Thursday, August 31, 2006

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Caption Contest

Time for another caption contest, folks.

Let the snark flow through you.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Deep Thoughts with Joe Lieberman

I'd always assumed that Holy Joe Lieberman was strongly in favor of the War on Drugs -- a.k.a. the War on the War on Brain Cells -- but new evidence suggests the opposite.

I think they'd have to be smoking some primo shit over there to think this TV ad is effective and not, oh, incredibly creepy.

Update: The insanity over at the Lieberman for Lieberman camp is apparently stemming from the very top. Steve Benen caught a nice bit of petulance from Cialis Joe about the likelihood of his campaign hurting Democratic House candidates in the state:
Fox News asked Lieberman whether his campaign would hurt Dem candidates' chances down-ballot. Lieberman said, "They should have thought of that during the primary, but here we are."

It's an odd thing to say.

As recently as last week, Lieberman reiterated his belief that he's a "committed Democrat." But confronted with the idea that he may single-handedly keep Dems from taking back the House, he literally laughs and blames Dem voters for the problem. It's not a particularly subtle message — Lieberman's telling Connecticut Dems, "You backed the other guy, and this is my payback."

In response to Lieberman's Fox News comments, Chris Bowers said:
[T]here seem to be two ways to read this quote. One reading would be that Lieberman thinks that instead of voting their conscience, Democratic primary voters should have instead capitulated to his threats to leave the party. The other reading is that the party establishment, which gave their complete support to Lieberman during the primary, should never have allowed the primary to happen in the first place.

Either way, Lieberman clearly views his run as revenge against Democrats for actually engaging in party democracy. So, either voters should be swayed through threats, or votes should not be allowed to take place. No matter which reading is accurate, Lieberman's sheer disdain for democracy is overwhelming. As far as he is concerned, democracy is only useful as long as it allows you to remain in power, and now he is just a tough parent punishing bad children who actually had the gall to vote for someone else.
Sounds right to me.
Yeah, me too. At this rate, I'm surprised Lieberman and his fellow tantrum-throwing senator, Ted Stevens (R-Spite) just don't take their ball and go home.

Adventures in Douchebaggery

The objects of my new man-crush over at Kissing Suzy Kolber have finally spoken out against the tragic heartbreak that is known as Joe Theismann.

Theismann has always been the weakest link in the ESPN booth, but he's taken his douchebaggery to a whole new level lately. While he used to sit there and play the amiable dunce to Mike Patrick's sage play-by-play and Al Maguire's oddering commentary, now that he's paired up with straight man Mike Tirico and smartass Tony Kornheiser, Theismann's true imbecility has really come to the forefront.

I'll let the KSK crew take over from here, with a snippet of their open letter to Tony Kornheiser:
Dear Tony:

You see this guy right here? This is Joe Theismann, your large-prostated broadcasting partner and shining example of why professional football players need thicker helmets. I need to urgently tell you something, and that is that this guy is trying to fuck you over. Now, I'm sure you already know this. It's not as if Joe Theismann has spent his whole life outwitting people. No, his intentions are fairly out in the open. He's like the retarded Iago to your whiter, Jewisher Othello. ....

You need support, and this dickface isn't giving it to you. He's a fucking jock-sniffer. He's like the white Stephen A. Smith, only dumber and with a bigger afro. .... It's not too late to fix this. I'm pretty sure you make more money than Theismann. ESPN courted you for the job, while Theismann probably accepted taking his salary in Brach's Caramels to stay on the air.
The rest is just as funny and twice as blue. Enjoy.

For my own part, every time I hear Thiesmann make a dipshit comment, I just like to go watch this classic moment in time.

Monday, August 28, 2006

The Department of Punk'd

This just in, from the TPM Muckraker:
A team of political hoaxers fooled New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin, Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco, and a thousand construction-industry members today.

Posing as fictitious senior HUD official Rene Oswin, Andy Bichlbaum -- a member of the Group the Yes Men -- promised big (and unlikely) changes in New Orleans to a privately-organized conference in Kenner, Louisiana. Among his expansive promises, according to CNN:
- Energy giants Exxon and Shell would spend $8.6 billion "to finance wetlands rebuilding from $60 billion in profits this year."

- Wal-Mart would withdraw its stores from poor neighborhoods and "help nurture local businesses to replace them."

- the federal government would spend $180 million to fund "at least one well-equipped public health clinic for every housing development."

- the feds would reverse plans to replace public schools with private and charter schools, and instead create a national tax base to supplement local taxes.
HUD quickly confirmed Oswin wasn't part of their agency. "This announcement is totally false; it's totally bogus," spokeswoman Donna White told CNN, who said no one named "Rene Oswin" works for the department. "I'm like, who the heck is that?" ....

"It's really a sick, twisted -- I don't even want to refer to it as a joke," HUD spokeswoman White told CNN. "At this point, it's not funny."
Yeah, it's not funny at all. How dare anyone give people the idea that the president would actually keep his word about rebuilding the region? How dare they suggest that the giants of Big Oil might be good corporate citizens and return some of the money they've made in the region back to ensure its preservation?

Now, enough with the jokes. The administration is really busy right now doing the important work in time to mark the first anniversary of the Katrina devastation. Don't bother them with suggestions about how they might actually help people.

P.S. Since the Bush administration only cares about one thing, and one thing only -- its precious, precious image -- maybe they should get a new spokeswoman for HUD. One who doesn't use the phrase "totally bogus" and sprinkle the word "like" into every other sentence? Because that would be, like, totally awesome.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Caption Contest

You know, I don't think we've ever featured Michael Chertoff in a caption contest before.

Stunning, right? Have at him.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Sen. Felix Allen Cuts and Runs -- from a Guy in a Macacca Suit?

