Monday, December 31, 2007

The Year in Review Review

Because Mr. Furious can never get enough hatred and harsh judgement...

• Bill Maher compiles his "Dickheads of the Year" in a Rolling Stone photo-essay. Best line? "We had a pretty nice house when this Cat in the Hat of presidents came in and made the mess of all time"

The Beast has a brilliant, hysterical and hard-hitting list of "The 50 Most Loathsome People in America, 2007"

• I only did six "Dick of the Week" posts this past year—and certainly not due to lack of Dicks—you can review them here and vote in the comments for who deserves the top spot.

More traditional "Best/Worst" and "Top 10"-style lists...

Peter Travers' Best and Worst Movies of 2007 Of course, I haven't seen any of them (Best or Worst) but I want desperately to see every one of his "Best" picks except "Sweeney Todd" and "I'm Not There."

• Slate.com's Good Riddance 2007 includes the usually excellent Dahlia Lithwick with a disapppointing review of The Bush administration's dumbest legal arguments of the year."

• More of a "Before and After" or "I told you so," here are two columns from the incomparable Charles P. Pierce. The first, when he explains in September why "the enraged Patriots will go undefeated," and the second when he tells you "The Patriots are great. Deal with it." Even if you are sick to death of the Patriots, Pierce is one of the finest sports, political, or just plain writers around. Read.

I'll add more as I find them...

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Perfect Season. So Far...

"We were the first ones to climb Mount Everest," Yepremian said late Saturday. "If New England comes and does it, then they can be the second ones. But you usually don't remember No. 2. I remember Sir Edmund Hillary was the first one to climb Mount Everest. I don't remember who did it the second time. Do you?"

Drink up Garo, Nick, Don and the rest of you bitter old fucks.

Ya know, even as a Patriots fan, I was all prepared to pen a "the Patriots haven't done anything until they win the Super Bowl" post, until I read that self-serving, sore loser crap "response". Since you bitter assclowns broke out champagne every time an undefeated team lost in Week 10 or 13 (or whenever) for the last thirty years, Garo, you don't get to play it like this now—you care and you watched. All of you. Your perfect regular season is history, and in a month 19-0 will make 17-0 look like you climbed Mount Wycheproof, douche.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

What? I've been busy...

Sorry for letting the blog slide lately...been taking it easy and enjoying some quality family time this week and catching up on some freelance work and personal projects. When I've actually sat down at the computer, I've been doing other stuff and that's not even denting my (our) main objectives of the break (I get 7 workdays off, plus the weekends)—to get the freaking house in order. Here is some of shit on my list:

Finish designing fantasy sports covers.
Make countless revisions on fantasy sports covers.
Organize and update portfolio/resumé.
Clean my desk.
Clean the goddamn basement (which contains my desk).
Organize and upload photos on Flickr or something similar.
Install storm door.
Shrinkwrap windows.
Donate the old Furiousmobile.
Clean the gutters.
Set up Kid's ice rink.
Clean the goddamn basement.
Take down all the Christmas stuff/tree.
Fit in all the necessary holiday activities/obligations.
Enjoy my family.*
And, finally, clean the goddamn basement.


*No, I'm not done enjoying my family, but I have spent plenty of time on it. We've had some really great times this week...that project is ongoing...

It began to feel like the week off was slipping away without progress, so yesterday we kicked it into high gear and decided to tackle a major obstacle—what the fuck are we going to do with all this new Christmas shit when we can't even put away the stuff we already have? Every night I shove the shit back under the tree and it just creeps back out again like a tide...


So it's off to IKEA. We need serious storage upgrades for the playroom/den in order to make progress anywhere else in the house.

Here's where we started...no place to put the crap already IN the playroom, which means getting anything else put away is impossible. So the whole main floor gets contaminated and is just one big fucking toy box. And believe me, this "archive" photo is not giving you the full picture, but this is a pretty typical day in the playroom.

Three hundred bucks later, we have a totally revamped playroom, with storage for every toy in current circulation, and a theoretically functional place for the kids to play. That whole setup on the right is the new stuff. Of course, we know that after the honeymoon wears off, they'll still drag all their crap out to the living room and leave it all over the place, but for a few hours I can rest on my substantial laurels. Behold...


Which then, in turn, allows the living room and dining room to look respectable...


Okay. Time to stop patting myself on the back, because the playroom was like a pre-season game compared to what I face now...The abomination that is our basement has already been made public, and it is only worse now.

Mrs. Furious has more: before, during and after.

UPDATE: Kid Furious and Baby spent almost the whole day actualy playing in the playroom today. They can find their stuff, use it in the room, and even put it away! I feel like I cured polio last night! Once I plugged in her CD player, Kid sat in the egg chair and listened to Disney CDs for for hours...

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Movie Résumé: The List

( ) Rocky Horror Picture Show
( ) Grease
( ) Pirates of the Caribbean
( ) Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest
( ) Boondock Saints
(x) Fight Club
( ) Starsky and Hutch
( ) Neverending Story
(x) Blazing Saddles
( ) Universal Soldier
( ) Lemony Snicket: A Series Of Unfortunate Events
(x) Along Came Polly
( ) Joe Dirt
(x) King Kong
( ) A Cinderella Story
( ) The Terminal
( ) The Lizzie McGuire Movie
( ) Passport to Paris
( ) Dumb & Dumber
( ) Dumber & Dumberer
( ) Final Destination
( ) Final Destination 2
( ) Final Destination 3
(x) Halloween
(x) The Ring
( ) The Ring 2
( ) Surviving Christmas
(x) Flubber (orignal only)
( ) Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
( ) Practical Magic
( ) Chicago
( ) Ghost Ship
( ) From Hell
( ) Hellboy
( ) Secret Window
(x) I Am Sam
(x) The Whole Nine Yards
( ) The Whole Ten Yards
( ) The Day After Tomorrow
(x) Child's Play
( ) Seed of Chucky
( ) Bride of Chucky
( ) Ten Things I Hate About You
( ) Just Married
( ) Gothika
(x) Nightmare on Elm Street
(x) Sixteen Candles
( ) Remember the Titans
( ) Coach Carter
( ) The Grudge
( ) The Grudge 2
(x) The Mask
( ) Son Of The Mask
(x) Bad Boys
( ) Bad Boys 2
( ) Joy Ride
( ) Lucky Number Sleven
(x) Ocean's Eleven
( ) Ocean's Twelve
(x) Bourne Identity
( ) Bourne Supremacy
(x) Lone Star
( ) Bedazzled (original only)
(x) Predator I
(x) Predator II
(x) The Fog
(x) Ice Age
( ) Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
(x) Curious George
(x) Independence Day
(x) Cujo
(x) A Bronx Tale
( ) Darkness Falls
(x) Christine
(x) ET
( ) Children of the Corn
( ) My Bosses Daughter
( ) Maid in Manhattan
( ) War of the Worlds
( ) Rush Hour
( ) Rush Hour 2
( ) Best Bet
( ) How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
(x) She's All That
( ) Calendar Girls
( ) Sideways
( ) Mars Attacks
(x) Event Horizon
( ) Ever After
(x) Wizard of Oz
(x) Forrest Gump
( ) Big Trouble in Little China
(x) The Terminator
(x) The Terminator 2
(x) The Terminator 3
(x) X-Men
(x) X2
(x) X-3
( ) Spider-Man
( ) Spider-Man 2
( ) Sky High
( ) Jeepers Creepers
( ) Jeepers Creepers 2
( ) Catch Me If You Can
(x) The Little Mermaid
(x) Freaky Friday (original only)
( ) Reign of Fire
(x) The Skulls
(x) Cruel Intentions
( ) Cruel Intentions 2
( ) The Hot Chick
(x) Shrek
( ) Shrek 2
( ) Swimfan
(x) Miracle on 34th street
(x) Old School
(x) The Notebook
( ) K-Pax
( ) Kippendorf's Tribe
(x) A Walk to Remember
( ) Ice Castles
( ) Boogeyman
(x) The 40-year-old-virgin
(x) Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring
(x) Lord of the Rings The Two Towers
(x) Lord of the Rings Return Of the King
(x) Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
(x) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
(x) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
( ) Baseketball
( ) Hostel
(x) Waiting for Guffman
( ) House of 1000 Corpses
( ) Devils Rejects
( ) Elf
(x) Highlander
(x) Mothman Prophecies
(x) American History X
( ) Three
( ) The Jacket
( ) Kung Fu Hustle
( ) Shaolin Soccer
( ) Night Watch
( ) Monsters Inc.
(x) Titanic
(x) Monty Python and the Holy Grail
( ) Shaun Of the Dead
( ) Willard
( ) High Tension
( ) Club Dread
( ) Hulk
(x) Dawn of the Dead
( ) Hook
(x) Chronicle Of Narnia
( ) 28 days later
( ) Orgazmo
(x) Phantasm
( ) Waterworld
(x) Kill Bill vol 1
( ) Kill Bill vol 2
( ) Mortal Kombat
( ) Wolf Creek
( ) Kingdom of Heaven
( ) the Hills Have Eyes
( ) I Spit on Your Grave aka the Day of the Woman
( ) The Last House on the Left
(x) Re-Animator
(x) Army of Darkness
(x) Star Wars Ep. I The Phantom Menace
( ) Star Wars Ep. II Attack of the Clones
( ) Star Wars Ep. III Revenge of the Sith
(x) Star Wars Ep. IV A New Hope
(x) Star Wars Ep. V The Empire Strikes Back
(x) Star Wars Ep. VI Return of the Jedi
( ) Ewoks Caravan Of Courage
( ) Ewoks The Battle For Endor
(x) The Matrix
( ) The Matrix Reloaded
( ) The Matrix Revolutions
( ) Animatrix
(x) Evil Dead
( ) Evil Dead 2
( ) Team America: World Police
(x) Red Dragon
(x) Silence of the Lambs
( ) Hannibal
( ) Battle Royale
( ) Battle Royale 2
(x) Brazil
(x) Contact
( ) Cube
(x) Dr. Strangelove
( ) Enlightenment Guaranteed
(x) Four Rooms
(x) Memento
( ) Pi
( ) Requiem for a Dream
(x) Pulp Fiction
(x) Reservoir Dogs
(x) Run Lola Run
( ) Russian Ark
(x) Serenity
(x) Sin City
(x) Snatch
( ) Spider
(x) The Sixth Sense
(x) The Village
( ) Waking Life
( ) Zatoichi
( ) Ikiru
( ) The Seven Samurai
( ) Brick
(x) Akira

