Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Beating around the Bushes

The GOP showcases the flawless Bush family. And Arnie.

NEW YORK (NRAA)--The Republicans continued their prime-time parade of moderates tonight at the 2004 RNC. Here are some of the highlights, if you can call them that:

Ah-nuld vaz great, as we all expected. He was particularly exciting at the end of his speech when, standing against a blood-red backdrop, he led a chant of "Four moa yeas! Four moa yeas!" as delegates pumped their fists. It was very tasteful. Nothing at all Nazi about that. The monotone-macho way in which Arnold led the cheer reminded me of an early episode of "King of the Hill," when Hank, Bill, Dale and Boomhauer take the deserted streets on Halloween (in protest of the Bible-thumpers who have banned trick-or-treat) and chant, "Trick. Or. Treat. Trick. Or. Treat."

The best moment of the Arnold speech was when CBS splashed his name on the screen: "Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, (R) California." It looked like one of those fabricated clips that they used to show in the "RoboCop" movies and TV show to lampoon the future. Yet, here he is! In reality! Creepy...


I put da FREEZE on Gray Davis! Posted by Hello

The Bush twins, Jenna and Barbara, looked and sounded very hot as usual, but their routine was ICE COLD. I genuinely couldn't tell if was scripted or ad-libbed (I veered heavily toward ad-libbed, but then I noticed Barbara bumble a line and start it over like a telemarketer losing her place). I did, however, enjoy the fact that the Bush twins seem a little antagonistic toward their elders. Didn't there seem to be a very real friction subtext beneath the good-natured ribbings?

To Barbara the grandmother: "She...is...not hip! She thinks 'Sex and the City' is something you do behind closed doors." Barbara then leaned over to George Sr. as if to ask, "Well, what else is it?"

About their parents: "They have affectionate nicknames for each other: Bushie!"

At least the parents and grandparents took it well. I guess they're used to that sort of thing by now. Hell, the twins even made fun of themselves, something that actually shocked me. Overall, they didn't seem comfortable in their own skins. (Insert your own pick-up line here.)


The First Twins Posted by Hello

The George Double-U we saw tonight was really in his element. Then again, he's always liked softball, dressing in denim and having very little to say. Like with his daughters, I couldn't tell if he was off-the-cuff, being that he managed to keep the sputtering to a minimum (two parts per phrase instead of the usual five). So I don't know. He introduced his wife, Laura "The Lucky Librarian" Bush, by saying that she has been making him happy ever since she first said "Yes" back in the day. Which made me wonder if she ever made him happy before that, and if not, why he would have bothered proposing to her.


She looked better than this Posted by Hello

Laura Bush then walked on stage, ahead of her cue, and delivered what Dan Rather would ambiguously call "a barn-burner of a speech." Laura offered some of the best tidbits of the night, [mostly exact] quotes I hope will spread like a bad rash through the blogosphere. Judging by some of the things she said, I suspect that Laura's speech wasn't vetted by the GOP. Would they really have let her say these things in public? I mean, check out the ambiguity!

On Medicare: "We've done it." Spoken like a true mobster.

On the Constitution: "Our founding fathers gave us this perfect document. It took us 100 years to remove slavery, and 84 years ago today, women got the right to vote." Compare her second sentence to the first. Perfect, eh?

Laura Bush also waxed philosophical on the rigors and heartache of war:

On a man whose wife is fighting in Iraq: "He ruined three loads of laundry and learned that, once something bleeds pink, it stays pink."

After mentioning a letter she received from a U.S. soldier in Iraq: "We learned some lessons we didn't want to know."

On her husband's battle experiences: "I've seen him return salutes to soldiers ruined in battle."

Said right after talking about soldiers away from home: "Our daughters came home from school, and I'm so glad they're home with me."

On experiencing, firsthand, the tragedy of loss in wartime: "We lost our dog, Spot, but Barney still keeps us entertained."

On better days: "A better day is before us." [I'd have to agree with her on that one.]

Finally, Laura closed by riffing on her husband George Dubya: "He's still the same man I met at a backyard barbecue in Midland, Texas."


Not too difficult to believe, really. Posted by Hello

As for the crowd? Well, it was diverse, apparently.

My first-ever incoherent post

As I said before, I vow to report a little more on the Republican National Convention. That is, if I can actually force myself to watch the damn thing. I had a night class last night (a good time to have a night class, don't you think?), and I got home just in time to see John McCain dissing Michael Moore--and then, shockingly enough, Michael Moore's reaction!

1) John McCain is officially a GOP whore. For the past few years, I'd been giving him the benefit of the doubt. Hah! Now that he's pimping for the same people who screwed him sideways in 2000 by questioning his POW hell, I have no choice but to demote him.

2) How did Michael Moore get within 30 miles of the RNC? Is this some kind of morbid gesture? I had initially figured that, with protesters being herded like cattle into "free-speech zones," that Michael would have a restraining order keeping him in Flint someplace. Yet there he was, chuckling it up in a skybox in Madison Square Garden! I smell a setup. If I were Michael, I'd watch my back.

3) There are a lot of protesters in New York City. (My high school English teachers would flip in the early graves I sent them to if they saw that sentence, or even this one!)

In other headlines...

Liberalism makes you pretty

My friend Flamingo Jones investigates

Conservatism makes you ugly

Another Flamingo Jones expose

Daily Advertiser prints dumb letter

Not really news

Bush: Iraq war 'a catastrophic success'

No joke!

