Saturday, April 05, 2008

The real John McCain

This is great. An email from the liberal advocacy group Moveon.org points out a few things about McCain, some of which you may not know. I didn't. They're asking recipients to forward the email to others in their address books.

The thing is, I figure most of the people in my address book are only slightly more likely to vote for McCain than I am, and anyway may already be on the MoveOn list. Or, like PJ and Jeopardygirl, are not American citizens.

So I've chosen to do this instead: Below, you will find selections from the email, with the provided links, and occasional commentary by me. Should you want me to forward the whole e-mail to you, gimmie a holler.



According to Bloomberg News, McCain is more hawkish than Bush on Iraq, Russia and China. Conservative columnist Pat Buchanan says McCain "will make Cheney look like Gandhi."




The Children's Defense Fund rated McCain as the worst senator in Congress for children. He voted against the children's health care bill last year, then defended Bush's veto of the bill.




One Republican senator said: "The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He's erratic. He's hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me."

McCain talks a lot about taking on special interests, but his campaign manager and top advisers are actually lobbyists. The government watchdog group Public Citizen says McCain has 59 lobbyists raising money for his campaign, more than any of the other presidential candidates.


This is my favorite sentence from the ABCNews story linked above:

"Everyone knows that John McCain is someone who has always stood on principle, taking stances against special interests," responded [McCain spokesperson B.J.]Boling when ABCNews.com asked whether the campaign would provide more disclosure.


Maybe not absolutely every time, but 99% of the time whenever anyone talks about something that "everyone knows," I get suspicious that I'm being spun. You know why? Things that "everyone knows"...nobody has to tell us. The things people have to tell us are things that we don't know that they want us to (or that they want is to believe).

(I'm the same way about "And I've always said this." Usually, it means someone is changing their position and wants to muddy their tracks.)

The pastor McCain calls his "spiritual guide," Rod Parsley, believes America's founding mission is to destroy Islam, which he calls a "false religion." McCain sought the political support of right-wing preacher John Hagee, who believes Hurricane Katrina was God's punishment for gay rights and called the Catholic Church "the Antichrist" and a "false cult."


Ok, I've made a decision. From now on, any blog I read that fires on Obama for his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, I'm searching to see what stance they're taking, if any, on McCain and these preachers.

If they're letting him walk, or just ignoring it, I'm not reading that blog anymore.

He positions himself as pro-environment, but he scored a 0—yes, zero—from the League of Conservation Voters last year.


Just a couple of the reasons why he did are that he dodged a vote on clean energy (causing a measure to fail)...and then his office lied about it to the Sierra Club.

Guilty pleasure?


I've said it before and I'll say it again

I always do what breasts tell me to do.

And here we have an entire website/business devoted to that premise.



You can see why this would be a success.

"No, honey, I wasn't staring at that other girl's breasts because I want to jump her or anything. How shallow do you think I am? I was just feeling...charged with positive energy, yeah that's it, as I meditated on the message."

(obviously I'm going for jokes, but actually, I do think it's a lovely idea. I might even buy one of her men's tees next time I'm shopping for one.)

I don't even know what this means, but I agree with it



Oh mighty Isis...

Came across this portrait of the title character from the 1970's kids series, of which I have some fond memories, and liked it. The artwork is by Mitch Foust; it was commisioned by SwanShadow, at whose blog you can also see a couple of other like pieces.

Well, at least she won't be cold



--she's wearing a winter hat...

Greatest girl name since Jennifer Lee Wiggins



Jenna Von Oy!

...but not as great as Jennifer Lee Wiggins, of course.

(I have to say that, guys, look at her...)

Jena Malone does some fancy footwork to explain why the fact her new film "The Ruins" wasn't screened for critics is nothing to be anxious about

So you want to see Jane Fonda made all out of comic books



Click to see full size.









(Made here.)

Thursday, April 03, 2008

This offends me.

Any time I post about Ann Coulter, I always feel the need for a shower afterwards. It seems so clear to me she is at the very least, missing a fuse, and her writing such obvious masturbation material for republicans of the 21st century. Her suppositions are as gaunt as Christina Ricci's body.

So going after her feels a little like pulling wings off flies. But I am not proof against temptation, and when I get my daily summary from Media Matters and see this...
In an April 2 syndicated column titled "Obama's Dimestore 'Mein Kampf,' " Ann Coulter wrote of Sen. Barack Obama's 1995 memoir, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance: "Has anybody read this book? Inasmuch as the book reveals Obama to be a flabbergasting lunatic, I gather the answer is no.