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mitt-staken

In Mitt Romney's Gettysburg Address for Jesus he evoked a memory designed to make him seem not quite like all the other white, millionaire Republicans... “I saw my father march with Martin Luther King.”

What a swell, inclusive, socially-aware guy. Whatever. That line did little to impress me at the time, because a college-age Mitt Romney was certainly old enough to march with King alongside his father if it meant anything to him.

Or, maybe he couldn't. Because it never happened.

That might be the case... Historians in Michigan can find no evidence of Governor (at the time) George Romney attending or marching in a MLK event. Notorious old fool David Broder seems to have conflated different events and linked the two in a book he wrote—perhaps that's were Mitt got his "memory."

If events transpired as Romney and Broder claim, at least Mitt has a good excuse why he missed out on King himself—he was spending 30 months abroad on his Morman mission and would never have "seen" his father or Martin Luther King do anything.

By all accounts George Romney was an active leader on civil rights at the time, and did attend marches, just not with King. And while young Mitt may well have been impressed, even influenced, by his father's activism, Presidential Candidate Mitt, in his self-defining speech, drew upon a memory that exists only in his imagination.

Joe Biden and Al Gore were ridiculed for far less. What will happen to Mitt? Let me know if you see this story dominating any headlines. I won't be holding my breath.

Vice President Catches Up On Some "Filing"


Photo: (AFP/Jim Watson)

Sounds convenient.

BREAKING: Limited Time Engagement

Here is the first six minutes of an eagerly anticipated project involving guys who wear masks...and makeup.

The quality of the clip is atrocious, but the content looks freaking awesome. They have the right people carrying this franchise now.

This won't be up long, so check it out. (Of course, rather than a true bootleg, this could be part of a viral ad campaign)...

UPDATE: New trailer in theaters and online here. Holy. Fucking. Shit.

UPDATE 2: Warner Bros. already had the first video yanked off YouTube. It was a handheld bootleg of a monitor playing the first six minutes of the upcoming Batman movie "The Dark Knight." A bank robbery scene inroducing the Joker. Awesome. Heath Ledger should clear space for his Oscar now. Following up with all the players from "Batman Begins" plus a powerhouse performance from Ledger makes this a lock for best comic movie ever.

The Joker won't be dancing to any Prince songs in this film. I cannot wait.

UPDATE 3: It's back up here.

File Under "Bat-Boy"

I hesitate to even give this Drudge/Enquirer story legs or a link, but I feel like I should point out that I think it is total and complete crap. Any evidence tying this to another campaign would finish them in my book. Even Obama.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

While Exploring the Amazon...

Saw this while shopping online:
3 of 8 people found the following review helpful:

More junk made in China December 6, 2007
By "Melissa L" (MI United States) - See all my reviews
I bought this at Sam's Club and brought it home. It's a piece of junk - and yes, it's made in China. It is supposed to have 3 settings but the high setting doesn't work. On medium, it's hot in some spots and cold in others. It's obviously going right back in the box and back to Sam's Club.

Don't waste your money! WHEN will we have a decent choice of products NOT made in China???

Um, when you stop shopping at fucking Sam's Club, you cheap moron.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Lion Roars

Sen. Edward Kennedy, during the FISA filibuster...
The President has said that American lives will be sacrificed if Congress does not change FISA. But he has also said that he will veto any FISA bill that does not grant retro-active immunity. No immunity, no FISA bill. So if we take the President at his word, he's willing to let Americans die to protect the phone companies.

Goddamn right, Teddy. Nicely done.

Fantastic job tonite by Chris Dodd who has been promising he would stop any FISA bill with telecom immunity, and led he charge. More on this later...
[h/t: Kos]

UPDATE: C&L has the video (and a transcript)...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Furious Rules — No. 436:

The "Word of the Year" needs to actually be a fucking word.

Merriam-Webster, this is bullshit.
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Expect cheers among hardcore online game enthusiasts when they learn Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year. Or, more accurately, expect them to "w00t."

"W00t," a hybrid of letters and numbers used by gamers as an exclamation of happiness, topped all other terms in the Springfield dictionary publisher's online poll for the word that best sums up 2007.

Merriam-Webster's president, John Morse, said "w00t" was an ideal choice because it blends whimsy and new technology.

I say it's crap because it blends number and letters with incalculable dorkiness. "Hardcore online game enthusiasts" should expect kidney-punches if they "w00t" around Mr. Furious.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Holy Bullshit

Stupidest. Fucking. Legislation. Ever.

Your Congress (not) at work. Read it and weep.

UPDATE: Congress passes stupid resolutions all the time (Freedom Fries, anyone?) and apparently this one was a spiteful response to an earlier resolution offering "respect to Ramadan and the Muslim faith" put forth in October, and this resolution's sponsor Rep. Steve King [R-IA] admitted as much. For spite. Mighty "Christian" of him. At least one could argue that the Muslim one had useful p.r. benefits abroad, and was in response to some ill will and persecution...but still, fucking stupid and not appropriate.

UPDATE 2: King's measure passes overwhelmingly 372-9 [results], with 10 protesting "Present" votes and 40 not voting. Interestingly Dems "Yeas" outnumbered Republicans 195-177. Jackasses all. My Congressman (Old Man Dingell) voted "Yea."

Monday, December 10, 2007

Judge Sentences Vick to 14 Years*

"Well, that's 23 months to you and me..."

The judge was none to happy too hear that Vick been less than candid in his testimony, and felt Vick had failed to accept responsibilty for his actions. Vick's plea called for 12-18 months. The judge said, "Fuck that. Try your comeback in 2010!" and gave him 23 months—the harshest term of all the defendants. He cannot appeal.

Vick also gets three years probation and must serve at least 85% of his sentence—19-1/2 months.

I hope the guards toss his cell with a hungry German Shepherd on a daily basis. Fucking punk.

* Dog years

UPDATE: This little escapade has cost Vick an estimated $142 million. You know what I say to that...

Reading Assignment

No, not my laborious Mitt Romney post below—though I would appreciate if you read it—please go and check out Kos contributor Devilstower's post, not on Romney, but on JFK, our current religious/political hypocrisy, and the greater pathetic strategies on all sides. It's the best thing I've read in along time.

'With God On Our Side'

It's too good to snip, just go read the whole thing.

WTF, Sven?

So I've been aware that my '01 Volvo S60 doesn't exactly get the mileage I'd hoped when I bought it. Fuel efficiency was not at the top of the list when I made the purchase either...I had a limited budget, a short commute, and we were expecting a second child, so maximum airbaggage and safety came first—the fact that this car was really nice and I got a fantastic deal, cinched it...

