Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Rudd Likes Bears

Oh, my.

News for Mr. Rudd: bears like him, too. Or at least, this one does.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Aiken Caught Trolling Manhunt Again

PerezHilton has the scoop (with art).

Somebody wants to get caught, huh? How is it the print tabloids are willing to go through people's garbage, but will only comment obliquely on something like this?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

God Hoax Fags?

Is Ex-Gay Pastor Donnie Davies really actor/comedian Joe Quillen.

So this was a spoof? If so, it was both funny and well-executed.

Dan Savage floats another theory...

YouTube took the video down, but it's still available here.

Here, "Pastor Donnie" discusses the "controversy:"

Update: looks like it's not Joe Quillen, but I'm increasingly certain it is a spoof... which is amusing the hell out of me. Good for -- well, whomever. I'm sure he'll be unmasked before too much longer.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

McCain Nods Off

Kerry bows out, McCain simply nods off...

Kerry Bows Out

John Kerry plans to announce in a speech on the Senate floor this afternoon that he will not run for president in 2008.

One word: good.

The bad part? He will seek (and, of course, win) re-election to the Senate next year... which is too bad, in a way. If he retired, Barney Frank would most likely run for his seat--and win--giving us our first out gay Senator.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Bush Approval Rating Lowest in a Generation

A pre- State of the Union CBS News poll has Bush's approval rating at 28%.

NY Times:
Carrying some of the worst public approval ratings of any president in a generation, President Bush is heading into his State of the Union address on Tuesday night seeking to revitalize his domestic agenda but facing stiff resistance over the initiatives the White House has previewed so far. ...

Mr. Bush also faces an increasingly skeptical public, one that has given him some of his lowest marks in several recent polls.

According to a CBS News poll conducted Thursday through Sunday, 28 percent of Americans approve of the way the president is handling his job, and more than twice as many, 64 percent, disapprove. It is the lowest approval rating the president has received in a CBS News poll ...

Only Jimmy Carter has received a lower approval rating, 26 percent, in 1979, in surveys conducted by CBS News or its polling partner, The New York Times. In a Gallup poll conducted in August 1974, just before his resignation, Richard M. Nixon had a 24 percent approval rating.

God Hates Fags: The Musical

This is hysterical (in more ways than one). Everybody's posting this today, but I saw it first at my bud Joe's site (and I shamelessly cadged the title of his post, too).

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Black Sheep

Get ready for "the violence of the lambs." That's right, it's The Birds with sheep. Aliens with... well, sheep. It's genius.

It's the sheep--They're revolting!

Aren't they?


Hat Tip: Glennalicious

Saturday, January 20, 2007


There's a lot of talk that Bush's approval rating simply can't fall much lower than its current 30%. The idea is that those 3 in 10 people are impervious to reason. Some of them would never oppose a Republican president during wartime. Some think that no matter what he does, it's what The Lord wants him to do. (God help us.)

Maybe I'm an optimist, but I don' t think the absolute floor of support is 30%. My guess is that those people don't account for more than 15-20%.

I can certainly imagine scenarios where Bush's approval rating would fall below 30. Hell, I can imagine scenarios where his administration doesn't survive.

What the hell is he possibly going to talk about in the State of the Union that people will buy? I saw some speculation on Matthews or Olberman last night that he'd focus on domestic policy -- Can you imagine if he says virtually nothing about Iraq?? It would be the elephant in the room (like, literally).

And iif he's seen as threatening Iran... he could end up with the first negative bounce in the history of SOTU opinion polls. (30 becomes 27.)

There's speculation that more Republicans are leaning toward signing a modified version of Biden and Hagel's resolution, but want to wait until after the President has had a chance to make his case for escalation to the American people (course, he's already made his case--and the people didn't like what they heard... but, hey, the SOTU is a larger soapbox, and who can blame the Republican moderates for being timid about breaking with the leader of their party?).

Whether Biden-Hagel draws many more Republican co-sponsors or not, Bush won't listen to a nonbinding resolution. He only rarely listens to binding ones. That could peel off another percentage point (27 to 26).

Next would be a group of Republican moderates going to The White Hosue to tell the President "it's over" -- I think it's reasonable to conclude that the likes of Hagel and Brownback have had that conversation already, and possibly not just amongst themselves. If that went forward, Bush would go down again... 24 or 25% at that point... but remember, each point loss represents the President alienating thousands of hardcore Republcians.

There are no moderates among the 30% who still support him.

