Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sample MLB Umpire Investigation Questions

“Hello, I’m ________ from Major League Baseball, and I’d like to ask you a few questions about your neighbor, __________. It’s just a simple background check, and I want you to be sure that anything you tell us will be strictly confidential. We’re just doing this as part of our routine surveillance on the umpires to make sure they’re not at risk for any behaviors that might imperil the integrity of the game.

First of all, does he have any outstanding gambling debts?
(If Yes) Which members of his family did he use as collateral?
(If No) Why not? Is he some kind of religious nut?
(If Unsure) Are you covering for him because you owe him money?

Do you know if he owns any firearms of any sort?
(If Yes) Last Halloween, did you witness him firing at trick-or-treaters?
(If No) Are you at all concerned that he has a pipe bomb factory in his basement?
(If Unsure) You’re saying you don’t know if his guns are legal or not?

Did you know whether or not he’s been producing homemade pornography and distributing it via the internet?
(If Yes) What size bat does he swing, if you get my drift?
(If No) Would you expect him to make high-quality or low-quality pornography?
(If Unsure) So you can’t be certain he’s not taking video of you on the toilet and posting it on

Can you tell us of any group affiliations he might have in the community?
(If Yes) This is some kind of racist group bent on world domination?
(If No) So you think he’s only a member of secretive, subversive organizations with bizarre entry rituals, like the Stonecutters?
(If Unsure) Think hard about places you may have seen him on the local news: KKK marches, Communist Party rallies, gay pride parades, that sort of thing.

Have you personally witnessed unsavory characters coming and going from his house at all hours of the night?
(If Yes) What’ll you give me to not tell Johnny Onethumb you called him unsavory?
(If No) So you think hookers and lowlife junkies are fine neighbors?
(If Unsure) So they come in the middle of the day also?

In your opinion, do he and his family live within their means?
(If Yes) Why are you covering for him? He told us this was a crackhouse.
(If No) You realize that not everybody likes to live in squalor like you do?
(If Unsure) So you don’t go through his mail often enough to find out?

Have you witnessed anything that might compromise his objectivity as an MLB umpire?
(If Yes) Please speak distinctly into this tape recorder.
(If No or Unsure) Let me go through the questions again, and this time you concentrate…

Why I get discouraged

It’s no secret: I (try to) write satire to amuse and delight both my readers. But the stark truth that I’m just not good enough came crashing home to me this past week.

The uber-satire comes courtesy of NOW’s NY chapter. I thought they were some kind of women’s-rights group, but it turns out that their acronym stands for Nutless Onion Writers or something. Here’s their money quote:

In short, gang raping of women is commonplace in our culture both physically and metaphorically.
This past week, we witnessed just such a phenomenon involving men who are afraid of a powerful woman. Hillary Clinton, in her quest for her Presidential nomination, has in fact endured infantile taunting and wildly inappropriate commentary… [ed: catalogue of ills removed for sake of length]
Think about the legacy we’ll leave behind when we support Hillary Clinton for President of the United States. Let’s put a stop to the psychological “gang banging” of women and girls. Let’s stand up and be counted by way of the hard-won votes we can now cast!

Sigh. With satirists like that out there, what hope do I ever have of cracking the 30-hits-a-day ceiling? It’s just not possible, I tell you!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Giuliani and Thompson to Form Third Party

Former national frontrunners and Republican presidential nominees Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson today announced that they will start a third party and attempt to directly gain the presidency. Their party, called the Sloth Party, is “dedicated to those lazy souls everywhere who say they want to do something, but end up doing nothing and allowing opportunity to pass them by.”

Rudy said that their bold strategy would be to “target the couch potato, the person with a gym membership who never goes, the procrastinators, the unregistered, and the generally lethargic.”

Early polls indicated that the two were preferred by a 2-to-1 margin among unregistered voters over their likely opponents, Hillary Clinton and John McCain. Among Democrats the Sloth Party gained 50% of the vote, with 45% for Hillary Clinton, and 5% voting “Bush is the devil.”

Among Republicans, the survey was much closer, with 30% voting for the Sloth Party, 28% for McCan, 20% for “Undecided”, and 21% voting “John McCain is a scum-sucking bastard who can go to hell.” 1% also said that Mitt Romney was “the finest businessman, politician, and human being I have ever met” but was ascribed to mistakenly contacting Hugh Hewitt.

Giuliani said that he had a dramatic four-state campaign visit already planned, hoping to appear at rallies in New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey in May and June. After that grueling schedule, Giuliani said he plans to ride out the rest of the election at his campaign HQ.

“Everybody will know that we’re in it, and I’m certain that word-of-mouth will get across the country and keep us in the race. Plus, after those four states’ results have come in during the national election, the rest of the country is sure to mimic their votes.”

Fred Thompson was unavailable for comment because he was resting up for a shuffleboard tournament later this year, but a spokesman said that “this time his heart is really in it.”

The First Clinton Pledge

Perhaps if the people of New Hampshire could have seen the Clintons’ wedding vows before they voted, they would have been a little less sanguine about believing a pledge that gets peddled by a Clinton. It would have at least prepared them for the inevitable feelings of betrayal.

The Clinton Wedding Vows

OFFICIANT: Hillary Rodham, repeat after me. I, Hillary Rodham, take you, Bill Clinton, to be my lawfully wedded husband.
HILLARY: I, the scourge of the wicked Wall Street fatcats named Hillary Rodham, take you, the tragically flawed yet inexplicably charismatic Bill Clinton, to be my lawfully wedded husband and ticket to political offices that I could never dream of achieving on my own scant merits.

OFFICIANT: To have and to hold, from this day forward,
HILLARY: To hold my hand on the stump, from this day forward,

OFFICIANT: For better, for worse, for richer, or for poorer,
HILLARY: For fixed elections or fair, for broken campaign promises or not, regardless of which minorities must be trampled and/or pandered to,

OFFICIANT: In sickness or in health, to love and to cherish,
HILLARY: Regardless of scandal or tawdry affairs, to hold forth as a reason for sympathy from done-wrong women and also those women who lust after your insatiable libido,

OFFICIANT: Till death do us part.
HILLARY: Until my second election as president when I’ll divorce you for giving me gonorrheic crabs.

