Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Sexist Press Attacks Working Women: Updated

Here’s my question to the journalists working the governor beat: When the governor says something that defies logic and reason for the sole purpose of deflecting legitimate inquiries into allegations of wrongdoing, why do you dignify such assaults on common sense by reporting them?

As you may know, BFS reader, it has come to light that the governor’s wife (a woman) earned a rather significant chunk of change on a real estate transaction with a person (another woman) who in turn conducts business with the state (a unit of a nation). Many people, especially those who are familiar with the state’s ethics test, think that this little arrangement at the very least gives the perception of impropriety and is not becoming a reformer's better half.

What did the governor think about people questioning his wife's dealings? Probably not much until his spin doctors came up with a counter punch that I’m sure they imagined would leave their detractors doubled over in shame.

The governor, again channeling Jackie Childs, said that anyone who would question the legitimacy of his wife's business transactions is a Neandrethal who probably thinks that women should be kept barefoot and pregnant. You see, this story isn’t about selling government favor, it’s about the media’s dogged pursuit to keep women oppressed. Because we know that most reporters, even women reporters, would like nothing more than to see society return to an earlier time, circa Father Knows Best, when the fairer sex didn’t have to concern themselves with anything more serious than not burning the pot roast and getting Kitten off to school on time. So let’s just leave all of this confusing real estate business to the men, shall we.

Anyone even remotely conscious knows that this line of defense, to borrow a couple of his administration’s favorite words, is ridiculous and ludicrous. So why bother reporting it? And if you are going to cover it, make him first identify exactly who he is calling a Neandrethal and then provide evidence to backup his claim. Of course he wouldn’t answer because the team of scientists who prepare him for public appearances didn’t condition him to respond to those questions.

It could be said that by running with his comments, the media is allowing the governor to embarrass himself more publicly. And to the rational segment of the populace, he has. But there are some people, those who fell in love with the heroic man-of-the-people depicted in his political ads, who will think that his poor wife is under attack by the evil forces of the ultra-conservative media.

Let the governor spin yarns as much as he wants when he’s paying for media space, don’t let him do it for free.

To everyone who voted for Blagojevich in the Democratic primary four years ago, please note: His opponent in that election, Paul Vallas, was just named one of America’s best leaders by U.S. News and World Report. Vallas became the superintendent of Philadelphia public schools after you decided that Illinois would be better served by someone pretending to be a leader. Even though he is currently under fire from Philadelphia’s mayor for a school budget shortfall of around $80M, that fact that Vallas isn’t proposing to sell and lease back all of the city’s high schools is a good indication that Illinois would be in better shape today, and tomorrow, if you hadn’t fallen for that whole Elvis shtick. Hope you’re happy.

I do realize that if the press wants to question the governor on this issue, that they have to report his response, however stupid it may be. It's frustrating to me, however, how easily the governor and his people can use the media to distract voters from the real issue.

Here's another
take on this issue that a Monkey recommended.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Ave Maria

I don't blog about sports very often, but I think that it is safe to say that anyone who witnessed that game will never forget it. Decades from now, when a new era of degraded sporting competition causes us purists to yearn for the day when pride really mattered, contemporaries will look at each other and say: "Where were you when Shoe Carnival beat that team with the fluorescent lime jerseys?"

The Shoes had dominated their YMCA soccer competition, playing with a spunky determination that quickly won the hearts of their parents, grandparents, and the occasional passerby. But on this Saturday, the deck would be stacked against them.

A series of family commitments conspired into a perfect storm of player absences, leaving the depleted Shoes left to compete with the minimum of six players plus goalie. A good deal of the team's fire power would not take the field this day, as the Limeys were surely aware of. But little did they know that their bravado would soon be deflated, punctured by the right foot of a Shoe who was different than all the others.

Fast forward to the second half. With no substitutes to spell them, the Shoes stout seven – who history will remember as Quin, Neil, Felix, Noah, Billy, Patch, and Maria - were beginning to fade. The ferocious attack that so many times had sent the opposing goalie running into the corn fields was but a faint breeze that chilled no one. Trailing two goals to one, victory was escaping from their grasp with every passing second. Hope, it seemed, had left to go watch the SHG game.

That is, dear sports fan, until the daughter of a certain blogger decided that failure did not become the Shoes' proud tradition. Her AWOL teammates would not be made to taste defeat from afar, not if she, the only girl on their team, had anything to say about it.

