Attention Kitsch-Mart Shoppers

Enterprising Americans take advantage of the Web and the Lewinsky scandal to try and make a buck.

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President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky are officially an item. A shopping item that is. Entrepreneurs across America are using the Internet to sell sex-scandal souvenirs, from “ForniGate ’98” T-shirts to denim baseball hats embroidered with “A Right Wing Conspiracy.”

But, the most original offering has to be Presidential KneepadsTM. For just $6.95, you can be the proud owner of this unlikely pair, hand-painted with Old Glory stars and stripes. “I’m doing it [the business] out of my bedroom,” says Gary Noar, co-president of Presidential Kneepads. Noar, a computer information systems major at California’s Humboldt State University, thinks the venture is a good way to test a Web-based business.

Sales haven’t quite gotten off the ground—Noar reports “only a few” sales so far. But he’s hoping some media attention (including, presumably, ours) will help move the kneepads. “We’ve sent them out to Leno and Letterman,” he says. No, no response yet.

While the Franklin Mint has yet to offer any limited-edition china to commemorate the alleged affair, there are plenty of keepsakes to choose from:

Item #1: Presidential KneepadsTM
Description: Kneepads decorated with stars and stripes.
Sales pitch: “Good for any task requiring long-term kneeling.”
Price: $6.95 a pair.
Available at: http://www.prezpad.com
Item #2: “ForniGate ’98” T-shirt
Description: “Clinton/Lewinsky ’98” printed on the left breast and “Fornigate ’98” on the back.
Selling pitch: “Lets everyone know what Bill is doing in the White House!”
Price: $12.95
Available at: http://www.balamara.com/fornigate/index.html
Item #3: ZipperGate ’98* T-shirts and sweatshirts
Description: One has picture of Clinton giving the thumbs-up as Monica stands naked behind him. Caption: “But, did she inhale?” Another has a simple bust of Clinton. Caption: “It’s not immoral if it’s only oral.”
Sales Pitch: All shirts have “our now famous ZipperGate ’98 graphics.”
Price: $10.95-12.95 for T-shirt, $16.95 for sweatshirt
Available at: http://www.petgone.com/zipper/
* Copyright applied for
Item #4: A Right Wing ConspiracyTM polo shirt and and denim hat
Description: “A Right Wing Conspiracy” embroidered on left breast of white polo shirt and front of denim baseball cap. Classy, conservative.
Sales pitch: “Please don’t take this site too seriously.”
Price: $18.50 for shirt, $13.00 for hat
Available at: http://www.arightwingconspiracy.com/
Item #5: “Got Milk?” T-shirt
Description: Low-budget artwork of the dynamic duo. But where’s the milk mustache?
Sales Pitch: “A picture is worth a thousand words and our T-shirts tell it all.”
Price: $12.99
Available at: http://www.monicaandbill.com

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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