28 February, 2010

Ode to My Insane Cat

So, I'm writing from Ray's viewpoint right now, which means I'm listening to oddball (for me) things like Red Hot Chili Peppers and Sublime.  Hey, there's that song, "Peaches."  Look that up.  And find out that Presidents of the United States of America have this song called "Kitty."

Of course I listened.  And it is my cat to a T, except for the spending all night outside part.  The going from love to hate with no discernible transition period, however, is dead-on accurate.

So, here ye go: an ode to insane kitties everywhere.

I promise a return to pollyticks tomorrow. But in the meantime, I'm finishing off another pen. Will Aunty Flow arrive in time to save the next one? Mwah-ha-ha!

Shakespeare Rocks

Check this out:

How fun does that look, eh?  And it's right in Burien, WA.  If you're in the area, let me know if you want to go see it - we'll make arrangements.  One of the folks working on this show has already promised to chase the Muse away with a shotgun for an evening, so a good time can be had by all.  Until, that is, she breaks the shotgun over his head and drags me back home.  But we'll enjoy ourselves in the meantime.

O' course, I'll be having flashbacks to the time we did The North Pole Goes Rock and Roll in grade school.  Those were the days.  My poor mother had to get me Bill Haley and the Comets records (yes, records - I'm really that old) and a poodle skirt afterward.  Hopefully poodles won't be in it this time, but I can make no promises.  Almost ended up with a feather boa and go-go boots after Austin Powers, didn't I?  I can be impressionable.

The Way to My Cat's Heart

Definitely through her tummy.

I awoke this morning to pitiful little meows, and then she jumped into bed and cuddled very close, purring as loudly as she could manage.  She usually wants nothing do to with me until I'm trying to do something else.  "Bet her food bowl's empty," thought I as I drifted back to sleep with my face buried in fur.

I was so right.

The affection she shows her mommy directly correlates to her needs at the time.  If she's hungry or cold, I'm the most awesomest hooman and she loves me to bits.  If all of her needs have already been met, I'm furniture.  Or a particularly entertaining chew toy.

Cats are amazing creatures.

27 February, 2010

I Just Got Bitten in the Ankle Because My Cat is a Klutz

I don't really want to try to explain the mechanics of it.  But she misjudged the gap between one of the bits that supports the recliner and the open space between it and the seat, tripped, and caught herself on my ankle.  With her teeth.  It was one of the goofiest things I've ever seen her do.  She looked like a total dork.

Once she got her legs extracted from the gap they'd fallen through, she changed her mind about climbing into my lap and is now busy over on the loveseat pretending absolutely nothing ever happened.  It was that other cat.

So much for legendary feline grace, eh?

Hey, Heffer! Ask Me What Time It Is

True fans of Rocko's Modern Life will understand the title of this post.

So, I've been continually bothered by the knowledge that, someday eventually soon, I'd have to figure out what time it is on Athesea.  The problem with writing in a mechanism for nearly-instantaneous travel between worlds is that you know some clever bugger reading the book will create elaborate time tables and then ask you to explain the contradictions.  And I couldn't find a damned widget that would allow you to plug in a few values for rotational period, orbit stuff, etc. and automatically calculate what the sun's doing in Tarmahn in relation to Seattle at any one particular moment.

Thus, I spent the scant time in between calls at work today playing with spreadsheets.  I still haven't got seasons and so forth worked out, but I can tell you what time it is on Athesea.  Lessee.  It is nearly 10pm Seattle time, Saturday.  Call it 9, because I calculated this shite on Daylight Savings Time.  Soooo, in Tarmahn it is (drumroll please) around noonish.*

This may not look like an enormous triumph, but it is.  Indubitably.  And it took me way too fucking long to figure out something perfectly simple.  Not a numbers-or-math person, y'see.  It wasn't until I had the color-code brainwave that I was able to get it all straight in my head.  Thankee software geniuses for spreadsheets with fill color options.

Now I'm off to fiddle with all those times I'm sure I fucked up when writing with no fucking idea what time it was in Tarmahn...

*I reserve the right to change my mind about that.  Just so's you know.

26 February, 2010

I Killded Them BOTH Dead

One pen, one legal pad, RIP.  Hee.  Now it's off to see how many more I can get to before Aunty Flow arrives to save them...

25 February, 2010

Carnival of the Elitist Bastards XXI: Underway at Last!

 COTEB XXI has left the docks over at Slobber and Spittle.  Do enjoy!

Dumbfuckery du Jour

There is some dumbfuckery words cannot excoriate.  It is so outrageously, egregiously, overwhelmingly stupid, our language cannot cope.  Luckily, PZ took a stab at it so I don't have to.  Let me just advise the South Dakota House of Representatives of one thing: if you are so scientifically illiterate that you cannot ascertain the difference between astronomy, which is science, and astrology, which is absolute fucking woo, you have no business trying to legislate what students do and do not learn about any branch of science whatsoever.  Go back and get a fucking education (but, apparently, not in South Dakota).  And while you're at it, learn to understand and appreciate the difference between affect and effect.

Not much we can follow that up with, but this is a pretty awesome example of those great old Con family values:

Meet newly minted Rep. Daniel Stout.

His campaign Web site touts his conservative, pro-family bona fides. "I believe Paulding County wants someone who will stand strong for the conservative principles we've always believed in ... lower taxes, limited government, personal responsibility, and valuing Life from the womb until natural death," he says. 

But, as the writer Tom Crawford of Capitol Impact noted this week, Stout "has been compelled to address a personal incident from 10 years ago: he had an affair with his first wife's mother while his first wife was pregnant with their daughter. Stout and his first wife subsequently divorced."

No shit, huh?

I look forward with breathless anticipation to the day when Mr. Stout explains to us all why marriage is a sacred institution between a man, a woman, and his woman's mother.

24 February, 2010

Dumbfuckery du Jour

Heh.  The Silence of the Lame:
The case of Najibullah Zazi continues to be under-appreciated victory for the United States. A deadly attack was thwarted; intelligence was collected; and justice was served. No torture, no military commissions, no need to stray from the legal process. The legal system was followed to the letter, and it worked beautifully.

The Republicans who most vociferously blasted the Obama Administration for putting the attempted Christmas bombing suspect through the criminal justice system have apparently been silent on another high-profile terrorism case making its way through the civilian system. [...]
Given the GOP outrage over the administration's decision to charge attempted Christmas bomber Umar Abdulmutallab in criminal court, one might have expected a flurry of Republican press releases and TV appearance this week over the handling of the Zazi case.
But the press releases never came, and the TV appearances were never scheduled.
On the Hill, the usual suspects of hysterical conservatives -- Kit Bond, Pete Hoekstra, Pete King -- haven't said a word. And what about their media allies? Even when Zazi's guilty plea became a major development, Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly, and Sean Hannity literally didn't say a word about the guilty plea of a man who would have killed innocent Americans in a terrorist attack in New York City.

You know, I'm disappointed.  I really am.  I expected these fucktards to raise a huge fuss.  Since they couldn't attack with half-truths, I thought they'd come up with some nice outrageous lies we could all amuse ourselves with.  But no.  They can't even be bothered to get creative.  And I can't believe that's because they've suddenly realized lying is wrong.  No, I think they've just had one of those moments where their powers of fabrication have abandoned them.  Call it liar's block.

