Friday, June 29, 2007

More 2000 chickens coming home to roost

The geniuses on the Supreme Court, giddy with conservative majority fever, have been busy recently.

In particular, 3 cases involving the First Amendment were decided by the court this week:


5 Votes 4 Humorlessness

This case involved some students suspended for unfurling a banner at an Olympic torch-passing event that read “Bong hits 4 Jesus.” The event was not on school property, and was not even a school event. Basically, the students were suspended because their principal, who happened to be in the same place at the same time as they, did not think their shit was funny. The court decided that the students’ message was a serious one, and because the school has, according to the court, an interest in preventing drug use, suspending the students was not an infringement on their free speech rights. Why? Because they said so.


The Separation of Church and State – Ta Da!

This case was brought by people who objected to BushCo’s White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives using taxpayer money to provide social services through religious groups. In practice, those on the receiving end of those programs must attend religious services or otherwise subscribe to or support religious activity in order to receive funds or assistance. Although the establishment of this program would seem to be a clear violation of the 1st amendment’s prohibition against “respecting an establishment of religion,” because the WHOFBCI was established via executive order, and not by the Congress, the Supreme Court ruled that it was NOT unconstitutional. Yes, I said NOT unconstitutional. Because, even though the funds are public, and the funds are appropriated by Congress, the Congress did not tell the president to specifically spend the funds for the WHOFBCI, therefore, the Congress is not violating the separation, therefore, no violation.

Yes, it’s an impressive piece of redirection, isn’t it? It’s like the Supreme Court is some kind of magician who waves his hands and flourishes his cape and yells “Behold, look over there!” And then when we look, he throws shit on our shoes.


Freedom of Speech, Inc.

The last case was brought because of the McCain-Feingold law that attempted to curb the influence of corporations over public policy through their contributions to the politicians that they carry in their pockets. M-F outlawed corporations from, for instance, airing commercials that, while not explicitly telling voters whom to vote for, do attack the opponent of their pocket pol explicitly and by name. You’ve seen these. Like on the night before Election Day, you’ll see an ad that says “ask Hilary Clinton why she voted to fund the beating of puppies with sharp sticks,” – that kind of thing.

The court, in its infinite wisdom, decided that M-F violated the 1st amendment rights of corporations.

The WHAT, you say?

Ah, yes, corporations have 1st amendment rights. Why? Because legally, they are people.

Legally, in the U.S., corporations are people. And yeah, we have the Supreme Court to thank for this. And yeah, it’s fucked up. And fuck yeah, it is the direct cause of much of what is really really really fucking wrong with this country.

For more on that fucked-up state of affairs, check out this great little doc.

For more on the fucked-up decisions of the SCOTUS, go here.

For protection of your 1st amendment rights, I have no choice but to recommend that you incorporate yourself. Hard.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Kennedy family jewels


David Talbot of Salon takes a look at the so-called CIA "family jewels" and notes that within them, former director Richard Helms kicks RFK in the nuts one last time from beyond the grave:
The CIA's new honesty is also far from complete. There is nothing in the family jewels about agency officials long suspected by congressional investigators and researchers of ties to the Kennedy assassination, including deceased agents such as William Harvey, David Phillips, David Morales and George Joannides. The agency continues to keep these records under wraps, in brazen defiance of the law.

In fact, the agency could not help taking another whack at the Kennedys with the release of its family jewels. Press reports about the declassified CIA secrets laid the blame for the assassination efforts against Fidel Castro directly on then-Attorney General Robert Kennedy. What's the original source for this anti-Kennedy smear? None other than Richard Helms, the No. 2 man at the CIA during the Kennedy presidency and a bitter enemy of the two brothers.

Helms, desperately trying to head off congressional investigations into CIA abuses in the post-Watergate period, warned that he would drag RFK -- by then conveniently dead -- into the Castro controversy. By doing this, the wily Helms was clearly trying to intimidate the Democratic-controlled Congress. At a lunch meeting in January 1975, Helms told his friend Secretary of State Henry Kissinger that "Robert Kennedy personally managed the operation on the assassination of Castro" -- confident that Kissinger would spread this around Washington, as he quickly did. Helms knew his accusation against RFK was a lie, and when later pressed by the Church Committee to provide proof, he could not, admitting that the CIA had misled Bobby about its plots. In truth, RFK was appalled when he learned that the agency was collaborating with the Mafia to kill Castro -- and Kennedy believed that he shut down this sinister operation. But he did not succeed -- the CIA continued to conspire against Castro for years after the Kennedys were removed from power.

So the next time you hear someone say that the Kennedy brothers authorized the CIA to have Castro killed, you'll know better.



Oh, and by the way...

I am Spartacus, bitch.

I distrust Mitt Romney because...


A. He is a member of a religion with a long and continuing tradition of misogyny and racism.

B. He changes his political positions in order to poll better among his party's right wing.

C. He once strapped his dog to the top of his car.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Dining Outside Without Heat Lamps; or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Global Climate Change


What is it about Al Gore, and his uncanny ability to be 100% FUCKING RIGHT ABOUT EVERYTHING that drives the media crazy? Is it because they’re always so wrongity-wrong-wrong about everything?

