Art Pottery, Politics and Food
Saturday, August 09, 2003
The Shirlanator

From Reuter's:

In the interview, [Shirley]Temple Black, who later became a diplomat and served as ambassador to Czechoslovakia and Ghana, saw a number of parallels between her campaign and Schwarzenegger's effort in the October recall vote against Governor Gray Davis.
Her run in the Republican primary also lasted two months in a lively atmosphere, and she was subject to some hardball politics, as Democrats warn Schwarzenegger will face.
"The political cartoonists had a lot of fun with me. They showed me as a six-year-old or a five-year-old kicking LBJ in the shins," she recalled. "That also probably hurt my campaign a bit because it was probably difficult to look at a woman and not see the seven-year old tap dancing."
The opposition candidates, who included eventual winner Pete McCloskey, succeeded in casting doubt that Temple Black was a serious candidate.

Others on Arnold:

“What does being famous have to do with governing? I like him as an actor but this is real life. It's not a movie."
NBC security guard Jaime Fernandez as he locked up "The Tonight Show" pressroom after Schwarzenegger's announcement.

Arnold Schwarzenegger looks like a condom full of walnuts" - Clive James
The Guardian

Photos: and Terminator 3
Friday, August 08, 2003
W's Casual Friday

Ever so casually our relaxed vacationing President today caved to agressive pool questioning, violated White House "neutrality" and guilelessly (wink, wink) admitted that a 56 year-old weightlifter is qualified for high California office:

"I'm interested in the process -- it's fascinating to see who's in and who's out and, yes, I think he'd be a good governor."

Our good friends at show that our off duty President wasn't so much casually forced to an admission but rather a performer executing his portion of a prearraigned plan to saturate the media cycle with regular Arnie recharges:

According to a GOP campaign memo obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle, "Mindy Tucker, former Bush campaign spokesperson and current Bush campaign operative in California, has the blessings of the White House…" The memo went on to describe in detail Tucker’s intense involvement in "recall" strategizing and GOP "image enhancing." Tucker confirmed to the Chronicle that she is working with the White House’s full approval.

Meanwhile the heavily scripted Candinator, hoping to dazzle the Toob with a bloody onslaught of cliche and bad Austrian acting, doesn't seem to grasp the policy and political free weights that he will have to dead lift.

But, hey, check out the massive cabuchon sapphire on the ring Arnie's deadlifting...

How about it all you regular QVC CZ pros...are we talking 10 carets? What's a little piece of blue ice to Mr Freeze?

Photos: Jeff Mitchell & Robert Galbraith - Reuter's
Thursday, August 07, 2003
Kobie, Jerry and Arnold. Three men and three distractions from the less than glorious vicissitudes of terror and imperial entanglements all beautifully gift-boxed for media digestion by an army of handlers, advance people and PR flacks. What a summer! I’m nostalgic for shark attacks!
Could it get any crazier? Well, yes, I guess it could and it likely will because young American boys are still dying every day.
As questions about the war, Saudi’s, Presidential and National Security Advisor inattention and North Korea drift from the schedules of the always time-constrained 24 hour news channels, valuable time is devoted to the Brownian motion of celebrity candidates and rough interracial athlete sex.
In a manner akin to David Letterman’s Brush with Greatness audience routine, I must confess to prior relationships with two of the three gentlemen mentioned. No, not the kind of relationships that spring rapidly to the dirty minds of my Internet readers. Kobie has never bruised my neck. Jerry has never given me a personal check. And, Arnold has never invited me for moonlight ocean skinny-dips. But, two of these men have shared regular three-dimensional space with this Blogger at different times and places.