OFFICIANT: I pledge thee my faith.
HILLARY: I pledge thee my faith until I get a better offer, which is not likely since Richard Nixon won’t return my calls.

OFFICIANT: Bill Clinton, repeat after me. I, Bill Clinton, take you, Hillary Rodham, to be my lawfully wedded wife.
BILL: Did you know my father was an abusive alcoholic, so I can feel your pain? And that Hillary, she’s quite a gal. Single-handedly passed civil rights legislation. I got a friend named Al working on something with computers, too. We’re gonna change the world.

OFFICIANT: To have and to hold, from this day forward,
BILL: I get to do more than hold, right? I ain’t getting married for the tax breaks, you know.

OFFICIANT: For better, for worse, for richer, or for poorer,
BILL: Don’t worry about poorer. Hill tells me she knows all about cattle and land and money’s not gonna be a problem for us. Plus, I can rent out bedrooms, and sell pardons, and all sorts of other stuff. You’d be amazed how much money you can raise when you have no shame.

OFFICIANT: In sickness or in health, to love and to cherish,
BILL: That reminds me, Hill: I need to explain about that rash. Plus, I get a skanky ho exemption, don’t I? I can chase, like, four or five a year, right?

OFFICIANT: Till death do us part.
BILL: That depends on what your definition of “death” is.

OFFICIANT: I pledge thee my faith.
BILL: Yeah, sure, why not? Chicks dig a guy with a ring!

OFFICIANT: I now pronounce you man and wife.
HILLARY: It should be wife and husband.
BILL: Hey, Al, who’s that babe in the front row?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Investigation Shows AP Photo was Accurate

Several right-wing bloggers have egg on their sites this morning after denouncing a photograph printed by the AP as being the result of “fauxtography” and crying foul. An investigation by the Independent Center for Truth in Photography has shown that the image, which late last week in several news stories, turned out to be completely genuine and not at all misrepresented by the caption.

The storm began on Wednesday when right-wing blogger and frequent AP critic Charles Johnson said that the photo was “another example of AP fauxtography at their finest.” After the ITCP released their findings this morning, Johnson posted a rare apology on his popular right-wing site, which has been described as a cesspool of hatred by progressive critics.

“I admit that I didn’t research the photo closely enough,” Johnson said. “But after all of the collusion between the PA and the AP over the past few years, I figured that my tip on this one was accurate. It just goes to show that we need to be less vigilant, and that things like Green Helmet man, the al-Durrah shooting, and Yasser Arafat’s phony blood donations are the exception and not the rule.”

Johnson ended his retraction by saying “I conclude by promising less oversight to this noble organization in the future.”

Several other right-wing web logs were quick to attack the ICTP center as a tool of George Soros. While Soros does underwrite the center, blogger Ed Driscoll noted that “it doesn’t change the fact that the photo was what the AP said it was. I guess I’ll never doubt an AP story again.”

The ITCP confirmed that the photo, taken by an AP stringer, was not staged or manipulated in any way. The photograph showed a building in Rafah, and had a caption that said “A Building in Rafah.”

Observers noted that it is the first time in six years that a photograph from this area was genuine, and may mark a new era in accurate reporting from the troubled region.

Riverdance Kind of Sucks

I will admit that I am an uncultured swine (see previous item). I am also married, which means that occasionally my wife demands that I wash the Cheeto dust off my face, put on a shirt with buttons, and take her “somewhere nice.”

When you take your wife out “somewhere nice” you have to be careful, because if it’s too obviously something you want to do then it ends up causing fights and you have to go out the next weekend again to make up for it. So you can only drag her to so many giant monster movies and tractor pulls.

The best bet is to take her where people sing, or emote on stage, or dance (fully clothed and definitely not on a pole: I found out the hard way that’s not exactly what she considers "somewhere nice").

So I took her to Riverdance this weekend, which promised all three. I want you to know that I went in to the evening with very, very low expectations. Exceedingly low. And yet, my hopes were dashed.

It’s not that the Irish dancing was bad; that was actually kind of cool. It’s just that there’s less Irish dancing than you’d think. There’s a lot of wailing in some language not English, with lights flashing and musicians playing what sounds like fast-paced funeral dirges. Oh, and if there’s a story, it makes absolutely not one iota of sense.

To make matters even worse, we parked roughly five miles away, walked through the freezing cold, and she was sick. Dinner was nice, though.

At halftime she looked at me and said “are you enjoying this?”

I plastered on my best Joker smile and said “Of course! This is great! Can we come back next weekend? You want to buy the DVD they’re selling of it as a memento?”

“Well, if you’re enjoying it we’ll stay,” she said to me. “I’m okay to leave, though, because I really don’t feel well and-"

“LET’S GO!” I yelled, picking her up and running for the exits. I think I flattened an usher and three smokers during my stampede, but I stand by my mad dash. The show was so bad they asked to see tickets to let us leave, but I bribed the guard with a twenty just to escape.

It was a total victory for me. Next time I take her out, we can see the five-hour limited edition special Godzilla versus Truckasaurus, and if she complains I can say “I just thought since you drug me away from Riverdance you’d make it up to me…”

So to summarize: I love Riverdance, and I’m gonna get tickets the very next time my wife is sick.

Go See Cloverfield!

It’s important that you, and everyone you know, go see Cloverfield several times. It’s important for two reasons.

First of all, I love giant monster movies. If this one is successful, then there’s a slim chance that Hollywood will make more of these. I know, it would help if the monster were explicitly anti-war, but you can’t have everything. Maybe next time he could eat Susan Sarandon?

Secondly, did you know that there’s a direct correlation between the success of giant monster movies and the health of the US economy?

The King Kong remake in 2005 managed to pull us out of the economic slump that had hung around since the 9/11 attacks. The uplifting end of that film helped buck up our national spirits during the difficult Iraq War, only recently imperiled because of the subprime lending crisis.