If he actually bombs Iran, if he--god forbid--starts a third war, I think the bottom falls out. He's got 15-18% support, 20% if he's lucky. But, again, those people would defend him if he nuked Disney World.

I used to think attacking Iran was ridiculous, a conspiracy theory of the far left -- Beyond the pale, even for him. But now... He dispatches 2 carrier groups, puts an Admiral--a former pilot--in charge of CentCom.

It doesn't take a genius, or a conspiracy theorist, to see that they're preparing for a different kind of war, and I just can't see that being about Iraq. Iraq doesn't have a navy or air force... or good targets for aerial bombardment. But Iran has all three.

It makes you wonder if those 21,500 troops are about Iraq.

I'm getting a strong "double down" vibe from Bush, and it's pretty scary. Like he thinks he can move the game, that a new war will result in a new rally-round-the-flag (read: rally-round-the-*president*) effect.

I think instead it would result in a lightning speed, bipartisan impeachment.

She's In & She's Gonna Win

So I rolled out of bed at 2PM this morning, as is my practice on Saturdays, and as I fumbled with the phone to call for breakfast, and attempted to focus my bleary eyes on the computer screen, I saw--much to my delight--that Hillary Clinton has announced for president.


Bill Richardson plans to announce on Stephanopoulos tomorrow. I like him a lot -- A Clinton/Richardson ticket sounds perfect.

Friday, January 19, 2007


I. Must. Have.

I -- *will* -- have.

Habeas Corpus & The Constitution

So, I found the direct quote I alluded to last night.

Specter: Now wait a minute, wait a minute. The Constitution says you can't take [habeas corpus] away except in the case of invasion or rebellion. Doesn't that mean you have the right of habeas corpus?

Gonzales: I meant by that comment that the Constitution doesn't say that every individual in the United States or every citizen has or is assured the right of habeas corpus. It doesn't say that. It simply says that the right of habeas corpus shall not be suspended.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Responsibility Gene

So, the Pentagon's new guidelines for detainee trials say that the accused can be convicted and executed based on hearsay and coerced statements (read: statements made while being tortured).

Related stories.

Meanwhile, the Attorney General--the highest ranking law enforcement officer in the land--told Senate Judiciary Committee that Habeas Corpus is not guaranteed to all citizens by the constitution, which merely says "the right shall not be abridged" except in time of invasion or rebellion.

It's time to take our country back.

Speaking of which:
Andrew Sullivan notes that successful Presidential candidates always sell themselves as the opposite of their predecessor's (perceived) greatest weakness. The current president promised to restore "honor" to the Oval Office. (Yeah--That went well.) His predecessor promised to feel our pain, to be in touch with the concerns of the common people -- unlike Bush41, who didn't know what a grocery store bar code scanner was. And etc.

Here's what Hillary Clinton had to say in today's New York Times:
"I am cursed with the responsibility gene. I am. I admit to that. You've got to be very careful in how you proceed with any combat situation in which American lives are at stake.
Yep. She's gonna be the 44th President of the United States. No question about it.

Porn Again Pastor

Ah, Ted, Ted, Ted. Just when we'd started to forget about you, it turns out you've got a movie in the pipeline! You're turning into another Isaiah Washington. Same advice, BTW: don't speak in public. Ever. (Or, y'know, *do*: it's amusing the fuck out of us.)

Linda Stasi, January 18, 2007 -- ONE look at Alexandra Pelosi's newest HBO documentary, "Friends of God," and it's clear that this big apple didn't fall far from the tree.

Yup, Nancy Pelosi's equally smart, equally liberal New York kid is at it again.

Last time out, she took on George-the-Younger's first presidential campaign, and this time out she's taking on his biggest constituency, Christian evangelicals, between 50-to-80 million strong. That's a hell, er, heckuva lotta voters.

The two things that weren't in place when Pelosi finished the film - and the two things that now make it so powerful - are also the most startling.

First is that her mother, Nancy, would become Speaker of the House

The other is that the "star" of her documentary, Pastor Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, which represents 30-million parishioners, would get caught - close to literally - with his pants down.

Within days of wrapping the film, Haggard was caught up in gay prostitution/illegal drug allegations and stepped down in a scandal that rocked the evangelical world. Because of that scandal, his out-of-nowhere sex chat in this film takes on a whole other, darker meaning. It's a big, big yech moment.

When asked why, according to a survey, that evangelicals claim to have the best sex lives, Haggard turns spontaneously to a couple of evangelical studs nearby and asks: "How many times a week do you have sex with your wife?"

