Tuesday, November 30

Mini-Review: Desperate Housewives

So, I finally watched Stepford PeaksDesperate Housewives this weekend at the urgings of Scott and Ange, and I see what you folks get from the show. First of all, it's MILF Central. And, after seeing Sunday's episode and then catching up on the back-story via the (too-)thorough Television Without Pity reviews, I see that it's not just Melrose Place; there seems to be at least one really creepy moment per episode. It's not as great as Twin Peaks (and Danny Elfman is no Angelo Badalamenti), but I'm fairly sure we'll have transvetitism, if not dwarves, at some point.

And I can't wait for the musical episode.

Monday, November 29

Yale Trumps Harvard


Banana Guard

A wonderful product that absolutely nobody has been clamoring for.

Sadly, according to the FAQ, there is no battery attachment available.

Free Screening, Director Q/A of F9/11 Tonite

This is the sort of thing I should probably take advantage of, living in LA. But I'm frankly still recovering from the lack of downtime over the weekend, and need to do some composing tonight, for mental health reasons. Thanksgiving was a lot of fun, but it was chock full of "activities" and "leaving the house."

Zutons -- 20th Best Record of the Year

In Norway, at least.

Friday, November 26

Kids want Pink Floyd's money

The students who sang on "Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)" say they're due more cash.

More interesting: The article's recount of how the teacher obscured the song's content from the schoolmaster at the time. Key quote: "We had a week where we practiced around the piano at school, then we recorded it at the studios. I sort of mentioned it to the headteacher, but didn't give her a piece of paper with the lyrics on it."

Wednesday, November 24

Xmas Time is Here

And who wouldn't want a celebrity-autographed stapler?

Interestingly, Ringo Starr's is currently only going for 4x that of the guy who invented the post-it note.

Jon Stewart Second Most Trusted Source of Political News

At least among America's yout': "Asked whom they trust more to inform them on politics, 17% said NBC's Tom Brokaw, followed by Stewart of 'The Daily Show' at 16%. ABC's Jennings had 15% and CBS' Rather had 10%. "

Actually, that they particularly trust any of these teleprompter jockeys is beyond me....

SpongeBob held hostage!

Excerpt from the ransom note left at the Minnesota Burger King where the massive inflatable version of the character was snatched from the roof: "We have SpongeBob. Give us ten Krabby Patties, fries and milkshakes."

Tuesday, November 23

Defend music. Defeat Poison.

Brett Michaels of Poison fame is seeking his stolen guitar. Whatever he's offering as a reward, I'll double it to keep it from him.

Day of the dolphin (and Hogzilla)

A group of them helped their fellow mammals (that would be we humans) fend off a great white shark in the waters of New Zealand. Amazing.

Meanwhile, a Georgia town continues to make hay of a mega-boar. National Geographic is propping up the Hogzilla legend with a TV show to air next year.

The blog has now met its daily quota of weird animal stories.

Turn Your Back on Bush

Actually, I don't agree with the symbolism, as Bush is one guy I wouldn't turn my back on. He's already stealing out of my wallet to pay for his rich friends' tax cuts and his army tanks and rockets as it is.

I do agree with the sentiment that "we don't need puppets."

Monday, November 22

Miami Fisherman Lands 12 Foot Hammerhead

582 lb. non-fish caught near South Beach. With slideshow.

Your Color Laser Printer is Narcing on You

Scary, if only for the fact that this is the first I've ever heard of it. Every color Xerox printer, and many other brands, apparently encode their serial number on everything you print out, and the government can trace it back to you.

What sorts of things like this are being tracked that we don't know about?!

Reporter Explains

The reporter who caught on tape the soldier executing a captive in a Falluja Mosque explains why he, uh, did his job.

The Criterion Collection Holiday 2004 Gift Set

If I were a rich man, I'd get Tim this for Xmas.

Instead, Tim, I hope you like Pez.

Mom's Cancer

A surprisingly uplifting online comic strip that touches eerily close to home. My mother doesn't have cancer, but is a lifetime smoker who two months ago had a stroke similar to the one depicted here. I'm not sure that my mom has quite the fight in her that the protagaonist of this strip has, but she doesn't have the dire odds to overcome, either.

I'll find my frog.

