Friday, August 30, 1996

Random thoughts about the convention

As Bill Maher said, introducing Politically Incorrect last night, Bill Clinton just made an important speech with many significant proposals. Let's talk about the hooker.

Only in politics would someone feel obliged to impress a $200 an hour hooker.

Did anyone else hear Clinton say we needed a law to punish people for killing Americans in other countries?

The new theme is A Bridge to the Twenty-First Century. Yes, Bill, the speech did seem to go on that long. I'm assuming this theme is another way of suggesting that Dole won't live that long, but "subtly", like my favorite Dem commercial which includes the sentence "But next year, if Newt Gingrich controls Congress and his partner Bob Dole enters the Oval Office, (etc)" with a slight pause to subconsciously get across the idea that Gingrich would control "Congress and his partner Bob Dole".

Anyway, do we need a bridge to the 21C? I mean, isn't the millennium going to come anyway, pretty much irrespective of executive action?

The only bridge we need is something to reset the date function in all our computers. Where is Al Gore when you need him?

Japan does no transplants. Their law does not recognize brain death.
Did anyone else wonder about the shear number of Kennedys speaking yesterday in Chicago, the place where the family allegedly stole the 1960 election? Were they trying to tell us something?

Everyone compared Liddy Dole's speech, or "performance" since it wasn't really a speech per se, to Oprah Winfrey...approvingly. When did that become a favorable comparison?

As most of us guessed, yes, during "ladies' night" at the convention, delegates were told to bring their infants.

Newsweek said that Kemp once invested tens of thousands of dollars with a since-vanished businessmen who "invented" a device to extract gold from sand.

Dole's 41-year daughter's speech told the endearing story of how at 13 she lobbied her father on ear piercing. She left him an actual memo with cost-benefit analysis and the whole bit. Of course she had to leave it for him since Bob "it doesn't take a village, it takes a family" Dole was never home. What's worse, I have to ask, that she had to lobby her own father (and for someone who started so early, how did she get fired from a lobbying job last year? I mean, how on earth does the daughter of the Senate majority leader get fired from a lobbying job? It's more mind boggling than Newt not getting tenure at Southwest Georgia Tech, or wherever it was) or that this was presented as the endearing side of Bob Dole?

Tom Carson thinks the appropriate insignia for the Log Cabin Republicans would be a pink Bermuda Triangle.

Speaking of which, Candace Gingrich was at the Democratic Convention. Her endearing story about Newt is that he gave her pink legwarmers for her birthday one year. I gather that even as a teenager she looked like she does now. The Economist once said that the only thing she has in common with her brother is that they both need to fire their hairdressers.

Tom Carson on Liddy Dole: "Liddy's both the perfect Republican career woman and the perfect Republican clubwoman, which means that she shuttles back and forth between power and power. Sometimes she gets to be charming about being hard-nosed, and sometimes she gets to be hard-nosed about being charming."

Thursday, August 29, 1996

Copenhagen Zoo's primate house includes two humans. Really. I blame a welfare state gone horribly wrong.

The pope says that Jesus had no brothers or sisters, no matter what the bible says. That settles that.
Gore's speech yesterday featured him talking about the death of his sister in his quadrennial display of emotion. In 1992 it was his son being hit by a car.
In Greece, not only will prisoners be allowed to vote in the next elections, but so will draft dodgers. They will be allowed to come back into the country, vote, and then sneak out again without being arrested. The cradle of democracy, ladies and gentlemen.

Did anyone else see Mario Cuomo at the convention? He had the huge projection screen behind him, but all you could see of it in the PBS feed were his hands, so you had a little Mario in the foreground and these huge hands making Italianate gestures behind him, like a translator for the Italian-impaired.

When the US signed the deal with Russia to buy up the uranium from its decommissioned nuclear weapons, the job was assigned to a corporation owned by the US, but which is slated to be privatized. The problem is that it's increasingly making decisions based on profit rather than national security. Since the Russian stuff is more expensive than what's mined domestically, it actually refused repeated requests by the Russians to buy more uranium than had been planned. Capitalism at its finest. I'm assuming this has something to do with reducing the size of government, in the same way that federal detention centers are being privatized even though that's more expensive.

The Democratic platform mentions expanding the death penalty and even Star Wars.

Clinton, mixing his political imagery badly, took a train to the
convention (old fashioned politicking combined with a phallic symbol, right up Billy Bob's alley), but when he reached Chicago took a helicopter the rest of the way. Didn't I see that in Mission Impossible? Clinton thinks he's Tom Cruise now, maybe?

The aforementioned giant tv screens have printed text along the bottom, nearly simultaneously turned by computer from spoken word into print. By computer. So Sarah Brady's reference to gun nuts who talk of "jack-booted thugs" became "Jack Buddhist thugs", Tipper Gore became TP Hour, Mario Cuomo Marry Oh Quen Oes and one speaker was seen to refer to Republican ideal logs.

