Sightings.... on the Diplomatic Front: Well you've got to admire the Administration for its diplomatic innovation, at least. While most of us were scratching our head over the idea of Bosnia Talks in Ohio -- "make peace... or you have to stay here", turns out there was an ace up the sleeve on this one. We have it on good authority that the talks were held at Wright Patterson Air force base, "So that when the going gets tough, the tough get goin' straight down to Hangar 18. "We make 'em look at them dead aliens until their diplomatic butts bruise."
The question on America's mind finally has an answer: "Yes, Colin Powell will have the most lucrative political book tour of 1995." As the crew in the White House breathes a little easier, word is circulating that the signs of life in the Buchanan candidacy has given birth to a fantasy Clinton slogan for a Clinton-Buchanan race: "Sometimes you feel like a nut... and sometimes you don't."
Yeah... but Dornan and Buchanan want to count the rings! The sniping on the Republican campaign trail is starting to take its toll. Just yesterday, Richard Lugar (campaign slogan: "Who?") remarked, "Bob Dole's maybe a bit too old to be running for President, from what I hear, he's so old he can even remember when Mark Russell was funny." Dole characteristically shot back, "Goes to show what you know... hell, I'm old enough to remember that Mark Russell never was funny."
"How to Try in Politics Without Really
Over the last several months, California Governor Pete Wilson:
His Reward? This morning Wilson was introduced as the new General Manager of the Bob Dole campaign, and state President of the Dole California campaign. Sen. Phil Gramm, who has lately been an outspoken detractor of rival Dole, demurred: "I'm not going to second-guess Bob Dole on this one. let's just say Wilson's the man I would have chosen... for Dole's campaign."
"Frightfully Fun?"...With the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations coming up next week, a Halloween theme is in order to brighten up the festivities. Having realized this, UN officials decided they needed something scary but relatively harmless... Fidel Castro. Past his prime, the token left over communist still has the power of a Boris Karloff to spook the American Right Wing. Getting into the spirit of the holiday, Bob Dole announced that if President, HE wouldn't have given Castro a visa to speak at the UN. Asked whether the U.S. could be home to an international organization for conflict resolution if it only let in leaders it liked, Dole said the UN is, "Woo, scary.... very scary... just a bunch of Third World troublemakers popping up on our doorstep at the end of every October asking for sweet hand-outs."
"Last Chance for OJ Material?" ...With closing arguments at hand, it's time for one last OJ bender... or is it? Word came from the Simpson camp that they were applying to trademark, among other things, the initials "O.J." Public opinion was outraged that on the eve of possible conviction for murdering his ex-wife, OJ would attempt to cash in on his noteriety. Right, like Judge Ito won't be on Letterman and Kato's talk show the night after the trial. Hell, even Mark Furhman would trademark "the N word" -- that is, if he could spell it. Anyway, expect high drama, the usual hyperbole and a no-holds-barred battle in the closing statements. The defense team is expected to tell the jury they'll be brought back and sequestered for the retrial, since everyone else not in a coma in the country has seen too much media coverage. While it's widely and cynically expected that OJ will have bought himself out of a murder rap with his gold-plated army of lawyers, in OJ's inner circle they're reportedly not so confident. However, with every weird-ass theory already raised in the first trial, insiders are reportedly scratching theirs heads over possible grounds for a retrial. How bad is it? Well, don't be surprised if OJ appeals on the grounds that his lawyers told him that Justice was blind -- no: really blind.
"Can you say, 'Oxymoron'?" The Senate Ethics Committee announced that it will not be investigating allegations in the Packwood diaries that implicate Presidential Wannabee Phil Gramm in campaign financing violations. The diary states that Gramm funnelled an illegal $100,000 to Packwood's re-election campaign. Packwood himself now says that the diary is "just wrong." The Senate Ethics Chair was quoted as saying, "No, we're not going after Phil Gramm. "Look, if Bob Packwood says that he's a liar, his word's good enough for me."
