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Friday, December 31, 2004

As we ring in 2005, the world continues to grieve and tries to comprehend the massive and seemingly neverending casualty count from last weekend's horrific Asian tsunami disaster. At last estimate, the count was hovering around 125,000 with some predicting it may reach as high as 400,000 in the Acheh region alone. While the world's New Year's celebrations will no doubt be muted and shrouded in black, not everyone seems to be affected quite as severely. The Daily News reports that many tourists have arrived on the Thai island of Phuket in recent days to enjoy their planned New Year's vacations on the beach despite the island's position at the epicenter of the tsunami zone. Hopefully, the bodies of the dead washing up onshore won't disturb their holidays.

While there could be no worse way to end what was already a discouraging and depressing year (unless you're a Republican), the one good thing to come from this is seeing how the world has come together to provide aid and relief to the region. Ok, so maybe that isn't entirely true... the relief effort has not come without controversy. I was trying to avoid slamming the Bush administration for being full of a bunch of stingy assholes but I can't stay silent any longer. I had truly hoped the administration would step up to the plate and offer more than a measley $35 million, but nearly a week after the disaster, and after almost every other Western nation on the planet surpassed our paltry sum, I can't hold back. Initially, the US had only ponied up $15 million but was internationally shamed into upping its contribution to $35 million, and that number still rings extremely hallow. Let's put the $35 million into some context, shall we?

No doubt the US figure will increase in the coming days, it has to, but why has it taken so long? In the face of perhaps the greatest natural disaster to ever befall the planet, it not only took Bush four days to emerge from his 'ranch vacation' to make a statement, but his government has still only coughed up $35 million. And just to be clear, I'm not grousing about America's efforts as a country, private citizens and even corporate America have stepped up quickly to provide significant relief, but the government's reaction has been pitiful to say the least. I wonder if our white-bread, Christian-conservative government would've acted more swiftly if the tsunami hadn't primarily effected a region full of 'brown people'? But hey, at least W. is sending his brother for a photo-op. Stingy bastard.

Don't be a stingy bastard, give to the relief effort this New Year:
B'Nai B'rith
Project Hope
World Concern
World Vision
Doctors Without Borders
Bloggers Without Borders
A Full Roundup of Organizations providing relief

- A Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan. (Red State!) "
Thanks God for the tsunami and 2,000 dead Swedes", apparently because all of Sweden is gay. (Raw Story)
- Defamer finds the good:
Fantana's 'Tidal Wave' campaign is officially over.
- Gawker:
How far will $500 million go?

UPDATE, 2 pm:
The Bush administration finally succumbed to the pressure and increased its contribution to $350 million this afternoon.

Possible forthcoming Blog Headlines:
"Oops, we forgot a zero..."
"Take THAT Sweden!"
"I guess our troops won't be getting that new body armor after all..."

Happy New Year everyone, try and enjoy it. And stay tuned next week for the Days 2004 Year-in-Review.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

This weekend's devastating earthquake-tsunami combo in Southeast Asia has prompted some questionable coverage within the, ahem, 'journalistic' community. Perhaps leading the pack is today's New York Daily News, which manages to lead not with the tens of thousands dead but rather the remarkable survival of supermodel Petra Nemcova. Yes everyone, you can rest easy, Petra is a-ok... and hey, she's single now! Shame on you Daily News...

... and shame on me for making that joke.

To make up for my crass insensitivity, I've donated to AmeriCares relief effort. Here are a few other places you to can go to help:
B'Nai B'rith
Project Hope
World Concern
World Vision
A Full Roundup of Organizations

(All joking aside, the sheer magnitude of this disaster and its heartbreaking toll is almost unfathomable -- please do anything you can to help, every little bit counts)

Ok, now back to our own questionable coverage. A story in this morning's Washington Post truly outlined the horror of the tsunamis and detailed their tragic impact on ordinary, everyday citizens:
WELIGAMA, Sri Lanka, Dec. 26 -- Disaster struck with no warning out of a faultlessly clear blue sky. I was taking my morning swim around the island that my brother Geoffrey, a businessman, had bought on a whim a decade ago and turned into a tropical paradise 200 yards from one of the world's most beautiful beaches.
It is truly horrific to think that even the personal island playgrounds of some of the world's wealthiest individuals weren't spared by the wrath of the tsunamis, isn't it?

