The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Saturday, October 11, 2003  

Together With Miscellany

Wow, way cool! Norah Vincent sighting! And in the oddest of places and the oddest of forms [N.B.: “I am a man”] [Post-publication insertion: Gee whiz, it didn’t take Vincent long to pull down her personal ad did it? Maybe Lisa McNulty didn’t like the part where Vincent said she’s “single.” And “a man.”] . . . Vice President Richard L. Cheney pulls together enough nitroglycerine to speak to the choir, telling a Heritage Foundation audience: “Had we followed the counsel of inaction, the Iraqi regime would still be a menace to its neighbors and a destabilizing force in the Middle East. Today, because we acted, Iraq stands to be a force for good in the Middle East.” Gee, the current situation in Iraq looks per se destabilizing to the region, don’t you think? . . . And as the New York Times notes, Vice President Cheney is still acting like a desperate used-car salesman, some time around the 28th of the month, peddling the discredited fiction about Iraq’s ties with Al-Qaeda: “He repeated his assertion that Mr. Hussein actively supported Al Qaeda operations in Iraq, an assessment that some intelligence analysts say is overstated at best.” (Transcript: here.) . . . The Bush administration gives psychopath and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon a free hand to do whatever it is that psychopaths are wont to do . . . Meanwhile, Syria says relations with the U.S. are at a new low, and, I think, destined to worsen . . . Things are getting really ugly in Nepal, which is disturbing in and of itself, but also because the situation may, and hopefully will not, imperil the impending adoption of my future niece from that strife-ridden nation . . . Uh-oh. A new threat from Cuba? Or just a cynical attempt to pin down Florida’s previously contested electoral votes come November 2004? I’m betting on the latter . . . The whole bugging Philadelphia Mayor John F. Street (D) thing is simultaneously becoming more interesting and more bizarre, and Street’s woefully inexperienced, power-hungry, egotistical opponent, the virtual nobody going by the name of Sam Katz (R), can barely contain his glee . . . The New York Times reports Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) and Rep. Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.) are suddenly getting all chummy, supposedly in the face of rival former Vermont governor Howard Dean’s momentum . . . Meanwhile, Dean is reportedly planning to go gang-busters (Calm down, Arnold!) in New Hampshire and Iowa . . . Man, Andrew Sullivan is still peddling that tiresome “Susan Sontag Award” of his? Count me not among Sontag’s admirers, but, gee whiz, that whole award thing was funny for like three seconds . . . If you happen to find yourself in Philadelphia and are looking for the Liberty Bell, your map is without a doubt out of date. They moved it yesterday . . . Finally, lots of fun was had in New York last night during a convivial and all-too-brief gathering of the region’s top progressive bloggers, along with a trio of special -- and warmly welcomed -- guests from Philadelphia and Atlanta and Portland, Maine . . . (By the way, here’s something kind of weird: At least three bloggers attending last night’s gathering in New York said, either explicitly or in so many words, that before meeting me in the flesh they thought I would be, well, fat. I’m not sure why, and I’m not sure they know either, since I’ve hinted otherwise in the past. For the record, I stand 5’9” and I weigh all of 130 pounds. Just thought you might want to know.)

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