Tags: politics

the prs office

Randumb stuff

Why are all the flags still at half-mast? Is this for Gerald Ford? Didn’t he die in December? Not to be a killjoy, but if that’s the case, um, why are they still half-mast? Don’t get me wrong – I don’t have an issue keeping them at half for like a week or so. Sure, president, big deal, drop the flag. But this is like weeks? Wasn’t the whole point of the founding of the nation and the creation of a term-limited presidency to remove the semi-deification of national leaders? How long to we have to mourn a dead president? And really, short of family and friends, is anyone actually mourning any more? Do we really need a national decree that a symbol must be erected for god knows how long to tell people that they should be mourning? This is morose and stupid.

***


Fuck the iPhone. I’m sick of it already, and no one even has one yet. It’s a phone with a big fat hard drive. Move along. It’s not going to revolutionize jack shit except a bunch of jobs for tech and marketing execs who now have a shinier benchmark for their plastic candy. And for everyone who used the word “revolutionize” or some derivative when it came out: fuck you double. Alexander Graham Bell’s first phone was revolutionary. Cellphones made on a mass-market level was revolutionary. A cell phone with a bigger screen, more bells and whistles, and more storage to hold your pictures of Paris Hilton’s indented, bony chest do not a revolution make.

***


True story. Sunday morning, I’m in the car, jamming to Shed 7’s “Chasing Rainbows,” sitting at the light to get on the highway, and a van pulls up to me. The driver asks, “Is Hillsborough back that way?” He just got off the highway and suspected he missed his exit.

“Yeah,” I said. “Just make a left back onto the on-ramp. Hillsborough’s your next exit.”

“Thanks,” he said laughing. “That’s what I get for daydreaming.”

I was on my way to scout locations for a photo shoot for The March of the Kitefliers.

Post-script: when I got off the highway into Downtown, Petula Clark’s “Dans le Temps” (her French version of “Downtown”) started playing.
I don’t know what it is about this show, but it’s always brought a surprising kind of serendipity whenever it nears the surface of things.

***


So, Obama announced he is authorizing an announcement investigation consulting team to investigate whether he should announce his consideration to announce his candidacy for president.

We can’t wait two months after the last election until some alleged fever whips up for the next election? Want to know why the political process is so fucked up? (This is for you Obama, so listen up.) Because politicians apparently spend all their time either running for office or gearing up for the next campaign. If the media didn’t publish this crap until it started to matter (oh, say 6 months before the election) then the politicians wouldn’t have a venue to pitch themselves. That’s why it costs a billion dollars (you laugh, but you just wait until the next campaign and see how much it costs) to run for anything. They’re not spending it all in the last month; it’s constant advertising for two years.

And apparently the big issue is whether Obama is experienced (he isn’t.) Because that was the ginormous issue du jour when George W. Bush ran in 2000, let me tell you.

I’m not getting into this because it’s totally irrelevant. You may as well start polling for 2050, because it just doesn’t matter right now.

But I’ll say this. About two years ago, I was having a political conversation with the kind of people I never get into political conversations with, and I opened my fat mouth and said that this country would elect a black man before it elects a white woman. That is not my personal choice – I’d be happy to see either in office. That’s just my analysis/speculation on how this great nation will vote. So there it is again. My gaping maw has widened again, and I’m sticking to that.
the prs office

C'mon fight! Fight! Fight!

Prior to the 2000 election, I used to tell people that all I wanted was a two-party system. More often than not, they’d look at me and say, “But there’s the Republicans and the Democrats.”

And I would respond, “Exactly.”

Then the Great Uniter got elected, and George W. “Mr. Bipartisan” Bush led a team of… we’ll call them people, who generated a divide that rivaled the Marianas Trench. At first, it looked like the typical divide between the Grand Old Party and the Democrats. Then it was a divide between the GOP and “them” – specifically anyone who disagreed with them, publicly branded as unpatriotic on a good day to a motherfucking terrorist with a vial of nuclear anthrax wedged up their ass at a gay orgy on a bad day.

