March 31, 2005

Again with the Carlos D

From the New York Press list of the 50 Most Loathsome New Yorkers

15. Carlos D
Bassist, Interpol

As if being the bassist for the bar-band-quality Joy Division retreads Interpol will not be ignominy enough in six months, Carlos D's penis was put on center stage with the briefly lived blog CarlosDHasHerpes. In it, a peeved guy tells the tale of how his otherwise faithful sweetheart succumbed to the lyrics "touch your thighs/I'm the lonely one" and got escorted backstage by an Interpol roadie...

...and so on. If you go to a party DJed by Carlos D, you're partying with everyone he's ever DJed for. Just be careful out there.

Save yourself. For bluestate.

And P.S., a Most Loathsome Washingtonians list is on the way, courtesy of this blog. Get your nominees in.

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March 30, 2005

Analog ash in an analog urn

In the previous post, I briefly touched on the awesomeness that are Chicago's record stores. Although I could have come home with a box full of wax and a whopping credit card bill, I limited myself to a few bluestate-friendly purchases:

Beck - Hell Yes EP
!!! - S/T (Clear vinyl)
Make-Up - In Mass Mind
The Rapture - Echoes

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Chicago vs. D.C.

I just got back from the (Lake Michigan) coast and boy are my arms tired! You know, from gesturing to US Airways employees when complaining that my flight took off two hours late.
Washington, D.C.
barry.jpg
Chicago, Ill.
blues.JPG
Fast, efficient, modern and clean transit that runs infrequently.More extensive century-old elevated trains that run frequently. Downside: I saw a crackhead take a dump on a Blue Line train.
Incompotent, but boring politiciansCorrupt, but colorful politicians
Pizza as big as your head. Pizza with the sauce on top. WTF?
KojoOprah
FugaziWilco
The river is slightly radioactiveThe river is green on occasion
Record stores that inspire mail-orderRecord stores like those in High Fidelity
Newly de-Frenchified sucky baseball teamLong-suffering, historic baseball teams
Notable phallic structuresNotable phallic structures
The parking lot in All The President's Men The "El" in Risky Business
Murphy Brown Perfect Strangers
Let's call it a tie.
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March 27, 2005

Coincidence

flags.jpg

Greetings from the (surprisingly not windy) Windy City!

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March 26, 2005

Someone's well-honed sense of irony

(coming live from the Apple Store on Michigan Ave. in Chicago)

For some reason, I walked into the Burberry store down the block here on the Magnificent Mile, and as I browsed the $115 ties and $900 overcoats, I realized I recognized the song being played on the store speakers.

"Lost in the Supermarket."

Someone was either really thick or really sharp.

"I'm all lost in the supermarket
I can no longer shop happily
I came in here for the special offer
Guaranteed personality."

That's Burberry for you.

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March 25, 2005

End of the week, end of my rope

I know that my tolerance for sitting at a desk all day has reached its end now that my headphones lie on the floor, forlorn and nearly broken. An older, more brittle set would be in pieces.

Why? Because I absolutely, positively hate Bjork. I hate her so much. I hate her breathy faux-child voice, cloying mannerisms, New Agey backing tracks that would make Enya barf and stupid, stupid, stupid flail-y dancing. Even more, I hate that so many people say it's so f*cking groundbreaking and "amazing," in the same tones a middle-aged NPR listener speaks about some sort of "world music" that they don't understand but praise because that's what you say when asked about this or that piece of "world music."

Let me back up. It's Friday afternoon and I desperately want to get the hell out of here so I can go home and do laundry in order to go out tonight in clean clothes. I'm listening to KEXP on webcast when they play the Sugarcubes' "Birthday." Now I love KEXP, but they occasionally drift into painfully boring alt-folk and New Age tripe, but that's the price you pay for giving DJs the ability to play a wide variety of music. On any other day, I would have sat through the Bjork or just put down the headphones until the geothermal-powered cr*p machine finished braying.

