Opinions, Etc: 02.04.03


After blathering on and on yesterday in Wrestling about the Super Bowl, I think I’ll keep this one short and sweet. It’s going to be pretty much politically-oriented, since I really don’t give two shits about Janet Jackson’s breast, and that’s the only other thing that people are talking about (I’m not counting the Massachusetts gay marriage stuff because it isn’t final yet, but I can hear Monroe screeching from here). So, read on if you dare.


Cooling has a better summary of the Hutton Report and its attendant destruction of the reputation of the BBC than I was planning to write for this one, so I’ll let him have the stage and keep mute. But I will say that the cover-up and blame-shifting are so obvious on this one that’s it’s pathetic.

Mister Anderson just goes over stuff we already know about Dubbaya and his secret cabal.

Melchor goes over why CBS is a bunch of hypocritical bitches, which, of course, everyone knows.

Memo to Frederich: There’s a difference here between you and Monroe. You’re a Nuremburg Rally. Monroe is “Springtime For Hitler”. I know what’s more entertaining to me.

Tim C. may be another conservative trog, but he’s right on concerning the whole Disney/Pixar situation. Eisner will go down, and he will go down hard. However, his stats are wrong. He stated that since “1995 or so”, only three features out of the Mouseworks had crossed the nine-figure barrier in US box office. Yes, Mulan, Tarzan, and Lilo and Stitch did so. However, he forgot about two others released after “1995 or so” that did, namely Pocahontas and Hunchback of Notre Dame, the latter of which made it by less than Fleabag’s monthly income but still hit the mark nonetheless (Hercules ended up missing the barrier by almost the same amount as Hunchback made it by). In fact, Pocahontas grossed almost as much as Lilo and Stitch. Doesn’t alter the case, though, and Brother Bear is stuck fifteen mil below that level, so there’s nothing for Eisner to hang his hat on.

Badlissi needs to get better Queen references. “Sheer Heart Attack”, maybe? “I Want To Break Free”, perhaps? “The Show Must Go On” is always suitable. Hey, just some ideas.

Meanwhile, Games has had a slight shift in personnel, and Misha now has Tuesdays over there. The new column title sucks, but I’m an Adams purist, so my judgment is questionable.

You know, despite the opportunities, I’ve never pimped Smilowitz. Shame on me. And I think I heard the Dead Kennedys’ version of “I Fought The Law” once and didn’t like it, mostly, as you said, due to Jello’s reinterpretation.

You can ignore any RPG that Lucard puts on his list that doesn’t come on a PC or Mac because console RPGs are not real RPGs. And, yes, I will beat this dead farting horse into the ground.

And, as usual, BAXLEY!


And the bandwagon played on for John Kerry yesterday. Five more states won out of the seven in play, and he didn’t even bother with South Carolina (Edwards Country) and Oklahoma (Edwards and Clark in a dead heat). They’ve all moved on to Michigan, Washington, and Maine, who all have caucuses over the weekend, and Edwards has decided to build on his Southern base by heading to Tennessee and Virginia, which have primaries next Tuesday.

Surprisingly, the only casualty was Joe Lieberman, who’s now officially out. The question regarding him is simple: which fellow senator does he end up endorsing, Kerry or Edwards? He’s from the same wing of the party as Kerry, so that seems to be the most likely option. Of course, he could throw his endorsement to Clark and confuse everyone. Personally, I think a Lieberman endorsement is crucial at this stage of the game in determining the result of the death march to the convention. He was the only one to walk out of that mess in 2000 with the ability to raise his head high, and that means a lot to the less cynical portion of the voting population. He also carries a good deal of weight in the elderly and Jewish population segments, key demographics the Demos have to cement in order to swing certain states…yes, I’m thinking of Florida, but I don’t want to talk about Florida right now. Let’s concentrate on the present.

(Concerning the elderly, I’m surprised that no one’s really gone after Dubbaya’s Medicare reform as being the shallow effort that it is. Maybe they’re reserving that for the actual campaign.)

I haven’t been that reticent about my main reason why I came out for Kerry a long while back (like, before he announced his candidacy). I went with him because he was the most electable candidate. Now the pundits are all falling over themselves stating that electability is a key factor in the race. Even Bob Novak, of all people, cited that as a reason for the results yesterday. More people are coming around to my point of view and realizing that this year is not a time for a grand statement of principle. This is the Year Of Realpolitik. Dubbaya must be removed at all costs, and Kerry is the man who can most easily do that. Playtime is now over, and the primary voters have realized that. No more pie-in-the-sky shit.

(Novak also brought up a fantastic point, which is one reason I’ve always respected the guy despite being on the opposite political spectrum: Dean and Clark, especially Clark, do not know how to campaign. They’re trying to run as outsiders in a year that the Democratic electorate has realized that “outsider” isn’t going to cut it. By doing this, they’re limiting themselves to the voters who tend to turn out for primaries but who are swamped in sheer numbers by those who turn out for the actual election. In order to work, there has to be an extreme amount of political discontent with the status quo, and there isn’t this year. There should be more dissatisfaction than there is, but the Junta has kept the population narcotized to what’s really going on in Iraq, and the Iraq situation is deflecting attention away from the still-stagnant economy.)

