Thursday, September 29, 2005

"Terrific! Funny, smart, and thoroughly enjoyable. . . Nicholson is charming!" USA Today

A post-production house organized a competition where assistant editors 're-cut' trailers for famous movies to try and make them seem like different movies... this is the winner.

Misc: Records Albums and Wristbands

It won't make it in the Friday Random Ten, well, because it's Thursday, but I have to give props to Genesis' "In the Cage" (Three Sides Live version). First, any song that lasts your whole commute is cool enough to start with, but I probably haven't heard that track in years. Awesome. It's easy to forget that before Phil Collins turned in to a giant easy-listening pussy, he was among the preeminent drummers in rock. Listening to this song was just a total timewarp experience to me. To back when I used to buy albums on vinyl and tape them because the sound quality was better...

Once, early in high school, for some "dress-up" Spirit Week thing, I went to school dressed as Phil Collins. Which, circa 1984, based on MTV concert videos, consisted of a grey T-shirt and wrist sweatbands... people were like, "Who the hell are you?"
"Phil Collins."

Anyway, needless to say, I love old Genesis. I know "Seconds Out" and the old Peter Gabriel "Live" are better, but "Three Sides Live" is special to me. In the car this morning, volume cranked, drumming furiously on my steering wheel (even though my hand is barely a week removed from being in a cast), I could still recognize the moment in the song where Phil leaves the front of the stage and climbs back to his bizarro lefty drum set to join Chester for a massive two-drummer jam. There's no cheer, no audible cue, just the sudden "doubling" of the drums. then Phil's signature "fills" start showing up.

Today will be a good day.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Comedy/Tragedy: Brilliant Bush Video


This is brilliant. Andy Dick is great, and the Bush clips are hilarious. But I can never quite escape the "I can't believe this fucking idiot is President" disillusionment. How the hell was this moron ever elected, never mind reelected?

Over to the left [on the video's page] is a link to other videos. I watched the sex-ed video. A riot. I have a feeling I/you could waste plenty of time at that site.

[h/t LLatPoN]

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Grrrr: What's More Odious than the Water in New Orleans?

Why, Republican-crafted legislation, of course...
Storm Victims May Face Curbs On Bankruptcy

[NY times link] When Congress agreed this spring to tighten the bankruptcy laws and crack down on consumers who took on debt irresponsibly, no one had the victims of Hurricane Katrina in mind.

The law was intended to keep individuals from taking on debts they had no intention of paying off. But many once-solvent Katrina victims are likely to be caught up in the net intended to catch deadbeats.

Right after Hurricane Katrina struck, several lawmakers - mostly Democrats but including some Senate Republicans - suggested that storm victims along the Gulf Coast should get relief from the new law's stricter provisions, which are intended to screen filers by income and make those with higher incomes repay their debts over several years. Under the old law, which remains in effect until mid-October, many more filers can have their debts canceled quickly in federal bankruptcy courts.

But House Republicans, who fought off a proposed amendment that would have made bankruptcy filings easier for victims of natural disasters, said there was no reason to carve out a broad exemption just because of the storm.

“ one had the victims of Hurricane Katrina in mind…”

Bullshit. For the NY Times to pull a Bush "no one cold of imagined this..." is absolutely, fucking outrageous.

Perhaps they didn’t know what the name of the hurricane would be, but plenty of people had exactly this kind of scenario in mind when tring to stop this odious piece of corporate shit legislation. Natural disasters and a whole host of other unfortunate situations beyond the contol of people in financial straits are now meaningless, and those folks are shit out of luck.

Hurricane swept away your life? Tough. Guard or Reserve family decimated by the breadwinner being deployed in Iraq for nineteen months? Thanks for your sacrifice, get lost. Giant medical bills because you left a goddamn leg in Fallujah? Too fucking bad. You had cancer and had to stop working? Cry me a river. Someone stole your identity from a negligent credit company and ruined your life? Hope you can work that out...

Of all the crap to come down the pike in the last five years, this Bankruptcy “Reform” is, to me, the most personally offensive.

