Inauguration for a Parallel Universe

I’ve formatted today’s photo in an appropriately somber manner.

Somehow I find Dubya’s parallel universe inauguration speech, as described in The Onion, much more plausible than the one he actually gave. (It’s more truthful and it makes a lot more sense.)

The poor lost soul. His speech was no more than a rehash of his empty-rhetoric-filled stump speech. And, in this writer’s estimation, he didn’t make a passing attempt to inspire the nation, to reconcile differences among the electorate, to acknowledge in any way the strange way in which he came to power, or even to recognize his inauguration as a moment in history.

But, then again, why should he? The truth is that he had things all sewn up with brother Jeb and the Supremes. So why should he feel any obligation to the majority of Americans who didn’t vote for him? He had his right-wing crony, ‘Justice’ Wm. Rehnquist, there to swear him in, so why bother? And shame on the press for failing to pick up on this irony.

At the inaugural balls tonight, I expect that First Lady Laura will show us tonight that she is to fashion what George W. is to politics. I suppose I shouldn’t slam her too badly; she at least claims to support a woman’s right to choose. Ah, what the heck, I’ll slam her anyway — she’s foolish enough to have married Mr. Roboto.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll be in a less cantankerous mood. Or maybe after four years of conservative compassionism.

Lying Sack of Shit Alert

Under grilling from Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Attorney General designate John Ashcroft denied that the fact that sexual orientation had anything to do with his preventing a 1997 senate hearing which would have confirmed James Hormel as Ambassador to Luxembourg. Hormel, who is openly gay, was highly regarded as an ideal nomination by virtually everyone, with the exception of Ashcroft’s co-conspirator, Jesse Helms. Helms managed to hop off his Li’l Rascal just long enough to help contaminate this process. The two wielded their power in order to refuse to allow the nomination come to a vote on the floor of the Senate. At the time, the only reason they gave was that Hormel was gay and that he was therefore not qualified to represent U.S. interests in Luxembourg.

However, when questioned today about this nomination, Ashcroft first said “I don’t believe I put a hold on Mr. Hormel’s nomination.” Then, he repeatedly stammered that his decision to deny this hearing had to do with “the totality of [Hormel’s] record.” Sadly, neither Leahy nor any of the other Senators on the committee pressed Ashcroft any further about what in Hormel’s record, if not the fact that he was gay, would have disqualified him. It is doubtful that Ashcroft could have named any one thing that was objectionable in Hormel’s record, who by all other accounts was pretty much above reproach.(Ultimately, Pres. Clinton did an end run around this travesty and appointed Hormel ambassador while the Senate was in recess.)

You can see the transcript of the hearing in the Washington Post.

P.S. I’ve been threatening for years to dance in the street when Jesse Helms takes his dirt nap. And my dance card is filled to capacity. Will someone please cue up Martha Reeves and the Vandellas?


Fusion of Church and State

Ahh, yes. America. We’re in the midst of hearings about John Ashcroft, who has used a distinctly partisan approach for his entire 25+ year political career, as Governor, State Attorney General, and Senator. And now, for some reason, we (through our senators) are being called upon to be non-partisan in approving him as Attorney General.

It’s so obvious that his nomination is payback for the millions of dollars that the right-wing Republicans dumped into Dubya’s campaign coffers. It’s also obvious that the nomination is not only an intentional slap in the face to Democrats who regained a Senate seat through Ashcroft’s loss in the Missouri race, but also a balm to assuage the humiliation career-politician Ashcroft felt in losing that race to a dead man.

So much for non-partisanship. Three cheers to Sen. Barbara Boxer and Sen. Charles Schumer, among others, for being outspoken enough to challenge this ill-conceived nomination.

Countdown to Excrement

It’s only 5 days until America’s first illegitimate president gets inaugurated. It’s hard to believe it could actually come to this. I’m looking forward to the results of the joint effort of the New York Times and the Miami Herald in recounting the votes to see who was truly rightfully elected.

Of course, here’s what we can expect the right wing to say, if it turns out that Gore would have prevailed had the true vote count gone forward: “We have an electoral process and we followed it. A president is elected by that process, not by the New York Times.” Never mind that the process was subverted at every step of the way by an entrenched Republican machine in Florida, including the complete participation of the seemingly-inflappable Katherine Harris and the President-Select’s own brother. What makes it more heinous is that they’re completely unapologetic about it; they didn’t even make a passing attempt to avoid the appearance of evil. And most of America seems to be willing to go along with it. What’s wrong with this picture?

And while we’re on the subject of the inauguration, what’s the deal with Ricky Martin performing? As I see it, there are two possible scenarios. The first scenario is that he supports Bush and all that he stands for and is going ahead with his performance as an endorsement of that. The second scenario is that he is apathetic and apolitical and doesn’t have any convictions and therefore he doesn’t see anything wrong with performing.

(On some level, however, I am secretly looking forward to watching those Republicans try to groove to Ricky’s music. Are you old enough to recall Lee Atwater and Dubya’s father “gettin’ down” at daddy’s inauguration? I wish I had it on video. I’d keep it in my poison control kit for those times when first aid measures call for inducing vomiting.)

One last question about Laura Bush. Does She-Bang?

Hey, Norton!

As part of Scary Right-Wing Bitches week, let me respectfully remind you to write your senators to request that they object loudly to George W.’s nomination of former Colorado State Attorney General Gale Norton for the post of Secretary of the Interior. (You can find out how to contact your senators on

Many environmental organizations, including The Sierra Club, have been objecting to her on her environmental record, which in and of itself should be enough to disqualify her from being the chief steward of our natural resources. But don’t forget (or perhaps you didn’t know) that, early in her term as State Attorney General, Ms. Norton was one of the driving forces behind Colorado’s now-overturned Amendment 2, the legislation attempted prohibited individual communities from passing any non-discrimination laws for gays and lesbians. Do we really need this kind of hate-monger in office?

The ABC’s of Right-Wing Bitches

This must be the week for right-wing bitches to attempt redemption on national television. In a segment I’ve been referring to as the “Interview with the Vampire,” ABC’s PrimeTime Thursday features Katherine Harris, Florida’s Secretary of State and heir-apparent to the hair stylist, orange-juice fortune, and ideology of Anita Bryant, shows her mascara-laden self in an effort of self-justification.

Then, if the Katherine Harris appearance doesn’t inspire you to pledge never again to change your channel from the Cartoon Network, 20/20 — also on ABC — features the ever-vile but always jokeworthy Linda Tripp, replete with makeover. While her new hairstyle and facelift might make her an appropriate guest for Ricki Lake or Jenny Jones, it’s not exactly enough of a news story for a newsmagazine show. (Unfortunately, this subhuman horror hasn’t had a soul makeover, which would perhaps be a start at true redemption.)

Do these two think they’re going to change anybody’s opinions of them by these appearances? Or are they just so media-hungry that they haven’t even figured out why they’re going public? Maybe someday I’ll understand.