Saturday, August 30, 2008
A Darker Shade Of Horse
So, unless you've been living under a rock, you'd know that McCain has picked Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate. First of all, I know my opinion isn't much, but I think McCain made the pick to avoid having to grab "the best of a bad hand," as it were. Look at the people who were being floated as his VP -- Fiorina had the HP scandal, Jindal admitted to taking part in an exorcism, Lieberman can't stop rattling the saber, and Romney is... well, he's Mitt Fucking Romney. It's not unexpected that McCain would choose to go outside the pool and pick someone who's an unknown.
But, that's the thing. Palin's an unknown. She's spent all of two years as governor of a state that has a smaller population than Austin, Texas. Her nomination basically throws out every sort of appeal of experience the McCain campaign can make. She doesn't really shore up any of the blank spots in the McCain platform... except for, of course, the age thing. So, where Obama's nomination of Biden carries the tone of someone who's trying to fill his gaps on foreign policy and labor, McCain's nomination of Palin carries the tone of, "In the event the first Miss America cannot fulfill her duties..."
Still. Either way this race goes, someone's making history.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Your Lips Say Yes, But Your Eyes Say No
So, Hillary Clinton finally, finally gave her speech announcing her support for Barack Obama. She announced her unrivaled support for Obama. Hell, she's the one who led the effort to directly nominate Obama for candidacy. Whatever media narrative there was about Hillary's "bitterness" or "rivalry" has effectively been buried.
Yeah. Try telling the media that.
In her speech to the Democratic convention Tuesday night, Hillary Clinton urged fellow Democrats to vote for Barack Obama, and she did it in no uncertain terms -- verbally.
But did her body language match her words?
Body language expert and former FBI agent Joe Navarro says he doesn't think so.
Yes, you know, we could actually, for once in our lives, just listen to what someone says, but instead, we're going to dig as far down as we can for something, anything that backs up our conclusions. Because we have all the integrity of a wet paper sack.
God, sometimes the coverage just makes me want to punch something.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
I Stopped Beating My Wife Three Weeks Ago, Thank You
Karl Rove has the moral integrity of a steaming pile of cattle turds, and FOX News the dignity of a shit shoveler.
I don’t think she did too well on saying I love America. That wasn’t adequate enough because, look, people are gonna hear that, and then those that have paid attention to her earlier comments are gonna try and square those two off.
That would be the man who loved his country he so much he helped out an undercover CIA agent to get revenge on her husband, who helped design a campaign ad that put a war veteran on the same level as Saddam Hussein, claiming that Michelle Obama, who poured her heart and soul out over her family and their dedication to the American dream, didn't do enough to fend off the comments that were blown out of proportion by Rove's own friends and allies. That would be the man who rode the coattails of an administration that fucked the economy, curbstomped civil liberties, and left an American city to drown, claiming that a candidate's wife hasn't done enough to prove that she's a proud American.
This man has absolutely no fucking shame, does he?
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Biden Our Time
So, I'm late once again on this matter, but Obama has declared that Joe Biden will be his running mate. Can't say I'm entirely thrilled -- Biden's had a tendency to trip over his words (especially in relation to Obama) and he really soft-balled the Alito nomination -- but he does have credentials that fill out the gaps in Obama's resume, and he'll bring some fire to the campaign.
Yeah, no funny video tonight. Just want to let my meager observation stand alone.
Yeah, no funny video tonight. Just want to let my meager observation stand alone.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
They Should Just Get A Machine To Do It
Okay, folks, let's play Campaign Mad Libs. Here's what I need: an illogical attempt to turn the accusation around at the other candidate --
"We're delighted to have a real estate debate with Barack Obama," said spokesman Brian Rogers, adding that the press should focus on Obama's house. "It's a frickin' mansion. He doesn't tell people that. You have a mansion you bought in a shady deal with a convicted felon."
-- a defense of McCain's actions that involves the fact that he was a POW, no matter how little that has to do with the subject at hand --
He also added: "This is a guy who lived in one house for five and a half years -- in prison," referring to the prisoner of war camp that McCain was in during the Vietnam War.
-- and an attempt to paint Barack Obama as "elitist."
"In terms of who's an elitist, I think people have made a judgment that John McCain is not an arugula-eating, pointy headed professor-type based on his life story."
Huh. That worked out better than I thought.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
The Inveterate Veteran
We can all agree that John McCain served his country in Vietnam, and went through a great deal of torment in the POW camp. However, by now I think we can also agree that he's a man who's been known to shift positions at the drop of a hat, and who isn't exactly open with the truth.