The last big-time giant monster movie before that was 1998’s Godzilla, which kicked off the ‘net boom and finally cured the Asian Flu that had bedeviled the US economy since the mid-90s.

[Of course, we all know that because Godzilla sucked, the internet boom fizzled out with Enron’s bankruptcy a few years later. Did you know that it was so bad that Godzilla refused to have his name in the credits? It’s true: in the cast list it says “Godzilla - Alan Smithee.”]

Now, we can hope and pray that Cloverfield can pick us up out of the housing slump. If enough of us go see it, then it certainly will. And if Hollywood could just release one giant monster movie per year (a good one, too, not a sucky one!) we’d be on the path to eternal economic prosperity.

So I urge you to forward this to all your friends, and let giant monster movies run amok at the box office.

It’s for the children.

Now with Falling Satellite!

I have to admit that I read this post by Instapundit on 2008 being a repeat of the 1970’s with more amusement than alarm. Then I read about the falling spy satellite, reminiscent of Skylab, and I realized that we are reliving the late 1970's all over again!

So what else can we look forward to as we follow this template?

* A porn revival that will spawn re-imaginings of adult films like Debbie Does Dallas did once upon a time?

* A new A-Team, but this time as post-Iraq war veterans who solve people’s problems via vigilante justice and automatic weapons that never, ever hit anybody? [Is it too late to get Ving Rhames to play BA?]

* Dare we dream of a Miami Vice update? Oh, yeah, we had that one and it sucked. Never mind!
* Are rappers going to start wearing gigantic, gaudy clocks again? They might anyway, if the faces were made of bulletproof glass.
[Note to self: invest in the next bulletproof bling company that you find]

* Speaking of investments, I’m gonna invest in every upstart computer company I can find, since the new Apple must be out there somewhere, right? Or is the new Apple currently starting up in China?

* Could we possibly witness John Travolta's third career revival as an itinerant Scientology minister? Maybe on a TV show, with a title like Touched by a Dumbass?

Friday, January 25, 2008

Signs that Football Season is Ending

There are certain rituals which must be observed every year when bringing to a close the two professional football leagues (both the NFL and the NFL Children’s Amateur Association, also called the NCAA).

I think most of the ones on this list have been checked off so far:

* The Chargers whine about the Patriots, including a laundry list of generic complaints such as “they play mean” and “they didn’t share the ball!” One bizarre complaint is also included, just to make the Chargers seem particularly bitchy

* Article after article will appear proposing a “final solution” for the “problem” of crowning an NCAA division 1 champion, the college version of the West Bank

* Brett Favre will spend six months considering retirement, with Peter King reporting on his every move as if world peace hangs in the balance

* Just when everyone thinks the NCAA can’t get any seedier or more corrupt, a new allegation will lower the bar, like a booster paying for a team trip to Amsterdam that ends up with ten players arrested while smuggling back dope and steroids for sale on campus

* Columnists will still rhapsodize about how NCAA football is “purer” than professional football

* Norv Turner will continue to find work despite clear on-field evidence that he’s not half the coach that Molly McGrath is, and has none of the potential bubble-bath upside

* Debates between otherwise sane commentators break out about whether Tom Brady is the greatest QB in history, the most handsome QB in history, or both

* As contractually mandated for every credentialed media member, a “can Manning win the big one?” column (Eli or Peyton decided by regional affiliation)

* Bill Parcells will make a public ass of himself to remind everyone that he still exists

* College coaches will be hired and fired apace in both leagues without regard to their performance or the financial impact to the team

* Sportswriters will continue to call coaches who quit “traitorous scum” and expect them to be willing to take a bullet for a team that would fire them for a handful of Bill Bellicheck’s toenail clippings

* Miami will make a boneheaded front-office hiring decision

* With nothing but minor-league sports being played, Sportswriters can turn their attention to a subject on which they’re woefully uninformed: politics

* Sportswriters will also demonstrate statistical ignorance by writing column after column about racial hiring deficiencies in NFL coaching vacancies

* NCAA schools will continue to recycle burned-out white guys because there really is a racial balance problem in the coaching at this level

* Players will stop answering their phones for fear of injury until someone else is chosen to appear on the cover of the latest “Madden Football”

* Everyone will agree that the refs suck and football is worse than it ever has been before

* The same people will shell out thousands for tickets and limited-edition Randy Moss Oakland Raiders “Doobie” Bobbleheads

Republican Debate, Abridged Version

In case you didn’t get the chance to watch the whole Florida debate, or fell asleep halfway through it, here’s a useful synopsis for you. I didn’t watch it either, but I talked to people who did. Don’t laugh: that means I’m as qualified to write about it as Hillary Clinton is to be president.

Romney: I may be a flip-flopper, but at least I’m not a conservative poser. At least not on most topics, if you believe my flip-flopping is permanent. I heart Rudy, by the way.

Giuliani: Today, I consider myself the luckiest man ever to have once been a frontrunner, even though my disastrous strategy has brought me to the brink of irrelevance. And mega-dittos to you too, Mitty-boy.

McCain: Just look for the NYT label!

Moderator: Brother Huckabee, how do you feel about Jesus?
Moderator: Testify!
Huckabee: I said, PRAISE JESUS!
Moderator: Amen, Brother Huckabee!

Dr. Ron Paul, Licensed Moron: The truth is out there! Keep watching the skies! The government is using fluoride to control our minds!

Moderator: Mr. Romney, do you have any final thoughts to bring us during the last ten minutes of this debate?
Romney: Why yes, yes I do…

[The Specter of Fred Thompson]: I lost to these assholes? Good God, I really am lazy!

Name that Party, Motor City Edition

I generally don’t buy into the conspiracy theory that says major news outlets purposefully omit the D next to a public official’s name when reporting a kerfuffle, but a GOP scandal always starts with “REPUBLICAN politician accused of…”

Having said that, I admit that there is something awfully suspicious about the AP reporting on Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s court problems. Short version is this: he allegedly had an affair with a staffer and lost an 8.4 million-dollar wrongful-discharge suit brought by two police officers who investigated its cover-up. This was last year; this week it turns out that thousands of text messages have been recovered which seem to indicate that he perjured himself during the trial.