Then, worse, "How many times does she climax?"

Like I said, "yech!"

(The answers, by the way, were "twice" and "always." )

Yeah, OK. Um, guys...? Are you quite sure your wives would answer that question the same way...? BTW, I dispute the premise that people who presumably waited til marriage "have better sex lives." Practice makes perfect, peeps. Anyway:
Luckily Pelosi didn't ask Haggard, or he'd have had to answer something like: "Once with my wife, and once with Larry the hooker."

Um, Linda? The hooker's name is Mike. (Google is your friend, sweetie.)

Haggard isn't the only wolf-whistle stop on Pelosi's trip. She visits several mega-churches that draw thousands and thousands of worshippers every Sunday and also stops at the home of a young couple with 10 kids.

The wife, dressed like a pioneer (did Jesus hang out in Dodge?) says she once told her then-future hubby that she'd only live with him, not marry him, because she didn't want marriage getting in the way of her plans to become a high-powered lawyer and the first female president.

She now says she's happier
barefoot and pregnant. Yeah, OK. You keep tellin' yourself that, sister.


I think we ought to raise the age at which juveniles can have a gun. --St. Louis, Missouri; October 18, 2000

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Klingons in the White House

This president has listened to some people, the so-called vulcans in the White House... the ideologues... But, you know, unlike the Vulcans of Star Trek, who made their decisions based on logic and fact, these guys make it on ideology. These aren't Vulcans. There are Klingons in the White House.

But unlike the real Klingons of Star Trek, these Klingons have never fought a battle of their own. Don't let faux Klingons send real Americans to war.

--Rep David Wu (D-Oregon), January 10, 2007

There are ... no words...

The Silver Surfer

is anatomically correct.

I'd like to hope that Fantastic Four 2: Rise of the Silver Surfer will have something going for it besides the cocky hottness of Chris Evans, and cool FX -- neither of which is enough to hold my interest for more than 15 minutes, max.

Then there's the execrable Julian McMahon -- who, mercifully, appears only behind an iron mask -- and the woefully miscast Jessica Alba -- who, unfortunately, does not.

Oh, and the fact that the first movie was an irritating, retarded piece of crap.

Taken altogether, there's not much to inspire confidence in Rise of the Silver Surfer... except for the fact that they've started adapting the signature FF storyline, in which the Surfer's master, Galactus--Devourer of Worlds--comes to Earth for a spot of lunch.

If they do any justice at all to this storyline (a vintage 60s-style morality play examining the nature of good and evil), it might transcend the bad acting, the catch-phrases, the 80s-style montages over inspirational pop songs, and the fact that the movie is aimed at 12 year old boys.

Uh... or not.

McChokey Part 2: Careericide

So, it all started back in October when Isaiah Washington, who is said to have been frustrated by shooting delays, attacked and choked Patrick Dempsey. Knight was nearby and--along with everyone else on the set--heard Isaiah refer to him as a "faggot."

He wasn't closeted, strictly speaking, but neither had he discussed his sexual orientation with the press. As the incident became fodder for print and TV tabloids, he was forced to issue a statement to People magazine: "I hope that my being gay is not the most interesting thing about me."

After saying nothing for a week, Isaiah also issued a statement to People, an apology in which he implicitly admitted both the attack and the slur:
"I sincerely regret my actions and the unfortunate use of words during the recent incident onset," Washington, 43, says in the statement released to People magazine on Wednesday. "Both are beneath my own personal standards. I have nothing but respect for my coworkers … and have apologized personally to everyone involved."

Course, now he denies these incidents (which, again, were witnessed by many people) ever took place.
In the Golden Globe's press room, E! News reporter Ted Casablanca questioned the cast about continued onset tension. But before Grey's Anatomy creator Sondra Rhimes could respond, Washington raced to the mic and blurted, ''No, I did not call T.R. a faggot. Never happened, never happened.''

Knight and the rest of the cast reportedly remained stone-faced as Rhimes regained control of the mic and tried to steer the conversation to their new award. "It was by far the ugliest, most uncomfortable press-room moment I have ever experienced," writes TV columnist Michael Ausiello on "And judging by the shell-shocked faces on the cast — particularly T.R. Knight and Patrick Dempsey, who have been class acts throughout this entire ordeal — it was a new low for them, too."

Meanwhile, TR Knight went on Ellen today and spoke about this for the first time, confirming what everybody already knew: "He referred to me as a faggot, everyone heard it on the set."

