Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I think he secretly loves her like a fat boy loves cake

Hillary took a nice little dig at White House political guru Karl Rove, saying he seems to be obsessed with her.

The pudgy Rove does seem to spend a lot of time talking about her. In fact, Hillary and Bill are major obsessions among the right wingers - not just Rove, but also the hatemongers on talk radio and GOP candidates at all levels.

The Clintons are frequently used by the GOP as money magnets by politicians and religious right groups, who cynically whip up the red state base in panicky fund raising letters.

Big Bill has been out of office, what is it now, 6 years? (Six loonnngggg years) and he and his wife still manage to push the panic buttons of the right.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Now, of course, I'm gonna watch some football and curse

Claret is the liquor for boys; port for men; but he who aspires to be a hero must drink brandy.
- Samuel Johnson

When I got home tonight, after a delightful dinner at Oceana, one of New York's great seafood restaurants, I was cold. As you know, if you live in New York, or anywhere on the East Coast, I suppose, it has been freezing out there lately.

Well, I cranked up the heat and still just couldn't get warm.

So it called for emergency measures. I ran a hot bubble bath (yes, I know, borderline gay) lit some candles, and poured myself a good mug of brandy.

Damn, does brandy put a glow in your tummy.

I played some Louis Armstrong (the live Great Chicago Concert, 1956) and just lay back and luxuriated.

People, I highly recommend doing something like that every once in a while if you've had one of those days, or just want to really, really relax. Purrr.

A third of the country is retarded?

Bush poll numbers hit a new low: 34% approval.

Damn, I think that's only 5 points above Sadaam Hussein.

Seriously though, there comes a point when the American people just say - enough. Despite the media's efforts to cover for this guy for the last five years, I think folks are finally beginning to wake up.

Unfortunately, it's a little late.

After more than 2,000 Americans have been killed in that useless war. After tens of thousands more have been maimed. After countless innocent Iraqi civilians have died. After that country has begun to spiral into a civil war. After the war has spurred a new generation of jihadists who hate us more than ever. After 9-11 happened, despite Bush getting a briefing that bin Laden was determined to attack the U.S. with hijacked planes. After a great American city has been lost to a hurricane. After the national debt has been allowed to explode, guaranteeing the next several generations are going to be burdened with either horrendous tax increases or non-existent government services. After the Religious Right has grown so emboldened it can move to make an entire group of people second class citizens with abortion laws, and can force school districts to toss evolution and teach fairy tales like "Intelligent Design." After business has been given the power to loot the treasury and foul the environment. After...well, you get the idea.

This putz has fucked us all up.

The question, actually, should be why 34 percent of the American people still somehow support this cocksucker.

Lies? From the Bush administration? I'm shocked

A newly released report shows the Coast Guard raised security questions about that proposed deal for Dubai to take over operations of several U.S. ports.

"Coast Guard intelligence officials in December raised the prospect of significant security risks associated with the takeover of some American port operations by a Dubai company, saying in a previously undisclosed document that broad "intelligence gaps" prevented them from even assessing the possibility of a terror threat."

"The breadth of the intelligence gaps also infer potential unknown threats against a large number of potential vulnerabilities," said the document released today at a Senate briefing into the port deal. It showed that Coast Guard analysts were worried about the backgrounds of employees of the company, Dubai Ports World, as well as the potential for foreign influences over the American ports and their use for terror operations."

This is, shall we say, just a wee bit different than the administration assertions that all the agencies that had to review the deal before approving it had said there were absolutely no security issues involved.

It's hard to believe these fuckers lied to us, isn't it? Why, it just doesn't seem like the way they do business.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Some days, I know just how he must have felt

I went to the Edvard Munch show at MOMA today. Like most Americans, philistines that we are, I knew Munch mainly through his iconic “The Scream,” that depiction of non-quiet desperation, to coin a phrase.

But, as you see his work progress through the years, you realize the guy, I think it's safe to say, was one pretty fucked up individual overall, at least as portrayed in this retrospective.

The faces in much of his work are haunting, people shuffling though life, just existing, alone even in the crowd, stunned by the world passing by them.

It's a lot of the same faces I see on the 6 train just about every morning.

Having said that, I love living in a city where I can go see Munch. Let's face it, in Alabama and South Dakota, and other parts of Bush country, munch simply means it's happy hour time at TGI Fridays.

On a positive note, he always has that yummy cheese now

Look's like Craig's List hasn't quite made it to the Sudan yet.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

She sure beats Rita Cosby

I've noted the amazing Melissa Theuriau before on this blog, a French newscaster and one of the most adorable women you will ever see.

Some people have asked me what my type is. THIS IS MY TYPE.

Can we just say – yum.

And now there's video of her, here. Let it load for a few seconds, you may have to press the little play button at the bottom of the screen, depending on your browser, and you can hear her adorable accent, as well as look at one of the tastiest women on television. Unfortunately, just not in this country. Here, we get Lisa Myers.

She looks better as each clip goes along in this compilation. And check out the clothes - not only are they better looking, the newscasters even dress more stylish there.

(I especially love the ponytail segments.)

Why do I get the feeling these guys have never actually had too much experience with a vagina?

Have you ever seen the faces of some of the leaders of the anti-choice movement?

Strangely enough, it seems to be filled with a lot of men. A lot of angry, conservative, ugly, usually pudgy, white Republican men, who just can't wait to ban abortion rights in this country.

They march outside Planned Parenthood clinics, harassing patients going in.

They are in state legislatures, passing laws to ban abortion. (That delightful looking fellow, there, is the one who led the recent movement in South Dakota to ban abortion.)

They are on the Supreme Court.

Hell, one is in the White House.

It's pretty clear that some of these men actually hate the thought of people having sex, and maybe, gasp, a woman even getting accidentally pregnant.
They are good, God-fearing men. They are righteous.

In reality, you know the truth is inherent in the old saying: the definition of a puritan is someone who is appalled that someone else, somewhere in the world, is somehow having a good time.

So let me repeat the sensible person's philosophy about men who want to ban abortion rights:

Unless you are in the distinctive category of being a person who might actually have to do something pretty damn drastic with your body that you really don't want to do; unless you have no problem with the government telling you what you can do with your life for, oh, 9 months or so, and probably at least 16 years thereafter; unless you like being treated like an imbecilic child who can't make a rational decision for yourself; unless you don't mind being forced to undergo a relatively risky medical procedure like childbirth, then, to paraphrase the great tbogg...


Friday, February 24, 2006

Swanee, how I love ya

I had lunch today with a friend I haven't seen in a few years. I used to work with her in the music business, and those were some fun times. We were at one of the (then) Big 6. Now, there's only 5 with the Sony and BMG merger of a few years ago.

This was about six years ago, and the industry was flush with cash then, it was before Napster and CD burning and Internet downloading had really all come together to pummel the labels. Great parties, great conventions, great perks. You could submit an $800 expense account bill and no one would even blink. Sweet.

There were some characters too. I really do have wacky friends. She reminded me of a great story I told that I had almost forgotten. I had just started working there, and my then boss and I had set up a lunch with the guy who covered the music industry for the Hollywood Reporter, so I could meet him. His name was Jeffrey Jolson Coburn (he may still be at the Reporter, for all I know). Anyway, he was based in L.A., but was coming to New York for a convention, and, because of the timing of his flight, was going to land, take a car to meet us at the restaurant, and then go on to his hotel.

So my boss and I go to this great Italian place to wait for him at the designated time, having allowed for landing, luggage, the trip into midtown from LaGuardia. And we start sipping on the vino. The music biz, of course, is as alcohol fueled as the TV business. (This is why I could never work in accounting.)

But now he's 45 minutes late, an hour. With no explanatory call. And my boss starts getting angry. She calls back to our office to have her assistant check to make sure the plane had landed when it was supposed to, which, at this point, was about two hours earlier. It had landed right on time, and so now she's fuming.

She: "He's a jerk, this is so typical of him."

Me: "Really?"

She: "Yes, he's terrible. Can you believe, he goes around telling people he's the great grandson of Al Jolson!"

Me: "And he's not?"

She: "No, he can't be. Jeffrey's a Jewish guy, and Al Jolson was black!"

Me: (jaw gapes open)

She: "Um, wasn't he?"

After I gently pointed out the whole concept of Al Jolson and minstrels, I don't think we were able to stop laughing for an hour. Anyway, he never showed up, and I believe the lunch bill that day was about 250 bucks. My boss and I became buds, and every time she did something goofy, I would just say – ahem, Al Jolson. Good times.

I blame Bush

It's official, my sleep patterns are screwed up now.

I was so tired last night from the insomnia bout Wednesday night, that I didn't go out. I ended up falling asleep on the couch about 9 pm. I woke up at 2 in the morning, clothes crumpled, neck stiff, TV blaring (did you ever notice if you fall asleep with the TV or music on, when you wake up it sounds like the volume is set at 50).