I'm sure it's a temporary condition.  I fully expect we'll soon hear all about how the Obama administration's handling of Zazi threatens to bring about the end of civilization as we know it, lets the terrorists win, will get us all killed in our beds, etc. etc. Peter Cetera etc.

I expect nothing less from our ridiculous right.

I Killded It

Killded it dead.  Second pen down, ten to go.

At this rate, the fact that planning for this particular magnum opus always seems to go better longhand rather than on the computer is going to get rather expensive in the writing utensils department...

23 February, 2010

Outrageous Bullshit Double-Header

The Muse knows I am fuming, and has graciously allowed me to post another post.

First, absorb this bit of reality and see if you're steamed enough to power a freight train:
We learned a few years ago that the CIA had video documenting the interrogation of two Qaeda operatives who'd been subjected to "severe interrogation techniques," but because of what the video showed, the agency destroyed the tapes. In effect, officials had evidence of a possible crime, so they eliminated it -- which is itself a crime.

Within a few weeks of the revelations, Bush's Justice Department appointed a prosecutor to lead a criminal investigation into the destruction of evidence.

What we didn't know until today is that a far-right senator, Pat Roberts (R) of Kansas, acting his capacity as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, was apparently made aware of the alleged crimes in a closed briefing in 2003, and raised no objections.

That's right.  This fucktarded piece of shit has no problem with crimes being committed.  None.  No problem, cover it up.  And we're not talking minor shit, we're talking war crimes.

These people aren't amoral so much as anti-moral. 

Meanwhile, John Yoo, he of the torture memos, has decided the Prez can use nukes any ol' time he likes.  No limits on his power to destroy civilizations whatsoever.  Totally fine with the Constitution, despite the fact the Constitution's all about the checks and balances, and despite the fact that Supreme Court precedent sez executive powers tain't so unlimited.  Observe:
As far back as 1804, a unanimous Supreme Court held in Little v. Barreme that Congress has sweeping authority to limit the President’s actions in wartime. That case involved an Act of Congress authorizing vessels to seize cargo ships bound for French ports. After the President also authorized vessels to seize ships headed away from French ports, the Supreme Court held this authorization unconstitutional on the grounds that Congress’ decision to allow one kind of seizure implicitly forbade other kinds of seizure. More recently, in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld and Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, the Court held that the President does not have the power to unilaterally set military policy (in those cases with respect to detention); he must comply with statutory limits on his power. Taken together, these and other cases unquestionably establish that Congress has the power to tell the President “no,” and the President must listen.

John Yoo is a moral vacuum, but he is also a constitutional law professor at one of the nation’s top law schools and a former Supreme Court clerk. It is simply impossible that Yoo is not aware of Little, Hamdi and Hamdan, or that he does not understand what they say. So when John Yoo claims that the President is not bound by Congressional limits, he is not simply ignorant or misunderstanding the law. He is lying.
Indeed he is.  Lying about the law, and yet Berkeley believes he's qualified to teach law.  I'll never, ever, understand that one.

Bonus outrages: selling plates of pasta to save your life (thank you, broken health care industry!) and the Cons' idea of a bipartisan dialogue on health care reform.  Maybe we should hold a pasta fundraiser to see if we can whip up enough cash to get these idiots some brains.

Dumbfuckery du Jour

I'm so glad the Muse let me visit TPM today.  I mean, there are just some things in life that one doesn't like to miss, like this hilarious bit of supreme dumbfuckery:

One Missouri lawmaker has an idea of how to help the state's bottom line - gamble a portion of Gov. Jay Nixon's salary each month on lottery tickets.

The Missourian details a bill by state Rep. Mark Parkinson (R) that proposes deducting $2 from Nixon's monthly paycheck to buy Powerball tickets.

Any potential winnings would be put in an account called "Governor Nixon's Scratch-off, Match-off Fund," according to the bill, which gets a hearing tomorrow.

This is an actual, supposedly serious proposal.  From a duly-elected lawmaker.  Just sit back and savor this for a moment: a state's budget is in the toilet, and the best the Con in their Congress can come up with is "Hey, maybe we should gamble!"

This fucktard literally wants to bet the state can win the lottery and make all of their problems magically disappear.

Don't raise taxes, or fees, or find any other way to increase revenues.  Don't find ways to trim the budget without destroying the state's social programs and quality of life.  Don't make corporate citizens and the wealthy contribute.  That's for those dumb hippies in Oregon.  No, my friends, Rep. Parkinson believes, I mean he believes, they can win big, so there's no need to do any of that happy-crappy responsible governing stuff.

I mean, the odds are only 195,249,054 to 1.  It's a sure bet!

I've just laughed so hard I'm afraid my stomach's prolapsed.

I Think That's Enough for Now

Whelp.  Helped one-and-a-half pens (black ink only, yes, thank you) and a full legal pad plus some pages shuffle off this mortal coil this weekend.  Plethora of new scenes boiling over, just waiting for the day Aunty Flow leaves my life so we can get right down to them.  Sequencing for a major chunk of the story arc fairly complete.

I'd say we did all right.  Collapse now...

22 February, 2010

Quote o' The Day

Our own George W., ladies and gentlemen:
"If 'Nature' were your mother, she’d be in prison for child abuse and neglect."

Go read the context.  It's short, sharp brilliance is what it is.

It should also be noted that George has located the portal to Hell.  Somebody page Buffy....

Dumbfuckery du Jour

With Congressmen like this, who needs enemies?
Rep. Steve King (R-IA) told a crowd at CPAC on Saturday that he could "empathize" with the suicide bomber who last week attacked an IRS office in Austin, and encouraged his listeners to "implode" other IRS offices, according to a witness.
Can we say "extremely fucking inappropriate," boys and girls?

Now, most Congresscritters caught saying something so far beyond the pale as this wouldn't walk, but run, that one back.  Not Rep. King.  Oh, no.  Not he who is vying for the title of Craziest Fucking Rep in the History of the United States.  You'd think he'd backpedal, say he'd been misunderstood or misspoke or mis-something-or-other, but no.  Steve King proudly expands upon his abhorrent rhetoric:

During the question and answer session, the Media Matters staffer asked King to clarify his comment, reminding him of his sworn duty to protect the American people from all sworn enemies, foreign and domestic. In response, said the staffer, King gave a long and convoluted answer about having been personally audited by the IRS, and ended  by saying he intended to hold a fundraiser to help people "implode" their local IRS office.

We've told you about other inappropriate responses to the bombing, which was carried out by Austin software developer Joe Stack, and in which one other person has so far died. But King's may take the cake.

I think, my darlings, he took the whole fucking bakery.

Seriously fucked-up people the Cons are.  Shit themselves in fear when the terrorists are brown people with funny accents, puff themselves up and stand in proud solidarity when the terrorists are white people with American accents, as long as they're only flying planes into buildings housing federal workers or shooting at people who do things like perform legal medical procedures.  There's something so seriously fucking wrong with that I'm not even sure where to begin with it.  So let me just try to state something in clear and simple terms:

Flying a plane into a building intentionally in order to kill people is never the right thing to do, no matter how pissed off you are that you got yourself into deep shit over your shoddy tax returns.  Period.  End of fucking debate.  The criminal fucktards who do things like fly planes into buildings are not fucking heroes and should never be held up as examples.  And lawmakers shouldn't be encouraging people to "implode" the IRS right after saying how much they empathize with criminal fucktards who fly planes into buildings with the intent to kill. 

