Saturday, August 30, 2008

Foggy bottom Kool-Aid

Denial is an ugly thing, Mr. Martin.

Cat 5

FEMA says Gustav soon to be rated Category 5 storm
The government's disaster relief chief says Hurricane Gustav is growing into a monster Category 5 storm.

The storm that hit Cuba Saturday could reach landfall along the Gulf Coast by early Tuesday.

Federal Emergency Management Agency chief David Paulison told reporters several times at a briefing Saturday that the storm was strengthening into a Category 5 hurricane.

FEMA officials said Bill Read, the director of the National Hurricane Center, interrupted an afternoon teleconference involving the agency, Gulf Coast states and the National Weather Service to say he is going to issue a special advisory statement raising Gustav to Category 5. That means winds greater than 155 mph and a storm surge greater than 18 feet above normal.
Call the Minneapolis cake shops John, so you and Bush can hold a "Sorry you got destroyed again New Orleans" cake on night 1 of the convention. You can both hold it and look sad. You know, to show you've learned since the last time. No grins this time.


Ew, Barracuda...

What does the VP do? Depends, really. Constitutionally speaking, the Vice President is tasked only with maintaining a pulse and, if necessary, casting the deciding vote in the Senate in the event of a tie. Beyond that, you pretty much make it up as you go along, sweetness. Some noteworthy options:

--Murder Alexander Hamilton. (Aaron Burr)

--Resign your post as Satan's hatchet man after pleading no contest to charges of extortion, bribery, tax fraud, and conspiracy. (Spiro Agnew)

--Exhibit the intellect of a mid-range kitchen appliance and get absolutely owned by Lloyd Bentsen in a debate. (Dan Quayle)

--Bore the shit out of the entire country before meekly ceding a rigged Presidential election, only to emerge years later as a portly, charismatic, Nobel Peace Prize-winning environmental advocate. (Al Gore)

--Jam your fist up the president's ass and use him as something of a sneering, dry drunk sock puppet in order to start a senseless war, empower your buddies in the energy industry to write public utilities policy, and mount a two-pronged assault on both the separation of powers and civil liberties. (Dick Cheney)***

Indeed, as Vice President of this country, the world is your oyster, Barracuda. Do with it what you will. But here's some free advice from someone who will only benefit from your ignoring it: Stop going on television and admitting that you have no idea what your responsibilities as Vice President would be. You are making this far too easy.

***Note: Also shot a 78 year-old man in the face with a shotgun.

At least they don't all start with the same letter

I'm starting to suspect that Sarah Palin was drunk when she named her children:

Track (18)
Bristol (17)
Willow (13)
Piper (7)
Trig (4 months)

She named a kid born with Down Syndrome "Trig?" Jesus...

The look of awkwardness

Ahhhh, John. I your defense I bet you really, really don't like this kind of shit. But then why do it? Everyone looks normal and happy. Smiling like its the cast photo for some new teen/family drama on the CW. You on the other hand look alternately like you either just got caught diddling the blue ribbon goat from the county fair, or that you have some sort of super huge rod up your ass that's slowly causing you to die of embarrassment and shame.

Best to let the photogenic family take all these assignments from now on.

The amazing, self-negating, McCain campaign

This Palin pick has been extremely amusing. McCain meets her once, briefly, then talks to her for a somewhat longer period of time a week ago. Then he decides, "Fuck it, let's do this" and picks her on the basis of "Shaking things up". We're all shaking John, from laughter. His staff is surprised, they don't even have signs ready, his surrogates are confused, and everyone is left going "Who? He did what?" They ought to charge two bits a gander to see the sideshow that is your campaign. On the basis of the surrogates McCain has sent out to defend the pick I love it. The first wave yesterday had no idea who she was and the second wave today are completely floundering over the fact that when all the arguments they were making about Obama this entire summer are applied to Palin, she looks absolutely horrendous.

Remember when it a sure sign of Obama's unsteadiness that he hadn't been to Iraq in a while? Now that Palin is their pick, not having ever been to Iraq couldn't matter less. Even having an opinion on Iraq or even knowing McCain's position on Iraq doesn't matter. Obama isn't ready on foreign policy despite having traveled overseas multiple times and being on the foreign relations committee. Sarah Palin is ready despite having zero foreign policy credentials. Remember how inexperienced Obama was because he hadn't even met with that many foreign leaders, while John McCain had sexed them all? Well, Sarah Palin not being able to pick most world leaders out of a lineup or having traveled abroad couldn't matter less.

McCain is trying to flog his environmental credentials and how he's different because he actually believes it's real (despite the fact he votes against almost every environmental policy and renewable fuel measure). Well, now he picked someone who doesn't believe global warming is real and hates the fuck out of polar bears. There's also the humorous part about Republicans praising the shit out of Hillary Clinton in a shameless attempt to vote grub, despite the fact the the previous 16 years have been spent demonizing her as an evil, communist, feminazi, becunted demonspawn. Palin tried to grovel for those votes yesterday, last March she thought Hill-dawg was a whiner.

Then there's the whole experience argument, which they've just ceded wholesale. Now they're going hump that poor change pony to death. Oh, dear sweet John, it's like you weren't even paying attention to your own campaign. You essentially negated every single argument you were making against Obama to overtly pander to women who you evidently don't think are smart enough to see the pick for what it is. More please.

This man has no idea where he is

Friday, August 29, 2008

Picture of the day

From Sadly, No.

Fun facts I learned today

More people watched the Obama speech than the Olympics opening ceremonies, American Idol finale, Academy Awards, or that episode of Diff'rent Strokes where Arnold got to meet Nancy Reagan.

John McCain is 23 years older than the state of Alaska.

Like Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin is also equipped with a vagina. Thus if you voted for the former if you should vote for the latter.

Alaska's proximity to Russia means Palin is a foreign policy expert.

Ben Affleck, Fergie, Wilmer Valderrama, George Lucas, and the asian dude from Lost all approved of Obama's speech. Whew, bullet dodged. I didn't think Jin from Lost was going to be on board.


McCain/Palin petty observation

Just as a small point to how McCain's VP choice seems to be a slapped together desperation heave: He didn't even even have McCain/Palin signs to wave for all those transients that packed that high school gym for warmth/shelter/the announcement. If this was such a considered choice, wouldn't you at least have signs ready? Obama cranked out the Obama/Biden signs by the bushel for their first appearance.

Also that picture looks like he's going through an uncomfortable prostate exam and has already ditched Palin to run with Tina Fey.

Broken News: Construction delays opening of evil genius' lair

1973 file photo of the reclusive Dr. Ond

UNDISCLOSED LOCATION– Following months of setbacks, Norwegian madman and super scientist, Dr. Baldur Ond, has again moved back the opening date of his island fortress, breaking his vow to bathe the Pacific rim in a “storm of hellfire and death” before year's end.

Ond began construction on his secret island base, dubbed The Horror Mantle, nearly a decade ago by terraforming the island and enslaving its native population. While the early earth moving and indiscriminate island species extermination went flawlessly, recent hikes in fuel prices and anti-terror measures combined to create crippling delays in the supply chain.

“Have you ever priced out the freight on the amount of concrete and steel required for even a low level island base?” said Project Manager Jens Olafson, who took over in July after the previous manager was beaten to death with hot pokers and strung up on some scaffolding to boost productivity. “It’s astronomical, even before taking into account the costs of the materials themselves.”

The Horror Mantle was conceived as the new standard in world-class terror facilities. In addition to an intimidating stainless steel office/quarters for Dr. Ond, the plans called for lodging and mess facilities for henchmen, a training and welcome center for new recruits, a foundry and manufacturing wing for building and housing robot armies, a top level R&D center for devising the next generation of terror weapons, an air wing, harbor, and staging area for various raids and attacks. Compounding the problems inherent in such a large-scale development was the secrecy required. Added Olafson, "We couldn't work with anyone for more than six months before they started asking too many questions and had to be liquidated. And don't even get me started on the fucking unions.”

