Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Buying, Selling, Living in Houses Totally 2007

Here's some good Christmas cheer for all of you jobless bean-eaters. According to the NY Times, sales of new and existing homes dropped at a greater rate than expected in November, and those homes that were sold were bought with pocket change and a poem scribbled on a cocktail napkin. From the report:

"Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, said that 45 percent of all home sales were so-called “distressed sales,” meaning that the sellers faced foreclosure, or they were forced to sell their home for less than the value of the mortgage.

The numbers released Tuesday show that the housing market, which is at the center of America’s financial crisis, is displaying no signs of a quick recovery.

“They’re about as god-awful as they can get,” said Robert Barbera, chief economist at ITG. “This is pretty breathtaking stuff.”"

If you do have a house right now, the only smart thing to do is to burn it down for warmth. This will also cut down on your heating bill, which you can't pay anyway because you're burning your money too. As the prophetic Talking Heads sang so long ago:

"Hold tight wait till the party's over
Hold tight were in for nasty weather
There has got to be a way
Burning down the house"


Monday, December 22, 2008

Time Off

Posting here at ComedyandPolitics will be irregular until Jan. 5th, at which point we will resume as normal. Until then, please enjoy this clip of Orson Welles trying to get through his lines in a commercial and failing miserably.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

It's a Wonderful Life

This was really the only possibility for Sunday Afternoon Classics here at ComedyandPolitics. It's a Wonderful Life is one of the greatest American movies of all time, and one of the few that gets better every time you watch it. It's also one of the most misunderstood movies in our culture.

Frank Capra's ode to disappointment is often thought of as a sentimental movie, when really nothing could be further from the truth. Movie Guy extraordinaire and friend of the blog Ben Sachs once told us that Jonathon Rosenbaum, the movie reviewer for the Chicago Reader, wrote that It's a Wonderful Life argues that only divine intervention can save the Idealist from himself, which is about as grim as it gets.

This scene below is amazing. The tension simmers until George (Jimmy Stewart) explodes in frustration directed at, but not towards, Mary (Donna Reed). He delivers his monologue through clenched teeth until he finally says, almost begging, "I want to do what I want to do." It's heart-wrenching. Enjoy.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Reserve Your Tickets Now

This is pretty cool. We're going to be doing stand up comedy with Mike Drucker and maybe a few other people at the 2009 American Atheists Convention. We're listed as speakers! Richard Dawkins, here we come.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Turd in the Punchbowl That Keeps on Giving

Here is the clip of the Minnesota Review Board talking about whether or not to include the Lizard People ballot. It is 9 minutes long, but it feels like it lasts for days. The board is debating whether or not the ballot is valid, based on whether or not "lizard people" could be a real person, which, if you think it is, you are retarded. Sorry, we never use that word, but...seriously. One of these buffoons brings up Moon Zappa as an example of a name you wouldn't think would be real but is, to prove nothing. The best part is this exchange:

"What did we do when someone wrote in 'Jesse Ventura'"
"Well...[dumbfounded silence] he's a real person."

The only way to get through this is for you monsters to make a drinking game out of it, so every time someone says Lizard People, take a shot of turpentine because our country is over. This will be our last post on Lizard People. [via Wonkette]

Scary Graph

The only thing the Mainstream Media is actually good at is fear-mongering. They are second-to-none when it comes to making wildly irresponsible assertions about what will kill you either immediately or at some scary, unknown but inevitable, time in the future.

Well, this blog is dying to be legitimized by Serious Journalists like epic-ly cockblocked Luke Russert (google his name; "cockblocked" is one of the suggestions), so we're going to do a bit of the Chicken Little routine ourselves. Here is a scary graph that we can neither contextualize nor analyze--but, guys, let's just say things don't look good:


HOLY FUCK! SWEET SHIT ALMIGHTY! GUYS! FUCK! OUR DEBT WILL EXPLODE! WE'RE ALL FUCKED!

What you just read was a tool that Journalists call "exaggeration for effect." Judy Miller, who is a bag, is especially well known for it, and when she did it it was even funnier.

So what does this graph mean? Well, we saw a link to it on Marginal Revolution, and those guys get to talk to Paul Krugman all the time, so it seems unlikely they'd pass along something that was pure horseshit. MR picked it up from Ezra Klein, who we aren't especially familiar with. He quotes CBPP, the firm responsible for the scary graph, and they write:

"If we continue current policies," they conclude, "the federal debt will skyrocket from a projected 46 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) at the end of fiscal year 2009 to 279 percent of GDP in 2050. That would be more than two and a half times the existing record (which was set when the debt reached 110 percent of GDP at the end of World War II) and would threaten serious harm to the economy."

What that means to us is that 300% of the population is going to rot in debtors prison like in the good old Russian days, where your only source of amusement will be cockblocking Luke Russert.

War Criminals Should Be Prosecuted for War Crimes, Claims Dept. of Obvious Things

Two days ago the NY Times published an editorial calling for the appointment of a Special Prosecutor to investigate the highest levels of the White House and the Pentagon under the Bush Administration. His or her job would be to determine if war crimes were committed and if any charges should be brought against senior officials.

If you're reading this blog, you're probably jobless, high, and somewhere between Socialist and Anarchist on the political spectrum, so this op/ed probably won't tell you anything you bomb-throwers don't already know. The piece is still worth reading though, if only to take satisfaction in the fact that the paper of record is calling for an investigation of the President and his top advisers concerning torture and war crimes. It begins thusly:

"Now, a bipartisan report by the Senate Armed Services Committee has made what amounts to a strong case for bringing criminal charges against former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld; his legal counsel, William J. Haynes; and potentially other top officials, including the former White House counsel Alberto Gonzales and David Addington, Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff.

The report shows how actions by these men “led directly” to what happened at Abu Ghraib, in Afghanistan, in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and in secret C.I.A. prisons."

As usual, Glenn Greenwald has a devestating analysis of why pursuing these investigations is so important, and why mainstream calls for a Special Prosecutor should be cheered on loudly. You Anarcho-Syndicalists would probably rather just occupy some factories (that would be fun), but let's take baby steps guys.

Sadly, the only certainty that rivals the Bush Administration's guilt is the unlikeliness that they will be held accountable. The Times admits this in their editorial near the end:

"Given his other problems — and how far he has moved from the powerful stands he took on these issues early in the campaign — we do not hold out real hope that Barack Obama, as president, will take such a politically fraught step.
...
We expect Mr. Obama to keep the promise he made over and over in the campaign — to cheering crowds at campaign rallies and in other places, including our office in New York. He said one of his first acts as president would be to order a review of all of Mr. Bush’s executive orders and reverse those that eroded civil liberties and the rule of law.

That job will fall to Eric Holder, a veteran prosecutor who has been chosen as attorney general, and Gregory Craig, a lawyer with extensive national security experience who has been selected as Mr. Obama’s White House counsel.

A good place for them to start would be to reverse Mr. Bush’s disastrous order of Feb. 7, 2002, declaring that the United States was no longer legally committed to comply with the Geneva Conventions."

Yes, that would be a great place to start. It would also be great not to start your presidency with a bag like Rick Warren giving the invocation at the Serious Inauguration for Adults. This blog has no hope whatsoever that any of the highest government officials will be held accountable for their criminal actions in court, but limited public outcry must be better than nothing. Right?! Right?








That said, the piece is a good review and recap of attrocities you're familiar with,

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Douchebags Begone

Gawker is suggesting a formal retirement of the word douchebag, and we here at ComedyandPolitics agree that that's a good idea. We are essentially a poor man's Gawker/Wonkette anyway (very poor man's), so why not jump on this bandwagon. Do yourself a favor and read the comment section in the above link. It is very funny.