Midway through the third quarter, Maria took an errant pass at midfield and made her way upfield. With a determination not seen since the allies stormed Normandy, Maria took the ball directly at the defenders. The crowd stood frozen. Despite the Limeys' three to one advantage, they could sense that something was afoot. Something was! The ball, which settled into the right corner of the net for the tying goal.

A renewed vigor raced through the Shoes and their fans. Defeat no longer seemed imminent. But dare they dream of victory? One did.

Just minutes later, in a scene that surely sent chills of deja vu down the spines of the Limeys, Maria again took possession at midfield. As she raced downfield, she eyed not the defenders who awaited her, but the big prize that she aimed to shoot down. The Limeys attacked, determined not to fall behind and miss the chance to avenge an earlier loss. Their resistance proved futile as Maria fired the ball towards the goal, this time coming to rest in the left side of the net. Shoes 3, Limeys 2.

The scoring was done for the day. Maria and Neil Brown had tallied the winning goals. The Limeys would mount several respectable attacks in the fourth quarter, but their fate had already been determined when they failed to account for the girl who was coming off of her second three-goal game of the season just the week before.

There are those who will say that Maria's performance would have been more impressive had it come in the game's waning minutes. But such last-second, depicted in slow-motion moments have become clichéd in the sporting world and she would never sacrifice true heroics for cheap dramatics. This was, in its essence, the spirit of athletic competition personified, and no Hollywood reinterpretation could ever render it more impressive.

Where was I when Shoe Carnival beat that team with the fluorescent lime jerseys? I was there, man, I was right there. And I couldn't have been prouder.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Endorsing the Horse Race

As announced in an editorial on Monday, the SJ-R has started making their endorsements for the November elections. Not surprisingly, that liberal mainstream media outlet kicked things off by casting their lot with two Democratic candidates running for the Illinois House. Or is the real story here that the notoriously conservative newspaper again bowed to their corporate masters by endorsing a Republican in the 18th Congressional District. Either way, their endorsements will surely rankle folks on both sides of the political divide. That’s a good sign for anyone who prefers to vote for a candidate rather than the parenthesized initial that follows their name.

People who nod approvingly to every utterance that escapes Rush’s lips or take as gospel every word posted by the faithful on Daily Kos, for some reason get offended when a newspaper deigns to weigh-in with who they think will best serve the public’s interest. Having gotten used to being preached at from their comfy place in the choir loft, these party zealot’s become confused when presented with divergent points of view and attribute the dissonance to any number of faults or shortcomings harbored by those who don’t sing the same hymns of praise.

While the Web holds the possibility of opening us up to the entire spectrum of political thought, it has better served to reinforce our previously held convictions. No matter how delusional your world view, you can find someone who agrees with you and together you can mock and distrust the rest of us idiots.

That’s why it’s important, for those who don’t view elections as contests between blue and red, to occassionally wade into the media’s mainsteam for a little perspective. And I do think that newspaper endorsements, for the most part, are made with more consideration of more diverse factors than is offered by the Limbaughs and Zunigas of the world.

Not that their endorsements should be written down on the palm of your hand before you enter the voting booth. Their rationale for picking a certain candidate might provide the very thing that sways you to vote for the opponent. If so, then you have still been done a service.

Is there a reason to listen to the people who make up a newspaper’s editorial board any more intently than the five guys who hold court down at the end of the bar? After all, editorial boards are made up of people and all people have biases that slant their objectivity. You can’t assume that the J-schooled bunch is more politically aware than the PBR-fueled bunch, and the guys in the bar may have interests more closely related to your own.

The difference lies in access. Political candidates, especially those running above the local level, aren’t likely to sit down at Pat’s Tap for a little Q&A with the regulars. Those candidates do sit down with the editorial boards. Newspapers also have teams of reporters who attend every press conference and media event. They hear the things being muttered below the din of all the grandly pronounced slogans and promises. It’s almost as if the media in these instances are acting as the eyes and ears of the public - a fourth estate, if you will, to help the public check the powers of the other three branches of government.

That is exactly what a newspaper and other media are supposed to do. Obviously, some fail at this mission. But part of this failure lies not in their inability to report the news, or offer endorsements, with a reasonable degree of objectivity, but in the public’s steadfast refusal to believe anything that challenges their preconceived notions. As any grad student in communications can tell you, sometimes it’s not the message or the messenger that distorts reality, but the receiver.