What in the above paragraph is so difficult for Cons to comprehend?

Dumbfuckery Double-Header

Yes, I'm still being mercilessly flogged by my Muse.  No, I didn't get a chance to read so much as one word of political news today.  Yes, I was allowed, begrudgingly, to peruse Pharyngula and Thoughts in a Haystack over dinner.  Briefly.  Long enough, anyway, to see there's a perfect double-header of dumbfuckery.

Those of you who read your Pharyngula daily already know about this:
Renew America, the bizarrely, deeply, weirdly conservative web site founded by Alan Keyes, really had to struggle to find someone crazier than Pastor Grant Swank and Fred Hutchison and Bryan Fischer and Wes Vernon (let alone Alan Keyes himself), but they have succeeded. They have Linda Kimball writing for them. She has written the strangest history of evolutionary biology ever — I think she was stoned out of her mind and hallucinating when she made this one up. It's called "Evolutionism: the dying West's science of magic and madness". The title alone is enough to hint at the weirdness within, but just wait until you read where evolution comes from.
That is some awesomely crazy shit.  And John's got a good chaser:
That would be the ever ridiculous WingNutDaily and, in particular, the even more ridiculous Ellis Washington, who "graces" its virtual pages. His latest screed, "Darwin is freezing over," really has to be seen to believed. The manner in which he connects Anthropogenic Global Warming, evolution, humanism and "shyster lawyers" is truly a textbook case of muddled thinking, the engine of which is willy-nilly correlation without any attempt to demonstrate causation, as exemplified in this...
"This" being an argument that would have looked batshit fucking insane if I hadn't read snippets of Linda Kimball's padded room thesis first.  Alas, it loses points on not being the most insane thing I've read today, but it stands strong on stupidity.

And now, alas, the Muse is calling me.  Since she's threatening to use the whip if I don't come quietly, for my own self-preservation, I'm going.

20 February, 2010

Chick Flick Update

Why oh why did my Muse settle on chick flicks as an inspirational goad?  This is getting progressively more painful.

Serendipity last night.  That film annoyed the bugfuck out of me.  By the end of it, I was ready to strangle the director, the writer, and anyone else associated with it who had a wringable neck.  Mind you, it was supposed to be annoying.  It succeeded nicely.  It was good, and I ended up working on a scene because of it, so that's a little bit of all right, then.  Don't be deceived by the fact I wanted to do bodily harm to everyone associated with it: it's actually quite a good little film.  Just very, deliberately annoying.

I watched French Film tonight.  Odd little thing, but oddly satisfying.  Several moments that actually made me laugh.  No surprises, alas, but then again, there weren't supposed to be.  Very well done, and not one of those too-cute-by-half movies, which is a nice change of pace after some of the schlock I've been subjected to. 

Unfortunately, it gave the Muse the yawns. I can never tell what's going to set that wench off.  Ah, well, our pens got here today, and I have things to scribble even if she is snoring in a corner just now.  She'll wake up soon enough.

Thankfully, that's the end of the chick flicks for a bit.  Nothing but Spirited Away and The Ninth Gate coming up on the DVR.  I'm actually afraid to watch Spirited Away.  I've been told it's one of the very best movies of all time.  Sometimes, those leave me depressed as hell afterward, feeling like a total inadequate loser, and inspire the Muse not one whit.  Bad films are the ticket, the ones that make you rave and rage and swear you'll never repeat their mistakes never ever nosir not you.

But I'll screw my courage to the sticking place and watch Spirited Away.


19 February, 2010

Dumbfuckery Du Jour

I haven't had time to do Happy Hour in what seems like forever.  I probably won't have time for it any time soon.  But you, my dear and loyal patrons, deserve at least a little political snark (nearly) daily.  So let's try something, and hope the Muse doesn't put her jack-booted foot down.  Just one item, each day, that we can unleash our Smack-o-Matics upon.  It shouldn't be too much to ask.

You'll have a double Du Jour today, because I meant to highlight this yesterday and got waylaid by life, the Universe, and my damned Muse.  Look, I said nearly daily, didn't I?

So, yesterday's Dumbfuckery Du Jour: ye olde right wing proclivities for violent and dumbshit rhetoric reared their wretched heads once again.  Please do raise your hands if you're surprised.
Last summer, when organized right-wing activists were shouting down lawmakers and shutting down town-hall meetings, there was a little too much conservative talk that incorporated threats of violence. Regrettably, it hasn't gone away.

In July and August, it became unnervingly common for far-right activists to use nooses and swastikas to protest ... whatever it is that makes far-right activists so enraged. Lawmakers received death threats. Another was hanged from a noose in effigy in front of his district office.

We haven't heard as much about this of late, but the problem has obviously not gone away.
A tea party gathering in Asotin County, Washington turned more than a bit ugly on Saturday when a featured speaker actually called for the hanging of Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash), the fourth ranking Democrat in the Senate and a vulnerable re-election candidate.
"How many of you have watched the movie Lonesome Dove?," asked an unidentified female speaker from the podium. "What happened to Jake when he ran with the wrong crowd? What happened to Jake when he ran with the wrong crowd. He got hung. And that's what I want to do with Patty Murray."
Remember, this wasn't just some clown standing up in the crowd to shout nonsense, or a random nutjob talking to reporters in the parking lot. This was an invited, authorized Tea Party speaker.

What's more, the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) -- generally the biggest far-right gathering of the year -- begins today in Washington. Attendees will be invited to swing a stick at a Nancy Pelosi pinata and take their best shot at a Harry Reid punching bag.

How subtle.
I want to have just a small word with the right-wing fucktards threatening my Senator.  You may think you're very clever, referencing a movie instead of flat-out saying, "I want to hang Patty Murray by the neck until she's dead."  You're not clever.  You're not funny.  You're fucked-up, violent, small-minded little shitheels who should be locked away for the greater good of society.  You may think that democracy includes the freedom to murder those you disagree with.  It does not.  You may think such rhetoric is harmless.  It is not.  Even if you're not the one whipping out the rope, you are still responsible for planting the idea of assassination in unstable minds.  Considering just how fucking unstable the Teabaggers are, this action of yours is tantamount to crying "Fire!" in a crowded theater.

Free speech allows you to make fuckheaded statements.  Common sense and common decency would suggest you refrain.  You can denigrate a politician's policies, threaten them with defeat at the ballot box, demand law enforcement take action if you believe something illegal's happening, and describe them as the lowest of lowlifes.  You can even call them bad names.  Whatever you like.  But when you fantasize about murdering them, you've crossed a line that no responsible, sober, civic-minded citizen should cross.

That is all.

Now, let's get on with today's Dumbfuckery Du Jour, before the Muse does something very not nice.  Here's an indication of just how far the right wing has fallen:
This afternoon, the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held a debate titled “Does Security Trump Freedom?” that featured former GOP congressman and Libertarian Presidential candidate Bob Barr, Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA), and former Bush Assistant Attorney General Viet Dinh. During one point in the debate, Barr condemned the right’s call to try terror suspects exclusively in military tribunals and defended plans to try suspects in civilian courts. He then insisted that waterboarding is torture, which prompted the crowd to start booing. As they continued to boo, he pointed to the audience and asked, “How would you like to be waterboarded? Try that!”

