TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 17 While many have accused President Bush of taking too many vacations--sitting around at his Texas ranch, perhaps looking through his scrapbook of executed retarded inmates--that's simply not the case! In fact, Bush broke a national record today for "Most Money Ever Raised for Republican Candidates by a US President!" In his 54th fundraiser of the year, he raised $1.1 million today, for Republican Senate candidate Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, which brings his grand total to (drumroll, please) 113 MILLION DOLLARS. A touch of irony that went unnoticed by all in attendance was that Alexander was running against Bush in the 1999 GOP primaries and dropped out because of a lack of funds--Bush had raised almost 100 million at the time. After conceding the primary, Alexander noted ruefully, "If we are not careful, we'll end up with only a race between the rich and the already famous." Apparently Alexander has decided to join the former group. After entertaining a room full of fat, cigar-chomping Republicans, Bush dropped by a local elementary school to help them recite the Pledge of Allegiance. (A cynical person might suspect that by scheduling a public event on the same day as a GOP fundraiser, Bush could then charge taxpayers for much of the trip. Good thing we're not cynical.)
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18 In what has got to be the most heart-wrenching news of this, or perhaps any other week, shoe designer Steve Madden began serving his 41-month prison term today at a federal prison camp in Florida. Madden had pled guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering and securities fraud in 2001, and APPARENTLY, the judge decided not to take into account all the joy he has brought women everywhere with his absolutely adorable line of shoes. Have you seen the new offerings for fall? Omigod, they are TO DIE. Especially the "Ariale" penny loafer with the clunky heel? We swear, if Madden is not released for good behavior after designing that shoe, we're going to slip on a pair of those sweet-ass kicks and march straight to the Supreme Court! Free Mumia? Forget that! Free Madden!!
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 Remember when President Bush demanded in front of the U.N. that Iraq must re-admit investigators into their country to search for nuclear weaponry "or face the consequences"? Well, Saddam Hussein agreed to Bush's demands today. "Our country is ready to receive any scientific experts, accompanied by politicians you choose to represent any one of your countries, to tell us which places and scientific installations they would wish to see," said the country's foreign minister quoting Hussein. President Bush considered this for a moment, and then responded to the country's agreeable nature by asking Congress to give him the authority to blow the shit out of Iraq anyway. And while this made many world leaders wonder why Bush would make such demands if he wasn't planning on keeping to the agreement, we think the President summed up his distrust for Iraq best with the following statement made to a crowd of supporters in Nashville. "There's an old saying in Tennessee. I know it's in Texas. They say, 'Fool me once [an uncomfortably long pause] umm shame on on you. [Another interminable pause] and fool me, but you can't get fooled again.'" Actually the old saying goes, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." Oy vey. Fasten your seatbelts, folks, for what assuredly is going to be a bumpy ride.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20 Oregon's own Katie Harman gave up her tiara today to the new Miss America, Miss Illinois Erika Harold. Okay, we admit it; we were secretly rooting for Miss North Carolina Misty Dawn Clymer, who didn't even make the top ten. (Perhaps her pet cause was educating women about sexism in the world of beauty pageants. Or is that giving her the benefit of the doubt?) Of course, the reigning Miss Oregon's pet cause was educating women about the "health effects" of abortion. CHRISTIAN ALERT. What's next for Katie? We know it is bound to be a rough transition from the public spotlight to regular, over-coiffed, Republican 22-year-old. No more sparkly dresses. No more parades. No more mentions in venerable humor columns. Wait! Don't worry Katie. We'll find some ways to make fun of you even you aren't wearing a tiara. No. Really. It's the least we can do.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 21 Today The New York Times reported that those little white pills you keep popping might just kill you. No, not ecstasy, stupid: Tylenol. Everyone knows that ecstasy is perfectly safe as long as you hydrate well and don't buy it from strangers. Tylenol, or specifically acetaminophen, an ingredient in Tylenol, is much more dangerous. If taken in doses more than the recommended eight extra-strength pills a day, it can cause liver damage and sometimes liver failure. What's more concerning is that it's especially insidious when combined with alcohol. What good is a Tylenol without a daiquiri chaser? Trust us. It's half as effective. To make matters worse, it turns out that Vicodin also has acetaminophen, so now not only is the daiquiri out, but you can't take Vicodin with Tylenol either. No Vicodin or daiquiris? You might as well be taking Excedrin.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22 Who doesn't love a good awards show? Sure, the Emmys aren't the Oscars. And they CERTAINLY aren't the Tonys. But they are a reliable touchstone of the tide of hemlines, color trends, and hair styles that mark television, if not make it. This year was supposed to be the "year of the edgy" shows. ("Edgy" being an industry euphemism for "cable.") Being a Six Feet Under fan--friends and loved ones often compare us to Brenda--we tuned in to see it and another favorite, Curb Your Enthusiasm, sweep the awards. Except they didn't. Of the 23 awards for which it was nominated, Six Feet Under won exactly one. And unless Curb Your Enthusiasm won something while we were upstairs fetching the peppermint foot cream, it didn't win anything. Yes, shockingly, "edgy" was not what was honored at all. Friends won. The West Wing won. We ALL love Everybody Loves Raymond. We know they're not called "The Anns" for a reason. But if WE were in charge of the Academy, we would give all the Emmys to HBO and Cinemax for their "soft porn for women" programming. We would also greenlight and star in a TV drama about the trials and tribulations of a medium city alt weekly. THAT would give The West Wing a run for its money!