Sunday, April 30, 2006

On tolerance

In order to justify blogging on the Sabbath, your blogstress offers a new feature that will appear each Sunday: a spiritual thought for the day. Herewith a snippet from Chapter 58 of the Tao Te Ching by Lao-tzu, as translated by the great Stephen Mitchell:

If a country is governed with tolerance,
the people are comfortable and honest.
If a country is governed with repression,
the people are depressed and crafty.
Prozac, anyone?

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Saturday, April 29, 2006

New York turns out for peace

Sunday watch: Pay close attention to how the major broadcast and cable news outlets cover today's impressive protest march, through the streets of Manhattan, against the war in Iraq. Will it be given its due?

The day after tomorrow promises to be another big protest day, this one against the draconian anti-immigrant legislation under consideration in the House of Representatives.

Your blogstress takes some small comfort in the fact that today's protest went off without the orange netting of protesters, or the illegal detention of dissidents that marked the arrival of the Republican Party for its 2004 convention in the city so nice they named it twice. Despite the danger, protest marches appear to have not lost their cachet; in fact they're gaining steam as a global trend.

Alas, a glance at this month's issue of the fashionista's fashion mag, W, shows some rather grim and Gothic looks for fall. It's feeling a bit like, as one imagines it, Berlin in the late 1930s.

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Friday, April 28, 2006

More on Kristol melt-down

A far better recounting than your blogstress was able to muster this morning of Colbert feasting on Kristol under glass appears under the nom de guerre "background No15e" at TPM Cafe:

Colbert settled in and sized him up. Kristol came out strong trying to deflect any attack by preemptively taking credit for what will likely be a great performance by Stephen this Saturday night. Stephen stopped him dead in his tracks with a straight to the face.

Kristol rocked back on his heels a bit dazed at how badly his joke had backfired. Colbert laid into him..."How's that New American Century," he asked with all the sadistic glee of Edward G. Robinson asking, "Where's your God now, Moses?"

Unprepared for the frontal assault, Kristol stumbled, fumbled, and clutched the table to keep from sliding into oblivion. You could hear the little voice in his head screaming, "Help meeeeeee!" He took a standing eight count and wobbled back to the fray, realizing that he had sadly misread the situation, confusing his opponent for a friend.
Go read the whole thing. Your Webwench promises it won't disappoint.

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Kristol mauled by baby eagle daddy

If you've been locked away in your boudoir, tasting bon bons and other fine things, then you may have missed the fact that the San Francisco Zoo has named a baby eagle after Comedy Central satirist Stephen Colbert, and that the latter speaks of the fledgeling as "Stephen, Jr." And you may have missed the wild success of "The Colbert Report," a fast-paced, writerly send-up of the dominant talk show in the line-up of that fair and balanced news network.

It appears that the neo-con pundit and former Dan Quayle speechwriter Bill Kristol unwittingly stepped right into an eagle's nest when he submitted to an interview by the quick-cogitating Colbert, who not only made mincemeat of Kristol -- a booster of the Iraq war that is the main product of the Project for the New American Century -- but threw Kristol so far off his game as to get the brains behind Mr. Potatoe-head to utter a stupid and misogynist statement.

One wonders what possessed Kristol to appear on Colbert's show. Had he taken Colbert literally, somehow failing to catch on to the fact of Colbert as a satirist under the evil spell of the liberal media?

Having not anticipated such a newsworthy event as Kristol's paean to wife-beating, your blogstress failed to run her hi-tech recording device (a Dictaphone-compatible mini-cassette recorder) during Colbert's show, so she cannot offer you, dear reader, an exact quote. (Colbert has not posted video of this particular segment on the Comedy Central Web site.)

[[MATERIAL WITHIN BRACKETS, FROM ORIGINAL POST, IS ERRONEOUS. REVISED SENTENCE APPEARS AFTER THESE BRACKETS. However, in response to a Colbert taunt about bombing Mesopotamia into democracy, Kristol replied to the effect of, it's like hitting one's wife because you love her. (When the actual quote surfaces, your cybertrix will oblige.)]]

Playing the part of a stooge to the right of Kristol to wily effect, Colbert reminded Kristol that he had called the Bush administration "incompetent." Baiting the pundit in a righteous tone, Colbert asked, "Do you support the president?"

