s skippy the bush kangaroo: February 2007

skippy the bush kangaroo

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

527 equals 75,000

via psychobilly democrat, there is cause for joy as the federal elections comission does its job for once and fines a hardly-ever-right wing group for violating election laws. nytimes:

a major conservative group agreed to pay a $750,000 penalty as part of a settlement with the federal election commission, which found that the group violated campaign finance laws by spending more than $30 million on advertisements and mailings supporting president bush’s re-election.

the fine was the third largest in the agency’s 32-year-history. the settlement reflects a crackdown in the last several months on the political activities of so-called 527 groups — named after a section of the tax law — that surfaced in the 2004 election as a powerful force, raising and spending hundreds of millions of dollars in unregulated contributions through a loophole in the law…

the agency found that the group, the progress for america voter fund, operated as a political action committee, soliciting money and financing advertisements.

it spent $26.4 million alone on advertising in battleground states in 2004 for the purpose of retaining mr. bush as president…

the group admitted no wrongdoing under the agreement, but promised to register as a political action committee if it decided to keep operating the same way. it also agreed to file disclosure reports listing donors and other information from may 2004 through january of this year. it reported raising $44.9 million in 2004, with nearly three-fourths from 13 donors, the agency said.
psychobilly dem points out:

swift boat veterans was also involved in an fec complaint. in what was apparently an underreported finding, they settled with the fec in december.

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posted by skippy at 10:09 PM | 1 comments

say hello

to the cucking stool and olio.


posted by skippy at 10:08 PM | 0 comments

amnesty day leftovers

imagine our chagrin (if you can) when one of our interns, in the monthly comments audit, found a handful of blogs which asked to be included in our blogroll amnesty day, but, for reasons unknown to us (ie, we screwed up) were not.

it is with great regret that we took so long to announce that it is with great pleasure that we announce these new additions to our blogroll:

all things democrat

nine pearls

and, we must apologize to the burned over district, whom we thought we had on our roll long ago, but are definitely adding now.

in light of our obviously poor administration and organizational skills, we urge everyone who has asked us for a spot on our roll but haven't received one yet to email us and remind us.

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posted by skippy at 9:01 PM | 5 comments

when this general speaks

people should listen.

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posted by Cookie Jill at 8:21 PM | 0 comments

for want of a dentist

a child's life was lost.

twelve-year-old deamonte driver died of a toothache sunday.

a routine, $80 tooth extraction might have saved him.

if his mother had been insured.

if his family had not lost its medicaid.

if medicaid dentists weren't so hard to find.

if his mother hadn't been focused on getting a dentist for his brother, who had six rotted teeth.

by the time deamonte's own aching tooth got any attention, the bacteria from the abscess had spread to his brain, doctors said. after two operations and more than six weeks of hospital care, the prince george's county boy died. - washington post

now i ask all those "compassionate conservatives" out there...really...what the hell would jesus have done.

i'm sure it wouldn't have been to let a child die because of lack of insurance in order to give paris hilton a freaking tax break or to hand out $9billion dollars in a war zone and not have anybody accountable to where it went or who it went to.

a little boy with a toothache dies not too far away from our nation's capital and nobody there seems to freaking care.


posted by Cookie Jill at 7:45 PM | 1 comments

maybe he wanted those little packs of peanuts they give in lieu of meals nowadays

cap'n dyke the lesbian pirate queen brings us the story of the squirrel terrorist:

just when the squirrel menace looked like it might have faded away, an american airlines flight from tokyo has been forced to make an emergency landing in honolulu because a rogue squirrel had managed to sneak on board.

the squirrel emergency was discovered when, on the flight from tokyo to dallas, the pilots heard what has been described as a ’skittering’noise in the space above the cockpit.

subsequent investigations revealed that the noise was caused by an insurgent squirrel that had somehow managed to board the flight.

the plane was forced to make a quick landing in honolulu, hawaii, as the pilots were worried that the squirrel could severely damage the plane by chewing through wiring.
it could have been worse. it could have been a northwest airlines flight. then the squirrel would have been drunk.


posted by skippy at 5:34 PM | 1 comments

how much for our mint-condition honus wagner?

via bunkosquad, we found the baseball card blog.

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posted by skippy at 5:22 PM | 0 comments

wednesday nite music club

blake did such an interesting version of this number on last night's american idol, we thought we'd bring you the original:

jamiroquai - virtual insanity

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posted by skippy at 4:51 PM | 2 comments

imagine making minimum wage

in a job that is seasonal and no set schedule. you are considered either temporary help or an independent contractor. you don't get sick days...the only way you get paid is by working. you are not covered by health insurance by your employer(s) nor can you afford to buy it yourself.

say you're not feeling well. you can't take time off of work. you can't afford to the doctors. say your rent is due....you gotta gig...a big gig....what do you do?

could lead to more scenarios like, well, this one....

forget the dancing...get hepatitis with the stars.

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posted by Cookie Jill at 12:37 PM | 3 comments

mad about hate mail

mad kane, that is!

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posted by skippy at 12:28 PM | 0 comments

no tickee no wiki

continuing the discussion of the conservapedia, thoughts of an average woman finds a school that has banned the use of the wikipedia as a source.


posted by skippy at 12:21 PM | 0 comments

hillary falls short (insert your own joke here) on fundraising goal

bleeding heartland, via mydd breaking blue, tells us hillary's fundraising just barely missed, but missed nonetheless, her stated goal last week:

last wednesday, hillary clinton kicked off an effort to get one million dollars through smallish online donations. the first solicitation email came from bill clinton on the 21st, followed by james carville on the 22nd, madeleine albright on the 26th, and bill clinton again today. despite all this, as of this post she is still $100k short. now i wouldn't be surprised if all of a sudden they mysteriously came up with the margin tonight, but i suspect that if obama tried the same thing he would easily surpass one million. that is if his basically run-of-the-mill campaign is even willing to take the risk…

update: their last update was at 11pm est, and they were still more than 40k short. i think they made one big mistake that would have definitely meant the difference between hitting their goal and not - they should have had real time updates for the fundraising total. there is something so much more compelling about clicking refresh and watching something grow; people who donated early might be encouraged to contribute again, and people who have just been refreshing might want to get involved at the very end. that's a rookie mistake, clinton campaign.
we're not so sure that obama could have done better, and we know the plural of anecdote is not data, but this can't be making the hillary camp happy.

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posted by skippy at 11:50 AM | 2 comments

where in the world is harm de blij?

the moderate voice interviews harm de blij, the author of over 30 books, including his most recent, why geography matters.

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posted by skippy at 11:35 AM | 1 comments

a second bonus strip...

mark tatulli's lio. good lord, i wish i'd seen this one earlier.

a little background: lio is a small boy who possesses a great imagination. tatulli's strips consist of lio living out his imaginings, but with a hgihly unusual twist in regards to the realm of newspaper comics: the strips contain zero dialogue. this is what the cliche/adage "a picture is worth a thousand words" looks like when apllied to comic strips. and it looks fantastic -- lio does for the funny pages what mashasi tanaka's gon does for comic books.

i could go on in praise of lio, but if i did, i'd spoil the strip i linked to please go read...
posted by Jim Yeager at 9:30 AM | 0 comments

why the gores' electric bill is a lose-lose for the right

much ado is being made about al gore's utility bills as of late. but the nytimes finds out that, as usual, the numbers don't really add up:

the group, the tennessee center for policy research, issued its statement a day after the film “an inconvenient truth,” which tracked mr. gore’s campaign to educate the world about the ravages of global warming, won an academy award for best documentary feature. by its count, mr. gore’s mansion “consumes more electricity every month than the average american household uses in an entire year,” the statement said.

but here is where the story gets a little blurry.

the group cited some damning kilowatt-consumption figures — 221,000 for the gores in 2006, compared with the american average of 10,656, for instance — which, it said, were obtained from the nashville electric service. it put the gores’ average monthly electric bill at $1,359. of course, those figures immediately rocketed through cyberspace…

the associated press, however, apparently asked a spokeswoman from the nashville utility company, laurie parker, if the policy group had actually obtained the information from them, and she said the utility never got a request from the policy center and that no information was ever turned over to them.