As far as our recommendations go for what should replace it, we're unsure. Ideally, a new word would appear organically and just fit. Trying to shoehorn a new phrase into your everyday vocabulary is quite annoying, and in general that's something only a you-know-what would do. That said, expect to see the following words around here a bit more:

Dipshit (or Dip Shit) (Nope, nevermind. As 2 words that is disgusting. One word only.)- An oldie but a goodie that was suggested to us as a replacement for dbag some time ago. We like it, and at Comedy Free Williamsburg we once said, "You heard it here first, dipshit is the new douchebag."

Assclown- Makes an appearance in a joke of ours, so it has a special place in this blog's heart.

Asshat- The impossibility alone renders this word combination hilarious.

Bag- Removing the douche, or "d," from the phrase in question and leaving only "bag" might create a new word worth using, eg, "That guy standing in line for that club looks like a bag." Or, "Put down that Axe body spray, you smell like a bag." (Yes, everyone loves that smell but you cannot deny that it is the smell of a bag.) One thing that "bag" has going for it is its vagueness. Is that ex-banker a bag of shit? A bag of assholes? It also conjures up memories of the fantastic Louis CK bit about a guy telling him to, "suck a bag of dicks." We would google that bit and link to it, but, you know....HR policies. That's a hard google search to explain.

Dick- Simple can be more than sufficient. "That personal trainer who keeps buying drinks for my girlfriend is a fucking dick." Simple, to the point, almost classy, even.

Please leave suggestions in comments, and we'll work them into every single post about Rick Warren that we ever write. That guy is a total bag.

Minnesota Recount Refuses to Get Less Funny

Lots of big news coming out of Minnesota today. Nate Silver, the only man in your life other than your father you should ever trust, has been following some of the recount news over at his website FiveThirtyEight, and it just keeps getting better.

You all remember the Lizard People, but do you want to know who else has made an appearance?


That's right suckers, BRETT FARVE! He is probably a lizard person.

Al Franken and Norm Coleman are LITERALLY fighting for every single vote, so their lawyers (who are adults) have to stand in front of a canvassing board (which is comprised of adults) and argue whether or not to count the ballot of a jackass who voted for both Norm Coleman and Jet's quarterback Brett Farve. The judge decided to count that ballot for Coleman, but the real loser was Democracy, and Brett Farve. Also, "Democracy and Brett Farve" sounds like the greatest college course ever.

Now for the reason we're all here, the vote for lizard people. That ballot came before the board today, and they decided to reverse their decision to count it for Franken, which made him cry scaly lizard tears (he's one of them too).

You are probably thinking to yourself, "well, that was fun, but all the happy news is over now." Well, you're wrong and maybe you should just calm down a little and not get so ahead of yourself.

The last funny ballot news is that someone wrote "-stin" at the end of Al Franken's name, thereby attempting to re-christen him "Al Frankenstein," which is awesome. Sadly, they failed, and re-christened him "Al Frankenstin," which is stupid. That vote was counted for Mr. Frankenstein (Al Franken), which gives us an idea. If you can "write in" any goofballery you want after a candidate's name, the prospects are limitless. It would have made voting for John Kerry way easier if we could've written "sucks" after his name. [via Wonkette]

Year of Mistakes

Regret the Error has a wonderful post today (via Sullivan) running through some of the best corrections from newspapers and magazines from 2008. Here is a choice pick from Slate:

"In the June 20 “Culturebox,” Jonah Weiner stated that Lil Wayne was the first hip-hop artist to fantasize about eating his competition. Other rappers have contemplated consuming their rivals."

That's true. In fact, this blog's debut hip hop album, "Turd in a Punchbowl," contained a line about "consuming our rivals":

"Y'all other blogs be hatin' but we say "just go"
'cause we'll drink your blood 'cause we're lizard people"


To make it work you have to say "people" more like "pee-poe." So...it's not perfect, but we did it. Here's another good correction from something called The Age (no link provided, find it yourself):

AN ARTICLE in last week’s Sunday Age, “Born to be, um, mild — and possibly damp”, contained views about biker groups that were inserted in the editing process.
As well, the survey of motorcyclists who rode for about three hours every weekend found that many had problems emptying their bladders.
The story stated that bike riders could be “bedwetters”. The error was made during editing.

And from the Guardian:

We said that, in the American TV drama 24, Jack Bauer, the counter-terrorism agent, resorted to electrocution to extract information. You cannot extract information from someone who has been electrocuted because they are dead (Questioning, the Jack Bauer way, page 1, April 19).

This is the only good "year in review" type thing ever. It makes us very happy, especially because we never make mistakeses. (Get it!?)

Christmas Break to Last Forever Maybe

Here is some bad news for you to read and be sad about, because that's why you come to this weblog. The Washington Post is reporting:

"Struggling U.S. automakers are launching a round of severe cutbacks as they wait for a government rescue, with Chrysler saying yesterday it will idle all 30 of its U.S. factories for one month."

This is good news for lazy poor people whose kids will never go to college, because now they can get into scarcity wars with GM employees who have been laid off also. These wars will be a great source of stories for Ira Glass to sooth us with while we drink hot tap water because tea is a thing of the past.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Obama to Usher in New Era of Hope, Except for Gays, Environmentalists

Barack Obama is an Adult who will Govern From the Center, like a Serious Person. That's why he is having Pastor Rick Warren, an anti-gay, anti-women's rights monster speak at his inauguration. He is very serious about healing our national wounds by bringing in close-minded zealots to, according to the Christian Broadcasting Network, "signal to religious conservatives that he’s willing to bring in both sides to the faith discussion in this country." You know, "both sides" of the "faith discussion," wherein one side recognizes universal, fundamental human rights and one doesn't.

So Rick Warren will give the invocation at the Serious inauguration, because it's better to legitimize these people than to marginalize them.

Also, environmentalists are no fans of Ken Salazar, Obama's pick for Sec. of the Interior. And here's something about how former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, who will be the Sec. of Agriculture, sucks too.

Finally, everyone hates Barack Obama and now it's ok to criticize the government.

MTA Announces "F U Commuters" Budget Plan

The MTA is even more broke than you are, unless you owe your creditors $1.2 billion. This is nothing but bad news, and will result in 1 train a morning ferrying 10 million unemployeed bums from Brooklyn to Manhattan, so if you want in get there early. Also, having the pleasure of being crushed by an angry mob like a common Walmart stock-person will cost you $1 million. Today, the NY Times is reporting that:

If the authority does not receive new sources of revenue, it seems likely that the base subway fare could rise to at least $2.50, from $2, starting in June. A monthly unlimited-ride MetroCard could rise to more than $100, from $81.

Ah, hell!

Zadie Smith Writes About Comedy

Thoughtful discussions of comedy are a rare pleasure, so we thought we'd pass this along. It's from a New Yorker article by Zadie Smith, author of the wonderful White Teeth, among other things. She writes about connection she and her father had through their favorite comedies, even at one point calling themselves "comedy snobs," and the piece as a whole has a decidedly morbid flavor. One especially dark passage:

"In birth, two people go into a room and three come out. In death, one person goes in and none come out. This is a cosmic joke told by Martin Amis. I like the metaphysical absurdity it draws out of the death event, the sense that death doesn’t happen at all—that it is, in fact, the opposite of a happening. There are philosophers who take this joke seriously. To their way of thinking, the only option in the face of death—in facing death’s absurd non-face—is to laugh. This is not the bold, humorless laugh of the triumphant atheist, who conquers what he calls death and his own fear of it. No: this is more unhinged. It comes from the powerless, despairing realization that death cannot be conquered, defied, contemplated, or even approached, because it’s not there; it’s only a word, signifying nothing. It’s a truly funny laugh, of the laughor-you’ll-cry variety. There is “plenty of hope, an infinite amount of hope—but not for us!” This is a cosmic joke told by Franz Kafka, a wisecrack projected into a void."

So good.

Federal Numbers Will Explain Why All American Money Is Gone

Every day here at ComedyandPoltics we write this sentence fragment at least once: "no one has any money anymore, so..." hoping that if we repeat it enough the problem will magically fix itself. This is the same reason Charlie Christ tells everyone he's not gay and married a woman. So, here we go.

