Thursday, October 30, 2008

Obama Pals Around With People Too Unsavory to Mention

So an odd exchange just occurred on Rick Sanchez's CNN show. Sanchez discussed the Khalidi non-story with McCain Campaign National Spokesmann Michael Goldfarb. Things started off with the usual stuff about how we have the right to see the video that the LA Times described several months ago and promised its source it would not show.

But then, it got pretty weird. Goldfarb, in a sleazy, non-commital sort of way, tried to tie Obama to…well, someone.

My quick transcript:
Goldfarb: The point is that Barack Obama has a long track record of being around ant-Semitic, anti-Israel and anti-American rhetoric.

Sanchez: Can you name one other person besides Khalidi who he hangs around with who is anti-Semitic?

Goldfarb: Yes, he pals around with William Ayers, who…[continues talking point while interrupted]

Sanchez: William Ayers is not—no, no. The question I asked you is: Can you name one other person he hangs around with who is anti-Semitic, because that's what you said.

Goldfarb: Look. We all know there are people who Barack Obama has been in hot water—


Goldfarb: Rick—

Sanchez: You said he hangs around with people who are anti-Semitic. You—OK, we've got Khalidi on the table, give me number two. Who's the other anti-Semitic person that he hangs around with that we, quote, "all know about."

Goldfarb: Rick, we all know who number two is.


Sanchez: WHO? [Pause] Would you tell us?

Goldfarb: No, Rick, I—I think we all know who we're talking about here.

Sanchez: Somebody who's anti-Semitic who he hangs around with?

Goldfarb: Absolutely.

Sanchez: Well SAY IT!

Goldfarb: I think we all know who we're talking about, Rick.

Sanchez: Alright, alright. Again, you charge that Khalidi is anti-Semitic. He would say that his policies on Israel differ from those of Barack Obama and many other people. But, either way, I guess we'll have to leave it at that. …

So the question is, what exactly is Goldfarb implying? From what he says, we all know who this anti-Semitic person is. So, who do we know who is anti-Semitic? Mel Gibson? T.S. Eliot? Hitler? Is he or she from the USA, or is Goldfarb trying to say that The Big O has ties to overseas terrorist organizations. Given the campaign that McCain has run, who knows?

Crossposted at Daily Kos.
bxAv110 bxAv110 bxAv110

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Utah Makes the National Movie News

Well, Larry H. Miller's trusty Megaplex theater chain has got itself in the national news once again by…well, take a guess.

If you guessed "endorsing Barack Obama for president," or "saying no on prop 8," you're wrong again. Man, you really suck at guessing. But if you said, "refusing to show another movie," you're right!

The movie in question is Kevin Smith's "Zach and Miri Make a Porno," starring pudgy funnyman Seth Rogen and not-so-pudgy funnywoman Elizabeth Banks. And it wasn't banned because Smith's movies show the directorial grace of an episode of "Married…With Children." Nope, it was because of the most unpleasant thing in the world: sex.

Sean P. Means filed the story for The Salt Lake Tribune, and the New York Post got the insight of Cal Gunderson, who once told me that 1.66:1 isn't a real aspect-ratio, and that I made it up.

…"we feel it's very close to an NC-17 with its graphic nudity and graphic sex."

Megaplex banned "Brokeback Mountain" while it was playing "Hostel," and as Means points out, Miller's company again endorses violence over sex:

The ban on "Zack and Miri" also comes a week after the horror movie "Saw V" opened nationwide, including at four Megaplex theaters. Among the grisly images in "Saw V" are a woman decapitated by blades in a collar and a man forced to crush his hands to escape being cut in half by a pendulum.

When asked by The New York Post about the apparent double standard of screening the violence of "Saw V" but not the sexuality of "Zack and Miri," Gunderson replied, "No comment." (By deadline, Gunderson had not responded to calls from The Salt Lake Tribune seeking comment.)

Update: The Megaplex at The District is definitely thinking of the children:
Friday night, managers at the Megaplex Theatre at the District, 11400 South Bangerter Highway, switched one of the showings of "High School Musical 3: Senior Year" to a larger auditorium to accommodate more people. They forgot, however, to switch the movie that had previously been scheduled for the room.

