March 28, 2007

Courtney Cox and Jennifer Aniston are more than Friends
— Jack M.

They kissed each other on Cox's TV show "Dirt" last night.

The kiss, which occurred immediately after Aniston grabbed hold of Cox's butt, has since been dubbed "The Greatest Moment in Television History".

Number of ejaculations? 27.8 and counting....

Update: Now available on YouTube-

Posted by: Jack M. at 08:44 AM | Comments (35)
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March 27, 2007

Open Thread
— Ace

I have a commitment that will take me out of the house for most of the early afternoon tomorrow. I may be posting at my, um, normal time lately of 1:00 or so, or it might continue for a while. Not sure.

Anyway, please use this official Ace of Spades HQ Open Thread (TM) to discuss off-topic moroncrap that you'd otherwise be discussing in non-open threads.

Posted by: Ace at 10:16 PM | Comments (438)
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"Psychobilly"
— Ace

Trying to figure out if I kinda like this or I think it's just being different for the sake of being different.

Rockabilly + Punk + Horror/Pulp Luridness.

Eh. Not sure I really see much of a difference, apart from tempo, from plain old rockabilly.

Posted by: Ace at 07:11 PM | Comments (52)
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Independents Fight Network Alliance; Seek To Get Serentity Flying Again
— Ace

Well, look. It's not going to happen, and certainly not through these guys' purchasing the rights to the show. For one thing, Captain Reynolds has a series now.

Still, filling out this survey to express interest and say you'd be interested in paying to download new episodes can't hurt.

Assuming it's not a scam. But that's why Al Gore invented hotmail accounts.

The show's popularity has grown quite a bit since it was cancelled. On one hand, it failed the first time. On the other hand, it failed because people (like me) didn't hear it was a good show until too late. (Um, actually, I heard it was a good show before it was cancelled; I just didn't believe anyone.)

Seems to me that between a brand-new show with no brand identity and an older show which failed the first time but has a lot of brand identity and a growing audience, might make sense to take a chance on Firefly again.

Via House of Payne.

Posted by: Ace at 05:48 PM | Comments (81)
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Torn; Super Villain Carpool
— Ace

Hah. Pretty funny. I give Natalie Imbruglia points for being kinda funny and a good sport.

Not as funny, but okay.

Thanks to JackStraw and 3rd_bird.

Original Version of Torn: The band edna swap wrote it. I like the singer better than Natalie Imbruglia (although, yeah, she's cute). It's also sung as a sad, hurt song, rather than a cute bouncy poppy thing, which is, like, how you'd expect a song like Torn to be sung. (Not that I'm against cute bouncy poppy things; just seems an odd way to sing a breakup song.)

Content warning, because they slapped the song over video cut from the Showtime lesbian series The L-Word, so there's chicks kissing, some brief nudity, and -- worst of all -- Arianna Huffingon in the opening seconds for reasons I could not even begin to guess at.

Posted by: Ace at 05:06 PM | Comments (12)
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Man Breaks Into Barn In Order To Spray-Paint Goats' Balls Orange
— Ace

But that's not the weird part. The weird part is that he had an accomplice.

Drew Gagnon, 37, was arrested in November after police said he broke into the barn on Croton Falls Road early Thanksgiving morning and used orange spray paint on the genitals of the three goats owned by the Fiero family.

Carmel police charged him with third-degree burglary, a felony, and three misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty.

In court last night, the goats' owner, Bryce Fiero, said he would withdraw the charges in exchange for Gagnon and his alleged accomplice, 34-year-old Douglas Bisio of Mahopac, making a donation to the Putnam Humane Society.

Charges were dropped. The spray-painters had faced one count of animal cruelty and three counts of aggravated clashing with a goat-testicle decor concept.*


Thanks to dri.

* You see the sort of joke I was going for, right? It's a complete botch. What was the right way to write it?

Posted by: Ace at 04:29 PM | Comments (42)
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"Flyin' Imams" Common-Sense Protection Bill Passes Easily In House
— Ace

Islamophobia -- Catch the Fever!

A useful response to those who try to profit from their own bad behavior.

I know, I know: The cherub-faced ghost of Benjamin Franklin just cried a little.

But then he started giggling like a pervert in a pooter factory.

Posted by: Ace at 04:03 PM | Comments (15)
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Senate Votes 50-48 For Surrender Timetable; Chuck Hagel Provides Crucial Vote
— Ace

This guy is running for President? Really?

