Aug 31, 2008

Sporting News

New York Giants sign 44-year old kicker John Carney, now have both remaining Tecmo Super Bowl players on their special team... That's kind of cool, actually.

Unemployed QB Daunte Culpepper says he wouldn't mind playing for Green Bay. At this point, he wouldn't mind playing for the Arena League, the Arena League 2, or the Walmart Greeters Flag Football League

Chad Johnson legally changes his name to Ocho Cinco. Here's what Chad Johnson (no relation) said on ESPN's SportsCenter.
"A lot of people look at Chad Johnson and say he's crazy and he does a lot of stuff, but I don't think people really understand how smart I really am," Johnson said. "So come Sept. 7, I believe when we play the Baltimore Ravens, I think that's the game, there's a surprise for everybody -- for everybody. When I say something, it is what it is, just enjoy it. Because it's going to last 16 weeks, plus some more."
The Bengals ought to change his number to 87.

And the Washington Nationals radio broadcast ratings measure less people listening than ballpark attendance.

Aug 30, 2008


"No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."
- Winston Churchill, 1947 A.D.

Bullsh*t, what's the job?

In case you're following along with the Blasphemes's Blazing Saddles/Presidential Election 2008 sweepstakes: This is the part where McCain realizes that his Romney/Mongo couldn't beat Sheriff Bart/Obama - but maybe "she" can... so he enlists Lilly Von Shtupp for her, er, uh, formidable skills.

Look, as pandering and as blatant a move it was, putting Palin on the ticket - it is not to JUST get Clinton voters. Don't underestimate that point. And even if she is there only for that... IF McCain gets even 1 out of 10 Hillary supporters to wander over ONLY because his running mate isn't a Penis-American, that could be the difference maker in Missouri, Ohio, and Colorado - which are the three "in play." Three in play? On the 2004 board? You get 'em, you wins.

Clinton supporters don't have to cross over and vote for Palin. Palin is in play to use every emotional ploy possible to bring in more female voters - if even just a few - to McCain.Palin may need only to motivate those conservative women or independents who weren't sold on McCain just to show up at the polls. That's the reason she's there.

Yes, she already used Hillary Clinton's 18 million cracks in the highest, hardest glass ceiling. And that's not a play in the obvious. That's smearing it on the walls for the Democrats to watch.

Let me be clear. She levels the playing field.

The historic nature of the Obama campaign and the guilt of racial politics are neutered because of the resurrected gender battle. The two offset.

Old and Young. Offset.

Experience - Offset. Yes, McCain has lost his experience discussion* - but gains the gender fight from the Democratic primary battle. It's a gamble. One hell of a gamble. It's just crazy enough, and emotional enough, that it might make a difference these last two months.

*The Experience Discussion - this whole Palin has no-experience discussion is a joke right? We're talking about McCain's number 2. She is more inexperienced than the Democrat's number1. I joked about this when it was first brought up. I mean, the Democrats aren't really going to pursue this discussion of experience, right? It's an obvious trap that open them up to a wide right flank. If you check her resume - she has more executive decision making in 10 months than all three of the other candidates. McCain included.

It's one thing to introduce or sign your name on some legislation (whether or not it gets passed isn't important) and to vote up or down across party lines - but to actually make decisions?

Let's see what happens when they see her reform record... that's when it'll get interesting.

But that's all going to be over shadowed as you can expect attacks from the Democrats that would make Karl Rove shudder in fear. I just read the first, most vicious and tin-foil hatty one... that she faked her 5th pregnancy.... (Thank you DailyKos) Let's back that truck full of mud up. Stand back. The first five rows will be soaked. Thank you.

Cash Flow

Palin hunts, ice fishes, eats mooseburgers, rides snowmobiles, has run a marathon, and owns a float plane
McCain's cash flow (according to the Jonathan Martin of POLITICO) has gotten a big boost.

All that attention combined with the good vibrations from the base delivered McCain a financial shot in the arm yesterday.

His online haul from the Palin pick: $4.49 million, per a campaign aide.

Not the 30 Billion that Obama has, but a good boost into the leathery arm full of dust that was McCain's campaign.

I have to say, this is now the most interesting presidential campaign since... Lincoln and Douglas, Breckenridge and Bell. Ah, that can be debated.

Aug 29, 2008

Wacko Jacko

In all the excitement I forgot to mention that Michael Jackson is 50 years old today too!

The most insane and underachieving musician of the 20th century turns 50 years old today. Wasn't that a plot point in the hidden/cut scenes in Terminator 2? No, that was 40...

From the Moonwalk, to FACE ON FIRE, to Kissing Lisa Marie Presley, to the baby drop from the balcony, all while mangling his face to go from a man, to a strange man, to a white woman, to the invisible man... yeah...

Well, here's a video of his melting face I've been saving. Happy Birthday Freak!

She'll fit in

I think she'll fit right in on the Republican Right? No?

Palin Too Young and Inexperienced

McCain chooses Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for V.P.
Republican John McCain unveiled a major surprise in the White House race Friday with his pick of first woman governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, seen here in February 2008, as his running-mate, campaign officials told AFP.

"She's only been in office for a couple of years now, which really raises the experience issue here. [...]

Now, she is a manager. She is the governor of a state. She does have limited experience, though. She's also been the mayor for a city in Alaska. And for a time she was the ethics chairman of the Alaska oil and gas conservation commission. But that does not add up to broad experience, particularly the type of broad experience you think should launch you to the national level."

So says John Robers on “CNN Newsroom,” as he gave an analysis of Governor Sarah Palin during discussion of Senator John McCain's vice presidential choice. Roberts focused on Palin's lack of experience, saying that a prerequisite for the vice presidency should be the ability to step right into the office, especially because of McCain's age.

See, this is why I post on Blasphemes. This is the food that keeps me fed. If you can't see the hypocracy here, please feel free to leave me a comment and I'll send you a coloring book. (here's a quick hint, she's more qualified than the Democrat's LEAD Candidate!)

BTW: Happy Birthday, John McCain -72 years young, today.

This just gets funnier and funnier as the day moves on.

Obama's Mile High Moment

While I thought that the speech was nothing more than a compilation of Obama's greatest hits...
it was the best bits from other stump and grand speeches. I know, I've heard a lot of them.