When DeGeneres asked about Washington's continued denials, Knight responded, "I don't know what to say, really, about that."

However, co-star Katherine Heigl knew exactly what to say about that, telling Access Hollywood, "I'm going to be really honest right now, he needs to just not speak in public. Period. I'm sorry, that did not need to be said. I just find it hurtful. I don't think [Washington] means it the way he comes off…But, T.R. is my best friend. I will throw down for that kid. I will beat you up. I will use every ounce of energy I have to take you down if you hurt his feelings … Drawing attention to it and saying the word again is just unnecessary."

What made Washington think he could get away with this? If he had just kept quiet, this would've gone away, but now he's nuked his own career. It's one thing to lie -- it's quite another to get caught lying in front of millions of people. This will be what he's known for from now on. And ABC's gotta be worried that it's what the show will be known for if they don't take action.

I was kind of surprised that he didn't get fired over the original incident, but this "sequel" puts him over the top--I expect we'll hear before too much longer that he's been dropped. I hope ABC doesn't give him the face-saving option of announcing it like it was his own idea. He doesn't deserve that. He deserves a public sacking.

Or they could hold him to his contract--but reduce his screen time to nil (as Sorkin did oh-so-vengefully to Moira Kelly on West Wing). Either way suits me.

Even better: reveal that the character is secretly hosting Drag Queen Bingo every Sunday...

Update: Towleroad now has video of T.R. Knight's appearance on Ellen.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Bushism of the Day

Will the highways on the internets become more few?--Concord, New Hampshire; January 29, 2000

Monday, January 15, 2007

Bushism of the Day

I want it to be said that the Bush Administration was a results-oriented administration, because I believe the results of focusing our attention and energy on teaching children to read... will make America what we want it to be--a literate country and a hopefuller country.--January 11, 2001

Hat-tip to my buddy Ralph, who gave me the Bushisms Desk Calendar for Christmas. Thought I'd start sharing the laughs--Course, they were funnier before he had quite so much blood on his hands... but what the fuck. I'm jaded, and morbid, and a bunch of other things that end with D.

Speaking of. . .

brilliant HBO shows, here's some news about The Sorpanos (RIP) and Deadwood (RIP).

LOS ANGELES -- The last ride for "The Sopranos" is still scheduled for this spring, but creator David Chase couldn't quite let go with eight episodes.

As such, HBO has added a ninth episode to the show's final run, which also now has a definite premiere date: Sunday, April 8. "Entourage" will also return that night, wrapping up its third season with eight episodes.

For those of you marking your calendars, then, that's 86 days until Tony (James Gandolfini) and Co. grace the screen again [and for the last time].

Speculation on what happens in the final season? Will Tony end in prison, WitSec, dead... or (my personal pic) strollin' down the driveway in his underwear to pick up the Star-Ledger (aka, still very much who he was at the start of the pilot)?

And what about the rest of the cast?

Then there's Deadwood. Fuckin' Deadwood. For those losing faith that we'll ever see a proper resolution to the saga of Al Swearengen, Seth Bullock, and the civilization they built in them thar hills, series creator David Milch promises that the two wrap-up movies commissioned by HBO are still on track.

If all goes well, they will both shoot next summer. Production should ramp up after Milch finishes the first season of his new HBO show, the surfer-noir thriller John from Cincinnatti.
He also begs alienated Deadwood fans to give the new show a chance--and I will, but nothing can replace Deadwood.

So--Same question, re: Deadwood: What happens to the major characters? Bear in mind--the show has used history as a starting point, but not necessarily an ending point.

I'm hoping Swearengen gets a happy ending -- muttering a soliloquoy to the indian head in a box on his balcony as he surveys the city he built. Somehow, I don't think he's gonna get that happy ending, but I can hope, can't I?


Ain't It Cool News provides a smattering of reviews of the second season premiere.

I thought it was absolutely delicious. Best dialogue:

I am not getting out of this bed until I fuck someone!

Very well. Summon that German slut from the kitchen.

SNL: One Night Only

Well, it's no Dick in a Box, but make up your own minds. We report, you decide.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Direct-To-DVD Movies

So this Babylon 5: Lost Tales thing is Direct-To-DVD, huh? I'm not a fan--everyone knows Babylon 5 sucks--so I probably won't see it, but I have to say, it might be worth buying for another reason entirely.

