We're Spamming the Globe and Marching Through Customs
with Nothing to Declare.
Betty Bowers On Her FFCC's
Last time I did a roll call of my fellow female conservative commentators, things were not looking very splendid, dear readers! Ann Coulter was fired as a contributing editor of the National Review for her delicious "Barbara Olson May Be Dead, But She LOVED My Writing!" piece. In that disconcerting column, Ann issued her own fatwa, braying that we should either kill Muslims or convert them to Christianity, all the time proving more adept at dropping names than her shrill shtick. As a America's Best Christian, I second her fatwa, but take no joy in seeing public figures dissemble, to say nothing of disassemble in public (which is why I declined to sit next to a passel of 12 year old boys at a recent Michael Jackson tribute to, well, himself). I do, however, take surreptitious delight in the self-important being self-impaled (and - no - I am not making some ribald allusion to what Sally Quinn revealed over cocktails last week about catching Orin Hatch in the Senate cloakroom with his trousers dropping quicker than the NASDAQ).
Now, my dear anorexic Sister-in-Christ Ann is being accused of plagiarizing her book ''High Crimes and Misdemeanors." Honestly, after reading the prose that appeared under her name in that book, it would seem that she would have some cause for substantial damages for defamation from the hack she stole from!
Meanwhile commentator Debbie Schlussel, a blond conservative minx from the Ann Coulter school of being more artful wielding a mascara wand than a pen, is absolutely correct in her approach: Anyone who disagrees with any policy we conservative Christians repeat obviously "hates America." Glory! Make no mistake: This is a war of propaganda between people who think exactly like us - and America Haters who think for themselves. Since bland mantras of patriotism and rote exclamations of divine imperative hold sway in this warfare, I am sanguine in the knowledge that we will triumph over those who have the impertinence to express contrary opinions.
Sweet Peggy Noonan, another dear Sister-in-Christ, can be relied upon to gauge the mood of white people who adore aphorisms and then quickly distill their ineffable feelings into a charming string of bromides. She and I are verily giddy over America's dalliance with becoming a theocracy in order to topple one. And Peggy told me over light lunch and hearty patriotism that she is rather excited that men are "acting like John Wayne again." If by that she means men who act as if they can't be trusted to artfully speak in their phony Texas drawl unless they have a script before them, I honestly think the White House already had that covered before September 11. At any rate, you must remember, that since Peggy's Patron Saint is Ronald Reagan (although he is no longer aware of her rather strenuous fawning), she never places an onerous premium on anyone's brain actually being completely wired and working. As all the many speeches she used to write underscore, a phrase is to be admired for how artfully it turns, rather than where that turn may actually lead. --posted 10/24/01
"We have submitted six questions to Al Jazeera. They are:
1. Your spokesman has praised the September 11 terrorist attacks that killed thousands of innocent people and threatened to carry out more attacks involving planes and tall buildings. How can you and your followers advocate the killing of innocent people?
2. What was your role and the role of the al Qaeda organization in the September 11 attacks?
3. What was your role and the role of your organization in the subsequent anthrax attacks in the United States?
4. Did any of the September 11 hijackers or their accomplices receive al Qaeda financial support or training at al Qaeda bases in Afghanistan, and was any other government or organization involved?
5. In the past, you called on your followers to acquire weapons of mass destruction -- nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. Do you or your followers have any such weapons and, if so, will those weapons be used?
6. The vast majority of Muslim and Arab leaders, including Muslim clerics and Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat, say there is no justification in Islam for the terrorist attacks you advocate. They have denounced you, your followers, and your self-declared holy war. How do you respond to their criticism?"
But here are the questions that the western world REALLY wants to ask bin laden, says Bush Watcher Greg...
1. Do you seriously expect the western democratic countries to take you seriously running around in the desert wearing pajamas, needing a shave and a haircut?
2. Is that gun you are always on TV with real, and do you have a permit?
3. Do you spell your organization's name with the accent on the 'a' as in Al Qa'eda or on the 'e' Al Qae'da?
4. Do you prefer the Nokia 8890 GSM phone or the Motorola StarTac for communicating with your terrorists network?
5. Did Muhammed Ali ever contribute any money to Al Qaeda?
6. As one of 50 children fathered by Papa bin Laden, can you remember the names of all your brothers and sisters?
7. Do you wear boxers or briefs?
8. Have you ever played ping-pong?
9. Do you prefer Coke or Pepsi?
10. Finally, what is the air velocity of an unladen African swallow in flight? 10/17/01
"The White House press secretary scolded the host of 'Politically Incorrect' for calling some past U.S. military actions cowardly... White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said, 'There are reminders to all Americans that they need to watch what they say, watch what they do, and this is not a time for remarks like that.'" -- —Associated Press
Q: Ari, I was wondering if you had spoken to the President regarding Car & Driver's mixed review of the new Truck/SUV hybrid, the Chevrolet Avalanche, in which they offered some praise for its sturdy performance, but ultimately labeled it a "gimmick."
