Wednesday, November 05, 2008

It Is Accomplished

We did it.

As burned out and as fried as I've become about politics lately, it seems that all of my twinkle-toed optimism has found the requisite company and won the day. I've had tears in my eyes off and on for the last 4 hours. I hope you have too.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Generation of Swine

The nation's top cop, Attorney General Michael Mukasey, should be tarred, feathered, drug through an angry mob brandishing rotten vegetables and then sent to prison for the rest of his natural life for his gross dereliction of duty and what essentially amounts to treason--and not one of those country club prisons either. He deserves the dankest, most wicked hellhole we've got.

Justice Staffers Won't Be Prosecuted For Illegal Hiring Practices

My ire wasn't sparked by that decision alone. It came more from his weaselly posturing afterwards:

Said Mukasey, "Not every wrong, or even every violation of the law, is a crime."


**However, much consternation has been stirred about the legal kung-fu involved in interpreting Mukasey's statement. Especially from folks outside the legal community. Like myself. Not that this absolves the pandering tool of an AG and his motives for taking no further action in the DOJ hiring scandal... but I suppose it does provide a look at exactly which bunker he's taking his legal refuge under. (This dialogue was taken from reader J's comment over at a Sadly, No! post):’s something from FireDogLake:

“Understand: Mukasey has turned into a terrible shill for the Administration. But it has been clear for over a year that the Administration would escape criminal charges for having committed massive violations of the Hatch Act. But that has more to do with the Hatch Act than with Michael Mukasey. Even a Democratic AG would have a hard time charging this stuff, given the stated penalties for civil Hatch Act violations.

The Hatch Act gives citizens no real recourse for the politicization of our government. And the loyal Bushies know this. After all, by all appearances, they’re still committing Hatch Act violations.”
( Emphasis in original.

The conduct of Sampson & Goodling — as noxious, hideous, corrupt & terrible as it most certainly was — just did NOT violate any *criminal* laws.

To repeat something I’ve said several times already that perfectly illustrates this: Title VII (federal law) prohibits firing an employee because they’re black. Such a firing is *illegal,* but it is NOT a crime. Under Title VII, the EEOC might be able to impose a fine or the fired employee might bring a civil suit for damages.

Under the federal civil service laws, weak as they currently are, it seems the most that can be done against scum like Goodling & Sampson is to fire them. But they no longer work for the Government.

What we should do is press our Congress critters to pass some criminal penalties for this kind of corrupt politicization of our Justice Department. We should not pillory Mukasey for making this statement. Besides, we have *plenty* of other valid reasons to trash this pathetic excuse for an AG.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

GWB: Enough Already?

George Bush to Bob Costas: America doesn’t have any problems

Like the commentary over at Crooks and Liars says, I've got no problem with optimism. But fer fuck's sake. What kind of douchebag, jagoff, fuck-knuckle can sit there on the other side of the planet and proclaim to the world that their nation simply has no problems? It's like Bush is running 'em right outta a playbook from North Korea or Mayanmar... or even, ahem, China.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Fox News in the Bag for the GOP?

Yea, yea, quite the shocker, I know. But the other day, on the occasion of Rush Limpball'z 20 years in propaganda radio celebration, the Bush boys called in to wish well. Elder Bush then let go with a doozy. Not that anyone's really all that shocked mind you. It's just nice to have this kind of affirmation is all.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Reason(s) Not To Vote Republican in '08 - Foreign Policy Edition

It's difficult to believe that there's still people willing to let the GOP continue to ruin run the nation after all the damage they've done over the past 7 years. Whether you care about the economy, civil liberties, or being killed in a far away land for reasons no one can really put their finger on, chances are the Republican "leadership" of the Bush administration has probably mangled something you care about. Badly.

And in this election year it seems that despite Bush's abysmal approval rating, his type of low-ball, Rovian politickin' hasn't disappeared. In desperate attempts to keep the Republican brand alive, the waters have become somewhat, uh, muddied as of late.