They booed a man for calling torture torture.  How sick is that?  Just how fucked in the head do you have to be to not only believe that torture is right and good when aimed at icky brown people plucked from the fields of the Middle East on the suspicion they might possibly maybe a little be terrorists, but to boo a man for calling a torture procedure what it is?

Tell you what.  If you're booing because you think waterboarding isn't torture, let's take Bob Barr up on his suggestion.  Let's set up a nice waterboarding tank up at CPAC.  Step right up!  Volunteers only, of course, but you big macho right-wing soldiers wouldn't be too afraid to put yourself under the waterboard, would you?  After all, according to you, it's not even torture!  It's merely a splash of water in the face!  Nice and refreshing.

My goodness.  All of the little right-wingers seem to have run away.  There's no line forming.  Volunteers seem scarce on the ground.  Could that be because waterboarding is maybe, possibly just a little bit sort of fucking torture?

For bonus CPAC fuckery, see how they react to the idea that gay people might actually have a right or two.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go hang out with my Muse.  Being beaten mercilessly by a workaholic Muse is far superior to spending another five minutes contemplating the spectacular dumbfuckery that emerges from America's right wing.

17 February, 2010

The Strangeness of Writers

I've blown through something on the order of four pens since this extravaganza started.  Today, as I was working, I noticed my last remaining pen was running critically low on ink.

No problemo, said I.  Had to go to Target anyway, didn't I?  I can easily get pens at Target.  So off to Target I went.

They don't carry my favorite pen, my only pen, the Uni-Ball Signo stick pen.  All they had was the retractables.  Bugger.  But, pas de problem, Staples is on the way home.

All.  Retractables.  ARGH.

I ended up with some off-brand clone that's not clone enough.  So what do I do?  Get on Amazon and look for my pens.  Found 'em.  Ordered 'em.  Shall have them Friday.  And yes, it was worth all the extra money.  Generic's great for drugs.  Not so much for pens.  Not when you're a writer.  Writers get really particular about their pens.

Sad, innit?

Chick Flick Update

I failed to mention it because I've been busy trying to keep up with Ye Olde Muse, but I got a chance to catch Anything But Love on Monday afternoon.  It's a delight, and it actually managed to surprise me a couple of times.  Highly recommended.

Yeah, So About That Coiled Whip...

It, uh, uncoiled.  Six scene pages and seven and a half planning pages later, I'm finally allowed to drag myself off to bed, with promises that tomorrow shall be fraught.

I'd say I wished my Muse would learn how to pace the workload more reasonably, but I'm having far too much fun to complain.

16 February, 2010

Ye Olde Extended Absence Continues With This Short Break

Apologies are in order, my darlings.  I have missed you, and I've felt terribly guilty about leaving you without good political ass-whuppings, but the Muse is relentless.  Only reason she's letting me escape long enough to post tonight is because I've hit the wall.  After a week of eccentric meals, chronic insomnia, and mad scribbling, I'm finally too exhausted to respond to the crack o' her whip.

I've got nearly fifteen thousand words out of it, not counting the notebook pages I've filled up, so I'm not going to complain too much.

Moments like this are rare.  The last time this happened to me was late 2007/early 2008.  It lasts a couple of months at best, and then it's back to ye olde grind, where some days the inspiration flows freely and sometimes it's like pulling teeth just to get a single word, but never keeps me up for days on end and prevents me from so much as glancing at a political blog.  You know how bad it's gotten?  I don't even read The Washington Monthly these days. 

Well, not more than a glance, anyway.

I see from that glance that we're saying buh-bye to Bayh.  And I'm still enough of a political junkie to have clicked my heels together in glee.

We've captured the Taliban's top military commander.  Not bad for a prez who's so soft on terror, eh?

Hmmm.  Muse still has her whip coiled.  Let's see if I can sneak away to Think Progress for a bit.

GOP stimulus stupidity has gotten so over-the-top ridiculous that even the GOP's bestest cheerleaders can't bring themselves to do the rah-rah-rah thing.

Poor Glen Beck's losing all his advertisers.  Excuse me while I grab an onion so I can work up some tears for him.

Utah State Rep. Chris "Don't Stuff Teh Gay Down My Throat" Buttars now thinks that twelfth grade is superfluous to requirements.  Of course, quite a few people in Utah won't understand the last three words of that last sentence if he gets his way.

And, heart attack of the week, Dick "Darth" Cheney agrees with Obama on something.  I think I'm going to have to go have a lie-down after that bit o' news.

That, my darlings, is all the Muse will let me get away with for one evening.  Despite exhaustion, she has Ideas.  Many.  Ideas.  And we've a notebook to fill in anticipation of a day off tomorrow.

I'll see you when next I'm allowed a moment to live the life I once lived, my darlings.  Until then, know that I still love you, and think of you every day - in those brief intervals when I'm allowed to think about anything other than the story, anyway.

15 February, 2010

Epica Pics!

Gracias to my dear intrepid companion Cujo for getting these over to me so quickly!

Now, don't you wish you'd been there?  I wish you'd been there, too, my darlings!

While I'm Away...

Cujo has some good stuff up:

The Boy Who Cried Reductio Ad Hitlerium

This Just In: 55 Percent of America is Smarter Than David Broder

And a very nice Sunday Photo.

I'm sure he'll have COTEB for us soon, too, now that he's no longer fully in the nefarious clutches of his kidnappers (i.e. the people who needed volunteers for a community thing.)

I'd tell you the awesome things my other favorite bloggers have up, but Cujo's place is as far as I got before the Muse caught me and chased me off the toobz...

Back From Epica. Walking on Clouds.

Well, it's a good thing the Muse bought my line about "No, really, seeing Epica is important research."  That show was fucking incredible.  I'll have pics up when I get 'em, but for now, let me just say: Simone Simons is the single most amazing woman in metal.  If you ever wonder, listening to her vocals on the albums, if she's really that good - she is.  Dear gods, she is.

There were brilliant moments in the show that reminded me why watching bands live is so much fun.  Simone making a heart with her hands before one song.  Getting the audience to sing.  Synchronizing headbangs with the keyboardist.  And she does this floaty thing with her hair that's indescribable, but it's spectacular. 

I got to see that red hair up close and personal in the bathroom.  Alas, I was just a second too late to catch her attention, but there she was.  And there's a quality to a person like her that tells you immediately that this is not an ordinary woman walking through.  Something just a little ethereal.  She's really nice, mind you, it's not arrogance, but just that magic that comes from having spectacular talent.

Mark Jansen, the man who does the death grunts, is also muy excellente in person.  Those of you who know your death grunts know that there's a difference between those who just growl and those who sing.  He sings.  And I swear, it sounds even better live.  He's outstanding.

Fuck, they're all outstanding.  Not one among them is a merely good talent.  They're all absolute masters of their craft.  And they put on a hell of an amazing show.  They do things to the Darth Vader theme that would astound you.  I hope I find a recording someday, because that metal rendition of that theme was just beyond awesome.

I do, I do want to take the entire band home with me.  I'd happily spend the rest of my life with each and every one.  They'd have to share the place with the Peacemakers, of course.

Blackguard opened.  I hadn't been excited about them - wasn't in a death metal mood - but let me just say this: what Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers are to southwestern rock, Blackguard is to death metal.  They have the same energy and excitement on stage, the same appreciation for their fans, the same joy in getting everybody together for a hell of a show.  I fell in love with them, too.  I'll be seeing them again one of these times they swing through.