Witness this piece of excruciatingly disingenuous fluff from Emily Yoffe at WaPo:

It was a mild January evening, and people had filled the restaurant's outdoor patio. As our group walked past the tables, one of my friends said, "This terrifies me." I don't know if she was reassured later by the chilly April, but we are all supposed to be terrified of the weather now.

Oh, we are, huh? How about your ignorant friend, Yoffe, and her third-grade level of understanding of scientific theory? Am I supposed to be terrified of her, too? Because when you quote her in an article like she has something meaningful to say in what is perhaps the second-most-read newspaper in the country, that, um, scares me a little.

In "An Inconvenient Truth," Al Gore tells us that unless drastic global changes are made, our cities will be inundated and those of us who haven't drowned will face a world wracked by cataclysmic weather and swarming with pestilence…

Hm. I saw that movie, and I don’t remember the “swarming with pestilence” part, but I suppose a writer for the Washington Post is to be allowed a certain amount of literary license.

…I, however, refuse to see the apocalypse in every balmy day.

Well, that’s a step in the right direction, Yoffe, because 1) no one is asking you to, and 2) it’s not an accurate perception.

And I think it's wrong to let our children believe they'll be swept away before they get a chance to fret about college admissions. An article in The Post this spring described children anxious, sleepless and tearful about the end; one 9-year-old said she worried about global warming "because I don't want to die."…

Holy red herring, Batman! If you follow the link in the above paragraph, you will see that the article Yoffe references, while somewhat smarmy and superior in tone, is not about kids becoming paralyzed with fear for their future (unlike, perhaps, those of us who grew up learning to duck and cover), but about kids who are mobilizing to DO SOMETHING about global warming.

…And a recent New York Times profile of Gore tells that we are to be flooded with "An Inconvenient Truth." It is going to be shown in schools; book versions for children and young adults and a children's television show are planned. The global Live Earth concerts scheduled for July 7 are expected to raise millions, going to a three-year public relations effort, headed by Gore, to deluge us with bad news.

Yes, that’s exactly the point of all this effort, Yoffe, is to deluge us with bad news. I can’t believe you’ve seen through all the scientific jargon and the climate models and charts and the graphs, and exposed Gore and those scientists for the buzz kills that they really are. Good job! It's going to take more than a few thousand intelligent people and their facts to ruin your day, clearly.

All this is not to say that it's not getting warmer and that curbing our profligate environmental ways is not a commendable and necessary goal.

Aw, come on, Yoffe, don’t back down now! Proceed apace to thy moronic and stupifyingly self-centered point!

But perhaps this movement is sowing the seeds of its own destruction -- even as it believes the human species has sown its own.

Get it? Humans are sowing the seeds of our own destruction by slowly making our environment uninhabitable for our own species, while the environmental movement is sowing the seeds of its own destruction by…talking about the movement? Wait, that can’t be right. They are destroying themselves by…saying facts and stuff? No, shit. Anyway, there’s a parallel in there somewhere, you’ll just have to trust Yoffe on that.

There must be a limit to how many calamitous films, books and television shows we, and our children, can absorb.

Well, there’s certainly a limit to how many Yoffe can absorb: 0

It doesn't seem sustainable to expect people to remain terrified by such a disinterested, often benign -- it was so nice eating out on the patio! -- and even unpredictable enemy. (I understand we're the enemy, but the executioner is the weather.) Recall that the experts told us last year would be a record-setting hurricane season, but the series of Katrinas never materialized.

The above paragraph is such a mess I’m not sure where to begin. Maybe I should start by pointing out that the object of the movement is not to “remain terrified.” Also, I believe it is a rather dangerous simplification of the concerns of global climate change to simply label “weather” as our “executioner.” Thirdly, yes, climatologists might look at ocean temperatures, and weather patterns, and cold and warm fronts, etc., and predict weather events, like hurricanes, that actually do not always come to pass. Do you think Yoffe has just recently figured this out? And lastly, what I think our Miss Yoffe is really upset about is that like many people who dislike and level unfair criticism at Al Gore, she doesn’t care for feeling guilty about things that she likes. Some people don’t like Al Gore because they want to keep driving their Hummers; apparently Miss Yoffe is upset that Al Gore might be standing over her table on the outside patio at her favorite restaurant in January, silently judging her for enjoying the fact that its not freezing.

Hey, everybody’s got some kind of boogeyman. And if Yoffe wants Al Gore to be hers, that’s fine, I just object to her personal neurosis being presented to me as some kind of spunky objective skepticism.

Since I hate the heat, even I was alarmed by the recent headline: "NASA Warns of 110-Degrees for Atlanta, Chicago, DC in Summer." But I regained my cool when I realized the forecast was for close to the end of the century. Thanks to all the heat-mongering, it's supposed to be a sign I'm in denial because I refuse to trust a weather prediction for August 2080, when no one can offer me one for August 2008 (or 2007 for that matter).

August 2007? Here ya go, Yoffe, courtesy of the heat-mongering Farmer’s Almanac.

There is so much hubris in the certainty about the models of the future that I'm oddly reassured. We've seen how hubristic predictions about complicated, unpredictable events have a way of bringing the predictors low.

Yoffe’s Word-a-Day Calendar word of the day: hubris.

Doesn't an explanation of the concept of hubris involves some malarkey about people who are so confident in their own worldview and their own personal abilities that they either cannot see, or in fact even assist in, their own downfall?

Maybe Yoffe’s word for tomorrow will be “irony.”

It's also hard to believe assertions that the science on the future of our climate is settled when climate scientists can't agree about the present -- or the past (there is contention about the dates, causes and even the existence of the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age that followed).

Scientists argue about the facts of some past climate events, therefore, no one can say with any confidence that CO2 levels in our atmosphere will eventually bring about climate changes that will radically affect our ability to survive on Earth. Get it? It’s just logic, is all. You can’t deny her awesome logic.

Now, Gore and others say that Katrina was a product of global warming and that we can expect more and bigger storms. But there is actually brisk scientific debate over the role global warming plays -- if any -- in the creation of hurricanes.

Okay, well here I got to call “liar liar pants on fire” on poor Miss Yoffe. Gore most certainly has not, and would not, say that Katrina, or any other hurricane, was a product of global warming. Miss Yoffe, it’s like you slept right through An Inconvenient Truth. Or you had your fingers in your ears. Or like you never saw it. But that couldn’t be. Making fun of films they haven’t seen is something pathetic whacked-out bloggers like me do. It’s not something a columnist at the Washington Post would do. Right?

A study from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution last month, looking at 5,000 years of Atlantic hurricanes, found "large and dramatic fluctuations in hurricane activity, with long stretches of frequent strikes punctuated by lulls that lasted many centuries" -- with the stormier periods occurring during cooler ocean temperatures. But talking about Earth's constant, and still inexplicable, climate changes and cycles is not useful if you're trying to shock.

Actually, whether you’re trying to shock, or whether you’re trying to spur people into life-saving action, talking about climate cycles is apparently quite useful to Al Gore:

“Here's what I think we here understand about Hurricane Katrina and global warming. Yes, it is true that no single hurricane can be blamed on global warming. Hurricanes have come for a long time, and will continue to come in the future. Yes, it is true that the science does not definitively tell us that global warming increases the frequency of hurricanes - because yes, it is true there is a multi-decadal cycle, twenty to forty years that profoundly affects the number of hurricanes that come in any single hurricane season. But it is also true that the science is extremely clear now, that warmer oceans make the average hurricane stronger, not only makes the winds stronger, but dramatically increases the moisture from the oceans evaporating into the storm - thus magnifying its destructive power - makes the duration, as well as the intensity of the hurricane, stronger.”

In his new book, "The Assault on Reason," Gore denounces what he sees as today's politics of fear. Yet his own campaign of mass persuasion -- any such campaign -- is not amenable to contradiction and uncertainty. It's about fright and absolutes. But just because something can be plotted on an X and Y axis does not make it the whole truth.

Miss Yoffe, before you go, I’d like to excerpt just one more thing from Al Gore’s speech that I quoted from above:

“A hundred years ago, Upton Sinclair wrote, ‘It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon him not understanding.’”

What he said.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Meme Hamas invades Gaza Strip




















p.s. how cn I nawt includes a link to da thread what end all threadz?


Friday, June 22, 2007

Not on this list: Poisoning of Litvinenko

Yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin got snippy when speaking to an invited audience about whether his country should apologize for atrosities committed under the reign of Soviet Dictator Stalin.

"Other countries have done even more terrible things," Putin said in televised remarks. "At least we've never used nuclear weapons against civilians, never poured chemicals on thousands of kilometers, or dropped seven times as many bombs as were used in [World War II] on a small country, as it was done in Vietnam, for instance."

Good point, Putie. And given your regime’s recent tendencies to roll back democracy and the rule of law in favor of that old-timey USSR-type iron fisting, I can’t blame you for going on the offensive.

For the record, and in the spirit of fair play, I present a (partial) list of very bad things definitely NOT committed by the Putin administration:


Kennedy assassination

Exxon Valdez oil spill

Rape of Nanking

Explosion of Space Shuttle Challenger

The Crimean War

Death of Apollo Creed

Russian dressing

Boris & Natasha’s persecution of moosk and squirrel

peach, cherry, and apple vodka

red dye #2

Che Guevara t-shirts

continuity errors in From Russia With Love

red tide (the phenomenon, not the film)

Red Tide (the film)

Sean Connery’s accent in Red Tide (the film)

Fur vests

the borscht belt

Yakov Smirnoff signature catch phrase “What a country!”

Cincinnati Reds

Oksana Baiul DUI

Billy Joel cover of Back in the USSR

frostbite

insipid 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics mascot

Brian De Palma’s “homage” to the Odessa Steps sequence of Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin in The Untouchables

mispronunciation of “Stolichnaya”

1960s Dr. Zhivago-inspired white lipstick craze

Wolverines!

calling nosy people “buttinskis”

Zeppo Marx

Ragin' Hypocrite


I got an email from James Carville, of all people! And he's shilling for the Democrats! See the text below:
Dear Vikkitikkitavi,

Karl Rove
understands that elections can't be won in 2007, but they can be lost.

In fact, Karl Rove & Co. is already out training a new crop of Republican lemmings to run for office, teaching pages out of their GOP playbook on how to lie, cheat, steal and plot a Republican takeover. There is nothing Republicans want more than to avenge last November's loss. In just 7 days, we have a chance to stop them before they even pull out their next dirty trick.

June 30th marks the critical FEC fundraising deadline where Republicans will use our fundraising numbers to gauge our strength. Together we can send a message that if you're a Republican in the House still playing "follow the leader" to President Bush, we're coming after you. If you're a long-in-the-tooth Republican incumbent, we're going to introduce you to the joys of retirement. If we can't convince Republicans not to run, we can sure as hell make sure they run scared...

...You and I don't have to wait until next November to make big trouble for Republicans who have tolerated all the Bush Administration corruption, overlooked all the Bush lies and incompetence, and let President Bush bring us to the brink of disaster time and time again...

Blah blah blah, send $$$, blah blah blah.

Here's my email back to him:

Dear James,

I read that letter you signed asking the judge in the Scooter Libby trial to be merciful, because Scooter was nice to your kids.

Don't email me anymore.

Vikkitikkitavi

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Not on this list: 9/11

From today’s War Room:

Asked today whether the Bush administration "feels any responsibility" for the split among Palestinians, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow said that what reporters "really need to be thinking about" is that "the president of the United States did not bind people's hands behind their back and throw them from rooftops. The president of the United States did not masquerade around with masks pulled over the face and slay people who disagreed with Hamas."

You know, folks, we really don’t give BushCo enough credit for the things they haven’t done. In case you’re not familiar with the many, many bad, fucked-up things NOT caused by this administration, I bring you a (partial) list:


Dred Scott decision

1906 San Francisco earthquake

Disappearance of the Mayan civilization

Curse of the Billy Goat

Apartheid (mostly)

Kirsten Dunst’s teeth

Teapot Dome Scandal

Toyota Scion xB

Dane Cook

Pirates of the Caribbean II & III

fluorescent lighting

Crocs

Uggs

The Yankees

New Coke

Freaks and Geeks cancellation

Hoobastank

Great Chicago Fire of 1871

airplane food

death of Bill Hicks (as far as we know)

manpris

cankles

Michelob Ultra

Larry the Cable Guy (although they sure didn’t help)

Toronto Raptors

airplane crash and subsequent cannibalization of Bolivian Soccer team in the Andes

Circus Peanuts

Hospitaliano

Monday, June 18, 2007

Debbie Does Schlussel

Courtesy of Broadsheet comes this post from one Debbie Schlussel, who is all hot under the chastity belt about a wonderful new Yale study that finds that male congressmen with daughters are more likely to support reproductive rights than those without daughters.

From USA Today’s article on the study:

The findings, an update to a study published last year by the National Bureau of Economic Research, also show that the more daughters a congressman had, the more likely he was to vote for reproductive rights, says Ebonya Washington, an assistant economics professor at Yale.

Her new research, not yet published, expands on an analysis she did of roll-call votes during the 105th Congress in 1997-98 when she examined family composition and compared the data with voting records compiled by other groups. She used rankings by the National Organization for Women, based on votes on 20 women's issues such as equal rights, women's safety, economic security, education, health and reproductive rights. She also reviewed voting data from the National Right to Life Committee.

And here’s the conclusion that genius blogger Debbie "all the meanness of Coulter - but without the Adam's apple" Schlussel comes to:

(Prepare yourself. It’s really quite stunningly ignorant.):

(Seriously. If you have some protective eyewear, or, like a gag or some arm restraints, you might want to put them on now.):

The conclusion they want you to get from this is that pro-life Congressmen are insensitive to women and don't have contact with any.

But I'd draw a different conclusion: Congressmen who are liberal are more likely to have slutty daughters. And therefore, they are more likely to support abortion for selfish, personal reasons.

Oh, Debbie. Debbie, Debbie, Debbie.

First of all, I cannot resist this - compare the screen capture taken above with the pic from Deb’s website:

Yow. I haven’t seen a picture this misleading since the CIA stuck Oswald’s head on that standard issue “assassin with a gun” photo. I mean, lord knows I would never deny a girl the right to a little airbrushing, but holy moley! It’s like they molded her out of leftover pieces they’ve carved off Joan Rivers over the years.

And can we talk about the eye makeup in the Fox News pic for a second? I’m not sure what shape she’s trying to sculpt with such heavy usage of pearly white and dark brown contouring eyeshadow, but my suggestion to her is that in the future, she should go with something vaguely, oh, eye-shaped.