I didn't think it was his best.

But everyone else seems to disagree.

Typical of a convention speech, people were rallied. The spectacle was in full bright shinny lights. The teleprompter worked (you could tell, as his head darted from one plane of glass on his far right, to his far left - hardly ever looking forward)

He didn't offer any real specifics, and he's still campaigning against George Bush - and that's a mistake since, while everyone seems to be sick and tired of the Bush Administration, where's the 80 point lead over McCain? It doesn't exist? Why not? Because the electorate is 2004. That's the map and the game board.

Plus, as much as we all are sick of George Bush II, he's made a deal to pull out the troops from Iraq, and the economy IMPROVED last quarter, even though EVERYONE (on television) said we were in the second great depression. What have you got left to run on? What are you going to Change?

And going on and on about 'Changing Washington' while your party currently holds power in the House - and your running mate has been in Washington for 36 years... yeah, that doesn't seem to hold as much water as it did in January, does it?

Again, how about the lack of specifics? I would have liked the flair of naming "that worker in Indiana" or "that waitress in Nevada, scraping by." (Maybe someone would have looked them up, and realized they weren't real?)

But he was quick to pull his grandmother out from under the bus last night. He threw her under the campaign bus when he was on the defensive about race back when the Jeremiah Wright thing exploded (he called his grandma a racist) ... but was more than happy to pull her back out to make a point about hard work and sacrifice in America last night.

I'd still like to know how he's planning on paying to make free stuff from the government work out...

Obama's bump will push him up 5% over McCain this week, but after that? There's a little ticker on the Blaspheme's side pannel - what's that 66 days left? He hasn't sealed the deal. Not with independents, swing states or his own party. Sure, he might have put a band-aid on the split in the party... but what happens if McCain does pick Sara Palin?

If that lead isn't 15% on November 3, he's not going to win on November 4.


Mile High Nuremburg?

But to compare it to Nuremberg?! That's a little too far out there, even for me.
(link to that)

Hell, just Google Obama Nuremburg and you'll get some interesting stories.

Aug 28, 2008

McCain's Labor Day

Labor Day weekend is almost upon us.

So is John McCain's pick for VeeP - which is an attempt to squash Obama's stadium speech tonight in Denver? Good luck.

I'm going out on a limb and I'm going to guess it'll be Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, over Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

Why? A couple reasons. One is that Romney doesn't defuse the 7 houses crap. Also Romney probably can't deliver anything except Utah. And Utah is already going to vote straight Republican anyway. And there's the religious issue that - He's A Mormon! - the Evangelical right wing-nut side of the party probably won't be able to get over in 4 months.

What else? Tim Pawlenty puts Minnesota in play - and might even shake up the Midwest a bit. He's got a great record. And he's good and boring. Bonus, he's a Catholic turned Evangelical Christian.

And Chris Matthews hates him.
"It's like two little puddles of water coming together. There is no splash. There is no news." Chris Matthews 
Personally, I'd LIKE to see Sara Palin, Governor of Alaska. Why? She's HOT!!!

Bonus: She could deliver those angry elderly white women into the Republican side. You can't seriously tell me that all those folks are happy with how things turned out in Denver? No, seriously, you think that they're all just so happy the way that all turned out?

Aug 27, 2008

Religious Fantasy Draft

Hey gang, your fantasy football draft is right around the corner.

I found this,
"We wondered what it would be like if you had to draft your Lord and Savior the same way you drafted your fantasy football team. Can Buddha lead your soul to victory, or is he better suited as your flex player? Our in-depth analysis provides you with all the answers you need."

If you can't read it (I can't) click on the two pictures. Read. Laugh. or get offended. I don't care.

Hug it out, Bitch

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan hugged each other Wednesday in the name of unity at the Democratic National Convention.

The two have barely spoken the last couple of years. Blagojevich has repeatedly attacked Madigan over a long list of issues, and Madigan won't attend meetings with the governor.

But the two were at the front table of the Illinois delegation's morning breakfast meeting. Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. was talking about Democrats putting aside differences and insisted that the two men hug.

The two men laughed and embraced, prompting a standing ovation from the crowd. I can't believe they both didn't shivving each other.

If you don't follow Illinois politics the way I do - as it's the most entertaining local politics of the 50 states - these two men HATE each other -- HATE... HATE... like, who needs Republicans - I'm not working with this guy... kind of hate.

That's why this is funny. I lol'ed when I saw it - er - heard about it. Yeah. Heard about it.

Denver's Most Important Protest Manifesto

Did you see that guy who got his "Bring Back Crystal Pepsi" sign onto MSNBC while a political analyst was trying to talk about Michelle Obama's big speech? This is a grassroots political campaign that's already threatening to eclipse both Ron Paul and Ralph Nader.

Their manifesto (that could easily be folded into the Democratic Party platform, and probably should) has been released.

Also, this Crystal Pepsi thing, has gotten more press than ANY of the other street protests, is probably the closest the convention comes to actual political dialog.

The following is their Manifesto:

The time for change is now, and the choice is clear, crystal clear. CRYSTAL PEPSI! It's like drinking hope. For us, Crystal Pepsi is freedom in a can. Our platform is based on peace, love, and Crystal Pespi. Down with war, up with Crystal Pepsi. For us it's not about politics, it's only about Crystal Pepsi. This is a movement that we can all get behind, it unifies us to our very core, Crystal Pepsi. The foundation of America is Crystal Pespi.

In all honesty, for me, it's kind of nice to lighten the mood a little bit. Everybody is down there, protesting, screaming about a cause, yelling at one another about how the other person is wrong. It can be kind of a tense situation. It's nice to walk away putting a smile on someone's face, getting a high five, and hearing someone say we represent a movement we can all get on board with. People initially hear the "protest" coming, you can see the look on their face, "Great, what are these people marching and carrying on about?" When they discover our cause is Crystal Pepsi, there is an overwhelming feeling of relief, followed by immediate support.

We hit the town again today. We couldn't help but notice all of the signs in the background of the MSNBC live coverage today. Our platform is so much easier for people to digest.

Who are we? Just some guys here in Denver, trying to have our voice heard. Trying to make a difference. Trying to have a little fun. Brian child of my roommate, and recent college grad, Peter.

