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Miscellaneous Thoughts (a.k.a. The Ranting Corner)
Friday, 24 December 2004
Portia de Rossi: Fantasy Lesbian
First of all, am I the only person in America who didn?t know that Portia de Rossi was gay?

Second, is she not the perfect example of what most straight men wish lesbians were like? I mean, show of hands: men, how many of you would love to see Portia make out with another chick? Women, how many of your partners would jump at the chance to add Portia de Rossi to the mix?

Yeah, I thought so. She?s the perfect fantasy lesbian and now it turns out that she really IS a lesbian. Too bad she?s with that Ellen now. Don?t get me wrong, I?ve got nothing against Ellen, she just has zero sex appeal. Now, she?s what you think of when you think ?lesbian?.

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 12:30 PM EST
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Tuesday, 21 December 2004
Would it be off-color to point out that she lives in a Red State?
This lady be whack, yo.

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 12:29 PM EST
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Saturday, 18 December 2004
Is anyone else going through withdrawal from the Hanukkah song? We?re almost at Christmas and not once have I heard Adam Sandler on the radio. A pox on all radio stations!

I learned something interesting today. The feast day of the Immaculate Conception was on December 8th. Which means that the Baby Jesus was conceived on the eighth and born on the twenty-fifth? Shouldn?t the feast of the Immaculate Conception be sometime in March? Did they just randomly pick a day? I feel so used.

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 7:01 PM EST
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Friday, 17 December 2004
From the gossip column....

For those out there who find Jessica Simpson's dad just a tad creepy (and hey, we're right there with ya), you might want to avoid the new issue of GQ. Seems Joe Simpson isn't shy about talking about his daughter's tremendous, er, talents.

"Jessica never tries to be sexy," the former Baptist minister-turned-manager-turned-puppetmaster tells the magazine of his little girl. "She just is sexy. If you put her in a T-shirt or you put her in a bustier, she's sexy in both. She's got double D's! You can't cover those suckers up!"

Um, raise your hand if your squicky meter just hit the red? Yeah, us too.

Daddy Simpson also reveals that he decided not to let his lip-synching daughter Ashlee explore her Sapphic side in the upcoming flick "Wannabe."

"I changed it," explains Simpson of the original storyline. "It doesn't work for her to be gay the first thing out. She said, 'But it's cool, it's edgy, it's different,' and of course the filmmakers were like, 'It's cool for a woman to be a lesbian,' and I'm like, 'That's true, but not her first role.'"

See, Joe has big plans for his dark-haired daughter that go far beyond slinking into a pair of short-shorts to essay the role of Daisy Duke, as Mrs. Lachey is doing.

"She's going to be a huge movie star," he tells the mag of Ashlee. "She's like Meg Ryan or Cameron Diaz, with probably more depth. When we're done, she'll play it all."


Ha. No, really. HA! When Ashlee Simpson is as big a star as Cameron Diaz I'll...I'll...nothing I can think of tops the hilarity of Mr. Simpson's assertion. It's just utterly ridiculous. Moderately more talented than Jessica, but still. Just another pop-tart.

And the dad? Ew. Mega-ew. Triple Espresso Ew.

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 2:00 PM EST
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Thursday, 16 December 2004
Interesting Concept
Ever think you'd like to buy from people who share your philosphy on life? Now's your chance. Click to find out who gave the most to which candidate.

Here's a taste:
The Limited Brand
(Express, The Limited, Victoria's Secret, Bath & Body Works, White Barn Candle Company)

73% to Republicans


95% to Republicans

Home Depot

94% to Republicans (as reported by
More info from a longer time span


72% to Republicans (as reported by
More info from a longer time span

61% to Republicans (PAC Details)

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 9:02 AM EST
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Sunday, 12 December 2004
Scariest celeb pic since Christina Ricci's stint as Triangle Head. The story is just as good as the picture, too. Mary-Kate and Ashley are following in the illustrious footsteps of Kathie Lee Gifford. Good luck with that, kids.

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 5:33 PM EST
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Wednesday, 8 December 2004
Another Bush Problem
From the American Progress Action Fund:

"On Monday, the White House said for the first time that President Bush's plan to privatize social security would be "financed in part by new government borrowing that could top $1 trillion." That money will make it difficult for President Bush to honor his campaign pledge to cut the deficit in half. The White House had "once hoped that budget surpluses, projected in 2000 at $5.6 trillion over 10 years, would fund the transition period," but under the Bush administration, "those surpluses have vanished." Last week, White House economic adviser N. Gregory Mankiw admitted President Bush's plan would also "include major cuts in guaranteed benefits for future retirees." Mankiw "flatly rejected raising taxes" as a way to improve benefits for the elderly."


