s skippy the bush kangaroo: November 2006

skippy the bush kangaroo



Thursday, November 30, 2006

faux news only net to lose viewers compared to last nov.

and last november wasn't even an election month! tvnewser:

fnc's november ratings release headlined the fact that "fox news channel retains largest share of audience post midterm elections." but in an e-mail to tvnewser, a cable competitor calls it a pathetic claim:

"fox's fancy number crunching is a day late and a dollar short. they are desperate to mask the fact that fox news was the only cable network to lose viewers this month over last november. and when they say they 'retained more' since the midterms, this actually means they didn't have as high of a peak on election day from which to fall. seems that fox news' continuous slide in the ratings just keeps going on and on..."
go read the post for faux's snappy rejoinder...
posted by skippy at 8:54 PM | 0 comments

stupid but funny


nobody's watching: diet coke & mentos
posted by skippy at 7:52 PM | 0 comments

nick nolte at night



the cable channel for nolte fans
posted by skippy at 7:52 PM | 0 comments

plenty to swear about

sisyphus shrugged takes exception to dennis prager's taking exception to a muslim swearing on the koran in court.
posted by skippy at 7:45 PM | 0 comments

how's the economy?

left i on the news has the answer.
posted by skippy at 7:37 PM | 0 comments

pengo

media matters alerted us to the hardly-ever-right wing's latest fad: the war on penguins.

michael "golden turkey awards" medved, writing in usatoady, is all a-twitter that the latest animated family film happy feet is actually - gasp - liberal propaganda disguised as children's entertainment! even worse, there's a kiddie book out (tango makes three) that discusses the real-life phenomenon of two male penguins (in the central park zoo) who

unfortunately, the marketing never acknowledged the movie's unmistakably alarming, discomfiting and politically potent elements? enraging no small number of unprepared parents. the endearing creatures on screen face the deadly menace of leopard seals, killer whales and, most of all, human pollution, overconsumption and exploitation. in the advance screening i attended, one worried mother of a 5-year-old took her anxious, fretful, anguished little boy from the theater during the film's relentless scenes of cute and cuddly penguins in intense pain and deadly peril. the next week, a correspondent who called himself "mikep29p" wrote on my website: "unfortunately i read michael's movie review a day too late. we took our kids ages 6 and 4 last night because they wanted to go because they saw the commercials. i thought an animated movie about penguins would be ok. one of the darkest most disturbing movies i have ever seen. needless to say, my 4-year-old was terrified."
aside from the fact that the movie is rated "pg" for parental guidance (not penguinn gore"), which places the responsibility squarely back on the shoulders of the parent, medved's use of the violence distraction only serves tocamouflagede his real concern: the penguins story has the message that we should take care of our planet.

gasp! more liberal propaganda!!!

in the new york times, film critic manohla dargis described this animated offering as "a piercingly sad story about the devastation being visited on the natural world." she allows that director george miller "plunges his hapless hero into a nightmare worthy of samuel fuller's shock corridor. as politically pointed as it is disturbing, it is a view of hell as seen through the eyes and ears of creatures we foolishly, tragically call dumb."

of course, many parents might not relish the idea of exposing their kiddies to a "view of hell," no matter how much they agree with a movie's propagandistic purposes? nor would they necessarily welcome a picture book for 4-year-olds that has plunged an illinois school into the bitter debate over same-sex marriage.
nice segue, mike! now let's talk about the evils of homo-sick-suwuls, and how the liberal media is forcing the gay agenda down our children's throats.

(yes, that pun was intended. we apologize.)

medved goes on to rail against tango makes three, pointing out news stories that report that one of the homosexual penguin daddies actually left the alternative-penguin-lifestyle configuration for a girl penguin, as if that somehow negated what went on before (a victory for sexual re-conditioning schools, we suppose).

however medved fails to mention those same news stories point out that there's still other same-sex couples amongst thantarcticic bird population.

tho we digress, and we do it well, our point here is that the only connection between these two bogeymen that the right needs to rail at is...penguins.

only in the mind of medved can there be one single column about the evils of two completely different issues...global warming and homosexuality...and how the "liberal media" is brainwashing our children.

we guess we're just lucky that crown hasn't published "lucky the penguin hates christmas." then medved would have really had something to whine about.

oh, by the way, michael...happy feet was #1 two weeks in a row.

[ed. note: for fun reading, check out the comments left on the usatoady page of medved's column, the majority of which deride medved for his faulty reasoning, strawmen, and generapetulantnt attitude. we especially like the one comment by a conservative reader that accuses usatoady of "only publishing" comments against medved, as if someone had the time to monitor the comments and throw out all the conservative, positives ones. here's a clue, bub: there weren't any!!!]
posted by skippy at 9:55 AM | 4 comments

what a surprise

bush dismisses iraq panel's pullback plan

president bush today proclaimed prime minister nuri kamal al-maliki "the right guy for iraq," and said the two had agreed to speed the turnover of security responsibility from american to iraqi forces. but mr. bush dismissed a reported decision by an independent bipartisan panel to call for a gradual withdrawal of troops.

"i know there's a lot of speculation that these reports in washington mean there's going to be some kind of graceful exit out of iraq," the president said during a joint news conference with mr. maliki, referring to the panel's reports that are expected next week. "we're going to stay in iraq to get the job done so long as the government wants us there." - nytimes
via steve gilliard
posted by skippy at 8:55 AM | 1 comments

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

like this calendar, awol's days are numbered

sourcebooks publishing is offering a great wall calendar for 2007, the george w. bush out of office countdown calendar.

tony viardo of sourcebooks tells us you can go to amazon to order this calendar at a discount, and even tho the amazong page says they're out of stock, they will get another order on dec. 5, and you get free shipping.

Example
posted by skippy at 1:48 PM | 2 comments

the politically correct christmas album



guaranteed not to offend anyone!
posted by skippy at 12:41 PM | 1 comments

ron white was right...

if this is any indication, senator-elect jim webb isn't going to get along very well with the fratboy-in-chief:

...at a private reception held at the white house with newly elected lawmakers shortly after the election, bush asked webb how his son, a marine lance corporal serving in iraq, was doing.

webb responded that he really wanted to see his son brought back home, said a person who heard about the exchange from webb.

"i didn't ask you that, i asked how he's doing," bush retorted according to the source...


that's amazing, if a little unnerving. awol has become so defective that even his trademark phony sympathy isn't working properly...

(credit: tristero at digby's place...)
posted by Jim Yeager at 11:08 AM | 5 comments

Pulling out: lessons from Vietnam

This is Part II of The Lost Wars of George W. Bush. Part I is here.


While in Vietnam recently, aWol claimed if the United States had stayed in Vietnam, the war would not have been lost.


Many have commented on how it showed Bush didn't learn the lessons from the Vietnam conflict.


But neither has the media nor those arguing against pulling out of Iraq really learned from Vietnam.
The media points to the failure of Vietnamization as a reason against withdrawal. Here's one example in the San Francisco Chronicle:


Comparisons to Vietnam and terms from that era like "quagmire," "hearts and minds" and "body counts" swamped the media the moment the invasion of Iraq began in March 2003, but Vietnamization didn't make it into the mix until November. Then, the White House, which initially shied off anything linked to Vietnam, started a media campaign to roll out what it was calling "Iraqification," perhaps as an answer to critics who doubted the "mission" had actually been "accomplished" and feared there was no "light at the end of the (Iraqi) tunnel." But the term was quickly dropped. Perhaps it resurrected too many Baby Boomer memories of Vietnamese clinging to the skids of choppers fleeing the fruits of Vietnamization.


It seems, however, that there is no way of keeping failed Washington policies in their graves once the dead of night strikes. I was amazed when, in 2005, in Foreign Affairs magazine, Melvin Laird resurrected a claim that his Vietnamization policy had actually worked and plugged for Iraqification of the war there.


