Monday, September 29, 2008

Being Fantastically Rich has its Privileges - How to Rescue a Cratering Economy



So lawmakers struck a deal on the bailout last night, but where was John McCain?

Was he part of the negotiations that he rushed back to Washington, DC to rescue? Was he valiantly battling the forces of the status quo to get something done for Main Street?

Well, it turns out that he wasn't. Instead, he indulged in a luxury dining experience at CityZen, an icon of haute cuisine in Washington, DC.

Politico reports (update: Politico has updated the article and removed the reference to McCain's dinner, but as you can see in this Google search, the reference was there in the original article):

As his colleagues worked on the deal at the Capitol Saturday night, McCain and his wife, Cindy, dined with Sen. Joe Lieberman and his wife, Hadassah, at CityZen, one of Washington's best private restaurants.


No word on exactly what McCain ate at CityZen (which boasts an 800-bottle wine selection), but there's a limited range of possibilities, according to the establishment's menu.

Three menus are offered: a three-course prix fixe menu, a six-course chef's tasting menu or a vegetarian tasting menu.


The six course meal costs $110, with an optional "Sommelier's Pairing" for $75.

The restaurant serves treats such as Monterey Bay Squid Ratatouille; Shaved Sashimi of Geoduck Clam; Basic Infused Lettuce; Fricassee of Summer Beans, Flageolets, and CityZen Chorizo; Fromage Blanc Soufle Glace with AN Almond Biscuit Navel Orange Salad and Orange-Licorice Emulsion.

In it's 4-star review of the restaurant, Frommer's wrote:

You choose among three prix-fixe menus: three courses for $75, a six-course vegetarian tasting menu for $90, or a six-course $105 tasting menu. Starting with an amuse bouche of fried mushroom with truffle butter; moving on to a grilled pork jowl with marinated French green lentils, micro watercress, and shaved foie gras confit; and further on to the crispy skin filet of Atlantic black bass served with Rancho Gordo shelling beans, CityZen chorizo, and baby leeks -- every taste is exquisite and out of the ordinary. Waitstaff bring intermission refreshments, such as olive oil custard topped with infused butter or ginger sorbet in homemade root beer. Only a food artist would think to create sensations like the cardamom-dusted orange cruller with kumquat marmalade and African amber tea sorbet. The restaurant's 800-bottle wine selection concentrates on bordeaux, burgundy, and California cabernet.


Washingtonian Magazine hailed the restaurant's "chili consommé with an oval of chili-powder mousse."

Quote of the Day:

Yesterday upon the stair
I met a man who wasn't there.
He wasn't there again today
I wish that man would go away.

--Hugh Means "I Met a Man Who Wasn't There"

Sunday, September 28, 2008

America's Passing....

From Wonkette (where holy Christ the comments are always hilarious) we have the following video and summary:



Oh good sweet god jesus shit WHAT IS EVEN HAPPENING HERE? The YouTube description says, “I came home from football practice one evening and my parents were talking to our neighbors who were drunk. This is what happened … I live in southeastern kentucky FYI.” Well, you have been warned, America. Here are three drunk Kentucky hillbillies ranting about Obama while sitting on a filthy AIDS unicorn.


Lyrics of the Day:
I was driving home
early Sunday morning through Bakersfield,
listening to gospel music on the colored radio station,
and the preacher said,
"You'll always have the Lord by your side."
And I was so pleased to be informed of this
that I ran twenty red lights in his honor.
Thank you, Jesus.
Thank you, Lord.

I had an arrangment to meet a girl
and I was kind of late.
And I thought by the time I got there
she'd be off...she'd be off
with the nearest truck driver she could find.
Much to my surprise, there she was,
sitting in the corner, a little bleary,
the worse for wear and tear,
was the girl with faraway eyes.

So if you're down on your luck
and you can't harmonize,
find a girl...with faraway eyes.
And if you're downright disgusted
and life ain't worth a dime,
get a girl...with faraway eyes.

Well the preacher kept right on saying
that all I had to do was send ten dollars
to the Church of the Sacred Bleeding Heart of Jesus,
located somewhere in Los Angeles, California,
and next week they'd say my prayer on the radio
and all my dreams would come true.
So I did.
Next week I got a prayer for the girl,
well you know what kind of eyes she got.

So if you're down on your luck,
I know y'all sympathize,
find a girl...with faraway eyes.
And if you're downright disgusted
and life ain't worth a dime,
get a girl...with faraway eyes.
So if you're down on your luck,
I know y'all sympathize,
with the girl...with faraway eyes.