No one has any money anymore, and although we all sort of know why (sub-prime bonanza!), maybe some numbers and pitchers will help us all understand what's happening. We saw these on this surprisingly good HuffPo article, and thought, "let's steal those."

This graph shows "nonfarm" (hi Iowa!) employment falling off a cliff:



And here is proof that all of you jobless cheapos aren't buying enough flags and BBQ sauce to stimulate our poor economy:



You're not buying, so factories aren't producing:



Combine these graphs with the fact that the first $350 billion that congress allocated for Hank Paulson to swim in is already almost completely gone, and that the federal interest rate is lower than ever before, and things look pretty bleak.

The good news? The cost of living in Salt Lake City is plummeting! Seriously guys, let's go! It'll be like SLC Punk. We can just go and chill out and then return to civilized (non-Mormon) society when this all blows over, which will never happen.

Like Acquaintances, NY Times Booze Blog Impossible to Enjoy if Sober

Here is some good news to start your morning. We wrote yesterday about the annoying and self-aggrandizing "look at me and my New York parties" post on the NY Times' booze blog, Proof, and we were not fans. Turns out no body else likes that blog either.

Today's Proof post is observations of three different "parties" that some guy went to, and is about as engaging as the discarded notebook of a Detroit food critic. Here is the write-up, in full, of one of these crazy New York nights out:

We’d just attended the New York City premier of our pal’s movie, “The Alphabet Killer” in lower Manhattan and hopped my girlfriend’s car to meet at a Mexican restaurant near my old Soho digs for grub and nostalgia. A perfect gang of geeks and nerds cum zeitgeist progenitors of N.Y.C. pop culture: two cartoonists, a novelist, a film editor/photographer, a screenwriter/director, a researcher for “Late Night With Conan O’Brien,” a human resources director, an advertising executive,\ [sic] and a health clerk, congregated to wax poetic on post-apocalyptic ’80s movies. We toasted over a group love for “Night Train to Terror,” a truly awful, obscure horror film that only true blue, card-carrying film psychotronics adore.

The margarita was weak but the company was strong.

Well...aren't you all just fantastic. Like we wrote yesterday, it is completely unclear why this was published by the Times' website. Luckily for us, everyone in the comments section was equally unimpressed. What follows are just a few of the many unedited critiques:

-As a pro-bowl NYC drinker myself, this is a rather dull night out. ‘Zeitgeist Progenitors’? Methinks an amateur in the house.

-I have to agree with George, above. And let’s face it, you’re not really drinking if your out with your your “girl.” You’re just socializing.

-Really, why is this online? You weren’t even smoking; boring.

-Even here in Dhaka, Bangladesh, among the mudflats and stinking alleys, we do better that that. You can start before noon at the Raj era club with gin and tonics, to drive over to a lakeside house to guzzle Singapore beers, and end up late into the night and next morning on a rooftop party with whiskeys and vodka…

-Snore.
Back in my day, we would bar hop and intoxicate ourselves with anything at hand until we saw God.
Thankfully he would disappear in the morning.

That last one is especially awesome. We want to read about that guy's night out on the town. Dude sounds like he's got (or had) something interesting going on, unlike, remarkably, people who write for the NY Times.

We should probably just ignore Proof from now on, but it's so hard because it could be really fun/insightful/romantic/silly or any number of other adjectives that go hand in hand with booze, but so far, not so much. May we suggest for next time a stronger margarita?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Africa

"I know my cough sounds awful
Some nights it hurts a bit to breathe..."


That's not from the song we're posting right now, but it's been floating around our head for a while, and maybe that will get it out.

The song we ARE posting right now is Africa, by Toto. We've wanted to post this for a while, because it's awesome, but it was hard to find an excuse. Then today one landed in our lap. A friend who studied abroad in Africa (or maybe just someone with the same name) left a comment today on the Sexy Survey post. That's all we need. Excuse found!

This video is pretty stupid, but it's really funny, and you all love this song anyway so just shut up already if you don't like the video. It will put a smile on your face, which is more than anyone else has done for you today. Don't blink or you'll miss the Hulk.

What Happens When Dick Cheney Crosses His Legs Too Fast



("Press Sec.'s Face Now Metaphor for Bush Administration" was our first headline, but we just had to go and ruin everything with a blowjob joke, didn't we? Don't pretend that you didn't smile. Ok, to the story.)

Professional mediocre liar Dana Perino took a microphone to the face during that Austin Powers reenactment the other day, but it's hard to feel bad for her because she is an awful awful human being. Now, since she is a woman, she will surf the Internet all day to make herself feel better and if any men or women try to sleep with her she'll beat them bloody with a sharpened microphone.

Step It Up Gentlemen, Lesbians

CNN barely qualifies as a news channel, so their daily dose of irrelevant bullspit this morning is neither a surprise nor a disappointment. It seems like every few weeks someone or other trots out some new study about sex, or the Internet, or sex and the Internet, or sex with the Internet, or sex adjacent to the Internet. Here is the latest waste of everybody's time, making the absurd claim that women would choose Internet access instead of sex if they had to chose only one.



What that deceptive little bullet leaves out is that this is over a TWO WEEK PERIOD.

"Nearly half of the women questioned by Harris Interactive said they'd be willing to forgo sex for two weeks, rather than give up their Internet access, according to a study released Monday by Intel,"

Two weeks, come on. As George Costanza says in Seinfeld, "I'm like a sexual camel. I can do six weeks standing on my head." If you're gonna do the survey, make it interesting. Ask people to go a year without one or the other, and we bet you'd get a lot of people spending a lot less time on their computer. Hold on one second. We started writing this post and forming opinions before reading the entire study, and now, upon further examination, it appears that the surveyors did ask that very question. Haha, sorry guys. Here's the response!

Results as of Monday from CNET's related online poll showed that 30.5 percent of respondents would give up sex for one year, while 26.1 percent would do without Internet access for a year. Almost 40 percent of voters didn't want to sacrifice either.

Well duh on that last point. But wait wait wait. More people would go without sex than go without the Internet FOR A YEAR?! What in god's name is happening? Are these people having sex properly? Do they know that after sex you feel [Borat voice] "eh vaaary nahice," and after surfing the Internet all day you feel worthless and headachy? Don't get us wrong, ComedyandPolitics loves the Internet, but given the choice between posting four blogs a day in our downtime and [fill in the sexy blank] 4 times a day in our downtime, it's a pretty easy decision.

As the headline of this post implies, one other interpretation of the data is that these women aren't being satisfied by the men or women they are sleeping with. This blog doesn't mean to brag, but we think we can say for the first time ever that we are not part of the problem. Unless it's like a different Seinfeld episode where Jerry says, "you were like Meryl Streep in there!" in which case, keep it to yourself.

Go back and read this entire post in the Borat voice. It will be very fun and satisfying, unlike the bad sex you are apparently all having.

New York City Now City That Never Drinks, Claims Idiot

Sometimes you read and article and think to yourself, "why was that published?" Today is one of those times. Apparently there's an alcohol blog on the NY Times' website (who knew?) called Proof that's devoted to booze and booze-related activities. This seems ridiculous and unnecessary to us, but what do we know. Anyway, here is a confusing and wrong paragraph from a post of theirs today. The author describes a drunken couple making asses of themselves at a party, and then writes:

"That dinner party was almost 10 years ago; it was the last time I saw anyone visibly drunk at a New York party. The New York apartments and lofts which were once the scenes of old-fashioned drunken carnage — slurred speech, broken crockery, broken legs and arms, broken marriages and broken dreams — are now the scene of parties where both friendships and glassware survive intact. Everyone comes on time, behaves well, drinks a little wine, eats a few tiny canapés, and leaves on time. They all still drink, but no one gets drunk anymore. Neither do they smoke. What on earth has happened?"


What are you talking about? Granted, ComedyandPolitics is only invited to 2nd tier social events where the wine comes from boxes and the food also comes from boxes, but we've seen plenty of people drunk in New York. Hell, we've seen people drunk this morning and it's still early enough to get McDonald's breakfast.

