Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Caption Contest

What better way to celebrate a sick day than a caption contest with Kazaam and Dubya? Have at it.

(This time, the photo's stolen from our good friend and registered sex offender Norbizness, who has a much fuller array of photos awaiting your captioning skills.)

Remote Control

I'm home today with a brutal case of the flu -- thanks for nothing, flu shot! -- and suffering through the heartache known as daytime television.

Having an IQ higher than the outside temperature, I naturally keep switching away from the news networks everytime they rush in with the latest BREAKING NEWS in the Anna Nicole Smith story. (Listen, every death is tragic, but I didn't give a shit about her when she was alive, and I certainly don't need wall-to-wall coverage of the legal debate over the final resting place of her breast implants. Sorry.)

The constant channel-switching would be bad enough under full strength, but with the flu it's becoming too much for me. If there are any inventors out there, I'd recommend you get cracking on a voice-activated remote control. Something that'll automatically switch away from CNN at the first mention of "Anna Nicole" or the very first syllable out of mouth-breathing Mussolini Glenn Beck.

No matter how high my fever's gone, I'm not going to care about anything along those lines.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Suicidal Tendencies

Let me get this straight -- the Vice President of the United States of America was riding on a plane called "The Spirit of Strom Thurmond" during Black History Month?

Really? That Strom Thurmond?

Is it any wonder that someone tried to blow his ass up yesterday?

Speaking of which, has anyone seen Al Sharpton lately? I have reason to believe he might take this whole Strom Thurmond thing personally.

Fried Rice

Keith Olbermann's been on a roll with his Special Comments lately, but his latest is without doubt the best yet.

Seriously, take a moment to check it out. He comes after Condi Rice like a whirlwind of teeth and elbows. I kept waiting for the ref to stop the fight.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Caption Contest

Amazingly, Rush Limbaugh had this photo posted as proof that Cheney is back and better than ever.

CHENEY: A failed strategy? Let's see. We didn't fail when we got rid of Saddam. We didn't fail when we held elections. We didn't fail when we got a constitution written. They’re all success stories.

Its hard to know where to start - return fire!!!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Where no man has gone before

We don't usually post stuff like this here, and I probably shouldn't say how I found this site. It's all in Russian, so I can't tell you why this is going on, but I can say that I never thought I'd see anything like this.

The link is absolutely, positively not safe for work. But I encourage anyone with a strong stomach and a love of Star Trek and naked ladies to click here.


I can't even begin to describe this trainwreck. Sadly, No! has it all.

Trust me, go check it out. Just for the entry on unicorns.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Friday Random Ten

Let's say you've got a wholesome form of entertainment. It's a television sitcom ... about a hilarious Nazi prison camp ... starring celebrity sex fiend Bob Crane ... and future serial kisser and dirty immigrant Richard Dawson. Again, wholesome entertainment.

How would you capitalize on its success? Simple! Have the supporting actors rehash popular songs from the war! Who wouldn't want to be serenaded by the redneck private singing "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree with Anyone Else But Me?" Sure, we'd all love to hear Werner Klemperer singing "My Bratwurst Has a First Name," but apparently it just wasn't in the cards. You'll have to make due with LeBeau singing "Shoo Shoo Baby."

Good times, good times.

Alright, time for the Friday Random Ten. You know the drill. Don't make me bring Sgt. Schultz in here.

1. The Notorious B.I.G., "Hypnotize" -- Heh, I think I just made StudioDave's day. It's his secret shame, but he spends most of his time at work playing with his Biggie Smalls Action Figure. Can you blame him? 7/10

2. Nina Simone, "Feeling Good" -- Goddamn, what a great song. No one can wrench every drop of heartbreak and soul from a note from a jazz tune like Nina Simone, and this is probably her best vocal work, ever. She owns this one from beginning to end. 10/10

3. Mos Def, "Body Rock (featuring Q-Tip and Tash)" -- A light, jazzy bit of hiphop. This pairs two of my favorite vocalists with a nice catchy rhythm. Fairly solid, though a little predictable at times. 6/10

4. Hank Williams, "Hey, Good Lookin'" -- One of the all-time classic hits of country's golden era, before Nashville got a hold of the genre and shot it full of sequins and beard stubble. Actually, you can pretty much trace the decline of the country genre by following the Williams clan. Hank Sr. was an old-school legend, fitting his generation's genius. Meanwhile, his kids are a wreck. Hank Jr. is a boozy talentless sellout, and daughter Jett has pioneered the popular subgenre of lesbianish country singers. Bravo. 7/10

5. The Postal Service, "Against All Odds" -- A terrific remake of a nice piece of '80s schlock. I'll let the cast of 30 Rock do the honors. Tracy Morgan: "Dude, you did me a solid. I'm gonna make you a mix tape. You like Phil Collins?" Alec Baldwin: "I have two ears and a heart, don't I?" 9/10

6. Earth, Wind & Fire, "Serpentine Fire" -- Nobody better represents the excellent excesses of '70s disco-soul than the masters of EWF. Apparently, whenever they ran into trouble with a song, the solution was simple. More horns. And, if you listen closely, just enough cowbell. 8/10

7. James Brown, "Down and Out in New York City" -- This was the theme song to the classic blaxploitation flick Black Caesar. ("You had Black Caesar back at the crib? We coulda been rollin' with that the whole time!") The song makes more sense if you've seen the film (all the "gimme a shine, boy" comments, for instance) but it's still a scorcher. Anything associated with Fred "The Hammer" Williamson would be ubercool already, but this one wins it solely on the merits. 10/10

8. Jimmy Castor Bunch, "Hey, Leroy, Your Mama's Calling You" -- Damn, the iPod is really in a funk today. JCB songs are normally seven-minute tours through the band's bong, but this is a short and sweet number with a nice Latin rhythm. And once again, they're sticking it to Leroy. Poor bastard. 9/10

9. The Shins, "Phantom Limb" -- This is the new single from the band's forthcoming (?) sophomore album. A little more polished than the last one, with all the good and bad that entails. Pretty damn catchy, though. I think I like it. 8/10

10. Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet, "13" -- A little Canadian surf rock from the band best known for doing the theme to The Kids in the Hall. Truth be told, every time I hear a song from these guys, I think we're coming back from a commerical break fora Gavin sketch. 5/10

One of my better weeks in a long long while, I'm ending up with a 7.9 average. Not too shabby.

