Friday, March 31, 2006

And remember that thousands of Americans died for it

We've been hearing for weeks about how the US has been building huge, permanent-like military bases in Iraq. It's only a matter of time before the real purpose behind our invasion of Iraq will finally be made evident to all but the thickest of us: permanent occupation of an oil-producing country in the middle east under an oh-so-friendly government. We'll just see who ends up with the contracts, my friends. We'll see. Meanwhile, Gary Hart is all over that shit:

A few weeks ago, I published an opinion piece entitled "And Now for Their Next Trick." The piece predicted that a new Iraqi government, more or less picked by the U.S., would invite the U.S. to stay in Iraq as a stabilizing force and that we were constructing permanent military bases for this purpose, all in accordance with the original neoconservative/imperial agenda in the Middle East.

I have been pleading with the American press corps for months to ask the Bush administration one simple question, a question designed to expose our true agenda: "Are we, or are we not, constructing permanent military bases in Iraq?" Full stop.

Pray for me? What are you trying to do, kill me?

Praying for people makes them sicker. Oops.

What I'd like to know is, can we prosecute this Maltbie asshole?

I don't give a shit whether Moussaoui lives or dies, but I do care about the integrity of our justice system, such as it is.

Moussaoui's life depends on whether the jury buys the prosecution's argument that the attacks on 9/11 could have been prevented if Moussaoui had been forthcoming to the FBI about his knowledge of the plot.

Come on. If they find that 9/11 could have been avoided if Moussaoui had told the truth, then they're full of shit.

I offer evidence:

Gripping testimony came from Mr. Samit, who arrested Mr. Moussaoui on Aug. 16 and quickly became convinced that he was a terrorist who knew about an imminent hijacking plot.

Mr. Samit said that he had sent about 70 warning messages about Mr. Moussaoui, but that they had produced no results.

The agent said he had been puzzled at the reluctance of Michael Maltbie, a supervisor with the Radical Fundamentalist Unit at bureau headquarters, to seek a search warrant for Mr. Moussaoui's belongings from a special intelligence court.

Mr. Samit seemed unable to satisfy Mr. Maltbie's demand that he provide a tangible link between Mr. Moussaoui and a foreign power, a requirement for a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. He thought he had sufficient evidence from two French intelligence reports showing Mr. Moussaoui had recruited someone to fight in Chechnya for an Islamist group allied with Mr. bin Laden.

But on Aug. 24, 2001, a frustrated Mr. Samit sent an e-mail message to Charles Frahm, a friend and, at the time, an F.B.I. liaison to the C.I.A., asking for information to help make his case. "We're trying to close the wiggle room for F.B.I. headquarters to claim there is no connection to a foreign power," he wrote.

Mr. Moussaoui's lawyers asserted that Mr. Maltbie had undermined the effort to obtain a search warrant by deleting some details from Mr. Samit's requests. Mr. Samit said Mr. Maltbie had told him he was reluctant to press for a warrant because doing so would be risky for his career and "he was not about to let that happen to him."

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Maybe only funny if you've seen the piece of shit movie

From the brilliant McSweeney's
CONVERSATIONS I'VE HAD DURING A NORMAL DAY IN LOS ANGELES, MODIFIED TO INCLUDE THE SHOCKING DEPICTION OF RACISM FOUND IN PAUL HAGGIS'S 2005 FILM CRASH.
BY BRENDON LLOYD

- - - -
ME: Are we working tonight?
CO-WORKER: Yeah.
ME: This sucks.
CO-WORKER: I can't freakin' stand those Indians.
ME: I'm part Cherokee.
CO-WORKER: Then why don't you go smoke a peace pipe and get the hell out of my country?

- - - -
FRIEND: How was work?
ME: Not bad. The usual stuff. Yourself?
FRIEND: I sure hate those Mexicans.

- - - -
WAITER: Can I take your order?
ME: I'll have the club sandwich, easy on the mayo.
WAITER: To drink?
ME: Why are you people always asking me what I want to drink?
WAITER: What?
ME: You heard me.

I wonder why

I can't get these DC4C lyrics out of my head today:

'Cause in my head there's a Greyhound station
Where I send my thoughts to far-off destinations
So they may have a chance of finding a place where they're far more suited than here

The "soft bigotry of low expectations" explained

Sometimes the LATimes really does make me cringe. Like when they publish poorly executed and illogical editorials like this one from Jonah "Massive Tool" Goldberg, who waxes stupid about the Congressional Black Caucus:

As the Economist recently noted, gerrymandering and Democratic politics have resulted in a caucus well to the left of black America. Only four of 43 members of the group voted to ban partial-birth abortion in 2003, even though a majority of blacks favored such a ban. Most African Americans favor school choice, but because the caucus is firmly ensconced in the teacher-union racket, it bars the schoolhouse door to black kids who want a better education via vouchers. A majority of blacks oppose outright racial quotas, but don't tell that to the caucus. Or that blacks are heavily opposed to gay marriage.

Why pick on the blacks in Congress? Because they represent black leadership in America, and it has been on their watch that black America has descended into such a mess.

Yeah! I knew the whole black America mess was someone's fault! And I cannot tell you how, well, relieved I am that it is the fault of black people. Even better, black members of Congress, who, if they would just get on board and vote the "correct" way (the Republican way, naturally, because who knows what's good for the blacks better than Republicans?) could solve the black America mess in no time!

Also, I just knew the black people could not have freely elected black members of Congress that disagreed with Republicans! Come on, it just doesn't make any sense! But now I know that it was gerrymandering and the Democrats, pushing those blacks into electing people who don't even represent them!

One thing I am confused about, though. If black members of Congress have white people in their districts, do they represent them, too, or only the blacks? And also, what do white members do about the blacks in their districts? There must be some kind of racial constituent-swapping program in Congress so that the direct representation of black by black referred to by Mr. Goldberg can be upheld to such disasterous effect.

Maybe we should just do away with that instead. Then, the black majority disctricts could elect representatives of their own choosing, in free democratic elections, and then they would also be free to not vote for them anymore if they didn't like what they were doing, just like the white majority districts can.

And then, when Congress isn't effective in solving their problems, the rest of us can look at the blacks and say "Join the fucking club!"

Representative Cynthia Davis of Missouri calls me a dumb whore

Via Feministing:

From: Cynthia Davis
Sent: Mon 3/20/2006 8:02 PM
To: (redacted)Subject:
RE: Contraceptive Article...

Dear (redacted),
I appreciate your dedication to your legislative duties while on Spring Break. Your letter seemed to indicate that if we create chemical and pharmaceutical ways to tamper with mother nature, then we will solve the problem. Even if you solve a physical problem you still have not solved the moral, emotional and spiritual problems that come with a promiscuous lifestyle.

When I was listening to the debate last week I wondered what kind of man would want to enjoy free sex and then expect her to provide for her own contraceptives? These are the kind of men who want free whores. Any man who would be so low life as that does not deserve to have any woman love him. Smart women will stay away from men who use them and abuse them.

You take rights away from your mother with that mouth?


Boston Herald via Eschaton:

Smith was working as a freelance photographer for the Boston archdiocese’s weekly newspaper at a special Mass for lawyers Sunday when a Herald reporter asked [Justice Scalia] how he responds to critics who might question his impartiality as a judge given his public worship.

“The judge paused for a second, then looked directly into my lens and said, ‘To my critics, I say, ‘Vaffanculo,’ ” punctuating the comment by flicking his right hand out from under his chin, Smith said.

The Italian phrase means “(expletive) you.”


Not only did Scalia apparently graduate from the Italian office of the Dick Cheney School of Public Relations, but he tried to deny that the incident involved any expletive or obscene gesture, saying the reporter "incorrectly characterized" the incident.

The photographer quoted above stepped forward to back up the reporter's story.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

But good luck with those body thetans, Kirstie. And you're right. They do make you look fat.

You knew some celeb was going to be the designated outraged letter-writer to Rolling Stone after their really wimpy expose on Scientology, right?

Surprise! It's B-lister Kirstie Alley. Brittle Bon Mot has a post. It's funny.

An excerpt from Kirstie's letter:
"Shame on you, Rolling Stone, for your slam piece on Scientology. Rolling Stone has been my favorite magazine since college, but come on — religion-bashing for the sake of sales? Yikes, dudes — your cool factor just dropped to Reader's Digest."

Jeeper's creepers, Kirstie! I know how "gear" it is to "rap" to your "homies" about "heavy" shit like your "religion," but if you weren't so busy being a really really creepy desperate bad ex-tv star with friends in mediocre places, you'd know that Rolling Stone dropped below Reader's Digest on the "cool factor" like, 20 years ago.

Women of Denver, Colorado...

...you're on notice, bitches.

My sister has quite rightly called you out for the extreme ugliness of your footwear, and your resistance to color and style. Take heed.

