Tongue-In-Cheek: March 2008: Archives
If you've seen the advertising promo for the new ultra-thin notebook computer, the MacBook Air, you should enjoy the following spoof of the recently released Mac commercial.
The only thing missing from this "Super Envelope" is a few of Dell's infamous technical support technicians. Then again, why put them in the envelope if they serve no benefit, eh?
Tagged as: Computer Technology, Dell, Humor, MacBook Air, Macintosh, Super Envelope
Daniel DiRito | March 29, 2008 | 12:15 PM |
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Bill's take on high gas prices by adding an "X" to Exxon...and the outcome means someone is bound to get screwed. Maher assails those who criticize Jessica Alba for not being bilingual...though that doesn't mean he's opposed to her being "Bi".
He goes on to ridicule college drinking games that have abandoned the use of beer in favor of root beer, Yoko Ono for her insistence that she knows what John Lennon would have wanted, the trend of Democratic politicians to grow beards following failed election bids, and Tampa Bay school teachers who seem to be predisposed to trysts with their students.
He closes by comparing Bill Clinton to a farm implement...one that involves seed planting...but not the kind that is found on an interns blue dress.
Tagged as: Al Gore, Bill Clinton, Bill Maher, Bill Richardson, Exxon, Gas Prices, Hillary Clinton, Humor, Jessica Alba, John Lennon, Monica Lewinsky, Mormons, New Rules, Taco Bell, Tampa Bay, Yoko Ono
Daniel DiRito | March 29, 2008 | 10:21 AM |
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Since I don't like holidays, it seemed appropriate to use Easter Sunday as an opportunity to offer a contrarian's contemplation...as well as a sarcastic graphic. I often write about the hypocrisy of the Catholic Church and the Bush administration's efforts to skirt the issues of torture and civil liberties, so linking the two seemed to be a marriage made in heaven...between a man and a woman of course.
Two items in the news provided added inspiration. The first was the Pope's baptism of Muslim journalist, Magdi Allam. I don't begrudge Allam's conversion...but I don't see the wisdom of making it a focal point of the Pope's Easter Vigil. In these times of tension between people of faith, this high profile baptism seems to be the equivalent of throwing salt on a wound...or perhaps vinegar would be more appropriate given the imagery of Easter.
From The Times Online:
Pope Benedict XVI has risked a renewed rift with the Muslim world by baptising a converted Muslim born journalist who describes Islam as intrinsically violent and characterised by "hate and intolerance" rather than "love and respect for others".
In a surprise move at the Easter vigil at St Peter's on Saturday night, the Pope baptised Magdi Allam, 55, an outspoken Egyptian-born critic of Islamic extremism and supporter of Israel, who has been under police protection for five years following death threats against him over his criticism of suicide bombings.
Mr Allam's conversion was kept secret until less than an hour before the service. He took the middle name "Christian" for his baptism. The Vatican said: "For the Catholic Church, each person who asks to receive baptism after a deep personal search, a fully free choice and adequate preparation, has a right to receive it."
In a combative article for Corriere della Sera, the Italian paper of which he is a deputy editor, Mr Allam - who has lived in Italy most of his adult life and has a Catholic wife - said his soul had been "liberated from the obscurantism of an ideology which legitimises lies and dissimulation, violent death, which induces both murder and suicide, and blind submission to tyranny".
Instead he had "seen the light" and joined "the authentic religion of Truth, Life and Liberty". He added: "Beyond the phenomenon of extremists and Islamist terrorism at the global level, the root of evil is inherent in a physiologically violent and historically conflictual Islam."
It's difficult to separate the Pope from the confrontational words written by Allam and I suspect most Muslims will view this very public baptism as an affront to their faith. I'm always amazed at the need people of faith have to assert that only those of their denomination have a kinship with the true God. History is filled with wars designed to hammer home that point. Nothing like an old fashioned crusade...or a jihad...or an intifada to demonstrate one's kinship with God. I don't know the Pope's true motivations in this matter, but it's hard to imagine this as an act of conciliation.
The second item involves the President's Easter message. Take a look at the following excerpts.