Senator Felix has always billed himself as Badass in Chief. He rides horses, he throws footballs, he eats red meat (especially filet mignon or other frenchly prepared boeuf). A few years back, at a republican event, he bravely incited the crowd with "Let’s enjoy knocking their [democrats] soft teeth down their whiny throats." Yep, badass all around.

So I was a bit surprised to read, via Kos, that Felix cut and run from his own campaign events in Staunton, a small town in western VA (a Felix stronghold):

STAUNTON — Sen. George Allen gave the slip to protesters, supporters and city officials today, bypassing an afternoon stop in downtown Staunton for an unannounced lunch break at a local drive-in restaurant.

The last-minute change in plans came minutes after a man identifying himself as a University of Virginia law school student broke in front of reporters at an event at Staunton’s Holiday Inn, forcefully asking the senator, “Have you ever used the word n-----?”

He also questioned why Allen, a one-term Republican senator and former governor, had once displayed a noose in his office.

That's right, the guy who enjoys knocking the soft teeth of dems down their whiny throats cut and run from a soft-toothed, whiny-throated dem. A freakin' law school student, at that.

Okay, that's not fair. The soft-toothed whiny fellow was only part of the horrific menace Felix faced. He also had to contend with the primal, Jungian fear shared by all humans, a nearly unmentionable terror that would make Atilla the Hun mess his pants, or whatever it is that Huns wore: a guy dressed up as a monkey. And not just any monkey, a sandal-wearing one. Oh, how many H.P. Lovecraft tales ended with this dread menace rising from the ochre, blasting the sanity of all who gaze on it's baleful furryness and comfortable footwear?

I guess it's really no surprise, then, that Felix turned tail and scurried off to the hide in the comforting bosom of a French fry joint, just like he did for the entire Vietnam war (actually, he spent the war heroically protecting dude ranches in Nevada). I just hope his campaign staff knows the Heimlich manuver, cuz I think he's about to choke on his own soft teeth.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Heckuva Job

Hey, remember Hurricane Katrina? Think Progress has a timeline that will remind you just how big a group of incompetents are currently running the country.

Go wallow in our nation's shame. What better way to kick off a weekend?

Gmail Hates America, Makes Me Laugh

The wife and I were exchanging emails earlier. She just sent me the "sponsored links" that she had.
Sponsored Links

George Allen promotes common sense conservative principles!

Senator Apologizes
Allen apologized for racist remark. For Breaking News, visit
It works on so many levels!

Friday Random Ten

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you the esteemed Tammy Faye Bakker and her duet partner Simba.

For those of you who don't watch the Nature Channel in full-blown rapture, Safari Tammy is demonstrating a little-known fact. While lions can smell fear, they can't pick up the scent if you caulk on a few pounds of Maybelline.

I'm really not sure how to approach this album cover. Frankly, I'm not sure I want to approach this album cover unless it's with a pair of iron tongs and a Hazmat suit.

But I am reminded of the famous words of former First Drunk Billy Carter. "Some Christians," he said, "deserve to be eaten by lions."

Alright, time for the Friday Random Ten. Let's do this thing.

1. James Brown, "People Get Up and Drive Your Funky Soul" -- An outstanding track from the 1973 Jim Brown blaxploitation flick "Slaughter's Big Rip-Off." How good is the movie? Here's the tagline: "The mob put the finger on he gave them the finger right back--curled tight around a trigger!" If this isn't cool, I don't know what is. 10/10

2. Gorillaz, "Dirty Harry" -- Hmm, looks like an early '70s action flick theme is developing. This is a nice follow-up to the first album's big single, "Clint Eastwood." (I think the former mayor of Carmel needs to get a restraining order against these dudes.) Anyone see these kids in concert? DirecTV has been running a show they did and it looks phenomenal. 9/10

3. The Sugar Hill Gang, "Apache" -- Yes, I know they were the original label-manufactured, test-tube baby hiphop group and, yes, I know that they looked like they'd cloned Rerun from "What's Happening" and gave them all Kangols and turntables. But, dammit, they still put together some catchy hits, and this song always makes me want to get on my horse and riiiiiide. "I sting squaws, then I run away / Hi-ho, Silver, is what I say!" 7/10

4. Ray Charles, "Lonely Avenue" -- I have a soft spot for Ray, especially the great R&B work he did at Atlantic in the '50s. A classic, though perhaps not cool. 6/10

5. Air featuring MF Doom, "Darbye (Remix)" -- Two artists I love individually, but for some reason they just don't mesh well here. Somebody got chocolate in my peanut butter, and it tastes like crap. 5/10

6. William Shatner, "Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man" -- If you've never had a friend freak out on acid, just give this song a listen to appreciate the experience. Insane. I actually caught the Comedy Central Roast of Shatner the other night -- I know, I know -- and it was pretty damn funny. As one of the roasters said, Shatner managed to make a lack of talent and charm seem to be hiply ironic. 4/10

7. The White Stripes, "Blue Orchid" -- Well, it looks like we're going to start another round of the eternal White Stripes vs. Raconteurs debate in the comments. This is actually one of my favorite Stripes' tunes, a song that has more bottom than Shirley Hemphill. (That's right. Two "What's Happening" jokes in a single post. Deal with it.) 8/10

8. Catlow, "Number One" -- I don't much about this band, but since it seems to feature an Indie Rocking Chick in the vein of Liz Phair near her prime, I probably should. Not too shabby. 6/10

9. The Killers, "Somebody Told Me" -- Is it just me, or does this band already seem badly dated? Eh. 4/10

10. Wolf Parade, "Dinner Bells" -- Oh, what a nice finish. If this song were any more brilliant, it would collapse upon itself like a supernova. I don't like to make sweeping generalizations, but if you don't already own and love this album, then there's a very good chance that you're responsible for everything bad in the world. There. I said it. 10/10

Alright, despite a couple perfect songs, I still end up with a 7.1 average. Looks like I'm doomed to a life of mediocrity. Oh well, I'm part of the MTV generation that feels neither highs nor lows. (What's that like? Meh.)

