Thursday, August 31, 2006


If anyone out there is going to be on the west side this evening, check out Banquet Hall at The Joint at 8pm.

They're part of a nice line-up tonight, and The Joint sprung for some sound, baby.

Post in which I stick my size 9 espadrille up the butt of an America-hater

Chris over at Some Guy's Blog is pleading with people not to buy shit they don't need.

I don't know why he hates America.

But America hates him right back, I'll tell you what.

America loooooves me, and I have a brand-new DSW Premier member card to prove it.

Because I am patriotic. I buy shoes.

Lots and lots of shoes.

So many shoes, even the companies I give my money to feel like they should give me something back.

Like reward points, which I can use to buy more shoes.

It's a great fucking country, right?

Fuckin' A, Bubba.

You said it, I didn't

A Saudi man living in Colorado was sentenced to 27 years in prison for inprisoning an Indonesian woman and keeping her as a domestic and sex slave.

Al-Turki, a citizen of Saudi Arabia who lived in the Denver suburb of Aurora, was convicted June 30 of unlawful sexual contact by use of force, theft and extortion, all felonies, and misdemeanor counts of false imprisonment and conspiracy to commit false imprisonment.

Prosecutors and FBI agents said Al-Turki and his wife, Sarah Khonaizan, brought the now 24-year-old woman to Colorado to care for their five children and to cook and clean for the family. An affidavit said she spent four years with the family, sleeping on a mattress on the basement floor and getting paid less than $2 a day.

Al-Turki said he treated the woman the same way any observant Muslim family would treat a daughter.

Auf Wiedersehen!

Jeffrey wins!!!

Angela is auf'd!!!


Y'all know I don't normally blog on tv, so all I'm saying is that yes, Jeffrey IS an ass, but if ANYONE tried that whiny, passive-aggressive crybaby manipulative shit on me, I would have slapped the shit out of them, I don't care whose mama they was.

Oh, and does anyone still doubt the reign of Michael?

Thank you. We now return to our regular blogging activities.

It's better than you think

Crooks and Liars has the tape and the transcript of Olbermann on Rumsfeld:

That about which Mr. Rumsfeld is confused is simply this:

This is a Democracy. Still. Sometimes just barely.

And as such, all voices count - not just his. Had he or his president perhaps proven any of their prior claims of omniscience - about Osama Bin Laden’s plans five years ago - about Saddam Hussein’s weapons four years ago- about Hurricane Katrina’s impact one year ago - we all might be able to swallow hard, and accept their omniscience as a bearable, even useful recipe, of fact, plus ego.

But, to date, this government has proved little besides its own arrogance, and its own hubris. Mr. Rumsfeld is also personally confused, morally or intellectually, about his own standing in this matter. From Iraq to Katrina, to flu vaccine shortages, to the entire "Fog of Fear" which continues to envelope this nation - he, Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney, and their cronies, have - inadvertently or intentionally - profited and benefited, both personally, and politically.

And yet he can stand up in public, and question the morality and the intellect of those of us who dare ask just for the receipt for the Emporer’s New Clothes.

In what country was Mr. Rumsfeld raised?

As a child, of whose heroism did he read?

On what side of the battle for freedom did he dream one day to fight?

With what country has he confused… the United States of America?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Does this guy ever get tired of being fucking wrong all the time?


FALLON NAVAL AIR STATION, Nev. -- Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Monday he is deeply troubled by the success of terrorist groups in "manipulating the media" to influence Westerners.

"That's the thing that keeps me up at night," he said during a question-and-answer session with about 200 naval aviators and other Navy personnel at this flight training base for Navy and Marine pilots.

Really? That's THE THING keeps him up? Does the number of dead and wounded US servicemen & women and Iraqi civilians at least make the top ten?
Rumsfeld was asked whether the criticism he draws as Pentagon chief and a leading advocate of the war in Iraq is an impediment to performing his job. He said it was not and he knows from history that wars are normally unpopular with many Americans. "I expect that," he said. "I understand that."

Does "many" mean "more than 60%"?
"What bothers me the most is how clever the enemy is," he continued, launching an extensive broadside at Islamic extremist groups which he said are trying to undermine Western support for the war on terror.

Yes, clever enemies are troublesome. And clearly you were not expecting them to be clever. You were expecting them to be nonexistent, right?
"They are actively manipulating the media in this country" by, for example, falsely blaming U.S. troops for civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, he said.

Ummm...did anyone tell Rumsfeld what the term "collateral damage" means in all those reports he reads?
"They can lie with impunity," he said, while U.S. troops are held to a high standard of conduct.

By "high standard of conduct," does he mean "not rape and kill civilians"? Because, well, um, again, are his generals keeping him in the loop?
"The enemy lies constantly - almost totally without penalty."

Meanwhile, we always punish those who perpetrate lies upon our people.
"They portray our cause as a war on Islam when in fact the overwhelming majority of victims of their terrorism have been the thousands and thousands of innocent Muslims - men, women and children - that they have killed."

So he wants credit for killing fewer civilians that our enemy does? I'm not sure that contest really has a winner.
He added, "While some at home argue for tossing in the towel, the enemy is waiting and hoping that we will do just that."

Me too!
Rumsfeld often complains about what he calls the terrorists' success in persuading Westerners that the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are part of a crusade against Islam.

Wow, where did we get THAT idea?

I smell a Chrysler Voyager commercial!

Kids today! They're not playing stickball in the streets anymore, like we used to. (And by "we," I mean people at least 20 years older than me. At least. Okay?)

No, they're too busy being chauffered to soccer practice, and band camp, and tagging playdates.


On Avalon Street in Echo Park, Victoria Villicano is known as a devoted mother who is often seen behind the wheel of her SUV, driving her two teenage sons to stores and sporting events.

But Los Angeles Police Department detectives say the 42-year-old woman also drove a five-member tagging crew, including her two children, around Silver Lake and Echo Park, stopping long enough for the group to jump out and vandalize.

Authorities believe the crew is responsible for spray-painting about 100 sites along Sunset Boulevard, causing tens of thousands of dollars in damage. Their alleged reign came to an end last week when police received a call about some teens tagging a 7-Eleven store in Silver Lake.

Undercover vandalism detectives said they found one of Villicano's sons — with fresh paint on his hands — near a wall, dumping clothing and paint cans into a trashcan. Police found the other alleged taggers waiting with Villicano in her SUV.

"This had to be a first," said one of the detectives, who asked that his name not be used because of the nature of his work.

Why, in my day, we had to walk to commit felony vandalism. Barefoot. Through the snow. Uphill. Both ways.


A Modest Proposal from Garrison Keillor


This week we mark the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the Current Occupant's line, "You're doing a heckuva job," which already is in common usage, a joke, a euphemism for utter ineptitude. It's sure to wind up in "Bartlett's Quotations," a summation of his occupancy.

Annual interest on the national debt now exceeds all government welfare programs combined. We'll be in Iraq for years to come. Hard choices need to be made, and given the situation we're in, I think we must bite the bullet and say no more health care for card-carrying Republicans. It just doesn't make sense to invest in longevity for people who don't believe in the future. Let them try faith-based medicine, let them pray for their arteries to be reamed and their hips to be restored, and leave science to the rest of us.

Cutting out health care to one-third of the population--the folks with Bush-Cheney bumper stickers, who still believe the man is doing a heckuva job--will save enough money to pay off the national debt, not a bad legacy for Republicans. As Scrooge said, let them die and reduce the surplus population. In return, we can offer them a reduction in the estate tax.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Definitely not ready for some football

For those of you wondering where the hell my Emmy post is...well...I didn't watch the Emmys this year.

