Saturday, September 01, 2007

If You Want To Know What It's Like to Slide Into an Alternate Universe, Watch Five Minutes of Fox News

"Look, to send more money in there -- and that's all the people in New Orleans ask for, 'Just send us more money.' That's what Louisiana's for, 'Just send us more money.' -- They don't have their act together. You still have a completely corrupt police department and law enforcement system and criminal justice system and dysfunctional political community and an absence of strong leaders and so on. It is a recipe for wasting money."
-- Fred Barnes, The Beltway Boys

Literally one minute later, Barnes was defending funding the Maliki government in Iraq.

I haven't seen any polls on this, but I suspect that an overwhelming portion of the American public blames the Bush Administration for the failure of New Orleans to be rebuilt. Now that's partly a press problem, but it's also a Bush problem, and it's a constant Bush problem. They do not know how to rewrite the story so people understand the truth as they see it, and it's chronic.
-- Morton Kondracke, The Beltway Boys.

"The failure of New Orleans to be rebuilt"??? I'm certain Mort also blames the Lindbergh baby for "failing to not be kidnapped." Also, how has he
avoided seeing polls about Katrina?? And finally, is this how openly contemptuous of the truth Fox News has become: They want the Bush Administration to rewrite the Katrina story "so people understand the truth as they see it"?? Yikes!

"I'm sorry to see Karl Rove go. He's one of the great political minds of his generation and a very honorable guy."
-- Fred Barnes, The Beltway Boys

No comment necessary.

NBCU, Other Studios and Labels Rebel Against iTunes Flat Pricing

"...but if we cut open the goose, we can get
all the golden eggs now!"

A Mangled Beauty Contest Answer Spawns a Great PSA and a Fascinating Website...

(and a website with a lot of potential:

Friday, August 31, 2007

There Are Heroes All Around Us, If You Squint

Today, while sitting at a stop light, I noticed there had been an accident near the next corner. A man's car had been struck by another car. He was standing next to his bashed-in car, apparently waiting for the police to arrive.

And I thought, "You know what? That man is an American hero."

It's true. He's like a micro-Giuliani. His car suffered a violent attack while he happened to be in it, and he waited for the police to arrive. Oh, sure, it's his "responsibility" to do that, but he could have ignored his responsibility. He could have run away, screaming. Maybe he could have started to hop and giggle.

But he didn't. He stood next to his car, somberly inspecting the damage. He was extremely Giuliani-esque.

In my rear view mirror, I saw the police arrive. I saw him answering their questions and pointing to where the impact happened. In that moment, he was truly America's Driver.

Then I remembered a couple of weeks ago, when my air conditioning system broke down. I called the gentleman who maintains it, and described the problem. He and his assistant worked very hard to fix it. I watched, gravely. From inside. (Occasionally I ventured out, but mostly I wanted to stay out of the way of these first responders.)

And when the time came to write a check, my fellow Americans, I wrote that check.

(Ich bin ein guter kunde!)

I am proud to say I behaved the way Rudy Giuliani did on 9/11. I did the very least expected of me, and I did it visibly.

I am an American Hero.

Like Smart on Rice

Lynette Rice of Entertainment Weekly is easily the smartest Big Brother pundit out there. She understands the game so perfectly that, if I were going to go on the show, I'd hire her to coach me for a couple of months prior.

But I have to disagree with her when it comes to Jen. Lynette has praised Jen for her ability to let insults "roll right off her" and pitied her for her "deer in headlights" look when she was insulted.

I actually think Lynette missed the point: Jen was making the same face on all those occasions. The exact same idiotic half-smile, slightly open.

You know when you excitedly open a gift in front of the giver, and when you get the wrapping off you realize it's not nearly as good a gift as you expected? And for the moment it takes for you to process it and choose a reaction you're stuck with the ghost of your smile and a dazed expression?

That's Jen's face all the time.

Call her a whore? Same face. Give her ice cream? Same face.

Hit her on the head with a frying pan? Please do!

There's a name for this: flat affect. In Jen's case, I think it points to either autism or psychopathy. Probably the latter, since in her own words, "I'm not good at the 'feeling bad' thing." And also there was the photo tantrum.

Bugs Bunny would have said it best: Screw + Ball = Jen

You Bitches Best Give God His Money, Yo

"God is so gangsta, that's what I love about him. That's why I ain't trippin'."

