Thursday, October 28, 2004


Just in time for the final election blitz, Spitbull's thoughts are turning romantic. Well, marital anyway.

No, not us. Frater Atomizer. He is to become the happiest man alive tomorrow evening and Spitbull, plus assorted hangers-on, will be there to witness.

Plus, we'll be participating in various associated festivities all weekend (come to think of it, we should probably take the nights off). You know, traditional activities such as the dollar dance and decorating the getaway car. Maybe some untraditional ones as well.

So, if posting is lighter than usual here, chalk it up to nuptial, not election, fatigue.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004


British movie magazine Total Film has reportedly annointed President Bush the year's top screen villain based on the votes of 10,000 of its readers.

No news on whether an equivalent poll of Clark County, Ohio residents is planned.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004


Slate chief political correspondent William Saletan turns on his brethren:
We're really, really lazy. First of all, we're cowards because we are afraid of being not objective. We're also just lazy. There may be two reporters in the country who understand tax policy. The rest of us are talking to our friends and reading each other in the paper.
But at least they can talk to us about polls! Uh, maybe not:
"It was probably one of the worst classes I've taken at NU," said Medill [School of Journalism ] junior Cherise Lopez about her freshman-year statistics course. "I for one didn't see the relevance with the journalism field."
(Both items via Romanesko)

Monday, October 25, 2004


The parade of endorsements rumbles on:
  • The Miami Herald reports five Minnesota newspapers and North Dakota's largest newspaper have endorsed President Bush.
  • Both President Bush and Senator Kerry's hometown papers have reportedly endorsed the out-of-town candidate.
  • Former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura came up with an adorable and novel way to broadcast his whole-hearted endorsement of John Kerry: a charades news conference!
  • In a battle of the big brains, 48 Nobel Laureates and 10 Nobel economists endorsed John Kerry (no, I didn't check to see whether there was any double-counting). But 6 other Nobel economists and 362 garden variety economists signed a statement opposing Kerry's economic agenda.
  • Yasser Arafat and Spanish Socialist Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero prefer Kerry (he's the overwhelming choice of 32 countries). Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and famous anti-semite tried to endorse Kerry but was rejected. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi support Bush.
  • Most rockers, novelists and artists are for Kerry.
But enough about presidential race! Saint Paul of Fraters Libertas has the goods we really need: he scoops the Mainstream Media and offers endorsements of candidates for Minnesota's Soil and Water Conservation Supervisors.

UPDATE: Spitbull screwed up (big shocker, huh?). It appears one of the 368 statement-signing economists is our own King Banaian and he's hardly garden-variety.

Friday, October 22, 2004


I came across a disturbing report of the Association of Politics and Life Sciences's recent in-depth examination of the psychopathology of conservatism (Ronald Baily of Reason summarizes the issue presented as "What is wrong with people who disagree with the mainstream of American academic social scientists?")

To aid in the analysis, a Right Wing Authoritarian (RWA) Scale was developed which identifies those harboring authoritarian tendencies. Shockingly, high scorers on this scale tended to be Republicans, while low scorers were found to be "fair-minded, even-handed, tolerant, nonaggressive persons...They score low on my prejudice scale. They are not self-righteous; they do not feel superior to persons with opposing opinions." In other words, left-wingers.

On the minus side, another study found low scoring left wingers (also often known as "Democrats") are more likely than high scorers to fake an orgasm and less likely to be satisfied with their relationships or sex lives.

Taking these "studies" as seriously as I do, I require and demand an explanation!


Today the Northern Alliance Radio Network will be filling in for Hugh Hewitt on his nationally syndicated talk radio show (5pm-8pm CST).

The busy boys will return for their regularly scheduled local radio show [Internet feed] the very next day ( noon to 3pm CST) where they'll chat with SBV John O'Neill for a while, talk duck (maybe even goose), and then hustle off to the Minnesota Bush/Cheney '04 headquarters in St. Paul. They'll be manning the phones there from 4pm-6pm and have invited all and sundry to join them. The address is:

1445 Energy Park Drive St. Paul MN, 55108 [map]

Thursday, October 21, 2004


Halloween can be fun, especially if you have little kids in your life. The costumes are a lot better than they were when I was young (plastic mask from K-mart anyone?) , the incidence of nasty cranks handing out apples instead of candy seems lower (there's-a-razor-in-the-apple! rumors may have helped out on that front). Pumpkin carving hasn't changed much; it's still a delightfully gooey mess.

