February 28, 2005

 

Krup's Oscar Recap

Best Speech (Tie) : Morgan Freeman (short & sweet) and Jamie Foxx (long & sweet)
Most Deserving Award (Tie): Sideways (Best Adapted Screenplay) & Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Best Original Screenplay). That's two for the "Kewl Kids."
Worst Song: It's so hard to choose. It was either the song sung by Beyonce, the song sung by Beyonce or the song sung by Beyonce. Come to think of it, the Spanish song and the Counting Crows song sucked too. And speaking of Counting Crows...
Best Sideshow Bob Impersonation: Adam Duritz
Best Mr. Magoo Sucking On A Lemon Impersonation: Renee Zellweger
Best Dress: I Have No Idea
The WTF Award: P. Diddy, Oscar Presenter
Creepiest Couple: Melanie Griffith & Antonio Banderas
Most Visibly Pissed Loser: Annette Bening
Most Requested DVR/TIVO Moment At Our Oscar Party: The Lumet Gals (there are still unanswered questions)
Person Most Likely To Hate The Phrase "Well, Actually I'd Like To Direct": Hint: As of last night, he's now lost to actors-turned-directors three times (Robert Redford, Kevin Costner and Clint Eastwood).
Best Cameo: Albert Brooks raving about "White Chicks"
Best Chris Rock Line: "A lot of people like to bash Bush. I'm not gonna bash Bush here tonight. I saw Fahrenheit 9/11, I think Bush is a genius. I thought Bush did some things this year, you, nobody in this room could do. Nobody in this room could pull off ok? Cause Bush basically reapplied for his job this year. Now can you imagine applying for a job, and while you're applying for that job, there is a movie in every theater in the country that shows how much you suck at that job?"
Best Line Chris Rock Should Have Said In Response To Sean Penn's Ridiculous Defense of Jude Law: "You want DeNiro and all you can get is Sean Penn? Wait." (line stolen from a fellow Oscar partygoer)
Best Impersonation of The Walking Dead (3-Way Tie): "Comedy Superstar" Jeremy Irons, Oprah Winfrey (I half expected her to croak "Ell-i-ot. ET Phone Home") and The 77th Annual Academy Awards.


 

The Gates:

Been There. Done That.

gates I would never presume to be an art critic as many people in the MSM and blogosphere seem to think they are (yes, I'm talking about people like you, Keith "They look like crap" Olbermann), but I know what I like and I like what I know. Was (were?) The Gates a profound, moving experience? No. Beautiful? No, but cool...and cool's pretty good in my book.gates Was the experience of walking through Central Park on a crisp, sunny day with my wife gates and hundreds (thousands?) of fellow New Yorkers, tourists and dogs, while being surrounded/engulfed by a seemingly endless amount of "saffron" a trip? Most definitely.
gates
With that said, I would consider this subway "installation"
subway
just as much a work of art as The Gates, so what the hell do I know? (Obviously not a helluva lot since my wife informed me, right after I took that pic, that it's illegal to do so ever since 9/11. It would appear that our city is still being terrorized.)

February 27, 2005

 

Mr. Trudeau, We Salute You:


Doonesbury

February 26, 2005

 

Today's (Not So) Fun Fact:



Did you know that, since "the troubled" country of Iraq once again "turned the corner" when they held "relatively" trouble-free elections on January 30th, there have been 56 U.S. casualities?

Well? Did you?





February 25, 2005

 

Not All Large Corporations Are Evil
(A True Story)


So for years I owned this no-brand 20GB MP3 player called a "Personal Jukebox." I bought it because I have a ton of music and at the time there were no other players even approaching 20 gigs. Of course, I salivated when the ubiquitous iPods came out and secretly hoped that someday my Personal Jukebox would up and die on me.

That sad/happy day occurred the first weekend of February. On Monday, I went down to the Apple Store in SoHo and went for it: I bought "The Mother of All MP3 players", the 60GB iPod. To quote Stimpson J. Cat: "Jooooooy!"

Then, I read the news the other day, oh boy: Apple announced it was lowering its 60 gig iPod by a whopping $150! To quote Ren Hoek, Astmuha Hound Chihuahua: "You Idiot!"

A friend asked if I had bought it with an American Express Card. Sure enough, I had. Apparently they have some sort of "Best Value Guarantee" program. But, I soon found out it's not available for all cards, and, as luck would have it, the card I used was a big no go. However, I was on the phone with "The Nicest Customer Service Person Ever" (dang, I never got her name). Anyway, she saw by my records that I've had a long, prosperous (for American Express) history with the company and that if I held on, she'd take a look and see what she could do. Typical minutes passed while I suffered through a really terrible version of Dave Brubeck's "Take 5." Then, "The Nicest Customer Service Person Ever" got back on the line and told me she was going to credit my account the full $150! Unbelievable.