When Gen. George William Casey Jr. -- whose father, a major general, died in Vietnam in July 1970 -- announced in June that the Pentagon might soon begin the first American troop withdrawals from Iraq, I couldn't help wondering where the Iraqi version of that sign might eventually go up. In the desert? On the Iranian or the Syrian border? (The withdrawals were rescinded before even being put into effect in the face of an all-out civil war in Baghdad.)


While Judith Coburn may have witnessed much combat on the ground in Vietnam, she misses the big picture.


When the U.S. began to turn the war over to the South Vietnamese, there were considerable problems, not the least of which involved corruption in the South Vietnamese officer corps.


But the biggest problems from the early Vietnamization came from the fact the South Vietnamese still expected in 1969 and 1970 for the U.S. forces still there to do the fighting for them. Why should they risk their lives when they could get the Americans to do the fighting?


However, and this is a big however, by 1972, the ARVN (South Vietnam's Army) did well in fighting against the North Vietnamese Easter offensive.


The eventual collapse of South Vietnam had as much to do with many causes, both political and diplomatic as much as militarily.


Militarily, the U.S. Army had turned over heavy equipment and a style of fighting requiring a large amount of logistical support and materials to the ARVN. This was equipment built to fight a war against the Soviet Union in the fields of Western Europe, not a guerrilla war in the jungles and paddies of Southeast Asia.


That is not as much an issue in Iraq. The equipment and training being provided by the U.S. military followed the lessons learned in the first Gulf War.


The South Vietnamese also could not maintain the heavy equipment - M-48 tanks damaged in South Vietnam had to be shipped to the U.S. for repairs - because the educational system was not in place to produce enough technical expertise to keep the machinery operating. Iraq has a highly educated and technologically advanced population.


The U.S. also failed by providing so much material support to the South Vietnamese that they failed to adapt once they did not have the U.S. military backing them logistically because the Soviet Union and China continued to provide material support to North Vietnam.


However, the opposing parties - whoever they might be - in Iraq will not have that same advantage. They aren't being backed by other superpowers like the North Vietnamese were in the early 1970s. While a withdrawal of the U.S. military from Iraq might leave a vacuum that will be filled by the regional powers such as Iran on one side, Saudi Arabia on another, neither are going to be willing to spend so heavily to fund a prolonged conflict as President Bush. The surrounding regional powers have too much to spend on domestic programs to fund a war indefinitely which will lead to them pressuring their clients inside Iraq to reach a settlement, much quicker than if the United States stays.


One other lesson to point out from Vietnam that isn't as obvious.


Vietnam had a long history of civil wars and disturbances. It was at the end of a long period of civil war that the French were able to conquer and colonize Vietnam in the 19th century. The Vietnamese are actually made up of numerous people: ethnic Chinese; Montagnards; Polynesians; Khmer; as well as other minority groups. Their divisions were deep. Many of those in the south opposed communism, but fought against the United States because they saw the U.S. military as occupiers, according to the Dirty Little Secrets of the Vietnam War. Occupiers have a way of turning local populations against them, even uniting traditional enemies. That is a lesson that should never be forgotten for any war.

posted by Carnacki at 10:18 AM | 4 comments

and the cats of the country breathe a collective sigh of relief

from hotline:

sen. maj. leader bill frist's announcement that he won't run for president in 2008 is set for 1:00 pm et in tennessee.
posted by skippy at 9:35 AM | 2 comments

oj and the o'jays



he's a double murderer...they're a funky 70's group!
posted by skippy at 12:13 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

journey to the centrist of the earth

smarter bloggers than we have discussed the ridiculousness of the concept of "centrist" (see atrios, jane hamsher, digby, ezra, all commenting on kevin drum's musing).

of course, the problem with "centrism" is that, everybody...everybody...whether on the surface of their daily thought or deep down in their intense convictions...everybody believes they are smack-dab in the center, and all right-thinking people, when they finally hear the correct arguments, will eventually agree with them.

ergo, the term itself is meaningless.

the left truly believe that once the truth is known, everyone will ascribe to their agenda, and they will be in the center. the right believes it, too. even fundamentalists and anarchists think that sooner or later, the world will come around to their way of thinking, and it's everybody else who is extreme.

but, as usual, digby nails it:

but as i write below, i would actually posit that the real problem is the liberal punditocrisy which reflexively rejects anything that is tainted by its association with grassroots populist sentiment. particularly now, when many experts were marginalized because they failed to support the war and many liberals of both the netroots and grassroots were proven right, it behooves the establishment to open its minds to thinking from outside the usual suspects in the beltway. that doesn't mean they should trust us liberal bloggers' "guts." we would not ask them to. it means they should stop trusting their own. their guts, like bush's, are defective.
we believe that tho digby is close to our way of thinking, everyone else is pretty damn extreme and we are in the center.
posted by skippy at 11:25 PM | 3 comments

san francisco values

kos forgot a few when picking apart o'lielly.



posted by Cookie Jill at 11:23 PM | 2 comments

when sea lions go wild

beware.

in the most frightening of the recent episodes, a rogue sea lion bit 14 swimmers this month and chased 10 more out of the water at san francisco's aquatic park, a sheltered lagoon near the bay. at least one victim suffered puncture wounds.

...in southern california in june, a sea lion charged several people on manhattan beach and bit a man before waddling into the water and swimming away. in berkeley, a woman was hospitalized last spring after a sea lion took a chunk out of her leg.

last year, a group of sea lions took over a newport beach marina and caused a vintage 50-foot yacht to capsize when they boarded it. and a lifeguard in santa barbara was bitten three times while swimming off el capitan state beach.

in alaska, a huge sea lion jumped onto a fisherman's boat in 2004, knocked him overboard and pulled him underwater; he escaped without serious injury. - ap

posted by Cookie Jill at 8:50 PM | 2 comments

forewarning?

or just a tad paranoid? is "el diablo" planning to send diebold down to caracas?
the united states warned people to stockpile food, water and medicine in venezuela in case a vote on sunday sparks public disorder as anti-s.s. president hugo chavez seeks reelection.

in a warning to americans living in venezuela, which provides about 12 percent of u.s. oil imports, the u.s. embassy said on tuesday it had no information venezuela would slip into lawlessness.

but it warned on its web site that the measures would be a sensible precaution in a polarized nation where politics often stokes violent street protests and strikes. - reuters

wonder if the u.s. embassy had the same sort of warnings when we....uuagh...i mean "they" managed to unseat (a.k.a. kill) democratically elected president allende in chile.

posted by Cookie Jill at 8:25 PM | 0 comments

if politics were a popularity contest, awol would have gone home long ago

a new quinnipac poll, striving to be irrelevant to all but the mmm (multi-millionaire media) sez that rudy guiliani is the most popular politician in america, followed by barak obama and john mccain. cbs:

quinnipiac's "thermometer reading," taken the week after the nov. 7 election, asked voters to rate their feelings for 20 leaders on a scale of 0 to 100.

giuliani, a republican, scored the highest at 64.2. obama and mccain, who are also considering a 2008 campaign, finished next at 58.8 and 57.7…

secretary of state condoleezza rice was fourth in the poll, far ahead of her boss, president bush, who was the 15th most popular national leader. mr. bush finished just behind the man he defeated in the 2000 presidential race, former vice president al gore.

former president bill clinton finished fifth in the poll, while his wife, new york sen. hillary rodham clinton was ninth with a score of 49. massachusetts sen. john kerry, the 2004 democratic nominee who was roundly criticized before the election for suggesting that students who don't study could end up stuck in iraq, came in last at 39.6.
they only scored the top 20, so we have no idea how many digits tom delay landed at. but we can think of one digit that relates to mr. delay!
posted by skippy at 8:18 PM | 0 comments

cue donna summers: blog the radio...wo-wo-wo-woah blog the radio...wo-wo-wo-woah...