And then, of course, I couldn't get back to sleep.

Someone gave me a book, "Sleep Thieves," about how our sleep patterns have been totally disrupted from those of our ancestors, because of the electric light, TVs, etc. I'm going to read it and, hopefuly, it will be boring and make me fall asleep.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

I think at about 5 am, I actually heard the electricity in the walls hum

"The worst thing in the world is to try to sleep and not to."
- F. Scott Fitzgerald

No shit, F.

Wow, did I have insomnia last night. If you've ever had it, you know it is just horrible. If you've never had it, consider yourself lucky.

You lie there, and you toss and you turn and you think the most random thoughts, and then, the worst thing, you start looking at the clock periodically, just to torture yourself. Oh, now it's 2:30 am. Oh, now it's 3:10. Oh, now it's 4:49. Jesus H. Christ on a popsicle stick.

I have no clue what caused it. I only had one cup of coffee yesterday, well before noon, so I wasn't overly caffinated. I had a couple of glasses of wine at dinner (maybe I should have had more!) But whatever it was, it was a doozy.

And of course, being a disgusting male, I considered, er, how do I say this, relieving some tension at about 4 am, if you know what I mean. But I didn't even have the energy for that. So you know I was tired.

The good news, I wasn't horrendously late this morning as I usually am. The bad news, I will probaby fall asleep at the desk in about an hour.

Anyway, now I'm on my 4th cup of coffee just to try to wake up and get some energy going. Which, of course, means tonight I will be unable to sleep again. I'm fucked.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Drip, drip, drip

The legislature in South Dakota may be close to passing a bill outlawing just about all abortion in that state, the most sweeping ban since Pennsylvania passed a 1992 law, which, when challenged, led to the Supreme Court reaffirming Roe.

According to The Times, if this bill passes, “advocates of abortion rights have pledged to challenge it in court immediately — and that is precisely what the bill's supporters have in mind.”

“Optimistic about the recent changes on the United States Supreme Court, some abortion opponents say they have new hope that a court fight over a ban here could lead to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that made abortion legal around the country. “

Elections have consequences. All those moderate GOP women who voted for Bush because he didn’t seem so bad, might be having some buyer’s remorse right about now.

It's never Dear Leader's fault

W. played no role in the deal giving control of major U.S. ports to a United Arab Emirates based company, the White House is now loudly declaring.

This issue, which yours truly recommended the Democrats gin up as a security issue to give the GOP a little taste of its own demagoguing, has blown up in the administration's collective faces. Even some Republicans, now, are saying the deal, which would put Dubai Ports in charge of major shipping operations in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia, has to be reviewed, if not scuttled.

To be honest, it probably doesn't really matter that the ports are run by this company. As an expert told The Times, globally, 24 of the top 25 ship terminal operators are foreign-based, meaning most of the containers sent to the United States leave terminals around the world that are operated by foreign governments or foreign-based companies.

"This kind of reaction is totally illogical," said Philip Damas, research director at Drewry Shipping Consultants of London. "The location of the headquarters of a company in the age of globalism is irrelevant."

Doesn't matter. Bush is threatening a veto, which would be his first in 5 years in office, if the Congress tries to block the UAE company from taking over operations at the ports.

Never underestimate the American people's jingoism, especially towards Arabs. Let the White House sweat and get some egg on their face on this one. It's the sort of thing Karl Rove would play to the hilt if it was a Democrat in the Oval Office.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Hey Georgina, I voted for your dad, you know

The daughters of our billionaire mayor are buying a palatial retreat in Bermuda, next door to his palatial retreat in Bermuda.

Mike Bloomberg’s daughters, Emma and Georgina, have filed an application with the Bermuda Minister of Home Affairs to buy The Jungle, a 1.7-acre property next to their dad's $10.5 million mansion.

According to the Daily News: “A Bermuda real estate agency described The Jungle as an "exquisite property" and "magnificent house" with a large galleried living room, replete with a cedar railing balcony leading to the bedrooms.”


“Bloomberg, a billionaire with a private jet at his disposal, has getaways around the world, including London, Vail, Colo., and North Salem in Westchester. His primary residence is a snazzy townhouse on the upper East Side.”

See, I’m definitely moving in the wrong circles.

My friends don’t have a pot to piss in. When we go out for drinks, half the time they conveniently don’t have quite enough to pay the bill – yes, I’m talking to you!

No two ways about it. I have to hook up with one of the Bloomberg girls. I think Georgina is still single, and, may I say, looking mighty cute these days.

And now it begins

The Supreme Court agreed today to take on the constitutionality of the federal law that bans “late term” abortions.

The last time the Court looked at a similar law, in 2000, it struck it down. Sandra Day O’Connor was the tie-breaking vote on that decision. Now, of course, Samuel Alito has replaced her. The law was struck down, among other reasons, because it contains no exceptions for the health of the mother.

Alito may surprise everyone, but I doubt it. I think he’s made his position clear on abortion rights. This could be the beginning of the end of those rights in this country, as the new conservative majority on the court chips away bit by bit at the freedom women have won over the decades to control their bodies.

They won’t do it all at once, no dramatic overturning of Roe, they may not have the votes for that, even with Alito and Roberts sitting as Chief Justice now. But they will chip away. Already, in some states, there are no abortion providers, the states have made it so onerous or even dangerous for doctors to offer their services. Women have to literally travel hundreds of miles to get an abortion in another state. Many cannot afford that.

Some of the bluer states, like New York or California, may remain havens. But if the national law eventually goes down, it’s just a matter of time before the right wingers start working on the individual state legislatures to battle their laws too.

Ladies, you may as well just send a deed to your uteruses to George W. Bush and the Republican Party. They own them now.

Monday, February 20, 2006

God Bless the President

Not the current fucktard, of course, I mean the good ones in history like Washington and Lincoln, who gave us this holy three-day weekend.

A relaxing day off from work and mattress sales. What more can you ask from a holiday?

I had a delightful brunch at Uptown today, an east side martini bar which usually doesn't open for lunch during the week, but today, for the holiday, it did.

And a clarification on the jeans post from earlier. Some emailers and commenters are saying that the picture is not of Levi's. Who knows, it's probably not. I was just using a stock photo of a girl in jeans with a great butt. And isn't that really the important thing in the whole jeans issue?

Give the GOP a taste of their own medicine

I don't like targeting a particular group of people for unfavorable treatment, it's just obnoxious and, frankly, wrong to do so. But, let's face it, the Arab world has certainly offered the west some reasons to be a little wary, shall we say, especially in national security matters.

So this recently announced deal, on which the Bush administration has signed off, in which Dubai Ports World, a United Arab Emirates company, will take over major U.S. port operations in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia, should be the perfect occasion for the Democrats – if they have an ounce of political sense left – to do a little demagoguing of the GOP.

The Republicans, after all, are masters at this, and they are also especially good at taking a candidate's strengths and somehow turning it against them: Al Gore was too stiff and intellectual (and, you know, who wants a smart guy in the Oval office, we want a good ol' boy who more Americans would prefer to have a beer with) and then John Kerry and his war hero status (hmm, questions must be raised, did he really deserve those medals, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain).

Well, now the Dems should be pounding on the port security issue non-stop. Bush and his party somehow have the reputation for being better at national security (never mind 9-11 actually happened under them) so throw that very issue right back in their faces.

Asked about the port deal, the head of homeland security, Michael (“Hurricane? What hurricane?”) Chertoff, said, "We make sure there are assurances in place, in general, sufficient to satisfy us that the deal is appropriate from a national security standpoint.”

Who cares. Make this an issue.

The blow back is already beginning, to an extent. As A.P. reports, “Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), who is working on legislation to prohibit companies owned or controlled by foreign governments from running port operations in the United States, said Chertoff's comments showed him that the administration "just does not get it."

It's a start, but the Democrats should be ginning this issue up daily and make it into a major embarrassment for the Republican administration. I'm tired of our side just rolling over and playing by Queensbury rules, while the other side goes for the jugular. We should be fighting as hard as Karl Rove and his gang of dirty tricksters.

Happy Pres Day

Ahh, a Monday holiday. So relaxing. What to do? Where should I have lunch? Should I take an afternoon nap? Maybe a day trip somewhere?

And did you know, apparently many people still have to work today? I feel their pain. Now, excuse me, I have to add some more spice to the pitcher of bloody mary's.

I'm sure this is somehow sexist - but in a casually dressed sort of way

Some guys like girls in mini skirts or skin tight black pants, but tonight I realized – I'm really a simple blue jeans type of guy.

Don't get me wrong, I certainly like when women wear sexy dresses and show some leg, or perhaps some slinky and expensive designer clothes...but, there's just something about a female in an old pair of blue jeans that catches my eye.