If so, he's running third party -- I think he's deliberately considering playing the spoiler to drain away isolationist conservatives from the GOP and insure a Democratic victor.

Here's the thing. The whole idea of a timetable is moot for all practical purposes at this point. Either the war will be become clearly winnable in the next several months -- which seems to be happening -- in which case only the hardest core anti-American Democrats will demand a unilateral and unncessary surrender, or it won't be, in which case the American public will so sour of it they'll believe anyone who tells them "We've won! Now let's go home!" so they can surrender without acknowledging they're doing such.

But that doesn't mean there's nothing at stake.

What's the point of forcing a timetable? To reassure American liberal voters that they can trust the promises of the Democratic Party.

Waht's the point of resisting a timetable? To reassure Iraqi civilians, and Al Qaeda terrorists, that they can trust, or fear, as the case may be, the promises of the American government.

It's largely a symbolic matter. But whose symbolism is in the American interest, and whose symbolism in only in the interests of a political party and, not coincidentally, Al Qaeda?

Posted by: Ace at 03:40 PM | Comments (54)
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Newspapers Lose Even More Revenue; Advertising In "Striking Decline"
— Ace

It's getting bad out there. Pretty soon I'll have to resort to cutting and pasting stories from Cracked.

It's fun to think that this is due to the public rejecting the liberal bias of the increasingly partisan media, and to some small extent it is. But the real problem is the internet -- people have now simply become used to the idea that news ought to be free, the same as broadcast television.

Before the Internet made newspapers from around the world available at the touch of a button, people were used to the idea of paying for it. Now they're accustomed to not doing so, and fewer and fewer people will bother as more and more people get hooked up online.

That's a pretty serious problem -- you have all the same fixed costs that you had when people were buying your product now that people aren't buying your product, but merely consuming it for free.

I don't know why on earth every news organization hasn't already installed an ad entry page which you must sit through in order to access their content. That in itself won't pay the bills, but for crying out loud, what business makes its product free without any attempt to get some payment for it?

These idiots really want the same bullshit email addresses and biographical information I keep feeding them when they ask me to register
(it's free and it's fun!)"? They're, um, making serious coin out of all my various "eatme@yahoo.com" fake email addresses? Or do they just all own stock in BugMeNot.com?

Posted by: Ace at 03:27 PM | Comments (22)
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The Separation of Church and Schools Debate Is Finally Over
— Ace

It's not the resolution I might have preferred, but at least it is quite definite, final, and unquestionable.

Whether you won or lost on this question, it's time to move on to other controversies.

Or you'll have your spleen kicked up your throat.

Posted by: Ace at 02:54 PM | Comments (28)
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Oh, Ann, Not Again
— Ace

No, not Ann Coulter. Ann Althouse.

Ann Althouse has her virtues. A thick skin, a sense of proportion, and cool demeanor are not among them.

The meltdown occurs at 5:07, though you might want to watch the whole thing, to illustrate the fact that previous to this her interlocutor (who is, unless I'm mistaken, Velma Dinkley of Mystery, Inc.) was treating the exchange as colleagial and friendly, and in fact was largely conceding Althouse's points (like the fact that the sinestrosphere is nastier than the dextrosphere).

Velma mentioned, in passing, the "Jessica Valenti breast controversy" simply to note that was the only sustained attack on Althouse from the left she was aware of, and then Althouse just loses her shit. Velma repeatedly attempts to apologize and de-escalate but nothing seems to work.

Ann Althouse seems to be a basically decent and level-headed person, but for the love of Pete, even high-tension power lines look at her and say, "Ehhh... a bit high strung, isn't she?"

Dude, you must chill. Begin taking deep breaths and counting to ten, or maybe forty, when you begin to feel emotional about something.

There's some irony here. Andrew Sullivan joyously piles on to Althouse, delighting in her looking foolish in a moment of loss of emotional reserve.

Because, you know, he himself isn't easily offended.

Oh, and up-page, he whines that Instapundit is linking "pro-torture blogs" like The Corner when he could be linking to Andrew Sullivan all day long.


BTW: All viewers of this video have an advantage that Althouse, I presume, did not -- we could see Velma Dinckley's expression, and could tell that she 1) didn't give the comment much thought, 2) didn't mean it maliciously, and 3) was quite sincere in her statement about not intending to give Althouse offense or cheap-shot her.

The fact of the matter is that tone is often hard to discern in print, and still somewhat hard to make out via audio. The human face conveys so much information that words don't. And Althouse, of course, couldn't see Velma's.

