Friday, May 26

The Surreal Life 2: Weird World of Sports.

Tomorrow morning I'm headed out the do' and down to Panama City, where the grass is green and the girls are pretty (take me hoooow-wooooam, yeah yeah), and I won't be back until Monday -- but I leave you with another meme to mull over while I'm sitting on the beach getting pissed up and sunburned.

Earlier this week my "Surreal Life" question -- to wit, if you were on VH-1's "The Surreal Life," which 6-7 B-list celebrities would you want in the house with you? -- resulted in some excellent responses. (Dawgnoxious's choice of Gary Busey, in particular, was inspired.) So now I'm asking a similar question, just altering the answer pool a little: If ESPN decided to add to its Sportstainment! offerings an all-sports version of "The Surreal Life," and you somehow managed to get on it, which six athletes would you want in the house with you?

This is perhaps a little trickier than the first question. First of all, controversial and/or criminal misbehavior seems to be less rampant among female athletes than among males, so I'm relaxing the three-men-and-three-women restriction from the first question (but try to include some females anyway, because come on, it's just more fun that way.) Second, a "B-list athlete" is a little tougher to define than a B-list actor. Brett Favre obviously doesn't qualify; Ryan Leaf obviously does; Ron Artest . . . hmmmm, he's probably fifty-fifty. But let's just say we're looking for outrageous, washed-up, controversial and/or scandal-plagued figures who might actually appear on such a show. What that means, among other things, is that despite my dream to have all-world party animal Mike Price and profanity prodigy Bobby Knight in my house, their current positions as UTEP football coach and Texas Tech hoops coach, respectively, would probably preclude them from participating in such an endeavor.

But there are still plenty of folks out there who I'm sure would be available, so here are my six (with a wild-card seventh for the Florence Henderson whip-these-schmucks-into-shape role):

Nicole Bobek
Obviously, after the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan knee-whacking brouhaha, nobody had any more illusions about figure skaters being innocent, delicate little flowers. But Bobek, who was notorious for preferring drinking to practicing and burned through 11 coaches during her skating career, makes Harding look like a big sissy. Harding, after all, hired someone else to beat up Nancy Kerrigan; when Bobek decided she wanted to take some money from a friend's house, she took the initiative to break in herself, incurring a home-invasion charge to which she later pled guilty. A naughty, naughty girl, in other words (and way better-looking than Tonya Harding).

John Daly (center)
Sure, "Happy Gilmore" was funny for, among other things, the Bob Barker ass-kicking scene and the "You eat pieces of shit for breakfast?" line, but one of the funniest things about it was the fact that there was already a real-life hellraising white-trash drunk tearing up the world of pro golf and few people realized it at the time. Daly was, for a time at least, an all-world binge drinker who harassed British Airways flight attendants, trashed hotel rooms, and went in and out of rehab so frequently that the Betty Ford Clinic had to install a revolving door; he claims to have gotten his drinking under control, but he admits that he also has a gambling problem, having lost as much as $60 million over the course of his golf career. This last revelation was made in his recent autobiography, a book titled My Life in and out of the Rough: The Truth Behind All That Bullshit You Think You Know About Me. Yeah, this guy should be fun.

Bill Goldberg
How could I not have fun with this guy? He's a professional wrestler and a former Georgia football player, so I imagine we'd have plenty to talk about. Look, he's even copying my favorite facial expression.

Anna Kournikova
Because she's . . . uh . . . a terrific tennis player. OK, so she turned out to be a much better model than tennis player, but so's Gisele Bundchen, and I don't see anyone riding her ass over that.

John Riggins
RIGGGGOOOOOO! Between his party-animal rep and the sheer novelty of being a white running back in the NFL, he's got more than enough novelty value to make the cut. My only worry is that between him and Daly there'd never be any booze for the rest of us.

Ricky Williams
Because someone's got to provide the drugs.