so the a.p. decided to review the utility records itself, and came up with slightly different kilowatt consumption numbers: 191,000 for the gores in 2006 — compared to a typical nashville home of 15,500 kilowatts.

it remains unclear at this point why there would be two contradictory sets of numbers floating around — even if both sets do show mr. gore’s mansion to be a bit of an energy hog.

we shan't get into gore's offset argument here. needlenose does an excellent job describing, step-by-step, how everyone can follow gore's lead and purchase renewable energy credits for their own carbon footprint.

but as the times points out in another article , the group whining the loudest about gore's bill, the tennesse center for policy research, itself "disputes that global warming is a serious problem." and therin lies the conundrum that makes it impossible for the hardly-ever-right wing to win this squirmish.

for their arguments to hold any weight, the right must admit that global problem is an important dilemna that the world must deal with. otherwise their complaints about gore's electricity bill are irrelevant. and who complains about the irrelevant, besides those who are already irrelevant?

on the other hand, if they concede that global warming is important, and people like gore shouldn't be using so much of the earth's resources (which is a valid point), then every gop pioneer and gazillionaire is at least as guilty, if not more so, than al gore of wasting energy.

tho the mmm (multi-millionaire media) are once again failing to apply this or any logic to the current fracas being raised, the truth about the right's argument is that it is self-cancelling. either the right believes in global warming and that something should be done about it by people (which would include themselves) or it's a non-issue, not worth the pixels being used to describe it.

if they think gore's warnings are mere babbling about cloudcuckooland, why are they worried about his consistency? if nobody cares about how much energy any huge mansion uses irrespective of the partisanship of the owner, what difference does gore's electric bill make?

we happen to know his cable bill is enormous! there are people in china who have never seen the sopranos, and he gets 7 premium services! and pay-per-view wrestling! now that's something for glenn beck to hyperventillate about.

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posted by skippy at 9:01 AM | 4 comments

if the right wing really worried about gas emissions, limbaugh would be in jail

needlenose explains the fake brou-ha-ha brewing over al gore's electricity bill:

the vrwc just can't stand the thought of al gore being lauded for his environmental work and getting an award for it. so they put out a hit piece accusing gore of, um, having a high utility bill (!)

in response, gore pointed out that he's taken measures to not only calculate his family's carbon footprint, but also offset it by purchasing credits. never having heard of the practice, i decided to do a little research and share it with our readers.

the concept is pretty simple: calculate how much greenhouse gas your household generates then purchase renewable energy credits (rec) to offset them. until very recently rec's could only be purchased by businesses. then someone (the people behind greentags claim they were the first) had the idea to act as a 'bundler' and group a number of individual contributions to create a larger purchasing pool, then use the money to buy rec's -- just like the big boys…
first, you have to get a rough estimate of how much greenhouse gas your household is generating. al gore likes to point at the carbon calculator which offers a highly dumbed-down simplified method. they also list the national average as 7.5 tons per household, however, other sources put the average at 12.4 or even up to 17.5 tons…

once you get the footprint number, you round it out then head on over to any number of places where consumers can purchase renewable energy credits online. al gore himself points to nativeenergy's individual carbon offset purchase page, where you can enter the number of tons and see how much per month or year it would cost to offset your carbon use. there are many other sites like greentags or carboncounter, and it's good to have options. to give you a rough estimate, my own three-person household with moderate driving and air-travel came in at around 4 tons, which ended up running around $50 per year to zero out.

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posted by skippy at 8:49 AM | 1 comments

comic strip of the day -- and one bonus strip...

wiley miller's non sequitur. he and i are clearly on the same wavelength here.

by the way, did anyone catch sunday's opus? i was a huge bloom county fan back in the 80s, and i think this is one of the best strips berke breathed's ever drawn...


posted by Jim Yeager at 7:13 AM | 2 comments

good question

the whole american hog asks, americans strongly support murtha’s iraq plan (so where the hell are the democrats??)

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posted by skippy at 12:43 AM | 1 comments

say the secret word and the duck comes down and gives you $100

liberal common sense provides a link to a free 5 chapter excerpt from a book written by a google insider: 37 killer adwords pay-per-click secrets exposed.


posted by skippy at 12:43 AM | 0 comments

ready set go...maybe not

the impolitic bemoans the recently-congressionally-revealed fact that this country's military readiness is "in the danger zone":

our military is stretched too thin. not only would a new strike in another country be insane, we can barely protect our own at this point. in simple terms bush's war games have destroyed our on the ground military superiority. yeah, we still have air superiority but as iraq has made painfully apparent, that's just not enough.

in an interesting jutxaposition, the white house via tony snow respond to this dismal news by declaring the escalation demonstrates a nimbleness unprecedented in a time of warfare. he doesn't look like he believes it any more than i do, but he is sort of right. it demonstrates an unprecedented low in readiness.


posted by skippy at 12:41 AM | 1 comments

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

but the good news is, pot crops need heat

good nonsense thinks of a way to get college kids interested in global warming:

this should get every college kid to finally pay attention to global warming, peak oil, and the future we face. increased emphasis on ethanol-->more growing of crops for energy production-->less growing of crops not for energy production-->less barley being raised-->higher price for the barley raised-->more expensive beer. i'm expecting riots. . . .

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posted by skippy at 11:00 PM | 2 comments

quote of the day

the kenosha kid:

the world's dullest blogwar has gone from cold to hot once again. jeff g. and thers are at it again, spilling literally thousands of ones and zeros over whether or not jeff g. is the sort of person that would get personal and drag people's children into an argument over literary theory.


posted by skippy at 9:13 PM | 0 comments

turns out the afghan bomb was the least of dick's worries

via christy at fdl, the amazing dan froomkin finds some poll numbers that can't be all that encouraging to the administration:

consider some of these findings, listed in order of how strongly those views are held. (and i'm only including those with over 55 percent support):

* 67 disapprove of the way bush is handling iraq.

* 67 percent oppose sending additional troops to iraq.

* 66 percent support reducing u.s. military and financial support for the iraqi government if the iraqis fail to make progress toward national unity and restoring civil order.

* 64 don't think the war with iraq was worth fighting.

* 58 percent want congress to limit the number of troops available for duty.

* 56 percent feel the u.s. should withdraw its military forces from iraq in order to avoid further u.s. military casualties, even if that means civil order is not restored there.

and in an somewhat related finding:

* 63 percent feel they cannot trust the bush administration to honestly and accurately report intelligence about possible threats from other countries.

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posted by skippy at 8:36 PM | 0 comments

tuesday nite music club

the one, the only dr. hook & the medicine show singing the one, the only on the cover of the rolling stone, written by the one, the only shel silverstein.


posted by skippy at 6:23 PM | 1 comments

tbd strikes again

man eegee points out that the gadflyer has contracted ted barlow disease!

(altho, to be technical about it, all the bloggers at the gadflyer are going on to blog at other sites, so we're not sure if this can count as tbd.)

we would like to point out some inspiring words that the editors of the gadflyer chose to leave us with:

this has been an extraordinarily exciting time in our nation's political history, and we felt privileged to have the opportunity to share our thoughts with thousands of readers. whether you're a blogger yourself, someone who posts an occasional comment on blogs, or just someone who reads them, you're part of a new and powerful movement that is helping to reshape american politics. have no doubt, the energy and passion of that movement scares the daylights out of the forces of darkness.

so keep it up. keep reading, keep writing, keep organizing, keep contributing, and keep voting. keep the good guys honest, and keep the pressure on the bad guys.

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posted by skippy at 5:58 PM | 1 comments

say hello

to a nola blog, your right hand thief, and ole blue the heretik.