Let's see what the rest of you have got. Give us your own lists, with or without comments, or just let your snark flow freely.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Once again, TBogg steps to the plate, points to the fences, and knocks it out of the park.

Now, I'm not sure if TBogg then completed the Babe Ruth Triathalon by next consuming his weight in hot dogs and beer and then passing out pantsless on top of a speakeasy chorus line. But Lord knows he deserves it.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

"I Don't Know, That's a Pretty Big Lock!"

I just had the draft for my fantasy football league, and therefore I'm really in the mood for sports-related sarcasm. In that vein, let me recommend a site that Mr. Furious introduced me to in the comments to an early post, the beautifully named Kissing Suzy Kolber.

Here's a sample of the love, from their preview of the Buffalo Bills:
Scott Norwood now resides in Northern Virginia, where he makes a living as realtor, mostly selling ranch homes that lean just a little to the right. Third prize is you're fired, Norwood. PUT THAT COFFEE DOWN NORWOOD! Coffee is for kickers!
If you liked that, you'll love the rest of the site. And if you didn't get the Scott Norwood reference, there's a very good chance you and I will have little to talk about for the next five months.

One Warranty Card for Swedish-made Penis Enlarger Pump, Filled out by Mardin Azad Amin

Talk about a rock and a hard place.
Mardin Azad Amin found himself in a tight squeeze last week when security at O'Hare Airport discovered a suspicious-looking object in his luggage.

So Amin, 29, handled the delicate situation this way: He told security the object was a bomb, Cook County prosecutors said.

The security guard then asked Amin to repeat what he'd said to a supervisor. This time, Amin was chuckling as he spoke, prosecutors said.

In fact, Amin was trying to disguise the fact that the black object -- resembling a grenade -- was a component for a penis pump.
I can think of few things more stupid than claiming you are carrying a bomb in an airport. One of them would taking a penis pump in your carry on luggage. (Though this is pretty stupid, too.)

Where's My Commercial?

This is some of the best crime reporting I've read in a while.
A 48-year-old man woke up Sunday morning unable to remember how he got into bed, what happened the night before or where his pants went.

Eugenio Pagan, of West Park Avenue, called police at 2 p.m. Sunday to report that someone stole his wallet with $3,500 in it, according to a police report.

The wallet was in his pants, which were taken off his body.

He said he was drinking the night before on his front porch with four friends. The next thing he knew, he woke up in bed in his underwear, according to the report.

His bedroom door and front door were locked.

Pagan's keys and cell phone were also gone.

He called two of his friends, who said it was his cousin who put him to bed.

Even Pagan only knew his cousin by the name of "Fufia," and he said he lives at Walnut Villas Apartments, but he didn't know what apartment.

Pagan said his cousin is a former drug user, so he wouldn't be surprised if he took his pants.
If you divide the amount of money by 100, this was me every night from 18-26. Thanks, guys, for not taking my pants. Except for that one time.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

But He Gassed His Own People!

More insight into the walnut-sized mind of the Decider:
He loves to cuss, gets a jolly when a mountain biker wipes out trying to keep up with him, and now we're learning that the first frat boy loves flatulence jokes. A top insider let that slip when explaining why President Bush is paranoid around women, always worried about his behavior. But he's still a funny, earthy guy who, for example, can't get enough of fart jokes. He's also known to cut a few for laughs, especially when greeting new young aides, but forget about getting people to gas about that.
I'm so glad that President Pull My Finger has restored honor and dignity to the White House.

And he's paranoid around women? No wonder.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Caption Contest

This morning, the president held a tantrum -- I'm sorry, a "press conference" -- and gave us another image to play with.

So have at him, folks.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Home Improvement

I’m installing a pedestal sink in the guest bathroom this weekend. I’ve seen TV shows on home improvement, and they all suck. Where’s the cussing? Where’s the blood? Where’s the 4 inches of butt crack? I figure the world could use some real home improvement instructions, so move over, Norm Abrams!

  1. Go to Home Despot. Select sink and pedestal.
  2. Look for Home Despot Team Member to answer a couple questions about the sink.
  3. Contain growing rage at inability to find Team Member.
  4. Having finally gotten the attention of a Team Member, spend 15 minutes determining that said Member would need two assistant managers and a vice president to find his own butt with both hands. Dismiss Team Member, commence ripping open boxes to answer questions for self.
  5. Also purchase 3 ft x 5 ft water-resistant backer board to install in wall behind sink.
  6. Once at car, discover that neither the Despot, Toyota, nor God ever meant for a 3 x 5 sheet of anything to fit in the back seat of a ’97 Camry.
  7. Using skills learned at liberal educational institutions, disprove the existence of god and repudiate the conformity standards foisted upon us by corporate overlords. Bash a couple feet off the end of the backer board. Ignore stares and crying children.
  8. Once home, celebrate by drinking 10 beers. Not only is this a just reward, the alcohol will help deaden the pain of the various injuries to be sustained later.
I'll update as events warrant.

Update 1. There is an ancient Chinese home improvement proverb: Measure twice, cut once. I revise and extend: Measure twice, cut once; measure again, cut again; measure again, step on nail with bare foot; lower your standards, accept the cuts you have made, get on with life.

Update 2. Toilet seats rarely make good work surfaces.

Update 3. Neither call yourself a weekend warrior nor dub your improvement a weekend project. This sets expectations far, far too high.

Update 4. My toilet is white, so I got a white sink. Somehow, the sink is whiter than the toilet. At first I thought it was cuz I'd been looking at these illusions for a few hours, but the wife confirms. There is no emoticon to express the emotions I am feeling.

