Saturday, July 27, 2002


Maureen Dowd's preview of the California Gubernatorial race in ought-six is every political junkies wet dream. The Terminator versus Meathead. We'd be all for cancelling the current electioin betwixt Bill Simon and Gray Davis and letting Arnold and Rob stage a new election next year. We doubt, however, that will happen.

Under-rated writer David Cay Johnston of The NY Times uncovers another loophole the rich use to avoid paying their fair share. Damn, we wish we were rich!

The demand has been so great; The San Diego Zoo has had to add more times. What thrilling new animal show are we talking about? None, really. We are referring to the times available for human beings to videotape a heartfelt goodbye to Hua Mei, the Zoo's rented panda bear who is heading back to China at the end of the summer.


People are standing in line to tape a goodbye to A PANDA BEAR.

We're sure Hua Mei will treasure it.

LAX was shut down today, at least 5 gates, and this creates a perfect opportunity to let our readers who don't live in Los Angeles know exactly happens in this kind of situation. Here is a map of the airport. The biggest traffic tie-up will be on the 405. Minimum 2 hour delay. The 91, 1, and 42 can expect a delay of at least 1 hour. All other freeways will experience at least a half hour delay. On a related note, we are thrilled to be headquartered in the San Fernando Valley.

Who can they be talking about?

"Here she is: fat-rolled, Michelin girl Jade in all her preposterous lack of glory. Naked as the day Dr Frankenstein made her. Mothers should cover their children's eyes - and their own. People of a nervous disposition must, at all costs, not be allowed to see this terrifying hela-monster."

This is a quote from The Daily Mirror (via The Guardian) discussing a contestant on the English version of Big Brother. Maybe we have been missing out.

Fox Sports is taking a page from the playbook of Fox News. To open today’s MLB Game Of The Week between the under-rated Giants and the over-rated Dodgers, we got this exchange:

JEANNE ZELASKO: According to a NY Times poll of 756 fans, obviously a great sampling of the billions walking the planet, interest in baseball has, quote, dropped significantly since 1998…

KEVIN KENNEDY: Uh huh. I don’t like that.

JEANNE ZELASKO: Yeah, since 1998, the year McGwire and Sosa thrilled the nation with their homerun battle, you know, just your typical season. We run our own weekly poll right here at Fox Sports with the folks at the A.C. Nielson Company. At this time in 98, the MLB game on Fox averaged 3.5 million viewers. This year the game is averaging 3.8 million viewers, and increase of 300 thousand or 8%. So much for telephone polls, although they do make for good headlines, especially when you call like 500 people.

So, you take a poll that you don’t agree with, compare it with something utterly incomparable, and dismiss the poll after you mischaracterize it’s standards.

Jeanne takes this poll to task because the idiotic pencil pushers at The NY Times didn’t even take into account the billions of people wandering around Asia and Africa wondering if the Pirates beat the Astros last night. We would think that Jeanne Zelasko, who allegedly graduated from San Diego State University, would have been forced to take at least one statistics class.

By the way, are you, like us, wondering exactly how many people were polled? The Times said 756. Then Jeanne says 756. THEN Jeanne says ‘like 500’. Strange, huh?

We can only hope that Zelasko heads back to her NASCAR duties and leaves baseball to baseball people. It’s not that we think she’s any good at NASCAR. It’s just that we don’t watch it.

Friday, July 26, 2002


Faced with an epidemic drug problem amongst their kindergarden students, the powers that be in Wagner, South Dakota dispatched a drug sniffing canine to solve the crisis. According to a lawsuit filed in Sioux Falls:

Wagner police and federal officers then took the dog into classes, the suit contends, frightening some students so badly that they cried and at least one urinated involuntarily.

Tamar Lewin has this pathetic tale, via the NY Times.


This ominous warning greets readers at The Rittenhouse Review today:

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If so, I wonder what that makes impersonation. The most outrageous form of flattery?

Pretending to be someone you are not, when that other someone is a real person, is not only juvenile, dishonest, and unethical, it is illegal, even on the web.

I suppose I should be flattered to be considered so important that my name and reputation are thought to warrant being trashed by a total stranger with some unknown agenda. But I'm also furious, and I will not stand for it again.

