Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Hurricane Relief Blog Day

Truth Laid Bear is coordinating a Hurricane Relief Blog Day for tomorrow, Thursday, September 1st. It's really simple - for one day, if you think that blogs have ANY value at all, show the true power of them by making a donation to aid in hurricane relief efforts.

Time and time again, the true collective power of bloggers has been felt in terms of grassroots fundraising for political candidates or parties, to enable them to Press the Flesh in the most effective way.

This donation is about Flesh in the most literal sense. Please donate.

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Posted by FleshPresser at 5:25 PM /

The Politicization of Katrina

I laid off of this topic as long as I could, but the Anti-Christ, taking the form of Kyra Phillips, has spurred me to finally try to tackle this very difficult issue. Forgive me if it runs a bit long, but it's a difficult subject, obviously.

Yesterday, I was reading Kevin Drum's post on Washington Monthly, asking for people to focus on the disaster, rather than the politics, of Katrina. While there were a few people that supported what he was asking, a majority of the 200 comments slammed Kevin, citing that his position was precisely why Democrats were losing elections.

While I initially agreed with Kevin, I have since become more and more angry. I want to honor the requests of bloggers like Paul at Wizbang who ask that we forget Left and Right and focus on how to solve the problems. Wizbang is a fueled by Conservatives who seems to make their bread and butter off of stoking fires between the Left and the Right, but as Paul says in his post:
Think about it for a second from my chair... (I'm not whining but) I'm almost 40 years old.... Here is the sum total of all my worldly possessions: 4 pairs of shorts, 5 shirts, 2 pairs of shoes, 4 pairs of underwear, 1 pair of blue jeans, a box of family pictures, 2 flashlights, a piece of trench art my grandfather brought back from WWI and my father's hammer. (Hey, it means a lot to me!) That's it. Everything else is gone. And BTW, I'm unemployed.
Again, it's not about ignoring the shortcomings of the Bush Administration, but just holding off on saying "I told you so" until the water recedes a bit. OK, I can get behind that.

But now I'm just pissed off. On Monday, during the time that the worst storm to ever hit the United States was hitting New Orleans, this was the picture that the White House had front and center on their web site: And while columnists in Arizona questioned why Bush stayed in Arizona, the White House fully covered his visit.

On Tuesday, while the levies broke, New Orleans was swallowed, and the full impact of this disaster was being uncovered, photo ops were being arranged for President Bush as he continued his regular schedule:
So, while people are drowning in New Orleans, the Bush entourage is eating cake and playing the guitar. Lovely.

Well, yesterday afternoon it was announced that Bush was leaving Crawford two days early and "hurrying back to Washington" to head up relief efforts. The question in my mind is not really a political one, per se. It's simply this: If the President was capable of handling the relief efforts from Crawford, then why did he leave? And if it wasn't possible to manage from Crawford, then why didn't he leave PRIOR to the storm making landfall?!?

Fast forward to this afternoon - take a look at the White House web site. I defy you to find the "Let Them Eat Cake" photo now. In its place is the touching photo of a "concerned president" in his carefully orchestrated photo op, where he's looking OUT THE WINDOW at the devastation as he sails overhead: And remember, photos like these are not ones where a photographer happens to be sitting next to the President and "catches" a moment. No, these are photos where someone with the Press office invites photographers to come in and take photos at the chosen moment.

At this moment, the White House chose to politicize this disaster.

And from the moment that those photos were released to the press by the White House, Kyra Phillips bent over again and again and again, emphasizing the level to which this President was "in touch" with this devastating crisis.

Bullshit. And when the White House chooses to politicize the event, that's the moment where I call off the truce and ask the questions that NEED to be asked of this President. Actually, I'll link to Americablog's exhaustive post, so as not to double the length of this post.

The President is scheduled to be speaking from the Rose Garden in about an hour.

I can hardly wait.

Posted by FleshPresser at 2:56 PM /

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

And Take Coulter With You!

Calling Arizona a Red State would be an understatement. And given the posts of bloggers such as myself and Queering the Apparatus, the news from the Arizona Daily Star is delicious:
Finally, we've decided that syndicated columnist Ann Coulter has worn out her welcome. Many readers find her shrill, bombastic and mean-spirited. And those are the words used by readers who identified themselves as conservatives.
Ding Dong, the witch is dead. Or dying. If you like, drop a line to the editor of the Daily Star congratulating them on this very smart decision.

Posted by FleshPresser at 1:29 PM /

Take The Televangelist... Please!

Chavez. Robertson. Crazy V. Crazy. 'Nuff said.

Posted by FleshPresser at 1:21 PM /


I just checked my compatibility with Jennifer Aniston, and it looks like while we link to each other on an intellectual level (how scary is THAT thought?), and she wouldn't hesitate to use MY shoulder to cry on, when it comes to the physical part of the relationship... well, this should paint the picture. Hell, at least I do better than... umm.... Adam Sandler(for what that's worth)?

My overall compatibility is 64%... what's yours?

Posted by FleshPresser at 11:33 AM /

Yeah, But What Are The Overdue Fines??

A city library in Malmo, Sweden, will allow patrons to check out a Muslim, a lesbian, a journalist, a gypsy, a blind man or a host of others as a part of their Living Library project. Patrons will be able to talk to others for 45 minutes, and those available for check-out are accessible on a first-come, first-serve basis.

If you could check out one "type" of person for a 45-minute chat, who would it be?

Posted by FleshPresser at 11:19 AM /

Mark Warner Clears His Plate

Mark Warner announced today that he will not seek the Virginia Senate seat in 2006, clearing the way for his exploratoration of a 2008 Presidential bid. It was anticipated that Warner v. Allen would have been one of the biggest match-ups of the political season, but it appears now that both Virginians will run in 2008. While Allen will run to hold his Seante seat, it is expected that Allen will run in 2008, as well.

