Friday, July 31, 2009

Quit! Making Things Up

Ronald Reagan. Very popular President. Has earned the respect of a nation. I mean really, what kind of frivolous nutball would publicly dis Reagan?

Palin was slated to attend on Aug. 8 the 50th anniversary gala of the Simi Valley Republican Women, Federated, at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum. It would have been her first public appearance since leaving office and had been widely reported by media outlets.

Pat Saraceno, the spokeswoman for the Simi Valley Republican Women, said they found out Thursday that Palin wasn’t coming.

“I had direct knowledge as of yesterday. I am not going to comment on how or from whom,” said Saraceno.

“There’s no harm, no foul. We always respected the (former) governor’s right to change course.”
Good grief! It's like the only man that woman respects is John Zeigler!
Up to 900 people were expected to attend the event at $100 a ticket for members and $150 for non-members, but media had been barred from the occasion.

A message on the group’s Web site Friday said they “were honored by her consideration” and the gala, which will be hosted by talk show host John Ziegler, is still going ahead. They are offering refunds to those who had purchased tickets for the gala and who no longer wished to attend.
I can't wait to see how long she sticks with the radio gig.

(h/t Wonkette)

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Look, it's not that this isn't funny:

It's just that Shatner is even funnier when he does his own material. Especially when he is (I suspect) doped up on painkillers.

(hat tip to British comedy god Graham Linehan)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

More Non-Racism: Our Post-Racial Society

Here's how it works. The behavior below isn't racist.

Officer Justin Barrett, 36, a two-year veteran assigned to District B-3, was placed on administrative leave pending a termination hearing yesterday afternoon. When a supervisor confronted Barrett about the e-mail - in which he called Gates a “jungle monkey” - he admitted to being the author, according to officials.
However, my implying that racism exists? THAT'S racist!

Hey can you blame me for not grasping this easily? It's what you call counterintuitive, man!

Still He's Slept With Ann Coulter So He Can't Be All Bad

This is because we don't have a left and a right party in this country any more. We have a center right party, and a crazy party. And over the last thirty odd years, Democrats have moved to the right, and the right has moved into a mental hospital.
-Bill Maher

Now There's A Coincidence

Everybody who is working to destroy America, it turns out, is non-white! (Okay, not Soros, but he's not doing the heavy lifting). Anyway, isn't it odd to not see Arianna Huffington, RudePundit, John Amato, Jane Hamsher... you know, dangerous caucasian liberals.

h/t Wonkette, but the racial observation is mine.

Perfect Summer Listening

Click on the link below for an hour of music depicting the magical world under the sea: Tothar, hosting show THE BEYONDOPHONIC ACTION HOUR. Extra points to Tothar for avoiding UNDER THE SEA from The Little Mermaid. Though as he points out, he never misses a chance to play the theme from Stingray.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

No Wonder There's No Global Warming!

"People complain that we are buying — importing from the Middle East — oil and gas. And then they find out that we have it all right here. We don’t have to do that. If their argument there is “Well, we don’t want to use oil and gas because we think it pollutes” — which it doesn’t — but if that’s their argument, then why are we willing to import it from Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Middle East?"
James Inhofe, who doesn't believe in global warming or even air pollution.

Taking A Stand Against Wise Latinas

WASHINGTON — The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday voted to approve
Sonia Sotomayor as the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice over nearly solid
Republican opposition, paving the way for a historic confirmation vote next

The panel voted 13-6 in favor of Sotomayor, with just one Republican,
Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, joining Democrats to support her. The
nearly party-line tally masked deeper political divisions within GOP ranks about
confirming President Barack Obama's first high court nominee.

This will surely put the Republicans over the top in 2010 - as long as only white older males are voting. If anyone else weighs in, it's another two years of supermajority for the current weasels. Don't forget to publicly blame Michael Steele for this, boys!

Health Care Reform is Dead To Me Now

I don't think Americans are capable of it. As the bills work their way through congress, all the things Americans want are being taken out, and curiously everything the health and insurance industries are getting in. When the final bill arrives on the President's desk in mid-January, it will contain a mandatory insurance requirement with a guaranteed annual 10% rate hike. The costs will drive a number of businesses to outsource to countries where wages are lower AND health care is paid for by the governement. My antipathy towards congress is stronger than ever. The senate, a little less.

I'm done. Now I'm going to bust up this soapbox for firewood and move on to other corners.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Shona Holmes Might Have Been Killed By Canadian Health Care!