"Brother, can you lend me a Clue?" For a while there it was looking like former L.A.P.D. Detective Mark Fuhrman would be the only major figure incapable of cashing in on his O.J. trial-related noteriety. However, the latest word is that Fuhrman's got an agent and he's being pitched to small dinner theatres for a dual role of Scarecrow / Tin Woodsman (no brain, no heart) in productions of "The Wizard of Oz."
And they say only nice guys don't win..... The owners of the Seattle Mariners are asking Seattle area voters to approve hundreds of millions in a tax increase to build a new stadium for the team. Without the tax dollars and the new stadium, the owners vow they will be forced to relocate the Mariners. The ballot proposal would fund a stadium with a retractable roof, and other state-of-the-art features such as retractable promises to remain in town. The advocates for the new stadium point out that the tax increase would cost the average Seattle resident less than the cost of a couple King Dogs a month, with the added health benefit that no one would have to eat the King Dogs..
The following appears unretouched from the Vancouver, WA 8/9/95 "Daily Columbian", which has a rather, uh, unique take on Jerry Garcia's legacy. (Note, also the the juxtaposition of the photo caption with the line from the article directly below it...)
The artist formerly known as Prince will be performing the national anthem of the nation formerly known as the Land of Opportunity... Tired of racism and discrimination? Move to California where Gov. Pete Wilson and the Univ. of California believe that these are just bad memories. In decrying Affirmative Action, Gov. Wilson announced that without Affirmative Action, the University would achieve "natural diversity." Apparently in New Right politics, affirmative action is just another pesky Artificial Ingredient, and ole Pete's sellin' us public policy 100% affirmative action free and pure as Snapple. Somebody ought to remind him that bigotry, like toadstools, is 100% "natural."
Kicking a Bad Habitat... The Clinton Administration -- facing Republican pressure for the extinction of the Endangered Species Act -- has announced a unique new approach to save endangered Coho salmon. Attacked for a supposed lack of flexibility, the new approach will allow for differing approaches to protecting the salmon in California, Oregon, and Washington. In California and Oregon, efforts will focus on maintaining salmon habtitats. In Washington, home of ESA critic Sen. Slade Gorton, efforts will focus on preserving coho salmon in 6 oz. and 1 lb. cans....
Only 500 Media Days Until the Presidential Election... A new CNN/Time poll released today shows Clinton with a tepid 52% approval rating. With all the power and perks the President has to pass around, a lot of people really don't like the guy. Truth is: they never have and probably never will. But before the challengers get too excited, the same poll also showed Bob Dole at 42% approval and Newt Gingrich cleaning up with a whopping 25% approval rating. The pundits will have a field day interpreting these results, but the plain truth is that Americans just don't like politicians. Reagan understood it... and it seldom as much as disturbed a nap in his two terms. Carter understood it at first, but once elected he decided to try and be a Good Politician, talking about human rights and attempting hands-on control of the Presidency. Carter drove the country into short-term inflation and was excoriated as the worst President in history; Reagan slept through a $2 trillion increase in the federal debt without a single effective counter- action and became one of the most popular politicians in memory.
Clinton's apparent strategy has been to make ALL his mistakes in his first term, so he can concentrate on governing after the '96 elections. Strangely enough, at this point the polls may be validating Clinton's actions...
'96 Campaign Mini-Snit Watch: Bob Dole's broadside against the evils of (non-Republican) Hollywood and media was entertaining in and of itself. We shouldn't be worried that Dole is going to shut down gangster rap or bring back the Hayes Commission. Instead we should be concerned that if the Republicans eventually do succeed in passing term limits, a lot of Big Name pols will be looking for other lines of work. Was this the first shot across the bow for an eventual Siskel and Dole pairing? Actually, having served as Minority Leader for so many years, Dole has an enormous amount of experience criticizing other people's work while producing nothing himself.
