Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Springtime for Benedict

The ultimate motive of the Holocaust was to wipe out Christianity?

Um, I don't think so.

And you'd think that a pope with the nickname "The Nazi Pope" would be awful damn careful about attempting to recast the extermination of 6 million Jews as a pre-emptive strike against his own religion.

Especially when the Catholic church was hardly blameless in the matter.

But no.

Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, author of Hitler's Willing Executioners writing on the Pope's visit to Auschwitz in the LATimes:

Benedict falsely exonerated Germans from their responsibility for the Holocaust by blaming only a "ring of criminals" who "used and abused" the duped and dragooned German people as an "instrument" of destruction. In truth, Germans by and large supported the Jews' persecution, and many of the hundreds of thousands of perpetrators were ordinary Germans who acted willingly. It is false to attribute culpability for the Holocaust wholly or even primarily to a "criminal ring." No German scholar or mainstream politician would today dare put forth Benedict's mythologized account of the past.

Benedict did say correctly that the "rulers of the Third Reich wanted to crush the entire Jewish people." But he then turned the Holocaust into an assault most fundamentally not on Jews but on Christianity itself, by falsely asserting that the ultimate reason the Nazis wanted to kill Jews was "to tear up the taproot of the Christian faith" — meaning that their motivation to kill Jews was because Judaism was the parent religion of Christianity.

You might be a redneck if...

Is anyone out there surprised that the creator of this display has a mail-order bride?

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Al, it just makes me want you all the more

NYT on Al Gore's movie, and the speculation about a presidential run it is fueling:

"I wanted it, and it was not to be," said Al Gore, the former vice president and two-time presidential candidate. "I am not pursuing it. I have been there, and I have done that."...

..."Why should I run for office?" Mr. Gore asked, the impatience evident in his voice. "I have no interest in running for office. I have run for office. I have run four national campaigns. I have found other ways to serve my country, and I am enjoying them."...

...To hear Mr. Gore talk about the state of politics and journalism today — this from a man who has a history in both professions — it is hard to imagine him ever running for office again. Politics, he said, has become a game of meaningless, mindless battles, conducted by unscrupulous methods and people, designed to transform even the most serious policy debates into sport.

That bastard. He knows what it does to me when he plays hard to get.

I don't know about y'all, but I am seriously being blinded by a wonky white-hot desire for a Gore run.

Treasury Secretary Snow resigns to spend more time looking for his balls

W nominates Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Henry Paulson to the post. NYT:
Republicans had long been pushing for a change at Treasury, arguing that Mr. Snow, despite devoting much of his energy to making the case that the economy had flourished under Mr. Bush, had failed to convince the public at large.

See? That's the problem. Interest rates are going up, and a growing number of Americans can't afford to gas up their car or go to the doctor because their wages haven't increased even though productivity has, so while those at the highest income levels reap the benefits of higher corporate profits and lower income taxes, we in the middle and the bottom should get with the program that THE ECONOMY IS FLOURISHING.

Friday, May 26, 2006

See ya Tuesday

What will I be doing this weekend?

I mean, know...the honoring thing

Well, I've been meaning to catch up on my cuba libre drinking...and my chaise lounging...and my sunset watching.

Stop the presses!

W professeses to have actually learned something!

In a press event yesterday with PM Blair, W expressed regret about his cowboy attitude:

Q Mr. President, you spoke about missteps and mistakes in Iraq. Could I ask both of you which missteps and mistakes of your own you most regret?

PRESIDENT BUSH: Sounds like kind of a familiar refrain here -- saying "bring it on," kind of tough talk, you know, that sent the wrong signal to people. I learned some lessons about expressing myself maybe in a little more sophisticated manner -- you know, "wanted dead or alive," that kind of talk. I think in certain parts of the world it was misinterpreted, and so I learned from that.

Wow! Big talk from The Decider. Okay, the "wanted dead or alive" thing was in reference to Bin Laden, not Iraq, but by now we all given up on trying to teach him the difference. So still kinda impressive, huh, to admit a mistake and vow to do better?

Too bad he disproves himself in the very next 4 sentences to come out of his mouth:
PRESIDENT BUSH: And I think the biggest mistake that's happened so far, at least from our country's involvement in Iraq is Abu Ghraib. We've been paying for that for a long period of time. And it's -- unlike Iraq, however, under Saddam, the people who committed those acts were brought to justice. They've been given a fair trial and tried and convicted.


Uh, Mr.'s not a very um, sophisticated thing to tell an easily proven lie. Especially when the abdication of responsibility regarding prisoner abuse from military and legal higher-ups is kind of a sore point.

Just, you know, FYI.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The way to an American's heart

John McCain is taking a tough stance on a complicated, unpopular issue vital to the security and freedom of this country.

Just kidding. Actually, he wants to lower our cable bills.

Not at all the action of a politician trying to curry favor with voters, hmmm?

Bringing the Hoff

It was two hours worth of off-key filler...

...but it was so worth it to see Hasselhoff cry.

Guilty, baby!

Skilling - 19 of 28 counts


Skilling was found guilty on 20 counts of conspiracy, fraud, false statements and insider trading. He was found not guilty on eight counts of insider trading.

Lay was found guilty on all six counts of conspiracy and fraud.

In a separate bench trial, Judge Sim Lake ruled Lay was guilty of four counts of fraud and false statements.

Both Lay and Skilling could face 20 to 30 years in prison, legal experts say.

Sentencing was set for the week of Sept. 11.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Isn't Bill Frist all surgeon-y and dreamy?

Awww... He operates on zoo gorillas in his spare time!

Just don't let him near any kittens.

Tom DeLay does understand that the Colbert Report is satire, right?

Well, you explain it, then.

(via Think Progress)

On behalf of a grateful nation

I watched Baghdad ER recently, not because I particularly wanted to, but because I thought I should. I just figured that if those women and men can fuck up their minds and bodies in the service of this nation, then I should at least be able to stand watching them do it. So yeah, I think everyone should watch the film if you can.

Especially if you supported the war.

My brother is a former Guardsman who served in the 103rd Medical Battalion during peacetime. He was also Captain of a Rescue Squad and worked at a Level 1 Trauma Center (Cooper) in New Jersey for many years. I asked him what he thought of the film, and this is his response:

Watched Baghdad ER, had to take several runs at it as I would turn it off after a couple of minutes. In the beginning I was getting wacked by memories triggered by small little details. Just the way someone held their hands to tell everyone to calm down (I looked down and I had already raised both hands in the exact same posture).

