28 September 2007

The Weekender: Folsom Street Fair Edition

The Folsom Street Fair edition...to listen, click here.

Salmon Dance - Chemical Brothers
Everyday - Kim English
Keep Warm - Jinny
Sugar Walls - Sheena Easton
Justify My Love - Madonna
Read My Mind - The Killers
Eyes Without a Face - Billy Idol
Closer - Nine Inch Nails
You Shook Me All Night Long - AC/DC
Finish What Ya Started - Van Halen
Cradle of Love - Billy Idol
Fingered You Out - Nickelback
The Stroke - Billy Squire

Whoop, Whoop

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame goes disco: Madonna, Donna Summer, and Chic are among the nine nominees for induction into the hall.

The other nominees: Afrika Bambaataa, songwriter Leonard Cohen, the Dave Clark Five, the Ventures, the Beastie Boys, and John Mellencamp.

The top five vote-getters will be inducted at a ceremony in March.

Dum Fuk, Part 2

President Bush, earlier this week, to a group of fourth and fifth graders from P.S. 76 in New York City:
...childrens do learn.
And our president doesn't.

Calif. Electoral College Initiative Dead

A proposed California ballot initiative that would have changed the way the state allocates its votes in the presidential Electoral College was on life support Thursday night. Republican backers have been unable to generate enough money to begin a speedy petition signature drive; and two of its key consultants quit yesterday, declaring the initiative "all but dead."

It's the end of that for now but they'll try again, I'm sure. Especially if the Democratic ticket wins the presidency next year.

27 September 2007

Scenes From New York, Part 2

From Central Park...

Photos: Brent Sutton/Sutton Communications

Next up...D.U.M.B.O.

File Under "What the Fuck!?"

Quote of the Day #2:
I'm just a little bit shocked myself that a college in good standing would back up students who insist that people who have been through college and have a master's degree, a couple actually, have to teach that there were such things as talking snakes or lose their job.
-Steve Bitterman, a professor at Southwest Community College in Red Oaks, Iowa, who was fired after he told his students that the biblical story of Adam and Eve should not be literally interpreted.

Next up on the syllabus: Chapter Two: Harry Potter and parseltounge! And then in Chapter Three, we'll discuss how to make the perfect man from mere rib marrow!

When Republicans Marry

Quote of the Day:
I was quiet. He said, 'Are you excited?' I was like, 'I don't know!'"
-President Bush's daughter, Jenna, to People Magazine, on her reaction when Henry Hager asked her to marry him.

I give it a year before Henry dumps Little Girl Lush and is showing off his wide girth in an airport mens room, YaKnowWhatImSayin ?!?

26 September 2007

Bush Is Nasty

I advertised this t-shirt on an old blog a few years back, and even though ol' George has only a little over a year to go, I figured I'd post a link to Watson's Closet one more time. With the Folsom Street and Castro Street Fairs coming up, and many 2008 festivals on the calendar, their t-shirts are perfect for the warm weather.

Purchase yours by clicking here.

What A Hunk of Junk

Early last week I ordered up the pilot episode of the new "Bionic Woman" series from Comcast On-Demand. It was being offered free of charge, and since I was bored I thought I'd give it a look. I was expecting it to be marginally bad, but boy was I wrong.

It was one of the biggest pieces of garbage ever produced for TV.

"The Bionic Woman" is the most horribly written piece of trash since "Flyboys." The cliche-filled script was, at best, lifeless and unimaginative; the acting was...well...lifeless and unimaginative; and the special effects were laughably bad.

This has to be the worst show to air on TV in a long, long time. And it would surprise me greatly if NBC still had it on the air come November sweeps.

Don't waste your time with this hunk of junk.

Scenes From New York, Part 1

On the Brooklyn Bridge...

The hole in the skyline is still there...

A view of the Manhattan Bridge...

Near Wall Street...

Tomorrow...Central Park

(Photos: Sutton Communications)


Apparently we are at the point where the White House now has to write the names of international countries and the names of their leaders in their phonetic pronunciation for the teleprompter off of which Little Boy George reads his speeches.

I shit you not.

When Bush addressed the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, the White House inadvertently showed exactly how it's done:
French President Nicolas Sarkozy was spelled "sar-KO-zee" in the President's text.

Zimbabwe leader Robert Mugabe ("moo-GAH-bee")

Kyrgyzstan ("KEYR-geez-stan")
It's embarrassing, it's sad, and I just want him to go away.

Role Reversal

News Item 1: Noam Chomsky says Richard Nixon was the "last liberal president" the United States has had.