Oh, but y’all don’t want me to go on and on about Deb’s appearance in such a merely catty way. Do you? Because if you did, and you didn’t think it was beneath me or anything, then I probably would do it. I mean, if you thought it made me edgy or something…

Right. On to the logic of Debbie.

Debs, I know this might be kind of a unique idea to you, but the study wasn’t really concerned with judging the sexual habits of those congressmen’s daughters.

I know! Science not taking a prurient interest in young women’s sexuality and construing judgments about their relative moral worthiness? What the FUCK is this country coming to, right? And coming from Yale, too! Our fearless leader’s alma mater! When did they start letting women named “Ebonya” in, anyway?

So, see Debs, in this study, it was not the behavior of the daughters, but only the mere fact of having them, that caused the congressmen in question to tend to do the right thing, voting-wise. Which suggests that it’s just a little bit harder to screw women, legislatively, when you have to go home at night and look one in the face.

Especially one whose life might be very seriously affected by the decisions that you make every day when it comes to reproductive rights.

And if that’s selfishness, Debbie, then that’s exactly what his country needs more of.

Oh, and you’re a cunt.

Friday, June 15, 2007

I ain’t here on business, baby, I'm only here for fun


When you're working, and the weekend is so close that you can almost taste it, what's better than blasting a little Rosalita on those weak-ass computer speakers?

Nothing. That's what.

Jobs Americans won't do


Migrant farm worker

Dishwasher

Freeway ramp orange/flower vendor

Busboy

Gardener

Maid

California GOP Deputy Political Director

California GOP Chief Operations Officer

The last two positions were filled by the CA GOP through the HB-1 Visa program for foreign workers, a program that employers must use for “specialized” workers only, and only after a good faith effort has been made to hire a US citizen. The GOP has been pretty critical of the program, although that apparently doesn’t stop them from taking advantage of it when they need to fill those highly specialized party hack positions with guys from Canada and Australia.

Actually, if we want to be able to phase out the HB-1 program, or lower the number of Visas issued under the program, we have only to do one thing: fund math, science and technology education better than we currently do, or, in other words, better than the way which has recently earned us the coveted 24th out of 29 slot, according to the OECD.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Proof that Crocs are vile

I can't believe my sister beat me to the picture.


Although my feelings in this department have been well documented in the past.

Countdown to Pardon


The judge in the Scooter "I'm the only one going to jail? Seriously?" Libby case refused to let Libby remain free pending his appeal. For that motion to have been successful, Libby's attorneys would have had to convince the judge that there were appealable issues. 12 law professors wrote a motion to that effect on behalf of Libby. Judge Walton dismissed it, and referred to it as "not worthy of a first-year law student."

Oh, snap!

Libby's lawyers also tried to assert that the special prosecutor in the case, Patrick "Untouchable" Fitzgerald, had been given too much "independence." Whatever that means.

The judge dismissed that argument as well, reminding the defense that Fitzgerald could have been taken off the case by his bosses in the Justice Department at any time.

So, unless an appeals court throws out the conviction prior to the date when Libby reports for his sentence, the only remaining question is what will Libby wear to his perp walk?

You say he's not drinking...


...and while I'm perfectly willing to believe that he isn't, somehow, his actions at the G8 would be more forgivable if he were:
In Rome, on June 9, a reporter asked Bush about setting a deadline for Kosovo independence. "What? Say that again?"
"Deadline for the Kosovo independence?"

"A decline?"
"Deadline, deadline."

"Deadline. Beg your pardon. My English isn't very good."
Bush then declared, "In terms of the deadline, there needs to be one. This needs to come -- this needs to happen." The next day, asked when he would set a deadline, he replied, "I don't think I called for a deadline." Reminded of his previous statement, Bush said: "I did? What exactly did I say? I said, 'Deadline'? OK, yes, then I meant what I said."

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Monday Flu

Considering our fascination with the personal lives of our presidents*, you'd think that the American press would be interested in whether W, an admitted alcoholic, is drinking again.

Especially since the day after he was seen drinking, he missed some meetings at the G8 due to "an upset stomach" or "the flu" or "a bug that has been going around."

All fine excuses for staying home with a hangover, as many of my own work colleagues could attest.

Check out Johnny Yen's post for the whole story.



*I know y'all were expecting a Bill Clinton link there.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

That's funny, because I looked up "sanctimonious" in the dictionary, and I found this:


For those of you who have wisely blocked the 2000 election from your memory, let me remind you of its most heinous feature.

And no, I’m not talking about the illegal suppression of Democratic votes, the subversion of the vote-counting process in FL by Republican operatives (led by the now-beloved James Baker of the Iraq Study Group, the commission whose recommendations W ignored and ridiculed. Pssst, how you like him now, Baker?), or that dark, shameful day when the Supreme Court twisted the law to fit their own political desires.

I’m talking about the open hatred of the press for Al Gore.

Yeah, hatred. He was hated during the 2000 election, especially. The press hated Mr.-Know-It-All so much, they booed him in the press room during one of the primary debates.