Feel free to drop your own FRTs in the comments below, or share your own warm memories of Fred Williamson. Whatever.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Massachusetts' Real Flip Flopper

I can't say I have a whole lot of confidence in the field of candidates the demicrats have right now, but I do have confidence in how utterly crappy the GOP candidates are. Not only are they fairly unappealing to regular people, but it also seems to me most of them will have trouble motivating the GOP base.

Case in point: Mitt Romney. Remember how John Kerry was a bad man for "flip flopping" on a bunch of stuff? Sure, it mostly involved minor stuff and quotes taken out of context, but those gigantic flip flops at the GOP convention made for compelling TV. This guy Romney looks to be an even worse flip flopper, but instead of it being silly stuff, it's about the GOP meat and potatoes: he was for gays before he was against them, he was for a woman's right to choose before he was against it, and he was for gun control before he became a life-time member of the NRA. Ruth Marcus, talking about his abortion stance, puts it nicely:

But it was also hard to see how a man with deeply held convictions on abortion rights -- either for or against -- could take a position so calibrated and inconclusive. Listening to Romney that day was like watching a chameleon in the fleeting moment that its color changes to suit its environment. Indeed, several months later, after vetoing a bill to expand access to emergency contraception, Romney wrote in the Boston Globe about how his views on the subject had "evolved and deepened."

And did I mention he's from Massachusetts?

Meet the Press for Idiots

Conan O'Brien presents a special version of "Meet the Press" for idiots.

I found this over at Crooks & Liars this morning, and nearly choked on my breakfast. Enjoy. (The clip, not the choking. Please be sure to clear your mouthhole before viewing.)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

"Your Future Is in Your Hand"

Looks like NM gov. Bill Richardson is trying to make a, ahem ahem, splash in the prez race by burnishing his anti-DWI creds.
The state recently paid $21 each for about 500 talking urinal-deodorizer cakes and has put them in men's rooms in bars and restaurants across the state.

When a man steps up, the motion-sensitive plastic device says, in a woman's voice that is flirty, then stern: "Hey, big guy. Having a few drinks? Think you had one too many? Then it's time to call a cab or call a sober friend for a ride home."

The recorded message ends: "Remember, your future is in your hand."
I think I speak for all pee-shy men when I say that this is the most blatant and cruel act of discrimination in the history of urination. Richardson, you just made the list.

Monday, February 19, 2007

A Tale of Two Georges

An interesting bit of compare-and-contrast over at Balkinization, for your Presidents' Day pleasure.

Hail to the Chiefs

Today is Presidents' Day here in the U. S. of A., a federal holiday that Americans have traditionally observed by pausing for a moment to ask themselves a time-honored question: "Did the mail not come today?"

Actually, as we all know, Americans do have a hallowed tradition on Presidents' Day -- the low, low prices at the Presidents' Day White Sale at your friendly neighborhood Bed, Bath and Conformity. I'm not entirely sure how this tradition got started. Perhaps there's a revisionist historian who insists that young George Washington chopped down not a cherry tree, but rather a cherry-finished armoire, or has been busily peddling the idea that Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by strangulation, with John Wilkes Booth using a pillowcase to do the job. Sic Sealy Posturepedic!

Whatever the reason, it's clear we need new traditions for Presidents' Day. Seeing how this blog is all about politics, music and snark, it only seems right to try and think of the best musical tributes to chief executives throughout the ages. Here's a start:

1. Brad Neely, "Washington" -- "Washington, Washington. Six foot eight, weighs a fucking ton!" I think our third-grade civics classes would be a little livelier if we taught them this song. I mean, what eight-year-old wouldn't love to know he had "two on the vine"? Truly, George was the Original Gangsta in chief.

2. The Moldy Figs, "Ballad of Andy Jackson" -- A rollickingly bit of alt-country here, though technically it's not really about the president as it is about the currency that bears his name. "Well, I've got one more Jackson! I might just get me a lap dance, or get too drunk to see!" I'm not sure, but I think a hardscrabble, rough-and-tumble country guy like Jackson would like nothing better.

3. The Simpsons, "The Mediocre Presidents" -- A nice little catchall tune for the caretaker presidents of the U.S.A. "There's Taylor, there's Tyler, there's Fillmore and Hayes! I'm William Henry Harrison -- I died in thirty days!"

4. Icebox Video, "Hard Drinkin' Lincoln" -- I was fairly surprised at how few decent tunes there are about Lincoln. A passable Leadbelly tune here, a painful Judy Collins one there ... eh. Since there's no good song here, I'll just direct you to the knee-jerk humor of the "Hard Drinkin' Lincoln" cartoons at iTunes. They're free, and worth every penny.

5. Johnny Cash, "Mister Garfield" -- This is a terrificly perverse tune by Cash, one that starts off as a straight-faced tune about the assassination of James Garfield. But when the chorus kicks in, it all goes to hell, as Johnny and the backup singers start shouting, a little too happily: "Mister Garfield's been shot down, shot down, shot down! Mister Garfield's been shot down low!" It's the catchiest, toe-tappingest tune about a presidential assassination I've ever heard.

6. Ghostface Killah, "Woodrow the Base Head" -- Apparently, Woodrow Wilson liked the pipe. Who knew?

7. Willie Eason, "Franklin D. Roosevelt, A Poor Man's Friend" -- Unlike that loser Lincoln, there are lots of nice tunes about FDR, but this one stands out. It's a nice little bit of steel-guitar blues, though it tends to go way, way too much into the details of FDR's passing. (Seriously, he sings about the time-of-death pronouncements of his doctor.) I guess if you're going to sum up the life of a four-term president, it only makes sense to do it in a six-minute song.

8. Ratatat, "Truman" -- This is a nice little bit of electronica. The song doesn't have any lyrics, so it might well be about Truman Capote for all I know. But it's nowhere nearly as bad as the sucky bunch of suckiness that the suckass band Chicago put out called "Harry Truman," so this one wins by default. (And, seriously, if you like that Chicago song, punch yourself in the nuts. President Truman would do it himself, but he's dead.)

