August 24, 2010

This land was made for you and me, I'll just be over here

Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and untold underwhelming numbers of Tea Partiers will rally in DC this weekend, for or against whatever it is they're for or against these days. (Taxes? Mosques? The socialist international farce that was the Miss Universe pageant?)

A Maine Tea Party travel guide for these intrepid pilgrims has been making the rounds, most notably for its tiny "safe zone" where Tea Partiers may fearlessly tread and not be tread on.

By way of welcome, here are some more helpful DC travel tips:

• On the Metro, the green line and yellow line are not safe, especially after dark. If it's a color that's not on your flag, just stay away.

• It's true, DC cab drivers are often "immigrants." If you simply can't bear the awkward silence this creates for you and its implicit invitation for self-reflection, in the time it takes you to hail a cab not driven by one of DC's many "refugees," you could probably walk to your destination and back.

• If one of those "refugees" pops up near you in the crowd when it's time for the big Tea Party event, don't fear. Having a minority next to you is like having the gold star on the bottom of your paper plate at a baby shower, you could win a prize.

• "As a rule, African immigrants do not like for you to assume they are African Americans and especially do not like for you to guess they are from a neighboring country (e.g. Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia)." Just think how you would feel if you were a Wisconsinite and someone presumed you were a Yooper, or mentioned Brett Favre.

• If you find yourself suddenly surrounded by good restaurants, well-dressed people and an odd miasma of positivity, don't panic, you may have veered into a "gay area." The locals will let you escape to safety, but don't make eye contact, or you'll soon realize nobody's interested in you.

• Don't patronize Caribou Coffee, because despite the enticingly Palin-esque name, its free wifi may restrict your God-given access to "adult" sites. Pause a moment at one of the war memorials to thank our veterans for defending your right to look at good old fashioned smut in Starbucks while slurping a $6 Frappuccino.

• Fast food isn't terribly ubiquitous in DC, and there are barely any always-closed-on-Sunday Chick-fil-A safe-havens. For something that closely replicates the blandness and unpleasant textures of your favorite chain, try Ethiopian food.

• That's African, so if that scares you, some other international foods -- like Illy coffee, Indian lunch buffets, Eric Ripert's fancy French bistro -- are apparently OK. Tea Party organizers understand, it's hard to blow right past all that cognitive dissonance on an empty stomach.

• You now have Nancy Pelosi's home address. Use this power to show her why she should take you seriously by screaming outside a building she's probably not even in. The humidity may even lift enough by the end of the week that it might be pleasant effigy-burning weather.

• You may have heard that the World War II Memorial is not a swimming pool. But until anyone tells you otherwise, you can still roast marshmallows over the JFK eternal flame.

August 02, 2010

The dangerous book for traumatized plush toys

• Inspired by all the Lance Armstrong news, Larry Craig is now selling WideStance bracelets (8/29/07).

That was the Last Call! Swizzle Stick that started it all for me, way back in the dark, toe-tapping days of 2007. Here's a sampling of my favorites -- my own little sometimes absurd, sometimes poignant, sometimes oddly prophetic history of the past few years:

• Drinks tonight are on all the people who won their "when will Bill start causing Hillary trouble?" pools (11/7/07).

• You know that feeling you get, anxiously hoping against hope that someone will send you flowers or some other conspicuous token of love today? That's what Pres. Bush feels like all the time (2/14/08).

• When he writes his memoir, Bush plans to use not just a ghost-writer, but possibly a ghost-rememberer (6/10/08).

• Increasingly desperate to pay down her debts, HRC has started selling knockoffs of the dress Michelle Obama wore on "The View" out of the back of her Town Car (6/20/08).

• While Obama is out of the country, Hillary Clinton has proclaimed herself "Acting Presumptive Nominee" (7/21/08).

• We hear featured activities at the McCain camp's Halloween party will include carving out yet another message and bobbing for a reason to carry on (10/30/08).

• Still, we don't know how anybody's going to top Bill Clinton’s Obama-supporter costume this year (10/30/08).

• After reportedly buying Michelle a $30K ring, Obama can only afford to thank the rest of his supporters with tacky, $99 diamond heart pendants purchased at the last minute (12/2/08).

• Good thing Charlie Crist can't accept wedding gifts, otherwise we'd be obligated to joke about how he didn't register for a complete bedding ensemble, just the shams (12/12/08).

• On the new SarahPAC website, we can't seem to find the link to donate to the Bristol-Levi wedding gift registry (1/27/09).

• We'd like to commend VP Biden for supporting the Special Olympics, seeing as how there's no way we can make fun of him today (2/12/09).

• In another signal to Burris and Jim Bunning that it's time to leave the Senate, leaders have begun turning on all the lights and playing Journey songs when they're in the chamber (2/25/09).

• Outside the Capitol today, Sebelius rushed past a crestfallen Howard Dean to be the first one to frolic in a patch of freshly fallen snow (3/2/09).