I still think that we should only give the flu vaccine to children and people under 60. That way many of the seniors will hopefully get sick and die off leaving us with less of a Social Security/Medicaid/Medicare problem. "Screw the Old" is like this administration's anthem anyway.

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 9:24 AM EST
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Tuesday, 7 December 2004
Tom Ridge's Replacement: Big, Fat Failure
From Slate Magazine's Editor, Fred Kaplan:

When Bernard Kerik, President Bush's choice to be the new homeland security secretary, testifies at his Senate confirmation hearings next month, someone should ask him the following questions:

* What did you do to combat terrorism, either as New York City police commissioner or as a partner at Giuliani Associates (his former boss's consulting firm)?

* What did you accomplish as Iraq's interim interior minister in the summer of 2003, and why did you leave that job two and a half months earlier than you'd planned?

* What in your experience qualifies you to run the largest federal department created in the last half-century?

Let's start addressing some of these matters now.

The quick answer to the first question: not much. Kerik became commissioner not by rising through the ranks of the NYPD but through his loyalty to Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. This is worth noting since, according to today's Washington Post, Kerik got his new job only after Giuliani "made an impassioned personal plea" to President Bush on his behalf. Today's New York Daily News quotes a "White House source" as saying, "Rudy cashed in a chip on this one."

Specifically, Kerik started his rise to power as a veteran street cop tasked to be Giuliani's driver and bodyguard during the 1993 mayoral election. The two became friends. Giuliani made him commissioner of the Corrections Department?where, it must be said, Kerik did a bang-up job, reducing gang violence at Riker's Island by 90 percent. He then became deputy commissioner of the NYPD and, finally, the commish.

He was the city's top cop for the last 16 months of Giuliani's tenure. For the first 13 of those months, terrorism wasn't much of an issue. Kerik's three main priorities, as he laid out in a talk at the Manhattan Institute in March 2001, were reducing crime (which had been plunging for eight years already), boosting police morale (which had recently been damaged by rancorous labor negotiations), and "improving community relations" (a euphemism for "saying hello to black people once in a while," which Giuliani had barely done since his first year as mayor).

Kerik did well in all three areas. But they had nothing to do with countering terrorism?an issue that Giuliani preferred to manage himself (with much enthusiasm, but mixed results, as when, for instance, he decided to put his multimillion-dollar anti-terror command headquarters on the 23rd floor of the World Trade Center).

Not to denigrate Kerik's job performance, but he spent much of his own term writing an autobiography (which became a best seller). He used active-duty police officers to help with research on the book, a violation of policy for which the city's Conflicts of Interest Board fined Kerik $2,500. And when someone stole his publisher's cell phone and necklace, he assigned some homicide detectives to the case?a move that caused some outrage in the ranks.

Giuliani stepped down as mayor just three and a half months after the 9/11 attacks, because of term-limit laws. When he left office, Kerik went with him and joined his consulting agency?where, reports suggest, he spent most of his time giving speeches.

The point here is that Kerik was no longer in office when the NYPD started mounting its intensive effort toward preventing and fighting terrorism. That campaign was jump-started by Raymond Kelly, the commissioner named by Giuliani's successor, Mike Bloomberg. If President Bush had wanted to hire a city cop with broad and deep experience at homeland security, Kelly would have been his man?but, alas, Kelly has worked for too many Democrats. He was police commissioner in David Dinkins' final year as mayor (when, most people forget, crime started to creep down). He was undersecretary of treasury, in charge of border security, under President Clinton. In his first two days on the job under Bloomberg, he set up a counterterrorism division; hired David Cohen, a 35-year CIA veteran, to run the shop; and lavished the operation with piles of department money.

The second question?Kerik's time in Baghdad?is a more mysterious matter, but from what's known about it, still more dismaying. In mid-May 2003, the Defense Department gave Kerik a $140,000-a-year contract to go train the new Iraqi police force. He told reporters, "I will be there at least six months?until the job is done." He came back to New York in early September, a little more than three months later, just as the insurgency began to grow, saying, "Everything that had to be done that I could possibly do, it was done."

Whatever Kerik did, it wasn't much. The Iraqi police forces were?and still are?notoriously ill-trained and ill-equipped for the gigantic challenges they face. It's not clear why Kerik left earlier than scheduled. By all accounts, he was a wash-out. One Pentagon official who was in Baghdad at the time calls Kerik's tenure "notably unspectacular." His tenure did produce some grist for scandal. Members of Iraq's interim governing council expressed loud dismay that Kerik spent $1.2 billion to train 35,000 Iraqi police in Jordan. More annoying still was his decision to buy from Jordan 20,000 Kalashnikov rifles, 50,000 revolvers, and 10 million rounds of ammunition, when he could have rounded up all those weapons far more cheaply?if not for free?from the disbanded Iraqi army.

