Wednesday, June 30

Free Comic Book Day

This Saturday, July 3rd. They're usually not the best comics, but they're the freest.

D O G T O Y :or: M A R I T A L A I D - You decide.

Funny, educational, and not-safe-for-work. I missed 1 on the easy round and 3 on the difficult. I must really like, um, dogs.

Republican looking into cancelling or rescheduling Nov election

This may be the most frightening opening paragraph I've read this year: "The government needs to establish guidelines for canceling or rescheduling elections if terrorists strike the United States again, says the chairman of a new federal voting commission."

Well, we can't really have elections in the middle of a war with East Eurasia, can we?

Monday, June 28

Rolling Stone roundtable on Iraq

Best quote is from Senator Joseph Biden: "I was in the Oval Office the other day, and the president asked me what I would do about resignations. I said, 'Look, Mr. President, would I keep Rumsfeld? Absolutely not.' And I turned to Vice President Cheney, who was there, and I said, 'Mr. Vice President, I wouldn't keep you if it weren't constitutionally required.' I turned back to the president and said, 'Mr. President, Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld are bright guys, really patriotic, but they've been dead wrong on every major piece of advice they've given you. That's why I'd get rid of them, Mr. President -- not just Abu Ghraib.' They said nothing. Just sat like big old bullfrogs on a log and looked at me."

Odd that W would be asking Biden's advice on resignations....

The Best Part of Reagan's Legacy

May be his son Ron, who asks, in this NY Times interview, "Whom would Jesus torture?"


You won't be after browsing this list of weird foods from around the world.

Mother allows photos of Calif. soldier's coffin

Good for her, making the best of a tragedy.

Mmmm, Rapsnacks

The official snack of hip-hop!

Sanity Returning to the Bench

Supreme Court rules that prisoners at Gitmo may use U.S. legal system to challenge their detention.

Friday, June 25

Chair of House Select Committee on Intelligence Says says CIA Leak not Worthy of Action

Back in 2003, Republican Representative Porter Goss of Sanibel, Florida, who chairs the House's Select Committee on Intelligence, was quoted in the South Florida Herald Tribune regarding the outing of Valerie Plame by the administration: "I would say there's a much larger dose of partisan politics going on right now than there is worry about national security."

Unbelievably, Goss went on to say "Somebody sends me a blue dress and some DNA, I'll have an investigation."

It just so happens that Goss is now the leading candidate to replace Tenet as head of the CIA.

Yeah, he'll have the full respect of his people, after publicly downplaying the seriousness of keeping undercover agents secret and safe.

I'm just glad he, for one, has steered clear of partisan politics.

The New York Times: Thou-Shalt-See TV


The New Yorker Reviews "Eats, Shoots & Leaves"

Polly Prissy Pants didn't like it, but I think it's worth picking up.

The New York Times: Happiness Overrated

So quit telling me to have a nice day, dammit!

David Lee Roth studying to be an EMT

"My dream would be to save a Scandinavian hikerette"

Bigfoot Convention

I hope Ange pre-registered.

The Zutons are Coming

Keep an ear out for The Zutons. They're from Liverpool. They sound kind of like a cross between the early Kinks, the Zombies and Morphine.

There are some live tracks here.

Vice President Potty-Mouth

Senator asks Cheney about Haliburton war profiteering; Cheney tells Senator to f%ck off. What will we tell our children?

And if this were carried on CSPAN, would the FCC go after Cheney for an indecency fine?

Sounds like reasonable grounds for divorce to me.

Thank God Duran Duran is broken up, or Jody and I may not be altar-bound this summer....

Wednesday, June 23

Nader make TWO Great VP Picks

Peter Camejo was a great pick for his own VP slot -- he was my vote in the silly California gubnatorial election last year. Now Nader is urging Kerry to pick John Edwards to round out his ticket, and I have to say, his earnestness and likability could go a long way toward balancing Kerry's stilted, aloof demeanor. And, Edwards's relative inexperience and humble beginnings could help deflect Bush's Bizarro-world attempts to distinguish himself from Kerry as a "Washington outsider" and "regular Joe."

When your dad's an ex-President who got you into Yale as a legacy, you're not a Washington Outsider or Regular Joe. And if you're actually the President, you are, by definition, about as Washington-Inside as it gets.

Newsflash: Haliburton Crooked

Implicated in Nigerian bribery scandal.

Woes of a Cranky Cheesemonger

X-Men are here.

Child's super-strength due to genetic mutation.

Conservatives Turning on Bush

Not turning him on, though maybe that, too. I mean realizing they've been duped. His approval ratings are at their lowest, and disapproval is at 52%. And maybe it's just because Kerry isn't bothering to campaign in California, which is squarely in his pocket, but it seems like he hasn't really even begun to campaign in earnest yet.