Another cautionary tale here is that one should be careful to assume the worst possible motives in one's political adversaries. The left does this to me all the time -- when I write about my fear of brown people or vaginas, they quote me, slack-jawed, wailing in righteous fury that someone could not only have such views in this day and age, but could feel perfectly comfortable expressing such views. It never occurs to them -- never -- that of couse I don't hold such views at all, and am merely employing a rather well-known device called "irony." But because I'm conservative, that possibility isn't even considered; there is no bigotry or irrational phobia (vaginaphobia!) that a troglodyte like myself (or like any of you) is not to be presumed guilty of.

Apparently Velma's fellow bloggers at TAPped regularly take nasty pot-shots at Althouse, which is what leads Althouse to assume, wrongly, that Velma is doing the same here.

Assuming the very basest behavior in one's lefty opponents may be a fine operating rule 80% of the time, but 20% of the time it's going to cause miscommunications and some embarrassment.

Posted by: Ace at 02:37 PM | Comments (70)
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Al Qaeda Assassinates Sunni Insurgent Leader?
— Ace

Seems so:

A few hours after the LAT story [about Sunnis negotiating to join an anti-Al Qaeda front with the US and Iraqi governments], Reuters hit the wire with a report of jihadis having killed the son of Thahir al-Dari, a prominent Sunni sheikh in Anbar who’s joined the tribal “awakening” against AQ. The son’s name: Harith al-Dari. Turns out Harith’s uncle, also named Harith al-Dari, leads the jihadist Muslim Scholars’ Association and opposes the anti-AQ “awakening.” He’s been called “Iraq’s most wanted Sunni leader.”

A thoroughly professional digest, as usual, from Allah.

One question: Though I'm perfectly open to partitioning Iraq (and sometimes quite in favor of it), why is it that now, when there actually is good evidence we're winning this thing and national reconcilliation is possible, is Allah, and Christopher Hitchens too, "coming around" to supporting the idea?

It's an idea that should never been dismissed out of hand, but there seems less reason for it at the current moment.

Assuming present trends continue, of course, which is always a jackassumption, but I've got a good feeling about all of this. For the first time in two long bloody years.

Posted by: Ace at 02:17 PM | Comments (6)
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Fred Thompson's Wife Urging Him To Run For President
— Ace

That's not his wife. That's ex-girlfriend Lorrie Morgan, a country music singer.

This is his wife. The man has a type.

And when a woman like that starts saying that she finds the notion of a run for president exciting and stimulating, you listen.

As that's obviously not his first wife, there's more, I'm sure, to come regarding how he became free to date in the mid-nineties. At east his current wife had nothing to do with the divorce from his last one.

Still, I think his wife's hotness and youth is going to count against him. We dudes can all joke about it -- "Any guy who can get all up on that is precisely the sort of man we want negotiating with North Korea" -- but I don't imagine women will be as enthusiastic.

Of course, given the fact that Thompson's support seems to be coming directly from Giuliani, maybe that's not such an issue.

Although I like Thompson, it should be noted he only served one full term in the Senate, and wasn't considered particularly influential, innovative, or even hard-working. His "executive experience," such as it is, came long, long ago as a corruption-bustin' prosecutor. Good experience, to be sure, but he hasn't managed anything lately except a senatorial staff and the small corporation that forms around a working actor.

Posted by: Ace at 01:15 PM | Comments (81)
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Gonzales Aide To Take The Fifth Before Leahy's Committee
— Ace

Maguire thinks this is a reasonable move, given the Democrats' wish to indict any Republican whose memories might conflict with anyone else's.

But he sees where this is obviously heading (obviously, to me, now that he's pointed it out). Leahy will take this as proof of a coverup or obstruction of justice or, who knows, Driving While Republican and note that as the Department of Justice cannot credibly investigate itself, this situation demand the appointment of a (wait for it!) Special Counsel.

It's really only a matter of time.

Of course, Janet Reno was faced with a similar problem during the Clinton years, when evidence of Al Gore's shady fundraising from Buddhist nuns came to light. In that case, she decided the AG could, in fact, decide on the merits of an investigation into a high-ranking administration official, and put the kibbosh on further investigations because, in her unbiased opinion, no crime had been committed.

Too weak to stand up to her underlings in the Waco siege, but plenty strong enough to decide no special counsel was needed to investigate her fellow high-ranking Democratic colleague Al Gore.

Maybe Bush should play the Reno Card and make his own independent, unbiased determination as to the law.