Heartbreaking AND sweet.

autoportrait with grandfather

Creepy AND sweet.

Radiohead & The (Necessary?) Evils Of Copyright

Cool first-hand report.

Watchmen to Screen in 2006?

I'll believe it when I see it. But I suspect even when I see it, it won't be very good.

Pirate Riddles for Sophisticates


Extra Points...

...for knocking the pillbox hat off Jackie O's head.

Sunday, November 21

Kirstie Alley explodes!

Apparently Scientology didn't help her from becoming obese, difficult and despondent. She hasn't had sex in four years. Or so The Star would have us believe.

Key quote: "I have seen myself naked.... I couldn't believe it. And so I just was crushed."

(Warning: The Star seems to have some sort of extra-annoying pop-up ads that my browser struggled to suppress; if you want to see the Kirstie cover and avoid those, Drudge has it up on his site as of this writing.)

If only they limited him to just one bullet....

Only one man could play the title role in Dubya: the Movie.

NBA gone wild

Michael Wilbon of the Washington Post has a good take on Friday's fracas in Detroit and how the goodwill between the NBA and fans has disappeared.

Fans of the game can't wait to hear Ron Artest's CD, though.

Get buzzed!

BuzzMachine is an interesting blog from the founder of Entertainment Weekly. Among the propositions: get rid of the FCC.

Friday, November 19

The Donald Discusses 'Citizen Kane' with Errol Morris

Doesn't sound as much like a gas-filled putz as you'd think, until the final question.

Desktop Cell Phone

How utterly "dope" would it be to take calls on this sweet baby in your ride?

Answer: Very, very dope.

Thursday, November 18

Face the face

For the first time in forever, I saw the video for this Pete Townshend song on VH1 Classic. It got me thinking how even his lesser works like the "White City" disc were always interesting if not entirely successful. (Disclaimer: There is no need, however, for any more Who albums, and I did not buy "The Iron Man" or "Psychoderelict.")

Seeing the video also got me thinking about how I have yet to come to a conclusion on Pete's weird Web adventures, even though it's been a while since his arrest and subsequent semi-exoneration. I want to believe him, give him the benefit of the doubt. But "just doing research" is the oldest excuse out there, and his sexual confusion is well-documented in his lyrics. (See "And I Moved.")

So, Pete Townshend: guitar hero, victim, perv, or a little bit of each? You make the call.

The Big Problem with Fallujah Warcrimes?

According to Texas Congressman Sylvestre Reyes the problem is that we let a reporter tape it. Yeah, it's not that we're shooting unarmed prisoners in the head, it's that we're reporting on it. And this guys a Democrat!

Second Mad Cow Case Suspected in USA


Warning: 'Shark Tale' Will Turn Your Child Gay

Oh, those wacky Christians.

In other cartoon news, "The Incredibles" is just, well, fantastic. My favorite movie of the year so far. May be a little too intense for little kids -- I found myself genuinely concerned for the safety of these CGI-rendered characters, so a 5-year-old may downright freak out, unless they've been anaesthetized with a few hours of killing hookers in GTA before seeing the film.....

But I digress. Go see this on the big screen while you can.

Tuesday, November 16

Janitor Leaves $2.3M to Bratty Students

Touching and moronic at the same time.

I Refuse to Get My Hopes Up

But Bev Harris of BlackBoxVoting.com is uncovering some pretty strong indications of vote fraud in Florida.

How sad is it that, even if Bush is sworn in again in January, I'll actually be happier to know that the election was stolen, that America didn't elect this freedom-hating usurper even one time.

But like I said, I'm not getting involved with this again.... further blogging on this only when the poo really hits the air circulator.

ABC: We're sorry

Apparently "Desperate Housewives" don't belong in the "Monday Night Football" locker room.


No comment.

The Sneeze

Have I ever mentioned how good the Sneeze is? Dammit, someday I will.

eBay Running Celebrity Escort Service

Who would bid over a grand to spend the day with "reality super star" Trishelle, from MTV's Real World & the Surreal Life? From what I could tell on the Surreal Life, most people would pay a grand to get away from this dipsomaniac.

