U.S. Election reception, Ljubljana

A few shots from a U.S. Election reception hosted by the U.S. Embassy at the Hotel Union in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on Tuesday night. Above a life-size Obama cut-out.

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Foreshadowing? The expression on the McCain cut-out.

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Yousif B. Ghafari, U.S. Ambassador to Slovenia.

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Katarina Kresal, president of Slovenia’s LDS party.

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The last picture of Sarah Palin I ever want to see.

Palin Prank: Her Six-Minute Telephone Conversation With ‘Sarkozy’

For nearly six minutes, U.S. VP wannabe Sarah Palin carried on a telephone conversation with French President Nikolas Sarkozy before she was told it was a prank. The pranksters? Quebec comedy duo Marc Antoine Audette and Sebastian Trudel Audette, known as the Masked Avengers.

Listen to the complete conversation below. This woman wants to wake up Wednesday morning a heartbeat away from the presidency. Did the Masked Avengers, in their wildest dreams, think the call would last so long that they could actually bring up Hustler’s Nailin’ Palin?

Some highlights from a transcript via Daily Kos:

Fake Nicolas Sarkozy: I, I was wondering because you are also next to him, one of my good friends, also, the prime minister of Quebec, Mr. Richard Z. Sirois [a famous Quebec radio host], have you met him recently? Did he come to one of your rallies?
Sarah Palin: Uh, haven’t seen him at one of the rallies, but it’s been great working with the Canadian officials in my role as governor; we have a great cooperative effort there as we work on all of our resource development projects. You know I look forward to working with you and getting to meet you personally and your beautiful wife, oh my goodness, you’ve added a lot of energy to your country, even, with that beautiful family of yours.

and

Fake Nicolas Sarkozy: You know my wife is a popular singer and a former top model and she’s so hot in bed. She even wrote a song for you.
Sarah Palin: Oh my goodness! I didn’t know that.

and

Fake Nicolas Sarkozy: I must say, Governor Palin, I love the documentary they made on your life, you know, Hustler’s “Nailin Palin.”
Sarah Palin:  Oh, good, thank you. Yes.

Fake Nicolas Sarkozy: That was really edgy.
Sarah Palin: [Laughs] Well good.

and, finally

Fake Nicolas Sarkozy: I really love you. And I must say something, so, Governor, you’ve been pranked. By the Master Avengers. We’re two comedians from Montreal.

In case that disappears, you can download here as MP3.

10 Reasons Why Sarah Palin Shouldn’t Give a Press Conference Before Nov. 4

I can’t think of one. Can anyone? Please, just one?

Would the far-right base the she was selected to appease not demand the same if the Democrats had selected a virtual unknown as the second in command, someone who in their few media appearances has only shown how clearly out their league they are? Plenty of conservatives have, and clearly aren’t impressed.

Picking up on The Daily Dish‘s call, Christopher Hitchens writes in Speak Up! Stop covering Palin until she gives a press conference that without a forum in which to raise her dubious nonsense from the campaign trail, that

continued media coverage of her appearances is no better than lending a megaphone to a demagogue, the better to amplify her propaganda.

What has she brought to the table besides the resurrection of Saturday Night Live and material for a Larry Flynt porn flick? Not a whole lot besides copy for a growing number of Obama campaign endorsements.

Gov. Palin, stop hiding. You want to be Vice President, and you think you’re up for the No. 1 spot as well. Hiding isn’t very presidential.

From recent Obama newspaper endorsements -

Houston Chronicle:

Perhaps the worst mistake McCain made in his campaign for the White House was the choice of the inexperienced and inflammatory Palin as his vice-presidential running mate.

Los Angeles Times:

Indeed, the presidential campaign has rendered McCain nearly unrecognizable. His selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate was, as a short-term political tactic, brilliant. It was also irresponsible, as Palin is the most unqualified vice presidential nominee of a major party in living memory. The decision calls into question just what kind of thinking — if that’s the appropriate word — would drive the White House in a McCain presidency. Fortunately, the public has shown more discernment, and the early enthusiasm for Palin has given way to national ridicule of her candidacy and McCain’s judgment.

Washington Post:

And we find no way to square his professed passion for America’s national security with his choice of a running mate who, no matter what her other strengths, is not prepared to be commander in chief.

Dayton Daily News:

His selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate was stunning. She is shockingly lacking in presidential qualifications. Some of Sen. McCain’s most enthusiastic supporters have been forced to admit this. Her defenders say her resume compares well with Sen. Obama’s, but it does not.

Kansas City Star:

Despite his age and previous health problems, McCain chose a vice presidential candidate who is so clearly unqualified for high office that the thought of her stepping into the presidency is frightening. That irresponsible decision casts serious doubt on McCain’s judgment at this point in his political career. And over the past eight years, Americans have come to know, all too well, the high price of carelessness and ineptitude in the White House.

Chicago Sun Times:

Most egregiously for a man of advanced age who knew how important this decision could be, he chose the unqualified Gov. Sarah Palin to be his vice president.

San Francisco Chronicle:

McCain’s running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, has been largely sequestered from the news media since her selection in late August. She has yet to have anything resembling a traditional news conference, where the full range of her knowledge and views can be explored. Her avoidance of questions and reliance on cue-card talking points in the one vice presidential debate did nothing to allay doubts about whether the 44-year-old governor of two years is capable of assuming the reins of the presidency. Her selection was but an act of political calculation by McCain.

