Monday, May 26, 2008

The Putzer Principle

Howie the Unflushable continues to hold out for a call from Rupert Murdoch:

The Post has proven to be an awfully resilient place over the years. And if we have to do more with less, well, welcome to the global economy. After pondering the offer, I decided: I'll badly miss the people who are leaving, but I'm staying put.

You forgot the z.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Lookalikes

And here's another one.

A Conservative To Unite The Faithful

Conservatives who think Old Man McCain isn't wingnutty enough have reason to rejoice. Bob "Titty" Barr has accepted the Libertarian Party's nomination for President. Of the United States.

Barr, who until 2006 was a Republican, took 54 percent of the vote after Las Vegas odds-maker Wayne Allyn Root dropped out following the fifth ballot and endorsed Barr. Delegates subsequently selected Root to be Barr's running mate.

"Y'all party today," Barr told the more than 600 delegates at the Sheraton Hotel. "I hope we celebrate, because I'm sure we'll all leave here with the strongest ticket in the history of the Libertarian Party."

And that's saying something.

Barr, 59, said the Libertarian Party anticipates being on the ballot in at least 48 states, but work remains to be done in 20 of those to ensure access. Oklahoma and West Virginia remain obstacles, he said.

So much for those jokes about Oklahoma and West Virginia.

Bob's no Ralph Nader, either.

"I am a competitor, and I am in this to win," Barr said. "I do not view the role of the Libertarian Party as spoiler, and I have no intention of being a spoiler."

Several pollsters included Barr in recent surveys about November's general election.

Barr got 7 percent against Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain, according to a poll Barr's exploratory committee commissioned from Pulse Opinion Strategies in early April. A poll by Rasmussen Reports from earlier this month showed Barr getting 6 percent nationally.

No Libertarian candidate for president has ever done that well. In 1980, Libertarian Edward Clark won 1.06 percent of the vote, and his 921,128 votes were the most ever for a Libertarian.

Bob Barr. The true conservative alternative. And a true patriot.

The Bob Barr REVOLution has begun!

Grand Old Police Blotter: Bye, Bye, Bye Edition

Boy band Svengali, long-time Republican donor and Karl Rove lookalike Lou Pearlman will be promoting the prison choir for the foreseeable future:

ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - Boy band mogul Lou Pearlman, who launched Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync, was sentenced to 25 years in prison on Wednesday for swindling investors and major U.S. banks out of more than $300 million.

But U.S. District Judge G. Kendall Sharp gave Pearlman the chance to cut his prison time by offering a one-month reprieve for every $1 million in cash he helps a bankruptcy trustee recover for his victims.

Theoretically, Pearlman could cancel his entire 300-month sentence by repaying the $300 million debt.

His lawyer, Fletcher Peacock, said in a written plea that 25 years amounted to a "sentence to death in prison" for the 53-year-old impresario who lived a jet-set life of mansions and luxury cars before the fraud scheme collapsed.

In an audacious two-decade scam, Pearlman admitted in his plea agreement to enticing individuals and banks to invest millions of dollars in two companies which existed only on paper -- Transcontinental Airlines Travel Services Inc and Transcontinental Airlines Inc.

He won investors' confidence with fake financial statements created by a fictitious accounting firm.

During sentencing, Sharp held up a book with letters from Pearlman's victims, saying they included "his family, his close friends and people in their 70s and 80s who have lost their life savings."

No to mention people who have listened to "I Want It That Way."

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Rush Limbaugh lookalike Kathy J. Lopez is spewing racist garbage yet again, in a post sneeringly titled "Go Back to Your Bars, Your Temples, Your Massage Parlors."

The post references an article about the United Nations Population Fund delivering contraceptives to cyclone survivors in Myanmar. Lopez lifted her clever insult from the song "One Night in Bangkok" from the musical Chess, obviously unconcerned by the fact that Thailand and Myanmar are two different countries or that thousands of women and children from Myanmar are trafficked into Thailand for forced prostitution. If Lopez has seen one filthy godless fucking Asian, she's seen them all.

