Anyway, a remarkable document, and even if you lived through it the first time an inducer of nausea (Reagan says of Michael Dukakis, "I won't make fun of an invalid"; Press Corps chuckles). Anyone prattling about bi-partisanship in 2008 ought to be required to view it in its entirety, and write an essay, before he opens his mouth again. O'Rourke thinks Americans love liars because April 15 comes around every year; I suggest that the casual immoralities of daily American life, while instructive of our national and international behavior, in fact fall so far short of the utter amorality of these people--the Bush Crime Family particularly--that the latter is a different, and unexpected, species, and they'd all be tarred and feathered if the public really knew, and could afford tar and feathers anymore. Atwater shived Ed Rollins in the prison shower to get his job; the Finemans of the world then allowed him to pretend he didn't know anything about the Willie Horton ads, even though everyone knew. This is not padding your deductions; this is padding your deductions while indulging in posterior intimacies with the examiner's wife, in his office, with the door open. Some people are gratified by Atwater's supposed Death Bed apologies; I'm just grateful he fittingly remained a Drama Queen to the end. Ed Rollins' story about Atwater's Bible, which the producers were too sensitive to let end the piece as it should've (compounding the error by letting Howard Fucking Fineman spew platitudes), is absolutely worth the price of admission, and the time spent looking it up.
• Kentropic, in comments yesterday, proposes--jokingly--David Brooks as the second American to switch ends of the American political spectrum, which reminds me of a couple of things. An earlier draft of that thing yesterday mentioned Brooks by name, and asked exactly what Liberal credentials he might dig up for us. He was old enough to vote in 1980--how'd that go? And I realize that's not confirmable, but is anything in his past? Maybe he tells the tale in one of those books I'm always intending to read just as soon as one washes up on an island I've been deserted on. He spouts that "parody" of William Fuhbuckley like a Freak Flag, though it seems (okay, reluctantly, it's here, complete with "Hilarious" in the head so you'll be prepared. Do not click.) mostly to demonstrate that Brooks somehow remained a sophomore until 1983, and I mean high school sophomore. Those of us who tenant the slums of political blog comments are, of course, quite familiar with the Youstabee Liberal who cannot seem to come up with a single believable sample of his former belief system, as though your later embarrassment at having been an REO Speedwagon groupie would cause you to forget what a guitar sounds like. But Brooks never gets called on this, though I can't imagine who it's supposed to impress. And this gave me the thought that there might be some sort of Lord Raglan Hero Pattern for Former Liberals, though it would have to account for the milquetoast Brookeses and the retired radical dope smokers.
• The new phone books are here, and they only cost a billion dollars! Hoosiers had barely had enough time to stop gawking at the retractable ceiling of our billion-dollar Football Barn before we opened our new billion-dollar Airport Terminal Barn, and the teleprompter readers couldn't be more excited, let me tell you. They kept reminding The Folks At Home that this was the first new terminal since 2001, which tells you something, namely, that if no real city needed a new terminal in that period, Indianapolis sure didn't. The goddam thing's been in the planning stages for thirty-five years, which tells you a couple more things: it's probably 8.2 times even worse than the new Football Barn, and the graft trail would require a team of archaeologists and a baying of bloodhounds to begin uncovering.
We mentioned some time ago--you don't expect us to keep track of this stuff, right?--that an organization had turned up trying to change the name of the Indianapolis Airquotes International Airquotes Airport back to the original Weir Cook Airport, which yours truly enthusiastically supported for as long as it took him to learn (not long) that what these people were up to was not the elimination of the bloated, risible, Bureaucratic Megalomaniacese of its current moniker, nor the simple nostalgia that might help glue Place to Time, but Yet Another Glorification of All Things War. Col. Harvey Weir Cook was a WWI flyboy with the Hat-in-the-Ring squadron who is credited with seven kills, four of them balloons. (I am, by the way, trying to get the Airport Authority to give my Poor Wife's students some wall space to paint a mural depicting one of those heroic triumphs over Helium. Or was it Hydrogen? I'll let you know how it goes.) There was no more chance that the Board was going to take "Indianapolis" out of the name of the place than they were going to ban price-gouging in the food court, but this gang realized that playing up the Honor our Veterans routine got 'em plenty of airtime, and in the end--after several loudly thumped stories from local "news" organizations which had ignored the name change the previous thirty years--the Board agreed to name the new terminal after the hero of the Battle of Tethered Child's Toy Alley.
This, of course, proved to Not Be Enough Wargasm; it never is. The next step was to delay the fucking opening of our badly-needed luggage-claims upgrade until Veteran's Day. And then they tried to fix it so the first arrival would be a planeload of Indiana Guardsmen returning from Afghanistan, but the timing broke down. Are we not, really, the last nation on earth which needs nearly unrestricted access to firearms?
It's Thursday. This thing has been the lead story on every local "news" program since last Friday. ("In a little over 48 hours the first plane will arrive at the New H. Weir Cook Terminal!" Could you, reader, even spit those words out, let alone while pretending they were important?) I swear to god I actually turned on the nets at 8PM Tuesday to see if they'd cut to a live shot of the first plane landing. And I was amazed to find they didn't.
And the culmination, make that nadir, came when one (or at least one) actually sent a reporter to Philadelphia so she could turn around and fly back and tell us what it was like. Just keep that in mind should you feel the need to use "Indiana is now a Blue State!" in conversation.