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posted by skippy at 12:32 PM | 2 comments

wounded journo tells his tale tonight

the iraq and afghanistan veterans of america sends us a note to remind everyone that bob woodruff, the abc anchor who was severely wounded by an ied in iraq, will talk about his terrible ordeal this evening on abc in a documentary titled to iraq and back:

in his first on-air reporting since being severely injured by a roadside bomb in iraq last january, abc news anchor bob woodruff will tell the incredible story of his severe wounding and amazing but painstaking recovery over the past year during a prime-time report.

through interviews with the abc news team and soldiers who were with him on that fateful patrol, as well as the military and civilian medical teams who saved his life, we learn about woodruff's journey from the battlefield in iraq to germany and finally home to the united states.

"to iraq and back: bob woodruff reports" will air on tuesday, feb. 27 at 10:00 p.m. et.

in this special documentary, woodruff's wife lee will talk for the first time about the gravity of her husband's medical condition and the impact on their family.

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posted by skippy at 12:16 PM | 0 comments

investors: owch

the dow dropped more than 500 points...more than 200 points in less than 30 seconds.

a perfect storm of bad news, including a drop in chinese stocks, a drop in durable goods sales by 8%, and continuing lower prices in the housing market, made for a maalox moment on the trading floor today.

ironically, consumer confidence crept up to a 5 year high. but as was heard in skippy international headquarters today: "not any more."

as of this writing the dow has snuck back up to a mere 430 closed 400 points in the hole. still and all, a 4% drop is nothing to sneeze at.

addendum: we're listening to cnbc tv, where the anchors are warning that this very well could be not the last of the selling, ie, more bad news tomorrow and perhaps up to 4 or 5 days more.

double addendum: bondad explains it all.

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posted by skippy at 12:05 PM | 0 comments

great scientific minds think alike

dr. pz myers of pharyngula is offering up his own version of blogroll amnesty day! as long as your site is active, and not creationist, you can get on pharyngula's blogroll!

(we suggested to pz that another caveat be that your blog link to pharyngula! it's only fair!)

pz, along w/jon swift and this humble site, is one of the few bloggers acting as if the true meaning of "blogroll amnesty day" applies, unlike some other blogs we know, who shall remain (markos and duncan) nameless.

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posted by skippy at 10:04 AM | 4 comments

we heart steve gilliard

via pandagon, steve gilliard is slated for a 2nd round of open heart surgery.

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posted by skippy at 10:03 AM | 0 comments

speaking of pandagon

speaking of pandagon, drinking liberally will host drunkfest seminar in nyc this saturday featuring amanda, as well as scott shields from mydd and ari melber from the nation.

it will be held at the tank on church between franklin and white from 8-10.

if we weren't on the left coast, we'd be there! (right after stopping by the hospital to wish steve gilliard a speedy recovery!)

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posted by skippy at 9:56 AM | 0 comments

bomber that missed cheney unfortunately killed 19 others

"deadeye" dick cheney was not injured in a suicide blast near the main us military base in afghanistan yesterday (as we first reported to you here), but 19 others were killed and 11 more injured. asspress:

a suicide bomber killed 19 people and wounded 11 outside the main u.s. military base in afghanistan on tuesday during a visit by vice president dick cheney, officials said. the taliban claimed responsibility and said cheney was the target.

the blast happened near the first security gate outside the base at bagram, killing 19 people, said khoja mohammad qasim sayedi, chief of the province's public health department. gov. abdul jabar taqwa said "18 to 20 dead bodies" lay on the ground after the blast.

maj. william mitchell said it did not appear the explosion was intended as a threat to the vice president.
maybe that's the official us line, but the taliban says different. reuters:

"we wanted to target ... cheney," taliban spokesman mullah hayat khan told reuters by phone from an undisclosed location…

last year was the bloodiest since the u.s.-led forces ousted the taliban's islamist government in 2001 for refusing to surrender osama bin laden in the wake of september 11.

bolstered by money from record opium crops and safe havens in pakistan, the taliban have vowed a spring offensive -- including an increase in suicide attacks -- as the snows melt in coming weeks.

suicide attacks, virtually unheard of until 2005 when there were 21, jumped to 139 last year.
we do not wish harm on the vice president. but with any luck he at least soiled himself.

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posted by skippy at 9:35 AM | 2 comments

racism is alive and well in america

we can't kid ourselves. we have gained very few strides toward the land that dr. king dreamt about.

"is he black enough" - asks the wackjob right wingers of presidential contender barak obama.

"why i hate blacks" - "why i hate asians" are two of the headlines that have run in san francisco newspapers.

we could go on for miles with the racist hate spewed from the airwaves by rush limbaugh , michael savage and their icky ilk.
i mean, why didn't these morons leave new orleans before the hurricane? i'll tell you why: because they wanted to rape and loot! that's just the way some people are! and if they're black--if the rapists and looters are black--it's not george bush's fault! we've had these problems ever since the emancipation proclamation. once the whites leave town, all you've got is overwhelming lawlessness. - september 2005
"we need racist stereotypes right now of our enemy in order to encourage our warriors to kill the enemy." - michael savage, san francisco chronicle, february 6, 2003

it's time to stop. now.
it's time to take off the air those individuals who spew such garbage.
it's time to re-examine the role that the media maker noise machines have in segregating our populace with hate.

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posted by Cookie Jill at 5:00 AM | 4 comments

Monday, February 26, 2007

afghani bomb misses dick


vice president dick cheney was unhurt when bagram air base in afghanistan came under attack during his visit, u.s. military spokesman david accetta said.

the attack occurred at the front gate to the base, the spokesman said. cheney, who stayed at bagram overnight, is ``fine,'' his spokeswoman lea anne mcbride said.

the incident took place at 10:30 a.m. afghan time and the base was placed on temporary alert, accetta said, adding he couldn't confirm any casualties. two people were killed, agence france-presse reported.

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posted by skippy at 11:04 PM | 1 comments

say hello

to the allen almanac, whose motto is particularly noticable:

"to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance”

big bonus plus: the allen almanac brings us mr. diety and the really big favor:

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posted by skippy at 8:20 PM | 1 comments

monday nite music club

the famous sextet from donizetti's lucia di lammermoor with the incomparable (and here youthful) jose carreras as edgardo, and katia ricciarelli as lucia, leo nucci as enrico, john paul bogart as remando, john dickie as arturo, and waltraud winsauer as alisa.

as one commentor says on the youtube page, you can't do better than jose carreras!

addendum: we didn't know it, but we were accidentally celebrating the 400th birthday of opera. upi tells us:

opera houses around the globe mark the 400th birthday of opera with performances of "orfeo," the first modern-day opera performed in -- where else? -- italy.

"orfeo" by claudio monteverdi, the forerunner of verdi, wagner, mozart and others, was performed feb. 24, 1607, in mantua, the independent said tuesday. "orfeo" is the tale of orpheus descending into the underworld in search of his love eurydice.

mantua marked the anniversary with a new performance of "orfeo." a number of initiatives noted the event across europe and beyond. at glimmerglass opera in new york, four different operas on the orpheus myth were to be performed.

around europe, opera houses in russia, britain, luxembourg, spain and elsewhere staged exhibitions, open rehearsals, children's workshops and guided tours. the opera de lille in france staged opera karaoke sessions in local cafes.

monteverdi's orfeo was not the first recognizable opera but, but was the "earliest great operatic masterpiece," according to the journal opera now. "dafne," composed by jacopo peri, is regarded as the first-ever opera performed in the 1590s.

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posted by skippy at 4:48 PM | 0 comments

hey, we tried to tell markos and duncan this

according to kineda, skippy is an a-list blogebrity!

A-List Blogger

hat tip to cookie jill who sent us the link!