From Fox News:
America is blessed with the world's greatest military, made up of men and women who fulfill their responsibilities with dignity, humility and honor. Their dedication is an inspiration to our country and a cause for gratitude this Easter season.
On Easter, we remember especially those who have given their lives for the cause of freedom. These brave individuals have lived out the words of the Gospel: "Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." And our nation's fallen heroes live on in the memory of the nation they helped defend.
Look, I have no objection to honoring the sacrifice of our soldiers on Easter...or any other day for that matter. However, why must that acknowledgment be couched in terms that suggest their efforts have the authority of the Gospel...and therefore God? In my opinion, it simply sends a message to Islam that they can utilize as evidence that the West seeks to destroy Islam and install Christianity as the prevailing faith. If Iraq were part and parcel of the war on terror, why would we impart language that can be used to incite more terrorism?
No, the President's words don't directly state what I've discerned...but he clearly infers that the actions we have undertaken in Iraq have the blessing of God. Such a statement leaps over the numerous facts that suggest we may not be able to assert that our actions in Iraq were simply initiated to defend this country. Further, once we realized Saddam Hussein didn't have WMD's and wasn't involved with 9/11, I don't see the means to conclusively characterize our invasion of Iraq as an act of defense.
The fact that the President found it necessary to shift his rationale for the war on several occasions suggests he understands this criticism. If so, why was it necessary to refer to the efforts of our soldiers in the religious context he chose? Toss in the events at Abu Ghraib, the ongoing operations at Guantanamo Bay, the revelations we did use torture on "enemy combatants", and the refusal to clearly denounce and define such actions as torture and the notion that our President and his supporters view this as a holy war isn't all that much of a stretch.
Hence, after reading and ruminating on the above...as well as recollecting upon my Catholic upbringing...my conflation of religion, sin, Easter, and baptism with waterboarding and war began to emerge. The ultimate irony evidenced on this Easter Sunday centers on this subtle vitiation of the actual meaning of Easter.
As I understand it, Easter centers upon the belief that this day culminates God's efforts to send his son Jesus to live amongst us as a teacher and to endure death for our sins...only to rise again as evidence of the promise of eternal life for those who follow in his footsteps. I think the focus was upon a way of life; not upon religious institutions.
Frankly, it seems to me that on this Easter Sunday we are closer to the crucifixion of our fellow man than we are to the redemption that was promised in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Perhaps that's the cross we bear. Let's just hope we have the good sense to resist nailing each other to it. Happy Easter?!
Tagged as: Baptism, Catholic Church, Crucifixion, Easter, God, Humor, Jesus, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion, Resurrection, Sin, Torture, Waterboarding
Daniel DiRito | March 23, 2008 | 1:06 PM |
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Nothing like a little levity on Saturday...especially when it comes at the expense of the holier than thou. The following two videos take some oft heard Christian propaganda and give it a gay spin.
In the first video, it's reported that gay scientists are on the hunt for a Christian gene. In the meantime, gay counselors are helping Christians deal with their troubling lifestyle.
In the second video, prominent anti-gay Australian Archbishop Peter Jensen is confronted with numerous Biblical passages that religious leaders seemingly ignore. The Bishop seems unable to explain or discount the various verses.
Surprisingly, during the confrontation, the Bishop decides to tell the male reporter that he finds him "so good looking"...at which point the reporter reminds the Archbishop of the very Leviticus verse that is used to condemn gays...just in case the Archbishop has his sights on a sinful romp with the reporter.
Thank goodness we have men like the Archbishop to interpret the Bible for us. However, after watching this exchange, it looks like the Archbishop needs a refresher course in Biblical content. Sadly, he's not the only Christian who has a selective knowledge of the Bible.
Tagged as: Archbishop Peter Jensen, Bible, Gay, Humor, Leviticus, LGBT, Religion, Same-Sex Marriage
Daniel DiRito | March 22, 2008 | 1:37 PM |
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Bill is back after a one week absence and he hits it out of the park with a strong indictment of John McCain's status as the best candidate to answer the infamous 3:00AM phone call. Maher points out that McCain may be a maverick...but when it comes to the war in Iraq, he is a replica of George Bush...and that has to disqualify him from answering the phone...let alone having his finger near or on anything remotely resembling a trigger.
