Monday, July 31, 2006

Because how can a priest speak the word of God if she doesn't pee standing up?

Salon has this pretty interesting story on rogue female priests who are risking excommunication by running around and ordaining each other.

Not that I think they have a chance of mitigating the Catholic Church's sky-high evil rating, but it's nice that they're giving it a try:

"It is a sin for the Church to discriminate against women and blame God for it," [organizer Joan Clark Houk] declared. "In obedience to the Gospel of Jesus, I will disobey this unjust law."

Yeah, the church is still sticking with that old chestnut about priests needing to be made in the image of Jesus, and by "image of Jesus," they mean "penis."

Plug #2

If you live in Los Angeles, or even Orange County, dammit, go see The Bigger Man at Circle X Theatre Company. These are the same people who did the brilliant Marley's Ghost outside, in the (okay, totally mild) winter, in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery a couple of years ago.

I saw The Bigger Man this weekend and loved it. Here's the "reader review" I wrote on the LATimes website:

EST/Forum/Scientology-like cults are an easy target for comedy, but The Bigger Man skewers its target beautifully without resorting to the usual "we're all zombies" schtick. And thanks to the deft direction, you're never really sure until the end how much of the creepiness is for real, and how much of it is just paranoia. Tom Fiscella and the magnetic Jen Kays are great as the Foundation zealots, and Matt Ford matches their intensity as he falls apart in their hands, piece by piece.

Plug #1

Banquet Hall rocked the International Pop Overthrow yesterday!

They've got a gorgeous new song called Ruins, and at the IPO, Rick invited Paula's trumpet player, Lily, from her other project (the amazing Paul Kelly Orchestra) to play on the song.


And if you're from Boston and you listen to the Saint Kermit podcast, you can hear Rick introduce "Nothing's Ever Free" on their recent SK 32 show. He's on about half-way through.

"I can't believe they're the same people that what killed our lord."

Does anyone else remember that brilliant soap opera spoof, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman? (It was apparently so-named because producer Norman Lear thought that anything important said on a soap opera is always said twice.) It ran from 1976-78, and featured Mary Kay Place as Loretta Haggars, Mary Hartman's neighbor who briefly makes it big as a country music star.

Loretta is brought down in a humiliatingly public way on the Dinah Shore Show. After praising the skills of the Jewish professionals in the recording industry, Loretta utters the line quoted in the title of this post.

Dinah is aghast, the studio audience goes still, and Loretta is subsequently unable to salvage her career from the damage done in that moment. And the best part is that she remains, through it all, utterly unable to understand what she did wrong.

Which brings us to Mel Gibson.

Sure, he's apologized for saying "Fucking Jews...the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world."

But does he really mean it?

I'm loathe to hold anyone's drunken ramblings against them, except...although Mel asserted that The Passion of the Christ was not anti-semitic in its portrayal of Jews, he has never distanced himself or decried the teachings of the weird retroCatholic cult his Dad belongs to, you know, the one that rejects the "Vatican 2" reforms that sorta officially let Jews off the Christian hook for, well, killing their lord and all?

Not only has he never rejected that bizarre group, many of whom, like his Dad, are apparently Holocaust deniers, but he gave them 5 mil of the TPotC profits to expand their compound in Malibu.

Which may have been what prompted Mel to assert in the midst of his DUI arrest that he "owned" the place.

Mel, baby, if you want to "own" Malibu, you better stand in line. Cause you're like the 64th most rich & famous person who lives there, don't kid yourself.

But perhaps his assertion did convince the Sherrif's office, since they did engage in some pretty clumsy attempts to clean up the record of his arrest.

But I think the really burning question in all of this is: How will this affect the production of Mel's tv miniseries on the Holocaust?

And if this incident ends up "fucking" his life and career, well, it couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Good news for morons!

A University of Arizona professor has invented a sticker to place on fruit that will tell the consumer WHEN THE FRUIT IS RIPE.

I'm sorry

Lee Siegel of the New Republic says bloggers are responsible for the length of the war in Iraq

But does she swallow?

So some parents are suing Caesar's in Vegas for $10,000 after their little girl found a used condom in the bed sheets in their room and put it in her mouth.

Everything you need to know about the Republican party

WASHINGTON - Republican leaders are willing to allow the first minimum wage increase in a decade but only if it's coupled with a cut in inheritance taxes on multimillion-dollar estates, congressional aides said Friday.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Swiss Miss? Based on the Virgin Mary.

Media Matters catches Bill O'Reilly making shit up again.

We join O'Reilly as he berates the attorney for that guy who wants to remove the giant cross from a war memorial in San Diego (yeah, good luck on that one, buddy)

O'REILLY: ...I just want to know where you're coming from before we get into the case. The Red Cross symbol is the cross all over the world, here in the United States. Would you tell the Red Cross it has to get rid of that symbol?

McELROY: No, Bill, I think most people recognize the Red Cross symbol is not the same as the Latin cross. They're quite different, and the court repeatedly makes that distinction. The Latin cross is the pre-eminent symbol of Christianity in the world and well recognized by just about everyone as the pre-eminent symbol of Christianity.

O'REILLY: But I don't understand the difference of a Red Cross from the Latin cross. It's the same cross.

McELROY: No, Bill, it isn't at all. The Red Cross, both pieces of the cross are equal in size. And the Latin cross is distinguishable by the fact that the cross piece is two thirds the size. You would recognize anyone --

O'REILLY: I see. You know historically the Red Cross adopted that because of the Christian philosophy of giving alms and giving assistance to people in need. I'm sure you know that. Because that's why they did adopt it. But you still wouldn't say they couldn't have the cross, right?