But it's Friday afternoon and a man can take only so much in a week. So in lieu of the boss, the weather and Tom DeLay, the headphones suffered the brunt of my rage. Funny how something you're supposed to listen to in a bathtub in soft focus with candles and oils and such can get me so riled up. I need to relax -- where's my Jam All Mod Cons CD?

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Please go back to Mad Max sequels

I looks like The Passion 2: Dogmatic Boogaloo has bombed in theatres, making less than $400,000 in slightly-less-violent re-release. I'm not surprised that today's fundie wouldn't go back to see a film with six less gruesome minutes, given their annoying persecution complex and the fact that they likely already have it on DVD, nestled on a shelf between Veggie Tales Vol. 27: The Papist Pickle Learns a Lesson and that copy How to Resist Homosexual Recruiters: The Live in an Exurb and Stay Inside Your Car When In Major Cities Method.

Back in the day, I was pretty obsessed with the Passion-obsessed. A related post even started the first DCSOB flame war. I guess we all owe something to Mel.

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I can't add this to my Amazon wishlist

But I want a solar deathray. It's an environmentally-friendly way to incinerate your enemies.

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March 24, 2005

When good people get recognized

...the snark factor drops just a little bit. Chuck, the Black Cat bartender who mixes wicked awesome drinks and wore a !!! shirt for the first bluestate when I played !!!, is WaPo Bartender of the Month. Go Chuck!

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Money ain't a thang

Following years and years of complaining that the city is screwed by the feds on everything from paying for the inaguration to hazmat shipments to medical marijuana, Mayor Williams gives us his lovefest budget, full of money for libraries, day care, job training and other undeniably good things.

But Tony, we're getting screwed left and right! The only reason you have this money is because all the cool kids want their own place in the city and are willing to pay through the nose for it. Property taxes are what's hot right now, and there's no guarantee that they'll always be booming. The problem with singles and childless couples is that they're not permanent and not in endless supply. DC's zero-sum game is about dividing the property tax bounty into programs that will attract new taxpayers (Metrorail, roads, luring new businesses and baseball) and improving life for the people who already live here (Metrobus, schools and day care). One of these days, the bottom will drop out unless the city makes a master plan to balance increasing the tax base and increasing intergenerational population sustainability.

And what about the pity party? Isn't DC supposed to be oppressed under the thumb of jackasses like Ernest Istook and Orrin Hatch? Hizzoner would do well by keeping the good times on the DL until the federal budget gets signed into law. But we can't do that, because Tony is or isn't or is again or then again maybe isn't running for reëlection and incumbent executives love election-year budgets full of goodies for everyone, whether prudent or not.

So what we get is a good budget we shouldn't brag about, reflecting good times we know won't last. Better get your library time in now, folks.

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March 23, 2005

RFK: Not just for baseball and soccer anymore

DCist says that HFStival is back, sans radio station, of course. The line-up:


"Billy Idol
Unwritten Law
Social Distortion
NY Dolls
Sum 41
The Bravery
Interpol
Muse
Garbage"

As in the New York Dolls, that long-gone proto-punk band? Strange. But I'll pay good money for Garbage, The Bravery, Interpol (Featuring Carlos D #7) and Billy Idol.

Perhaps this year's incarnation may actually be better than HFStivals past when the station was on the air. Freed from an ever-tightening playlist, teen agro acts like P.O.D., New Found Glory and Papa Roach have been jettisoned. Like many bands (Sex Pistols come to mind) HFS is better now that its gone.

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The rundown

This week is insanity on a stick. Instead of the usual well-considered and researched prose, I'm gonna resort to the trick of lazy writers everywhere: The list.

HOT: Free drinks at Grill from Ipanema. All you have to do is speak fluent Portuguese. That couldn't be so hard, could it?

HOTTER: 300% Dynamite. It makes driving to work in the rain because you parked your car in a Wednesday street cleaning zone at least a little pleasurable. Really old ska, rocksteady, reggae, all with a reverb that can kill small rodents. Yeah.

SUPER LAME: $100 parking tickets. 7-9:30 a.m. rush hour on a Hill backstreet? Give me a break. Better yet, give me my $100 back.

