2002: Axis of Weevil

The year started with the signing of the No Child Left Behind act — under which the word “reductionism” was ordered stricken from vocabulary textbooks.  (It wouldn’t be on the test in a million years, so why bother?)

In related news: the Axis of Evil, the entrenchment of the Bush Doctrine (and at a graudation address at West Point, the first major public pronouncement of preemptive war as a foreign policy), a shift of focus away from Osama bin Laden (or, at least, the public disclosure of this shift), “regime change,” “Coalition of the Willing” and Toby Keith.  And, finally: the vote on the war — during which liberals totally forgot about the Klan and the pork and fell madly in love with Robert Byrd. 

Also: after getting stoned and contemplating a bowl of Lifesavers candy, the government gave birth to the Threat Levels — two of which have a lot of dust on them.  And President Bush damn near bought it after failing to correctly eat a pretzel.

Despite it all: the GOP still managed to take back the Senate.  Max Cleland, a war hero, got aced by a guy who basically said that Cleland had a total mancrush on Osama.  It would be nice to say, “well, it was just Georgia being Georgia” and leave it at that.  But that wasn’t the case, of course.


Don’t spare my feelings, sir — it *was* Georgia being Georgia — or at least stupid white suburban Georgians. That, and that the incident was just one example of Rove gone wild.

2002 was the most surreal year of all. It was the year of such great quotes as (from memory, but I think I will communicate the gist) “we are history’s actors, we create reality; you people in the reality based community will just follow in our wake” and “You don’t roll out new product until after Labor Day,” Andy Card’s criticism of Dick Cheney’s premature ejaculation on Iraq that summer. And there were freedom fries, teh yellowcake, teh mobile biological weapons labs, there were 20-year old videotapes of old Mirage fighters spraying something, god knows what, and suggestions that Saddam was just hours away from sending his “drones” to give us all bubonic plague. There were the amzingly obvious lies about Iraq, the amazingly blatant use of Terror as a political issue in the elections, the rushed “authorization” vote just before the elections. Endless, obvious lies, so obvious, so obvious, and yet, the country went along.

This was the worst year of the Alice in Wonderland. This was when Cheney and his meat puppet were at their worst and most triumphant, and when the press and the people at their most retarded, cowardly, and craven.

2002 was getting comped tickets to the France-Senegal opening match at the World Cup in Seoul. Then sitting above the goal when the US scored twice against Portugal in the first two minutes of a 3-1 victory in first round play. It was millions of Koreans crowding the downtown so that I had to shutter my office at noon every day. It was shaking Dubya’s hand when he travelled to Korea and inaugurated a train station next to the DMZ. It was the year of the second Nabisco Jr. In short, it was a year blissfully unaware of how fucking awful things really were.

The year I found myself agreeing with Jack Layton for the first time ever (about Iraq naturally.)

Lots of Portuguese where I live. Lots of tears in the streets during that game and when Korea beat’em.

I teased my father that he should consider painting his face with the Korean Flag like many other Koreans did.


Incidentally, “Rove Gone Wild” is on record as the lowest-selling fetish porn dvd in history.


Gah, fuck, I forgot about Freedom Fries. That was my first real inkling that wingnutism had ventured into the realm of the insane. That and Kitty Harris.

@ManchuCandidate: The Koreans were so damn cohesive that year that they graciously played to a draw with the US just to allow us to advance. The crowds were so massive and overheated that I really feared for what would happen if Korea either won or lost that match with the US.

Tommmcatt: Freedom Fries were born in 2003, just before the war. The impetus was given by de Villepin being de Villepin over at the UN Security Council.

See, that’s the second time that dates and places have been mixed up in as many days. This is not anybody’s fault, really. In fact, this is instructive: the dumbfuckery that was the Bush administration was such that one idiotic event blended into another, into another, until you couldn’t tell the morons from the morans. I’ve had to fact-check to see when exactly one act of stupidity actually occured, and my first thought has been wrong surprisingly often.

