end run brought to you by ok soda
  July 30, 2004
Noteworthy salutes by today's top newsmakers

Presidential candidate John Kerry firing up the crowd at last night's Democratic convention

Presidential candidate (and occasional President) George W. Bush at Andrews Air Force base this morning. Military custom apparently requires that the commander-in-chief salutes with his right hand, while holding his dog Barney with his left hand.

Posted at 11:05 AM in a Grave fashion.
Wow, you really did explain this just the other day


It may be the week of John Kerry's ascendacy to the Democratic nomination for the President—a period of time during the presidential campaign where the opposition candidate traditionally lays low—but that doesn't mean the incumbent executive branch's Number 2 isn't hitting the road and campaigning for local candidates. For the past few days, Vice President Dick Cheney (whom we've poked fun at before for his inability to stray from the rote lines of his standard stump speech) has brought his unique form of existential musings out west. Here, the veep ponders the idea of an alternate universe, five discrete times in twenty-four hours:

Remarks Followed by Q&A by the Vice President at a Reception for Congressional Candidates Goli Ameri and Jim Zupancic, Portland, Oregon, July 26, 2004:

But I explained to a group the other day that if it hadn't been for that victory by Dwight Eisenhower in 1952, Lynne would have married somebody else. (Laughter.) And she said, right, and how he'd be Vice President of the United States. (Laughter and applause.)

The Vice President Delivers Remarks at Luncheon for Congressional Candidate Roy Ashburn, Bakersfield, California, July 26, 2004:

And I explained to a group the other day that if it hadn't been for Dwight Eisenhower's victory in 1952, Lynne would have married somebody else. She said, right, and now he'd be Vice President of the United States. (Laughter and applause.)

Remarks Followed by Q&A by the Vice President at a Luncheon for Gubernatorial Candidate Dino Rossi, Kennewick, Washington, July 26, 2004:

But I explained to a group the other night, if it hadn't been for that tremendous election victory by Dwight Eisenhower in 1952, Lynne would have married somebody else. And she said, right, and how he'd be Vice President of the United States. (Laughter and applause.)

The Vice President Delivers Remarks at a Reception for Senatorial Candidate Bill Jones, Riverside, California, July 27, 2004:

I explained to a group the other night if hadn't been for Eisenhower's great victory in 1952, Lynne would have married somebody else. (Laughter.) And she said, right, and now he'd be Vice President of the United States. (Laughter.)

Remarks by the Vice President at a Luncheon for Congressional Candidate John Swallow, Salt Lake City, Utah, July 27, 2004:

I explained to a group the other day that if hadn't been for Dwight Eisenhower's election victory, Lynne would have married somebody else. She said, right, and now he'd be Vice President of the United States. (Laughter and applause.)

EARLIER: Dick Cheney (repeating a different aspect of his stump speech), George W. Bush, and John Kerry

Posted at 9:30 AM in a Grave fashion.
  July 29, 2004
Highlights and noteworthy policy points from John Edwards' acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention last night







Posted at 11:42 AM in a Grave fashion.
  July 28, 2004
As any David Lynch fan will tell you, it really stands for "Beware of Bob"


From "Sick Bag Note Caused United Flight To Turn Back", July 28, 2004:

...An air sickness bag with the letters "B O B" scrawled on it had been found in a toilet on board.

The pilot decided the note could have meant "bomb on board" and returned to Sydney, dumping almost a full load of fuel before the Boeing 747-400 landed safely.

Several other possibilities were being investigated, including that the note could have been a popular flight crew acronym for a good looking passenger, or simply a man named Bob.

One suggestion: aviation officials ought to have paid closer attention to the phrase "FIRE WALK WITH ME" that was scrawled on the bag's flipside.

Posted at 12:32 PM in a Shallow fashion.
  July 27, 2004
We're Just Like Us


As part of our continuing coverage of this year's exciting race for the White House, we asked noted "celebrity body language expert" Patti Wood to provide her unique brand of insight on the "hidden" feelings of politicians as indicated by their physical gestures and maneuvers, but she declined, claiming to be too busy working on an in-depth body language piece for Us Weekly on the recent split between Spiderman 2's Kirsten Dunst and yesterday's it-boy Jake Gyllenhaal.

Ms. Wood's less-successful sister, Cathy, agreed to step in and help us analyze and assess the inner workings of this year's political love lives and goings-on, explaining that she had learned a lot about this process from her older sister. (She did, however, express some dismay about not being able to studiously examine photos of "that total hottie, Jake. I want to touch him.")

Continued after the jump.

Continue reading...
Posted at 12:35 PM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
  July 26, 2004
Skeet, Skeet, Vote


When you're MTV, and you're inexplicably working with the GOP to galvanize the youth vote, and you're all, "Let's get some kids voting and shit," and they're all, "Bitches, let's get a program going, and we'll get busy on our website, the front page and shit," and you say, "Fuck yeah, we've got this shit right here, check out this fine-ass agendum," then you give 'em an essay contest for young people on "how President Bush's call to service resonates in their lives":

Choose or Lose 2004: "Stand Up and Holla!"

