Saturday, October 02, 2004

Walking The Line
with Dr. Victor Von Doom

"I want that power. By right, it is mine. For ultimate power is the ultimate destiny of Doom."

Kneel in respect peasants, for Doom returns awash in the spoils of victory, gauntlets bloodied with the stain of
a 2-1 triumphant week against the spread.

His knowledge unparalleled, his skill passed down by the denizens of Mt. Olympus themselves, Doom casts a learned eye upon Week Four of the NFL regular season.

Years ago, in a display of deliciously nefarious cunning, Doom created a time machine and traveled backward to the year 0 A.D. to kidnap the Christ child. Were not for the interference of the accursed Fantastic Four, Doom would have held the Christ child ransom to his father -- God -- agreeing to release him only in exchange for control of Hell. As you are all not burning in a pit of eternal sin whilst my minions roam the Earth among the undead, you can see this did not happen. To make a long story short,
Richards broke Doom's time machine, Doom crash landed in the late Cretaceous period and then spent the better of a month inside of a Cryptoclidus. During that time, Doom pondered this long-standing truth -- the Saints are hot one week, cold the next. With the Saints coming off a big road win against the Rams -- and the Arizona Cardinals clawing for a win like Doom clawing to escape the intestinal tract of said Cryptoclidus -- take Cards and the points.

After climbing through a large hole in the stomach of the Cryptoclidus, torn painstakingly by Doom's own iron-clad fists, Doom proceeded to beat away what little life was left in the creature for it's mere assertion that the King of Latveria could be properly digested. Armor stained with his foe's blood, Doom fixed the time machine and traveled back to present day -- but not before claiming his own a creature so feared it is known to most only as winged death: the
pterodactyl. Much in the way that Doom takes anything he desires, the Miami Dolphins will take the 6 points and play well against the Jets in a hard fought game -- surprising to some, but not to Doom.

From a top the magnificent beast, Doom surveyed the streets of Manhattan in search of the accursed Fantastic Four. Upon finding them, Doom chuckled, and began to dive bomb the affronting supergroup repeatedly, until Richards and his blasted wife
Susan resembled nothing more than battered lumps of human flesh. Then, with the sub-human Thing trapped helplessly in the jaws of his pterodactyl, Doom ordered the winged reptile to the sky, all but forgetting about the accursed Human Torch.

As the great beast burnt to a crisp beneath Doom, Doom concluded that all luck is bound to run out. Take the Colts, giving four and handing the Jaguars their first loss.


Friday, October 01, 2004

Faux News

Josh Marshall (who, as far as I know, could be wearing a cape under his mild-mannered reporter getup) catches Fox News in the process of flat-out making things up.

First, he notes that this story was posted to -- and has since been removed from -- the Fox News homepage.

Rallying supporters in Tampa Friday, Kerry played up his performance in Thursday night's debate, in which many observers agreed the Massachusetts senator outperformed the president.

"Didn't my nails and cuticles look great? What a good debate!" Kerry said Friday.

With the foreign-policy debate in the history books, Kerry hopes to keep the pressure on and the sense of traction going.

Aides say he will step up attacks on the president in the next few days, and pivot somewhat to the domestic agenda, with a focus on women and abortion rights.

"It's about the Supreme Court. Women should like me! I do manicures," Kerry said.

Kerry still trails in actual horse-race polls, but aides say his performance was strong enough to rally his base and further appeal to voters ready for a change.

"I'm metrosexual — he's a cowboy," the Democratic candidate said of himself and his opponent.

A "metrosexual" is defined as an urbane male with a strong aesthetic sense who spends a great deal of time and money on his appearance and lifestyle.

The story, of course, was a hoax.

Josh followed up with this.

Okay some more details on that bogus Kerry story that ran this morning on the Fox News website. As we noted earlier, this morning the front page of the Fox website ran a story with a series of phony Kerry quotes (see post below). After questions were asked the offending material was quickly pulled from the site, without explanation.

So what happened?

Late this afternoon I spoke to Fox spokesman Paul Schur who told me the following ...

“Carl [Cameron] made a stupid mistake which he regrets. And he has been reprimanded for his lapse in judgment. It was a poor attempt at humor.”

So the Fox reporter covering the Kerry campaign puts together this Kerry-bashing parody right out of the RNC playbook with phony quotes intended to peg him as girlish fool and somehow it found its way on the Fox website as a news item.

Imagine that.

More to follow ...

Check in at Talking Points Memo for more; Josh is all over this.


Debate Wrap-Up

Over at the Prospect, Matt Yglesias notes that -- rather than trying to spin it into a win -- several Bush supporters are just admitting that their guy bombed.

