Monday, March 31, 1997

An article in Slate suggests that Clinton's re-election strategy of spending huge amounts of money, garnered from anywhere, for large media buys, was advocated by Dick Morris partly because he was getting a percentage of the money so spent.

Monday, March 24, 1997


The Tory holding the safest Tory seat in Scotland resigns his seat after a Tory twofer, committing adultery with a woman he met in rehab. Last year he lost his government job when he threatened a road protester with a pickaxe. How we'll miss the Tories.

Especially since Tony Blair's favorite, excuse me, favourite, Dr. Who is Jon Pertwee. I mean really.

Saturday, March 22, 1997

A man showed up for his trial in Wichita for robbing a shoe store wearing a pair of size 10 1/2 boots that....

Liggett gets released from billions of dollars of liability for tobacco health problems by issuing a statement that says that smoking is addiction, causes cancer, and that advertising targets children. This is known as the "Duh" Statement.

In the last week, a deputy solicitor general argued before the Supreme Court in the internet indecency law case that it would even be ok to illegalize indecent speech in front of a minor, meaning speech speech, as in normal conversation, including presumably in one's own home, given that he acknowledged that the internet act could be applied against parents.

Similarly, a Justice Dept lawyer defending the line-item veto in Fed District Court accepts the judge's hypothetical proposition that Congress could delegate to the president the power to raise however much tax was necessary by whatever means he wanted. The Senate legal counsel agreed.

Friday, March 21, 1997

The newest bill against "partial-birth" abortions includes a provision allowing the father of the fetus to sue a woman who has the procedure, but only if he is married to her. Thank god this is all about protecting feti and not about controlling women.

The rest is from another New York magazine competition, from the 3/17/97 issue. Famous Last Words:

"If it stops your heart, you must depart." Johnnie Cochran

"I wonder if Roy remembered to feed..." Siegfried

"I'm going out for some couscous." Salman Rushdie

"See you in the movies." David Caruso

"I think I'll try green eggs and ham..." Dr. Seuss

"Bye." Gary Cooper

"Hom'm I doin' on time?" David Letterman

"Wrong!" John McLaughlin

"What time did you say? Fourteen after the hour?" Andy Warhol

"I am not too big--it's the coffins that got small." Norma Desmond

"...and never, never sell the movie rights." Nathanial Hawthorne

"I don't get no last respects." Rodney Dangerfield

"I thought you said at the count of five." Alexander Hamilton

"I'm tired of London." Samuel Johnson

"My fellow Corinthians, what you do not understand you will find in *St. Paul for Dummies*. St Paul

"Eeeeeeeeek!" Stephen King

"Rubber ducky, you're the one
You make bathtimes lots of fun..." Jean-Paul Marat

"Uhh...conspiracy...uhh...." Oliver Stone

[NOTE: More New York Magazine competitions here.]

Wednesday, March 19, 1997

I just saw Leaving Las Vegas on cable. I couldn't help notice that as Nicholas Cage drank himself to death, he kept running across gorgeous women. Every bank teller, every woman sitting in a bar, every stripper. Every hooker was pretty and fresh-faced, without excessive makeup, and heavily aerobicized. Now, is this the world-view of an alcoholic (as in, there are no ugly women when the bars close) or is it the world-view of Hollywood producers?

Monday, March 17, 1997

The British general election began today. The betting odds are 1-4 in favor of Labour, so you'd have to plunk down a fair amount of money, but it does seem a good way to enhance one's retirement account. Gallup shows Blair ahead by 28 points, and even the Sun is endorsing him, which led to the spectacle of him being asked on national tv for his views on naked women in newspapers. He has no views on naked women. Major will make an ass of himself standing on a soapbox as he did in 1992. One commentator says that if he wins, the soapbox will be broken up and sold as holy relics for centuries to come. However the odds are still longer on Screaming Lord Sutch becoming the next PM, 15 million-1, slightly longer odds than for a UFO piloted by Elvis landing on the Loch Ness Monster.

Thursday, March 06, 1997

An item I passed on a couple of days ago reminded me of how good New York Magazine competitions can be, so I went to the library today. Evidently someone has systematically torn out all the crosswords, which are often on the other side of the comp, but here's one of the few which survived the vandalism that was also good. From the 10/7/96 issue, opening lines of human-to-Martian colloquy:
Hi! We met in Roswell.

Gimme three.

Pleasure, Mr. Perot.

You may already be a winner.

Abduct my wife, please.