And #7, the whip-cracker, the disciplinarian:

Al "Just Win, Baby" Davis
The legendary Oakland Raiders owner is the closest thing to a Mafia don to have ever attended an NFL owners' meeting. My only worry is that Davis would decide he was tired of our house, move us to a different house, get bored with the second house, then move us back into the first, but other than that, I think he'd do a good job snapping everyone in line. I wouldn't mess with him.

If any of those seven are unavailable or unable to fulfill their duties, the next four on the shortlist, in order: historic NFL draft bust Ryan Leaf, model/female football player Brigid Mullen (link via The M Zone -- thanks, guys), ex-Phillies fatass/current "Best Damn Sports Show Period" co-host John Kruk, and current Carolina Panthers/ex-XFL star Rod "He Hate Me" Smart.

So there's mine. Who are yours? Post them on your own blog or in the comments below. In the meantime, I'm gone. Happy Memorial Day weekend.

Thursday, May 25

Another one of my favorite subjects: Beer.

If you're just glancing at it, the red word on the can looks kind of like "lice," which is still pretty appropriate.

Courtesy of Double Viking, here's some of the most hilarious writing I've seen since, well, the last time I read Sexy Results: Stuff magazine's "10 Beers We Love to Hate." At first I was very tempted to take issue with the piece, because it includes two beers -- Stella and PBR -- that I actually like (and in a completely non-hipster, non-ironic context, I might add). Still, the whole article would be worth it for this one line:

4. Natural Light
It's almost as if someone bottled the sadness of all the terminally ill children in the world. Which is impressive.

Brilliant (and oh so true). Read.

Wednesday, May 24

So I have a new favorite Web site . . .

UPDATE: Some new ones added at the bottom.

Paul Westerdawg is going to regret ever having linked to, the Web site where you can make your own "Successories"-style posters for motivational purposes -- or non-motivational, as it were. And in my hands, it certainly were. I put together a collection for all the college football fans out there, and by "all" I of course mean "mostly the ones who root for Georgia":

Those two are going to be very popular amongst friends of the Clausen family, I'm sure, but I've got some for the Techies out there, too:

And, finally, for Auburn:

Don't worry, non-football-fans, I've got a couple for y'all, too.

Last one's inspired by one of Jack Handey's Deep Thoughts:

(I've got one more with Bush, though it's a little blue.)

Three more for the sports fans:

Tuesday, May 23

Riding the wild meme.

I've had some good times with other people's memes, I thought it might be fun to try and start one of my own. So here's the question, inspired by the touching sixth-season finale of "The Surreal Life"; answer at your leisure.

Let's say you somehow become famous (or infamous) enough to make it onto VH1's "The Surreal Life." Which six B-list celebrities do you want in the house with you? Allow me to lay down some ground rules for you: First, they have to be three men and three women, though if you like you can include a seventh person to serve in the Florence Henderson role as the older, less scandalous/embarrassing house mother/father who keeps the rest of you yabos in line. All these folks have to be true B-listers -- in other words, no George Clooneys or Charlize Therons in your house. And while someone like, say, David Hasselhoff might seem the very definition of a B-list celeb, he's still working (and still huge in Germany, I might add), so he's probably off limits. I'm looking for people who reside on the B-list and who currently have little enough occupying their time that you could conceivably get them on the show.

I know that's still a little nebulous, but here's my list to get you started:

Emma Bunton
I can't believe they haven't had a Spice Girl on yet, and for the 15 minutes in 1997 that the Spice Girls were popular, I'm not ashamed to say Baby Spice was my favorite. Plus having someone in the house with a heavy British accent might add some semblance of class to what might otherwise be some severely tacky, debauched proceedings.

Mr. T
Another person I'm shocked they haven't had on there yet. Everything goes better with T. There will be plenty of opportunity for fool-pitying in this house.