I was at 515 in Murray Hill tonight for a while – by the way, how much fun is a Sunday evening out when Monday is a day off and you know you can sleep late? I don't know why, it just seems different than a regular night out.

Anyway, there was a girl there in a pair of jeans, (I believe they were Levi's, but not sure) who looked absolutely stunning in them. She could have been in a Levi's 505 ad - 505 in 515? Hey, work on that, Madison Ave.

Every time she went to go to the bathroom, and she must have went four times (bless her tiny little bladder), I think every male in the room caught their breath as she passed. And you could tell this girl knew the effect she had, and worked it for everything – the little floozy.

But I really do love that casually sexy look that some girls just carry off effortlessly; a pair of jeans, with maybe a white t-shirt and a blazer. Nice.

And, of course, jeans are the most egalitarian of clothes. Assuming you don't go nuts and buy the silly $300 designer label types, a pair of Levi's for 40 bucks work just fine. (Read the history of them sometime, by the way, it's quite interesting).

So, mazel tov on your enduring invention Levi Strauss. And also to that girl in 515 tonight for wearing them so damn well. You would have made Mr. Strauss proud.

Although if he could somehow come back to life and see how his practical bit of apparel have became such an integral part of our lives, even 150 years later in a noisy 3rd Avenue bar 3,000 miles away from the mines they were designed for, he would probably die all over again from the shock.

Or if he had the Angus burger at 515, that would do it too.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

It's funny until someone loses an eye

Here's a cute one. Hit play after it loads and turn up your speakers.

(I wonder if Aerosmith gets royalties on something like this?)

The fuckers get more vacation time than me

(CNN) -- Al Qaeda and the like have similar weaknesses to other modern organizations, according to two West Point studies that portray the terror network as sophisticated but its daily operations as banal.


Indeed, some of the documents used by researchers indicate that al Qaeda has vacation plans -- seven days every three weeks for married members, five days a month for bachelors -- and provides its members with 15 days of sick leave a year.

One document states that al Qaeda operatives must request vacation 10 weeks in advance, and another document outlines the pay scale for members: about $108 a month for married members, less if they're single and more if they have more than one wife.

Whew, ok, at least they don't get paid more. But the bastards may get more women.

Then again, I'm not sure that having more than one ol' ball and chain is actually a plus.

Hah - am I right, guys, or what?

Hey, you've been a great audience, don't forget to tip your waitresses.

NYC winter tip # 7

Insist your friends come to your neighborhood - do not go to the Upper West Side on what feels like one of the coldest nights of the year. Even just waiting 4 minutes on Amsterdam Ave. to get a cab made my extremities freeze extremely painfully. Owwy.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Hey, I need a hot blonde naturally endowed sugar mommy, too

LOS ANGELES (AP) - In divorce papers, Nick Lachey is seeking spousal support from Jessica Simpson.

Any sugar mommies out there, especially if you look like that...call me, we'll talk.

Thank you.

Also, I'm just lazy

Sorry for the paucity of posting today, but, hey, it's a holiday weekend, I was having a delightful bloody mary-soaked brunch (it's a tad chilly here, you know, and those warm my tummy) and one of my friends got into a little pickle and I was trying to talk him off the ledge.

Un - &#$(@%* - believable

The mind boggles.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Could I be (gasp!) a closet Republican?

You know, sometimes I scare myself, because I do have a cruel streak.

I have this terrible habit of occasionally sending a cell phone pic of myself enjoying a leisurely, lazy lunch (with a glass or 3 of vino of course) to some of my desk-bound-at-lunch friends.

It's horrible. Just plain mean.

But the best part is when they jealously respond.

Good times.

I suppose they’ll be calling for live televised executions next

It’s amazing what politicians will do to pander to potential voters or to powerful factions in a party.

In New York, two moderate Republicans – one seeking the nomination to be the candidate for governor, the other for state attorney general – appeared before the state’s Conservative Party convention, and each went nauseatingly out of their way to appeal to this far right wing group of Neanderthals.

The Conservative party, which is far to the right of the state GOP, is a powerful force in New York Republican politics; it’s endorsement and practice of occasionally giving some Republican candidates its line on the ballot, can mean the difference between a win and loss for a GOP candidate in statewide offices. They say no Republican has ever won the U.S. Senate seat unless he also had the conservative endorsement.

So there was Bill Weld, the former governor of Massachusetts, who has moved home to New York and is seeking to run as the Republican candidate for governor, assuring the cons that he would ban gay marriage.

Now, Weld is one of those old-fashioned Rockefeller Republicans, moderate in just about all areas, from abortion rights on. As in New York, a Republican candidate in Massachusetts has to be that way.

But Weld told the convention he would “veto any bill to legalize same-sex marriage in this state.” From his history, that’s an issue you can bet he really doesn’t care about, that it wouldn’t really bother him if two guys want to get married. But, for this crowd he goes out of his way to be intolerant and sneer that likely Democratic candidate Elliot Spitzer “has announced on his first day as governor he would file legislation to legalize same-sex marriage.”

Meanwhile, groveling before the same convention, Jeanine Pirro, seeking to get the nod to run for state attorney general (after her disastrous attempt to be the candidate who will get whomped by Hillary in the Senate race) bragged about her gun collection.

Pirro, another moderate on issues like choice, went out of her way to tell the cavemen of the cons that she has not just one or two guns, but three.

Coming in the immediate aftermath of Dick Cheney shooting a guy in the face, I don’t know if bragging about having multiple guns is the most sensitive topic - but for that crowd, I suppose it works.


Well that explains Tom DeLay

A study shows that unattractive people are more likely to commit a crime than good-looking people, according to the Washington Post:

Not only are physically unattractive teenagers likely to be stay-at-homes on prom night, they're also more likely to grow up to be criminals, say two economists who tracked the life course of young people from high school through early adulthood.

"We find that unattractive individuals commit more crime in comparison to average-looking ones, and very attractive individuals commit less crime in comparison to those who are average-looking," claim Naci Mocan of the University of Colorado and Erdal Tekin of Georgia State University.

The researchers studied 15,000 people, rating their physical appearance, which, of course, can be very subjective, and their subsequent criminal career, or lack thereof. They theorize the results may be because less attractive people are apparently less likely to be hired for a job, and they earn less, and so are more likely to fall into crime.

I don’t know. This seems a bit facile to me. There are obviously plenty of attractive people who become criminals, and the riders I see on the 6 train every day are pretty frightening looking, but I’m guessing most are not criminals.

I have to believe criminal predilections are more likely to be a result of the environment an individual grows up in, the family upbringing, the “crowd” they fall into in school.

But, for the record, I’d like to proudly note that I have never committed a felony.

“I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in Casablanca!”

To paraphrase Capt. Renault in Casablanca - I'm shocked, shocked to find that girls dance on the bar at McFadden's!

(Note: stock picture of girls dancing on the bar)

And God bless them, everyone.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Like Valentine's Day - and Dick Cheney - it just sneaks up on you

I just realized Monday is a holiday, and I haven't even done my President's Day shopping yet, hung my President's Day decorations, sent out my President's Day cards.

Where does the time go?

Your tax dollars at work

I read most of the media trades, and you see a lot of stories that make you feel dirty. The spin that comes out of Hollywood or the TV industry can sometimes make the politicians look like boy scouts. But here’s a story that just pisses you off.

The Bush administration has spent $1.6 billion on ad agencies and p.r. firms over the past two-and-a-half years. That’s billion with a “b.” For spin.

And, among those billions, were contracts for agencies providing “‘expert advice and support in the development of several marriage-related research initiatives,’ an educational campaign regarding the 'Medicare Modernization Act, and its coverage and benefits,’ and a contract regarding ‘message development that presents the Army's strategic perspective in the global war on terrorism.’"

In other words, your government is spending your tax money to encourage marriage (translation – make sure those homos can’t marry, red state America does not approve); sell the Medicare drug plan (translation – it’s been a disaster and we have to try to appease the senior citizens); and talk up the Army (translation – we need more bodies, because recruitment has fallen off dramatically since the Iraq debacle began).

Tell me again, how the Democrats are the wasteful big spenders?

And, by the way, how many cops, teachers, fire houses, border patrol agents, airport security systems, or reconstructed homes in Katrina-ravaged areas could that $1.6 billion have paid for?

"The creature dies in earnest"

In the aftermath of the Cheney-shooting-a-man debacle, I still wonder why he, and hunters in general, do what they do.

This is not a man getting food for his family. This is not some conservationist move to thin the herd, always explained as for their own good, so they won’t starve, etc.

This is shooting and killing an animal for sport. For fun. As a hobby.

I eat meat, so I realize there is a certain hypocrisy in my feeling toward hunters and what they do. God knows how many cows or pigs are slaughtered every year, in no doubt horrendous manner, to feed man. But, it is what it is, and I doubt the workers in the slaughter houses take pleasure in those killings.