It offends me. It offends me not simply because I am for Obama, admire him and think he'll make a good president. It offends me also because, as it happens, I have read that book. He's a very fine writer, and I want to read his other.

And lastly (as I've said elsewhere), for what it's worth...whenever someone brings out a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler, I tend to assume they don't have much of substance to throw up.

(Godwin's Law--it's not just for Usenet anymore)

I don't even know what to say about this one

Anne Hathaway's boyfriend was arrested for writing a bad check...to the tune of $250,000. And as that story notes, it's not the first time he's seemed to have some bad karma coming to him. But as one who virtually worships Ms. Hathaway, I think, on the one hand, ha, ha! Take that!

But on the other, as a genuine fan and I like to think a nice fella (at least more so than I used to be), I want her to be happy.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

And no one's been lying, 'cause we don't lie any more

Holy crap.

Ok. As you longtime readers may remember, a particular hobby horse of mine in the past has been the failure, as I see it, of both the press and the Democrats to say when the Bush administration (and I'm sorry to say, much of the right) is lying. That's "lying," pls note, defined as:
noun 1. the telling of lies; untruthfulness.
–adjective 2. telling or containing lies; deliberately untruthful


It is not: Making a statement of opinion with which I disagree. If you say that American Idol is a great show, that would be an opinion with which I disagree. If I say that American Idol is an unpopular show, that would be a lie. We clear on the difference? Fine.

BTW, I don't just mean, failing to report when someone from the administration or other right-wing figure makes a statement that is provably untruthful, deliberately or not. That's a separate problem.

I mean what I perceived as reluctance actually to use the words lie, liar or the like. That's why the title of Franken's 'Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them' was so nice. He was one of the only people willing to say it.

During the last weeks before and the first just after the '04 election, I remember saying something probably more than once. I said I thought that if John Kerry had found the guts to just point at George W. Bush during a debate and say that this man is a liar...

...he'd have been elected president. But John Kerry didn't have those guts, so Bush got another four years to completely alienate us from the rest of the world.

Plus, many of the same people who swore on a bible that the Clinton impeachment was not partisan, or even really about a sexual affair, but simply about a lie? They're now willing to permit and even support lies on a grand scale. I find it hard to bottle up my indignation about that.

But, in all this, I always thought it was just a casual, rank cowardice on the part of our politicians and pundits. Never even fantasized that it was anything like an actual policy in oh, say, a paper of record.

From the book Feet To The Fire, page 178, in an interview with columnist Paul Krugman:

Howell Raines, the executive editor, said to me, "you can't use that word."

Why?

It sounded too partisan. It's a funny thing-and again, this is part of the story, to say, the candidate or the president is lying," is considered a partisan statement even if you can prove that he's lying...if he's lying about a public matter, a matter of policy or a rationale for war, it's unacceptably partisan to say that.

Turn up the Marvin and Mariah, y'all

John McCain, the Republican candidate for U.S. president, was the top pick for the Oval Office for men and classic rock partisans -- those people who tune in to stations playing music from the "original classic rock era" of 1964 to 1975, comprised of bands like Led Zeppelin, The Who and Pink Floyd.

Jacobs Media said the survey, conducted among 69 U.S. rock-formatted stations in markets as diverse as Los Angeles and Knoxville to Buffalo, found 84 percent of the respondents planned to vote in the November election.

Oh, perfect.

When the Bush appointees say "Justice" they mean "just us."

There is an attorney, Leslie Hagen, who worked for the Justice Department until late 2006, when she was told her contract would not be renewed. It's curious, really, because this woman
received the highest possible ratings for her work as liaison between the Justice Department and the U.S. attorneys' committee on Native American issues. Her final job evaluation lists five categories for supervisors to rank her performance. For each category, a neat X fills the box marked, "Outstanding." And at the bottom of the page, under "overall rating level," she also got the top mark: Outstanding.


And funny thing--before that happened...
Justice Department e-mails obtained by NPR show that [former Attorney General Alberto] Gonzales's senior counsel Monica Goodling had a particular interest in Hagen's duties. A few months before Hagen was let go, according to one e-mail, Goodling removed part of Hagen's job portfolio — the part dealing with child exploitation and abuse.


