Sunday, November 30, 2008

His Girl Friday

Sunday afternoon classics is quickly becoming a tradition here at ComedyandPolitics. Today's installment is His Girl Friday, a screwball comedy from 1940 starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell and directed by Howard Hawkes, and is also, in this blog's opinion, one of the greatest movies ever made.

When Hildy (Russell) returns to Walter Burns' (Grant) office to tell him she's getting remarried, he has no choice but to try to stop her. They're divorced, but Burns is still in love with her, and he knows she's in love with him too. She just needs some convincing.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Today in Dubuque News (Hint: It's Cartoony Violence)

Today has been what you might call a "slow" day, wherein the primary activities were watching TV and walking to another room to watch TV.

One of the best things about being back in fair Dubuque is the local news. And man oh man oh man is it local. The computer this is being posted from doesn't have Photoshop (thanks Mom and Dad for ruining this blog), so no screen grab today. But we assure you, this is one of the lead stories in Dubuque, IA on this wonderful Friday.

Dubuque man forked by father on Thanksgiving
He and dad are arrested on different charges

COURTNEY BLANCHARD TH STAFF WRITER

For one Dubuque man, Thanksgiving ended with a fork in his neck and a trespassing arrest.

Ahh, the ol' Dubuque fork to the neck. We originated it back in 19 hundred and ten, when farmer McCoy forked his son-in-law in the neck for calling the cows, "a buncha no good cows." That'll still you neck-forked today in some neighborhoods, btw.

Also, if you're wondering what you do on Thanksgiving night if you're playing pool at Cuemasters, the correct answer is: listen to 3 6 Mafia. But you already knew that.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I'm Thankful for Lizard People

Ok, off for Thanksgiving. Blogging will be irregular at best this weekend. Have fun everyone, and enjoy this clip from V, a TV show from the 19 hundred and 80s about Lucas Davenport, the fictional Minnesotan votin' detective, and his battles against David Icke's wet dream monsters. [hat tip hullyg. also, who are you?]

All Republicans Are Accidental Poets

h/t Sullivan. Julien Gough celebrates the poetry of Sarah Palin.

And the relevance to me
With that issue,
As we spoke
About Africa and some
Of the countries
There that were
Kind of the people succumbing
To the dictators
And the corruption
Of some collapsed governments
On the Continent,
The relevance
Was Alaska’s.

Al-Queda to Assist MTA in Discontinuation of Subway Service

As we wrote about here, the MTA has no money and you fat-asses will soon have to crawl to work because you're too fat to walk and too hungry from poverty to run. It will be a very confusing time for you fatties.

The only good news all day is that someone's finally taking some action to shut down the subway and save this city some money. It's al-Queda! The AP is reporting that there is a "plausible but unsubstantiated" report that some lousy terrorists want to blow up our bed bug infested subway.

We haven't heard one of these reports in a while, but it's still hard to take these things seriously after the way they were thrown around for the past 8 years. That said, if anything happens, this post never existed. Got it?

You're Goddamn Right That's What You Do

Slate gets something half right, which is better than usual for them.



You sure as shit stir-fry those sweet potatoes. Here's the recipe. And as a side tip, you can't use too many cloves of garlic in the drizzle. As another side tip, wet-brine your turkey if you want to. It's good. Don't let Slate tell you what to do. Stand up for yourself.

Getting back to the drizzle, if you don't have fresh sage leaves, crushed sage works out pretty well too. But I bet Slate would disagree.

Keith and the Girl

For anyone interested, I was on an excellent podcast last night called Keith and the Girl. They have a lot of New York comics come by their show, and it's always a fun time. I'm not on right at first, but listen from the beginning or else what I'm saying won't make any sense. It's episode 854, titled "Hit 'em."

Anti-war President Surrounds Self With Pro-war Everybody

First the hawkish Clinton appointment to SecState and now this. Robert Gates will be asked to stay on as Secretary of Defense, the fancy NY Times is reporting. From the article:

The move will give the new president a defense secretary with support on both sides of the aisle in Congress, as well as experience with foreign leaders around the world and respect among the senior military officer corps. But two years after President Bush picked him to lead the armed forces, Mr. Gates will now have to pivot from serving the commander in chief who started the Iraq war to serving one who has promised to end it.

So far, ComedyandPolitics hasn't been able to find a massive outcry from the left about this choice, with the exception of John Nichols at The Nation, who writes:

All indications are that the man who has run George Bush's nightmarish occupation of Iraq -- along with the downward spiral that is Afghanistan -- will now manage Barack Obama's nightmarish occupation of Iraq and the new president's plans to turn Afghanistan into a full-blown quagmire.

The obvious potential downside to this choice is retaining a SecDef who is more hawkish than many of Obama's supporters were probably hoping for. But another downside is that this appointment reinforces the myth that Republicans are big strong men with guns who can win wars and Democrats are pussy-ass bitches who probably shouldn't be in the trenches because of their lady-cycles. The NY Times reports is thusly:

But it also stirred a debate inside Mr. Obama’s circles, where some advisers worried that the decision to turn to a Republican appointee — something President Bill Clinton did in naming William S. Cohen to the defense post in 1997 — would reinforce the notion that Democrats could not manage the military. “It makes them look like they’re too wimpy to be trusted to run the building,” said one adviser who asked not to be named.

That advisor didn't want to be named because he's a scared little girl who this blog wouldn't trust with our copy editing, much less with a real man's war goddammit.

This news comes on the heels of a very promising development however. John Brennan, who we wrote about here, asked that his name be removed from consideration to head either the CIA or be the Director of National Intelligence. What's most amazing about this announcement is the explicit credit it gives to liberal blogs in influencing the decision.

Greenwald, not uncommonly, lead the charge. His reaction to this latest news is here, and video of Jane Hamsher from FireDogLake is below. Worth watching, especially if you haven't seen Rachael Maddow in action yet.

The importance of Brennan's self-removal really can't be overstated. It shows, at least in this instance, that what Maddow refers to in the clip below as the "organized left" can influence this administration. Gates never provoked the kind of reaction that Brennan did, but if he and Obama can't figure out a way to begin removing troops from Iraq sooner rather than later, he very well may get that reaction yet.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Poorly Explained Explanation Time--Ecuador Goes to the Dollar

No one has jobs or money anymore, but virtually everyone we know is an unmarried, childless, non-homeowner, so we will all be fine probably. If you don't fall into those categories, our sympathies. Even though we'll be ok, we all get worried and talk about the horrible economy and try to make sense of it using blogs and NPR.

What gets hard to understand is an event that happened relatively recently, but hasn't been on This American Life this American month. This situation came up the other night during a discussion of Ecuador, and how it switched to the dollar sometime a while ago. Why did that happen? What did it mean? Ira, come quick! Let's see if we can make any headway, despite an acute lack of understanding of international economics or Ecuadorian history and domestic & foreign policy.

Let's start at an arbitrary beginning. From the Sept 12th 2000 AP wire:

QUITO, Ecuador (AP) - The American greenback ruled supreme in this small Andean nation on Monday, the first day of business since it replaced the sucre as Ecuador's national currency.

...

Ecuador, wracked by political and economic disorder for years, on Saturday completed a six-month transition to making the U.S. dollar its currency. During the transition both dollars and sucres circulated as legal tender, at an official exchange rate of 25,000 sucres to the dollar.