Or not. Just to catch up, who is Shona Holmes? Ontario woman who claims she was forced by Ontario's health system to go to the United States for life-saving surgery for a brain tumour. She claims that in 2005 delays in access to treatment at home made it necessary to go to the Mayo Clinic in Arizona and pay $97,000 for her care.
Yeah, she's all over the place, pointing out the tragically high mortality rates of Canadians, who are dropping like flies as they wait for their gangrene amputations. People who had heart attacks 5 years ago are still waiting for a checkup in Canada!

Then again...
On the Mayo Clinic's website, Shona Holmes is a success story. But it's somewhat different story than all the headlines might have implied. Holmes' "brain tumour" was actually a Rathke's Cleft Cyst on her pituitary gland. To quote an American source, the John Wayne Cancer Center, "Rathke's Cleft Cysts are not true tumors or neoplasms; instead they are benign cysts."

There's no doubt Holmes had a problem that needed treatment, and she was given appointments with the appropriate specialists in Ontario. She chose not to wait the few months to see them. But it's a far cry from the life-or-death picture portrayed by Holmes on the TV ads or by McConnell in his attacks.

In Senator Mitch McConnell's home state of Kentucky, one out of three people under age 65 do not have any health insurance. They don't have to worry about wait times for hip or knee replacement or cancer surgery -- they can't get care. The media household income in Kentucky is $37,186 -- not quite enough for the $97,000 bill at the Mayo Clinic.
I usually don't quote editorials here, but I'm willing to go a little out of my way for Canadians, because they're more trustworthy than the rest of us.

This Bud's For Everyone

There are three people wrapped up in the Henry Louis Gates arrest and arguably they all acted sub-optimally. Gates should have cooperated with police and not raised his voice. The arresting officer should have concluded there was no crime and let Gates off with a reminder that he was there for Gate's protection. President Obama should have sensibly declined to comment on the issue.

So they're all getting together at the White House for a beer.

I see this as a business meeting. They go in, and before the mics and cameras are turned on, everyone agrees that unless they walk away saying nice things about each other, they're all going to look like jerks. Then, beer. Then conciliatory statements. Whatever happens, they better drink domestic.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

More Non-Racism: Not Elected Officials this Time!

Oh, fine, if you want context. Anyway, I'm overreacting. It's not about racism, it's about health care! Remember during the nineties, all those funny cartoons depicting Hillary Clinton as a witch doctor? Exact same thing here.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What Is This Thing Called Obama

I was listening to Obama's press conference last night as I drove out to Beverly Hills to see Jeff Goldblum play piano at a hip lounge there. Goldblum is beside the point. Focus, people! I will confess that despite my reservations about the health care bill, I found Obama' remarks unsurprising but comforting. It was a variation on the usual "chill out bitches, I got this" that characterize most of Obama's public appearances.

But I've taken some heat at Where Are My Keys lately for being a guy who knee-jerk approves everything Obama says and does, and I'm a little self conscious about that. It was suggested that I'm like those crazy 27% of Bush approvers, the ones who held on as the rest of the nations peeled away. I fear there may be some truth to that. I have criticized Obama 'round these parts, but only because I thought he was being too much like Bush, or holding on to too much of the Bush policy legacy. And I certainly never bad mouth the President over at WAMK, because it'd be the strategy equivalent of diving into a shark tank and jabbing my thigh with a pen knife.

Sooner or later, as Obama compromises more and more towards Republican policies, I may likely write him off like that last handful of Republicans wrote off Bush after TARP. So there is an end in sight. On the other hand, I don't see a similar reversal happening on the other side. No matter how much Obama upholds conservative policies in the future, I can't imagine these guys budging. Some will proudly agree with me, others will claim that they're going to be open minded, but actions will speak louder than words on this.

Goldblum, by the way, plays a mean jazz piano. However, he has the weirdest body language of any musician I've ever seen save Joe Cocker.

Michael Bay's Directorial Style, Boiled Down to Its Essence

Put twelve jugglers in a room. Have them jabber at each other. Then hire a cameraman to run at top speed around the jugglers for 2 hours and 10 minutes. Every 12 minutes, set off firecrackers. At the two hour mark, set off lots of firecrackers.

For the quiet parts, have one of the jugglers sit it out for a few.