Yeah, except the Red Cross didn't adopt the Christian cross for their symbol. They adopted a reverse version of THE FLAG OF SWITZERLAND, as any 8-year-old with, oh, EYES could tell you.

And even if you've never owned or seen a Swiss army knife in your life, it would seem a simple enough thing to go the Red Cross website and see what they have to say about their symbol, and how it honors the Swiss for their role in the founding principles of the organization.

Of course, the cross on the Swiss flag is most likely derived from a Christian symbol, but that's beside the point.

But what makes this so delicious is not that O'Blowme made a mistake. Because we all do that. But he cannot merely state something that is patently wrong. He must also taunt his guest for not subscribing to that same wrong fact.

(It might seem inexplicable that I included links to images in this post, instead of the images themselves. Blame fucking Blogspot, okay? Been one of those oh-so-you-think-you're-going-to-upload-photos-eh? days.)

Offing The Hoff?

Okay, so I'm reading this pretty boring gossip item about whether David Hasselhoff, (who, by the way, is working on a musical of his life to be staged in Australia - sorry, Australia) was denied boarding on a British Airways flight because he was drunk, or because, as his publicist contends, he was suffering from a reaction to "strong antibiotics." (c'mon, who HASN'T popped a couple of Amoxicillin, dropped their drawers, and belted out show tunes in the British Airways terminal?)

And so right as I'm about to doze off, I come across this shocking revelation: "Last month, the actor sliced four tendons and an artery in a shaving accident at his London hotel."

Four tendons and an artery? Shaving accident?


Does The Hoff have a death wish?

Ooh, it's a compelling thought, ain't it? That one of the great masters of non-self-aware, non-ironic self-promotion is harboring a secret self-loathing so deep that it compels him to take razor-and-alcohol-fueled swipes at his very life force?

That kinda makes me like him just a little.

And truth be told, I really don't want him to go. I don't want him to leave us...okay, mostly because I don't want retrospectives of his life replacing the usual fine programming on my beloved E! channel.

So don't go, Hoff. Come back to us, all is forgiven. And by "all," I mean this. And this. And for chrissakes, this.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Dukakis + Schwarzenegger = crazy delicious

Apparently the Governator got clusterfucked at a recent campaign event. No, not by Democrats. His campaign doesn't allow Democrats to attend his events. These were Republicans attacking him, and get a load of some of their cricisms:
An El Cajon woman, who said she had been a Republican since the mid-1960s, chastised the governor for failing to secure the California-Mexico border and stopping illegal immigrants who come here and "get everything free."

She's so right about that! Because you know those bags of oranges that illegals sell standing on the freeway off-ramps all day in the sun? They get those for free. No, it's true.

And the Home Depot logo water jugs they strap to the backs of their beat-up late 80s Toyota pickups loaded down with gardening tools? Also free. Sure, it's a promotional item, but still.

Plata called President Bush a "bum" on immigration issues and questioned whether the governor had really sent 1,500 California National Guard troops to the border."You are on a thin piece of wall," she said, "if you don't start changing your attitude and do something for the citizens of this state."...He told her he had actually sent 1,000 troops to the border, and she threw up her hands with an expression of disgust.

"A thin piece of wall"? Lady, if you can't muster up a decent metaphor to use against a target like Schwarzenegger, then there's nothing I can do for you.

Brad Boswell, an insurance agent and longtime Republican, told the governor he was alarmed to read newspaper accounts saying Schwarzenegger has paroled nearly 100 murderers from prison. He said he also disliked the governor's proposed prison overhaul that would allow 4,500 female prisoners to be relocated to community detention centers."Why do you want to put those people back in our community?" Boswell said. "I am very, very concerned about your record on crime," he said, likening the governor to former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, a Democrat who was lambasted by Republicans during his 1988 presidential run for paroling convicted killer Willie Horton.

Willie Horton? That old chestnut? Wow. He is totally throwing down the old-style campaign kook gauntlet, dude. Awesome. You know, you almost have to respect someone like that, who finds an issue and fucking hangs with it, you know, no matter what. Kudos, old dude.

One man in the audience described unions as "the closest thing to the Communist Party that we have in California."

I'd like to see him say that to a Teamster. Seriously. I'd like to see that.

Illegal immigration also came up again, when a woman asked why people come from Ireland legally but those from south of the border do not."'We want our country back,'" she said, quoting a conservative radio talk show host.

People from Ireland come here legally? Is she serious?

That bitch has never been to Chicago, clearly.

Jesus, where did they find these people? Did the Governator go back in time and hijack the denizens of some William H. Taft campaign rally and as some sort of plot to make him seem more reasonable and liberal in contrast to the cranks of yesteryear?

One may smile, and smile, and be a villain

If Gonzales's tenure as Attorney General is making you yearn for the goofy, creepy, numbskull salad days of John Ashcroft, you're not the only one.

Old enough to carry a child to term, not old enough to make decisions about her own life

I don't know who's the bigger coward, the 14 chicken-shit Democrats who voted for that bullshit law to punish those who assist minors seeking abortions in traveling to states without parent notification laws:
Evan Bayh, Robert Byrd, Thomas Carper, Kent Conrad, Byron Dorgan, Daniel Inouye, Tim Johnson, Herb Kohl, Mary Landrieu, Bill Nelson, Ben Nelson, Mark Pryor, Harry Reid, Kenneth Salazar

Or our sorry excuse for a Democratic Senator who abstained:
Dianne Feinstein

I hate that bitch.

On the other hand, I applaud those 4 Republicans brave enough to vote against this piece-of-shit legislation:
Lincoln Chafee, Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe, Arlen Specter

I mean, can you imagine what kind of circumstances a girl must be in, to be pregnant, and to not even be able to tell her parents about it?