PASSABLE: The Carlsonics album. There's at least one track here that's Bluestate material and a few others that are worthy of serious rocking out, but DC's best live band (sorry, I don't like Washington Social Club) needs a little more production, even if it's supposed to be underproduced garage rock.

STRANGE: The fact that you can't get Alpha-Bits cereal in this town. What's going on?

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March 22, 2005

Dig in!

Let me turn your attention to fellow Smorgasblog DCFÜD:

-Would you like to get seven people seriously f*cked up and feeling positively awful the whole day? Give them just one bottle of smuggled absinthe. Mix in a little white wine, some hush puppies and Thriller on vinyl. You'll be picking matches and glass shards out of your carpet for a week.

-What's soursop? I doubt I'd be able to identify it at a market, but it makes a good ice cream flavor.

- Right now, I have some cheese, hummus, onion dip, samosas, eggs and ketchup in my fridge. Do you think I could turn it into a curry?

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March 21, 2005

The secret to cloning has been discovered!

It must be so, otherwise Carlos D of Interpol wouldn't be DJing absolutely everywhere. I have seen him on so many flyers (especially in NYC) that there must be one Carlos D to be in Interpol, one to DJ and one to cook and clean around the house.

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March 18, 2005

Morons to the north, morons to the south

While Virginia may be racing to the Dark Ages faster than a speeding pestilence outbreak, our other neighbors are also working hard to make sure the state's elected officials are busy handling legislation that can best be described as "vindictive" as opposed to "necessary to the continued functioning of government" or "a step toward increased economic development" or "doing something about the fact that most of Baltimore is an ungodly dump."

They want to make English the state language.

As a former Maryland resident, I know why. No, it's not because of all those immigrants, so lazy and unmotivated that they're outscoring your kids on standardized tests and filling Montgomery County's strip malls with delicious but unassimilationist pho, dim sum and curry joints. It's because there are plenty of native-born Marylanders can't speak or understand English. Go to the MVA and try to transfer the title of a car. You'll encounter something like this:

You: I'd like to transfer the title of this car. Do I have enough documentation?
MVA employee: Take tik't.
You: I don't want to get on a long line if I'm missing something. Might you be able to direct me to some sort of pamphlet?
MVA employee: Vlavalater.
You: Excuse me?
MVA employee: Nwerf shibvabn tankt passport flavuut dranj dental dam.
You: Oh, forget it. I'll just walk from now on.

So this isn't about immigrants at all -- it's about integrating Marylanders, most notably Baltimoreans, into the language and culture of the rest of the nation. I think. Anyway, it'll destroy the local culture, heralded in classic TV shows such as The Wire and America's Funniest Urban Rednecks Try Meth.

Bonus stupidity: The Moonie Times article linked above cites Wikipedia. How lazy can you be and still show up to work every day?

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March 17, 2005

SOB of the Week

Making out in cars has had a long and proud tradition since Americans first learned the hard way the likely results of comin' a-knockin' when a Model T is a-rockin'. Henry Ford said that you could get any color you'd like as long as it was black, but given his well-known feelings on race, I'm pretty sure he didn't tell his daughter that during the "birds and bees talk".

Anyway...

The car has always been a symbol of freedom, and part of the reason is that you can take it to a remote place and eliminate the risk of a parent or roomate walking in on you during those first few sexual experiences.

"Remote" being the operative word there.

I was waking down Q Street in Dupont Circle last night when I heard the sound of a shifting car seat. I turned to see a guy's back, perhaps fixing the seat or looking for dropped change... no, wait, that's not shifting, that's... writhing. There's someone underneath him! He's getting hot and heavy in a Honda with someone on Q Street, NW, corridor from the Metro to points east.

So Horny in the Honda and your partner of unknown gender, thanks for the visuals. Thanks for reminding us of our younger days, and how there are people out there who are either incredibly sexually liberated exhibitionists or complete idiots who don't know where the scenic overlooks on the GW Parkway are. For the sake of the gene pool, let's hope you won't need to trade in your Accord for a minivan any time soon, if you know what I mean.