-The Rolling Stones, "The Girl With Faraway Eyes"

Well I was drunk the day my mom got out of prison
And I went to pick her up in the rain
But before I could get to the station in a pickup truck
She got run'd over by a damned old train


--Steve Goodman, David Allan Coe, "You Never Called Me By My Name"

Friday, September 26, 2008

AHnuld!



Having met Arnold Schwarzenegger on Robson Street, I can attest that he is a cool mofo. His book on bodybuilding rocks, and the way he won Mr. Olympia seven times through the power of creative visualization is inspiring. He may be in the enemy's camp for the time being, but I still think he's a good guy at heart and is not afraid of being honest.

McLame busted lying in front of 11 million live viewers

To quote badass Keanu (in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure or the m%$#$%#$%f^^^&%in' MATRIX, take your pick): Whoah.

McLame ducked out at the last minute on David Letterman, claiming (in an apparent quote over the telephone) that he had to immediately rush to DC to "rescue America", then, in what may prove to be a nutsack kick to the McLame campaign, Letterman ran a LIVE FEED of the shifty septuagenarian calmly having makeup troweled onto his milquetoastian mug THREE BLOCKS AWAY AT THE SAME TELEVISION NETWORK DOING AN INTERVIEW WITH ANCHOR KATIE COURIC.

As you can see, Letterman was righteously pissed when he saw the live feed and realized what was up, and he let fly:



From what the Internet rumor mill says, Letterman is not a media figure to be trifled with, and he has a LOOONNNNGGG memory. What's worse for McCain is that others are picking up on - and propagating - the story:



Also here and here.

Could be worse. People could start hearing about his Five THOUSAND DOLLAR makeup job.... OOPSIE!

Quote of the Day:
“You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.
You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change. It's still gonna stink.
We've had enough of the same old thing."
--Senator Barack Obama

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Naomi Wolf: Sarah "Evita" Palin, Muse of the Coming Police State

From the Huffington Post. It appears I'm not the only one thinking these chilling thoughts....

Please understand what you are looking at when you look at Sarah "Evita" Palin. You are looking at the designated muse of the coming American police state.

You have to understand how things work in a closing society in order to understand "Palin Power." A gang or cabal seizes power, usually with an affable, weak figurehead at the fore. Then they will hold elections -- but they will make sure that the election will be corrupted and that the next affable, weak figurehead is entirely in their control. Remember, Russia has Presidents; Russia holds elections. Dictators and gangs of thugs all over the world hold elections. It means nothing. When a cabal has seized power you can have elections and even presidents, but you have freedom.

I realized early on with horror what I was seeing in Governor Palin: the continuation of the Rove-Cheney cabal, but this time without restraints. I heard her echo Bush 2000 soundbites ("the heart of America is on display") and realized Bush's speechwriters were writing her -- not McCain's -- speeches. I heard her tell George Bush's lies -- not McCain's -- to the American people, linking 9/11 to Iraq. I heard her make fun of Barack Obama for wanting to prevent the torture of prisoners -- this is Rove-Cheney's enthusiastic S and M, not McCain's, who, though he shamefully colluded in the 2006 Military Tribunals Act, is also a former prisoner of war and wrote an eloquent Newsweek piece in 2005 opposing torture. I saw that she was even styled by the same skillful stylist (neutral lipstick, matte makeup, dark colors) who turned Katharine Harris from a mall rat into a stateswoman and who styles all the women in the Bush orbit --but who does not bother to style Cindy McCain.

Then I saw and heard more. Palin is embracing lawlessness in defying Alaskan Legislature subpoenas --this is what Rove-Cheney, and not McCain, believe in doing. She uses mafia tactics against critics, like the police commissioner who was railroaded for opposing handguns in Alaskan battered women's shelters -- Rove's style, not McCain's. I realized what I was seeing.

Reports confirmed my suspicions: Palin, not McCain, is the FrankenBarbie of the Rove-Cheney cabal. The strategy became clear. Time magazine reported that Rove is "dialed in" to the McCain campaign. Rove's protégé Steve Schmidt is now campaign manager. And Politico reported that Rove was heavily involved in McCain's vice presidential selection. Finally a new report shows that there are dozens of Bush and Rove operatives surrounding Sarah Palin and orchestrating her every move.


