Thursday, September 29, 2005

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Pressing The Flesh will be temporarily closed. Sorry I missed your visit. Please leave a message and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

I'll leave you with a joke...

President Bush was being briefed in his Cabinet meeting, and Donald Rumsfeld was giving his report. He wound up by reporting that three Brazilian soldiers were killed over the weekend.

President Bush was stunned. He sat in silence for a moment. His head collapsed into his hands and he began to openly weep.

The Cabinet and Staff all remained silent, never having seen a reaction like this from the President before.

After several silent moments, the President wearily raised his head, wiped a tear from his eye and asked, "How many IS a Brazillion?"

I hope to be back soon.

Posted by FleshPresser at 9:25 AM /

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Dedicated to Modern Fabulosity

My colleague over at ModFab is a sucker for two types of sites online... well, beyond the obligatory porn sites, that is. One type of site would be anything featuring an online clock. The other would be the photoblog.

For you, my friend, I present Human Clock.


Posted by FleshPresser at 3:02 PM /

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Another Reason To Be Thankful For My Prius...

The Houston Chronicle is blogging coverage of Hurricane Rita. Similar to evacuating Houston, traffic coming home has been nightmarish. Amidst all of the other information, I never thought I'd find yet another reason to love my Prius, but there it was.

Just thankful that this is what people are talking about as Rita dissipates.

Posted by FleshPresser at 9:40 PM /

Weekend Levity...

Trying to lighten the tone a bit in the midst of the world as we know it...

The Hill this week ran a GREAT article about Jon Stewart and The Daily Show, including great quotes from many on Capitol Hill who are not perhaps as "in the know" as they should be. After all, if your staff can't even afford to tell you who Jon Stewart is, do you really want this person making earth-shattering decisions? It's not like The Daily Show is a quaint little Merchant Ivory-esque programme that runs at 2:00AM, right?

Posted by FleshPresser at 3:39 PM /

Could It Get Worse? Well....

I'm not making any comment about this story... yet. I'm just passing along what I've seen posted on a few sites - a story that is slowly beginning to get some steam behind it. Crooks and Liars has their initial post on it here, and they reference the story from Steve Gilliard, as well.

Just passing it along and praying it's not true.

Posted by FleshPresser at 3:29 PM /

Friday, September 23, 2005

Rita Weakens

There's good news, and bad news. As the story develops, keep an eye on the Houston TV stations broadcasting online live - KHOU, KPRC, and KTRK. In addition, New Orleans stations follow the developments there - WWL and WDSU.

God bless.

Posted by FleshPresser at 3:10 PM /

Russ Feingold - A Bold Democratic Leader

I cannot tell you excited I am getting about the possibilities of a Feingold 2008 Presidential bid. For those of you still not familiar with this guy, take a look at my post from last month to get yourselves up to speed.

The latest reason why Russ Feingold represents bold leadership and deserves support from all Democrats, as well as anyone concerned about the future of our country in 2008?

Check out his vote for Chief Justice Roberts. And when you start reading all the liberal whiners (and I'M a liberal, so I'm allowed to call them whiners) talk about how disappointed they are in Feingold, remember that John Kerry (who, as we have mentioned here before, is simply a wasted space in the Senate - and who will cast his "no" vote for Roberts) also voted for Scalia's confirmation at the time.

Better yet, rather than reading the volumes of criticism of Feingold, who took a stand despite his potential future political aspirations, read what Feingold himself said about the vote:
History has shown that control of the White House, and with it the power to shape the courts, never stays for too long with one party. When my party retakes the White House, there may very well be a Democratic John Roberts nominated to the Court, a man or woman with outstanding qualifications, highly respected by virtually everyone in the legal community, and perhaps with a paper trail of political experience or service on the progressive side of the ideological spectrum. When that day comes, and it will, that will be the test for this Committee and the Senate. And, in the end, it is one of the central reasons I will vote to confirm Judge John Roberts to be perhaps the last Chief Justice of the United States in my lifetime.
Simply stated, this is a man who understands the long-term nature of the game, who understands that Roberts is the best possible nominee that is going to be seen coming from a Bush Administration, and who has the savvy to understand that this Administration is about to nominate its second Justice to the Court.

