Monday, August 31, 2009

Stay classy

I'm glad that the religious types have chosen sides in this health care battle. Because if we know one thing it's that Jesus would not have wanted health care to be cheap or accessible. What was it he said? Something along the lines of "Fuck the poor. If My Father wanted them to be able to afford health care, He would have blessed them with riches." It's somewhere in the back of the bible. Jesus says it at a 1000 denarii a plate dinner for Pontius Pilate.

Among those hoping for the defeat of all things Obama is Arizona preacher Steven Anderson who is pissed off at Barry because he heard a rumor that the health care bill that hasn't passed might also allow women dominion over their own uterus, and he's also pissed about gays, and abortion, and gays, and abortion again. He really doesn't like Barry.
“I’m not gonna pray for his good. I’m going to pray that he dies and goes to hell.”
Just in case you were confused, he wants to make it absolutely clear that, no, you didn't mishear him.
I hope that God strikes Obama with brain cancer so he can die like Ted Kennedy. You know, and I hope it happens today.
I hope he's praying to get his front door kicked in by the Secret Service, I think God is up for granting that wish.

Picture of the day

via TPM comes a look at Tom "Twinkletoes" DeLay's preparations for the All-Texas prison dance off. He has appropriated some poor unfortunate woman to be his dance partner and has equipped himself with some sort of horrid sexual virility harness. He means business.

Broken In Brief: DJ AM's iPod announces it will continue on without him

The iPod's emoticons were on full display during today's tearful announcement.

LOS ANGELES—Today, with great sadness in its processing core, DJ AM’s iPod, a white, 120 GB classic model, announced that it was going to fulfill the late musician’s contractual obligations to clubs and venues around the US.

“Although I am devastated by his untimely death, I know that this is what he would have wanted me to do,” the iPod said during a emotional press conference. “Luckily, not only am I programmed with all of his favorite tunes, but I also hold many of the very playlists that he enthralled club goers worldwide with. I just want people to know that I am committed to bringing them the full DJ AM experience that they knew and loved so well: familiar hits and popular remixes, competently ordered and played through a large sound system.”

When asked about any tributes or additional material for the tour, the iPod did mention that joining him during select dates would be Samantha Ronson’s iPod, which would be adding scratchy noises over the song playlist while manning DJ AM’s turntables, an object AM’s iPod assured people was “largely for show.” As for future shows, the iPod seemed hesitant.

“Sure, I’d like to continue on,” said the machine, its view screen fogging up slightly. “God knows that after the playlists run out I can just use my shuffle function. But after that…it’s up in the air. I just will have to trust in the ability of the iTunes Genius feature to find new songs that are exactly like all the other songs on my hard drive. Other than that, I’ll just hire someone to download Top 40 hits and radio promo CD’s onto myself….*sniff*…so I can honor his musical legacy.”

....goddamnit Cleveland

Why do you make it this easy to mock you? For those of you who are interested: the real bear is still loose, the cardboard bear is safely locked in the utility closet of Fox 8 news.......for now. Some say when the full moon rises and it's a particularly dry night, the cardboard nightmare stalks the night, delivering papercuts and moving in its haunting, wavy pattern.

Cheap Blogging Crutch 08.31

More ‘Evidence’ of Intelligent Design Shot Down by Science
I don't know. You mean to tell me that combining the intellectual rigor of 'God did it" with lying about actual science doesn't stand up to scientific scrutiny? Color me surprised and subsequently damned by God for all eternity for believing in Darwin's monkey myth. We'll throw it on the pile with all the other clear refutations. I feel sorry for the scientists studying this stuff. Sure they're making important discoveries about biology and evolution, but their audience is a group of people who will never be swayed by things like "evidence" and "scientific proof." Oh well, here's to hoping someone just finds a golden tablet under a tree that says God says evolution is real. Then, we'll have real proof.

Trial by Fire: Did Texas execute an innocent man?
Yes, it's what they do. Next question. Oh, you wanted to know if Texas executed a specific man who also happened to be innocent. Yes. Next question. But please, do read the New Yorker's comprehensive story on the case of one Cameron Todd Willingham and how you can get executed over disproven forensics and a host of other obvious mistakes and lies and a Governor too busy prattling on about secession to read about things like science and evidence.

The Cutting Edge – Humidity, Summer Skiing at Falwell's University
You know when your school doesn't have to spend money on things like accreditation and accurate science textbooks...or really any books other than the bible, you get to buy the campus some pretty kick ass shit. Like a snowless ski hill. Because what other way is there to crank out the next generation of Monica Goodlings unless your campus is not only pious, but totally radical.

Environmentalists Slow to Adjust in Climate Debate
Other than the first rule of dealing with hippies (Never go with a hippie to a second location), the second is the most important: never let the hippies organize a counter lobbying effort when they're pitted against energy conglomerates. See the story of concerted organization, junkets, press time, and face time with legislators vs. ......stickers. Yeah, looks like sensible environmental legislation and cap & trade is going to have to wait a while. On the bright side, at least Phish is back together.

Israel's Wealthiest Woman Says She Can See the Future
I think we found the answer to the question "How much money do you have to have before your crazy outbursts, deranged proclamations, and God complex are largely ignored?" The answer is $2.7 billion, which is the exact amount that Shari Arison, the richest woman in the Middle East and seer of the future, is carting around. So if you want people to believe your street-corner proclamations about government nanobots in your blood, you better start investing.

Decision to end ‘Reading Rainbow’ traced to a ‘shift’ in priorities during the Bush administration.
Turns out you can pretty much blame everything on the Bush Administration, even the cancellation of beloved reading shows. But then again you can see the logic. They were pretty sure that the book banning thing was going to catch on more than it did and didn't see the need to fund a show that promoted reading. It's a shame, Reading Rainbow's review of "The Pet Goat" was what famously got George to pick up the book in the first place....and not put it down for 7 minutes.

Shocking revelations of an unfathomably surprising nature

Cheney Says He Was Proponent for Military Action Against Iran
Former Vice President Dick Cheney hinted that, in the waning days of the Bush administration, he had pushed for a military strike to destroy Iran's nuclear-weapons program.

In an interview on Fox News Sunday, Mr. Cheney described himself as being isolated among advisers to then-President George W. Bush, who ultimately decided against direct military action.

"I was probably a bigger advocate of military action than any of my colleagues," Mr. Cheney said in response to questions about whether the Bush administration should have launched a pre-emptive attack prior to handing over the White House to Barack Obama.
Wouldn't that have just been the perfect ending to the Bush Administration? "Here black dude, we just bombed the everliving shit out of Iran because Dick really, really wanted to. I think that makes it three wars in the Middle East we're leaving you with. Oh, and the crippling economic collapse. Ah well, good luck. I'll be in Dallas if you need me!" Those must have been a hellish last couple of weeks for various Bush Administration officials. You're trying to find a new job after this current one has tainted your reputation and every few days you have to run over to the White House to form the opposition to some half baked military invasion that Dick Cheney wants to enact, whether it's Iran again or he wants to carpet bomb Central America because he thinks the guy that fucked up his lunch order was vaguely Panamanian.

This was all part of the Dick's wide-ranging, some would say tragically sycophantic, interview with Chris Wallace. In the interview they covered such subjects as why Cheney is not only cool with torture, he's cool with interrogators going above and beyond the specific torture methods they approved, as well as his consternation about how politicized the Justice Department is now, and a few overt dares to investigate his various crimes. He even caused John McCain to stand up and take notice, deriding the effectiveness of torture and the vapidness of Cheney's arguments, though with the caveat that despite the illegality and Geneva Conventions violating nature of the crimes that the best way to move forward and make sure it never happened again was to not investigate one single thing about it.

God love Dick Cheney's media tours, he's such a font of rage inducing hypocrisy. Did I mention he's writing a book? I can't wait for that thing to come out, I think it might cause Keith Olbermann and Bill Maher's heads to explode at the same time.

Interactive fascism

View Book Bans and Challenges, 2007-2009 in a larger map

via the American Library Association comes this Google Map of all the recorded 513 book ban challenges for last year. I know what you're saying "Only 513? We must be getting more tolerant." Nope. The ALA thinks that only about 20-25% of bans get reported.

