Saturday, January 31, 2009
"Ha Ha! You see, DL? I'm not such a bad guy after all. I might be on my way to jail but at least I can waste your time by stepping over the one line you gave me for this promo. Fist bump? No? Fuck you then!"
Friday, January 30, 2009
While it naturally takes some time for any new administration to get up to speed, sources are claiming that Biden's notable absence is the result of an increasingly elaborate set of deadly booby traps and killing devices that the new VP has devoted his time to dodging.
Insiders immediately fingered former VP Dick Cheney as the man behind these mechanical death dealers. However, extensive document shredding by the office of the former Vice-President, as well as Mr. Cheney having "gone off the grid,” have given White House staffers little hope of learning the full extent of the horrible machinations hidden in and around the Naval Observatory, White House, and various places of government business.
“Christ, we just don’t know where the next one is coming from,” remarked Biden’s Chief of Staff and head of the disarmament team, Ronald Klain. “We knew to expect some of these, like the giant axe that swung from the ceiling when we opened the door to the Vice-Presidential office. Or the buzzsaw blades that come out of the floor when you step on the white tiles in the main Observatory foyer. But every time we locate and neutralize one, two more pop up the next day!”
Klain pointed to last Wednesday’s “desk chair incident” as an example. On Tuesday evening staffers had disabled a mechanism in the Vice-President's office that caused a giant log to swing from the ceiling into the person seated in the chair. On Wednesday morning an aide sat down in the chair while laying out briefing packets for the day, setting into motion an ejection apparatus that threw the first year aide out the window and onto the spiked metal fencing below.
“How do you defend against that?” an exasperated Klain asked. “How do you double rig a seat? Did he double rig a seat? Did Dick Cheney sneak into the office Tuesday night and jury rig a new trap? Does he have skeleton keys? How come the FBI, CIA, and NSA can’t track him down? This shit is costing me sleep.”
The situation is causing problems for security details at other government buildings as well. As he walked to a Middle East briefing with Secretary Clinton over the weekend, Biden was forced to dive out of the way of poison tipped daggers that shot out of the wall when he stepped on the seal of the State Department on the floor of the Truman Building.
“People walk on that seal every day and nothing happens,” said Herman Gutierrez, chief of security for the State Department. “Presidents step on it, ex-Presidents step on it, the Secretary steps on it, staffers step on it, and nothing happens. Suddenly Biden steps on it and it sinks into the ground and six-inch blades bathed in blowfish venom come flying out. Was it specifically weighted for Biden? Was someone watching and waiting for him to step there? Gotta give Biden credit, though; the old man ducked and rolled like a Judo champ. Wish I could say the same thing about the secretarial pool… so many bodies.”
Further searches of government agencies found a 40-ton stone boulder perched over the entrance to the IRS building, elevator cables cut over at the EPA, crocodiles loosed into the White House cafeteria, and the robotic sentries at the CBO headquarters set to kill anyone by the name of Joe.
With both the Vice-President and Dr. Jill Biden too terrified to continue to stay in the Naval Observatory, especially after engineers discovered their bed was little more than an industrial-sized bear trap with sheets on it, the couple have been moved to an undisclosed location. But with the former Vice-President still at large and God knows how many traps still left undiscovered, the Secret Service are being pressed to formulate strategies for how Joe Biden can conduct the duties of his position without getting blown up, gored by a rhino, or immolated.
“We’re thinking of going with a large bulletproof glass cube in which the Vice-President can reside,” said Frank Monroe, the Secret Service official in charge of Situation Biden. “He eats all his meals there, does all his work there, and the only connection to the outside is a slot just large enough to pass documents and food trays through. Of course, this leaves him vulnerable to gas attacks, but we’ll put in a mask and some oxygen tanks. The only real issue is ensuring Mrs. Biden can be made available for conjugal visits.”
Officials hope to have the cube fabricated and ready for occupancy by the middle of next month, provided Biden survives that long.
So close to reality and yet.....so far.
Austin drivers making their morning commute were in for a surprise when two road signs on a busy stretch of road were taken over by hackers. The signs near the intersection of Lamar and Martin Luther King boulevards usually warn drivers about upcoming construction, but Monday morning they warned of "zombies ahead."Damn kids, getting my hopes up. Don't play with a man's zombie based emotions!
In a completely unrelated note....this is how you hack road signs.
59-0 Rod. Scoreboard. Maybe you should have gone on the View one more time, made sure Diane Sawyer got all the interview time she needed on Good Morning America.
All is not lost for Rod, he's still got that book deal and first prison interview to negotiate. Also, before he got impeached he was able to scam one last free plane ride out of the state, pardoned a real estate crook, and used his press conference to creepily invite a kid back to his house to play basketball. Pat Quinn is your new Governor of the Slightly Less Corrupt State of Illinois. Keep your wiretaps clean, Pat. Pre-paid mobiles.
There is a strong possibility that Barack Obama will ask Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) to serve as his Secretary of Commerce, Democratic Senate aides tell the Huffington Post.As to why Gregg would take a slot? He's a Republican in New Hampshire, where Obama won by 10, he's up for re-election in 2010 and his re-elect numbers are below 50, and the prospect of fighting a losing battle against a President who's more popular than him in his home state might just make any man salivate at the prospect of being Commerce Secretary. It's a job. Then the Democrats get 60, provided Kennedy and Byrd are actually physically able to vote, Franken ever gets to be Minnesota's senator, and Harry Reid doesn't conceive of a way to mess it all up. These are big ifs. Is he qualified? Who cares, it's the Commerce Department.
The move would fill a vacancy that has lingered since Gov. Bill Richardson withdrew his nomination. And provided that Al Franken emerges victorious in the Minnesota recount, it would give Democrats in the Senate a 60th caucusing member, as New Hampshire's Democratic governor John Lynch would appoint Gregg's replacement.