It was “my way or the highway,” as the guy who swore to bring everyone in government back together drove a wedge between the White House and every disagreeable government, then every agreeable government, then it’s own government, and through it all – the American people.

I predicted – and history backed me up – that this hubris, blatant strong-arming and division can’t endure more than six years without a backlash.

So, the Democrats got back into the game.

However, the Democrats didn’t win by virtue of uniting under one banner against the other team. They did, but not so much. They didn’t win so much as the other team lost.

While the president of the Evangelical whathaveyou was outed as a meth-addicted purveyor of male prostitutes, it was announced weeks before the election that W. (he’s the Great Uniter, by the way) used the Christian Right – his “base” – for their money and their vote and didn’t care what they wanted from the White House.

After the fallout, the Republicans turned on each other. John McCain, previously seen as the next natural Republican Presidential candidate, can’t get support from the staunch right wing of his own party, because he’s not a staunch right wing kinda guy, but he can’t get a grip on the general moderate of any party, because (among other things) he gives speeches to Christian fundamentalist right-wing groups.

But here’s where it turns weird.

Yesterday, the House Democrats broke with their incoming Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and elected Rep. Steny H. Hoyer to be House majority leader. Hoyer got 63 more votes than Pelosi’s choice Murtha.

It gets better. Everyone, especially Pelosi and Murtha, thought it would be a real horse race. Pelosi was making the hard calls, and they were pledging their votes for Murtha. But, somewhere in the mix, about 60 Democrats lied to their new, vaunted Speaker. It was the first real political action the first female House leader made. And she tanked.

All week, Democrats have been pointing fingers at each other, like they lost the election (again). I won’t even get into who’s blaming who, but it’s a bunch of crap about who takes credit for winning, and who gets blamed for not winning enough. From the average American Joe’s perspective, this looks like high school locker drama bullshit. And to an extent it is. It’s the kind of behavior that makes you shake your head and silently whisper to yourself, “Can’t you fucking assholes get along and actually accomplish something, like balance the goddamn checkbook or something?”

However, I don’t see it that way. I want this division. I want this angst and disagreement, and I’ll tell you what turned the table for me:

According to today’s Slate:

[T]his whole conflict "sent a clear signal of what kind of leader [Pelosi] is: an old-style politician who puts a premium on personal loyalty, even at the risk of high-profile defeat."

James Moran of Virginia, didn't seem to get over his bitterness and said "there are a number of members who can't be trusted," as a reference to those who had pledged to elect Murtha but changed their vote. Apparently he didn't receive the reconciliation memo, because he went on to say those who voted against Murtha "will be damaged by this," reports the Washington Post.

Hrm. A premium on personal loyalty. A join us or perish philosophy. Obvious overtures of deception, backstabbing and division whose only pronounced solution is punishing “them”. Okay, sure it sounds like an episode of the Sopranos. But it also reminds me of the Republican party for the last six years, except the Republican party folded into this philosophy. They bought into the bullying, and the reward was six years of strong-arming their policies into effect.

And look what it got us:

War. Torture. An astronomical amount of financial debt. Warrantless spying. Prison with no trial. No accountability. No responsibility. No planning. No oversight. Ruthless neglect. And the conversion of the US Government into an even greater bureaucracy. This is the closest our government has ever come to the term “Orwellian.”

And this is from the party that wants to reduce government and spend less money. Imagine what a party like the Democrats would do if they had free reign and could bully everyone they wanted to for a change.

It’d be a disaster. And we’d have a one party system. Again.

But instead, there is open disagreement on both fronts. Hell, there’s more than two fronts. You could probably divide each Party into three factions. That’s six little groups of disagreeing bastards. The black and white is turning into shades of gray. And this, folks – this is how third parties get invented. When enough people, perhaps like Leiberman or McCain – set themselves apart and push away from both tables. And whether that third party forms a party, or just forms a coalition of issues, that’s historically when things get done. Things don’t happen in one party, because, when one group dominates, all they have to do is stay in power. They don’t have to actually accomplish anything. But when no one can dominate, then everyone has to perform.

