It's the middle of August, hot and nasty (and not in a good Humble Pie-kinda way), so please allow me to rant.
• I sent a hand-written note to President Barack Obama the other day. (Fox News will probably be reporting that the administration will be creating a special category of its enemies list just for people who are so outdated as to use the Postal Service. Plus, the White House will probably have to go out and get somebody older than 40 who is able to read longhand.)
• The letter, in part, read: (Oh, wait, before I go on, I have to answer a couple of people who asked if the encounter that I had with a texting knucklehead—the one I wrote about a couple of weeks ago—actually happened. It did. People who know me know that, perhaps due to my upbringing, I will say just about anything to just about anybody at just about any time. Except, of course, to my wife, which is why we've been married for so long.)
Anyway, the letter:
Dear President Obama:
I am a lifelong Democrat, and I've been a big supporter of yours ever since I realized that your people had rigged all those caucuses, and my candidate, Hillary Clinton, had no chance of winning the nomination. I applaud most of your foreign-policy efforts, and I also support most of your domestic agenda.
However, I have a real problem with your "Cash for Clunkers" program. I drive a Honda Civic, and because it's stick-shift, and I don't speed, and I don't ever use the air conditioner, I get around 36 miles to the gallon. Last week, I went almost 500 miles on one tank of gas. (I got up to 496 miles before I chickened out and filled up; it was like Kramer doing the Thelma and Louise rip-off on Seinfeld.)
Anyway, I'd like to get $4,500 for my car toward the purchase of a new Civic, but I don't qualify. You're only rewarding the people who have been driving gas-guzzlers all these years. What about us conscientious folks who have always driven fuel-efficient cars, because we think it's good for the environment, and it's in our country's best interest? You're turning your back on part of your core constituency.
Oh, yeah, before I forget, the reason you score in basketball games is not out of deference to your office, but rather that when playing man-to-man defense, nobody likes to closely guard a smoker, because they smell like dookie.
And then I signed it: Sincerely, Jimmy Boegle.
Hey, even Fox News gets things right sometimes. I don't need to be on any more enemies' lists.
• OK, so the Tucson City Council, blinders firmly in place, completed a land swap for some old buildings, keeping alive their dream of a Warehouse Arts District. (I read in The Economist that McAllen, Texas, is building an arts district; we can't have an arts-district gap!) Now they have to find some private citizen(s) willing to spend millions to refurbish the Steinfeld warehouse.
As I've said recently, I'm not going to pontificate from on far, so I went by to see the place. It reminded me of an old Flip Wilson joke: This guy gets in a bad car crash, and his arm is mangled to the point that it's hanging by one strand of muscle. He frantically goes from one doctor to the next, but all say that the arm is going to have to be amputated. He finally gets to the world's greatest expert in this type of trauma, who inspects the arm and tells the guy it won't have to be amputated.
The patient sighs in relief, but then the doctor says, "No, in about 10 minutes, it's going to fall off all by itself."
We all understand that the "arts community" in Tucson has an inordinate amount of clout. That's OK; if it weren't them, it'd be some other group. Politics abhors a clout vacuum. We'll see if they can make a go of it. In the meantime, please stop sending me that form e-mail that makes the ridiculous claim that art pays for itself 10 times over. I'm going to track down the next person who sends me that and explain to them how it's mathematically impossible. And stupid.
• Speaking of which, City Councilwoman Regina Romero opened her mouth again, and stupid just fell out. In praising the council for making the warehouse deal, she said that the deal was great for Tucson's (and I quote) "creative class." Really? There's a "creative class"?
I wonder where on her caste system she puts people who can't paint or sing or stick pins in themselves.
• I can't help but wonder if UA athletic director Jim Livengood knew about Louisville coach Rick Pitino's life mess back when Livengood was looking for a new basketball coach. Pitino is embroiled in a situation involving admissions of adultery, possibly a paid-for abortion, and allegations of rape and extortion.
What did Jim Livengood know, and when did he know it? And boy, I sure am glad he did.
• And finally, in the most extreme example of not being able to recognize irony ever, a group of morons showed up at a health-care reform meeting and proceeded to shout down the speaker by repeatedly screaming, "We're Americans!"