Back to the mileage...First of all the tank on this car is huge. Twenty-one fucking gallons! (UPDATE: 18.5 gal.) So, with gas jumping up and down a quarter every other week, I never like to fill the car all the way up for fear of wasting five bucks if the price drops. This makes it difficult for me to keep an accurate count on the amount of gas I use. Couple that with the fact that I rode my bike to work frequently this past summer/fall, it was often weeks between trips to the gas station.

So here's my issue with this car. When I fill the car up, I try to remember to hit the old trip odometer back to 0.0 in hopes that I can figure the mileage next time I top it off (this never works because I never fill it all the way back up). But it often seems like I can go pretty far on the first quarter tank or so, and I think, "Hmm, twenty gallon tank, I've gone a hundred miles and it's still over three quarters full...not terrible." The next thing I know, I'm under a quarter tank and I've only gone another hundred miles...

What the fuck is up with that?

Last night I filled the car all the way up. It swallowed 14.595 gallons. The trip odometer read 206. That's an astoundingly Hummeresque 14.1 mpg. Now, that's in-town driving, including some early morning warm-up time, but still...that's awful. I had to drive up to Mrs F's grandmother's house and back that evening. Before getting home, I made sure to fill up again. 96 miles, 3.746 gallons...that's 26 mpg. Primarily highway driving, but an aggressive 75-80 mph. Not bad. but, that's a pretty wide split between city and highway. Or is the difference the first-part-of-the-tank factor?...Anybody else experience anything like this?

I'll be keeping closer track of this and following up. Because I know how fascinating this must be to all of you. Consider this an open thread to share what you current car is and what your mileage is, if you know.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

"You're No Jack Kennedy."

UPDATE: It took two days to finish, but I finally got it all out...complete with videos and links!


First things first. Mitt Romney's speech does not "shake me to my core", "offend me" or anything else. Why? Because I could give a fuck what he, his fellow Mormons, or the Evangelical religionists he was bonding with think about me or anyone else on the outs with the church. They can all kiss my ass.

What pisses me off is the impact all of this plays in politics and even more, the treatment Romney is getting for making this speech—before, during, and especially after. Comparisons to Kennedy's speech are a natural storyline for the somnambulant media—and fully intended by Romney and his handlers, evident by his choice of location, words, and even posing for photos (see above). But that comparison could not be more misrepresentative of the two speeches and what they really meant.

Widely hyped as the next great Kennedyesque political speech of our time, Romney's ‘Faith in America’ Address was given all the coverage and trappings of the fucking State of the Union for chrissakes. His choice of venue (George H.W. Bush's Presidential Library) even allows him to make it from behind the Seal of the President of the United States.

It was treated as a courageous act that Romney confront this "issue." A "risky move that might backfire" on him. I suppose it would have been if he actually mentioned the word "Morman" more than once, or confronted his accusers. Instead, it was not a defense of Mormanism, nor a reminder that religion should hold no place in politics—it was a straight-up Evangelical asskissfest, complete with all the codewords and targetting of a strawman common enemy. It should have taken place at Liberty University and been shown on the 700 Club, not given all-day, top-story coverage everywhere from CNN to NPR.

While both Kennedy and Romney faced similar questions about their faith from a close-minded, religionist minority of the the country, what they did about it couldn't be more different: Kennedy strode into the lion's den and told them what was what. By contrast, Romney slithered in and tried to wedge himself into the pew with the very people who publicly doubt his qualifications and question the validity of his faith.

Baby F is waking up. Gotta run. More to come.

I'm back. Where was I? Oh yeah, blowing the bullshit that this was akin to Kennedy's speech out of the water...

Here's Kennedy's speech boiled down:
Yeah, I'm Catholic. What of it? That's between me and my God and none of your fucking business and has nothing to do with being President, got it? And howdya like these apples?...The separation of church and state is absolute. And I mean fucking worlds apart with a goddamn asteroid belt between them. The government giving nothing to any church or religious school, and taking no direction back. If you don't like it...fuck the hell off.

Don't believe me? Watch it for yourself. The only difference between my paraphrasing and what Kennedy says is my lack of Boston accent, and his lack of expletives (though, I think he does mumble "motherfuckers" at the end there, you just don't hear it due to poor audio quality...).



You can read the entire speech here. It's worth reading simply as a contrast to the politics of today.

In stark contrast, here is Romney:
I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of mankind, and I love him as much as you! The founding fathers did too! This country is all about religion, and without it, we're nothing. God save us from the marauding secularists who seek to destroy us and what we love. And don't forget those crazy Moslems! They'll cut your throat while praising Allah...Forget about that Morman stuff, I'm just like you! Did I mention I love Jesus as much as you? Good. Will (God) you (Jesus) vote (Creator) for (Liberty) me (religion) now (prayer)?

Erase all the codewords and boil it down, and that's really all it was. A big "Can't we religious folks put aside our teeny, tiny differences and fend off those godless athiests?"

If you won't vote for Obama because he's black, you are a racist. If you won't vote for Hillary because she's a woman, you're sexist. And if you won't vote for Mitt Romney because he's Morman, it's the same fucking thing, there just really isn't a word for it. But rather than confront this, Romney panders to it. He tries to assure these religious bigots to be comfortable with him because he's just like them.

He's not calling for religious tolerance. He's asking Evangelicals to be tolerant of him so they can all get together and be intolerant of the non-religious. Hence stoking the old "creeping secularism" common enemy.

Romney takes the basic framework of JFK's speech—a list of problems faced by the nation, a claim of independence from influence, and that he is running on the issues only—but he fills all the gaps with bullshit. Romney throws in a passing reference to a "separation of church and state"—but then immediately undermines it.

Here's Kennedy:
"I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute--where no Catholic prelate would tell the President (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishoners for whom to vote--where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference--and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him or the people who might elect him...

...Finally, I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end--where all men and all churches are treated as equal--where every man has the same right to attend or not attend the church of his choice." [emphasis mine]

Now, in defense of Romney, he's really just saying what he needs to, in order to out-God the guy who just blew by him in the standings (ordained minister Hucksterbee) in a last-ditch lunge at the GOP nomination before the primaries kick off. He's not really talking to anybody BUT the worst element of the electorate. In fact, if he actually tried anything close to what JFK said about separating church and state, he'd've been booed off the stage, but he should hardly get credit for doing anything other than pandering. Oh, I guess I'll give him credit for misrepresenting the Founding Fathers, our history as a nation...and the Constitution.

Here's his swipe at keeping church and state separate:
"We separate church and state affairs in this country, and for good reason. No religion should dictate to the state nor should the state interfere with the free practice of religion. But in recent years, the notion of the separation of church and state has been taken by some well beyond its original meaning. They seek to remove from the public domain any acknowledgment of God. Religion is seen as merely a private affair with no place in public life. It is as if they are intent on establishing a new religion in America – the religion of secularism. They are wrong.

Kennedy's whole damn speech is about keeping religion out of state affairs, while the Mittster can't go a breath without taking it back. Oh, and I don't know what the fuck a "religion of secularism" is aside from an oxymoron. Ask Bill O'Reilly...

Some more of Romney's bullshit:
"We should acknowledge the Creator as did the Founders – in ceremony and word. He should remain on our currency, in our pledge, in the teaching of our history, and during the holiday season, nativity scenes and menorahs should be welcome in our public places. Our greatness would not long endure without judges who respect the foundation of faith upon which our Constitution rests. I will take care to separate the affairs of government from any religion, but I will not separate us from 'the God who gave us liberty.'

Pure crap. First, all this "God on the currency and in the Pledge" crap is from the McCarthyite 1950s, not the Founding Fathers. It doesn't belong there, but I know of no serious assault on it. As for the nativity scenes crap, drive down any street and private yards and churches have more than got that covered. For a town to erect one in the public square is unnecessary and crosses Kennedy's (and my) line.

Oh, and last I checked, judges and all other public servants take an oath to uphold the law and the Constitution—nothing else. And certainly not any "faith."

So here's Mitt's big statement. This actually comes very early in the speech:
"Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom. Freedom opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs and commune with God. Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone.

The history of mankind all across the globe, begs to differ with that one, asshole. Even now, I know plenty of religious countries I'd hardly call free. And linking the two is the part that pisses me off the most. Here is where he makes clear that being beholden to God somehow makes one "free" (not sure how that makes sense) and that the non-religious don't have a place in Romney's vision of America.