I sighed the morbid sigh when I noticed "air in the belly" of the first patient that was having CPR performed on them (bad sign by association with too many"fatals" and the CPR that you do anyways). Just that quick I was back in that state after you work a fatal that day. There is a type of consensus that kind of occurs before actually calling time of death that runs around the room, it came across the camera somehow and I picked up on TOD every time even when I wasn't paying attention in the end of the show. Typing this I realize that there is a moment given for acceptance of those nearby before calling it. (Not that we are going to overly disagree with the guy calling it)

My last night at Cooper was different only in that I knew I would not be back. Instead of spending long weekends slipping on the floor (there was a shot of the floor in the film that explains this comment) I was going to spend the time dating my future wife and taking time for myself after many hectic years. Near the middle of the night we had a patient with a gunshot to the face, I was doing CPR with one hand and was turned around doing something with the other (I would have been prepping a procedure tray or hooking up yet another suction line), I didn't hear it, but when I turned back it seemed to me that they had called it, people's shoulders where different. Not wanting to be accused of doing CPR on acorpse, I verified what I suspected with a lift of the chin to which someone responded with a subtle nod. (I also didn't want to be guilty of not doing CPR on a patient.)

Multi-tasking while interacting with a room of people all multi-tasking is what we call "the dance", I was surprised how much the military version today wasn't so different from the civilian version of 14 years ago. I really really was surprised how hard it was to start watching tho...The sound of the helicopter door slamming shut chilled my spine.

I met a couple of guys from the 86th in Atlanta airport about 2 years ago. We chatted like medics do. I welcomed them home out of habit.


I read today True Ancestor's post about the price of small transgressions, and it reminded me of a time in my life when I was deeply unhappy because I was working the job from hell.

True Ancestor is someone who believes in paying the price for his actions. My former boss, who I will decline to identify although I'm really really really really tempted to, did not. She would cheat, scream, cut in line, take things that "would not be missed," and all because she "needed it" or she was "running late" or whatever other rationale was handy. I finally quit because I couldn't stand that she would expect me to do those things too. If I took too long on an errand, she would say "Why didn't you go to the front of the line and tell them that what you wanted was too important and you couldn't wait?" I'd say "Well, because your latte is really not any more important than anyone else's, and I doubt they'd believe it was." She'd give me a look like I was the worst kind of socialist lunatic she'd ever heard.

In the end, she could live with her actions because she believed in her own happiness only, and not in the happiness of others. And worse, her happiness depended only on the acquisition of things for herself, and depended not at all on the feelings of those around her. She was an incredible specimen of near complete self-centeredness.

The kicker? She was a devout Hindu. She lived in a ashram. The only art she had in the house were pictures of either Krishna or her swami, whom she revered and spoke of in hushed tones.

Yeah, I couldn't understand why she never exploded from the sheer volume of hypocrisy contained within her body.

I remember once, when I was crying in the office bathroom after a particularly brutal berating from her, I blurted out to a coworker who had followed me in to comfort me "You know, I got a better chance of seeing Krishna when I die, and I don't even know who the fuck he is!"
I considered working the line into my resignation speech, but thought better of it at the last moment. No need to muddy the waters with evocations of blue-skinned deities. And although I had worked there only 6 months, I had outlasted every bet in the office pool on how long it would take me to walk out the door.
So in the end, I found myself a better job, and I walked into her office and said, simply, "I quit." She gave me this smug little smile and said "Good girl."
And you know, I wasn't even tempted to smack that fucking smile off her face. Because the idea that she would try to claim my victory as her own at the moment was so ridiculous, and yet so typical, that all I could do was laugh.
So I laughed at her. And I turned and walked out.
I think the laugh really bothered her. Which was fabulous, I won't lie.
But I think I had earned that one small transgression.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

"Doubt it."

That was W's 2-word response to a reporter's question as to whether the president would see Al Gore's film on global warming, An Inconvenient Truth.

Well, let me be the first to applaud the president for his new-found tendency toward the concise.

I think the above phrase is going to come in real handy for him, especially when he is asked whether FEMA is prepared for the upcoming hurricane season, or whether the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq is of tantamount priority, or whether he will be able to achieve a peaceful solution to the problem of nuclear weapon development in Iran.

I'm sure there are other opportunities for its use I haven't thought of yet...

You're no Lloyd Bentsen

"Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy," he said. "I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy."

- Lloyd Bentsen to Dan Quayle, October 5, 1988

Bentsen died today at age 85.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Ask the Pilot

Salon's aviation expert takes on the 9/11 conspiracy theories. (registration required) A must read for anyone who sat through Loose Change.

And Wikipedia's entry does a nice job of sorting out the various claims and rebuts, in case you get lost.

10 Things I Hate About Commandments

Biblical epic as teen high-school comedy mash-up.

You Tube via Video Dog

Stately, plump Fred Flintstone

Have a yabba dabba doo time.

They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

I don't know what Madonna pays her backup dancers, but it's not enough.

Independent Engineering Commission to Army Corp of Engineers: You Suck

Let's just be clear about this. The flood damage and the deaths in New Orleans last year were directly caused by the incompetence of the Army Corp of Engineers.

If the levees had been built properly, they wouldn't have been breached. So to say that the city was devastated by Hurricane Katrina is to ignore the high likelihood that with proper levees, the damage and loss of life from the hurricane would have been minimal.

CO2, it's what's for dinner.

The geniuses over at the Competitive Enterprise Institute have, perhaps in response to the theatrical release of An Inconvenient Truth, decided to make a couple of commericals promoting one of their favorite products (or should I say by-products?):


Carbon Dioxide.

I surmise they want to make the point that in spite of all the bad press the gas has been getting, we humans would be in a helluva pickle if we couldn't exhale CO2.

Hey, I don't dispute that. Humans can't survive without taking a shit, either, but that don't mean I want to be living in it.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Insert "ho" joke here

Hey, if you're in the San Fernando Valley this weekend...well, that's your tough luck, buddy.

But instead of bitching about the derth of Fred Segals, you could maybe try to have little fun for once.

Good, clean, high-carb, low-pilates fun.

Say, at the NoHo Theatre and Arts Festival.

There's a world of food and drink, and ethnic music, and rock bands, and folk dancing, and also some theatre-ish-type skits-n-such (best to steer clear of those).

But there is some cool art for sale. Seriously cool art.

Two years ago, I got a really amazing framed photograph for 4o bucks.


Artists, starving and sweating it out in a festival tent so I can get a good bargain? I am so down with that!

