Wednesday, February 28, 2007

There's A Lot About My Face You Don't Know


We here at the Fun are taking a short break from posting pictures of Tom Vilsack to tell you about the 24 Hour Non-Stop Poetry, Fiction and Performance Kablammy I'm taking part in Friday March 2nd through Saturday March 3rd. It starts at 6pm Friday and runs through 6pm Saturday, and it features readers like Kate Braverman, the fine folks from Kitchen Sink Magazine, and plenty of my pals and fellow CCA-writers like Aneesa n' Polly n' Adam n' All the Rest.

I'm reading around 2am. There is word of open mic opportunities, as well.

Check it the funk out at:

The Playspace Gallery
California College of the Arts
1111 8th St.
San Francisco, CA 94107

Monday, February 26, 2007

Chris Dodd - FOR the Constitution!

Chris Dodd, Democratic Senator from Connecticut and Presidential Candidate, has introduced legislation - the Restore Habeas Corpus Act - to effectively repeal the Military Commissions Act and, er, restore habeas corpus as a Constitutional right.

The website above is paid for by "Chris Dodd for President, Inc." and does a better job of setting Chris Dodd apart from his Democratic opponents than anything else I've seen from the guy. As the NY Times reports, Obama is putting himself out there as the anti-war candidate, and Hilary is the, um, Hilary Clinton candidate ... what's great about it is that it's not something anyone else can really *argue* against, you know? And hopefully by introducing legislation (election year legislation or not), it'll keep folks from forgetting the lousy Military Commissions Act the Bush Administration put into effect in the first place. With a Democratic Congress for the next two years (at least), there's a lot of work ahead to undo the unconstitutional and illegal things Bush has had free reign to push through.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Vote Interweb, 2008

2008 candidates and their presence on the interweb.

Interesting facts - Joe Biden and John Edwards and Chris Dodd are all over everything, even Facebook and YouTube ... while most of the Republican candidates simply have their own websites up, and nothing more. And some of them - I'm looking at you, Tom Tancredo - barely have even that.

Republican Candidates, 2008!

Definitely Running, Yes:

Sam Brownback, Senator from Kansas. Supports Congressional term limits; calls the number of abortions since Roe v. Wade "a holocaust"; supports a Constitutional amendment outlawing gay marriage AND civil unions; supports "teaching the controversy" surrounding intelligent design in public school science classes. Notable quote: "No raise money, no get bonus."

I don't eat Domino's Pizza because the founder, Tom Monaghan, is a creepy pro-lifer who builds religious towns - so I'm sure not going to vote for the guy he wants to see elected President.

John Cox, businessman and radio host. Website touts him as the candidate "you've probably never heard of"; unsuccessfully ran for state office in Illinois in 2000 and 2002, not making it past the Republican primaries, and also lost in 2004 in the race for Cook County Recorder of Deeds; is basically just a rich dude from Illinois who visits Iowa a lot. Notable quote: "We must wing the war in Iraq and elsewhere so we are fighting terror over there, not over here." I'm not entirely sure what that means, but it's on his official website.

He's like a cliche of a conservative Republican ... I guess he's running so people will look at him for five minutes.

Jim Gilmore, former Governor of Virginia. He's a tough crime-buster! He hates terrorism! He likes guns! Um, he's another Republican candidate. Notable quote: "Jim Gilmore is a leader."

Jim Gilmore is totally vague about everything. Jim Gilmore put his hand on the Bible when he swore the Oath of Office.

Rudy Giuliani, former Mayor of New York City. He'll be tough like your dad on terror; doesn't absolutely hate people; one of like two pro-choice Republicans I know; vindictive and jealous; hates ferrets and free speech; is a knight. Notable quote: "Mayor Giuliani will do everything possible to cleanse this city of this falsified non-fat yogurt."