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posted by skippy at 4:35 PM | 13 comments

and the loser is

the fabulous and not-yet-dead tallulah morehead gives us her take on last night's oscars:

they did move to the top of the show, the montage on the technical oscars award ceremonies, generally known as "the boring awards." i don't know why the gorgeous jake gyllenhaal chose to present this part of the show in drag, but he should not have shaved his chest.

i was certainly impressed by the mormon tabernacle sound effects choir, though i wish i could have heard them singing the disemboweling sounds that apocalypto was filled with from end to end. it's bound to be pleasanter and more musical than it's hard out here for a pimp.everyone was shocked when great actor alan arkin beat the odds-on favorite for best supporting actor: comedian, homophobe, and friend of the working tranny, eddie murphy. maybe if they'd held back the release of norbit until after the ballots were in, eddie might have won, although a famous homophobe winning during a ceremony hosted by a famously out lesbian seems borderline inappropriate.

fortunately, there was still a supporting performer award for a famous homophobe, when jennifer hudson picked up her gold statuette. of course, jennifer insists that she's not a homophobe, it's just that in her church, god hates fags and is sending them all to hell. she's sorry about it, but she doesn’t make the rules; her god does. of course, she might wonder why, if god is going to send all homosexuals to hell, why did he/she create them homosexual in the first place? but then, if people applied logic to matters of faith, all the churches would be empty. jen darling, in order for something to be a sin, it has to involve the exercise of free will. homosexuality is in-born. it’s not a choice, therefore it can’t be a sin. i know your church says differently, but guess what: your church is wrong.

we know that it is god who chooses the winners, because miss hudson had to thank god twice in her speech. (where was the orchestra-drown-out when we needed it?) but why would god then reward a godless lesbo like melissa etheridge? theology makes my head hurt...

when steven spielberg, george lucas, and francis ford coppola came onstage together, was i the only one who thought they were going to sing three little maids from school? so, do you think steve, francis, and marty scorsese were all rubbing george’s nose on their oscars? when george asked why he’d never won an oscar, someone should have suggested he watch the godfather, shindler's list and the departed, and then take a good, hard look at attack of the clones.
miss morehead, who has made more movies than ron jeremy, is certainly the ultimate hollywood has-been insider. and from what we hear, most of hollywood has been insider.

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posted by skippy at 3:51 PM | 1 comments

skippy el canguro del arbusto.

¡hola, señoras y caballeros! ¡aquí está una página interesante que conseguimos un cierto tráfico de!


posted by skippy at 3:40 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to opinion source, who correctly designates cookie jill as the environmental editor for this blog.


posted by skippy at 12:46 PM | 1 comments

oj juror writes tell all book

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

ok, actually, what happened is one of the libby trial jurors was dismissed because they were accidentally tainted by the media.

jane at fdl tells us the show is going on w/just 11 jurors:

tongues wagging about why fitz wanted to add another juror and wells didn't move for a mistrial but insead wants to go ahead with 11 jurors. the best explanation i've seen so far (and christy agrees) comes from froggermarch in the comments:

reading between the lines of well’s comments, it seems that he was defensive about “not being on the precipice of a mistrial” or somesuch. it seems to me that one reason fitz would want to have the next alternate join in deliberations now is that it is more dangerous for an alternate to be tainted. he is concerned about the short bench of alternates and believes the deliberations are going to go on for a while. he wants them to take their time, because the more they go through the evidience, the less the memory defense holds water. introducing a new juror, particularly one he thinks is sypathetic to the prosectuion, would tend to push any pro libby jurors to look more carefully at the evidence.

just a wag, but that’s my take on why fitz preferred to go with 12.
that jibes with what i've seen in the courtroom. both of the alternate jurors (one white, one african american) are women and appeared very attentive to fitzgerald's points. wells only needs one hold-out, but neither of those looked particularly likely to be one, especially not during closing arguments.

i don't buy the argument that wells is afraid libby will run out of money, that will never happen, and a mistrial would serve to delay things, which definitely serves the interest of team libby. i imagine that whatever happened was just not that bad, as walton noted, and didn't make its way to the rest of the jury.
accidentally tainted by the media. aren't we all?

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posted by skippy at 12:37 PM | 0 comments

evil twins

via dan froomkin, the houston post's blogger asks, which is the evil twin? the answer is both.


posted by Carnacki at 12:28 PM | 0 comments

wonder what karen hughes has been up to?

she's been blogging and posting things up on youtube.

spin of the day tracked her down (via the austin american-statesman)
"we just a few weeks ago, for the first time, engaged in arabic on blogs," karen hughes, the u.s. undersecretary for public diplomacy, told reporter tara copp. "we have what's called here a 'digital outreach team' ... that is actively going on the arabic blogs and responding to misinformation and disinformation and propaganda and rumors with facts. and we're very above board that it's the digital outreach team of the state department." that's just one new media venture for hughes. her office recently gave "state department exchange students mini-camcorders," writes copp. "the students recorded their american experiences and will post the videos to youtube." .... "we just took the u.s. wrestling team to tehran and we brought our first groups of exchange participants over to america from iran. we're going to be doing more of that this year."
perhaps ms. hughes could bring a digital outreach team back here stateside to respond to the mininformation and propaganda coming from the white house. and, if iran is so evil and dangerous, why are we taking the u.s. wrestling team over there?

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posted by Cookie Jill at 9:46 AM | 4 comments

get well soon

steve gilliard is in the hospital...send your prayers and healing vibes his way, pls...


posted by skippy at 9:45 AM | 0 comments

false teachin' and bad preachin'

bluejersey has a posting from the father of matthew laclair, the high school student who taped his history teacher proselytizing the classroom. for those who don't recall the story, the student thought the teacher was using the classroom inappropriately, so he recorded the teacher and then told the principal about it. the principal called the student and teacher in, the teacher called the kid a liar, and then matthew produced his tapes proving that the teacher, david paszkiewicz, is a liar who thinks it is okay to lie for jesus. the school claimed that they disciplined the teacher, but the details of the alleged discipline were not made public. the school did implement a new rule to deal with the problem: students are not allowed to record teachers. the problem wasn't that the teacher was proselytizing, claiming evolution was bogus, etc., you see, but that the teacher got caught. or at least that's what the school seems to be saying with that new rule.

(cross-posted from blanton's and ashton's, where we will eat no cheese before it stinks)
posted by DBK at 9:43 AM | 0 comments

don't let the door hit your ass on the way out, joe

we agree w/shayera over at excuse the mess that was just my head about lieberman's threat to change parties:

seriously. just fricking go. i'm so tired of this boy who cried wolf shit of lieberman's. he's an asshat, trying to make the democrats dance to his tune. and i say just let him go. tell him to hit the road.

and to drive home the snark, here's the clash dedicatd to joe:


posted by skippy at 9:38 AM | 2 comments

logos say it all

thanks to renee in ohio for making this groovy logo:


we found it on a buckeye state blogpost about how the big box bloggers ought to keep their noses out of local races if they're not going to be truthful about the proceedings.

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posted by skippy at 9:19 AM | 3 comments

the party to keep an eye on

forget the dems...forget the rethugs...it's the party of davos and they're waging war. a global class war.
all markets generate class politics –conflict among groups over, as harold lasswell once famously put it, “who gets what.” so it’s no surprise that a cross-border class politics has developed in the wake of the globalizing economy. at this point it is pretty much a one-party system. call it the party of davos, after the annual elite bash in the swiss alps that resembles the big-donor receptions at a political convention –corporate ceos and world class investors, the people who carry their bags, and the politicians, pundits and policy intellectuals who carry their water.
- jeff faux diary over at the tpm cafe

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posted by Cookie Jill at 9:11 AM | 0 comments

the administration might be saying "support the troops," but the troops aren't returning the favor

via raw story, we learn that 60 minutes discovered a petition signed by more than a 1,000 military personnel calling for an end to the iraq war.

60 minutes gathered some of them in washington, but they had to be off base, out of uniform and off duty to speak to logan on camera.

they’ve all sent a petition, called “appeal for redress,” to their individual members of congress, letting them know that “staying in iraq will not work” and it’s “time for u.s. troops to come home.”

"it's not about speaking out against the military or speaking out against the war. It's just, we're here four years down the line and there's not an end to it," sgt. evans, one of the dissenters, tells logan.