And last year, I got a beautiful handmade Russian amber ring, and a sparkly belt buckle featuring a likeness of El Santo.

So come on down, Los Angelenos, and say hi if you see me.

I will look like this:

(Hmm...I'm sensing a theme to my Friday posts...)

Age of Christ

InBev is selling Rolling Rock to Anheuser Busch. Worse yet, they're selling the Latrobe, PA brewery separately, no doubt because AB wants to start brewing Rolling Rock at the same facilities where it brews the rest of its shitty-ass beers.

I went to college in PA, and since I didn't really drink in high school (so much easier to get pot than alcohol in high school), Rolling Rock was my first real beer experience, and I still have a soft spot for it. Even now, when I go in a bar, and I see they have RR, I always order it. It makes me feel good to order it.

Brand loyalty, the marketing people call it.

Anyway, there's always been something special to me about the painted green glass bottle and its tasty contents, to say nothing of the enigmatic "33." So many memories. Like the time me and my girlfriends got booted from the Rathskeller after finals for tapping the bottles in our pony case.

I stuck with you, Rolling Rock, even after the Latrobe Brewing Company sold you in '87 to InBev. Because you were still brewed in the Latrobe Brewery. But can you taste the same, being brewed in St. Louis, or wherever? You can't. The water is not the same. You can't be the same. And you won't.

So I guess I need to get my ass over to Smart and Final and stock up on some Rolling Rock.

P.S. My favorite song reference to my favorite beer? Banquet Hall's haunting "33."

Thursday, May 18, 2006

To say nothing of hair plugs

Ah, hubris.

It leads Hollywood execs to do foolish things, like premiere a lame potboiler by a merely servicable director at the bitchfest that is Cannes.

Man-pris on parade!

Let's tool...tool...

I hope it doesn't suck

View a preview of Fast Food Nation, a drama (not a documentary) based on the expose of the same name by Eric Schlosser. The movie is directed by Richard Linklater and is premiering at Cannes.

I read the book, and let me tell you there is some scary-ass shit in there.

The rumor is that Linklater was able to film on location in various fast food restaurants by calling the film project something other than Fast Food Nation.

More evidence of the successful merger of Fox News and the Office of the White House Press Secretary

Crooks and Liars:
MR. SNOW: Well, as I pointed out -- I mentioned this yesterday, and for -- let me see if I can find my quote, because I pulled it out. Chuck Hagel, as you may recall, made a fair amount of news over the weekend when he first said that -- let's see -- "Well, I want to listen to the details and I want to listen to the President," said Senator Hagel -- he said this on "This Week" on a competing network.

NSA office politics

So...according to the Baltimore Sun, the NSA trashed a data-gathering program that would have been more effective, and wouldn't violate privacy laws, in favor of one that works for shit and does violate our privacy?

That sounds about right.
WASHINGTON // The National Security Agency developed a pilot program in the late 1990s that would have enabled it to gather and analyze huge amounts of communications data without running afoul of privacy laws. But after the Sept. 11 attacks, it shelved the project - not because it failed to work but because of bureaucratic infighting and a sudden White House expansion of the agency's surveillance powers, according to several intelligence officials.The agency opted instead to adopt only one component of the program, which produced a far less capable and rigorous program. It remains the backbone of the NSA's warrantless surveillance efforts, tracking domestic and overseas communications from a vast databank of information, and monitoring selected calls.

Apparently, the above program was dropped because it was making General Hayden's pet program look bad.

Think this'll hang up his nomination at all?


(via War Room)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

More crickets

Not one question in yesterday's press briefing about the allegations from ABC News that the government is attempting to track down their reporters' confidential sources by tapping their phones.

Well color me surprised.

Aren't reporters interested in the First Amendment? I thought they were.

Here's my favorite exchange from the briefing (on the NSA/phone records story):

MR. SNOW: ...I would direct you back to the USA Today story itself, and if you analyze what that story said, what did it say? It said there is no wiretapping of individual calls, there is no personal information that is being relayed. There is no name, there is no address, there is no consequence of the calls, there's no description of who the party on the other end is.

Q Privacy was breached by turning over their phone numbers.

MR. SNOW: Well, again, you are jumping to conclusions about a program, the existence of which we will neither confirm, nor deny.

Yeah, so quit jumping to conclusions and get the facts we won't release!

Oh, and FYI - we'll be bugging your phone to see where you get your facts.

The whole "pants on fire" thing is infectious

What's with the sorta kinda denials slowly slipping out from the phone companies that were revealed in a news story to have provided information to the NSA about the phone records of American citizens?

As Think Progress so succinctly lays out for us, either the story's wrong, the phone companies are lying, or the phone companies have phrased their denials in a very lawyerly way.

Could the phone companies lie about such a thing without getting into hot water with the SEC?

Turns out they can. If the Director of National Intelligence says they can. Because the president signed a memo giving him that power.

You know, to protect national security.

(via Eschaton)

Lifetime is interested in my story

Mark Inglis has become the first double amputee to scale Mt. Everest, which is the highest peak in the world at 29,035 ft. Inglis lost both his legs after being stuck in an ice cave on Mt. Cook in New Zealand for 14 days in 1982.

I don't know how many of my readers know this, but I, too, triumphed over adversity in order to scale a mountain.

I climbed Bear Peak (8461 ft.) in Boulder once when I had a really bad hangover.

I scraped my leg on a rock and scuffed up my Skechers pretty bad, but it was so worth it!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Wal-Mart now has its own government, apparently

A Wal-Mart representative threatens some rural FL residents with the seizure of their land under "eminent domain" if they do not sell.

There's sources, and then there's SOURCES

Ah, I remember fondly the press outrage over the jailing of BushCo asslicker Judith Miller for refusing to name her sources in the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame. Oh, it was the death of the first amendment and the end of whistle-blowing confidential sources, according to the the MSM. And as far as the NYTimes was concerned, Saint Judith made Mother Theresa look like a 10-dollar whore.

Which is why I can't understand the cricket chirps from them on this.

Pedro lacks legislative experience

But still, the newly-released special edition DVD looks pretty flippin' sweet.

Oh, Madonna

Stop it. You're scaring the horsies.

Monday, May 15, 2006

If you don't like it here, move your ass to Ft. Wayne

Hoosier comedy alert: how on earth did I miss Lazy Muncie?

Fuck Dr. Phil. I'm a Schmuleyphile!

Anyone else out there obsessed with Shalom in the Home? I so am. Rabbi Schmuley kicks ass!