I don't really understand the people who think Giuliani won't win the Republican nomination because of his stance on social issues - despite the fact that George W. Bush SOUNDS like an idiot, have we all forgotten that the Republicans are really, really smart? America is pretty tired of Bush's particular brand of right-wing conservatism and Iraq-fighting - making Giuliani the perfect candidate for the Republicans. He's not creepily religious, but he's still got the tough-dad thing going on. Plenty of New Yorkers thought he was the devil incarnate by September 10, 2001, but the rest of the country still sees him as "America's Mayor." He hates homeless people, supports police brutality, and sees it as his job to shut down art and artists he doesn't agree with. He'll rope-a-dope Hillary if he squares off with her in a general election, and he'd out-Bush Bush on civil liberties as President. Hell, he'll out-Ashcroft Ashcroft. Not because of the Bible - but because Giuliani Thinks He's Right. Beware - beware! - Rudy Giuliani!

Mike Huckabee, former Governor of Arkansas. Lost 110 lbs. (!) after being diagnosed with diabetes; believes in creationism; named one of Time's five best governors in 2005. Notable quote: "I liked gravy poured on top of a big glob of mashed potatoes, I liked biscuits a lot."

Mike Huckabee, the rational choice! If Giuliani or Zombie McCain do anything particular crazy between now and the primaries (which is really, really likely), Huckabee might be the guy who steps in to say, "Well, at least I'm not crazy." He's a Republican candidate in the mold of easily defeated Democratic candidates.

Duncan Hunter, Representative from California (San Diego). Led the building of a 14-mile fence separating San Diego Country and Tijuana, Mexico, and subsequently supported a reinforced force along the entire US/Mexican border; supports sending more troops to Iraq. Notable quote: "This century is going to be a very dangerous century."

The latest in a long line of Republicans legislating hate and fear!

John McCain, Senator from Arizona. Creepier than ever, in a zombie kind of way; totally, totally, totally old; less "maverick" and more "I'll say anything you want if you will vote for me." Notable quote: "Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly? Because her father is Janet Reno." This is really a thing that he said.

McCain is old. He is old, and he is desperate to be your friend. He's the political equivalent of your grandpa, desperate for you stay at the nursing home just a little longer. He was kind of neat, as far as Republicans go, eight years ago - now he's just evil, and sad. And not in that order.

Ron Paul, Representative from Texas. Website is, actually, "" - very utilitarian, very "I've never heard of the internet; a non-interventionist, opposed to the Iraq War; a lifetime member of the Libertarian Party. Notable quote: "It's still fashionable to dislike McDonald's."

The dude's a Libertarian. He's pro-life, but doesn't support federal laws banning abortion - he supports legalization of medical marijuana - he's a small government guy in a big government party.

Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts. Looks like an actor playing the President on TV; believes in magic underwear; in favor of stem-cell research; believes life begins during humping. Notable quote: "The buck stops all the way up the chain."

I dunno ... he's a careful guy. He's very aware of his public image the potential hurdles of running for President as a Mormon. He's another one who has the opportunity to step into the breach if the front-runners do anything wacky. Then again, something like a particularly clever debate performance could put him over someone like Giuliani, who would be more likely to say something sloppy and off the cuff than Romney would. Romney strikes me like Hillary in that way - he's more careful than he is passionate.

Tom Tancredo, Representative from Colorado. Against abortion under any circumstances; delivered a banner and cards from Columbine students to children in Beslan, Russia after the Beslan school hostage crisis; supports current immigration laws and opposes Bush's proposed reforms; Karl Rove once yelled at him and called him a "traitor to the party." Notable quote: "I certainly understand and appreciate your need and desire to try and create the illusion of Miami as a multiethnic 'All American' city."

"Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" declared him as the "Hopeless Republican Candidate," as the counterpart to Kucinich as the "Hopeless Democratic Candidate." And after filling out this entry, all I can tell you is ... that says a lot.

Tommy Thompson, former Governor of Wisconsin. Supports the creation of three distinct Iraqi states; Elizabeth Dole likes him; um, that's roughly it. Notable quote: "For the life of me, I cannot understand why the terrorists have not attacked our food supply because it is so easy to do."

Ummm. I guess he has money to burn? Or maybe he's angling for a VP or cabinet nomination.