As for the Obama picture... we contributed $10 to the Obama campaign to have our picture taken with the Obama cardboard cut-out. However, we have to add, we think Obama would endorse our movement whole heartedly.


Every convention needs a good catchphrase!

The Whigs had "Tippie canoe and Tyler too," Kennedy had "the New Frontier"
Bill Clinton had "A place called Hope" in 1992.

Michael Dukakis floated on the wings of Ann Richards' "Poor George" speech in 1988.
Al Gore had "You ain't seen nothing yet"
And John Kerry to this day wakes up every morning in a cold sweat, screaming "Help is on the way!"
...hrmmm. You know what? Maybe memorable catchphrases aren't all that predictive of success.

But this year's Democratic Convention already has two in as many days. There's "yes we can," the Obama theme that already feels like an old standby, because he's been campaigning for president for 100 years. And now there's the new one Hillary Clinton coined last night, "No way, no how, no McCain."

Easy. Kind of funny. Takes a while to say. But the second she said it, I was thinking of how the Republicans would respond to it.

And if I already thought of it, you can bet that someone else has too.
There's another catchphrase that has been circulating...
It's even easier to remember than Hillary's. It's clean and simple, and fits on a bumper sticker real nice like.

Expect to see this on SUV's and Ford F10's and Hummers for the next 4 months.

Manga Simpsons

おはよう、私達は ”Simpsons” である!

Ever wonder what it'd look like if Homer worked in the Tokai Power Plant instead of the one in Springfield? Me either, but I found this Simpsons character set with a manga facelift. It seems like Marge has the biggest transformation, shedding the trademark hair (that gave her an 8′6″ statute) for more fashionable locks. Mr. Burns is kind of, limp?

[Art by spacecoyote]

Aug 26, 2008

Gas Pump Grammar

Gas Pump spelling and Grammar police are watching you, dumbass.

Obama Sox

Obama on Cubs fans: "You go to Wrigley Field, you have a beer, beautiful people up there. People aren't watching the game. It's not serious. White Sox, that's baseball."

First he panders to the home crowd. Sweetness, Michael... heh heh
Olympics? - free Tibet...
Steroids and baseball... Bud, take care of it.
Then! Then...


Who you take in a (magical fictional) El Series? White Sox. South-Sieeede

I'm fairly sure he just lost Tom Gamboa's vote...

I will say this much, at least he didn't put on two hats

New Poster

Someone just mailed this to me... I had to share it.

It's so wrong...

Bonus, Biden looks like a third rate mafia boss from Godfather Part III

Crack assassins? Nope. Meth heads.

Dumbass Meth Head tries to make a name of himself.

The Authorities are investigating whether a man arrested with rifles, ammunition and drugs in his truck - who made statements threatening Barack Obama. The authorities emphasized he never posed a "credible threat" to the candidate or the Democratic National Convention.

This is an Arapahoe County Sheriff's office booking photo of Tharin Robert Gartrell. Gartrell was arrested early Sunday, Aug., 24, 2008. FBI spokeswoman Kathy Wright says Gartrell is under investigation on drug and weapons charges. Wright says the FBI is investigating reports in some Denver media that Gartrell may have made threats against Barack Obama, who will be in Denver this week to accept the Democratic nomination for president. (original Source - AP)

I wonder if said authorities were laughing their asses off at this guy, and his two buddies?

All the action started around 1:30 a.m. Sunday when police stopped a truck that was swerving erratically. The driver, 28-year-old Tharin Gartrell, had a suspended driver's license, and the truck was rented in the name of another person.

In the truck, officers found two rifles, including one with a scope; a bulletproof vest; boxes of ammunition; walkie-talkies; and suspected narcotics.

Aurora police, on edge because of heightened security surrounding the Democratic convention in Denver, alerted federal authorities.

My guess, this is where Dumbass made some remark about Obama...

Three hours later, (I'm guessing after the Secret Service threw a phone book at this guy, maybe nuts in the desk drawer?), federal agents arrested Nathan Johnson, 32, at a hotel in Denver. He was being held on drug charges.

A half-hour after that, 33-year-old Shawn Robert Adolf jumped from a sixth-story hotel window when authorities tried to arrest him at a hotel in suburban Glendale, police said.

Adolf was hospitalized and was being held on $1 million bond for several outstanding warrants involving drug charges.

The police didn't say exactly what tied the men together... but they said more arrests were possible. One of the rifles was stolen, and authorities had traced it to Kansas.

Crack assassins? Nope. Meth heads.

Aug 25, 2008

Damn you, Batman

Commissioner Gordon has some harsh words for The Batman.

Are those fangs?

McCain Starts Up

McCain is finally starting to campaign (see that link? It's underlined and goes to where I first found this information), and he's casting Obama as untested, unprepared to lead the country and too aloof to connect with voters. His audience? Pissed off working-class and old white Democrat women who voted HillDog.

He doesn't even have to say anything - how come? He just has to show stock footage of the Democrats themselves.

Meanwhile, on page 22 of the buried news -

President Bush has pulled a Jesse Jackson on Obama's ONE major campaign platform - (that's Cut His Nuts Off, in case you're just tuning in)

He's ending the Iraq War!!!
(link to full story on NPR)
Welllll... just because there's a deal for troop with drawl doesn't mean it's 100% the "War Is Over" BUT it effectively ends the Obama talking point and campaign promise to pull the troops out of Iraq.

See, the draft agreement with Iraq would link troop reductions to achievement of certain security milestones, although the details have not been made public. So there you go - and the Iraqi's can simply "ask" for us to stick around. But it gets the troops out by 2011.

Now I have to ask, what's different from John McCain and Obama? (I mean other than height?)

Abortion? You ask? I didn't bring it up... but Nancy Peloisi just did - on Meet the Press. She said that she has studied the Roman Catholic's stance on abortion. Oh? Really?
She said that the Church was against abortion after the Pill.

Uh, Nancy? The Church writings specifically naming abortion as murder appear as early as 70 AD in the Didache, the first written catechism of the Christian church (Didache 2:1–2 [A.D. 70]). How'd you study that, exactly? Wikipedia, and just scrolled down to the bottom? Citation needed.

And abortion, as an issue? That's so old, so boring, so cliched... so not a winning strategy in purple swing states.