What's the plan? It is this. McCain doesn't matter. Reputable dermatologists are discussing the fact that in simply actuarial terms, John McCain has a virulent and life-threatening form of skin cancer. It is the elephant in the room, but we must discuss the health of the candidates: doctors put survival rates for someone his age at two to four years. I believe the Rove-Cheney cabal is using Sarah Palin as a stalking horse, an Evita figure, to put a popular, populist face on the coming police state and be the talk show hostess for the end of elections as we know them. If McCain-Palin get in, this will be the last true American election. She will be working for Halliburton, KBR, Rove and Cheney into the foreseeable future -- for a decade perhaps -- a puppet "president" for the same people who have plundered our treasure, are now holding the US economy hostage and who murdered four thousand brave young men and women in a way of choice and lies.

How, you may ask, can I assert this? How can I argue, as I now do, that there is actually a war being ramped up against US citizens and our democracy and that Sarah Palin is the figurehead and muse for that war?

Look at the RNC. This is supposed to be McCain's America. But you see the unmistakable theatre of Rove's S and M imagery -- and you see stages eight, nine and ten of the steps to a dictatorship as I outlined them in The End of America. Preemptive arrest? Abusive arrest? "Newly released footage, which was buried to avoid confiscation, shows riot cops arresting and abusing a giant group of people for nothing."

Journalists were arrested -- for reporting. Amy Goodman and ABC producers were arrested. Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake and others were forced to lie face down as armed agents tied their hands behind their backs. The riot police wore the black S&M gear of the Rovian fantasy life and carried the four foot batons cops carry in North Korea. All this is not John McCain's imagery or strategy: it is Karl Rove's.

In McCain-Palin's America, citizens who are protesting are being charged as terrorists. This means that a violent war had been declared on American citizens. A well known reporter leaked to me on background that St Paul police had dressed as protesters and, dressed in Black -- shades of the Blackshirts of 1920 -- infiltrated protest groups. There were also phalanxes of men in black wearing balaclavas, linking arms and behaving menacingly -- alleged "anarchists." Let me tell you, I have been on the left for thirty years and you can't get three lefties to wear the same t-shirt to a rally, let alone link arms and wear identical face masks: these are not our guys. Agent Provocateurs framing protesters and calling protest "terrorism" constitutes step ten of a police state:

"In what appears to be the first use of criminal charges under the 2002 Minnesota version of the Federal Patriot Act, Ramsey County Prosecutors have formally charged 8 alleged leaders of the RNC Welcoming Committee with Conspiracy to Riot in Furtherance of Terrorism... [they] 7 1/2 years in prison under the terrorism enhancement charge which allows for a 50% increase in the maximum penalty."


"Paid, confidential informants... infiltrated the RNCWC on behalf of law enforcement. They allege that members of the group sought to kidnap delegates to the RNC, assault police officers with firebombs and explosives, and sabotage airports in St. Paul. Evidence released to date does not corroborate these allegations with physical evidence or provide any other evidence for these allegations than the claims of the informants. Based on past abuses of such informants by law enforcement, the National Lawyers Guild is concerned that such police informants have incentives to lie and exaggerate threats of violence and to also act as provocateurs in raising and urging support for acts of violence."


Under the Palin-Rove police state, you will see escalating infringements on your access to a free internet:

"Sarah Palin was baptized at Wasilla Assembly of God...Last Sunday our research team released a video, a ten-minute mini-documentary, focusing on the Wasilla Assemblies of God and the video seemed on the verge of a massive "viral" breakthrough when YouTube pulled it down, citing 'inappropriate content'. At the point the video was censored by YouTube it had been viewed by almost 160,000 people. The short of it is that YouTube has censored a video documentary that appeared to be close to having an effect on a hard fought and contentious American presidential election..."

Under the coming Palin-Rove police state, you will witness the plans now underway to bring Iraqi troops to patrol the streets of our nation. This is not McCain's fantasy: it is Rove's and Cheney's.

Under the Palin-Rove police state, there will be no further true elections. Mark Crispin Miller has done sensational and under-reported investigating t o establish that -- as I warned -- indeed the GOP staffers on the US Senate Judiciary Committee have been .

The evidence is also buried on the Website of the Majority House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

WASHINGTON -- Republican staff members of the US Senate Judiciary Commitee infiltrated opposition computer files for a year, monitoring secret strategy memos and periodically passing on copies to the media, Senate officials told The Globe. >From the spring of 2002 until at least April 2003, members of the GOP committee staff exploited a computer glitch that allowed them to access restricted Democratic communications witho ut a password. Trolling through hundreds of memos, they were able to read talking points and accounts of private meetings discussing which judicial nominees Democrats would fight -- and with what tactics.