Although the initial result was better than economists expected, the figure is likely to be revised even lower in the months ahead and some believe the economy is contracting in the current quarter at a pace of around 5 percent. The current January-March period, they said, will probably turn out to be the worse quarter for the recession.So as everyone is sarcastically pointing out today: we're living in 1982. E.T., DeLorean's, Return of the Jedi next summer, and we're a full two years away from the Karate Kid. At least our hipsters, with their oversize glasses, striped tube socks, neon jackets, and other various American Apparel sundries are properly dressed for our times.
"The downturn is intensifying. The fourth quarter is worse than it looks," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Economy.com.
A build-up in business inventories _ which in calculating GDP adds to economic activity _ masked the fourth-quarter's true weakness. When inventories are stripped out, the economy would have contracted at a 5.1 percent pace in the fourth quarter, closer to the 5.4 percent drop that economists expected. Businesses couldn't cut production fast enough in response to waning customer demand and got stuck with excess inventories, economists explained.
It's like the new season of Lost, we're all time traveling now. We've just visited 1982, soon we're get to visit the Depression era, then the Middle Ages. Wave to your grandparents, the Kaiser, the Visigoths, and Sir Thomas More! The Visigoths will be especially surprised to learn society's standard of living hasn't increased by 2010, that is if they take the time to stop raping and pillaging us to notice economic figures. Buck up, the worst is yet to come.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Thanks to Jonathan Stein at Mother Jones we also know why every good, decent, God fearing, patriot in this country should be rooting for the Steelers, or at least against the Cardinals. Not only are the owners of the Cardinals, the Bidwells, big time Republican donors, they were bundlers for John McCain, Kurt Warner cuts ads opposing stem cell research, and their red team colors espouse the communist ideology of their spiritual mentor and hero: Joseph Stalin. Truly, if you are a decent human of any worth, shouldn't you root for the Steelers?
Broken In Brief: Passengers report extra layers of condescension in stewardesses’ pre-flight safety demos
“Yeah, I’m not sure exactly how to describe it,” observed Southwest passenger Harry Edson. “It was sort of a ‘Maybe you dumb motherfuckers ought to pay attention to this since it might have just saved 155 lives.’ combined with an ‘I bet you used to think this was all needless bullshit and that any water landing would no doubt result in a plane smashing into the ocean an 600 miles an hour, killing you instantly. Shows what the fuck you know.’ But it was never verbal, you could just sort of tell from the looks they were giving and the sort of sarcastic and demeaning way they were doing the exit pointing and life vest demo. You should have seen the looks they flashed during the ‘seat back can be used as a flotation device’ part.”
Phone calls to Southwest were not returned. Later the FAA released a statement proclaiming that while airlines “reaaaaaaaaally appreciated” the increased scrutiny on the tone and demeanor of their flight crews and that they wouldn’t have time to answer any questions in person or over the phone seeing as they were “…too fucking busy spending every single goddamn day getting 6,000 88 ton hunks of metal with jets strapped to them to partake in the miracle of human flight.”
They further added that if we had any more concerns on their attempts to save our wretched lives in the event of a accident that we could write it on a piece of paper and stick it up our asses, then noted they hoped we had a nice drive home. Attached to the press release were several pages of statistics on the rate of car accidents and the rate of plane accidents with several of the more eye popping figures underlined and circled.
From the good people at the Library of Congress comes a series of photographs from Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii, a man who went around Russia photographing it from 1909-1915 on the orders of Tsar Nicholas II. What's so noteworthy about is is he used a camera he designed that took three photos of a subject at the same time using red, green, and blue color filters with were recorded on glass plates. When the plates were combined with a special projection system they produced full color photographs. The LOC has gone through and digitally scanned all the plates and has put together representations of what the projection would have looked like. The Empire That Was Russia.
Mr. Putin was characteristically blunt. He called for the development of multiple, regional reserve currencies in addition to the dollar. "Excessive dependence on a single reserve currency is dangerous for the global economy," Mr. Putin said.It's hard for simple newsprint to convey just how Vladimir the Carpathian mocked Wall Street, but pool reports say he used a high pitched voice, scrunched up his face, and took on the affectations of a crippled little girl. He also created a walk to simulate how Wall Street would walk if it were anthropomorphized and pointed out people he thought were bankers in the audience and offered to wrestle them.
The Russian leader mocked U.S. businessmen who he said had boasted at last year's Davos meeting of the U.S. economy's fundamental strength and "cloudless" prospects. "Today, investment banks, the pride of Wall Street, have virtually ceased to exist," he said.
"The entire economic growth system, where one regional center prints money without respite and consumes material wealth, while another regional centre manufactures inexpensive goods … has suffered a major setback," Mr. Putin said.
But taking the US dollar out of the reserve system, that's a pretty big gauntlet to throw down, and Putin should know, as he wears stainless steel gauntlets to block wayward sword strikes. That would mean a world of shit for the US economy, because if the world no longer accepts dollars as the world reserve currency, then we won't be able to finance our trade or budget deficit, plus US living standards would drop and maybe massive inflation would happen. I believe in economic terms this would be called 'getting F'd in the A'. Thanks George! So be wary America, not only is Vladimir the great, ravisher of Alaska, laughing at your banker boyfriends, he really wants to stick it in and break it off. Such is the life of a global overlord.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said she will attend an exclusive club dinner in Washington this weekend because it will offer her an audience with President Obama.First off, her getting $11 mil for a book better not be true because combined with the DABA thing would cause my brain to melt out of my ears. Secondly, can't a man sit down and relax, kick up his feet and go to a simple dinner in honor of his favorite Little Rascals star? Does he have to be followed around by someone who is sorry her 15 minutes are up and needs help before falling oil prices cause her petro-socialist state becomes the first crank based economy in the US? Also, does she really want to pal around with a Muslim community organizer who pals around with terrorists? That could hurt her in the 2012 election and she has her sterling reputation to think about. Whatever, just frisk her before she gets in so there is no "love knife" type situation.
