Monday, August 31, 2009

He makes the bullshit run on time

Saw the cover of Glenn Beck’s forthcoming book on some blog this morning, had to check on that it wasn’t photoshopped. It wasn’t.

But did it work better in the original Italian?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Good behaviour

Muntadar al-Zeidi, the man who threw the shoes at George Bush, will be released next month from prison after serving only 9 months, due to “good behaviour.” Throwing the shoes in the first place was, of course, awesome behaviour.

Chris Wallace’s unenhanced interrogation of Dick Cheney

Headline of the Day (London Sunday Times): “Blowpipes Thwart Borneo’s Biofuel Kings.”

Speaking of things that shoot poison darts, the transcript of Dick Cheney’s interview on Fox, mentioned in a previous post, is now out.

He complained about the Justice Dept’s new investigation of CIA torture of prisoners. This has been, he said, “completely reviewed by the Justice Department in years past,” but is now being reviewed by “a political appointee” – it’s unclear whether he means the attorney general or the prosecutor, but either way he’s comparing the “political appointees” in Obama’s Justice Dept with the likes of Gonzales and Yoo, who were... wait for it... “professionals.” “The matter’s been dealt with the way you would expect it to be dealt with by professionals.” Actually, a cover-up is pretty much how most of us have come to expect professionals to deal with something embarrassing and nasty.

AND IF THERE’S ONE THING CHENEY HATES, IT’S TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE PRECEDENTS: Cheney says that the investigation is “a terrible, terrible precedent.” He worries that, “if they are now going to be subject to being investigated and prosecuted by the next administration, nobody’s going to sign up for those kinds of missions.” Where will we get the torturers of the future?

NO OTHER RATIONALE: The investigation is “clearly a political move. I mean, there’s no other rationale for why they’re doing this”. In Cheney’s world, everyone is just as Machiavellian as he is.

WHAT OFFENDS THE HELL OUT OF HIM: “I guess the other thing that offends the hell out of me, frankly, Chris, is we had a track record now of eight years of defending the nation against any further mass casualty attacks from Al Qaeda. The approach of the Obama administration should be to come to those people who were involved in that policy and say, how did you do it? What were the keys to keeping this country safe over that period of time?”

On prisoners being threatened with an electric drill: “It was never used on the individual”. So that’s okay then.

He gave an example of how this investigation is destroying the CIA’s ability to keep us from a fiery nuclear holocaust: “ Just today, for example, the courts in Pakistan have ruled that A. Q. Khan, the father of the Pakistan nuclear weapon man who provided assistance to the Iranians, the North Koreans, the Libyans, has now been released from custody.” Technically, house arrest. “It is very, very important we find out and know long term what he is up to. He is, so far, the worst proliferator of nuclear technology in recent history. Now we have got agents and people out at the agency who ought to be on that case and worried about it, but they are going to have to spend time hiring lawyers at their own expense in order to defend themselves against the possibility of charges.” Really, the guy with the drill was going to be investigating A. Q. Khan?

He says he’s perfectly happy being back in private life: “Over the years, you know, I’ve sacrificed a lot in order to be able to do those things I’ve done in the public sector.” Goats, chickens, babies...

Friday, August 28, 2009

Good policy, properly carried out

In an interview with Fox to be aired Sunday, Cheney says that he’s okay with CIA interrogators having used torture techniques beyond those authorized by the Justice Dept, calling them “good policy... properly carried out. It worked very, very well.” Don’t know if Chris Wallace asked him specifically if the creative use of power tools and threats to rape detainees’ mothers were good policy, properly carried out (I’m gonna guess not), but he did get Cheney to say that he was aware of the use of waterboarding, though “not specifically in any one particular case, but as a general policy that we had approved.”

But here’s my favorite example of Cheney being Cheney: he said Obama should have personally stepped in to quash Attorney General Holder’s decision to hold any inquiry at all: “The president of the United States is the chief law enforcement officer in the land. I think he’s trying to duck the responsibility for what’s going on here. And I think it’s wrong.” So Cheney wants no investigation of the torture he was responsible for, but it’s Obama who’s ducking his responsibility. And it’s Obama’s job as chief law enforcement officer to ensure that the law is not enforced.

(h/t to Smintheus)


Today Silvio Berlusconi will take part in a religious ceremony to absolve his sins, the Perdonanza. So that takes care of that.

He will be accompanied by his equal opportunities minister Mara Carfagna.