If it makes money, it proves the financial model works. It proves there's money to be made in resurrecitng cancelled TV shows with small but passionate audiences as original, straight-to-DVD content. All of us who have spent ... decades, actually... wishing that our favorite shows could continue (or just wrap up) on home video should support this project.

Same for the upcoming straight-to-DVD Stargate movies -- If they make money, MGM (and other studios) will be considering whether any of its other "dead" TV properties might do likewise. (And at that point, Universal will obviously entertain the possibility of doing Serenity 2.)

But there's also the possible Battlestar project -- a direct-to-DVD movie released while the show is still in production. Maybe this time next year we'll be hearing that Universal is thinking of doing one for Heroes. They could call it an Annual.

Lost would be a good fit for this treatment, too. A few years ago, TNG-era Trek would've been a no-brainer (and something a lot of us wanted to see pretty badly), but I think that time has passed. If the relaunch is successful, spin-off content would probably be based on the new movie.

What other shows, live or dead, would be good canddiates for direct-to-DVD releases?

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Buffy Season 8 Spoilers

I'm practically wetting myself. (I'd actually wet myself if these were the first five pages from the Issue 1 of the Firefly Season 2 comic. Hopefully, that's in the pipeline... but if it is, I haven't heard.)

In interviews, Whedon has gone on about how comics afford the opportunity to broaden the scope--they're no longer shackled to the TV series' relatively low budget--but I don't think that's the biggest advantage. (It may not be an advantage at all. The final season of Angel, with the budget severely cut back, was the best written and acted season they ever did. The writers made up for lack of money with ingenuity.)

The biggest advantage, in my opinion, is that they can bring back good characters they lost when the actors left the show. First and foremost -- Tara.

Sure, she died, but the intention was to bring her back. In the Buffyverse, death is just a phase--like streaking. (Oh, like you've never done it.)

I'm still not sure why Amber Benson (Tara) decided not to come back for the final year (she was asked). Maybe because if she had, the plan was to have her play the season's heavy.

Or, rather, the heavy--which could only appear as dead people--would've played her.

To me, there's something appealingly sinister about the idea of saintly Tara reincarnated as a moustache twirling devil. I think it would've given the final season some bite (pardon the pun)--and it was sorely lacking in that department. An Evil Tara hanging over the season--and the inevitable resurreection of the real deal--would also have given Willow a more satisfying final arc. (Unlike Angel, Buffy's final season is undoubtedly the worst season they ever did.)

Ultimately, the heavy appeared primarily as Buffy--who had, after all, died on the show... twice. *snore*

The comic could also bring back Oz (Willow's other... hetero... love interest), and Riley, Buffy's similarly unorthodox one-time love interest (unorthodox 'cause, y'know, he was human... which, in the end, was why it didn't work out. Buffy only likes the bad boys.)

Both were interesting characters in their own right, particularly Oz, who's the least explored Buffy regular (having been written out early in season 4 after Seth Green appeared in some big movie, can't remember what).

Interesting character-oriented things would happen if Oz returned to the fold now. With Riley, it'd be more plot-based. If Buffy is fielding a private Slayer army all over the world to take down vampires and monsters of all stripes, how could she not butt heads with The Initiative, Riley's US army black ops division, which is running around the world doing the same thing?

Obviously, Angel & Spike could come back, too--and Whedon has indicated that they will, though apparently not in large doses. IDW holds the license to publish comics based on the spin-off, but the Buffy comics are published by Dark Horse. Presumably, that puts characters original to the spin-off (e.g., fan-favorite Illyria) completely off the menu.

Which kinda blows, 'cause that's another thing comics can do well that TV shows can't do at all: the big crossover. Not like Arnold and Willis Jackson visiting their former housekeeper Mrs Garrett at an all-girl prep school in Peakskill, or one of The Golden Girls popping up on Empty Nest to drool over Richard Mulligan, but a real, fully integrated merger of two casts. Maybe Dark Horse & IDW can work something out. Even DC & Marvel have been known to do it from time to time.

Anyway, Buffy Season 8 debuts the first week of March with a 4 issue mini-series written by Whedon. Subsequent mini-series will be written by vets from the show--Jane Espenson, Drew Goddard, Drew Greenberg, and Stephen DeKnight--and two of the best writers in comics, Brian K Vaughan (who has just made the jump to TV, joining the writing staff at Lost), and Brad Meltzer--whose new Justice League is very good.

The Season 8 project is slated to run about 25-30 issues, or about two and a half years.

Oh, and here's the cover for Issue 2. Note increased Xander hotness factor, and prepare for many snarky Nick Fury references.