In an impromptu meeting with reporters Wednesday outside the governor's mansion, Palin also detailed reasons why she's started her own political action committee and laughed off suggestions that she's in line for an $11 million book deal.
"The Alfalfa dinner, yes, in fact that's because President Obama is scheduled to be there," Palin said. "And how often will I have an opportunity to have dinner with the president? I will take up that offer to do so."
Though congrats abounds Sarah for navigating a press conference without claiming you once saw trickster God burying dinosaur bones for dumb athiest scientists to find. Only two turkeys were being killed behind her this time!
This after he went into the process offering up a watered down version of the bill with increased tax cut proposals his own advisers deemed ineffective in an attempt to win over the support of Republicans. Whoops. This will also get no Republican support in the Senate. Whoops. A word to the wise Mr. Barry, you have the numbers to pass whatever the hell kind of stimulus you want. Republicans are going to oppose it no matter what. They view a stimulus package not solely based around tax cuts as either the abandonment of capitalism or the murder of capitalism or at least the drunken grope of capitalism. So why not try and craft the best bill you and your advisers feel will do the most good and pass that? Because in two years when they hold midterms and in 4 when you're up for re-election, you aren't going to get judged on how hard you tried to work with people, you're going to get judged on the results.
Or try another cookie party......but with bigger cookies!
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
To quote the Zen philosopher, David Della Rocco, "Fuckin', what the fuckin', fuck, who the fuck, fuck this fucking, how did you two fucking fucks... FUCK!"
In addition to meeting once or twice weekly for brunch or drinks at a bar or restaurant, the group has a blog, billed as “free from the scrutiny of feminists,” that invites women to join “if your monthly Bergdorf’s allowance has been halved and bottle service has all but disappeared from your life.”I have to hand it to Ravi Somaiya for writing the piece with what appears to be a straight face. Honestly, a couple of dick jokes or a Fritz Haber reference and this is Broken News.
Once you've successfully choked back the bile from the Times article, be sure to head over to the Dating a Banker Anonymous blog, where you can enjoy the metaphysical musings of fine citizens like Courtney, who when not trolling Battery Park gin joints for an AMEX with a penis attached, busies herself by ruining marriages.
Suddenly, I found myself being taken out less and less frequently. A recent argument went along these lines:And the rockets' red glaaaaare...
Me *pouting*: You haven’t taken me on a trip since we went to Bermuda in September. What’s going on?
Charles: Honey, finances are tight right now so my wife has taken it upon herself to check up on all of our accounts. She will notice any big expenditures.
Me *cute voice*: Wellllllllllllll, what are you going to do to make it up to me?
Charles: Can we talk later sweetheart? I’m really busy right now.
Me: No. Give me an answer NOW. Don’t you realize what you have? I’m way too hot to be treated like this. (Disclaimer: Yes, I come across as bratty here, but it typically works when trying to get something out of him)
Charles *yelling for the first time in our almost two-year relationship*: I’VE GOT TO FIRE TWENTY PEOPLE BY THE END OF THE WEEK. Z has four kids, X just had a baby girl, Y just sent his son to college and I’ve got to get rid of two of those guys… and you’re complaining about vacations and dinner? God, you are so 24! GROW UP!
Me *stunned*: Okie dokie, let’s talk later lover.
Now that we know who the best dancer on the field is, that Brian St. Pierre throws like a third string girl, and who the world's scariest transvestite is, we can all sleep soundly. Be Sunday already.
Iran's president called Wednesday for "profound changes" in U.S. foreign policy including an end to support for Israel and an apology to the Islamic republic for past misdeeds.Listen, I know we've fucked over Iran a lot. The whole toppling of your elected government in the 50's, the shah thing, shooting at your planes, the Saddam support, and let's not forget those goldbricking hostages who lived in your country for over a year without paying rent. I get it. But can the man demanding an apology for these transgressions not be the Jew hating guy whose demands for Obama to enact an agenda of change involve a few vaguely anti-Semitic rants, fucking over said Jews, fucking over their their nation, and letting Iran do whatever? Khameni? Rafsanjani? Larijani? Want to speak up? No? Alright then.
"Change means giving up support for the rootless, uncivilized, fabricated, murdering ... Zionists and letting the Palestinian nation decide its own destiny," Ahmadinejad said. "Change means putting an end to U.S. military presence in (different parts of) the world."
"We will wait patiently, listen to their words carefully, scrutinize their actions under a magnifier and if change happens truly and fundamentally, we will welcome that," he added. "The change will be to apologize to the Iranian nation and try to compensate for their dark records and the crimes they have committed against the Iranian nation."
- "Most of us strongly supported the Bush administration through the entire two terms, but in the last few months, this bailout and the abandonment of capitalism really kind of sealed it,"
- "People in this country are more conservative than what has been shown," said Cathie Adams, an RNC member from Texas. "Republicans have lost because we were playing the me-too game of growing government."
- RNC members frequently criticize Bush's "compassionate conservatism," Blackwell has been the most explicit, likening Bush to former president Herbert Hoover for advocating policies that increased the size of government.
- "There are things President Bush did very well; there were things we wish he had done differently...but it's so easy to play Monday-morning quarterback," Smith said.
At least one person in the article seemed to get it: John Feehery, Dennis Hastert's former top adviser. "I think we're becoming a regional party, it seems like we only want to appeal to Southerners. We seem too far to the right, and I think we need to have a better understanding of principles that appeal to people in all 50 states." Of course he'll be ignored and drummed out of the party. Keep on keepin' on RNC, I don't think you've quite cracked your problems yet. Don't worry though, as Democrats have shown, you don't actually ever have to become a cohesive party with strong messages that's in touch with America to actually get back in charge. The downside is you don't have a charismatic black guy to hide those problems. C'est la vie.
