I’ve Tidied Up, and I Can’t Find Anything

It is not good to get into a housecleaning mood on the back end of one’s Web log and to act upon it compulsively. I quite stupidly deleted a misnamed database and lost a lot of entries. Some can be recovered. But I won’t bother with a lot of it. The point isn’t that you tweaked the Republigoats yesterday. The point is to keep writing them acerbic letters, as the dedication recipient of this blog so wonderfully put it in his last words. I’ve not explained that before, so I shall reference Mr. Heller’s obit once again?especially now that I’ve discovered it’s no longer archived at the Chicago Tribune:

Theodore Roosevelt Heller
Theodore Roosevelt Heller, 88, loving father of Charles (Joann) Heller; dear brother of the late Sonya (the late Jack) Steinberg. Ted was discharged from the U.S. Army during WWII due to service related injuries, and then forced his way back into the Illinois National Guard insisting no one tells him when to serve his country. Graveside services Tuesday 11 a.m. at Waldheim Jewish Cemetery (Ziditshover section), 1700 S. Harlem Ave., Chicago. In lieu of flowers, please send acerbic letters to Republicans. Arrangements by Chicago Jewish Funerals, Douglas MacIsaac, funeral director 847-229-8822, www.cjfinfo.com.

Anyway. On to bigger and, well, more things. And a new theme to boot. I lost that, too. I like the new one, tho.

In Which W.J. Clinton Reminds Us Why We Lurve Him

Interesting thing about the whole Clinton/Wallace flap. Do you remember in “Unfoxed,? when they discussed a regularly permeating interview technique of Fox “News” known as “some people say?” Wherein one of their blabbing bobbleheads shits all over journalism with the faux attribution of “some people say?” Remember?

Remember how Wallace opened the segment? He said: “When we announced that you were going to be on FOX News Sunday, I got a lot of email from viewers, and I’ve got to say, I was surprised most of them wanted me to ask you this question: Why didn’t you do more to put Bin Laden and al Qaeda out of business when you were President?”

Chris Wallace might as well have said, “Some people say you should have done more to put Bin Laden and al Qaeda out of business when you were President.” Classic Fox “News” bullshit move, and I am elated that Clinton didn’t let it schmooze him into complacency.

Indeed. He was anti-schmoozed. He was brilliant. He said exactly and everything that needed to be said, at the precise moment it needed saying. He could have said it a year ago, but it wouldn?t have had the impact because it wouldn?t have been on the eve of CGI II, and it wouldn?t have been on Fox “News.” And he hit all the notes as surely as Joss Stone.

Everyone laughed at Hillary many years ago, when she dared to name the evil what was then only seething slowly from its cage, the “vast” “right-wing” “conspiracy.” Everyone, including me. I laughed a little. At the time, I was less aware and the context didn’t seem so very real. Now today, I have caught up with her, as, apparently, has her husband, his teeth a little clenched, his eyes a little wild, but he, always steering and braking the entire room. He had the exact right spot in the time/space contiuum to do the exact right thing, and he did. He reminded us why we lurve him, why he is and was the best, and why, had he been President on September Eleventh, we would now be experiencing an unprecedented global era of world peace, freedom from disease and famine, and previously unseen prosperity.

Now, as Ariana Huffington said and I?m paraphrasing, maybe he’s finally all in the ring. I kinda hope so.

Ketchup Is A Vegetable

On Sept. 4, 1981, at the suggestion of Reagan budget director David Stockman and under the direction of President Ronald Reagan, the USDA classifed ketchup as a vegetable. It is outstanding, the forward-thinking genius of that administration, to have been aware of the life-saving benefits of lycopene in the early ’80s.

Not only was this savvy political manuver a clear sign of a caring, compassionate federal government, it was a bold attempt to save—and by “save” I mean “slash from the federal school lunch program”—$1.5 billion. Pundits galore still applaud this exemplary policy-making. Mark Shields, for example, says the ketchup-as-vegetable strategy was undertaken “stupidly and indefensibly.” High praise, indeed, and right on. “Ketchup is a vegetable” was not only a transparently cynical policy, it was and is to this day a powerfully iconic one. Editorial boards hold it up almost universally as premium example of what’s wrong with Republican governing. Any American citizen can cite this four-word phrase that has almost become a single word on its own without knowing its specific origin. Indeed, this “let them eat cake” of the 20th century is nearly the stuff of legend.

Therefore, I was floored to discover that nobody had yet fashioned the phrase into a domain name. I felt rather compelled—no, obligated—to purchase it and to create yet another damned blog by yet another damned self-appointed political pundit. This seems like the time to do it, too. I am inspired by the growing list of liberals stepping up to bark back at the likes of Ann Coulter and Sean Hannity and to voice vital opposition to the utterly wrong direction this nation is taking. We’re in big trouble, folks. Our executive’s eyes are bigger than his stomach, and, as if that isn’t enough, he is much too sure of his own ability to handle the utensils.

There is a scene in the film “Being John Malkovitch” where Malkovitch himself goes on the John Malkovitch ride and is transported into his own head. If you’ve seen the film, you know the consequences. I like to imagine President George W. Bush in similar circumstances. I imagine that, were he similarly transported, the phrase he’d hear spat out by every Dubya doppelganger in the room would be the title of this Web site. One can almost hear it in every statement he makes, that subtle, underlying insincerity that has been such a central tenet of his administration. “Ketchup is a vegetable,” he’d say, perhaps while winking and firing his fingers at you. “Ketchup is a vegetable.” Such is the extent of our president’s disingenuousness. I do not trust our Executive any farther than I could throw a planet. In the same ideological universe where he resides, “ketchup is a vegetable” was once a truth. It is fitting and necessary to remember that as we march into the last 13 months of this political season.