Most surprising about the list? No Utah. There's always next year, though. As the 2009 list is not yet out, these are all for last year. But according to the ALA's top 10 Richardson and Parnell's And Tango Makes Three was last years most banned book. It's a book about gay penguins. Pulling into second is Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, which is about God as we know Him being a lie and polar bears kicking the shit out of each other. Lest you think that expressing tolerance, dislike of religion, and combining them with arctic animals is the only thing that will get you on the list, rest assured, humanizing Arabs gets you a black mark.

Looking back at previous top 10's I see that Catcher in the Rye, Huck Finn, and Of Mice and Men are still making waves. Really? Some school districts are still hashing it out whether or not these are literary classics? I just hope that when the ALA drops their 2009 list, hopefully during Banned Book Week (plan your book burning parties accordingly) next month, we can finally start getting some consistent new blood in there. If we don't change things up, people are just going to tune out yet another Huck Finn banning. Twain's had his day, let's start making a concerted effort to revile Phillip Pullman and Cormac McCarthy. For the sake of the children.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Broken In Brief: Gym room full of men who totally didn't notice that hot woman walk in

MOBILE—While information at this point is preliminary, sources are reporting that an entire room full of men at the Mobile area Bally’s Total Fitness has totally not noticed that an attractive woman has entered the establishment with the intention of also working out. Honest.

“Oh really? There’s an attractive woman over there? I hadn’t noticed,” claimed the noticeably pudgy George Pappas, 25, while he piled extra 50 pound weights onto the end of the bar. “I’m just here to do my normal workout of clean jerking 800 pounds up over my head like I always do: without a spotter. While it’s not a feat most men can do, I’m not most normal men. That’s just the sort of dedication I put into fitness, nay, all aspects of my life,” he finished saying loudly.

“Personally, I think it’s great that she’s taking an interest in her health, but other than that I couldn’t care less,” observed Will Granger, 22, in the midst of cranking up both the speed and incline of the treadmill he was on and attempting to run in a really cool manner. “I’m just here to do my workout in the same way I always do: to the extreme, while showing that I drive a BMW and earn a yearly six figure income,” he gasped out as the strain of running uphill at such a speed began to sap his endurance.

Others were also willing to come forward and state that they, too, had also totally not noticed the woman, an 8.5 or possibly 9, who had entered, but were interrupted by Mr. Pappas’ painful shrieks as his attempt to beat a world weightlifting record by some 250 pounds was derailed by a tragic ankle shattering and violent rectal prolapse.

Cheap Blogging Crutch 08.28

Dominick Dunne’s Quarter-Century
Lost in all the hubbub over some Senator dying was the passing of Vanity Fair journalist Dominick Dunne. While he wrote on many subjects he was most known and most acclaimed for his work looking at how celebrity and high society interacted with the judicial system. From Claus von Bulow to OJ to Phil Specter he covered a hell of a lot of rich crooks. Vanity Fair has been kind enough to put up links to his greatest hits. Good read.

An Emptied Flask Makes for Empty Promises
As if you didn't already know, science has come out and definitively proven that all that shit you claim you're totally going to do when you're drunk (take a swing at your old man, ask that pretty girl out, better yourself, stop taking shit from people, pulling your life together) are all just drunken bullshit. They even coined a term for it: alcohol myopia. But don't worry, after a couple more shots and a few more beers you'll show those fucking eggheads who'll do what, you'll show everyone.

Small Midwestern States To Be Hit Hardest By Climate Change: Report
Ahh Life, it's your small ironies that give you such great flavor. See it turns out that some of the states most opposed to global warming and climate change legislation will hilariously see their parcels of land most resemble an ultra-hot, skin melting frying pan. Oh sure, we'll all fry, but they'll fry a little hotter and burn a little crisper. Now if only all the coal states were within flooding distance for when the icecaps melt....

California Garage Sale: State Holds Giant Garage Sale To Raise Funds
If you were in the market for a giant state seal with a bear on it it or perhaps some stuff Jerry Brown forgot to take out of his gubernatorial storage locker, the state of California, comically reaping the bitter harvest of electing Arnold Schwarzenegger and their idiotic ballot measure system, have been reduced to hawking their goods in an attempt to pay for stuff like schools. If you buy over $500 worth of stuff, Arnold will personally deliver it to your house and say whichever catch phrase of his you want to hear.

War in Darfur is finished, claims UN commander
You know what I think tipped the tide: the hipsters with their Darfur t-shirts. But still, you see all the good that can happen when you just let a despotic government genocide itself out? By strategically doing nothing we made sure that they'd eventually fall into our trap of getting tired of ethnically cleansing the countryside. Well done, international community!

Happy birthday!

I hope you would all kindly join me in wishing a very happy birthday to oil today. Oil just turned 150. Oil, you've barely changed at all over the years, still as black and slick as you were when we first pulled you out of the ground.

That's right, today is the 150th anniversary of when a charming, unemployed drifter and accomplished fake colonel Colonel Edwin Drake and his associate, the hobo sounding “Uncle Billy” Smith, started the first commercial well in Titusville, PA sparking the creation of the oil industry as we know it. Here we are 150 years later and that precious dinosaur blood well has turned Titusville into a megalopolis and the world's shining jewel. As the country moved off of whale oil and onto this viscous thunder-lizard blood, we soon saw the rise of oil companies, cars, plastics, chemical industries, and areas that housed radical fundamentalist Muslims (like Titusville).

So happy birthday, oil and commercial oil industry! Sure we may have already hit Peak Oil an dthe are using you at a clip that doesn't seem sustainable, but you understand, right? Now if you don't mind, we'd like to get on with finding out a way that we can do without you. Nothing personal, it's just this damned heat and smog and preacher murdering, bellowing oil men. Thanks for the memories.

Damn this politicization

Ahh we've already come to an important time in the aftermath of Senator Ted Kennedy's death. And here I though tit would take more than three days. It is a time where people who despised Ted Kennedy, his ideals, his legislative record, and issues that were important to him, get to take to the airwaves en masse to complain that everyone else is politicizing his death.....and that oh by the way that means everyone should rally to defeat stuff that meant a lot to Kennedy, like health care. I mean is there any better defender of Ted Kennedy's legacy than Rush Limbaugh?
Key conservative voices have begun to charge in the day after Sen. Ted Kennedy’s death that Democrats are inappropriately politicizing the senator’s death, his memorial and his legacy.
"Placing [Kennedy’s] name on a health-care bill, in memoriam, or using his name as a sympathy ploy to advance a health care bill that would deny Americans the choices Sen. Kennedy had is an insult and is supreme hypocrisy,” the talk show host Rush Limbaugh said Wednesday. 'The senator's passing is going to give them the opportunity to use the sympathy play to get as much done in his name as possible."

"No government was a partner with God in Ted Kennedy's death. To put his name on this current health-care bill would be to insult what he stood for,” Limbaugh said.
Yes, I can think of no greater insult to the American people than Democrats using Ted Kennedy's lifelong fight to extend health care coverage to all Americans to...extend health care coverage to all Americans, or even worse: by letting Americans get the same coverage that Kennedy got because he was a member of the Senate. I can think of no greater polar opposites, of no greater incongruity.

All I know is that when I see Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity advocate for the same idea and line of thinking within two sentences in the same article and try to put forth the idea that an event that hasn't even happened yet is irrevocably politicized, I am filled with the knowledge that it is undeniably a good idea and the product of honest people trying valiantly to protect Ted Kennedy's legacy and look out for the American people. In fact, I agree, in order to honor Ted Kennedy and make sure there isn't even a whiff of politicization in the air we need to make sure health care is defeated! For Teddy!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hot hot hot

Never let it be said that These Bastards isn't your gateway to the heights of international sporting competition. For your edification comes the 2009 Sauna World Championships! Now I'm not going to pretend like you all didn't already go online to check out who won, so I'll just casually mention that Timo Kaukonen won by lasting 226 seconds in a sauna heated to 230°F.

I know what you're saying, "How in the holy world of fuck did Timo Kaukonen beat Ilkka Pöyhiä and Jarmo Nylund?" Listen brother, Timo just had the will to win. I know, I had all my money on Pöyhiä as well, but Nylund? Everyone knows Nylund is all mobbed up and is a dirty The fix was in, he took a dive. Sorry to bust up everything you ever thought you knew about competitive, but we never said reading These Bastards was going to be pretty, just that it was going to rip the lid off of injustice no matter where it hid. Congrats to Timo "Hot Box" Kaukonen and the rest of the human lobsters.

