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July 7, 2007 - June 30, 2007

Friday, April 07, 2006


Spoiling Dinosaurs

Hagryphus Giganteus

JURASSIC FUNNIES. So now the scientists are announcing new dinosaurs at a pretty rapid rate again. Most recently, we got this:

What's 7 feet tall, 13 feet long, armed with sickle-like claws and covered with feathers? Hagryphus giganteus, the new raptor dinosaur discovered in southern Utah.

The dinosaur was unveiled this week in a pair of press conferences held by the Utah Museum of Natural History, one on Monday in Escalante, near its discovery site, and the other on Tuesday in the museum on the University of Utah campus...

The name means "giant four-footed, bird-like god of the western desert," said Lindsay Zanno, a graduate student at the U. who named it and is the lead author of a paper describing the animal. The paper was published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

Only about 7 percent of the fossil was recovered, said Scott Sampson, the museum's chief curator. That consisted of hand and feet bones, including the impression of the sharp keratin sheath that was curved like a huge cat's claw.

All they have of it is hand and leg bones, but they know it had feathers. They know it had feathers?

Does anybody else suspect that the scientists are just playing with us now? For some reason they got tired of the reptile dinosaurs and decided they were really birds instead. So they start giving us pictures like the one above, all nicely colored in and adorned with poultry-like cartilage crowns, which, of course, they have recovered exactly none of.

I think they're laughing. I think they're going to see just how far they can go with this made up crap until somebody notices that the whole thing is a Confidencegameius Giganticus, which is paleontology for 'Gotcha.'

In the meantime I expect we'll see additional exciting announcements of new 'dinosaurs' like the two below.


Duckioraptorasaurus Bulbosus


Wrennosaurus Humungiosus

It's just not working for me. I miss the old romping, stomping 'terrible lizards.' I don't want them to be just chickens the size of airliners. What does anybody else think?




Thursday, April 06, 2006


The New Katie

Meredith Vereira

THE MANTLE OF ED. Are you ready, America? Here's our new national mommy. Her name is Meredith Vereira, and she's the one who's going to be shouting 'Rise and shine' at us every weekday morning on the Today Show. Like me, I know you're hoping that she'll be a good mommy, filled with hatred for all things Republican and Christian and filled with love for all things saccharine, socialist, female, and paranoiacally child-related. With any luck she'll share Katie's certainty that George Bush is destroying the country, that Islam means 'Peace,' that Maya Angelou is a greater poet than T. S. Eliot, and that the definition of good journalism is smiling sweetly while while you ask hostile and unfair questions of those who disagree with your moronic assumptions about matters of politics, culture, religion, and the raising of undisciplined psychopaths.

We don't doubt she's equipped with the uniquely female stamina for interminable discussions about child seats in cars and the ineradicable genetic flaws of men. But does she also have the requisite perky narcissism to show off her colonoscopy, breast cancer exam, pap smear, and home pregnancy test on live TV while we're all trying to eat breakfast? And does she have the balls to keep Matt Lauer in his assigned place as NBC's eunuch-in-chief? Only time will tell, but you've got to admit she's got the hips for it.

As for the old Katie, well, we hope her first year's salary is strato-huge-ic, because when she sits her big ass down in that anchor chair, it's the last time anyone will ever lay eyes on her. The news is bad enough as it is. When it's being read to us by an aged elf with a series of impenetrable grudges against the country that made her a gazillionaire, it's unwatchable.

Good night, Katie, and good luck.





CONTEST!


WE'RE SO SMART. To understand the context of this event, go here and make sure to read the Update.

Got it? Good. We're looking for the member of the GOP leadership who would be best in the role of Tuco from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Entries should be written in the Comments section of InstaPunk or emailed to the address shown elsewhere on this page. They should be funny, witty, or otherwise amusing.

If nothing is funny, witty, or amusing, we won't report. If you are, we'll be laudatory. That's the prize.






Wednesday, April 05, 2006


No Delay for Delay

The Man with No Delay

DAVE.52.1-18. We've heard of politicians who leave office and subsequently offer up some opinions that are more candid than the exigencies of political life allow. But Tom "The Hammer" Delay is clearly in the process of setting a new record. He started spouting off within hours of announcing his resignation, which means he's now shooting from the hip while still a member of Congress. That's what we call a fast gun. Frankly, he was fanning so many shots across the horizon yesterday, that's it hard to determine who exactly he took down first, but here's our preliminary count of the initial victims:

The GOP Leadership

The Washington Times reports that:

Departing Rep. Tom DeLay of Texas said yesterday that House Republicans have no vision or agenda and have let the Democrats choose the GOP leadership.