Friday, January 12, 2007


Rice engaged several tense exchanges with members, including with Hagel, a Vietnam veteran and longtime critic of Bush’s Iraq policy. She disputed his characterization of Bush’s buildup as an “escalation."

“Putting in 22,000 more troops is not an escalation?" Hagel asked. Responded Rice: “I think, senator, escalation is not just a matter of how many numbers you put in."

“Would you call it a decrease?" Hagel asked.

“I would call it, senator, an augmentation," she said.

Hmmm... Sounds pretty synonymous to me. Let's go to the Merriam-Webster:

Augmentation: 1 : to make greater, more numerous, larger, or more intense

Escalate: to increase in extent, volume, number, amount, [or] intensity...

Yep. Pretty much synonymous.

This is fun, let's do another one.

Committee members pressed Gates, who replaced Donald H. Rumsfeld at the Pentagon, on an exit strategy for the U.S.

“At the outset of the strategy, it’s a mistake to talk about an exit strategy," he said.

Let's go to The Powell Doctrine:

The Powell Doctrine, also known as the Powell Doctrine of Overwhelming Force, was elaborated by General Colin Powell in the run up to the 1990-1991 Gulf War. It is based in large part on the Weinberger Doctrine, devised by Caspar Weinberger, former Secretary of Defense and Powell's former boss.
The questions posed by the Powell Doctrine, which should be answered affirmatively before military action, are:
1. Is a vital national security interest threatened?
2. Do we have a clear attainable objective?
3. Have the risks and costs been fully and frankly analyzed?
4. Have all other non-violent policy means been fully exhausted?
5. Is there a plausible exit strategy to avoid endless entanglement?
6. Have the consequences of our action been fully considered?
7. Is the action supported by the American people?
8. Do we have genuine broad international support?

See if you can pick out the relevant one . . . Oh, wait: they're all relevant.

Jonah Goldberg: Get Ready To Eat Crow

Anyway, I do think my judgment is superior to his when it comes to the big picture. So, I have an idea: Since he doesn't want to debate anything except his own brilliance, let's make a bet. I predict that Iraq won't have a civil war, that it will have a viable constitution, and that a majority of Iraqis and Americans will, in two years time, agree that the war was worth it. I'll bet $1,000 (which I can hardly spare right now).

Jonah Goldberg, National Review, February 8, 2005

Hat Tip: Openthread at DailyKos

Children of Men

I doubt I'll ever want to see it again -- It''s that bleak. It's also a fantastic, gorgeously made, thoroughly engrossing & thought-provoking film. Not to mention, the best sci-fi film in many, many years, a brilliant metaphor for a civilization that tends to forget its actions endanger future generations. (So, y'know, timely as well.)

Oh, and--getting to the really important bit--it also had a very cool battle. Did anyone else notice that long, Altman-like one-short when he's stumbling around looking for Kee and the baby with the battle raging, blood splattered on the lens...? Thrilling, disturbing, and masterfully executed. (I really hope they can get Cuaron back for the final Potter film.)

That said, I have to admit that the battle did stretch on a bit too long for my taste--I was like, "Oh, just get to the boat already!"

Loved the leads (especially the way they evolved into a latter day Holy Family), loved Chiwetel Ejiofor (Dirty Pretty Things, Serenity) and Charlie Hunam (from the original Queer as Folk), though I could've done with a bit more Julianne Moore (god, I love her) and Michael Caine, as well.

Being a dog person, I couldn't help but notice the one truly selfless stranger they encountered, the gypsy woman in the camp--the only one who put herself at risk to help them--had that little terrier. (A Wheaton, I think--though maybe it was just a very dirty Westie.) She carried and protected that dog the whole way -- mirroring Kee with her baby.

I can't help but think that detail is not coincidental. There were other strange little pet-oriented moments. The dogs at the farm liked Clive Owen -- as did the cat. Michael Caine had pets, too, and they also liked Clive Owen (who doesn't?).

Meanwhile, all those cows and horses had been burned to death.

It would be interesting to do a serious reading of the piece focusing on the animals--I bet it'd be revealing.


Only this president, only in this time, only with this dangerous, even messianic certitude, could answer a country demanding an exit strategy from Iraq, by offering an entrance strategy for Iran. ...

You offer us nothing to justify this clenched fist toward Iran and Syria.