Because I was too busy living my life, okay?

Actually, I did get home in time to catch what I understand was the funniest moment anyway.

Sunday night, I was at Sunset Junction, a large street fair in Silverlake known for its kick-ass musical lineups.

Saw the Drive-By Truckers, who were awesome. Sure, they're a bar band, but they're like the best bar band EVER. If you ever get a chance to see them live, do. They're funny and exhuberant and they definitely kick ass. They even manage to take a name or two.

But I was really looking forward to seeing Hank Williams III. This is the non-Bocephus Hank Williams, the one who went back to the family's roots and started recording amazingly beautiful old timey country blues in a voice very similar to his grandfather's. Listen to the samples of the tracks on Lovesick Broke & Driftin' and you'll see what I mean.

While waiting for Hank to set up, I noticed that the crowd was getting decidedly punky/rockabilly in appearance. But I attributed it to the fact that The Cramps were next on the bill. And yeah, I thought it was kind of a weird lineup choice, but that seems to be the thing to do in music venues now: mix up the bill to a point where you've practically guaranteed some kind of socio-economic tension in the crowd.

Hank started out pretty well. The first three songs were like juiced-up versions of his album stuff. But then it all took a turn for the worst when he introduced his punk metal band, Assjack.

His. Punk. Metal. Band.

Spooney and I left soon after. We couldn't even stand to stay around for The Cramps.

Now, I'll admit that I am too old for punk metal. But I counter with this: everyone is too old for punk metal. Punk is just so over, folks. Over over over. In the 70s, it exploded everyone's expectations of what music was supposed to be, and that was exciting. But now it's just a refuge for losers who can't play their instruments or carry a tune.

Here's me at a punk metal concert: Yes, you're screaming. You're an angry white boy and you're screaming about something that makes you very very upset. I can't understand what you're screaming, really, but it sounds like you're upset at the kid who always asks you if you want fries with your Whopper. Am I close?

Does it matter?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Onward Christian Soldiers

Man, I am just waiting for the Christians to get all up in this crazy old cunt's shit.

First of all, thanks to everyone who emailed me on Katherine Harris's interview with that Baptist rag. You know me too well.

It's difficult to wip up much indignation over the opinions of someone who is quite clearly grappling with mental illness, but she IS running for the US Senate as a Republican - although even the Republicans have the good sense to feign puzzlement and ask "Who?" when you say her name.

I feel like it does very little good to point out the deficiencies of the bat-shit crazy and the attention-starved, which is why I so infrequently post on Coulter, but you know who is pissing me off in this whole deal?

Well, Christians, Republican Christians, Presbyterians (Harris is one), Florida Christians, Florida Baptists, Republican Christian Women - can any of these groups, can JUST ONE of them, or another similar group - hell you know there's thousands of them out there - release some kind of fucking statement saying that as far as they're concerned, Katherine Harris is out of her Jesus-lovin' mind and does NOT, in fact, represent their point of view when she says that:

"We have to have elected officials in government and we have to have the faithful in government and over time, that lie we have been told, the separation of church and state, people have internalized...because God is the one who chooses our rulers."


"If you are not electing Christians, tried and true, under public scrutiny and pressure, if you’re not electing Christians then in essence you are going to legislate sin."

or my personal favorite:

"And that will take western civilization, indeed other nations because people look to our country as one nation as under God and whenever we legislate sin and we say abortion is permissible and we say gay unions are permissible, then average citizens who are not Christians, because they don’t know better, we are leading them astray and it’s wrong."

Awww... Katherine Harris is looking out for me and my feeble non-Christiany attempts to lead a decent life.

So where are the denouncements of Harris? It's awful fucking quiet up in that Christian mug, y'all.

And don't say that her views on this are too radical for the Christians to even comment on. Her views are more wide-spread among them than we think, it's just that most of them have the good sense to keep their mouths shut about it.

Just the other day I was wearing my "Moral Atheist" t-shirt to the grocery store, and...shut up, I live in LA...and this woman looks at my shirt and says "Are you?" "Am I what?" I said. She points at my shirt with a few jerks of her head and purses her lips. "Oh," I say quite sincerely, "yes, I am."

She rolls her eyes at me and marches away.

Because how dare I? Pretend to be moral. How dare I?

The voters of Florida won't reject Harris because of her outrageous opinions or her disregard for the US Constitution, they'll reject her because she's a creepy, vain, overly made-up attention whore who reminds them of that scary stalking girlfriend they once had.

Oh, and by the way, she's since amended her remarks to...wait for it...include the Jews!

See, she MEANT to say "Christians AND Jews" when she was talking about all that legislating sin stuff. Christians AND Jews.

And I'm sure her clarification was so totally NOT prompted by one of her aides taking her aside after the interview and whispering to her that there "are, like, a TON of Jews in Florida!"

All other religions apparently need not apply for inclusion in the "Stop the Legislation of Sin" club.

When trophy wives attack!

Is it true that it was Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone's wife, forty years his junior, that brought down the Paramount/Cruise relationship because she finds Tom Cruise's behavior toward women abominable?

I don't know. But I sure hope it's true.

(via Broadsheet)

Your Monday morning Reformation joke

There's a joke you hear in the Midwest, and it goes like this:
Never take just one Baptist fishing with you. If you take just one, he'll drink all your beer. If you take two, they won't drink any.

That might explain why this Forbes survey, which is based largely on self-reporting, finds that Milwaukee and Minneapolis/St. Paul are the drunkest cities in America, whereas many southern cities rate suspiciously low.

Lutherans. They'll tell you the truth whether you want to hear it or not.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Beverly Hills. Where the streets are paved with gold. Well, gold and the residents' own sense of entitlement.

So, tourists are not flocking to Rodeo Drive like they used to.

I can't imagine why. I find the prices very reasonable there. And the employees in all those exclusive boutiques - so helpful and not at all snooty that you are wearing Kirkland jeans.

The Beverly Hills City Manager, Roderick Wood, is convinced that they have to rip up all their brand-new sidewalks and replace them with granite.

Because concrete is you say? Ah, yes. Gauche.

I know, I know. Who cares? But it's always been fairly nauseating to me that BH wastes their abundant taxpayer funds on bionic police dogs and gold-plated parking meters, and whatever else they take it in their enormous, swelled heads that they need to acquire to keep out the riff-raff of Los Angeles, and to lord it over us that we will never, ever, see a dime of revenue from them no matter how far our LA school system falls into the abyss.

But the best part is Wood's argument in favor of the granite upgrade. This argument is just so...well, Beverly Hills-ian:
Rodeo Drive's [existing] concrete walkways would be "a very nice addition in Riverside or Indio," Wood said. But "even in places like Fresno," far-sighted officials have begun jazzing up their city streets.
Oh-ho-ho, snap!

Do you get his point? Do ya? That concrete is good enough for Riverside, which is Inland Empire for gosh sake, or Indio, which is where all the people who work in Palm Springs live, but it's not good enough for Beverly Hills! Not BEVERLY HILLS!

And even people in the central California burg of Fresno would know better! Ha! Ha! Even Fresno would know better, you see! Fresno! Ha! Ha! Fresno!

Fresno. That kills me. Seriously.


Lord knows Andre 3000 is reason enough to go see Idlewild.

But then, to throw in Terrence Howard, too -- what are y'all trying to do to me? I'm not made of stone.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Size does matter

It's official: Pluto can no longer cut it, and is now joining iceberg lettuce, Uggs, VCRs, and Judd Nelson on the list of things for which we no longer have any use.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

FYI for LA drivers

It has come to my attention (several times, quite abruptly and alarmingly) that LA drivers, poor dears, have never been taught the rules governing the 4-way stop. Here they are, from the horse's mouth, and in fairly straightforward language:

Yield to the car that arrives first, or to the car on your right if it reaches the intersection at the same time as you do.