Tuesday, August 27, 1996


5:11 p.m. Jesse Jackson Jr is telling us about how his father always said grace at breakfast. And when Jesse finished, it was time for lunch.

The Times says that welfare is the Dems' abortion. Moynihan & Rangel will both speak at the convention but have agreed not to mention it.

Monday, August 26, 1996

Neither the LA Times nor the NY Times article on Dole's speech blaming Clinton for increased teenage drug use quote the most quotable line of it, that drug use is "the moral equivalent of terrorism". His solution: use the military.

Wednesday, August 21, 1996

Here we go again

Did you see where Corcoran state prison in our own fair California had actual gladiatorial fights organized by the guards. Sure the guards were punished this time, but in ten years you'll be able to see fights to the death on pay-per-view, especially if Lungren becomes governor. The fight I'd almost have paid to see: Charles Manson versus Sirhan Sirhan, both prisoners there.

Sunday, August 18, 1996

Jack Kemp, draft dodger

Ya gotta love it. Just a couple of days after Dole says that veterans are better Americans than... well, I don't think he actually said better than whom, it seems that Kemp, who was a private in the Army Reserve, should have gone to Berlin in 1961 but was evidently not fit because of a shoulder injury. This was the year he passed 2,686 yards and won a division title (whatever any of that means). I'll bet Governor Engler, two pounds too fat to go to Vietnam, is looking better. Actually, my money is on this never being heard of again, since Clinton might have difficulty raising it, but who knows?

Thursday, August 15, 1996

The Million White Man March

Newt Gingrich, Republican Convention, August, 13:
A mere 40 years ago, beach volleyball was just beginning. Now it is not only a sport in the Olympics. There are over 30 countries that have a competition internationally. There are some 13 states with 25 cities in America. And there's a whole new world of opportunity opening up that didn't even exist 30 years ago or 40 years ago, and no bureaucrat would have invented it. And that's what freedom is all about.

Freedom is about having a dream, and maybe I feel that particularly because the greatest Georgian of this century, Martin Luther King, went to the Lincoln Memorial and said in his extraordinary speech, "I have a dream," and the dream he outlined is a dream for every American of every background to participate in creating an America that is better for our children and our grandchildren.

Dole says those who serve their country are better Americans than others. What others would those be? Before you ask, Kemp was a private in the reserves, if that counts. By the way, Dole was drafted. You might not understand that with everyone at the convention saying that his military service reflects his values in some way. As I write, Dole is talking on video about having his mouth washed out with soap by his mother. He doesn't say for what. Probably telling his mother to stop lying about his record.

The London Times reports a Tory technician saying that the applause at last year's Tory party convention was, shall we say, augmented electronically.

Clintons' Whitewater legal bills are $2.3 million (Washington Post) or $2.7m (New York Times). The sexual harassment suit is paid for by his liability insurance. How wise of him to take out insurance against being sued for sexual harassment.

Dole is still trying to project warmth. Frightening. It's like those stupid jokes they keep telling. You know, "Clinton's promises last as long as a Big Mac on Air Force One." (Oh God, the Rocky theme song) The jokes are like the music. No one sits around their house playing John Philip Sousa. It's just every 4 years you hear that stuff, at these conventions. No one really likes it, but they have to play it. The jokes are the same.

In the big news, a trial of a burglar in England is about to be the first to introduce ear-prints as evidence. Ear prints are evidently unique. In case you're wondering, a lot of burglars stick their ears against windows before breaking in.

The Catholic Church in Britain is soon to ordain a lot of disgruntled Church of England clergy who quit over the ordination of women. The interesting thing is that some of them are married. Now the person I want to hear about is the one female Catholic priest that I know of, who some years ago had a sex change operation.

Jay Leno says Dole and Kemp standing together looked as natural as Michael Jackson & Lisa Marie.

Will sign off. Dole is about to speak, be still my heart. I imagine it'll be slightly less awkward than that of the new Indian prime minister, who doesn't speak Hindi, but just gave his first address to the nation in phonetic Hindi. He speaks Kannada, whatever that it.

Wednesday, August 14, 1996

Haley Barbour keeps commenting that the only woman governor is a
Republican, as if the increased number of Republican governors isn't responsible for the decrease in the number of women governors.

Mississippi's new abortion law puts onerous regulations on some abortion providers, extending to them the rules applying to small hospitals. These are doctors who perform more than 10 per month--or advertise. Advertise!

And Arkansas, prohibited by state const from paying for abortions for anything except when the mother's life is in danger, but required by Medicaid law to pay for cases of rape & incest, will pay for them from private donations until the courts resolve it. If that's clear enough.

The platform includes a full Star Wars defence by 2003, inc for Hawaii and Alaska.