In an effort to help clarify things, and help you understand why John McSame is a joke, there's this:

Foreign Policy Expert McCain: “Iraq-Pakistan Border” Extremely Dangerous (Hint: there is no Iraq-Pakistan border.)

and this:

McCain Gaffe Watch: Gets another basic Iran fact wrong

aaand this too:

A McCain Gaffe in Jordan

There's plenty more out there and without a doubt, and when you add in little points like the Iraqi Prime Minister practically campaigning for Obama yesterday, and a staggering difference in fundraising among their constituencies, and his general affibility around the globe, I guess we don't really have to guess why McSame and his Rovian minions have to try and build some alternate reality to foist on the American public. It's all they've got.


And speaking of Karl "Turdblossom" Rove... looks like he's fled the country to avoid testifying before congress. Wow. Kinda has an "I am not a crook" feel to it, huh?

Well, as if I haven't leaned on Crooks and Liars hard enough in this post, they go and lay out a doozy on this very topic. Goddamn.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Uh Oh, It Done Happened Again

Wonkette writes:

What are the odds of a dude named Troy King getting caught in bed with aHomecoming King from Troy University? This seems like a wacky sitcom plot, on a gay porn channel.

Wouldn't cha just know it, you can't make this crap up:

Anti-Gay Republican Alabama Attorney General Caught... Being Gay

The Other Mental Recession

Ben Cohen blogging on The Huffington Post has an excellent post today. It's a little trip down memory lane to four years ago when Bush's war was still a galloping success and he was a hero in a ten gallon hat and tin star.

While surfing the net on 'Stumble', I came across an interview with President Bush on Irish television that caused a bit of a storm in 2004. The interview conducted by the tenacious Carol Coleman of Radio Television Ireland was not aired on American television, and Bush's press officers apparently complained vociferously about the rigorous questioning.

The video shows Bush at the absolute peak of his arrogance -- convinced of his own rhetoric about Iraq, flooded with confidence from international subservience to American power, and high off a crushing military victory that reinforced his childish fantasies of American power and preeminence.

The problem was, Coleman was having none of it, and what transpired was a unique insight into the warped brain of the least respected and most hated president in the history of the United States.

Go now and read the rest of the article and, by all means, watch the video.

And after doing so, ask yourself that if this swine has fallen so far that he now enjoys the lowest approval rating of any president in the history of the country, why in the HELL do congressional Democrats still kow-tow to his corrupt, deranged, morally bankrupt administration. Please share any answers with me, cuz I've come up with absolutely none.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Where'd You Move Your Government Cheese To?

So after months of curious waiting, I finally got my George Bush economic stimulus refund check thing last week. Right off the top most of it went to paying off bills. The rest was spread out around several Chicago-area bars and restaurants over the course of a three-day weekend. So much for my free money.

I was curious what other people had done with their money, provided they'd received it yet. So I conducted a super-scientific poll during my weekend on the town. Most people, it turns out, did the exact same thing as I did; spend it on some combination of bills and booze (and maybe a meal or two). Perhaps that's what I get for polling a random assortment of barflies.

Apparently, other people, like adult entertainment market researchers, have concluded different findings. To think, I coulda had a seat on the bang bus and all I got was an awful, awful hangover and the telephone number for a fat girl from Texas.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Calling Bullshit on all the ANWAR and Offshore Drilling Talk

Via the magic of the interwebs, I offer the following two arguments against the current crop of Republican horseflop solutions to the nation's fuel price crisis:

Case 1) McCain: My offshore drilling gimmick would have big “psychological impact”

Case 2) Closing Enron Loophole Would Drop Oil Prices 25% - 50% Overnight

There's a whole bunch of people getting rich off of what we're paying for a gallon of gas these days. And there's a reason that some people only want to offer up "solutions" that, even in the wettest-dream, wouldn't begin to have an effect for at least 7 years.

Yep. This July 4th, this nation should celebrate their collective gullibility if this ruse is allowed to continue.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

5 Billion Mistakes

So the venerable iTunes has announced they've now sold over 5 billion individual songs via their online music store. 5 billion handicapped, rights-restricted, song rentals, more like it. iTunes songs come locked-down with DRM technology that cripples the mp3 files and severely limits the purchaser's rights to do what they please with a product they're supposed to own.

Why on Earth would people continue to patronize these goons? I mean Amazon has gone DRM-free, there's the wonderful Other Music and a host of other legal alternatives--not to mention the more dubious, less-legal options.

5 billion. For fuck's sake, people.

