Right out of the oven:

Broke cat owner (a relative term in this economy, I suppose) extracts Mr. Gray from local shelter with baseball bat, bad attitude…FOX News’ Chris Wallace causes ruckus at Nixon/Frost screening…Local teen helps protect family jewels with appropriately timed trip to bowling alley…Judge previously convicted of giving inappropriate attention to Mr. Johnson during proceedings still can’t get shit together…Exuberant karaoke singer learns how not to hot-dog the hard way…Christmas tree condom-giveaway leads to usual holiday conflict between Jesus and reality – in one witness’ words, “They had been placed on the floor with a sign inviting people to ‘help yourself’. A similar message was placed elsewhere in the church by other exhibitors offering sweets.”…And finally, in case you’re at a loss for the perfect Christmas tree ornament, why not try reindeer pooh?

The unintentionally funny Wikipedia entry of the week:

Andre “Bad Moon” Rison: This is pretty standard stuff until about the 2nd paragraph of the “Early Career” section…then it’s as if Larry David takes over.

Pirates! (and the obvious consequences…)

I keep reading these reports of heightened pirate activity off the east coast of Africa. While The Cupcake would never make light of terrorist activity, I have to say…with everything else going on, we’re now on the defensive with, ahem, pirates?! From what I understand, the pirates we’re talking about are just a bit more advanced than, say, Johnny Depp. And they’re much more cunning – just the other day one band successfully seized an entire oil tanker.

Now, forgive me, perhaps I’m not completely up on East African maritime protocol, but my gut reaction to pirate activity to the tune of $110 million in one haul is, well, confused. For example, where are you going to take a super tanker to off-load her merchandise? What could you possibly gain by killing the crew (because, of course, you’d still be left with the same difficult-to-unload merchandise, not to mention the mammoth ship itself)? I always thought that pirates were in it for the quick score. You know, treasure in buried trunks and stuff like that – that they’re in it now for voluminous, hard to move commodities seems counter-productive to me from a business point-of -view. I mean, they tried to hijack an entire cruise ship…I guess, at the end of the day, the brazenness being displayed and the success with which the crimes are being committed speaks to the general insecurity of the world at large.

Mumbai. London. Madrid. 9/11. It would be too presumptuous to suggest that the United States served as a catalyst for all of this ill-will, however; insurgents’ ability to expose security gaps seems to be the biggest threat to both U.S. national security and world security in general. Its not about weapons of mass destruction. Its about being a big enough fly in the ointment to disrupt major military response and protocol. Achieving this (as they largely have) renders the notion of the U.S. as a “lone superpower” misguided and purely inward-looking nationalistic rhetoric. In our violent path to the ultimate end of being the last one standing via multiple tactical missteps such as Chile, El Salvador, Panama, Cambodia, Iran, Cuba et al., we have put into motion exactly the sort of resistance we sought to avoid: an impossible-to-define-or-detect world-wide insurgency. And a very concentrated, well-funded one at that.

Our focus on technology in the absence of any real investment in ground troops, combined with limitless debate on how to defensively spend a weakening dollar (owned largely by foreign interests at this point) has paved the way for only one thing; a long protracted fall. Without a clear target, the fall of our empire is a foregone conclusion. And, with the greed evident throughout the foundations of the American economy, and other American interests world-wide that continue to suffer, everyone would do well to start reading The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. If the pirates were ever lucky enough to get on Jeopardy, they’d kick a lot of ass.

You should check out:

Right out of the oven:

Teen prankster bumps into World’s Grumpiest Gun-owner during ill-timed toilet-papering...Rick Tenan goes from 60 to 0 in one second, illustrating Reason #785 to never go hang-gliding…Wallace the pit bull goes on injured reserve for the 11th Annual Purina Incredible Dog Challenge’s Frisbee event after, ahem, eating spatula…Rattlesnake takes up residence in mailbox, provides mailman with all-expenses paid trip to hospital…Police looking for piece-of-garbage thief instead find piece-of-garbage child-sex-predator in actual garbage…”Cheeta” the (illegal) monkey lands owner in jail after being discovered while riding bitch during routine traffic stop…And finally, Mr. Johnson makes unexpected appearance on Survivor, angering the 2 people who still watch Survivor.

Truly trivial observations of the week:

John McCain and Sarah Palin, as well as their more conservative supporters (otherwise known as lunatics), have been telling me recently that Barack Obama is a terrorist because his name sounds like “Osama.” (Cue audio track: crickets, crickets, and more crickets…)

The same people are telling me that, because he wants to raise taxes on 5% of Americans and cut taxes for the remaining 95% so there is some balance between who pays the collective bills around here, he is somehow a Socialist. While The Cupcake normally tries to avoid tactless statements like “I doubt Sarah Palin could clearly articulate what Socialism is even if she had a political science textbook in front of her”, I have to say, I doubt Sarah Palin could clearly articulate what Socialism is even if she had a political science textbook in front of her.

Let's get some things straight about Obama: He is not a terrorist. He is not a Muslim. He is not a Socialist. He is not a radical. He is not related to Saddam. If you make less than $250,000 a year, he is not going to raise your taxes. He is not part of the Rebel Alliance. He is not radioactive. He is not the 16th "Named" storm of the 2008 Hurricane Season. He is not a fugitive from the planet Krypton. He is not a Pod. He is not going to run America into the ground (unlike some people I can immediately think of).

Moving on...
The Cupcake is very bummed out about Paul Newman. There aren’t enough people like him in the world. Salad dressing. Race cars. Philanthropy. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Cool Hand Luke. The Hustler. The Color of Money. Vanity Fair published this brilliant article just before Newman passed.

Speaking of disappointment...
Whenever I visit downtown Decatur, GA, it boggles my mind that people go there to burn life’s most precious commodity; time. Other than the killer Nathalie’s Fish House and the truly remarkable CafĂ© Lily, Decatur is quite the void: lots of middle-aged yuppies that take themselves way too seriously (think “Stuff White People Like”), restaurants that take themselves way too seriously, shops that take themselves way too seriously – I swear, even the squirrels look like they take themselves way too seriously. It’s all very superficial and very perplexing.

By the way...

Ignoring the obvious election sketches, is it my imagination or is Saturday Night Live on the ascent recently? That Andy Samberg-Mark Wahlberg thing was ridiculous. And, I can’t even think about MacGruber without laughing my ass off…
You should check out:
The Cupcake just returned from a trip to San Francisco…the music haul was impressive: The Germans clocked in with Cape Fear; a visit to Rasputin’s yielded the used find of 2008 ($5!): The Orb Live ’93 double-disc set – headphones required; underrated Factory Records alums A Certain Ratio represented with double-disc retrospective Early; and the flavor of the month, The Lovetones, were the steal of the trip ($1!!!) with Meditations.