I think I love the show because it confirms most of my notions about Boomer (or is it just Yuppie?) parents. I know, I know, it's a gross generalization. But check out True Ancestor, who has written a very nice post on the subject of "Helicopter Parenting" today. And I must say, by the way, that TA is most certainly NOT guilty of being that kind of parent.

I continually amazed by the behavior of parents that I've witnessed in the past 15 years or so. It's overprotective, and yet criminally negligent at the same time. They make their kids wear helmets to tie their shoes, but they let them run unchecked through restaurants, stores, museums, beaches, theatres, etc. The only explanation I can find for this is that they believe it is everyone else's job to look after their children as well, and of course why wouldn't we want to, because little McKenzie is just so gifted and special and precious.

I think a lot of parents are just plain selfish. They won’t leave the restaurant when their children misbehave, even though they keep threatening to, because, well, they want to stay. They won’t enforce rules because they want their children to love and understand them instead of obey and respect them. Hey, you want love and understanding? That’s what your spouse is for. Those children are there to be raised up right and to become what you call your fine, upstanding citizens. So please, enforce a little discipline and save us all a couple hundred thou on your child’s later incarceration, please?

Get out! He's calling from inside the house!

Holy fucking shit:

A senior federal law enforcement official tells ABC News the government is tracking the phone numbers we (Brian Ross and Richard Esposito) call in an effort to root out confidential sources."It's time for you to get some new cell phones, quick," the source told us in an in-person conversation.

Who wants to pound his smug, fat little face in? Raise your hand.

David Corn calls out Rove.

(Via War Room)

Doug Flutie retires from NFL

Okay, Flutie, you win.


Bells On Coos & Boos

Coo: Loved Gore's opening bit on SNL! It was a presidential address from a parallel universe in which Gore was elected president in 2000. Transcended the usual "Bush is dumb, isn't that funny?" level of their recent political humor. Laughed my ass off.

Boo: Why did the anti-polygamy working mom on Big Love have to be such a one-dimensional bitch?

Coo: If you haven't rented "Spirited Away" yet, do so immediately. I was pretty skeptical, as I generally hate all the animated features that people are always telling me I have to see, but this one is really as good as the hype.

Boo: The Donna Moss character on the West Wing, who has spent 7 years being underestimated and underappreciated, and who was basically Josh's right hand and second in command in the Santos for President campaign (not counting Janeane "what's up with my eyebrows, anyway" Garofalo and the other hired campaign guns), finally is rewarded for all her hard work by being made Chief of Staff - for the First Lady??? And she's all misty and happy about it??? WTF?

Friday, May 12, 2006

Fell off a truck

Did the White House steal an embarrassing document written by then-Supreme Court nominee John Roberts from the Reagan Library?

An embarrassing document on the subject of affirmative action?

Not completely crazy

The Fix:
Mel Gibson on the similarity between the brutal, human-sacrifice-ordering Mayan rulers in his new movie, "Apocalypto," and the current White House administration: "The fear-mongering we depict in the film reminds me of President Bush and his guys."

Friday giggles

No, it's not a cute doggie video or an Onion bit

It's a quote from a CIA spokesperson, remarking on the FBI's search today of the home and office of former CIA chief Porter Goss's former CIA right hand man, Kyle "Dusty" Foggo (via LAT):

"the Foggo investigation has 'absolutely nothing, zero' to do with Goss' resignation."

Hee hee hee.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Why lefties should care about the dismantling of the CIA

Excellent story by Blumenthal at Salon (free day pass requires sign-in):

The militarization of intelligence under Bush is likely to guarantee military solutions above other options. Uniformed officers trained to identity military threats and trends will take over economic and political intelligence for which they are untrained and often incapable, and their priorities will skew analysis. But the bias toward the military option will be one that the military in the end will dislike. It will find itself increasingly bearing the brunt of foreign policy and stretched beyond endurance. The vicious cycle leads to a downward spiral. And Hayden's story will be like a dull shadow of Powell's -- a tale of a "good soldier" who salutes, gets promoted, is used and abused, and is finally discarded.

No president has ever before ruined an agency at the heart of national security out of pique and vengeance. The manipulation of intelligence by political leadership demands ever tightened control. But political purges provide only temporary relief from the widening crisis of policy failure.

The Q&A version of a pie chart

As War Room points out, when USA Today calls your shit, your shit is called.

I'm Your Man

That's the name of Lian Lunson's new documentary about the legendary Leonard Cohen, which I saw at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood last night.

When I moved to LA and became friends with an ever-widening circle of musicians, I started hearing tales of Cohen once living as a monk at the Mount Baldy Zen Center. I would look off to Mt. Baldy in the distance and think "Holy fucking shit, he lived up there?"

What an enigmatic dude.

Unfortunately, the movie is too much Cohen tribute concert and not enough Cohen.

Apparently, the director started off simply filming a Cohen tribute in Australia, and then decided to expand that by adding interviews and biographic material on Cohen.

And the result is exactly that: a tribute concert with a minute or two of talk about Cohen himself in between songs. And when I say "songs," I don't mean snippets, or verses, or choruses of songs. I mean the complete song, from beginning to end, of every single performer in the tribute concert.

In her talk afterward, Lunson stressed that she didn't want to make a Behind the Music-type film, because she "hates that."

Well, lady, if you can't figure out how to make a film about Leonard Cohen without sinking into VH1 series formula, then perhaps you ought not to be making the film at all.

And what's more, may I suggest you call the film "He's Our Man," and label it as a concert film, since your film is much more about the musicians and their tributes then it is about Cohen himself.

Case in point: Bono.

Yes, kittens. Bono.

It's getting so you can't screen a documentary in this town without getting fucking Bono to weigh in on the subject matter. I mean, wasn't he in that Bukowski doc, and that Ramones doc, and that blues doc, and that AIDS doc, and that Orbinson doc, and that Guthrie doc, and oh, about a million fucking others?

Planning to video your child's next birthday party? Call Bono. I'm sure he'd be happy to drop by and tell the camera why your little Zachary is a legend, really, and a visionary in the true sense of that word, and a poet with a soul for the ages.

I lost count of how many times the director cut to Bono in I'm Your Man, but let me promise you that even the bleeding heart, artsy, AIDS-curing, Africa-loaning crowd at the Dome was squirming in their seats and thinking "Bono again. What a tool."

It's a shame, really, that existing Cohen concert and interview footage remains unseen by most of his fans. When asked last night why she didn't use any clips of Cohen himself playing his own material, Lunson said that she didn't want to confuse Cohen's versions of his songs with the versions being shown from the tribute concert.