But hunters do take pleasure is killing their prey. That’s the part I don’t understand.

If, as they say, they simply enjoy the art of shooting, of targeting, why can’t they do that with skeet shooting? Some do, but those who don’t, I can only assume, actually enjoy the killing of the animal.

Matthew Scully, a former speechwriter for Cheney no less, as well as Bush, and many other conservatives, feels the same way, so it’s not a liberal-conservative thing. He wrote a powerful book, “Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy.”

He’s also written many articles over the years about man’s treatment of animals, among them a 2004 piece about politicians who feel the need to show their manhood by going out to shoot some living creatures.

Obviously written well before the Cheney brouhaha, this quote from it says it better than I could:

“Birds are not skeet. They are living creatures, "the fowl of the air," and it is unkind and dishonorable to treat them this way. The sportsman shoots in jest, to paraphrase a saying, but the creature dies in earnest.

Forget the Olympic athletes

I scored a new personal best this morning – nine hittings of the snooze button on the alarm.


How does one do that?

And each snooze lasts for those strange nine-minute intervals, so I was 81 minutes late getting up.

I didn’t even want to look at the clock when I got out of the shower as I figured it would be approaching lunch time by then.

I really wish I were a better morning person. Those folks who can hop right out of bed and start bustling around and whistling cheerfully and just bursting to face the day amaze me. They annoy the hell out of me, but they amaze me.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Dick speaks

Excerpts from the Dick Cheney interview with Fox are appearing. And apparently, the veep is – wow – taking responsibility.

This, of course, only after his minions tried to pin the blame on the 78-year-old man who Cheney shot. That didn’t work so well, p.r.-wise, and now the great white hunter is saying: “You can't blame anybody else. I'm the guy who pulled the trigger and shot my friend.“

File that away in the no-shit-Sherlock department.

Cheap bastard note to self

Always try to remember to go to an expensive restaurant for lunch the day after Valentine’s Day. They often give away roses, left over from the night before when they present them to the ladies.

I appropriated one and gave it to the receptionist at work, who now loves me even more!

She did a solid for me this morning on a Fed Ex package and I was going to bring her a Tasti-D-Lite, but, you know, when you think about it, this is really healthier, and also gives her a chance to show off a little.

Bush-bashing, NYC life, stupid media, wacky friends? Yes, yes, yes, yes

We got an influx of new visitors when Salon linked to the looting and pillaging post yesterday, and, as always, I received several emails from people wondering what the hell this blog is supposed to be.

So, if you really care, and are apparently really bored, I will just send you back to this previous post, made last week after Gawker did a link to the infamous porn on the subway incident, and which tries to explain this mishmash we call too saucy. Otherwise, carry on.

So much dirt it’s hard to keep track

While everyone is aghast over the Cheney-shooting-a-man debacle, and for good reason, let’s also keep our eyes on the usual run-of-the-mill dirty stuff coming from this administration.

How about disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff? He seems to have fallen out of the news lately, so, just to keep him daisy fresh in your mind, note that the Los Angeles Times is reporting that Abramoff called his good buddy Karl Rove and wangled a 2002 meeting at the White House with George Bush for the former prime minister of Malaysia – who gets extra bonus dirty points for being anti-Semitic - and was clamoring for a meeting with Bush:

“The then-prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, had been chastised by the Clinton administration for repeated anti-Semitic statements and for jailing political opponents. But it was important to the Malaysians, according to a former Abramoff associate who attended meetings with the Malaysian ambassador and the lobbyist.

Abramoff contacted presidential advisor Karl Rove on at least four occasions to help arrange a meeting, the witness said.

Finally, the former associate said, Rove's office called to tell Abramoff that the Malaysian leader soon would be getting an official White House invitation.


In May 2002, Mahathir met with Bush in the Oval Office; his photograph with the president was beamed around the world.

Abramoff received $1.2 million from the Malaysian government for his lobbying services in 2001 and 2002, the former associate said."

Just lovely.

Cheney's been smoked out

Cheney has been driven from his underground bunker and will speak about the shooting tonight on Fox at 6 pm. That network has a reputation for being very GOP-friendly, which it always denies - fair and balanced, don't you know.

If they are smart they will go after Cheney with no holds barred.

The quails are coming home to roost

Dick Cheney is getting grief from even Republicans now about his pathetic handling of the shooting incident (it is still surreal, by the way, to actually use the phrase shooting incident, and know that it means the Vice President of the United States shot another man.) But W. should not be getting out of this without some scorn being directed at him too.

Let’s face it, Bush has given Cheney an unprecedented amount of autonomy. Cheney is called, with good reason, the most powerful veep in history.

He was a main force in pushing this country in to that mess of a war in Iraq, he almost single handedly devised the nation’s energy policy – well single-handedly with the help of his buddies in the oil industry, of course – and he undoubtedly played a role in going after the administration’s perceived political enemies, like Ambassador Joe Wilson, whose wife was outed as a CIA agent by Cheney’s former number two, Scooter Libby.

Perhaps if Boy George wasn’t so clueless, didn’t need a daddy figure around to tell him what to do, Cheney would have felt a little less like he could get away with shooting a man and downplaying it, would have perhaps felt compelled to step up to the plate and admit that first day that he screwed up big time in this case.

But Bush is clueless, Cheney is arrogant, and now the White House is getting some well deserved political tsuris.

Say, why are all these balloon bouquets being delivered to the office?

Here’s the first thought that goes through your mind when you’re a single guy and Valentine’s Day sneaks up on you and you’ve inadvertantly made casual dinner plans for that night.


For those of us in single world, who are not in a relationship, perhaps seeing a few people here and there casually, nothing serious, it can, shall we say, be a bad night to have made dinner plans with one of those aforementioned people.

Let’s just say there was more scrambling and damage control in the aftermath than the White House has shown in the Cheney-shooting-a-man debacle.

For me, it was planned as just a basic dinner. My first inkling of trouble came when I called Union Square Café yesterday afternoon to make dinner reservations and was told they had been booked solid for last night for about, oh, a month. Huh?


Then I started realizing why my friend “Sally” (as in When Harry Met… she gets in more dating jams than me, last night being just the latest) had seemed a tad surprised to get the invite last week.

So then, of course, the paranoia starts running through my feverish mind. Do I cancel with Sally, do I make it very clear that, “Ok, it’s the big romantic day of the year, women all over the city are floating around with flowers and balloon bouquets, but, hey, it’s just Tuesday dinner, we’ve gotta eat don’t we?”

Fortunately for moi, despite the fact that she has breasts and smells really good, she has a crude male mindset too, and was not really thinking, “Ahh, this is the big night, and I’m the one he’s chosen!” (And quite the coup that would have been for her, let me tell you).

As she told me over her 3rd Vodka tonic – “If you had waited until the Thursday before Valentine’s Day to actually be inviting me to a Valentine’s Day dinner, I would have literally ripped your throat out.”

Don’t you love when they get all girly?

And advertisers of America, can you maybe start the drumbeat for flowers and jewelry and restaurants a couple of weeks earlier next year? Give a clueless guy some more advance warning.

Too much? Even for loyal fans of “Dear Leader?”

It's hard to picture the loyal Kool-aid drinkers actually turning on the Bush crew, at least not in any serious or permanent way, but could the sheer depravity of the behavior shown by Dick Cheney's team in the aftermath of his shooting a fellow hunter, the snide comments by the unofficial spokespeople about whose fault it “really” was, the double standard and favoritism shown by local law enforcement, and the willful obfuscation by the whole lot of them -- be enough to make even the most loyal fans of “Dear Leader” finally say: “Wait a minute.”

The disastrous way Cheney and his people, as well as White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, have handled the news of the shooting of 78-year-old Harry M. Whittington certainly seems to have given some usually loyal Republicans pause.

Maybe it began with the disclosure of the shooting, when Mary Matalin, the whiny, nasal-voiced GOP operative, who was among those advising Cheney on how to handle the aftermath (and, boy, that has sure turned out to be some great advice, huh? Hope she got top dollar for it) made a point of blaming the victim. You know, the 78-year-old man who was shot in the face by the veep.

"(Cheney) felt badly, obviously," Matalin was quoted as nasally whining. "On the other hand, he was not careless or incautious or violate any of the [rules]. He didn't do anything he wasn't supposed to do."

Er, well, yes, except for that whole shooting a 78-year-old man in the face thing, if you want to be picayune.

I'm not a hunter, but I'm pretty sure he's not supposed to do that.

Or maybe it was the comments from Katharine Armstrong, the millionaire lobbyist, whose well-connected Texas family owns the ranch that was the scene of the...crime? Incident? Accident? Oh, let's just call it the scene of the Vice President shooting a 78-year-old-man in the face.