And the whole Croc thing? I'm pretty sure it started in Denver, or at least Boulder. And so you, the citizens of the greater Denver metropolitan area, I cannot stress strongly enough your need to arrest the whole Croc thing now, before it goes any further.

Los Angeles did not try to stop the Ugg thing, and look what happened. A whole nation became inflicted.

By the way, women of the midwest still wearing Uggs...it is so over. Stop wearing them. Everyone is laughing at you.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

When positive stories attack!

Broadsheet quite rightly commends CBS correspondent Lara Logan for answering the question "Why no positive stories from Iraq?"

"You know, our own editors back in New York are asking us the same things. They read the same comments. You know, 'Are there positive stories? Can't you find them?' You don't think that I haven't been to the U.S. military and the State Department and the embassy and asked them over and over again, let's see the good stories, show us some of the good things that are going on? Oh, sorry, we can't take to you that school project, because if you put that on TV, they're going to be attacked about, the teachers are going to be killed, the children might be victims of attack. Oh, sorry, we can't show this reconstruction project because then that's going to expose it to sabotage. And the last time we had journalists down here, the plant was attacked. I mean, security dominates every single thing that happens in this country. Reconstruction funds have been diverted … away from reconstruction to -- they've been diverted to security. Soldiers, their lives are occupied most of the time with security issues. Iraqi civilians' lives are taken up most of the time with security issues. So how is it that security issues should not then dominate the media coverage coming out of here?"

Finally, someone besides Richard Clarke takes responsibility for 9/11

Moussaoui apparently is trying to commit suicide by testimony.

After years of denying involvement in 9/11, suddenly he says he was in the very midst of it, and not just as some dumb old 20th hijacker. No, he was going to get his very own plane, and he was going to get to fly it into the White House, and he was going to have his buddy, that famous shoe-bomber guy, help him. Because Osama told him he could.

I swear I've heard 5-year-olds who are better liars.

Moussaoui will almost certainly get the death penalty now, and his wish for martyrdom will be fulfilled, and the prosecution will declare victory, even though they botched the case badly, and even though their central argument, that the FBI would have foiled 9/11 if Moussaoui had told them the truth, is pretty much unintentionally hilarious.

Don't believe me? Check this out:

Before Moussaoui took the stand, the court heard testimony that two months before the attacks a CIA deputy chief waited in vain for permission to tell the FBI about a "very high interest" al-Qaida operative who became one of the hijackers.

The official, a senior figure in the CIA's Laden unit, said he sought authorization on July 13, 2001, to send information to the FBI but got no response for 10 days, then asked again.

As it turned out, the information on Khalid al-Mihdhar did not reach the FBI until late August. At the time, CIA officers needed permission from a special unit before passing certain intelligence on to the FBI.

The official was identified only as John. His written testimony was read into the record. "John's" testimony was part of the defense's case that federal authorities missed multiple opportunities to catch hijackers and perhaps thwart the 9/11 plot.

His testimony included an e-mail sent by FBI supervisor Michael Maltbie discussing Moussaoui but playing down his terrorist connections. Maltbie's e-mail said "there's no indication that (Moussaoui) had plans for any nefarious activity." He sent that e-mail to the CIA even after receiving a lengthy memo from the FBI agent who arrested Moussaoui and suspected him of being a terrorist with plans to hijack aircraft.


Oh yeah. The FBI so would have caught them if it wasn't for that stupid Moussaoui.

Andy, we hardly knew ye, ye no good piece of shit dickwad

BushCo Chief of Staff Andrew Card steps down. W says "He thought it might be time to return to private life."

Not quite the old "spend more time with the family" chestnut, but close.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Is that a Coleocephalocereus pluricostatus in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?

Spooney and I went to the Huntington Botanical Gardens yesterday.

I recommend it highly. And if you go, you really should know that it is a very serious place, and one devoted to scientific inquiry, and not at all the kind of place where one should be taking pictures of this sort:

Because it's just not funny. To make sport of the serious botanical research going on there. Just not funny at all.

The return of Memogate

NYTimes finally wants to talk about the Downing Street Memo, which records a meeting between Bush and Blair in January of 2003:

Without much elaboration, the memo also says the president raised three possible ways of provoking a confrontation. Since they were first reported last month, neither the White House nor the British government has discussed them.

"The U.S. was thinking of flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in U.N. colours," the memo says, attributing the idea to Mr. Bush. "If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach." It also described the president as saying, "The U.S. might be able to bring out a defector who could give a public presentation about Saddam's W.M.D," referring to weapons of mass destruction. A brief clause in the memo refers to a third possibility, mentioned by Mr. Bush, a proposal to assassinate Saddam Hussein. The memo does not indicate how Mr. Blair responded to the idea.


So...this seems like a pretty different mindset from the one the president described himself as being in prior to the war. You know, the mindset where he said, a month after the Blair meeting, "I've not made up our mind about military action. Hopefully, this can be done peacefully."

BushCo's response:

On Sunday, Frederick Jones, the spokesman for the National Security Council, said the president's public comments were consistent with his private remarks made to Mr. Blair. "While the use of force was a last option, we recognized that it might be necessary and were planning accordingly," Mr. Jones said.

"The public record at the time, including numerous statements by the President, makes clear that the administration was continuing to pursue a diplomatic solution into 2003," he said. "Saddam Hussein was given every opportunity to comply, but he chose continued defiance, even after being given one final opportunity to comply or face serious consequences. Our public and private comments are fully consistent."


I'm not sure which part is the "diplomatic solution." Is it the dummy plane, the planted defector, or the assassination?

Tagged

I've been tagged by Monstrous Joe:

You know the rest.

Accent – My relatives in the midwest think I talk like a valley girl. My friends in SoCal think I sound like a hick. You decide.

Booze of choice – I’ll drink anything that’s not brown. Can’t do brown liquor.

Chore I hate – Scrubbing the bathtub. And do not believe that Scrubbing Bubbles commerical. They do NOT “do the work so you don’t have to.” What a lie!

Dog or Cat – You need a dog to protect you and love you unconditionally. You need a cat because, well, dogs are morons.

Essential electronics – No such thing.

Favorite perfume(s)/cologne(s) – My soap and my hair gunk have a pretty distinct smell, so I leave it at that.

Gold or Silver? - Don't care. Just don’t ever buy me a diamond heart pendant from Zales.

Hometown – Marion, IN. Birthplace of James Dean.

Insomnia? – Of course the acting was good, but haven’t we seen this plot before? And the fake death ending? So cheesy.

Job Title – Not saying. It’s fairly inflated though.

Kids? – That ship has sailed.

Living Arrangement – Overpriced crackerbox in NoHo with boyfriend, 4 four-footed animules, and some fish.

Most-admired trait – I'm not sure I have one. My most obnoxious trait is that I will say out loud what other people are thinking but won’t say.

Number of Sexual Partners – Are you familiar with pi?

Overnight Hospital Stays – Myomectomy about 10 years ago. Be nice and I’ll show you my scar.

Phobia – I’m scared of the dark. Not kidding.

Quote – “Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson. Also, “I can’t drive 55!” – Sammy Hagar.

Religion – I’m a Frisbeologist. I believe that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and you can’t get it down.
(George Carlin)

Siblings – Older bro, younger sis.

Time I wake up – 6am each and every goddamn weekday morning. On weekends, I sleep in until 9. Woo hoo!

Unusual talent/skill – Are blow jobs unusual?

Vegetable I refuse to eat – Raw broccoli. Who decided to stop cooking broccoli and put huge timber-sized branches of it on top of salads?

Worst habit – I’m a know-it-all.

X-rays – Now?

Yummy foods I make – Two things no one eats anymore: pasta and desserts.

Zodiac sign – Aquarius. Jealous?

People I am tagging: Grooveva and David, because they are the only ones I know who haven’t already done this stupid thing.

To think, I spent all those years giving to charity without funneling the money back to my family!

I wasn't aware you could do this.

Donate money to a charity, but stipulate the funds go to a family business?

Take the tax break AND the profits, too?

Awesome!

Me and my sis are gonna keep those Katrina victims in HoGear t-shirts from now on, baby.

LATimes:

HOUSTON — In a city housing thousands of Katrina evacuees, Barbara Bush's donation to a local hurricane relief fund normally would not seem controversial.

But more than a few eyebrows were raised when the former first lady stipulated that part of her contribution was to be spent on educational software purchased from her son Neil's company, Ignite Learning of Austin, Texas.

"I would think if she wants to do something beneficial for Katrina victims, she shouldn't be making the decision that the vendor is her son," said Daniel Borochoff, president of the American Institute of Philanthropy, a charity watchdog group.

"Other education experts need to be making that decision, not somebody who has a family interest in the success of her son's business.""If everybody started doing that, it would ruin our whole system for tax-exempt organizations, because people would be using them to benefit their business rather than for the public benefit. That's not why our government gives tax deductions for donations," he said. "I hope other donors across the country don't start dictating that their contributions go to their family business. That would be a rip-off of our tax system."

