Friday, April 30, 2010

Shut it, Love Actually!

In honor of the ongoing three-way between our British cousins, we proudly present the best of Jamie MacDonald (Paul Higgins) from TheseBastards favorites "The Thick of It" and "In the Loop".

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Broken News: Corruption Allegations Taint World Corruption Rankings

NEW YORK—Today the international community was shocked to learn that Transparency International, which has long compiled a ranked list of countries by degree of political and institutional corruption, was scrapping their Corruption Perceptions Index over charges of corruption.

“Look, we realize the irony of this, but we unfortunately have to revamp and reassess the whole list due to numerous allegations of back room deals and intimidation,” announced Mark Holt, spokesman for Transparency International.

While there are wide-ranging allegations surrounding numerous countries on the list, the most serious allegations surround the country of Uzbekistan, which ranked as the 7th most corrupt country in the world.

“I would like to offer my apologies for our conduct and payment of bribes during this whole affair,” said a weeping Islam Karimov, President of the Uzbek nation. “I just wanted to look like a big man in front of my kids and in the international community. I wanted to have people be afraid of me, look at me as a despotic man who should be revered and feared! It’s just not true. I’m fairly competent and well mannered. I even file my taxes on time.”

As Karimov bawled, he explained, “We’re actually a very well ordered and well run country with numerous checks and balances, a robust legal system full of well paid and well protected jurists and police officials. My God, I’ve never been more embarrassed in all my life.”

This remains the second black eye for international watchdog groups in as many months following the revelation by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch that conduct at US military prisons like Bagram and Gitmo were not “torture”, as had been claimed for years, but in fact “fraternity style hazing” and “comical prankery.” For its part, Transparency International vowed to reevaluate its procedures.

Picture of the day

From the Houston Chronicle comes a look at the oil rig that started the whole mess and just how hard it'll be to plug up the leak.

From NASA come a satellite image of part of the slick. To get a sense of the scale, note that the two little bumps at the bottom left corner of the image are giant ass ships attempting to deal with the disaster. We posted an earlier satellite photo from NASA on the 26th. Click to really, really embiggen.

Map of the day

Good news everyone! You know that giant oil slick that's menacing the gulf coast? It's five times bigger than had been initially estimated! In a handy little infographic, the New York Times shows the size of the oil slick and just what exactly it is menacing.

As you can see the area in which they're going to hold the deep sea fish fry in is laughably small compared to the entirety of the problem. It is the textbook definition of pissing in the wind.

However it is nice to see Louisiana and New Orleans being sufficiently threatened again. If you think about it, the Louisiana coast has been dodging natural disasters for years, emerging completely unscathed. It's only right that a man-made threat balances things out a bit.

click to embiggen

In a larger version of the graphic
the NYT also is kind enough to show us which animals will no longer exist by Wednesday of next week. Shame about the prospects for the Brown pelican. I know it just came off the endangered species list and just started breeding in the area, but someone has to pay for the US making an insignificant dent in our foreign oil dependence. Plus, everyone hates pelicans, right? Same with the reddish egret and spotted duck. If mother nature wanted them to survive, she would have had them evolve a natural immunity to man made oil rig leaks. I'm sad to hear that the Gulf is the only spawning grounds for the bluefin tuna. Ah well, gives all those tuna cans with the phrase 'packed in oil' a hilarious new meaning.

So take heed, America. You may have just eaten your last bluefin tuna, spotted egret, and oyster from the Louisiana area for the foreseeable future. On the other hand, BP is at least profiting off the fact that global oil prices are rising because of increased global oil scarcity resulting from things like this leak/gushing tide of black marine death. Maybe they can put those billions into maybe cleaning up the spill a little fucking faster or buying some new lobbyists to even further oppose environmental and offshore drilling safety standards. Either/or.

I just hope that experts take the lessons they've learned and apply them to the newly OK'd offshore Cape Cod wind farm. This country doesn't want and can't afford any dangerous wind spills.

Stay classy, Arizona immigration law supporters

If the Arizona immigration law that makes you a suspicious person if you're caught breathing while Latino, has been good for one thing: the comedy resulting from those who support the law. Not so much "funny ha-ha" comedy, but more of a "oh sweet merciful Christ, these are elected representatives... in America... in 2010" kind of funny.

Even worse on the unconformable comedy of awkward discomfort scale are the people who have viewed this law as a gaslight for them to rush out and espouse their brilliant ideas about ways in which this country can go further down into a racist hole with immigration laws. Take Iowa Republican (shocking) congressional candidate Pat Bertroche
“I think we should catch ’em, we should document ’em, make sure we know where they are and where they are going,” said Pat Bertroche, an Urbandale physician. “I actually support micro-chipping them. I can micro-chip my dog so I can find it. Why can’t I micro-chip an illegal?

“That’s not a popular thing to say, but it’s a lot cheaper than building a fence they can tunnel under,” Bertroche said.
Micro-chipping every illegal immigrant? You know, maybe Georgia was on to something with their crazy "no robit hunks in mah body" law. That being said, if we could catch every single illegal immigrant to the point where we could perform invasive microchipping surgery on them... wouldn't we just cart them over the border? I mean we go to all the trouble of catching them to scientifically experiment on them and we just release them back into the wild even though they're illegal? Methinks someone needs to mull over his "Mexicans are exactly like dogs" immigration plan.

But then there's Republican (shocking~!) Rep. Duncan Hunter the Younger of California, who isn't merely content to treat immigrants like stray dogs. No, he's got a better plan.
QUESTION: Would you support deportation of natural-born American citizens that are the children of illegal aliens?

HUNTER: I would have to, yes. [...] We simply cannot afford what we’re doing right now. California is going under. How much in debt are we? Twenty billion dollars? [...] And we’re not being mean, we’re just saying it takes more than just walking across the border to become an American citizen. It’s what’s in our souls.
Yeah, fuck them. Who ever said that being born here means you're a citizen? The 14th Amendment? Balderdash! Let's repeal it and start chucking American citizens who aren't sufficiently white over the border. Their souls aren't American.

But if advanced GPS tracking, a catch and release Latino program, or grossly violating the Constitution in the name of racial paranoia aren't your thing, have you thought of just claiming all your Latin opponents of wanting to cede American soil to Santa Anna and his Mexican hordes? Then get on board with Republican (shocker) Rep. Steve King (shocker) from Iowa (shocker).
I’m wondering if we look at the map of Congressman Grijalva’s congressional district if we haven’t already ceded that component of Arizona to Mexico judging by the voice that comes out of him, he’s advocating for Mexico rather than the United States and against the rule of law, which is one of the central pillars of American exceptionalism.
He is of course talking about Rep. Raul Grijalva, a Latino himself and Arizona representative, who decried the law and advocated that people boycott Arizona in response. Of course that means he doesn't sufficiently love America, is probably a Latin sleeper agent, hates the law, freedom, and baby eagles, and is probably the point man for the Mexican Reconquista movement. Aztlan!