This lovely belle of the Lone Star State at first downplayed the seriousness of the actual shooting. It was just a “peppering.” Hell, you're not a real Texan if you haven't been peppered with buckshot, she seemed to imply. And then, like the Dick, she also took a shot at her good friend, Harry M. Whittington, who, she said, "came up from behind the vice president and the other hunter and didn't signal them or indicate to them or announce himself. The vice president didn't see him. The covey flushed and the vice president picked out a bird and was following it and shot. And by god, Harry was in the line of fire and got peppered pretty good."

See, it was all the old coot's fault anyway.

Except, apparently some good old boys in Texas, ground zero of the Bush cult, aren't too pleased with the Blame Harry game.

Paul Burka, Executive Editor of Texas Monthly, writing in Slate, says this isn't going over too well: “If there is anything that Harry's friends...are angry about, it is not the shooting itself but the attempt by White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan to place the blame on the victim. It's the shooter's duty to know what he is shooting at and where his companions are. A shooting accident is always the fault of the shooter. Always.”

On top of the callowness, the delay of a day to tell the public that the Vice President of the United States had shot a 78-year-old man in the face has also garnered quite a bit of criticism, some of it coming from the former press secretary to Bush Sr., no less. Putting the blame squarely on the Dick, Marlin Fitzwater told E&P: “It is all Cheney, he is the key that has to start all this. I am appalled by the whole handling of this."

And some are also wondering about the degree of deference shown to Cheney by the local cops, who waited some 12 hours to interview him. The county sheriff was quick to say in his official report that there was no sign of alcohol involved in the shooting. Well, I imagine if you wait approximately 12 hours before making visual contact with a man who shot a gun into the face of another man, any sign of alcohol - slurred speech, odor, unsteadiness - tends to be quite dissipated, especially if no blood or breathalyzer tests are administered.

But, hey, I'm sure those Texas cops would have done the same thing if Dick Cheney's name was Hector Gonzalez, and instead of being VP of the US, he was a ranch hand on the mighty Armstrong Ranch. They would surely have waited till the next day to politely talk to him too. Yeehaw.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Random thoughts # 35 and # 36

I just got back from my annual visit to the opthamologist, and, in the waiting room, a Creedence live concert CD was playing. I liked it. It was much better than that usual Lite FM crap piped into doctor's offices. But it did remind me a little of that Seinfeld episode where his dentist's waiting room was stocked with Penthouse magazines.

Also, can you believe, I had totally spaced that today is Valentine's Day. I just realized it there when I called to make dinner reservations and was told, “Er, tonight's been booked solid for about a month now.”

I know, again, it's very hard to believe some lucky gal hasn't snatched this prize up already.

But Happy Valentine's Day to all you shiny happy people. Even the Republicans among you!


The hunter shot in the face by Dick Cheney has had a "mild" heart attack and has been moved back into intensive care. The Dick has apparently still not given a public account or even public apology. Unbelievable.

He’s an even bigger dick than you thought

A commenter in a prior post said the birds Cheney and his little group were shooting at on Saturday, when he blasted a companion in the face, were bred solely to be released and then shot by hunters, which intrigued me.

So a little googling and we find that it’s not the first time Cheney has went after captive animals. Prepare to be disgusted.

In 2003, in a Pennsylvania hunt, Cheney and his group shot 417 of 500 farm-raised pheasants. Cheney himself killed 70 of them.

Here's a December 2003 statement from the Humane Society:

Monday's hunting trip to Pennsylvania by Vice President Dick Cheney in which he reportedly shot more than 70 stocked pheasants and an unknown number of mallard ducks at an exclusive private club places a spotlight on an increasingly popular and deplorable form of hunting, in which birds are pen-reared and released to be shot in large numbers by patrons. The ethics of these hunts are called into question by rank-and-file sportsmen, who hunt animals in their native habitat and do not shoot confined or pen-raised animals that cannot escape.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported today that 500 farm-raised pheasants were released yesterday morning at the Rolling Rock Club in Ligonier Township for the benefit of Cheney's 10-person hunting party. The group killed at least 417 of the birds, illustrating the unsporting nature of canned hunts. The party also shot an unknown number of captive mallards in the afternoon.

This is not exactly he-man of the woods time here, wily hunters stalking wild prey. This is a bunch of piggish millionaires blasting the hell out of tame, lazy, almost domesticated creatures.

What a piece of shit this guy is.

The looting and pillaging continues

More wonderful news out of Washington. The federal government is going to give up collecting many billions of dollars of royalty payments from oil companies over the next few years. This at a time when oil is at record prices.

In the same vein of their move to open the nation’s old growth forests to timber companies, and working feverishly to allow drilling for oil in the pristine Alaskan wilderness, now comes the next step – the feds will stop collecting the royalties imposed on oil companies for drilling on public land.

According to The Times:

"The federal government is on the verge of one of the biggest giveaways of oil and gas in American history, worth an estimated $7 billion over five years.

New projections, buried in the Interior Department's just-published budget plan, anticipate that the government will let companies pump about $65 billion worth of oil and natural gas from federal territory over the next five years without paying any royalties to the government.

Based on the administration figures, the government will give up more than $7 billion in payments between now and 2011. The companies are expected to get the largess, known as royalty relief, even though the administration assumes that oil prices will remain above $50 a barrel throughout that period."

- NY Times

The administration claims this giveaway is required, a result of laws passed to encourage exploration at a time when oil was $10 a barrel.

So change the damn law then. I would also take that argument more seriously if Bush and House Republicans weren’t already trying to kill a one-year, $5 billion windfall profits tax for oil companies that the Senate passed last fall.

That $30 million pension Dick “Duck” Cheney is getting from Halliburton was a helluva investment for that company.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Truly a Dick

There's been a lot of talk in the blogosphere about the now infamous Cheney hunting accident over the weekend.

I don't know if it was anything more than an accident. The guy who was shot is, by all accounts, a loyal Republican, and if they were trying to punish a political opponent, or send a message to a wayward ally, there must be a more inconspicuous way to do it than having the VP shoot him.

The real issue with the whole mess, it seems to me, is the secrecy surrounding it, secrecy all too typical of this administration, and Cheney in particular,

This is the man, after all, who refused to reveal the details, or even the participants, in his energy task force that set the nation's oil policy, a task force heavily populated by oil company bigwigs.

No, the question I would like answered about the Trigger Happy Dick is why it took the White House a day to let anyone even know that the Vice President of the United States was involved in a shooting incident. Isn't that sort of news?

As the AP reports: “The accident was not reported publicly by the vice president's office for nearly 24 hours, and then only after the Corpus Christi Caller-Times reported it Sunday. Cheney spokeswoman Lea Anne McBride said the vice president's office did not tell reporters about the accident Saturday because they were deferring to the ranch owner to announce what happened on her property.”

That would be Katharine Armstrong, another millionaire Republican, of course, who was put forward as the “face” of the incident.

Can you imagine the scandalized outcry from the right wingers if this had been Al Gore during the Clinton years? Rush “to the buffet” Limbaugh, et al, saw scandal and conspiracy when the Clintons went to church. Republicans would have been calling for congressional hearings. The 24-hour cable news channels would have had special graphics in place, and ominious theme music playing every time they went to a commercial.

Even if this was nothing more than an actual hunting accident, as is likely the case (although who knows if alcohol was involved, police statement notwithstanding), the reaction by the White House is the real problem. The automatic tendency of the Bush-Cheney people to cover up, to hide, to keep dark secrets.

Update: The Smoking Gun has the Texas Parks & Wildlife Dept. report here.

And we laugh at the North Koreans?

When the North Koreans talk to others about their president, or the official state press mentions him, he is often referred to as “Dear Leader,” and we laugh at the fawning hero worship, most of which, no doubt, is driven by fear in that dysfunctional country.

I wonder, though, if it's much different in Bush-Cheney land?

Word is already circulating, in the aftermath of Dick Cheney shooting another hunter, that it was really the other guy's fault. Because, after all, Dick can't have done anything wrong.

The owner of the Texas ranch, where the shooting occurred over the weekend, tells the AP that Harry Whittington "came up from behind the vice president and the other hunter and didn't signal them or indicate to them or announce himself."

Well, ok, he was wearing a bright orange hunting vest, but, hey, his fault. Just because Dick was wildly scattering shot around, not his fault. He's an accomplished hunter, don't you know.

That's nothing, though. If a Republican dares to stray from the reservation, and actually voice critical comments of Boy George, he is immediately banished from the GOP hierarchy. Dissent will not be tolerated.

Bruce Bartlett, who was a scholar at a right wing think tank, is publishing a book called “Impostor: Why George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy."

Note the past tense describing his employment. Bartlett was recently fired from the conservative National Center for Policy Analysis because of his blasphemy.