In addition to being an utter embarrassment to the people of Detroit and to himself, he is mysteriously unaffiliated with any party. At least, it’s not indicated in the AP news stories I can find. It’s not new, either: here’s a report of the settlement from the AP on October 23, 2007 where the mysterious Kilpatrick is also a man without a party.

Turns out he’s a Democrat.

Of course, that’s not germane to the story; it’s not like Democrat executives have a greater propensity to fool around with subordinates and perjure themselves in court about it during trial. I’m sure this is an isolated incident.

Compare this to the accusation by police that Larry Craig lied, from the AP in the NY Daily News. “Idaho Republican” appears in the second paragraph. Or, consider the original story (from the Boston Globe website) where “Republican Senator” doesn’t appear until paragraph 3. Unless, of course, you consider the picture caption, which is “Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, is seen…”

It would be nice to find at least one mention of Kilpatrick’s party in either the wrongful-discharge suit or the text-message recovery story. If they recovered thousands of text messages from Larry Craig to a gay escort, I would guess the first sentence to be something like this:

REPUBLICAN senator Larry Craig’s text messages prove that he was a cock-hunting deviant.”

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ron Paul Criticizes ‘Lunar Guantanamo’

Republican Presidentail candidate Ron Paul, desperate for a bounce in his polling numbers ahead of Super Tuesday, today spoke out against a controversial plan by President Bush to build a lunar station by 2020. Paul told a crowd of 30 mentally questionable semi-retired cranks that his first task as president would be to halt NASA’s plan for the station.

“It’s an affront to human dignity, a lunar Guantanamo where this president hopes to stash so-called undesirables,” Paul said at his appearance. “But I will not allow the ghettoization of the moon to continue, and my first words to NASA will be: tear down this base!”

Other candidates, sensing an opportunity to malign the current president, were quick to voice their opposition to the plan as well. John Edwards, speaking with reporters from his palatial mansion while receiving a backrub from scantily-clad San Francisco youths, said he not only was against the plan but felt NASA should be defunded because of it.

“It’s a sad day when a proud organization like NASA helps the plutocrats of this administration steal from the poor and downtrodden of the United States. This calls into question the judgment abilities of those working at NASA. Did I mention my dad was a millworker and I’m the only white male in the Democratic race? Not that I’m encouraging bigotry or misogyny from potential supporters, particularly those based in the southern US.”

When asked about the space station, GOP candidate John McCain flew into an incoherent rage and shouted profanities until dragged away, prompting reporters to describe him as “a passionate maverick.”

Other Democratic candidates were quick to score anti-Bush points as well. Bill Clinton, on the stump for his wife in South Carolina, said “When I look at the moon I think about racial harmony and realizing Dr. King’s dream, just like my wife. But I bet when Obama looks at it he thinks about how it helps police track down drug dealers as they flee from Tony Rezko’s slums in Chicago after shooting a helpless old woman.”

Responding to the former president’s remarks, Obama called him “a dirty old man who fools around with interns. If Hillary had any integrity then she’d disavow him and those comments.”

Hillary Clinton responded that “I wouldn’t presume to speak for Mr. Clinton, since he’s just a supporter like everyone else, and I haven’t spent any substantive time with him in several years. When Mr. Obama wants to discuss the issues instead of his own sordid past, I will be ready to talk about them. Now excuse me, I’m tearing up thinking about how difficult it is to succeed as a woman against all these vicious men.”

New Link

I put a new link on the blogroll for a blog that's linked me a couple of times that I like, Michael May's Adventureblog. It's a comic-book/movie blog, so if you're not into that stuff, you probably ought to stay clear. But since I was going there on and off, I figured I'd put a link to it so it'd be easier for me to get to (this way I only have to remember one blog address, mine).

Why am I telling you this? Because it's my blog and I don't have to have a reason.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Government Approves $140M for ‘Moothanol’

The US Federal Government today approved $140 million dollars for the Robert Byrd Farmers’ Research Institute in West Virginia. The Institute hopes to use the funds to complete studies on a simultaneous method to produce biofuel, reduce feedstock-based methane emissions, reduce global warming, provide food for underdeveloped countries, and protect soil erosion in critical areas.

Called ‘Moothanol’, the revolutionary process converts the digestive tract of cows to halt production of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, and instead convert it to methanol, which is expelled in liquid form through the udders and can then be used to power everything from farm equipment to generators. In the future, the RBFRI said that it should be possible to power the nations’ automobiles from this unique energy source.

“Pardon the pun, but it mooves energy supply into the 21st century,” said the center’s Head of Research Rick Hickbaum. “Moothanol is the most powerful green fuel known, and it can be made from any organic material that cows will eat. So you can use any plant, even kudzu, to protect the layer of topsoil that literally keeps earth from turning into an uninhabitable wasteland. Instead of making ethanol out of corn, we can now use it domestically to produce either cobettes or popcorn, both critical to the American way of life.”

The cost to convert a cow is just under $100, which includes the internal pumping and the ANSI-standard “Nipple Connection” to allow dispensing moothanol directly into the storage tanks. “The reality is that cows naturally produce methanol, which breaks down to methane,” said the project’s congressional spokesperson, Robert Byrd. “What we’re doing here is tapping into the largest reserve of natural biofuel, instead of destroying ANWR like some people want. This is another in the long line of successes by the new Democratic Congress.”

Not everyone was pleased. Kitty Hawke, a spokeswoman for Animals R People Too, said that it amounted to “Perpetual bovine slavery. Has anybody asked the cows if they want to pump out fuel for our cars? No, nobody thought to ask that little detail. The cows should be allowed to decide if they want to produce this fuel of the devil. Isn’t it enough that they give their lives for fashion and their image is appropriated by modern advertisers for Chick-Fil-A? Must they supply our gas stations, also?”

