today is my pal charlie’s birthday

charlie hornberger he is now 104 years young.

born to upper crust socialites on a cruise ship off the dutch antillies, charlie grew up priveledged but not spoiled. loved but not too much.

after he graduated from junior high school, charlie’s parents lived up to their threat of kicking him out of the house until he had read tolstoys finest work, anna karenina.

it was a miserable summer for chuck out there in the woods of bel air, especially since he was such a painfully slow reader.

but that experience not only shaped our birthday boy into the well-read writer and editor that he is today,

but it taught him a skill no one ever expected: hustling the three card monty scam like a fucking pro.

that and being able to cook over an open fire with very little tools or ingrediants.

i first met charlie in college, he took me for $75 that i didnt have and after he threatened to slice my cheek open with his sparkling pinkie ring he recruited me to write for the daily nexus, the campus newspaper.

at $10 an article it took me a while to pay him back, especially after the “interest” began compounding, but sometime around my second senior year we were even.

charlie then went off to prague with the rest of my friends and singlehandedly brought down the berlin wall. which sorta wasnt cool since it was in the national museum of vienna at the time, 1993.

when he returned years later to san francisco, charlie, ken layne, hippie mike, and dan k smith and i shared a flat on haight street near fillmore.

some of the adventures were captured in laynes brillant novel, dot.con.

charlie and ken, as history will show, ran one of the finest news web sites of all, tabloid, which was far ahead of its time, and if it were around today would give the onion, the daily show, and drudge, a run for its money.

eventually charlie and his longtime love bonnie moved down here to LA, and last year they honored me by inviting me to take part in their wedding… as the minister… a role ive avoided for years.

charlie and bonnie met me at my hillside a-frame, and after several hours of intense questioning and threats i agreed to perform the ceremony. the scariest thing ive ever done in my life.

and one of the all time coolest.

so heres to you charlie k hornberger.

secret weapon of the santa barbara mafia.

friend to all, example in class, and purveyor of elegance.

the day charlie and bonnie were hitched + mc brown + emmanuelle + i cant wait to vote

Bush has a ten point lead today.

– crid

when the incumbent the day after his convention only has a ten point lead, he should worry.

especially if he’s not that great in debates.

especially if theres a wherehouse full of splaining he’s going to have to do in those debates (wmd, obl, trying to block the 9/11 commission, national guard records, stem cell research, tax relief for the rich, the unwinable war, the biggest deficit ever, and trying to ban gay marriages through a consitutional amendment just to name a few).

maybe you or i could tap dance around every one of those chinese stars of doom,

but your boy?

he could barely read off the teleprompter last night. although i do give him credit for hablaing in espanol. even if now he’s bullshitting us bilingually. props for being unique.

and i wouldnt be suprised if Joe Republican tells every pollster he runs into or talks on the phone to or emails that he’s gonna vote for Dubya

but will think better of it in the privacy of the voting booth

instead of throwing his vote away to a fucking richbitch fratboy retard who has done nothing for this country except give us all proof that regardless of our individual faults, the possibility truly does exist that we can succeed despite them.

huge and ridiculous as they may be.

in the face of results that scream back fuckup + failure + fraud.

republicans have no problem saying out loud that they will remain loyal to their “values” and traditions and vote for who is obviously the worst. president. ever.

and even though our leader might be the exception, most successful people do not get where they are insisting on acting like dimwitted dumbshits.

america talks shit about clinton but respected him as a president and elected him twice and would have elected him a third time.

likewise, america usually knows what the right choice is in the voting booth.

which is why bush got fewer votes last time and will get fewer votes this time.

only thing an alleged ten or eleven point lead will do at this point is encourage the would-be democrat volunteers to get off their asses and register some of their pot smoking freedom loving saturn driving friends.

which reminds me, i need to start registering people through this blog more.

thank you for the inspiration.

register to vote + already registered? request an absentee ballot so you can vote at home via mail and actually think about what youre doing

Now we know why Zell was booted from the Bush box last night

Because he stole the heart of his speech on Wednesday from a fucking dirty stupid bullshit email chain deal

Snopes Sez:

Claim: Senator John Kerry “voted to kill every military appropriation for the development and deployment of every weapons systems since 1988.”

Status: False.

Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2004]

Sen. John Kerry

Democrat from Massachusetts

HE says he is strongest

Presidential Candidate on National Defense!

He said Check the Record..