This should be Kerry's race to lose -- though I don't underestimate the ability of the Democratic Party to do just that.

Metallica in Therapy

Band on the Couch

Nifty G-mail hack

If anyone's using Google's gmail service as their main email, G-Mailto will change all internet mailto: links to bring up gmail rather than launch Outlook or somesuch.

The Good News out of Iraq

Tuesday, June 22

More, worse Abu Grabe photos to come?

A Moral Chernobyl - Prepare for the worst of Abu Ghraib. By Christopher Hitchens

Fun with OCD

Craig's List Rave: My OCD ex-girlfriend

Slate: Are Elvis Costello and Diana Krall ruining each other?

MIA dullard McCluck mailed in this insightful review of the new Diana Krall record. Nothing to argue with here. When Krall sings Tom Wait's "Temptaion," she sounds like she's about to give in to the urge for a tasty fruit-swirled yogurt treat. When Tom Waits sings it, he's being torn apart over that final bottle of whiskey or suicide blonde, the one that will finally do him in. But what the hell -- it's at least a bit more adventurous for Krall than another album of standards, and the playing is top-notch, if restrained, and immaculately well-recorded.

Surf's Up!

Weekly reminder

Ashcroft evil, as well.

I tend to think they're lying.

According to a raft of memos the White House is declassifying, Rumsfeld only approved "mild noninjurious physical contact such as grabbing someone's arm, poking them in the chest or light shoving" in interrogations.

But of course, they're not releasing the memos where Rumsfeld approved the use of "snuggling, cuddling and spooning."

Sunday, June 20

Spyware/Adware Reviewed

For Jody, whose computer still hasn't recovered from an unfortunate infestation.

The Observer's 100 Greatest British Albums


Saturday, June 19

Design Observer review of McSweeney's No. 13

It really is a great issue, focusing exclusively on comics. And the packaging and design of every McSweeny's is always so luxoriously cool -- how they can afford to put these out at $20-something an issue I can't imagine. Technically, if you read the fine print, the "dust cover" is actually the issue of McSweeny's being released this time, with the book that it surrounds being a bonus appendix (plus, my copy came with two extra little tiny comic books).

Also, the first volume of the Complete Peanuts is out and definitely worth picking up. Much funnier than the later strips, they have a retro charm that I dig. But then, I'm probably the only one you know under 70 who still follows Gasoline Alley....

Tuesday, June 15

At a tradeshow this week

Ange will continue to cover the cryptozoology beat. In the meantime, for all your political outrage needs, please visit Atrios

Friday, June 11

Students and plagiarism

Inneresting article for the teacher(s) in our audience.

Christian Exodus

Good riddance.

Good mourning.

I like cartoons.

Regan, to his credit, did inspire Americans with his Greatest-Generation vision of America as a great force for Democracy in the world -- something that was sorely needed after the debacle of the Johson-Nixon-Ford era, and that was not articulated by the Carter administration.

Unfortunately, it wasn't Democracy Reagan was trying to export, so much as Capitalism. Nothing inherently wrong with that, but the methods he used are a huge black mark on his legacy. With Iran-Contra, he continued the Nixon administration's attitude of the President and the Executive branch of the government being above the Constitution, a dangerous, un-American attitude which has fully flowered in the current administration, and threatens to undermine everything that is worthwhile about our country.

Killed Stories - Great Journalism Too Hot to Print

Looks like a good book. It's a compilation of stories commissioned by magazines like Harper's Vanity Fair, et al, but then killed for various (mostly political) reasons.

Is U.S. like Germany of the '30s?

Amid the hyperbole of the D-Day anniversary, a lot of people were responding to Bush's comparisons between WWII and the War on Terror by asking -- "Yeah, but which are we, this time: Germany or Japan?" Andrew Greely has an answer.

Sasquatch alert!

A sighting in the Yukon! Then again, it was probably just swamp gas or a weather balloon.

Wednesday, June 9

Shmeparation of Church and State

Bah. Funny commentary on the problem, though.

I can't wait for the Dems to get back in power, so I can hate them instead -- because then I don't have to hate quite so much, and have hate left over to use in the rest of my life....

Biden goes after Ashcroft

From a clip played on CNN's "Lou Dobbs Tonight," about the Justice Department memo giving Bush the wink and a nod about torture. Apparently the video excerpt picks up after Biden (who has a son in the military) has asked Ashcroft whether the use of torture is [legally?] justifiable:

JOHN ASHCROFT, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: First of all, this administration has not ordered or...