So stay classy everyone. I know we all though that a re-fried bean swastika was about as low as the debate could sink. But we didn't count on the prides of Iowa and a second generation half-witted reactionary race-baiter deciding that this was the perfect opportunity to offer up their brilliant ideas on better ways to dehumanize entire swaths of the US population. Wonderful. It wells me up with so much pride for the country.


The financial reform debate has raged over the past few days. Republicans have been yelling "We will not allow this to pass". Democrats countering with "Look, what if we ask pretty please." Republicans: "This bill institutionalizes bailouts and is fundamentally un-American. It shall not pass" Democrats: "Maybe if you just negotiated with us a little more. I'm sure there are some concession we could make..." Republicans: "No! We are making our stand! We are unanimously united! Unless we are allowed to make drastic changes to this bill behind closed doors, we will filibuster until the sun burns out!" Democrats: "Well, if that's the way you feel... I guess we'll wheel out the cots and force you to filibuster this thing for real." Republicans: "On second thought....
"Without a single objection, Republicans tonight dropped their three day filibuster of financial reform legislation, agreeing unanimously to debate the Democrats' bill on the Senate floor.

Though clearly a big defeat for the Republicans, their line tonight is that they endured this week's political maelstrom for a substantive reason: to allow Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) to extract as many concessions out of Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd as he could. When Dodd said no more, they relented.
That's all well and good for the GOP to try to coach their relenting on the filibuster as some calculated policy to try to get concessions or a desire to finally get the bill to the floor and make changes For The Good Of The American People, but do you know why the Republicans didn't want to filibuster? One: they were actually going to have to filibuster, not just block a vote and have to put up with a sighing Harry Reid whimpering "C'mon you guys...".

Secondly, Senate Minority Leader and Kentucky Bourbon swiller Mitch McConnell had some important business to get to that he didn't want disrupted by a filibuster: he wanted to go get fucked up on mint juleps surrounded by millionaires and women in overly large hats at the Kentucky Derby. In addition, many influential Republicans, like Richard Shelby (who was trying to negotiate with Dodd over the bill in committee), had fundraisers that were going to be disrupted by the Senate filibuster procedures Reid was forcing.

So let that be a reminder to you, when our elected betters clamor on about The Best Interests of America and This Will Not Stand and Defeat By Any Means Necessary, what they really mean is that they'll oppose something right up untl the point where it'll make them reschedule a trip to suck cash out of donors and miss drinking whisky while watching midgets beat horses. You may know it by another word: principles.

So now the bill finally moves to the Senate floor where everyone has jokingly remarked that they will "improve the bill". Well, there's a first time for everything. I think what they meant to say was "filibuster meaningful changes and maybe sneak in a few loopholes that will cause the next crisis." I'm sure they'll succeed in that area.

Headline of the day

Shakira Coming To Arizona To Investigate Immigration Law

I'm certain that if anyone will get to the bottom of the legality of this bill it's constitutional law scholar and international pop sensation Shakira. If there's anything this debate needed it was warbly singing in Spanish and English, belly dancing, and sexy zombie walking.

Oh Arizona, you thought you could get away with this and no one would object. But now you've brought down the wrath of Shakira. For your sake I hope she goes easy on you. You definitely don't want a internationally successful, genre crossing pop hit about how you're all a bunch of shitheads. So help you God if she brings along Wyclef or Beyonce.

Art of the Day - 4.29.10

New York's Ellis Gallagher, some shadows, and a pocket full of chalk.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

They're coming to get you, Barbara

From Mondotees and Florian Bertmer, comes this new poster for the original Romero classic Night of the Living Dead. It was released as a limited print run of 200, so I imagine it already sold out some time ago. But it sure is purty to look at.

Click to embiggen.

He's not talking about Tila

If you're like me you've viewed the recent Arizona "Breathing While Latino"/"We Don't Want Any Tourists To Visit Here" immigration bill with one question burning in the back of your mind: what's a good semi-racist way to describe all the Latin citizens of Arizona and the rest of the country who are protesting this bill? Lucky for us the Washington Times came up with the answer tucked in amongst a hateful editorial that not only whitewashes (irony~!) the violence, low grade racism, and incitements to violence at Tea Parties but attempts to paint Latin opposition to the bill as some dangerous, undermining, hate America first attempt to Destroy The Freedoms.
Imagine a group of angry demonstrators toting swastika-festooned protest signs calling politicians Nazis, shouting obscenities and racial remarks and throwing rocks and bottles at police officers sent to keep order. No, these are not Tea Partiers. They are the mob that turned out last week to protest Arizona's new immigration-enforcement law. This group of liberal rowdies has been dubbed the Tequila Party.
The Tequila Party. Classy. Well, I guess there wasn't going to be any reasonable defense of the "Achtung! Show Me Your Papers" law, so why not just completely troll the bottom of the barrel?

Keep it up GOP. No blacks vote for you because of your response to civil rights... and the subsequent four decade period after, so why not try to alienate all the Latinos as well? I mean it's not like they're the fastest growing subset of this country, are they? No, disaffected, rural whites with persecution complexes are. That must be why you've cast your lot in so heavily with them. Good luck with all that.

Art I wish was real of the day

Cédric Delsaux's StArt Wars via Amusement Magazine. There's an interview on the site where he talks about the project, but it's in French and I couldn't understand a word. I think it said something about my mother smelling of elderberries...

Anyway, I would kill all of you for a Millennium Falcon, AT-AT, or battle droid. Know that.

Drill, baby, drill --> Burn, baby, burn

Don't worry citizens. You know the giant oil slick that's menacing the Gulf and threatening coastlines and marine life? There's a solution. They're just going it light it on fire and burn away the oil. Seriously.
The US coastguard is to set fire to oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico to prevent the slick from reaching shore after last week's explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig.

Robot submarines have so far failed to shut off the flow more than 1,500 metres below where the Deepwater Horizon was wrecked. Eleven workers are missing, presumed dead, and the cause of the explosion 50 miles off Louisiana has not been determined.

A coastguard spokesman said the burn would begin today. Prentice Danner said fire-resistant booms would be used to corral some of the thickest oil on the surface, which would then be ignited. It was unclear how large an area would be set on fire or how far from shore the fire would be set.
Think of it as less "world's largest ecological disaster" and more "world's largest fish fry". I just think of the tremendous boon this will be to the newspaper industry. They gotta wrap those fish in something. A little investment advice: tartar sauce future are about to go through the roof.

This tactic was employed in Newfoundland in 1993 and ended up burning off half of the oil that had been spilled in an event that in no way make anyone anywhere concerned about the environmental hazards of offshore drilling. Let it be said that there is no ecological problem that cannot be solved by fire.

Glenny wrote a book

I just wanted to post up the plot of the newest Glenn Beck novel he/an unpaid intern wrote. It's a harrowing thriller called the Overton Window and it's probably the funniest thing you'll read all day.
There is a powerful technique called the Overton Window that can shape our lives, our laws and our future. It works by manipulating public perception so that ideas previously thought of as radical begin to seem acceptable over time. Move the Window and you change the debate. Change the debate and you change the country.