That's about it for news from here, my darlings.  The Muse once again kicked me out of bed bright and early, and when I asked if I could possibly have a look at The Washington Monthly at least, cracked the whip and screamed, "NEIN!"  So I spent the four and a half hours before folks came over for the show writing my heart out.  Ten pages, no less.  Ten rather dialogue-heavy pages (which is why I got nearly as many written in four hours as I did in fifteen the other day), but ten nonetheless.

Home from the show, I fixed the CD drive on the computer, which had suddenly decided to go invisible, and got me new CD copied in.  It's a project called Sons of Seasons, and it's got folks from Epica, Kamelot, and Metalium on it.  That's something I shall be greatly enjoying tomorrow evening, once my hearing's back to nearly normal.  Now, it's off to obey the Muse for another hour or so before bed.  And tomorrow, aside from posting Epica pics if I get them, you probably won't hear from me, because she's threatening another fifteen hour day.

I promise I'll beat up some politicians for you by Wednesday.

In the meantime, if you get the chance to see Epica, don't miss it.

14 February, 2010


That's all I've been hearing.

Me: "Can I blog a little bit now?"

Muse: "NEIN!"

Me: "Can I stop for dinner?"

Muse: "NEIN!"

Me: "Can't I please just have a little bit of sleep?"

Muse: "NEIN!"  A whip cracks.  A writer whimpers.  And then comes the tippity-tap of fingers frantically pounding keys.

I've only been able to sneak a peek at The Washington Monthly in between calls at work, and furtively followed Pharyngula when the Muse finally lets me shovel a wee bit o' food into my mouth.  I actually caught a fleeting glimpse of Think Progress earlier, but then the Muse found out, and let's just say she's a fast woman with a whip.

She's going to let me go see Epica tonight.  But that's only after some begging, pleading, and promising it was mostly for research purposes.

I don't even get to read books anymore...

And I miss you guys.

Oshit, she saw me.  "Coming, darling!" 

*Fading sound of a writer's running footsteps as a whip cracks once again.*

12 February, 2010

Muse Still Wearing Jack Boots

It's going to be a long weekend...

15 1/2 Hours. 19 Pages

I won't know if they're good, bad or indifferent pages until the initial shock has worn off.  But at least they're pages.  Of an actual sequence of scenes. even.

I think I shall go fall over now.  Buh-bye.

Thirteen Hours

I have an infinitesimal window of time here to advise you that my characters put me to work at about eleven this morning, and have only now given me a brief break in which to shovel food into my gullet, watch a few moments of Alias, and inform you that politics are not happening. 

I'll see you when they're done.

If they're ever done...


11 February, 2010

How You Know You're a Geologist at Heart

When you're watching a movie, and during one of those beautiful scene-setting shots with the house perched on the sea cliffs, you catch your breath and whisper, "Ye gods, look at that tilted strata!  I could live there just for that!"  And then you drool over the way erosion has exposed the bedding planes.

Any geologist who's seen The Shipping News probably knows precisely which shot I'm talking about.

Oh, Claire! What a Glorious Smackdown You've Got!

More smackdowns from Dems like this, please:
It's not always easy being a Democratic politician from Missouri. The Republican-controlled state government there pulls no punches attacking Democrats in Washington--and by extension Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO)--for reckless spending, even as Missouri itself, bruised by recession, benefits from that spending. Well, now she's hitting back.

McCaskill has written a sharply-worded letter to two particularly critical Missouri state legislators. The letter, dated February 9, takes the lawmakers to task for blasting the stimulus while using the funds to help bridge the state's budget gap. She writes, "I have noticed that you and many of your colleagues have been highly critical of some of the emergency spending that has gone on since the financial meltdown in September 2008."
[A]s I consider your suggestions, especially regarding the stimulus program, I need additional information. You are about to use almost a billion dollars in stimulus dollars in your current budgeting process. Please advise me as soon as possible what cuts you would recommend to your committees and the rest of the legislature to make up for these funds if we decided to rescind the unspent stimulus funds.
There's more.  There's so much more, and it is beautiful, and if Dems could just keep punching like this, the GOP would end up on the ropes with no idea what hit them.

If you'll excuse me, I'm going to go gaze upon her masterpiece once more, and I might even cry at the beauty of it all.

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

I honestly don't know how the fuck you can have a functional democracy when so many of the voting citizens are totally clueless.  I can understand why they wouldn't want to pay attention to politics - it's an endless exercise in frustration, and the stupidity ratio is far higher than any thinking human being should be forced to endure - but people need to at least pay enough attention to realize that while Senate Dems are, by and large, spineless cowards, the Cons are cons.  Let's just consider something:
The Senate voted yesterday on Craig Becker's nomination to serve on the National Labor Relations Board. There was no doubt about his qualifications, but conservatives don't like unions, and Becker has spent his adult life working to protect the interests of America's workers. As a result, Republicans did what they always do -- they launched a filibuster.

Yesterday afternoon, the Senate voted to end debate and make a decision on the nomination. A total of 52 senators supported Becker, while 33 were opposed (several senators missed the vote due to a blizzard). 

Because madness has begun overcoming our political system, when the vote is 52 to 33, the 33 votes win.
Knowing that a recess appointment is a distinct possibility, Republicans immediately began calling on the White House to resist the temptation. One senator was especially amusing.
Republicans immediately called on Mr. Obama not to place Mr. Becker on the board in that fashion.
"I sincerely hope the White House does not circumvent the will of the Senate by appointing him when the Senate is out of session," Senator Orrin Hatch, Republican of Utah, said.
Think about that. Hatch wants the president to respect the "will of the Senate" -- which means listening to the 33-vote minority and ignoring the 52-vote majority.
The Constitution, for those who still care about that document, doesn't require the Senate to pull together 60 votes on ever single fucking issue.  It doesn't consider 33 Senators to constitute a "majority."  And 33 fucking assclowns do no a "will of the Senate" make.  Except that Harry Reid is too fucking limp to require these dumbshits to actually filibuster, and somehow the Cons are good enough con artists that they've made the fucking country forget that, in fact, a majority used to constitute "the will of the Senate."  Why, just a few short years ago, 52 Senators voting in lock-step would've meant legislation passing, appointees appointed, and things moving right along.

Time to remember that again.

Another thing to remember is that Cons are complete fucking retards when it comes to national security.  Let's run down today's list, shall we?

Cons are upset over being called out on their lies, so more and more of them are calling for John Brennan's head:
Republicans have responded to Brennan’s pushback with incredulity. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, citing former Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen’s misunderstanding of the facts, called Brennan “troubling” on Fox News yesterday. Rep. Peter King (R-NY) called Brennan an “egomaniac.” Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) declared Brennan “needs to go,” and is no longer “credible.” On Fox News today, Hoekstra, who repeatedly referred to Brennan as a “White House staffer” as opposed to an intelligence “professional,” said Obama should “fire” him.

Unintentionally, Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade summed up the situation perfectly this morning when he said that Bond and Hoekstra had told him on the radio yesterday that “they’re just astounded and befuddled that” Brennan “continues to dig like this and act so political in condemning everybody else for acting political.”

So.  They're calling for the ouster of a 25-year vet of the CIA, a man eminently qualified for the job he's in, because he's not afraid to tell the truth.  That's so fucking pathetic it's indescribable.  And as for making Cons the world's experts on national security, well.  I think it points up just how serious they are.