Update 5. The step they spend the least amount of time on in the instructions is the one you'll spend the most time struggling with. "Level the sink and pedestal" my ass.

Friday, August 18, 2006

I Am So High

I thought I saw this on just now.

"Bush pardons moonshining 'Deliverance' actor."

I mean, honest to God, this could never happen.

Friday Zebra Blogging


From a friend in Malawi.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Friday Random Ten

I've held off on using this album cover for so long now because it's featured in the alternating all-star images over at the Poor Man. But I can't hold off any longer. I've got a request, dammit, and it's 100% Ken.

The beauty of this album cover is its simplicity. A nice high school photo layout, with the serious close-up well balanced by a smiling, kick-back-casual seated shot. It showcases both sides of Ken, with the high-fiber Ken giving you the stuff you need and sugar-coated Ken giving you the stuff you crave. Ken. He's everywhere you want to be!

Alright, let's do this thing.

1. Muddy Waters, "I'm a King Bee" -- Some classic late-career blues from McKinley Morganfield. (Yeah, yeah, you call him Muddy Waters. His mama called him Morganfield -- I call him Morganfield.) Nicely done. 7/10

2. Band of Horses, "Weed Party" -- I finally listened to the recommendations of a number of friends about this band, and I can't say I'm disappointed. Sort of a blend of Hüsker Dü, the Byrds and a whole lot of Built to Spill. Very nice. 8/10

3. The Magnetic Fields, "Young and Insane" -- This is from the excellent House of Tomorrow five-song EP, one of those discs that is nothing but beauty. I have a soft spot for Stephin Merritt's work, and this one always reminds me why. 9/10

4. Asheru and Blue Black of the Unspoken Herd, "Smiley (The Woh, Woh Song)" -- Don't let the awful song or artist names scare you away. This is some phenomenal hiphop, blissfully smooth and catchy as hell. (Asheru does the theme to the Boondocks cartoon if that helps you place the voice.) Very nice. 10/10

5. Elvis Presley, "Can't Help Falling in Love" -- I have a soft spot for Fat Elvis, but there's no way in hell this song can be classified as "cool." 4/10

6. PJ Harvey, "Man-Size" -- I tend to run hot and cold when it comes to Polly Jean, and this is a song that belongs in the fridge. Just a little bit too much angst and screaming for my tastes. 6/10

7. Jungle Brothers, "What U Waitin' 4?" -- Damn, whatever happened to these guys? Back in The Day, they were always right there in the wake of De La Soul and Tribe Called Quest, but they've long since disappeared from the scene. Shame. 7/10

8. Kashmere Stage Band, "Kashmere" -- This is a great instrumental group along the lines of the Funk Brothers, the Stax studio band, or any other set of professional backing musicians. But they're a high school band. Unbelievable talent. If you have the first Handsome Boy Modeling School album, this song is used for most of the horn and drum breaks on "Holy Calamity." Amazing. 9/10

9. David Lee Roth with the John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band, "Jump" -- No, seriously. 7/10

10. The Raconteurs, "Broken Boy Soldier" -- I was always a little lukewarm about the White Stripes, but I like the latest incarnation of Mr. White here. I'm not sure if it's the fact that he finally has a full band working around him, or if Brendan Benson's influence is that strong, but if this is where he's heading from here on out, sign me up. 9/10

Alright, that gives me a 7.6 average. Not the best I've done, but at least I'm in the top quartile of all Friday Random Tens. Call Harvard!

Let's see what you've got. Please feel free to drop your own FRT in the comments below, or unleash your inner music snob to rip apart my songs and ratings. Bring it!

"Cameras Aren't Allowed Inside the Courtroom, So We'll Have To Be Very Quiet...."

Thanks to this incredibly important breaking story, the cable news networks are going to be absolutely unwatchable for the next 3-5 days. (Case in point: I just saw a former neighbor of the killer on CNN, talking about how he was such a wonderfully nice guy. "He'd always buy the most wrapping paper when I was selling it at Christmas, and he always bought lots and lots of Girl Scout cookies from me too!" Gee, doesn't sound like a creepy pedophile on the prowl at all. Nope.)

Anyway, since there's no new news worth watching, you might want to grab your passport and head for Scarborough Country. This segment, titled "Is Bush an Idiot?," is just a thing of beauty.

Caption Contest

Time for another caption contest, folks.

Release the hounds!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Do You Like Piña Coladas? And Getting Back at Hussein?

The good people at Sadly, No! have discovered a new personal ad service over at National Review Online.

Personally, I refuse to click through to the ads, largely because I'm worried about what I might find. I'm assuming it's just a bunch of entries that read:
Single, white, middle-aged male. Interests include snowflake babies, the imminent Rapture, supply-side economics, the stories of Ahmed Chalabi, intelligent design theories, The Bell Curve, Star Wars missile defense, and Atlas Shrugs. No crackpots!!!
Sure, maybe there's something interesting, like a Glamour Shot of Jonah Goldberg or a note from John Derbyshire in search of fifteen year old girls. But I'm not brave enough to find out.

Gimme an F!

The fine people over at McSweeney's have uncovered George W. Bush's report card from his senior year at Andover:
Advanced Biology: C

George sits in the back row and frequently interrupts my lectures with snickers and giggles. During our discussion of the reproductive cycle of the fruit fly, he walked to the front of the room, told the class to "earmuff it," and attempted to cover my mouth. We have discussed at great length the situation with the dissection of the fetal pig, but George caused another commotion in the classroom when he decided to throw all the Arthropoda out the window so they could "break the shells of tyranny and give birth to democracy." After much consideration, I've decided I won't let George turn his back to me during my lectures on the flora and fauna of the Galápagos, and he is not allowed to refer to Darwin's Beagle as "the Snoopy ship."
There's a lot more. Look upon his might and despair!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Today's Sign of the Apocalypse

Today, I would like to recommend this fine column by George Will.