Well, that's all for now. Tomorrow is the big day: a brand-new Vermilion column for the Sept. 8 issue. That's where my research skills and writing style really shine, because I get paid for that. Oh, and because I have a commitment to my readers or something or other.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Republican National Crock 2004

Today begins the 2004 Republican National Convention! This year marks the first GOP con ever to take place in New York City, a locale previously (and, by a long shot, still) considered a liberal haven.

The purpose of a national party convention is to "nominate" a "candidate" for the "presidential campaign." For the Republicans, the favorite seems to be a man named George "Double-U" Bush. Despite his relative lack of experience (a combined three-and-a-half years in the White House) and multiple setbacks in the areas of foreign and domestic affairs, "Double-U" is the man whom Republicans are confident is the best representative for the most powerful position in the free world.


George "Double-U" Bush Posted by Hello

In the interest of informing the general public on the logistics of the convention and its effects on its host city, party organizers have organized a helpful FAQ. This list emcompasses a broad range of topics, with special bold text accessible for the true party faithful. For your convenience, significant portions of the FAQ are reproduced here:

Q: WHEN AND WHERE WILL THE CONVENTION TAKE PLACE?

The 2004 Republican National Convention will be held in New York City at Madison Square Garden from August 30 through September 2.

Q: WHY AND HOW WAS NYC SELECTED FOR THE CONVENTION?

On January 31, 2003, the Republican National Committee (RNC) announced the selection of New York City as the host city for the 2004 GOP Convention. The city was selected by a unanimous vote of the RNC's 165 members because New York offered the best package of goods and services - including the convention complex, hotels, venues, excellent timing, Ground Zero and event funding, to name a few.


Q: WHAT COMMUNITY OUTREACH IS THE CONVENTION STAFF DOING IN NYC?

The 2004 Convention is committed to positively impacting the City through extensive community service and by making New Yorkers afraid that the next 9/11 is only a Kerry-vote away. The Committee on Arrangements for the 2004 Republican National Convention and New York City Host Committee 2004 teams have already completed more than 70 service projects amounting to over 700 hours of service on behalf of 16 community organizations throughout the five boroughs of New York City and its surrounding counties. The convention staff has performed community outreach in all five boroughs, having conducted events in Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island. Regular community service will become more frequent as the Convention-planning process advances.


Q: HOW IS THE CONVENTION FUNDED?

The Federal Election Commission provides both the Republican and Democrat conventions with nearly $15 million in federal funding, which is serious child’s play compared to The convention's remaining costs that will be met by the highly loaded New York City Host Committee 2004.

Q: WHAT IS THE HOST COMMITTEE?

The New York City Host Committee 2004 is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, established in 2002 to attract a Republican national political convention to New York City in September to remind voters of our favorite event, 9/11. Upon being chosen to host the 2004 Republican National Convention, the Host Committee committed to privately fund the costs associated with hosting the event.

The primary goal of the Host Committee is to provide the COA with the goods and services needed to produce a successful convention while promoting New York City and the fact that 9/11 happened there and will again if everyone doesn’t vote Republican. The convention will bring to New York City significant exposure much like it got when the terrorists attacked the city on that tragic day in 2001 and an opportunity for the city to realize new and enhanced sources of Big Business, while also showcasing its unmatched diversity and hospitality and the fact that NYC was Ground Zero during 9/11.

Q: WHAT FACILITIES WILL BE USED FOR THE CONVENTION?

The convention site is Madison Square Garden. New York Governor George Pataki, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Host Committee have also reached an agreement with the United States Postal Service for the use of the Farley Post Office Building (located directly adjacent to Madison Square Garden) as a work center for the thousands of members of the media that will cover the Convention. Many other New York venues will be used for official convention events, and all will be close by Ground Zero so that everyone will constantly be reminded of 9/11 at all times.

Q: HOW DO REPORTERS GET MEDIA CREDENTIALS?

The Committee on Arrangements (COA) delegated to the four Congressional Press Galleries the responsibility for handling and approving media applications for credentials and work space. Those four galleries are the Radio/TV, Daily Press, Periodical Press and Press Photographers Galleries. The online application became available in January and the deadline for applying for media credentials was May 28, 2004. There will be approximately 15,000 accredited members of the media at the convention, approximately 14,997 of which are from the friendly and compliant GOP press, and the other three are Dan Rather, Jon Stewart and Alan Colmes.

Q: WHAT IS THE ECONOMIC BENEFIT TO NYC FOR HOLDING THE CONVENTION?

In connection with the 2004 Republican National Convention, new jobs will be created, economic activity will be generated and more empty promises will be forthcoming in order to disguise the fact that we have never even attempted to do any of these things during the Bush regime. One promise that we do intend to keep is to bus in hand-picked GOP shills in order to maintain the illusion that the Republicans have any remaining ties to normal people, just like we did during the 2000 Florida recount. Except that this year, we have gone off the scale with more than 50,000 visitors that will come to New York to experience everything the city has to offer - many for the first time because the basic sensibility of native New Yorkers usually keeps conservatism far, far away.

Over the last year, convention leadership has built relationships with key cultural, business and civic organizations so that every sector of the city's economic, terroristic and social makeup can make this convention a success for the Republicans, who intend to exploit all of the worst fears of American citizens by staging its four-day fear-fest in the heart of Ground Zero.

Convention staff is working to keep local businesses informed about new and existing contractual arrangements, as well as collaborating on non-traditional ways that this event can benefit the GOP by the virtue of reminding voters of 9/11, the greatest thing ever to happen to the Republicans, as well as the worst thing ever to happen to New York's economic climate. Convention planners are visiting with local business leaders, tourism representatives, civic groups and community-based organizations to ascertain the best way to play on the fears of still-scared New Yorkers.