Notice that it doesn't say anything about what make of car you drive. This is not an oversight on the part of the DMV.

Under California law, BMWs, Mercedes, Audis, Hummers, and Eddie Bauer Edition Land Rovers are subject to the same right-of-way rules as, say, a 1986 Toyota Corolla with a primer-colored quarter panel. And yes, the preceding statement also applies to models still carrying their dealer plates.

The confusion of CA drivers is understandable, as every other situation one is likely to encounter in one's automobile (valeting, tailgating, lane changing, two-spot parking, multiple-point mid-street turn toleration) is most definitely subject to the rules of relative vehicular value.

And yet, the state of Calfornia makes no official distinction between a BMW M3 coupe and an M5 sedan.

No, it's not fair. But it's the law.

Vamos a Cuba!

Thank Christ for the vigilence of the Cuban-American community in Miami.

Without them, we might have been saddled with PRESIDENT GORE.

You heard me.

Without them, Elian Gonzalez might have been returned to his father without his fifteen minutes of closet-hiding, magic angel dolphin-riding fame.

Without them, the children of Miami might have been poisoned by a book called Vamos a Cuba, one of a set of travel/culture books aimed at elementary schoolers.

But the extremely open-minded Cuban-American members of the Miami School Board succeeded in getting the vile piece of communist propaganda (published by Heinemann - a company responsible for such socialist screeds as Getting Grammar: 150 Ways to Teach an Old Subject, and Comprehending Math) pulled from school libraries before the children of Miami were forced to read such pro-Castro propaganda as "people in Cuba work and go to school like you do."


Of course, the ACLU has gotten involved, and some buttinski activist judge has restored the book to the shelves for now.

Miami parents - you have been warned. Vamos a Cuba is lurking in your city's libraries, ready to corrupt your little ones with photographs of Cuban children pulling ox carts, and eating some of those things that look like bananas except they taste bad out of a metal tray, and riding in old beat-up cars!

Yes, trying to make Cuba look like some kind of pinko heaven!

Which it is not! Because Castro is bad, yes, and the only way to defeat him is to isolate Cuba and deprive its citizens of our agricultural products, and of course not to buy any of their vastly inferior cigars.

I know, I know, it hasn't worked yet, but it's only been 47 years. He is bound to fall to our crushing economic boycott any day now.

If he doesn't die of old age first, of course.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

You know, the ones you never hear about

Daily Kos has put together a tribute to beautiful dead females.

The children with cleavers phenomenon, explained

God damn if this doesn't epitomize everything that is fucking wrong with this country.

I know you all have heard that Turner Broadcasting is removing scenes from old Tom & Jerry cartoons in which Tom, the cat, is smoking a cigarette.

Apparently one person in England complained.

And when one person in England complains about two scenes depicting a smoking cartoon cat, U.S. multi-million-dollar media corporations are really only too happy to spend whatever it takes to review, edit, and re-release 50-year-old cartoon shorts.'s for the kids. The KIDS, people.

Presumably kids have, until now, been led into a life of nicotine addiction by an amoral animated feline.

Although no mention is made how Turner will re-edit the cartoons to save children from a life of frying pan-wielding, bear- and mouse-trap-setting, or anvil-dropping.

We'll just have to content ourselves for now with the knowledge that the cartoon cat smoking menace has finally been eradicated.

Five days in this motherfuckin attic

I watched parts 1 & 2 of Spike Lee's When the Levees Broke last night and it's really quite good. You really get to hear what was going on with Nagin and Blanco and all the other players, as well as hear some amazing fucking shit from the people who lived through the damn thing.

Plus, I knew that First Lt. Army General Russel Honore, aka the Black John Wayne Dude, came into the city (after the federal government finally decided to DO something and sent him in) and kicked fucking ass, but I never understood until last night how much he changed the attitude of the troops on the ground. Many citizens of New Orleans complained in the days following the breach of the levees that the Army and National Guard troops were acting as though NOLA were an occupied city, and they were the enemy.

In his documentary, Lee shows footage of Honore striding through a barricade and yelling at one soldier after another: "Lower your weapon!" They comply, hesitantly, looking confused. He yells some more: "I said, lower your weapon, soldier!" More soldiers slowly comply.

And you realize that the city was full of barricades just like the one they have shown, where soldiers are standing, or sitting in fucking tanks, immobile, with their weapons raised against U.S. citizens who had done nothing. Citizens who needed their help, for chrissakes.

It was an almost devastating moment of understanding. Understanding of both sides, and why it got fucked up, and why it took so long to help the people.

Part 3 & 4 are on tonight. All parts will be played on the 29th, the first anniversary of Katrina.

And for those of you who don't get my Legendary K.O. reference in the title of this post, where the fuck have YOU been?

The fourth estate sale

The right-wingers no doubt think the New York Times is a cesspool of liberal apparatchiks, but what other media outlet killed 5 big stories that reflected poorly on the president until after the last presidential election?

If anyone knows a "bad stuff 'bout Kerry" story that was killed until after the election, by all means, please speak up.

Monday, August 21, 2006

New, easier mission: bring ____to Iraq

Thanks again to Harry Shearer, who uncovered the following NYTimes buried lead (2nd to last paragraph of 22) in his August 20th show:
Senior administration officials have acknowledged to me that they are considering alternatives other than democracy,” said one military affairs expert who received an Iraq briefing at the White House last month and agreed to speak only on condition of anonymity.

Holy fucking shit New York Times!!!!

When the top dogs at BushCo abandon their (albeit most recent) justification for a 3 1/2 year-long debacle of a war, i.e., the mission of bringing democracy to Iraq, don't you think the New York Times might consider this NEWS?

Or do the deaths of 2600 servicemen & women, and uncounted thousands of Iraqis, mean nothing?

Well, I, for one, cannot wait to hear what the new, attainable mission in Iraq will be.

What will we bring, if not democracy?

Well, we could bring Starbucks to Iraq. I bet we could do that. We might have to bring the four bucks per drink to Iraq as well, though.

We could bring ESPN to Iraq. I hear they cover soccer now.

One thing we should definitely not do, is bring the electoral college to Iraq. That didn't work out too well for us.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Oh, and one more thing. Fuck you.

Gals, get ready!

There's a new book on how to snag a man!

And I, for one, can not WAIT to hear this author's moronic advice debated on all the talk shows!

From the author's interview in Time:
Are these rules for life?
Once he's in love with you, you can start retiring some of the rules.
You advise not to tell him "your dirty laundry." Shouldn't you be honest?
This is a huge mistake. Actually, this is one of the tips I feel strongest about. Too often, girls reveal way too much on the first, second, third date: "I was abused as a child." "I don't get along with my parents." "I was in rehab."...He starts to think, oh gosh, this girl has way too much baggage for me. You don't want that. Let it come out later. Once he likes you enough, he'll take the good and the bad. He'll take it all. He'll take your baggage.
What about: never admit that you've slept with more than five guys?
This rule applies, once again, very early in the relationship...Do not start revealing your sexual past with a guy. It's just not good. It's none of his business that early on; you don't know if you're going to be in a serious relationship with Mr. Second Date; you don't know where it's going to go. So why should you reveal that?...Once you guys are in love, and time has passed, then you can start opening up.
You tell women to talk like a lady and not a trucker. What about that?
Definitely. Especially nowadays, some girls have some pretty dirty mouths. It's just not attractive. You can speak like that with your friends, and people close with you. But I think with a guy, try to keep the profanity to a minimum, at least early on in the relationship. Don't drop the F-Bomb to describe your burger: "Boy, this is the best f---ing burger I've ever eaten in my life!" Just relax.