That said, I'm curmudgeonly enough to think that schools shouldn't be in the business of putting on Halloween parties. I like to maintain some excitement for the home sphere and there are enough parties and treats at school anyway. The kids earn pizza parties for fundraising efforts, "marble" parties for amassing 100 marbles (I think the marble-awarding has something to do with good behavior but I've never gotten a straight answer on this one) and often birthday parties to boot. I simply have an aversion to the trend of bleeding family life into school life.

But banning the practice because it might offend members of the Wiccan religion? Eeek! (Credit Joanne Jacobs).

Wednesday, October 20, 2004


Tonight I was trying to remember with my dining companion whether two of our friends had been on the same trip to Japan. The seven year old overhead us and said "Japan? I've [unintelligible] Japan!"

"You've been to Japan?" said my companion.

"No." responded my seven year old. "I've seen Japan on a map. It's purple."


Most of the Blogosphere has now seen (or at least heard about) the John Edwards primping video. Yes, many are revelling in the scoffing opportunity, but a few sensible folks are giving it a pass:
  • Ace of Spades: What keeps me from pouncing on this video is the smug and utterly unwarranted condescension of the Hollywood set, people who have been getting make-up nearly every day for their adult lives, now trying to pose as some sort of cutting-edge artistes by showing how foolish a non-SAG-member looks when he gets made-up. Yes, it's all a little effeminate; no man really wants to be seen getting made up (although, secretly, we all do want to be handsome; we just don't want to seem as if we care about it either way). But we're in the television age, and looks definitely count, and if John Edwards wants to play with his bangs to make sure they look just so, I can't really blame him.
  • Michelle Malkin: And before Bush supporters get carried away with the Edwards video, remember that this is a cheap Michael Moore-ish tactic. He used the same kind of clandestine footage of President Bush preparing for a televised speech--as well as similar outtakes of Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice, and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz getting ready for TV interviews --to mock the Administration in his crockumentary, Fahrenheit 9/11.

  • Instapundit: I'm not quite sure why people see it as such a big deal.
Since I was posting about it, I finally made myself watch part of the video (I am so not a hack). My conclusions:
  1. Boy, is his hair ever shiny.
  2. I'm glad I will never have to prepare to appear on TV.
  3. That chick whose big butt keeps blocking the camera should be furious with Harry Shearer. I recommend a lawsuit.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004


How do I know? The three year old was sent home sick from day care today.

Monday, October 18, 2004


Waddling Thunder of Crescat Sententia proposes a solution:
You can only stand and clap if at least one person in your row is literally in tears at any point in the concert as a result of the performance's excellence. Crying is defined as liquid seeping out of the eye rather than merely welling up inside, and if there's any doubt (for example, someone is dabbing at their eye with a handkerchief), you should interpret that against the standing ovation.
But if you're in the very back row of the opera house (the cheap seats) and you feel like hooting and pounding on the wall at the end of the opera, have at it. It's very entertaining to us plebians.


Fenster Moop, an honorary Blowhard blowing over at 2Blowhards, has figured out what the shadow floating over the American Flag in latest cover of The New Yorker is:
the outline of a figure from the Abu Ghraib prison photos!
Having deciphered the code, he concludes the cover is trite: "If it is trying to be witty, it fails."

So what would be a more profound image to use? Remember, this is The New Yorker's Politics issue. Is the Twin Towers too obvious or is it just right? We're taking suggestions at myspitbull -at- yahoo.

Saturday, October 16, 2004


The crack young staff at The Hatemonger's Quarterly have kicked off a readership drive (kind of like a fund drive but far less noxious--and free!). Overriding suggestions that they make their posts funnier or more insightful, they have arrived at the novel idea of seeding their site with pornographic words in order to waylay that oh-so-desirable googling pervert demographic. Some samples:
George C. Scott

Methinks they need help.

Friday, October 15, 2004


There's been a recent blogospheric movement to draft Lileks for Senator. Lileks, although clearly flattered, demurred, citing:
  • His "simplistic (if correct!) view of the big issues, ... tiresomely detailed view of the small things that matter not, and no time for the big muddled middle where most of life actually takes place."
  • The icky requirement that Senators must give other Senators backrubs.
  • Existence of unspecified unclean photos of self (like this?)
  • No talent for constituent service.
To those still undeterred by this litany of incompetencies, he declared:
If nominated, I will not run. If elected, I will not serve. If mailed the paychecks nevertheless, I will cash them with a heavy heart: really, the people of Minnesota deserve so much better.