In fact, when you briefed news correspondents off-the-record before the speech, they were told, once again, “if you knew what we knew … if you saw what we saw … ”

“If you knew what we knew” was how we got into this morass in Iraq in the first place.

The problem arose when it turned out that the question wasn’t whether we knew what you knew, but whether you knew what you knew.

You, sir, have become the president who cried wolf.

I don't always go for these Special Comments. They're always overwrought, often overwritten, but they do pretty much always articulate exactly how I'm feeling. This one is no exception (to any of the above, actually).

Thursday, January 11, 2007


is like a degenerate gambler, manically doubling-down again and again in the hopes that one big, miraculous score will get him out of the hole.

Ain't gonna happen.

If he attacks Iran, we have to impeach him -- and Cheney.

I don't favor impeachment. I think it corrodes our system when one party uses the process to criminalize the policies of an opponent they can't beat on the merits. But this is different. The people have spoken -- And Bush has ignored them, as he has ignored countless laws, not to mention facts.

If he starts a third (or is it fourth?) war, it becomes imperative to remove his finger from the trigger -- 'cause, whether he realizes it or not, he's got the gun cocked and pointed right at our collective head.

At that point, I expect there would be significant bipartisan support for removing him/them.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Joss Whedon To Direct Episode of The Office

The Office--which nauseated me with its watered down adaption of the original English pilot--has matured into a can't-miss show this season, and not just for me --After teetering on the brink of cancellation last season, it's turned into NBC's highest rated comedy.

In November, they aired an original episode written by Ricky Gervais & Stephen Merchant, who created the original and its even-funnier-follow-up, Extras (which, incidentally, returns for its second and final season on HBO next Sunday).

Now comes word that Joss Whedon has signed on to direct an episode, as well. (Sadly, it appears he didn't write the episode. Maybe next time.)

Meanwhile, Whedon's new Buffy comic (which is designed as "the 8th Season" of the show) launches in about 6 weeks. The new Serenity mini-series will also debut in March, if I recall correctly. (Unlike the Buffy comic, it does not move forward -- it's set during the run of the show.)

Update: JJ Abrams to direct the episode after Whedon's.

Monday, January 08, 2007


who cheezed?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Keep Diggin'

WASHINGTON - President Bush has quietly claimed sweeping new powers to open Americans' mail without a judge's warrant, the Daily News has learned.
The President asserted his new authority when he signed a postal reform bill into law on Dec. 20. Bush then issued a "signing statement" that declared his right to open people's mail under emergency conditions.

That claim is contrary to existing law and contradicted the bill he had just signed, say experts who have reviewed it.
Source: Daily News

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Run, Hill, Run

Dining in Washington recently with three allies from New Hampshire, which has the first-in-the-nation primary, Mrs. Clinton was by turns probing and absorbing and, a participant said, clearly informed. How did the Democrats manage to unseat the state’s two Republican members of Congress? What were the key issues? And who were the new players to have emerged there in the 10 years since she last visited — and since her husband, Bill Clinton, used a strong second-place finish in the New Hampshire primary to vault his way to the Democratic nomination and the White House 15 years ago?

“She’s always been a student of government and of how you get there,” said Patricia McMahon, one of the dinner guests, a former Clinton White House aide who is now a state representative.

This meeting was one of a series of nearly nonstop political consultations that Mrs. Clinton has engaged in — over dinner and drinks, at private offices and at her home in Washington — since Election Day, in what her advisers say are preparations for a probable announcement that she is taking the first steps into the presidential campaign.

Mrs. Clinton, the New York Democrat, was described by participants as leaving little doubt that she plans to run, without saying so directly. Depending on her audience, she appears to be either seeking information to use in campaign strategy, pressing potential supporters to hold tight and wait for her to announce, or gauging how certain issues — in particular, her initial vote for the war in Iraq —might play.

The sessions are the subject of much discussion in Democratic circles, and they seem designed in part to counter any impression that Mrs. Clinton is surrounded by an insular circle of longtime advisers and friends who are detached from many of the grassroots Democrats who have grown in influence since the last time a Clinton ran for president.

According to participants, Mrs. Clinton has pressed to find out everything from whether former Vice President Al Gore will run again (he is inclined not to, people tell her) to how much support remains for Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, the party’s 2004 candidate, among Democratic leaders (anemic, she has heard).