Tomorrow, a plague of locusts!

More Monkey Business from George Allen

So yesterday I wrote a comment in which I said that the media isn't likely to turn against the GOP unless some relatively minor incident should strike their delicate sensibilities just so. I then made up a couple examples, including "George Allen using the 'n' word on the floor of the senate." I decided that that was a little too obnoxious, not to mention pretty far-fetched, so I deleted it.

This morning I opened my email and found a link to yesterday's WashPost from Otto Man:
Virginia Sen. George Allen (R) apologized Monday for what his opponent's campaign said were demeaning and insensitive comments the senator made to a 20-year-old volunteer of Indian descent. At a campaign rally in southwest Virginia on Friday, Allen repeatedly called a volunteer for Democrat James Webb "macaca."
Oy. "Macaca" means "monkey." Allen gave the usual crap excuse: I didn't know it meant that, I didn't mean that, I'm sorry if you're offended (but I'm really not).

I'd like to put together some snappy, Sinbad-esque material on what a poo poo head Allen is, but I haven't had my coffee yet. Thankfully, the Post is on the case, issuing a short editorial in today's paper on the subject.
Let's consider which positive, constructive or inspirational ideas Mr. Allen had in mind when he chose to mock S.R. Sidarth of Dunn Loring, who was recording the event with a video camera on behalf of James Webb, the Democratic nominee for the Senate seat Mr. Allen holds. The idea that holding up minorities to public scorn in front of an all-white crowd will elicit chortles and guffaws? (It did.) The idea that a candidate for public office can say "Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia!" to an American of Indian descent and really mean nothing offensive by it? (So insisted Mr. Allen's aides.) Or perhaps the idea that bullying your opponents and calling them strange names -- Mr. Allen twice referred to Mr. Sidarth as "Macaca" -- is within the bounds of decency on the campaign trail?
No, this won't change the race (this is Virginia, after all.) Still, can I get a "daaaaaammmmnnn"?

Monday, August 14, 2006

Exit Music (For a Film)

Thanks to the fine folks at Netflix, I've been taking a trip down memory lane with past seasons of some of my favorite TV shows.

I'm currently working my way back through "The Sopranos," and just watched the third-season episode where Tony suddenly finds himself mercifully free of his nemesis Ritchie Aprile and his nagging sister Janice in one fell swoop. Carmela turns the tables on Tony, though, and uses revelations about his mistress to get a three-week vacation in Rome. As the camera fixes in on a suddenly depressed Tony, the chorus of the Eurythmics' "I Saved the World Today" kicks in and the combination is absofuckinglutely perfect.

It made me realize there's one commonality that run through my favorite dramas -- good use of popular music on the sountrack. Ranging from a brilliant placement of Radiohead's "Everything in Its Right Place" on Showtime's excellent new series "Brotherhood" to the use of Tom Waits' "Way Down in the Hole" as the theme to "The Wire," musical cues are becoming much more sophisticated on television. (If I had all day to write this, I'd track down the endless examples from the reigning champ of musical cues, "Homicide.")

Of course, I'm a musical junkie, so maybe this is just me. Anyone else finding themselves seduced by the siren song of their favorite tunes?

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Caption Contest

Just because he's on vacation, that doesn't mean we are.

Have at him. If you don't, it will clearly embolden the al-Qaeda types.

Stupid Liberal Media

Greg Sargent has a nice post up over at the Horse's Mouth about the ways in which the media has been handling international terrorism and domestic politics. Nicely done.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

"You Just Made the List, Buddy"

Courtesy of Shakespeare's Sister, I'm happy to pass along the On Notice Generator.

Use it wisely, but use it all the same. How else are they going to know they're on notice if you don't use the Big Board?

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Trouble With Tribbles

Warning: Nerd humor set on stun!

Enjoy the following website.

Now, for those cool enough to understand the humor - what's YOUR favorite? (Note 3 fun pages to enjoy.)

"Sack Up, People"

Over at Kung Fu Monkey, John Rogers has just dropped off his daily dose of brilliance. This time it's a choice set of words for the chest-thumping, pants-pissing members of the 82nd Chairborne:
I am absolutely buffaloed by the people who insist I man up and take it in the teeth for the great Clash of Civilizations -- "Come ON, people, this is the EPIC LAST WAR!! You just don't have the stones to face that fact head-on!" -- who at the whiff of an actual terror plot will, with no apparent sense of irony, transform and run around shrieking, eyes rolling and Hello Kitty panties flashing like Japanese schoolgirls who have just realized that the call is coming from inside the house!
The whole thing is, as always, brilliant. Do yourself a favor and read it all.

Friday Random Ten

I'm going to give this cover an encore appearance here at the Friday Random Ten. There's just so much wrong with it.

First of all, it doesn't look like a particularly happy birthday for our girl Julie. She's in a dive bar -- not faux-dive, but real dive -- and, not surprisingly, she's none too happy. And, second, if Julie's only just now turning sixteen, then what in God's name is she doing with this middle-aged Daniel Stern lookalike? (The only way this pairing makes sense is if this is a screen shot from Home Alone 4: Sixteen Candles.) And third, if Daniel Stern is breaking up with her, how come he's the one who gets the beer and cigarette? She's getting dumped by a middle-aged loser. Jesus, man. Help soften the blow.

Anyway, the triumphant return of Not Even the Pedophiles Want You can only mean that it's time, my friends, for the Friday Random Ten.