On the other hand, I would have the power to truly screw with the Bounty towel people.
And elaborated further the next day:
Please: I would rather unspool my guts with a rusty ice pick than run for any sort of office. IT’S a JOKE and I had nothing to do with it, and I don’t want this to get out of hand. So it’s a dead issue. K? K.
But no meme can ever truly die in the Blogosphere so I propose a different solution: Lileks for King. Maybe not of the entire blogosphere--we'd have a revolution on our hands--but of Right BlogLand.

Consider the advantages: No one ever runs for King, instead they're hailed as King, which seems so much more pleasant. His ability to screw with the Bounty towel people would probably be enhanced. And, the icing on the cake: Gnat would be thrilled.

Think about it.

Thursday, October 14, 2004


Spitbull's master plan is working : even snide linkage from DA KOMMISSAR brings a cavalcade of hits.

Spitbull: sneaky (some say covert), and bratty too.

(gratuitous link)

Wednesday, October 13, 2004


What do Northern Alliance members Saint Paul, King, Mitch and Ed have in common?
  1. They'll be liveblogging tonight's debate at the Northern Alliance listener appreciation event at the downtown Hilton Minneapolis on Marquette and 10th.
  2. Their kids are big (or they haven't yet spawned any).
I know you'll just be wrecked to hear that Spitbull doesn't fit either of these criteria. Plus, I'm laying off on the liveblogging thing. My liver just can't take it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004


Bill at INDCJounal just can't wait for this weekend's release of the puppet action movie Team America: World Police from the creators of South Park. His appetite has been further whetted by some lefty "injured commentary" he came upon. Sample:
Okay, I laughed in some of it but overall this is a Freepers wet dream. They poke fun at liberals BIG TIME!!!Nothing against ANY rightwingers, ONLY LIBERALS!!! Liberals are the butt of the joke & are even the villians in this.Oh, & all the liberals Die a horrific death in this. TOTALLY bias! I mean, c'mon. How can they NOT have Bush puppet? I mean, he so much a charachter that needs to be mocked. This film was very mean spirited IMO. My firned said I didn't get it. That it was an extreme right wing edge to it & that was the joke. Well, I didn't get that when I saw it. TRUST ME, Freepers will call this film their own &amp; Trey Parker & Matt Stone have sold out BIG TIME!
Plus, kos doesn't care for it:
What do we [the anti-war crowd] get? Peacenik liberal Hollywood actors coddling up to terrorist regimes (ha ha). If you hate Susan Sarandon, Alec Baldwin and Janeane Garofalo, then you'll love seeing them get killed in a bloody battle with Team America.
And Sean Penn reportedly issued "a sincere fuck you" to the movie's creators.

What better endorsements can you get? Now I don't get out much, but I might have to bestir myself to see this one.

Monday, October 11, 2004


The seven year old is developing her sense of humor:
Q: Why don't skeletons go to the movies?
A: They don't have the guts.
Fortunately she's OK with my incredibly forced fake laughter (hah! hah! hah! just like that).

I keep reminding myself that at least we've advanced beyond knock knock jokes (though they have their charm, especially when the child mixes up the question and the response and then treats me like a complete imbecile for not participating as expected). I vaguely remember being fascinated by puns myself for some ugly period of time in my far away youth. But I've just got to hope that things keep improving humor-wise or I'll need to start drinking more to get in the mood (but perhaps not martinis).

Sunday, October 10, 2004


My the blogosphere seems quiet with the Blogfaddah at the lake (not Lake Alliance) and all.

I'm sure my absence to attend the girlie outing also took its toll. We all tried and tried to reason with the bride-to-be, but to no avail. She still plans to marry Frater Atomizer at the end of the month. There's still plenty of time for her to come to her senses, but if she can withstand his latest hissy-fit over the ignominious end to the Twins season, she just might be the perfect mate for him.

Saturday, October 09, 2004


No, I don't have much of a headache, thanks for asking. Aspirin is truly the wonder drug.