Not having taken part in this inspirational program, we can only take a gander at additional elements and events from the MTV/RNC "Choose or Lose" Program Guide:

"GOP 2004: Get All Up in this Peace"

"Gippa, Please"

"Off the Hizzy, GOPizzy"

"Rock the Hizzouse of Representatives"

"Kerry's Bunk in the Crunk"

"Bust a Cap(ital Punishment)"

"Like Junk in the Trunk? Ni**as get Sunk"

"Niger, Please: I Wanna Sex You Up"

"Please, Hamid, Don't Hurt 'Em"

"Bush 41 got Sonned"

"The Roof, The Roof is on Fire! And the Fire Department's Underfunded!"

"Don't Believe tha Hype... Actually, Believe It. Please."

"Compassionizzle Conservatizzle"

"If I Ruled The World, Actually, I do, so go Fuck Yourself"

"We Skeet on Welfare Bitches, too"

"No Homo"

"Stand Up and Hola! (We welcome Latinos, though)"

And, finally,

"Vote or Die"

Posted at 3:52 PM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
43, 42 Years Later


Last week, the reliably over-reactive Matt Drudge posted an urgent news flash for his legions of readers:


THAT MORE OR LESS TURNED OUT (whoa, sorry, was momentarily stuck in all-caps/shouting mode) to be the news item in its entirety, in that Drudge's pithy exclamation consisted solely of a handful of quotes from "Pop culture takes on the fear game," an article by the New York Times' Frank Rich (whom we absolutely adore, by the way) that appeared in Friday's International Herald Tribune. Here's the particular passage that got Drudge so worked up:

"[The act of turning the Bush-Cheney administration into an object of fear] can be seen at full throttle in Jonathan Demme's remake of the classic cold war thriller 'The Manchurian Candidate,' which opens in the United States the morning after the Democratic convention ends. This movie could pass for the de facto fifth day of the convention itself.

I cannot recall when Hollywood last released a big-budget mainstream feature film as partisan as this one at the height of a presidential campaign. That it has slipped into action largely under the media's radar, as discreetly as the sleeper agents in its plot, is an achievement in itself. Freed from any obligations to fact, 'The Manchurian Candidate' can play far dirtier than 'Fahrenheit 9/11.' Not being a documentary, it can also open on far more screens - some 2,800, which is more than three times what Michael Moore could command on his opening weekend (or any weekend to date).

Aw, Frank, Matt...you guys needn't get so riled up about the undercurrent of hostility towards this year's race for the presidency that has apparently surfaced in Demme's remake. In fact, there were already a slew of winks and nods to the current 2004 campaign running throughout John Frankenheimer's original 1962 film. Prescient, indeed.


You've got Texas versus Massachusetts...

And the convention held at Madison Square Garden in New York...

Featuring a first-class imbecile on the presidential ticket...

And, finally, the minor-yet-significant role of Heinz ketchup in the race for the presidency.

Let's hope the real convention ends better than the one in the film!

Posted at 1:14 PM in a Shallow fashion.
They must have used all the letter W's for signs about some other fellow


Offered up at yesterday's Rock the Vote event in Boston: Jerry Springer, Biz Markie, Natalie Portman, Lauryn Hill, Al Sharpton, Howard Dean, and creative usages of an upside-down letter M.

Posted at 11:56 AM in a Grave fashion.
If he loses, there's always 2016

Via Reuters: Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry speaks to Gracie Sabo during a front porch visit in Columbus, Ohio, July 25, 2004.

“Why, hello, there, Gracie! Your mommy was very thoughtful for allowing us to host this event here in your front yard, despite the current President's policies on home ownership and property taxes. In fact, if you add up the true costs of this President's economic policies, you get a Bush Tax of higher property taxes, higher fees, higher health care costs - at the same time middle class incomes are going down. In 32 states, state and local property taxes have gone up. This Bush Tax - Boochy-koochy-koo! - can take $3500 or more from the pockets of America's middle class.

"Awwww, don't cry, little Gracie. Oh, no, no, no. Be a big girl. Think of your mommy: She can't afford four more years of Bush. You know what, though? If this President wants to make this election about taxes after he's cut billions for billionaires and squeezed middle class families, we're ready for that fight. Coochy-coochy-coochy-coo."

Posted at 11:38 AM in a Grave fashion.
  July 22, 2004
We rewrite, you decide, Vol. 5

From the Remarks by the President at the 2004 President's Dinner at the Washington Convention Center, July 21, 2004:

It's now been three and a half years since the Vice President and I took office. We've faced significant challenges. We have met them head-on. I believe it's the President's job to confront problems, not to pass them on to future Presidents and future generations. (Applause.)

From the President's State of the Union Address, January 20, 2004:

In two weeks, I will send you a budget that funds the war, protects the homeland, and meets important domestic needs, while limiting the growth in discretionary spending to less than 4 percent. (Applause.) This will require that Congress focus on priorities, cut wasteful spending, and be wise with the people's money. By doing so, we can cut the deficit in half over the next five years. (Applause.)