Heather Kozar
No reason not to have a Playmate in the house -- a Playmate of the Year, no less -- and which better one to have than the one who was once entangled in a love triangle with two of the biggest NFL draft busts of the last 20 years, Tim Couch and Cade McNown?

David Lee Roth
Had to have some kind of washed-up '80s rocker on here, and Diamond Dave just barely made the cut over Billy Idol. I just can't pass up the chance that Roth would let me play synthesizers on "Jump."

Monica Lewinsky
She's already been on one reality show, so another one wouldn't be that much of a stretch. And who better to give insight into the man himself, Bill Clinton? (Other than Hillary, of course, who I'm pretty sure wouldn't appear on this show.)

Michael Winslow
If you don't remember who he is, he's the dude who made all the funny noises in the "Police Academy" movies. I looked him up on IMDb and found that, indeed, he hasn't been working a lot lately, but he is appearing in . . . another "Police Academy" movie, due out next year? I don't know whether that's a sign of the apocalypse, but either way, he's on the show.

And my #7 pick, the mature disciplinarian of this motley crew:

Roger Moore
Did you know this cat is nearly eighty years old? That's actually older than Sean Connery, so there may be some legitimate concern over whether Rog would be hale and/or hearty enough to keep tabs on the seven of us. But if he can satisfy Jane Seymour, Barbara Bach, and Grace Jones, the ol' guy must be doing something right in terms of physical stamina (and maybe even has some pointers for a schmuck like myself). And his ex-Bond status alone should be enough to snap the rest of us in line. If Moore's not available, then the pick is Tom Jones.

So there's my group, people. Who are yours?

Dead ringers.

Just for poops and giggles, I took the picture of my sister, Kyle King, and me that Kyle's cousin took at our G-Day tailgate and ran it through the face-recognition thing that EDSBS and Burnt Orange Nation mentioned the other day. I didn't know it could do multiple faces at once, but here's its analysis of the three of us:

Click on that picture to get the full-screen version and you see that Ann is Audrey Tautou, currently boring the pants off people with Tom Hanks in "The Da Vinci Code" but a talented actress nonetheless; Kyle is another foreign actor, Gael García Bernal, who has appeared in such excellent films as "Amores Perros" and "Y Tu Mamá También."

But that middle person -- Yours Truly -- is none other than Elle Macpherson. So evidently that computer program looked through its entire database of famous people and decided the one I looked most like is this:

At best, a tenuous comparison. Still, it's nice to feel pretty.

And I have been told I have a sweet ass.

Monday, May 22

Stay classy, South Bend.

Normally I wouldn't consider this worthy of its own post, but it has been stated policy at every blog I've ever done that hate mail will be published in full, so . . . here's something that popped up in my inbox today:

From :
Sent : Sunday, May 21, 2006 10:44 PM
To : paris_1968 (at) hotmail . com
Subject : irish rule

hey clown i read your blog about jimmy clausen i can tell your a georgia fan because you are clueless.hey nothing wrong with being a georgia fan someone has to be and everyone else might as well deal with it THE IRISH ARE BACK!.charlie weis has probably forgotten more football than mark(i'll probably bolt for fla soon as bowden retire's)richt will ever know.

Yowser, apparently somebody read my exhaustively researched history of the Tossin' Clausens and didn't like it too much. I'm still trying to figure which one of the following groups THCOUGAR69 falls into:

(a) Notre Dame fans (specifically, the subset of fans who didn't actually go to the school)

(b) Tennessee fans who have latched onto Notre Dame as their new bandwagon du jour because their own team currently sucks

(c) Georgia Tech fans determined to hate on UGA by any means necessary

(d) Some other group I've forgotten about

Given the fact that THCOUGAR69's brief e-mail contains a spelling error, 17 capitalization mistakes, and 10 punctuation errors (in but four sentences!), I'm favoring (b) over (a), but I'm curious to read y'all's speculation in the comments.