Definitely Maybe Running:

Newt Gingrich, former Representative from Georgia. Not-so-quietly waiting to make a late splash, and/or run as a third-party candidate; totally made a Contract with America; resigned from Congress on account of being a dick. Notable quote: "The idea that a congressman would be tainted by accepting money from private industry or private sources is essentially a socialist argument." Alternate quote: "Mr. President, we are going to run you out of town."

In my fondest dreams, Newt will be the great spoiler of 2008 - siphoning off conservative votes from the Republican candidate as he runs as a third-party candidate. In the real world, I think he'll announce in the summer as a Republican candidate, or early next year as a third-party candidate, and no one will really notice.

Update to the Update

I found a better Vil-sad picture:

"I guess I'll go eat worms."

Democratic Pillow Fight - update!

"It is money and only money that is the reason we are leaving today," said Tom Vilsack, wrapping up his campaign for President.

"I came up against something for the first time in my life that hard work and effort couldn't overcome. I just couldn't work any harder, couldn't give it enough."

Vilsack was the first Democrat to declare, in November 2006. Obama, meanwhile, spent the weekend diving in a pile of gold coins, a la Scrooge McDuck, while Hilary Clinton tried to scheme a way to get her hands on the treasure.

Tom Vilsack, 2006-2007

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

My Favorite TV Show is Back on the Air

Democratic Candidates, For Sure:

Joe Biden, Senator from Delaware. Co-sponsored the Biden-Roth-Cohen Flag Protection Act, which sought to make mutilation, defecation, or burning of the United States flag punishable by up to one year in prison, and/or a $1000 fine. Notable quote (besides that stuff about Obama everyone has already heard) : "In Delaware, the largest growth in population is Indian Americans - moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking." This was on CSPAN.

He strikes me as a classic Democratic party presidential candidate ... and I mean that in a bad way, you know?

Hillary Rodham Clinton, Senator from New York. Calls her video broadcasts "HillCasts;" had a recent freak out over David Geffen talkin' smack about her and Bill. Notable quote: "Young people today think work is a four-letter-word."

Hillary's probably my #2 these days ... my biggest fear is that in a contest against Giuliani, she'd lose her cool and America would vote for it's #1 Tuff Enuff Dad instead.

Chris Dodd, Senator from Connecticut. Hired John Kerry's former presidential campaign manager; met with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in 2005 "to mend the strained relations between the two countries;" the fine collective of Wikipedia says he is "left of center with respect to Latin America." Notable quote: "I don't care what the public wants, I'm going to give it what it needs!"

I get the feeling that Chris Dodd would make an excellent cabinet member.

John Edwards, Director of the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law; former Senator from North Carolina. Has been effectively campaigning for President ever since John Kerry conceded in 2004; will smile and say whatever he reckons you wanna hear. Notable quote: "If we can do the work that we can do in this country ... people like Christopher Reeve are going to walk again. Get up out of that wheelchair and walk again." As cool as that may sound at first - Christopher Reeve was still alive when he said it. So, no, Edwards is not the Zombie Choice in '08.

John Edward is like the creepiest candidate on any ticket right now - he's been running for President even before he ran for Senate, and everything he's ever done has been to angle himself for that office. If I thought he wanted to be President to help people - and not simply because he wanted to be President - that might be impressive. As it is, he's like the American Tony Blair - all smiles, oozing honey and dandelions from his lips.

Mike Gravel, Professional lecturer; former Senator from Alaska. Helped make the Pentagon Papers public, secret government documents relating to the Vietnam War; single-handedly filibustered 1971 legislation that sought to renew the draft. Notable quote: "Our three branches of government have become like an unstable chair, a three-legged chair." I tried to find something silly, but this is the best I could do.

It's pretty clear he's running an issue-campaign - there are things he wants us to talk about, and he wants to enter them into the national conversation by running for President. He's an advocate of direct democracy - that idea that, you know, all citizens should participate in laws and legislation. I didn't know much about Mike Gravel before this campaign cycle, so mission accomplished in some regard ... he's a sq dude, an alright guy. I hope he gets the chance to speak before the other candidates drown him out.