Transformers II now playing at a multiplex near you!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


The President goes before cameras pretty soon and will take another stab at unscaring America about health care reform. The bill isn't even written yet but I gotta tell you, if it looks anything like the current bill by the time they vote for it, Obama would be wise to veto it and start over in 2011.

We don't need insurance sold by the government. We need universal health care, health care run as a service like the police and fire department. We need, essentially to pay $100 more to taxes and $300 less to insurance companies.

We need to screw the insurance companies. I can't put it any plainer than that. They can still have auto and homeowners and life, that's fine. Because I can live my life without driving and I could rent, but if I don't visit doctors, I'm probably dead at 50. I wouldn't even know I had a cholesterol problem if I had to pay full price for checkups. I am for free market solutions except in cases where the market offers you a choice between using their product or DEATH. I don't like to negotiate if I can't walk away from the deal. If I have to be carried away from the deal that's even worse.

Americans pay twice as much per capita for medical care than any other nation, and a lot of that money goes to employees who are earning bonuses by finding ways to avoid paying for care that you thought were buying. Afraid that socialized medicine will stop you from getting to choose your doctor? In the past ten years I have been forced to change doctors 5 times, and had no doctor for an aggregate of 5 months.

If Obama can get a health care system set up like in all the other major industrialized countries, he will have achieved lasting savings AND made everybody's lives better. Which is why, when you see Republicans fighting to keep Blue Cross executives from losing their bonuses, you should remember that their agenda is to keep Obama from looking good. It's NOT to help America.

Unless you believe that Obama serving a second term is a worse disaster than anything else, of course. But I'm going cover that concept in a different entry.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sotomayor Confirmation Proves It!

I've been beating this drum about Republicans and racism and here comes another clue - it looks like quite a few of them are going to vote for someone they have publicly said is a racist, to be on the Supreme court. I mean, they're being blatant about it!

Sure some senators with spotless reputations on race relations, like Jeff Sessions, are willing to speak up against her. I hope he's not lynched!

Liberals Find Something Else to Blame on Bush

Teenage pregnancies and syphilis have risen sharply among a generation of American school girls who were urged to avoid sex before marriage under George Bush's evangelically-driven education policy, according to a new report by the US's major public health body.

In a report that will surprise few of Bush's critics on the issue, the Centres for Disease Control says years of falling rates of teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted disease infections under previous administrations were reversed or stalled in the Bush years. According to the CDC, birth rates among teenagers aged 15 or older had been in decline since 1991 but are up sharply in more than half of American states since 2005. The study also revealed that the number of teenage females with syphilis has risen by nearly half after a significant decrease while a two-decade fall in the gonorrhea infection rate is being reversed. The number of Aids cases in adolescent boys has nearly doubled.

-The Guardian

As though teens would react this way toward abstinence programs and a campaign to limit access to condoms. Everybody knows that if you tell a teenager not to have sex, they'll obey you without question! Besides, Bush TRIED to slow down teen pregancy rates.

Operating System Follies, Part 24

Again with the reformatting of my Dell Mini 9 computer. It took the better part of a Sunday but I finally pulled the trigger on something I've been wanting since I bought the damn thing in March - I am running Mac OSX on my tiny netbook. I'd show you a picture of it in action but a: it's boring, and b: I can't turn the webcam on my screen, because it's built in.

I'd have done this long ago but it's a little elaborate. Apple doesn't want its OS running on non Apple hardware, so the first thing you have to do is fool the installer disk into working with the Dell. Fortunately this is accomplished with a free hack, but to run the hack I had to pay for the following:

External disk drive, because the Netbook rightly doesn't include one
Internal 32 gig Solid State Drive, because the netbook shipped with 8 gigs. Which was plenty for Linux, but Linux looks like 1995.
2 gig RAM - come on, RAM is cheap.
OSX - would have cost me $100 and change, had I not already owned a copy.
A Sunday afternoon - then again it was 100 degrees out there, so it's good that I had an excuse to say in.

I've used Windows 7 and OSX on this device and I have to say for a variety of reasons, OSX is much better. It's snappier. It takes OSX about 5 seconds to awake from sleep vs 40 seconds for Windows 7. The rest of the system is similarly elfin and sprightly. And because I subscribe to the pricey .mac service, everything synchronizes automatically so now the netbook already knows all my bookmarks and passwords and email accounts. I'm a happier man than I was this time last week.

Windows 7 looked a little better and shipped with great games, but I can DOWNLOAD games man.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sarah Palin Reveals Why She Quit, Via Twitter!