Fuck you, Mitt. The theocratic fantasy country you're talking about isn't the one I live in, or that the Founding Fathers established. If you want to be President of that country, take the bigoted jackasses you're appealing to and start your own. I think there's a plot of land down in Guyana that's perfect.

Links:
Romney's complete speech. Have your airsick (or punching) bag close by.

Christopher Hitchen's obliteration of Romney. Don't miss it. Money quote:
[...] According to the admittedly very contradictory scriptures of the New Testament, Jesus of Nazareth warned his disciples and followers that they should expect to be ridiculed and mocked for their faith. After all, how likely was it that God had decided to reveal himself to only a few illiterate peasants in a barbarous backwater? Those who elected to believe this stuff were quite rightly told to expect a hard time, and the expression "fool for God" or "fool for Christ" has been with us ever since. That concept has some dignity and nobility. Entirely lacking in dignity or nobility (or average integrity) is the well-heeled son of a gold-plated church who wants to assume the pained look of martyrdom only when he is asked if he actually believes what he says. A long time ago, Romney took the decision to be a fool for Joseph Smith, a convicted fraud and serial practitioner of statutory rape who at times made war on the United States and whose cult has been made to amend itself several times in order to be considered American at all. We do not require pious lectures on the American founding from such a man, and we are still waiting for some straight answers from him.

Maureen Dowd with a rare column worth reading... And even David Brooks, while trying to be enthusiastic, sees through Mitt's crap... Mild-mannered Kevin Drum blows a gasket... Toast tees off... Ezra thinks it was terrible, but calls it pure pander, perfectly played... Yglesias exposes Mitt's misrepresentation of Mormanism... and Digby, as usual, is excellent, and icludes several good links.

Friday, December 07, 2007

House Afire

I intended to have a week of light posts about Disney...or music...some baseball hot stove stuff...or a nice "Mr Furious Heartily Endorses" post to work back from vacation and make up for the the fact that the "serious" taser story was above the fold here for like ten days. But this Huckabee story and Mitt Romney's bullshit "faith" speech and his corresponding JFK-ification has me fucking livid.

Once I clear the decks of some work, it is fucking on.

Huckabee "Heartbroken"

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- [link] Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said it was "heartbreaking" that the deaths of women killed by a convicted rapist who was released from prison after Huckabee supported his parole had become politicized.

..."There are families who are truly, understandably and reasonably, grief stricken," Huckabee told CNN. "And for people to now politicize these deaths and to try to make a political case out of it rather than to simply understand that a system failed and that we ought to extend our grief and heartfelt sorrow to these families, I just regret politics is reduced to that."

Yeah, you sound "heartbroken"...that this is an issue. Here's your cup, Mike. Drink it down.



Let's make things clear. This is politicized now because you responded to the mouth-breathing, Clenis-fearing, rightwing asshats when you were Governor and pushed for the release of a convicted rapist for purely political reasons!

In the same breath you claim "not to have pressured" the parole board, you mention that you were considering "granting DuMond clemency in 1996, but he dropped the idea in response to public outcry."

To cover your ass against that "public outcry" and in defiance of the letters you recieved pleading that DuMond remain in prison, you held a controversial closed-door, no-transcript session with the Parole Board, and within weeks he was on the street. What and who are we supposed to believe here? The board members who say you pressured them, and threatened to outright commute DuMond if he wasn't paroled or you and your political handlers. That his parole stipulated he leave Arkansas (convenient for you) but both Florida and Georgia refused to accept him, and he ended up in Missouri? That's how "concerned" you were with his supervsion?

You fucked up, Mike. Big time. And people lost their lives because of it. And it was for a disgraceful reason—political payback. So don't you dare moan about politics now. Right after you're done shutting the fuck up you can rot in Hell right next to your buddy DuMond.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Huckabee Undone?

"Governor Huckabee? Chuck Norris called, he wants his fist back."

Wow. If this shit came down against a Democratic governor, they'd be finished in their pursuit of the White House. The GOP and the media would have a field day with this...
Documents Expose Huckabee's Role In Serial Rapist's Release
December 4, 2007 11:18 PM

Little Rock, Ark -- As governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee aggressively pushed for the early release of a convicted rapist despite being warned by numerous women that the convict had sexually assaulted them or their family members, and would likely strike again. The convict went on to rape and murder at least one other woman.

Now, by all accounts, Mike Huckabee seems to be a nice guy. A Republican I could live with. Sure his rejection of evolution makes him intelectually unqualified for office, but he's not the guy I wanted to see hoisted like this. And in general I don't necessarily like holding governors accountable for the actions of more or less anonymous, unrelated criminals...

But this one is a bit different that the classic examples of the past (ie: Dukakis).

First, there was little question about this guy's danger to the public. He was a serial rapist, and had even been involved in a prior murder. Huckabee's office had been warned repeatedly by the victims of this rapist, Wayne Dumond, that he would not leave witnesses next time.

He didn't. Twice.

That's bad enough, but what makes it worse is that Huckabee is actively lying about the course of events now, and his staff has engaged in covering up his involvement and knowledge for years.

But the kicker? It all comes down to the Clintons. Yes, that's right. Back in the nineties the GOP was so fucking obsessed with Bill Clinton, that when one of his distant relatives, a 17 year old girl, was raped at knifepoint by Dumond the right wing machine leapt into action:
In 1996, as a newly elected governor who had received strong support from the Christian right, Huckabee was under intense pressure from conservative activists to pardon Dumond or commute his sentence. The activists claimed that Dumond's initial imprisonment and various other travails were due to the fact that Ashley Stevens, the high school cheerleader he had raped, was a distant cousin of Bill Clinton, and the daughter of a major Clinton campaign contributor.

And Huckabee complied. Fucking disgraceful. Huckabee recieved written pleas from several victims including a woman who was raped with her three year old daughter in the bed. Need more? He also recieved a letter from the since-grown daughter.

Dumond got a chance to rape and kill at least two other women before being re-apprehended in Missouri. All because along the way he accidentallly dragged the Clintons into it.

UPDATE: More from Kos and Carpetbagger, but nowhere in the mainstream...

SECOND UPDATE: Via Andrew Sullivan, Huckabee addresses the Dumond situation. Sullivan finds it candid, even compelling. I don't. Especially considering the active role he and his staff took trying to suppress the truth by hiding the letters in his archives beyond the reach of FOIA, and because he cannot even express his regret without blaming Bill Clinton:
"It was a horrible situation, horrible, I feel awful about it in every way. I wish that there was some way I could go back and reverse the clock and put him back in prison. But nobody, not me, not Jim Guy Tucker, not Bill Clinton, not that parole board, could ever imagine what might have transpired."

"Nobody could imagine...?" I'm sick to death of that excuse from Republicans, aren't you? You didn't have to imagine. It was in writing. On your desk. Sent to you by the parole board. And you chose to ignore it, act on Dumond's behalf, and push for his release anyway. Shut the fuck up.

I'm Back

As if anybody noticed I was gone...

The Family Furious just returned from a week at Disney World, and blogging will resume as soon as I am able. Like, when I get to work tomorrow! LOL!

Seriously? Any time I go away, the freelance work piles up, so I hope to get back in the swing as soon as I can. Lots of stuff to comment on, rail on, recommend, etc...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Out of Control

UPDATE: I want to point out that I discuss this particular video because it is the one that is being widely circulated and debated at the moment. It is NOT the worst example of excessive force, nor does the suspect exhibit model behavior, but it is a good example of what I believe is the misuse of what I believe is still a dangerous weapon. Also it should be noted that I perhaps identify most closely to the suspect as a white, 30-something with a young family...

This video has been all over the internet, so you may have seen it already. It's ten minutes long, but worth watching to really understand exactly what a fucking fear-based, authoritarian country we have become. If for some reason you can't watch it or want to cut to the (non-)chase, I put a transcript of the key moments in the comments. Check it out:


Holy. Shit. Pulled over for (possibly) speeding and you end up getting 50,000 volts, cracking your head on the highway, and under arrest—all in front of your hysterical pregnant wife and child—because you questioned the cop.

There's an excellent thread on this incident at John Cole's place, and a reader named Kirk does a really valiant job trying to explain the cop's POV and possible motives/fears (here, here, and here). He makes some really good points, but it all boils down to a confused, if somewhat belligerent, motorist getting assaulted for no good reason by a taser-happy asshole cop who loses control of a situation he handles poorly from the outset.