Dennis Kucinich, Representative from Ohio. Ralph Nader likes him; wants total military withdrawal from Iraq, immediately; is totally vegan; has pictures of his totally hot wife on his website. Notable quote: "I'm not selling insurance."

He's a nice guy. A really nice guy.

Barack Obama, Senator from Illinois. Get out of Iraq, we want Barack; a pragmatic moderate who, I honestly believe this, has the Right Idea; is a black dude. Notable quote: "I'm making Paris Hilton look like a recluse."

Newt Gingrich (!) said this about Obama: "Lincoln served two years in the US House, and he seemed to do all right." I think "inexperience" is a non-issue - getting practice in as a federal legislator doesn't necessarily make one a good leader, you know? It tends to make one a good bullshitter. I think Obama's honest and smart and patriotic, and daaaamn, I think that's a pretty good resume.

There are honest to goodness a whole lot of left-leaning voters who don't support Obama right now, not because he's black - but because they think *other* voters won't support him because he's black. Which is ... I dunno, passive-aggressively racist? Obama is the DEAN of 2008 - and I mean that in a good way, y'all.

Bill Richardson, Governor of New Mexico. Still exploring - hasn't officially declared; hasn't done a whole lot of covert campaigning, besides just being Bill Richardson. Notable quote: "Some days I'm solar powered. Some days I'm wind powered. And some people in this room might think I'm hybrid gas-powered."

I dunno what to make about Richardson - most of what I know about him is that both Gore and Kerry thought about him as a vice-presidential candidate. If he would, you know ... declare, or state a position or two ... I'd get a better idea about him.

Tom Vilsack, former Governor of Iowa. Wants a measured withdrawal from Iraq, leaving US troops in the north for awhile; wants to limit US carbon output; *really* wants you to realize he's running for President. Notable quote: "I'm not a rock star, but I'm rock solid."

Ehh. It's like someone's uncle running for office - yeah, they seem nice, but what makes him stand out?

Democratic Candidates, For Maybe:

Wesley Clark, retired four-star general. His own self figures he'll be the national security candidate; people love him for reasons still unclear. Notable quote: "I didn't go to Yale."

He's tough! But he's a Democrat! Wes Clark is like Thai food to me ... a lot of clever people in my life like him, but I can't quite get into it. I bet he'd make a killa-dilla VP candidate.

Al Gore, former Vice-President, current total smart dude. He's not running, folks. I believe this in my bones. Notable quote: "I don't see any circumstances under which I would run for president."

I love Al Gore. I voted for Al Gore. I would vote for Al Gore again. But, here's the thing - Al Gore doesn't want me to. You can just tell, you know? He grew a beard, he got mad for awhile, he got over it. The best we can do is follow his lead.

Next time: Republicans!

Monday, February 05, 2007

The Devil in Shaun's Woods

Here's a thing that happened to me once:

"Every weekend until the winter came we went to Shaun's house on Saturday nights. We stayed all night and crept down to the woods after dark. The Man would be there in the trees, or sometimes he'd already be in the yard crawling behind us. He was always lower than us to the ground, quieter and better hid. Close to Halloween he wore a white skull mask instead of the red devil, and that was the night Milford had had enough and took his gun outside, a pistol. He told the rest of us to stay inside and we crowded around a small living room window, watching outside as Milford appeared in the dark, holding his gun out in front of him, walking slow and looking from side to side. Ten feet behind him crept the Man in the Woods, wearing his white skull mask, exaggerating his steps, knees up high, arms held out before him like Dracula. We yelled from the window for Milford to turn around. Milford didn't respond or react, but the Man in the Woods stopped his creep, turned his head to face us at the window, and held a finger to his lips, shhhh."

If you're in Chicago, track down a copy of No Touching #3 to read the rest - for the rest of the globe, visit their website and download the whole issue for free. The other stories are good too, but I can't promise they're this ACTION PACKED.