Ecuador joins nine other countries or territories using the U.S. dollar as their official currency, according to the International Monetary Fund. They include Panama, Guam, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the British Virgin Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Officials hope the switchover will end record inflation running at 104 percent a year, Latin America's highest. The step is designed to prevent the government from printing excessive money to meet its budgetary needs. Economists blame Ecuador's economic woes on decades of deficit spending.

Decades of deficit spending? That doesn't sound good. Investorwords defines deficit spending as:

The amount by which a government, company, or individual's spending exceeds its income over a particular period of time. also called deficit or called budget deficit. opposite of budget surplus.

All right, sir. Let's back up. The Ecuadorian government was printing too much money for too long, and spending more than it was bringing in, ie deficit spending. All that extra printed money caused inflation, so a bag full of sucres was virtually worthless. Then President Mahuad announced his intention to move to the dollar, and was subsequently removed from power. His Vice President filled his seat. According to Wiki:

The [Gustavo] Noboa government confirmed its commitment to dollarize as the centerpiece of its economic recovery strategy, successfully completing the transition from sucres to dollars in 2001. Following the completion of a one-year stand-by program with the International Monetary Fund(IMF) in December 2001, Ecuador successfully negotiated a new $205 million stand-by agreement with the IMF in March 2003.

What, other than inflation, caused this?

Deteriorating economic performance in 1997-98 culminated in a severe economic and financial crisis in 1999. The crisis was precipitated by a number of external shocks, including the El NiƱo weather phenomenon in 1997, a sharp drop in global oil prices in 1997-98, and international emerging market instability in 1997-98. These factors highlighted the Government of Ecuador's unsustainable economic policy mix of large fiscal deficits and expansionary money policy and resulted in an 7.3% contraction of GDP, annual year-on-year inflation of 52.2%, and a 65% devaluation of the national currency in 1999.

So a mix of bad fiscal policy, weak international markets, and El Nino weakened the sucre to the point where it was worthless. Make sense? Explaining why this was ultimately not so great for the country, and why the IMF and World Bank are rotten institutions will have to wait for another day.

Jokes about poops in bowls to return tomorrow.

Breaking: Lizard People as Real as Lucas Davenport!

This Lucas Davenport fellow is a mystery wrapped in a ballot dropped in a punchbowl. Turns out that not only is he a prankster who has ruined Al Franken's chances at winning the Senate game, but he's also a fictional Maverick. From wiki:

Lucas Davenport is the protagonist of the "Prey" series of detective novels written by John Sandford. In the first 13 novels he is a maverick detective with the Minneapolis Police Department, first as a lieutenant removed from supervising the robbery section, then after resigning at the end of Eyes of Prey, returning in Night Prey as a deputy chief (a political appointment). Beginning with Naked Prey, Davenport has been an investigator for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, acting as a special troubleshooter for the governor of Minnesota in politically-sensitive cases. He is known for his unorthodox and manipulative behavior as a detective, reminiscent of "Dirty Harry" Callahan.

Oh man oh man. Unorthodox? Manipulative? Maybe this Lucas Davenport figure isn't as probably awesome as we assumed. He...he might actually be in league with the...THE LIZARD PEOPLE! He was in a book called Eyes of Prey. Lizard People HAVE eyes of prey. Uh...it also says he was born and raised Catholic, and they, just like the Lizard People, drink blood. Sort of. Let's just say this mystery got a whole lot more complicated. Complicated like trying to figure out how to salvage a bowl of punch that has been defecated in.

No response yet on the many facebook friend requests that have been sent out, but we're staying on the case, no matter how strange it gets. But if it comes out that Philip Marlowe voted for Big Foot, this blog will explode.

Bush Pardons 0.1% of Criminals in His Administration

The pardoning has begun. No categorical pardons yet, but we can all hope. From Salon:

On Monday, Bush granted pardons to 14 individuals and commuted the prison sentences of two others whose misdeeds included dealing drugs, evading taxes, killing bald eagles or mishandling hazardous waste.

The most recent batch, however, did not include any well-known convicts like junk bond dealer Michael Milken, who is seeking a pardon on securities fraud charges, or two politicians convicted of public corruption -- former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, R-Calif., and four-term Democratic Louisiana Gov. Edwin W. Edwards -- who want Bush to shorten their prison terms.

Let's get to know some criminals who are waiting for their pardon, what do you say. Here's the first few sentences from Michael Milken's Wiki entry:

Michael Robert Milken (born July 4, 1946 in Encino, California) is a prominent American financier and philanthropist who almost single-handedly created the market for high-yield bonds (also called junk bonds) during the 1970s and 1980s.[2]

After he was sent to prison on finance-related charges, his detractors cited him as the epitome of Wall Street "greed" during the 1980s, and nicknamed him the Junk Bond King...

With an estimated net worth of around $2.1 billion as of 2007, he is ranked by Forbes magazine as the 458th richest person in the world.[1]

Sounds like a real dipshit. He's not in jail right now, and he's rich as hell, so ComedyandPolitics says No Pardon.

Now here's Randy "Duke (in the Punchbowl)" Cunningham, who strikes us as a real dipshit. Look at this guy.



From his Wiki entry:

Randall Harold Cunningham (born December 8, 1941), usually known as Randy or Duke, was a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from California's 50th Congressional District from 1991 to 2005.

Cunningham resigned from the House on November 28, 2005 after pleading guilty to accepting at least $2.4 million in bribes and underreporting his income for 2004. He pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to commit bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud, and tax evasion. On March 3, 2006, he received a sentence of eight years and four months in prison and an order to pay $1.8 million in restitution.

Haha. No pardon. Finally, here's Edwin Edwards, who was Governor of Louisiana a bunch of times and is probably a dipshit like all politicians. Wiki says,

Edwards was indicted in 1998 by the federal government, with prosecution led by U.S. Attorney Eddie Jordan. The prosecution soon released transcripts of audio conversations, as well as excerpts of video surveillance that seemed to indicate dubious financial transactions. The Edwards investigation also tarnished the reputation of San Francisco 49ers owner Edward J. DeBartolo Jr., who admitted to paying Edwards $400,000 in exchange for Edwards's assistance in securing a casino license.

Edwards was found guilty on 17 of 26 counts, including racketeering, extortion, money laundering, mail fraud, and wire fraud; his son Stephen was convicted on 18 counts. "I did not do anything wrong as a governor, even if you accept the verdict as it is, it doesn't indicate that," Edwards told the press after his conviction. On his way to prison he said, "I will be a model prisoner, as I have been a model citizen".

That's a lot of counts of breaking the law, but ComedyandPolitics doesn't care about sports interference. Still, we say No Pardon. More pardons to come, let's see who gets 'em!

Lizard People Voter is Within Reach

Lucas Davenport is the probably awesome dude who voted for Lizard People instead of Al Franken or Norm Coleman, both of whom are big into cryptozoology. Now that Lucas is a famous person for two minutes, social networking sites are harder to trust for tracking down reliable information. There are now dozens of Lucas Davenports on facebook, and none of them have any friends. Sad. Most of these jokers don't have a profile picture either, but then we found this bad boy.



LIZARD PEOPLE! It must be him! If ComedyandPolitics make contact with this 100% definitely THE Lucas Davenport we'll publish everything we can. And, in the impossible scenario that this isn't THE ONE AND ONLY Lucas Davenport, we'll have a new crazy person in our lives to give ideas for new posts.

Things to Say When You're Leaving Town Instead of "Fuck This Place"



The only problems worth having are the ones worth running from. That's ComedyandPolitics' new original quote. Unless that came from somewhere we can't remember. The rest of these quotes are for everyone traveling for Thanksgiving, compiled from these two lists. The song embedded song above is Radar Love, by Golden Earring. That song just sounds like the highway.

