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.