A Sounds Eclectic Evening

So Saturday night, and Spooney and I are at A Sounds Eclectic Evening, thanks to the efforts of Grooveva, who knows how to get people up off their asses.

This is the first time I’ve gone, even though I’ve been a member of KCRW for about 10 years, and am a big fan of Morning Becomes Eclectic, and have tons of friends who’ve told me what a blast the annual concert is.

It IS fun, except that you have to pay way to much $$ for cocktails, and you have to park on the other end of CityWalk, which means you have to walk through CityWalk, that monument to the dunderheaded stroller-laden zombies of SoCal.

If someone was trying to drive me crazy, you know, like force me to commit suicide, then the plan should definitely involve me trying to get somewhere on the other end of CityWalk, thus forcing me to traverse CityWalk.

The people! They move sooooo sloooooowly, and they stop about every ten steps or so to shove more food in their kids’ mouths. And they don’t look where they’re going. And they’re easily distracted by shiny objects, and by artists drawing caricatures, and by street performers dressed in a manner similar to Michael Jackson at some past point in his career, the most popular being the “Beat It” point, and the “Billie Jean” point.

I hate people.

But the Gibson Amphitheatre is not a bad venue, sound wise, and once inside and armed with cash for drinks, a reasonably fun evening can then be had.

The bands:

Goldspot – I must admit I missed most of their set, but they sounded poppy and fun if a bit studied in their hipsterness. I do hate that they wrote the following in their program bio:

Favorite place to wake up: Next to a beautiful woman
Thing you can't live without: Poker

Ew. Can you imagine what was edited out? Favorite movie: Goldfinger. Favorite position: doggie style!

Feist – This chick fucking stood me on my ear. Her album is good, but she was so much more amazing live, like a folk-y, world-y Patti Smith. Check her out. She is the new Bjork.

Surprise Guest: Sia – She of the song “Breathe Me,” which reduces me to tears every time I hear it because of its association with the 6 Feet Under finale. She’s charming and surprisingly goofy and not sultry at all except when she stops chattering and starts singing. Unfortunately, her vocals were so loud in the mix I had to wonder if her goal that night was to shatter all the glass in the amphitheatre.

Gomez – I was so looking forward to Gomez. I’d only heard enough of their stuff to have formed a vaguely positive association. But they didn’t have their drummer, so everything they did was kinda weirdly adapted to not having a drummer. What the fuck? Where’s the drummer, guys? They’re not telling.

Surprise Guest: Main Guy from Spoon – Oh, main guy from Spoon. Where is Spoon? Why only you, the main guy from Spoon, and not Spoon? You said that Spoon “couldn’t make it,” but…you are the main guy from Spoon, so what is Spoon doing, if you are here? They’re not playing somewhere without you, are they, main guy from Spoon?

Ben Harper – I don’t dislike Ben Harper. He seems like a really talented guy, and the crowd loved him. And I believe the whole sincerity act, I do. But I dunno, all these people who want me to like Ben Harper kinda remind me of all the people who wanted me to like Dave Matthews.

Ben brought up Ziggy Marley for an endless (is there any other kind?) reggae tune. At that point, Spooney wanted to duck out for a cocktail and some fresh air. At first I thought “But it’s Ziggy Marley, a legend. Or at least the son of one.” And then I thought, “Yeah, a cocktail sounds good right about now.”

Surprise Guest: Franz Ferdinand – DJ god and MBE host Nic Harcourt crowed onstage about what a coup it was to keep the identity of their huge surprise guest stars a surprise until the very moment of their introduction. Too bad anyone who, oh, say, walked through the lobby of the theatre on their way in and was assaulted by the Franz Ferdinand t-shirts at the merch tables was not so surprised.

My readers know I think FF rocks so I won’t go on anymore about that. But at one moment, 3 guys were standing on the drum riser, all wailing on one kit at the same time, (I know, cute trick, huh?) and if your licks can hang in there in the face of that kind of assault, then my friends, you got you some licks.

Death Cab for Cutie: They began their set with two huge chords and the lyrics “So this is the New Year. And I don’t feel any different.”
Well, that is Death Cab for Cutie in a nutshell, isn’t it?
Whereas Franz Ferdinand is all perfect hipster hair and pegged pants and Beatle boots, DC4C is like a band composed of guys you knew in college. And how can you listen to your old college roommate, you know, the slightly chubby one with the attempted facial hair and the frayed Keds - how can you listen to that guy sing this and not feel changed somehow?:


The glove compartment isn't accurately named
And everybody knows it
So I'm proposing a swift orderly change
Cause behind its door there's nothing to keep my fingers warm
And all I find are souvenirs from better times


Friday, March 24, 2006

Friday fun, plus a bonus charming anecdote!

Video Dog rules. It's worth the Salon Premium subscription just to be able to go there everyday. If you don't subscribe, you can get a free day pass to view some of today's goodies:

Jon Stewart's riff on Cheney's tour rider. The Daily Show at its best.

A tribute to southern culture. Set to Dueling Banjos, natch. Hi-larious. Watch for the amorous racoon at the end.

The Eulogy from South Park's goodbye to Chef episode.

Lepre-con!

The Colbert Report's interview with my very own congressman, Brad Sherman, in which he professes to be shocked, shocked to hear that there is a porn industry in the San Fernando Valley.

Which reminds me. Several years ago, there were some dudes who lived across the street from me. They had a rundown grip truck, and seemed to make their living doing non-union movie gigs. Not so unusual. And then every once in a while, they would make what I assumed were low-budget "independent" films at their home. They would position lights outside the windows, and they would run tons of cables, etc. (Hey, I have lots of friends who actually do make low-budget films, so it's really not so far-fetched, okay?)

So one day, the guys across the street are in movie mode and I'm watching this woman out front wearing short shorts and a halter top get out of her yellow Corvette, take a duffle bag out of the trunk, and go inside the house. My ex walks up behind me.
Him: What are you looking at?
Me: Why do those guys have to hire such hoochies?
Him: What?
Me: The guys across the street. They're making another movie. Jeez, can't they get any non-hoochie actresses ever?
Him: (laughing) What?
Me: What so funny?
Him: Honey, she's a porn actress. They make porn.
Me: (shocked) What??
Him: (laughs) We live in the VALLEY, remember?
Me: I thought they made independent films.
Him: (falls down on floor laughing)
Me: Shut up, asshole.

Nevermind

Okay, about 2 minutes after posting (read post below), I went to Domenech's blog and found out he "resigned."

But check out this nicely worded "fuck you" from WaPo online editor Brady:

We appreciate the speed and thoroughness with which our readers and media outlets surfaced these allegations. Despite the turn this has taken, we believe this event, among other things, testifies to the positive and powerful role that the Internet can play in the the practice of journalism.

We also remain committed to representing a broad spectrum of ideas and ideologies in our Opinions area.


I hear they're currently vetting the entire Fox News division.

Yeah, because the opinions of self-important white male conservative preppie fucks are SO hard to find

Ugh. Even his picture makes my flesh crawl.


The online version of WaPo has hired one of the founders of RedState.com and a former Bushie to write commentary for them.

Huh?

Say it ain't so, WaPo:

The Washington Post Co.'s Web operation has touched off an online furor by hiring as a blogger a 24-year-old former Bush administration aide who co-founded a conservative site and recently referred to Coretta Scott King as a "communist."

Ben Domenech, an editor at the conservative Regnery Publishing, said he regrets the King reference, which he insists was tongue-in-cheek, and that the reaction to his new "Red America" blog is "a little meaner" than he expected.

I can't believe people would be mean to someone who said that Andrew Sullivan (who is gay) "needs a woman to give him some stability"!
That is really out of line.
Look, I'll admit that I say some hateful shit about people I don't agree with. And, by the way, they deserve it. But I would never complain that people who objected to it, or who said things about me in return, were "mean." That is so childish it's just laughable.

Jim Brady, executive editor of Washingtonpost.com, said Domenech was hired because "we were completely unrepresented by a social conservative voice."
This from the newspaper that backed BushCo's decision to invade Iraq.
He said his goal "is to provide voices from as many perspectives as possible" and that Domenech is not intended to balance anyone in particular on his staff.
Take a look at that guy. Do you really think he is bringing a new "perspective" to political commentary?
Oh, wait. Did he call Michael Moore "fat"? Ho. Ho. Ho. Man, I take everything back. Damn, that is a fresh perspective!
And if you really do need this guy to "balance" someone on your staff Mr. Brady, I think you should consider firing that someone instead.

Domenech is "controversial" and the fact that liberals object to his hiring "shouldn't really be a shock to anybody," Brady said.

Said Domenech: "I'm there to do opinion. That's what I do. I'm not a journalist."

Oh, he's there's to do opinion! Oh, okay! See, I thought he would be writing about, you know, politics and stuff in the news about policies and junk like that. I didn't know it was just doing opinion. Nevermind then!