President McCain... the McCain Administration...
Hey, you know what? That IS getting easier to type.

Aug 24, 2008

Glass Houses

John McCain's response to Joe Biden's 7 kitchen tables remark:
"I am grateful for the fact that I have a wonderful life," McCain said. "I spent some years without a kitchen table, without a chair, and I know what it's like to be blessed by the opportunities of this great nation." (*link)
I told you not to use the house thing as an issue.

They won't shut me up

Dozens of protesters gather on the west side of the Colorado State Capitol for "no war, no occupation"

Cindy Sheehan, in Denver for the DNC, urges protesters to "fight for peace." (link-0 Pinko)

You're doing great work, Cindy.

Repeat after me... the McCain Administration. President McCain... The McCain Administration today released it's pardon list for the previous Bush Administration today...

See the more you say it, the less strange it'll sound when it happens.

Oh, and that Exciting Biden Bump we were expecting...
yeah - they're tied at 45 today.

And don't tell me that polling doesn't matter -- because NOW it does.
(Although I prefer polling data from registered voters who INTEND on voting. Just a little statistical tick I have...)

Aug 23, 2008

I guess it's pretty serious

CNN reports that AP heard my best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going with the girl who saw Joe Biden pass out at 31 Flavors last night.

I guess it's pretty serious.


Joe's been in the Senate for 36 years.

Foreign Affairs?

Biden is not the original choice... but then if Russia hadn't invaded Georgia?


The man spews diarrhea out of his mouth whenever he opens it. He's gotten into trouble so many times... for instance his now famous Indian-American remark,
“I’ve had a great relationship. In Delaware, the largest growth in population is Indian Americans — moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I’m not joking.”
He also got busted for plagiarising a British politician's speech - which knocked him out of the 1988 Presidential race - and kept him out of National politics for, oh, about 20 years... (and that's because no one would give him money. Fund raising. Cash. As in not for you.)

And then when he was running in Iowa, he said this about his now-Running Mate...
“I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy, … I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”
He also mentioned that Obama is not ready to be President.

But the Main Stream Media - is already playing up what a great duo, the pairing of greatness... BECAUSE of Joe's ability to, "Speak his mind" (Even if it seems a little racially insensitive?)
JOHN HARWOOD: He is not somebody who is infused with political correctness, the verbal equivalent of putting his pinky up when he opens his mouth. So this is what, the way ordinary voters are as well. They're not always worried about sort of calibrating every single word by "ooh, is this racially insensitive?" That's something that Joe Biden brings as an asset to the ticket. The gaffes actually show one of his strengths.

(View video of that here.)

Ah, yeah. Well, on the bright side, he'll give me plenty to write about the next couple months...
maybe even the next couple years, right?

And it ain't Hillary.

Aug 22, 2008

Obama VeeP Suspense

The Obama camp has been jerking off the media all day today (Friday) by promising a text message as to who his VeeP choice is...
oh, the suspense is killing me...

After all the hype and mystery, it's going to be a let down.
Meanwhile, there's this...
A local Kansas City affiliate is reporting that Gill Studios of Lenexa, which specializes in political literature, has been printing Obama-Bayh material.

It's a little, uh, crappy? Doncha think? I mean, sure the campaign has money to burn - but just to throw a red herring at the press? This isn't LOST, it's the damn Presidency.

I propose this one instead:

Corn Makes You Fat, Fatty

Now BusinessWeek has jumped on the Cap'n's campaign against High Fructose Corn Syrup bandwagon -

They're blaming the corn subsidies a tad more than the product itself. I'm sure I mentioned that once or twice? Of course, that's not going to change as long as our Presidential election process starts in the Midwest - specifically Iowa.

Anyway, BusinessWeek doesn't credit the Cap'n or Blasphemes for the idea for their story... for some reason.

So I'm gonna' cutn'paste their article for you here:

So, what is the driver behind all this weight? Corn. We are surrounded and tempted everyday by cheap, sugar-laden processed foods, and cheap processed food is made possible by the advent of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Introduced in the late 1970s, HFCS is a liquid that is much easier to use in manufacturing than beet or cane sugar, with a longer shelf life. It is also much, much cheaper, thanks to the $5 billion or so in corn subsidies the federal government hands out every year. There are no comparable subsidies for fresh fruit, vegetables or protein.

HFCS is the reason you can buy ginormous bags of potato chips, supersized soft drinks and bigger and bigger candy bars, all for very little money. Consequently, Americans now eat about 200 more calories a day each than they did in the 1970s, and the rise in obesity closely tracks the rise in the use of HFCS.

The U.S. government shelled out $37.3 billion in corn subsidies between 1995 and 2003. Add that to the $61 billion a year the nation spends on the direct health-care costs of obesity, and you can see how much this gift to farmers is costing the nation. If corn subsidies were ended, or junk food taxed, there might be some price parity with healthier foods (just as smoking declines when cigarette taxes are imposed, and $4 gas prices cause people to drive less). But as long as Iowa holds the nation’s first primary, it is unlikely we will ever see a politician courageous enough to call for an end to farm subsidies. Anyone have another suggestion about how to combat cheap junk food?

For the full state-by-state report on obesity, click here. You should also check out an interactive map that shows how your state has done over time. Or look at the BusinessWeek slide show of the 10 best and worst states. And here’s a calculator for figuring out your own body/mass index.

Thanks for the interactive maps and such.

Here's a link to my original story I ran back in January.

McCain Excitement?

Dear Cap'n, youre an *sshole!
you trash Obama all day! youre a neocon!

Dear FU,
Thanks for reading.
I'm sorry that you feel that I am trashing Obama more than McCain this week. Perhaps you noticed my lengthy post on all time Movie Villains? That took me a little time to research. I haven't really harped on the political scene too much this week.
My post today only pointed out two mistakes the Obama camp were making - notes that will be swallowed up the moment he or McCain announce their VeeP choices.

(Time just reported McCain is picking Romney... it's been taken down since. All week I've been hearing Joe Lieberman. I'll just sit on that for a moment.)

But to answer your concerns FU - I try to go out of my way to show the stupidity and mistakes of BOTH sides of the field. It's like watching Monday Night Football and there are two teams that are both kind of crappy, and the game has some weight only because it could change the outcome of someone else going into the playoffs. Does that make sense?

