s skippy the bush kangaroo: November 2007

skippy the bush kangaroo

Friday, November 30, 2007

skippy's friday nite music club

the cure - friday i'm in love


posted by skippy at 6:10 PM | 1 comments

breaking! man w/bomb holds hostages in clinton headquarters

unfortunately, this is not a joke. wcvb:

a man claiming to have a bomb took two workers hostage friday at a hillary clinton presidential campaign office in new hampshire, police said.

the incident happened at about 1 p.m. friday at 28 north main st. in rochester. the man had what appeared to be a bomb strapped to himself inside the democrat's office, according to bill shaheen, a top state campaign official.

two campaign workers and a woman and child were inside the office at the time. the hostage taker, described as a man in his 40s with salt-and-pepper hair, ordered the workers to the ground and let the woman and child out of the building.
trust us, we tried hard to make a ron paul punchline work here but it just didn't seem appropriate.

msnbc tv is reporting that the man allegedly is demanding to speak to hillary clinton, who is in washington about to address the dnc.

yeah, and a "that's one way to get these inside the beltway types to listen to the common man" joke wouldn't be appropriate, either.

we will keep you updated as we learn more.

addendum: via fdl, here's live streaming video of the clinton hostage situation from wmur.

update: the situation appears to be over. asspress:

seconds before he surrendered, shortly after 6 p.m., the last hostage walked from the office. the woman then ran down the street toward the police roadblocks surrounding clinton's office.

police said earlier no one had been injured, and that appeared to still be true at the end.
luckily for everyone, sen. clinton's standing in the polls were unharmed.

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posted by skippy at 11:53 AM | 2 comments

corporate greed on a sesame seed bun

one penny more. just a single penny more. can't the burger king ceo (mr. john w. chidsey , 43 - $2.35mil a year) even chip in that?
the migrant farm workers who harvest tomatoes in south florida have one of the nation’s most backbreaking jobs. for 10 to 12 hours a day, they pick tomatoes by hand, earning a piece-rate of about 45 cents for every 32-pound bucket. during a typical day each migrant picks, carries and unloads two tons of tomatoes. for their efforts, this holiday season many of them are about to get a 40 percent pay cut.

...this month the florida tomato growers exchange, representing 90 percent of the state’s growers, announced that it will not allow any of its members to collect the extra penny for farm workers. reggie brown, the executive vice president of the group, described the surcharge for poor migrants as “pretty much near un-american.” migrant farm laborers have long been among america’s most impoverished workers. perhaps 80 percent of the migrants in florida are illegal immigrants and thus especially vulnerable to abuse. during the past decade, the united states justice department has prosecuted half a dozen cases of slavery among farm workers in florida. migrants have been driven into debt, forced to work for nothing and kept in chained trailers at night.

...now the florida tomato growers exchange has threatened a fine of $100,000 for any grower who accepts an extra penny per pound for migrant wages. the organization claims that such a surcharge would violate “federal and state laws related to antitrust, labor and racketeering.”- nytimes
yeah...i can see why there are so many "americans" lining up for jobs like this. let's send tencredo down and put him to some real work.

i would stand outside a burger king to protest, but i would probably be labeled as a "terrorist" under the "animal enterprise terrorism act" if only we could get the "subservient chicken" to get these greedy folks to do the right thing.

(oh...typed in the command on subservient chicken...and i think he laughed.)

the ethicurean has more...here.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 6:01 AM | 1 comments

real estate

making use of all available land in bangkok


posted by Carnacki at 5:26 AM | 2 comments

Thursday, November 29, 2007

skippy's thursday nite music club

the rakes - the world was a mess but his hair was perfect


posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 0 comments

bad news from the negotiating table

the producers have come to the writers stirke negotiations with a bold new proposal: offering even less money than before. united hollywood:

turns out their exciting, groundbreaking proposal is... a residual rollback. and not just any rollback, one of the biggest in the history of the guild. then, stunningly, the companies have the balls to say their plan gives us more compensation. well, i'm sorry, but if you take away a dollar and give me a nickel, the nickel ain't a raise. somewhere, nick counter's first-grade math teacher is embarrassed.

so we decided to do some math of our own: we broke out the cost of the wga's current proposal to the conglomerates into yearly figures. we found that the total payment yearly -- the total that all the companies would make under our proposals -- is $50.54 million. and that, we realized, is about one-third the budget of transformers. we are asking in total, for the equivalent of the cost overrun on a summer event movie.

instead of agreeing that that is a fair and just offer, they've proposed this:

when an hourlong episode of television is streamed on the internet, writers would get a flat $250 payment for one year of reuse. that's $250 as opposed to, for example, $20,000 per episode when it's reused on network television. they proposed nothing new on downloads, it's still the dvd formula for those (ie. two-thirds of a penny for an itunes download). for theatrical movies, they're offering exactly $0.00 on streaming. oh, and they want to be able to define any content they like as "promotional" -- for which they would pay zero dollars. even if they stream an entire film or tv episode, and even if they sell ads on it, they can call that promotional and pay us nothing.

the amptp claims their deal is worth $130 million over three years. but what they don't mention is how much we'd lose under their proposal. as all media distribution transitions to the internet before our eyes, their proposal takes away far, far more revenue than it provides.

a bold, new relationship? sure, an abusive one.
while we are disheartened, we are not at all surprised. at united hollywood, writers guild prez patric verrone explains how much this offer is undercutting the writers' original position and how very little (in terms of gross profit) the writers' proposal would cost the studios.

tho, the parties are going back to the table tomorrow tuesday, so, keep your fingers crossed.

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posted by skippy at 10:06 PM | 1 comments

animal enterprise terrorism act

originally introduced by inhofe (r) and feinstein (d?). protest a mcdonald's...get labeled as a terrorist.
....the penalties section of aeta is like a christmas list for industry groups, making the penalties in aepa look tame by comparison. aepa spelled out that an individual who causes less than $10,000 in economic damage could be imprisoned up to six months, and someone who causes more than $10,000 in economic damage could be imprisoned up to three years.

earlier versions of aeta, though, started out with penalties for non-violent civil disobedience, and worked their way up.

... “non-violent physical obstruction,” also known as civil disobedience, could earn an activist 18 months in prison, plus fines, in a terrorism bill.

....disturbingly, on the floor of the house on the day aeta passed—just hours after a ceremony breaking ground for the new mlk memorial—representative bobby scott, a democrat from virginia, acknowledged that this “terrorism” law could still target non-violent civil disobedience. - greenisthenewred.com

the house passed the bill under a suspension of the rules, which meant that only six representatives were present to vote on it. among the six, the only opposition was from representative dennis kucinich. - wikipedia
the house has passed the animal enterprise terrorism act despite opposition from dozens of organizations including the national lawyers guild, humane society and natural resources defense council. the bill makes it a felony for animal rights activists to engage in non-violent protests that result in businesses losing money. legal experts say a protester could be charged with terrorism if they engaged in a sit-in that caused a business to lose profits. - democracy now!
both parties have declared war...but not on terrorists...on the american people.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:41 PM | 7 comments

no fake news is (not) good fake news

our emotions are so mixed over this one you could put them in a cocktail glass w/some vodka and invent a new drink. (the skippytini? why not?)