Um, does any besides me sense an overall f---ing strategy here? A f---ing strategy that goes something like "pretend you're a different f---ing person until you snag him!"

You f---ing know what? There's already too many f---ing people in this country doing exactly that. No wonder the f---ing divorce rate is so high.

(via Broadsheet)

U-G-L-Y! You ain't got no alibi! You're ugly! Hey, hey, you're ugly!

Yes! Megan over at By and By has written a post on the ugliness of Crocs.

This is a favorite topic of mine. My sister has been known to post a word or two about them as well.

I believe the Croc trend started in Denver (or more correctly, Boulder) and has infected the whole damn country. I'm not blaming them...well, okay, I am, but whilst I blame, I also bear in mind that the denizens of LA were pretty much responsible for the whole Uggs thing.

And for that, we apologize.

I know, I know, everyone rhapsodizes about how "comfortable" they are. "They're the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn!!", people exclaim ecstatically.

But you know what? My terry cloth romper is extremely comfortable. So are my sweat pants. So are my 10-year-old fleece slippers. So are my nylon WNBA logo shorts with the elastic waist. But I do not wear any of those things IN PUBLIC!!!

"Comfort" has been used to justify ugly-ass apparel since the beginning of time, y'all. Remember Earth Shoes? What about caftans, and their tropical cousin, the muumuu? I'm sure the Romans were always going on and on to the Visigoths about how freakin' comfortable togas were.

And look what happened to them.

Ok, fine. Whatever. Don't stop wearing them. Wear your Crocs in public where I will be forced to see them, and point, and comment snidely to my boyfriend. And while you're at it, why don't you put on some mom jeans, and a wolf t-shirt, and an American flag vest.

See if I care.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Is eternal skepticism the new price of freedom?

Craig Murray, the former ambassador to Uzbekistan for the U.K., says there is much to be very very skeptical about in the arrests of those terror suspects in GB:

What is more, many of those arrested had been under surveillance for over a year - like thousands of other British Muslims. And not just Muslims. Like me. Nothing from that surveillance had indicated the need for early arrests.

Then an interrogation in Pakistan revealed the details of this amazing plot to blow up multiple planes - which, rather extraordinarily, had not turned up in a year of surveillance. Of course, the interrogators of the Pakistani dictator have their ways of making people sing like canaries. As I witnessed in Uzbekistan, you can get the most extraordinary information this way. Trouble is it always tends to give the interrogators all they might want, and more, in a desperate effort to stop or avert torture. What it doesn't give is the truth.

The gentleman being "interrogated" had fled the UK after being wanted for questioning over the murder of his uncle some years ago. That might be felt to cast some doubt on his reliability. It might also be felt that factors other than political ones might be at play within these relationships. Much is also being made of large transfers of money outside the formal economy. Not in fact too unusual in the British Muslim community, but if this activity is criminal, there are many possibilities that have nothing to do with terrorism.

Holy shit, these arrests were all prompted by some poor schmuck confessing in a prison somewhere in Pakistan?? What. The. Fuck.
In all of this, the one thing of which I am certain is that the timing is deeply political. This is more propaganda than plot. Of the over one thousand British Muslims arrested under anti-terrorist legislation, only twelve per cent are ever charged with anything. That is simply harrassment of Muslims on an appalling scale. Of those charged, 80% are acquitted. Most of the very few - just over two per cent of arrests - who are convicted, are not convicted of anything to do terrorism, but of some minor offence the Police happened upon while trawling through the wreck of the lives they had shattered.

And if y'all have any doubts about Blair's motivations in all of this, Harry Shearer has something to add:
It's useful to remember the audience to which Tony Blair is playing. Having just spent two weeks in London, I can tell you that virtually every taxi driver I talked to (and there were quite a few) is upset over the increasing visual Muslimization of the Capital--viz., the predominance on many streets of groups of women walking the sidewalk in full-bore burkas, only eyes visible. People I know quite well are very upset about the continued existence of mosques whose imams are frequently reported to be making pronouncements about the desirability of jihad. This is the ground into which news of the alleged terror plot was planted.
Mr. Murray goes further:
We then have the extraordinary question of Bush and Blair discussing the possible arrests over the weekend. Why? I think the answer to that is plain. Both in desperate domestic political trouble, they longed for "Another 9/11". The intelligence from Pakistan, however dodgy, gave them a new 9/11 they could sell to the media. The media has bought, wholesale, all the rubbish they have been shovelled.

Is Israel our Mini-Me?

The always fucking brilliant Sidney Blumenthal (Salon, registration required) on Lebanon:

Israel's strategic debacle was a curiously warped and accelerated version of the U.S. misadventure in Iraq. It used mistaken means in pursuit of misconceived goals, producing misbegotten failure. Rather than seek the disarmament of Hezbollah, Israel sought to eliminate it permanently. If the aim had been to disarm it, in line with United Nations Resolution 1559, Israel might have initiated a diplomatic round, drawing in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt, to help with the Lebanese government. But, encouraged by the Bush administration, Israel treated Lebanese sovereignty as a fiction. With U.S. support, Israeli unilateralism was unfurled. The possible consequences of anything less than stunning and complete triumph in a place where Israel had long experienced disaster were dismissed.

After having withdrawn in 2000 from its occupation of Lebanon, achieving few of the aims declared in the 1982 invasion, the Israeli government launched an air campaign that would supposedly extirpate Hezbollah. The wishful thinking behind the air campaign was similar to that of the Bush administration in its invasion of Iraq. Upon the liberators' entry into Baghdad, Vice President Cheney explained beforehand, the population would greet them with flowers. In Lebanon, the idea was that the more destruction wreaked by Israel, the more the population would blame Hezbollah. Of course, as common sense and every previous historical example should have dictated, the opposite occurred. When the air campaign obviously failed, the army was thrown into the breach, sent to relive Israel's 1982 agony. Cautions about repeating the past were ignored, and the past was repeated.

Ya think?

The Canton, Ohio school board decided that abstinence-only sex education might not be sufficient after 13% of one high school's female students became pregnant in one year.

Don't forget the Motor City

I federal judge in Detroit has ruled that the NSA warrantless wiretapping program is, uh, soooooooooo unconstitutional.

Fuck yeah, she did:

''Plaintiffs have prevailed, and the public interest is clear, in this matter. It is the upholding of our Constitution."

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

It's a hearts and minds thing

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has vowed to rebuild those parts of Lebanon destroyed by Israeli bombing.

Oh, perfect. So those Lebanese citizens will be indebted to Hezbollah.

Do we really not see the wisdom of pledging to rebuild Lebanon ourselves? Does Israel not see it?

The kiss of all kisses

Poor Bruno Kirby. He was a great character actor who leaves behind an impressive body of work, and yet his obituaries are dubbing him the "City Slickers Actor."

What a shame for an actor who turned in such great performances in The Godfather II, Birdy, The Basketball Diaries, This Is Spinal Tap, & Modern Romance, among others.

An actor who almost singlehandedly managed to salvage When Harry Met Sally from the fiery ball of heinousness that is Meg Ryan + Billy Crystal.

And so to honor you, Bruno, I will once again view my favorite movie of yours, The Freshman.

And I send you bacio di tutti baci.

The ashtray, the paddle game, and the remote control, and that's all I need.

