Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Second Love

It’s not about politics, but my latest piece to be published elsewhere is out today.

Ode to My Canadian Girlfriend

A not entirely irrelevant point to note - this was going to have come out on Valentine’s Day. Cute, right? Enjoy!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Algonquin Round Table

I'm lazy and I haven't posted about politics in over a week. However, the last few days I have been engaged in a debate with a charming enough seeming, but unfortunately misguided right-winger, Andy D. I think it's the lack of vitriol in his disagreement with me that encourages me to think I can change his mind, even though it is most likely a lost cause. But it's like seeing a rafter clinging to the branches in rushing rapids, you know? He obviously needs saving, and I can't ignore his pleas for help. Anyway, for your enjoyment, I will post here the debate that's going on over there at his blog, Political Friends.

To begin, here is the post he wrote with the Fox News inspired title, Congress Helping Our Enemies?

As the Democrats continue to push the definition of “treason”, al-Zawahiri released a video tape message proving what critics of the Democrat Party have been saying. Republicans, General Petraeus, and many others, have said that passing a resolution condemning the Presidents new way forward would do nothing to change our Presidents policy but would give hope to our enemies. I wrote a few weeks ago about the dangers of this discussion. Now we are starting to see the results of just the discussion.

Under questing by the Senate, General Petraeus said that a move to condemn the President would give hope and support to our enemies. Just the continue talk of this debate is giving Al-Queda more ammunition, and is hurting our allies. Quoting CNN: “Calling the governments of Iraq and Afghanistan, allied with the United States, ‘traitors,’ al-Zawahiri warned that the United States ‘is about to depart and abandon them, just as it abandoned their like in Vietnam.”

Giving our enemies “aid and comfort” is treason. Democrats and Republicans in Congress need to realize that their words are being reported in the Middle East. Our enemies our praying to Allah for an end to the Iraqi War similar to the end of the Vietnam War. We didn’t loose in Vietnam, we beat ourselves. Iran, Syria, Al-Queda, Hezbollah and many others are eager to see an American Helicopter pulling off a crowded embassy in Baghdad. Our allies in Iraq and Afghanistan are wondering if that will be the last images they see as the armies of our enemies sweep in and take control.

The Democrats in Congress and the Republicans helping them are acting like children. Congress is rushing to condemn a plan that hasn’t fully been implemented yet. Some would argue we are already seeing some results of this plan. Muqtada Al-Sadr has reportedly fled the country. Today, US troops went house to house in Baghdad grapping insurgents and weapons as they went. The Statesman of both parties must come forward and end this debate before it provides more help to our enemies. We are in a war for the existence of America. Those who would vote for a “non-binding resolution” need to take a step back and realize the damage they have already caused.
To which I responded:

Democrat is a noun. Democratic is an adjective. A party is Democratic. A person is a Democrat. Get it straight if you are purporting to be a writer.

One cannot commit treason with mere words. If you have any interest in learning about the civil rights of United States citizens, such as the right of free speech, please feel free to consult a convenient list of them in a little something the Founding Fathers referred to as the Bill of Rights.

And I shall leave you with a quote from Theodore Roosevelt, a Republican president: "To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."
Thanks for the critique Michael.

The Bill of Rights applies to any individual so long as they don’t interfere on the rights of another individual. You sound like a smart man, so I won’t insult you by explaining that.

There is a long list of crimes that an individual can commit simply by using words. If someone were to go on National Television and spill top secret information, I believe that could be considered treason.

In the United States, we have the freedom to criticize the President. I can do it on this blog, you are free to criticize him however you want. However, my words don’t carry the weight that the words of a US Senator or a US Congressman carry. If I criticize the President, our enemies don’t care. If Ted Kennedy does it, then it is something they can use. If an elected official in Congress (Democrat or Republican) votes to pass a nonbinding resolution condemning the President and telling him that he doesn’t have the support of the American people, that gives aid and comfort to our enemies in a time of war. While I don’t think anyone will try them for treason, I think it fits the literal definition of treason as spelled out by the Constitution.