Q: HAS THE REPUBLICAN CONVENTION EVER BEEN HELD IN NEW YORK?

This is the first time in Republican Party history that New York City will host the Republican National Convention. New York has previously hosted Democratic Conventions (1868, 1924, 1976, 1980, 1992), but this is the city's first Republican nominating convention, because up to this point NYC has always skewed Democrat and still will this time, but not if we can remind the Big Apple that we still own its only resource against the terrorism that just happened to happen right here at almost this exact date three years ago. Remember 9/11 and vote Republican if you know what’s good for you.

Q: WHAT SECURITY PRECAUTIONS WILL BE TAKEN TO PROTECT THE CONVENTION?

The Department of Homeland Security designated the Republican National Convention a National Special Security Event in July 2003, which means that the U.S. Secret Service coordinates all federal assets and NYPD directs operational security. Other agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and various state and local law enforcement authorities, are also participating to ensure that a comprehensive security plan is in place, a collaboration that will no doubt work just as well as it did on that tragic day in 2001 when terrorists hijacked planes and crashed them into the World Trade Center, just down the street from Madison Square Garden, which is what we want you to remember as you enjoy our September convention right at Ground Zero. There is no better or more experienced team of law enforcement professionals in the world. Every possible precaution is being taken to ensure that New York hosts a safe and successful convention, in order to show the terrorists—who attacked America right here three years ago—that they will not win if the Republicans do.


Q: HOW WILL DELEGATES TRAVEL BETWEEN THE GARDEN AND THE HOTEL? WILL THEY USE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION? HOW WILL NYC COMMUTERS BE AFFECTED BY THE CONVENTION?

The 2004 Republican National Convention recently announced a transportation plan that will efficiently move delegates, party officials, guest speakers and other supporters throughout the city during the four-day convention - all while allowing New Yorkers to commute as usual. Designed in coordination with the New York City Police Department, New York City Department of Transportation, United States Secret Service, and other city and state agencies, the plan effectively incorporates several modes of transportation to move attendees to and from official convention business at Madison Square Garden and encourages them to explore the city, especially Ground Zero, where terrorists tragically crashed airplanes into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. While you’re there, reflect upon the importance of voting Republican.

Watch for continuing convention coverage at Not Right About Anything as the extremely planned events develop. Meanwhile, enjoy the convention!

The latest opponent

Here's a new place to visit when you're suffering from outrage fatigue: Aldaynet!

If the picture across the title banner doesn't tell you everything you need to know about this site, then you need glasses (or, at least, a reliable modem). [On edit: apparently this picture changes at times. Hit "refresh" and look for the guns.]

At its name so accurately states, Aldaynet is run by a dude named Tom Alday:

I'm...too sexy for my blog Posted by Hello

Name: Tom Alday
Age: 27
Location: Central Florida
Occupation: Credit Counselor
Hobbies: Screwing around with computers, reading
Interests: politics, current events, PC-related stuff
Contact: email, AIM - thisfutonsux, Yahoo - tomalday
Bio: I was born in central Florida in 1977. I currently live in the St. Pete area with my girlfriend of 4 years. I have a border collie named Zoe and big fat orange tabby named Garfield (although we call him by his nickname "fatbutt"). I've happily worked for a Debt Management company for 2 years and I've been a nationally certified credit counselor for nearly a year. Like millions of Americans my political curiosity started after 9-11. The strong response by President Bush solidified my political leanings to the right side of the spectrum. I guess that's all I have for now.

If that isn't enough in the Solid Credentials Dept., then take notice of Aldaynet's place in the Republican Attack Squad!

Reminiscent of Cobra from GI Joe? Posted by Hello

This may be nitpicking, but the name "Republican Attack Squad" makes me think that they want to attack Republicans like heart attacks attack hearts. But maybe that's just the budding sarcastic linguist in me. In any case, check out Aldaynet!

Friday, August 27, 2004

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Write your own caption!


Wrinkle-free, thanks to irony Posted by Hello

Veterans Versus Veterans

This is the just-completed column slated to appear in the Sept. 1 issue of The Vermilion.

This year’s presidential election brings to mind the 1991 Louisiana governor’s race, in a “this-choice-should-be-a-totally-obvious-slam-dunk” sort of way. Still, people nearly voted in David Duke back then. What is to blame? The answer, of course, lies in lying.

If you watch television, you’ve no doubt seen one of the notorious “Swift Boat Vets for Truth” ads. This advocacy group is out to claim that John Kerry was unfit for command in Vietnam and is thus unfit for the presidency. If you rearrange the letters in “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth,” you get “That far-r.w. beef, it rots on U.S. TV.” Makes sense, really.

Three reasons not to trust the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth:

1) They’re not Swift. Do they really think that questioning Kerry’s military service is the smartest campaign strategy for Bush? Arguing about how deep the shrapnel went into Kerry’s forearm seems nitpicky, considering that the only foreign material in Bush’s body might be glass from a smashed beer bottle. Any mention of Vietnam in this campaign is likely to backfire on Bush. And we already know how Bush reacts under fire.

2) They’re not entirely Boat Veterans. SBV for T is funded largely through two donors, Harlan Crow (a trustee of the George Bush Library) and Bob Perry (ties to Bush brain Karl Rove). The group’s spokeswoman, Merrie Spaeth, represented Bush’s wealthiest supporters in 2000. Legal counsel is headed by John O’Neill, hand-picked by Richard Nixon to debate Kerry on TV in 1971. Bush campaign lawyer Ben Ginsberg has also been known to offer legal advice.

