Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Scenes We’d Like To See (with apologies to Mad Magazine)

Scene 1: White House press Corps Gives Scott McClellan an Atomic Wedgie

DAVID GREGORY: ... Scott aren't you contradicting what you told us five minutes ago?

McCLELLAN: ... I didn't tell you anything five minutes ago, I was just clearing my throat ...

DAVID GREGORY: ... OK guys, grab him and hold him down ...

McCLELLAN: NO!!! Don't ... waughh!!!

(Ripping sound is heard as the wasteband of McClellan's underpants is stretched over his head)

McCLELLAN: (sobbing)

Scene 2: Harriett Miers Confirmation Hearing

SEN. SCHUMER: Ms. Miers do you really consider yourself to be the most qualified person for this appointment?

HARRIET MIERS: Yes I do, Senator.

SEN. SCHUMER: Then can you explain it to me? It seems there are hundreds if not thousands of judges, law school professors, and legal scholars who are far more qualified than you.

HARRIET MIERS: Senator, I earned this appointment. Do you have any idea how much ass I had to kiss to get here? How many idiotic birthday cards I had to send with insipid inscriptions? How long I’ve had to kow-tow to morons? This eye makeup? Do you think I wanted to dress like this? But I hung in there and I earned this fucking appointment and …
… I’ve blown it haven’t I?


Scene 3: Karl Rove Is Arrested

ROVE: You know you’ve got no case Patrick. Nobody is going to talk. I’m not going to tell you anything. You’re just destroying your own legal career. I’ll personally see to it that your next job is at some legal aid clinic.

PATRICK FITZGERALD: Why don’t we talk about it on the way to the airport.

ROVE: The airport? What are you talking about? Aren’t we going to the Justice Department?

PATRICK FITZGERALD: No actually I’m taking you to Guantanamo for a few months of questioning. Don’t worry, it’s all perfectly legal.

ROVE: Shit.

Scene 4: Mike Brown’s Next Job

BROWNIE: Would you like to supersize that?

Scene 5: William Bennett in It’s a Wonderful Life

(A cemetery.) Upon the tombstone is engraved a name, Ronald Reagan. Feverishly William Bennett scrapes away the snow covering the rest of the inscription, and we read: "IN MEMORY OF OUR BELOVED GOVERNOR – RONALD REAGAN – 1911-1967"

CLARENCE: Your hero, Ronald Reagan was killed after ordering police to fire at an anti-war protest in Los Angeles in 1967 at the age of 56.

(Bennett jumps up.)

BENNETT: That’s a lie! Ronald Reagan was president for two terms. He started the modern conservative movement. He invaded Grenada!

CLARENCE: (sadly) You see William, Martin Luther King was never born because all black children had been aborted so the riot wasn't averted. Reagan wasn’t there to start the conservative movement because King wasn’t there to save Reagan. Walter Mondale was President for two terms. Grenada is still under Cuban control because Reagan wasn’t there to invade it. Don’t you see William, black people have really had wonderfully useful lives. Don’t you see what a mistake it would be to throw them all away?

BENNETT: Clarence! Clarence! Help me, Clarence. Get them back. Get them back. I don't care what happens to me. Only get me back my black friends. Help me, Clarence, please! Please! I want them to live again!


Sunday, October 16, 2005

Justice Is Served Up Hot (and Gay) in the Virginia Governor’s Race

Ironic justice is being served in this year’s Virginia governor’s race as anti-gay Republican candidate Jerry Kilgore finds himself on the receiving end of a damaging rumor inferring that he is secretly gay. Kilgore, who is married with two children, would seem an unlikely target for this treatment, unless you’d actually heard him speak. Based solely on hearing his effeminate voice, one would imagine Kilgore to be a cross between Jim J. Bullock and Paul Linde. Apparently Kilgore’s voice is so stereotypically gay sounding that this rumor is not being dispelled even by his website’s proud boast that he is vehemently opposed to both gay unions and gay adoption. Presumably Kilgore feels that if a gay man wants to have children, he should marry a beard and squeeze out a couple of drops under duress like he has.