9. J.B. Lenoir, "Eisenhower Blues" -- Pretty standard Chicago blues here. Nothing too exciting, but I suppose Ike should be glad to get any attention at all from Americans who lived outside Leave It to Beaverland.

10. Professor Brothers, "JFK" -- Another loving tribute from Brad Neely. "He smelt like the future, his words felt like flowers, and if he shook your hand, you'd make love to it for hours." All so true.

11. The Dirty Fucking Hippies, "Hey, Hey, LBJ! How Many Kids Did You Kill Today?" -- I'm not sure if it was ever recorded, but this is always my favorite tribute to Lyndon.

12. Pete Seeger, "Here's to the State of Richard Nixon" -- During the heyday of the Watergate scandal, Seeger rewrote the lyrics to his classic civil rights era anthem, "Here's to the State of Mississippi," into a nice ballad about Tricky Dick. Sadly, I can't find the audio for this anymore -- if you know where I can find it, please let me know -- but I do have a terrific recent version that Eddie Vedder did, changing the lyrics once again to honor the current administration.

13. Gene Marshall, "Jimmy Carter Says Yes" -- This is a somewhat downbeat and unenthusiastic soul song written for the '76 campaign. "Can our government ... be competent? Jimmy Carter says 'Yes,' Jimmy Carter says 'Yes.' / Can our government ... be honest? Jimmy Carter says 'Yes,' Jimmy Carter says 'Yes'!! / Can our government ... be decent and open?" Yeah, you get the drift. I wonder if this got a disco remix.

14. Reagan Youth, "Reagan Youth" -- Ah, hardcore punk. These bands always had so much energy they could never make it past the minute-and-a-half mark.

15. The Legendary K.O., "George Bush Doesn't Care About Black People" -- I'm sure we'll have more and more music dedicated to the Decider as time goes by. We already have terrific songs recorded as George W. Bush, and as the level of his insanity and depravity becomes clearer in the next few years, we'll see more and more tunes about George W. Bush. Hell, the Rolling Stones were singing about Satan in the 1960s. Bush is going to seem waaaaay worse than him.

Alright, that's enough to start the conversation. Please feel free to offer your own favorite presidential songs in the comments. Lord knows, if you're carrying around a ditty about William Howard Taft, it's only right to share it with the world. (And safe, too. A song about that lardass would probably kill you if you kept it in your heart.)

Friday, February 16, 2007

Friday Random Ten

Today's album cover -- which comes from a new treasure trove of trainwrecks that iRod found -- is dedicated to the life-affirming, sucker-hating Gospel According to T.

For those of you who've never had the pleasure of experiencing Misterteeism in all its splendor, here's a full list of his Commandments.

I. "I am the Lord thy T. Thou shalt have no false gods before me, and that includes Apollo Creed, sucker."
II. "Thou shalt make no graven images of me, but if you do, thou shalt not make me into a eunuch."
III. "Thou shalt not take the name of T in vain."
IV. "Remember to keep holy Monday nights on CBS, for special new episodes of 'The A-Team'"
V. "Honor thy father and thy mother."
VI. "Thou shalt not murder. Sure, thou might use a homemade rocket launcher to blow up a truck full of bad guys, but they'll all just fly harmlessly through the air and land in some haystacks."
VII. "Thou shalt not commit adultery, Face Man."
VIII. "Thou shalt not steal, but thou may 'borrow' tanks of compressed air, garden tools, and metal plating to turn my van into a shovel-shooting armored tank."
IX. "Thou shalt not bear false witness against an elite group of commandos, thereby forcing them to enter the Los Angeles underground."
X. "Thou shalt not get me on a damn plane, Hannibal."

If you'd like to learn more about Misterteeism, please consult your local cable stations.

I know I can't top the holy power of Laurence Turead, but I've got my own list of ten to deal with. Let's start up the God Machine and get this thing rolling. Big bucks, big bucks! No whammies!

1. Johnny Cash, "If You Could Read My Mind" -- I'm a sucker for Cash's American Recordings albums, and this is a fantastic example of why. He takes a Gordon Lightfoot song that might as well be the poster boy for '70s schlock songs, and turns it into a heartbreaker. 9/10

2. Death Cab for Cutie, "Crooked Teeth" -- I normally like the work of Ben Gibbard and the boys, but this one is just a little too contrived. Can't put my finger on it, but it just comes up a little short. 7/10

3. Kirk Van Houten, "Can I Borrow a Feeling?" -- Hey, it's what came up. You don't go to war with the FRT you want, you go to war with the FRT you have. If you need a refresher course in the magic of KVH, check out the song for yourself here. 3/10

4. Massive Attack, "Angel" -- A nice dark number from my favorite album of theirs, Mezzanine. If I'm remembering correctly, this song reached its widest exposure when it was used as the backing song for the scenes in The West Wing when They Kidnapped The President's Daughter! You can almost hear the shark jumping in the chorus. 8/10

5. Andy Reynolds and His 101 Ranch Boys, "Beer Bottle Mama" -- A lovely bit of country boogie dedicated to romancing the local barfly. He'd just better be careful that lady doesn't break the PBR longneck on the bar and turn it into a hillybilly knife. This is like an episode of COPS waiting to happen. Still, great tune. 7/10

6. Esquivel, "Mucha Muchacha" -- Esquivel was the leading proponent of "space-age bachelor-pad music," which is essentially what you'd imagine the hipster readers of Playboy were spinning circa 1962. So uncool it's cool again. Well, kinda. 5/10

7. Dionne Warwick, "You're Going to Need Me" -- It's hard to remember that long before the Psychic Friends Network, well before "That's What Friends are For," and well before the TV show Friends -- OK, she had nothing to do with that last one -- Dionne Warwick actually carved out a place for herself as a sultry, funky soul singer. This song is Exhibit A. 9/10

8. R.E.M., "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" -- A little overplayed, but you've got to admire a rock song about psychopaths attacking Dan Rather. While my longtime love of R.E.M. has faded with the last few Bill Berry-less albums, Monster was a classic. 7/10

9. Smashing Pumpkins, "Zero" -- Speaking of the early '90s... This song always reminds me of their guest spot on the Simpsons. "Billy Corigan, Smashing Pumpkins." "Homer Simpson, smiling politely." Still, one of my least favorite songs off this album. I'm going to catch hell for this from the other boys here, but .... 6/10

10. Cibo Matto, "Spoon" -- What the hell ever happened to these ladies? I'm not sure I've heard much of anything from them since this album, Stereo Type A. Funky, happy, Japanese chick pop. It's like the Hello Kitty Conglomerate formed a band. 9/10

Alright, that gives me a 7.0 average on the coolness scale, which is just enough to graduate. And here I was worried i'd be doomed to repeat the course and live through a wacky series of Happy Gilmoresque antics. Whew.