If anyone from the Democratic Party truly believes we have no chance of winning in Iraq, then they have a duty to let the President know that. But a non-binding resolution is a cowardly way of accomplishing that. The representative can contact the President, or could vote to withhold funding, or could even vote against conformation of the General who is going to Iraq to implement that policy. A nonbinding resolution doesn’t help our troops, but does help our enemy.
I do certainly agree that a nonbinding resolution is a cowardly way of trying to end the war. I’m only marginally more in favor of the Democrats than the Republicans, which is to say I think they’re all cowardly pandering idiots interested in little more than further enriching their pocketbooks and accumulating power.

However, I disagree with you that any resolutions embolden, frighten, excite, tickle, arouse, or in any way affect our enemies. Nor do I think they affect the troops. The single thing that has both emboldened our enemies and endangered our troops is Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld completely botching every single decision and strategy in the run-up to and execution of this war, up to and including (and especially) the final decision to pre-emptively invade a country that had neither attacked us nor posed any threat. Those three (and their enablers in the media) are why our kids are dying over there. Not a pointless non-binding resolution or any of us godless traitorous liberal heathens with our big mouths and dangerous “no blood for oil” placards.
I am sorry Michael, you are simply way off base here. Our enemies have shown they follow politics here very closely. During the 1990’s bin Laden quoted Clinton and Clinton’s staff when he issued his jihad’s against the West. Our troops also pay very close attention. When they hear talk of Congress expressing the belief that our troops will fail, that doesn’t help them.

Your comments regarding the lead up to the war in Iraq are a bit simplistic. The war and removal of Saddam was one of the best run wars on the face of this planet. Our government (including Bush et al) made mistakes in the following occupation. Bush has acknowledged that those mistakes lay at his feet. Saddam has represented a threat to this country since the first Gulf War. The United States was enforcing a UN resolution when we invaded. If Saddam didn’t have WMD’s, he wanted them. We know he had them at some point because he used them on his own people. Either way, the UN gave Saddam over a dozen chances to comply, and Saddam did the same thing Iran is doing today. If the UN is going to be a real global body, someone had to enforce the UN’s resolution, and that job fell to us.
Plenty of people want WMD. Plenty of countries slaughter their own people. (Darfur, anyone?) The question is a matter of whether someone who wants WMD is a threat to the United States. The fact is quite simply that he was not a threat. Read this article about Hans Blix, the head weapons inspector. Saddam had allowed the inspectors in and they were finding nothing. It was becoming increasingly clear even at the time that there were no weapons there. And when Bush saw that his reason for starting a war was falling apart, he pulled the inspectors out. They were not kicked out by Saddam.

What would you rather have? An increasingly bloody war, costing us billions of dollars and over 3000 American lives to date or a feckless strongman with no weapons, large areas of no-fly zones, boxed in by his neighbors and the international community?

As far as bin Laden quoting the president for propaganda, the single greatest recruiting tool al Qaeda has ever had is Bush's invasion of Iraq. The threat of terrorism has greatly increased since Bush took office.

Incidentally, why is it that conservatives rail against the UN until it comes to the issue of the resolutions against Iraq? Then, all of a sudden, they are the international authority to whom we must bow down? Are you aware of the long list of UN resolutions Israel is currently ignoring? Shall we invade?

And that's where it stands right now. If there's more, you'll be the first to know. And please feel free to contribute in the comments section here, or there.

