Sunday, September 30, 2007

'Tis the autumn of the wingnuts' discontent

2008 is almost upon us, and Republicans are squirming at the slim pickings on their side of the fence. The Dems have a black, a woman, a Latino, and a sensitive Alan Alda-type guy with a southern accent among their candidates. It's like the 1970s all over again in Dem-land.

Meanwhile, the GOP is uneasy with their selection of white men. Specifically, a ex-mayor from the Northeast who's too liberal for their tastes. And if this guy gets the nomination, some ultra-right wingers are ready to go with a third-party candidate. Sort of like a reverse Ralph Nader to take votes away from the evil RINO on the ticket.

Well, that settles it. I know who I want on the GOP ballot. Ru-dee! Ru-dee! Ru-dee!

Digby seems intrigued by all this.

Okay, now this is just sad

John McCain, newly inducted into the Protestant Denomination of the Month Club, spent some time pandering to fundies talking faith with Beliefnet.

McCain on religion and state:

I think the number one issue people should make [in the] selection of the President of the United States is, "Will this person carry on in the Judeo Christian principled tradition that has made this nation the greatest experiment in the history of mankind?"

McCain on whether Muslims can be president:

I just have to say in all candor that since this nation was founded primarily on Christian principles.... personally, I prefer someone who I know who has a solid grounding in my faith. But that doesn't mean that I'm sure that someone who is Muslim would not make a good president. I don't say that we would rule out under any circumstances someone of a different faith. I just would--I just feel that that's an important part of our qualifications to lead.

Somewhere, bin Laden is smiling. Thanks for doing his work for him, Senator Straight Talk Express.

To be fair, McCain did do damage control and said he'd vote for a Muslim if he thought that person would be the best qualified. But he still thinks the US is a Christian nation. To wit:

I would probably have to say yes, that the Constitution established the United States of America as a Christian nation. But I say that in the broadest sense. The lady that holds her lamp beside the golden door doesn't say, “I only welcome Christians.” We welcome the poor, the tired, the huddled masses. But when they come here they know that they are in a nation founded on Christian principles.

It's late-stage McCain's Disease, folks. The man is too far gone to be helped.

UPDATE: Whoops. Looks like McCain needs to do even more damage control. Man, I just love it when GOP candidates say stupid stuff and then have to talk themselves out of trouble. Like Whatshisname who thought employers should have the right to fire gay people. Say, what about the handful of hopefuls who don't believe in evolution? When are they going to start doin' the foot-in-mouth maneuvers for the press?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

While we're on the subject of relics...

Rush Limbaugh has a new nickname for war vets who become war critics: "Phony soldiers."

Oh yeah?

Folks, let's not let Mr. Wart-on-Anus live this one down, 'kay?

Bill O'Relic is never gonna live this down

From lily-white commentator Rory O'Connor:

It would obviously surprise, and perhaps even frighten the Man Who Wouldn't Shut Up, to learn that I now live in Harlem -- along with many other white people, not to mention a wide and growing assortment of Asians, Hispanics, Arabs, African Americans and all the rest of what makes Manhattan such a vibrant, interesting and exciting place to live and work.

Apparently O'Reilly, trapped back in time as well as in his suburban cocoon and Fox bunker, hasn't noticed any of the ongoing changes in Harlem -- or for that matter the rest of America -- that have taken place since he and I attended the same very Catholic, very strict and very segregated college prep school in lily-white Long Island back in the '60s.

BTW, I can't take credit for that new nickname. I heard it on DailyKos. But it fits the guy, doesn't it?

Prog blog time!

This time, it's Canterbury cult heroes Caravan:

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Stupid white people

There are times when I'm embarrassed to be white. Like when other white people offer their opinions of black people, culture, or history. Usually, they sound like whiny, naive, defensive little kids: "Hey, how come black kids can say 'nigger' an' white people can't? It's not faaaaaaaaiiiir!" (Why would any white person want to use that word? I'm confused. Especially when you consider how many blacks would love it if the term vanished from the English language.)

Anyway, you already know about Bill O'Reilly's educational trips to soul food restaurants. Now comes Z-list celebrity, model, and reality TV star Adrianne Curry saying she's not racist and sounding, well...racist.

This is gonna be hard guys. I LOVE the comedians on BET. I also LOVE the fact that they play my favorite show of all time, In Living Color. However, I do not believe in seperating ANY RACE in America. WE ARE AMERICANS! How dare we have Black History Month! In my eyes, the Native Americans deserve it MUCH more, seeing how we destroyed their ENTIRE SOCIETY. There are hardly any of them left! They also have been proven to have the WORST living conditions on their reservations. I want AN AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH. One where we learn about EVERY race, ALL OF OUR LEADERS, EVERYONE! I think by having a month dedicated to one race, and not one for any other, is RACIST. Every fund set up to only help people of one race is SICK and RACIST.

