Thursday, March 01, 2007

How controversial can a pizza party be?

When John Ashcroft is involved, anything and everything becomes suspect.

The former Attorney General hosted a pizza party and invited his former employees. The only problem (besides the fact that he is hosting a lame pizza party as if this were his 11th birthday and he needed help from the hired clown to blow out the candles) is that Ashcroft is now a lobbyist. And lobbyists are just not supposed to host parties (even dumb ones) for government officials.


I wonder if the soaring eagle-lover will perform?

Convicted Felon (and former Republican Congressman) Bob Ney Goes to Prison

Bob Ney (R-OH) is going to prison today and thus he felt required to email all 9 of his remaining supporters. Ney touchingly quoted Garth Brooks, left his mailing address at the prison and then asked himself all the rhetorical questions he could muster: “Would I change things if I could? Sure. Am I sorry for things that happened? Absolutely, and I will pay the price."

Ney is like the unpopular kid who moved to Pennsylvania when I was in the third grade. She and her mom printed up a series of Valentines (in June no less) with her new address and phone number and taped them to the inside of each classmate's yearbook. I think I put a sticker of The New Kids on the Block over it.

Just remember Bob, it's like Avon Barksdale said: "You only serve 2 days: the day you get in, and the day you get out."


Real Life "You Can't Handle the Truth" Guy Fired!

I haven't written about the outrageous firing of US attorneys because I didn't really have anything new to say that wasn't covered by the New York Times, the Washington Post or the Los Angeles Times.

In case you need the back story, here goes: in the last year the Justice Department has starting firing a number of very effective, well-trained, successful federal attorneys despite their superb work evaluations and prosecution records. They include Carol Lam of San Diego, John McKay of Seattle, David Iglesias of New Mexico, Daniel Bogden of Nevada and Paul Charlton of Arizona. What do they all have in common? Each one prosecuted a Republican in office (e.g. Randy "Duke Cunningham") or a Republican fundraiser/ally.

Now here's where it gets hilarious. Duke Cunningham was supposedly the inspiration for the Tom Cruise character in "Top Gun." Now, in today's Washington Post, buried at the end of another very good article on the attorneys, there is this nugget: one of the aforementioned attorneys, David Iglesias, was the defense lawyer in a famous Navy hazing case that inspired the Tom Cruise character in "A few Good Men."

So what appears to be another shady Republican conspiracy, turns out to be just another reason to not inspire Tom Cruise.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Let's face it: the 2008 race is boring. And that's fine because we're a year away from the first caucus in Iowa and things should be pretty slow. We've had the empty flap stirred up by David Geffen and more discussions on Obama's blackness than I care to remember, but for the most part it's been absolute swill. Until now. Now, it's absolute bullshit.

The Boston Globe got its bean-loving mitts on Mitt's strategy memo. One of the cornerstone's of Utah Mitt's candidacy will be: Hillary = France. That's right, Hillary Clinton Equals France. The former First Lady of the United States is equivalent to a country known for it's sparkling white wines, stinky cheeses and efficient nuclear energy.

Now I know that we shouldn't expect much from the media, all of whom are intent on characterizing every political contest as a horse race with a door prize of Blockbuster gift certificates and mustard packets. But one would think that for a candidate who is admittedly hurt by accusations of "good hair," he'd see the incentive in keeping the intelligence level slightly above that of a Little Miss Fresno beauty contest.


We are the majority

The story line goes like this: there is the radical, no compromise, Kucinich-loving, button-wearing, wacko left demanding a deadline for troop withdrawal, and then there is the moderate wing looking to gain a few concessions from the Bush Administration on Blue Dog issues like oversight.

But they aren't the moderates; we are. We are the majority. We are the people who could care less if Hillary apologizes for her war vote so long as she casts the right one for terminating it.

The media have to start getting it right when it comes to who the "normal people" are and what they want. There isn't a "congressional troop cap" camp or a "end the funding" camp. There's only the anti-war majority, and it is surprisingly unified.

The Washington Post has a fairly decent story today about the swing in public sentiment, a fact which needs constant repeating if we are ever going to end this catastrophe.


Monday, February 26, 2007

Jet Blue left passangers stranded for 11 hours. I bet it felt JUST like putting your life on the line for an intractable fuckmare war of choice

So they say DC is like New York for the poorly dressed. I say it's like New York for the poorly dressed with crap senses of humor. The latest joke being mailed around Capital Hill, according to Politico:

Under increased pressure to announce an exit strategy from Iraq, President George W. Bush revealed plans today to bring U.S. troops home on the budget airlines JetBlue.

Mr. Bush received praise for his decision to withdraw American troops, but his choice of JetBlue to transport them raised more than a few eyebrows.

