<!-- Begin meta tags generated by ORblogs --> </meta name="keywords" content="progressive, liberal, politics, government, edit, language, grammar, accuracy, honesty, clarity, world, news, media" /> </> <!-- End meta tags generated by ORblogs -->> Editor at Large: November 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

McCain, running on empty, takes on Jackson Browne

John McCain used several popular rock songs to help defibrillate supporters during his campaign, but the only hearts he got thumping were those of the songwriters and performers. Almost all of them had their lawyers send McCain "cease and desist" letters, and at least one artist - Jackson Browne - sued. McCain had used Browne's song "Running on Empty" to accompany his "Drill, baby, drill" campaign theme.

In response to the suit, McCain's lawyers claim that Browne was just trying to get publicity for his new album, which came out in September. They also claim that McCain had the right to use the tune whenever and wherever he wanted to because he was running for president - not trying to make a profit off the song.

The self-promotion angle will be a tough one to prove in court, but if McCain's lawyers can sway jurors on the "political speech as public interest" claim, they may set a precedent that will make any song fair game for any political campaign.

Which means in 2012 you may hear "American Idiot" playing at Sarah Palin rallies.


Really? They should be shot?

Wow. Home Depot founder Bernie Marcus thinks retailers who don't support his political agenda should be shot:
"If a retailer has not gotten involved with this, if he has not spent money on this election, if he has not sent money to Norm Coleman and these other guys, [they] should be shot; should be thrown out of their goddamn jobs."

That seems a bit extreme. But then, maybe it makes sense as a business model: shooting or firing all those retailers would certainly decrease Home Depot's competition.

Hey, maybe W will help with the shooting...


Friday, November 14, 2008

Joe the Bummer signs a book deal

Joe the Bummer, aka Samuel Wurzelbacher, has signed a book deal. His book, which will be co-written with novelist Thomas Tabback, will be called "Joe the Plumber -- Fighting for the American Dream." The word "for" is apparently not intended as a joke.

The book will be released by Pearlgate Publishing on December 1, 2008. Yes, that's two weeks from now. Apparently, plumbers with no plumbing license and a washed-up political career not only have lots of time on their hands but are very fast writers. Unless Joe plans to just dictate and let Mr. Tabback, the novelist, do the actual writing.

Nah. Joe has more integrity than that, doesn't he? And he can articulate himself just fine, can't he?

Glaring evidence of Joe's integriticity, his articulacity, and his sensation of humor can be seen in this excerpt from his recent interview with Fox Noise:
I am not going to a conglomerate. That way we actually can get the economy jump started. Like there is five publishing companies in Michigan. There's a couple down in Texas. They are small ones that can handle like 10 or 15,000 copies. I can go to a big one that could handle a million or two. But they don't need the help. They are already rich. So that's spreading the wealth to me.

Ha ha ha ha. Get it? Spreading the wealth? That Joe - always the jokester.

Hey, if enough people buy Joe's book, maybe he'll be able to pay off his tax lien!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

And Alaska is a country, too

Guess why Sarah Palin got confused as to whether Africa was a country or a continent.

Hint: it has something to do with Alaska.

Give up? Okay, here it is, in Palin's own words:
My concern has been the atrocities there in Darfur and the relevance to me with that issue as we spoke about Africa and some of the countries there that were kind of the people succumbing to the dictators and the corruption of some collapsed governments on the continent, the relevance was Alaska’s investment in Darfur with some of our permanent fund dollars.

Okay, then.

Tina Fey, are you on this?


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A reality check on Obama's win

In his latest column, "No We Didn't," Ted Rall says exactly what I've been thinking about Obama's win. We ain't out of the woods yet, folks - not by a long shot.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Mr. Bush no longer resides here

One sunny day in 2009 an old man approached the White House from across Pennsylvania Avenue, where he'd been sitting on a park bench.

He spoke to the U.S. Marine standing guard and said, "I would like to go in and meet with President Bush."  

The Marine looked at the man and said, "Sir, Mr. Bush is no longer president and no longer resides here."

The old man said, "Okay" and walked away.

The following day, the same man approached the White House and said to the same Marine, "I would like to go in and meet with President Bush."