Now comes the really sappy part: Maybe it's the fact that I'm suffering from the worst Post Nasal Drip ever...or that I haven't had a day off in 3 weeks...or that I chose to quit drinking for the month of February...but I literally cried tears of joy. I told "The Nicest Customer Service Person Ever" that she was, quote, "The Nicest Customer Service Person Ever." She thanked me and told me that she's been doing this job for 17 years and that she "still loves it."

And that's the end of my "Not All Large Corporations Are Evil" story. Thanks for listening and have a nice day...

 

Jimmy...Meet Hunter


I was pretty shocked that the Grammy Awards skipped the great Jimmy Smith in it's "I See Dead People" tribute, especially since he died a week before the Grammys were held. Please don't tell me they couldn't find a picture of Smith or do a last minute re-edit.

Fortunately there is some justice in the world: A certain "J Smooth" has seen fit to put together a 26 minute megamix mashup of some of Jimmy's greatest work mixed with highlights of Hunter S. Thompson's "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." Believe it or not, it works. Ch-ch-check it out (click on Jimmy or Hunter)...


Jimmy

Hunter




February 24, 2005

 

"A Voice of the New Media"



Who is this "refreshing," "bruised but not broken," "rock solid" (and "cut") voice, "so feared by the left it had to take (him) down?"

Why it's none other than our favorite whore, Jimmy-Jeff-Guckert-Gannon, who's decided to join the blogging craze you've all been hearing about.

I'm with AMERICAblog on this one: Jimbo's out of his friggin' mind.


 

Groucho Marx or George W. Bush?



(with apologies to World O'Crap's Deep Thoughts, by Peggy Noonan)


Rufus T. Firefly: I'd be unworthy of the high trust that's been placed in me if I didn't do everything in my power to keep our beloved Freedonia in peace with the world. I'd be only too happy to meet with Ambassador Trentino, and offer him on behalf of my country the right hand of good fellowship. And I feel sure he will accept this gesture in the spirit of which it is offered. But suppose he doesn't. A fine thing that'll be. I hold out my hand and he refuses to accept. That'll add a lot to my prestige, won't it? Me, the head of a country, snubbed by a forgein ambassador. Who does he think he is, that he can come here, and make a sap of me in front of all my people? Think of it - I hold out my hand and that hyena refuses to accept. Why, the cheap ball-pushing swine, he'll never get away with it I tell you, he'll never get away with it.

[Trentino enters]

Rufus T. Firefly: So, you refuse to shake hands with me, eh?

[slaps Trentino with his glove]



George W. Bush: "This notion that the United States is getting ready to attack Iran is simply ridiculous. Having said that, all options are on the table."

 

It's An Honor Just To Be Nominated,
Blah, Blah, Blah



No, seriously, I was truly honored to have been a finalist for Most Humorous Post in this year's Koufax Awards. I was in extremely good company. And, the good thing about not winning is now I don't have to buy all those drinks I promised to my friends who voted for me (the deal was people: I had to win for you to qualify for the free booze)...

Congrats to all the winners. Go to Wampum for more details and do yourselves a favor and check out all of these fine blogs:
Best Blog: Daily Kos
Best Pro Blog: Talking Points Memo
Best Writing: Hullabaloo
Best Post: "If America Were Iraq, What Would it be Like?" by Juan Cole
Best Series (tie): "The Rise of Pseudo-Fascism" by David Neiwert and "Cheers and Jeers" by Bill at Daily Kos.
Best Group Blog: MyDD
Most Humorous Blog: Jesus' General
Best Expert Blog: Informed Comment
Best Single Issue Blog (tie): TalkLeft and Grits for Breakfast
Best New Blog: Mouse Words
Most Deserving of Wider Recognition: Suburban Guerrilla
Best Commenter: Meteor Blades

February 22, 2005

 

True Family Values



I received an interesting e-mail today from an organization called American Family Voices. At first I thought, "oh no, time for some more right wing propaganda." However, I was pleasantly surprised when I linked to the AFV site. There I found the following statements:
American Family Voices is focusing public attention on the issues that matter to working families.

AFV strongly feels that Social Security privatization is a dangerous gamble to make with workers' hard earned money.

Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) introduced a pension reform bill that would give workers more control over their pension funds and would hold greedy corporate executives more accountable if their actions result in pension losses. AFV feels that the Kennedy bill (S. 1992) is the best hope for progress in the pension debate.

Let's put some of (Bush's budget) cuts into perspective. Under the new budget, 154 programs would face heavy cuts or elimination. Total savings: about $15.3 billion. That seems like a lot, but consider this: the price tag on Bush's Medicare boondoggle jumped by nearly $200 billion in one day when shady accounting practices used to sell the legislation were exposed. Bush's deep cuts on things like housing for the mentally ill and child literacy programs will create only minimal savings.
I have no idea how I got on their list, nor do I know who's behind them. But I like how nice, safe and friendly their site looks:

afv

afv

Sometimes you've got to take a page out of the Republican handbook if you want to win the "Family Values" P.R. war...