In which Hey Jenny Slater uses its hitherto unrevealed powers of ESP to very briefly read the thoughts of Justin Timberlake.


Photo bogarted from Go Fug Yourself.

Sunday, May 21

I don't mean to sound greedy, but . . . gimme.

Look, I love all you readers -- yes, both of you -- and the knowledge that I'm apparently bringing some element of joy to your lives is thanks enough for the work I do putting this blog together. Well, it was thanks enough . . . but now I want some stuff. And considering how badly you guys whiffed the last time I asked for stuff for my birthday, I figure that popping for some of the items on the following birthday list is the least you cheap schmucks can do. Especially given that my birthday is, hello, exactly two weeks from today. So pay f$#!ing attention!:

· The first item I asked for on my last birthday list was one of the life-sized Angelina Jolie stand-ups that Twentieth Century Fox sent out to movie theatres to promote "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" last spring. An example of which is pictured above. If you can look at that and tell me it's not the hottest thing ever, then congratulations, hope the monastery's treating you nice. Otherwise, buy/steal me one of these at your earliest convenience -- I'll even pick it up myself so you don't have to mail it! I mean, come on.

· One thing I'd really like to have hanging over my fireplace is one of those panoramic photographs of Sanford Stadium taken from the end zone (an example of which is depicted above). But what would be even awesomer than that is a painting (or print of same) of the "Prayer on the Plains," Michael Johnson's 19-yard touchdown catch that won the 2002 Georgia-Auburn game and clinched Georgia's first SEC East title ever. Obviously I know the first one exists; I'm not sure about the second. But either one will be a fine way of showing me you actually love me, as opposed to just being one of those people who says it but doesn't really mean it.

The "Prayer on the Plains." Also known as 70-X-Takeoff. Also known as suck it, Auburn. (By the way, did you know that I'm the #1 Google result for "70-X-Takeoff"? It's true, beeyatch!

· Also, I still want a model of an Airbus A380, available here or here.

· A new driver's-side outside mirror for a dark green 2000 Volkswagen Jetta. If you must know, some assbag parked all crooked in the little area behind my building, I thought I could pull into the space between him and the telephone pole without incurring any damage, it turned out I was mistaken. Look, the motor still works, all I need is the mirror and the exterior housing; just buy me the parts and I'll even pay for the labor myself.

· A #1 Atlanta Falcons D.J. Shockley jersey. They're not actually selling those yet, but you can customize one here. (I want a red jersey with white numbers, just in case you were wondering.)

· Anything off my wish list.

· Melissa Theuriau's phone number. Just the phone number, dude, I'll even learn French myself!

Si je vous disais que vous avez eu un beau corps, le tiendriez-vous contre moi . . . see, dude, I already know some French and stuff!

So there's your list. You've got two weeks . . . but what the hell, I know the mail runs slow and some of these can be hard to find, so I'll extend the deadline until Thursday, June 8, the day before I leave for New York for a week. But don't try and use that as an excuse to procrastinate or something. Get cracking!

The Hey Jenny Slater society page.

I have a formal request (actually, probably several by now) from college football blogosphere Mayor T. Kyle King to get off my ass already and post some of the pictures I took at our abortive, but still fun, bloggers' tailgate before the G-Day game last month. I also have pictures from this past weekend's Do Dah Day festivities, so this is gonna be a two-fer picture post of Events I've Been To Recently. Two picture posts in a row? Yes, it's madness up in here. We begin with Blogger[sort of]palooza:

From left to right, Ann, me, and T. Kyle within the cozy confines of the North Campus Parking Deck. Not appearing in your picture: Kyle's cousin Travis, because he was the one taking it.

Our tailgate spread -- not exactly an RV-sized bacchanalia, OK, but you'll note 1) fried chicken, 2) two boxes of Krispy Kremes, and 3) a cooler full of beer. Looks like a fine tailgate to me.

Baby Sis at the stadium right before kickoff.

