Thursday, August 03, 2000


In the big news of the day, the skull of anti-Pope Benedict XIII (14th century) has been stolen in Spain and is being held hostage. It has magical powers.

The Republican Convention continues to put all of its blacks (none of whom besides Julius Caesar Watts have been nominated by the party for elective office, you'll notice) right up there on the podium, so that the delegates can feel secure that their wallets won't be lifted.

The Post comments that having it in historic Philadelphia just reminds everyone how far leadership in this country has fallen in 200 years. And Gerald Ford (whose presidency almost looks good in comparison, huh? I mean, he did restore the nation's self-respect with the Mayaguez incident) nearly fulfilled the W. C. Fields nightmare of dying in Philadelphia.

No, Mary Cheney's girlfriend did not show up.

In the primaries, McCain referred to Bush's soft-money-financed machine as the Death Star. At the convention, he was brought on to the tune of John Williams's theme from Star Wars.

Colin Powell said that there was no room in the Republican Party for racists. Evidently all those slots are already filled. (Will Durst joke)

George Bush Senior threatened that if Clinton kept attacking his boy, he would say what he really thinks about him. Am I the only one reminded of the episode of The Simpsons where the Bushes moved in across the street?

Cheney delivered the attack speech. Who would have thought? I especially liked the bit when he said that Clinton, the man from Hope, would be going home to (and here he gave a little shake of his head, evidently hopelessly confused by the thought of someone moving) New York. "It's time for them to go", he reiterated, reminding us that Gore gave the same line 8 years ago in a far more dynamic speech.

Cheney is finally going around defending his Congressional voting record, repeatedly saying that we must remember the context of the times, an excuse last trotted out at the Nuremberg trials, if I'm not mistaken. Next he'll be saying it was peer pressure. Just say no!

He explained the vote against releasing Nelson Mandela by saying that back then we thought that all those black people were communists. He then explained his vote against Head Start by saying that back in the '80s we thought that all children were communists. "My bad!" he added. He defended voting against cop-killer bullets by saying that it was his job to represent the views of the people of Wyoming, and that there were more people in Wyoming who wanted to shoot cops than there were cops. And they vote!

Al Franken points out that while Cheney attacked the Clintons for moving to NY, Cheney himself changed his voter registration from Texas to Wyoming just a few weeks ago.

I was pleased to see Bush claim that he could turn part of Social Security into a stock market lotto without reducing benefits, the equivalent of the Laffer curve but more to the point also the equivalent of the Read My Lips speech, since sooner or later he has to produce this proposal with the blanks actually filled in.

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