Monday, September 29, 2008

Their Dark Materials

Via Boing Boing, author Philip Pullman unloads on religious censors, with aplomb:

My basic objection to religion is not that it isn't true; I like plenty of things that aren't true. It's that religion grants its adherents malign, intoxicating and morally corrosive sensations.

Destroying intellectual freedom is always evil, but only religion makes doing evil feel quite so good.
I've never seen it put quite so well.

L'Shana Tova, Motherfuckers!

As a special service to all the MOTs holding it down out in DCeiverland this fine Rosh Hashanah, we reproduce - as a PUBLIC SERVICE! - this holiday-themed rendition of Nelly's "Ride Wit' Me," as reimagined by two friends of mine.

A Special Rosh Hashanah Message

If you wanna blow shofar wit me
We be trippin' on the bimah with the tzitzit
Rosh Hashanah, my favorite holiday
HEY! Apples and honey!

[Verse 1]In the shul on a Friday night, feelin' right
Lookin' tryin' to make kiddush real nice
Lookin' for a little yenta I know so that I can take home (I can take home)
She can be 13, bat mitzvahed keepin' kashrut
Or 16, confirmation comin' real soon
But as long as you a jewwy-jewwy-jew, Girl, you know that it's on (know that it's on)
I peep someone comin' towards the Torah
Doing the Hora
Sayin' she was buggin', needed help with her Haftorah

So when Shlomo, can we go, how could I tell her no?
Her aliyah was next month in 5794 (ninety-foh)
I like the white kepah you wear
And I like those tefillin in your hair
I like the way the light hit your Chai and glare
And I can see you boo from way over there

[Chorus]

[Verse 2]
Face the torah, not your back, don't know how to act
Without 10 people for the minyan, she ain't comin'back.
I said you should hear the kid hiss
When I do a bris
When Hashem's the limit and the goyim can't get past this.
Watch me as I daven, to Genesis the books change.
It feel strange now
Makin' a livin off the Torah, 'stead of shame now
I got the schnoz from my momma got the knowledge in my brain now
Damn shit done changed now
Runnin' brises with no shame now
I feel the fame now (come on), I can't complain now (no mo)
Shit I'm the mayne now, in and out the shul now
I'm gettin pages outta New Jersey, from Rachel B.
Tellin me about an aufruf up in NYC
And can I make it? Damn right, I be on the next flight
Unless it's Shabbos, then I'm not, and I won't turn on the lights!

[Chorus 2x]

[Verse 3]
Check, check -- yo, I know something you might know
But I got somethin' to tell ya
You won't believe the mishuganahs doubted the flow
Most said that I had no chutzpah
But now the same congregation givin' me the dough
And I'm blowing the t'kiyah
Yo Rabbi can we get tickets next Yom Kippo'?
Oy vay, what is this, nu?
Hey yo, now that I'm a rabbi, and I wear a chai
Cantors wanna know why, why I'm so fly
But yo it's all good, big ark, all wood
Do it like you should, lulavs good, etrogs good
We be them stud Jews
Wishin' you was Jews
Poppin' like we not kneelers,
Sippin' 'Schevitz, bubbe-mackin'
I went to Israel, worked on the Kibbutz,
While yo mama told you "Honey, wipe off that schmutz!"
So if Shorty want some lox, I'll cut her some fish,
And if Shorty want a nosh, I'll give her a Ritz,
And if Shorty wanna shop, I'll take her to Fifth,
Shorty wanna marry goyim, she won't be missed.
Temple talk, Rabbi listen
Rabbi talk, temple listen
When I do my sermon then you best pay attention,
I drink wine, never Cris, open Torah, make a fist,
Yentas lookin' all they wish,
Come on Shlomo, gimme kiss!