See below, an actual tweet from her Twitter account. She wants to be able to send more tweets! I bet she winds up spending too much time playing Mafia Wars on Facebook too.

elected is replaceable;Ak WILL progress! + side benefit=10 dys til less politically correct twitters fly frm my fingertps outside State site

Friday, July 17, 2009


Enjoy this mind-bending mockup of what Apple's web page would have looked like in 1979, if there had been web pages. Or a web.

Racism Round Up

Are Republicans racist? Sure some of them. And from a commenter at Wonkette, here's a helpful list.

September 29: Danny Funderburk, mayor of Fort Mill, South Carolina (sent out an email claiming the Bible says the Antichrist will be a person of Muslim extraction, meaning Obama)

October 16: Diane Fedele, president of the Chaffey (California) Community Republican Women (included “Obama Bucks” with pictures of watermelon and fried chicken on them in her group’s newsletter)

December 25: Chip Saltsman, former chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party and candidate for RNC chairman (sent out a “Christmas gift” containing a Youtube video about “Barack the Magic Negro”)

February 5: Carol Carter, Republican state committeewoman from Hillsborough County, Florida (sent out an email asking, “How can 2,000,000 blacks get into Washington, DC in 1 day in sub zero temps when 200,000 couldn’t get out of New Orleans in 85 degree temps with four days notice?”)

February 25: Dean Grose, mayor of Los Alamitos, California (emailed around a picture of watermelons growing on the White House lawn)

March 12: Boyd Austin, mayor of Dallas, Georgia (suggested on his Facebook status that Obama give the British prime minister a gift of malt liquor and cigarettes)

June 2: Diann Jones, a vice chairman of the Collin County (Texas) Republican Party (sent an email about how Obama is plotting against Americans from his office in the “Black House” because Texas state lawmakers were considering a tax on firearms purchases)

June 14: Rusty DePass, South Carolina GOP activist (said an escaped gorilla from a local zoo was a relative of Michelle Obama’s)

June 16: Sherri Goforth, executive assistant for Tennessee Republican State Rep. Diane Black (sent around a picture of all the presidents where Obama is just goggle eyes against a black background)

July 17: Gary Frago, city councilman in Atwater, California (sent a whole lot of emails full of racist jokes about Obama to everybody he knew)
Oh, that last one... let's catch up.

ATWATER -- In the past several months Atwater City Councilman Gary Frago has sent at least a half-dozen e-mails to city staff and other prominent community members containing racist jokes aimed at President Barack Obama, his wife and black people in general.

In all, the Sun-Star obtained seven e-mails that Frago sent from October 2008 to February 2009 from an anonymous source.

Some compared Obama to O.J. Simpson while others suggested that "nigger rigs" should now be called "presidential solutions."

Perhaps the most overboard e-mail was sent on Jan. 15. It read: "Breaking News Playboy just offered Sarah Palin $1 million to pose nude in the January issue. Michelle Obama got the same offer from National Geographic."

Frago admitted sending the e-mails, but showed no regret. "If they're from me, then I sent them," he said. "I have no disrespect for the president or anybody, they weren't meant in any bad way or harm."
The Merced Sun thoughtfully provides a PDF of the emails! I haven't opened it but I'm sure Frago followed each joke with a note reminding readers that these are jokes that someone sent to him, and they should not be laughed at because they are horribly, horribly racist.

Well, the one thing that Republicans can take comfort in is that this kind of behavior is it only occurs at the small, grassroots level. Prominent Republicans treat are always deferential to minorities, and that's why they'll win their support at the next round of elections. Once that get that loser Michael Steele outta there.

Oh and don't get me started on Pat Buchanan.

Left Maybe Not So Angry, Eh?

The title of an email I just got from Air America Media:

Rush Limbaugh Takes Another Shot On The Chin

How could they have walked away from the obvious line? Which would be, for the humor impaired: RUSH LIMBAUGH TAKES ANOTHER SHOT ON THE CHINS. See?

To be fair, the desperate and frustrated resort to those kinds of petty bon mots, and the left is still doing just fine at the moment.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


I am frequently impressed by the ingenuity displayed by people in business. I have two examples in mind today, both involving clever advertising and prostitution. Let me add that while I have known a prostitute, I have never KNOWN a prostitute, if you can smell what the Rock is cookin’.  So my interest is academic.