I want to point out that I have limited experience with this type of situation, I think I've gotten two traffic tickets in my life, and they were both a long-ass time ago. The circumstances were pretty cut and dry, and I was completely deferential to the officer in each case. I would expect to behave the same way if it were to occur again. As such, I don't particularly relate to the way this motorist behaves in terms of challenging the cop, but he IS within his rights. Personally? I would take my ticket and fight it in court (or pay it), but things get confusing here in a hurry, thanks to the cop (hopefully, you've watched the video or read the transcript)...

So the cop issues a ticket, but is unclear exactly what the infraction is, and simply demands the driver sign it. After reading various accounts, it seems that in Utah, you are expected to sign a ticket as a promise to either appear in court or plead guilty and pay the fine. But this motorist has never gotten a ticket, and has no reason to know that—and neither would I. I would not want to sign it either! Hopefully I could better communicate my confusion and get an explanation from the cop, but with this douchebag, that might not have happened for me either.

According to the Utah Highway Patrol, "In the event that a motorist refuses to sign a trooper has two options. One is to write "refuses to sign" on the citation, which is then given to the driver. The second is to arrest the driver."

Once the driver refuses to sign, this cop clearly never considers the first, and more appropriate option, and takes the refusal to sign as immediate grounds for arrest—but never informs the motorist of any of this, and casually asks him to "hop out of the car." The driver thinks they are going to look at the speed limit sign, and the next thing he knows there is a screaming cop with a taser in his face, and within seconds, he's been shot without warning.

That's all it takes. Failure to comprehend what's going on and you are "resisting" and subject to a horrific bodily assault. You are not threat to yourself, the officer or the public. No attempt to flee. Nothing except perhaps failure to completely submit without question for an minor traffic infraction you believe you are innocent of. To a cop that has given no indication by his behavior or words that the situation has escalated to a level requiring arrest, never mind extreme force.

Commenters elsewhere have pointed out that the motorist is “reaching for a weapon/pocket”. That’s bullshit. He appears to be putting his wallet back in his pocket, and if that ever went through the cop’s mind, I’m pretty sure we would have seen/heard evidence of it on the tape. Either at the moment, or after the fact when the suspect asks what caused the tasing, and especially when he describes the incident to the other cop—”I thought he was going for a weapon…”

Officer Asshole decided he was going to show this guy who was boss, and arrest him. For speeding.

He either has no hesitation about using excessive force or he simply mishandles the situation so poorly that he panics and fucks up. Either way, he is wrong, and doesn't deserve to be carrying waepons and dealing with civilians. Put that dick behind a desk or better yet, fire his ass.

--

But this is part of a bigger problem. First, tasers are fucking dangerous. No, they are not deadly weapons in the same sense as a handgun, but as three separate taser-related deaths last weekend indicate, they should not be used without justification. But they clearly are—in some cases even more outrageously that the Utah speeding case:

• Here's one where an intoxicated, but hardly dangerous, Ohio woman is tased repeatedly by a cop that has a good hundred pounds on her, simply because, it appears, he doesn't feel like bending over to restrain her.

• A bicyclist tells his story of a confrontation where he ended up getting tased for trying to ride home from the airport.

• But the most blantant abuse of force appears in this video of a student in the library at UCLA. If you can get past the horrendous cell phone cinematography, this one is disturbing for what it reveals about the police and their techniques.



--

We are now in a era when people can be detained, wiretapped, surveilled, questioned, or whatever for no reason whatsoever and expected to comply without protest. No warrants issued, no charges need to be filed, no habeas corpus, the government is assuming powers they should not have, and at the same time introducing new torturous techniques to enforce compliance.

At a time when governement and police actions most deserve to be questioned and scrutinized, that will be met with hostility, excessive force and pain. Great combination.

Andrew's right. President Rudy should fucking scare the shit out of you. I suspect many of the people who think they have "nothing to fear" aren't too different than Jared Massey—they are just driving down the highway with their family, minding their own business...

UPDATE: CNN interview with the motorist, and a UHP representative.

It's hard to tell in the video but according to this story Massey is tased a second time for not rolling over fast enough.

It's probably also worth noting that Utah is one of the states that has yet to outlaw ticket quotas.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Breaking: Sullivan Endorses Hillary

Well, only when faced with a Hillary v. Rudy election...Still, i can hardly think of a blogger who hates Hillary as much as Andrew Sullivan, so this is saying something:
Between Fear and Loathing
Lying awake the other early morning, I found the twin images of Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton coming into my mind. [...] I loathe Clinton; I fear Giuliani. Which emotion surges most? Clinton could still pull it out as my least favorite, but right now, my fear of Giuliani is outweighing my loathing of Clinton...

All the things I admired about Giuliani as mayor loom as liabilities as president. The security state is understandably more pervasive and powerful than before. But the newly empowered executive branch - with powers to seize anyone anywhere without charges and torture them if necessary - makes a man with the instincts and temperament of Giuliani a real danger in the White House. [...] Maybe not immediately - but in the wake of another terror attack, I don't think anyone can feel comfortable with what he might do to the Constitution and American liberty... it's my gut sense of the kind of man Giuliani is and the kind of world he would confront as president. We can't risk him under those circumstances. So it's back to dealing with a candidate who, however loathesome, is not quite as dangerous.

I can't think of a single major Democrat that would make me switch and vote for the other side*. That tells you how putrid a prospective President Rudy makes—he's driving the sensible Republicans to the GOP's anti-Christ.

*And, no, that's not because i am a blind partisan, but because I have a fucking brain in my head and see what's happening. I could vote for a guy like Chuck Hagel over a hypothetically bad Dem nominee (ie: Sharpton)—but only in a vacuum. It's besides the point because Hagel's more likely to get the nomination as a Democrat than in today's GOP.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving


“Thanksgiving—Conversation” by the incomparable Chris Ware. The full series here.

Holiday Linkage:

Rickey’s Tips for Having a Keen Time This Thanksgiving "Most importantly, don’t get weird with the stuffing. Cornbread stuffing is stretching things far enough. If you venture into the realm of potato latke stuffing or oyster stuffing, then you, friend, are a jackass. You know what kind of stuffing Rickey likes? Normal fucking stuffing. The kind that comes in a plastic bag and says “Pepperidge” on it."

Digby reminds us of what happened on Nov 22 a long time ago... Something tells me that if this happened today, we'd be under martial law by sundown.

Via BoingBoing, get creative when peeling your potatoes today...

Monday, November 19, 2007

John McCain: Toughguy Moron

John McCain is trying hard to muscle-up as the toughest GOP candidate...
"It's my intention, if we win this nomination, to reject Secret Service," he said during one of his many conversations with reporters on his Straight Talk Express this weekend. "Why do I need it?"

He adds: "The day that the Secret Service can assure me that if we're driving in the motorcade and there's a guy in a rooftop with a rifle, that they can stop that guy, then I'll say fine. But the day they tell me, 'well, we can't guarantee it,' then fine, I'll take my chances."

McCain rejected Secret Service protection in 2000, after winning the New Hampshire primary. But he wants to go further, rejecting the massive security apparatus should he become president.

"It's the inconvenience," McCain said. "It's the inconvenience it causes people. It's a waste of the taxpayers money. It's just everything I don't like."

[...] He recalled a time during Bill Clinton's presidency, when Clinton and his wife, the first lady, both had events in New York City, each traveling with large security caravans. "The island of Manhattan was gridlocked," he recalled.

[...] "you don't need 50 cars and SUV's full of people driving along, stopping traffic."

Jesus. What's next with these fucking idiots? "I'm gonna wear me some six-shooters, and Allah help Osama if he crosses my path while I'm out fightin' crime."

Nice how he works that little partisan "those Clinton Pussies" barb in there, huh? Like Bush just rides his mountain bike around town when he comes to NYC...

I lived in New York during Presidential visits, and yeah, it was a pain—for about twenty minutes while the motorcade flew up the FDR. Better to have, as McCain waxes, "a car with tinted glass, and maybe one secret service guy with you" caught in a traffic jam?

Sorry, but you have a bit of a responsibility to the country to try and stay alive.

Oh, and Senator? Would you care to explain how this fits in with your "four helicopter gunships and a battalion of troops" escort in that "safe" Baghdad marketplace...

[h/t: 'Bagger]

Friday, November 16, 2007

'Bout Fucking Time

Carpetbagger:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has decided to keep the chamber in session over the Thanksgiving break to block President Bush from making any unsavory recess appointments while Senators are out of town.

