Archive for March, 2007

2 decades ago, this might have been the in thing to do for an out-of-touch bit of mischief

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

It’s a little hard to explain what is so incredibly off with Karl Rove’s performance as “MC Rove”.

I think I can explain it thusly: as out-of-touch stunts go, it was an in out-of-touch thing to do in, maybe the late 1980s or early 1990s.  It is a sort of rap which expands each line “I- talk- like- this- to fill the met-er”, a lazy sort of thing which is the hallmark for all attempts like this.  It degerates into the rapper at Rove’s side making bird noises as Rove flaps his arms about.

And to top it all off, the black man on stage comes off as kind of token-ish.  (“QUICK!  Where’s our Black Republican to validate this?”)
What is the purpose of these things?  Understand, Rove began his appearance with a skit-tish bit of hilarity posing as Patrick Fitzgerald.  It’s a pointless exercise which eats your soul.

The word on John McCain

Friday, March 30th, 2007

To underscore how tough things are for the GOP, Bill Pascoe, a Chicago-based Republican consultant with Urquhart Media, said “there are Republican consultants scouting state legislators for 2014. That’s how far the long-range planning is going.”

Why 2014? Because that would be the second midterm of a Democratic president.

I don’t believe them. How many times do we have to bury a political party before it reanimates itself off of the corpse of the other political party?

Besides, this Fred Thompson guy is going to save the Republican Party from disaster in 2008.

It is an interesting turn of the dice. Following 2004, the word was that the “Values Voters” were out in force, drowning out the Democratic Party. That lie was put to bed almost immediately, during the Terri Schiavo debacle. I wonder what lie about the Democratic Party resurgance is about to put to bed.

Now then, I may as well say that that link was part of a cluster of articles on cursor.org yesterday which included this snippet:

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was close to leaving the Republican Party in 2001, weeks before then-Sen. Jim Jeffords (Vt.) famously announced his decision to become an Independent, according to former Democratic lawmakers who say they were involved in the discussions.

In interviews with The Hill this month, former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and ex-Rep. Tom Downey (D-N.Y.) said there were nearly two months of talks with the maverick lawmaker following an approach by John Weaver, McCain’s chief political strategist.

Democrats had contacted Jeffords and then-Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-R.I.) in the early months of 2001 about switching parties, but in McCain’s case, they said, it was McCain’s top strategist who came to them.

McCain’s aides go on to deny this, saying that it was the Democrats who fervently courted him. Both parties to this issue have a reason to stick by that side of the story. My mind wanders to the story that John McCain and John Kerry had three discussions on having McCain be Kerry’s running mate, which somewhere someone mentioned was indeed two more times than necessary for McCain simply to state “Not interested.”

The implications are a bit depressing. John McCain in the Democratic Party (or Caucus) would make a two-fer of a McCain — Lieberman Splurge on through Iraq and onto Iran and Syria Caucus — unstoppable, come to think of it, as McCain has cultivated a uniquely friendly relationship with the beltway media (to the point where he has gotten to sit alone on the Sunday blathering shows, as opposed to the typical Democratic guest and Republican guest set-up — which, I suspect is one of the great manifestations of the reason that the Republican primary voter hesitates toward him. Other manifestations include the above – mentioned dalliances with Kerry and Daschle). Never mind, I never much liked his claim to Maverick Democratic – friendly fame anyway — McCain – Feingold — which is a plumbing operation of corraling big money, duct-taping up one pressure area so that it can explode out a new pressure point in the convoluted system.

As it were, 9/11 happened and the motivation to stay with the Republican Party became rather powerful.  The Democratic Majority in the Senate became useless — Jeffords’s switch languishing into meaninglessness.  Suppose for a moment McCain and Chaffee switched.  The question about the Democratic Party is — does such a large net of muddled “Visions” move them along?  Could they just go ahead and invite James Inhofe into the party, and while they’re at it claim the ideological mantle of Ronald Reagan?  I don’t quite get it.

Ameteur Groutists

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

I have, in the past, as far back as early 2001, discussed on this website (or some variation thereof) the presence of a “grout pun” graffiti in public restrooms — off onto the edges of the tiles in miniscule type play on words of the word “grout” — “Grout it Out”, “Oscar the Grout”, “Grout Expectations”, et al, ad naseum.