-- "Senate panel's GOP staff spied on Democrats" By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff | January 22, 2004


Do you think that spying like this will ever end under a Palin-Rove regime? Dream on. If she and McCain are elected, then every single strategy memo and speech and debate prep note from every opposition candidate from now and on into forever will be read by the regime in power while it is still in the computers of the challengers.

Under the Palin-Rove police state, citizens will be targeted with state cyberterrorism. Bruce Fein of the American Freedom Agenda, a former Reagan official, warned me three years ago that the Bush team went after a Republican who had crossed them through cyberstalking: they messed with his email, messed with his phones and I believe messed with his bank account -- he became a cyber-pariah, unemployable and haunted. With modern technology, there really is less place to hide from the state than there was in East Germany in the Cold War era. I remember feeling a chill: of course. That is the wave of the future once we breach the protections around citizens of FISA and the fourth amendment. That way lies the abyss for us all.

Am I trying to scare you? I am. I am trying to scare you to death and ask you to scare your Republican and independent friends most of all. How do you know when it is war on citizens? When there are mass arrests, journalists are jailed, the opposition is infiltrated, rights are stripped and leaders start to ignore the rule of law.

Almost everyone I work with on projects related to this campaign for liberty has been experiencing computer harassment: emails are stripped, messages disappear. That's not all: people's bank accounts are being tampered with: wire transfers to banks vanish in midair. I personally keep opening bank accounts that are quickly corrupted by fraud. Money vanishes. Coworkers of mine have to keep opening new email accounts as old ones become infected. And most disturbingly to me personally is the mail tampering I have both heard of and experienced firsthand. My tax returns vanished from my mailbox. All my larger envelopes arrive ripped straight open apparently by hand. When I show the postman, he says "That's impossible." Horrifyingly to me is the impact on my family. My childrens' report cards are returned again and again though perfectly addressed; their invitations are turned back; and my daughters many letters from camp? Vanished. All of them. Not one arrived. Try explaining that to a smart thirteen year old. Try explaining it in a way that still makes her feel secure and comfortable.

I am not telling you this because it's about my life. I am telling you this because it is about your life -- whoever you are, Conservative or Liberal, independent or evangelical. Your politics will not protect you in a police state. History shows that nothing portects you in a police state. This is not about my fear and anxiety: it is about what awaits you and everyone you love unless you see this for what it is:

Scharansky divided nations into "fear societies" and "free societies." Make no mistake: Sarah "Evita" Palin is Rove and Cheney's cosmetic rebranding of their fascist push: she will help to establish a true and irreversible "fear society" in this once free once proud nation. For God's sake, do not let her; do not let them.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I'll See You on the Dark Side of the Moon

Sad news today:
Pink Floyd founding member, composer, synthesized music pioneer and brilliant self-taught (!) keyboardist Richard Wright has died.

More here.

In Deep, Respectful, Fond and Appreciative Memory

Richard William Wright 28/06/43 - 15/09/08

"Goodbye cruel world
I'm leaving you today
Goodbye
Goodbye
Goodbye
Goodbye all you people
There's nothing you can say
To make me change
My mind
Goodbye."

McLame's Greatest Hits...

From the ever brilliant Stephen Colbert:













Monday, September 08, 2008

Ruh-Roh....

In the immortal words of Keanu Reeves as Neo:

Whoah.

Seems Sarah Palin, who claims her water broke before delivering an April 2008 keynote Republican address in Texas, then, dripping amniotic fluid from the 1.5-month premature high-risk birth of a baby already diagnosed with Down syndrome, decided the sensible thing to do was to skip rushing to a local hospital in favor of an 8-hour flight and an hour-long car ride to an isolated small-town Alaska hospital.

Here's a delightful high-resolution picture of the guvner a mere six weeks before the arrival of her miracle baby. Hey! Great legs for a woman entering her third trimester.

Funny that the flight crew had no idea a woman was in labor on their flight:
"The stage of her pregnancy was not apparent by observation. She did not show any signs of distress," (Alaska Airlines spokeswoman Caroline) Boren said.

