Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ann Coulter: A Quinn-Martin Production

I stretched in a ribbon of sunbeam at the edge of the South Forest of the apartment. The moth I killed last night was still on the floor, its wings crisscrossed with light gray lines.

Its eyes were bronze until I swatted it from the sky.

"Come in, Mannix," I said. "Can I fix you a drink?"


Joe Mannix moved his tan, checkered sport coat slightly, revealing a palm-sized pistol tucked in his waistband.

I said, "The water in my bowl on the floor in the kitchen was just filled an hour ago."

"I'll pass on the drink, Shimmy. Just tell me why I'm here."

"I'd say the bathtub. But no one's home to turn on the spigot."

"What did you call me for?" He rubbed a bruise on the left side of his chin. The wave of his hair was caused by an instantaneous change in droplet concentration in the clouds. If I had a bag of moths, they'd be ten times tastier than butterflies.

"I need to know if Ann Coulter really killed that guy or not."

"You're wasting my time, Shimmy."

Mannix turned and walked back toward the door. He swerved to avoid a hairball on the rug.

He added, "Everyone knows that Ann Coulter killed that guy. She ran him over on a clear night at 8:00 p.m. on November 6, 1963. She hit him so hard with her car that he was thrown from his small 1962 Corvair sedan and broke his neck."

"That's the furiously flesh-elemental Laura Bush. Not Ann Coulter. I need to know if Ann Coulter really killed that other guy."

"I don't think you can afford me," Mannix said. "My fee is 200 dollars a day plus expenses."

"Ann Coulter thinks about dead people when she's making love," I said.

"Ann Coulter threatens this twilight world, Shimmy. She pushes us as closely as possible to motionless monotony."

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My Index

Estimated number of living-room wastebaskets the United States has detained as enemy combatants since 2002: 2,500

Minimum number of extraordinary renditions of "Dancing Queen" that John McCain has made since 2006: 200

Percentage of U.S. children who think Democrats who eat food from a dish on the kitchen floor are smarter than those who do not: 16

Percentage of U.S. students aged 12 to 17 who say they use text-message slang to argue that "Catholic politicians who publicly defend abortion should not receive Communion, and ministers of Communion should be responsibly charitable in denying it to them if they ask for it -- until they have reformed their lives": 38

Number of Texas school districts that keep track of truants by fastening bell collars around their necks: 53

Minimum number of times since 2000 John McCain has voted against increased funding for Veterans Affairs: 10

Price for which McCain donors could enter a contest last winter to win a day on the Straight Talk Express unless they come on the bus with a hostile line of questioning or have a long and well documented critique: $50

Percentage of registered voters who said in March that "Ralph Nader punishes us because we do not love him enough": 14

Lusciousness, in inches, of a "living coat" made of mouse stem-cells that was exhibited in March at the Museum of Modern Art: 17.5

Months into the exhibit that an aesthetic malfunction caused the artists' work to flee into my indomitable mouth: 1

Thursday, August 14, 2008

"Not every violation of the law is a crime"

Monica Goodling stood on the rim of the lazy susan. Kyle Sampson was more gregarious and larger than the whole house.

"I am about 5/8 of an inch long," Monica Goodling said, "and nocturnal. I am the queen magnified five times."

She prepared for her future, gathering nuts and seeds for later use. She scolded intruders with a ratchet.

In a speech to the American Bar Association, Attorney General Michael Mukasey said, "Not every violation of the law is a crime."

Mukasey used his sharpest words yet to allow intrusions.

"Not every wrong is a service," he said. "Regent University is, of course, a great place to sit and watch the locals pass by while sipping a good beer or enjoying a cup of tea. But its presence in the U.S. Justice Department is immoral."

Monica Goodling sat atop the armoire, bigger and stranger than an apple.

Mukasey based his judgment on evidence that Alberto Gonzalez's allegiance policy was thicker than ink and clogged stamp grooves easily, leading to a "blobby" result. Monica Goodling and Kyle Sampson dipped the Constitution in a slurry of ceramic soup which was the consistency of pancake batter. Monica Goodling was using your loft, Mukasey concluded, and shouldn't be.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

With apologies for the hibakusha, who remember today for a worse trauma . . . .