[Chorus 2x]

F ROMO

"I love it. That's the last game the Redskins will ever play in this [expletive] stadium. How about that!"
--Bubba Tyer, Head Trainer, Washington Redskins
Coach Jim Zorn placed the team's trainers on equal footing in dispensing praise today, and with good reason--in the Dallas swelter, they were fighting cramps like they were Anaprax.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Holy Tango Of Accidental Alimentary Canal Closures

Earlier this year, while working at the Rorschach show at the Warehouse, my friend Gwen came by, and, as she often does, told this hilarious true-life story from her life as an actress who sometimes pretends to be a pregnant woman, so that would be doctors can perform pretend procedures on her. Now, according to the Pyggies, it would seem that one of those doctors has made to the big time in Baltimore.* THE WRONG DOCTOR.


*Naturally, I mean "the big time" relative to Baltimore.

The Audacity of Dopes: The Handbags And The Gladrags That Your Grandad Had To Sweat So You Could Buy.

Watching Chris Matthews' post-debate analysis, I was struck by how unconvinced he was by Obama's ability to connect with working-class Americans - mainly because he was the only one on stage that bothered to mount such an attempt. Anyway, at one point, Matthews was telling some Obama flack that he thought the candidate needed to do better at reaching out to "working-class people from Scranton." But that's RIDICULOUS. I've been watching this documentary series about working-class Scrantonites on teevee for a few years, and if you ask me, they really seem like a bunch of venal dumbasses.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Every Single Thing In Your Life Is Going To Hell: One Bank Understands

Videogum's Lindsay directs us to this utterly wackpuppy commercial for HSBC Bank. It's all a little much to take, but to my mind, if there's a bank out there that understands that most Americans are facing the prospect of living in trees without access to a bathroom, constantly fighting with the post-posse comitatus police, as grim faced lumberjacks harvest every single last natural resource we have in order to pay China back, then FUCK IT. Do I get a toaster when I open my account? Could I just have some GODDAMNED TOAST?

Directed by Mike Gravel, obvs.

On The Ongoing Dialogue Twixt Pot And Kettle

Portfolio's Jeff Bercovici sums up his thoughts on the writings of Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi:

The only real achievement of writing like this is to encourage already like-minded readers to congratulate themselves on their superior tastes and disdain for the other side.
I can see Bercovici's point. Of course, that sentence may as well be a summary of Portfolio's entire business model.

The Audacity of Dopes: Footprints

From Bait and Switch:

Sarah Palin: But Jesus, there's only one set of footprints in the oval office carpet.

Jesus: That is when I picked you up and carried you...as far the fuck away from the red nuke button as possible, you dumbass.

The Audacity Of Dopes: You Can't Spell Palin Without Pain...Searing, Soul-Mutilating Pain

Jesus wept!


Watch CBS Videos Online

Wow. Just...wow. You know, for a while there, in the days that followed hard upon Sarah Palin being unleashed, unexpectedly, into our lives, the big story was how the press was in mad pursuit of the Alaska Governor, desperate to get within fifteen feet of the vice-presidential candidate, let alone ask her a question or two. Everyone was doing their best to beat a path toward her.

But now, let's face it, I fully expect reporters to start racing away in the opposite direction. I just don't now where Couric gets the fortitude to go on and on, interviewing this woman. From what I've seen of the Palin/Couric interactions, Couric demonstrates that she's made of sterner stuff than I. I can tell you, with certainty, that within three minutes of talking to Flailin' Palin, I would have stood up and said, "Look. Ms. Palin, no disrespect, but I just cannot go on like this. I mean...you have got to be kidding me. My God. You can't possibly want this to continue." In the spirit of not wanting to watch tiny woodland creatures get strangled, we simply cannot continue to point cameras at this woman.

No, But Let's Totally Hand Over $700 Billion With No Oversight Whatsoever! What Could Go Wrong?

Stop these idiot fucks, please:

A former Iraqi official estimated yesterday that more than $13 billion meant for reconstruction projects in Iraq was wasted or stolen through elaborate fraud schemes.

Salam Adhoob, a former chief investigator for Iraq's Commission on Public Integrity, told the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, an arm of the Democratic caucus, that an Iraqi auditing bureau "could not properly account for" the money.

While many of the projects audited "were not needed -- and many were never built," he said, "this very real fact remains: Billions of American dollars that paid for these projects are now gone."

