Saturday, June 26, 2004

Reflections and ruminnations

Bill Clinton's week in the limelight is winding down and it made me remember that while I think he was the best president I have lived through, his presidency is still be tinged with disappointment and sadness.

I read Joe Klein's "The Natural" and it hit the nail on the head. And Jon Stewart said about the same thing on Larry King last night. What a wasted opportunity is the best summary. So much charisma, so much intelligence, so much political wisdom, and yet a series of half-efforts when one thinks of what could have been.

We could have had universal health care 10 years ago, a Democrat House of Representatives, and a president Al Gore (well maybe not that either, the tragic figure.) Don't get me wrong, Clinton accomplished a whole lot economically and everything else.

All these woulda coulda shoulda thoughts got me thinking about how it was my last day on the job yesterday, my last days in Boston and the whole East Coast that matter. There is a whole 1-way ticket feel about all this. I am not just turning a leaf, but switching trees back. OK sorry about all those metaphors but I get all sappy these days.

My hope is that the next three years change me in a good way, and that I can preserve the good things about me and not let the irritating features of Utah and law school get to me. I will work hard on my schoolwork and myself. Hopefully, you all will enjoy the result.

I will attempt to keep on posting as often as I can. To me it is therapeutic and a necessary technology. Please stay in touch via email, phone, IM, comments, or even coming in person. From my Third Avenue to yours.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Quote of the LAST DAY

last day of work that is....

  • CNN's Begala: "Look at it this way, though. Maybe Cheney was just telling Leahy the Republican version of safe sex" ("Crossfire," 6/24). On the Vice President telling the Ranking Member of Senate Judicary Committee Pat Lehy to go F%&@* himself on the Senate Floor.

  • Best Newspaper allusion to what Cheney said:

  • According to the New York Times, Cheney "turned and stalked away, using an obscene phrase to describe what he thought Mr. Leahy should do" (Stolberg, 6/25).

  • How proper!

  • Bush was questioned in the Oval Office for 70 minutes 6/24 by atty Patrick Fitzgerald and his team who are investigating whether Bush admin. officials "illegally leaked the name of" undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame.

And finally AP's Fournier recounts the "disastrous year" for Bush so far:

  1. An "unremarkable" SOTU where his "opposition to performance-enhancing drugs in sports" stood out "against a bleak roster of new policies."
  2. Ex-Treas. Sec. Paul O'Neill's book "claiming Bush was determined from the get-go to overthrow" Saddam Hussein.
  3. Bush's "shaky performance on NBC's 'Meet the Press.'"
  4. Ex-counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke "undercuts the president's tough-on-terrorism claims" before Congress.
  5. NSA Condoleezza Rice "at first refuses to testify" before the 9/11 commis., "then bows to pressure."
  6. Econ. adviser Gregory Mankiw says outsourcing "is sometimes a good thing."
    Bush "scuttles plans to name" businessman Anthony Raimondo manufacturing czar after Dems note he "laid of 75 workers" in '02 while building a plant in China.
  7. "The death toll in Iraq mounts through the spring." GOP govs. "warn" the WH that "voters are getting antsy."
  8. "Four U.S. contractors are killed and mutilated near Baghdad."
  9. "Train bombers strike Madrid. Voters throw the Bush-backing" govt. "out of power" and Spain later "withdraws its troops from Iraq."
  10. VP Cheney "comes under fire" for business dealings with Halliburton, "secretive deliberations on energy policy and unsubstantiated suggestions that his office might be behind the leak of a CIA operative's name."
  11. Weapons inspector David Kay "concludes that Iraq did not have stockpiles" of WMD, "undercutting Bush's main justification for the war."
  12. Dems "untie behind [John] Kerry after a short nomination fight."
  13. Dem lawmakers "call for an investigation into whether" Bush's Medicare chief "pressured a subordinate to withhold estimates" of the full cost of the '03 Medicare bill.
  14. Clarke "follows his testimony with a book claiming Bush ... failed to effectively confront" al Qaeda.
  15. "Gas prices top $2 per gallon."
  16. "Revelations that U.S. soldiers abused" Iraqi prisoners "fuel anti-American sentiment" abroad and "raise questions at home about U.S. moral authority in Iraq."
  17. Al Qaeda terrorists in Iraq behead American Nicholas Berg.
  18. "The leader of Iraq's governing council is assassinated."
  19. "A Memo reveals plans" for the Bush admin. to "slash domestic programs" should they win a second term.
  20. Al Qaeda terrorists in Saudi Arabia behead American Paul Johnson.
  21. Al Qaeda terrorists in Iraq behead South Korean Kim Sun-il.
  22. On 6/24, terrorists in Iraq "launched coordinated attacks that kill more than 100 people, including three U.S. soldiers."

