Friday, March 31, 2006


Bush has been in Cancun for a summit with the President of Mexico and the Prime Minister of Canada.

But, as Attywood noted, he apparently took some time out for a little Spring Break action.

I suppose we'll probably soon be seeing him leering in the background of a Girls Gone Wild video.

Can you hear me now?

Another beautiful day in the city, another delightful lunch. I found a new little place that has just opened up in Yorkville called Genesis. It's strange - this particular location has went through about 5 establishments in the last 3 years. I don't know what it is about certain spaces that just seems to make them jinxed. There are quite a few bars/restaurants within a two-block radius that have been there for years. It's weird how some make it, and some, which seem perfectly fine, on a par with any in the area, just never catch on.

This new place had a comfortable atmosphere, and the food - pub grub, but probably a cut above standard bar fare - was pretty good. This one might last.

And my friends never disappoint. When I sent them cam-phone pictures of the tasty Stella I was drinking, they, without exception, responded with jealous text messages. I love to push buttons, and not just on my phone.

Jesus H. Christ

"Prayer might make you feel better, but don't count on it helping strangers.

"A big study of heart surgery patients found no benefit when people they didn't know prayed for their recovery. Even worse, patients who knew they were being prayed for had a higher rate of complications."

- NY Daily News

You know, I don't particularly care for religion, but if it gives you comfort, if you think praying helps you or a loved recover from an illness, good for you. God bless you, in fact.

But, please, stop throwing your religion down my face in a public manner. And, more importantly, stop spending money - that could have perhaps been used to actually help someone - on a ridiculous study about a ridiculous topic.

Join the club

In a recent speech touching on a variety of foreign policy issues, W. said the following:

"I weep about the suffering of the Palestinians. I particularly weep about the fact that the leadership has let them down for year after year after year."

Well, now he knows how the rest of us feel.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

It's the most wonderful time of the year

Ahh, it's that joyous time again, when the weather turns beautiful, and New York is filled with sunshine and comfortable temperatures. It really is gorgeous out there today.

Which means girls start to dress like girls again.

I had a delightful lunch today at Cilantro, and, for the first time this year, sat outside to enjoy some chicken tortilla soup, quesadillas, and frozen margs (the mango is recommended). I read the Daily News and watched the parade of cute girls in belly shirts and short skirts pass by.

Now, that's the way every girl should dress, if you ask me...well, ok, maybe not every girl, but many!

And, before anyone asks, as they usually do, no, that's not a picture I took personally. It's not Benedict Susan, or one of the K Sisters, or one of the Bobbseys, or anyone I actually know (unfortunately). As it clearly says, it's just a stock photo of a hot girl in a belly shirt and short skirt. Sadly, she didn't pass by Cilantro today.

Scalia is such un succhiatore

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, you know, the right-winger who wants to chip away at the wall between church and state because he feels America is too immoral, made this classy gesture, captured by a photographer in Boston as he was in the Cathederal of the Holy Cross.

The Boston Herald reports: “Despite Scalia’s insistence that the Sicilian gesture was not offensive and had been incorrectly characterized by the Herald as obscene, the photographer said the newspaper “got the story right.” Smith said the jurist “immediately knew he’d made a mistake, and said, ‘You’re not going to print that, are you?’

"Peter Smith was working as a freelance photographer for the Boston archdiocese’s weekly newspaper at a special Mass for lawyers Sunday when a Herald reporter asked the justice how he responds to critics who might question his impartiality as a judge given his public worship. “The judge paused for a second, then looked directly into my lens and said, ‘To my critics, I say, ‘Vaffanculo,’ ” punctuating the comment by flicking his right hand out from under his chin, Smith said."

A quick google for Italian curses tells me Vaffanculo translates to “Fuck you.”

In a letter to the Herald, today, Scalia denies that the hand gesture is obscene, and said it only means something like, “I don't care.”

He also plays the "Boohoo you're picking on me because I'm Italian and you watch too much Sopranos" card.

Scalia is truly il cazzo.

They must be heathens

The association that represents more than 70 percent of chaplains in the military is saying they oppose a presidential order guaranteeing the right of chaplains to pray in the name of Jesus, because, well, they don't actually need it, and no-one is stopping them from praying.

But you wouldn't know that if you listened to some evangelical right-wingers, who started a crusade calling for this presidential order, claiming they were being discriminated against and weren't being allowed to pray. And, of course, their ridiculous cause was immediately picked up by some Republican congressmen, who called for that presidential order.

The whole bullshit started because of some common sense regulations issued a few months ago.

“In a Feb. 21 instruction to commanders, the secretary of the Navy distinguished between prayers given by chaplains at "divine worship services" -- on which there are no restrictions -- and those delivered at "command functions" that people of many faiths are encouraged or required to attend,” according to the Washington Post.

"Absent extraordinary circumstances," any religious elements in a command ceremony "should be nonsectarian," it said. Air Force guidelines issued a few weeks earlier made essentially the same distinction, calling for "non-denominational, inclusive prayer" or a moment of silence at military ceremonies.”

And that's when the holy shit hit the fan, with the right-wingers springing into pious action, claiming they were somehow being denied the right to pray to Big Baby Jesus.

To spoil their fun, though, along comes the group representing military chaplains, who don't actually want to play the wedge issue game that the right-wingers love so much. Rev. Herman Keizer Jr., chairman of the National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces, the association of more than 60 Christian, Jewish and Muslim denominations representing 5,430 of the 7,620 chaplains in the armed forces, quite sensibly told the Post:

"This has been portrayed as though chaplains are not allowed to pray in Jesus's name, without any distinction between what they do all the time in worship services and what they do occasionally, in ceremonial settings where attendance is mandatory."

The Post notes: “Calls for congressional hearings and an executive order have become a staple on religious radio and television broadcasts, generating protests of White House inaction by conservative Christians...”

In other words, it's the usual group of snake oil salesmen and Bill O'Reilly types, who were just a few months ago telling us that there was a “War on Christmas!!” Of course, O'Reilly and other wedge-issue right-wing broadcasters are looking for ratings and controversy. The evangelicals are looking for money from their sheep-like followers.

Listen, I'm probably the least qualified person on the Internet to talk about religion, considering how much I know about it, but even I know the “War on Christmas!!” was nothing but bullshit.

These fucktards who claim to be so holy sure have a funny way of showing their love of Jesus – by dividing people, causing dissension, and basically agitating for a state religion. And, looking at the wonderful condition the Middle East is in, we all know how well that works out.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The terrorists have won

This is a black day for America.

I loved Crazy Cat on the Cartoon Network

AP is reporting:

FAIRFIELD, Conn. - Residents of the neighborhood of Sunset Circle say they have been terrorized by a crazy cat named Lewis. Lewis for his part has been uniquely cited, personally issued a restraining order by the town's animal control officer.

"He looks like Felix the Cat and has six toes on each foot, each with a long claw," Janet Kettman, a neighbor said Monday. "They are formidable weapons."

The neighbors said those weapons, along with catlike stealth, have allowed Lewis to attack at least a half dozen people and ambush the Avon lady as she was getting out of her car.

Some of those who were bitten and scratched ended up seeking treatment at area hospitals.

Animal Control Officer Rachel Solveira placed a restraining order on him. It was the first time such an action was taken against a cat in Fairfield.

In effect, Lewis is under house arrest, forbidden to leave his home.

Solveira also arrested the cat's owner, Ruth Cisero, charging her with failing to comply with the restraining order and reckless endangerment.

Well, I must be a goddamn general by now

The right-wing chicken hawks, you know, the ones who love to cheer on every military adventure without having ever served a day in uniform themselves, really are the biggest bunch of wusses.

From the Vietnam-era days of Bush and Cheney making a point of not serving in that disastrous war (while, of course, advocating it), to the current crop of tough talking politicians and media figures who love the Iraq war, but, again, don't volunteer for it, the cowardliness and sleaze of these people never ceases to amaze me.

Case in point, right-wing radio host Hugh Hewitt. He's a C-level talk radio buffoon, a Limbaugh wannabe. He usually broadcasts from Los Angeles, but, as blogoland noted, Hewitt traveled all the way to (gasp) New York for a broadcast recently, and conducted a phone interview with Time magazine's Baghdad correspondent Michael Ware.

Hewitt apparently is angry at the work of Ware and his media colleagues stationed in the hellhole that is Baghdad, what, with them reporting on the car bombings and mass killings and civil war and all. Scurrying around town in armed escorts. Not knowing if they are going to be kidnapped and beheaded at any moment, or caught in crossfire, or have their hotel blown up as they sleep at night.