It's a busy day today here at Lake Alliance. The kids have back-to-back ballet lessons entailing much driving to and fro. Tonight the seven year old has a sleepover at a museum with a cadre of Brownies, all of whom seem to have My Little Pony-festooned sleeping bags. It'll be like an indoor Hasbro camp. I'm jetting to Stillwater for some girlie pre-wedding festivities. The Warrior Monk, Frater Atomizer and King are all attending the Twins playoff game where, it is rumored, President Bush may throw out the first ball.

The Northern Alliance Radio Network will be broadcasting on AM1280 the Patriot (listen online here) between 12-3pm. Today they're interviewing John Miller from National Review Online who will discuss his book Our Oldest Enemy. Frater St. Paul's favorite new local columnist, Craig Westover, will be on in the third hour.

Friday, October 08, 2004


Pre-debate preparation: what to drink? Some blogger claims the official beer of the debate is Pilsner Urquell. A debate about the debate beer ensues.

The official beer of tonight’s debate has been changed to something actual men drink. Guinness Stout.

Those previously in charge of selecting the official beer have just been sacked.

I'm a traditionalist, myself: martini.

8:02. OK. Martini ready. Here goes. All times Central (CST). I'm so excited! I feel like a pundit. Well, a blogpundit anyway. Sip drink.

8:03. Introductions. Are Bush and Kerry holding hands? Naw. Just a weird angle.

8:07. Kerry says he hasn't changed his mind, isn't wishy-washy. Three year old wants me to read her a story. How about a video instead? Bigger sip of drink.

8:14. I'm back. Martinis are good. I should have one more often. Mellows me out. Gives me more patience for the three year old. Oh yeah. Debate. U.N. sucks. Kerry says we should have used Smart Diplomacy.

8:16. Kerry is debating himself now--he's doing a Rumsfeld imitation!

8:22. Bush's goal isn't to make popular decisions but right decisions. A 2nd martini, however, is both popular and right.

8:31. The draft bugaboo. The wonders of technology save manpower => no draft. But what can the wonders of technology do for martini-making? It still takes far too long to mix a martini well. Plus, you still need the same amount of manpower. Luckily, I have drafted a personal bartender for this debate.

8:35. Maybe I'd better slow down. On the drinking, I mean. The live blogging seems to be slowing down by itself.

8:41. Drugs should cure not kill. Hear! hear! Plus they should be cheaper. Generic. Brand drugs. Discount cards. $1.14 for drugs! Oh hell. I'm hammered. Go read one of the other live bloggers.


OK, I can't make it to the debate party tonight at the undisclosed location (after realizing that Spitbull never ventures out in public, the hosts felt safe enough to e-mail us an invite). But that doesn't mean I can't have fun. Like the big boys, I'm going to live blog it at home (after studying Mitch's pointers for debate live bloggers. )

And, to make it more interesting, I'm going to drunkblog it. It's true: I don't have Atomizer's tolerance (for alcohol, not sports losses) but sipping and blogging seems like oreos and milk--they just belong together. Plus, after blogging two debates, some of my live blogging competitors are sitting out this one (or TiVoing it-blech!). So you liveblog addicts might have to resort to reading this blog (just ignore Hugh, who's will be blogging up a scorecard--what's up with that?).

Spitbull: simply the last resort of liveblog addicts.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004


I am a binge eater -- at least in the sense that from time to time I become enamored of a particular food and eat it over and over again. My choices might be seen as a bit strange. When I was a teenager there was a year or so when I would come home from school and saute some mushrooms. When I was pregnant with my youngest I craved eggs. I ate Lucky Charms cereal every day for an unhealthy period of time.

I also go on food binges because I'm interested in mastering the cooking of a particular dish. Several years ago, I made a different risotto every week, hoping that I could get good enough at it that I could stop using recipes. I didn't.

Lately, I'm into squash soup (like all good soups, I don't use a set recipe). I've made soup out of buttercup, butternut and acorn squashes (buttercup is best, so far). I think the only thing left is pumpkin. Spaghetti squash is just too stringy to be good soup material.

My kids are binge eaters too, but they crave conventional goodies like pizza. This is how you can tell I'm really strange: I've never been a big pizza fan. As if you needed more proof...

Tuesday, October 05, 2004


Vote for Change has finally made it to the Twin Cities. Our local paper admits the concert "might seem like a Vietnam-era flashback;" another news source is a bit more blunt:
... a coalition of irrelevant pop stars is winding up a 36-city tour that will culminate in a concert on Oct. 11 in Washington, D.C.
I can't argue. I've already confessed I'm not a Springsteen fan.