Right out of the oven:

Trouser snake meets real (and real venomous) brown snake during roadside stop for bladder relief...A fair assumption is that Gordon Russell Cromwell has seen Pulp Fiction a few too many times…Last week it was the child-molesting magician (surely you remember “Long Island’s Favorite Magician”), this week it’s “Trim-Trim the Clown” getting popped for, naturally, child molestation…Newly hired Principal teaches 4th and 5th graders “lesson” with bag of poop…Since we’re talking feces – memo to all petty parking lot thieves: if you’re being chased on foot by the two dudes whose truck you just broke into, avoid port-o-lets at all costs…An “unusually aggressive bear” boards Vancouver boat to eat salmon fisherman (great bear action-shot!)…And finally, in other bear news this week, drunk zoo employee in mood to hug enters panda enclosure and, to no one’s surprise, leaves with severe wounds to leg, arm (another great bear action-shot!).

The “now it’s all making sense” moment of the week:

Well, the smoke has cleared (depending on where you’re sitting) and it’s become quite evident why McCain selected Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin: if he had nominated anyone with any legitimate experience and a platform and/or resume worth talking about, this election would have stayed squarely focused on issues. Instead, we’re getting a lot of bobbing and weaving (almost 2 full weeks after her nomination, Mrs. Palin is finally giving a solo interview), absurd allegations (“lipstick on a pig”) and a complete smoke-screen of dirty politics that has all but relegated Obama-Biden to Ed “Second Banana” McMahon status. What’s more is that, in concert with the claims of gutless right-wing parrots like Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity that she’s not getting a fair shake in the media despite wildly positive coverage thus far, only scant coverage has focused on how under-qualified and extreme Palin is. I’ve heard how great her speech at the convention was. I’ve heard how she appeals to undecided moderates (if this is the case, that voting-block needs to be renamed). I’ve even heard how she’s overshadowing McCain in popularity.
So, in what will surely be a vain effort to counteract the overwhelming impression that this “hockey mom” is something other than what we’ve been told, I’ve spent the last week collecting some facts about Sarah Palin that few want to acknowledge:

- While Barrack Obama was community organizing on the South Side of Chicago, Sarah Palin was a local television sports broadcaster, not the Mayor of Wasilla, AK. What was I thinking? Her belittling was spot on – why would anyone admire a kid just out of college that worked on behalf of people who had (and still have) very little hope in one of the most depressed areas of the country more than a sports broadcaster with a cool nickname?
- Her “important” stint as Mayor, once it finally arrived (Obama was already a State Senator at this juncture) – the cornerstone of her alleged qualifications as compared to Obama – came in a town of about 6,000 people. She won her second term by a margin of about 800 votes, though only about 1,200 people voted. By comparison, Barrack Obama won his second term in the Illinois State Senate by a margin of 45,000 votes.
- As Mayor, Palin apparently considered having certain books removed from the pubic library and then had the librarian fired when it was indicated that that move would be unwelcome.
- In an apparent grudge-reaction, Palin has been tied to the illegal firing of her former brother-in-law, a state-employee. As of today, her husband is now being investigated by the State of Alaska for his role in the scandal.
- For some reason, Palin thinks Iraq had something to do with the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001. Good thing the troops are on a mission from God.
- Palin is a strict Christian that has gone on record advocating the teaching of fiction (read: The Bible) alongside the teaching of strongly supported scientific theory (read: On the Origin of Species) in pubic schools – for however long she’d allow public schools to remain a staple of the American dream. Of course, if the Republicans keep running the economy, there won’t be an American dream left to take advantage of.
- And, while we’re on her religion, the right-wing media (a.k.a. the mainstream media) have repeatedly hassled anyone making even a remotely critical reference to Palin’s religious affiliation as “bashing” – I guess they would know all about that tactic given the bashing Kerry took in 2004 for having had the integrity to A) volunteer for Vietnam (Bush dodged the draft) and B) voicing his well-considered opinion about it after he served admirably.
- Palin is staunchly anti-choice when it comes to abortion, so much so she would be against it even in the case of her own daughter being raped.
- In addition to the numerous falsehoods made by her Republican colleagues at the convention, she herself blatantly lied on at least three occasions.
I let the facts speak for themselves. What little evidence The Cupcake has presented here should tell you the only fact that is of any importance: not only is Palin ill-prepared, but she poses a massive threat to the integrity of public servants, our civil liberties and the fine line between church and state. It’s a shame no one else is reporting her story in these terms. It looks like the media are fine with giving the “Straight Talk Express” a free ride right into the White House.

You should check out:
An EP Collection by Balun; obscure lo-fi, Aphex Twinish outfit that benefits from being less Aphex Twin and more lo-fi. Honorable mentions for the week include: the return of Oasis and the pre-Dig Out Your Soul-release track “Falling Down,” and both new Chemical Brothers tracks (“Keep My Composure” & “Midnight Madness”) featured on their unnecessary 2nd “best of” compilation Brotherhood (though the album does come with an allegedly badass bonus disc of “Electronic Battle Weapon” versions 1-9).

Right out of the oven:

Hanky-panky with park bench leads to ill-timed encounter with police, emergency workers…Got a beef with City Hall? Why not send them a pair of edible goat testicles!...I wonder if it’s mandatory that you be completely hammered before taking the stage as Ted Kennedy while performing at, ahem, political karaoke?…Squirrel on “nut hunt” (Spiegel Online’s words, not mine) puts the smack down on TV broadcast…Brutus the bull mistakes owner for pin cushion…Speaking of bulls, Mr. Zantrex The Bull reacts badly to being spray-painted with blue food coloring…Don’t people like Robert Infantino always seem to A) have nicknames like “Long Island’s Favorite Magician” and B) claim things like peeping and possessing child porn are big misunderstandings?...And finally, the things they have to live with in Australia – Melbourne jogger runs afoul of AWOL kangaroo and pays for it with impromptu boxing lesson.