MORE Questionable Coverage
Oprah's Gay Designer Survives Tsunami (CNN)
U2's Adam Clayton Missing? (Craig's List)
Tucker Carlson interviews
heavy-drinking, Hitler-obsessed eyewitness; expresses concern that the Hamptons may be next. (CNN, full transcript)
Gawker's Full Roundup
Low Culture: How You Too Can Earn a Paltry $15 Million

Wednesday, December 22, 2004


Go here for more photos of Santa Claus scaring the crap out of little children. Truly Awesome.

With Christmas around the corner, I thought I'd put together a quick collection of holiday-themed stocking stuffers for everyone to enjoy. This holiday grab-bag of stories, videos, animation and other such nonsense has been culled from the fascinating, and often times disturbing, world of Internet freakdom. That said, most of these are best enjoyed after a dozen or so glasses of heavily-spiked egg nog, so drink up and enjoy!

All joking aside, as things continue to spiral further downward in Iraq, and since our government can't seem to properly equip our soldiers, please consider giving something to them this season. Support the Troops, Oppose the Policy.

Happy HoliDAYS everyone.

Monday, December 20, 2004

My brief moment of concern for the media is over. If you remember, last week I was worried what impact the end of the 2-year-long Scott Peterson trial would have on our ever-responsible mainstream media. What would they fill all that time with? Would they have to resort to covering such mundane subjects as war, genocide and the erosion of our civil rights. Yawn. But then, like a Christmas miracle, along came the grisly story of Lisa Montgomery and her murderous, fetus snatching ways. Hallelujah.

I'm sure everyone is familiar with the story right now, which is good because I don't have the stomach to write "ripped the 8-month old fetus from her abdomen" more than once. Montgomery, from Melvern, Kansas (Red State!) goes before a judge this week, and the news cameras will no doubt be there, cameras at the ready – hooray! Happy Christmas everyone.

(By the way, was this the only picture available of Montgomery, or do the photo editors just have a really macabre sense of humor? Seriously, is she actually holding the fetus in that photo?? Damn. Low Culture explores the question here.)

- Breathe easy Court TV. If the Lisa Montgomery case doesn't fill the void, we still have Baretta, Jacko and the big daddy of all celebrity court cases, Saddam Hussein, to look forward to in 2005.
- Get all your Courtroom sketch art here! You know you want it.
- The Top 25 Stories the media might have covered had Peterson NOT dominated the airwaves in 2004.

Thursday, December 16, 2004


Established by Harry Truman in 1945 and previously awarded to such distinguished individuals as Martin Luther King, Jr., Helen Keller and Nelson Mandela, the Presidential Medal of Freedom is "designed to recognize individuals who have made an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, or to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors." The Bush administration has apparently, uh, loosened these requirements just a tad.

The new Bush standard for Medal of Freedom honorees apparently goes something like this: "The Presidential Medal of Freedom is designed to recognize individuals who have made an especially disastrous contribution to the national interests of the United States and world peace by putting together a flawed plan for war, presiding over a planless post-war period, allowing an insurgency to grow, placing a slam-dunk stamp of approval on crappy intelligence which was then used as primary basis to start a war and, just for good measure, being unable to prevent the worst act of terrorism and single largest mass murder in the history of the United States."

Yep, sounds medal-worthy to me! Congratulations to George Tenet, Paul Bremer and Tommy Franks, rewarded yesterday by President Bush. And don't worry, Lyndie England's medal is in the mail.

Medal Winners all!

The Daily Show: "
Those better be medals of shame."
Richard Cohen:
Who's next, Bernie Kerik?

UPDATE: In more awards hypocrisy, our favorite looney-tunes, duel-loving Republicrat ex-senator, Zell Miller (who just took a job as a commentator for FOX News, natch) has been selected by the American Conservative Union to present the "Courage Under Fire" award to the 'Swift Boat Veterans of Truth' (remember them?) on February 18. That may also be the very day America is finally sucked into hell... can't wait!

One More Time: Zell Miller's crazed convention rant, spitballs and all.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004


Ok, now that that's settled, can we finally stop talking about this? Seriously, it's been two freakin' years, there must be more important things to focus on... hey, when does the Michael Jackson trial start?

Speaking of the capital punishment, a Justice Department report issued yesterday reveals that the number of death sentences in the US has reached a 30-year low. Theories abound as to why the numbers have dropped, but let's be honest here – the decline began in 1999, the same year President Bush left his post as governor of Texas, where capital punishment is second only to high school football as the state's favorite pasttime. Coincidence? I think not. He may be causing death and destruction throughout the world, but at least our inmate community is safer!

Bush: Executioner-in-Chief
Get that special someone a gift they'll truly enjoy this holiday season:
That's right, their very own electric chair! Order Now!