"what are we trying to accomplish over there? i mean, what is what are we trying to do in iraq?" another soldier, sgt. ronn cantu asks.

what does he think?

"i don't even know anymore," he tells logan.

"well, what would you say to the people that say, 'alright, it's clear that the war in Iraq is incredibly difficult and life is really tough both for americans and for iraqis, but pulling out's not the answer. it's only gonna get worse. there's gonna be all-out civil war,'" logan asks.

"how does that become the default? either someday, we have to leave. we can't stay in iraq for the next thousand years," one soldier remarks.
and it's not just the enlisted personnel who are starting to dissent. the uk times reports the 5 pentagon generals are threatening to resign if they are given the orders to attack iran:

some of america’s most senior military commanders are prepared to resign if the white house orders a military strike against iran, according to highly placed defence and intelligence sources.

tension in the gulf region has raised fears that an attack on iran is becoming increasingly likely before president george bush leaves office. the sunday times has learnt that up to five generals and admirals are willing to resign rather than approve what they consider would be a reckless attack.

“there are four or five generals and admirals we know of who would resign if bush ordered an attack on iran,” a source with close ties to british intelligence said. “there is simply no stomach for it in the pentagon, and a lot of people question whether such an attack would be effective or even possible.”

a british defence source confirmed that there were deep misgivings inside the pentagon about a military strike. “all the generals are perfectly clear that they don’t have the military capacity to take iran on in any meaningful fashion. nobody wants to do it and it would be a matter of conscience for them.

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posted by skippy at 9:04 AM | 1 comments

we might be getting an xmas gift

a recession. or that's what "mr. andrea mitchell" is saying.

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posted by Cookie Jill at 8:31 AM | 0 comments

the miserable failure strikes again

look who is funding al-qaeda.
posted by George at 8:06 AM | 1 comments

congrats mr. president and mr. guggenheim!

i saw both of them up here in santa barbara when he and davis were honored with an attenburough award at the santa barbara international film festival. (and when i saw al get kissed by a sharp dresser next to me)

some other "oscar" quality names who are involved in environmental issues:

robert redford: 30 years on board of natural resources defense council, founder of sundance preserve, winner of 1993 earth day award, 1987
united nations global 500 award. this coming april, "the green", a show dedicated to all issues "green" will launch on his sundance tv channel.

brad pitt: co-creator of design competition to build 20 affordable, reduced energy, environmentally friendly homes in new orleans.

sting: founder in 1989 of rainforest foundation to protect rain forests and their indigenous peoples.

harrison ford: vice chairman of conservation international, has a central american ant named after him, won the global environmental citizen award in 2002.

cate blanchett: plans to equip sydney theater company building with solar panels, rainwater collection systems to make it completely eco-friendly. sydney home is fully powered by solar energy, donates to forest guardians.

pierce brosnan: focuses on marine mammal and wetland protection, headlined natural resources defense council campaign against effects of navy sonar on whales, awarded 1997 green cross international environmental leadership award.

from bling bling to carbon offsets...interesting.

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posted by Cookie Jill at 1:24 AM | 1 comments

Sunday, February 25, 2007

hoo cares for hollywood

mixter's mix thinks the oscars are just a wee bit overblown.

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posted by skippy at 11:20 PM | 1 comments

arizona democracy in action: you don't get your way, send a death threat

migra matters tells us an arizona state rep received death threats after opposing anti-immigration advocates:

for the second time in a month an arizona state legislator has received a threatening letter after opposing anti-immigration advocates.

"i never thought that i would fear for my safety or the safety of my family when i took a seat in the arizona house of representatives," said rep. bill konopnicki, "none of us should fear for our safety or of those we love."

arizona republic
the safford republican recently urged his colleagues to show some restraint when imposing business regulations intended to curb illegal immigration, and believes the letter was sent in connection with the issue.

pausing several times to maintain his composure during a floor speech to fellow representatives, konopnicki said that there was a "poisonous atmosphere" surrounding immigration and implored house speaker jim weiers "to make this stop." despite the threats, he said he would not be intimidated, adding, "we need to vote our conscience."

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posted by skippy at 11:14 PM | 0 comments

it sounded too good to be true

the edwards campaign apparently asked lindsay of majikthise to blog for them before they hired amanda and melissa. sounds like she was able to read between the lines where the other two ladies didn't:

"i'm probably not ... the person you want," i said, finally. "i mean, i'm on the record saying that abortion is good and that all drugs should be legalized, including heroin. don't you think that might be a little embarrassing for the campaign?"

bob assured me that my controversial posts weren't a problem as far as the campaign was concerned. they were familiar with my work. and bob did seem to know my writing. i didn't get the impression he was a daily reader, but it was obvious he had been reading the blog for a while.

"that's you, that's not john edwards," he said.

bob was confident that people would understand the difference. i wasn't so sure.

"so, it's not a problem that i'm an outspoken atheist?" i asked.

every blogger says controversial things from time to time, bob assured me. he admitted that he'd drawn some fire for a tasteless joke on his own site a while back. it hadn't been a big deal.
what, they didn't have skippy's number?? we make plenty of tasteless jokes!

our favorite line from lindsay's salon piece: "the blogosphere isn't just "the situation room" with swear words, it's a space for writers to explore ideas that are outside the bounds of mainstream discourse."

fuck, yeah!

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posted by skippy at 10:27 PM | 1 comments

oscar nite music club

ethel merman - there's no business like show business

donald o'connor - make 'em laugh


posted by skippy at 7:41 PM | 0 comments

the worst picture goes to....

tip o' the kangaroo tail to zeus4prez

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posted by Cookie Jill at 5:22 PM | 0 comments

oscar open thread

and we don't mean meyer.

we haven't seen most of the movies up for best picture, but, and we're going out on a limb here, we think little miss sunshine was way over-hyped. while it had some genuine laughs, it turned from a naturalistic dark comedy in the first act into "national lampoon's manic depressive vacation" in the second (spoiler: the gag w/the alan arkin character is a direct rip off of imogene cocoa in the first vacation flick). if the academy asked us, and they didn't, we'd give the oscar to united 93.

we hope jennifer hudson gets her oscar, too.

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posted by skippy at 3:33 PM | 1 comments

say hello

to blognoggle politics and jobsanger.


posted by skippy at 12:00 PM | 0 comments

skippy now a stringer for reuters

at least, his work is appearing on the reuters page...

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posted by skippy at 11:45 AM | 8 comments

if we didn't own birds and hate art, we'd be there!

we are delighted to learn that just down the road from skippy international headquarters here in west la, the japanese novelty store giant robot is holding an art show/kitten adoption. via hackenblog:


posted by skippy at 11:34 AM | 0 comments

treated like cannon fodder

that's how this administration "handles" our soldiers.
the army is deliberately shortchanging troops on their disability retirement ratings to hold down costs, according to veterans’ advocates, lawyers and services members, and the inspector general has identified 87 problems in the system that need fixing.

read about the ig report

“these people are being systematically underrated,” said ron smith, deputy general counsel for disabled american veterans. “it’s a bureaucratic game to preserve the budget, and it’s having an adverse affect on service members.” - the army times

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posted by Cookie Jill at 11:32 AM | 2 comments

environmental news...to use...

questions about dupont unsettle town. tennessee officials were surprised to learn that dupont's paint plant in new johnsonville produces dioxin... the fourth-largest producer in the us. documents submitted to the state don't mention the carcinogen. nashville tennessean

what kinds of chemicals are in our bodies? state and federal governments monitor a litany of chemicals that are released into the air and water. state rep. ryan dvorak, d-south bend, thinks we need to find out how much of those chemicals actually ends up in our bodies. south bend tribune

monaco shows europe how to go green. european tax haven monaco has led the small countries of the world in the campaign to heighten awareness of environmental issues since prince albert became sovereign in 2005, and has launched a radical plan of its own to cut carbon emissions. american chronicle.