The first, Jerry Springer, entered my world at two different points in my early professional career in Cincinnati, Ohio.
As a young copy boy working for the Cincinnati Enquirer, I clearly remember one summer Saturday night when a noisy bustle of men erupted into the newsroom with a personal check for all to see. I don’t recall the particulars, but I remember looking at the check as I stood next to a gleeful City Editor who personally typed the Front Page story about a wayward local Democrat.
A young longhaired and Boston-accented upstart Democratic City Councilman, fresh from Bobby Kennedy’s Presidential campaign, was becoming a local media darling and a threat to the unrocking boat of Republican Cincinnati. Somehow, shortly before that noisy group of check-bearing men entered the old Enquirer offices on Vine Street, this young Councilman ended up at the Presidential Motel (which had been the White House Motel until Richard Nixon spent the night during the presidential campaign of 1968) in northern Kentucky where he paid for the services of a prostitute with a personal check. Somehow this personal check rapidly made its way into the editorial hands of the city’s Republican newspaper and equally rapidly into Sunday morning newsprint.
With pluck, brass balls and the non-direct mayoral election of a then City Manager form of government, Jerry overcame the career ending publicity through apologies, shameless family exploitation and more publicity to become the non directly elected Mayor of Cincinnati and launch a lucrative TV career.
As Jerry’s struggles forced him into the vineyards of radio and TV commentary we intersected again, though this time personally, as I had grown from copy boy to television director.
I directed many of Jerry’s early television efforts, auditions, commentaries and studio news interviews for the broadcasting company that ultimately began his syndication career.
I am sure that Jerry doesn’t remember me for Jerry only had eyes for other on-camera or important people. Brusque and snide with crewmembers, Jerry’s bud would blossom when a news anchor or other perceived VIP entered the studio. From off camera to on, it was like watching Aunt Bea do a dirty Vegas nightclub act. Before the cameras Jerry was sober and boyishly cheerful. He would brush a Bobbyesque curl from his eye and give an earnest answer. Off camera and still with the VIP, he exploded with jokes and fussy concern for VIP well being. With lights out and only a crew present, Jerry snapped on the sour puss and the ugly demeanor. I can only imagine his foibles have been reinforced with age and heavy infusions of cash.

Much later in my television career, part of my weekly duties involved the assembly of Washington DC’s edition of PM Magazine.
Maria Shriver, at that time, had just gone from involvement with PM Baltimore to national reporting for PM Magazine. Eunice Shriver, Maria’s mother, sister to President John F. Kennedy and wife of McGovern vice presidential running mate Sergeant Shriver, would call the PM Washington office almost daily to push Maria and her current story. These daily calls became a running joke.
PM Washington was a local version like any other city’s show and had local stories and national ones. Locals had no say in selecting the daily national stories. Mrs. Kennedy-Shriver was lobbying the wrong people. The PM secretary who took poor Eunice’s calls with sugary sweetness, a slumming society babe who would later marry the right wing heir to a then drug and book store empire, never informed Maria’s mother of this distinction.
Every Thanksgiving, in furtherance of her hapless lobbying effort, Eunice Kennedy-Shriver invited the PM Washington staff to a cocktail party at their home in the old Nelson Rockefeller estate on Foxhall Road in Northwest Washington. This was always a fun annual adventure for the staff.
Each year, with the invitation’s arrival, arguments would erupt over the meaning of the word “casual”. Is that casual casual or Kennedy casual? It was always fun to watch those who had insisted upon casual casual gape as we entered the vast Shriver domicile.
From its outside appearance the old Rockefeller house resembled a suburban two story on growth hormone.
The Catholic Shrivers, in an attempt at suburban verisimilitude, added a molded concrete Virgin Mary Shrine to the house’s front yard. Inside, the overlarge rooms were stuffed with the furniture, bric-a-brac and paintings that only a wealthy legacy can provide. The house, though large and beautifully appointed, did, to the Shriver’s credit, have the burnished worn edges of a real home.
As Maria’s then teenaged siblings raced about casually, Sarge and Eunice worked the room urging guests toward the temporary bar set before a vast oil painting of a deceased New York Cardinal and Kennedy family friend.
I would usually gawp at paintings and bric-a-brac that included several Old Masters and a small bronze copy of the Robert Berks bust of JFK that resides at the Kennedy Center.
One year, in particular, guests included the yet to be syndicated Oprah, aloof and odd in a lime green leopard print body wrap, and Maria’s new date the pre-Terminator and post Myra Breckinridge Arnold.
I remember Arnold for his small stature, perfect gums and little else.
I am 6 feet tall and though I didn’t whip out a tape measure to nail Arnold’s stature, I was surprised he didn’t quite reach my forehead. But, if his stature didn’t impress his teeth sure did.
Over the years I have remarked to many people about Arnold’s perfectly pink healthy gums. If dental hygiene were an indicator of good government Arnold would get my vote.
As I watched a post Leno Arnold take reporter questions with the assistance of a bevy of “last question” shouting media handlers last evening, my thoughts drifted back to my unmemorable cocktail conversation with the handler-less bodybuilder. “I have plenty of money”, “I don’t care about anything” and “Children need books” uttered in a thick Austrian accent, sadly, were not conversational gambits from that cocktail party of yore but were uttered yesterday by the just announced candidate. Years ago Arnold’s philosophy had not yet broadened to the pleasant murk of his currently assisted Executive depths. Who, watching Arnold hype his latest movie in Iraq, could have doubted yesterday’s “surprise” decision?
I wonder what Eunice thinks? Would she agree that Jerry and Kobie’s chances would also be better in California? Does she miss the shark attacks?