According to the Congressional Budget Office, by way of Calpundit, this still means a deficit of anywhere from $240 to $500 billion in 2009.

2009? That means that this deficit is a "problem" that President Bush (regardless of the outcome of this year's election) will certainly not be around to confront.

Applause, please.

Posted at 5:36 PM in a Grave fashion.
  July 21, 2004
Hilary, darling, that look is sooo Sofia's last film

Hilary Duff stars in A Cinderella Story, 2004

Scarlett Johansson promoting Lost in Translation at the Venice Film Festival, 2004

(With thanks to Kristina Dalberg.)

Posted at 12:38 PM in a Shallow, Versus fashion.
She's got her mother's face, and her daddy's respect for the media


This image was taken from the focal point of the Washington Post's most important news story EVER (eclipsing coverage of Samuel Berger's resignation from the Kerry campaign, tomorrow's report by the 9/11 commission, and the Palestinian leadership's current disarray):

"Jenna Bush Sticks Tongue Out at News Photographers"

Posted at 11:39 AM in a Grave fashion.
  July 20, 2004
Look out, Sasha Frere-Jones and Simon Reynolds...here comes Victoria Murphy of Forbes Magazine


Following in the wake of the "controversy" surrounding Jadakiss' provocative lyrics ("Why did Bush knock down the towers?") in his hit single, "Why?", Fox News' irascible hip-hop maestro Bill O'Reilly invited Forbes Magazine's senior reporter Victoria Murphy on to his Monday, July 19, 2004 edition of the O'Reilly Factor to discuss a tangentially-related matter, Microsoft's usage of the rapper in an X-Box promotion.

But when you're a 23-year-old reporter, why confine yourself to talking about boring, adult-oriented things like "marketing initiatives" and "public relations controversies" when you can wax rhapsodic on pop music and its performers?

MURPHY: This rapper's probably a one-hit wonder anyway, and it turns out it probably wasn't such a smart decision, but Microsoft is a smart company and what they want to do is sell more software, not promote some rapper's political ideas...

O'REILLY: Yeah, I mean we understand what their marketing is, to get kids to play this X-Box with Jadakiss, but you know, July 5th, Jadakiss is arrested in Fayetteville, North Carolina, for, uh...

MURPHY: Right, but that's what rappers do right, they get arrested?

O'REILLY: Yeah, I guess that's what they do...

RELATED: One random fan's Amazon selection of Jadakiss and the LOX's various platinum- and gold-selling records.

Posted at 3:38 PM in a Shallow fashion.
How does he pull the strings while thumbing his nose like that?

July 15, 2004: Karl Rove "gestures with his hand during a speech saying that Sen. John Kerry thumbed his nose to U.S. troops in Iraq".

July 16, 2004: Op-Ed cartoon by Stuart Carlson

(This remarkable confluence via Dan Froomkin's White House Briefing, the Washington Post, July 20, 2004)

Posted at 3:11 PM in a Grave fashion.
  July 19, 2004
Unintentionally Hilarious Photo of the Moment, vol. 30

(With thanks to Chris M.)

Posted at 3:14 PM in a Grave, Unintentionally Hilarious fashion.
The perfect right-wing explanation: Perhaps all these Iraqi police casualties have something to do with their choice of armored vehicles

An Iraqi Police Service vehicle, after having been spruced up by the insurgency

From the Iraq Ministry of Interior's office, "Security Forces Information Packet":

IPS officers drive blue and white vehicles, of various makes and models.

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Convoy is on alert on dangerous road":

To the left are the Iraqi police in their white Hyundais with blue painted doors.

Then again, maybe it's not just their choice of vehicles...

An American Humvee, after having been hummed and veed by an explosive device

From the U.S. Army's Weapons Fact File, "HMMWV":

The HMMWV (High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle) is a light, highly mobile, diesel-powered, four-wheel-drive vehicle equipped with an automatic transmission. Based on the M998 chassis, using common components and kits, the HMMWV can be configured to become a troop carrier, armament carrier, S250 shelter carrier, ambulance, TOW missile carrier, and a Scout vehicle.

From MSNBC's "Frantically, the Army tries to armor Humvees: Soft-skinned workhorses turning into death traps":

The cost of an armored Humvee, built from scratch, is $150,000. That's $1.8 billion to replace every Humvee in Iraq with one that offers armored protection. Or, looked at through the windshield of a Humvee on the Baghdad-Tikrit highway, that's less than 2 percent of the $99 billion the Air Force is spending on the F-22 fighter it insists it needs. 

RELATED: Iraq Coalition Casualties

Posted at 11:56 AM in a Grave fashion.
(Gotta Get) Back in Time

time_magazine_vegas_baby.jpgTIME Magazine's July 26, 2004 issue, Vol. 164, Number 4

...in which the cover-story editors draw from the ten-year-old script for Jon Favreau and Doug Liman's Swingers, liberally quoting Vince Vaughn's Trent character.

...in which the "The Arts" section profiles Clara Peller, noted for her catchy quip, "Where's the beef?"