When Kristol said he did, Colbert replied, "That's like saying, 'Honey I hit you cause I love you...'" And there the hapless neo-con fell prey to the eaglet's papa, replying with something like, "Sometimes that's true."

A Google search of news outlets has revealed no reporting yet on this mind-blowing faux pas from the resident sage of the Faux News Channel, nor have the bloggers who monitor this sort of thing yet come up with the goods. So your Webwench leaves her reader with this charge: All you Tivo-têtes, bring that quote to mama. (Note the "E-mail Addie" button on the sidebar.)

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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Your money, their secret

Aided by an apparently disinterested mass media, the House yesterday passed a bill that, according to the Associated Press (AP), will "greatly increase" the funds available to the national intelligence director, John Negroponte -- by how much, you and your blogstress, dear reader, are forbidden to know. Seems the cost of the bill is classified.

That this story has shown up in only a handful of outlets today reflects the media's aiding and abetting, whether by default or cowardice, the Republicans' not-so-secret plan to keep all manner of things secret from the people of the United States. From the AP via the Seattle Times:

Democrats expressed outrage that the Republican-led House Rules Committee would not allow any of their five proposed amendments to be considered by the full House, including measures to expand congressional oversight of President Bush's warrantless surveillance program and the intelligence on Iran.
Mad enough yet?

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Your blogstress appears to stand corrected on her verdict of Treasury Secretary John Snow as a dullard. Apparently, the former railroad captain is an object of some fascination to those obsessed with monetary policy, as is your cybertrix's foxy (but, alas, spoken for) friend, Glenn Kellis, who writes:

I was chuffed to read your reference to the mind numbing John Snow. Might you be taking a slight interest in monetary policy? If you are you may have noticed the US dollar is in a hell hole swan dive. See this chart.

The Mogambo has some interesting things to say this week.

And sorry to be a jerk and point out that CSX and the railroads in general have been kicking ass for quite some time, mainly because they transport a lot of raw materials and commodities like coal, timber, iron, add the like which are being exported to China and India at record rates. Here's a glimpse at their ass-kicking.
Well, as soon as your Webwench can schedule some quality time for consuming bon-bons while perusing monetary policy, she will render her verdict on Mr. Kellis's assertions. In the meantime, everybody buy Euros!

P.S. -- Qu'est-ce que c'est "chuffed"?

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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Snow day

Were there ever any doubt of the role of Fox News as the mouthpiece of the Bush administration, it has been dispelled today with the appointment of Fox pundit Tony Snow as the replacement for beleaguered White House press secretary Scott McClellan. Snow, no doubt, is feeling a bit vindicated among his Fox News colleagues after having been pushed out, several years ago, to the glamour-challenged world of Fox's radio network from his Sunday morning TV gig as host of Fox News Sunday.

Considering, as documented by Media Matters for America, the numerous instances of prevarication, disinformation and bald-faced toadying exercised by Mr. Snow, liberals are rightfully horrified at the president's choice of a press secretary -- the official who exemplifies an administration's accountability to the American people via the nation's mass media. (In fact, Snow has engaged in a bit of a pissing match with Media Matters, which the watchdog group appears to be winning.) Herewith an excerpt from the case against Snow posted at Media Matters:

From his statement that evolutionary theory is a "hypothesis" to his defense of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, Media Matters for America has documented numerous false and misleading claims advanced by Snow as a Fox News commentator:

* Snow falsely asserted that former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV said his wife, Valerie Plame, "wasn't covert for six years" before she was exposed as a CIA operative by syndicated columnist Robert Novak.

* Snow put forward numerous falsehoods to argue that "[e]volutionary theory, like ID [intelligent design], isn't verifiable or testable. It's pure hypothesis."


* Snow peddled the baseless Republican National Committee talking point that 2004 presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) had blamed U.S. troops for the explosives looted from the Al Qaqaa military installation following the invasion of Iraq. Snow said, "[T]he Kerry campaign is not criticizing the president here. They're criticizing our troops."


* Snow backed Swift Boat Veterans for Truth's attacks on Kerry, falsely claiming, "[T]here has been no documentary contradiction of the Swift Boat stuff."
For all that horror, your blogstress finds herself intrigued by a more titillating question: Will Snow be able to stash his pundit persona in a box in order to serve his president in this new capacity? However influential or brilliant a press secretary, his is by definition a yeoman sort of a job. His daily turn before the mic -- unlike that of a radio or TV personality -- is not about him, but all about his boss.