THE DEFENSE TAKES A PASS. You can judge the awfulness of Bush's performance last night by the lameness of what his defenders have to say. NRO's Jay Nordlinger, after pleading with his readers not to "kill the messenger," just up and admits that Bush lost. His colleagues are less forthcoming, but Janice Crouse concedes that "Bush blew an opportunity." John Pitney pleads that Bush doesn't look as bad if you read the transcript (I hear he came off even worse on the radio, though) instead of watching the videotape. This is probably right, but guess what: It was a televised event. And "better" still leaves a lot of room for improvement.


Thursday, September 30, 2004

Happy Birthday

To a certain things fall apart friend and associate.

And in case you're wondering -- yes, the associate in question is Dan Marino.


We Got Baseball

Who'd have thought we'd ever see the day?

When Williams took the mike in front of a crowd that included several former Senators, he kept his mayoral composure even as the crowd whistled, hollered and roared. He knew he had the prize he had sought so long.

"This is a great day in Washington, isn't it?" he asked.

On the other hand, a not so great day for the 31,000 gathered to watch the Expos final home game.

One [fan] held up a sign: "EXPOS HALL OF SHAME." Underneath were pictures of Commissioner Bud Selig and former Expos owners Claude Brochu and Jeffrey Loria. At the bottom, the punch line: "Merci, de rien." ("Thanks for nothing").


New Debate Moderator Announced

the AP.

In a surprising move Thursday, the National Debate commission announced it will be removing newsman Jim Lehrer as moderator of Thursday's debate in favor of a figure viewed by the public as more "even-handed" -- Jesus Christ.

"At some point, I think it was late last [Wednesday] night, everyone in the commission kind of looked at each other and said, 'Hey, Lehrer's an asshole, isn't he?'" Spokesman Peter James said Thursday.

"After that, it was just a matter of finding a moderator whom we felt confident the public would trust, and Christ seemed the logical answer," James added.

Reached for comment in Heaven, Christ seemed enthusiastic, but not overly excited, at the prospect of moderating the debate.

"Hey, it's something to do, right? All I had planned was to have a few Smirnoff Ices and watch 'Joey' -- you know, my usual Thursday night -- at least this is a change of pace," the Lamb of God said.

Asked why he thought he was chosen to replace Lehrer, Christ replied, "I imagine it's because everyone thinks I will be a non-partisan moderator, but to be honest, I kind of think both of these guys are douchebags."

Christ cited a virtual "laundry list" of reasons for disliking Bush -- including the Iraq War, Bush's support for the Death Penalty, and the President's general lack of compassion toward the poor -- but insisted his reasons for not liking Kerry were more "personal."

"He's a Sox fan," the Prince of Peace said. "And I hate the Redsox. It's that simple."

The Savior continued, "I know a lot of you are going to find this hard to believe, but I'm a diehard Yankees fan."

Christ pointed to the Bronx Bombers recent success as proof of his support. "Why do you think they win all the time? Me. That's why"

As to his love for the Yankees, Christ said, "It's tough to pinpoint just one thing but if I had to choose, I'd say it's the fact that Derek Jeter is totally awesome."

The Savior was tight-lipped when it came to discussing preparation for the debate, but did say he interested in learning whether President Bush had "actually read anything I said in the Bible," or if the President had "simply gleaned his knowledge from watching 'Veggie Tales.'"

"Veggie Tales" is a children's program which recreates Bible stories using animated vegetables.

When asked what he wishes to learn from John Kerry, the Savior's answer was more direct.

"Simple," he said. "Is Pedro Martinez actually retarded, or is he just a sissypants crybaby?"


Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Just For The Record

Casualties have increased for the third straight month following the transfer of power to the Iraqi Interim Government.

In June, 42 American soldiers were
lost; with one day left to go in September, 75 American troops have been killed in Iraq.

Some folks are born made to wave the flag
Ooh, they're red, white, and blue
And when the band plays "Hail to the Chief"
They point the cannon right at you

It ain't me, it ain't me
I ain't no senator's son
It ain't me, it ain't me
I ain't no fortunate one

Some folks are born silver spoon in hand,
Lord, dont they help themselves
But when the tax man comes to the door,
Lord the house looks like a rummage sale

It ain't me, it ain't me
I ain't no millionaire's son
It ain't me, it ain't me
I ain't no fortunate one

Some folks inherit star spangled eyes,
Ooh, they send you down to war
And when you ask them, "How much should we give?"
They only answer "More! More! More!"

It ain't me, it ain't me
I ain't no military son
It ain't me, it ain't me
I ain't no fortunate one
It ain't me, it ain't me
I ain't no fortunate one


Ludicrous Speed -- GO!!!

This, via Ain't It Cool News, is a piece from a Playbill interview with Mel Brooks.

All I can say is: Best. News. EVER.

MEL BROOKS: It's doubtful [that Brooks will appear in The Producers movie], but I'm writing myself back into the Spaceballs sequel that I'm now writing, so you haven't seen the last of my face. Why another Spaceballs? It wouldn't feel right have anyone else play Yoghurt and the first one was the best experience I've had making a movie since Blazing Saddles.