So apparently this story about a women trying to sabotage a flight from London to Dulles armed only with some Vaseline, a screwdriver, and a note from Al-Quaida, is just plain false.

Of course it is. She's not MacGuyver, after all.

But it got me thinking, if I were headed to the US, what 3 items (1 cosmetic, 1 tool, 1 document)would I absolutely have to have with me?

How about:
1. Cosmetic: Maybelline mascara - you know, that pink and green tube. Nothing works better. And I look terrible without mascara.
2. Tool: My little sewing kit - complete with needle and thread, safety pins, and hem tape. That thing has saved my life a million times!
3. Document: Does Vanity Fair count?

Readers, let me hear your lists. And remember, Corky made it off that destroyer armed with only a dance belt and a tube of Chapstick.

Hard time making ends meet since we cut your salary? Try dumpster diving!

Bankrupt Northwest Airlines, in an effort to help out employees smarting from wage and salary cuts, distributed a booklet to some of them containing such suggestions as:

1. Shop in thrift stores
2. Take a date for a walk instead of to a restaurant or movie
3. Don't be "shy about pulling something you like out of trash"

I'm sure President and CEO Doug Steenland will find the above tips very helpful as well, since after his own salary cut he is pulling down just barely over half a mil in annual salary.

Hey, half a mil doesn't go as far as it used to, folks. Do you KNOW what they are getting for Armani suits down at the Salvation Army store these days?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Out of the mouths of centrists

The Big Dog on why a vote for Lamont over Lieberman wasn't necessarily, as Cheney has suggested, the Al-Qaida sympathizer vote.

Lieberman has characterized his loss -- and the need for his subsequent independent run -- as liberals in the party purging those with the Lieberman-Clinton position of progressiveness in domestic politics and strong national security credentials.

"Well, if I were Joe and I was running as an independent, that's what I'd say, too," [former president Bill] Clinton said.

"But that's not quite right. That is, there were almost no Democrats who agreed with his position, which was, 'I want to attack Iraq whether or not they have weapons of mass destruction.'"

"His position is the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld position, which was, 'Does it matter if they have weapons? None of this matters. … This is a big, important priority, and 9/11 gives us the way of attacking and deposing Saddam.'"

Clinton said that a vote for Lamont was not, as Lieberman had implied, a vote against the country's security.

And with friends like that...

Apparently, many British citizens of Pakistani descent unknowingly footed the bill for the latest "foiled" terrorist plot with millions donated to an earthquake relief charity in Pakistan.

Ah, this reminds me of the days when the Irish bars in Chicago were full of people collecting for "widows and orphans of the struggle".

The Pakistani charity, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, is allegedly a front for Lashkar-i-Taiba, an Islamic terrorist group. The charity received a transfer of approximately 5 million pounds of donated funds from Great Britain, but used less than half on actual earthquake relief.



Paul Wilkinson, director of the Center for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, said reports that Jamaat-ud-Dawa funded the suspects in the terrorism plot are "very, very credible."

The organization "is recognized as being an important source of funding," he said. "I think authorities feel that quite a bit of money has passed through their hands."

"We know charities are used for this kind of terrorist purpose very often," Wilkinson said.

A spokesman for Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Abdullah Muntazer, disputed reports that his group had funded suspects in the alleged plot in Britain and said, "We condemn every kind of terrorism." The organization is "totally based in Pakistan" and has no network or affiliations with Britain, he said. Jamaat-ud-Dawa operates charities, runs more than 100 schools and clinics, and has about 1,000 offices in Pakistan, Muntazer said."

So the government of Pakistan is totally convinced and aware of our activities, and there is no investigation," he said.

And we should believe him, because Pakistan is always completely honest in their dealings with us.

They've never sold nuclear weapons to our enemies, for example, and then blamed the massive technology and material transfer on a single person. Also, they never then promptly issued that person a state pardon.

Right. And we never looked the other way while they did it.

Because Pakistan is our friend.

I Am Incredibly Self-Absorbed

So, I guess Africa is the hot target for celebrity noblesse oblige.


And Paul Theroux, a writer who served in the Peace Corps in Africa in the ’60’s, cautioned against ennobling oneself through grandiose gestures there in an Op-Ed article in The New York Times last December.

“Because Africa seems unfinished and so different from the rest of the world, a landscape on which a person can sketch a new personality, it attracts mythomaniacs,” he wrote, arguing that Africa needs to cultivate its own saviors.

But, said Morgan Binswanger, a former liaison between performers and philanthropies for Creative Artists Agency in Los Angeles: “There’s self-interest and there’s enlightened self-interest, and the fringe between the two is gray. I think those that step forward and really carry out enlightened self-interest move an agenda.”

Bad news for Catherine Zeta-Jones

Blogger SJ over at Give Me the Booger has posted on the possible correlation between hot dogs, and genetic mutations that may enable cancer to develop. Wow, I'm making it sound much more serious than it is, I guess. It's a funny post, I swear.

She also gave me a shout, which I love. Thank you, baby.

But I was unable to complete the article she linked to in her post, because I became extremely distracted by a "related story" link titled Old Sperm Pack Genetic Mutations.

WTF? Really?

Man, my boyfriend has got to start buying me more jewelry.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Alms for the low six figures?

The city of Santa Barbara is deciding whether to take their last big vacant lot left in the whole damn valley and use it to build "affordable housing" units for residents earning up to $160,000 a year.

City planners expect the oh-so-affordable units to go for about half a mil each - not bad for a city where the median home price is 1.2 mil, huh?

Oh, Santa Barbara, you have such tasteful, cute problems! Your problems are like "Oh, no! We're all so prosperous, and our homes are worth so much money, where will the help live?" Your problems are so clean and well lit, and so compliant with all local zoning variances.

Readers, if you are ever visiting SoCal, do not go to Santa Barbara. It's expensive and boring. The shops are full of golfing clothes. An expired parking meter sets off alarm bells in City Hall. The bars SUCK ASS.

Christ, I hate that fucking place.

Can you hear me now? Good, can I have a quarter?

So Spooney and I are walking into a Burbank Starbucks for the Saturday-morning-errands-latte...

Alright, alright, I can't be original and anti-corporation all the time, can I?

Anyhoo, we see the ubiquitous Starbucks homeless guy sitting outside the door asking for change from the patrons.

He looks like an ordinary Starbucks homeless guy: dirty, shabby clothes, long greasy hair and beard.

But on the way out of the store, we see him talking on his cell phone!

Yes, apparently you can't bum change without a cell phone in LA.

And I thought, if he has a cell phone, it doesn't seem right to call him a bum anymore.

How about sympathy technician?

"I am shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!"

Ranking right up there with the "Liquids on a Plane" poster parody in obviousness is this assertion by British officials that American officials jumped the gun by releasing info on the recently "foiled" (hey, at least we can agree on the verbage) terrorist plot for...wait for it...political reasons.

It is understood that Britain asked the US to avoid making any such assertion, but diplomats believe that the request was ignored by Michael Chertoff, the Homeland Security chief. There is suspicion that the speed with which the US linked al-Qaeda to the plot was motivated by political considerations because, before the November mid-term Congressional elections, Republicans are keen to stem voter anger against the Iraq war by focusing on national security.

Even when the "security" part of it is due to police and intelligence work done by another country, it seems.

(via Le Show)

Friday, August 11, 2006

Why do I bother? I mean, does anybody even read Slate?

According to Jacob Weisberg, the editor of Slate, the defeat of Leiberman has condemned the Democratic party to a fate worse than the Nixon and Reagan eras combined.

