Friday, January 20, 2006

This won't happen, her career is going too well

An article in something called the National Ledger relays rumors that Jennifer Love Hewitt is going to pose for Playboy.
Hot Stuff reports that the squeaky clean hottie feels she is losing film roles because of her image and may be willing to bare all for a centerfold spread.

The Star reports a 'source' told the magazine:

"She told me that maybe a sexy magazine layout with her showing her assets might give her a little edgier image and she might be considered for a femme fatale role."

It won't happen anytime soon, though, because if those of us who have kept one guilty-pleasure eye on Love's career know one thing, it's this: The worse that career is going, the more skin she's showing. When she starred in The Tuxedo (which-full disclosure-I kind of liked, but-fuller disclosure-I also saw on a plane after a night of no sleep):

But right now she's got a TV show that's a hit, so I won't hold my breath. However, a boy can dream...

So I ask her: What percentage of articles about you do you think mention your breasts in great detail?

"Oh, about ninety-eight percent," she breezily replies.

It is in fact, I suggest, perhaps seventy percent, but this is nonetheless remarkable. I wonder what she makes of this.

"I think mine have a career of their own," she says, and laughs. "Separate from me. Frankly, theirs is going better."

~Rolling Stone, "A Day In the Life of Jennifer Love Hewitt"

Ladies & gentlemen, Ms. Molly Ivins

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I love Molly Ivins, and would even if she weren't a liberal, if only because she writes like a dream. Fortunately, she is a liberal, and one who has come to declare:

I will not support Hillary Clinton for president.

Enough. Enough triangulation, calculation and equivocation. Enough clever straddling, enough not offending anyone This is not a Dick Morris election. Sen. Clinton is apparently incapable of taking a clear stand on the war in Iraq, and that alone is enough to disqualify her. Her failure to speak out on Terri Schiavo, not to mention that gross pandering on flag-burning, are just contemptible little dodges.

You ["pragmatic" Democrats] sit there in Washington so frightened of the big, bad Republican machine you have no idea what people are thinking. I'm telling you right now, Tom DeLay is going to lose in his district. If Democrats in Washington haven't got enough sense to OWN the issue of political reform, I give up on them entirely.

Do it all, go long, go for public campaign financing for Congress.

Read the whole thing.

Tom Cruise is a pissy little queen

Case in point.

That sound you hear is me bumping my head on the desk

Firedoglake has a good entry about how no, we're not imagining it: Democrats are actually making a concious decision to do nothing about a little thing like the President Of The United States Of America authorizing illegal wiretaps on US citizens. Nothing.

Redd quotes an article by Walter Shapiro, in which he wrote
To underscore his concerns about shrill attacks on Bush, the Democratic operative forwarded to me later that afternoon an e-mail petition from, which had been inspired by Al Gore's fire-breathing Martin Luther King Day speech excoriating the president's contempt for legal procedures.

For the record, I signed that petition. If you want to too, here it is. The more political operatives (for either party) show their contempt for, the more convinced I am of the need to give them my support.

Back to Shapiro:

A series of conversations with Democratic pollsters and image makers found them obsessed with similar fears that left-wing overreaction to the wiretapping issue would allow George W. Bush and the congressional Republicans to wiggle off the hook on other vulnerabilities.

Redd Hedd replies:
Discussion like this makes me want to tear my hair out, because what consultants are really saying is "the hell with doing what is right or protecting the Constitution, it doesn't play well in Peoria."

Here's my response: maybe what hasn't played well up to now is the way you have been describing it. Maybe what we need is a better message.

You know, something like, "The President has already authorized illegal wiretapping. What's to stop him from authorizing house searches without a warrant, compiling a list of all firearms owners without any legal justification and other infringements on what you ought to be able to do as an American citizen?"

Sometimes, governing is about doing what is right, even if it requires you to do a lot of hard work that you wouldn't otherwise have to do -- and which might cut into your fundraising time.

It makes Redd want to tear her hair out. It makes me want to start a drive to get people to pledge that they will not vote for a Democrat unless one shows up.

There should be a category for Californian, Pauly Shore-like speak, buuud-y!

Your Linguistic Profile:

50% General American English

25% Yankee

20% Dixie

5% Upper Midwestern

0% Midwestern

Thursday, January 19, 2006

The people casting the Spider-Man movies are perverse

They cast Kirsten Dunst, a blonde, as the redhead Mary Jane, and now they're casting as the blonde Gwen Stacy...