...in which we learn about Ms. Pac-Man, the surprisingly successful spinoff to everyone's favorite coin-operated arcade game

...in which the movement to impeach the President for his knowledge of an illegal break-in at the Watergate Hotel is examined

...in which the "Nation" section document's the cultural obsession with the Lindbergh baby trial


...in which the "Science" section profiles Gumma, the universe's very first single-celled organism, and noted neurotic, in an article headlined "Mitochondriac"

Posted at 11:12 AM in a Shallow fashion.
  July 16, 2004
Unintentionally Hilarious Photo of the Moment, vol. 29


Posted at 11:54 AM in a Grave, Unintentionally Hilarious fashion.
  July 15, 2004
Karl Rove for the Day, Vol. 6


Hey, he's totally grounding the rhetoric! (Ba-dum.) Four (more years) on the floor! This guy is totally trampling over American values! Talk about carpet bombing!

Posted at 5:56 PM in a Grave fashion.
Dan Bartlett must have missed this "photo oppertoonity"


The wire services and Wisconsin-area local news outlets eagerly covered President Bush's "unscheduled" campaign stop at Mitch's Candy Store in West Bend, Wisconsin, yesterday, but amidst all the hullabaloo over his caloric consumption as he purchased some of the shop's "delicious bearclaws" was one "blink-and-you'll-miss-it" detail.

Wisconsin, a state Bush lost by a mere 6,000 votes in the 2000 election, ranks a respectable eleventh in the nation in education spending, though, somehow, the Bush-supportive candy store that his aides chose for this impromptu photo-op was staffed by people who can't spell the very item that the Secret Service had to have taste-tested beforehand:


Not to harp on spelling-related issues too much, but it's bearclaw, B-E-A-R-C-L-A-W, bearclaw.

Posted at 1:32 PM in a Grave fashion.
He'll probably work on it in earnest for a few months and then drop it like a hot potato and run when it gets too hard


From The New York Post's Book Beat, July 15, 2004:

"Paul Bremer, who stepped down as Ambassador to Iraq two weeks ago, has begun meeting with New York publishers about writing a memoir of his life and his experiences in the Middle East.

"Marvin Josephson, the founding chairman of International Creative Management and the agent on such books as Colin Powell's 'My American Journey' and Tommy Franks' upcoming 'American Soldier,' confirmed that interest in the book is 'very, very high.'"

As are the people who think anyone will buy this bilge, b-i-l-g-e.

Posted at 11:21 AM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
Unintentionally Hilarious Photo of the Moment, vol. 28


Posted at 9:30 AM in a Grave, Unintentionally Hilarious fashion.
  July 14, 2004
That's not reverb, that's delay you're hearing from the mic

karaoke_hipster_ironic.jpgToday's New York Times Metro section runs a piece about the city's night spots and the hipster embrace of—get this, kids—karaoke. In "'Sweet Caroline' Never Seemed So Good: So Uncool That It's Hip, Karaoke Enjoys a Comeback", Times readers commuting via the downtown 1/9 trains had the opportunity to learn about this thriving new subculture amongst the city's ironic set:

"Clearly, given the demographics, this is not the karaoke of crazy drunken uncles who worship Neil Diamond, nor is it the more studied karaoke first pioneered by Japanese businessmen. Instead, it is more akin to the swing-dancing craze of the 90's - a form of urban group expression that satisfies a longing for community."

While an instinctive critique of the paper may be expected to run along the lines of, "Why doesn't this paper cover these phenomena when they're more relevant, and hire younger, more plugged-in writers and reporters," it turns out that a better and more applicable critique may be along the lines of, "What the hell happened to their older staff, those people who actually remember what the paper has published in the past?" To wit, observations from "Noticed; Karaoke: Once More, With Irony" in the paper's Style section (a mere six years earlier, on July 5, 1998), which noted

"a reawakened interest among New York hipsters in the sing-along pastime imported from Japan. ...Just when it seemed the loose-tie recreation of the 1980's had been safely put to rest in church basements and suburban strip-mall bars, karaoke is being revived by young downtown scene-makers, along with so many other retro relics of the Reagan era. They are frequenting new karaoke clubs, as well as infiltrating traditional ones with a largely Asian clientele."

Well, be it 1998 or 2004, one thing is certain: it must be cool if the Bush twins are doing it.

Posted at 5:21 PM in a Shallow fashion.
Blonde, and bigger than ever before


Blonde Items:

WHAT hairy havoc have Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce Knowles, et al wreaked upon the world of up-and-coming black and Latina starlets? WHEN did Christina Milian, brunette teen songstress and star of last year's Love Don't Cost a Thing, have her handlers reconstruct her image and give her a post-Beyonce blonde re-do? WHY did no one realize that "Dip it Low" is a strong enough pop single on its own merits that its vocalist did not need this egregious white-person-accessibility reinvention? WHEN did we forget about that scene at the beginning of Spike Lee's Malcolm X where the young leader of the Black Power movement becomes embarrassed by his usage of hair-straightening products? WHY has Angela Davis never fronted a pop group?