Over the years, like any good pundit (your cybertrix included), Snow has cultivated a public personality based on the presumed charm of certain of his innate enthusiasms and peeves. For Snow, that includes a boyish chumminess, right down to his own garage-band avocation. (One of the best features of Fox News Sunday during the Snow era was the snippets of rock-n-roll tunes used to end various segments, often to witty effect.) The question remains, will Snow be able to leave all that child-star-like, look-at-me adorableness at the door of the White House Press Room?

More to come from Fox?

With a widespread assumption -- that of the one-hand-washing-the-other relationship between Fox News and the Bush Administration -- having at long last been virtually proven, your blogstress awaits, in the current shake-up, further White House appointments from among the ranks of Fox. Herewith her suggestions for the filling of various executive-branch positions, some of which are said to be up for grabs.

Treasury Secretary: Neil Cavuto
Enter one Snow and exit another? Our current Keeper of the Coffers, John Snow, former executive of CSX, the nation's crumbling freight railroad conglomerate (which, under Snow's management, developed a knack for evading the taxman), has long been rumored to be on his way out. And let's face it, having been so damn boring, he should be.

The hiring of Cavuto, host of the Fox News Channel's ostensible money and finance show, "Your World with Neil Cavuto," would certainly spice things up, given Cavuto's penchant for displaying women in various states of undress on the fair and balanced network. (If so balanced, where are the displays of scantily clad men?) A recent Cavuto segment, for instance, featured soft-core internet tycoon Anna Benson as a business interview -- enhanced, of course, with screen shots of her Web site. Your blogstress has long felt that our public officials, while shoring up the oil and airlines industries with public money, have done far too little for bustier-clad entrepreneurs. Surely, a Cavuto appointment could boost your Webwench's fortunes, and that would surely be a good thing for the nation at large.

Secretary of Defense: Bill O'Reilly
Bill has already announced a solution to the Iran dilemma, something no one in the Bush administration has yet to do:
O'REILLY: You know, in a sane world, every country would unite against Iran and blow it off the face of the earth!
How can you argue with that?

And as for that pesky problem with San Francisco, the city that wants to impeach the president? O'Reilly has invited al Qaeda to blow up city-by-the-bay landmark Coit Tower -- a brilliant strategy that could herald a new era of cooperation between Protestant and Islamic fundamentalists.

Ambassador to France: Bill O'Reilly
Should Josh Bolton fail to see the wisdom of your écrivaine's nomination of O'Reilly to the DoD post, then surely he will acquiesce in the coup that would be O'Reilly in Paris. Given the administration's famously strained ties to our erstwhile ally, your blogstress thinks it futile to try to convince the French that we are indeed a civilized nation, a theory in which they have had too much fun poking holes. Let's give them a real American -- O'Reilly -- and concede to the Gauls that sense of superiority they so cherish. For the French, O'Reilly in the U.S. Embassy -- no doubt targeted for a burning, anyway, by disgruntled students, immigrants, farmers and bustier-makers -- would offer more delight than a Jerry Lewis film festival. Vive la guerre!

Director of Faith-Based Initiatives: Brit Hume
The managing editor of Fox News keeps a Bible on his Washington bureau desk. What more could one want than a curmudgeonly, judgmental, Good-Book-thumping anchorman for this role? More than once, he's told us he knows what's good for us. Declare the war on Christmas finito!

National Security Advisor: Oliver North
An inoculation against the evils of a House potentially controlled by Democrats, North knows how to deal with a meddling Congress -- nothing that a few Fed Ex envelopes full of cash, a beautiful secretary with boots full of troublesome documents, and a plan to suspend the Constitution won't cure.

Secretary of Education: Sean Hannity
With history as his strong suit (though perhaps a bit revisionist in nature), Hannity is well-positioned to fix what's wrong with the nation's educational system -- God-dissing liberal teachers, textbooks written by God-dissing liberals, and school boards composed of God-dissing liberals that are somehow elected by regular, God-fearing folks.

Director of Central Intelligence: G. Gordon Liddy
With all that leaking going on, who better to plug the holes than frequent Fox News guest G. Gordon Liddy, the nation's most famous plumber?