Then, this amazing exchange took place:

MW: Let's look at it this way. I mean, you're sitting back in a comfortable radio studio, far from the realities of this war.

HH: Actually, Michael, let me interrupt you.

MW: If anyone has a right...

HH: Michael, one second.

MW: If anyone has a right to complain, that's what...

HH: I'm sitting in the Empire State Building. Michael, I'm sitting in the Empire State Building, which has been in the past, and could be again, a target. Because in downtown Manhattan, it's not comfortable, although it's a lot safer than where you are, people always are three miles away from where the jihadis last spoke in America. So that's...civilians have a stake in this. Although you are on the front line, this was the front line four and a half years ago.

Huh? What? Hugh, you're actually in NYC? The Empire State Building, no less? Do you have your body armor on? Are you getting danger pay? Damn, you really are at the front lines! What a man!

What a fucking piece of shit.

New Yorkers, who were here on 9-11, and have lived here since, knowing we are a big giant target for any future terror attack, go calmly about our business, enjoying life quite a lot (if I do say so). We eat, we drink, we ride the subways every day, we go out and carouse, we live.

And this little pussy comes to town and whines about how brave he is because he's in midtown Manhattan.

Hey, pal, why don't you slink back to your little protected underground bunker and leave the city to those of us with some balls. (And, of course, I include the girls who live here too without falling apart and getting the vapors. Any one of them could probably kick your flabby ass).

Hugh Hewitt - what a sad little piece of scum. And what a typical right-wing chicken hawk.

I think I need a damn Tampon now

One of the Bobbsey Twins came over Tuesday for pizza and movie night - my friend, Lisa, who actually is a twin. When I first met her and her sister, I would call them Mary-Kate and Ashley, but they HATE the Olsens, so now I call them the Bobbseys, which they also hate, of course, but not quite as much.

Anyway, one of the movies she insisted on watching was “You've Got Mail,” which she had only seen part way on TBS once, and wanted to see the whole thing. I had never seen it at all, and, I swear, I could actually feel the testosterone drain from my body as the movie progressed.

I like both Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, but, jeezus, this was the ultimate definition of a “chick flick.” The cloying little voice-overs when they read their emails, the cute meeting, the cute feuding, the cute getting together finale. And when Meg said, “I was hoping it was you,” I think that's when I burst out laughing and cursing, much to the chagrin of Lisa, who, at that point, was trying not to tear up.


I insisted on watching “Hollow Man,” next, knowing she hates sci-fi, but, hey, I needed some explosions, and, more important, needed to punish her.

Ok, I probably don't have the whole sacrifice-for-a-friend concept down quite yet.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

What am I, Google?

The Internet is a funny thing. I received a bunch of seemingly out-of-nowhere emails today from people asking me to put up pictures of Michelle DiBenedetti. Now, to be honest, I didn't even recognize the name at first.

It turns out, Michelle is the girl who is the “fit model,” the perfect size 7, who I posted about a while back, in the wake of a Daily News article about her. But I couldn't figure out why these emails were just coming in today.

Well, apparently she had stumbled across the post, and sent a comment into it this morning. Since that original post ran more than a week ago, I hadn't seen her comment today, but some readers (males, of course, need I even say) did, and clicked onto her blog from her name, and were “sad” she didn't have pictures up on it.

Anyway, in her comment, Miss Size 7 noted she is on imdb, which includes pictures, so to calm you down, and to save you the apparently strenuous task of typing the letters imdb, here it is, including a couple of cute photos from Michelle's listing.

(By the way, I notice in her credits, she plays “Flasher” in “The Girl Next Door.” I may just have to watch out for that movie the next time it comes on HBO.)

Ohh mah gaaahhd, like, I know gurrls like thaaat

There's a funny and quite interesting article in the NY Observer about the phenomenon of girls in the northeast, and especially in New York, who speak a certain way. “The Affect,” the paper dubs it.

To give you a flavor:

“I laaaaahv a diiiiivey baaaaaahr,” said a girl with a voice that could crack the ice in her vodka tonic. It was her third drink. She was sitting with a friend at Duke’s (the “divey bar”) on 19th Street off Park Avenue South, wearing a periwinkle scarf around her neck and zebra-print shoes on her feet. She was in her late 20’s, had thick, dark eyebrows and straight, shiny brown hair worn in a long ponytail. She looked like a million other girls in New York: attractive but not pretty, stringy but not skinny, smart but not all that intelligent.

“People’re li-yike, ‘Oh my Gaaaaahd. You luh-iiiiive abu-huuuuv Fawer-teeeeenth Shtreeeeet?’”


“They may sound something like the whining sorority girls you steered clear of in college. But they just may also be the latest innovators of the English language. They can turn any item on a menu into an ancient Greek’s ritual lament (Stooooohhhleee owwrindge and taaaahnick!). They can separate emphasis from meaning, transforming the most straight-faced declarations into squeaky questions (“I haiiiiight haaaahr soooh maaaahch?”). They speak in sprawling, hyperbolic anecdotes, packed with pronouns—“he’s like” and “I’m like” and “she goes” and “he goes” and “I was all” and “he was all,” and so on.”

The Observer writer captures the phenomenon quite accurately, so go read it for the whole wonderful flavor.

It really is quite stunning how often I meet women who are, presumably, educated, went to good colleges, have good jobs -- and they speak like 8th grade Valley girls.

The piece also points out how the English language has and continues to evolve over the years, including the great Vowel Shift from approximately the 15th to 17th centuries, in which the way people pronouced words actually changed.

It also cites linguists who say that women tend to be the language innovators, as they are often the gatekeeps of the language, scolding their children if they pronounce words incorrectly.

That's actually sort of scary if the language is in the hands (mouths?) of some of the girls I meet out and about this town. Like, you know?

Is this the seventh sign of the apocalypse?

Tori Spelling and Loni Anderson are starring in a new VH1 show, "So noTORIous," premiering in April. Loni plays Tori's mother in what is described as a fictionalized version of Tori's life.

Every plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills will be putting this show on their clip reel. Together, these two have had more knives in them than the Sharks and the Jets in that last scene in "West Side Story."

Everything will be good now

Andrew Card, George Bush's chief of staff, resigned today.

You see, that's what the problem has been all along. The chief of staff. Not Bush's policies. All will no doubt be well in the world now that Card is gone.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Now, if I can only find a place where they fry bread, top it with booze, and serve it to you as you sit in a La-Z-Boy lounger

Well, the diet I was blathering about last week, the ship has definitely sailed on that little experiment. My friend Sarah had told me if I wanted to lose 10 to 15 pounds, I should give up breads, fried foods, and booze, and to exercise more (although she couldn't keep a straight face on the last two suggestions). But, for about six whole days, I actually managed to give up breads and frieds.

On Saturday, in the midst of bar hopping with some buds on the west side, French fries and chicken wings were consumed.

And today, to reward myself for a spectacular work triumph, I treated myself to lunch at Bar Americain, Bobby Flay's newest place (it's in the old JUdson Grill space). I started with a delightful wild mushroom salad, with aged goat cheese, and then had the smoked chicken pot pie, with a sweet potato biscuit crust. And, of course, I polished off most of a bread basket while sipping glasses of red wine.

Like the women I usually fall for, the food I crave is so bad for me.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Lara Logan on fire

Lara Logan, war correspondent for CBS News, was on CNN's “Reliable Sources” today from Baghdad and let the administration and its media apologists have it with both barrels. As you may know, Bush, Cheney and their conservative lapdogs are blaming media coverage for the unpopularity of the Iraq debacle.

That's right - it's not the 2300+ and counting American soldiers killed, it's not the bodies of 30 people found beheaded yesterday, it's not the car bombs going off daily. It's the press coverage that has resulted in the war's unpopularity.

Howie Kurtz, (the media critic for CNN and the Washington Post) who often puts GOP talking points into the mainstream, cited right-wing radio host Laura Ingrahm's recent appearance on the “Today Show,” where she said that American reporters should get out and cover the “good” stories in Iraq, instead of being on a “hotel balcony,” and Lara let her have it but good. You can watch her appearance here, posted on the great Crooks & Liars site. (click where it says “video” at the left of WMP and it will play on your Windows Media Player.)

A few years ago, by the way, I was walking up 57th Street and saw a stunning woman outside the CBS Broadcast Center trying to get a cab. I ogled her, of course, but didn't realize until the next day, when she popped up on CBS News, that it had been Lara, in the U.S. for a while, and visiting CBS News HQ.

Now SHE's my type.

That sounds familiar

As expected, the Afghan courts that were threatening to execute a man because he had converted from Islam to Christianity, released him while the case is pending, saying he may not be mentally competent. He will probably leave the country, so he isn't killed by the fundamentalists.