Wednesday, August 06, 2003
Beach Break

Jeff at Blind Pass

I’ve been derelict in my blogging duties these last few days. I’m sorry and I feel guilty, of course. While I will post when the odd thought strikes me, regular posting will not fully resume until our return from the beach at the end of September.
In my absence, I would urge any of you to check out my archives. In the overloaded political area my article on Presidential Advisor Karl Rove, Mr. Subliminal, has been accessed by the greatest number of people and has been translated by the web tranlation programs into German, Portuguese, Spanish and Greek.

Vacationing Blogger

On the food front and while I’m gorging on steamed shrimp and Key Lime Pie, a tremendous low fat Gumbo recipe, the only pie crust recipe you will ever need and a killer Spinach Quiche to bake in that pie crust can be found via this link.
In the pottery area I would urge you to check out my March 12 and March 23 posts about the women founders of the American Art Pottery movement. Color pictures of rare ceramics are scattered throughout the archive.
Sunday, August 03, 2003

Mr. RUSSERT: …Congressman Waxman of California has said that no one is still in charge of consolidating the watch list of potential terrorists. Why not?
SEC’Y RIDGE: We are in charge of overseeing that with the homeland security group within the White House. We have been working with all of the requisite agencies to consolidate that watch list. We are—made great progress and should have that completed within the next several weeks...
MR. RUSSERT: Congressman Waxman says that Steven Cooper and Bill Parrish of your office both testified in Congress recently that they weren’t sure who was in charge of the watch list and what specific organization or department had true control and authority to consolidate it.
SEC’Y RIDGE: Everyone is involved in the consolidation and once the consolidation is complete, the Threat Integration Center is the venue that will have the responsibility for maintaining that. That is where all the intelligence agencies will be making their information available to a group of analysts. We’ll have access to it, the FBI, Department of Defense, the CIA, so that process is an ongoing process. We know that it’s something...
MR. RUSSERT: But you will be in charge of that list?
SEC’Y RIDGE: Well, we’ll have access to that list So we want around the federal government—you know, the State Department puts names on a list, we have—the Transportation Security...
MR. RUSSERT: Who will keep the list
SEC’Y RIDGE: The Threat Integration Center will maintain the list and they...
MR. RUSSERT: And who do they report to?
SEC’Y RIDGE: The Threat Integration Center is a consolidation of—it’s an independent entity run—the director is from the CIA, the deputy director is from the Department of Homeland Security, and they are available and accessible, and an agent, a supplier of information for all the other intelligence agencies.

Am I wrong in seeing the too groomed Mr. Ridge as simply a butt-covering mumbo-jumbo artist? The transcript of Meet The Press, while sadly interesting for the impression of almost no progress achieved in protecting America following September 11, 2001, doesn't give the full flavor of the Secretary's gulping and eye-shifting demeanor evident in the broadcast.

Photo: NBC, Meet the Press
5 Pounds of Muscle!

Thanks to one-paragraph synopses of government reports, those ever so brief Daily Briefings and a killer workout régime, the smiling morning news faces were ecstatic, Saturday, over Glorious Leader‘s addition of five hard manly pounds of muscle to his lean Fighter Jock frame!
Here’s the New York Times describing the President’s weekly workout schedule:

He runs three miles three times a week, they said, uses an elliptical trainer for 25 minutes three times a week, lifts weights twice a week and "water jogs" — that is, he walks briskly through a swimming pool — once a week. They said the president "follows a flexibility program" five times a week, a reference to stretching exercises he has done since he injured his right calf.

According to the Washington Post:

An avid fitness buff, Bush has lowered his times back down to about 71/2-minute miles…Bush runs three days a week and supplements that with a "water jog" once a week in the White House pool. He also uses an elliptical trainer for 25 minutes, three times weekly, and exercises his upper body by lifting free weights twice a week.

If Mr. B holds to his 7-½ minute mile times, each three-mile run lasts 22 ½ minutes.
The President also tackles my favorite gym device, the latest generation Elliptical Cross Trainer, for 25 presidential minutes three times a week. Then those twice weekly free weight sessions, that once a week water jog and the five-day per week flexibility program all of unknown daily duration. Of course the President has to change in and out of gym clothes, shower and possibly steam, barber and massage. All told, a considerable chunk of presidential time devoted to the maintenance of our Hardbod in Chief.
But the morning news funsters didn’t stop there! No kids, according to those peppy unknown faces populating Saturday morning Toobland, this month long Presidential vacation is a “working vacation because the President is going to be briefed.”
How many fellow viewers also subconsciously made the Sign of the Cross as this chirped out of a pixie face?
Yes my fellow Americans between workouts (and God only knows how long a vacation workout is), brush clearing, driving a truck to a locked-down Crawford for regular guy activities, constant fund-raising trips and early bedtimes those pesky briefings better be “darned” brief before they (giggle) “rise to the presidential level”!

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