Friday, November 28, 2008

The Alaska Turkey Massacre Director's Cut

If you didn't catch this on Countdown with Keith Olbermann Wednesday night, Slate put together a hilarious mash-up of the immediately infamous Sarah Palin turkey massacre video:

For once, I agree with Gov. Mooseburger. That sure was fun.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving, and Thank You

I was tempted to pick one of these up at Whole Paycheck Foods during some last-minute shopping/jostling yesterday, but I already had a turkey sitting at home. Plus, Tofurkey is a little pricey to try for a laugh.

But maybe they'll be discounted tomorrow, and I'll take the plunge into vegetarian feasting. It'll have to wait, of course, since we'll have Thanksgiving leftovers. And I love my leftovers.

I suspect, however, that even Timmy the Turkey here is wondering why you'd bother with a fake turkey. Not when you can still make all those tasty side dishes.

He might not be big on stuffing, though. Just like this guy. Oh, but I believe he's really staring at me because I haven't said what I'm thankful for this year.

Friends and family. I know - everyone says that. But as we've become more estranged from my father's side of the family, I've come to appreciate what I really have. It's the same with friends; I've drifted away from some, while becoming closer to others.

It's sort of like boiling something down, until you're left with the good stuff. Like evaporated milk, maybe. (Is it obvious I'm about to make a pumpkin pie?)

I know I can count on those that are still around. These are the people that I love, that allow me to be and accept me for who I really am, and I'm extremely grateful to have that. And hopefully, they feel the same way about me.

And I should probably leave it at that. Ticking off frivolous answers like podcasts, banh mi sandwiches, the Sunday New York Times (and the Wednesday food section), blogs, Tina Fey, my cast-iron skillet, stadium seating in movie theaters, Aaron Sorkin dialogue, that first cup of coffee on a crisp winter morning, wi-fi, a President-Elect I truly admire, eggs sunny-side up, RSS readers, Stewart and Colbert, 80s music (all of it), instant messaging, and the great game that is baseball isn't quite as meaningful.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What Am I Thankful For? Embedded Video Clips, For One

I'd like to post a list of what I've been thankful for over the past year (mostly to remind myself not to be so grumpy), but if I don't get to that, I'll at least post this video of Paul Rudd dancing on The Daily Show. Because I'm definitely thankful for the laughs it brings me.

Ah, yes - the joy of dance. Do it like no one's lookin'. This also proves that almost anything looks good when set to Primal Scream's "Rocks."

I'm hoping Role Models will be part of my holiday, non-eating itinerary. I hear it has little kids swearing. And there's nothing funnier - nothing - than little kids swearing.

And clearly, Rudd has to do Dancing With the Stars next.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Fair? Probably Not, But It Would Be Balanced

So FOX News' Sean Hannity is about to lose his co-host. Maybe he'll end up spewing his anti-Obama fear-mongering by himself. But if not, I have an idea for who can replace Alan Colmes:

Of course, Robert Gibbs already has a new job - as President-Elect Obama's press secretary.

Rahm Emanuel Will End You

Ever since Barack Obama hired Rahm Emanuel to be his White House Chief of Staff, I've been kind of fascinated with the guy. Mostly because of the stories of his temper and profanity-fueled tirades that have become almost mythical. (Plus, he reportedly sent a dead fish to someone that really pissed him off, which I find strangely admirable.)

So Saturday Night Live made fun of Emanuel this weekend - or planned to, at least. Yet for some reason, this sketch didn't air. Why, I don't know, since it's funnier than almost anything else that was on the show. (The parody of the auto industry bailout hearings was sharp, though..)

Too much swearing? (Even though it's all bleeped out? And it's nothing worse than Joe Scarborough said on the air.) But it made the stab at Joe Lieberman that much more hilarious. (If only that had really happened...)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Parody Can't Always Match Reality

Just when I thought I wouldn't have to hear Gov. Mooseburger's voice for at least the rest of the year, she's on my television again. But this time, it's not an attempt to salvage her image. No, she's out there, once again meeting with the people of Alaska... as they slaughter animals while mugging for TV cameras.

As if I needed to tell you, keep your eyes on the right part of the screen:

And she just... keeps... talking. What's worse: the slaughtering of the turkey or Gov. Mooseburger's slaughtering of the English language as she prattles on and on?

Here's a reminder that no matter how hard Saturday Night Live tried to lampoon Sarah Palin (and they did a great job of it), even Tina Fey and Seth Meyers can't always create something funnier than the actual product.

"Gov. Palin, they're slaughtering a turkey over your left shoulder as you're talking, stuffing its head into a metal cone of death that drains into a tub of blood as you talk about next year's budget. Are you sure you don't want to film the interview somewhere else?"