The Times says the country's U.S.-backed president "has had to be careful not to offend Islamic sensibilities at home and alienate religious conservatives who wield considerable power."

W. and the Republican party, which gladly lets right-wing religious conservatives in this country wield power, ought to be looking at this and thinking long and hard about what happens when fundamentalists are given political power. But, of course, they won't. They are happy to get the votes of the conservatives who troop to the polls and loyally pull the GOP lever because that party does their bidding on issues like abortion rights and gay marriage.

That didn't last long

Well, so much for my diet I was bragging about. I was out with some buds last night and let's just say french fries and chicken wings were involved. Mmmmm

And, if there had been bread around, I no doubt would have scarfed that down too.

On a positive note, I chatted with and exchanged numbers with an amazingly hot Asian girl. Mmmmm.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Oy gevalt

Haven't the Jews suffered enough?

Friday, March 24, 2006

I'd be screaming like a little girl

They found a 24-year-old woman who has apparently been held against her will for 10 years by a man who lived just two miles from her house.

The stories about these people who are held captive - yet not really held – fascinate me.

She finally confided to a store owner, but the reports say she had become close to him over an eight-month period. Why did she wait so long?

Remember the Elizabeth Smart case; the little girl from Utah who was apparently kidnapped from her bedroom one night? She just disappeared and was presumed by everyone to be dead. Then she turned up one day and was recognized. But, in all the months she was gone, she had actually been out and about, in fast food restaurants and the like, and never told anyone.

These victims weren't imprisoned, tied up and kept in a basement somewhere. They actually leave the captors' houses and go to public places, but don't tell anyone their plight.

I think most people would be shouting out the first chance they could get, but these abductees don't.

I don't get it. Are they brainwashed? Are they fearful that somehow the kidnappers will hurt or kill them? Are they really being held captive? What am I missing in these stories?

And the media pisses me off when they cover cases like these. They never really go into the back story, or perhaps get an interview with a psychologist to explain the underlying reason for these non-captive captives not telling anyone. Lazy bastards.

The sharks were better actors

My friend Benedict Susan came over last night and we had a movie night. We watched three movies and got through two bottles of Shiraz. That's less than a bottle a movie, so we're not actually alkies, you see.

One of the films we watched was “Open Water.” It may just have been one of the dumbest movies I've ever seen. It's supposedly based on a true story, about an American couple left stranded in shark-infested waters after their tour boat returns to land while they are diving, the guide not noticing the couple is still underwater at the time.

They surface, the boat is gone, they're left in the middle of the ocean - and then (gasp) the sharks make their appearance.

It starred a couple of unknown actors, and, as far as I know, they are still unknown (although the girl did look amazingly like Charlize Theron, but it definitely wasn't her) playing the whining, bickering couple).

Let's just say by the end of the movie, I was rooting for the sharks.

And apparently this movie was a Sundance Festival hit in 2004. What happened to the idea that the festival was the place where daring, innovative, independent films that couldn't get made in the big Hollywood studio system get discovered?

This was more Lifetime Movie of the Week quality. If I had paid to see it in a theater I would have been royally pissed off.

Ok, that's today's movie review, sports and weather at the top of the hour.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Another Bush foreign policy success story

The government we put into place in Afghanistan after the Taliban was toppled is now threatening to kill a citizen who converted to Christianity.

As the Times reports, “Afghan prosecutors have requested the death penalty for the 41-year-old convert, Abdul Rahman. Mr. Rahman told a preliminary hearing in Afghanistan last week that he converted to Christianity about 15 years ago while working with a Christian aid group helping refugees. When he recently sought custody of his children from his parents, family members reported his conversion.

Prosecutors have described Mr. Rahman as a "microbe" and said conversion is illegal under Islamic law. Conservative Afghan religious leaders dominate the country's courts and prosecutorial offices, but Afghanistan's American-backed constitution guarantees freedom of religion.”

That's strange. I could have swore I heard Bush, Cheney and Condi assuring us that bringing democracy to these Islamic countries was going to solve all our problems, and people will live in freedom, and, you know, we can open a McDonald's there.

Word is that pressure is being put on Afgahnistan's president to interfere in this case, and there will likely be some sort of deal made, the guy will be declared insane, or some such thing, and so not executed. But, what a mess.

And meanwhile, Iraq, that other great Bush success story, is of course sinking daily into a deadly religious conflict, with warring sects killing each other, and where Sharia, the Muslim fundamentalist rule, will be followed, just like in Afghanistan, no doubt.

Is there anything Bush touches that doesn't turn into a disaster?

What - is he in the Rolling Stones?

Smoking Gun has a copy of Dick Cheney's "rider" that is sent to hotels he stays in when traveling, and boy, what a diva The Dick turns out to be.

Among the demands, the room must be stocked with Diet Caffeine Free Sprite, TVs must be preset to Fox News (fair and balanced, ya know), temperature kept at a brisk 68 degrees.

They only have page 1, but I hear page 2 has his demands for bowls of M&Ms with the brown ones removed, and the groupies should be lined up in order of height.

He's probably going to be the next Secretary of Labor

Forget abortion rights. I think the real red-blue divide in this country might be in our entertainment.

Now, I like to think I'm up on my pop culture knowledge, partly for my job, partly because I read a lot, and see a decent amount of TV.

But I saw a commercial this morning for a movie called “Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector” that made me say – What the fuck?

From what I could tell in the 30 second ad, it's about a dimwitted country bumpkin getting into all sorts of crazy misadventures (hmm - come to think of it, that describes the George W. Bush administration! Hey you've been a great audience. I'm here all week, don't forget to tip your waitresses).

But, seriously, how this movie seemed to spring out of nowhere and be starring this fellow got me curious, so a little googling, and it turns out “Larry” is a “comedian” who is hugely popular out there. Somewhere. God only knows where, although I can guess.

It is widely known, I suppose, that some TV shows appeal mostly to certain areas of the country, or at least to certain sensibilities (Seinfeld, Friends, Will & Grace, Sex and the City, The Sopranos, Larry David were and are very popular in the bigger cities, the blue area of the country, if you will). Other shows or personalities, like, apparently, Larry the Cable Guy, are incredibly popular in red state America.

Part of it is the proliferation of media choices. At one point, there were only three big networks, and everyone in the country watched Lucy or Jackie Gleason or Ed Sullivan at the same time, whether you were on the East Side of Manhattan or East Texas. Now, of course, there's 500 channels, and everyone can find a niche station that caters to their interests.

There are pockets of entertainment out there that are absolutely huge in big swatches of America, but are under the radar of many of us here in NYC. And, frankly, incomprehensible to many of us.

I mean, seriously, Larry the Cable Guy?

Or how about NASCAR, which is now the most popular spectator sport in America. Think about that. Millions of Americans love to see cars race around a track for hours at a time. And I'm not talking about the big races that come along once a year, like the Indy 500. NASCAR is every day of the week. And it's HUGE. But, if you asked the average New Yorker some questions about it, who the big stars are, what cars are used, he would be absolutely stumped.

And by the way, there's no right or wrong in this. People enjoy what they enjoy, and who the hell am I to say, well, Larry David is funny, but Larry the Cable Guy isn't. (I do think that, but that's my personal taste.). I just find it interesting that there is such a cultural divide in the country these days, not just in our politics, but in our entertainment too.

Sanity in South Dakota?

When South Dakota recently passed a law banning abortion, even in cases of rape or incest, not all residents were happy, despite the conservative leanings of that fairly Republican state.

In fact, approval ratings for Gov. Mike Rounds (R), who signed the bill into law, have plummeted, from 72 percent last month (one of the highest ratings a governor had in the country), to 58 percent after he signed the bill.

And there may even be a physical pocket of sanity in the state, in the form of one of the sovereign Native American reservations.

According to, which covers American Indian matters, after the law passed, “The President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe on the Pine Ridge Reservation, Cecilia Fire Thunder, was incensed. A former nurse and healthcare giver she was very angry that a state body made up mostly of white males, would make such a stupid law against women.

“To me, it is now a question of sovereignty,” she said to me last week. “I will personally establish a Planned Parenthood clinic on my own land which is within the boundaries of the Pine Ridge Reservation where the State of South Dakota has absolutely no jurisdiction.”

It's a beautiful thing.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Pass that buck

Harry S Truman, of course, had the famous saying on his desk - The Buck Stops Here.

George W. Bush goes the other way - making a giant mess and leaving it to his successors to clean up after him.

In his new, "Hey, the war's not going so bad, it's all that damn liberal media's fault" tour, Bush basically admitted American troops are going to be stuck in Iraq for a long time.

