Friday, May 26, 2006

President Hicks?

We could do worse. And have done worse, to be frank. The fact that more votes were cast for Taylor Hicks than were cast for our current president speaks volumes about this country's priorities. Of course, one may cast multiple votes for American Idol ("vote early and often" being the show's unspoken mantra) and no doubt most of the voters were under this country's legal voting age, but you get my drift. Ok, enough moralizing.

The American Idol finale was wacky fun. The filming itself was what one might expect; a cheesy "warm up dude" made the rounds among audience members, Paula and Simon hugged and canoodled before the show began, and untold hordes of women in ubiquitous halter tops and tight pants stumbled in and out of their seats. Otherwise, we saw whatever everyone at home saw.

The not-so-VIP afterparty followed. A corporate-sponsor-laden extravaganza. Forlorn strangers lined the way to the entrance, begging for extra passes. Ours entitled us to a "gift bag-" including at least $30 in merchandise, the bag boasted the second season of, yes, American Idol, and a microphone-shaped shower radio. There were no Idols to be seen- apparently there was a super-extra-VIP party where the truly special could fraternize. Still, there were B-Celebs in spades: I almost spilled a drink on Kevin Nealon, and Julie Cooper Nichol (whatever the OC actress' name is- "Julie Cooper Nichol" is just so much more fun to say) made the rounds.

Ah, Hollywood. Oh, how silly. Now back to our regularly-scheduled political ranting.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

American Silliness

Whoot! Going to the American Idol finale tonight! Whoo-hoo! Taylor Hicks! Soul Patrol! WHOOOT!

This is supposedly the "2-Hour Season Finale." Both contestants sang their final ballads last night, though, so one wonders how these two hours are to be filled. Surprise guest appearances from Stevie Wonder or Ricky Martin? A 1-hr, cheesy-music-filled "retrospective"? Paula finally doing what she's been bursting to do for months (I'm not sure what that is, but it might entail running onto the stage, taking off various articles of clothing, and smooching Ryan Seacrest)...

"And after the show, it's the Aftah-party,
And after the party, it's the hotel lobby..."

Whoooot! Girls gone wild! WILD, I tell you!

Friday, May 19, 2006


U.N. Urges Closure of Guantanamo Detention Facility

"A U.N. anti-torture panel issued a rebuke of Bush administration counter-terrorism policies today, calling for the closing of the Guantanamo detention facility in Cuba and a halt to the transfer of suspected terrorists to countries where they may face torture.

The committee, charged with monitoring the 1984 Convention Against Torture which the United States has ratified, also charged that the imprisonment of suspects in secret detention facilities constitutes a clear violation of the 1984 treaty.

The 11-page report marked the culmination of the most exhaustive international public review of U.S. anti-terror tactics since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and the Pentagon."

Oh, and this little tidbit: "Snow said President Bush has "expressed his preference that, in fact, we at some point be able to close down Guantanamo," adding that "obviously, the Guantanamo issue is a sensitive issue for people.""

You think? Out of curiosity, why is it that we're not able to shut it down NOW, per the President's "preference?" Could it be because, at Guantanamo, they're in legal limbo, and if they were brought to American soil we'd actually have to (god forbid) charge them with something?

More later (I mean it this time).

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

It took the Da Vinci Code to bring them together!

Muslims are joining Roman Catholics in calling for a ban on "Da Vinci Code" throughout India.

Muslims Join Da Vinci Criticism (hat tip: the inimitable Andrew Sullivan)

"'The Holy Koran recognizes Jesus as a prophet. What the book says is an insult to both Christians and Muslims,' Maulana Mansoor Ali Khan, general secretary of the All-India Sunni Jamiyat-ul-Ulema, told the Reuters news agency.

'Muslims in India will help their Christian brothers protest this attack on our common religious belief,' he said."

How nice- if only Christians and Muslims could find real common ground, and could rally around something a wee bit more important than a silly movie.

Don't get me wrong, I have no issue with religious-themed protests or boycotts of the film- whatevers. But I do have a problem with any effort, state-sanctioned or otherwise, to prevent people from seeing the film in the first place.

The irony in all this- and I'm not the first to point it out- is that all of this protesting and boycotting is serving to give what will probably be a mediocre film (I base this on the book) oodles of undue publicity.

All that said, I have an embarrassing admission to make- I want to be Audrey Tautou's best friend. I do. I can't help it. Best friends for evah and evah. Audrey and me. It's gonna happen.

Friday, May 12, 2006


From the WSJ:

"Bush Dips Into the 20s
President Bush’s job-approval rating has fallen to its lowest mark of his presidency, according to a new Harris Interactive poll. Of 1,003 U.S. adults surveyed in a telephone poll, 29% think Mr. Bush is doing an “excellent or pretty good” job as president, down from 35% in April and significantly lower than 43% in January. Approval ratings for Congress overall also sank, and now stand at 18%."

And that's the WSJ, folks- last time I checked, a right-leaning publication. Thus it's official- Bush has crossed the border into Carter country. His approval ratings are lower than his dad's were when Clinton wrested the presidency from him.

I don't know whether to be grimly happy that the rest of the country is finally catching on to the wreck the man has made of this place, or genuinely concerned- after all, we still have 3 more years of this chump- and I'd rather have an effective president, even if I don't agree with him, than an utter lame-duck who can't even command a base of support.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Hear that? That's the Founding Fathers, rolling over in their graves.

From a NY Times Editorial:

"President Bush doesn't bother with vetoes; he simply declares his intention not to enforce anything he dislikes. Charlie Savage at The Globe reported recently that Mr. Bush had issued more than 750 "presidential signing statements" declaring he wouldn't do what the laws required. Perhaps the most infamous was the one in which he stated that he did not really feel bound by the Congressional ban on the torture of prisoners.

In this area, as in so many others, Mr. Bush has decided not to take the open, forthright constitutional path. He signed some of the laws in question with great fanfare, then quietly registered his intention to ignore them. He placed his imperial vision of the presidency over the will of America's elected lawmakers. And as usual, the Republican majority in Congress simply looked the other way."