glenn greenwald will be on the only radio worth listening to tomorrow: democracy now w/amy goodman.
posted by skippy at 8:16 PM | 0 comments

why can't it be "one strike"

you're out.

judge strikes down bush on terror groups

a federal judge struck down president bush's authority to designate groups as terrorists, saying his post-sept. 11 executive order was unconstitutionally vague, according to a ruling released tuesday. - ap
posted by Cookie Jill at 7:10 PM | 0 comments

feed the hungry




sally struthers' post-thanksgiving message
posted by skippy at 12:04 PM | 3 comments

we agree with christy

christy harden smith at fdl opines that impeachment for impeachment's sake is not good; investigations into the administration's shenanigans to find real impeachable offences is good:

i've been getting the question a lot lately in the comments. and i've answered it…a lot…although apparently not well enough, because it keeps getting asked. but yesterday, a little conversation ensued between two of our regulars that pinned down the essence of both the question and the answer. so, here it is, from reader bargain countertenor, responding to reader rwcole:

rwcole at 168:

impeachin the bad news bears?

well there are two issues..

one- should some dems attempt a doomed and token effort to raise the issue of impeachment knowing full well that it’s goin no where?

two-should dems begin investigations into areas that could very well lead to the discovery of improprieties that even goopers would have to regard as impeachable.
no. and yes. in that order.

impeachment is first and foremost a political act, and the available evidence (nixon and clinton) shows that the electorate views it so. starting in office saying they’re going to impeach the two stooges is repeating the gingrich mistake.

if, on the other hand, carefully conducted oversight hearing bring forward compelling evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors on the part of bushco, then impeachment grows organically from the findings. the analogy then becomes nixon rather than clinton. and bushco will be gone.
and there you have it. a distillation of the most asked question and the answer to it, in a few short sentences, by two of our fdl readers. this is why our comments section makes my day pretty much every day. it's a gold star kind of morning.
ok, we admit we did that just to show off our pretty nesting blockquote colors. happy holidays!
posted by skippy at 11:56 AM | 2 comments

congratulations!

to norbizness! who got a million hits at happy furry puppy story time!
posted by skippy at 8:50 AM | 1 comments

Monday, November 27, 2006

news from the land of $1.2 million median priced homes

the number of homeless people in santa barbara county has doubled in the last 20 years. - ksby
last year, 39 people died on the streets of santa barbara. - ksby
posted by Cookie Jill at 11:11 PM | 1 comments

stolen nut case cracked

handling hot nuts in the "dead of night" could be trouble from some men.

about $400,000 worth of stolen nuts was recovered sunday night from the two suspects. the edible goods apparently were headed for india, china, canada and other destinations in europe and the united states, police said.

the discovery accounts for part of the estimated $2 million of nut crops reported stolen from the heart of california's farmland during the past year and a half. at least 14 large truckloads of almonds and walnuts have gone missing. - sfgate


posted by Cookie Jill at 11:04 PM | 5 comments

the latest poll-osi

via c&l, nancy pelosi's poll numbers have jumped 12 points since becoming speaker of the house:

the survey, taken the week after the democrats won back congress, asks voters to rate the warmth of their feelings for leaders on a scale of 0 - 100. speaker-elect pelosi's rating has jumped from a 34.7 mean temperature in september to 46.7, slightly behind new york sen. hillary clinton's 49.
posted by skippy at 7:29 PM | 0 comments

music to surf and shop by




at the mall with the beach boys
posted by skippy at 5:06 PM | 1 comments

cultural leanings of blogtopia make glorious benefit for kangaroos

Example

big thanks to allison of hartsongs for the pic
posted by skippy at 4:56 PM | 0 comments

if we stole this joke by skippy

bring it on! has the latest program considered by fox news: 9/11 - if i did it by awol.
posted by skippy at 4:51 PM | 0 comments

two bloggers no waiting

the best of blogtopia (yes! we coined that phrase!) can be found when the talking dog interviews michael berube.
posted by skippy at 4:49 PM | 0 comments

Liar, liar

aWol's pants are on fire.
posted by Carnacki at 1:36 PM | 0 comments

Closure and denial

Story in WaPo about the remains of a pilot in the Vietnam War being identified and the different reactions of the pilot's widow and sister.

For two women, so much comes down to this: a fragment of bone and the lick of a love letter.

Military scientists recently compared the bone recovered in a North Vietnamese jungle where an Air Force pilot's plane went down 40 years ago to saliva on letters he had sent his wife. It was a DNA match, they announced. At last, they said, the remains of Col. Charles J. Scharf had been found.
What they couldn't have known, however, was how differently that announcement would affect two women he left behind.

His widow, Patricia Scharf, 72, of Northern Virginia, has never remarried, has never had children and still considers the Vietnam War officer the love of her life. For her, the announcement was the gentle rub across the shoulder she had waited four decades to feel, one that let her know it was all right to let go.

For Barbara Scharf Lowerison, 72, his sister in California, the announcement was a slap. It meant she was losing -- if she had not already lost -- her fight to convince officials that her brother is alive, a prisoner of war.


Entire story well worth reading.
posted by Carnacki at 8:36 AM | 1 comments

you really ought to be reading glenn greenwald

seriously, this humble blog pales in comparison. here glenn eviscerates the hysterics of althouse, reynolds and hewitt who accuse sullivan with strawmen arguments and refuse to actually examine what andrew is saying:

what makes althouse and reynolds' claim here so particularly dishonest is that their ideological comrade, hugh hewitt, previously made the same argument -- that sullivan's use of the term "christianist" is "deeply offensive." hewitt was just as petulant and hysterical as reynolds was, labelling the term "hate speech." in response, sullivan explained exactly what the term means and what it does not mean:

christianity, in this view, is simply a faith. christianism is an ideology, politics, an ism. the distinction between christian and christianist echoes the distinction we make between muslim and islamist. muslims are those who follow islam. islamists are those who want to wield islam as a political force and conflate state and mosque. not all islamists are violent. only a tiny few are terrorists.

and i should underline that the term christianist is in no way designed to label people on the religious right as favoring any violence at all. i mean merely by the term christianist the view that religious faith is so important that it must also have a precise political agenda. it is the belief that religion dictates politics and that politics should dictate the laws for everyone, christian and non-christian alike.
that is not a complicated distinction. are althouse and reynolds (and their like-minded comrade, hewitt) really incapable of comprehending it? "christians" (like "muslims") are those who believe in the religion. "christianists" (like "islamists") are those who believe that their religious beliefs ought to shape politics and dictate the law. "christian fascists" (like "islamofascists") are those who believe in the use of violence and terrorism to achieve those goals. the term "christianist" has nothing to do with violence, only with a desire to compel others to adhere to christian religious views via the force of politics, state power, and secular law.

what seems to be guiding althouse and reynolds' hatred of the term "christianist" is that it highlights a fact which they both are eager to ignore -- namely, that the political party to which they are so devoted is dominated by individuals who believe that their religious/christian beliefs ought to dictate the american political process, shape secular law, and exploit coercive state power to constrain the choices of their fellow citizens.
seriously, go read greenwald. but come back for more song parodies.
posted by skippy at 12:10 AM | 1 comments

Sunday, November 26, 2006

how is skippy the bush kangaroo like yoghurt?

they both have active culture!

at least, according to the online magazine reconstruction: studies in contemporary culture.

version 6.4 of this esteemed publication features many bloggers blogging on blogging. and if that's not redundant enough for you, our classic post on the dangers of tbd (ted barlow disease) syndrome was included as part of the cirriculum.