I wanted to throttle her. I'm pretty sure I wasn't alone.

Here's where I gotta put the brakes on you, Official Grant Miller

Dear OGM,

I don't see what's so jerky about liking both the White Sox and the Cubs. One's AL and one's NL, so what's the problem?

It's not like they'll ever have to compete for any kind of title or anything. I mean, besides "Biggest Chicago Disappointment."

Although the Sox may be the superior team, the Cubs have the superior park. And although the Sox are owned and managed by people who at least pay lip service to the idea of winning something again someday, the Cubs don't have to shame themselves by employing a DH.

So back off, Official Grant Miller. What's with the hating? I'm all about the Chi-town harmony.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

A little too close to home

The Onion:

New 'Anti-Abortion Pill' Kills Mother, Leaves Fetus Alive

Pfizer, manufacturer of UR-86—dubbed the "last-morning-ever pill"—said the drug is intended only for occasions when the mind-set or politics of the mother threaten the life of the fetus. Anti-abortion advocates, many of whom had petitioned the FDA to approve UR-86 while the drug was still in the research-and-development stage, also reacted warmly to the FDA's decision...

...Randall Terry, founder of the pro-life organization Operation Rescue, praised the new pharmaceutical for its potential use in cases of rape and incest, saying it could help end the shame and humiliation of such trauma while saving the life of the fetus.


Floating Jeb

Hair and skin should never match

Go Fug Yourself points out that Jessica "Oompa Loompa" Simpson is becoming an overall shade of orange. I think this is scary and wrong.

But what the hell do I know? Tyra Banks has been making a very fine living for years.

The war on sex?

I just can't keep my big mouth shut.

Geek Link Corner

Star Trek 2.0 Cribs

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Nice guys finish last

Self-confessed "funny guy" Richard Cohen of WaPo proclaimed in an editorial last week that Colbert was not only not funny, but also rude to make fun of Bush at the WH Correspondent's dinner.

This week, he is upset that he got a lot of hater emails in response to his column about Colbert.

Yeah, really. He really sounds upset. I mean, he's written a whole column about how rude the emails were, and how upset he is, and...get this: those rude emails mean that Democrats will lose the next election.


No, seriously, he's a columnist for the Washington Post. Not only that, but he titled his column "Digital Lynch Mob."

I know. Cringe-y. Invoking the lynch mob image is never a good idea when you're a influential columnist with a cushy gig and a six-figure salary.

Check it:

But the message in this case truly is the medium. The e-mails pulse in my queue, emanating raw hatred. This spells trouble -- not for Bush or, in 2008, the next GOP presidential candidate, but for Democrats. The anger festering on the Democratic left will be taken out on the Democratic middle. (Watch out, Hillary!) I have seen this anger before -- back in the Vietnam War era. That's when the antiwar wing of the Democratic Party helped elect Richard Nixon. In this way, they managed to prolong the very war they so hated.

Oh, they're the ones who prolonged the war! See, all this time I've been blaming the guy who actually prolonged the war. I had no idea it was really the antiwar wing of the Democrat Party. See, they shouldn't have been so antiwar. Then the war would have ended a lot sooner. Protesting against things only makes the opposite thing happen. Everyone knows that.

The hatred is back. I know it's only words now appearing on my computer screen, but the words are so angry, so roiled with rage, that they are the functional equivalent of rocks once so furiously hurled during antiwar demonstrations.

If those words are the functional equivalent of rocks hurled during 60s-era anti-war demonstrations, I would assume then that they are somewhat less than the functional equivalent of the bullets fired back at the protesters.

I can appreciate some of it. Institution after institution failed America -- the presidency, Congress and the press. They all endorsed a war to rid Iraq of what it did not have.
Uh, Richard, you endorsed the war as well. And you are a member of the press. May I suggest that you change that last sentence to say "We all endorsed a war..."?

Now, though, that gullibility is being matched by war critics who are so hyped on their own sanctimony that they will obliterate distinctions, punishing their friends for apostasy and, by so doing, aiding their enemies. If that's going to be the case, then Iraq is a war its critics will lose twice -- once because they couldn't stop it and once more at the polls.

"Gullibility" about a war that's killed thousand of American servicemen and women, and lord knows how many thousands of Iraqis, is matched by some pissed-off Democrats writing angry emails?


Holy shit, I gotta write me some more emails.

Seriously, Richard. Those war critics are pissed that people are dying. Dying. Fucking dying, okay? Remember 9/11? Remember the anger about all the people who died unnecessarily. For nothing? Remember that anger?

Now, you fucker, say some shit about my fucking anger. Come and say it to my face, you fucking puss.

Also, if you check out Cohen's column in its entirety, you will see that he seems to be upset at the relative severity of the reaction to this column compared to, for instance, his recent column praising Al Gore's documentary, which apparently received only a small amount of wingnut hate mail.

Cohen's comparison, though, relies on several bad assumptions, not the least of which is that one column's message, i.e. "Al Gore's movie made good points about global warming" is very likely not nearly as troubling to the right as "It is rude for a hired comedian to make fun of the president at an comedic event" is to the left.

Don't you get it, Richard? You trumpeted a war that was based on lies told by a president you now defend against the "rudeness" of standup comedians.

Christ, how can you not GET THAT???

The president's favorite sandwich

Via Working for Change

Monday, May 08, 2006

Another blow to the Beatles

First there was Yoko

Then Chapman.

Then Ringo became an actor.

Then Michael Jackson bought the Beatles catalogue.

Then cancer got Harrison.

And shoe polish got Paul's hair.

And now this.

Hey Peter, man, check out channel nine! It's the breast exam!

I have to admit there something disconcertingly hot about this.

(Via Scanner)

It's hard work

Rubber Hose via Eschaton:

see how three presidents answered the question "what was the best moment of your presidency?"

to summarize:

Carter: the Camp David negotiations

Clinton: the resolution of the Kosovo crisis

Bush: that time I caught a big fish on my ranch

Favorite Bitch

Sure, it's boring to bet the short odds, but Saturday I scored my first Derby pool win ever.

Woo Hoo!

Every Derby Day, a group of midwestern/southern refugees in LA gather to drink mint juleps, eat Derby pie and pimento cheese sandwiches, drink more mint juleps, and indulge in a little friendly pony action.

For the past several years our hostesses have been the Louisville-bred Watson Twins. They know how to do it up right, even arranging shipments of Derby swag from their relatives back home. Plus, they mix a mean julep, my friends.

