Great Moments in Rhetoric

Jay “Not Eliot Spitzer (Yet)” Nixon, Missouri attorney general, speaking about his crackdown on the evil criminal geniuses scalping Cardinals tickets:

This may not be the crime of the century, but this may be the team of the century and, by gosh, people ought to have a right to see them.

Keep trying, though, and you’ll be just like Eliot Spitzer.

Who’s not an office holder in the state of Missouri. That’s one parallel I would enjoy, too.

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That’s a Friendly Error Message

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You know what I did? I used your schnucking product, that’s what I did.

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Campaign Suggestion

Paul Harvey led off with it this morning, and USA Today has written a story about it, so it’s undoubtedly clear that as petroleum prices rise, so will the cost of heating our homes this winter. Unfortunately for those who would use fluctations in any market as campaign fodder, the brunt of the winter will occur after the election, but they can get ahead of the story and frighten voters. Let me explain how:

First, you take a revered older statesman of the party, preferably one with a dynamite Nobel prize to his name.

Then you put him on television, bemoaning the state of the country, and announce that citizens will have to put on sweaters and turn down their thermostats because of the policies of the current administration.

Oh, yeah. That will work.

Please try it, oh please please please.

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Two Of These Things Are Not Like the Others

From Richard Roeper’s column in today’s Chicago Sun-Times, entitled Young, untalented celebs coming out of woodwork:

They’re young and they’re cute, and they’re amazingly unaware of the outside world. They spend their days shopping and lunching and sunbathing topless, and they spend their nights at clubs and private parties. They’re always, always talking on their cell phones. And they wear red-string Kabbalah bracelets, because, like, it shows how, like, spiritual they are.

There’s Lindsay Lohan, who just a few short years ago was starring in “The Parent Trap.” Now Lohan’s a freshly minted 18, and she’s busy clubbing, chain-smoking, feuding with Hilary Duff, hooking up with her boyfriend — Wilmer Valderrama, the 24-year-old fifth banana on “That 70s Show” — and denying rumors that her breasts have been surgically enhanced. It’s a wonder the girl has time to make movies!

There’s Christina Aguilera, a pretty good singer who often looks like she’s posing for Skank Monthly. Aguilera, who’s been pierced more frequently than a porn star at a biker rally, now says she’s going minimalist — keeping just one special piercing.

There’s the little Hilton knockoff sister, Nicky, 20, who married her 33-year-old boyfriend in Vegas. Big sister Paris and fellow party girl Bijou Phillips were in attendance at the classy affair.

There’s Nicole Richie, she of the pierced nippled ring that triggers metal detectors everywhere.

Why, there’s even Barbara and Jenna Bush — fine and decent young women, to be sure, but also way more into the party scene than, say, Chelsea Clinton.

There’s Jessica Simpson, with her giant blond head and her giant bronze chest and her giant capacity for playing the ditz.

There’s the rapidly aging Tara Reid, who looks like the third runner-up in the 1997 Miss Hawaiian Tropic Pageant.

There’s Ally Hilfiger and Jaime Gleicher, the spoiled-brat princesses featured on MTV’s “Rich Girls.”

There’s Mischa Barton. Seems like only yesterday she was the little ghost girl under the bed in “The Sixth Sense.” Now she’s all about string bikinis and the oil heir boyfriend and Fashion Week.

I call foul. Speaking of evil, there’s Ed Gein, Jeffrey Dahmer, Pol Pot, Richard Roeper, Adolf Hitler, Ghengis Khan….

I hereby deem Roeper a Juxtaposeur.

Funny, he fails to mention any Kerry children who are prone to showing up at film premieres with see-through dresses and whatnot. I guess they slipped Roeper’s one track mind, or maybe he doesn’t want to blow his chances with them the next time he sees all of them at a film premiere.

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Tales from Psuedobabblerhood II

The night’s second Gary Cooper film, 1931’s Fighting Caravans, depicted a young (and by young, I mean a year younger than my present age) Gary Cooper as a young ne’er-do-well scout on the trail from Independence, Missouri, to Sacramento, California, as part of a large wagon train beset by Indians.

Not too many comments, but:

  • Lili Damita is way hotter than Helen Hayes, and I can even forgive the French accent since she wisened up and moved to America. Also, at 5′ 3″, she seems to have a couple of inches on Ms. Hayes, using the relative Cooper scale for comparison.
  • Like the cantankerous scout Bill Jackson, I too have grown quite fond of a Kickapoo girl.

