Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Week That Was - April 30, 2006

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Posted by FleshPresser at 12:32 AM /

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Did I Get My Stories Confused?

PTF hasn't been able to stay too teribly close to the computer today, but I could have sworn I heard something about Rosie O'Donnell prostituting herself to Randy "Duke" Cunningham?

Joking aside, Rosie is prostituting herself in almost as icky a way, joining the cast of The View. Still, I might pay to see Joy Behar and Rosie in a verbal bitchfight, and Star Jones and Rosie in a literal bitchfight.

Regardless of what one might think of Rosie O'Donnell, at least we can be happy for this. Rosie's inclusion ensures at least a few more days of Patricia Heaton-free television. Heaton was the early rumor to replace Meredith Viera. We can be glad it was only a rumor.

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Posted by FleshPresser at 11:33 PM /

Friday, April 28, 2006

The EIP - Excellence in Pillpopping - Network

Quick. Someone phone Daryn Kagan. Limbaugh's been arrested. Does this mean he won't be getting the job taking over Mike Leavitt's position as Secretary of Health and Human Services??

Damn. Kharma sure is a bitch, Rush.

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Posted by FleshPresser at 7:50 PM /

Senate Republicans Believe Bloating Is Answer To Gas Pain

A few days ago, Senator Robert Menendez suggested a plan to ease gas prices - eliminate the federal gas tax charged at the pump for each gallon of gas. The current Federal gas tax is 18.4 cents per gallon, and as such, prices would drop by that amount for the 60-day period.

Will this fix the current problem Americans are facing at the gas stations across America? Absolutely not. Will it help? Yes. Especially if the Federal gas tax revenue that is lost would be replaced by a repeal of tax cuts currently given to big oil companies.

Senate Republicans countered with what has to be one of the craziest, most expensive, and most ridiculous plans ever - offer a $100 rebate check to all taxpayers who earn $150,000 or less as a couple, or $100,000 for individual taxpayers. Cost of this plan? TEN BILLION DOLLARS.

My great aunt who's 95 and hasn't driven in fifteen years? SHE gets a check, courtesy of the Republicans. My good friend who lives in New York City and hasn't owned a car in several years? HE gets a check, courtesy of the Republicans. What about my aunt, who has epilepsy and can't drive as a result? SHE gets a check, courtesy of the Republicans.

Oh... one little point that they're not saying quite as loudly - in exchange for the check, Republicans finally get to destroy the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Are you friggin' kidding me?!? This plan is utterly ludicrous, and boils down to nothing more than a cheap attempt to hand out checks in exchange for votes for Republicans in the fall.

Don't believe me? Well, look at it from this angle, then. Senator Debbie Stabenow proposed a plan whereby five billion dollars in tax breaks given to oil companies would be repealed and the money would be distributed to the families in the form of $500 checks - the estimated additional burden that families would feel as a result of higher energy costs. The Republican response to Stabenow's plan was to rule it out of order.

And yet, shortly afterwards, Senator Bill Frist announced the Republican plan to hand out checks to everyone.

Let me be clear, here - I don't agree with handing out checks courtesy of Sen. Stabenow OR Senator Frist. Neither solves the problem at hand. As far as drilling in ANWR, I wish we could simply re-frame the discussion in this way - let's stop talking about "reducing our dependence on foreign oil" and START talking about reducing our dependence on OIL... PERIOD. ANWR's oil supply is limited and only delays the inevitable choices that have to made already. Better to make those decisions now instead of simply delaying.

But there needs to be price relief in the meantime, correct?

Fine. The main target should be looking very closely at the oil companies themselves, but I'll save that for another post.

Let's go back to Senator Menendez's proposal - eliminate the Federal gas tax for 60 days. I would add that the loss of revenue should be made up by repealing tax breaks given to oil companies in the last Highway and Transportation Bill.

An average American car's gas tank holds 20 gallons of gas. A typical American commuter fills their tank three times a week. Over a sixty-day period, this would work out to about 480 gallons of gas in the 60 day period. Removing the Federal gas tax - 18.4 cents per gallon, would equal a savings of about $88.32 for the average American driver.

Democrats are WRONGLY labeled at tax-and-spend (Republicans are now much more correctly being labeled as "Credit Card Republicans," as they cut taxes, but spend infinitely more than Democrats could ever think of spending), but look at this plan. It costs less than the Republican tax rebate of $100, and is targeted directly to those who purchase gasoline. Those who purchase more (for industrial and agricultural purposes) would receive more of a break than the typical consumer, but all would receive relief in equal proportion.