Ms. Curry, needless to say, got a lot of negative reactions to this. So, she tried to clarify what she said. And she made Bill O'Reilly look smart and insightful by comparison. (I bet Bill-O at least knows how to use a spell checker.) Anyhow, Deb's advice to Ms. Curry is as follows:

Move the f**k on yourself. It would be really nice if the world would let us, but it is too busy trying to make sure that we always stay at the bottom of the barrel.

Speaking as a pale-skinned, blue-eyed, red-haired, freckled Caucasian, I wish white people would shut up about Black History Month and college scholarships for people of color and all those other things that whining whites claim are "reverse racism." If this country didn't have a tortured history of slavery, brutal oppression, legalized discrimination, and outright genocide against nonwhites, these things would not exist.

The "get over it and move on" crowd also conveniently forgets how recent the Civil Rights movement really was--and what happened to the leaders of this movement. There are millions of Americans--black and white--who are old enough to remember life before Brown vs. the Board of Education. You can't negate the impact of history by shaking your finger and saying, "Get over it, already!"

Nor can anyone deny that racism in its purest, ugliest form still exists. I know one lady who is, even today, afraid to set foot in Howard Beach, Queens. And she lives only 10 minutes away.

In the words of Leonard Pitts:

As to the issue of "getting over it:" I find it intriguing that no one sees a preoccupation with the past when we endlessly celebrate the Greatest Generation for its World War II exploits or commiserate with the soldiers of Vietnam for their suffering. No one has difficulty understanding how the past impacts the present when we're talking about, say, how a 30 year old political scandal -– Watergate -– reverberates in the cynicism of the succeeding generation.

It seems we only have these problems with the past when the past in question has to do with African Americans and their history. Which suggests to me that the issue here is less black folks' preoccupation with our racial yesterday than some white folks' fear of it. And that's a problem beyond my control.

Whites should quit the mealy-mouthed comments about uppity Negroes blacks who won't forget the past. Americans shouldn't forget--much as some of them would like to.

I have more to say on this subject, but Bionic Woman is on in about 5 minutes. Katee Sackoff of Battlestar Galactica is a bad guy! Wheeeee!

From the Department of Right-Wing Projection comes...

...a Bush official who calls Barack Obama "intellectually lazy."

No doubt this person has some first-hand experience with the intellectually lazy, hmmmmmm?


The stupid! It BUUUUURRRRRRNS!!!!!

After eating dinner at a famed Harlem restaurant recently, Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly told a radio audience he "couldn't get over the fact" that there was no difference between the black-run Sylvia's and other restaurants.

"It was like going into an Italian restaurant in an all-white suburb in the sense of people were sitting there, and they were ordering and having fun," he said. "And there wasn't any kind of craziness at all."

O'Reilly's been in New York City how long? And he only just realized that the vast majority of American blacks do not, as he puts it, go into restaurants and yell things like, "'M.F.-er, I want more iced tea"?

There's a bright side to this latest foot-in-mouth episode. The New York Times has an article called "Where to Get Soul Food, With or Without Bill O'Reilly." Preferably without.

P.S. I love Ridiculopathy.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Talk about telegraphing your next move

Good grief. Newt, just fucking announce you're running next year and get it over with.

Former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich hinted Tuesday that he may enter the 2008 presidential race.

And how long has the Newtster been "hinting"?

Gingrich said on "Good Morning America" that he will take a look at his resources after he completes a series of workshops for his new advocacy group American Solutions.

"Next Monday, my good friend and adviser Randy Evans will have a press conference and will outline a process for us to spend the next few weeks finding out whether or not there are enough resources to wage a serious campaign," Gingrich said.

What, your ego isn't enough of a reason? It didn't stop Alan Keyes from running for office for the forty-seventh time.

Speaking of American Solutions, it seems this is a real organization with its very own Web site These aren't just any old American Solutions. They're "American Solutions for Winning the Future." From the Web page:

We recently launched American Solutions for Winning the Future, a unique non-partisan organization designed to rise above traditional gridlocked partisanship, to provide real, significant solutions to the most important issues facing our country.

Newt Gingrich? Non-partisan? BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

At any rate, American Solutions is having some workshop September 27-29 down in Georgia. Clearly, Newt is trying to position himself as some sort of maverick GOPer. Little does he know that, Ron Paul notwithstanding, "maverick" and "GOPer" just don't go together these days.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Something to look forward to!

Besides January 20, 2009, I mean...

The season premiere of House is tomorrow.

The series premiere of Bionic Woman is Wednesday.

Can't wait.

The sad truth about Situation FUBAR

From Deb:

It doesn't matter where, what, whom, or how illegal, we traipse through other countries leaving a trail of death and destruction without having to suffer consequences. So far. Iraq isn't going to expel Blackwater. Heck, they can't even get the US to admit that there is a problem. With over a 130,000 American troops in the country, the loss of a mercenary army might leave a "vacuum". Color me not surprised. It isn't like they are a sovereign country, they're more like a Middle Eastern Puerto Rico. Except with a lot more bombs.