According to The Washington Post, "President Bush acknowledged yesterday that the war in Iraq is dominating nearly every aspect of his presidency, and he served notice for the first time that he expects the decision on when all U.S. troops come home to fall on his successors."

And he's doing the same with the economy, of course. The massive tax breaks geared to the wealthy, with increased federal spending, guarantees that a future president is going to have to clean up a real mess, with deficits threatening the economic health of the U.S.

Actually, that's pretty much a Republican specialty. Remember, when Bill Clinton took office in 1992, there were deficits as far as the eye could see, thanks to Reagan and Bush Sr. Clinton left a booming economy behind, which junior inherited and promptly proceeeded to sink into the toilet.

And for some bizarre reason, the public often thinks that Republicans are better stewards of the nation's economy, even though studies show the stock market invariably does better under a Democratic president than a Republican.

According to a UCLA study reported by CNN, "here's Wall Street's strange little irony -- studies show the stock market performs better and tends to be less volatile when Democrats are in power.


Looking at the 72-year period between 1927 and 1999, the study shows that a broad stock index, similar to the S&P 500, returned approximately 11 percent more a year on average under a Democratic president versus safer, three-month Treasurys. By comparison, the index only returned 2 percent more a year versus the T-bills when Republicans were in office."

Basically, if you want to live like a rich Republican, vote Democratic.

She didn't say anything about black and white cookies

I was bitching a couple weeks ago about how I wanted to lose some weight, and my friend, Sarah, who is one of those annoying health nuts who never gains a pound, told me I should:

Give up alcohol
Excercise more
Give up breads
Give up fried food

So, of course, I have given up breads and fried food. (Which, by the way, is killing me - I love my French fries, and I love bread of all types - French, Italian, bagels, Portugese rolls, garlic toast - mmm).

Anyway, I have to admit, it might be working. I put on a pair of khakis today that I usually never bothered wearing a belt with, and I've been walking around all morning holding them up because it feels like they're going to slide off.

Can you imagine if I actually did give up booze and started excercising more? I'd be a Greek God! But, the chances of that happening are about as likely as W. getting inducted into Mensa.

And the no bread or fries thing is probably only going to last another week anyway. I had Italian for dinner last night, and I wanted garlic bread so bad it wasn't even funny.

Greed in the record industry? Shocking!

A fascinating article here about Solomon Linda, the African man who wrote the mega hit known as "The Lion Sleeps Tonight."

As the Times reports, "Some 150 artists eventually recorded the song. It was translated into languages from Dutch to Japanese. It had a role in more than 13 movies. By all rights, Mr. Linda should have been a rich man.

Instead, he lived in Soweto with barely a stick of furniture, sleeping on a dirt floor carpeted with cow dung.

Mr. Linda received 10 shillings — about 87 cents today — when he signed over the copyright of "Mbube" in 1952 to Gallo Studios, the company that produced his record. He also got a job sweeping floors and serving tea in the company's packing house.

His eight children survived on maize porridge, known as pap. When they passed a grade in school, their reward was an egg. Two died as babies, one of malnutrition, said his daughter Ms. Nsele, now 47."

Shady lawyers and greedy record company executives ripped this guy off big time. And that's something that was done to many artists of that era, especially in the jazz and blues areas.

But Britney Spears is worth $100 million. Go figure.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Maybe he was just afraid of getting shot in the face?

The guy running as the Republican for a U.S. Senate seat from New Jersey, Tom Kean, Jr., deliberately got “caught” in traffic so he wouldn't be seen with and photographed next to Dick Cheney.

At his own fundraiser!

Kean and his people deny it was deliberate and say it was because he was in Trenton all day, voting as a state legislator, and then, on his way to his own fundraiser, let me remind you, got caught in that darn Jersey traffic. He arrived 15 minutes after Cheney had left the premises.

The senatorial hopeful spoke to The Times, which reports:

As soon as the Senate wrapped up, around 4 p.m., he traveled north “as quickly as I could." But instead of taking the New Jersey Turnpike, like any regular commuter between Trenton and Newark, he and his driver chose Route 1, which is usually crawling with bumper-to-bumper traffic at that hour.

Mr. Kean said he did so because there were delays on the Turnpike in the morning. But at 6 p.m., there were no reported delays between Exit 7A, not far from Trenton, and the George Washington Bridge, according to the Turnpike's Web site.

And Anton Peters, an executive producer at Shadow Traffic, said that Route 1 was relatively trouble-free on Monday afternoon, with the only significant problem a northbound accident near Linden that was cleared up by 2 p.m. "If he was going north, it wouldn't have affected him," Mr. Peters said.

Cheney and Bush are incredibly radioactive in a big swatch of the country these days. In N.J., a pretty reliably blue state, their approval ratings are probably well below that of one of the state's most famous “citizens,” Tony Soprano. Even after he strangled that guy while taking his daughter to check out colleges.

I'm not sure if Tony has ever shot a guy in the face, but we know Dick has. No wonder they're running from him.

UPDATE: Someone quickly reminded me that Tony shot his cousin in the face. But I bet he's still more popular than the Dick.


A fake Zimbabwean traditional healer has been found guilty of conning a businesswoman out of $30,000 to pay for mermaids to recover her stolen car.

The money was to have been used to import the mermaids from the UK and accommodate them in a local hotel.

Some of the money was to have been used to pay for a bull, whose genitals would supposedly help find the thief of her luxury vehicle.


You know, of all the world's mermaids, I believe it's generally agreed that the U.K.'s mermaids do the best detective work.

And when you add bull genitalia to the mix, well, that car was as good as found until the busybody government got involved. Curse those liberal do-gooders.

What's black and white and yummy all over?

I just had a black and white cookie with my coffee. I haven't had one of these calorie-laden treats in a while. Damn, I forgot how good they are.

Seriously, can they get any scummier?

Ok, let's say you're a Republican politician. Your side is trailing in every poll in which the public is asked which party they would like to see run Congress. Your President is now widely seen as an albatross, an empty suit, a dimwitted disaster who started a deadly and unprovoked war, headed a hugely incompetent response to Hurricane Katrina, spent his way (like the drunken coke fiend he once was) through a federal budget that went from the enormous surplus he inherited from Clinton to a huge deficit, in just six years. And, for good measure, your party is seen as a corrupt tool of big business, intent on gutting the nation's environmental laws, weakening worker safety regulations, and instituting budget-busting tax giveaways to the super rich.

So, what do you run on in the November elections?

Turning around the economy? Rethinking Iraq? Redoubling efforts to capture bin Laden? Instituting a sea change to improve the lot of the average American in health care, tax and job security issues?


It's time to go to the wedge issues that divide Americans, fire up the base, get the red states aroused, please the Christian right, and, of course, do not a fucking thing to help the country.

For the 2006 elections, according to Fred Barnes, the well-placed conservative reporter: “House Republicans, for their part, intend to seek votes on measures such as the Bush-backed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, a bill allowing more public expression of religion, another requiring parental consent for women under 18 to get an abortion, legislation to bar all federal courts except the Supreme Court from ruling on the constitutionality of the Pledge of Allegiance, a bill to outlaw human cloning, and another that would require doctors to consider fetal pain before performing an abortion.”

Ahh - flag burning, gays, religion, abortion, the Pledge of Allegiance, and cloning.

Just the ticket to cure the nation's problems.


And the sad thing is, this type of crap usually gets enough of the right wing nuts out there to loyally troop to the polls and vote for the scare-mongering politicians.

There's an old saying – the people get the government they deserve. Now, I certainly understand why multimillionaires vote for the GOP, which merrily lowers their tax rates and makes it easier for them to run their businesses.

I don't understand the dumb shitheads in the middle class (and even lower middle class) who vote for Bush, DeLay, et al, even though it's their jobs that are being shipped overseas, their health care plans and pensions that are being eliminated, and their environment and food safety which is being jeopardized by the weakening of the regulations governing them.

I can't comprehend why they listen to this cultural wedge issue crap time after time.

They ignore the damage being done to the country by Bush and his band of cronies so they can feel righteous about making sure homos can't marry. They are getting the government they deserve. They deserve the shitstorm coming their way.

Oh, I know some would say, "What an elitist. No wonder you Democrats can't win, when you denigrate proud, God-fearing Americans in red state Bush land."

Well, fuck that. Because, unfortunately, the rest of us get stuck with that government too. And we don't deserve it.

Steaks and traitors and Scotch – oh my

I watched the latest episode of “The Apprentice” on Monday night. (Yeah, I'm a loser, baby, so why don't you kill me).

Trump's daughter, Ivanka, was on again (grrowwl) and they were also seriously taunting the fat guy, who finally got fired. So my compulsion to look at a hot, rich, icy blonde, and at a human car wreck, was able to be met in one simultaneously terrible and tacky hour.