Friday, February 23, 2007

You Say You Want a Revolution

In my ever so charming self-deprecating manner, I sort of underestimated our page views for your humorous benefit in my last post. Whatever. I check the DoG stats out every so often just to see what y’all are into, and yes - I know where you live (or work). To wit, flipping through the visitors this last half hour, I noticed something interesting. See if you can find the pattern:

  • Beijing, China
  • Hainan, China
  • Shandong, China
  • Shandong, China
  • Beijing, China
  • Korea, Republic Of
  • Daqing, China
  • Heilongjiang, China
So, I don’t know what I’m doing that’s so interesting to East Asia, but I’d love to find out. (Intriguing also to find that we’re allowed in China, but censored in the workplace of a certain Midwestern friend of mine.) Anyway, if you have the time and inclination, my Chinese and Korean brothers and sisters, why don’t you drop us a line? How’s it going?

Some Friday “Me” Time

2007 promises to be a good year for me. Why, you ask? This year will produce new albums from three of my favorite bands: Fountains of Wayne, Nine Inch Nails, and Radiohead.

In order to start generating the buzz amongst the literally tens of you who frequent the site each day week, I challenge you to listen to the new FoW single here and not ask for its hand in marriage.

The album comes out April 3.

Delusions of Grandeur Weblog, LLC. received no goods, services or financial compensation in exchange for this post. But it'd be nice...

Friday, February 16, 2007

Another Bloomie Boner

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking - Hey, dude! Right now, we’ve got the president doing the exact same thing about Iran as he did a few years back about Iraq. And the press is just as credulous (or complicit) as before. The Democrats have taken over the House and Senate yet remain as feckless as ever, the Senate unable to even allow themselves to debate whether or not they think Bush has his head completely up his own ass. But you keep talking about the diminutive mayor of New York City. What’s up with that?

Good question, loyal DoGger. I’m not entirely sure what it is, but I think it might be that Bush, a complete douchebag to be sure, is pretty much the same as always - the same boring douchebaggery day after day. But Bloomberg finds new and exciting ways to tell us that we’re little more than his menial subjects to be taxed, jailed, and told to eat cake. And while Bush will always have a base of complete morons who have no problem with sending wave after wave of soldiers to their death and disfigurement, Bloomberg is taking the side of issues that literally no one can support - he’s come out as pro-child frostbite, anti-electricity for the plebs, anti-anyone’s opinion, and now best of all, he’s taking a pro-parking ticket during snowstorms stance. How can you beat that?

As drivers dug themselves out from Wednesday’s modest but messy snowstorm, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg found himself on the defensive over the city’s decision not to suspend alternate-side parking rules. That move had residents complaining that their cars were ticketed after plows buried them in snow.

The mayor was at times curt, testy and defensive as he answered questions from reporters at a Sanitation Department garage in Woodside, Queens, yesterday, even suggesting that New Yorkers stop “griping” about the situation.
Stop your yappin’, you whining sissies! I didn’t hear my driver, butler or handmaids complaining when I asked them to take the limo out of the garage! Geez!
“It wasn’t like you had a couple of feet of snow, where you really couldn’t physically move your car,” he said. “You had to put on galoshes and go out there and move it.”
Galoshes? Does he mean rubbers? Anyway, Hizzoner is right that there were only a few inches of snow. What he neglects to mention is that it was hard as a fucking rock and completely unmeltable. People were out there with pickaxes trying to chip it away like Michelangelo working on David. And I’d like Mayor B to tell the people who were trapped on planes for ten hours that the storm was a tiny little nothing of a storm. There are still folks camped out in the airport.

But hey - if you don’t have a private jet, consider yourself lucky I let you sleep on the floor.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Federal Prosecutor Bob Loblaw

I think it’s important that you read today’s column by my boy, Joe Conason. It’s a story we’ve heard a little about here and there, but I guess reading it in 1000 word column format really clicked it home. It’s about the recent spate of federal prosecutor firings by the Bush administration.

You see, it’s up to the US Attorneys to monitor politicians. And because of that fact, we have, in our nation’s history, gone out of our way to see that our prosecutors are as non-partisan as is possible. Additionally, if there was a vacancy, it used to be that local judges would appoint the successor. All of which was to prevent any politically motivated shenanigans (i.e. – you get in trouble, you can’t just fire your prosecutor).