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Friday, April 07, 2006

Mein Kampf for the 21st century

Your blogstress has been getting a lot of Al Franken these days, it seems, having found herself in the studio audience for yesterday's road version of Franken's Air America radio program, which was great fun. (The program broadcast for two days from the Jack Morton Auditorium at George Washington University, here in Our Nation's Capital, before moving on to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, for a day.)

Woefully underreported, though, was the news Helen Thomas made as Franken's guest when the host asked her to answer her own question -- you know, the one the doyenne put to our president at his latest press conference: Why did you really go to war?

When asked why she thought Bush went to war in Iraq, Ms. Thomas attributed the attack to "the neo-con manifesto," which she described as "their Mein Kampf for the 21st Century." But what do you really think, madame?

Mme. Thomas explained her interpretation of that manifesto as the neo-cons' desire to "take[ ] all of the Middle East, straight to China" in preparation for "the next world war--World War III."

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton joined the show briefly by telephone, proving herself to be quite nimble with the quips. "I want to ask you about health care," Franken said. "Why? Are you sick?" Clinton replied.

When asked to respond to Tom DeLay's charge, issued to MSNBC's Chris Matthews, that Sen. Clinton is "a know-it-all," and that "there's nothing worse than a woman know-it-all," the former first lady said, "Well, actually women do know it all; they just pretend that they don't."

During the course of the broadcast came word that Scooter Libby fingered Bush as the leaker-in-chief of classified information. Bush's defense? It's only classified until he says it's not. However squishy that excuse, it might have actually had a chance of flying had White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan not put his foot in it with an apparent bit of honesty. The leak in question was committed on July 8, 2003. Ten days later, when McClellan was hammered by the press with questions as to when the White House declassified the leaked info, ThinkProgress reminds us that McClellan responded, "It was officially declassified today."

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Thursday, April 06, 2006

The sad state of our media
Brock, Franken, Clift and Helen Thomas explain


Holding court at the Jack Morton Auditorium at George Washington University yesterday was a most distinguished panel comprising David Brock, Al Franken, Eleanor Clift and the uncontested doyenne of the Washington press corps, the indefatigable Helen Thomas.

Sponsored by Media Matters for America, the panel's focus was the Great Media Problem -- the ascendence of a disingenuous right-wing media and the cowering of mainstream media before the right's perceived might. Brock, once a self-described hit-man on the staff of the American Spectator, has made it his mission to expose the disinformation disseminated by the right, and he delivered an informative treatise on the means and measures by which the right does its dirty deeds.

Eleanor Clift is one of few out liberals who has survived as such in the mainstream media, and she has found her rarified place not always appreciated by self-professed progressives. Recently, Clift penned a column for her employer, Newsweek, in which she criticized Sen. Russell Feingold for his attempt to gather votes for a formal censure of President Bush for the president's Bill of Rights-busting domestic spy program. Clift revealed that she received a raft of hateful e-mail from Feingold-boosters.

While she disagrees with Clift's assessment that a censure resolution would amount to bad political strategy for the Democrats, your blogstress finds it appalling that so-called progressives would deploy against one of their own one of the most contemptible tactics of righties. Clift also discussed a column she wrote on the lies promulgated by the Bush administration in its quest for national support for an invasion of Iraq. That one brought her mail of a similar quality from Bush-boosters.

Helen Thomas, who was recently relaunched into public consciousness at a presidential press conference, repeatedly addressed the repeated lies advanced by Bush and his minions regarding the war. Having covered every president since Kennedy, Thomas unabashedly announced that the current administration is the most secretive and dishonest of any she had ever covered -- including Richard Nixon, who resigned amid a scandal surrounding his campaign's espionage of, and dirty tricks (read "lies") executed against, his Democratic rivals. Thomas also excoriated the press corps for "playing along" with Bush in the wake of 9/11. The press corps, said Thomas, "is beginning to wake up, but it's a little late in the game."

Al Franken used the occasion to illustrated the difference between himself and Rush Limbaugh, to whom he is occasionally compared. When he cites employment statistics, Franken explained, his researchers go to a source "known as the Bureau of Labor Statistics." When Limbaugh needs a statistic -- such has his false claim that 75 percent of people earning the minimum wage are teenagers -- Limbaugh goes, according to Franken, to the "Bureau of Rush's Butt."