Maher argues that we don't we need or want a warrior (one who relies on Joe Lieberman to clarify sectarian affiliations) seated in a position to send more American troops into more Middle Eastern countries that view our presence as the justification to commit further acts of terrorism. I couldn't agree more.
On a lighter note, Bill tackles the Bush administration's assertion that the economy is "going through a rough patch". Maher thinks it's more than a rough patch and he shows us a rather notorious couple to express his belief that the economy is a "mess". He closes his schtick on the economy by suggesting we make the penny the dollar.
Bill moves on to skewer wayward governors, senators, and other adulterers and their poor wives...the wives that have the misfortune of being filmed at the side of their spouse during the obligatory press conference. He also takes a couple jabs at Fox News (the family values network) and the number of gratuitous photos of Spitzers $4,300.00 friend.
Tagged as: Bill Maher, Dick Cheney, Dr. Pepper, Economy, Eliot Spitzer, Fox News, George Bush, Iraq, John McCain, New Rules
Daniel DiRito | March 21, 2008 | 11:11 PM |
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Recent events have Stepen Colbert convinced that the Democrats are killing themselves...and he has a segment called "Democralypse Now" to chronicle their demise. In this segment, Colbert talks about the feud between Obama and Clinton supporters and the recent need for Senator Obama to address the inflammatory statements of his longtime pastor.
Colbert offers Barack Obama some advise on dealing with controversial pastors. He suggests that Obama should have employed the John McCain strategy (The Gospel Of John) to deal with the objectionable comments made by pastor Wright.
Colbert argues that McCain succeeded by denouncing Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson in the past and then quietly reconciled with them just prior to his run for the presidency. In other words, the Obama campaign did it backwards. Colbert believes it's far better to make denouncements early on and then gradually cozy back up to these controversial figures just before the election.
As is often the case, Colbert's logic seems absurd...but then isn't that the point he is trying to make each evening about the state of politics in the United States?
Be sure not to miss Colbert's explanation of the oft referenced two sets of footprints in the sand at 4:25 into the video clip. Let's just say that if Colbert is right, then one set of those prints might have been a little light...in the loafers.
Tagged as: Barack Obama, Jerry Falwell, John McCain, Pat Buchanan, Pat Robertson, Race, Religion, Stephen Colbert. Jeremiah Wright
Daniel DiRito | March 20, 2008 | 9:47 AM |
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Most of the country has weighed in on the campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and their battle for the Democratic nomination. This past Saturday, Tracy Morgan closed the loop on Saturday Night Live by offering his rebuttal to Tina Fey's prior Weekend Update appearance.
In what one could call a point - counterpoint format, Fey championed Hillary as the first woman president...and Morgan sang the praises of Barack as the first black president. This B & B battle had nothing to do with Fey and Morgan endorsing their favorite bed and breakfast establishments.
The two segments are included below. SNL reports...you decide.
Tagged as: 2008 Election, Barack Obama, Democrats, Gender, Hillary Clinton, Humor, Race, SNL, Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan, Weekend Update
Daniel DiRito | March 18, 2008 | 10:44 AM |
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The comedians of the world are having a feast with the Spitzer scandal...and anyone looking for a good laugh is the beneficiary. The Daily Show had the following offerings on the news from New York.
In the first video, Jon Stewart sets the table. In the second video, Lewis Black tells us about the menu. In the final video, Samantha Bee admits that she over indulged.
Tagged as: Elliott Spitzer, Humor, Jon Stewart, Lewis Black, Prostitution, Samantha Bee, The Daily Show
Daniel DiRito | March 12, 2008 | 9:39 AM |
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They say it's written in the stars...and today's news seems to have been all about the rise and fall of stars...those that occupy a distant point in space that we can barely fathom...and one that occupies a pivotal political office in the state of New York.