The Audacity Of Dopes: PRESIDENTING MAKES HEAD ALL HURTY!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Here's Something Good!

SHORN ALPACAS. These are some seriously adorable motherfuckers. [Via.]

Meet The New Boss

If there was a clearly defined upside to the fall of Lehman Brothers, it was that maybe midtown Manhattan would at last be rid of its horrible and garish LCD screen that encircled the bottom three floors of their building. Keith Gessen, actually, has more on these screens, which he describes as "unbelievably bright and borderline criminal," which actually sounds like a good title for a future Jonathan Safran Foer novel.

Well, as you can see, Barclays seems to be fully intent upon destroying the retinae of passersby. It's a pity. (Via Dealbreaker)

Giant Sucking Sound In DC Will Again Finish Out Of The Pennant Race

Not much has changed in my relationship with these people calling themselves the "Washington Nationals." I'm not entirely against their existence, since they've been a fairly reliable contributor to the St. Louis win column. But I remain pretty sure that this team from Montreal will, like other attempts at DC baseball that occurred before I was born (hence the necessity of having to go out of town to become a baseball fan), eventually end up in some other city, and I'll likely live to see it.

Anyway, my attention was drawn to this column by Marc Fisher, and somehow, I managed my way through it. Honest to God, the need for all those paragraphs on the state of the Nationals is about as great as the need for 20,000 of those seats at the team's stadium (seriously, could we have not have saved money by excluding a few thousand of those seats? Phillies fans just aren't interested in occupying them on a regular basis!). I can basically sum up what's going on with the Nationals like so.

First, while those that do are obviously the most persistent and vocal whining fucksticks in the area, Washingtonians just really do not give a rat's ass about baseball. The Senators? Just not that popular. The first iteration of the Senators consistently lagged behind the AL average, exceeding only in 1925, 1931, 1933, and 1943. Most years it was pretty embarrassing. The second version of the Senators had one great, record-setting year, but it didn't last. Basically, Washingtonians would rather do anything else than watch baseball.

And second, the current franchise sucks worse than crib death babies.

Drop Something?

While our team was walking through the first floor lobby of the International Square building, heading outside for our daily interoffice Scone Time, look what we spied, laying on the ground! Some poor dude from Merrill Lynch (now Bank of America) must have dropped their tiny baggie of toot! OH NOES! Not something you want to be without in these dark financial times, I'd posit. Oh, well, there's always crystal!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Audacity of Dopes: The Suspense Is Killing Me!

The Audacity of Dopes: McCain Finally Gives Press Conference, Amusingly Stumbles

Hey, everyone! You remember the good old days, when Old Man McCain used to give press conferences? It's been so long, but I can still remember walking down to the general store with Pa to buy some penny-candy. He'd carry me on his shoulders back to the house and I'd hand-crank our old radiola to life and tune in to hear some of the Straightest Talk in the land! Well, today, after many consecutive decades of avoiding and/or yelling at the media, John McCain made himself available for an old-timey press conference, where he talked about the bailout legislation while standing in front of the two remaining American flags that aren't in the tank for Obama.

As McCain has been out of practice, it's only natural that he might stumble over his words:

"Where's business going to go? We know where they're going to go and where they're going to create jobs. So it is essential for our economy to stimulate growth, and grow this government...I...excuse me, grow this economy...not grow the economy! Uhm...the government. We need to grow the economy."

Sure, sure. LAUGH IT UP, LIBERAL BLOGOSPHERE! But ask yourself: now that the government has basically bought the entire economy, can anyone really tell the difference anymore?

The Audacity of Dopes: We Have Always Been At War With Expectations


Uhm...related.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Audacity Of Dopes: Opt-Eyed Cocktimists

Ken Layne:

"It's like a Philip K. Dick version of an election. It's all about shooting moose and getting tortured 40 years ago and respecting women and elitist blacks. It's insane."

Well, of course you're going to feel that way if you only focus on the POSITIVE aspects of this election!