• Meanwhile, scientists have discovered miraculous new cells present in Joe Lieberman that can be coaxed into supporting absolutely anything (3/9/09).

• Apparently, the new organic garden at the WH will include a plot for magic beans that will fix the economy (3/20/09).

• There's nothing quite like the excitement of getting a new SCOTUS justice most Americans soon won't be able to name (5/1/09).

• Some GOPers are still willing to give Sarah Palin a chance, provided her words start coming out of Tina Fey again (6/9/09).

Angelina Jolie wants Hillary Clinton to know that anything she can do to help her recovery -- run errands, fill in as an ambassador, adopt Chelsea -- all she has to do is ask (6/18/09).

• The supposed John Edwards sex tape reportedly consists of a few minutes of ambiguous blurriness, followed by 20 minutes of vigorous primping (6/29/09).

• Word on the street in NJ this weekend is that if you find a black-market kidney inside your counterfeit Gucci handbag, you win a prize (7/24/09).

• It was overshadowed by his date with Kathy Griffin, but Levi Johnston snagged Teen Choice Awards for "Choice Hottie from an Underpopulated Area" and "Choice Regrettable Choice” (8/10/09).

• The WH's first attempt at a pro-health-care viral email concludes with a threat to forward it to 20 people or be forced into the public option (8/13/09).

• We're trying to think up a word for "obituary sent via Twitter" that doesn't sound disrespectful (8/26/09).

• Lawmakers are preparing for H1N1 by avoiding close contact with others, like that required to forge bipartisan agreement (9/1/09).

• Tonight's WH basketball game promises to be a rousing and well-matched battle between health care metaphors and Afghanistan metaphors (10/8/09).

• Dems sent a bunch of symbolic mops over to the RNC yesterday, with the understanding that they'll need to borrow them back in about two weeks to take care of the Deeds campaign (10/20/09).

• In addition to major cities, Sarah Palin's book tour will also avoid the liberal strongholds of bookstores (11/5/09).

• Panic briefly ensued on the Hill this weekend when the giant health care bill got mixed up with Rep. Tom Rooney's python skin (11/9/09).

• Obama is considering naming this year's Thanksgiving turkeys Benator and Lieberman, then waiting to decide whether to pardon them until after the health care vote (11/23/09).

Jenny Sanford made this year's "10 Most Fascinating" cut, while Mark Sanford will have to wait for Barbara Walters' "10 People Who Briefly Fascinated Us, Then Terminally Overshared" (12/9/09).

• The current health care situation is doubly frustrating for Howard Dean, as a doctor and as someone who specializes in derailing things (12/17/09).

• On his recent "bender," John Edwards' favorite pickup lines were reportedly "Wanna go back to my America?" and "I know I just met you, but I think you're the cause of my life” (1/14/10).

• The seat-recliner who caused an altercation on Mitt Romney's plane insisted today that the Romneys started it by taking forever to load their giant Irish setter into the overhead bin (2/16/10).

• In the wake of Rielle Hunter's GQ photoshoot, Dora, having officially seen it all, retired from exploring (3/15/10).

• Unwilling to part with their symbolic victory gavel, House Dems kicked off the midterm elections today by announcing the start of an intramural, bipartisan Whac-a-Mole league (3/22/10).

• Now that word is out that Sarah Palin's AK documentary will air on TLC, plans are already in the works for crossover events like "Say You Betcha to the Dress" and "Caribou Pitmasters” (3/25/10).

• Among the surprises in Biden's tax returns: instead of itemizing, he took the "big f---ing deduction” (4/15/10).

• Earth Day must be somewhat bittersweet for Al Gore -- he no doubt appreciates the attention, but he also knows everyone feels obligated to call (4/22/10).

• If Hillary Clinton finds her job as sec/state exhausting, just imagine if she had to constantly be taking 3 am phone calls (4/23/10).

• Rielle Hunter told Oprah today that she's not a homewrecker -- technically, she was only powerful enough to destroy one wing of the Edwards estate (4/29/10).

• With tar balls reportedly starting to wash up on the beaches, the FL Keys haven't felt so dirty since Mark Sanford vacationed there (5/18/10).

• Voting itself is reportedly going smoothly in SC, but the exit polygraphs are so far inconclusive (6/8/10).

• Breaking with the WH again today, Bill Clinton announced he's totally on Team Jacob (6/30/10).

Check out more after the jump.

Read more »

July 29, 2010

Chasing the clouds away

Here are the all-time highlights, my top ten Last Call! Shot and Chasers, as determined by the relative intensity with which I laugh at my own jokes.


"Obama mum on Spitzer, likes eggs 'scrambled hard'" ("The Swamp," 3/11/08).


"I have a way of dealing with that" -- "Kristen" (New York Times, 3/11/08).


"Recent history has made clear that no disagreement can diminish the deep ties between our nations" -- Pres. Bush, applauding French Pres. Nicolas Sarkozy "for pledging to send more troops to Afghanistan" (AFP, 6/13/08).


"You are my junk. More deadly than Afghan heroin. ... My guy, I roll him up and smoke him" -- pop star/model/French First Lady Carla Bruni Sarkozy, singing her husband's praises ("Washington Whispers," 6/13/08).

SHOT ...

Obama apparently didn't "really" want the heart-shaped potato he recently got as a gift on "The Late Show," returning it this week via "registered-mail" ("Prime Buzz," 10/16/09).


"Fourth Grader Asks Obama: 'Why Do People Hate You?'" (, 10/15/09).

SHOT ...

Sasha and Malia Obama reportedly "love to practice piano, which is rare, because most kids hate to practice" (New York Post,, 12/11/09).


"Local girl on 'Little Miss Perfect'" (Oak Ridger, 12/7/09).

SHOT ...

"God, I really believe, has placed me here for a reason" -- Michael Steele, on his job ("The Brody File" 1/8/10).


"Now knock it off!" -- God ("Monty Python and the Holy Grail," 1975).

SHOT ...

"You go through the gate. If the gate's closed, you go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we'll [pole] vault in. If that doesn't work, we'll parachute in" -- Speaker Nancy Pelosi, on passing health care ("The Plum Line," 1/28/10).


"If you go parachuting, and your parachute doesn't open, and your friends are all watching you fall, I think a funny gag would be to pretend you were swimming" -- "Deep Thoughts" by Jack Handey ("SNL").

SHOT ...

"I want to find out what your thinking was, I want to find out what your feelings are, and did you learn anything" -- the disturbing yet effective Tiger Woods ad from Nike (4/7/10).


"Is he what he tells us? Or is he what he's become over the years? ... A wolf in sheep's clothing" -- Fiorina's hilarious yet effective "Demon Sheep" ad (2/4/10).

SHOT ...

"Could U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd wind up in the president's office at UConn?" ("Capitol Watch," 5/12/10).


"Christina, any time we land somewhere on a plane, says, 'We in Iowa?'" -- wife Jackie, on moving her family to IA for Dodd's '08 WH bid (Des Moines Register, 11/29/07).

SHOT ...

Sharron Angle's first TV ad uses "somber music and stark images of people in unemployment lines" to hit Reid on jobs (Las Vegas Review-Journal, 7/8/10).


"And then, how about Sarah McLachlan?" -- Obama, thanking the entertainment at his fundraiser for Reid last night (pool report, 7/8/10).

SHOT ...

"He texted me: 'I miss you. I love you. I want to be with you again'" -- Bristol Palin, on getting back together with Levi Johnston (US Weekly, 7/14/10).


"on toilet. in drag. drinking coffee vodka. I regret nothing" -- "Texts from Last Night" (7/13/10).

More honorable mentions after the jump.

Read more »

Before there was Paul the Octopus, there was Henry the Hexapus

A sampling of the most delightfully random headlines I've collected over the past few years:

"Quadriplegic NJ man gets right to bear arms"

"Holocaust float banned by Rio judge"

"Dems celebrate at fairgrounds; GOP mourns at Applebee's"

"World's first hexapus found in lobster pot"

"Accused Man Says His Cat Downloaded The Child Porn"

"Emotionally fragile Chihuahua loose in Norman"

"Captain Kirk, Chester Moistmuffins among voters' write-in choices"

"Elmo performer really gets inside her character"

"States consider protection from puppy 'lemons'"

"Vegetable garden offers cheap thrills"

"Church prays for guilt and disease upon baby Jesus thief"

"Peruvians offer Obama children bald, toothless dog"

"Alaska Senate gives marmots their day"

"Rehberg takes input in Butte on Tester forest plan"

"Encounter with leprosy teaches valuable lessons"

"'Best Santa ever' is arrested in N.J. on child sex charges"

"Dead man's dog euthanized to go with him to grave"

"Squid makes science class 'awesome,' smelly"

"Actor joins hunt for whoever glued cat to road"

"One-Flippered Manatee Set Free"

"8-year-old mentioned in Obama's speech wishes president had said his name"

"Chicago couple with swine flu say 'I do'"

"Taller bridge sees rise in suicides"

"Just being in Vegas raises risk of suicide, study finds"

"Rape suspect 'best guy I ever dated'"

And, of course, the most twisted headline of all:

"Hello, America, My Name Is Rielle Hunter"

August 14, 2009

Why days off work are dangerous

... when they coincide with my learning of the Crasher Squirrel meme.

Signaling his presidential ambitions with a trip to IA state fair:

The sixth Romney brother:

Stealing the scene as Charlie Crist releases rehabilitated sea turtles:

Staying hydrated:

And attempting to revitalize the GOP: