Drooling on the Pillow

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Number 9 


Come back tomorrow for Carnival Number 9.

It's a whirlwind of activity here at the Sluggoterium as the tents are going up, the tickets are being printed, the wheels are being weighted and trucks loaded with sawdust are pulling up. I've got one piece of advice to those who host the Carnival in the future. Never lend money to the clowns.

For you bloggers who reside between the Hudson and the Delaware or between the Atlantic and the major media centers, your task is simple. Send an email to njcarnival@gmail.com with a link to your favorite post of the week. I will be trolling you shy types for content, but be a dear and make it easy on Sluggo. I've got enough to deal with. Kay?

And if anyone sees Slappy, tell him I really need that twenty.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Off With His Head 

How well I remember the end of the nineties when Bill Clinton was making conservative heads explode all over the country. There was virtually nothing bad you could say about the guy that wouldn't be believed by someone, in some cases a lot of someones. He was a drug dealer or involved with drug dealers. He had people killed. And Old Bill was just loosey-goosey, shifty and slick enough that people who should have known better believed it.

It wasn't just his obvious personal flaws and his tendency to tell everyone what they wanted to hear. It wasn't his politics, because with a few significant exceptions, his was, due to congressional discipline, a fairly conservative administration. It wasn't even his tendency to talk a problem to death and then pass it along to the next administration.

It was the fact that he won. A lot of people called him a political genius, a natural. In a way, I guess that's true, but any president who looses the House, the Senate, a majority of Governorships and a majority of state Houses on his watch has to define politics very narrowly to be called a genius.

But Old Bill was a genius at getting what Bill wanted. You couldn't pin him down, you couldn't corner him, you couldn't trap him. He was always a step ahead. And even when he lost, somehow he won. And it drove us crazy.

The headline in the Times today was that Novak had a phone conversation with Rove in which Novak talked about Plame, using her name and that Rove remarked "I heard that, too."

The headline.

Let's review.

The Vice President asked the CIA to check into stories that Iraq was trying to buy nuclear materials in Niger. Joe Wilson, well know to be stridently opposed to the President and the invasion, was sent, at the suggestion of his wife. With no staff, no budget, no investigative experience, he spent a few days there "sipping tea" and talking to a few people. He came back and filed a report.

When the president said in his State of the Union address "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa," Joe Wilson was outraged and he wrote an Op-Ed piece in the Times that began "Did the Bush administration manipulate intelligence about Saddam Hussein's weapons programs to justify an invasion of Iraq? " He reluctantly concluded it had.

Talk about fixing the intelligence. The 9/11 Commission is very clear that Wilson's report supported, rather than refuted the notion of an Iraqi attempt to make a deal with Niger. Every one of those sixteen words is as true today as it was in 2003. The British have never blinked. They say it's true. And the President merely said that the British were sure.

It was in the context of a reporter's attempt to tie Cheney to what Wilson said his report concluded that sources in the Administration made clear it was Wilson's wife who suggested him for the assignment, not Cheney or the CIA Director. Wilson denied this. He lied again.

The idea that the 'outing' of Ms. Plame was 'revenge' for damage done to the war plans is pretty weak as her name, her job and her opposition to the invasion were known in Washington. And the notion that her life, much less the lives of other agents and operatives was placed in danger is child foolish.

Mr. Wilson is a self-dramatising bureaucrat who was pushed aside and was angry. But he had something that was very useful: an apparent hammer against the evil genius behind the administration.

It seems very unlikely that Rove committed even a technical violation of the law. Some would disagree. His sin is the fact that he wins.

Having lived through the '90s, this is all very familiar to me. One difference, though. We didn't have the Times pimping for us.

Lynyrd Marley 

I had two albums called Legend. Best-of albums, one by Bob Marley, the other by Lynyrd Skynyrd. My iPod conflated the two and now when I ask for 'Legend' I get both, thirty-three songs, alternating between the two. It actually goes together better than you would think. But then doesn't cornbread go with jerk chicken? Or, more to the point, ganja with meth?

You've got your Lynyrd Beethoven, a little heavy, sentimental and story driven, given to emotional outbursts, and your Amadeus Marley, lighter, clever and theme driven, complicated, but melodic.

I'll keep them the way they are.

Moloch Likes Me, He Really Likes Me 

Well, that was kind of exciting.

John Shabe at The Jersey Side finds irony in the fact that a little attention from the fiendish New York Times yesterday made the hearts of a number of center/right blogs in New Jersey chirp like little girls thrown a wink by the football captain.

I guess that's fair.

But, seriously, while Shabe might not welcome the attention of the Wall Street Journal's editorial page, I'm guessing he wouldn't turn up his nose to a link from the on-line news section.

Oh, and I got my first real moonbat comment! Check out the comments on the previous post. And put on your barking shoes.

I'll be working on the Carnival of New Jersey Bloggers #9 for the next few days (that cotton candy doesn't spin itself) so I'll be in and out with my usual inane remarks.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Grey Lady-Lanche 

Disappointed shuttle fans are invited to observe the lift-off here in Sluggoville due to the Times column today on New Jersey bloggers.

Thanks, Peter.

Now, could you get your buddies to lay off Rove?

Ah, I didn't think so.

I'm From The Times. I'm Here To Help You 

Sluggoville is a quiet little corner of the Internet. Folks around here mind their own business. Yours, too, if you're around long enough.

We very rarely top 100 visitors in a day. Got up this morning and there were already 125. Lordy! Gert, put on an extra pot!

This is, of course, due to the Peter Applebome's Our Towns column in todays Metro Section of the Times. He did a pretty nice job, I think, even if he left the impression that Sluggo actually thought he was running for Governor. I can't complain. I do that kind of stuff all the time. And, let's face it, there is something off about what we do.

That, he captured very well.

And, very appropriately, he gave Jim the last word.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Politics Today 

Steve Kornacki at NJPolitics:
Which brings us [to] a State House press conference this
afternoon with New Jersey’s two Democratic senators,
Jon Corzine and Frank Lautenberg, and a gaggle of
abortion rights activists.

If President Bush chooses a nominee with a track record
similar to his most controversial selections for the federal
judiciary, Corzine warned, “I think you will see our caucus

Playing hardball with Bush may not be in the best political
interests of every Democratic senator— Ben Nelson of
Nebraska and Mark Pryor of Arkansas spring immediately
to mind— but in blue state New Jersey, a nomination
battle couldn’t come at a better time for Corzine, who
may be facing a closer-than-anticipated gubernatorial
race with Republican Doug Forrester.
He talks about the disintegration of the nomination process since 1987. What strikes me as the most destructive angle to this is how Democrats have hijacked the process for fundraising purposes and now, apparently, for a bump in state-wide numbers.

One of the knocks on Corzine is that he's been all but invisible as a Senator. He could make himself very visible by taking on the President in a nomination fight.

Big Sky Soap Opera 

Remember how I mentioned around a month ago that, regardless of how much I complain and despair, I really consider myself a lucky guy? Consider this:

I've told a few stories about the couple summers I spent doing one week stock in Montana. One summer I played Noah in a show called Two By Two. It's a Richard Rogers musical and surely his thinnest effort. But it is Richard Rogers and there are some nice songs in it and Danny Kaye hamboned his way through it on Broadway.

It's not really the kind of show you want to hand to a bunch of inexperienced twenty-three year olds, but, in the tradition of the theatre, it all came together on opening night. We killed.

Afterwards we went to the Tiki Bar in downtown Helena and got outside a few tropical beverages. Right about there things started getting a little hazy.

I do know that I took my girlfriend's Porsche and did some doughnuts on the lawn directly in front of the Montana Statehouse. Then I saw a long line of recently planted saplings and ran them down. And when I saw the twinkly lights in my rear-view mirror I remember thinking, "This isn't a problem. I'm driving a Porsche." They caught me about a minute later when I ran up on a curb and knocked over a mailbox.