News Item 2: Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan calls President Clinton the "best Republican president we've had in a while."

25 September 2007

Who Knew?

...that Howie Michael Smith, the lead puppeteer in the Broadway cast of "Avenue Q," was such a hottie!?

Obama's Overture

An email from my friend, Larry:
I've had my doubts about Obama for a while with all his "unity above partisanship" shit, but after today not a chance in hell I'll come around to supporting him in the primary. I'm so sick of this sanctimonious crap. I can't believe I'll support Hillary Rodham Clinton before Obama, but I will. He's just not ready [and] I simply don't want what he's selling. He gives a good speech but that's about it as far as I'm concerned. I still lean Edwards but I'm not actually open to Hillary. Did I just write that?
I'm still on the fence with the Democrats. It's still early and I'll probably make a decision sometime after the holidays. That said, one of the reasons Sen. Obama is so attractive right now is, as the Sunday Times of London put it this past weekend:
Democrats will realise he has a much better chance of winning a real national majority in the general election than Clinton does. Clinton polarises the way Bush polarises. She can hope for a Karl Rove-style [48% plurality or] 51% majority in a deeply divided country. He’s aiming for 55%.

Clinton, in other words, represents payback for the Democrats and liberals after the Bush era, just as Giuliani is emerging as the inheritor of the Bush legacy of divide and rule. Right now, Obama remains to the side, offering Americans something else: not payback, but a new page.
(My italics.) One of my major complaints about George W. Bush, both after the 2000 election (in which he lost the national popular vote) and - more importantly - after 9/11, is that he remained radically partisan. Following the skewed result of that first election, a true patriot would have shown the country and the world that he respected the majesty of the voice of the people by naming members of the opposition party to key posts in his administration. George W. Bush didn't, of course (well...he named one to the Transportation post). Following the terrorist attacks of 9/11 Mr. Bush had a historic chance to correct that blunder and bring the opposition into the fold as the nation moved to war footing. Once again, the President sold the country up shits creek.

In one of the most unpatriotic moves in American history Mr. Bush and his political guru Karl Rove used 9/11 and the war to advance a fascist right-wing agenda. And for what? A country divided as it hasn't been since the Civil War, and a minuscule 51% of the popular vote at reelection. And now the country is more than ready to close the book on this guy's presidency. Americans have finally had enough of the divide and conquer mentality that defines their form of government.

The next president needs to be the healer America so desperately needs. And as much as my progressive and liberal friends will want a new Democratic president to enact serious revenge for eight dark years of Bush rule, the most important thing that president will need to do is clean up George's mess.

That will mean a unity government, with Republicans in a few key posts. I don't mean the blind Bush-backing Republicans, not by a long shot. Their blind trust in a failed president prove them unworthy of a place at the big boys table. I'm talking about a few moderate Republicans.

But Republicans none-the-less. Because another term of divide and conquer, of blue versus red, is the wrong path to take. A president entering the White House with that mindset in January 2009 is guaranteed one term.

Can the Democrats really afford that?

Can America really afford for them not to?

Dow Then, Halliburton Now

More Iraq/Vietnam parallels from Chicago Sun-Times columnist Carol Marin.

24 September 2007

To Trevor...

...feel better my friend. Healing thoughts being sent your way.

Back From New York

A few pictures, plus my thoughts on a couple of shows ("Avenue Q" and "Spring Awakening") and a restaurant in Greenwich Village called Perilla, are forthcoming.

"Quotation" Marks

Take a look at this hilarious new website. I was "peeing" my pants!

Memo to Clinton Kelly

...the men of New York City need to stop. wearing. pleated. pants.

They were everywhere! The Village, Chelsea, the Upper East Side. It was absolutely ghastly!


Columbia University President Lee Bollinger, introducing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad...

Beelzebub eventually went on to prove himself a fool...

"We don't have homosexuals in Iran because we hang them...even the teenagers," Ahmadinejad failed to add.

On Turkey

Quote of the Day #2:
Iran is a sexy story right now, and rightfully so. But when the dust of history settles on the Iraq War, I'm not sure that the unleashing of Iran will rate as its most significant adverse outcome. That honor might very well go to the deterioration of the American-Turkish strategic alliance. Because unlike Iraq or Iran, which we never really stood a chance of winning over, Turkey was already on our side. And we're in the process of losing it, at the very moment when religious Muslims have begun to dominate the Turkish political scene.
-Headline Junky, thinking out loud about another ball the administration has taken its eye off of.