The “everyone is asking the wrong question” moment of the week:

Since Sen. McCain’s August 29th announcement of Gov. Sarah Palin as his Vice Presidential choice, everyone on both sides of the aisle has been going crazy over her qualifications, background and personal life. Not that this furor should be unexpected, nor is it unwarranted despite Sen. Obama having said repeatedly that Palin’s personal life should not have anything to do with being considered for President. I guess the way Obama sees it, Bush got a free ride twice on the personal background ticket so why challenge it – let’s win on merit instead. And remember, Bush’s rides came despite him being an admitted recovered alcoholic (maybe), an alleged draft dodger, an alleged cocaine abuser and, in general (no alleged here), the world’s worst businessman. If issues of this magnitude didn’t matter in 2000 and 2004, why should they matter with respect to a lowly VP nominee? In the immediate, Palin's issues - excuse the pun - pale in comparison to the one question everyone should be asking: What happened to all the other astronomically more qualified suitors for the VP slot?

Is John McCain, decorated war veteran, long time public servant, dedicated father and owner of who-knows-how-many-homes actually expecting me to believe that this was his best choice? Is he expecting me to believe that since he shored up the nomination six full months ago, this was the yield of his scouting labor? Are we to be confident in her even though he made this decision after only meeting with Palin for the first time the day before he asked her to run with him. What happened to Charlie Christ? What happened to Mitt Romney? What happened to Rudy? I’m so mystified that I’m even asking what happened to Mike Huckabee! Are we expected to believe that all of these guys got beat out by a 21st Century version of June Cleaver that can get you a good deal on a snow-mobile? I mean, let’s face it, no one gets along great and I know McCain had his problems with Huckabee, Rudy and Romney during the primaries, but if Biden could get away with the Fuzzy Zoeller Award of the Year and still get picked, than surely fences could have been mended. How can McCain possibly reconcile the numerous ideological differences between himself and his running mate in a convincing enough fashion to win?

Life is truly stranger than fiction...which leads me to believe that one of three things is happening here:

  1. The former top options all removed themselves from consideration because they don’t want to be on a ticket that gets drubbed in November.
  2. George Lucas has overthrown Karl Rove for control of the Republican Party and is desperately trying to make up for those shitty Star Wars prequels by showing he can write drama.
  3. McCain will yet be proven right. Gov. Palin will show that she indeed possess talents not yet visible to the naked eye and will prove everyone wrong through staunch political savvy, undeniable mastery of issues – both domestic and foreign, exemplary oratorical skills and a complete lobotomization that will make her palatable to anyone who: still believes in the Theory of Evolution; anyone not living in Alaska, Montana, Wyoming or any other locale where you pack heat waiting for the Russians to invade; anyone who thinks the government should mind its own f***ing business when it comes to what we do with our bodies, etc, etc…Naturally, none of those things came through successfully in the acceptance speech that was written for her at the RNC. Unless, of course, you consider success to be transparent jingoism, baseless attacks on the opposition (e.g., raising taxes - don't the Republicans have anything else they can use?!), a total lack of policy discussion (oh, pardon me, she did mention drilling for oil several times), yadda, yadda, yadda - don't believe me? Read the transcript for yourself here. Outside of the few zingers lobbed Obama's way, her speech was an insult.

So, The Cupcake is still left scratching his head. Any way you slice it, the thing that scares me the most is that the First-Son-In-Law might be this guy (nice mullet by the way) in another 4 months.

You should check out:

The soundtrack to Rumble Fish by Stewart Copeland – drummer from The Police creates an unforgettable soundscape to one of the most overlooked movies of the 1980’s. Added bonus? You get to hear Stan Ridgway from Wall of Voodoo sing something other than Mexican Radio.

Right out of the oven:

End-of-school-year Amherst pranksters get creative with utility golf carts using spray-paint, super glue…Grizzly bear runs out of honey, decides to chew on man’s head instead…Pinnacle Airlines pilot gets hammered, ends night on the receiving end of Police helicopter search-light wearing only sandals and wristwatch…Cow saves woman’s life by headbutting her in the stomach…Acrobatic race-horse makes mockery of Eight Belles… To horror of neighbors, lazy home-owners (and possibly cheap) enlist the help of goats to maintain yard…Garry Kasparov, still smarting after that whole Deep Blue thing, gets attacked by radio-controlled penis…Despite the five empty beer cans in her possession – 4 under the driver’s seat and 1 in her, ahem, purse - NY teen claims intoxication through kissing…And finally, innocent road-side piss after bender leads to mistaken identity, fatal gunshot to chest.

The “I expect better from The Washington Post” moment of the week:

Unable to peel away the layers of complexity involved with the “brokered” deal in the DNC dust-up yesterday, The Cupcake decided that it would be a good time to start chipping away at another equally volatile issue: leftist media bias. Why this issue at this time? Well, Howard Kurtz of The Washington Post felt it necessary to kowtow to, of all entities, the Clinton campaign in this borderline-ridiculous piece on May 28th; “MSNBC, Leaning Left and Getting Flak From Both Sides.”

While I do not consider MSNBC balanced by any stretch of the imagination, it’s imperative to note that quoting opinions from the likes of McCain strategist Steve Schmidt, White House counselor Ed Gillespie and Hillary Clinton lieutenant Terry McAuliffe as support that MSNBC is an out-of-control tool of the political left is laughable at best. What would you expect that collection of stiffs to say, “MSNBC is doing a great job?”

Ed Gillespie’s quote was the most offensive of the lot, asserting that MSNBC is somehow eroding the credibility of NBC News with their "blatantly partisan talk show hosts like Christopher Matthews and Keith Olbermann." Really Ed? I have reservations about watching my local FOX News affiliate for the weather report thanks to the blatantly partisan talk show hosts harbored by FOX News…hasn’t Kurtz ever heard of Sean Hannity? Hasn’t he ever heard of Bill O’Reilly? Wasn’t the President’s former Press Secretary previously employed as a lead news anchor for FOX? Does Karl “The Architect” Rove have a recurring gig on any other major news channel? How much more blatantly partisan can you get? Schmidt’s quote was close behind, accusing MSNBC of being nothing but a tool of the Democrats for attacking Sen. McCain. Again The Cupcake must ask, what is FOX News? I’m at a loss. As much as I am infuriated with the Clintons right now, I do not have such a short memory that I’ve forgotten about the absolute denigration FOX News blatantly threw their way starting back in 1996, well before Monica Lewinsky actually gave them something to crow about.

I personally make it a point to watch FOX News as often as possible – as Capt. Marko Ramius once said, it’s wise to know the ways of one’s adversary. The arguments made, and more importantly the reasoning used, on FOX News is so often conservative in its slant, I feel like I’m living in Berlin, circa 1939. After watching for 30 minutes, I realize that I should be afraid of everyone and everything right down to the Peace Corps (cuz they’re out to dominate the world too!). The blind (aka ridiculous, unearned, suicidal et al.) support for all things Bush and the smugness of Hannity and O’Reilly are rarely founded in logic or political history. Hannity and O’Reilly’s radio shows are even more ridiculous – and I know because I listen to them each and every day. Even the conservatives who call in and question something as black-and-white like our alarmingly low troop strengths and over-stretched deployments get hammered as being left-wing doves. Face it, if you’re not G. Gordon Liddy, you’re not going to get a fair shake from FOX News.