Where Feingold made the bold and courageous stand, others like John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, Joe Biden, Dianne Feinstein, and other "old school" Democrats are happy to simply play to the stereotype as well, at the same time playing right into the hands of the Republicans.

What's most disappointing is someone like Hillary Clinton can't see this as an opportunity to speak to the base that supports her, try to be instructive as to why a vote like this is wrong, and distinguish herself from the pack. Instead, she simply falls in line.

As Democrats vote against Roberts, people like Sen. Lindsey Graham and others now have cover to talk about obstructionism by the Democrats. God help us as the next nominee is unveiled.

Posted by FleshPresser at 1:56 PM /

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Don't Mess With Texas....

Federal response will likely be significantly improved (one would hope) for Hurricane Rita. Even logging the incompetence of the Bush Administration, one must hope for a slight earning curve from Katrina. In addition, Bush wouldn't want anything to happen to his favorite vacation locale.

Crawford is on the projected path of Hurricane Rita. Irony is sweet.

As was the case with Hurricane Katrina, I found the local coverage of television stations in the area to be vastly superior to the national coverage. Here then, are a few links to Houston-area TV stations with live television feeds online:

* CBS affiliate, KHOU;

* NBC affiliate, KPRC 2;

* ABC affiliate, KTRK.

In addition, as the Bush Administration has clearly taught us, it is best to work under the assumption that, given any form of national disaster, we are clearly on our own and should not expect any assistance from our government to protect us.

That being said, the San Francisco Office of Emergency Services has prepared a site which is vastly superior to anything found on Federal websites. The site,, tells you exactly how you should be prepared. While it isn't fun to think about, the lesson of these hurricanes is clear - President Bush is more concerned about preserving tax cuts than he is about protecting you... so consider yourself warned.

Posted by FleshPresser at 6:51 PM /

American Red Cross Disaster Relief Auction

There are a precious few hours left to place your bids in this fabulous auction on Charity Folks, with proceeds going to the Red Cross and their continuing efforts to assist the victims of Hurricane Katrina, as well as other potential disasters. With Hurricane Rita now closing in on the Gulf Coast as a Category Five, these donations become even more important, and this auction is truly a cool way to make a donation.

Under the category of "They Couldn't Possibly Have Anything in MY Price Ragne":

* Kiddie Couture signed by Matt Damon;
* Seabiscuit Sweatshirt signed by the very fabulous William H. Macy;
* Your very own Monica handbag - a collector's item on so many different levels.

In the "DAY-UMN! What a Bargain!" category, check out:

* 2 VIP Passes for the 2005 Savannah Film Festival;
* Four nights at the posh Inn on the Alameda in Santa Fe, New Mexico;
* Two-week training on Final Cut Pro - make the movie you've always wanted to;
* Two Cross-Continental First Class Round-Trip Tickets between New York and London with Virgin Atlantic Airways (my personal fave... these tickets are worth SO much more than they're currently listing for... of course, if you can't afford it, regardless of the price, look here for a chance to win the tickets for free).

Of course, for those of you with DEEP pockets, might I suggest:

* A chance to Press The Flesh with Susan Sarandon at the primeire of Elizabethtown;
* A dream vacation at the Four Seasons in the Caribbean;
* Or Build Your Own Viking Kitchen, One Piece At A Time.

Hurry... hurry... literally hours left. Good luck!

Posted by FleshPresser at 3:26 PM /

...And So Is John Kerry!!!

ModFab joins the ranks of rational thinking Democrats with their eye on the long term battle, and not on the short term loss with regard to the battle for the Supreme Court. He posts eloquently and bluntly: Harry Reid is an unmitigated clusterfucked disaster for our party.

On the heels of Reid's lame announcement, John Kerry today sends out an e-mail speaking of his decision for the vote:
Monday, I shared with you my Brown University speech setting out what needs to be said and done at this critical moment for our country. Today, in that same spirit of clarity and conviction, I want to tell you how I will vote on the nomination of John Roberts to serve as Chief Justice of the United States.