Still, as I delve more into these older films, I have to admit I prefer color films to black and white, unless they’ve been lovingly restored by gentle, adulating acolyte hands. But that’s a matter of taste.

Also, I hope that I am like Gary Cooper. Although I am a stunning example of manhood in my thirties, I hope to get sexier as I near the midcentury mark and beyond. I’m still hoping to dodge the whole lung cancer thing, though.

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When Coloradoans Attack!

Well, well, well. Seems that my post tut-tutting the concept of Colorado as part of the heartland has touched a nerve. First, Jared at Exultate Justi comments, and then one of his readers sends me this enlightened e-mail:

You ignorant person…

Dear Brian,
Read your post “Colorado is not the heartland” (linked from Exultate
Justi). I would suggest that you watch too much television if you think
rather small, insignificant places like Aspen and Vail as typical of my
state. Boulder? Show me a major college town that is not infested by
leftist wierdoes. Athens? Lawrence? Chapel Hill? Not!

Skiing? Actually, that ‘sport’ was developed by us as a tourist trap to
sucker Texans and Chicagoans into spending their money. They also often
spend time in our hospitals after this activity, further spending money.
Sadly, many of these people stayed.

Not the heartland, indeed! I am sick of all of you lowlanders thinking
that this is some kind of snow-covered wonderland (we really ought to
re-name sme of our sports franchises that reflect this misconception).

Denver? typical nasty yuppie-infested big city. Colorado Springs?
Imagine Birmingham, Alabama without the humidity. We are just as normal
as any other place in the USA.

In the interest of reaching out to our poor Colorado brothers and elevating the discourse, I’d like to point out:

Coors beer isn’t very good either.

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Tales from Psuedobabblerhood

So tonight’s first movie is the 1932 rendition of A Farewell to Arms starring Gary Cooper and Helen Hayes. Here are my thoughts:

  • Man, Helen Hayes was kinda cute, but she’s like, what, 4 foot tall?
  • Good to see Gary Cooper was as cross-eyed as I am.
  • You want to know a secret about the quality of DVDs you get when you buy a classic double feature for $10? Man, it’s authentic. I got every pop and his in the soundtrack in surround sound, baby. If only I had HDTV, undoubtedly it would be as pixelated as playing Doom on an Atari 2600. Which I think was called Gunfight, by the way, but that’s neither here nor there.
  • Some people, particularly academics (especially those attending Colorado universities) would say that one could not truncate or chop up a Hemingway novel, but this movie indicates that you can. It’s not a bad movie, but it’s just a shell of what the book was.

    Of course, some would continue to cast aspersions on Hemingway’s novels, instead preferring the continental confuance of James Joyce. When I encounter these people, I prefer to engage them in a rigorous drunken brawl. I know that’s what Papa would have wanted.

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Tales from Pseudobacherlorhood: Brian Shivs Cary Grant

So I pardon me if I get a little, how do you say it, upset. As some of you know, when my beautiful wife leaves town for business or biking, I take refuge in DVDs to kill the long, lonely hours without the fuego de mi corazon, la luz de vida, and the woman who represents even more foreign language sayings with more italics.

So this evening, when my beautiful wife has gone to a tropical location without me, I watch An Affair to Remember, not because I like chick flicks recommended by the Meg Ryan character in Sleepless in Seattle, but because I am researching the requisites for being a sensitive guy (please don’t beat me up, Tap City codrinkers).

Little did I know that the whole point was that the musically-minded, auburn-haired babe was travelling in a tropical location when she encountered a sharpie like Cary Grant, whom she decided that, as a non-practicing painter who could do the cha-cha and who had a grandmother in France with a good spread, was worth more than her faithful man at home. Pardon me if I take some offense.

Mr. Grant (and his sharpie ilk), I have a pen right here with which I have practiced the particular angle that I can use to drive its blue ball point through your Xyphoid Process right into the lower quadrant of your left lung, so if you even dare start circling my wife in a stairwell, prepare for your lower tracheotomy, do you know what I am saying?

Sure, the movie tried to make me forget my point by detouring into some musical sort of bits through the first part of the third act, with all those damn urchins singing, but I remained undeterred. No matter how many times they ran that damn “Affair to Remember” song through its various interpretations, I could hear nothing but “The Long Goodbye” playing on the car radio, do you get my drift?