As stated in Monday’s editorial, the reasons that some newspapers have stopped giving endorsements is because of the perception that it will slant future reporting on the candidates and that the media shouldn’t be in the business of king making. If you do think that all newspapers immediately bow down to the candidates they “coronate”, consider this: while the editorial board at the Chicago Sun-Times was endorsing Rod Blagojevich, the paper’s reporters were busy uncovering more evidence linking the governor to some shady dealings with his recently indicted fundraiser and intimate, Tony Rezko. This does make me question the soundness of their endorsement, but it also affirms that they are still committed to the public’s interest.

It’s amusing that if someone distrusts the SJ-R to the degree that they would respond contrarily to their every endorsement, that that person would be voting across party lines. That’s at least a step in the right direction, even if it is being made blindly.


I have, in the past, shown my preference in certain races by not voting for any candidate. To paraphrase Geddy Lee, something I do sparingly as it tends to hurt my throat, by choosing not to decide, I still have made a choice. Some consider this derelict of my duties as citizen in a democracy. I consider it a silent protest. So is voter apathy, when borne out of disgust rather than laziness, a meaningful expression of political preference?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Newspaper stuff, a question for bloggers, and how AC/DC let me down

My monthly SJ-R column celebrated International Newspaper Carrier Day by harkening back to my days as a paper boy. Here’s just a sample of what at-home subscribers were asked to stomach while sipping their morning coffee last Sunday.

It was the ability to consistently answer the early-morning call that separated us paperboys from our contemporaries, who chose pampered pursuits such as store clerk or burger flipper to earn a little spending money. While the rest of the town lay snuggly in their beds, we were setting the day into motion by greasing the wheels of civic life through the delivery of the local daily, the lifeblood of the community.

There was a special camaraderie among paperboys in those days. A few of my fellow carriers and I occasionally would gather on the corner after completing our rounds. Here we would swap stories of bravely facing down vicious dogs and espying comely housewives as they attempted to stealthily retrieve their paper while still in their nighties. Old man Fishburn, our district manager, would drive up to say hello while suspiciously eyeing our bags to see that all of our papers had been delivered.

So it turns out that detectives in trouble aren’t a temporary thing, as I so cleverly and erroneously opined last summer. I’ve kept quiet as more and more published reports have questioned their ethics and practices in carrying out their duties. The Bloggers Code of Conduct dictates that I now speak.

Although I never defended the detectives beyond the fact that no charges were ever filed against them, I did suggest that a certain weekly publication was slanting their coverage to disparage the duo. After reading parts of the report that the SJ-R has posted online, it seems that the IT was on to something with their renegade cops angle. They’ve earned the right to gloat a bit in the comment’s section, but I suspect that they won’t.

I had some down time this weekend so I decided to look-up the lyrics to AC/DC’s “Givin’ the Dog a Bone.” I was appalled, nay, sickened at what I discovered. That song’s not about forced child labor in third world Asian countries. It about advocating the teachings of the Crawlin’ Kingsnake John Lee. Just when you think you know a band.

Call it vanity if you will, but I occasionally Google BlogFreeSpringfield to see what blogs and other Web sites are referencing or linking to my work here. Most bloggers will tell you that such searches will occasionally result in a surprise or two. Someone unknown to them will have stumbled across something on their blog and found it compelling or ridiculous enough to mention on their own site.

I was fortunate enough to find something that I wrote here about Barack Obama on the Chicago Tribune Web site. They didn’t credit me personally, but they did mention BFS. What’s more, I must have been making sense at the time I wrote the passage because it wasn’t listed under a category called “Idiot Ramblings of Downstate Bloggers.”

A question then for all of you bloggers: where was the most surprising place you found a link or a reference to your blog?

Friday, October 13, 2006

Where I'm Calling From II

I hadn’t planned on taking requests for this feature, but last week new BFS reader Mick Shrimpton was hollering for one of his favorites. So Mick, this goes out to you.

I admit I’ve never heard AC/DC’s “Givin’ the Dog a Bone.” I am, however, familiar enough with the band that I can probably give you a pretty could analysis of the song’s subtext.

It’s well known that AC/DC is one of the most socially conscious and politically astute bands in the history of rock ‘n’ roll. Long before Bono thought to use his celebrity to lobby heads of state on behalf of the poor, the boys from Australia were fighting against injustice throughout the world. They used the stage as a soapbox and their amplifiers as bullhorns to deliver their call for righteous upheaval against the status quo.