Let's see what you've got. Drop your own random ten songs in the comments below, with or without the coolness self-audit. But no cheating! Mr. T is watching you, fool!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The People's Poet

He's even lost the 7 year olds.
Even the kids seemed confused. One asked why he came. "I came to see you," the president responded. As the cameras clicked away, a 7-year-old boy made peace signs. "Put your hands down," Bush chided playfully.
I guess we can consider this a caption contest.

Other People's Stank

In many, many books I've always seen the phrase "the coppery taste of blood." In fact, that's exactly the opposite of what it should be: the bloody taste of copper.

That's kind of interesting, but the real point of the article is completely disgusting.
[I]n a recent experiment, Glindemann showed that when we handle metal objects like coins (most U.S. coins are about 75 percent copper), our sweat begins corroding them immediately, creating a film of unstable ions that behave like partially oxidized rust. Fatty acids from oils on the skin are decomposed by these loose ions and form the compounds that give coined money its distinctive smell—an aroma that bears an odd resemblance to blood's.
You read that correctly. Metal doesn't smell. This is a completely obvious point now that I mention it, but just think that the next time you inhale the fumes coming off the coins in your pocket it's the leavings of hundreds of sweaty palms.

This shouldn't come as that big of a surprise. After all, your mother always told you never stick money in your mouth.

Something to think about while you all rush out to grab a sackful of those new $1 coins.

This Just In: Michael Moore is Fat

Conservatives have been trying to get a right-wing version of The Daily Show going for some time, and it's finally hatched: The Half-Hour News Hour.

Crooks & Liars has a segment of the new program for your viewing pleasure and, somehow, it's even worse than I ever thought it could be.

I haven't heard this much canned laughter since the ill-fated run of The Brady Brides sitcom. Of course, they had to manufacture the yuks, because nothing in the program would generate actual human laughter. (How unfunny is it? So unfunny that a conservative blogger "suspects the writers are all liberals deliberately sabotaging the show." No, seriously.)

The entire show is as hackneyed and moronic as a typical David Brooks column. Even the title is unoriginal. In a tribute to the porous borders of our NAFTA-era economy, they apparently stole it from the Canadian fake news program, This Hour Has 22 Minutes.

It seems The Half Hour News Hour is produced by the same guy responsible for 24. Which is fitting, since both have a common theme of growing dread punctuated by explicit torture.

(Speaking of which, if you haven't read the New Yorker piece on 24 and torture, drop whatever you're doing -- unless you're holding a baby -- and go read it now. Unbelievable.)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Ironic Statement of the Day

From today's press conference:

Bush said the Quds Force, a component of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, has been "instrumental in providing these deadly IEDs [improvised explosive devices] to networks inside of Iraq" and that the Quds Force "is a part of the Iranian government."

He added, "What we don't know is whether or not the head leaders in Iran ordered the Quds Force to do what they did." He then asked, "What's worse? That the government knew or that the government didn't know?"

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Support the Troops

If you need to flex the outrage section of your brain, check out this post at Obsidian Wings.

You may be familiar with the fact that Bush is trying to balance the budget by repealing his tax cuts for the richest Americans short-changing medical care for our wounded soldiers. But the second story there is one you might not have seen. And it's one you need to read.

Monday, February 12, 2007

We're Talking Cabbage Patch Kids Riots

The stem cell "debate" has always seemed kind of inane to me. The anti-cure people are all up in arms because they'd rather throw fertilized eggs in the trash than use them to make people's life better. They will be on the right side of the argument when everyone agrees that fertility clinics should be outlawed.

Now word comes that instead of curing obscure diseases that afflict athletes and actors, some more practical uses are about to bloom.
Scientists in Japan claim to be able to increase the size of a woman's breasts using fat and stem cells.

The technique uses fat from the stomach or thigh which is then enriched with stem cells before being injected.

It is hoped the method could prove a more natural-looking alternative to artificial implants filled with salt water or silicone.

While the article voices some skepticism about the technique, it does use one of my favorite words when describing the procedure.

While big, "natural" breasts may sound like an odd thing to boost support (heh) for a would-be controversial procedure, this indicates where scientists are headed with stem cell research. And where they're headed is bigger pricks.

Don't laugh. If stem cells can make boobs bigger, don't you think that scientists are already at work at a penis enlargement that utilizes stem cells? And if some successful method was developed, what do you think would happen to support for stem cell research in this country? Would a bunch of old white guys stand in the way between a man and his dream?

It's hard to believe, but still after 6 years of countrywide mismanagement there is an enormous amount of political apathy in America. The possibility of a bigger dong would get a massive amount of men to snap to attention. If all that stood between you and a big schlong was some dick, how long do you think he'd stay in office?

Caption Contest

You know the drill, people. Bring it.

(Image stolen, as always, from the delightful Dependable Renegade.)

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Transcript - Press Conference 2-10-07

(The following was recorded at the Marriott Marquis Hotel and Conference Center in Manhattan at 2:17pm EST. Please forward all press inquiries to the media relations department).

OTTO MAN: Thank you all for coming here on such short notice. I'm particularly pleased to see that so many friends and family could be here to support me today. Mayor Bloomberg, Scarlett Johannsen, Ted McGinley ... and, of course, the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. Thank you for being here, Your Holiness. (Inaudible, German.) Yes. I believe they will validate your parking.

I'd like to thank the members of the press for being here. Especially Mr. Novak. I know you don't like to tread the earth during the daylight hours, and I thank you for making an exception.