Traditionally, third parties dissolve quickly in American history. But their causes, their issues, and their people carry on and alter the course of government. We’ve seen what six years of a single party government can accomplish. I hope the Democrats take the gloves off and start killing each other. And the Republicans should too – they got nothing to lose. Then, maybe, we’ll actually get a government of people that have to work for a living.
uh frickin' christmas, derr... merry

VOTE, YOU WHINING BUNCH OF NANCIES!

Ah... gray, stormy sky. Kinda cool out, if not a little ominous. Must be Election Day.

I made a down payment on my old-man membership and voted first thing this morning before work. I was rather encouraged: around 7:45 there were about 14 booths at my polling station, and I had to wait for one to open up. There were about 4 or 5 people behind me in line, too, so just a head's up if you're voting today - you might have to wait.

Just to get you warmed up into the grandest of political junkie holidays, here are few links.

You know things are getting heavy and heated, when you hear hecklers at a rally, and who better to heckle than George "I was a teenaged KKK wizard" Allen. I heard this last night on NPR and was laughing my balls off in traffic. Listen in the background around the 1:40 mark.

If you haven't voted yet, Creative Loafing and the St. Petersburg Times offer some pretty good crib notes on who you're voting for. Not saying vote for who they tell you to vote, but it's a good read. ESPECIALLY on those goddamn sneaky Amendments. For the Times article, scroll to the bottom.

For a completely unbiased (if a little confusing) view of all things Florida politics, check out VoteSmartFlorida.org.

And a little Simpsons for dessert. This includes a line that was edited from the Nov. 5 airing. I wish I'd watched the whole episode. Looks like it was a good one. But even if you didn't, there's enough here to see what they aired.

BTW - special thanks to everyone at tampa who provided the CL, Times, and VoteSmartFlorida links.

And HAPPY BIRTHDAY critus. I hope you get all the flaming homo-loving tax and spend cut and run liberal pussies elected that you wish for.
the prs office

the quick links

Okay kids, I only have about 5 minutes of fun left in fluorescent light land, but I think we've all earned our links this week, and some of these need to be checked out now, lest I miss any timely fun. So here it is, the quick links:

LAST WEEKEND


Politics

Yeah, I'm sick of the fucking elections too, but just in case you forgot why certain people were such a bunch of twunts:
A blueprint for Iraqi regime change... interesting, since it was drawn up before the Great Uniter even got elected President in the first place, let alone all that 9/11 stuff.
Fun with voting has already begun! Hoo-doggeys. Sadly, this is like the first in a 29 part series of various articles that I've come across, and I already lost hope in linking all of them after the first.
And to sweeten the deal, watch Stephen Colbert take a chunk out of Rush Limbaugh's arrogant ass. Hoo Lard!

Best Toys Ever
You have no idea how tempted I am to make one of these.
Now, I know what you're thinking: Halloween's over. But y'know, I just don't see why this should be strictly related to Halloween (make sure you watch the video). I say replace those ridiculous statues of little negro men holding lamps on your front lawn and make a birdbath out of this. Or better yet, get a bunch of Bush/Cheney shirts and line up about 2,000 of these along the sidewalk of whereever the President's limo drives. There's some fun protest action.

Fun with Media
A bunch of pictures. That's it. They're amusing.
STICKY BALLS! That would be my favorite worst video game title ever. Check out 49 others just like it!
And... drumroll please. 2/3's of the MST3K crew are back, and you can download their take to Star Wars Episode 1. Fuck yeah! It's finally worth watching!
uh frickin' christmas, derr... merry

Rumsfeld Proves Iraq Vastly Improving

From today's Associated Press:

Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld stated today at a press conference from the Pentagon that the death rate for American troops in Iraq has plummeted drastically.