In an attempt to speed production after multiple delays, cutbacks were necessary. A mountain with a hydraulic opening at the top for space-based missions was axed and architect Frank Gehry was dropped from the design team when his plans were deemed too costly and he proved too hard to kill. The development of Ond's submarine fleet was pushed back to Phase Two, after the opening of the island, when funds are expected to be more abundant.

“A multi-functional base is critical to any evil genius’ plans,” said John Franklin, author of ‘Mutants, Madmen, and Misunderstood Genius: a History of Terror’ and amateur terrorist himself. “You can’t contract out a raid on Singapore or have Mitsubishi build you a freeze ray. Well, not anymore, thank you very much, United Nations. A proper base has to be self sustaining, autonomous, well defended, and hidden. You must have total freedom to concoct and execute schemes so cunningly destructive that the civilized world soils itself at the mere mention of your name.”

Undoubtedly the most surprising aspect of these delays is that they arose under the watchful eye of the notoriously meticulous Ond, known to be a stickler for schedules and timekeeping. Born to expatriated Nazi scientists in Trondheim, Norway in 1963, Ond was drilled from birth in military precision and organization, and is rumored to have severed his own umbilical cord. Ond spent his formative years studying world military history and, after several failed attempts, successfully implanting a frog-eagle hybrid of his own creation with a computer brain. A preternatural ability in physics and a prodigious intellect led him to early admission at Sorbonne when he was just thirteen years of age. His theories on acoustic reverberation and structural integrity, combined with dispassionate logic and a taste for the insane saw him gain the attention of super villain Orbnauticus.

After a mistimed detonation during the 1978 Louvre heist cost him the hearing in one ear, Ond he struck out on his own, wisely investing his cut from the theft and quickly amassing a fortune through shrewd financial planning and several microwave technology patents. Then, in 1986, Ond announced himself to the world in a daring multi-city terror campaign which saw the destruction of 5 of the 7 largest financial centers in the world and the kidnapping and ransoming of elite covert operatives from various espionage centers.

The ransom money from those intelligence operatives, who were brutally murdered shortly after the transactions were completed, as well as the financial positioning he took to maximize the profit from the chaos of the world financial markets was used to fund another plan: the construction of a giant mining robot to loot the diamond pits scattered across Africa. It was after this final heist that he announced his plans to build a sanctuary of evil from which he would launch his evil schemes and bend the world to his will.

“Those were heady times,” remarked Henchman X28A93B, Scullion Class, Dionysus Project. “We really thought that we were on to grand designs. I'm starting to think we've plateaued, though. We’re living in tents on a cleared portion of beach. The rebar is barely setup in the Hench-quarters and we’re hearing that the concrete and steel girders got delayed again ‘cause some nosy secretary who knew too much slept with some secret agent and everyone involved on that end had to be terminated while this pseudo-Bond wanna-be got pressed through a fine mesh screen. Tropical paradise loses its luster after a while. How are we supposed to practice our kung-fu and paramilitary maneuvers? Sand isn’t conducive to precision fight work. Let me tell you, I’m really disa--” and with that, a buzzer went off on his collar, which injected a mixture of cobra venom and zylene directly into his jugular.

“I’m not saying its all perfect,” continued Olafson, as X28’s body was hauled out of the room and thrown into an incinerator. “I mean we have to deal with all these contractors who are trying to tell us about handrails, properly marked pits, and safety regulations. I try and tell ‘em that the slaves are expendable and we’ll let HR worry about replacing them, but they drone on and one about building codes and regulations.”

He continued “Then when you do get a room finished, the Doctor talks about adding a trapdoor, and suddenly you’ve got to reroute all the pipes underneath so you can fit the chute. Then the Radar Defense Station has to be moved because that’s where the acid pit needs to be now. And have you ever tried to install a fireplace in a rotating wall? It’s a logistical nightmare. But still, I think we’ll be finished up by the 2nd fiscal quarter of next year at the latest.”

Olafson’s thinking seems to be in line with Dr. Ond, who released a statement earlier affirming that no matter how long it took he would not rest until he ruled the world with an iron fist, that the extra months just gave him more time to conceive of new and exotic horrors. He believes that, given a little good luck, his Terror-bots would be napalming schools and government buildings by springtime and that his long-planned sonic transducer would successfully render 75% of cities along the Pacific Rim uninhabitable and the survivors deaf and/or insane.

The world’s leaders have vowed to stop him, if only they could find the island.

Getting to know you...

Courtesy of the fine folks at TPM, a more in-depth explanation of how Republican Veep Nominee and corrupt shrew, Sarah Palin, conspired to fire the Alaskan Public Safety Commissioner because he refused to shit-can the State Trooper who was divorcing Palin's sister.

This is so very tasty.

McCain throws his hail mary: VP Palin

Well it seems official enough: John McCain has chosen Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his Vice Presidential nominee. A moment of silence for Mitt Romney and all the easy jokes he would have provided.

For someone who repeatedly joked about the anonymity of earlier VP frontrunner Tim Pawlenty (the supposed choice last night), this one is an even bigger "Who?" pick. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (herself rumored for the McCain VP slot) was just on TV and didn't know a single thing about her....and tried to spin that as a positive. Other conservative pundits seemed equally perplexed with Pat Buchanan calling it the "Biggest political gamble I believe just about in American political history...that is not hyperbole. I can think of no choice of VP that approaches this."

She's a first term governor of Alaska not even two years into that term, previously she was a council member and part-time mayor of the town of Wasilla, population of 5,500. So after months of charging that Barack Obama is inexperienced and has no record, they choose someone even less experienced to back up a 72 year old man with a history of cancer. I guess they're ceding that argument. She's also an anti-abortion creationist.

She was chairman of the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission in Alaska, tirelessly pushes for offshore and ANWAR drilling, and her husband works for an oil company. Yeah...that'll blunt charges that Republicans are shills for oil. Oh, did I mention that she's a Republican from Alaska? I did? Did I mention that the Alaska Republican party is one of the most corrupt in the US? That half of it's members seem to be under investigation, indictment, or just in prison (most recently Ted "Hulk" Stevens)? Boy it won't be hard to tie her to all that, especially since she's gone ahead and done everyone the favor of being under ethics investigations for firing the Alaskan public safety commissioner because he wouldn't fire Palin's brother-in-law because he was divorcing Palin's sister.

Let's just say what it is: a desperate attempt to try and get the dozen remaining Hillary voters who haven't gotten on board the Obama train and other women to cross over based on the fact that Palin is a woman. It's a desperation move and a massive gamble, considering that no one knows who she is and she basically stands for all the same policies as John McCain, including all the ones that make him so unattractive to female voters. Though with his voting against the equal pay for women bill, John has already pledged to save thousands in government spending by only paying Palin 80% of the VP salary a man would get. Fiscal conservatism is back! I guess he doesn't want the experience argument and figures he's going to lose it badly, so he's seemingly trying to glom onto the change mantle and hope that Hillary voters squint so hard at Palin that they see Hillary. It'll be interesting to see her debate someone like Joe Biden in any event. Obama/Biden v. McCain/Palin. Have at it.

Barrypalooza: Requiem

It's all over. Barack Obama has been nominated for the Presidency of the United States, Joe Biden as VP, and Mile High Stadium has seen at least one team that is predicted to win more than it loses. What initially seemed like the lamest outdoor music festival in history was actually a political rally in disguise. Sheryl Crow and used to blunt anger over the fact that people had to sit around for five hours listening to Pat Leahy before Barack Obama showed up.

Al Gore gave one of his famous "If I acted like this in 2000 I could have squeezed a few hundred more votes out of Florida" speeches, confounding a bewildered Sean. Tim Kaine tried to lead a call and response chant, looking and sounding like every school principal at a pep rally, trying to get the kids into it for the big game against Rival School High.