And you would PRESUME to tell that girl what to do with life?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

National Lampoon's Perpetrators of Sectarian Violence House

Ahead of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki's meeting with Bush at the WH today, WH Press Sec Tony Snow announced that more US troops would be moving from other locations into Baghdad to "deal with sectarian violence."

He further stated that we will be helping the government of Iraq "deal with the fact that in some cases it really is gangs of rowdies."

He added that the perpetrators of sectarian violence needed to "get off Iraq's lawn," and that he knew it was them who "TP'd Iraq last week."

The perpetrators responded by placing a flaming bag of dog poo on Iraq's porch.

Next episode: how Jesus helped my mom quit smoking

On my first date with Spooney, I did an impression of my mom that cracked him up. He loved that I could imitate my mom's voice and unique midwestern idioms, and I loved that he loved it, of course. First, because I think my mom is a hoot, and second, nothing's better than an appreciative audience!

My mom is a funny character. She is, like many of her generation, very set in certain ways and ideas.

And she lives in Sodtown, Nebraska. I am not making that name up.

Once, when I was visiting, she decided that we were going to drive around to various yard sales and look for a cake carrier. A cake carrier is really an essential bit of equipment if you are in the habit of attending any "covered dish" events, which my mother is. So, after a couple of hours of browsing various yard sales, I find a really awesome cake carrier. It was white enameled tin with a tiny painted floral pattern, and a sturdy handle, and in perfect shape, and, well, so - mission accomplished, right?

Not so fast.

The price on the cake carrier? Two dollars.

My mom looks at the price and she can not believe it. Two dollars! Two whole dollars for a yard sale cake carrier. She puts the cake carrier down and walks away.

"Mom," I say, running after her. "what is wrong with this one? It's cute!"

"Well, I don't know what they're thinking, trying to charge two dollars at a yard sale.

"What do you mean? Two dollars is cheap."

"If it was a quarter, maybe I'd buy it."

"A quarter? You're trying to find one for a quarter? Mom, come on, get this one. Look what great shape it's in!"

"I am not spending two dollars on a yard sale cake carrier."

"Well, I'm buying it for you." I turn away and walk toward the owner, digging for money in my purse.

"You are not!" Mom counters, trotting after me and trying to pull my hand out of my purse. "Two dollars is just ridiculous!" she hisses.

At that point I stop, face my mother and look her dead in the eye. "Mom," I said, "I live in Chicago. Sometimes I take two dollars, and I just throw it in the street."

"Well, for Pete's sake." was my mother's only response.

Today, that cake carrier sits on top of the coverall locker in the mud room, gathering dust. But I've got my eye on it. Someday, it will be mine.

After all, I did pay two whole dollars for it.

For more on mom and for an excellent deconstruction of Momspeak, visit my sister's blog today.

Monday, July 24, 2006

It's so easy

(Torture by Jill Greenberg)
Oh, a lot of people are upset that Jill Greenberg's awesome photo exhibition made some kids cry.

Yeah, apparently a whole lot of people are getting really worked up about the technique she used to get pictures similar to the one above from her young models.

Get this. During the photo shoots, she gave the kids a lollipop, then took it away, and then she took some pictures for about 35-40 seconds, then gave them back the lollipop.

And for this she's been called a "Sick Woman Who Should Be Arrested and Charged With Child Abuse" by

Look, forget that this is a technique used in television shows and commercials and motion pictures since there have been those things; taking candy away from a baby has been one of the top ten good-time activities since the invention of candy.

This last Saturday night, there was a kid running around a restaurant where I was eating. The kid was yelling loudly, and trying to amuse himself by running up and jumping down some steps in the dining room. His mother sat ten feet away, pretending not to notice. The staff was extremely uncomfortable about the possibility that the child might fall while jumping.

Because if he did, I guarantee you that the parents would have sued the restaurant for "unsafe brat conditions."

Anyway, as we tried to ignore the yelling and the jumping and eat our food, Spooney said "I hope he doesn't fall."

I said, "I hope he does."

And I meant it. The little shit. And I hope his bitch mom with the passive-aggressive parenting skills falls, too. Fuck her and all the selfish parents who won't fucking discipline their kids. I'm sick of it.

When you take your child out to non-Chuck E. Cheese-type dining establishments, and they start to run around screaming, or throw food, or otherwise make all the other patrons and staff completely fucking miserable, here's what you do: you say to your spawn "Either behave, or we will leave." And then, when they don't behave, you fucking leave!

Yes, that's right. You follow through on your fucking threat. You don't tell them 5o more fucking times to behave. You teach them that you mean what you say.

But no, it seems too many parents today are too selfish to deprive themselves in the interest of raising a well-behaved child. They don't want to go home. They want to be waited on for a change, and have the restaurant staff clean up after their kids for a change, and make damn sure everyone else knows just exactly what they put up with all damn day for a change.

So, what does this have to do with taking candy away from some tiny professional toddler models? Okay, nothing.

But if I'd had a lollipop with me Saturday night, I would have given it to the little brat and then taken it away about 100 times, or until I was arrested or otherwise made to stop.

And it wouldn't have been for any artistic acheivement or monetary gain, either.

It would have been for the sheer fun of it.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Your world. Delivered. To the NSA.

Federal Judge Vaugh Walker has ruled that the suit against AT&T for conspiring with the NSA to spy on Americans can go forward.

BushCo attempted to argue that proceeding with the suit, or talking about the suit, or even looking at the suit without special protective eyewear would do irreparable damage to national security.

They must think we are all retards.

When in fact only 51% of us are.

