BY PHILLIPE & JORGE
Republicans with high hopes of finally defeating their arch-enemy, US
Representative Patrick Kennedy, in next year's congressional elections have
been feeling their oats, what with three candidates in the race and the much
ballyhooed softening of Patrick's poll numbers. But the "Political Scene"
column in the Other Paper of November 19 revealed that the two unknowns, Dave
Rogers and Mike Battles, seem to be falling into the same pattern of
self-destruction that has proved fatal to those who have taken on Patrick in
Rogers sent out a big fund-raising letter, broadly attacking Patrick by
loosely bandying about the "L" word and suggesting, by highlighting a few votes
that hardly qualify as anti-national defense, that he's weak on national
defense issues. Patrick had supported an amendment calling for full disclosure
of intelligence spending in administration defense budget requests. We're sure
that a lot of inquiring minds in America -- folks who aren't "anti-military,"
but who believe in reasonably open government -- would like to know to how much
money is being spent in this area.
Rogers's mailing also cites Kennedy's 1999 vote to eliminate funding for the
US School of the Americas in Georgia, the purported training ground for a
number of Latin American death squad members over the years. P&J think that
underwriting training for these thugs isn't exactly national defense issue
Numero Uno. Patrick's vote on the issue is more of a principled stand on
appropriate US behavior.
Trying to weasel out of responsibility for his gung-ho right-wing fund-raising
effort, Rogers explained to the Urinal that the letter was put together not by
him, but the Bruce W. Eberle & Associates consulting firm. Mr. Battles
pointed out that Eberle was accused during a congressional hearing in 1992 of
using false claims of POW sightings to garner contributions from veterans -- a
charge that led then-Senator John Ashcroft to dismiss Eberle as his
This sort of internal sniping is self-defeating for a couple of candidates who
need, more than anything, to get their stories out to stand a chance to beat
Kennedy. Meanwhile, Christine Ferguson, the former state human services head
ramrod -- who has a name and some legitimate political credentials -- can lay
back and focus on Patrick.
Of course, P&J's take is that none of this will matter in the end. Barring
the entry of any other name GOP candidates into the race, Ferguson should
easily triumph in the usual low-turnout Republican primary. But she'll still
have an uphill battle challenging Patrick once the preliminaries are out of the
way and people start focusing not on the titillating aspects of the Life of
Patrick, but on the job he's been doing in Congress. And this is why, despite
the naysayers, Kennedy will win.
In the interim, we really have to wonders about Rogers's explanation for the
Eberle letter. Does this mean that Bruce W. Eberle should be on the ballot
instead of Rogers? And did the moronic Rogers even have the sense to read the
letter before it was sent, just in case some graduate of Journalism 101 might
inquire about his comments?
Hey, just the kind of guy we want to see representing Vo Dilun in Congress,
wouldn't you agree? Dave, please go home now and save us all the
You've come a long way, baby
Isn't it wonderful to see Condoleezza Rice, Dubya's national security adviser,
being described as perhaps the most powerful woman in the world? It's a true
sign of gender equity to know that a gal like Queen Lotsateetha can be as
morally and ethically bankrupt as such unspeakable counterparts as Dick Cheney.
We wonder how often the queen chats with Biggus Dickusshead about his
congressional vote against a declaration asking the South African government to
free Nelson Mandela from Robben Island prison. Remember, folks, Neanderthals
came in both male and female versions. Thanks, Condee, for reminding us of this
Dumb Hollywood stuff
We can't tell you how much your superior correspondents loved the gossip column
item that claims Kim Basinger has been carrying on with Eminem.
Even for a woman who's lack of taste in men is well established (Alec Baldwin,
anyone?), this has got to be an all-time low. And how soon will it be before
the increasingly weird behavior of Mariah Carey spins completely out of
control? According to her Web site, she is promoting her latest (unlistenable)
CD by claiming that you'll be able to give your lungs such a workout by singing
along with her songs that you'll lose weight.
Of course, Mariah's own weight-loss methods are far more traditional, in a
show biz sense. She has her photographs airbrushed to make her appear thinner,
as well as a team of seamstresses to readjust her clothing from week to week.
This, of course, is Jorge's approved method of dealing with his weight
That'll fool 'em
Secure in the knowledge that the American public can be counted on to buy
almost anything, Philip Morris Company officials announced last week that
they're planning to rename their firm the "Altria Groups."
While Philip Morris offers more than just tobacco products (the company also
owns Kraft Foods and the Miller Brewing Company, among other things), the
corporate ramrods at PM have apparently become a bit squeamish about their
association with cigarettes. Gee, this couldn't have anything to do with the
fact that cigarettes are still their biggest money maker. The best policy still
seems to be to change nothing while indulging in a corporate makeover. After
Big Tobacco's long history of lying to the public, we'd expect nothing less.
Another Fellatio Alger story
Your superior correspondents always love to see media professionals embarrass
themselves (hell, we do it every week). So it's with great glee that we repeat
this mea culpa that ran in Jim Romenesko's MediaNews site,
www.poynter.org/medianews. It's from a note sent by a confused public relations
representative to a Washington Post reporter: "In my recent letter
regarding Generation Partners, I had referred to its managing partners as
having 'interesting Alger Hiss backgrounds.' I meant to say that they had
'Horatio Alger' backgrounds. So they can be characterized as rags-to-riches
types, not as highly placed diplomats acting as double agents for the Soviets.
A slight difference."
A few weeks back, Phillipe mentioned his shock and dismay upon hearing a radio
spot promoting Powerball that featured the unmistakable voice of the legendary
Ray Charles. Now comes word from a regular reader, Alane Spinney, that Mr.
Charles is also being handsomely remunerated to promote Powerball on both radio
and television in Wisconsin. Here, Ms. Spinney describes the television spot:
"[Mr. Charles] sings, `You don't have to play to win,' as the voice-over tells
the audience how much property tax relief the lottery has provided. The camera
pulls back to show Ray playing a piano shaped like the state of Wisconsin."
Spinney goes on, "Believe me, there isn't enough Pernod and grapefruit in the
world to cope with that ad. I don't have any Valium here at Casa Diabla West,
but I am seriously looking into some of those online Mexican pharmacies."
It's bad enough that the accomplished singer/guitarist John Pizzarelli is
constantly on the air, promoting Foxwoods with his strangely hypnotic "Let's
live for the wonder of it all" spots. Ray Charles, a national treasure, should
be way too cool (and too rich) to be hooked up with such hucksters as the
Kudos and congrats . . .
. . . to Myrth York, presumed gubernatorial candidate and Casa Diablo fave,
for doing something of real value for Vo Dilun. This is, of course, her
participation in a group that's willing to buy the troubled Newport Creamery
operation. And let's not hear any foolishness about this being an attempt to
curry favor. Peppermint Patty is a smart businesswoman and not unfamiliar with
the vagaries of the restaurant biz (she's behind Neath's, one of the Biggest
Little's class establishments). Awful Awful good for you, Myrth.
. . . to the Other Paper's Peter Lord and John Freidah, who were recently
named runners-up in the 2001 Casey Medals for Meritorious Journalism for
distinguished coverage of children and families in the US. They were cited for
their story "Poisoned," about how lead poisoning has affected numerous Vo Dilun
families. The Casey Medals are awarded by the Casey Journalism Center at the
University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism.
Send leftovers, wishbones, and Pulitzer-grade tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Issue Date: November 23 - 29, 2001