Love Is... a Virgin Mary Sandwich

Yahoo! News - EBay Cancels Bids for Virgin Mary Sandwich

The woman who saved her cheesy snack for ten years couldn't be much nuttier than this whack-job. It'd almost be worth bidding if the auction included an explanation of exactly what changed in her life that she no longer needs her thirty year "Love Is..." cartoon archive.

(Oh, fire up your internets, it looks like the cheese sandwich auction is back on!)

The Peter Principle and the Neocon Coup

Robert Scheer, on how the biggest failure of a President we've ever had, who never successfully held down a job before entering politics, sets the tone for failing upwards in D.C.

Musical Notes

  • Picked up the recent CD-release of "The Name of This Band is Talking Heads," a two-disk concert recording featuring on the first disk the original quartet playing their more raw and punkish early music, and on the other, the "Stop Making Sense" super-group featuring Adrian Belew, Bernie Worrel, and other funk luminaries. This recording has been out of print for years, and the CD greatly improves on the cassette version I had, with suprisingly great sound quality, strong performances, and extra tracks. It's interesting to hear how polished the playing is on the earlier "raw" stuff without the studio pros of the later band -- and also, how funk-inspired the band was even in its CBGB days.

  • The Zutons' "Pressure" is being used in a Levi's ad. Their next album should be titled "Will Success Spoil the Zutons?"

  • Been meaning to do a review of sassy little Nellie McKay's record for six months now. I guess at this point we'll settle for a mini-review: Some damn clever lyrics for a 19-year old. Some delightfully goofy moments, and some nicely psychotic throw-away lines. But could have been pared down to one really good 40-minute record, rather than 2 uneven 35-minute ones. "Ding Dong" and "I Wanna Get Married" are particular favorites; the rap-infected [sic] "Sari" is an embarrassment. McKay may be worth keeping an eye on; or she may end up being this year's Imani Coppola.

  • For old-times' sake: William Shatner singing "Lucy in the Sky". I haven't picked up his new collaboration with Ben Folds, but otherwise sane people insist that it's brilliant.

  • For Jody: Eddie Murphy sings "Boogie in Your Butt".

  • Lastly, no one asked for this, goddamnit!

Music Is Not a Loaf of Bread

Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, on giving away music downloads.

CBS News: The Aliens Are Coming!

I believed every damn episode of "Project Bluebook," and I'll be first in line to welcome our Martian overlords. But when a mainstream news source runs a story like this without any sort of disclaimer, they do a disservice to their audience of mouth-breathing slack-jawed yokels, and undermine their own credibility -- which is pretty tough to do these days if you're CBS....

Senate to Vote on New Copyright Bill

The Intellectual Property Protection Act would, if passed, undermine our right to fair use and "skipping any commercials or promotional announcements would be prohibited."

Monday, November 15

Shark attack in South Africa

Another reminder to our readers that a shark is not a fish. This one is particularly deadly.

Key quote: "The shark is bigger than the helicopter... it is huge."

Coked-up kraken!

Peruvian drug lords try to smuggle cocaine in a giant squid.

Marine Shoots, Kills Unarmed Prisoner

In a mosque, no less.

UPDATE: Marines try to defend the war crime:

"I would have shot the insurgent too. Two shots to the head," said Sergeant Nicholas Graham, 24, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. "You can't trust these people. He should not be investigated. He did nothing wrong."

"It's all political. This Marine has been under attack for days. It has nothing to do with what he did," said Corporal Keith Hoy, 23.

Said Gunnery Sergeant Christopher Garza, 30, "He should have captured him. Maybe the insurgent had some valuable information. There may have been mitigating circumstances."

There were no mitigating circumstances, as you know if you've seen the video -- the guy was already captured, awaiting transport to military prison, wounded, and unarmed.

Atlantis Found

Patrick Duffy unavailable for comment.

Feed the world (2004 mix)

It's probably a sign of age and general fuddy-duddyness that I do not recognize many of the contributors to the update of "Do They Know It's Christmas?" I hope they do the B-side like they did in '84, with the holiday greetings.

The new version drops Nov. 29.

Sunday, November 14

Ol' Dirty Bastard Dies

I was excited when I read this headline. Then I realized they weren't talking about Cheney.

