Saturday, June 28, 2003


If the Democrats think they can win the White House in 2004 by demonizing George II as the evil monster who lied to the country about WMDs and Al-Queda's links with Saddam, they should fold the tent now and save us the next sixteen months of sound bites and Al Sharpton meltdowns. They would be better off trying to convince the country that reducing junk food consumption, beer drinking and time spent revisiting "Jackass: The Movie" might cure cancer. It ain't gonna happen.

The vast majority of mass market, "red zone" America remains fearful and angry about 9/11 and threat of further carnage. Every Arab killed in combat is an Arab who can't fly to the US and plant a bomb in a shopping mall; how and why that attrition is achieved isn't exactly weighing on peoples minds. Bush supporters are fervently patriotic and evangelically righteous folks who see the President's decisiveness as a welcome change from the chronic waffling of Bill Clinton. The bottom line is that Americans feel secure with Bush in charge and history tells us that providing security or the perception of security will dominate public discourse to the detriment of all other issues.

The Democrat who has the best chance of challenging Bush is the Democrat who can match the President's sincerity and earnestness in their approach to terrorism and national security as well as provide a roadmap to economic recovery. The candidate should leave no doubt that security is paramount, be creative with new initiatives and vow to change the name of the "Department of Homeland Security" to something less Orwellian and more entertaining like the "Department of Do You Feel Lucky , Punk?" If this area of contention can be neutralized, then an all out attack on the continuing domestic disasters would be the place to make the case for regime change.

Hit the Republican's where the rest of country hurts. Continually remind Americans of what they have lost in the past 3 years: jobs, pensions, 401Ks, healthcare benefits, mutual funds. The future isn't looking so good and it's not just because of bunch of guys named Ahmed & Mohammed. A number of guys named Ken, Bernie, Jack, Sandy and others have made a significant contribution to the degradation of the economy.

Harp on the fact that the country needs growth and that the Bush team is clueless on growing a business. Though it claims it's an MBA presidency, none of the top players have ever started a successful, long standing enterprise. Cheney got his job at Halliburton because he was a Washington insider; John Snow, Treasury Secretary, was CEO and Chairman at CSX, a transportation company comprised of rail and trucks; Don Evans, Secretary of Commerce, is a former CEO of (shocker here) a Texas oil company; George II managed to parlay his family name into a significant profit as Managing Partner of the Texas Rangers.

The bottom line is the administration's Big 4 in economic policy have all had their success in highly regulated industries. (Major League Baseball is exempt from anti-trust laws, a complete farce held in tact since 1922. It is highly dependent on chummy relations with Congress to retain this privledge.) These guys aren't businessmen; they're siphons at the public trough. They couldn't sell space heaters to Eskimo's if there wasn't a Congressman in the room to hold a gun to Nanook's head. They are not Republicans in the classic sense, they're apparatchiks in a socialist construct just like NFL owners; the financial results are preordained.

That's why tax cuts are the only response the Bushies can come up with. They can't create!! They can only rob Peter to pay Paul, then turn around and rob Paul, handing over the proceeds to their friends that set up Peter in the first place.

The successful Democrat will continually remind voters that economy needs to be rebuilt; steps taken to eliminate corporate corruption; a first class education policy established and affordable health care made a priority. The prize is there for the taking if a candidate will step forward with the moxy to remind America that we must build a future worth securing; not just continue to fight for a meager future.

Friday, June 27, 2003


Cosmic convergence is always more enjoyable when delivered in black. The week past has been gracious enough to provide two delicious examples of the dark wit with which the universe sometimes graces us.

Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled that the law has no right to prohibit two consenting adults of the same sex from buggering to their hearts content; or at least until the furniture is sufficiently re-arranged to provide maximum feng-shui. Within hours of the announcement of the court's ruling, Strom Thurmond, the centenarian fossil who despised homosexuals almost as much as he hated blacks ( times changed and he could hold a constituency by being anti-gay, being overtly anti-black wouldn't cut it anymore) got his gate assignment and boarding pass to that good ole plantation in the sky.

Dorothy Parker's response to Calvin Coolidge's death certainly applies here; "How could they tell?" would be an apt question given that in the last 10 years of his life Thurmond looked like a bad Madame Tussaud rendering giving way to a heat lamp. One wonders if his mortal coil gave up its last spring as news arrived that anal sex for gays was now off the list of imprisonable offenses. Perhaps a longing, a lifetime of lust repressed by the fear of legal consequences suddenly stirred his blood to a boil his body could no longer tolerate? Were his last words of that love that dare not speak its name?