"Nah, that's Bill the Turkey Killer. We call him Bill the Grinder. He's real America. We're desiring for that bird to be on our table. Also too, I'm killin' one after we're done talkin'. We gotta feed Bristol. She's eating for two, you betcha."

Thursday, November 20, 2008

And This Guy Wanted to Be President... ?

I really try not to swear here, because of who sometimes stops over to read, but occasionally, you have to go with what best expresses your feelings.

Mitt Romney is a kind of an asshole. And a fraud.

Here's a guy who sold himself as a "son of Michigan" during the Republican presidential primary, which helped him to a win over John McCain. And part of the reason Romney won is because he said things Michiganders wanted to hear. (I know - shocking from a politician, right?) But Romney led voters on by saying that the manufacturing jobs that had been lost in Michigan could be brought back.

10 months later, Romney writes in the New York Times that the auto industry needs to go bankrupt.

When he was running for national office, Romney was "going to fight for every single job." Now, without the burden of trying to get the average worker to like him, he thinks the auto industry pays its workforce too much:

First, their huge disadvantage in costs relative to foreign brands must be eliminated. That means new labor agreements to align pay and benefits to match those of workers at competitors like BMW, Honda, Nissan and Toyota. Furthermore, retiree benefits must be reduced so that the total burden per auto for domestic makers is not higher than that of foreign producers.

Never mind that working on the assembly line was one of the few jobs in this area that allowed someone to support his or her family with just a high school education. And a lot of subsequent Generation X and Y'ers had their college educations funded by those wages.

To be fair, Romney is also critical of the management that put the "Big Three" auto companies in this financial predicament, portraying them as overpaid and detached. If the government does give the auto industry a bailout, it seems clear that conditions have to come with that aid because these executives have shown they can't be trusted.

Yet if those companies are allowed to go bankrupt, how exactly will they pay for the new technological innovations that Romney calls for in his Op-Ed? Where will the money that would presumably allow the auto industry to reorganize come from when credit markets are frozen and the economy is sucked dry?

Maybe I'm talking completely out of my league here. I'm no economist. I have no background in business. But as far as I can tell - and I've been trying to learn as much as I can over the past 2-3 weeks - bankruptcy would mean death for the industry that Romney claims he wants to save. Those jobs that he supposedly wanted to save would be long gone.

So who is he kidding?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Why Don't You Come With Me, Little Girl, on a Magic Wall Ride?

I realize it's been kind of video-heavy here lately (and it never looks that impressive in RSS readers, when the video doesn't embed), but there's just too much funny stuff out there to share.

Case in point: I really miss John King's "Magic Wall" at CNN. (And Chuck Todd's touchscreen table at MSNBC, of course. A moment of silence, please, for Viva Chuck Todd.) Not having them on TV covering the election is like watching a kid have to put away his toys and come in for dinner. They just want to keep playing!

So, apparently, does The Daily Show's John Oliver. The power is surely intoxicating. If only he could make King stop haunting him...

Man, I want to play with a Magic Wall. Someday, perhaps.

King was wonderfully deadpan in that segment. Personally, however, I'd prefer to be haunted by his CNN colleague, Jessica Yellin. Even via hologram.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

College Football Change We Need

Barack Obama tackled some tough issues facing our country during his interview with Steve Kroft on 60 Minutes. Restore the economy? Sure. Reform health care? Soon, hopefully.

But he saved perhaps the most important concern for last, surely for dramatic effect. What about a college football playoff, President-Elect Obama?

Hey, the man isn't going to let his mandate go to waste. This is important, sir. Break glass in case of emergency? The emergency is here! Down with the BS BCS! Give us a real college football champion!

Monday, November 17, 2008

The National Money Hole

After watching most of the Sunday morning political talk shows, my feelings on a possible auto industry bailout by the federal government are still pretty conflicted. But I think The Onion summed up the general sentiment around the country with this roundtable discussion:

To me, that clip's even funnier if you imagine Sen. Carl Levin as the loud black woman on the panel. ("America needs the money hole!")

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Who's Going to Watch the Watchmen?

I'm still not convinced that non-comic book fans will be interested in seeing Watchmen (though Warner Bros. is trying to get people's attention with some really cool-looking posters). But maybe that won't matter if it's just a really good movie.

This new trailer makes my inner comic book fan sing (though it's not as cool as the teaser that came out this summer). But I'm curious what anyone who doesn't even know what Watchmen is might think. (Although I think this explains the general story rather well.)

You can see it bigger here.