You know the routine by now. Put the iPod on shuffle, give us the first ten songs, and, if you'd like, a coolness self-audit. (Note: If you don't have an iPod or imitationPod, just try throwing all your CDs up in the air. The first ten discs to pierce your skin are the keepers. It's like a musical version of Lawn Darts, and what could be more wholesome and fun than that?)

Here's mine:

1. Nina Simone, "House of the Rising Sun" -- This is a live, rollicking, organ-driven, hand-clapping, ass-shaking version of the Animals classic. And, needless to say, Nina Simone takes their song away from them and makes it her cabana boy. 9/10

2. The Detroit Cobras, "Cry On" -- The Cobras are a nice throwback to the old Motown sound with just enough modern sauciness thrown in to make a difference. They're sort of the R&B analogue of Rev. Horton Heat. I normally like the cut of their jib, but this is a somewhat mediocre effort. 6/10

3. Gnarls Barkley, "Transformer" -- I really like half of this album, but the other half (which includes this tune) is just a little too precociously busy for my tastes. This song sounds like what you'd get if Pee Wee Herman produced an Outkast CD. 4/10

4. William Shatner, "Common People" -- I think I enjoyed the William Shatner Experience back when he wasn't in on the joke with us. To his credit, he's made peace with the world of campy, self-mocking -- see also West, Adam -- but the music just doesn't do it for me when it doesn't seem sincere. Eh. 5/10

5. Rufus and Chaka Khan, "You Got the Love" -- Damn straight. This may be my favorite Rufus tune, slightly edging out the funkier but slower "Tell Me Something Good." Whatever. It's musical gold, Jerry. Gold! 10/10

6. The Roots with Common, "Love of My Life (live)" -- The slow opening of this song is absolutely fantastic, especially the ways in which they slowly creep the organ and drum into the vocals. It's like a goddamn ninja, I tells ya! One of the two times I've liked the live release of a song better than the original album version. (The other, since you're dying to know, is Radiohead's "I Might Be Wrong.") 9/10

7. Creedence Clearwater Revival, "Someday Never Comes" -- Lordy, do I loves me some CCR. 8/10

8. The Beanuts, "Muchachacha" -- I suppose the greatest fame of the Beatnuts is that J.Lo shamelessly stole the beats from their excellent "Watch Out Now" for her crappy "Jenny from the Block." This is an equally funky tune from the same album (theirs, not J.Lo's) and it's got some saucy lyrics. "Taste dick when you're kissin' your girl? / You should, 'cause she swallows more nut than a squirrel." I believe they're up for the Gloria Steinham Lifetime Achievement Award at this year's NOW Convention. 8/10

9. Dead Prez, "Hell Yeah (Pimp the System)" -- I have a soft spot for this song, merely because the third verse was lifted and used brilliantly in a Diplo remix of TV on the Radio's "Staring at the Sun." The original version is pretty sweet, except for the lame-ass chorus. (There's a reason Diplo only stole the verse.) Good, but not great. 7/10

10. Public Enemy, "Burn Hollywood Burn" -- Looks like it's going to be a hiphop trifecta. Y'all had "Black Caesar" back at the crib? We coulda been rollin' with that the whole time! 9/10

Alright, that gives me a 7.5 average. I had it all this week -- the terrifying lows, the dizzying highs, the creamy middles -- and yet somehow balanced out with my Coolness Tank at three-quarters full. I'll take it.

Let's see what you've got. Drop your own FRT in the comments below, or else free associate with my own selections and/or ratings. Surely, we've got at least one Shater apologist in the house, right?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Welcome to Dumpsville, Population: You

I'm thrilled to see that Chuck Todd of the National Journal is in complete agreement with me:
Hotline researchers are already on the case, but we can't find evidence of any primary night (in a non-redistricting year) producing three incumbent losses. And these losses were across the ideological and geographic spectrum. Each one individually can be explained away (moderate Joe Schwarz only won his first race because the conservative vote was split, not so this year; Cynthia McKinney is, well, Cynthia McKinney; and Joe Lieberman found himself on the wrong end of a divisive issue in the wrong year).

And yet, they all lost to candidates promising to do the same thing: change Washington. Change the spending habits, or change the foreign policy, or simply change personal behavior.
The whole piece is solid, and as always, full of interesting tidbits. (Did you know that Alan Keyes' head is made entirely of soft cheese? That's one of the many facts not related in his column.)

But the larger point is there. For all the concerned warnings from the true and sincere friends of the Democratic Party -- you know, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin and Sean "Sucks Ass" Hannity -- the lesson of the Lieberman loss isn't that the Democrats are going over the edge. Instead, the message is that Bush has already run off the cliff, and is now hovering mid-air, like Wile E. Coyote with a handheld sign that reads "Yikes!" Anyone who's been clutching themselves close to Bush is right there with him, and they're all about to fall to the canyon's floor below. Unless there's an Acme-brand trampoline down there, of course.

We're seeing two overlapping, but not identical movements out there -- an anti-incumbency mood in the general electorate, and an anti-Bush drive in the Democratic ranks. Together, they spell bad news for the Bush enablers. Incumbent Republicans are running scared, not just from Bush's Corleone Kiss of Death but from any connection to the Republican Party at all. Man oh man, is that a bad sign for the GOP.

Public approval of Congress is at abysmal levels? (How low? They get to look up to see where the president's approval rating sits in the soaring mid-30s. At least Cheney's several floors below them.) More ominously, polling data on individual members of Congress shows the highest levels of dissatisfaction since 1994.

Anyone remember what happened in the congressional elections that year?


The Daily Show was on fire last night with the Lieberman stuff. In one of several great zingers, correspondent Samantha Bee reduced Holy Joe's never-say-lose attitude to a perfect, anti-Sherman statement: "If not nominated, he will run. If not elected, he will serve."

Missed it? Crooks and Liars, as always, has your back.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Throw the Bums Out

Well, we had a couple of important primary contests yesterday, and I have to say I'm pretty encouraged by the results.