going green: project envisions eco-friendly shopping center. david baum of chicago illinois is aiming to tap into the growing consumer demand for eco-conscious merchandise and services by offering an entirely green space for entirely green work. chicago tribune

from cradle of democracy to toxic timebomb, athens drowns in rubbish. some of the ancient greek capital's famous streets are drowning under refuse after the city's official rubbish dump started to overflow. edinburgh scotsman

let's not drop new orleans for news du jour. here's something useful to give up for lent: inconsequential news. why not drop the daily intake of news du jour to focus on developments of real importance — such as the fate of new orleans. npr

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posted by Cookie Jill at 10:28 AM | 1 comments

hillary...you should be running to be

a catalyst for "change"...not whining because you lost some of david geffen's.

i was reminded last night of a woman that i admired growing up. shirley chisholm.
p.o.v. showed the documentary "chisholm '72" and i recalled how much i looked up to her and barbara jordan for inspiration and hope that, i, as a girl, could aspire to be something...big.

the late honorable ms. chisholm was unbought, unbossed and unforgotten.

hillary. many things are said in campaigns. many things are said in life. but one can judge one's character by actions taken in response to those words. ms. chisholm said that if you didn't want her to run, well, get out of her way, then...you do your thing, she'll do hers.

perhaps instead of attacking barak obama over words he did not speak, you should concentrate on doing your thing.

and, to me, anyway, wanking about not receiving money you somehow felt "entitled" to, does not seem, well, "presidential." i think we already have a "president" in the office who wanks about things he feels "entitled" to.

"you don't make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. you make progress by implementing ideas." -- shirley chisholm

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posted by Cookie Jill at 10:09 AM | 1 comments

and you think bloggers can't get along?

booman at the bt tells us the story of the nra member who was hounded out of the organization as well as his jobs for expressing the opinion that assault weapons aren't good for hunting:

jim zumbo made a big mistake. and he has paid a price. zumbo is a famous hunter and hunting advocate. he wrote for outdoor life from 1962 up until last week. what did he do? he wrote this on his blog after a long day hunting coyotes on the remington company's dime:

"excuse me, maybe i'm a traditionalist, but i see no place for these weapons [military-style assault rifles] among our hunting fraternity," zumbo wrote in his blog on the outdoor life web site. the feb. 16 posting has since been taken down. "as hunters, we don't need to be lumped into the group of people who terrorize the world with them. . . . i'll go so far as to call them 'terrorist' rifles."
oops. six thousand outraged letters later, zumbo issued his resignation…

his top-rated weekly tv program on the outdoor channel, his longtime career with outdoor life magazine and his corporate ties to the biggest names in gunmaking, including remington arms co., have been terminated or are on the ropes…
so what explains this vicious assault on a long-time nra member and hunting advocate?

zumbo's fall highlights a fundamental concern of the nra and many champions of military-style firearms, according to people who follow the organization closely. they do not want american gun owners to make a distinction between assault weapons and traditional hunting guns such as shotguns and rifles. if they did, a rift could emerge between hunters, who tend to have the most money for political contributions to gun rights causes, and assault-weapon owners, who tend to have lots of passion but less cash.
cue cher:

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posted by skippy at 9:54 AM | 1 comments

there's no business like news business

joe gandelman of the moderate voice (who is entertaining the crowds at the riverside county fair these days) wonders aloud if news should entertain or inform - or both?

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posted by skippy at 9:25 AM | 0 comments

Saturday, February 24, 2007

saturday nite music club

parlimnet funkadelic - give up the funk


posted by skippy at 10:12 PM | 1 comments

another one bites the dust

michigan's female u.s. attorney resigns.
seven other u.s. attorneys have been forced to resign in recent months. democrats have accused the bush administration of forcing the resignations to make way for political allies.- sfgate

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posted by Cookie Jill at 2:01 PM | 1 comments

david rose by any other name

talking dog interviews david rose, oen of the first journalists to visit gitmo, and author of "guantanamo: the war on human rights."

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posted by skippy at 1:12 PM | 0 comments


we are proud as a platypus to add instaputz to our blogroll...where it comes, coincidentally, right after instapundit!

we are also remiss in not having added rubber hose to our roll until now, in light of the fact that, as upyernoz pointed out to us, he has linked to skippy since the inception of that fine blog. our apologies, upyernoz!


posted by skippy at 1:07 PM | 6 comments

our money's on as long as it takes him to shower at the gym

over at 10 zen monkeys, blogger ru sirius interviews us suzie bright, noted sexy author, who has a betting pool up to see how long it will take for ted "i'm cured" haggard to fall (go?) down from his newly-acquired heterosexual ways (plus she talks about dirty stuff! it's kewl!).

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posted by skippy at 1:01 PM | 0 comments

the headline that gives me chills

white house rehearses for a domestic attack - newsweek and more at raw story.


posted by Cookie Jill at 12:29 PM | 1 comments


are in the kitchen....and hot.

really hot.

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posted by Cookie Jill at 11:45 AM | 0 comments

birds of prey

are becoming "prey" to toxins.
china's birds of prey are carrying an unexpected cargo: record-breaking amounts of flame retardant, which seems to be accumulating in animals to a much greater degree than anyone thought. - new scientist

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posted by Cookie Jill at 11:02 AM | 1 comments

american idol: mimus, you ignorant slut

[ed. note: little did we know, when skippy left a comment on mimus pauly's one-line throw-away about watching american idol, that we would wind up in a heated debate about the values of this program. but here follows our response to mimus's response to skippy's response to mimus's response to the program:]

mimus, you say in your rant against american idol:

here are some of the lessons viewers do learn from that program: building young people up just to knock them down is nice; making them cry is funny; being a douchebag is cool; and, perhaps the most insidious lesson of all, to quote vince lombardi, winning isn't everything, it's the only thing.

sorry, mimus, but the lessons you lay out which america learns is exactly what skippy was trying to say in his comment: show business is hard. incredibly hard. "making young people cry," is your interpretation of rejection, which is what simply happens in this industry.

unlike several reality shows which set people up for falls (think "the jamie kennedy experiment" or "punk'd"), this show does nothing more than tell the truth to aspiring hopefuls about their talent. and, the unfortunate truth is, 99% of the people, young or not, who want to make it show business don't have the talent to do so, let alone the drive, gumption, ambition, focus, or discipline.

is simon mean sometimes more than necessary (read: "douchebag")? yes. are there people like simon who are callous, unsympathetic and brutal to you in show business for real? yes. luckily, there are also people like paula and randy who are positive and helpful towards young hopefuls.

we don't believe "american idol" teaches "winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." look at the many american idol contestants who did not win the contest but have gone on to major careers: clay aiken, tamyra gray, chris daughtry, kellie pickler (who has a sitcom in the works), katherine mcphee, diana digarmo (currently on broadway), bo brice, and a little singing nobody named jennifer "golden globe winner oscar nominee" hudson.

in fact, howard cohen of the miami herald wonders aloud if losing on ai isn't a much better proposition than winning:

daughtry -- the clear front-runner early in season five -- certainly has benefited from that controversial ouster. he has sold more than a million copies of his eponymous debut cd, and radio -- long resistant to most idols -- has embraced his single, it's not over. daughtry sits at no. 3 on the current billboard 200 album chart -- far outpacing winner taylor hicks, whose album has plummeted to no. 47. other idol rejects to come out on top: kellie pickler, who scored a no. 1 country album recently and has been tapped to star in a tv sitcom; and josh gracin, who has seen three songs breach country's top 5.
no, "wining is the only thing" is not the lesson this show imparts. we believe that american idol teaches (and pardon us if we repeat ourselves, this is, after all, our main premise) that to make it in the entertainment industry, you have to be focused, disciplined, ready to give 1000% of your talent 1000% of the time, and able to take rejection, because you are going to be rejected a billion times more than you are ever going to be accepted. (those of us in show business know the secret to this dilemna: when you get accepted, it's suddenly a million times sweeter than you could ever imagine, because of the previous rejections).