That’s right: Silvio Berlusconi, going to a ceremony to receive a plenary indulgence, brought a date.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Headline of the Day (Misread-Because-I-Need-a-Nap category): “Sen. Kennedy’s Body Begins Final Poignant Tour.” Poignant, it says, not pungent. Poignant.

Smell like the future

The British press notes that in Babaji in Helmand province, where four British soldiers were killed during operations designed to provide security for the Afghan elections, just 150 voted.

For the geek who has everything except, obviously, a girlfriend: Star Trek colognes.
Comes in Tiberius, Red Shirt (“Smell like the future, because tomorrow may never come”), and Pon Farr fragrances. CONTEST: Name some other possible Trek-themed colognes.

It is not hard for us to do the same things they did

Iraqi PM Maliki demands that Syria hand over people he blames for the recent spate of bombings (it couldn’t be Iraqis, they’re such a peaceful people), adding “Neighboring countries should behave like good neighbors because it is not hard for us to do the same things they did.” Er, did he just threaten to sponsor terrorist attacks on Syria if his demands are not met?

Gordon Brown says he was “repulsed” by the celebratory reception of convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi in Libya, adding, “But then I’m a Scot; I’m repulsed by the sight of anyone enjoying themselves.”

Is Dominick Dunne the Aldous Huxley of our time?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Wherein polite euphemisms piss off your intrepid blogger

McNeil-Lehrer yesterday: “Another detainee was told his mother and family would be sexually abused in front of him.”

Raped. Not “sexually abused,” Ray Suarez, raped. Say it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

I heard an inference

Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill is complaining that Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber he ordered released, has shown “no sensitivity” in attending those celebrations of his return to Libya. It’s shocking, airplane bombers being renowned for their sensitivity.

The WaPo reports that Arlen Specter has called on the VA to stop using the “death book,” waits until 10th paragraph to note that Specter admits not having bothered to read the death book. However, “I heard an inference that people might be inappropriately influenced to withhold medical treatment.” Wherever there’s an inference beatin’ up a guy, Arlen’ll be there.


London Times headline: “Berlusconi Defies His Critics to Visit Gadaffi for Independence Day.”

Gadaffi has an all-female bodyguard.

‘Nuf said.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Beware the Death Book... of Death!

Sarah Palin’s ghost-Facebooker posted a link to a Wall Street Journal article by Bush’s Faith Czar, Jim Towey, about the VA’s “death book,” which evidently guilt-trips veterans into opting for euthanasia, or something. Fox also did something about that today, so you’ll be hearing death book death book death book for a few days. Here are some comments on Palin’s post:

Vm Batcha
Sure don't trust this Mr. Obama... he is surely not looking out for true Americans... I really think he has a hiding agenda....

Tony Bell
yea,the government is trying to kill me too,,but i won't go alone

Nancy Treadwell
Many people with concerns such as these are continuing to attend town hall meetings, only to be criticized by the press, Barney Frank, and other politicians.Since most of us are products of government run public schools, when we are called stupid, that points to another poorly executed, well meaning operation that failed to deliver.

Kelly Esperanza
The Muslim Terrorist doesn't give a crap about our military. They should have the best health care before anyone else. They give up everything for our country. Obama shows them no respect. He is a loser and needs to get out of my country! Wake up America before it's to late. Send my name to the White House...I would give anything to take him ... Read Moreon one-on-one. He knows nothing. Can't even salute right! Go bacl to where ever you came from! You are a liar and I belive you may be the Anti-Christ! Put a uniform on and go serve next to the people who work for you!

Elaine Greene
I think they are just like Hitler, they better quit playing "GOD" or they will end up like John Lennon did, who thought he was better than GOD"

Bernadette Auffhammer
this sickens me , obama must leave our vets alone let obama and his militant wife go to the front lines and fight for our country

John Herron
This is truly an eye opening article about the "Hidden Agenda" of Obama and the Liberal Nazi's that want to take our country and freedoms away!

Michael G. Casieri Senior
I'm 67 years old. This scares the hell out of me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Paulene Shedd

Christy Bell
God forbid!! This is unconscionable. Can anyone doubt the Socialists are against human life itself?

Bob Corcoran
if washington had its way we would all die to save money.

Mark Krawczuk
sarah palin IS HOT !!!

You know what would be nice? If he sent a nice card. That would be thoughtful. Maybe with a picture of a sad-eyed puppy.

