By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Photo by Matt OttoSome weeks ago, probably figuring I could sue for worker's comp if my liver turned into pâté, my tall and urbane editor very kindly let me leave the nightlife beat. "You're so smart and know so much stuff you read on the blogs," he said, noting my work habits of staring at my cherished blogs for seven straight hours a day, in between explosive bouts of Minesweeper, laughing maniacally and doing interpretive dances for my delighted colleagues. "You can be a pundit!"
And so I did. Oh, it was easy at first: an embarrassment of riches with ElPrezand Schwarzyand those things that they do. Naked pictures in the Sheriff's Department? That one's a gimme: even DanaParsonsand FrankMickadeitgot their licks in on that.
Get it? Licks?
But I wrote about other stuff, too, I think. Terri Schiavo, Tom DeLay, the dead pope . . . I have surfed the wave of current events like a freaking pro.I even made SocialSecurityfun!
Shut up! I did too!
But I am goddamned if I'm going to weigh in on the news this week and subject you to a column on the filibuster.
Still, what the hell are my options? A poignant "hippie's reminiscence of Earth Day"? Matt Coker's got that covered, and I didn't do anything for it anyway, and besides nobody cares about the environment anymore; the biggest recent flap is that the spanking-new food pyramid recommends for women and children fish that are considered toxic. Way to go, guys. (Oh, yeah, and the DepartmentofAgpaid some PR company—presumably not the one run by Armstrong Williams—$2.5 mill to design it.)
The energy crisis? Sorry, but I can't muster more than a sentence: if you're going to buy a car that hoovers like a prom queen, gas prices will continue to rise. What, are you retarded?
I guess that's two sentences, really. But any pundit who can get more mileage from the subject than that is truly getting paid by the word.
Get it? Mileage?
Shoot me now. May Day? I was in Surprise, Arizona, visiting my six-months-pregnant-with-twins sister, and Surprise is not a big gathering point for InternationalWorkersoftheWorldtypes having (or heaving) a cocktail for labor.
And Iraq? We're really not supposed to point out that it's kind of assover there; doing so forces right-minded folk to accuse us of wishing death and destruction on the United States. In fact, just this weekend, PatRobertsonsaid we won the war! Yay, us!
Or not, since Pat Robertson's crazy:that was in the same breath as his statement that, if he were president, he wouldn't appoint any Muslimjudges or Cabinet members. What was it the good Dr.Dobsonsaid on Justice Sunday? That Democrats were filibustering People of Faith? Our own RightReverendLouSheldonsaid he agrees about those nasty Muslims. In fact, let's go to the tape: "I tend to agree with Pat," Lou said, before diving into a pile of large-mustachioed men—possibly Never-Nudes, I don't know. You can always count on Lou for the good local nutjob angle—although, sadly, it turns out Lou's TraditionalValuesCoalitiondid notsay, following Laura Bush's racy standup routine at the White House Correspondents Dinner, that she needed, at a time when Mr. Bush's "manliness is already under attack," to take Ephesiansto heart and "submit yourselves unto your husbands, as unto the Lord." No, that was just Drudgegetting hoaxed. Whee!
But while we expect simplemindedness from our beloved Reverend Lou, what about Pat Robertson? He's got a law degree from Yale. You'd think they might have mentioned the EstablishmentClausenow and then. But then again, what do you expect from a ManofGodwho was business partners with one of the world's most murderous strongmen, Liberia's Charles Taylor? Remember him? Made Saddamlook like a crying little pussy boy? Hung the skulls of the people he'd killed along the roadsides? Yeah. Pat Robertson and he were in on goldmines together—and according to the pilots who flew the missions, what were supposed to be charitable drops paid for by "love offerings" from sweet 700Clubwidows were in fact shipments of mining equipment. It's why those same sweet widows paid for an airfield, too. But don't worry: it's not that Robertson was somehow duped, somehow didn't know who he was sleeping with—in fact, you should have seen the shit fit he threw when President Bushcalled on Taylor to step down. He said he had no right to insert himself into African politics or judge any murderous dictators (especially if the murderous dictator is a Baptist)—except maybe Saddam Hussein, I forget. Of course, you'd already know all this if you listened to Randi Rhodes. Good times.
Oh, and this weekend, Pat Robertson also said that "activist judges" taking sides with homos is the greatest threat our country's ever faced: greater than al-Qaeda, the Civil War, or that barrel of laughs Hitler.
Which circles us back to that fucking filibuster.
So. . . what's going on in Iraq?
Well, the Armymissed its recruiting goal in April, marking the third consecutive monthly shortfall. Former Army clerk LynndieEnglandpleaded guilty to abusing prisoners, while the guy who wrote the memo advising the White House on the legality of torture, Alberto Gonzales, got promoted to Attorney General. A whole bunch of people got killed again. And here's just a very small snippet from a letter the indispensable Michigan Congressman JohnConyerssent to the WhiteHousethis week: "British Foreign Secretary JackStrawacknowledged that the case for war was 'thin' as 'Saddam was not threatening his neighbors and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea, or Iran.'" Also, it seems the LondonTimesgot a hold of some meeting minutes for TonyBlairfrom 2002 saying the case for war needed to be ginned up—and that in the U.S."intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." Tony Blair is standing for re-election this week following what looks to be illegal involvement in a terribly unpopular war: Do you think Dieboldwill make sure he wins Ohio?