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October 22, 2003

Oh, the irony

According to Michelangelo Signorile, the rehab facility where Rush is rumored to be detoxing is New Age Central:

From "psychodynamic role-playing and yoga" to "adventure therapy," "Climbing Wall," "the desert experience" and "equine-assisted therapy" (yes, bonding with horses), Limbaugh may just think he died and went to "feminazi" hell. The website depicts photos of people with a decidedly Berkeley look sitting around on the floor in what seem like consciousness-raising sessions. Picture Rush holding his fellow travelers’ hands and singing Kumbayah. Surely he’ll be reciting a line from the very president he lambasted for years: "I feel your pain." How many on the right would have thought that Bill Clinton would be getting the last chuckle, out there aiding his feminazi wife’s successful political career while their man Rush is wandering the desert reciting New Age mantras?

"Self-discovery often crystallizes during an experience that requires physical and mental exertion in the face of a potentially fearful activity," the description for the Climbing Wall says. "With its height and verticality, the Climbing Wall serves as an important therapeutic metaphor."

Yes, I’m sure some of you would pay to watch Limbaugh scale that wall. But me, I’d like to observe him during "creative expression therapy," which includes "art therapy, journaling, meditation" and "clap outs, historygrams, reading assignments" as well as…"sculpting." These techniques, the website explains, "deepen the journey to self-discovery."


Surely Limbaugh has lots of hidden issues to work through–oh, to be a fly on the wall during that therapy. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not meaning to belittle drug treatment, nor, certainly, drug addiction. Quite to the contrary. Loopy as some of these therapies seem, I’m all for whatever works. And I’m all for Limbaugh’s potential transformation from a fire-breathing dragon into a jellyfish or a pussycat–or even an actual human being, as unlikely as any of that is (particularly since some experts say 30 days isn’t enough time to kick OxyContin).

I’m also glad that the New Age mystics, the feminazis, the well-to-do Hollywood types, the liberals whom he has claimed "coddle" people on drugs and lots of others whom Limbaugh has attacked may now be helping him out in Arizona. Let’s see if he returns the favor.

Via Atrios.

More semantic antics...

…from our friends on the right. Hot on the heels of arguing that a "gathering", "urgent" threat that "cannot wait" from a man who can launch a biological or chemical attack within "45 minutes"—that none of this was ever meant to imply "imminent," nosirree—conservatives are now defining themselves as the party of civility, in contrast with those rabid lunatics in the Democratic party. For example, consider this exchange from Hannity & Colmes last night, with "Diamond Bill" Bennett:

BENNETT: The thing that strikes me, you know, in these two stories you've talked about already, the Democrats' ads, the nature of that rhetoric that's starting to come out is that, I think I said a couple of weeks ago, guys, that this was going to be one of the nastiest campaigns ever. It's going to be one of the nastiest campaign ever early. And it's starting so early. This is going to be a very brutal -- What are we now talking about, 13 months?

HANNITY: Yes, and I think we've got to make a distinction here because Democrats are saying, "Well, people were very critical of Bill Clinton." I was one of them. I'm a talk show host.

If we look at President Bush's comments, the worst thing he said was "We'll restore honor and dignity to the White House." Didn't call them a liar, didn't say he was a gang lead or any of these other comments.

BENNETT: Right. Right.

HANNITY: And if you look at Ted Kennedy's comments. If you look at the nine Democratic presidential candidates, Bill Clinton himself, against the president, I mean this rhetoric is beyond the pale.

BENNETT: I agree with you. But a little difference, Sean. It's not so much what you say, it's whether you can justify what you say.

I was very tough on Bill Clinton. Much tougher than George Bush was in the words I used. I think I could justify it.

I was also tough on Richard Nixon, and I thought he should resign because of Watergate. And I've criticized Republicans before, and I've criticized Democrats.

But let's not compare lying under oath, lying to a grand jury, the things that went on that were by the chief constitutional executive officer with the notion now we're getting, which is that relying on intelligence given to him by others constitutes a lie. This is a denial of the meaning -- the natural and obvious meaning of words.