A thought on Blackwater

In 2004, Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, founder of DailyKos and a military veteran, had this to say about Blackwater and its ilk:

I feel nothing over the death of merceneries. [sic] They aren't in Iraq because of orders, or because they are there trying to help the people make Iraq a better place. They are there to wage war for profit. Screw them.

And oh, how the wingnuts howled with rage.

Now, it turns out there's some truth to Moulitsas Zuniga's words. And the wingnuts are curiously silent as they squirm in their seats.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Awwww. Nobody wuvs the pwezident

Remember President Stupid telling the press "strong asset" he'd be to 2008 GOP candidates?

Guess again.

Republican presidential candidates can't be any more clear: President Bush isn't welcome on the campaign trail.

Maybe they'll take Laura or Barney the dog instead?

Competing to succeed him, top GOP candidates Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson and John McCain barely utter Bush's name. They essentially ignore the lame-duck president, or give him only passing credit, as they rail against the status quo and promise to fix problems he hasn't solved.

``We all know Americans want change,'' said McCain, an Arizona senator, explaining the aversion to aligning with Bush. ``I give him credit for a number of things but I think the fact is Americans are turning the page, including our Republican primary voters.''

WTF? Since 2004, McCain's head has been so far up President Stupid's ass that he could wear the man's intestines for a hat. When Senator "Straight talk--whuzzat?" McCain is trying to distance himself, you know that the president has become the political equivalent of radioactive waste.

How candidates handle the 800-pound elephant in the room now could have implications beyond the primary. Privately, Republican strategists agree their nominee will lose next fall if the general election is a referendum on Bush. They say GOP candidates are wise to distance themselves from the president now, given his unpopularity among the public at large....

To be sure, none of the candidates want to be attached to Bush's legacy, afraid that doing so will make them sitting ducks for Democrats.

You can see it now, can't you?

"Rudy Season!"

"Mitt Season!"

"Rudy Season!"

"Mitt Season!"

Despite such deep frustration, Republicans on the whole still like Bush - and don't like those who beat up on him.

They're talking about the 30 percenters, right?

You know, this election could serve as inspiration for an SF film-cum-political thriller. Here's the plot: a mad scientist, bankrolled by a Richard Mellon Scaife-type drunk wingnut zillionaire, exhumes and reanimates the corpse of a right-wing president as part of a plot to hold onto the Oval Office. It's up to a daring trio of ultra-liberal avengers--a woman, a black guy, and a Southern dude--to stop this evil scheme. Call it The Mod Squad vs. the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. Or, if anyone has a better title, suggestions are more than welcome.

Helpful advice for Harry Reid

From the Left Coaster:

If Reid now knows that the Senate GOP will keep playing this game, he needs to cobble together one omnibus alternative that includes Webb-Hagel and whatever mission change proposal from Reed or Salazar or whomever has the whip hand at the time. He needs to try one more time with this as the one and only alternative to the "blank check" rubber stamp. And when McConnell filibusters this, then walk away and let the Senate GOP filibuster until hell freezes over.

When Bush begins to bellow about how it is the Senate's job to send him something he can sign, Reid should immediately correct him and say that it is not the Senate's job to be a rubber stamp, but rather to protect American troops and our national security, a responsibility that Bush has abandoned.

Exactly right. Use this to hang the GOP. Hopefully, last week was a learning experience for Senate Democrats. Don't try bipartisanship with a bunch of party-before-country pod people. And avoid any and all political traps laid by the pod people (the MoveOn vote, anyone?). If the pod people can't give a crap about the troops or an unpopular war, make sure that the American public knows about it. Let them own this mess.

Via the Middle Earth Journal.

Reason #507 why the Dems should stand and fight

For one thing, they'll appeal to more and more independents, like this guy:

Michael Brooks is exactly the kind of voter the Republican Party can ill afford to lose. But in a foreboding omen for 2008, it may have already done just that.

The auto parts store worker from St. Charles, Mo., says he used to be a Republican but felt abandoned and is now an independent.

"For some reason or other, they didn't seem to be for the masses anymore," said Brooks, 59, citing a lack of help for middle-income earners. He said he voted for George W. Bush in 2000, thinking the Republican was "more middle of the road, for the people. Obviously I was incorrect."

Via Democratic Underground.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Crybaby conservative alert!

Ladies and gentlemen, it's the man James Wolcott dubbed "a goodly Christian and a badly writer": Cal Thomas. After whining about the meanies at Media Matters, he then complains about liberals who send him hate mail.

Mr. Thomas needs some perspective. Perhaps he should talk to Leonard Pitts or Al Neuharth about hate mail.

Via Bark Bark Woof Woof.

