2001: A Dimwit Odyssey

Your Exclusive Stinque Seven-Day Forecast will not be seen tonight, so that we may bring you this Stinque special.


So: our long national nightmare is almost over. Thus: let us review the Bush administration, year by year. Please add your thoughts and observations. And then, let us never speak of it again.

His inaugural motorcade was pelted with eggs — an indignity that Gilded Age performers endured.  The next day: his very first gag order. Michael Brown came to Washington, a submariner piloted his boat into a Japanese fishing vessel, and a spy plane commander collided with a Chinese air force jet.  None of the three knew what the fuck was going on. The Presidential Daily Briefs sent to Crawford were barely read, and the stem cell “research” speech given from there was sophomoric.

And then: September 11 came. Deer, meet headlights. But most people went right along with everything he wanted, as if the first eight months told them absolutely nothing. Seriously, people — there was more foreshadowing than a Bronte novel.


I am proud that I was at that first coronation inauguration to yell “Thief” at him as he whizzed by looking terrified. That is the only part of the official record of the last eight years I choose to remember. Thank God, given the state of the short-term memory, the whole period will pretty soon be gone in its entirety.

@Benedick: Dubya is easily forgotten, but his Works shall be forever with us.

One of the better legacies of the Bush presidency: I became politically aware. Oy gewalt. What a time to become politically aware.

2002: The year we were in his first recession; I graduated from college into a shitty job market and got a reporter’s job making $22 K. He takes his Iraq dog and pony show to the UN; the long-term relationship in which the ex incurred a lot of debt in my name ends. Tom Ridge introduces the color-coded terror alert system, which has spawned many a decent mocking therein, especially that of our dear Princess Sparkle Pony; he signs SarbOx into law, ensuring that in the wake of Enron, never again would top companies’ corporate shenanigans ever, ever screw over ordinary Americans.

@IanJ: Probably beats Vietnam/Watergate, which were my coming-of-age issues. LBJ-McNamara-Nixon-Kissinger set a high standard, but Bush-Cheney tops them.

What’s really fascinating to me is that Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda had very specific goals in mind, and they’ve been totally victorious:

1) Draw the United States into unwinnable wars that would inflame anti-American anger around the world.


2) The total removal of infidel forces from their holy land of Saudi Arabia.


3) The total bankruptcy of the United States (due in large part to massive, fraudulent overspending on the military), leading to a Soviet-style collapse.

Check, check and check.

Bonus: We’ve also shown the world that our military is incapable of producing a victory, even though we spend more on the military than everyone else in the world combined. 100% fail rate since WW numero dos.

Caligutard and Darth Cheney couldn’t have been a more smashing success for OBL, than if they are in fact Al Qaeda sleeper agents. The champers must be flowing in a cave somewhere in Pakistan.

We’ll never hear about this in the establishment nooze though. Some form of social hysteria and intense denial seems to prevent facts from entering the American consciousness. Guess it’d be rude for them to mention it.

@Original Andrew: Couldn’t agree more.

Oh, and I doubt it’s a cave. I suspect a villa with views, pools, servants, and all the nan you can eat.

@Original Andrew: Bill Maher’s not my favorite dude — he panders left the way Dennis Miller panders right — but recall how he was shut down soon after 9/11 for pointing out that ramming a jet into a building isn’t exactly the most cowardly thing that can be conceived.

But it’s not just social hysteria and intense denial — that was (and is) certainly present, but it takes organized neocon cheerleading to seal the deal. Too many people saw too many advantages in hysteria to let it lapse.


The crucial difference is that Bill Maher is often funny. Dennis Miller and other rightwingtards? Never funny.

rptrcub: Actually, 2002 is the subject of tomorrow’s segment. And you will be happy to know that Georgia plays a role in the story. And by “happy,” I mean “sad.”

Original Andrew: Dennis Miller was kind of funny during his SNL / Weekend Update days. Then he went ’round the bend.

Meanwhile: oh hai, the Timothy Plan is back, advertising on Stinque their mutual funds investing in companies where tolerance for the gheys is not permitted. (Except where it is, per my investigations.) This requires drastic action.

[clears throat]

Sex is so much fun, particularly when done with lots of lube, with lots of people (none of whom are in the bonds of marriage), and with lots of Christian kindergartners being forced to watch. Thrusting and writhing, sucking and fucking in orgasmic joy, sexual organs flying about in all directions, free from the restraint of holy texts, the male-female tradition, cultural norms and pregnancy — that is the way sex should be.

There. Did that take care of the Google ad? Srsly: go away, Timothy Fund. And don’t come back.

(We could move this towards a discussion of the zenith of the religious right movement, which happened in these early years of Dubya’s reign. Or not.)

@chicago bureau: We may need to bring in FCS to completely exorcise them.