Monday, December 13, 2004


Damn, I didn't even have time to rip this guy a new one. I was going to wait for his confirmation hearings to begin before I detailed all the reasons I didn't think this guy was fit for the post, but former NYPD chief and Bush Homeland Security Director nominee Bernard Kerik called it quits on Friday night. Not included among the many reasons I had planned to detail was the one reason given for Bernie's bow out: a nanny problem. Yeah sure, that's why he's not taking the post, his nanny. And if you believe that, I've got some Iraqi WMDs to sell you. I don't suppose Bernie's sudden reversal has anything to do with... oh, let's start a list:
But yeah, I'm sure it was all about the nanny. Sheesh. Seriously, there's no better example of how poor the judgment in the Bush White House is than Bernie's appointment. These were not deep, dark secrets, these skeletons were well known within the New York law enforcement and journalistic communities. It's not like the Bush team had to dig very hard to find this stuff out. But still, despite the trail of scandal that followed the guy, Bush must've thought Bernie was a real kick-ass guy to have in the White House with him. I can hear it now: "He looks like a Soprano! He was practically Serpico! He knows judo! His mother was a whore! Hire this frickin' guy!!" Yep, nice pick Dubya.

Congress better vet the shit out these other nominees... yeah, right, who am I kidding??

Newsday's Ellis Henican's early warning. And his "Told You So" column
NYDN: Bernie Bows Out
Newsweek: Why Did Bernie Bow Out? and A Tough Guy Tumbles
Village Voice:
Saint Bernard

Low Culture's Soft-Focus Parade of Bush Cabinet Nominations
DAYS: Bush Introduces His New Cabinet

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Well, they don't call him the Defense Secretary for nothing. Donald Rumsfeld was caught on the defensive yesterday while giving a, uh, "pep talk" to U.S. soldiers in Kuwait. Flying in the face of the rosy scenarios the Bush administration continues to project about Iraq, thousands of soldiers provided Rumsfeld with an earful yesterday. My new hero, Specialist Thomas Wilson, asked the most pointed question of the day when he asked the Secretary of Defense why soldiers in Iraq had to rely on "hillbilly armor" to protect themselves:

"Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to armor our vehicles ... (scrap) that has already been shot up, dropped, busted, picking the best out of this scrap to put on our vehicles to take into combat. We do not have proper armament for our vehicles to carry us north (into Iraq)."
Rummy's response?

"Not every vehicle has the degree of armor that it would be desirable for it to have. As you know, you go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time."
Hey Donald, if you hadn't rushed to war, hadn't tried to do it "on the cheap" and hadn't miscalculated the resistance so massively, maybe the troops would've been properly equipped and prepared. And now, instead of owning up to poor planning and miscalculation, you continue to make excuses, even when questioned by the soldiers themselves. Unbelievable.

Rumsfeld added:

"If you think about it, you can have all the armor in the world on a tank and a tank can be blown up. And you can have an up-armored Humvee and it can be blown up."
After this gem, the Secretary revealed his plan to equip all units in Iraq with inexpensive, unarmored Hyundais to roll into the desert with. Because, you know, armor doesn't really matter. What a dick.

And the questions kept coming. The soldiers asked Rumsfeld how the Army planned "to address shortages and antiquated equipment" for National Guard troops on their way to Iraq. They asked about Army's "stop-loss" policies, the equivalent of a backdoor draft that is keeping troops in Iraq much longer than they'd anticipated. Finally, Rumsfeld threw up his arms and exclaimed:

"Now settle down, settle down. Hell, I'm an old man, and it's early in the morning. I'm just gathering my thoughts here."
What's the old Army recruitment slogan, "we do more before 6 a.m. than you do in your entire day"? Apparently, that doesn't apply to Mr. Rumsfeld. And this is the cabinet member Bush decided to KEEP!

Pentagon Memo: US admits the war for ‘hearts and minds’ in Iraq is now lost
Rumsfeld on Osama: "When people speculate about where they think he is, I say to myself, well, if you're so smart, person who thinks where he is, go find him."
Rumsfeld's Miscalculation: "It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months."
Rummy Reenacts the Abu Ghraib Pyramid!

Oppose the Policy, Support the Troops
Since our government won't do it, please visit Veterans Against the Iraq War to get a comprehensive list of ways you can support the troops. And just for the record, support means more than simply slapping a yellow-ribbon decal on the back of your SUV.