we will grant you that the producers seem to milk the auditions for all way more than they are worth, and there are little if any actual life lessons to be gleaned from the over-stuffed and over-wrought first 6 or seven episodes of any given season ("but today in memphis, the clouds broke: will the sun bring talent, or will paula and simon still be fighting?" please. get a writer...no, strike that...get an editor and cut the audition sequence down to one hour, and get on with the actual contest!!); however, it is their show and they want to have as many people watch it as much as possible.

and therein lies the truth: it is, after all, just a tv show. and it's not even an original idea at that. where is your wrath for horn and hardart, ted mack, star search?

we maintain, there are many, many other reality shows (not to mention so-called comedy, drama and news shows) that one could get justifiably upset over (in a recent interview w/jamie tarses, the previous head of abc's entertainment division, she lamented that tv has come down to people "pointing to a suitcase," an obvious reference to the vapidity that is "deal or no deal").

fling not your bile on "american idol." more than any other program, movie or entertainment we have seen*, it demonstrates all the good, the bad, and the ugly that trying to be a success in the entertainment industry can heap upon young hopefuls. it shows all those party-goers, whose friends tell them (after a drunken rendition of "mandy") that they ought to be on tv, how very very hard and very very serious a life dedicated to show business can be. in other words, it's not as easy as it looks.

the skippy's love american idol, for this very reason. if someone doesn't like it, fine, turn the channel, or better yet, read a book (or blog, preferably, ours). but it's certainly not the worst thing on television, and we think, it shows some of the best.

*there is one other, slightly better, piece of popular culture that expresses the difficulty of making it in show business better than ai: the moment in the world's greatest lover when gene wilder, showbiz hopeful, arrives in hollywood.

set in the 1930's this supposed comedy has young wilder riding a train to los angeles to make it big in silent pictures. dressed in his white linen suit, white fedora, with his white cane and white carnation in his lapel, he tells his traveling companions, as the train pulls into the station, "i'm going to make in hollywood, and why? it's not because i am the most talented! not because i'm the most handsome, or best actor, or most photogenic! it's because i am unique!"

at which point he steps off the train to see literally hundreds of men dressed in white linen suits, white fedoras, with white canes and white carnations in the lapels strutting down the platform as "you ought to be in pictures" plays on the soundtrack.

it's funny because it's true.

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posted by skippy at 10:24 AM | 9 comments

talking about tax free

fox noise channel's prostitute toe sucking "ā'nəlyst" , dick (lives up to his first name) morris, believes he doesn't need to pay the state of connecticut $280,000 in back taxes.

the state is looking for money from delinquent tax payers who owe millions of dollars in back taxes.

there are actually two lists, one that lists the top 100-corporate tax delinquents and one that lists the top 100-individuals who own back taxes.

among the corporations on the list, general motors, who owes the state more than $350,000 and pepsico, which owes over $700,000. news channel 8 did not get a comment from general motors but a spokeswoman for pepsico said, "i'll have to look into it."

then there is high-profile individuals like political consultant and fox news contributor dick morris. morris owes over $280,000 and has been on the state's list of tax delinquents for years. - wtnh.com

tip o' the kangaroo tail to the left coaster.

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posted by Cookie Jill at 8:53 AM | 2 comments

sure they're making up to $10,000 month tax-free

but they're getting killed over in iraq just like our much lower paid and taxed armed forces. there have been up to 800 civilian contractor deaths...but, their lives lost aren't counted by the government's "statistics".

in a largely invisible cost of the war in iraq, nearly 800 civilians working under contract to the pentagon have been killed and more than 3,300 hurt doing jobs normally handled by the us military, according to figures gathered by the associated press.

exactly how many of these employees doing the pentagon’s work are americans is uncertain.

but the casualty figures make it clear that the defence department’s count of more than 3,100 us military dead does not tell the whole story.

“it’s another unseen expense of the war,” said thomas houle, a retired air force reservist whose brother-in-law died while driving a truck in iraq. “it’s almost disrespectful that it doesn’t get the kind of publicity or respect that a soldier would.”

....the contractors are paid handsomely for the risks they take, with some making £50,000 or more per year, mostly tax-free – at least six times more than a new army private, a rank likely to be driving a truck or doing some other unskilled work.

the difference in pay can create ill will between the contractors and us troops.

“when they are side by side doing the same job, there is some resentment,” said rick saccone, who worked as an intelligence contractor in baghdad for a year.

if the contractor deaths were added to the pentagon’s count of us military casualties, the number of war dead would climb about 25%, from about 3,000 as of the end of 2006 to nearly 3,800. - icwales.co.uk

iraq coalition casualty count - contractors.

and if you have not listened to it, i highly recommend "this american life's" episode, "i'm from the private sector and i'm here to help" (6/4/0, episode 266)
contributing editor nancy updike went to iraq to try to figure out what it's like to be a private citizen working in the middle of a war zone. private contractors are a part of this war in unprecedented numbers, but we don't know that much about the people doing these jobs – why they chose to come to iraq, and what they're seeing that we can't.


posted by Cookie Jill at 8:27 AM | 1 comments

american idol teaches viewers a lot of lessons -- one of which is, as skippy plainly stated, that show biz is excruciatingly hard work...

{in response to the comments skippy left to this post...}

that's the one serious lesson among the frivolous many that viewers ought to be taking to heart. it's also the only one in the bunch that viewers never learn. why? because nobody watches american idol for purposes of instruction; they watch it to be amused, the same reason they watch virtually everything else on television.

here are some of the lessons viewers do learn from that program: building young people up just to knock them down is nice; making them cry is funny; being a douchebag is cool; and, perhaps the most insidious lesson of all, to quote vince lombardi, winning isn't everything, it's the only thing. that's what american idol teaches viewers -- all the wrong lessons. people in show business who can't understand why others don't grasp that show business is ninety-nine percent pain and one-percent gain on a perfect day haven't been paying much attention to the infrastructure of their own industry.

sorry, skippy, but how in the f&#k do you expect anyone in the audience to learn the one brutally serious lesson you have to teach them when all the reasons those people are even in the goddamn audience to begin with run completely against the grain of your one brutally serious lesson?

{full version at mockingbird's medley...}

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posted by Jim Yeager at 6:23 AM | 0 comments

it's not wiki it's wacky

more on the conservapedia, about which we've already spoken.

firstly, let us give a nod to jon swift, who linked to this humble site, both on his blog and on shakespeare's sister, as a side tangent when discussing conservapedia's entry on kangaroos.

secondly, via linkmeister, we find the gang at making light making light of the conservative blog:

sadly, portions of conservapedia already appear to have been vandalized by the forces of irony and sarcasm. for instance, roy edroso points out this, from the entry on bill clinton:

bill clinton managed to serve two terms without botching the prosecution of two wars, manipulating intelligence, engaging in a systematic program of torture, or mishandling the federal response to the flooding of a major american city. obviously, he is the devil incarnate.


posted by skippy at 12:12 AM | 0 comments

Friday, February 23, 2007

say hello

to tommyjournal.


posted by skippy at 11:05 PM | 0 comments

show me the funny

kung fu monkey does an excellent job analyzing not only why the fox news channel's new comedy show (the half hour news hour) isn't funny, but why conservatives themselves will never actually be funny:

i hate to keep explaining this, but if it seems like the republicans have been suffering the comedic brunt for the last six years, this is because they have been in power, and comedy's job is to kick power in the junk.

more revealing is the idea of using "talking points" in a comedy show. this is obviously someone who's never worked a real comedy writer's room. for topical runs, you start with "okay, what happened today," and you look at everything. everything. this is because comedy has maybe a 10% success rate on the pitch, and that's just for joke-like objects, never mind actual functioning funny jokes. to fill a show with a couple dozen funny jokes, you don't have the time or luxury to stick to talking points. you need to find the funny. unless you're not worrying about funny -- in which case, you get the 1/2 hour news hour.