the phoenix reports that people under 30 are not getting their news because the writers strike has forced the daily show and the colbert report off the air:

consider, first, some recent testimonials to the serious journalistic importance of fake-news programming. (while the daily show, as a fake newscast, is the purest manifestation of fake news, i’m using the term to describe news coverage from programs such as late show with david letterman, as well.) in 2004, the pew research center for the people and the press reported that about as many young viewers were getting their presidential-campaign news from comedy programs including the daily show and saturday night live (21 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds who were polled) as from the nightly newscasts of nbc, abc, and cbs (23 percent of the same group). the same study found that a whopping 61 percent of that same demographic got their campaign information from comedy and/or late-night talk shows, either regularly or occasionally.

in 2006, meanwhile, an indiana university study of coverage of the ’04 race found that the daily show contained just as much substantive information as its network-news counterparts. is it really surprising, then, that democrat john edwards announced his 2004 presidential candidacy on the daily show? or that republican john mccain did the same on letterman’s show earlier this year, with fellow republican fred thompson following suit on the tonight show with jay leno?

now consider three stories that broke during the current fake-news vacuum. first, there was the federal indictment of bernie kerik, failed homeland security secretary nominee and former campaign-driver-turned-police-commissioner of gop presidential candidate rudy giuliani. (there’s also the allegation, by former kerik paramour judith regan, that two fox news officials urged her to lie to investigators about details of kerik’s life to prevent harm to giuliani’s campaign.) next, there was gop hopeful john mccain’s indulgent treatment of a south carolina woman who asked him, in reference to democratic hopeful hillary clinton, “how do we beat the bitch?” — and mccain’s subsequent assertion that cnn’s coverage of this incident demonstrated the network’s liberal bias. then there was the decision, by dark-horse gop candidate mike huckabee, to produce an unabashedly self-parodic tv spot featuring film-vigilante chuck norris.

on a substantive level, the kerik development was easily the most significant, since giuliani’s long-standing patronage of a man with alleged mob ties raises serious questions about his ability to run the country. but all three developments positively seethed fake-news potential. and now — for a certain segment of the population — it’s almost like they never happened.
how should we feel about this? do we mourn for the stupidity of generation z, or whatever they're called these days, that they are so unintellectual that parody has replaced information? should we sit in righteous satisfaction that it was proven how very shallow the network evening news has become? do we fret that the writers strike, which we have whole-heartedly supported in this space, is responsible for dumb people getting dumber? or do we, as comedy writers, sit with pride because comic news has taken on such importance in today's media?

we don't know. we're just going to mix up a skippytini, kick back and relax.

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posted by skippy at 4:29 PM | 2 comments

forget loyalty oaths, now only repubbbs can talk to repubbbs

if you were to take a trip thru hardly-ever-right wing blogtopia (and yes, we coined that phrase) today, well, you'd have to shower afterwards.

but more to the point, you'd realize that repubbbs only think that repubbbs are allowed to ask repubbbs questions, and that if somebody who might vote for a dem has a question for the gop candidates, it's totally not fair.

fred barnes in the weekly standard thinks the repubbb candidates came off looking like losers in last night's debate, apparently because cnn set them up.

but it was chiefly the questions and who asked them that made the debate so appalling. by my recollection, there were no questions on health care, the economy, trade, the s-chip children's health care issue, the "surge" in iraq, the spending showdown between president bush and congress, terrorist surveillance, or the performance of the democratic congress.

instead there were questions - ones moderator anderson cooper kept insisting had required a lot of time and effort by the questioners - on the confederate flag, mars, giuliani's rooting for the boston red sox in the world series, whether ron paul might run as an independent for president, and the bible. the best response to these questions was romney's refusal to discuss what the confederate flag represents. fred thompson discussed it.
one question, by a general of the us army who happens to be gay, was about gays in the military. this general works for hillary's campaign. so apparently this is not fair. nobody who works for dems should be able to ask repubbbs a question.

this righteous indignation about un-repubbblican questions being asked of repubblicans goes completely with the past several years of how this adminstration has handled the public: packing stadiums with choirs to be preached to, and not letting any opposing viewpoint even into the parking lot, let alone the venue to confront the power.

michelle malkin complains that several questioners in the youtube debate were actually supporters of different dem candidates. how dare cnn think that democrats may want repubbb candidates to explain their positions! it's unheard of!

we read michelle's post, and, after showering, we must note that michelle's hard-hitting investigative journalism lacks a certain, shall we say, actual point.

the john edwards supporter asked what the candidates thought the punishment for abortion should be if abortion became illegal. a very sane, legitimate question, and difficult to answer without showing your true colors question.

the "obama supporter" who asked if the candidates would accept the log cabin repubbblicans' support, never once claimed to be a log cabin repubbblican in his video, unlike how malkin describes him:

concerned undecided log cabin republican supporter david cercone = obama supporter david cercone
here's his video:

hm...he never claimed to be a log cabin repubbblican, yet that's how malkin characterizes him.

but it gets worse...the lady who asked a question about lead in toys is a...heaven forbid...union member! oh, god! the humanity, oh, the humanity!

but best of all, malkin was totally unable to find any blue tinges on the most ridiculous of the questioners. that is to say, the guy who likes the confederate flag wasn't a dem plant, and neither was the guy who thinks every word of the bible is the literal truth.

no, sir, those guys, the weirdest, goofiest guys in the debate? real repubbblicans.

those darn repubbbs!

john cole deals with this at balloon juice, but his commenters are more succinct and much nastier than we could ever be!

addendum: redstate is calling for a "do over" of the debate. that's right. the hardly-ever-right wing thinks american politics is a game of "red rover red rover send huckabee on over."

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posted by skippy at 1:22 PM | 2 comments

the surge is working...still!


a child was among at least five iraqis killed when u.s. soldiers opened fire in two incidents in central iraq during a span of 24 hours, while police said a suicide bomber posing as a shepherd killed as many as 13 people yesterday outside a police station in eastern diyala province.
meanwhile, the nytimes reports that aside from the 5 shot by us forces, 30 other people were killed in iraq on tuesday.

remember we warned you that the month of november was not over.


posted by skippy at 1:07 PM | 0 comments

will that be regular or marsuipal?

from sailor at vidiot speak:

skippy's gas station

the only gas station where gas won't cost an arm and a leg...it'll cost a pouch!


posted by skippy at 1:03 PM | 3 comments

oprah's favorite gift basket for the movie buff

united artists 90th anniversary prestige collection for the whopping price of $869.98.
...a whopping 90 dvds of their best and most popular films have been compiled into one book. the set includes 8 academy award winners like in the heat of the night, annie hall, some like it hot, rocky, west side story and midnight cowboy. each dvd is packaged with liner notes about the movie and never-before-seen photos and original movie posters.

