Tuesday, January 31, 2006

It's My Party (And I'll Cry If I Want To)

Ah, there's really nothing like a brand new blog -- fresh and virginal and just waiting for the sort of incisive commentary and invigorating opinions that, well, frankly, you're most likely to find from the other two bloggers here. Some good stuff earlier this evening from them (although now that we've entered the political blogosphere, it seems Harry has decided to forgo total accuracy, but more on that later). There's really no way I'm going to hit that level of stentorian seriousness tonight -- maybe being the farthest from civilization of the trio has warped my gravity, or maybe it's the fact that I write formally to pay the bills -- but for our first night of existence I'd like to tackle an off-beat issue of some timeliness. Specifically, State of the Union viewing parties.

Earlier this evening, the thought was bandied about on a conference call that perhaps Harry, Jerry and I could give a live, minute-by-minute blog of the State of the Union. (Blog rookies we may be, but brilliant ideas have we by the bushel.) Sadly enough, the idea was shot down like a rabid German shepherd. Why? Harry, as he is wont, will be hosting a bit of a boozy gala in celebration of the annual oratory. (I guess the "S" stands for sloshed.) And if I had to make a guess, I would say that ol' Jerry will be watching it in a social setting as well. Will he be "partying" as well? Trust me: I could make his entire name an acronym of synonyms for "hammered" and it would underplay that lad's drinking habits. But as for me, I'll be watching the speech alone. Yes, that's right: I'll be forsaking that stereotypical political junkie celebration.

OK, fair disclosure: I live alone, in a confirmed bachelor environment. (Doubt me? I just ate a dinner of scrambled eggs and hot dogs.) The pittance of a social existence I currently maintain is not the issue -- at least not for this posting -- but it seems others agree with me that a SotU is best watched alone or not watched at all. A favorite of mine, Slate's John Dickerson, wrote a piece on the issue, in which he states my point very well. State of the Union parties "are attended by people who don't care what's happening on the television or people who care too much. Half the room talks while the other half tells them to be quiet," he writes. Indeed, hardly anything said in the State of the Union will be of any import. The ideas floated by GWB tomorrow night will either be rhetoric, plans long since created or something with little chance of full funding. I long for the days, as I'm sure most do, when such a speech could be used for an honest accounting of our nation's situation. It doesn't seem all that long ago when President Ford declared "I must say to you that the state of the Union is not good." Could you imagine that today? You'd be as lucky to listen to a speech from Bush without complete self-support as you would to read an entire book without the letter "E." (Oh, wait.) So, inevitably such gatherings will deteriorate between the factions of those who become bored of the verbal tripe and move to flirtation and debate and those who desperately cling to the desire to hear the whole thing. Nope, I won't be having that problem tomorrow night. I'll be sitting in my IKEA recliner in the soft tranquility of silence around me, as I watch the President set out his complete vision for the year. Or until I turn the damn thing off.

Besides, it all pales in importance to the Oscar noms announcement earlier in the day, anyway.

(Alright, as for Truman's slander of my former boss, Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) -- a man I agree with politically when I'm angry enough to do so -- and the incident one summer years ago. For the record, Pete called Rep. Scott McInnis (R-Colo.) a "fruitcake," not Ways and Means Chairman Bill Thomas (R-Calif.). And because Truman has decided to quote my former employer out of context, I'm morally compelled to supply more information. Here's the full story: Ways and Means Democrats were pissed because Thomas ordered Capitol police to kick them out of a nearby library they had gone to discuss a bill they hadn't seen but had just received a verbal approval from the Republican majority. Republicans justified the police involvement by saying they felt physically "threatened" by then-71-years-old Stark's (who was left in the room to monitor the situation) responding to 50-years-old ex-cop McInnis saying "Go get your medication. You need to take your pills." Yes, Stark's profound response included calling McInnis a "wimp" and a "fruitcake" but as far as the cocksucker comment is concerned, Stark gorgeously told the press: "I'm certain that at some point in the last year I called Chairman Thomas a ' cocksucker,' but not last Friday."

Bottom line: Stark is a bad-ass, and won't take no guff from no one. And, for the record, Bill Thomas wept like a little girl during an apology on the House floor for the incident.)


At 6:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

NSU - 4efer, 5210 - rulez


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