The System Works!

Up to 10,000 staff at the New York office of the bankrupt investment bank Lehman Brothers will share a bonus pool set aside for them that is worth $2.5bn (£1.4bn), Barclays Bank, which is buying the business, confirmed last night.
Phew! For a brief moment there, I had this terrible feeling that the rich would not, in fact, keep getting richer!

[Via]

Mark Halperin Can't Get Enough Of McCain Flack

Over at The Page, Time Magazine's political comic book for dipshits, Page-meister Mark Halperin went a little crazy today, posting four separate versions of this image of McCain advisor Steve Schmidt (we could only fit three in the image above). Apparently, Schmidt spent the day "declaring war" on various and sundry things, so Halperin saw an opportunity to entice Schmidt to declare war on his heart by building this crazy mini-shrine to Schmidt, depicted here puckering up and preparing to knead Halperin's trapezius muscles with the hands he used to strangle New York Times editor Bill Keller. Read more about this in the upcoming The Way To Win II: Softcore Scenarios, featuring a foreword by an increasingly distressed John Harris.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Scenes From The 2008 Financial Crisis

One of the things that Megan and I talked about offline this past week was how all the shitstorm in the financial markets would have really made Moe Tkacik a more timely Crappy Hour partner, since these matters are far more squarely in her wheelhouse then mine. But even though I had to muddle through it on Crappy Hour, Moe was on the case all the same. This insanity stood out:

Inspired by this story about an insane Merrill Lynch investment vehicle called NORMA one expert quoted in the Wall Street Journal called "a tangled hairball of risk", I'm holding the Awful Vodkas I Have Drank of the plutocracy, an "Absurd Financial Product Some Rich Person Actually Bought" contest. I asked one of our tipstering financiers about the most retarded investment vehicle he'd ever seen.

ABSURDISTBANKER: Last year, I built a fund that invested solely in a hedge fund, but it leveraged 2X to do it - so it was a leveraged vehicle to enhance returns on a leveraged equity long/short hedge fund
MOE:: oh god
a SINGLE hedge fund?
ABSURDISTBANKER: Yes
MOE: That is fucking nuts. Not even a "fund of funds." A fund of fund. A truly innovative investment strategy.
ABSURDISTBANKER: I remember saying to the product team that designed it
"People who buy this are insane"


The mind reels.

The Audacity of Dopes: Pursued On All Sides By Cooter Simulacra

Uhm...hey there! It seems that in this life, you have two choices: follow Sarah Palin's Vagina on Twitter or get followed by Sarah Palin's Vagina. Mind you, in the latter choice, Sarah Palin's Vagina probably follows you in a helicopter, armed to the teeth. That's a dangerous enough situation to find yourself in, even if you get Camille Paglia to decode it for you.

Omnivore 100 Update

Just to keep you posted on my progress with the Omnivore's 100. I can now safely say that my allergy to nettle tea precludes me from ever drinking it, unless I have the yen to cause myself great distress and discomfort, which I do not. This means to achieve a 97 out of 100, I'll have to put durian back in play. I'm not at all certain I'm willing to do that yet.

The good news is that I can cross off two more items on the list. As it turns out, I have had kaolin. And it is, indeed, clay! It's also an ingredient in certain medicines I have had. Also: it's pretty disgusting. Also, I have had, thanks to a generous donation from my parents, Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. And yeah, that stuff is outta sight.

No news on how I'm going to achieve the "tasting menu at a three Michelin star restaurant." In the USA, in 2007 at least, you'd have to go to Per Se or Bernardin or Jean Georges in NYC or, I think, French Laundry in Napa. One's probably better off settling in Bray, Berkshire, UK - a village with TWO three star restaurants in town. Everyone must eat like kings there!