Good. Reid should do this for the rest of Bush's misbegotten term. Too bad the Dems didn't tell Bush to pound sand instead of confriming Mukasey, and then done this.

This Old Big House


The University of Michigan is adding a big load of bullshit along with its luxury boxes to Michigan Stadium (aka "The Big House").

After tomorrow's loss to Ohio State, the 107,000-seat stadium will undergo extensive renovations including the addition of 85 luxury suites which (as this picture shows) are basically like two big office buildings along the sideline sides of the stadium.

So, what's the problem? Well, it seems the University has been skating by with "only 88 seats for the disabled, far short of the more than 1,000 that advocates say are required." That's pretty bad. For the record, the stadium is primarily bleacher seating and involves long-ass climbs down into the "bowl" to reach seats, and all services are around the perimeter outside. I could see how that sucks for a guy in a wheelchair.

The University is already battling lawsuits from disabled groups over this, but now the federal Dept of Education is threatening to withold funding for the University if this project doesn't remedy the situation. Good.

U-M makes the bullshit claim that "the original stadium bowl is being repaired, not renovated, and is not subject to A.D.A. rules set in 1990." That's crap. The University's own website on the $226 million project says as much.

That's the same kind of bullshit loophole crap utilities and refineries, etc. use to avoid pollution controls, etc and that shit pisses me off. But this is even worse—this is a state university. An educational intitution. A non-profit (in theory). Step the fuck up, U-M, and do what's right. Add the handicap seats or toilets or whatever and quit being greedy revenue-chasing assholes.

[main image from The Onion]

Miscellany

THE ILLUSION OF INEVITIBILITY
When somebody tells you Hillary has the nomination all sewn up, tell them to shut the hell up. And then direct them to this:
CBS News poll from Dec. 17, 2003, polling nationally:
Dean 23%
Clark 10%
Lieberman 10%
Gephardt 6%
Sharpton 5%
Kerry 4%
Edwards 2%
Moseley-Braun 1%

That said, from what I saw of last night's debate, Hillary (with CNN's help) mopped the floor with her rivals.


MLB (NELSON) AWARDS
Since this is the week MLB announces the player awards such as Rookie of the Year, MVP, etc, I thought I'd announce my Baseball Nelson Awards. The first "Ha Ha!" goes to the recently-indicted Barry Bonds. Good luck adding to your HR record if you now have to hit the ball over razor wire... And the "Agent of the Year Award" goes to Scott Boras who cost his be-lipsticked douchebag client thirty million dollars and himself a commission. Actually, maybe ARod came out ahead on that deal...


WANTED: CELLMATE
Remember the Florida State Rep. that was arrested for soliciting a male cop for sex in a park bathroom? You know, back when that sort of thing was all the rage among GOP officeholders (ie: summertime)...and he came up with the best/worst excuse ever*—claiming that since the cop was a "stocky, black guy" he became so frightened he thought he better offer the guy $20 and a blowjob? Well, the still-in-office Rep. Allen had his day in court and was convicted. How "frightened"/aroused would Allen be if they put Barry Bonds in his cell with him? [h/t: The Legal Satyricon]

UPDATE—Bonus humiliation for Allen: "Because of the nature of the crime, prosecutors said, Allen would have to undergo testing for sexually transmitted diseases. The results, they said, would be made public." That seems a bit excessive. Hilarious, but excessive.

*Do yourself a favor and click that link.


OUCH.
Canada doesn't fuck around with their Public Service annnouncements. Check out these workplace safety PSAs. [Warning: Some are extremely graphic.] Restaurant and Construction, Retail, Warehouse.

The "C" Stands for "Crappy"

Would it be too much fucking trouble for CNN to have the debate available online? What, is it 1994 or something?

All they have are the moronically-selected "gotcha" moments. Fucking CSPAN can handle this shit—if you can't put the thing online, you shouldn't be used as a venue to host it.

Oh, and Wolf Blitzer's a fucking douche.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Nicely Played, Sir.

Perfect, and fairly entertaining, encapsulation of the Writer's Strike.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Approved for Presidential Consumption

[via Smitty] I ran the old blog through a "Reading Comprehension Analyzer." Hell, Smitty's beer and home-brewing blog achieved "Post-Grad College Level" so I expected at least "Undergraduate"...

Not so much...

cash advance

Goes nicely with the NC-17 rating, I suppose.

No More Polls or Platitudes. Tell. Me. Why.

Barney...Barney...Barney...Saying it doesn't make it so:
Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank Endorses Clinton

[Here's the quid...] The Clinton Campaign announced the endorsement of Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank and named him as an Economic Advisor to the Campaign.

[...and here's the pro quo...] "I have from the beginning of this campaign believed that Hillary Clinton was the candidate best qualified to serve as President,” Rep. Frank said. “I am convinced that once elected, the qualities she will bring to the job - commitment, intellect, and political skills - will make her an extremely effective [blah...blah...blah] is capable of appealing to the majority of our fellow citizens, and I believe that she is both politically and substantively the candidate best qualified to be our nominee.

Seriously? I am still waiting for somebody to actually explain why this is true. What is it exactly that makes her "most qualified" either "substantively" OR "politically."

If you want substance, a record and experience, Dodd (or even Biden) blow her away. And "politically?" She won based solely on name and reputation in a hand-picked carpetbagger race in a deep blue state. Though it is not entirely (or even mostly) her fault, she is easily the most polarizing political figure outside of George W Bush, and in my estimation actually stands the greatest chance of actually LOSING the election, and costing us dearly down-ticket as well either way.

Somebody please tell me why she is the person we should nominate. I mean somebody besides Hillary herself, a Republican or the retarded oddsmakers in the media.

[h/t: Sullivan]

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Dick of the Week: John McCain

From the Carpetbagger:
Obviously, presidential candidates aren’t responsible for comments made by their supporters. Candidates are, however, responsible for showing a little class. It’s apparently something that John McCain has forgotten.

At a campaign event in South Carolina, a McCain backer stood up to ask the senator, “How do we beat the bitch?”

In response, McCain said, “We have our differences with our Democratic rivals, but I believe in treating people with respect. It’s why I don’t refer to women as ‘bitches,’ even when I disagree with them. I’m sure all of us believe we can debate the serious issues of the day without name-calling and degrading language.”

No, no, I’m just kidding. He actually responded, “That’s an excellent question.”

You have to see it to believe it...


I love the follow-up, “John, she’s talking about my ex-wife!”

ROTFLMAO! That might even be construed as spousal abuse! Hysterical!

First of all, I was initially shocked that the question came from a woman, though I suppose she felt "innoculated." But seriously, is that the kind of comment people feel comfortable making in a high-powered meeting with a Presidential candidate? Who fucking does that? And the room reacts with uproarious laughter?

In any normal room a comment like that goes over like a lead balloon. With most people being, like, "what did she just say?"

But not McCain. After has to composing himself from laughing, he then treats it as a perfectly valid, no, an "Excellent" question...in front of a camera no less.

He's lucky the next question wasn't about Obama.

Somehow I don’t think the next Rasmussen poll will have you up three points, Senator. Stay classy!

"...we're going to Heaven! Yeaararh!!!

Yes, this is actually a news story, and this is actually the headline:
Dean says Jews can go to heaven
Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean came out for inclusive team prayers in public schools while speaking Sunday to a gathering of thousands of Jewish leaders, according to a leading Jewish news agency.

In another statement likely to stir debate among the evangelical Christians his party is urgently trying to court, Dean also asserted “there are no bars to heaven for anybody,”

The remarks in Nashville, Tenn., come at a time when Democratic candidates in general – and the DNC in particular – have been increasing outreach to voters for whom faith and values is a decisive issue.

[...] Dean’s comments followed an address by the University of Tennessee's head basketball coach, Bruce Pearl, who told the crowd that as a Jewish student in public schools, he always felt uncomfortable when he was playing sports and his team's pre-game prayers would end with an invocation to Jesus.

"This country is not a theocracy," Dean said, "There are fundamental differences between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party believes that everybody in this room ought to be comfortable being an American Jew, not just an American; that there are no bars to heaven for anybody; that we are not a one-religion nation; and that no child or member of a football team ought to be able to cringe at the last line of a prayer before going onto the field."

Personally, I think it would be more fun (and accurate) if Howard said "there is no heaven, you suckers."

The right-wing fundie crowd is aghast at these comments, "that's up to God, not Howard Dean and the Liberals.." etc. I'm also pretty sure it's not up to you, either. The fact that a guy who married a Jewish woman and has Jewish children might want to believe they can go to Heaven too is a threat to these freaks?