Posted at 1:39 PM in a Shallow fashion.
What are you wearing, honey? A gown by Karl Rove and shoes by Karen Hughes


Bovs all over your tees! Sigh. Cokie Roberts has indeed been proven to be correct in her weekend prediction that the heretofore invisible Bush daughters would be increasingly whored out as visual props by the incumbent President's campaign masterminds.

Witness the immaculately staged and perfectly-lit photograph taken by primo fashion shutterbug Patrick Demarchelier, sampled above, and slated to appear in the August issue of Vogue, alongside an additional photo of the twins in more casual attire (see below). Perhaps more significantly, the glossy images are accompanied by what can only be considered a kiss-blowing puff piece/article in the grand tradition of the magazine's fawning coverage of politically peripheral luminaries such as Kirsten Dunst and Salma Hayek (both of whom, we hear, are wicked supporters of animal rights and the Reform-Party movement).

As the Washington Post states, the profile was written by one Julia Reed, who "describes herself as an 'acquaintance of the family' and has spent significant time writing about it." Presumably, these writing projects on the First Family have nothing to do with Ms. Reed's hard-hitting pieces on food ("Kebabing Along", "Giving a Fig", "Classic From a Can") for the New York Times' Magazine Desk.

In fact, she's probably referring to her article in London's Sunday Telegraph, dated November 5, 2000, which opens with the lead,

The only time I ever met George W. Bush during his drinking days, I was drunk and stoned myself. I was all of 15 and a guest at the wedding of Donald Ensenat, Bush's Yale classmate and current adviser.

After we were introduced, I emptied the contents of my glass on to the shoe of the future governor of Texas, prompting my father to throw me into the back of his car and take me home.

Oh, wait, wait, wait...maybe it was this piece in the August 2, 2000 edition of Newsweek, entitled "Suddenly, Republicans are Crazy About Everybody: Likability is the convention's most potent political attribute", in which Ms. Reed writes, "'Likability' has apparently become a more potent political attribute than, say, having a firm grasp of issues or possessing formidable speaking skills...Republicans apparently find it more appealing to appear brain dead than engaged in the issues that often divide the party."

Wow, Julia, honey, it's amazing the First Lady even let you interview her daughters at all! Unless, maybe, you swore off any such opining or commentary...? According to the Washington Post, again, Reed's current piece in Vogue presents such vital nuggets as:

...the daughters' post-graduation plans include Jenna's desire to work for a charter school and Barbara's interest in working with AIDS-afflicted children in Eastern Europe and Africa. Both girls have surrounded themselves with a group of good friends who say such nice things about them that readers might be led to believe these young women have never burped publicly, let alone had a grumpy day.

The story's headline promises that the daughters are about to "give the country a glimpse of who they really are by joining their father on the campaign trail." But those who spend any time on such trails argue that the goal is not to reveal one's real self but a perfectly polished and eloquently scripted facsimile.

But, of course, such low-key anecdotes aren't the news, here. The news is these stunning photos! Thankfully, the Post's Robin Givhan goes into greater detail on the real substantive issues:


Jenna's ruby red dress is by Oscar de la Renta, a designer favored by her mother. Barbara is wearing a similar ivory gown by Calvin Klein.


The second photograph has the twins dressed in more casual attire. Barbara wears an Alberta Ferretti camisole and Max Mara skirt. Jenna is in a Moschino top, Tommy Hilfiger jacket and trousers from Joe's Jeans. (The twins wear Italian and American labels but no French.) They are walking toward the camera, perfect teeth lighting up their pretty faces. Here they play the roles of chic girls about town. The setting is Schiller's Liquor Bar, one of those downtown New York restaurants where town cars idle out front and the menu is voyeuristically working class, with a wine list that is cheap, decent and good.

They wear another kind of uniform, one that speaks of youth, hipness and moneyed polish. The clothes tease the viewer, offering the faintest whiff of the twins' personalities. Is Jenna in jeans and jacket because she is more casual? More urbane? One wishes that the caption said something like: Jeans, model's own. The restaurant is empty. It was closed for the shoot. There's none of the liveliness that makes it such an enticing place. No "cheap" or "decent" wine on the tables. It's just a tidy backdrop for two perfect smiles.

They'll wear American and Italian, but no French? And come on, gals, Tommy Hilfiger?

Just so you know, ladies, as a bit of closing advice, French Connection U.K. is a British clothier, despite their misleading name, and you can and should feel comfortable supporting our most important ally in the War on Terror. Maybe next time, you darlings can sport one of those endearing "FCUK BUSH" T-shirts?

Posted at 11:49 AM in a Grave fashion.
  July 13, 2004
Cokie, you left out the part about how today's kids loooove bellbottoms

From L to R, Jenna Bush and her father, July 9, 2004; and Barbara Bush and her father, July 13, 2004

From the back-and-forth banter between Cokie Roberts and Chris Matthews, The Chris Matthews Show, July 11, 2004:

Ms. ROBERTS: Well I was going to talk about Michael Moore, but I'll switch and say I think the Bush twins will be out on the campaign trail with midriffs showing and that they will...