..the writers of those historic movies will make only four cents out of the $869.00 that the basket costs. ninety dvds times four cents would come out to $3.60. that is the writers' share of the presige collection. hold on, i have to amend that. only the writers of the movies after 1960 will be eligible for the four cents. billy wilder and i.a.l. diamond had the misfortune of writing some like it hot in 1959, so their estates will receive nothing. - nikki finke's deadline hollywood daily
$3.90. that's it per basket for the folks who created the rich heritage of films that united artists is cashing in on.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 12:13 PM | 1 comments

don't like seeing gossip in newspapers?

then stop reading those newspapers. skippy already linked to this brilliant at breakfast post, but the last paragraph is worth repeating:

...this is the kind of campaign journalism we're going to get until november 2008: republicans good. democrats bad. rumors true. facts false.

jill is right when she says this is exactly what we're going to get. what she failed to mention was, no matter how much hell we raise about this, we're going to get gossip-as-news campaign coverage anyway. and she's wrong on one part: this is not going to stop after election day. decades ago, you see, some obscenely wealthy and influential far-right republicans got together and decided to create their very own spin machine, one that would advance their special interests in the name of national interests. it was very hard work -- they had to create and fund their own magazines, newspapers, think tanks, direct-mail marketing organizations, and so on. it cost them a fortune, but they pulled it off.

in fact, they accomplished more than they intended. they wanted their spin machine to cow the mainstream media into submission, and eventually it did. then, flushed with their success, they made the same mistake every single power-hungry leech on our species preceding them made: they got sloppy. they allowed their spin machine to become even bigger and more powerful, enabling it to slowly morph into a monster they could no longer control. by the time awol was appointed president by five thoroughbred d!p$#!+$ in black robes, the monster was the one in charge, not its creators, and certainly not the spin machinists who now have to feed it constantly as if their lives depended on it.

this sorry-assed lot includes the so-called journalists who promote speculation over whether barack obama is a {*gasp*} closet muslim while rudy giuliani's very real and very dirty history goes unacknowledged.

but you know how all we really want from mainstream journalists -- how all we've ever wanted from these people -- is to behave like journalists, not stenographers or rumormongers? that ain't gonna happen. ever. it's way past time for us to cut these people loose and forget about them -- they're hopeless, beyond redemption. the sooner bloggers and people who read blogs realize this, the better off we're all going to be. we have plenty of other media outlets to choose from -- the huffington post, buzzflash, tompaine.com, salon, common dreams, truthout... you get the idea. these sites and others like them do link to heaps of steno and dish tripe masquerading as news pieces and op-eds all the time. but they do so in the spirit of journalism. that's what counts, and that's what we ought to be mindful of as election day 2008 creeps toward us -- and after it's gone, too.

stop wasting your tears and your blogging time on the mainstream. those people are getting precisely what they deserve. we don't need them anymore. perhaps we never did...


posted by Jim Yeager at 10:39 AM | 0 comments

all the rumors that are fit to print

jill at brilliant at breakfast bemoans the fact that now even the washpost considers gossip to be news:

this is how it works, folks. wingnuts put something "out there" -- obama is a muslim spy. hillary is fucking her female arab assistant. john edwards had an affair. it doesn't have to be true; it doesn't even have to have anything to it other than what's pulled out of wingnut ass. all republicans have to do is put something "out there" and out-and-out lies become just an "alternative view" deserving of equal time to facts. because as stephen colbert said, facts have a liberal bias.

meanwhile, rudy giuliani does have ties to terrorists by having a government that harbored khalid sheikh muhammed as a business client, and it's nowhere to be found in either the washington post or the new york times.

this is the kind of campaign journalism we're going to get until november 2008: republicans good. democrats bad. rumors true. facts false.


posted by skippy at 9:36 AM | 1 comments

rip mr. whipple

we are sorely remiss in this memorial, and we apologize. but the great dick wilson, whom baby boomers everywhere knew as mr. whipple, passed away last week at the age of 91.

mr. whipple was the grumpy but lovable store keeper who always admonished his customers "please don't squeeze the charmin!" in the commercials, as if (a) people were obsessed with squooshing toilet paper between their fingers, and (b) it would destroy the value of said toilet paper if people did.

dick wilson's mr. whipple was one of the longest running recurring characters in a national advertising campaign. the latimes:

from 1964 to 1985, and again in 1999, wilson portrayed mr. whipple in more than 500 commercials for the toilet paper.

the first ad was filmed in flushing, n.y., a bit of trivia that the former stand-up comedian liked to share in interviews…

wilson knew the premise was silly but told the chicago tribune in 1985: "what are you going to say about toilet paper? i think we handle it the best way we can."

after graduating from the ontario college of art & design in toronto with a degree in sculpture, he designed scenery for a dancing school. paid in dance lessons, he became a comedic acrobatic dancer and performed in vaudeville for 20 years, according to procter & gamble.

he acted onstage and appeared in dozens of television shows and movies, including starring in "the better home show" on abc in 1951. often, he had guest roles in westerns and sitcoms, and he was a regular on "bewitched" and "mchale's navy."

his film career lasted more than 30 years and included the don knotts movies "the ghost and mr. chicken" (1966) and "the shakiest gun in the west" (1968). in one of his final roles, wilson played a store manager in "the incredible shrinking woman" (1981)…

he beat out 33 other candidates for the mr. whipple role and often expressed gratitude for his commercial career.

with "the kind of pictures they're making today," wilson told the associated press in 1985, "i'll stick with toilet paper."
being a commercial actor, it behooves skippy to acknowledge the greats in his field. here's an example of his work:

yes, commercials used to last a whole minute back in the day.

rip dick wilson. we'll miss mr. whipple.

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posted by skippy at 12:04 AM | 2 comments

question of the day -- but first...

all politicians suck. every single one of them sucks. not necessarily because they are ill-mannered, or diseased in the mind, or soulless, or deviant in any other way. they just plain suck.

they have to suck. it's their primary duty. the job description of a politician boils down to five words: m'fug is paid to suck. some politicians suck better than others. the republicans outsuck the democrats every time. we always slam the republicans for this, but we ought to be congratulating them for a job well done. because they really, really, really suck. they can't govern worth a damn, but good lord, would ya look at 'em suck.

as for the democrats, when it comes to sucking, they... well, they tend to suck at it. thus we find ourselves in a quandary: we're torqued off at the dems because they suck, but we're also torqued off at them because they don't suck hard enough. so today's question is, where in the hell are we supposed to go from here?


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posted by Jim Yeager at 12:02 AM | 3 comments

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

skippy's wednesday nite music club

ok, technically they weren't musicians, but they were the best tap dancers ever. ever.

the nicholas brothers - jumpin' jive

from the flick "stormy weather." oh, yeah...cab calloway weren't no slouch, either.


posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 6 comments

as if rudy didn't get punched enough in tonight's debate

we received this email:

skippy -
i have a fun release for you that i think would make a good blog post for stbk.

nyc-based cellufun has released a game called the mobile ring, which is a mobile boxing game that is free and allows gamers to kick some political butt.

other aspects of the game are that the community of gamers and real election polling results will change the strength of the game characters over time.

pretty fun stuff. here’s the youtube video:

also, feel free to download the game from your phone browser by visiting wap.cellufun.com or by going to your pc browser and visiting www.cellufun.com


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posted by skippy at 9:10 PM | 0 comments

graphic reminder


(thanks to fark via dwt via fdl)

consider this an open thread. not that any other post we write isn't.


posted by skippy at 6:05 PM | 2 comments

crossing the line below the line

we are amazed at the number of blog readers that are ready to swallow the producers' meme that the striking writers are incredibly selfish because the current strike is destroying the incomes of the below-the-line workers.

whereas that might be true about caterers and production assistants (who will, if they climb their chose corporate ladder, eventually become producers, so we don't much sympathy for them), that doesn't really apply to the below-the-line (ie, non-fabulist) workers on television and film production.

most of those workers belong to iatse, or the international alliance of theatrical stage employees, which also includes "motion picture technicians, artists and allied crafts. and trust us, this union negotiates contracts w/the amptp (the producers...da man) the same as the wga, sag and directors' guild.

we know for a fact that iatse is fully behind the wga strike, and not just out of a sense of fraternal union loyalty. they realize that, as skippy has mentioned earlier, what da man takes from the writers now, he will take from iatse (and sag, and the dga) later down the line.

as of now, 20 cents of each dvd sale goes into the iatse pension & health plan for its members (the same dvd sale from which writers get a mere 4 cents). a flyer handed out at the picket lines (pg. 1, pg. 2) explains how iatse has a stake in any residuals negotiations that the wga is having over future internet use:

under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement negotiated between the amptp and i.a.ts.e., ibt local 399, studio utility employees local7 24, ibew local 40, plumbers & pipefitter s local 78, plasterers & cement masons local 755, residuals from the reuse and sale of tv & feature films are paid into your pension and health plans...

this is the agreement that i.a.t.se reached with the amptp last year...