Any Republican who EVER wore the label of "fiscal conservative" HAS to be opposed to this plan, which simply means more trouble for the White House, as well as for Congressional Republicans.

All I can say is, thank God for my Prius.

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Posted by FleshPresser at 6:08 PM /


TomKat's Scientological spawn has been set loose on an unsuspecting world. Britney may be preparing to unleash yet another little monster (Oops - she did it again! How will she drive with TWO on her lap?). There's Brangelina's African Adventure, Gwyneth and Moses.... There are blogs that now focus only on celebrity births - ack! Babies, babies, babies... it seems like they're everywhere! Why, even yours truly is the proud owner of the newest, latest, model.

In short, pregnancy is hip these days.

Beyond the celebrity overexposure and "marketing" of pregnancy, the actual act of pregnancy and birth is a truly incredible, miraculous, and beautiful event. Our newly-refound and good friend over at Pyreflies Over Zanarkand is about to experience the joyous miracle herself.

And so this week's FLESH, INK., FRIDAY is dedicated to Meghan, with the hopes that maybe she'll add just one more thing on her to-do list.

EMBODY is run by Julia Laderman in England, and offers pregnant women an opportunity to truly celebrate their life force in a beautifully artistic and creative way. There are many others who paint women's bellies during their pregnancies, but the work of EMBODY is the first that we've chosen to highlight here at PTF, as her work is truly inspiring.

Her work has been featured in various newspapers, magazines, as well as by BBC, and as always, we trust that you'll take a look at her gallery and experience the artistry that Julia Laderman helps other women embody.

So, whaddaya think, Meghan?

Previously on FLESH, INK. FRIDAY: Bernd Rantscheff / Barbara Ingenhaag / Images from Burning Man / Anton ten Dam / 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 4:40 PM /

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Blog Gossip Redux?

A few weeks ago, PTF alerted readers to the coming firestorm, in the form of the Aravosis V. Gannon panel at the Equality Forum in Philadelphia.

Needless to say, whenever Jeff Gannon is involved with something, it always manages to get a little bit more dramatic, a little bit more false, and a little bit more screwed up.

The panel, as it stands right now, is falling apart. This is sad, as the topic is an important one for the Equality Forum. But I can't help thinking that this is what the Equality Forum folks get for inviting someone like Gannon who truly has NO place on a panel with other such respected bloggers.

You can read John's take on the situation over at AmericaBlog. After reading, if you're so inclined, perhaps a nice polite e-mail sent to Executive Director Malcolm Lazin would be in order?

Yes, I think it would.

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Posted by FleshPresser at 2:25 AM /

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Flesh For Beginners?

WARNING - NOT OFFICE APPROPRIATE, so consider yourself warned.

I'm almost embarrassed to tell you how hard I laughed at this. It really doesn't have much, if anything, to do with what I typically blog about, but I couldn't help sharing it with you.

No nudity involved, but make sure your speakers aren't turned up too high, or you might get strange looks from your co-workers. Make sure the kids are out of the room, and get ready to laugh until it hurts.


when it comes down to it, in the midst of everything else going on in the world, sometimes the best medicine is to laugh at something completely irrelevant, right?

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Posted by FleshPresser at 11:08 PM /

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Snow In Spring: Tony Snow To Accept Position

As reported here earlier in the week, it has been confirmed that Tony Snow will likely accept the position within the Bush Administration as the White house Press Secretary.

There are too many jokes to make here - an Administration dedicated to lies. A network dedicated to serving up fresh steaming piles of those lies each and every day, straight from the mouth of the White House. Voice of the network becomes the voice of the Administration. So what's changed, exactly?

In all seriousness, this is a disaster waiting to happen. It might be seen as a "novel" approach to putting a fresh face on the White House and it's suffering tenants. It seems like a huge gaffe, however, given Josh Bolten's new five-point plan to revive the White House. So much for that point about "courting the press."

Want to know more about Tony Snow and the misinformation he's already so polished at distributing? Take a look.

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Posted by FleshPresser at 2:30 AM /

Monday, April 24, 2006

He's at Zero... Celsius, That Is...

Bush poll numbers continue to plummet - CNN's latest puts his approval rating at a frigid 32%, less than one third of the American public. Moreover, Bush now has a 60% disapproval rating.