Bob Barr, The World's First Self-Assassinating Presidential Candidate

A quick flashback to August 2002, when the presumptive Libertarian nominee was demonstrating his proficiency with firearms:

(AP) An antique .38-caliber pistol accidentally discharged as it was being handled by U.S. Rep. Bob Barr during a reception in his honor. The bullet hit a glass door, and no one was hurt.

Georgia lobbyist Bruce Widener said Tuesday that he had removed the magazine from his 1908 Colt but did not clear the chamber before handing the weapon to Barr, a board member of the National Rifle Association.

Widener said "one of us hit the trigger" just as he gave Barr the gun during Friday's reception at Widener's home.

In his defense, Barr didn't almost kill himself with pretzel.

This goes a long way toward explaining why the Libertarian Party is so small.

Update: Lest I be accused of coronating Boob Barr and find myself embroiled in a bitter blog war among libertarians, I should mention that Mike Gravel and some other idiots are also seeking the Libertarian Party nomination. This fight could go all the way to the convention, which is being held this year in North America's largest truck stop men's room.

Howie Kurtz Confirms Cindy McCain's Criminal Record

From today's Ask the Putz Show, at washingtonpost.com:

Atlanta: Until last week, I thought the people who said they wouldn't vote for Sen. Obama because "he's a Muslim" were simply uninformed xenophobes. But on at least three occasions during the post-primary coverage (on NPR, ABC World News and CNN), when voters repeated the Muslim and flag rumors, they were left unchallenged by the reporter -- allowing those rumors to hang in the air and perhaps gain more traction. How do the media use the voices of regular people without becoming an echo chamber of misinformation?

Howard Kurtz: It's easy. Any time you mention an unfounded rumor, or quote someone as doing so, you have to say, clearly and unequivocally, that it's false. A failure to do so is a serious journalistic lapse, in my view.

...

New York: Perhaps not surprisingly, you've given Republican "bloggers" closely tied to the Republican Party a pass for their attacks on Michelle Obama, often even amplifying them. Are you willing to behave similarly if Democratic bloggers bring Cindy McCain into the fray? I'm not talking about her being rich here (that's no crime). I'm talking about real crimes -- her criminal record.

Howard Kurtz: My daily Web column is designed to give readers a taste of what commentators on the left and the right are saying, not for me to constantly debate those bloggers. Obama's GMA defense of his wife was all over cable news yesterday. But I have to say, while I don't like personal attacks on candidates' spouses, if a spouse goes on the campaign trail and then says something controversial -- like "first time I've been proud of my country" -- that is fair game. Spouses who don't want to be in the political crossfire can always choose not to campaign.

Did Howie say, clearly and unquivocally, that Cindy "Big Pharma" McCain doesn't have a criminal record? Not a syllable. The Putz has confirmed Cindy's lawbreaking activities.

For those who might protest that the Putz was simply answering questions: try harder. Howie's the one choosing the questions to answer -- which is why you never see questions pointing out his family ties to the G.O.P. or his constant Fox News-fluffing. (See the Editor's Note at the bottom of the page.) The Putz is, in fact, quoting the commenter from New York. Either the Putz is sitting on the real dirt on Cindy, or he's committed yet another serious journalistic lapse. My bet is on both.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Steyn and Levin, The World's Stupidest Bloggers

They're playing stupid over at The Corner again. How they manage to stay in character for years at a time, I'll never know.

Re: The New Internationalism? [Mark Steyn]

Yuval, that Obama quote on ceding U.S. thermostat sovereignty to the EU deserves to be savored in full:

"We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times ... and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK," Obama said.

"That's not leadership. That's not going to happen," he added.

So "leadership" means finding out what other countries want from America and then doing it. Good luck with that.