Quote of the day

Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi on why he finds it so personally rewarding to be a part of the Finance Committee's so called Gang of Six:
"If I hadn't been involved in this process as long as I have and to the depth as I have, you would already have national health care," he said.

"Someone has to be at the table asking questions," Enzi said, showing a flash of passion.

He later quoted a favorite saying: "If you're not at the table, you're on the menu."

"It's not where I get them to compromise, it's what I get them to leave out," Enzi said.
Wonderful. Let's all thank Max Baucus for finding yet another valuable and worthwhile negotiating partner for health care. I mean not only does he gleefully take credit for the fact that this country would already have health care if it weren't for him, but then he proudly swears it as his duty to get Democrats to weaken and compromise a bill that he in fact has no plans of ever supporting.

If this is what good faith negotiations look like, I'd hate to see what bad faith health care negotiations look like. I guess this does raise one interesting question: what exactly does someone have to say before Baucus eventually gets hip to the fact that they have no interest in getting health care reform passed? Is Enzi going to have to scream "Fuck health care!" while firing off a Tommy-gun in the senate parking lot? Because apparently stating your fervent opposition to getting anything done in simple terms isn't registering with Max.

Broken News: Bloggers missing, presumed dead, after extensive journey up their own asses

PITTSBURGH—Local and state police, as well as Pennsylvania national parks authorities began what they deemed an "extensive search” for two area bloggers reported missing after what readers characterized as unprecedented journey up their own asses. While the search is only in its preliminary stages, privately law enforcement officials aren’t optimistic that the two self-styled satirists will be found alive, given the amount of time they’ve spent up their own asses, as well as the sheer rectal depths to which they have spelunked.

"At seven AM EST, local authorities, in conjunction with park personnel, have commenced a search for the two individuals known as 'Matthew' and 'Sean' of TheseBastards,” announced Allegheny Country Sheriff John Garrett. “While no one can be exactly sure how long these two men have been up their own asses, we do know they first ventured into the terrain over a year ago and have been making trips of increasing length and distance ever since. At this time we would like to assure the public and whatever friends or family member might still be speaking to these two that we will exhaust every resource in bringing them, or their twisted corpses, back in as few pieces as possible.”

While sources differ as to the exact moment the two verbal vagrants became ensconced in their rectal caverns, most of the dozen fans of their juvenile blog place the moment somewhere around the increased discussion of the health care debate in Washington and Ted Kennedy’s death. Supposedly this is when Matthew and Sean ventured so far up into their anuses that they became disoriented and have since been unable to find their way back out.

“I became concerned after their ‘Broken in Brief' piece on Ted Kennedy marked the third time in recent months that they had tastelessly mocked a celebrity on the very day of their death,” observed TheseBastards historian David Parkinson, referring to the duo’s short-form satirical news pieces to which site readers are regularly subjected after accidental Google mis-clicks during extensive searches for hermaphrodite midget amputee pornography. “After I perused some of their political opinions on the issues of the day I knew that they were irrevocably stuck in their own asses and so I placed the call to local wildlife and game wardens.”

It was at this point that officials from the Allegheny Sheriff’s Department were brought in. Maps were quickly drawn up and search teams were organized to look for the duo’s whose website reaches a total audience numbering in the hundreds per day, with committed readership reaching into the low thirties.

“Thankfully, the sheer size and vastness of their rectal cavities have assured us we will be able to bring in the requisite manpower and equipment,” observed Erin Winston, herself a warden for Pennsylvania’s Department of Parks, Recreation, Fisheries, and Esoteric Anal Substrata. “Luckily, the blogging revolution has given us plenty of experience with these sort of self-aggrandizing ‘my opinions are so important’, ‘aren’t I so clever’ types who go missing in their own keister.”

Indeed, after reading the first page of the duo’s missives local authorities were quick to declare a Level 7 National Review Rectal Event after Sullivan Levels proved to be off the charts. Much of the challenge of the next few days will be field testing advanced experimental equipment, such as rectal excavators, posterior terrain vehicles, gas masks, and aerial support vehicles modified to fly in such harsh environments, most of which was never bench tested after being rushed through development when rumors that Sean Hannity was going to start a daily blog began circulating earlier this year.

“But this is only the beginning. We also have to prepare for what happens if they’re found alive,” observed Dr. Heinrich Otto, Director of the Center for the Study of Internet Delusion at the University of Pittsburgh. “We have to engage in an intense deprogramming regimen so that they never again venture this far up their own asses. For Matthew and Sean, I suspect this will involve charts showing the various web traffic of sites they view and link to as compared to their own, a series of pieces from The Onion and Recoil that are objectively much funnier and more creative than anything on TheseBastards, and, if needed, a thorough dressing-down of all the childish political beliefs they hold, the impotency of their rage, and the mean-spiritedness of their observations. With extra emphasis on grammar, diction and spelling, of course.”

“That is...” Otto shrugged. “If they’re even alive. A cursory glance at the blog, which is all I could stomach, suggests they might well be all the way up their own asses. Perhaps even lodged in an intestine. We may never find them.”

For now, the search continues, with teams massing at the base of Matthew and Sean’s rectums and entering every hour, on the hour, to search their assigned anal grids.

“I just hope this serves as a warning to all you potential bloggers out there,” an angry Sheriff Garrett said. “Have some sense and go outside. Talk to another flesh-and-blood person. Smell a fucking flower or something. Most importantly, ask yourself, ‘does the world really need one more self-conscious political commentary blog with ham-handed satire?’ before you start traipsing around the outer border of your sphincter. It just might save your life.”

Cheap Blogging Crutch 08.27

Ted Kennedy On The Rocks
Michael Kelly's epic 1990 GQ profile of a thoroughly soused, jittery, puffy, red, whiskey soaked Ted Kennedy. Of note: numerous scenes of public drunkenness, a drunken back of the restaurant sex session, how Cape Cod really didn't consider it summer until Ted had driven his car on the sidewalk for the first time, and the work in the Senate and issues Kennedy was fighting for while carrying a blood alcohol level of .99. Great read.

Why Hunter Thompson passed on the O.J. trial
Jon Freidman talks to former San Francisco Examiner editor Phil Bronstein about one of the greatest things to ever not happen: Hunter S. Thompson covering the OJ Simpson trial with the official mandate of "try anything". It then devolves into a discussion as to why the newspaper industry is dying. Bah! This HST tidbit needs to be gone over in much more detail. Imagine the possibilities.

It's time to forgive Pete Rose for his sins against baseball
With Hall of Fame voting upcoming and the recent readmission of Michael Vick to the NFL, now comes the deluge of "Let Pete Rose into Cooperstown" columns. The premise this time? That making him wait 20 years to get into the hall after betting on baseball games he managed is punishment enough. Yes, mildly inconveniencing a man for violating the only rule that MLB posts up in locker rooms, is sufficient punishment. I think everyone underestimates baseball's wonderful reputation for grudge holding. Just ask Shoeless Joe Jackson, or, wait 40 years and ask Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, and Sammy Sosa.

The 50 most-viewed Wikipedia articles in 2009 and 2008
And what did we learn this year? That Hitler (#17) is always more popular than Vagina (#36) and the Twilight movie (#43), but not as popular as Lil Wayne (#16) and Transformers 2 (#14). We also learned that America isn't as childish enough, with only the aforementioned Vagina and Sex (#21) representing for all the giggling teenagers out there.

Aggressive fox bites 2 people, steals sweater
And you laughed when we tried to warn you about animal uprisings. Rest assured this is no viral marketing for the Fantastic Mr. Fox, the only virus going around is rabies. The sweater that fox stole is real people! We are all bearing witness to the animals' Fort Sumter. Beware, they are coming and they'll take our hoodies, our cardigans, and our windbreakers if we're not careful. Just remember if you see a fox wearing a sweater: he's the leader. Don't be a hero, call the authorities. I told you we shouldn't have banned fox hunts.