Finally, as for Kerik's ability to run a bureaucratic monstrosity that consists of 22 federal agencies, again, there's not much there there. One thing can be said for Kerik: He is, at heart, a big-city cop. In other words, he appreciates that homeland security is principally an urban phenomenon; therefore, he might try to reshape the counterterrorism funding formula that currently gives Montana more federal dollars per capita than it gives New York. Kerik has also been on the receiving end of the FBI's tendency not to share information with state and local law enforcement. When he was New York police commissioner, Kerik was properly appalled that the FBI told him nothing about the anthrax scare, nothing about a smattering of dirty-bomb scares, and?though neither he nor Giuliani have said so publicly, out of loyalty to Bush?he must have been especially appalled that no one told him or his boss about the famous Aug. 6 President's Intelligence Brief that mentioned possible impending terrorist strikes in New York City.

In short, he comes to the job with a predisposition to improving relations between Washington and the cities and states. If he focuses on that?and leaves other managerial matters to qualified deputies?he might make a good go at it.

Otherwise, Kerik has little background in management and no experience in dealing with Washington or with any government entity larger, or less simpatico, than Rudy Giuliani's City Hall. Despite his resume, he comes to this job not as a professional expert but as a political operator. He owes his career to Giuliani, who just purchased Ernst & Young's financial-services division, which may develop some monetary interest in companies dealing with homeland security. He campaigned vigorously for President Bush in the 2004 election, an activity that entailed bashing Sen. John Kerry as "clueless" on terrorism and getting a prime-time speaking slot at the Republican National Convention.

In short, the senators at Kerik's confirmation hearings should ask him why they should expect the Department of Homeland Security under his command to be any more credible?to be perceived as any less of a White House shill?than it was under Thomas Ridge.

Fred Kaplan writes the "War Stories" column for Slate. He was the Boston Globe's New York bureau chief from 1995-2002.

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 8:34 AM EST
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Wednesday, 24 November 2004
Another Letter to the Red States
This was written by a New Yorker who wanted to explain why she voted for Kerry.


I am writing this letter to the people in the red states in the middle of the country -- the people who voted for George W. Bush. I am writing this
letter because I don't think we know each other.

So I'll make an introduction. I am a New Yorker who voted for John Kerry. I used to live in California, and if I still lived there, I would vote for Kerry. I used to live in Washington, DC, and if I still lived there, I would vote for Kerry. Kerry won in all three of those regions.

Maybe you want to know more about me. Or maybe not; maybe you think you know me already. You think I am some anti-American anarchist because I dislike George W. Bush. You think that I am immoral and anti-family, because I support women's reproductive freedom and gay rights. You think that I am dangerous, and even evil, because I do not abide by your religious beliefs.

Maybe you are content to think that, to write me off as a ?liberal? - - the dreaded ?L? word - - and rejoice that your candidate has triumphed over evil, immoral, anti-American, anti-family people like me. but maybe you are still curious. So here goes: this is who I am.

I am a New Yorker. I was here, in my apartment downtown, on September 11th. I watched the Towers burn from the roof of my building. I went inside so that I couldn't see them when they fell. I had friends who were inside. I have a friend who still has nightmares about watching people jump and fall from the Towers. He will never be the same. How many people like him do you know? People that can't sit in a restaurant without plotting an escape route, in case it blows up?

I am a worker. I work across the street from the Citigroup Center, which the government told us is a ?target? of terrorism. Later, we found out they were
relaying very old information, but it was already too late. They had given me bad dreams again. The subway stop near my office was crowded with bomb-sniffing dogs, policemen in heavy protective gear, soldiers. Now, every time I enter or exit my office, all of my possessions are X-rayed to make sure I don't have any weapons. How often are you stopped by a soldier with a bomb-sniffing dog outside your office?

I am a neighbor. I have a neighbor who is a 9/11 widow. She has two children. My husband does odd jobs for her now, like building bookshelves. Things her husband should do. He uses her husband's tools, and the two little girls tell him, ?Those are our daddy's tools.? How many 9/11 widows and orphans do you know? How often do you fill in for their dead loved ones?