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Bluestate 3: Bluestate harder

I like doing bluestate more every time. We're starting to get a crowd of regular attendees and some new faces. It's nice to chew the fat a bit and use the venue as a place to try new things without fear of failure, get instant feedback and give people free stuff. Feel free to comment on the playlists.

I was surprised how many people made it out on a Wednesday. This means, as a matter of fact, that you have no excuse next time we spin on a Wednesday.

Thanks to everyone who came out!

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March 15, 2005

Math teacher mode: On

You may not know this, but one of my multiple personalities is a math teacher, Mr. Cosineovich. Every now and then, he comes out to lecture, berate and otherwise generate fear in the hearts of children between the ages of 15 and 18. Today, Mr. Cosineovich woke up, walked out of his house in a wealthy, white neighborhood and found a copy of the Examiner wrapped in plastic just in case the distributor hired a disease-carrying minority to handle getting the precious, caucasian newspaper to its precious, causasian readers. Settling down to his morning coffee (he doesn't need the stimulant, just the bad breath to scare the kids), he saw an article on drug importation with this paragraph:

"Those escalating estimates have a silver lining, though. They make it likely that the Senate will pass the Pharmaceutical Market Access & Drug Safety Act (S.#334/H.R. 700) this year. The bill would allow certified wholesalers and pharmacies to import Canadian and European drugs, whose prices are 3 to 300 percent less than U.S. prices."

A few things will get Mr. Cosineovich flying into a rage: chewing gum, not showing your work and messing up percent increases or decreases.

This is how it works. If your $100 bottle of Cialis is available online from Moosejaw Pharmacy for $1, you are getting a 99% discount. If a man in Moosejaw suddenly finds himself in need of an erection during his American vacation, he will find that prices are 10,000 percent higher here compared to his pharmacy back home. The point is that when you're cutting prices, you can't offer a discount beyond 100 percent unless you're giving someone money to take your product.

Class over.

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The Moonies have your back

Sometimes when reading the Moonie Times there is an article so strange, so unexplainable in any context that you have to step back and take a fresh look at why the hell one bothers to read the paper at all. Usually, it's the homeschooling tips ("don't let young Zeke play with the neighbor-children, as he may learn about girls without the appropriate fear and guilt"). Today, the True Father and King Of Peace's minions have taken on the cause of proper posture of all things. And their subject? A certain someone whose Neverland is likely within easy driving distance of Bailey's Crossroads:

"Arlington resident Michael Jackson avoided back surgery by changing his posture and standing up straighter.

The 41-year-old tried acupuncture, yoga and chiropractic for a herniated disk in his lower back. It was the treatment of chiropractor Kevin Maggs that ended three years of pain caused by poor posture, prolonged sitting and improper exercising, he says."

I'm as much of a proponent of proper posture and good back health as anyone, but reading about it in the MT makes me wonder whether I haven't given the benefits of slouching a sufficiently serious look.

And PS, chiro is bullsh*t.

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March 14, 2005

Philistines!

So I'm eating my falafel outside the (where else?) Amsterdam Falafelshop on Friday night after the DCist happy hour with the Füd crew when a couple walks up to our general area.

Dude: What are you eating?
Me: Falafel. It's good.
Dude: What's falafel?
Me: Ground up, spiced and fried chickpea balls in a pita with various savory toppings.
Dude: Chickpeas? Ewwwww.
Me: You know, Garbanzo beans. [like the mother of a toddler] They're realllllly good!
[Dude starts walking away]
Me: They also have chicken schwarma!
Dude: Wha?
Me: Piled chicken roasting on a big spinning stick.

Needless to say, no sale on the schwarma either.