“When one realizes that his life is worthless he either commits suicide or travels.” – Edward Dahlberg

“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.” - Jack Kerouac

“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” - Robert Louis Stevenson

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” - Henry Miller

“To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.” - Freya Stark

“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” - Aldous Huxley

“Our Nature lies in movement; complete calm is death.” – Blaise Pascal

“Clay lies still, but blood’s a rover / Breath’s aware that will not keep. / Up, lad: when the journey’s over there’ll be time enough to sleep.” – A. E. Housman

“The open road is a beckoning, a strangeness, a place where a man can lose himself.” – William Least Heat Moon

“Half the fun of the travel is the aesthetic of lostness.” – Ray Bradbury

“One always begins to forgive a place as soon as it’s left behind.” – Charles Dickens

“Travel at its truest is thus an ironic experience, and the best travelers… seem to be those able to hold two or three inconsistent ideas in their minds at the same time, or able to regard themselves as at once serious persons and clowns.” – Paul Fussell

“The autumn leaves are falling like rain / Although my neighbors are all barbarians / And you, you are a thousand miles away / There are always two cups at my table.” – T’ang dynasty poem

“It’s a battered old suitcase and a hotel someplace and a wound that will never heal.” – Tom Waits

“It is solved by walking.” – Algerian proverb

“What am I doing here?” – Arthur Rimbaud, writing home from Ethiopia

And, most importantly,

“An involuntary return to the point of departure is, without doubt, the most disturbing of all journeys.” – Iain Sinclair

Unexpected Catastrophe in Fox Trusted With Henhouse Case


The NY Times has an article today that comes to some unsurprising conclusions, namely that all of your money is, has been, and will continue to go to your wealthy banker superiors until they're happy again and you have nothing. From the article:

With the red ink deepening, other banks may eventually turn to the government to soak up some of their losses. Taxpayers could end up guaranteeing hundreds of billions of dollars of banks’ toxic assets. Indeed, Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. is expected to announce a new plan on Tuesday to bolster the consumer-finance market.

“When all else fails, government does come in,” said David A. Moss, a public policy professor at Harvard Business School.

Yay! This is a concept called private profit, socialized risk. It's like a magic trick where no matter what happens your money disappears. Essentially, a bunch of bankers got around and said to each other, "hey guys, the more we RISK, the more money we can make." And the bankers nodded their wise heads in agreement.

But one banker wasn't convinced, and he said, "yes, but with risk comes the possibility that we'll lose all of our own and our clients' money." And again, the wise bankers nodded. But then Gordon Gekko stepped forward and said, "what if we risk all this money, but we risk so goddamn much of it that when things go horribly wrong the government and those filthy taxpayers will come in and cover our bet?" And the wise bankers agreed that this was the greatest idea ever conceived of by man or god, and then they did a lot of cocaine, and it was good. Again, from the NY Times article:

Before long, anxious investors may start wondering which banks will be vulnerable next. If confidence fades, other big lenders will probably seek deals like Citigroup’s, in which the government has pledged to pick up potentially $290 billion in additional losses.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Dog and Duck are Friends, Humans are Weird...?

This is a confusing video that starts out cute and then gets strange right at the end, which is an analogy for life.



Translations, anyone?

Lizard People--T in a PB (cont'd.)

The more layers we peel off this case the more it stinks, just like a turd in a punchbowl. It turns out that the mysterious Lizard People voter is Lucas Davenport, a Bemidji resident who enjoys exercising his right to waste his own time.

Local Twin Cities resident and friend to the common man Dan Feidt alerted ComedyandPolitics to this development earlier today via Facebook comments:

'Lizard people' is our favorite thing here @ work. PBG & I are looking for the secret portal to the underworld - some 25-yr old guy in Bemidji stepped fwd as the Lizard People guy on MPR this morning.

Thanks for the tip! If any Minnesota readers can send a photograph of Mr. Davenport in a compromising situation (maybe pooping somewhere he shouldn't be, hmm?), it would be much appreciated. This blog needs to drive its traffic up. Your prize will be Alex Jones' filthy punchbowl.

UPDATE: Dan has a good blog called Hong Pong. Check it out.

Alan Colmes Can't Cry Anymore

Alan Colmes has decided to leave Hannity and Colmes after 12 years with the show, some idiots are reporting. Colmes made a name for himself by subjecting himself to literally thousands of hours of brutal, unrelenting torture at the hands of Hannity. I doubt Ailes kept a straight face while giving the following statement:

FOX News Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Roger Ailes added, “Alan is one of the key reasons why FOX News has been such a remarkable success. We’re sad to see him leave the program but we look forward to his ongoing contributions to the network.”

Apparently Colmes radio show is actually halfway decent, but on Fox he looked like the most pathetic, masochistic man alive. He always looked like he was going to faint from hunger. And he also looked like he was bottling his rage up deep inside, only to come in one day with a bomb strapped to his chest.

"COLMES ISN'T EATING YOUR SHIT AND CALLING IT ICE CREAM ANY MORE!"

There are too many clips to narrow down in any intelligent way, so here are a few arbitrarty ones.

Here's Dick Morris acting like the biggest jerk in the world, and Colmes smiling politely. Go to about 2:30 for the blood.


Here's Tito the Builder saying he wants Colmes to pee himself. Everyone's going to laugh at you Alan. Go to about 3 minutes in.

Building in Queens Will Destroy Capitalism




Citigroup is getting $20 billion because they are horrible at running a business, everyone is reporting today. The monies are coming from the $700 billion Hank Paulson set aside a few weeks ago and is almost gone already. Krugman is not happy:

A bailout was necessary — but this bailout is an outrage: a lousy deal for the taxpayers, no accountability for management, and just to make things perfect, quite possibly inadequate, so that Citi will be back for more.

Amazing how much damage the lame ducks can do in the time remaining.

Krugman links to Mark Thoma, who has a roundup of all the Econ nerds furiously pushing this glasses up their nose. Most of them aren't happy either. Here's James Kwak gettin' all pissy-an-shit:

The government (should have) had two goals for this bailout. First, since everyone assumes Citi is too big to fail, the bailout had to be big enough that it would settle the matter once and for all. Second, it had to define a standard set of terms that other banks could rely on and, more importantly, the market could rely on being there for other banks. This plan fails on both counts.

ComedyandPolitics' plan to save Citibank was to move it out of Queens because Queens is boring. Transplant the building to Brooklyn and then it'll be tough.

Lizard People--Turd in the Punchbowl?

The race between Norm Coleman and Al Franken is so close! If Franken wins, that puts the Dems at 59 seats in the Senate, one short of the magic number 60. If the Dems get that, they can grant Barack Obama 3 wishes (but not a wish for infinite wishes) and they can also have keg parties with donkeys on the Senate floor.

One of the fun little outcomes of this recount is all the wacky ballots that are showing up. ComedyandPolitics first saw this one on Wonkette.



Now, being the naive blog that we are, we figured that this was an isolated incident of goofballery. Not so, as we learned from Jared last night. It's a full blown conspiracy theory. A quick google search for "lizard people conspiracy" yields an impressive 150,000 hits. But to be fair, "peanut pancake birthday surprise" yields 27,800 hits, so don't give the google number too much weight.

