March 15th, 2006


Town Hall Gun-Down

Welcome all new readers who came here for my oh-so-special brand of cranky left-wing reaction to right-wing crankery. Unfortunately, I don't have the energy or lack of a penetrating headache for a long-form takedown of anyone today, despite a plethora of rich targets, but I don't want to leave anyone blue-balled, so here's a brief rundown of what you could read over at Town Hall if you were even more of a masochist than I am:

Caroline Glick: In order to get you to read my impenetrable and dust-dull analysis of local Israeli politics, I'm throwing a totally arbitrary pop-culture reference in the title.

Michelle Malkin: The coloreds are getting uppity again. This they call art?

Burt Prelutsky: Poor people are losers and no one should help them, because they are a bunch of bums who could get jobs if they really wanted them.

Kathleen Parker: Sure, you hear a lot about how Bush never goes to soldiers' funerals, and won't let the wounded or killed be shown on TV, and is begging for more troops while paring veteran's benefits to the bone, but what you don't hear is how Paul Wolfowitz bought a steak dinner for disabled vets!

Mike S. Adams: Muslims are jerks with no sense of humor, and also they talk funny.

Jason Apuzzo: Hollywood is full of leftist snobs who turn up their noses at the superior moral values of the heartland (completely irrelevant note: I live in Los Angeles), so it's up to conservative filmmakers to even the score by making movies middle-class midwesterners would really enjoy, like about "loopy Marxist academics" or "snotty West Hollywood liberals who drive gas-guzzling SUVs". Who wouldn't flock to see crowd-pleasers like that?

Mark Joseph: Hey, you guys should really check out Scott Stapp's new solo album! It's really, like, faithful, and it rocks and everything! What a bright future lies ahead for this exciting star! Oh by the way I produced his last album.

The Overseas Office of Arrested Development

Boy, I can't believe the Saddam Hussein trial isn't being broadcast over here, after we fought a war to catch the guy. Even the defendent knows it's high comedy:

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Saddam Hussein testified Wednesday for the first time at his trial, insisting he was Iraq's leader and praising the insurgency, prompting the chief judge to close the courtroom to the public because he said Saddam was making political speeches.

"What pains me most is what I heard recently about something that aims to harm our people," Saddam said. "My conscience tells me that the great people of Iraq have nothing to do with these acts."

Chief judge Raouf Abdel-Rahman interrupted Saddam. "You are being tried in a criminal case. Stop your political speech," Abdel-Rahman said angrily.

"I am the head of state," Saddam replied.

"You used to be a head of state. You are a defendant now," Abdel-Rahman barked at Saddam.

"Had it not been for politics I wouldn't be here," Saddam replied. (TOTAL BURN BACK!)

"What happened in the last days is bad," he said, referring to the Feb. 22 bombing of the Askariya shrine in the city of Samarra. "You will live in darkness and rivers of blood for no reason." He praised the insurgency, saying, "In my eyes, you are the resistance to the American invasion."

Abdel-Rahman replied, "You are being tried in a criminal case for killing innocent people, not because of your conflict with America."

Saddam responded, "What about the innocent people who are dying in Baghdad? I am talking to the Iraqi people."

During his testimony, Saddam called the proceedings a "comedy."

Well, if that's not a cue, I don't know what is...


GEORGE W. BUSH: Hey, fellas, you been watching this Saddam trial?

DICK CHENEY: I've got a country to run, George. I don't have time to watch Court TV.

PAUL WOLFOWITZ: What were you doing watching that, sir? It doesn't really seem like your thing.

GWB: Aw, the dish went out on Air Force One. All I could get was al-Jazeera and the Golf Channel.

DC: So why...

GWB: They were showing a Nancy Lopez retrospective. Anyway, I caught a bit of it before we touched down, and I gotta say, I wonder if he's makin' us look bad up there.

DC: I wouldn't worry about it, George. That's not even being broadcast in the US. No one's watching it but a bunch of Europeans.