05/19 02:37 PM

The New Internationalism? [Yuval Levin]

It looks like Barack Obama has figured out how to get 'them' to like us:

“We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times ... and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK,” Obama said.

We can't? So at what temperature would other countries like me to keep my home, then, and how much should I eat?

There's a winning message.

What Shit Steyn and Mark Levin's even uglier brother or sister fail to comprehend -- either intentionally or due to heredity -- is that Senator Obama is explaining that citizens other countries will not see any reason to discontinue environmentally harmful practices if the United States does not lead by example. And that the American economy can prosper through the development of clean technologies that other countries will want to buy. The Senator's not going to take the extra batteries out of your dildoes, boys.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Audacity of A Pulse

Meanwhile, Senator Obama is drawing the kinds of crowds McCain couldn't pull even with a previously-unreleased episode of Matlock on the Jumbotron, a 3:00 p.m. dinner special and a reunion of all the advisers he's shitcanned and lobbyists he's in bed with.

Fortunately, It's Not Funny

I don't watch "Saturday Night Live," but I'm not surprised at the kid glove treatment that Saint John got on the program:

Starring in two short skits on the season finale of "Saturday Night Live," John McCain reeled off a series of one-liners that generally earned little more than mild chuckles.

But it's a good bet he and his staff could not be more pleased with the exposure he got -- especially the chance to use humor to try to defuse one of the big questions shadowing his presidential candidacy.

After all, there are limits on direct contributions:

MICHAELS, LORNE MR.
NEW YORK , NY 10023
SNL/EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
John McCain (R)
President
JOHN MCCAIN 2008 INC. - $1,300
primary 05/11/07

MICHAELS, LORNE MR.
NEW YORK , NY 10023
SNL/EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
John McCain (R)
President
JOHN MCCAIN 2008 INC. - $1,000

Michaels, Lorne Mr.
New York, NY 10019
SNL/Executive Producer
STRAIGHT TALK AMERICA - $1,000
primary 10/19/06

MICHAELS, LORNE MR
NEW YORK, NY 10019
SNL
MCCAIN, JOHN S (R)
Senate - AZ
FRIENDS OF JOHN MCCAIN
Won
$1,000
general 10/30/04

Michaels, Lorne Mr.
New York, NY 10019
John McCain (R)
President
MCCAIN 2000 INC
Lost
$1,000
primary 02/29/00

Michaels has given mostly to Dems, but never in a race against Saint John. And, yes, I appreciate that the program goes easy on a lot of pols and celebs when they're making an appearance (or else they wouldn't show), but I haven't read about one McCain gag coming from the program, while the Dem-bashing gags make the news most every week.

The Big Wet One

I wish I had the adult undergarment concession for the right-wing blogosphere on this story:

BAGHDAD — The commander of United States troops in Baghdad asked local leaders and tribal sheiks this weekend for their forgiveness after the discovery that a soldier had used a Koran for target practice at a shooting range.

Responding to an episode ripe with the potential to stoke unrest, the commander, Maj. Gen. Jeffery Hammond, held a meeting Saturday with Iraqi leaders.

"I come before you here seeking your forgiveness," General Hammond said at the meeting, in remarks carried by CNN. "In the most humble manner, I look in your eyes today and I say, please forgive me and my soldiers."

General Hammond also read a letter of apology from the soldier, who was not identified. "I sincerely hope that my actions have not diminished the partnership that our two nations have developed together," the general read from the letter.

Another American officer kissed a Koran and gave it to the tribal leaders, according to news agency reports.

On the other hand, the American soldier was sent of Iraq, so we may see many more assassinated scriptures in the coming months. (And years, if Saint John has his way.)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

June Weddings

The California Supreme Court is being accused of judicial activism by people who wouldn't recognize the California Constitution if it bit them on the ass.

I expect invitations to all my loyal readers' weddings, at the very least, if not a proposal or two. June 14 is wide open for me.