Lt. William Calley this week said that he’s sorry for the My Lai massacre. So that’s all right then. Oddly enough, he made this apology to the Kiwanis Club of Greater Columbus, Ohio Georgia, although I’m reasonably sure that he didn’t actually lead a massacre at the Kiwanis Club of Greater Columbus, unless it didn’t make the papers; I mean shouldn’t he have been apologizing to the Kiwanis Club of Greater My Lai instead?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Killer sea slugs would be a great name for a rock band

New Zealand held a non-binding referendum on whether it was ok for parents to hit their children (“good parental correction” and “a smack” is how it was termed in the referendum). 87% or so voted in favor of child-beating, which NZ outlawed two years ago, the first country to do so.

In other New Zealanderish news today, “Killer Sea Slugs Empty NZ Beaches.” Coincidence? You be the judge.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Why didn’t we think of this when I was in college?

WaPo headline: “U.S Officials Say Colleges Should Suspend Classes if Swine Flu Spreads.” The Centers for Disease Control are “urging schools to suspend any rules -- such as penalties for late papers or missed classes, or a required doctor’s note -- that might prompt ill people to venture out.” I foresee wacky hijinks.

“Health officials said students can do their part by washing their hands and covering coughs and also by wiping down keyboards, doorknobs, remote-control devices and other oft-touched items.” I’m not touching that straight line until it’s been thoroughly wiped down.

Is there are any tragedy that insurance companies and the US can’t find a way to make worse?

LAT: “Armenian Americans descended from victims of the 1915-18 massacre by Ottoman Turks can’t sue foreign insurance companies for unpaid claims because the U.S. government doesn’t legally recognize that an Armenian genocide occurred, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday.” German insurance companies, just to add that touch of irony that was required.

Bush’s HHS sec wanted to pull the plug on granny

Something I’d forgotten: in May 2005, Health & Human Services Sec. Mike Leavitt suggested that Medicare costs could be reduced by encouraging seniors to prepare advance directives. Where Sarah Palin and Chuck Grassley falsely claimed that the current provision was about reducing costs by killing granny, Leavitt’s proposal actually was, explicitly, but somehow I don’t remember anyone screaming “Death panels! Death panels! Death panels!” at him.

Poll: America’s Second Smuggest Person

Smug: irritatingly pleased with oneself; self-righteously complacent.

As the nominations show, the US is not short of the smug. And we haven’t really plumbed the smug depths of the literati, the art world, organized religion or academia. Or medicine, now that I come to think of it: there was a doctor I saw once, when my regular doctor was out of town, who achieved a Buckleyesque level of smug.

The specific quality we are judging here is smugness, not general assholery. Read all the entries, which are alphabetical, before voting. Remember, whoever wins this vote will take over as the Smuggest American of All should George Bush die or develop self-awareness.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

War of necessity in an inessential country

If “co-ops” were a viable model for the provision of health care, we’d already have them.

Obama’s speech to the VFW yesterday was more interesting for what it didn’t say than what it did say. It did contain some rather strong language (does he believe a word of it?) about Afghanistan being a “war of necessity” which is “fundamental to the defense of our people”.

But he didn’t say a whole lot about the Afghan people – who he seems to think of at best as a problem to be solved; he’s not really interested in the Afghan people qua people. Nothing about Afghan women. Only a single mention of the elections (“our troops are helping to secure polling places for this week’s election so that Afghans can choose the future that they want”), and none of Karzai, who is masterfully putting together a coalition of warlords and rapists alike (and if that isn’t a majority, I don’t know what is).

“Actually” innocent

The Supreme Court sent the capital murder conviction of Troy Anthony Davis back to federal court to hear his claim of having been innocent (he was convicted solely on the testimony of witnesses most of whom have since recanted). Naturally, Fat Tony Scalia (joined by Thomas), objects, in a dissent which scoffs at the very idea that “capital convictions... are always subject to being set aside by federal courts for the reason of ‘actual innocence’”. “This Court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who has had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is ‘actually’ innocent.”

That may be the douchiest use of quotation marks ever.

P.S. I have added Scalia to the list of nominees for Second Smuggest American.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Under a policy just changed, ICE agents had quotas for the number of illegal immigrants they were supposed to catch. 1,000 per year per team (the LAT fails to say how many agents on a team). Oh yeah, no way that could lead to abuses.

Also, why did we not know of this policy before?