what were they thinking?
posted by skippy at 10:08 PM | 1 comments

mad about the veep

mad kane, that is!
posted by skippy at 10:07 PM | 1 comments

homeowners' associations

they're insane.

a homeowners association in southwestern colorado has threatened to fine a resident $25 a day until she removes a christmas wreath with a peace sign that some say is an anti-iraq war protest or a symbol of satan. - ap

guess they haven't heard that saying that gets thrown around this time of year. "peace on earth. goodwill toward men."
posted by Cookie Jill at 9:40 PM | 9 comments

the chuck stops here

and draws a verbal line in the bloodstained sand

"there will be no victory or defeat for the united states in iraq. these terms do not reflect the reality of what is going to happen there. the future of iraq was always going to be determined by the iraqis -- not the americans.

iraq is not a prize to be won or lost. it is part of the ongoing global struggle against instability, brutality, intolerance, extremism and terrorism. there will be no military victory or military solution for iraq. former secretary of state henry kissinger made this point last weekend.

the time for more u.s. troops in iraq has passed. we do not have more troops to send and, even if we did, they would not bring a resolution to iraq. militaries are built to fight and win wars, not bind together failing nations. we are once again learning a very hard lesson in foreign affairs: america cannot impose a democracy on any nation -- regardless of our noble purpose." - chuck hagel in the washington post

posted by Cookie Jill at 7:52 PM | 3 comments

the war that dares not speak its name (civil)

the nytimes thinks it's an easy call:

though the bush administration continues to insist that it is not, a growing number of american and iraqi scholars, leaders and policy analysts say the fighting in iraq meets the standard definition of civil war.

the common scholarly definition has two main criteria. the first says that the warring groups must be from the same country and fighting for control of the political center, control over a separatist state or to force a major change in policy. the second says that at least 1,000 people must have been killed in total, with at least 100 from each side.

american professors who specialize in the study of civil wars say that most of their number are in agreement that iraq’s conflict is a civil war.

“i think that at this time, and for some time now, the level of violence in iraq meets the definition of civil war that any reasonable person would have,” said james fearon, a political scientist at stanford.

while the term is broad enough to include many kinds of conflicts, one of the sides in a civil war is almost always a sovereign government. so some scholars now say civil war began when the americans transferred sovereignty to an appointed iraqi government in june 2004. that officially transformed the anti-american war into one of insurgent groups seeking to regain power for disenfranchised sunni arabs against an iraqi government led by prime minister ayad allawi and increasingly dominated by shiites.

others say the civil war began this year, after the bombing of a revered shiite shrine in samarra set off a chain of revenge killings that left hundreds dead over five days and has yet to end. mr. allawi proclaimed a month after that bombing that iraq was mired in a civil war. “if this is not civil war, then god knows what civil war is,” he said.
and god ain't talkin' to the press.
posted by skippy at 12:15 AM | 1 comments

Saturday, November 25, 2006

for richards or poorer

thanks to qusan on the newsblog comments, we found cnn's interview w/sinbad, who was backstage during the michael richards racist rant.

sinbad makes a valid point about stand up comedy and hecklers, and that is, it's part of the job. absolutely every comic (and this includes skippy during his stand-up years) gets heckled, it's something you deal with. nobody has a right to become enraged at the daily pitfalls of the trade they've chosen to engage in.

the smart comic deals with hecklers in a clever, controlled way that brings focus back to the comic and makes the audience, and hopefully the heckler, laugh, thus taking the power of the room back to the stage. ("i remember when i had my first beer," is a standard heckler-put down, tho we are found of "ladies and gentlemen, it's a new thing i'm trying here tonight, anal ventroliquism. i stay on stage and my asshole sits in the audience").

richards was neither clever, nor controlled. other blogs have mentioned the famous lenny bruce routine where he uses racial epitaths so much that they lose their power. andy kaufman has also been mentioned in relation to this incident.

but both those comics had points, and shape to their routines (an argument could be made that kaufman didn't have shape to his comic ramblings, but we would insist that his deconstruction of comedy shape was itself a shaping).

richards was simply raging, from a dark, dark place, that obviously is pretty near to his surface, if he can access it so easily over something as mundane as a heckler in an audience (it would rather be like a cartoonist holding a newspaper staff hostage over getting paid late).

there is no excuse for what he did, and tho we love his work as kramer, we can separate the performance from the performer, and no, we don't love michael richards.

addendum: joe gandelman of the moderate voice thinks that it's ludicrous that the hecklers singled out as "m&therf*cking n$ggers" by richards are contemplating a law suit.
posted by skippy at 12:00 PM | 3 comments

the rolling stones eat leftovers



nineteenth turkey sandwich
posted by skippy at 9:45 AM | 0 comments

meanwhile, back in iraq

the war that dares not speak its name (civil) gets worse. bosglobe:

in a wave of reprisal killings, shi'ite militiamen torched or sprayed gunfire at sunni mosques in baghdad and other parts of iraq yesterday, defying a government curfew and propelling the country further toward full-scale civil war.

the exacting of revenge for the deaths of more than 200 shi'ites on thursday came as powerful politicians linked to radical shi'ite cleric moqtada al-sadr threatened to pull out of iraq's coalition government if prime minister nouri al-maliki attends a scheduled meeting with president bush next week in amman, jordan…

yesterday's attacks illustrated iraqi security forces' inability to rein in violence, at a time when us leaders want them to take greater responsibility for the country's security, a vital benchmark for any strategy to withdraw us troops.
it gets worse. sfchron:

revenge-seeking shiite militiamen seized six sunnis as they left friday prayers, drenched them with kerosene and burned them alive, and iraqi soldiers did nothing to stop the attack, police and witnesses said.

the fiery slayings in the mainly sunni neighborhood of hurriyah were a dramatic escalation of the brutality coursing through the iraqi capital, coming a day after suspected sunni insurgents killed 215 people in baghdad's main shiite district with a combination of bombs and mortars.

the attacks culminated baghdad's deadliest week of sectarian fighting since the war began more than three years ago.
posted by skippy at 12:34 AM | 0 comments

Friday, November 24, 2006

best headline for the day

courtesy of those crazy techie folks up at sfgate.com in describing "black friday" up in the city:

a mosh pit with receipts
posted by Cookie Jill at 11:06 PM | 0 comments

shout out

our bud the freeway blogger wants us all to check out the ann arbor version of himself: psycho mike-o at the dept. of homeland conspiracy

Labels: ,

posted by skippy at 10:54 PM | 0 comments

remote control wars

mrs. skippy is monopolizing the remote control tonight, switching back and forth to watch both beaches and titanic at the same time.

skippy has resigned himself to a tear-filled night of chick flicks. but he reasons, at least, that this way there's a good chance that bette midler drowns at the end.
posted by skippy at 10:13 PM | 2 comments

f-o-r-e!

closure "fun"

posted by Cookie Jill at 8:59 PM | 0 comments

happy thanksgiving from the democratically-controlled congress

seeking information about detention of terrorism suspects, abuse of detainees and government secrecy, democrats on the senate judiciary committee are reviving dozens of demands for classified documents that until now have been rebuffed or ignored by the justice department and other agencies.