This type of "look at me analyze my fancy parties, look at how I have my finger on the pulse, I'm so great, look at me write for the Times" [that was meant to be read as though the author thought she was just fantastic] is the most annoying type of "journalism" or "opinion" or whatever you would call it we can imagine. The original plan was to make this post a little longer and critiquey-er, but "society" talk is worthless, so screw it.

Wall St. Fraud Ruins Good People's Lives Too

Nobody has any money anymore, including rich people who want to give money to poor people to make themselves feel better about being rich. One man is responsible for this, the end of charity, and his horrible name is Bernie "Ponzi Scheme" Madoff. The NY Times reports on this legitimately bad news:

Around the country, the nonprofit community is reeling from the Madoff scandal. At least two other foundations have been forced to close their doors, having lost virtually all their assets to what authorities describe as a Ponzi scheme that depended on new investment money to pay off on earlier investments.

Charities that depended on those foundations for financing, like the Innocence Project and the UJA Federation, and wealthy donors like Norman Braman, Mort Zuckerman and J. Ezra Merkin have now added the Madoff scandal to the list of reasons that fund-raising has been crimped this fall. In some cases, the foundations had placed their money with Mr. Madoff directly; others had invested with funds that turned assets over to him. And some nonprofits relied on a steady stream of money from donors, like Ms. Levy-Church, with now vanishing fortunes.

Everyone who reads this blog is a cous cous-eating filthy hippy who works at non-profits, so this is bad news for our limited readership. Sorry guys.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Shoe Thrower Viciously Beaten, Probably by Things That Hurt More Than Shoes

Muntader al-Zaidi is now the most loved man in the world because he threw his shoes at the most hated man in the world and those are the rules. What happened to Mr. al-Zaidi after his heroic display of impotent rebellion? Well, the NY Times reports:

Mr. Maliki’s security agents jumped on the man, wrestled him to the floor and hustled him out of the room. They kicked him and beat him until “he was crying like a woman,” said Mohammed Taher, a reporter for Afaq, a television station owned by the Dawa Party, which is led by Mr. Maliki.

This next gem gives a little insight into how Mr. Bush believes a healthy democracy functions:

He [Bush] also called the incident a sign of democracy, saying, “That’s what people do in a free society, draw attention to themselves,” as the man’s screaming could be heard outside.[emphasis added]

That must have been the most uncomfortable press conference of all time.

"Mr. President, do you have any plans for Jan. 21st?"
"Heh heh, clear some brush, heh heh."
[From outside]: "OH FOR THE LOVE OF ALLAH! PLEASE STOP BEATING ME! DIDN'T YOU THINK THAT WAS FUNNY?!"
"Heh heh...that's the sound of freedom."
[Press corp laughs]

Sunday, December 14, 2008

President Bush Attacked by Austin Powers Villain

President Bush made his final visit to Iraq this weekend to say goodbye, the way you might stop by the ICU one last time to wish the guy you shot 5 times a speedy recovery. Like everything Bush has done concerning Iraq, this trip didn't go exactly as planned. Get out your bongs, you repulsive stoners, and watch with glee as a reporter for an Iraqi-owned Egyptian TV station throws his shoes at our great President. Bush is actually pretty light on his feet. Our guess is that this wasn't the first time he's had to dodge a wingtip.

Fairytale of New York

Sunday afternoon classics here at ComedyandPolitics is going to be a little bit different today. Instead of showing a clip of a classic film, we present to you a Christmas song, indeed the greatest Christmas song ever written. Also, it's filmed in black and white so it feels like a classic.

"Fairytale of New York," by The Pogues is pretty much the only song this blog listens to for the entire month of December. It's full of loneliness, missed opportunities, drunken nostalgia, and love gone sour, so it's essentially the song version of It's A Wonderful Life without the divine intervention.

Watch for the Matt Dillon cameo as the cop at the beginning. He looks like he doesn't take guff from anyone. Enjoy.

"I could've been someone"
"But so could anyone..."


Friday, December 12, 2008

That Didn't Take Long

From the Detroit Free Press (via Andrew Leonard)

General Motors Corp., which is involved in a last-ditch effort to garner federal funds to help it survive through January, confirmed this morning that it is slashing approximately 250,000 units of production in the first quarter by shutting down most North American assembly plants for about 30% of the first quarter.
...
Workers at GM’s Kansas City, Kan., car plant this morning said they were notified this morning that they will be down from the holidays through Feb. 9.

Workers at GM’s Kansas City, Kan., car plant and its Spring Hill, Tenn., crossover plant this morning said they were notified this morning that they will be down from the holidays through Feb. 9.

On Thursday, GM informed workers in Mansfield, Ohio, of plans to lay off at least 300 workers indefinitely beginning next Friday and plans to reduce production by two weeks in January.

This can only be a sign that things are getting better.

Sen. Repubs Aim to Crush Unions, Country

The consensus on Capitol Hill today, via the left-wing blogosphere, is that Senate Republicans are sleazy union busting aristocrats who will stop at nothing to pound organized labor even further into irrelevance than they already are. This comes as a surprise to exactly no one, save maybe David Brooks because his head is so far up his own ass that the daily setting of the sun reduces him to a startled, whimpering child. Goddamn, we hate that guy.

So, yeah, since Republicans never plan on winning an election ever again, they all said, "who cares what Michigan and Ohio think of us, they're filthy commoners." This ThinkProgress post has a lot of great info in it, including this description of the bailout talk breakdown:

It’s clear that the Senate Republicans’ main priority was union busting. A memo sent among Senate Republican staffers called for Republicans to “stand firm and take their first shot against organized labor.” Speaking at a press conference this morning, UAW president Ron Gettelfinger said the Republicans made it “very clear” that “there are those who would do away with” unions altogether.

Gettelfinger emphasized that the myth that UAW workers are paid drastically more than employees of foreign auto makers is “simply subterfuge.” The Detroit Free Press reported in 2007 that the union was “losing its edge in pay” compared with non-unionized workers for foreign companies. (He also reminded conservatives that the union had already accepted broad concessions.)

Andrew Leonard, who we've been linking to a lot lately, makes this additional point:

So where did the auto-bailout negotiations break down? Over the demand by anti-union Southern Republican senators that domestic automaker workers be forced to accept immediate wage cuts, and the loss of benefits. I'm with Barney Frank on this one: No one asked the rank-and-file employees of Citigroup or AIG or Morgan-Stanley to cut their salaries in exchange for government handouts. Assembly-line workers at G.M. and Chrysler, on the other hand, must tighten their belts.

On the plus side, the working-class is lazy so this will probably be nice for them.

The White House today said that it may divert funds from the Treasury that were set aside for financial institutions to help bail out the Big 3. More information to come when this blog has any idea what all of this means, but here's this for now, from the NY Times:

The Treasury Department promptly indicated that it would provide short-term relief to the automakers. “Because Congress failed to act, we will stand ready to prevent an imminent failure until Congress reconvenes and acts to address the long-term viability of the industry,” a Treasury spokeswoman, Brookly McLaughlin, said.

TARP is the Troubled Assets Relief Program, the official name of the Treasury’s financial rescue program, originally intended to assist banks. Referring to the carmakers, the White House statement said, “A precipitous collapse of this industry would have a severe impact on our economy,” and added, “It would be irresponsible to further weaken and destabilize our economy at this time.”

Bush is pretending to champion the working class. Car Manufactures are getting money instead of banks. This is all very strange, and this blog feels like a Friday afternoon cocktail might clear things up. Sadly, that won't be an option for several more hours, so don't expect any breakthroughs from us.

Big 3 Big Screwed

The American auto industry has been a joke for as long as we can remember, but now it looks like GM and Chrysler finally may be giving up the ghost. The congressional bailout bill failed in the Senate yesterday, so those two car manufactures won't be getting any of that sweet sweet $14 billion they were asking for, which means that they might not survive past Christmas. The NY Times reports:

Two of the Big Three, General Motors and Chrysler, have said they are so short of cash that they may not be able to survive through this month without aid, and the third, Ford Motor, is also struggling with weak sales.