So my win Saturday put me up by 8 bucks for the day. Unfortunately, I am still down about 100 bucks over the 8 or so years since this party started.

Hey, that's a lot of one-dollar bets, my friends. Don't mock.

And I seem to do just as poorly in the years when I spend weeks doing research as I do in the years when I, say, pick the horse with the funniest name.

Plus, I seem to have lost my big ole' hat.

Bourbon & the ponies. It's a heady mix, gentle readers.

(photo courtesy of G Beth)

Standing on the Shoulders of Assholes

We can't blame BushCo for George Tenet being installed as Director of the CIA, because Clinton did that.

But we can blame him for giving Mr. WMD-Slam-Dunk the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

And we can blame him for next turning over the office to a partisan hack who has been described by colleagues "not that bright" and "arrogant."


Hey, if you're stupid, you might as well be a jerk about it, huh?

Plus, there may, or may not, be some hookers involved. They're floating a story of a "turf war" with Negroponte to explain Goss's sudden departure, but it smells a little fishy to me.

Democrats and the so-called "moderate" Repubs are having a serious case of the vapors over BushCo's next choice to head the agency, General "I heart spying on Americans" Hayden, who has come to us via the NSA illegal wiretapping business.

From Hayden's announcement at the WH this morning:

GENERAL HAYDEN: Mr. President, thank you for those kind words and for the confidence that you and Ambassador Negroponte have shown to me in nominating me for this position. There's probably no post more important in preserving our
security and our values as a people than the head of the Central Intelligence Agency.

When I returned from Korea in 1999 to take the position at NSA, I was befriended most of all by two people -- George Tenet, who was then DCI, and Porter Goss, then Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Both of these men befriended me and mentored me and supported me. And I will always be in their debt, especially now that I find that I've been nominated to be their successor. If I'm confirmed, I know that I will be standing on their shoulders.

In the confirmation process, I look forward to meeting with members of the Congress, better understanding their concerns and working with them to move the American intelligence community forward. This is simply too important not to get absolutely right.

I couldn't agree more, General. It's very important to get it right. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure I would disagree with your assessment of "right."

Friday, May 05, 2006

CIA Director Porter Goss resigns to spend more time with his regrets

He's only been there for a year and a half. Sheesh.

Oh, apparently there some speculation that there's a reason why he's stepping down that hasn't broken yet.

The ax of truth

Holy cow.

Ray McGovern, former analyst for the CIA, tried to pin down Rumsfeld on WMD at a press event:

McGovern: and So I would like to ask you to be up front with the American people, why did you lie to get us into a war that was not necessary, that has caused these kinds of casualties? why?

RUMSFELD: Well, first of all, I haven’t lied. I did not lie then. (applause) Colin Powell didn’t lie. He spent weeks and weeks with the Central Intelligence Agency people and prepared a presentation that I know he believed was accurate, and he presented that to the United Nations. the president spent weeks and weeks with the central intelligence people and he went to the American people and made a presentation. I’m not in the intelligence business. they gave the world their honest opinion. it appears that there were not weapons of mass destruction there.

McGovern: You said you knew where they were.

RUMSFELD: I did not. I said I knew where suspect sites were and we were.....just...(crosstalk)

McGovern: You said you knew where they were Tikrit, Baghdad, northeast, south, west of there. Those are your words.

RUMSFELD: My words.... my words were that .... no, no, no wait a minute, wait a minute. Let him stay one second. Just a second,

McGovern: This is America, Huh.(applause)

RUMSFELD: You’re getting plenty of play, sir.

McGovern: I’d just like an honest answer.

RUMSFELD: I’m giving it to you.

McGovern: Well we’re talking about lies and your allegation there was bulletproof evidence of ties between al Qaeda and Iraq. Was that a lie? or where you mislead?

RUMSFELD: Zar..., Zarqawi was in Baghdad during the prewar period. That is a fact.

McGovern: Zarqawi? He was in the north of Iraq in a place where Saddam Hussein had no rule. That's where he was.

RUMSFELD: He was also… (crosstalk) He was also in Baghdad.

McGovern: Yes, when he needed to go to the hospital.Come on, these people aren’t idiots. They know the story.

RUMSFELD: You are... Le...,Let me, Let me give you an example it's easy for you to make a charge, Um, but why do you think that the men and women in uniform every day when they came out of Kuwait and went into Iraq put on chemical weapon protective suits, because they like the, ah, style (laughter) They honestly believed that there where chemical weapons Saddam Hussein had used Chemical weapons on his own people previously, he'd used them on his neighbor the Iranians and they believed he had those weapons. We believed he had those weapons.

McGovern: That's what we call a non-secretor [sic], it doesn't matter what the troops believe, it matters what you believe(crosstalk)

Moderator: I, I Think, I think, I think mister secretary the debate is over we have other questions, that courtesy to the audience.(applause)

Wow, that's pretty fucking brave, huh? And given all the criticism of our lap dog press, you'd think that the above confrontation would afford him some respect in the media for his determination and refusal to back down.

You'd be wrong.

Because we have geniuses like Paula Zahn to interview him, and ask him genius questions like the following:

ZAHN: Did you go to this speech today with the intent of challenging Secretary Rumsfeld?

MCGOVERN: I had no predetermined objectives. I just wanted to see what he had to say. But I did get very motivated when the first lady was ejected ... from the crowd.

ZAHN: What was it, then, that you wanted to accomplish by following her rather pointed question?

MCGOVERN: Well, you know, she talked about lies. And I get very upset when Donald Rumsfeld shakes his head and says, "Lies, gosh, lies. I hate it when somebody says that our president would tell lies."Of course, she hadn't said the president; she said Rumsfeld. But he said that lies are fundamentally destructive of the trust, without which government cannot work.And that's true. And I found myself really agreeing with that.

ZAHN: Essentially, what he told you is: I never said exactly where the weapons of mass destruction were. I was referring to, we had a pretty darn good idea where the sites were. ... Do you buy what he said today?

MCGOVERN: His words [in 2003] were: "We know where -- where the WMD are. They're near Tikrit and Baghdad, and north, south, east, and west of there." That's a direct quote.And when he used that wonderful non sequitur by looking at the uniformed personnel in the front row and saying: "Well, they went in with protective gear; they certainly thought there were weapons of mass destruction there." Well, my goodness, of course, they did. Because you, Donald Rumsfeld, told them that they were there.And, you know, it's not polite to say this, but that was a bald-faced lie. And ... he should have owned up to it, if he wants there to be a modicum of trust.