What the hell is the Lizard People conspiracy, you ask? The entry on the always reliable Wikipedia tells us the following:

According to writer David Icke, reptilian humanoids are the force behind a worldwide conspiracy directed at manipulation and control of humanity. He contends that most of the world's leaders are in fact related to 7-foot (2.1 m) tall, blood-drinking, reptilians from the star system Alpha Draconis, in the constellation Draco.

According to an interview with David Icke, Christine Fitzgerald claims that she was a confidante of Diana, Princess of Wales, and that Diana told her that the British Royal Family were reptilian aliens, and that they could shapeshift.[7] Icke also claims that many presidents of the United States have been and are reptilian humanoids. In his view, United States foreign policy after September 11 is the product of a reptilian conspiracy to enslave humanity, with George W. Bush as a servant of the reptilians.

Icke draws connections between the reptilian aliens in his theories and the Annunaki depicted in Zecharia Sitchin's 12th Planet,[8] which has led to other conspiracy theorists referring to reptilian humanoids as the "Annunaki";[9] however, Sitchin himself has always described his Annunaki as purely humanoid.

Isn't this a fun way to start the week? We're not sure why this "information" in online, but it is. Friend of the blog and wonderful comedian Ross Hyzer has a joke about Cryptozoology, and ComedyandPolitics had always been meaning to do some independent research on the subject. Luckily, Lizard People fall into that category.



Ok, so who is this David Icke fellow? Let's let raving madman (and possibly correct freedom fighter) Alex Jones introduce him.



There is, of course, more to say, but ComedyandPolitics thinks "turd in the punchbowl" is a good way to leave things for now.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Casablanca

First Harvey, now this. What's happening here at ComedyandPolitics? Are we going sentimental?

No, it's just that the only way to survive this hateful winter is to dig in and surround yourself with the classics. Watching this the other night, ComedyandPolitics was struck by the critical role politics plays in this film. Victor Lazlo, Bogart's romantic competition, is a leader of the international anti-Nazi movement, and a terrific guy to boot. Bastard. And Rick (Bogart) fought against the Italians in Ethiopia and against the fascists in Spain before becoming disillusioned. He tries to tell himself he doesn't care, but he does. You're goddamn right he does!

The sound is a bit off in this clip, but you've probably seen it before. Dig in my friends. Or, if it's more appropriate, get on that plane.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Palin Gives Interview in Front of Appropriate Campaign Metaphor

Sarah Palin is the monster that refuses to die. To hear her speak is to know with certainty that you are getting dumber.

Here she is giving an interview in front of a turkey getting slaughtered. Fast forward to about 2:20 unless you want to hear her spew gerunds. The blood-covered butcher in back is the Mayor of Palin's home town, which is a chicken coop.

Change We Can Beat to Death in Egypt

Little bit late on this one, but this is a troubling turn of events, so here it is. Obama may be close to appointing John Brennan to the position of CIA Director. The ol' blogosphere doesn't much care for this, seeing as Brennan is a Bush apologist and fan of the ol' "send them to Black Sites and beat them to death" method of interrogation. Here he is on The News Hour with Jim Lehrer [via Greenwald]

MARGARET WARNER: So was Secretary Rice correct today when she called it [rendition] a vital tool in combating terrorism?

JOHN BRENNAN: I think it's an absolutely vital tool. I have been intimately familiar now over the past decade with the cases of rendition that the U.S. Government has been involved in. And I can say without a doubt that it has been very successful as far as producing intelligence that has saved lives.

That is certainly a troubling stance. His bad policy doesn't end there, though. There's this [via Marc Ambinder]:

Brennan and Obama have not always agreed on intelligence policy. Brennan supported retroactive legal immunity for telecomm companies who helped the government's surveillance programs after 9/11; Obama did not.

Brennan's support of retroactive legal immunity is very bad, but the idea that he and Obama strongly disagree on that is only partially true. Obama initially claimed he would filibuster any bill that contained telecomm immunity, but then rescinded that promise and voted for a bill that expanded FISA and contained immunity. ComedyandPolitics is afraid that that vote speaks volumes about Obama, where his loyalties lie, and how much we can expect from him. Obama does talk a good talk. He has said that he'll end Bush torture policies and shut down Guantanamo, but Brennan is far from an ally in the battle to regain lost civil liberties.

On a slightly related note, a judge yesterday ruled that 5 Gitmo prisoners were to be let go immediately, based on the fact that there was no evidence of wrong-doing on any of their part. This is what the Boston Globe writes about the judge in the case:

Leon, appointed by President Bush, had been expected to be sympathetic to the government. In 2005, he ruled that the men had no habeas corpus rights.

That shows you how thin the government's case was. Here is just one of the many accounts of their horrible journey:

This time last year, Hadj's 6 -year-old daughter, Saaima, died of congenital heart failure. He had not seen her since the fall of 2001, when he and the other five men were arrested by Bosnian authorities under pressure from the United States, which asserted that they were involved in planning terrorist activities in Bosnia. After a three-month investigation, the Bosnian federal prosecutor recommended to the Bosnian Supreme Court that all six be released. But again under heavy pressure from the United States, the Bosnians caved, and as the men were released from a jail in Sarajevo, the Bosnians turned them over to the United States. Hooded, shackled, and packed into waiting cars while their horrified families watched, they began the sickening odyssey that continues today.

Saber's wife was pregnant when he was taken to Guantanamo. He has never met his daughter Sara, whose shiny face framed in pink plastic sunglasses peers out from the photographs we send to him. Mustafa, a former karate champion who suffered months of facial paralysis from a brutal beating inflicted by Guantanamo camp soldiers, worries about his ailing mother in Algeria. With each passing day, it becomes more likely that he will never see her again.

More stories here, and here. Let's hope that Obama is serious about ending these policies. With the exception maybe of our crumbling economy, nothing is more important to the future of this country, which I'm no fan of anyway, so I don't care what you jerks do.

Obama to Keep Enemies Closer

It looks like Hillary Clinton is indeed going to be our new Secretary of State, or as she calls it, Flight Attendant of State, because secretary is sexist. For a while it looked like her evil husband Bill Clinton would do what he does best and ruin her life, but maybe not.

We all know that Clinton still wants to be Prezident more than anyone else on the planet. How will this position affect her political future? Well, according to infallible wikipedia,

Six Secretaries of State became presidents (Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Martin Van Buren and James Buchanan)

So, there's that. But all those guys are a million years old, so who knows. Fun Fact Friday Fact number 2:

and four won Nobel Peace Prizes (Frank Kellogg, Cordell Hull, George Marshall and Henry Kissinger).

Hillary Clinton will never win the Nobel Peace Prize, though, because she tried to get white racists to vote for her instead of the magical Hawaiian. The closest she will get is "West Virginia's Chili Cookoff Lady of the Year," which is very competitive, but we have confidence in her.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Blogger to Leave Parents' Basement and Control Goverment's Money

Peter Orszag, who's probably some big stupid nerd, is Obama's pick to head the Office of Management and Budget. He used to be the head of the Congressional Budget Office, apparently. No one knows what either of those two operations do (every once in a while the CBO comes around and says, "How the fuck did you fuckers spend so much fucking money?! FUCK!!!!), but it's probably pretty boring, and there's really only two things of note here.

1) According to CNN, Orszag is, "Orszag is known in the halls of Congress for wearing cowboy boots with his business suit." Dork!

2) He used to be a blogger, which means that his business suit is actually a pair of pajamas decorated with chocolate stains, which he wears with his cowboy boots to model in front of his mommy.

The only other thing of note is that he used to work at the Brookings Institution, which is, in all seriousness, full of fake-ass liberal slime who love wars and pretending to be tough, like men would do. Mostly I'm just talking about Michael O'Hanlon. Dude sucks.