For Noah Gardner, a twenty something public relations executive, it's safe to say that political theory is the furthest thing from his mind. Smart, single, handsome and insulated from the world's problems by the wealth and power of his father, Noah is far more concerned about the future of his social life than the future of his country.

But all of that changes when Noah meets Molly Ross, a woman who is consumed by the knowledge that the America we know is about to be lost forever. She and her group of patriots have vowed to remember the past and fight for the future—but Noah, convinced they're just a bunch of freaky conspiracy-theorists, isn't interested in lending his considerable skills to their cause.

And then the world changes.

An unprecedented attack on U.S. soil shakes the country to the core and puts into motion a frightening plan, decades in the making, to transform America and demonize all those who stand in the way. Amidst the chaos, many don't know the difference between conspiracy theory and conspiracy fact—or, more importantly, which side to fight for.

But for Noah, the choice is clear: Exposing the plan, and revealing the conspirators behind it, is the only way to save both the woman he loves and the individual freedoms he once took for granted.

After five back-to-back #1 New York Times bestsellers, national radio and Fox News television host Glenn Beck has delivered a ripped-from-the-headlines thriller that seamlessly weaves together American history, frightening facts about our present condition, and a heart-stopping plot. The Overton Window.
Christ, it's like the fantasy world that every one of his hardcore viewers likes to believe they're living in when they watch his show. I will say this about the Glennster: he knows how to suck every dime out of his audience by playing to their fears and paranoid fantasies.

In happier Glenn Beck news, the audience for the Overton Window is going to be smaller than it was, oh, say, a few months ago. Why? His show has lost 1/3 of its viewers since January. Glorious. But in this moment of joy all I can think of is the poor aardvarks he's taking this out on in a weeping rage. Those poor creatures.

/tips a bit of O.E. on the ground

To the aardvarks.

The only tea that refreshes after a hard day of demanding a Mexican prove he's a citizen

The racially charged immigration laws of Arizona have claimed an innocent victim. No, not the basic notions of fairness, freedom, liberty, or America. And no, I'm not talking about some innocent Mexican guy who was imprisoned. Please, it's only been a few days, that won't be happening for at least another week or so. No, what I'm talking about is the innocent victims that just so happen to brew beverages that now bear the unfortunate scarlet letter of the state of Arizona.
Opponents of Arizona's new anti-immigrant law are calling for a boycott of the state's products - including the popular Arizona Iced Tea.
Online, misguided tea fans vowed to switch to Lipton or Snapple.

"Dear Arizona: If you don't change your immigration policy, I will have to stop drinking your enjoyable brand of iced tea," Twittered Jody Beth in Los Angeles.

"It is the drink of fascists," wrote Travis Nichols in Chicago.
The problem? Arizona Ice Tea is brewed in New York and the makers of it only marginally hate Mexicans. It is however still the official drink of fascists and fascism. They signed a promotional sponsorship deal with Fascism in 2007 and it doesn't run out until 2014.

I mean if you do want to get outraged at innocent companies that just happened to be started by people living in a state controlled by right wing mental patients, you should point your rage at Cold Stone Creamery, U-Haul, and Best Western. Though if you do that just try and tell me who it is that will cart a storage truck full of German-chökolätekäke (kakke?) and Cheesecake Fantasy to your fleabag motel? Huh? Who?

I think people should stop getting mad at companies with 'Arizona' in the title, companies from Arizona, and various cacti and save their anger for the lawmakers who voted this in and the people who support it. Plus, we're missing what we should truly be mad about: the fact that Arizona's reality is killing Arizona based satire. Look, Mexico just released a travel warning for Mexicans vacationing or visiting in Arizona. That could have fueled a Broken In Brief piece at the very least! This is what we need to be pissed about: reality stealing the ideas of These Bastards. Which is horrifying, come to think of it.

Stay classy, 2010 campaign

Mid-term elections are coming up later in the year. What's that mean? Well, the stupid season is almost upon us. Strike that. The stupider season is almost upon us. Case in point: the new attacks levied by the RNC and the GOP Congressional and Senate campaign committees.

Want to guess what the new attacks are? Did you guess "Oogity boogity, blackity blackity black!" Nicely done, dear readers, you've been paying attention.
The 2010 election campaign season took an abrupt and aggressive turn in the last 24 hours, as two Republican campaign committees accused the Obama White House of "shamelessly" engaging in "race-baiting" in an effort to hold congressional majorities.

In an email blasted to reporters Wednesday morning, National Republican Campaign Committee spokesman Ken Spain charged DNC Chairman Tim Kaine with playing "the race card from the bottom of the deck."
Oh my God, oh your God, oh everyone's God... what is it that Obama and the DNC are doing to stoke racial fears? Are they being accused of starting the Tea Parties? Are they being accused of enabling a news network and stream of commentators and talk radio hosts to spend day after day, hour after hour making racially charged attacks? Are they continually placing all their political hopes on aggrieved white fears of persecution? Did Barack Obama and Time Kaine travel back in time and invent racism? What nefarious scheme are they undertaking?
Kaine's offense? The committee chairman is set to outline a mid-term election strategy on Wednesday that relies heavily on the turnout of "black, Latino or young voters."
THOSE RACIST MOTHERFUCKERS! Blacks and Latinos voting and being encouraged to vote? I think I hear George Washington puking in the afterlife.

I mean sure, some might say the constant stream of outraged accusation from the right that everyone on the left is a racist, that the President is a double racist, that the President is coming to take the white man's shit and give it to lazy blacks, the GOP making direct class and race based appeals to their base, race based legislative strategies employed by states like... Arizona, and all sorts of crazy rants and rhetoric about race would mean that the GOP is the one engaged in dealing all those race cards from the bottoms of various decks. They would be wrong. Trying to get better black and Latino turnout is playing the race card. Even if the only thing you have to do to get them out is play them any random statement made by any random right wing commentator or lawmaker.

So if you thought that we had survived the last attempt to drag this country into a politically charged race war with the death of the McCain/Palin 2008 campaign, well, you were wrong. Again. You forgot just how classy a country we lived in. Now we get campaign centered around the one issue most important to Americans: "You're a racist!" "No, I'm not the racist, you're the racist!"

Gird your brains for November... it's about to get stupid. And racist. Really racist.

Important science about the Bible

Noah's Ark has been found! Hold on. Some bits of old wood and rope on a mountain have been found! Isn't it obvious that it's related to a biblical story about a giant boat that held two of every animal on earth?
Noah's Ark has been found atop a mountain in Turkey, a team of Turkish and Chinese evangelical explorers said Monday, April 26.