My only complaint - and it's a little, fanboyish one - is Billy Crudup's voice as Dr. Manhattan. When reading the graphic novel, I always imagined it as sounding... more-than-human somehow. (Look at how his speech balloons are drawn.) But maybe there's a point to that decision.

Anyway, four months until Watchmen hits theaters.

(via Cinematical)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sometimes, a President Wants a Shark Steak Sandwich

With rumblings over who the new White House chef might be under Barack Obama, I almost immediately thought of Jeff Bridges in The Contender, whose President Jackson Evans loves challenging his kitchen staff.

Here's a highlight reel:

"That's a shark steak sandwich. Fucking shark steak. You want half?"

I love that line.

And wouldn't you know it: Obama says Jeff Bridges was his favorite movie president.

Somebody's getting a shark sandwich when he moves into the White House.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Sum of All Fears

I'm sure we'll eventually stop posting about politics, but for now, stuff like this is just too funny. (Has it already been a week since Election Day?)


Just in case you wanted a preview of conservative talk radio and Fox News for the next 100 days to four years.

I just hope a newly Democratic administration doesn't dull the edge on David Rees's blade.

(via Andrew Sullivan)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Why I Love 'Morning Joe'

And YouTube, for that matter.

Joe Scarborough got a little loose with the lips, talking about Barack Obama's new Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, on Morning Joe today. (And apparently didn't even realize it.)

Ah, c'mon - who hasn't let the ol' f-bomb slip out when feeling relaxed among friends and colleagues?

That definitely made breakfast more entertaining. As you might imagine, this was a prevalent topic of discussion (and giggling) the rest of the morning.

(via FishBowlDC)

Sunday, November 09, 2008

What Do We Do Now?

So maybe this is why I'm feeling so lethargic today.

From The Onion:

No presidential election? No baseball? What is a guy to do? I can only watch and read so much about the transition.

Well, there's football, but the local pro team is dead to me and the college team is rebuilding.

On the bright side, I might be more pleasant now that I'm not trying to pick arguments with Republicans and getting angry at almost everything I see on cable news.

I guess I can read a book. That's something I haven't done in a while.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Levity We Can Believe In

I know Barack Obama has some deadly serious business to deal with as the President-Elect (and he's getting to work on it much faster than anyone should've expected him to), but yesterday's press conference brought two thoughts to mind.

1) I hope Obama meets with the press frequently throughout his presidency. JFK held 64 press conferences during his three years in office. That averaged out to about once every two weeks. Compare that to the closed ranks approach of the last eight years under George W. Bush.

2) When it's appropriate, I hope our new President allows his sense of humor to shine through. Case in point, responding to a question about the puppy he promised to his daughters during his acceptance speech:

I love how Obama tries to maintain his super-serious demeanor, using the "Clinton thumb" hand gesture for emphasis. But the mischievous twinkle in his eye gives him away. (As does Michigan's esteemed Governor, Jennifer Granholm, giggling in the background, in case you weren't sure.) Nicely done, sir.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Winning with Dignity

South Park came so very close to capturing how I felt on Wednesday morning. (Tuesday night, any mean streak was buried underneath a "love everyone, faith in humanity" kind of high.)

Fortunately, I resisted the urge to derisively dial or send taunting e-mails to those I know were disappointed by the election results. Though I wasn't strong enough to resist trying to poke a Republican about the geographical and ideological status of his party through second-hand channels earlier this evening, and got bitten back for it.

Lesson learned for not being gracious, I suppose.

(via Andrew Sullivan)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Barack the President

"If there is anyone out there who doubts that America is a place where anything is possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer."

-- Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Yes, We Can!

Why, Part 2

It'll be a few hours before I can go vote, so I suppose I'll write about it while I'm sitting here, engine revving.

Going back to my previous post, when I was in Malaysia, my uncle and I spent much of our drives from Kelar to Pasir Mas, and further out to Kota Bharu, talking about Barack Obama and how his presidency would be viewed in Asia. Looking back now, I think it was our way of getting to know each other when not telling stories about ourselves.

I'll admit part of my outspokenness for Obama may have been passively directed at other people in the car who didn't see things my way, but I relished the opportunity to really voice my beliefs, which is something I hadn't done much back home, even among close friends.

Despite my saying that I thought electing Obama would send the right message to the rest of the world, I believe my uncle wanted to know why I was so serious about him. Because I didn't just shrug my shoulders and say I usually voted for the Democratic candidate. This was about something more.