As far as "My Man" John McCain... here's my thoughts on him and his campaign.


Obama brought up McCain's homes the other day? Man, that was stupid.
I wonder who will be happy to remind everybody about the breaks Obama got from his buddy, convicted felon Tony Rezko, when he bought his mansion and the strip of land adjacent to it.

I'm sure someone will remind Obama of Kerry's six estates, and how six Senate Democrats including Chris Dodd got sweetheart mortgages from Countrywide. Then somebody will remember Harry Reid's shady real estate deals. Great plan, bringing up houses and estates.
Does that class envy crap really play when both candidates are millionaires?

And it seems that Barry wasn't totally loafing on the beach during his holiday - here's the scoop from the American Spectator:

According to several Democrat political consultants presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama spent part of his Hawaiian vacation working on weaning himself from a heavy dependence on teleprompters. Even in what are staged as "town hall" events forObama, remarks are scripted or formatted into bullet points that scroll on teleprompter screens. Obama has had several embarrassing events where the teleprompter either malfunctioned or the screens were not fully visible.

"He just locks down and can't get the words out," says one political consultant. "For such a fine speaker, it's really quite remarkable that he's had issues."

Obama's troubles with unscripted moments contributed to his campaign's refusal to participate in town hall format debates or discussions with Sen. John McCain, who feels much more comfortable in the unscripted moments.

Oh - and look for his VeeP to be announced today. That might be in the news.
Funny that it'd be on a Friday, where news goes to die...

Aug 21, 2008

The Best All Time Movie Villains

The Best all time Movie Villains
Villain [Vil-uh n] – noun
1. A cruelly malicious person who is involved in or devoted to wickedness or crime; scoundrel.
2. A wicked or evil person; a scoundrel.

Hans Gruber, by Alan Rickman, Die Hard (1988)
“I’m about to teach the Nacatomi Corporation a lesson in the ‘real’ use of power."

Ah, remember the summer of 1988? Remember when terrorists came in and seized the Nacatomi Plaza and all but ruined Officer John McClain’s wife’s office Christmas party?

Who is he? Hans was an exceptional bank robber who was an allegory to 1988’s business climate. He assembled a gang of well-trained international terrorists. Hans was also very forward thinking as well. Hans was open to the idea of diversity way before it was popular. His crew even included a wise-cracking IT guy Theo… and this was in 1988! You might say he was the CEO of Robber Barons. Hans played a perfect allegory to the end of the Reagan Administration. It probably shouldn’t be a coincidence that Hans chose a big Japanese company to rob.

Evil? Hans was pretty evil – he ruined Joe Takagi’s suit and was going to blow up all the hostages, and by the time they had figured it all out, he’d be sitting on a beach, earning 20%.

The Plan: His crew would masquerade as a terrorist group while he was really just playing the pirate to the Nacatomi corporation’s bearer bonds. Hans was a late 80’s corporate raider, if you will. Buy playing up the terrorist image, he would force the LA Police Department to respond with overwhelming force – and, after he blew the roof when the FBI would obviously double cross him. He would simply slip away in the chaos. Hans was big into the planning and financing of the operation. Trucks, missiles, C4, and an ambulance aren’t procured the night before.
His downfall? Not counting on one brazen barefooted NY Cop crazy enough to take them on. Bonus – his death wasn’t an impalement – which is the leading cause of villain death (outside the Star Wars Universe anyway)– but his downfall was literal. He was thrown/fell off the Nacatomi penthouse suite. Shoulda’ brought his golden parachute, eh Hans?

9. Anton Chigurh, by Javier Bardem, No Country For Old Men (2007)
“What's the most you ever lost on a coin toss?”

Who is he? Adapted from the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name, he’s a contract assassin assigned to get some money back. He’s an allegory of death. A force so evil, so absolute, pretty much everyone who comes across him will die.

Evil? He’s so bad ass – he’ll even kill your wife after you’re long dead… just because he said he would. His preferred weapon tells you a lot about how evil he is: a captive bolt pistol.

The Plan? Anton and Death are walking together. Every choice you make leads you closer to him – not the other way around. However, there is the element of chance, which is noted by the nervous scene in a filling station… the idea of fate and circumstances add drama.

His downfall? Chance. And stop signs. But he’s still out there.

8. Nazis

Who? As long as there’s been a Nationalist Socialist movement in Germany, there’s been movie Nazis. They tangled with Rick Blaine in Casablanca, they’ve given something for Patton to shoot at, and then there are those damn Illinois Nazis.

But then there was Steven Spielberg. Spilebergo’s Nazi’s seem to have a little extra step in their jackboots. Well, more than the typical fanatical film Germans soldiers anyhow.

Spielberg uses Nazis the way Picasso uses blue. Nazi’s are in a wide range of his films including the Indiana Jones storyline, Saving Private Ryan, the Shoah Visual History Foundation and I’m fairly sure I heard that JAWS was a Nazi sympathizer. But for all-out Spielberg Nazi I point you to Ralph Fiennes as he received a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his portrayal of Amon Goeth, a commandant of a concentration camp who kills indiscriminately.

Evil? You betcha’. Just look at their plan…

Their Plan? World domination and the eradication of everyone on the planet who doesn’t look just like them. Using gas, the blitzkrieg, V2 missiles, the Holy Grail and the Ark of the Covenant.

Downfall? Arrogance and bad use of supply line management– oh fine, let's just say Indiana Jones kicked their ass. For more on the Downfall of the Third Reich I seriously suggest that you check your non-reading ass into a library.

7. Computers – specifically Skynet – Terminator Franchise (1984 +)

Oh, not Hal 9000? Not the Matrix? V_Ger? How about the WOPR from War Games? No. HAL was given bad orders. He was simply completing a mission. People got in the way. Same with V_Ger. The WOPR was too easy to hack. The Matrix wasn’t powerful enough to control it’s own Spyware: Agent Smith. No, Skynet, on the other hand, achieved clairvoyance and immediately “chose” to eradicate its maker.

Who? Skynet, on the surface is just another story about man vs. Machine. As you noticed from the list, it is a fairly recurring theme in literature. The Terminator turns into yet another cautionary tale about nuclear war designed to scare the beeJesus out of people. But Skynet is special. Why? It has unlimited UNDOs. It owns a time machine.