Again, let me point out that this is not a "rigging of the stats" by the so-called "liberal media." Pew's latest poll has Bush at 35%, American Research Group puts him at 34%, and Fox News has him at 33%.

Add to the mess recent editorials such as that in the L.A. Times, calling for Cheney's head on a platter.

Of course, gas prices continue their upward climb, and despite the fact that a few people in the Bush Administration might be familiar with a few of the higher ups within the oil industry, they can't seem to be able to find a single action that would possibly ease the pain that this is creating throughout the American public, exacerbating Bush's problems.

California and Illinois have introduced impeachment proceedings in their respective state legislatures. According to the article:
"The Jefferson Manual of rules for the U.S. House of Representatives makes clear that impeachment proceedings can be initiated by a state legislature submitting charges. The state of Illinois is on its way toward forcing on the House what not a single one of its members has yet had the courage to propose: Articles of Impeachment."

Yet, in the midst of this growing snowball of destruction aimed squarely at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, newly-appointed Chief of Staff Josh Bolten has come up with a five-point plan to save the Bush Administration.

His plan?

That's it. That's the plan for survival of the Bush Administration.

I won't say that the fat lady has sung, but if no one within the Bush Administration wakes the fuck up and listens to the American public, you can write the final act on what has already been a tragicly flawed term of office.

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Posted by FleshPresser at 10:09 PM /

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Week That Was - April 23, 2006

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Posted by FleshPresser at 12:26 AM /

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Natalie Raps

Face it. Saturday Night Live is not funny anymore. If they were smart, they would cut all their live sketches and go to an all Robert Smigel and SNL Digital Shorts format.

That being said, they're re-airing the Natalie Portman show tonight, and her rap was one of the best things I've seen on SNL in a long time! WELL worth the view!!!

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Posted by FleshPresser at 11:36 PM /

Hu's Sweepy?

Glad to see we're taking the visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao so seriously. U.S. China relations aren't really that important anyway, are they? That's it, Dick. Sweet dreams of plans for your tax refund.

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Posted by FleshPresser at 10:44 PM /

Friday, April 21, 2006

A Study of Contrasts

If you had to choose to do business with one of these companies, would you choose the company whose CEO earns $81,840 a year - the same amount he's earned for the last several years - or would you choose to give your money to the company who pays it's CEO over $190,000 A DAY??? A company that gave that same CEO a retirement package worth over $400 MILLION dollars???

You've got the information... you make the decision.

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Posted by FleshPresser at 12:22 PM /

The Decider

Holy Incompetance! It's... THE DECIDER!!!

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Posted by FleshPresser at 4:58 AM /

Another Fine Example Of Democracy In Action

It's not enough to show the world the specific brand of "democracy" we spread to countries like Iraq.

No... let's have the Chinese President visit the United States. Let's then have Bush state to the Chinese President:
China has become successful because the Chinese people are experience the freedom to buy, and to sell, and to produce -- and China can grow even more successful by allowing the Chinese people the freedom to assemble, to speak freely, and to worship.
Only moments later, let's then arrest a protester actually practicing that right to speak freely.

Pardon me while I sit in the corner and allow my head to explode.

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Posted by FleshPresser at 4:18 AM /

Tony Snow to Replace McClellan?

Snow is the one on the left, just to clarify...

That's the rumor on the street. It seems like an appropriate choice for this Administration to make. Snow has plenty of experience lying to the American public, so that shouldn't be a stretch for him. And he has experience spinning military action in Iraq, as well - working as a speechwriter for George H. W. Bush during the first botched mission to Iraq.

From what my sources tell me, the job has been offered to Snow, and it's just a matter of whether or not he accepts it. Watch things go from worse to worser if this change actually takes place and Snow takes the podium.

Think about it - the guy works for Fox News. He's already serving as the mouthpiece for the Administration. This would just make it more official, right?

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Posted by FleshPresser at 3:37 AM /

FLESH, INK. FRIDAY - Bernd Rantscheff

Flesh, Ink. Friday is pleased to feature the work of Bernd Rantscheff today. After graduating from school, Bernd began his career by working on a variety of film, TV and theater projects in Austria and Germany and finally moved to Los Angeles in 1985.

Since this time, he has worked at perfecting his crafts. Besides being a sculptor and painter, his expertise includes all variety of make-up, special effects, prosthetics, and body painting. Bernd was a trend setter by using an airbrush as a make-up tool.