Mad Men question

Was “my air conditioner is broken” code?

But is it kosher?

From Ha’aretz: “The Israel Atomic Energy Commission said in a statement that the Dimona facility ‘has the safety and health of its workers as its highest priority.’” And the uranium it made plant workers... wait for it... drink wasn’t really that much.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Why we fight

Breaking his previous promises, Karzai has quietly slipped into law that bill letting Shiite men starve their wives if they don’t put out, legalizing child marriage and rape if blood money is paid, requiring wives to get their husbands’ permission to work, etc etc (details still unclear because it’s a secret law; I have no idea how a secret law works).

In addition many women won’t be voting Thursday because polling places are segregated by sex and the government failed to recruit enough female officials to run the ones for women, so there won’t be many of them open (also, men are being allowed to vote, illegally, on behalf of their female relatives).

Freedom, ain’t it grand.

Who is the Second Smuggest American of all?

The Independent (UK) is running a poll, Who is Britain’s smuggest person? (Tony Blair, obvs)

I’m going to make a wild guess that if I ran any such poll here, George Bush would win. In fact, I’m going to take it as read and hereby request nominations for the title of America’s Second Smuggest Person, with the voting to take place in a week or so. To get you started: Cheney, Palin, Rumsfeld, Obama, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, John Boehner, Giuliani, Gingrich, Joe Lieberman, Donald Trump, Angelina Jolie, Pat Robertson, Bill O’Reilly, Keith Olbermann, Markos Moulitsas, Ed Begley, Jr., Glenn Beck.

Rules: Multiple entries are fine. Living Americans only. You may nominate yourself. You may not nominate me. Void where prohibited.

(Update: the nominations are now closed. The poll is here.)

Not the essential element

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told CNN today that a public option is not “the essential element” of Obama’s health insurance plan. Indeed: there are no elements Obama considers essential enough not to compromise away.

She said that Obama will be satisfied if there is “choice and competition,” and on CBS Robert Gibbs used the same, no doubt focus-grouped, phrase, designed to mean pretty much nothing.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

On the front end

Come back, British imperialists, all is forgiven.

Barack Obama, in a NYT op-ed piece: “There’s no reason that we shouldn’t be catching diseases like breast cancer and prostate cancer on the front end.”

Another fine mess

Another Saturday, another Jerusalem parking lot protest. Here, a border cop carries away ultra-Orthodox Laurel while ultra-Orthodox Hardy strolls by.

Who will save grandpa from the Death Panels of Doom?

It’s always “Obama lies, grandma dies,” never “Obama lies, grandpa dies.” Do deathers not care about their grandfathers?

The tree of crazy must be refreshed from time to time by the Kool-Aid of birthers and deathers

As much as I admired Rick Perlstein’s Nixonland and his book on Goldwater, his Sunday WaPo article on how “the crazy tree blooms in every moment of liberal ascendancy” makes me hope his next book will be on that very subject, taking a longer chronological view than the earlier books. 1917 to present?

Friday, August 14, 2009

You were expecting Sally Field, maybe?

Monday, a group of rabbis and Kabbalahists flew over Israel – in a plane, in a plane – praying, blowing horns, and complaining that they ordered the kosher meal, in order to stop the spread of swine flu.

I’d have mentioned this earlier, had I but known that there was YouTube footage.

I don’t know why no one ever thought of this before

The Senate Finance Committee has stripped the death panels (aka, advance-care consultations) from the health insurance bill. Without death panels, no American will ever have to die. Yay!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Name of the Day

Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Wade Hopping, who has gone to that big death panel in the sky. Wade hopping sounds like a really lame Olympic event.

(I’ve been eagerly trying to fit the phrase “gone to that big death panel in the sky” in somewhere for two or three days now.)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Death panels redux (run, Trig, run!)

Whoever is ghost-writing Sarah Palin’s Facebook page (paid by whom, one wonders?) defends Palin’s “death panels” post. She is claiming that in the original post she was referring to the advance care consultations, rather than to some mythical group of bureaucrats which would decide if Trig was “worthy of health care.” Today: “These consultations are authorized whenever a Medicare recipient’s health changes significantly or when they enter a nursing home, and they are part of a bill whose stated purpose is ‘to reduce the growth in health care spending.’ Is it any wonder that senior citizens might view such consultations as attempts to convince them to help reduce health care costs by accepting minimal end-of-life care?”