I respect MSNBC for ratcheting up their partisan coverage. It’s about time someone in the “liberal media” used their alleged corner on the market to balance cable-news coverage out. Were it not for MSNBC’s new-found freedom of speech threatening their winnowing support and flimsy arguments, the Republicans (as well as Hillary’s cronies) wouldn’t be making these points. Nevertheless, MSNBC, FOX News, CNN, yadda, yadda, yadda…does it really matter? News has become, like everything else our media spews out, so entertainment-centric and anti-intellectual in its production, delivery and interpretation; accusations of media bias are most certainly irrelevant.

Unfortunately, the magazine model of media now applies to the consumption of news; the advent of cable and the Internet have relegated the public to sheep that will only consume their most personally accepted point of view so they can continue living in their comfortable bubbles. Heaven forbid people take it upon themselves to challenge their preconceived notions, show some intellectual back-bone and demand coverage that is indeed “fair and balanced.”

We get what we ask for.

You should check out:

Like quirky? Like indie? Like quirky indie? Musicality by Salako is for you (Tiger, go straight to iTunes now!). Don't let the Sesame Street-esque record cover fool you, this is almost brilliant. Honorable mention for the week also includes: Miracle Cure by Blank & Jones featuring guitars and volals from the one and only Bernard Sumner; Paul Weller meets Noel Gallagher on the stompin' Echoes Round the Sun...
Right out of the oven:

Former Creek County Oklahoma judge Donald Thompson released from prison after serving 20 months for ill-timed penis pumping...Family vacation comes to a hazy end after mom and dad pass out in hotel bar, leaving one, two and six year olds to fend for themselves…Are you a dog person or a cat person? Anthony Dill emphatically answered that question for a group of shocked onlookers (who just happened to be kids) while managing to incorporate urination along with a number of other visual aides…18-year-old out on drunken-early-morning-pedal-boat-joy-ride goes for broke in the “let’s try to get multiple rescue workers killed” sweepstakes…In other bizarre Canadian news this week, dust-up over tree branch leaves 76-year-old, literally, breathless…Florida doctor, Pasco County Fire Rescue go the extra mile to show why they got rejected for that guest appearance on Law & Order: SVU…And finally, Los Angeles drunk driver learns how not to ask fellow motorists for assistance after driving the wrong way in a carpool lane and flipping his car; what a night.

The "Mission Accomplished" moment of the week:

For those of you out there with short memories (e.g., the 30% of people that still think Bush knows what he’s doing), May 1 marked the 5th anniversary – let me repeat that, the 5th anniversary – of the President’s most memorable photo-op. No, not the one where he couldn’t remember the “shame on you” saying. No, no, not the one where he convinced the Chinese that he’s a complete f***ing idiot. I’m talking about the no-less-infamous one aboard the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln where he declared victory and an end to all “major combat operations” in Iraq. If he had still been alive to see this debacle, Lincoln would most certainly never have stopped throwing up. In fact, I’ve felt like throwing up several times over the past few days watching the Bush team bob and weave like Sugar Ray Leonard around questions surrounding that fateful appearance.

Paring the issue down to its most simplistic fundamentals, just what would Bush call the last 5 years of the war if major combat operations ceased in May of 2003 and we indeed won the “Battle of Iraq” (his words, not mine)? And, what are we to term those soldiers killed since May 1, 2003 if they weren’t killed as a result of “combat operations?” Perhaps collateral damage? According to the Washington Post – whose statistics come straight from the Department of Defense just in case anyone wants to cry foul – over 4,000 troops have now been killed as of April 28th, 2008. And, even more infuriating, roughly 97% of those 4,000 fatalities came after the “end of major combat operations” according to http://www.antiwar.com/ – they get their statistics from the Department of Defense too. So, let’s do some quick math, shall we? These statistics mean that roughly 3,900 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq since the President told us that the war in Iraq was over. Hard to believe that we’ve lost almost 4,000 troops in the 5 years since the war ended when we only lost 100 or so when it was taking place, you know? That seems counterintuitive to me…if these last 5 years didn’t involve major combat operations and our mission was indeed “accomplished,” then how come so many soldiers have been sacrificed since?

Even more disturbing are the Iraqi civilian fatalities which, depending on who you believe, range anywhere from 30,000 (Bush’s number) to 650,000 + (Johns Hopkins School of Public Health’s number) (click on the tab entitled "Iraqi Security Force and Civilian Fatalities" at the top-right of the chart that comes up). Personally, I think the World Health Organization’s estimate is likely the most accurate considering that, unlike Bush (who stopped counting in 2005 – what a great way to keep the number down!), WHO actually went door to door and surveyed over 9,000 households in over 1,000 neighborhoods on things like how many family members got decapitated the last time insurgents came over for dinner. Call me crazy, but I think I’ll live dangerously and take WHO’s reputation over the Bush Administration’s in deciding who’s making a more honest stab at being accurate – especially since they’re still counting and all. Put it this way, if you can convince me with a straight face that only 30,000 Iraqi civilians have lost their lives since the 2003 invasion, you might want to try selling me a car. Or crack. Either way, you dazzle me; you’ve got a lifetime customer.

Oh, and by the way, if all of the above wasn’t convincing enough that major combat operations are indeed not over – we’ve spent half a trillion dollars since May 1st, 2003 according to the National Priorities Project (they get their statistics straight from Congressional Budget Office estimates). A half trillion! And for that price tag, we still can't fit our troops with the body armor they need.

Abraham Lincoln would be throwing up indeed. Everybody should be throwing up.

You should check out:

Feeling down about what you just read? Don’t fret, let Cut Copy transport you back to the late 1980’s, that not-so-refreshing time when things also sucked thanks to a man named Bush being in the White House. Pick up a copy of their phenomenal In Ghost Colours. No, they’re not actually from the late 80’s but they sure as f*** should be.

Help the Cupcake Out:

Visit iGuard's Web site and register if you haven't already. It takes 30 seconds and you can sign up with Advil, no prescription drugs necessary!