“105 American troops died in October. That’s a little more than three a day, or one every seven hours or so. But yesterday [November 1], the first American soldier wasn’t recorded dead until 9:30 a.m. That’s barely two a day. So, clearly at that rate, our troops will stop dying, reverse the curve and start repopulating the Middle East with good white Christian children by New Years’. So everyone can just back off and stop worrying about Iraq. It’s complicated, but it’s already improving. So the next person who asks about the ‘plan’ can just shut the fuck up.”

When asked about the consistent death rate of Iraqis, Secretary Rumsfeld said, “Look, Iraq doesn’t even count their dead, which tells me that either they aren't dying or the Iraqi government doesn’t care. And if they’re not dying and they don’t care, then why are you people pestering me with this? I just proved to you that we’re saving American lives, and you keep insisting on asking me questions about people that haven’t died that no one cares about. You people just need to back off. This is complicated. And the next person who asks me about the ‘plan’ is getting their nuts wired to a car horn, which I can legally do now, because it’s legal now, not that it wasn’t legal before.”
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This Week on the Internets

It’s been a slow week on the internets. Or maybe I wasn’t wasting as much time on it. At any rate, here’s a bunch of links:

Who Needs Cable, when you have YouTube?
Too early for Steve Irwin jokes? Fuck that. Look, it’s Norm McDonald being funny. Honest.

Holy crap, I want one of these. Imagine attaching a small, remote video camera to it.

In the News – the news is fake. Lewis Black provides some investigative journalism on investigative journalism (and the lack thereof.) Highly recommended.

Politics
Here’s some three-year-old news that I just found out: George Bush’s brother, Marvin P. (yes, that’s really his name), was a head honcho for a security firm that, among other things, ran security for the World Trade Center until 9/11. I reckon the firm has since lost that account. Now, I’m really not drawing any conspiracy theories, because frankly, I don’t know of any security forces – especially our military – that can prevent Boeings from flying into buildings, but doesn’t that little tidbit strike you as a little weird? Is it just me? Seriously, what kind of a fucking coincidence is that?

I’m gonna whip somebody’s ass
After zefrank’s conversation with the light post, check out the remix of “I’m gonna whip somebody’s ass.
  • Current Music
    Ray - I'm Gonna Whip Somebody's Ass (remix)
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Your (quasi) weekly list of fun crap on the Information Superhighway

Go ahead. Watch it. I dare ya.
Talk about creepy. Imagine, it’s 11:30 at night, all the lights are off, except for the warm fuzzy glow from the television – a nice quiet episode of Dr. Who. And then you see THIS!

Here’s a little supplemental from the next night’s CBS news to explain a little more of what that is.

Getcher rock on.
link

Hey, look at the douchebag!
Ever wonder how much respect a TV reporter has for the entire nation during a storm?

Politics
45 percent of those polled blame the Bush administration “either a ‘great deal’ or a ‘moderate amount,’ for the 9/11 attacks." Blame. I recommend you stock up on your popcorn now for the midterm elections.

This has to be the best practical joke ever. Evidently George Bush has to meet with President Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan to diplomatically smooth some wrinkles caused by a movie featuring Ali G creator/performer Sacha Baron Cohen. Apparently, the problem is the US has decided to not censor Baron Cohen’s movie based on his Kazakh-based character, Borat, and the Kazakhs are afraid that Borat will MAKE THE ENTIRE COUNTRY LOOK BAD. Back when Kazakhstan threatened to sue Cohen, “Borat” responded on a video saying, “I'd like to state I have no connection with Mr. Cohen and fully support my Government's decision to sue this Jew.” This is awesome. Bush has to have diplomatically talk about shit with people that are more fickle and mentally repressed than he is.

Cool Art Stuff
This is actually a cool effort. Someone used the Half-Life 2 video game engine to create a virtual tour of Frank Lloyd Wright's "Falling Water" structure.


Dig the groovy sculpture that you can’t see in Tampa because the art museum, or what’s left of it, sucks and never shows cool stuff like this.