“i expect real answers, or we’ll have testimony under oath until we get them,” senator patrick j. leahy of vermont, who will head the committee beginning in january, said in an interview this week. “we’re entitled to know these answers, and in many instances we don’t get them because people are hiding their mistakes. and that’s no excuse.”

mr. leahy, who has said little about his plans for the committee, expressed hope for greater cooperation from the bush administration, which he described as having been “obsessively secretive.” his aides have identified more than 65 requests he has made to the justice department or other agencies in recent years that have been rejected or permitted to languish without reply.

now that they are about to control congress, what he and other democrats regard as a record of unresponsiveness has energized their renewal of longstanding requests for information about some of the administration’s most hidden and fiercely debated operations. in addition, other such requests by committee members deal with subjects like voter fraud, immigration and background inquiries on supreme court nominees. - nytimes
via atrios.
posted by skippy at 5:17 PM | 0 comments

elizabeth edwards

an interesting interview with an interesting lady.
when political analysts talk about one potential presidential candidate for 2008, former sen. john edwards of north carolina, they often mention his wife -- and her down-to-earth appeal. in an interview, elizabeth edwards talks about the death of her teenage son, living a life of politics, and surviving cancer. - npr
i'd say she'd make a great first lady...or second lady.
posted by Cookie Jill at 4:48 PM | 0 comments

hoppy kangaroo blogging friday

posted by Cookie Jill at 12:19 PM | 1 comments

christmas at the mall






the true meaning of the season
posted by skippy at 10:54 AM | 0 comments

happy buy nothing day

i'm participating, again. how 'bout you?
every november, for 24 hours, we remember that no one was born to shop. if you’ve never taken part in buy nothing day, or if you’ve taken part in the past but haven’t really committed to doing it again, consider this: 2006 will go down as the year in which mainstream dialogue about global warming finally reached its critical mass. what better way to bring the year of global warming to a close than to point in the direction of real alternatives to the unbridled consumption that has created this quagmire? - adbusters

posted by Cookie Jill at 10:28 AM | 0 comments

happy black friday

this year's "black friday" could be the strongest opening to the holiday shopping season in years, if the droves of americans eager to exploit early-bird specials are any guide.

terry lundgren, chief executive of federated department stores inc., told reuters he arrived at the company's flagship macy's herald square store at 5:30 a.m. to find lines wrapped completely around the building, which takes up a whole city block.

"i've been coming here for many years at the same time on this particular day and this looks like the largest crowd we've seen in years," lundgren said, adding that the sunny and cold weather was good for shopping, especially for coats and cashmere sweaters. - reuters
for many new yorkers, black friday shopping began in the darkness of the midnight hour.

at least 200 people lined up at the port authority bus terminal in manhattan on a rainy thanksgiving night, hoping to be among the first to reach the early-bird sale at woodbury common premium outlets in central valley, n.y.

most stores at the woodbury outlet center, which is about an hour's ride from manhattan and home to more than 200 designer and name-brand stores, open in the wee hours on black friday, the day on which the retail business has traditionally been viewed as becoming profitable for the year, with their famous "midnight madness" super sales, offering early-arriving shoppers additional savings off outlet-store prices. - marketwatch
shoppers navigated parking lots packed with cars and trekked among a maze of shopping carts early friday to grab bargains on hd-tvs, toy trucks and cashmere sweaters as the christmas shopping season began in full force.

shoppers who slept in, or slept at all, missed early early-bird deals that started at the stroke of midnight in some stores and as early as 4:30 a.m. at many others…

at the sears roebuck in rego park, n.y., more than 400 people were waiting to get in at 5 a.m., a slightly bigger crowd than last year when the store opened at 6 a.m.

"we've had a very good turnout," said john ford, northeast district manager for sears roebuck, a unit of sears holdings. . "it's encouraging to see the same kinds of crowds an hour earlier"…

disney stores also noted a trend toward the bigger items, at least in the early going.

"with the early-bird special for an extra 20% off, we're seeing people buy the big-ticket toys" such as a three-foot tall ariel the little mermaid doll, said beth moller, a district manager for disney stores in new jersey.

at one disney store that opened at midnight, there were 71 customers waiting to get in, she said. most other disney stores, which are a division of children's place, opened at 5 a.m. - marketwatch
ah, the true meaning of the season.
posted by skippy at 9:48 AM | 2 comments

Thursday, November 23, 2006

happy thanksgiving

we've done this before, but we love it so much: the beatles and the monkees



paperback believer
posted by skippy at 10:49 PM | 0 comments

separated at birth

thanks to pam at pandagon, we realized these two were separated at birth:


Example
"god hates fags" own fred phelps,

and

Example
the guy from the phantasm films.
posted by skippy at 1:08 PM | 6 comments

happy thanksgiving

as you are passing the turkey and cranberry sauce, please remember the work of john van hengel.

pass a little green or volunteer at your local foodbank.
posted by Cookie Jill at 1:08 PM | 1 comments

pilgrim rock






mayflower by gary puckett
posted by skippy at 12:53 PM | 0 comments

what we want for thanksgiving





a little white meat - by aretha
posted by skippy at 12:32 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to the stygian times.
posted by skippy at 9:32 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

have a happy thanksgiving

posted by skippy at 5:06 PM | 2 comments

say hello

to mixter's mix and the morehead the merrier (the blog of silent film legend tallulah morehead).
posted by skippy at 12:32 PM | 1 comments

Lost Episode of I Love Lucy





an o.j. thanksgiving
posted by skippy at 11:50 AM | 0 comments

i gotcher house intelligence committee chairperson for ya right here

david corn is the washington editor for the nation. he's also very smart. i know that because he wrote a great article recommending that congressman rush holt (d-nj-12) be named chairperson for the house intelligence committee. korn's arguments are exactly right. read the article and get convinced, then go tell your representative (if he or she is a democrat) that holt should chair the committee.
posted by DBK at 10:21 AM | 1 comments

question of the day...

white meat or dark?
posted by Jim Yeager at 9:46 AM | 8 comments

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

sheryl crow’s thanksgiving





all i wanna do is have some yams
posted by skippy at 10:37 PM | 1 comments

a concrete, problem solving model

from a concrete, problem solving man who could be a model president.

when general clark writes, people should listen.

"withdrawal? a bad idea. partitioning? won't work. the right approach is one that addresses u.s. interests in the entire region.

...the right approach is a coordinated diplomatic, legal, economic and security campaign drawing upon broader dialogue in the region and intensified political work inside iraq." - general clark in usatoady

posted by Cookie Jill at 8:46 PM | 2 comments

someone get crooks and liars

to get video of lie-berman on hannity.
joe lieberman is on sean hannity sucking up to him and agreeing that democrats are cut & runners. also, he said democrats showed more partisan politics for not supporting his general election campaign which came straight from the politcal playbook. furthermore, hannity proclaims lieberman as the most powerful man in the senate. then the next segment on the show after lieberman was done went right back to attacking nancy pelosi
lie-berman's no democrat. he's a self absorbed, lying s.o.b. he's got some serious mental issues to work out. preferably on an insurance plan that i'm not paying for.
posted by Cookie Jill at 7:08 PM | 1 comments

finally, a little credit, and from the unlikeliest source

via talkleft, we find that lefty blogs are getting some much-deserved praise for their work in the past election from...townhall???

1) how could this have happened? the entire weight and heft of the right-wing blogosphere stood behind a campaign to change the house leadership and nothing happened. kos holds a putz-fest in vegas and virtually the complete democratic establishment comes to kiss his ring. is the right wing blogosphere only capable of getting congressional types to give us a few minutes of their time on conference calls?

the right wing blogosphere has to deal with the facts. the politicians just aren’t that into us.

2) but how come the democrats are so into the blogosphere and the republicans aren’t? how come we don’t generate fear and respect like the kosfather?

because all we do is opine, and often in an annoyingly independent way. while all of us root for the republican party, we’re also pretty expressive when members of the party let us down. we might carry a little water, but as a group, i bet the republican establishment thought of us as more as a pain in the neck than an asset during the last campaign season. i know i won’t be on george allen’s christmas card list.

3) and kos is different?

yes. although he rips democrats when he’s of a mind to do so, he also brings something else to the party. he brings volunteers and money and buzz. although my modem might well explode as i type these words, jon tester would not be a senator starting in january if it weren’t for the daily kos. same for jim webb. he never would have made it out of the primary.

