Saturday, November 15, 2008

Lines from the Stephen Colbert roast

Via E&P Pub:

Rahm Emanuel: Mary Matalin is scared of Stephen, and she's seen Carville naked! ... We're frightened of Colbert, but we know that deep down, underneath the Republican character you see on TV, there's still a good man, there's still hope for him. It's the same way we feel about Joe Lieberman."

and Huffington Post.

From Stephen Colbert's speech:

"Dana Perino is here, what an honor to be roasted by the spokesman for the president. Dana Perino, wonderful to see you. I always knew Scott McClellan would hatch into something beautiful. excuse to say "Make your choice," and not be talking about the Saw films.

Democracy for America has a "guess who Barack Obama will pick for his cabinet" game.

It's times like this I wish Hillary Clinton had kicked ass

"I showed her the closets. I showed her all the things that women are interested in."

-- First Lady Laura Bush, in an interview on CNN, on what she showed Michelle Obama during her visit of the White House.

Via The Political Wire.

Some feelings and pics from the Seattle anti-prop 8 march today

Yes, I was there, but for the record I didn't take any of these pictures (no camera). I scooped these up from various and sundry sources, which I will identify.

Reportedly the current police estimate is that there were 6,000 of us, but many who were there think it was larger. I'm terrible at estimating numbers, so I won't try.

All I know is that when it was over I was so tired I didn't know which way was up--and maybe I still don't--but I felt good.

Here's a blog post from one of our local weeklies, The Stranger, which is also where I found this picture:

These next two are by JeanineAnderson:

One of the little perks for us straight boy allies and the lesbians in the crowd--a naked lady on the balcony of a high-rise. I did wonder whether she was being supportive, just an exhibitionist, or both...but why pick?

These were taken by AJ.

(Often quite literally...)

A lot of things at the event made me smile; this was one of them.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

It is increasingly difficult for me to believe that I ever found Dennis Miller funny

And I did, I remember distinctly. But in the last few years...

It's not just that he decided to work for the Bush dog-and-pony show. It's that around the same time he did, his jokes started to sound like they were being written for him by high school bullies.

But this is one of the saddest things I've ever seen.

Watch this clip if you can brace yourself to stand five minutes-plus of Bill O'Reilly talking to Miller. Because in this case, it's not only what he says--which written down looks like just the same old tired mean spirit he now passes off as comedy.

But it's also the way he says it. Watch this and tell me if at some moment you don't get the feeling you're watching a man who is literally out of his head.

Whether or not that's from drink and/or drugs or just his mind snapping from the sheer weight of his stupidity is not for me to say.

But it's really, so sad. And also kinda scary.

How Obama keeps so trim, and other interesting facts

From "Fifty things you might not know about Barack Obama" in the UK Telegraph:

He collects Spider-Man and Conan the Barbarian comics

• He won a Grammy in 2006 for the audio version of his memoir, Dreams From My Father

• He owns a set of red boxing gloves autographed by Muhammad Ali

• He worked in a Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop as a teenager and now can't stand ice cream

• While on the campaign trail he refused to watch CNN and had sports channels on instead

• He can bench press an impressive 200lbs

• He was known as Barry until university when he asked to be addressed by his full name

• His favourite book is Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

• His favourite films are Casablanca and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

• He applied to appear in a black pin-up calendar while at Harvard but was rejected by the all-female committee.

• His favourite music includes Miles Davis, Bob Dylan, Bach and The Fugees

• He took Michelle to see the Spike Lee film Do The Right Thing on their first date

• He enjoys playing Scrabble and poker

• His favourite fictional television programmes are Mash and The Wire

Thank you, Corey.

That seems fair.

Obama Successor Expected Around Christmas

Well said, George!

George Clooney on civil rights:

"At some point in our lifetime, gay marriage won't be an issue, and everyone who stood against this civil right will look as outdated as George Wallace standing on the school steps keeping James Hood from entering the University of Alabama because he was black."

ETA this related matter...

Shut up!

A homophobic artistic director of California Musical Theatre?

Well, you've gotta respect him for taking such an unpopular you don't.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The all-star connections continue

Talking Points says...

Roll Call says Biden's picking Ron Klain to be his Veep Chief of Staff.

For those interested in cinematic trivia, Klain was the guy Kevin Spacey played in HBO's Recount.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Speaking of the importance of keeping your sense of humor...(EDITED WITH ADDITION)

...the right-wing Powerline demonstrates neatly why it's impossible to take anything they say seriously...