Now, Bartlett's conservative credentials are impeccable. He was a domestic policy aide at the White House in the Reagan administration and a deputy assistant treasury secretary under the first President Bush.

But in his new book, he dares criticize the many policy debacles under Bush, and even commits perhaps the ultimate sin among the GOP: says something positive about Bill Clinton.

In fact, he tells The Times: “The Clinton people were vastly more open and easier to deal with and, quite frankly, a lot better on the issues."

Hell, he's lucky he escaped with just being canned from his job. Cheney could have been dispatched to get him with that trusty shotgun of his.

What do you mean you don’t want to watch the 2 a.m. showing of “Busty Cops 3”?

My friend “Hillary” crashed over chez jbk last night (that’s not her real name, of course, but dubbed thusly because she’s so liberal she makes me looks like a member of the Republican National Committee. I rant and rave about Bush – she actually attends impeachment marches and Keep Abortion Legal rallies. I would too, but, you know, I’m sort of…what’s the word? Oh yeah, lazy).

(She’s also not being named in case her mom, who still believes she is the last remaining virgin in NYC, is a reader – and you just know this blog has a heavy circulation among suburban Long Island housewives.)

I had made some steaks and salad, we were on a 2nd bottle of wine, the TV was fired up, and I even let her pick the movie (some horrible chick flick called “P.S.” about an admissions officer at Columbia, Laura Linney, who thinks Topher Grace, who is applying to the school, is somehow the returned spirit of the dead boyfriend she had dated as a teenager. Um, yeah.)

Even though she lives just 13 blocks from my apartment, (less than a mile for those unfamiliar with the NYC block measuring device: 20 city blocks = 1 mile) she couldn’t bear the trek home.

Hey, the wind was howling outside, the wine was flowing inside, and she got to cuddle on the couch with me – how could she not want to stay over? My god, she’s only human.

It’s funny, though, it always changes the dynamic when someone stays in your house, even just for a night. No matter how well you know the person, and maybe this is just set-in-my-ways me kvetching, you suddenly realize that you miss being able to play some music at 1 a.m. or, more importantly, watch a little Cinemax After Dark, without hearing, “Eww, how could you watch this stuff, it’s so cheesy!” Cheesy, yes, but Shannon Tweed is one of the great B-movie actresses in history. Well ok, D-movie actresses. Double D in fact – hey, you’ve been a great audience.

But, what are you going to do? I couldn’t toss the lass out in the Great Blizzard of ’06. And as a bonus, I wasn’t the one who had to do the double walk-of-shame, scurrying past my doorman this morning, and then slinking in past her own doorman to change for work. Good times.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Then he drove a carving knife through the sternum of his grandson's 8-week old puppy, which had peed on the living room carpet

Dick Cheney accidentally - well, they're calling it an accident, but with this guy, who knows - shot a fellow hunter during a hunting trip Saturday. The victim's reported in stable condition.

I hope the people in 23-L don't resort to cannibalism

Big blizzard in New York last night. Big! Huge! It's like the big one of 1823 or something.

Ehh, not really.

But people sure do love to panic, though. I went out to get the paper today, and swung by the Key Food to get some orange juice, and you would have thought Manhattan island was going to be cut off from the mainland for a year. The place was jammed, and people were frantically scooping up milk and canned soup. It's amazing the way folks rush out to get supplies when there's a bit of snow.

I always wonder what they think is going to happen? That the food supply chain is going to be severed for a week? That they'll be trapped and starve in their apartments, only to be found by Con Ed workers in a month. Have they ever run out of food anywhere near 2nd Avenue in the past because of snow? What brings this hysteria on?

The supermarkets always seem to be well stocked. The Chinese restaurants and pizza joints always seem to be able to deliver. I just don't get the hubub when there's some white stuff falling in the city.

Oh well, I've got a case of wine (Big River Shiraz – ahh, good stuff, and a very reasonable price, may I say), and my freezer, as always, is jammed with more Omaha Steak packages than your average Nebraska restaurant, so I don't really worry.

Let them eat filet mignon, I say. Medium well.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Such good kitties

“I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.”
- Jean Cocteau

I opened a box and found this old picture of my cats when they were kitties.

They were brother and sister, and both are gone now. Each had a kidney disease and died a few years apart (the boy at 9, the girl just last year at 12). It must have been some sort of genetic thing in their family, although I guess kidney problems are fairly common in felines.

Cats can have a reputation of being aloof, but these two had the sweetest personalities imaginable (notwithstanding Othello attacking Nel among the pillows there). They constantly wanted to be with me, and to be petted, and to snuggle up if I was on the couch.

And if one saw the other laying with me, he or she had to then immediately jump up to make sure they were getting equal attention too.

Ok, now I'm sad.

At the 3 p.m. show, she will be working with some Billy Joel lyrics

12: 40 p.m. - 2nd Avenue and East 85th Street

Teen girl on a cellphone outside Stone Cold Creamery, bellowing into a cellphone at the top of her voice.

"I got 100 problems but dick ain't one of them."

Not one of the approximately 30 people in the vicinity even glanced at her.

Although “Cathy” does make me want to riot sometimes, I will admit

Ok, I'm going to get a little more philosophical and wordier than usual in this post. I've had a few cocktails with friends, and feeling a bit expansive, so bear with me.

We were talking over dinner Friday night about this controversy in the Muslim world about those now infamous Danish editorial cartoons, that are apparently so offensive to Islam that riots have erupted, embassies have been torched, people have died, flags have been burned, yadda yadda.

And I seriously can't get my mind around all the anger and hatred from this faction of the world – and not even just about this cartoon issue, necessarily.

Some of it, I know, is genuine angst at the actual cartoons, and I appreciate that there is a general prohibition against depicting Muhammad in human form, even benignly (although burning a building down does seem a tad extreme) – but let's be honest as to what this is really all about: the never-ending antipathy against Jews.

Because, despite the fact that the cartoons appeared in a Danish newspaper, and were drawn by Danish artists, you knew, somehow, the Jews would end up getting brought into it.

Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that “casting doubt or negating the genocide of the Jews is banned, but insulting the beliefs of 1.5 billion Muslims is allowed."

Uh, yeah, sure. So now we're comparing 6 million deaths in the Holocaust to some drawings?

And, in fact, as the great Michael Kinsley said: “Nothing is easier and more common in the West, including the United States, than criticizing the United States -- except for criticizing Israel.”

Kinsley also noted: “A government-controlled Tehran newspaper announced a contest for cartoons about the Holocaust...(and) in a spirit of "see how you like it," a European Muslim group posted on the Web a cartoon of Anne Frank in bed with Hitler.”

I didn't hear about too many riots erupting in Israel over that one - but, whatever, as the kids say.

Listen, I certainly understand there is anger among Palestinians in particular against the state of Israel. Some of it for good reason.

But, let's face it, you know -- you absolutely know -- that even if Israel somehow didn't exist, there would still be this bizarre hatred toward Jews coming from the Muslim and Arab world.

And this is what I always wonder: have these people actually met any Jews? I mean real Jewish individuals. Not a vague entity, not the powerful state of Israel and its military might, but I mean personally do they know any Jews?

A little background. I come at the whole religion topic with a bit of a disadvantage, I suppose. As in by not really having too much first-hand, in-depth experience. (Although the passion it inspires has always fascinated me.) But my family was never religious at all. We are what you would call baaaaaad Catholics. In the circle of friends and family I grew up with in waspy Connecticut, no one really bothered about religion one way or the other. I suppose we knew a few religious types who went to church every Sunday, and, you know, we “tolerated” (hah!) them, but, seriously, no one cared; just don't bug me about your faith was always the unspoken motto. If I'd grown up in Alabama or Mississippi, I guarantee you my family would probably have had a burning cross thrown on our lawn by now, we would so much be the town heathens.

But, if I had to be religious, if, God forbid, I was told: ok you have to choose a faith right now and follow it, I'd probably choose to be Jewish.

It just seems to me to be one of the most benign of the major religions, and a lot of them aren't particularly benign. It seems to involve a lot of nice family get togethers for meals and enjoying togetherness in general, which I've always loved when I've been to a Seder dinner or other such gatherings. (Ok, the food ain't always the best, but, hey).

And, most important to me, Judaism doesn't go out of its way to convert non-believers – which, let's face it, the Protestant fundamentalist Pat Robertson-types do. (And trust me, Pat Robertson is basically considered the devil incarnate in Connecticut, home of Joe Lieberman, no less).

Even on a purely personal note, most of the girls I date tend to be Jewish (which is why I ended up at a lot of those family gatherings and suffered through many a stringy brisket over the years – oy). And most of my friends, male and female, also tend to be Jewish.

Who knows, maybe that's simply a factor of living in Manhattan for several years now, home to a large Jewish population, obviously, but that's the way I like it.