9. supplemental markets
the bargaining parties agree that if any other union or guild negotiates as part of its collective bargaining agreement with the amptp residuals on product for ipods or similar devices, the producers will meet with the iatse to negotiate an appropriate residua formula - p.6
as we have pointed out elsewhere, residuals for internet use of hollywood product is mandatory to continue the existence of a healthy middle class in the entertainment industry. and if the producers and networks refuse to pay residuals for content shown over the internet, as we've said before, when the internet becomes the main distribution system for television into your home, as opposed to cable or broadcast airwaves, then residuals dry up, as do incomes for writers. and for the below the line workers as well.

we've shown you pictures of iatse and teamster employees marching along side of the writers in previous picket lines. so we are dismayed whenever we see people crying crocadile tears for below the line hollywood employees, when those same employees are themselves quite supportive of this labor action.

of course, there is the argument that tv sucks, so who cares about the writers strike? that's another debate for another day, but trust us, if tv sucks, it's not because the writers don't want to try something new and inventive and exciting and off the wall and outside the box. we hate to sound like a broken record here, especially because most of our younger readers have no idea what the metaphor means, but if tv sucks, it's the networks' greed and timidity you can blame, not the writers.

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posted by skippy at 4:52 PM | 1 comments

say hello

to big swinging blog.

and please pay careful attention to the subcategory on their blogroll, called "homo blogs"!


posted by skippy at 4:43 PM | 0 comments

america's mayor defrauded new york's tax payers to visit cupid's love nest

ben smith at politico is reporting that while mayor, rudy giuliani played fast and loose with the city's accounting to finance his tryst trips out to his hampton sugar pie:

as new york mayor, rudy giuliani billed obscure city agencies for tens of thousands of dollars in security expenses amassed during the time when he was beginning an extramarital relationship with future wife judith nathan in the hamptons, according to previously undisclosed government records…

the expenses first surfaced as giuliani's two terms as mayor of new york drew to a close in 2001, when a city auditor stumbled across something unusual: $34,000 worth of travel expenses buried in the accounts of the new york city loft board.

when the city's fiscal monitor asked for an explanation, giuliani's aides refused, citing "security," said jeff simmons, a spokesman for the city comptroller.

but american express bills and travel documents obtained by politico suggest another reason city hall may have considered the documents sensitive: they detail three summers of visits to southampton, the long island town where nathan had an apartment.

auditors "were unable to verify that these expenses were for legitimate or necessary purposes," city comptroller william thompson wrote of the expenses from fiscal year 2000, which covers parts of 1999 and 2000.
some bloggers are predicting that this is the end of the giuliani campaign. we wouldn't go that far, but rudy has been struggling against romney and huckabee hound to keep the mantle of front-runner all to himself, and this won't help any.

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posted by skippy at 4:11 PM | 0 comments

from the emails we never bothered to finish reading dept.

dear web master,

we are handling online marketing for our client http://www.wildlife-traps.com
we are currently in the process of link building. we recently came across your site and found it one of the beneficial resource for my site.we would like to request you to place my link at your site and in return . we will give you a link back immediately.

my site details are as follows
url:- http://www.wildlife-traps.com
title: wildlife traps
description :- humane live animal traps & trapping supplies
does he have any kangaroo traps?

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posted by skippy at 4:07 PM | 1 comments

land sakes, we nigh unto bust a gut gigglin'

a big shout out to dr. x's free associations, who tells us that the sight of buster keaton carrying marion mack in a sack (in the great film the general) is, and we quote, "a stitch."

not many other bloggers manage to pay tribute to our favorite silent screen comedian while channeling our grandmother at the same time.

now let's sit back and enjoy some sherlock jr. while canning those peaches!

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posted by skippy at 3:58 PM | 0 comments

before you can vote repubbblican you must swear you're a repubbblican

the gop never ceases to amaze us. now the virginia repubbblican party is demanding a fealty oath before anyone can vote in their primary. asspress:

you're planning to vote in virginia's february republican presidential primary, be prepared to sign an oath swearing your republican loyalty.

the state board of elections on monday approved a state republican party request to require all who apply for a gop primary ballot first vow in writing that they'll vote for the party's presidential nominee next fall.

there's no practical way to enforce the oath. virginia doesn't require voters to register by party, and for years the state's republicans have fretted that democrats might meddle in their open primaries.
think of all those poor trees killed just to make the virginia gop feel better at night.

addendum: john cole at balloon juice proves godwin's law while discussing this story.

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posted by skippy at 10:00 AM | 2 comments

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

skippy's tuesday nite music club

art of noise - peter gunn - live!

art of noise...you either love 'em or hate 'em...but give 'em credit for bringing back the old tv detective themes!


posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 5 comments

bloggers are terrorists?

that's what the house of representatives may be thinking when they passed h.r. 1955.
title: To prevent homegrown terrorism, and for other purposes.

"the congress finds the following: **violent radicalization- the term `violent radicalization' means the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change.

they're not after radical muslims. they seem to be aiming at anyone who seems to believe differently than they. bloggers are using the internet(s) like never before...sharing information and ideas that "some" deem as "terrorist" loving. and what about code pink? moveon? greenpeace? peta? we already know that this administration as deemed these groups as "radicalized" home grown terrorists? who's next?

and...guess who sponsored this....jane harman (d?-ca) how did your congresscritter vote on it?

susan collins (r-me) sponsored the senate's version, s.1959.
and in her version...it's heavy on the "thought police."

(3) homegrown terrorism- the term `homegrown terrorism' means the use, planned use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual born, raised, or based and operating primarily within the united states or any possession of the united states to intimidate or coerce the united states government, the civilian population of the united states, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.

(4) ideologically based violence- the term `ideologically based violence' means the use, planned use, or threatened use of force or violence by a group or individual to promote the group or individual's political, religious, or social beliefs

from global research:
kamau franklin, an attorney with the center for constitutional rights (ccr), is also concerned at the targeting of peaceful protests. he says the "commission's broad mandate can lead to the ability to turn civil disobedience, a form of protest that is centuries old, into a terrorist act." it's possible, he says, "that someone who would have been charged with disorderly conduct or obstruction of governmental administration may soon be charged with a federal terrorist statute."