It appears we have become doomed to repeat the exact circumstances of the politics that played out in the wake of the Vietnam war. See, Lamont is like McGovern, and all reasonable voters will now flee to the Republican side for the next 6 presidental elections.

Wow! If only hemlines were as easy to predict as politics & socioeconomics!

But let's let Weisberg speak for himself. And then let's let me make fun of him:
The election was about one issue and one issue only: the war in Iraq.

Oh, really, because the voters said it wasn't. But what the fuck do they know?

Joe Lieberman was an otherwise highly regarded...
Highly regarded by...someone other than those pesky Connecticut voters, I guess.
...well-ensconced Democratic incumbent who would never have faced a meaningful primary challenge had he not vocally supported President Bush's invasion in 2003, continued to defend the war in principle, and opposed adopting a timetable for withdrawal.

Oh, is that all?

Hey don't forget how he kept telling Democrats to shut the fuck up and support the president! Oh, oh, and the kiss! Can't forget the kiss!
Ned Lamont, a preppy political novice from Greenwich, got the idea to run last year when something he read in the Wall Street Journal made him gag on his breakfast. It was a hopeful analysis of Iraq by Lieberman.

You say "hopeful," I say "deluded" or "deliberately misleading." What's the diff?
As a candidate, Lamont was less a fleshed-out alternative to Lieberman than a stand-in for an anti-war, anti-Bush movement. His campaign was made plausible by Web-based "Net roots" activists who cared principally about the war in Iraq and badgered Lieberman mercilessly about his support for it.

God damn those bloggers and their badgering of candidates that ignore the electorate for their own personal power gains!

Aw, Christ, I can't even go on with this. It's too depressing. I'll let the supremely awesome Joe Conason take it from here. He's not as, um, juvenile in his criticism as I am anyway:

More than two years ago, Weisberg began to express qualms about the war that he and his writers had promoted so insouciantly. Sooner than some who now share his doubts, he admitted that things weren't working out so well. In a January 2004 symposium published on Slate, he explained why he was worried. His reasons included "the huge and growing cost of the invasion and occupation: in American lives (we're about to hit 500 dead and several thousand more have been injured); in money (more than $160 billion in borrowed funds); and in terms of lost opportunity (we might have found Osama Bin Laden by now if we'd committed some of those resources to Afghanistan). Most significant are the least tangible costs: increased hatred for the United States, which both fosters future terrorism and undermines the international support we will need to fight terrorism effectively for many years to come."

Since then we have suffered nearly five times as many dead and wounded, and anticipate six times as much in financial expense. The opportunity costs and the diplomatic damage are obvious in Afghanistan, in Israel and Palestine, and in the international struggle against Islamic extremism. The Democratic voters of Connecticut have delivered a verdict on the debacle made in Washington -- and they have no reason to heed the scolding of those who have been wrong all along.

And as Bill Hicks's friend Jimmy Pineapple says, "Case. Fucking. Closed."

On your mark. Get set. Photoshop!

It was only a matter of time.

(via Defamer)

Loose Lips Raise Poll Numbers

Wow, seems like everybody is eager to get a piece of the collar in the recent arrests of suspected terrorists in London. Pakistan is especially anxious for some credit, perhaps because most of the suspects, although UK citizens, are apparently of Pakistani descent.

But the FBI wants us to know that they too had a hand in foiling the plot to blow up US-bound flights over the Atlantic:

In Washington, officials said the FBI probe into the London plot involved more than 200 agents from across the country. The probe was so large that it resulted in a notable surge in warrants for searches and surveillance from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the secret panel that oversees most clandestine surveillance, officials said.

The warrants included monitoring telephone calls that some of the London suspects made into the United States, two sources said.

One official estimated that scores of secret U.S. warrants were dedicated solely to the London plot. The government usually averages of a few dozen a week for all counterintelligence investigations, according to federal statistics.

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Why so loquacious all of a sudden, FBI?

I thought it was dangerous to let terrorists know our methods, hm? I mean, isn't it basically treason to let the bad guys know that we are monitoring them and stuff?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

LA Weekly: WTF?

If a press photographer is doctoring photos, then they should be exposed and fired.

That's exactly what happened to Adnan Hajj, who was working in Lebanon for Reuters.

And the LA blog Little Green Footballs is to be commended for largely uncovering the deceptions.

Okay, but there's something really nasty going on in Brendan Bernhard's "news" article (it's not marked as opinion or commentary) on the matter for the LA Weekly.

First off, Bernhard characterizes LGF as a blog "widely reviled by some because it takes global Islamist terrorism more seriously than, say, a Dick Cheney hunting accident."

Oh, is THAT why LGF is reviled? And not because blogger Charles Johnson never met a Muslim he didn't want to incarcerate, or that the site is, as even Andrew Sullivan has acknowledged, "enthusiastically pro-torture"?

But there's little hope of a measured opinion from Bernhard in this slobbering valentine to Johnson and LGF, since Bernhard himself offers helpfully that "you’d be hard-pressed to find Muslims in the U.S., let alone Europe, who aren’t strongly anti-Israel."

What. The. Fuck.

Uh, dude, in fact it took me exactly two seconds of Googling to find a whole page of them.

But wait, here's the end of the above sentence: "why on earth would you expect to find neutral Arab reporters in Baghdad or Beirut?"

Oh, um, well, I expect it, actually, because it is their job. I expect it just like I expect a reporter from Israel to be neutral, just as I expect a reporter from the U.S. to be neutral.

Yes, we all know that neutrality is a constantly moving target. Unless you're Switzerland. But I get the sense that Bernhard, just like his beloved Johnson, believes that the Israelis are a lot more capable of fairness than Muslims of any nationality. I get the sense that he believes, like Johnson, that Muslims are something just a tiny bit less than human.

And just in case you are still harboring any lingering delusions about the depth of thinking going on in Bernhard's article, he offers us this tired old chestnut: "Johnson’s chances of being invited to a party at Arianna Huffington’s mansion are about as good as Osama bin Laden’s. (Okay, worse.)"

Ho ho ho! Because, see, she's a liberal! And they would rather invite a mass murderer and sworn enemy of the U.S. to her house than someone who disagrees with her! Ho ho ho!

What a tool.

Clearly they do not need a plug

The Watson Twins are featured in LAWeekly this week.

And for chrissake, if you haven't yet bought their album, Southern Manners, please do so immediately.

You can hear samples here if you don't believe me about how freakin beautiful it is.

Do not light your farts on fire. If you have, do not run.

In light of today's revelations regarding a terrorist plot to bomb US airlines, let's revisit an oldie but a goodie: the Houston Coalition for Justice - Not War's interpretations of Federal guidelines for responding to a terrorist attack.

(thanks to YSCM via I've Been Wondering)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Those dang internets!

Oh, and Joe, before you go blaming the opposition for website "hacking," you better make sure your $15-a-month ISP didn't buckle under the load of your site traffic.

Where's a terrorist strike when you really need one?

As I write this, thousands upon thousands of fresh-faced hopeful kids with stars in their eyes are lined up outside the Rose Bowl for "American Idol" auditions.

Apparently Connecticut voters WILL have Joe Lieberman to kick around some more

Lieberman lost in Connecticut.

I'm stunned. I just can't believe that nearly 150,000 anti-semite Democrats (are there any other kind?) would show up at the polls with the express purpose of overturning the will of the otherwise reasonable non-anti-semite voters of that state.

I mean, where'd they come from? Idaho?