Mr. Fleischer: The President is aware of the review, and needless to say, he is very concerned about this on several levels. It disturbs the President that the Avalanche's ability to convert from a six-passenger, fully enclosed Sport Ute into a full-size truck for extra hauling capacity in a matter of minutes, a brilliant testament to American ingenuity and engineering, is dismissed as a gimmick. In fact, I've been told that Vice President Cheney happens to think that the Avalanche is "wicked cool" and that the President agrees with him.
Q: Ari, what about reports that at his recent birthday party, Timmy Brown of Youngstown, Ohio spit his mother's apple pie into a napkin and allegedly said, "This sucks. I hate apple pie. I want German chocolate cake."
Mr. Fleischer: Lets back up for a second so we can remind everyone that Germany, along with many other countries around the world, have pledged their support in our war against terrorism. Also, let it be known that no one appreciates a chocolate cake covered in sweet coconut frosting, topped with a cherry more than President Bush. That said, in times like these, we feel it's important that people pull together, and that means watching what they say about our national pastry, and furthermore…
Q: I understand that Timmy also something said about…
Mr. Fleischer: I'm getting there…
Q: …about hot dogs.
Mr. Fleischer: Right, I was getting there. Like most of you, I've heard conflicting reports, but the latest appears to confirm that Timmy called the hot dogs "yummy," not "yucky" as originally thought, which we're clearly encouraged by.
Q: Does the President have a comment on Timmy's punishment as well?
Mr. Fleischer: This is a time when some Americans may have to recognize that certain liberties may be curtailed, and being allowed to say that apple pie "sucks" is one of them. Therefore, we support Mr. and Mrs. Brown's decision to wash Timmy's mouth out with Ivory soap and send him to his room. That said, we would encourage them to allow Timmy to go to baseball practice, as our national pastime has recently taken on additional significance for obvious reasons. In addition, we'd also like to tell Bill Maher to apologize again, this time clapping his hands like a crazed monkey.
Mr. Fleischer: I think the statement speaks for itself. --Modern Humorist, 10/11/01
By Howard Curse
Washington, D.C. - President Bush on Tuesday launched into a vigorous defense of his decision to spend time in Washington, D.C. as a poll reported a solid majority of Americans think D.C. has done just fine in his absence.
"Crafrord, Texas. is a fine place, and I'm honored to be working at my ranch and staying in the compound there. But I'm the kind of person that needs to get indoors ... It keeps my mind whole, keeps my spirits up,'' Bush told reporters.
He was speaking shortly after daybreak as he prepared to go on his morning jog, the first time he has emerged from his private rooms in the West Wing of the White House since arriving in more humid Washington Friday.
A USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll released on Monday said 55 percent of Americans surveyed believe Bush will just be in the way in D.C., compared to 42 percent who believe he will not.
Bush insisted that he will not get in the way of the work that continues to go on during his extended absences, saying that he will try not to bother Vice-President Cheney who has been the de-facto head of the nation while Bush was vacationing in Texas. He also promised not to bother the press with formal, perviously scheduled press conferences that force them to research and develop meaningful questions to ask him in an attempt to understand his policies and to flesh out the vague genaralities that he is most comfortable with. While staying in D.C., Bush has remained in touch with his top vacation aides back in Crawford, Texas.
"I'm working on a lot of issues -- things only the heartland folks would know about,'' he said.
By the time he returned to the White House, Bush had spent over three months months of his six months presidency in Washington, to the surprise of those who have stayed behind. But one unnamed administrative aide close to the daily workings of the White House said, "Things were much better when he was physically away, down in Texas. When he's actually in D.C., people have to spend time thinking up things to have him do to keep him out of the way while we're trying to get the work done. After all, how many photo-ops and state dinners can we have him attend without the voters getting wise." To some, the polling results might suggest that perhaps a majority of the voters have reached the same conclusion as his White House staff
The White House billed Bush's return as an event-filled ''Home to D.C.'' stay, but so far it has simply been quiet time in the West Wing. Bush said he had been reading books, including Ronald McDonald's biography of Charles Adams, and doing chores around his 3,600-foot portion of the White House.
``I think it's important for people to get inside a place and to work. I'm making a lot of improvements around here, and I find that to be a good part of keeping me a balanced person,'' said Bush.
He scoffed at a question about the humidity of D.C., which has been hitting 89% consistently in recent days.
``This is D.C. I know a lot of you wish you were in Texas, lounging on the prarie, sucking in the heat. But when you're born on the East Coast, and I love the East Coast, this is where you come home. This is my home," Bush said without smiling. "We built a home here in D.C. It'll be the home where I live in for the rest of my life if Dick and I have anything to say about it. And I like my own home. And I don't mind the humidity,'' he said.
Bush, a former two-term governor of Texas, said he did not feel the political heat here like he did back in Texas.