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:50 PM | 2 comments

scabbing on a daly basis

the smoking gun.com reports that not only is carson daly's show going back into production, crossing the wga picket line, he is actively soliciting his friends to write material for him:

in an e-mail, daly asked a small group of contacts to call in "suggested jokes" to a telephone hotline, noting that he would "play some, most, or all of your jokes on the air." the bit, daly stressed, was not meant to "make fun" of his striking writers. he added that his goal was to just "play a fun collage of random people trying to 'help me out.'" the bit's set-up, daly wrote in his sunday night e-mail (a copy of which you'll find below) was that "the devastating writers strike" led to "a ton of my friends and family...calling me, leaving messages, offering their help with jokes because they know that i don't have any writers working and hosting a latenight show without them will be nearly impossible for me." at the bottom of his note, daly included brief messages to some of his associates seeking jokes from some of their "celeb friends," golfing pals, or "random peeps."
why doesn't he just do what ellen degeneres does every day? bomb?

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posted by skippy at 11:22 PM | 1 comments

say hello

to i am trex.

trex, of course, has been the guy in charge of the insanity over at late nite fdl. he's been a good friend to this blog, and we're happy to put his new blog on our blogroll.

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posted by skippy at 10:47 PM | 0 comments

we give thanks for the freeway blogger

because this is how he spent thanksgiving.

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posted by skippy at 10:14 PM | 1 comments

they didn't get the ports deal

but they're getting some banking action...

citigroup inc., the biggest u.s. bank by assets, will receive a $7.5 billion cash infusion from abu dhabi to replenish capital after record mortgage losses wiped out almost half its market value. - bloomberg

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:51 PM | 1 comments

the horror writers manifesto

below is the reasoning that the horror writers used to perform their exorcism on the demons inhabitiing the producers' heads today at the warners lot:

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and some statistics:

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posted by skippy at 7:00 PM | 1 comments

the horror...the horror...of the producers not paying writers what they're worth

today skippy joined the horror writers who struck in front of the warner brothers lot in burbank. we're not sure exactly why it was the horror writers today, but there's nothing scarier than the man trying to take away your pension and health benefits.

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many cars & trucks honked their support

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up close and personal in the line...we liked the
admonition to "merge left"!

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the writers held an exorcism to cast away the demons
in the producers heads

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even mike meyers and chuckie were on strike!

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one striking priest forgot to get out of the way of
linda blair's vomit, apparently

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the picketers in front of the famous gate 4 of warners

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here's a nun to help out w/the exorcism

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all in all, a nice day for a picket line

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these are the priests for the exorcism...tho one looks
suspiciously like father guido sarducci, or maybe a rabbi

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colorful signs expressing horror writers feelings

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posted by skippy at 5:31 PM | 7 comments

coinkydink? me think...not

the fcc is trying to let corporate media folks become even more mega by ramming through changes this december to allow corporations to own multiple stations and papers within a community.

one of the major folks saying this is a bad idea, believe it or not, is senator trent lott.

trent lott "suddenly" decides he's leaving the senate.

i'm just wondering what his payoff price was.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:42 AM | 2 comments

how now dow jones

the mortgage meltdown continues to weaken the economy. citigroup's stock fell after news it will lay off 45,000 workers due to the subprime mortgage fiasco. cbs marketwatch:

citigroup shares fell under $30 for the first time in five years at one point on monday after cnbc reported the firm could lay off up to 45,000 staffers…

the expected layoffs are the result of several billion dollars of mortgage losses at citigroup.

the bank said monday that it's in a planning process to become more efficient and cost effective as the financial-services giant grapples with billions of dollars in losses from the subprime mortgage-fueled credit crisis.

the process is designed to position citi's businesses "in line with economic realities" and comes in anticipation of a new chief executive at the financial-services giant, spokesman michael hanretta said in a statement. hanretta said that any reports on specific numbers "are not factual." see full story
and tho last friday's "black friday" shopping day, while not rousing, did send the stock market up over 100 points for the first time in several sessions, the downward trend did reassert itself, dropping over 200 points in the final minutes of monday's market day.

the last six months don't look so good.


addendum: luckily for skippy's ira account, the last two days have seen a more than 500 point upswing. we'll see how long this trend (first time in november there were two contingent up days in the market) lasts.

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posted by skippy at 12:20 AM | 1 comments

Monday, November 26, 2007

skippy's monday nite music club

indigo girls - least complicated

wherein the girls get all laurie anderson on our ass, visually (don't worry, muscially it's the same great indigo harmonies, rockin' alt-folk tune).


posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 0 comments

clinton slips, obama blips, edwards schleps

a new zogby poll shows sen. clinton being beat by every repubbblican candidate, and we mean including huckabee hound, while sen. barack "to the future" obama beats every goper, while sen. edwards virtually ties them all. reuters:

clinton, a new york senator who has been at the top of the democratic pack in national polls in the 2008 race, trails republican candidates rudy giuliani, mitt romney, fred thompson, john mccain and mike huckabee by three to five percentage points in the direct matches.

in july, clinton narrowly led mccain, an arizona senator, and held a five-point lead over former new york mayor giuliani, a six-point lead over former tennessee sen. thompson and a 10-point lead over former massachusetts gov. romney…

obama, an illinois senator, and edwards, a former north carolina senator, both hold narrow leads over the republican contenders in the hypothetical 2008 match-ups.
we ourselves would be hard-pressed to press hard the lever electing hillary clinton president.

addendum: several commentors on the reuters piece pointed out that it was a zogby interactive poll, in which only registered online zogby participants could vote, thus putting the results into question, unlike any other poll we've ever heard of.

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posted by skippy at 11:44 PM | 1 comments


nicolette sheridan and eva longoria show the effects of the wga writers strike:

for more speechless vidoes from other stars, go to this youtube page.

meanwhile, the letterman writers have their own blog lateshowwritersonstrike.com. they are posting thoughts about being on strike, as well as news on the strike:

today, the wga and amptp resumed negotiations, and inside sources say the producers finally offered the writers a contract that would pay us using a simple, straightforward formula. here's how it works.

the pay-per-letter contract:

$0.00 for every use of the letters a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, r, s, t, u, v, w, x, y, z.

.0125¢ for every q and anything with an umlaut.
and christy hardin smith over at fdl mentions that even variety, the official toady butt-kissing magazine of hollywood execs, is starting to point out the inequity of the producers' stance, however wide it may be:

variety has been an industry mouthpiece through most of the wga strike thus far — hello, advertising revenue interests. but today some serious cracks have begun to show even there.

that they go so far as to publish numbers which clearly show that the writers have a significant upper hand in the minds of variety subscribers is nothing short of stunning. that they couch it in terms that won’t wilt the delicate egos of inflated studio heads is expected — but anyone with half a brain ought to pick up the “writers are kicking your asses” vibe. to wit:

…more than two-thirds of survey respondents stated the writers guild of america is representing its side of the battle more forcefully and more clearly than the studios under the alliance of motion picture and television producers umbrella org. and more than two-thirds of respondents agreed that the scribes are being “more honest and forthright” than the majors in their discussion of the key issues, chiefly increased residuals for homevid sales and for digital distribution of movies and tv shows.

but while the writers may have broad industry support, survey respondents are mindful of the realpolitik of hollywood. survey found that 44% of respondents believe that the strike will be resolved “in favor of the companies,” while 37% feel it will be settled in a way that is “mostly fair” to both sides, and only 20% feel it will be resolved in the favor of the writers. what’s more, survey respondents predict dire consequences for the industry, particularly in the tv realm, if the strike continues past december…
translating the variety-ese on this one, even studio executives and producer types who make up a large chunk of variety’s subscribing readership think the writers have a legitimate beef. are they worried that their greedy image will turn off viewers altogether — let alone that they’ll be reduced to re-runs of melrose place or repeat performances from dancing with the stars cast-offs? probably. and they should be.

let’s look specifically at those poll results on how people think the strike will be resolved. when we work our way through the prexy spinjobs (oops, pardon me, the spin from the studio heads), what we see is that 44 percent of subscribers feel the studio viewpoint will prevail — whereas a combined total of 57 percent feel that the writers have a strong enough hand to force things to an equitable settlement or an outright writer victory on the merits.
from christy's pixels to god's ears, as the jewish i t guys say. meanwhile christy alerts folks in the nyc area to a big wga east rally at washington square park (a great place for a rally) with such stars as richard masur (yes, we are being sarcastic, thanks for noticing) and john edwards once again making an appearance.

here on the left coast, the unions are gathering at gate 4 of warner brothers at noon.

addendum: here's chazz palminteri and susan sarandon, also speechless...