Quote of the Day:
First we got two solid weeks of Republicans screeching over the MoveOn ad. Then we got Republicans screeching over the possibility that maybe the New York Times didn't charge MoveOn enough for their ad. Now we have Republicans screeching about cutting off Columbia University's funding because it provided a forum in which people could laugh at the inanities of Iran's current president.

That's a lot of screeching over trivia. Don't Republicans have anything better to do?

No? Well, OK then.
-Washington Monthly's Kevin Drum, on the continuing saga of the political party without a clue.

19 September 2007

Off to New York

I'm heading to New York for four days of Big Apple Leisure. "Avenue Q," "Spring Awakening," and dinner at Perilla are some of what is on the agenda.

Blogging will be minimal - if at all - while I'm gone. I return to San Francisco Monday afternoon.


It's. Not. News.

On a day when Senate Republicans essentially told our troops in Iraq to sit and spin, MSNBC's Countdown news hour spent about 1/3 to 1/2 of its newscast tonight on the O.J. Simpson "story."

Give me a break people. The country is going to hell in a handbasket, with the rest of the world closely following, and you're running stories on fuckin' OJ ?!?

Memo: It's. Not. News.


File under "What the Fuck?"...

Whoopi Goldberg asks Sherri Shepherd if the world is flat. Shepherd's answer? "I don't know."

Apparently Ms. Shepherd didn't attend science class as a kid, and was absent when Christopher Columbus was discussed in elementary history class!

Is It January 20, 2009 Yet?

Think Progress has the rating numbers for the President's speech on the Iraq War last week - and the numbers for the Democratic response from Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island.

On CNN and FOX News (believe it or not), the Democratic Senator received more viewers for his response to Mr. Bush than the Republican Commander-In-Chief received for his initial speech.

Over a year before the end of his term, it seems the President has become quite irrelevant.

The Downward Spiral

I've been super busy at work - and I am preparing to fly to New York for a few days on tonight's red-eye - so I am just now reading at length about the Blackwater incident in Iraq.

Apparently 11 Iraqi civilians were killed recently when security guards from the private U.S. security firm Blackwater opened fire in a busy Baghdad square.

That's the way to "win the hearts and minds."


Update: Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo thinks out loud:
A semi-rhetorical question: why do we need Blackwater, a 'private security' firm, to provide security for US officials in Iraq when we have the US Army and US Marine Corps? Not to mention the various security agencies connected to the State Department and the paramilitary arms of our intelligence services?

I say it's a rhetorical question because I know most of the answers experts in the field would give. But none of them are very good answers. And many are very, very bad.

Justice Delayed?

In 1966 William Barnes shot and paralyzed a Philadelphia cop. He served 20 years for the crime and has led a law-abiding life since his release from prison. But...last month, 41 years after the shooting, Walter Barclay, Jr. died of a urinary tract infection the district attorney says is related to the 1966 shooting.

Barnes has now been charged with murder and is being held in a Philadelphia jail until his first court appearance...in December .

It'll be a pretty tall order for the D.A. to link that urinary tract infection to a 41 year old gun shot. Then again, don't under-estimate the lengths a major urban police department will go to in order to avenge the death of one of their own.

But how much do you want to bet that had Mr. Barclay not been a cop, Mr. Barnes would never have been recharged or arrested.

Food for thought.

18 September 2007

Brett Somers, 1924 - 2007

The fabulous stage actress, singer, and comedienne, Brett Somers, died this past Saturday. She was 83.

For most people my age, Somers is best known for her regular gig on "Match Game," the # 1 rated game show that aired on CBS in the 1970s. Her banter with host Gene Rayburn, co-regular Charles Nelson-Reilly, and semi-regulars such as Betty White and Fannie Flagg, still keeps viewers in stitches. The show's humor seems pretty tame today, but back then was considered quite racy.

Reilly passed away earlier in May of this year.

Here is Somers, along with Reilly and White, talking about their days on "Match Game" on the CBS Early Show in 2002.

And a classic "Match Game" clip from 1974.

A viewer over at YouTube sums it up perfectly:
[Brett]'s been making me laugh since I was a little kid watching these shows in their first runs. Fitting that she and Charles departed the earth so close to one another, [and] for once Charles got to go first!

We're On Olbermann Watch

Quote of the Day:
I'm in good shape, discomfort minimal, but I am low in stamina and my vocal range is a little proscribed, so we'll see how that goes. Barring any setbacks my big return will be Thursday [or] Friday... Either way I plan to be back on Football Night on Sunday."
-MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann, to mediabistro.com, on how he's holding up following an emergency appendectomy this past Friday.