Be advised that your game can get you caught. You can be traced. You know who you are.

We have absolutely no idea what's going on over at The Review (that's what the hipsters call it), but we are almost certain that whatever it is, Dawn Olsen is probably involved.

Judicial Watch released an amusing press release claiming the White House was interfering in their lawsuit against Veep Dick Cheney, by refusing to accept the service of the summons and complaint. The fact of the matter is, in most cases, mailing a summons and complaint would be satisfactory in most jurisdictions. However, the law does require a diligent attempt to ascertain the whereabouts of the person to be served. Now, wouldn't it be a touch more diligent to try to serve the Vice President at, oh, say, maybe the Vice President's residence? We'll bet you THEY would have accepted it.

OK, you are a female dentist living in Texas, and you are quite suspicious that your husband is having an affair. What do you do? Well, if you are Clara Harris, you hit your husband with your silver Mercedes knocking him 25 feet away, then you run over him 3 MORE TIMES before parking your car on top of your soon to be expired husband. Oh yeah, you also have your husband's 16-year-old daughter from a previous marriage in the car when you hit her father.

This is a rather unsettling letter to the editor of The Chicago Tribune, and their response, that for some reason or another was printed in the LA Times. Here is the exchange:

The following e-mail came to the public editor's mailbox recently. It asks a question many readers may have wondered about:

"In the article published on the front page on July 9, you incorrectly quoted President Bush as denying there had been any "malfeasance" in his business dealings prior to becoming president. The word that he actually used during the press conference being quoted sounded to me something like "misfeance"--something which is not a word in any dictionary I've ever seen. I feel the Tribune should not be in the business of "cleansing" what the president says in order to make him sound more articulate than he is." Sean Barnawell, Chicago

Here, in part, was my response:

"Dear Mr. Barnawell:

"Ideally, we would have a president so articulate that we would never be in doubt as to what he said. In reality, we have one who regularly mispronounces . . . . This confronts us with the question whether our purpose is to transmit to readers what the president means when he speaks out or to simply relate what he says. I have always felt that transmitting meaning is paramount . . . .

"Unless his faulty locution becomes a story in itself, we work on the assumption that we do the greatest service to our readers by letting them know what the person meant to say. That, after all, is what determines what he will ultimately do and how he'll affect the readers."

Apparently the editorial staff at the Tribune has developed some psychic powers, which should certainly help us solve some of these daily child abductions.

We've been getting a kick out of watching the competing web-sites battle over who could prove Ann Coulter was the biggest liar. Tapped, Altercation, (in his own bizarre way) Kausfiles, and The Daily Howler have all revved up the Nexis in efforts to prove Ann lied, or didn't, in her book Slander: Lies About The American Right. With today's headline concerning Coulter at The Howler, Incomparable Conclusion!, we can only hope that the Coulter talk can be put to rest. Let's all agree that Coulter is a right wing advocate who plays fast and loose with the truth and should really be beneath out radar screen.

Thursday, July 25, 2002


Things have got to be tough on Valentine Strasser. This scrappy resident of Sierra Leone has hit a rough patch, and due to financial reasons, has, at the age of 35, had to move back in with his mother. Oh, did we mention that when he was 25 he was Sierra Leone's military director, before being ousted in a bloodless coup by his number 2 man? And we thought we had it tough after college.


The Christian Science Monitor takes a snapshot of the early stages of Howard Dean's campaign for the Presidency. As much as we like Vermont's Governor, it looks like the words of politcal guru James Carville may be prophetic:

"If he could raise money, he'd be dangerous."

Well, we're rooting for him.

Yesterday we asked, in an extremely non-accusatory tone, if The Simpsons had been censored to make the President look better. This sort of thing bothered us, so we decided right then and there that we would get to the bottom of this skullduggery. We sent our investigative team out to uncover the truth. (Basically, we e-mailed BartCop, who published the story originally.)

Well color us humiliated, as BartCop is now reporting that the line in question was, indeed, NOT censored in anyway. We would like to apologize to the President, and anybody else who may have been offended by this mis-information.

