by RIP RENSE
THIS, THAT, AND THE
THIS: Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito declares that he “will
keep an open mind” if (when) he is confirmed.
THAT: Wow! Imagine that---a Supreme Court Justice with an open mind!
Will wonders never cease?
1985 job application to Atty. Gen. Ed Meese: "I am and always have been a
THIS: My neighbors did not receive mail for three days in a row over
the holiday season. When they phoned the post office, they were told, “your
carrier was on vacation, and we couldn’t find anybody to take his place.”
THAT: Neither snow nor sleet nor hail. . .
THE OTHER: The Post Office is the first thing to go.
THIS: Department of Vaterland---er, Homeland---Security opened letter
from eighty-one-year-old retired University of Kansas professor to a friend
in the Phillipines.
THAT: They have been corresponding for 50 years, but this did not
lull the Department of Homeland Security into a false sense of security! The
letter arrived resealed with the Homeland Security swastika---er, seal.
THE OTHER: Neither snow nor sleet nor hail. . .
THIS: Item---Martha “Mrs. Sam” Alito breaks into tears as Repugnican
Sen. Lindsey Graham apologizes to Judge Sam for “unfair insinuations” about
his membership in a conservative Princeton alumni group.
THAT: Darn those mean ol’ Democratic Senators! Darn those unfair men!
Imagine them daring to suggest that Alito is a conservative! Darn them for
suggesting he was a member of a group that opposed admission of minority and
THE OTHER: Er, um. . .even though he was.
THIS: Riposte was posting some Christmas cards outside the federal
building in Westwood, Ca., when a small SUV pulled up in the opposing lane,
and stopped. The driver gave your redoubtable, benign scrivener a careful
once-over. I mean an actual double-take.
THAT: The SUV door was marked “FEDERAL POLICE---Dept. of Homeland
THE OTHER: Good that they are keeping an eye on people mailing
Christmas cards. Of course, I have long hair and was wearing sunglasses and
baseball cap, so I fit the profile of a terrorist---at least to a government
more afraid of its own people than Al-Qaeda.
THIS: Once upon a time, Riposte submitted his self-published
novel to a very prominent fiction agent, and she responded that---to her
amazement---she had read the entire book, enjoyed it, loved the characters,
etc. That she has never never done that before with a cold submission.. That she rarely reads past
the first few dozen pages of any prospective novel.
THAT: Gee, you’d think that should have told her something, wouldn’t
THE OTHER: “If you cut it by bout a third and repurpose it as a
murder mystery, I’ll represent it. Everything is niche marketing.”
THIS: News item: Tax refunds sought by hundreds of thousands of poor
Americans have been frozen and their returns labeled fraudulent. The
suspected returns were flagged by. . .computer.
THAT: You know, if the government is going to suspect you of
something, at least it ought to have the decency to allow a human to do the
THIS: The alleged tax dodgers' average income was $13,000. Most of
them were seeking the earned income tax credit, a benefit for the working
poor. Without the credit, many coming off welfare and going to work
receive less money because of taxes taken out of paychecks and the loss of
health benefits. The average refund sought was $3,500. The vast majority of
those suspected of fraud were single parents or married couples with
children. The maximum benefit for singles is less than $400.
THAT: News item: Three weeks after failing to pass a massive tax
cut for the wealthy, U.S. House Republican leaders muscled enough support
for the $56 billion tax cut bill to pass it by 234-197. This latest
congressional give-away to the rich, which cuts taxes on capital gains and
estates, follows a $50 billion package of spending cuts in working family
programs Republicans squeaked through by two votes on Nov. 18.
THE OTHER: Are there no prisons? And the workhouses? Are they still
THIS: Excerpt from recent Dan Neil auto column in the L.A. Times:
“The (Honda) Si is an endless source of infantile thrills, a high-fructose
sports compact with all the yank and snatch of a tuned autocross racer.
Think psychotic hamster. . .The sport-tuned suspension is leathery and the
‘tuned’ intake system, routed through the fender nance, performs exploratory
surgery until it finds your last nerve, then gets on it.”
THAT: Neil won a Pulitzer for writing in this fashion about cars. A
THE OTHER: Think psychotic hamster.
THIS: Top three hardcover non-fiction books on the New York Times
list: “Natural Cures They’ Don’t Want You To Know About,” by Kevin Trudeau, “Your Best Life
Now,” by Joel Osteen, “Love Smart,” by Dr. Phil.
THAT: Mega-millionaire slimeball Trudeau, of course, has a history of credit
card fraud. Osteen is a filthy rich Texas Jesus prettyboy “televangelist.”
Dr. Phil is a weird bald guy who tells crying women, “you’ve got to STAR in
your life!” Also worth countless millions.