President George Bush, pledging continued support for this and other projects which will further US energy independence, said that the project represented “an important step in the right direction of weaning us off of dependence on foreign oil.”


No matter who wins…


Think on it a moment :

If Boston wins, then we will be bomarded by stories about how Eli and Peyton Manning are both chokers and how the Patriots are the greatest team in the history of the NFL and Boston is having a sports Renaissance. Can you imagine the ESPN head shot of Bill Simmons as Leonardo DaVinci? Did you just vomit a little thinking about it?

If Boston loses, then we have to suffer an avalanche of “Family Feud!” articles about how Eli is better than Peyton and New York is the sports mecca of the world again. We will also be treated to article after article after article about the long-suffering Boston fans and how they have got to be the most star-crossed sports city in the history of the universe.

And those stories were just so much fun the first time around (circa 1960 to 2004).

So no matter who wins the Super Bowl this year, my advice to you is to leave space in your oven for your own head. You’re going to need it.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Advice for Fred Fans

Confused? Depressed over Fred Thompson's withdrawal? Not sure who to support now, and feeling a little let down because Fred won't tell you who to back?

Never fear! Just look through the candidates below and decide which one most meets your Fred Thompson needs. I'll give each one a Freddiness rating to help you easily see how close they are to being the real Fred.

John McCain
Pros: He and Thompson are close friends, and both are old.
Cons: Eager to spit in the eye of conservatives to prove his independent streak.
Freddiness: He's a Daphne: close to Fred, but with important key differences, and he'll cheat on you when he gets the chance.

Mitt Romney
Pros: Mitt's got movie-star hair, and Fred is a movie star.
Cons: Can you really trust a guy that governed Ted Kennedy's home state to be your Republican nominee?
Freddiness: Definitely a Velma: poised, smart, well-spoken, and easily overshadowed by a tight sweater.

Rudy Giuliani
Pros: Rudy was a US attorney. Fred plays a District Attorney on TV. Both are divorced. Both don't go into "all that religion stuff."
Cons: His wife isn't nearly as hot as Fred's wife.
Freddiness: Some, but he really feels more like a guest star than the real deal.

Mike Huckabee
Pros: None readily apparent.
Cons: Mouth-breathing socialist moron.
Freddiness: Reverend Lovejoy is more inspiring than this twit.

Ron Paul
Pros: Can always be counted on to make you laugh and feel better about yourself.
Cons: That's not exactly in the job description.
Freddiness: Such a clownish buffoon should really be cast as the villain.

Hillary Clinton
Pros: I'll let you know when I come up with one.
Cons: See 1992-2000.
Freddiness: Not even close, and it's ridiculous that you would even ask!

John Edwards
Pros: Was a lawyer, and Fred has played many lawyers in film. Was also an unsuccessful VP candidate in 2004, and Fred is rumored to be running for the VP position in the GOP.
Cons: Cowardly demagogue.
Freddiness: More Shaggy than Freddy.

Barack Obama
Pros: Would confound the world about Americans and their values.
Cons: Naivete would likely leave Israel as a smoking atomic crater. Blathers about hope without telling us what he'd do.
Freddiness: Mystery Machine, because nobody knows what the hell he would do as president.

Monday, January 21, 2008

My Sympathies to Wisconsin

I would like to express my sympathies to Wisconsin after the shocking OT loss to the Giants, particularly because 25% of my readers (and 100% of the readers who aren't related to me) hail from there. As Steve noted in the comments, Wisconsin has been very good to me.

Sorry, guys. Even though I'm not a member of the Packers faithful, you have my deepest sympathies on your loss.

In the event that I have a reader from New York, congratulations on your inspiring win! But really, what are the odds of that?

Al Gore’s Open Letter to Hillary

“Dear Hillary,

I feel your pain. Eight years ago I also won the popular vote in a hotly contested election, yet lost the delegate vote and ended up losing the ultimate contest. Amidst complaints of fraud and other electoral dirty tricks, I fought an ultimately losing battle against a hostile court system that was always stacked in favor of the establishment.

During that difficult period, I remember well all of the aid and comfort that you and Bill gave to me. That is why it I felt it necessary to reach out to you after your own difficult ordeal in the Nevada caucus. It is clear to me that you, too, have felt the sting of winning the battle yet losing the war.

I know you are vowing to fight on, but with Hollywood magnates deserting, the media turning against you, and Bill once more a millstone about your neck, you must realize that ultimately the end is near. Whether you fall to Obama, or McCain, or that religious nut Romelberry, your hope to be president will never be realized.

So to ease the bitter tang of failure from your tongue, I want to share with you some guidance that has always comforted me:

“Nobody ever went broke underestimating the American public.”

Given the state of education today, and the attention span of both children and adults now running barely 90 seconds, I remind you that scientific misrepresentation is a growth field of limitless potential. While I have cornered the market on climate change, there are plenty of scientific debates out there for you to polemicize and make your own.

I know you have a fondness for health care. Why not combine this with scare-mongering on vaccinations, blaming them on everything from autism to ADHD? How do we know that vaccines don’t cause Bigfootitis? The fact is we don’t, but we really ought to force vaccine manufacturers to pay onerous taxes in order to be sure that the world isn’t flooded with angry Bigfeet. It’s for the children’s sake, of course.

I think you see what I mean. The possibilities are endless, from genetically-modified foods to the causal link between Velcro and alcoholism.

So this Fall, after you’ve cried out your loss and kicked Bill out of your life, why don’t you bring your private jet out to see me at my private eco-fortress in Molokai? We can sit by the refrigerated pool, eat an authentic Philadelphia hoagie, drink French wine, and Tipper and I can explain how a future in data obfuscation works.

Yours faithfully,

Al Gore

Friday, January 18, 2008

Hollywood pleads with UN to ‘Stop the Genocide’

Admitting that the situation has spiraled out of control and that violence is imminent, a group of influential Hollywood producers today pleaded with UN envoys for a peacekeeping force “to protect us from genocide at the hands of bloodthirsty New Media security forces.”