In a letter yesterday, Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) said: "Balanced coverage and ideologically diverse editorials have long been hallmarks of responsible journalism. If The Post would like to appear evenhanded, I strongly suggest the Web site launch a similarly partisan liberal blog, 'Blue America.' "

Or better yet, don't. Better yet, hire a fucking journalist.
And maybe someone who doesn't lift other people's work. And then blame his editor.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

It's funny 'cause it's history

Headline from The Onion:

Franz Ferdinand Frontman Shot By Gavrilo Princip Bassist

Sex toys are outlawed - and yet real sex remains legal!

Where else but Mississippi would the state legislature try to interfere with their citizen's rights to bear dildos?

via Nerve

Funny

BTW, if you haven't checked out The Official Site of Grant Miller from my blog links at right, you really should.

Monument to birth control is more like it.

From the creator of The Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy Memorial and The Ted Williams Memorial Display with Death Mask, from The Ben Affleck 2004 World Series Collection, comes Monument to Pro-Life: The Birth of Sean Preston.

Yes, THAT Sean Preston.

Infant-son-of-Britney-Spears Sean Preston.

Why is the sculpture a "monument to pro-life"? According to the gallery co-owner, it's because “A superstar at Britney’s young age having a child is rare in today’s celebrity culture. This dedication honors Britney for the rarity of her choice and bravery of her decision."

The exhibit apparently includes materials from the Manhattan Right to Life Committee.

Uh, okay. I'm not exactly sure why it's a brave choice for a white trash millionaire desperate for love and attention to squeeze out the pup she intentional set out to have, but hey, it's "art," right? We're not meant to "understand" it.

At first I was sure the whole thing was a hoax or a publicity stunt, but after googling the artist and noting the cheesiness of his other work, I'm not so sure.

What do you think? Schlock, or deeply ironic?


(I'm not sure whether to thank Alex for the tip, or kick her in the behind for exposing me to this thing that makes me want to scrub my eyeballs with bleach.)

"But then, I was coked out of my mind most of the time."

W, speaking yesterday in West Virginia: "The first lesson is, is that oceans can no longer protect us. You know, when I was coming up in the '50s in Midland, Texas, it seemed like we were pretty safe. In the '60s it seemed like we were safe."

News from the Front

For those of you who still believe that so-called "pro-life" types hold the high moral ground, let's check out this handy chart from Alas (a blog) via Broadsheet:

(Sorry, I can't get it any bigger. Click on the Alas link to see it in its native habitat.)

And, some awesome news from the Mount Rushmore State. Cecilia Fire Thunder, the first female president of the Oglala Sioux tribe of South Dakota has made the following vow: "I will personally establish a Planned Parenthood clinic on my own land which is within the boundaries of the Pine Ridge Reservation where the State of South Dakota has absolutely no jurisdiction."

Fuck yeah!

I can see it now: a network of family planning clinics offering birth control, religious-bullshit-free counseling, and abortion services on reservations throughout the US.

And when you're finished with your appointment, you can hit the nickel slots.

Hey, a gal needs a little cheering up in these dangerous times.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I have met the enemy, and he is us.

Salon's War Room highlighted this bit from W's press conference yesterday:
During his press conference this morning, George W. Bush asked Americans to "imagine an enemy that says: 'We will kill innocent people because we're trying to encourage people to be free.'"
Dude, I don't have to imagine an enemy like that, since that's pretty much been our MO since we got there.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

What have I been saying?

Excerpt from a Salon article really worth reading featuring this cunt from hell and the growing anti-birth control movement:

For those who are pro-choice, the idea of fighting to ban both abortion and contraception seems contradictory: Contraception, after all, lessens the number of abortions. But once one understands what the true social and moral agenda of activists like Worthington is, and their attitude toward sexuality, the contradictions vanish. For them, sex should always be about procreation; since contraception prevents conception, it is immoral. At a deeper level, they believe that women's biological destiny is to be mothers.

Feldt says, "When you peel back the layers of the anti-choice motivation, it always comes back to two things: What is the nature and purpose of human sexuality? And second, what is the role of women in the world?" Sex and the role of women are inextricably linked, because "if you can separate sex from procreation, you have given women the ability to participate in society on an equal basis with men."

Yeah, scratch a "pro-life" person, and underneath you'll invariably find someone who can't wait to send women backwards in time.

Crumbearable

Last night while watching tv, I was inundated with commercials for this product:

What is it? It's cheese, pre-crumbled into little pieces for your convenience!

I say Crumbles ranks as one of the most annoying products ever, and not just because they reworked that insipid EMF pop song "You're Unbelievable" into their jingle: They're crumbelievable!

Although Christ knows that's bad enough.

I object to Crumbles for one reason, and one reason only: who the fuck are these people who are too lazy to crumble their own damn cheese???

Make Room on the Gigantic Hot Dog Lips Bandwagon!

Courtney needs to get on, y'all.




You know, there may be an upside to this.

She might not be able to sing with those things.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Fear Itself

Saturday night, Spooney and I were driving back from Leonor’s, an awesome vegetarian Mexican place in North Hollywood. It had just begun to drizzle when we witnessed a lightning strike on one of those super-tall power lines. The traffic light we were sitting at promptly crapped out. The electricity in the surrounding businesses and homes flickered several times, then went bye-bye. Sputtering blue sparks and poufs of smoke arose from the tower in small explosions for about half a minute.

Suddenly, I realized that I had been sitting, transfixed by the sight of the explosions, instead of paying attention to the intersection I wanted to cross. I was in the left turn lane, and so it took a bit of aggressive creeping to make my point about when I felt it was my turn to go, but that’s no surprise as California drivers couldn’t tell you the rules of a 4-way stop if their lives depended on it. Seriously, on the rare occasion that they encounter one, and it’s usually when a traffic light has gone out, their ignorance is all too apparent. “Don’t they teach the 4-way stop rules in driver’s ed in this state?” I’ve wondered many a time.

As I made my way home carefully through the wet, dark streets I contemplated what the power loss might mean if it included my street. Spooney let me know he was up for the adventure of a night of lights out. I think he was envisioning wine, and music on the dynamo radio, and a game of Yahtzee by candlelight. My vision was more about the possible spoiled food in my freezer, and the likelihood of the outage sparking some looting.

I decided not very likely, the looting, because it was cold and raining, and because there’s not a lot to loot in North Hollywood. It’s basically a lot of small-potatoes specialty businesses: Distributor Cap World, Stu’s Screen Door-O-Rama, Fan Belts R Us. Shit like that. There’s a place down the street from me that as far as I can tell, only sells batteries for construction equipment. So the looting is not very sexy in North Hollywood.

But still, a power outage is nothing to take lightly when you live in the…how you say? Ah, yes, the Big City.

Thankfully, about a mile down Vineland Ave., the electricity appeared to be on, and the traffic lights were working, and so we made it home without incident. And it looked as though the big chunk that was knocked out stopped right across the street from me. Wow.

A neighbor wandered into the street with a flashlight as I pulled into my driveway. Unlucky bastard, I thought. Meanwhile all was cozy and warm (and guarded by two mean-sounding dogs) inside my house.

I have a hard time making people who have never lived in a big city understand that it’s really not that scary. My friends and relatives who have spent their whole lives in places like Gibbon, Nebraska, and Sweetser, Indiana get pretty freaked out at even the thought of navigating a maze like LA. And when they do come to visit, they do things like point out that we are the only white people in a place of business, something that I am just so past noticing. Not because I am the Saint of the Bleeding Heart, but just because it is not a noteworthy event -- unless you are trying to size up the authenticity of an ethnic restaurant, that is.

Because to them, and to many, the danger is identified easily. The danger is what doesn’t look like you or anybody else that might attend your particular family reunion. The danger is from one of the groups that run in those “gangs” that they’ve heard so much about on the tv.

I was actually advised by a relative not to wear red or blue when I moved to LA, as those are “gang colors.” My response was to thank them, but to assure them that there was little danger of me being mistaken for a G.

Yo. You decide.




I guess living in and rubbing up against what they would look upon as the “other” part of America is one of the things that contributes to liberalism, generally. Having experienced the non-scariness of the other, I realize that the political views that go hand in hand with the fear of the other are, frankly, hokum.

I know in my heart that America will change, eventually. I could not love this country as much as I do otherwise. We will gradually give up the idea that gay people marrying will hurt our ability to marry and raise children. We will learn that the accommodation of people who speak only Spanish does not really damage us in any way at all. We will slowly give ourselves over to the idea that we need not be punished for enjoying sex. We will conduct ourselves with good humor and tolerance, instead of forever searching for the myriad of ways in which we have been wronged.

And we will seek not to merely hate the terrorists right back, but will instead find it is much more constructive to examine the reasons why we are so hated in this world, and to put some energy toward resolving that.

Peace, Gs.

This just illustrates what I've been saying all along: exercise is very, very bad for you.