OK, you'd have to Zapruder the hell out of this picture to be able to tell for sure, but I think this is Matt Stafford dropping back to pass on his first play from scrimmage, which, as you'll recall, ended up a 64-yard TD pass. Big cheers from the crowd, most of whom were prepared to hand Stafford the starter's job right then and there.

Postgame at midfield, the members of the 2005 SEC-title team get their championship rings.

And now for Do Dah Day:

Ann and my parents' new springer spaniel, Jake, enjoying the shade.

Jenna, enjoying some shade of her own. This is where she spent pretty much half the day . . .

. . . and here she is nosing around for food, where she spent the other half of the day.

We saw this little Boston terrier puppy in Rhodes Park -- the owner said it was about 9 weeks old, and she was even smaller than Jenna was when I got her.

Jenna inspects the puppy.

After three and a half hours in close-to-90-degree heat, both Jenna and Jake were pretty much exhausted when they got back -- or so one might think. But they only napped for about 30 minutes apiece before Jenna got right back to her usual M.O. -- annoying the shit out of Jake -- and this is the two of them playing tug-of-war with a toy that rightly belongs to Jake.

Friday, May 19

Friday Bostonblogging, the Random Ten, and bonus I-Couldn't-Make-This-Up-If-I-Triedness.

Now that I have a digital camera and can take pictures and everything, I know I promised I'd put more pictures of Jenna up on here, but today you get a double dose -- Amy brought over her Boston terrier, Ruby, the other night, and as usually happens when Jenna and Ruby get together, they immediately started rolling around on the floor and rasslin' each other like a couple of wild animals, only . . . well, a lot funnier. (Ruby's the one with the black face in the pictures, by the way.)

I don't know that I can truly paint you an accurate mental picture of two little Boston terriers fighting, but imagine the Ultimate Fighting Championship with midgets -- that's kind of what it looks like.

Anyway, Do Dah Day is tomorrow here in Birmingham, which, as with last year, should provide plenty more opportunities for canine-related tomfoolery and unrestrained treat-eating. (For Jenna, I mean, not for me. My treats come in bottles.)

Here's the Random Ten . . .

1. A Tribe Called Quest, "Like It Like That"
2. The Dust Brothers, "Finding the Bomb"
3. Crowded House, "In My Command"
4. Underworld, "Shudder/King of Snake" (live version)
5. U2, "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"
6. Dean Martin, "He's Got You"
7. Radiohead, "Optimistic"
8. Pet Shop Boys, "Transparent"
9. DJ Shadow, "Midnight in a Perfect World"
10. Chad & Jeremy, "A Summer Song"

Now for the I Couldn't Make This Up If I Tried Award of the week: Go to the Web site for the Competitive Enterprise Institute and watch their TV spot titled "Energy." This ad attempts to respond to the controversy over global warming by talking about how great carbon dioxide is. The spot's tag line? "CO2 -- We call it life." No, dude, I'm not making this shit up. Even though the ad really looks like it was produced by the same PR firm who produces public-service announcements for Montgomery Burns, trying to convince the people of Springfield that three-eyed fish are really a good thing. Courtesy of Washington Monthly, we have an out-of-the-park satire of the ad here, with plenty more top-quality snark in the comments here. (My favorite alternate tag line: "CO2: We call it life. No, really, go ahead -- put that plastic bag over your head.")

And finally, I hadn't planned on posting about this, but there was something about this on Headline News this morning and I couldn't let it go. The latest bit of evidence in the matter of The People vs. Britney Spears involves Britney allegedly almost dropping her infant son as she scooted out of the Ritz-Carlton in New York City. Now, I'm not saying that almost dropping your baby is a good thing, but I don't see why that's what's making headlines about this story. First of all, poor little Sean Preston being dropped or otherwise endangered has almost become a fact of life; it's pretty much accepted that Sean Preston is going to end up in a foster home, a body cast, or both before age five. But second of all, Britney, who is pregnant, nearly dropped her kid coming out of the Ritz because she had a goddamn drink in her hand! So she's going to curse her second child with fetal alcohol syndrome in addition to the damage already wreaked by her and Kevin Federline's tainted, malignant genes. I really do think if you looked at Kevin Federline's sperm cells under a microscope, they'd be wearing thick glasses and plastic helmets and would be running into each other as they pooped in their pants and wailed for the mommies.

