Report: Bush threatens to cancel New Year

December 31, 2007

WASHINGTON - Party goers were stunned to hear the news that President George W. Bush has announced that he will cancel New Years.

The cancellation would render millions of partiers discontent as they realize that they are not celebrating a new year.

Bush has said that he demands that all paperwork in the White House be destroyed, everyone he’s spoken to in the last decade be pardoned, and receive 325,000 shares of Halliburton stock, as well as a couple political appointees.

“It didn’t have to come to this,” said Bush from his ranch in Galveston, Connecticut. “But with investigations throttling government, I have to be clear, I will accept no alternatives to my demands.

The President added that it would also be the fault of the Democratic party when bookkeeping got all messed up. “Maybe you can call it, ‘the Second January of 2007, and so forth,” said White House Spokeswoman Dana Perrino.

So while there remains a good chance New Years will be canceled, word from insiders say that Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are quickly gathering Congress together for complete and utter capitulation.

We wish you all a Happy New Year, or, a Happy Second January of 2007.

-WKW gets a new look and attitude

December 31, 2007, voted by writers as the “Best Soccer Blog on the Planet,” two years running, looks to be hitting its form.

The site (which I on the odd occasion contribute to … yeah, I know, this makes me biased. That’s more or less the point) has a slightly different layout and a seemingly rejuvenated Josh at the helm. The site has also apparently thus far survived a fantasy soccer league, of which I’m currently nearing the relegation zone. None the less, if you enjoy U.S. soccer and the game as a whole, it’s a good place to keep an eye on.

So head over and take a look. It’s a soccer site ready to have a breakout year.


Oliver Willis receives karmic justice from Washington Redskins

December 31, 2007

Being a long-time stalker of Oliver Willis, I know that he loves the Washington Redskins and Jessica Alba. Well, Willis is out of luck there, as we are all heart-shatteringly aware:

Alba and Willis in happier times

She went out and got pregnatized, meaning Oliver’s already long chances just got that much longer. Making every thing OK again, however, was this: His hapless Redskins made the playoffs.

I think that’s karmic justice.


Mormon Christmas card hoax on Romney brings Presidential candidates into silly season

December 31, 2007

Via Dvorak Uncensored, we see that that a ruthless, holiday theme attack was perpetrated against Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney. The card make use of potentially racist and controversial Mormon rhetoric like:

“And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the great city of Jerusalem, and also other cities. And I beheld the city of Nazareth; and in the city of Nazareth I beheld a virgin, and she was exceedingly fair and white.” On the card, “fair and white” are in a bolder, larger font and on a separate line.

If you enjoy things like demolition derbies, Jackass and just about anything on E!, well you’ll love the 2008 race to the White House. War is in the air (which is good as it takes the other pesky war off the headlines) and the attack is to be prolongated, morally reprehensible, and stupid.

Read more of the story.


Crossposted at Shakesville.

Recording Industry continues it’s Keystone Kops chase of downloaders

December 31, 2007

You can literally hear the Benny Hill theme music in the background as the RIAA continues to do everything wrong, or at least three moves late in its battle against its own consumers:

Download Uproar: Record Industry Goes After Personal Use

Now, in an unusual case in which an Arizona recipient of an RIAA letter has fought back in court rather than write a check to avoid hefty legal fees, the industry is taking its argument against music sharing one step further: In legal documents in its federal case against Jeffrey Howell, a Scottsdale, Ariz., man who kept a collection of about 2,000 music recordings on his personal computer, the industry maintains that it is illegal for someone who has legally purchased a CD to transfer that music into his computer.

The industry’s lawyer in the case, Ira Schwartz, argues in a brief filed earlier this month that the MP3 files Howell made on his computer from legally bought CDs are “unauthorized copies” of copyrighted recordings.

“I couldn’t believe it when I read that,” says Ray Beckerman, a New York lawyer who represents six clients who have been sued by the RIAA. “The basic principle in the law is that you have to distribute actual physical copies to be guilty of violating copyright. But recently, the industry has been going around saying that even a personal copy on your computer is a violation.”

So there you have it. If you buy a CD, you better not copy it to your computer, even solely for personal use and there’s no file-sharing programming on your computer. At least that’s what the RIAA keeps getting at, even though it has of yet brought it as a charge.