Speaking of the long-term consequences...

The Brad Blog has an email by Specialist Douglas Barber, an Iraq War vet. As Brad describes it,
In his email, Barber describes what many families go through when they witness their sons and daughters coming home in flag-draped coffins, hidden from view by the Bush Administration. And, even more telling in this case, some of the horrors veterans suffering from [Post Traumatic Stress Disorder] face once back on the homefront.

Here's just a couple of paragraphs of Barber's letter:
All is not okay or right for those of us who return home alive and supposedly well. What looks like normalcy and readjustment is only an illusion to be revealed by time and torment. Some soldiers come home missing limbs and other parts of their bodies. Still others will live with permanent scars from horrific events that no one other than those who served will ever understand.

PTSD comes in many forms not understood by many: but yet if a soldier has it, America thinks the soldiers are crazy. PTSD comes in the form of depression, anger, regret, being confrontational, anxiety, chronic pain, compulsion, delusions, grief, guilt, dependence, loneliness, sleep disorders, suspiciousness/paranoia, low self-esteem and so many other things.

Oh, and here's the punch line: Barber committed suicide a few days ago.

Sweet motherfucking tapdancing christ, will you look at what we've done.

Too true, tattoo

There are three things men can do with women: love them, suffer for them, or turn them into literature. -- Stephen Stills

I've done all three in my time. I'd be doing one now, but Amy Yasbeck is still in mourning. Sigh...

This night the dream was leaving

In the past I've been known to use an "abusive boyfriend" metaphor for the Republican party; the kind who says "you know I only hit you because I love you." The Raw Story's Nancy Goldstein has a column in which she pegs just what kind of boyfriend the Democratic party is turning out to be. Excerpts follow, read the whole thing.

Effective immediately, the Democrats will be known as the lyin'-ass boyfriend party - the perfect date for progressive voters looking to be stood up, bullshitted blind, or left holding the tab.

The Democrats are setting themselves up for a lot of us to be visiting someone else on the side. They're inviting a spoiler like Ralph Nader or Ross Perot to start romancing us in '08. We thought getting their asses kicked three elections (two presidential, one midterm) in a row would teach them something, but it seems they've learned nothing. I could just spit at them.

...the Democrats really can't differentiate themselves from the Republicans. As the Alito hearings have shown, they all get along like a bunch of dorm mates, with occasional spats that can easily be resolved over a pitcher at the pub or a few reps at the gym.

Their kids will never be drafted; their daughters and wives will always enjoy access to contraception and abortions; their queer kids will live well within the long shadow of their protection (and payroll, as Mary Cheney and John Schlafly will attest).

Damn them all.

ETA: Pam has a good entry speaking to a similar subject: Just how genuine is the lefts' commitment to people with whom they cannot personally identify?
If they [the left] could step outside of themselves just for a moment, they'd see how absurd this all is. I'm not holding my breath, though.
She goes on to compare this phenomenon with one she has observed working in magazine publishing:
The reality is that many progressive non-profits and magazines have this problem. I think it's for many reasons -- jobs in publishing tend to pay poorly at the bottom of the food chain; these jobs are considered somewhat prestigious jobs -- even the low-level ed assistant positions are often filled by friends of friends, the daughter of your sorority sister, etc. They hire people they know -- and these folks don't know many people of color. It's the classism-on-the-Left issue rising up again, something that comes up in brief flurries, gets hands wringing for a bit, and then dies down to business as usual.

Earlier in the entry she quotes Shakespeare's Sister:
Not a shred of recognition that perhaps the ideological stagnation from which the Left suffers may be a result of its major power players still being predominantly white, straight, and male—which, by the way, wouldn’t be a problem if those particular straight, white males could and did speak eloquently to progressive issues of concern to women, gays, and minorities, but they don’t. And it’s not because they can’t—Paul the Spud can speak just as passionately about women’s issues as I can, and I can speak just as passionately about gay issues as he can. Extricating oneself from the responsibility of speaking to issues beyond one’s own demographic is a choice, and marginalizing the concerns of women (for example) as "identity politics" is indicative of nothing more than the unwillingness to identify with women.