The prize this week was getting to cook and eat with Jean Georges, the amazing chef, who has a ridiculously priced restaurant in one of Trump's buildings. And, when The Donald announced the prize, Ivanka just casually glanced over, as if to say, "Oh yes, that's right, Jean Georges is in one of our buildings.”


Not to mention, at one point in the show, as she commented (quite approvingly) of a photo of a model eating food taken for an ad campaign created by one of the teams for this week's contest, Ivanka said – and this is verbatim: “She was ravenous. She was trying to get as much of it in her mouth as possible.”


Anyway, my friend, The Traitor, came over. Now, I don't call her that, my ex does. And, I mean, she literally calls her a traitor - heh.

“Benedict Susan” is the former roommate of a girl I used to date, and, even though the ex and I no longer talk – we would, in fact, probably cross to the other side of the street if we saw the other coming – Susan and I remained friends. Basically, I got custody of the roomie.

The Traitor doesn't even really like “The Apprentice,” but, hell, she got a free dinner - she couldn't resist.

See, I'm renovating my kitchen, and, in the process, of course, getting new appliances. This means I've been making a lot of Omaha Steak products the last few weeks to empty out the freezer before the change happens, much to the delight of my carnivorous friends.

We cracked open a bottle of Shiraz, and I made a couple of filet mignons for dinner, preceded by a tasty Omaha lobster bisque. For a meat-oriented company, I have to tell you, they do a helluva lobster bisque.

Kudos, Omaha.

So, we ate yummy steak, then curled up on my sumptuous leather couch and drank Scotch. All very, very retro.

If I smoked, I, no doubt, would have slipped into a velvet smoking jacket, lit up a Cuban, and got a back massage while Sinatra was playing.

Come fly with me, indeed.

Monday, March 20, 2006

In-sane (adj.)

One of the definitions of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different outcomes each time.

The Bush administration certainly seems to manifest some of those tendencies. They repeatedly tell us how great the war in Iraq is going. That it was a great thing that we invaded that country. That it's going to be any day now that the Iraqi army will be able to take over control of the country. That's there's really not a civil war going on. That terrorists haven't flocked to Iraq since Hussein fell, and that the Arab world doesn't really hate us more than ever.

And now, as the Times reports: “On the third anniversary of a war that they once expected to be over by now, President Bush and senior officials argued Sunday that their strategy was working despite escalating violence in Iraq, even as a former Iraqi prime minister once favored by the White House declared that a civil war had already started.”

I don't know if they are delusional and really believe what they say, are liars and hope the American people are stupid, or are clinically insane and hope that, one day, something will somehow change if we just keep doing whatever the hell we are doing there.

But any of these options certainly isn't encouraging.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

It's about time

"Over the last seven years, the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press has played a game of word association as part of its regular presidential polling, asking, "What one word best describes your impression of George W. Bush?" No options or suggestions are offered. The latest results — from a sample of 710 people done in March — aren't good for the President. Until this month, the word most associated with President Bush had always been "honest." Now the leading answer is "incompetent."

- Time mag

Ladies, start your engines...of envy

There's an interesting article in the Daily News today about Michelle DiBenedetti, who works as a “fit model” for a clothing company. Apparently, her size and measurements are the perfect size that designers like to work on.

She is, according to the News, a “prototypical size 7.” Now, I have no clue what women's clothing sizes mean, but there's a couple of pictures with the article in the print edition, and, let me say, this girl has a smoking hot little body.

"I'm an actress - this would be my waitressing," said DiBenedetti, as two designers flitted around her with measuring tapes and Excel spreadsheets during a fitting session in their Broadway studio.

But unlike the poor saps waiting tables between auditions, DiBenedetti, whose nickname is MJ, can clear $80,000 to $100,000 in a good year. Plus, her wardrobe is full of free clothes.”

I can just hear many of my friends gnashing their teeth right now.

But, fear not. It's not as glamorous as you might think, according to The News: “Because even a pound over her 117-pound modeling weight will throw off measurements, the 5-foot-7 DiBenedetti walks to every audition. She doesn't eat after 4 p.m. and tries to be asleep by 9 p.m. most nights.”

It is a strange world we live in where people get paid a decent salary for, well, standing around to get fitted with free clothes.

And that salary isn't even crazy obscene. Plenty of TV stars, movie actors, musicians, sport figures, etc. easily earn $100,000 a week. Hell, Oprah makes over $1 million a week.

I'm definitely in the wrong biz.

But kudos to Michelle DiBenedetti, who, The News also helpfully informs us, is 35-26-34. Now THAT”s my type.

Can we at least call it a George Horse?

I woke up in screaming agony today, and it wasn't because some hot little blonde was attaching nipple clamps.

It was a charley horse. Damn those are painful. It was in my left leg and I lay whimpering like a baby for a couple minutes before I could even try to get up.

Since it was one of those that struck while I was sleeping not exercising, I couldn't even figure out what caused it, so I paid a little visit to Google, and, while I like to blame George Bush for the troubles we face, in this case, it turns out it may be Jack Daniels' fault.

Apparently, one of the causes of these muscle spasms is dehydration or a mineral imbalance. Which, of course, happens if you imbibe the night before.

This site says, “The pain can be severe and debilitating.” No, shit.

This site recommends drinking water for the dehydration, or even taking a Tums for the minerals before going to bed.

Of course, it would make more sense just not to imbibe, so that's also an option to consider. Yes, it is.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Tall and tan and young and lovely....

I met a girl last night who was 6'2".

Now, I usually like them small and petite, but I have to admit, I was totally intrigued with this girl who was taller than me. Her legs went on forever!

My buds and I spent most of St. Patrick's at Clancy's, on Second Ave. It was packed, but, then again, even the Latvian bars (if there are such things as Latvian bars) are packed on St. Patty's. And there's where I met her. And she proudly wore heels, no less. No slouching, as some tall girls tend to do.

And, with my usual shitty luck, she was from Washington, visiting her cousin from Westchester, and had just always wanted to be in the city on St. Patrick's.

So, of course, I'll likely never see her again. That's so much my luck, it's not even funny.

I hope they were wearing their protective vests

And you think your job is tough, sometimes.

Friday, March 17, 2006

I hear the call of the loon

I'm on the Upper East Side, not far from where the big St. Patty's Day parade ends on 86th street, and chez jbk is high above the street, yet I can already hear drunken sounds of revelry outside. It's like the call of the drunken wild.

And I'm heading into midtown to meet some buds for “lunch” - yeah, like I would touch that corned beef they serve in bars today. More likely I will get my nutrients from amber waves of grain and barley and hops.

So Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone. It's not quite Steak and a Blowjob Day (what is?), but it's got to be one of the top holidays – behind Thanksgiving and Christmas, but ahead of Lent and Lag Ba'Omer.

Reading is fundamental

I don't usually write about books here, instead I usually end up reviewing something important and deep, like the latest episode of The Apprentice. But I have to make an exception after reading the book review in today's Times about Kevin Phillips' newest work, "American Theocracy."

Phillips is an interesting character. He used to be a die-hard Republican, and is widely credited with helping mastermind the GOP's Southern strategy, the odious (and successful) move to lure the racist southern whites, who were unhappy that the Democratic party had become the party of civil rights, over to the Republican side.

Of course, the two parties, at one time, were almost the mirror images of where they are today, with the Republicans (the party of Lincoln, after all), being more enlightened about race relations, and the Dems, the party of the old South, fighting civil rights tooth and nail.

It started changing in the 1960s, and when Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, he is supposed to have turned to his aides and said, “Boys, we've just lost the South for a generation.” And of course, he was right. Those southern racists started flocking to the Republican party, and today the GOP basically has a lock on the South's Electoral College votes. Sad.

Anyway, I digress. Phillips was one of the masterminds of the strategy implemented first by Richard Nixon to atttract those southern racists, and the GOP politicians started using code words like state's rights and affirmative action, and sometimes got outright obnoxious, as when Ronald Reagan kicked off his election campaign in Philadelphia, Miss., at the Neshoba County Fair, an annual gathering that was famous for its diatribes by segregationist politicians. In office, Reagan would also often rail against “welfare queens.” Everyone knew what that meant.

Anyway, over the years, Phillips, perhaps feeling some sort of guilt at what he helped unleash, has turned against the GOP, and has written several books harshly criticizing that evil party.

And, according to the Times review, "American Theocracy" is “an examination of the religious right and its influence on the current administration — to anatomize a host of economic, political, military and social developments that Mr. Phillips sees as troubling indices of the United States' coming decline.”