Right out of the oven:

Agitatated neighbor and apparent John Denver-hater murders 8 guests attending ill-timed John Denver karaoke party next door, including the gunman's brother-in-law...Locomotive, tractor-trailer and police sharp shooters remind rogue cows to stay out to pasture...Mail fraud reaches new heights in under-garment fashion trends...Irritating cat-next-door leads to more irritating dope bust...In other pet news, Spuds MacKenzie ingratiates himself with new owners by mistaking mother and daughter for a 6-pack of Bud Light...Judge Judith Shriar lectures defendant on the seemingly obvious: "Regardless of what's going on in the home and background, you do not take two knives to the bedroom and stab your husband in the penis and buttocks."... And finally, San Diego police think the skull found behind area hot dog stand might be related to the skull-less skeleton found on the other side of town last week. I think I'd take that bet.

Bonus material:
The Cupcake recently took a trip to NYC. L. Jon Wertheim of Sports Illustrated referenced the article I wrote about it here (scroll down about half-way for the bullet and link)

Juno what? Juno sucked.

I finally got around to seeing Juno last week. You know Juno. It’s the film about the pregnant teen and her Superbad boyfriend with sharp dialogue and a killer soundtrack shepherded by stripper-cum-Oscar-winning-
screenwriter Diablo Cody. A surefire recipe for “indie” brilliance one would assume. Hmmm…seems a funny thing is happening to “indie” cinema – it’s starting to get awfully predictable and formulaic. The problem is not what’s wrong with Juno, it’s what’s right with it.

Even Tarantino has rarely written more finely crafted dialogue than the dialgoue you'll find in Cody's Juno – it’s just that gangsters are usually the ones saying it in his films, not annoying teenagers who apparently face no parental consequences for committing the ultimate teenage unforced error. Let’s put it this way, if all American 16 year olds are this sharp and acerbic, we’re gonna be outsourcing jobs in the State Department to India 20 years from now cuz no one else on the planet will be able to stand us.

Juno also has all the casting staples to satisfy the "indie" palate; you have the formerly-laughable-but-now-accepted-has-been (Jason Bateman), the currently-laughable-but-desparately-seeking-street-cred-wannabe (Jennifer Garner – who, in her defense, is very good in this film), the talented secondary actors whose names are not, and likely never will be, house-hold names (J.K. Simmons, Allison Janney), the standard flavor-of-the-month (Michael Cera) and, of course, the discovery-that-has-since-gone-mega (Ellen Page). Considering every other indie film on the planet has been following this formula since the quasi-indie progenitor Easy Rider, perhaps a rethink is in order. By virtue of adering so strictly to this formula, the narrative played out rather predictably.

And then you have the pregnancy thing…“indie” has started trending toward socially-blind and feel-good as opposed to socially-conscious. Films like Drugstore Cowboy and Requiem for a Dream were difficult to watch and tackled issues the major studios wouldn’t dare go after. Juno would have been great if actually having an abortion had been addressed (you know folks, that happens too). That decision was glossed over as a mere inconvenience and treated a woman’s right to choose with Mel Brooksian tact through its portrayal of the “neighborhood” abortion clinic. I wanted to throw up. If right-wing fundamentalist Christians have infiltrated American cinema, this is surely their Plymouth Rock. Put it this way, most everyone in Germany circa 1939, excepting the Jews of course, thought Joseph Goebbels’ inlfuence on culture was all shits and giggles too until the Allies discovered Auschwitz.

To its credit, Juno offers a magnificent soundtrack and the cinematography is truly beautiful. Its willingness to sell-out, however, supersedes these two achievements. Its hip-quotient prevents Juno from getting out of its own way and is, simply put, trying too hard to be indie. You can’t be lo-fi, it just happens. And therein lays the problem with Juno; it came off as a studio-film in indie clothing.

I understand Diablo Cody’s working with Steven Spielberg these days. What a surprise.

You should check out:

Rambo & Leroy – Last One Standing; The last band to open for a fully-functional New Order. If I need to say anymore, don’t waste your time.

Air Traffic – Fractured Life; The Cupcake was lucky enough to review this album for Astralwerks Records here. Lower-grade Coldplay. Below-average Athlete. Still some good tracks here…

Over the weekend I was at a Circuit City browsing around and found a copy of the 1992 Laurence Fishburne film Deep Cover for $6. Being a Cupcake that apprecaites everything and anything that is deeply discounted, especially something as badass as this film, I scooped it up like Baskin-Robbins. I was introduced to this film a long time ago by my compadre Isaac and had forgotten how well done it is. Put is this way, most of the time there's nothing better than a bunch of gangsters doing a bunch of ganster shit.

Watching this film over the course of the next couple days, it began to occur to The Cupcake that movies involving the City of Angels are never easy endeavors. Even the comedies carry with them a sense that L.A. is a less-than-forgiving place wrought with desparation and depression. So, following this epiphany, I began an internal debate over my favorite L.A. films...to properly do this, however, I first established 4 simple ground rules:

- This is not a "top x" list - I hate "Top 10s" (with maybe the exception of Letterman's) and made a 2008 resolution with myself to get away from rank-ordering things - its trite and too subjective. This rule will also absolve me of having to include every film ever made that had some connection to L.A. Instead, this is just a collection of films that I personally like.
- For a film to be included, L.A. needs to be the setting's focal point. This means that, theoretically, Die Hard could not be considered an "L.A. film" since 90% of it takes place inside Nakatomi Plaza.
- All genres count.
- Because celluloid depictions of L.A. are usually so desparate, desolate (morally, anyway) and depressing, I've assigned each film a depress-o-meter rating where 1 means its fodder for Disney audiences and 10 means "fasten-your-seatbelts-for-Requiem for a Dream-style-anxiety".

Here we go, in no particular order:

Collateral (2004): Tom Cruise with gray hair, cool suit and a very difficult job (hitman). Jamie Foxx with almost no hair, sweat suit and a very difficult job (cabbie). Way better than Heat (see below) in my opinion since it dispenses with the pleasantries and extraneous character development and instead moves at almost-real-time through a meticulous night of witness "tampering" on behalf of a Colmbian drug king pin. Cruise, despite his tendency to annoy, is flawless as Vincent. And Michael Mann uses the city of L.A. visually in a way that is superior to any other film on this list. Depress-o-meter says: 5

Deep Cover (1992): Larry Fishburne is killer as an undercover narc working for the DEA that, at the beginning of the film, has never taken a drink or done any drugs thanks to a personal tragedy that befell him as a child...by the end of the film, he approaches the threshold of self-destruction but is stone-cold (Steve Austin!) cool enough to reel himself in just in time to nail both the distributor & the king pin he was tasked with bringing down as well as unforseen-yet-alluded-to elements of corruption in the state-department and the CIA. Other stand outs include Jeff Goldblum (WTF is he doing in this film?) and some actress named Kamala Lopez-Dawson that plays the scariest crack-addicted mother ever. Depress-o-meter says: 7