That, of course, bring us to Howard Dean. He’s in sad, sad shape. The only reason he’s not out yet is simple. He still has a chance to actually get something going. It’s obvious to everyone that he’s going to do well in Maine. He’s on home ground there. However, that’s not enough at this point. Due to yesterday’s results, the perception is that Dean can’t do well anywhere outside of New England. Therefore, he had to either win or do very well in both Washington and Michigan (he’s toast in the two contests next Tuesday; everyone’s already conceding them to Edwards). Dean is trying to hold out for another two weeks, until the Wisconsin primary. Wisconsin is his ideal state to make a stand; it has activist liberal Democrats heavily concentrated in Madison. However, those votes may not be enough to get him over the hump there, because Kerry’s shown some strength in the African-American community, which will assist him greatly in the Milwaukee area, plus Edwards is now becoming the darling of the activist wing, and will definitely be piling it on in Wisconsin to try to get rid of the same weakness that Dean has in regard to geographical strength (the results in Oklahoma have helped him immensely in that regard).

So what’s going to happen over the next week? Dean wins Maine, but finishes second in Washington and third in Michigan. His ass is out by this time next week. I hesitate to predict anything further along than that, because Wisconsin’s results depend on whether or not Dean is still in, and he’s thrown enough curveballs to make me hesitate about what I just wrote. He might just stay in until Wisconsin just to f*ck with everyone else.

As the phrase goes, now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their party. Howard Dean is a good man. So come to the aid of your party and drop out.


Far be it from me to deny some equal time to the Party Of Evil Pieces Of Shit Who Are Illegally Occupying The White House, but the political stories have pretty much all been Demo. However, I do get to comment about one little thing. Yesterday, Maria Shriver terminated her employ at NBC News (reference intentional). She did so because, as the wife of the Governor of California during an election year, her jouralistic integrity would be “constantly scrutinized”.

Okay, first of all, when has Maria Shriver ever had journalistic integrity? She’s the main fluff piece artist in the Land Of Brokaw. But I’ll ignore that and give her the benefit of the doubt when she says that she has journalistic integrity. All journalists must be given that benefit unless they decide to make it obvious that they don’t, like Jayson Blair and most people working for Fox News.

Here’s the main point: Maria Shriver may be the Governator’s wife, but, by blood and inclination, she is a Kennedy. She has been steeped in American politics since birth, at the highest of levels. That is the reason why NBC hired her in the first place (that and she’s pretty hot). So why now are people complaining about possible bias? She’s been married to Ah-nuld, a very public and opinionated Republican, for years, yet no one filtered her statements through his views. Now that he holds a highly-visible office, is everyone all of a sudden going to interpret anything Maria Shriver does as reflecing on her husband’s political party and their beliefs? Yes, you can say it becomes easier to do so when your spouse is the one holding office, but how much weight does one spouse carry compared to the Kennedys? They’re the ace of friggin’ trumps in the American political card deck.

What’s sad about all of this is that the more conservative out there are going to look at this move as another Triumph for the Liberal Media. They’re going to say that there was an active conspiracy not to care as long as Maria Shriver was simply a Kennedy who made a very strange choice politically for a spouse (hey, it’s Hollyweird), but now that she’s the First Lady of California under a Republican administration, it’s not acceptable for her to play journalist. They’re going to charge “double standard”, and, forgive me, my peers, I can’t figure out a way to counteract that perception. This one has incredible amounts of visibility. After all, we’re dealing with people who have celebrity outside of the realm of politics in addition to inside. This isn’t another Andrea Mitchell situation (she’s married to Alan Greenspan). With no effort, the neocons who populate talk radio like the locusts they are will twist this into someone being shoved out after eighteen yearson the job for no good reason.

Well, let’s hope that this is just a leave of absence like she’s portraying it to be. That should help lessen any kind of misperception. I just don’t want to leave the talking heads any kind of opening to keep spreading their Liberal Media FUD.


Ooooh, someone found ricin in the Dirksen Senate Office Building. Big f*ckin’ deal.

In case you want to turn this into another anthrax scare, sorry. Let me explain the inside info to you (something I had to explain to Flea when we talked last night, since he asked me about it):

Ricin is a chemical toxin derived from castor oil seeds. Anthrax is a bacterium. Biological threats are always greater than chemical threats.

Ricin is most dangerous if injected and is almost impossible to be spread in airborne form. Anthrax is most easily spread by inhalation and spreads via the air quite well.

Ricin breaks down so quickly that it was considered by the KGB to be the preferred agent to be used in wet affairs operations, since it does its job (in barely enough time) and then vanishes from the bloodstream before an autopsy can find it. Ricin earned its stripes in this area courtesy of Bulgarian intelligence, who, with KGB technical assistance, murdered dissident journalist and radio commentator Georgy Markov in 1978 using a small pellet filled with ricin fired from a pneumatic-powered hollow umbrella tip. The doctors were ready to put down “natural causes” as the reason for Markov’s death until they found the 1 mm diameter pellet in his body with some unreleased ricin still in it. And it still took Markov two days to die.

Yeah, there’s no antitoxin to ricin. But it’s hard as hell to kill someone with it in the first place. Before killing Markov, the Bulgarians actually tried it on another dissident journalist in Paris, and the ricin failed to release from the pellet. Putting it in powdered form doesn’t lessen the fact that it breaks down that fast.

Ricin is a real bitch to isolate and purify (you need a lot of castor oil seeds to make a small amount). Anthrax is easily cultured and grown (comparatively speaking; it ain’t bread mold, but it’s easier to culture anthrax under lab conditions than it is, oh, Campylobacter spp.

So, therefore, this was really nothing much to worry about. Don’t go heading off to your doctors to find something for ricin, because there isn’t anything a doctor can do about it. And don’t panic. You were embarassing enough with the whole anthrax situation.

I think I’ll cut myself off here and end this thing. Stay tuned for everyone else in all the zones this week. You’ll find something to entertain you, I promise.