``Well, I'm among friends in D.C. I think the people of D.C. know me, they know what I'm like, they know I can make decisions, they know I'm a person who stands on principle, I do what I think is right. And so there's no political heat here. I'm among friends, and it doesn't matter whether they are Democrats or Republicans. Here in D.C., the people and I got along really well,'' he said.
Knowing how Bush previously prasied being in Texas and away from Washington prior to his recent trip to Crawford, Texas, Dems believe he is keeping his eyes on the polling results and saying whatever it takes to remain in the seat of power in the Oval Office. Others are not so sure, blaming his newly-found love of Washington on too many days in the searing Texas sun without a hat. One way or the other, it's clear that White House administrative aides will have to find things for Bush to do in order to keep him out of the way while the day-to-day work of governance goes on around him.
Lazy Columnists Pad Out Stories by Quoting Experts, Experts Say
In a phenomenon that occurs every year in the week before Labor Day, national columnists across America file pointless, content-free "filler" columns, enabling the lazy scribes to hit the beach earlier, according to observers who have been following this trend.
The "filler" columns are churned out in a matter of minutes with no loftier goal than meeting a deadline and filling up space -- meaning that columnists will often resort to using the same words or phrase again and again and again and again and again.
And rather than doing any original writing, the slothful columnists will rely on so-called "experts" to supply them with quotes to fill up space, experts say.
"They'll often quote people you've never heard of," says Harold Crimmins, an expert in the field of filler columns. "It's pretty shameless."
The typical "filler" column is often written months earlier, in the dead of winter, but the writer will later plug in one cursory reference to current events, such as the Gary A. Condit scandal, to disguise this fact.
And in order to fill up space even faster, Crimmins says, the lazy beach-bound columnist will compose his summer "filler" columns with short paragraphs.
Many of these paragraphs will be as short as one sentence, he says.
"Or shorter," he adds.
There are other tell-tale signs a reader can look for in order to determine whether a writer has, in fact, filed a so-called "filler" column, according to Crimmins.
One of these is a tendency to repeat information that the reader has already read earlier in the article, with columnists even stooping to using the same quote twice. "They'll often quote people you've never heard of," Crimmins says.
Another tip-off is if the column ends abruptly.
--Andy Borowitz, 8/29/01
"In what many observers expect to be a controversial decision, the Boy Scouts of America moved today to ban boys from its ranks, “just to be on the safe side,” in the words of one official. “While we know that some may not be pleased with this action, we felt that the decision to ban boys from the Boy Scouts was long overdue,” a Boy Scouts of America spokesman said today. The decision to ban boys from the Boy Scouts was made after a recent Boy Scout “Jamboree” held in Canton, Ohio. The event, according to one observer, was “literally teeming with boys.” “We’d been hearing rumors about the Boy Scouts being a haven for boys for some time now, but that Jamboree was really the straw that broke the camel’s back,” the observer said. The observer pointed out that at the Canton event, several boys were seen wearing shorts, kerchiefs and brightly colored badges, and many were involved in making what he termed “flaming campfires.” “After a while, you have to say ‘enough is enough’,” the observer said. The Boy Scouts expect to have all boys expelled from their ranks by September, officials say. While spokesmen would not say how the Scouts intended to keep the organization functioning in the absence of boys, there are some indications that efforts will be made to recruit girls." --Andy Borowitz, 8/13/01
'What a Dolt,' British Sovereign Complains to Aides
President Bush's penchant for nicknaming his associates has charmed and disarmed world leaders during his current swing through Europe -- with one notable exception.
Queen Elizabeth II of England was apparently "infuriated" at the President's repeated attempts to call her by an affectionate moniker while visiting London over the weekend.
The trouble started, observers say, at a formal dinner at Buckingham Palace during which Mr. Bush greeted the British sovereign with a hearty, "What's shaking, Queenie?"
Queen Elizabeth, who seemed confused and unaware that she was being spoken to, did not acknowledge Mr. Bush's greeting, but her non-response seemed only to egg him on.
"Hey, I'm talking to you, Q-E-2," the President said. Chortling, Mr. Bush then slapped the Queen on the back, sending her tiara flying from her head and into Prince Phillip's soup.
Despite being warned by several members of the royal family to stop calling the Queen by nicknames, Mr. Bush persisted, calling the British sovereign "Crumpets," "Lemon-puss," and "Cha-Cha."
Mr. Bush also called Prince Charles "Dumbo," apparently in reference to the heir to the British throne's prominent ears.
Infuriated by Mr. Bush's familiar tone, which observers characterized as "cheeky," Queen Elizabeth stormed out of the dinner, whispering to her associates, "What a dolt! He makes my husband look like Albert Einstein."
For his part, Mr. Bush seemed confused by the Queen's abrupt departure, calling out after the British sovereign as she left.
"Come back, Chubby!" Mr. Bush said.
--John Kelso, 7/22/01
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