Then Obama strode to the stage. He delivered a pretty damn fine speech if I don't say so myself. Listed about thirty policy proposals, his theories on how government should act, his life story, and what was in many ways the harshest attacks on McCain and Bush during the convention. Well, except for John Conyers leading an F-U-C-K-B-U-S-H chant and Claire McCaskill angrily sticking a large hunting knife into a pumpkin with Dick Cheney's face on it. He topped it with some MLK references, fireworks shot off, he hugged one of his daughters but not the other, then walked around arm in arm with Joe Biden grinning like an idiot, before planting one right on the lips of Jill Biden. Oh, Barack was feeling it. Barack threw down the gauntlet, challenged McCain, and defended liberalism and the Democratic party in places where people don't usually do it: the podium of the Democratic convention and on TV.

The media seemed to love it, the speech and staging working well, and Republican response seemed oddly unnerved. Like they just had their pants pulled down and their genitals critiqued for an audience of millions. They'll try to start blunting the speech today with McCain's VP selection, which if early word is accurate happens to be Sarah Palin from Alaska. Good luck trying to look and sound that good John, you'll need it.

Photo from troeth used under creative commons license.

For Charles Babington: how a bill becomes a law

In a bizarre recap of the Obama speech, AP writer Charles Babington took a speech laced with dozens of specific policy proposals and deemed them not specific with his magic AP Stick of Deeming. What he feels is specific is some level of exactness not possible by our elected leaders. Apparently, Chuck wanted Barack Obama to read drafts of legislation that he planned to enter as bills to be voted on by congress.
Barack Obama, whose campaign theme is "change we can believe in," promised Thursday to "spell out exactly what that change would mean."

But instead of dwelling on specifics, he laced the crowning speech of his long campaign with the type of rhetorical flourishes that Republicans mock and the attacks on John McCain that Democrats cheer. The country saw a candidate confident in his existing campaign formula: tie McCain tightly to President Bush, and remind voters why they are unhappy with the incumbent.
He said he would "cut taxes for 95 percent of all working families," but did not say how.
Someone who works for the AP and covers politics for a living should understand how a bill becomes a law. Here Charles let me give you the shorthand: Obama writes bill that cuts taxes for 95% of working families, hands it to the House who votes on it, goes to the Senate where they vote on it, if they both pass it Obama can then sign it into law. That's how it works. If that's too complicated, perhaps this will help.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

a word for the wise

in·ex·tri·ca·ble [in-ek-stri-kuh-buhl]-–adjective
1. from which one cannot extricate oneself: an inextricable maze.
2. incapable of being disentangled, undone, loosed, or solved: an inextricable knot.
3. hopelessly intricate, involved, or perplexing: inextricable confusion.

Not bad, Barry. Not bad at all.

who the hell just speeched that speech?

Anyone else wondering where that version of Al Gore was EIGHT FUCKING YEARS AGO?

Pamelita, at the corner

Fled the bar just now to sneak a cigarette before the Stevie Wonder set. I'm told there's a convention. I just showed up for Stevie. Anyway, I wound up sharing the last of a pack with a notoriously quiet homeless woman who tends to haunt the corner of 4th Avenue and St. Mark's Place. She tells me her name is Pamelita, something she's either conjured or convinced of, and has an appetite for nicotine that rivals my own.

Taking into account the substance traction, she's probably in her late 40's to early 50's, sporting what would be heavy Marlboro lines on a face belonging to someone who eats regularly but on hers are shallow paths through loose sand. She wears striped leggings beneath a smoked-beige dress, has the remnants of a Jets jersey wrapped around her shaved head, and her mouth -- whenever we talk, she will inevitably open wide and insist that I put my nose close, as though to prove a point -- smells like sweaty dick wrapped in a gym sock.

I give Pamelita a cigarette and plop on the sidewalk next to her. She picks her nose and mutters incoherently for a time, punctuating what I'm sure she thinks are sentences with screams of "Your mother's cunt!" Given the Tourette's, it's tough to hold a conversation, but I get around to asking her about what she thinks of Obama, of the hope and change and progress he aims to bring to this nation, if she's even heard of him, or has any idea about what everyone inside is so interested in.

She knows who he is, knows what he talks about, knows what's happening in the country and in the city she calls "home." She also doesn't care. Not at all. She wanted nicotine, money, and a drink. When I ask her why, she just shakes her head, takes a deep breath and smooths the persistent wrinkles out of that dress.

I refuse to approach this from a utilitarian perspective. Especially while holding down a corner in a crowded Park Slope beer bar, surrounded by people who needn't think twice about whether or not they can afford the drink in their hand. A society's values are best discerned at its fringes. Almost 3/4 of a million American citizens were homeless as of 2005. Let's try to remember that as we revel in what's been said the last four days, what will be said over the next two months, and what will, or will not, be done in the future.


your sloppy pre-obama french kiss

Before we all hold our breath and wait for that sharp crack of sniper fire, let us pause and reflect for a moment. For once, I come bearing good news. Yes, news that will ease your nerves and do what alcohol alone cannot to smooth the edges of uncertainty surrounding what I'm sure you think will be the next landmark political speech in the history of this grrrrrreat nation.

Are you listening? Here goes.

The simple fact is, tonight doesn't matter. As excited as you all may be, tonight's pageantry is but the latest in a long line of crude and senseless distractions aimed at obscuring the fact that we will all soon be sucked into an infinite number of microscopic black holes appearing simultaneously and at random across and throughout all of the physical matter we "know" is present. We will at once be nothing and everything. Together. How's that for change?

You have eleven days. Enjoy the speech.

Wardrobe for Barrypalooza

Intrepid cub reporter Sean was able to break the news of Obama's un-American stagecraft, with it's hateful, elitist pillars. These Bastards is now here to break both the entrance spectacle and wardrobe for Barack Obama tonight. Photos were taken by means of a high powered spy satellite during the top secret run through.

That's some intrepid shit

Top headline on right now: Obama expected to address change in speech

Betcha thought that mountaintop would look a little different

Can you dig it?

Has anyone else seen the stage erected at Invesco for Obama's Cyrus moment this evening? This Acropo-liptic affront to basic decency comes courtesy of RDA Entertainment, the same folks responsible for those tasteful, elegant sets featured on previous Britney Spears tours.

Once the photos were made public, the McCain campaign immediately unloaded a few rounds into the barrel, rolling out such witticisms as "Temple of Obama" and "Barackopolis." To his credit, Obama Chief Strategist David Axelrod returned fire by mocking the McCain campaign for "shooting barbs about the opulence of our convention from the mountaintop in Sedona."

This is what it's come to. The two entrenched oligarchies that rule our political system are locked in a pissing contest over aluminum scaffolding and faux stone columns erected for an event where scalped tickets are going for thousands of dollars. Be sure to unhinge your jaw before receiving this particular brand of populism.

Oh well, at least Obama's convention dais isn't as unsettling as McCain's (pictured below).

The 4th Amendment traded for an open bar and some cocktail franks

Actual bags handed out to actual convention goers.

Actual bulletin notice of the party

I just knew they'd be repercussions for those Democrats who supported and pushed through the legislation giving telcoms immunity for illegally spying on Americans. And repercussions there were. AT&T threw them a big ass party!!
On Monday, AT&T threw an exclusive party for the Blue Dogs, the House's moderate and conservative Democrats, at the historic Mile High Station in downtown Denver. Among the guests was House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., who in June led Blue Dogs in crafting a compromise bill that shielded telecommunications companies from lawsuits arising from the government's terrorism-era warrantless eavesdropping.

Hoyer spokeswoman Stacey Bernards said Hoyer was not aware of any connection between the party and his work on the legislation.

"I'm sure Mr. Hoyer didn't even know who the sponsor was," she said.
Thanks Steny, I hope you choked on the mini pizza bagels and cheese platter. It's nice when multi-national, billion dollar conglomerations take time out of their busy day to thank our elected betters for all the hard work they do. It's difficult and thankless work making sure companies who commit felonies by spying on US citizens and enabling our government to spy on US citizens get off scot free and don't have to waste time paying lawyers to defend them from lawsuits filed by disgruntled Americans who don't like being spied on.