Posted by: Ace at 12:36 PM | Comments (33)
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Plame Lied
— Ace

From Maguire, excerpting from Byron York.

...[Ms. Plame's] testimony seemed to offer new insight into the beginnings of the Niger mission. But soon after Mrs. Wilson’s appearance, Missouri Republican Sen. Christopher Bond, vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told National Review Online that Mrs. Wilson, in her interview with Senate investigators, never mentioned the young junior officer, the call from the vice president’s office, or the passing CIA official who suggested Joseph Wilson’s name.

“Friday [March 16] was the first time we have ever heard that story,” Sen. Bond said in a statement. “Obviously if we had, we would have included it in the report. If Ms. Wilson’s memory of events has improved and she would now like to change her testimony, I’m sure the committee staff would be happy to re-interview her.”

Maguire continues:

Well, Ms. Plame's memory has improved since Sen. Bond spoke on the floor of the Senate in July 2004, following the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee report which was so critical of Joe Wilson (p. 3 of 5 page .pdf):

I had staff go back and see what she said when asked about this issue [of her role in Joe's trip]. Her quote was:

“I honestly do not recall if I suggested it to my boss....”

But now she remembers Walking By Guy and is sure of her non-role. Why do the rest of us fear aging when clearly memory improves with time?

Maguire, by the way, specifically states he himself does not accuse Valerie Plame of lying.

That would be me.

Posted by: Ace at 12:20 PM | Comments (20)
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"Brother Can't Drive:" Eddie Griffin Totals $1.2 Million Ferrari
— Ace

...while practicing for a charity event. Whoops. The event is starting in the hole.

Not the most dramatic crash caught on video, but one of the more expensive ones.

He's fine, by the way.

Asian martial actor Jackie Chan was scheduled to take part in the event, but his car exploded into metal-ripping fireball the moment he looked at it. Collision experts concluded the car had just decided to "cut out the middleman" and destroy itself in order to save time.

Thanks to Captain Colo.

Posted by: Ace at 10:55 AM | Comments (20)
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Four Killed In Raw Sewage "Tsunami" In Gaza
— Ace

Hamas is really making good on that promise to provide basic services.

Well, if you consider "killing Israeli civilians" to be "basic services."

At least four Palestinians drowned in a tsunami of raw sewage on Tuesday when a water treatment reservoir burst, flooding a village in the northern Gaza Strip.

The deluge, triggered by the collapse of a septic system aid organisations had long warned was dangerously overburdened, submerged dozens of homes in the Bedouin farming village of Umm al-Nasr beneath a cesspool of foul-smelling effluent.

Two women, one more than 70 years old, and two toddlers aged one and two died in the flood. Fifteen people were injured and scores more are still missing, according to Palestinian medics.

Village children clung to wooden doors floating on the putrid waters as rescuers used boats to help the victims.

...

Newly appointed Palestinian interior minister Hani al-Qawasmeh rushed to the scene to inspect the damage, but angry villagers chased him off by firing guns at his convoy and wounding two policemen, witnesses said.

As far back as January 2004, UN aid agencies in the Gaza Strip had warned that the north Gaza sewage treatment facility was operating far beyond its capacity and posed a grave danger to nearby residents.

Designed to serve just 50,000 people, the plant at that time was handling waste from 190,000 Gaza residents.

Excess sewage had already flooded around 110 acres, and 50 percent of children in Umm Al-Nasr had developed problems with their digestive systems, a UN report found.

"Unless action is taken to address this problem, water in this effluent lake will spill out over the holding basins into residential areas, and directly into homes," the report concluded.

Here comesthe "obviouslies." Obviously, Israel will offer to help its terrorist neighbors, and obviously, the Palestinians will whine about not getting enough money from the World Dole.

In Israel, Defence Minister Amir Peretz ordered the army to provide assistance to the victims if asked to do so by the Palestinian Authority.

The Islamist Hamas movement, the leading partner in a newly formed Palestinian unity government, blamed the disaster on the suspension of direct foreign aid to the cabinet that was imposed a year ago when it formed a cabinet alone.

Another flooding disaster caused by Bush and his hatred of brown people?

Thanks to Blacksheep.

Posted by: Ace at 09:36 AM | Comments (84)
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Crazy Romney Money: Romney Offers Student Fundraisers 10% Of Their Take
— Ace

Good idea:

A millionaire thanks to his work as a venture capitalist, Mitt Romney is acutely aware of the motivating power of money. His presidential campaign hopes it will have a similar effect on college students, which is why it's offering them a cut of their fundraising.