Harry Reid then went on to tell everybody that Christmas was cancelled because of this news.

“It’s over with,” the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, said on the Senate floor, after it was clear that a deal could not be reached. “I dread looking at Wall Street tomorrow. It’s not going to be a pleasant sight.”

Mr. Reid added: “This is going to be a very, very bad Christmas for a lot of people as a result of what takes place here tonight.”

So, Christmas is ruined and the stock market will blow up today, according to Harry Reid yesterday. Was he right? For that answer, let's turn to our new favorite econ writer and bowling buddy Michael G., who writes:

Investors were scrambling on Friday to come to terms with the implications of the bill’s unexpected collapse, which all but assures serious problems in an industry once considered the backbone of American manufacturing.
...
Stocks opened lower on the news, as the Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 200 points within minutes of the open. The blue-chip index was down about 130 points at 9:45 a.m. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index was down 1.9 percent.

General Motors shares dropped 19 percent; Ford shares were down 8 percent.

Way to go, Harry. Why couldn't you be wrong about this like you are about everything else?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

NRO Still Wants to Kill More Brown People

Last week we wrote about the shitsite Little Green Footballs, a website fit only for the criminally insane. The Internet is full of terrible corners like that, and today we examine one of the places you should avoid like herpez.

The Corner is the group blog for a collection of circle-jerkers at National Review Online. The NRO mission statement is: "what's with these homos and poor people we see everywhere? enuff already. do not want. ALSO, all those Muslims are really getting on my nerves hey honey where's my gun?" They don't punctuate very well.

Every time Drudge posts some stupid link about some idiot in Iran saying, "we still want to kill Israel" the Corner erupts in calls for collective punishment against all Muslims. From a post today:

Bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran ...but only in retaliation [Mark Steyn]

From Reuters:

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama plans to offer Israel a strategic pact designed to fend off any nuclear attack on the Jewish state by Iran, an Israeli newspaper reported on Thursday.

Which all sounds very nice, but implicit in such a "pledge" is that the United States now accepts that Iran's going nuclear and there's nothing anyone can (or will) do about it. That's a significant shift.

Isn't that great? The title hilariously implies that we should already be bombing Iran. Those guys are so brave. And then here's the post right below that one:

Obama Offers Israelis a Nuke Umbrella? [Michael Ledeen]

Ha'aretz reports that Obama will offer Israeli a nuclear umbrella vs. Iran. The "reporter" wonders if that means Obama has accepted the inevitability of an Iranian nuke. Yes, of course I blogged on it.

Implying, again, that instead of accepting that, Obama should've already killed them all even though he's not president yet. The good news for these shitsacks, though, is that Obama has promised to kill as many Iranians as necessary if any Israelis sprain an ankle.

New Show Examines Fluid Nature of Sexuality, Alcohol

The world is a cruel and horrifying place, full of unnecessary suffering and unanswerable questions. No futher proof of this claim is needed other than the following: there is a sequel to the comic-tragedy that is Tila Tequila's Shot at Love, called A Double Shot at Love, with the Ikki Twins. This blog has neither the interest nor the energy to decide what this says about Who We Are (to borrow a Gawkerism), so let's tackle something easier.

What the hell is an Ikki twin, you ask? As we just learned, the Ikki twins are identical, bisexual calendar models looking for love. Their stage names are Rikki and Vikki, so, Ikki twins. Get it? We're sure they're lovely young women.

The conceit of the show, if you are unfamiliar with the Shot at Love catalogue, is that a bunch of traditionally attractive lesbians and traditionally attractive hetero men show up and vie for the affection of our hero, or, in this case, heroes.

Troy Patterson, writing in Slate, describes the opening scene, in which helicopters fly in our human cargo, exemplifying what is known as "unintentional irony," thusly:

Here was a pair of helicopters, each dangling a cargo crate. One, lined in pink polyester, bore a dozen "sexy lesbians." The other, decorated in blue, held 12 "hot straight guys." Each crate featured a disco ball.

The ladies romped out of their holding pen, so crazed with thirst that they immediately began doing body shots. Nikki took the first turn mingling while Mikki hid herself away to watch the action on a monitor. The twins share a numbingly low idea about what is attractive or meaningful or halfway interesting.

We don't know when this show airs, and we also don't have a TV, but at some point we will see a clip of this atrocity, because everyone in the country will love this show and play it at bars for years to come.

Patterson's conclusion is so good we're just going to steal it:

Double Shot offers cynicism without irony and nihilism without surcease. It gives trash TV a bad name. It's so patently deplorable that it's not even any fun to deplore. So let us appreciate its lone moment of self-consciousness, a line from the montage of highlights of the soul-corroding season ahead. One of the male bimbos smirks at the camera: "This house is full of surprises. And douche bags."

They're everywhere, aren't they? Douche bags, that is.

Blaggy's Wife a Bit of a Bitch (with Mad Libs)

Rod Blagojevich will soon be in jail for the rest of his life, and after reading this NY Times article on his wife, that might not be such a bad thing. It's like that scene in Goodfellas when Ray Liotta assures Lorraine Bracco that the only reason some gangster went to jail was to get away from his wife. You're preaching to the choir, buddy. Women! Are we right, folks?

Here's the delightfully euphamistic quote from the Times:

In the 76-page federal complaint, Ms. Blagojevich appears to be an influential and demanding partner to her husband’s schemes to trade the Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama for money-making or politically aggrandizing opportunities.

We suppose they can't come out and write, "Ms. Blagohevich appears to be a real nagging bitch and partner to her husbands schemes...." Too harsh? Why the name calling, ComedyandPolitics, you say? We want evidence, you say? Get a load of this, from a few paragraphs down:

And, in a blast of vulgar language, Ms. Blagojevich eggs on her husband when he reportedly threatens to prevent the Tribune Company from selling the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field unless The Chicago Tribune fired editorial writers who had called for the governor’s impeachment. Ms. Blagojevich is quoted in the complaint as saying that the state should “hold up that [expletive] Cubs [expletive] ... [expletive] them.”

"Influential and demanding" indeed. Now we're going to play a fun and vulgar game called "Fill in the Expletive the Times Left Out Because They're Dicks."

What we think it is: "hold up that [fucking] Cubs [shit]... [fuck] them."

What it definitely is not: "hold up that [shitballing] Cubs [assplay]... [queef] them."

What we wish it were because scatological humor is great: "hold up that [poopy-pants] Cubs [fart]... [Then you should pee on] them."

Please add your own in comments. Here is a scene from Goodfellas that Rahm Emmanuel will show on Jan. 21st and say, "you fuck with me, this is what happens."

Working Still Only for Suckers

Posting yesterday was light due to mysterious "work" that just kept coming in. Those superfluous medical commas won't delete themselves. If there is a God, today will be different and we won't have to do anything but write silly jokes about losers who are going to jail.

Speaking of, if this article on CNN is any indication, none of you bean-eaters will be doing any work for the rest of your lives. Turns out all of you lazy pricks are sucking on this fancy "unemployment" teat like filthy, out of work piglets. From the article:

The number of people continuing to collect unemployment rose to 4,429,000 in the week ended Nov. 29, the most recent week available, which was also a 26-year high. The measure was an increase of 338,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 4,091,000.

Where are we, Britain? Those numbers above are those continuing to collect unemployment. That doesn't count the 10 million people today alone who are also filing. The article continues:

The number of Americans filing new unemployment insurance claims jumped last week to a 26-year high, surpassing the number of filings economists had predicted.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that initial filings for state jobless benefits surged to 573,000 for the week ended Dec. 6. That was an increase of 58,000 from a revised 515,000 claims in the previous week.