My announcement today is a sudden one, but one that I must make in light of this morning's bombshell announcement from my former dance partner and pilates instructor, StudioDave, that he was engaged in a longterm romantic relationship with Anna Nicole Smith. Given the likelihood that he is the father of Miss Smith's newborn daughter, I feel I owe it to him -- and to all of you -- to come clean about my involvement with Anna Nicole as well.

Let me be clear: Our relationship was in no way sexual. While I am, as these notarized statements will attest, one hundred percent he-man, I was never attracted to Anna Nicole Smith in a sexual way. Perhaps it was the fact that her body was made up of equal parts of products from the Frito-Lay Corporation and a hard, unyielding plastic that you normally only find in frisbees. Perhaps it was this hangup of mine where I like my sexual partners to be conscious. We'll never know.

No, our relationship was purely social. Anna Nicole Smith was a wild ride, and I loved every minute I got to spend with her as we rollercoastered from the frantic peaks of excitement down through the cleavage-like valleys of darkness.

We were inseperable these past few months on the South Beach party circuit, so much so that it was really hard to tell where I ended and she began.

Which one of us thought it would be a good idea to make a cocktail combining horse tranquilizers, primo weed and smooth Kentucky bourbon? Hard to say. Though I do remember I wanted to call it a "Churchill Downer," and she insisted on calling it her "Magic Pony Sleepy Juice."

But I digress.

As I said, it was hard to tell where our ideas came from. Certainly, it was hard enough that a legal system based on a presumption of innocence could never pin one of them on me.

Sure, maybe it was my idea to take equal doses of methamphetamines and Valium with a scotch chaser, turn on the coin-operated massage bed, and "let 'em fight it out." Or maybe it was hers. Who's to say?

And maybe, just maybe, she was the one who wanted to "play whirlybird" on the hotel room's ceiling fan until she vomited Pina Coladas and Fluffernutters all over the terrace. Or maybe ... No, wait, that one was definitely her.

What I do know is that it will be terribly, terribly difficult for all of us who knew and loved Anna Nicole Smith to understand just where she left off and we began. The thickening piles of Oreo crumbs were a good clue, but it was always hard to know for sure. There will always be some reasonable doubt, in our minds and, God willing, in the mind of any potential jury.

Thank you. There will be no questions. Anna Nicole hated questions, almost as much as she hated frowns and sobriety.

Good afternoon.

GOP Smackdown

Lots of people have been complaining that the Democrats don't have the stones to fight back and get their hands dirty in dealing with the Republicans. If Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) is any indication, we might not have much to complain about anymore. This smackdown in the House is simply beautifully played.

Transcript - Press Conference 2-10-07

(The following was recorded at the downtown Atlanta Hilton at 9 am EST. Please forward all press inquiries to the media relations department).

SD: Good morning. Thank you for coming out this morning. What I'm about to tell you has been difficult on both my family and myself. I take full responsibility for my actions and the consequences to follow. I have always considered myself a private person and I do not embrace the media spotlight.

(Drink of water) (Cameras flash)

SD: For the last 15 years, I have has sexual relations with Anna Nicole Smith. Due to my rebellious nature, I have always neglected to wear protection in bed.

(Hugs wife)

SD: Although the last time we had relations was approximately 13 months and 4 days ago, I was unaware until contacted by my DNA specialist / lawyer that she had a child. I know I am the father. I am now ready to accept responsibility for my actions and any legal or financial responsibilities which may follow.

(Deep breath)

SD: Those who may *think* they know me and would make wild allegations like I have never mentioned this before, I have never slept with anyone one than my wife, or that this is a pathetic stab at $85 million dollars. I apologize for leading this double life of sex with Playboy playmates and getting overall "jiggy with it".

It is my hope this won't come to a paternity test and thus keep it out of the media's harsh and judging spotlight. I would, in fact, refuse one for the sheer moral offense it would do to my character.

I will not take any questions at this times.

(Steps back). (IRod steps up to the microphone).

PRESS: You lived with SD out of college. Can you vouch for his whereabouts in the early 90's?

IR: Yo, I stand by my man SD. He and I used to kick it at the Playboy mansion. It was a time of our lives we weren't proud of.

(Behind the curtain)

IR's Wife: WHAT? You guys sat in a basement apartment for 4 years drinking malt liquor and playing Sega Hockey.

IR: (To wife) Now's not a good time. Listen, we all make mistakes. SD has lived the fast lane and must now pay the consequences.

PRESS: Mr. Rod, what is your occupation?

IR: SD has retained me as his for hire drinking buddy and spokesperson.

PRESS: Is money the root of this whole circus?

IR: This circus as you call it is SD's life. You have no right to judge. You people think money is everything and you make me sick. Good day.

PRESS: But IRod!


Friday, February 09, 2007

"Well, Maybe You Boys Need a Refresher Course"

Courtesy of Crooks & Liars, I found this Hardball clip of Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), discussing the role of Congress in declaring and waging war.

In what may be the most glaring display of ignorance I've ever seen from a politician, Rep. Cantor insists that Congress has no role in determing when and where the United States of America goes to war. None.

Sure, our stupid Constitution insists that Congress not only has a role in the decision to go to war, but is in fact the only part of our government with that power. And, sure, the War Powers Act insists that congressional power extends to all troop mobilizations, regardless of a declared war.

But Rep. Cantor isn't having any of that. He insists that the generals on the ground are the ones who'll determine who we fight, and that the Commander-in-Chief only needs to listen to them and then act. According to Cantor, President Bush never needed the authorizing resolution to go to war with Iraq. He only needed to consult with his lawyers and then let loose the dogs of war.

Seriously, that's what he says. Repeatedly. Even with a commercial break in there to gather his thoughts and a chance to restate them. Chris Matthews is so stunned by this unbelievable display of stupidity that his jaw's nearly on the desk.

The best part? This moron is the third-highest ranking Republican in the House. Unfuckingbelievable.

Friday Random Ten

I know how much Thrillhous enjoys the raw, umlauted power of heavy metal, so I thought we'd go with this album by legendary race horse and metal group, Manowar.