Orszag directed a sub project of the Brookings Instituition called The Hamilton Project, and their website doesn't look all that terrible--but wait. He wrote a book with Michael O'Hanlon called Protecting the Homeland. Hmmm. ComedyandPolitics doesn't like the sound of that. Sounds a bit hawkish, considering O'Hanny past. There's also this website, that's full of Econ mumbo jumbo that's makin' the ol' think-box (brain) hurt.

ComedyandPolitics is now going to go wash its pajamas.

Harvey

via Balk (his quote too)

"I would have to say that 50% of my tragic romanticizing of alcoholism came from Jimmy Stewart’s performance in Harvey."

Cheap Oil Signals Return of Insanely Expensive Oil

Enjoy it now, commuters. From the NY Times

The pillars that had pushed up the price of oil and other commodities seem to be crumbling all at once: the American consumer is in full retreat; the Chinese economy is sputtering; financial markets are collapsing; developing countries are trimming their energy subsidies; and the dollar is strengthening.

The speed of the falloff is a testimony to the world’s dire economic straits. As growth in the United States, Japan and Europe contracts, global oil demand is headed for its first annual decline in 25 years.

And from Andrew Leonard at Salon (who is happy about the Waxman victory)

When economic growth resumes across the globe, demand for oil will surge once again. Only this time around, given the constraints presented by declining oil fields and the current apparent freeze in investment in new oil production capacity, the supply-demand equation will likely send oil prices shooting back up, perhaps even further than before.

Which is why now is the time, more than ever, for government leadership that promotes conservation, energy efficiency, fuel economy, and increased production of renewable energy. Waiting until the economy recovers before tackling energy would be a huge, huge mistake.

Californian Moustache Now Humanity's Only Hope for Survival



Henry Waxman is a Representative from California and former Chairman of the House Oversight Committee who would subpoena his own mother if she worked for George W. Bush. And now he's our planet's last best hope for survival because of ENERGY. He just took the Chairmanship of the Committee on Energy and Commerce from the new oldest man alive now that Ted Stevens has been executed. The former head is the hilariously named John Dingell, who has been in Congress since 1955, and runs on straight gasoline because he's from Detroit and loves Auto-lobbyist money. From the NY Times:

Besides seating a committed environmentalist as head of the energy committee, the vote also removes one of the auto industry’s best friends from a key leadership post — further evidence of how much power the American car-makers, whose executives have been pleading for federal money, have lost in Congress.

It doesn't help their cause that the Auto-heads took private jets to beg for some of that sweet sweet bailout money.

Waxman's win seems to be another positive development in Congress. Again, from the NY Times:

Environmental groups reacted swiftly and mostly positively to the ascension of Mr. Waxman. “Chairman Waxman has been a leader on global warming for many years, and we look forward to working closely with him in his new role,” said Karen Wayland, legislative director of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

And here's an older quote from some jerks called Earthjustice:

"Earthjustice applauds Chairman Henry Waxman's (D-CA) leadership in introducing the Safe Climate Act to fight global warming pollution. For the second Congress in a row, Chairman Waxman has introduced the strongest global warming bill in the House. His bill, cosponsored by more than 125 members of the House, would place the United States on the path to reducing our emissions to the level scientists say is critical if we are to stabilize our climate and avoid catastrophic impacts from global warming."

Looking for an interesting video of a House Oversight Committee hearing to illustrate how Waxman gets down is just as much fun as it sounds. All the videos of Waxman are basically him going, "why can't you jackasses remember anything?" because for several years no one who worked in government could remember anything at all. This video is good though. Keep your eyes out for 2:10 in when Waxman goes completely insane and just about threatens to beat Darrell Issa bloody with his gavel.

ComedyandPolitics Has a New Hero

Glenn Beck's crimes against humanity are too numerous to mention, and even thinking about them makes me furious. He, more than almost anyone else, fills me with a rage so precise I could cut diamonds with it. He told Rep. Keith Ellison, who is a Muslim, that he (Beck) wanted Ellison to "prove to me that you are not working with our enemies." Just glance over the above link to Media Matters, or read what I wrote about him here for all the proof you need that he is despicable.

The good news is, I'm not alone in feeling this way! From Beck's website, (h/t to huffpo)

It happened to me at Wendy's Saturday night. We are on the bus and we stop to get fuel and I said, I'm going to go in, I'm treating. Everybody wants a Frosty...

...I just want to [sic] Frosty, please, the guy standing next to me, who, by the way, I may point out. Had food in his hair, is a truck driver and he turned around. He looked at me and the recognition was immediate and he said, You racist bigot! And I just said -- I wanted to say, I think you have me mistaken for someone else, but I knew he knew who I was and he just hated me for who I was. You conservatives that have destroyed this country! And the hatred was so deep, it was breath taking.

Hoo-ray! One question I have is, how did a guy waiting in line for food already have food in his hair? Was it from his last meal? What sort of food has that kind of staying power? When ComedyandPolitics gets to the bottom of this mystery, we'll let you know.

CNN Streams Ted Stevens' Execution on Senate Floor

Sound Fix is a Place Where It's Always Safe and Warm

Here's a sweet electric version of Shelter From the Storm. Play it now, then read the post and it will make sense.



So, last night was a fun one at Sound Fix. The recent loss of the open bar hasn't hurt attendance and neither has the cold, which is New York cold (not THAT that bad), not Minnesota cold (truly awful). Our plan the whole time was to build up enough momentum by feeding people free booze over the summer that they would return even if the free booze were taken away, and it seems to have worked. That said, every Wednesday at 7:30 I'm convinced that no one will come to the show. I'm usually wrong though!

It's very difficult to predict how any individual show will turn out. Ed Murray and I have spent many long nights trying to find a rhyme or reason to what distinguishes a wonderful night from a mediocre one. We've come to the conclusion that there is none. But last night was great.

There's something awkward about going through every one's set individually and evaluating it, so let me just say that Lucas Held, Eric Andre, Murderfist, Jared Logan, and Oren Brimer all killed. And the show afterwards, Totally JK, was really fun too. Positivity!

Then, while waiting for the subway, I asked the ubiquitous guitar-slinger if he knew Don't Think Twice (It's All Right), which was on my mind for some reason, and he said no. But he did know Shelter From the Storm, which he played heroically. Since I lost my ipod, I've become completely dependent on street musicians to provide me with a distraction while I wait for the train. I had had a few beers, and I probably thanked him more than anyone else did all night. It was an appropriate way to round things out.

Come next week. It will be fun too. I promise!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Daschle Appointment Signals End of Robber Baron HMO Era

Tom Daschle, former Senate Minority Leader for the Democrats, has been appointed the cabinet level position of Secretary of Health and Human Services. This means that he will be Obama's point-man on Healthcare Reform. Other people will do research in the coming days that we at ComedyandPolitics will link to, but for now, here's what we got. Sounds like small steps in the right direction.

From an article by Daschle on Huffpo:

The time is now for us to take this challenge head-on. What we need is a change in approach. In my book, Critical: What We Can Do About the American Health-Care Crisis, I have proposed a Federal Health Board that would be a foundation from which we could address all three problems. In many ways, the Federal Health Board would resemble our current Federal Reserve Board for the banking industry. Just as the Federal Reserve ensures certain standards, transparency and performance for our banking industry, the Fed Health would ensure harmonization across public programs of health-care protocols, benefits, and transparency. Ultimately, the Fed Health would offer a public framework within which a private health-care system could operate more effectively and efficiently.

He's certainly not advocating a single-payer system, but no one expected that. Only Kucinich has the balls to be right.

Here's some strong words from Daschle.

Health care is a complex topic, but myths should not cover up a simple truth: We are wasting money by paying top dollar for mediocre results. I believe we need a new approach to health reform – an approach that results in major reform, not incremental change. We need to create new coalitions to push for reform and find new answers that work for everyone. We need to move beyond ideology and partisanship and meet our common health care system challenges with commonsense answers to provide affordable, quality health care to everyone in this great nation. This is not a weak alternative; it is the only one.

I'm a fan of "major reform, not incremental change." If he's willing to go all out for a major overhaul, that's a positive developement.

The general concensus is that Obama's healthcare policy is less progressive than Sen. Clinton's or John Edwards'. This appointment hasn't changed that perception one way or another so far. As others investigate, ComedyandPolitics will pass along.

Heh


via Drudge

Gays' Plan to Bankrupt Focus on Family Complete Success

Everyone knows that god doesn't exist, but sometimes that fact is reaffirmed in hilarious ways. James Dobson's Focus on the Family is laying off all sorts of GOOD CHRISTIANS and shutting down the print version of four of their eight publications. Eight magazines! Who knew!?

Focus on the Family hates gays, mostly, but also people who live in New York or Europe. They hate gays so much it basically bankrupted them. They spent $600,000 trying to get Prop 8 passed, and now their employees can't feed their children because they don't have jobs anymore. So, that's pretty funny. It would be more funny if Prop 8 were struck down, but you can't win them all.

Magazines everywhere are laying off everyone, so it's hard to see this as some sort of isolated incident of poetic justice. It's just nice that Dobson's cult didn't somehow escape the flood that will drown us all.

Oh, and also, Oral Roberts University, where idiots go to learn about fantasy (Religious school) (...sorry, too mean), is also firing 10% of it's workforce. God hates everybody!

Brian Williams Calls Presidential Candidates Filthy Coal-smeared Liars

It's green week at NBC, so we can all expect a lot of hang-wringing and hearing of the phrase, "we have no time to waste." Obviously, they are right, but we don't have an economy anymore and gas is cheap, so nothing will change.

Brian Williams begins this segment by saying,

"Coal. While you might have heard the phrase 'clean coal' during the presidential campaign, it's actually an oxymoron. Wishful thinking."

Good for you Brian! Then Anne Thompson goes to Germany and tells us about some great new coal power plant "over there" that won't KILL US ALL. America was going to make one but our Congress decided, "meh."

Watch the surprisingly good segment below, and wonder at the fact that green energy initiatives are still politically dangerous.

Alaska Fails to Elect Convicted Felon

Ted Stevens has officially lost his reelection bid for the Senate, folks are reporting. What kind of rogue state are you if you can't even elect someone who is now ineligible to vote? Oh, poor Ted Stevens. He is the saddest man in America. Look at him on the right.



The winner, one Mark Begich (left), looks like a child who just got saved from a well. Let your eyes adjust to the harsh light of power, sweet Begich. You're in a safe place now.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

After Budget Meeting, MTA Introduces New Hand-powered Locomotive




You know how one of the best parts of the city is the fact that drunken driving is never an issue? Because of the wonderful subway system! It's great. The train is really one of the best things about this great/foul metropolis. Yeah, it sucks when it's late and you're waiting for 20 or 30 minutes, and it sucks during rush hour, but all things considered it's absolutely wonderful. But then there's this, from WCBSTV

The MTA reportedly is ready to make deep cuts in its budget that could lead to reduced service, layoffs and more crowded trains. Sources tell CBS 2 the association board is preparing a worst case "Doomsday" scenario that will be presented during its monthly meeting on Thursday.

Goddammit.

During the Thursday meeting, The MTA is expected to: completely do away with the "W" line, which runs from Queens to Manhattan, and the "Z" line, which runs through Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan. Also on the chopping block: service will be cut in half on the "G" line, which runs from Queens to Brooklyn; and the "M" line, which runs through Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens.

Sonofabitch.

The bad news may get even worse. In an effort to close an estimated $1.2 billion budget deficit, there may also be longer gaps between overnight stops on all trains and fewer trains during the late morning and early afternoon hours.

Come on! We all knew this was coming, but the idea of the L train being more crowded in the morning is unbearable. And the G only runs like 3 times a night anyway. That $8 a day they'll save by cutting back on the fancy "G!" train is really gonna add up. Get out your bikes, kids.

Other ideas for headlines for this post:
MTA Debuts Controversial "We'll Throw You in Front of Train" Offer
MTA "Doomsday" Plan Sounds Happier Than it Is
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the MTA

And because things that happen in other countries are funny, here is this delightful video of commuters that you might have already seen. Say hello to your future.

Good Thing I Got Hit the Face With a Baseball

From the Guardian, as I was looking for that story about how Hillary Clinton will be our next SecState.

They give Action Man a certain ruggedness and bestow instant testosterone on movie heroes, and according to British psychologists, facial scars can also make men more attractive to the opposite sex.

Men with mild facial scars were typically ranked as more appealing by women who were looking for a brief relationship, though they were not considered better as marriage material, a study found.

I used to think that the small scar on my lip from getting a baseball in the face was a bad thing. Turns out, getting a baseball in my face might've been the best thing that ever happened to me! I'm especially fond of that part about not being marriage material.

"You just want me for tonight. That's how it's supposed to be. Look at this minor baseball-in-the-face induced scar. When you wake up I'll be gone...."

Republican Retains Democratic Chairmanship

Joe Lieberman is a horrible man, which is why the Democrats are rewarding him for campaigning against their candidate for president. They are "looking forward," not, "acting properly."

DICKS!

In a Fantastic Turn of Events...

Today's NY Times has an excellent article about the recent developement of local, independent media outlets in various American cities.

As America’s newspapers shrink and shed staff, and broadcast news outlets sink in the ratings, a new kind of Web-based news operation has arisen in several cities, forcing the papers to follow the stories they uncover.

Here it is VoiceofSanDiego.org, offering a brand of serious, original reporting by professional journalists — the province of the traditional media, but at a much lower cost of doing business. Since it began in 2005, similar operations have cropped up in New Haven, the Twin Cities, Seattle, St. Louis and Chicago. More are on the way.


With the decline of print ad sales and the closing of newspapers across the country, it was only a matter of time before we started seeing organized opperations like this sprouting up. I think this is a great developement. Many of the web sites profiled have non-profit status, so they are able to apply for grants and public donations, which in theory will keep them slightly more free than news organizations who are tied to corporate sponsorship.

My friends and I were just talking a few weeks ago on our roof about what changes we'll see in journalism in the next few years. The common thread among all conversations like this that I've had is: look, blogs and online news is great, but they still need newspapers to give them their source material. That, right now, is undeniably correct. Blogs, for the most part, serve as watchdogs, not as primary sources of news.

One small, but I think significant, way that this might be changing, though, is that primary news can be gathered and distributed by anybody, as long as they have an audience. To illustrate my point, I'll use a somewhat obtuse, but I think relevant, example.

Last July there was an earthquake in LA, and it was first reported on Twitter, the micro-message social network whatever. The LA Times website was down, and it was 9 minutes before the AP issued the news on their wire.

Now, obviously, tweeting to a friend "my fucking house is collapsing," is not the same thing as publishing the Pentagon Papers, but there is something to be said for local residents reporting and distributing local news.