Regular readers of this blog know my feeling towards the Christian right, so, needless to say, the book sounds to me like it's going to be a great read.

According to Michiko Kakutani's review, Phillips analyses five symptoms of "a power already at its peak and starting to decline" - and tell me these symptoms don't sound like the sorry state this country is in today:

1) "widespread public concern over cultural and economic decay," along with social polarization and a widening gap between rich and poor.
2)"growing religious fervor" manifested in a close state-church relationship and escalating missionary zeal
3) "a rising commitment to faith as opposed to reason and a corollary downplaying of science"
4) "considerable popular anticipation of a millennial time frame"
5) "hubris-driven national strategic and military overreach" in pursuit of "abstract international missions that the nation can no longer afford, economically or politically."

Added to these symptoms, Phillips writes, is a sixth one, almost too obvious to state: high debt, which can become "crippling in its own right."

According to the review, Phillips places the U.S. in the same condition former great empires, like the British and the Romans were, before they began to decline. He's got it pegged. The question, now, is will the country wake up and realize that the current gang in power is driving this country into such decline, or will they continue to be more concerned about the wedge issues the Republicans specialize in using to gin up concern among the red staters - abortion and gay rights and race relations.

I guess we'll find out in the November Congressional elections. I know the polls look good right now, but I'm not optimistic for our future.

Corky or Lucy? You make the call

Thursday night and birthday margs at El Rio Grande with my bud, “Corky.” She was actually very tame, considering multiple $10 margaritas were involved. Boringly tame, to my chagrin. Well, except she had her shirt on backwards. But, apparently, that was on purpose. Hey, it's a look, I guess?

And she also was quite proud of her new haircut, which she claimed cost $700 (!) It was done for a TV show, so she didn't have to pay for it, but, if you ever wonder why people in Iowa hate New Yorkers, this just might be one of the reasons – they get $700 haircuts.

Anyway, regular readers of this blog may recall, I've mentioned Corky here before. But, I'm thinking, Corky may be the wrong name for her. Perhaps Lucy would be more appropriate.

She doesn't have red hair (she has that $700 blondish hair now), but she reminds me a little of Lucille Ball. You know, the old black & white Lucy, when she was married to Ricky Ricardo and always coming up with all sorts of wacky schemes and getting into crazy situations. That's Corky.

She once started a business a few years ago, a special events company. (I don't know how prevalent such things are outside NYC, but, since there are so many bars and clubs in the city vying for attention, they often hire events planners and promoters to try to get people to come to their places).

So, Corky and a friend, one of the K Sisters, in fact, (the middle K, Jan, also mentioned here previously), decide to establish a fabulous special events operation.

Well, let me just tell you, Corky and Jan start off like gangbusters. And it's very exciting. They have business cards printed up. They incorporate at a cost of a few hundred dollars. They become an LLC no less! They are going to take over the nightlife of the city. They are monitoring the ads in the back of New York magazine to see where they can swoop in and start planning parties. Then, the moment finally arrives, and they are ready to debut. They throw an opening bash to celebrate the launch of the new business. They invite their family and friends to a lounge on the East Side for the big premiere night. Free drinks. Tasty hors doeuvres. Got quite a good turnout, too. Not bad., that was basically the last fucking party they ever organized.

They lost interest in it all, and also lost several hundred bucks after expenses.

You know those two guys who invented Google? Built that company from scratch, faced the odds to go up against the established powerhouses, and are now powerful and influential gazillionaires?

Corky and Jan? Ehh, not so much.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

There better be a goddamn revolution in November

Way back in January, not long after I started this little mess we call too saucy, Samuel Alito got confirmed to the Supreme Court, and I ranted about it in a post that included these lines:

The court now tilts dramatically to the right, Roe will be overturned, and abortion rights will likely be history in 3-5 years. Then they'll start working on birth control. They're against that too, you know.

Well, it's happening in Missouri. According to the AP, the state legislature there just voted to deny spending for birth control measures for poor women in the new fiscal year.

Missouri stopped providing money for family planning and certain women's health services when Republicans gained control of both chambers of the Legislature in 2003.

But a Democratic lawmaker, in a little-noticed committee amendment, had successfully inserted language into the proposed budget for the fiscal year starting July 1 that would have allowed part of the $9.2 million intended for "core public health functions" to go to contraception provided through public health clinics.

The House voted 96-59 to delete the funding for contraception and infertility treatments after Rep. Susan Phillips told lawmakers that anti-abortion groups such as Missouri Right to Life were opposed to the spending.

Just lovely.

And I don't even understand the logic of these fucktards. They are against abortion rights. Ok, I realize some people have moral and religious grounds for believing it is murder.

But, why the hell are they against birth control? Don't they actually want to prevent unwanted pregnancies?

Well, of course, not really. it's actually part and parcel of the Christian right's way to control women and their bodies and their sexuality. Don't even think about having sex, ladies, unless you are ready to have a baby, because the Christianists (can we call them that, because they seem to love to throw around the word Islamists to describe that religion's fanatics) and their GOP lackeys won't allow it.

And, as we saw recently in South Dakota, even if you're raped (!) you're shit out of luck and on your way to being a mommy, because there are no exceptions for victims of rape in that state's new anti-choice role.

What the fuck is happening to this country?


You know that quaint Irish pub you sometimes visit to have a pint or two? Maybe you will even be stopping by one tomorrow for St. Patty's Day. Chances are, it could be a prefabricated shell.

There's an interesting article in Slate about the faux Irish pub phenomenon.

In the last 15 years, Dublin-based IPCo and its competitors have fabricated and installed more than 1,800 watering holes in more than 50 countries. Guinness threw its weight (and that of its global parent Diageo) behind the movement, and an industry was built around the reproduction of "Irishness" on every continent—and even in Ireland itself.


To wit, they offer five basic styles: The "Country Cottage," with its timber beams and stone floors, is supposed to resemble a rural house that gradually became a commercial establishment. The "Gaelic" design features rough-hewn doors and murals based on Irish folklore. You might, instead, choose the "Traditional Pub Shop," which includes a fake store (like an apothecary), or the "Brewery" style, which includes empty casks and other brewery detritus, or "Victorian Dublin," an upscale stained-glass joint. IPCo will assemble your chosen pub in Ireland. Then they'll bring the whole thing to your space and set it up.

I know I've been in some of them. Now that I think of it, I'm pretty sure Thady Con's on Second Ave. is one (in the “Gaelic” mode, I believe).

I'm shocked and disillusioned.

But, as long as the Guinness is real, what the hell.

Good for her

Jessica Simpson has snubbed Bush and the GOP, turning down an invitation to attend their fundraising gala, because she didn't want to politicize her charity, Operation Smile, a non-profit offering free plastic surgery for disadvantaged children with facial deformities.

Beauty and brains.

I guess I'm going to have to take another look at Dukes of Hazzard, to, you know, appreciate her savvy.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

She wanted a salmon the hay

I went to Minado for sushi tonight, and, while it's not Nobu quality, it's not bad. And, hey, it's all-you-can-eat. How can you go wrong? One damn tuna roll at Nobu probably costs the entire meal here.

I was with my friend, “Velma,” (so named because she does the worst impression of Scooby Doo's laugh, which she actually thinks is hilarious, no matter how often I tell her it's just terrible. And she does wear knee-high socks sometimes, which me likee).

Anyway, I don't know if it was all the sushi, but she dirtily suggested that since yesterday was that glorious holiday that I wrote about here, then perhaps today should be proclaimed as the female counterpart (although she said it much more obscenely than that – but this is a family blog). More likely, of course, it was the four little bottles of sake we guzzled down.

But, as I gently reminded her – that's the only special day we guys get designated, so calm the hell down, already. See, we can't even get a special day for ourselves without the gals wanting to horn in on it. The little tarts.

And I can selfishly say those things to Velma and she will laugh, because she's one of that strange species - an ex that I've stayed on good terms with. We went out about three years ago, but we still hang out, go drinking, have movie nights, and, yes, occasionally, er, rendezvous, when we're both single at the same time.

I'm sure just about everyone's been in ex hook-ups, and I'm equally sure they go against everything a relationship expert would say is healthy, about letting go, about making it all about the future not the past. But, the hell with it. At least we each know the other is not a psycho.

And, trust me, those relationship experts haven't a clue about the psycho single girls that roam around New York City, often in packs. The little academic theories don't work so well in this town. Hey, am I right, guys, or what? Okay, that's a rhetorical; I'm a tad buzzed and going to bed now. I don't even have the energy to rant about politics.

Oyasumi nasai.

SFX indeed

I was over at "The View" this morning. Let me just say the makeup and lighting people at ABC earn every penny they make.