MATTHEWS: Will they be for Edwards or what?

Ms. ROBERTS: ...they will be after that youth vote as well.

Posted at 3:13 PM in a Grave fashion.
The glaringly obvious joke would be, "Would you like freedom fries with that?"


As that old "uniter-not-divider" canard strikes anew, a handful of conservatives with their eye on the upcoming presidential election have (very, very, very predictably) earmarked the corporation at the source of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry's wife's fortune as the target of their ire. Yes, Theresa Heinz Kerry, or rather, Heinz, the ketchup giant she inherited from her deceased Republican husband, is slated for a round of negligible victimization with the release of W Ketchup. From their site:

"W Ketchup™ is made in America, from ingredients grown in the USA. The leading competitor not only has 57 varieties, but has 57 foreign factories as well. W Ketchup comes in one flavor: American. Choose Heinz and you're supporting Teresa and her husband's Gulfstream Jet, and liberal causes such as Kerry for President."

All good points...and I know I prefer American-flavored ketchup to its various alternatives. And while a 24-ounce bottle of traitorous Heinz-brand ketchup runs a measly $1.69 at FreshDirect, compared with W Ketchup's steeper $3 price tag, bear in mind that "a portion of every W Ketchup sale will be donated to to the Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships for the children of active duty service members killed in the line of duty."

In other words, the more ketchup your kids buy to cover themselves in lieu of blood while pretending to be shot or maimed in childish war games, the more children of actually-killed soldiers benefit! (It's a win-win scenario, save for those troops who were merely maimed, in which case, the kids get nothing.)

Well, there's nothing wrong with freedom, liberty, or American-grown tomatoes. And there's nothing inherently wrong with selfishly looking after your own interests, either. So, please, please, be generous and open your wallets to purchase some of the progressively-minded alternative products below, which we'll be making available shortly.

Lefty™ brand rifles and shotguns

Earth-First unfarmed and recycled tobacco and cigarette-paper products

"Kerry" brand army transport vehicles

Li-burn-all™ brand gasoline (developed at our wide variety of Liberal-owned Alaskan oil refineries)

Abortionist™ brand fetus jars, not to be confused with...

Do-It-Yourself Stem-Cell Kits—FOR KIDS! (also safe for old people)

Green® toxic waste

Porsche™ minivans and sport utility vehicles (as a Euro-loving alternative to the Ryder™ truck used to blow up Oklahoma City's Alfred P. Murrah Federal Office Building)

Oh, and lots and lots of Dijon mustard.

(Thanks to Jeff.)

Posted at 11:13 AM in a Grave fashion.
  July 12, 2004
Father Figure: The Origin of Ron Burgundy

After Will Ferrell's Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy took in an estimated $28 million and landed in second place at the weekend box office, we took it upon ourselves to help flush out the work of producers for esteemed shows such as ET and Access Hollywood and get to the bottom of things: just who is Ron Burgundy, Anchorman?

After flipping through a copy of the June, 1979 issue of National Lampoon (or, to be honest, the version archived on the Lampoon's website, since we don't actually collect old magazines like a goddamned packrat), realization set in that we were gazing upon the Genesis of an Institution, and the Dawn of Buffoonery. The following images are taken from a feature entitled "Emergency Fathering", written by John Hughes, Tom Corcoran, Gerrald Sussman, and Judy Corcoran.



Are we looking at illustrated archival documentation of the Ron Burgundy's baby years, which might in some way explain the character's later behavior as an adult? But wouldn't that make Ron a youthful 25 years old today? And, wait, isn't the film itself set in the 1970s? Oh my god, I totally cannot process all of this. Maybe it's merely cinematic inspiration?

Only John Hughes knows for sure. I, meanwhile, am off to go watch Wonderland and then Boogie Nights. Or vice versa.

Posted at 2:56 PM in a Shallow fashion.
  July 9, 2004
John-John battles the pink robots


This election just got a little more anime-ated!

Posted at 2:18 PM in a Grave fashion.
America, we are all little girls now

The three stages of Kerry-Edwards support amongst the Democrat-leaning American populace, as indicated by little Amy Campbell-Oates, age 3, in the red shirt:

1. Curious...

2. Wait, wait...totally freaked out.

3. Resigned to a Bush-Cheney victory in November.

Posted at 10:57 AM in a Grave fashion.
  July 8, 2004
Wanted, Dead or Alive...and preferably on the 26th, 27th, or 28th of July


Time to whip out your summertime advent calendar and take a look at the delicious candy we have in store for us this month (I hope it's butterscotch!). The New Republic's latest issue features a piece about the Bush Administration's interaction with Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency in their collaborative search for so-called High-Value Targets, i.e. villains in the War on Terror™, excerpted below.