CNN's Connie Chung, while finishing up the newsbreak during Crossfire, gave us this teaser:

Begala: Connie, thanks. Before we let you go, what's on tap tonight on your show?

Chung: We're gonna talk food. There is a man who filed a lawsuit against 4 fast food companies because he believes that...uh...they're contributing to his growing waist-line and his health.

That's right! Connie has FINALLY broken the mystery behind fast food intake and weight gain! Make sure the VCR is all warmed up for this one!

Newsweek's Martha Brant made an appearance on MSNBC's Lester Holt Live, and while we enjoy her column, and think she's pretty reasonable mostly, our jaws dropped when, while discussing how the President is handling the economy in comparison with his dad, dropped this pearl on Lester:

He (43) very much learned the lesson of his father (41), as you mentioned earlier. His dad was in a very similar situation where the economy was actually doing quite well, but people's psychology suggested they were very scared.

So Martha thinks that the economy today, as in 1992, "is actually doing quite well". You don't think that Martha's grip on reality is getting a bit looser, do you? Yeah, us either.


It was just our luck. Our C.E.O. came flying in to the offices today screaming about something that happened on Buchanan And Press, and wanted to know if we were all over it. It was with a heavy heart that we had to admit to watching The Front Page on AMC. God help us, we do love that Lemmon-Matthau chemistry. Naturally, we blamed it on the new kid, and after he was fired, things slowly got back to normal.

Since it was a fairly slow news day yesterday, we weren't surprised that the story about Rob Lowe leaving The West Wing in March, '03 got major play. Our good friends over at Cooped Up have an interesting theory into the realities of a White House staff, but that's not what is tickling our funny bone this afternoon. We want to know HOW Sam Seaborn will be 86'd. If you think you know, E-Mail us here. The explanation that comes closest to being correct will win an IN ARGUENDO T-Shirt. Of Course, we reserve the right to refuse to award any and all prizes due to poor grammar, illegible penmanship, or lack of interest.

Several days ago, we took issue with one of our favorite Bloggers, Hesiod over at Counterspin Central, when he maintained his belief that Senator Hillary Clinton would never occupy a spot on the Democrat's national ticket. We felt, and feel, that Hillary will certainly be on the ticket at some point (has anybody fully vetted a Gore-Clinton ticket in ought-four?).

Well, it’s all speculation, so who can say who’s right? But then Hesiod started mentioning possible opponents in 2008, assuming Bush wins another term. The list of names is impressive, and includes at least one we hadn’t fully considered. And then, just when we’re thinking ‘this Hesiod cat is right on top of this situation’, we see this telling us where Hil’s competition may come from:

Namely from, I suspect, a rejuvinated (sic) Gray Davis

First off, don’t you have to be juvenated first to be rejuvenated? For those of you outside of California that may not be familiar with our Governor, please, take it from us; he makes Al Gore look like Ike Turner after an eight-ball of crank. Well, since Hesiod made a bold prediction, allow us one:


Wednesday, July 24, 2002


Are The Simpsons being edited to make the President look,...better? Jedgar Oreck writes into BartCop with this tidbit:

Saw The Simpsons re-run Sunday on Fox;
I believe they changed Homer Simpson's original line which was something like
"I can blow smoke right in George Bush's monkey face!"
They changed it to "...the President's monkey face!"!

BartCop informs Jedger that the original line was actually:

"blow smoke right in George Bush's stupid monkey face."

You don't think that The Simpson's, on Fox, were edited (read: censored) to remove the President's name for political reasons, do you? Yeah, us either.


Irish playwright Brendan Behan said "All publicity is good, except an obituary notice." Paula Zahn might disagree.

Here is an AP story put out at 2:05 PM today, concerning a lawsuit filed against Paula Zahn by her contractor over an unpaid bill. Zahn's lawyer tried to shield her from being subject to a deposition due to her "celebrity status".

Here is an AP story put out at 7:32 PM announcing that the lawsuit had been settled.

You don't think Paula was a little concerned about her rep after that "celebrity status" thing go out? Yeah, us either.

Frankly, we love indignation, resentment, exasperation, angst, drama, resentment, discord and rancor. In a word, we are all huge fans of bitterness.