His name will suddenly be very appropriate

The National Republican Congressional Committee is holding a fund raising gala on Thursday, and poptart Jessica Simpson will be attending, according to Roll Call mag. This is in addition to already announced guest, porn star (and former California gubernatorial candidate) Mary Carey.

What a bunch of hypocrites. These right wingers claim to see sex in any context other than straight, vanilla, procreation among a married couple as somehow dirty. Hell, they impeached Clinton for a getting a hummer, but they want to eat with and ogle a couple of bimbos at their fund raiser.

And, of course, House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), who will be sitting next to the “Dukes of Hazzard” star, is already putting out the word he doesn't really know who Jessica is.

“I’m not even sure if he knows who Jessica Simpson is,” the Majority Leader’s spokesman, Kevin Madden, told Roll Call, on cue.

Yeah, right.

Guarantee, that guy has wacked off to her Boots are Made For Walkin' video.

What's a little E. coli among friends

It's clear that under Bush and the Republicans, science has taken a back seat to politics and money.

From evolution being pushed aside in favor of “intelligent design,” to political appointees at NASA downplaying the dangers of global warming. From hacks running FEMA and dropping the ball disastrously after Katrina, to the FDA stalling on the plan B morning after pill, even though medical experts say there is no reason it can't be approved for over-the-counter sales, the Republican war on science is a mixture of right-wing Christian ideology, and GOP legislators currying financial favor for their big corporate contributors.

And it appears it's the latter of these that is behind proposed legislation which will likely mean your food supply is going to get more dangerous.

As Harold Myerson points out in The Washington Post, while everyone was focusing on the Dubai ports deal last week, the GOP Congress was quietly hard at work on a plan that could endanger the nation's food supply.

Last Wednesday the House passed the National Uniformity for Food Act, which might better be named the Swallow at Your Own Risk Act. In one swoop, the bill preempts roughly 200 state laws governing food safety.


The other problem is the FDA itself, which under the Bush administration has given "political science" a whole new meaning. It's the FDA that overruled its scientists to keep the morning-after pill off the shelves of America's pharmacies. It requires absolutely no leap of imagination to envision an FDA that comforts the food industry and afflicts consumers.

It's the food industry, of course, that cooked up this legislative swill. The bill's backers include most supermarket chains, and such food giants as Cargill, Coca-Cola, ConAgra and Kraft -- mega-contributors all. Its opponents include not just the usual consumer and environmental groups but a bipartisan group of 39 state attorneys general.

You really have to wonder what kind of country these people are envisioning for the future. The federal government in debt, unable to supply even basic services, a corporate oligarchy running everything, with CEOs making 500 times what the average worker makes, and a cowed and beaten middle class, whose jobs are being shipped overseas, and workers grateful for the scraps of having any kind of employment, with the perks once accepted as norm for the American worker – pension plans, and company paid health insurance – a long distant memory of an earlier time.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

March 14 - what a glorious day

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday today.

And I don't mean Purim.

Is Erica Kane going to be named Secretary of State now?

What the hell is going on with these Republicans? They seem to have a new little game - when one of them is caught in the act of screwing up, an evil twin sibling is blamed.

Isn't the evil twin usually a staple of daytime soap opera plot lines?

According to The Hill, Rep. Jean Schmidt, that delightful GOP congresswoman from Ohio, who badmouthed decorated war vet Rep. Jack Murtha (D-PA) on the floor of the House a few months back, apparently was once quoted in a newspaper article talking smack about young Republican activists.

Now, don't get me wrong - she actually made sense in her comments, saying: “They look like young Hitlers to me…They’re so grim and deadly serious about the cause. How are we going to attract mainstream kids to our party, kids who like to have fun and don’t take themselves so seriously?”

(Her spokesman) disputed that Schmidt made the comment, explaining that her twin sister, Jennifer Black, who was also mentioned in the paragraph, made the remark.

When asked to comment about her sister’s supposed remark, the spokesman replied, “I don’t work for her sister.”

An evil twin sister?

But it gets better. Now, according to TPM, that former White House aide who was arrested for shoplifting from Target last week, is trying to put the word out that it was actually his twin brother.

In an NPR interview, a reporter covering the story, said of Claude Allen: “He has an identical twin brother who even close friends can’t tell them apart when they see them. And people have seen him and close friends say that Mr. Allen has indicated to them that maybe his brother holds the key to this entire puzzling affair.”

Jesus H. Christ.

When Condi starts having an affair with an amnesia victim who turns out to be the long lost husband of Interior Secretary Gale Norton, who mysteriously disappeared many years ago, I guess we will know Bush land has officially become Pine Valley.

Another glamorous night in the Big Apple

I couldn't help myself, and I watched “The Apprentice” again last night (I know, I know, my life is pitiful sometimes).

At the end, the winning team got one of those goofy awards they have been giving out lately, this time swimming with the sharks in an aquarium. It basically consisted of being put in one of those cages and lowered into the water for about a minute. (They still love making fun of the fat guy, too. They are really painting him as a lunatic.)

Let me tell you, I would be goddamn pissed if I was on that show and that turned out to be one of the weekly prizes. In the first season, the winning team usually got something like a shopping spree at Cartier, or at least a fine meal in a great New York restaurant.

Now the prizes are stupid ones, or even, heaven forbid, socially conscious ones. Last week the prize was helping pick out job interview suits for two down-on-their luck men, with stuff from Donald Trump's own tacky clothing line, of course.

That's actually a good cause, and I give all my old suits and sports jackets to a group here in NY called Career Gear, which does that concept. And there's one that helps women too, called Dress for Success, for all you gals out there with too many clothes – yes, I'm talking to you!

But, to be on The Apprentice, and have the prize being to help pick out some clothes? What kind of fucking nonsense is that?

When he announced that was the "award," Trump said something along the lines of, “Instead of a prize for yourself, you will be helping....yadda yadda yadda...and this is a much better reward.” And, of course, one of the ass-kissing contestants smarmily agreed: “Much better, Mr. Trump.”

That's the putz I immediately started rooting against.

The mind absolutely boggles

They are now moving in Ohio to pass a bill to protect pharmacists who refuse to provide birth control, even emergency morning-after contraception, and, according to The Columbus Dispatch, one of the proponents of this says women who get raped can't get pregnant.

Dobbins also questioned the need for emergency contraception in rape cases, saying that most women either are not fertile during assault or do not become pregnant because the trauma prompts a hormonal response that prevents ovulation.

"So if they do get pregnant, they wanted it, is that it?" a reproductive-rights advocate in the audience asked.

Women, you better start speaking up loudly and you better start damn soon, because it's only going to get worse with these people.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Who are these heathens?

I was heading to a quick lunch today on the Upper East Side, and I saw the bars already had their St. Patty's Day paraphernalia up. You know, the leprachauns and the Erin Go Braugh signs, and pictures of green beer for the big day Friday.

Forget abortion. THIS is the moral outrage of our times. Who are these scoundrels that would take an innocent beer and color it green like that? And, even worse, who are the people who actually drink it?

Oh yeah, it's the high school kids from Long Island who flood into the city every March 17, and try desperately to get into the bars. Punks.

Stay home ya little bastards.

His poll numbers are so bad he had to return to the U.S. the same way.

When Bush visited Pakistan on his recent trip abroad, it was such a risk, that it literally had to be done under cover of darkness.

Reporters were not told that Mr. Bush would be spending the night in Pakistan until 24 hours before, which was the same day that a suicide bombing in Karachi killed an American diplomat. In Islamabad, Air Force One arrived and departed in the dark, with its running lights off and shades drawn, so that it would be less of a target for a missile attack.

He's beloved everywhere he goes.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

A bob job vs. a war? Not even close for Sen. Bill Frist and his GOP gang of skunks

Sen. Russ Feingold (D- WI) says he plans to introduce a motion of censure against George Bush for authorizing that illegal warrantless domestic surveillance program, and, predictably, the Republicans are up in arms at the thought.

Now, remember, the GOP is the party that “settled” on censuring Bill Clinton because he dared lie about a consensual affair with Monica Lewinsky. They, of course, impeached the guy and actually wanted to remove him from office.

So, in their twisted little minds, a president who lied about a blow job is worthy of censure. A president who lied us into a war, and spies on Americans on the side, is not worthy of censure.

Well, it's certainly nice to see they have their priorities straight.

I think it actually shows one of the major problems with these conservative fucktards. Sex scares them. Seriously scares them. And not just gay sex, although that obviously terrifies them. But sex of all kinds absolutely frightens the shit out of them.

For them, unless a couple (married man and woman, of course) is having sex (missionary, of course) to procreate, well, it's just nasty.