Whether it's a quirky cosmic alignment or a karmic calamity, the death of a star can be menacing...or it can simply be messy . Either way, it is bound to draw some attention. The time it takes a star to explode or implode varies. In the case of the cosmos, it's apt to be millions of year; in the case of Governor Spitzer, it appears to be a matter of days.
Let's have a look at the trajectory of both.
From USA Today:
A beautiful pinwheel in space might one day blast Earth with death rays, scientists now report.
The pinwheel, named WR 104, was discovered eight years ago in the constellation Sagittarius. It rotates in a circle "every eight months, keeping precise time like a jewel in a cosmic clock," Tuthill said.
Both the massive stars in WR 104 will one day explode as supernovae. However, one of the pair is a highly unstable star known as a Wolf-Rayet, the last known stable phase in the life of these massive stars right before a supernova.
"Wolf-Rayet stars are regarded by astronomers as ticking bombs," Tuthill explained. The 'fuse' for this star "is now very short -- to an astronomer -- and it may explode any time within the next few hundred thousand years."
When the Wolf-Rayet goes supernova, "it could emit an intense beam of gamma rays coming our way," Tuthill said. "If such a 'gamma ray burst' happens, we really do not want Earth to be in the way."
Unfortunately for us, gamma ray bursts seem to be shot right along the axis of systems. In essence, if this pinwheel ever releases a gamma ray burst, our planet might be in the firing line.
From The New York Times:
It was after 9 p.m. the night before Valentine's Day when she arrived, a young brunette named Kristen. She was 5-foot-5, 105 pounds. Pretty and petite.
This was at the Mayflower, one of Washington's finer hotels. Her client for the evening had booked Room 871. He was a return customer. The hundreds of dollars he had promised to pay would cover all expenses: the room, the minibar, room service should they order it, the train ticket that had brought her from New York and, naturally, Kristen's time.
A 47-page federal affidavit from an F.B.I. agent investigating a prostitution ring lists the man at the hotel as "Client 9," and includes considerable details about him, the prostitutes and his methods of paying for them. A law enforcement official and another person briefed on the prostitution case have identified Client 9 as Eliot Spitzer, the governor of New York.
So as this day comes to an end, one star has been fully exposed and is almost certain to crash. The other star lurks beyond our view...but it too will one day crash. The former is a spectacle we watch with unflinching amusement; the latter is a hypothetical we've barely begun to consider. The former will end the political life of one politician; the latter may bring an end to us all.
Regardless, the world goes round and round. How's that for an illuminating astrological forecast?
Eliot Spitzer: Hittin' The Sheets Of New York
Tagged as: Adultery, Astrology, Astronomy, Cosmos, Death Star, Earth, Elliott Spitzer, Gamma Rays, Humor, New York, Prostitution, Rudy Giuliani, Sex Scandal, Supernova, Wolf-Rayet
Daniel DiRito | March 10, 2008 | 8:46 PM |
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I'm always amazed when the religious right seeks to characterize the pursuit of gay equality as a militant homosexual agenda. I'm especially amused when the rhetoric by which they put forth this argument is laced with the words we normally associate with the very militancy they seek to attach to the gay community.
In the following video, Oklahoma Representative Sally Kern waxes on about the threat posed by homosexuals. According to Kern, homosexuality poses a greater danger than terrorism. Just listen to the angry and confrontational imagery laced throughout her speech. When Kern states that she is in jeopardy by just making her comments, what kind of jeopardy is she alluding to? This is fear mongering at its worst. Sadly, these are the words we hear so often from those who claim to be Christians.
As is so often the case with bigotry, Kern's remarks are rife with exaggerations and misinformation. Kern tells us she was a teacher for twenty years and that schools are no longer teaching facts and knowledge. It sickens me to imagine the curriculum Kern and her ilk would favor. Thank goodness she's no longer teaching. We can only hope that her political career comes to an end as well.
Honestly, when I hear the assertion that no society that embraced homosexuality has survived, I want to puke. I could just as easily assert that no society that has embraced a monetary system has survived. There isn't a scintilla of evidence that any society failed due to an acceptance of homosexuality...unless of course one chooses to cherry pick from the Biblical account of Sodom and Gomorrah.