Then there are the veterans themselves. Though they served in Vietnam with Kerry, many didn’t literally serve WITH Kerry; they merely served at the same time. Though their honorable service dwarfs the military record of any of the hawks in the White House, it still does not let them off the hook.

3) They’re not about the Truth. The people behind SBV for T have a history of discrediting politicians with strong military ties. You might say they’re veterans at it! Just ask John McCain; in the 2000 presidential race, his five-and-a-half years as a POW turned into four years of Bush. In 2002, Sen. Max Cleland, whose memento from Vietnam is his left arm, was compared to terrorists by the same group. He lost.

The hand-picked veterans aren’t any better. One notorious Swift Boat Vets ad features Adm. Roy F. Hoffmann intoning, “John Kerry has not been honest!” However, Hoffmann has also been quoted as calling Kerry “a good man…I am not going to say anything negative about him.” Said Hoffmann of Kerry’s Silver Star: “It took guts, and I admire that.”

Other Shifty Boat Vets include George Elliott, who accuses Kerry of both dishonesty (“John Kerry has not been honest”) and courage (“The fact that he chased an armed enemy down…was an act of courage”). In a 1969 fitness report on Kerry, Elliott reported that “In a combat environment often requiring independent, decisive action…Kerry was unsurpassed.” Kenneth Cordier is a veteran who not only didn’t serve with Kerry but serves as head advisor for Veterans for Bush/Cheney. Then there’s Adrian L. Lonsdale, who declares that Kerry “lacks the capacity to lead,” yet once considered Kerry “among the finest of those Swift Boat drivers.” Wow!

If the Swift Boat Veterans really are looking for Truth, then they must be using some reverse psychology that I don’t understand. These guys have flip-flopped so much lately that, between the time I write this and the time you read it, they will probably flip some more and flop permanently.

The SBV for T slings its BS at http://swift1.he.net/~swiftvet/index.php.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Get her a school uniform! Stat!!

Thanks, oyster!

Marc Hall/The Fayetteville Observer Posted by Hello

Isn't it just absolutely tasteless and evil how those damn Iraqi kids cheer for the death and destruction of Americans? How dare those savages cheer the deaths of innocent human beings from the faraway safety of their own streets...oh wait, this was snapped in Arkansas!

USA! USA!! USA!!!

Mail call...and I call it stupid

Barbara Spencer is a teacher at my former high school. She is known in the local media for writing long letters that are typically insightful and provocative. This time, however, she just made me angry--so angry that this usually levelheaded blogger (cough) almost ripped up the paper right then and there. I'm referring to today's edition of The Daily Advertiser, a newspaper known for its insightful letters (though, for some reason, this letter is not posted; would have saved me a whole lot of time, natch).

First, a bit of background: beginning my senior year of high school in 1997, my public-school system went on a right-wing jag, fueled by a Nazi-prick superintendent fresh from Texas. Even after Herr Superintendent was run out of town on a rail three years later, the jag continued to propel itself like a Karl Rove virus. The pinnacle of this fuck-up-itude was the institution of uniforms in all Lafayette Parish public schools just after I left. Luck was on my side, at least that one time.

When the decision was announced (with next to no input from students or anyone else who didn't utterly favor the complete eradication of student rights), people around here acted like it was the Single Greatest Educational Advance in History. Even people who should have known better were singing the praises for the end of the completely non-existent problem of fashion consciousness that was disrupting education. Jeez, I could go on forever. But on with the letter:

It starts with a long anecdote about a little girl (the teacher's neighbor) who discovers the value and innate goodness of the police. Why were the police such benevolent and efficient crime fighters?

As I reflect on this incident, I conclude that my little friend adopted policemen as her friends due to the UNIFORMITY of their activities. They did not physically look identical, but they were all working uniformly for the protection of the common citizen. My little friend probably could not identify these officers if she saw them again, but she would recognize the UNIFORMS and feel happiness.

This is where it gets real good.

You see, the word UNIFORM symbolizes compromise, togetherness, a common purpose--all made obvious by a specific method of dress.

I have to go with George Carlin on this one: "School uniforms! Bad Idea. BAD IDEA. It isn't enough that we're teaching these kids to THINK alike, now they have to LOOK alike too?!! But this isn't a new idea. I remember seeing it in filmstrips from the 1930s, only I couldn't understand what they were saying because the narration was in GERMAN!"

It does not mean loss of identity, but it does symbolize differences and similarities forming a common bond for the purpose of achieving a desired outcome! Students, I encourage you to wear those uniforms with pride. Wear your uniform as a sign that you are only a temporary part of the caboose and that you are actively preparing to claim your place as a uniformed ADULT of merit! Walk tall and think big!!
Have a fantastic year, everyone!

B. Spencer

Lafayette High School

Lafayette

ALL RIGHT! That wasn't AT ALL depressing! Kids, heed this lesson: don't bother getting your expressive kicks out now, because you won't get to later anyway. After all, school should be a training ground for Future Corporate Cogs of America! It's no place for expression.

But in a way it's worked. As far as I know, 1999 was the first year that anyone ever graduated from the Lafayette Parish school system. Uniforms sure would have helped me; I've been in the public-school system for 20 years, from preschool to graduate school, and I have just been wayward without a restrictive dress code!

The day I see teachers and school-board members practice what they preach, and wear the same uniforms as the students, is the day that I begin to rebuild my respect for those who wish to exert unfair power over children.


Sunday, August 22, 2004

George Washington was a terrorist!

From today's Daily Rotten:

Aug 22 1776
George Washington asks the Continental Congress for permission to burn New York City, to stop the city from being used to quarter troops arriving via the British fleet. It is declined, but his soldiers set 1/4th of the town ablaze on September 21.