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posted by skippy at 6:02 PM | 0 comments

we like it when reality agrees with us

yesterday we wrote a long, boring piece about how it's far too early to tell if the surge in iraq called "the surge is working" (the title was purposely ironic, which is a ten dollar word for sarcastic).

today, via makethemaccountable, we find an ed&pub story highlighting the highlights of thomas ricks of the washpost doing one of their online forums. and mr. ricks, unfortunately, only reinforces our assessment:

thomas ricks of the washington post has been one of the level-headed, and accurate, reporters on the iraq war since its inception. his book "fiasco" was one of the best on the subject.

just back from baghdad again, he sat for a www.washingtonpost.com online chat this week, in which he frequently warned that, despite gains, no one should get too excited about the "turnaround" in u.s. fortunes in iraq. here are a few highlights.


boonsboro, md.: when will it be okay to state that we are winning in iraq and all the naysayers ("the war is lost") were wrong? even the new york times is admitting things are going well.

thomas e. ricks: well, things are going better. i just got back from baghdad last week, and it was clear that violence has decreased. but it hasn't gone away. it is only back down to the 2005 level -- which to my mind is kind of like moving from the eighth circle of hell to the fifth.

i interviewed dozens of officers and none were willing to say we are winning. what they were saying is that at least now, we are not losing. but to a man, they were enormously frustrated by what they see as the foot-dragging of the baghdad government.
there's a lot of good insight, both from mr. ricks and the readers who pose the questions, so we suggest you read the whole article.

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posted by skippy at 12:53 PM | 3 comments

mad about families

mad kane, that is!

(now you can both read and watch mad! it's a twofer!)


posted by skippy at 12:48 PM | 1 comments

is the long sleep coming to an end?

yesterday morning we had cnn on in the background, specifically, "this week at war". i was half listening, and then i heard something that caught my attention - "accommodation without reconciliation". or at least, something really similar to that. the exact phrase isn't as important as the idea that someone was actively trying to get warring neighbors to live together in something resembling harmony without making either side try to bend their philosophy to be more in line with the other's. it's the concept that maybe everyone has the right to their own ideas, and that we should coexist rather than conquer. it's, just so... reasonable.

it was the first time in a long time that i recall hearing on a news network an idea that was full of the shades of gray that make up reality. it wasn't the black-and-white, good-and-evil kind of cartoony talk that i've become used to and sickened by. it was as if intelligent people were having an intelligent discussion.

it made me think that the era of awol is finally over. i'm going to hope.

don't even get me started on the part where a military guy was explaining that the same kind of military campaign doesn't work the same ways in different places, against different enemies on different terrain. i'm not ready to talk about how reasonable that is, yet.
posted by The One True Tami at 10:44 AM | 0 comments

Sunday, November 25, 2007

skippy's sunday nite music club

another suggestion from cookie jill...

chris isaak - san francisco days

with a video directd by gus van sant


posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 2 comments

fred thompson charges that people who like interesting things are biased against his campaign

also, fox news. the hill:

former sen. fred thompson (r-tenn.) suggested on sunday that fox news is biased against his campaign, charging that the network highlights commentators who have been critical of his run for the presidency.

in an interview on "fox news sunday," host chris wallace pressed thompson on how some conservatives have lambasted thompson's campaign and showed clips of fox conservative commentators charles krauthammer and fred barnes criticizing the former senator.

he said he is running second in national polls and has been leading or tied for the lead in south carolina for "a long, long time."
he's second in national polls only if the nation is lawandordervania.

[ed. note: actually, fred thompson is running second in several national polls. but that joke was too good to pass up.]

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posted by skippy at 11:37 PM | 2 comments

say hello

to dr. x's free associations.


posted by skippy at 11:19 PM | 0 comments

26 miles across the sea....

ugh...no, rather make that 15 miles long and in the sea. a flotilla of garbage seen in hawai'i.
it's not something you'd expect to see in the middle of the ocean.

near the northwestern hawaiian islands marine sanctuary, the glassy waters are marred by a floating line of plastic debris.

...the highway of debris is estimated to cover an area about twice the size of texas, though the size has been disputed. most of the trash is plastic and the amount is growing at an alarming rate. - kgmb 9 hawai'i

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:35 PM | 4 comments

forget the fog...it's windfall profits of war

welcome to the new economy. it's a baghdad bonanza, especially for darth cheney.
kbr, inc., the global engineering and construction giant, won more than $16 billion in u.s. government contracts for work in iraq and afghanistan from 2004 to 2006—far more than any other company, according to a new analysis by the center for public integrity. in fact, the total dollar value of contracts that went to kbr—which used to be known as kellogg, brown, and root and until april 2007 was a subsidiary of halliburton—was nearly nine times greater than those awarded to dyncorp international, a private security firm that is no. 2 on the center's list of the top 100 recipients of iraq and afghanistan reconstruction funds. - the center for public integrity

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 6:50 PM | 1 comments

the west's h2woes...

and it's not just for drinking anymore...our power supply relys on the wet stuff, too.
source of water for west at risk. the west's natural water-delivery system is breaking down under the strain of rising temperatures, upsetting a fragile truce between people and the dry land they inhabit. - phoenix arizona republic
i think vegas might even be taking bets on when the water wars in the west will start.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 3:48 PM | 1 comments

opinions you should have

better later than never. tom burka has a guest blogger.

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posted by George at 10:14 AM | 0 comments

dear pbs and kcts

i almost donated but i then came to my senses.


posted by George at 1:44 AM | 0 comments

i-deal® centrists

roosevelt gave us the new deal; the dlc gives us the i-deal®

One problem with I-Deal® Centrists is they forsake their base for some chimera of electability. Bush the Lesser and Raygun didn't forsake their base and got the honorific "President" (although Reagan's should be marred by an * and Bush's should always be marred by a † ) If Oscar Winner Gore had campaigned instead of DLC Gore the election in Florida wouldn't have been close enough for the Bush junta to steal.