Laming Brothers

So, Amanda, who frequently agrees to fun little bloggable chats on this here blog, is a fun, attractive, single woman who cooks like there's no tomorrow and can get you into many area rock shows for free and, for fuck's sake, LOVES HER SOME FOOTBALL. When did this stop adding up to being a total catch, I ask you? All week, we heard about motherfuckers who were willing to sink crazy sums of money in batshit derivatives and yet THIS is the sort of investment people are making at pitching woo to this fine friend of mine? Single men of Washington, DC, you are fucking BLOWING IT on a daily basis. Y'all are some trifling, subprime motherfuckers. That is all.

RELATED:
A Guy's Guide To Not Getting It On [Jezebel]

Megyn Kelly Exonerates Alex Pareene

Here's a bit in mindbending video of Bill O'Reilly missing the point, over and over again, about what rights news organizations are entitled to under the law. Megyn Kelly tries her very very best, but it's like WOAH HO IS THIS FUCKER DENSE. Anyway, Alex Pareene isn't going to have much to worry about where Sarah Palin's emails are concerned, except for maybe how he's gonna spend his thousands of dollars! Cash fan photos, Alex!

Anyway, in this latter era of O'Reilly, telling Megyn Kelly that she's "a tough cookie" is the new way of saying SUCK ON MY LOOFAH. Yes, we remind you: Bill O'Reilly is a goddamned creep of epic proportions.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Your Bailout Package: The Fine Print

Here's a little bit of text from section 8 of the bailout legislation - of which the president says we cannot afford to delay the passage.

Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.
Seriously? If for no other reason, the idea that these guys believe, after everything else that's happened, that they deserve to spend $700 billion taxpayer dollars in the next three months with no oversight at all ought to make this bill a nonstarter. Fuck Hank Paulson and the horse he rode in on. Fuck that guy in the eye.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

RNC Delegate Victim Of Best Grifter Ever

Wonkette has the incredibly true story of Gabriel Schwartz, a "fixture in Colorado Republican politics" like a "tool" is a fixture in a "tool shed," who got taken in by some lady seductress, drugged and robbed to the tune of $120,000. It's truly delightful. My favorite part, of course, is this:

A police report notes the crime occurred between 4:22 and 5:46 a.m., and Palmer said investigators believe Schwartz had been drugged, although he declined to discuss details. Aside from the watch, ring, necklace, earrings and belt, Schwartz also reported a $1,000 purse or wallet, a $1,500 cell phone, $500 in cash and a couple of rings worth $50 had been taken.
I'm guessing that one of the "details" he declined to discuss was what the hell he was doing carrying a purse!

Anyway, all I can say that if Megan Carpentier wasn't behind this somehow, she should have been.

Cuts Coming To City Paper

Word is that our venerable institution of hipster self-loathing, the Washington City Paper, will be undergoing a round of cost-cutting measures, to the tune of $170,000. Talk about Not Yet Worth! FishbowlDC says that CP cover stories are among the things that will be "phased out," so now, when staff writers want to describe the psychological torture they put their housemates through on account of their own crippling personality defects, they'll have to put it in a blog, just like the rest of us.

The Audacity Of Dopes: Polarizing Terminology

Matt writes:

I continue to be baffled as to how moose hunting, which surely almost nobody in the United States does given what a small portion of the country is within moose range, has been construed as an all-American hobby.
Boy, that's not the half of it! I am, myself, confused to the point of mortification that one day the entire world of political analysts woke up and started using the term "hockey moms" as if this had been some sort of accepted demographic term. You will actually find very few "hockey moms" in the United States, on account of the fact that were are not all Swedes and shit.

The Audacity Of Dopes: The Woman Makes The Men All Pause

Earlier this week, actor Matt Damon talked about the possibility of Sarah Palin becoming president as "a really bad Disney movie." Now, Jezebel has already weighed in on this matter by creating a Disney mash-up of their own that fits Damon's words nicely. But if there was a runner up in the competition for Palin-themed bad Disney movies, it would definitely be this one, Disney's 1946 classic cartoon explainer on the topic of menstruation. [Via.]

A Letter To A Young Pyggie.