I will vote against this vitally important nomination.

Win or lose on this vote, it is essential that we act on our deepest convictions. And I refuse to vote for a Supreme Court nominee who came before the Senate intent on demonstrating his ability to deftly deflect legitimate questions about his views, opinions and philosophy.

John Roberts owed the American people far more than that.

If he is confirmed - and he may well be - the Roberts Court will shape the course of constitutional law for decades to come. It will decide dozens of cases that will define the depth and breadth of freedom in America - our commitment to civil rights, our dedication to civil liberties, our devotion to privacy and a woman's right to choose.
If you're still interested in reading more of John Kerry's position, you can find it here. I truly wish that I believed that John Kerry's vote is something based on actual principles, but it stinks of nothing more than posturing for his already failed attempt to run again in 2008. We here at PTF have already laid our Flesh Lesser Award on John Kerry... this move mirroring Harry Reid's simply proves why he deserves it.

The true PTFer is Senate Ranking Judiciary Committee Member Patrick Leahy, who announced that he would be voting to confirm. While PTF has continually repeated that we do not endorse John Roberts, he is about as good a candidate as any Democrat could expect to see nominated out of this Administration. Until such time as a balance of power shifts in 2006 or 2008, Leahy is making the smart choice.

Posted by FleshPresser at 2:15 PM /

How To Get A Head.... Literally!

Notice any resemblance? As you may have noticed, I haven't been posting every day for a few weeks now. Part of the reason for this is that I've been suffering through some pretty excruciating and fairly scary headaches for about the last month now.

Unexplained headaches are, of course, one of the mysteries of the world. As opposed to migranes, which are inexplicable in and of themselves, a headache may represent a true failing of health, or something as simple as a food allergy. And both can be equally as debilitating.

Not having an explanation for the headaches, of course, comes with its own set of party favors, including these amazing photos of my brain.

I share them here because I think they're simply amazing... and not just because they're photos of yours truly. Or maybe because they are. We've all seen photos of brains and the like before, but until you see your own... well, let's just say that it's a fairly humbling and mortal experience, to be sure.

For those of you who know me, you probably are aware with my fascination about what goes on inside our heads. And for those of you who have always wondered what may be going on inside that head of mine... well, let's just say you have a better picture now. Orchids and cat blogging be damned. I felt like PTF demanded something a little more.... intimate.

Posted by FleshPresser at 1:27 PM /

Sunday, September 18, 2005


A Few Reasons To Love The Emmys This Year:

PTF Loves the Black Eyed Peas, and adores Earth, Wind and Fire. Tune in early to the Emmy opening to hear both jamming together to September.

PTF really doesn't care for American Idol for all intensive purposes, but can't resist the idea of Emmy Idol, including a performance duet of Megan Mullally and Donald Trump singing the theme to Green Acres. Thrill to Macy Gray singing "Movin' On Up" from The Jeffersons. Yeah, we're in.

And of course, there's Ellen.

If that's not enough, and the show gets boring or long, just take a moment to drool over the booty that all the presenters get in their Emmy Gift Bags. Damn.


Posted by FleshPresser at 5:11 PM /

Saturday, September 17, 2005

May I Quote you?

Yeah, so I'm juvenile. So sue me - it's the weekend.

Posted by FleshPresser at 3:18 PM /

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Bush's House Of Blues

Bush will be addressing the nation tonight, using the French Quarter as a backdrop to try and repair his flaccid response to Hurricane Katrina. This comes after "taking responsibility" yesterday for the mismanagement - it was SO clear that this was a repsonse to sagging poll numbers and not to the atrocious crime committed by this Administration (Thanks, as always, to Crooks and Liars for the video).

Maybe in anticipation of the appearance this evening, we should contact the White House to see if Bush will be addressing the following:

* Given the failure of FEMA, Michael Brown's resignation, and the failure of the Department of Homeland Security, why in God's name would you put a political operative with NO experience - once AGAIN - in a position to rebuild New Orleans? Aren't you naming Karl Rove to the job because you really want to repair your poll numbers and your appearance?

* How will you once again defend allowing companies with personal ties to your Administration profit off of this disaster?