$2.2 TRILLION STIMULUS
America's roads, public transit and aviation have gotten worse in the past four years. Water and sewage systems are dreadful. The basic physical backbone of American society is barely above failing, a report by top engineers says.House GOP: Stimulus Plan Has Too Much Spending
It'll cost $2.2 trillion to fix America's ailing infrastructure, according to highlights of a report being released early, just as the House of Representatives readies its first vote on President Barack Obama's call for a massive economic stimulus spending package.
"Do you realize we're driving on a lot of roads that were built during the Eisenhower Administration," Herrmann said.
President Barack Obama's expansive and expensive plan to jump-start the economy is all but certain to clear its first hurdle when the Democratic-controlled House votes on a $825 billion version that melds new spending and tax cuts. Republican support, however, is in doubt when voting takes place Wednesday.Let's see, our infrastructure is falling apart due to decades of inaction. We are in a major recession. The chief way every responsible economist says to help get our economy out of it, make up the GDP shortfalls, and boot employment is by massive government spending, preferably on infrastructure, preferably to the tune of $1 trillion or more. Our elected betters decide they don't need to listen to no stinking book learned types and craft a plan that's less than that, load it up with many ineffective tax cuts, still noting that it could do a lot of good (but not enough). The GOP looks at this 'not good enough' bill and says "Whoa, too much spending on infrastructure, too much spending in general. Can't we load this up with more tax cuts?"
House Minority Leader John Boehner wouldn't say Wednesday morning how he thought the vote would turn out. He did emphasize anew that GOP members are worried about billions in domestic spending that "has nothing to do with creating jobs or preserving jobs."
In case you were wondering: We are never going to get out of the recession, the government will never pass a competent stimulus bill. Bonus points though for Johnny Boehner for his innate ability to look at an issue and loudly proclaim through his words "I have no idea what's going on, I don't even understand the basic fundamentals of what we are talking about and voting on." John, massive public investments in infrastructure, public transit, dams, sewage, etc.. has created jobs every time it's been tried and will always create jobs. In fact the amount of jobs it creates and GDP it makes up is directly proportional to how much is spent. This guy sez so. Pay attention in Econ 101.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
“After completing the legally mandated drug test, as per the conditions set forth in contract all parties signed, we have found that almost the entire group of lower socio-economic youngsters collectively going by the name Team Miracle failed the urinalysis and blood toxicity screens,” observed town sheriff Frank Collig, working as the agreed upon arbiter in this conflict. “We found trance elements of anadrol, testocrine, primobolan, winstrol, masteron, dihydrotestosterone, androstenone, avodart, iocane, Advil, and HGH. This is in addition to the numerous horse tranquilizers, pain killers, and Wasilla-grade methamphetamines we found coursing through their deceitful little veins.”
He continued, “As such, these performance enhancers would undoubtedly have had an effect on the canoe race for control of the camp, creating an almost superhuman group of paddlers unable to feel their muscles bursting with pain. Given these results, I have no other choice but to declare Team Miracle’s victory invalid and award control of Camp Sunshine to their rich competitors on Team Elite and their corporate sponsors at Globodyne Megacorp. Furthermore I would like to chastise the kids of Team Miracle for conduct that makes the East German women look like sportswomen of the year. Or is it sportsmen? The mustaches always confuse me.”
While no immediate reaction could be gotten from any of the poverty-stricken youths, Coach Tompkins, the man who taught them to believe in themselves and not to just let people tell them they’d never amount to anything, fielded questions. When pressed to discuss the test results, Tompkins sighed, shook his head, and remarked “Now where will we go? Without that camp we’ll never be able to touch the lives of the kids in this community, to teach them that they can be somebody.” Adding “HGH? Christ.”
The members of Team Elite however, were not so confounded. Speaking on behalf of his clients in front of Camp Sunshine, lawyer H. Charles Wiffington III read from a prepared statement. “While we deplore the conduct of those tactless ragamuffins from Poverty Junction, we would like to commend the sheriff for his fairness and for the good people at Pharmatech, a division of Globodyne, for their prompt and unimpeachable testing of the samples. We weren’t sure that the rich and powerful were going to be able to get a fair shake in Valley Lake, but they’ve shown to the two disparate and constantly warring classes on both sides of this town that the law and science rule the day.”
While members of Team Elite and their rich developer parents are tight lipped on their plans for the land, rumor has it that they are planning to bulldoze the camp in order to build summer homes on the lake, so they don’t have to make the treacherous 10 mile drive from their homes on the wealthy Knox Heights section of Valley Lake in order to use their yachts.
Wiffington was also quick to note that just because control of the land reverted to them that this meant legal action was over. Indeed he was quick to point out that charges of fraud, emotional abuse, and drug trafficking were to be filed. Globodyne CEO Barrington Dartmouth-Kane VI even advised them to look into claims that the canoe Team Miracle used, designed by team member Aloysius “Braniac” Nerdington, infringed on several Globodyne aerospace patents.
He also added “Of course the grudgingly respectful handshake that team captain Barrington Dartmouth-Kane VII offered to Team Miracle as well as the slow clap that slowly evolved into all out applause has been revoked and deemed null-and-void.”
Chief Collig hoped that this wouldn’t already exacerbate the heightening rich/poor tensions in Valley Lake. “Christ with this, those car races down in the abandoned spillway, the dance offs, and that thing at the karate tournament, this town is just about ready to explode. I hope we can start to come together to move forward as a community, without so many contrived conflicts and competitions between the two sides of town.”