 

The Confounding World of Rupert Murdoch



There's a nightly forum for this putz:



"We saw what happened in Massachusetts and its court decision on gay marriage, and that's not the American vision" - Sean Hannity
and then there's a weekly forum for what will soon be television's longest running comedy (sorry Ozzie, sorry Harriet):


(Click cartoon for more)


 

Exclusive Bush Recording!



I'm Just Sayin' has acquired yet another secret recording made by Bush's "old friend" Doug Wead. Wead had initially refused to release this tape, concerned that the conversation might be a little too personal for public consumption. You be the judge.


Click the tape recorder to listen:

ak47


February 21, 2005

 

He's a Joker, He's a Smoker, He's a Midnight Toker


"I'm a Sinner."
Holding the Bag


So sayeth (saideth?) the 43rd President of the United States:
"I don't want any kid doing what I tried to do 30 years ago," Bush said in recordings made when he was governor of Texas and aired Monday on ABC's Good Morning America. "And I mean that. It doesn't matter if it's LSD, cocaine, pot, any of those things, because if I answer one, then there will be another one. And I just am not going to answer those questions. And it may cost me the election."
I always figured fratboy smoked pot and snorted coke. But LSD? Awesome, dude! And you gotta love that the recordings were made by a guy named Doug Wead. Here's another highlight:
"I have always loved marijuana. It has been a source of joy and comfort to me for many years. And I still think of it as a basic staple of life, along with beer and ice and grapefruits - and millions of Americans agree with me."
Well, actually that was Hunter Thomspon who said that. Couldn't resist...


Editor's Note: I find it interesting that different news outlets chose to highlight different quotes. My first link includes this statement...
"I'm not going to kick gays, because I'm a sinner. How can I differentiate sin?"
...but leaves out the coke, pot and LSD quote. The second link does the opposite. Curious "reporting," no?

 

Hunter S. Thompson, 1937-2005


The unwitting Godfather of all snarky, political blogs has left the building (with his own shotgun, no less). Fortunately, he also left us with thoundsands of parting shots...
America... just a nation of two hundred million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.

The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

Every now and then when your life gets complicated and the weasels start closing in, the only cure is to load up on heinous chemicals and then drive like a bastard from Hollywood to Las Vegas ... with the music at top volume and at least a pint of ether.

Call on God, but row away from the rocks.

Myths and legends die hard in America. We love them for the extra dimension they provide, the illusion of near-infinite possibility to erase the narrow confines of most men's reality. Weird heroes and mould-breaking champions exist as living proof to those who need it that the tyranny of "the rat race" is not yet final.
R.I.P., sir. You too Sandra Dee and John Raitt. And, of course, George Michael...

February 18, 2005

 

George Michael Is Dead



Dead Man WalkingR.I.P.

Oh, sorry. I read this all wrong:
George Michael Says Pop Is Dead

"I think my own genre is dead," Michael said Wednesday as he presented the movie at the Berlin International Film Festival. "I don't really think that there is anyone in the modern pop business who I feel I want to spar with."

Michael, 41, said he wants to "try to move my career into a different form - I don't know what that's going to be yet."
Well seeing as his "career" hasn't moved for well over a decade, I'd say that's a jolly good idea. Here's a suggested "form": How about a hairdresser? Or two hairdressers? And get a shave, for crying out loud...

 

Let's Have Some Fun With
Other People's Bandwidth


Like most of you, I tend to get most of my information from The Daily Show. And now that Comedy Central's finally had the good sense to yank Colin Quinn off the air (yes, some of his guests were very clever and funny but Quinn is neither...plus he's never mastered the ability to speak in complete sentences), we now get a full hour of The Daily Show (a new show followed by a repeat of the previous night's show). Let's hope they continue this practice forever.

Anyway, last night I was able to watch a repeat of Wednesday night's show (which featured the great Gannon/Blog Cabin Republican story). This was followed by a very informative Lewis Black commentary, mostly focusing on porn, masterbation and, wait for it: The Parents Television Council. The PTC's mission seems to be to watch and catalog all sorts of perversions on the tube, from "gratuitous sexual innuendo" to necropohilia, all because, and I quote: "Our Children Are Watching."

Well, the PTC runs a website. You can go to it right now: www.parentstv.org (but I'd prefer it if you finished reading my post first). Once you're there, you'll see a link to "Worst of the Week Clips Gallery". On this page you'll find that gratuitous sexual innuendo you've been dying for (as well as that necrophilia someone else died for).

It's so nice that the PTC has compiled all of these clips...Because Our Children May Not Know What To Watch. Our children now have a handy website filled with all the stuff their parents have been trying to protect them from (yeah, like "our children" don't just go over to their friends' houses and watch all of this crap anyway).

So, here's the plan: Go to the "Gallery" and watch the clips. All of them. Watch them over and over. Tell your friends to do the same. The more people who watch, the more expensive the PTC's bandwidth becomes. Then maybe they'll have less money to harass SpongeBob and cheer on the FCC for increasing indecency fines.