This fight will be a long and complicated one, but the way the RIAA is fighting it, it may be an eternal battle:

The RIAA’s legal crusade against its customers is a classic example of an old media company clinging to a business model that has collapsed. Four years of a failed strategy has only “created a whole market of people who specifically look to buy independent goods so as not to deal with the big record companies,” Beckerman says. “Every problem they’re trying to solve is worse now than when they started.”


A great time to take the stage

December 29, 2007

One of the many things my wife and I share is a minor sense of showmanship. Ok, maybe more than minor. This Christmas Eve we both serenaded each other and her family for a while on the Karaoke machine. Though my attempt at Alanis Morrissette’s “You oughtta know” (a dare from my wife) was truly a disaster.

But aside from that, we always seem to sneak ourselves in front of crowds. Along with blogging (at the “Wow, look how humble he is” named among other sites), I’ve been an announcer and the host of a street festival among other things. I’m even toying with the idea of creating a bare-bones podcast. And my wife, well, one time on a cruise ship … wait, that one deserves its own post. Remind me to write about it some day to my wife’s dismay).

But I was thinking about this and thought about how the Internet has just become a haven for those like me who were raised in a culture where being a star of some sort is the ultimate way of having value.

It can be as simple as when I was playing baseball and would adopt new stances based on players I worshiped (the ugliest was when I, a right-hander, adopted George Brett’s stance. To a modicum of success, but technically awful. Normally I stayed with a hybrid Fred Lynn/Willie Stargell set up at the plate.

It can be as complex and devastating as girls killing themselves to stay thin like their favorite actress.

But the ray of sunshine on us poor souls who have been brought up to believe that fame is everything, and refuse to disbelieve it, even at a subatomic level, is that the Internet is here. For those of us who can’t resist a pulpit, we have the ultimate one at our disposal.

I still have high hopes for the Internet. I truly believe that if our government is ever to be reined in and cease to be an oligarchy run by the privileged few, it will be because more and more people will have kept getting more and more informed of their own country and other countries on the Internet. We must work to keep the Internet from those that want it controlled and watched.

I guess, in the end, I think it’s somewhat funny (in a liberal conspiricist sort of way) is that the TV shows and movies that helped put a few generations to sleep will indirectly help wake them up. After all, we all saw “Erin Brockovich,” right (in Julia Roberts’ Oscar-winning turn)? We know one person can make a difference. Years of insipid programming later, we have finally found something of value from it all - the secret and shameful desire to be like the insipid people on the insipid programs.

Few of us really want to be “stars” of any type (The experience on the cruise ship with my wife proved that to me. Seriously, it’s a really good story). But with a stage set for us, most are willing to have their say. And more and more are joining the choir.

December is surefire in its ability to make you think of the future. One of my great hopes is that the Internet continues to reach more and more people, and connect more and more of them until the majority of the planet knows what their rulers are doing. I’d like to watch what happens then.


Crossposted at Shakesville

Musharraf murders Bhutto

December 27, 2007

That’s the going to be the elephant in the room for quite awhile in the mainstream media, won’t it? That Musharraf had Benazir Bhutto assassinated. It’s not even like I’m an expert on Pakistan or follow the situation more than the average political junkie. Something seems just not right, you know? Maybe I’m wrong.

Regardlessly, and sadly so predictably, Benazir Bhutto has been assassinated. Here is to a brave and powerful woman.


Lakota Indian Nation joins the Coalition of the Willing

December 26, 2007

SOUTH DAKOTA — In a stunning move, showcasing his newly found diplomacy skills, President George W. Bush announced that the newly created Lakota Nation will send troops to Iraq and fight side by side with American soldiers.

The deal includes giving the Lakota Nation all the land they’ve requested, and accepting them as a sovereign government.

“There’s still some paperwork we gotta clear up, but this thing’s a go,” said Bush “You know, those Indians they’re fighters, like that Geronimo, or Hyapatia. But for every Indian sent over there, we get one American back. You think about that.”