LATimes:

The weather was perfect, the field enthusiastic, the times respectable, but Los Angeles' annual street party masquerading as street race was marred Sunday by the deaths of two runners and the collapse of an elderly man who was hospitalized in critical condition.

Two retired law enforcement officers died after collapsing on the route. Det. Raul Reyna, 53, suffered a heart attack at mile 24 near Olympic Boulevard and Westmoreland Avenue, two miles short of the finish line. He died at Good Samaritan Hospital. The 28-year Los Angeles Police Department veteran had worked on the use of force investigation team at Parker Center, officials said.

Retired Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy James Leone, 60, collapsed at mile 3, near Exposition Boulevard and Figueroa Street. "He just dropped … keeled over and hit his face on the pavement," said David Lawson, who interrupted his own run to administer CPR to the fallen runner."

His face was covered with blood and his eyes were open, but we never really got a pulse," said Lawson, a private pilot who volunteers part time on a ski patrol team. He and another runner, a physician, spent several minutes trying to revive Leone before paramedics arrived, said Lawson, who then resumed his run. Leone was pronounced dead upon arrival at California Hospital Medical Center.

Bubble Boy

Chris Matthews is, as I've noted before, an asshole.

War Room observes that he's an out-of-touch one as well:

As Media Matters notes, Matthews was proclaiming as late as November that "everybody sort of likes the president, except for the real whack-jobs, maybe on the left." News to the contrary seemed to sink in for Matthews earlier this week, when he had to come to terms with a Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll that found that 50 percent of the public has a "somewhat negative" or "very negative" view of the president. Matthews read the poll results on the air and declared himself "amazed."

Now, it seems, he's just bewildered. As we noted Thursday, respondents in a new Pew Research Center poll used words liked "incompetent" to describe Bush, and Matthews says he just can't believe it. "I checked this twice," he said on last night's show. "I couldn‘t believe it, but it's true -- forty-eight percent of the people responding to this poll used such words as 'incompetent,' 'idiot,' and 'liar' to describe our president. Kate O'Beirne, what happened to respect?"


What happened to respect? What happened to RESPECT??

Where do I start?

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Missouri State Legislature makes Bizzaro World-type ruling

Kansas City Star via HuffPo:

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - An attempt to resume state spending on birth control got shot down Wednesday by House members who argued it would have amounted to an endorsement of promiscuous lifestyles.

Missouri stopped providing money for family planning and certain women's health services when Republicans gained control of both chambers of the Legislature in 2003.

But a Democratic lawmaker, in a little-noticed committee amendment, had successfully inserted language into the proposed budget for the fiscal year starting July 1 that would have allowed part of the $9.2 million intended for "core public health functions" to go to contraception provided through public health clinics.

The House voted 96-59 to delete the funding for contraception and infertility treatments after Rep. Susan Phillips told lawmakers that anti-abortion groups such as Missouri Right to Life were opposed to the spending.

"If you hand out contraception to single women, we're saying promiscuity is OK as a state, and I am not in support of that," Phillips, R-Kansas City, said in an interview.


Wow, how could a so-called "pro-life" person oppose birth control, when birth control reduces abortions? I just don't get it. I'm racking my brain for an explanation, racking, racking, racking...

Jeez, could it be...I mean, it seems so illogical and backward, and so awfully primitive, and yet...

Do you think Christians, you know, the pro-life ones, do you think they could be interested more in, ah...how do I say this...more in, well, controlling women, than they are in stopping abortions?

I know. Crazy. And yet it's the only theory that fits the facts.

I know a couple of guys who could work for this company

A Guy Walks Into a Bar on YouTube via VideoDog

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Farm in the Zoo

My blogger friend Melissa over at This is it? Seriously? is very excited about becoming a volunteer for Wildlife Conservation Society at the Bronx Zoo. Her enthusiasm has made me seriously nostalgic for my days as a volunteer for the Farm in the Zoo at Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago.

Having grown up in rural Indiana, it was somehow so reassuring to know that the horses and cows and goats and sheep and pigs and chicks of the Farm were only a short bus ride away.

I know. Most people can’t believe that my acerbic personality isn’t urban-grown.

But those people have never been to Indiana. Believe me, you haven’t experienced sarcasm until you’ve experienced it at the hands of a 70-year-old farmer who gets up at 4am every goddamn morning, thinks sunglasses are for pussies, and has wrinkles in the back of his neck 1/4” deep. And you best shut up and do what he says, boy, unless you want some more. Which you don’t.

And the withering stare? That was invented in Indiana. Unlike New Yorkers, Hoosiers are people of few words, and so the withering stare is an essential communication tool for those who haven’t yet done what I asked you to. Twice now.

So to be able to live amid the culture and the nightlife and the freedom of a big city, and yet get to spend one day a week grooming horses and milking goats (yes, I can) and wrangling lambs and piglets was quite literally the best of both worlds.

The Farm in the Zoo was a “working farm,” and so the eggs and chicks and milk it produced were all put to use. When I worked there, we hatched dozens of chicks a day, and when parents would ask me what was done with them, I would tell them honestly that they were killed and fed to the birds of prey in the zoo. Most parents didn’t want their kids to hear that. My feeling was that if you’re old enough to ask, you’re old enough to know the answer. I still think it’s a pretty good policy.

Most parents didn’t want to know what happened to the male calves or kids born to our dairy cattle or goats, either. In fact, most people are pretty woefully ignorant of exactly what that meat is that’s on their plate and where it came from and what it took to get it there. Ditto dairy products for that matter.

We had a milking machine for the dairy cows, and the public was able to view this activity. Frequently it was my duty to put on the mic and answer questions from the public and spout facts about dairy cattle: which breeds yield the highest volume of milk, how many gallons a day, etc.

The first time an adult pointed to a cow in the milking machine and asked me whether it was a “boy cow” or a “girl cow,” I thought he was kidding. He wasn’t. I decided to make the question a regular feature of my talk, and I would start my spiel by asking people if they could guess the sex of the cow being milked. “Here’s a clue,” I would say. “It’s being milked.”

A surprising number of adults would still guess “boy cow.”

And 8 or 10 year-old kids on field trips from inner city schools seemed to have never even heard of a goat, let alone seen one. “Look at the little horse!” they would yell, and then they would gather around the pen, leaning over the fence with their paper bag lunches dangling from their hands. “Watch your lunches,” I would say, usually too late. Our goats could dispatch a sandwich, chips, piece of fruit and the paper bag in about 5 seconds.

The goats were my favorite. I love goats. They’re so smart and playful. And I learned how to hold a goat kid or a lamb, with one knee underneath their belly and my arms wrapped around the middle, so that small children could approach them to pet them without fear of being knocked to the ground by a sudden prong. Unfortunately, holding a baby animal in that position meant you were almost certain to be in the path of either bodily function. But after a few times getting nailed with goat kid pee, you shrug it off and don’t even bother to try to rinse off your pants before you go on to the next duty.

We also had an event called Feed the Cows. Kids and adults could line up and receive a handful of fresh hay, and they could walk down the line of stalls and let a cow eat from their hand. It was a popular event, and the cows were very well behaved for the most part. My favorite cow was the Jersey, whose coat was the color of a deer, and whose eyes were big and sad with long curly lashes. My least favorite cow was Toni, the Holstein, who once got caught on the lower half of a barn door by trying to jump it to get into the barn. She was a bad cow and you had to keep an eye on her.

There was one kid who used to come in at least a couple of weekdays every week. He looked to be about 12, and he was pretty skinny and his clothes looked kinda shabby as well. All the volunteers remembered him because he was never with a school group, and he would stand at the cow pen and stare at them for a very long time. No one could talk to him though, because he would leave as soon as any zoo people got close to him. I think he was afraid of being reported truant.

One day, while I was working the Feed the Cows activity, the kid actually came into the barn and stood in line for handful of hay. He walked down to the big, friendly Brown Swiss, and fed it to her. Then he came through again. And then again. I watched him hold his hand flat, trying not to move as the cow swept her big, rough tongue over his palm. And then, slowly, he reached up and touched her forelock. And then he petted her, in small soft motions, between the eyes.

Suddenly, the kid turned and saw me watching him. He fixed me with a hard, mean stare, and then he reached back and smacked the cow between the eyes. The Brown Swiss recoiled slightly, but remained unfazed. I opened my mouth to yell “Hey!” but I somehow never formed the word, and instead, open mouthed, I watched him take off out the barn door.

It was one of those moments that you can’t stop thinking about, but you’re not sure why. Gradually, I came to recognize that kid in the faces of many of the kids that I saw come through the farm. Kids that stood, sullen, on the edges of their groups with arms folded or hanging limply by their sides. Kids standing near the doors who wouldn’t meet your eyes. Kids that had been beat down so many times they knew better than to care about anything. Because if you don’t care about anything, then you can’t get hurt.

And they wanted to make damn sure I knew there was no room in their hearts for some dumb cow, or a pink squirming piglet, or a big gentle old horse with lips like tickly velvet.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

I really couldn't say it any better than this

Crooks and Liars quotes FireDogLake on Joe Lieberman and a woman's right to take her tired raped ass on out of that principled emergency room:

In Connecticut, rape counseling activists say a recent study concludes that about 20% of state hospitals routinely refuse to offer emergency contraceptives to rape victims who are determined to be ovulating at the time they're attacked. A proposed bill would require them to do so.

And what sayith Holy Joe about this? According to The New Haven Register:

This fight isn't exclusively being drawn along party lines.U.S. Sen. Joseph
I. Lieberman, who often takes a conservative line on social issues, is facing a liberal Democratic primary challenge from wealthy Greenwich businessman Ned Lamont. But that hasn't stopped Lieberman from supporting the approach of the Catholic hospitals when it comes to contraceptives for rape victims.

Lieberman said he believes hospitals that refuse to give contraceptives to rape victims for "principled reasons" shouldn't be forced to do so. "In Connecticut, it shouldn't take more than a short ride to get to another hospital," he said.

I'm sure that waving a chicken over your head is a marvelous cure for something but as yet we still don't call it medicine in this country. That access to emergency contraception is essential to the health and well being of rape victims is undeniable, and if Catholics can't provide that then they should get out of the fucking emergency medical business. Having to deal with their superstitious voodoo nonsense applied as science is just one more indignity rape victims do not need. If Catholics want rape victims to be forced to carry the fetuses of their attackers that's great, let them move to South Dakota.

Just asking

Over the weekend, tornados hit Missouri, Indiana, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Is this retribution?

Does God hate the Bible Belt?

Because you know if they hit California they'd sure as hell be saying that.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Does Hollywood hate you?

Jeezy-creezy, it's all-Clooney, all the time out there, folks.

Peggy Noonan tries to take him down a peg or two in this piece for the WSJ.

My theory? The conservative press is pissed that they can't write about how Brokeback Mountain winning Best Picture shows how out of touch H-wood is with "real America," so they have to pick on Clooney instead.

Noonan leads into her Clooney-fueled rightie rage with the standard fare about leftie pinko Hollywood:

But there's another challenge, an obvious one, and in the long term a bigger one. You don't have to be a genius to figure out that viewership of the Oscars is down because movie attendance itself is down, and that movie attendance is down because Hollywood isn't making the kind of movies that compel people to leave their homes and go to the multiplex.

Viewship is down because the Oscars just aren't that special anymore, Pegster. Even you have acknowledged this possibility, so why not leave it at that and stay out of crazy theoryland?

There's too many award shows, and celebrities now have whole cable channels devoted to where they shop for underwear, so you need hardly need to hand over 4 hours of your life so you can see them outside of the movie theatre anymore.

And if anyone's asking, here's why I don't go to the movies anymore: Netflix.

There are those who think Hollywood hates America, and they have reason to think it. Hollywood does, as host Jon Stewart suggested, seem detached from the country it seeks to entertain. It is politically and culturally to the left of America, and it often seems disdainful of or oblivious to its assumptions and traditions.

Let's see, an isolated industry packed full of pampered millionaires used to having their own way is out of touch with America? That's fucking brilliant, Peggy. You should have your editor remind you to use that bit again the next time you write about your friends WHO WORK ON WALL STREET. Just take out the part where it says "left" of America, and put "right" instead.

Oh, and, you're welcome.

And when, exactly, is Hollywood "disdainful of or oblivious to [America's] assumptions and traditions"? My feeling is that they do exactly the opposite, but in any case, that's a helluva thing to throw out there without feeling obligated to provide even one wafer-thin mint of an example.

I don't think it is true that studio executives and producers hate America. They are too confused, ambivalent and personally anxious to sit around hating their audience. I think they wish they understood America. I think they feel nostalgic for what they remember of it. I think they find it hard to find America, in a way.

Wow, just like in the old Simon & Garfunkle song, movie producers are in search of America.

Well, join the fucking club, then, because I'm finding it pretty hard to understand this fucked-up place as well.

Luckily, we have Peggy Noonan to provide us with hard-hitting data-based analysis.
I also think that it's not true that they're motivated only by money. Would that they were! They'd be more market-oriented if they cared only about money. What they care about a great deal is status, and in their community status is bestowed by the cultural left. This is an old story. But it seems only to get worse, not better.
Peggy, who later starts blathering on about Orson Welles, seems to be quoting him above. In Citizen Kane, Mr. Bernstein says that's "It's no great trick to make a lot of money if all you want to do is make a lot of money." Welles himself said in numerous interviews that he never felt like Hollywood producers were as interested in how much a picture makes, as much as the power of being able to say that they made a particular picture that did well, commercially as well as critically, of course.

I think the true answer is that Hollywood is nothing BUT market-oriented. It's just that when it comes to the movies, the market can be a little tricky to pin down. If you don't believe me, you might want to give The Dukes of Hazard a look-see. If that's not a product of market analysis gone to its logical and nauseous-making extreme, whooo boy!

So yes, they want to make the mindless blockbuster that makes them a gazillion dollars and launches tie-in products in every corner of every market. And yes, they want to make Brokeback Mountain. Both things are true. They want critical success AND money, yes.

So are movie critics, the ones that essentially determine critical success, the "cultural left" that Noonan is referring to, then? If not, who exactly are these people bestowing "community status," and where can I go to get some?

If a lot of the American audience, certainly the red-state audience, assumes Hollywood hates them, they won't go as often to the movies as they used to. If you thought Wal-Mart hated you, would you shop there?

Who are these people, who thinks that Hollywood "hates" them? I've gone to, like, 3 movies in the past year, and I don't think Hollywood hates me. I don't think they think I'm a very profitable demographic is all.

Maybe those people should see someone about their anger issues. Sounds like transference to me.

Which gets us to George Clooney, and his work. George Clooney is Hollywood now. He is charming and beautiful and cool, but he is not Orson Welles. I know that's like saying of an artist that he's no Rembrandt, but bear with me because I have a point that I think is worth making.

Orson Welles was an artist. George Clooney is a fellow who read an article and now wants to tell us the truth, if we can handle it.

More important, Orson Welles had a canny respect for the audience while maintaining a difficult relationship with studio executives, whom he approached as if they were his intellectual and artistic inferiors. George Clooney has a canny respect for the Hollywood establishment, for its executives and agents, and treats his audience as if it were composed of his intellectual and artistic inferiors. (He is not alone in this. He is only this year's example.)

Ah, Ms. Noonan, you bring up Orson Welles. You want us all to think you are the fan of Orson Welles. Well, Ms. Noonan, I know the movies of Orson Welles, and I've read the biographies, and I've listened to about a hundred hours of interviews of him.

And Peggy, you are no fan of Orson Welles.

Orson Welles wanted, above all, to give the audience a show. When he staged all those USO shows for the troops, he didn't read Shakespeare to them. He performed magic. He pulled a rabbit out of a hat. He made the pretty girl disappear. And then when he made her come back, he asked the pretty girl to sing the song. That's what he thought his audience wanted, and that's the only thing he ever wanted to give the audience: what he thought they wanted. And like most showmen and filmmakers, he was good at giving some people what they wanted, and not so good at giving others what they wanted.

And it was people like you, Peggy, the right-wing conservative hand-wringers and finger-waggers, that derided his work, movies like The Magnificent Ambersons, as "out of touch with America," as indeed it was. It was horribly out of touch with what America wanted to see at the movies. People laughed at the serious parts. They booed. They walked out.

So what I want to know is, when, exactly, does a "out of touch with America" become "a canny respect for his audience"?

Gentle, and not-so-gentle readers, you can go and check out the rest of her rant if you like. Please do. But I submit to you that a filmmaker who thought the audience was inferior to him would not have made Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.

So what are we talking about here? What is Peggy going on about?

You know what? I'm not sure. But I'm sure I've heard it before.

There are a hundred million American lives happening right now that do not fit into Peggy's idea of what an American life is, and every time one of them is expressed in a movie about homosexuals, or in a tv show about a minister who smokes pot, or even in a crucifix submerged in a jar of piss, people like her start screaming that those in the arts are OUT OF TOUCH.

Yes, Peggy, it is an old story, but unfortunately I think it's one you haven't figured out yet.

Be still, my heart

Clooney increases his dreamy quotient exponentially on HuffPost:
The fear of been criticized can be paralyzing. Just look at the way so many Democrats caved in the run up to the war. In 2003, a lot of us were saying, where is the link between Saddam and bin Laden? What does Iraq have to do with 9/11? We knew it was bullshit. Which is why it drives me crazy to hear all these Democrats saying, "We were misled." It makes me want to shout, "Fuck you, you weren't misled. You were afraid of being called unpatriotic."

Bridezilla

My poor sister had to spend a week attending to her good friend, Bridezilla. Gals & Guys, beware the wedding logo.