Secretly, quietly (and unbeknownst to even himself) Senator Arlen Spector slipped a tiny amendment into the Patriot Act -- that sweet ol’ Patriot Act again -- that allows the president to fill vacancies in the US Attorney’s Office. Permanent appointments with no oversight. Ring a little fascist to you? Me too.

So as you might expect, Bush has gone around firing prosecutors left and right - men and women with important roles such as prosecuting the easily bribed Representative Duke Cunningham. Bush then filled the vacancies with obsequious hacks and political cronies.

You see, Bush has his fingers in all the pies, it’s just these days he has to do it a little more quietly. I think it’s horrifying that still he’s trying to tighten his grip and squash out all signs of life in our representative democracy. Congress is trying to step in and bring some oversight back to at least this one issue, but good God! It’s positively chilling the ways that Bush keeps coming up with to try to turn our country into his own personal dictatorship.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Do Not Question the Great and Powerful Bloomberg

We’re still talking about how he kicked the kids off the busses and has been making them freeze their asses off waiting for a ride in the sub-zero temperatures this past fortnight. You know how most politicians don’t say what they really think? Not Mikey; he plops his gigantic cantaloupes right out on the table.

A visibly angry Bloomberg blasted Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum and City Council members when asked about the critics' stance that the cost-saving overhaul is a flop.

"You know, you're quoting people who have no experience in doing anything, so I don't quite know how to answer it," he said.
As opposed to himself who had, how much experience in public service when he ran for mayor? Oh… Well, he had a fuckload of money anyway. This is America and that’s all that matters.

In any case, that quote? Dismissing critics as know-nothing losers? He may say he’s not running for president, but that sure sounds like presidential material to me.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Stop It

I don't usually pay attention to stories like the so-called Astro-nut because it's basically the same thing as the Runaway Bride or even the latest Missing White Girl - a media frenzy surrounding an ultimately meaningless story. A happenstance that has no effect on anyone's life but those involved in the events at hand. But somehow this one's different. And you know what? I don't think it's funny.

There are crazy people all over the place; they come in all shapes and sizes. But this one? She graduated from the Naval Academy. She served in the Navy before eventually moving up to NASA and actually went into fucking space! She's no wackjob from Oklahoma City. She worked really hard -- harder than you or I ever have -- to achieve her dreams, and now she's thrown them away over some guy she liked. She's been vetted by the United States' foremost psychologists and passed. She's been through more stressful experiences than any of us could imagine. She accepted these challenges and she succeeded. Then, she went to the trouble of putting on a diaper so she wouldn't have to stop on a 900 mile trip to go confront the competition for her man. That is a long time to reconsider what you're doing and yet nothing stopped her. It's a long fall from being mentally stable enough to be on the Space Shuttle to willingly and consciously discarding your life's ambitions, husband and children in order to attack some floozy in Florida. Don't you think that's enough punishment?

I read that she lost three of her closest friends when the Space Shuttle Columbia was destroyed. Maybe that was it. Maybe not. But clearly something happened to her to cause her to lose her way. And frankly, I think she deserves the benefit of our sympathy. She dedicated her life in service to our country and now she has nothing. How about we "honor the troops" in her case as much as we would some poor soul who's come back from Iraq lost and alone and permanently damaged.

From My Cold Dead Hands

New York, New York, it’s a hell of a town.
The Bronx is up and the Battery’s down.
If you want to do anything remotely fun at any time, go fuck yourself and die, we have a million idiot tourists dying to get into the Disney Store so we can do without you, you insignificant little maggot.
It’s a hell of a town!

Is that how that old tune went? I can’t quite remember… Maybe it’s how our local legislators think it went. First it was the porn charm of old Times Square. Then it was our smokes. It was CBGB a few months ago, and countless other landmarks previous and many that are not long for this earth. And now this: Ban Proposed On Cell Phones, iPods In Crosswalk.