The White Stuff

At a forum with college Republicans, Kansas Rep. Lynn Jenkins was asked what the missing ingredient was for Republicans in thwarting the Kenyan's socialist agenda and enthralling voters back to the GOP's side. She paused for a minute and thought it over. Deciding to breeze by the obvious things like stopping the GOP's slide into becoming a fringe white party of the South, adding a second or third minority into their membership ranks, coming up with a coherent ideology based around something other than opposing everything Democrats want, showing some interest in improving this country, and cloaking their money humping, corporate whoring reputations in a better way, she decided what the Republicans needed was a better class of white guy to lead the way.
"Republicans are struggling right now to find the great white hope," Jenkins said to the crowd. "I suggest to any of you who are concerned about that, who are Republican, there are some great young Republican minds in Washington."

A videotape of the presentation contains footage of Jenkins identifying three members of the U.S. House -- Cantor, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. -- as future movers and shakers in the GOP. All are white, as is Jenkins.

"So don't, you know, lose faith if you are a conservative," Jenkins said in Hiawatha.
I mean sure, later she had her staff clarify and apologize for the fact that anyone would take offense at her merely wishing that politics would include just a little bit more racial animus. She was just speaking metaphorically. It's just that her metaphor was steeped in the desires of racist early 1900's sports fans who longed for a white boxer to come and beat up Jack Johnson. She cleared it all up later by explaining “What she meant by it is they have a white future.....I mean bright future. They’re white lights within the party...I mean bright lights.”

She feels it's the truth, that she was just "calling a spade a spade." Well I hope she gets her precious white hope, I just want to point out one thing to her: all those "Great White Hopes" got their faces mashed in by the black guy. Maybe you should have tacked on "...Who Wins" to the end.

Welfare wagons

As if you needed another reason to support health care reform, ComicMix shows us another: Superman is for it. I mean sure, he's a border jumping illegal alien freeloader with a forged birth certificate who seems to be in the throes of a full on communist fever whilst he loosely advocates for single payer health care, but he does make a point. Even if he does wear his underwear on the outside of his pants and flagrantly violates our air traffic control laws.

I must say I do prefer his socialist rantings to his racist foreign policy and Asian abuse platform.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Start the goddamn season already

DPOY Silverback:
On the last play of practice today, outside linebacker James Harrison and tackle Jeremy Parquet were involved in a brief scuffle.

No serious punches were thrown before teammates separated Harrison and Parquet. But Harrison could be heard yelling, "I want you to be scared! I want you to be scared!"
Really? We have to sit through two more preseason games? Really? It's late August, why is the season starting so late this year? When is the Super Bowl, April?

This man is ready to destroy. Let him do some damage that counts before he runs down a family of deer and eats them raw.

Broken In Brief: Ted Kennedy realizes lifelong dream of meeting Michael Jackson

Hyannis Port, MA--Approximately 52-54% of a nation was reassured today when, upon learning of the death of Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Massaquiddick), they were quickly reminded that the senator's passing offered him the opportunity to finally meet Michael Jackson.

Speaking apart from the official statement released to the press, daughter Kara Anne Kennedy said, "I know that despite all the work he considered undone, my father is up there, feeling honored to share table with the King of Kings and the King of Pop."

Aside from the Massachusetts Senator's well-known fondness for Jackson's work, insiders point to Kennedy's Roman Catholicism and Jackson's rampant pedophilia as evidence that, as one unnamed source said, "They'll have plenty to talk about."

When asked to expound on how a lifelong non-clergical pedophile was allowed into heaven, insiders explained that, contrary to popular belief, when Hell is full, the dead shall not walk the earth but instead be relocated to Heaven.

"We're forgiving that way," said one angel, on condition of anonymity. "Luck of the draw, more than anything else."

During the scheduled sit-down with the King of Pop, the Senator is expected to inquire about the making of the Smooth Criminal video from Moonwalker, while Jackson plans to thank Kennedy for passing the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), which helped cover the medical expenses of so many of the kids he diddled.

Afterward, the man affectionately known as the "Liberal Lion" will be led off to engage in another lifelong dream: a thousand-year drinking contest with Ed McMahon, Babe Ruth, Dean Martin, Hunter S.Thompson, Andre the Giant, Boris Yeltsin, Charles Bukowski, Winston Churchill, and every dead Irishman ever.

Stay classy, health care protesters

Degenerate right wing extremist Randall Terry, fresh off of claiming that his supporters will engage in violent acts of terrorism to fight cheaper health care, on his great new idea to protest Obamacare....through the magic of racist playacting:
Terry’s colleagues put on a skit with a man in an Obama mask pretending to whip a bloodied woman, who kept saying, “Massa, don’t hit me no more. I got the money to kill the babies.”

Terry himself dressed in a doctor’s lab coat and pretended to stab a woman in a gray wig.

“There’s no way to pay for this thing without killing granny,” Terry explained.
Fuck, I'm convinced. It's such a well made argument, down with health care!

Video of the day

The Perseid meteor shower as captured with time lapse photography by Jeff Sullivan.
I shot this timelapse sequence at an elevation of 10,000 feet in the White Mountains on the California/Nevada border. The bright star in the left half of the screen that the rest seem to rotate around (that we actually rotate under) is the North Star. The bright object which rises orange on the right side behind the smoke is the moon.

The Only Twitter Feed Worth Reading, or, Why I Can't Wait to be Old

Seriously, between an entire wardrobe consisting solely of a bathrobe and black socks, to socially acceptable incontinence, to giving The Finger to every child I see, being old will probably be the best thing that's ever happened to me.

Also, I get to make comments like this:
"Your brother brought his baby over this morning. He told me it could stand. It couldn't stand for shit. Just sat there. Big let down."
and this:
Why would i want to check a voicemail on my cell phone? People want to talk to me, call again. If i want to talk to you, I'll answer.
and especially this:
"They serve Jim Beam on airplanes. Tastes like piss. You wouldn't be able to tell the difference, because you drink shit. I don't."
The Glory lies here. You're welcome.

Cheap Blogging Crutch 08.26

How America Lost the War on Drugs
Ben Wallace-Wells of Rolling Stone traces America's failure/loss in the War on Drugs. How did we lose? To make a long story short: by fighting it. Among the highlights: RAND researchers finding out 13 years ago that the best way to reduce drug usage was treatment and education, not South American bombing campaigns and guerrilla wars. The study has never been implemented. Good times.

Progressive Caucus Finds Itself In A Strange Place: Power
HuffPo looks at the strange new thing rippling through the Democratic party: progressives and liberals who are taken seriously by the party establishment. My God, the horror. Mainly it has to do with them sticking to their guns (for once) on the issue of a public health insurance option. If a decent health care plan gets passed (HA!!) these are going to be the dirty liberal sons of bitches to thank.

NFL targeting binge drinking among fans in new season
Oh NFL, this means war. First you pussy up the game with more judgment calls about intent and hitting hard, then you continue to subject us to the commercial torments of John Cougar Mellencamp, and now you have the nerve to try to fight our ability to get blackout drunk in a parking lot at 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning or go to the concession stand in the 3rd quarter and come back with seven 28 ounce beers? Damn your evil eyes, Roger Goodell, damn them to hell. Hell is, incidentally, a Detroit Lions vs. Cleveland Browns week 16 match-up played over and over endlessly on a black and white TV.

Public Opinion and Gay Marriage
Some number crunchers have taken a look at gay marriage and have found out that not only has support for destroying Jesus' carefully written marriage laws becoming more popular, but that after gay marriage is legalized in a state it becomes even more popular. If we don't stop this menace what's next? Complete tolerance? No thank you, I already have enough weddings to go to.

Jeremy Scahill Slams Chuck Todd, Media, Congress Over Blackwater On "Real Time With Bill Maher" (VIDEO)
God bless you Mr. Scahill, three worthier targets for scorn could not be found. Mostly his outrage (outrage that is available in paperback) stems from the fact that no one in our pampered media elite or any of our elected betters seems to find it noteworthy or important that Blackwater is employed as a "Christian supremacist fighting force to eliminate Muslims and destroy Islam globally, and then they bill taxpayers again for this killing that they're doing and they're not held to the same standard as soldiers." That and they might also murder whistle-blowers on American soil. Chuck Todd's response: Waaaaaaaaaah. That's right dear media, everyone who thinks that extra legal mercenary fighting forces are bad are the crazy ones.

Err, uh R. I. err, uh P.