I'm not a wolf, but I feel like crying

Good post on Hullabaloo about the long-term consequences of the neo-cons' Iraq screwup. Sometimes I think I can't even look at all the ramifications, it's too scary. Digby quotes an article from First Post--

The Iraq fiasco has demonstrated the limitations of American power in the Middle East, for all the world to see. If the neo-cons had only bothered to make serious plans for the reconstruction of the country, Tehran might now take Western sabre-rattling rather more seriously.

--and adds his own comments:

I have written before about how powerful countries must maintain their mystique or risk having crazy people make mistakes. Once it shows that its military is not omnipotent and that its intelligence is crude, it emboldens madmen to play their cards.

There's more if you can take it.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Oh, and in case I haven't mentioned it lately

Americans really, REALLY want Bush impeached.

By a margin of 52% to 43%, Americans want Congress to consider impeaching President Bush if he wiretapped American citizens without a judge's approval, according to a new poll commissioned by, a grassroots coalition that supports a Congressional investigation of President Bush's decision to invade Iraq in 2003.

The poll was conducted by Zogby International, the highly-regarded non-partisan polling company. The poll interviewed 1,216 U.S. adults from January 9-12.

The poll found that 52% agreed with the statement:

"If President Bush wiretapped American citizens without the approval of a judge, do you agree or disagree that Congress should consider holding him accountable through impeachment."

43% disagreed, and 6% said they didn't know or declined to answer. The poll has a +/- 2.9% margin of error.

"The American people are not buying Bush's outrageous claim that he has the power to wiretap American citizens without a warrant. Americans believe terrorism can be fought without turning our own government into Big Brother," said co-founder Bob Fertik.

You can read more about it here.

As you do, remember that some 52% or so of Americans already wanted Bush impeached "if" he lied about why we went to war in Iraq.

Who knows whether it'll lead the moment I'm feeling very sick and depressed about the Bush administrations seeming ability to squirm out of anydamnthing. To say nothing of the traditional media's willingness to hold them accountable.

But we should also remember, contrary to the spin, that it is not only Democrats who think illegally spying upon Americans is beyond the pale. From AmericaBlog:
Patriots to Restore Checks and Balances (PRCB) is being led by some of the biggest right-wingers in the right wing: Grover Norquist, Paul Weyrich, David Keene, Alan Gottleib (who is a leading gun rights guy) and Bob Barr. They are NOT happy with their fearless leader on this one

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

So Al Gore made a speech yesterday...(UPDATED w/Additions)

Many of the liberal bloggers have been praising it to high heaven. I dunno, I skimmed it, and I'm not hearing the music. But then, I probably still haven't fully forgiven Gore for the 2000 campaign.

Yes, he's usually right, but that doesn't make him "the conscience of the Democratic party," as some now want to dub him. But enough smart people don't see it my way for me to want to listen.

People like Digby, who has a link to the speech, so you can see for yourself, and his own comments. I agree with him (when he agrees with Gore) saying one of the things we must do is
...demand comprehensive hearings and go where the facts lead. I and others in the blogosphere have been calling for a select committee to invetigate the wiretap leaks so that we can have legal counsel rather than elected bloviators lead the questioning. This is absolutely necessary.

Here's Josh Marshall; another place I think he [and Gore] is right here is when the former says:

The point Gore makes in his speech that I think is most key is the connection between authoritarianism, official secrecy and incompetence.

The president's critics are always accusing him of law-breaking or unconstitutional acts and then also berating the incompetence of his governance. And it's often treated as, well ... he's power-hungry and incompetent to boot! Imagine that! The point though is that they are directly connected. Authoritarianism and secrecy breed incompetence; the two feed on each other. It's a vicious cycle. Governments with authoritarian tendencies point to what is in fact their own incompetence as the rationale for giving them yet more power. Katrina was a good example of this.

ETA: Daily Kos has Gore's reply to the response from the Attorney General.

The issue, simply put, is that for more than four years, the executive branch has been wiretapping many thousands of American citizens without warrants in direct contradiction of American law. It is clearly wrong and disrespectful to the American people to allow a close political associate of the president to be in charge of reviewing serious charges against him.

My favorite plantation is dalmation

Little joke in the headline for you Disney fans.

Anyway, so apparently earlier today Hillary compared the Republican-controlled house of Representatives to a plantation. And our fair n' balanced friends in the traditional media and on the Republican sites are pulling up their skirts in horror like stereotypical cartoon housewives to a mouse.