Saturday, November 13

washingtonpost.com: Faces of the Fallen


Don't hit this one

Tot smuggled into U.S. inside pinata

Key paragraph:

"Officers began to take the piƱatas out of the back seat, and one seemed to be much heavier than the others," said Vince Bond, a spokesman for U.S. Customs & Border Protection. "This one had a little girl of approximately 4 or 5 years of age inside it."

Friday, November 12

Final Peel session

Forget Yasser Arafat and the West Bank. The real burial today was in the U.K., where John Peel was laid to rest. Meg White was among those in attendance.

Freedom's on the March in Iraq

Freedom of the press, however, is cowering under the bed like a hemorrhoidal altar boy at Catholic summer camp.

Someone's Gonna Have a Sad Birthday

Will you help a cool, single guy's special birthday wish come true?

The Architects Of Defeat

Arianna on what went wrong with the Kerry campaign.

Townsend Threatens to Release New Who Album Next Spring

Further atrocities planned including, God help him, a Las Vegas show.

For the love of Pete, man, think about the children! No seriously, go ahead and think about the children -- even download some if you like, if it will keep you from further trashing your legacy....

Thursday, November 11

Arshad - Did You Get Scott a Xmas Present Yet?

You could make him one of these.

MMMM, Sexy Clown

You should see the Grimace version of this commercial.

I Think He Made the Ass Swing

Ya gotta <heart> craigslist.

Moore Fires Up "Fahrenheit" Sequel

Clunkily titled (for now) Fahrenheit 9/11 1/2

Household Hints

Peppercorns make a delicious and healthful snack for children.

To help alleviate dog and cat allergies, keep all pets off of your guests' faces.

A little vinnegar will get even the most stubborn blood stains off of a baseball bat.

Do not use sexual lubricants whose labels boast of their "scrubbing bubbles."

After handling cod, try a skoosh of hydrochloric acid to remove that lingering fish smell from your hands and face.

The old "head in the oven" trick works best with gas; microwaves won't work at all, and electric is too lengthy (and painful!) to be considered practical.

Your maid has a name -- learn it, and use it frequently. It makes them feel "appreciated."

Oh, the Horror!

When the Lie's so Big

Thanks to a tip from Bill Sherman, here are some sadly still-relevant lyrics from the late and sorely missed Frank Zappa:

They got lies so big
They don't make a noise
They tell 'em so well
Like a secret disease
That makes you go numb

With a big ol' lie
And a flag and a pie
And a mom and a bible
Most folks are just liable
To buy any line
Any place, any time

When the lie's so big
As in Robertson's case,
(That sinister face
Behind all the Jesus hurrah)

Could result in the end
To a worrisome trend
In which every American
Not "born again"
Could be punished in cruel and unusual ways
By this treacherous cretin
Who tells everyone
That he's Jesus' best friend

When the lie's so big
And the fog gets so thick
And the facts disappear
The Republican Trick
Can be played out again
People, please tell me when
We'll be rid of these men!

Just who do they really
Suppose that they are?
And how did they manage to travel as far
As they seem to have come?
Were we really that dumb?

People, wake up
Figure it out
Religious fanatics
Around and about
The Court House, The State House,
The Congress, The White House

Criminal saints
With a "Heavenly Mission" --
A nation enraptured
By pure superstition

When the lie's so big
And the fog gets so thick
And the facts disappear
The Republican Trick
Can be played out again
People, please tell me when
We'll be rid of these men

Plus ce change and all that....

Religious Kooks Want in on this "Man Date"

Bob Jones pens a scary mash note to Dubya. Remember that Shrub went and spoke to these anti-miscegenation nutjobs during the 2000 campaign.

And Reverend Jerry is resurrecting the Moral Majority as the Faith and Values Coalition.

Some call them right-wing fringe Armageddonists. Bush calls them his base.

Tanks in Westwood

So, they deployed tanks to, assumedly, intimidate a peaceful war protest in Westwood this week.

Remind you of any other governments with a shameful history of using the military to stifle free speech?

(There are reports that the tanks were simply enroute from San Diego to LA for a Veterans' Day function and got lost, but that seems a bit hinky.)