A spokesman for Hollywood said that “Every day it becomes more and more clear that these so-called podcasters and their ilk are nothing more than murderous criminals, intent on destroying the golden goose from whose teat we have suckled for four generations. It is imperative that the UN take immediate steps to protect us by deploying security forces in and around Hollywood.”

One Hollywood observer said the bold gamble might pay off. “The studios have a lot of experience in child exploitation and the sex trade, so the amount of synergy between them and your average peacekeeper is pretty high. And these New Media types are pasty keyboard guys, so they won’t stand a chance against the rough-and-tumble types that make up your typical contingent of Swedish peacekeepers.”

Jimmy Carter, who had recently arrived in Hollywood to negotiate the peace talks between striking writers and the moguls, said that “the real source of these problems is years of on-line apartheid and the unlawful expansion of bloggers into public opinion and news, traditionally an area controlled by Hollywood. The solution is to place the entire Internet under control of the UN in order to monitor and approve all content.”

Republican presidential candidate John McCain agreed with the Carter Plan. “I’ve long been an advocate of greater speech controls,” McCain said in a stump speech. “People should not be allowed to just say whatever they want. Well, except for me.”

Your Lava Colonoscopy is Ready

I really wanted to read Bill Simmons’ debate with himself about whether the ‘86 Celtics or the ‘07 Patriots were the greatest team ever to grace Boston. But then I remembered that I needed to get a root canal from my nearsighted dentist with hands the size of oven mitts, and I wasn’t able to read it.

These are the kind of articles that sports networks love to run, but which are excruciating for non-fans to read. Why do they punish us with these things? They promise all of the joy of hearing a drunken friend debate with himself whether his penis is longer or wider than the normal man’s, with none of the schadenfreude of watching him vomit on himself at the end of the night.

Thanks, Fred!

I really appreciate Fred's kind words over at his blog, Real Debate Wisconsin. He runs a real blog site over there, with visitors and everything, but he finds me amusing enough that from time to time he gives me kind words, and I appreciate it.

He's got radar, too: every time I start feeling like my blog is a millstone around my neck, he drops an unsolicited compliment that makes me feel better about the whole affair. Lest you feel sorry for me, though, remember this: I do this basically because I want to and no other reason. So it would be utterly narcissistic for me to whine about how hard it is.

After all, I can quit any time. Yeah, that's the ticket!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Kos: Undeclared is New ‘Agent of Change’

Democratic kingmaker Markos Moulitsas celebrated his latest electoral triumph today, crowing that Undeclared’s loss to Hillary by 15% showed that the Democratic party was ready to accept Undeclared as the new agent for change.

“I’ve backed a lot of candidates, but never has one of my protégés done as well as Undeclared in Michigan yesterday.” Moulistas said to a room full of rapt reporters. “I just couldn’t have hoped for better. Now it’s on to Nevada and South Carolina, where we can make Progressivism new again!”

A spokesperson for the Clinton campaign said that despite the powerful Kos’ backing the campaign wasn’t worried about Undeclared’s impact on future votes. “Anybody who reads the book knows that Undeclared was down in the hood dealing drugs just a few years ago, and chasing ambulances and getting paraplegics pregnant and all that. Just look it up! But we don’t want to make this a race or gender thing, even though everybody knows that Undeclared is a misogynist.”

The other Democratic campaigns eyed the newcomer suspiciously. “We’d all agreed not to run in Michigan,” said an Edwards campaign staffer. “If we’d known that Undeclared was going to violate that agreement, we would have deployed John’s hair and neutralized the threat immediately.”

The Golden Compromise

It turns out that the ACLU is defending Larry Craig on the grounds that people who are having sex in a public restroom have an expectation of privacy.

Who knew?

Before we get up in arms about this, though, I suggest that we use this as a fig leaf to begin to heal the divide between gays and straights.

After all, the only people who can benefit from the right to have private sex in a public restroom are gay people. Public bathrooms are unisex, after all. Otherwise, you’d have perverts peeking under every door stall and women strolling by the urinals checking out the talent.

And that would be seedy.

So the offer is this: let’s let gays have all the hot, steamy sex they want in public bathroom stalls, and straight people will keep the tax benefits of marriage. Everybody wins, right?

Before you laugh, which do you see more of in popular culture: tax benefits for married people or hot, steamy bathroom sex scenes (from the show Friends to Panthers cheerleaders to pornos)? And we all know that what’s reflected in popular culture is what’s important.

So let’s just write this into the constitution and be done with it.

Larry Craig: healing America one wide stance at a time.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Candidate Games

John Edwards: Lawn Darts
Once outlawed in all 50 states and now replaced by flimsy plastic darts or glorified beanbags, once upon a time the injuries sustained in this simple game represented a tort liability that stretched from local homeowners to cities all the way up to the toy companies. Just thinking about them makes his short shorts a little bit tighter.

Hillary Clinton: Spades
Not only is she handy with a shovel, having buried hundreds of skeletons in the basement, but Clinton has shown unique skill in playing the race card so skillfully that it almost always comes out on top. And the queen of spades is affectionately known as “the bitch”, which is certainly her nickname in many Republican circles.

Ron Paul: Clue
The game of accusation is right in the wheelhouse of this conspiracy-minded idiot. He gets to accuse people wildly, and there is little or no penalty of being wrong. As an added bonus, there are no black characters in the game, and he gets to handle a noose, both of which are near to his heart.

Fred Thompson: Don’t Wake Daddy
Because once daddy’s awake, you’re going to get a beating. And if Fred Thompson ever wakes up, he may actually win a caucus or two.

John McCain: Spin the Bottle
McCain is like that shy kid that spins the hot girl: he’s all blushes in the beginning, but as soon as their lips touch he’s ramming his tongue down her throat and groping her because he knows it’s his one chance to touch glory. Just like how McCain acted with amnesty. Or campaign-finance reform. Or the war. Or anything else that comes into his head.