Participants in "Students for Mitt" will get 10 percent of the money they raise for the campaign beyond the first $1,000. While candidates often offer professional fundraisers commissions up to 8 percent, campaign experts believe the Massachusetts Republican is the first to do so with the legion of college students who have historically served as campaign volunteers.

"For the kids that want to get involved in a political campaign and they don't want to spend their summer painting houses, they can help the campaign and themselves at the same time," said Romney spokesman Kevin Madden.

Others take a dimmer view.

"It may very well succeed, but I'd like to think that he'd approach young people and college students based on their commitment to the country, not because they want walking-around money," said Steve Grossman, a prominent Massachusetts fundraiser and past chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Yeah, we wouldn't want dirty money corrupting people into supporting candidates they don't particularly like.

Posted by: Ace at 09:27 AM | Comments (11)
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Selena Roberts Angling To Become "The Amanda Marcotte of the New York Times"
— Ace

Who? Well, she's a nobody, a sports columnist you've never heard of.

But in the pages of the New Yor Times, she's still arguing the lacrosse players should be prosecuted because of their "white skin privilege" and yadda yadda yadda.

"What happens if all the charges are dismissed? There is a tendency to conflate the alleged crime at the Duke lacrosse team kegger on March 13, 2006, with the irrefutable culture of misogyny, racial animus and athlete entitlement that went unrestrained that night.

"Porn-style photos of two exotic dancers -- one of whom was the accuser -- emerged from cellphone camera downloads. Heated exchanges between players and dancers occurred. Racial slurs were heard. And in an 'American Psycho' reference, a repulsive e-mail message depicting the skinning of strippers was sent by a player, Ryan McFadyen, who, to his credit, has since apologized."

Um, what sort of photos is one supposed to take of "exotic dancers"?

And that idiotic thing about skinning the strippers -- these morons are at least now acknowledging it was in fact a reference, a joke pulled from a movie. But they still insist that Ryan McFadyen really is interested in skinning strippers.

KC Johnson sees this all as merely the childish repositioning and walk-back of someone who's been proven wrong and simply hasn't the integrity to admit error. Because Selena Roberts is now casting her previous claims that the players were guilty of rape as a mere critique of their "culture." Which is of course pro-rape, and which must still be punished. Proven disasterously wrong about the facts of the case, Roberts insults her critics -- proven completely right -- as a bunch of white racists who just want her to

lay off the lacrosse pipeline to Wall Street, excuse the khaki-pants crowd of SAT wonder kids.

Did this woman happen to notice that one of those SAT wonder kids wasn't even in the same part of town as the hooker when she claims she was raped?


Posted by: Ace at 08:44 AM | Comments (30)
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Governor Deval Patrick: "Truther"
— Ace

Okay, that's not fair; this is just a post on his website, DevalPatrick.com.

But what we can say is that an awful lot of people posting on Deval Patrick's website are Truthers. His most enthusiastic supporters (who else posts on a politician's website?) are pretty convinced the American government engineered 9/11:

9/11 is being used to justify war after war and the coming state of martial law in America. 9/11 was clearly a fraud conducted by members of our own government in an effort to take over the world. Much like Operation Northwood’s, in 1962, 9/11 was scripted by a group within our government to create fear and allow for a doctrine of preemptive war against nations that are geostrategically important to our imperialistic desires.

Some of the issues at hand:

- PNAC (The Project for the New American Century) a conservative think-tank, whose founders include many within the current administration. This group published a document calling for a "new Pearl Harbor" prior to 9/11.

- PNAC members referred to 9/11 as an "opportunity" for change post 9/11

- WTC 7, 47 Story, steel framed, building that collapsed on 9/11. Building 7 fell at near free fall speed, and like WTC1 and WTC2, appeared to be a controlled demolition.

- Bush's reaction at Booker T Washington Elementary the morning of 9/11. While claiming to have seen the first plane strike live, despite it not being televised until the next day, Bush was allowed to remain at the school for 34 min after the beginning of the attack. This was despite standard secret service protocol to remove the president during a time of attack.

- Flight 77 hitting the Pentagon. It is a matter of common sense, and public record that the Pentagon is the most well defended building in the world. Despite this, the "official story" has a commercial airliner being able to hit it without a shot being fired.

- Hijackers alive post 9/11. At least 7 of the "hijackers" have been interviewed by major news networks.

Most of the comments to this post agree with it.

Posted by: Ace at 08:20 AM | Comments (28)
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