Drooling on the Pillow

Saturday, January 29, 2005

The Grey Lady Stirs 

One must give credit when it is due and the picture the New York Times ran above the fold on the first page of the elderly Iraqi man weeping as he voted in Michigan was remarkably moving.

Tim Blair links to some rough stuff at the polls in Australia when Wahabis showed up to protest the vote and began photographing voters leaving the polling place.

Tomorrow really is a huge day and not just for Iraqis. The response of our enemies is all we need to know about the importance. It is absolutely critical for the enemies of freedom, from bin Laden to Al Zarqawi, that this election fail.

The only prayer I have is that the Iraqis are given the chance to make their voices heard. Whatever they choose it it will be the beginning of the end for Islamofascism.

Isn't this really easy? Aren't we for democracy? Is there any way in which this election can be a bad thing?

I dunno. Ask Ted.

What Are They Saying? A Lot 

Mary, at Exit Zero, is deservedly getting a lot of attention for this post discussing the political rather than theological dimensions of Wahabism. She's also guest blogging at Michael J. Totten where the same post has generated a ton of comments.

Great job, Mary.

Someone's Got to Do It 

Need your daily dose of Christie Whitman bashing? You know where to go. Roberto does the honors at DynamoBuzz.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Samuel Johnson and Anson Williams 

Tonight on A&E I watched them bio Ron Howard and then run a show about Happy Days. You know what Sluggo was thinking about? Glad you asked.

In the late '70s I was in Raleigh, North Carolina doing Finch in a dinner theatre production of How to Succeed . . . One night we were told that Dean Smith, the legendary coach of the North Carolina Tarheels was in the audience. I was told by the producer to ad lib a tribute to Smith. That's exactly what he said. 'Mike, ad lib a tribute to the coach.' Forget the fact that whatever I came up with would not exactly be an ad lib. Forget the fact that he was asking me to send Frank Loesser (one of my especial theatrical heros) spinning in his grave. Just the idea that this guy could waltz into the dressing room and demand that I prostitute my art to his smutty, smudgy, cheap, sucking up to local hero, blah, blah, blah.

So I did it. I honestly can't remember where I stuck it in, or what thin tissue of sense I made of it. It was part of the scene with Biggley that includes the song "Groundhog" and I said "Well, maybe we could try using the Four Corners" referring to a defensive scheme Smith was famous for that was rendered obsolete by the shot clock.

It was the second biggest laugh I ever got in my life. Standing ovation. Laughter, applause, laughter, applause. Mr. Smith pinched my cheek on the 'joydit'* line after the show.

Oh, yeah. Happy Days.

It may not have been the next day, but it was soon after that that Anson Williams, 'Potsie' on Happy Days, came to the show. We were fairly jazzed by the fact, which I blush to admit today, but there you are. We thought the show was pretty good. But Happy Days was the biggest thing on TV at the time. I seem to remember he was escorting Miss North Carolina, but I could be wrong about that. Never the less, Mr. Williams expressed his opinion on the show by not only not coming back afterwards, but by skipping the joydit line.

I wish Mr. Williams happiness in his life and sincerely hope it is everything he would wish. For him and all those he cares about. I know nothing bad about him. As opposed to Tom Bosley. At the same time, I admit, I wasn't altogether unhappy to see that he hasn't aged in exactly the same way that Cary Grant did. I try to be a good person, but, even after 10 years out of the business, I'm stuck with theatrical as my brand of pride.

It put me in mind of the anecdote about the incomparable Samuel Johnson when someone remarked on the vanity of the actor Garrick. He said that if he had been subject to the flattery inflicted on his actor friend he would have hired large men with poles to knock people out of his way as he walked down the street.

It's true. And I wouldn't have been any different. There is almost no defense against the stroking a hot young actor receives. That any of them maintain any sense of proportion about themselves is a testament to the human spirit.

Still, would it have killed him to come back stage?

*If you remember the days of dinner theatres, especially those (like in Raleigh) where, once the food is cleared, the stage descends on a 30' x 30' elevator, you remember that after the show the cast lines up in the lobby and the audience files out shaking hands and murmuring "'Joyd it, 'joyd it" to each member of the cast.


Sluggo dips into Best of the Web's vast storehouse of blogoliciousness for the second straight day for Mr. Taranto's lead post which compares and contrasts the two major political families of the last fifty years.

Ted Kennedy has been a joke for so long that it's easy to forget what a disgusting wind-bag he is when he chooses to be.

He took that option yesterday in an address to the Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies:

The war in Iraq has become a war against the American
occupation. . . . The U.S. military presence has become
part of the problem, not part of the solution. . . . The first
step is to confront our own mistakes. . . . No matter how
many times the Administration denies it, there is no
question they misled the nation and led us into a quagmire
in Iraq. . . . As in Vietnam, truth was the first casualty of
this war. . . . As a result of our actions in Iraq, our respect
and credibility around the world have reached all-time
lows . . . . Never in our history has there been a more
powerful, more painful example of the saying that those
who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it. . . .
The nations in the Middle East are independent, except for
Iraq, which began the 20th century under Ottoman
occupation and is now beginning the 21st century under
American occupation.

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi could not state the case more clearly. The evolution of Iraq towards democracy threatens both of these sclerotic pustules and the approaching elections must be making them both a little nervous.

Hmm. I'm aware I've made several appeals recently for more civility in Red/Blue relations. I believe I'm going to allow myself this one, though, and promise not to call the senior senator from Massachusetts a sclerotic pustule again. Unless he makes me.

UPDATE: Power Line, among other sites is giving Kennedy a well deserved thrashing.


Thursday, January 27, 2005


James Taranato at Best of the Web points to a New York Sun article about a U.N. official complaining that American soldiers were too enthusiastic about encouraging Iraqis to vote on Monday.