His credits since being in America include The Grinch, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, Star-Trek (9 seasons), Sliders (5 seasons Make-Up Effects Supervisor), and many many more. His work has been recognized by the industry with many awards including an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Make-Up for a Series (Star-Trek: Deep Space Nine).

Previously on FLESH, INK. FRIDAY: Barbara Ingenhaag / Images from Burning Man / Anton ten Dam / 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 3:09 AM /

Thursday, April 20, 2006

You've Got To Know When To Fold It....

... know when to mold it....

Know when to walk away from the plastic surgeon, and clearly... know when to RUN!


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Posted by FleshPresser at 12:36 AM /

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

McClellan Quits. Rove Shifts. Any Questions?

Well, actually... yes.

As predicted by PTF and just about anyone else who's been following the foibles of the Administration, McClellan's resignation was seen as coming for a long time now. So, given Josh Bolten's "pep talk" to the Administration staff, warning of shake-ups and telling them, ""if you're thinking about leaving sometime in the near future, now would be a good time to do it...," do you think this was Bush's call, or McClellan's?

It is not at all uncommon to go through several people in the position of Press Secretary. The job is incredibly demanding, and I can only imagine how difficult it would be to lie for President Bush day after day after day....

Here's the thing - more often than not, the Press Secretary will try to find a break in the news cycle, or a slow point, to step aside and allow for a smoother transition. Do Bush, McClellan, and the Administration believe this to be a "break in the news cycle?"

But this shift is largely smoke and mirrors, regardless of who made the decision. It doesn't mark a change in the policies of the Administration. It only changes the name of the person who will be sent out to lie about it.

More interesting is the shift of Karl Rove from his responsibilities related to policy within his Deputy Chief of Staff position, moving him to focus more on midterm elections. One might posit that he's been moved back to a position that he does best - rather than helping to shape failed policy, he's back to spreading lies against opponents of Republican opponents, and fixing elections.

So, is the shift with Rove ultimately a promotion or a demotion? Regardless, it keeps Rove out of the bright light of the White House, and places him back into the grassroots of the campaign trail, where he tends to slither better, anyhow.

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Posted by FleshPresser at 11:44 AM /

The Mystery Of The Placenta... REVEALED!

Follow me on this...

Not only did TomKat have their baby, Suri. Turns out that Brooke Shields had her baby, as well. The little girl was named Grier.

Tom Cruise and Brooke Shields have a history, of course. Brooke Shields wrote about her bout with postpartum depression after her first child was born in her widely publicized book, Down Came The Rain.

Tom Cruise, a Scientologist (just in case you've been living under a rock for amillenium or so), spoke out against the use of medications by Brooke Shields to cope with her postpartum depression. There was that infamous interview with Matt Lauer, when Cruise's crazy was just beginning to peak.

Fast forward to more recent crazy, where Cruise managed to freak everyone out once again by JOKING that he was going to eat the placenta of Katie Holmes following the birth.

According to Wikipedia, however, the eating of a human placenta is a rare practice, but one that does happen. Human placentophagy, as it is called, has been said to prevent... wait for it... wait for it... postpartum depression.

So, Tom more than likely won't be eating the placenta anytime soon. But should Brooke Shields be expecting a "Welcome Baby" gift from Cruise in the next day or so? We'll see.

Just in case you're curious, by the way... there are several different methods by which one can prepare the placenta - roasted, lasagna, or our personal favorite - either as sashimi or tartare.

Ugh. This has been a post about a little bit more "Pressing The Flesh" than I've ever intended on this blog. Sorry.

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Posted by FleshPresser at 6:40 AM /

Sorry, Suri...

What a life you have ahead of you. Sure, there will be money and privilege and attention. But what a cross you'll have to bear in exchange... oh wait. You'll be raised as a Scientologist, so I don't know if the "cross to bear" reference is appropriate or not.

Well, now that Katie has given birth to this child, we can all keep our fingers crossed... perhaps now that Tom Cruise has full access to his Scientology spawn, he'll let Katie go?

That's the good thing about a "silent birth," Katie... maybe you can sneak out the back door.

UPDATE: has this to say about the meaning of the name "Suri"
Sure, the name may mean princess or red rose or alien baby in other languages, but there is a much deeper meaning to the selection by Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes of the name Suri for their new creature child.

Suri = Surrey, which is also a region of England, which is where the "deceased" L. Ron Hubbard's home is located and it is the headquarters of Scientology in the UK.

Coincidence??? We think not!

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Posted by FleshPresser at 1:41 AM /