Blow jobs? Ooh, they're dirty.

I seriously think this country would be a lot better off if some of these right wing creeps would just get their dicks sucked once in a while. It might loosen them up and stop them bothering the rest of us with their weird hangups.

Now THAT'S my type

I think I passed Natalie Portman on Third Avenue today. It was rainy so it was hard to see clearly under the umbrella, but if it wasn't her, it was someone who looked amazingly like her.

She is so much my type, it's not even funny - blazing hot, Jewish, smart (Harvard) and rich. That girl is not a trifecta - she's a quadfecta!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Who knew so many people liked carrot juice?

Today was one of the nicest days in a long while, weather-wise, so my friend Sarah and I went down to browse the farmer's market in Union Square. It was absolutely packed with people who all had the same idea.

I lasted about 10 minutes among the throngs and then we beat a hasty retreat to the civilized oasis that is Union Square Cafe, one of my favorite restaurants in the city.

Shamelessly expensive but deliciously good food and wine. And the wannabe yokels were still outside at the market when we left a few hours later.

“That coat check girl has a name.”

If you saw “Supersize Me,” the documentary where Morgan Spurlock ate nothing but McDonald's for a month, you will get a chuckle out of this. It's even got the concerned girlfriend trying to get him to stop the experiment.

Hit play and enjoy “Supersize Me With Whiskey.”

He's actually a small time piker in the usual scale of Republican theft

WASHINGTON, March 10 — A former top White House aide was arrested on Thursday in the Maryland suburbs on charges that he stole merchandise from a number of retailers, (stores like Target and Hecht's) the police in Montgomery County, Md., said Friday.

One hardly knows where to begin with Claude A. Allen, until recently Bush's top domestic policy adviser .

He's a thief from the Bush White House and he shops (steals) from Target's.

I tell you, nothing says class like the GOP.

And this guy is a real winner.

According to The Washington Post: Allen is a self-described born-again Christian who got his start in politics working for Jesse Helms (R), the conservative former North Carolina senator.

Allen stirred controversy as Helms's campaign spokesman in 1984 by telling a reporter that then-Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. -- Helms's opponent -- was politically vulnerable because of his links to the "queers." He later explained that he used the word not to denigrate anyone but as a synonym for "odd and unusual."

Before that, Allen worked for the Virginia state attorney general's office and as state health and human resources secretary. In that job, he earned a reputation as a staunch conservative; once he kept Medicaid funds from an impoverished rape victim who wanted an abortion.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Where are the goddamn angry women?

To all you moderate Republicans out there who thought: “W ain't so bad, he's not so right-wing as some of them,” well, as I tried to say to some of my friends who don't really follow politics that much - when you vote for a President, you are really voting for his Supreme Court nominees.

And that's where the real damage is done.

Because those guys (sometimes gals, but usually guys) will be on that bench for decades. It's a lifetime appointment. And Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia will be there for a long time. And now, thanks to Bush and the GOP congress, John Roberts and Samuel Alito will be there for years and years and years and years.

And they are the ones who will be voting on all sorts of cases, including Roe. And let's be clear here, folks, Roe's days are numbered.

State by state they are chipping away. And women no longer will get to decide if they will put their bodies through nine months of pregnancy. Then childbirth. Then supporting that child for many years thereafter.

They will be told, by the state, sorry – it's no longer your choice. We control your uterus.

In South Dakota they just decided that, even if a woman is the victim of rape or incest, she can't get an abortion. And now Tennessee has voted to amend the state's constitution to no longer guarantee a woman's right to an abortion.

It's pretty scary to me that we are living in a country that will do this.

And my body is never going to be commandeered by the government to do something I don't want to do. I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why women are not rising up en masse to scream - STOP!

But I hope they eventually will. I hope they will make their voices felt in the 2006 congressional elections - and certainly in the 2008 presidential election.

When you vote for President it matters a hell of a lot beyond the foreign and economic and environmental policies.

Bill Clinton vetoed the anti-choice bills sent to him by a GOP Congress. A Republican president will not.

I would really like to see some goddamn angry women speaking out these days.

I survived!

I had to go to a work-related thing Thursday in that state I so love to tease - New Jersey. And, after it was over, we went to get some food and drinks.

It was decent food (I had some good chicken parm) and, hey, Jack Daniels is Jack Daniels no matter where you are.

But, I have no clue what the place we went to was called, and, to be honest, I don't even know the fucking town I was in at that point.

But it had a great view of the Manhattan skyline. (One of the major benefits of being in N.J.)

I was just trusting the people I was with, and figuring I probably wasn't going to be thrown in a land fill in the Meadowlands, because, let's face it, the one state that can make New Yorkers nervous is the Garden State.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Bada bing

Very interesting article here about The Sopranos, if you're a fan. The new season, of course, starts Sunday on HBO.

George who?

I don't like to say "I told you so" -- well, ok, let me stop right now, that's a lie, I do like to say it. Anyway, I did suggest several weeks ago that the Democrats should pounce on this ports deal and demagogue it to high heaven.

Our side has been tarred with somehow being soft on defense or soft on terrorism if we dare to raise a few questions about the constitutionality of wiretapping Americans without a warrant. Or point out that the war in Iraq was not only unnecessary, but has turned into a debacle.

Well, the Democrats did pounce on the ports issue and it resonated with the public (never underestimate the good old fashioned jingoism of the American people) and now the GOP Congress is running scared on the issue and ready to desert Boy George like the rats they are.

As The Times reports: "In a rebuke to the White House, House Republicans are moving aggressively to put the brakes on the takeover by a Dubai company of some port terminal operations in several large American cities, an effort that moved forward on Wednesday with broad bipartisan support."

There is no honor among thieves, you know.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Someone didn't get the talking points

Oops, I thought they weren't actually supposed to acknowledge this.

According to Tom DeLay's lawyer, a new film that's critical of his client is "about as fair and balanced as Michael Moore's stuff or Fox News."

What's wrong with this picture?

The actor Jimmy Fallon is selling a pair of neighboring apartments at 34 Gramercy Park East, an ornate red-brick and terra cotta building that has the distinction of being the city's oldest surviving co-op. He is asking $3.75 million for the units.
- NY Times

I don't know what's more disturbing – that apartments in this city cost so much. Or that Jimmy Fallon can so easily afford them. Or that he's called an "actor" by The Times.

Well, let me transfer my bank account info over to him right away

They are annoying as hell, but you have to give those spam scams some credit for ingenuity. The stories they come up with could easily be the plot in a Lifetime Movie of the Week. And they do beat the emails selling pills promising to “Enlarge Your Penis By 5 Inches Now!” (And those are such a ripoff, by the way. I've never got more than 4 additional inches from any of them.)

This one came in today with the subject: “Please help me”

“I am Mr. Clive Osborne, the first son of John Osborne, the popular black farmer in Macheke district of Zimbabwe who narrowly escape during killing of Mr. David Stevens the father of two-year-old twins - was shot dead at point blank range in the land dispute in my country. My father Mr. Osborne, who rushed was to a hospital in the provincial centre of Marondera, said he himself was only spared because someone spoke up for him; he later died after a protracted injuries he sustained as a result of the mob action. Before the death of my father, he had taken me to Holland to deposit the sum of US 2.5 million {two million five hundred thousand United States dollars}, in one of the private security company, as he foresaw the looming danger in Zimbabwe. This land problem came when Zimbabwean President Mr. Robert Mugabe introduce a new land Act Reform wholly affecting the rich white farmers and some few black farmers and this resulted to the killing and mob action by Zimbabwean war veterans and some lunatics in the society. In fact a lot of people were killed because of this land reform Act for which my father was one of the victims. It is against this background that, I and my family fled Zimbabwe for fear of our lives and are currently staying in Holland where we are seeking political asylum and more so have decided to transfer my father's money to a more reliable foreign account. Since the law of Holland prohibits a refugee {asylum seeker} to open any bank account or to be involve in any financial transaction. As the eldest son of my father, I am saddled with the responsibility of seeking a genuine foreign partner/account where this money could be transferred without the knowledge of my government who are bent on taking everything we have acquired. Sir / Madam, If you are willing to undertake this with me I am willing to give you 25% of the fund for your assistance and I have also mapped out 5% to cover any expenses incurred from the transaction. Also be aware the balance amount will be set aside for the investment through you and the profit from the investment will be share 50% each for you and my family after expenses. Please contact me on my e-mail address or my phone number below. Yours sincerely, Mr. Clive Osborne.”

I removed the contact info and links that were in it, because God knows what sort of viruses were lurking there - not to mention, some of you may have actually wanted to “help” him. But you gotta give the fucker credit for telling a cool story.

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