Obama lies, grandma dies

Go to Blue Hampshire for pictures of protesters and their signs – oh dear lord their signs – at Obama’s Portsmouth town hall meeting yesterday. So many favorites: Stop the Trojan horse of Islam; Obama lies, grandma dies; Obama bring back Arrested Development; Stop, you’re starting to scare George Orwell [this sign addressed to teabaggers, I think].

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Yet another appalling contest

David Mamet is going to write and direct a new film of the life of Anne Frank. CONTEST: provide sample dialogue.
“Nazi cocksuckers...”

“A.B.H. Always be hiding.”

“I want to go on fucking living even after I’m fucking dead.”

“First prize is the defeat of the Nazis and the liberation of Amsterdam. Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize...”

“In spite of everything I still believe that people are really fucked at heart.”
Harder than I thought. Consider it a challenge.

Obama health insurance town hall: I’m not dissing surgeons here

Today Obama held a town hall on health insurance in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

He reassured the town hallsters that under his plan, “You will not be waiting in any lines. We’re thinking more of a Thunderdome-type arrangement.” I may have made up the second sentence.

He went on, “This is not about putting the government in charge of your health insurance. I don’t believe anyone should be in charge of your health insurance decisions but you and your doctor. I don’t think government bureaucrats should be meddling, but I also don’t think insurance company bureaucrats should be meddling.” Both sides of this debate are pushing the same fantasy: that there is some possible system in which medical decisions are made only by “you and your doctor.”

WHY WE HAVE A DEMOCRACY: “That’s what America is about, is we have a vigorous debate. That’s why we have a democracy.” We have a vigorous debate, and then the lobbyists tell Congress what to do. Democracy!

UNICORNS ARE STEALING OUR JOBS! “Where we do disagree, let’s disagree over things that are real, not these wild misrepresentations that bear no resemblance to anything that’s actually been proposed.”

“The rumor that’s been circulating a lot lately is this idea that somehow the House of Representatives voted for ‘death panels’ that will basically pull the plug on grandma because we’ve decided that we don’t -- it’s too expensive to let her live anymore. (Laughter.)” They’re laughing at pulling the plug on grandma. Laughing! What sort of heartless monsters are they in New Hampshire?

Another incredibly lame argument against single-payer: “I have not said that I was a single-payer supporter because, frankly, we historically have had a employer-based system in this country with private insurers, and for us to transition to a system like that I believe would be too disruptive. So what would end up happening would be, a lot of people who currently have employer-based health care would suddenly find themselves dropped, and they would have to go into an entirely new system that had not been fully set up yet. And I would be concerned about the potential destructiveness of that kind of transition.”

SEE, IT’S NOT ONE UNIMAGINABLY HIGH NUMBER, IT’S ANOTHER UNIMAGINABLY HIGH NUMBER: “Now, it’s important that we’re talking about over 10 years because sometimes the number ‘trillion’ gets thrown out there and everybody think it’s a trillion dollars a year -- gosh, that -- how are we going to do that? So it’s about a hundred billion dollars a year to cover everybody and to implement some of the insurance reforms that we’re talking about.”

PODS, THE TERM IS PODS: “Okay, I’ve only got time for a couple more questions. Somebody here who has a concern about health care that has not been raised, or is skeptical and suspicious and wants to make sure that -- because I don’t want people thinking I just have a bunch of plants in here.”

HE WANTS SURGEONS: “Nothing against surgeons. I want surgeons -- I don’t want to be getting a bunch of letters from surgeons now. I’m not dissing surgeons here.”

WHO KNEW HACKSAWS WERE SO EXPENSIVE? “But if that same diabetic ends up getting their foot amputated, that’s $30,000, $40,000, $50,000 -- immediately the surgeon is reimbursed. Well, why not make sure that we’re also reimbursing the care that prevents the amputation, right? That will save us money.”

TO BE FAIR, I’M NOT WORKING FOR IT EITHER: “But I want everybody to understand, though, the status quo is not working for you.”

Martyrs in the news

Patrizia D’Addario, Berlusconi’s call girl: “I’m the only one who is telling the truth and by doing so I’ve become a Joan of Arc.” Yes, you’re exactly like her. As evidence of her saintliness, Ms D’Addario (who is writing her memoirs) notes that she could have blackmailed Berlusconi, but didn’t. Again, just like Joan of Arc.

What I like is that Berlusconi is perfectly matched in grandiosity and self-importance by his prostitute.