The Music Industry Abuses Us And We're To Blame.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Stay Classy, GOP (Another In An Ongoing Series)

Ahhh. Nothing like a little bald-faced lying to pump up your bigoted base.

Professional disinformation dealer and race baiter, Rush Limpballs, makes some seriously spurious claims about the nexus between America's recent natural disasters and citizen ethnicity.

Rush Limbaugh Attacks Black Katrina victims and praises Whites as the Floods hit.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Stay Classy, GOP FOX News

Wow. Their bigotry is all they have left, isn't it? Pathetic.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Firewater Blows the Roof Off The Empty Bottle

Last Friday night I made it out to see the band Firewater at Chicago’s Empty Bottle. I’ve liked the band on and off for some years now, but, honestly, I wouldn’t have gone had I not won free tickets from Chicago Public Radio (of all places). Before that day I hadn’t even heard their latest album. But after winning the tickets I started reading up on the story behind that album, 2007’s The Golden Hour. I still wasn't sure if I was going to use the tickets. Then I went and got the album. And after getting the album, well, of course I was gonna go see the show.

The story goes a little like this; in 2004 Todd Ashley, the singer and songwriter behind the entire Firewater project, was devastated by the concurrent misfortunes of losing his wife to divorce and the re-election of George Bush. He opted to lick his wounds by doing a great deal of globe trekking. Over the course of his adventures at some point he was drugged and robbed and stuck somewhere in Pakistan. His blog/journal, Postcards from the Other Side of the World, chronicles much of the time after he got out of that particular jam and is an absolutely fascinating read.

What to do when you're destitute musician in a foreign land with no desire to head back home? Well, start writing songs, of course. Ashley supported himself by teaching English and doing odd jobs. All the while he kept working on the material that would ultimately become the current Firewater album. Recruiting musicians from various countries and musical backgrounds to play his songs results in an album that, while having that completely distinctive Firewater sound, also has a richly flavored global vibe to it. There’s plenty of klezmer and banghra alongside eastern European and middle eastern folk. Though, most of the exoticism exists more to set the atmosphere than drive the songs… maybe as a way of illustrating Ashley’s journeys. Sort of mirroring his state of mind in that despite fleeing to all these exotic locales, and despite his soaking-up of all these musical influences, he remains unable to lose himself in any of them fully. That’s a sentiment that’s never too far from the surface in the lyrics. Tales of loss and woe abound. And even when he sings about being lost and robbed in very foreign lands, the things he lost and left back at home continue to haunt him with far more urgency than any fiasco abroad.

So, the show… wow. Firewater absolutely blew the roof off of the Empty Bottle. They had the normally too-cool-for-school, folded-arms Chicago crowd instead jumping, dancing, singing along. It was a big party. Wall to wall, it looked like everyone was having a blast. Myself included. Eventually, I joined forces with a group of Russian girls who had been boogieing down throughout the show. When I asked if they knew who the band was, one replied, “Oh yes! We love these band (sic)!”

And so we kept on dancing.

Check out an interesting 5 minute infomercial-thing on youtube about how the album came to be. A handful of songs from Firewater’s new album, The Golden Hour, can be heard on their myspace page.

Friday, May 30, 2008

"Lost" Finale Roundup

(Yea, once again the pic above was ripped off from the good folks at Shakesville.)

So, I had the great misfortune of having to watch the two-hour blow-out season finale of Lost with a gal who's never seen it... and couldn't help herself from making snarky comments throughout. I guess it beats watching it alone, but not by much. And same goes for my deadbeat Florida Lost contingent. You all fell off, my friends. Fell right off on the biggest night of the season.

I think I'm gonna have to stake out a couple hours this weekend and re-watch it for whatever subtleties I may have missed.

It was, as each season finale has been, an excellent episode. This season's more sci-fi tinged themes were expanded upon and as we've come to expect, entirely new mysteries were laid out for us fans to salivate over all summer long. But there were some answers... or at least some moments of relative congruence, which, in this show, is about the best one can hope for really. My (and after checking the intertubes, apparently everyone's) favorite one of those was seeing Desmond and Penny finally re-unite. I had a goofy goddamn grin from ear to ear for that. Very sweet.

