Wednesday, January 19, 2005

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: Your Inauguration Spoilsport Headquarters.

Sikh Geek, This One's For You Could anything be more horrible than the concert for young people held prior to the inauguration? This year it was called "America's Future Rocks Today" (that's like something from The Simpsons) and it featured such stellar performers as Hillary Duff, Fuel (not the punk one), 3 Doors Down, Ruben Studdard, and JoJo. And, in a special treat for the Sikh Geek, we have this sentence, about the man the Geek nominated as Douchebag of the Year: "Also appearing...[was] actor Stephen Baldwin, who rode a skateboard onto the stage..."

Bill Thomas: Man of Confusing Action Everyone who hates Bush's plan to wreck Social Security is celebrating the remarks of Bill Thomas, the Republican chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee (and therefore one of the most powerful men in the country), to the effect that the Social Security privatization plan is "a dead horse." But as Josh Marshall points out, Bill has some pretty kooky ideas that he thinks should be tried in place of Bush's plan, like "gender-adusting Social Security," which would mean raising the retirement age for women since they live longer.

Irony: It's Not Just for Europe Anymore Remember all the hullabaloo about how presidential girl gone wild Jenna Bush was going to display some of the ole noblesse oblige and go amongst the downtrodden ghetto children as a schoolteacher? Well, apparently dear Jenna's efforts to shape young minds has stalled on a very unexpected obstacle: the No Child Left Behind Act, the centerpiece of her half-wit father's first term domestic agenda. It seems that under the terms of the act, Jenna does not have the proper qualifications to be hired as a teacher. Times like these were made for schadenfreude.

The Weapons Are In Narnia One key claim by the sort of guys who call in to talk radio shows and work at the Heritage Foundation is that the reason we didn't find any WMD in Iraq is that Saddam moved them all over the border with Syria before the war. This assertion seems counter-intuitive for two reasons: (1)the Ba'ath Party in Syria was the bitter enemy of the Ba'ath Party in Iraq; the two were always fighting, including actually going to war with one another (2)Why would the evil madman dictator Hitleresque Saddam Hussein divest himself of his most effective weapons before the war started? Is that generally how wars are fought? Well, now there's a third reason this theory doesn't hold up: U.S. inspectors who have left the country for good say there's no evidence whatsoever Saddam moved anything across the border.

The Gold Rush and Where It Got Us Every so often I like to check in on California and see what boneheaded plan their boneheaded governor is up to. Here's a nifty idea: Let's redraw the voting districts of a solidly Democratic state to illicitly favor Republicans! Of course, that's not what the woman-molesting son of a Nazi says, but that's what his plan would do: It would force districts to be "competitive" by ensuring that in every district there's never more than a 7 percent difference between the registration of Republicans and Democrats. This effectively means that the race goes to who can raise more money - the Republicans, in other words. Only one problem: Under Governor Jingle-all-the-way's own proposal, party registration can't be used as a factor in redrawing districts - while mandating the use of party registration in doing so, simultaneously and contradictorily. Maybe that kind of thing flies in Vienna, Fritz, but not here.

-Consider Arms