Who needs enemies when you can shoot yourself in the foot on your own?

buried deep in a DKos thread

[x]Democratic Party that stands up for progressive principles, and win those voters back.

[y]I don't even think that's true anymore. These guys have jumped the shark into LaRouche territory.

Anybody who hangs around to watch Ralph masturbate his way through the most crucial election in decades isn't going to be "won back," and frankly I'd rather not have them around anyway. They keep crying that they don't have a seat at the table, but I haven't seen anything lately to convince me that they can keep their pants on through the entire meal, anyway.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Fun quotes

  • A group seeking to legalize marijuana "announced that they had submitted sufficient signatures to qualify" for the NV ballot. But the group's pres. "subsequently discovered a box of about 6,000 signatures that no one remembered to turn in"

  • "People ask me if I'm L, G, B or T. ... I tell them that I am 'S&M' -- straight and mayor" -- NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg (R), at a party celebrating gay pride last night

  • "If someone wants to talk politics, I will certainly do that. If they want to talk about sex, I'll do that, too" -- ex-CA GOV candidate Mary Carey, who's appearing at Aurora's Star Bar and Grill for a "Halfway to New Year's Party"

  • "You're an idiot" -- Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), after Rep. Duke Cunningham (R-CA) said during a heated gun debate "that perhaps investigators should check into Chappaquiddick" Remember that was his Dad (Teddy) not him. Patty just slaped a security guard in 2000 and hit his yacht against stuff.

  • "Honestly, unless your name is in it, or he banged you, there is no reason to wait in line" -- Jon Stewart, on Clinton's book ("Daily Show," Comedy Central, 6/22/04).

PS when I get done with moving, I will get some pictures up to show the world the origins of the name of the blog...Ohh lobster day at the state house, gotta live it up while I still can.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004


Super-low turn out in GOP-pledged primaries (voters must sign a loyalty oath to the Republican party) in UT and SC produced predictable results.

In Utah, John "My dad plastered his name on every third building in the state" Huntsman, Jr. won the gubinatorial primary against former board of regents head (and former UT house majority leader) Nolan Harris, who had sold his soul to the devil by teaming up with Enid Greene Waldholz. Scott Matheson, Jr has his work cut out for him.

The Congressional primaries were similarly unsurprising. In the 2nd district, ex-state rep. John Swallow won again narrowly over the same oponnet Jim Bridgewater 53-47/6,000 votes, who had a super scary voice. Rep. Jim Matheson (yes, they are related) will have to get over his deja-vu and beat Swallow by more than the 1,600 he did last time. Look for lots of outside money this time. In the 3rd, the incumbent and resident moron Chris "Geneva Steel" Cannon won easily against anti-immigrant Throckmorton (can't remember his first name).

In South Carolina, Rep. Jim DeMint, a darling of the hard right-wing, bested washed up ex-Gov. Beasley. DeMint will get lots more money from the Club for Growth and other super-conservative groups. SC Education Superintendent Inez Tannenbaum, the Democratic nominee, while hammer DeMint on trade (DeMint is a free trader, which doesn't sit well with all those hundreds of thousands of unemployed factory workers who blame China and Walmart for their troubles) so DeMint will in turn change the subject to abortion.

After all, Utah and South Carolina are fighting for the right to be the most conservative state in the union, yet moderate Dems have a good shot in all three of the races I mentioned (the UT 03 race is not even worth talking about).

With any luck, this fall I will be signing "Oh Tannenbaum" with Governor-elect Matheson and still-Rep. Matheson.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Scandal sheet

Most people like reading about politicans, not for the visions, policies, or bills they espouse but for the trouble they get themselves in. To accomidate those with rubber necks, I point to the two biggest ones that happens to Pols yesterday:

  1. IL SEN GOP nominee Jack Ryan lost his bid to seal papers of his custody battle between his ex-wife, actress Jeri Ryan, and it doesn't look good. According to the Chicago Tribune, Jeri "accused him of taking her to sex clubs in New York and Paris, where he tried to coerce her into having sex with him in front of strangers."