Wednesday, November 10

Vote Fraud, Finis

Time to move on. I think there may have been some outright fraud in Ohio and Florida (along with voter intimidation, etc.), but probably not enough to swing the vote to Bush. On the other hand, if they did win via fraud, it would be much smarter for them to swing the vote by a large margin than a small one, which would get more scrutiny Feeding the conspiracy beast is the evidence that it's the optical scan vote process that seems to be the hinkiest -- as though the touch screens were just a diabolical diversion.... It's an unsettling time to be a conspiracy enthusiast, to be sure....

Salon has a good final (for me, anyway) summary of the various voting anomalies, and why they don't add up to a Kerry win. Slate and the Yale Free Press have some further illuminating detail.

And that's that. Onward to 2008!

Sorry, Everybody

I didn't bother checking out the site until today, as it's one of those things where you hear the setup, you think you know the punchline. But I'm really touched by the sincerity of many of the apologies, as well as the responses from around the world over on SorryEverybody.com

It's Funy 'Cause it's...Tragic....

As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

-- H.L. Mencken

Rules for Radicals

The Democrats aren't exactly the "have-nots," but these rules are still applicable.

Pro-Life = Pro-Coathanger

Propoganda is important. As of today, I won't use the term "pro-life" any longer to refer to people who think the government should interfere with women seeking to terminate a pregancy, for whatever reason, in a non-life-threatening manner. "Pro-life" frames the argument in their preferred format -- are you for life or against it, a classic "when did you stop beating your wife" framing. What is at stake is, are poor to middle-class women going to have access to medical clinics for abortions, or are they going back to the dark alleys of forty years ago? Because, like prostitution, it's not a question of whether or not this practice will continue if outlawed, but whether we as a society, and the women directly involved, are better off if this is something we deal with rationally in the open, or leave for an underground economy to regulate and (fail to) police. Hence, my more-accurate term for their position, "pro-coathanger."

I sort of doubt that Roe v. Wade is seriously in danger of being overturned. Every family, including the most right-flung one, has had some brush with abortion. If you're the most pious corn-fed Republican in all of Iowa, you probably have a sister or cousin that "got in trouble" at some point and decided to abort the pregnancy -- would you really want to decrease your cousin's chance of surviving the procedure by a factor of ten? Is the cost of deterrent worth losing cousin Emma? But then, I'm usually wrong about just how stupid and hateful the religious right is capable of being. (Of course none of this applies to the rich, who will simply jet off to Europe "on hols" and see a doctor in a civilized country.)

The scary thing, of course, is that the right isn't going to stop at abortion -- you can't really control the womens unless you can keep them from deciding when to get pregnant as well, hence the twin examples of right-wingnuttery here and here.

I'm not leaving America just yet -- hell, I'm even thinking that we should all join the Republican party and subvert it from the inside -- but it's pretty clear that America is in the process of leaving me. These things tend to be cyclical, but Bush is in position to do a lot of damage to my America over the next four years.

In the meantime, please join me in advancing the anti-coathanger position.

Last of the Maps

I thought this was an interesting way of representing the red-blue split.

Roy, No Reason to Go So Far

Political Fight Club

Tuesday, November 9

Belushi v. Newmar

The also-ran brother accuses TV's Catwoman of being a bad neighbor in a battle of fourth-tier celebrities.

Unintentional hilarity: the CNN.com story allows you to sign up for news alerts on Jim Belushi and Julie Newmar. It would feel like signing up for a Leo Sayer listserv.

Monday, November 8

HBO Burying 'Six Feet Under'

Good show, but I have to agree that 12 more episodes is about all I need.


Click through the image for an alarming summary of a Baltimore Sun article on faith in America:

"But when it comes down to it, millions upon millions have died from abortion and only thousands have died in Iraq, as horrific as that's been," [some retarded fundamentalist] said. "There's been beheadings in Iraq, yet there are beheadings taking place right inside a mother's womb."

Red/Blue Map Weighted for Population

High-population states (like California and Florida) are ballooned up to show a more accurate picture of the red-blue divide across the country. And reminds me of that time I took all that acid before 5th-period Geography.

Saturday, November 6

Diebold OptiScan Machine Weirdness

Perhaps refusing to allow the touchscreen machines to generate a paper trail was all an ingenious diversion to distract us from the real malfeasance -- Diebold using Microsoft Access to tally all [?] the optically scanned votes.

Also worth noting: it seems there were more votes cast for President in Florida than there were registered voters.

The more cynical reader might find this a little suspicious. Developing....