As you can tell by their Schwarzeneggarian physiques and the loin cloths that practically scream "Homercles cares not for beans!", these are some serious barbarian metal heads. They want nothing more than to crush their enemies, to see them driven before them, and to hear the lamentations of their women. Well, that, and to rock you.

In the spirit of Metal Mania, let's get to the Friday Random Ten.

1. The Afghan Whigs, "Be Sweet" -- I have a soft spot for the slightly assholish rock of Greg Dulli, and this song is a good example why. From the terrific album Gentlemen. 9/10

2. Interpol, "Untitled" -- This may be the greatest stalker song since "Every Breath You Take." A nice haunting intro, and then it builds slowly and a little creepily, as the lyrics turn menacing: "I will surprise you some time / I'll come around." If Homicide were still on the air, this would've made an episode. 8/10

3. The National, "Looking for Astronauts" -- Goddammit, I thought I'd deleted this from my iTunes. Die, die, die, you atonal piece of crap wussrock. -1/10

4. Diana Ross, "I'm Coming Out" -- My take on this song is a little warped, due to the fact that it came on the stereo as I was racing a girlfriend to the hospital with what turned out to be an inflamed appendix. I remember thinking, this is no time for stupid irony. 6/10

5. Danger Doom, "Space Ho's (Madlib Remix)" -- One of my least favorite songs off the otherwise terrific album, Occult Hymn. It doesn't work in every way. 0/10

6. Manfred Mann, "One Way Glass" -- An absofuckinglutely catchy bit of mid-'60s British Invasion rock. This is what Oasis thought they were doing. 10/10

7. Roger Miller, "Chug a Lug" -- I don't know why, but dammit I love Roger Miller. The cornball Hee Hawish humor of this one should send me running in the other direction, but he sells it. The lyrics and rhythms are pretty intricate, for what seems like a happy pop song about getting hammered. Ah, beautiful sweet drunk talk. 7/10

8. The Clash, "Rock the Casbah" -- Ever since I read that this song was listed by a conservative blog as one of the top conservative rock songs of all time -- I know, I know, the Fuckyouthatcherclash!? -- I've had a hard time looking it in the eye. 6/10

9. De La Soul, "U Can Do (Life)" -- A pretty bouncy, bassy number from Mosaic Thump. There's not much that De La's done that I don't love. 9/10

10. Tapes 'n' Tapes, "Insistor" -- I saw these kids last year, when they were the buzz of the music blogosphere. I was fairly underwhelmed, but this is a song of theirs that I liked then and still do. 8/10

Alright, rough week. I got a zero and, worse, it was my second lowest rating. Still, some big ones made up the difference, giving me yet another 6.6 average. It's the FRT of the Beast. It's in Revelations, people!

Drop your own FRT in the comments below, or let your Manowar freak flag fly and discuss some of my arbitrary rankings and self-indulgent commentary. No, really. It'll be fun.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Rush to Judgment

Courtesy of With Leather, I'm delighted to see that Rush Limbaugh is continuing his crusade against reverse discrimination in the world of NFL quarterbacks.

When we last left our drug-addled hero, he was insisting the media only liked Donovan McNabb because he was black. McNabb, you'll remember, single-handedly carried the Eagles to a 12-4 record that year, marched them through the playoffs, and into their third-straight NFC championship game. Any praise he might have gotten for such an incredible effort was, of course, due to the fact that he's black. Obviously.

Well, now Rush is back, insisting that the media is heaping abuse on Rex Grossman now, simply because he's white.
It's just -- they're focusing on this guy like they don't focus on anybody! And I tell you, I know what it is. The media, the sports media, has got social concerns that they are first and foremost interested in, and they're dumping on this guy -- Rex Grossman -- for one reason, folks, and that's because he is a white quarterback.
Megadittos, Rush. Megadittos.

Surely, people aren't criticizing Grossman because he lost the Super Bowl. The Bears defense and special teams were terrific, putting up a touchdown on the first kickoff return and giving Rex a lead. Even when the Colts surged back, the Bears were still within five points. Until someone threw a horrible lame-duck pass that was intercepted and run back for a TD. (I'm pretty sure the guy who threw that INT was black. Hispanic, at least.) Grossman ended the game with 165 yds, 2 picks and a single touchdown. That's primo quality, there.

And, obviously, people aren't criticizing Grossman because of his regular season play. He had five instances of quarterback ratings under 50 in the last half of the season, with one of them -- the season finale against Green Bay -- meriting a big fat zero. Who could complain about that? Certainly not the guy in my fantasy league who went into a Monday Night game with a sizeable lead on his opponent, only to see his QB, Rex Grossman, put up four interceptions and lose the week for him.

Nope, it's clear that the sports media hates Rex Grossman because he's white, and they despise all white quarterbacks. Think about it. You never hear John Madden say a single kind word about Brett Farve, right? Sports Illustrated absolutely despises Tom Brady, who they clearly keep putting on the cover out of spite. The media never gives any attention to those Manning boys either. And I don't recall hearing much about John Elway, Steve Young, Troy Aikman, Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw either. Nope, all the media wants to talk about is Doug Williams this and Doug Williams that.

Well, I'm sick of it. And Rush is too.

No, wait. That might be the OxyContin.

Caption Contest

With the recent news that Pastor Ted has been "cured" of his meth-and-sodomy addictions, I thought he might appreciate the healing salvation of a caption contest.

Have at him.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Big money, big nuts

Truckfuls of cash. Now that's something that should grab your attention.
The U.S. Federal Reserve sent record payouts of more than $4 billion in cash to Baghdad on giant pallets aboard military planes shortly before the United States gave control back to Iraqis, lawmakers said on Tuesday.

The money, which had been held by the United States, came from Iraqi oil exports, surplus dollars from the U.N.-run oil-for-food program and frozen assets belonging to the ousted Saddam Hussein regime.

Bills weighing a total of 363 tons were loaded onto military aircraft in the largest cash shipments ever made by the Federal Reserve, said Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

"Who in their right mind would send 363 tons of cash into a war zone? But that's exactly what our government did," the California Democrat said during a hearing reviewing possible waste, fraud and abuse of funds in Iraq.