Bang.

The Democrat Leadership (with collateral damage to Republicans)

Again from the Washington Times:

"The only reason I was indicted [was] the stupid rule that allows the Democrats to pick the Republican leadership," Mr. DeLay said.

He was referring to a party rule requiring that any Republican indicted for a crime give up his leadership post. Mr. DeLay has contended that is why the Democrats, who have no such rule, persuaded Ronnie Earle to seek a grand jury indictment of Mr. DeLay and keep seeking it until he got one.

Bang.

John McCain

Ibid:

He warned that if the immigration bill sponsored by Sens. John McCain and Edward M. Kennedy becomes law, it "would seriously undermine our own base" and cost Republicans seats in the November elections. The House "should not conference with the Senate on something we haven't discussed in the House."

Bang.

Cynthia McKinney

Human Events Online is reporting that:

Soon-to-retire Rep. Tom DeLay (R.-Tex.) said today he would file an ethics complaint against Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D.-Ga.) for striking a Capitol Police officer should no other House member do so first.

DeLay’s comments came during a wide-ranging interview at his Capitol Hill office with reporters, including HUMAN EVENTS Editor Terry Jeffrey.

“If nobody in this House files an ethics charge, I am,” DeLay said in response to a question about McKinney. “Her behavior is outrageous. And it’s not the only time.”

Bang.

Then he blew the smoke from his revolver, established a meaningful personal and historical context for his outrage (ouch), and fired again:

The subject of McKinney came up after DeLay recounted a fond memory he had of a Capitol Police officer killed in the line of duty. When asked about his best and worst days as a lawmaker, he said his best day was the GOP’s sweep in 1994.

The worst day, he recalled, was July 24, 1998, when Capitol Police Detective John Gibson was shot to death by Russell Weston Jr. in DeLay’s office. Fellow officer Jacob “J.J.” Chestnut was also killed that day protecting the congressman’s staff from the gunman.

The episode prompted DeLay to erect a tribute to Gibson on his office wall. He told reporters that a plaque he keeps in his office with the words “This Could Be the Day” serves as a reminder of Gibson, who had discussed its meaning with DeLay only two days before he was killed.

Bang, bang.

THIS JUST IN... MORE UNCONFIRMED REPORTS OF GUNFIRE FROM TOM DELAY...

We can't verify this because it's only an unlinked item on Drudge, but here's what's coming over the wires:

REP. DELAY ON FOXNEWS: 'Cynthia McKinney is a racist. She has a long history of racism. Everything is racism with her. This is incredible arrogance, and -- that sometimes hits these members of congress, but especially Cynthia McKinney'...

Bang, bang, bang, bang.

POSTSCRIPT. We don't know where all this is going, of course, but we can't help hoping -- like the evil conservatives we are -- that Tom reloads his shooting irons and moves out after some additional targets. We have no objection if he pauses along the way to take out Ronnie Earle, who would look much better with a Texas-style epithet branded between his eyes, but we'd also like to suggest that Tom shoot off his mouth -- with cold and deadly candor -- about the real corruption in Congress: the scruple-free cabal of rich and pampered aristocrats who are trying to assassinate the presidency of George Bush and cripple the foreign policy of the United States at one of the most precarious moments in our history. His gunbelt ought to include rhetorical bullets engraved with the names of Thomas Feingold, Charles Schumer, Teddy Kennedy, Richard Durbin, Harry Reid, Barbara Boxer, Tom Harkin, Joseph Biden, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Charles Rangel, James McDermott, Maxine Waters, John Dingel, and Barney Frank. These people are all more despicable than even Lee Van Cleef would have the stomach to play. Collateral damage is acceptable. If bringing down Feingold mortally wounds the career of John McCain, so be it. If Lincoln Chafee, Chuck Hagel, Howard Dean, and the Lords of the MSM should get caught in the crossfire by unlucky accident, that would be okay, too, especially if some Hollywood celebrities are hanging out in the same filthy saloon.

If Tom is still in one piece after that, we'd really appreciate it if he'd also take aim at the naysayers who are trying to dispel the rumor of Scott McClellan's imminent (and crucial) departure and do what comes naturally. Maybe other members of the GOP could acquire some spine by example. You don't have to be all good and nicey-nicey to accomplish some indisensable objectives. It's called remembering the mission.

Of course, we know that makes us seem uncivil. But we can live with that. We bet a lot of you could too.

UPDATE. Do you remember the scene where Clint outdraws Lee Van Cleef and then shoots his hat into the open grave before he makes Eli Wallach put a noose around his own neck? Sure you do. Well, we've reached the part where Lee is surprised as hell to discover he's beeen shot.



We won't make any jokes about shooting McKinney's hat because Neal Boortz is still recovering from the apology he had to make about her headwear, but we will allow ourselves to speculate about who gets to be Eli Wallach in the big scene. Who in the GOP leadership would look best teetering on a wooden cross while dangling from a tree branch and waiting for Clint to shoot (or not) the rope that will otherwise hang him?



We give up. You decide. Contest rules are detailed in one of our entries for April 6, 2006.






Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Beheading Error Exposed at NYT

NYT Publisher Sulzberger and editors Keller, Geddes, Landman, and Abramson

XOFF NEWS BRIEF. Major figures at the New York Times were refusing to comment today about reports that the onetime "paper of record" had once again been caught publishing unverified rumors considered damaging to the Iraqi war effort.

NY Times headline, March 27: 30 Beheaded Bodies Found; Iraqi Death Squads Blamed

BAGHDAD, Iraq, March 26 — The bodies of 30 beheaded men were found on a main highway near Baquba this evening, providing more evidence that the death squads in Iraq are becoming out of control.

But blazing headlines notwithstanding, the odd thing about those headless bodies that provided more evidence that death squads in Iraq were out of control is that nobody ever claims to have actually seen them.

The Mudville Gazette has the full story (h/t Glenn Reynolds), including the accurate reporting done by Stars and Stripes about the insurgent activity that led to the rumor and the feeble, buried corrections subsequently muttered by the Times.

The XOFF News Team tried repeatedly to obtain some explanation for this gross abdication of journalistic standards from NYT managing editors Jill Abramson and John Geddes, deputy managing editor Jonathan Landman, executive editor Bill Keller, and publisher Pinch Sulzberger, but were told the five principals were engaged in an all-day meeting of the editorial board. (Something about a group photograph, we understand.)

According to Times insiders, who would not offer quotes for attribution, mid-level staffers are scratching their heads about the embarrassing error, which is only the latest in a series of such gaffes, including the phony Abu Ghraib photo story, the phony Afghanistan missile story, and others being tracked by TimesWatch.org.

"It's getting to be like the Emperor's New Clothes," complained one anonymous source. "We're all supposed to act like nothing's wrong around here, but the more news the higher-ups see fit to print, the more us reporters feel like our bare asses are being hung out to dry. We're sick of getting laughed at."

The anonymous source's colleague and secret mistress added, "Yeah. The only ones who are getting promoted these days are the ones who dream up even fancier ways of hiding all the corrections in the seventeenth paragraph of some unrelated story. If there'd been this many idiotic mistakes in the old days, you'd have been sure that some heads were going to roll."

Apparently, though, heads won't be rolling anytime soon at the Times, except maybe in fictitious dispatches from Iraq still to come. The explanation for this bizarre slide into unethical incompetence remains a mystery to all but the editorial heads of America's largest tabloid newspaper, and for whatever reason, they have chosen to stand mute.
 





Odds Check

They're called 'Snake Eyes.'

IF... Every once in a while we can't help recognizing a moment when someone acute has taken the pulse of the situation we're in in a concise and correct fashion. It happened today. All his points have been covered here in the past, but we applaud the starkness of Vodkapundit's summation:

If we’re going to win a long, ideological war, we need our primary schools to [teach] our children what patriotism is - and for the most part, they don’t. We need our college professors to give our best and brightest the intellectual ammunition to confront our destroyers – and for the most part, they don’t. We need our public thinkers to defend our laws and our way of life against foreign aggression – and for the most part, they don’t. We need our entertainers to choose the home team – and for the most part, they don’t. We need our politicians to show the backbone of Churchill, but for the most part, they don’t. And we need our military to understand, embrace, and put everything on the line for their country.

One out of six? That’s pretty bad. Is it enough? Probably not.