You talkin' to me?

Hot enough for you?

Ray guns don't kill earthlings, Martians kill earthlings.

Welcome to planet Earth. Use as directed.

You left your lights on.

Uh, that a rental?

Okay, so your people will talk to my people about 25% at the back end for an exclusive option to your life-story rights regarding book, television, cable, and motion pictures, plus 10% of all ancillary worldwide product sales for the first five years...

[NOTE: More New York Magazine competitions here.]
Although it is illegal for US companies to comply with Arab boycott of Israel & Jews, the Air Force, with Justice Dept approval, *ordered* private contractors to exclude Jews & people with Jewish names from a project in Saudi Arabia. The poor company involved is fined by Commerce Dept.

Henry Hyde just escaped attention (judging by the brevity of the Washington Post/Reuters coverage) for his involvement with a Savings Bank (evidently not quite an S & L--whatever) that went bankrupt at a cost to the US of $67 million. The settlement recovered $850,000, with the government actually proud of having recouped the cost of litigation only. Hyde somehow swung a separate agreement under which he didn't have to pay any costs for the legal failures of the directors, of which he was one.

Gingrich says election financing by the Democrats is bigger than Watergate. Bill Maher asks, but who will break the news to G. Gordon Liddy?

3 million Americans have the right to classify documents. I don't know about you, but I feel left out.

The NY Times on the Senate debate on the balanced budget amendment: "The closing debate was arranged in an unusual way, not with speakers alternating in support and opposition, but with sizable chunks of time given first to one side and then the other. That freed senators from having to listen to the other side."

Wednesday, March 05, 1997

Common Phrases Redefined

A few entries from the New York magazine competition where they asked competitors to change one letter in a familiar non-English phrase and redefine it.

Harlez-vous francais?
(Can you drive a French motorcycle?)

Ex post fucto
(Lost in the mail)

Idios amigos
(We're wild and crazy guys!)

Veni, VIPi, Vici
(I came; I'm a very important person; I conquered)

J'y suis, J'y pestes
(I can stay for the weekend)

Cogito Eggo sum
(I think; therefore, I am a waffle)

Rigor Morris
(The cat is dead)

Respondez s'il vous plaid
(Honk if you're Scots)

Que sera, serf
(Life is feudal)

Le roi est mort. Jive le roi
(The King is dead. No kidding.)

Posh mortem
(Death styles of the rich and famous)

Pro Bozo publico
(Support your local clown)

Monage a trois
(I am three years old)

Felix navidad
(Our cat has a boat)

Haste cuisine
(Fast French food)

Veni, vidi, vice
(I came, I saw, I partied)

Quip pro quo
(A fast retort)

Aloha oy!
(Love; greetings; farewell; from such a pain you should never know)

Mazel ton!
(Lots of luck)

Apres Moe, le deluge
(Larry and Curly get wet)

(Sacramental wine)

Iic liebe rich
(I'm really crazy about having dough)

Fui generis
(What's mine is mine)

VISA la France
(Don't leave chateau without it)

Ca va sans dirt
(And that's not gossip)

Merci rien
(Thanks for nothin')

Amicus puriae
(Platonic friend)

L'etat, c'est moo
(I'm bossy around here)

L'etat, c'est Moe
(All the world's a stooge)

[NOTE: More New York Magazine competitions here.]

Just saw an ITN story about a 3-legged cat in Ireland ordained a minister over the Internet by the Universal Life Church. I see they haven't raised their standards since they made me a minister.

There are plans for a restaurant with an Elvis theme, and yes the menu will include fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches, but you have to bring your own pills.

1st sign that CIA agent Harold Nicholson was selling secrets to the Russia: that photo of him taken 10 years ago wearing a t-shirt saying "KGB Is For Me".

An article in the New York Times about warning labels on products shows a Batman toy with the warning: "For Play Only: Mask and chest plate are not protective; cape does not enable user to fly." Duh! everyone knows that's the Superman cape.

The creepiest man in America is now officially NY mayor Guiliani, last seen in Marilyn Monroe get-up singing Happy Birthday. He replaces the Unabomber, who replaced...David Letterman, wasn't it?

Saturday, March 01, 1997

As of the new IRS rules, if you have medical marijuana, you cannot deduct it from your income tax as with other drugs.

In last fall's Georgia debate for US Senate, the Republican said of the Democrat, Max Cleland, the Vietnam vet & triple amputee who won the election, "Your walk says so much more than your talk." Oops.