What happened to the Republican motto of "the market taking care of itself?" The lending industries are pushing too much credit on too many people who are poor risks, and they should pay the price for that business model, not be bailed out by the goverment with custom-legislation that fucks over tons of people with legitimate claims just to nail a few deadbeats.

Most Democrats were on the right side of this issue, and this should have been something to hammer the Republicans with next year. This is the real life consequences of the corporate sell-out of our government staring the country in the face. There's no pretending this was unforeseen. They ALL knew about it. So why isn't this an issue we can use? The problem is that too many Dems crossed over on this, giving this abomination the cover of "bipartisanship." Here's what I wrote in April:
There was no good reason for any Democrat to support this. Period. There was nothing "bipartisan" about this Bill. Republicans struck down every single possible amendment offered by the Dems that could have taken some of the edge off this horrendous bill. Often by a party-line vote. As result, the Democrats should have banded together and said, "Fine. We don't want our names on this thing, it's all yours." Why? Because there is not one single Democrat or potential Democrat voter in this country supporting this thing. In fact, I'd bet there aren't too many Republicans either. The only people who wanted this were the lending industries...

In 2006 it would have been nice to hang this anvil around the necks of the "Republicans who choose big business over regular Americans", but that can't happen as a nation-wide, Party message thanks to these 73 corporate whores. Thanks a lot for making defining our Party versus the Republicans a near impossibility. Fuck.

And If Joe Fucking Biden thinks I will ever vote for him after pushing that Bill, he's got another thing coming. And that goes double for Debbie Stabenow here in Michigan. She is dead to me. I hope everyone who's name is on the "yea" list goes down over this. They deserve nothing less.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Misc: Blowholeback

I heard this on the "coming up on the news" promo last night, "Armed and dangerous Navy dolphins escaped during the hurricane..." and I asked my wife "Did they just say armed dolphins?" Yup. Now, I'd heard of dolphins trained to sweep for mines, plant bombs on hulls of ships, and protect naval bases, etc. But trained "hit-dolphins" with toxic dart guns? Ezra has a link to the story:
[link] It may be the oddest tale to emerge from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Armed dolphins, trained by the US military to shoot terrorists and pinpoint spies underwater, may be missing in the Gulf of Mexico.

Experts who have studied the US Navy's cetacean training exercises claim the 36 mammals could be carrying 'toxic dart' guns. Divers and surfers risk attack, they claim, from a species considered to be among the planet's smartest. The US navy admits it has been training dolphins for military purposes, but has refused to confirm that any are missing.

[...] 'My concern is that they have learned to shoot at divers in wetsuits who have simulated terrorists in exercises. If divers or windsurfers are mistaken for a spy or suicide bomber and if equipped with special harnesses carrying toxic darts, they could fire,' he said. 'The darts are designed to put the target to sleep so they can be interrogated later, but what happens if the victim is not found for hours?'

Ezra's right, this sounds like a GI JOE comic. I'm glad our billions in Homeland Security and Pentagon money is going into stuff like this. I feel safer already! Don't worry about those "unsecured" chemical plants, folks—the terrorists don't stand a chance against our laser beam-equipped eagles.

Hopefully the Navy has fully deployed its fleet of Sea Wolf subs in the search...

Friday, September 23, 2005

Misc: Politics Test

[via John Cole] JC links to a pretty quick politics test. Here's my result:

You are a

Social Liberal
(76% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(13% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid

A bit due south of Cole. Frankly, I'm a bit deeper into the socialist area than I anticipated.

Music: Friday Random Ten

1. "Zooropa" - U2
2. "Changed Your Mind" - Chris Isaak
3. "Ruby Baby" - Donald Fagan
4. "She Said, She said [live]" - Matthew Sweet
5. "Clampdown" - The Clash
6. "Alive and Kicking" Simple Minds
7. "Since You're Gone" - The Cars
8. "Runaway" - Bonnie Raitt
9. "Weightless" - Chris Whitley
10. "Mr. Hanalei" - Sound of Urchin

To save space on the front page, go to the comments for the breakdown...

Blogs: Latest Nerdy Blog Meme...