Sorry, God Squaders, if Heaven is only for judgemental, white, hyper-religious assholes, I'll pass. And I'm pretty sure Howard's not courting your vote either.

Random Kickassery: Dolphins


Dolphins save surfer from becoming shark’s meal
Surfer Todd Endris needed a miracle. The shark — a monster great white that came out of nowhere — had hit him three times, peeling the skin off his back and mauling his right leg to the bone.

That’s when a pod of bottlenose dolphins intervened, forming a protective ring around Endris, allowing him to get to shore, where quick first aid provided by a friend saved his life.

[h/t: withleather]

Monday, November 12, 2007

Basement Blogging

So, do any of you fine readers ever wonder about the Fortress of Fury? Does Mr Furious blog poolside with a Corona at arms length? Maybe from a deer blind as he polishes his bolt-action?...Underground bunker?...Well, wonder no longer...

Here is your long-awaited (or not) look into the cockpit where I pilot the Starship Furious...


"Crap Factor Six, Mr Chekov!"

Why am I sharing this abomination? Because this is my self-initiated intervention—"You're a fucking slob, Mr Furious. I know you're busy as hell, and this isn't all your fault, but look at that fucking disaster." Mrs. F packed up all the Halloween decor, but I can't even get the bins over to the storage closet. Something has to give...


[L to R, top] 1. The bottom of the steps—where we shove everything from upstairs when we need to quickly get things out of the way. Supposedly a "temporary staging area," and those things will be put away when we have time. That time never arrives. 2. Another view of my desk. Shudder. 3. Believe it or not, that treadmill does get used. The pilates machine too. Just not by me... [bottom] 4. The home "theater." How relaxing... 5. You thought you had a hard time finding the remotes... 6. Clothes unloaded from the dryer onto the concrete floor still count as "clean."

So I am posting these for some motivation, and, assuming I'm ever done, for affirmation. Of course, as I took these photos this afternoon, I had grand plans of cranking out some serious cleaning while Baby F napped and Kid F was at a birthday party...Might even have some football on in the background...As soon as I snapped 'em, Baby F woke up, distraction ensued and ten hours later the room is exactly the same.

An auspicious beginning...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Manly-Meme


Toast has initiated a shaving meme, and being several days removed from the news and blogging I figure this is a good way to get my arm loose...Here goes:

At what age did you start shaving? I have no idea...I can remember growing the retarded high school "mustache" at about 16 or 17, and that probably involved shaving the rest of my face to delude myself that there was hair left on my lip, but I didn't really "need" to shave until I was in college.

How often do you shave? Usually twice a week. Based on a combination of laziness, lack of time in the morning and the beard allowing me to push the stubble look further at work.

Last time you shaved? Thursday. (Today is Sunday)

What's the longest you can go without shaving? Five days. Beyond that and itching becomes unbearable, and I start to feel self-consciously sloppy about going to work...

What kind of razor do you use? Gilette Sensor Excel. Best. Razor. Ever. Getting difficult to find. I think they are trying to upgrade people to the ridiculous battery-powered razors. Whatever the fuck those things are.

How often do you change blades? Every few weeks or so. If I let the beard go too long I don't fuck around—that job calls for a fresh blade. Otherwise, I base it on resistance.

Ever use an electric razor? Yeah. They suck. Granted it was long time ago, and probably not a great one, but I thought it was slower, did a worse job and was more uncomfortable. I used to watch my roommate use one and he'd look like he had poison ivy on his neck it would be so irritated and I just couldn't understand him...

Ever use a straight razor? No. I'm curious about the whole old-fashioned hot towel prep, brushed-on creme, and shaved by an old barber in a chair with a razor, but I would never do it.

Do you own/use a facial hair trimmer? Not specifically. I have a clipper I use for my hair, and that is used to fix the length of the goatee. All shaping and edging is done with the razor when shaving.

Do you own/use a nose hair trimmer? No. But I would probably use one if I had one. I currently use the scissors that came with my clipper, or just rip them out...which hurts like a mother and triggers a sneezing fit.

What shaving substance do you apply? Edge® Sensitive Skin Gel. I don't think my face is particularly sensitive, I just don't want any scent at this stage.

And what balm, if any, do you use afterwards? Used to use Nivea® for Men. Recently switched to the greatest post-shave product ever—the previously Mr Furious-endorsed Every Man Jack®.

What do you shave? Face only.

With the grain or against? Never against.

Ever shave your genital hair? Not normally, but I had to "prep" myself for my vascectomy. Nerve-wracking, but mishap-free, but the re-grow was an itchy nightmare.

Place you hate shaving the most? Immediately below my mouth, and then the chin. Hence the goatee.

Ever use chemical hair removal treatments? Nope. Is there a man who has? Even Mrs. F never tried. But she is undergoing some laser-hair removal that sounds like it might be effective for "enhanced interrogation."

Best part of shaving? I'm pretty ambivilent about it. I probably prefer the look of a couple days growth.

Worst part of shaving? A nick. Doesn't happen often, but when it does, I'm NOT a fan.

Worst shave you've ever had? No particular shave jumps out, but anytime I'm stuck using a sub-par razor, it sucks.

This picture is illustrative of how I look most days...a couple days since my last shave. The beard is trimmed slightly shorter than its normal Youkilisian glory as I had job interviews on Friday.


Since most of my readers overlap with Toast, the only person left to tag with this is America's Hirsute Hero—Rickey.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Dick of the Week: Jerry Bowyer

Is it too early to commit on Dick of the Week? Perhaps, unless somebody else comes to pry it from Jerry Bowyer's fat, stupid, lying conservative hands...

The California Fires: Where were the Looters?
by Jerry Bowyer | Posted: 11/01/2007
Did you see any looters on television last week? Neither did I. When New Orleans was flooded two years ago, there were looters all over my TV screen...

What about the rapists? There were rapists at the refugee camp formerly known as the Superdome, but did you see any reports about rapists at Qualcomm Stadium last week? I didn’t. Did the mayor of San Diego cuss and then lash out at George Bush on your TV screen last week? Did Governor Schwarzenegger cry for the cameras? Did he pass the buck?

San Diego had a major fire just four years ago. Did they wallow in their victimhood and demand more government funding? Did they play the race card, claiming that George Bush just doesn’t like Mexicans?

Where to begin? Let's first look at just the geographic and type-of-catastrophe differences: San Diego is a huge spawling region with dozens of lanes of interstate highway going in and out in all directions, plus local and secondary roads, and few natural obstacles.

New Orleans is an old city built in a bowl at the end of a peninsula surounded by water with very few ways out.

Hurricanes are massive catastrophic forces that hit all at once and disrupt/destroy hundreds of square miles simultaneously with a combination of deadly wind, rain and flooding.

Wildfires, by definition, start in uninhabited areas, spread locally and more slowly, and can be more easily avoided. Evacuations can be handled on an individual neighborhood level, rather than an entire metropolitan area at once.

Katrina is widely recognized as the worst disaster in U.S. History. This years wildfires, while tragic, are a frequent occurance in an area familiar with dealing with them. The fires in 2003 were worse. Mr. Genius continues...
The answer to all these questions is ‘no’. Here’s why: culture matters. San Diego is an entrepreneurial city. It’s a technology savvy, business-friendly region with unusually high rates of self-employment. Few of its citizens are unemployed; few receive welfare. Not many of its employed residents work for government. San Diego has seen its share of troubles. Like Pittsburgh had been a steel town and Detroit had been a car town, San Diego had been built on the defense industry. But when the Berlin wall came down and the defense budgets dried up, it shifted towards the next big thing – biotechnology. These changes have come from the bottom-up; from the marketplace.

San Diego sure has pretty beaches, and palm trees, and more laptops per capita, I'm sure—but Jerry's grand socio-ecomomic assertions are total bullshit...

Unemployment rates:
San Diego—4.6% (January 2005)
New Orleans—5.0% (December 2004)

Largest Employers:
San Diego—Government (18%)
New Orleans—Government (17%)

Oh, and any of the rest of you recall "defense budgets drying up"? I didn't think so. Anything else, Jerry?
I wonder if a reverse 911 evacuation call like the one that went out to a million San Diegans would have even worked in New Orleans.

Um, no. Because everyone in New Orleans was told to leave at once, too late, and with no way to do so. Plus, they had to flee the entire region. In San Diego, things went a bit differently:
Residents were subjected to a mix of mandatory and voluntary evacuations, depending on their location in the projected path of the fire. Voluntary evacuation areas were typically further from the fire's path, while mandatory evacuation areas faced a more imminent threat...