But wait!  There's more!

Yesterday, asked by Jon Stewart why it was okay to Mirandize Richard Reid but not the Christmas Day plotter, Gingrich replied: “Richard Reid was an American citizen.” Called out on his mistake, Gingrich Tweeted this afternoon:
On daily show was wrong re: ShoeBomber citizenship, was thinking of Padilla. Treating terrorists like criminals wrong no matter who is Pres.
If it’s true that Gingrich confused Reid and Padilla, that’s a pretty colossal blunder. The shoe bomber was Mirandized within the first five minutes of his detention. Padilla, by contrast, was held as an enemy combattant for three and a half years before being convicted in civilian courts.

What’s more, Gingrich’s explanation doesn’t make much sense on its face. Yesterday, he suggested it was okay to Mirandize a terror suspect provided he were an American citizen. Today, he seemed to transfer that opinion onto Padilla in his Tweet — but then in the very next sentence added that treating any and all terrorists like criminals is wrong in all cases, no matter who is president.

So either Gingrich is conceding it was wrong to try Padilla in civilian court — which would appear to be a concession that Bush did this too. Or he’s saying it was okay to do so because Padilla is an American citizen — even as he’s simultaneously claiming it’s always wrong to treat terrorists as criminals. Or maybe Gingrich doesn’t think Padilla is a terrorist?

Or maybe Newtie's just a big fat fucking hypocrite who doesn't give two tugs on a dead dog's dick about national security.  I'll leave it to your imaginations.

But that's not all!
On close scrutiny, this week's intense debate over Miranda rights for Umar Abdulmutallab -- culminating in GOP calls for a top Obama aide to resign -- largely falls apart.

The key point of dispute -- whether four Republican leaders should have assumed that the Christmas bombing suspect had been Mirandized after a phone call from Obama aide John Brennan, in which the GOPers were told that Abdulmutallab was in FBI custody -- is moot in light of the facts of the case.

That call occurred sometime in the evening of Christmas Day after the incident in the skies above Detroit. The Republicans maintained this week, in sniping eagerly picked up by the media, that the phone calls from Brennan were brief and informal, and they had no way of knowing that the suspect was read his rights.

What's been lost in the debate is that on the afternoon of the very next day, Dec. 26, the Justice Department announced Abdulmutallab had been criminally charged in federal court. At that point, less than 24 hours after the Brennan phone calls, there could be no doubt not only that the suspect was being handled by the criminal justice system, but also that he had been read his rights. 

But none of the four Republicans made an issue out of it until at least several days after criminal charges were brought, according to our search of news archives.
What this basically means is that until they saw a chance for a political attack on the President and Dems, they didn't give a shit whether the Crotchfire Bomber was read his rights or not, or charged in civilian courts or not.  This shit was totally normal under Bush, so it didn't occur to them to start screaming right away.  Which means, my dear friends, that the only reason for the squalling now is because they have this knee-jerk reaction to anything Obama does, and don't give a rat's ass about actual national security.

But I'm still not done!  Today, we have a special gift with your order for stupid fucking Cons - Bond.  Dumb Bond:
Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) has been one of the leading GOP attack dogs against the Obama administration when it comes to national security policy. He's not doing the Republican Party any favors -- the poor guy has no idea what he's talking about.
Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) struggled on Wednesday to distinguish between the Obama Administration's handling of Christmas bombing suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and Bush's similar handling of shoe-bomber Richard Reid in an appearance on MSNBC's "Daily Rundown."
It was a rather humiliating display. Bond suggested Deputy National Security Adviser John Brennan was responsible for the FBI reading Abdulmutallab his rights, a claim that doesn't make any sense. When the hosts noted that Bond was silent when Bush/Cheney handled the Richard Reid and Zacarias Moussaoui cases the same way Obama is handling the Abdulmutallab case now, Bond said, "It's a lot different time," as if the American system of justice changed was overhauled after 2006 (it wasn't).

The conservative senator argued, "We now have military commissions." When reminded that we had military commissions then, too, Bond ignored the correction and stuck to his error. He added that it was a "bad idea" to try Reid and Moussaoui in federal courts, but couldn't explain why.

Before anyone feels sorry for this clown, and thinks it's unfair to criticize the doddering senator for being so hopelessly confused, remember that Kit Bond is currently the ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. It's his job to be informed, coherent, and aware of current events. He's failing in those responsibilities miserably.
If that sounds familiar, it's because Cons fail in all their responsibilities miserably.

For those of you who want the deluxe package of Con stupidity today, I've got Rep. Steve King, who must be quoted to be believed:

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) has been busy promoting the "Declaration of Health Care Independence," which he helped formulate with Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN). And King says there are some clear physical similarities between this document and its namesake, the original Declaration of Independence.

"It's actually set up on parchment paper in Old-English longhand writing script," King told Radio Iowa. "It actually looks like the Declaration (of Independence) and it says a lot of things like the Declaration."
Wow.  I never knew that's all it takes to make something go from total dumbfuckery to genius document.  Why, that's almost as genius as Rep. Paul Ryan's budget antics:
House GOP's top budget guy Paul Ryan (R-WI) claims that his tax-cutting, Medicare and Social Security slashing fiscal roadmap would restore the federal budget to balance over a number of decades...and the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has his back. But on close inspection, it turns out that CBO took much of its analytical lead from Ryan himself, dramatically skewing the numbers. 

For their analysis Ryan provided CBO with a remarkable assumption: he asked CBO actuaries to assume that the major tax cuts he calls for won't create any change in federal revenue over the next two decades--at all. 

Here's how they put it, in budget-ese: "As specified by your staff, for this analysis total federal tax revenues are assumed to equal those under [current fiscal policy]," the analysis reads.

There are just a couple major problems with that. According to Jim Horney, a tax expert at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, it doesn't account for the tremendous loss in revenues the government would experience if, as Ryan's plan calls for, the Bush tax cuts were extended and the Alternative Minimum Tax and estate tax were repealed.

Why, it would seem that Cons are all about the sizzle and never deliver the fucking steak, wouldn't it?  They're nothing but snake oil salesman, quacks of the highest caliber.  They've got nothing to offer except bullshit in Old English font on pretty parchment paper, budgets scored with the stipulation that reality be ignored, and positions on national security that would be laughable if they weren't so disgusting and dangerous.

So, dear uninformed voters, I do indeed understand why you aren't paying close attention to politics.  Life is short, and it's a depressing subject.  But remember this one thing: only one party is currently somewhat sane.  Only one party is trying to bring you a real steak dinner, even if we end up having to content ourselves with chuck rather than ribeye, while the other party wants to serve you nothing more than mesquite-flavored cardboard chunks and call it gourmet.

Please wise the fuck up and don't fall for the fucktards.

10 February, 2010

Suffering for my Art

I mean, really suffering.  Unfortunately, I do know what possessed me to watch Never Been Kissed - we're on a chick flick kick, it was on teevee, and it's got Michael Vartan in it.

Words cannot express how much I love Michael Vartan.  I just wish they'd cast him in an actual decent movie.  This movie was decent by a strict definition - as in, not pornographic.  As for having a good script or much of anything else to recommend it (outside of Michael Vartan), not so much.

I have, fortunately, survived this experience.  But I'm left wondering just why the fuck that got played Valentine's week, while a movie that, by all reports (thank you, dear readers), is one of the greatest chick flicks of all times isn't being played on teevee anywhere.  These idiots are going to force me to extract my butt from my house and go rent the fucking thing.