That Reuters story reminded me of a piece in this week's New Yorker. Jon Lee Anderson did a profile of Iraqi president Jalal Talabani. It's not online, but since I'm a luvah I'll transcribe it for you (page 55 in the Feb 7 issue):
Tehran was cold and gray on November 27th, when Talabani and his entourage arrived in the same 767 that had flown them to Paris. Several ministers and a clutch of Iraqi journalists and photographers were on board.

During our descent into Tehran, one of Talabani's junior aides came down the aisles, handing each person a form to sign. It was printed in Arabic, and, assuming it was an official landign document of some sort, I did so, whereupon he handed me a thick envelope and moved on. Inside were twenty hundred-dollar bills. After we landed, I asked the aide why he had given me money, and he said it was "a gift from the President." I thanked, him, but said that I could not accept it, and handed the envelope back. He looked very confused.

A senior aide translated my explanations about "journalistic ethics," which left the man lookig only more mystified. The senior aide then opened his own envelope and, whistling, counted out fifty hundred-dollar bills. "I think he's given me the same amount as the ministers," he exclaimed. "He does this from his own pocket, you know." He said that, on each trip, Talabani gives money to all those on board, including the bodyguards, the flight attendants, and the pilot. We calculated that during the one-hour flight Talabani had given away about a hundred thousand dollars.
Talabani throws his money around like the kind of guy who has a truckload of money he didn't earn. Not that I'm implying anything.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Reckoning

After the midterm elections, I had conversations with a number of left-of-center folks who didn't think much would really happen with the Democrats in control of both houses of Congress. Bush and Cheney had ignored Congress even when it was staffed with Stepford Republicans who'd do their bidding, and these folks didn't expect them to start listening with the Democrats in charge.

My reply to the doubters was always two simple words: "subpoena power." With control of the House and Senate, the Democrats were finally going to be able not just to ask questions and review internal White House policies, but also demand answers. They'd be able to call the administration folks into congressional hearings, place them under oath, and beat the truth out of them.

Pressed as to just which Democrats had the stones to do this, I had two more words: "Henry Waxman." Waxman is a dogged invesitgator and a thorough believer in vigorous oversight. He's busy conducting investigations into the handling of the Iraqi occupation, and just today, he's been busy digging into the books and then raking Paul Bremer over the coals. And this is just the beginning.

Sic 'em, Henry.

Pimp My John

In a contest tailor-made for Thrillhous, Roto-Rooter is giving away the ultimate throne room. Included are several ways to spend your "me time" while Taking Care of Business.

Chock full of greatness including an Xbox, Tivo, and a kegarator. There's also emergency tools like a Roto-Rooter service button and a megaphone in case you run out of toilet paper.

I'm just not sure why anyone would need a mirror in there.

Monday, February 05, 2007

No Deal

My new favorite blog, Consumerist, links to an article at Bankrate that reminds me of my pet peeve no. 247: people who love to tell you what a great deal they got on their new car. In this case, the article's subject is the ridiculous "factory invoice."
The invoice that most dealers are happy to show you represents a theoretical price the manufacturer would charge the dealer if the dealership sold just that one vehicle. Of course most dealers sell hundreds or thousands of vehicles a year and manufacturers offer all manner of incentives to encourage dealers to sell even more.
In other words, getting a car "at invoice" does not mean you are a hard-bargaining SOB who should, nay, must share the tale of your conquest with everyone you meet. It means the price you paid is the same as a made-up number on a piece of paper that some liar in a Kia collared T-shirt showed you. Despite what they say, the dealer will not lose money on that car, the salesman's children will not go hungry, and your name will not be whispered in terror at the manufacturing plant in Pusan.

The article does note that getting a price near the invoice is generally decent, but don't let me hear someone spouting the "great deal" nonsense. Buying a new car can make sense for several reasons (new-car warranty, special new features like hybrid engine, the smell, etc.), but "I got a great deal on a new car" is oxymoronic; no new car is a great deal.

Tomorrow, pet peeve no. 248: those really thin cigarettes. I like the way I look when I smoke them, but where's the meat?

Stupor Bowl

It may be the liquor talking, but I thought yesterday's Super Bowl was one of the best in recent memories.

The game itself was ridiculous. The steady rain in Miami made for field conditions that might've led John Facenda rise from the grave just to do the ominous voice-over. (And, of course, the downpour probably made those fans feel great about their $1,200 tickets.) A lot of wild plays, from the opening kickoff returned for a TD to the countless back-and-forth fumbles and interceptions. Great action.

And I was mildly rooting for the Colts in this one, so it was nice to see Peyton Manning put that rocket laser arm to good use and come away with the win. Plus, I got to hear Tony Dungy denounce all other coaches as implicitly satanic when he accepted the Lombardi Trophy and said this game showed "Christian coaches" could play at the top level. Suck it, Dick Vermeil!

The commercials were fairly decent, with the exception of a Tostitos ad that was so bad it left the entire room speechless. A lot of gay themes, from the Snickers kiss to naked men grinding on a car. I guess the admen noticed how much male football fans enjoy simulated lesbianism and thought they'd try the reverse. Yeah, not so much.

The biggest surprise for me, though, was the halftime show. I thought this was going to be another sad halftime event known as the NFL Celebrates Music That Was Popular Fifteen Years Ago!, but Prince kicked out the motherfucking jams. The Hendrix-Foo Fighters medley was a bold touch, and ending with "Purple Rain" in the rain was sweet. True, there was some typical halftime nonsense, like the fireworks and the band members dressed up like extras from Tron. But all in all, solid.

Plus, Prince got to entertain the country with the silhouetted image of his guitar-wang. Who wouldn't love that?

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Weekend Tech Roundup

I had my first chance to play with a Nintendo Wii this weekend. I don't want to overhype it, but it is beyond awesome; all other gaming systems are crap. Granted, we were playing golf and bowling and such, not a shooter or strategy game, but I've never had so much fun with such simple games. Instead of pressing left-right-type buttons, you wave the controller around in the air. You can put spin on your bowling ball, work the kidneys with low blows in boxing, throw a wicked curve ball, etc. If you're into mindbogglingly boring games like Madden football (cover two! cover two!), you might not like it; the Wii is all about actual physical motion.