On Wednesday, Lester Maddox, the former chicken shack proprietor and once governor of Georgia, was led to the pearly gates to begin his sentence of carrying Martin Luther King, Jr.'s bags for eternity. Maddox was the racist's racist, a symbol of segregation more vile, more nasty and more unrepentant than any of his contemporaries.

Hours before his demise, The New York Times goes to press and prints Maureen Dowd's Wednesday column. Nothing unusual except that in this column Dowd decides to give a written dressing down to Clarence Thomas, a Supreme Court Justice who on Tuesday dissented in a ruling that upheld certain affirmative action policies of the University of Michigan. Thomas's dissent was based on his position that men and women who participate in affirmative action programs are forever labeled as under qualified and token hires; a position he is all too familiar with as his nomination to the court was, and is, consistently reviewed as a pure political play taking advantage of the anomaly of a black conservative.

Dowd rips Thomas for being an ungrateful black man who took advantage of affirmative action in his education and career but won't extend it to others. She calls him "mad", "crazy" and the possessor of a "historical gratitude" to affirmative action. In other words, Thomas isn't toeing the liberal/racial line and he doesn't know his ideological place. He is obviously thinking on his own and Miss Maureen needs to remind him that all good Negroes should think the same, that is, in lock step with Miss Maureen.

Dowd picks up Lester's torch just before Lester says goodbye; Strom leaves the building right after he learns that his earnest attraction to Trent Lott can be fulfilled.

It doesn't get any better than this, or at least until next week

Thursday, June 26, 2003


After 23 consecutive days of Vitamin D depravation, the sun has finally returned to Santa Monica to rescue the population from overdosing on reruns of American Idol, Xanax and bubble gum flavored vodka. Lines at the the nearest available tanning booths are back to normal and the homeless have returned from vacation in Puerta Vallarta.

It's important to remember that sunshine is the only natural resource indigenous to this area. Everything else is delivered by illegal aliens in Honda Civics. Without the sun we couldn't grow the Oblivous Trees that feed 90 percent of the locals. There would be no tan lines, no surfer dudes and no brigades of the homeless from the other 49 states. Without the rays you can forget about celebrities, celebrity wannabbees and celebrity worshippers, in other words, 85 % of the US economy would be reliant on Miami or the south of France.

Experiencing the June Gloom for the first time is traumatic, especially if you have left San Francisco to get away from a daily dose of fog. The San Fran version of life in a cloud usually breaks by early afternoon and a few hours of sun tease you into believing you are living in the best place on the planet. Here, the low overcast skies persist from morning to morning and you are lucky to see a single ray of light from earth's nearest star or any other. You might as well be living in a snow-globe filled with cigar smoke. It isn't as cold as San Francisco, but it the moderate temperature hardly mitigates the relentless nature of the cloud layer.

Waking up is especially difficult. If sinus problems curse your life, you can expect to arrive at conciousness with your head feeling as if it had been stuffed with tepid oatmeal. This sensation leaves you wondering if death is emminent, or if not, should you it do something to encourage it. Empty bottles of bubble gum flavored vodka and Xanax will quickly remind you that it might not just be your sinuses that have succumbed to the weather and that thousands of brain cells decomposing inside your skull without a proper burial could be contributing to your malaise.

Once sufficent amounts of coffee and Advil have been consumed to neutralize the Phillip Glass tuba solo in your head, remembering the day of the week becomes critical. June Gloom erases any circadian sense that may have been a part of your life. Day after day of gray after gray begins to instill a deja vue that makes the date and day function on your over priced luxury watch as important as speed dial number for the local liquor store.

After getting your bearings and sweeping the detritus out of your head, finding anything resembling energy for the day becomes paramount. The Gloom is a succubus that feeds on adrenal glands. While you are sleeping (or passed out) it extracts exactly the amount of energy you will need to take a shower, shave or dipilitate, toast a bagel and walk to your car. Since you can no longer rely on that natural kick of morning adreneline, you must frighten yourself into a sufficient release of get up and go. This is accomplished by reminding yourself of your rent payment, car payment, credit card payments, utilities payment, alimony if applicable, installments on your over priced luxury watch and the girlfriend/wife or both that expect dinner, theatre and jewlery in return for their ability to make you wonder what life would be like in Saudi Arabia.

So remember, if life in Santa Monica looks appealling, June is not the name of Beaver Cleaver's mother. It's the mother of all hangover's and expect the bus to Puerta Vallarta to be booked early.

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