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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Chertoff flak has short eyes

Whatever it takes to be a political appointee at the Department of Homeland Security is something your cyberscribe does not want to catch. At the helm, an egocentric incompetent -- at least as a protector of the homeland -- reigns. We know how the administration gutted and screwed FEMA, replacing career emergency professionals with political hacks and contractors, the conditions that led up to the unnecessary loss of life wrought by Hurricane Katrina.

We've known about the budget crunch in the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that saw inspectors unable to fill the tanks of their official vehicles last summer because creditors had cut off the government's gasoline cards. And the rigging of assignments in the Transportation Security Administration and Customs & Border Protect that were designed to purge the personnel roles.

Despite your blogstress's familiarity with these and many, many more of DHS's messes, nothing prepared her for the news coming over the wire this evening that the Assistant Press Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security has been nabbed in an internet child porn sting. AP has broken the story:

MIAMI - The deputy press secretary for the Department of Homeland Security was arrested Tuesday for using the Internet to seduce what he thought was a teenage girl, authorities said.

Brian J. Doyle, 55, of Silver Spring, Md., was arrested on seven charges of use of a computer to seduce a child and 16 counts of transmission of harmful material to a minor. The charges were issued out of Polk County, Fla.

Doyle had a sexually explicit conversation with what he believed was a 14-year-old girl whose profile he saw on the Internet on March 14, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

Read complete story

Among the many inexplicable explanations to Mr. Doyle's credit is his statement that the artist previously known as Cat Stevens had been barred from the United States because of “activities that could be potentially linked to terrorism.”

Your cybertrix imagines that there is no Gitmo for middle-aged men who engage in activities that could be potentially linked to the exploitation and psychological destruction of a child. Your ecrivaine would rather take her chances with Cat Stevens than Mr. Doyle.

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The Hammer is hangin' --
with Barney Frank?

Just as he made his mug shot a happy head shot, today Tom DeLay used the occasion of his imminent resignation from the House of Representatives, on the heels of a plea deal for a former aide who has pleaded guilty to being party to running a criminal enterprise out of the majority leader's office, to take something of a surreal victory lap around the political talk shows.

Particularly strange was DeLay's turn on Hardball with Chris Matthews. After making a big fuss over DeLay's profession of faith -- even quoting a right-wing minister friend of the Hammer's who compared DeLay to the crucified Christ -- Matthews asked DeLay if he believed Republicans are morally superior to Democrats, DeLay said no. When asked to name a moral Democrat, DeLay replied, "Barney Frank," the openly gay congressman from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Even despite Frank's "lifestyle?" asked Matthews. "I don't agree with homosexuality," DeLay said, "but I am commanded to love Barney Frank." (Of course this was after he laid his current woes at the feet of the Democrats, who he said had "publicly declared" that they were going to "destroy me and my character.")

Oddly enough, DeLay's remarks about Barney Frank do not appear in the transcript that MSNBC posted tonight on the Hardball site. However, as the tech-savvy doyenne of the blogosphere, your cybertrix ran a $20 tape recorder next to the speaker on her non-plasma TV and was hence enabled to bring you the banter of the blow-hard and the bug man via a somewhat quaint device known as a Dictaphone. (Special prize for anyone born after 1968 who can define just what that machine does.)

Now, back to our crucified, homosexual-loving subject: Mr. DeLay no doubt sees today as the first day of his own rehabilitation.

From tonight's edition of Hardball:

MATTHEWS: Let me read you something. I have no idea what you’re going to say to this. These are the best questions, I have no idea what you’re going to say to Rick Scarborough. Do you know him? He’s an evangelical minister.

DELAY: He was a minister of the First Baptist Church. A very dear friend of mine. And he and I worked together to create Vision America.

MATTHEWS: He said, “I believe the most damaging thing that Tom DeLay has done in his life is to take his faith seriously into public office, which made him a target for all those who despise the cause of Christ. God always does his best work right after a crucifixion.”

I mean, he says that you were brought down by your faith.

DELAY: No. I think I’ve been strengthened by my faith. I think that probably was taken out of context. I know Rick. I was with him Saturday, and talked to him about this decision. He’s a wonderful man, a great friend. And he understands what I’ve been through. And my faith has been strengthened. I have matured as a Christian over these attacks. When you go through these kinds of things your faith is stronger than ever and you rely on the Lord more than ever.