The 15-person team claims to have recovered fragments of wood and pieces of rope from a structure on Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey that carbon dating has put at 4,800 years old, roughly coinciding with the time the biblical flood was said to have been occurred.
Yeung Wing-Cheung, a member of the team, told AFP, "It's not 100 percent that it is Noah's Ark but we think it is 99.9 percent that this is it."
Obviously. You found some wood, but the real clincher was the rope. I mean doesn't that just cinch it? How could anyone deny it? Sure, the "ark" doesn't look big enough to hold two of every hamster, let alone two elephants... and every other species on earth, but I'm sure a little biblical interpretation allows for the divine gift of a shrink ray. Plus, if this ark was found way up on a mountain are we supposed to believe that two of every animal scaled 12,000 feet down a rocky precipice after it settled up there post-flood? Yes? Ok then.

I'm not sure about evangelicals using carbon dating to scan the wood though. Maybe Chinese and Turkish evangelicals are different than American evangelicals, but I'm fairly sure they would burst into flame when coming into contact with such a concentrated form of science as a carbon dating machine. Plus, evangelicals don't seem to like carbon dating when it says things like "the earth has been around for more than 10,000 years", so why would they use it on Noah's Ark? Or is 10,000 years right around the point where carbon dating gets wonky because it's... interfluxing... with the... God... barrier? Or does He tamper with all carbon dating machines to make them date beyond 10,000 years as part of His giant practical joke on humanity that involves Him burying dinosaur bones and making science seem so credible?

If only this article quoted an actual scientist...

Nicholas Purcell, a lecturer in Ancient History at Oxford University, called the claims "the usual nonsense," according to the Daily Mail.

"If floodwaters covered Eurasia 12,000 feet deep in 2,800 BC, how did the complex societies of Egypt and Mesopotamia, already many centuries old, keep right on regardless?" he said.

Oof, too scientific. Don't crush their hopes too hard there, Nick. Just say "It looks like that's pine wood, I'm fairly sure Noah would have made his ark out of teak" or something and tell them to "keep looking".

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Video of the day

Are you afraid of the UN's black helicopters, government microchip implants, spy satellites that read your thoughts, CIA satellites that cause earthquakes, lizard replicants with plots to overthrow human society, ghosts, TV's and microwaves emitting thought control waves, and alien related cattle mutilations/rectal probing? Well then you would of course want these issues dressed by state of local government, right? Well then, Georgia is the state for you. On the microchip implantation thing. All the others are still valid fears.

That's right, the Georgia Senate has passed a law banning microchip implementation without consent based on the testimony of a crazy person. Seriously. The two state legislators who sponsored the legislation were named Chip. Seriously.

It made it onto a news broadcast and everything.

We at These Bastards would just like to commend Georgia for being so pro-active in addressing this threat. Now could you bother to release proper guidelines on tinfoil hat construction? I have all kinds of thought that the NSA is mind-reading... as we speak! They could be in possession of numerous Joe Biden satire pieces that I haven't even fully written yet. They could be cornering the market on childish, swear ridden, low readership blogs! I need those hat guidelines! Get on it!

Quote of the day

The Capitol is abuzz today with our elected betters taking easy swings at our financial betters. Yes, daddy and mommy are fighting. But it's easy to swing verbal haymakers at Goldman-Sachs. Fun too. But more difficult is doing something to actually make sure Goldman-Sachs and their ilk aren't able to set everyone's money on fire. As the deficiencies in the Dodd financial reform bill and the difficulties in even getting that mediocre reform through have shown.

But we knew the bill would be weak and the GOP would filibuster and be aided by the same asshole Democrats who are always willing to lend a helpful hand. So this Goldman-Sachs hearing and SEC lawsuit are just an unexpected bonus that lets us feel as if something is happening that will have actual long lasting or important consequences. It won't, but at least there was a bunch of swearing going on during it. A fuck-ton of swearing! By elected officials!

"Boy," Levin said, reading from an internal June 22, 2007 Goldman email, "that Timberwolf is one shitty deal."

"How much of that shitty deal did you sell to your clients after June 22, 2007?" Levin asked Sparks.

"Mr. Chairman, I don't know the answer to that, but the price would have reflected levels that they wanted to invest in at the time."

Levin: But you didn't tell them you thought it was a shitty deal.

Sparks: I didn't say that.

Levin: No. Who did? Your people. Internally. You knew it was a shitty deal and that's what your email shows.

"Should Goldman Sachs be trying to sell a shitty deal?" Levin demanded. "Can you answer that one yes or no?"

Sparks didn't.
Then Levin banged his fist off the desk and asked Sparks "You fuck my wife? You fuck my wife? I'm gonna ask you again, did you or didn't you? Just answer the question."

So a word of thanks to Senator Levin. Sure, nothing is really going to happen to Goldman or any of the other companies that jugfucked the American people, but at least we got to hear some swearing. If one of the other Senators could fire a gun into the air, flash a little skin, or dramatically rip off their sunglasses while quipping about a corpse, this hearing would encompass everything Americans love. We don't need you to govern competently, just spice it up some when you're sifting through the wreckage of things you failed to foresee.

Are you sure this didn't happen in America?

Today in News You Had To Read Twice Because You Were Certain It Happened In America, But Nope, It Was Australia news:
In May 2009, Ian Jolly, 57, was attempting to dine at the Thai Spice restaurant in Adelaide, when he was refused entry after staff misheard his female companion, and thought his "guide dog" was a "gay dog."

"The staff genuinely believed that Nudge was an ordinary pet dog which had been desexed to become a gay dog," the owners said in a statement to South Australia's Equal Opportunity Tribunal.
Maybe I'm just one of those permissive gay dog enablers who tolerates the wanton sinning of homosexual animals, but what is it about a gay dog that makes it different from a straight dog in terms of wanting it in a restaurant? Doesn't the wait staff know that the gay dog would probably tip better? But hey, that explanation from the owners sure cleared it all up.

I just wish Australia would take the steps we take when dealing with gay dogs: let them appear on our television programs, but not allow them to sniff out bombs or drugs as an official US Government employee.

If you see something, say something

New York based graphic designer Jay Shells has been peppering the subways with his Metropolitan Etiquette Authority posters.


The 2010 World Expo in Shanghai is upon us. Since the last time we covered it, construction has been completed on the various country pavilions in preparation for the May 1st opening.

The theme of the event is "Better City, Better Life" and I assume the pavilions are supposed to represent better ways in which humanity can build and live. What the buildings really mean is what buildings at the World Expo always mean: giant fuck yous to other countries by means of architectural and design splendor. Grandiose signs of architectural hubris? Shouldn't America place pretty well in this contest? You'd think so, but, the results are a quite disappointing.

This is the UK's Seed Cathedral by Thomas Heatherwick, which encases a quarter of the world's seeded species from the Millennium Seed Bank inside a transparent acrylic filament.

The South Korean pavilion is based around the themes of convergence, symbol, and space as the building comes together to form letters of the Korean alphabet with a relief of letters and colored panels designed by Korean artist Ik-Joong Kang.

The Japanese Pavilion is nicknamed the Purple Silkworm Island and is meant to showcase themes of connection and incorporate an efficient use of natural resources.