Bush's NAACP speech: the soft bigotry of low expectations

Apparently, things didn't go as well as the WH transcript would have us believe.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Muslim Stockholm Syndrome

Broadsheet posts on Syrian-born writer Wafa Sultan, the woman who told that sheik on al-Jazeera to shut up because it was her turn to speak (BTW, if you didn't see the video at the time, it's pretty cool):
Sultan, 48, was named one of Time's 100 Most Influential People this May and is one of the most high-profile critics of Islam's treatment of women. "The clash we are witnessing around the world is not a clash of religions or a class of civilizations. It is a clash between two opposites, between two eras," Sultan told eNews. "It is a clash between a mentality that belongs in the Middle Ages and another mentality that belongs to the 21st century … It is a clash between those who treat women like beasts, and those who treat them like human beings." Sultan sees Muslim oppression of women dating back 1,500 years, and believes that it is time for women to stand up and demand change.

Wow! You'd think Muslim women around the world would be applauding this woman, right? I mean, the ones that aren't busy walking 10 paces behind their man while trying to see through a 2 inch mesh hole in their body shroud, that is.

Think again:
Still, not all Muslim women are heeding her call. As Sabiha Khan, a former spokeswoman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations of Los Angeles, told eNews, "I don't believe I am less than a man. I am not a slave. I am a very educated Muslim who believes in her religion with all her heart." Khan suggests that Sultan's pro-Western approach naturally appeals to Western media, but "many Muslim women consider her mistaken and irrelevant to their community."

You know, that reminds me of my days on the boards. See, there's a term in theatre called a "king role." It's not necessarily the literal king character in the play, but it frequently is. To have the king role means that your words and your actions are so important to the other characters, that whenever you are on stage, they are in dire anticipation of the next step you take, or word you utter. The bastard about having the king role was summed up pretty nicely by fellow actor friend of mine once:

"Honey, you can look like the king, you can talk like the king, you can walk like the king all damn day. But if the other actors don't treat you like the king -- you ain't the king."

Similarly, while I think it's nice that Sabiha Khan has managed to convince her family that she is worthy of an education, and it's great that she is espousing a healthy self-esteem, it matters not one whit whether or not she feels herself less than, or slave to, a man.

Because she is.

Because she is a Muslim woman and she therefore endorses and tolerates her religion's view of her, which is that she is, well, not to put too fine a point on it - inferior.

And no, it's not just those who practice Islam who are subjugators of women. It's in the book, folks. It's a bona fide tenet of the faith and everything.

But back to Sultan and her critics:
Other members of the community question Sultan's cred, since she was once a Muslim but now considers herself a "secular human being." Sources in the eNews profile suggested that "real leadership is provided by Muslim women who seek social change according to Islam within their communities," like Iranian human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi or Canadian Shahina Siddiqi, "who has published a booklet on making mosques friendlier to women."

Oh, and I suppose those same sources would have questioned Frederick Douglas's right to question the practices of slavery, because he had escaped from it.

And they would have said that it is the role of the house negroes to critique slavery, because they are the ones attempting to reform it from within.

Look, until one of you meek little Muslim bitches stops writing booklets about building a friendlier mosque and starts burning down the mosques as nests of treachery where the oppressors plan their methods of enslavement, I am going to call this Sultan gal my own personal glittering star of Islam.

Some rough approximation of the guilty

Again with the Ezra Klein!

I can't help it. He has perfectly summed up my feelings about what may or may not be the beginning of WW3:
I have plenty of sympathy for their unwillingness to allow Hezbollah's aggression to go unchallenged, but to displace 500,000 civilians in a futile effort to bomb a diffuse terrorist group out of existence demonstrates extreme myopia and courts questions of cruelty. No one believes Hezbollah will actually cease to exist after Israel finishes pounding Lebanon -- they will reconstitute, and they will find their recruits in the froth of despair and hatred comprised when hundreds of thousands of middle class innocents find their their livelihoods destroyed, their homes rubble, and their new residences refugee camps. Israel, who's already seen attacks and terrorist sympathizers spring from Palestinian refugee camps should know better. And even if they have a tactical disagreement, their own sense of justice should confine their vengeance to some rough approximation of the guilty.

In other words: When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose

John Holbo:

The thing that makes capitalism good, apparently, is not that it generates wealth more efficiently than other known economic engines. No, the thing that makes capitalism good is that, by forcing people to live precarious lives, it causes them to live in fear of losing everything and therefore to adopt – as fearful people will – a cowed and subservient posture: in a word, they behave ‘conservatively’. Of course, crouching to protect themselves and their loved ones from the eternal lash of risk precisely won’t preserve these workers from risk. But the point isn’t to induce a society-wide conformist crouch by way of making the workers safe and happy. The point is to induce a society-wide conformist crouch. Period. A solid foundaton is hereby laid for a desirable social order.

(via Ezra Klein)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

What they won't measure, is how many real, alive, fully-formed human beings will die because of the consequences of this one stroke of the pen

Carpetbagger Report has an excellent deconstruction of W's remarks following his (first-ever!) veto of the bi-partisan stem-cell research bill.

W's speech is fairly aggravating because of all the scientific inaccuracies, but hey, I guess we've come not to expect "science" or "accuracy" from this administration, huh?

And once again, he gives his speech surrounded by so-called "Snowflake" children, that is, children adopted from frozen embryos discarded from fertility clinics.

If Bush is really serious about embryos equaling human life, he should propose legislation requiring that all embryos be implanted, period. That's it. If a couple goes to a fertility clinic, and that clinic winds up producing 5 viable embryos for them, then by god they've got to have 5 kids. We'll be lenient, of course, and let them implant them one at a time.

