Saturday, August 10, 2002


Make no mistake about it: We love reading The Rittenhouse Review every day. Sadly, their recent post concerning Mary Matalin playing fast and loose with the truth was undercut by a cheap shot. Here is how they prefaced their analysis of Matalin's comments:

Mary Matalin, counselor to Vice President Dick Cheney, is on CNBC as we write this, lying through that tiny mouth of hers that never seems to open wider than one-eighth of an inch.

The Review goes on to cut through Matalin's spin, but it would have been far more powerful had they not referred to her irrelevant appearance. Frankly, it was beneath the unusually high standards of The Rittenhouse Review. They are much better than that.

So, who's the sexiest woman in entertainment? J-Lo? Anniston? Theron? Madonna?

Nope. It says right here that bar-none, the sexiest woman alive is Debra Wilson from Mad TV.

We have spoken.

Talking head Howie Kurtz opened his Media Notes segment on Reliable Sources thusly:

KURTZ: The Los Angeles Times has fired reporter Brian Robin for using company E-mail to write California Congressman Bill Thomas. Robin called him 'stupid' and 'a morally bankrupt Republican.' Liberal bias, anyone?

So, just how many lies did Howie offer up in those 31 words. Let's be generous and call it two and a half. Here is the E-mail, and it doesn't take an English major to realize that there is a distinction between calling somebody something, and implying it. Clearly Howie was dissembling when he claimed Robin called Thomas names. He did not. The half lie is because Robin was a SPORTSWRITER at The Times, not a reporter.

As we have long maintained, our entire staff has a deep affection for Dawn Olsen, head of the spiffy Blog Up Yours. Despite the tiresome naked pictures and stories about oral sex, we love Dawn's take on her own life. So, frankly, we were a bit surprised when Up Yours took a swipe a Chuck Heston, who, as far as we know has never taken a shot at Dawn. Here is the message causing a ruckus over at Up Yours:


In what appears to be another huge blow to the National Rifle Association, spokepersons for actor Charlton Heston are reporting that the actor has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Sources close to the actor state that he has had the disease almost his entire life and that may be a possible reason for his inexplicable endorsement of the NRA. Heston was recently overheard saying, "What's with all the gun-toting assplows that keep asking for my autograph? I hate guns. Guns are bad. Bad people use guns. Where is my bib? I think someone needs to change their diaper."

Not since Ted Nugent was diagnosed with Mad Cow's Disease has the NRA been dealt such a PR blow. Representatives for the organization had no comment other than to say that "Guns don't kill people. People kill people."

Tune in for more on this breaking story.....

We know, we know. This was completely out of line, in utterly poor taste, and made us laugh until our morbidly obese intern Todd wet himself.


The White House, waiting until Friday afternoon which is a sneaky habbit of this administration, released final medical privacy regulations that, according to the Bush administration officials, 'strike just the right balance'. Just what is that balance? Well, unlike the rules of the Clinton Administration, the 'right balance' means that 'the Bush rules do not require health-care providers to obtain patients' consent before sharing their medical records with insurance companies, drug manufacturers and pharmacies.' Further, 'the Bush regulations also allow health-care providers, pharmacies and drug companies to profit from the use of patient records'. Vicki Kemper has the story in today's LA Times.

It just goes to show, George W. Bush never met a multi-billion dollar industry for whom he wouldn't do ANYTHING.

Friday, August 09, 2002


Mayor Bloomberg is getting major play with his call to stop all smoking in public bars and restaurants in New York. Let us explain why it's not a major story: NOBODY WILL FOLLOW IT. Here in California we had the same debate in 1994, and let us tell you that the hardest part of smoking in bars nowadays is asking the bartender for an ashtray. The bar and restaurant owners will make the decision as to allow smoking or not, and we think that's how it should be. (Full disclosure: The majority of editors at In Arguendo are smokers, and we allow smoking in our workplace.)

We've never been fans of Charlton Heston. Most of us were too young to remember him as Moses, and most of us didn't care for Planet Of The Apes. And frankly, we feel he is nearly criminally wrong in his work on behalf of the NRA. Several of us have referred to him as 'stupid' and a 'dim bulb'.

That being said, we are all saddened by the revelation that Heston has Alzheimer’s disease. Politics aside, nobody likes to see anybody become ill, and especially not to a disease that is so crippling. We join with EVERYBODY in wishing Mr. Heston the best of luck in the fight ahead of him.