I told him I admired Obama for not changing who he was (or conveyed himself to be) simply to attract voters, not swaying to whichever way the political winds blew. The message may have taken a few turns, depending on what was happening in the world, but he stayed focused. And that was before Obama began campaigning against John McCain, when he had every reason to become outraged, as his Americanism, patriotism, religion, and ethnicity were constantly questioned (in fairness, not all by McCain himself). Yet he stayed calm and disciplined.

Compare that to his opponent, who didn't find his message until an unlicensed plumber who was presumably concerned that the money he'll likely never make is going to be taxed in an Obama administration (though his ignorance has since been exposed) ended up as a mascot used to pander to the middle class.

That's not to say Obama just sat there and took it, either. Just because he didn't get nasty doesn't mean he didn't fight. And that is the biggest difference in the Democratic party, compared to four years ago. At the time, I wrote this as part of one of the first posts to this blog:

But those who want change in this country have to start acting right now. Democrats can't take another three years to figure out what our message and ideological stand is, as they did during most of the last three years. We have to keep the pressure on Bush and the Republicans from the outset and not let up until 2008. And we have to rally behind a candidate early in the process, whether it's John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, or the past two runners-up, Kerry and Gore. We can't waste time figuring out who we are, as we did with nine (??) candidates throughout most of last year.

It didn't work out exactly that way, of course. Obama kind of came out of nowhere (known mostly for his speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention) choosing to seize the moment, rather than wait his turn. And he did it his way, with his guys, instead of consulting the old guard and taking the safe road already traveled. The Bob Shrums, Paul Begalas, and James Carvilles sat this race out.

But somewhere along the way, the Democratic party still found its voice. Howard Dean showed us it was okay to be angry. Rahm Emanuel demonstrated how to fight Republicans on their turf. David Brock took on the right-wing noise machine. And though Hillary Clinton nearly divided the party, trying to bring back the 1990s, the body blows she landed on Obama during the primaries made him a much tougher candidate.

From there, any attacks the McCain campaign threw at Obama deflected like bullets off Superman's chest. And a leader was forged before our eyes.

Now, here we are, on what should be a new day for our country. No matter what happens, things have changed.

Later this afternoon, I'll be taking my mother to the polls for her first presidential election. Two years ago, she became a U.S. citizen and one of the first things she said to me after being sworn in was, "Now I get to vote!" Today, she'll be voting for Barack Obama.

Monday, November 03, 2008

A Change is Coming

When I visited Malaysia with my family earlier this year, a topic of discussion that quickly came up as we ate our first meal together was Barack Obama. My uncle, in particular, seemed fascinated by Obama and wondered whether or not he could really become President of the United States.

Though it was pretty apparent by then that Obama would win the Democratic nomination over Hillary Clinton, I was quickly singled out among our American contingent as the one who firmly supported him. The inevitable question came from my aunt.


I paused before responding because I didn't want to give a lofty answer that wasn't substantive or might cause eye-rolling among certain others sitting at the table. Even though I certainly wanted to say I believed Obama was a once-in-a-lifetime candidate, an inspirational figure who might change the direction of our country for the better.

So I looked at my aunt straight in the eye and said, "Because I think he sends the right message to the rest of the world." I looked around the table and continued. "I think he represents that we're capable of doing better things, and I'm not sure other countries believe that about us right now."

Was that answer any less lofty than I'd intended? Probably not. And I certainly could have gone on for at least another 10 minutes. But it drew seemingly approving nods from my relatives. Eventually, however, one of them said, "I don't know if America will elect a black man."

Now, she wasn't talking about all Americans. But doesn't it bother you that people in other parts of the world think that about us? That we could still be so narrow-minded, and led by our prejudices? What better way could there be to dispel that belief?

Tomorrow, everything could change. Finally. And the world will begin to notice for all the right reasons. This could be historic.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Affleck's Best Performance Since He Was the Bomb in 'Phantoms,' Yo?

After John McCain's appearance on Saturday Night Live last night, I'm sure we'll be reading plenty of "If only this guy had run for president instead..." lamentations from pundits and reporters. And I'll agree with that. That's the guy many of us liked in the early part of this decade.

McCain might even have a better sense of humor than Barack Obama, or at least might not take himself so seriously. Unfortunately, he hasn't shown that until two days before the election. And we're far past the point of voting for a guy because he can poke fun at himself.

Speaking of someone who takes himself really seriously, Keith Olbermann got poked pretty hard by Ben Affleck.

Okay, it wasn't the best impersonation of him, but the skit certainly captured the bloviating indignance Olbermann has so often filled the TV screen with this election season. (I mean, I'm glad he's on "our" side, but still... what's going to happen to him if Obama wins?)

Of course, if you don't watch Countdown, you might not have found that funny at all.