political leanings remain solidly progressive, and I continue to advocate for outcomes along the party line.  At the same time, recent browsing around the political websites have sucked the energy out of me.

I'm not so much tired with the partisan fury as I am nauseated by the leftie prole bloggers, whose hue and cry is boring the shit out of me.

There was this incident last week on DailyKos, which I won't link because if you care about these kind of things you're already up to speed on it, where Sen. Barack Obama actually posted a fairly lengthy response to criticism he and other Senate Dems had been receiving over the Roberts confirmation hearings.  Obama laid out that the Senate was not always going to fire-breathe over certain issues, not so much because they lacked conviction, but because of certain realities of process and the breadth of their constituencies.  He included a paragraph or two on the efficacy of civility in general.  I thought it was a reasoned little piece that I did not necessary agree with entirely, but I nice effort to invite people to sit at the table and discuss.

So naturally the Kossacks ripped him apart, with invective and bluster.

I don't wanna win no ideological war if I have to become as loud-mouthed and bullying as the bad guys.

Also, I'm of the less-than-conventional idea that my fellow progressives are eight times sexier than the conservatives of the world, and through our sexiness our arguments will eventually prevail.

Maybe it's the blood in the water that's sending the Kossacks into the little roid-rages.  Maybe its frustration.  Whichever.  Hopefully, the force of our beliefs will never drown out our wit and compassion, and we will remain the sexiest people on earth, the most affable and pleasant companions, and the warmest to the strange.

Posted by mrbrent at 2:29 PM

ow my fillings

I see this morning that the president has rolled out the latest nominee for the Supreme Court.

I predict a wave of shrillness on the progressive side of the 'sphere, with caps locks deployed, plus also some bombast from the right, intimidating and finger-pointing.

And then there will be arguing and emotion!  That will split the internets in half!

The partisan fury is searing my brain!

Oh, but for just one public spaceship landing, to unify our fractious spirit!  Or maybe a big rock concert with the words "hands" and "across" in the title!

Let us all pray for inside voices.

Posted by mrbrent at 11:09 AM