It is ubiqutious enough, and is reportedly common on college campuses, but also elsewhere where juvenilia may reign supreme.
Yesterday, I had use to make of the urinal in a local Fred Meyers.   I look straight ahead, and what do I see but some of that Grout Pun Graffiti.  But there is a problem with this assortment.  What makes Grout Graffiti impressive is that it clearly took effort to write it in its lack of space.  The area of the spackel that makes up this grout was, compared to most grout, enormous.  It took very little effort to write the Grout Graffiti here — the font size being roughly the size, a bit smaller perhaps, than the font size of what you are reading on the screen right now if you have the font sized at a medium level.

The Grout Graffitists here were ametuers.  Try again next time, and find a better space.  I’ll chalk this up to a practice round, the bunny slopes so to speak.

Giuliani Time!

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

Pondering the reputation of Rudy Giuliani during his tenure as New York City mayor, I suppose I arrive at the Chris Matthewsism “He got rid of the pee smell in the Subway”.  Delve that a bit deeper than the immediate problem, and it is that he managed the homeless problem — solving it by shoving them to New Jersey.

That is not unattractive or without its virtues to the New York City voting public.  He, I hear, solved (or lessened to a considerable extent) New York City’s crime problem.  As often happens, the crime rate’s drop started with the previous administration — the much maligned Dingle Administration — but this goes along my contention that George Herbert Walker Bush would have been re-elected had Alan Greenspan lowered the interest rates a whiff sooner than he did, as the economic recovery was starting at the end of his administration.  Them’s the breaks!

So it was that Rudy Giuliani fired the police commissioner — Bill Bratton of the “Broken Windows” docrtine – that Time gave a cover feature regarding how the city was turning crime around, lest he receive less credit.  Or so goes the speculation.

Which all may be moot.  By the time the NYPD plunged a plunger up a black man’s anus, Giuliani’s general public approval had dissolved away, taking this to be a bit gratuitious.  I think these general police controversies are the hallmarks of just about every city’s government (LAPD being most famous).  The electorate shifts about a little, and I suppose the core supporters, his most ardent supporters, wouldn’t see anything wrong with any of the racially-tinged police incidents.  The pee-smell in the Subway has been wiped out, after all.

There is a book out which criticizes the before-now unattackable — Giuliani on 9/11 — Grand Illusion, the birth of the tedious title of “America’s Mayor”, the reason for him being quasi-presidential timber.  Traction-wise, the myth (whatever truth may or may not be in the truth) is likely impenetrable.

Zooming around, one facet of his reputation befuddles me, one that if asked to expound on the contours of what I perceive as Rudy Giuliani’s legacy I would end up focusing in as emblematic of what looks both appealing and non-appealing about it — and I have no clear answer.  Times Square.  He “cleaned up” Times Square.  He did so essentially by selling it to Disney.  Mind you, I am the last person that should be discussing the cultural or political history of New York City, but I have come to figure that any wistful nostalgia for the Time Square of of olde is a fraud –romanticized pain — a feeling rushing in that life gave you the worst and you slugged it out.  A thousand David Letterman opening jokes from the 80s and early 90s run through my head right now — all of them the same.  Thus, Times Square is given its quirk, and you smile at it.

My question about Times Square.  Could it possibly have been renovated in any other matter?  It looks like an improvement, but an improvement to a nonetheless unsettling condition.

It’s a question that haunts any area of urban blight, and digging deeper exposes an unsettling reality of who we allow to control our lives, ie: Disney or Drug Dealers — if not one, the other.  Porn or the Vice-Cops.  One or the other.

Giuliani: He’ll do to America what he did to New York City.  Which is to get rid of that pee smell and stick a plunger up your ass!  Is it a Deal?

random Iraqi Election thought

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

A random thought that crept into my mind about about Saddam Hussein and Iraq. Through his tenure as Dictator of Iraq, Saddam Hussein held regular elections, the typical dictator “Yes / No” ballot. They regularly showed him winning by margins of — oh — 11,256,482 to 26 — the fate of those 26 you have to wonder what their fates were.  The final election was held on October 16, 2002, which saw Saddam Hussein win by… get this – 11,445,638 to 0 — every eligible voter voted, and they all voted for Hussein.

Unfortunately, Saddam had not as of yet discovered the joys of purple ink, which would have made the spectacle complete.