New Wave Muppet blogging!

Debbie Harry on the Muppet Show, circa 1981.

More on the bad music front

The Eagles have a new album coming out. Quick, someone contact John Lydon for a sound bite.

Yes, I also hate the Eagles. I think their songs are dull. I also think that they became famous because lots of people were doing coke in the 1970s and couldn't tell good bands if they tripped over them. I mean, the Eagles had a kazillion hits and Patti Smith had only one top 10 single. No fair!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Someone had to say it: Sting sucks ass

The Police are one of those band I've always inexplicably loathed. Sting couldn't sing. The material was the most plodding, predictable stuff this side of Nickelback. So naturally, the Police became one of the most overplayed bands of the 1980s, with "Every Breath You Take" being played every other minute on every other station, on and on, ad nauseum. This song ranks alongside "Piano Man" as one of those inexplicably popular tunes that somehow worm their way onto every possible radio format, whether it's oldies, classic rock, or "light" music. The song won't go away. And it's got the stupidest lyrics. "Every move you make/every bond you break/every step you take..." Oh goody. Sting discovered the rhyming dictionary!

So you can't know how happy I was to read John Lydon's comments about the band.

That really is a reformation isn't it? But honestly that's like soggy old dead carcasses...

You know listening to Stink try to squeak through 'Roxanne' one more time that's not fun.

It's like letting air out of a balloon.

No, that's not a typo. He really called the dude Stink and not Sting. Hee!

Helpful advice for the Democrats

From the Yellow Doggerel Democrat:

C'mon, Dem leaders, we won big-time... act like it!

YD points to this Krugman post, about the Dems' "narrow" 2006 victory.

Some humor amidst gloom

Those who are bummed over the Dems' frustrated efforts to end the war and the stupid MoveOn vote should take heart. 2008 is almost upon us, and guess who's offered his services to party candidates?

No, Ronald Reagan has not risen from the dead.

"Strong asset," Bush said emphatically, when asked at a White House news conference whether he would be an asset or liability for Republicans in presidential and congressional elections next year....

As they vie for the Republican nomination, Bush's potential heirs have had to balance the president's political liabilities and perceived errors on the unpopular Iraq war, with his still robust standing among some party activists.

Unusually, in this election cycle, there is no vice president in the race, as Bush's right-hand man Dick Cheney has no plans to be a candidate.

In a Republican debate in August, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney tried to distance himself from Bush, and to associate himself with him and Cheney's 'war on terror' policies in one breath.

"I can tell you, I'm not a carbon copy of President Bush," he said.

"I know they make mistakes, but they have kept us safe these last six years. Let's not forget that," he said.

You go right on believing that, Yosemite Mitt.

My guess is that John McCain and Rudy Giuliani will be the ones using this "strong asset" while the other candidates try to pretend it's the 1980s.

Sounds like the 2008 GOP convention's gonna be a party. Will they, perhaps, invite Zell Miller back?

Friday cat blogging

Found this cute pooty in a Brooklyn bookstore.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Can you say "manufactured outrage"?

Is there any reason why a resolution condemning a MoveOn ad is necessary? It's just an ad, for God's sake.

And is there logical reason why certain Democratic senators voted for said resolution? This is another nonissue that the GOP is exploiting for political gain and should've been laughed off the Senate floor.

Meanwhile, Olbermann is delivering another Special Comment. Woo hoo!

Oh wow. Looks like Dan Abrams is also pissed.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Speaking of "Kick Me"...

GOP senators seem determined to cost the party more seats in 2008. This time, they've blocked an amendment that would allow more home leave for our overextended troops.

John Warner, Republican from Virginia, backed away from supporting the amendment, offered by fellow Virginian Jim Webb.

From Chuck Hagel--the money quote:

The White House has been very effective of making this a loyalty test for the party.

Oh yeah, and the Republicans also blocked efforts to restore habeas corpus.

Keep showing your party loyalty, guys. Just to be on the safe side, some of you might want to start prepping your resumes for after 2008/2010.

"Kick Me" Condi speaks

I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon; that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile.

From Shakesville. There's more where that came from.

Sad but true

From Evil Bobby:

Was I the only one out there who cringed, when hearing that OJ was arrested recently? Not that I care anyone way or the other about his arrest, but that’s the point. I couldn’t care less about OJ. Yet I know from previous experience, that we will be subjected to nonstop OJ Simpson media coverage until months after the case has been settled. Everything from OJ’s choice of salad dressing, motivations for that shirt color, and daily up to the minute updates on his current relationships, will be garbled about as though it has anything to do with anything.

If I were one of those tinfoil hat types, I would wonder if OJ was secretly on Karl Rove's payroll to divert people from things like Situation FUBAR.

Oh, brother

Via Neomugwump, a.k.a. one of the few GOP bloggers who's a. moderate and b. sane, is a speech from Ah-nuld, outlining his vision of GOP that isn't run by gibbering freaks and wimpy party-before-country types. Unlike the country-club wing of the party, Ah-nuld knows loss and struggle, people. As he says toward the end of his speech:

When I was 21 years old, I lost my first American bodybuilding competition, in Miami , which I thought for sure I would win. I had already won two Mr. Universe titles in Europe.

When I didn't win, I couldn't believe it. I was devastated. I had let people down. It kept going through my head, "I ' m away from home, in this strange city, in America, and I'm a loser." I cried all night long. I vowed to myself I would work as hard as I could to be strong and I would not be beaten again.

Wow, how inspiring.

In other news, Lincoln Chafee has left the GOP. Would've been nice if he'd done a Jeffords circa 2005, but I have some respect for the guy, and this couldn't have been easy for him, coming as he does from a family of Rockefeller Republicans.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Oh dear. Rudy made MoveOn mad.

Y'know, snarling over MoveOn ads is not the way to promoted your national security credentials. Especially not when you're Rudy Giuliani.

Excuses, excuses

Rudy Giuliani explains why he quit the Iraq Study Group:

I didn't have the time for it and I thought it was inappropriate for a presidential candidate to be part of it. And the fact is, if I had been, all of you would be asking me questions about conflict of interest, and it would have burdened that commission with a whole bunch of issues it shouldn't have.

It seemed to me it was a mistake for me to be on it. I realized that after two months and I left.

Right. It had nothing to do with making barrels of money giving lectures. Right, Rudy?

I have a question

Al Gore now has an Emmy. How long before the wingnuts start whining about all the Emmys Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck haven't won?

Oh GOODY! The race just got really fun!

For those who think Sam Brownback's too liberal, never fear. Alan Keyes has entered the race! Not content with losing to Barack Obama in 2004, he now seems to want a rematch.

Keyes vs. Obama in 2008? That would be beyond awesome. Especially when Keyes brings up family values and everyone reminds him that he disowned his lesbian daughter. Come to think of it, I'm partial to the idea of a Keyes/Gingrich ticket. Think the Newtster would be willing to accept second-fiddle status?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Fun with my new toy!

My toy being the digital camera Le Sweetie gave me for my birthday. I spent Saturday, September 8 fiddling with the settings on the camera while taking pictures of a reunited Meat Puppets (who put on an awesome show). Yes, I turned off the flash.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I have more photos, which perhaps I'll post at a future date.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Rudy Giuliani is desperate

That's the only explanation I have for why he'd take out a ad lambasting La Hill over a MoveOn ad. This is an obvious diversionary tactic. Rudy knows that he's not exactly Mr. Popularity with NYC's firefighters and cops. He knows this because a lot of them turned their backs to him when he was reading the names of the dead on 9/11.

Meanwhile, perhaps he could explain why he's acting all chummy with wingnuts who keep predicting more terrorist attacks. What's that, you say? Rudy shouldn't apologize for shaking hands with Li'l Ricky? Look, folks, think what you will of the MoveOn ad--La Hill had nothing to do with it. If she is somehow obligated to denounce ads placed by assorted interest groups, then Rudy should be held to similar standards. Therefore, he needs to:

a. Quit posing for photo ops with disgraced wingnuts.
b. Personally denounce any and every statement by any right-winger who brands war critics as traitors, wishes for more terrorist attacks on US soil, or expresses sympathy for Islamofascists, regardless of whether that fool is Michael Savage or some fourth-tier radio host out in podunk.
c. Condemn Ann Coulter for her disgusting attacks on 9/11 widows.
d. Take out full-page ads in major newspapers every time any prominent Republican makes a homophobic remark (you're supposed to be pro-gay rights, remember, Rudy?).
e. Encourage other Republican/right-wing politicians to follow his example.

Of course, with all that apologizing, Rudy might not have a lot of time to focus on his campaign speeches. But fair is fair, after all. With les affaires Craig, Vitter, et Foley, Republicans find themselves being tagged increasingly as hypocrites. I suppose it's hard to shed that label, but Rudy can and should try. With the Mittster happily posing alongside OBAMA/OSAMA signs, someone has to bring dignity to the GOP playing field. Right?

Who's micromanaging now?

Remember earlier this year, when President Stupid was accusing the mean Democrats of micromanaging the war?

Well, what does this sound like to you?

While "formidable challenges" remain in Iraq, President Bush said Saturday, the United States will start shifting more troops into support roles — in addition to the troop withdrawals announced earlier in the week.

In December, the United States will begin a new military phase in Iraq — one in which "our troops will shift over time from leading operations to partnering with Iraqi forces, and eventually to overwatching those forces," Bush said in his weekly radio address.

What exactly are these "support roles" and what kind of word is "overwatching"? Does the president mean "overseeing," perhaps? How do you partner and "overwatch" at the same time?

Interestingly, the link includes a quote from Rep. Tom Lantos, saying that "Americans' patience with this war has run out." Much as I hated the decision to approve more funding for Situation FUBAR, sans timetable, I wonder if there was a strategic aspect to it. Namely, that by approving funding until September, they could say to the president and the American people, "Look, we gave this administration an opportunity to prove that the surge would work. Enough already. No more chances." Of course, I could be wrong.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Yes, God exists!

Turns out Britney won't be appearing on the Emmys after all.

Note to TV producers: please stop booking her to appear on your shows. Thank you.

Note the template change

As it turns out, Blogger decided it didn't like my template. Which is why I had to switch over to a new one. Sure, Blogger's new interface is plenty user-friendly, but still...sigh. I'll see how much I can customize this one.

Stupid rumor alert!

I heard a rumor that Britney Spears was going to appear on the Emmys to apologize for her lame VMA appearance. Speaking of which, why is the normally respectable Entertainment Weekly putting her on the cover?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

And now for the Democratic response

Jack Reed (D-RI) is giving his response. Unlike Bush, Reed is a military veteran. Now, he's reminding everyone he exists.

First Jim Webb in January and now Jack Reed. Interesting the way the Dems bring out the vets for their responses. Reed actually mentions the government's shabby treatment of Iraq vets. Remember them, Mr. President?

Can the Dems please grab some Republicans by the shoulders and remind them how unpopular and unsuccessful this war is? Please? The operative term here is "filibuster-proof majority." Surely some of the Repubs up for re-election next year are paying attention to the people who vote for them. Right?

Entering the No-Credibility Zone: The spin begins

Sorry, thirty percenters, but your preznit does not and never will look particularly presidential. Vacant is more like it.

But doesn't that picture of Laura and Barney look cute?

Terrorism, Iraq, survival. Nice conflation, dude. Too bad nobody believes you, anymore. And Iraq is not our ally.

Who's threatening Iraq's future, anyway? Who's this external enemy? C'mon, this is a civil war and you know it. Big baddy-o Saddam kept the sectarianism seething below the surface by being crazy and evil and sadistic. Now he's gone and the country's blown open.

Some of our troops home? You mean "returning to pre-surge levels," right? It does sound preferable to a draft, of course, but all this talk about how ducky things are in Anbar rings false. In fact, the expression "polishing a turd" comes to mind.

So "a city where al Qaeda planted its flag is beginning to normal." What's normal in Iraq, anyway? What are these jobs being created? And nice talk about the happy news that isn't being reported.

"Our tomorrow starts today." Let me guess--these new jobs include writing for greeting cards?

"In Anbar the enemy remains active and deadly." President stupid undercuts his own argument. This is just getting embarrassing. Sure, things are a little bit okay--but hey, they're more okay than before!

Of course, Bush doesn't comfort anyone. Anbar's still being patrolled. Why? Because it's still dangerous. And there's an "uprising against extremists." And what makes President Stupid think the uprisers like the American troops?

The look in his eyes says it all: "Pleeeeeeeaaaaase believe me! Please please pretty please with sugar and cherries! Please!"

But things are better because the Iraqi government passed a budget. Whoopity-doo.

Do the Iraqis really want Americans looking over their shoulders? Somehow, I don't think so. But man, Bush has a bug up his ass about Iraq.

Still, I'm sure Yellow Elephants are sad that the USA won't need so many soldiers anymore. They're so eager to enlist, after all.

"Civil society takes root?" Now that's just insulting. What constitutes civil in Bush's book? Why do the Iraqis need President Stupid to define "civil"?

Can't wait to find out more about the real story in Iraq. "The more successful we are, the more American troops can return home." This is the rhetorical equivalent of Cheez Whiz.

Only the 30 percenters believe that Situation FUBAR has anything to do with fighting terrorists. They're probably the only ones uplifted by this speech.

And of course, President Stupid says "nukuler" again, as he talks about all the awful things that would happen if the American troops left Iraq.

"Preventing chaos and providing hope in the Middle East"? Ha ha ha. Too late for that.

Afghanistan and the Holy Land. First time he's mentioned that.

Okay, I'm now really bored by this speech. This is exactly what I'd expected him to say. This president is a one-man ecological threat. Any more of this hot air and the polar bears will be wearing life jackets.

And, of course, he tries to appear compassionate by mentioning a soldier killed in Iraq. Meanwhile, not once does he mention Osama bin Laden.

C'mon, Mr. Preznit, give it up already.

Entering the No-Credibility Zone (prelude)

Wow, I didn't know Tweety Matthews was so pissed at President Stupid. Where has this Ron Paul-esque FIRE been all this time? And what's up with all his little man-crushes like Tom DeLay? Tweety? DeLay and President Stupid and their ilk have been playing you like a badly tuned banjo for years. Truth hurts, doesn't it?

Stupid wingnut quote of the week

House Minority leader John Boehner on Situation FUBAR:

We need to continue our effort here because...long term, the investment that we’re making today will be a small price if we’re able to stop al Qaeda here, if we’re able to stabilize the Middle East, it’s not only going to be a small price for the near future, but think about the future for our kids and their kids.

You really believe this, don't you, dude? Get used to your minority status.

Gee, I'm beside myself with suspense

He Who Probably Doesn't Need to Be Named is due to give his latest speech regarding Situation FUBAR. Already, Biden has appeared on Olbermann and, for once, he wasn't insufferable. Biden, needless to say, thinks Bush is full of it. He actually managed to make this point using less than 50,000 words. Wow.

Meanwhile, for happier news, let's check out Awards Daily. Specifically, their Oscar forecast. Check out the left hand corner and you'll see Joseph Gordon-Levitt listed among the Oscar contenders. Jeff Daniels is also listed. Indie films rule.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Twentysomethings with talent!

I skipped Britney Spears' VMA debacle to handle more important matters--namely, the laundry. Following that, I watched my latest Netflix pick, The Lookout.

Sure, I read all the snarky commentary about the clueless, out-of-shape Spears and her crappy hair weave. I watched the online clip of the pop puppet wandering around the stage, occasionally stopping to gyrate and lip synch. But really, what did people expect? A dazzling return to the stage a la Tina Turner? A repeat of other VMAs, where Spears did "shocking" and "newsworthy" things like kiss Madonna and dance with snakes? Where have they been since 2004 anyway?

Enough of Britney Spears. Let's talk about The Lookout. It's an indie film that came out earlier this year, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt (aka Tommy from 3rd Rock from the Sun) as a brain-damaged former high school jock and Jeff Daniels (from The Squid and the Whale) as his blind roommate. The movie's about 60 percent character study and 40 percent film noir.

Gordon-Levitt is stunning. People know him only from his 3rd Rock will be in for surprise. As I popped the DVD in its return envelope, I felt the same way that I did about Forest Whitaker in 2006: namely, that this is an Oscar-caliber performance. Of course, because the movie a. is an indie and b. was released very early in 2007, a Best Actor Oscar nomination is a long shot. But it would be awesome to see Gordon-Levitt's name on the ballot.

Next on my Netflix list: Half Nelson, starring Britney's former Mickey Mouse Club co-star, Ryan Gosling, who received an Oscar nomination for his performance.

Long overdue prog blog! Special fashion edition!

It's Pink Floyd with Syd Barrett. Billed as a rare video. Watching it, you realize the Summer of Love was the only time when men could get away with wearing pinks, purples, and jackets with flowers. Weird, huh?

Of course, fast forward ahead about ten years, and they were dressing like extras from SF B movies. Witness Ian Anderson here. What the fuck's on his shoulders anyway?

Arthur Brown (aka "The God of Hellfire") onstage with his early 1970s band, Kingdom Come, not to be confused with the lame 1980s Zep soundalikes. Dig the sideman with the polka-dotted blouse.

And then you have prog rock's resident style icon--Chris Squire, bassist for Yes. At least he isn't wearing purple satin anymore.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Another reason I love birthdays

Tomorrow, Le Sweetie and I are going to see Bingo Gazingo, the dude named Best Dirty Old Man in the Village Voice's 2003 Best of New York issue.

He looks like your grandfather; he thinks like your horny 13-year-old brother. He's BINGO GAZINGO, poet-performance artist- outsider music superstar and author of such epics as "I Love You So Fucking Much I Can't Shit." The seventysomething has been tearing it up on the downtown scene with his hilarious, potty-mouthed odes to female celebrities and bodily functions.

Can't wait.

Why I love my birthday

Well, it's the presents, basically. My birthday isn't until tomorrow, so I won't get Le Sweetie's present until then. My mom's present, meanwhile, consists of reimbursing me for some cool autumn clothes. I'm halfway there now, having bought a wrap sweater, a tank top to wear underneath said wrap sweater, a pretty black shirt, and a new autumn jacket that's just right for cool weather. All inexpensive, in case my mom is reading this. In fact, I got the black shirt and the jacket at H&M. And as I left with my new clothes, I asked myself why it's so hard to shop for a jacket I really like.

But no matter. I have my jacket.

Birthday, hurry up and come.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Miscellaneous mutterings

Maybe Larry Craig should run for president. Like most of the GOP 2008 slate, he's clearly adept at flip-flopping. Just days after announcing his resignation, he's said to be reconsidering.

This post on the current fad for pocket-sized, plug-ugly chihuahuas is over a year old, but it's recommended reading nonetheless. To wit: people who really love dogs don't shop at pet stores. Yes, I'm talking about you, Britney. And you, Katherine McPhee. And all the other morons who find nothing cuter than buying toy doggies at ritzy puppy-mill fronts.