Not to be outdone, Warner has his blog support, as well. And Warner is clearly one to watch as we gradually gear up for 2008. Beyond the "Blue Governor in a Red State" mantra that follows Warner around, the Governor enjoys one of the highest approval ratings of any Governor in the country.

Liberal Democrats may not fully endorse Mark Warner, but centrists and those hungry for a Democratic win at any cost may find much to like about him beyond his Red State appeal. Warner is pro-gun, pro-business and socially moderate - he has pulled Democrats and Republicans together toward compromise on more than one occassion during his tenure in Virginia.

Personally, I see more Republicans than Democrats listing Warner as the "one to watch", but he may appeal to Democrats in the same way that Joe Lieberman did in 2004. Of course, we all know the fate of Lieberman in 2004.

PTF's official position: Thanks, but no thanks - I'll stick with Russ Feingold for now.

UPDATE: Just to be fair, Bloodless Coup makes a good case for Mark Warner, and I want to make sure that the pro-Warner voice is heard, as well.

Posted by FleshPresser at 10:27 AM /

Katrina's Aftermath and the Power of the Blog

As officials and citizens together begin the long process of recovering from a storm of this magnitude, has some amazing photos of the aftermath of Katrina, as well as stories of those directly affected by the storm.

Hyku posts about the importance of blogs during this disaster, and advocates for blogs to be included in the dissemination of information during catastrophic events such as this. RexBlog makes a similar point, and both are absolutely right. As people are sheltered throughout the community, bloggers become points of information throughout the area, able to disseminate information locally, as well as to the world at large as to conditions in any given area. By reading posts by Kaye via her blackberry, or the cumulative posts on Metroblogging from various locations across the area, it becomes more than clear how blogs become instant barometers of conditions throughout the community. As such, it becomes imperative to include these valuable resources in planning for the next such event.

Posted by FleshPresser at 9:38 AM /

Monday, August 29, 2005

Update on Hurricane Katrina Resources

While the hurricane was downgraded overnight to a category four, with winds clocked around 140MPH, this storm remains a hellish nightmare for New Orleans and the surrounding area.

The CBS affiliate in New Orlenas, WWLTV, is posting breaking news as it happens. I linked last night to their online broadcast, which has since been shifted to KHOU in Houston, but continuing their live coverage. In addition, they have added low-bandwidth audio coverage.

The NBC affiliate, WDSU, has added a Hurricane Katrina blog as well, with fairly regular updates.

Insomnia hasn't updated since late last night; Miles O'Brien and the rest of the CNN journalists have found their way on-air, and as such, his hurricane blog hasn't really been updated lately either (although this isn't a huge loss); and Kaye seems to be hanging in thus far thanks to her Blackberry).

As I find more resources, I'll continue to post them here. On a personal note, I've been through a few hurricanes before. Many from the mid-Atlantic beaches, which become nothing more than really tough storms (we would actually travel TO the beach to experience these), and a category two storm down in Florida. Knowing the fear and awe I felt for those storms, I simply cannot imagine being anywhere near this hurricane. Thoughts and prayers continue to go out to those affected by Katrina.

UPDATE: LSU has a webcam up and running on campus. Not quite sure why they left the flags up on the flagpole, but it may not be an issue in a while. Josh Britton is also blogging live from Louisiana, and is updating pretty frequently. A Small Victory is actually beginning to blog on the coverage of the storm, and has some pretty smart insights.

Posted by FleshPresser at 9:39 AM /

Sunday, August 28, 2005

New Orleans Resources

I got a bit sick of watching all the usual suspects and their coverage of Hurricane Katrina, and so I decided to try and find a few other resources to share with you.

As people evacuate, there are webcams provided by the Louisiana Department of Transportation, and you can get a sense of how people are doing, as well as a general sense of weather conditions.

Two TV stations are broadcasting live online - the NBC affiliate, WDSU, as well as the CBS affiliate, WWL - their coverage, for obvious reasons, is infinitely superior to anything you'll find at this point by the national outlets.

There are also several New Orleans blogs online, including Metroblogging New Orleans and Harmony St. Charles. As I come across other resources, I'll place them here, as well.

Anyone else know of any good resources to share?

UPDATE: Here are a few more blogs to check in on: Insomnia's LiveJournal updates; Miles O' Brien's CNN hurricane blog (for what it's worth - I'm not a huge fan of CNN's Spaceboy); Times-Picayune breaking news; and Kaye's Hurricane Katrina Blog.

Posted by FleshPresser at 2:44 PM /

Godspeed, Big Easy

A Category Five storm, with winds in excess of 175 MPH, a storm surge that threatens to swallow the city of New Orleans, and landfall anticipated for tomorrow, Hurricane Katrina is being compared to 1969's Camille. God bless New Orleans and the surrounding area.

Posted by FleshPresser at 1:17 PM /

Queering The Apparatus

As a theatre artist in Washington, DC and Baltimore, I had the incredible pleasure of meeting my friend Damion, and had the honor to work with him in Funkopolis - most notably during his brilliant work in an original show called 3 Stories to the Ground.

While I haven't seen my dear friend Damion in too many years, word in the blogosphere is that a new piece of virtual real estate has been claimed and named Queering the Apparatus. Damion is one of the truly beautiful people in this world, and you should tune in early to hear what he's going to say - I can assure you it will be worth your time.

Posted by FleshPresser at 12:57 PM /

Goodie Bag TV

OK... so I admit it. I'm a sucker for a laugh. I'm not an easy target, but I love to laugh. Let's face it - in this world, you take your laughs where you can get them.
Onward, then, to Goodie Bag TV, and their Triple Tofu Tower, guaranteed to bust a gut - one way or another. Dig a bit further and you'll come across Nancy's New Age Bargain Warehouse. Both are good solid laughs.