Ok, so only half a million newly unemployed future prostitutes this week, which means the price of sex will plummet, so hurray! If sexing doesn't sound like the job for you, you should probably loosen up a little or you will never have a job again.

But this blog loves providing people with avenues out of prostitution, so here is some help. Here is an article just in time for the upcoming Christmas season called: Create Your Own Summer Job: 6 Ways to Make Money This Summer. Timely! The six ways to make money (with our translations afterwards) are:

1. Go where it's hot, and help people keep cool (sell weed)
2. Lawn and yard care (grow weed)
3. House sitting and pet sitting (rob people)
4. Mobile car detailing (jack sweet-ass rims)
5. Summer nanny / babysitter (kidnapper)
6. Tutoring and teaching (expand empire by teaching kids how to sell/grow weed)

Happy hunting to all of you, les miserables.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Quotes From Last Night

Last night we saw a wonderful show at Cornelia Street Cafe featuring John Oliver and Marc Maron, as well as some local favorites. Here are two of the many highlights of the night.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, 4 of the last 8 Illinois Governors have been sent to jail. In South Central LA, 33% of black men spend time in prison. For Illinois Governors that statistic is 50%. We have to stop sending our good men to Springfield. We're losing too many of them."
-John Oliver

"I don't get all this anti-immigration stuff. You ever watch Lou Dobbs? It sounds like that guy's broadcasting from the Alamo."
-Marc Maron

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Burning Money Now Not a Bad Investment

The other night ComedyandPolitics went bowling (154!) with Michael G., who is a good dude, a fine bowler, and this blog's new favorite econ writer. We trust anyone who we've rolled with as far as money-talk goes, and his article yesterday in the gray lady is a good read but a bit of a downer.

Turns out investors are sick of watching their (maybe) hard earned wealth disappear before their eyes everyday, so they're making the safest bet of all and buying up US government debt. Our bowling buddy and his co-author, who is just some dude we don't know, write that this is "the market equivalent of shoveling cash under the mattress," which means that putting your money anywhere else is like shoveling cash into a roaring furnace. While such irresponsible opulence was once considered "good sport," now even the maddeningly wealthy would prefer to play it safe.

Prospects are so grim, in fact, that
...for a brief moment, investors were willing to take a small loss for holding another ultra-safe security, the already-issued three-month Treasury bill.

Times are tuff when a guaranteed loss counts as a good bet and your mattress is literally a better place for your money than in the market. If you are too stupid to do what is right and stuff your money in your sleepin' box, but you're thinking, "all this talk about mattresses gives me an idea," the the video below is for you.

Waxman Wants All Drugs for Himself


Californian Representative Henry Waxman has a moustache you can set your watch to. Look at that thing. It is a serious moustache, and it belongs to a serious man. As the new chairman of the Committee of Energy and Commerce, he is humanity's only hope to push back the coming scarcity wars until at least we're all dead and our lousy kids have to deal with it. He's also going to try to take all of your experimental drugs away, because he doesn't want you to enhance yourself into a Captain America-like super-human.

Medical Marketing and Media, a horrible, evil publication, is reporting that Cali-stache has gone mad with power and is thinking about allowing the FDA to ban marketing new drugs directly to consumers on a case-by-case basis for the first two years the drug is in existence. They write:

“It is in these first few years of a drug's life that drug companies often aggressively market their products and engage in direct-to-consumer advertising,” Reuters quoted Waxman as saying. “This increases the number of consumer exposed to safety risks of new products long before those risks are truly understood.”

Waxman said Congress also needs to do something about physician marketing, because the “most persuasive, effective advertising” goes on in the doctor's office.

As you might imagine, this news hasn't gone over especially well at this blog's day job, which is none other than medical advertising specializing in direct to physician work. Blogging our own walk to the gallows, we are. We're not too upset about this news, though. As they say, it's better that we may get laid off so that others may not eat doctor-prescribed poison.

We're gonna go read that Chuck E. Cheese article again. That thing was great.

Chuck E. Cheese Worse Than Mos Eisley Cantina

"You will never find a more retched hive of scum and villainy. We must be careful."

That quote is from Star Wars Episode IV, the agreed upon second best of the original three. Obi-Wan offers that insight and advice to Luke Skywalker right before they both enter the most dangerous bar in the galaxy, which apparently has nothing on Chuck E. Cheeses nationwide. Read this entire article, and be shocked at the violence that awaits those who dare to enter the cesspool of prize tickets and cheese grease.

So here's the story. Chuck E. Cheese bills itself as a place where "a kid can be a kid," but it sounds like a better slogan would be "where an adult can be an asshole." Here is how one man described his local Chuck E. Cheese after one of the many fights that broke out there:

"It was like something out of a Quentin Tarantino film," says Mr. Zielinski, referring to the "Pulp Fiction" director. "What parent is going to take their kids to a place where there is alcohol and pistols being brandished?"

Brandished! And get a load of this:

In Brookfield, Wis., no restaurant has triggered more calls to the police department since last year than Chuck E. Cheese's.

Officers have been called to break up 12 fights, some of them physical, at the child-oriented pizza parlor since January 2007. The biggest melee broke out in April, when an uninvited adult disrupted a child's birthday party. Seven officers arrived and found as many as 40 people knocking over chairs and yelling in front of the restaurant's music stage, where a robotic singing chicken and the chain's namesake mouse perform.

Can you imagine a more horrifying scene than 40 adults crushing each other's skulls with skee balls while animatronic monsters played "Happy Birthday," their dead eyes indifferent to the whole scene? That is grim, folks. No one wins if that's how your day ends.

Security measures are being beefed up, though.

Amid pressure from local politicians, some Chuck E. Cheese's have stopped serving alcohol and added security guards who carry pistols.

What better way to celebrate your child's 8 years on this planet than with a pizza party and a fire fight. Although this story doesn't really count as "news," per se, ComedyandPolitics is nominating it for our first ever "Excellence in Journalism" award.

Also, this Gawker analysis of the article is really funny.

These Dudes for Surgeon General

Everybody knows that all college kids abuse Ritalin and Adderall, but since only rich kids can afford higher education now, no one is that worried about this phenomenon. Kids being kids, they say. Or maybe there is a huge outcry for this to stop; we don't know.

None of that changes the fact that the dudes who published this paper (pdf) in Nature are awesome [hat tip to Jesse]. They argument is this: "Hey, have you guys done these fucking drugs?! They're great! I wrote this whole paper is 15 minutes! Who has some cigarettes for me?" Here it is in their own third paragraph:

In this article, we propose actions that will
help society accept the benefits of enhancement,
given appropriate research and evolved
regulation. Prescription drugs are regulated as
such not for their enhancing properties but primarily
for considerations of safety and potential
abuse. Still, cognitive enhancement has much
to offer individuals and society, and a proper
societal response will involve making enhancements
available while managing their risks.

If they get their way, we will all become Captain America-like super-humans capable of focusing on things for more than 3 minutes at a time. We will also turn into workaholic robots even more than we already are.



That is the most terrifying thing we've ever seen. It sounds like they're going to break your arms and legs and put in extensions.

Here is Craig Finn and his Hold Steadys asking you to ask your friend for some Adderall, because they are druggy rock and rollers. Best line of the song:

"If she asks just tell her that we're too far gone to deal. She should know exactly how that feels..."

Hilarious Gayz Disrupt Heterogenda

The AP is reporting:

SAN FRANCISCO — Some same-sex marriage supporters are urging people to "call in gay" Wednesday to show how much the country relies on gays and lesbians, but others question whether it's wise to encourage skipping work given the nation's economic distress. Organizers of "Day Without a Gay" _ scheduled to coincide with International Human Rights Day and modeled after similar work stoppages by Latino immigrants _ also are encouraging people to perform volunteer work and refrain from spending money.

Leave it to some California gayz to hatch a new scheme to get out of work. To be fair, "calling in gay" has to be the greatest way to come out to your boss.

Worker: "I won't be coming in today."
Boss: "Why?"
Worker: "I'm gay."
Boss: "Understood."