(Hey, forcing women to carry pregnancies to term against their will is one thing, but the president is very sympathetic to the diffculties of raising twins, heh, heh!)

But of course a law like that would basically halt the business practices of every fertility clinic in the nation.

And many of them are patronized by Republicans.

So we know that won't happen.

(via Crooks and Liars)

Relax, the Navarro-Electra void has been filled!

Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock are getting married.

Only a schmuck would hang his hat on Leviticus

I really couldn't say it any better than Megan has.

Although you're welcome to see me try.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

You're sure there's a cure and you have finally found it

What do I love more than Boogie Nights?

Magnolia. I love love love me some Magnolia.

It's one of those movies that I will watch through to the end whenever I happen across it on tv. It's the only movie in which I can stomach Tom Cruise.

Someone at has posted the Aimee Mann "Wise Up" sequence on YouTube.

(via Crooks and Liars)

The last straw

Yes, he said the word "shit." Yes, he doesn't know what the word "ironic" means. Yes, his discourse seems entirely unsophisticated for a world leader.

But the worst part?

He talks with a mouth full of food! He chews with his mouth open!

Not only that, but there's lip smackage!

Revolting is what it is.

Bush, seem here in a rare moment when his yaw is closed and his unswallowed food is not visible.

Boob job or cheek implants?

I'm a big believer in finding a mate that is exactly as skeevy as you are. It just makes all your other decisions in life, like your occupation (reality show host, or reality show contestant?), your grooming habits (oily or greasy?), and your personal style (skank or tool?), so much easier.

For that reason, I am simply devastated by the split of Carmen Electra and Dave Navarro.

Condolences, you crazy kids. The red carpet hasn't been this sad since Li'l Kim checked into the graybar hotel.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Aw, but ain't that America?

Hoosier, dolt-for-hire, and former VP Dan "potatoe" Quayle walked out of a John Mellencamp concert in Nevada on Friday. Mellencamp, also a Hoosier, dedicated his song, "Walk Tall" to "everyone hurt by policies of the current Bush administration."

Quayle later released a statement saying "Well, I think Mellencamp's performance was not very good to begin with, and the comment put it over the top.''

Mellencamp as yet has not commented on the incident, but IF HE DID, I think it would go a little somethin like dis:

Well there's a young man in a t-shirt
Listening to a rockin rollin station
Hes got a greasy hair, greasy smile
He says: lord, this must be my destination
cuz they told me, when I was younger
Boy, youre gonna be president
But just like everyting else, those old crazy dreams
Just kinda came and went.

Hey Hezbollah, we'll be back to pick you up later!

Once again, Bush meets his old nemesis, Mr. Microphone.


During a lunch with other leaders at the Group of Eight summit on Monday, Bush was caught on a live microphone talking in tough, occasionally profane terms with British Prime Minister Tony Blair about the latest conflict in the Middle East. Bush criticized the position taken by U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, and said he would soon send Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to the region.

"What they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit and it's over," Bush says with his mouth full as he buttered a piece of bread.

"Who, Syria?" asked Blair, standing next to the seated Bush.

"Right," Bush said. Within an hour, the remarks were broadcast on television stations, radio stations and websites around the world.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Hang in there baby, Friday's coming.

Remember when I said this?:

"And personally, I haven't yet scratched someone who objected to abortion on "life is sacred" grounds without finding underneath a person who finally just objected to women having sex without consequences."

Well, I'm sure you've heard about the so-called "pro-life" blogger who took an Onion article called "I'm totally Psyched About this Abortion" as real, and wrote a post that has now become a public humiliation.

Here's a bit of his post:

Who does Miss Weber blame her abortion on? The pro-life movement.

"The funny thing is, I actually have the pro-life movement to thank for this opportunity."

It's our fault? She says:

"If my HMO wouldn't have bowed to their pressure not to cover oral contraceptives, I never would've gotten pregnant in the first place."

Sorry ma'am, if you hadn't had sex you wouldn't have gotten pregnant, it's not the HMO's fault for not supporting your promiscuity while not married.

See? See what I mean? They hate fucking. And they really really hate WOMEN ENJOYING SEX. It really bugs them. Go figure. So I say the best way to get back at the so-called "pro-lifers" is to have lots of sex, and enjoy it, and talk about it a lot in loud voices in public places.

I'll go first.

I love sex. Sex is great. In fact I wish I was having sex RIGHT NOW. And no, I am NOT MARRIED. And yes, I entend to use BIRTH CONTROL. Because sex for me is NOT ABOUT PROCREATION. It is about FUN.


Seriously, though, Spooney, if you're reading this, call me.

It's the end of the world as we know it, and Bush feels fine

Ya'll, it's times like this that I get really fucking nervous about our born-again president and the whole end-times nonsensicle fairy-tale shit that he believes in.

Seriously, we're going to put someone who believes in Armaggedon and the Rapture in charge of peace in the Middle East?

So the Prime Minister of Lebanon asked world leaders to urge Israel to stop their attacks.

Russia - "President Vladimir Putin called on all sides to stand down."

Spain - "Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero warned Israel it was 'making a mistake' to attack Lebanon."

Vatican - "'In fact, the right to defense on the part of a country does not exempt it from respecting norms of international law above all for that which concerns the safety of the civilian population,' said a statement by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican's No. 2 official."

France - "President Jacques Chirac castigated the Israeli offensive into Lebanon on Friday, calling it 'totally disproportionate.'"

U.N. - Jan Egeland, the top U.N. humanitarian official: "'It is in violation of international law, and it is also in violation of common sense,' he said at the U.N.'s European headquarters in Geneva. 'You are supposed to do something to the armed group. You are not supposed to hurt the children of people who have nothing to do with this.'"