We Did !

Here is what we learned.

He voted to kill the B-1 Bomber

He voted to kill the B-2 Stealth Bomber

He voted to kill the F-14

He voted to kill the F-15 Strike Eagle

He voted to kill the F-16

He voted to kill the AV-8B Harrier Vertical Takeoff and Landing Jet Fighter

He voted to kill the AH-64 Apache Helicopter

He voted to kill the Patriot Anti-Missile System

He voted to kill the Aegis Anti-Aircraft System

He voted to kill the Trident Missile System

He voted to kill the M-1 Abrams Tank

He voted to kill the Bradley Fighting Vehicle

He voted to kill the Tomahawk Cruise Missile

In short, he voted to kill every military appropriation for the development and deployment of every weapons systems since 1988 to include the battle armor for our troops. With Kerry as president our Army will be made up of naked men running around with sticks and clubs.

our boy Zell quoted this almost word for word changing pretty much nothing except for the last line replacing “sticks and clubs” with Spitballs.

Snopes goes on to write that there are many reasons to vote against a bill, let alone the three bills that Kerry voted against that included those weapons.

The three votes cited — regarding S. 3189 (1990), H.R. 5803 (1990), and H.R. 2126 (1995) — were bills covering fiscal year Department of Defense appropriations, all of which Senator Kerry voted against. (Two of those three votes were not technically on defense appropriations per se, but on House-Senate conference committee reports for defense appropriations bills.)

And then they remind us that Dubya’s daddy spoke out against certain weapons in his ’92 state of the union speech.

Two years ago, I began planning cuts in military spending that reflected the changes of the new era. But now, this year, with imperial communism gone, that process can be accelerated. Tonight I can tell you of dramatic changes in our strategic nuclear force. These are actions we are taking on our own because they are the right thing to do. After completing 20 planes for which we have begun procurement, we will shut down further production of the B-2 bombers. We will cancel the small ICBM program. We will cease production of new warheads for our sea-based ballistic missiles. We will stop all new production of the Peacekeeper missile. And we will not purchase any more advanced cruise missiles

ah lovely internet. how were people able to fact check other peoples asses before ye?

think the biggest political bloggers in the blogosphere will touch this one? why would they? they got their alleged bounce. they had a dem do their dirty work against the purple heart winner, and then kicked him to the curb like a bitch. which is no way to treat a guy who just gave your keynote speech, but class isnt really what this administration is about.

and fairness and integrity isnt what gets you 6 million hits a month.

dirt does baby, dirt on your “opponent”.

the truth is for bleeding heart hippies more in love with losing honorably than winning.

plus zell miller to ‘pundits is so last week’s empty beer cans.

this story via Martini Republic + sean bonner + <3 snopes <3

Bill Clinton to Undergo Heart Surgery in New York

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Former President Bill Clinton was admitted to a New York hospital on Friday for heart bypass surgery, a statement from his office said.

“Former President Bill Clinton is being admitted into New York Presbyterian Hospital today and is scheduled to have bypass surgery,” the statement said.

No time frame for the surgery was given.

The 58-year-old former president, a Democrat who served two terms from 1993 to 2001, had gone to Northern Westchester Hospital on Thursday afternoon after experiencing mild chest pain and shortness of breath, his office said.

Initial testing was normal and he spent the night at home in nearby Chappaqua, New York. After additional testing on Friday morning at Westchester Medical Center, doctors advised Clinton should undergo bypass surgery, it said.

Clinton’s wife, U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who was traveling in upstate New York on Friday, and his daughter, Chelsea, were to be with him for the operation.

Before heading back to Manhattan, Mrs. Clinton said doctors advised her husband to do the surgery “as soon as he could.”

ABC News reported Clinton was found to have multiple lesions and other television reports said he would undergo a quadruple bypass.

CNN quoted a source close to the former president as saying the surgery could take place as early as Saturday.

Clinton, the 42nd U.S. president, promised at the Democratic National Convention in July to be a “foot soldier” in Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry’s race against Republican President Bush. He received a rousing welcome from delegates after being introduced by his wife, a Democrat representing New York.

Kerry, campaigning in Ohio, sent Clinton “our best wishes, our prayers, our thoughts” and asked supporters to give Clinton a cheer he would hear “all the way to New York.”

In West Allis, Wisconsin, President Bush said, “We send him our best wishes for a swift and speedy recovery.”