As we learn that Massachusetts Senator Ted "Sweaty Teddy" Kennedy has shuffled off to that big oil drum full of Jameson's in the sky, await a litany of uncouth comments from members of the right wing media establishment unable to contain their glee at this development, and lament the fact that Hulu or YouTube does not have one fucking clip of Phil Hartman or anyone from SNL doing a Ted Kennedy impression, we of course turn the discussion to the only thing that matters: naked political calculation about health care legislation.
It’s tempting to imagine that his death could prod the Senate into action on health care reform. It would be an extraordinary, and perhaps fitting, historical irony if Kennedy’s death provided the final moral impetus to accomplish one of the primary causes to which he dedicated his life.
LOLerskates! Good one. Yeah, I'm sure Republicans and Blue Dogs will be climbing over themselves to pass health care because Ted Kennedy died. In fact, most of the opposition was probably pumping their fist in joy because there's no way Democrats could reach 60 votes on their own until a Massachusetts special election happens. Though actually when you come to think of it the self-reverential, bullshit collegial, self-absorbed circle jerk mentality of the Senate is so great that the might actually be spurred to do something in honor of their dead friend. Do something to help the American people: get fucked. Do something that makes them get a big ole "for the Senate!" hard on: possible.

Of course these are the same people that tried to use Kennedy's brain tumor to spread fears about rationing, so maybe their "America: go die of typhoid in the gutter" mentality is just too strong to overcome their own "wank themselves off" notions of Senate fellowship. But we'll see. For now it's time to make a few cheap booze jokes, remember Kennedy's actual fights for actual liberal causes, possibly write an offensive Broken in Brief piece, wonder what if, dust off your terrible Kennedy impression, remember a speech or two, and hope that the cause he spent his entire life fighting for gets passed in some decent form.

Uh....this is a....legitimate...concern

Rush Limbaugh, on being mentioned in a new Jay-Z song
"I did not know I was on anybody's balls"
A comment which he segued into after he unleashed the greatest conspiracy theory about Obama that I have ever heard: that Obama wants to force everyone to get circumcised
"I would remind Mr. Z that it is President Obama that wants to mandate circumcision.....If we need to save our penises from anybody, it's Obama."
Yeah....uh...anyone want to print up a couple thousand "Stay away from my penis, Barry" or "Obama: foreskin thief" t-shirts? I have a feeling that these will sell well at the next round of teabagger protests.

Stimulate the... economy. Yeah, the economy.

It's no secret that many of us are short on cash these days. Matthew and myself are no exceptions -- he squeezes off more knuckle children than they know what to do with at the sperm bank (often without prompting) and I've been broke since that Nazi bastard at the Red Cross found out about that whole "Hepatitis C" thing. Fucker.

I digress. Should you find yourself truly strapped and suddenly out of ideas, look no further than British site Faces of Ecstasy, which will reportedly pay you £70 (~$4,000 U.S.) to film yourself having an orgasm. Be sure to also stop by its French equivalent, Beautiful Agony, which is pretty much the same thing, except with more underarm hair.

It is your civic duty.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Broken News: Wacky shirt day marred by morose ruminations on the state of the economy

CINCINNATI—A day meant to celebrate the boundless hilarity of cabana t-shirts and definitively state that the Morrison Certified Public Account Agency wasn’t like any other workplace soon turned into a sorrowful dirge as the bi-monthly Wacky Shirt Day was derailed by office-wide panic over the continued stagnancy of the economy.

The day started off well enough, with people laughing at each others shirts and some even bringing in funny hats that they were going to wear while they did their estate planning work.

“I was initially going to reprimand some of the hat wearers for deviating from the prescribed parameters of the day,” observed office manager Stanley Bolden, himself wearing a long-sleeved blue, floral, Hibiscus-patterned Hawaiian print shirt. “Then I figured there was time enough to scold them in private. But after everyone got settled at their desks, there seemed to be a pallor cast over the office floor.”

Indeed, those present confirmed that the sight of the comical garments seemed to serve as an almost sarcastic or satirical exclamation point to recent revelations of poor economic indicators and plummeting employment numbers. It was at this point that many began to feel they were just garishly dressed clowns, capering as the world collapsed. Soon the feeling spread and most of the office was consumed with the bitter parody of Wacky Shirt Day and filled with deep fears over the future of the economy and their own lives.

Some weren’t as quick to buy that explanation and offered a contrasting take. “I blame Jenkins, the damned spoilsport wearing a blue windowpane dress shirt,” observed F. Ogden Hamilton, Director of Operations, himself wearing a red Hawaiian shirt, unbuttoned, with an Arthur Andersen t-shirt underneath. “I don’t care if his collar was unbuttoned and his tie undone, it doesn’t meet the standard dictionary requirement of ‘wacky’. That G.D. son-of-a-B. just threw everyone off. Ruined the whole darned day.”

“All I know is that one minute I’m laughing at a guy’s Hawaiian shirt and the fact that he’s wearing it in a place of business and the next I’m thinking about what a cruel joke this all is when the economy is in such a state, Jenkins' foolishness be damned,” said CPA Harris Adams, silently weeping in a t-shirt that was airbrushed to look like a muscular chest, his own green Hawaiian shirt crumpled up in the corner. “Why did we even do this? I long for the cold comfort of numbers, of corporate finance. Oh God, corporate finance! Now I’m thinking about the collapsing economy again.”

Outside observers are cautioning that this kind of thing could be avoided if those within the accountancy profession or those who have accountant-like tendencies or persuasions would refrain from approaching humor, personality cultivation, and lame office gimmicks. Instead, advisers suggest accountants embrace their reputation as “humorless fucks” and “soulless, number-crunching automatons unaware of how to stimulate any set of genitals not their own.”

“This reminds me of an incident in Des Moines last year,” said Dr. David Denby, a sociologist dealing strictly with the mathematically based professions, himself wearing a non-wacky golf shirt and standard khakis. “Again it was accountants… always the accountants. A man showed up to a company picnic wearing an ‘Accountants do it with double entry’ shirt and the ensuing explanation of the sexual double entendre resulted in mass fainting, vomiting, and several cases of the vapors. The situation wasn’t remedied until the man was fired and some practice balance sheets were distributed with the promise that they would be graded very carefully.”

Denby states that the only way to remedy these types of situations is to remove the types of outside stimulus and non-conformity that a Wacky Shirt Day provides. Indeed, Morrison CPA agrees, having already canceled all future shirt-themed days, the annual "Wear a Striped Tie" day, and a scheduled competition to make a funny spreadsheet on Excel.

“It was a mistake,” said Bolden. “And one that won’t soon be repeated. I just wanted to take their minds off the impending round of layoffs and cutbacks. Now all they can think about is the economy.”

Quote of the day

Former Vice-Criminal Dick "Thunderlips" Cheney
The documents released Monday clearly demonstrate that the individuals subjected to Enhanced Interrogation Techniques provided the bulk of intelligence we gained about al Qaeda. This intelligence saved lives and prevented terrorist attacks. These detainees also, according to the documents, played a role in nearly every capture of al Qaeda members and associates since 2002. The activities of the CIA in carrying out the policies of the Bush Administration were directly responsible for defeating all efforts by al Qaeda to launch further mass casualty attacks against the United States. The people involved deserve our gratitude. They do not deserve to be the targets of political investigations or prosecutions.
Of course, unsurprisingly, none of what he says is true. But you really have to appreciate the moon sized brass balls of a man who decries the alleged politicization of someone else's Justice Department after the tenure of the JD the Bush Administration presided over.

Still one hopes that his impotent dishonest shrieking does get Holder and Obama to change the one politically motivated part of the impending torture investigations: the fact that it isn't going to investigate guys like John Yoo, Alberto Gonzales, and Dick Cheney.

You are all diseased

Above: An uninfected Carnegie Mellon University student

Complimenting USA Today's Holy Shit We're All Gonna Die feature in today's edition comes news from the Homeland of a Porcine AIDS outbreak at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh's largest virgin enclave and Alma mater of yours truly.
Eighteen suspected cases of H1N1 influenza have prompted Carnegie Mellon University to take action to reduce exposures and prevent a full-fledged outbreak.