THE OTHER: Think psychotic hamster.
THIS: Jack Abramoff, the one-time Beverly Hills High punk who stole
millions from Native Americans and helped corrupt most of the Repugnicans in
Congress (not hard to do, admittedly), will plea-bargain his way to greater
fame and fortune. He's already made the cover of Time.
THAT: Abramoff shows up at his various prosecutions in a black hat
and black trenchcoat.
THE OTHER: Guess he’s starring in his own life.
THIS: House Democrap minority leader Nancy Pelosi knew of the National
Security Agency spying on U.S. citizens without a warrant years ago.
THAT: Maybe she should take a fashion tip from Abramoff.
THIS: Democrap National Committee Chair Howard Dean to Wolf Blitzer:
"We need a president who will work constructively and cooperatively with our
allies around the world so that we really can move capitalism and democracy
further into the world and not turn off people."
THAT: Er. . .spread capitalism and democracy around the world? .
.Yeah, AND THEN WE’RE GOING TO SOUTH CAROLINA AND OKLAHOMA AND ARIZONA AND
NORTH DAKOTA AND NEW MEXICO, AND WE’RE GOING TO CALIFORNIA AND TEXAS AND NEW
THIS: More Dean to Blitzer: “There is a plan put together by Lawrence
Cord and a fellow by the name of Bruce Cotulis, who -- Lawrence Cord was in
the Reagan administration. It's a plan that I think makes a great deal of
sense. It's a moderate plan, calls for strategic redeployment of our troops.
While we're removing them from Iraq, we're keeping some in the region to
fight the terrorism that the president's invasion of Iraq has spawned in
Iraq. That’s a sensible plan for defending America.”
THAT: Wow. Gradually pull the troops out, but keep them in the Middle
East? Howard might be the greatest con of all. As in Neocon.
THE OTHER: I see a black hat and trenchcoat in Dean’s future, too.
THIS: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (my fingers still have trouble
typing this) who has no motorcycle license, runs his Harley (with sidecar
containing son) into a car backing out of a blind driveway, and splits his
THAT: Think psychotic hamster.
THIS: Schwarzenegger just proposed a budget that will cut the hell
out of welfare programs (including the welfare-to-work program)---about $250
million worth---to help fund schools.
THAT: Funny, I didn’t read anything about cutting tax breaks for the
rich in order to fund schools.
THE OTHER: Of course, that could mean curtailing certain luxuries,
such as Harleys with sidecars.
THIS: “President” George W. Bush calls dissent over his Iraq
policies---which the majority of the American public
THAT: Think about that a moment, folks. The President of the United
States is calling public debate about government policy “irresponsible.”
THE OTHER: Next thing you know, he’ll be using the National Security
Administration to spy on private citizens.
THIS: The guy who shot Pope John Paul II and murdered a prominent
Turkish journalist has been released from jail. The NSA has spied on
millions of U.S. citizens, reports whistleblower. Pregnant fashion models
are paid up to $40,000 per day. New Orleans residents wiped out by Katrina
have four months to show support for rebuilding their neighborhoods, or
their homes will be sold to the federal government.
THAT: Taiwan creates
green flourescent pig.
THE OTHER: Soon it will fly.
THIS: Michael Eisner, the man who destroyed all of Disney’s subtlety
and delicacy and replaced it with the mercenary crassness, will soon have
his own talk show on CNBC.
THAT: We have a bit of advice for Mr. Eisner in his new venture which
you may find by clicking
THIS: Somehow, former Dodger great Manny Mota is returning for his
27th year as a batting and outfield coach with the remains of the Dodger
organization. Manny, who was still a sensational pinch-hitter into his 40’s,
THAT: For Manny to have survived all the various corrupt regimes
since the O’Malleys, he must have made a deal with the devil---that is,
Murdoch---that is, McCourt. Ah, what’s the difference?
THE OTHER: They might need him to pinch-hit this year.
THIS: Item---Elizabeth Vargas and Little Bobby Woodruff replace Peter Jennings
as hosts of ABC's "World News Tonight."
THAT: Have you noticed how absolutely pubescent most of the young male
anchors seem? They all look like little kids fresh off the schoolground, who
somehow happen to shave, wear suits, and read from a teleprompter.
THE OTHER: Cronkite retired way too early.
THIS: Howard Stern, who is definitely starring in his own life,
was interviewed on “Nightline” recently, in which he said essentially that
he is a guy who likes to watch freak shows, and parlayed this into a career.
He is being paid $500 million to do this on Sirius satellite radio.
THAT: ABC bleeped the word, “penis,” during the interview.
THE OTHER: Soon it will fly.
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