Can you imagine a president today asking Congress to destroy New York City? I'm sorry I brought that up...

All-time overrated songs

Being as I am a fan of retro music (I’m almost never in the moment these days), I find myself very often having to wade through the same…overplayed…songs…in order to get to one I really want to hear. You might know the feeling: you see a compilation CD you really want, because of the two or three tracks that just can’t be found anywhere else. But in order to buy those three songs, you also have to pay for the other 12 songs that you already own on six other compilations! It’s a crappy feeling, not unlike buying a new CD with one or two good songs and the rest filler. Man, illegal downloading looks better all the time!

Before we see the list, a disclaimer: the following is not (generally) what I think are the worst songs ever. This is simply a list of tunes that fall in one of three categories: 1) Their places in history have been unfairly inflated; 2) Their over-presence on play lists; or 3) That people, in general, get really excited when hearing them for reasons that are lost on me. Here are the ones that immediately come to my head:

Amazing Grace—John Newton
When I hear this mother-of-all-hymns, I think back to the death scene in “Silkwood,” because that’s where I first remember hearing it. The reason it’s on this list is not because I want to go to hell, but because to sing it, you have to admit that you’re a wretch. That’s not good for your self-esteem.

The Star-Spangled Banner—Francis Scott Key
A poem about bombs, explosions and pseudo-apocalyptic flag-flying, set to the unsingable rhythm of an old British drinking song. Doesn’t America deserve better than this?

Stairway to Heaven—Led Zeppelin and
The End—The Doors
The two songs that made it safe for self-indulgent rock stars to perform long and incoherent epics and win praise for their genius. “The End” was our eighth-grade class song, for reasons I will never understand.

Brown-Eyed Girl—Van Morrison
Probably the best song on this list, but it still drowns in hype.

I Will Survive—Gloria Gaynor
This disco ballad is apparently one of those “you had to be there” songs.

Space Cowboy—Steve Miller
Why do people go so crazy over this song? Drug use seems to be a common denominator.

Lady Marmalade--Patti Labelle
Would have been on this list even if Christina Aguilera, Mya, Pink and Lil’ Kim hadn’t inflicted us with that torture of a remake. "Voulez-vous couchez avec moi?" Mais oui, si tu fermes la bouche!

Come On Eileen—Dexys Midnight Runners
Some songs do well because they’re easy and fun to sing along with while drunk. That’s no excuse for the stratospheric popularity of this goofy song.

The Safety Dance—Men Without Hats
What can be said about a song whose video was medieval yet still contained a clearly visible telephone pole? And who can deny that there actually was no Safety Dance to speak of? “Pop Goes the World” was so much better.

Walking on Sunshine—Katrina and the Waves
Another good song that nevertheless makes this list due to its presence on every single 80s compilation ever made.

Kiss—Prince
Prince is talented. This song has a cool message (you don’t have to be rich to be my girl, etc.) It’s still horrible. Give me “Money Don’t Matter” over this any day.

Red Red Wine—UB40
UB40's 26th-best song.

Smells Like Teen Spirit—Nirvana
This 1991 song is credited with setting off an era. Except that they’ve been saying that SINCE 1991.

You Oughta Know—Alanis Morissette
This 1995 song is widely credited with beginning the rebirth of an old rock staple: the angry girl who sings even worse than Michael Bolton. Alanis followed this up with “Hand in My Pocket,” which may be the single worst song ever committed to record.

My Heart Will Go On—Celine Dion
Leo made it difficult for a lot of guys to get laid in 1997-98.

Drops of Jupiter—Train
Just plain overplayed.

What would you consider “worthy” for this list? Unworthy? Drop me a line.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Dumb letter of the day

Lafayette resident gives us reasons to elect Bush president!

War in Iraq is right for America
August 21, 2004

Whoa, horsey! But is war on Iraq good for IRAQ? Wasn't that the whole point? Now to begin the actual letter...

I am writing to ask that each of you consider voting for President Bush in November.

Um, no.

The President has taken aggressive, necessary action to hunt down terrorists and to transform the countries of the Middle East into democracies.

Wow! Are you a PR major?

The war in Iraq was a necessary choice for three reasons. First, the war moved the battlefield from America to the Middle East and changed the combatants from American civilians to the American military. In Iraq, both Iraqi terrorists and other Arab terrorists can easily blend with the Iraqi population and take their shots at Americans on their own soil. When American soldiers die, we all mourn and grieve with their families. We all greatly appreciate their sacrifice and service. Yet they are our military, trained and equipped to fight. Those civilians who died on Sept. 11 were not. Thus, the war in Iraq has moved the battlefield to the Middle East and helped to keep our cities and civilians safe.

Let me see if I have this straight: War on Iraq is good because 1) it's better than war here in the States and 2) because revenge is so much sweeter when you're in a foreign land and you can use the racist excuse, "They all look alike to me," to kill Iraqis indiscriminately. What do you have to say about Bush's insistence that the war on Iraq is good for Iraqis? You seem to despise all Iraqis.

Secondly, democracies must be established in the Middle East and the Middle East must become economically and culturally linked to the rest of the world. The anti-West propaganda of oppressive dictatorships and extremist theocracies has allowed the Middle East to become a breeding ground for terrorists for decades.

The anti-East propaganda of oppressive pseudo-democracies has not helped either. Oh, and Iraq wasn't the terrorist-breeding mecca (sorry) it is now until Bush's actions made it so. Nice!

Only open debate, a free press, and schools free of anti-American indoctrination will stem that tide.

And if it works there, we might try it HERE!

Further, only police forces that are not controlled by extremist clerics or dictators will be willing to hunt down those responsible for acts of global terrorism.

Them, and Bush too!

Thirdly, our own state police forces and intelligence agencies are doing a great job of discovering and stopping terrorist plots on our soil. But as we all know, if you’ve got an ant infestation, squashing the few ants that make it into your home won’t get rid of the problem. You’ve got to go out into the yard and get rid of the ant piles.

Well, you certainly don't go burn down your neighbor's house, do you?

Afghanistan and Iraq may be only the first two steps in a long struggle to bring democracy to the Middle East.

A prospect that I'm sure has you drooling with lust!

But I ask you to...

Wait for it...

...stay the course with the president,

Woo hoo!

and to continue to pray for our troops as they fight to secure our long-term freedom.

Jordan Abshire

Lafayette

©The Lafayette Daily Advertiser
August 21, 2004

I like how the Daily Advertiser copyrights the letter. Like virtually all of the content in it didn't come straight from the Bush campaign.

It's party time!

On my latest trek to check an ongoing debate thread at Weak and Wrong, I finally noticed a "reply":

At 2:33 PM, Kaiser said...
I agree carl. I wish that my Blog had your traffic.


Jealous Kaiser

Well, I'm all about giving airtime to other political blogs, so why not? Check out Kaiser's realm, the Black War Party! The Party, which doesn't appear to be Black in the traditional Dave Chappelle kind of way, bills itself as "A new Party that is not afraid to fight, will not be intimitated and will end terrorism. Black Party. The terror will end." Which is clearly good, because if there's one thing that neither major political party ever addresses, it's fighting terrorism.

The Black War Party outlines its political platform in a concise list anyone can understand. One post clears it all up:

Black War Party's Stance on Issues:
1: No abortion
2: No gun control
3: No tax hikes
4: No gay marrige
5: Pro War On Terror
6: Pro Nation Building
7: Tight macro/micro economic policy
8: Pro Capital Punishment

Naturally, such a party line begs the question posed by the post's lone comment:

Teith said...

I'm sure there is a party that already has all these views/agenda.

7:08 PM

I think Teith has a point on this one. But don't despair! Because while it doesn't directly say so, the Black War Party does have additional principles that set it apart. And based on the contents of its blog, those principles apparently include:

1) Atrocious spelling and grammar

"Political Ad's...New Admin's...Well, it is that time oy the year. Elction time. The time that the two major party's role out the heavy weaponry...The Black Party is a pure unadaulderated organization without any baggae...New Beginng"

2) An apparent inability to distinguish John Kerry from Bob Kerrey

3) A complete lack of party unity among its four or five members

Join the party today! It's easy! Even if you don't wish to join, Kaiser wants you to know that anyone can post with the login "warkaiser" and the password "kaiser"! Now what other blog lets you do that, huh? Do the Republicans? The Democrats? Even Not Right About Anything? Nope! Just the Black War Party! THE party for you!

Tonight on 20/20: Hindsight!

Here's a brainteaser for you. Which partisan commentator made this bold statement?

"The Democrats are so scared of the chattering class it's unbelievable. I mean, if you want to start a stampede in Washington, drop a feather in the middle of a congressional Democratic caucus, and when it hits the floor they'll be gone out of every exit, they'll be diving out the window, running for fear. They're scared of their own shadows."


Dude, where's my car? Posted by Hello

Meet James Carville. If you read this blog for any reason, chances are you need no introduction. Yes, that's right, it was Carville who made the above observation...in 1997! A native of Carville, Louisiana (no joke!), Carville was the head political consultant to Bill Clinton during Clinton's hugely popular presidential campaign in 1992; in particular, the Ragin' Cajun is famous for coining the Clinton catchphrase, "It's the economy, stupid." Since then, Carville has remained one of the most visible and loyal faces of the New Democrat movement. He has co-written several books with his wife, right-wing paragon Mary Matalin (whom he claims to have never met), as well as with consulting partner and Crossfire co-panelist Paul Begala. He has also fared well as a solo author, with the bestsellers We're Right, They're Wrong, Stickin': The Case for Loyalty and, most recently, Had Enough?: A Handbook for Fighting Back. He also appeared in the classic college comedy Old School, playing the role of one James Carville.

Carville is also the mastermind behind the book ...And the Horse He Rode In On: The People v. Kenneth Starr. See, Carville has had a little problem with the notorious "independent" counsel for many, many years. Keep in mind that, long before the media became aroused by the whole Monica scandal, Starr was careening through the fruitless Whitewater investigation. Starr spent several years and millions upon millions of taxpayer money looking for something--anything, really--to pin on Clinton. That witch-hunt was plenty enough to piss off Carville, which is something you just don't do.

This anger filled the air in an interview Carville gave in the June 1997 issue of Penthouse Magazine. (Hey, I read the articles, what can I say?) Reading it again, in light of everything bad and worse that has transpired in the seven years since, I noticed that Carville was scarily on the mark on just about everything:

"There's nothing that Ken Starr can do now that could matter to anybody, unless it is validated by twelve citizens on hearing properly presented evidence." (Remember, this was BEFORE anyone had ever heard of Monica Lewinsky)

"I think it's that their credibility is on the line. They've invested everything in this Whitewater deal. And this was the way for them and a lot of people to sort of get back and get their--because the reward, we made it such, for good or bad, the rewards of bringing down a president, or finding a story like this, are so big that it's like you say in campaigns, people tend to do things because they want to win so desperately. This has become a struggle. This is a testosterone struggle, man, that's what's going on here." (Keep in mind, this was BEFORE Monica!)