Thursday, August 08, 2002


Today's nominee is Sergio Moreno. Here's how The Star Telegram described his last few seconds of life:

Sergio A. Moreno, 36, discharged several rounds from a .22-caliber handgun into the water, then pointed the gun toward his nose and pulled the trigger again, according to statements from two men fishing with him in a small boat, said Kevin Patton, a spokesman for the Denton County Sheriff's Department.

It appears that Moreno misjudged how many bullets were left in the gun. In Sergio's defense, he was only off by one.

Here is the offending e-mail that got Brian Robin fired from his job as a sportswriter for the LA Times. Robin sent the e-mail, which begins ‘Surely you can’t be that stupid,’ to Republican Congressman Bill Thomas (Bakersfield), from his work account rather than home. After Thomas' office confirmed that Robin worked for the LA Times, Robin was suspended, and then fired.

After reading the story in LA Weekly, it sure seems that SOMEBODY in Thomas' office was acting awfully petty and evil. Or maybe Thomas is attempting to regain his crown. You'll remember Thomas was voted the "most disliked Congressperson" in 1998 in a poll of 1200 staffers on Capitol Hill in Washington".

In a discussion over Florida State University's use of the phrase "Let's Roll" as the football team motto, we got this soliloquy:

SLIWA: You were all over Bowden, there, of Florida State University of the Seminoles, Chop Chop, that's what they're known for out there on the gridiron, when all of a sudden, Bobby Bowden, a legend on the greeniron, said 'you know, I gotta fire up my troops this year cause we got a mediocre team and we're not going to be in the top ten NCAA ratings.

For the record, yes, Curtis did use both the word 'gridiron' and 'greeniron' in the same sentence. By the way, FSU is ranked 4th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Preseason Poll.

Wednesday, August 07, 2002


Tonight's memorable moment from Crossfire came while Paul Begala was defending President Clinton.

BEGALA: He had a girlfriend, tough luck. I think there's some jealousy out there about the girlfriend thing, I don't know. Maybe it's just me.

NOVAK: That girlfriend? Ugh!

This is how VP Dick Cheney answered his first question about Haliburton today in San Francisco:

CHENEY: Well, I, first of all have a great affection and respect for Haliburton. It's a fine company, and I'm pleased that I was associated with the company and with the men and women of Haliburton, some 83,000 strong around the world during my tenure there. There currently is an inquiry under way by the S.E.C. with respect to Haliburton's accounting practices. I am of necessity restrained in terms of what I can say about that matter because there are editorial writers all over America poised to put pen to paper, and condemn me for exercising undue, improper influence if I say too much about it since this is a matter pending before independent regulatory agency, the S.E.C..

Here how Lester Holt reported that some 3 hours later on MSNBC:

HOLT: Vice President Dick Cheney made a rare public appearance today. He spoke to an education group in California. For the first time he opened himself up to questions about his tenure at Haliburton, but, didn't divulge much. The oil company is under S.E.C. investigation for it's accounting practices when Cheney was C.E.O. The Vice President said legally he could not discuss the inquiry.

We understand it might have taken longer, and been more complicated, but why didn't Lester actually say what Cheney said, rather than interpret it into what Lester thought Cheney was saying, or what Lester thought Cheney SHOULD have said?

The American Prospect's excellent writer, Garrett Epps, comes out for VP John Hoynes rather than the sitting Democratic President Bartlett in the upcoming election on The West Wing. Epps argument is that Bartlett is too smart, too arogant, and too self-imortant and is summed up thusly:

"Why not the best?" Jimmy Carter asked in 1976. I haven't figured out the answer -- but if Bartlet represents our picture of the best, then, like former Sen. Roman Hruska, I think it's time for mediocrity to have its chance at bat.

For some reason, that idea sounds so gosh darn familiar.


Here's Veep Dick Cheney clearing up that Haliburton messiness today:

If you're interested in the facts...uh...of the Haliburton situation, I refer you to the Haliburton web site.

Thanks, Dick!


Naturally, our hearts go out to the Alvarado family, who lost their daughter, Lesly Gutierrez-Alvarado, when she fell from a third story window. But do the facts add up at all? An 18 MONTH old baby is jumping up and down on a mattress that is at window level, and she tumbled 'over three thin wooden slats that had been nailed across the window to protect her from just such a fall'. It seems to us that there is more to the story than we know.

Tuesday, August 06, 2002


Recently, this candidate bragged about " commitment to protect Social Security and Medicare, to provide access to affordable prescription drugs, to preserve our precious environment and to champion a world-class education for our children."

Who said it?

Gore? Kerrey? Dean? Sharpton? Bush?

Nope. Katherine Harris, in a letter explaining that little election-law snafuu.

Is it just us, or does anybody else think old Katherine is either lying or a Democrat?