The press booed Al Gore.

And then they went on to write completely unbiased and fair news stories about him! Really. Come on, they’re members of the press! How dare you suggest that they let their personal hatred of the candidate color their coverage of him!

Sure, their stories had Gore saying things he didn’t really say, and ascribed motives to him that no reasonable person would really believe he possessed, but you know, they have a sacred duty to report on each and every fax they receive from the Republican National Committee, and they took that duty VERY SERIOUSLY.

No one more seriously than the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, who, in spite of an near-crippling dislike for the former vice president, forced himself, for the sake of objective journalism, to attend a lecture Gore was giving to promote his new book:

A capacity crowd of 1,500 people jammed into Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University last night for Al Gore's speech and book-signing. But the numbers don't matter: Even if Gore were speaking before a sellout crowd at Verizon Center, he would still be the smartest guy in the room.

He reminded his listeners of this repeatedly last night.

You know, Dana, I never thought of it that way. Back when I was in college, and I would hear authors, or professors, or other scholars speak on a topic, I thought that they were doing it because, well, they knew something about it that they thought I might want to hear. I had no idea that they were just calling me stupid the whole time. Boy, am I steamed! I am going to go back to Penn State, and find that smart-ass Eastern European Literature Smartypants Lady, and tell her that just because she can speak for 50 minutes on the class structure of pre-revolution Russia, and its effects upon the character dynamics of the plays of Chekhov, does not mean that she is better than me!

"Were it possible to summarize this book in only 15 minutes, it wouldn't be the book it is, but I'll do my best," he announced en route to a 34-minute talk.

There you go again, Al Gore the Liar! Saying you’ll talk for 15 minutes, and then you talk for 34! Dana, honestly, I do not know how you can bear to be in the presence of such dissembling. You must be some kind of saint.

He waxed esoteric about the ancients: "Both the Agora and the Forum were foremost in the minds of our Founders. . . . Not a few of them read both Latin and Greek, as you know."

He waxed erudite about the Enlightenment: "Gibbon's 'The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire' was first published the same year as the Declaration of Independence and Adam Smith's 'The Wealth of Nations.' "

And he waxed informed about the Information Age: "One of the challenges in discussing the premise of this book is to establish as a concrete reality the importance of this virtual space, forgive the phrase, within which the conversation of democracy takes place."

Gore practically oozes gray matter…

That Gore! How fucking dare he! Know things! What a fucking tool!

Imagine the Iowa hog farmer cracking open "Assault on Reason," and meeting Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Paine, John Kenneth Galbraith, Walter Lippmann, Johannes Gutenberg, John Stuart Mill, Thomas Jefferson and Marshall McLuhan -- all before finishing the introduction.

Ho ho ho! A hog farmer? Dana, you are too funny! Everyone knows that hog farmers can’t read!

"The new technology called 'Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging,' or FMRI, has revolutionized the ability of neuroscientists to look inside the operations of a living human brain and observe which regions of the brain are being used at which times and in response to which stimuli," Gore writes.

Still with him?

Um, well, yeah, I am. I didn’t have any trouble following that at all, in fact.

There goes my political career!

Try this: "The architectural breakthrough associated with massive parallelism was to break up the power of the CPU and distribute it throughout the memory field to lots of smaller separate 'microprocessors' -- each one co-located with the portion of the memory field it was responsible for processing.

Not that you'd doubt Gore on these points, but, just in case, there are 273 endnotes.

Man, I am doomed. Not only did I completely understand Gore talking about what my company’s IT guy might refer to as, oh, “Computers 101,” but I thought it was a good thing to document your sources! Just goes to show you that I will never have a career in journalism, either.

Gore's main points are powerful, if not obvious: The Bush administration has manipulated the facts on the Iraq war and a range of other policies, the public has been easily manipulated, and Americans watch too much television. As in 2000, it's the way he makes his points that causes him trouble.

He makes his points with facts. “Obvious” facts. I’m not sure what the “trouble” is with that, but hey, Dana, you’re a journalist, and if you say that facts cause him trouble, then who am I to say that that statement is completely unsupported?

Of course, the passionate Gore fans who flocked to last night's speech wouldn't have been annoyed if he had opted to read from an organic chemistry textbook. The 1,500 tickets, at $16 a pop, were sold out days ago, and Politics and Prose sold books by the case…

People who like Gore really like him, I guess, is Milbank’s point. They must be some kind of crazy masochists, not to mind being called stupid for 34 minutes.

…Professor Gore used a roving microphone and paced back and forth, pausing thoughtfully and looking upward at times, putting one hand in his coat pocket and gesturing with the other.

Professor Gore. That’s funny. Because he thinks he’s smart, get it? Plus, all that looking and thinking and gesturing he does? So obviously phony and meant to belittle us.

He began by expressing his concern about the American public's knowledge. "How could it be that 70 percent of the American people genuinely believed that the person responsible for attacking on 9/11 was Saddam Hussein?" he asked. As for the Bush administration's false claims about Iraq's weapons, he called it "shocking and much more troubling to me that our nation fell for it so easily."