The American Pavilion.... is the shed out back where they store all the cleaning equipment, sawdust for covering up tourist vomit, and spare hot dog carts.

For shame, America. If we can't tell the world to fuck off, architectural style, during an international event celebrating interconnectedness and unity, when can we? May I suggest for the next Expo we just build a large version of this:

Everyone loves The Simpsons and it embodies the whimsical menace I think we want to project. The building could also shoot fireworks and surface to Muslim missiles if the situation calls for it. Call me, we'll talk building and design.

Things you don't want to hear the smartest man in the world say

We all have dreams about aliens and space travel. Most of them involve aliens landing, telling you you're the ultimate special human, and then whisking you far away to fight in an intergalactic battle where you're the key to defeating evil, and your reward will be all the space bucks and alien princess 'tang you can carry. Or it involves aliens invading Earth and you coming up with the key to defeat them that was so simple that the aliens, with their superior intelligence and weaponry, really should have had a contingency plan for it, but OH THEIR ALIEN HUBRIS AND ARROGANCE, YOU CANNOT DEFEAT THE HUMAN SPIRIT!

Or maybe you just want to be Han Solo or fuck around and have a family type adventure with a stranded, but friendly, alien. Whatever. The point is, you don't think of the aliens coming down, fucking our shit up royally, and then exterminating or enslaving us for all eternity. Well, Stephen Hawking really wants you to start considering that notion. Like, right now.
“To my mathematical brain, the numbers alone make thinking about aliens perfectly rational,” he said. “The real challenge is to work out what aliens might actually be like.”
Hawking uses them to lead on to a serious point: that a few life forms could be intelligent and pose a threat. Hawking believes that contact with such a species could be devastating for humanity.

He suggests that aliens might simply raid Earth for its resources and then move on: “We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet. I imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonise whatever planets they can reach.”

He concludes that trying to make contact with alien races is “a little too risky”. He said: “If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans.”
Bleak enough for you? That's just the beginning stages of the Discovery Channel's new series Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking. Hell, part four is called "Aliens: Did I mention the part where they rape you and eat you at the same time? No? Trust me, it'll be awful."

But, the smartest man on earth isn't just trying to scare you about aliens and sell a spec script to Steven Spielberg where a man in a wheelchair beats back the evil Columbus aliens with knowledge, quantum theory, and a chair mounted Gatling gun, no, he's trying to educate about other things as well.

Aside from aliens, Hawking's program discusses the nature of life, space travel, time travel, black holes, and the wonders of the cosmos in an attempt to entertain and teach. Largely about how we're all doomed, but also about things that we won't be able to see or fully comprehend... because hostile forces from other planets will have wiped our civilization out before we become smart enough. The four part miniseries already aired its first two parts on the 25th, with the second two to come in subsequent weeks. Watch, learn, and be afraid.

Kenyan FACE!!!!

Kenya is famous for exporting two things. The first is tea, to the point where a tea leaf is on Kenyan coat of arms. But I didn't need to tell you that. The second is our President, Barack Hussein Mombasa, who was smuggled out of Kenya in late 1961, secretly transported to Hawaii where he was given forged documents purporting his American birth even though he didn't need them because his mother was American, and a plot was sinisterly put in motion over nearly 40 years to put him in a position to become President and silence those who know the truth.

We all know this. Kenya knows this. The teabaggers know this. And Kenya is flaunting those facts in a flagrant manner.
The Kenyan government is taking on the Tea Partiers head on -- hosting a "Real Tea Party" in the Capitol next Tuesday to promote the country's status as the world's number one exporter of tea. And they are explicitly contrasting it with the other tea parties that have been held of late on the Hill.

"The Government of Kenya, the world's #1 tea exporter, cordially invites you to a proper Kenyan Tea Party on Capitol Hill (one without a political agenda)," the invitation boasts.
The difference between this tea party and the Tea Party? Well, actual tea and an implied dress code that is something beyond flip-flops, a placard about socialism, and a Dale Jr. tee. And, despite being held at the Kenyan embassy, it will contain a whole lot less people that believe Obama is Kenyan than your typical teabagger gathering.

So this is where the Tea Party movement is at right now: being openly mocked by Kenya for your little gatherings and ideas about the President's birth. And the tea in the tea bags you've been waving around is probably Kenyan. Ouch. At least you stopped the health care bill from pass.... At least you got people to understand more about tax.... At least you made the country believe you were full of sane peop.... At least you got the Geico gecko voice actor fired. That's... something.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Contract law

Via Reavis Eitel comes a look at how the inimitable Hunter S. Thompson viewed TV production companies, interviews, documentaries, and contracts. Especially contracts.

Click to embiggen, you awful jackass.

Quote of the day

How racist is Arizona's new "You look Mexican, prove to me you're a citizen" law? Pretty racist. So racist in fact that it's making noted over the top Mexican hater Tom Tancredo ask the state to dial it back a notch. Tom "Our President is a socialist black elected by illiterate Negros" Tancredo. Tom "We need a new Jim Crow style poll tests" Tancredo. Tom "Sonia Sotomayor is part of the Latin KKK" Tancredo. "Tom "I see brown people" Tancredo. That guy thinks Arizona went too far.
But he questions how police can stop people for any reason. “I do not want people here, there in Arizona, pulled over because you look like [you] should be pulled over,” says Tancredo.

He suspects police in Arizona will only pull people over for breaking the law. But they could already do this before the new law.

Tancredo added that Arizona’s law is what happens when the federal government fails to act. “States eventually get to the point where if things get bad enough, they’ll take matters into their own hands,” he said. “They’ve taken what we can call an extreme measure.”
When your "bash the Mexicans"/hate immigrants/"We want to wrench the racism title away from the deep south" law makes even Tom Tancredo question the lengths it goes to, then you've traversed a racist bridge too far.

On the other hand, you do have people smearing refried bean swastikas onto the state Capitol's window, so maybe Arizonans don't feel the law goes far enough. Refried bean swastikas? Once again, America has proven it has no need for outside political satire of the kind practiced here, the country is doing quite fine providing its own.

Picture of the day

The giant oil slick that covers 1,800 miles of the Gulf of Mexico and is menacing the Mississippi River Delta. It resulted from an explosion 5000 feet underwater on a offshore oil rig and nearly 42,000 gallons a day are being pumped into the ocean. It'll take months to close.

For those of you who are saying "Looks awesome, when will the coastline nearest to me be open to such a massive ecological disaster?" Soon, my friends, soon. Remember?

Broken In Brief: Tebow Passes on Nike Endorsement

DENVER--College football standout and Broncos' first-round draft pick, Tim Tebow, has turned down an estimated $40 million product endorsement contract from Nike, Inc., the world's leading supplier of athletic shoes and apparel.

"It is with the utmost respect for Nike that I decline this generous offer. As a Christian, I simply cannot in good conscience work for a company that violates the First Commandment by paying homage to an ancient Greek deity," announced Tebow during a televised fellating by ESPN football analyst Jon Gruden.

