A Little Something to Fight the Poison

Friday, January 17, 2003
YES IT DOES: Just discovered this column in the Cornell student daily on Yale's very NYT-profiled sex columnist, Natalie Krinsky and whether sex columns belong in newspapers, even those at prestigious and ancient four-year liberal arts colleges. Here's the line that popped out at me:
It's not that columnists shouldn't write about sex every once and awhile. I love to write about relationships and sex. But that doesn't mean I am going to write about them every week. I also write about current events because, after we all graduate, we will enter a world that doesn't just revolve around sex.
Dude, you are definitely in for a big surprise when you graduate.

PROOF: Who here doesn't think that W. and Don Rumsfeld get massive hard-ons everytime they say the words "terrorism," "Iraq," "Saddam," or (my favourite) "Evil"? "Evil" is like Viagra for hawks. Evil, evil, evil! That would throw the people frequenting the LGF comments boards into paroxysms of ecstasy. And could you ask for a more phallic metaphor than an "axis"? I think not. QED.

ADDENDUM: To ensure that this blog meets basic Internet standards of community decency, it speculates not on the probable causes of arousal for Dick Cheney.
ODDS: In my (quasi-informed) mind, the current probability of an invasion of Iraq by the Bush Administration within the next six months is < 40%, adjusted for yesterday's discovery of empty chemical weapons shells by UN inspectors. My feeling is that if the inspectors turn up proof, Saddam will back down, and if there isn't, and the U.S. doesn't supply the Security Council with more proof, then the rest of the world won't support an invasion, which seems pretty important to the American people (surprisingly), whatever the really hardened hawks might think.

I have to add that this line at the end of the Globe's article on a Saddam speech was a little on the dry side:
Immediately after the speech, several thousand Iraqis took to the streets of Baghdad to voice their support for their leader.
Took to the streets, just like that, no prompting at all, huh?
YOUPPI! Gary Carter will be, rightfully, the first player ever inducted into Cooperstown as an Expo. I'm also happy to note that even though it might not have been his preference, he didn't seem too shaken up about it.
Tuesday, January 14, 2003
IT'S THE LITTLE DIFFERENCES: Joe Lieberman made a striking remark when he announced yesterday that he will seek the Democratic nomination for the next presidential elections:
While the senator leads a crowded Democratic pack in some national polls, he needs to find a way to make his campaign distinctive. He promised Monday to do that, saying he would show voters "I am a different kind of Democrat."
We already know, Joe: you're a Jewish Republican. That's different, all right.
Monday, January 13, 2003
BROKEN KEY ON THE WURLITZER: Zizka reports that a wannabe member of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy™ made a rather amateurish request on Google Answers for dirt on whiz-kid economist and NYT Bush-hunter extraordinaire, Paul Krugman:
I would like to acquire as much information as possible about the personal and professional life of Paul Krugman, the Princeton economics professor who writes a column for the New York Times. For example, it is publicly known that he was a paid consultant to Enron -- what other consulting, advisory or employment arragements has he had with other companies or organizations? What is known about his family -- who were his parents, other relatives; is he married, children? What is his lifestyle like -- what is is compensation at the New York Times (salary, options, bonus, whatever) and at Princeton (salary, retirement, whatever). How about royalties from books, speaking engagements, and so on? What kind of house does he live in? What kind of car does he drive? Is anything known about his personal life (hobbies, sports, sexual orientation, etc)? How about his career -- he's taught at quite a few colleges, why has he moved around so much? Were there any problems? I will pay $100 for this as a starting point, and if satisfied, will tip generously and may ask follow-up questions for which I will pay also (but don't play Scheherezade on me, now).
Krugman's response can be found here.

My own offer: I'll pay someone $100 if he or she can expunge what I now know about Andrew Sullivan's private life from my memory...
MAKING LIKE J.K. GALBRAITH: Nathan Newman's National Budget Simulation is just about the coolest online toy around for politics geeks like me. The only thing that would be cooler in my view would be a Canadian/Ontarian edition (much of the budgeting action really happens at the provincial level, where the key decisions for the most important social programs are made).

Yeah, I know, I'm a durned furner, so I probably don't have all that much of a place making policy recs for the U.S., but if Bush did what I'd do, then he'd have a small surplus after making solid increases to funding for the sciences, the environment, medicare, housing, education, and American Indians (lots), and no cuts to defense (even though you really should trim it, y'know, since a defense budget that's greater than the next 15 countries combined is just a bit gaudy). The key thing, of course, is that he'd have to roll back some (but not even all) of those monster tax cuts.

Anyway, give it a spin. You can't do that much worse than a "C" legacy student...

(via Devra, who got similar results)

ADDENDUM: I neglected to mention that perhaps the most shcoking thing I learned from this exercise is that the U.S. Federal gov't pays out $3.4 BILLION a year in tax write-offs to corporations for Food and Entertainment expense claims. That's BILLIONS of greenbacks--more than enough to pay all of the Hooters girls in the U.S. to do their happy birthday song for every lecherous and decrepit CEO in this country several thousand times over.

But, seriously, this is a monstrous, bullshit-filled scam. The U.S. lets people go without medical insurance so that @$%#^ Enron and WorldCom execs can write off their trips to the rippers. When market-righties talk about tax cuts stimulating the economy, they can't possibly be talking about crap like this...
Sunday, January 12, 2003
Slagging BS Online reminds me of eating Pringles -- once you pop, you can't stop.

BS's "crisp, witty and topical" writing (David Limbaugh) also demonstrates a "courageous" commitment to using the same descriptors -- over, and over, and over. In the New Year alone, we have "a bunch of anti-American terrorists", "a bunch of socialist clowns", and "a bunch of terrorist thugs". C' about a gaggle?

Not to mention "junk": the New York Times editorial board, the ouvre of Helen Thomas, and -- incongruously -- the ANWR??? Hell, linking to this "garbage" -- oops, another one of Ben's faves -- ain't worth the effort.

The writing does get a little more lively with: "the best tactic is for Israel to raze Syria to the ground".

Back to the Pringles theme; d'you think that Ben is baked or fried when he writes this, ahem, junk? Or both?

The Daily Rant is pretty cool -- and the pseudonymous Jane Finch went to McMaster University (the alma mater of Eric and myself)! Give it a visit.