Even more frightening is the Republicans track record for exploiting technologies they seem barely able to understand. Even while there's a frantic, largely uninformed backlash against the evils of the Internet, it's important to remember that the Republicans financed much of their Reagan dynasty of the 80's through pioneering use of computerized direct mail fund raising.
So perhaps we should be looking not at Dole's morbid interest in 2 Live Crew's career, but rather to how he and his pals will apply what they learn from examining Hollywood's way of business. How might they leverage this into ever-more cash to feed the '96 Campaign Machine?
My inside sources say that the Republicans are fascinated by the interlocking promotions and products that comprise the big Hollywood projects like "Casper" and "Pocohontas". A secret White Paper on long-term strategies for growing the base of Republican voters reportedly includes '96 campaign tie ins with toy companies and fast food restaurants. Don't be surpised if you start to see ads for the Phil Gramm Happy Meal or the Newt Gingrich New Full Meal Deal.
While George Bush failed the Republicans when he appeared SO terminally un-hip when he finally made it onto MTV in '92, look for a better showing in '96. It's generally thought that Clinton has sewn-up his MTV relationship, but Pete Wilson and Al Gore are duking it out for appearances on "The Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers" and Pat Buchanan reportedly has a deal to return to his old "Crossfire" role -- but this time on an animated Saturday morning version on Fox. I love politics....
Kissin' Cousins? Can a President from Arkansas find happiness with a Speaker of the House from Georgia? After their chummy and cooperative New Hampshire media event, some are wondering whether the Newt 'n Bill Show could become politics' answer to that Taster's Choice couple in the commercials?
The Newt 'n Bill Show in Absurdly Mixed Metaphorland Newt says he's not running for President, he just wants to visit New Hampshire to see a moose (and they say Clinton lies...) Anyway, people will have a chance to decide on Sunday with the Battle of the Silver Foxes in front of Senior Center audience. A year before anyone's gonna be nominated, already the soundtrack's being recorded for the Disney-sponsored election, "The Lyin' King."
Bosnia Smosnia...We Got a Nation to Govern: Following the shoot-down of a US F16 over Bosnia, a serious President Clinton informed reporters that the Clinton Administration's has not changed course in Bosnia. Of course, what that means that the strategy on Bosnia is the same as the Bush Administration: "We don't know what the hell we're doing! But, hey: we're definite about it."
Talk about Dire Straits.... MTV has announced its fall schedule. Missing from the line-up is the controversial -- and somewhat tasteless -- Beavis and Butthead (as reported here earlier, B&B are taking their show on the road to seek the Republican Presidential nomination.) Not to worry that MTV is losing its edge, though. The regular B&B slot will be filled by a unique new public affairs program, "Jack Kevorkian Unplugged". The show will feature Dr. Kevorkian performing his special brand of medical magic on the terminally over-exposed media figures. Viewers will be able to participate interactively via a 900 number to vote for the guest most deserving of the full treatment.
Yeah, right... Showing its intense concern with its customers' well-being, Phillip-Morris has announced its intent to recall more than 8 billion cigarettes because they have a flaw which could be harmful to the health of smokers. "It's a contamination in the filter material," according to the company's spokesperson. "It could cause lung irritation, maybe coughing -- nothing really to worry about... not like it's going to cause cancer or something."
Feel the Excitement!: Organizers of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics yesterday announced that the "Psycho Jumping the White House Wall" will be an official Demonstration Event at the 1996 games. This is expected to have great synergy with the 1996 Presidential campaign in full swing at the same time.
At least it Wasn't Keith Richards for Budweiser (forget the Surgeon General warnings, that's truth in advertising)... Melissa Etheridge began her latest tour last night in (of all places) the Sundome in our former residence: Yakima, Washington. On hand for the festivities were SLUG TALES party animals MariaMH@msn.com and myself, Roger Locust Amherst III. Awesome show, tarnished only by the news that Ms. Etheridge will soon compromise her artistic integrity with a commercial contract for a pet food company. Not only will she appear in the spots, but they will appropriate the title song of her CD, retitled, "Yes, Iams."
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