4) okay. so we should be more like kos?

not me. i have no interest in being a tool for the republican party, or at least not anymore so than i already am. but, and again my modem might explode, there is no denying that the daily kos is an asset to the democratic party in terms of winning elections. or at least it was this past cycle.
hey! skippy was one of those putzes at the putz-fest!
posted by skippy at 12:29 AM | 12 comments

hoff-keeping

we are pleased as a platypus to add the esteemed blog hoffmania! to our permanent blogroll. the hoffmaniacs work hard and bring you the best in lefty news, and don't over-write, which is a tendency the progressives (who love to hear themselves pontificate) usually fall into.

be sure to visit hoffmania! often!
posted by skippy at 12:24 AM | 0 comments

Monday, November 20, 2006

the general visits "big ed"

listen in.

ed schultz: .....what can - final question - what can the democratic majority do about this? i mean, we still have the commander in chief.

general wesley clark: probably less than the american people would like, because i think that short of subpoenas and funding cut-offs and so forth, it's, it's hard for congress to directly shape foreign policy. but clearly this election has been a real shot across the bough for the republican party, and i think that despite the protestations of, of the president and dick cheney, they got the message. they cannot stay the course, because it's not working, and they can't lie about it, or they can't represent it as progress to the american people any longer. it's not progress.

posted by Cookie Jill at 8:43 PM | 3 comments

something to think about this week





what to do with all that turkey

posted by skippy at 8:35 PM | 1 comments

can your county produce this fantastic number?

registered voters 183890.....cards cast 122474

66.60%

yeah...we wuz busy.
posted by Cookie Jill at 8:06 PM | 1 comments

the feds pay for a colorado attorney general

to travel to saudi arabia to grovel and apologize for bringing charges against a saudi national for holding a nanny captive and subjecting her to sexual abuse.
colorado attorney general john suthers flew to saudi arabia this week to reassure government officials there that homaidan al-turki was treated fairly when he was convicted of sexually abusing an indonesian nanny held a virtual captive in his aurora home.

suthers sat knee-to-knee for an hour with king abdullah and also met with crown prince sultan, saudi journalists and relatives of al-turki during his weeklong trip to the capital city of riyadh, deputy attorney general jason dunn said friday.

...at his sentencing, al-turki said he would not apologize for "things i did not do and for crimes i did not commit."

"the state has criminalized these basic muslim behaviors," he told the judge. "attacking traditional muslim behaviors was the focal point of the prosecution."

....the federal government picked up the tab for suthers to spend the week in saudi arabia with owens' chief counsel, jon anderson, dunn said. - rocky mountain news

i know some muslims. sexual abusing and holding nannies hostage is not basic muslim behavior.

posted by Cookie Jill at 7:43 PM | 0 comments

completely gratuitous and irresponsible gossip mongering

mrs. skippy heard over the weekend that katie holmes was impregnated with l. ron hubbard's sperm which had been cryogenically preserved (we assumed it was warmed up beforehand...other wise it would have almost been as cold as kissing tom cruise).
posted by skippy at 6:59 PM | 0 comments

first cannon fodder....now lab rat

democratic veteran alerts us to how this administration is "treating" our soldiers.
american military doctors in iraq have injected more than 1,000 of the war's wounded troops with a potent and largely experimental blood-coagulating drug despite mounting medical evidence linking it to deadly blood clots that lodge in the lungs, heart and brain.

the drug, called recombinant activated factor vii, is approved in the u.s. for treating only rare forms of hemophilia affecting about 2,700 americans. in a warning last december, the food and drug administration said that giving it to patients with normal blood could cause strokes and heart attacks. its researchers published a study in January blaming 43 deaths on clots that developed after injections of factor vii.

the u.s. army medical command considers factor vii to be a medical breakthrough in the war, giving frontline physicians a powerful new means of controlling bleeding that can only be treated otherwise with surgery and transfusions. they have posted guidelines at military field hospitals encouraging its liberal use in casualties with severe bleeding, and doctors in iraq routinely inject it into patients upon the mere anticipation of deadly bleeding to come.

...yet the army's faith in the $6,000-a-dose drug is based almost entirely on anecdotal evidence and persists despite public warnings and published research suggesting that factor vii is not as effective or as safe as military officials say. - baltimore sun (part 1 of 3 articles)

...a 36-year-old lawyer from gurnee, ill., with a wife, two young children and a successful general law practice back home, mahaffee never imagined even eight months earlier that he would be working for the army in iraq. he had finished his stint with the army in 1999, retiring after eight years in the reserves, and he hadn't drilled or worn a uniform since.

but in october of 2005 he came home from vacation to find a fedex package from the pentagon calling him back to service. like many retired soldiers, he was still part of the individual ready reserve, a limbo status that allowed the army to reactivate him. the program is so rarely used that few soldiers give it much thought, but the army, suffering a desperate shortage of junior officers, summoned him out of retirement. - baltimore sun (part 2 of 3 articles)

stay tuned to the baltimore sun for part 3.
posted by Cookie Jill at 6:55 PM | 1 comments

monday night music club


nanci griffith doing kate wolf's "across the great divide"
posted by skippy at 6:16 PM | 0 comments

hart to hart

our good friend allison of hartsongs sends us a couple of items:

the denial machine - a dcoumentary about the faux-science behind the "debate" about global warming:

the documentary shows how fossil fuel corporations have kept the global warming debate alive long after most scientists believed that global warming was real and had potentially catastrophic consequences. it shows that companies such as exxon mobil are working with top public relations firms and using many of the same tactics and personnel as those employed by phillip morris and rj reynolds to dispute the cigarette-cancer link in the 1990s. exxon mobil sought out those willing to question the science behind climate change, providing funding for some of them, their organizations and their studies.
and the gazetteer finds background on the group of armed men in arizona who intimidated latino voters during the election earlier this month:

well, cliff at rusty idols now has more information about the perpetrators, one of whom has been linked to a well-known anti-immigrant group called the 'border guardians' by the southern poverty law center.

by all accounts the 'border guardians' are a more extreme version of the minutemen, the vigilantes with guns that have been encouraged at every opportunity by george w. bush and the republican party.

it is not a pretty picture, and if the spl piece is not bad enough, many of the comments attached to a story in the tuscon citizen describing yesterday's events are enough to make any thinking person shudder.
posted by skippy at 6:01 PM | 0 comments

what do you think we were doing back in the 60's all that time?

blondesense liz finds a couple who are calling for a global orgasm for peace:

two peace activists have planned a massive anti-war demonstration for the first day of winter.

but they don't want you marching in the streets. they'd much rather you just stay home.

the global orgasm for peace was conceived by donna sheehan, 76, and paul reffell, 55, whose immodest goal is for everyone in the world to have an orgasm dec. 22 while focusing on world peace.

''the orgasm gives out an incredible feeling of peace during it and after it,'' reffell said sunday. ''your mind is like a blank. it's like a meditative state. and mass meditations have been shown to make a change.''

the couple are no strangers to sex and social activism. sheehan, no relation to anti-war activist cindy sheehan, brought together nearly 50 women in 2002 who stripped naked and spelled out the word ''peace.''

the stunt spawned a mini-movement called baring witness that led to similar unclothed demonstrations worldwide.

the couple have studied evolutionary psychology and believe that war is mainly an outgrowth of men trying to impress potential mates, a case of ''my missile is bigger than your missile,'' as reffell put it.

by promoting what they hope to be a synchronized global orgasm, they hope to get people to channel their sexual energy into something more positive.

the couple said interest appears strong, with 26,000 hits a day to their web site, http://www.globalorgasm.org/.