White House spokesperson Dana Perrino said the deal with the Lakotas was all but done, and the new Lakota Army presence will mark a 600 percent gain over the recently departed Iceland, who Perrino said “refuse to fight for their own lives.” Perrino added that the two nations would become trading partners, with the U.S. expected to import great quantities of corn and wheat from the country. The Lakota Buck is currently valued at .82 to the American Dollar, despite the fact that it will not be released for six more moths.

“We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to join us,” long-time Indian rights activist Russell Means told a handful of reporters and a delegation from the Bolivian embassy.

“But the Islamonazis want to take over the Lakotas as well as Americans,” said newly designatated Lakota Nation Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz. “That is why this proud nation is sending some of their young ones to Iraq, to fight for freedom and to live without fear. The land thing, well that was just a whole other issue. And we don’t speak of ongoing investigations.”

A delegation of Lakota elders later explained that there were currently no plans to send any Lakotas to Iraq at the present time, but that there were currently six Lakotas serving in Iraq currently. They will now be recognized as a separate entity in the Coalition of the Willing. One Lakota serviceman was overheard saying “well, I guess we really are fighting for our country.”

“It’s a pretty complicated deal. Structured, you see?” said Bush. “Obviously, there will be travel restrictions, you know, in the South Dakota and the such.”

The Lakota Nation includes parts of the states of Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming.

“We currently fight alongside the U.S., because that was part of the deal,” said Means. “All we ask for now is that people just leave us alone and avoid parts of the states of Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. At least until we’ve strengthened our tourist industry.”

Bush said the deal with the Lakotas only strengthened his desire to bring freedom to the Middle East.

“You see these proud men and women of the Lakota Nation, And you see how hard they fought for their freedom. Well, because of the United States, they have their freedom,” said Bush. “And we can help those Islamic countries like Iran and the Lebanon and the Syria. One day I hope to see them all free as the Lakotas.”


Who doesn’t enjoy some Bush-thwarting?

December 26, 2007

Here’s what the teaser said on the front of “Senate meets for 11 seconds to thwart Bush.”

Isn’t that nice? Isn’t something to continue to strive for? Thwarting Bush? Let’s give a test, which headline would you rather have:

1. Senate thwarts Bush

2. Senate caves to Bush demands.

Now, if you picked No. 2, congratulations, you’re a Democrat currently serving as a Representative or a Senator. Because there has and continues to be ways to achieve No. 1 on a consistent basis. Sadly, most of what the majority party has done is give us a steaming pile of No. 2.

“Webb opens, closes vacant Senate session”

WASHINGTON (CNN) — The U.S. Senate was called to order for 11 seconds on Wednesday as the last political scuffle of the year between the White House and the Democratic-led Congress played out.

Democratic senators will hold short “pro forma” sessions over the holiday break to prevent recess appointments.

Nearly all the senators left the Capitol for the Christmas holiday last week, but Democrats are keeping the Senate in session to block President Bush from making any recess appointments — a constitutional mechanism that allows the president, during congressional recesses, to fill top government posts for up to one year without Senate confirmation.

Sen. Jim Webb, D-Virginia, opened and then immediately gaveled the Senate session to a close. He spent 57 seconds in the chamber.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, announced December 19 that he would keep the Senate open with a series of “pro forma” sessions through mid-January.

Talks had just broken down with the White House on a deal that would have allowed the president to make dozens of those appointments if he agreed not to appoint one controversial official, Steven Bradbury, as the permanent head of the influential Office of Legal Counsel at the Justice Department.

Bush declined to accept the Democrats’ offer, and Reid refused to approve Bradbury because of concerns about his involvement in crafting legal opinions for the administration on interrogation techniques of terrorism suspects.

Similar sessions were conducted over the Thanksgiving recess.

So you see, they know how to do it. They just need to start making this a trend. Because a Joe Dimaggioesque 56-day thwarting streak would do the country some good right about now.


Jason Williams: A put-upon prostitute who earned big bucks, forced up a 3, and committed a turnover as I wrote this

December 26, 2007

“We’re like some high-paid prostitutes anyway in this league, man. They just use us and get rid of us whenever they want.”

- Jason Williams. Who will make $8.9 million this year. Playing basketball. Haphazardly. But genuinely in need of a hug.

Let the War on the Day-After Christmas begin!

December 26, 2007

Hope you all had a fabulous X-mas yesterday and have been enjoying the holidays thus far.


