Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Jersey, ahoy!

I'll be vacationing at the Jersey shore with Le Sweetie through Labor Day weekend. Nothing like an extended holiday weekend.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

From the "why's he still famous?" department

Dave Navarro's dual careers as musician and reality TV star have stalled. So how can he make money? The choices are:

a. Host some Time-Life "Alternative Nation: Rock of the '90s" infomercial.

b. Go to technical college and train for an exciting new career as a medical assistant.

c. Become night manager at the local Hot Topic.

d. Do porn.

Navarro, needless to say, went with d. Alas, interested fans will be sad to know that Navarro will be directing, not acting.

Dave Navarro will direct his first porn film, ‘Broken’, for Teravision, the adult film production company owned by porn star Tera Patrick and her husband, ex-Oz star Evan Seinfeld.

The film stars teen porn star Sasha Grey, David explains:

“What happens is, the film breaks fantasy and goes back into reality and you’re actually on the set, so my interaction is mainly me giving Sasha direction. If anything, there’s definitely an artistic flair and sensibility throughout the picture that might at times appear self-indulgent - I hope so!”

Note to the Chili Peppers: aren't you glad you ditched this guy?

Larry Craig, man of music

Senator Whatshisname from Idaho Whom Nobody Thought About Before used to be in a vocal group with Senators Trent Lott, John Ashcroft, and Jim Jeffords. They called themselves (what else?) the Singing Senators, and they wowed music fans at Branson, Missouri and the Republican National Convention. They performed alongside the Oak Ridge Boys and wore really goofy suits. Alas, political and professional differences tore the group apart: Ashcroft got kicked upstairs to an Attorney General post; Jeffords left the party; Lott lost his majority leader job; and Larry Craig is the latest inductee to the Official GOP Do-As-I-Say-Not-As-I-Do Club.

My friend says this is all great Behind the Music material. I agree; if VH1's having a slow week, an hour-long special on the story of Jim, Larry, John, and Trent would be worth exploring.

As it turns out, Pitchfork music scribe Amy Phillips penned just such an article in her student-journalist days. Maybe she could write an update for Pitchfork.

As Larry Craig's future musical prospects, I hear the Pet Shop Boys are always seeking new collaborators.

Mudhoney!

I so love this band. A DVD with videos and stuff is in the works, but until then, I'll content myself with assorted findings on YouTube.





Monday, August 27, 2007

Who says pit bulls can't rock and roll?


While Michael Vick and DMX have become the poster boys for pit bull abuse, today's generation of marginalized canines seeks a voice. Enter Budgie and Basil, the front-pets for Caninus. Above is a photo of the band, looking very grindcore. Someone should let the band know about the Michael Vick chew toy. Budgie and Basil would probably approve.

Meanwhile, check out the band's MySpace page here.

To quote Jane's Addiction, "nothing's shocking"

Last year, Blogactive's Michael Rogers began making the rounds of radio talk shows with stories of GOP closet cases. Specifically, Idaho Senator Larry Craig.

Speaking for myself, I've never liked the idea of outing famous people. But then again, I'm a straight chick and basically a sensitive soul. Most of the time, I hate seeing people embarrassed.

The operative term here is "most of the time." Every once in a while, you get, say, a seriously repressed, homophobic wingnut who's so far in the wardrobe closet that he's practically on his way to Narnia. You know, the sort of self-hater who actively campaigns for politicians who think he's going to hell.

And then, there are wingnuts who make it ridiculously easy for people to embarrass them by starring in porno flicks with titles like "Donkey Dick."

Despite all my reservations about outing, I can only react to this news about Senator Craig with a sigh and a roll of the eyes. For one thing, Senator Craig seems to have outed himself.

Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho was arrested in June by a plainclothes police officer investigating complaints of lewd conduct in the men's public toilet at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call reported....

According to the police report, Craig entered a bathroom stall next to the investigator, placed his bag against the front of the door and tapped his foot in a signal commonly used to try to pick up men in public toilets.

"I recognized this as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct," Roll Call wrote, quoting the investigator in the police incident report....