1. Go into your archive.
2. Find your 23rd post (or closest to).
3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.

Ok. Wednesday, July 14, 2004. Here it is...
This nitpicking and finger-pointing is based on the Fall of 2002 and the 2003 SOTU address—all of that was water under the bridge by the time we invaded.

[Link] From back when this blog was about a month old. Before that I had nursed a diary at Kos.

I will say this: The title of that post remains one of my favorites (Public Enemy fans only need apply). Too bad no one was reading back then. Not that anyone reads now...

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Monday, September 19, 2005

Misc: `Tis also "Keel-haul th' New York Times Day"

Matt Welch has an excellent follow-up on th' dirty, thievin' Kelo ruling, an' th' stance o' th' New York Times. An' th' fact that they, too, be usin' eminent domain t' screw th' wee guy. Go read 't ye lily livered swabbie.

Links: Hork th' New York Times

Friday`s Paul Krugman column be th' last one that appears fer free on th' NT Times website. From now on, Krugman an' much o' th' other content be behind a paid subscription wall. T'was always annoyin' that after a week, columns became a paid archive, now ye won`t e'en be able t' read Krugman at th' Times site at all without payin' fer 't, the dirty bilge rats.

Krugman`s column be syndicated (avast, he appears regularly in me Ann Arbor News), so ye`ll be able t' find th' lad's online somewhere eventually, but less conveniently. That be unless th' Times has somethin' in mind fer that as well...

Anyway, hork th' Times, an' here`s hopin' this aftfires on 'em profoundly an' in th' meantime, atrios gives us this link which archives all th' Krugman columns. E'en th' old ones th' NYT would try an' sell ye. Arrr, them horn-swagglin' scurvy dogs...

[Most o' this excellent sea dog translation courtesy o' this place.]

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Misc: "Avast, me hearties!"

Monday be "Talk Like a Pirate Day," an' t' story be here. Aye, it be hogsheads o' fun for ye and yer friends! So ye best be learnin' t' be talkin' like a buccaneer. Some pirate vocab and phrases are here, and an English-to-Pirate translator is here.

Me pirate name is 'Evil Jim Rackham'... punching in Mr. Furious gets me "The Blood-Letter." I like it!

Friday, September 16, 2005

Music: Friday Random Ten

1. " One More Time" Joe Jackson
2. "Walks Like a Lady" Journey
3. "Sister Morphine" Rolling Stones
4. "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow" dada
5. "Feelin' Stronger Every Day" Chicago
6. "Short Skirt/Long Jacket" Cake
7. "Lonely as You" Foo Fighters
8. "Driving South" The Stone Roses
9. "New World Man" Rush
10. "Fatman in the Bathtub [live]" Little Feat

To save space on the front page, go to the comments for the breakdown of this most excellent streak of tunes.

Bush: Time For Bush to Go

Bill Maher's "New rules." this is like a week old now, but if you haven't seen it yet... Video here.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Politics: Bush's Speech Tonite

Tonite, while you're watching President Bush, surrounded by artfully posed rescue workers, trying to desperately save face and thereby his second term, keep in mind that everything he says and everything he does is driven by desperation politics not sound policy.

At some point he's going to boast about the huge sum he will appropriate for the reconstruction of New Orleans. And it will be huge. The Bushies expect this to get them off the hook for botching the pre- and post-storm prep and rescue efforts, and that's all it is—guilt money. Well, that's not exactly true, it's also a monster giveaway of cronyism and corruption the likes of which will make the Iraq reconstruction crooks blush.
[WaPo] The president will call on Washington to resist spending money unwisely, but some in his own party are already starting to recoil at a price tag expected to exceed $200 billion -- about the cost of the Iraq war and reconstruction efforts. As emergency expenditures soar -- with new commitments as high as $2 billion a day -- some budget analysts and conservative groups are warning that the Katrina spending has combined with earlier fiscal decisions in ways that will wreak havoc on the government's finances for years to come.

Quit yer frettin', there's votes to buy and corporations to gravy...

Josh Marshall says it better than I can...
This worries me. Note the added emphasis. The clip comes from a piece in tomorrow's Post about yet another huge funding bill the president will roll out tomorrow for Katrina aid, which the Post says will cost more next year than the entire cost of the Iraq war thus far...