Mr. Falafel, also known as conservative commentator Bill O'Reilly, drew the ire of the Anti-Defamation League yesterday, telling a Jewish caller on his radio show he should leave the US and "go to Israel" if the caller was offended by Christian attempts to convert him. Naturally, ADL chairman Abe Foxman immediately fired off a letter to the press scolding the FOX News anchor.

O'Reilly's suggestion of exile took place during a heated discussion with the caller, prompted by the philandering phone-sex predator and loofah fetishist's current holiday crusade to put a little more Christ back into Christmas. Apparently, O'Reilly is upset about what he believes is an organized effort by left-leaning, godless heathens to transform the country into a wholly secular nation by eliminating Jesus from the holiday season altogether. To fight back, O'Reilly plans to emphasize the religious nature of the holiday this year by reenacting the nativity in his own house, just as soon as he finishes his traditional Christmas Eve phone-sex session with one of his female staffers.

We also hear that O'Reilly has asked Santa Christ to stuff his stocking with a brand new vibrator this year.

Here's to hoping all your dreams come true Bill. Happy Hanukkah.


Get your Falafel Factor Shirts here!
Let's just call it a Faloofah, ok?

Previously on DAYS
10.14.04: Who's Looking Out For Your Vibrator?

Wednesday, December 08, 2004


Back in October, as President Bush was stumping through the Midwest trumpeting his faith, his values and his tax cuts, he pointed to a young couple from Clive, Iowa, Mike and Sharla Hintz, as shining examples of how good people have benefited from his economic policies: "Under all the tax relief we've passed, they saved about $2,800 last year. With this extra money, they bought a wood-burning stove to reduce their home heating costs," the president said. "They also made home repairs and improvements. They took the family on a vacation to Minnesota." Mike Hintz, married father of four and a youth pastor at the First Assembly of God Church, agreed with the President and beamed proudly, wife and children by his side, for the photo-op.

Fast forward two months: Apparently, in addition to the wood-burning stove and the family vacation, Mr. Hintz was also able to afford all the Justin Timberlake posters and Hilary Duff albums needed to woo one of his 17-year-old youth group members into bed with him. Yessiree, the 31-year-old Hintz was arrested earlier this week amid charges he has been having a sexual affair with a member of his teenage flock. Amen.

Conservatives Gone Wild!
Bob Jones to Bush: "Christ has allowed you to be His servant." Congrats!
Goin Down on I-69: “
It is the moral thing to do.”
Awash in Porn.
Crazy Alan Simpson: "
So stick that in your pipe and smoke it Bill Maher!" (video

2004 has been a heckuva a year for young Lindsay Lohan. As the year commenced, she was nothing more than the awkward teenager from the Freaky Friday remake. But now, after a year of Mean Girls, party gossip and nipple slips, she's a barely legal sexpot on the cover of every magazine and in the minds of every teenage boy and dirty old man on the planet. But this week's release of her debut album, "Speak," may mark the beginning of the fall of the Lohan empire. And after hearing about her Ashlee Simpsonesque performance on Good Morning America the other day, perhaps she should've titled the album "Synch."

(And yes, this post is simply an excuse to post a photo of Lindsay in my blog)

See Lindsay Lip Synch on GMA (video)

Lindsay & Tara Reid 'Speak' (parody)

Monday, December 06, 2004


"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron." – H.L. Mencken, 1920.

Is Elmo Bush's Secret Weapon?

Friday, December 03, 2004

In an earlier post, I highlighted SorryEverybody.com, a website put together in the wake of the election wreckage that allows people to post pictures and messages to offer apologies to the world for failing to prevent the Bush reelection. The website has exploded in popularity since I posted last month, so much so that a book is in the works.

Of course, emboldened conservatives, most of them with guns, couldn't let such hippie nonsense flourish. No, they responded in kind with their very own website, YoureWelcomeEverybody.com. If you want to get a good idea of the kind of nutjobs we're losing the country to, peruse some of these photos for a few minutes.

If there is one thing the Right knows about, it's tolerance.

Healthy, upstanding citizens for Bush

Oh yeah, the moral majority is hotttttttt!

I'm sensing a theme here... firearms anyone?

They've even corrupted the rodent community.

At least they're raising their kids Right.

Oh MacGyver, how could you??!

No word yet on whether there is a book deal. God help us.

DAYS: Look Out World!