@chicago bureau: I read something somewhere — must have been the New Yorker’s Barney Frank profile — that Tip O’Neill didn’t grasp how America could change, that coming out was the end of any Speaker hopes for Barney.

But Tip was right: America doesn’t change. All that happens is that an older generation of assholes dies out. So your Zenith needs to be timed to a moment when Falwell’s still throwing feces.

So, there’s no liveblogging of GG red carpet?

@Jamie Sommers: I can liveblog the Tom Goes to the Mayor DVD, but I don’t think it would work very well.

@Jamie Sommers: It’s not live out west. I think Cynica and I are the only ones interested, even the gheyz (except Benedick) seem more interested in NFL.

@Jamie Sommers: Thanks to the discrimination against west coast viewers, I can’t see it yet or I’d be all over it. From the pictures posted on E! so far, I’d have to say “meh” overall, with a “yes, your butt looks big in that dress” to Debra Messing and a “wtf were you thinking” to Maggie Gyllenhall.

@SanFranLefty: Mmmm… Zach Quinto’s looking pretty hawt right about now.

@chicago bureau: Oops. My bad.

Someone please shoot the Jonas Brothers. Please.

@rptrcub: You know at least one of them has got to have teh ghey. Simple statistics, really.

Eff this ess. I forgot how boring the Golden Globes are. I’m going to watch “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” instead.

Remember my homeboy Kirk Ellis and “John Adams” at the Globes. (Mrs RML is getting an autographed John Adams box set for her birthday tonight. Went to see Ellis earlier this week before he split for LA.)

@SanFranLefty: Three is cutting it close. You need a clutch of Osmonds to stand a fighting chance.

@redmanlaw: I am jealous of the missus. Remind her to crank the theme music to 11.

@SanFranLefty: I got my testosterone up so high with f’ball that I am just making repeated references to “nice globes” as the wife points out the stars and starlets. By tomorrow I should be able to actually use my brain.

Oh, but I loved that Adams series; Ms. RML is a lucky gal. Ooh, nice globes on Laura Linney!

The last 8 years were surreal to me. I have a hard time believing an entire culture can go insane, but it did. The US was insane, and I was not, and I could not believe that this was happening.

I quit practicing law when Bush was elected. The night the Supreme Court announced its coup, I was struck, when I read the decision, I was for the very first time I completely and totally lost all faith in the legal system. I had always accepted the flaws and even corruption as inevitable, what with people being human and flawed, but that the system as a whole was a striving for justice, a final goal that is impossible to fully achieve. But I thought it was worthwhile to be involved in the impossible attempt to achieve justice. But the Supreme Court’s blatantly lawless shit so completely disenchanted me, I walked away and took a job installing satellite dishes for DirecTV. It was fun till it got cold. I quit and went to work selling yachts. Love boats, hate selling. Volunteered to work for a for a state legislative campaign, working for a friend of mine. He lost by 400 votes. That got me a job working on Rush Holt’s campaign, he restored my faith in politicians. Went back to grad school for a public policy degree, and that got me where I am now, comfortable, not overworked, unfulfilled. But this whole midlife crisis toook place during a period of complete insanity. Every day’s news made me insane with rage and frustration. I developed my nightly martini ritual. I took up modern mental health care so I could get drugs that would allow me to get through the day without string-cursing and throwing things.

But now, we have thrown the fuckers out, Bush’s name is mud, but before he left, he fucked the whole world, there is a depression going on, they will announce it when its over, in 2015 or whenever, but it will totally fuck any hopes we have had that Hopey can do anything to change anything. Bush won. He trashed the country and the economy before he left.

@SanFranLefty: Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
@nabisco: Whats with all the home teams losing? The general rule is that you come out ahead in your betting if you ignore everything else and just bet on home teams. And an even better lock was betting on northern outdoor home teams against warm-weather teams. I guess Pittsburgh finally went with the rules today.

@Promnight: Eight years ago I was living large as an expat/diplomat in the far east, with a new child and a far horizon. I have on video the moment He was sworn in and I said to the camera (for my son), “I’m not sure how I’ll make this up to you”. The towers fell and the next day I met Angelina Jolie, we invaded Iraq and I went to South Korea to defend Chinese and North Korean refugees. When Katrina hit and Nero fiddled I thought I could do more here than abroad what with all that time spent getting other poor saps out of the rain and line of fire, so I brought my multiculti brood here to the states and I’m still not sure how I feel about that. Well, at least we have Hope – and football..

@Promnight: Pittsburgh broke all the friggin rules today: the Bolts only had one snap in the whole third quarter, fer chrissakes.

Finally watching the Golden Globes on tape delay. I lurve Kate Winslet’s dress (and she’s so fabulous and I heart her so much and is it just me or is she morphing into Emma Thompson – not that I mind – as she ages) and the Blake chick from Gossip Girl looked like shit.