* Being a former oil man yourself, maybe you can explain how it's possible that gas prices rise as high as they do in light of this crisis, and yet ExxonMobil will make TEN BILLION dollars in profit this quarter alone? While Americans continue to reach into their pockets and donate to help the victims of this disaster, ExxonMobil will be making 110 MILLION dollars in PROFIT each day?!? This, while you hand out billions in tax breaks to the very same oil and gas companies??? (Hat tip to Kitten for forwarding the article)

* What about those victims trying to rebuild by claiming bankruptcy that won't be able to, as your new law will come into effect before they can file?

Not that any of this matters, because once again Bush will be speaking in a vacuum - no audience in front of him, and no reporters to ask any questions. Total and utter failure. Incompetance. A disaster trying to heal a country from a disaster. Good luck.

Posted by FleshPresser at 3:13 PM /

Another Survivor Twist: Sports Star Versus The Media

Here's another interesting angle to watch in tonight's opening of Survivor: Guatemala (yes, I'm still talking about it - five and a half hours to air time, and then I'll settle down again, and probably won't mention it again). As an aside, it's interesting to note that CBS has taken everything Survivor-related off of their website, with the exception of the cast shot and individual stats of each contestant, until the first episode, with all of it's twists, airs tonight.

Gary Hogeboom is a contestant. He's a former NFL quarterback (don't get terribly excited - he wasn't very good), playing most notably for the Flesh-Less Dallas Cowboys.

Well, as it turns out, he doesn't want anyone to know that he's a former Dallas Cowboy, let alone an NFL Quarterback. Instead, he'll be going by the name of Gary Hawkins, listed as a Real Estate Developer. Interesting strategy - NFL quarterbacks are thought to earn millions of dollars (although he clearly did not) and therefore might be voted off as not being worthy of the final prize. He might be viewed as an athletic threat.

Here's the interesting part - another contestant is Danni Boatwright (who more than likely has better abs than Gary does, judging from the cast photo - she's at the end on the left of the photo. Day-umn. And if that doesn't convince you, here's a shot of her from the Miss Kansas Teen USA competition - she was Second Runner Up.)

Well, as it turns out, Danni is 30 now, and works as a Sports Radio Talk Show Host for KCSP-AM, and as it turns out, she actually recognized Mr. "I'm No Cowboy" during one of the competitions. They're not on the same tribes, at least to start, so there's no telling how this will affect strategies.

Does she hold on to the information and use it? Does she immediately blab? Only time will tell. Reports are, however, that this is lining up to be one of the most brutal episodes of Survivor ever, and I'm salivating in anticipation!

Posted by FleshPresser at 2:15 PM /

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

SURVIVOR Scoop: Bobby Jon and Stephanie LaGrossa

OK... all the other blogs take their turns blogging about cats or orchids or hot guys, so I'm allowed my diversions, as well.

That being said, it's exactly 53 hours until the beginning of Survivor: Guatemala. Here's the scoop: CBS has been teasing the fact that two very popular Survivors will be returning as a surprise to shake things up.

I have it from a VERY good source (no links here... very hush hush), that the two returning Survivors will be Ulong Hotties Bobby Jon Drinkard and Stephanie LaGrossa.

We'll see how good my sources are on Thursday night, but if this could definitely add some excitement to what otherwise appears to be a pretty bland group of Survivors.

Posted by FleshPresser at 3:02 PM /

WTF CNN? Kick Kyra to the Kurb

Kyra Phillips just referenced former FEMA Michael Brown as "allegedly underqualified." Even if I thought for a nanosecond that Michael Brown's Arabian Horse days qualified him to head up FEMA, it really begs the question - who asked YOU, Kyra?!?

You'll remember back in July when Kyra began talking about the "obvious smear campaign" going on against poor helpless Karl Rove.

As everyone was covering why Bush remained on vacation while people were drowning in New Orleans, she bent over backward to defend President Bush and how "in touch" he was with the relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina.

God bless Nancy Pelosi who at least called Phillips on her shit.