I am a taxpayer. I worked my butt off to get where I did, and so did my parents. My parents saved and borrowed and sent me to college. I worked my way through graduate school. I won a full tuition scholarship to law school. All for the privilege of working 2,600 hours last year. That works out to a 50 hour week, every week, without any vacation days at all. I get to work by 9 am and rarely leave before 9 p.m. I eat dinner at my office much more often than I eat dinner at home. My husband and I paid over $70,000 in federal income tax last year. At some point in the future, we will have to pay much more - - once this country faces its deficit and the impossible burden of Social Security. In fact, the areas of the country that supported Kerry - - New York, California, Illinois, Massachusetts - - they are the financial centers of the nation. They are the tax base of this country. How much did you pay, Kansas? How much did you contribute to this government you support, Alabama? How much of this war in Iraq did you
pay for?

I am a liberal. The funny part is, liberals have this reputation for living in Never-Neverland, being idealists, not being sensible. But let me tell you how I see the world: I see America as one nation in a world of nations. Therefore, I think we should try to get along with other nations. I see that gay people exist. Therefore, I think they should be allowed to exist, and be treated the same as other people. I see ways in which women are not allowed to control their own bodies. Therefore, I think we should give women more control over their bodies. I see that people have awful diseases.

Therefore, I think we should enable scientists to try to cure them. I see that we have a Constitution. Therefore, I think it should be upheld. I see that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Therefore, I think that Iraq was not an imminent danger to me. It seems so pragmatic to me. How do you see the world? Do you really think voting against gay marriage will keep people from being gay? Would you really prefer that people continue to die from Parkinson's disease? Do you really not care about the Constitutional rights of political detainees? Would you really have supported the war if you knew the truth, or would you have wanted to spend more of our money on health care, job training, terrorism preparedness?

I am an American. I have an American flag flying outside my home. I love my home more than anything. I love that I grew up right outside New York City. I first went to the Statue of Liberty with my 5th grade class, and my mom and dad took me to the Empire State Building when I was 8. I love taking the subway to Yankee Stadium. I loved living in Washington DC and going on dates to the Lincoln Memorial. It is because I love this country so much that I argue with my political opponents as much I do.

I am not safe. I never feel safe. My in-laws live in a small town in Ohio,and that town has received more federal funding, per capita, for terrorism preparedness than New York City has. I take subways and buses every day. I work in a skyscraper across the street from a ?target.? I have emergency supplies and a spare pair of sneakers in my desk, in case something happens while I'm at work. Do you? How many times a month do you worry that your subway is going to blow up? When you hear sirens on the street, do you run to the window to make sure everything is okay? When you hear an airplane, do you flinch? Do you dread beautiful, blue-skied September days? I don't know a single New Yorker who
doesn't spend the month of September on tip-toes, superstitiously praying for rain so we don't have to relive that beautiful, blue-skied day.

I am lonely. I feel that we, as a nation, have alienated all our friends and further provoked our enemies. I feel unprotected. Most of all I feel alienated from my fellow citizens, because I don't understand what you are thinking. You voted for a man who started a war in Iraq for no reason, against the wishes of the entire world. You voted for a man whose lack of foresight and inability to plan has led to massive insurgencies in Iraq, where weapons are disappearing into the hands of terrorists. You voted for a man who let Osama Bin Laden escape into the hills of Afghanistan so that he could start that war in Iraq. You voted for a man who doesn't want to let people love who they want to love; doesn't want to let doctors cure their patients; doesn't want to let women rule their destinies. I don't understand why you voted for this man. For me, it is not enough that he is personable; it is not enough that he seems like one of the guys. Why did you vote for him? Why did you elect a man that lied to us in order to persuade us to go to war? (Ten years ago you were incensed when our president lied about his sex life; you thought it was an impeachable offense.) Why did you elect a leader who thinks that strength cannot include diplomacy or international cooperation? Why did you elect a man who did nothing except run away and hide on September 11?

Most of all, I am terrified. I mean daily, I am afraid that I will not survive this. I am afraid that I will lose my husband, that I will never have children, that I will never grow old and watch the sunset in a backyard of my own. I am afraid that my career -- which should end with a triumphant and good-natured roast at a retirement party in 2035 -- will be cut short by an attack on me and my colleagues, as we sit sending emails and making phone calls one ordinary afternoon. Is your life at stake? Are you terrified?

I don't think you are. I don't think you realize what you have done. And if anything happens to me or the people I love, I blame you. I wanted you to know

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 9:25 PM EST
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Thursday, 18 November 2004
Mood:  chillin'
Can someone please get this poor girl a donut? Or maybe a milkshake? She used to be voluptuous. Now she's just frightening. Who would have thought that little Wednesday Addams would grow up to be so friggin' scary!

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 2:49 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, 18 November 2004 2:51 PM EST
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