Try it. I think it'll be fun (if nothing else, you'll get to watch the great South Park "Whore Off" between Paris Hilton and Mr. Slave).

For more fun (that will take a little bit more of an effort), our old friend, The Rude Pundit, has a grand idea to spread (poor choice of words) the Gannon/Guckert scandal to the Religious Right. Go here for the background and go here for the specifics of The Rude Pundit's scheme.

 

Some Friendly Advice


If you think it might be a good idea to detox after the holiday craziness of December (followed closely by your birthday "week" in January), choosing February as the month in which you stop drinking (February, of course, being the shortest month), yet you are the type of person who tends to get a wee bit snippy at the smallest provocations (tourists who stop in the middle of the sidewalk; subway riders who try to enter the car before letting people off; taking creative direction from the marketing department), then I'd suggest sticking with the sauce...otherwise, you'll be living in Crankyville for 28 days.

On the other hand, after you see this video clip (courtesy of The Next Left by way of TBogg), you might want to consider drinking only the hard stuff and laying off the grape. And whatever you do, don't drink anything while watching this...

 

If The Shoe Fits...


TargetShoe

Rukmini Callimachi of the Associated Press seems to think there's something wrong with throwing a shoe at Richard Perle:
Howard Dean, the newly minted leader of the Democratic Party, and former Pentagon adviser Richard Perle made clear their opposing views on the war in Iraq during a debate marred by a protester who tossed a shoe at Perle.
Marred? Marred? Sorry, but this was the first bit of news that made me smile in weeks.

Callimachi also seems to have difficulty understanding what a "barb" is:
"Defense is a lot broader than swaggering around saying you're going to kick Saddam's butt," Dean said Thursday, drawing cheers from the crowd in this city that overwhelmingly voted Democratic last November...

Perle had his own barbs, too. He began his opening comments in the 1 1/2-hour debate by saying Democrats "looked at the Democratic Party and chose a physician to lead them."
Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. That Richard Perle is quite nimble with the zingers. Good thing Howard Dean's a doctor...he's gonna need some ointment for that whopper of a sting.

One more thing: Is it me or does Perle look like a crazier (if that's possible) version of John Malkovich?


Update: Crooks and Liars has the video.

February 17, 2005

 

Life During Wartime


This ain't no fooling around. The Bottom Line? New York continues to treat it's historic nightclubs like (the) Mudd (Club):
The legendary downtown club that ushered in American punk rock is in danger of being priced out of its longtime haunt.

CBGB is facing the prospect of shutting down when its lease expires in August — and its annual rent could reach nearly half a million dollars.

For more than 30 years, CBGB has anchored the Bowery with its eclectic mix of live bands.

When owner Hilly Kristal opened the club in 1972, rent was a mere $600 a month for the space under a Bowery flophouse.

But now that the neighborhood has become chic — that is, pricey — Kristal's rent could reach almost $40,000 a month, twice what the Village Voice says is now $20,000.
The Village Gate: Gone. Tramps: Gone. Brownies: Gone. Coney Island High: Gone. Mudd Club: Gone. The Bottom Line: Gone. Tonic: Almost Gone. Luna Lounge and Fez: Soon to be Gone.

But I hear you can go see U2 at Madison Square Garden for $169.50.

Sad. Very, very sad.

 

Attention Bush Voters, Part Who Cares?
(Just Go Cheney Yourselves)



Our "Catastrophic Success":
"The Iraq conflict, while not a cause of extremism, has become a cause for extremists," (CIA Director Porter) Goss told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

"Those jihadists who survive will leave Iraq experienced in and focused on acts of urban terrorism. They represent a potential pool of contacts to build transnational terrorist cells, groups and networks in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and other countries," he said...

FBI Director Robert Mueller testified al Qaeda remained intent on attacking the United States, likely by using low-tech methods of the kind employed in 2001 when terrorists killed about 3,000 people after hijacking airliners with box-cutters.

Goss said al Qaeda or another group would likely try to eclipse the Sept. 11 attacks by using nuclear, chemical or biological weapons that authorities say could be stolen or purchased from nations such as North Korea.
But what the hell do you care? The vast majority of Bush voters don't live anywhere near a potential terrorist target. I know all of us here in New York City are looking forward to your tears and sympathy and visits to the next Ground Zero. I bet there'll be really cool hats and buttons for sale...

February 15, 2005

 

They Recalled Gray Davis
for a Helluva Lot Less



The Bush Brain Trust is at it again:
The latest chapter in the legal history of torture is being written by American pilots who were beaten and abused by Iraqis during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. And it has taken a strange twist.

The Bush administration is fighting the former prisoners of war in court, trying to prevent them from collecting nearly $1 billion from Iraq that a federal judge awarded them as compensation for their torture at the hands of Saddam Hussein's regime.