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Part of it is that it seems like we liberals always lose so much more when we’re out of power than our counterparts. What do conservatives lose with a liberal president? A few incalculable severance packages for CEOs? The ability to cheat workers to maximize profits? The power to jam the square peg of evangelical Christianity down the round throat of the public? When liberals lose, we lose our health, our pensions, our rights, our benefits, ransomed for a few hundred bucks back on our taxes.Read the entire post HERE.
Also be sure to peruse Jennifer's work HERE and vote for her in Art for Progress' "Clash of the Artists" contest.
Know how I know the Employee Free Choice Act, which makes it easier for people to join, form, or support labor organizations while penalizing companies that force unfair labor practices, is a good thing? All the right people are complaining and not just complaining, but screaming bloody incoherent murder about it.
"This is the demise of a civilization," said Bernie Marcus, co-founder of Home Depot. "This is how a civilization disappears. I am sitting here as an elder statesman and I'm watching this happen and I don't believe it."As an added bonus, fresh off of getting a big fat government bailout, Bank of America has decided to step up and try and make it harder for people to join unions. Unions are socialism, you know.
Donations of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars to Republican senatorial campaigns were needed, they argued, to prevent America from turning "into France."
"This bill may be one of the worst things I have ever seen in my life," he said, explaining that he could have been on "a 350-foot boat out in the Mediterranean," but felt it was more important to engage on this fight. "It is incredible to me that anybody could have the chutzpah to try and pass this bill in this election year, especially when we have an economy that is a disaster, a total absolute disaster."
So I just wanted to tell you that if you feel like civilization is ending and that the world is about to explode into a fiery ball of magma, it's not gay marriage this time, or even electing Democrats (not completely). It's making it easier for people to join a union. That's why we're all going to die. Socialism. Wait, no: Communism.
Jan. 27, 2009 -- Climate change is "largely irreversible" for the next 1,000 years even if carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions could be abruptly halted, according to a new study led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA).That's right. No longer our problem. Let your great-grandkids' great-grandkids deal with it.
Thain - who was booted last week from Merrill's new parent, Bank of America, for excesses that included spending $87,000 on an office rug - was having dinner at San Pietro last week with BlackRock Chairman Larry Fink. He loudly told the waiter, for all to hear, "under the circumstances with this tough economy, I think I'll have tap water."As he bravely choked down the tap water he was heard to say "What is this taste....dear God it's flavor! Oh Christ I'm being poisoned. This is fluoridation! The communists are invading my precious bodily fluids. You see what I'm doing to ingratiate myself to you peasants! APPRECIATE ME!" before spitting it out and demanding some Moet so he could "wash the fucking taste of that bilge out of my mouth." So before you mock him or put him on your list of people to guillotine during the uprising, remember, he understands. He drank tap water.
the file is 59,783 X 24,658 pixels or 1,474 megapixels. It took more than six and a half hours for the Gigapan software to put together all of the images on my Macbook Pro and the completed TIF file is almost 2 gigabytes.A two gig photo, 1,474 megapixels. In other words, if you were up near the front, he has a photo of you in excruciating detail doing whatever it is you were doing. According to David, if you zoom in you can see Yo-Yo Ma taking a photo with his iPhone. So if you wonder what that one guy on the balcony was doing holding the Hubble telescope and an external hardrive the size of a Buick, now you know. He was making sure everyone at the Inauguration had a picture of themselves. Hope you didn't blink.
Fullscreen version here.
It's been a week since Mr. Barry became not only the first black man to become a major party candidate, but also become the first black man to win an election, and the first black man to get Inaugurated. It's been a busy week of firsts. He was the first black President to flush the toilets, the first black President to sit in the Oval Office and fuck around on his Blackberry, and he became the first black President to duck out onto the balcony to get a smoke. Today he looks to move his operations to Congress where he's going to stump for passage of his economic stimulus bill. We were able to obtain a copy of his itinerary and Barry's own personal notes. No Bothans were harmed.
- Decide to walk up to Congress to get your plan passed, like in that episode of the West Wing you saw. Give up halfway. Christ man, too many cigarettes, out of breath. Vow to stop smoking again and to start an intensive cardio progra....fuck it, that's why they built that sweet ass limo. Light up and tell them to drop you as close to the front entrance as possible, awnings be damned.
- Greet Pelosi at the entrance. Small talk, ask how the grandkids are. Shit, now she's talking about the bill. Mentions that thing about how the bill now includes tax cuts your economists derided as ineffective. That you derided as ineffective. Christ, she's not letting this go. Stammer for an answer, then knock her over, then run and hide in the bathroom. That went well. As long as you never see Nancy Pelosi for the remaining 4-8 years that will have worked out perfectly.
- Democratic caucus meeting. Shit there's Nancy. She doesn't look too bruised. Mention something about having had Taco Bell for breakfast and really needing to use the facilities. I don't think she bought it, no one eats 10 burritos at 8 in the morning, not unless you're Bill Richardson. Zing! Write that one down, remember to bring it up next time you see him.
- Meeting under way. God this is boring. God you hate all these people. Now they're bitching about that thing you said about accepting Republican ideas if they were good ones. Explain that by definition Republican ideas are bad ones. Enjoy a good laugh. There are no reporters in here, right? That quip might harm negotiations.
- God, where's Teddy? He's usually hiding a fifth or two of something potent. Really feel the need to get drunk.
- Meet with Republicans. Mitch McConnell and John Boehner. What is wrong with American voters? Christ, they're bitching about that report that doesn't exist. Listen to their ideas. Cut capital gains. Do a shot. Elimination of death tax. Do a shot. Make Bush tax cuts permanent. Do a shot. Reagan's face on Mt. Rushmore. Was that serious? Were they checking to see if I was paying attention? Tell them you'll take those plan under advisement. They'll never vote for this thing anyway.