White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan said Bush was informed about Clinton’s condition by White House staff while on Air Force One.

Clinton, who had a reputation for having a big appetite and for fighting a weight problem, showed no signs of heart problems during rigorous health examinations that were made public during his presidency.

metafilter thread + kos thread + oliver willis

the president of the united states

spoke last night, accepting the nomination of his party to compete against john kerry.

zell miller, the democrat who gave the keynote speech on wednesday to thunderous applause at madison square garden was removed from the list, along with his wife, of attendees in the first family’s box to listen to the president speak on thursday, nbc news reports.

Scott Stanzel, a spokesman for the Bush campaign, said Miller was not in the box because the campaign had scheduled him to do too many television interviews.

There was no explanation, however, for why Miller would be giving multiple interviews during Bush’s acceptance speech, or what channels would snub the president in favor of Miller. Nor was it made clear why Miller’s wife also was not allowed to take her place in the president’s box 24 hours after his deeply personal denunciation of his own party’s nominee.

more republican flip flopping minutes before their big moment? of course not. republicans dont flip flop, they glow.

karisa and i watched the broadcast on cspan and she noticed that as he spoke and reached the end of a sentence successfully, he’d give out a little smile, like a toddler does as he’s learning to walk.

but enough about what we thought. what did the metafilter thinktank conclude? heres a not so random sample:

That dude is awesome.

-techgnollogic at 8:17 PM

“So,” I think to myself, “How long into his speech before he brings up 9/11?”

When I said those words four years ago, none of us could have envisioned what these years would bring. In the heart of this great city, we saw tragedy arrive on a quiet morning.

Oooh, second sentence. Amazing restraint.

-ColdChef at 8:20 PM

To be fair, there are some things my opponent is for he’s proposed more than two trillion dollars in new federal spending so far, and that’s a lot, even for a senator from Massachusetts. To pay for that spending, he is running on a platform of increasing taxes and that’s the kind of promise a politician usually keeps.

Of course, if you go by his speech, Bush will give us all a new house, access to community college, health care, social security, homeland security, and he’ll stay in Iraq forever, if necessary. And apparently, all for free.

-ColdChef at 8:23 PM

My favorite part of the speech was when he talked about the Iraq kid who spelled out “god bless america” with his stump.

-Peter H at 8:29 PM

I watched his speech, I also watched the protesters during his part about beefing up security, I also saw an awful lot of delagates sitting with their arms crossed and a scowl on their faces.

I loved the part where he said, without even a trace of irony, that Kerry is going to spend three quarters of a trillion dollars. Hello? Mr. Largest-Deficit-in-the-History-of-the-World? Time for your reality check.

-fenriq at 8:30 PM

Because the union of a man and woman deserves an honored place in our society, I support the protection of marriage against activist judges.

So, it’s the judges that are messing things up? I thought it was all those queers asking for equal rights. I’m an idiot.

-ColdChef at 8:39 PM

If you say the heart and soul of America is found in Hollywood, I’m afraid you are not the candidate of conservative values.

And now, a few more words from the Governor of California…

(Remember when Kerry said all those times that the heart and soul of America is found in Hollywood? He just kept saying it and saying it. Seems like all he was saying for a few weeks there. I bet he regrets it now.)

-ColdChef at 8:45 PM

em>Because the union of a man and woman deserves an honored place in our society, I support the protection of marriage against activist judges.

But I’m cool with 50% divorce rates and quickie Vegas weddings.

-jalexei at 8:45 PM

This election will also determine how America responds to the continuing danger of terrorism and you know where I stand.

Fucking Pro-terrorism Kerry. I hate him so.

-ColdChef at 8:48 PM

I have learned first-hand that ordering Americans into battle is the hardest decision, even when it is right.

But when it’s wrong? Not that hard.

-psmealey at 8:48 PM

Maybe I’m just in a bad mood, but I figure something like 48% of us will vote for one guy, and 48% will vote for the other and the rest — 4% — are the undecided.

How about those of us who have already chosen — and you know we’re all firm — get to vote now, then those who haven’t decided have to go off somewhere on a small island with the candidates,and their spokes-crazies, and their advertisements and leave the rest of us the heck alone?

Let us know what ya’ll decide.

/modest proposal

-mmahaffie at 8:54 PM

Is anyone better off now than they were four years ago?

Other than Osama bin Laden, that is.