ZAHN: How much of an ax do you have to grind with Secretary Rumsfeld?

MCGOVERN: It's not a matter of axes to grind. It's a matter of telling the truth.
And we pledged, in my day at the CIA, to tell it without fear or favor, to tell it like it is. And, when I see that corrupted, that is the real tragedy of this whole business.

ZAHN: There was a point where it appeared as though you were going to get kicked out.


ZAHN: Donald Rumsfeld encouraged whoever I think had their hands on you at the time to let you stay there. Does he get any credit for that today?

MCGOVERN: At first, I thought, "Well, that was rather gracious."But, then I got to thinking, I was not abusing the privilege. I was simply asking pointed questions. And for the national TV audience to see me carted away for asking Rumsfeld to explain what any objective observer would call a lie, that wouldn't have been good PR. So, yes, I'm glad he let me stay. But I think it was for self-interested reasons.

Holy fucking Christ, where to start with this dumb-ass bitch and her pitiful fucking excuse for an interview?

Here's a guy who used to work for the CIA, and obviously has some idea of what the intelligence was on Iraq, and this guy has just stood up in front of reporters and honestly tried to get a straight answer on the intelligence out of our Secretary of Defense, and what she wants to know is if he has "an ax to grind?"

Think of the questions you would have asked McGovern. Questions about what the CIA reported to BushCo concerning the supposed al-Quaida/Iraq link, and WMD, and what happened to that intelligence. Questions about whether Powell really believed that UN presentation was "accurate," for fuck's sake.

No, none of that factual stuff for the queen of the CNN blondes. She wants to know if he gives Rumsfeld credit for telling security not to drag his ass out of the event, mid-question.

And then the queen and her ilk sit around on their little yammering back-slapping talking head "news" shows and they have the temerity to wonder, to wring their hands and wonder, why oh why the public doesn't trust the fucking media.


(links via HuffPo)

Thursday, May 04, 2006


I don't get it.

Why this?

She's even cute, in a kind of skeezy, hair-extension-y kind of way.

So why the giant beachballs? Jebus, they look like they're going to pop any second.

Maybe that's why I wince when I look at them. I'm anticipating getting hit with booby shrapnel when they blow.

'Sup with this, guys? Or gay women, I guess, if you're into this kind of thing.

Anyone out there find this remotely attractive? Really? REALLY?

For the love of Christ, why? 'Cause I really wanna know.

(via Go Fug Yourself)

Let's get this straight

Bush making jokes at the Correspondent's dinner in 2004 about not being able to find WMD in Iraq while servicemen and women were risking their lives there: Funny.

Colbert making jokes at the Correspondent's dinner in 2006 about not being able to find WMD in Iraq while the president was in the same room: Not funny.

I got no joke here. This woman is my hero.

Carie Lemack's statement at Moussaoui's sentencing:

CARIE LEMACK, 9/11 FAMILY MEMBER: Good afternoon. My name is Carie Lemack. I'm from Boston. And I was just here in town today for business -- myname is Carie Lemack. It's C-A-R-I-E L-E-M-A-C-K.

My mother, Judy Larocque, was a passenger on American Airlines Flight 11. And we're from Boston, and this is my first time at the Alexandria courthouse today. And I have to say, I am glad to see this will be the last day that Mr. Moussaoui is in the headlines.

He's going to be in jail for the rest of his life, which is exactly what this man deserves. He's an al Qaeda wannabe. And he does not deserve any credit for 9/11, because he was not part of that. And I am so glad the jury recognized that and realized that he just wanted to kill Americans, but he wasn't even skilled enough to be able to do that.

This country needs to understand the real risks that we are facing. We can't even get our Congress people and our president to lock up nuclear material, even though terrorists, including Osama bin Laden, have said he wants to kill four million Americans. This country can't screen all of the cargo on the planes that we fly on, that I flew on here today to be here.

We have to look at the real problems in this country. If we're going to blame Zacarias Moussaoui, he's not the real problem. The real problem are the terrorists who do want to kill us, like Osama bin Laden, who is still not captured.

So, I'm glad the jury looked at all the evidence and recognized that this man was an al Qaeda wannabe who could never have put together the 9/11 attacks, the horrific attacks that killed so many people. I'm just glad to be an American today, because we finally have felt like justice has been done.

There were a lot of family members who wanted to see Zacarias Moussaoui die. But there are a lot of family members who did not. And the jury looked at the evidence and made their decisions. And I'm proud of them today, and I know my mom would be proud of them, too.

She would prefer to see someone like this spend their time in jail and have to think about what he's made the decisions in his life and what he's chosen, because he was not capable of pulling off these horrific attacks. He's a wannabe who deserves to rot in jail, and I'm just glad that he got what he deserves today.

So, thank you, and thank you to the jurors who worked so hard and to the attorneys who did the best they could with such a difficult client in such a difficult case for the prosecutors. But I think now the most important thing to understand is to know what happened on 9/11. And unfortunately, not all the evidence is out there.

The Transportation Security Administration is still keeping some of the aviation evidence secret. They won't let us know what happened on those planes. And we need to make sure that they finally let the truth be told so we know what happened, so that we can make sure it doesn't happen again. Thank you.

Former NSA director under Reagan says get the fuck out of Iraq

Retired Lt. Gen. William Odom refutes the popular arguments of why we can't withdraw, and makes a compelling case for why we must.


Two facts, however painful, must be recognized, or we will remain perilously confused in Iraq. First, invading Iraq was not in the interests of the United States. It was in the interests of Iran and al Qaeda. For Iran, it avenged a grudge against Saddam for his invasion of the country in 1980. For al Qaeda, it made it easier to kill Americans. Second, the war has paralyzed the United States in the world diplomatically and strategically. Although relations with Europe show signs of marginal improvement, the trans-Atlantic alliance still may not survive the war. Only with a rapid withdrawal from Iraq will Washington regain diplomatic and military mobility. Tied down like Gulliver in the sands of Mesopotamia, we simply cannot attract the diplomatic and military cooperation necessary to win the real battle against terror. Getting out of Iraq is the precondition for any improvement.

In fact, getting out now may be our only chance to set things right in Iraq. For starters, if we withdraw, European politicians would be more likely to cooperate with us in a strategy for stabilizing the greater Middle East. Following a withdrawal, all the countries bordering Iraq would likely respond favorably to an offer to help stabilize the situation. The most important of these would be Iran. It dislikes al Qaeda as much as we do. It wants regional stability as much as we do. It wants to produce more oil and gas and sell it. If its leaders really want nuclear weapons, we cannot stop them. But we can engage them.