SEN. JOSEPH BIDEN (D), DELAWARE: I'm not asking that, John. Excuse me. With all due respect, I want to know your opinion.

ASHCROFT: I won't issue or otherwise discuss hypotheticals. I'll leave it to the academics.

BIDEN: Let me see. Do you think this is justified?

It is not hypothetical.

ASHCROFT: That's not a hypothetical. That is a circumstance. That's the kind of circumstance that when it is referred to the justice department, we investigate and if there is a basis for prosecution, we would prosecute. We have investigated...

BIDEN: John, you sound like you're in the state department. Remember the old days when you were here looking for answers on this side?

ASHCROFT: I have a recollection of that.

BIDEN: Yes. Well, my time is up, I can see.

ASHCROFT: I condemn torture. I think...

BIDEN: So it is not justified, then?

ASHCROFT: I don't think it's productive let alone justified.

BIDEN: I don't either. By the way, there's a reason -- I'll conclude by saying there is a reason we sign these treaties. To protect my son in the military. That's why we have these treaties. So when Americans are captured they are not tortured. That's the reason in case anybody forgets it. That's the reason.

PJ Harvey

Great googly-moogly.

And Jody somehow doesn't understand what I see in that gal.

Designs on the White House

Some good t-shirt designs here. But you have to keep clicking the "Reload" button to see them, unless you want to go through the hassle of registering to vote in their contest, which you should, but I won't.

Tuesday, June 8

Legalizing Torture (

Great editorial from the usually more conservative Washington Post.

(Yes, they're Jelly Bellys. Click on pic to go to good Krugman article in NY Times.)

Beatles catalog headed for digital distribution?

Probably not for awhile. I'd bet 2006 at the earliest. I just wish they'd get around to remastering, and releasing the mono versions (i.e., the intended versions, for the most part) of their catalog.

Beautiful Horizons: Bush to the US Constitution: Drop Dead

Good idiot's guide to how the Justice Department's memo is, on the face of it, legally shaky at best, and why the administration is violating international (as well as US) law by endorsing the use of torture.

I hope Kerry makes a big deal out of this in the campaign. I think if the public sentiment comes to "Bush & co endorsed the use of torture, it wasn't a few 'bad apples'," then either (1) we'll throw the bums out of office or (2) America, as I once knew it, will be a nostalgic memory, like Mayberry, RFD.

Why did the Chicken Cross the Road?

Iraqi Stylee.

Condoleezza Rice Topless!

And Hillary baking cookies. Mmmmm-mmmm!

Yahoo! News - Ashcroft refuses to give Congress torture memo

The one where he basically OKed the use of torture in interrogations.This should be a huge story.

Cowboy coach Parcells disses Asians!

"No disrespect for the Orientals."

Friday, June 4

Interesting phenomenom....

What if we had the WWW 60 years ago?

Or 40 years ago?

Jody's right, I am a gossip hound

But this fight between the creators of "Freaks & Geeks" and "That 70s Show" is kind of amusing.

On an unrelated tv note, caught the 2nd series of Celebrity Poker Smackdown last night, with Dave Foley hosting. He's not quite as funny with a goatee, but not quite as unctuous as Kevin Pollak was. The problem may be that it's hard for a comedian to spark off the Vulcan wit of poker pro (that is, mathmetician) Phil Gordon. Any way, worth a look. Star Jones is on next week -- she'll be the Big Blind all night. <rimshot />

The Stroh

It looks like a three-way between a bugle, a violin, and a small bar funnel. It sounds like "a saxophone gargling a cat."

Some Good News for a Friday

Creed Disbands.

Defamer: O.J. Simpson Is Coming To Juice You

These are the End Days, my friend. OJ debuting a Punk'd-style show. Admittedly, I find double-homicide a bit funnier than most do, but this seems a bit much to even me.... : Brooklyn Cheese Artist Makes Bed of Ham

Mmmmm, ham:

'His father never let him play,' said longtime girlfriend Sarah Jacobs. 'That's why he started with the cheese.'

Sliced ham, Cavallaro said, is 'a pure form of America: all kinds of parts, boiled and pressed together.'

Despite his training in an Italian art school, he said he had rejected Prosciutto 'It would have been pompous.' He also shelved an idea to do ham and eggs as 'too pretentious, too thought out.'

Thursday, June 3

Bill Maher on Larry King - Transcript

Some funny lines:

And how come these people like Condoleezza Rice ... always say the same thing? No one could "envision" -- that was her view. No one could envision flying planes into buildings. You know what? Stop saying that, Ms. Rice. You couldn't envision it. Plenty of people envisioned it. The terrorists envisioned it. Some of the people in your own FBI and CIA envisioned it. Those two little jerks at Columbine envisioned it. Tom Clancy envisioned it. You didn't envision it. And by the way, when you have "National Security" in your title and stenciled on your door, it sort of is your job to envision it.

