2005 Politics Holiday Gift Guide

We've heard some of these ideas are even real

2005 Politics Holiday Gift Guide
Illustration By Doug Potter

Advanced Air Taser M-18 With Laser


Your sister's kids won't stop whining? Your friend's husband won't get off the sofa to take out that trash? Give the gift of domestic bliss with the finest in electro-muscular disruption technology. Sleek, shiny, and best of all, effective, the taser is the latest must-have for busy moms on the run. That dog will never whine for table scraps again.

A Tax Incentive

Prices vary

For the company that has everything and just wants a little bit more.

Spiro T. Agnew Memorabilia Kit


In the spirit of rolling America backassward, the timing couldn't be better for the all-new Spiro T. Agnew Memorabilia Kit. You may recall (after some thought) that Agnew was the memorable yet forgettable vice-president under Richard Nixon at a time when political corruption was all the rage. Take advantage now of this limited offer on an unlimited helping of nostalgia – a steal at only $29.99.

The kit includes:

1) Agnew's most quotable quotes, including: "Ultraliberalism today translates into a whimpering isolationism in foreign policy, a mulish obstructionism in domestic policy, and a pusillanimous pussyfooting on the critical issue of law and order."

2) The complete collection of speeches, including his world-famous resignation, given just one year into his second term (see No. 4)

3) Fun Factoid calendar. Did you know, for example, that Agnew was raised as a Democrat?

4) T-shirt of Agnew's police mug shot for bribery charges (he copped a plea on tax-evasion charges instead)

5) A copy of Agnew's 1980 autobiography, Go Quietly … or Else

"It's the best pick-me-up gift of the season!" – former Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers

Politics String
Illustration By Doug Potter

Tiny Lege Radio


For those who for one reason or another must sit in on our state Legislature's various special sessions but who also want to spend their time in a productive manner, do we have the gift for you! This tiny digital radio and headset – no bigger than a pair of dark sunglasses (tiny antenna and earpiece included) and rumored to be used as entertainment by covert CIA operatives in Iraq while searching for weapons of mass destruction – is perfect for inconspicuously drowning out with music or a sporting event the grandstanding, hypocrisy, and other speech of the state leaders of your choice.
Politics String


CounterPunch bills itself as "America's Best Political Newsletter," and if you like your politics untamed, up-to-the-minute, and from the (radical) left, the on- and off-line journal edited by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair is just your holiday speed. Cockburn's an acidic Anglo-Irish transplant taken root in the weedier portions of northern California, whence he excoriates troglodytic Republicans and mewling Democrats with equal relish. St. Clair is a Great Northwest ecological warrior (originally from Indiana) who also takes time to record obscure but riveting music and books. They are joined by a small army of independent left and libertarian thinkers, on the Web at the heavily traveled www.counterpunch.com. Real aficionados support their efforts buy subscribing to the biweekly print edition. (800/840-3683, or write to PO Box 228, Petrolia, CA 95558.)

Texas Democratic Party Candidate

Don't forget to give generously to the Texas Democratic Party. The gift they could use most: viable candidates for statewide office. Why did the GOP sweep the statewides last election? Maybe it's because voters had a choice for governor between the sleazy, filthy-rich oilman who gave money to Bush … or the Republican. And it's no better this time around – some Dems have reportedly asked Kinky Friedman to abandon his independent campaign and become a donkey. Please, if you have any spare candidates, send one today.

East Austin Segway Tour

There's only one way to see historic East Austin – by Segway! This Christmas, "keep it weird" with a fun and funky look at life east of the freeway, where the condos are cool, the music is hot, and the living is easy! The trip begins with Sparks-tinis, a popular Eastside quaff, at the Peacock Lounge, conveniently located by the Pedernales (pronounced ped-ur-nal-ees) Lofts. From there, we'll move to groove to the East's indigenous rhythms – with a stop at the storied Longbranch Inn! Long a watering hole for Austin's R&B pioneers, the proud tradition is carried on by the culturally significant Austin artists we'll find on their jukebox, like … And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead. Lastly, we'll grab lattes and end the day at the grand entrance to East 11th, admiring its quirky outsider art mosaic as the sun sets. Hey, how fast can these Segways move in a pinch? Just kidding! Uhh, no, really … how fast can they go?
Politics String

Weed Watch Holiday Edition

Busted! Drug War Survival Skills From the Buy to the Bust to Begging for Mercy, by M. Chris Fabricant, defense attorney; illustrated by R. Crumb (Harper, 365 pp., $13.95)

New York City defense attorney M. Chris Fabricant's first book isn't just for the casual drug user on your shopping list. Instead, Busted! is one part War on Drugs survivalist guide and one part lesson in civil liberties – and a damn good read. Fabricant does a superb job of detailing the current state of Fourth Amendment law (that is, your constitutional right to be free from unlawful search and seizure) – with a dose of Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and 14th Amendment learnin' thrown in – with real-life examples culled from the files of the unwinnable War on Drugs. Broken down into sections like "How (Not) to Possess Drugs: From Your Ass to Your Roommate's Stash" and "Trial? You Don't Get No Stinking Trial!" Busted! offers a practical look at the current state of civil liberties – and, for your dope-smoking pal, a host of good tips to "stay out of jail and out on bail." At just $13.95, Busted! is a real legal steal, available at www.drugwarsurvival.com.

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