Sting has a big brown beard. WTF?

And why isn’t Katie Holmes w/ Tom Cruise?

@SanFranLefty: Sting jumped the shark when it was still just a dolphin.

Wait till you see Selma Hayek; or Susan Sarandon, who just redefines class and beauty.

For your consideration: Susan Freaking Sarandon. I am fully aware of her age, but her get-up makes me so believe in the Church of Baseball.

@Promnight: And although you harsh my mellow, the last 8 years have been a blur. The cashier at Trader Joe’s today told me that I had a great driver’s license photo. I realized it was taken in the summer of 2000, when I was skinnier and happier and it was the waning days of the Clinton Administration. I should scan the photo for FB, I looked so damn happy and innocent.

And then it was November 2000, and I was screaming “FUCKING MOTHER FUCKERS” in a hallway of my law school (that’s how I met the famous dean of my law school that night as a 1L) as Florida was suddenly not called for Bush and our viewing party at the law school was suddenly not so fun. And then it was Summer 2001 and I freaked out as I watched human rights and reproductive rights get pulled back day after day and nobody noticed. And then on an early (for California) September morning, my roommates and I were woken up by our house phone (who has house phones in 2009 and not just 3 cell phones? this so shows it was 8 years ago) ringing and a dear friend in Pennsylvania screaming on top of his lungs ” [SFL] OH MY FUCKING GAWD TURN ON YOUR TEEVEE NEW YORK CITY WORLD TRADE CENTER [click off]” and my sleepy eyed roommates and our S.O.s (who all picked up the house phone at the same time in our bedrooms and heard the same greeting) dragging out to our living room in Silicon Valley California and turning on the TeeVee at 6 am pacific time and feeling like we were on another planet, and not moving from the living room for the next 7 hours except to let the dogs out to pee and to go vomit in the bathroom.

so that was 2000-01 for me.

@nabisco: Mr. SFL and I are watching Salma Hayek right now and are arguing over which of us gets to have sex with her first. She is so fucking hot. And her breasts! Oy!

Kate Winslet in The Reader for best supporting actress. Yes! Fabulous. And the dress is even more beautiful from the far-out shots. And girlfriend has meat on those bones, which makes her even sexier.


[Cynica? TommCatt? OA? Anyone? Am I live (from the West Coast) blogging the Golden Globes alone? ]

ADD: 4 posts from me in a row. Answer is yes I am alone.

@SanFranLefty: I am watching, and watched the red carpet. Salma, yes, Penelope, even better.

@SanFranLefty: Who was that skinny person who just beat out Emma Thompson and Meryl Streep?

Yay, John Adams. Mrs RML loved her present. I am now totally wrung out after shopping for dinner, rescuing a 6th grade project on the Qin Dynasty and supervising the making a Chinese sword out of foamcore (always have some lying around), throwing together rib eys, grilled veggies, and rice for six with a late guest,trying to get the living room fire lit and going, and making the error of sitting down after dinner with a glass of Texas cab/shiraz when I should have been putting out the cake and ice cream and not finding the candles, but all was forgiven once she saw the present. I’m ready to weep into my martini in a hot bath after the delayed broadcast Globez are over. That Slumdog Millionaire chick looks a lot like a Mexicana friend of ours.

@Dodgerblue: Someone who would not shut the fuck up, and so needed to eat a sammwich, and made me mad that Emma didn’t win. Because of course Emma is the bomb.

Oh, someone named Sally Hawkins, for a Mike Leigh movie I never heard of (“Happy Go Lucky”) and I think opened at one theater on 1/30/08 to qualify for awards.

@redmanlaw: I have the John Adams series on Netflix queue. Can’t wait to watch it. Happy Birthday to Mrs. RML!

@SanFranLefty: I need to see John Adams also.

What’s with Maggie G’s dress? Does that thing on her shoulder carry her purse in it?

Fuck. Missed the first hour of 24, and thus, the first kneecapping.

@Dodgerblue: Wow, did you say that or was that Mrs. DB’s (or one of the DB Jrs daughters) comment to you transmitted to me? So fashion forward of you, I’m impressed. Oh and I agree re Maggie G’s shoulder thing.

I can’t decide if I like Tina Fey’s dress. I love her but I think the dress is kind of fugly around the neck but Mr. SFL says I’m being hyper-critical and she looks hot and intellectual like me (ahh, sweet). But consult the female DBs to see if they agree with me or him re the dress.

@SanFranLefty: Most horrifying fashion moment: Demi Moore in a dress through which you could see her nipples. I felt so bad for her daughter. Wasn’t Emma wonderful to the girl who won? So sweet.
@Dodgerblue: Maggie G is a fashion disaster. It’s not even fun to mock her anymore. Also, does she have scoliosis, oris she simply incapable of not slouching?