So when we came upon a Blog called Bitter Girl, well, we were quite excited, to say the least. Ruefully, when we got over to Bitter Girl, here was the first sentence:

Today I am in The Zone. I can do no wrong. Everything is perfect and wonderful and going my way...

Well, naturally, we were disappointed. Maybe we'll come back another day.

30 years ago, this was a minor story that any political pundit at the time would have told you had no legs. If history keeps repeating itself, perhaps this is a chance to get in on the ground floor of a new story that most political pundits would tell you has no legs.

For some strange reason, we can't stop ourselves from checking Up Yours on a semi-hourly basis. Dawn Olsen's rants about politics, life, and affairs of the heart are often mindless, occasionally hilarious, but ALWAYS interesting. Dawn CLAIMS to have a husband and a little girl, but frankly, based on the amount of posting on her site, we don't believe her.

Tonight Donahue had a studio audience filled with Enron victims, which, at times, made for very compelling television. The tale of Bill Peterson, on sick leave with cancer, being on the 'laid-off' list had to bring a tear to the eye of even the hardest of hearts. Molly Ivins and Ralph Nader delivered, mainly, applause generating yet shallow sound bites, but Phil Donahue interacting with a studio audience was pure gold. How long do you think it will be until Phil has a studio audience for every show? Not too long, says us.

He's a rather dim-witted, prostitute-employing, toe-sucking buffoon, but, surprisingly, Dick Morris is right on this one. If Republican's don't start grabbing some of the minority vote, they are destined to be the minority party.

In a hilarious display of audacity, the soft-spoken and sartorially resplendent Curtis Sliwa had this Al Sharpton comment on the idiotic Curtis & Kuby today:

Look at AlSlim ShadySharpton! Is that his proudest moment, with that stupid looking cowboy hat on his head, and that big stogie in his mouth? Come on, he’s like a caricature. He’s like a cartoon character.

(Enter your own beret-related joke here).

Tuesday, July 23, 2002


Two days ago, in this space, we took HorowitzWatch to task for not posting anything about ultra-conservative David Horowitz in their first week of existence, while Scoobie Davis filleted Horowitz during the same period. It looks like HorowitzWatch was reading, as it was announced today that Scoobie would now be writing for HorowitzWatch. Sounds like a marriage made in heaven.

If the Anaheim Angels, who trail the Seattle Mariners by 2 games in the American League's Western Division, and are tied for the Wild Card lead, end up missing the playoffs, they will certainly look back at tonight's game with a jaundiced eye. In a key inter-divisional match-up with the Oakland Athletics, the Angels entered the bottom of the ninth down 2-1. The first Halo up to bat, Adam Kennedy hits, fittingly, a major league pop up to the shortstop. Sadly, for Kennedy and the Angels, Kennedy half-assed it down the line and when Miguel Tijada dropped the ball, Kennedy was left at 1st base. The rest of the inning was predictable. A sacrafice bunt to move the runner over, a fly ball that would have scored a runner from third, and an easy ground out. If Kennedy, the only thing left from the Jim Edmonds trade, hustles, he easily makes 2nd base on the error, moves to third on the bunt, and ties the game on the flyball. The Angels might well have lost in extra innings, but if they are sitting at home in October, don't you think they would have liked a shot at it?

Remember the movie Class Action, a pretty good lawyer movie with Gene Hackman and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio? In the flick, a defense firm is in possession of a damaging report that has been requested in discovery by the plaintiffs. What did the defense do? Buried the report under an avalanche of paperwork, (well, actually that's what they SAID they were doing). Anyway, the reason we're taking this trip down movie memory lane is because of the similar actions by the Bill Simon campaign in California. When faced with a neverending drum beat for the candidate to release his tax returns, Simon takes a page from Class Action, and announces that he will release his tax returns.

To reporters.

In one room.

For two hours.


The time is now to start selling Simon stock short.

Tucker Carlson has been showcasing his legendary wit, which scored him a two-week gig at Chuckle McHaha's in Toledo, on Crossfire recently. Here's a pretty good example of the normally geeky Carlson actually being funny. He was attempting to grill Ralph Neas, of The People For The American Way, on the Democrat's holding up the President's Judicial nominations.