McCaffrey Report: Violence down, Dinar up, everything else was Rumsfeld’s fault

December 21, 2007

The radical right wing is all enthralled by a new report from Iraq, which reports that violence is down, and Iraqi Dinar is now more valuable that the U.S. Dollar. Yes, soon, Iraqis will be traveling to the U.S. and spreading the wealth, anonymous experts secretly agree.

The Dinar’s value was chronicled in the recent “General Barry R McCaffrey Report.”

“The Iraqi currency to everyone’s astonishment is very stable and more valued than the weak US dollar.”

Aside from that, war-lovers have been hailing the McCaffrey Report as unbelievably fantastic news, and more proof that the U.S. needs to overthrow more and more countries.

The U.S. just needs to make sure not to make the same mistake they did with the Overthrow of Iraq - Don’t let Donald Rumsfeld anywhere near it. McCaffrey neatly tossed Rumsfeld under a bus:

Mr. Rumsfeld was an American patriot, of great personal talent, energy, experience, bureaucratic cleverness, and charisma—who operated with personal arrogance, intimidation and disrespect for the military, lack of forthright candor, avoidance of personal responsibility, and fundamental bad judgment.

In the report, McCaffrey, who single-handedly ended all drug problems in his role as Drug Czar, announced some good news and some bad news.

Good News

- Violence is down.

- Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) has been defeated.

- The Iraqi economy is growing.

- Iraqis have slightly more electricity.

- U.S. Combat forces dominating civil war.

Bad News

- There is no functional central Iraqi Government. Incompetence, corruption, factional paranoia, and political gridlock have paralyzed the state.

- There are 4 million plus dislocated Iraqis—possibly one in six citizens. Many of the intelligentsia and professional class have fled to Syria, Jordan, or abroad.

- 60,000 + have been murdered or died in the post-invasion violence.

- Medical care is primitive.

- Security and justice for the individual is weak.

- Many lack clean water or adequate food and a roof over their family.

- Anger and hatred for the cruelties of the ongoing Civil War overwhelm the desire for reconciliation.

- There is widespread disbelief that the Iraqi government can bring the country together. The people (and in particular the women) are sick of the chaotic violence and want an end to the unpredictable violence and the dislocation of the population.

- There is massive 50% or more unemployment or under-employment.

- The agricultural system is under-resourced and poorly managed.

- There is no clear emerging nation-wide Shia leadership for their 60% of the Iraqi population. It is difficult to separate either Shia or Sunni political factions from Mafia criminal elements– with a primary focus on looting the government financial system and oil wealth of the nation.

- Our recruiting campaign is bringing into the Army thousands of new soldiers (perhaps 10% of the annual input) who should not be in uniform. (Criminal records, drug use, moral waivers, non-high school graduates, pregnant from Basic Training and therefore non-deployable, lowest mental category, etc.)

- The National Guard and Reserves are too small, are inadequately resourced, their equipment is broken or deployed, they are beginning their second involuntary combat deployments, and they did not sign up to be a regular war-fighting force.

- The war-after-next will be the war of the Iraqi Arabs against the Kurds.

- We are digging a strategic hole for the US as we mono-focus on counter-insurgency capabilities —while China inevitably emerges in the coming 15 years as a global military power.

The Conclusion:

- We are clearly no longer on a downward spiral. However, the ultimate outcome is still quite seriously in doubt.

How to solve it all:

The dysfunctional central government of Iraq, the warring Shia/Sunni/Kurdish factions, and the unworkable Iraqi constitution will only be put right by the Iraqis in their own time—and in their own way.


When it comes to Iraq, those based in reality see the glass as 94 percent empty. The right-wing fringe prefers to see it as 6 perfect full. But as Iraqis battle ungodly unemployment, the fact that one-in-six of the population has fled, the central government is impotent and corrupt, piles of dead bodies, and a lack of food, water and housing, we can all agree on one thing.

Donald Rumsfeld is an arrogant, incompetent jerk.


Crossposted at Shakesville

Is it David Wygant or TR’s Hunting Tips?

December 21, 2007

Hey everyone and welcome to another edition of “Is it David Wygant or TR’s Hunting Tips?” the fast-moving blog show where you, the reading audience has to figure out whether a comment was made by Professional Dating Coach and Yahoo contributor David Wygant or Hunter Extraordinaire TR Michels.