You got your maximum campaign contribution, maybe some cash into your PAC, and an open bar for two hours at a convention party. I thought the 4th amendment would sell for a little higher than that, but then again, I'm no congressman.

McCain knows who his VP is

McCain selects his VP
John McCain has chosen his running mate and the person will be notified on Thursday, a senior campaign official said.

A friend said McCain had pretty much settled on his selection early this week, and it crystallized in the past few days. Campaign manager Rick Davis flew to McCain's cabin in Sedona, Ariz., a few days ago to confer, and another meeting about the choice was held with top aides Wednesday.
McCain's selection process has been conducted mostly in secret, but officials said he was considering one or more candidates who support abortion rights. The disclosure set off a fracas on the right wing, with talk-show host Rush Limbaugh saying such a selection would destroy the party.
Oh happy day. The moment where Big John unleashes Mittens, Joe Lieberman, or Tim Pawlenty on an unsuspecting nation is nigh.

Mitt "Mittens" Romney will bring in the critical 'lacquered hair shell' vote, adds tons more houses to the campaign tally, still says bling bling, is insanely rich, and likes throwing good money after bad. That ought to really help McCain not look like an elitist. The 'Mormon explaining' to the evangelical base will be amusing and will involve several forms of groveling. Plus anytime you can add someone who actually shipped jobs overseas and layed off workers in a swing state, you really need to add that person. Also: big fat phoney.

Joe Lieberman. Oh God I hope this happens. Dems didn't like him when he was Al Gore's VP, now he isn't even recognizable as a Democrat anymore. He supports Bush harder than McCain does. But hey, add him, he's a total drag on the ticket, just ask Al Gore. Karl Rove is personally trying to fight the choice, which is amusing and Limbaugh is presaging the destruction of the Republican party if they pick a pro-choicer like Liebs. This needs to happen.

Tim Pawlenty. Who? This guy is so anonymous he would get stopped by security and not allowed to enter his own VP acceptance speech unless they put his picture on the McCain/Pawlenty signs. His weird attacks on Obama (Petraeus as VP?) would be a boon to comedy. I just can't see McCain picking a guy he couldn't differentiate from a collected group of his staffers.

Maybe John will go off the reservation. Pick Charles Barkley or Big Bird or something crazy and maverick like. A festive hand puppet or a chicken who makes football picks for the local drive time radio sports show. Who knows? It's coming people. Are you ready?

These Bastards guide to Barrypalooza: Finale

Last night Bill Clinton spoke. I was shocked to hear he don't think much of John McCain, George Bush or his plans for America. So was the media, it seems. Apparently because Clinton was so mad his wife lost he might have gone up and not done what he was supposed to do and mumbled his way through a half-hearted speech. Not quite sure that deserved 5 hours of pre-speech runup speculation, but that's what you got. Then he came out, flashed the old Bubba charm, was booked and arrested for indecent exposure, then was allowed to come back out on the condition he wouldn't flash it again. Old ladies in the front row you see. He gave his speech and the media declared "Everything fixed again" and were now convinced that Bill Clinton and Obama are BFF and they're totally going to go on the road together, and go camping together, and tell spooky stories by the campfire.

John Kerry came back to give a speech and showed he had caught a terminal case of Al Gore disease. You know the one. The disease which makes you give speeches and demonstrate a personality that if it was shown for any length of time during the period in which they were the Democratic nominee for President, they would have won easy.

Then Joe Biden strode to the stage a mix of sound, fury, and minor speech flubs. He gave his rendition of "John McCain is an inept buffoon" in B# and really wailed on the "poor foreign policy choices" solo section.

Tonight, they're letting some Muslim guy speak. That could backfire. Also, they have moved to Mile High Stadium in an attempt to capture the magic of the Jay Cutler led Broncos. Expect whatever backdrop Obama speaks in front to be a sign of his celebrity arrogance. Dobson will flog his rain boner to the bleeding point, we'll see if it works. The Theme: Change You Can Believe In/Vote for this black guy/Hasn't the last 8 years sucked hard enough?

Pledge of Allegiance
Shawn Johnson
Michael Phelps and Nastia Liukin were busy and Usain Bolt is Jamaican. So Obama got America's favorite gold medal jailbait. What hasn't been released to the media is that she will deliver the pledge while trying to perform a complicated routine on the balance beam. If she fails to hit the twisting and flipping dismount "Liberty and Justice" is officially changed from 'for all' to 'some'. No pressure Shawn.

Honorable Bill Ritter, Jr., Governor of Colorado
Yes, yes the convention was held in your state. For that he gets to moan on and on about mountains, skiing, secret bigfoots, and voting democratic. I doubt even the people of the state know who you are and your presence will only infuriate the people eating their stadium nachos and trying to flag the beer man while you drone on and on about about how you wrote all the good episodes of South Park. Keep it short.

The Honorable Tim Kaine, Governor of Virginia
He'll try to appear to be totally cool with being passed over for Joe Biden, but you'll see the cracks start to form at about the 2:30 mark of his speech. One too many bearded college types and old black ladies welling up with pride will wave around those "Obama/Biden" signs before he just loses it and screams out "I could have given you Virginia! Why hast thou forsaken me?" before his complete emotional breakdown. Mark Warner will try to console him, but there's nothing he'll be able to do. Kaine's a shell of a man now. A shell. for lovers.

The Honorable Al Gore
His power point slide presentation on why you should vote for Barack Obama is a thing of beauty. The shots of a melting, cracked, and breaking up John McCain really underscore the risks we run as a country by not addressing this crisis. There's also some fanwank about polar bears and lack of ice. Bonus: You get yo listen to your Republican friend snark about the 'Goreacle'. Why do you let him watch these things? Didn't you learn anything on night one?

Live Performance
Michael McDonald
Just wanted to put that out there. They've got, John Legend, Sheryl Crow, Stevie Wonder, and something called the Yonder Mountain String Band Performance. McDonald is the guy they picked to go on last, to the delight of Paul Rudd. I wonder if he's going to sing "Ain't No Mountain High Enough"? I wish I could bet on obvious shit like that. There's no way he plays "Yah Mo B There".


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Protest of the day

No chance in hell lady. It's so wrong, but it's so right.

What you don't know...may kill you and everyone you love

Poison factory

Will your moisturizer give you cancer?
Researchers from Rutgers University in Piscataway, N.J., tested skin moisturizing creams on mice to determine whether their use is linked to cancer. To do this, they exposed hairless mice to ultraviolet radiation to mimic sun exposure, and afterward treated the mice with one of four popular moisturizers -- Dermabase, Dermavan, Eucerin or Vanicream.

They found that the mice treated with moisturizers after the exposure to ultraviolet light grew more skin tumors -- and that these tumors were larger than those on untreated mice.
See, you just thought you skin was getting smoother. It turns out that, contrary to popular belief, tumors are very smooth. You're just rubbing more tumor growth hormone into your cancer hand. But you had to look beautiful. You had to cover up the nights of whiskey fueled abuse and smoke filled barrooms that dried and aged your skin like so much beef jerky. God have mercy on your lemon and lilac smelling tumors, you vain bastard.

What’s Lurking in Your Countertop?
SHORTLY before Lynn Sugarman of Teaneck, N.J., bought her summer home in Lake George, N.Y., two years ago, a routine inspection revealed it had elevated levels of radon, a radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer. So she called a radon measurement and mitigation technician to find the source.