I’d feel bad for Kilgore if not for two things. The first is that Republican George Allen successfully used a similar anti-gay smear campaign against his opponent Mary Sue Terry in his 1993 campaign for Virginia Governor. So payback is in order here. The second reason not to feel bad for Kilgore is the ridiculously distasteful series of television commercials he has employed against his Democratic opponent Tim Kaine. The subject of these commercials is Kaine’s opposition to the death penalty. In these spots, relatives of murder victims imply that Kaine killed their family members. In one commercial, a family member notes that Kaine would not have supported the execution of Adolph Hitler (as if Hitler plans to move to Richmond when Kaine is elected.)

While I don’t condone gay baiting, I do find it entertaining to see a typical gay bashing Republican like Kilgore being destroyed by the lies, stereotypes, and hatred against gays that he and his party have fostered for political gain. It reminds me of Melvin Van Peebles’ great 1970 film “Watermelon Man” in which a racist wakes up one morning to find out that overnight he’s become a black man. Hopefully, like Godfrey Cambridge in that film, Kilgore will learn what it’s like to walk in somebody else’s loafers. Somehow I doubt it. But I am confident that this campaign will be fertile material for future historians trying to document the decline of civilization into a new dark age. That’s something positive at least.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The McCain Anti-Torture Amendment

The President takes a question:

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Today's Comic

I hope I'm not going to get sued for this.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Bush the Bibliophile

President George W. Bush has a voracious appetite for reading. On his most recent five week vacation, his pleasure reading is said to have included three dense five-hundred page tomes. These were: Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky, The Last Great Tsar by Edvard Radzinsky and The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History by John Barry. Not one Harry Potter novel in this lot. This is a particularly impressive reading list considering that the President was on a “working vacation.” The President even mentioned at his press conference on Tuesday that “Mr. Barry’s book” about the 1919 flu epidemic helped inform his thinking about the possible desirability of declaring a nation-wide state of martial law in the event of an avian flu epidemic.

Other evidence suggests that the President indeed loves books. In May, the President was seen walking around his Crawford ranch (during a different five week vacation) carrying Tom Wolfe’s six hundred eighty-eight page novel I am Charlotte Simmons. At first, there was a mystery concerning the fact that the President had reported finishing the book several months earlier. The mystery was solved when the President’s handlers explained that one of the President’s biking partners had recently returned the book after borrowing it. That a multi-millionaire such as the President would request a $15.95 book back demonstrates that he is indeed a bibliophile. I for one am glad that the person representing me in negotiations with North Korea has just reportedly finished reading Kang Chol-Hwan’s The Aquariums of Pyong Yang.

Given the President’s well-established intellectualism, two things are surprising. The first is the rather unjustifiably low regard for the President in the rest of the World. In the “Global Election” survey recently conducted by the BBC, President Bush finished in forty-third place based on the responses of 15,000 participants voting for a hypothetical unified world leader. This was a disappointing forty-one spots behind former President Bill Clinton who placed second and only twenty-seven spots ahead of Osama Bin Laden who placed seventieth.

The second paradox is that although the president likes to read long, dense treatises in his spare time, when he’s on the job he reportedly likes information to be delivered to him in short, monosyllabic memos which are monolithically clean of divergent opinions. An example of the type of materials used in these “Presidential Daily Briefings” is the famous PDB for August 6, 2001 reprinted below:

While it does seem rather strange that a man who apparently reads volume J of the encyclopedia when he takes a dump would choose to be briefed in this manner for the most important job in the world, it just goes to show that even the greatest human beings remain a mass of contradictions

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Sugarland, TX Police Blotter for Week Ending 10/1/05:

The following incidents occurred in and around Sugarland, TX during the week listed above. Persons having information about unsolved crimes are requested to call the non-emergency phone number of Sugarland Police Department.

9/25/05 4:30 pm, North Sugarland Retirment Home: Suspect entered retirement home and approached several elderly residents claiming to be “the wallet inspector.” When one resident complied with suspect’s request to hand over his wallet for inspection, suspect refused to return the wallet and fled from the premises on foot. Suspect is described as a male, 55 – 60 years old, approximately 5 feet seven inches tall and 180 lbs. wearing a blue suit, red striped tie, and american flag lapel pin.

9/26/05 11:30 pm, 1200 block of Main Street: Six parking meters were vandalized and approximately $65 dollars in small change was taken. Suspect is described as a male, 55 – 60 years old, approximately 5 feet seven inches tall and 180 lbs. wearing a blue suit, red striped tie, and American flag lapel pin.

