March 15, 2004

The blessed grace of waking up of breathing in the sheets

* In the weeks after 9/11 three tragedies burdened our souls. While unemployment rose, shattered families mourned, and bombs still fell in Afghanistan, Bush turned to his budget director, Mitch Daniels, and said,"Lucky me. I hit the trifecta.".

"When that quote was published I expected a White House denial. Instead, Bush turned it into a laugh line at a series of private fundraisers. Time and again it served as the punch line for the most tasteless joke ever told.

"You see, both the president and his well-heeled contributors knew that he could not sustain their massive tax cuts without shifting the cost to the remaining taxpayers - the middle class - by running massive deficits.

"But he had promised not to do that! He needed a loophole - an excuse to give the voters. So he manufactured his trifecta joke.

"'You know, I was campaigning in Chicago and somebody asked me, is there ever any time where the budget might have to go into deficit? I said only if we were at war or had a national emergency or were in recession. (Laughter.) Little did I realize we'd get the trifecta. (Laughter.)'

"To appreciate the tastelessness, remember the context. His audience knew the game. Bush needed political cover for their lavish tax cuts. That's why the transcript shows the strange notation (Laughter) when he mentions war, national emergency, and recession. And why they laugh again when he happily calls them a trifecta - racetrack jargon for three "lucky winners" in a row!

"Is depravity too strong a word?"

* If you are not already aware, largeheartedboy is posting some great mp3s for your listening pleasure.

* Yesterday, I stopped at Cleveland Park's best spot, Vace. There was a long line, spanning back to the door. Besides the line, the first thing I noticed upon entering was a super annoying, five(ish) year old -- whose mother looked very familar -- running around the shop, being very noisey, and without trying, drawing lots of attention to herself. Hungover and hungry, the little girl was about the last thing I needed. I couldn't understand why the parents were not asking her to quiet down.

At one point, when she sat on a barrel full of dried pasta, her father told her, "its rude to sit on food," apparently pleased with his rhyme. It wasn't until the father used the mothers name to call across the shop to ask how many anchovies they needed that I realized the women, with the completely annoying child, was former Clinton Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers.

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