In more sedentary action, I've really been enjoying a blogging tool called Performancing, a blog editor that's an add-on to Firefox. I've found most blogging tools to not be worth the hassle, but this one's really easy to use. It basically splits your screen in half, the top half being whatever web page you're at and the bottom half being the blogging area. You can do one-click publishing (you don't have to go and log in to your blog), and it's got lots of easy-to-use formatting options to spice things up.

Finally, I've been giving OpenOffice a try (for Mac users it's NeoOffice, I think). It's to MS Office what Firefox is to Explorer, a free, open-source, community-built office suite with all the bells and whistles. Previous versions were buggy and subject to security flaws, but 2.1 is pretty solid. While OO is a community project, it's number one contributor and backer is Sun Microsystems. It's completely compatible with MS Office files, and like Firefox, it's got plenty of add-on options to tweak it just how you like it. And did I mention it's free?

Speaking of "free" and "community," you guys got any good tech dope? Anyone else try the Wii or one of the other new systems? And what's this about Gabbo?

Friday, February 02, 2007

Caption Contest

We normally reserve the caption contests here at LLatPoN for the well-deserved mockery of President Bush, the Decider, the Codpiece in Chief, or members of his administration.

But this image -- stolen from the always-entertaining Dependable Renegade as always -- was bizarre enough to merit a selection.

Have at it.

"Well, Hearsay and Rumors are Kinds of Evidence..."

TCR has a great post up about the lies of Fox News and what can be done about it. I think it's high time.

The Lamest Eleven

The phine people over at Phat Phree have compiled a list of the lamest movie villains of all time. While some of the choices are debatable, it's a solid list on the whole.

For instance:
Martin Kove as John Kreese in Karate Kid I, II and III

We'll look past the ass-whooping you took at the beginning of Karate Kid II from the four-foot-three, eighty-year-old man who used to run Al's Diner on Happy Days. Everyone has an off day. But the bottom line is, you can't have a perm and expect people to fear you. Mercy is for the weak, but hot rollers are for straight up pussies.
Sweep the sarcasm, Johnny!

Check out the rest of the list, and feel free to nominate your own selections in the comments. If the stupider wingnuts out there think that just anyone can nominate drug-addled morons for the Nobel Peace Prize, then anyone can certainly put a name up for this particular dishonor.

Friday Random Ten

First, upon seeing this album cover, I immediately thought of this classic movie moment.

Second, I tried to imagine just what Ira North would look like if he really were a woman. I'm thinking he'd be a little less mannish than Ann Coulter, but a bit more feminine than Jonah Goldberg. Probably something akin to the cross-dressing scene from Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask), the one that features the guy from the Dunkin Donuts ad.

And then with those two pop culture references colliding, a little bit of me died inside.

Might as well get to the music. Here's this week's FRT:

1. Barry White, "It's Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next to Me" -- Back in college, my girlfriend at the time took me to see Mr. White on his stadium tour. It was as lushly ridiculous as you might imagine. The backdrop to the stage was a giant satin headboard, with a nineteen piece string section in formal wear arrayed in front of it. Barry's sultry backup singers were not only scantily clad, but wheeled onto the stage in giant champagne glasses, while the man himself was wearing what appeared to be a velvet muumuu. There was so much sexual energy coming off that stage, I'm pretty sure I got pregnant just by being in his presence. 8/10

2. Gang Starr, "The Illest Brother" -- A nice little track off Daily Operation. I managed to catch Guru and DJ Premier a couple years back in NYC, but I'll be damned if I know what they've been up to since. Anyone? 7/10

3. Radiohead, "Idioteque (live)" -- And the live show memories continue! This is from their official live CD, I Might Be Wrong. I managed to catch this tour when they came to Liberty State Park in August 2001. It was a spectacular concert, with the Statue of Liberty off to one side in the background and the World Trade Center off in the other direction. Sadly, this was less than a month before 9/11 Changed Everything. 7/10

4. Mahotella Queens, "Khubetswana Yeso" -- Man, I wish I could say I've seen them live as well. Well, I could say it, but it wouldn't be true. One of the sweetest vocal groups of African pop, these ladies usually back up Malathini, but here they're solo. Not too bad. 6/10

5. Sugar, "If I Can't Change Your Mind" -- I'd really like to know what kind of antidepressants they had Bob Mould on for this album. A little bit too sunny here, but still fairly strummeriffic. (Oh, I saw him on this tour. Wearing a big polka-dot shirt on his big fat body.) 5/10

6. The Smiths, "This Charming Man (live)" -- Another live track, but another band I never saw live. I don't suppose there's anyone who's made it past puberty who would consider this song "cool," though. In fact, I'm pretty sure this should be on that guy's list of songs that give you the gay. 4/10

7. Outkast, "Humble Mumble" -- One of my favorite tunes from these gentlemen. Scorchingly fast vocals, infectious hooks, and terrific lyrics. "She said she thought hip-hop was only guns and alcohol / I said 'Oh hell naw!' But yet it's that too / You can't discrimi-hate cause you done read a book or two." Don't discrimi-hate, people. Seen 'em twice. 9/10

8. ... And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, "Worlds Apart" -- A nice straightforward rocker, one that wins you over from the moment you hear the sounds of giggling children and then the sound of the lead singer screaming "Hey, fuck you, man!" Truly touching. Never saw them, but I believe I would know them by the trail of dead. 6/10

9. The Black Keys, "Nobody But You" -- And we're back on the concert trail! These guys opened for Radiohead on their recent tour -- where I enjoyed them in the presence of Natalie Portman, a show lovingly and enviously described here -- and played a much too short, but incredibly ass-kicking set. 8/10

10. Grant Green, "Brazil" -- I must have a half dozen versions of this song, but this rendition by jazz guitarist Grant Green is one of my favorites. Really impressive fretwork, from a nice LP he did on "the Latin bit." Unable to time travel into the 1960s, I never saw him. 6/10

Alright, that gives me a 6.6 average, which apparently means I'm part of the conspiracy in this new, shitty-looking Jim Carrey movie. Come on. It's in Revelations, people!!!

Let's see what you've got. Drop your own FRT in the comments below, or else you can rub in the fact that you saw the Smiths with the Mahotella Queens backing them up, covering Grant Green tunes. Bastards.