Equally remarkable, she didn't show any "signs" whatsoever ONE MONTH prior to the magical birth either. From the Anchorage Daily News, March 6, 2008

SEVEN MONTHS ALONG: Even her staff was unaware that the first family was expecting a fifth child.

JUNEAU — Gov. Sarah Palin shocked and awed just about everybody around the Capitol on Wednesday when she announced she’s expecting her fifth child.

That the pregnancy is so advanced astonished all who heard the news. The governor, a runner who’s always been trim, simply doesn’t look pregnant.

Even close members of her staff said they only learned this week their boss was expecting.

But people just couldn’t believe the news.

“Really? No!”said Bethel state Rep. Mary Nelson, who is close to giving birth herself.


“It’s wonderful. She’s very well-disguised,” said Senate President Lyda Green, a mother of three who has sometimes sparred with Palin politically. “When I was five months pregnant, there was absolutely no question that I was with child.”


Daughter Palin, however, mysteriously absent from school for five months with "mononucleosis", was a different story altogether.

Now here's where things get really, um... dodgy....

It seems the hospital where it was announced that the GOVERNOR GAVE BIRTH HAS NO RECORD OF THE BIRTH ON THE "OFFICIAL" REPORTED DAY. In fact, there is no record of the birth of a Palin baby ANYWHERE in the official posted nursery records either.

Hmm....

Quote of the Day:
'“Curiouser and curiouser!” Cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English).'
-Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carrol

Friday, September 05, 2008

Let the Liefest Begin....

Let's start with the ever-scintillating Jon Stewart, who brilliantly juxtaposes the frightwing's most notorious coin-operated lie dispensers against... themselves:



And then, lo and friggin' BEHOLD, wonder of all wonders, the AP (now america's ONLY national wire agency) actually does some fact-checking on the GOP convention speeches:

But let's not forget the snowballing scandalfest that is Sarah Palin herself. So who is the GOP's last-minute VP pick?

Funny, a lot of people seem to be asking that: 2-year Alaska governor; twice mayor of a small town (pop 9,780, called Wasilla. Was under investigation for having fired the town's police chief, ostensibly for having supported her opponent during the election. The judge ruled that firing the chief, even for purely political reasons, was not a crime.

She's currently under investigation for something similar - firing Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan, ostensibly because HE refused to fire a state trooper who had divorced Palin's sister.

It gets worse:
Palin also believes abortion should be illegal even in cases of rape, incest and even if it would save the mother's life. Known to be extremely conservative in her stances on the abortion, the military and religion, she is also aggressively in favor of oil drilling and weakening environmental protection laws.

She's a global warming skeptic, wants mandatory creationism teaching, wants to further increase the health-care costs for patients and wants to ban all stem-cell research.


And, while she hasn't SPECIFICALLY endorsed public stonings for adultery yet, I'm taking a "wait and see" approach....

Additionally, she recently claimed to have given birth to Trig, a baby with Down Syndrome, but was suspiciously active (running 8 km, etc.) and not "showing" at all within days of the birth. This was so "remarkable" that many colleagues publicly commented on it.

However, contemporary photos(suspiciously removed right after the VP announcement) on the official Alaska state website showed Palin's 16-year-old daughter with a marked paunch (although obviously otherwise slender in build).

Apparently worried about the evidence that the aforementioned juicy family pictures contained (that is, before they were mysteriously pulled from the official Alaska state website the day after McCain's VP pick announcement)

Palin suddenly made the announcement that her 17-year-old daughter is five months pregnant. Hmmm, sure doesn't explain this March 9, 2007 family pic:



or this one



or this video, taken just two months before little Tyke was born, while 16-year-old Palin was in her 4th month of extended absence from school for "mononucleosis" (after several of her classmates said she was pregnant). (Grand)ma appears surprisingly trim and spry for a lady TWO MONTHS BEFORE GIVING BIRTH (lookiter GO!!! - and nice little comment about how she loves to "thrash her guts running up these hills")....

A month later, Governor Palin shocked her staff and colleagues by publicly announcing she was 7 months pregnant. People were reportedly stunned by the news, as she gave no signs whatsoever.

Conveniently enough, Palin reported going into labor while on an airplane, although all the flight crew reported a completely uneventful flight.....

Hmm....

More entertaining/enlightening vids:
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=aoPK4pvOE4o

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=SrVab3EQY7I

Aside from that, she and her wayward young daughter certainly give me a boner. Hope like hell she and McLame lose. Perhaps then humanity might survive more than another few decades. Call me an optimist.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008