-- Jameka of Big Brother 8, who is actually almost constantly trippin', and also doesn't seem to know that "gangsta" isn't a compliment.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Amber Wants to Be a Motivational Speaker. Don't Everyone Line Up At Once.

I so wish it weren't against the rules for Amber to take calls on tomorrow's House Calls with Gretchen Massey. If we were allowed to phone in, I would put on my most booming and stern voice and call in as follows:

"Hi, Gretchen, this is the Lord, God. First time, long time...

"Uh, hey, Amber? I just wanted to let you know My plan was for you to win the whole thing, but then you started talking trash about My Chosen People, so I nixed that.

"But then I felt bad, 'cause you're kind of a loser, so I arranged it so you could win ten thousand dollars on Power of Ten... but you screwed that pooch, too.

"Oh, and by the way? You know how every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings? Well, every time someone cries for no reason, someone else gets cancer. And every time someone says My name in vain? A child breaks a bone. So I hope you had a good summer, douchebag.

"One more thing... What would you say if I told you that you will die in a terrorist bombing sometime in the next two years, and that afterward and forever everyone will think you were the terrorist? And I'll take my answer off the air. Thank you!"

Did This Email Come From Trio, or From Senator Craig?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

"I'm Not Gay!"... Known in Legal Circles as "The Johnny LaRue Defense"

Even funnier than Craig's angry multiple "I'm not gay"-ing...

Even funnier than his explanation that he has a "wide stance" and that in the two months between arrest and pleading guilty he didn't have time to consider the consequences of his plea...

Even funnier than his blaming a newspaper for his plea...

... is this clip, which I could watch over and over. Craig's leer at the end -- and Chris Matthews' face -- puts this in the Little Superstar/Dramatic Prairie Dog echelon.

The sideshow to this circus has been the Republican talking point that it was "outrageous" and "indefensible" for a newspaper to conduct an investigation into the private life of a Senator, even if he lied about being gay. That his sexual orientation is nobody's business, and should have no impact on his career.

Didn't these same Republicans say that Bill Clinton's lying about his sex life was a federal case (literally)? Didn't they defend years of investigation, at a cost of millions of taxpayer dollars?

And if sexual orientation is nobody's business for a Senator, shouldn't it be nobody's business for a soldier? Or a sailor or a Marine or an airman? Or an Arabic translator? Or a teacher? Or an actor?

And finally, in the geek show area on the midway, we have Tucker Carlson, who appeared on Dan Abrams' show and managed to mix hypocrisy and homophobia into a giddy cocktail.

I don't know what's more hilarious: Tucker's trying to convince himself and us that this "experience" he had is "common" (it's not), or his deadly earnestness about how awful it was (was it really?), or his pathetic macho posturing.

He appears to be confesssing to gaybashing on national TV. To a lawyer. Who is also his boss!

But seriously, do you really think Tucker and his friend went back and gaybashed the guy? The idea is so ludicrous that Abrams and Joe Scarborough can't help but laugh in Tucker's red face. What probably happened is he ran crying -- and probably semi-erect -- to a cop, who had to buy him ice cream to calm him down.

And as you leave the parking lot, pass through our Museum of Hypocrisy, Mark Foley Wing:

For His Soul is Hollow and He Has Touched Bottom

I have been stunned that anyone is prepared to accept Michael Vick's "contrition."

He apologized for doing something that was "immature."


Immature is making prank phone calls. Immature is ordering multiple pizzas for a stranger.

Killing dogs with your bare hands is not immature. It's sadistic and sick.

Some say we need to understand his "cultural background" or the "subculture" that gave him his values.

If there's a "subculture" in America that says it's okay to electrocute or hang dogs, then we need to stamp it out. People come to this country from "subcultures" that practice human sacrifice or brutal female circumcision. We don't tolerate or excuse those practices.

People: Forget the dogfighting and the gambling and the lying.

He killed dogs.

And if anyone compares this to the NFL's mild treatment of wife-beaters, I would say this:

1. The NFL's past laxity doesn't excuse future laxity.

2. Killing a dog is worse than beating a person, because a person has the capability of walking out or picking up a phone or moving to another city or whatever. A person is not chained in the yard while he/she is being beaten.

And a dog, up until the moment you kill him, is only trying to please you. That's what makes it so sick.