More E-voting Irregularities

Putting aside the oddness of Ralph Nader suing for a recount in New Hampshire, where Kerry actually squeaked out a win:

“We have received reports of irregularities in the vote reported on the AccuVote Diebold Machines in comparison to exit polls and trends in voting in New Hampshire,’’ Nader wrote.

“These irregularities favor President George W. Bush by 5 percent to 15 percent over what was expected. Problems in these electronic voting machines and optical scanners are being reported in machines in a variety of states.’’

Still developing....

All the Maps You Need

Get 'em while they're hot.

Great REM Review

And a potent reminder of how pop music can still matter.

Friday, November 5

Leaving On a Jet Plane

Harper's on your post 11/2 options.

(Kinda of an odd downer of a URL for that article....)

‘Totally leading the world to a tremendous tomorrow!’

These are the people who won on "values." (Hm, if being a two-fisted lush is no barrier to entry, mayber the GOP tent is large enough for me....)

Sure, It's All Gavin Newsom's Fault


Vote Fraud Follow-Up

The story linked two posts down is now appearing on CNN's website: "An error with an electronic voting system gave President Bush 3,893 extra votes in suburban Columbus, elections officials said."

I don't want to lead the tin foil hat brigade, but there's really no reason to think the Republicans wouldn't perpetrate fraud to steal [another] election. Remember the story from last year about the head of Diebold, which was vying to sell voting machines in Ohio, told Republicans in a fund-raising letter that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."

Apparently these "faulty" voting machines weren't Diebolds, but it still smells hinky.

As they say, developing....

Improv Everywhere

Fun band of merry pranksters.

Vote Fraud in Ohio?

A ray of hope, but I'm not holding my breath. Note that the Franklin County website the story links to has already removed the report mentioned.

Thursday, November 4

Second (and Probably Last) Bush/Cheney2004 Victory Party Update

Here's an update on that Bush/Cheney victory party scam I was running, back when I though we were getting our contry back. Now I don't really see how to turn this into something funny. Anyone have any ideas?

Frank San Filippo to bushcheney2004club.com on Monday, Nov 1:

Hi Shirley,

I was sorry not to hear from you on Saturday, but I understand -- with that new bin Laden tape, you must have had a lot to do, figuring out how to best take advantage of it! A pretty big bonus for us, huh?

Anyway, if you tried to call since them, my wife has my cell phone, so I haven't gotten the message. I would still very much like to go to the celebration, though -- but forget what I said about my cousin. I just found out he got recalled to Iraq, and by some of the things coming out of his mouth, I don't think he's really on the right side anymore. Who invented this whole "back-door draft" nonsense, anyway, the Liberal Media? The guy signed a contract, he should honor it! Boy, sometimes when I see that left-wing Wolf Blitzer on my TV screen, I just want to beat him with both of my fists.


  • I finally got around to checking my voicemail on Tuesday, and Shirley had left a message in a pleasant, possibly English lilt, saying to call her.

Frank San Filippo to bushcheney2004club.com on Tuesday, Nov 2 when the exit polls all looked very strong for Kerry:

Hi Shirley,

I just got your voicemail message from the weekend. I look forward to speaking with you tomorrow -- if there is indeed a tomorrow for our beloved Grand Old Party. :_( It may just be Liberal Bias from that awful Wolf Blitzer (who I could just beat about the face and neck with both my fists!), but things aren't looking too good at the moment.

What happens if there's no victory to celebrate on Saturday?

No, we mustn't allow our thoughts to stray there. As a wise man once said, "Courage!"

bushcheney2004club.com to me on Wednesday, Nov 3:

Frank, call me 818-xxx-xxxx

bushcheney2004club.com to me on Thursday, Nov 4:


And that's it, so far. I just haven't been in a laughing mood, and I can't imagine how to make something fun out of actually going to the party. Damn you Kerry/Edwards, you've not only let down half the nation, you spoiled what could have been an excellent prank!

Who Would Jesus Shoot?

Ooops. Make sure you read through to the last line -- it's a doozy.

Kick Ass!

The cinnamon buns are back!

How Much Cookie Dough Is Inside Cookie Dough Ice Cream?

Could also be titled Who on the internets has the most free time on his hands?