on a deeper level, this is about how you cannot make humor, you find humor. and you find humor in truth. as tyrone pointed out to me later in the conversation, often stewart does nothing but play the tape of a politician's actual words, and then do a reaction. a joke only works -- although every comic has a theory on this -- if there's some underlying bit of truth to it. either truth unrecognized before now, eliciting surprised laughter in response, or recognized and appreciated, the so-called "sympathy laugh." (see simpson, homer: "it's funny because it's true!" which in context is damn near a three-level meta-joke.) this is why jokes about bush not being bright work -- because we've all heard him speak, and he does not come across as a bright man. this is why jokes about bill clinton being a horndog work -- because billy-boy's a horndog. you could not do a joke about bush being, say, an adulterer, even if that were your "talking point." it just wouldn't work, because it doesn't ring true.

this, by the way, is the underpinning of the situation comedy, or nearly all scripted comedy: an ordinary person is put in a ridiculous situation, and his truthful response is amusing; or a ridiculous person is put in an ordinary situation and his truthful response is amusing.

comedy is truth, truth is reality, and if "reality has a well-known liberal bias" for now, anyway, you just have to suck that up if your job is the funny. one party has boring, earnest junior senators with competing health plans running for president. the other party has the guy in charge of fighting child pornography online soliciting minors online, a senator who talked about "man on dog" action, a state representative who doesn't believe the earth revolves around the sun, and a vice-president who won on an anti-gay platform with a gay daughter who's pregnant with another woman's child, which may be why he shot a dude in the face. nobody's fault fate dealt one player the "goofy" cards for the last few hands.
addendum: apparently a little under a million and a half people in the us didn't care if it was funny or not, until they actually saw the program. tvnewser:

the ratings are in for the 1/2 hour news hour on fnc. the heavily-promoted premiere delivered 499,000 viewers in the 25-54 demo and 1,478,000 total viewers.

the show gained about 170,000 demo and around 300,000 total viewers from its lead-in. half the viewers immediately tuned out, giving the line up just 231,000 demo and 787,000 viewers at 10:30pm.
[emphasis, and snarky sniggering, ours]

double addendum: those wacky conservatives! hot air quotes tvnewser for the premiere numbers, but fails to mention the next sentence about viewer drop off by half, while touting the success of the show! now that's funny!

our apologies. it was pointed out to us by allah pundit of hot air, that tvnewser was saying the audience switched channels at the end of the comedy show, not at the beginning.

we apologize for casting aspersions on bryan at hot air.

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posted by skippy at 10:51 PM | 3 comments

but where's shecky green?

via the sideshow, we wondered what happened to elayne boosler...


posted by skippy at 9:31 PM | 0 comments

friday nite music club

we got a doozy for you tonight, kids...

pj harvey & bjork singing satisfaction - a version which owes far more to devo than to mick & keith...


posted by skippy at 6:25 PM | 2 comments

everyone should have a bloggasm

this week, simon interviews jurassicpork from welcome to pottersville.


posted by skippy at 6:18 PM | 0 comments

hey, journalists! "culpability" is not a cute name for the two stars of the old "i spy" show

mediabloodhound dissects the mmm (multi-millionaire media)'s responsibility in allowing the jose padilla case to go largely unnoticed and unremarked:

if you ever wonder why a greater number of americans are not more outraged by cases like padilla’s, these three paragraphs prove instructive.

first, there’s the order of information. that he was jailed without charge is slipped matter-of-factly into the last of the three paragraphs. the number of years, three and a half, is not mentioned here; though it is four paragraphs later, a full eleven paragraphs into the article, and even that’s muddied in an allusion to “his 3 1/2 years in the brig.” to separate these two factors - incarceration without charge and the number of years held - simply boggles the mind. imagine a report in which you’re told a man was pistol whipped by an assailant in one paragraph while information that he died only comes paragraphs later, presented as if the two weren’t directly connected. nor are we told when padilla was formally charged by the bush administration (november 2005). thus, the math is not even there for the reader to do if he wanted.

then there’s the skeletal, and consequent misleading, encapsulation both of what he was finally charged with and what the bush administration originally claimed was behind his arrest. the indictment against padilla is known in the intelligence community to be flimsy at best yet is presented here as if it’s clear-cut. and “the bush administration initially claimed that padilla was on an al-qaida mission to detonate a radioactive ‘dirty bomb’ in a major u.s. city…” is quite an understatement. the administration, with then attorney general john ashcroft as head cheerleader, hailed padilla’s arrest as one of the most significant victories in the war on terror before sticking him in a dark hole in solitary confinement where he would be tortured and treated cruelly and inhumanely for three-and-a-half years without ever being charged with a crime.

finally, back to the screwy order of information: we then have to go to the final of these three paragraphs for: “but the dirty-bomb allegations are not part of the miami case.” far more than not being “part of the miami case,” the one in which he's been charged, all of those prior allegations are dead in the water. no credible evidence was found to charge padilla for trying to make and use a dirty bomb. therefore, the initial and much ballyhooed justification for his arrest and incarceration was utterly baseless. a sham. padilla's arrest was leveraged in much the same manner the administration used the infamous “mission accomplished” banner: as an illusion of success to keep the wheels of war turning. so with no evidence and growing questions about bush’s right to hold detainees indefinitely without charge, new charges suddenly appeared against padilla.

failing to connect these dots for the reader is more than a disservice; it is intellectually dishonest journalism. scattering facts about the page does not suffice. presenting news in a logical order, with coherent background information, should be requisite for any report - but especially for one dealing with such a serious topic.

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posted by skippy at 6:08 PM | 3 comments

say hello

to it's recess-time somewhere, who has some interesting metaphors to apply to condaleeza's meeting w/the israeli and palestinian heads of state:

she thought it would be great fun. she thought she'd have another amusing anecdote to share at frat parties, baby showers and family reunions. but to all of our dismay, condi, ehud and mahmoud had those first-time threesome jitters.

for the first time in her tenure, rice sat down with israeli prime minister ehud olmert and palestinian authority president mahmoud abbas. the three agreed only to keep talking.

was it the jetlag? was she gassy from the airplane food? was she self-conscious about the three-day growth since her last bikini wax? might a glass of wine have loosened her up a bit?

we can speculate and speculate until the donkeys come home to roost with the farm cats, but the sheepish threesome refused to even hold a joint press conference afterwards. we may never know what really went on during those two short furtive hours

i only pray that next time the tsa turns a blind eye to the decidedly more than three ounces of k-y in her carry-on.
tsa? tmi!

addendum: while you're at it, say hello to autono blogger.

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posted by skippy at 6:01 PM | 0 comments

happy blogiversary

to the carpet bagger report, who has done this humble site several favors! keep up the good work, steve! four years and counting!

and while we're at it, happy third blogiversary to eccentricity! and k.u.t.g.w. to scorpio, too!


posted by skippy at 2:54 PM | 1 comments

all right, i know when i'm whipped...

there is no escape from political campaigning. every time i log on, somebody on some website just has to drench me with the highlights from the latest episode of the barack and hillary show. it was bad enough having the insufferably wonky do this stuff to me. the pain became even worse when my own blogtopian mentor, skippy, did likewise. (why, skippy, why?!)

but it is none other than evil spock who has finally pushed me over the edge. that little bastid:

...most recently, c-lister al franken, snl alumnus and air america host, has decided to run for the us senate in minnesota. evil spock is amazed that a smart, funny, yet unattractive man can run for office. mr. franken has emboldened evil spock, so evil spock is going to make the biggest decision in evil spock's life (much to the chagrin of mimus pauly), and declare evil spock's candidacy for president of the united states. what a fortuitous coincidence that evil spock is making the announcement on president's day!...

f#%k it. if ya can't beat 'em, endorse a peer who won't even make it to the circle-jerking part of the preliminaries.

evil spock for president in 2012. at least he believes in truth in advertising...


posted by Jim Yeager at 1:45 PM | 1 comments