On top of that, here’s a machine, an Artificial Intelligence that has been given the gift of thought. It is life. And what is the FIRST thing this new life form does? It fires off nuclear missiles igniting Judgment Day.

The Plan? 1) Keep using the time machine until it gets everything just right 2) find Sara Connor. To accomplish these two tasks, it first manufactured the 600 series with rubber skin. It kept trying new versions until the remaining humans couldn’t distinguish a real human over the endoskeleton. Once it got the version update correct, Skynet's showed it's obvious sense of humor by manufacturing a Terminator with the exterior that mimics Action Star and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Neat plan.

Oh, and the “I’ll be Back” line? That’s another Skynet in-joke. If this model fails its mission, oh well. I’ll just shoot another version to 1990 and kill off the resistance leader when he’s just a dorky teenager. And if that doesn’t work? Uh... Wait, you said I’ve got unlimited undo’s, right?

Evil? That terminator is out there. It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead. And have I mentioned that one second after it came online it nuked the planet?
You still don't get it, do you? He'll find her. That's what he does. That's all he does! You can't stop him. He'll wade through you, reach down her throat, and pull her fugging heart out!

It's Downfall? Not understanding game theory. If the AI goes first, John Connor can just send another dude or a re-programmed Terminator after it. It’s a turn-based game. It's as if you're playing rock-paper-scissors and you have to go first. This is the insanity that caused the Terminator: The Sara Connor Chronicles to happen.

6 Aliens – Specifically – Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978.)

Who? Evoking a style of paranoia reflective of the general mistrust in post-Watergate America, these aliens are remorseless space plants. They’re quick and efficient.

Evil? They just want to co-exist with us… it’s okay. Get some sleep. Sleep . . . Sleep . . . and be born again into a world without fear and hate!

Their Plan? Float along space until they find a great place like Earth. Wait until someone falls asleep – and win.

Downfall? Uh… they – I mean WE won.

Runners up? The War of the World’s Martians (only the Orson Wells and the 1953 versions for consideration) were awesome– but they died of a cold. Sorry, if you can master long distance space travel, maglev heat ray tanks and didn’t plan on the common cold, you are bad at planning.

Also Ridley Scott’s Alien is really spooky and virus-like. It also looks like a dude’s wang. However, no one has ever explained how this virus like the Alien is maintained. What does it eat? It needs hosts to replicate, and it kills with that damn spooky second mouth… but I’ve never seen it eat. And if you lay a billion eggs, it doesn’t matter. Then what? That’s a pretty stupid life cycle. Not a good planners either.

And the aliens from Independence Day? They got hacked by a Mac laptop - in 1996! That's without Wi-Fi or an AirPort card... Lame! Epic Fail.

5. Michael Corleone by Al Pacino Godfather Part I & Part II (there might have been another one...? I'll get back to you on that.)
“Fredo, I know it was you.” [kiss of death]

Who? Veto’s youngest son, the one who was supposed to not get involved with the “family business.” He was supposed to have the American life. He even earned a Navy Cross. But, after an unfortunate toll incident, Michael was forced into a leadership position. He promises to make the family legitimate in five years. No, really. The character of Michael is said to be loosely based on real life mob boss Lucky Luciano.

Evil? While he was standing as godfather to his nephew, Michael had his brother-in-law Carlo killed… while simultaneously killing off Emilio Barzini, Philip Tattaglia, Carmine Cuneo and Victor Stracci. He also has Greene, Tessio, Fabrizio, and Rizzi popped too. Oh, and later he has his brother Fredo offed too.

The Plan? To make the family legit. But first, let's put a hit on...

Downfall? Pretending he was something he wasn't. He was his father's son, and he always was trying to escape that shadow.

4. Dracula – Bela Lugosi (1931)
“I never drink... wine."

Who? We all know Count Dracula. A centuries old vampire inspired by the 15th century Romanian Prince, Vlad III the Impaler. There have been thousands upon thousands of Dracula and vampire movies. Dracula has special powers – supernatural powers. He’s the anti-Superman. Plus he can make more vampires, and more vampire movies. Hell, while they were filming the Bela Lugosi version, at night they used the sets to film the Mexican version. I kid you not. Some circles believe that the Mexican one is even better!

Let’s concentrate on Bela’s version though. Dracula 1931 was not the original Dracula film. That honor goes to Count Orlock, played by Max Shreck, in Nosferatu. But Nosferatu was filmed without permission of Bram Stoker’s widow. She who had all the copies of the film destroyed. Bela owned the Hollywood Dracula. He played the part on Broadway, and gave the delivery like a walking corpse – which to this day is awesomely creepy.

Evil? Yeah. Dracula is a warrior at heart looking for love and killing everything that gets in his way.

The Plan? He’s got a plan. He's got a whole scheme going to set off to England to get John Harker's girl. He's a bat-turning, blood sucking bird dogger.

Downfall? He is much less powerful in daylight, though the sun is not fatal to him, as in later adaptations. He is repulsed by garlic, crucifixes, and sacramental bread or holy water. He can only cross running water at low or high tide. He is also unable to enter a place unless invited to do so; once invited, however, he can approach and leave the premises at will. And there's that whole wooden stick in his chest...

3. Doctor Hannibal Lecter
"A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti."

Who? Hannibal Lecter (Silence of the Lambs, 1991)
Before there was Dr. Hannibal Lecter, the gold standard of smart and evil movie villains were tied into the Bond franchise. Even serial killers were regulated to Halloween horror pictures and hockey masks. No Dr. "Hannibal the Cannibal" Lecter single-handedly changed the game. He's the Michael Jordon of movie villains.

And that similarity or comparison to MJ will come up again.

Evil?. The character is intelligent, a manipulator, a long term planner, and he's an absolute sadist! He's a damn cannibal. Do I have to explain how disgusting it is to eat another human being?

Here's another thing. He's a doctor, a psychiatrist. He has a nice soothing voice. He sets you up to feel comfortable. You can trust him. Then BLAM he's wearing your damn face!

