THE DEBATE

It won’t surprise you that I thought any one of the Democrats on stage last night would be a vast improvement over what we have now or what the other party is offering up. My concern is that we continue to lay the groundwork to be sure that whichever one emerges as the nominee wins next November – and that we widen our lead in the Senate and House.

Toward that end . . .

In case you are deciding between the Bentley and the BMW, please choose the BMW – better yet, the 1998 BMW – and fly to New York to COME WRITE HISTORY – AGAIN (as in, let’s repeat in 2008 our success of 2006) . . . a wildly expensive dinner in early December . . . with writers like Edward Albee, Nora Ephron, Oliver Sacks (Awakenings, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, the just-published Musicophilia), Liz Smith, John Berendt (Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil), Marie Brenner, Andy Borowitz, Justin Frank (Bush on the Couch), Arthur Frommer, Lisa Birnbach (The Preppy Handbook) – and many more. (For example, the Pulitzer-prize winning author of Proof; for example, the Pulitzer-prize winning poetry editor of The New Yorker; for example, a remarkably mirthful blind rabbi; for example, the co-author of ‘Jersey Boys’ and of ‘Annie Hall’ who, oh, by the way – this boy from Brooklyn – laid down the banjo soundtrack for ‘Deliverance.’) And, of course, Howard Dean (You Have the Power), chairman of the DNC.

But let me stress, you should only do this with money with which you can truly afford to win. If you happen to be rolling in it, click here.

MERRILL’S $8.4 BILLION LOSS – II

So the CEO takes responsibility and plunges a sword into his gut. No wait, that’s Japan. Here he left with $161 million, on which, thankfully, the Republicans have seen fit to lower taxes. Some may call this capitalism at its best, but one of my friends suggests it reminds him more of the stultified cronyism Ayn Rand railed against in Atlas Shrugged. John Galt would have been appalled.

ANDREW SULLIVAN

Here’s why my friend Andrew Sullivan – though dazzlingly bright – is an idiot. In 2000, he spent a lot of time bashing Gore, helping to tip the balance to Bush. Friday on Bill Maher he said Hillary Clinton is ‘Cheney in a pantsuit.’ Really? Separately, in the same show, he said he was no longer a skeptic on global warming because ‘the data is now overwhelming.’ (To which Maher replied, with a bit of dry exaggeration, ‘Welcome to the party. Because you dragged your feet, we’re all going to die.’) Why did it take an overwhelming case for him to be alarmed? What if there were only a modest chance of disaster? Would it not have been worth getting an earlier start on the problem?

ONE FEWER THING TO WORRY ABOUT

In a throwback to a camp, porn 1970’s horror film spoof a friend urged me to invest in decades ago – tastefully titled, ‘Help, Help the Dykes Have My Daughter’ (I declined, saving my cash to one day buy Borealis) – it seems that Fox News has found a new way to bring alarm into the living rooms of America: More than 150 lesbian gangs in the Washington, D.C., area alone.

And yet, whatever you may have heard on Fox, it turns out (in briefest summary):

Md., Detective Patrick Word, president of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Gang Investigators Network, an intelligence-sharing organization of 400 criminal justice professionals in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia, said there is no evidence whatsoever of a lesbian gang epidemic in his region. “Our membership reports only one lesbian gang,” Word told the Intelligence Report.

(Thanks, Stephen Willey, for the link.)

ANOTHER $7 MILLION FOR ROCHE BAY DEVELOPMENT

The Chinese have put up a little money and agreed to buy 1.5 million tons of iron ore annually (vaguely $150 million worth) if/when it can be produced. Click here for details. That’s on top of the 2 to 3.5 million ton off-take agreement already in place with a British steel maker. So in case all this happens – a big if, of course – a few years from now the joint venture, half-owned by Borealis subsidiary Roche Bay, could be grossing $400 million or $500 million a year. Advanced Explorations, the joint-venture partner, saw its stock jump 42% yesterday, to $2.70, on 888,801 shares. (Ironically I no longer have to apologize that that’s $2.70 Canadian.) Borealis was, as usual, essentially unmoved by the news, trading 625 shares.

 

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