The only thing that would make this day better would be the announcement of a boycott of the Golden State by those who oppose the decision. Tennessee is quite lovely; you'll never know the difference.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Ashtray State

The downside of tonight's election result is that Senator Clinton spent so much time in West Virginia that she surely has lung cancer by now.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Grand Old Police Blotter: Vito-80-Proof Majority Edition

Vito "Point One Seven" Fossella is a Republican rarity - someone who's both too vile for his fellow Republicans and heterosexual. But he's got his defenders as well:

Long Island congressman Peter King slammed fellow Republicans for "posturing" by pressuring his close friend Rep. Vito Fossella about resigning amid revelations of Fossella's drunken-driving arrest and secret love child.

"To me, it's putting a knife in the back of a good guy who's made a mistake," said King (R-Seaford).

Or running a stoplight while shitfaced, crushing a good guy with your car, backing up, running over him again, and then leaving the scene to avoid arrest. Damn posers!

Or maybe it's like putting the salami in your mistress in foreign lands on the taxpayer dime.

King, who said he'd been with Fossella "continually" in the past few days, said the two have not discussed how the scandal might tint Fossella's political future.

King said Republicans "who are supposed to be his friends" should be giving the Staten Island-Brooklyn Republican "the time and opportunity to make that decision" -- whether to resign, to serve out his term but leave afterward or to stay in office and seek another term -- "himself."

Fortunately, Fossella has true friends like Peter -- and Brian (almost certainly two different individuals):

The Daily News reports the congressman and his buddy got kicked out of a Washington, D.C., bar hours before Fossella's arrest. Waiters at the Logan Tavern tell the paper that both men were incapable of driving and that at one point, Fossella's pal—known only as "Brian"—passed out in front of the men's room.

(Brian and Peter. I guess that makes Vito Stewie.)

But Peter King wants Vito back in the House, where they can get drunk on power and piss on the Constitution.

Update (5/15): Finally (!) corrected.

One Trick Old Nag
The least that you can do for me
Is keep it to yourself
I'm so sorry I don't mean to shout
It's just that I can do without
The details of your days and nights and your thoughts and dreams
Maureen, Maureen, Maureen, Maureen, Maureen

-- Fountains of Wayne

The latest MoDo column has:

(a) Hillary hating
(b) Clenis jokes
(c) Numerous emasculation references
(d) Tedious descriptions of ancient Hepburn films
(e) No point
(f) All of the above

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Friends Without Benefits

Kathy J. Lopez's crusade to make abstinence fun continues unabated:

I'm a big fan of programs that treat children like people, not animals. Programs that operate under the assumption that if you love them enough to challenge them, they often won't disappoint you. That even if they do, you've planted seeds and given them a compass that will flourish, or at least help, when they need it most. Yes, some teenagers will have sex. They're human like everyone else — only with overactive hormones. But there is great promise for kids who are given other options. Sex tends to be near everywhere — amplified and romanticized, free of consequences — in our culture and adults frequently don't help matters. Present young people with other possibilities — other than instant gratification — make them fun and inviting and constructive and you'll be surprised what you get out of creative, energetic youngsters.

What kid can't use a flourishing compass?

And what fun, constructive and gratification-delaying alternatives to sex does our Kath propose? Well, Rockin' with the Oldies, for one:

Since I had missed young Colin Powell and Bill Bennett singing "How Sweet It Is" in shades and leather bomber jackets in years past, I was glad to get the flashback during a brief video presentation during dinner. Having been a faithful Solid Gold viewer, I got a kick out of seeing that Marilyn McCoo has not aged a day since Ronald Reagan was president. She's still in her prime singing "One Less Bell to Answer."

It was a fun D.C. party unlike any others. Mike Pence, Jack Kemp, and, of course, Bill Bennett, were all spotted on the dance floor. Best Friends friends Alma Powell, Senator Mel Martinez, and Herb London of the Hudson Institute hung on until the very end last night, through the tireless Chuck Brown.

Who wouldn't prefer grampa singing karaoke to fornication?