Well, hello and good day, young spawn of Nabob and Governess. Hope you are doing well! As someone who thought that your parents, at various points in their lives, might be undone by the sinister machinations of their incompetent seeming dog, I greet your birth as the news that your nascent family has successfully surmounted most or all of the challenges that bedeviled them, save perhaps the fucking mockingbirds, who will live to sing a mocking trill at the end of this, our civilization.

And what a time to be alive! Jim Zorn is coaching the Redskins, it seems, a thought I kept so near to unlikely for most of my life that I'm a little bit surprised John Zorn hasn't yet been tapped. He has some zone blitz schemes that might be of interest, from what I hear. We are currently in the midst of the most scintillatingly stupid election of our lifetimes, so trust me when I say there's no rush to get a handle on object permanence or anything. And, as of this morning, the world's financial markets are doing their best imitation of a J.J. Abrams show - an event that is best explained in the following song:



Here at the DCeiver, this is sort of the first birth announcement we've ever done. We're totally short-shrifting any number of other, equally deserving babies, many of whom you may be fortunate enough to grow up to know, perhaps carnally. But your parents are unique in many ways, not the least of which is the likelihood that you were conceived as a part of some well-plotted bit of comic book themed cosplay. I hope that this isn't the way you find out about that, by the way! There was a writer's strike going on at the time. We were all sort of making due.

At any rate, I think you are in pretty good hands, actually! At least until you get to school, which these days strikes me as complete shithouse across every single demographic and dimension. As you grow old, you'll no doubt go through yr period of youthful rebellion, but I hope that you will always retain yr parents generosity of spirit, their ability to wring from the grim details of existence a uniquely hilarious account of the world around them, and their fulsome appreciation for fringe foodstuffs. If you must reject a worldview as a means of securing your own identity, let it be the dog, or the mockingbirds. That is all. Good luck.

PS. Hope you like movies about dragons eating helicopters!

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Audacity of Dopes: McCain/Obama @ The Service Forum

DCeiver: Who won the national service debate?

DCeiver: Besides AMERICA, I mean.

AMC: Soledad O'Brien?

DCeiver: Well. She was due. She was due.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Audacity of Dopes: Bitch Is The New Black.

Once it became largely clear that Sarah Palin represented a unique, howlingly anti-woman threat to the republic, many suggested that in order to effectively fight back, on feminist grounds, they needed to send Hillary Clinton out to hit back. No no no no no no no! You send Tina Fey.


Remember the last time Fey injected herself into the presidential race? Yeah. Let's see Steve Schmidt win that news cycle.

The Omnivore's Dilemma

Amanda pushes a cool meme from Very Good Taste called the Omnivore's 100, in which they suggest 100 foodstuffs that one ought to try before they shuffle off this mortal coil. The rules: bold the ones you've had, cross out the ones you'd take a pass on. The list is quite eclectic, and since one of the items is not Pork Loin In Lipstick Reduction, I figured I could use the break, and partake. With some annotations.

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea (I'm very allergic to nettles, but if the threat could be eliminated, I'm game)
3. Huevos rancheros (Can't do it. Allergic to a chemical in egg whites called albumen. I can eat eggs if they are a secondary ingredient in a dish, but on their own, it's a no go.)
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile (as with Amanda, if Alligator counts, then I'm in)
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht (One of my favorite things, actually!)
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese (This stuff grosses my wife out, but I'd try it once.)
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda (Elissa needs to make this for me!)
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar (Sadly, I've never combined the two.)
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi (Umeboshi is disrespectful to flu! Tasty good! Available in your prefecture!)
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine (What's available in our area is weak sister versions of the real thing, though it can be obtained in NYC or New Hampshire. For best results, though, you go to Canada, with Rachel Sklar.)
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads (Neither sweet nor bread! Thymus glands! Also grosses my wife out!)
63. Kaolin (Need an explanation. I thought kaolin was aluminum silicate clay!)
64. Currywurst
65. Durian (Sorry, but durian is just FOUL. Do not want.)
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis (DYING TO TRY HAGGIS.)
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette (I have a feeling my parents may have fed me chitterlings at some point in my youth. Perhaps they can clarify.)
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill (Really? Well, if I must. But I'll let Alton Brown cook it for me.)
76. Baijiu (Sorghum liquor!)
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict (Again, can't. Allergic. Regrets.)
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant. (Treat me anytime!)
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor (Made with albumen-free egg yolks, thankfully)
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake (Ha! Every Thanksgiving, I play the same joke on my niece and nephews that my parents used to play on us when we were kids - pretend that the whole meal is actually made of "snake lips." My niece and nephews enjoy the joke immensely. But I've never actually had snake lips!)