''the dream is to have everyone in the world (take part),'' reffell said. ''and if that means laying down your gun for a few minutes, then hey, all the better.''
personally, we won't lay down our gun until it's been fully discharged. but liz prefaces her blog post with "the reasons given for this particular type of protest are right on (especially if you're a quantum mechanics afficianado)."

quantum mechanics? is that what the kids are calling it these days?
posted by skippy at 5:13 PM | 2 comments

noe more

cookie jill sends us to the toledo blade which informs us that tommy noem the publican fundraiser behind the rare coin scheme in ohio, is going to the big house:

tom noe, convicted last week on 29 charges for stealing from ohio’s $50 million rare-coin fund, was sentenced to 18 years in state prison and ordered to pay fines and restitution by judge thomas osowik this morning in lucas county courthouse.

the sentence will begin after noe completes a 27-month federal sentence imposed in september for illegal laundering more than $45,000 to president bush’s campaign, judge osowik ruled.

noe was fined $213,000 by judge osowik and ordered to pay the cost of the prosecution, estimated at nearly $3 million, and ordered to pay restitution to the ohio bureau of workers’ compensation for the money missing from the rare-coin fund, estimated at $13.7 million.

“you cooked the books ... it was an elaborate scheme,” judge osowik said before sentencing noe.

mr. osowik said noe’s crimes were premeditated and he “continued to manipulate” the bureau until may, 2005, even after an internal auditor raised concerns about the coin funds more than five years earlier.

the judge said noe created a “facade” of wealth taken from a “bottomless cup” of state coin-fund money.

noe appeared in a dark blue jumpsuit, handcuffed with chains around his waist.

when he walked into the courtroom, he was animated, smiling and joking with his lawyers. when judge osowik entered the court, he turned emotionless.

he remained so during the sentencing.
if he's smart, he'll also remain so during the 18 years.
posted by skippy at 5:05 PM | 0 comments

Fox kills off Simpson

at least the book and TV deal they made with him. From Faux News:

NEW YORK — News Corp., the parent company of book publisher HarperCollins and the FOX network, has canceled publication of the O.J. Simpson book and television special "If I Did It."

"I and senior management agree with the American public that this was an ill-considered project," said Rupert Murdoch, News Corp. chairman. "We are sorry for any pain that this has caused the families of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson."

A dozen FOX affiliates had already said they would not air the two-part sweeps month special, planned for next week before the book's publication.

In the book, the one-time football superstar tells how he would have killed his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman if, in fact, he had done it.


Worst idea ever. Murdoch should fire himself over this one.
posted by Carnacki at 1:17 PM | 2 comments

stormy past and shower dooms weather forecaster

yet another reason why myspace and showering is dangerous:

A heroin addiction, a federal drug case and a frenzy of negative publicity were not enough to pull popular WSLS (Channel 10) meteorologist Jamey Singleton from the air.

Factor in a mean MySpace prank, though, and the forecast got much gloomier.

After a former friend posted a nude picture of Singleton, 28, on the Internet this week, Channel 10 management called in the weatherman at 1 p.m. Thursday and fired him.

snip

As Singleton stepped out of the shower, his friend barged in with a digital camera and took a picture of him from the front, fully naked, Singleton said.

"At the time I just chuckled, like, 'Oh, my God.' I didn't ever think that he would keep it and if he did keep it, I never would have thought that he would put it on the Internet," he said.


This is why I keep my clothes on when I take showers. That and it saves time doing laundry.
posted by Carnacki at 1:10 PM | 4 comments

the weakly show

faux news is reportedly putting together a "right-leaning" satirical show. yes, we know, "right-leaning" and "satirical" is an oxymoron, but that isn't stopping the oxymorons at murdoch's house from trying. reuters:

the half-hour show would take aim at what executive producer joel surnow, the co-creator of "24," calls "the sacred cows of the left" that don't get made as much fun of by other comedy shows.

"it's a satirical news format that would play more to the fox news audience than the michael moore channel," surnow said. "it would tip more right as 'the daily show' tips left."

also executive producing are "24" producer manny coto, a veteran of "star trek: enterprise," and creator ned rice, who previously wrote for "politically incorrect" and "late late show with craig ferguson."

the show was pitched as "this just in" when it first got life as a 20-minute pilot presentation for fox broadcasting co.'s late-night division. but when that network passed, surnow said it attracted the attention of fox news channel chief roger ailes.

"i showed it to roger, and he really liked it and thought it could work on fox news if we could make it conform to some of the restraints" of a cable news channel. fox news channel confirmed that talks were going on.
constraints like, no facts allowed.
posted by skippy at 10:28 AM | 5 comments

Sunday, November 19, 2006

better grab that butter....

it's dungy crab season again! oh....yummmmmy.

dungeness crab lovers whipping up louis dressing eagerly await the boats at fisherman's wharf for today's start of the season, a culinary event rivaling the arrival of beaujolais nouveau or chinook salmon. - sfgate
posted by Cookie Jill at 11:02 PM | 1 comments

links for your surfing pleasure

linktv.org

hopedance.org

ironweedfilms.com

it's the environment, stupid!
posted by Cookie Jill at 10:14 PM | 1 comments

the one word neither party is mentioning....

pensions.

nh taxpayers on the hook for pensions
the pension system currently is only 67 percent funded -- a shortfall of about $2 billion, according to kim france, spokesman for the nhrs. and under current law, the only way to make up the difference is to raise the rates employers pay.
deficit falls at agency that insures pensions
the federal agency that insures private pension plans for millions of americans logged a deficit of $18.1 billion this year...
biggest us bank freezes pension plan
citigroup inc. will stop adding money in 2008 to the traditional pension plan that covers as many as 150,000 u.s. employees and raise matching contributions in 401(k) plans at the nation's biggest bank.
posted by Cookie Jill at 9:51 PM | 0 comments

he put the 'if' in 'stupidity'

spittle & ink has the latest cover (and sample chapters) from awol's newest book:

posted by skippy at 8:22 PM | 0 comments

frame the debate contest

awol's excellent adventure failed invasion will still be a topic in the 2008 elections. republicans are already warming up their talking points that the defeatocrats lost iraq. democrats have sent out a trial ballon using "redeploy." i don't think we should triangulate with something in the passive voice. (as in the antique vase was broken or as in the troops will be redeployed.) a phrase i am thinking of using whenever the subject comes up is "withdrawing american troops from bush's failed invasion." i would like to hear other people's ideas.
posted by George at 7:09 PM | 4 comments

life, liberty, and the pursuit of videos of teenagers lip-synching

blondesense thinks youtube will set us free. they may be right.
posted by skippy at 3:23 PM | 0 comments

we have not actually read this blog but it looks funny

jon swift gives us a compendium of his amazon reviews of books which he has not actually read.
posted by skippy at 12:34 AM | 1 comments

Saturday, November 18, 2006

saturday night music club

"better than the beatles" - frank zappa

my pal foot foot - the shaggs
posted by skippy at 6:20 PM | 3 comments

birds of a feather

hey kids, guess we know who helped rummy design those military tribunals: the folks who designed the vatican's trials for predatory priests.

The trial, Mr. Donohue said, is hardly an ideal process. He was asked to swear an oath of silence, which he refused to do, he told the priests, on the principle that the church’s policy of silence is what has allowed priests to abuse young people with impunity for decades. Mr. Donohue chafes against his role as the star witness for the archdiocese, the very institution that he said protected Monsignor Kavanagh for years.....

Secrecy has abounded at the trial. The Vatican moved it from New York at the request of the archdiocese, which said it feared a media circus. No reporters are allowed at canonical tribunals, and the New York Archdiocese has refused to comment on the trial.