Monday, October 04, 2004


At the top-secret blog pow-wow on Saturday Frater Saint Paul and I agreed that we really should send Nick Coleman flowers or balloons or something with a card thanking him for the material. His recent anti-blog column is the gift that keeps on giving to those of us experiencing blogger's block.

In fact, I was feeling so grateful to the guy (the beer helped too) that I actually felt a bit sorry that no one seemed to be sticking up for the poor git. No one seemed to think he had made even a glimmer of a good point, or at least a sentence that could withstand fisking. Until now:
FWIW, Coleman was responding to some local rightwing bloggers who have, in traditional wingnut fashion, confused "humor" with repeated savage trashings of Coleman's column and person. ... .

I've feuded with some of the bloggers he was criticizing, and, frankly, they're not very principled. They belong to the "fisking" school of wingnuttery, and argue to win without regard for the truth. In short, they are hard right bloggers who take no prisoners.

Powerline, which has incomprehensibly become a heroic blog to many on the right, is a couple of local wingnuts (a banker and a lawyer) who fell into the Typegate thing at the right time and somehow came out of that manufactured brouhaha with a rep for nailing Rather's hide to the wall.

Uh, well actually, they went off on how they and their friends had proven the memos were done in MS Word, an allegation that hasn't held up well at all. But do read Powerlineblog.com. They are partisan hacks, and have a long-standing "war" with Coleman's Star Tribune that is quite one-sided (they do all the yelling, the Strib has all the facts). But their own posts reveal them far better than I can.

Turns out it's a small blogsophere after all eh, Mark Gisleson?

Readers of the "hard right bloggers who take no prisoners," aka the Northern Alliance, may remember the hilarity caused by Mr. Gisleson's classic fist-pumper:
In my heart, I still believe in revolution. In my heart, I still think I have the 'nads to put my life on the line for a cause. In my gut I think this is the only way we'll ever achieve our goals of economic and social justice. But in my head, I want to win the next election so we don't have to have a revolution
Not quite in Nick's territory, but close.

Sunday, October 03, 2004


Spitbull shows up. How could we resist? It offered much in the way of assorted alcoholic beverages plus free Wi-fi. No, not the debate party: Keegan's Irish Pub.

Just as we suspected: we beheld a motley crew from the Northern Alliance at a corner table morosely nursing beers. Spent from a hard afternoon's work fisking Nick Coleman (sounds vaguely pornographic, doesn't it?) and giving away Jaguars. They perked up the minute they saw us. That's Spitbull. We're a portable party (also, a portable potty).

Hilarity ensued.

Mitch psycho-analyzed the appeal of lady-killing felons. Frater Saint Paul revealed how he booed Jay Benanav at a public meeting while wearing a clever disguise: a Wellstone t-shirt. Frater Elder regaled us with stories from Frater Atomizer's past and we all agreed his liver should be donated to science. The fetching Mrs. Elder admitted that she was getting awfully tired of all this blog blather. And she gets to hear it all again at tonight's Patriot Forum with Hugh Hewitt and Jason Lewis.

But she won't be hearing it from us.

Friday, October 01, 2004


I am sure all six regular readers of this blog (ah! but the readership trend is increasing exponentially and we have great hopes of reaching ten by year-end) will be shocked, shocked to hear we weren't at the official Northern Alliance + live-blogging debate-watching party.

Instead, Spitbull unwittingly followed HH's advice by watching the debate alone. Well, the Warrior Monk watched it alone. I watched it with the three year old who, while exerting no pressure on me to be right in my analysis, exerted pressure on me not to pay attention for an entire Q&A exchange by continually poking my face with her finger. So, my only impression was surprise that Kerry was able to get any clear positions across, given the kid-poking I was enduring and his previous tendency to spout rhetorical thickets when asked a simple question.

A post-debate confab with the Warrior Monk yielded the insight that the debate format, with its time limits and threat of buzzer embarrassment, helped force Kerry to be succinct. Wow! Maybe he ought to hire a guy with a timer and buzzer to accompany him in all his public appearances.

On the other hand, answering that the US is only entitled to make a preemptive strike to protect itself if it passes "the global test," while clear, may not be helpful to Kerry's political aspirations.