PLAYBILL: When can we expect that?

MB : Best case scenario : a week before the new Star Wars opens. Worst Case Scenario : a year after the new Star Wars opens.


Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Poll Position

This is Alan Abramowitz from Donkey Rising, on the latest Gallup Poll.

It's hard to know where to begin when it comes to all of the preposterous results in [the new Gallup poll]. First of all, they've got about a 10 point Republican advantage in party ID among registered voters. I am guessing that this is one of the largest Republican party ID leads in the history of the Gallup Poll. So according to Gallup, what's happened since the Republican convention is something on the order of the New Deal realignment in reverse. If you reweight their data based on the partisan composition of the 2000 exit poll, you get something like Bush 48, Kerry 47.

Going along with the ridiculous party ID results, they've got Bush now leading by 15 points in the Midwest and by 21 points in the West. For Bush to be leading by 21 points in the West he'd have to actually be leading in California by about 10 points and cleaning up in Washington and Oregon as well. This is totally out of line with recent independent state polls showing Kerry leading in California by 15, leading in Washington, and running about even or slightly ahead in Oregon. According to this poll, Bush is doing better in the West as a whole than he is in Montana, where the most recent independent poll has him ahead by only 18. The Midwest result is totally out of line with the most recent independent polls in Illinois (Kerry +15) and Ohio (Bush +3).

Gallup's own state polls are totally out of line with this result. How can Bush be 2 points ahead among RVs in states like Florida and Nevada but 13 ahead among RVs in the entire country?


Florida On My Mind

From the ACT site; no one told me that Katherine Harris moved to Ohio.

With only a few days left before the registration deadline here in Ohio, Secretary of State Ken Blackwell is trying re-instate selective voting. His controls on the voting process will prohibit thousands of Ohioans from voting in the upcoming election.

He will not allow people to cast votes on provisional ballots if they go to the incorrect polling place, even if the voter is not at fault!

Citing an arcane ruling that requires voter registration cards be printed on 80 pound stock paper, Blackwell is threatening to void registrations submitted on a lighter weight paper, demanding they re-apply. There is no time to reapply and thousands of voters could be left off the rolls.

This is not only unethical, it’s illegal. The 14th Amendment grants every citizen the right to vote—regardless of race, gender, creed—or polling location or paper stock.

You don't say?

Title 42 Chapter 20 Subchapter I Section 1971 of US Code:

“No person acting under color of law shall...deny the right of any individual to vote in any election because of an error or omission on any record or paper relating to any application, registration, or other act requisite to voting, if such error or omission is not material in determining whether such individual is qualified under State law to vote in such election.”


Monday, September 27, 2004

Bush: "Iraq's Future Is So Bright I Have To Wear Partisan Blinders"

Joe Biden, from CNN.

JOE BIDEN (D-DE): And look, here's the point. General Abizaid said people say we can't win. John Kerry is saying, we can and must win. Joe Biden is saying that. Dick Lugar is saying that. John McCain is saying that. The CIA is saying that. What we're saying is, Mr. President, unless you take your blinders off, level with the American people, the course you have us on, Mr. President, is a losing course. What else did General Abizaid say? General Abizaid, when asked whether we needed more forces in Iraq, said yes. What's the president say? No, we don't need more forces.

WOLF BLITZER: No, he said we...

BIDEN: Come on.

BLITZER: ... need more forces, but those could be international forces or more Iraqi forces. They don't necessarily need to be U.S. forces.

BIDEN: That's right. But what happens, Wolf, I've been saying that for a year and a half. What's the president been saying? We don't need any more new forces from anybody. We can't get them.

BLITZER: Well, just to be precise on that point, Senator, at the news conference with the prime minister, Allawi, he said if he's asked by the military commanders for more forces, he'll consider that, but he has not been asked.

BIDEN: I find this fascinating. He said that, what, four days ago?


BIDEN: What has the military privately been saying for the last four, six, eight and 12 months? They've been saying, we need more forces. Mr. President, we'd love to have them from NATO. Mr. President, we'd love to have them from other countries. Mr. President, we need more forces. And the president says, don't worry, be happy, everything is going fine. Look, this is not about Kerry versus Bush. This is about Joe Biden, Dick Lugar, John McCain, Colin Powell, privately, the CIA versus George Bush and Rumsfeld and Cheney.


Moron, Unaccomplished


This guy can not admit one single mistake.

MADISON, Wis. (Reuters) - Democratic presidential challenger John Kerry ripped into President Bush on Sunday for saying he had no regrets over his "Mission Accomplished" speech on Iraq and would do it again.

Kerry, expressed outrage after Bush's statement in an interview with Fox News in which he was asked if he would still have shown up in a flight suit for that May 1, 2003 speech aboard an aircraft carrier off the coast of California.