Drunken driving (obviously), destruction of public property, resisting arrest. All by myself I had comprehensively harshed a very mellow night.

I spent the night in the tank. In the morning I found that my girlfriend had flown a lawyer up from Missoula to help me face the judge. I was so miserable that I was hoping for a good old fashioned hanging judge to teach me a lesson, but the lawyer slapped that out of me. He told me I should expect thirty days in the county lockup and a sizable fine plus restitution. The show would have to close. I was about to be a very unpopular guy in a very small city.

I cleaned up as best as I could and I marched in next to this $3,000 suit and stood before the glowering judge. Mean looking bastard. While the charges were read he just stared at me and then, instead of saying "How do you plead?" he made this funny little smile and said "You were in that show last night, weren't you?"

"Uh, yeah."

Well, turns out the Mrs. really liked it and they talked about it all night long and I look different without the beard and how do you remember all the words and am I going to be in Charlie Brown? It was twenty minutes before we got to the charges. Everything dismissed except some sort of reckless driving charge with a $300 fine.

The lawyer looked at me, shook his head, turned around and left without a word. The girlfriend passed along the word later that the DUI was expunged. Which wasn't really true because twenty years later it turned up in a FBI background required for foreign adoption. That caused some anxious moments.

Just a few words about why the lawyer's heart didn't really appear to be in his work for me.

My girl friend, Anne, had a real boyfriend. I was her keeping-around boyfriend. Lived with her, messed around together. Her real boyfriend was the biggest road construction guy in Montana. It was his house, his Porsche and his lawyer. And Anne didn't really have what most people would call a job. Of course, her real boyfriend had an actual wife so he was perfectly fine with someone keeping her busy when he didn't need her.

And I wasn't the first designated hitter in that Porsche. When I arrived in Helena she was keeping time with Ken, the company director. When he had to go back to New York he asked me to keep an eye on her. Which I did. When he came back a few months later for a visit and realized the situation he almost killed me. Seriously. He missed me by inches. He was restrained and went back to New York and became a pretty successful producer and I kept thinking it would be a good idea if I didn't fall in love with Anne. But of course I did.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Joy in Sluggoville 

Can't tell you what a barren wasteland the business has been for the past three or four years. The Goddess, accustomed to making a pretty darn good living all her life from commercials and TV, has been struggling along with pretty much everybody else ever since the idiotic SAG strike in 2000 (which I blogged about here). Her earnings chart resembles the ones Mr. Dithers presents to Dagwood just before a butt kicking. Down, down, down.

Wednesday is her first two-booking day since, well, a while.

Hey, if Giambi can come back from the dead, maybe we'll get to Disney World this year after all.

Your Tax Dollars Working Overtime 

According to Mark Feffer at PropertyTaxNJ there's an article in the Trentonian by Jeff Edelstein just loaded with fun ugly facts about the state budget.
The $28 billion budget works out to $3,241 per person in
New Jersey. In the aforementioned South Dakota, their $1
billion budget works out to a little more than $1,300 per
person. So if you take these numbers at face value, it costs
nearly $2,000 more per person for the government to run
effectively in the Garden State.
The budget, in dollar bills weighs 57 million pounds, about the same as 13 fully loaded space shuttles.

The cherry on top is the $10 million it costs to return the $1.1 billion in tax rebates instead of letting us keep it in the first place.

Sunday, July 10, 2005


Not only did Gracie's pal show up for a playdate with the exact same swim suit, but it turns out she also leans more toward the WWF model for playdates than the Barbie model. Meat and drink for my kid.

Also a little bit of Evel Knieval. Some of the leaps off the swing and into the pool will have the Goddess shaking for weeks. A few of the dismounts were not stuck. By the way, surprisingly, a turkey baster is almost useless for removing grass clumps from nostrils.
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