* Election assured by arms for hostages deal that insured hostages wouldn't be released until Raygun took office

† Election assured by Raygun/Bush The Wimp's Supreme Court throwing out due electoral process in Florida

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posted by George at 12:01 AM | 0 comments

Saturday, November 24, 2007

skippy's saturday nite music club

from a request by cannablog...

mum - i can't feel my hand anymore, it's alright, sleep still


posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 1 comments

name and shame those who jeered

then ship them off to battle. apparently some of the public doesn't believe that losing limbs in service to their country is "payment enough" to use a public pool.
injured soldiers who lost their limbs fighting for their country have been driven from a swimming pool training session by jeering members of the public.

the men, injured during tours in iraq and afghanistan, were taking part in a rehabilitation session at a leisure centre, when two women demanded they be removed from the pool. they claimed that the soldiers "hadn't paid" and might scare the children. - the telegraph
hey, ladies....you want something to really scare your children?...show them what these soldiers had to endure. better yet, send your little kiddies off to war.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:57 PM | 2 comments

recalls of the week....

more beef....only 96,000 lbs. of it.
a company voluntarily recalled nearly 96,000 pounds of ground beef products after two people were sickened, possibly by the e. coli bacteria, the u.s. department of agriculture's food safety and inspection service said saturday.

the beef products by american foods group include coarse and fine ground beef chuck, sirloin and chop beef. they were distributed to retailers and distributors in indiana, kentucky, maryland, ohio, tennessee, wisconsin and virginia.

...the products subject to recall were produced on oct. 10. they were distributed for further processing and repackaging and will not have the company's establishment number on the package.- a.p. via nola.com

and moose munch from harry & david....

more than 10,200 tubs of harry & david moose munch in two flavor combinations, distributed by harry & david operations corp. of medford, ore., because of undeclared nut allergens. - mercury news


posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:21 PM | 0 comments

the surge is working!

if you don't count all the deaths. mcclatchey papers:

a remote-controlled bomb exploded in the middle of a crowded baghdad pet market friday morning, killing 15 people and wounding 56.

the attack ended a two-month lull in major attacks in the iraqi capital and raised fears that recent improvements in security might not last.

bombers also struck a police checkpoint in the northern city of mosul on friday, killing 10 civilians and three police officers. the blast occurred as vehicles lined up for inspection.
we were wondering why the hardly-ever-right wing is saying that the surge is working, so we wandered on over to the iraq coaltion casualty count page to see.

apparently october and november have has relatively small numbers of casualties (38 and 32, respectively, but remember november's still got a week to go).


and, compared to the majority of month totals for this long, long war, those are pretty low.

however, they are not unprecedented, nor is even the pattern of two low month totals in a row.

you'll notice that may-june of '03 and august-september of '03 saw a similar two-month low total pattern. and there were six other months with totals under 40 out of a total of 56 months of this long, long war.

so we would hesitate to call a pattern that's been seen before as definitive proof of success. tho in geometry it only takes two points to make a straight line, we'd respectfully suggest waiting for a three or four or five month pattern of under 40.

still, logic isn't going to stop people from claiming that the surge, which is now officially "over" (with 5000 troops slated to come home), worked. monsters & critics:

the us military says the number of civilian deaths has also fallen 60 per cent since the surge took effect, with a drop of 75 per cent in baghdad.

according to icasualties.org, the average monthly us death toll dropped from 96 for the first half of 2007 to 66 in the past four months. the average monthly death toll for iraqi civilians and security forces has dropped from 2,157 to 1,223 in the same period.
we'll get to the civilian deaths a bit later. but we must point out that it's not entire kosher, if we may mix cultural metaphors to the point of insulting just about everyone involved, to compare the first half of the year, e.g., six months, to the last four months. that puts the total for the denomiator at a disadvantage by a factor of 1/3. that is to say, comparing six months of anything to four different months of the same thing is bound to show a drop...it's two fewer months, dammit!! why not just wait for the end of the year and then compare the first half to the last half?

now, as promised, let's look at the drop in civilian casualties. and for that, we go to the iraq body count page.


tho we couldn't find a monthly breakdown for the number of civilian casualties, it looks to us that the very tippy top end of the above graph, ie, the last few months, seem to be trending upward, not downward.

we assume because, as reported other places, the military deemed it necessary to discount incidents in which people were shot from behind, that this helps the numbers appear better than they are. and other sources have posited that the ethnic cleansing of most iraqi areas have helped lower the violence, since there are no more of the "other kind" for the neighborhood majority to shoot at.

we don't know. we certainly hope for the entire world's sake, that yes, violence is permanently down in iraq. we'd love that to be our christmas wish for everyone.
but what we are saying is, don't count those chickens before they are hatched.

addendum: melina of ripcoco adds her two cents in an email to us:

of course today’s talking point about the surge working and the violence numbers going down are crap. they can bend these numbers any way they want to…shot in the front, shot in the back, beheaded, robbed….and in a bigger view, how much of regular “crime” is due to the general destabilization of the country, and is that not also a product of the war and occupation?....and also, how are they counting the contractor deaths and killings?

the thing is, as i’m sure you’ve heard this am, that we are supposed to stay at these levels for 6 more months at least in order to keep this “peace” and also as a way to tell if it’s really us being that that’s helped….like, if everyone was dead and the streets were empty, would we be successful?
we suppose awol and his gang would say, "yes."


posted by skippy at 6:11 PM | 1 comments

what would jesus buy?

that's the question reverend billy and morgan spurlock are asking.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:45 AM | 1 comments

throw another neocon on the barbie!

nobody likes a crybaby!
(photo by sergio dionisio @ getty images)

the good folks in australia have soundly defeated awol's ally and confounded the neocons by electing someone who is actually based in reality. nytimes:

prime minister john howard of australia suffered a comprehensive defeat today, with a coalition led by his liberal party losing its majority in parliament.

after four terms in office, he will be replaced by kevin rudd, a labor party leader and former diplomat. mr. rudd, 50, campaigned on a platform of new leadership looking for new answers for new challenges. he has said his first acts as prime minister will include pushing for the ratification of the kyoto climate agreement and to negotiate the withdrawal of australian combat troops from iraq.
skippy the bush kangaroo sez to all his australian friends: good on ya, mate!

addendum: the satirical political report has the real scoop: john howard loses to a kangaroo!

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posted by skippy at 11:21 AM | 2 comments

cross-posting at cross-purposes

it's been a whole day since joe gandelman of the moderate voice graciously let skippy do a guest post at that inestimable blog. so we feel safe in posting that piece here, as it gives a specific personalized view (skippy's view, oddly enough) of the ongoing wga writers strike.

so, in its entirety, here's the guest post (and tho joe kindly let skippy write in his signature style, joe wrote some editors notes in upper and lower case, which we took the liberty of correcting to all lower):

note: this is a guest voice post by skippy the bush kangaroo (who writes in lower case and who originated the word “blogtopia”).hollywood writers strike:

all hollywood writers are not millionaires

by skippy the bush kangaroo

hi everyone, skippy the bush kangaroo here, and i’m very honored to be writing for the moderate voice today, about something very close to my heart — the wga writers strike.

now, if you listen to the spin that the american motion picture and television producers association puts out, you’re probably saying to yourself, “why should i care about millionaire writers wanting more money?”

but the truth is that the majority of writers guild members make less than $20,000 a year…a far cry from millionaires!

i’m not in the writers guild, but i am in the screen actors guild, and our contract is up for re-negotiation next year. most actors i’ve talked with agree, that the advances or rollbacks that the writers obtain during this current labor action will set the precedent for what happens to us in june.