The Plan? Other than to eat your brain while you're alive... I'd have to say longevity. He was voted the all-time movie villain in an American Film Institute poll, Thomas Harris' epicurean madman has been played by three actors: Brian Cox in the 1986 Manhunter (based on the novel Red Dragon), Gaspard Ulliel as the teen Lecter in this year's Hannibal Rising and Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal and the 2002 remake of Red Dragon. He's starting to approach Dracula levels of books and movies... What's next? Son of Hannibal? Rise, Hannibal, Rise? Bride of Hannibal? Those are all plausible when you read them, aren't they?

Downfall? Longevity. Kind of a Catch 22, eh? He's fallen into the horror genre's trap of punch-lines and recurring frequency, he's lost his punch. And here's the MJ anollogy again. Top of the game - he's out to play baseball. Comes back, wins. Retires. Buys a team. Comes back. Then retires, again. Threatens to come back again. Doesn't. Tarnished. Hannibal, you just gotta chill for a bit, dude. That's why he's not on top of this silly little list.

2. The Joker – Heath Ledger, Dark Knight (2008)
“Why so serious?”

Who? The Joker, the Clown Prince of Crime, the Harlequin of Hate, and the Ace of Knaves. He’s the ying in Batman’s yang.

His origin? Well, actually, that’s a good question. With the exception of the Tim Burton Batman (1988) there really isn’t an origin story for the Joker. …and it’s been designed that way, by the Joker.

But here’s what the original comic book creator had to say about who came up with the Joker,
“Bill Finger and I [Bob Kane] created the Joker. Bill was the writer. Jerry Robinson came to me with a playing card of the Joker. That's the way I sum it up. [The Joker] looks like Conrad Veidt — you know, the actor in The Man Who Laughs, [the 1928 movie based on the novel] by Victor Hugo. [...] Bill Finger had a book with a photograph of Conrad Veidt and showed it to me and said, 'Here's the Joker'."
Evil? Heath Ledger said that he viewed that film's version of the Joker as a "psychopathic, mass murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy.” So in a word, yes.

The Plan? Seemingly completely insane and even suicidal, and quick to tell you so, he plays the game a chaos personified. However, on the other side of the card, the Joker is meticulous at planning. Some of his schemes would take months if not years to fully flesh out and plan. His long-term planning and logistical functionality alone shows he’s not as nuts as he has you to believe on that caked on facial surface. But although he has laid fingerprints for the World’s Greatest Detective to reconstruct (which leads that Bat into an obvious trap) the Joker also shows malleability to change those long thought out plans in mid-stream. Effectively, he can turn his battleship on a dime. And that’s usually when a whole lot of people die. As he said himself, “You can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs.”

But what’s his long term goal? Who knows!? Not even the goddman Batman can figure him out – that’s what makes him so complex, so evil, and so damn interesting. It seems the only thing the Joker cares about is vindictive malice. You can't reason with or buy off a character like that. He's a real noodle-scratcher. Hell, even Iron Man doesn’t understand the Joker’s plot!
“My whole thing is that that I saw 'The Dark Knight'. I feel like I'm dumb because I feel like I don't get how many things that are so smart. It's like a Ferrari engine of storytelling and script writing and I'm like, 'That's not my idea of what I want to see in a movie.' I loved 'The Prestige' but didn't understand 'The Dark Knight'. Didn't get it, still can't tell you what happened in the movie… this is so high brow and so f--king smart, I clearly need a college education to understand this movie.' You know what? F-ck DC comics. That's all I have to say and that's where I'm really coming from." - Robert Downey Jr.

And the best part is, that spanning from Cesar Romero, to Nicholson, to Ledger, the character is consistently a nutjob with some kind of plan that takes a lot of work, but doesn't make a whole lot of sense... but it sure pisses off Batman though. And maybe that's all he's looking for? To piss off the Batman.

Downfall? Frankly, I’m not sure if he has one! Really. First off, he’s cheated death a lot. I mean a whole lot. Since he’s so closely tied to the mythos of the Batman, Joker has the benefit of getting a reboot every couple years. In the comics he’s always getting into some seemingly inescapable and lethal situation. Though he has been seen caught in explosions, been shot repeatedly, dropped from lethal heights, electrocuted, the Joker always returns. And if he’s not cheating death, the Batman just throws him in jail or Arkham Asylum. He escapes so often they might as well install a revolving door to his cell.

Some would say that the Batman NEEDS the Joker, and vice versa. Heath Ledger’s Joker even says something to this effect while he’s hanging upside-down waiting for some hostages to blow up.

Now I'm almost thinking this guy ought to rate him higher...

1. The Emperor – Star Wars Saga (1974 – Present) Ian McDiarmid as Palpatine
"In order to ensure the security and continuing stability, the Republic will be reorganized into the First Galactic Empire! For a safe, and secure, society.”

Who? The mere fact that most stupid top 10 lists of the most evil villains place Darth Vader somewhere in their top three emphasizes exactly why Senator turned Emperor Palpatine gets the top spot here. He’s the ultimate behind the scenes guy! Palpatine’s plans and schemes represent the utmost political and martial power absolute, absolutely. Not just a world… his designs are the entire Star Wars galaxy as his puppet stage.

Ian McDiarmid was in four of the six Star Wars films; his first was Return of the Jedi when, 22 years before Sith was shot, he played Palpatine as 23 years older. Now that’s planning ahead. (Yes, yes. He also made a digital cameo in the re-imagined The Empire Strikes Back Super Extra Crazy Re-Release. Get off your chair.)

A major British stage actor of the past few decades, McDiarmid has a non-threatening disposition that possesses a magnificent vocal talent. Unlike a few of his English contemporaries, he actually understands how microphones work - and therefore doesn’t scream all his lines. Patrick Stewart, I’m looking right at you. He uses this voice talent to manipulate and pull the strings of both sides of galactic power – and does it so well that he eliminates the no-win scenario. He wins no matter what happens.

McDiarmid himself stated,
"Palpatine's an interesting character; he's conventional on the outside, but demonic on the inside — he's on the edge, trying to go beyond what's possible." McDiarmid added, "[Palpatine] is a supreme actor. He has to be even more convincing than somebody who isn't behaving in a schizophrenic fashion, so he's extra charming, or extra professional — and for those who are looking for clues, that's almost where you can see them."
He’s the ultimate politician.