Born on the left and nurtured on Marxist philosophy, AC/DC seized the torch that shed light on the rampant capitalism that was preying upon third world nations. Although he played a secondary role during their musical performances, rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young took the lead from his brother Angus and late frontman Bon Scott in screaming out against forced corporate servitude. Malcolm was particularly sympathetic to the underclass in oppressed Asian nations, where he visited as part of an Amnesty International fact finding tour in the late 70s, right before the band commenced writing songs for the Back in Black album. It’s based on this knowledge that I assume that Malcolm was responsible for the lyrics to “Givin the Dog a Bone.”

As I said, I’ve never heard the song and I can’t be bothered to look up the lyrics, but really, the title says it all. I’ve also been told that the word “union” is in the song, which is in keeping with my assumption and the band’s alliance with the workers’ movement.

The “dog” referred to in the title comes from the phrase “worked like dogs” and is a symbol for Taiwanese sweatshop slaves. Singer Brian Johnson is most likely calling attention to the children who are forced into labor in textile plants, although some would argue that AC/DC would have called the song “Givin’ the Puppy a Bone” if this were the case. I disagree. The dog and bone metaphor is more commonly known, and, despite the fact that the AC/DC fan base is probably one of the more sophisticated you’ll find, Malcolm nevertheless would not have wanted to confuse the message over such a trivial matter.

The “bone” that he demands be delivered to the workers signifies many things. A living wage. Proper healthcare. Better working conditions. A sense of respect. In short, the humanity that these children deserve.

The message of “Givin’ the Dog a Bone” is as simple as it is powerful. I’m sure the ruling class was none too happy to hear it blaring over their FM tuners while they slept walked through the Reagan years. Great pressure surely came down from the band’s corporate record label to tone down the band’s incendiary political views. But one listen to “Put the Finger on You” from the band’s follow-up album, For Those About to Rock, will tell you that their beliefs could not be suppressed and that AC/DC would never fall into the mold of just another stupid, sex-crazed rock band.

Some have suggested that “Givin’ the Dog a Bone” is about a series of promiscuous sexual encounters. This is clearly a lazy interpretation rooted in the retarded sexuality of certain depraved listeners. If such raunchy romps are your cup of tea, however, I would recommend that you listen to “Beds are Burning” by another Aussie favorite, the sugar-coated boy band, Midnight Oil. The title really does say it all in that sleazy song.

Should this anthem for the oppressed ever be made into a movie, I envision Givin’ the Dog a Bone along the lines of Norma Rae or Gung Ho - a stirring epic that speaks to the audience’s sense of justice for the working man.

For the role of the foreign liberator who fights on behalf of the subjugated workers, there is really only one choice: Edward James Olmos. His steely compassion and barely contained rage will instantly attract the peasants while making their corporate overlords quake in their Italian shoes (made in Korea.)

As the de facto leaders of the fractured children’s resistance movement: Haley Joel Osment and Dakota Fanning. It may seem odd in a movie based in Taiwan to pick two actors with decidedly un-Occidental features, but trust me, you need sweet and wholesome if you expect Western audiences to sit still through a three-hour docu-drama on the plight of the underclass in a forcibly industrialized nation.

The only other major characters in the film will be the children’s haggard-but-not-broken mothers. Both are seamstresses who also double as models for Nike’s sweatshop-produced swim wear. We viewers will be appalled at the way Michael Jordon’s corporate masters exploit cheap labor, but impressed with the new line of high-performance bikinis. Regular readers to this blog can probably guess which actresses will take on these critical roles and fill a majority of the 180-minute screen time.*

Well that’s it for this week. Tune in again next time, although I can’t promise when that will be. Unless I get another request, I’ll probably take Laura’s advice and cover the Capra-esque “Mr. Harris” by Aimee Mann, a song about the great Steeler running back and his quest to find love outside the huddle.

Amanda Peet and Angelina Jolie are Taiwanese seamstresses who struggle for their children’s future in Givin' the Dog a Bone.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Burn Down the Mansion

Occasionally, although rarely, a college athletic program will become so rife with such violations as payments to recruits, no-show jobs for players, tutors completing class assignments and professors in bed with the coach, that it is considered recidivist. The level of corruption is so abhorrent and inherent that the university determines that a new coach or stricter restrictions won’t be enough to clean up the mess, so they pull the plug on the entire operation. We may have reached that point with the office of governor for the state of Illinois.