How this would play out in foreign affairs reporting is unclear to me. If there is an embassy bombing in country X, but the Chicago Trib hasn't sold an ad all week and can't send their own reporter, will there be a local reporter/blogger from country X who can provide a story (my fucking house is collapsing from an explosion!)? Maybe.

More rambling thoughts about this to come in the near future. Until then, I will close my eyes and imagine I work at one of these new online news orgs. and we are about to publish the NEW Pentagon Papers.

Bill Clinton to Continue Ruining Hillary Clinton's Life

Bill Clinton made a name for himself by getting blown and gutting the American manufacturing base, and then saying some crazy shit about how he's the blackest man alive on the old campaign trail, but his greatest ambition continues to be ruining his wife's life forever. From CNN:

Former President Bill Clinton's international business dealings, global foundation and penchant for going off script could present a significant obstacle to Hillary Clinton becoming secretary of state, observers say.

Bill makes millions of dollars a year speaking to the richest of the rich about human rights violations, which some of the donors to his foundation are responsible for. He has done a lot of good work, though. One of his main focuses is eradicating AIDS in Africa. Good on you, Bill.

The potential problem is, though, that if there's one thing Bill Clinton loves, it's being loved. And giving out $500 million is a good way to get people to like you. But because of conflicts of interest of raising money in foreign countries, Bill might have to slow down, which is not one of his strong suits. From the NY Times:

“The problem is it’s going to require some sacrifice by him,” said a former Clinton aide who is not involved in the discussions but did not want to be identified because the talks are confidential. “If he’s not willing to do that, it could blow up.”

Is ruining Hillary's life 4 or 5 times already enough for him, or will he go for one more?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Books of the Year and Unintelligent Snap Judgements About Them

The only lists worth reading are year-end Best of Books and Movies lists. Avoid all other lists at all costs. They waste your time and insult your intelligence. But you probably like that, don't you?

Here is a list of the best Current Event books as compiled by Amazon.com, the website that knows more about you that your spouse/affair-mate. I haven't read any of these, but I have opinions about all of them! Here's my one-or-two-sentence maybe google-aided review of the best book I haven't read.

10. The Case Against Barack Obama: The Unlikely Rise and Unexamined Agenda of the Media's Favorite Candidate (Hardcover) by David Freddoso

This book sounds really stupid. Anyone talking about the myth of the "liberal media" after the last 8 years is a ding-dong.

9. The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How The War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals (Hardcover) by Jane Mayer (Author)

This book, from all I understand, is a must-read. Jane Mayer is not a ding-dong.

8. FairTax: The Truth: Answering the Critics (Paperback) by Neal Boortz (Author), John Linder (Author)

If you see Neal Boortz walking down the street, you have my permission to pistolwhip him. I wrote about him here.

7. The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism (Hardcover)
by Andrew Bacevich (Author)


This book looks pretty sweet. I don't know anything about Bacevich, but the title is intriguing.

6. Fleeced: How Barack Obama, Media Mockery of Terrorist Threats, Liberals Who Want to Kill Talk Radio, the Do-Nothing Congress, Companies That Help Iran, and Washington Lobbyists for Foreign Governments Are Scamming Us ... and What to Do About It (Hardcover) by Dick Morris (Author), Eileen Mcgann (Author)

The title of this book is pure shit and it only gets worse from there. And customers who bought this item also bought Bill O'Reilly's newest missive, so, you know.

5. The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality (Hardcover)
by Jerome R. Corsi (Author)


This list is awful. Who thinks that this book represents good-faith scholarship when it comes from a Swift-Boat for Truth person? Screw you, Amazon.

4. Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution--and How It Can Renew America (Hardcover) by Thomas L. Friedman (Author)

God, it just keeps getting worse. There is too much to say about how intellectually and morally bankrupt Friedman is, so I'll just tell him to "suck. on. this."

3. What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception (Hardcover) by Scott McClellan (Author)

I'm curious about what the dough-boy has to say. Not enough to pay for it or spend a lot of time reading it, but I'm curious.

2. The Post-American World (Hardcover) by Fareed Zakaria (Author)

Again, I'd be curious to read this, but my gut tells me that there are better books on the subject out there. Kevin Phillips, for one, writes about this subject wonderfully. This short review is neither funny nor insightful. Well, we're almost done.

and lastly,

1. The Revolution: A Manifesto (Hardcover) by Ron Paul (Author)

Ron Paul supporters have nothing but time, so expect Mr. Paul to be on top of a lot of internet lists this year. Esquires Sexiest Woman Alive, Financial Times' 30 CEOs Under 30 to Watch, and Maximum Rock and Roll's Punk as Fuck People of the Year will all prominently feature Ron Paul. Don't read his book.

"Obama Signals End-times," Claims Respected Kook in Hat



This kook in a hat said some real crazy shit recently, reports The Tower, some goofy Catholic university newspaper. They lead with this gem

His Eminence James Francis Cardinal Stafford criticized President-elect Barack Obama as “aggressive, disruptive and apocalyptic,“ and said he campaigned on an “extremist anti-life platform,” Thursday night in Keane Auditorium during his lecture “Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II: Being True in Body and Soul.“

Yes, he signals end-times. To be fair to the paper, their story isn't as crazy as Cardinal Stafford is, and looking through a few months of old editorials I didn't find anything you wouldn't expect at any college paper. Add to that that most of the comments on the story are surprisingly cogent, and I say, "Good job Catholics!" But lest ye forget how wacky religious figures in hats can be, the kook continues,

“For the next few years, Gethsemane will not be marginal. We will know that garden,” Stafford said, comparing America’s future with Obama as president to Jesus’ agony in the garden. “On November 4, 2008, America suffered a cultural earthquake.”

Cardinal Stafford said Catholics must deal with the “hot, angry tears of betrayal” by beginning a new sentiment where one is “with Jesus, sick because of love.”

The lecture, hosted by the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, pertained to Humanae Vitae, a papal encyclical written by Pope Paul VI in 1968 and celebrating its 40 anniversary this year.

A few things. Cardinal Stafford is not a marginal figure in the Catholic church. According to Wikipedia,

"In 2003 Cardinal Stafford was appointed Major Penitentiary, in which position [sic] he oversees matters pertaining to indulgences and the internal forum of the Church. He is one of the highest ranking members of the Roman Curia from the United States"

And since most people reading this blog aren't experts on the Catholic heirarchy, "The Roman Curia is the administrative apparatus of the Holy See and the central governing body of the entire Roman Catholic Church, together with the Pope." So, that seems pretty important.

The whole shindig centered around the 40th anniversary of the Humanae Vitae, some stupid regressive policy wherein birth control and gay sex were rendered UNCLEAN! Pope Paul VI promulgated (hell of a verb, that is) it on July 25th, 1968, a year when the forces of good were trying to create a better world for everybody, but the Catholic Church was like, "Woa, woa, woa, get your dick outta there you rascal. Now you're damned."

We'll probably see a little bit of this stuff continuing on, but we're not at a point in our culture right now where this stuff actually scares us at ComedyandPolitics anymore. It's easier to enjoy hypocrites when they have less power than they used to.

White House Puppy Cam

Last night Barack Obama was on 60 minutes, and it was clear that all the poor man wanted to do was take a walk to his neighborhood barbershop and insult his mother-in-law. Who is he really?!?!?!?!?

In a moment of light-hearted questioning, Steve Kroft asked Obama when he's getting that damn puppy already, so everyone can calm down about it. The only response that Obama could've given that would've satisfied the American People was that he planned on setting up his own White House puppy-cam. People love that thing! He didn't say that, but I guess everyone still kind of likes him okay.


Watch CBS Videos Online

Friday, November 14, 2008

Putin Has Sack to Hang Some Pussy by Balls

Two lady-killers and heads of state met last summer and it was a real laugh riot, apparently. Dracula Putin told Mnsr. Sarkozy that he wanted to hang the President of Georgia, Joe (sp?) Saakashvili, by his balls, the Times Online is reporting. The entire blogsphere exploded in gleeful twitters when this news broke, in part, we think, because it's so surprising. Who would've thought that a man whose friends kill journalists as a birthday present would be capable of such foul language? Maybe you think I'm exaggerating about what the article says. I am not.

“I am going to hang Saakashvili by the balls,” Mr Putin declared.

More reminiscent of Hemmingway than Dostoyevsky in some ways. Short, masculine sentences. The article continues:

Mr Sarkozy thought he had misheard. “Hang him?” — he asked. “Why not?” Mr Putin replied. “The Americans hanged Saddam Hussein.”

Mr Sarkozy, using the familiar tu, tried to reason with him: “Yes but do you want to end up like [President] Bush?” Mr Putin was briefly lost for words, then said: “Ah — you have scored a point there.”

Greenwald follows that quote to it's logical conclusion here.

How long until the Right begins pressuring Barack Obama to strike back with some strong rhetoric of his own to show we mean business? "Mr. Obama, if you don't at least THREATEN to pike someone in the ding-dong we'll be a laughing-stock!"

Clinton Meets Obama to Request Cabinet-level Position of "President"

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama met in Gangsterville Chicago yesterday, people are reporting. She was about to get tommygunned down by King Daley the 6th until Rahm Emanuel was like, "HEY! She's with me," and then everyone backed off. From Huffpo:

The New York Senator is reportedly under consideration for Secretary of State, but it is unclear whether she had discussed that position with the transition team before making the trip. "If they told her beforehand, she did not tell her people," the official said.

Bill Clinton responded, "I think this is great news. Sec. of State are out of the country a lot, right? [deep gufaw] Just kidding. I love my wife. [lip bite, concerned look in eye] This is a great opportunity. For both of us."

When the Rooster Crows

Last night I was watching the Season 1 finale of Mad Men, and the last scene fades out while one of my favorite Bob Dylan songs plays in the background. Couple that with the fact that a rooster woke me up early Thursday morning, and I think it's time for a little Friday morning music video. There are a few different mash-ups of old footage set to this song, and a few halfway decent live recordings, but I'm feeling simple, so here's a simple video for Don't Think Twice, It's All Right.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

You Elected a Muslim, What Did You Expect?


Oh shit, here we go. Big Atheist Corp. or whatever they're called are steppin' on some toes. Fun fact: if you call the phone number on the ad, you actually get pulled out of the Matrix. Fox news is predicatbly apoplectic. Here's a quote from the Fred Edwords (o, not a), a spokesperson for American Humanist Association, the group responsible for the ad. He is the most optimistic man alive:

"we are trying to plant a seed of rational thought and critical thinking and questioning in people's minds."

Edwords will be killed by God's Lightning (not the natural phenomenon, the underground Christian milita) and eaten on our savior's fake birthday instead of a Christmas ham.

via Gawker

Weird "Anomaly" Confronts Normal American Psycho

This is a long video, but well worth it. Dan Savage is, as always, both funny and brutal. Around the 7 min mark, Tony Perkins indirectly calls gayness an anomaly and Savage looks like he can barely contain himself. Also, everyone knows Anderson Cooper is gay, so this was probably never a fair fight from the beginning. If only Perkins (the minority) had some sort of protected status. Oh well.


Bush May Pardon Everyone He's Ever Met

From an excellent article by Mark Benjamin in Salon, referring to a possible massive, categorical (as opposed to individual) pardon by the President:

On the one hand, a blanket pardon for anyone involved in the interrogations could be viewed by the public as a tacit admission of colossal wrongdoing -- after years of public denial -- which would do nothing to help Bush's tarnished legacy. Yet, if the administration fears an investigation will follow Bush out the door in January, they may not want to leave officials exposed to potentially revealing criminal proceedings. Bush might seek to frame a blanket pardon as a preemptive strike against wrongheaded, partisan retribution.

Constitutional scholars say a pardon of this kind would be an unprecedented move -- the prospective pardon of not just individuals but entire categories of people, perhaps numbering in the thousands, for carrying out the president's orders , which the White House has argued all along were legal.

If you've shaken hands with the President for a photo op, you may be eligable for a Presidential pardon. That's pretty exciting. And for any of you milquetoast "centrists" out there who think we should just all move forward and not prosecute those in the Bush Administration who committed crimes, Greenwald responds thusly:

How is this anything other than a full-scale exemption issued to political leaders to break our laws? There's nothing unique about circumstances now. New Presidents are always going to have Very Important Things to do. And investigations and prosecutions of past administration officials are always going to be politically divisive. By definition, investigations of past criminality are going to be "distractions" from the Important Work that political leaders must attend to. They're always going to be what Litt perversely refers to as "old battles." To argue that new administrations should refrain from investigating crimes that were committed by past administrations due to the need to avoid partisan division is to announce that the rule of law does not apply to our highest political leaders. It's just as simple as that.

Worst State in Union Maybe Not So Bad

Ted Stevens, most corrupt man alive, was recently found guilty of being a slightly worse than average politician and now he can't serve his country anymore because he's a felon. In what shouldn't have been a surprising move, Alaska is going rogue and doing it's damnedest to reelect him anyway. And he was winning for a while. But now that they are actually counting all the votes, he is losing.

If you don't remember, Ted Stevens famously described the internet as "a series of tubes," and, "not a big truck." This caused the internet to explode with laughter and youtube videos, the best of which is posted below. But be warned, don't watch this unless you want to smile and dance, two things that Ted the Felon will never get to do again. Why? Tubes! The internet--is tubes!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

MadTV No More

Show's done. Too bad, I suppose. The thing is, on any given comedy show, even if it's not that great, there's probably an amazing amount of talent in the room. There are some very funny people on this show, but all in all, not a huge surprise.

Lara Logan Now Embedded In Husband

Lara Logan, crusading journalist and damn sexy lady, was married a few weeks ago, CBS news is reporting. This is horrible news for ComedyandPolitics, as we find her to be the only woman with whom a long-term relationship is even remotely possible.

Logan is known equally well for both her tenacious war-time reporting and her tenacious war-time sexing. Two years after she split from her first husband, she started getting it on with CNN correspondent Michael Ware, because war is hell and we all have needs. For some reason people were surprised that two adults surrounded by death and destruction would try to find solace and comfort (or just pure blissful distraction) with another person.

Well, that relationship didn't work out, just like the one in Speed, I think, but now she's married to some defense contractor, which sounds kind of shitty. I don't feel like researching him, but if he's a defense contractor I'm just gonna go ahead and condemn him and ask, "Lara, what are you thinking!" Here are some highlights of this reporter in action.

Here she is on CNN defending her coverage of the war, after being asked the ridiculous question "You've been accused of spreading the terrorist's message..." This interview is from 2 and a half years ago, but it really feels like a different era.


Here she is on the Daily Show saying she'd blow her brains out if she watched American News. I know how she feels.


And here she is interviewing Erik Prince, the evilest man alive. He is awful. How can she marry a defense contractor? This is a great interview, if only for the footage of the Blackwater compound.