For the love of God, state of California, put Sean Preston with a loving family, and while you're at it, put an undercover agent in the maternity ward when Britney pops out the second one so it can be whisked away to safety the minute the umbilical cord is cut. We can save these children!

Wednesday, May 17

When the piper asks to be paid.

The blog Approximately Perfect touched briefly on a question that has been nagging at me for a while now. It prompted me to ask a new Question o' the Day, which I now pose, in a completely non-smart-ass context, to all of you, whether you're liberal, conservative, libertarian, Marxist, populist, anarchist, Scientologist, orthodontist, whatever: Do any of you guys seriously believe we're not gonna need, or have, a major tax increase in the next 5-10 years?

Think about it: Our budget deficits for the last four years are, in order, $157.8 billion, $377.6 billion, $412.7 billion, and $318.3 billion. The fact that our deficits, while still staggeringly huge, have at least started to shrink would be cause for hope were it not for the fact that the national debt is increasing unabated -- $8,338,162,385,897.57 as of Tuesday, an increase of more than $400 billion just since the last fiscal year ended in September, at which point it had increased nearly $600 billion since the September before that. And other countries, one of the biggest being China, hold this particular I.O.U.

Now the quick-'n'-easy response to this situation is, "Well, we gotta cut spending." And yeah, it would be great if we could do that, and it would also be great if Elisha Cuthbert would pull up to my building in a Mercedes SLK, hand me the keys and a pair of Georgia season football tickets, and then take me out to Ben & Jerry's. But if there's one thing the last few years have made clear, it's that the current crop of goofballs in Congress has little to no interest in actually cutting spending. (And by the way, the first person to suggest that Republicans have any more moral superiority on this issue than Democrats is getting anonymously subscribed to a dozen gay-porn magazines.) You can rail away about spending all you want, but as long as assbags like Don Young roam the halls of Washington, I doubt a lot is going to get done about it.

Plus, even if we could lobotomize people like Young and Richard Shelby and whoever else and convince them to stop setting aside money for $250 million bridges, we'd still have to keep shoveling money into Iraq for both military and civilian/humanitarian expenses (for which, by the way, Rumsfeld just went to Congress holding a cardboard "Will Continue to Fuck Up for Food and Another $65 Billion" sign); we'd still have New Orleans to try and put together; and we'd also have to pay for a big-ass fence and whatever else Congress decides is going to be part of their solution to the immigration issue.

Seriously, people, deride me as an old-fashioned tax-and-spend liberal if you must -- though I defy anyone to tell me how that's any worse than a don't-tax-but-spend-anyway conservative -- but we're gonna need a tax hike pretty soon. Maybe it just involves rolling back the truly obnoxious tax cuts the wealthy have been getting for the past five years, maybe our situation is dire enough that everyone's gonna have to take a hit, but taxes are going to have to come up. And it probably needs to be sooner rather than later. Am I just Chicken Littling around by daring to come out and say so, or do you agree that we're really on the verge of (if not already completely immersed in) a fiscal pooch-screwing of monumental proportions?

A buzz even Mike Adams can't kill.

Better bloggers than I have already commented on the petty douchebaggery inherent in UGA president Mike Adams's request that CBS, ESPN, and others cease referring to the annual Georgia-Florida game in Jacksonville as "The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party," so I'll simply reiterate my suggestion that if Adams is really that concerned about the nickname conjuring images of debauchery and illicit behavior, they should just rename the game "The World's Largest Mescaline-Fueled Underage Bang-a-Thon" and leave it at that. Classy, I like to call it.