But courage, non-Jew-hating voters of Connecticut, because Lieberman is NOT going to take the will of the people lying down! No, he quite rightly spurns your assertion, as expressed by the results of this election, that he is in fact failing at his first duty as an elected representative, which is to represent the people who put him in office! No, he says, I did NOT fail to represent you, no matter what you say, you people who would know!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The best time to be gay

I'm sure you all saw Ann Coulter call Bill Clinton a latent homosexual. Letterman has Clinton's response.

Who knew?

According to Bill Kristol, Hugh Hewitt, Dean Barnett & Marshall Whittman Monday, what do I have in common with Mel Gibson?

No, it's not a love for our lord Jesus Christ. Good guess, though.

No, my kids aren't terrorizing Malibu. C'mon, you're not even trying now.

I'll tell you: according to our respectable right-wing pundits, I'm an anti-semite.


Because I count myself among those who would be only too happy to see Lieberman fall flat on his big Bush-kissing face.

Yes, apparently a vote for Lamont is practically the same thing as supporting a conservative sect of Catholism that rejects the Vatican II reforms that absolved the Jews of blame for the killing of the Christian savior.

(via War Room)

It'd make me mad if it wasn't so lame.

So you know that spoof of Al Gore's movie An Inconvenient Truth, that's been floating around You Tube?

Yeah, it's not funny. We already know that.

What we didn't know, is that no matter how cleverly amateurish it looks, it was actually made by a Republican PR firm. A firm that just happens to have Exxon as one of its clients. It's an example of what the media is calling "astroturf," that is, political messages from corporations disguised to look like they have been produced by an individual or as part of a "grass-roots" campaign.

(WSJ Via VideoDog)

Goodbye 33

After purchasing the Latrobe Brewing Company for 82 million in May, Anheuser Busch has shut down the Latrobe, Pennsylvania brewery and has begun brewing Rolling Rock beer in Newark.

As in New Jersey. As in right next to the airport.

Having spent many happy years in beautiful western PA, and knowing that the economy of little Latrobe, PA is absolutely dependent on the brewery, this makes me pretty fucking sad.

Plus, what about the mountain spring water and the glass-lined tanks needed to brew this delightful pale lager? Good luck getting that in Newark.

So I guess I'll have to find another beer to use as a touchstone to my mis-spent youth.

Can you get Leinenkugel in LA?

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Devil Wears Blue Eyeshadow

Apparently, Rep. Katherine Harris is not just a bitch, she's a bitch to work for. And some ex-staffers are ready to give her the Lauren Weisberger treatment.

"We used to call her 'The Hurricane' because she would spin completely out of control over the smallest things," said Jim Dornan, Harris' first campaign manager, who quit last fall.

"I have never in my life worked for somebody like her — ever — and hopefully I'll never have to again," Dornan said. Jamie Miller, Harris' second campaign manager, who quit in April, said, "It's almost like she won't allow herself to be successful with someone else helping her.

"Any time it's not about her, she makes it about her."Glenn Hodas, her third campaign manager, who quit in mid-July, said Harris failed to kept her promises "not to have tantrums, not to berate staff, not to micromanage and nitpick, and not to get flustered on inconsequential details."

Harris' campaign isn't the only place where her top aides have quit. Her congressional office also has seen more than a dozen key staffers leave since she took office in 2003, including four chiefs of staff and four press secretaries.

In July, congressional speechwriter Jennifer Hickey informed her friends she was quitting in an e-mail that said: "Value of Handing in my Resignation Letter: Priceless."Harris didn't only berate her campaign managers, "she was an equal opportunity abuser," Dornan said.

She chastised speechwriters, press secretaries, fund-raisers, even travel aides who drove her from one event to anotherFor those travel aides, a top priority was to get her Starbucks coffee, no matter where she was campaigning, "and God help him if it wasn't hot," an aide said. Several aides said Harris was so obsessed with Starbucks coffee she insisted that Starbucks locations be mapped out when she was traveling from one campaign stop to another.

One aide recalled going to Harris' house for a day of fund-raising calls without bringing her a cup of Starbucks. The aide said Harris made it clear that it was expected he bring her a coffee when coming to her house.

Another time, the aide said, he went to dinner with other staffers after a full day of campaigning while Harris was attending a church conference in Fort Lauderdale. By the time he returned, Harris had called the campaign manager to find out where the aide was so he could bring her something to drink. The aide said he was incredulous because there was a water fountain nearby.

"She literally yelled at me in the hallway," the aide said. "She said, 'Never, ever do that again.' I just walked away."

(thanks to JackJo for the tip)

I know you are but what am I?

Pee Wee's Big Adventure is a key movie for my Spooney and me.

See, we met online. Yes, it's true.

So we emailed back and forth a lot in the beginning, and the first time I think Spooney realized that he might have fallen for me was when I not only correctly answered his lame-o PW'sBA trivia question, but could also recite whole chunks of dialogue from memory.

He realized he'd found a girl as dorky as he was. And so for that reason PW'sBA is kind of "our movie."

Other couples have...well, I don't know, what do other couples have? Lawrence of Arabia, or Room with a View, or, well, more likely some stupid tripe like Pretty Woman. Spooney and I have a non-animated cartoon about a stunted man-child and his bicycle fetish.

This Saturday, for the second year in a row, Spooney and I attended the Cinespia anniversary screening of PW'sBA and this year, Pee Wee showed up to introduce the film! I looooooove Pee Wee! And he brought with him Dottie, and Francis, and Simone, and Mickey and Chuck. My dorky little heart was all aflutter. I love Mickey! I love Simone! I love them all, even Francis!

For those of you not familiar with Cinespia, they're a film society that sponsors the screenings of cult and classic films at the Hollywood Forever cemetery. They have a big surround-sound system out on the lawn where you sit on a blanket picnicing with your pals. They also have a bitchin' pre-film DJ spinning some tunes, and then as soon as it gets dark they project the film onto the side of a large masoleum.

What a great night it was to be in Los Angeles, too. Beautiful and clear, and everyone there laughed, and screamed at Large Marge, and clapped along with "Deep in the Heart of Texas."

What fun for me and my man and all our groovy friends.

Yay, LA.

I love that story.

(thanks to Grooveva for the pic)

Joe "I heart BushCo" Lieberman surprisingly unpopular among Democratic voters

It's more than just his vote on the Iraq war that has angered Conneticut voters, but you wouldn't know that from listening to just about any news story on Lieberman's Senate race.

And it's a little puzzling that his opponent, Lamont, is being portrayed as being "in the left wing" while Lieberman is "in the center" when it is Lieberman's support of the war that departs from the majority viewpoint.

Friday, August 04, 2006

(sound of palm slapping forehead)

According to former Croatian Ambassador Peter Galbraith, as closely as two months before the invasion of Iraq, Bush was unaware of the existance of the Sunni and Shia sects of Islam:

A year after his “Axis of Evil” speech before the U.S. Congress, President Bush met with three Iraqi Americans, one of whom became postwar Iraq’s first representative to the United States. The three described what they thought would be the political situation after the fall of Saddam Hussein. During their conversation with the President, Galbraith claims, it became apparent to them that Bush was unfamiliar with the distinction between Sunnis and Shiites.

Galbraith reports that the three of them spent some time explaining to Bush that there are two different sects in Islam--to which the President allegedly responded, “I thought the Iraqis were Muslims!”

In an interview with RAW STORY, Ambassador Galbraith recounted this anecdote from his book to exemplify “a culture of arrogance that pervaded the whole administration.”

“From the president and the vice president down through the neoconservatives at the Pentagon, there was a belief that Iraq was a blank slate on which the United States could impose its vision of a pluralistic democratic society,” said Galbraith. “The arrogance came in the form of a belief that this could be accomplished with minimal effort and planning by the United States and that it was not important to know something about Iraq.”