The problem comes when his various campaign tentacles use the first fact as a bulwark against the second.
Nicolle Wallace, a spokeswoman for Mr. McCain, said on Sunday night that Mr. McCain had not heard the broadcast of the event while in his motorcade and heard none of the questions.
“The insinuation from the Obama campaign that John McCain, a former prisoner of war, cheated is outrageous,” Ms. Wallace said.
Yes, apparently time spent in a POW camp completely removes one's ability to lie. It also gives you lactose intolerance and the ability to smell fear. But Ms. Wallace isn't the only one offering up logically unsound defenses of McCain:
It may be typical of the pro-Obama Dungeons & Dragons crowd to disparage a fellow countryman's memory of war from the comfort of mom's basement, but most Americans have the humility and gratitude to respect and learn from the memories of men who suffered on behalf of others.
Now, I'll fully cop to being one of the pro-Obama Dungeons & Dragons crowd. However, my mom's basement is probably the filthiest room in the house, which is why I prefer a second-floor bedroom during the summer, a dorm room when I'm at school, and hopefully a not-that-bad studio apartment when I reach LA.
But, it's funny that a representative of the Republican party is talking about how most Americans should have "the humility and gratitude" to recognize a veteran's accomplishments. Like Max Cleland, who lost three limbs in Vietnam -- oh, wait, he was compared to Saddam Hussein and Bin Laden. Or John Kerry -- but, yeah, not only were there the Swift Boaters, but the mocking of the entire concept of the Purple Heart. Or maybe John Murtha -- oh, right, Jean Schmidt called him a coward. I'd actually buy that McCain represents a change from these tactics if he wasn't cozying up to Swift Boaters.
No one deserves to be attacked for their service. But they absolutely deserve to be attacked for using their service as a means to deflect all other criticism about them.
UPDATE: As Anonymous says in comments, I got Murtha's name wrong. A long time ago, too. Goddamnit, I can be a real idiot some times.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Because Those Damn Polar Bears Will Vote For Obama
More ecological wisdom from the world's biggest, proudest polluter.
Parts of the Endangered Species Act may soon be extinct.
The Bush administration wants federal agencies to decide for themselves whether highways, dams, mines and other construction projects might harm endangered animals and plants.
New regulations, which don't require the approval of Congress, would reduce the mandatory, independent reviews government scientists have been performing for 35 years, according to a draft first obtained by The Associated Press.
Yeah, when have those independent, uninfluenced scientific bodies ever been right? Well, except for climate change...
Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne said late Monday the changes were needed to ensure that the Endangered Species Act would not be used as a "back door" to regulate the gases blamed for global warming. In May, the polar bear became the first species declared as threatened because of climate change. Warming temperatures are expected to melt the sea ice the bear depends on for survival.
The draft rules would bar federal agencies from assessing the emissions from projects that contribute to global warming and its effect on species and habitats.
Oh, it's simple, then. To completely disregard the fact that independent scientific bodies might know better than government officials, you have to disregard the fact that they were right about global warming, which the Bush administration is all too happy to do.
The Interior Department said such consultations are no longer necessary because federal agencies have developed expertise to review their own construction and development projects, according to the 30-page draft obtained by the AP.
"We believe federal action agencies will err on the side of caution in making these determinations," the proposal said.
I'm sorry, would that be the same "side of caution" that the EPA erred on when they delayed on regulating carbon emissions for so long that the Supreme Court had to bitchslap them into doing it?
It's not enough that Bush was happy to fuck up our justice system. Now he's gotta fuck up the ecosystem before he leaves office, too. Great.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
America Is The New Balkans
Digby has it right; Cokie Roberts's Hawaiian nonsense is just endemic of a larger, more disturbing thread in American discourse. It seems that these days, you can just write off an entire person or political vein of thought because of where it comes from. Nancy Pelosi endorses "a San Francisco mentality" that is just completely alien. The idea that gay folks should serve in the military is one of the insane gibberings of the "San Francisco left." John Kerry's out of touch with this country partially because he's from Boston. If you're not from anywhere that grows corn or tobacco, you've apparently got three eyes and weird ideas about universal health care.
Now, it's not like I'm going to pretend this is totally alien to liberals as well. But it's usually limited to disgruntled bloggers and other Internet voices. It's not like Chuck Schumer is going on TV and saying, "Fuck Florida, they voted for Bush." It's not like Nancy Pelosi is going to refer to offshore drilling as "some Oklahoma City brain fart." But apparently, it's just fine to dismiss a politician or a set of ideals because they come from a more liberal city. Remember the days when we argued things based on facts and not invective?