But no, friend, my real reason for this post is to announce a Georgia achievement even Adams can't screw up (though one he'll almost certainly try to take credit for in one fashion or another): Georgia has broken Florida's 14-year stranglehold on the SEC's all-sports trophy, which is kind of like a Director's Cup specifically for the SEC. Georgia was buoyed to this achievement by virtue of its 2006 national championship in gymnastics, its current first-place national rankings in men's tennis and men's golf, and conference titles in football, gymnastics, women's swimming, men's tennis, men's golf, and women's indoor and outdoor track.

So anyway, congratulations, Bulldog athletes. And as for the other topic, is anyone positive that Mike Adams and John Ashcroft aren't really the same person? If you've ever seen them in the same room together, please send your photographic proof to me here. Thankee.

Tuesday, May 16

A salute to one of history's greatest Dougs.

Guys named Doug rule.

You know, if there's one thing I've learned in my almost-28 years, it's that there are only so many Dougs in the world, and thus only so many chances for one of us to make good. So when one of us does something awesome, we need to crow about it.

Thus I'm proud, not just as a Doug but as a human being, that Doug Flutie got to be the hero in the '84 BC-Miami game, and proud that after many years of trial and tribulation (and Canada), he got his shot in the NFL and made the most of it. Doug Flutie announced his retirement yesterday, but his contribution to football, and to Dougness, can never be forgotten. For bringing joy and pride to Dougs everywhere, Mr. Flutie, we salute you.

President Bush wears Bad Idea Jeans.

Guy #1: Hey, we've got our apartment. We ripped up the floors, pipes, wiring, and having everything completely redone.

Guy #2: You're renting, right?

Guy #1: Yeah.

[Image on screen: BAD IDEA]

Here's the thing: I actually agreed with a lot of what President Bush said last night in his prime-time speech. Tougher measures against employers to make sure they don't hire illegals? Fine with me. Guest-worker program? No argument here. Eventual path to citizenship for the illegal immigrants already in this country? Might as well, since there's no way in hell we can dump 12,000,000 million people into our prisons or round them up and truck them all back to Latin America. National Guard troops at the border? Well, fine, if you can find any who aren't in Iraq or scheduled to be there really soon.

All that said, though, it was a monumentally stupid move for Bush to have made that speech. The only people raising a truly huge stink about the immigration issue -- aside from the actual immigrants protesting in the streets -- are the hard-core right-wingers and straight-up racists who want to see every illegal in this country either thrown in jail or sent back to Mexico (or wherever). And when you get right down to it, those are the only people whose minds Bush really could've changed with his address. The moderates and progressives might've liked the proposals Bush outlined, but after the debacle in Iraq, the Hurricane Katrina fiasco, and the NSA phone-records blowup, those moderates and progressives have already made up their minds that Bush is a loser, and after a record of fuckuppery like that, it's going to take a lot more than a sane stance on immigration to change their minds. The right wing, which, as has been pointed out, is really one of the primary forces driving Bush's approval ratings lower than anyone ever thought they'd go, wanted to Bush to propose a major, head-knocking crackdown on illegals. And Bush didn't give them one, and that's going to piss them off. Basically, Bush's speech was tailored (intentionally or unintentionally) to appeal to a group of people who wouldn't give him the time of day no matter what he said; the general public and, more importantly, the Congressmen he really needed to get on his side appear roundly unconvinced.

So why did Bush stick his neck out and give this speech at all? Who the hell knows. Maybe Rove really is losing his Midas touch. Maybe Bush decided there's no way he's going to push his approvals back above 50 percent and grow some coattails in time for the midterm elections. Either way, this speech struck me as an extremely BAD IDEA.

"I don't know the guy, but I've got two kidneys and he needs one, so I figured . . . "