The Marine again told the man, "Sir, as I said yesterday, Mr. Bush is no longer president and no longer resides here."

The man thanked him and, again, just walked away.

The third day, the same man approached the White House and spoke to the very same Marine, saying "I would like to go in and meet with President Bush."

The Marine, understandably agitated at this point, looked at the man and said, "Sir, this is the third day in a row you have been here asking to speak to Mr. Bush. I've
told you already that Mr. Bush is no longer the president and no longer resides here. Don't you understand?"

The old man looked at the Marine and said, "Oh, I understand. I just love hearing it."

The Marine snapped to attention, saluted, and said, "See you tomorrow."

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Bush's approval rating now 20 percent

A CBS News poll finds that President Bush's approval rating is now at 20 percent - the lowest ever recorded for a U.S. president.

Poor old W, having to slouch around the White House for two more months in his GI Joe jammies, his face all long and mopey, no trace of the cocksure smirk that's nauseated the entire world for the past eight years...

It's an image that I unabashedly relish.

Palin gets pranked

This kind of thing almost makes me feel sorry for Sarah Palin. After all, being human means being gullible, to some extent, and people who take advantage of other people's gullibility are no heroes. But this woman is a candidate for vice president of the United States, for God's sake...why couldn't someone on her crackpot campaign staff have screened the caller for authenticity?

I laughed at this, but I didn't feel good about laughing. How about you?

Notorious Quebec comedy duo talks politics in prank call to Sarah Palin

MONTREAL -- A Quebec comedy duo notorious for prank calls to celebrities and heads of state has reached Sarah Palin, convincing the Republican vice-presidential nominee she was speaking with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

In the interview, which lasts about six minutes, Palin and the pranksters discuss politics, pundits, and the dangers of hunting with current vice-president Dick Cheney.

The Masked Avengers, who have a regular show on Montreal radio station CKOI, intend to air the full interview on the eve of the U.S. elections.

The well-known duo of Sebastien Trudel and Marc-Antoine Audette have also tricked Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and French president Jacques Chirac.

The call to Chirac was rated by the BBC as one of the top 30 best moments in radio history of all time. 

Following is the transcript of the phone call posted by Jake Tapper at http://abcnews.blogs.com/

GOV. SARAH PALIN: This is Sarah.

MASKED AVENGERS: Ah, yeah, Gov. Palin.

GOV. PALIN: Helloooo!

MASKED AVENGERS: Just hold on for President Sarkozy, one moment.

GOV. PALIN: Oh, it's not him yet, they're saying. I always do that!

MASKED AVENGERS: Yes, hello, Gov. Palin...

GOV. PALIN: Hello, this is Sarah, how are you?

MASKED AVENGERS: Fine, and you? This is Nicolas Sarkozy speaking, how are you?

[Note: Sarkozy does not speak fluent English.]

GOV. PALIN: Oh, so good, it's so good to hear you. Thank you for calling us.

MASKED AVENGERS: Oh, it's a pleasure.

GOV. PALIN: Thank you sir, we have such great respect for you, John McCain and I. We love you and thank you for taking a few minutes to talk to me.

MASKED AVENGERS: I follow your campaigns closely with my special American adviser Johnny Hallyday, you know?

[Note: Hallyday is a French singer and actor.]

GOV. PALIN: Yes, good.

MASKED AVENGERS: Excellent. Are you confident?

GOV. PALIN: Very confident and we're thankful that polls are showing that the race is tightening and --

MASKED AVENGERS: Well I know very well that the campaign can be exhausting. How do you feel right now, my dear?

GOV. PALIN: I feel so good. I feel like we're in a marathon and at the very end of the marathon you get your second wind and you plow to the finish.

MASKED AVENGERS: You see, I got elected in France because I'm real and you seem to be someone who's real, as well.

GOV. PALIN: Yes, yeah. Nicolas, we so appreciate this opportunity.

MASKED AVENGERS: You know I see you as a president one day, you too.

GOV. PALIN: (laughing) Maybe in eight years.

MASKED AVENGERS: Well, I hope for you. You know, we have a lot in common because personally one of my favorite activities is to hunt, too.