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March 11, 2005

SOB of the week

As I quietly ate my sub-average chicken curry in Union Station's underground feeding area, a Wilford Brimley-esque fat mustachoed man in stretchy pants swooped in to the two tables in front of me, throwing his substantial gut on one table, grabbing on to the other one with his fat, stubby hands as if he was tackling a family of Gypsy panhandlers. Once he was sure that the two tables could not escape under his considerable gerth, he yelled out to his wife to grab another table a few feet away as if he was demanding air support with one of those Vietnam-era backpack phones. His wife seized the strategic hill (by which I mean she set her backpack on the table). Some tweens then materialized and Wilfred ordered them to drop their backpacks and go get some lunch.

At two adjacent tables, a group of men wearing suits finished their meals quietly, anticipating the pushy putch that would come as soon as one of them stood up. Eventually, they left and our stretchy-pantsed hero nudged the tables closer -- from a foot and a half awy from his existing captives to right up next to them. He then positioned himself squarely in the middle, bending over and stretching out as far as he could, while his wife waited at the satellite table, now number five. Since his arms were not wide enough to cover all four tables, he held out a backpack with each arm to extend his reach, just in case anyone thought about sitting down next to the crazy oatmeal and diabetes equipment spokesman with the pink backpacks and stretchy pants.

Before the kids got back from Flamers or the Cajun Grill or wherever else, I went back to work, safe in the knowledge that my table would soon become part of this man's empire.

What's amazing about this idiot's paranoid table handling is that nobody asked him if they could use one of his tables. Nobody tried to muscle their way in, mining harbors or setting up other active or passive defenses against table incursion while he was looking the other way. In fact, there was no reason to believe that he would have had any trouble finding his family a place to sit had he sat down at one open table and put backbacks on the other ones.

But such is what happens sometimes when out-of-towners visit the big city. Fed for years a steady diet of crack whores, scam artists, murderers and plain old mean people by a media that gets ratings playing to peoples' fears, it's natural that anyone going to a big city who doesn't have experience in one would think they could be taken advantage of at any moment.

So is our fat paranoid friend the real SOB here, or is it the divisive media? Naah, it's Aggressive McStretchypants.

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March 9, 2005

Great search results in history

Appendix C: Lesser-used search engines, Foxnews.com, scroll down.

Traffic logs are endless fun, aren't they?

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It's all an allusion

DCeiver has beeen flogging the Cardozo mercury thing pretty hard, going from thermometers to old Bruce Willis movies. The local TV news writer in me thinks he can stretch for just one more act of simile brutality:

Like what a middle-class homeowner would do if a 1981 Mercury Grand Marquis with no wheels sat abandoned in his front yard, students at Cardozo High School are asking city officials to do something about the fact that their school has been closed for several days.

1981GrandMarquis4Dr.jpg

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Bizzee Rascal

Things have been pretty hectic down here at The Spiro Agnew Blogging Center and Pit Beef Palace. Each one of my many responsibilities is tugging me in its direction, demanding more attention than I can give. In addition, DCSOB will be making a major change in the next couple of months that requires a great deal of advance work: you'll get a better blog with more posts, I'll get some peace of mind and a little more sleep each night.

That being said, I'll very soon be dumping my old home computer (a Dell notebook from 2000 hooked up to an external monitor and keyboard like a retarded Stephen Hawking) for a slightly newer model that has WiFi. That's right, I will now be able to report, in real time, how much the stand-ups at SoHo suck on any given Monday. The future is NOW, man!

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March 8, 2005

The DC blogger trifecta

I think DCeiver may have hit it with his post on the Cardozo High mercury mess. What is the DC blogger trifecta? Glad you asked.

1. Mention one of the three or four acts the music types have been foaming over (Full Minute of Mercury)

2. Toss in a cult flick or TV show reference (here it's Donnie Darko, but Mr. Show would have also worked depending on the context).

3. Perhaps the least important bit is the idle speculation on a current local event. Yeah, mercury, school, whatever.

If DCeiver had tossed in Jeff Gannon or gentrification, I wouldn't have needed to read any other blogs today. Good for my boss, bad for me.

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March 7, 2005

Bluestate is so hot right now

dovessaintex.jpg

...at Cafe Saint-Ex.