Apparently the Countdown host takes the term "workaholic" to a new level. According to a spokesperson at MSNBC, Olbermann's appendix actually ruptured Wednesday, but, chalking it up to a stomach ache, he pushed through and delivered the Thursday night analysis of President Bush's Iraq war speech.


Take That, Rudy!

Fuckin' weasel:

The Dumbing Down of America Continues...

I was putzin' around the apartment last night, doing laundry and preparing for a trip to New York this week, and - despite a new Attorney General nominee, the war in Iraq, a presidential election over the horizon, and nameless other important issues - the only story coming out of the talking heads' pie holes on CNN and MSNBC was the arrest of O.J. Simpson. MSNBC even went so far as to show pictures of Simpson's jail cell in Las Vegas ("Breaking News!") and list what he had for lunch AND dinner ("Developing Story!")

Christ, people! This. Is. Not. News.

John, John, John

If you didn't see it, Sen. John McCain (Bush-Bitch, AZ) was on "Meet the Press" this past Sunday and contradicted himself time and again.

Josh Marshall and the folks over at Talking Points Memo have put together a rather incriminating video clip. Take a look here.

17 September 2007

Get Well, Keith

Wishes for a speeding recovery to MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, who underwent an emergency appendectomy this past Friday night.

Clark Endorses Hillary

The former supreme allied commander of NATO, and a nominee for the Democratic Party's 2004 presidential nomination, Wesley Clark has endorsed Sen. Hillary Clinton (Democrat-NY) for president in 2008:
She will be a great leader for the United States of America and a great commander in chief for the men and women in uniform.
Clark's supporters were among the most passionate in 2004 and many were still hoping he'd throw his hat into the ring at the last minute this time around. But Clark has been a friend of the Clinton family for a long time and I really think this endorsement was a no-brainer.

By throwing his support to Hillary at this stage of the game, he is setting himself up for a possible VP invitation or a cabinet slot should Hillary go all the way.

Keyes Enters the Fray

Alan Keyes, who ran for the 1996 and 2000 Republican presidential nominations, and the 2004 Republican nominee for a U.S. Senate seat from Illinois (despite the fact that he was from Maryland), has announced that he is running for the GOP presidential nomination yet again.

His three most important campaign issues:
The top three issues, I think, at the moment, are clear. We have got to restore our respect for Declaration principle by defending life, and making it clear that life begins at conception and must be respected, from that moment, as the will of the Creator, God, because that's what the Declaration establishes as our principle, and what the Constitution says we owe to our "posterity." That has to be clearly done, and clearly established.

Number two would be the restoration of our allegiance to and respect for God's authority, especially when it comes to clear moral decisions like marriage, where we need to restore the sense that the God-given family is an unalienable right. I wrote about this, in articles that I've done over the last several weeks, trying to restore a sense of what our principles really mean, when it come to decisions like this.

And finally, across the board, I would be trying to restore the moral character and morale and sense of our commitment to our basic moral values, starting in the area of national sovereignty, both in terms of our security from terrorism, and especially the security of our borders, and our assertion of the sovereignty of the American people, which our elites have been betraying and trying to throw away.
This can only help the Democrats. Keyes is perhaps the one political figure in America who can make George W. Bush look liberal. His fascist leanings come shining through; and with him in the race America will clearly see how terribly off course the Republican Party has become since the days of Goldwater and Reagan.

Chafee Leaves the GOP

News Item:
Former U.S. Sen. Lincoln Chafee says he has left the Republican Party because the national GOP has drifted too far from him on critical issues, including the war in Iraq, the economy and the environment.
"It's not my party any more," Chafee, who represented Rhode Island from 1999 until 2007 told The Providence Journal.
Had he left the party last year and agreed to caucus with the Democrats, he might be in the Senate. Then again, perhaps caucusing with the Democrats was a step he simply could not take. Disenchanted as far back as 2004, Chafee didn't vote for John Kerry in the presidential election. Instead he wrote in the name of the first George Bush.

16 September 2007

Bush Has AG Nominee

Reports are he'll nominate retired Federal Judge Michael Mukasey to replace Alberto Gonzales. First glance shows this guy is not some unqualified fascist. We'll see.

13 September 2007

Mark Warner Jumps In

Now that Sen. John Warner (Republican-VA) has announced that he will retire at the end of his current term, you can move that senate seat from "Safe Republican" to "Leans Democratic" - with the announcement by former Gov. Mark Warner (no relation) that he intends to run on the Democratic side.