- Meet with Reid and Pelosi again. Resist urge to smash Harry's face in. Oh God, they want to drop family planning funding from the bill. Of course it needs to be dropped, Republicans bitched. Thank Harry and Nancy for their stellar advice, sarcastically mention that dropping it probably picked up soooo many Republican votes. Fuck, they might even get full Republican support now. Really start degrading them sarcastically. Do that impression of Reid's walk. Rub it in. Oh great, now they're crying. Agree with them and leave. Run.
- Go back to White House. Muse on how much you hate government for a while. Why'd you run again? Hate everyone. Get revenge soon.
- Lunch. Fuck it. Half day.
Monday, January 26, 2009
W. Commemorative Book
Here’s your chance to be one of the very first to own this compelling coffee table styled book about an extraordinary president in turbulent times. “W” is packed with gripping pictures and stories all beautifully presented in this historical keepsake presentation of all eight years of the Presidency of George W. Bush. Be the first to own this memorable book and be proud to share it with your friends and family."Why yes that is a book commemorating the most disastrous President in my, or possibly anyone's, lifetime. Why do you ask? No, it isn't ironic. Wait, where are you going?"
$24.99 (+ $6.00 shipping)
Broken In Brief: Exasperated WTA to world: “You know there’s a tennis Grand Slam event going on right now!”
After this statement was made a group of teenagers, who had stopped in the press conference tent to get out of the rain, looked around sheepishly, nodded, and promised they’d pay attention. However the conversation soon turned to Australia’s former status as a British prison colony, the new season of Lost, and the Denny’s Grand Slam breakfast. One youth was heard to remark, “Grand Slam? I think I would have heard about it if Tiger Woods were around.”
When asked to comment on the seeming lack of penetration of the Australian Open into the American sporting market, National Fan Aliance spokesman Brad Slarchek offered this response. “Tennis? That’s on now? Ehhh. I guess I’ll watch if that Federchek guy or Nader makes it to the finals,” he said while clicking through Super Bowl stories on ESPN.com. “Is the big assed Williams sister still in it? Maybe I’ll surf Deadspin later to see if there’s any really hot Russians left. I mean highlights worth watching.”
Both the WTA and ATP vowed to keep telling people that world class tennis is occurring at this very moment, but Mr. Slarchek remained skeptical. “What? I’m sorry I wasn’t paying attention there. Hey, did you hear some of these Cardinals coaches used to be on the Steelers? Now that’s interesting.”
President Barack Obama is pushing stronger curbs on greenhouse gases, saying he wants to make it easier for states such as California to adopt tougher fuel-efficiency rules than the federal standard.See because California had pollution regulations before the US government did, so as such they can set guidelines if a waiver is granted by the government, whereupon states can choose to follow the Cali or Feddy Gov guidelines. In things such as emissions standards, which affects the types of cars being manufactured, this essentially sets the regulation for the entire country. Last time around the Bush Administration didn't grant the waiver and *gasp* some even suggested that it was for political and not scientific means.
Obama told a White House gathering that "America will not be held hostage to dwindling resources." He said the government must work with the states _ not against them _ on tougher fuel standards for cars and trucks.
Obama said Monday that he now wants the Environmental Protection Agency to take a second look at decisions denying permission for states to have the higher standards.
The California regulations would force automakers to cut emissions in their cars and light trucks by 30% by 2016 and 13 states (Arizona, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington) have already agreed to adopt the Cali regs as soon as they're legal.
Legally Obama has to have the EPA review this, but it is a mere formality (because of the science~!) that they'll side with California and we'll be swimming in a sea of new standards soon. Barry is also expected to raise fuel economy standards to 35 mpg by 2020, a 40 % increase. How do we know this is a great set of ideas? Because John Boehner is pissed off about it. He declared that this attempt to make Detroit modernize it's standards to succeed in the 21st century will hurt Detroit's attempts...to modernize and create jobs in the 21st century. It has something to do with fractions and complex math. Take note America, the government might actually be a force for good again. At least in limited areas and segmented sections of influence.
“President Bush often had to walk like a knowing lion — like a knowing lion, Mr. Speaker, through the chattering of hyenas. … [I]f those critics do not devour themselves in the meantime, Mr. Speaker, they may face the bared teeth of an enemy that will make us all wish the lion still walked among us.”He then grabbed hands with John Boehner and sang "The Circle of Life" from the Lion King. Before you ask, no it isn't illegal to hold a circle jerk on the House floor, but only when the coat room is too busy with Senators cruising for pages. Thanks to ThinkProgress you can see the additional messages of devotion and love to George W. Lincoln, including gems from Mike Pence and Steve King. You even get to see Franks tear up over W.
And on a more personal note, some comrades at Cambridge (160) and Oxford (60) University Presses have been taken off the books.
Waiting on the Hope and Changiness, Barry.
Are you ready? Today is the day when the State of Illinois Senate begins the impeachment trial of one Roderick "$1000 for my middle name or best offer" Blagojevich. So of course he's preparing to defend himself and fight it, right? No, he's skipping it and instead going on every TV show to protest his innocence. And by protesting his innocence I mean not answering any of the direct charges, claiming it's all politically motivated, and comparing himself to Jesus. Because when you're about to be thrown out of office by an overwhelming margin and then get convicted in a federal court, the thing you want to do most is go on the View and argue constitutional law with Whoopie and Elizabeth Hasselbeck.
Last week he was out comparing the indictment to Pearl Harbor. That was apparently enough for his head lawyer to petition for a 'writ of fucknuttery' and promptly dive off the sinking ship. Last night on ABC he swore that if he had done anything wrong he totally would have resigned, honest. Today he already got off a corker about his thought process during the indictment.