If you're adventuresome, and your tastes lean toward the more vulgar (and c'mon... whose doesn't every now and then?), you might even check out Coeds With Colds, an interactive site, or Gang Bang: The Musical (the sketch itself isn't all that great, but the musical number at the end is worth it).


Posted by FleshPresser at 12:38 PM /

Friday, August 26, 2005

OK... Now I'm Feeling A Little Bit Better

Another poll for Georgie Boy... another record low. It does NOT make me happy to have a President that is doing this miserably. Just makes me happy to know that at least more and more of America is catching on to the fact that he's a moron.

Posted by FleshPresser at 6:15 PM /

August Wilson

I just read this posting from ModFab, as news spreads about August Wilson, and his struggle with cancer. Damn... I really did start this Friday in a good mood.

Posted by FleshPresser at 3:44 PM /

New York, You Know What To Do...

All thanks to Crooks and Liars, because I certainly can't stomach either Hannity OR Colmes, but they've got video of Ann Coulter once again repeating that New Yorkers, who during 9/11 proved to be some of the bravest Americans in our country, would immediately surrender if New York were to be attacked by terrorists and/or insurgents of any kind.

Last time I checked, these were the faces of New Yorkers, and I can't see how Ann Coulter could be more offensive. Of course, she's a native of the suburbs of Connecticut, so what do you expect?

UPDATE: I wonder what Ann Coulter would think of this map? Thanks to Daily Kos for the link.

Posted by FleshPresser at 3:03 PM /

Checking Items Off the To-Do List...

Because the weekend IS coming up, and you don't want to have to do this later, you might as well go ahead and register for the draft. Do it now, while you're thinking about it.

Posted by FleshPresser at 12:17 PM /

Harlan McCraney, Presidential Speechalist

Yes, it's still Friday and I'm in a good mood - not wanting to open up too many new topics - we'll have next week for that. Instead, enjoy this lovely little Andy Dick flick. It's been floating around for quite a while now, but every time I watch it, I bust a gut. So, enjoy, and have a great weekend!

Posted by FleshPresser at 10:29 AM /

Bush Officials Screwing....

Hey, it's Friday and it's been a long week, so enjoy these jokes, compliments of Americablog.

Posted by FleshPresser at 10:25 AM /

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Child Abuse...

OK... so we're a polarized nation. I get it. And even though I believe that we aren't nearly as polarized as the political parties, media, and pundits would like us to be, there is still a great chasm between large groups of people in America.

Yes. OK. Fair enough.

So, is it REALLY necessary to drag children into it? Are you REALLY so pathetic that you have to choose THIS to read to your children at night?

Is the real way to solve this nation's problems by driving the wedge in deeper? Ensuring that not only will we not be able to solve our disagreements, but that our children will grow up hating each other as well?

The saddest thing? Amazon currently ranks this book at #1,210. Just to put that in perspective amongst the other garbage that some people buy, The Truth About Hillary ranks at #830, The O'Reilly Factor comes in at #26,312, and Ann Coulter's Slander ranks at #27,700.

Hatred amongst adults is sad enough - willingly spreading it to children is simply pathetic.

Posted by FleshPresser at 9:59 PM /

Thomas Frank And George Lakoff

If you haven't read Thomas Frank's What’s the Matter With Kansas? or George Lakoff's Don’t Think of an Elephant, you're not ready for the political season yet - fear not, for there's plenty of time, and these books are readily available for your immediate consumption. I won't go into the details of the books (that's what the links are for), but suffice to say that they are both required reading.

In June, I attended the TCG Annual Conference in Seattle - an annual flesh pressing extravaganza amongst theatre professionals from across the country and around the world. Both Thomas Frank and George Lakoff were plenary speakers at this year's conference, and TCG has been so good as to post the transcripts to their web site, so you can get a sense of Thomas Frank and George Lakoff before you purchase the books.... which you will.

Here's a small taste of each, to whet your appetite:


...back in 1980 when the great conservative revolution was just getting off the ground, over 20 percent of the American private sector workforce belonged to a labor union, and American CEOs were paid on average about 42 times what their blue-collar line workers received—a figure that was, by the way, pretty much comparable to the numbers that were coming out of Western Europe and Japan. Today, or I should say by the end of the 1990s, they made 500 times as much, while unions have fallen to below 8 percent in the private sector and are still dropping.

There is something wrong when the places that are hardest hit by conservative economic policy are the very same places that are most enthusiastic for conservative politicians, for conservative gains, tax cuts and laws cracking down on bankruptcy—there’s something going on. When the poorest state in America, which these days is West Virginia—and that’s, by the way, a place that is home to some pretty ferocious class consciousness—but when a state like that goes for the Republican by 13 points, which it just did, there’s something wrong. And when the poorest county in America, which these days is up in North Dakota, goes for Bush by 78 percent, there’s something amiss. By the way, the second poorest county, which is in Nebraska, went for Bush by 81 percent.


...when we started talking about stem cell research, Frank Luntz wrote a memo. Frank Luntz is the conservative language man. And the memo said, “Don’t talk about stem cell research; talk about embryonic stem cell research.” Why? And notice this has spread. The New York Times says embryonic stem cell research. The Democrats say embryonic stem cell research. The bill in California says embryonic stem cell research. What is the mental image of an embryo? Think about it, it’s a little baby. Tom DeLay says stem cell research allows people to tear babies apart. Dismember embryos. How does it really work in stem cell research? Stem cell research is carried out on blastocysts. What’s a blastocyst look like? It’s a hollow sphere, just a few days old. It has in it a small number of stem cells. No hair cells, arm cells, blood cells, heart cells, brain cells, nothing else but undifferentiated stem cells. And if you called it blastocyst stem cell research, who would care? But that’s what it really is.

Language matters, framing matters. And framing can distort the truth. It’s very very important, that framing can distort the truth simply by carrying mental imagery. And you know about mental imagery, that’s what you deal with every day.

Posted by FleshPresser at 9:56 AM /

PTFers: The Ministry of Reshelving

Please to direct your attention to Jane McGonigal and the wonderful Avant Game, who began their simple and brilliant Ministry of Reshelving Project last week:

How to Serve the Ministry of Reshelving

1. Select a local bookstore to carry out your reshelving activities.

2. Download and print "This book has been relocated by the Ministry of Reshelving" bookmarks and "All copies of 1984 have been relocated" notecards to take with you to the bookstore. Or make your own. We recommend bringing a notecard and 5-10 bookmarks to each store.

3. Go to the bookstore and locate its copies of George Orwell's 1984. Unless the Ministry of Reshelving has already visited this bookstore, it is probably currently incorrectly classified as "Fiction" or "Literature."

4. Discreetly move all copies of 1984 to a more suitable section, such as "Current Events", "Politics", "History", "True Crime", or "New Non-Fiction."

5. Insert a Ministry of Reshelving bookmark into each copy of any book you have moved. Leave a notecard in the empty space the books once occupied.

If it doesn't yet make sense to you, feel free to puruse A Minor Statement of Avant Gaming. If it still doesn't make sense... well... you need to get out and play more.

Posted by FleshPresser at 9:44 AM /

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Robertson Adds Ninth to the Sixth

Christians tend to make a big deal about the Ten Commandments, right? I mean, before The Passion of the Christ, there was Chuck Heston and the whole C.B. DeMille thing, right?

These are the rules that Christians are supposed to follow, right? And at least according to his resume, Pat Robertson supposedly has some sort of loose affiliation with Christianity, right?

So, the Sixth Commandment essentially says "Don't kill people." What, then are Christians supposed to do when they hear Pat Robertson saying that the U.S. Government should assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez?

Clearly, one could consider that a no-no under the whole Sixth Commandment thing, right?

Now what, you may ask, does the Ninth Commandment have to do about this? Well, funny you should ask. You see, the Ninth Commandment is that whole "Hey... Don't Lie" commandment, which tends to be another big one for most Christians.

Not for Pat "My real name is Marion and I've got a hotline to Heaven" Robertson. Today he tells people that he was "misinterpreted" and never used the word "assassination."

We should all really pray together tonight that Pat's show is taken away from him, or he away from it, because it's pretty sad that he can't remember what he said on a television show that reaches millions of people around the world.

Just to clarify, here's what you said, Pat:

"You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we are trying to assassinate him, we should go ahead and do it..."

Not only did you USE the word, Pat, but you used it in two different forms. Of course, to be fair, I suppose we should point out that you never said "The United States should assassinate Hugo Chavez."

But then today you lied, because you said:

"I didn't say 'assassination,'" Robertson clarified during a broadcast of his "The 700 Club" Wednesday morning.

You better be careful, Pat - this isn't the first time you've sinned, and if you keep it up, I'm sure God has his own personal version of Hell reserved just for you.

Posted by FleshPresser at 4:36 PM /

Selectively Mourning

So, let's get this straight - Bush WILL meet with families of those who have lost loved ones in the war in Iraq, as he did today in Idaho. He simply chooses to meet only with those who agree with him, and ignore the grief of those who question his authority:

In a clear response to anti-war moms like Cindy Sheehan – the California woman who lost a son in Iraq and has been holding a vigil near the president's ranch – Mr. Bush cast a spotlight on the family of Tammy Pruett. Four of Pruett's sons now serve in Iraq, and her husband and another son are back from service there, reports CBS News White House Correspondent Mark Knoller.

"Tammy says this and I want you to hear this: I know that if something happens to one of the boys, they would leave this world doing what they believe, what they think is right for our country," Mr. Bush said.

After the speech, Mr. Bush was meeting privately with some relatives of military families before returning to his Texas ranch in the evening.

There has simply never been a more pathetic example of a leader than George W. Bush. He routinely disappoints, and his ignorance knows no limits.

Posted by FleshPresser at 4:15 PM /

How Flaccid IS He?

Poll numbers saying that Bush has hit a new all-time low are not new.

This new poll, however, pegs his job approval rating at 36% - you guessed it - an all-time low. To put it in perspective, that's limper than Nixon's rating during Watergate.

Add to this a ranking of US Senators and their current "net approval", which is obtained by subtracting the disapproval rating from the approval rating. Four senators owning some of the worst ratings are Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL), and Sens. Mike DeWine and George Voinovich (R-OH).

Not to put too fine a point on this, but I'll belabor the point once more: Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida hold a total of 69 electoral votes, and four current Senate seats held by Republicans, where six seats would be needed for a Democratic majority once more.

Can Democrats take advantage before Rove hands the Republican party the Viagra?

UPDATE: No sooner did I post this, than another poll came out - this time the Harris poll - showing the President's approval rating as... well.... you know....

Posted by FleshPresser at 11:49 AM /

Google Gab

Wow... so Google is continuing its planned takeover of the world by releasing software for voice chat and instant messaging, and you'd think that the world was coming to an end. In fact, on Blogsnow, 18 of the top 30 links relate to Google Talk.

So, what's the big deal? Well, as opposed to other instant messaging services, Google claims that their system will work with other IM services, such as AIM, Yahoo Messenger, MSN and others. In addition, today marks the first time that GMail will be available to individuals not invited to the party by someone else. Anyone can sign up for a GMail account (provided you have a cell phone with capabilities for text messeging), so even if you weren't one of the cool kids before, you can be now.

Or to put it another way... if you haven't been assimilated yet, you soon will be.

Posted by FleshPresser at 10:27 AM /

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Giving Christians a Bad Name for 75 Years...

OK, let's not pretend that the Left doesn't have a lightning rod or two of our own, but how can ANYONE look to Pat Robertson for spiritual or moral guidance of any kind?

How can a man claim to be Christian and Pro-Life, and then call for assassination of a public figure, and pray for the death of Supreme Court Justices? But does this surprise us?

Even conservatives are publishing laundry lists of the evils of Pat Robertson today.

Pat Robertson is evil incarnate, but this isn't new. He's been evil as long as I have any recollection of knowing the true meaning of evil.

Posted by FleshPresser at 4:24 PM /

Just a Plain Ole Cheesehead....

Yesterday I mentioned how great I thought Russ Feingold was, and how I lived in Milwaukee as he ran his first Senatorial campaign. I was immediately struck by his ability to relate to the common man, and to talk simply and directly, while making sense - not an easy feat for a politician these days.

Well, I also lived in Wisconsin when Tommy Thompson was the Republican Governor, and so a theme of sorts continued when I saw that Thompson has decided that he wants to run in 2008, as well.

Sorry, Tommy... Russ is great, but you're just a cheesehead.

Posted by FleshPresser at 3:59 PM /

Santorum, Scarborough, and Delay... Oh My!

Caught this from Modern Fabulosity, who caught it from Rosie's blog, who caught it from... well, who knows - she said she got an e-mail with it from someone, so this may have been floating around for quite some time, and I'd like to actually see these quotes documented somehow (just to add fuel to the fire), but it's just one more thing to make me pound my head up against that brick wall and ask how it's possible that Democrats NOT win against these idiots in 2008?

These are quotes from notable Conservatives and Republicans, commenting on Clinton's decision to commit troops to Bosnia:

Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) - “[The] President . . . is once again releasing American military might on a foreign country with an ill-defined objective and no exit strategy. He has yet to tell the Congress how much this operation will cost. And he has not informed our nation’s armed forces about how long they will be away from home. These strikes do not make for a sound foreign policy.”

Joe Scarborough (R-FL) - “Well, I just think it’s a bad idea. What’s going to happen is they’re going to be over there for 10, 15, maybe 20 years.”

Rep Tom Delay (R-TX) - “I cannot support a failed foreign policy. History teaches us that it is often easier to make war than peace. This administration is just learning that lesson right now. The President began this mission with very vague objectives and lots of unanswered questions. A month later, these questions are still unanswered. There are no clarified rules of engagement. There is no timetable. There is no legitimate definition of victory. There is no contingency plan for mission creep. There is no clear funding program. There is no agenda to bolster our over-extended military. There is no explanation defining what vital national interests are at stake. There was no strategic plan for war when the President started this thing, and there still is no plan today.”

Not scary enough for you? OK.... try this....

Governor George W. Bush (R-TX) - “Victory means exit strategy, and it’s important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is.”

Posted by FleshPresser at 3:40 PM /

Monday, August 22, 2005

At Least It Was Just A Flag....

I don't care what anyone says... baseball is NOT the sport of the nation. The NFL clearly took that title away years ago.

So, do you want to piss off your red-blooded, Coors-drinkin', Barcalounger-lazin' friend this afternoon?

Send them this link, and stand back:

Thailand ousts USA for NFL Flag Football world championship

Guaranteed to encite a riot.

Posted by FleshPresser at 2:59 PM /

PTFer: Russ Feingold

Yesterday, in watching Russ Feingold's appearance on Meet the Press, I was reminded why I like him so damned much - he's not afraid to make sense. Last week, Senator Feingold became the first potential 2008 Candidate to openly discuss the idea of a withdrawl date for troops in Iraq. Critics and NeoCons are already taking him out of context, trying to label him as Cut and Run. But look at what he actually said:
SEN. FEINGOLD: I tried first to simple offer a resolution a couple of months ago to ask the president to give us a sense of his own of how long this will take and give the world a sense of when we might finish what some people call an American occupation. We didn't get any response from the president. His last speech was just a bunch of the same slogans we hear all the time. And, frankly, we got very little reaction from the members of the Senate. So I felt it was time to at least put on the table an idea, get the discussion going, break the taboo and say, "Look, let's see if we can remove the troops after we succeed with a series of steps by the end of December 2006. Let's see if we can have a target date that will work."

MR. GREGORY: Do you think that target date is knowable, that a success date is knowable at this point and that the president is simply holding back?

SEN. FEINGOLD: Well, I think it's possible. This is what I've noticed in the other times that we've done things well in Iraq. This is what we've done. We've set a target date for the transfer of sovereignty, and we said it was a good thing that we did it a day early. We set a target date for elections, in January 31, and some people said it would never happen. When it happened, it was a good thing. We set a target date for the constitution, and it's taking a few days more, but when that constitution is achieved, it's going to be a wonderful thing for the Iraqi people and a step forward.

Why wouldn't you want a vision, an idea of when we can measure success in terms of time and when the American people can know that our brave and courageous men and women can come home? It seems better than just having a stay-the-course concept, which is what the president seems to have.

MR. GREGORY: This target would be December 31 of next year of 2006, but you say it's not a deadline.

SEN. FEINGOLD: No, it's not a deadline. Just like the other things I just mentioned, it's a target. Here's the problem. If you don't have some kind of a target date, you lose the opportunity to get a number of advantages. First of all, you can lose the support of the American people. That's what I'm hearing.


So, what's the problem with this idea? It's simple, clear, direct, and goal-oriented. Something the Bush Administration (and many other potential Democratic 2008 contenders) oppose.

I lived in Milwaukee during Russ Feingold's initial run for Senate - if you're not familiar with the man, take a look at one of his original campaign ads, and you'll see why we're such big fans here at PTF. I don't know if we can ultimately support him in 2008, but he's definitely one in the field worth watching. He knows how to press the flesh.

Posted by FleshPresser at 11:13 AM /

Flesh Lesser: John Kerry

There are the PTFers, and then there are the Less-ers, and today's Lesser goes, as it has many times in the past, to John Kerry. On Friday, the Limp Lib told a crowd of state lawmakers in Seattle that there was no change needed in the Democratic party. Yeah, that's right, John. You keep believing that - just go do it over there in the corner, where someone cares what you think.

The worst thing John Kerry can do right now is to learn nothing from his defeat in 2004 and run blindly toward the same brick wall he hit before. And the party's not going to run behind him this time.

Posted by FleshPresser at 10:46 AM /

Stretchy and the Prez

NBC is out there looking for comedies for their fall line-up, right? Well, if you liked BJ and the Bear, you're gonna' LOVE Stretchy and the Prez! Take a look at the script from the pilot and tell me you don't agree!

Posted by FleshPresser at 9:46 AM /

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Get in Line!

So, you don't like the decisions that the President makes? His policy could be more completely thought out by a box of dirt? His lying, cheating and manipulation has become too much to bear?

So, what are you going to do about it? Wait for another election? Well, you can do that, but knowing how Democrats have been at finding a candidate and running a successful campaign, you may be disappointed.

Better to simply get in line now. At Order of Succession, it's possible to queue up and take your place in the order of succession. But you'll have to get in line behind me:

Get your position here

Posted by FleshPresser at 11:13 AM /

Blogger Depression

The Nonist has provided a great public service for those in the blogosphere, and PTF is happy to pass the information along further, in an attempt to help as many people as we can. Print this out, and keep it by your side for those moments of doubt that inevitably present themselves to all of us:

What Everyone Should Know About Blog Depression
What is Blog Depression?
Blog Depression Can Affect Anyone At Any Time
Symptoms of Severe Blog Depression
Some Action You Can Take
Sooo... Learn About Blog Depression

Now, pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and get back to that blog!

Posted by FleshPresser at 10:56 AM /

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Mike Thompson on Sheehan

I love it when someone is able to take an idea... particularly an incredibly frustrating and ludicrous one, and sum it up so precisely. Mike Thompson, of the Detroit Free Press, does it on a regular basis. This will be a favorite of mine, though.

Posted by FleshPresser at 9:57 AM /

Wilkerson's Low Point

...and you might think it was that time he was eleven and his dad walked in on him while he was...

But no... this was marked as the low point in his life, says former Powell aide Lawrence Wilkerson. It is staggering, and yet completely unsurprising to continually watch individuals fall out of the Bush Administration, and begin to tell the tales of what happened on the inside.

I find very little worth watching on CNN these days...

(The Situation Room?!? Puh-leese! I won't even link to it - suffice to say that it's Wolf Blitzer with big TVs, shots of Jack Cafferty being "unprepared" like that's somehow edgy, and three hours in the afternoon to kill... oh for the days of Judy Woodruff... but that's a rant for another day)

... but CNN Presents should be a good one this week, as they look at the "intelligence" leading up to the war in Iraq.

Posted by FleshPresser at 6:47 AM /

Weekend Puzzler: Jennifer Connelly

OK... so Jennifer Connelly says she likes to do her online shopping while having sex.
So, who should we be worried about? Connelly - exactly WHAT is she shopping for? Should we fret over her hubby Paul Bettany - combine the facts that he's playing Silas in the upcoming Da Vinci Code (I've heard some scary things about the movie thus far, but you've got to admit, the website is pretty cool) and his wife is chatting on the phone and reading while they're having sex... maybe Mr. Bettany isn't as spectacular as once believed to be? Or should we be most concerned about you and I - the common reader, coming across this information and actually pausing momentarily to mentally picture HOW Jenny shops and has sex at the same time. Hmmm.... how, indeed.

Posted by FleshPresser at 12:05 AM /

Reid Suffers Mini-Stroke

While this happened earlier in the week, it was only announced today that what Senator Reid experienced was considered a mini-stroke. Makes you wonder what types of things happen to you or me that we never know about, because we don't have access to the same health system as Congress. As a fellow runner, it's also sort of scary that a man who has run twelve marathons is vulnerable to a stroke.

Posted by FleshPresser at 12:03 AM /

Friday, August 19, 2005

Reality Rehash

So... God created "most" reality-TV shows, but Survivor was always God's favorite. Go ahead. Ask The Almighty the next time you're talkin'. I love looking at the new group of people slated to air in mid-September and wondering to myself which one will be the next Johnny Fairplay, or Boston Rob, or Stephanie LaGrossa... OK, so Stephanie wasn't necessarily as "iconic" as the others, but her name continues to be one of the singular search strings that for some unknown reason leads to my blog, and I'm a whore - c'mon guys... get a life and leave poor Stephanie alone! Or at least pick someone a bit more current to obsess over.

But I digress....

As a warm-up to the new crew of Survivor, I've been logging some time with OLN as they rerun Survivor Outback. Why watch a reality show when you already know the outcome? Perhaps it's lame, but I find it delicious in a whole new way to go back and watch the interaction of those darling castaways, knowing what their reality is going to be before THEY know it. It sort of becomes a "hyper-reality" show, in a way.

How much fun is it to see Colby before he discovers the world of Schick shaving (Not to mention his fabulous appearance in this weekend's opening of Red Eye)? Keith Famie before he lands his FoodTV show that crashes and burns after four episodes? Jerri Matheney, who... well, just crashes and burns (did she REALLY co-host Extreme Dodgeball?) Amber, working as an independent, prior to the mega-merger of Rob-N-Amber, Inc.? Who knew that that cute perky Elisabeth would wind up married to an NFL quarterback and sitting next to Barbara Walters? Yes, Survivor prepared her well, no doubt.

Yup... this is pure pleasure. The kind of fabulous retread that Bravo's Battle or Kill Realit-E! can never, ever, ever hope to replicate. Ever.

Oh, by the way.... we at PTF are non-denominational, and as such, if you happen to worship that Other God, you'll be happy to know that these shows are being aired once again here. Enjoy. You know who you are.

P.S. - Speaking of reality rehash, check out Futon Critic's blurb on Jay McCarroll's upcoming Bravo special. As one of the seven heterosexual men in America who at least will ADMIT watching Project Runway, I have to also admit that I'll be watching for this, as well.

Posted by FleshPresser at 9:54 PM /

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Yes... But WILL They Remember?

There is a great site for those who are addicted to polls and polling (and let's face it... anyone who says polling doesn't matter is lying to you - otherwise polling institutions would be out of business), and I found some very interesting information today.

On it's face value, it's simply a 50-state survey of Bush's approval rating. When you see statistics like California giving Bush a 62% disapproval rating, or true Blue New York doing the same, it's not really a huge surprise or newsworthy.

Here's what I found interesting - NINETEEN "Red" States - those who voted for Bush in 2004 - currently show a majority disapproving of President Bush. I've only included states where there is a clear majority disapproving - ties don't count.

Just to clarify, and to give you a sense of where these statistics are coming from, here are the states as I count them (with highlighted states of particular interest):

Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, FLORIDA, GEORGIA, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, OHIO, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Noting what I've highlighted, you probably know where I'm going, but I'll go anyway. Of course there are hundreds of other factors to take into consideration, but these nineteen Red states constitute a staggering 191 electoral votes in 2008. Forget New York's 31 electoral votes, or California's 55 votes... if you're counting, those two states, combined with the RED states, gets you over 270. Check the math, if you like.

Given the makeup of the listed states, as well, it becomes clear that anyone suggesting the South is unattainable for Democrats in 2008 better think twice.

simplistic? Absolutely. Will the Democrats make it mind-numbingly difficult, though? More than likely.

Posted by FleshPresser at 6:02 PM /

Monday, August 15, 2005

....and Ex-Hale....

I'm sitting pouting, having learned that the Walken 2008 site I was so excited about over the weekend is, in fact, a hoax. At least that's what is reporting today. It's a shame, as it was one of the first times in a l-o-n-g while that I've found myself getting excited about a potential Presidential FleshPresser. Supposedly, the publicist for Mr. Walken confirmed that he has no political aspirations.

Guess it's back to the "hurrah for Vilsack" chants.... or the "Richardson... Richard..son... he's.... our.. man.... if he can't do it..... well, we'll wait until 2012...."

How I yearn for the good ole days. Did you hear Bill Clinton is coming out with a CD? Essentially, it's marketed as some of his favorites from "the Clinton Music Room."

All I can say is that Miles Davis, Mahalia Jackson, and Nina Simone beat the shit out of Bush's iPod.

Posted by FleshPresser at 8:43 PM /

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Required Sunday Reading....

Frank Rich's column in the Times is so fabulous - most definitely worthy of a full read. However, PTF is not sure whether to jump for joy or slump over as a result of it. On the one hand, Rich pieces so many shortcomings of the Bush Administration together, and ties them so nicely into a historical context - it's more than enough information to take on anyone who still believes that the Bush Administration is above reproach (as if those people exist... well, sadly, they do).

On the other hand, however, it remains a mystery to me how all of this (and MORE, as he really doesn't cover ALL the screw-ups of the Bush Administration here) is possible, reportable, and evidenced, and yet there are Americans who support this man, and Democrats are unable to really gain any ground on an Administration as pathetic as this. If this is the case, what does it say about the Democratic party?

Feel free to talk amongst yourselves....

Posted by FleshPresser at 9:16 PM /

Saturday, August 13, 2005

A NEW Choice of Weapon

So, you don't want to settle for Hillary versus Giuliani in 2008?

How about if we mix up the Flesh Pressing with another New Yorker who is planning to run for office in 2008?

Can you imagine THIS MAN in The White House? I swear, at first I thought it was just a joke website, but it appears to be legitimate. And it's not a "Let's Draft Christopher Walken" site.... he's actually contemplating a run for the White House!

Amidst his opinions on Campaign Finance Reform, Stem Cell Research, and Military Finding, there are quotes from him, like this:

"I think no matter what I did -- if I was a cook, if I was a writer, if I built houses -- I would try to make it unique somehow. Give it a stamp."

"If you want to learn how to build a house, build a house. Don't ask anybody, just build a house."

"I believe in saving money. I believe in having a house. I believe in keeping things clean. I believe in exercising."

OK... so these might not be the heady thoughts required to make a truly successful Presidential campaign. Given the idiot we've had in office thus far, however, can you imagine how it'd feel to have THIS guy as the next President?

P.S. - If you've never seen the minimalist version of Weapon of Choice, catch it here... pretty great!

Posted by FleshPresser at 11:22 PM /

Common Sense 101

No partisans here today... just wondering how people can be so bone-headed sometimes.

In this corner, we have the "extremist liberals" feverishly trying to protest the John Roberts nomination. NARAL's ad may have been eye-catching, but it was also wrong. So, what did NARAL's money wind up buying those who oppose the Roberts nomination?

Well, for starters, it once again gave those who oppose the Roberts nomination an "extremist" label. In addition, it reunited groups of Republicans and conservatives who were beginning to cool to the Roberts nomination, given his pro-bono work for the gay community and the like.

Here's an example - prior to the NARAL ad, Rush Limbaugh was on his show saying things like, "There's no question the people on the right are going to say: 'Wait a minute. Wait a minute! The guy is doing pro bono work and helping gay activists?'"

Post-NARAL ad, here's what he's saying - right back on message, spewing his filth once again.

But wait... that's not all. In addition to allowing everyone opposing Roberts to be labeled as "libelous wackos" now, and re-energizing the conservative voice that had backed off of their support for this guy, the ad gave Senator Specter an opportunity to flex his bipartisan muscles a bit, and wind up looking good to everyone. Not only does he get a chance to stick up for his Republican buddies in slapping NARAL, but he does it WHILE AT THE SAME TIME flexing his "hey, I'm pro-choice, too" muscles.

Nice job, NARAL. Well played. This is exactly the fear I had with organizations wanting to oppose ANY nomination the Bush Administration made, rather than carefully thinking through their actions.

NOT TO BE OUTDONE, is President Bush himself. He of the "I still need a map to find my way around the White House, and no wonder I can't recall what I say to Rove - I can't find his office, and can you point me in the direction of Cheney's bunker - I know it's around here somewhere."

I don't care what his political reasons are for not speaking with Cindy Sheehan, but regardless of the politics, he is getting advised in the worst possible manner. He is not only being accused of vacationing while the war in Iraq continues on. It's not only a matter of him taking more vacation than any other President.

Here's the deal - this should have been a non-story. Meet with the woman, give her a hug and some sympathy, and then go on being the uncaring moronic jerk that everyone knows you as.

By not meeting with Sheehan, Bush now has stories out there saying the troops are both coming home AND staying in Iraq.

Articles like this are continuing to appear on a more and more frequent basis.

What was a small group is now turning into hundreds of people camped out, now vowing to stay in Crawford and follow the President to Washington. Daily appearances on all the major news shows are commonplace, and the days are ticking away - how long will it take for Bush to speak to the mother of a dead soldier? How would you like to be wearing THAT around your neck?

President Bush - stop listening to those morons around you and take this simple advice, both for the sake of doing the right thing, as well as for pure pragmatic political reasons - take a damn walk up the driveway and meet with the mother, Bush. I don't care if you've talked with her before... I don't care if you've talked to her five times. She gave her son's life to this country... for that, she should have your cell phone number, let alone an opportunity to speak with you face-to-face.

Posted by FleshPresser at 10:43 AM /

Monday, August 08, 2005

Peter Jennings Dead

About a half hour ago, ABC broke into their programming to announce that Peter Jennings has died, ending his bout with lung cancer.

Regardless of what you thought about the man's journalism, he was one of a handful of individuals who dominated the field of TV news coverage for decades.

I'm sure there will be more than a few kind words passed on about Jennings today, but you've got to tip your hat to a man who was working as a netowrk news anchor at the age of 26, going up against the likes of Cronkite, Huntley and Brinkley.

He is a part of our pop cultural history, and he will be missed.

Posted by FleshPresser at 12:17 AM /

Sunday, August 07, 2005


"What? Make a trip to Ohio and talk to families of dead soldiers?"

"Who's at the door? Another mother of a dead soldier? How'd she get here?!?"

"Don't these idiots know that I'm on VACATION??"

Exactly WHAT was that "quality of strong leadership" you admired so much in this man when you voted for him, America?

"Little league on a Friday night? Now THAT sounds like vacation fun - I'll be there!"

Hope he's having a nice vacation... the bastard.

Posted by FleshPresser at 10:24 PM /

Feel Safe Now?

Tomorrow's Washington Post will report on military war plans for given terrorist attacks and scenarios.

Well, I'm so glad that all those Bush supporters will be sleeping soundly tonight, knowing that they're obviously safer today than they were four years ago.

Hope he's having a nice vacation... the bastard.

UPDATE: As promised, here's that article.

Posted by FleshPresser at 10:17 PM /

Dead or Alive, eh?

The next time I hear some weasel NeoCon blame Clinton for bin Laden, I swear I'm going to force feed them this book.

Wonder how low the poll numbers will drop with this little bombshell?

Hope he's having a nice vacation... the bastard.

Posted by FleshPresser at 9:58 PM /

Thursday, August 04, 2005

No Novak...

If you want to TRULY see a thing of beauty, watch Robert Novak finally crumble and walk off the set of "Strategy Session", CNN's lame attempt to patch their cancellation of "Crossfire." There is nothing remarkable about the comments prior to Novak walking off the set - James Carville was interrupting Novak (as always), and Novak jabbed at Carville (yawn... as always), and Carville jabbed back (zzzz... as always).

But then Novak just lost it... which I had never seen before.

It was later remarked that Novak was going to be questioned about the Valerie Plame affair. Might he have taken the opportunity to get off set before the questions came?

It's all coming apart... when Novak can't stand the heat, you know things are getting hot.

Oh, by the by... how much do you want to bet that the FCC COMPLETELY looks the other way at this "atrocious infraction" that our children were exposed to in the middle of afternoon, daylight, good-Christian-children-are-watchin' hours?

UPDATE: Mr. Novak.... you may be excused.

Posted by FleshPresser at 10:46 PM /

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

You Can Find ANYTHING on E-Bay...

The worst part is that there are actually bids on it.

Posted by FleshPresser at 1:51 AM /

Biden McCain in 2008?

Or McCain Biden?!? Or Miden BcCain?? Perhaps McBain Ciden????

I promise I won't post any more Daily Show news for a while, but Stewart actually got a little morsel of "news" from Sen. Joe Biden, his guest tonight, toward the very end of the interview. After mentioning that he would have liked to see Sen. John McCain run with Kerry in '04 (yeah... right... anything to save Kerry's sorry campaign), he mentioned that he would like to run with McCain in '08 (obviously in an attempt to preemptively save Biden's campaign in '08).

The idea of a "non-partisan" ticket is actually very seductive, given the partisan nature of Washington, and the inability for the perpetual logjam to be broken. If only the right two candidates got together.


UPDATE: According to Dionne Warwick's Cosmic Peephole, Senator Biden has a lot of explaining to do, and Senator McCain... well, this seems about right to me. Hmm... on second thought, maybe this isn't going to work out after all.

Posted by FleshPresser at 1:38 AM /