9/27/05 3:00 pm, area adjacent to Sugarland Elementary School: Suspect approached 7-year old child walking home from school. Suspect asked child if he could examine child’s “Shrek-2” lunch box. Suspect then fled on foot with lunch box. Suspect is described as a male, 55 – 60 years old, approximately 5 feet seven inches tall and 180 lbs. wearing a blue suit, red striped tie, and American flag lapel pin.

9/28/05 1:15 am, parking lot of 7-11 convenience store, 900 block S. Maple Street: Two teenage girls were approached by a naked man wearing only american flag lapel pin over his genital region. Suspect demanded that girls “salute the flag.” When the girls refused, supect angrily accused them of “not supporting the troops.” Suspect then fled on foot. Suspect is described as male, 55 – 60 years old, approximately 5 feet seven inches tall and 180 lbs., with prominent tattoo of Wayne Newton on left buttock.

9/31/05 6:00 pm, 400 block of N. Utah Street: Suspect claiming to be law enforcement officer was admitted to private residence. Suspect claimed to be collecting donations for police widows and orphans fund. When homeowner went upstairs to retrieve check book and returned to front door he discovered that the suspect had left. Homeowner later discovered human feces in front hall closet. Suspect is described as a male, 55 – 60 years old, approximately 5 feet seven inches tall and 180 lbs. wearing a blue suit, red striped tie, and American flag lapel pin.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Harriet, Could You Please Come In Here ...

THE PRESIDENT: Karl, I’ve decided to appoint Brownie to the open seat on the Supreme Court. He did a heck of a job in New Orleans. You know I used to go there and get shit faced when I was governor…

ROVE: Mr. President, I’d have to advise you against that.

THE PRESIDENT: What do you mean?

ROVE: That appointment would be harshly criticized.

THE PRESIDENT: Oh, I get you. You mean because we need another woman to replace Sandy O’Connor.

ROVE: Uh … yeah.

THE PRESIDENT: Alright well we know some women Karl. How about Condi, she’s fuckin-A smart. She kicked my ass at scrabble the other night. Hey is “didactic” really a word or was she just fucking with me?

ROVE: Yeah I believe it’s a word. You know she’s not technically a lawyer … which while not strictly necessary is sort of customary … plus you already appointed her Secretary of State …

THE PRESIDENT: Damn, that slipped my mind, hey, how’s she doing with that? Oh I’ve got it! What about Jenna or Barbara. They're college graduates, one of ‘em went to Yale …

ROVE: I don’t think that the Senate …

THE PRESIDENT: Shit Karl, if you’re gonna be a dick about this we’re gonna be here all night. (The President pushes the intercom button on his desk.) Harriet, could you bring in two coffees for me and Karl, we’re gonna be here a while…

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Court To Decide Whether Intelligent Design Proponents Can Be Fired For Scientific Beliefs

Dover, PA -- A federal judge in Pennsylvania began hearing arguments last Monday in a lawsuit that legal experts say could allow employers to finally rid themselves of problem employees without fear of being sued for religious-based discrimination. At issue is whether intelligent design theory is a religious belief protected by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or whether it is a scientific theory entitled to no protection under current workplace anti-discrimination statutes.

Proponents of intelligent design theory believe that the structure of life on Earth is too complex to have evolved through natural selection, challenging a core principle of the biological theory launched by Charles Darwin’s “The Origin of Species” in 1859. According to the National Private Employer’s Council, a Washington D.C. based research group, proponents of intelligent design are among the worst employees in the country. An NPEC press release stated that “[o]n average these employees use twice as much sick leave as other employees, are involved in three times as many workplace accidents, usually involving staplers, and demonstrate relatively poor personal hygiene.” Until now, employers have been hesitant to dismiss these employees for fear of being sued under Title VII. One CEO, speaking anonymously stated “if the court rules that intelligent design is a scientific theory and not a religious belief, we’ll have the pink slips ready to go out within 24 hours.”

The aspect of the case most puzzling to legal scholars is that the attorneys representing the intelligent design movement are arguing against Title VII protection for employees espousing intelligent design. Professor Gary Stimson of Cornell Law School stated that the intelligent design side “appears to be undercutting its own case when they could easily admit to being creationists and thereby receive the full protection of Title VII.”
Attorneys for the intelligent design movement refused to comment on this story. However, one attorney speaking anonymously admitted “we were so focused on getting this stuff into public schools that we didn’t even consider the workplace discrimination issues, obviously we f-cked up.”