Blade Runner (1982): OK, so my rules don't exclude future "interpretations" of L.A., a weakness perhaps. Nevertheless, this 40s-style noir-thriller set in 2019 is replete with flying cars, extreme pollution and the coolest picture-scanning equipment this side of reality. Not so much depressing as it is a stark indictment of how for-granted humans take living and life itself - despite, of course, Rutger Hauer killing everything that moves. The star that burns twice as bright burns half as long. Depress-o-meter says: 5

Save the Tiger (1973): Harry Stoner. Morally decayed, tax-cheater, makes an extra buck by getting clients laid...put it this way, Jack Lemmon won an Oscar. Pinned into a corner, Harry decides to burn his warehouse down to collect an insurance settlement after giving the most rapid-fire, 4-minute cinematic world history lesson in, well, history. And the final scene would make Dick Cheney weep. OK, maybe that's stretching it, but you gotto save those tigers. Depress-o-meter says: 7

Fletch (1985): "I write a column under the name Jane Doe" says Chevy Chase at the apex of his career as L.A. Times investigative reporter Irwin M. Fletcher. The one-liners roll like tumbleweeds as he tries to figure out why Otter wants to be murdered and why Norm doesn't make any money off the drugs he sells out of his burger shack on the beach. Fred "The Dorf" Dorfman. Oldsmo-buick. Matress Police. I rest my case. Depress-o-meter says: 2

Escape from L.A. (1996): Not as good as its predecessor, but 10 times campier. Escape from L.A. again visits a sort-of-post-apocalyptic world where the the nation's fate (or in this case, what's left of it) rests in the hands of Snake Plisskin. This time L.A. has been separated from the mainland thanks to the "Big One" and has been relegated to a deregulated Las Vegas. Kurt Russell reprises his role with flair, but Cliff Robertson as a Christian fundmentalist President is truly eerie. He actually reminds me a lot of George W. Bush. Good bad fun. Depress-o-meter says: 2

Heat (1996): Billed as a "Los Angeles Crime Saga", Heat is a serviceable cops & robbers film of the highest technical order. DeNiro portrays a master-theif searching for one last score before disappearing to the greener pastures of, uhm, New Zealand. Pacino is the detective who stalks him. The film is great to look at and the set-pieces are executed with cold percision. Unfortunately, too much time is wasted on useless character developement (e.g. Pacino's annoying wife, DeNiro's forced romance). Why, for example, is Natalie Portman even in the film? Mann would have been wise to adhere to the nuts & bolts approach he took with Thief, a film that touches on many of the same themes but doesn't get bogged down in them by keeping it stripped down and centered around the trade-craft of burglary. Despite these flaws, the cornerstone of this film, the bank robbery scene, is epic: Italian suits, automatic weapons, Brian Eno soundtrack and the longest, frenzied shoot-out ever recorded on film. Depress-o-meter says: 5

To Live & Die In L.A. (1985): Secret Service agents track master-counterfeiter after said counterfeiter offs fellow agent. William Petersen is awesome as agent Richard Chance; played sarcastically with a streak of Harry Callahan. Unfortunately for Dick, he takes a shotgun spread to the face about three-quarters into the film, leaving the audience with no more protagonist - the ulitmate trick that went over like a lead balloon with the studio. The DVD contains an alternate ending preferred by the studio execs that is, seriously, one of the worst things The Cupcake has ever seen - how do you survive a shotgun to the face? Why would there be a secret service station in the middle of nowhere on a mountain top in Alaska? Great use of L.A., especially the rush hour chase going the wrong way on the freeway. Depress-o-meter says: 7

Chinatown (1974): In my humble opinion, Chinatown is the best L.A. film ever made, but we're not ranking here so I'll refrain from any more comments like that. Nicholson is incredible. Dunaway is incredible. Huston is incredible. The writing is incredible. The cinematography is incredible. The score is incredible. Even the extras are incredible. No spoilers or pontification here...just see it for the first time or for another time. Its a masterpiece that says more about L.A. than any of these other films combined. Depress-o-meter says: 9

Honorable mentions:
- Pulp Fiction (1996) - Don't be tellin' me about no foot massage!
- Less Than Zero (1987) - Its better than you remember and a helluva lot more depressing...
- Colors (1988) - Sean Penn. Robert Duvall. Excellent.
- Friday (1995) - You ain't got no job and you ain't got shit to do...
- Boyz N the Hood (1991) - Depress-o-meter says: 10
- Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) - More Sean Penn. More excellence.

Right out of the oven:

One minute you're at a holiday party thrown by your boss, the next minute he's sending 20,000 volts through your nuts...In other testicle news this week, the Cupcake was relieved to learn that cooler heads prevailed in the Virginia General Assembly, leaving "Truck Nutz" as an acceptable form of protected speech for the time being (special thanks to my girl Jessi out in San Diego for turning me on to deez'nuts way back when)...They do things a little differently out in the Bay Area - Palo Alto reviewing plans for converting cow manure to electricity...Ocean Shore, WA red-necks start using, uhm, brains, develop cool new, though likley inefficient, deer-hunting technique...Problem: You've run out of spare change and desparately need some for the soda machine. Its snowing outside. You're girlfirend has borrowed your car so you have no means of transportation. Solution: Steal a backhoe from a neighborhood construction site, drive it to the nearest car wash (sure to be vacant given the weather conditions) and excute reliable "car-wash-coin-machine-backhoe-jack" robbery using aforementioned stolen construction equipment...In a coldly precise, .203 BAC performance, Stephen Wayne Wolf secures his record 19th drunk driving conviction after hit and run accident...And finally, the Jack Tripper of the frog world becomes part of Three's Company-style mistaken identity the hard way. As one veternarian put it, "You shouldn't be kicking toads to death anyway, it's far better to catch them up and pop them in the freezer." Good advice Doc.