Former U.S. Attorney for Minnesota, Tom Heffelfinger, who recruited her to Washington, said
it's "a real loss to the Department of Justice and to the people the department serves when somebody like [Hagen] is removed from a position, especially for no reason."


So you have to ask yourself--if you're not already way ahead of me--why Ms. Goodling got all bent out of shape over Ms. Hagen dealing with child abuse. Indeed, further, what was the reason such an apparently exceptional lawyer was removed from her position?

Well, it's a matter of incontrovertible fact and public record that this Justice Department was improperly partisan in its hiring and firing decisions. But-
by all accounts, Hagen was a GOP loyalist.


So again, why?

The Justice Department's inspector general is looking into whether Hagen was dismissed after a rumor reached Goodling that Hagen is a lesbian.

As one Republican source put it, "To some people, that's even worse than being a Democrat."


As we all know, dykes are just powder kegs of child abuse waiting to go off.

To quote Dana in Quo Vadimus (the final episode of "Sports Night", the last show about sports that I loved this much...)

My show is on. My show is on! My show is on! ... My show is *on*!


AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) -- NBC announced Wednesday that its acclaimed "Friday Night Lights" series will be back for its third season in February.

The show is slated to rejoin the schedule at 9 p.m. on Fridays as part of a partnership between NBC and DirectTV, according to a release from NBC.

Oh. My. God.

The May issue of Vanity Fair contains an article that contends the Bush administration supported using extreme and perhaps torturous interrogation techniques at its highest levels.

The article, written by British law professor Phillipe Sands, maintains that an aggressive approach to questioning detainees at Guantanamo was encouraged by senior advisers to Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, among others. Some of their inspiration came from the actions of the fictional star of the series "24," Jack Bauer.


Emphasis mine.

I think I'm going to throw up.

For the record, there are times when even I don't miss the '80s

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Swimsuits, broadly defined

Via TRO, the guys at movies.aol.com have put together a list of "hottest women in swimsuits" of the movies. I think TRO was baiting me.

I go along with the AOL guys’ choices of Princess Leia in the gold bikini, "The Sure Thing," Honey Ryder, Denise Richards in "Wild Things," Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft, Linda in "Fast Times," and Jinx in "Die Another Day."

I'd even allow for Demi Moore in "Charlie's Angels 2," though I think her plastic surgeon ought to get most of the credit (and anyway, I prefer "classic" Demi Moore).



And Liz Hurley in "Bedazzled," although for my money, she's even sexier in the schoolgirl costume (or have I said too much?)

But I'd add...



Saffron Burrows, "Deep Blue Sea."



Sigourney Weaver. I know, not technically a swimsuit, but neither is Leia's outfit.

Speaking of Leia, Natalie Portman played her mother and I couldn't find a picture I liked of the swimming pool scene in "Garden State." But while looking I did find this one...



...and it was too flawless not to include, switsuit or no.



Alexis Dziena, "Broken Flowers." If there's such a thing as the anti-ugly, she's it.



"Stealing Beauty." And no wonder the Mummy came unwrapped...



Christina Ricci.



Jane Adams & Parker Posey, "The Anniversary Party."

With special mention, even though it's not a movie, for miss Perpugilliam Brown in "Doctor Who," Planet of Fire.

The case for terminating the war

Via Washington Monthly, Zbigniew Brzezinski writes a column on how to withdraw from Iraq. Choice excerpt (but read the whole thing):

The contrast between the Democratic argument for ending the war and the Republican argument for continuing is sharp and dramatic. The case for terminating the war is based on its prohibitive and tangible costs, while the case for "staying the course" draws heavily on shadowy fears of the unknown and relies on worst-case scenarios. President Bush's and Sen. John McCain's forecasts of regional catastrophe are quite reminiscent of the predictions of "falling dominoes" that were used to justify continued U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Neither has provided any real evidence that ending the war would mean disaster, but their fear-mongering makes prolonging it easier.

Nonetheless, if the American people had been asked more than five years ago whether Bush's obsession with the removal of Saddam Hussein was worth 4,000 American lives, almost 30,000 wounded Americans and several trillion dollars -- not to mention the less precisely measurable damage to the United States' world-wide credibility, legitimacy and moral standing -- the answer almost certainly would have been an unequivocal "no."

Monday, March 31, 2008

Enjoy!