The rationale: Today's Iraqis are good guys, and they need the money.

The case abounds with ironies. It pits the U.S. government squarely against its own war heroes and the Geneva Convention.

Many of the pilots were tortured in the same Iraqi prison, Abu Ghraib, where American soldiers abused Iraqis 15 months ago. Those Iraqi victims, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has said, deserve compensation from the United States.

But the American victims of Iraqi torturers are not entitled to similar payments from Iraq, the U.S. government says...

On July 7, 2003, the judge handed down a long opinion that described the abuse suffered by the Gulf War POWs, and he awarded them $653 million in compensatory damages. He also assessed $306 million in punitive damages against Iraq. Lawyers for the POWs asked him to put a hold on some of Iraq's frozen assets.

No sooner had the POWs celebrated their victory than they came up against a new roadblock: Bush administration lawyers argued that the case should be thrown out of court on the grounds that Bush had voided any such claims against Iraq, which was now under U.S. occupation.
Ah, yes: The Compassionate Conservatism of the Bush Administration. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside...

February 14, 2005

 

Miss the Grammys?



Well, to be truthful, you didn't miss all that much...except this was pretty cool:

Loretta and Jack
However, I'm sensing you might have felt a little left out around the water cooler this morning. Silly you: You could have saved face if you had checked in with the internets before you hit the office.

The Gods of Bandwidth, aka Crooks and Liars are providing the video "higlights" (Hint: It's certainly not this atrocity):

Mr. and Mrs. Excitement
... and, even better, Neal Pollack's got the commentary, including these fine observations:
7:00 p.m.: Queen Latifah appears and informs us that there are four stages and five bands, and this is just the opening number. Why look! It's the Black Eyed Peas, singing the LeBron James highlight-film theme song. Is this our new national anthem? Before I can get a chance to write down another basketball joke, there's Gwen Stefani, wearing what remains of Kevin Kline's outfit from "The Pirates Of Penzance." Goddamn, that woman's got gams! She's accompanied by Eve, who looks like Whitney Houston version 2.0. Hot Asian girls, also kind of dressed like pirates, surround them. Why am I not TiVoing this? Oh, that's right. I don't have TiVo. But if I did, this segment would scream late-night freeze-frame!

Band No. 4 is the mysterious Maroon 5 with that song I hear all the time at the gym. Catchy! The lead singer looks like Keanu Reeves and the keyboardist looks like a PIRG canvasser. They won't be around next year. Uh-oh. The Black Eyed Peas are singing and Maroon 5 is playing, followed by Franz Ferdinand, a better band. Suddenly everyone is singing and playing at the same. Despite what the New York Times said this morning, it's not a mash-up. It's more like the finale of "Les Miz," with guitars and break dancing...

7:18 p.m.: Steven Tyler pays lip service to the great piano player Pinetop Perkins, who's in the audience looking leathery and wearing a cowboy hat, no doubt thinking, Boy, I was living in a garage in Mississippi while you were doinking Bebe Buell upstairs at the Mudd Club. Where the hell were you then? Then Los Lonely Boys win an award, and Perkins rolls over in his future grave...

7:55 p.m.: Queen Latifah informs us that tomorrow morning, "everyone will be talking about the next 15 minutes." Everyone who didn't watch "Desperate Housewives" or the Pro Bowl, that is. It looks like the unstoppable conversation express is being led by the world performance debut of the world's most passionate husband and wife, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony!

He stands at a purple-lit window that fronts a set on loan from Home Depot. The set parts to reveal J.Lo, wearing a lime-green curtain held together by long strips of silver and gold glitter. She's in what appears to be the honeymoon suite at the world's cheesiest boutique hotel. There's a reason these two haven't sung together in public before. It's because Marc Anthony is humiliatingly better than Jennifer Lopez. At least with Ben Affleck, it was an even match of talentlessness; the equivalent to J.Lo performing with Marc Anthony would be Affleck hitching his wagon to Frances McDormand. I think J.Lo's handlers assume that we'll take the spiciness of their love for granted because they're Latin, but those of us who have truly felt passion cannot be deceived! They walk around the hotel room in what is supposed to be a dance of seduction, but they don't even really acknowledge each other's presence. Mike Wallace and Morley Safer have more sexual chemistry onstage than J.Lo and Marc Anthony...

9:11 p.m.: Eddy Arnold gets his lifetime achievement recognition from Billy Bob Thornton, who then introduces Tim McGraw to sing a song. Hmm. Bad Santa considers Tim McGraw "a good friend." Perhaps I should reexamine my opinion of Tim McGraw. Nope. I'm sorry, call me an indie snob if you want, but Tim McGraw is just a country version of "Tuesdays With Morrie." The song, "Live Like You Were Dying," is about a man who gets bad news from his doctor, but doesn't let that stop him from going out and doing adventure sports.

