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February 18, 2005

Dowd

Yes I know Maureen Dowd said some inflammatory things during the Clinton administration too; she's notoriously cranky. However, she's once again RIGHT ON.

Bush's Barberini Faun
By MAUREEN DOWD

WASHINGTON

I am very impressed with James Guckert, a k a Jeff Gannon.

How often does an enterprising young man, heralded in press reports as both a reporter and a contributor to such sites as Hotmilitarystud.com, Workingboys.net, Militaryescorts.com, MilitaryescortsM4M.com and Meetlocalmen.com, get to question the president of the United States?

Who knew that a hotmilitarystud wanting to meetlocalmen could so easily get to be face2face with the commander in chief?

It's hard to believe the White House could hit rock bottom on credibility again, but it has, in a bizarre maelstrom that plays like a dark comedy. How does it credential a man with a double life and a secret past?

"Jeff Gannon" was waved into the press room nearly every day for two years as the conservative correspondent for two political Web sites operated by a wealthy Texas Republican. Scott McClellan often called on the pseudoreporter for softball questions.

Howard Kurtz reported in The Washington Post yesterday that although Mr. Guckert had denied launching the provocative Web sites - one described him as " 'military, muscular, masculine and discrete' (sic)" - a Web designer in California said "that he had designed a gay escort site for Gannon and had posted naked pictures of Gannon at the client's request."

And The Wilmington News-Journal in Delaware reported that Mr. Guckert was delinquent in $20,700 in personal income tax from 1991 to 1994.

I'm still mystified by this story. I was rejected for a White House press pass at the start of the Bush administration, but someone with an alias, a tax evasion problem and Internet pictures where he posed like the "Barberini Faun" is credentialed to cover a White House that won a second term by mining homophobia and preaching family values?

At first when I tried to complain about not getting my pass renewed, even though I'd been covering presidents and first ladies since 1986, no one called me back. Finally, when Mr. McClellan replaced Ari Fleischer, he said he'd renew the pass - after a new Secret Service background check that would last several months.

In an era when security concerns are paramount, what kind of Secret Service background check did James Guckert get so he could saunter into the West Wing every day under an assumed name while he was doing full-frontal advertising for stud services for $1,200 a weekend? He used a driver's license that said James Guckert to get into the White House, then, once inside, switched to his alter ego, asking questions as Jeff Gannon.

Mr. McClellan shrugged this off to Editor & Publisher magazine, oddly noting, "People use aliases all the time in life, from journalists to actors."

I know the F.B.I. computers don't work, but this is ridiculous. After getting gobsmacked by the louche sagas of Mr. Guckert and Bernard Kerik, the White House vetters should consider adding someone with some blogging experience.

Does the Bush team love everything military so much that even a military-stud Web site is a recommendation?

Or maybe Gannon/Guckert's willingness to shill free for the White House, even on gay issues, was endearing. One of his stories mocked John Kerry's "pro-homosexual platform" with the headline "Kerry Could Become First Gay President."

With the Bushies, if you're their friend, anything goes. If you're their critic, nothing goes. They're waging a jihad against journalists - buying them off so they'll promote administration programs, trying to put them in jail for doing their jobs and replacing them with ringers.

At last month's press conference, Jeff Gannon asked Mr. Bush how he could work with Democrats "who seem to have divorced themselves from reality." But Bush officials have divorced themselves from reality.

They flipped TV's in the West Wing and Air Force One to Fox News. They paid conservative columnists handsomely to promote administration programs. Federal agencies distributed packaged "news" video releases with faux anchors so local news outlets would run them. As CNN reported, the Pentagon produces Web sites with "news" articles intended to influence opinion abroad and at home, but you have to look hard for the disclaimer: "Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense." The agencies spent a whopping $88 million spinning reality in 2004, splurging on P.R. contracts.


Even the Nixon White House didn't do anything this creepy. It's worse than hating the press. It's an attempt to reinvent it.

Posted by raji at 9:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 17, 2005

My favorite color is orange too

Had a few visitors from Japan for the past few - been off the grid -

Will write about what I think of this....

megates.jpg

Posted by raji at 12:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 3, 2005

Modified sauteed chicken breasts over fettucini

So read the BG - you'll know that I go to the market, buys what looks good and improvise a dish as I'm shopping. Great thing about the 9th Avenue markets is that the old-world characters are still there and can steer you in the direction of good fish, meat and produce. I wound up getting some chicken breasts the other day for some reason.

I NEVER order chicken at a restaurant, whatever you do, it can never be all that good, especially if it's not southern fried or as a game hen. I'm quite fond of duck, but I will always steer you away from the dreaded chicken breast when we're out because no matter what it's still a stupid chicken breast. Chicken Katsu is fine but I'd still rather have tonkatsu. Shit, I was only eating chicken katsu in Japan because I'd eaten too much tonkatsu.