So rather than the family-friendly, G-rated "High School Musical 3," the beginning of the very nonfamily-friendly R-rated "Sex Drive" came on the screen. The opening minutes of the movie include nudity.

"I could not carry my little children out before they were exposed to extremely vulgar and sexually explicit material," one parent complained in an e-mail to the Deseret News.
bxAv110 bxAv110 bxAv110

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Say it Ain't So…Uh, What Was Your Name Again?

Joe the Plumber is a registered Republican, which anyone who read my previous post will find totally shocking. Also, his name's Sam and he's not licensed. You gotta love the McCain campaign.
bxAv110 bxAv110 bxAv110

McCain Drops Patraeus Obsession to Focus on Joe the Plumber

Senator John McCain went into tonight's third and final presidential debate with a new game plan. He would be meaner, more bitter, more petulant, and more prone to fake outrage. This plan, he hoped, would be enough to revive his fading campaign. But in case it wasn't, he had a secret weapon—a weapon named Joe.

The debate confused the aliens from a distant solar system who, three weeks ago, figured out how to decode our Satellite TV and translate English. After studying the first two presidential face-offs, they'd concluded that General David Petraeus was one of the most influential figures on the planet.

Based on the pale, wrinkled organism's constant references, they inferred that the American people held the good General in an affection usually reserved for the likes of Jesus Christ, William Shakespeare, Albert Einstein or Harrison Ford. "Obama insulted General Petraeus by opposing the surge—which is much worse than supporting a disastrous war that cost us the lives of brave young men and helped put the country in financial ruin. General Petraeus thinks that Obama's an inexperienced sissy," said McCain's extraterrestrial translators.

Yet there was no mention of Petraeus in the final debate. Instead, McCain spent most of his time addressing one single person, Joe "The Plumber" Wurzelbacher. At this point, the alien leader said, "Fuck it. Let's get caught up on 'Lost'."

In a recent campaign event in Toledo, Ohio, Joe the Plumber asked Senator Barack Obama why the small business that he hypothetically might buy and that hypothetically might make slightly more than $250,000 a year would see a minor tax increase under his plan. As seen on video, The Big O articulately explained to Joe the Plumber that only his hypothetical income above $250,000 would hypothetically be taxed at a higher rate. He also used the phrase "spread the wealth around," which is code for either "turn the country into a Communist dictatorship" or "leave the middle-class with enough money to afford services like plumbing. Joe the Plumber replied that he worked hard, and shouldn't be punished for his hard work. He works hard.

The Big O thought that those five minutes were the end of his conversation with this McCain supporter posing as an undecided voter, but it turned out he had about 90 more. McCain had big plans for this man whom Obama would tax an extra $0 to $900 a year (not counting other deductions built into The Big O's plan), depending on where he fell in his possible income range of $250-280K a year.

McCain has a knack for leaching onto something and harping on it so insistently as to become a parody of himself. He did it with Petraeus, the Chicago Planetarium's projector and anything else remotely resembling an earmark. Now it was Joe's turn. McCain awkwardly attempted to turn Joe the Plumber into an average Joe with an above-average income, an everyman whom Obama wants to tax to death. McCain began nearly every response with phrases like "My old buddy Joe—Joe the Plumber—is out there…" before launching into rambles on healthcare, taxes, or whatever else came up.

It was inevitable that Joe the Plumber would be the hot target of the media's post-debate coverage, and Joe turned out to be a ready and willing interviewee. On CBS, he revealed that, while he may be an everyman who doesn't get the fancy GOP talking-point memos, he can pick things up quick. "Sure, I've heard nothing but Barack-this and Obama-that for the past 200 years of this god-forsaken, everlasting election cycle," he seemed to say, "but I just don't know enough about him. He's a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma! McCain on the other hand—I know where he stands. He stands against quality educational facilities like planetariums. He stands for expensive wars, under-qualified running mates and any strategy that might boost his sinking poll numbers. But perhaps most importantly, he stands with the good General Petraeus."
Crossposted at Daily Kos.
bxAv110 bxAv110 bxAv110