The bad news is that this will throw the hetero-agenda (heterogenda!) into a violent tailspin, which is also the name of a sexual move that California gayz like.

Chicago Still Most Delightfully Corrupt City on Earth

The Chicago political scene is comprised entirely of Felons and ex-Ultimate Fighting Champion contestants, so it's no surprise that everything they do is illegal. Sometimes their goings-on are so illegal they actually get arrested, and today is one of those times. A Chicago website is reporting that Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is being taken into custody this morning. Yes, we know that technically he's not a Chicago politician (the capital is Springfield), but come on. Relax.

We wrote about Blaggy just a few days ago, wherein we made several astute observations about nuts, balls, testicles, castration, Obama's nuts, and nothing else. We knew that he wasn't thrilled about Jesse Jackson Jr., but we didn't know he was a criminal. This report is hilarious!

Updated at 8:57 a.m.: On the issue of the U.S. Senate selection, federal prosecutors alleged Blagojevich sought appointment as Secretary of Health and Human Services in the new Obama administration, or a lucrative job with a union in exchange for appointing a union-preferred candidate.

Blagojevich and Harris [Blaggy's chief of staff] conspired to demand the firing of Chicago Tribune editorial board members responsible for editorials critical of Blagojevich in exchange for state help with the sale of Wrigley Field, the Chicago Cubs baseball stadium owned by Tribune Co.

Blagojevich and Harris, along with others, obtained and sought to gain financial benefits for the governor, members of his family and his campaign fund in exchange for appointments to state boards and commissions, state jobs and state contracts.

"The breadth of corruption laid out in these charges is staggering," U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said in a statement. "They allege that Blagojevich put a 'for sale' sign on the naming of a United States senator; involved himself personally in pay-to-play schemes with the urgency of a salesman meeting his annual sales target; and corruptly used his office in an effort to trample editorial voices of criticism."[emphasis added]

He's such a criminal! Oh man, that's a lot of crime. Chicago, we love you, and we hope you never change.

UPDATE: Forgot to mention this. George Ryan, Blaggy's predecessor, is also in jail, also on corruption charges.

George Ryan Sr., a consummate political dealmaker who rose to become Illinois' 39th governor, was convicted Monday on sweeping federal corruption charges of wielding power to help himself and his friends.

Greatest city ever.

Car Czar Signals Russianization of Americaland

The only thing America hates more than not buying expensive houses is Russia, so you can imagine our surprise when we saw the title of the person charged with saving the only remaining jobs in the country. Say hello to the Car Czar!

We already have a Drug Czar (not as cool as you'd think) and an Intelligence Czar (see previous), but a Car Czar, now that's just czrazy. Here's another czrazy thing. As we wrote earlier, socialism/communism/Russiaism is literally the greatest threat facing America right now, which the NY Times understands:

...what Mr. Obama went on to describe was a long-term bailout that would be conditioned on federal oversight. It could mean that the government would mandate, or at least heavily influence, what kind of cars companies make, what mileage and environmental standards they must meet and what large investments they are permitted to make — to recreate an industry that Mr. Obama said “actually works, that actually functions.”

It all sounds perilously close to a word that no one in Mr. Obama’s camp wants to be caught uttering: nationalization.[emphasis added for emphasis]

Nationalization! Oh noes! This evil Car Czar will czrush czapitalism! The definition book proves it:

czar   /zɑr, tsɑr/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [zahr, tsahr] Show IPA Pronunciation

–noun 1. an emperor or king.
2. (often initial capital letter) the former emperor of Russia.

Does no one see the virus living inside our government that will eat our intestines (Czongress) and leave us for dead?!

So, here's an actual question: is this a good idea? Here's the answer: no body knows. After last week's disastrous employment report, Andrew Leonard from Salon wrote this:

The numbers may compel me to revise my position on an automaker bailout, yet again. Right now, keeping our major industries afloat, at least through the next few months, may be critical, no matter how much money it takes.

When David Angelo sees that quote he will go apoplectic, so watch for that in comments (we love you buddy!). Then those bastards at The Nation have this to say:

Or, for instance, if we are to bail out the auto industry, which we should--millions of jobs, businesses, communities, and what's left of once powerful and proud unions are at stake--then why not talk about its nationalization too? Why not create a representative body of workers, consumers, environmentalists, suppliers and other interested parties to supervise the industry's reorganization and retooling to produce, just as the president-elect says he wants, new green means of transportation--and not just cars?

You shut up, The Nation. That's all we got.

These are czomplicated times, folks. Stick with us, and we'll fake learn about things together.

Monday, December 8, 2008

"Awful" "Depression" Are Words Being Used to Describe Right Now

We here at ComedyandPolitics don't understand much about the economy, but we DO understand what words like "depression" and "[the economy is] awful" mean. Robert Reich, who was Clinton's Sec of Labor, writes in his blog:

Today's employment report, showing that employers cut 533,000 jobs in November, 320,000 in October, and 403,000 in September -- for a total of over 1.2 million over the last three months -- begs the question of whether the meltdown we're experiencing should be called a Depression.

We are falling off a cliff. To put these numbers into some perspective, the November losses alone are the worst in 34 years.

So that's what one dude has to say. Then there's this gem from Andrew Leonard's interview with Nobel Prize winning Paul Krugman:

How bad do you think this [economic meltdown] is going to get?

Awful.

Again, we don't understand anything about this. So.....maybe they're all wrong.

Romney Lays Groudwork for Failure in 2012

Doesn't it seem like the 2008 election JUST ended? It does, doesn't it. Well, that's no reason for the endless campaign cycles to stop spinning, if even for one month. Ready for some revolting news? The Boston Globe is reporting that wax statue Mitt Romney is already getting in line to lose to Obama in 2012. From the article:

Republican Mitt Romney is laying the groundwork for a possible White House campaign in 2012, hiring a team of staff members and consultants with money from a fund-raising committee he established with the ostensible purpose of supporting other GOP candidates.

The former Massachusetts governor has raised $2.1 million for his Free and Strong America political action committee. But only 12 percent of the money has been spent distributing checks to Romney's fellow Republicans around the country.

Free and Strong America is the stupidest name for a PAC ever. "Free" is dog-whistle politic-speak for "no Mexicans, and also the UN is gay," and "strong" is dog-whistle for "no gays." This blog's PAC name when we run for public office will be "Turd in a Punchbowl," which is dog-whistle for "we will legalize weed." It will be the greatest PAC in the world, second only to this one.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Duck Soup

Sunday afternoon classics continues here at ComedyandPolitics, and today's installment is one of the great scenes in physical comedy. The clip below is from Duck Soup (1933), which was rated #5 on AFI's list of the 100 funniest American films.

Here are a few choice quotes from the movie:

Rufus T. Firefly: Now, what is it that has four pairs of pants, lives in Philadelphia, and it never rains but it pours?
Chicolini: Atsa good one. I give you three guesses.
Rufus T. Firefly: Now let me see. Has four pair of pants, lives in Philadelphia... Is it male or female?
Chicolini: No, I no think so.
Rufus T. Firefly: Is he dead?
Chicolini: Who?
Rufus T. Firefly: I don't know. I give up.
Chicolini: I give up, too.
...
Rufus T. Firefly: I'll see you at the opera tonight. I'll hold your seat till you get there. After you get there you're on your own.
...
Rufus T. Firefly: Not that I care, but where is your husband?
Mrs. Teasdale: Why, he's dead.
Rufus T. Firefly: I bet he's just using that as an excuse.
Mrs. Teasdale: I was with him to the very end.
Rufus T. Firefly: No wonder he passed away.
Mrs. Teasdale: I held him in my arms and kissed him.
Rufus T. Firefly: Oh, I see, then it was murder. Will you marry me? Did he leave you any money? Answer the second question first.

And here is the mirror scene. Highlight comes at around 1:35 in.

Friday, December 5, 2008

White People for Peace

Against Me! holds a very special place in this blog's heart. Their album Reinventing Axl Rose was the soundtrack of several years of drunken nights. The song below, White People for Peace, is from their 7" of the same name. It was on the other night at a bar, and it's as good a song as any with which to crash into Friday night.

It does contain one of the least poetic lines ever put to power chords, which is a truly phenomenal feat.

"The people sing protest songs to try to stop the soldier's guns.
Protest songs, in response to military aggression."


And yet...and yet this song and video are still awesome, despite the overproduction they both suffer from. The emaciated and grotesque "protester" is a nice touch, and the guitars sound really big. Enjoy.

Nuclear Holocaust May Render Global Meltdown Moot

American children often play a game that involves asking a friend if they would rather be run over by a train or throw off a building, or some such variation. Since no of them will be able to afford to go to college now, they will never know the correct answer, which is to punch your so-called friend right in his stupid face. Thanks Philosophy major!

The world at large faces a similar conundrum. If we can survive the virtually world-wide recession, we have this to look forward to. The Nation's editors write:

The aftermath of the bloody terrorist attack in Mumbai won't be confined to the city, or to India. It threatens to cascade across the region, from India to Pakistan to Afghanistan and beyond, making the interlocked conflicts in South Asia dramatically worse. Even if it doesn't result in what ought to be unthinkable, but isn't--a war between two hostile, nuclear-armed powers--it could easily escalate into a full-blown crisis.

Luckily for Captain Obama, the United States shares some of the blame:

It's an ugly situation, and one the United States had a part in creating. In the 1980s America and Saudi Arabia poured billions of dollars into ISI to underwrite the anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan, helping to create the same extremist groups, including Al Qaeda, that plague Afghanistan, Pakistan and India--and the United States--today. In the 1990s the United States and Saudi Arabia looked the other way as Pakistan created the Taliban as a tool to establish a radical Islamist regime in Kabul. And in the past several years the United States has poured $11 billion into the Pakistani military, with little or no oversight, in its ironically misguided "war on terror."

Ok, fine, The Nation. Enough of this navel-gazing. America wants answers, and when this blog wants answers, we turn to the sober assessment of Sean Hannity. While they might not exactly translate, you can see how they could apply. Political Animal reports:

Last night, on Fox News, Sean Hannity insisted that United States needs to "take out" Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. [Pastor Rick] Warren said he agreed. Hannity asked, "Am I advocating something dark, evil or something righteous?" Warren responded, "Well, actually, the Bible says that evil cannot be negotiated with. It has to just be stopped.... In fact, that is the legitimate role of government. The Bible says that God puts government on earth to punish evildoers. Not good-doers. Evildoers."

Remember when people like this ran our government! Great times for comedy, those were.

UPDATE: Not good. From the NY Times:



ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A powerful explosion struck a crowded central bazaar in the chaotic city of Peshawar in Pakistan’s northwest on Friday, killing at least 18 people and injuring around eighty, Pakistani television and news agencies reported on Friday.
...
"It was a bomb,” a senior police official, Kashif Alam, was quoted by Reuters as saying. “The number of casualties is very high. People are still trapped under the rubble.”

Ability to Drink Legal Booze Still Worth Celebrating

Today marks the 75th anniversary of the repeal of prohibition, and to celebrate, Slate is running a series of pics documenting the highs and lows of fun-juice. Below is just one of the many fantastic photographs.


The only info given is that this was taken in the United States in 1947. The beer appears to be Goebel Beer, which was brewed in Detroit Michigan when this photo was taken. Coincidentally, Goebel's mascot was a bantam, or as it was more commonly known, "the Brewster Rooster," the very thing that wakes us up every morning. No explaination is given for the mascot choice, but we assume it's because if you're drunk you'll pronounce "Goebel" as "Gobble." Below is a picture of the demon who won't let us sleep.

Dumb Kids to Get Stupider, Say Words on Thing

This blog has the most elite readership in the world, so we can say without fear of reprisal that poor people deserve whatever they get. Libertarianism!

In related news, the NY Times is reporting that in a few years no one will be able to afford college except for the maddeningly wealthy:

Over all, the report found, published college tuition and fees increased 439 percent from 1982 to 2007 while median family income rose 147 percent. Student borrowing has more than doubled in the last decade, and students from lower-income families, on average, get smaller grants from the colleges they attend than students from more affluent families.

Combine this news with the fact that the only factory jobs left in the country are about to buckle, probably, and the future of the poor-person class looks dismal.

This blog has never claimed to have any solutions to any problems, but one thing that might in some small way reverse the trend of inaccessible higher education is if more schools went to a need-blind admissions policy. It's too bad more schools aren't on that list.

Financial Meltdown Gets Steamy (Free Passwords Inside)

Our good friend Jared once described CNN as "a big goofball network." Never (ok maybe usually) has this been on display more that this morning. As we all know, things are looking pretty bad.


But it's not all bad news! Some of it is sexxxy news.



Thanks, CNN. How your editors strike the perfect balance of mediocre analysis and irrelevant trivia we'll never know.

CNN does have a point, though. For those of you common bean eaters who are attractive enough to get sex for free, or relatively cheaply, that will become your only affordable source of entertainment. You will live like filthy zoo animals and you will love it. Those of you who are less attractive will be forced to steam Wednesday night's Victoria Secret show on your sad sad laptop, which you can also do from CNN, but we're not going to link to that because of dayjob HR policies.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Devil Wears Pajamas

Religious folk are known primarily for their delightful sense of irony, which is why we're not surprised to see such a quality marketing pitch from some sort of pro-god TV channel. They hired the actual Devil to tell you not to watch their programming, but don't be fooled simpletons. They really do want you to watch their shitty shows (see how ironic they are?), which you should only do if you are stupid or super super high.

If you're not stupid (or if you're super high), go to this website that they religiously launched and talk to the actual Devil, who appears to be broadcasting from Charlie Rose's TV studio. He stares at you and shifts back and forth uncomfortably. It's like a blind date gone catastrophically wrong.

Bored at work? Type the question, "are you gay" in the text box. Submit it repeatedly. Every response is pure genius. Eventually he will (seriously) laugh like a pervert and say, "yas!" This will be the most satisfying thing you do all day.
We were hoping the news would be funny on its own today. We're in luck! This guy is hilarious:

Police have made an arrest in an armoured car robbery in the US in which the suspect used the free online classifieds website Craigslist to hire decoys.
...
The robber pepper sprayed the armoured car guard on September 30 outside a Bank of America branch in Monroe, grabbed a bag of money and ran towards a tributary of the Skykomish River where he was seen floating off on a tube.

As he ran, the suspect dropped a pepper spray canister, a smaller bag of money, a hat, wig and sunglasses and a white particle mask.
...
The alleged robber had apparently used a fake Craigslist ad to bring job seeker to the area.

So his plan was to get a bunch of people to dress similarly and show up at the scene as decoys. It's really not a half bad idea. The only problem was that this was the getaway car:

Troll #2

The first one was kind of funny, but this is just annoying. Here are some excerpts from a robot comment left on this post.

Want to earn thousands this week. All you do is give away a bonus worth a ton of loot. Everyone who views this bonus wants it and takes a free tour. Over 500 people a day are joining. You get paid boatloads for just giving away a bonus they already want.

Sounds good so far. This comment uses the word "bonus" about 2,000 times. Then there's this rather unsettling command and promise.

Stop Trying We Close Your Sales and PAY YOU Period

Stop trying? Why are you being so mean comment-bot?

Something tells us this won't be the last comment like this that we get.

Ok Fine, But That's Your Answer for Everything


We didn't feel like reading this, but we do feel like mocking it. Haha you stupid idiot lasers are fake. Listen to how stupid this guy is. He thinks:

the answers to all kinds of security questions -- from Russian mortars to Hezbollah missiles to jihadists' bombs to pirates' boats -- lie in lasers and other so-called "directed energy weapons."

If he is right and lasers and pirates one day fight to the awesome death, our apologies.