That's only 62 out of 100. And seeing that I'll only ever take this to 97, I should start cracking.

La Vie Boheme Slovaquie

Via Attackerman:

[Out of Range] is an interesting report. It compares average wages and rents in every county and metropolitan area in the US and calculates the amount of money a family must earn to afford an apartment.

Among other things, OOR establishes that the Housing Wage (the hourly wage that a full time worker must earn to afford a modest 2 bedroom in their area) was $17.32 nation wide, ranging from a low of $9.10 in Puerto Rico and a high of 29.02 in Hawaii. There is not a single city or county in the US where a full time worker earning the minimum wage could afford even a 1 bedroom apartment.

*Sniff* Nation of Whiners, right?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Some Bloggers Need To Give Up The Psychoanalysis.

Responding to this post, a blogger writes:

I would agree that the ‘lipstick on a pig’ controversy is a manufactured bit of political silliness, expressly designed to fill a news cycle. But that’s pretty much all it is in my view. Jason Linkins on the other hand is taking it way too seriously. How seriously? He writes that if he owned a gun he would have shot himself over it. Yeah.
Shot myself? Wow. Talk about your fundamental misreads!

Friday, September 05, 2008

The Audacity of Dopes: Ladies and Gentlemen, Please Welcome Megan Carpentier.

Republicans don't want to talk about issues, they want their Weltanschauung reinforced without the use of foreign words....And they probs ought to stop referring to it as her "choice." If they don't want to be pro-choice, they should say stuff like "It was my moral obligation to bring Trig to term. There was no 'choice.'"
Now that is some goddamned aerial wolf hunting.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Crappy Hour Tomorrow!

Just a program note, I will once again have the privilege of participating in another edition of Crappy Hour on Jezebel tomorrow. Megan Carpentier will be in St. Paul. I'll be in Arlington. There's little doubt that we'll be speaking of the Palin-drone. So tune in and enjoy! Crappy Hour is usually up by mid-morning.,

The Audacity of Dopes: McCain Against Roe

Obviously, when I think about the possibility of a McCain presidency, one of the first things that comes to mind is that Justice Stevens is no spring chicken, and his presence on the court is an important bulwark against a lot of conservative judicial activism, among which might include the overturning of Roe v. Wade. That said, Matt has a good post up about whether or not McCain could, in fact, ban the practice of abortion. Basic conclusion is that it's not very likely, and to that end, Matt cites Brendan Nyhan:

The president can’t make abortion illegal. If John McCain appointed new conservative Supreme Court justices (who must be confirmed by the Democratic Senate), it is possible that the Court could decide to overturn Roe v. Wade. In that case, the issue would be returned to the states, who would each create their own abortion policies through the legislative process. The odds of McCain successfully passing a constitutional amendment to create a national ban on abortion are zero — there is simply no way he “will make abortion illegal.”
I remain convinced that proponents of reproductive rights should, in any event, seek to enshrine and maintain those rights through the legislative process anyway, wherever it could feasibly be done. There's still this general idea that Roe magically makes these rights self-evident and iron-clad, but in many states, as a practical matter, abortions are so difficult to obtain that a ban is almost superfluous at this point.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Audacity Of Dopes: Airwolf

You know, I had thought of Sarah Palin as a sort of dark horse candidate for Veep a while ago, but I'm now immediately struck by just how dark a dark horse can look when you get it into the light of day. Yeesh. This woman is a horrorshow. An epic horrorshow. And it says something about the state of the nation that even after all the calamity that has followed this pick, it still may not cost McCain anything.