But the Best Friends program isn't all In Da Club For Growth. It's also about mentoring. Jack Kemp teaches at-risk youth the fundamentals of football. Bill Bennett shows them how to shoot dice and trigger Type 2 diabetes. Colin Powell instructs them on how to lie to the United Nations and thereafter successfully avoid responsibility for doing so. Mike Pence encourages them join the military so they can act as human shields for him and John McCain when they tour Bagdhad.

And, yes, this is the fundraiser where Bill O'Reilly accused the program's beneficiaries of using their creativity and energy to steal their benefactors' hubcaps.

Thursday, May 08, 2008



Roger's Lame Pop Culture Corner

Iron Man, Iron Man,
Does whatever an iron can
Presses pants, any size,
Sprays out steam, from his eyes
Wake up!
Here comes the Iron Man.

Is he hot?
Listen, whore,
He's got three settings, maybe four.
Can he swing, from a cord?
He does, and the warranty is void
Who cares?
There goes the Iron Man

In the back of a closet
Next to the washing line
His flat pointy head
Is caked with rust and lime

Iron Man, Iron Man
Not that useful Iron Man
Bulky and lame
He's ignored
Useless without an ironing board

Cheaper than a dry cleaner
But he might scorch your wiener
Sod off, you Iron Man
(Sung to the tune of "George of the Jungle")

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Indiana Politics

In Indiana's Second Congressional District, 16 percent -- nearly one in six -- of Republican primary voters chose the guy who celebrated Hitler's birthday with the Illinois Nazi Party.

That should shatter the myth that Rush Limbaugh was able to get his listeners to cross party lines.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Headline I Must Have Missed

Weepubwican Bwooke In Wandy Wamp With Baba Wawa

And may I suggest a follow up, "Gibson, Stephanopolous Three-Way With McCain Revealed."

Monday, May 05, 2008

Operation Piyush

Bill Kristol's onto something. John McCain needs a running mate who looks like Gilligan, got his ass kicked by Kathleen Blanco and wants people to call him by the name of a 70s sitcom character. Imagine the voters streaming to the polls, saying to themselves, "When McCain kicks the bucket, I want this guy running the nation."

Indeed, It's Worth Noting That Jonah Goldberg Is A Lying Sack of Shit

A great bit of fact-checking by Clif at Sadly, No!, identifying the numerous untruths in Jonah Goldberg's latest syndicated column.

Even better, the Pantload was caught in a lie, and is now engaged in a cover-up. The Pantload has tried to deep-six the original version of his column, and has posted a new version with his lies amended and this note appended:

Correction: An earlier version of this column stated that the Tuskegee study was launched "under the New Deal." FDR was not sworn-in until 1933. I regret the error.

What the Pantload really regrets is that he wasn't able to scrub all copies of his slander from the internet. Here's what the pudgy pratt wrote before he got caught:

But why blacks remain the most reliable voters for the party of ever-expanding government power is something of a mystery. Indeed, it's worth noting that the Tuskegee study, launched under the New Deal, was symptomatic of arrogant liberal government. The study "emerged out of a liberal progressive public health movement concerned about the health and well-being of the African-American population," writes University of Chicago professor Richard Schweder. He adds: "The study was done with the full knowledge, endorsement and participation of African-American medical professionals, hospitals and research institutes."

Liberals like to invoke Tuskegee as if it's solely an indictment of what other people did, proof that we need more progressive government. But Tuskegee was in fact the poisoned fruit of progressive government.

Not a slip of the pen, or a typographical error, as the Pantload would have you believe. No. A deliberate, two-paragraph lie, based on a premise that is irrefutably false.

And who was President in 1932? Well, he was a member of the party of ever-expanding government power. (Hint: A wingnut welfare asylum is named after him.)

The Pantload called his column "Tall Tales About Tuskegee." And he's the teller of those tales.