(Raw Story via HuffPost)

Internet's in distress let's answer the SOS

Peter Pan, Tron Guy, and my personal favorite, gem sweater fan Leslie Hall.

Anyone with an email account is most likely familiar with them, but what do they have in common?

They've created We Are the Web, an organization devoted to fighting for net neutrality protections that would keep the big telecoms from setting up their own first-class section of the internet.

Craig Newmark, of Craigslist, explains it pretty aptly this way:
Here's a real world example that shows how this would work. Let's say you call Joe's Pizza and the first thing you hear is a message saying you'll be connected in a minute or two, but if you want, you can be connected to Pizza Hut right away. That's not fair, right? You called Joe's and want some Joe's pizza. Well, that's how some telecommunications executives want the Internet to operate, with some Web sites easier to access than others. For them, this would be a money-making regime.

WTF, right? What kind of evil fuckers would support such a fucked-up scheme?

Well, as it turns out, Republicans, mostly. But you can check to see where your own senators are coming down here.

(big ups to Alana for this tip!)

Heh heh. I said "taint."

Republicans are always claiming that SOME Republicans are well-reasoned, and concerned for the environment, and the non-rich, and the non-Jesusy, etc.

Well, here's a chance for them to prove it with a little inter-party smack-down on their #2 asshole in the House:
House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said he would oppose global warming mandates if Republicans control the 110th Congress. “I think the information is not adequate yet for us to do anything meaningful,” he said.

C'mon, Roy, why? Why be that way? Because you don't think you could come up with some feel-good do-nothing useless Republican piece of shit bill on the issue, or because, no matter what the cost to the FUTURE OF THE FREAKIN PLANET, you would rather die that propose anything with the slightest Democratic taint?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

However, the "Hezbollah Ham Sandwich" is gone for good

Three years into the Iraqi war, all the cafeterias on Capitol Hill have abandoned the "Freedom fries," and are back to serving "French fries."

But I'm sure the French learned a good, hard lesson from this nomenclaturey-type smack-down.

And that lesson is that when you are right about something, keep it to yourself.

Or at least, don't say it to our faces. Pass Germany a note or something.

(thanks to RanMan for the tip)

A Clean Break

Once again Sidney Blumenthal stuns me with his sources and his analysis.

Have you, like me, been harboring the suspicion that some secret BushCo agenda is being carried out in the middle east? An agenda that involves walking away from Israeli-Palestinian conflict resolution, twiddling our thumbs while Beirut burns, and leaving another Secretary of State twisting in the wind?

Yeah, well, welcome to A Clean Break (registration required & worth it):

In order to try to understand the neoconservative road map, senior national security professionals have begun circulating among themselves a 1996 neocon manifesto against the Middle East peace process. Titled "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm," its half-dozen authors included neoconservatives highly influential with the Bush administration -- Richard Perle, first-term chairman of the Defense Policy Board; Douglas Feith, former undersecretary of defense; and David Wurmser, Cheney's chief Middle East aide.

"A Clean Break" was written at the request of incoming Likud Party Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and intended to provide "a new set of ideas" for jettisoning the policies of assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Instead of trading "land for peace," the neocons advocated tossing aside the Oslo agreements that established negotiations and demanding unconditional Palestinian acceptance of Likud's terms, "peace for peace." Rather than negotiations with Syria, they proposed "weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria." They also advanced a wild scenario to "redefine Iraq." Then King Hussein of Jordan would somehow become its ruler; and somehow this Sunni monarch would gain "control" of the Iraqi Shiites, and through them "wean the south Lebanese Shia away from Hezbollah, Iran, and Syria."

Netanyahu, at first, attempted to follow the "clean break" strategy, but under persistent pressure from the Clinton administration he felt compelled to enter into U.S.-led negotiations with the Palestinians. In the 1998 Wye River accords, concluded through the personal involvement of President Clinton and a dying King Hussein, the Palestinians agreed to acknowledge the legitimacy of Israel and Netanyahu agreed to withdraw from a portion of the occupied West Bank. Further negotiations, conducted by his successor Ehud Barak, that nearly settled the conflict ended in dramatic failure, but potentially set the stage for new ones.

At his first National Security Council meeting, President George W. Bush stunned his first secretary of state, Colin Powell, by rejecting any effort to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. When Powell warned that "the consequences of that could be dire, especially for the Palestinians," Bush snapped, "Sometimes a show for force by one side can really clarify things." He was making a "clean break" not only with his immediate predecessor but also with the policies of his father.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

I thought that was The Hotel California

Check out the synopsis of the Stephen King series Nightmares & Dreamscapes episode on tonight:

You Know They Got a Hell of a Band
Starring Kim Delaney, Steven Weber. Teleplay by Mike Robe, based on the short story by Stephen King, directed by Mike Robe.

A wrong turn on a lonely road turns frightening for Clark and Mary Willingham (Weber and Delaney) as they stumble upon a town not on any map - Rock and Roll Heaven, Oregon. There is a free concert (classic rock) every night, but the price of admission is high - once the audience enters, it can never leave.

Okay, I got to admit that I thought Stephen King had lost his ability to scare me...until now.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I forgot that leaking the identity of a CIA agent was illegal

Scooter Libby's attorney wants to bring in a memory expert to assist him with Scooter's Steve Martin defense strategy.

Take it from someone who knows

The Hitch says .12 is not that drunk, old chap.

Best. Music. Video. Ever.

Here It Goes Again by OK Go.

See? You don't need animation and a fancy concept. You just need mad treadmill skills.

(thanks to Spooney for the link)

Harris So Creepy Even FL GOP Couldn't Stomach Supporting Her

Poor Katherine Harris. It turns out Democrats aren't the only ones Harris is giving the willies to.

The GOP needs to watch their ass around that bitch. You do not want to force her into a corner and make her feel like she's got nothing to lose.

Because I betcha she knows where all the 2000 Election skeletons are buried. I mean, how else does someone like her get the backing to get to the House in the first place?

US out of California!

That's my new motto. Because as the world's sixth largest economy (ahead of Canada, Italy, and China!! Fuck yeah!!), we can stand on our own just fine. And...really, I feel like we have outgrown the United States. I mean, sure, the US was fine when we were young, and we just wanted to be protected, and we really didn't have any ideas of our own, but now we are just so much more mature than the US, and I just think it's time to break up. I'm sure the US will be sad at first, because they totally get more income from us than they give us back in federal dollars (whatever!) but after a few weeks they will see that the breakup is what's best for both of us.

So, anyway, our governator was totally going behind Bush's back this week and signed an emissions agreement with another country. Great Britain - can you believe it?! So cool. Lots of musicians live there, you know.

I know you 49 other bitches (And you can suck it, Puerto Rico. You think you're so hot because of Miss Universe or whatever but you are not, okay?) are so going to jump down our throats for acting like a nation when we are not one yet but we are just expressing ourself. We have the 12th largest emissions in the world, you know. We are not a baby. And we need to do something to take control. What are we, supposed to wait around for the US to take care of us??? Yeah, like that has worked SO WELL in the past. I mean come on, we are even patrolling our own borders now, and why? Because the US couldn't do it. They had to ask us for help. We said it's totally not our job but I guess if you can't do it then we will have to help out. What else could we say? Maybe the US should not have spent so much money overseas and we would not have to embarrass ourself in this way.

And don't even get me started on the whole stem cell research thing. It's like they are trying to drive us away, which is fine because, like I said, it is so over anyway.

So who's on board with me? Yay!! Let's all matching buy t-shirts and get this party rockin!!!

(thanks to Brent for the t-shirt link)