First, the occasion of my seeing a billboard for HUSTLER CASINO on the way over here. Gambling is illegal in California, except on Native American Reservations. And prostitution is illegal everywhere in the state. However, by buying a stake in a native American Casino and branding it, Larry Flynt is de-facto implying, “hey, this place is just like in Vegas! And you know what that means!” And though I haven’t driven out to Gardena I bet he’s right. Thus, they are cleverly advertising a service that they can’t even say exists.

However this is pretty weak sauce compared to a website I ran across a few weeks ago. Again remember that having sex for money is illegal; UNLESS you are producing pornographic entertainment. This company is running a “star in your own porno” ring. I’d link to it if I could remember the address, but it’s Encino based, and Encino is Reseda-adjacent. Reseda, 30 years after BOOGIE NIGHTS, is still mecca for porno.

So the pitch is, you can shoot a scene with one of their four “starlets” for only $150 (or some amount) and then they’ll release it on a compilation. If you want to shoot a scene JUST FOR YOURSELF, no public release, then it’s another $50. I suppose if you’d like them to shoot the scene and then just delete it, it’s even more.

Brilliant! Unless you’re a guy who wants to pay for sex but is also camera-shy. Or a celebrity.

And again if you’re thinking what I assume you are: I am not camera-shy, but it bugs me that I have to pay for a HAIRCUT. So put that idea outta your head.

Take The Money And Run

Governer Rick Perry of Texas is asking the federal government for a loan.

Texas has known for months that the funds to pay unemployed Texans were running dry."The balance is depleting faster than we expected," Texas Workforce Commission officer Ann Hatchitt said.Texas is now asking the federal government for a $170 million loan so that benefits keep getting paid.
Rick Perry... where have I heard that name before? Oh yeah!

Governor Rick Perry rejected federal stimulus money that would have replenished the fund. Perry said the stimulus would have expanded eligibility and cost more to business owners in the long run. Many are now questioning that decision.

"That $555 million would that would have come with the stimulus money wouldn't have to be paid back to the federal government and that would have saved business taxpayers money for the next 20 years," said Rep. Mark Strama, D-Austin.
Rick Perry hates business, and endorses deficit spending! Wait a minute... that clever bastard! I forgot that he is also the guy who keeps threatening to secede from the union and make Texas a separate landlocked nation! Obviously his plan is to borrow the money, then secede, then just forget to pay it back. He doesn't want it for unemployment benefits at all - he's stealing for moving costs!

I bet the second he's done, he changes Texas' phone number so the US can't call and say, "hey, where's my money dude?" He'll probably give the number to Florida but make them promise to keep it a secret.

Texas - once jewel of the American West, now America's deadbeat cousin.

Goldman Sachs Ruins Everything

Even on Wall Street, the land of six- and seven-figure incomes, jaws dropped at the news on Tuesday: After all that federal aid, a resurgent Goldman Sachs is on course to dole out bonuses that could rival the record paydays of the heady bull-market years.

Goldman posted the richest quarterly profit in its 140-year history and, to the envy of its rivals, announced that it had earmarked $11.4 billion so far this year to compensate its workers.

...But Goldman’s sudden good fortune, coming only a month after the bank repaid billions of bailout dollars, raises questions for Washington policy makers. Goldman, analysts warned, is embracing financial risks that many of its competitors are unable or unwilling to take. While Goldman managed those risks this time, its strategy could backfire if the markets turn against it.

-New York Times

Sure I'm a little queasy about those huge bonuses, but this story appeals to me because it makes hash of an awful lot of Right Wing Talking Points. Stimulus money being thrown down a pit and we'll never see it again? Nope, we got this paid back, and fast. Business not allowed to pay back stimulus funds? Nope. Economy being made worse by stimulus? Apparently not. Obama using funds to control the rich? The rich, obviously, remain as uncontrollable as ever.

Oh how I wish I had cable so I could watch Hannity tonight and see him humbly admit that he was wrong.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I Have Run Out Of Ideas

In lieu of an idea: Sammy Davis Jr. sings Hawaii 5-0.

I’ll have ideas tomorrow. Check back then.

Even I Don't Think Solar Power Is Good For EVERYTHING

This for example. I'm sorry, but the solar lamp is an idea whose time will probably never come.

(h/t Gizmodo)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Went out to Malibu last night, took pictures of her. This is one of my favorites.