Added Tebow, "While I fully appreciate the exploitation of south Asian peoples for commercial or theological gain, my first duty is to Our Lord Jesus Christ. Idolatry, after all, is a mortal sin."

Given Tebow's success at the collegiate level and His inexplicably early selection in this year's draft, dozens of companies are rushing to fill the void left by Nike. First to the table was Gatorade, who boast not only a tie to Tebow's alma mater -- Gatorade was initially developed at the University of Florida -- but a stated willingness to replace their recent "G" rebranding initiative with a "J" campaign.

Also expected to contend for space in Tebow's wallet are Under Armor, currently focus grouping a "We Must Protect This House... of God" campaign, and GM's Chevrolet, which has reportedly brought John Mellencamp back into the studio to reprise "This is Our Country."

However, those close to St. Timothy of the Wildcat Formation expect Him to announce His intention to sign a deal with rival shoe company Reebok, most likely employing an erratic, looping pen stroke that leaves Him vulnerable to having the pen knocked out of his hand. While Reebok currently does not have a signature football shoe for Him to endorse, He is expected to immediately star in a print and TV campaign for their new Air Yeshua Max preaching sandal.

Video of the day

Ronald Reagan is menaced by young street punk James Dean in a 1954 telenovella called The Dark, Dark Hours. Incidentally, that's how a lot of people refer to the eighties.

If you're asking me Reagan should have known better, as Dean did have his top shirt button... unbuttoned. That's the sure sign of a vagabond with a switchblade.

Crayola lets you make signs quickly, and without thinking

Those crafty finks over at The Full Ginsburg have put together this PSA from Crayola thanking Tea Party protesters for boosting quarterly revenue:

The overarching chicken conspiracy

Sue Lowden is running for the GOP nomination for Senate in Nevada. In her campaign she has clearly seen an opportunity to make headway in the race and a potential showdown with Harry Reid by criticizing health reform. Being a Republican, of course she's ranting about repealing it. This is not notable. What is notable is the system she offered to replace it: a barter system. Furthermore: a barter system in which chickens could be exchanged for health care.

We at These Bastards have been long supporters of the agrarian barter economy. Mostly because paper money will have no meaning once society collapses, civilization falls, and the flesh reavers come in the night for your children. But we only think of an agrarian barter system as a means for a post-apocalyptic scenario. Sue Lowden asks: why not before? I have to say we agree. If we can get everyone to learn the basics beforehand, the transition to a full barter economy will be easier for the Hobo Council of Elders to implement.

To that end, some helpful enterprising soul has created the website The Lowden Plan, which you can use to figure out what your next medical procedure will cost in chickens. Prostate cancer? 3,514 chickens. Appendectomy? 1,019 chickens. Mammograms? A surprisingly cheap 18 chickens. Women definitely get bang for their chicken buck. Colon cancer will cost you a veritable poultry war crime of 8,738 chickens.

But this does make you ask some serious questions. Why is Sue Lowden so eager to use chickens as our new system of currency? What are her ties to KFC and Chick-Fil-A?

Not to sound crazy or reactionary but... THIS IS HOW IT BEGINS! THIS IS HOW THEY TAKE OVER! We need chickens to trade for medical care and who has all the chickens? Once day we're just sitting around having insurance companies run our health care, the next day the Colonel and all his buddies run it.

My God... I think we all knew in the back of our minds that one day franchise chicken restaurants would make their move to control America, but who knew that this would be the means they would choose: by controlling our very health. This must be why KFC launched the Double Down: to increase our need for serious medical attention. Then they get their plant Lowden to switch us over to the chicken system and they might as well run everything.

In fact, I think we can trace the insurance battle over health care and the financial crisis to the chicken barons in their golden palaces. It all makes so much sense now. The insurance companies, finance industry and chicken consortium have been working together the whole time! They have access to the highest levels of government:

This is chilling, people. We're through the looking glass. God help us all.

Things you don't want to hear analysts say

When we all heard that Goldman-Sachs was being sued by the SEC for purposely selling bad products to its customers and betting against them, the reaction was mixed: we couldn't decide whether to laugh, pump our fists, high five the nearest bystander, yell "'bout fuckin' time", or just prepare for the inevitable disappointment when nothing of any importance happens to them as a consequence. We chose instead to wait outside Matt Taibbi's house for what we assumed would be one of the most exultant and joyous celebration keggers in recent memory.

Of course the SEC lawsuit caused them a hit in their stock price. Alleging massive fraud tends to do that. But not to worry, our financial betters see rosy clouds on the horizon and decided to state it in the most naked way possible:
Analysts Bullish On Goldman's Stock, Citing Political Relationships
Doesn't that headline just warm the cockles of your heart? Why does Fitch Ratings give Goldman an "A+" rating, FBR Capital Markets give a "Outperform" rating, Bernstein Research note that the bank's long-term potential remains "attractive", and Rochdale Securities said the stock is still worth buying? Why, because of how well Goldman has entwined itself within the levers of power and among our elected betters. Something about a vampire squid wrapping itself around something, jamming its blood funnel into something.

So don't shed a tear for Goldman Sachs. No, they'll make out all right. Little things like SEC lawsuits that say you engaged in a conspiracy to defraud your own customers don't matter, you're still a good buy. Why? Because you used all that money you sucked out of the corpse of this country to buy some powerful BFF's. Well done. In fact, buy their stock. It's probably the only surefire way to get your money back after you listened to their investment advice.

Arizona gets right to it

Arizona immigration enforcement wasted no time in hunting down those menacing dirty illegal Mexican immigrants American citizens with drivers licenses and social security cards who just happen to have dark skin.
Abdon was told he did not have enough paperwork on him when he pulled into a weigh station to have his commercial truck checked. He provided his commercial driver’s license and a social security number but ended up handcuffed.
A representative at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) returned 3TV’s calls after researching the incident and she said
this was standard operating procedure. [ed. emphasis]
And that's what worries me.

These are serious men

It's clear that around these parts we don't have much respect for the financial sector. Some might say we're being to harsh on them but we're just trying to base our opinion off of all that horrible shit they did. We're probably too easy on them.

But in this debate over Chris Dodd's financial reform bill we've heard complaints from our money overlords that the government isn't fit to regulate the financial sector because Uncle Sam just doesn't understand the markets or how they work. To which I say: you lot bankrupted the world on the premise that bubbles would never burst and that the best place to set up millions of carefully placed dominoes would be on a major fault line next to a team of clumsy pogo-stick jumpers with vertigo.... you don't understand what you're doing either.

But as the months pass and stories come out about the conduct of our financial betters, one theme is clear: they are essentially low rent gambling addicts that would leverage the entire economy on a wet t-shirt contest if they thought they could make a buck off of it. Case in point.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s mortgage traders, under the spotlight because of the U.S. government's fraud lawsuit against the securities firm, made markets in more than just bonds during the real-estate bubble.

They also cast bets on a White Castle hamburger-eating contest.