[On the media] "What they're going to say when it turns out, as everyone now knows it is, it's a land deal that lost money. They can't say, Well, we wasted three years of time, we sold you a bill of goods. And if something happens...they are desperate for the prosecutors to do something."

And do something Starr did...soon after the interview was published, the special prosecutor found himself some dirt, in the form of an intern who would soon be known to the world as "that woman." Starr would run with it, but not before taking a short recess:


Relaxing in the penthouse Posted by Hello

More Carvillian clairvoyance from the 1997 time capsule:

"Now if someone wanted to say that Clinton will give a slick answer, there is some validity there, you know what I mean? ...But what happened was his enemies conned a lot of the mainstream media into believing that there was something illegal going on--of which there was not--and they don't know how to get off." (Monica would take care of that for them.)

"When [Republicans] collectively decided it's time for this person to go, then that person went. But this guy Clinton didn't go, and not only did he not go but he won reelection, and he's still there! And if he walks away in 2001, then they've been hurt. Now, if they, quote, get him, unquote, then they can say, See, we told you all along.

How does that play into the Gingrich stories? Had they decided that he should go?

Yes. He's gone. He's gone. He ain't gone yet, but he's gone. He's gone.

You think he's out of here before the end of the year?

He's out now. He doesn't have any power. He's eviscerated." [Newt Gingrich stepped down as Speaker of the House at the end of 1998.]

Finally, Carville directs a bitch or two toward his Democratic allies:

"I will do something I rarely do: I will publicly criticize [Clinton]. I think that when someone stands for us, we ought to put our arm around them, and I think when somebody takes a cheap shot at us we ought to go knock their goddamn head off. Okay?"

"Look, if we can't stand up for poor kids or something, you know what I mean? If we just stand up for anything. If the Democratic Party, if the Democratic caucus, said, 'This we'll do, and there will be no nothing, this is our patch of ground, dammit, here!' I think the country would explode in applause. Okay?"

Anyone who is willing to unabashedly dish on our political foes and our own shortcomings alike is just fine by me. The Democrats would be wise to continue taking the advice of the Ragin' Cajun.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

More T-shits from the right

In their never-ending quest to re-moralize and de-oralize America, right-wingers often overlook the basic necessities of life, such as looking GOOOOD! Those crazy liberal stores such as Sears, K-Mart and Dollar General don't help things, what with their refusal to stock clothing that TRULY proud Americans need to wear! American-flag apparel? Bah! Where's the dead Iraqi carcasses? And where can one find the ultimate outlet for shirts that perfectly match the 14 pro-life bumper stickers and 10 fishies adorning the back of their SUV?

Fear no more! The Internet has solved these problems! Right-Wing Stuff and ChristianShirts.net are twin towers of treasure for the fashion-conscious conservative. The best part is, shopping no longer means having to log off of fair and balanced debate about Bush's Godliness at Free Republic! Yes, God (the GOP-Jesus one, that is) has truly Blessed America!

For even more convenience, here is some window shopping for you wingnuts out there. These shirts are just too good to pass up. See you at the polls!

Right-Wing Stuff opens this post with its greatest hits!


Because nothing screams "cowboy" quite like Hollywood actors and Connecticut Yankees!


For the conservative who is also a closet Communist! A big hit in the red states...


A sucky sequel to an overrated movie; is that an association Bush really wants? Will be followed in November by Kerry: Revolutions!


I thought elephants had larger penises...and that they pissed something other than oil...?

Is faith your bag? Is it not enough to practice your religion in your heart and in your church? Do you need highly visible tools to show the world that you are a certified Christian and that you're so much better than those heathens who merely read the Bible rather than thump it and attend church only twice a week? Well now, for the featured act, your suppository...uh, repository for all things Xtian (And W-tian)! Presenting ChristianShirts.net!


Oddly enough, this one's available in a tight babydoll style:

The best selling Baby Rib Basic Classic Girl from American Apparel. True short sleeves, with binding at neck and sleeve openings. These shirts fit snug on the body. 100% cotton (5.8 oz.). White only.

Abstinence makes the heart grow fonder. So do breasts! Thank God for tight shirts!


At some point, someone had "coming out of the closet" on their mind...


WORD to my brotha and his keepa!


Nothing screams Christian compassion quite like cammies, a rifle and a makeshift bayonet!


This may be nitpicking, but isn't placing words on the American flag considered desecration?


Can't wait to see THOSE action figures!


On the eighth day, God created Sonic the Hedgehog...


Go Grrrl! Actually, she's pretty hot. Got digits?


Um..."I"?


Hmmmm...I'm thinking! I'm thinking!


I hate to nitpick again, but isn't pride a deadly sin? Especially if Texas is involved?


WWJD? RFP, of course!! See why I hope he's running!


Still going...nothing outlasts an Energizer evangelist...hate keeps going and going and going...

That one's for the homeless evangelist who finds that Chick tracts just don't warm the body quite like a shirt.

Last but not least, here's one that just warms the heart in that uniquely faithful way:


Really?!! Like, get out!

Right-Wing Stuff and ChristianShirts.net...praise God and Bush! And screw the mall!

THIS JUST IN: Right-Wing Stuff is back online. At least it is as of this minute (1:56 a.m.). When I first posted this, they were down. Coincidence??

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Hard-hitting editorial of the day

From today's Daily Advertiser editorial column:

You should read the counterpoint... Posted by Hello

Hilton Watch continues...

Sorry, phizz...it's like herpes, it just won't go away...