In a university e-mail yesterday, officials said 18 students have contacted Student Health Services about having flu-like illness.
Also, not surprisingly:
Classes will continue.
On the bright side, the H1N1 virus is most readily transmitted by close contact and the exchange of bodily fluids, both of which are exceedingly rare occurrences on CMU's campus. So breathe easy, kids. Use your inhalers if you have to.

h/t James

Cheap Blogging Crutch 08.25

The Baucus White Paper: The Plan
To be mad at Max Baucus for the way he has been handling the Finance Committee's health care negotiations is one thing. But if you really want to get mad at him, and I mean blindingly, white hot seeing red mad, just go back and read his white paper from November of last year for his own plans for health care reform. Employer mandates, a strong Heath Insurance Exchange, and a strong public insurance option. In short, a plan that is not only more liberal than any of the bills under consideration, but one that is considerably more liberal (and more helpful) than anything he's even allowing his own committee to consider. Boo this man.

CIA Bio Says 9/11 Mastermind’s Days in N.C. ‘Helped Propel Him to Terrorism
According to CIA reports, it seems that time that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed spent in school in North Carolina sent him on the path towards terrorism by proving to him that "the United States was a debauched and racist country". All I can say is thank God he didn't go to school in South Carolina otherwise those planes might have had nukes on them. Not that he would have had much of a chance at survival in SC. The treacherous mountain of Afghanistan are one thing, but the Appalachians are another.

GOP Tees Up Medicare Manifesto
The GOP is starting up it's campaign to vigorously defend Medicare and Medicaid from any tampering from nefarious Democrats. It's nice that heir contribution to health care is going to be to gin up another fake issue that isn't happening and vow valiantly to defend it from invisible menace. Though it is nice to see Republicans swear their allegiance to a government run single payer health care system like Medicare. If only that massive bit of hypocrisy could be used in some way.

Obama nominates Ben Bernanke for a second Fed term
Ahh, Ben Bernanke is awarded his rightful place and our Eternal Money Overlord. Why? Because I guess he cuts checks to the financial sector better than anyone else. It's certainly not for his predictive power or a magic ability to lower interest rates below zero. It's good to know that everyone thinks he's the right man for the job. Why? Because he has the job. And really, that's all we need to know about him or his many varied secretive actions that incur little oversight.

Hospitals May Face Severe Disruption in Swine Flu’s U.S. Return
Oh sure you thought Porcine AIDS was dead. That's just what the nasty little pig virus wanted you to think. Now it's just lying in wait and according to the President's Council of Advisers on Science and Technology (fresh from their eight year exile at bible camp) infect half the US population within the next year. That's right: THE APOCALYPSE IS BACK ON!!!!! The only question is if it will take the form of the much discussed the Stand scenario, or have new movies like the Book of Eli and the Road presaged our impending post-apocalyptic wandering doom?

What every American should be made to learn about the IG Torture Report
Glenn Greenwald compiles an interesting list of torture tidbits from the IG Torture Report that you should be exited to learn was done in your name. This ought to give you a nice base of outrage for the impending sham investigations of lower level grunts that Eric Holder and the Justice Department are about to undertake.

Good, that's a low bar

Senator Chuck Grassley has decided to come out and say what it would take for him to vote for health care reform. It's a simple condition that I feel will be easily attainable in this, or really any political climate. His condition? Only legislative perfection.
“Now is the time to do this right or not do it.” … “We need to slow down and do a little less,” Mr. Grassley told another town-hall gathering in Pocahontas, Iowa, Monday afternoon. “We need to fix what’s broken and leave alone what’s working well.” In an interview, he vowed not to vote for an “imperfect bill” that includes a public option or gives the government too much control over end-of-life issues.
I wonder if he means the Platonic concept of perfection, the Christian concept of divine perfection, moral perfection, ontological perfection, artistic perfection, a more Calvinist theory relating to God's grace, the Enlightenment view of perfection as living in harmony with nature's law, if it involves Buddhist concepts on the perfection on wisdom, or if he's just talking utter shit.

This does signal a change in Grassley's view in support of the bill. After all he earlier stated that he wouldn't even support a bill he supported, so demanding some theoretical form of perfection before he deigns to support the bill is a signal that's he's making some important concessions. This is why Baucus and Obama are so ebullient in their praise. Because the man is willing to change from being completely intractable to only being mildly completely intractable as the situation dictates. I have a good feeling about all this.

Your new health care excuse

Senator Joe Lieberman, wheeling out the newest excuse for why everyone would really like to give you health care, but by golly they've just thought of a reason why you should continue to live with the status quo.
LIEBERMAN: Morally, everyone of us would like to cover every American with health insurance but that’s where you spend most of the trillion dollars plus, or a little less that is estimated, the estimate said this health care plan will cost. And I’m afraid we’ve got to think about putting a lot of that off until the economy is out of recession. There’s no reason we have to do it all now.
Oh this damnable economy. I mean sure, Joe's cool with spending billions and trillions on old wars, new wars, re commitment's to old wars, bailing out banks, buying financial institutions, and just throwing stacks of cash into the Senate wood-chipper out behind the Washington Monument. But the one thing he will not abide spending money on? Health care.

Because the one thing people have plenty of in a recession is jobs with health care, money to pay for premiums, and money to pay for emergency health care if they don't have coverage. So really, why would you ever need to do try to reform anything? It just doesn't make sense to try to cheapen and expand coverage when unemployment is 10%. I mean the fact that all these plans don't even phase in with significant spending until after the next Presidential election, with the bulk of the costs coming in the latter half of the next decade is irrelevant. We're in a recession now, so no spending. Unless that is we have to buy another bank, bail out a financial giant, or Iran gets a saucy look in its eye. Then we have money. Health care? Always something we should do "later".

Monday, August 24, 2009

Late night cat video jamboree

Don't ever say we didn't enlighten your lives with cat related brilliance.


Cheap Blogging Crutch 08.24

The Favre and I
It was a romance many thought would span the breadth of time and teach us all about the true meaning of love. But like all true love, one day it withered on the vine. Such is the tale of Brett Favre, fresh off his 17th retirement, and his #1 media sweetheart Peter King. Slate traces their relationship from its earliest days of smitten infatuation, to the cruel breakup amidst rumors of a Favre/Madden tryst in the back of the Madden Cruiser. Will they ever reconcile? We'll see, since Favre will never retire, King will have plenty of opportunities to fall back in love.

All the President’s Zombies
Paul Krugman decides to use the TB metaphor method of choice -- ZOMBIES!!! -- to describe the health care debate and the seeming undead rise of Reaganism in the "government is bad" arguments against health care reform. Discredited ideas that keep rising from the dead inexplicably to menace British comedy duos, the greater Pittsburgh area, and women named Barbara. Here's an idea: shoot the zombies in the head. Either get some juice behind discrediting these ideas/getting news organizations to point out that they've been discredited....or just kill anyone who repeats them. Either/or. It's really up to you, Paul.

Awwwww, why does cancer always happen to the good ones? Could his confession and positioning as the sole fall guy for the entire Ponzi scheme be his attempt at cleansing his soul before death? Who gives a fuck? God has smited him with a plague for his many affronts against humanity. On a lighter note, the Post also divulges that Madoff hangs out with the Native Americans in prison, partaking in their sweat lodges, and also pals around with "the homosexual posse", but that other ethnicities are trying to recruit him into their gangs. I can think of no funnier thing than Bernie Madoff weighing the relative merits of joining the Mexican Mafia or the Black Guerrilla Family with his "homosexual posse."

Healthcare insurers get upper hand
I don't want to alarm you, but it seems that heath insurers might stand to reap a financial windfall and are might be exceedingly thrilled with the way health care reform negotiations have seemed to ditch the only possible chink in their armor: a public plan. By which I mean they are going to get rich and are really happy about it. Whew! I was worried for a second that these useful pillars of American society weren't going to make out like bandits. Thank God we have people in Congress looking out for them, instead of the teeming masses of peasants who want just a touch more gruel in their bowl.

Obama’s Team Is Lacking Most of Its Top Players
Wonder how the Obama Administration is supposed to run any of the Government Department's with only 43% of it's political appointees in place? Yeah, so are a lot of people. But hey, it's just the beauty of our system, where the President is expected to run the government without our legislative bodies or vetting processes actually allowing anyone to be put in place to run the government. Marvel at Hillary Clinton going to a international forum on international development, but having no one manning the Agency for International Development. Or holding a summit for nuclear nonproliferation with no nonproliferation secretary. Remember: when America does finally collapse under the weight of its own ineffective bullshit, try to act surprised when stuff like this is brought up.