@Dodgerblue: To quote Gob Bluth, “I’ve made a huge mistake.” Jenna Fischer had on a nice floral number which illustrated that, yes, you can wear something other than a solid, but blue leopard print? Bitch, please.

Oh dear god, is Renee Z wearing a costume from a Tim Burton film. Oh the hideousness…

@nojo: Don’t forget there’s a fourth one, aka “Bonus Jonas.” I am deeply embarrassed to know that.

@SanFranLefty: Fey’s dress is fine, not wow but not horrible. Her acceptance speech? Priceless.

@Mistress Cynica: Cute, smart, funny, political — the dress is a bonus.

There seems to be a lot of off the shoulder action tonight. Is that in style now?

@Mistress Cynica: She rounds out my list of top five fashion disasters. The other four are Heidi (no surprise there, really), Maggie (as previously noted by, well, everyone), and Beyonce and Angelina (different dresses, same offense; we get it, you’re hot, but you really don’t need a slit cut to an inch below your naughty bits).

Dustin Hoffman story. When my older daughter was born, in 1984, I found myself looking into the newborn nursery at Santa Monica Hospital, shoulder to shoulder with him. Three years pass, and my younger daughter is born, same hospital, same window to the nursery, and next to me is — Dustin.

God DAMN Penelope Cruz is hawt. As is Emma Thompson, and Susan Sarandon looks really good tonight too. Mr. SFL thought that Sigourney Weaver looked good too, on which I agree. Kate Winslet is rocking the clavicles in her dress.

Okay, on that note, I have to go to bed because I have to catch a plane at the ass-crack of dawn tomorrow. And since I’m tape-delayed, I already know who won everything.

@SanFranLefty: Kate looked gorgeous. Loved that Emma wore sleeves, but I like her hair a bit darker. And Penelope — I die. Perfection. Christina Hendricks from Mad men looks amazing in her hourglass dress.
@Dodgerblue: That is bizarre.

ADD: Susan Sarandon is flawless.

What did Mickey Rourke say? Motherfucker? My screen went black for 10 seconds.

@Mistress Cynica: He called Darren Aronofsky a son of a bitch, and Aronofsky flipped him the bird, so that might be why.

@Mistress Cynica: My son said his snowboard instructor was timelapsing on Saturday due to a hangover, which he thought was pretty funny.

Yous had to start talking about Salma, didn’t you?

Prommie: Your avatar has red-blooded American male down cold. Kudos.

(Notably, Ms. Hayek and her impressive rack failed to do hair correctly last night. Wearing it pulled back did not work. The only acceptable accessory for nice round bewbies is flowing, lustrous hair.)

Why are all the hottest chicks of all half latin and half arab?

@chicago bureau: Like this? Agreed. And speaking of hair, can we please talk about Drew Barrymore?

@chicago bureau: That is not an “impresive rack.” That is proof of the existence of a benevolent God. It is the answer to the question ” why do we exist?” It is the transcendant, platonic ideal rack. It is the Rack of Ages.

@Prommie: I saw where you were going, you built it nicely, you kept us waiting long enough but not too long, then you nailed the punch line. Good work. Keep it up.

@mellbell: What was that on her head? Her tribute to Kay Bailey Hutchinson?

@ Prommie – Go to the mall here or out someplace and you’ll see 10 J.Los/Jessica Albas per hour, min.

@mellbell: Drew’s hair was unfortunate. It seems she was going for Marilyn Monroe. And she achieved it. That bird’s nest was certainly reminiscent of Monroe’s post-psych hospital ‘do.

I still can’t help but like her, though, no matter how hippy dippy she gets.

@Jamie Sommers: She’s fabulous, and the dress was one of my favorites, but if you’re going to channel Old Hollywood, why not Rita Hayworth or Grace Kelly (or, if you insist upon Marilyn, the “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” look)?


Awww, I was having a dinner party! Let’s make a play date and do the Oscars.

@Tommmcatt Yet Again: Yo también, once I read it. Missed it this morning.

“2001” – one of the great monkey movies of our time.

@Tommmcatt Yet Again: No, I got it too. There was no comment I felt compelled to leave about it, thought.

@IanJ: Only nobody said it in the movie. You do hear it in the execrable sequel, however.

@nojo: I think it’s in the 2001 novel by ACC. 2010 was shot in New Mexico.

Ack! I missed the GGs. They showed Ghost World on one of our local channels, and I was mesmerized by the existential sadness of it all.

Plus this is the same channel that usually shows Lifetime movies about a woman who stole another woman’s husband and/or baby (don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore such trash), so the glorious Ghost World was a total surprise.

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