I find it amusing that homosexuality is given the distinction of being the preeminent means by which sexual behavior can destroy a society. Somehow, the Kern's of the world seem to ignore God's supposed admonitions against adultry, premarital sex, or any other heterosexual indiscretion. I wonder what Kern thinks about the growing prevalence of pegging. Of course I'm sure she would blame it on gays.
Rather than rant on about the ramblings of another run of the mill right winger, I decided to grant her inane fears the credence they warrant.
The following is my version of the top ten goals of militant homosexuals.
Organize local groups of gay men and women to form "Queer Make Over Militias" designed to convert and enlist heterosexuals who are style challenged.
Align with the growing metrosexual population to form an underground alliance to chase rural right wing Republicans away from major metropolitan areas. (Think pink robes and hoods from a Dave Chappelle skit)
To take advantage of the outrage at Janet Jackson's Super bowl wardrobe malfunction, gays are quietly seeking legislation to ban all beer commercials that objectify women's breasts and promote a stereotypical heterosexual male persona.
Distribute campaign door hangers on election day that contain gay inspired victory party planning tips complete with recipes and decorating tips.
Use Bill O'Reilly's confusion about the differences between a loofah and a falafel on a stick as an opportunity to ban the use of soap on a rope from all public shower facilities.
Establish a non-profit to donate tea sets to all preschool aged boys.
Begin marketing a new doll called G.I. JoAnne...one that morphs from a dainty debutante into an androgynous action hero when her American Graffiti poodle skirt is transformed into a paramilitary parachute.
Promote a high school curriculum which requires that all students take a home economics course on using springform pans to bake the perfect cheesecake.
Establish a nationwide ex-gay ministry that is actually a clandestine gay dating service for closeted christians and discredited evangelical ministers.
Produce and promote a blockbuster film titled Jesus Camp - The Sequel...a sassy musical portraying the tribulations of Jesus, Mary, & Joseph, a polyamorous trio played by Matthew Broderick, Harvey Fierstein, and Nathan Lane.
Tagged as: Bible, Bigotry, Evangelical, Gay Bashing, Homophobia, Humor, LGBT, Religion, Religious Extremism, Sally Kern
Daniel DiRito | March 10, 2008 | 11:32 AM |
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In this faux news segment, The Onion tackles the voting public's preoccupation with miniscule details and irrelevant facts...or as they prefer to define it, "bullshit".
While this is a tongue-in-cheek video, it's difficult to miss the underlying truth of their assertion. All too often voters are distracted by campaign tactics and media coverage that has little connection to actual issues of import.
Tagged as: 2008 Election, Humor, Media, Politics, Polling, Propaganda, Spoof
Daniel DiRito | March 10, 2008 | 11:16 AM |
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Maher hits it out of the park with another round of New Rules. He makes fun of politicians eating on the campaign trail...taking a swipe at Senator Larry Craig's bathroom escapades and John McCain's age. He moves on to the sham election in Russia and offers a title for Putin's new book, the Japanese obsession with creating lifelike robots, and the absurdity of Nicole Richie's celebrity status.
Maher spends the remainder of his time on the 2008 election and the recent spate of negative attacks. He voices his concern that voters listen to and accept the manufactured assertions contained in these ridiculous ads. All too often, the strategy is to simply state a lie and wait for voters to propagate it as truth.
It's hard to argue with Maher's premise that voters are often morons, though I tend to think they aren't actually stupid; just willing to say and do whatever it takes to elect the candidate that shares their same beliefs...even if that means making up outlandish lies about the other candidates.
Tagged as: 2008 Election, 3:00 AM, Bill Maher, Comedy, Hillary Clinton, Humor, John McCain, Larry Craig, New Rules, Nicole Richie, Politics, Robots, Russia, Vladimir Putin
Daniel DiRito | March 8, 2008 | 8:40 AM |
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Steven Colbert takes on the battle over FISA and the Bush administration's demand that Congress pass the Protect America Act in order to insure the safety of all Americans. In this segment of "The Word", Colbert explains the meaning of "AT & Treason". Colbert, in his typically sarcastic schtick, blames the evil Democrats for delaying the passage of legislation that would grant the telco's the immunity they deserve.
