Paul Murray's weblog, with news you may have missed and my $0.02 worth on a number of topics.

"You can't make up anything anymore. The world itself is a satire. All you're doing is recording it."
- Art Buchwald

I bet you don't have a friend who's an acupuncturist

E-mail me: pmurray [at]

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Thursday, August 26, 2004
The dark side of the Bush family.
CBS News producer Dick Meyer on Dirty Tricks, Patrician Style:
Any student of Bush family campaigns could have seen the swift boat shiv shining a mile away. This old family has traditions horseshoes, fishing, bad syntax and having the help do the dirty work in campaigns as well as the kitchen. And they are very good at getting jobs done without leaving fingerprints, without compromising their patrician image and their alleged character.
(via Talking Points Memo)

Tuesday, August 24, 2004
Tricks of the trade.
This article from The Morning News reveals some interesting tips from a variety of professions. (via Metafilter, where it's provoked this discussion)

Friday, August 20, 2004
Bush's friends are doing his dirty work.
Today's New York Times lays out more clearly than ever the Bush ties to the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" smear group. If you don't have time to read the article, just study this graphic for a moment.

No wonder Bush's press secretary keeps changing the subject to "all 527 groups" whenever he's asked if Bush will ask for the ads to be stopped.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004
More GOP astroturfing.
So has your local newspaper printed a letter to the editor with this:
New job figures and other recent economic data show that America's economy is strong and getting stronger - and that the President's jobs and growth plan is working. The Labor Department announced that employers added 288,000 new jobs in April. In total, over 1.1 million jobs have been added since August, with 8 consecutive months of gains.
Because a lot of newspapers have. I guess they still haven't caught on. (via Daily Kos)

Oh, and about that great record of job growth...

Thursday, August 12, 2004
The Olympic ideal, circa 2004.

Meet the "clean venue policy" this summer's Olympic patrons must comply with:

In a far cry from the high-minded ideals of humanity and tolerance embodied by the Olympics, the organizers of the Athens games have warned spectators that they could be barred for taking a surreptitious sip of Pepsi or an illicit bite from a Burger King Whopper.

Strict regulations published by Athens 2004 last week dictate that spectators may be refused admission to events if they are carrying food or drinks made by companies that did not see fit to sponsor the games.

Sweltering sports fans who seek refuge from the soaring temperatures with a soft drink other than one made by Coca-Cola will be told to leave the banned refreshment at the gates or be shut out. High on the list of blacklisted beverages is Pepsi, but even the wrong bottle of water could land spectators in trouble.

Fans will be allowed into the Olympic complex if they are drinking Avra, a Greek mineral water owned by Coca-Cola, which paid $60 million US for the privilege of being one of the main sponsors. Officials are under orders not to let in rival brands' bottles unless the labels are removed.

Staff will also be on the lookout for T-shirts, hats and bags displaying the unwelcome logos of non-sponsors. Stewards have been trained to detect people who may be wearing merchandise from the sponsors' rivals in the hope of catching the eyes of television audiences. Those arousing suspicion will be required to wear their T-shirts inside out.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004
Koko gets a house call.
This story about Koko the gorilla asking for a dentist is amazing and humorous. Be sure to read the whole thing -- the business card is funny, thanks to the great writing.

Origins of the IMDb.
Most net users have heard of the spectacularly useful Internet Movie Database. Nikki Finke explains the story behind it.

Monday, August 09, 2004
Beauty, R.I.P.
Somehow it seems appropriate to note the passing of Fay Wray. If you've never seen the original King Kong, you've really been missing something.

Friday, August 06, 2004
Finally, a DVD set for the rest of us.
Seinfeld Seasons 1-3 arrive on DVD November 23rd, with 24 hours worth of extras:

The 24 hours of additional features split between the two volumes include a documentary, bloopers, outtakes, never-seen-before Seinfeld stand-up routines, commentaries and trivia. Ever wonder where Kramer was during the Chinese restaurant episode? The secret is finally revealed.

Seinfeld is most fond of the gag-reel footage. "At the end of each season, we would have a party, and one of the biggest highlights was a 30- to 40-minute gag reel with every scene over the course of the year where we broke up laughing and ruined the tape."

Regular watchers know all too well that the show's namesake was most prone to giggle fits. "I took zero pride in acting," he says. "I was just so thrilled when a joke would work." Nevertheless, he won several best-actor awards over the years from various organizations. "None that you would know," he adds.

How many copies will I receive at Christmas? Will I be able to wait until Christmas?

8/14 Update: The chance to buy me this for Christmas has been claimed by my significant other who, like almost everyone else, never knows what to buy me as a gift.