Positively 3rd Street

Those who say Senator Hillary Clinton will do anything to become President may have a point:

But Clinton has worked this area harder than Obama. Introducing her at a volunteer fire department here [in Merrillville, Indiana], U.S. Sen Evan Bayh ticked off the towns she has visited: Gary, Hammond, Whiting, East Chicago, Hobart, Valparaiso, Crown Point and Portage.

Obama, by contrast, has visited two: Gary last month and Munster this month. His wife Michelle was holding an election-eve rally in Gary Monday night.

...

"When I was in Hobart last week, meeting with the Parker family, they were talking about how distressed they are about how the price of both groceries and gas are going up at the same time," Clinton said.

I hear she's scheduled after-midnight rallies in Wheeler and Kouts.

I just hope to God she pronounced Hobart correctly. Maureen Dowd's waiting to pounce.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

The New York Times, securing its place in the pantheon of the liberal media, advises its readers where to buy a $2,500-$4,000 photographic "portrait of Andre Leon Talley and Lord Snowdon, both swathed in head-to-toe snow leopard."

Where's my checkbook?

The Sweet Life of Prozac and Codeine

I don't know if Rupert Murdoch is pushing Peggy Noonan out of the pages of The Wall Street Journal as part of a crap-cutting measure, but it seems Elizbeth Wurtzel is auditioning for Nooner's job. It's all there in Wurtzel's piece: the narcissism with a capital I, the incoherence, the author speaking in the voice of a united America which only exists in her intoxicant-addled brain.

Wurtzel's column is ostensibly pro-Obama, if you make it to the last paragraph, but the whole thing is such a mess it's unlikely you'll bother. Mostly, it's a bunch of 60s bashing.

Today, of course, I know what LSD really stands for: let the Sixties die. If only the last terrorist act of the Weathermen had been to forever destroy hippie nostalgia. I don't spend a lot of time thinking about Bernardine Dohrn. But her name has come up again.

...

There are a few other possibilities. One seems unlikely: That America has forgiven the '60s. It seems we will never quite get over the assorted shocks to the system and cumulative mayhem of an entire generation having a collective tantrum. It's the one decade that keeps coming up in every presidential election. Always, we have to know what the candidates were up to back then – the drafts, the deferments, the dodges, the drugs. Since Mr. Obama is too young to have a '60s story to tell, the Weatherman connection becomes his syndrome by proxy.

We can accept the '60s as necessary, but can't quite forgive the disarray. More likely, we never want another mess of that magnitude visited upon us again. And we all feel the pull right now. Between the war, the economy and some horrible x-element that can only be ruled a Carteresque malaise, we are all afraid of yet another turbulent time.

This next presidential election, we all know, is serious business. Time to pick a leader who will ensure that the kids are all right – and the grown-ups too. It's the reckoning, if not the rapture. And none of us wants to get bogged down with the same kind of stupid scandals that have dogged all our recent elections.

I don't recall much from the 60s beyond the perimeter of my back yard, and I doubt Wurtzel does either. To hear her tell it, from January 1, 1960 to December 31, 1969, the population consisted of 200 million David Horowitzes who plotted to overthrow the government and refused to bathe. Civil rights, voting rights, the empowerment of women and efforts to address great injustices and economic disparity -- never happened. Anyway, those hippies should've devoted their youth to something more productive, liking cutting themselves and writing half-assed music reviews.

Or half-assed editorials. I'm not even going to bother with the last two paragraphs of Wurtzel's piece, because they make absolutely no sense.

It does seem, though, there's one bit of the 60s that Wurtzel -- or her friends at the Journal -- are nostalgic for:

Miss Wurtzel, a recent graduate of Yale Law School, is the author of "Prozac Nation" (Houghton Mifflin, 1994).