“He went from room to room,” said Dr. Sugarman, a pediatrician. But he stopped in his tracks in the kitchen, which had richly grained cream, brown and burgundy granite countertops. His Geiger counter indicated that the granite was emitting radiation at levels 10 times higher than those he had measured elsewhere in the house.
You tried to class up your kitchen. The linoleum didn't go with the new stainless steel Kenmore. Granite, you said, will tie the whole room together. Now you get to inhale poison lung cancer gas with your eggs and toast every morning. You should have specified granite....without the high level of radon emitting uranium. You should have known better. Why did you think Iran was importing all those granite countertops into the country? For elegant entertaining purposes? The natural symphony of colors in stone? It was to fuel their nuclear ambitions with some class. You are equal to the terrorists and you probably have lung disease. How's formica look now?

World on hold for Democratic Convention

In case you had any ideas that stuff was happening outside of the United States, stuff that was completely unrelated to the Democratic convention or an average speech Hillary Clinton gave, let me reassure you: nothing is happening. I looked on the websites of a bunch of newspapers and everything. The TV news is wall to wall convention with quick news alerts for the grain silo fire that happened in Dubuke. That's the only other thing that happened today.

The New York Times is Clinton speech and chubby kids in swimming pools. The LA Times is Hillary and Horses. the Washington Post is all Hillary and has furiously replaced all it's Hillary/Obama rift stories from yesterday with Bill/Obama rift storylines for today. You know how hard it is to change every Hillary to Bill and her to him? At least five minutes in Word. Even the Guardian and Times in the UK have overly large sections on the convention on their front page. Try looking at the Huffington Post, I dare you. It's all convention and murdering pythons. Which may have happened at the convention, I didn't click on the link. Has anyone seen Chris Dodd? Was he eaten by a python?

Sleep easy America, nothing in the world is going on. Russia has held it's position inside Georgia and is sheepishly kicking dirt while waiting for Barack's big speech to be over. Insurgents in Iraq have kindly stopped bombing indiscriminately so as not to confuse reporters as what to report on: Iraq or Hill-dawg's tangerine pant-suit. The housing crisis actually fixed itself last night so that more people would be able to spend time watching Joe Biden. All is well.

The world will kick itself back into gear late Friday, before going on hiatus again at the start of next week for the Republican convention. The world is considerate like that. You should send them a thank you card.

Painting of the day


From artist Brandon Bird, entitled "I AM THE NIGHT"

Today in the Bush Administration

Iraq says U.S. sought troop presence to 2015
The United States asked Iraq for permission to maintain a troop presence there to 2015, but U.S. and Iraqi negotiators agreed to limit their authorization to 2011, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said.

"It was a U.S. proposal for the date which is 2015, and an Iraqi one which is 2010, then we agreed to make it 2011. Iraq has the right, if necessary, to extend the presence of these troops," Talabani said in an interview with al-Hurra television, a transcript of which was posted on his party's website on Wednesday.
I've got to commend the Bush Administration. 2015 is considerably less than forever. And 2015 is an actual number instead of a fanciful idea about an idea of a date sometime in the nebulous future. Iraq settled on it's own deadline: 16 months after Barack Obama's election, as per his plan. But they compromised and came up with 2011. By which I mean Iraq yelled and screamed until the Bush Administration just broke down and said "Fine he's the goddamn trinket you wanted. 2011, you fucking whiners." before immediately regretting it and cramming vague benchmarks, horizons, and indefinite goals, hoping the Iraqis don't look at what they sign. They looked and that's what current debates are over.

One Year Ago Today, Alberto Gonzales Resigned
One year ago today, Alberto Gonzales resigned as Attorney General of the United States amid questions of his “competence to run the Justice Department” and “accusations of perjury.” As the Washington Post reported at the time, Gonzales was “one of the nation’s most controversial attorneys general since the Watergate era”
If you recall, Gonzales set the Justice Department on fire, strode out the front door, and pumped his fist into the air in a freeze frame, as 'Don't You (Forget About Me)' by Simple Minds blared into the surrounding area. Alberto pioneered the legal concept of "whatever Bush does is legal" and ignored so many subpoenas and requests for investigations that it was rumored he had a learning disability or was functionally illiterate. It turns out he was a mendacious prick/hack/crony. The mantle of which has been taken up by the new attorney general Mukasey, who swept into office planning to conduct himself with some semblance of morals, then sent out a memo after he got into the AG office titled "Psyche! Super Psyche!" and conducted himself like a baboon with a degree.

These Bastards guide to Barrypalooza: Day 3

Betta reckognize!

She did it, Biff and Wink, she did it. Hillary Clinton, with one speech, healed the entire Democratic party, which the media told me was irrevocably broken with internecine warfare breaking out on the floor of the convention. Pikemen from Illinois were besieging the suite of Wes Clark, Jimmy Carter was garroting Terry McAulliffe, and suddenly it all stopped as Hillary strode to the stage to tell everyone she supported Barack Obama. Rifts were healed immediately, Al Gore was declared retroactive winner of 2000, and cartoon animals were scampering throughout the mezzanine. She supports Barack Obama and is against John McCain. Who could have foreseen it?

Also, my Senator, Bob Casey, delivered a 'kind of' attack speech in a tone that can only be described as a massively sedated Hank Hill from King of the Hill. He is the most low key, boring man on the earth and he still destroyed Rick Santorum by double digits.

Also of note, of you watch CNN you can hear Paul Begala and James Carville bitch about how no one is giving speeches attack McCain and Bush while speeches go on in the background. If you turn to PBS or C-Span you can see those speeches and hear them hurl invective at Bush and McCain. The best political team in news, CNN.

On tap for night three: danger, intrigue, sexiness, explosions, balls to the wall bare ass speed, and speeches, speeches, speeches. Also officially nominating that Obama guy. No comptrollers today. The theme for the day is: Securing America’s Future.

Cowardly Warbling
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
He's supposed to give a speech about the intertwined policies of John McCain and George Bush, but John Boehner and Mitch McConnell twisted his arm really hard. So he's going to give a speech on why Barack Obama is bad for America. He doesn't really want to, but they just forced his hand and there's nothing he can do about it, he's only the Senate Majority Leader.

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley
Poll fixing and working precincts for amateurs. Vote early and often. He goes through an exhaustive 100 slide power point presentation on how to wring the most votes out of a beleaguered population and a political class that owes you big time. He's the Al Gore of sixties style Democratic machine politics slide presentations. He needs to get to the makers of the voting machine companies like Republicans do, this old school shit doesn't work anymore.

Governor Bill Richardson (Evil version)
Ever since he escaped from a side dimension soon after good Richardson left the race, evil Richardson has been stalking the airwaves with his evil goatee, plotting his evil plots of South Western populism. There will be no awkwardness with James Carville, who called him a Judas. James Carville will be disposed of in a most unpleasant manner: he will be suffocated inside his own ass. Expect podium pounding, exultations of fealty to the United Galactic Federation, and a cry of 'end communication' as he 'x'es his arms over his chest.

President Bill Clinton, Pimp of the Nation
More whining about whether Bill can also heal the divide which Hillary already healed or if he'll get all pouty and shuffle his feet and mumble a bit on the podium. Apparently he'll talk about foreign policy, but he's mad because he wanted to talk about economic issues. Also because his wife lost a spot at the Presidency she was entitled too. But expect much whining about problems between Bill and Barack before everything is declared fixed at the exact conclusion of his speech. That or Clinton pulls out a gun and starts firing it wildly into the Virginia delegation screaming "Why didn't you vote for my wife?"

Senator Joe Biden, Nominee for VP
The big speech of the night, where the veep wannabe launches attacks on Bush and McCain in the inimitable "Oh no you didn't", cutting, disbelieving, loquacious Biden style. Scientists have working all week to come up with the precise medical dose of drugs to keep him on message and to have no side tangents.

No bonus drinking game. Go to church you pathetic drunkard. Your mother weeps for your gin soaked soul.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Picture of the day

(sniff) "I just want white middle-America to like my black friend. He's really (sniff) nice, honest!"

Broken News: Area Manager Ends 1,000th Sentence with "I'm Just that Kind of Manager"

PEORIA, IL--A local middle-management cronie successfully invoked the phrase, "I'm just that kind of manager" for the 1,000th time earlier today, according to four bored staff members who have been keeping track. Dora Louise Frayburg, Regional Sales Manager for Braverhorn, a Chicago-based catalog printer, began using the phrase after a January leadership conference she paid for out-of-pocket.