Bush - "promised to pressure Israel 'to limit damage to Lebanon ... and to spare civilians and innocent people from harm.'"

That's our leader. He promised to call Israel and say "Hey, take it easy on the collateral damage, heh, heh."

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Plamegate 2: Civil Suit Bugaloo

Valerie Plame and her husband, Joseph Wilson, have just filed suit against Cheney, Libby, Rove and "other unnamed senior White House officials."

"So what?" you say. "What difference could it possibly make?" you say. Well, I got one word for you:


Sure, it's a word you've heard before. Hell, a whole scandal-naming franchise began with Watergate.

But in the opinion of John Dean, a guy who knows a little something about the first big Gate, it was the DNC's li'l ole civil suit against the Nixon administration that was really responsible for bringing the whole thing crashing down:

The hardball politics of Nixon and his people, of course, first surfaced with the bungled break-in and attempted wiretapping at the Watergate offices of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), when the head of security of Nixon's reelection campaign was arrested there along with a small army of Cuban Americans. These activities were, of course, only the tip of an iceberg, a first bit of public evidence of a White House mentality oblivious to the law.

DNC chairman Lawrence O'Brien, an experienced political operator, correctly suspected the worst. He had been harassed by the IRS, deducing (correctly) but not knowing for certain that the audit was being pushed by Nixon himself. After the Watergate break-in, O'Brien quickly realized that Nixon's Department of Justice was not likely to expose this criminal activity, so he filed a civil lawsuit. In his memoir, he later explained why:

"We wanted to get to the bottom of [the Watergate break-in] -- we wanted the whole story, no matter where it led. There was reason to suspect that the break-in and wiretapping had been authorized by the officials of the CRP [Nixon's reelection committee]; and there was the possibility that the trail might even lead higher. We wanted the facts, and we knew they would not be easily attained. One decision we made, acting on [DNC general counsel] Joe Califano's legal advice, was to file a lawsuit against CRP. In this way, the judicial process would help us get to the truth."

Few appreciate the significance of this lawsuit in the unraveling of Watergate. It has been largely overlooked by history. A few years ago, I told Joe Califano about the impact his lawsuit had: Within the White House, it was considered one of the most difficult problems to deal with during the investigations of Watergate. The FBI was no problem -- no one has to talk to an FBI agent. And no Department of Justice is going to haul White House aides before a grand jury. But a subpoena demanding the production of documents, or an appearance to give testimony under oath at a deposition -- that was a serious threat. It also troubled the FBI and Justice Department, keeping them on their toes. It was remarkably effective.

I fuckin' can't fuckin' wait.

Now shut the fuck up before I forget that you're a man of god

From Ken Lay's memorial service, which was attended by James Baker and 41:

[Rev. William] Lawson likened Lay to James Byrd, a black man who was dragged to death in a racially motivated murder near Jasper eight years ago. "Ken Lay was neither black nor poor, as James Byrd was, but I'm angry because Ken was the victim of a lynching," said Lawson, who predicted that history will vindicate Lay.

Uh, Rev. Lawson, let me walk you through a tiny history lesson. This:

was a lynching.

What James Byrd went through, being dragged behind a truck, alive, until he was decapitated and his limbs separated from his torso - that was a lynching.

Having to put your Aspen house in your wife's name to avoid government seizure is not a lynching.

Now I can wreak Carrie-like revenge on all my enemies!

Now that I can move shit with my mind!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Please sir, can I have Samoa?

Once, when I was flying into the US, I had a layover in Puerto Rico. As I and my plane-mates deplaned in San Juan, we were told we would need to go through US Customs there, rather than at our ultimate destination, O'Hare. There was a very touristy looking couple walking right behind me. Here's a bit of their conversation:

Her: Why do we have to go through customs now?
Him: I don't know.
Her: Why can't we go through it when we enter America?
Him: I don't know, dear.

(I turn around and glare. They are oblivious.)

Her: What are they saying on the loudspeaker? I can't understand it. What language are they speaking?
Him: It must be Puerto Rican.

Yes, Americans are not only willfully ignorant of other countries, we are also fuckin' ignorant about our own.

And yes, I'm talking to you, Tucker "Hispanic immigrants from Puerto Rico" Carlson.

(via Eschaton)

Oh, snapski!


Cheney, in a May speech in the ex-Soviet republic of Lithuania, accused Russia of cracking down on religious and political rights and of using its energy reserves as "tools of intimidation or blackmail."

Asked about Cheney's remarks, Putin said, "I think the statements of your vice president of this sort are the same as an unsuccessful hunting shot."

Hoosier Target?

According to the Department of Homeland Security, the state with the highest number of potential terrorist targets is...wait for it...even though I gave it away in the title...wait some more...Yes! my own personal homeland, Indiana.

Yes, Indiana, with 8,591 potential targets on the DHS list, including the Amish Country Popcorn factory, has 50% more than New York (5,687 targets) and more than twice as many as California (3,212).

Which explains why DHS funds are distributed in such a screwy manner, because they use this wack list as the basis for that distribution.

In addition to the petting zoo, in Woodville, Ala., and the Mule Day Parade in Columbia, Tenn., the auditors questioned many entries, including “Nix’s Check Cashing,” “Mall at Sears,” “Ice Cream Parlor,” “Tackle Shop,” “Donut Shop,” “Anti-Cruelty Society” and “Bean Fest.” Even people connected to some of those businesses or events are baffled at their inclusion as possible terrorist targets.

Okay, there's an obvious joke there about the Bean Fest, but I feel like my readers have come to expect more from me than exploding fart jokes. Typical liberal blogger delusion, I know.