Obama thinks he is a good talker, but he is often undisciplined when he speaks. He needs to understand that as President, his words will be scrutinized and will have impact whether he intends it or not. In this regard, President Bush is an excellent model; Obama should take a lesson from his example. Bush never gets sloppy when he is speaking publicly. He chooses his words with care and precision, which is why his style sometimes seems halting. In the eight years he has been President, it is remarkable how few gaffes or verbal blunders he has committed. If Obama doesn't raise his standards, he will exceed Bush's total before he is inaugurated.

For another opinion, I'm going to consult with an expert on the scrutinization of words...

"This guy was a hack! He had a captive audience! And the way I know that is that I tried to tunnel out of there several times. He had an audience and he didn't know what to do with it."

"Words, when spoken out loud for the sake of performance, are music. They have rhythm, and pitch, and timbre, and volume. These are the properties of music, and music has the ability to find us and move us, and lift us up in ways that literal meanings can't."

"You are an oratorical snob."

"Yes I am and God loves me for it."

ETA: And for further reflections on Bush's skill as a public speaker, let's ask...George W. Bush.

"I regret saying some things I shouldn't have said," Bush told CNN's Heidi Collins when asked to reflect on his regrets over his two terms as president. "Like 'dead or alive' and 'bring 'em on.' My wife reminded me that, hey, as president of the United States, be careful what you say."

"They had a sign that said 'Mission Accomplished.' It was a sign aimed at the sailors on the ship, but it conveyed a broader knowledge. To some it said, well, Bush thinks the war in Iraq is over, when I didn't think that. But nonetheless, it conveyed the wrong message."

The president, whose legacy is sure to be hotly debated for decades...

Not all that hotly, the words "downward spiral" mean anything to you?

Gallup Poll Daily tracking results indicate only 27 percent of Americans approve of the job Bush is doing as president

How comforting.

Gun sales surge after Obama's election

Everything that rises must converge

Richard Schiff, Toby on West Wing, is guest starring on Terminator next week.

John McCain puts his conscience back to sleep

From Political Wire:

Historical Quote of the Day
"I'd never seen anything like that ad. Putting pictures of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden next to the picture of a man who left three limbs on the battlefield -- it's worse than disgraceful. It's reprehensible."

-- Sen. John McCain, quoted by CNN, on the campaign ads used by Saxby Chambliss (R) against Sen. Max Cleland (D-GA) in the 2002 U.S. Senate race.

McCain is now scheduled to campaign for Chambliss in his Georgia run off against Jim Martin (D).

It's great to keep your sense of humor

Via Paul in SF on Pam's House Blend.

Who took this photo, Sergio Aragon├ęs?

(In actual fact, it was Tim Sloan of the AFP)

Aw, shit. You pissy fucking cunt cocksucker motherfucking tits.

Ahem. According to this CNN post about George Carlin being posthumously honored at the Kennedy Center last night,
A handful of protesters gathered on Pennsylvania Avenue near the Kennedy Center, some holding signs saying "Carlin's Going to Hell."

Get it right, will you people? Unless it takes a lot longer than I've always been shown it's taking in movies (and when have they ever lied to me?), Carlin has already gone to hell. If there's one thing I can't abide, it's moral crusaders who are a day late and a dollar short.

Actually, I don't so much mind the dollar short thing.

The same post says Carlin was working on an autobiography when he died; it will be completed by others and released next year. I can hardly wait.

I sorta wish he'd lived to see Obama elected.

Monday, November 10, 2008

You've got to laugh, haven't you?

Who CBS News (!) thought of hiring for sober, right-wing commentary:

Robert Novak
Kate O’Beirne
Tucker Carlson
Pat Buchanan
Matt Drudge
Fred Barnes
William Kristol
John Podhoretz
Bernard Goldberg
Ann Coulter
Andrew Sullivan
Christopher Hitchens
Elliot Abrams
Charles Krauthammer
William Bennett
Rush Limbaugh

And that's not even all...

I don't understand this.

Remember the Megan Meier case? If not, I'll remind you. Meir was the 13-year-old girl who committed suicide last year after receiving taunting MySpace messages by someone who she thought to be (and had represented themselves as) peers. Turned out, it wasn't her peers, it was her adult neighbors.