Thursday, December 02, 2004

While I was away, the New York Times' Frank Rich continued to pound away at the blatant hypocrisy inherent in the Far Right's attempt to seize on the 'moral values' wave to push their ultra-conservative agenda forward:

To see how the hucksters of the right work their scam, there could be no more illustrative example than the "Monday Night Football" episode in which Ms. Sheridan leaped into the arms of the Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Terrell Owens in order to give the declining weekly game (viewership is down 3 percent from 2003) a shot of Viagra. From the get-go, it was a manufactured scandal, as over-the-top as a dinner theater production of "The Crucible."

Rush Limbaugh, taking a break from the legal deliberations of his drug rap and third divorce, set the hysterical tone. "I was stunned!" he told his listeners. "I literally could not believe what I had seen. ... At various places on the Net you can see the video of this, and she's buck naked, folks. I mean when they dropped the towel she's naked. You see enough of her back and rear end to know that she was naked. There's no frontal nudity in the thing, but I mean you don't need that. ...I mean, there are some guys with their kids that sit down to watch 'Monday Night Football.' "

Yes, there are - some, anyway - but you wonder how many of them were as upset as Mr. Limbaugh, whose imagination led him to mistake a lower back for a rear end. (He also said that the Sheridan-Owens encounter reminded him of the Kobe Bryant case; let's not even go there.) The evidence suggests that Mr. Limbaugh's prurient mind is the exception, not the rule. Though seen nationwide, and as early as 6 p.m. on the West Coast, the spot initially caused so little stir that the next morning only two newspapers in the country, both in Philadelphia, reported on it.

Read the Rest...

While I plan to press on this issue myself, Frank Rich seems to be taking the moral hypocrisy flag and running with it... it's almost as if there were a book in the offing. Anyway, you can check back here for plenty more coverage of the Right's moral hijinks in the Days to come or you can wait for Rich's book. Your choice.

Just be sure you don't drop the towel, ok?

Hey y'all, I've returned. I had hoped to come back from my trip to the South with some enlightenment, some newfound wisdom and maybe a fresh understanding of what is happening out there in the "heartland." But instead of enlightenment, all I came back with was an extra ten pounds (they eat biscuits with everything) and a strong desire to never again get caught in the dead of night on the backroads of central Georgia with an empty stomach. I could almost hear the banjo playing.

Honestly, for the most part, I found the South to be charming. I found Charleston to be absolutely enchanting and Savannah was beautiful, if not a little creepy. I attempted to keep my Yankee biases in check. For instance, I tried not to cringe every time I saw a confederate flag waving off the back of a Ford pick-up with naked-lady mudflaps. I didn't flinch when the woman with the thick Southern accent at the Avis counter derided the Hispanic voice on the airport PA, saying she just wished "those people" would learn to "speak English," which she followed up with something that sounded like, "yarble wobble milly fer tooncha yoble toe." I don't know; I couldn't interpret because her English was so fucked up.

I even tried to assimilate a little. I watched Gone With the Wind. I ate my grits. I abstained from NPR for an entire week. Hell, I even spent part of my Thanksgiving at Wal-Mart. I know, I know, Wal-Mart is evil incarnate... but do you realize the bargains at one of those stores?? I mean, who really cares if some 8-year-old Thai girl got paid a nickel a year for pumping out those picture frames, they were only $1.98! It was at this point I realized I'd been down South too long. Luckily, the visit to Wal-Mart took place at the end of the trip. But I swear, a few more days down there and I might have been dipping some Skoal, clutching the Bible and shouting homophobic epithets at the gays. Thank god I made it back to the North with my senses.

To say I came back without any enlightenment is a bit of a falsehood. I actually think I figured out the secret to Red America's victory. There is something they have down there that we don't up here in our liberal, elitist hippieland, and I believe it is this one thing that provided them with the necessary fuel, focus and foundation for victory in November. That one thing? Waffle House.

Yep, I had no idea the power and reach of the Waffle House until I ventured down South. On the highway, at every exit, in every shit-ass small town we drove through, there was a Waffle House. They were omnipresent, you know, like God. People have constructed shrines to the Waffle House empire. All hail the mighty Waffle House. When I returned North, someone had sent me this map, comparing the pre-Civil War "slave states" with the 2004 electoral map. But the map I really want to see is one that compares the "Waffle House states" with this year's electoral map – I'm thinking there is an undiscovered correlation there worth exploring.

As much as I became enamored with the power of the Waffle House, I was quickly reminded upon my return why I love living in a Blue state so much: The results of a recount in Alabama last week confirmed that residents of that state voted to continue supporting segregation as the law of the land. And so, with that reminder of the rampant bigotry still present down South, I know that if I see a Waffle House move into Brooklyn, it's time to move to France.

Days is back y'all. Eat your grits.

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