GWB: Really? What are we showing instead? That Moose-owie trial? The 20th hijacker fella?

PW: Actually, we're now going with Ramzi bin al-Shibh as the 20th hijacker now.

DC: I thought it was Mohammed al-Q'atani.

PW: Him too. We like to keep a few in reserve for when the Zogby polls come out.

GWB: Well, how many damn 20th hijackers are there?

DC: The same number as there are al-Q'aeda second-in-commands. Is this going somewhere, George? It's already almost 3PM, and I still need to stop at the gun shop and the liquor store.

GWB: Well, I was just wondering, what exactly are we trying Saddam for, anyway?

PW: We're not trying him. The Iraqi people are trying him.

GWB: But it's really us, right?

DC: Right.

GWB: Anyway, the prosecutor guy says it's for killing innocent people, but he's saying it's for politics.

PW: Oh, that's not true, sir. This war was always about ousting that monster Saddam.

DC: And freedom for the Iraqi people.

PW: And spreading democracy in the middle east.

DC: And going after terrorist groups like al-Q'aeda.

PW: And weapons of mass destruction.

DC: And furthering the American agenda into a new century.

PW: And, uh...boy, I feel like I'm forgetting one.

DC: Lowering taxes?

PW: No, I don't think that's it. Do you have the wallet card?

GWB: Well, look, never mind all that. I thought he was on trial for trying to kill my dad.

DC:, George. That's...that's not why.

GWB: Well, they're gonna find him guilty in this one, right?

DC: If they want their water to stay on, you bet they are.

GWB: Can we try him for wanting to kill my dad after that?

DC: They can only hang him once, George.

GWB: Are you sure? Can we check on that? Because in Texas...
a resounding daaar

WENN Celebrity News: Your Source for Baffling Quotes

Mike Wallace on his retirement: "I've often replied, when asked, 'I'll retire when my toes turn up.' Well, they're just beginning to curl a trifle, which meant that, as I approach my 88th birthday, it's become apparent to me that my eyes and ears, among other appurtenances, aren't what they used to be."

Howard Stern on his lawsuit with CBS: "I believe you are working for one of the biggest jerks on the planet. You've worked for jerks and bullies who hide behind their press agents. Les Moonves is a bully. CBS took a C-list actor from The Love Boat and made him CEO."

Annie Proulx on Crash winning the Best Picture Oscar: "Roughly 6,000 film industry voters, most in the Los Angeles area, many living cloistered lives behind wrought-iron gates or in deluxe rest homes, out of touch not only with the shifting larger culture and the yeasty ferment that is America these days, but also out of touch with their own segregated city, decide which films are good. And rumor has it that Lions Gate inundated the academy voters with DVD copies of 'Trash' - excuse me, Crash - a few weeks before the ballot deadline. Next year we can look to the awards for controversial themes on the punishment of adulterers with a branding iron in the shape of the letter A, runaway slaves, and the debate over free silver."

Miles Davis' nephew, Vince Wilburn, on making a film of his uncle's life: "We're working with Sony on a biopic. We're gonna negotiate with Don Cheadle whose name keeps coming up to play Miles. It can touch on many things from the way he changed the wave of music of different decades from bee-bop to hip-hop and in between, and the personal side."

Paul Greengrass on making a new 'Bourne' film: "I can't wait - it's just going to be fucking fantastic. It's going to rock. That's honestly what it's going to do. What direction? We'll have a better car chase, have more exciting action, more intensity and just generally be a fucking classy film."

Also, it is mentioned that John Travolta will star in a movie version of the TV show Dallas as soon as he finishes work on "the film version of the Broadway hit Hairspray". Uh...isn't the Broadway hit Hairspray just an adaptation of the John Waters movie Hairspray? Why do we need a new version of a movie that came out in 1988? This is taking Hollywood's 'no new ideas ever' ethos to a new low.