With our previous governor headed for prison and our current governor itching to join him, it could be that corruption is so ingrained in the governorship that even if someone as seemingly honest as Glen Poshard would have been elected, he too would have surrounded himself with money-grubbing backroom dealers and ethically-devoid spin doctors. So let’s burn down the mansion and try to make a go of it the ungubernatorially way.

This may upset the plans of Judy Barr Topinka and Rich Whitney, but probably not.

It appears obvious that Topinka doesn’t really want the job. As I recall, she took over the Republican Party leadership for a couple of years quite reluctantly, driven only by a sense of loyalty. Based on her half-hearted campaign for governor, it appears that duty inspired her to run, but nothing is inspiring her to win.

As for Whitney, he should know that he stands no chance in our restrictive two-party system and if he believes otherwise, he’s unfortunately too delusional to serve. We’ve already seen what delusions can do at the highest ranks of state government.

Abolishing the governorship will not cure the state’s most pressing ailments; we’re still headed for financial ruin and legislators will still be too cowardly to deal with it prudently. But it will save us further embarrassment and Patrick Fitzgerald will have more time to spend with his family.

Now, we’ll just need to decide what native son or daughter’s name will be on the highway signs welcoming travelers to Illinois. Jeff Tweedy? Joan Cusack? Cindy Crawford? Barack Obama? As long as it isn’t Oprah.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Where I'm Calling From

Here’s the new semi-regular feature I warned you about last week. I’ve added pictures to keep you interested should you grow weary from the text.

Also in the interest of making this feature less boring, since most of you probably aren’t familiar with this song, I thought it might be interesting to cast the parts if this song were ever to be made into a short feature. But first, our feature presentation.

This week’s entry is from Tom Waits. Delivered as they are from his skid-row troubadour personae, Waits’ lyrics often run from fiendishly funny to downright disturbing. But on the song “I Hope That I Don’t Fall in Love with You” he delves compassionately into the soul of a lonesome barfly who lives life in his head, while his head is in a bottle.

As the song starts, the lead actor, who we’ll call Tom, is at his usual place. We assume he’s been there for some time, probably years. Tom spots a woman from across the room. With the music playing in the bar supplying the soundtrack, his liquor-fortified imagination sets the reel rolling on a love story, if only it could be.

Without a word spoken or a glance exchanged, Tom picks-up on her heart’s yearning for him. He pretends to resist, telling himself that he doesn’t need the heartache. Another beer, and he can hear her calling to him.

By the second verse he seems less sure of her attraction and he wonders if he should approach. Would she take pity on a lonely fool? Does she understand those “tomcat feelings” that make men start to pine when darkness falls?

Tom searches for an in, a way of introduction. Maybe she is just as lonely as he is and it would simply be a matter of bumming a smoke. As each verse ends, he protects himself from the inevitable heartbreak by repeating to himself that he doesn’t want to fall in love again.

As time passes, the only interaction he is able to muster is with his glass. Rising from his stupor, induced by equal parts reverie and whiskey, Tom realizes that the music has stopped playing. A hazy search across the bar reveals that she has gone. It’s closing time. He fell in love.


The cast of I Hope I Don't Fall in Love with You

The obviously choice to play Tom is Waits himself. He’s demonstrated his acting chops in several films, but his turns usually have a comedic element to them that would distract from the forlornness of our tale.

Paul Giamatti would be a good choice based on his expressive face and ability to communicate emotion without words, but he ultimately lacks the Bohemian-ness the role requires.

So we’ll have to get Sean Penn down off of his soapbox to play the part. Nobody broods and mumbles as artfully as Mr. Spicoli. His ability to seem rugged yet vulnerable makes him the perfect choice to play a hardened character who douses his melting heart with alcohol.

For the role of the anonymous dame who stirs Tom’s imagination, it’s tempting to go with Angelina Jolie or Amanda Peet. Of course, if I were casting the role of Eleanor in an FDR biopic, I’d be tempted to sign-up Angelina or Amanda. The more movies these two are in, the better for all of us.** Although it pains me to say this, perhaps we shouldn’t let infatuation interfere with the artistic integrity of the production.