In a June 2006 Senate vote, Craig voted in favor of an amendment to the Constitution to define marriage in the United States as a union between one man and one woman. The amendment was defeated by one vote.

(About that last paragraph: you knew that was coming, didn't you?)

You know, maybe Senator Craig could've asked that nice DC madam if she knew of any gay escort services. Then, he wouldn't be in this mess.

More thoughts on the Not-So-Great Gonzo

Wouldn't it be funny if he were shot out of a cannon, like his namesake on the Muppets?

It's too bad there's nobody in the Bush administration nicknamed Beaker.

Goodbye for Gonzo

The Biggest Loser in American History loses yet another one of his cronies, and he's mad at the mean Democrats for saying mean things about his buddy.

Who'll be the next Bush flunky to jump ship? Condi, perhaps? Barney the Scottish terrier?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Enough lip service, already

So Senator Warner is now saying that the troops should come home. Earth to Congress! Earth to Congress! If you feel so strongly that you're right and the president is wrong, let me introduce you to a neat concept: Filibuster-proof majority. The donkeys have a very, very slim majority. However, if enough Congresscritters in both parities listen America's obvious majority and buy a clue, they could demonstrate bipartisanship at its very best. And America would thank them for it.

Come on, guys. Enough spending bills without timetables. Stop giving Bushco what it wants and start giving the American people what they want.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Crybaby conservative alert!

Last month, things looked great for Joe Bruno as the Eliot Mess began to unfold. Now, it's Bruno's turn to be embarrassed.

Somebody has made a nasty, threatening phone call to Governor Spitzer's dad. The message (via Gothamist) is as follows:

This is a message for Bernard Spitzer. You will be subpoenaed to testify in front of the Senate committee on investigation on your shady campaign loans. You will be compelled by the Senate sergeant at arms, if you resist, you will be arrested and brought to Albany - and there's not a goddamn thing your phony, psycho piece of s--- son can do about it. Bernie, your phony loans are about to catch up with you. You will be forced to tell the truth. The fact that your son is a pathological liar will be known to all.

The call was traced the apartment of GOP consultant Roger Stone. Not only has Stone denied making the call, but but he says he's the victim of a conspiracy.

Stone suggested that a "voice tape" may have been concocted by the governor's "minions" to frame him.

He did not deny the call was placed from his apartment, but offered an alternative theory: His building is owned by Democratic fund-raiser Dale Hemmerdinger, whom Spitzer has nominated to be the next MTA chairman, and Hemmerdinger's management company, ATCO, has pass keys that could have let in an intruder.

Bruno has since fired Stone, and Stone continues to insist that he's the victim of dirty tricks.

The same Spitzer operatives who were caught red-handed trying to set Senator Bruno up are now trying to set me up because they have deemed that I have been an effective advisor to Senator Bruno and the Republican Senate Campaign Committee.

Sounds like one of those party-of-personal-responsibility types, doesn't he?

You know, hopefully, Team Spitzer will never find out about Stone's swinging ways. On the bright side, at least he wasn't moonlighting as a porn actor. I mean dig this photo of him and his wife. YIKES!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

It's not 1967. There are no hippies. Dig?

Even a loony America-hater reality-based community member like yours truly admits that there are some differences between the Situation FUBAR of forty years ago (i.e., Vietnam) and the FUBAR of today. Not that the wingnutosphere will acknowledge this. It's 1967 all over again, and they're the righteous squares in the buzz cuts, wagging their fingers at the hippies eating mushrooms and painting peace signs on their faces. Buncha Communists, those kids.

I mean, really, it's obvious they're still trying to fight a war that was basically lost in 1975. And they're sore that America lost. It still smarts for them, and they hide their wounded pride while shedding crocodile tears for the Vietnamese. ("When the US left and Saigon fell, the nation became a brutal dictatorship." Gee, Einstein, like the ones the US supported in Latin America during the Cold War? That talking point has been done to death.)

Anyway, back to the hippies. I don't know why people dislike hippies. The hippies had great taste in music and clothes. They were mostly young kids. Lots of young kids go through a phase where they wear weird clothes and listen to weird music and nobody over the age of 25 understands them. Okay, so the hippies took drugs. That wasn't so good. But the reason hippies became so hated was that they were against the Vietnam War. And they were quite vocal about it. In fact, they held a lot of protests against the war.

Thus, the American hippie became a politically charged symbol of everything "good" and "proper" Americans were supposed to loathe. A fifth column in tie-dyed skirts and bell bottoms. I suspect that if they had simply lived in a cannibis-induced haze and kept their mouths shut, they would've been regarded in much the same way as today's ravers and emo kids.

Badtux has no use for hippies, asking: "What the fuck does looking like a goddamned bum do except make your whole cause look stupid?" In fact, he believes they did little more than play into Nixon's hands, thereby prolonging the Vietnam war.

Nixon had to run for re-election. And since he was a vile little man, he had to run for re-election on something other than his non-existent personality. So he ran for re-election on two things -- he was a law-and-order president cracking down on "those vile hippies" who obligingly showed up stoned and with hair down to their fucking ass dressed like goddamned hobos to prove his case, and he was a war president who was gonna get us outta Vietnam but "with honor", and so he had to keep the war going until 1971 so he could start pulling down troops in 1972 immediately prior to the election. Once the election was won, there wasn't any reason at all to even think about Vietnam -- Vietnam has no oil, or any other resources of interest.

A brief aside here: There were plenty of antiwar activists who were not hippies. Case in point: my Ivy League-educated, college librarian dad and my liberal but proper baby boomer mom. Both marched against the war. They even took a newborn yours truly along to an antiwar march. This was in a leafy New England college town, mind you. And even then, there were hecklers calling the protesters Communists. And FBI agents with cameras. And, of course, slogans like "Dick Nixon Before He Dicks You."

Long story short: Nixon exploited older generations' fears over young baby boomers who were questioning authority. You know, the sorts of people who were shocked--shocked!--that their kids didn't think or act like them. The same politics of fear that another Republican president would exploit more fully years later.

That's the major similarity between the Situation FUBARs of yesterday and today. The president and his cabinet believe they're fighting a war at home against their fellow Americans. And in that war, fear is the only weapon they have. Like Nixon, Bush has no sparkling personality to win over Americans. He has accomplished nothing to make America or the world a better place. He has no positive achievements. The best Bushco can do is publicize their botched war on terror every time there's a new scandal. The idea of a fifth column in America is an attractive one for ineffective leaders who need to distract the public.

There's just one difference between 1967 and 2007. There are no hippies. The protesters have taken their message to the internets. Today's war critics include grannies trying to enlist. Former GOP cabinet members. Iraq war veterans running for Congress. Even--gasp!--conservatives.

Of course, the outcome of today's Situation FUBAR is likely to be the same. US troops will have to leave, hopefully sooner and not later. Iraq is going to be chaos, and the US won't be able to run their country for them. Future historians will devote books and dissertations and scholarly articles to analyzing the biggest foreign policy disaster in American history. Hopefully, when they do, they'll put the blame for this failure where it rightfully belongs.

Insert appropriate dog pun here

Dog lovers who are barking mad over dogfighting can now purchase...the Michael Vick Dog Chew Toy! What could be more fun than watching your dog maul this thing? It's certainly more entertaining than the usual rawhide and squeaky toys. And there's even a doggie mascot!

Is it different you ask? You bet it is! Vick's Dog Chew Toy is made of state of the art "dog" material. The Vick's Toy Doll is so strong and flexible, it will challenge every breed. Especially The Pit Bull.


Could a Mitt Romney dog chew toy be next? Maybe someone could suggest it.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Okay. This is a joke.

Please, please, please, PLEASE tell me this is a joke.

Everyone’s favorite white-trash daddy has finally landed an acting gig. Kevin Federline will be a guest star on the CW series One Tree Hill. Reports say that Kevin is excited to be a part of the show but will only agree to filming if his shooting schedule is in accordance with his custody arrangements. Shooting begins this week in North Carolina.

If I were you K-Fed, I would “agree” to whatever shooting schedule they give you. Because let’s face it, you probably aren’t going to have producers throwing mounds of acting jobs at you on a daily basis. Unless of course it’s a script for a white-trash-rags-to-riches-to-divorce movie, then you’ll be the number one choice. Seriously Kev, I do respect you for wanting to spend time with your kids…it’s more than can be said for a lot of stars.

Funny, I didn't know One Tree Hill was still on the air.

Can we kill this meme? Please?

Deb has sad news to share. There are still some people who a. think it's unpatriotic to say mean things about Bush and b. believe that liberals are meanies who hate America and blame our country for everything that's wrong. Really, aren't people sick of that by now? I mean, even I recognize that America isn't responsible for thunderstorms and Pete Doherty.

Deb, it seems, is also sick and tired of this mostly discredited meme.

Excuse me? I'm a liberal because I care about people, not things and I certainly don't wallow in angst and self-pity trying to reassess my perspective because I'm scared.

Methinks some of these stragglers need to buy a calendar.

I'm going to feel so guilty for this, but...

...I so want the Britney/K-Fed custody battle to begin. Sooner rather than later. Perhaps it'll be the climax of the Great Britney Meltdown and after it's done, she'll just go home to Louisiana and retire from performing. (What am I saying? She's been retired since about 2004.) Please, let it happen.

OW! My poor tummy...

I don't know what's scarier--these album covers or the fact that someone compiled them all on one Web site. Why is it that these gospel records all have such godawful album sleeves?

That said, the Millie Jackson album cover looks pretty funny, and I suspect she meant it as a joke.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

And on that note....

Le Sweetie and I am off to Boston for a couple of days to visit my brother. Yay!

American's favorite fundraising mascot continues

Note to Xavier University: Thank you for booking Ann Coulter. Campus progressives at Xavier will love you for it. Don't believe me? Guess what People for the American Way sent me?

On September 6, Ann Coulter will be speaking at Xavier University in Ohio. You can help turn her hatemongering against her, and the rest of the Far Right. Here's how.

People For is teaming up with state groups like ProgressOhio and Equality Ohio to raise support for the progressive student groups at Xavier that fight for the American values -- equality, diversity, social justice -- Coulter routinely attacks. Since Coulter's speaking fee of $20,000+ equals about $5 per Xavier student, we are asking progressives to chip in $5 to support groups like Xavier's Gay-Straight Alliance, Amnesty International, Habitat for Humanity and Earthcare.

As Ann Coulter is speaking, People For, our Ohio partners, fellows from our affiliate People For the American Way Foundation's Young People For program and other progressive students and activists will participate in a rally on Xavier's campus, where we will counter Coulter's divisive message and present a check to Xavier's progressive student groups for the total amount raised by all the participating groups...

When you donate, you can write a little note to Ms. Coulter that we'll see gets sent her way.

It's not quite up there with the time Democracy for America sent rubber chickens to Tom DeLay, but it's still amusing.

An ideal note would be this:

Dear Ms. Coulter:

We've collected so much money in donations thanks to your efforts that we can't thank you enough. Please, keep it up, Ms. Coulter! You're the gift that keeps on giving!

Sincerely,

Howard Dean.

Prog blog time!

It's a Deutchland-themed prog blog for today! First, Ash Ra Tempel:



Next, Popul Vuh:



And finally, Can!

Awwwww. Isn't this too bad?

Faux News cancelled its Colbert-ripoff show.

In a memo to senior producers this afternoon, FNC's SVP of programming, Bill Shine announced the network "will not continue the Half Hour News Hour beyond its current 15 episode run." Shine did leave the door open, however: "we are considering ways to retool the show for future scheduling needs."

The TV news satire show which airs Sunday nights, stars faux anchors Kurt McNally, played by Kurt Long, and Jennifer Lange, played by Jennifer Robertson.

More proof that wingnuts just can't do funny. HuffPo breaks it down in more detail.

The problem is that Joel Surnow, who created both Half Hour and Jack Bauer, thought he could deliver the right wing's answer to The Daily Show and carve a niche in the market for conservative humor. Only he forgot some important parts, among them, obviously, the Comedy part. Dennis Miller couldn't go on the show and be a comedian; he had to be a commentator. And commentators aren't funny (Miller, when allowed, is still funny, just tragically misguided). And those whose job it is to actually be comedians leave you feeling like you've been pounded over the head with a joke instead of zapped in the gut with it.

Secondly, Surnow forgot the single-most important value of timeless Comedy: it unites. Richard Pryor did as much for the easing of racial tension as Julian Bond, and Jim Carrey proved that a white man could kick it with a black cast. Colbert and Stewart make Democrats and Republicans laugh at themselves. They succeed not because of language, political bias or controversy, but because the material is researched, painfully structured and impeccably timed.

Those details were lost on Joel Surnow. He was just out to make a point (or counterpoint, perhaps). But if the jokes land flat, all is lost. Today, Comedy wins.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Awwwww...who doesn't love kitties?


Sure, they're fierce-looking, but they're so cuuuuuute!

A set of rare Persian leopard triplets was presented Tuesday at the Budapest Zoo. The cubs - a male and two females - were born at the zoo on June 19 and were doing well, said zoo spokesman Zoltan Hanga.

The Persian leopard - Panthera pardus saxicolor - is the largest of the leopard subspecies and is native to Western Asian countries like Iraq, Afghanistan and Armenia.

It is endangered; fewer than 2,000 are thought to survive in the wild. A further 74 live in zoos.

The cubs born in Hungary - sisters Bella and Bara and brother Bahar - are part of a breeding program of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria.

Their parents - father Nadir and mother Cezi - arrived at the Budapest Zoo in mid-2003. Their first offspring, Asszir was born June 6, 2005, and is now at the Jerusalem Zoo.

The three cubs will stay in Budapest for about a year, when they will be transferred to other zoos around the world.

Human twins, triplets or siblings from other multiple births who visit the Budapest Zoo together will be allowed in free of charge until Dec. 31, Hanga said.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Back to Situation FUBAR

Via Badtux, we find the US government honoring its selfless troops...by standing by while soldiers' parents ransack their retirement funds to care for their badly wounded children. Say, wingnuts, in all your whining about mean moonbats, did it ever occur to you that America's soldiers are being treated like shit? You're obviously too cowardly to enlist to fight, but the least you could do is show some outrage over soldiers lying in rat-infested VA hospitals and military families going bankrupt to support them.

And don't say that it's "socialism." "Socialism" is your excuse whenever you don't want to contribute to America's basic infrastructure by paying the taxes everyone else pays. You don't even know that it means, and you sound like spoiled children when you whine about the money coming out of your paycheck. The cops keeping you safe have to eat. So do the military families--what, do you think they ate magnetic yellow ribbons for breakfast?

You're not more special than everyone else, so you have no reason for your sense of entitlement. If you don't want your money going to pay for "social programs" like VA hospitals, then quit supporting the war. No war means no wounded soldiers means less work for VA hospitals. Until then, don't pretend to support the troops. You don't support the troops. You want them to feed your fantasies. That's not their job. You want to live in a world of muscular commandos and dirty terrorists and never-ending bloodshed? Fine. Go buy a Game Boy and leave everyone else alone.

*rant mode off*

Run, Newt! Run run run RUN!!!!

Because if Rudy's personal life is red meat to those who pontificate on 2008, then believe me, they're going to salivate when the Newtster enters the race.

He hasn't announced and he already has a detractor.


So the writer of "Gingrich thumps the senator on Fox" (Aug. 6, Letters) praises Newt Gingrich as a dynamic speaker worthy of public support while condemning Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis. While I usually say a public figure's private life is none of our business, Gingrich is an exception. This man left one of his wives on her sickbed so he could marry his mistress. Anyone who would be so cruel to another human being doesn't deserve our respect.

KEITH ENSMINGER
Merced

Oh yeah, and Gingrich has admitted to fooling around on his wife while he was trying to nail Clinton.

But never mind that. Newt has declared that candidates' personal lives should be off limits. Gee, dude, why don't you just wear a big placard that reads, "I'm Running, And I'm Warning You Not to Bring Up My Lousy Luck With Women"?

And once again, he compares campaigns to reality TV. From CNN:

"These aren't debates," the former Georgia congressman said. "This is a cross between [TV shows] 'The Bachelor,' 'American Idol' and 'Who's Smarter than a Fifth-Grader.'"

"What's the job of the candidate in this world?" asked Gingrich. "The job of the candidate is to raise the money to hire the consultants to do the focus groups to figure out the 30-second answers to be memorized by the candidate. This is stunningly dangerous."

Say, Newt, didn't the right-wing movement gain power by way of 30-second catchphrases and soundbites? The kinds dreamed up by political insiders and establishment figures like you? Soundbites such as "Contract on with America"? Or calling an estate tax a "death tax" so you could scare people into voting to for tax breaks for the ultra-rich? At what point did you decide it was a bad idea? November, 2006 perhaps?

If Newt runs, he'll represent the absolute dregs of the GOP field--a reverse McCain, an insider pretending to be a "maverick" while flip-flopping in ways that the McRomneyanis of the campaign trail would envy. He says he'll decide by October. It can't come soon enough.

Brooke Astor, 1902-2007


A few weeks ago, Le Sweetie and I visited the Cloisters, the Metropolitan Museum of Art's beautiful collection of medieval art. Nestled in Fort Tryon Park, near the northern tip of Manhattan, the Cloisters is alternately sunny and strange. Outside are people lounging on the grass and walking their dogs. Inside is the closest thing Manhattan will ever have to a medieval castle, complete with illustrated prayer books and the famous Unicorn Tapestries.

To Brooke Astor, the Met was one of New York City's "crown jewels," and she dearly loved the city's cultural landmarks. But her philanthropy wasn't limited to museums or zoos. Nor was she satisfied writing checks and attending charity balls. She famously proclaimed, "Money is like manure, it should be spread around." She took a personal interest in every project funded by the Vincent Astor Foundation. It could be in the middle of the scuzziest neighborhood in the city, the most drug-infested block, and Mrs. Astor would be there. She bought a boiler for a youth center and a pipe organ for a church. She donated to the Coalition for the Homeless and the Apollo Theater. She was determined to spend last dollar during her lifetime, and when the Vincent Astor Foundation finally closed its doors, she proclaimed herself one of the "nouvelle pauvre."

Like so many other people who are motivated to good things, she wasn't always so generous with people in her life. By her own admission, she was not much of a mother to her son. The tradition of family estrangement, sadly, seems to continue to the present day (one grandson accused his father of elder abuse). On the other hand, her friends all describe a vivacious, cultured woman with passion and drive. The simple, unpretentious quote below sums up Mrs. Astor and her approach to her life and work.

Power, for me, is the ability to do good things for others. I have the means to do it, thanks to Vincent's money, and the act of giving makes me powerful inside. I would tell anyone, if you have enough money for three meals a day and you're not too busy, you ought to do something for others.

Godspeed, Mrs. Astor.

Waiting with bated breath

I really hope they can save those poor miners.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Quiz time!

Guess who said this in 1994 interview?

Q: Do you think the U.S., or U.N. forces, should have moved into Baghdad?

A: No.

Q: Why not?

A: Because if we'd gone to Baghdad we would have been all alone. There wouldn't have been anybody else with us. There would have been a U.S. occupation of Iraq. None of the Arab forces that were willing to fight with us in Kuwait were willing to invade Iraq.

Once you got to Iraq and took it over, took down Saddam Hussein's government, then what are you going to put in its place? That's a very volatile part of the world, and if you take down the central government of Iraq, you could very easily end up seeing pieces of Iraq fly off: part of it, the Syrians would like to have to the west, part of it -- eastern Iraq -- the Iranians would like to claim, they fought over it for eight years. In the north you've got the Kurds, and if the Kurds spin loose and join with the Kurds in Turkey, then you threaten the territorial integrity of Turkey.

It's a quagmire if you go that far and try to take over Iraq.

The other thing was casualties. Everyone was impressed with the fact we were able to do our job with as few casualties as we had. But for the 146 Americans killed in action, and for their families -- it wasn't a cheap war. And the question for the president, in terms of whether or not we went on to Baghdad, took additional casualties in an effort to get Saddam Hussein, was how many additional dead Americans is Saddam worth?

Our judgment was, not very many, and I think we got it right.

Hint #1: His initials are D.C.

Hint #2: He has very close business ties to a very profitable company whose name begins with "H."

Hint #3: He is very high up in the Bush administration.

Editor and Publisher has more, including the YouTube link.

Via Democratic Underground.

Whatshisname withdraws

Which Republican's withdrawing? Oh yeah--the Thompson whose first name isn't Fred. He came in sixth in the Iowa straw poll. Considering Yosemite Mitt only got 31 percent, you have to wonder how bad Thompson did.

Ah, who could forget how an embarrassed Thompson had to retract his statement that employers should be able to fire gays? (Recap here.) Good times.

This is just sad.

All those moths of bending over backwards, with a zeal and determination that would baffle the most advanced yoga practitioner, and Yosemite Mitt still can't cut it in Iowa.

Uh-oh! Guess which wingnut hearts France?

Hint: his first name rhymes with "loot." Quick, someone do something about this America hater!

Newt Gingrich has seen the future of the Republican Party, and it is in France.

The former House speaker and leader of the Republicans' 1994 "Contract with America" has been hitting the talk show and Internet circuit with this message: Republicans will retain the White House in 2008 only if they copy conservative Nicolas Sarkozy's victory strategy in France — circumventing the traditional media, running as agents of bold change and cornering Democrats as protectors of the status quo.

Sigh. Someone give the Newtster a calendar. Hint: it's not 1994, and America got about 12 or so years of the Republicans' "bold change." Your party is now the protector of the status quo, Newt. You had your chance and you blew it. People have been listening to the GOP candidates' positions on assorted issues. Ron Paul notwithstanding, the vast majority offer some variation on "same old shit, different day."

I mean, I remember the first GOP debate. It can be summed up thusly:

Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan Mitt changed his mind.
Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan tired talking points.
Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan what's Gillmore doing here?
Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan more tired talking points.
Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan Ron Paul on FIRE!
Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan McCain looking hapless.
Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan George Bush? Who's that?
Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan Mitt trying to please.
Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan more of the same--YAWN...
Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan this is just sad...

If Newt thinks he can reframe the Dems as "protectors of the status quo," then he's obviously proven how out of touch he really is.

Speaking of out of touch, Newt chastised Muslims for not speaking out on terrorism.

Um...Newt? After 9/11, Islamic organizations and prominent Muslims almost universally condemned the attacks. In more recent years, Muslims have condemned other terrorist as well. See statements like this and this as examples. If Newt is so confident in new media, why doesn't he just go to Google and type in "Muslims" and "condemnation"?

Man, I so want this guy to run in 2008.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Quote of the day

From today's Newsday editorial on the great Subway Debacle of two days ago:

The MTA should have learned by now that chanting "Rain, Rain Go Away" isn't a plan.

We could use some good news now

There's a press conference on the progress of the Utah mine rescue. Same old thing--they're still trying to rescue the miners. I hope they're okay.

And the "Joe Biden, SHUT UP!" Award goes to...

...Rudy Giuliani. I'm glad he and Biden are in different parties, actually. The possibility of a Biden/Giuliani ticket is too horrifying to think about. With worries over global warming, we don't need the combined hot air from those two.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

And here's a musical interlude for y'all

One of the great overlooked rock bands of the late '60s and early '70s: Family. Here's their signature song, "The Weaver's Answer."

From the "who cares, it's funny" department

Giuliani's daughter is an Obama supporter. Considering he wasn't exactly there for them when he was canoodling with the current Mrs. Rudy, it's no surprise that they are not tripping over themselves to campaign for him.

Personally, I'd be amused if one of Yosemite Mitt's kids was revealed to be a closet Fred Thompson supporter.

Tell us something we don't already know

The MTA is clueless.

Man, if you need a place to vent or learn the full story behind mass transit horror stories, check out Gothamist.

The MTA admitted that the service was not acceptable on many accounts, from the flooding to the fact that the MTA's website was overwhelmed. Then there's also the fact that the MTA was urging people not to take the subways and opt for a bus instead, only for buses to be (A) few and far between and (B) crowded as anything.


They forgot to mention "(C) fucking slow."

Don't the people at the MTA feel really stupid when they say shit like this?

MTA CEO Lee Sander said, "We really are sorry about the inconvenience that New Yorkers had to deal with. In terms of how it happened, we had three inches of rain in an hour. The system is designed to handle 1.5 inches."

This isn't quite as appalling as last year's 9-day Queens blackout--you know, the one where Con Ed lied about the number of places without power--but it still induces eye rolls. Only 1.5 inches of rain? Sense this doesn't make.

Next time this happens, I'm taking a bike to work. I don't care how much office buildings hate bikes. I don't care if I'm honked at. If I'm going to be facing the commute from hell, I'd rather do it with the wind blowing in my face. Beats standing in a packed 7 train while some loony woman babbles on the other side of the car.

A final Yearly Kos thought

I wasn't there, but I know there's been a lot of clacking about the white males at Yearly Kos. I also know there was discussion about diversity at the convention.

But people are forgetting something: The guy behind the convention, Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, is a Latino. Born in El Salvador, I believe.

That is all.

PS: I wanna go to next year's convention! I wanna! I wanna!

Stupid things that make no sense

Years ago (IIRC, in the early 1990s) I was walking to the subway as part of the usual morning commute. Out of nowhere, the city was battered with rain, which lasted about 5-10 minutes. The sudden onslaught was too much for NYC's poor nineteenth century water pumps, and as a result, the subway systems were conked out of commission for the rest of the morning. There was flooding here, there were delays there, there were long lines for buses and frustrated commuters trying in vain to get cabs. I seem to remember getting to work some time after 10 AM.

The local press all noted the rather ancient water pumping systems in New York. It was all rather unnerving to think that 5-10 minutes of rain was all it took to tangle up NYC's mass transit system. Surely, it was time for an upgrade...yes?

Well, there have been one of two other instances where heavy rain flooded subways and made the morning commute something akin to an obstacle course. And still, there have been no solid steps taken to bring in new water pumps or improve the infrastructure. I mean, rain happens--particularly in the summer, when there are things called thunderstorms.

Yesterday, it happened again. The heavy thudding of rain, followed by flooded subway tunnels and irate commuters and long waiting times, and horrible, horrible heat.

Really. Enough already. I'm tired of this talk about congestion pricing. Since I don't have a car and I use mass transit to get everywhere, it doesn't affect me. It doesn't affect a lot of New Yorkers. The lifeblood of this city is the mass transit system. Can Mayor Bloomberg bring the transit infrastructure into the 21st century? Please?

I'm baaaaaaack!

I am reminded of how much I missed blogging. Needless to say, summer, being the time of year that it is, manages to draw even the most devoted blogger away from the keyboard at least for a time. So it was with yours truly, who spent a fun extended weekend with Le Sweetie and friends in the Poconos. We went to a water park and splashed around. We went rowing and canoeing. We biked and swam. We even indulged in some retail therapy at an outlet mall. And, of course, we went to the town of Jim Thorpe, one of those cute little picturesque tourist towns often found in tourist enclaves.

When I wasn't on vacation, I was a. working on a freelance writing assignment or b. working on a freelance proofreading assignment. I have been mentally counting the money I've earned ever since. All this has left me with little blog time...until now. And yes, it's good to be back.