Nice to see that TXCO, the little oil company mentioned here at $4.50 a couple of years ago, closed at $10.26 last night. Our Anadarko Petroleum has about doubled, also. Whatever the state of the Union, the state of the Oil Men – like you and me, through our shares in TXCO and APC, and President Bush and Bandar Bush and Vice President Cheney, who have oil in their blood – is exceptionally flush.

There is so much to say about the rest, let’s leave it at just two lines:

‘Hindsight alone is not wisdom, and second-guessing is not a strategy.’ (‘So please don’t criticize me for cutting short my summer vacation and flying back to Washington to save Terry Schiavo but not when I learned ‘Bin Laden Determined To Strike Inside US” or that a Force Five hurricane was headed for one of my cities. With Terry Schiavo, I was relying on Majority Leader Bill Frist’s tele-diagnosis that she was not brain dead. With Bin Laden, all I had to go on was the CIA, and with Katrina, the chicken-little global warming types – like NASA’s top climate researcher we’ve been trying to muzzle.’)

‘I urge the Congress to act responsibly and make the tax cuts permanent.’ (‘I know Reagan, my Dad, and I will have racked up $8 trillion in debt by the time I leave office, and that even now the interest on the debt is equivalent to 40% of all the personal income taxes paid each year. But the responsible thing is to make the cuts for the wealthy permanent, because I’m the president and I can tell you up is down or down is up or ‘we don’t torture’ and what are you going to do about it? Heh, heh, heh.’)


The estimable Bryan Norcross (who owns no stock in Slingbox, either): ‘Actually, the Slingbox doesn’t need to be connected to a TV . . . just to a cable or antenna connection. If you want all the channels you’ll have to get a cable or satellite box for it, but if it’s mostly ABC/CBS/NBC/CNN/etc. you want… all you need is a splitter off your cable. Also . . . you will soon be able to watch it on your Windows PDA phone… like the Treo 700w or the Samsung 730i… if you get the high-speed internet service from Verizon, Sprint, or Cingular. And… the software for Macs will be out soon as well.’


I made the case Monday that the Abramoff thing is a Republican, not a bipartisan, scandal. As it happens, Paul Krugman made the case much better. You need Times Select to read it, but why not pay a dollar a week for the Times?

Krugman makes it much clearer than I did that this is a Republican scandal . . . and wonders why the supposedly liberal media has such trouble admitting that.

It’s scary to see what a weak job NBC and so much of the press has come to do . . . how CNN has shifted sharply to the right . . . how the House has gone hard right, the Senate, the White House, the Court, the K Street lobbyist establishment. For all its promise – which I believe will ultimately prevail – the state of our Union, if you ask me, is precarious.


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