Anyway, has a great rundown of last night's show. And Shakesville has their usual post-show dialog up and Sadly, No! has a message board going as well. But if you really wanna geek it, there's always the super-fan site, The Fuselage.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Hungry For Worms

Er, words. Yea, words.

So, here's a poem by a writer far better know for his short fiction, Raymond Carver:

The Possible

I spent years, on and off, in academe.
Taught at places I couldn't get near
as a student. But never wrote a line
about that time. Never. Nothing stayed
with me those days. I was a stranger,
and an impostor, even to myself. Except
at that one school. That distinguished
institution in the midwest. Where
my only friend, and my colleague,
the Chaucerian, was arrested for beating his wife.
And threatening her life over the phone,
a misdemeanor. He wanted to put her eyes out.
Set her on fire for cheating.
The guy she was seeing, he was going to hammer him
into the ground like a fence post.
He lost his mind for a time, while she moved away
to a new life. Thereafter, he taught
his classes weeping drunk. More than once
wore his lunch on his shirt front.
I was no help. I was fading fast myself.
But seeing the way he was living, so to speak,
I understood I hadn't strayed too far from home
after all. My scholar-friend. My old pal.
At long last I'm out of all that.
And you. I pray your hands are steady,
and that you're happy tonight. I hope some woman
has just put her hand under your clean collar
a minute ago, and told you she loves you.
Believe her, if you can, for it's possible she means it.
Is someone who will be true, and kind to you.
All your remaining days.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Something Completely Diff'rent

Something cheerier. Yea, I get it.

So there's this homemade, shot-for-shot remake of the first Indiana Jones movie that's been floating around for like ten years now. It's been hard as hell to track down and I've yet to see it (though it's apparently out there in Bit Torrent land if you're into that kinda thing).

Anyway, in this week's Chicago Reader there's a great little article about the homemade Jones vs. the real thing in the light of this week's release of the 4th Indiana Jones film. And apparently there's a more in-depth one over in the Vanity Fair archives.

Let's Do The Timewarp... Again

Another set of lyrics as a post. A sorry excuse for blogging, I know. Especially cuz they're aimed at someone who couldn't be bothered to look here anyway. But I'm having a regressive day today. And what better place to regress than back to some good ol' high school angst.

And with that, here's the words to "Gutless" by Jawbreaker:
Swallow your pride.
But take it slow.
You might just choke on it.
And you wouldn't want to do a thing like that.
What's left inside without your words
And fists to hold them up?
Can you look at it without rose colored lenses?
Doesn't speak too well of you.
You crawl to pass their tests.
I would like to help you but
I'm not sure who to address.
There are so many of you.
Used to be just one.
Lost you to the other side
To promises of fun.
Do you define yourself by some remembered set of empty phrases?
Do you question them at all?
Is what you do and what you say just following companions?
Do you do it from fear of not belonging?
I don't condemn you.
I know that we've all got to cling to something
To find our way through this life.
Just look inside and see if your beliefs have any meaning.
Or are they something that you found?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Recycled Boner Jokes

Yea, this has been all over the internet for years, but it cracked me up anew after surfacing over at the glorious Sadly, No! site today in yet another post on right-wing pundit Michelle Malkin's pretzel logic.

Also, someone in the Sadly, No! comments section directs our attention to a post on Dial 'B' for Blog where they lovingly posted all the panels with boner references from that particular Batman issue.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Speaking of the Red Sox... looks like we in Red Sox nation have another hero in our midst.

Last night ESPN cut away from the Cubs drubbing the Astros to show Boston Red Sox pitcher, John Lester, seal the deal on his no-hit pitching clinic against the ever-lowly Kansas City Royals. It was a marquee moment for Lester who returned to the Sox rotation late last season after taking nearly a year off to battle cancer.

As a fellow cancer survivor, I can tell ya that beating cancer and getting your life back on track is a monumental struggle... it's something to really be proud of. To not only get back on track but to blow the doors off of your career, well, damn. I think I've got another hero to add to my list.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

"Lost" Roundup

The writers, actors, directors and everyone else involved in the TV show "Lost" have really hit it out of the park this season. Last year with the show floundering and ratings falling, the network reined the creative team in and demanded they tighten things up and cut out alot of the fat. This season they've certainly righted the ship... and then some. Television just doesn't get any better in my opinion... well, unless it's the Red Sox winning a world series.