“Seems like someone has gone overboard,” said Larry Buss, who helps organize the Apple and Pork Festival in Clinton, Ill. “Their time could be spent better doing other things, like providing security for the country.”

Angela McNabb, manager of the Sweetwater Flea Market, which is 50 miles from Knoxville, Tenn., said: “I don’t know where they get their information. We are talking about a flea market here.”

Actually I think the DHS is totally on track with the Apple and Pork festival. Think about it. Pork. Muslims. It could be a significant symbolic win for Islamic extremists to take out the festival, especially since it occurs in a town with the same name as a president who is also strongly associated with a double entendre involving the word "pork."

And no, I don't think I'm reaching. Neither does the DHS:
“We don’t find it embarrassing,” said the department’s deputy press secretary, Jarrod Agen. “The list is a valuable tool.”

I wish I could say the same for you, buddy.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Bells On Recommends

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

It's out on video. It stars Val Kilmer and Robert Downey Jr.

I know, I know. Val Kilmer is practically talent-free. Except when he's not. Except when he's really fucking good like he is in this.

And RD2. Sigh. So talented. So fucked-up. What's not to love?

The movie contains one of my favorite dialogue exchanges ever, between Kilmer's character, Gay Perry, and Downey's, Harry Lockhart:

Perry: If I looked up "idiot" in the dictionary, you know what I'd find?
Harry: A picture of me?
Perry: No, the definition of "idiot." Which you fucking are!

11 year-old hussy attempts crucifixion of Fresno City College football team

As many as 10 men may have been involved in the rape of an 11-year-old girl by Fresno City College football players.

And, typically, the defense is already trying to sway public opinion about the victim. Yeah, the 11-year-old victim. LATimes:

[Coach] Caviglia asked Michael Idiart, a criminal defense attorney whose son he had coached two years earlier, to advise the players as a group of their rights and the legal process, Idiart said.

Idiart, who provided the counsel for free, said he believed there were seven players -one more than police said were interviewed - present.

The men were nervous and wanted to know their rights.

"The ones voicing anything said they were innocent and wondered, 'Are we going to be crucified?' " Idiart said.

If they didn't do anything wrong - and hadn't touched the girl - they should provide statements to police, Idiart said he told them. If they had done "something to be concerned with, if they touched her, even if it was consensual, or if they had done something to abet or aid [the assault], they might want to exercise their 5th Amendment privilege" to avoid self-incrimination, he advised.

It's no defense to argue the victim appeared older if she's under 14, even in consensual contact, he told them.

The men said there wasn't a party Saturday night, but some were going back and forth between a few apartments, as usual.

One or two players said they might have seen the girl come out of the bedroom or bathroom at some point, Idiart said.

The victim appeared to be older than 11, the players told Idiart. "They said she was tall and had some development... They all said she 'looked like she was 18 or 19 to me.' Whether that's true or not, I don't know. When I think of 11, I think of a girl jumping rope and playing jacks. But apparently she was more mature than that."

See what he's doing? He's getting in front of the story by implying that: 1) the girl was freely walking around the apartment, 2) she acted and looked "mature," and 3) any contact that occurred may have been consensual.

Too bad she wasn't jumping rope and playing jacks, like every good 11-year-old girl should be. Because then she wouldn't have brought this on herself with her tallness and her non-jumping-rope behavior.

BushCo blinks

Most likely prompted by the recent SCOTUS decision, the Pentagon has announced that all detainees will be treated according to the Geneva convention:

John D. Hutson, a retired rear admiral who was the top uniformed lawyer in the Navy until 2000, is one of a number of retired senior military lawyers who have filed briefs challenging the administration’s legal approach.

“We’re at a crossroads now,” Admiral Hutson said. “We can finally get on the right side of the law and have a system that will pass Supreme Court and international scrutiny.”

He and some other current and former senior military lawyers are scheduled to testify this week before one of the three Congressional committees looking into the matter. He said he plans to urge Congress to avoid trying to get around last month’s Supreme Court ruling.

Beginning shortly after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the military lawyers warned that the administration’s plan for military commissions put the United States on the wrong side of the law and breached international standards. Most important, they warned, the plan could endanger members of the American military who might someday be captured by an enemy and treated the way detainees at Guantánamo have been.

As far as I'm concerned, the families of every member of our military killed in retaliation for the treatment of Gitmo and Abu Gahraib prisoners should be suing BushCo for wrongful death.

Shine on you crazy diamond

Syd Barrett, "troubled genius" and founder of Pink Floyd, is dead at 60.

The album "Wish You Were Here," written well after the departure of Barrett from the group, was supposedly about him.

Monday, July 10, 2006

A: Knock, knock. B: Who's there? A: Moral relativism. B: Oh, shit.

Slate has a nice piece on why the so-called "pro-life" dunderheads need to pull their noggins out of their asses on the whole stem-cell thing. For example, why pick stem-cell research as their target, when it is the fertility clinics that are the actual culprits when it comes to embryo destruction? Well, of course, it wouldn't do to oppose fertility clinic operations, would it? Too many nice Republican supporters might wake up and realize what colossal hypocritical idiots those people are. Ahem:

In any particular case, fertility clinics try to produce more embryos than they intend to implant. Then-like the Yale admissions office (only more accurately)-they pick and choose among the candidates, looking for qualities that make for a better human being. If you don't get into Yale, you have to attend a different college. If the fertility clinic rejects you, you get flushed away-or maybe frozen until the day you can be discarded without controversy.

And fate isn't much kinder to the embryos that make this first cut. Usually several of them are implanted in the hope that one will survive. Or, to put it another way, in the hope that all but one will not survive. And fertility doctors do their ruthless best to make these hopes come true.