Thinking Man

Petraeus said something on NPR this morning that's been sticking in my craw:
This is a thinking man's war.

Well then, with the current Commander-in-Chief, we really are much more fucked than I thought...aren't we?

12 September 2007

Before Larry Craig

...there was "Sir Norman Fry," Member of the British Parliament. David Walliams is hilarious as the M.P. and Matt Lucas is brilliant in the non-speaking role of the wife. (From the most excellent British TV series "Little Britain.")

Another clip here...

That Would Be A "No"

The most telling moment in Petraeus' Senate testimony yesterday, courtesy of Sen. John Warner (Republican-VA):

Ummm...if the lead guy in Iraq can't say this war has kept America safe, then what the fuck are we still doing there?!!


Sen. Barack Obama (Democrat-IL) and Sen. Chuck Hagel (Republican-NE) let David Petraeus have it.

See Barack here.

See Chuck here.

What Would I Do?

A reader emails...
So you think president Bush has failed in the war against terrorism? Well then what would you do? How would you fight it? Tea and conversation with Osama him self?
You ask, I answer.

I wrote about this last year. You can read the entire essay here.

Oh, and PS..."himself" is one word. Mmm k?

11 September 2007

Six Years On

Quote of the Day:
We. Will. Respond.

The question is against whom. And we want to make absolutely sure when we're dealing with asymmetrical warfare such as this, where we're dealing with innocent people, by and large, who are victims of this, that we respond appropriately and not provoke other incidents that are unwarranted in the world, but get the people who actually caused this to happen.
-Rep. Porter Goss (Republican-FL), Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee in 2001, to Tim Russert of NBC News at 11:37am ET on September 11, 2001

Yet here we are, six years later, with Osama bin Laden still free and roaming the mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan, while our men and women in uniform die fighting a war in a country that contained not one person - NOT ONE - "who actually caused this to happen" - and that has clearly provoked "unwarranted incidents" in the Middle East.

When the founding fathers wrote the impeachment clause of the Constitution, I have hunch that it was this exact scenario - or something pretty damn close to it - that they had in mind when they wrote of "high crimes and misdemeanors." Yet, the former Republican congress didn't have the cajones to stand up to the incompetent president; and the current Democratic congress doesn't want to ruffle political feathers by voting for impeachment, lest they lose their slight majorities in the 2008 elections.

To be fair, the Senate doesn't contain the 16+ Republican senators it would take to get the 67 votes needed to convict Mr. Bush and remove him from office.

I say, do it anyway. Whether the Senate can convict or not, impeach the President anyway.

When endorsing Al Gore in 2000 I argued that George W. Bush was nowhere near ready for the presidency. His past failings (business and political) highlighted his inability to focus on issues and make the decisions necessary to keep America safe, secure, and solvent. (The man couldn't name the prime minister of India, for crying out loud.)

And within months, President George W. Bush proved me right. Presented in August of 2001 with a report titled "Osama bin Laden Determined to Attack Within the United States," this president did nothing. He didn't gather his national security team, he didn't meet with his terrorist chief, he didn't ask the CIA and FBI to pool their resources and figure out what the report was all about. He. Did. Nothing.

And to date he has, essentially, still done nothing. Yes, we invaded Afghanistan pretty easily, driving out the Taliban government who supported bin Laden and his cronies. But we never got bin Laden. Instead, we went to Iraq (and for his incompetent job there, I believe the President should be arrested and tried for war crimes, but that is another argument for another day).

As a result of that horrendous detour, the Taliban is growing more powerful, al-Qaeda is as strong as at was before 9/11, and bin Laden is still roaming free. In fact, the current CIA chief argued in New York last week that he believes another major attack on the homeland is coming.

Yet, Bush remains in office.

Where is the outrage, people? Why aren't Americans clamoring for this President's head. That he still has his job six years later, despite failure after failure on the terrorist front, will confound me until my last breath.

Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt he is not. And the souls of the 3,000 victims of 9/11 deserve better.

10 September 2007

"Dark Road" - Annie Lennox

The first single from Annie Lennox's forthcoming album "Songs of Mass Destruction" is out. It's a superb piece of music. Annie's magical voice shines through here. Enjoy...

"Dark Road"

Thompson Worked With Terrorists

I'm all for providing legal representation to criminals - yes, even suspected terrorists - but as a political ploy, should Fred Thompson somehow win the Republican presidential nomination, then the Democratic ticket would have a huge card to play - and it comes straight from the Karl Rove/Lee Atwater playbook.