In December 2007, after the firm distributed multimillion-dollar bonus checks in part thanks to bets on a mortgage meltdown, about 10 Goldman mortgage traders, surrounded by dozens of cheering colleagues, wolfed down the burgers, according to attendees. Bystanders wagered cash on how many burgers the traders could eat.
At least they didn't leverage companies on this hamburger eating contest or chop up the burgers and put them into derivatives and sell CDO's on them, no, that would be ridiculous. I'm going to assume that it's only because they couldn't think of a way to do it or realized that they'd seem somewhat ridiculous trying to get investors and hedge funds to gamble billions on their confidence in the fact that the Rand-dawg could polish off 40 burgers in one sitting anytime, anywhere and that Phil from marketing was a weak kneed pussy.

So what was the difference between what they did with mortgages and burger eating contests? Absolutely nothing, aside from the scale of the enterprise and maybe some post-contest bathroom puke sessions. This is the kind of shit that toileted the economy: meatheads standing in a circle, throwing Benjamins around, yelling "Swap, swap, swap" instead of "Eat, eat, eat."

So of course it's clear that the federal government shouldn't take any undue action to further regulate these serious titans of finance. I mean how could they understand something as complex as high stakes gambling by rich scumbags? Just send everyone to a mandated Gambler's Anonymous meeting and tell them that next time, bet the economy on something a little more stable than housing... like a horse or a football game. The world economy will thank you.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Oklahoma: All Class

Apparently Oklahoma governor Brad Henry (D-ipshit) isn't satisfied with how difficult it already is for one of his female constituents to assert control over her reproductive rights.
The governor of Oklahoma is considering tough new abortion bills that would allow doctors to withhold test results showing foetal defects and require women to answer intrusive questions.

The results of the questionnaires would be posted online.

Women would also be required to have a vaginal ultrasound and listen to a detailed description of the embryo or foetus in a third bill passed by the legislature on Monday

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cheap Blogging Crutch - 4.21.10


Too Many Numbers... Man takes a shot at quantifying the revenue generating capability of California's proposed legalization and taxation of marijuana. The only real hole in this graphic, which they readily admit, is the inability to predict what X incidents of respiratory cancer might occur as a result. But a 75% increase seems rather unlikely, yeah?

She can see Australia from her house!
When an opposition leader of an Australian political party pitches a foolish idea -- say, take unemployed twentysomething office workers and toss them, untrained, into a mine -- Americans tend to chuckle and shake their heads at the silly descendants of convicts. Australians, however, tend to compare that person to... wait for it... Sarah Palin.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has suspended Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for six (probably four) games for violating the league's personal conduct policy. While I don't disagree with pistol whipping his dopey ass, I think Goodell has opened a giant can of worms by, for the first time, disciplining a player who was not charged with, nor convicted of, any crime. Hey, Rog, have fun with that the next time one of the franchises in your billion-dollar organization gleefully pays a repeat offender enough to settle out-of-court with the cocktail waitress he punches around the dance floor.

The Atlantic Yards project, the ~$4 billion eminent domain "development" that's about to gut my neighborhood, just cut a check to the last holdout, Daniel Goldstein, general in the war against bullshit. And that, as a decidedly lame fictional character once said, is that.

Roger Ebert reiterated his opinion that video games can never be art. Predictably, the Internet went apeshit. Mike Thomsen of IGN gives one of the more interesting counter-arguments I've read.

Infographic: Why are we rooting for a Katla eruption?

From the TheseBastards Division of Research and Conjecture comes this handy pie chart explaining precisely why we are all rooting for the Katla volcano to erupt.

As is our policy, all respondents were contacted several times each by phone between the hours of 1 and 4 AM EST. Wherever possible, we attempted to poll Americans who had been drinking heavily the night before.

Broken In Brief: Poll Finds Majority of Americans Rooting for Katla Eruption

NEW YORK--A highly scientific national poll conducted early this morning in a south Brooklyn bar has concluded that a majority of Americans are rooting for Iceland's Katla volcano to erupt sometime in the near future.

Katla lies to the east of Eyjafjallajökull, whose eruption last week caused massive flooding, evacuations, and the closure of most European airspace. Katla, however, is much bigger than its neighbor and is known for its powerful subglacial eruptions and substantially larger magma chamber.

"Honestly, I think it'd be freakin' sweet if Katla went up in addition to Eyeja... Idjafull... Eyegartoll... that other one," admitted Adam Stannery, 31, a part-time census worker who owns his own dog-walking business. "I don't want anyone to die or anything, but did you see those pictures of the ash cloud? And the volcano lightning? And all those pissed off French people? We're just one eruption away from a massive, Bjork-led relief effort."

"Nah, kid, nah. I want this thing to go all Krakatoa and Vesuvius... combined," shouted David Furness, a self-proclaimed "doctor of some repute."

"With doctorates in both completely ancient history and historical explosions of note, as well as being an owner of both seasons of Rome on DVD, I lament the fact that truly humongous, earth shattering, civilization-destroying volcano 'splosions are relegated to the history books. I think it's time the 21st century had it's own Mt. St. Helens... but near cities and people and not out in the woods or some shit. It'd be epic!"

Geologists this week were quick to point out that the last three Eyjafjallajökull eruptions have been closely followed by Katla eruptions. Thus Iceland, as well as most of mainland Europe, remains on high alert while America contentedly flips back and forth between CNN and "Dancing With the Stars."

The Lupus of News

Stew Beef was in rare form last night with his response to Bernie Goldberg's recent attack on The Daily Show and its audience. Stewart returned serve by blithely beating Goldberg and his network of choice about the head and face, calling Fox a "terrible, cynical, disingenuous news organization" and the "Lupus of news."

Oh, and there was a gospel choir belting out a refrain of "Go fuck yourself." If church were more like this, I would probably check in every now and then.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Bernie Goldberg Fires Back
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Before I forget... again...

Happy 4/20.

Our Betters: The Vice-President hosts an international gathering


Secretary Clinton: Mr. President, while I appreciate the steps you’ve taken to neutralize his involvement in the Nuclear Security Summit, I’m still a tad wary of what you’re allowing him to do this afternoon.

President Obama: I understand your concern, Madam Secretary, but think of how it would look if we didn’t have one of the Unites States' most experienced foreign policy hands involved in these meetings? Rahm here has assembled a list of low-risk dignitaries to distract Joe while we handle the big dogs. Everything looking OK with Joe, Rahm?

Rahm Emanuel: I’m not vouching for a goddamn thing that man does. He requisitioned a large grill, copious amounts of charcoal and lighter fluid, and a meat slicer. I saw the carnage coming from a mile off and that’s why I’m over here with you. That shit is Axelrod’s problem now.

Obama: I wonder if David is familiar with White House fire drill protocols…


Senior Adviser David Axelrod: Mr. Vice-President, thing are all set for your Summit Luncheon. We’ve built the fire pit, gathered the assortment of various rare and endangered meats you requested for grilling, and have built the sandwich station so that you can make everyone your signature... (sighs)... Bidenwich.