Now, call me a conspiracy theorist, but I think there was some election fraud in that one.  I think a handful or two did indeed vote against Saddam, but those votes either weren’t counted, or were converted into “yes” votes by… oh, I don’t know, Diebold machines.

Someone should look into that one.

Fred Thompson???

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

From wikipedia:

There was speculation that Thompson would run for Governor of Tennessee in 2006, but he declined to run against the popular Governor Phil Bredesen. There recently has been a movement to encourage Thompson to run for President in 2008. He has not announced a run but has said he will “leave the door open”[10]. On March 11, 2007, Thompson said on Fox News Sunday that he has not ruled out running for president.

On March 19, 2007, Thompson took over 50 percent in an online straw poll on conservative website Hannity.com, handily beating the candidate he supported in 2000, John McCain, as well as Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, and Newt Gingrich. A few days later, a Rasmussen Reports poll had him ahead of Senator Hillary Clinton with 44 percent to Clinton’s 43 percent (a statistical tie, given margin of error)[11]. His wife, Jeri, is also encouraging him to run.

On March 27, 2007, a USA Today/Gallup [1] poll placed Thompson in third place among Republican candidates with 12%. According to Gallup, Thompson’s support was drawn primarily from Guiliani supporters, evidenced by Guiliani’s drop of 13% from the previous poll. This indicates that Thompson’s yet-to-be-announced candidacy may be more viable than previously thought, and his support could increase dramatically upon an announcement that he will seek the office in 2008. However, some pundits argue that the longer he waits to announce, the less likely his chances become of securing the Republican nomination.

This does raise the interesting question for me, which is: Who the Hell is Fred Thompson?  Apparently he was a Senator, filling out the term left over from Al Gore, and won a full term fairly easily.  He didn’t run for anything in 2002, though he would have won something had he wanted to, thus he pursued his much more important career on the tv series Law and Order, and the two spin-offs — I think one of them is entitled Law and Order Jaywalking Unit?

Thompson is also a special program host and senior analyst for ABC News Radio and fills in for Paul Harvey.

Is there a “Draft Paul Harvey” movement, and if not why not?

Fred Thompson exists in a vacuum of discontent with the politicians of McCain, Giuliani, and Romney.  I suppose he is a more viable election figure than Martin Sheen — or Jed Bartlet — would be for the Democrats, (in Sheen’s case, the support is for the character he plays — I don’t know what Thompson plays — does he play a hard-nosed prosecutor who shuns away the CRAP of Bureucracy or something?) and I suppose we should be thinking outside the box for our presidential hopefuls (He has a career of the traditional presidential aspirant type, and a career not of the traditional presidential aspirant type).  His support remains telling, and that is about what one can say about him.

Concluding a Trilogy, perhaps

Monday, March 26th, 2007

A man walks up to me, someone who I initially thought might be asking for spare change — but he only just barely passes into that rubric — I wouldn’t have thought that if I just happened to see him.

“Hey!  How do you circumsize a hillybilly?”

I blink.  “Don’t.  Care.” I say, coldly, and turn away.

“Kick his sister in the –”
I did not catch the end, as I walked out of earsight and make a concerted effort not to hear him.  I turned around, though, to get a good glimpse of this man for a mental profile of People I Despise By an outsized margin exceeding the level deserved by the offense.

Please.  Don’t be this guy.

Don’t be a Dick.

Monday, March 26th, 2007

I watch the following exchange happen between two people — one a wheel-chair bound older gent with silver sparks in his hair, the other a 20-something fat black man.  But even those descriptors are meaningless — I’ll just say two guys.

“Do you know what time it is?”

“Yes.”

Awkward silence follows, the older gent smiles self-knowingly, the fat black guy stutters.  It is at this point that I think to myself, “Quit being a Dick,” which can be brought out as “Just tell him the time or don’t.”

“So, um, would you tell me what time it is?”

“Sure.”  He looks at his watch.  “2:55.”

“Thanks.”

“You asked me the wrong question.  You asked me if I knew what time it was.  I did.  I answered your question.”

I turn to him, thinking if he was going to play this stupid game he may as well have gone all the way, and say, “You answered him incorrectly, because you did not know   You did not know what time it was until you looked at your watch.”

He apparently did not catch what I said, because he remained smug, reiterating how he answered the question.

Please.  I beg of everybody.  Don’t be a Dick.  Running for the literal as a means of toying with your fellow citizens does not behoove anyone.

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