Read that again – banning the iPod. The one thing that brings a tiny amount of joy to my one mile walk to work in the morning, and again at night. All under the pretense of protecting us from ourselves. I guess some groovin’ motherfuckers have been jukin’ and jivin’ themselves smack into oncoming traffic. Jesus H. Christ! It’s getting so that it’s impossible to harm myself in this town!

In that spirit, our hotshot DoG insiders have uncovered the list of things they will protect us from next:

  • Fresh Fruit Smoothies
  • Camera Flashbulbs
  • Papercuts
  • Independent Filmmakers
  • Furniture
  • Cumulus Cloud Formations
  • Krazy Glue (safe only if spelled with a ‘C’)
  • Ketchup (see above)
  • Windows Vista
  • Mondays
  • Cobblers
  • Double Rainbows
  • Tire Swings
  • Comets
  • Bright Eyes Lead Singer Connor Oberst
  • Windmills
  • Muffin Stumps
  • Patchwork Quilts
  • Sudoku
  • Sierra Mist
  • Ennui
  • Sanskrit
On the other hand, an advance look shows an incomplete list of things they won’t be protecting us from:Fuck it. Just take me to the Hippodrome… What? That too??


I’m going to be serious very briefly, and then I promise to get back to the ungay and astronauts in diapers. I’m not usually one to be too interested in the latest Missing White Girl frenzy. But this one has an added element of disgust that warrants attention, namely – Bill O’Reilly.

I’m sure you’ve heard about that poor kid Shawn Hornbeck who was kidnapped when he was 11 years old and held captive for four years. Now it’s come out that he was repeatedly sodomized – several times per day at first, and at least once a month after that. Horrible. What you might not be aware of -- because you’re smart and don’t watch cable news -- is that Mr. Bill O’Reilly had accused this now 15 year old boy of conspiring to stay with his kidnapper because it was “more fun” than going to school and doing chores at home.

O’REILLY: The situation here for this kid looks to me to be a lot more fun than what he had under his old parents. He didn't have to go to school. He could run around do what he wanted.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN: Some kids like school.

O‘REILLY: I don't believe this kid today. I think when it all comes down, what's going to happen is there was an element here that this kid liked about his circumstance.
Yeah, real classy. But even after all these detailed abuse charges have come out, he has not apologized, retracted or in any way officially recanted his previous remarks about how much the boy enjoyed his four year stay in casa de torture. But really, even that’s not why I’m writing this post – that’s pretty much par for the course for Blustery Bill.

No, the reason I’m writing is because Bill O’Reilly is the keynote speaker next month at a National Center for Missing and Exploited Children $500/plate fundraiser. As recently as last week, the Center stands by their choice. Isn’t that just a little bizarre?

I think so. I doubt there’s much I can do, but since I have this tiny little platform from which to speak, I’m asking you to join me in contacting the Center and politely asking them why they haven’t asked O’Reilly either for an apology or for him to back out of their fundraiser. You can contact them here. I’m sure they relish the thought of making all that money, and I know they’d put it to good use. But they should think about how they’ll feel the morning after – after Bill O’s left the money on the nightstand and they have to get out of bed and look at themselves in the mirror.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Can’t Top It

I could sit here all day and never come up with a blurb about Rudi Giuliani’s presidential bid even half as eloquent as Wonkette’s.

Opera-Loving Twice-Divorced Manhattan Dandy Announces Candidacy

We love Rudy because he combines the can-do fascism of Mussolini with the personal morals of Caligula. America needs this, now!
What else is there to say?


Good news, Jesus freaks and homophobes! Our favorite gay hypocrite and meth junkie is now all man, baby! Fathers, lock up your daughters!

