Friday, June 25, 2004

Hi There Neighborinos!

I realize that it's been quite some time. But since I've moved, Earthlink has relegated me to using a dial-up connection. Despite giving me nostalgia for 1995, this makes keeping up with all the nuanced intellectual permutations of the blogosphere quite tedious.

But I just wanted to share the most depressing thought I had while watching idiot commentators with Psych 101 expertise speculate on Nancy Reagan's emotions. And that depressing thought is:

Since much of the talk seemed to come around to how, even though liberals thought that Reagan was Satan incarnate in the 1980s, Bush makes Reagan seem like a moderate, reasonable president. Now, if in 20 years you hear me saying how Bush, compared to our future dictator, in retrospect, was a moderate, reasonable president then I owe you a Coke.


Thursday, June 24, 2004

Honor and Dignity Watch
There's Dick Cheney, major-league asshole

The Vice President of the United States, speaking on the floor of the Senate: "Go fuck yourself." (Via Atrios.)

- Marc

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Rockets' Red Glare
I'm 'special'! Just like Ralph Wiggum

Shameless self-promotion alert: I published my first piece for the Chicago Tribune today, on a new local band called Rockets Over Sweden.

Update: If you prefer sloppier writing and frequent oblique lyrical references, PopMatters published my review of a Smiths tribute CD, as well.

- Marc

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

A Peck of Pickled Perjurers
Time to pay the piper, Johnny

Freaky liberal bastion MSNBC has some potentially incendiary news for Attorney General John Ashcroft, let alone the Bush campaign:

NBC News has learned that the commission has interviewed two FBI officials who contradict sworn testimony by Ashcroft, about whether he brushed off terrorism warnings in the summer of 2001.
With any luck, soon the only "brushing off" he'll be doing is clearing tumbleweeds on Bush's Crawford ranch. Giddyup.

- Marc
Has It Come To This?
You're listening to the Streets

President Bush, meeting with the Prime Minister of Hungary today:
Let me make very clear the position of my government and our country. We do not condone torture. I have never ordered torture. I will never order torture. The values of this country are such that torture is not a part of our soul and our being.
Justice Department memo to the White House, August 2002:
[W]e conclude that torture as defined in and proscribed by Section 2340 and 2340A,[sic] covers only extreme acts.[T]here is significant range of acts that though they might constitute cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment fail to rise to the level of torture.


...Finally, even if an interrogation method might violate Section 2340A, necessity or self-defense could provide justifications that would eliminate any liability.
So yeah, there's a lot wrong with this picture. Particularly Bush making the U.S. look soft in front of the (former? you're so naive) godless commies of Hungary, of course.

In related news, Bush supporter Andrew "I Just Sullied My Knickers" Sullivan writes an amusing piece today about Bill Clinton's tortured relationship with the truth. Be sure to brush up on those section(s) of international law covering blowjobs and kinky cigar sex.

Update: Bush makes it all better:
President Bush claimed the right to waive anti-torture laws and treaties covering prisoners of war after the invasion of Afghanistan, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld authorized guards to strip detainees and threaten them with dogs, according to documents released Tuesday.
Ah. So, these documents show he DOES NOT "condone torture"?

- Marc
Pitchfork Eats Humble Pie
Frampton escapes, comes alive

You won't find it on Comic Book Store Guy's site any longer, but Pitchfork issued another retraction today. I'll reproduce it here in its entirety, once again thanks to the tirelessly procrastinating Steve Gozdecki:

Last Tuesday, June 15th, Pitchfork published a review of the Beastie Boys' To the 5 Boroughs by Brent DiCrescenzo, a frequent and trusted contributor. In his review, Brent detailed experiences with the Beastie Boys' public relations firm Nasty Little Man, and its president Steve Martin, over the course of several years. Pitchfork has since determined that a number of DiCrescenzo's assertions were false, based on corroborated statements from the two parties he claimed were participating in the chain of events referred to in the review. With apologies to Steve Martin and Nasty Little Man, we have retracted the original review in its entirety, and would like to make the following known publicly, to correct any and all falsities perpetrated by Brent's review:

1) Radiohead were never in Milan in June 1999.

2) Radiohead never moved a concert from Villa Reale in Milan to Monza in 1999, 2000 or otherwise.

3) Steve Martin never "forgot to tell" Brent that the concert was moved, as it was not.

4) Neither Steve Martin, nor anyone working for Nasty Little Man, ever confirmed a Radiohead interview with Brent DiCrescenzo or Pitchfork.

5) Brent DiCrescenzo's declaration that Steve Martin had not gotten back to him or Mean magazine about a possible Beastie Boys interview after six weeks is untrue: Martin was in constant contact with Mean publisher Kashy Khaledi and editor Andy Hunter throughout that period.

6) Mean magazine never "delayed their publication to accomodate [Martin's] procrastination." Kashy Khaledi did so of his own volition in order to keep the Beastie Boys cover story Martin had confirmed and saw through with him every step of the way.

7) Steve Martin has never, to Brent DiCrescenzo's knowledge, "dangled [his] major artists... like carrots to the media in an attempt to blackmail press for features" on less established artists or bands.

Pitchfork Media
As we read this, we emitted low, mordant chuckles.

Readers: Is Brent DiCrescenzo the next Lester Bangs, as he so agonizingly styles himself? Is he the rock-critic equivalent of Stephen Glass?

Or is he just another Comic Book Store Guy, idly scratching his rotund belly, barely worth a passing mention on even this humble blog?

We just don't know. But it's sure fun watching his last (dear god, let it be) little drama.

- Marc

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Alternate Sexual History

Atrios raises an interesting scenario: What if Clinton had admitted in his Paula Jones deposition to being intimate with Monica Lewinsky.

It would have been leaked, he assumes. And then... what?

I honestly think the Big Dog would have stayed out of the doghouse. Yes, conservatives would still have been outraged, but they would no longer have had any facade to help them pretend it was about more than just sex.

When the Lewinksy scandal broke, I felt he should resign. A President does not lie under oath. He is sworn to uphold the laws. As Maureen Dowd jokily points out today, such behavior justifies future presidents flouting the law -- to much worse results.

If he'd told the truth, he would have demonstrated a belief in the American people and the American legal system. And he would have been able to accomplish something in his final years. When questioned about the deposition later, he could have used the "my sex life is none of your business" defense, and most Americans would have been satisfied.

As Reagan proved, as long as you at least pretend to acknowledge your misdeeds, you're golden. Denial doesn't work.

- Marc
Who Aided Al Qaeda?

Iraq? Perhaps, although the bipartisan 9/11 commission sure doesn't think so.

One of our "allies"? Like, say... Saudi Arabia? We have a winner! (Via Kevin Drum.)

- Marc

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