Tim McGraw, how many of your fans can afford to go sky-diving or Rocky Mountain climbing? How many of them even have health insurance? If I found out I were dying, I'd fall into a sobbing heap for about two days, which is what most people would do, and then I'd start figuring out a way to use my sympathetic status so I could sit on the Phoenix Suns bench during the playoffs. Skiing wouldn't be high on my priority list.

Hallelujah! The Good Lord rains justice down from the heavens as Loretta Lynn defeats Tim McGraw for best country vocal. Ms. Lynn takes the stage with power, grace and class, sucking any lingering stupidity out of the room. Jack White, growing nicely into his Johnny Depp phase, plays the polite young man role to the hilt. He says, "We recorded this record on Loretta's front porch, and one day she told me, 'Jack, 14 times my record got banned from country radio, and every one of those records went to No. 1. Well, this record got ignored by country radio as well. And look who's No. 1!'"

February 13, 2005

 

Wow


Go here.

Go!!!


 

Happy Birthday Dad!



Dad
To paraphrase Harry Nilsson:
"In 1951, a happy father had a son" (my oldest brother Bruce)

Without my Dad, I probably would not have become:
a) A Music Freak (all kinds of records were constantly playing in our house; rarely was I discouraged from listening to my own music. Okay, occassionaly there was a bit of "Turn down that pretentious horseshit" but, hey, different generation, you know?)

b) A TV Addict and a TV Producer (my Dad was a very respected television critic; when I was 6, he took the family to L.A. where we watched "Mission Impossible" being filmed and a "Hogan's Heroes" rehearsal...I was hooked)

c) A Liberal Political Junkie (our family never shied away from political discourse; Nixon was openly despised at the dinner table and it was common knowledge that my father would do whatever it took to prevent either of my older brothers from going to 'Nam. And don't you dare accuse him of being unpatriotic: My father admirably joined the army and risked his neck in Germany during WWII)

d) A Writer, of sorts (did I mention my dad was a TV critic? Plus, as an editor, he transformed the Sunday Star-Ledger into the biggest newspaper in New Jersey)
So thanks Dad. You've done well by me, your family and your devoted readers. Here's to many more birthdays...

(and here's a sample of "The Kid from Newark's" writing...)


February 12, 2005

 

Attention Bush Voters, Part 9/11

How much more information do you need to get you all to admit you've been sold a bill of goods (communication, written or spoken, that persuades someone to accept something untrue or undesirable; "they tried to sell me a bill of goods about a secondhand car")?

Clarke Memo
A strategy document outlining proposals for eliminating the threat from Al Qaeda, given to Condoleezza Rice as she assumed the post of national security adviser in January 2001, warned that the terror network had cells in the United States and 40 other countries and sought unconventional weapons, according to a declassified version of the document.

The 13-page proposal presented to Dr. Rice by her top counterterrorism adviser, Richard A. Clarke, laid out ways to step up the fight against Al Qaeda, focusing on Osama bin Laden's headquarters in Afghanistan. The ideas included giving "massive support" to anti-Taliban groups "to keep Islamic extremist fighters tied down"; destroying terrorist training camps "while classes are in session" and then sending in teams to gather intelligence on terrorist cells; deploying armed drone aircraft against known terrorists; more aggressively tracking Qaeda money; and accelerating the F.B.I.'s translation and analysis of material from surveillance of terrorism suspects in American cities.
Add this memo to this report:
The Federal Aviation Administration received repeated warnings in the months prior to Sept. 11, 2001, about al-Qaida and its desire to attack airlines, according to a previously undisclosed report by the commission that investigated the terror attacks.
and you've got say to yourselves, "Hey, this Bush Administration not only has had it's head up it's ass, but it's also had absolutely no problem lying to us about it's irresponsible shortcomings and failures." Condoleeza Rice, testifying before the 9/11 commission:
"And I said, No one could have imagined them taking a plane, slamming it into the Pentagon - I'm paraphrasing now - into the World Trade Center, using planes as a missile. As I said to you in the private session, I probably should have said, I could not have imagined, because within two days, people started to come to me and say, Oh, but there were these reports in 1998 and 1999."
Yes, a report from the FAA that "considered the possibility of suicide hijackings in 1998 and a 1999 report prepared for the National Intelligence Council (which) warned of suicide hijackings..."

Remember how much you hated Bill Clinton for lying about his private affairs? I'm trying to think, how many people died because of his transgression?

