back to the Black Table
  INCOMING! JULY 25, 2005.  

A small note about the Incoming! feature here at the old BT: Some of you may have noticed that writers are rotated. This necessarily means that some writers will wind up with a fantastic week's worth of material, and other writers will wind up with a steaming pile of crap. Now, I'm not saying that any of this is on purpose. But it does leave some of us in kind of a bind. Therefore, this will be the very first annual Seven Percent Bullshit Incoming! See if you can spot the "factual error." Find the libel and win a kewpie doll for the lady!




Sixty years ago today, President Truman met with Stalin and Churchill to discuss the possibility of using the atomic bomb, the existence of which he had just been informed, to win the war in Japan. Truman reflected to his journal that the bomb "seems to be the most terrible thing ever discovered, but it can be made the most useful." The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed 120,000 people on impact and caused the decisive end of World War Two. More than half a century later, after being dragged, sulking, to the Truman museum by his father on a family vacation, President Bush would reflect to his blog that Truman "knew how to blow up people read good" but that finishing wars is "for suckers and fairies and anyways, I'll teach those towelheads to pick on my old man!"

Today is also the third and last day of the Democratic Leadership Council's 2005 National Conversation in Columbus, Ohio. The goal of the convention is to address four major issues facing the Democratic Party today: Terrorism, restoring upward mobility, standing up for American values (whatever that means) and reforming "our broken political system." Yeah, good luck with that, guys. Three days should be plenty of time to get that sorted out. I bet you can squeeze in a golf game if



you try.

Vice President Cheney will also headline a fundraiser for Rep. Vito Fossella (R-Staten Island). If you want to make a joke about Rep. Vito Fossella, you go ahead. I live a little too close to his constituents now, and do not want to inspire him to go to the mattresses, or ask me if I think he's a clown, or, you know, kick me to death or anything like that.




Happy 230th birthday, U.S. Postal Service! Thanks for all the good times. I know it's not your fault that freelance checks take approximately 230 years to get from my editors to my mailbox. I understand that your occasional cranky employee is probably just a bad apple, a poor reflection on your fine institution. (I do happen to know, though, that as recently as the 1960s, your employees were allowed to take guns with them on their routes, after doing little more than signing a piece of paper. Gives a whole new meaning to the expression "going postal," huh? Huh? Postal Service? C'mere! Oh, don't be so goddamn


sensitive. Everyone's a little reckless in their 190s.)

Fourteen years ago today, Paul Reubens got busted punching the clown in an adult theatre in Sarasota, Florida. This marked the very first time that I or any of my friends had any respect at all for Pee Wee Herman.




Today is Supreme Court nominee John Roberts' ninth wedding anniversary! Aw. When contacted for this piece, Jane Roberts said, " Mister ... my family will pay cash. Whatever ransom you're asking for, they'll pay it." To which Roberts replied, "It rubs the lotion on its skin. It does this whenever it's told."

Twenty-one years ago today, the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee voted to recommend the first article of impeachment against President Richard Nixon. The charge? Obstruction of justice. Good times! In honor of this,


Karl Rove will resign today, admitting to being the source of Plame leak, and apologizing to Plame, the CIA, Judith Miller, the American people, the baby Jesus and Jennifer Lynn Hubley.




On this date in 1945, the U.S. Senate voted 89 to 2 to approve the charter for the United Nations, marking a complete and total shift from the political climate in the U.S. after World War I, when Woodrow Wilson sought and lost approval for the League of Nations. President Truman was quoted as saying "The action of the Senate substantially advances the cause of world peace." Aw, that Harry. You can take the boy out of Missouri ...

In a stunning coincidence of historical synchronicity, today is also the anniversary of the start of World War I. Today in 1914, Austria-


Hungry declared war on Serbia after that country failed to pretend to even give half a damn that one of its citizens assassinated Archduke Francis Ferdinand. Here's some travel advice, from me to you: Don't go into that whole section of eastern Europe where the countries are about the size of your neighborhood. They're real testy over there. The Middle East is also bad. And I hate to say it, but London isn't looking fantastic, either. You know what? Just stay home. You're welcome.




Theda Bara would be 119 years old today, but she's dead. Benito Mussolini would be 121 years old today, but he's dead. Lots of dead people were born today, and that's the major point that I want you to take away from our discussion.

Dispatch from the Democrats continued downward spiral! John Edwards -- the former senator, not the dude who knows where your dead Granny's pearls are and that she loves you -- will be the featured guest at the Merrimack Count Democrats Pig Roast at Bow, N.H., this Saturday. This joke should write


itself, but I can't stop crying.

Today is also Gov. Arnold Schwarzengger's birthday. He will be really old, and kind of funny-looking and orange. Also, he will still have that damn accent that gets stronger whenever he's on a talk show.

Jennie Smash toots rainbows and sunshine daily at


INCOMING! runs every Monday on The Black Table.