You have to admire that plucky U.S. Government. They grabbed Yaser Esam Hamdi while he was fighting along side the Taliban last fall, and kept him in a brig without access to an attorney. Finally U.S. District Judge Robert G. Doumar demanded that the Government turn over notes on Hamdi's interrogation.

The Government said no.

Here is the opening paragraph from an editorial in the News & Record that can only be described as ironic.

On the same day police had contained a group of anti-war protesters nearly a mile away, President George W. Bush told an audience at Grandover Resort that the nation's terrorist enemies "cannot stand the fact that we have open debate in our society."

You really can't make this stuff up.


We've heard a lot of coverage on millionaires Bill and Hillary Clinton looking to be paid back for their legal fees in the Whitewater investigation. But how come nothing has been said about the 32 OTHER PEOPLE requesting reimbursement, including billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife?

Word for word exchanges between real live human beings and Curtis Sliwa!

In a discussion about profiling Muslims, MSNBC showed a graphic of one of the terrorists, and how he would look if disguised as an Orthodox Jew. Then we got this exchange:

RON KUBY: I actually asked our graphics department, let's take a look at this picture of one of the September 11th highjackers. There he is as a dangerous-looking, swarthy Middle Eastern Arab type. And there is the same guy with peyos, a beard, and a black hat and glasses looking like an orthodox Jew. Now, you may say let's racially profile the first guy, there, but all you have to do is to change his appearance a little bit and your eye slides right off him, never excites suspicion. So, the, the, the terrorists, like drug smugglers themselves, are always trying to stay ahead of the profiler.

SLIWA: Wait up...wait a second. Hold on you technocrats back there in our studio. Put, put the graphics back up there because I notice the Palestinian’s would call him a 'sand Jew' in a pejorative way. Look at that guy right, as he puts the peyos on and the black hat. All you would have to do is ask him to drop his drawers, see if he is circumcised...

KUBY: Uh...Curtis. The Muslims are circumcised too.

Monday, August 05, 2002


We're going to miss the only play-by-play man we Laker fans have ever known.

OK, we'll say it: Paul Begala has a crush on Ann Coulter. How else can you explain the can of whoop-ass Coulter opened on Begala on tonight's Crossfire? While Coulter was her typical polemical self, Begala was the reincarnation of Al Gore in his second debate with the President. The usually sharp Begala let Coulter walk all over him without a peep. Here's an example:

MARK MELLMAN: Well, you know it, there are middle class people in New York and California, believe it or not, but the reality is Al Gore won the popular vote in this country. More people voted for Al Gore than voted for George Bush. Now you're gonna tell me they didn't respond to his message?

COULTER: Even if that were true, that doesn't answer the question.


The doe-eyed Begala corrected her 35 minutes later.

Later, when Julian Epstein had Coulter on the mat, it was Begala who jumped in to save her.

The only possible explanation as to why Begala didn't jump on Coulter with both feet must be that he's smitten with her. He never backed down from Novak, right?


On the July 5th edition of Crossfire, James Carville told Ann Coulter 'I don't know if you're a bigot. I do know you're a fool.'

On the August 5th edition of Crossfire Paul Begala called Ann Coulter his co-host.

We would think that the conservatives could come up with a far better replacement for Novak or Carlson.


We always get a kick out of reading 13 year-old Ben Shapiro's column, mainly for paragraphs like this:

It's ludicrous. What comes next? Forty thousand people are killed annually in car crashes -- should we ban cars? James Traficant is going to jail for eight years on charges of corruption -- should we ban portly middle-aged Southern white men who wear toupees?

For the record, here is the biography of 'Southerner' Jimmy Bob Traficant:

TRAFICANT, James A., Jr., a Representative from Ohio; born in Youngstown, Mahoning County, Ohio, May 8, 1941; graduated from Cardinal Mooney High School, Youngstown, Ohio, 1959; B.S., University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pa., 1963; M.S., University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pa., 1973; M.S., Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Ohio, 1976; executive director, Mahoning County, Ohio, Drug Program, Inc., 1971-1981; sheriff, Mahoning County, Ohio, 1981-1985; elected as a Democrat to the Ninety-ninth and to the eight succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1985-July 24, 2002); expelled from the House of Representatives pursuant to H. Res. 495, passed on July 24, 2002.

Granted, if Little Ben is headquartered in Canada, then maybe Traficant is Southern, but we think the kid is from Burbank.

Here is the final paragraph from a Newsday story concerning Yoichi Nakayama and the death of his dog Noodle:

He (Nakayama) said he was "crushed" because he doesn't know how to tell his 11-year-old daughter, who is on vacation in Taiwan, that the dog is dead.