As you probably already suspect, the puppy mill industry and puppy retailers are in cahoots. Sometimes, they are one and the same—vertically integrated, as it were. More often, a network of ambitious backyard breeders or faraway mill-style operation is behind the pristine storefronts on fashionable streets hawking pups at the rate of its other retailers` Gucci knockoffs.

Blue Gal on Ron Paul mania: "I haven't seen such freak fetish golden calf fixation since The Bay City Rollers were on Merv."

Sister Nancy Beth Eczema is trying to digitize her music collection. Given the scariness of so much Christian music cover art, who can blame her?

Meanwhile, I hate to disagree with Alicia, but Newt Gingrich has yet to overstay his welcome. As I've mentioned before, Newt in '08 looks to combine the best of Yosemite Mitt, Joe Biden, and John McCain in one hilarious-yet-scary package. Newt says he'll decide by next month. Next month, hurry up and come.

Wow, look what's for sale on eBay!

Folk blogging time!

Here's the Mark II lineup of Steeleye Span, with Martin Carthy on guitar and the incomporable Maddy Prior on vocals.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Wish we'd had this in 2000 or so

Courtesy of CQ and the St. Petersburg Times comes Polifact. Curious about the 2008 soundbites? Polifact separates the mostly true from the half true and the utter bullshit.

How effective is Polifact? Let's took at the claim from Joe Biden that George W. Bush is brain dead:

It’s an extreme charge, since brain death is defined as “irreversible unconciousness with complete loss of brain function” (Encyclopedia of Death and Dying).

Needless to say, we find the charge ridiculous. There’s no evidence Biden performed the necessary medical tests to make such a diagnosis. We would have accepted the results of a cerebral blood flow study or proof that Biden had examined Bush to see if he had an oculocephalic reflex.

Indeed, even people who disagree with the president about Iraq and assorted other issues will acknowledge that the president has spontaneous respiration and is responding to stimuli.

And the Counselor Troi Award goes to...

..the Journal of Epidemial Community Health for this finding:

Rock stars -- notorious for their "crash and burn" lifestyles -- really are more likely than other people to die before reaching old age.

A study of more than 1,000 mainly British and North American artists, spanning the era from Elvis Presley to rapper Eminem, found they were two to three times more likely to suffer a premature death than the general population.

Between 1956 and 2005 there were 100 deaths among the 1,064 musicians examined by researchers at the Centre for Public Health at Liverpool John Moores University.

As well as Presley, the toll of those dying before their time included Doors singer Jim Morrison, guitar hero Jimi Hendrix, T Rex star Marc Bolan and Nirvana's Kurt Cobain.

More than a quarter of all the deaths were related to drugs or alcohol abuse, said the study...

Lest we forget Jack (Abram)off

It ain't over yet, folks. GOP congresscritters continue to feel the heat.

Two of GOP Rep. John Doolittle's top aides have been subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury investigating ties between Doolittle, his wife and jailed lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

The grand jury subpoenas from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia were issued to Chief of Staff Ron Rogers and Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Blankenburg. They were announced on the House floor as Congress returned from its August recess Tuesday after the aides informed the House speaker about the subpoenas, as required under House rules.

Blankenburg and Rogers wrote in identical letters to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that they would consult with House counsel before deciding how to respond....

Doolittle has numerous ties to Abramoff, including accepting campaign cash from the lobbyist and intervening on behalf of Abramoff's Indian tribe clients.

Monday, September 03, 2007

And now for the link love

David Sirota announces his new syndicated column. It's great to see another progressive finding a mainstream platform.

Sara Robinson over at Orcinus describes the ever-familiar right-wing denial and explains which conservatives can and can't handle the truth.

Meanwhile, Elayne Riggs scratches her head at Keith Olbermann's courteous treatment of Bush's Mr. hat, Tony Snow. Personally, I wouldn't read too much into it. I suspect that if Snow didn't have cancer, Olbermann would be much, much harsher with the guy. That's just my theory.

Oh, and happy birthday to Hill Country Gal's husband! My own birthday is on Friday, so here are some birthday wishes for a fellow Virgo.

(No, I don't take that astrology stuff seriously.)

Ack! Make it stop!

Ever since Larry Craig's fall from grace, the news media has made note of his sting in the Singing Senators. Well, yesterday, Chris Matthews aired footage of Larry, Trent, John, and Jim singing the Oak Ridge Boys' "Elvira" on some morning talk show.

I remember "Elvira" from the early 1990s. Especially...

Giddyap a boom poppa boom poppa mow-mow
Giddyap a boom poppa boom poppa mow-mow

The boom poppa boom poppa mow-mow is sung by Trent Lott, the bass in the group. Now, I can't get this song out of my head.

Damn you, Larry Craig! Damn you to hell!

PS: No, I am not searching YouTube for footage of the Singing Senators.