February 10, 2005

 

GannonGate


In case you haven't heard anything about the incredible story about a "reporter" who supposedly used a pseudonym to get White House press credentials in order to throw softball questions and further the Bush agenda while at the same time running a gay escort service (whew) - and you might not have since our always reliable mainstream media (MSM) has either soft-pedalled or ignored the story completely - pay a visit to AMERICAblog which has been all over this scandal, up, down and sideways. In one post, blogger John imagines what would have happened if this story broke during the Clinton years:
-Congressional hearings in the House and Senate.
-Demands for a Justice Dept. investigation - how did this man get past security, who let him in, what were his ties to these male prostitute URLs, and who else on the White House staff may have been involved?
-Appointment of a special counsel.
-Demands for a slew of firings of White House staff.
-Never-ending questions about Hooker-gate directed to the White House staff and the president from the Washington media.
-All sorts of questions about what the president's wife knew, and when she knew it.
-And non-stop 24-hour coverage on CNN and FOX.
Actually, you could take everything that has occurred during the Bush presidency, from the intelligence failure of 9/11 to the irresponsible tax cuts for the rich, to the Valerie Plame outing, to lying us into war, to Bush's ties with Enron, to Cheney's energy policy, to Haliburton's no-bid contracts in Iraq, to Abu Gharib, to nominating the man more or less responsible for Abu Gharib, to lying about Social Security's future, etc. and imagine the size of the cross Clinton would have been nailed to. Hell, Bill was hung out to dry just for getting an expensive haircut...

 

Woohoo! We're Getting a Recount!!!


Oh wait...not us:
Iraqi officials Wednesday delayed the announcement of final results from landmark national elections because they said the election commission must recount votes from about 300 ballot boxes.

An undetermined number of other ballots were declared invalid because of alleged tampering, officials said. The ballots were inside 40 boxes and another 250 bags that were delivered to the central counting facility in Baghdad, he said.
America: Spreading democracy anywhere but here.

February 09, 2005

 

Ladies & Gentlemen, the Comic Stylings of George W. Bush:


(Yesterday)
"...Congress needs to join with me to bring real spending discipline to the federal budget. It is essential that those who spend the money in Washington adhere to this principle: A taxpayer dollar ought to be spent wisely or not spent at all."
This, from the first U.S. president to enact tax cuts during wartime. Our "wisely spent" taxdollars on the Iraq war so far? $156 billion and counting...

February 07, 2005

 

A Nipple-Free America


Thanks to Paul McCartney, "the restorer of Super Bowl decency and family values," Americans were spared the embarrassment of once again seeing a certain, small body part which all of us happen to be born with (we each get at least two, as a matter of fact). Wow, Paul McCartney. Remember when he was considered cool? (I know, it's kinda hard...it's been well over 3 decades*).

In case you missed the game, you can view the highlights here.

*Sir Paul did at least manage to slip a couple of family-unfriendly lyrics past NFL officials:
...last fall, after submitting a list of the four or five songs he wanted to perform, a group of six league officials pored over his lyrics.

"Every single word," said Brian McCarthy, a league spokesman, who was one of the judges of what are deemed classic rock lyrics.
Apparently, these guys weren't hip enough to catch these references:
Jojo left his home in Tucson, Arizona
For some California grass.

Sweet Loretta Martin thought she was a woman
But she was another man

All the girls around her say she's got it coming
But she gets it while she can
Sex, Drugs & Rock 'n' Roll baby.



February 06, 2005

 

Homeland Insecurity


Because we've pissed away so much money in Iraq and cut taxes for the wealthy, Bush's proposed budget will significantly chop grants to local law enforcement agencies and firefighters (you know, the people who protect us here at home). Plus, Bush wants to continue to screw our environment, Native Americans, the poor, park services, the Smithsonian and the national endowment for the arts and humanities. The Pentagon, of course, will get a boost (a 4.8% increase) as will the Coast Guard (good thinking) and community health centers (because he's obviously a "compasionate conservative").
"I stand with the president that we need to eliminate wasteful spending and we need to look through all the programs," said House Budget Committee Chairman Jim Nussle, R-Iowa.
No further comment needed...

February 05, 2005

 

baby

 

Shameless


Allow me to paraphrase a number of the Republicans who defended torture-maven Alberto Gonzales during the Senate debate last week:
"Hispanic, hispanic, hispanic, hispanic. Hispanic. Hispanic. Hispanic, hispanic, hispanic, hispanic, hispanic. Latino. Hispanic. Latino. Hispanic, hispanic, hispanic. Did I forget to mention that Mr. Gonzales is hispanic? Hispanic. Thank you."
Okay, you're thinking, "cheap shot." Here's what some of them really said:
"Every Hispanic-American in the country is watching," said Senator Orrin G. Hatch...

(Arlen) Specter said that when he was first elected Philadelphia's district attorney four decades ago, there were no Hispanics in his office, and that he had tried to broaden the ethnic mix of his staff. The senator said it was "not irrelevant" that Mr. Gonzales would be the first Hispanic attorney general, since his background would give him a broader perspective on civil rights, immigration and other issues.

Another Republican on the Judiciary Committee, Senator John Cornyn of Texas, said the Democrats' opposition had stooped to the kind of "partisan politics" they should have learned to avoid after their losses in the November elections.

The Republican National Committee's deputy communications director, Danny Diaz, made a similar assertion. To block the "eminently qualified" nominee would be "neither good policy nor good politics," he said in a statement.