CARLSON: Did you ever think about the effect this bottleneck has on the American justice system?

NEAS: Tucker, I've told you before how ridiculous your argument is.

CARLSON: I didn't believe you.

While Carlson's humor is refreshing, he better keep it coming, or, due to the network time changes, we'll be switching over to Nachman faster than you can say Fat Bald Guy.


Our good friends over at The Hamster opened today’s coverage with the following passage:

If you want a Democrat in the White House in 2004 (or if you're a Green, a Republican), don't be too excited about the possibility of Cheney being removed from the ticket. Look at the people who could replace him: Colin Powell or Condi Rice. If either are made VP, there is ZERO chance they will be beaten. The prospect of a Black VP, and then future president, is too juicy for voters.

We tend to disagree. Being removed from a national ticket is historical, and Dick Cheney, even if he eventually jumps (read: health reasons, family time), will not take it sitting down. Being banished from the ticket is like being repudiated by your family, or voted off The Weakest Link. It’s flat out embarrassing and the ultra plugged in Dick Cheney would make his under-qualified boss pay. Big time.

Monday, July 22, 2002


How come, in this day and age, with all of the scientific advancements that the planet has made over the last century, that we, as a people, have not come up with a device that can measure the level of Mike Barnicle's hypocrisy? Today, we got a classic dose of Barnicle, as he filled in for Matthews on Hardball. In the political potpourri segment, Barnicle offered:

Senator Hillary Clinton is on the warpath again. During a closed-door meeting of Democrats last week. Big fundraiser Hillary clobbered reformer Senator Russ Feingold. Hillary dismissed Feingold as a “goo goo”, that’s political talk for good government types. She shouted at Feingold, quote, ‘Russ, live in the real world,’ unquote. But what’s Hillary’s idea of the real world?

(Cut to video tape of Hillary’s infamous ‘vast right-wing conspiracy’ interview from January 27, 1997)

(Chuckling) Meantime, Feingold is fighting back. In a clear reference to Senator Clinton, says, quote, ‘There are a hardcore group of Senators who want to have their cake and eat it too,’ unquote. He’s talking about Democrats who vote for campaign finance reform but support Republican officials who want to water it down. Partisan civil war is always such a fun sport. Hillary, Russ, keep up the good work. Keeps us going here.

The first striking thing about this political tidbit is that Mike never gives us the context of the exchange. In the article from which Barnicle took his quotes, we see what was going on. According to the story, Clinton shouted ‘Russ, live in the real world,’ when Feingold dismissed warnings that senators could face legal challenges on unpredictable grounds under the new campaign finance law. It sounds like Hillary was right.

But besides the issue of who’s right, and who’s wrong, one must applaud the unmitigated gall shown by Barnicle. In referring to what Hillary thinks of the real world, he shows a 5-year-old clip.

That makes us wonder what is Mike Barnicle’s idea of the real world. Is it a world that condones plagiarism, and celebrates columnists that steal from other, better writers? This Salon article gives us a pretty good idea of Mike’s idea of the real world. There are so many instances that show what kind of talentless hack Barnicle epitomizes, that we couldn’t begin to summarize them. We’ll give you our favorite.

Barnicle writes a column along the lines of things ‘I’d like to see…’ (Example: "Someday I'd love to see the Pope appear on his balcony and announce the baseball scores.") He listed 36 of these pithy observations. 3 days later it’s reported that Barnicle stole 10 of his 36 bon mots from George Carlin’s book Brain Droppings. Barnicle SWEARS he has never seen the book. His paper, The Boston Globe, after much anguish, suspends their plagiaristic columnist for a month. That very day, the same damn day, the same Globe big shots that suspended Barnicle for 2 fortnights see a 6 week old tape of Barnicle recommending the very same Brain Droppings.

The Globe asked Barnicle to do the honorable thing and resign. Naturally, he refused. Read the whole article and see to what levels this guy will stoop. Not happy with one source? OK, check here, here, or even here.