Nevertheless, it's funny how once you start delving into a complete stranger's life the way you suddenly find out a whole lot about an ancillary topic. In this case, aerial wolf hunting. Palin's a big fan of aerial wolf hunting. What is aerial wolf hunting? Basically, you get a bunch of guns, board a plane, find a wolf, and then chase the wolf with your plane until the wolf is dead on its feet from exhaustion. Then you land your plane and shoot the wolf.

Now, look. I know that mankind is locked in an epic battle with nature and, like many of you, I hope I live to see the day when we destroy nature once and for all. But there's something about aerial wolf hunting that just doesn't strike me as very sporting. I think it's the whole part where you chase the wolves hither and yon across the tundra in a goddamned airplane.

Really, is this even technically hunting? I mean, I could go in for some aerial wolf taunting, maybe, where you chase the wolf around in your plane, tire him out, land, and then get out and say things like, "SUCK IT WOLF! Now you know what the FUCKING SCORE IS!" Then you get back on the plane and get wasted on mini bottles of cinnamon schnapps or something.

But there's nothing about aerial wolf hunting that seems akin to the manly pastime of hunting that gun-toting Republicans like to extol. And this weird sort of wussy-ass hunting seems to be consistent with the GOP. Remember, Dick Cheney doesn't actually hunt quail, he hunts heavily sedated, incompetent quail in a practice called "canned hunting." Again, this does not seem to be true hunting. It feels sort of like cheating.

Don't get me wrong: I actually have great fear and respect for Cheney as a hunter because he also likes to shoot Republican lawyers in the face. Why they haven't set up a game preserve so that all of us can enjoy this pursuit is beyond me.

So, Yeah, The DNC.

Right. So, I've lately been in Denver, Colorado, experiencing that panoply of American politics known as the Democratic National Convention. To briefly summarize, the DNC was a series of epic walks, in boiling heat, followed by long waits at ever shifting security perimeters, accompanied by various lanyards, containing credentials that basically afforded me the privilege of watching teevee in a tent with a port-a-loo outside. Bet you are jealous now!

Also, there was a big speech at the stadium where the Denver Broncos play, which was preceded by an even longer walk in a line of people that could be seen from space. Standing there, I had this conversation:

FELLOW QUEUER: Oh, look out everybody. It's a member of the press.

ME: Ha. No worries. All of this is off the record.

FQ: What are you doing standing in this line?

ME: Well, you know, where I work, we believe it's important to walk with the people.

VARIOUS: All right! That's the spirit.

ME: Thanks, y'all. But seriously, as soon as someone in authority tells me I can get out of this line I plan on leaving you all behind just as quickly as possible.

There were other activities to break up the monotony. Like panel discussions! With bloggers! And I met Fred Armisen, which was pretty cool. And I drank a lot of Pomegranate juice. Plus there was waiting for cabs to take us into Helm's Deep, for the convention. And my hotel was right around the corner from the one where they busted the meth-heads who wanted to assassinate Obama.

Also, I ate at something called "the CNN Grill," which is probably precisely the shitshow you right now imagine it to be.

There were also parties, which I avoided like plague. Really. Someone asked me, "Are you going to the Politico party?" And try as I may, there was simply nothing in my upbringing or education that could have provided me with a plausible answer to that question. I believe I responded, "Is that something one does?"


I did go to some parties, most notably the Planned Parenthood party, which was filled with enough awful, hideous people to let me know that Planned Parenthood needs to start doing a much better job. Luckily, the big draw that night was the chance to spend an evening out with Jezebel's Megan Carpentier, which turned out to be an experience that far surpassed my high expectations. Everyone should get the chance to partner up with Megan for a night out in a strange and bewildering city. After that, the most fun I had was with Ana Marie at the bar of the Brown Palace Hotel, and I'd like to extend some warm thanks to Hillary Clinton for picking up the tab on that one.

Also, I had Rocky Mountain oysters, which were delicious. And I met Senator Claire McCaskill. The two events were actually unrelated.