Chicken Breasts
good tasting Olive Oil
Fresh Basil
Fresh Garlic
Salt & Pepper

Fettucini
Ricotta
Fresh Tomatoes (let them get some sun on your window sill to add flavor)

So the day before, pound out the chicken breasts to 1/2" thick, salt and pepper a little bit. Dice up a few cloves of garlic and a handful of basil as fine as possible; use a food processor or blender if you don't mind cleaning it. Mix that up in a cup with enough of the olive oil to cover it and add a pinch of salt.

Make some slits in it in the chicken breasts and rub in and cover them with what should be resembling a very oily pesto - let that marinate in a bowl overnight covered with plastic wrap. Next day, saute those about 5 minutes a side - they will sweat olive oil but make sure to "shake" your pan often to get them to brown nicely.

Meanwhile, cook the fettucini and coarsely dice up more fresh basil, the tomatoes, and another clove or 2 of the garlic. Drain the fettucini, put it in a bowl, throw in the basil, garlic, and tomatoes, and then another TB or 2 of the oil. Dice up the chicken and throw that in. When that's all evenly distributed, throw in as much ricotta as you want, it will act as a great binding agent and give the entire bowl a great fresh, hearty taste... try it!

I hate measuring and the great thing about this for the most part when you make your lunch at the end in you can pretty much put in however much tomato, basil, etc. as you want (or have left if you are like me) and it will all work out in the end. Sorry for the longwinded recipe!

Posted by raji at 1:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A little background...

A little background; in an alternate universe or previous/future incarnation, I know I am a chef. I originally taught myself how to cook because my mom was such a horrible one, and once you have the instincts down and a lot of the basics, then it's just a matter of being a sponge anytime you go out to eat, knowing what to look for at the market, and scoring choice ingredients. There is just as much an art to cooking on a budget, because most of the time I'm not up to breaking the bank at Garden of Eden - at that point, you might as well go out to eat.

Now that I have a decent kitchen and access to the formidable old world 9th Avenue markets, i'm constantly experimenting. I'm not a recipe guy and the only time I really follow set procedures or recipes is with the more traditional Japanese food which I will tirelessly pursue to perfection.

That all said, when we're all rich and famous, we'll get around to opening that restaurant, but in the meantime, I'm gonna post any happy accidents I have in the kitchen so you can try it out for yourself. I've written other creations here and there so I will have to dig those up...

Posted by raji at 12:24 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 2, 2005

(Sad) State of the Union

EDITOR'S NOTE on the below - the rule is that I drink a shot of beer every time the word "Liberty" or "Freedom" is used.

So, comes time for Chimpy McPresident to give his annual lecture. Is it the subwoofer in my TV, which I didn't have during the Clinton years, that is creating all this bass from the right side of the floor, or is it the bassy, guttural grunts coming from the warmongers on the right? I can't quite tell. Someone help me out on this.

Is it me or are these speeches and (shock!) live press conferences seeming more and more like support group meetings, like AA or a born-again church group, both of which our fearless leader is a card-carrying member of? As if the duty of the pre-approved crowd is to maintain the allure that this doof is doing a good job lest they medicate him again. BTW, can someone please dirty bomb that fucking sneer off of Cheney's face. Please.

I don't know why I'm even watching - a more constructive use of my time would be slamming my head in the doorjam. See, this type of address truly loses it's purpose in the age of cable news, the internet, blogs, etc. So it's no surprise, and all that is left to see how "on message" chimpy stays. Worse off, now that there are 100 cameras with air lights on them, most people IN the seats know when they are on camera and stiffen up like Ken dolls. It's all such a laugh.

Yes George, the scourge of 2005 is gangs. Stand. Clap. I guess Straight Outta Compton just made it to Crawford. Hey, Laura Bush got a real job! Now SHE knows how to talk to an innercity sista.

Yes George, you built a coalition. Don't recruit more terrorists. Nah the Iraqi invasion didn't spawn any terrorism. Never happened. Noone's watching. Freedom's on the march!

Yes George, you can take credit for Arafat dying. It's all you B! Freedom's on the march.

Syrian what act? Ooh now picking fights with Iran.

"We're fighting terrorists in Iraq so we don't have to face them at home." Dude, WTF. Last time I checked, Iraqi terrorists weren't coming after us BEFORE we invaded their country. Actually, they kind of became terrorists when you lied to the world and rushed to war. But it's all good now because they had an election.

Holy shit people stood up with purple fingers. You've got to be fucking kidding me. I thought purple meant gay like the Teletubby? They even got an ethnic dude mixed in with the old white men.

10:00 already...the ceremonial passing of the dogtag from Iraqi to the Texan momma is really killing my buzz here...

More later...

Posted by raji at 9:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack