Friday, March 31, 2006

Lucky #10,000!

I am truly in awe that we are approaching the time where my 10,000th visitor will have trod on the pages of Pressing The Flesh. I am honored and humbled, and am truly thankful for every person who has stopped by to read my posts, or to comment and add your thoughts.

To show my appreciation, I am putting together a Pressing The Flesh prize pack for the 10,000th visitor to Pressing The Flesh! Keep visiting in the next days and watch the counter get closer and closer... kind of our own blogospheric Times Square countdown... if you're the 10,000th visitor, e-mail me at Pressing The Flesh - once I've verified your visit, I'll send out your fabulous prize pack, chock full of PTF Goodies!

So, keep visiting, keep pressing, and pass the word along to your friends!

UPDATE: We're up to around 9,800 so chances are good that lucky #10,000 will hit sometime this weekend. Keep checking in to see if you win!

Posted by FleshPresser at 9:15 PM /

Why Doesn't Bush Support Our Troops?

Sure, it's easy to SAY that you support the troops, but when the bullets are flying and the bombs are exploding, it's quite another thing to not provide body armor to protect the troops you're putting in harm's way.

What's pitiful is outlawing armor that the troops try to obtain themselves. How sad and pathetic is it that our troops are forced to try and find their own body armor?

How SICK is it that once they do, they aren't allowed to use it?

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Posted by FleshPresser at 2:11 PM /

Tony C. Rudy Follows Abramoff's Lead

Seeing Jack Abramoff get off with the most lenient possible sentence on Wednesday in Florida, former aide to soon-to-be-former Congressman Tom DeLay, Tony C. Rudy, pled guilty today. Rudy obviously hopes to cash in on the same leniency that Abramoff was shown. All he has to do is sing about everything he knows related to the investigation.

PTF filed our profile of Tony C. Rudy back in January, assuming that he would follow Abramoff's lead, and would become a more prominent figure in the investigation. While we would like to see Jack Abramoff receive maximum sentences rather than the seemingly standard minimums being handed out to poiticos these days, we could care less if there is leniency shown to Rudy. That is, as long as it leads to more of the truth coming out about DeLay. DeLay is the big fish, and he's worth the wait.

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Posted by FleshPresser at 1:31 PM /

FLESH, INK. FRIDAY - Anton ten Dam

FLESH, INK. FRIDAY takes us to The Netherlands today, and to the work of Anton ten Dam, and the work of Paint Planet. As always, we give you a look both at his provocative work, as well as some of the words directly from his website:

What possesses a man who paints people in such a way that they get shapes and colours which astonish, move and shock us? Is it an attempt - doomed to fail - to create an improved version of man? Or is it the irresistible urge of a creative person who continually seeks to change, to renew?

Anton ten Dam fits this last description well. As a decorator he proved himself to be an all-round professional who will accept any challenge which enables him to develop, to grow.

In addition to his body painting individual works, Anton ten Dam creates performances of his bodypainting work, in addition to a plethora of artistic and corporate collaborations. For an individual artist who claims to be new to the art of bodypainting, his work is incredibly sophisticated and wonderfully evocotive. I would encourage you to view more of his work directly at the Paint Planet website.

Previously on FLESH, INK. FRIDAY: Pashur / Earth Henna / Wilderness Bodypainting / Carolyn Roper / The Australian Museum / Jodee Lenaine Smith / Fredi Schmid / Vladimir Valenta / Anthony Chiappin and Andrew Dunbar / Rich Diltz / Flesh and Color

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Posted by FleshPresser at 12:34 PM /

Judiciary Committee Meeting on Censure

A very sad excuse for a Judiciary Committee hearing is taking place right now, but regardless - it's at least happening. The Judiciary Committee is currently meeting to debate the issue of censure brought forward by Senator Feingold. You can look at the list of those testifying here, which includes John Dean, White House Counsel to Nixon during Watergate, speaking in favor of censure of President Bush. You can also view text of the actual cencure resolution here.

Although Chairman Specter has kept open the option of bringing this vote to the Senate floor, he has done so specifically to gain political points from the opportunity, and not from any effort at being fair and unbiased.

Regardless, questions and answers are about to take place, which should be good viewing. Watch online either here or here.

Today, please e-mail Senator Russ Feingold and thank him for standing up for our views, regardless of the pressure he has faced from ALL sides of Congress on this issue.

UPDATE: The hearing will be re-broadcast this evening on C-SPAN at 8:50PM.

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Posted by FleshPresser at 10:39 AM /

Thursday, March 30, 2006

You Write The News!!!

PTF readers are known throught the blogosphere as some of the sharpest, wittiest, and damned finest people in existence - so now it's your turn - caption THIS charming photo. It's remarkably UN-doctored, and appears via Muckraked. After all, the Bush Administration makes up most of its own news anyway... now we can return the favor!

Fire away... you KNOW you want to!

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Posted by FleshPresser at 1:34 AM /

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Heckuva Surreal Interview, Brownie!!!


Stunned. That's the only word I can find for what I just witnessed.

Michael Brown, former head of FEMA, just appeared as the guest on The Colbert Report on Comedy Central.

Which makes me ask this simple question - why, Brownie? Was your life not hellish enough? Did you miss people making fun of you? Did the din of blame get a bit too quiet for you?

Or were you trying to play off the "timeliness" of the hearings in which you testified on Capitol Hill, and in a simialar fashion to your response to Hurricane Katrina, misjudged the timing by just a bit?!?

I'm sure Crooks and Liars will have the video for this at some point today, or you can look to Comedy Central's re-broadcasts today, or else check it out on the Motherload.... as Oleta Adams once said, "I don't care how you get there... get there if you can."

What's most surreal about the interview is this - I'm sure that Brownie thinks doing a comedy show is probably the best thing he can do to repair his character a bit... you know... soften the image up a bit... like he needed to appear any softer.

Colbert, meanwhile, in his character as a tough hitting journalist/pundit, literally asked him all of the tough questions that another journalist might have asked him.

Which Brownie then proceeded to answer - most of the time with a shit-eating smirk on his face.

And what makes it worse is simply this. It's one thing for a late night comedian to try and find humor in a subject that we have all been horrified by - taking our collective frustration out on the people responsible for the tragic errors that led to the loss of life in New Orleans.

It's quite another for man responsible to jump up on stage, grab the mic and say "Wait, wait... I have a good one... did you hear the one about the man who wanted a margarita soooo bad.... now you all say, 'How bad did he want one?'.... hey... is this thing on?"

I cannot imagine who told him it was a good idea to appear on The Colbert Report, but whomever it was more than likely set up his e-mail account for him, as well.

UPDATE: Here's the link to the video clip of the interview, courtesy of Comedy Central's Motherload. Enjoy!

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Posted by FleshPresser at 12:12 AM /

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Sometimes, Pressing The Flesh Isn't Enough...

... or perhaps it's too much...

Behold! I give you.... THE WORST MOVIE OF 2006!!!!!

Not convinced? Take a look at the uncensored trailer... Trust me, this is going to make Madonna look like Meryl Streep, and it's going to make Body of Evidence look like Wuthering Heights!

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Posted by FleshPresser at 3:49 PM /

I Need Some Assistance Pressing The Flesh

This is a shout out to all PTFers out there with any kind of technical skills who might be interested in helping me to create a better environment for Pressing The Flesh. I have some icons, images, etc. that I'd like to incorporate into my Humble Chunk O' The Blogosphere, but I'm not quite sure how to go about doing it?

Do you think you can? E-mail me directly at Pressing The Flesh, and if you can help I'd be glad to repay you with mentions on the blog, as well as some groovy PTF paraphenalia.

Posted by FleshPresser at 2:42 PM /

Monday, March 27, 2006

The "Pressing" Stories of the Week

Countdown with Keith Olbermann has quietly become the most watchable of any cable news show out there. The fact that it resides on MSNBC reamins a mystery.

Nonetheless, take a look at Olbermann's report on the new memo released, showing Bush's "desire" to go to war with Iraq.

Rumsfeld admits that we're losing the war of ideas... Gawsh, Rummy... ya think?

The Senate Judiciary Committee will be holding hearings this Friday to debate Feingold's legislation calling for a censure of President Bush. Let's see how many spinal transplants take place among Democrats between now and the end of the week.

Maybe we shouldn't be worried about who's crossing our borders illegally. Maybe we should be paying more attention to what they're bringing with them.

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Posted by FleshPresser at 11:51 PM /

Sunday, March 26, 2006

The Week That Was - March 26, 2006

and lest we forget...

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Posted by FleshPresser at 1:09 AM /

Saturday, March 25, 2006

God Bless America - And The Dixie Chicks

A few weeks ago, we neatly tucked into the text of another post a very small, tidy little reference to the fact that we were excited about the Dixie Chicks' new album, Taking The Long Way, to be released later this year.

Well, Not Ready To Make Nice has been released as the very logical first single from the album. PTF was going to save this post for later, but we have to go on record as stating that this is going to be the biggest year The Dixie Chicks have ever seen in their careers.

Unless you were living under a rock back in 2003, you heard all the uproar over a comment Natalie Maines made during a European concert. "Just so you know, we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas...." The result? Boycotts. Death threats. Attempts to smear and silence these artists for voicing an opinion.

Little did this country know that just a short two years later, Kayne West would up the ante, so to speak. "George Bush doesn't care about black people." Live TV, spoken in the midst of a national disaster of epic proportions. No boycotts. No death threats. Opinionated voice still sounding strong as he poses for the cover of Rolling Stone as Jesus.

The difference between Natalie Maines' comment and Kayne West's is simple. A critical mass of Americans were not as sure about George Bush's incompetance in 2003. By 2005, the mistakes that the Bush Administration had made were apparent to a much larger majority of Americans. That number continues to grow and grow every day that George Bush remains in office.

This is one of the reasons why Not Ready To Make Nice and the new album are going to do so well. But it's not the only reason. The MAJOR reason is simple - the music is fantastic. Rick Rubin produced this album, and it will not only succeed on country music stations, but on a mainstream level over many different radio formats. The album is going to be huge.

(I'll save my post about Clear Channel, the politics of radio, and the delicious irony of country music stations playing this song for a later post.)

Check out the lyrics:
I made my bed and I sleep like a baby
With no regrets and I don’t mind sayin’
It’s a sad sad story when a mother will teach her
Daughter that she ought to hate a perfect stranger
And how in the world can the words that I said
Send somebody so over the edge
That they’d write me a letter
Sayin’ that I better shut up and sing
Or my life will be over

I’m not ready to make nice
I’m not ready to back down
I’m still mad as hell and
I don’t have time to go round and round and round
It’s too late to make it right
I probably wouldn’t if I could
‘Cause I’m mad as hell
Can’t bring myself to do what it is you think I should
I would encourage PTF readers to do everything in your power to support The Dixie Chicks as they release this album. Particularly if you've never listened to The Dixie Chicks before, or if you've never liked their music in the past, this may be the time for you to take a second look.

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Posted by FleshPresser at 11:53 PM /

Friday, March 24, 2006

He's A Boy Who Just Can't Say No

One thousand, eight hundred and eighty-nine days. One thousand and ninety-one bills signed into law.

Not a single veto.

The result is pretty plain to see:

Note who's responsible for those big increases? The next time anyone tries to argue that Democrats like to spend, remember this chart. Republicans spend more than Democrats, by a LONG shot... they just prioritize their spending differently. And they charge everything they spend to the future generations' tabs.

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Posted by FleshPresser at 2:32 AM /

Musical Pi

It seems that my birthday last week fell on several other very important Days of Celebration, not the least of which was Pi Day. This post, then is dedicated to Meghan and Kayte, who celebrated Pi Day in classic fashion. I'm still waiting for my air mail delivery of the baked goods!

Anyway, today as I was surfing, I came across a truly unique site - one with which I could waste any number of hours, should I so choose.

Musical Pi, or pi10K, allows you to assign notes to numbers between the value of 0 and 9. Once you've completed this simple assignment, it will then "play" the song of pi as you've written it, out to the first 10,000 digits. Wow.

Give it a go. And make sure to check out some of the other experiments on - my favorite is Round.

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Posted by FleshPresser at 12:28 AM /

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Humanization of Russ

Readers of PTF know about my whole-hearted endorsement of Russ Feingold already. However, for those who simply eat what the mainstream media feeds them, they may see Russ Feingold as "that crazy guy in the Senate who's out on the limb all by himself."

If interviews like last night's continue, however, it won't be long before Russ Feingold moves from underground cult hero to political frontrunner for 2008. Senator Feingold was on The Daily Show last night, and was brilliant, to say the least.

How brilliant was he? Well, just as a comparison, refresh your memory with John Kerry's lackluster performance with Jon Stewart during the 2004 campaign. Once you've yawned your way through that, watch Feingold's performance from last night.

Russ Feingold has an Everyman quality to him - he speaks directly, plainly, clearly, and you know what he said after he's through. You don't scratch your head wondering what version of the truth you just received.

Still not convinced? If Russ is a non-entity in this election, you might ask yourself why the GOP is taking the time, money and effort to attack him. They're frightened of him, all right. Fear that Hillary could never generate. While Hillary can't win a Presidential election in 2008, Russ is positioned right now exactly where Bill Clinton was in 1991, which is right where he wants to be.

As for the attack, George Aldrich, Feingold campaign spokesman responded, "Once again, leaders in the Republican Party have failed to tell the American people why the president decided to break the law by authorizing a program to spy on Americans on American soil illegally.... The National Republican Party’s own advertisements do not say this program is legal. Of course we should wiretap suspected terrorists, and under current law, we can. The question is why the President believes he needs to break the law to do so."

I've posted this on here before, but if you haven't taken a look already, please look at some of Senator Feingold's Senate Campaign ads - the position of underdog is where Russ is most comfortable, and most dangerous.

Get to know Senator Russ Feingold - you're going to be seeing a LOT more of him.

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Posted by FleshPresser at 11:24 PM /

Oh My God! They Killed Chef!

Never let it be said, however, that Trey and Matt are bastards. Far from it. Last night's episode of South Park clearly drew the audience that Comedy Central was hoping for - Nielsen reported 3.5 million viewers tuned in to the season premiere. This was the highest rated episode of South Park since December 2004, about one million viewers more than the average audience for last season, and the highest rated season premiere of South Park since 2002 in the all-important 18 to 49 demographic.

I'm not sure if I can keep up with the South Park/Scientology soap saga, however....

South Park rips Scientology a new one, like they do everyone and everything else.

Isaac Hayes, a Scientologist, gets mad and says he can no longer work for a group that crosses the line, despite the fact that he had contributed to that crossing of the line season after season.

Tom Cruise allegedly threatens to halt his promotion of Mission Impossible 3 if Comedy Central airs the Scientology episode again. Mysteriously, the episode in question gets yanked off the schedule.

Based on the events of the week prior, Trey and Matt slap a fairly brilliant episode together, making Chef a pedophile, commenting on Scientology, paying tribute to the character of Chef, maintaining the spirit of South Park, all the while keeping the option open for Chef to return yet again, albeit in an altered state.

But wait... it doesn't end there.

An online petition begins circulating, stating that fans of the show will boycott Tom Cruise's Mission Impossible 3 unless the Scientology-based episode in question is not aired again as it was scheduled to be - the petition gathered over 20,000 signatures in 24 hours and crashed the service;

A report begins circulating that perhaps Isaac Hayes never intended to quit South Park, after all. Reportedly, Hayes suffered a stroke in January and was unable to continue with the series.

Confused? Don't worry... I'm sure we haven't seen the end of the saga just yet. Could it be that this is all just pre-generated hype designed to create buzz for the 10-year old series?

Those bastards! Those evil, genius bastards.

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Posted by FleshPresser at 9:56 PM /

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Clearly A Future Liberal

OK, so I'm sure I'll be accused of simply finding yet another opportunity to post another picture of my new daughter on PTF, but she's only been around for about six days at this point, so indulge me.

Take a good look at this photo and you'll see the face of a future liberal. At least that's according to a study published in the Journal of Research Into Personality. Is your child whiny and insecure? Chances are good that the child will grow up to be a conservative. Liberals tend to be more confident and self-reliant as children.

This isn't the first study to figure out obvious trends such as this. A study in 2003 concluded that that people who are dogmatic, fearful, intolerant of ambiguity and uncertainty, and who crave order and structure are more likely to gravitate to conservatism.

You may not be able to look into the eyes of my daughter and actually see her confidence and self-reliance as of yet, but trust me. I'm her father, and it's there.

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Posted by FleshPresser at 3:59 PM /

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Today marks the first day of Spring, and I have certainly marked the new beginnings of life within my own life. I hope you soon see the signs of Spring coming forth in your lives, as well.

So, rather than continuing to coo about my new little girl here on PTF, I will move onward in an attempt to make the world a better place in which for her to live.

I start today with a psalm sent to me - tip of the hat to Bill - it has made the rounds a few times, but I'm not quite sure where it originated:

Bush is my shepherd; I dwell in want.
He maketh logs to be cut down in national forests.
He leadeth trucks into the still wilderness.
He restoreth my fears.
He leadeth me in the paths of international disgrace for his ego's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of pollution and war, I will find no exit for thou art in office.
The tax cuts for the rich and thy media control, they discomfort me.
Thou preparest an agenda of deception in the presence of thy religion.
Thou anointest my head with foreign oil.
My health insurance runneth out.
Surely megalomania and false patriotism shall follow me all the days of thy term,
And my jobless child shall dwell in my basement forever.

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Posted by FleshPresser at 12:16 AM /

Friday, March 17, 2006

Flesh Of My Flesh - Julia Shannon

Pressing The Flesh is all about politics, punditry, pop culture, and propaganda, but today we set all of that aside for something we deem to be entirely more important.

I am incredibly proud and pleased to introduce you to my new little daughter, Julia Shannon. She was born today, March 17th, 2006 at 12:19PM, weighing in at 6 pounds, 15 ounces, and measuring a healthy 20 inches. Julia has an AMAZING head of hair, the biggest feet I've ever seen on a baby, and has me instantly wrapped around her little finger, of course.

Mom and daughter are both resting comfortably, and we're looking to spending some time together as a newly-expanded family.

Thanks to everyone for their thoughts, prayers, and well wishes - I'm sure Mom would love to see your comments below (feel free to post in the Comments Section) once she returns from the hospital.

There seem to be so many things that polarize us in this world, but when you look into the eyes of a young child like this, it all seems so easy. So simple. So clear.

Posted by FleshPresser at 6:43 PM /

Happy St. Patrick's Day, Julia Shannon!

In honor both of St. Patrick's Day, as well as other significant events taking place today, I delve into the history of the name, Julia Shannon. Julia is an Irish name which translates to "softhaired" or "youthful."

Shannon is an Irish name, both meaning "wise one" and representing the River Shannon - Ireland's longest river:
According to Irish legend, Rowan trees once dropped their bright red berries into a sparkling well full of salmon. Fish that gulped the fruit would gain red spots and great wisdom, and men labored to catch and eat these "fish of knowledge." But women were barred from catching the salmon. One day, however, a brave rebel name Sionan caught and ate one of the wise fish. The next moment, a great flood burst from the well forever carrying her westward to the sea. So did Ireland's longest waterway, the River Shannon, earn her name.
Happy St. Patrick's Day to you, Julia Shannon, and to everyone reading PTF on this fine day.

May you have warm words on a cold evening, a full moon on a dark night, and a smooth road all the way to your door.

May you be in heaven a full half hour before the devil knows you're dead.

May you have the hindsight to know where you've been,
The foresight to know where you are going,
And the insight to know when you have gone too far.

May misfortune follow you the rest of your life, and never catch up.

May God grant you many years to live, for sure he must be knowing, the earth has angels all too few and heaven is overflowing.

May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live.

And may all of you be as Blessed as I am on this day!

Beannachtam na Feile Padraig! (Happy St. Patrick's Day!)

Posted by FleshPresser at 5:45 PM /

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Impeachment Not As Far Away As You Might Think...

On the heels of yet ANOTHER set of shockingly low poll numbers for the President, this simple graphic appeared in the Wall Street Journal:

The poll, also conducted by the Wall Street Journal and NBC, shows the President's approval ratings at 37% - a new low for this poll, as well. The Wall Street Journal. Now, there's a Bastion of the Liberal Meida if I've ever seen one.

How can the Apologists explain these numbers away or pretend there's no problem? This is not simply a matter of stating that this President does not govern by poll numbers. If that's the case, he chooses his path at the peril of the Republican Party and America itself.

Other features of this poll that the Apologists want to ignore:
* 58 percent believe Bush is facing a long-term setback from which he’s unlikely to improve.

* 61 percent disapprove of Bush’s handling of the situation in Iraq.

* 50 percent prefer a Democratic-controlled Congress versus 37 percent who want it controlled by Republicans.
These numbers continue to pour out from all of the MSM day after day, and yet the Democrats STILL cannot manage to ....well... MANAGE themselves effectively?!? What do the Republicans have to DO before Democrats will cease seize the momentum and finally grow a set?

Take another look at the graphic up there. See those numbers? Remember what the Republicans did in 1998? See the CURRENT numbers? Hello... Democrats?!?

I'm waitng for an answer... but I'm not going to hold my breath.

UPDATE: Pew Research just released their poll numbers - approval rating for Bush at 33%, down 7 percent from last month. You can check out the full report here.

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Posted by FleshPresser at 2:26 PM /