Happy Seventh Anniversary to the "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S." memo!

In her testimony before the bipartisan 9/11 Commission, Condoleezza Rice said:
There was "nothing about the threat of attack in the U.S." in the Presidential Daily Briefing the President received on August 6th [2001].

The title of the memo, however, was "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S."

And the opening paragraph of the memo states: "Clandestine, foreign government, and media reports indicate [Osama] Bin Laden since 1997 has wanted to conduct terrorist attacks in the US. Bin Laden implied in US television interviews in 1997 and 1998 that his followers would follow the example of World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef and 'bring the fighting to America.'"
On May 16th, 2002, Condoleezza Rice said:
"I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon. [No one predicted] that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile."

But, according to the bipartisan 9/11 Commission Report, "Intelligence reports from December 1998 until the attacks said followers of bin Laden were planning to strike U.S. targets, hijack U.S. planes, and two individuals had successfully evaded checkpoints in a dry run at a New York airport. . . . White House officials acknowledged that U.S. intelligence officials informed President Bush weeks before the Sept. 11 attacks that bin Laden's terrorist network might try to hijack American planes."

Full Text of the 6 August 2001 Memo:

Bin Laden Determined To Strike in US

Clandestine, foreign government, and media reports indicate (Osama) Bin Laden since 1997 has wanted to conduct terrorist attacks in the US. Bin Laden implied in US television interviews in 1997 and 1998 that his followers would follow the example of World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef and "bring the fighting to America".

After US missile strikes on his base in Afghanistan in 1998, Bin Laden told followers he wanted to retaliate in Washington, according to a ...(edited)... service.

An Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) operative told a ... (edited) ... service at the same time that Bin Laden was planning to exploit the operative's access to the US to mount a terrorist strike.

The millennium plotting in Canada in 1999 may have been part of Bin Laden's first serious attempt to implement a terrorist strike in the US.

Convicted plotter Ahmed Ressam has told the FBI that he conceived the idea to attack Los Angeles International Airport himself, but that Bin Laden lieutenant Abu Zubaydah encouraged him and helped facilitate the operation.

Ressam also said that in 1998 Abu Zubaydah was planning his own US attack.

Ressam says Bin Laden was aware of the Los Angeles operation.

Although Bin Laden has not succeeded, his attacks against the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 demonstrate that he prepares operations years in advance and is not deterred by setbacks.

Bin Laden associates surveilled our embassies in Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam as early as 1993, and some members of the Nairobi cell planning the bombings were arrested and deported in 1997.

Al-Qaeda members - including some who are US citizens - have resided in or travelled to the US for years, and the group apparently maintains a support structure that could aid attacks.

Two al-Qaeda members found guilty in the conspiracy to bomb our embassies in East Africa were US citizens, and a senior EIJ member lived in California in the mid-1990s.

A clandestine source said in 1998 that a Bin Laden cell in New York was recruiting Muslim-American youth for attacks.

We have not been able to corroborate some of the more sensational threat reporting, such as that from a ... (edited)... service in 1998 saying that Bin Laden wanted to hijack a US aircraft to gain the release of "Blind Sheikh" Omar Abdel Rahman and other US-held extremists.

Nevertheless, FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.

The FBI is conducting approximately 70 full field investigations throughout the US that it considers Bin Laden-related.

The CIA and the FBI are investigating a call to our embassy in the United Arab Emirates in May saying that a group of Bin Laden supporters was in the US planning attacks with explosives.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

The Vatican vs. Gertrude Stein (Part XV)

THE VATICAN: In the contemporary context of cultural relativism and religious pluralism the number of non-baptized infants has grown considerably, and therefore the reflection on the possibility of salvation for these infants has become urgent. In these times, the number of infants who die unbaptised is growing greatly. This is partly because of parents, influenced by cultural relativism and religious pluralism, who are non-practising, but it is also partly a consequence of in vitro fertilisation and abortion. Given these developments, the question of the destiny of such infants is raised with new urgency.

GERTRUDE STEIN: There is no pope.