Here's what Howard Kurtz had to say about the exchange:

Another Katrina Spat

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi got so annoyed at CNN anchor Kyra Phillips last week that she suggested Phillips join the White House staff.

Phillips pressed the California Democrat on her denunciations of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's handing of Katrina, saying, "I think it's unfair that FEMA is just singled out" when "there are so many people responsible." Phillips then interrupted Pelosi to ask about past Army Corps of Engineers warnings (and corrected the congresswoman for mispronouncing her name), prompting Pelosi to say: "If you want to make a case for the White House, you should go on their payroll." Phillips said she was doing no such thing.

On Friday, Phillips told viewers that CNN has gotten hundreds of letters, pro and con, the most critical of which said: "Kyra is an unbelievably terrible journalist. . . . Journalists should be objective." She responded: "We're asking tough questions because you're asking tough questions, and we're going to continue to do that." Pelosi says through a spokeswoman that she objected to Phillips's "personal opinions."
Let's be clear - I don't really want to hear ANY reporter inserting their own editorial comments into the story. Give me the facts, and let me sort it out for myself. If I DID want editorialization and conservative views spewing from my news anchors, I'd sure as hell wouldn't be watching CNN. I'd be on Fox, because they do it far better. As it is, I suppose I'll watch neither.

Posted by FleshPresser at 1:32 PM /

Note to Democrats: Here Comes Chief Justice Roberts

OK... so I'm probably coming out on my first post since being away and I'm going to piss everyone off. So be it.

Democrats need to ask Chief Justice nominee John Roberts the TOUGH questions today, and then vote to confirm his nomination, barring any HUGE discoveries on the basis of that questioning. Guess what? There won't be any.

Democrats need to get over it, and not only confirm, but overwhelmingly confirm his nomination, and here's why. Simply put, it's a net gain in the long view of the Supreme Court. The best that can come of a REALLY bad situation.

Initially, Roberts was nominated for an Associate Justice position, taking the place of Sandra Day O'Connor. Although most liberal groups immediately launched their attacks on the nominee, it could be argued that Roberts was ideologically not going to shift the Court to the Left or the Right in replacing O'Connor.

However, he's now taking the place of the late Chief Justice Rehnquist. In the long view, it is impossible not to acknowledge that Roberts is far more moderate than Rehnquist.

This morning, in taking questions from the Chair, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), Roberts largely acknowledged the precedent of Roe V. Wade, all but saying that he wouldn't overturn it. He acknowledged that the Right to Privacy is constitutionally protected. These answers more than likely pissed off quite a few conservative groups right out of the box. What's not terribly surprising is that Specter bucked the Bush Administration and raised all of these issues immediately, prior to anyone else getting a chance at the nominee. What IS surprising to me is how many liberals don't understand that this nominee is about as good as we're likely to see, given the circumstances. Would it be great to see another Ginsberg nominated, or perhaps even U.S. Appeals Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor? Yes, but it certainly won't happen under the current Administration.

Democrats were incredibly hard pressed to find any significant dirt on Roberts (and by dirt I'm not speaking of issue-related "dirt" because we can all find SIGNIFICANT areas of disagreement with this nominee - instead, I'm speaking of something significant enough to derail the nomination), and while it is the incredibly important responsibility of Democrat Senators to ask the tough questions of John Roberts, most would simply be seen as obstructionists if they held up this nomination.

So, Roberts will become Chief Justice. And all things being taken into account, he will be a significantly more moderate Chief Justice than Rehnquist ever was.

At this point, Bush will nominate someone else to fill the Associate position vacant by O'Connor. At this point, it becomes a new game, with a new opportunity to scrutinize the record of a nominee.

Democrats will have a FAR stronger position in rejecting what will more than likely be a far more conservative nomination for the Associate position if they are able to stand on the grounds that they did not hold up the nomination of Roberts.

And what if the nomination for the Associate position is not a radical Right Wing Conservative? Well, then it's a win-win.

Let me again remind Democrats - WE DIDN'T WIN THE ELECTION - our party bet on John Kerry, remember?

No matter how much we whine and complain and protest, we will not be seeing a liberal or left-leaning nomination to the Supreme Court until we win elections in 2006 and 2008. That may suck, but it's the hard truth.

Don't believe for a second that there is a single Senator currently serving who honestly believes that John Roberts will not be confirmed. So, everyone will ask the questions that need to be asked - not so much for the sake of trying to actually sway people away from voting for Roberts, but simply to be on the record as having asked the tough questions. Posturing and positioning, if you will. Preparing for election seasons in 2006 and 2008.

When it comes down to it, and as cynical as it sounds, that's part of the game.

Does PTF endorse John Roberts? Hell, no. But does PTF see these confirmation hearings as largely academic, and an exercise in pressing the flesh? Absolutely.

Posted by FleshPresser at 11:31 AM /

I'm Baaaaaaaack......

Sooooooo... what did I miss? Too much I fear. Today will be a busy posting day, as I try to catch up on all of the things I was silent on for the last week, so bear with me as I babble onward.

Good to be back.

Posted by FleshPresser at 8:32 AM /

Friday, September 02, 2005

Please. Donate. Now.I've linked here only because it gets you to a donation page quicker. If you prefer, you can go directly to the Red Cross web page.

Just please make a donation.

Posted by FleshPresser at 9:37 AM /

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Resting The Flesh

PTF is going to go on hiatus for a brief period. We're not going to disappear entirely, but we're taking a brief break. PTF was meant to serve as a place to discuss and comment on current events and politics, but lately those topics have been far too grim. A country divided and fractured politically. Cities essentially wiped off of the map. A leader who chooses not to lead. Violence and chaos erupting as the situation worsens. The problems spreading and affecting the nation as a whole. An impending anniversary of another national tragedy.

For my own personal mental health, I can't continue to post about these topics every day, but I can't NOT post about them with a clear conscience. So, my alternative is to close up shop for a few days.

I'll return on Monday, September 12th, 2005 - just consider it a vacation. Unlike Jon Stewart, I simply don't have re-runs that I can air in the meantime. However, you can go and watch re-runs of The Daily Show in the meantime. Or you can visit one of the best blogs out there, Modern Fabulosity. Or one of the best up-and-coming blogs, Queering The Apparatus. Or get away from your computer for a change and go see a great show in New York City. Or one in Philadelphia. You see? There's plenty to do. You'll be just fine.

As for me, I'm going to go focus on my breath for a while. And my family.

I know that blogs are sort of built for people with short attention spans - miss a day posting, and you never know if your audience will ever come back again. I've been building a bit of a following as of late, and so to all of you I say "Thanks." I truly hope you come back on the 12th, but I fully understand that 12 days is an eternity in the blogosphere. If you aren't able to come back, thanks for making PTF part of your routine for a while.

As for the rest of you, I'll see you on the 12th - pending everything beginning to find some level of normality. Well, a guy can dream, right?

Posted by FleshPresser at 10:06 AM /

Hurricane Benefits

It was just the beginning of this year when celebrities were gathering for a benefit to raise relief funds for those affected by the tsunami, and now a host of concerts and benefits are being set up to provide relief to people here at home affected by Hurricane Katrina.

NBC is hosting a live televised concert for hurricane relief tonight, hosted by Matt Lauer and featuring Wynton Marsalis, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, and Harry Connick, Jr., among others.

MTV, VH1 and CMT will be hosting a concert on Saturday, September 10th, which will be broadcast on all three networks. Artists scheduled at this point include Green Day, Usher, Alicia Keys, Dave Matthews Band, Gretchen Wilson, and John Mellencamp, with more to be announced. While any relief effort is to be appreciated at this point, let's hope that MTV's coverage of the concert is better than their incredibly weak showing during Live 8 in July.

Charity Folks is hosting an online celebrity auction, featuring items like tickets to the premiere of Morgan Freeman's film, An Unfinished Life. Or you could be like me and bid on the first class tickets on Virgin Airlines. Shweeeeet.

I'm sure that these are only the first in a long line of benefits that will begin to appear to try and rebuild that communities and lives lost during Hurricane Katrina. Let's just pray the aid gets to those who need it soon enough.

Posted by FleshPresser at 9:36 AM /