HTS
Yes, you too now interact with your own high-tech duckpond simulator. Swear to God.

And finally…
Behold – Pjotro!
the prs office

Come and Git Your Tubes Filled!

So I missed last week's post, and this week's is a bit late, so here's a bunch of stuff that's been collecting in my bookmarks folder - but there's some tasty stuff here, I promise.

Fun with Pictures
We'll start easy. I don't know why I find this so enjoyable, but SomethingAwful went old school. Their Photoshop geeks took a random boring picture and just played around with it, putting the people in it in different situations. Why am I explaining this? Just check it out. It's fun.

In the News
Men's Health magazine has done some research (no, I don’t know how) that has determined that the angriest city in the country is Orlando. St. Pete’s #2. Miami only made a whopping #7. And Jacksonville is #9. If you connect the dots, then apparently Tampa is the nexus of hatred. Did I mention that the study was national and not just of Florida?

A federal appeals court ruled that if a motorist is carrying large sums of money, it is automatically subject to confiscation. No shit. Apparently having more than a certain (unspecified) amount of money on you is evidence enough that you are guilty of… carrying a lot of money?! That’s a federal offense. Home of the free.

"… that lie we have been told, the separation of church and state, people have internalized, thinking that they needed to avoid politics and that is so wrong because God is the one who chooses our rulers." – Katherine Harris. Those goddamn, evil, baby-killing Founding Fathers fucking lied to us!

Surprisingly, the lovely Katherine Harris and her Orlando Fly-In Rally – whatever that is – were sold out, not just by one invited special guest, but by all of them. Nine invited bigwigs, and about 40 other supporters were all simultaneously having car problems and washing their hair during the event. “They confirmed that they would be here,” Harris said. “I don’t know what the problem is.” Um, maybe the fact that you’re a pariah to the entire Republican party? Or maybe it’s that you’re a psychopathic, Machiavellian, step on your grandma’s jugular in your 4-inch stilettos to rig an election cunt? Just spitballing. Maybe both?

And finally in politics, Make Cupcakes Not War.

Tickled
For reasons that people with an age range +/- 3 years of mine will appreciate, Choose Your Own Adventure.

Best Fiction of the Month
You’ll never watch Star Trek the same again. Read this. Here’s a little sample: “One minute they're sitting around the campfire singing and BOOM there's a giant version of Commander Riker trying to smother them all with his stadium-sized scrotum. I made sure to fake a door lockout too, so they were trapped in there for hours looking at Riker's taint and trying to breathe around his ball bag.”

Video, video, video
Man have I got videos. First – okay, I know this is old, but I hadn’t seen it in awhile. And there’s nothing that funny about the video itself, but you have to watch the whole thing and listen to it in slow motion. No, I don’t know why I think it’s so funny. But I do. Fuck off.

One of the best independent animations EVER: Bring Me the Head of Charlie Brown.

The Office (ala David Brent) is back. Honestly, I haven’t had a chance to watch the whole thing, but it’s an organizational video for Microsoft, and from what I’ve seen, it’s brilliant. The first video is 20 minutes, and the second is like 17 minutes. Great stuff.

The Next Show
Get your tix now. This is a one-time performance you won't want to miss. Also, I've resized this banner, so it's a little more aestetically/bandwidth friendly for everyone's blog. Check out our banners here!

the prs office

The Week on the Web

Not a whole helluva lot of tasty stuff found this week. I even waited a day to see if anything cool came up. Maybe people are starting to worry about fillin' up the tubes. Anyway, here they be:

GET THE WORD OUT AND BUY FREAKIN' TICKETS!
We sold 96% of our opening weekend. They're probably the cheapest ticket in town. It's mindlessly fun. But our sales for this weekend our hurting, and something just tells me that we're going to turn people away final weekend, which really sucks when no one shows up this weekend. Please come or if you're not in town, spread the word to those who are. We need the help, and those who go will be glad they do. And if you haven't at least seen the commercial for it - WATCH IT.