The Plan? As much as you may hate and spit upon the Phantom Menace (1999) – the story is about Palpatine. The Emperor-to-be IS the Phantom Menace. If you break down the political spectrum of Episode One, you realize that Darth Sidious/Senator Palpatine of Naboo wins either outcome. Here’s how it plays out: If the ten Naboo palace guards, a whinny little kid and bunch of talking fish that breathe oxygen but live under water… (sigh) are able to beat the robots? The Senator wins, and a bonus, he is ‘elected’ as the Chancellor of the Republic. If the stupid robots somehow take Naboo while killing off everyone on the planet? Darth Sidious wins, and there’s a bonus of no more talking fish people. Neat.

In the course of his chessboard of Win, lots of people and materials get blown to bits. Awesome. That’s all win-win!

And in the process, he meets the most powerful wizard in the galaxy… Sorry, I mean Detective Monk Cop with a Lasersword. And double bonus, he’s just a little whinny ten year old kid without a moral compass.

By the second Episode, he’s got the entire Galaxy engulfed in a Civil War. Why? I’m not really sure. I mean if you break down the two sides of the argument, the Trade Federation wants to secede from the Republic. Again, why? It isn’t as if the Trade Federation wants to keep human slavery or are against Chancellor Palpatine’s insane 10.25% Republic Sales Tax… maybe they just don’t want to be around the talking fish people anymore? Racists.

Palpatine plays both sides. Chancellor Palpatine gets emergency Patriot Act-like powers to build up his protagonist public image (Lucas said he was going more for Hitler than George Bush, get off your chair again please.) in the Republic. But he’s also quarterbacking the other team. To put this in historical terms, he’s playing Lincoln and Jefferson Davis. I wonder if he ever messed up and wore the wrong hat when he was talking to one set of generals instead of the other. Maybe he’d have to put one on hold, put on the cloak, run back into the other room, there’s an awkward pause like, “hey, what’s going on in that other room that you keep running back to?” – It’d be kind of like a screwball comedy from the 30’s? Wouldn’t that have been funny? Seth Green, make it happen.

By the Third Episode, the war is winding down. Palpatine has manipulated that whinny little kid into a whinny young adult. He’s now a warrior who still has zero ability to make decisions about morality. Excellent.

That’s when things really start to go his way – the whinny kid offs his number two with a clean severance package.

Not long afterwards, we find out that Palpatine’s got superpowers! He’s a space wizard too! He shoots lightning out of his hands! Apparently he also cast a spell of stupidity over the super-smart detectives in cloaks with laser swords so that they couldn’t figure out that Palpatine was the bad guy. (And he lives next door to these guys!)

They finally figured him out, and he gets his face all messed up. That’s okay because he uses that to his advantage too. In the process he recruits the whinny kid, and sends him over to downsize some children.

He lays-off the Monk Cops and throws the Senate at a Muppet. By the time the dust settles he’s declared the Emperor and his third intern –er- Apprentice has been turned into a charcoal briquette.

No matter, he remakes him into the most iconic bad guy movie audiences have ever seen. The ultimate enforcer. Dick Cheney… er, Darth Vader. Sorry.

Everything is going well for Palpatine for about 18 years. He’s even eliminated the Senate. How? A public work project called the “Death Star”. In fact, just to show off how much power he has, he builds two of them.

But like all government projects, there are cost overruns, and the damn contractors left a two-foot exhaust port uncovered so that some rebel teenagers could toss photon torpedoes at it.

And of course, guess who finally knocks one in? It’s the whinny son of his Apprentice!

So Darth, Palpatine’s second in command, spends a fortune looking for his whinny kid. I mean if anything, it should have been the other way around, right? The whinny kid should have been looking for his deadbeat dad for back child support payments! In fact, the whinny kid didn’t even know Darth was his dad until he went and told him. What an idiot!

Palpatine realizes that his Number 2 isn’t working out, so now he has to make an appearance to get the second Death Star back on track. On top of that, he’s got a plan up his cloak to fix everything and wipe the floor with those damn meddling kids. He personally leaks the plans to this Death Star to the teenage rebels– and then pretends to leave the gate open.

Everything is going exactly to plan. His interview with the whinny kid isn’t working out – so he’s shooting lightning bolts at him– when out of NO WHERE, Darth suddenly develops a moral compass! To wit, Darth tosses Palpatine into a reactor shaft to his death. What a Bummer.

His Downfall? The Imperial Human Resources Department. Look, Palpatine has a terrible track record of hiring ineffective number 2’s and underlings. Palpatine went through two apprentices, and almost lost a third one due to complete incompetence. The only one that ever worked out for him he had cloned about a billion times to fill the ranks of his army.

Also, the Star Wars Universe is FULL of funny looking people and aliens from thousands of populated planets. You’ve got people who are walking carpets to teddy bears. Yet the military and government appointees are all aging white dudes with British accents. There’s little to zero diversification in his government’s hiring practices. What about all those bounty hunters, you ask? Contractors.

Although, there isn’t a whole lot of diversity in the Rebel Alliance either, which makes me wonder if they’re really just fighting a bunch of old white guys to replace them with their own white dudes? That sounds a lot like western government in action to me…
But by the sixth picture they at least added a slug and a squid to join in the battle.

Palpatine’s reign lasted longer than Ming the Merciless and Xenu, but not as long as Fidel Castro's.

That list, again:
1. The Emperor – Star Wars Saga (1976-present)
2. Joker – Heath Ledger, Dark Knight (2008)
3. Dr. Hannibal Lecter – Silence of the Lambs (1999)
4. Dracula – Specifically Bela Lugosi (1931)
5. The Aliens – Specifically – Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
6. Michael Corleone – Godfather I and II
7. Computers – Skynet (1984 - present)
8. Nazis - Specifically Steven Spielberg’s Nazi’s
9. Anton Chigurh - No Country For Old Men (2007)
10. Hans Gruber - Die Hard (1988)
*Also considered: Lord Voldemort, Nurse Ratched, Norman Bates, Norman Bates dead mother, Khan Noonien Singh, Mr. Potter, Zombies (nothing specific, just Zombies), Roy Batty, Frank Booth. These fine villains didn't make my list because they either died - fought little kids - or just weren't nearly as good at planning or not as spectacularly evil as the other ten.