You see what’s happening here, of course. A month or two ago, they started trying to spread this idea that all criticism of the president comes from a minority of "angry leftists"--but unfortunately for the spinmeisters, the eldest and wisest among us vaguely remember a distant time, nearly lost in the receding mists of memory, when a man named "Clin-Ton" was the leader of our people—and remember a certain level of public discourse which was, to put it kindly, not always as elevated as one might hope. In other words, the "angry left" thing wasn’t flying because people remember just a few years back when conservatives were absolutely bugfuck crazy, foaming at the mouth. So now the conservatives are drawing a distinction—sure, a few talk radio hosts, a few pundits, got carried away sometimes, heat of the moment, you know—but the worst thing that George W. Bush said was the he will "restore the honor and dignity," blah blah blah.

It’s always Calvinball with these guys, rewriting the rules in the middle of the game.

It does seem to me that even if it’s true that George W. Bush was, himself, always a model of civility—and if anyone has time to dig up quotes to the contrary, I encourage you to do so—there were other Republican politicians running for President in the last campaign cycle. And I’m willing to bet a few of them may have made an intemperate remark on occasion. Let alone the Republican politicans who gave Clinton so much grief before and during the impeachment process. Let’s dig up some choice quotes from Tom Delay, Newt Gingrich, Trent Lott, Bob Barr, Henry Hyde, and of course Dan Burton, and then let’s talk about how much more civil Republican politicans are than Democratic politicians.

(Note: the transcript above is pulled off Lexis, I don’t have a link for you. And for my take on the "Angry Left" meme, see my cartoon in the current issue of The American Prospect.)


October 21, 2003

Bay Area update

It looks like I've got things figured out, or at least well on the way. Will post details when they are finalized, but I seem to be in good shape. Thanks for the various suggestions and advice.


October 20, 2003


To elaborate on a couple items noted above—first, the price on signed prints is going up from $30 to $35 as of November 15. I’m letting you know in advance in case you were thinking about ordering one of these for Christmas—the old price will be honored for all orders received before Nov. 15, even though they may not get shipped out until after.

And toward the end of the week, I’ll be in fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada. Actually Henderson, Nevada, but close enough. I’m giving two presentations, one on Friday and one on Saturday, at different venues—go to the Vegas Valley Book Festival website
for details. My colleague Ted Rall will also be appearing at the festival, though we’re not speaking at any events together--the organizers missed a chance there, I think; anyone who thinks Ted and I are carbon copies of one another needs only to watch us on a panel sometime (let alone sit at a table with us after a few pitchers of beer) .

Speaking of Ted, it looks like he’s started up one of these blogs that are so popular with the kids today. Go say hello, tell him Tom sent you.

As for me, well, once again, another busy week ahead. I’ve said this before, but I think until further notice, uneven posting will have to be considered the norm rather than the exception around here.



October 19, 2003

An interview with your humble host

At Buzzflash.

More on indy bookstores

Been whining lately about a couple that have kind of blown me off, so to balance the relentless negativity which is often my stock in trade, I'd like to give credit where due--at least insofar as I am able, monitoring the situation from my command center here deep in the hidden underground labryinth headquarters of Tomorrowco Industries. Which is to say, most of what I know comes from random emails from readers and bookstore employees. But from what I hear, I owe big kudos to the legendary City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco, where the book is reportedly on prominent display and selling at a brisk pace, and to Square Books in Oxford Mississippi, where similarly good things are apparently happening thanks to what my correspondent describes as an "enthusiastic" staff. My sincere thanks to both; reports from other locales are welcome.

One more: I haven't been in the neighborhood recently, but I'm told that Shakespeare & Co., right across the river over in the big city of Manhattan, is also on the side of the angels.

Added to the honor roll: Moe's in Berkeley and Tattered Cover in Denver. Thanks, kids!

(Afterthought: if you're in one of these stores and they're not stocking it, by all means, ask them why.)


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