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.’)

SLINGBOX – II

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.’

IT’S A REPUBLICAN – AND A MEDIA – SCANDAL

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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