The NY Times reports that the former Senator from Tennessee (Thompson) provided legal assistance to the lawyers representing the two Libyan men charged with the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scottland.

If that doesn't defeat a possible Thompson-led Republican ticket in 2008, then there is indeed a huge double standard in America. Had it been a Democratic presidential candidate who helped represent the Libyan thugs, the GOP would blanket the airwaves with the news and the electoral map would be blood red on election night.

So...step up to the plate folks. Pound away at this.

09 September 2007

Hey, George!

If you can't do it, then I will.

Eric Cartman (with props to Bugs Bunny, of course)
South Park, Colorado

07 September 2007

Bin Laden & the Case For Impeachment

Just days before the sixth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on America, ol' "Dead or Alive" has reared his ugly head again, appearing in a rambling video that brought really only one very important unforgettable message...

He's still alive and on the loose.

Whatever the President has said in reaction to the bin Laden video, the one glaring fact remains...he has failed to capture the mastermind behind the fiery murders of 3,000 innocent American civilians.

Of all the crimes and misdemeanors this President has committed since taking office (and there are many, and the founding fathers are rolling over in their graves over the fact that nothing has been done about them), THIS is, in my mind, the #1 reason that he should be impeached and removed from office (along with his Vice-President).

Why Americans aren't up in arms over this is beyond me. Imagine for a second what a Republican congress would have done to a "President Gore" had he sat back for six years without capturing the mastermind behind the worst terrorist attack against the United States.

I tell you what they would had done...they would have impeached Gore and scared enough Democrats to vote for his conviction and removal from office. And we'd now be sitting through the administration of President Joseph Lieberman.

Then again, a "President Gore" would have poured all of our resources - everything we had - into Afghanistan. At the end of the seventh year of a "Gore Administration," bin Laden would be nothing but shit dust blowing around the mountains of Pakistan, and we wouldn't be sitting here reading about a new videotape from the murderous son-of-a-bitch.

But sadly, Gore hasn't been president. Instead we've had this imbecile in the Oval Office. The result of Bush's incompetence? I'll let CIA Director Michael Hayden answer that (from a speech today in New York):
al-Qaida has regained strength and its leadership continues to plot a "high-impact" attack on the United States.
Impeach. Bush. Now.

06 September 2007

GOP Bumper Stickers

The top 15, courtesy of my friend, Beth:

15. Who do you want on your side in a fight, Bono or Ted Nugent?
14. We're NOT gay!
13. GOP: Gets your whites whiter.
12. Stay the curse!
11. Join the GOP! There's plenty of room in the closet.
10. We have a VERY wide stance.
 9. Vote for us or we'll shoot you in the face.
 8. One more time? LOL!
 7. Vote Cheney for Supreme Overlord.
 6. It's Dem or US
 5. Boobs on Mt. Rushmore? I don't THINK so!
 4. I'd rather be waterboarding.
 3. The "new" GOP: Now 97% less smug!
 2. Every time you vote Democrat, Jesus cries.

...and the number 1 Republican bumper sticker...

 1. Glory, glory-hole-allujah!

Newsom By Default

San Francisco Chronicle columnist C.W. Nevius is thinking along the same lines as I was yesterday:
In 2004 Newsom said he should be "recalled" if he couldn't get the homicide rate to decline. On Wednesday, the 81st slaying of the year was recorded - apparently a homeless man camping in Golden Gate Park, which is another sore point - and puts the city well on the way to passing the 85 homicides in 2006 and a decadelong high of 96 the year before. Public housing remains a mess, Muni continues to struggle...
The deadline for filing to run against Newsom has come and gone. Is there a write-in candidate out there who can mount a serious Tom Ammiano-like challenge? (Just, you know, not Tom Ammiano.)

Yes He Can, No She Can't

Hillary and Obama fight for that much sought after demographic...the Show Tune Queens:

Cecilia Jane Slaby

How does a parent (of a 2-year-old , no less) drive to work, unload their car, yet forget that their child is in the backseat!? H-O-W !?!?

That's exactly what Brenda Nesselroad-Slaby of Clermont County, Ohio did on 23 August. With temperatures outside in the 90s, one can only imagine how hot it got inside the car. As a result, 2-year-old Cecilia Jane Slaby roasted to death in that backseat.

It was announced this week that the mother will not face criminal charges. The county attorney said leaving the child in the car was "a substantial lapse of due care" but did not meet the definition of reckless conduct necessary for prosecution.