Monday, August 10, 2009

North American summit: I don’t find Canadians particularly scary

In Guadalajara, Obama met with Mexican President Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Harper.

Obama admitted to having a black sheep in his family: “All three of our nations have been enriched by our ties of family and community. I think of my own brother-in law who’s Canadian.” Oh the shame.

Asked about human rights violations committed by the Mexican government in its fight against the drug cartels, Obama, who evidently does not understand what the term human rights means, said, “The biggest, by far, violators of human rights right now are the cartels themselves that are kidnapping people and extorting people and encouraging corruption in these regions. That’s what needs to be stopped.”

Obama on why Canadian health care would never work here: “I’ve said that the Canadian model works for Canada; it would not work for the United States -- in part simply because we’ve evolved differently.” So we’re an entirely different species? “We have a employer-based system and a private-based health care system that stands side by side with Medicare and Medicaid and our Veterans Administration health care system. And so we’ve got to develop a uniquely American approach to this problem.” He added, “I don’t find Canadians particularly scary, but I guess some of the opponents of reform think that they make a good boogeyman.” Or abominable snow man. “And I suspect that once we get into the fall and people look at the actual legislation that’s being proposed, that more sensible and reasoned arguments will emerge”. Isn’t that just adorable? Myself, I’m really looking forward to those sensible and reasoned arguments emerging.

Asked whether the US had done enough, well, anything really, to restore Honduran President Zelaya, Obama got all defensive: “We have been very clear in our belief that President Zelaya was removed from office illegally, that it was a coup, and that he should return.” Actually, for the last six weeks, the State Dept has been “studying” whether the military seizing the president in his pajamas and depositing him in a foreign country was or was not actually a coup, and plans to keep studying it for a long time to come, because determining that it was a coup would, under law, trigger certain sanctions against the coup regime which Obama is unwilling to implement.

Obama then accused his critics of hypocrisy, implying that they’re calling for him to send the Marines storming into Tegucigalpa: “The same critics who say that the United States has not intervened enough in Honduras are the same people who say that we’re always intervening, and the Yankees need to get out of Latin America. You can’t have it both ways. ... Now, if these critics think that it’s appropriate for us to suddenly act in ways that in every other context they consider inappropriate, then I think what that indicates is, is that maybe there’s some hypocrisy involved in their approach to U.S.-Latin America relations that certainly is not going to guide my administration policies.” So if you want Obama to support the elected president in Honduras but have opposed past American actions in deposing elected governments, you are in fact a hypocrite.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Meet the Obama death panel

As revealed by Sarah Palin:

Don’t tell granny, but we’re putting her on the ice floe tonight.

When the music stops, whoever’s not in a chair doesn’t get their cancer treatment.

He had a pre-existing condition.

Nobody expects the Obama death panel.


I clicked on a headline, “Electric Car’s Connection to Goldman Sachs,” but lost interest when the connection turned out not to be between electric car batteries and Goldman Sachs executives’ genitals.

Friday, August 07, 2009

On the internet, nobody knows you’re a perverted cat

Follow-up on that British tourist whose genitals were set on fire in Crete: his parents say it was “a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.” Well, part of him certainly was.

Silly season headline: “Husband Tried to Win Back Wife by Poisoning Her.” It didn’t so much work.

Another silly season headline: “Florida Man Blames Cat for Downloading Child Pornography.” Over 1,000 images. The Guardian even has a picture of the cat, although his or her name is evidently being withheld from the public. Er, if I held a CONTEST to suggest an appropriate name for a child-porn-loving kitteh, how much would I wind up regretting it?

“Obama’s Death Panel” would be a great name for a rock & roll band

The Obama admin, if this was not obvious already, has decided not to press for the reinstatement of Honduran President Zelaya, who it now publicly blames for the coup that ousted him, as well as for the temerity to attempt to return to his own country.

Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) has introduced a bill to allow pet expenses up to $3,500 to be deductible. Just for that, I won’t even make fun of his name.

From Sarah Palin’s Facebook page: “The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care.” Absolutely. The America I know and love would give them a chair.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Why travel insurance and tetanus shots are good ideas

I blame myself. No sooner did I post a “protest of the day,” then some Paraguayans felt the need to compete.

Greece’s newest national heroine: a woman who put an obnoxious drunk British tourist in his place – the hospital. He was waving his genitals at her, so she poured her Sabucco on them, took out a lighter... He’s still in the hospital, but fortunately for him, he has travel insurance.