MATTHEWS: You’re a Christian. Do you believe that in the general judgment, when people are all called before God, that Democrats will be found one thing and Republicans will not? Because the way you talk sounds like there’s a moral difference between Republicans and Democrats in your profession of politics. You discuss them as if they’re morally inferior to you.

DELAY: That’s not for me to judge.

MATTHEWS: OK. Do you think that Republicans you’ve met in your career are more moral than Democrats?

DELAY: No, I don’t. There are some strong moral Democrats.

MATTHEWS: Name one.

DELAY: Barney Frank. Barney Frank. I respect him greatly. He's a true liberal, and he's unashamedly a liberal, and I respect that. It's the people who try to hide who they are that I don't respect--people that are drunk with power--

MATTHEWS: --so you can look at a guy with a lifestyle like Barney Frank, and still accept him as a good person.

DELAY: Absolutely. I don't agree with homosexuality but I still--I am commanded to love Barney Frank. I'm not gonna judge him.

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Mon Dieu! L'hammer est fini!
(or, DeLay is done)

Yet another amazing day in Our Nation's Capital. It appears that we won't have Tom DeLay to kick around anymore. The bug-man is said to be ready to withdraw from his congressional race, with the Abramoff probe edging closer to his door. Though it appears the story was broken by Time, your blogstress herewith links you to The Washington Post, which has done such comprehensive work on the Abramoff scandal.

Mes amis, let's all light candles for the rescue of the good people of the State of Georgia from the clutches of Ralph Reed, who is running for lieutenant governor. You see, Mr. Reed, once the choir-boy-faced evil genius behind the Christian Coalition, is quite caught up in the Abramoff mess himself, as Max Blumenthal reminds us. And so are Dobson and Minnery. How delicious it is to see the pious leaders of the right exposed for what they truly are.

Of course, it won't make a whit of difference if no one in the opposition party stands up to say something like, "Hey, those guys aren't looking very Christian these days, now, are they?"

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Monday, April 03, 2006

Outside the box

Indeed, it has been a while since your blogstress has checked in with her public, and for that she is most contrite. For the last several years, your cybertrix has felt the need to accept employment by others and, in recent months, the phenomenon of the pesky day job gobbled up all of the time one would ordinarily use for living and blogging (a.k.a virtual living). So, your écrivaine turned in her BlackBerry and hightailed it back to her beloved Oppo Factory, finding herself better suited to a life of creative poverty than one of well remunerated but restrained prose. But enough about her.

On this evening’s edition of MSNBC’s Countdown, Keith Olbermann entertained the sporadically amusing Michael Musto in a conversation about celebrities and their foibles. Now, your Webwench is prepared to accept at face value the judgment of the critics on Sharon Stone’s latest feature, Basic Instinct II, a film your net-tête will not be seeing. And she let it roll off when the man who reviews film for Washington’s all-news mega-radio station, WTOP, made a crack about Ms. Stone’s new visage, which has acquired a very sculpted look. (Had it not, he’d surely be making cracks about her wrinkles.) But tonight, Mr. Musto crossed the line when he impugned a part of her anatomy whose nickname -- at least in certain parts of New Jersey -- might remind one of the word “impugn.”

You’ll recall that the gimmick that won Ms. Stone instant acclaim with the first Basic Instinct was a scene in which the camera traveled up her splayed thighs, and seeing neither London nor France, it saw on Ms. Stone no underpants. The ruse has reportedly been revived for the sequel, which led Mr. Musto to declare, "The thing is, what ruined the movie is Madonna beat her to the 48-year-old vagina thing...There will, however, be a Basic Instinct 3, and I hear it‘s going to -- the camera is going to zoom in past the Depends and you will see a very hot shot of the catheter."

As one in possession of a similar piece of anatomy of a maybe somewhat similar age as Ms. Stone's, your blogstress found herself to be deeply -- and she does mean deeply -- offended. Apparently having accepted the conventional wisdom about a woman’s legs being the last to go, Mr. Musto appears ignorant of the fact that a lady’s orchid looks not much different at 48 as it did at 28, and every bit as attractive, if your cybertrix does say so herself. Well, except, perhaps to Mr. Musto, whom your net-tête suspects has little interest in that particular variety of flora, regardless of its age. In this case, Mr. Musto is just another wag gone off half-cocked.

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