Archive for the 'Society' Category

The Jeff City stuff

Friday, March 30th, 2007

Yes, I’ve heard gossip this week from Jefferson City and no, I’m not interested in hearing more.

Last summer, if you recall, there was a disturbing amount of interest in the personal life of a young Democratic spokeswoman. I didn’t acknowledge that kind of stuff then, and I won’t now.

And to the anonymous tough guys who will e-mail and tell me, “Staff is policy!”: Easy for you to say, because nobody cares about you or what you do in your personal life.

Too often, the political crowd engages in as much gossip as the high school wait staff at your nearest chain restaurant. This is, unfortunately, one of those times.

Having a life is the best way to avoid getting wrapped up in others’.

Comments to john {at} johncombestblog {dot} com. E-mail rules here.

The Political Freak Show: Pt. 2

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

Yesterday, I linked to the first part of a post-Halloween column I wrote for Dave Drebes’ Arch City Chronicle. This is Part 2 of that column.

DOUG AND WENDY WHINER – Like the Saturday Night Live characters from the early ‘80s, these men and women are not happy unless they’re unhappy. They’re quick to point out every slight, whether real or imagined, inflicted upon them by candidates and staff. Doug and Wendy are almost always committeemen and committeewomen, and their reign over their feifdom invariably predates the invention of the personal computer. They’re not particularly fastidious about keeping track of voter ID information – which might actually help their party’s candidates – but they certainly keep a detailed list of which candidates didn’t show up to their latest ward or township meeting.

CHICKEN LITTLE – This character is not marked so much by his party identification, but by his sense of impending doom. Regardless of the political climate, the sky is always falling – either the homosexuals are overtaking the public schools (R) or the oil companies are plotting another world war (D). Either way, the world is always about to come to an end – and soon.

DADDY WARBUCKS – This kindly gent has a big heart, and wants nothing more than to help out his fellow man – and by “fellow man” I mean “shapely co-ed.” Does he really think that the sophomore fashion major is impressed with meeting state reps and lobbyists? She knows where her bread is buttered, though, and plays along like a good girl. From dinner and drink tabs to spring break excursions for little Annie and her roommates – no expense is spared when Daddy Warbucks senses an orphan in need.

The party Dave Drebes held in early October for the 5th Anniversary of the Arch City Chronicle was a great event – but I propose that next year, we push the date back to the end of the month to celebrate Halloween. Every politico in the city – Republican and Democrat – will be welcome to join in the fun and identify as many political “characters” as he or she can in the course of the evening. Drinks will be free – and no costume is required.

Comments to john {at} johncombestblog {dot} com. E-mail rules here.

The Political Freak Show: Pt. 1

Monday, February 19th, 2007

In the wake of statewide Lincoln Days — and with the Dems meeting in Hannibal next weekend for Democrat Days — I thought it would be a good time to identify some of the characters we see at these types of events. The following ran as my “The Elephant in the Room” column in Dave Drebes’ Arch City Chronicle in the November 2006 issue and was titled “The Scary Side of Politics.”

I went to the strangest Halloween party last week. Or at least I think it was a Halloween party. You see, it was advertised as a political fundraiser, and everyone wore the usual business attire. But when I started talking to the others in attendance, I realized they must be portraying a character in the spirit of the holiday… or were they just being themselves?

Do you know politicos who portray these characters every day — without wearing a costume?

REP. MARK FOLEY – This guy is also known as “The Hoover” because he advertises himself as upright, spends most of his time in the closet, and only comes out to … well, you get the idea. He plays an important role in the political game, but in his personal life, he can’t seem to figure out which team he wants to plays for. (He should also realize that just because a young man is unmarried, lives in the West End, and is able to match his belt to his shoes, it does not mean that he’s gay. Seriously.)

UNCLE RICO – Like the loser from Napoleon Dynamite, Uncle Rico wants nothing more than to go back in time and relive his glory days. He’s quick to lecture current officeholders and their staff about the way his gang did things – back when (white) men were men and everybody else knew their place. Nobody has the heart to tell this guy that his glory days really weren’t all that glorious, and that the most productive thing he could do now is step back and let the current leaders and their staff do their job.

JFK – This guy gets his moniker not for having the looks or charm of the former president (although he thinks he does), but because he’s the victim of an evil, multi-layered conspiracy. Just ask him and he’ll tell you. As a matter of fact, you don’t even have to ask — he’ll tell you anyway. The mayor, the governor, and the Trilateral Commission all meet on a regular basis to devise ways to keep this guy down. His current station in life is attributable not to his own personal shortcomings, but to the fact that everyone else is so jealous of him that they just won’t give him a fair shot.

Tomorrow: Part II, with more political animals: Whiners, chickens, sugar daddies, oh my!

Comments to john {at} johncombestblog {dot} com. E-mail rules here.

Follow-up to yesterday’s post

Thursday, February 15th, 2007

Yesterday, I wondered if the Post-Dispatch printed a picture of the man who sexually assaulted a student in a Wash U dorm.

So I wasted the monetary equivalent of a delicious Jack in the Box taco to investigate. As it turns out, the paper did NOT print a photo of the suspect. Why?

Comments to john {at} johncombestblog {dot} com. E-mail rules here.