News Flash: Scwarzenegger a Jerk

The party of uniting, not dividing:

Two days after the Democrats took a drubbing at the polls across the country, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger referred to leaders of the state's majority party as "losers."

At a Thursday news conference, the Republican governor who branded Democrats "girlie men" during a budget fight last year was asked whether he would listen to tax-increase proposals from Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata or other Democratic leaders.

"Why would I listen to losers?" Schwarzenegger asked. "Let's be honest."

Kirstie Gives Possum Her Publicist's Breast Milk

Not sure if L. Ron would approve.


I would make sweet love to this comic strip if I could. You might have to read a few week's worth to catch on to its gentle absurdity. I've linked to the beginning of the series.

Elizabeth Edwards Diagnosed with Breast Cancer

What was she thinking? She should have played the C card two weeks ago, when it could have done the campaign some good!

Bumpy Ride, Indeed

The message from the white house is mandate.

Bush: "You ask, do I feel free? Let me put it to you this way. I earned capital in the campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it. It is my style. That's what happened in -- after the 2000 election. I earned some capital. I've earned capital in this election, and I'm going to spend it for -- for what -- what I told the people I'd spend it on, which is -- you've heard the agenda -- Social Security and tax reform, moving this economy forward, education, fighting and winning the war on terror."

Scott McClellan: "The American people spoke clearly about the agenda they want for the next four years."

VP Dick "Dick" Cheney: "President Bush ran forthrightly on a clear agenda for this nation's future, and the nation responded by giving him a mandate."

Oy, vey.

To quote my lovely bride, "You know where we are now, jerky? We're fucked."

Interior Desecrators

A brutal examination of the unlovely, unattractive, unlivable and unforgivable homes of the 1970s.

Fasten Your Seat Belts

Rumpled siren Maureen Dowd predicts a bumpy ride.

"Blind Date" bust!

OK, so one of my guilty pleasures is "Blind Date." Maybe it's the subtle smarm of host Roger Lodge. Maybe it's the fact that I can see fools have even more miserable dating experiences than I did. Maybe it's because there's not much else on sometimes.

But now the show has performed a public service, even if it didn't mean to, with the arrest of a California "contestant" who was wanted by John Law.

Wednesday, November 3

How 'Bout Them Lakers?

America just voted for Abu Grabe.
America just voted for the Patriot Act.
America just voted for Guantanamo Bay.
America just voted for The Pet Goat.

You or I may see this as an incomprehensible, narrow victory by Bush for a deeply divided electorate. I guarantee he sees it as an overwhelming endorsement of his last four years, and a blank check for the next four.

I'm walking wounded today, unable to process the smiley banter of coworkers discussing trivia and last night's Lakers game. It's sorta like the day after you find out your girlfriend has been sleeping around with half the straight guys in her opera company (a small, but circumstantially significant subset, to be sure) right under your nose, and you're just walking around and wondering why everyone doesn't feel as devastated as you do. And then you move to Canada.

Sorta like that.

Kill Whitey

What went wrong: A demographic breakdown from CNN. Great charts, lots of detail. Big picture: Whitey gave the election to Bush, and contrary to common sense, more Gore voters broke for Bush than Y2K Bush voters broke for Kerry.

Is there any way to resign from your nominal race?

Tuesday, November 2

CNN.com Election 2004 Real-Time Tracking

If you're tired of Wolf Blitzer's ugly mug.

Democracy Begins at Home!

I just got back from voting, and had absolutely no wait whatsoever. I was amazed, but from all reports, I've been the exception.

Two things worth noting: If your polling place is using the ink-a-dot system, MAKE SURE the pen is really marking the ballot! I had to mark the same vote 2-3 times sometimes, because the little guard-rails on the voting guide were a bit too hight.

Also, a previous voter had left a flyer in the booth urging a vote for Bush. This is clearly illegal, and I brought it to the attention of the volunteers. If you see something similar, please bring it to the attention of your polling official.

Early exit polls (which are wildly unreliable) are showing a pretty strong Kerry victory. Knock wood....