-Sidhedevil at 8:59 PM

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve had it UP TO HERE with the FLIP-FLOPPERS!!!

-_sirmissalot_ at 9:00 PM

I hope that the Log Cabin Republicans will defect en masse. They should. I don’t know how any self-respecting gay person can be a Republican after this.

-Sidhedevil at 9:02 PM

Because of you, women in Afghanistan are no longer shot in a sports stadium.

Excuse me? What in the wild world of sports was that about?

-ColdChef at 9:05 PM

It’s kind of vicious how the Dems basically avoided mentioning GWB for the most part at their convention, whereas the Repubs all but had signs saying “John Kerry Wants To Fuck Your Children In the Ass With A Broken Bottle Because He Is Osama Bin Laden” at theirs

-Pseudoephedrine at 9:07 PM

Today, the government of a free Afghanistan is fighting terror,

Which is the “free” part? The big part where they’re growing opium and selling it for weapons, or the tiny scrap our guy holds with a lot of help from our guns?

Pakistan is capturing terrorist leaders

At a rate we dictate in accordance with our election timetable…

And more than three-quarters of al-Qaida’s key members and associates have been detained or killed

According to numbers that only you have access to, and Osama isn’t one of them, and you’ve flip-flopped several times about whether you even want to get him.

All that from one short passage. This speech is like a cheap sweater. Tug on it anywhere and it just unravels completely.

-George_Spiggott at 9:49 PM

Word counts from Bush’s speech:

‘Terror’ or ‘terrorists’ or ‘terrorism’: 16

‘Weapons of mass destruction’: 1

‘Osama bin Laden’: 0

‘Iraq’: 13

‘North Korea’: 0

-tapeguy at 9:51 PM

I loved the part of us aggresively spreading our freedoms and our way of life, expanding the frontier of freedom.

I got a hard-on and jumped on the coffee-table and screamed “Freedom’s got a gun, baby!”

-rks404 at 9:54 PM

The debt is relative small by GDP standards, particularly given that we are at war.

As a percentage of GDP, this years projection at -4.5% is the highest since 1992 when it was -4.7%. (1) For some background, since the economy turned around after WWII, there have only been five years with a higher percentage of debt to GDP. That’s right, since 1948, there have only been five years:

1983: -6.0

1984: -4.8

1985: -5.1

1986: -5.0

1992: -4.7

GDP growth has slowed during President Bush’s tenure as well, but the GDP is still growing and it’s not exactly a dramatic slowdown.

Also, if you don’t think federal revenues are actually up since the Bush tax reduction, go wild!

Actually, Paris, the revenues are down consistantly since 2000. Here’s a list of receipts from the GPO, in millions of dollars.

2000: $2,025,218

2001: $1,991,194

2002: $1,853,173

2003: $1,782,342

2004: $1,798,093*

* estimated

Source: Summary of Receipts, Outlays, and Surpluses or Deficits (-): 1789–2009

Please note their estimates for the next several years support your notion that federal revenues will increase, including a small increase this year and much larger increases for next year. Despite being educated guesses, these numbers are highly susceptible to change.

-sequential at 10:25 PM

Personally, I’m not going to pretend it wasn’t a powerful speech. I think it will affect undecideds. But it lacked very much that hasn’t been said already, in fact mostly already said by people on this website alone.

In all honesty, I’m confused. I don’t get how Bush can talk about being the only defense against terrorism when he refuses to even say “Osama bin Laden.” I don’t get how he can even pretend to promote compassionate conservatism after the hate-fest of Wednesday night. I don’t get how he can cast Iraq favorably, let alone comparing it to Germany- a country that “healed” after it’s major war by a massive division with Communist nuclear tension for over half a century. I don’t get how he can attack the “liberal Hollywood base” of the Democratic Party when not one, but two Hollywoof actors gave prime time speeches at his own convention. I don’t get how he can call Kerry a flip-flopper when he’s changed his own opinion on the WOT twice in the last 72 hours. I don’t get how he can let George Pataki talk of all the promises Bush delivered when he also promised to find bin Laden. I don’t get how several thousand Republicans, delegates of a commitment to a love of their country, can sit there and actually believe the man running against George Bush “hates” the military.

And I just don’t get how people supporting Bush can pretend they do.

-XQUZYPHYR at 10:39 PM

entire thread

metafilter + in search of utopia + the fat guy + ask metafilter + sportsfilter