Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Hello, I must be going

Naturally, between the time I decided to do this and the time I actually got around to doing it, it has become trendy, but here's the deal: I have a lot of responsibilities and projects right now, and this blog, although a source of great delight and a vent for huge amounts of frustration and tension for me, cannot in good conscience be placed anywhere near the top of my list of priorities. Just for one thing, I've done far less original reporting than I'd anticipated, and the world doesn't especially need another me-too blog of any political description.

So Ralph Radon's House of Bile is going on hiatus. I have no idea for how long -- it might be a few weeks; it might be forever. In case it's the latter, let me say I appreciate all the good vibes you've sent my way -- particularly you, Lisa -- and thank you all for joining me. This has been fun. Maybe it will be again one day.


Tuesday, February 04, 2003


Awwww. Apparently one of the overpaid scumbags who runs Saudi Arabia is upset that Islam and the prophet Muhammad have been getting bad press.

Fortunately, Amish Tech Support is on the case.*

*It might enhance your enjoyment of his post to know that it it customary for Muslims, when naming Muhammad or any other prophet (including some also recognized by Jews and Christians, such as Abraham), to insert the phrase "peace be upon him," often abbreviated PBUH, immediately after the name.


Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post recently made a point so good it's almost possible to believe he has decided to stop sucking Resident Bush's dick:

Imagine – hard as it is – President Gore standing in the House chamber and delivering his annual address to the nation.

He calls for spending $400 billion over the next decade to strengthen Medicare and launch a prescription drug program.

He calls for $450 million to bring mentors to disadvantaged students and children of prisoners.

He calls for $600 million for treatment programs for drug addicts.

He calls for $15 billion over five years to combat AIDS in Africa and the Caribbean.

He calls for $1.2 billion to develop clean, hydrogen-powered automobiles.

What do you suppose the Republicans would be saying about Al Gore?

Big spender? Wild-eyed liberal? Doesn't understand that government is the problem, not the solution?

Wouldn't there be lots of accusations of fiscal irresponsibility – especially when the $417 billion in new spending is coupled with $674 billion in tax cuts?

But no one in the GOP that we've seen is suggesting that George Bush's brand of compassionate conservatism is, well, kind of expensive. And the Democrats, who have their own domestic laundry list, obviously don't want to go there.

Much of this, of course, was overshadowed by the intense focus on the Iraq portion of the State of the Union.

But if Bush wants to spend all this money on new programs – admirable as that might be – how is he going to restrain overall spending, as Mitch Daniels keeps promising? Exactly which programs is the White House going to cut (or, excuse us, restrain the growth of spending)? How is the administration going to keep the nasty ol' deficit – which has now shot up to $199 billion, according to the CBO yesterday – from exploding?

No Democratic president would get a pass on this sort of fuzzy math, not with the budget plunging back into the red after years of surplus.

No indeed. And if you want to understand why so many moderate-to-liberal types believe that the "liberal media" is a myth, just ask yourself how the media -- and, for that matter, the nation -- would have reacted if President Gore had done most of the same things Resident Bush has done.

Thursday, January 30, 2003

Plus la change ...

Remember all those reforms that were going to happen after Enron, Tyco and WorldCom came crashing down?

Yeah, neither does the president.

Just for starters, Harvey Pitt, whom Bush "fired" as SEC chairman on Election Night, remains on the job, with his successor not only unconfirmed but also not even formally nominated yet.

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Apology accepted, Digby. Now ...

Digby recently apologized for posting what later turned out to be an inaccurate article saying that Dubya had resumed sending a wreath to an annual ceremony honoring Confederate president Jefferson Davis.

But in the interest of contextual accuracy, he argues:

Now, I realize that this will cause a bandwidth crisis that could presage the end of the Internet as we know it, but there can be no logical consistency in requiring me to apologize for a post that linked to a Time article (to which I merely appended "Karl Rove makes Lee Atwater look like an amateur") without also requiring that Republicans and the press apologize for 8 solid years of character assassination and smears against the Clinton administration. (And I would say that the Gores deserve a mea culpa too, for the lies perpetrated against them by the press and the GOP during campaign 2000.)

It's a masterful rant. And it's absolutely correct. Go read it.

Bush Moves to Restore Military Ties With Indonesia

Incredible. In-fucking-credible. How can this possibly be a good idea? Let's cozy up to murderers just because they're not Islamic murderers? Give me a fucking break.

Friday, January 17, 2003

Quaking in our size-15, heavily armed boots

Look on their works, ye mighty, and despair: The militant Islamic movement Hamas says that if the U.S. attacks Iraq, Muslims and Arabs will attack American targets everywhere.

Yeah, right. Bunch of fucking wankers. If you do, Greater Israel will be a reality by nightfall and you're going to be pondering your own 2,000-year diaspora.

UPDATE: The always-excellent Silfray Hraka has this to say about that, and all I can do is stand in awe, amazement and admiration.

Thursday, January 16, 2003

Gee. What's Pat Robertson teaching over there at his university?

A third-year law student at Regent University, who helped run several successful campaigns for Virginia Beach-area Republicans, was arrested Jan. 10 and charged with two counts of soliciting sex with a minor over the Internet.

You know your proposal to kill the estate tax is in trouble ...

... when even Bill Gates Sr. is willing to criticize it.

At least, let's hope.

Monday, January 13, 2003

All politics all the time ...

... makes Ralph a dull boy. The inimitable Vectorgirl recently listed "completely trivial reasons i have dumped guys." I thought it might be ... well, if not fun, at least revealing, to go back and see why I dumped the girls I dumped.

OK, in the order in which I dumped them:

1) The summer ended. Really. I didn't like her much, but she was available, and when the summer ended and I headed back to school, that was it.

2) I met a better-looking, nicer, more sexually available woman.

3) She was moving to the Left Coast. She offered to try to keep the relationship alive, but I decided that that sounded an awful lot like work.

3a) She also was sleeping with another guy, although I wasn't supposed to know that.

4) The sex was great but everything else about her was a low-key annoyance, plus she went to work for my father. Just too weird.

5) I moved to another town. That was the pretext. The real reason was that, although very nice, she was boring.

6) I met another woman whom I would not have been embarrassed to introduce to my friends and family. (We've now been married for a decade.)

There were, of course, other relationships in which I got dumped, or in which we mutually agreed to part, interspersed with these. Those are stories for another day.