If he sticks to the truth, Nakayama will explain to his daughter that he took the dog to Jones Beach, played in the water, and then repeatedly dunked the dog for 45 minutes until Noodle drowned. Then he dug a hole and attempted to bury Noodle on the public shore before being arrested.

We're betting he won't stick to the truth.

Word for word exchanges between real live human beings and Curtis Sliwa!

RON KUBY: He (President Bush) said the one thing I really want to do is go to war against Saddam Hussein, if only I could find a pretext and he hasn't been able to find one. The Middle East is exploding and he's playing golf.

SLIWA: Yeah, but isn't it refreshing, often times the FBI has to bug your clients while they're out there playing golf and they don't want to be recorded on the telephone or on a cell phone or C.E.O.'s who actually play golf, a lot of people don't know this, so they can discuss insider trading. And here we see President Poppa Bush telling son, 'This is what you gotta do to finish the job against Saddam Hussein.'

KUBY: (Uncontrollable laughter).

It started innocently enough. Our friend and occasional sailing buddy Josh Marshall made a comment about Al Gore on his incredibly solid Blog Talking Points Memo. Then our pal, who we regularly beat in tennis, Bob Somerby took pains to explain that Josh didn't fully contextualize his comment about Gore on his wonderful Blog The Daily Howler. Well, with both sides firing indiscriminantly at each other, it was up to the 800 pound gorrilla of leftward leaning Blogs, Media Whores Online, to play this peacemaker as they posted this message:

As for Marshall/Somerby, the disagreement seems to be over the amount of context a writer should provide when analyzing the Gore campaign, not on the facts. Whatever the dispute, hopefully it's over. Both The Daily Howler and Talking Points have been invaluable in beating back the further advancement of corrupt media and Republican power-abusers.

Sadly, it appears the cease-fire lasted until this morning when The Daily Howler attempted to explain things again.

George Mitchell, where are you?

Sunday, August 04, 2002


Newsweek has a pathetic interview with 40 year-old John Small, self-appointed protector of all things Martha. Small runs the E-Bay-like, a web site dedicated to uncovering the vexing conspiracy of everybody on the planet versus Martha Stewart. OK, there is a funny line on ("John Small is furious because he believes Martha's enemies are unfairly beating the crepe out of her."), but overall it's a strange little world reminiscent of the relationship betwixt Waylon Smithers and Barbie.

In this corner, fighting out of Massachusetts, The Grand Old Man, the leader of the party's most famous family, Teddy Kennedy!

And in this corner, The Upstart, the junior Senator from New York, and possibly the party's best hope at recapturing the White House, Hillary Clinton!

At stake: The Democratic convention site: New York or Boston.

We say: Take Hillary and lay the points.

Fans of the Anahiem Angels are burdened by the color commentary of the Stepford-like Rex Hudler, who sometimes just doesn't get it. In a game with the NY Yankees last night, Hudler broke an unwritten rule by mentioning a possible achievement that had yet to take place. You know, like how you don't say the pitcher has a no-hitter going? Here's Hudler as Troy Percival faces Bernie Williams:

HUDLER: Keep in mind, the Angels, I mean, the Yankess have not gone three games in a row without a homerun this season.

STEVE PHYSIOC: Oh, thanks for bringing that up.

Two pitches later, Williams hits a 3-run homerun.

Say it with us Angels fans: SHUT UP REX!!

Tell us you didn't miss Mad TV's hilarious Aries Spears brutalizing the embattled singer, R. Kelly, with a mock video on last night’s episode. It killed us. While frolicking with a teen-age, cookie-selling Girl Scout, Spears (as Kelly) breaks into song:

Little girls like me
'Cause I'm a singer
Ohh, that's why I got you
Wrapped 'round my finger

I got a camera
Set up to shoot us
Ohh, I like 'em young like
Jerry Lee Lewis

Girl I'm so glad you came backstage
If anybody asks you
Lie about your age

Pay no attention to my friends
Smile and look into the lens
I'll record it
Just don't report it

Don't worry, I've done this before
I've got tapes stacked on the floor
I'm the greatest statutory rapist
Ohh, ohh

Hasn't been long since
You've played with your dolls
But grass on the field means
You can't play ball

Battery's running
All out of power
Looks like I won't tape
My golden shower

Don't tell authorities my name
Now I gotta go sing at the Olympic Games

You’re my princess, I'm your prince
I'm taking one box of thin mints
I'll pay you later
You little jailbaiter

I guess it doesn't make much sense
I've created evidence
To show I'm the greatest statutory rapist

I believe I can get away with this