If you're looking for a good diversion of one's time, might These Bastard Industries and its various subsidiaries suggest spending a few minutes perusing Post Modern Barney's Uncomfortable Plot Summaries, whereupon the author makes it his goal to describe various movies and books in the most uncomfortable way possible. Some examples:
ALIENS: An unplanned pregnancy leads to complications
FIREFLY: In an analogue of the post-Civil War west, a white man on the losing side bosses around a black woman
SERENITY: Men fight for possession of scantily clad mentally ill teenage girl.
ROSEMARY’S BABY: An unplanned pregnancy leads to complications
SILENCE OF THE LAMBS: Incompetent manipulated by several murderers, stumbles upon suspect completely by accident. Creates situation that allows serial killer to escape
STAR WARS: RETURN OF THE JEDI: Handicapped mass murderer kills septugenarian, is lauded
THE GOONIES: Physically abused, retarded man finds love with overweight preteen
TITANIC: Crazy old widow disregards lifelong memories of husband, children, and grandchildren in favor of that one time she fucked a bum
WORLD TRADE CENTER: Rag-tag group of underdogs succeed at a massive undertaking despite overwhelming odds, credit success with faith in God.

Double down

If you weren't sure that we needed health care reform and that access to health care needed to be made more available and cheaper, then you didn't see the warped brainchild of KFC cresting over the horizon. In their attempt to wage war on America's arteries Patton-style, they have conceived of a future without bread. And thanks to Foodgeekery, we now have evidence of their opening salvo to kill us all, starting with, appropriately enough, the Heartland.

That's right, in an attempt to make Thisiswhyyou'refat explode, they have concocted a "sandwich" consisting of two chicken breasts cradling slices of two kinds of cheese, bacon, and the Colonel's "sauce". Don't you see what you've done KFC? You're only doing this with chicken, so you can't see the full horror. Now you've given Carl's Jr ("Fuck you, I'm eating!") the idea it needs to finally be able to kill a man in one sitting: Monster Thickburgers with burger patty buns! They've been trying to explode a man's heart for years, like some ancient Chinese martial arts master. Now they know how...because of KFC. Still though, that "sandwich" looks pretty damn good and supposedly tastes like it was made by Jesus' elite squad of fried food angels. Fuck it, I'll see you in the bypass line.

Reconciliation: resolution without resolution

It seems that after numerous statements by Republicans that they aren't going to support any real effort at health care reform, Democrats are slowly coming to the idea that Republicans aren't going to support any real effort at health care reform. See? All it takes are 60-70 well placed kicks to the gut and groin area before the Democratic leadership realizes it has a problem in the gut/groin area. Who said they weren't perceptive? It even turns out they're starting to formulate a plan around this opposition and, surprisingly enough, it doesn't involve taking the fetal position, shrieking like a wounded animal, and hoping the GOP either takes pity or walks away in disgust.
Senate Democrats said Sunday that they were fleshing out plans to pass health legislation, particularly the option of a new government-run insurance program, with a simple majority, instead of the 60 votes that would ordinarily be needed to overcome a filibuster.

After consulting experts in Senate rules and procedure, the Democrats said they were increasingly confident that they could legislate creation of a public plan in a way that would withstand challenges expected from Republicans.
In the last week, Democrats have begun to talk openly of using a procedure known as budget reconciliation to pass a health bill in the Senate with a simple majority, assuming no Republican support.
Ahh the reconciliation process, in which a problem is deemed a budgetary matter and thus rendered unfilibusterable. But there's a hitch: a Senate parliamentarian will have to look over the bill and will have the ability to throw out provisions and policies that aren't deemed strictly budgetary matters. That is, unless the Senate Democrats appoint a crooked parliamentarian who allows them to put whatever they want into the bill under some loose definition of the word "budgetary". But as doing this would fit under the definition of "devious", "cunning", "underhanded", and, worst of all, "beneficial to the American people", they will probably not attempt this type of GOP-esque maneuver.

So the question remains: what would a reconciliation type health care bill look like? Ezra Klein of the Washington Post looked at the possibility and came to a few conclusions. Namely that it won't work for comprehensive health care reform, but that it will result in the removal of Health Insurance Exchanges, insurance market reforms, and prevention and wellness, modernization, delivery system reforms, not to mention no public plan. What you do get is the ability to get more people into government programs that already exist, like Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP, and the ability to levy taxes to pay for it. In other words: another way to make a minor or negligible step forward. Just remember to thank Democrats for their ability to not even get their caucus to stick together on the general idea of "not filibustering something". At the end of the day, it'll be the single biggest reason nothing substantial gets done.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Broken News: Rogue doctor declares himself 'one man death panel'

BRADENTON—With the shotgun blasts distantly echoing through the hallways of the Sunny Glades Retirement and Rest Home, local authorities are still trying to come to grips with the carnage inside. With the toll currently at 12 dead and 7 critically injured, area residents are still in a state of shock.

“At approximately 9:17 this morning, Dr. Eric Francis rampaged through this facility wielding a gavel, costume judicial robes, and a sawed off shotgun,” explained Sheriff Dane Collig during this afternoon’s press conference. “Dubbing himself The Adjudicator, Dr. Francis declared himself a ‘one man death panel’, handed out mock prescriptions for ‘lead’, and set about making ‘end of life care decisions’ for any resident he came across in the interest of reducing health care costs and easing society’s burden. After being confronted by a young, physically fit orderly, the doctor dove out a window, fled, and is currently at-large.”

Law enforcement officials are currently at a loss to explain why Francis would begin to take these measures now, seeing as, from what they understood of the current health care debate in Washington, his actions had not yet been made legal by Congress.

“I was under the impression from watching Glenn Beck that the Kenyan was going to make all this legal in a few weeks time,” said Deputy Samuel Weber. “I mean, the guy couldn’t wait until it was OK for doctors and specially authorized elected representatives to kill the elderly in a manner of their own choosing if they did not fit into the grand socialist future that has been envisioned for this country? Now we might have to arrest him. Some people just got no patience.”

Others simply wondered if perhaps Dr. Francis was engaging in the field testing of some of the Department of Health and the Obama Administration’s palliative care concepts in order for them to be able to present more a more concrete cost analysis of the death panels to the Office of Management and Budget. But this rumor was quickly squashed by the White House.

“I would just like to state unequivocally that we did not authorize Dr. Francis to form his own death panel,” said White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, during a briefing session. “I think we’ve been absolutely clear that our death panels would involve a number of doctors sitting on ornately carved wooden thrones, make use of an ominous courtroom setting, involve shimmering black robes, tall opulent hats, and other quasi-religious garb, and generally be conducted in the manner of a futuristic Spanish Inquisition. Or, if you aren’t a history buff: like the ‘Death Eater’ trials in the Harry Potter movies. Plus I would just like to acknowledge the sheer waste in using bullets.”

Gibbs then proceeded to list killing objects that would be authorized because of their reuse and environmentally friendly aspects. These included knives, truncheons carved out of driftwood or reclaimed lumber, a large rock on a pulley or lever system, or simply using the pillow of an indigent or elderly patient and suffocating them with it.

“Clearly we would not authorize the use of bullets when you’d just have to buy more. That just doesn’t make sense when you’re trying to find ways to cuts costs. Hell that’s the whole point of eliminated these drags on society through the death panel system,” an exasperated Gibbs continued. “Plus, we’d like to keep the *ahem* handy work of our death panels out of the public eye. We wouldn’t ever be so gauche as to organize a shotgun rampage. We’d make it look more like we did when our provisional Washington death panel judged and killed Bob Novak. Still, we applaud Dr. Francis’ support.”

But even with the explicit support of the White House, Bradenton police are going to have to expend the effort to eventually bring Dr. Francis in. Some deputies grumbled about Francis’ actions, noting that while he had saved the municipality thousands in health care costs and provided a much needed economic boon, this was offset by the extra costs the country was going to have to pay out in overtime for the police officers.

