June 30, 2004


Statement of the Obvious of the Day

"About six months ago, the president said to me, 'Well, at least I make strong decisions, I lead.' I said, 'Mr. President, look behind you. Leaders have followers. No one's following. Nobody.'"

- Senator Joseph Biden (D-Deleware), in a roundtable discussion sponsored by Rolling Stone magazine on the current state of American foreign policy, vis-a-vis Iraq.

June 15, 2004

"Why is this man crying?" or "Karma's a You-Know-What"
First of all, I have to give credit to fellow blogger, Daily Kos, for first using this image in a campaign ad on his site. You know what they say about imitation, right?

So, I've kind of been on the sidelines for alot of the political goings-on in recent months, but this is one I had to move on.

The man in the picture above is Republican Congressman Darrell Issa, representing California's 49th Congressional District. This is a photo from a press conference Issa gave last summer.

Why do I care?

For those of you who may or may not know, Arnold Schwarzenegger is the Governor of California.

Let me repeat that.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is the Governor of California.

And who do we have to thank for this? Well, we can start with Darell Issa. Issa, who started out as a petty car thief and then graduated to stealing an entire business that has since made him millions, was the chief architect of the campaign to recall Gray Davis. Issa used nearly $2 million dollars out of his own pocket to pay "volunteers" to get signatures for the recall petition - not exactly a groundswell of public support to throw out a man who'd only been re-elected 6 months prior.

Presumably, Issa expected to become Governor himself. Then the National and State GOP realized what a good thing they had going and decided to push Arnold instead. Hence the picture above, where Issa announced, after considerable behind-the-scenes encouragement - can you say Karl Rove? - his withdrawal from his own campaign.

Well, Issa's up for re-election this year, and this gentleman, Mike Byron, an Army brat, an ex-Navy guy, and a dude who has a Ph.D. in Political Science, is the Democrat running to unseat him.

I don't know much about Mike Byron. And I don't live anywhere near the 49th Congressional District (it's Northern San Diego county and parts of Riverside).

But Darrell Issa helped the GOP steal my state.

For that alone, I'm giving Mike Byron some of my money.

If you live in California, or if you're simply offended by the gangster tactics of the Republican Party, I suggest you give Mike Byron some money, too.

Click here if you want to send this crybaby home to his mommy.

June 11, 2004

Race Snapshot

Just in case anyone's keeping score, here's my current rankings of the summer blockbusters, so far, starting from the least interesting and working our way up in quality & enjoyment:

The Chronicles of Riddick

Surprised? So am I. I had such high hopes for Riddick, but, in the end, it was alot of sound & fury, signifying nothing. That fabulous cast and the absolutely amazing production design and, honestly, a story I really like. But there's a big difference between a good story and a good screenplay. Lord knows this movie could have been a lot slimmer, and a lot punchier. I also think the action scenes are overdirected (two much camera movement and fast cutting), so that you can't actually get a sense of just how much danger the characters you care about are in. I'm actually pretty tired of movies that say that their main character is evil, but they're really just kind of bad-ass (i.e. Mel Gibson in "Payback"). Riddick would have been so much better if he really was a stone-cold sociopathic mass murderer, who just happens to be such a monster that he actually brings down an empire. So much more interesting, although it does have an extremely cool ending.

3. The Day After Tomorrow

This only gets a higher notch because of the sheer absence of suck-i-tude. But the absence of wackness does NOT equal goodness. It's definitely fun, but thin as paper. And pretty contrived. It's a nice little piece of speculative sci-fi, but the science is EXTREMELY suspect. But, in my continuing quest to elevate B list actors that I love, I'm totally digging Kenneth Welsh's transformation from homicidal ex-FBI occultist Windom Earle in Twin Peaks to a thinly veiled knock-off of Dick Cheney in this movie. Plus, the effects are awesome. And the killer cold snap is pretty f'n cool. And, as a fan of Dennis Quaid's since Dreamscape, I'm glad to see him finally cashing in as a leading man.

2. Troy

LOVED the costume design (somebody PLEASE give Bob Ringwood an Oscar for this!). Loved the battle scenes. LOVED the fact that this movie really captures just how much of a punk-ass bi-otch Orlando Bloom's Paris is. LOVED the Hector/Achilles duel. And Peter O'Toole made my day. But, alas, they do muck with the history a bit much for my tastes, and they really overplayed their hand with the whole "quest for immortality" thing. Pretty good, but not as good as...

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Surpised? Me too. I only really got interested in it based off the the great reviews and my love of Alfonso Cuaron's work on Y Tu Mama Tambien. But I'm SO glad I saw this film. So much fun. Even when the action was a little slow, there was always something interesting on screen that kept me riveted. It's amazing the difference a director can make. He had such a granular sense of detail in his depiction of Hogwarts, it felt like a real place, and not just a special effect on display. I usually hate scenes like the one where Harry rides the Hippogiff (kind of an eagle-horse) over a vast forest and nearby lake, but it was absolutely (dare I say it) magical. I'm so bummed they're getting a new director. Hopefully, he'll be back for the 5th film.

Shrek 2? Not my cup o' joe. Van Helsing? Not worth my time or money.

Hot on my list for the rest of the summer?
Spider-Man 2
The Bourne Supremacy
The Manchurian Candidate
Fahrenheit 9/11