Given her incessant repetition of the maxim -- a conference workshop claimed it would bestow upon the manager an air of accessibility and friendliness -- Frayburg's sales team could not help but tally incidents of its occurrence on post-it notes and internal emails.

"It took us a week or so to notice, considering none of us really ever pays attention to what she has to say," explained Data Analyst Mark McFadden. "But after a while, it was all you heard. Kind of like when you finally notice an overhead light that's probably been buzzing for days and then you can't not hear it."

Asked about the phrase, Frayburg smiled and leaned forward over her desk, her elbows and interlocked fingers forming a clean, equilateral triangle in front of her. "I learned a great deal about myself and what my employees expect of me. Namely, power coupled with sensitivity, intelligence with humility, and leadership with accessibility. That's why I have my hands in the 'power triangle,' even though you [this reporter] and I are speaking quite plainly. I can tell you that because you're a reporter, but my team has no idea."

"We know exactly what she's doing," explained Senior Sales Representative Lesie Keenen. "Mark used bit torrent to download the PowerPoint deck from that stupid conference she went to. The phrases, the body positioning, the subtle lighting changes in her office. What horseshit. Adding dimmer switches isn't going to make her less incompetent."

As the "Asshole Counter," (pronounced "Cunt-er") as it came to be known amongst the team, inched closer to the 1,000 mark, the group hotly debated how best to mark the occasion. Junior Sales Rep Melissa Jaffe suggested one balloon for each incident be crammed into Freyburg's office, while McFadden and Keenen focused on how best to murder their superior and dispose of the body without being apprehended by the authorities.

"The bog is where I'm thinking," said Keenan. "I figure we lay out the tarp, kill her on it, fold her up in it, put it in the back of my Hyundai, and toss the corpse in the bog. Burn our clothes afterwards. That's how I'd do it. Frankly being caught doesn't even concern me. I might just do it during the morning meeting. Fuck it, let the cops come and take me down. As long as the warden doesn't ever say 'I'm just that kind of warden' I can deal with any number of rapes. Any number."

Although she has been Regional Sales Manager for only six months, less time than any of her employees has been with the company, Frayburg already seems to have ostracized herself completely, her repeated requests for "a lunch on the company tab, double-hush" met with lies about doctor appointments, friends visiting from out of town, and mysterious headaches.

"She just doesn't seem to get it," said McFadden. "The woman routinely passes off her work to us, takes credit for our ass-busting, and is the last one in and first one out every single day. That is what kind of manager she is."

"I hate to turn into one of those type of people that incessantly compares their office to TV and movie offices, but frankly we'd kill for a David Brent," continued Jaffe, referencing the British version of The Office. "Her performance is sub-Lumbergh and I really feel sometimes that I'm going to burn this place down. It's a tinder box of paper, toner, hatred, and particle board."

Still, the repercussions of this new management strategy have not been exclusively negative, with one employee, Cedric Davidson, praising Frayburg, in a manner of speaking.

"Making fun of that loopy bitch got me laid," claims Davidson. "When we finally figured it out, right before Valentine's Day, I all of a sudden had fresh material for my date. That chick thought I was fucking hilarious."

The phrase has even made it's way into their everyday joke rotation, with "I'm just that kind of blank" becoming the go-to quip for instant hilarity. A lunchtime bon mot of "I'm just that kind of sandwich" resulted in tomato soup being snorted through one co-workers nose and a reported near pants wetting.

For her efforts, Frayburg received a Hallmark card signed by the entire team, offering their congratulations. While the card did not specifically state exactly what it was she was being congratulated for, the corporate clown was too busy holding back tears to seek an explanation. Her subordinates having left the room, somehow holding back laughter, Frayburg returned to the 'power triangle' pose and said, "You see? I'm just that kind of manager."

Protest of the day

Well, it was only a matter of time

Criminal masterminds

Colorado authorities have arrested three men in connection with a suspected plot to assassinate Barack Obama during Thursday's speech at Invesco Field.

It began early Sunday, when a rented Dodge pickup being driven by Tharin Gartrell, 28, was pulled over in Aurora on suspicion of drunken driving.

Authorities then saw two rifles in the truck, with a high-powered scope, a bulletproof vest, a walkie-talkie, several boxes of ammunition and some methamphetamine.

Yessuh, can't have ah-selves a proper assassination if we're not cranked on meth.

The idea that these three cretins could potentially murder the most transcendent political figure in a generation is pretty laughable. Still, this probably isn't the last we'll hear of various assassination plots over the next eleven weeks. Maybe the next trio will have a full set of teeth between them.

Maliki not completely on board with Bush time horizons

You remember the episode of the Simpsons called "Cape Feare", where the Simpson family has to go into the witness relocation program to hide from Sideshow Bob? Wait don't leave, I'm an adult. So there's this scene where they try to get Homer to answer to his new last name. It gets to the point where exasperated agents are stomping on Homer's foot while yelling "Hello, Mr. Thompson," just to get Homer to acknowledge they are talking to him.

What does that have to do with anything? It's what Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has been doing for the past month in regards to troop withdrawal. He's stomping on Bush's foot, yelling "Hello, Mr. Thompson" and getting no response.

Maliki wants US troops out in their entirety by 2011 at the latest, with hard conditions and timetables. Bush wants vague "time horzons" with ill defined conditions, unspecific language, and no real intent to leave on any kind of schedule.
"There can be no treaty or agreement except on the basis of Iraq's full sovereignty," al-Maliki told a gathering of Shiite tribal sheiks. He said an accord must be based on the principle that "no foreign soldier remains in Iraq after a specific deadline, not an open time frame."
"We find this to be too vague," a close al-Maliki aide told The Associated Press on Monday. "We don't want the phrase 'time horizons.' We are not comfortable with that phrase," said the aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the negotiations.

Another top al-Maliki aide, also speaking on condition of anonymity for the same reason, said the Iraqi government had "stopped talking about the withdrawal of combat troops. We just talk about withdrawals," including trainers and logistics troops.
I don't think he's getting it Nouri, stomp harder.

McCain: On going to the well once too often

John McCain has been bringing up the fact that he's a POW alot lately. Not as a descriptor in telling people his story, but as a bizarre non-sequiter to any criticism of him. It generally goes something like this "Boy, John you sure did put a bunch of mayo on that turkey club." "I was a POW, the VC didn't give me mayo in my cage." Then followed by an awkward silence as you can audibly hear a man cheapening his own impressive legacy.

He brought it up to defend his inadequate heath care policy and criticism of it. He used it describe why he liked Abba. Honest. Now he's using it to defend his little "I don't know how many houses I have" gaffe. Jay Leno asked him a jokey question about in then..."Could I just mention to you Jay, that in a moment of seriousness, I spent five and a half years in a prison cell, I didn't have a house, I didn't have a kitchen table, I didn't have a table, I didn't have a chair..." Yeah, uhhhh, but why couldn't you remember?

Just a suggestion John: look at Rudy Giuliani. Remember how he used to be "America's Mayor" and how everyone was so sure he was going to be the nominee? Then remember how he decided to cram a 9/11 reference into every sentence and always gave 9/11 as an answer for why he thought or did something? Then remember how Biden buried him with the "Noun, verb, 9/11" remark? That's you in about a month. You're like one or two more POW uses away from self parody status. I know, I know, you're a POW. But there's a time and a place for mentioning it and the default response for why some recent event has made you look stupid isn't it. Abba? Just consider this the one bit of advice I gave you this year. Unless you want to consider 'drop out and go away' advice. I do, but you wouldn't. Because you're a POW.