The sheer lunacy of it all numbed us to the point where, when we heard something stupid, we just chuckled and filed it away with the other crap.

rptrcub: It’s no problem, suh. Southern courtesy / hospitality and such.

Moved to Sandy Eggo in 2002, where January 80-degree days take the edge off.

President Bush’s Fiscal Year 2003 Budget Message released Feb 4, 2002 put an end to the Clinton-era yearly surpluses for good:

Federal Government Budget Year-End Balance Surplus/(Deficit) in billions of dollars

1997 $(22)
1998 69
1999 125
2000 236
2001 153
2002 (106)
2003 (80)
2004 (14)
2005 61
Note: FY 1997 through FY 2001 represent actual figures. FY 2002 through FY 2005 are estimates contained in the President’s FY 2003 budget.

This was just the first crack in the dam as the administration declared open season on the Department of the Treasury and by extension government of, by and for the people. Needless to say the estimated federal deficits were orders of magnitude smaller than the actual deficits as the private wealth of the top one percent of Americans skyrocketed.

@chicago bureau: And we lost a two presidential elections to those assholes.

redmanlaw: Agreed.

In other news: ZOMG SNOW!

(Damn. Local TV / radio in the next 24 hours is going to be insufferable.)

@chicago bureau: We should be so lucky. Here it is 48 hours of snow forecasts with attendant obsession, then nothing, not even ooblek, followed by 24 hours of footage of unused shovels and dumptrucks full of road salt paid for by citizen tax payers.

Why does the female LA local newscaster wear a pink tank top while delivering the news? And could she have had any more plastic surgery? Is anything ever shown on LA news besides the weather, traffic, and car chases captured by helicopter?

@SanFranLefty: I can’t believe they even do weather in LA. Unless there’s rain or fire, what’s to say? “It will be sunny and warm”? I guess there’s always air quality — good to know if you should let small children and the elderly breathe outside.

@Mistress Cynica & SanFranLefty:

Regardless of how many double Dopplers they employ, I always joke that the Seattle weather could be handled by an answering machine:

Highs in the 40s and 50s, lows in the 30s. Light rain and mostly cloudy in the morning with a slight chance of sunbreaks in the late afternoon.

Repeat 365 days/year.

I can now haz weathman megabuxx$??

@Mistress Cynica: Santa Ana winds. They have a map of the wind. Kind of deep.

@Original Andrew: No, that’s about it. I don’t know why they bother reporting any more.

@SanFranLefty: No. And have you seen the rack on the Channel 9 weathergirl? They have their own green screen.

This is important: Watch “rat loves cat.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ikm3o5hDks

Please, is that not wonderful?

@Dodgerblue: Do the LA teevee ladies think those Lisa Rinna-style pneumatic lips look realistic? Or they just don’t care?

@SanFranLefty: I had to look her up. I used to go deep-sea fishing and I saw lips like that.
This is the weather girl I mentioned: http://www.newstoob.com/media/images/2008/06/0609_jackie-johnson-02.jpg


!Dios Mio! Her tatas knocked Nueva York off el mapa!

@Original Andrew:
Ay Chihuahua!

I should see if I can watch Univision more often.

@SanFranLefty: Do not question the Zen of chopper-cam car chases. Watch, and Be One with the Southland.

@Dodgerblue: Are those straps on her sweater extra girders for support?

@Promnight: I’d like to see her go chi chi’s a chi chi’s with my gal Jackie.

@SanFranLefty: No, they are zones of high pressure along the coast.

@nojo: KCAL just showed a CHP car chase from their chopper-cam. What made this one stand out was that the car being pursued was a Smart Car.

Hey SFL — are you in LA? And you didn’t call me?

@Dodgerblue: Yes, I suck. I didn’t call you or TommCatt. Didn’t you wonder why I was randomly musing about LA local teevee girls? Did you see the Smart Car chase? It was funny.

I’ll probably be back in El Ay for more than 24 hours in a month or two, and thus will have time to have a SoCal StinqueUp.

Oh, faaaaaaahhhhkkkk!

Did a Sherwin Williams truck overturn on the Hollywood Freeway forcing everyone to inhale paint and antifreeze??