First of all, and I realize you may not have heard about it, but there was a Senate primary in Connecticut. And an unknown upstart named Ned Lamont managed to stick it to Sen. Joe Lieberman, who had understandably assumed that the Senate seat was his birthright.

In the end, Lamont pulled off a stunning victory, but Lieberman is making noises about running as an independent. In an encouragin sign, it looks like the Democratic leaders are going to put the kibbosh on that right away. Let's hope so. I'd hate to see us lose the seat because Holy Joe's scorched earth retreat.

Second, I'm thrilled to see that the voters in Georgia gave Rep. Cynthia McKinney the boot for the second time this decade. She was absolutely crushed in a 59-41 defeat at the hands of Hank Johnson. It's great to watch the party's biggest loudmouth and worst embarrassment get shown the door in a clear and convincing fashion.

Both races are significant in similar ways. They demonstrate that Democrats in the bluest of states and districts -- and these are both overwhelmingly blue -- can and, indeed, should send representatives to Congress who accurately reflect their politics and reflect on their constituents well.

But more than that, the ouster of two high-profile incumbents from two very different wings of the Democratic Party suggests that we're seeing the rise of a new trend this electoral year -- throwing the bums out. Congress's approval rating is in the toilet and the people are pissed.

We're going to see a wave of anti-incumbent activity this year, and that could spell great news for the minority party. Looks like the Democratic strategy -- hiding under a pile of coats and hoping it all works out somehow -- may actually work for once. Who knew?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

I Am, In Fact, Ready for Some Football

After eight grueling months of wasting my time on diversions like my career and loved ones, I'm thrilled to realize that football season has officially begun.

This past Sunday saw the start of the NFL preseason with the Hall of Fame Game from lovely Canton, Ohio. The game itself wasn't too exciting, just a chance to see which new players will be setting records for penalties in the Raiders' uniforms this season. And the Hall of Fame ceremonies were a little boring. I was wondering how they'd find a material dense enough to represent the John Madden's head, but apparently they just went with bronze.

In the end, the Hall of Fame Game is important not for what it does, but for what it portends -- the start of the real season. It's sort of the Punxatawny Phil of the NFL, except Madden's so fat you know he's going to see his solar-eclipse shadow and thus guarantee seventeen more weeks of pro football. (Why, yes. I do hate John Madden.)

The next step, of course, is the start of fantasy football. At the risk of sounding like this hilarious douchebag, I absolutely love fantasy football. It somehow manages to ramp my football fandom all the way up to eleven, making me care about how many receiving yards a backup Steelers TE got against the Colts or whether Neil Rackers's third field goal was an amazing 50 yards or just a boring old 49. It's sad, I know, but it keeps me warm on the couch come Sundays. Well, that and the rosy glow I get from light alcohol poisoning.

Anyway, my first draft is tonight, with a second league's draft following in a couple weeks. (I once tried to do three at once, but I discovered, like Jerry Seinfeld, that I'm just not an orgy guy. With all that distraction, I was barely able to dress myself.) I've got facts and figures and, most important, gut feelings that will prove to be horribly, horribly wrong. To paraphrase Hedley Lamarr, my mind is a-glow with whirling transient nodes of thought, careening through a cosmic vapor of invention!

I know I'm not alone in this sickness, so we'll turn this into a forum for all things football, fantasy and otherwise. For starters, if you haven't read Bill Simmons' Page 2 column on the subject, be sure to check it out.

P.S. Thrillhous? You're cut.

Forgive Me, Corporate Overlords

I was only able to identify 35 of these 50 company logos. You'd think that 8 hours of TV a day would have prepared me better.

(It's a little finicky about spelling, but you can keep redoing it until you get it right. Sorry if this is one of those forwards that's already made the rounds on your internet tubes.)

Update: The comments contain spoilers (natch!). So take the quiz first!

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Ayatollah Humungus

In this time of need, I know we can all rest secure in the knowledge that President Bush is at the helm. Listen here as he details his plan for surviving the coming apocalypse.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Dead Right

E. J. Dionne, Jr., has been one of the most prescient political observers of the last couple of decades. His newest prediction is a bold and tasty one. Check out "The End of the Right?"

Caption Contest

It's hot as Hades this weekend, and I'm too drained to come up with anything original. So what the hell. Time for another caption contest.

And since, God willing, we might not have Holy Joe Lieberman to kick around anymore, I thought he should step into the spotlight.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Beaten Horse (#1)

It is a "beaten horse" that the "Fiscally Conservative" Republican led Congress is fraud. But this week, in an amazing display of being out of contact with middle America (and reality), they have sunk to a new low.

A bill which is projected to cost $330 billion over ten years, is targeted to support a minimum wage increase (from $5.15 to $7.25), additional "relief" from the Paris Hilton Tax, and $38 billion in assorted other taxes targeted in a lame attempt to prove to businesses that they are supportive (R&D tax relief, etc.).

For reasons, which totally baffle me, the GOP will raise this for vote AGAIN after the summer vacation in September. Why? What would they possibly gain? It will NEVER pass. It has the professionalism of a 5th grade mock trial. It is everything a "fiscal conservative" would ever believe it. Not even spinable.

I guess they are so scared to have the three "I's" (Iran, Iraq, Inept) discussed - they would rather betray their ethics (see Beaten Horse #2).

Friday Random Ten

There's so much to admire about Mike Crain, Karatist Preacher. Not only is Mike Crain, Karatist Preacher, the most impressive double-threat since Samuel Adams, Brewer Patriot. Not only does Mike Crain, Karatist Preacher, look like the love child of F Troop's Larry Storch and the Monkees' Mickey Dolenz. More important than all that, Mike Crain, Karatist Preacher, puts the "Holy Christ!" back into ass-kicking.