Bush and Republican congressional leaders, by contrast, are calculating that the U.S. economy can safely absorb a sharp spike in spending and budget deficits, and that the only way to regain public confidence after the stumbling early response to the disaster is to spend whatever it takes to rebuild the region and help Katrina's victims get back on their feet.

Regain public confidence in who? Is the nation undergoing a crisis of confidence in itself?

Put that passage together with this one in Mike Allen's piece in Time and I think you see where we're going ...

By late last week, Administration aides were describing a three-part comeback plan. The first: Spend freely, and worry about the tab and the consequences later. "Nothing can salve the wounds like money," said an official who helped develop the strategy.

What's driving this budgetary push is not a natural disaster but a political crisis, the president's political crisis. The White House is trying to undo self-inflicted political damage on the national dime.

[...] Maybe you want to spend $200 billion on rebuilding the Delta region too. Fine. Something like that will probably be necessary. But don't fool yourself into thinking that what's coming is just a matter of a different chef making the same meal. This will be Iraq all over again, with the same fetid mix of graft, zeal and hubris. Cronyism like you wouldn't believe. Money blown on ideological fantasies and half-baked test-cases.

You could come up with a hundred reasons why that's true. But at root intentions drive all. You'll never separate this operation or its results from the fact that the people in charge see it as a political operation. The use of this money for political purposes, for what amounts to a political campaign, tells you everything you need to know about what's coming.

In many ways this will be his most important speech yet. the stakes have never been higher for him. His approval ratings are worse than in the toilet (down in the 30s, which basically means his die-hard base is the only group that can stomach him), and the press is no longer afraid of him. It will be perhaps his last chance to assert himself and try to regain the territory lost over the last month.

So, what Bush is really talking about tonite is rebuilding his reputation, not New Orleans. And naturally, money is no object when it relates to his imagery, public perception and politics. It's a golden opportunity. Bush gets to lavish billion-dollar contracts on companies like Halliburton, and grease palms down to the most local of levels. And what of the resultant deficits? Well, "we're at War and this natural disaster we never budgeted for..." It's insulation from fiscal concerns and a club to wield on those who dare question (and a dessert topping!)

[UPDATE]: The Carpetbagger has more on the ideological reconstruction shenanigans. Go. Now.

Bush: Saggy Diaper that Leaks

"I think I may need a bathroom break?"

Come on, Mr Big Tough Swaggering Cowboy President, do you have to go potty or not? It's only the UN, just get up and go, or tough it out. I'm sure Bad Boy Bolton behind you there just lets it fly on the carpet...

A fucking Boy King indeed.

[link to original]

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Courts: Hot Air From Hearing Reaches Global-Warming Proportions

Dahlia Lathwick at has an entertaining report from inside the chamber of the Roberts Confirmation Hearing. It sounds like a perfect storm of blowhardiness and pompousity [is that a word?]. Here's her conclusion [emphasis mine]:
One of the reasons Americans are not very exercised about the Roberts hearings is because they are genuinely worried about bigger things, like whether the federal government is equipped to help them through the next disaster and whether the Bush administration dragged the country into war on a pretext. But today it seems the senators are the ones hopping around isolated behind that marble edifice. You'd think this country were actually at war with a bunch of renegade activist judges who perform abortions on the side, while citing Ruth Bader Ginsburg and pleading the Fifth.

The Senate accuses the high court of being checked out. But the high court grapples with hard questions about the reach of Congress' power and the rights of enemy soldiers, while these senators rattle off canned speeches about overreaching judges. If this is the Senate tackling the tough questions, I'll stick with the court parsing the Commerce Clause any day…

Read the whole thing. It's worth it.

Right after Sen. Coburn filled in 23 Across, he started crying during his statement. Be sure your Tivo is set for The Daily Show, this will be a banner week.

Mea culpa: Gas Prices Back to "Normal"

Well, I was wrong. After gas prices soared past $3 a gallon, I predicted they would stay there for a while and slowly, if ever, retreat to previous levels. I fully expected prices to stay in, at least, the $2.80s for the foreseeable future.