Friday, March 10, 2006

But then what would Bill Murray do between poignant hipster film gigs?

Lakini Malich points out the following: "If you remove Garfield's thought balloons, it goes from an unfunny comic to a rather sad, poignant story about a lonely man who has wasted his life talking to his cat."




via cruel.com

In-credible

You know what I would like? A little less credulity from the press when it comes to this whole deal with the congressional Republicans suddenly breaking lockstep with BushCo.
WaPo:
When President Bush and senior adviser Karl Rove mapped out plans for a political comeback in 2006, this was nowhere on the script. Suddenly, the collapse of a port-management deal neither even knew about a month ago has devastated the White House and raised questions about its ability to lead even fellow Republicans.

Do I believe the Dubai Ports World deal caught them off-guard? Yes. Do I believe that BushCo is seriously asking congressional Republicans to follow "his lead" no matter what the cost to them, politically, in this congressional election year? Uh, no.

The bipartisan uprising in Congress in the face of a veto threat represented a singular defeat for Bush, who when it came to national security grew accustomed during his first five years in office to leading as he chose and having loyal lawmakers fall in line. Now, with his poll numbers in a political ditch, the port debacle has contributed to a perception of weakness that has liberated Republicans who once would never have dared cross Bush.

So, the president's poll numbers go down, and a whole congress full of formerly cowed Republicans suddenly now feels free to let their freak flag fly?

Puh-lease.

"He has no political capital," said Tony Fabrizio, a Republican pollster. "Slowly but surely it's been unraveling. There's been a direct correlation between the trajectory of his approval numbers and the -- I don't want to call it disloyalty -- the independence on the part of the Republicans in Congress."

Oh, for chrissake.

It's just all so caluculated. And transparent.

Look, there's one thing for sure we know about the Republican party, and that's that they are all about the party, above all else. They. Want. To. Stay. In. Power.

And they know that for right now, the way to do it is to stick together. And if that means they have to put on a big show of their independence from a president whose numbers are in the toilet, then that's exactly what they'll do. And everybody in the congress knows it, and the president knows it, and you can bet your ass Karl Rove knows it.

C'mon, am I supposed to believe a Republican pollster would come out and say something like the above if it wasn't part of their larger strategy? "I don't want to call it disloyalty." -- Give me a fucking break.

Can't you just hear the halting delivery, and the faux-careful wording of the next phrase, "the independence on the part of the Republicans..."

Cue the concerned furrowing of his brow. Cue the scribbling reporters. Cue the graphic: "Congress's Break with Bush."

Too bad the Academy Award are over, huh? Cause they're putting on a pretty good show.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Where's Dick Cheney when you really need him?


Peacock feathers?????

Dang, but this fugly chick bugs the shit out of me.

At least she's deviating from her stock hide-my-ugly-ass-lazy-eye camera pose.

Is that a plume of icy material extending from your southern polar region, or are you just happy to see me?


From NASA.gov:

NASA's Cassini spacecraft may have found evidence of liquid water reservoirs that erupt in Yellowstone-like geysers on Saturn's moon Enceladus. The rare occurrence of liquid water so near the surface raises many new questions about the mysterious moon...

..."Other moons in the solar system have liquid-water oceans covered by kilometers of icy crust," said Dr. Andrew Ingersoll, imaging team member and atmospheric scientist at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif. "What's different here is that pockets of liquid water may be no more than tens of meters below the surface."

Whack-job. And proud of it.

I've never understood why people like Chris Matthews. I think he's full of shit.

I mean, this is the guy who said that W should be on Mt. Rushmore, who compared Michael Moore to Osama bin Laden, and said that "everybody likes the President, except for the real whack-jobs."

Within 5 minutes of the release of the Howard Dean "scream" clip, Matthews was on tv proclaiming the end of Dean's presidential campaign. "He's toast!" Matthews crowed with undisguised delight. I remember I yelled at the tv "He's toast if you and the other yammering idiots keep saying "He's toast" every five minutes!" And sure enough, that's exactly what happened. Not that I'm a big Howard Dean fan, but name me one other reason he was finished except that colossal dickheads like Matthews kept saying that he was.

Media Matters named him Misinformer of the Year for 2005, and they've now released an analysis that shows that his program overwhelmingly favors conservative guests.

Fuck Zogby...

...you KNOW it's bad when country music stars start criticising Bush.

See why I got the fuck outta there?

Indiana state legislators may pass a bill requiring doctors to tell women seeking an abortion that "life begins at conception." And that's not all:

The newest version also requires doctors to tell women the fetus may feel pain during the abortion, although Planned Parenthood of Indiana says there is no proof that pain will occur before the 20th week of pregnancy, which is when more than 90 percent of Indiana abortions occur.

"To suggest to a woman, where no science is evident, that it is possible to feel pain before 20 weeks is nothing short of harassment," said Michael McKillip, director of legislative affairs for the group, which supports abortion rights.


Yeah, well, god forbid a little insignificant science gets in between a Hoosier lawmaker and his goddamn narrowminded hypocritical piousness.

And it takes a woman Democrat from Gary to speak some truth to these motherfuckers:

But to Sen. Earline S. Rogers, D-Gary, who is advising the committee, it was more an issue of men getting involved in something that's none of their business. Each of the conference committee's four members is male.

"I was in labor for 24 hours, and after 20 hours, I told my husband to please leave me alone," Rogers said. "I think it's hard for a man to put himself in the position of any woman when it comes to something only we can do."


You know, it's easy to pass off this quote as the sort of "one uterus, one vote" mindset that drives men crazy on this issue, but she really has put her finger on the essential truth of the matter. Although there's no shortage of self-righteous bitches in the pro-life camp, it is perhaps easier for women to understand why the decision to have an abortion can't be legislated.

(Indy Star via War Room)

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

"This is something I've tried to hide my whole life."


What, her breasts? Obviously no. Well, it must be the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of her uncle when she was six years old, then.

Seriously, does anyone else find the combination of the quote and the photo in pretty poor fucking taste, given that what she reveals in the cover story?

Okay, but what do you wanna bet the bitch really is crazy?

Newsday:

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- A Palm Beach woman is suing Walgreens, saying that when she picked up a prescription she found an extra message attached in the section reserved for patient information _ "CrAzY!!"

Janey Karp, 53, said the prescription she picked up last week for the sleep aid Ambien also said, "She's really a psycho!!! Do not say her name too loud, never mention her meds by names & try to talk to her when ... "The information continued onto another page but was not attached.

Karp is suing the retail chain for defamation, negligent supervision and intentional infliction of emotional distress. "I was devastated, humiliated and embarrassed," Karp said. "I honestly couldn't speak. I was trembling."

Carol Hively, a spokeswoman for the Illinois-based chain, said the incident is being investigated. "The Drug Utilization Review (DUR) includes a notes field intended for the pharmacist to use to enter reminders and patient requests," Hively said. "We want to ensure that our pharmacy employees are acting in a proper and professional manner so we are looking into this matter."

Karp said she lived in Connecticut until August and asked Walgreens employees there to be discreet when discussing her medications. She said employees would often call her name loudly and make reference to her medications.

"My client is not psychotic and not insane or incompetent, but the inference is there. If everybody treated for depression is deemed crazy and psycho, there are real problems," said Karp's attorney, Cathy Lively.

This country's half-crazy

Don't believe me?


(via Huffpost)

It's already happening here

In Mexico, a woman won a legal settlement after being denied the right to an abortion after being raped at the age 13. Under Mexican law, only rape victims or those whose lives are in danger are allowed to have abortions. LA Times:

"Many pregnant rape victims are essentially assaulted twice," [Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch] said, "first by their rapist and second by public officials who ignore them, insult them and deny them their right to a legal abortion."Investigators from Human Rights Watch cited the case of a 25-year-old Mexico City woman told by health workers to order a coffin and call a hearse to take away her aborted fetus.

Human Rights Watch investigators also interviewed a 16-year-old girl in the central state of Guanajuato who was repeatedly raped by her father. She begged authorities to allow her to have an abortion but was denied."I want to declare that I don't want to have the child that I am expecting," she said, according to court documents quoted in the report. "Because it is my father's, I will not be able to love it."


Hey there, USA, wipe that smug look off your face. Think it can't happen here? Think Again. Broadsheet:

During a segment about South Dakota's bill to ban most abortions, which offers no exceptions for cases of rape or incest unless the pregnant woman's life is in danger, state Sen. Bill Napoli (R) was asked if he could conceive of a scenario in which the exception might be invoked. Indeed he could. "A real-life description to me would be a rape victim, brutally raped, savaged," he said. "The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is impregnated. I mean, that girl could be so messed up, physically and psychologically, that carrying that child could very well threaten her life."