So that's why I wonder, when I hear these Muslim fundamentalists rail against “The Jews,” how they would possibly react if they actually got to know my friend Sarah or my friend Nel or my friend Dan (and I usually create names for my buds on this blog, but those are real names, and I checked with each of them that it was okay to use in this post).

I just don't know too many people any nicer or kinder, who would give you the shirt off their backs if you needed it or go to bat for you more.

And when these fundamentalists do their little war dance against “The Jews,” I wonder what the story is?

Do they actually believe the hatred they spout, or is it all just a button-pushing issue, to keep their masses riled up -- like the right-wingers in this country do with gay marriage or flag burning amendments or abortion, or what ever other issues they can gin up to keep red state America happy?

So that's why I always wonder if these Muslim leaders actually know any Jews? Because if they knew people like my friends, I can't believe they would preach hate like they do.

Then again, I'm guessing for them it's just so much bullshit, and that even they don't believe it for real.

Alas, it gets them in power and pays their bills, I guess.

It's a very strange world we live in.

Friday, February 10, 2006


Say what you will about the French, but they know how to do food and wine and restaurants.

I've gotten into the whole brasserie scene lately (and normally I'm just into bras. Hey, you've been a great audience, don't forget to tip your waiters.)

Dined this afternoon at Pigalle, on 8th.

Some onion soup, a smoked salmon sandwich, a few glasses of red. What a nice way to spend a Friday lunch.

Drip, drip, drip

Hmm, let's see, now, what's going on in the world today. Just a few random stories in the Times.

We have indicted lobbyist Jack Abamoff telling a magazine editor that, contrary to George Bush's insistence that he had never really met Abamoff, Bush had in fact met him many times, and had even invited him to his Texas ranch.

We have the former head of FEMA, Michael (“Heckuva Job Brownie”) Brown testifying to Congress that despite White House claims it was never alerted to the seriousness of the flooding in New Orleans, “he let senior White House staffers know as soon as he had heard that flooding had begun in New Orleans on the day Hurricane Katrina made landfall. Mr. Brown also called claims by top officials at the Department of Homeland Security that they weren't aware of levee breaches until the next day 'just baloney.'"

We have indicted Cheney aide “Scooter” Libby, testifying to a Grand Jury he was authorized by his "superiors" to disclose classified information to reporters about Iraq's weapons capability in June and July 2003.

And, just for bonus fun points, that little weaselly press aide from NASA, (a former Bush campaign worker no less), who was fired from the space agency after it was discovered he had lied about graduating from college, and who was caught trying to limit a top scientist's access to the press because he was daring to voice concerns about global warming - now saying it was all just a big, big misunderstanding. He had really only “forgotten” to update his resume.

Just another day in Bush-land.

I believe the correct term is anal

And before anyone out there gets too excited, I mean as in compulsive. Perv.

I am one of those compulsive types. I'll move a magazine on my desk, just so it runs parallel to the edge. I'll check my alarm clock three or four times before I go to sleep to make sure it's actually turned on. If I see a picture tilted on a wall, I HAVE to straighten it. I have to. It drives me crazy seeing it askew. I don't know why, but I'm just compelled to straighten it.

As an aside, a couple of years ago, I used to date a girl who got a kick out of this. And every time she stayed the night, the next morning, when she would be leaving (she had to go in to work before me, and I'm not a morning person, so I would invariably still be zonked out when she was leaving) she would deliberately tilt one of the pictures in my hallway. The first few times it happened, I didn't think anything of it, would just see the tilted picture and, of course, immediately straighten it. Then I realized it was happening every damn time she was over, and when I asked her if she was doing it, she burst out giggling. The little bitch.

Anyway, this morning, I think I may have reached a new depth.

I'm putting my shaver back on the shelf in the medicine cabinet and it knocks over one of those tiny bottles of shampoo stolen from a hotel (actually, they are there for the taking, so one of those tiny bottles of not stolen shampoo). I sort of saw it fall out of the corner of my eye just as the cabinet door was closing, but, as usual, I was running incredibly late, and, amazingly, did not stop to pick it up.

The problem is, now, I'm actually sitting here thinking about it - I've got to pick that bottle up. I should have done it before I left. Why did I leave it?

And I know the very first thing I'm going to do when I get home is go to the medicine cabinet and pick that damn tiny bottle up and put it right side up.

Oh yes, I have issues.

Gratuitous picture of the week

Has it ever happened that you've never really been aware of a particular actor or actress, but then, all of a sudden, you'll notice them in two semi-obscure movies within the span of a few days. And not in recent films either, but older ones, which both just happen to be playing on TV in the same week.

That just happened to me with Jordana Brewster. I was not familiar with her before, but a few nights ago I was flipping through the dial, enjoying my beautiful LCD HDTV (cough), and the movie The Faculty was airing. I had never seen it, and just as I stumbled upon it, a scene with Jon Stewart was on. He played a teacher in it, sporting a strange goatee no less. This was before he really hit it big on The Daily Show, so it caught my attention, and I started to watch the movie. If you've never seen it, it's a tongue in cheek horror flick, where aliens take over teachers' bodies at a high school. Sort of goofy, but interesting, in its way.

Anyway, one of the students is played by the aforementioned Jordana Brewster. And I have to tell you, she looks amazing in this movie. She also has perhaps the shiniest, most luxurious hair I have ever seen. Among other commendable attributes.

Anyway, skip ahead to Thursday night. I was at a work event, and, after it, some of us went to Rosa Mexicana, by Lincoln Center. (Just as an aside, those pomagrante margs should really be illegal. Oh my.)

When I got home and started flipping through the channels, who pops up in a movie yet again? Jordana Brewster, of course. This time in D.E.B.S., another film I had no interest in seeing when it was originally released, and this plot, trust me, I have not the energy to describe.

So, from never really being aware of Jordana, as I like to call her now, to seeing her twice in a span of 3 days. And if the movies hadn't aired so close to each other, I might never have even paid that much attention to her if I had just seen one. Weird. And I wish it actually meant something, but it doesn't. I just find it interesting when stuff like this happens.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

She’s got bigger balls than most of the men in the damn Senate

Thank God Hillary Clinton, at least, fires back at Bush and the bullyboy Republicans. Too often, too many Democrats roll over and let themselves get caricatured as bad on defense or weak on terror.

Like her husband, though, Hillary doesn’t take that crap without fighting back.

In a great speech to a UAW convention, she said the Republican message can be interpreted as: "All we've got is fear and we're going to keep playing the fear card."

Last week, the head of the RNC tried to tar Sen. Clinton as “angry.”

If she’s smart, the next time they trot that out, she’ll say: “Yes, I’m angry. I’m angry with the mess these people have made of our country. I’m mad that they’ve let a great American city die. I’m mad at the incompetence, corruption and cronyism that permeates the GOP. I’m mad at the ruin they have made of our international reputation. Damn right I’m angry.”

Do I have an evil twin? Of course, maybe I’m the evil one?

They say everyone in the world has a double. And mine might actually live here in New York.

I went to the Time Warner Center for lunch today, and, as I was walking in, I passed a guy in the lobby who was just getting off his cell phone. He waved at me, put out his hand to shake, and said, bizarrely enough, “There he is, the horror movie expert.”

Now, I had absolutely no clue who this fellow was. And, although I’m notoriously bad with names, I can usually get faces. But this was bringing up nothing.

When you forget the name you can often get away with the old – “Hey YOU! How are you doing?” Sort of like Jerry Seinfeld did that time he couldn’t remember the name of a girl he went on a date with, except that it rhymed with a female body part. (Although none of my friend’s names rhyme with clitoris). Hopefully, you can proceed to have a normal conversation and pray names just don’t come up again.

I also know a few people who work in that building at CNN, so I’m shaking this guy’s hands, thinking, “Crap, who is this who seems so happy to see me. This is certainly embarrassing.”

Then, as he continues babbling to me, he stops, gets visibly embarrassed and starts apologizing profusely: “Oh, I’m so sorry. I thought you were the guy I was waiting for. You look exactly like him! I mean exactly.”

Do I have an evil twin, like half the people on soap operas seem to?

And, of course, in my cynical way, I then began wondering, hmm is this some sort of scam, or is he hitting on me, or something. (And I certainly can’t blame him for that – hah!) But, he really seemed genuinely embarrassed by it all, so I think he was legit.

I was tempted to go up those escalators and wait on the 2nd floor balcony and watch to see who came in to meet him. But, alas, a ridiculously overpriced lunch was calling my name, so that won out over my curiosity.

But, I’m telling you right now, if you hear of me doing anything weird – it’s my evil twin.

I think one of my friends gave me A-D-D

And I’m pretty sure I know who it is!

I think I really do have it though. And it’s a fairly recent development. I used to love nothing more than reading on paper. I would polish off the Sunday Times front to back, and that’s a big ass paper. I would devour Vanity Fair and the New York Observer in the same sitting. If there were no periodicals in the house, I could happily get through most of a good mystery novel in one night.