Note: Post changed, smaller graphic replaced larger graphic. Feel free to put it on your site.

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March 6, 2005

Daft Punk could be playing at your house

Via Productshop, we see the hefty sums commanded by music and comedy acts. If I had one of those "Super Sweet Sixteens" on MTV, I'd absolutely drop 50 large for Blur. Slow dancing to "The Universal?" Priceless. And I hear that if you drop a few extra grand, they'll do requests.

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March 4, 2005

Awww crud

crud.jpg

For those of you who have been reading this blog since last April, it comes as no surprise that I haven't been happy with the escalator service at the Metro station near my office. A little more than ten short months ago, the escalator went offline for repairs, forcing traffic in both directions on one narrow pathway. During the rush hour, one person going down when everyone else went up could lead to backups all the way to the fare gates.

Now, after they "fixed" the escalator, it's screwed up again, more so than before.

Yeah, that fare increase really paid off in more reliable service.

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March 3, 2005

Decadent and depraved

Doonesbury @ Slate runs the first strips devoted to Uncle Duke, the charachter based on Hunter S. Thompson. Whenever I think of HST, I'm reminded of this quote from Fear and Loathing, thoughtfully scrawled some years prior to my arrival near the toilet paper dispenser of my college newspaper's bathroom:

"Journalism is not a profession or a trade. It is a cheap catch-all for fuck-offs and misfits--a false doorway to the backside of life, a filthy piss-ridden little hole nailed off by the building inspector, but just deep enough for a wino to curl up from the sidewalk and masturbate like a chimp in a zoo-cage."

So true.

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March 2, 2005

Where would we be without Michiko?

Nobody can slap 'em down like good 'ol Kakutani. This week, we get some snaps in a review of Ari Fleischer's new book, No Really, I Wasn't Lying At All, Really:

"Full of excerpts from Mr. Fleischer's often contentious exchanges with members of the press, it is essentially a collection of talking points hastily pasted together with large slatherings of the vitriol and exasperation the author seems to have accumulated during his years as a "piņata," his word for how he sometimes felt in the White House briefing room. In short, it's an extended exercise in Mr. Fleischer's spinning his own earlier spin."

Don't let him her get started on Ari's mama.

Useless Fleischer fact: I know someone who used to date someone who used to live in the English Basement of his house. Nice place.

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The tab versus the neckless wonder

When people who want you destroyed, don't take their advice. The Ex, racially pure right-wing fishwrap, gives us one word for Howard Dean?

"Fool

Howard Dean, chairman, Democratic National Committee

Over the weekend, Howard Dean proved that he has all the sophistication of a saltine when he told a Democratic crowd that Republicans are evil. With a little work, even Dean should be able to understand one-syllable words. Perhaps some examples will help: Car-bombing a marketplace and killing more than 100 people is evil. Disagreeing with Howard Dean about Social Security reform is not. If Democrats want a fool for a leader, that's their business, but we wouldn't trust him to shine our shoes."

Yeah, go ahead and berate the guy for lowering the level of discourse for calling Republicans "evil" with one word from a larger quote. Just don't do it right before you say you "wouldn't trust him to shine our shoes."

All this carping serves to do is convince Democrats that they picked the right guy. Why? Because Anchulz, Olin, Scaife, Murdoch and their minions have always saved their lowest gutter tactics for the pols they think had a shot at beating them. Witness Bill Clinton. Hopeless John Kerry didn't get attacked in easnest until the Swifties came around -- before them, it was just lame "waffle" jokes.

So when you see Republicans and redlining newspapers praising people like Sens. Joe Lieberman, you know that they're pushovers who can't stand up for themselves.

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What would Freud say?

Last night, I had a dream that I was watching a music video for a Foo Fighters cover of Ted Leo/Rx's "Where Have All the Rude Boys Gone?"

Then I woke up, thought about it a little, then concluded that "Better Dead Than Lead" would have been a better pick for the Foos.

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March 1, 2005

Right on

Religion isn't "under attack" in Virginia. That's because DCeiver is in DC.

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