None of these prospects is possible unless we stop moving deeper into the “big sandy” of Iraq. America must withdraw now.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Freud called. He wants his prom theme back.

The Father-Daughter Purity Ball? Are you fucking kidding me?

Via Broadsheet:
One of the most memorable highlights of the ball is when the fathers stand in the middle of the ballroom and form a circle around their daughters standing all aglow in their lovely ball gowns. The fathers place their hands on their daughters, and together we pray for purity of mind, body, and soul for generations to come.
I hear that the "varification of the intact hymen" ritual is very moving as well.

Seriously, that description sounds like a bad dream I had once. Only in my dream my dad gave me a cigar, and then we rode a train through a tunnel. And then my mom drowned me in her swimming pool.

But if I did, it would cost more than a hundred bucks, okay?

What's with Colin Powell suddenly speaking up about his misgivings on Iraq? Do you get the feeling someone might be testing the waters for '08?

He could run on a "Too little, too late" platform.

And speaking of '08, there's another big sloppy valentine to McCain in today's WaPo.

Just the other day, a friend of mine, who is a Democrat, was extolling the virtues of McCain. Jebus, I do not get why this guy appeals to Democrats. So many Dems loooooooove this ass-kisser. Is it because they identify with someone who has 1) compromised his most basic values, or 2) been sucker-punched by BushCo?

Dems, listen up. McCain does not care about you. He does not share your ideals. Look, don't believe me, listen to the man himself:
[McCain} says liberals need to understand that he's not a man of the left, or even the center. "I haven't changed. My record is the same on all issues, which is that of a conservative Republican. Not a liberal Republican, not a moderate Republican."

The WaPo article is called "A Man Who Won't Sell His Soul."

Next week they should do an article about me called "A Woman Who Won't Sell Her Virginity."

What I'm hearing is that you feel you'd like to quit your jibber-jabber

This fall, TVLand will be offering a Dr. Phil-style advice show starring Mr. T.

Mr. T offers a preview of his wisdom:

"You're a fool - that's what's wrong with you. You're a fool if you don't take my advice."

I may be cheap, but... can't buy me for 100 dollars, baby.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

¡Hoy marchamos, mañana votamos!

Nearly half a million people marched in Los Angeles yesterday.

Holy shit!

And then there were these geniuses:

I'd make some snotty comment about that woman's sign, but it's not nice to make fun of retarded people.

Must-slit-your-wrists TV

I wish I'd known they were filming a Dynasty reunion show. I would have bought stock in Vaseline.

Sweet Caroline!

I'm going to be in Boston in June to meet Spooney's parents, and I need some BoSox tickets, y'all.

The June 19 game against the Nationals. It's sold out.

Hook me up someone, please. Don't make me go to


Thanks to the Official Grant Miller, who has posted the site where you may go and thank Stephen Colbert for speaking irony to power.

Monday, May 01, 2006

A god among men

The best link I have found so far to Stephen Colbert's performance at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner is on Video Dog. You have to sign in for a day pass, but it's free.

You must see this. Watch the grown men and women of our press looking at each other like "Is he allowed to say that? Are we allowed to laugh?"

After his opening remarks, the "Audition" sketch and Colbert's semi-courteous dismissal from the podium by the W and Laura is here.

A piece in the Valley

Encino is one of the more insufferable communities in the San Fernando Valley.

Sherman Oaks is semi-swanky. Hey, they're only barely in the Valley. And it's sorta like they're the Hollywood Hills, right? Seven years ago, when the whole Shabby Chic thing hit, you couldn't stop at a light in Sherman Oaks for fear that your car would be coated with whitewash and distressed with sandpaper and sold to some associate producer's wife as a day bed for their guest room.

And Van Nuys is kind of an armpit but is trying really really hard not to be, although its hot, flat, relentless treeless concrete geography is pretty tough to gussy up. Van Nuys is the vast workhorse of the LA burbs, and everyone who has ever lived in this city pretty much ends up spending some time there, usually camped out on some former college roommate's couch, waiting for a call. Van Nuys is the kind of place where the sidewalks are clean and the streets are sunny, but inside the houses people are committing suicide with pills.

Then there's North Hollywood. North Hollywood, which is not really anywhere near Hollywood, but whose name reflects the wistful dreams of some long-dead real estate developer. Ah, North Hollywood, the place I call home. NoHo has been trying to sell itself as an "arts & theatre district" for about 15 years now, and the neighborhood board swears that someday this idea will stop getting huge laughs in the LA city council. Those of us who live in North Hollywood are well aware that we are the butt of many Valley-based jokes, but I, for one, don't mind living someplace that isn't "cool." In fact, it's kind of a relief. But for many, the shame of living in one of the few neighborhoods in LA with "affordable" real estate has moved them to gather the signatures of other nearby residents and portion themselves off from us and brand themselves as "Valley Village," or "Toluca Woods." Shame on them. They are dead to us now.

But back to Encino, where the size of the SUV is inversely proportionate to the size of the wife driving it. Encino, where each and every driver on the road is a huge, huge asshole, and every customer in the store wants a discount on their $500 jeans, and every diner in the restaurant is pretty sure they're important. I never enter Encino without a really good reason, and I never leave Encino without swearing that I will never go back. People live in Encino because they can't afford Beverly Hills, and boy oh boy do they make you suffer for it.

So according to this article in today's LA Times, some residents of Encino are really upset that...and this is pretty shocking...that pornography is being filmed in their neighborhood! And on Easter, of all days!

Look Encino, baby, I know it's rough your first time. Believe me, I been there. The grip trucks, the cables, the tattooed Teamster wannabes; it's all very tough to take. And it's hard, I know, not to think about what's going on behind all those closed doors, especially as your nannies push your children's strollers past scantily-clad "actresses" disembarking from their Corvettes, but speaking as a resident of North Hollywood, let me give you this little piece of advice:

Lay back Encino, and enjoy the ride.

I had a horrible nightmare last night

I dreamt there was 2 of them. Yeah, 2. I know.

And they were standing up in front of a room full of press and reporters, joking about how "stupid" and "out of touch" and "unpopular" and "stupid" they are.

And the press ate it up. Just like always.

But then, anyone who doesn't like the president is a whackjob, really.

Johnny Damon, how I loved you...

It's wicked ovah, ya traitor bastard.