The Good, the Bad and the Osprey

Jim goes bi-polar

Would that all were so splendid. Isn't it bad how good Republicans are at righteous indignation? Yes, Bill Clinton is a sleaze; yes, Marc Rich is a bad man for dealing with our sworn enemy, the Ayatollah. And since the Republicans are looking for ways to somehow impeach Clinton yet again, I'm sure it's just an oversight that Representatives Dan Burton and Bob Barr haven't yet retroactively brought treason charges against Ronald Reagan and George Bush for selling missiles to the same ol' Ayatollah.

Are these guys crazy? Don't think so: while they're caterwauling and leading the media by the nose, George W. Bush is able to further his agenda without scrutiny. Marc Rich is perhaps guilty of ripping some people off years ago. Meanwhile, Bush's decision to cut off funds to international family-planning organizations that use other funds to inform persons of their abortion options means poor nations will have yet more overpopulation and HIV infections. Maybe he's counting on the two canceling each other out. Also going unquestioned is Bush's Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson calling for a "safety review" of the RU-486 pill despite its safe use in Europe for more than a decade.

Or how about Bush's intent to gut the pending bipartisan patients' "bill of rights"? How about his plans to reverse sensible labor rules about considering a company's labor and environmental records when awarding government contracts, or reversing efforts to protect workers from repetitive stress injuries? How about his hypocrisy in suggesting he may compel airline mechanics not to strike because it might "threaten the economy" yet feeling no such compulsion to keep the big electricity conglomerates—one of which is run by Bush friend Kenneth Lay—from shutting off our lights?

How about his intent to bugger the First Amendment by dispensing government monies to "faith-based" organizations, or his tax plan that threatens to run up the deficit again while further increasing the gap between rich and poor?

Even if I'm dead wrong in my assessment of each of these issues, aren't they the ones that should be benefiting from national scrutiny right now, not whether Bill Clinton pulled another turd out of his hat? Grrr.

On the other hand, the Anaheim House of Blues may not be such a bad thing. Along with bringing in the mega-funky George Clinton this Saturday (and, hey, did you see that sizzling Jill Scott show at the Sun Theatre on Valentine's Day?), the club—already being referred to by many as the Mouse of Blues—has been presenting roots music nights with local masters such as James Intveld and Chris Gaffney. While the music can be a tough sell locally—note the recent folding of the Abilene Rose—the House of Blues has a built-in audience of people from the surrounding "resort" hotels who will flock to the club no matter who is appearing. Excellence finds an audience! Who'da thunk it?

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