Oh Yeah, the State Measures

Kerry will win the Presidency, but you still need to vote because (a) Kerry needs a popular mandate, and (2) there are a bunch of other races and measures on the ballot. I'm going straight Democratic ticket on the Senators and Reps this time, as Kerry will need support to get anything done over the next 4 years. Judges -- who knows. In the cases where only one of the California judicial candidates submitted a statement in time to be included in the state mailing, I went for them, figuring that speaks to a certain minimum level of responsibility. Otherwise, I'm going with the LA Weekly recommendations. This is, admittedly, a pretty arbitrary approach, so I'm not including my picks there. I did a little more research on the ballot initiatives (though not enough), and my votes and addle-pated reasons are listed below. If you're in Cali, and know something I don't, please try to change my mind via the comments.

  • 1a - Protection of Local Revenues. I think so, yes. Ensures that local taxes are spent locally, unless there's a fiscal emergency. Sure.

  • 59 - Public Records, Open Meetings Amendment. Sounds good.

  • 60 - Election Rights of Parties Amendment. Don't really get this. Seems to only be necessary if 62 passes, which it would sorta undo. So let's just not pass either of them. So no. But I could be wrong here - 62 is so bad, this might be a good back-up. But when in doubt, I vote no.

  • 60A - Surplus Property Amendment. Doesn't require that government property be sold, but does tie the hands of legislator on where proceeds of those sales go. A bad idea. En-oh.

  • 61 - Children's Hospital Bonds. I'm pretty knee-jerk anti-bond. Let's not piece together a public health plan for California one interest-accumulating bond at a time. Eff the children. Nope.

  • 62 - Open Primaries Amendment. Such a wrong-headed idea I'm not even going to argue this one.

  • 63 - Mental Health Services Tax on Incomes Above $1M. May be an unfair and arbitrary tax on the rich, but after all the money given back to them by Bush, my lachrymal glands don't seem to be working. We have a whole raft of people needing mental health care, and California turned our backs on them decades ago. This will help address that, and it's pay-as-you-go. Thumbs up.

  • 64 - Limits on "Unfair Competition" Lawsuits. Why? No.

  • 65 - Local Funds Amendment. Its original backers now oppose it, no information submitted to the voter guide, seems to be supplanted by Measure 1A. No.

  • 66 - Limitations on 3-Strikes Law. Oh yes.

  • 67 - Emergency Services Funds/Telephone Surcharge Amendment. Tempting, as I hardly talk on the phone at all, and hate the ubiquity of cell phones - so this would mean shifting the tax burden off of me and onto people I loathe. But why the hell should funding for emergency services be tied to cell phone use? It's an odd law. On principle, no.

  • 68 - Non-Tribal Gambling Expansion Amendment. Oh, nopity-nope-no-nope.

  • 69 - State DNA Database. Christ on a Crutch, NO! Major invasion of privacy issues.

  • 70 - Tribal Gaming Compacts. I totally don't understand this amendment. So I'm voting no.

  • 71 - Stem Cell Research Bond. Tough one. It will create jobs in the state. And it will piss off BushCo. But, it will cost $6,000,000,000 over the next 30 years. And hamstring the state on using that money in a specific way, no matter what other financial crises come down the pike. Plus, I just don't feel the electorate should be deciding budget issues like this. That's what we elect legislators for. Just because Bush would hate it is no reason to vote for it. Once Kerry is in office, he'll clear away all the federal regulations preventing stem-cell research, and private industry will take over funding this. Reluctantly, no.

  • 72 - Health Care Coverage Referendum. Reluctantly, yes. I don't like putting too many requirements on medium-size businesses - but really, once a company gets to 50 employees, it should be providing health-care options. Until we have a more comprehensive health-care plan for the country, this is a good idea. I think.

  • LA COUNTY: Measure A - Public Safety Funding. Another half-cent tax county-wide? Eh. No thanks. Emergency services are not that bad, currently. But this may be the point in SimCity where rioting is about to break out. I am persuadable on this one.

  • LA CITY: Measure O - Clean Water Bonds. I'm voting for a bond! We gotta clean up our act, or face EPA fines in the future. This is a really painful one, and I may very will flip-flop on this, and Measure A above. I don't like bonds. But I'm leaning yes on this one.

So that's it. I'm on the fence about some of these, so if you think I've missed something, please post in the comments or drop me a line [franko at gmail d0t c0m] ASAP -- I'm probably heading for the polls around 2 or 3 pm.