Protest of the day

Indonesian supporters of Megawati Sukarnoputri, who lost the presidential election last month, bury themselves. Something to do with the land belonging to the Indonesian people rather than to foreign corporations. Because if it did belong to foreign corporations, foreign corporations would be buried up to their necks, which is obviously not the case. Or something.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

What sort of person takes pictures while their cat is being tortured?

Christabel and I went to the vet for her shots. She was not best pleased.

Christabel goes to the vet
Christabel goes to the vet
Christabel goes to the vet
Christabel goes to the vet

What was that you said about Hillary again?

Hearing that North Korea had released those two journalists, I immediately went to that finest of news sources, the North Korean News Agency. They don’t yet have anything beyond a brief notice of Bill Clinton’s arrival, but I did find the important news that “President Wears Cotton-padded Winter-Shoes in Summer,” which I pass on unedited:
Pyongyang, August 3 (KCNA) -- On an August day of Juche 40 (1951) President Kim Il Sung examined cotton-padded military winter-shoes.

After watching shoes with care from the height of rubber rim to thickness of shoe-sole, he instructed an official that he should carry a pair of shoes with him when backing.

Next day after he came back to the Supreme Command, he came out, putting on the cotton-padded shoes.

Officials dubiously looked at him wearing the shoes unfit for hot summer.

After having put on the shoes for a week and more, he told officials that, while wearing the shoes for several days, he felt they were good as they were warm and comfortable for feet. What worries myself, he added, is that feet of soldiers might be frozen as the shoes became wet easily.

Pointing to the rubber rim of the shoes he told in an anxious tone that the height of the rim was so low that the shoes got wet like this even in some mud and the wet shoes might make feet of soldiers frozen in winter though cotton was padded.

At last the officials realized why the President wore the shoes in summer.

After an interval, the President earnestly instructed them that the height of rubber should be raised higher.

The officials were deeply moved by him who worried himself so much about the problem of military winter-shoes in the height of the hard-fought war, not a problem of military operation.

A lesson for us all.

North Korea is claiming Clinton presented a message from Obama; the White House is denying it.

But what did Bill and Little Kim have to talk about? CAPTION CONTEST!

Monday, August 03, 2009

What’s the matter with Guantanamo?

Guardian headline: “Guantánamo Detainees ‘May Go to Kansas.’” Six of one, half a dozen of the other, isn’t it?

Big surprise, huh?

McCain will vote against Sotomayor. Repeats the fallacy that Ricci was reversed unanimously.

Suddenly regular beauty pageants don’t seem nearly as creepy, do they?

Cambodia has cancelled the Miss Landmine pageant (the winner would have gotten a crown and a prosthetic limb) on the grounds of extreme tackiness.

From the pageant’s website:

Worst. Incentive. Ever.

(Update: er, that’s not me offering that as an incentive, that’s a banner from somewhere considerably dumber and more evil, where I went to laugh at all the dumb and the evil.) (Thank you for letting me clear that up.)

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Intelligence can be a valuable weapon, but it is not one we should use on each other

The Zimbabwean man who drove the truck that killed Tsvangirai’s wife and almost Tsvangirai himself was just convicted of culpable homicide and sentenced – to a fine. Mm hmm. Anyway, hapless driver or Mugabe assassin, Chinoona Mwanda is our Name of the Day. Really, right now, stand up and recite it three times: Chinoona Mwanda, Chinoona Mwanda, Chinoona Mwanda!

Read, if only for its incredibly whininess, Little Leon Panetta’s incredibly whiny complaint
that investigating the CIA’s past evil deeds will distract it from the performance of its current evil deeds. “As the president has said, this is not a time for retribution. Debates over who knew what when -- or what happened seven years ago -- miss a larger, more important point: We are a nation at war in a dangerous world, and good intelligence is vital to us all.” However, he warns, “Intelligence can be a valuable weapon, but it is not one we should use on each other.” He’s worried about Congress using intelligence? (See Smintheus’s response to Panetta.)

Slogans for cities.

But is it ok for a horse to poop on the street on the sabbath?

The weekly Jerusalem battle between the police and the ultra-Orthodox anti-parking-lot-open-on-sabbathers took place again today. I do so love the pictures these protests generate.

But there was a new element today: horsies!

Has a nice Cossacky look, doesn’t it? (Also, someone shot up a gay community center in Tel Aviv today, killing 3).