What. The. Fuck.!!?

You hear about this sort of thing way too often, yet it still just sickens me each time I hear about it. I don't have kids, but I can't even imagine forgetting that my dog is in the car when I drive somewhere, she is so at the fore-front of my mind when she is with me. I just assumed that parents went above and beyond that state when it came to their human children.

That this woman doesn't have to pay for causing the death of a 2-year-old child (her own, no less) is wrong on so many levels. While it wasn't intentional, her actions cost the life of a child. She should have to pay. And pay dearly.

Freddy Joins the Pack

After months of foreplay, "Law and Order" star and former Sen. Fred Thompson (Republican-TN) officially announced on Jay Leno's show last night that he is running for president. Judging from the audience's response, his candidacy seems to be a popular idea. Then again, my guess is that the audience was purposefully filled with Republican voters who are enchanted by the idea of another actor as their nominee.

I expect Republican primary polling to show an up-tick in Thompson's support over the next few weeks. He may even take a brief lead. Hell, he may even win the nomination. But if this guy starts to lead in general election polling against the Democrats, then it can be argued that this nation really is dumbing down.

The man really doesn't have a clue. He avoids questions on the most important issue of the day (Iraq). When he does speak of the war he shows no comprehension of what's going on. And, when asked, the man can't even remember the details of George W. Bush's Social Security plan. The simple fact that he opted for The Tonight Show last night rather than join his fellow Republicans in a debate speaks volumes.

For what it's worth, you can see his announcement on Leno here.

05 September 2007

Six Shy

News item: As of the end of Labor Day weekend, the number of homicides in San Francisco crept up to 79 for 2007...just six shy of the total number of murders for the entire year of 2006.

With news like this, you have to wonder how it is that Mayor Gavin Newsom has no serious challenger in this fall's election. As it stands right now, I'm thisclose to abstaining on that ballot line. The real test will be how Mr. Newsom and the SFPD handle Halloween in the Castro. If they can keep the crowds away - AND make some sort of dent in the homicide rate through the rest of the year - I might entertain casting my vote for the Mayor's re-election.

Until then, I remain on the fence.

Friedkin's "Cruising"

As part of their "William Friedkin Series" this week, the Castro Theatre in San Francisco will present his 1980 dud "Cruising" starring Al Pacino.

I never saw the film (having only been 13 when it was originally released), but from what I understand it was poorly done (Roger Ebert said, "...what could have been a powerful film dissipates...and leaves us feeling merely confused and annoyed") and doesn't live up to such earlier Friedkin films as "The French Connection" and "The Exorcist" (which are being presented this week at the Castro as well).

I may throw the newly digitized DVD in the Netflix rental queue, but a trip to the Castro for such widely panned movie? Probably not.

If you want to see a classic Friedkin film on the big screen, take in "The Exorcist" tonight; or tomorrow's double feature, "The French Connection" (starring Gene Hackman in an Oscar-winning performance) and "To Live and Die In L.A." (starring William Petersen of "C.S.I." fame in his first major film role). The latter two films contain two of the best and most thrilling movie chase sequences ever recorded.

Aaron & Andrew

Congrats to Andrew Sullivan and his handsome new husband on their recent nuptials. And yes...it's legal.

Craig's Do-Over

He wants to take back his resignation.

The Music Man

Can legendary producer Rick Rubin save the music industry? Sony and Columbia Records hope so.

04 September 2007

Jay Kay and Ms. Ross

An extension of yesterday's Songs of Summer conclusion...

Diana Ross and Jamiroquai jamming on a live version of "Upside Down"...

Barack, Hillary

Greg Djerejian (pinch-hitting for the newly wed Andrew Sullivan), on the foreign policy strengths of Obama and Clinton:
With Obama there is a sense of an unscripted candidate who will go beyond 'focus group' think. Yes, this has led to some errors in judgment. For instance, the notion of attacking Pakistan without coordinating with whatever Government is in power there is reckless...Meantime, while Obama is right we should be prepared to dialogue directly with our enemies at the highest levels, he might have answered the question with at least a gating caveat or two.