We've all heard the story about the President allegedly asking Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso "Do you have blacks, too?" We have seen this story alleged in only one place, Der Spiegel, and never actually quoted in the mainstream press. This morning, while watching the mindless Curtis And Kuby show on MSNBC we heard a semi-hesterical caller claim that this story had been "confirmed" by The National Journal. After rushing to The National Journal's website, we were horrified to learn that it actually costs money to view the content at The! Can you imagine such a thing? Anyway, if anybody has more info on this alleged incident, please e-mail us the poop.

While watching the Buchanan & Press show on MSNBC we got a pearl of wisdom from none other than Pat Buchanan. Bill Press, who never met a DNC talking point he didn't like, was just spouting the usual line about Janet Reno somehow beating Jeb Bush in Florida's gubernatorial election in November, when Buchanan hit a home run.

BUCHANAN: Let's be serious now...

PRESS: I am serious...

BUCHANAN: Her serious problem is, look, the Cubans are 100% against her, North Florida, you go down to the Pensacola, that area, the Panhandle is completely against her, and she's too far left. I'll tell you who could win, is your other fella, if he gets nominated, there's a chance he could beat Bush because you're right about Democrats being outraged, but she's too far left.

Now, we don't necessarily agree with the idea that Reno is "too far left", but we do agree that the "other fella", Bill McBride could beat Jeb Bush.

(Editor's Note: No Janet Reno Dance Party jokes were used in this post.)

Maybe The Fugitive could have put a stop to this.

Sunday, July 21, 2002


We love spending time at Counterspin Central, and almost always find ourselves in agreement with the resident sage Hesiod. However, every now and again all Blogs unleash a foul ball. This is Hesiod's take on the future of the Democrats, and we couldn't disagree more:

I'll predict it right now, Hillary Clinton will NEVER be on the national Democratic party ticket.

We tend to think that claim is dubious, at best. Our seers say that starting in 2008, the Dems nomination is Hil's for the asking.


When The Rittenhouse Review announced a spinoff of their fine site entitled "HorowitzWatch", we were thrilled. Sadly, it turns out that HorowitzWatch, with absolutely zero postings in the first week, is all hat and no cattle. HorowitzWatch did post a message claiming to be waiting, vigilantly it seems, for Horowitz to do or say something provocative, but as of yet, had not found anything worth commenting on. A shame, as Scoobie Davis absolutely nailed Horowitz on Thursday.

We've been Blogging for six days, and have already pissed off a rival Blog. Here's the skinny: In an attempt to publicize our site, we sent out three (3) spam emails to some of the great Bloggers of our time. We asked them to take a look at our site and link to us if they felt so inclined. Well, it seemed to us only two things could happen, either they would take a look at In Arguendo, or they would delete the e-mail. Sadly, we didn't consider another alternative. We didn't consider that Charles Kuffner, who Blogs the eccentric Off The Kuff, would find it was incumbent upon himself to write a 6 paragraph high-horse response lecturing us on the "proper" ways to publicize a new Blog. Thanks, Chuck, but we can determine our own sense of propriety.

Anyway, two points came up that demand to be pointed out. The first is this passage from Mr. Kuffner:

If you do, though, you run the risk that one of those lower-tier fellas (like, say, me) might discover that he's been begged for a link by someone who hasn't already linked to him. Which might lead to him writing a sarcastic blog entry about clueless link sluts and their pathetic attempts to garner attention.

Grammar aside, doesn't this sound a little bit like sour grapes? We've had numerous experts from around the nation study this passage, and over 96% of the experts feel that had we linked to Chuck, this mess never would have come up. There is, as you may know, nothing worse than a Blogger scorned.

The second passage actually comes from the comments section from the post. Chuck writes:

Thanks, Ann. You're not missing much - his content was mostly pointing to other people's stuff. I do wonder if he'll stumble across my response, but I'm not exactly worried about it.

We checked back through the entire year of Off The Kuff, and EVERY SINGLE POST except the post instructing us on what is proper, points to "other people's stuff". Some people would call that hypocrisy. We just figure that the writer of Off The Kuff just fell a tad bit Off His Rocker.

In any event, we don’t plan on spamming every day, and if anybody ever gets unwanted e-mail from us, just tell US, and we’ll put a stop to it