Faye Dunaway has to be considered based on the strength of her performance as Wanda in Barfly. She was a drunken mess of emotions in that film, but we need someone with an outward appearance of grace that only hints at an inner turmoil.

Ellen Barkin, she of the wide-set eyes and crooked smile, has an offbeat sexiness that would shine through in even the dimmest and smoke-filled of bars. She’s also a bit crazy, a trait that comes through in all of her roles. I could believe that Tom would fall for her. He’d think her approachable if he could just bottled-up enough courage, yet unattainable enough that he would never make it off of his stool.

The only other role that could reasonably be written-in to the film would be that of the bartender.

We could go the comedic cameo route and cast Woody Harrelson, but that would be too jokey and distracting. Steve Buscemi is always great at bringing eccentricity and peculiarity to nondescript roles such as this. But this is Seymour Cassel’s part to lose. If you walked into some seedy tavern tonight and saw him tending bar, even if you did recognize him from Rushmore or the Royal Tenenbaums, you wouldn’t think it odd when he poured you a rye and asked about that shiner under your left eye.

And that’s my little attempt at artistic interpretation for this week. After writing this, it occurred to me that it would be easier to write about songs that I despise. Believe you me; I have quite a few things to say about the lyrics to that inane James Blunt song.

*The title comes from my favorite collection of short stories, written by Raymond Carver.

** See what I mean


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

It's outrageous! Egregious! Preposterous!

In legal circles, at least in those depicted in television sitcoms, there is a strategy known as the Jackie Childs defense. It requires that the accused, or their representation, not only claim innocence to whatever charges have been brought forth, but also demonstrate outrage that such accusations could ever be seriously considered in the first place. It’s an abomination. A dereliction. A grievous transgression. Rhyming is important in selling this defense, as is the ability to portray righteous indignation in the face of damning evidence. And it works.. Just ask O.J., who had the good fortune of being represented by Childs’ mentor, the late Johnnie Cochran.

Recently, this defense has been taken out of the criminal court house and into the court of public opinion by politicians who are being forced to address embarrassing, and possibly even unethical or illegal, behavior.

Rod Blagojevich has used the “ludicrous and ridiculous” rebuttal numerous times to avoid answering direct questions about a $1,500 check of suspicious intent. And today, we hear U.S. Representative John Shimkus use the same spiel, right down to employing the same two words, to deflect accusations that he was derelict in his duties in protecting young boys from a miscreant* House member.

Even those people who aren’t familiar with the satirical stylings of Phil Morris** can recognize when someone doth protest too much. By taking such dramatic offense at legitimate inquiries into their actions, rapscallions doth shroud themselves in guilt’s cloak.***

Without getting into any argument as to their relative innocence or guilt in these matters, allow me to posit a strategy that would allow Blagojevich and Shimkus to come across more like men of valor and less like politicians.

Blagojevich might say something along these lines: “I realize that a $1,500 check given to my daughter by a friend whose wife was just hired by the state has raised some red flags for many of you, but let me assure, it was a legitimate gift.”

Shimkus might say something like this: “As head of the page program I take full responsibility for what transpired, but my ability to act appropriately was impeded by Mr. Foley’s deceit.”

You might still say “Bullsh**!”, but at least you wouldn’t say it as vehemently as you do now in response to their acting as if they are the victim of a lynch mob. You’d also be more willing to hear their side of the story.

Not that these issues aren’t being politicized to some extent. It would be naive to think that there aren’t some Democrats who are strategizing over how to inflict the most political damage to the GOP as a result of the Foley scandal. It also seems obvious that some Republicans have let damage control get in the way of doing the right thing. The thing to remember here, however, is that most people’s primary concern isn’t who controls the House after the next election, but whether or not are elected leaders can be trusted to protect the welfare of teenagers put into their charge.

If politicians simply don’t have it in them to be humble or contrite in the face of allegations, at least they can channel Jackie Childs in one of less boisterous moments and declare: "This is the most public yet of my many humiliations." I think that would merit a Huzzah! from the jury.

*So as not to offend the Friends of Karr, let me say that I hope that Mark Foley receives a spirited defense from a valiant defense lawyer, and only then should he rot in jail.

**The actor who played Jackie Childs. For a free, “We’re #2”, BFS t-shirt, should they become available, name the TV show that Morris’ father played in. A Springfield Rewind foam visor if you also get the character name. The No Google Rule is in effect.

***It’s hard not to mimic the language of the Bard, whoever he may be.