Actions Have... Never Mind

A week or two ago I was batting around the Mark Sanford scandal, and one of my Republican correspondants said, "well at least we drum out OUR scoundrels!" No, he didn't use the word scoundrel. I can't remember what he said exactly, but that was the gist. So let's see:

Mark Sanford - he's so out of office now! Except he's not quitting. And it looks increasingly unlikely that he will. Argentina is not a bridge too far, after all.

John Ensign - permission to jump ship? No, cap'n! Maybe he was going to quit but his parents forbade it, after having invested so much money in his job already.

Larry Craig - He's out! He's totally out! Man, is that guy out! Of office I mean. However, he left due to term limits.

I was going to say that no Republican quits when they're involved in an ethics imbroglio, but those kinds of generalizations are usually wrong.

Wow this is pretty snarky, even for me! I blame the material.

Monday, July 13, 2009

First Things First

The Senate is rapidly approaching its summer recess, and there is so much legislation to complete before then! Pressing issues that affect us all include our economy, health care reform, even environmental issues. Still, wise lawmakers prioritize:

Senate Republicans have introduced legislation to ban the creation of human-animal hybrids.

Led by Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), 19 Republicans and 1 Democrat introduced a bill yesterday that would prevent U.S. researchers from developing embryos that use both human and animal material, a controversial practice underway in the UK.

Brownback has long been an opponent of stem cell research and human cloning, yet the idea of human-animal hybrids has gotten little media attention.

"What was once only science fiction is now becoming a reality, and we need to ensure that experimentation and subsequent ramifications do not outpace ethical discussion and societal decisions," Brownback said last year when he introduced similar legislation. "History does not look kindly on those who violate the dignity of the human person."

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), the only Democratic co-sponsor, has taken a similarly hardline stance against what she called "blending" of species.

"Here in the United States, we simply cannot open the door to the unethical blending of humans and animals, which the British government seems intent on doing," Landrieu said the last time she introduced similar legislation. "It creates an unnatural species and is a clear line we cannot cross."

The legislation, S. 1435, has garnered 20 co-sponsors so far, including John McCain and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)
I never got that upset at Bush's stem-cell research funding ban, because it didn't ban the research itself. It just left it up to free enterprise to fund it. This, on the other hand...

A. What the hell kind of code is Human Animal Hybrid for? What are they trying to say to the base that I don't understand? Because I don't see an army of centaurs being an especially pressing problem, even among the normal talking points. It doesn't, for example, advance the rising tide of SOCIALISM if some of the socialists are horse-people.

B. Why NOT human/animal hybrids? If there is a commercial demand for GMO crops, let's sell 'em. If people decide they want dogs with hands, let's get 'em out in time for Christmas.

It's Not Wrestling, It's Closer To High School Wrestling

Today marks the start of the Sotomayor confirmation hearings. I'm listening now as I blog and enjoy my morning yogurt. Now usually congressional hearings are a big puppet show, the definition of political theatre. They feign to be asking questions so they can get answers and determine a course of action based on those. And of course, normally, they have already determined the course of action a week or so before, or they're getting the answers they really need off the record, behind the scenes, under the counter. What we see is the congressional equivalent of Hulk Hogan vs the Undertaker. Psst - Hulk is gonna win!

However, sometimes the event provides useful information the congress critters. The hearings are not for these guys to learn more about Sotomayor - they did that research a long time ago. The new information they're getting is going to be from us.

Sometimes when you are holding the Undertaker in a hammerlock, you play the crowd. You listen to the response - it builds, it crests, it falls, then you let the Undertaker go. The fun part of this hearing is going to be watching the questions as the week goes on. Democrats will probably remain about the same tone-wise, but there's potential for Republicans to get less civil or more civil, and for the confirmation vote to be less or more monolithic, depending on how we react.

So in other words, at least it's INTERACTIVE political theatre.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

An Easy Way To Get Your Fifteen Minutes of Fame

Complain about digital TV service.

Listen to this week's LeShow (as I write this the show is on so it's not available online, but it will be soon at this link) and in the first five minutes, there's Harry reading emails from people across the nation complaining about the digital switchover. I'm the last email.

Okay, I'm going to fire up the TV and watch bootlegged TORCHWOOD episodes now.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Freaks Vs. The Establishment

Like a lot of people who are interested in American politics, I'm reliving the culture wars of the late sixties. And to my credit, I give both sides a chance.