After driving around Up North this weekend and passing many a station charging $2.99 or more, I noticed on the way to work this morning that gas in Ann Arbor is back to pre-Katrina levels. The same $2.74 it was two weeks ago.

The part I did get right is that they succeeded in making $2.74 sound cheap.

So, for a couple weeks the oil companies got to jack prices 20 percent above their already record profits-levels, with no overhead on their part. Plus, the government will have to refill the Strategic Reserve at today's inflated prices. I'd say they "weathered the storm" rather nicely.

Courts: Priscilla, Judge of the Desert

[via Salon's War Room]
Priscilla Owen for the Supreme Court?

We're not entirely sure why we bother reporting what Robert Novak says anymore, but sometimes we just can't help ourselves. As confirmation hearings begin for John G. Roberts, Novak is saying that there's now a "front-runner" in the race to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, and her name is Priscilla Owen.

Owen, the staunchly conservative Texas judge with a strong antiabortion track record, was confirmed to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in May on a mostly party-line, 55-43 vote as part of the nuclear-option-averting deal struck by the Senate's Gang of 14. Novak says that George W. Bush met secretly with her last week, and he suggests that much should be read into the meeting, since Bush already knows Owen fairly well and had no need to get acquainted with her. As Novak notes, Owen and Bush sometimes campaigned together when he was running for governor and she was running for a seat on the Texas Supreme Court. Karl Rove worked as an advisor for both of them.

All this needs to be viewed with a heavy dose of skepticism. Novakula is desperate to shore up his reputation as an actual reporter and really wants the bragging rights for a scoop. Since in conservative circles you get to showboat for home runs, and nobody keeps track of your strikeouts, Novak is swinging away like Rob Deer. But those last few sentences really sound convincing when you keep in mind the qualifications Bush values in his appointments. And then there's this...
She was a petroleum industry lawyer in 1994 when Republicans tapped her to run for the Texas Supreme Court.

Bush knows her, she's staunchly opposed to abortion AND she worked in petroleum? That's the trifecta! And what of my money pick, Clement?
[from Novak] Appellate Judge Edith Clement (5th Circuit, New Orleans) was the runner-up to Roberts in the first selection process, but the word in legal circles is that she did not do well in her interview with Bush and now is out of the picture.

That's it. Regardless of qualification, if you fail to display the proper fealty in your meeting with the boy-king, you're toast. And he's proven to be such an excellent judge of character too.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Katrina: Dean on Bush & Federal Response

Absolutely the best I have ever seen Howard Dean. Watch. He delivers a devastating message clearly and effectively and, most importantly, looks measured and calm doing it. He takes Wolf Blitzer's baiting and effectively blames bush for his failings as President. Not that Katrina is Bush's fault, not that Bush is racist—Bush is classist. Bush doesn't care about you if you're not in the top 20 percent no matter what color you are.* If he can lead a charge that looks like this for the next few years, we will be looking good in 2006 and 2008.

Seriously, if he was this smooth two years ago, he'd be President.

* I believe this is not only a great attack, but I believe it's true. Like Howard says, the President might be a nice man, but his policies are callous to a fault and leave out (or actively screw) 80 percent of the country. And he silently condones actions in his party (even on his behalf) that ARE racist. I think Bush really does want to advance minorites and everyone in this country—once they start making six-figures. Those are the only people he's ever known and the only people he can relate to. He goes to bed every night with a clear conscience that he is helping all Americans. It's just that it's only the ones like him. Rich.

Why I Haven't Been Blogging...

Some much needed family time. No computers. Nothing but sand, cherry pie and crossword puzzles. Heaven.

UPDATE: Yikes. I'm going to have to come up with some after-the fact Random Friday Listing or something. I can't have my daughter and Barbara Bush in the same frame...

Sunday, September 11, 2005

How Arafat's Death Made Me Rich

An email I received today:
Dear friend,

I seek your permission to introduce myself to you. I am Mrs Suha Arafat, wife of Yasser Arafat the late Palestinian ruler. Before the death of my husband, I had to close my swiss bank accounts and relocated the funds. I proceeded to deposit the money as valuables in different private security companies for safe keeping. This I did when the French Prosecutors started an inquiry into transfers I made into banks accounts I have in France.

Please if you can assist in claiming this fund and investing it in your country, contact me as quickly as possible along with your full name, contact address and telephone number in order to give you the contact Information of the security company in Europe.

At the successful collection of the fund, you shall be compensated with 25% of the amount collected, 5% shall be set aside to pay for the expenses incurred in the process of the collection and the balance 70% shall be retained for the investment.

I count on your absolute confidentiality while looking forward to your prompt reply.

See this website for more information:


Suha Arafat .

Now, I get that kind of crap all the time, but it's usually some random son of an African king that may not exist from a country I never even heard of. But Arafat's wife? And rumor has it he imbezzled hundreds of millions! I'm so excited I can hardly wait to divulge my personal information...

[Actually written on Sept 13, but I backdated it just to separate Ruby from the evil that is Barbara Bush.]

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Outrage: Heartless Bitch

What else can one say in response to the latest pearl to slip from Barbara Bush's "beautiful mind"
Bush: Things Working Out 'Very Well' for Poor Evacuees from New Orleans
By E&P Staff

NEW YORK Accompanying her husband, former President George H.W.Bush, on a tour of hurricane relief centers in
Houston, Barbara Bush said today, referring to the poor who had lost everything back home and evacuated, "This is working very well for them."

[...] "And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this--this (she chuckles slightly) is working very well for them."

"She chuckles slightly." Jesus. I'm going to have to start hating the pets in the Bush family at this point. She's a goddamn sociopath. Even more depressing is that there are a whole lot of people silently nodding along with that sentiment. That stuff is red meat for a lot of the base.

I wanted to make an Austin Powers "She's a man, baby" joke, but she's not even a human being cloaked in a grandmother disguise.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Links: Katrina coverage

Watch this. I won't ever ask you to watch FOX again. Promise.

Mark Kleiman is one-stop shopping for an account of the clusterfuck managment of this disaster coupled with some good commentary and questions.

Horse's Ass has plenty of good stuff. Especially on FEMA Director Brown.

Ezra points out the "small" Bush. And, guest-poster Neil has more on FEMA and Brownie. [Slightly off-topic: Ezra thinks Bush would be smart to nominate Edith Clement to succeed Rehnquist. I think he's right. A female justice from New Orleans. I wouldn't put it past him...]

Steve G. is livid.

Communication breakdown

Staggering Incompetence

There are NO "unimportant" political appointments. Well, I'm sure there are a couple, but Director of FEMA is not one of them.

Everybody had their panties in a bunch, ready to filibuster over John Bolton taking a more or less ceremonial post at the UN while Bush gets to quietly appoint a fucking loser crony like Michael Brown, who was fired as a Commissioner of some Arabian Horse Association, to be the head of FEMA!!?? That's the FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY! Google for FEMA and this is what you get without even clicking the link:
Agency of the US government tasked with Disaster Mitigation, Preparedness, Response & Recovery planning.

In other words, if this clown is EVER actually called upon to do his job, it will be a goddamn dire EMERGENCY! Lives will hang in the balance... Experience might count... On what planet is Michael Brown qualified for that job? [answer at the bottom]

Here's a fucking heads-up from now on: If Dubya has a fucking nickname for a guy (i.e: "Brownie, you're doing a great job..."), then you know he is grossly unqualified for the position. End of story. If Bush has a relationship with the guy, he is a crony and his appointment is a straight-up pay-back of some bogus campaign "Pioneer" status and he will be stunningly incompetent. Or he is a savvy inside operator finely tuned in the methods of using his new federal post to enrich his previous industry. In either case they will not serve the interests of the country or it's citizens. This has never been more clear than the one-week crash and burn of "Brownie." Watch this footage if you don't believe me. The guy is a travesty.

Four years and billions of dollars since 9/11 and political jerk-offs like Brown are running the agencies responsible for the public's safety in the wake of a disaster? Hey red-state imbeciles! Still feeling "protected" by your big, tough President? This wasn't a surprise terrorist attack, this was a giant hurricane the whole country watched come across the Gulf for days and they were this badly prepared. In two days the U.S. was airdropping supplies to tsunami survivors in Indonesia. Four and a half days after the hurricane, Brown is asked by CNN [link above] why that hasn't happened yet in New Orleans and he says, "that's what we're going to do here too." Unbelievable.

[Answer]: Planet Bush! See if you can spot the parallels? [via TPM] "A Republican from the southwest. He ran unsuccessfully for Congress when he was thirty-three. Then he bounced from job to job, finally getting into the sports business in mid-life, before getting canned. And then he used connections to land himself a high-powered position in the federal government for which he had no apparent experience at all." I guess Bush figured they had a lot in common, "Brownie" must be "good people" or some crap. Here's the crony chronology (cronyology?): Joe Allbaugh manages Bush's campaign. Bush wins. Allbaugh gets appointed head of FEMA as a reward. Allbaugh taps his college roommate(!) Brown, recently canned by the horse Association, to serve as his Deputy. Allbaugh leaves in 2003 to work on the the reelection*, Bush promotes Brown. Brown completely botches everything, costing lives.

*UPDATE: Allbaugh didn't leave to work on the re-election. I forgot, he did something worse. He left to set up a profiteering consultancy to exploit the Iraq War... [link] "created specifically with the aim of assisting clients to evaluate and take advantage of business opportunities in the Middle East following the conclusion of the U.S.-led war in Iraq." Oh, and who else is in on that? Ed Rogers, Miss. Gov. Haley Barbour's former law partner. And who is geting the early re-construction contracts in the wake of the hurricane? Halliburton. One big sickening circle of profit and politics that makes me want to fucking wretch.

Here's more on the job Bush and Allbaugh did gutting FEMA.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Courts: Rehnquist Dies

[NY Times] Supreme Court Chief Justice Rehnquist Dies

Well, it will be an exciting fall in Washington. To say the least.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Music: Friday Random Ten

1. "Narcolepsy" Ben Folds Five The only time I ever saw BFF, this song opened the concert. Huge. 8/10
2. "Number One Blind" Veruca Salt — It'll always be "Levelor" to me. Boy, did I love the grrl bands back then... 6/10
3. "Last Plane Out" Toy Matinee Not even a one-hit wonder. WDRE gave this tune some play back in the early 90s. sounding pretty dated now. 4/10
4. "King of Birds" REM Solid, back-of-the-album filler. Document was my first foray from the Rush/Zeppelin/Boston of high school into the world of "modern rock." 6/10
5. "Talkin' About a Home" Chris Isaak How such a good-looking, multi-talented guy manages to pull off the crushed-by-lost-love so effectively, I'll never know. At least this song is about finding someone new. I think. Oh, if Isaak is ever playing live near you, go. You'll be happy you did. Doesn't even matter if you know the songs. 7/10
6. "You Got Lucky" Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers 6/10. The video, however, is a 9.
7. "Moon" dada — A top song from one of my favorite bands. Years ago, at what was purported to be the last time dada would ever play live, they finished one of many encores with this song. The club was packed, and it almost seemed that Joey would cry on stage as he belted this out. One of the most moving concert memories for me ever. Of course rumors of their demise were greatly exagerrated. They got back together years later, recorded a forgettable album and came to Ann Arbor to play a great set for an embarrassingly small crowd of about twelve people—including the bartender. Should've quite while they were ahead... 10/10
8. "Wall of Denial" SRV Can Stevie come back from the grave and sue Paul Shaeffer for ripping this song off? Only a 5/10 on a Stevie scale, equals 7/10 for everyone else.
9. "Patrol" Charlatans From the mysterious, short-lived non-"UK" era. Bring back the organ! 7/10
10. "Light My Way" Audioslave A band so much LESS than the sum of its parts. 6/10

Only a 6.7 average. That Toy Matinee is really dragging me down this week. Luckily I didn't have to look at the embarrassingly dated album graphics and photo when I heard it or I would've graded it even more harshly. Not sure if there's any point to grading these... just following Otto Man's lead.