Fahrenheit 9/11

See the trailer online.

This seems wrong

Bush Campaign Seeks Help From Thousands of Congregations

I'm still not watching baseball

Cracker Jack back.

News Flash

Turns out Bush is a big stinkin' liar.

We have a scapegoat!

Tenet resigns for "personal reasons."

Of course, he did screw up and should lose his job -- but I bet he'll now be the fall guy for all sorts of stuff as that door his hitting him on the butt. Unless he kept good records of all sorts of dirt, which he may well have.... Between the Bush administration and the Laker intrigues, this should be a great summer for my two favorite soap operas.

(Speaking of which, Coupling returns to BBC America this Sunday, sans Jeff. Losing Jeff is bad. Even worse is that they've added someone named Oliver. It's never good when a sitcom ads an Oliver....)

Wednesday, June 2

Chalabi kept files on his American contacts?

As Josh Marshall points out, this could get ugly, indeed. Helps explain the subtle gracenote that was putting a bullet through Chalabi's portrait during that raid last month.

In other news, Bush has secured a lawyer to represent him in the fomenting Plame scandal, and Michael Moore got a distributor for Farenheit 9/11.

Let the Summer Blockbuster Season begin!

Free Speech Zones In the USA?

I thought our entire nation was a "Free Speech Zone."

Bush Likens War Against Terrorism to WWII

<chandler>Could he BE any more delusional?</chandler> -- OK G.W., fine, it's WWII, and you're FDR. We got Hitler. Can we go home now?

Another Terry Jones article

Nothing new here, but it's odd that a British commedian can summarize our situation so much more accurately than most of our own citizens.

What do you have to DO to get fired in Washinton?!?

NYT: Chalabi Reportedly Told Iran That U.S. Had Code

'Mr. Chalabi had said that one of "them" — a reference to an American — had revealed the code-breaking operation, the officials said. The Iranian reported that Mr. Chalabi said the American was drunk.'

Larry David saves innocent man!

How to beat a murder rap -- go to a Dodgers game.

Paul is dead, or may as well be

He's looking really old.

Two Great Tastes that Don't Taste Great Together

'Sopranos' star vs. 'Queer Eye' guys

Tuesday, June 1

Naked hooded prisoners? What naked hooded prisoners?

Not exactly a Drudge-level scoop, but I have to say -- the Whitehouse is teeming withjaw-droppingly shameless liars: "The White House has flatly rejected Amnesty International's charges that the U.S.-led war on terror had led to widespread human-rights abuses in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba."

The Diebold Variations

Faux ads. Funny stuff.

Mmmmm, pudding pops.

Cos gets medieval on Black culture.

The Nick Berg execution: a working hypothesis

More for the conspiracy enthusiasts like me & Richard Belzer.

The Book of Ratings

I like obsessives.

F You And Your H2

I kind of like the H2. If only because it's one less stranger about whom you have to question, "I wonder if that guy's an asshole?"

Uncle Leo

Shout-out for Roy

FAIR finds NPR to be conservative-biased


John Kerry intern scandal - Alexandra Polier's account

Fairly fascinating story about how that intern scandal rumor grew legs, written by the woman it was about.


Funny. The new McSweeny's Quarterly Concern is awesome -- it's all comic stuff, edited by Chris Ware. Packaging is, per usual, fantastic as well. Look for it in an independent book store, why don't you?

Hell is for Seniors

Gah. I had a huge crush on her when I was 14.

Ann Coulter: Tit for Tet

Heh-heh. Ann Coulter said tit.

I'm not sure what she's getting at (something about liberal media bad, war good?), because I can't really follow her reasoning in this article. I like this bit, though: "Whenever great matters are at stake, you can always count on liberals to have some pointless, womanly complaint."

Dames, eh?

She also says dumber stuff like the following [my comments in brackets]:

We have liberated the Iraqi people from a brutal dictator who gassed his own people [in the 80s, with chemicals we gave him], had weapons of mass destruction [not anytime recently], invaded his neighbors [about 15 years ago], harbored terrorists [not really], funded terrorists [could be he encouraged Palestinian suicide bombers] and had reached out to Osama bin Laden [big stinkin' lie].

Such illogical, womanly complaints. And then she has the gall to allude to Orwell's 1984!

She is, in all senses of the word, hysterical. And about as "liberated" as I imagine the folks in Iraq are feeling about now.