Mike Huckabee:
Good ministers don’t play games, they focus on improving the here-and-now with massive government subsidies approved by questioning the faith of everyone who dares to stand in their way. Plus, games are the tools of the devil.

Mitt Romney: Stratego
I don’t care what kind of strategy you have all planned out, if you run your general into a mine right out of the starting block then you’re screwed no matter what you do for the rest of the game.

Rudy Giuliani: Russian Roulette
You’ve gotta be a little bit brave and a little bit crazy to play Russian Roulette. Similarly, you’ve got to be both to run for the Republican nomination as a thrice-divorced, pro-choice New Yorker.

Barack Obama: Twister
Because no other candidate could possibly twist up his party and his opponents half as much as Obama does.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Doomsday Snowball set to ‘Slushy’

The Environmental Crisis Communication Center today announced that the Doomsday Snowball would be set to ‘Slushy’ as a result of the disappointing results of the Bali conference, improvements in the quality of life for poorer nations, and continued modeling that shows onrushing environmental catastrophe. That, and continued US intransigence.

Nancy MacPherson-Houghton, spokeshuman for the ECCC, said that they were deeply concerned that Global Warming hasn’t dominated the discussion in the presidential race, instead taking a back seat to less-pressing issues like war, immigration, and which candidate looks more like a mummified corpse risen from the grave to take revenge on the living.

“The Doomsday Snowball tells us how close we are to being utterly annihilated in a warm, salty tide of our own wastes. In 1950 it was ‘Firm and Powdery’, but recently its decline has been accelerated to reflect increasing risks to all life. And everybody knows if you throw a slushy snowball at a little kid you can make them cry, because it really stings. We can’t afford to wait until the snowball gets to ‘Cold Wet Rock’ because that means humanity is done for.”

Award-winning prophet of doom Al Gore said he thought that the ECCC was being optimistic. “Model after model shows impending doom imminent on the horizon, and they’re saying we have several decades left? It’s clear that they’re just another part of the vast oil-industry right-wing noise machine seeking to thwart scientific consensus. Unless people quickly funnel money into my shell-game companies and allow starving people to die off quickly, we’re all doomed. Repent and pray that Gaia forgives us!”

(NOTE: The ECCC is a nonpartisan public awareness group dedicated to ‘communicating that modern life is rapidly destroying the planet and jeopardizing the future of the human race.’ It is headed by Ralph Nader , with funding from the Soros Institute for Advanced American Decline.

(The FU-AP contributed to this report.)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Canton Connection

While some have hinted that Diebold was involved in the inexplicably misforecast New Hampshire election, no one has provided any sort of evidence of why Diebold would take such an egregious risk, nor which other parties may have been involved in the nefarious scheme. No one until now, that is. The fact is this:

Diebold conspired to rig the New Hampshire election for Hillary Clinton so that the Democrat momentum would swing in her favor and she could fight her way back to the nomination. From there, it’s on to a general election where Diebold will once again deliver polling-inaccurate results, leading to a coronation in 2009 of the second Clinton administration.

Diebold is headquartered in Canton, Ohio. You know what else is headquartered in Canton, Ohio? The NFL hall of fame. Hillary Clinton is a senator from New York. You know who has their business offices in New York? The NFL.

Why does the NFL want to have Clinton as president? It’s very simple: they are currently under pressure to increase medical benefits to retired players, which could wind up costing them billions of dollars. The entire organization will go bankrupt buying titanium hips and glass eyes.

If Clinton is president, she’ll push for mandatory universal health care, first of all for those who need it most: the retired. So the NFL’s billion-dollar problem suddenly disappears, just like Obama voters on a frigid New Hampshire morning.

Clinton probably told the NFL this: either you get Diebold to help me in New Hampshire, or I’ll make sure a Senatorial subcommittee speaks to every crippled player it can find and soaks you for billions of dollars of damages.

Can America possibly hope to stand against a conspiracy which involves big government, big sports, and Carter-approved voting machines? Or have we already lost?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Inquiring Minds Want to Know!

One of my favorite columnists is Jonah Keri. But he's been MIA for a while over there, and his picture had disappeared. So I went looking for him, and turns out he's over at I'd noticed on ESPN that he hadn't written anything in a while, and what little appeared in December was now "Special to" instead of "By staff writer Jonah Keri."

Now, Deadspin is on my links. But since he's writing about college basketball, I didn't notice. Yes, not only am I lazy I despise college sports. So sue me.

But what happened to Keri? Did he get fired? Was there a fight at the ESPN Thanksgiving party and he ended up breaking a beer bottle over Bill Simmons' head? Did he punch Dieter (or whatever the Sprockets guy's name is) in the face?

And more importantly: other than TMQ, is there really any reason to read ESPN. com any more?

Really? Iron my shirt?

Please don't tell me that what passes for sexism at the dawn of the 21st century is the hackneyed slogan "Iron my shirt!" I bet I can come up with ten better sexist things to yell at Hillary Clinton in under five minutes. Time me!

10) Shake it don't break it, baby!
9) Free the Springfield 2!
8) Go bake some cookies!
7) I got your free health care right here, baby!
6) Are you gonna cry to win the election?
5) I don't know which is sagging more: your polling or your ass!
4) If he's happy at home he won't go looking!
3) You throw like a girl!
2) Do you have to check those bags under your eyes?
1) Show me your tits!

Asia Panics After Glowing Pig Attack

All of southeast Asia is on high alert tonight after a glowing pig fought two ultraviolet-infused cats in the skies above the Sea of Japan, destroying a fishing village and leaving 100 villagers homeless and suffering from allergy attacks.

The battle, which began just as the morning boats were putting out into the water, was described by eyewitnesses as "freaking awesome." The pig escaped from a Chinese laboratory where it had been created in an experiment to make glow-in-the-dark organs to allow doctors to transplant in the dark, part of China's ongoing commitment to the environment.

The pig, called Baconora by villagers, menaced several coastal towns before the Korean Ultraviolet Defense Felines could be brought to bear against it. Though juvenile, the cats were able to inflict heavy damage on Baconora and drive it into the Pacific. The US fleet is currently on high alert and searching for the dangerous porker.