A lot of people were outraged about this, me being one of them. It's sometimes referred to as "the internet suicide case" or likewise, but to me, the key was never the tools used, it was that grown human beings--let me rephrase that...

Grown up creatures had nothing better to do with their time than to band together and try to hurt a little girl. There's a trial going on for one of those creatures right now, and the judge in same...

U.S. District Judge George H. Wu told attorneys he was leaning toward excluding the evidence [of the suicide] from the trial of Lori Drew, who is accused of using a fictitious profile on the social networking site to drive Megan Meier, her daughter's former friend, to hang herself.

Emphasis mine.

"I don't necessarily think the suicide is relevant to the crime charged," Wu said, adding he thought details of Meier's death would unfairly prejudice the jury.

I don't understand this.

(again, emphasis mine)

What a strange place to find comfort

Leigh Whannell wrote or co-wrote the screenplays to the first three Saw films, as well as appearing in the first and third. I found these quotes in this story about him.

‘‘You don't need permission to write, I could just grab a notepad and pen and start writing. Whereas if I wanna act, there are so many doors I have to get through. I have to get an agent, they have to send me to an audition, I have to get that role ...

‘‘At the end of the day, you're doing all that for what? So you can be in a film that you wouldn't even pay to see. You're like ‘Yes! I got the role! I will be appearing in ... Cheaper By the Dozen 3'.

‘‘The path of least resistance is to write a film that you like, even if no one else likes it, at least you're responsible for the quality...

The Obamas on election night

Via Josh Marshall.

New Pixar trailer!


I think this is gonna be amazing.

This is not your mother's Ziggy

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Linked columns

I read these in the Sunday edition of The Seattle Times today, and thought them worth passing on.

First: Leonard Pitts, Jr, with a column that might be titled (if the professional twat David Cross hadn't co-opted this phrase), "The Pride Is Back."


It would be a sin against our generations, against slaves and freedmen, against housemen and washerwomen, against porters and domestics, against charred bodies hanging in Southern trees, not to be still and acknowledge that something has happened here, and it is sacred and profound.

There was something bittersweet in watching Michelle Obama lectured on American pride this year, in seeing African Americans asked to prove their American-ness when our ancestors were in this country before this country was. There was something in it that was hard to take, knowing that we have loved America when America did not love us, defended America when it would not defend us, believed in American ideals that were larger than skies, yet never large enough to include us.

Next, Gregory Turner responds, as a retired clergymam and teacher of theology, to the banning of gay marriage. He says:

With Jesus it is always the walk of love and justice that marks a faithful person. He reserved his strongest words of judgment for those who used religious moralism to undermine faithful understanding and action. The invocation of moral codes and their intimidating use against the more vulnerable of God's people undermines moral principle and perverts the intention of Christ.

Read 'em.

And asking myself the question: Am I really seeing what I pray I'm seeing?

Candy Flip (the name allegedly refers to taking LSD*) were a one-or-two hit wonder of the British electronic dance band/"madchester" wave of the early '90s.

This (the song that follows) was not one of their bigger hits. But watching the interview with Obama's closest advisors on 60 Minutes this evening, I began to think of it.

*I wouldn't know as I've never taken acid.

That's me.


The Horton the Elephant float is flight tested at Balloonfest, in New York on Saturday Nov. 8, 2008. Three new balloons were inflated and soared aloft ahead of their upcoming debut at the 82nd Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
(AP Photo/Rick Maiman)

See the whole board

Illustration by John Cuneo

(FYI, the reference in the post title is to this episode of The West Wing.)

Here's a story by Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker on the process of the Obama campaign.

It's somewhat densely written, but the revelations contained are well worth taking the time when you have a few minutes to concentrate.

Here are some excerpts.

[speechwriter] Jon Favreau...told me, “People had come [to this campaign] from places where they were probably disappointed in politics.

Obama’s confidence filtered down through the campaign and gave comfort to his staff during the bleaker moments of 2008, such as when Obama learned that he had lost the New Hampshire primary...Favreau said, “His demeanor when he won the Iowa caucuses and his demeanor when he lost New Hampshire were not much different.”

To Obama’s aides, the most important moment of the campaign occurred when Obama had to actually be President...Michelle Obama once talked to me about the doubts that would need to be addressed before people could vote for her husband. “It is a leap of faith,” she said finally. “We talk about it all the time. It is a leap of faith.”