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  INCOMING! JANUARY 10, 2005.  


The best thing about coming back to work after the holidays is that you can excuse your laziness and non-productivity by saying, "Hey! I just got back to work after the holidays!" All that ends this week. If you're settling back into your crappy job and maybe re-evaluating your life post-New Years, you might be asking yourself, "Why am I still in this crappy job? Shouldn't I be doing something better with my life?"

Yes, you should. You should be doing many things better with your life. And the way to get started is to find some important person, and just hitch your wagon to that star as tightly as possible.

With that in mind, today marks the inauguration of Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) as the 49th governor of that state. Daniels beat his opponent Democrat Joe Kernan with 53 percent of the vote after a tight race, mostly due to his support from



former boss and current Dumbo in Chief George W. Bush, who referred to Daniels in a speech as "my man Mitch," giving him both a tidy boost in the polls and a profoundly dorky campaign slogan. (And proving once again that no one is any match for Dubya's kung fu.)

The campaign was otherwise notable for how goshdarn nice both sides were to one another. Daniels refused to run negative campaign ads focusing on the previous administrations' budget woes, focusing instead on his fiscal conservatism (which is the new black) and his aforementioned ties to Bush. His opponent stressed his service in Vietnam and his bipartisanship, which worked just as well for him as it did for John Kerry.

Daniels pledges to continue to guard the citizenry against unfair taxation, and to make people stop referring to them as "Hoosiers," just because it's fun to say.

On a more historical note, today in 1776, former corset-maker Thomas Paine published his comic masterpiece "Common Sense." Paine's pamphlet was instrumental in shaping public opinion about the burgeoning American Revolution and sold 500,000 copies, making it The Lovely Bones of its day. Two hundred years later, college students would parrot its arguments, especially "government even in its best state is but a necessary evil" in rallies, where they chant slogans, meet boys and, eventually, get laid. After which they would do, oh, about a million bong hits and forget all about Thomas Paine, Common Sense, the American Revolution and the existence of government, evil or not.

Use your last THC-free braincell to remember to clean off your desk today. Because it's National Clean Off Your Desk Day. Coming soon to a calendar near you: National Rotate Your Tires Month, The Long Weekend of Meaning to Pick Up Your Laundry But Never Getting Around to It and The International Fortnight of Pretending to Be British.




Dig up your I (Heart) New York t-shirts and head to the Bronx. Mayor Michael "Mayor Mike" Bloomberg is giving his state of the city address today. If previous speeches are any indication, look for Mayor Mike to address the Good People of New York about taxes, trains, crime, education and, of course, terrorism. Using our patented Black Table Politrope Prediction Algorithm, we can tell you with some confidence that he will mention 9/11 not more than five, but not less than two, times during his speech. We will also be listening for an explanation of why any public official not currently holding office in McDonaldland would allow, never


mind encourage, people to refer to him as "Mayor Mike."

It's also Marc Blucas' birthday today. If you're the type of person who goes outside occasionally, you won't know that Blucas is better known as hated interloper Riley Finn on the late great "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." Blucas spent two years on the show, probably cowering in his trailer while torch-bearing mobs of vamp-loving nerdlingers massed outside and howled for his blood. He then moved on to greener pastures, co-starring in Gwyneth Paltrow bomb "A View From The Top" and "Summer Catch," a Freddie Prinze Jr. vehicle featuring the worst Boston accents since "Cheers."




Today is Washington State's Gubernatorial Inaugural, assuming they can figure out who won. For those of you who haven't paid much attention to Washington State since Kurt Cobain kicked it, here's a quick recap of the hotly contested election between current favorite Christine Gregoire (D) and Dino Rossi (R).:

So OK, first Rossi won, but not by much, right? So they had to count again. And then they counted again, and he still won, but by less, and Gregoire was all like, wait a second, you hardly won at all that time, count it again. And Rossi was all like,


nah-nah-nah, I still won, don't be such a sore loser. And Gregoire was like, whatever, just count it again, what's the big deal? And then they counted it again, and this time, Gregoire won and Rossi goes, hey, no fair, you changed the rules, YOU ALWAYS CHANGE THE RULES WHEN I'M WINNING and Gregoire was like shut up, you're such a loser and she pulled his hair and he cried.

Anyway, it looks Gregoire will be inaugurated today.

It's also National Pharmacist Day today. Go buy some drugs or something. At least an antihistamine. You're still young! Get crazy.




Today's the day to gorge on carbs until you choke, pass out and hit your head on the coffee table. That's right, it's the third anniversary of George W. Bush's infamous pretzel-choking incident.

Three years ago today, Bush came a cropper over a salty snack while watching football on a Sunday afternoon. The pretzel went down the wrong pipe, the president fainted and when he woke up, he had a scrape and two bruises to show for his troubles. His constituency, alas, would not wake up for another five years and would be permanently disfigured.

Conspiracy theorists hold that that the attack was actually caused by atrial fibrillation (AF), a heart


condition that also plagued Bush's father, former president George Herbert Walker Bush. Late night talk show hosts, on the other hand, say that the incident was actually caused by Bush's commitment to ensure that their jobs, at least, would not be outsourced to Vindaloo.

In other Republican news, Colorado Gov. Bill Owens (R) delivers his state of the state address to the legislature in Denver today. Owens was called the "best governor in America" by National Review magazine, and is generally known for his, you guessed it, fiscal conservatism and tax relief programs. On the national scene he's probably best known for successfully opposing Amendment 36, which would have split Colorado's nine electoral votes based on the percentage of votes each candidate won.

Owens' opposition to Amendment 36 was based partly on the fact that its passage might have allowed Kerry to eke out a Democratic victory with four of Colorado's electoral votes, and partly on the fact that this would mean that future presidential candidates would have no reason to come to Colorado, unless they were skiing or hiding a mistress.

Which reminds us, today is also Lovers of Life International's Day of Orgiastic Life. They will celebrate, presumably by fucking.




Happy New Year, Bosnia-Herzegovina! That is, if you guys still exist and stuff. We're sorry we haven't called in a while. We've just been really busy. Now, now, I'm sure you're still chock full of atrocities. It's just that we've found someone else. Someone new, someone fresh. Someone with oil. Someone we can balkanize ourselves. No, don't do that, it belittles us both. We want to remember you ... just like this.

Saturday is the DNC Midwestern regional caucus in St. Louis. Delegates from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin and something called the Democrats Abroad, whatever that is, will gather at St. Louis


Airport Marriott to attend forums held by various candidates for the position of National Chair. The Black Table was unable to get a hold of the day's itinerary, but we assume it will feature such topics as "Remaining Stoic When The World's Gone to Shit" and "Please, Baby Jesus, All We Need is One Guy Who Can Smile."

And finally, Sunday is 62nd Annual Golden Globe Awards. Alexander Payne's self-help piece Sideways, which explains in exacting, step-by-step detail how funny-looking schmoes with personal success difficulties can woo hot waitresses by liquoring them up, lead the nominations with seven nods. The ceremony will be broadcasted live on NBC at 8 p.m. EST and will be star-studded.


All the Jen Hubley you can handle can be found at


INCOMING! runs every Monday on The Black Table.