These Bastards guide to Barrypalooza: Day 2

Attempting to follow a successful (supposedly) first night where Ted Kennedy made his reappearance and give a rousing speech about health care and Michelle Obama apparently gave a good speech, the Democrats stage night 2 of their convention. I couldn't handle the incessant media references to Hillary Clinton and "healing the party" and switched off fairly early. I'm probably not going to like tonight.

Not much on the excitement front other than Kennedy. Maybe they need to bus in Dan Rather, so he can get jostled around the floor and then punched. Just like the good old days. No one would punch a news person now, no matter how much they deserve it. C'mon North Dakota delegation, earn your spot, slug Wolf Blitzer right in the mouth.

The theme for day two is "RENEWING AMERICA'S PROMISE", which somehow implies that America isn't as great as it could or used to be. Couldn't even hold the America bashing for one convention. Consternations.

Invocation Reverend Cynthia Hale
Unclear how crazy this reverend is and if she ever gave angry sermons that can be pinned on Barack Obama. Get on it right wing bloggers. We must know.

Remarks The Honorable Dennis Kucinich, Member of the US House of Representatives, Ohio
Pity applause abounds and camera shots of his smokin' hot wife. The theme of his speech is "Impeachment: C'moooooon, what's this Texas bastard gotta do to get tossed on his ass?" He then planned and interactive Impeachment for the crowd as he reads the articles and the crowd votes on them based on applause. Then after getting his fake applause impeachment he goes back to his hotel and cries, just a little bit.

Remarks The Honorable John Chiang, State Comptroller, California
DNC, what's with all the comptrollers? I see senators, congressmen, governors, former Presidents........and then comptrollers. That can't be one of the higher government positions. Furthermore this guy gets a better slot than Kucinich and the Congressional Black Caucus. The Dems love people who supervise government accounting and financial reporting.

The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton, US Senator, New York
The big speech of the night where everyone pretends to be excited and pretends that her sense of entitlement and bitter feelings over losing were justified. Expect boilerplate about change and unity as well as forceful statements about supporting Obama. Then all the talking heads who have decreed the Democratic party so split (no not really, come up with a better manufactured story), will have this conversation:

"Well Biff, do you think she did it? Did she heal the divide?"
"I think she did, Wink. I think she just did."

Bonus drinking game: "Heal the divide" and "rift" are the drink words. Just write out the suicide note now, that's just what the cops are going to believe anyway when they see you drank yourself to death within 20 minutes of CNN's coverage of the convention.

photo from mmmichelle used under creative commons license

Monday, August 25, 2008

About that whole "dissent" thing...

Those brave journalists tasked with crafting a Convention narrative of Democratic Party tongue kissing between trips to the ClearChannel tent for a shot of Stoli and another hand job have pretty much neglected to mention the protests taking place outside the Pepsi Center. You have to dig in any of the larger papers just to get the sense that, shockingly, not everyone is pleased about two wars, regulatory malfeasance, rampant PAC influence, and all the other bullshit we don't talk about in polite company. Grabbed a few, though, for your angry pleasure:

-WSJ's Washington Wire wrote up the detention of four protesters who didn't have proper ID. has some anti-war march footage.

-The Colorado Independent, which you should all be paying more attention to in the next couple of days, claims two were arrested at the end of an anti-war rally earlier today.

Also worth keeping an eye on is the People's Law Project, an organization cobbled together by the National Lawyers Guild to defend dissent at the convention. Don't forget: despite what the last seven years have taught you, America, you are still permitted to voice disagreement.

A filthy habit

Praise be unto Himz0rz

Figured I would give you all a break from watching Matthew's brain liquify at the sight of the DNC's Barrypalooza conduct.

Turns out an Italian priest is organizing a beauty pageant. For nuns.

An Italian priest says he is organising the world's first beauty pageant for nuns to erase a stereotype of them as being old and dour.

Antonio Rungi says The Miss Sister Italy online contest will start on his blog in September.

"Nuns are above all women and beauty is a gift from God," he told Italy's Corriere della Sera newspaper.

So here's how it works: Nuns from across Italy, perhaps the world, will submit their photos to the Padre and then we'll all get to vote on who's the hottest. Given the potential size of the field -- as of 2007, there are almost 1 million nuns in The Shit -- and the fact that we'll be judging based solely on facial features, oddsmakers are reluctant to lay down a line just yet.

But we know where our money is going.

Bow before Dobson and his tornado God

Four twisters touch down near Parker, Castle Rock
At least four tornadoes touched down Sunday afternoon southeast of Denver between the towns of Castle Rock and Parker, but somehow managed to twist dangerously by new housing developments.

The thunderstorms also unleashed a sudden deluge of rain and hail on several subdivisions.

"It was like it snowed during and after the tornado," said Stephen Klein, 15, who lives in the Sapphire Pointe subdivision with his family about a mile-and-a-half southeast of where the tornado touched down. Klein, his mother and two brothers headed to the basement after a neighbor alerted them of the twister.
Uh-oh. Seems Focus on the Family has magical powers. They prayed so hard for rain they got tornadoes. Twisters. Funnel cakes of destruction. God is angry that the sodomites have entered Denver and is retaliating with force. Frankly, I knew this day would come when God would align with James Dobson. That's why I had my 'deathbed acceptance of God' speech updated to be given while I'm still alive. I won't go down with the rest of you, bursting into flames and boils the second you pull that lever or punch that card for Obama. It won't happen if you use touchscreen voting, because that vote will be counted for McCain. Repent! REPENT! God is Republican and angry!

DNC has wood

Dept. of Lame Gimmicks alert.
The Democrats have embarked on a highly visible effort to make their convention the "greenest" ever, focusing on everything from expanded recycling to more creative programs like encouraging Denver restaurants to offer "lean 'n' green" meals made with healthful, organic, and locally sourced ingredients. But not all of their environmentally friendly initiatives have gone as planned. Take the hotel card keys, for example. Instead of the traditional plastic cards, the Sheraton in downtown handed guests Visa-sponsored swipe cards "made from sustainably-harvested wood." The plan lasted all of a few hours. By Saturday night, enough guests had reported problems getting into their rooms with the wooden cards that the front desk clerks had abandoned them and switched back to the plastic cards. A clerk said they were now handing out one of each and suggested that the wooden one could kept as a souvenir.
You couldn't even last one day before turning into complete self parody, could you DNC? I leave you alone for five minutes and wooden key cards is what I get? Congratulations, you're a walking self parody. A living cliche. I'm betting on hemp press passes, Fiji water out of the taps, and the convention is powered completely by burning the remnants of Gore/Lieberman and Kerry/Edwards signs.

Wood keycards. Honestly.

GM and Ford: The free market strikes again

US Automakers Want $50 Billion in Federal Loans
Automakers plan to urge Congress to support funding up to $50 billion in low-interest loans over three years to help them modernize their assembly plants and develop next-generation fuel-efficient vehicles.

Industry officials said the loans, which are twice the amount authorized in last year's energy bill, are a top priority when Congress returns next month because of the declining fortunes of Detroit's automakers and tightening credit markets.
Auto industry officials have argued that the loan program would not represent a bailout, but would be similar to aid lawmakers have given to Wall Street investment banks and struggling mortgage firms. They also note that auto companies face tens of billions of dollars in costs from new fuel economy regulations.

"We don't see it as a bailout. We see it as government assistance to help retooling tied to the production of these advanced technology vehicles," Reuther said.
Add the auto companies to the list with airlines and banks of companies who need you to help them out of their awful management and decisions. Seems when the marketplace has deemed you incompetent, unprofitable, and poorly run then those free market ideals don't really have much traction. That's when you need billions and billions in government bailouts to save your flagging brand from the dire straights you put it in.

It seems ample warning and ample time to change weren't enough for Detroit. Every other automaker seemed to handle the future quite well. But not Ford and GM, no they thought gas would always be cheap and there would never be any demand for fuel efficient cars. Everyone would drive SUV's forever and they wouldn't ever have to come up with a new idea again. Boo hoo. Poor them.