Narrowing down further, my internet radio tastes run almost exclusively to two stations: and Technicolor Web Of Sound. Both focus on music from the late sixties/early seventies. Technicolor Web has the narrower mission, psychedelia all the time. Admittedly they pepper it (pepper! ha ha!) with period commercials and newscasts, and the playlist is about 20% sunny, undruggy pop but for the most part it’s a real trip, man. It’s the obscurities that all the cool kids listened to in college, before they went on to run America into the ground.

Those kids would have hated, hated the fare on Luxuria Music. Though the playlist is a bit more adventurous the meat and potatoes of these guys is easy listening/lounge music. Got a hankering for Enoch Light? Martin Denny? 101 Strings? Pour yourself a highball and come on in! Ever since SWINGERS came out I’ve been enamored of easy listening music. It’s top musicians working at the the peak of their powers to produce a dubious result, which is fascinating.

And the Luxuria people know that people like me don’t have the patience to take this stuff straight, which is why they find as many examples as they can of the aesthetic pushed too far. Last night I heard the theme to Bonanza, sung in German. In fact there is a whole three hour show on Mondays devoted to kitsch. Luxuria branches out a lot more, occasionally playing trance music and disco and garage rock. The week Michael Jackson died there were equal parts tribute shows to Jacko and Sky Saxon, lead singer of The Seeds.

If you wonder why the music business and commercial radio is on the way out, it’s because a guy like me can get everything he wants from these stations. And most of the artists they play are dead and don’t need royalties.

(h/t to April Winchell for Bonanza. I knew you wouldn’t believe it unless you heard it yourself)

Friday, July 10, 2009

CNN Poll Says Obama's Approval Has Plummeted

I don't dispute a single word in this article, and I'm still happy with it. My favorite pull quote:

Half of those questioned say the Democratic Party's control of the U.S. Congress is good for the country. Forty-one percent say it's a bad thing.

OMG, 41 percent think Democrats controlling Congress is bad! We're doomed in 2010! DOOMED!

Happy Birthday Nikola Tesla!

Ah Tesla, the Orson Welles of electricity: great reputation despite the fact that most of his efforts were failures. I bet no one ever casts Davie Bowie as Edison!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Maybe They're Kidding, But It IS a Real Movie

Or at least it will be... due for release in 2010.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

King Of Monsters

I stayed in last night. Now that I'm not married I have those kinds of options. Anyway, I stayed in, and to reward myself for cranking out a podcast and a record 4 voice acting auditions, I watched GOJIRA. I can't imagine you don't already know what that means but just in case I'll clue you in - released in Japan in 1954, the movie was a big enough success that Americans bought it, dumbed it down a little, added footage with Raymond Burr and retitled it GODZILLA, KING OF MONSTERS.

It's been probably 30 years since I saw GODZILLA and I've never seen GOJIRA until last night. It's considerably less fun than its 700 full color sequels but way, way more intelligent. Like any enduring classic, GOJIRA has allegorical elements. I didn't recognize them as a teenage geek, and I didn't much care for this dour, black and white spectacle. But I see now that Ishiro Honda, the director, went to great lengths to invoke the all-too-recent memory of the Nagasaki A-bomb attack, opening the film with a nuclear test at sea that destroys a boat and cemented by a long, solemn pan of Tokyo after Gojira's attack that makes it look exactly like the remains of Nagasaki.

For all that, the interesting thing is that the fearsome giant monster is NOT a metaphor the atom bomb. Gojira symbolizes a marauding army who must be stopped. The subtitle guys translate more than one line of dialogue as "But how do we defeat Gojira?" Not "destroy" but "defeat." The metaphor for the bomb is the Oxygen Destroyer, a weapon developed by a haunted scientist, who is wracked with anxiety over the use of his invention. Yes Gojira can be stopped by it, but once it is deployed, how can he prevent man from using it on his fellow man?

I bet one of the reasons the movie succeeded in Japan is that this scientist, unlike others one could name (*cough* Oppenheimer! *cough*) takes the trouble to destroy his notes and even himself so that the fearsome weapon can never be used again.

Like nuclear power, Gojira could not be stopped. He (she, as it turns out) kept coming back again and again in sequels. And turned out to be as much a force for good as harm! Once in a while, the metaphor reared its head again - check out GODZILLA VS THE SMOG MONSTER - but for the most part the series became the cinematic equivalent of Big Time Wrestling. Who knew that Tokyo was so easy to rebuild? It's like they made it outta cardboard or somethin'!