As for Francis’ whereabouts, the sheriff’s department was unsure, but they know Florida has not seen the last of “the Adjudicator.” They cited a note that the doctor left at the scene that told of Francis’ desire to “bring affordable health care to America, one buckshot blast at a time.”

“God bless the boy for what he’s trying to do,” said Sheriff Collig, a tear glinting in his eye. “I’m gonna regret having to bring him in. If only he had an effective solution for medical malpractice tort reform.”

Cheap Blogging Crutch 08.21

Health Care Industry Throws Away Money On "Pro-Reform" Ads (VIDEO)
The Huffington Post's Jason Linkins takes a look at all those health care industry ads that they're running in "support" of reform efforts and finds them to be a completely milquetoast nothing flurry of vague statements, fluffy bunnies, and bizarre promises. Enjoy them, this is what promising to hamstring a health care bill in order for "support" gets you. Not cheaper health care, just ads about vague concepts that kinda sound good.

US Jews protest Catholic document on salvation
Apparently Jewish leaders are shocked, shocked, to learn that Catholic bishops view interfaith dialogue as a chance to convert Jews and that Jesus is the only path to salvation. My question is this: what, you haven't noticed that's pretty much been the sole modus operandi of the Catholic Church (other than getting rich and finding some good looking altar boys) for the past, oh, 2,000 years? Still though, what's the big deal? Your book is half of our book. It's just a couple extra pages to read. Plus there's this whole part in our book where the story just repeats pointlessly 4 times. So it's not even like a whole other book. Give it a thought, for the sake of interfaith dialogue.

Justice Dept. Looking Into Whether Attorneys Broke Law at Guantanamo
In case you needed help remembering. Committing acts of torture at Gitmo: not investigated. Documenting acts of torture at Gitmo: not investigated. Giving info to detainees about their torture and torturers: investigated. Isn't it funny how that old bitch Lady Justice works?

Rise of the Super-Rich Hits a Sobering Wall
Oh, New York Times, how I missed your stories asking us to pity the hardships of the super rich during this economic apocalypse. These poor souls are suffering the indignity of only being worth millions of dollars. How can we not all weep openly for them? I mean other than the fact that everyone has also lost money and that income inequality is at an all time high? But then I look at a man having to sell his estate and his beloved plane collection and I know who really is suffering.

Lockerbie bomber release: Anger grows over hero's welcome for Abdelbaset al-Megrahi
Well done Libya, both the UK and US ask you to tone down celebrations for the return of a guy who bombed an airplane and you go out and have the dictator's son meet him in front of cheering throngs. Well done. Oh and great move Scotland, releasing a convicted terrorist who murdered 270 people just because he was sick. It's important that he's allowed to be with his family. Who could have ever foreseen this being a massive clusterfuck of stupid ideas?

That makes 1

For those of you counting at home, Nancy Pelosi has made it exactly one Democrat in a position of power who has decided to say that a public plan is the best option going and that any bill that doesn't have one in it is a non-starter in the House. Even more surprisingly, she didn't even bother to coach it with a bunch of "maybes", "you never knows", "broad consensuses", or paeans to the concept of bipartisanship and holding hands over crafting a bill that helps people. Calls for her to walk that statement back or claims that she doesn't speak for all Democrats in 4...3...2...
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said legislation to revamp the U.S. health-care system won’t get through her chamber unless it creates a government-run insurance program to compete with the private industry.

“There’s no way I can pass a bill in the House of Representatives without a public option,” the California Democrat said at a press conference in San Francisco yesterday.
Pelosi yesterday said lawmakers have to pass a comprehensive bill rather than a watered-down compromise.

“Frankly, I don’t know when we’d do it if we don’t take that giant step now,” she said.
Judging by historical standards, if you don't do health care now you'll have to wait around two decades before you're allowed to take another crack at it. At which point we'll be in the midst of the horrid throes of some awful dystopian future where the Hobo Council of Elders will have to engage in negotiations with the Robo Health Collective in order to knock our health premiums down from two rations of hydro and one ration of petrol, down to a 1/1 ration. You try negotiating with the RHC for better health coverage, Nancy. It just won't work, so do it now.

Sadly though, we live in a world where the Speaker of the House has little say in this debate. For some reason we have decided that 6 conservative senators on the Finance Committee from the least populous states in the nation should be given total autonomy to craft health care legislation. With the main goal being placating industry and showing the country that people are working in a bipartisan manner where Republicans say "jump" and Democrats negotiate over the height, not covering Americans. I just hope Nancy knows how to feign shock when, yeah, she is forced to support a bill without a public option. I'm thinking go with an audible gasp, and then slowly sit down, like you can't believe what just happened.

Picture of the day

A man trying to make sure that he engages in every possibly stereotype of a Glenn Beck viewer while watching Glenn Beck.

Hey buddy, where's a photo of Obama looking like Hitler and your poorly spelled placard denouncing socialism? You call yourself a fan?

Get yer odds

For those of us who are degenerate gamblers gamblers who would bet on anything that could possibly been wagered on, the Michael Vick reinstatement is looking to be golden for us. Not because he's going to start up dog fighting again, giving us a competition to wager on. No, because of all the prop bets Vegas is going to let us make on the general assholish behavior of NFL fans and players towards Vick and the Eagles. BetUS only has a few up, but eventually they'll have more.
Rot# After a Vick sack will the Defender get on all 4s
17 Yes +300
Defender must be on all fours like a dog for yes to be the winner.

Rot# ATL to Play Who Let the Dogs Out during Week 12
18 No +500
Falcons must play "Who Let The Dogs Out" During the Eagles-Falcons game week 12

Rot# Will an opponent be penalized for taunting Vick
19 Yes +300
Player must be penalized for directly taunting Vick for yes to be the winner.
May I suggest some others?
NFL Stadium erupts into barking noises at sight of Vick. +150
Exasperated Donovan McNabb cries out "Just let the man be!" after one too many questions about dog fighting. +400
Philly fan shows slightest bit of shame for wearing jersey of man who electrocuted and strangles dogs. N/A
Vick found to have secret room inside Lincoln Financial Field where he trains the defensive backs to fight each other inside a ring. +350
Philly fan attempts to blame dogs for fighting instead of Vick. Oops, already happened.
PETA engages in some form of protest against the Eagles using nude women degrading themselves that completely misses the point. +100
Donovan McNabb found wistfully looking at a photo of Terrell Owens, pining for the simpler days when all he had to deal with was a WR who was calling him a closeted gay choke artist. +250
Over/Under on fights between Philly fans and friends who are fans of other teams after one too many pit bull/dog fight/rape stand jokes +/- 2,000,000 fights
Eagles/Vikings playoff matchup with pregame Vick/Favre handshake causes ESPN to explode. +100
Brian Westbrook and Vick lock eyes awkwardly when Westbrook is overheard telling Shady McCoy about the new terrier he bought his kids. +400

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Broken In Brief: Gossip journalist spends 2 hours each morning convincing herself her work is important

NEW YORK—In an altogether unsurprising revelation, gossip reporter Mary Haren, a “journalist” with Us Weekly, has revealed that most mornings it takes her nearly two hours of psychological motivation about the importance and necessity of her job before she can muster the self esteem required to even go to her office.

“Those are the days when I can even look at myself in the mirror,” she said, suppressing the urge to harm herself. “I just think, what’s the point? Do I exist only to create fake relationships between two celebrities who happened to be photographed together and force teenage starlets into bouts of depression garnished with eating disorders? Wouldn’t the world be a much better place if Us Weekly, People, Perez Hilton, Access Hollywood, OK!, The E! Channel, Star, the paparazzi, and about 70 other magazine staffs and TV shows were flown into space and then jettisoned out an airlock?”

“But then I think about how much I deserve to be famous and how that despite rave reviews from my parents for that high school play I was in, Hollywood still conspired to lock me out of the acting career I so richly deserved. Then I get angry and I’m able to do my job,” Haren finished, having sufficiently summoned the requisite self-delusion and bitter spite she needs to continue on with her shallow, insubstantial existence.

But Haren contends that despite a morning spent creating a news piece whereupon she derides female celebrities that are five pounds overweight by celebrity standards, but 40 pounds underweight my medical standards as ”fat”, that she still has a functioning human soul.

“I mean I have to agonize over it in the morning, right? That means I’m still recognizable as a member of the human race. At least that’s what I tell myself when I get home.”