Vote!
Best of the Bay voting ends tomorrow. Go vote for your favorite theater company now. More specifically, vote Jobsite. Seriously, it's easy. You do have to fill out like 17 votes to be eligible, but it's a lot easier than it sounds.

Politics
The Republicans "seem to be anxious to tie [the recent London Bomb plot] to al Qaeda.... If that's true, how come we got seven times as many troops in Iraq as in Afghanistan? Why have we imperiled President [Hamid] Karzai's rule and allowed the Taliban to come back into the southern part of Afghanistan? Why was Iraq deemed to be seven times more important than finding the al Qaeda leaders for the last five years?" - Bill Clinton in a tasty little interview.

Make a little contest with yourself: see how far you can get through this article before you punch or curse something. President George Derrrr Bush is apparently frustrated by the lack of Iraqi support for Americans in Iraq. He can't wrap his massive intellect around the fact that "Iraqis had not come to appreciate the sacrifices the United States had made in Iraq, and was puzzled as to how a recent anti-American rally in support of Hezbollah in Baghdad could draw such a large crowd." So... notice that he's totally content and apparently doesn't give a shit about the majority of people in his own country who don't support Derrrr. (FYI - it's a NYTimes article, so it may fall under a login-umbrella any second. Get it while the gettin's good.)

Dead?
I know it's old news by now, but it deserves to be linked. Bruno Kirby croaked Monday. I just about croaked when I head about it on NPR yesterday morning, and the NPR announcer person said Kirby was known for City Slickers 1 and 2 and When Sally Met Harry. Yes, she said "When Sally Met Harry". And she's a female. What the fuck. Why does no one remember him for playing the limo driver in Spinal Tap?

Art/Media
Here's your time killer. The National Portrait Gallery has a tres cool website displaying portrait covers for Time magazine for the last 75 years. Not only are the covers cool, but the site design rawks.
the prs office

The Week on the Web

Here’s something interesting. My weekly list of links, while albeit longer than usual, is filled with cool, artistic, or groovy stuff, and not a whole helluva lot of politics. That’s a nice change. Well, it’s a whole buncha links, so I’ll get to it:

Mmmm. Original works. Sketch Comedy. Jobsite. Opening weekend.


Shopping
I’m not really sure why I like to own and display weird crap in my house that fucks with people, but it’s the only reason I want something from here.

Blog o’ the Week
Kathleen Reardon wrote a spot-on blog nailing the Bush Admin’s diplomacy and negotiation style (and lack thereof). It’s a quick read and highly recommended.

Cool Web Stuff
Ever want to know what that song is on the radio? Well, you certainly can’t depend on the DJ anymore, because there isn’t one. However, you can go here.

Rather simple, and nearly pointless, but a cool concept and a nice 3-minute timekiller.

Word on the Street
Thirty-six percent of respondents overall said it is ‘very likely’ or ‘somewhat likely’ that federal officials either participated in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon or took no action to stop them ‘because they wanted the United States to go to war in the Middle East.’”

Groovy Art
I can’t say anything but “cool” for this site. Check out the Bazantar.

A part of me really wants to understand how this works. But a bigger part of me just wants to look at the pretty colors. Scroll down to see the video.

Well… the artists makes really cool stuff. Out of paper. And I’m not talking origami either. Click the A4 Papercut link to start.

Drroooool
I want this. And I don’t even know what I’d use it for. Probably porn. You can probably skip the first minute of the girl who looks a lot like my first grade teacher.

Video Coolness
This is the second funniest thing I’ve seen all month. The first is Jason Evans throwing a baby at a camera, but that video is still in production. So, until then, you must watch Darth Vader Being a Smartass. And no, there's no reason the video why it's flagged as inappropriate. You could show it to a 3-year-old.

And if you’re pants are still tight and wet from that Star Wars goodness, check out the Omen-quality eerieness that was with the very first preview for Star Wars. Tres chic nostalgia goodness.