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
An Affair To Dismember
So, I've said nothing about the revelation that John Edwards had an affair. Well, where the hell do I start? First of all, I'm immensely disappointed. First of all, from a moral standpoint, I find it disgusting. At least Elizabeth know about the affair, but still, cheating on your wife when she's dealing with cancer? I don't care how fucked up your home life is, some things should not be done.
Second of all, from a political standpoint, this was incredibly fucking stupid. Not the affair; that was stupid on its own merits. Edwards went into the primary knowing this affair was a buried secret -- did he really think it wouldn't be dug up at some point? Did he really think that, if he became the candidate, it would just lie quietly? It's a good thing he dropped out.
But, despite all this, Edwards is a great advocate for the poor, and I'd hate to see his career destroyed over the same bullshit that Newt Gingrich was able to get away with on multiple occasions.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Obama Must Sup From The Font of TGI Fridays, 24/7
You know, I honestly believe that the punditry will not be happy with Barack Obama until he sets most of his money on fire, dresses up in a work shirt and oil-stained blue jeans on all campaign appearances, and takes all his meals at the salad bar at Applebee's. Then they get to call him a poseur, a radical populist, and maybe even a Communist.
Take, for instance, this statement from Cokie Roberts, which is so dense I'm surprised it doesn't spontaneously collapse and form a white hole.
Roberts: …going off this week I know his grandmother lives in Hawaii and I know Hawaii is a state, but it has the look of him going off to some sort of foreign, exotic place. He should be at Myrtle Beach and if he’s going to take a vacation at this time. I just think this is not the time to do that.
"Yes, we know he's visiting a beloved relative, and we know he's not going out of the country, but the idiots in the Midwest -- er, I mean, 'the potential voters' might get Hawaii confused with Fiji! I mean, I have no idea why they'd get that impression..."
Yeah, forget the work shirt and blue jeans. I don't think the media bots will drop the elitist bullshit until Obama's wearing a potato sack.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
There Ain't No VA For The Culture Wars
You know, the more I think about this An American Carol debacle, the less upset I get about it. This Weekly Standard article definitely helps, which is funny, because you'd think conservatives championing this film as the great strike against liberal Hollywood would give me more to worry about, but this gives me less to worry about. Sure, I could get upset about the fact that the film has the "good humor" to feature Dennis Hopper as a judge who opens fire on ACLU lawyers who try to take down the Ten Commandments (because after all, we know that eliminationist humor is harmless fun, and has absolutely no negative repercussions). I could dispute the allegation that everyone in the article treats revealing you're a conservative in Hollywood like revealing you're a Jew during the Inquisition (after all, I hear John Milius goes lot to lot clad in sackcloth and ashes, begging disgusted PAs for the chance to deliver a log line). But really, by the time Zucker says he's not going to be original because original doesn't profit him anything, I just can't be arsed to devote more attention to this movie than the few stray thoughts necessary to mock it. At worst, it will be a transitory fascination that makes cultural critics despair for the taste buds of America, like the Scary Movie franchise and its many tentacles, but the most likely result is that its "talking points disguised as jokes" sense of humor ensures it plummets butt-first into the same open grave as The Half-Hour News Hour. So, really, not a lot to bitch about.
Well, okay. One thing to bitch about:
[Zucker] adds: "I don't have any desire to be taken seriously. Really, I really don't. But having said that, I really believe this stuff. Why can't I put it out there? And I'm scared to death of Obama. If I didn't do something about it I would feel--My kids would ask: 'What did you do in the war Daddy?'"
"I donated my career to stop this s--."
"What did you do in the war, Daddy?" "Well, I never actually fought in the war -- any war, for that matter -- but I did make a shallow parody movie where George Patton kicks the shit out of a Michael Moore stand-in in the name of patriotism. And then I played the martyr about it when I know I'm in an industry where someone can get convicted of fucking young boys and still have a steady directing career. Yes, son, I put my very soul on the line so that you, too, would have the chance to make jokes about how Rosie O'Donnell is a crazy dyke."
You know, if there's one thing I really, honestly cannot stand from people who claim that we are in the great clash of civilizations and must fight at all turns with all available methods to protect our great nation from the terrorist threat, it's when they make a complete mockery of the idea of armed service by comparing it to whatever great endeavors they are undertaking to protect the motherland. From Hugh Hewitt claiming he's in just as much danger in the Empire State Building as on the front lines to Rick Santorum comparing national service to buying one of his campaign bumper stickers, it seems a good number of people who claim to know just how important war is are quick to claim that they risk just as much as the men in uniform. Sure, it's unlikely any of them will encounter an IED on 42nd Street or Sepulveda Boulevard, but it's the thought that counts, right?