The "George F. Will makes an interesting point" moment of the week:

I've always admired George Will, albiet at an arm's length. Depsite his conservative leanings, he generally approaches politics from a concurrence of realistic political philosophy and solid political strategy. And he has a sense of history unsurpassed in the punditry world. In this morning's Washington Post, after reminding everyone how ridiculous the Democratic Party's nomination process is, he focuses squarely on the absurdity of Hillary Clinton's continued assertions that her "vast" experience should somehow automatically relegate Barack Obama to the back-burner (Thank Christ someone finally did!). Essentially, George reminds us that the experience she keeps touting includes, as he puts it, "everything she has done since school, from her years at Little Rock's Rose Law Firm to her good fortune with cattle futures, as presidentially relevant experience." Most of which, I might add doesn't add up to a hill of beans in political accomplishment. And, in an even more astute observation, he duly notes that Abraham Lincoln was merely a one-term Congressman prior to being president. If I recall correctly, his mug is on our currency, and more than one piece at that - ok, so the penny is somewhat inconsequential, but its still, as Vincent Vega once termed it, legal tender. In fact, Abe's one of a select few presidents to acheive that feat to my knowledge (Washington and Jefferson being the others - correct me if I've left someone out). Gee, look what a lack of experience can get you...your face immortalized on a coin and a bill, not to mention a monument the size of the Astrodome.

Perhaps if the major "liberal media" (another fallacy for another blog) weren't so wrapped up in horse-race coverage, someone other than a conservative columnist like George Will would have pointed this stuff out already. Infurating? Not really. Depressing is more like it. Which leads me into...

A non-denial denial? moment of the week (so far):

Wow. Looks like they'll be burning copies of The New York Times in overdrive throughout red-state Amerikkka...just after the Cupcake defends Senator McCain against the barrage of unfounded and ridiculous criticsm leveled toward him from the likes of Rush Limbaugh, the Times breaks a potential bombshell of a story about his possible philandering and influence peddling. T'is not the Cupcake's place to pass judgement on an issue of this magnitude, but I can say that working in public affairs myself, I can smell a non-denial denial a mile away - and, so far, the McCain camp's responses have been riddled with them. Take, for example, the first official response:

"It is a shame that The New York Times has lowered its standards to engage in a hit-and-run smear campaign. John McCain has a 24-year record of serving our country with honor and integrity. He has never violated the public trust, never done favors for special interests or lobbyists, and he will not allow a smear campaign to distract from the issues at stake in this election."

"Americans are sick and tired of this kind of gutter politics, and there is nothing in this story to suggest that John McCain has ever violated the principles that have guided his career."

It would have been nice if, in addition to telling us about his war record - need we be reminded of that under this circumstance? - or his disdain for special interests or how sick of this "kind of gutter politics" we all are (we're not, we just say that), the spokesperson issuing this statement mentioned that the accusations are completely and utterly false. Hmmm, didn't see that anywhere.

In McCain's defense, he did issue a statement that first targeted the article as being untrue (hardly a denial) followed closely with an emphatic "no" when asked if he was ever romatically initimate with the lobbyist in question (that's what we were looking for Johnny). Man, for a self-described straight talker, it sure took a while for him to tells us he didn't sow a final oat or two.

And, as for the Times, I hope the hell they're right because if they're not, they just dropped a gold mine of fodder for Hannity and crew to tee off on Tiger Woods-style.

You should check out:

Hail Social. Straight outta Philly. In the words of Tom & Ed, extra supa dope. Nice lo-fi artwork. Killer lo-fi beats. Check out at all costs.

Right out of the oven:

Landscaper acquires WWII memento the hard way, loses clothes (they were burned for disposal by the fire department) and receives one of those cool fire-hose showers like the one from Silkwood...Welcome to the neighborhood! "Stressed" elk makes itself at home in man's dining room...Cornwall man identifies reason #684 to never go hang-gliding (Featuring killer rescue footage!)...Our specials tonight include frozen ferret, frozen house cat and frozen, ahem, sea otter!...Snowball antics elicit your average, every day shotgun/machete response...What a way to get it - innocent stop at port-o-let on way home from meeting yields a lifetime of nightmares...And finally, unsuspecting kite flier encounters 50 MPH gust, becomes airborne to the tune of 20 ft and, in what won't be a surprise to anyone, falls on face and suffers severe back injuries. Justin Pugh, manager of the local kite shop, summed it up best: "What happened is just a freak gust of wind catching him off guard, I think."

Kool-Aid Drinking 101:

In the wake of Senator John McCain's big night (and yes, it was big), the Cupcake thought it only fair to momentarily shift focus to the Republicans for a change. Now that McCain is clearly the "frontrunner" for the Republican nomination, its appropriate to comment on the recent backlash against the Senator from the utlra-right-faction of the Republican party otherwise known as the Conservative Media Community and their bretheren (e.g., Orange County, Evangelicals, etc). His success on Super Tuesday will no doubt only serve to further agitate this clan. Indeed, they will talk of how Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney established themselves as the true "conservative" candidates (by that, I assume they mean ignorant biggot and wolf-in-sheep's-clothing-with-good-math-skills, respectively). Let me tell you, if you're surprised that Huckabee won in places like Georgia and Alabama, you need to go sign up for an adult-ed Political Science course. And with the Mittster...let's put it this way, if you can't win your home state (or in this case states), you don't deserve to be in the running to begin with - his victories were even more inconsequential than Huckabee's, if not at least as expected. McCain is in no trouble and will have no problem whatsoever securing the nomination. Why? Because the "true" conservatives of the party have decided to take back their party - these Republicans understand that having the Democrats think you're okay is a helluva lot more beneficial to everyone than having the slim fringe of Evangelical America and talk-radio think you're okay. Which brings me to the McCain-bashing...

The McCain attacks have been eerily ridiculous (think Bizarro-world Superman...nice try at the old bait & switch Ann), tasteless/shameless (Rush Limbaugh couldn't hold Bob Dole's jock strap) and, not surprisingly, completely unified. The Cupcake can understand these conservative "pundits" holding a level of apprehension, or even distaste, against someone who is, in many ways, a liberal Republican. We're dealing with people that have all been living high on the hog for over a decade, first feasting on the carcass of Bill Clinton and then feasting on the propserity he and his Republican predecessors sowed. What I don't understand is why they hate him so much? I've been giving that a lot of thought and the logical explanation is: he represents the end of their reign. He has refused to drink the same kool-aid this faction has been drinking since 2000. You know the kool-aid I'm talking about. It's the kool-aid that has: A) the economy in the toilet, B) the richest 1% of this country riding the other 99% like those burros that take people up and down the Grand Canyon, C) our military mired down in a travesty of unwarranted privatization and alarming depletion because of over-extension (oh, I forgot, you go to war with the army you've got...) and D) a large majority of the other 193 countries on this planet ready to kick us off the island.