...Still, given the moral calamities of legalized torture, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and so much more, having a man whose last name rhymes with our collective, demonic arch-villain, and a middle name the same as the surname of the Saddamite monster dethroned--not to mention the paradigm-shifting nature of having a first African-American President--all of this would certainly force the world to stand up and take notice that a significant change had taken place, and that a dramatic course correction was imminent. That said, pragmatism cautions not dismissing Hillary, whose foreign policy views are, as I indicated above, at least far superior to the craven militarism on tap by all the leading Republican candidates, and who’ll have a deep bench of foreign policy advisors on her team. Nonetheless, there is a sense of hope and possibility and freshness with Obama, and above all authenticity, that has me rooting for him somehow...
Despite the occasional blunder I have been quite impressed with Sen. Obama's foreign policy learning curve. (Come on, Gov. George W. Bush was, at best, a "D" student on such matters while he ran for president in 1999 and 2000 and look where it's gotten us!) That he has solicited advice from such heavy weights as Anthony Lake and Colin Powell (yeah, yeah...I know) speaks volumes for his hunger to learn and get it right.

Hillary on the other hand is, herself and on her own, a heavy weight. What she'd bring to the presidency can't be matched by many others (Democrat and Republican) in the current field. She wouldn't be the breath of fresh air that Obama would be (she'd be a breath of cleaner air, though). But the musings by some on the far left that, as president, Hillary would be "neo-con lite" are a bit out of touch.

Who to support? I can't answer that right now. But with the Labor Day weekend now behind us and the first nominating contests set to take place within three months, I will be paying much closer attention to what the Democratic candidates have to say regarding foreign policy.


Quote of the Day:
Iowa, for good reason, for constitutional reasons, for reasons related to the Lord, should be the first caucus and primary.
-Gov. Bill Richardson (Democrat-NM) at the Northwest Iowa Labor Council Picnic yesterday.

The former U.N. Ambassador's comments get a bit more looney each time he opens his mouth. Forget what I've said about the presidency. Perhaps Gov. Richardson would be a better fit in a cabinet position.


03 September 2007

The Songs of Summer

With the Labor Day weekend winding down, I bring this year's Songs of Summer series to a close. (In it's place a new multiple track playlist feature will debut next weekend.)

Closing things out is a Diana Ross track that hit # 1 on this weekend, 27 years ago. After spending early August of 1980 in the lower half of the top 100, this single leap-frogged into the top 10, and by Labor Day weekend had begun its 4-week run in the top spot. To this day it is one the classiest of disco classics. Enjoy...

"Upside Down" by Diana Ross
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"Mississippi Sissy" by Kevin Sessums

I started "Mississippi Sissy" by Kevin Sessums right after the Memorial Day weekend when my friend Larry lent me his copy. Setting it aside briefly to read Armistead Maupin's much anticipated "Michael Tolliver Lives," I picked Sessums' memoir back up and devoured it within a week and am just now sitting down to post this review.

With observation that is humorous and philosophical Kevin Sessums' "Mississippi Sissy" is an incredible memoir that grabs you from the word go and doesn't disappoint. In this book Sessums (who has written articles for Vanity Fair and Interview magazines - and had a small role in Armistead Maupin's "Tales of the City" mini-series in 1994) tells the story of his childhood, growing up in rural Mississippi in the 1960s.

So obviously a gay boy from an early age - he'd rather swish around dressed as the Wicked Witch from "The Wizard of Oz" than join the other boys in a game of basketball - Sessums managed to hit some nerves with brief tales of distant relatives who simply didn't understand him and, in response to his rather feminine ways, would say really stupid things. (His more immediate family loved him beyond measure.)

But "Sissy" isn't about homophobia. Not by any stretch. Rather, it is about how the pop icons and pop culture of his youth led Sessums to a life that most who grew up in Mississippi would never see or understand. As a young boy he insisted on being called Arlene (after Arlene Francis of TV's "What's My Line") and read "Valley of the Dolls" by Jacqueline Sussann for his sixth grade reading project.

Along the way we are told of Sessums' circle of literary friends in Jackson, two sexual assaults (one by a stranger, the other by a trusted preacher), and race relations in the South. The latter is told through the relationship Sessums had with his family's maid and is one of the highlights of the memoir.

"Mississippi Sissy" is an absorbing story. You'll easily get lost in Kevin Sessums' wonderfully written prose. As summer fades, it's the perfect book for one of those crisp fall weekends in which you curl up with a cup of tea and settle in for a great read.

02 September 2007

The Songs of Summer

From the heady, over indulgent disco years...specifically, the summer of '78...

"Have A Cigar" by Rosebud
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The Songs of Summer

This song was prominent on Chicago radio during the summer of 1980. The Blues Brothers superb rendition of the Spencer Davis Groups'...

"Gimme Some Lovin'"
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01 September 2007

The Songs of Summer

I return to the summer of 1983. This classic Elton John track is one of his best...

"I'm Still Standing"
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