Former Vice President John K. Mondale said he was monitoring the developments closely. Speaking from the Golden Globes, where he won an award for "Longest Televised Acceptance Speech without a Writer" he said that "This is another failure of the Bush administration to adequately defend us against giant monsters. If we'd had a Kong Defense System, we'd be eating BLT's for a month off of this. They'd glow, but I bet they'd still be pretty tasty."

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

NFL Playoffs Forecast

Seahawks versus Packers
In a game with strong biblical overtones, aged Brett Favre will part the Seahawks defense like the Red Sea, and the Seahawks receivers will handle the football like it has turned into a snake. But the hidden key to this Packers rout is that unlike the Redskins, they have an old quarterback and a young coach, always a key to victory.
Packers 28, Seahawks 14

Jaguars versus Patriots
The first NFL game to be called early in the 4th quarter because the referee is afraid of a fatality, many Patriots players won’t even break a sweat disposing of the Jaguars. Tragedy will strike the Patriots afterwards when Bill Bellichek is struck by lightning. While many blame it on the microcircuitry in his raggedy sweatshirt, some say it was because he claimed in the postgame conference that “Not even God can stop the Patriots!”
Patriots 48, Jaguars 0 (with 22 injuries)

Colts versus Chargers
In between Peyton Manning commercials the best football game of the year will be played between two goliaths of the gridiron. The Chargers will squeak out a gutsy win in the closing seconds of what will be declared an instant classic, though poor officiating and an errant throw by Peyton Manning will play their part. Sportscenter anchors will immediately ask “Can Peyton win another big one?” and start whispering that Dungy is on the hot seat for another postseason failure.
Chargers 21, Colts 20

Giants versus Cowboys
For the first quarter, announcers will incessantly chatter about the comparisons between Eli and Peyton, wondering whether Peyton’s earlier mistake will plague Eli, as if they are the new Tomax and Xamot. In the second quarter cameras will track the reaction of Jessica Simpson to every single play, showing little of the action. The third quarter sees the triumphant return of an injured Terrell Owens, who limps his way to 8 catches and 121 yards with one TD. The fourth quarter has a dramatic, come-from-behind Cowboys win, as well as incessant comparisons of Tony Romo to Brett Favre and John Elway. Tiki Barber will criticize everyone in the Giants organization by name during the postgame show.
Cowboys 35, Giants 30

Packers versus Cowboys
Brett Favre will win the “Second Battle of the Alamo,” which is only fitting since as a boy he witnessed the first one. After the game TO will say that “I’m not the one who spent the week before the game canoodling with Jessica Simpson.” In addition to causing a rift that will loom over the Cowboys’ 2008 season, it will inspire Snoop Dogg to write the rap hit “Canoodlin Bitches.”
Packers 21, Cowboys 20

Chargers versus Patriots
The Chargers will win in a rout after Tom Brady suddenly corrodes halfway through the first quarter, aging before a horrified stadium of fans into a withered mummy before finally decaying into dust. After the game, a portrait of the Brady will be found hanging in his locker with a knife initialed BM stuck in its heart. Robert Kraft will mutter that at least he doesn’t have to worry about a Russian dictator stealing his XLI Superbowl ring.
Chargers 45, Patriots 7

Chargers versus Packers
Norv Turner’s unique gift at fielding unprepared, incompetent, overmatched teams is on full display in the most lopsided Super Bowl in history. After the game several despondent Chargers are put on suicide watch. Turner is immediately crowned “Worst Coach of the Decade” and fired by San Diego, whereupon Bill Parcells hires him to coach Dallas because “I like a challenge.” Inspired by Favre, AARP spokesman Dan Marino unretires and is immediately hired by Norv Turner because “the future is old quarterbacks.”
Packers 64, Chargers 3

Death By Tom-Tom

If you don’t know what Polish Pottery is, let me describe it like this: it’s similar to crack, but it only affects women and makes them purchase it by the gross ton in order to fill the house with heavyweight objects that are not only beautiful when set out at dinner but also useful for disabling prowlers.

About two hours’ drive from our house is a Polish Pottery wholesaler. I think this is mildly ironic, since we don’t live 2 hours from Poland, but never mind. So my wife and her sister (the famous Sis-in-law, last seen leaving me knee-deep in a raccoon grave that it was her idea to dig) decided to go visit it in order to get their fix.

Because the store is far away, they borrowed a Tom-Tom. If you don’t know what these things are, they’re basically super-cheap GPS systems that are designed to flip out at the most inopportune time and leave you stranded, preferably somewhere near where the crack addicts avoid because it’s “not too savory over there.”

They managed to get to the famous wholesalers and spend lots of money; apparently fiscal success for them is only overrunning their budget by 35%. I don’t care, though; if they didn’t spend it on anti-prowler ceramics I’d probably waste it on pornographic video games.

Once they’d gotten home, they decided on a whim to go back out and visit the Chocolate factory. I think their plan was to break a plate over Charlie’s head and make off with the world’s largest Crucified Chocolate Santa. After they’d filled the car with a hundred kilos of pure dark chocolate (I shudder to think of the loading on the rear axle at this point), they fired up the borrowed Tom-Tom and asked it to take them home.

Now, why exactly they needed the Tom-Tom to tell them how to cross town, I do not know. But it decided to take them right through the middle of the city. During rush hour.

Halfway across town, the Tom-Tom announced in a suddenly Schwarzeneggerian voice “You’re on your own, silly bitches. I hope some crazy derelict hobo lawyer doesn’t gouge out your eyes and piss on your brains. Mwu-ha-ha!”

Then it stopped.

I saw them much later that night, somewhat frazzled and stinking of urine, but otherwise unharmed. When I asked my wife if she wanted a Tom-Tom, she told me to do something that’s anatomically impossible, which I presume meant no.

Which was good, because I can’t wait to get Grand Theft Auto 8: Hoz on the Hoodz.