Vice-President Biden: Twelve kinds of deli meat, Davey-boy! Whiz wit! Plus lettuce, tomato, onion and my signature Biden sauce. Two of the ingredients are dijon mustard and miracle whip. If you want to know the rest, you'd better have some sharp knives and the will to use them! I’m thinking the occasion calls for some sort of extra spicy nuclear hot sauce, you know, to get people thinking about the dangers of proliferation.

Axelrod: Whatever. For now, we need to move to the photo-op area so the press can get some film of you greeting the dignitaries as they enter your Summit Luncheon and--

Biden: Feast of a Thousand Meats and Beer Blast!

Axelrod: (clears throat) Yes, your Summit Feast of a Thousand Meats and Beer Blast. Just shake their hands, pause for a few seconds, and let them move on.

Biden: Pressin’ the flesh, meetin’ the people. This is literally what I was made for.

Axelrod: Fine fine. You did memorize their names, right? Remember last weekend, with the flash cards...

Biden: Forgot them the second you left. No problem, I’ll just wing it.

Axelrod: In hindsight I realize this is exactly what I should have expected. Christ, here’s the first one now.

Biden: Hey pal! How the fuck ya doin’?

Chilean Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno: Uh… not bad. Let me say how humbled I am to be included in this important world summit.

Biden: Fantastic! Look... you… guy. We’re just tickled that you could make it. You and whatever country it is you represent are critical to doing whatever it is we’re trying to do with nuclear weapons. So come on in, man. Kick up your feet, we got brews on ice. Dos Equis! Eh, eh! Just get your drink on and I’ll be back in a few to grill up some ostrich burgers. You ever eat ostrich?

Moreno: Can’t say that I have…

Biden: Damn, I thought you were from an ostrich country. Fuck it, just chill out, relax, chillax. We got lawn darts, bocce ball, the whole nine!


Biden: This guy! This... this is the guy right here!

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboulgheit: My great thanks for extending an invitation to my nation.

Biden: No problemo, my man! How could we do this without... you!? You’re the guy, man! I'm guessing you're a big grilled-meat-on-a-stick person?

Aboulgheit: Sometimes. It is a popular dish in my country.

Biden: Fuckin’ nailed it! Scamper on back to the grilling area. I think you’ll find it’s a goddamn Turkish delight back there. Big hunks of rare meats on claymores roasting over a fire the size of the Lincoln Memorial.


Biden: NAJIB! You old pig-fucker! Bring it in!

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak: Joe-Joe Dancer, you ornery son of a motherless goat! How have you been? I haven’t seen you since…

Both: The 1994 UN Summit in Kuala Lumpur!

Biden: Hell of a goddamn night! I remember waking up shoeless in a ditch on the side of the road with Boutros Boutros-Ghali puking into a hyacinth right next to me. I tried to call you to come pick us up, but…

Razak: I was passed out in the Imperial Garden of the Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong! Without any pants!

Biden: HAW HAW HAW! I still don’t remember most of that week! Shit, get your ass back to the grill pit. We'll get shitfaced and play Pai Gow… if you can keep your dong in your pants!

Razak: You know how I get when I drink in the sun! No promises, you son of bitch.


Biden: President Jintao, what an honor it is to meet you again.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung: You must be mistaken; I am the Prime Minister of Vietnam.

Biden: My mistake... Hey, Charlie don’t surf! Glad you were able to get past that whole "us turning your country into a charred crater" thing behind you and join us at a nuke summit.

Dung: Well thank you, we take the issue very--

Biden: Hey, you know what rhymes with nuke? Goo--

Axelrod: Mr. Prime Minister! Right this way, please. The luncheon is out back.

Biden: See you at the cookout, Dung. Hell of a last name. Hilarious.


Biden: ...President Jintao?

Indonesian Vice President Boediono: …No. I must say the tales of your personality and demeanor hardly do you justice.

Biden: Phenomenal. Thanks for the kind words. I gotta say, I was a little worried about today. I‘ve just been in a funk recently. I thought I was raking it in. Cleared $300k+ this year. Then I go and find out Barry pulled in $5.5 mil last year. He’s literally half may age! It’s goddamn depressing. Good to hear that I’m masking it well.

Boediono: Well, as they say, money doesn’t make you truly happy.

Biden: They do? Huh. Wisdom of Confucius I guess. Lemmee tell you what I’m gonna do special for you. Your Bidenwich is going to have the salami sliced extra thin! Just for you.


Biden: ...All... right... yeah... shit, fuck it. Another one? You’re not Hu Jintao either, I’m guessing. What godforsaken country are you from?

Thai Deputy Prime Minister Trirong Suwankiri: I’m from Thailand.

Biden: What? Do you even have nukes?

Suwankiri: Not as such…

Biden: What are you doing here then? What could you possibly be doing for nuclear security?

Suwankiri: Well we consider it our duty to stop prolifer--

Biden: Thailand? Thailand? This is what I’m reduced to? Where’s Gordon Brown? Where’s Sarkozy and that hot piece of ass he walks around with? Thailand?

Axelrod: Please excuse the Vice-President, he’s under a great deal of stress. This way, sir.


Biden: Thailand? Can you believe this shit, buddy?

Saudi Intelligence Chief Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz Al Saud: I… uh… ooh… awkward. This is a most uncomfortable situation.

Biden: I’m Joe-fuckin'-Biden here. I’ve been on the Foreign Relations Committee since Lincoln was in short pants and the best I can do at a nuclear arms summit is a country whose chief export is transsexual whores? After the spread I set out? I bow hunted an elk myself…

Al Saud: I think I’ll just let myself out.



Nigerian Acting President Goodluck Jonathan: I’m not sure I get the reference…


Jonathan: No, I’m the Nigerian President.

Biden: Fuck! Nothing is going right today. I assume that unless the world has turned to real shit, Nigeria doesn’t have nukes either?

Jonathan: No. But in an anecdote that I am sure you will find amusing, my first name is Goodluck.

Biden: Goodluck? HAW HAW that is hilarious! That isn’t a first name! Lemme guess, that’s just what people kept saying to you whenever you said you were Nigeria’s President? Outstanding. And your last name is a first name! HAW HAW HAW! I’m gonna tell Davesy to give you extra ‘fixins.

Jonathan: I thought you would be amused by such banalities.

(Jonathan walks off, leaving the VP alone in his thoughts)

biden staring space

Biden: They fobbed off all the losers on me. Me… Joe Biden...

Axelrod: Cheer up. It was probably because they knew you’d make them feel important, like they mattered, like there was a purpose in having Morocco at a nuclear summit. They knew you’d treat them like VIP’s.

Biden: That must be it. Hell, you know how to buck a man up, Axehandle. Hell, it’s not so bad. Got some beers, gonna be cookin’ up some food, gonna show the world the culinary masterpiece known as the Bidenwich! You’re right, it’s gonna be a hell of a day! Where’s Najib? We're gonna tie one on and crank call Harry Reid!

Axelrod: Mr. Vice-President, please put your shirt back on.