It’s not shocking to me. But maybe that’s because I am such a big fan of journalists like you, Dana Milbank.

Especially when you say things like this:

Gore is sanctimonious, and that's sort of the worst thing you can be in the eyes of the press. And he has been disliked all along, and it was because he gives a sense that he's better than us--he's better than everybody, for that matter, but the sense that he's better than us as reporters. Whereas President Bush probably is sure that he's better than us--he's probably right, but he does not convey that sense. He does not seem to be dripping with contempt when he looks at us, and I think that has something to do with the coverage.

Ya think?

Friday, June 08, 2007

Chapter 46, in which the blogger panders to her audience

Sometimes this whole blogging thing makes me weep for the soul of mankind, and also just confuses the hell out of me.

On Wednesday, I put up this dumb post motivated entirely by my juvenile excitement over the fact that some actress, and yes, daytime TV DOES count toward one's frequent actor miles, was featured on Go Fug Yourself wearing a cheap top from Forever 21. (And at this point I have to pause so that all my female readers can click on the Forever 21 link and browse around for a few minutes before deciding that they do not need another pair of sequined flip flops...dum de dum....la la la....ahhhhhhh....okay, ahem.) And I know the top is from that store because I also own that same top. It tickled me, that's all. LORD KNOWS I wasn't expecting any reaction from my sophisticated and erudite readers.

But apparently same readers had nothing better to do than to debate whether the top in question is a top, or a actually a dress being worn as a top, and also to make snide remarks about the value of the post overall.

One reader commented that until I show some skin myself, such sniping was to be expected.

And so I bow to the power of my readers and post the above picture, taken at the 2005 AMAs. Yes, those are my real boobs, encased in a Bebe tunic TOP that I got on sale for about 40 bucks, and that is a real "talent guest" access pass, which meant that I got to stand on the red carpet next to Brooks and Dunn, who are tall and kinda scary and probably Republican and well-armed, but were real sweet to me and Spooney and shook our hands like they meant it. That pass also meant that I could have gone backstage, if I had wanted to, but rumor was that Dick Clark's embalmers were flashing gang signs in the green room, so I thought it best to avoid that scene. Not that I'm a player hater. Far from it.

Anyway, please check out the post that the picture is from if you're inclined to enjoy celebrity gossip and general show biz cattiness. I just reread it, and it's still pretty funny in places. "Bugle bead shrapnel" in particular is pretty funny to me, and I think I might trademark it.

Anyhoo, enjoy. Happy Friday, y'all. My patio is complete, and all is right with the world.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Could be worse. The president could've written one.


For those of you with a strong gag reflex, I highly recommend a perusal of the Libby letters, that is, those letters written on behalf of Scooter "Secret Agents are SECRET?" Libby to the judge in his trial in favor of a lenient sentence. Aside from being ineffectual, the letters from Libby's friends and former colleagues wax ironic when they attempt to plead on behalf of the Libby family, warning of the potential for ruination if his career goes caput. The CIA agent Libby assisted in outing, Valerie Plame, and the effect of Libby's actions on her career, is not discussed in any of those letters. Also missing from the letters? Any input from Mr. Cheney, Mr. Rove, or #43 himself. Also absent, although for I'm sure very different reasons, are George Tenet and Colin Powell. But what IS in there? The always fucking magnificent Sidney Blumenthal points to one small paragraph of Paul Wolfowitz's letter that attempts to relate the story of one of Libby's more selfless acts:
One involves his effort to persuade a newspaper not to publish information that would have endangered the life of a covert CIA agent working overseas. Late into the evening, long after most others had left the matter to be dealt with the next day, Mr. Libby worked to collect the information that was needed to persuade the editor not to run the story.
Wow.

Leave it to Wolfowitz to hang the man he's attempting to help.

Perhaps PW was too busy banging the help at the World Bank to have noticed that Mr. Libby's defense was based in no small part on the premise that he had no idea that, by giving Ms. Plame's name to the public, he was doing anything wrong.

Way to go Wolfie. Jeezy Chreezy, is there ANYTHING you can't unintentionally screw up?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

I just want to point out something


That top? Being worn above by actress McKenzie Westmore of Passions?

I have that top.

I bought it at Forever 21.

It cost me 18 dollars.

Vikki needs to post


Okay, y’all know that I’m not so big on the memes. Especially memes that every fucking blogger on the face of the earth has done.

Not because I judge. I do not judge.

But because I just don’t think people are all that interested in the fact that I love figs, or that I once won an art contest in school by sculpting a giant bust of Elton John.

But my sister has concluded that Google is eerily accurate for her, and so it has occurred to me that perhaps it may be as good a place as any to look for an answer to noodge me out of this goddamn funk, so here goes the search:

Vikki needs a spanking – The #1 result, and certainly the most accurate. Fortunately, Spooney is always willing to oblige.

Vikki needs pink fluffy ears – Weird. It’s like Google is looking in my bedroom window.

Vikki needs a hug – Um, actually, no, I don’t.