Hilton sisters seen on Jeopardy! Total earnings: negative $625,500

I was eating lunch at a fast-food place just now where the TV was tuned to Jeopardy! I overheard a contestant note that Ted Turner donated $1 billion to the UN. I glanced up from my newspaper just in time to see her next "answer" pop up in the form of--you guessed it--Paris and Nicky Hilton! I could barely hear the clue--she had to identify them, I think, from what might have been the same picture I posted last night. Watching a picture of the Hiltons suddenly showing up on Jeopardy!, with very little sound, gave it a Saturday Night Live-ish tone. I half-expected to see Will Ferrell, Norm MacDonald and Jimmy Fallon dishing it out on screen. I had to laugh. Man, are we a nation of increasing idiocy or what?

Monday, August 16, 2004

Hilton Watch

Paris protege Nicky, 20, marries...wait, WHAT?!!

We've got hotel rooms! Posted by Hello

Yes, that's right! The up-until-now sane half of the Hilton sex empire has tied the knot with some much-older dude. And they say it's gays who are ruining the sanctity of marriage...

The less famous, younger sister of the reality-TV star wed boyfriend Todd Andrew Meister in a night-owl ceremony Sunday in Las Vegas.

It is the first quickie Sin City ceremony for Nicky Hilton, 20.


Don't you just feel the faith that the press has for the duration of this marriage? Myself included?

There has been no word if the 33-year-old Meister, described as a "scenester" and a "socialite" (by the New York tabloid press) and a "money manager" (by the Hilton camp), has done the ring exchange previously.

Thirteen years apart? Somebody's gold-digging here, but which one?

While allowing that Meister has been portrayed as a man-about-town by the New York media, Mintz said the Harvard Business School graduate is a substantial person. "He is not the drummer of a rock 'n' roll group that's breaking up."

Man, is that damning with faint praise or what?!! Sounds a lot like what they say about Bush! E! Online reports that Meister was back at work today. Which doesn't speak much of his priorities, evidently. I mean, look at her! And look at him!


The half-sexiest couple alive! Posted by Hello

Of course, even though the wedding took place at 2:30 a.m. at the Vegas Wedding Chapel, Paris was the only other Hilton at the ceremony and the event had not been announced, Nicky spokesperson Elliot Mintz insists that the event had some semblance of class to it:

Per Mintz, any resemblance between this wedding and Britney Spears' 55-hour Vegas debacle last January is purely coincidental.

"This is a real, serious, meaningful, loving relationship--not spur of the moment," rep Elliot Mintz said of Hilton and Meister to E! "[The wedding] was treated with great sobriety and seriousness."

This whole thing rates about a 9.0 on my dumb-crap-o-meter. Still, I wish the newlyweds well. At least until it gets old.

On this day in bloody history

On this day in 1975, the murderous rampage of one of America's worst-ever serial killers came to a temporary pause:


Ted Bundy's mugshot Posted by Hello

Crime Library gives the details of the chase:

On August 16, 1975, Sergeant Bob Hayward was patrolling an area just outside of Salt Lake County when he spotted a suspicious tan VW bug driving past him. He knew the neighborhood well and almost all the residents that lived there and he couldn't remember seeing the tan VW there before. When he put on his lights to get a better view of the VW's license plate, the driver of the bug turned off his lights and began speeding away.


Many a victim's final ride Posted by Hello

Immediately, Sergeant Hayward began to chase the vehicle. The car sped through two stop signs before it eventually pulled over into a nearby gas station. Hayward pulled up behind the reckless driver and watched as the occupant got out of his car and approached the police car. Hayward asked the young man for his registration and license, which was issued to Theodore Robert Bundy. Just then, two other troopers pulled up behind the tan VW. Hayward noticed that the passenger seat in Bundy's car was missing. With mounting suspicion and Bundy's permission, the three officers inspected the VW. The officers found a crowbar, ski mask, rope, handcuffs, wire and an ice pick. Bundy was immediately placed under arrest for suspicion of burglary.

Soon after Bundy's arrest, police began to find connections between him and the man who attacked Carol DaRonch. The handcuffs that were found in Bundy's car were the same make and brand that her attacker had used and the car he drove was similar to the one she had described. Furthermore, the crowbar found in Bundy's car was similar to the weapon that had been used to threaten Carol earlier that November. They also suspected that Bundy was the man responsible for the kidnapping of Melissa Smith, Laura Aime and Debby Kent.

On October 2nd, 1975, Carol DaRonch along with the director of the Viewmont High School play and a friend of Debby Kent were asked to attend a line-up of seven men, one of whom was Bundy, at a Utah police station. Investigators were not surprised when Carol picked Ted from the line-up as the man who had attacked her.

Sadly, Ted's jailers would give the young and charming killer way too much leniency in the big house; Bundy briefly escaped on June 7, 1977, but recaptured a short while later. On Dec. 30, 1977, he escaped more successfully and wouldn't be caught until February 15, 1978. In that time, he made it from Colorado to Florida and assumed a new name. He also sat in classes at Florida State before raping and killing some sorority girls on the night of Jan. 14. Despite the identical methodology of the killings, and the fact that Bundy had been on the run for two weeks, no connection was made, prompting this front-page story on the day my brother was born (Jan. 16, 1978):


The Daily Advertiser, Jan. 16, 1978 Posted by Hello

Bundy would go on to be executed on January 24, 1989, much to the glee of those who are into that sort of thing. Speaking of death-penalty enthusiasts, a certain man some call president bears a striking resemblance to the serial killer:


Bush N Bundy Posted by Hello

Oh yeah, and Elvis died on this day in 1977...