According to most official estimates, with its recent spate of scheduling problems and flight delays, JetBlue could take up to twelve years to bring U.S. troops home, and possibly 26+ years in the event of inclement weather.

But at a press conference at the White House today, the president argued that the selection of Jet Blue was "crucial" to the success of his latest exit strategy.

"Setting an exact timetable for a withdrawal from Iraq would be playing right into the enemy's hands," Mr. Bush said. "By going with JetBlue, our enemy will have no idea when we're leaving."

To emphasizes his point, Mr. Bush added, "And neither will we."

Across Iraq, U.S. GIs were hopeful that the news about JetBlue meant that they would be home by Christmas, or at least by Easter 2033.


Meet the 23rd Most "Captivating" Couple

Rachel Maddow and Susan Mikula may only be the 23rd most captivating couple according to GO Magazine (which I "accidentally" picked up at a coffee shop today), but as this photograph proves, they are most certainly the most attractive.

The small blurb about them starts on this page.

I know Rachel and Susan and they are, in fact, interesting, dynamic people who have led unique lives both before and after becoming a couple, but you wouldn't know it from this magazine. GO is trying so hard to prove that gay people are normal that they make everyone boring. The editors don't even lay out the criteria for being captivating nor do they identify a single out of the ordinary fact about any of their subjects.

For another entertaining set of lists (more Jewish, less gay) go here. And read Rachel's blog; it, too, is quit captivating.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

"I think my side is losing"

If only that quote could be attributed to Grover Norquist or Bill O'Reilly or Peggy Noonan.

Unfortunately, it was said by Frances Kissling, a driven pro-choice activist who worked primarily within the Catholic community for the last 25 years. She has just announced her retirement from Catholics for a Free Choice.

How do you know Kissling was an effective progressive warrior? Bill Donohue, director of the Catholic League who most recently made headlines for demanding the firing of John Edwards's blog staffers and who once said gays should apologize for AIDS, described her thusly:

"The woman has been a menace to Catholics by fraudulently describing herself as a Catholic," Donohue said. "What she stood for is an absolute moral disgrace."

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Things On The Web That You Will Like But Aren't Porn

Everyday the internet is impregnated with the loony rantings of 192 billion new blogs. Literally. Every day. That's more blogs than there are people, I know, but the numbers I make up don't lie.

Anyway, I've discovered a few sites that don't make every orafice on my body bleed and I would like to share them with you in the hope that they also don't make you bleed.


I know those Freakanomics guys can be a bit "Ooooh, look at me, I use numbers to reinforce common knowledge," but their blog is a fairly insightful survey of new ideas and stories in economics.


Go to this site to track your favorite presidential hopefuls or just to see who will win the prize every junior high school student knows is a lifetime wedgy guarantee: perfect attendance.


I like this site a lot because it's very straightforward and doesn't waste your time a potpourri of inanities. In short, this site covers politics on the web, everything from candidates' refurbished websites to which bloggers are on campaign payrolls to what pols say on blogger conference calls. I learn a lot at this site. For example, today I learned that John McCain had unleashed his new website. Can someone please tell me why on God's green earth McCain and his blotchy, malformed head chose black and white for the website despite his being branded as the Old Dude in the race?


At Bush's news conference last week a writer for Politico was called on by the President and when asked to explain the organization he worked for and thus boost its national profile by a factor of 10, this writer/pants pisser froze and moved on to his question. This exchange might make one assume that the Politico is a waste of server space, but it's actually a great online magazine, far superior to Time and Newsweek but without the drowsy Anna Quinlan column.


My roommate, Suzy, just turned me on to Good Magazine; it was a huge disappointment-- I couldn't believe that someone had created the publication I dreamed about starting after graduation. (My magazine was going to be called Phil and have a dense front-of-book graphic page offering a pictorial exposition on the over use of the pie chart in "serious" journalism.)

The magazine is dedicated to "people who give a damn." It's an ambitious project but certainly worthwhile. Unfortunately, I think they spend a little too much time and money on quirky graphics that convey a sense of loftiness (meaning you have to own a loft in Tribeca/DUMBO to care). You can read the entire thing online, so give it a try.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

6 Degrees of 70s Funk

Burried in the CNN story on Tony Blair's plane landing past the runway in Miami, is this nugget:

Blair was traveling to Miami to stay with Robin Gibb of the Bee-Gees, according to Gibb's co-manager John Campbell.

Please explain.


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Jeb Bush-- Pudgy Statesman and Multi-Tasker

Jeb Bush recently posed for his official portrait in Tennessee. Previous politicians have posed with such oddities as falcons, walking sticks, horses and wigs.

Always the contrarian, Jeb opted to be memorialized with his Bible and his Blackberry

It's as though he's saying, "This is how I speak to God and this is how I speak to my friends."