"Obstructing his nomination would show that Democrats still don't understand the ramifications of an election where President Bush increased his share of the Hispanic vote by 9 percent over 2000," Mr. Diaz said.
But wait, there's more:
'The idea that the other side of the aisle is even considering filibustering this manifestation of the American dream that is Judge Gonzales is simply beyond me," said Senate majority leader Bill Frist, a Tennessee Republican, when the Democrats were still holding out the possibility of a filibuster.

Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, said Democrats appeared to be trying to attack Bush through Gonzales, and to send a message that they would oppose Gonzales's elevation to the Supreme Court.

He said that Democrats are opposing a Hispanic appointee for attorney general just a week after many spoke out against Bush's nomination of a Condoleezza Rice -- a black woman -- to become secretary of state.

''From a strictly political standpoint, Democrats are hurting themselves by attacking American success stories like Condoleezza Rice and Alberto Gonzales," said Cornyn, who serves on the Judiciary Committee.

''There's an environment here that's very bitter and very partisan," (Arizona Senator John) McCain said. ''In the case of Condi Rice, in the case of Judge Gonzales, we should be celebrating these incredible American success stories."
And finally, the biggest Republican of all added that he had a:
“special sensitivity to people who break barriers,” noting the fact that Gonzales was Hispanic, and said the nominee had an “independence of spirit.”
Oh, wait, sorry...that was Joe Lieberman (D-CT). Like I said: Shameless.

FYI: The six Democrats who voted for Gonzales are Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, Ken Salazar of Colorado, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Bill Nelson of Florida, Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Mark Pryor of Arkansas.



February 04, 2005

 

Another SOTU,
Another Pair of Pants on Fire


Of course you all remember the Niger uranium lie from the 2003 State of the Union. Well, two years later, The Big Turd Sandwich decided, hell, he's got himself one of those big ol' man-dates, he might as well really lie his ass off this time. Bob Harris has the details...
Let's look at just a few of the hard-and-fast, indisputable lies from last night's bullfest...
"Our society has changed in ways the founders of Social Security could not have foreseen. In today's world, people are living longer and therefore drawing benefits longer - and those benefits are scheduled to rise dramatically over the next few decades."
Unquestionably false.
In 1934... the actuaries predicted that the proportion of Americans over 65 -- then only 5.4 percent -- would rise to 12.65 percent in 1990... They were just a tad high; the actual figure would be 12.49 percent.
Bush glossed a lot of details, but he did give at least one plain, specific fact on the numbers... I quote:
"By the year 2042, the entire system would be exhausted and bankrupt."
Horseshit. According to the Congressional Budget Office's authoritative numbers, updated just last Monday: if absolutely nothing changes, benefits aren't even projected to begin declining until 2053, at which point (prepare to quake in mortal terror):
CBO finds that the benefits paid will be 22 percent lower than the scheduled benefits.
Bankrupt? Bankrupt? Bullshit. Even something as mainstream as CNN's Money section is now running a "Reality Check" article, politely saying Bush "may have overstated Social Security's problems," given that (in the exact words of the head numbers guy at the GAO) "the program will never go bust."
And that was just his SS lies. Bob's got plenty more...

February 03, 2005

 

4 More Weeks vs. 4 More Years


From a Reader:

Yesterday was Groundhog Day and the State of the Union Address.

As Air America Radio pointed out:

"It is an ironic juxtaposition: one involves a meaningless ritual in which

we look to a creature of little intelligence for prognostication

............. and the other involves a groundhog."

 

Last Night's (Semi-) Love Fest


The Rude Pundit slices and dices it:
It is not "bold" to target gays for isolation and denigration in the Constitution; it is not "bold" to cut domestic programs that mainly help those in poverty so that massive tax cuts can be made "permanent;" it is not "bold" to say that you want to create a Social Security system that no longer guarantees a retirement benefit for seniors and that cuts benefits to others; it is not "bold" to hinder scientific developments under the veil of "protecting life;" it is not "bold" to declare that that we should make sure that people on death row are actually guilty; it is not "bold" to imply that you will use military force to impose your political will on other nations. If this is what passes for "bold" in this America, then, indeed, cowards should hold their heads high and declare that their pusillanimity is actually "bold" retreat. Or maybe such "bold" people will just ink their fingers purple in solidarity with Iraqi "voters." Or the truly "bold" will dress in purple (like Condi).
Kudos to the Dems for collectively deciding not only to sit on their hands during Bush's Social Security lies but to actually boo The Big Turd Sandwich (or if they didn't exactly boo, they at least said "Murmer, murmer, murmer"*).

*What movie, who said it? (Hint: Same movie, different character: "Into the mud, Scum Queen.")

February 02, 2005

 

Well I'll Be...


Yours truly has been nominated for a Koufax (as in "Leftie") award in the "Most Humourous Post" category. Go here and scroll down to cast your vote (I'll be your best friend...even though I don't have a snowball's chance in heck of winning).

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