Next time I purchase a computer, I'm getting one that will actually hook up to the teevee so I can get a Netflix account and not have to wait for movies to arrive by mail.  Argh.

Tomorrow night, thankee gods, we have Solaris.  I know it's not a chick flick.  I'm fucking grateful it's not a chick flick.  I can't wait to watch something that's not a chick flick.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go watch a scene or two from Alias to try to get my inspiration back.  That is, after all, the reason for the endless chick flicks and other movies. 

The things a writer must suffer in order to get the Muse babbling.  I'm starting to wonder if it's really worth it.

Utah Can't be Serious

I saw this over the weekend, and meant to highlight it, but then there was the Telepalmer incident and afterward my characters dragged me away.  But as far as outrageously fucking insane stupid shit pulled by legislators, you can't get much more outrageously fucking insane as the Utah House:
On Thursday, the Utah House Natural Resources Committee passed a resolution expressing the legislature’s belief that “climate alarmists’ carbon dioxide-related global warming hypothesis is unable to account for the current downturn in global temperatures.” The resolution, which now goes to the full House for a vote, urges the EPA to not regulate pollution blamed for climate change “until a full and independent investigation of the climate data conspiracy and global warming science can be substantiated.” When some members of the committee questioned the “conspiracy” wording as “pretty inflammatory,” Rep. Mike Noel (R) claimed that climate change is “in fact a conspiracy to limit population not only in this country but across the globe”...
I'm struggling to describe just how seriously fucking insane this shit is.  I don't think we can call these people unhinged - they don't appear to have ever been hinged to begin with.  My own dear mother was more coherent back before she got diagnosed and treated for her bipolar disorder, and the toaster was telling her that people were going to come take her away.  I mean, at least the toaster was right.*

And then we had the raving bunch of nitwits who were oh, so delighted by D.C. getting snowed in, and continue to crow that it means global warming isn't happening.  Listen: you may be playing dumbfuck games in the snow.  Out here in Seattle, we're experiencing one of the warmest winters in memory.  Haven't seen so much as a flake of snow.  And we're going to have some seriously fucked frogs if things return to normal, because they've gotten all excited and think it's late March.  Here's how global warming works, you fucktards:

In reality, winter snows do not invalidate the reality that the planet just experienced the hottest decade on record. Scientists have been warning for decades that global warming would increase the severity of winter storms. 

This past January was the warmest January on record for the planet. And as National Wildlife Federation climate scientist Amanda Staudt notes, winter storms are getting fiercer even as the season gets warmer. “The last few years have brought several unusually heavy snowstorms as warmer and moister air over southern states has penetrated further north, colliding with bitter cold air masses,” she explains.
But that's probably too sciency for these fucktards.  So, here's some helpful analogies for the terminally hard-of-thinking:

You visit the casino every month for a year.  You lose $5,000 in January, February, March, April, May, June, and July, then win a $5,000 jackpot in August, lose $5,000 in September, October, and November, then win a $20,000 jackpot in December.  You've still lost $25,000 fucking dollars, and on average, you are a fucking loser.  Just because you win big a couple of times doesn't mean you're beating the fucking house.

Or, try this: you spend January, February, March, April, May, June and July in a drunken stupor.  In August, you get thrown in jail for public indecency with a farm animal.  Then when you get out in September, you spend the next three months in a drunken stupor before spending two weeks in December sober because you got hospitalized for falling down the stairs while drunk, after which you are released and spend the final week in December guzzling down liquor.  Yes, you had six weeks of sobriety, but you're still a fucking alcoholic.

Understand?  No?  Sigh.  Well, some people do get beaten to death by the stupid stick at birth, and there's just not that much we can do about it.  But shame on the shitheels who do know better, and play this "it's snowing so it can't be global warming!" game so that their polluter buddies can go on polluting, and so that they can get votes from the reality-oblivious.

Let me just say one last thing, and it's to those who, like Inhofe's press secretary, think their own dumbshit "jokes" are funny.  Let me tell you something: it's not a fucking joke.  Especially not for those whose nations are literally vanishing beneath rising seas.

We could do with a lot less crazy, a lot less "joking," and a fuck of a lot more legislators actually acting like responsible adults.

*For those of you worried I'm disrespecting me mudder, she laughs hardest at that joke.  She's not afraid to have fun at the expense of the bad old days.

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

I don't know what it is, but lately, the right-wing noise machine just seems like one droning whine.  Ah, right, that's because it is.  They never say anything new, they throw the same fits in endless minor variation, and aside from Palin's Telepalmer (thank you, Think Progress!), it's been endlessly dull.

But I have to admit, it's always nice to see a Con blink.  And while Sen. Shelby's trying to pretend otherwise, he most certainly blinked:
It was one of the more audacious gambits of the 111th Congress -- Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) placed a blanket hold on several dozen administration nominees, holding them hostage until the senator was paid off in earmarked pork.

Yesterday, Shelby backed off -- for the most part.
Senator Richard Shelby, the Republican from Alabama, today lifted many of his holds on nominations to administration posts by President Obama that require Senate confirmation.
The move may temper a threat by Democratic leaders in the Senate -- and even the White House -- that the administration would make recess appointments during next week's Presidents' Day break, bucking any notion of senators' approval.
Or it may not. Shelby released his blanket hold on all pending nominees, but he's still blocking President Obama's choices for the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force; Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics; and Under Secretary of the Air Force.

The Pentagon needs those offices filled, and can't wait for a far-right senator -- who claims to want less government spending -- to get paid off in pork. 
I do believe he realized that the optics of this situation were truly awful.  I'm disappointed, myself.  He was such fun to kick around while he lasted.

Ah, well, we'll always have Sarah.  Yes, she embarrassed herself againAnd again.  So much for motivational speaking, then, not to mention basic reading comprehension.  Good thing she uses a Telepalmer instead of a Teleprompter, eh?

Speaking of blinking, Cantor and Boehner decided they'd hold the health care reform meeting hostage to right-wing demands.  The White House looked at the list of "give up all your progress and principles and then maybe we'll talk" demands and said, "No."  Which, of course, is what they should've been saying from the beginning.  So, will the Cons then ditch the meeting?  Well, after getting called "silly" by none other than Bill Kristol, and advised that the optics of claiming to want to work on solutions whilst steadfastly refusing to actually work on solutions are a bit damaging, and seeing as how news broke of a five year-old denied life-saving cancer treatment on the grounds it's experimental only to be approved for a separate, cheaper treatment that's - gasp - also experimental, it appears Cantor and Boehner'll be going, after all.  Imagine that.  And the Administration didn't even have to give in to all their demands!

Let this be an important lesson.

Meanwhile, Michele Bachmann's been bringing on the crazy.  She sez we'll be cursed - cursed, I tell you! - if we don't support Israel.  Oh, and she wants to wean everybody off Social Security.  Because nothing sez freedom like old ladies reduced to living in boxes and eating out of the trash!

I can't believe this batshit insane freak is actually a legislator.

So what happens when Cons get called out in clear and simple terms for being baldfaced fucking liars?  Why, they demand the resignation of the man audacious enough to correct them!