The chief of the U.N. Electoral Assistance Division, Carina Perelli,
was asked in a press conference about reports that American
troops helped Iraqi officials distribute information on the
electoral process to Iraqi citizens, and encouraged them to
participate in Sunday's vote.

Ms. Perelli said that U.N. officials spent time "asking, begging
military commanders precisely not to do that," but the time
has not been well-spent. The Americans were "overenthusiastic
in trying to help out with these elections," she said. "We have
basically been saying they should try to minimize their
participation because this is an Iraqi process."

You can bet that if the Iraqis were deciding on committee chairs or coordinating fact finding missions on Sunday the U.N. boffins would be rolling up their sleeves.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Tex Antoine Meets Blue Collar Comedy 

John J. Miller at NRO links to this video evidence of the natural evolution of 'Happy News'. A weatherman in Charlotte, NC. You've gotta see this.

Center Not Holding 

Dr. Rice was just confirmed by the Senate 85-13. John Kerry was a 'no'.

Power Line notes the vote in the Judiciary Committee for Albert Gonzalez was a straight party line vote 10-8 and concludes the 'crazies' (Kennedy and Boxer) are apparently speaking for the party. Obviously good news for Republicans as the 'loyal opposition' continues to cascade over the cliff. Bad for the country.

New Jersey needs a competitive Republican Party to dig its way out of generations of institutional corruption. This may not be the year.

The country needs a rational Democratic Party to prepare for the challenges of the future. Opposition, even fierce opposition is welcome. A disassociation with reality will run us off the road.

The old joke was that in their heart of hearts Republicans thought Democrats were stupid. There was no other explanation for their beliefs. In their heart of hearts Democrats thought Republicans were evil. How else could they believe the things they believe? Now both sides seem to believe the others are stupid and evil. What will it take to start talking like adults?

Thanks to My Supporters, All None of You 

Great news out of the Quinnipiac Poll. Sluggo is now tied (on the politicsnj.com page, at least today) with Steve Lonegan, Todd Caliguire and Bob Schroeder for the Republican nomination for Governor of New Jersey. The four of us are locked up at that magic 'zero' mark. And I didn't even send a Christmas card to every Republican in the state! (Here's the information on the Quinnipiac site, if you care to wade through it.) So I may be able to name the new senator. I can think of a few people who should start being nicer to me.

UPDATE: The objection has been noted that if I beat Corzine there will be no Senate seat to fill. Sluggo is way ahead of you. The likelihood of anybody losing to Sluggo for anything and then showing their face ever again is very low. I'm also taking suggestions for Homeland Security director.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

The Donkey That Fell for a Week 

I completely forgot to drop that donkey from last week. I was asked to be discrete, even after the fact so this is it. The president of a South American country (not Peruador or Argentinador) was in my tiny little office a week ago Monday evening. Not an affair of state, just a business deal. About a half dozen Secret Service agents, a few Afganador Secret Service Agents and a posse of about twenty Kamchakador ministerial personages showed up. It all went very well, apparently, but I was surprised that I had no idea which one was the President. No one really stuck out and, not being a Spanish speaker (okay, so it wasn't Brazilador), I was kind of running behind. About the most interesting thing that happened was when a building engineer came in and said that they were shutting down the bathrooms on our floor. I reported this to the one SS agent I kind of knew and I could see his mind working this over. Alabamador President Has To Go in Ice Bucket. He said 'Uh-huh' and walked away and about four seconds later I saw the engineer back with a real first-day-on-the-job-waiter kind of look on his face and it turns out it wasn't absolutely necessary. So it all worked out and the whole thing took about an hour and a half. Please return to your lives.

Politics, Jersey-Style 

I'm really not that knowledgeable on New Jersey politics. One of the purposes of this blog is to educate myself on this arcane subject. Steve Kornacki at politicsnj is a very good guide into the thicket. He writes equally well about each side and has no observable agenda. Today, he's talking about the ramifications for Codey of Andrews' endorsement of Corzine. I still think there's value for Corzine in having a mild primary challenge from Codey. Assuming Codey runs to Corzine's right he would draw the Senator to the center, setting him up for any Republican opponent. Of course, if the Republicans can't get their zooms together behind a viable candidate, it's all pretty much academic.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Big Sister Comes A-Calling 

I had an odd call at work today. An actual, live person announced (this is an incoming call, remember) that 'this call may be monitored for quality assurance.' I was fascinated. First, I thought it was a joke. I have a few friends in comedy and VO who never just call without a gag. Then I thought it was a recording, just a very good one and I waited for the beep.

'. . . Hello?' she said.

'Yeah, hello.' I said. 'You're recording this call?'

'I don't know.'


'I mean they may be recording this call, but we never know when they are.'

I knew it was a wrong number the second she started and I was tempted to do a number, but I was on the office line.

I guess there's nothing wrong with it if they announce it, but there's nothing really right about it either.


Looking at the box scores this morning, I note that Pittsburgh led (narrowly) in every major offensive category last night. Except, of course, turnovers. Next year Big Ben won't be a rookie. They will prevail.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Pats 41, Steelers 27 

So. That didn't work out quite the way I'd hoped. At the beginning of the year, though, I didn't expect anything out of them. My friend left at half-time. His Towel was obviously bogus.

Steelers 26, Pats 19 

Well, the girls are out sledding, I'm working on Lane's website, a friend (who owns his own personal Terrible Towel) is coming over for the game, so this Sunday didn't turn out so bad.

I'm not sanguine about the Rebars' chances this evening. I've stocked in some Rolling Rock, which is as close as we can come here in New Jersey to Iron City. Got the chips, got the salsa. I've done my part.
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