  2. The Sun-Times says she specifically cited "a bizarre club with cages, whips and other apparatus hanging from the ceiling." Ryan "said he has no plans to step down" despite the fact that US House Speaker Denny Hastert and other IL GOP have been openly shopping for ways to dump Ryan.

    This man is not the guy from the Tom Clancy novels, he has been a rather inept campaigner, yet he still won the nomination in a landslide. But if he is still on the ticket, Obama will cruise.

  3. CT Gov. John Rowland, also a Republican, (no party comment here) finally gave up last night trying to fend off a bipartisan investigation on whether to impeach the Governor for all the kickbacks, and other ethics violations that have found him under investigation also by the FBI. According to the Hartford Courrant, Rowland "offered no explanation for his resignation or its timing in a five-minute, 45-second speech." The only nod to the personal and political crisis came when John said, "I acknowledge that my poor judgment has brought us here"

  4. And finally not to be outdone, Slick Willie is back, this time selling his book and legacy all over the country and dial. In "My Life," the former President tells how Hillary and him had counciling for years afterwards and how he wrote the book so that Chelsea wouldn't be so ashamed of him.

  5. Yeah, can you imagine going through HS and college with EVERYONE knowing your Dad had oral sex with his intern? Poor kid.

    Speaking of the intern, the NY Post reports that Monica Lewinsky "was invited to tour the Clinton Presidential Library," but "she declined"

I hope you all had fun with that, now wash your eyeballs out with soap.

Monday, June 21, 2004


Well another weekend done and my second-to-last one here in Boston. Sunday was a whirlwind tour: from the JFK museum in Southie to the Cheesecake Factory in Prudential Center/Copley Place Mall to the Blue Man Group in the Theatre District and back home to Cambridge for some pork chops.

One thing I won't miss about the Bay State and all the other states in the East Coast his all their old, decaying crap. Like all these subway stops that look like they are about to rust off the bridge, stairs etc. Another thing is the old stuff designed before people had proper nutrition (AKA low ceilings and clearance).

Like when we were finding our seats at Blue Man. I was wearing my Red Sox hat forward on my head, which was the style at the time, whereupon I smacked right into the balcony made out of wrought iron with my forehead. Maybe I couldn't see it because it was a dark theatre and the balcony was pained black, or maybe it was the curse of the Bambino, or the fact that my fiancee and were row H, but it sure hurt. I tried to sit down and keep the world from spinning but the usher lady made me come out and sign a form saying I had injured my head and was fine, thank you very much. Of the options for injury, they had "shot" and "cardiac arrest" first of all, who is going to be able to fill that out. And secondly, why is shot even an option? "You never know in Boston," she said. Like Boston is Silver City, Nevada circa 1870. It has some of the toughest gun control laws in the country. And who would bring a gang fight or a gun fight into the Blue Man group?

Anyway, other than my ongoing headache and slight nausea at the time, I enjoyed the show and my Dunkin' Donuts coffee afterwards, which I will miss. While I sat in the food court of a place across from the theatre I listened to a homeless lady have an angry conversation with herself, which I will not miss.

On Thursday, I was involved in the contact lens scam. I went in for an eye exam and came out with a $90 bill (the exam was supposed to be covered 100% by insurance) and a pair of overly soft contacts that took me 30 minutes to insert into my eyes. My South African doctor, it seems deals only in Accuvue contacts, which allows him to go to a Enrique Iglesias concert and get his picture taken (guess who sponsored the concert series?). So my Johnson & Johnson Whore Doctor gave me these "blink them out" contacts which came out while at lunch at Cheesecake (and yes I did have cheesecake this time) and seem to be trying to escape this morning, making my vision horrible. The $90 is for fitting which includes these crappy lenses, a plastic case and small rise bottle and another trip there to the Doctor so he can con me into buying a years supply of lasts 2 weeks lenses. I feel compelled because if I don't switch brands, I will have to fork over another $90 to another Dr. in SLC to fit those. What racket these guys have. Can't wait until I learn about RICO and bust their sorry Suave butts.

Sorry all this blinking and dull pain in my forehead seems to make for angry postings.

On a lighter note, Bush's DC fed appeals court (which is one below the Supreme Court in many cases) nominee Thomas Griffith "has been practicing law" in UT "without a state law license for the past four years" according to the Washington Post. As long as they agree with you, they don't actually need to follow the law themselves or be qualified, right?