"I thought about Mandela, Dr. King and Gandhi and tried to put some perspective to all this and that is what I am doing now."Word to the wise Rod, all three did jail time. He then attempted to say that this persecution was all "one big misunderstanding." Yes, one big multi-year misunderstanding with reams of taped conversations and evidence that everyone has misunderstood. He then let it come out in an interview with Diane Sawyer that he considered appointing Oprah to Obama's vacated senate seat. Apparently even Pay-Rod has his limits, as he deemed it "too gimmicky".
All I'm saying is that this is just the morning interviews and shit he yelled to assembled press. We've got a Mandela reference, Pearl Harbor, Senator Oprah, and a state wide plague of ignorance persecuting St. Rod. He hasn't even gone on the View, Ellen, Between Two Ferns, or Larry King yet. This could be the greatest thing ever. And he isn't even staring down jail time yet. The trial is going to be great.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
With the Academy Awards nominations announced this week, we here at These Bastards Film Internationale+ would like to bring to your attention a film that will not be nominated for anything other than "Best Use of a Cheek and Finger to Throw a Guy Into a Shelf". There are no holocaust survival stories, no people learning lessons, no well written soliloquies showing realizations of deeply held emotions, and since she retired from the world of high stakes kung-fu stunt movies, no Dame Judy Dench. There is only Tony Jaa, beating the shit out of anyone who looks at him cockeyed in a semi-historical setting.
This is not a surprise, if you ever saw the original Ong Bak or Tom Yum Goong/Protector all they are are loose "plots" arranged around badass fight scenes where Jaa comes up with different means to unmercifully beat interns within an inch of their lives. Flying knees and elbows, flaming kicks to the head, getting kneed in the chest while hanging off a helicopter on top of a skyscraper, you and 50 of your buddies getting their limbs broken and dislocated one by one in one scene, nothing is too brutal for Tony to subject these lowly paid Indonesians to. See them. Enjoy them. They are all better than spending 3 hours watching Brad Pitt do Forrest Gump.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Remember how Congressional Republicans touted this week's CBO report as evidence that Obama's stimulus plan wouldn't work? Yeah, the thing about that is, well, the CBO never issued a report. Didn't stop the AP from filing, though. Fill them pews, people!
Merrill's Shareholders Owe Me. And You.
Not only did Merrill Lynch shell out $4 billion in bonuses for top executives as the company was being acquired by Bank of America, the pricks also forked over half-billion stockholder divided in November, just weeks before the merger and as the company was lobbying for more of that tasty bailout coin.
But it Really Held the Room Together
Zachary Roth over at TPM has put together a monster list of former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain's most grievous offenses. From the $1.2 million executive suite redecoration to the "Fuck you, I'm going to Davos" stance to that little chair-throwing episode, Thain appears to have actually raised the bar for Executive Malfeasance.
I See What You Did There, Ms. Guilfoyle
So... if torture works, it was a valid course of action. If it doesn't work, then it wasn't torture. For those of you scoring at home, this is the logical equivalent of claiming, "If I got her into bed, then she obviously wanted it. But if I didn't get her into bed, there's no way it was sexual assault."
Friday, January 23, 2009
The CIA's bombing campaign against al Qaeda leadership in Pakistan continued with two more attacks today, an indication, senior officials say, that President Barack Obama has approved the U.S. strategy that has killed at least eight of al Qaeda's top 20 leaders since July 2008.
The two attacks today in Pakistan's were the first since President Obama took office on Tuesday.
Asked about it at his daily press briefing, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said, "I'm not going to discuss that matter."
During the campaign, Obama called for cross-border attacks against high-value al Qaeda targets in Pakistan, even before the CIA campaign began.
Pakistani officials and villagers told ABCNews.com that 17 people were killed in two successive predator drone strikes against compounds in North and South Waziristan.
At one point in Friday's meeting in the White House's Roosevelt Room, GOP Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona objected to a proposal to increase benefits for low-income workers who do not owe federal income taxes.Unknown if Harry Reid or Chuck Schumer went "Ooooooooooooooh. You just got served Kyl!" or made any references to getting shine boxes.
Obama replied in a friendly but firm way that an election had been held in November, "and I won."
One of the more horrible realizations of the election of our new overlord Obama is the sheer amount of crap that is going to be attempted to get sold to us on some loose Obama/changey/hopey/us against the world pretense. Multi-national mega-corporations and you, changing the world through your continued payment of money for their goods and services. At least Starbucks is shoehorning in some community service pledge to go with their co-opt.
We have replaced the gung-ho, America fuck yeah, flag eating bullshit in commercials, but we have replaced it with this. Did we really win? I say no. And if John Mellencamp comes out with some hope based songs to sell me a Chevy, I'm climbing a clock tower with a Mannlicher-Carcano.
The unfine print of Mr. Obama’s order is that he’s allowed room for what might be called a Jack Bauer exception. It creates a committee to study whether the Field Manual techniques are too limiting “when employed by departments or agencies outside the military.” The Attorney General, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Director of National Intelligence-designate Dennis Blair will report back and offer “additional or different guidance for other departments or agencies.” […]What did Barry have to say when given a chance to equivocate? “I can say without exception or equivocation that the United States will not torture.” But those are just words, what about when you specifically ask the Administration's legal department about the exact same scenario as the WSJ posited?
The “special task force” may well grant the CIA more legal freedom to squeeze information out of terrorists when it could keep the country safe.
Administration officials emphasized that there was no intent to create a loophole.Well more words and proclamations, I mean it's not like they're trying to help pass laws through the congress that codifies all the torture laws more concretely than a mere executive order could and thus makes it harder for future Presidents to get around, right? They are? Well next season of 24 is going to blow then.
“This is not a secret annex that allows us to bring the enhanced interrogation techniques back,” said a senior Obama administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity when discussing legal strategies.