Anyway, as we "Lost" fans gear up for the season finale, over at Shakesville, Brad from SadlyNo and Melissa from Shakesville get down into it in a salon-style back and forth. Jump on in to the Lost Salon and Open Thread.

(Image stolen from the Shakesville post... obviously.)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Stay Classy GOP


In a 20-page memo on GOP electoral woes, Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) repeatedly misspells Barack Obama’s name – it’s one R, congressman, not two -- and then manages to use the racially charged term “tar baby” in a paragraph about Obama and immigration.

“Remember,” Davis writes, “Hispanic voters are a swing group in this election and future elections. John McCain, being from a border state, may be out of sync with many Republicans but he has standing among Hispanics. Barrack Obama has not made the sale to Hispanic voters. Thus, this issue is a tar baby for anyone who touches it, with land mines everywhere.”

Ahhh today's GOP. While the ship hasn't yet split in two, it has gone vertical and the panic has certainly set in hasn't it. No sooner than the media declared Hilary Clinton's campaign hopeless against the Obama juggernaut, than the American Right lets loose with all manner of slightly veiled racist barbs directed toward their almost-crowned opponent. Well, enjoy the relative benignity cuz shit's gonna get a whole lot worse the closer we get to November.

*Bonus - Dig the quick and smug retorts in the comments section of the Right-leaning Politico article linked above... people are apparently trying to rebrand the phrase, "Tar Baby." Yikes.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Oh Internet... Sometimes You Bring It Real Good

Such as over at a website called, Oh, it's really almost too much.

(Via the mighty Boing Boing.)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Hot Times Over At WFMU

WFMU gives us the skinny on a band pretty well ahead of its time, Hot Poop.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The End of a Long, Strange Trip

No, this isn't another mopey post about my personal bullshit. Yesterday, the man who discovered Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) passed away at the ripe old age of 102. Albert Hofmann in a very real way changed the world with his discovery. The shamanic substance and its rituals continue to affect popular culture and consciousness in the western world (if more in recollections and media these days).

My favorite part of this article in the Guardian is how he retired in 1971. Heh. 37 years of retirement. I wonder what he did for all those years (besides write books). You think he spent much time dosing up and getting freaky?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Fresh Cave Air

The great Nick Cave was on yesterday's premiere NPR interview program, Fresh Air.

Dig it.

Highly recommended recent music from the prolific Nick Cave and his cohorts:

Soundtrack for "The Proposition" (with Warren Ellis)

Grinderman - Self Titled Debut Album

Soundtrack for "The Assasination of Jesse James..." (with Warren Ellis)

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - "Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!"

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Brides Have Hit The Glass

The past several months have been, for me, a succession of massive, life-changing events... each arriving fast on the heels of the one prior. And as it's the nature of the way these things work, I imagine that things won't be returning to "normal" anytime soon. Indeed, the idea of "normal" itself is still in the process of being (re)defined.

So, without delving nor dwelling on the things that have come to pass in my life, I'll simply offer up someone else's words in the hopes that they'll convey a little something about, well, something.

Oh, and yes, I've cleaned things up around here and intend to get back to posting on a regular basis very soon.

Ever forward,

The Brides Have Hit Glass

by Robert Pollard (Guided By Voices)

I don't come around
Never call or let her know
I got a life of my own
You know I hate to be around her
When she's like that
I wrote a song once about her
Called "The Brides Have Hit Glass"
You know it just won't last
To be on top of your own world
With no guardrails to cling to
You fall so very fast
It's very odd to find her up again
Staking out expansion
Seeking new exposure

And when she holds out an empty glass
And she comes for a handout
I ask for the same thing-it's sad
And I hold on so sure I can take all she can
Just to be around her
Just to feel bad

One day I will know
That's it's a waste of time
And there's a better road ahead of me
I just don't know how to make it there
So I'll just hang around and take my chance
Once again I'll roll the dice
And try to hang on to my shrinking paradise

And I'll hold out an empty glass
And I'll come for a handout
And I'll ask for the same thing-it's sad
And I'll hold on so confident
That it's all I can give
To try to find my way back
Just to hit glass