Observe.  Here's John Brennan beating their talking points bloody:
John Brennan, President Obama's senior counterterrorism adviser, has, as Adam Serwer noted this morning, "become the point man for the administration's pushback against GOP criticism on national security. " That appears to be a good move -- Brennan does not suffer fools gladly.

The former CIA official was forceful and persuasive on the Sunday shows over the weekend, and has a brief-but-compelling op-ed in USA Today. It's not quite 400 words, but Brennan's piece identifies the main Republican complaints of late, and then explains how wrong they are.
And Cons screaming and sniveling:
It must be a day that ends in "y" -- a clownish far-right lawmaker is calling for another administration official to resign.
Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) called on Deputy National Security Advisor John Brennan's resignation on Tuesday.
Bond said Brennan, with whom he's tangled publicly over the Obama administration's handling of the attempted bombing of a flight on Christmas, to resign.
Brennan "needs to go," Bond said in an interview with National Review Online, a stance that was confirmed later by a spokeswoman.
I can appreciate why Bond is annoyed. The Republican senator has been blatantly lying about most aspects of national security policy quite a bit lately, and Brennan has had the audacity to explain reality to the public. Imagine that.

But when Republicans wonder why it's impossible to take them seriously on matters of public policy, they should remember that the ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee has called on the president's senior counterterrorism adviser to resign for having committed the awful crime of being correct.
Well, geez, y'know, we can't have that.  Otherwise, people might realize that Cons are a bunch of lying, conniving fuckwits, and might get disgusted with them, and then voters might actually elect people who will do right by the country rather than try to destroy the entire fucking thing so that their super-rich buddies can feed off the carcass, and, well, that would just be awful.

And, finally, it's taken them awhile, but the Cons have finally come up with a retort to Obama's demonstrable effectiveness at hunting down terrorists:
I suppose it was only a matter of time before far-right voices started criticizing President Obama for having too much success killing terrorists. Here's former Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen, writing, "Dead Terrorists Tell No Tales."
The CIA reportedly succeeded in killing the head of the Pakistani Taliban -- the most recent in a flurry of drone attacks the agency has launched in South Asia and the Middle East. Another strike in Pakistan reportedly took out one of the FBI's most wanted terrorists; another in Pakistan took out a master bomb-maker for the al Qaeda affiliate in the Philippines, Abu Sayyaf; and a strike in Yemen targeted a senior military leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the group behind the Christmas Day attack (his fate has yet to be determined).
President Barack Obama's escalation of drone strikes is one area in the counterterrorism fight where he has earned plaudits from even his most vocal critics on the right. Hold the applause. Obama's escalation of the "Predator War" comes at the very same time he has eliminated the CIA's capability to capture senior terrorist leaders alive and interrogate them for information on new attacks.
I see. The conservative line for the better part of a year is that President Obama isn't doing enough to go after terrorists. Reality shows the exact opposite is true, but for the right, this is an inconvenient detail best ignored.
If Thiessen's piece is any indication, however, the argument is now shifting. President Obama is doing too much to go after terrorists, and is taking out too many bad guys before they can be captured and tortured.

I can see the campaign slogans now: "Vote GOP: Obama kills too many terrorists."
I think I'm going to put that on my bumper this year.  Anyone have any other "Vote GOP" stickers that spring to mind?  I'll take a look at them after I'm done slamming my head into my desk.

08 February, 2010

The Cantinera Is Out

Alas, my darlings, no beating up political nitwits today.  My characters are babbling, we just got done watching My Life in Ruins, and, well.

(For those wondering, My Life in Ruins is kitschy as hell, but it's cute.  Oh, and the lead actor?  Haaawt.

And no, it hasn't been all chick flicks all the time.  I watched The Constant Gardner last night.  Excellent movie and I recommend it.  Especially for those needing a break from unrelenting cuteness.)

I'll return when the cast and crew shut up, or when another bit of stupidity as delightful as Sarah Palin's palm happens.  In the meantime, I'm opening the floor to non-chick flick recommendations.

(Additional note: for those of you wondering what happened to COTEB, Cujo got kidnapped by people needing volunteers.  He'll get to it just as soon as he escapes.  Wish him luck.)

Have a wonderful Tuesday, my darlings!

07 February, 2010

Palin Becomes a Parody of Herself

Okay, okay, even more of a parody of herself.

And I didn't even believe it.  I couldn't believe it.  I mean, Sarah Palin's a ginormous fucking fool, one of the most unintelligent people in the known universe, but I thought she had a tiny spark of intelligence there somewhere.  I mean, at least enough to be able to memorize basic talking points and spit them back out. 

I stand corrected:
Tonight, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin spoke to the National Tea Party Convention in Nashville, TN, an event that was ditched by other high-profile Republicans who disliked its for-profit model. After her speech, organizer Judson Phillips asked Palin several questions. One of them was about what needs to be done when there is a “conservative House and a conservative Senate.” Palin jumped right in and said, “We’ve got to rein in the spending, obviously.” However, she then seemed to forget her next talking point and glanced down at her left hand, as if there were notes she had scribbled down. She went on to talk about “energy projects.” 
Crib notes.  On her fucking hand.  I ask you.

When I saw the story on Think Progress, I admit I was skeptical.  This had to be some sort of joke perpetrated by some left-wing wag.  No politicians with national stature, former vice presidential candidates no less, have to have talking points scribbled on their hands.

So I went to the HuffPo link, and found this photo:

I'm not the world's expert on doctored photos, so I have to go by plausibility.  And this wasn't plausible.  I didn't think I'd be able to track down the original wire service photo, and even if I had, well, reporters have gotten up to hijinks chasing a story before.  So I decided I'd have to go into the lion's den in my search for evidence.

That's right.  I searched for video posted by a right-wing site.  And no shit, there it was, clear as day:

Click to enlarge, and note the fact that she does, indeed, have shit scribbled on her hand.  I nearly damaged myself laughing.  I hope you all didn't need a trip to the ER.

Yesterday, Greg Sargent said, "Palin is set to take only pre-screened questions at today’s Tea Party (though it’s unclear if she’s seen them). She can’t face spontaneous questions even from Tea Partiers?"  Apparently, we have our answer.

Here's the takeaway:
The takeaway is that this presidential contender apparently can't remember her supposed core principles and needs a cheat-sheet when simply asked about her beliefs.
"Sad" and "pathetic" just don't even seem to cover it.

I'm left with two distinct possibilities.  Either Sarah Palin's one of the dumbest Cons ever to hit the national stage, or she's a liberal operative working under deep cover on a mission to destabilize and destroy the right from within.  One almost hopes for the latter, simply because seeing a woman this fucking stupid attempt to answer basic questions from a friendly audience and fail so epically is a horrifying experience.  It makes me feel ashamed to be a female.  And it gives me the serious willies, thinking this motherfucking idiot may have been next in line for the Presidency.

But this shit's still hilarious.

And a Chaser

Must Love Dogs.  What a thing to follow up American Psycho with, eh?

Look.  I needed a genuine chick flick.  All right?  Anybody got a problem?  So what if it was predictable and cheesy as hell.  And it's work.  Really.  It is.  I'm, uh, researching what not to do when it comes to telling the Greatest Love Story of All Time. 

And you'll hear no complaints from my end.  I got some mapping work done and got hit with a major revelation.  Not bad for a movie night.

But if anybody wants to recommend some actually really good, well-written, well-acted romantic films (if such a thing even exists), I will not be ungrateful if you should mention them in comments.