Just one suggestion though. Sometime in the next year can conservatives stop basing their pro-torture arguments on something other than a fictional TV show? Of course torture works on 24, because that's the way the writers write it. But reality has shown us that it just doesn't work. So can we get a real argument instead of "Won't someone think of
US regulators have cleared the way for the world's first study on human embryonic stem cell therapy.Science? Being supported and allowed by the US government? And it has nothing to do with the military or proving Jesus rode dinosaurs? Guh? This all happened three days after Obama people started heading up the US Food and Drug Administration? I don't even know what this feeling is. Head nodding agreement? Happiness? Fear, knowing that one day they'll eventually green light the robots that will enslave us all?
The move comes three days after the inauguration of President Barack Obama who has been a strong supporter of embryonic stem cell research.
Since 2001 there have been limits on federal funding for stem cells.
Geron Corp, the biotech company behind the research, plans to initiate a clinical trial in patients paralysed due to spinal cord injury.
Anyway, drag those stem cells out from that box in the closet, the one behind the porn. You can do science with them again. Thank the God you don't believe in and get to work, I have several activities that are dangerous to my spine that I'd like to engage in without fear over the next few years.
From the good people at Chia comes the one thing we've all been waiting for: Chia Obama. Yes, show your family, friends, and neighbors that not only are you excited about the nation's first black President, but that the only way you know how to celebrate it is by growing weeds out of a grotesque terracotta characterization of his face. It comes in two flavors, happy and determined, so you can switch which one you display based on the state of the country an/or your general view of the President's mood. Ch-Ch-Ch-Change is here America.
Still not as good as the Mr. T one.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
After consulting with Lawrence Summers, Tim Geithner, and several other voodoo high priests, the President decided that the best course of action was to ritually sacrifice bankers in an attempt to appease the Financial Gods.
“My fellow Americans, I know this seems like a harsh and punitive measure,” said the President, already decked out in a gilded black robe, high necked priest’s collar, and gold ankh pendant. “But you must understand the dire straits we are in. I have been advised, and I now believe, that we have angered God or a series of Gods and the only way forward is to sacrifice one banker per God until we hit upon the right combination.”
As the President walked over to a stone alter constructed in front of the Washington Monument, his economic advisers already encircling it and chanting from various Latin tomes, the President revealed the first sacrificial vessel, a portly man strapped to the altar with razor wire, his bare flesh adorned with pagan symbols painted in goat’s blood.
“This is Michael Simon of PNC and I believe we’re sacrificing him to Baal, isn’t that right Rahm? Alright let’s get this under way.” The President then proceeded to open a large book, on loan from the Smithsonian, bound in what seemed to be human flesh, inked in blood, and started reading the ancient Sumerian script. At the culmination of the chanting, the President produced a large bone dagger from his cloak, raised it into the air, and brought it down into Mr. Simon’s chest.
After a quick series of calls over to the Federal Reserve and Wall Street, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, wiping the blood from his Blackberry, announced “Still the same. We’ll all need to be back here for the six o’clock. Remember to get those cloaks washed. Dry clean only. Oh, and toss the body in the Potomac."
While some are questioning the decision to bring sacrifices back to White House grounds for the first time since Dick Cheney was forced to move his dark rituals to the Naval Observatory in 2005, others point out that Obama is pretty popular and that they really ought to shut up.
On the other hand there are others who support the policy, such as Dr. Colton Kent, Professor of the Occult at Cambridge and director of Faces of Death VII. “Look we’ve exhausted all other options and maybe we should open our minds to what the ancient civilizations did. We just watched the big cheese take his oath of office twice on a leather-bound book of 2,000 year-old Jewish proverbs. Everyone loves following what long dead primitives did so long as there’s chanting and a book. Ra, Kali, Zeus, Thor, Gozer, Morgan Freeman. It doesn’t make a difference. The transgressors must be offered up in death to the offended party. Do you really think an offering of nuts and berries is going to do it? Oh, and try finding a virgin in this day and age.”
Kent added, “We all need to understand that obviously a God or consortium of Gods is causing this and one of them needs to be appeased. Otherwise we’d just have to blame the free market and capitalism, right? That, my friends, is fucking ludicrous.”
Officials note that if the sacrifices do not work there is, as of yet, no backup plan. Treasury Secretary Geithner has advised, “…collecting up bitches to throw in volcanoes,” while other, more experienced advisers feel that the President might need to consider that a witch might have hexed the financial sector or even that someone has stolen a priceless artifact from the US that needs to be returned.
These same officials note that the proposed economic stimulus proposal is just a ruse designed to keep congress busy. One such official, on the condition of anonymity said “We just don’t want them gumming up the work with their ‘motions-to-stab’, committees to review what ancient evil manuscript to use, and commissions to look into the best type of altar to funnel blood into the collection receptacles. Plus, there are even some senators who honestly think this crisis will be solved by spending. Like Vishnu or Eric Clapton is going to care about transit funding.”
Later, when asked if he really thought these ritual killings were going to solve the crisis, the President smiled and shrugged, “Don’t know. But it still makes more sense than giving a trillion dollars to George Bush and Hank Paulson, no questions asked.”
From artists Thomas Fuchs and Felix Sockwell comes GOP100 - Deconstructing Dumbo a self-published book of 100 variations, deconstructions, attacks, and observations on the Republican logo and the state of the Republican party.
The dolls are part of the TyGirlz Collection, which inspires young women to live up to their potential by featuring such luminaries as Bubbly Britney and Lucky Lindsay.
Worse than the idea of associating the First Daughters' image with a Who's Who of disgraced, drug addled culture stains for profit? The explanation:
The Oak Brook-based company chose the dolls' names because "they are beautiful names," not because of any resemblance to President Obama's daughters, said spokeswoman Tania Lundeen.
"There's nothing on the dolls that refers to the Obama girls," Lundeen said. "It would not be fair to say they are exact replications of these girls. They are not.
Of course they aren't. Malia and Natasha (known as "Sasha") are much taller and, by all accounts, have some fucking class.