This is how David Zucker serves his country; by attacking the terrorists with the same comedic genius that spawned Scary Movie 3.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Fuck My Wife, Please
That John McCain; he's a man of pure class who's always on top of everything.
In introducing his wife, McCain noted the ongoing beauty pageant at the event and said that he had "encouraged Cindy to compete. I told her, with a little luck, she could be the only person ever to serve as first lady and Miss Buffalo Chip."
For those of you who don't know much about the Sturgis Biker Rally, that would be this Miss Buffalo Chip:
"Go on, honey, suck that banana! If it goes viral, we can count on up to three whole polling points!"
Sometimes, you have to wonder if McCain just follows his campaign trail like someone who came into the movie halfway through and doesn't know what the hell's going on.
Monday, August 04, 2008
Do As I Say, Not As I Do
Let us go back to the strange and scary year known as 2005. Hurricane Katrina had yet to brew, Britney Spears had yet to shave her head, and the Democrats were actually showing a spine and threatening to filibuster some of Bush's more whacked-out judicial nominees. At the time, the Republicans in Congress threw a major shit fit, threatening to deploy the "nuclear option" and crying up and down the aisle that the Democrats were being "obstructionist." Obviously, the Republicans did not like anything that gummed up the governmental process.
Well, now that the Democrats are actually in power, anyone who's been paying attention would realize that the Republicans only consider it obstructionist when they're not the ones doing it. Case in point: Roy Blunt has suggested that his party will shut down Congress if the Democrats don't sign off on offshore drilling. You know, if the Democrats had a press machine worth a damn, they could spin this to feed off of the animosity that most people feel towards a do-nothing Congress. But if history has proven anything, it's that Congressional Democrats have a hard time successfully rallying for anything less than vacation time.
Friday, August 01, 2008
Michael Moore Is Fat: The Musical
I trust the guy behind this movie to produce a nuanced, subtle look at American politics, don't you?
That does it. The next time somebody busts out the "liberal Hollywood" canard around me, I am going to punch them in the goddamned throat.
As with many of Zucker’s earlier films, his latest japefest is loaded with sight gags and a litany of one-liners, but there are few sacred cows. Along with many Muslim terrorists named Mohammed, even severely handicapped children are subject to the film’s screwball comedy. Jimmy Carter shows up for a brief razzing, but far more relevant Dems, including Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton, seem conspicuous in their absence.
Instead, Zucker (with co-writer Myrna Sokoloff) mocks the usual conservative targets: ACLU attorneys, liberal colleges and anti-war protesters. The movie saves its most severe scorn for the main character, a slovenly documentary filmmaker based on Oscar winner Michael Moore. The attack is literally scorched-earth style: In a climactic scene, Moore’s stand-in (here named “Michael Malone”) finds political clarity at the smoking ruins of the World Trade Center while the admonishing ghost of George Washington (played by Voight) hovers nearby.
Anarchist humor and conservative politics make for strange bedfellows. Another “Carol” scene takes place inside a portable toilet stall, where Malone is repeatedly slapped around by real-life Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, accompanied by the spirits of former President John F. Kennedy and World War II icon Gen. George Patton.
Using Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” as a loose framework, Scrooge’s holiday humbuggery is replaced with Malone’s anti-American bias. Not only does the character attempt a boycott of the Fourth of July, but he also lends unwitting aid to jihadists plotting to blow up Madison Square Garden. Through the imagined interventions of Patton, the dead presidents and country singer Trace Adkins, Moore’s surrogate travels through history, eventually coming around to embrace patriotic values.
Yes, folks, one of the producers behind Airplane! has made a movie where Michael
But Zucker has been mulling a big-screen mauling of Moore for years. He alluded obliquely to his movie project in a 2006 interview with conservative radio host Michael Medved and told the Los Angeles Jewish Journal around the same time, “You have people like Michael Moore going into foreign countries saying Americans are the stupidest people in the world. I want to tell the real America story, that America is a force for good.”
Okay, here's all I can say to that: fuck you, Zucker. No wait, I can say more, though I can't believe that I have to say it: Just because someone says that America is flawed does not mean that they want to take a shit on the Constitution and burn the White House to the ground. Just because someone says that our fine nation needs work and the people in power have fucked it over does not mean that they think we should dig up George Washington's corpse, burn it, and scatter the ashes to the four winds. Just because someone questions the established order does not mean they are guilty of high treason.
And seriously, if America's such a fucking force for good, then why do we keep putting out the Scary Movie franchise?