He moves on to shows us the latest knockoff of the Clinton campaign's 3:00AM phone call ad...one he states was designed by the phone companies to effectively scare the crap out of us...by showing us just how frightening the telephone can be.
Tagged as: 3:00 AM, AT&T, Comedy, Fear, FISA, Hillary Clinton, Humor, Immunity, Politics, Protect America Act, Stephen Colbert, Terrorism
Daniel DiRito | March 7, 2008 | 2:08 PM |
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George Carlin is a comedian...but his real talent is his ability to deconstruct the many concepts we've come to take for granted in this life. On Saturday night, during his HBO special, It's Bad For Ya, he gave us another hour of his many insights .
When I listen to Carlin, I cant help but think of politics and elections...not simply because he often discusses politics. I mention this because it's often said that voters will vote for the candidate with whom they would most enjoy sharing a beer. Well Carlin isn't a candidate, but I would love to have a beer or two with him.
When I imagine having the choice to sit around drinking a beer with George Carlin or a politician, there's no contest. I'd choose Carlin every time. I'd do so because I know he would share his truth with me; not attempt to find my truth and feed it back to me in exchange for my vote.
When I compare Carlin's candor to the cautious and convoluted words of most politicians, I quickly realize the magnitude of the dysfunction we promote in our political system. We each want our politicians to agree with us and to promote our own self-serving interests...which is impossible. What it does is make our elected officials little more than malleable manipulators willing to be the equivalent of political parrots. We sing, they listen...and then they attempt to sing each of our songs back to us...all at the same time.
In the end, the message they convey has morphed into a misguided and mechanical medley. This resulting "musical" melange lacks a coherent melody and it is often no longer in sync with reality. While Carlin is a master at transforming this dissonance into comedy, it may well mean we're in the midst of a tragedy. That's not a laughing matter...and I fear it is bad for us all.
Tagged as: Comedy, Death, George Carlin, God, HBO, Heaven, Hell, Humor, It's Bad For Ya, Patriotism, Politics, Religion
Daniel DiRito | March 4, 2008 | 9:06 AM |
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It's always fun to look back at the programs we watched when we were younger. It's even more fun to see them parodied...especially when the spoof adds a gay twist.
Logo, MTV's gay and lesbian themed network recently took on a popular show from the 80's, The Facts of Life, in its Big Gay Sketch Show. When the show first aired, I'm sure there were many of us who saw the gay undertones...what with an all girls school, an unmarried housemother, and Jo the tomboy...who Blair referred to as everything short of the term "lesbian".
Well fear not, the Big Gay Sketch kicks open the closet door in the following video. If you're like me, you'll be rolling on the floor when you first see and hear the Mrs. Garrett character in action. Take note of her hair and especially her eyebrows and think back to the actual show.
Anyone who fails to understand the inspirations that underlie many drag queen personae should gain some insight from seeing the Mrs. Garrett character in this sketch. I would equate the creation of a drag queen identity with the drawing of a caricature. You look for notable features and unique traits and you exaggerate them and, voila, you have yourself one hell of a drag queen. It's truly an overlooked talent.
Tagged as: Blair, Comedy, Drag Queen, Facts of Life, Humor, Jo, LGBT, Logo, Mrs. Garrett, MTV, Natalie, The Big Gay Sketch, Tootie
Daniel DiRito | March 1, 2008 | 11:10 AM |
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You won't see Bill Maher present a set of "New Rules" like this for many years...four to be exact since he delivered them on February 29th. I know, I know, I should leave the funny stuff to Bill, but...
Tagged as: al Qaeda, Alberto Gonzales, Barack Obama, Bill Maher, Congress, George Bush, New Rules, Patriotism, Right Wingers, Roger Clemons
Daniel DiRito | March 1, 2008 | 10:20 AM |
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