From "July Surprise", in The New Republic's July 19th, 2004 issue:

This spring, the administration significantly increased its pressure on Pakistan to kill or capture Osama bin Laden, his deputy, Ayman Al Zawahiri, or the Taliban's Mullah Mohammed Omar, all of whom are believed to be hiding in the lawless tribal areas of Pakistan. A succession of high-level American officials--from outgoing CIA Director George Tenet to Secretary of State Colin Powell to Assistant Secretary of State Christina Rocca to State Department counterterrorism chief Cofer Black to a top CIA South Asia official--have visited Pakistan in recent months to urge General Pervez Musharraf's government to do more in the war on terrorism.


A third source, an official who works under ISI's director, Lieutenant General Ehsan ul-Haq, informed tnr that the Pakistanis "have been told at every level that apprehension or killing of HVTs before [the] election is [an] absolute must." What's more, this source claims that Bush administration officials have told their Pakistani counterparts they have a date in mind for announcing this achievement: "The last ten days of July deadline has been given repeatedly by visitors to Islamabad and during [ul-Haq's] meetings in Washington." Says McCormack: "I'm aware of no such comment." But according to this ISI official, a White House aide told ul-Haq last spring that "it would be best if the arrest or killing of [any] HVT were announced on twenty-six, twenty-seven, or twenty-eight July"--the first three days of the Democratic National Convention in Boston.

Despicable. Conspiratorial. Unbelievable. The byline says John Judis, Spencer Ackerman and Massoud Ansari, but, seriously...will the influence of Stephen Glass ever wane amongst the purveyors of mistruth at The New Republic?

Late July? They clearly meant late October.

Posted at 4:35 PM in a Grave fashion.
  July 7, 2004
Honey, I'm taking the kids out for I-C-E C-R-E-A-M


The wonderfully droll Bill O'Reilly, as featured in last night's "O'Reilly Factor", FOX News, as it aired July 6, 2004:

"The left wingers on the radio were saying Edwards was born in Bethlehem and is very near the baby Jesus. Now I ask you, how much of this bilge, B-I-L-G-E, bilge, can we take?"

Bear in mind, as you see above, this rant was accompanied by an on-screen graphic with the word "bilge" prominently featured.

Posted at 5:54 PM in a Grave fashion.
Leno-caliber Fun with Screenshots


Click here for the full-sized enlargement, and here to actually read the article, the latter of which seems mind-numbingly boring after such juvenile screenshot antics, but hey.

Posted at 5:19 PM in a Grave fashion.
He's right! Bermuda and India are doing quite well

From Remarks by the President on the Economy, the White House, July 2, 2004:

"We've got an economy which is changing. The nature of the job base is changing. And all that means it's been a difficult period of time. Yet we're strong, we're getting stronger. We're witnessing steady growth, steady growth. And that's important.

From Return of consulting lifts Accenture: First growth in consulting operations in 2-1/2 years boosts firm's profit above Wall Street's views, CNN/Money, July 7, 2004:

Accenture Ltd., one of the world's largest consulting firms, said Wednesday its quarterly profit rose sharply thanks to strong demand for outsourcing and the first real increase in consulting revenue in 2-1/2 years.


For the fiscal third quarter ended May 31, the Bermuda-incorporated company posted earnings of $210.4 million, or 37 cents a share, up from $132.1 million, or 28 cents a share, a year earlier. The figures were in line with preliminary results the company provided last month.

Posted at 4:26 PM in a Grave fashion.
  July 6, 2004
Clearly it's this pun that's the tramp


ON NEWSSTANDS NOW: i-D Magazine's July 2004 issue, left, and V Magazine's Summer 2004 issue, right

Posted at 3:57 PM in a Shallow, Versus fashion.
Post Pile-on, Continued


Greetings, New York Post reporters! You've got a sympathetic ear here, and we'd like to remind you that when your peers decide to ridicule you for your constant butchering of the facts, remind them that any and all errors and inaccuracies can and should be blamed on the Islamist Web sites of the Army of Ansar al-Sunna that tipped you off to the (non)-beheading of an American hostage this weekend, and, presumably, also let you know that Dick Gephardt would be joining the Kerry ticket.

Those goddamned terrorists, sullying and tarnishing your respected brand like that!

From the very restrained and downright reserved article entitled "NO END TO EVIL: CREEPS BOAST OF MARINE MURDER", which was garishly splashed across the cover of this weekend's New York Post, July 4, 2004:

Bloodthirsty Iraqi terrorists yesterday claimed to have beheaded captive American soldier Wassef Ali Hassoun — and vowed to release a videotape of the savage slaying — in the first decapitation of an American Muslim hostage.

And from today's decidedly trashy and sensationalistic New York Times, "Abducted Marine Is Free, His Brother Says", July 6, 2004:

A United States marine held by an Iraqi militant group is alive and has been released, the marine's brother said today.

Well, guys, you lose some, and you lose some.

Posted at 1:10 PM in a Shallow fashion.
Opening November 2004 in Union-Free Theaters Nationwide

kerry edwards gephardt ticket taker

Posted at 12:33 PM in a Grave, Satirical fashion.
Do we defeat true men?


Yes, it's an easy target. And yes, we've already harped on for some time about how the New York Post is very, very error-prone. But today's Post has three egregious errors, and we thought it pertinent to point them out, in fulfillment of our duties here at low culture as Honorary Ombudsmen of the Paper of Disrepute.