Now, ehh, not so much.

I start reading, and, within 10 minutes, I'm looking for something else to do.

I don’t know if it’s because I do so much reading online now, when you can scroll through articles in a few minutes, and click to something else if it catches your interest, but reading on actual paper products has dropped off dramatically in the toosaucy habitat.

And I don’t like that.

What the hell is this place?

I got a lot of new visitors to the blog after Gawker picked up and linked to the “I inadvertently watched a porn movie on the 6 train” post yesterday.

A few have emailed asking what exactly this blog is about.

Well, nothing in particular, to be honest. As the subhead sort of implies, it’s a little bit of politics, a little bit of media criticism, a little bit of life in NYC. Sometimes just stories about my wacky friends.

But not solely on any one of those subjects. I figure if you’re really into politics, you can find, and no doubt already know, blogs that focus exclusively on the latest atrocity from the Bush regime. But not everyone is that interested in politics. Hell, as much I like a good political debate, even I’m not that into it, so I try to mix it up a little.

So, for new visitors, to reprise one of my very earliest posts, click here to take you back to the toosaucy archives for a look at a bizarre music video from the one and only David Hasselhoff (he’s huge in Germany, you know). Hit play and crank up the volume, and try not to let your jaw drop too much.

And Steve Jobs continues to take over the world bit by bit

I went out for drinks at Mercury Bar on 9th last night with a couple of friends; one of the 800 Erins I know, who I used to work with two jobs ago. (We bumped into each other on the street last week, literally a few hours after IMing each other, and figured it had to be fate, so of course – drinks!) Also, another former coworker from that job, who was an intern there and is now an associate producer – talk about your rapid rise. I will be working for her one day, I think. The little bitch.

Anyway, at Merc I noticed they don’t play CDs any more. They have an iPod dock behind the bar, where the bartenders plug in their iPods and play their song list on shuffle.

Cheap way for the bar to get music, gives the bartenders a chance to show off their musical taste, and pretty interesting for customers to hear what they listen to.

Some cute bartenders too. But lets just say there was a lot of Kelly Clarkson playing. Oy.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Wait till Jenna starts running the Department of Agriculture

Well, another stellar Bush political appointee making news again.

George Deutsch, a young appointee to NASA, has had to resign from a public affairs post at the space agency after it was disclosed he lied about graduating from college.

But, that’s not the scary part. Before being caught, this asshole, all of 24, had the balls to direct a NASA Web designer to add the word “theory” after every mention of the Big Bang, the phenomenon widely accepted by astronomers as the moment eons ago when the universe coalesced and became what we know it today. He also had told public affairs officers to limit press access to a top climate expert, whose warnings on global warming were upsetting the Bushies and their business allies.

As The Times dryly puts it: “Mr. Deutsch, 24, was offered a job as a writer and editor in NASA's public affairs office in Washington last year after working on President Bush's re-election campaign and inaugural committee, according to his résumé. No one has disputed those parts of the document.

According to his résumé, Mr. Deutsch received a "Bachelor of Arts in journalism, Class of 2003."

Yesterday, officials at Texas A&M said that was not the case.”

It is really frightening what the Bush regime is doing to the scientific community in this country today.

They dispute global warming and its potentially calamitous effects on our environment. They denigrate evolution in favor of a thinly disguised religious snow job called Intelligent Design. And now they were caught trying to call into doubt the Big Bang. Because, you know, God created heaven and earth in 7 days and all that.

Deutsch’s bull shit was discovered, fortunately, when a genuine Texas A&M graduate with a degree in biochemistry heard of the new rules at NASA and got suspicious of the little punk's educational background.

And the climate scientist who had spoken out about global warming warns the hubbub about Deutsch’s resume should not distract from the real concern: "He's only a bit player," Dr. James E. Hansen said of Mr. Deutsch. " The problem is much broader and much deeper and it goes across agencies. That's what I'm really concerned about."

Pat Robertson’s head might explode now

Just when you think you’ve seen everything there is to see on the New York City subways, something comes along to remind you that, well, no, you haven’t.

I’ve seen the kids selling Peanut M&Ms for their alleged school trip to Italy. That guy with no bottom half of his body who comes through riding on the little cart and shaking a can full of coins. The Mexican mariachi bands. The bad violin players. The Chinese ladies selling batteries for one dollah, one dollah.

But, I hadn’t seen anything until today.

So, I’m riding in to work this morning and there’s a guy watching a movie on one of those portable DVD players, you know with the little 4-inch screens. He’s on the last spot on one of the benches, I’m in that space by the door, and so I’m immediately to his side and above him, able to look down at a perfect view of the screen.

And what is he watching you ask? An action movie? A TV show? A documentary about the plight of the street children of Calcutta?

No. It is a porno movie.

A porno movie on the Lexington Ave line at 10 in the morning.

Now, he had the headphones on, so, thankfully, you couldn’t hear anything.

But for three stops I watched a blonde give some guy a bob job.

Let’s just say at one point I had to watch out for the closing doors, if you know what I mean.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

It’s not prime rib?

I had to run to a suddenly scheduled meeting today, which put the kibosh on my lunch plans, so, I grabbed a hot dog from one of those street vendors -- something I haven’t done in a long, long time. (You know, I like my expensive power lunches).

Anyway, I had forgotten how tasty those dogs can be, but, like Chicken McNuggets and fish sticks, you really REALLY don’t want to know what part of the animal is inside them.

Don't take my Kodachrome away

Something has been puzzling me in my wanderings around the Upper East Side lately.

A large photo-developing store opened on 86th Street a few weeks ago. And I mean a BIG space. And, needless to say, every time I pass by, it is always empty of customers.

Now, why would someone open a photo-developing store these days?

Is that really a growth industry? Do you know anyone who uses film-based cameras instead of digital? Hell, Nikon, recently announced they were no longer even going to make film cameras anymore.

And if anyone does still use film, don’t they tend to drop it off at CVS or the like?

I can’t figure out if this is like one of those guys with the horrible timing who opened a horse and buggy business a few years after Model T’s started puttering around the streets of America in the last century.

Or is this proprietor some sort of shrewd genius, figuring, well, sure, more and more people use digital, but there are still an awful lot of folks who use film, and they’re all not going to throw out perfectly working cameras, ergo, I will get their business, as most of the other developers seem to be disappearing.

More importantly, do I just spend too much time fixating on pointless trivia? The Magic 8 Ball says Yes!

Monday, February 06, 2006

I'm going to turn this car around if you kids don't calm down back there

People, people. I leave the blog unattended for a few hours to enjoy a lovely sushi dinner, and come home to find all hell has broken loose.

It's actually quite fascinating, though, to see what gets people riled up these days.

I posted a while back on Sam Alito and abortion rights, and, of course, got lots of fiery comments. But that's such a hot button topic, it wasn't a surprise. I think issues like that, and the Bush regime in general, are good things to BE fired up about, the more passion in the discussion the better.

But shoes? New Jersey?


First of all, the “Working Girl” post was (I thought) an innocuous and amusing little one about what I saw as a fairly unusual fashion concept. From there, a joke in that post's comments section about New Jersey, a bizarre digression into shoes - and all of a sudden it's downtown freakin' Baghdad.

Folks, I tease New Jersey, but I'm only kidding. It's a nice state, better than – hmm - about 38 others, I would say.

Seriously, I have had some fun times at the Jersey shore (Bar A - holllaa). And, believe it or not, I like the state and most of its people just fine.

So everyone, take a deep breath.

Keep the anger directed against the real enemy.


Now there's a shitty state.

Couldn't be happening to a nicer guy

Ralph Reed is truly one of the slimiest people in Americans politics today. For years, he was a top advisor to that freak Pat Robertson, and was tapped into the whole rightwing Christian evangelical cadre that runs a big part of the modern Republican party.

Reed is running for lieutenant governor in Georgia, and, given that state's GOP-leaning ways, had a pretty good chance of winning.

But, alas, he has gotten himself tied up in the whole Jack Abramoff scandal, with new details emerging almost weekly about a multitude of sleazy deals he was doing with the now-indicted lobbyist.

Now, his poll numbers have plummented, and The Atlanta Journal Constitution is reporting that about two-thirds of the state's Republican caucus is urging Reed to withdraw from the race. They fear if he stays in, he could cause a massive wipeout for their party on election day.

Jack Abramoff. The gift that keeps on giving.

Does this mean the raccoon-eyed makeup look is back too?

According to the New York Daily News, Diane von Furtsenberg previewed her Fall collection last night at Fashion Week, and her inspiration: Melanie Griffith in "Working Girl."


Working Girl, as in the big poofy hair? From Staten Island? The New Jersey of New York?

Do these designers try to annoy us?

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