Has cannibal anarchy come early to Hollywood?


I’m getting caught up on last night’s GG fashions–and what a fiasco! The worst dressed list has everyone on it!

Everyone–from Glenn Close who looks like she’s gonna bang the gong on the whole affair–to Rachel Griffiths in her golden Hefty bag–to Drew Barrymore, who must still be reeling from her recent conviction for Crimes Against Mammaries–they all look like kahrayzee crap.

Look, this depression is hard on us all, but we can’t have the world’s most beautiful men and women wondering around looking like Robitussined hoboes. It’s just sooo unseemly.

FSM help us, the Oscars just have to be better. Yick!


@SanFranLefty: Chopper-cam chases are like video fishtanks. I find them very Warholian.

@Original Andrew: Mr Cyn didn’t care and fell asleep, so I was forced to discuss the many, many fiascoes with the cats, who agreed that Renee Zellweger’s outfit was nothing short of a cry for help. Looks ran the gamut from *yawn* to WTF?!?! Designers are just phoning it in. It’s times like these I miss Joan and Melissa.

@Mistress Cynica: Mrs RMS is all about the runway and more. I can pave the way. Chillin now with martinis and metallica. Threw some Desert Sessions on to db’s FB page.

@Original Andrew: Putting Mickey Rourke on a worst dressed list is sort of missing the point, don’t you think? And I thought that America Ferrera and Mary Louise Parker looked darling. (Of course, they put Heidi, with hooker heels and a dress that appeared to be made out of sun shades, on their best dressed list, so it’s all best taken with a grain of salt.)

@mellbell: Mickey Rourke needs to be applauded for being alive, let alone dressed. And Salma? I think she put lie to the claim that women dress for other women….

@Mistress Cynica: “Fuck You, Penguin.” That is so indescribably wonderful.

oh, thats funny stuff guys.

too much beige and botox, all i have to say about that.

WTF happened to micky rourke? he looks like he had his face lift in a burn unit.

@Original Andrew:

“Has cannibal anarchy come early to Hollywood?”


i travel a lot, have been in the city of angels and plastic ONCE.
not planning on going back either, there is def something weird going on there. very very weird.
may i repeat myself (i am a granny now after all, it’s allowed)
i had a screaming match with jon lovitz at valet at the beverly hills hotel.
security had to get involved. we were literally screaming at each other because he wouldn’t move his car so i could drive around him.

@Mistress Cynica:

La Zellwegger left me totally speechless. I’ll give the mike to Heather and Jessica, aka the Fug Bitches:

“She looks like Crazy Aunt Ne-Ne, who’s been let out of her attic for the first time since TV was black-and-white, crawled down a gin bottle, tasered her minders, and is now trying to hail a cab to the nearest military base to show our boys some real gratitude.”



But did Curry force Kuchinsky to suck the loaded gun barrel (aka Ted Nugent’s ultimate stroke fantasy)?


I woulda paid good money to see you lay the smackdown on Jon Lovitz. Ha!

And I like to poke fun, but I really do love Hell LAy. Few other cities are as exciting and downright fascinating in all of their social, environmental, architectural, cultural and financial contradictions.

@Original Andrew: I dunno. The skirt on that thing looks to me like endless hours of fitting. Not to mention a master cutter. It’s a Gehry reinvented as a frock. Impressive. But I repeat, the single most interesting book ever written on the subject of stardom and clutch handbags (which she invented so she could carry slices of pumpernickle so that when her crazy husband ordered borscht and the restaurant in question had none, before said husband to go into a screaming rage she could open her purse and say “Here, Rudi, I have some for you”) is Maria Riva’s biography of her mother Marlene Dietrich. The chapter on the rubber underpinning of the “naked” dress, covering as it did the abscesses on her leg that wouldn’t heal, astounding as it is, is eclipsed by the pin-curls-under-the-wig-that-she-made-so-tight-her-scalp-started-to-bleed episode. But every page has something that makes you gasp. She makes this bunch look like pikers. I would not lie to you.

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