In short, if embryos are human beings with full human rights, fertility clinics are death camps-with a side order of cold-blooded eugenics. No one who truly believes in the humanity of embryos could possibly think otherwise.

The author actually cuts so-called "pro-lifers" a lot more slack in the whole sincerity area than I do. Granted, the arguments are different (at least on the side of reason) regarding the issues of stem-cell research and abortion, but I've found that most people who make anti-stem-cell research rumblings are actually completely ignorant of what stem cells are and where they come from. And personally, I haven't yet scratched someone who objected to abortion on "life is sacred" grounds without finding underneath a person who finally just objected to women having sex without consequences.

In the comments section of another blog, I got into it with one of those people on the issue of stem-cell research. I posed to her the following famous hypothetical:

A fertility clinic is burning down. You have the choice of saving only one of the following: 1) a dish filled with a dozen zygotes, or 2) one two-year-old child. Who do you choose?

My debater first responded: "knowing me, I would die trying to save them all." And then perhaps even she realized the stupendous egotism of that statement and countered instead that it was a trick question, which it most definitely is NOT. It is a difficult question, perhaps, but one designed to reveal our true feelings about the relative value of "life."

Friday, July 07, 2006

Osama462: BTW, do u like r plan? Mohammed911: OMG I am ROTFL!!!!!

Fox News:
WASHINGTON — FBI agents monitoring Internet chat rooms smashed a possible Al Qaeda-linked terrorist plot to attack New York City's underground transportation system, law enforcement officials said Friday.

Waaaaaaiiiit a second. Did they just reveal the method by which the FBI detected this terrorist plot?

Now the terrorists know that we're monitoring internet chat rooms! This does serious harm to the United States of America. Fox News should be brought up on charges of treason! They should stand before a firing squad!

Pigs fly, hell freezes over, and other colorful metaphors

Mayor Daley's patronage chief is convicted of rigging the city hiring process.

Yeah. In Chicago. Where you can't sell peanuts on the street unless you rent the peanut cart from the alderman's brother-in-law.

I used to tend bar in Chicago, and I saw a lot of it first-hand. We had to get rid of a very reliable and cheap vending machine vendor once when our alderman (city councilman) let us know that his cousin was in the vending machine business. To say nothing of the exhorbitant prices you have to pay for liquor because who you buy it from is not really up to you. And don't even get me started about the local cop on the beat who came in every week for his pay-out. And I won't even mention the linen supply mafia and their connections. So, shit yeah, that stuff still goes on.

It's Chicago, baby, come on. Remind me sometime to tell you about some of my adventures as a judge of election.

You know the best part about this conviction? It's all thanks to the dreamy US Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the fuckin untouchable new Elliot Ness of my heart.

Yeah, that Patrick Fitzgerald, the one prosecuting Scooter Libby in the Plame affair.

His prosecution of corrupt Dems in Daley's administration pretty much kills any charges of partisanship in the Plame affair, eh?

You bet your ass it does.

(thanks to JackJo for the tip)

Thursday, July 06, 2006

It's called plausible deniability

So, it was Bush who authorized the leak of CIA agent Valerie Plame's name to the press:

President Bush told the special prosecutor in the CIA leak case that he directed Vice President Dick Cheney to personally lead an effort to counter allegations made by former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV that his administration had misrepresented intelligence information to make the case to go to war with Iraq, according to people familiar with the president's interview.

Bush also told federal prosecutors during his June 24, 2004, interview in the Oval Office that he had directed Cheney, as part of that broader effort, to disclose highly classified intelligence information that would not only defend his administration but also discredit Wilson, the sources said.

Bush claims, however, that he did not authorize leaking classified information.

No, of course not. He just told Cheney to "get 'er done."

Would we have gone to war in Iraq if it weren't for the Israel lobby?

These guys say no.

Dead or Alive or, uh, um.....heh heh...uh, er.....zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

The CIA has closed down the unit that was assigned to hunting down Osama bin Laden and has reassigned those agents to other duties.

Look, let's not even argue about the man's so-called "diminished role" in al-Qaida. Fucker plotted the deaths of 3000 people. What fucking criminals are we concerned about capturing and putting on trial if not him?

(Thanks to Pops for the link)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

We get it

Yes, you're very thin. Very, very thin. Now stop it, please, all of you. Because it really is creeping me out.

Don't worry. No pictures of fireworks.

So Spooney and I had a great weekend. Sunday, we took the bikes to the beach and rode all day. Well, that is, we rode all day when we weren't playing skeeball and eating and drinking and checking out all the wonderful art on the Venice boardwalk.

Here we are having lunch at the Whaler.

At first I was all excited because we got such a sweet-ass-front-of-patio table for once. Then I realized how hot it was out there in the sun. But you know what's good for that? Beer. With ice and lime.


Don't ask me how Spooney can drink a martini in 90 degree heat in the sun. He has a high martini tolerance, I guess.

We didn't feel guilty leaving the doggies home alone all day because the day before they got an extra special treat.


We have to drive to Ventura County for an off-leash beach, of course, because of LA County doesn't allow dogs on their precious precious beaches.

This time, Buster didn't drink too much sea water and vomit like a sailor, but he did attempt to drown himself twice. He has this weird habit of retrieving the ball and then turning and swimming straight out to sea, instead of toward land. Then you have to run toward the water and scream his name and hope that he hears you before he gets too far out. Which he has every time, so far.

Buster. Proof that the handsome ones aren't always the brightest.

Who will BushCo send to his funeral?

If W has any balls at all, he'll go to his fuckin' corrupt asshole friend's funeral.

So, anyone wanna give me odds on Cheney going?