As you well know, both Wygant and Michels approach their fields in much the same way - as if they are stalking fresh meat. This means one of them is a complete douchebag, while the other is a hunter.

Remember, just a few words have been changed in these statements, and it’s up to you, the reader to decide: Is it David Wygant or TR’s Hunting Tips?

Here we go (answers below):

1. When you approach like a wounded animal, you will be rejected every single time — no matter how clever a remark you may have.

2. When you are approaching women don’t set your decoys near fence lines, brush piles, high vegetation or ditches that offer natural cover; women shy away from any cover that can conceal a predator.

3. If the women are high on their initial approach don’t shoot; keep calling and flagging. Women often swing over the field more than once before landing.

4. In the mind of a woman, playing it safe equals boring! You need to spark her interest by being a bit disagreeable.

Determining what call to use when you are approaching women is not a matter of what time of the year you are approaching them, but which age class you want to attract.

6. If you walk over too fast, you could likely trigger her internal alarm. A calm, casual approach is usually the best way to make her feel at ease with you.

7. Look for women on east facing slopes, in conifer trees with the bottom branches gone, that allow cool winds to blow through; and in shaded creek bottoms.

8. When a woman sees you, smile at her and tell her to “come here.” Women are very curious, and most will walk over to you.

9. Agonistic Calls may attract any woman just because they are curious.

10. If you approach hunched over with your head down, you are sending negative information about yourself, which makes you dead in the water before you begin. Stand up straight, with shoulders back and chest out, and use a firm yet relaxed walk.

11. Take precautions to conceal yourself while approaching women. Use vegetation, terrain, shadow and natural or artificial blinds to keep women from seeing you or any movement you make.

12. If a woman shows up, but won’t come into range, rattle softly while it can’t see you, or use a grunt call to coax it into range.

13. Never be the first to break eye contact when you approach. If you do, this sends the message that you are not feeling good about approaching. When you use strong eye contact, she will feel more drawn to you. With practice, you can master this.

14. The tone of your voice is a very powerful tool. Approaching her in a light and playful tone is one of the best ways to start. You could also begin in a serious tone, accusing her of something like “I hope you saved some turkey for me.”

Use appropriate color and pattern camouflage on yourself. Women see color. Do not wear red, white or blue, you may be mistaken for a turkey.

1. DW 2. TR 3. TR 4. DW 5. TR 6. DW 7. TR 8. DW 9. TR 10. DW 11. TR 12. TR 13. DW 14. DW 15. TR


“He’s gonna find out who’s naughty and nice, Santa Claus is being shot down”

December 20, 2007

Robot Santa

When it comes to violence, Brazil often makes the U.S. look like a nation of Jains. Because while in the U.S. the “War on Christmas” solely involves guys from Radical right-wing propaganda news stations whining about the use of the word “Holiday,” in Brazil, they take it a bit further. Like opening fire on Santa Claus.

“Santa faces gunfire as he flies into Rio”

Drug traffickers in Rio de Janeiro have opened fire on a helicopter carrying an actor dressed as Santa Claus to a children’s party in a shanty town.

They apparently believed it was a police helicopter being used in a raid and fired at least two bullets into the fuselage.

The pilot was flying over the Vila Joao shanty town in Brazil’s second city when he realised he was under attack and was forced to land.

The undeterred Santa continued his journey by car to keep his promise to deliver his presents.

Charles Goncalves, from the Baixa do Sapateiro neighbours’ association, which organised the party, said they picked him up after he called to inform them about the near miss.

“The party continued with more than 1,000 people, including parents and children,” Goncalves told the AFP news agency.

The police said it was lucky no one was injured.

Rio has more than 600 favelas - slums - which are a deadly battleground between drug traffickers and paramilitary vigilantes.

Seriously, it’s violent down here. You don’t even want to know what happened to the Easter Bunny.

HT Dvorak


Julia Roberts: A gutsy patriot

December 19, 2007

“Republican comes in the dictionary just after reptile and just above repugnant.”

- Julia Roberts

“Once again, Ms. Roberts is gutsy and a patriot.”

- Bill O’Reilly


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