And rightly so. Remember what Jesus said in the Book of Bruce, Chapter Four: "And lo, if He does not believe in me, then I will fight him. Or, failing that, prove my righteousness by breaking boards with my bare hands." What, you think the guy was a carpenter because he loved the work? Nope. Free boards for breaking.

Anyway, the appearance of Mike Crain, Karatist Preacher, means that it's once again time for the Friday Random Ten. Fire up the iTunes, set it to random, and let loose the first ten songs that are brave enough to show themselves. And, if you're feeling frisky, Maurice, then go ahead and give us a Coolness Self-Audit. (Check out this FRT for a guide to that. Or don't. See if I care.)

OK, it's Go Time.

1. Hank Williams, "Settin' the Woods on Fire" -- As much as I love the Father of Bocephus, this is a fairly mediocre tune. Not as mediocre as Your Cheatin' Heart, the film that starred George Hamilton -- yes, that George Hamilton -- as Mr. Williams, but mediocre all the same. Eh. 5/10

2. Bee Gees, "If I Can't Have You" -- Uh, you see... Um. Fuck. 1/10

3. The Gories, "Outta Here" -- Alright, that's a nice enough recovery. The Gories were a raw, three-piece, garage band from Detroit Rock City. I believe they broke up in the early '90s, right around when I fell in love with them. If you've got any interest in the White Stripes, check these kids out. 8/10

4. Urge Overkill, "Positive Bleeding" -- Another old favorite. This song comes off the Saturation album, which is either the crowning moment of an amazing career or the precise point where they sold out to the Man. A decade later, and I still can't decide. Great tune, either way. 8/10

5. Grandaddy, "What Happened?" -- What happened, indeed? Right when Grandaddy finally seemed to make it through to the big time, Jason Lytle decided to throw in the towel. Oh well. Nice having you around, pally. While you made some great tunes, this is not one of them. 2/10

6. The's, "Bond Girl" -- Man, what's not to love about a trio of hot Japanese rockabilly chicks who often perform in cave girl outfits? You may remember the's from films such as Kill Bill Vol. 1 where they appeared as the house band at Charlie Brown's restaurant. Outstanding. 7/10

7. Beck, "Hell Yes" -- Another weak song off an otherwise great album. At this rate, I'll round out the random ten with three straight hiphop skits. 4/10

8. Grant Green, "Brazil" -- One of the great jazz guitarists, doing a phenomenal version of one of my favorite tunes. Thank God. 9/10

9. Buffalo Tom, "Hawaiian Baby" -- A very nice cover of an amazing tune by the Spinanes. I used to have the 7" single of the original, but I've since lost it and, as a result, much of my dignity. So very sad. 8/10

10. Public Enemy, "He Got Game" -- This was a nice Indian Summer moment in the life of an iconic hiphop act. Nice use of the familiar Buffalo Springfield hook, with a great chorus turn by Flavor Flav. Sorry, I mean, "Mr. Brigitte Nielson." 9/10

Well, that gives me an underwhelming 6.1 average. At least I still passed. (Me fail the FRT? That's unpossible!)

Let's see what you've got. Feel free to drop your own FRT in the comments, or lambast me for wallowing in my own crapulence.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Phone Call I Hope I Never Get

Pushing paper around a desk ain't seeming like such a bad job these days.
A Croatian man got a nasty surprise when he tried to get out of his deck chair and found his testicles had got stuck. . . . He was eventually freed after he called beach maintenance services on his mobile phone. . . .
(By way of one of my star spawn friends.)

Caption Contest

We tend to use images of The Decider™ for our caption contests, but I thought we could use a change of pace.

So here's the Iraqi President, Jalal Talabani. Freedom's on the march, so have at him.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

There's Something About Marrying

Courtesy of Shakespeare's Sister, I'd like to pass along a public service announcement that makes a brilliant rebuttal to the hanky-clutching Helen Lovejoys of the world who are worried about what the queers might do to the institution of marriage. (Not to mention what they're doing to the soil, Stuart.)

It's powerful and effective without getting too preachy. Do yourself a favor and check it out.

Turning Japanese

Yeah, yeah. I know the internet tubes are all clogged with YouTube clips that no one watches, but trust me on this one. It's the greatest bit of film since "Football in the Groin."

Right Side Up

I had thought that the world had become an unrecognizable place, but it seems that there is hope for us humans after all.

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted...

A few weeks ago, I disappeared for a family emergency and the Middle East exploded. This weekend, I took off for a few days of vacation and came back to see things had gotten even crazier.

The first sign of trouble came when I got off my plane in Newark last night and discovered it was a balmy 98 degrees. 98 degrees at 11pm. Apparently, somebody set fire to the entire East Coast.

Then, a quick scan of the news revealed that not one, but two different, batshit-crazy dictators -- Fidel Castro and Mel Gibson -- had both been forced from power. I haven't seen freedom on the march like this since the heady days of 1989, when both the Berlin Wall and the band Berlin were mercifully destroyed.

But I knew things had really gotten out of hand when I saw this piece in the Onion.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Viral Logic

Innocent civilians dying in the Middle East. Don't stop the killing now; let's wait until we get a "lasting settlement."

Homeless people hungry? Make it illegal to feed them so you can "address the issues."

Just for the Record

It's been said a hundred times before, but I too would like to say that I find Juan Cole's blog to be really enlightening when it comes to this whole Middle East mess. He's pretty much my go-to guy for that whole region. Really needs to do something about that headshot, though.

I also like Marc Lynch's Abu Aardvark blog, especially as far as what's going on in the Arab media is concerned.

And when it all gets to be too much, snickering at rich and famous people with bad plastic surgery makes me feel good. Kate Beckinsale, what were you thinking!