And the Chicago Tribune, in its first-ever endorsement of a Democrat for president in its 161 year history:

McCain failed in his most important executive decision. Give him credit for choosing a female running mate–but he passed up any number of supremely qualified Republican women who could have served. Having called Obama not ready to lead, McCain chose Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. His campaign has tried to stage-manage Palin’s exposure to the public. But it’s clear she is not prepared to step in at a moment’s notice and serve as president. McCain put his campaign before his country.

Parliament, originally uploaded by pirano.

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Empty Prayer, Empty Mouths

No, this has nothing to do with McCain-Palin.

Here’s a silver anniversary memento I’m looking forward to: a remastered two-CD 25th anniversary edition of REM’s Murmur, their first full-length release, to be released just in time for the worst shopping season of a generation (or two).

Murmur was actually released in April of 1983, but this year’s November 25 release makes more sense as far I’m concerned since it wasn’t until the fall of ’83 that I finally listened to the album start to finish. Over and over on my roommate’s headphones in my freshman year dorm room in Athens (Ohio, not Georgia). My brief experimentation with the campus Young Republican Club was already resigned to the dustbin; other more appealing experiments awaited.  And REM has been along for the ride ever since.

The second CD is a live recording from July 9, 1983, at Larry’s Hideaway in Toronto. [Set list here.]

Coincidence being what it is, here’s a live video of Talk About the Passion supposedly taped on November 25, 1983, at the EXO 7 Club in Rouen, France, birthplace of the fictitious Opera Ghost of Phantom of the Opera fame. [The evening's set list via REM Chronicle.]

It was their first time out of North America, their first European stint, and just the seventh gig into the tour. So this was early on, and the growing pains are clearly visible here. Patience, please. The song finally begins about 1:45 in. And it’s a decent recording.

via The Regular Guy

45 Second Prez Debate II Revue

If I don’t find something better to do at 3 am, these debates are gonna kill me.

Winner? The major network focus groups all picked Obama. Even before I finally dozed off soon after Tom Brokaw said he had two more questions, that outcome was obvious. Obama was focused, McCain scattered. Given the worst economic mess since The Great Depression back drop, neither was particularly inspiring. After his reserved performance in Debate I, I was expecting a stronger sense of urgency from Obama. After his campaign announced that they wanted to turn the page from The Economy –you know, the No 1 issue on everyone’s mind– I was expecting McCain to continue his bogus Obama = terrorist line.  McCain looked like he’s really getting tired. Apparently too tired to shake Obama’s hand post-debate.

Memorable? Obama characterizing health care as a “right” and reminding the audience how much the Iraq war has and continues to cost. Both scored high on the CNN focus audience dials in Columbus, Ohio. McCain’s “March on towards victory” reply did not.

MIA? McCain said he’s got a plan to get Bin Laden. “I’ll get him,” is what he said. Really? Care to share? WTF is he waiting for? Inauguration Day? President’s Day? Valentines’ Day? The Spring Soltice? The suspense really is killing me.

Post-Palin? Unless I missed it, did McCain mention her once? Not that it matters; she’s too busy rabble-rousing.

Stuttgart 025, originally uploaded by pirano.

Wanted: Palin Lookalike, No Anal Required

I was going to stay up and watch tonight’s VP debate, but felt there was little need after seeing this ad.

From the adult want ads on Craig’s List LA via The Enlightened Despot:

Looking for a Sarah Palin lookalike for an adult film to be shot in next 10 days.
Major adult studio.
Please send pix, stats etc. ASAP
Pay: $2000-3000
No anal required

Edited to add that according to the NY Daily News, a producer who works for Larry Flynt placed the ad, and the film’s already been shot but the title hasn’t yet been disclosed. Any title suggestions?

UPDATE: Via Boingboing comes word that thefrisky.com has the inside scoop on the flick, entitled, Nailin’ Paylin:

According to HUSTLER, “Nailin’ Paylin” is a “naughty adventure to the wild side of that sexy Alaska governor,” featuring “girl-on-girl lovin’,” “nailing the Russians, who come knocking on her back-door,” and a younger Palin getting seduced by her creationist college professor who “will explain a ‘big bang’ theory even she can’t deny!”

Also included is a three-way scene by actresses playing “Paylin”, Hillary Clinton and Condi Rice. How’s that bipartisanship! According to the story, actress Lisa Ann got the Paylin part.

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metro_matron2_2007-02-16, originally uploaded by pirano.

US Foreign Policy Gift Shop

With just 108 shopping days left on the Bush Countdown clock, shoppers everywhere are scurrying about to find that perfect memento to help remember what aspiring Vice President Sarah Palin apparently knows nothing about: the Bush Doctrine.

Photographer Phillip Toledano has done his part with his online installation, America The Gift Shop, where he suggests a few souvenirs to recall the last eight years.

The selection varies wildly, from the moulded resin and plexiglass Abu Ghraib Coffee Table* pictured here, to neon signs, T-shirts, chocolate bars and an Inflatable Guantanamo Bay Bouncy Prison Cell. Really, you must take a look.

Toledano’s other recent work includes a portrait book of phone sex operators (wouldn’t that look sweet on that Abu Ghraib coffee table?). Much more on his website.

*Abu Ghraib bobble-head doll sold separately

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