So even mental charity cases like Napoli admit that in some instances, like the one above that he probably saw in some porno that he keeps locked in a box under his bed and takes out when the wife is out of town and the children are asleep and that he watches over and over while he beats off to the anal rape part but he can't cum because what if god is watching him, and it's all their fault anyway, those dirty whore women who tempt him with their dirty whore bodies and make him sin against god, it's their fault that he is a sinner, and they must be controlled in any way he can, they must be controlled, ahhhhhhhhh...even Napoli admits that in some cases, abortion is a reasonable option. It's just that he wants to be the one that says when. He wants to be the one to decide. Not the woman. Him.

Monday, March 06, 2006

George Clooney is the new Jack

Sure, Jack Nicholson had his usual front row seat (I think it comes with the Lakers courtside season tickets), but it was Clooney who everyone kept shouting out to all night long. Sure, they gave him the consolation acting Oscar he didn’t deserve instead of the directing one he did, but they’re signaling to him that all is forgiven after “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” a movie that managed to be really wonderful in spite of the presence of the bad-acting double whammy of Julia Roberts AND Drew Barrymore, but was universally and inexplicably hated in Hollywood. But everyone, it seems, wants to be Clooney now, and why not, right? Even Jon Stewart fantasizes about him.

Oh. Excuse me. I was just thinking about being in the middle of a Clooney/Stewart sandwich. Oh. Oh, yeah.

Is it just me, or did last night’s telecast actually go by kinda quickly, I mean, compared to other years? Usually, by the time they get around to the “In Memoriam” section, you’re already daydreaming about the sweet release that death would bring. But I gotta say that if Jon Stewart keeps hosting the Oscars, it might become slightly less easy to ridicule them.



Bastard.

On the other hand, now long can you last in Hollywood after making a Scientology joke on live tv? Fucker should be glad that Cruise wasn’t in the room, man, or else he would have been bombarded with body Thetans from one bad-ass OTVII!! Yeah!!

But back to Stewart. Okay, so funny, self-effacing opening skit: check. Funny, self-effacing opening monologue that no one laughs at because they’re too busy shitting their pants: check.

Okay, the monologue could have been funnier, but at least Jon understands the importance of ridiculing yourself above all others from the get-go. Otherwise you just look mean when you make fun of Jude Law, and then Sean Penn gets his panties in a bunch about the craft, and then the whole evening just goes to hell in a handbasket, right Chris Rock?

The Academy’s theme of the evening was “Movies are so great, right? Don’t believe us? Here’s some clips!” Jon and his team of writers seem to have anticipated this theme by starting off with a montage of clips from movie westerns designed to demonstrate that the genre has always been pretty fucking homoerotic, and they succeeded - although I think using more than one clip of Montgomery Cliff was really kind of cheating.

Throughout the evening the Academy presented 6 montages of movie clips on different themes:
HEROES & HEROINES

FILM NOIR

WIDESCREEN

ISSUES

SPECTACLES

BIOPICS
It was typical Academy fare: a good idea gone way too far. Who needs a montage every half hour in a 3+ hour program? Sensing our pain, at one point Jon declared that they were, officially “out of clips.”

Oh, if only it were true.

In fact, never was the schism between the host’s material and his team of writers and the Academy’s material and its team of writers more obvious than it was last night. Jon and his guys skewered the industry practice of lobbying for Oscar votes by presenting lobbying commercials for the Best Actress Award done as if they were negative political campaign commercials. It was hands-down the funniest thing on an Oscar telecast ever.

The Academy left Dolly Parton to her own devises to sing her nominated song, to which I say, THANK YOU JESUS. In a room full of people desperate to achieve the pinnacle of elegance and understated glamour, Dolly Parton is a breath of cheap air. Dolly doesn’t care if they make fun of her on the red carpet fashion shows, and she doesn’t lie about all the work she’s had done. Hell, I don’t even know how she even manages to move and walk around at all, given her center of gravity and the massive weight of fake hair on her head. God bless you, Dolly. And you know sweetheart, you might want to get your surgeon to let down your forehead just a little bit. Nobody with breasts that big should look so surprised all the time.

Unfortunately, although the Academy resisted the temptation to pair up the nominated songs with wildly inappropriate vocalist choices (Antonio Banderas, anyone?) they couldn’t resist monkeying with the presentations. The song from Hustle and Flow, “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp,” brought back the heinous Debbie Allen-fueled choreography of award shows past -- with a vengeance. The performers, Three 6 Mafia, did a fine job, but the dancers hired to gyrate around them looked like they dropped out of the “Fame” School of Street Cred. All that was missing was La Allen herself in her standard hooker-issue feather boa. Sheesh.

The nominated song from Crash featured a backdrop representing, as far as I can tell, a typical evening commute on the 405.

Seriously, I believe the burning car and the anguished, slow-mo crawling and running and pleading to the heavens was supposed to represent the action of the movie itself. And, seeing as how it hit all the major plot points of the movie, but without the bad dialogue and unlikely character revelations, and in a small fraction of the running time of the actual movie Crash, I think the production number should have won the Academy Award instead.

I fucking hated Crash. There, I said it. If you ask me, it’s the biggest stinker of a winner since Titanic. It’s didactic, preachy, predictable, self-congratulatory, repetitive, and sentimental, all the while pretending to be dangerous and innovative. Ugh.

Honestly, I think Academy voters know better than to give the Best Pic Oscar to this steaming pile of tripe, but I think they just didn’t want to take a year’s worth of flak from the media for naming the gay film as Best Pic. I think they don’t want to listen to another whole year of newsheads yammering “Is Hollywood Out of Touch?” and I frankly can’t blame them.

Some random thoughts:

- Is Nicole Kidman an albino now?

- Charlize – you luck out by getting a Best Actress nomination is spite of the fact that both your movie and your performance sucked, and you repay us by appearing in that hideous sack of shit? You’re on my list, you no-taste bitch.

- And generally, how hard is it, ladies, with the resources available to you, to get a dress that fits your breasts? I’m talking to you, Hillary. And Salma…oh…nevermind.

- Keith Urban’s highlights are so aggressive they’re almost hostile.

- Ben Stiller and Tom Hanks try to coast some bad bits on charm. Not surprisingly, they don’t coast far.

- Jamie Foxx’s hairline looks like it could cut diamonds. Ludacris-sized diamonds.

- Best Costume Design – Walk the Line? WTF? How hard is it to design a black suit? Especially when you have a bazillion pictures of what its supposed to look like?

- Holy shit, Ryan, how fucking hard is it to look gracious when your wife accepts an Oscar?

Yeah, tick tock on that marriage, huh?

- How wonderful was that bit with Lily Tomlin and Meryl Streep introducing Robert Altman? Why don’t those bitches make more movies, instead of fucking Jessica Alba?

And finally, I’ve been wondering why, after all these years, Los Angeles has kind of grown on me. Thanks to Jon Stewart, I now know: “Atheistic Pleasure Dome.”

Friday, March 03, 2006

It's what you live for

For those who are snark-inclined, my review of the Oscars, here, Monday.

Probably woke up next to some really ugly wolf

JackJo scores 2 in a row:

The Associated Press

March 3, 2006, 6:20 AM

CST Officials at Brookfield Zoo say they have no idea how a Mexican gray wolf's front right leg was torn off.The male wolf was in its exhibit Wednesday when zookeepers discovered that the limb was gone.

Director of veterinary services Tom Meehan says the wolf likely lost its leg in some sort of accident before the zoo opened that day.Zookeepers searched the exhibit yesterday but couldn't find the missing leg.

And they would be the last to say so.

JackJo was nice enough to send a link to the Zogby poll everyone is talking about:
An overwhelming majority of 72% of American troops serving in Iraq think the U.S. should exit the country within the next year, and more than one in four say the troops should leave immediately, a new Le Moyne College/Zogby International survey shows.

Come back Al Gore, all is forgiven.

How long before we belive it?

Cowboy and Indians

Bush in India yesterday:
"The partnership between the United States and India has deep and sturdy roots in
the values we share. Both our nations were founded on the conviction that all
people are created equal and are endowed with certain fundamental rights,
including freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of religion."

I hate shit like this. First of all, it's not true, and I think you make people cynical about government and about the history of their country when you pretend that it is.

Our forefathers had no such conviction. Not for women, not for slaves, not even for people who weren't at least landed gentry, as they were. It's the truth, and for chrissake can we just face it for once and for all and stop making up fairy stories about how the mostly wealthy men who founded this country were 150 years ahead of their time when they in fact weren't?

And India! What, is he kidding with the "created equal" bullshit?

Yeah, that's why India had to split into 2 countries after the British left, because Hindus and Muslims felt so free and equal.

And don't get me started on the caste system, which is still very much alive there. Even fucking Ghandi couldn't get rid of it. And although, like discrimination in our country, it is technically illegal, the laws are ignored with impunity. Maybe because there aren't enough people from the lower castes with the power or influence to force a change. Maybe because most of the people in India believe that social order is maintained by keeping the poor people in their place.

Come to think of it, our countries...not so different.