1. From STERN'S LADY IN LAD MAG: "Almost as good is a celebration of the enduring comedy "Nerds," which this year turns 20." Let's see: either they're reporting on an obscure, under-appreciated documentary depiction of the creation of the Willy Wonka-themed candy of that name, or they left off a key "Revenge of the" preceding modifer. But, hey, everyone loves a good shorthand now and then, right?

2. While not an error, per se, the paper's HARVEY SET TO BOLT MIRAMAX on Page Six seems a bit, erm, unlikely. "Under the plan being considered, Weinstein would leave to start his own movie company and Miramax would distribute his films, sources say. Harvey's brother and Miramax co-founder Bob Weinstein is expected to stay at the company, where he runs Dimension Films, a Miramax division that focuses on medium-budget action and horror films." Fans of studio politics everywhere understand that while Harvey's a boor, Bob is merely churlish, and boors hardly ever stand down for churls.

3. Oh, and there's also some big hullabaloo about some error they may have made regarding the cover story above...Something about a cabinet pick, or an election or something? DEVELOPING...

Posted at 8:50 AM in a Shallow fashion.
  July 5, 2004
That leaves about five percent of them who can reasonably lust after Lindsay Lohan or Orlando Bloom

While fans of lawsuits and/or insipidly lowest-common-denominator clothing chains may best know about West Virginia from its run-in with Abercrombie & Fitch last year over the company's sale of T-shirts with the mocking phrase, "It's All Relative in West Virginia," it may be time to update your repertoire of insults for the 35th state in the union.

Mull over this disturbing factoid from the Associated Press, which comes via President Bush's visit to the southern state on the fourth of July this past weekend.

Making a pitch for votes in a state where 200,000 veterans comprise 15 percent of the population, Bush praised veterans for "setting a good example for those who have followed ... in Afghanistan and Iraq," said Bush. Thirty-six percent of all male West Virginians fought in World War II, 16 percent in Korea and 20 percent in Vietnam.

Now, that last line seems ridiculously erroneous, and most probably involves some sort of grammatical error in relation to the first sentence of the paragraph sampled above. Because, otherwise, that means roughly 70 percent of West Virginian men are approaching retirement age.

And if that is in fact true, be on the lookout for next week's hard-hitting TimeOut New York cover story, "WV to NY: Young and single West Virginians hit big on the New York bar scene!"

Posted at 5:31 PM in a Shallow fashion.
  July 2, 2004
Saddam Hussein's point-by-point guide to pointing

First, unveil your fist...and get ready. This will be your "pointing hand."

OK, shoot. Whip the index finger out, and aim it pointedly at your accuser. You might even consider gesticulating with your other hand. It certainly adds flair.

Continue reading...
Posted at 11:46 AM in a Grave fashion.
  July 1, 2004
At least he's still got his sense of humor, that lovable old bear!

hussein_charges_court.jpgWe've already used our patented Scientific Joke Assessment Technology® on United States President George W. Bush, but now's our opportunity to wield this same tool of analysis in the direction of Saddam Hussein. Today marked his first semi-public appearance since, well, being deposed last year, as he faced an Iraqi judge and was read the list of charges against him for his arraignment and impending trial. The verdict? He's a regular funnyman!

Really, these examples of his sardonic wit blow away even the notoriously jocular Slobodan Milosevic and those on trial for war crimes in Sierra Leone.

Asked if he could afford a lawyer, he became jocose.

"The US says that I have millions stashed in Geneva . Why couldn't I afford a lawyer?"


And he feigned ignorance of the 1988 gassing of the Kurdish town of Halabja, telling the court: "Yes, I read about that in the press - they said it happened in the time of Saddam Hussein."

The Iraqi Todd Barry, as we like to call the deposed leader, will hopefully be making his next appearance in the coming days. And in unrelated comedy news, which has nothing whatsoever to do with brilliant timing and/or joke execution, the current government of Iraq has reinstated the death penalty.

Posted at 11:30 AM in a Grave fashion.
Unintentionally Hilarious Photo of the Moment, vol. 26

(This very special German governmental zombie edition comes courtesy of one Christopher Mohney.)

Posted at 10:32 AM in a Grave, Unintentionally Hilarious fashion.
Make our "team" part of your "team"
jean-paul tremblayJean-Paul Tremblay written-ed, directed and co-produced a bunch of so-called "comedy" and "video" content, is notoriously competitive, and nonetheless settles for bottom-tier tokenism. Repped by John Herndon at Grape Dope Entertainment. Thrill jockey!
matt haberMatt Haber has written for The New York Times, Esquire, and The New York Observer. He is not allergic to pet dander and can do "ethnic" accents if the part calls for it. He is repped by Candy Addams at Entertainment 4-Every-1. Feeling special?
Guy Cimbalo is so cute! Yes, he is. Who's a cute little Guy? You are, you are! Guy's our very own star of stage and screen and is repped by Jeff Kwatinetz at The Firm. Rowr!
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