In fact, given the wild popularity of John McCain with the Republicans that have already voted in the primaries, things are looking pretty good for a general election showdown that very well may have the Republicans retaining the White House. If anything, the general eletcion, if held now, would be decided by a razor-thin margin - which, to the Cupcake anyway, is mind-boggling considering roughly 70% of the electorate disapprove of the job George W. Bush is doing. In other words, if "pundits" like Rush think McCain of 2008 resembling Dole of 1996 is bad, they'd do well to game out the fact that a Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee of 2008 would look a lot worse - my guess is that they'd suffer the same fate Barry Goldwater did in 1964. At least Bob Dole walked away with a reasonable amount of self-respect intact. I think this Republican primary season has shown undisputably that the small-ruling elite of the Republican party is about to be deposed...the party of Lincoln is ready to come back to its roots of fiscal conservatism and respect for equality by telling those that have created all these divisions in our county to take a hike.

Recognizing that their legacy, indeed their very claim to fame, is at stake with this election, this core of "conservatives" is lashing out the only way they can. They know a McCain victory would relegate them to side-show freaks a la Joe McCarthy - a mere footnote in American history eventually regarded as misguided and ridiculous. These people are so afraid of change it makes me ashamed that they call themselves Americans. To viciously tarnish a man that has given so much to this country is appalling. And to suggest that this man would be soft on terrorism and defeatist in Iraq after what he's been through- first as a Naval aviator, next as a POW for over 5 years and then as a politician who has proudly exercised his right to independent thought - is ludicrous. By the way, no "pundit" has any shred of military experience, let alone combat experience - Limbaugh comes the closest with a Vietnam deferment...

Besides themselves, the only people Ann Coulter and Sean Hannity have to be upset with for turning most regular, tax-paying, rational Republicans toward McCain are those currently in the White House. In fact, based on the primary results so far, it seeems the large majority of people voting in the Republican primaries want to field the strongest candidate possible so they can win. Nevermind that, the Hannity types are too blind to see that a McCain presidency, if supported in the right way, could place the White House in Republican hands for elections to come. They would rather tar and feather their best option at redemption than say, "Hey, you know what? our guy has screwed things up good, everyone is against us and maybe the pendulum does need to shift back if we want to retain power." Of course, you'd never catch them saying that. They all have too much of that Nixon pride that so famously worked against rationality.

Well I, for one, say thank you for the near-sightedness guys, its very much appreciated!

You should check out:

I've been reading a lot lately...most recently, I started Flight of the Falcon, the true story about Christopher John Boyce's escape from prison and the subsquent manhunt. If you've ever seen the film The Falcon and the Snowman, this sequel to that film is a must read. If you haven't, then see the film at the very least. For a quick tutorial on this true story of treason with side dishes of falconry and drug dealing, check these out:

Falcon #1 (this one's a little slow to load)
Falcon #2

Right out of the oven:

Bakersfield teacher offers to trace (yes, trace) Mr. Johnson for some unsuspecting students - surprisingly he's only charged with two counts of "annoying" the students...One minute yer' havin' a Denver omelet, the next minute someones sticking a, er, crowbar in yer' face!...Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time: Park Ranger tracking rogue elephant spends night tied to tree after being mistaken for punching-bag by irate locals...Ign.com's Obscure Character of the Day column comes up with it's most piss-your-pants-funny entry yet, reminiscing about everyone's favorite weak-minded storm-trooper...While we're talking Star Wars, did anyone see this lunatic on American Idol? Or how 'bout this disaster?...Clown school President not clowning around when it comes to anti-clown editorials (be sure to read "chippydog's" two reader comments)...Wait a minute, I thought they were steadfastly saying (through their lawyer, of course) that they were merely victims of a visit to the zoo gone wrong? Oh that's right, most victims usually drink vodka, smoke dope and then taunt a 350 pound Siberian Tiger...And, finally, eyewitness accounts of rigged end-of-semester party at Canadian trade school report: "The first sign something was wrong was when the dizziness and nausea began to set in.

The "I really hate politicians, especially ones named Hillary Clinton" moment of the week:

Hillary Clinton has decided that the only way she can convince people to vote for her is to appeal to their lack of informed decision-making prowess by simply leveling attacks, no matter how skewed or preposterous, at her chief rival, Sen. Barack Obama. What really smokes The Cupcake about this manipulation is the blatant Republicanistic tactics she's been employing. From her "let's take the wind out of an entire movement's sails by playing armchair political historian" interpretation of the impact Martin Luther King had on his own movement to the implication that Obama in any way somehow supports the very un-liberal Reagan administration, she's sunk to a new low, even for someone named Clinton. Surprisingly, though, having been forced to re-evaluate Bill Clinton's legacy both against George W. Bush's ascendancy (the direct result of Oval Office fellatio and subsequent lies) and Barack's meteoric rise, her tactics look even lower. Especially when it comes to the double-standard she keeps propagating about her implied "vast" experience versus Obama's short political life...the last time I checked she'd only been a Senator for 7 years, with her most newsworthy contribution from that position being her vote on the Iraq War that authorized Bush's cowboy pilgrimage to the Middle East. This, of course, was preceded by her time in the White House, most famous for her failed health care policy, Filegate and the death of Vince Foster. So, she's right about her experience in a sense: she's proved to be a Washington-establishment lackey, someone who is unable to build a coalition to push through legislation, a criminal and, possibly, an accomplice to murder. That experience sounds like par for the course - in fact, it sounds oddly similar to the current President (I'll give Bush the benefit of the doubt that he's never been implicated in a suspicious suicide)...The way I see it, the best part about Hillary's campaign so far has been the collateral impact articles like this one have had on my funny bone. Other than that, I continue to be unimpressed with the other Clinton and am fully behind the Senator from Illinois. Obama brings a freshness and enthusiasm to America the same way Bobby Kennedy did in 1968. And, I don't think its a coincidence that that was exactly 40 years ago this year. We've had 7 Presidents since then; 1 resigned, 1 was impeached, 2 were related (and, not coincidentally, both bad), 1 was great (Am I the only person who understood what Barack meant when he was talking about Reagan?), 1 was not so great and 1 wasn't even elected. And, anything great accomplished during that span of time has been largely undone by the current administration...this country needs the hope Obama represents a lot more than a resume.
11th Hour Disclaimer: Today's Washinton Post featured an interesting editorial highlighting not only the hypocracy of Clinton's attacks toward Obama's Reagan observations, but also reminded us of another Presidental candidate who once praised the former President...a little man named Bill Clinton in 1991.

You should check out:

If you liked Cloverfield and haven't seen either of these sites yet, check them out asap:

Geeks of Doom
Cloverfield Clues

By the way, is anyone else out there tired of hearing people whining about the shaky camera thing? Seriously, these have to be the same losers from college that used to complain about professors who didn't speak English as a first language...