"Absolutely," Bush was quoted as saying in excerpts of the interview, which is to air this week.
Kerry, arriving in Madison, Wisconsin for debate preparations, called the statement "unbelievable."

"I will never be a president who just says mission accomplished. I will get the mission accomplished," said the Massachusetts senator. "That's the difference."

And be sure to click here.

It's nice to know that, unlike the teetotalling Prez, our guy can have a beer and watch the game.


Sunday, September 26, 2004

"You Want To Kind Of Run And Jump At People And Beat The Crap Out Of Them"

Christian Bale captures the essence of being Batman.

As for the newly designed suit, Bale said that it helped him get a feel for the caped crusader, whom he characterizes as "a creature" that is not quite human. "I felt like a panther the first day, you know?" Bale said, referring to the first shooting day he strode onstage in full Batman regalia. "I did feel like some kind of wild animal. I don't know if anybody else was looking at me like that way [laughs]. I don't know if I appeared quite as ferocious as I felt that I did. But I really felt like everybody was kind of looking at me [mimes backing away in fear], you know, jumpy. And ... it makes you feel, you know, like that, you want to kind of run and jump at people and beat the crap out of them. [ED: italics added] And ... you know, it just gives you this great neck and this physique that just looks intimidating. It's all kind of aggressive. It's all pointing forward. It's very much like a predator. And that was a thrill, doing that."

Why can't this god damn movie open tomorrow?


Netflix, Ala Iraq

According to our President, the people of Iraq "see a better future;" according to Laura Rozen, who links to this piece from the UK's Spectator, they also see a lot of beheadings -- on their home entertainment systems.

You might have thought that sitting down to watch a series of filmed executions would become tedious after the tenth unfortunate victim is dragged before the camera to be slaughtered like a sheep. After all, most of the characters do not change much. There are the hooded Islamic holy warriors standing to attention, as the charges are read out to the accused, usually a man in an orange jumpsuit kneeling and blindfolded on the floor before them. The sets are the same too, often a dingy cement backroom in a house probably on the outskirts of Baghdad. The build-up is tedious. A martial song in Arabic exhorts the faithful to fight and then the commander reads out a statement, often a hammy delivery that even a B-movie Egyptian actor would not get away with. But the closing scenes never fail to shock, no matter how often you witness the sight of a man gasping his last breath as his head is hacked off with a knife. After two or three of these savage episodes you begin to feel physically sick and somehow complicit in these terrible acts.

So why is it that the snuff movies, which are being deliberately distributed by the killers, are being snapped up in their thousands on DVDs across Iraq? A year ago Iraqis liked nothing better than buying illicit pornography or video footage of Saddam Hussein's henchmen torturing and killing their victims. It was assumed that this lurid fascination would wear off now that, after 40 years of state television, Iraqis have access to 24-hour satellite television.

But no, something more disturbing is at work here. In the latest video to hit the streets an Egyptian man, accused of spying for the Americans, is paraded before a camera and has his head severed in a matter of seconds by a powerfully built executioner. Before the murder the video shows footage filmed from the camera of an American warplane that fires a missile into a crowded street; and then pictures of Iraqi civilian victims of the fighting.

The unmistakable message, sent by the fanatical Tawhid wal Jihad (Unity and Holy War) group, is clear. All non-Muslims and even their Muslim collaborators deserve to be executed in the most brutal manner conceivable as punishment for occupying Iraq. A year ago most Iraqis would dismiss these actions as the work of fanatics bent on plunging the country into civil war. After all, the same group is responsible for blowing up the United Nations building a year ago and killing scores of Shia Muslims during their pilgrimage earlier this year in an attempt to spark sectarian strife.


Your New Dinosaur Sucks (Literally)

Does anybody remember Dino-Riders?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A long-necked sea reptile that lived millions of years ago in what is now China may have used its stiff neck to sneak up on unsuspecting prey and suck them in, scientists said on Friday.

Dubbed Dinocephalosaurus orientalis or "terrible-headed lizard from the Orient," the monster had a neck 5.5 feet long, topped by a tiny head. At the other end was its big round body.

It may have been able to sidle up its small head to a fish or squid and devour the unwitting prey before the body hove into view, the researchers report in Friday's issue of the journal Science.

"To a fish in murky water, Dinocephalosaurus' head would have initially looked like another animal its own size, but by the time the fish was able to see Dinocephalosaurus' body, it would already have been lunch," said Michael LaBarbera, a biologist at the University of Chicago.

Experts note that the Coultersaurus, another marine species, used similar methods to hunt.

"To most males, Coultersaurus would have initally looked like the female gender, but by the time the poor bastard is able to see her Adam's apple, it's already too late," said Dr. Raymond Stantz of Columbia University.