Mrs. Clinton told Democrats that she viewed her two strongest potential Democratic opponents as Senator Barack Obama of Illinois and John Edwards, the former senator from North Carolina. They said that she viewed Mr. Obama as her biggest obstacle to the nomination, but that she believed the threat of his candidacy will diminish as voters learn how inexperienced he is in government and foreign affairs.
Source: New York Times

I know it's fashionable to poo-poo Hillary Clinton's chances in 2008. "She's unelectable!" drone the whingers. "She's divisive!"

So--lemme get this straight, O Hypothetical Whinger. You're saying that Hillary should sit on her hands because she's hated by people who would never vote for her, or any Democrat, in the first place? Boy... That's some first-class logic there.

The one criticism I've heard that rings true to me goes something like this: "By 2008, we'll have spent the last 20 years with either a Clinton or a Bush in the White House -- Why make it 24 or 28?" In other words, why not bring in some New Blood?

That sounds good, so--Let's see who's on deck.

John Edwards--Flake. Ambulance Chaser. Little experience in government, no experience in foreign policy. (I shudder to think how he would answer the question, "is al qaeda a Sunni organization or Shia?") He couldn't even win a debate with Dick Cheney.

And I'm still pissed at him for that gay-baiting remark.

Just the other day, he punted when asked about gay marriage. Grow some balls, man.

John Kerry, Schmuck. If he runs--and it sure does seem like he's a-runnin'--he's gonna get his ass handed to him in the primaries. Does he want his political epitaph to be "narrowly lost to one of the worst presidents in American history" or does he want it to be, "was repudiated by his own party after narrowly losing to one of the worst presidents in American history?"

And then there's Barack Obama. I like him. He's charming. He seems intelligent. He's a brilliant public speaker (the best in contention by miles.)

I want to be convinced he's the right pick, but as of now, I don't think it's his time.

He has even less governing experience than Edwards, and--again--zilch on foreign policy. (Somebody, please ask him the Sunni/Shia question -- and let that be a bellweather for all prospective candidates for national office in 2008.)

I think Obama should bide his time, pay his dues, gain some experience--and revisit this question after he's grown some hair on his chest (or gets reelected to the Senate, whichever comes first).

That leaves Hillary. Even people who loathe her admit her tenure in the Senate has been marked by intelligence, hard work, and bipartisanship.

She thrives on a lively exchange of ideas (unlike the man she seeks to replace). She's a pragmatist (again, unlike the man she seeks to replace).

Experience? She spent 8 years in a West Wing office learning first-hand how to run a successful domestic and foreign policy. Her closest adviser is, himself, a 2 term president. It's the return of "two-for-one." Only, this time, it actually means something.

I don't agree with her 100% of the time -- Frankly, she's too conservative for my taste and I think she's got Maggie Thatcher syndrome written all over her (gotta be tougher than the men) -- But I am sure she's always done her homework. And yours. And mine.

There's something to be said about being the smartest person in the room -- Particularly when the next president will be tasked with unraveling the current president's various clusterfucks.

And that's why she's gonna win. Because, after 8 years of Bush, it's about competence, (stupid).

Robertson Strikes Again

In what has become an annual tradition of prognostications, religious broadcaster Pat Robertson said Tuesday God has told him that a terrorist attack on the United States would result in "mass killing" late in 2007.

I'm not necessarily saying it's going to be nuclear," he said during his news-and-talk television show "The 700 Club" on the Christian Broadcasting Network. "The Lord didn't say nuclear. But I do believe it will be something like that."

Robertson said God told him during a recent prayer retreat that major cities and possibly millions of people will be affected by the attack, which should take place sometime after September.

What actually is the difference between this hatemonger and Fred Phelps?

Oh, right: The 700 Club is watched by millions of people every week. Think that's why our spineless political leaders are so reticent to call him on his shit?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

UFO Over O'Hare?

A group of workers, including pilots, told the Chicago Tribune on condition of anonymity in remarks published Monday that they saw a dark gray, flying saucer-like object hover motionless in the sky above the United terminal around 4:30 p.m. that day.

After several minutes, the object -- described variously at 6 feet to 24 feet in diameter -- bolted noiselessly upward through thick clouds so powerfully that it left an eerie hole in the clouds.

Nobody got pics or video of this thing? Please let me knof if you've seen some posted.

Ian McKellen To Narrate Stardust

If I recall correctly, neither the novel nor the graphic novel version (both by Neil Gaiman, both absolutely brilliant) had a narrator, per se, so I wonder if this qualifies as a good development.

Did they intend for the film to have a narrator from the start? Or did they take a look at the rough cut and go, "Oh, crap--No one will be able to follow this mess! What can we do?"