Many of the Democratic-leaning sites can tell you what's so hypocritical about Republicans shrieking over this. I liked Hullabaloo's take on it best:
I wonder if anybody thought this article by Joseph Farrah of World Net Daily called "Racism on Dem plantation" (available today only on Google cache for some reason)was out of line. Or how about this one on on Townhall by Cal Thomas who refers to "the Democratic Party and its plantation mentality." And then there's Rush Limbaugh who's been know to refer to anybody who's in the leadership position in the Democratic Party" as "pimps" who attempt to deceive black people into remaining on the "Democratic plantation."

Here's the thing. When the Republicans talk about the "plantation" they are specifically talking about race, claiming that the Democrats are using (presumably stupid) Black Americans against their own interests.

Hillary was talking about the fact that the Republican leadership treats their own caucus like they are slaves.

Now which of those views is racist?

Yet, the Republicans are all over this and they will probably end up getting her to apologise because Democratic politicians have never learned how to respond to being called racist. Until they do, the Republicans are going to use this ridiculous epistemic relativism against them.

Update: As a couple of comenter remind me, perhaps the most famous of these plantation comments cane from none other than Newtie:

"...on the eve of his great electoral victory ten years ago, the speaker-to-be told a reporter he was leading a "slave rebellion" against the Democrats who "run the plantation."

I was younger, with my Murtha...

Crooks and Liars has quotes and clips from John Murtha's Sunday appearance on 60 Minutes. I watched the show and thought he came off quite well, very thoughtful, articulate and statesmanlike.

Certainly it would seem hard for any but the most vicious to assault his character. Unfortunately, we're dealing with the right wing. Anyway, here's part of what Murtha said:

[Bush is] trying to fight this war with rhetoric," Murtha responds. "Iraq is not where the center of terrorism is. So when he says we’re fighting terrorism over there, we’re inciting terrorism over there.--- He said before there’s weapons of mass destruction. He said there’s an al Qaeda connection. There’s many things he said turned out not to be true. So why would I believe him...

This is my big hobby horse for the moment: Why do the traditional media insist on playing this game where President Bush has any credibility on any subject whatsoever? He is a liar. It's what he does, it's who he is. If he says the weather outside is nice, you know you'd better take your warm coat.

How many times does he get to lie to us before they start treating him with one-half the contempt with which they treated Al Gore or Bill Clinton?

I'm going to use a word I don't often use

Ahem. I gather through the grapevine recently, that on my once-loved show The West Wing they have decided to write out Toby Ziegler, arguably my favorite character, by having him fired for leaking classified information.

Richard Schiff,the actor who played Toby, speaking to Upstage Magazine:

Did you like the way they resolved Toby’s character?
Between you and me - and you can print this - Toby wouldn’t have done that in ten million years! But, you know, it’s not my show.



Thank you.

(I knew there was a reason I loved Toby...)

Monday, January 16, 2006

Writers are nuts (for those of you who haven't heard)

I was just re-reading an interview with author Greg Rucka. He's a novelist and comic book writer; I've only ever read his Kodiak series of novels. Actually some I read, some I listened to as books on tape. I liked them a lot. (And, I have just learned going to his website to set up that link, there's a new one due this fall. Hallelujah.)

But anyway, he says (among other things) in this interview, when asked for "Words of wisdom for those about to write their first novel;"
You have to develop the ego that says "My work has merit," the ego that says "Not only does it have merit, but I believe in it."

What's weird is that I have trouble saying my work has merit...but I can easily say that about Keitha and Annabel. I believe these are a truly terrific couple of characters who I just happen to have created.

And I know, logically: To say I think they have merit and that I believe in them (Colley's not too shabby, either) is as close to saying I believe that about my work as makes no odds; they are, after all, my work.

It just doesn't feel right to say it like that.

Writers are nuts. Repeat.

Get hep, come on, and follow through

Taking a tip from Bob, here's what I am:

Currently writing

Technically nothing, but I'm ramping up for the next draft of the prose version of My Girlfriend's Boyfriend. I'll bet you'll be able to tell when I've started it, because I'll stop talking about Keitha, Colley, and the rest here for a while.

Currently reading

The Drama of the Gifted Child, Alice Miller
Elia Kazan, Richard Schickel

Currently watching (actively, that is - not just because it's on)

TV - 24, Gilmore Girls, Supernatural, Boston Legal, Veronica Mars. I think I've decided to give Everybody Hates Chris a rest for a while.