(Oh, there's always time for email on this blog,
Yes there's always time for email on this blog,
Yes there's always time for email
From a guy or girl or she male...)

My pal Corey Klemow (aka The Beaver) sent me a link to the YouTube page of his friend, Amy. Seems Amy's a singer/songwriter/actress who's set herself the task of writing a song a week all through 2008.

Corey writes:

I suspect (perhaps wrongly, as usual) that you may enjoy her work.


Let me explain why Corey hedges his bet. You see, while Corey and I agree on the fun quotient of many things--Doctor Who, Mark Evanier's blog, The Iron Giant, Sandman--we diverge occasionally on the subject of music.

(This is best exemplified by the fact that the man does not know the difference between Marvin Gaye and the Bee Gees, something I plan never, ever to let him forget.)

In this case, however, his suspicions are correct. I did enjoy her work.

Here are two demonstrations of same, you can hear more at the link, above.

This is Song 7, titled "7 Deadly Sins," synchronistically enough. It's introduced by a musicalized Shakespeare's Sonnet. Pet Shop Boys did the same thing (tho not the same sonnet) with Liza Minnelli, but it sounded nothing like this. Also good, but nothing like this. That's all I'm saying.

Her song kind of reminds me of Crowded House, maybe a little Bowie.



And this is song 11, or "Equator Song:"



She mentions Colin Hay as an influence and I can really hear it.

See why it pays to support your friendly blogger?

I'd just like to mention here and now for and for the record that I still think Pink is incredibly pretty.



Thank you for your attention, go on about your day.

one Nation, under...yes...yes...oh God yes...

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Puffins are a panic

"My god...Phil jumped."
"I never thought he'd actually do it, y'know?"





















"Snicker........snort."

Random Flickr-blogging 1515



Capturing the exact precise moment a man realized the chocolate his ex-girlfriend gave him was laced with a laxative.

Credit.

There are black birds over The grayish cliffs of Dover And the rats are preparing to leave the B.B.C.

I went for a walk this afternoon to take in the movie Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, and also to return a DVD of the last Harry Potter film.

Miss Pettigrew is a bit like a lesser Noel Coward song, to use a reference in-period to the film (which is set in 1939 London). By that I mean it's lighter than air, but sufficiently charming, stimulating, funny and moving to entertain for an hour-and-a-half's time.

It's based on a novel but seems very much like a play, with only a few lengthy scenes placed in the same settings. But if it were a play, it'd be one with a very strong cast.

Frances McDormand gets to add just enough weight to her character to make her substantial, but not so much as would overbalance the film.

I especially liked a bonding moment or two between her and CiarĂ¡n Hinds, as a lingerie designer named Joe. As the shadow of WWII gathers, they conclude they're the only ones, in the social set in which Miss Pettigrew finds herself and in which Joe lives, who remember the last war.

Amy Adams is gloriously bouncy and bubbly as a young actress who is perhaps not as opportunistic at heart as she thinks she is.

In the "New (at least to me) Faces" department, a pretty Scottish actress named Shirley Henderson (next to Adams, above) is hard to keep an eye off. Though it's an underwritten part that's more of a plot mechanism than a character.

And Christina Cole (below) is sexy in a small role as Adams' rival.



Two minor notes: If you think well of swing music of the period, which I do, you'll enjoy the soundtrack, which I did.



And for I think the first time in my life, I'm going to predict an award nomination for someone not an actor, writer or director: Costume Designer Michael O'Connor. The man knows how to dress women...(see above)

For anyone who likes reading my occasional Amazon.com reviews...

My latest is up.

Mothers of Invention

Mario Cuomo--the Barack Obama of 1984, only he chose not to run--makes the best case I've seen yet for an Obama/Clinton (or Clinton/Obama) ticket.

Secretly, Emma Bunton liked the ego boost of watching Ben and Johnny Bacardi fight over her.

Reese Witherspoon arrested for smuggling pineapples



But hey, at least I don't cuss.

My strength is as the strength of ten, Because my heart is pure

The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?

The idea illustrated

The idea, by George Carlin:

"More than happy." I bet you say that sometimes, don't you? Once in a while you say to somebody, "Oh, I'd be more than happy to do that."

How can you be more than happy? To me, this sounds like a dangerous mental condition. “We had to put Dave in the mental hospital. He was… *shudder* more than happy.”


The illustration:


I don't know who she is, but that girl is more than happy...