GOV. PALIN: Oh, very good. We should go hunting together.

MASKED AVENGERS: Exactly, we could go try hunting by helicopter like you did. I never did that. Like we say in French, on pourrait tuer des bebe phoques, aussi.

[Translation: We could also kill some baby seals.]

GOV. PALIN: Well, I think we could have a lot of fun together as we're getting work done. We can kill two birds with one stone that way.

MASKED AVENGERS: I just love killing those animals. Mmm, mmm, take away life, that is so fun. I'd really love to go, as long as we don't bring along Vice-President Cheney. (Laughs.)

GOV. PALIN: No, I'll be a careful shot, yes.

MASKED AVENGERS: Yes, you know we have a lot in common also, because except from my house I can see Belgium. That's kind of less interesting than you.

GOV. PALIN: Well, see, we're right next door to different countries that we all need to be working with, yes.

MASKED AVENGERS: Some people said in the last days and I thought that was mean that you weren't experienced enough in foreign relations and you know that's completely false. That's the thing that I said to my great friend, the prime minister of Canada Stef Carse.

[Note: That is not the name of the prime minister of Canada. The prime minster of Canada, since January 2006, is Stephen Harper. THIS is Stef Carse.]

GOV. PALIN: Well, he's doin' fine, too, and yeah, when you come into a position underestimated it gives you an opportunity to prove the pundits and the critics wrong. You work that much harder --

MASKED AVENGERS: I was wondering  because you are so next to him, one of my good friends, the prime minister of Quebec, Mr. Richard Z. Sirois, have you met him recently? Did he come to one of your rallies?

[Note: There is no prime minister of Quebec, though there is a premier. His name is Jean Charest. Sirois is a Canadian humorist.]

GOV. PALIN: I haven't seen him at one of the rallies but it's been great working with the Canadian officials. I know as governor we have a great co-operative effort there as we work on all of our resource development projects. You know, I look forward to working with you and getting to meet you personally and your beautiful wife. Oh my goodness, you've added a lot of energy to your country with um, with that beautiful family of yours.

MASKED AVENGERS: Thank you very much. You know my wife Carla would love to meet you, you know, even though you know she was a bit jealous that I was supposed to speak to you today. (Laughs.)

GOV. PALIN: Well, give her a big hug for me.

MASKED AVENGERS: You know my wife is a popular singer and a former top model and she's so hot in bed. She even wrote a song for you.

GOV. PALIN: Oh my goodness, I didn't know that.

MASKED AVENGERS: Yes, in French it's called de rouge a levre sur un cochon, or if you prefer in English, Joe the Plumber...(singing) it's his life, Joe the Plumber.

[Translation: Lipstick for a pig.]

GOV. PALIN: Maybe she understands some of the unfair criticism but I bet you she is such a hard worker, too, and she realizes you just plow through that criticism.

MASKED AVENGERS: I just want to be sure. That phenomenon Joe the Plumber. That's not your husband, right?

GOV. PALIN: That's not my husband but he's a normal American who just works hard and doesn't want government to take his money.

MASKED AVENGERS: Yes, yes, I understand we have the equivalent of the Joe the Plumber in France. It's called Marcel, the guy with bread under his armpit, oui.

GOV. PALIN: Right, that's what it's all about, the middle class and government needing to work for them. You're a very good example for us here.

MASKED AVENGERS: I see a bit about NBC, even Fox News wasn't an ally, an ally, sorry as much as usual.

GOV. PALIN: Yeah, that's what we're up against.

MASKED AVENGERS: Gov. Palin, I love the documentary they made on your life. You know Hustler's Nailin' Paylin?

[Note: Nailin' Paylin is a pornographic movie.]

GOV. PALIN: Ohh, good, thank you, yes.

MASKED AVENGERS: That was really edgy.

GOV. PALIN: Well, good.

MASKED AVENGERS: I really loved you and I must say something also, so governor, you've been pranked by the Masked Avengers. We are two comedians from Montreal.

GOV. PALIN: Ohhh, have we been pranked? And what radio station is this?

MASKED AVENGERS: This is for CKOI in Montreal.

GOV. PALIN: In Montreal? Tell me the radio station call letters.