Well, of course

you are JENNY! you are sweet, shy, and innocent,
but you've got a darker, sexier side...and you
cant hold it in forever! you're the closet
freak of the group!

Which Character from The L Word are You???
brought to you by Quizilla

Mia Kirshner, everybody's favorite bisexual...

You celebrate what you like, and I'll celebrate what I like

Today is the day we set aside to honor and remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, about whom so much has been said that it's hard to know what to add. So I won't except to say that on the off chance anyone reading this has never been exposed to his writings or speaking, get yourself a copy of the Letters From a Birmingham Jail or a audio or film copy of a couple of his speeches and marvel.

There just isn't a public figure around today with that kind of a natural, god-given if you like, gift for speeches that ring almost 40 years after they were first delivered. Bill Clinton came close, but kinda fucked up the legacy.

That said, I refuse to believe that the good Reverend King would not have wanted me to receive my mail, especially when I'm expecting the new Graham Chapman biography.

On a personal tip, today is the anniversary of the day I lost my virginity, back around 1988. For those of you who even now are becoming uncomfortable, don't worry, I'm not going to describe the act or the day in any detail whatsoever.

But it's an important day in anybody's life, and thanks to MLK day, I always have an easy way to remember it. If you can I find it's always best to plan the important dates in your life around those that have other signifigance.

I had a girlfriend for a couple of years where the anniversary of our becoming "officially" boyfriend and girlfriend fell on New Years. Which was a good way to avoid those sitcom cliches of the guy forgetting and the girl getting mad.

Though actually, given my tendency towards romanticism and truly frightening memory, the odds of my forgetting it before she did were probably not that good in the first place.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

A new day dawns...


Deep breaths, everybody. The fifth season of 24 has begun.

I say take deep breaths, because this is what I imagine it's like on a roller coaster (I've never been) when you've reached the peak and have started the ride. The 24 producers pride themselves on upping the stakes and they sure did that, especially for those of us who have watched all the previous "days."

If you have not seen the premiere and plan to, stop reading this post now. I am not kidding.

David Palmer and Michelle Dessler-Almeida are dead, Tony is severely injured, and Jack Bauer has been framed for the attacks.

I appreciated that within the context of 24, they allowed Jack a moment to acknowledge what Palmer meant to him, and I take it on faith that a moment is coming like that for Michelle. I avoid spoilers as religiously as I can, but dramatically, before the end of the day Tony needs to be at the right end of a gun with the person who killed Michelle at the wrong end.

For a show with at least one creator who is an avowed Republican, 24 is really good at presenting a character who can be seen as a mirror for George W. Bush, and not a flattering one. President Logan is obsessed with appearances to the extent of ignoring good advice from his intelligence people...that sound familiar to anybody?

Two more hours tomorrow.


(Freaky coincidence department: It occurs to me that three of my favorite TV shows feature a character named Logan. It's the name of Rory's romantic interest on Gilmore Girls, Veronica's once and maybe future romantic interest on Veronica Mars, and the President on 24, who is nobody's romantic interest except maybe his own.)

ETA (Freaky coincidence department 2: The new season begins with the assination by sniper of a great, black leader. Happy Martin Luther King day, everybody.)

If I were in the market to buy some fridge magnets...

...I think I'd buy these.

This has been an unpaid commercial endorsement.

Ever wonder where Paris Hilton gets her ladylike ways?

Mrs. Hilton partying the night away with her daughter.

Shelley Winters, R.I.P.

Mark has a nice memory and a classic story about Shelley Winters here.

One film she was particuarly good in late in her career was Heavy, written and directed by James Mangold, currently a man of the hour for the Johnny Cash bio-pic. And The Poseidon Adventure is arguably the greatest of the "disaster" movies-speaking of remakes that don't need to be made. I probably first saw her in Pete's Dragon, which is certainly a flawed movie, but I don't care because I was six when it came out. I remember seeing Whoever Slew Auntie Roo on TV long ago and liking it. And I usually liked her as the grandmother on Roseanne.


Cordelia Chase
45% amorality, 63% passion, 18% spirituality, 45% selflessness

Cordy is one of those characters who's sometimes misunderstood. True, you have a healthy self-interest, and an interest in the finer things in life, but that doesn't mean that you don't have a heart of gold and a bit of passion in your soul.

In later years, Cordelia proved just how loving and good a woman she was, and (whether man or woman), I suspect you're kind of like her.