One of four ministers who oversaw three weeks of intensive counseling for the Rev. Ted Haggard said the disgraced minister emerged convinced that he is "completely heterosexual."
There’s nothing like five men sitting around behind closed doors for days on end to quell the urge to suck dick. I’m completely confident that this will work perfectly, and they have cast those faggoty demons back to hell. Let’s face it, these heteroversions never fail.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Panic! At the T-Stop

No, I’m not gonna let it go so just put that thought out of your mind. Above is the clip of the Boston Terrorists in a press conference. One in which they refuse to answer any questions except those about hair. It’s magnificent. If they don’t get booked on The Daily Show, and possibly their own show, then there is truly no justice in the world.

More on the Terror by Toon Fiasco

I’ve said my piece on the subject, but I wanted to point out that my pal talented actor whom I’ve never met but totally admire, James Urbaniak -- that’s Dr. Venture to you -- is all over the Boston Aqua Teen Day of Terror on his blog. It’s worth a look-see…

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Make the Homies Say Ho Make the Girlies Wanna Scream

With apologies to John Kerry, the Kennedys, my friends Llew and Ben, and the rest of the good people of Massachusetts, people in Boston are fucking idiots.

Those illuminated electronic devices were a promo for the cartoon series "Aqua Teen Hunger Force," but they got some attention the marketing agency probably wasn't counting on.

Police called out bomb squads after receiving four calls yesterday about the devices, at least 14 of which were planted at bridges and other public areas. Highways, bridges, subways and part of the Charles River were shut down before authorities declared the lights harmless.
OK, so you got Err from Aqua Teen Hunger Force giving you the finger on a Lite-Brite and you call in the bomb squad and start thowin’ dudes in jail? Apparently you do.
Peter Berdovsky, 29, was arrested on charges of placing a hoax device, a felony, and disorderly conduct, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said. He was hired to distribute the devices, she said.

"We're not going to let this go without looking at the further roots of how this happened to cause the panic in this city," she said at a news conference last night.

"There's absolutely no place for [hoaxes] in a post-9/11 world," U.S. Homeland Security Department spokesman Russ Knocke said.
Panic? Hoax? Post-9/11? A hoax implies intent to fool people – calling the aiport saying you left a bomb. Putting obvious ads all over town? Not a hoax! What? You think reasonable people would react that way anywhere; it has nothing to do with Boston?
Turner's statement said that the devices have been in place for two to three weeks in 10 cities, including New York. City officials said yesterday that they were aware of the boxes but had received no complaints.
Hoax, my ass. Buncha wicked scahdey-cats up theyah.

Bloomberg Still Doesn’t Care About Anybody

As I’ve documented in the past, I just do not understand this whole crossover appeal of Michael Bloomberg. Many good die-hard liberal friends of mine voted for him in the last election. But I have always maintained that despite his so-called liberal background, he’s a rich, entitled motherfucker who sold out whatever principles he might have had for both money and the prestige of being mayor – notably bringing the Republican convention to our reality-based enclave during the 2004 presidential election. In short, he’s a selfish asshole who cares for no one but himself.

To wit – on Monday, January 29, (not the beginning of the school year, not when the weather’s accommodating), Bloomberg and the powers that be just decided to up and change the school bus routes. I have no desire to recount the tales I’ve read about 7 year old kids now taking 3 public buses to get to school, getting up at 4am and the like. Suffice it to say, it’s horrible for the parents and the kids, and good for no one except the city budget that saves a few million dollars because of it. Oh yeah, and did I mention the $3.9 billion surplus they just announced? Yeah, well…

Anyway, after the public uproar and obvious fiascoishness of the entire affair, do you suppose Bloomberg is reevaluating anything? Are you kidding? We’re talking about saving a buck here!

Mr. Bloomberg, who since winning mayoral control of the schools has often said he should be held responsible, staunchly defended the changes yesterday. He said that the problems were minimal and that many parents had been using bus service to which they were not entitled under school system rules dating back to the 1980s.
You’re not entitled to a bus anyway. Here’s a dollar, buy a cup of go fuck yourself.