• Dennis Miller, on Tuesdays' Daily Show, opens with the Duke rape case, on the grounds that he'd been checking his notes and it was what they'd talked about last time. (Maybe he was missing a page: the last time he was on they gave him two segments, and he spent the second ridiculing the significance of a 1º rise in average global temperatures.) This gave him the opportunity to call the alleged victim "the Louvre of DNA". Yuck yuck. This was followed by his humorous takes on Nancy Pelosi (she blinks a lot), Harry Reid (walking cadaver), and Robert Byrd (very old). A rocket, I tells ya! The man's a rocket to the moon! I guess last year's rebranding operation ("I'm a Libertarian! I just support the war!") is officially retired.
• Note to the President and what's left of his defenders: the teeth-gnashing about "defunding the troops" might ring a little less hollow if you hadn't done it yourselves in 2004 by tabling further Budget Supplements until after the November elections, causing the Pentagon to scramble for funding (and technically run out by September).
• And if the administration hadn't intended to hide the cost of the I Doubt Six Months excursion, Newt Gingrich might not be claiming that defunding the war would be "unprecedented", though we imagine the Professor would simply move on to some other illiteracy (the fact that Congress isn't proposing to defund the war doesn't seem to have slowed him down). I caught him only briefly--maybe he was arguing that every act is unprecedented. Maybe it was Epistemology Day on Charlie Rose (or is that Metaphysics?). At any rate, we need travel back no further than June, 1973, and the Church-Case Amendment. Stop by and give Newt's regards to the repeal of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution (1971) and the 1973 War Powers Act while you're in the neighborhood.
• A legal errand had me out driving around 3:30 yesterday, which caused me to listen to some NPR new-esque program I almost never hear. And they'd sent some guy around New York to ask people who Alberto Gonzales is, and nobody could do so, including a guy who took the multiple choice answer "St. Louis Cardinals' first baseman" and a woman who admitted to having heard something about it but knowing much more about the death of Anna Nicole Smith. (And why shouldn't she? I can answer "chloral hydrate", despite having actively retreated any time I saw her or heard her name. You too, probably.)
A big deal was being made of "only 19% of the population following the story". So what else is new? One in five actually sounds pretty significant to me, especially at a time when it's difficult for a news junkie to keep all the Bush scandals straight. But as they let the guy run on and on and on about Gonzales' prospects for MVP this season I snapped the thing off. Issues aren't made less important just because lots of people pay little or no attention to them. That's nothing new. Maybe NPR just needs to try a little harder.