Many residents were notified of evacuations via a computerized Reverse 911 phone call system. Law enforcement officers also notified residents by driving through evacuation areas.

The 513,000 people notified by Reverse 911 is not actually "a million" and the system only existed a month before the fires... Oh, and all of that helpful stuff done in San Diego? It was the government, and it was implemented in large part in response to what went wrong in New Orleans.

And the Superdome versus Qualcomm comparison? Hmmm. Did the people in San Diego wade through sewage and corpse-ridden water to get to a ill-equipped, ill-supplied refugee camp where they were left trapped, in some cases forced at gunpoint, without food, water, electricity or sanitary conditions? While a hurricane ripped the roof off?

Or did San Diegans calmly drive in their cars, park in a parking lot and check into an overstaffed, well-prepared camping ground with 70 degree weather?

He concludes with one of the wierdest amalgams of red herring and straw man meets hypothetical I've ever read [emphasis mine]...
I’m already bracing myself for the hate mail. “YOU’RE BLAMING THE VICTIMS!” they will blare. But I’m not blaming them, I’m trying to help them. Poverty stinks to begin with, but it’s even worse when a hurricane or an earthquake attacks. If I told you that today you were going to be hit with a natural disaster, but that you got the pick the city where your family would be when it hit, would you pick a rich one or a poor one? Would you pick one with honest and efficient road construction agencies or patronage ridden ones? Would you pick a town where almost everyone had Blackberries and cell-phones or where almost no one did? Would you pick a town were most people were business owners or where most of them were on welfare?

Too bad nobody told the poor, car-less inhabitants of New Orleans they could have chosen to be in a fantastic city where they'd have flying cars and two-way wrist-tvs instead of trapped in a fucking swamp.

Whose blaming the victims? Not Jerry.

What's Missing?


That's the current state of the Furious Mantle. You know what's missing? I mean besides photos of the second child? That's right—Weblog Awards.

Mrs F continues to hang tough in the middle of the "Best New Blog" pack, and I've called in just about every favor I can to drum up votes (ie: shamelessly shilled for votes in comment threads). Wherever she finishes, it's pretty damn cool that she made the cut as a Top 10 New Blog, period.

That said, we still want a top half finish, so go vote!

Here are my picks for some other categories:

BEST BLOG Malkin led this one for a while, but now everyone is getting their ass kicked by PostSecret which is a site I'd never heard of before. Apparently it's the "biggest ad-free site" on the web. People write down a secret on a postcard and mail it in. The site is updated weekly. Sorry. That's crap. Probably should have been in "Arts & Letters" or something. I've been voting for Andrew Sullivan, and Huffington Post has pulled ahead of Malkin for the silver.

BEST INDIVIDUAL BLOG None of these are blogs I frequent, hell I've only even heard of a few of them. Throwing Lindsay Beyerstein a bone here.

FUNNIEST BLOG: Not familiar with any of these,and not blown away with what I've seen.

BEST COMIC STRIP: Voted for xkcd. It's the stick figures strip you've probably seen. I don't know if it's the ""best" or not, but I've actually heard of it, and it's a block against "Day By Day".

BEST ONLINE COMMUNITY: Little Green Assholes is dominating this one. Go vote for Kos.

BEST LIBERAL BLOG Hullabaloo. Digby is one of the best writers online. Period.

BEST CONSERVATIVE BLOG Also known as "Tastiest Dogshit." I'm actually boycotting this category since Balloon juice was inexplicably yanked from it—which would have been a tremendous upset. The excreable Malkin is currently leading.

BEST POLITICAL COVERAGE Talking Points Memo and Carpetbagger Report should be battling this one out. Neither are finalists, and I don't know any of these. Pass.

BEST CELEBRITY BLOG Wil Wheaton is running away with this one, even though he is clearly the farthest removed from fame... He deserves it.

The rest are like voting for school boards and judges...Hit Kissing Suzy Kolber for Sports, and scroll waaaay down-ballot for Balloon Juice for Top 250, and The Carpetbagger Report for 251-500.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

A Fucking Clue for the Democrats...

The reason Congress' approval numbers are spiraling down the bowl, is NOT because you are "weak on terror" or "don't support thr troops" it's because you refuse to fucking stand up to the Administration and the GOP and refuse to do anything of substance to slow down the slow and steady destruction of Constitutional Democracy.

The confirmation of an Attorney General who thinks torture is fine and dandy, and the President is above the law is just the latest in a long list of failures. It's not even what I would call a "disappointment", because it was inevitable.

I actually wish we never regained the Congress. At least the Republicans knew they were rubber-stamp, and didn't pretend otherwise.

You guys are a fucking joke.

There is much more to write on this, but I'm not sure I have the energy. Nor is there any point.

--

Recovering Republican and would-be Conservative John Cole joined the Democratic Party this week. Sorry I won't be there to welcome you, John. I am leaving. I will stay long enough to vote for Chris "The Only Guy Who Remembers the Constitution" Dodd in MI's primary and then I am out.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

"I'd Like to Thank the Academy..."

I was listed as a 2007 Weblog Awards Finalist this morning.

"Woo Hoo!"

But, there's a problem. I was listed under "Best New Blogger" and I've been blogging for years.

So, I 'fessed up and pointed out that there's been a mistake—either I'm in the wrong category (nominated as "Individual") or they meant Mrs. Furious (who was nominated in the "New" category)..

Yup. it was a typo. Mrs. Furious is the finalist. I'm out...

But, I'm like the Bill to her Hillary, so go vote for her when the time comes!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Obit: Robert Goulet

For a split second I actually mistakenly thought "Benson" when I read the headline (that's Robert Guillaume). Then I realized, "Aw, man, Robert Goulet—love that guy, he was a fucking badass!
Oct. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Robert Goulet, the singer whose rich baritone voice and classic tall, dark, dashing good looks made him a star on stage and television, has died. He was 73.

That's nice, but what did Robert Goulet do that was so great as to be eulogized in this fine establishment? Only a series of the finest television advertisments ever produced.

Back when ESPN was good, before college hoops became the NBAs farm system, and the sidelines were paced by a veritible Mount Rushmore of larger-than-life coaches, the Worldwide Leader™ needlessly blew the budget to remind me what I already knew—park my ass on the couch Monday and Wednesday nights...in January, not just March.

Here's a taste...



Goulet's website has high-quality videos of all sixteen ads—they're a total flashback to a carefree time of watching ungodly quantities of sports for me, and you should at least check out numbers 5, 9 and, oh...15, I guess...fuck it—they're all great. Dig.

Nobody was more smooth than Mr. G., baby. So smooth he had a candy bar, capische?

Tacoby Bellsbury


You better believe I was collecting on the free taco. Thanks Jacoby!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Baseball: Red Sox (Domi)Nation


Congratulations to the Red Sox, who swept their way to their second title in four years. I'm just sorry I can't watch as often as I used because this was an enjoyable team to watch. At times frustrating, and they certainly made things interesting in the ALCS, but they had a plan, and they came out every night and stuck to it, and it worked.

It's a good thing I'm not the GM, because if I was, I'd be handing out ludicrous contract extensions along with the champagne last night. This team got gutty performances from nearly everyone that was on the roster, from Beckett to Kielty, but especially from the guys whose contracts ran out as they donned the celebratory goggles—Curt Schilling, who showed he has something left in the tank, Mike Timlin is simply a freaking warrior, and Mike Lowell* was a deserving Series MVP and a class act all the way. Wherever you guys end up next year, you'll be Sox for eternity with me.

Special congratulations to J.D.Drew and Julio Lugo, who turned in valuable contributions after suffering through diifficult seasons and plenty of doubts, all is forgiven and let's move on from here.

And Terry Francona who just did a phenomenal job. He is 22-9 in the playoffs, and 8-0 in the World Series. He had a stubburn approach through the season that at times seemed too slow to adjust, or too cautious, but he was managing for the long haul and it showed this postseason—when other pitchers and teams seemed out of gas, the Sox were still throwing it. A fantastic job, and he should never hear any shit from fans in Boston as long as he stays.

Oh, and I'm going to really enjoy the Beckett Era.

*UPDATE: Please re-sign Lowell and spurn the preening two-headed egomonster Boras-Rod. If Lowell has to play the last two years of his contact in a wheelchair it would make me happier than having A-Rod on this team.