Vikki needs a good kick in the ass – Make up your mind, dickhead.

Vikki needs to get over it – Yeah, you’d like that, wouldn’t you? Well, fuck you. I’m not getting over it.

Vikki needs to work on her phone skills – Oh yeah? Well, I think the world needs to LISTEN when our recording comes on, and wow, here's a thought - ACTUALLY TRY USING the dial-by-name directory, especially since you DO KNOW the name of the person you're trying to reach - instead of just sitting on the other end of the line pushing random numbers and drooling like a fucking idiot.

Vikki needs to take a long trip and come back with a new personality – Nice. No doubt this new personality will have improved phone skills. Again, fuck you.

Vikki needs more opportunities on the LPGA tour – Look, everybody, for the last time: I am not a dyke. I may be pushy, opinionated, and foul-mouthed, but I’m straight, okay? I. Love. Cock. So knock it off.

Vikki needs to come here and read about your penis finger – Alright, now you’re just fucking with me.

Vikki needs the whereabouts of her husband’s body – Ex-husband, okay? EX. And whatever the fuck happened to him and wherever the fuck he is I most certainly do NOT need to know about it. In fact, I also do not need this fucking shit at all, okay, Google? Go fuck yourself, Google. Fuck you, and fuck Froogle, and fuck your Google Maps with its complete fucking ignorance of the east side, and its total incompetence at identifying exits from the 110. I fucking hate you, Google, so leave me alone and stop talking about me or you’ll be fucking sorry, I promise you.

How about this, Google?

Vikki needs to find a better search engine than Google.

Vikki needs to admit that Yahoo email is superior to Google's pretentious little "gmail" nonsense.

Vikki needs to sell her Google stock.

Vikki needs to drop a dime on Google to the SEC.

Vikki needs to kill Google and dump its body where she dumped her ex-husband’s.




Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Ennui!!!!!!!!!

What’s new, you ask?

Well, Scooter “won’t forget, can’t regret, what I did for love” Libby declined to give the requisite “Geez, I’m awful sorry, Judge” speech in court, and got 30 months. Not quite the 37 months that god-among-men prosecutor Fitzgerald asked for, but a pretty far damn cry from the 0 months that the defense was requesting. But if the judge lets him stay out on bail during his appeal, he probably will end up serving exactly 0 months before his anticipated end-of-term BushCo pardon.

And then bring on the book advances! By then it’ll be about time for another former W administration official “it wasn’t my fault” whinefest.

Fuckers.

And Jesus H. Christ on a goddamn crutch, readers, I am getting just so jaded by it all, and I am particularly irked this week by the farewell of one of my favorite bloggers, Pops. Ah Pops, the only thing funnier than the comments section was the goddamn posts, motherfucker.

Oh, and then there’s this awful dickwad that our great leader has nominated for that really pesky 5th Circuit Court of Appeals seat. You know, the one that sided with corporations over employees 89% of the time, or in 160 out of 180 cases where there the judges dissented over cases involving injury-based claims and/or employment law. This asshat has cited the concept of “at-will employment” (read: we can fire your ass for any reason, any time) as a great “equalizer” of the employee/employer relationship. Get that. An equalizer.

If anyone figures out what the awesome employee power is that this big squishy dripping wet valentine to employers called “at-will employment” equalizes, please, do let me know.

But here’s the best part of the story about this twatwaffle nominee, Judge Leslie Southwick. In one of the what you must have by now figured out is extremely rare cases in which he sided with an employee in a case of wrongful termination, the employee was fired for referring to another employee as a “good ole nigger.”

Gulp.

In that one particular case, Judge Southwick thought the employee ought to be reinstated. Yeah, no “at-will” need apply, here, folks. What’s required in this case, apparently, is the full and formidable protection of the law of the land.

See why I’m so tired?

Oh, and the Dems have dropped 10 points in the polls since they fucking pussied out on the Iraq spending bill.

And that Democratic debate, man. I dunno. It’s not so much who I want to see get it as who I don’t want to see get it. Here’s where I stand right now:

Clinton: Nope

Obama: I don’t think so

Edwards: Probably not

Richardson: No

Dodd: No

Biden: Hell no

Gravel: Oh, Christ

Kucinich: Wow, how do you think he snagged the hot wife? Do you think he’s got, um, large hands for a short dude?

Such is my state of mind these days, dear gentle readers. Even the spectacle of Hilary’s highly rehearsed off-the-cuff shot across Cheney’s bow couldn’t perk me up. I am un-perkable. Los Angeles has fallen into the June gloom, and so have I.

Oh, and the contractors won’t finish the goddamn patio. I want my goddamn patio back, readers.

Where does one unlax with an apr├Ęs rat race cocktail, if not one’s patio?

Seriously.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Counselor to the President resigns to spend more time with his denial of involvement in the firing of federal prosecutors


Dan Bartlett resigned Friday. His predecessor, Karen Hughes, also resigned her position.

They both reportedly clashed with Rove.

And yet Rove is still there. The attorney scandal can't touch him.

Interesting.