Related reading: Albert Hoffman, 1906-2008, R.I.P.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A story about Mickey Kaus's own FLDS-style cult... but with a happy ending.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Hack, Sack and Crack

I've been lax in my Kaus bashing lately, and not just because I can't get his shitty page to load properly (a problem I don't have with other parts of Slate). But let me endorse this well-executed whack at the hairless hack:

Of course, Mickey never bothers to actually address Elizabeth's argument. Because this is something he almost never does. There's no evidence of intellectual heavy lifting on his blog, ever, about anything. He constantly makes smug assumptions that he assumes his readers must share, almost never offering up any supporting details. For instance, whenever he writes about unions, he decries union "work rules" that allegedly hamper productivity. But he seems unaware that the best research shows that unionized firms on average are more productive than their nonunionized counterparts, not less.

...

Kaus's nasty smears concerning the love child story are especially rich given that just last week, he blasted Joe Conason for Joe's "sleazy" 1992 reporting on George H.W. Bush's alleged extramarital adventures. And Kaus has the balls to bitch about Elizabeth's "chutzpah?"

...

I'm an inveterate matchmaker, and a brilliant idea just occurred to me: how about pairing up perennial bachelor Mickey Kaus with perennial bachelorette Maureen Dowd? Their dinner conversations would be scintillating, I'm sure. Maureen and Mickey can take turns -- first she can talk about Bill Clinton's cock and then he can talk about John Edwards' cock. They can break it up occasionally by talking about how Hillary Clinton is a ball-busting bitch and Barack Obama is an effete latte-sipping snob.

My first thought was, "but what if they mate?" And then I thought, "It's Mickey Kaus."

Secret Squirrels

Mr. Heriot wanted to make it clear that the problem wasn't his lack of faith in the ancient mysteries. "To all who have been inspired by 'The Secret,'" he said in a prepared statement sent by e-mail through his law firm, "please know that I am not suing the universal principles of 'The Secret.' Rather, I am suing the corporate principals behind 'The Secret,' who promised at the outset that profits would be shared, and who have not kept faith with 'The Secret''s tenets of gratitude and integrity."

Karina Carretero, a spokeswoman for TS Production L.L.C., the company Ms. Byrne and Robert E. Rainone Jr., an investor, had registered in Hungary, said the organization would not comment for this article. "'The Secret' chooses not to participate in media interviews," she said in an e-mail message.

The secret is ... the world is full of morons.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Common Touch

Open The New York Times to the table of contents (pages 2 and 3) and you'll probably see a border of advertisements like the recent one featuring several different makes of watches, all selling for more than $3,500 a piece. But that doesn't mean its reporters haven't read the Grapes of Wrath and The Jungle and Jackie Collins' The Bitch:

Mrs. Clinton has spent her whole life climbing the ladders of education, wealth and power. Now, as part of her effort to hold off Senator Barack Obama and claim the Democratic presidential nomination, she is climbing back down them, sounding less like a Wellesley alumna than Roseanne Barr's old sitcom character, the den mother of her factory floor.

...

At a union hall in garbage-strewn Gary, Mrs. Clinton began her early-evening speech looking wan. But as she began talking about magnets and wheel bases, her eyes grew rounder and her small hands danced with expressive energy. She sounded as if, once she is done with the presidency business, she might like to try the steel one, joining those in the audience wearing "Women of Steel" T-shirts.

...

After the event in Fort Wayne, Mrs. Clinton greeted supporter after ardent supporter waiting in the chilly wind, her quilted black Chanel-style coat and subtly highlighted hairdo contrasting with the many untended dye jobs and chapped, makeup-less faces. Fans snapped her picture, some with camera phones, others with cheap cardboard ones.

"I was going to go to Wellesley, but I was going to have to pay back so much," a young woman told her.

Inexplicably, Senator Clinton went to a union hall and talked about ... jobs. With a bunch of unambitious and ill-kempt losers wielding primitive cameras.

It's not clear whether the Senator's "Chanel-style coat" signals her elitism or her faux-populist pandering. Either way, the woman is drunk with power and Canadian hootch, and she intends to take these rustics for a ride.