Ordinarily, we'd say read the whole thing. This time, we'll recommend something different: just follow the links in this one paragraph.

You probably won't be any happier about it than we are.

THEN read the whole thing.




Monday, April 03, 2006


A Grisly New Danger

Cell phone and optional "holster"

LEADERSHIP. How many victims do we have to see before we start taking action on behalf of public safety? Within just the past week we've had two highly disturbing incidents. First, there was this:

Super model Naomi Campbell was charged with second-degree assault by the Manhattan Criminal Court Friday after allegedly bashing her 41-year-old housekeeper in the head with a cell phone... The assault occurred about 8:30 a.m. Thursday at Campbell's apartment on Park Avenue, the police said.

Then there was this:

(S)everal witnesses have said the officer involved asked McKinney to stop three times. When she refused, he placed a hand on her shoulder, at which time she whirled around and struck him on the chest with her cell phone.

Please, let's bear in mind the two victims here:


Disadvantaged black women ensnared and victimized by cell phones.

Now look at the cell phone gear pictured above. It's far worse than an attractive nuisance. It's begging to be viewed and wielded as a weapon. They even come in holsters, for God's sake. How can we possibly expect talented, assertive, and volatile women of color to resist the urge to draw that thing and fire it right at whoever dares to earn their wrath? It's impossible.

If we keep on in this reckless way, allowing these sinister instruments to be available on the market in whatever form bigoted capitalist corporations run by white men decide will sell, we could be looking at a slaughter of epic proportions and millions of needless, unjust incarcerations. We don't want to lose the Campbells and McKinneys. We can't afford to lose the Oprahs, Goldbergs, Malveauxs, and Houstons to this new plague of violence.

Don't help a good woman go bad. Write your congressperson today to demand serious cell phone control legislation.

Thank you.

UPDATE. Also, thanks to Michelle Malkin for the link. Us news babes have to stick together.




Friday, March 31, 2006


Base Instincts

Jeff Goldblum in Basic Instinct 2

SOFT CORE. We don't have the whole story yet, but we're going with it anyway, in the tradition of the 21st century New York Times and CBS News. Apparently, the sequel to Basic Instinct stars Jeff Goldblum (H/T to Michelle Malkin) as a housefly so in love with Sharon Stone that he's willing to let her swat him cold-bloodedly to death rather than give up the great sex he thinks he's having with her.


Goldblum and Stone making whoopee in Basic Instinct 2

This doesn't seem right to us. According to the review cited by Malkin:

Acting always involves a degree of self-abasement...

That may be true, but we wonder where the usually relentless watchdogs of PETA are to protect defenseless little whatsits against the predatory evil of Sharon Stone. Don't they know how damaging this might be to the self esteem of young flies, gnats, and mosquitoes the world over?

We've been mad at Hollywood before, but this time we mean it.




Thursday, March 30, 2006


Los Angeles, Mexico

Ah, what might have been! If only we hadn't stolen California from Mexico...

HERITAGE. Maybe you have to be Hispanic to figure out this kind of logic: You've broken the law and risked your life to get the hell out of the land of your birth, but when the country you've sneaked into considers sending you back home, you rush into the streets in protest -- GET THIS! -- proudly carrying the flag of the country you'd rather die than live in. Some of you even carry signs suggesting that the poor failed country you've escaped from should possess the land you've fled to.


Signs of what Malkin calls La Reconquista.

I gotta tell you. To us gringos, this whole shtick is so insanely stupid that it makes us want to boot you back to Mexico out of sheer principle. If the U.S. hadn't acquired the southwest from the corrupt descendants of the Conquistadors, it would be just as destitute and prospectless as the country you left. And if you succeed in taking it back by force of numbers, it will revert to a state indistinguishable from the miserable shanty towns you left behind.

Sound harsh? Too bad. Just because your next door neighbor has the wherewithal to buy a giant Hummer, that doesn't mean you have a right to sneak your large unruly family into the back seat for a free ride, even if your father once owned the driveway the Hummer is parked in. That's exactly the kind of thinking that created the great economic non-miracle of Mexico in the first place.

You're blowing the only opportunity you have for a better life. When you're a guest who wants to continue his visit, insulting and annoying your hosts isn't the right policy. And if you make them mad enough, they will throw you out, no matter how entitled your delusions tell you you are.




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