Mr. Donohue’s sister Patricia Donohue testified on Thursday, and she said that when she refused to promise not to discuss the case outside the tribunal, the chief judge, who identified himself only as Father Mark, told her that her refusal would be referred to the Vatican for possible “disciplinary action.”


The Erie diocese denies her charge.
posted by Pudentilla at 5:12 AM | 0 comments

inherently disordered

Seems the Vatican can't take a joke. They haven't even the heard the one about the two homophobic clerics who walk into a bar. One's wearing red prada loafers and the other's styling in a soutane with scarlet piping and fascia. Oh, honey, snap! Seems Ratzo likes 'em hunky, well-coiffed and German. And can you blame him?
posted by Pudentilla at 4:56 AM | 1 comments

the joke's on us

bob geiger brings us the best of saturday cartoons.
posted by skippy at 12:11 AM | 2 comments

Friday, November 17, 2006

the owner of this local art gallery, sullivangoss

is getting death threats for showing these amazing tapestries by the artist john nava, who actually attended ucsb. it is an inspiring show. the tapestries are intricate and lifelike, first "sketched" with oil and then transfered into material. unfortunately, some folks in this town don't agree with freedom of speech. they seem to be "freaked out" with the statements on the clothing worn in the pieces.

"gericault had the flailing bourbon government, goya had napoleon bonaparte, picasso had franco, leon golub had kissinger and nixon, and john nava -- well, he’s had enough. louis xviii, napoleon, franco, nixon, bush jr. -- all courageous leaders of wars of occupation. the lineage of the raft of the medusa, the disasters of war, guernica, and golub’s biting portraits provide a forceful precedent for nava to use his canvas to protest the grim consequences of unprovoked war. like his predecessors, nava finds it impossible to reconcile the viciousness of a war so profoundly futile. sullivan goss is proud to present john nava’s “neo-icons.”
posted by Cookie Jill at 9:18 PM | 2 comments

we dare to answer the hard questions on everybody's mind


what if star wars was set in modern day los angeles?
posted by skippy at 8:20 PM | 2 comments

friday night music club


violent femmes - add it up

and, for discussion: let's take the opposite of yesterday's question "when was the last (or best) album which had 100% (or close to it) great material in each and every track," and ask, "what was the last album (or cd) you bought and, after listening, said to yourself, 'what a f*cking waste of money! two hit songs and the rest is just bullsh*t! i hate the thompson twins!!!' "

ok, we guess you know what we'd say. insert the name of the band of your choice at the end there.
posted by skippy at 7:35 PM | 7 comments

news from the land of $1.2 million median priced homes

yeah...that would be santa barbara.

hospitals are going to the homeless.

an alarming number of homeless are dying on the streets of santa barbara so today, health care workers are bringing the hospital to the streets.

about 300 people received sidewalk checkups. it's all part of an innovative new program in santa barbara to provide preventive health care for the homeless.

michael steinberg is getting "the works" -- a flu and tetanus shot and a tb and hiv test. all are free of charge.

the healthy neighbors program was started last year with the help of ken williams. the social worker and homeless advocate helped convince hundreds to get themselves checked out. last year, 39 people died on the streets of santa barbara. as the winter approaches -- or "dying season," as williams grimly calls it -- a little preventative medicine is extremely important.

"i got tired of seeing people die," says williams. - ksby
not all the homeless here in town are "down and out losers"....there are quite a number of "homeless folks" who are actually employed full time at the county or city. there simply are not enough reasonably priced homes available. everyone wants to build and sell that "luxury" house and not care about the people who actually work in the community.

the owner of the local newspaper (the santa barbara snooze suppress) is still at war with the towns residents. and...wow...does the american journalism review have the "skinny" on the "smackdown."
under mccaw, a libertarian, news-press editorials evolved from respectful, cautious, reasonably argued pieces to raucous assaults, sometimes on the paper's own reporters, with attacks on the coastal commission, affordable housing and the local rodeo, an affront to mccaw's animal rights sensibilities. through her executives, mccaw worked her will: "it was always about news content and news reporters," says an insider no longer at the paper. "if one story wasn't the way she wanted it, it was off with their heads," with cole "just doing her bidding."
ah...just another week in "paradise"
posted by Cookie Jill at 6:27 PM | 1 comments

housing starts? more like housing stops

further proof that the tax cuts for the rich are helping the economy grow strong, housing starts slid to their lowest point in 6 years last month. msn money:

the government said starts fell to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 1.49 million new homes, down 14.6% from september and 27.4% from october 2005.

bloated inventories and weakening home sales contributed to the drop. economists had been looking for a 5.6% fall to a 1.67 million annual rate.

home-building permits fell for the ninth month in a row, dropping more than 6% to the lowest pace since december 1997. the drop in permits, which are often a measure of builder confidence in the real estate market, is a signal that housing starts could continue to fall -- and a sign that the slump isn't over yet.

"this is a shocking number," phillip neuhart, an economist at wachovia, told bloomberg news. "the market is going to remain weak well into next year."

other economists said the decline was not such terrible news. "the faster builders address their bloated inventories and bring the pace of home construction down, the quicker the housing correction will play out and the economy can return to a more normal footing," stephen stanley, the chief economist for rbs greenwich capital, told marketwatch.com.

the sharp slowdown in housing this year stands in stark contrast to the past five years, when the lowest mortgage rates in four decades powered a housing boom that pushed sales of both new and existing homes to five consecutive records.

other data this week suggested the housing market may be at or near a low. the national association of homebuilders/wells fargo housing market index on thursday got a two-point bump to 33 points in november. the survey hit at 15-year low of 30 in september.

on wednesday, the mortgage bankers association reported that applications for u.s. home mortgages had risen last week to their highest level since january as falling interest rates encouraged more loan refinancing.

msn money video: diana olick says the housing market faces more suffering.
posted by skippy at 2:37 PM | 1 comments

you say it's your birthday? it's my birthday too, yeah

via jim dean's dkos diary, why don't you join us all in signing howard dean's birthday card? leave your own personal message of gratitude and support.
posted by skippy at 1:57 PM | 0 comments

The Bluejersey Begathon

Bluejersey is one of the most powerful state-oriented progressive web logs in the country. The site doesn't get as much traffic as, for instance, MyDD.com, but it does get a lot of traffic from government entities (state and federal legislature) and stands for progress and thoughtful discussion. Bluejersey is trying to raise some money for various purposes (mostly to keep the site running and to expand it). Juan, the founder and lead singer for Bluejersey, makes an eloquent plea. Read his posting here and then, if you can manage it, please contribute. If you'd like to see the grassroots, close-to-you world of web logging continue to grow and gain an even stronger position in the political discourse (and remember that bloggers are the lobbyists for the people), please help out.

At last count, by the way, Bluejersey had raised $1400 dollars, almost halfway to their goal, thanks to some very generous people.
posted by DBK at 11:45 AM | 0 comments

life imitates playstation

in a twist so ironic as to be totally lost on the people who stood in line for hours to buy this crap, people were actually shot, hurt and otherwise violently-mayhemed out of commission as they tried to buy the latest version of sony-playstation. reuters:


a man was shot early on friday morning outside a wal-mart store in connecticut while waiting to buy a new sony playstation 3, state police said.

he was one of 15 to 20 people lined up outside the store when confronted by two armed men who demanded money at around 3:15 a.m., lt. j. paul vance said in a press release.

police said the victim had confronted the armed suspects and was shot. he was treated at the scene and transported to the university of massachusetts medical center across the state line.
of course, actual bullets aren't used until you get to level 7. on the lower levels, however, there is still plenty of violent action enough to satisfy any slacker who thinks manipulating buttons with their thumbs is "interactive":

Example
lone bystander is terrorized by zombie police w/bullhorn on level 1
pic courtesy of george rizer, bosglobe
posted by skippy at 9:45 AM | 0 comments