i have many close friends in the writers guild, and believe me, they all wish they didn’t have to go out on strike. but there are two points that they would like to achieve.

these two points are explained in this video by tim kazurinsky (you may remember his as sweetchuck in the police academy films, or as a member of saturday nite live in the 80’s).

that’s right, the writers have only been making 4 cents per dvd sold. and they were only asking for a mere 4 cents more per dvd sale, for a total of 8 cents. considering that a dvd sells for about $29.95, it doesn’t seem like much.
and, i have to report that at this point, the writers have taken the demand for another 4 cents off the table (right before they went out on strike). mediachannel.org:

the wga’s repeatedly referred to four cents as the usual residual writers receive per dvd sale. on the last day of contract talks, guild negotiators took the dvd proposal — seeking to double that rate — off the table but were infuriated by what they saw as a lack of movement by the companies and have hinted since then that it might be back on the table. the wga had no comment wednesday about the status of its dvd proposal.
the second point is that currently the writers get absolutely nothing when their work is shown on the internet, even though the networks are getting advertisting dollars for showing episodes of their programs on the web. just try to watch “grey’s anatomy” on your computer without having to sit through that herbal essence commercial…and unlike with tivo, can’t fast-forward it!

however, the networks have cleverly decided to call such internet showings of programs “promotion,” and thusly refuse to pay residuals. this might not seem like such a big problem, but anybody who dealt with the net neutrality issue would surmise that the telecommunication industry has big plans for using the internet as a distribution system in the upcoming years.
at least, barry diller, former head of abc programming and hollywood wunderkind, seems to think so:

internet-distributed television, talk of which dominated the consumer electronics show earlier this month, has large factions of both naysayers and disciples. and allaire has shown a knack for making believers out of key people. armed with $16 million in funding from aol, barry diller’s interactivecorp., hearst and venture-capital group allen & co., brightcove recently added diller to its board of directors. former aol chief executive steve case, whose cable/broadband network lime is powered by brightcove, is an investor as well.
most of my writer and actor friends think so, too. and if the common distribution system for television in the next decade is broadband internet, you can bet the writers (and the actors) don’t want a contract without residuals for usage on the web.

i’m one of the lucky ones in hollywood, i’m making a good living. but that has only been in the last few years. i spent most of my hollywood years just barely getting by, and often i had to have other, non-acting jobs to supplement my income. that’s how i know just how important residuals are to the creative industry worker.

i was a strike captain back in the commercial actors strike in 2000. though the other side was comprised of a different set of suits (that is, we were negotiating with advertising agencies, and not studios and networks), they had the same mindset. and they made no attempt to hide their agenda: the total elimination of all residuals. i am afraid that this labor action is very much about the same thing.

luckily for everyone invovled, the two sides have agreed to get back to the negotiating table, starting next monday. wish us all luck. if you’d like to follow the progress of this strike, united hollywood is a very good “unofficial” blog with daily updates. other blogs that is staying on top of this story include nikki finke’s deadline hollwyood daily and speechless without writers. also the blogs of james gunn and ken levine, who are two very successful writers that are keeping tabs on this labor action.

and of course, over on my blog i’ll be reporting as much inside dope and outside poop as i can find, which to date includes my experiences walking the picket lines at nbc (where i saw the back of john edwards head), at 20th century fox, and in the big hollywood blvd. rally earlier this week.

read tmv’s previous posts on the strike here and here.
once again, skippy and the editors here would like to thank joe and all our friends at the moderate voice, not only for the opportunity to share our thoughts with his readers, but for also maintaining one of the more sane outposts of ideas in blogtopia, and yes, we coined that phrase!

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posted by skippy at 11:11 AM | 4 comments

we're on fire....again

boo-boo's in flames
a fire fueled by santa ana winds burned through the hills of malibu early this morning, destroying 250 acres and engulfing several homes.

at least 100 homes have been evacuated, and the los angeles county fire department said that number is expected to grow. the evacuations were in the malibu bowl area.

...warnings also were issued for coastal areas -- where gusts of up to 60 mph are expected -- until noon sunday.

red flag parking restrictions will be in effect until at least 10 p.m. today for the hollywood hills and other fire-prone areas of the city, los angeles fire officials said.- latte times
and, of course. the lafd blog is on the scene.

firefighters arrive in the Cove
Originally uploaded by hereinmalibu
from laobserved/malibu

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:00 AM | 0 comments

new p.m. hops in

howard hopping out.
john howard led his government to a humiliating defeat last night and was poised to lose his own seat as kevin rudd became australia's 26th prime minister. - sydney morning herald
"today the australian people have decided that we as a nation will move forward to plan for the future, to prepare for the future, to embrace the future..."

...mr rudd's extraordinary triumph will deliver the labor party power in every australian government, state and federal, for the first time. - melbourne herald sun


posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:51 AM | 0 comments

Friday, November 23, 2007

change of address card

cliff schecter has moved his blog to a new url!

same good eats! new location! bookmark the page!


posted by skippy at 11:34 PM | 1 comments

skippy's friday nite music club

another gem suggested by cookie jill..

the incomparable fats waller - your feet's too big


posted by skippy at 6:29 PM | 3 comments

blogging around blogtopia **

the all spin zone finds an editorial in the middle of red america serously questioning the gop agenda;

the satirical political report explains why no gop candidates will campaign on black friday;

over at the sideshow, avedon carol alerts us to the man who left poland for the utopia of the free world only to die after being tasered 10 hours after arriving in canada (and the vanity press links us to the video of that event);

logan murphy at c&l has a screen shot of the msnbc video showing two folks wearing anti-awol tee shirts as the first shoppers thru the doors at a mall on black friday;

and thank goodness for esoterically.net who seems to be continuing bob geiger's tradition of the saturday morning cartoons, only on friday nite.

** and yes, we coined that phrase!


posted by skippy at 6:13 PM | 1 comments

you are what you read

ian welsh over at the agonist has some insight into the conservative mind:

what do conservatives spend their time thinking about?

one answer is provided by conservapedia's most viewed list:

1. main page‎ [1,897,388]
2. homosexuality‎ [1,488,013]
3. homosexuality and hepatitis‎ [516,193]
4. homosexuality and promiscuity‎ [416,767]
5. homosexuality and parasites‎ [387,438]
6. homosexuality and gonorrhea‎ [328,045]
7. homosexuality and domestic violence‎ [325,547]
8. gay bowel syndrome‎ [314,076]
9. homosexuality and syphilis‎ [262,015]
10. homosexuality and mental health‎ [249,14]
we don't even want to know what "gay bowel syndrome is, much less why it has its own page!

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posted by skippy at 12:26 PM | 3 comments

guesting game

we are proud as a platypus that skippy was tapped to write a guest post over at our friend joe gandelman's blog the moderate voice, and skippy chose to write about the wga strike. go over and support both skippy and tmv, leave a comment or two!

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posted by skippy at 12:14 PM | 0 comments

what he said

gene lyons (via make them accountable):

among the blogs i read, there’s no equivalent of the authoritarian impulses, intellectual dishonesty and rote chanting of the gop party line that characterizes limbaugh and his imitators on the right. partly, that’s because most are written by educated individuals who take pride in winning arguments without cheating, and to whom party orthodoxy is anathema. in a saner climate, many wouldn’t be called left-wing at all.
it's a good article, even if gene failed to mention skippy.


posted by skippy at 10:17 AM | 0 comments