Criminey, this brings to mind several things:

  • I miss my wife.
  • I should lower my caffeine intake.
  • As shidoshi said, practice the upward strike by dropping rear leg and pivoting 45 degrees, blocking with left hand and jamming pen into craw with right hand.

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That’s a Distribution System I’ll Enjoy

Regarding the new, more-counterfeit looking fifty dollar bill, MSNBC reports:

The new $50s soon will be showing up at banks, cash registers and wallets.

I’m watching my wallet carefully, awaiting that spontaneous fiftication.

On the other hand, I’m slightly disturbed the government can just beam them right in, but on the other hand, it’s fifty bucks (as long as you can convince the cashier it’s fifty bucks).

On still another hand, I’m going to use this excuse the next time a scrip of paper that says Brian, Call Me Back, Love Your Bod, Candi falls from my wallet, I’m going to use the excuse that it just showed up at my wallet. Because That’s my business contact at xxxxx just won’t work when she mentions my bod.

I think I’m out of hands now.

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Distilling E. J Dionne

In today’s Washington Post, E. J. Dionne writes a column entitled How To Win The Heartland. As a proponent and resident of the heartland, I was rather interested in hearing how a coastal intellectual would have his type of candidate play in drive around, but not out of unless it’s necessary country (which is how I characterize it, but I don’t care to fly).

But then I realized he’s talking about a senatorial candidate in Colorado. Colorado, home to Vail, Aspen, Boulder, and Denver. Sorry, Stephen, but I don’t consider Colorardo to be part of the heartland.

But that aside, let me distill Dionne’s wisdom in how a Democrat can win even in the “heartland” into the two most salient nuggets:

  • Wear black jeans and cowboy boots, and remember to take your cowboy hat off indoors.
  • Work to extend government benefits to people who aren’t currently accepting government benefits, like Republicans.

That just might work in a heart of rich people snow resortland.

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Another Dizzying Intellect Heard From

Why do you see so many black Republicans these days? Dave Berkmann of the Shepherd Express sees right through us:

Why all the showcasing of blacks by the GOP? “The goal,” according to University of Chicago political science professor Melissa Harris-Lacewell, “is not to increase the [Republicans’] share of African-American votes, but to signal moderate voters that the party is not racist. … Individuals such as Alan Keyes, Colin Powell and [education secretary] Ron Paige have the effect of reassuring ‘soccer moms’ and ‘NASCAR dads’ that they can support the Republican Party without signaling they are racially biased.” In other words, another GOP scam.

Hey, he’s a former professor who taught the “science” of mass communications. Pardon me while I have someone with a better pedigree do my thinking for me.

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The Post-Dispatch Explains the Blogosphere

From a news analysis piece on Sunday entitled New media beat old in testing veracity of Bush memos, which describes how bloggers uncovered the memo forgeries broadcast by CBS:

Hours after “60 Minutes” aired what it said were memos written in 1972 and 1973 by Bush’s squadron leader, Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian, a man using the name Buckhead posted a comment on Free Republic (, a right-wing bulletin board.

That’s precious. In an article about how new media checks the old media’s facts and calls them on mistakes, the old media mistakenly gives the URL for Power Line Blog when talking about Free Republic.

Remedial Google classes for all Post-Dispatch writers and editors, stat. Not stet, dammit, stat!

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Do the Math

The greatest Green Bay Packer quarterbacks were named Bart Starr and Brett Favre. That’s a B-r-hard consonant ending first name followed by a single syllable last name. Coincidence? Who is to say what divine kismet is involved? However, I would like to point out that Brad Smith fits.

Oh, yeah. Ms. Igert, a Mizzou fan and a Packer fan, is nodding in agreement.

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From Our Department of Unintended Consequences Desk

Pack a large number of disparate people in an enclosed area, moving slowly, and what do you have? A tempting target:

Stepped-up screening procedures at Los Angeles International Airport that were designed to make flying safer have created another potential vulnerability: long lines that are a “tempting target for terrorists,” security experts said Friday.

The answer, obviously: Spend more money:

Rand Corp. researchers recommended in a 47-page report that airlines and federal officials spend $4 million a year to add skycaps, ticket agents and screeners to speed travelers through lines in terminal lobbies and on sidewalks and into the secure gate area — where they would be less vulnerable to attack.

Spend more money ($4 million a year to start), add more procedures, and then herd the people into a more “secure” enclosed space where they’ll still be a target.

Man, how can I get paid for bad ideas? I have a million of them! At $10 each, I would be rich!

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