I think it is time for me to check out MOTHRA again. I bet there's some serious symbolic meat in there.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


My friends on the right have made much of this graph:

The light blue line is the prediction of where unemployment would be without the stimulus, according to the Obama administration in February when they were selling the plan. The dark blue line is the prediction of where it would be WITH the plan. The dotted line: how things have actually played out.

Why should we BELIEVE these people, my friends on the right cry. The stimulus has only made things worse!

Here's my mitigating factors now, and please wait to call me a stoopid moran until I finish.

  1. The prediction was made, obviously, before the stimulus bill passed. And while it's true that no Republicans voted for it, the REASON they gave for not voting for it was that it spent too much money on jobs for people. Money was shuttled from job creation to tax cuts. These same Republicans are complaining now that the stimulus hasn't yet produced any jobs. And also participating in Tea Parties because they don't believe there were any tax cuts.
  2. There's no way of knowing if, say, suspending tax collection for a couple of years would have produced more jobs by now. And if you're selling less (which is inevitable if people are spending less, and they will be because they don't have jobs) then you're paying less taxes anyway.
  3. The curve of that graph, you'll notice, goes beyond this month. It's early. Stop screaming.
Okay, done! Tell me I'm and idiot and don't explain why.

People in Hollywood Are Geniuses

From today's Hollywood Reporter:

Remember View-Master, the Fisher-Price toy with those little 3D picture discs of mountains, rivers and caverns that you could rotate through a viewfinder? Well, DreamWorks is in negotiations to acquire movie rights to the toy from Mattel (which owns Fisher-Price) and has asked Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci to do some "Transformers"-style magic on it.

Brad Caleb Kane, who worked as a writer-producer on the duo's Fox series "Fringe," is on board to write the screenplay. Kurtzman and Orci would produce.
It's incredible that no one saw the action potential of staring into plastic faux-binoculars until now, innit?

Monday, July 06, 2009

Hope You Had A Great Weekend

I actually stayed in on Independence Day. It was partially to declare my independence, and partially to recover from heat stroke and regain my hearing after an evening in Culver City enjoying Peace Frog, a Doors cover band. Had a great time, and I even don't regret missing the Freddie Mercury cover band a few blocks over.

I also feared running into one of the hundreds and thousands of massive Tea Party protests that happened all across the nation. After all, I LIKE taxes. They'd have shot me.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Now There’s Somethin’ You Don’t See Every Day

Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, July 3, 2009; 4:06 PM

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) announced this afternoon she will resign from office on July 26 and return to private life, a stunning decision by last year's Republican vice presidential candidate to leave office before the end of her first term.

See it coming? I didn’t.

So what is Sarah up to? Possibly resigning full time to prepare a run for president in 2012, of course. But then again dumping the news late Friday on a holiday weekend… potentially there is a scandal coming down the pike that she wants to be ahead of. Also I suppose it’s the first harbinger of the good news that she got a lucrative FoxNews deal and wants to avoid conflicts of interest.

Pure speculation on my part, I admit. All of it. Probably won’t hear any more until Monday.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


"It doesn't matter your background, your demographics, your race, your political affiliation, it's such a uniting, healthy, fun, awesome activity. It cracks me up going to some running event and seeing some dude who campaigned so hard against me, or a lady who's been blogging some mean comments about me. But we're all there together and we're smiling and we're having a good time because we're going to do something healthy and active. We need more of that."

Amen, Sister.

Hey, are you LEANING on an UNFOLDED FLAG?! Is that how the real Americans behave nowadays?

God Has Forsaken Republicans

The only opinion poll that matters: eight years ago George Bush averred that he ran for President because God wanted him in office. But look at this World Net Daily interview with "Joe" the "Plumber":

Asked if he has plans to run for public office, he replied, "I hope not. You know, I talked to God about that and he was like, 'No.'"

He continued, "I believe he's gotten me on this grassroots movement. If I can encourage leaders to step up, that's what I would like to do. That's a heavy role. That's something I don't know if I am prepared to do yet."

But Wurzelbacher said he will keep that door open if God ever calls him to be that leader.
That's right, even God himself is telling those cats to lay low for a while. And after all they've done for him! You know what, I think God is a RINO. He should be kicked out of the party.

Lawyers Ain't Cheap

Al Franken wants your money again.

Another reason why this whole 8 month recount thing was mighty irresponsible. Presumably there is another letter floating around to take care of Coleman's bills; but we may never see it because it's only going to Rupert Murdoch and Richard Mellon-Scaife.

(h/t Wonkette)