LET THEM FAIL. If they can't hack it, fine, some other car company will come in to fill the void. Sell the plants to Toyota or Honda, let them build cars here. Hey maybe a new automaker will start up, one that will actually know how to function properly as a car company. Who knows. But don't hand them a blank check and say "Sorry you messed up and were the only car companies unable to change, will this money make it better?" Let them fail. The market has deemed them irrelevant. Spend the $50 billion on mass transit. Bullet trains. Free hats. Anything else.

RNC Convention: Whither Cheney?

With the DNC Convention upon us, it is time to start wondering about what delights will be in store for us from September 1-4 at the RNC Convention. More importantly what is a party that is trying to distance itself from itself going to do about the massively unpopular Bush and Cheney tag team? So far the plan is to have them speak the first day and then spend the next 3 pretending that it never happened.

As to wit, they're even shuffling Cheney out of the country.
BREAKING – White House release: “Vice President Cheney will travel abroad beginning September 2, 2008. President Bush has asked the Vice President to travel to Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine and Italy for discussions with these key partners on issues of mutual interest. The Vice President will meet with President Aliyev of Azerbaijan, President Saakashvili of Georgia.”
Yes tend to things in Azerbaijan, Dick, we'll handle the party stuff back here. Couldn't they organize a summit meeting with the lavamen and hollow earth reptoids that live miles underground? Azerbaijan is a little out in the open, people might see him and remember that he's a Republican.....and so is John McCain. Connecting dots!

Perhaps it's not to late to reschedule some David Blaine-esque magic trick for him to do. They convince Cheney that they'll bury him underground for four days as a fund raising stunt for destitute oil executives. Then they bury him and never dig him up, leaving his undead wrath to a future society thousands of years hence. That ought to be good for a 10 point bump in the polls.

Urban Ninja

Police Arrest Ninja Nerds Claiming To Target Drug Dealers
Police arrested two men dressed like ninjas and armed with Asian martial arts weapons who said they were delivering warning letters to drug dealers and users.

Calling themselves "Shinobi warriors," the men carried knives, throwing stars, swords, nunchucks and a bow and arrows.
In the letter, the two men accused drug dealers and users of having "committed sin of passing impurity" to others and that the "wind guides us to those of impure heart and intent."

"Their intentions may have been good, but we tell everyone that they shouldn't take the law into their own hands because it will cause more problems for everyone in the long run," Detective Capt. Robert Rowan said.

Trojaniak's father told The Associated Press his son is "not a maniac" and was only trying to help a friend.
If you get caught by the cops on your first ninja mission, you are bad ninjas. What were you doing, walking the streets dressed as ninjas or did you get out of your dad's Dodge Stratus to hand deliver the notes in full ninja garb? Also, I'm betting you had the equivalent of 5 martial arts classes and watched the Matrix, the Goddamn Batman, and American Ninja waaay too often. Secondly, I'm sure some letter about the wind and impure hearts really put the fear of God into the OG hoods slingin' rock on the street corner. The police saved you from a brutal shooting. Thank them.

Next time you wage war on the criminal underground may I suggest a Glock or Uzi instead of the nunchucks? Also, train in the Orient for about a decade and then try this out. Buy one get one at the Cobra Kai Dojo isn't going to cut it no matter how hard, fast, and without mercy they strike. Better yet, dress up as a wizard or hobbit and wage unending battle against the guy who sold your ex-girlfriend weed and then nailed her. Even better still, get over it and grow up. Or get smoke grenades. Yeah, the smoke would have hidden you better. Go with smoke the next time.

These Bastards guide to Barrypalooza: Day 1

Where's the giant America flag, Democrats? You better believe John-boy will make the opening speech from Patton look like it coulda used a bigger flag.

It's everyone's favorite time of the year: political convention time! The time where America's favorite prime time sitcoms are pre-empted in an attempt to force citizens to take an active interest in their country. Hasn't worked yet! Perhaps in four years they can devise an extra funny quip for Charlie Sheen to crack on Two and a Half Men that drives up voter turnout. Boring speeches by people they don't know doesn't work.

The theme is One Nation. Some sort of obvious communist code. On deck for today:

Call to Order
The Honorable Howard Dean
Dean grunts open the ceremonies with the traditional bang of the gavel, good luck shot of bourbon, and voodoo incantation of bad omens towards Republicans and America. He then moves outside for the ceremonial "arresting of the first protester" where he turns the firehose on some socialist from a New England Liberal Arts College, destroying his senior thesis: a giant Vladimir Putin puppet holding a "Nyet!" banner.

National Anthem
Colorado Children's Chorale
These children love America and thus, by extension, so do Democrats. They hope this will provide cover for their secret, evil intentions I heard about on Hannity's show the other day. Unlike the Republican convention, they are in no danger of being molested by any members of Florida's 16th district.

Ballin' Dan "Comptroll That Ass" Hynes: State Comptroller, Illinois
America's most beloved state comptroller. How they were able to get him to free up his schedule and appear is beyond me. His combustible personality and free wheeling, showboat comptrolling has made him beloved in his home state of Illinois. Many have him tapped for the Presidency in 2016.

The Honorable Jesse Jackson, Jr.
Awkwaaaaard. Expect a lot of apologizing for his father and reaffirmations that he doesn't want to cut Barack's nuts off. In fact, everybody's nuts are safe at the DNC, that is his solemn pledge. Complimentary jock staps and cups will be handed out with a picture of him making the 'safe' sign on them.

Senator Edward M. Kennedy Tribute
Both speeches and video honoring Sweaty Teddy, the most liberal man in America. Reports have him appearing by video or perhaps even busting through a brick wall, marching to the podium, knocking over Claire McCaskill, and delivering a stem-winder about universal health care. In any event, you'll have to try and hear it over the teeth grinding and bitter whispers of "Chappaquiddick" from your angry Republican friend. Why do you make him watch these things anyway?

Michelle Obama
Closing off the night with a big speech is Barack's wife Michelle. Terrorist fist bumps abounds! Not the usual spot for the wife, what with the big speech making on the first night, but expect either a real political conventiony type speech or a paean about why she loves Barry and thus you should too.

Then the convention day ends and we all go to sleep with dreams of Jim Leach and Amy Klobuchar giving speeches about Unity in our heads.

Bonus drinking game: Do a shot every time they mention John McCain's million houses. You won't even make it past 7:15. Learn to drink like a man!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Obama/Petraeus '08

I must confess I don't fully understand the mind of the 'elected Republican' or warmongerus republicanus. Sure I didn't expect praise of Joe Biden from their end, hell I'm not praising it that much other than for the Howlin' Mad Murphy "Zing of the Day" quality he'll bring. So the cries that he didn't sufficiently blow Obama hard enough during the primary and once upon a time referred to McCain without cursing were expected. To some extent so was McCain's bizarre "Shoulda Picked Hillary" ad which appeals to all the bitter PUMA's that he hopes will ignore his horrid record on women's issues (no equal pay, all your uterus belong to us, pro free boner pills against free contraception, voted to gut family and medical leave, etc...) and his general right wingedness to vote for him based on pure Obama spite. It's Obama's fault for having the nerve to win.

Bridge collapsing evangelical, Minnesota Governor, and McCain VP hopeful Tim Pawlenty decided to go in another direction. Oh sure he hit on the "Biden is a political insider" thing, which is interesting considering the man he's stumping for, but he went for the gusto: he criticized Obama for not picking General Petraeus as his VP. Guh? Uh, OK Tim. That's not the direction I would have gone in, but uh, yeah, uh, Obama really dropped the ball on this one. How dare he not pick the sitting commander in Iraq. It's unconscionable. Democrats hate the military or something. Tim, next time don't go of script, freelance, or 23-skidoo an answer off the top of your head. It sounds crazy and weird. Just stick to Obama is a/an elitist/tax and spend liberal/Muslim/not ready to lead/liberal liberal liberal and Joe Biden is a/an consummate insider/blowhard/McCain lover/Muslim. It'll save us all brain pain.