BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Saturday's Round-Up

Hi-lites from the week, yo.

1. Utah judge with 3 wives fights for job

Fans of WARREN JEFFS will love this story:
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (AP) -- A judge will ask the state Supreme Court on Wednesday to let him stay on the bench after a commission that oversees judges ordered him dismissed because he has three wives.

Those pursuing the case against Judge Walter Steed say his plural marriage creates a conflict: After taking an oath to uphold the law, he shouldn't be breaking it.
But there's just one thing: Steed is FLDS - a Mormon Fundamentalist.

In his mind, he's not breaking the law.

"God's law," that is.
Steed has served for 25 years in the southern border town of HILDALE, handing down rulings in drunken driving and domestic violence cases.
This piece from the AP fails to follow up on this key bit of info.

Steed lives and works in Hildale/Colorado City - the largest polygamist colony in the United States - a community ruled by Warren Jeffs.

10,000 Mormon fundamentalists...living under the watchful eye of "Uncle Warren."

Odds that Steed is NOT a member of this community?

"Not good."

Jon Krakauer covers Hildale - and "Uncle Warren" - in "Under the Banner of Heaven." (A great read, people.)

Here's a simple Wikipedia page on Jeffs. You can "Google" him, too.

BTW, his middle name...is Steed.

Like Judge Steed.

"Creekers" (as in Short Creek) have a short list of family names to pull from.
Plural marriage was an original tenet of the mainline Mormon church, but the faith abandoned the practice as a condition of statehood in 1890.

About 30,000 polygamists, who split from the main church into various fundamentalist sects more than 100 years ago, are believed to be living in Utah.
Like I said: Most of 'em are living in Hildale.

*

2. This is a good time to bust out the BRANDOLAND TIME MACHINE.

Set the controls to "March 16, 2003."

Destination? "Meet the Press."

Subject? "Dick Cheney."
We know (Hussein) is out trying once again to produce nuclear weapons and we know that he has a long-standing relationship with various terrorist groups, including the al-Qaeda organization.
Got it.

*

Plan ahead, people:

3. Iraq plans hotel and theme parks for a tourism boom

Boom as in "an increase in business."

Not a "massive explosion in the Green Zone."
A £48m, five-star, 23-storey hotel rising in the city centre; an opulent palace complex being turned into a THEME PARK --
Six Flags Over Fallouja?
Cheap flights to the picturesque "Venice of the east" - all the trappings of a country gearing up for a tourist boom.

Except the country in question is IRAQ. With a new constitution and elections in the offing, officials insist there is a new beginning. The tourist board has 2,400 staff and 14 offices.

There has been a rise in the volume of TRAVELLERS, with Iraqis either leaving or expatriates returning for visits.
"Travellers?"

That's a nice way of saying "foreign born mercs looking for work."
And there is also the continuous and steady number of foreigners, mainly CONTRACTORS, coming in for the huge wages they can now command for working in such a risky environment.

The planned HOTEL is very much at an embryonic stage.















The land - in the heavily guarded GREEN ZONE - has been donated by the Iraqi government, and the finance is being provided by an Iraqi businessman.

Thair Feeley, of the Iraqi Commission for Investment, insists everything is in place.

"It is not true that it will be a five-star hotel," he says with a flourish, "but a seven and half stars one".
A seven and a half stars hotel?!

Don't think Vegas has a "seven and a half stars" hotel.

"Sam's Town."

Right.

"The Silverton."

Okay.

"Palace Station."

Fine.

Hey, if you don't wanna vacation in Iraq...
















There's always "Havasu!"

"Wooo!!!"

"Shot time!"

"Take it off!"

"What school do you go to?!"

"Bro-ham!!!"

(Vomit.)
The building will have to be built to withstand mortar and rocket attack, just as the one major existing hotel in the Green Zone, Al Rashid, was built to do.

Despite the carnage outside and its shabby appearance, the Rashid can still charge $150 (£86) a night.

*

BASRA in the south has already officially declared itself OPEN FOR TOURISM. But, says an official: "Tourists should dress like locals and maybe dye their hair. AND THEY SHOULD HAVE ARMED GUARDS and they should be always vigilant."
One more time:
"Tourists should dress like locals and maybe dye their hair. AND THEY SHOULD HAVE ARMED GUARDS and they should be always vigilant."
Need I say more?

*

The BIG story, though --

4. Lobbyist Sought $9 Million to Set Bush Meeting

And got it.

I'm chasing after the wrong career:
WASHINGTON, Nov. 9 - The lobbyist Jack Abramoff asked for $9 million in 2003 from the president of a West African nation to arrange a meeting with President Bush and directed his fees to a Maryland company now under federal scrutiny, according to newly disclosed documents.

The African leader, President Omar Bongo of Gabon, met with President Bush in the Oval Office on May 26, 2004, 10 months after Mr. Abramoff made the offer.
President Bongo?

Bongo?!

(Insert bad joke here.)
There has been no evidence in the public record that Mr. Abramoff had any role in organizing the meeting or that he received any money or had a signed contract with Gabon.
No evidence in the public record.

Obviously, there's plenty of evidence in the, uh, private record.
In a draft agreement with Gabon dated Aug. 7, 2003, Mr. Abramoff and his associates asked that $9 million in lobbying fees be paid through wire transfers - three of them, each for $3 million - to GrassRoots instead of the Washington offices of Greenberg Traurig, the large lobbying firm where he did most of his work.

The agreement promised a "public relations effort related to promoting Gabon and securing a visit for President Bongo with the president of the United States."
Okay then.
White House and State Department officials described Mr. Bush's meeting with President Bongo, whose government is regularly accused by the United States of human rights abuses, as routine.
"You like baseball?"

"Yes. We see it on the TV."

"You guys have TV? Man, I learned something new today."
The officials said they knew of no involvement by Mr. Abramoff in the arrangements. Officials at Gabon's embassy in Washington did not respond to written questions.

"This went through normal staffing channels," said Trent Duffy, a White House spokesman, who said the meeting was "part of the president's outreach to the continent of Africa."
Normal channels.

Hopefully, the "normal channel" goes "Abramoff to Norquist to Rove."

Capice?

"Here's a hat. 'Texas Rangers.' That's my team."

"I shall wear this proudly."

"Whaddaya know? You kinda look like 'El Duque.' But with a moustache."

"Excuse me?"

"Don't worry. He's a great player."

*

Bongo Goes to Washington, Part II!

"I'd like to thank...President Gabon here for coming in."

"Bongo."

"Come again?"

"President Bongo. Of Gabon."

"President Bonguvgabon?"

"Bongo."

"Uvgabone?"

"Bongo. Bongo."

"I'd like to thank the President of Bongo Bongo."

"Bongo of Gabon!"

"Like I said, I'd like to thank the President for coming in. You oughta take in a Redskin game. FedEx Field has some great food."

"Grrr."

*

In other DICK moves:

5. Robertson warns Pennsylvania voters of God's wrath

Apparently, the Good Lord is about to ignore the Keystone State:
"I'd like to say to the good citizens of Dover: if there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God, you just rejected Him from your city," Robertson said on his daily television show broadcast from Virginia, "The 700 Club."

"And don't wonder why He hasn't helped you when problems begin, if they begin."
"WHAT DID HE SAY?"

He said, "Don't wonder why He hasn't helped you when problems begin, if they begin."

"WHAT A DICK."

Yeah.

"I MEAN, JESUS, WHAT'S HIS PROBLEM?"

The man trades in fear.

"I'LL SAY."
"I'm not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city. And if that's the case, don't ask for His help because he might not be there," he said.
"VOTED ME OUT OF THEIR CITY?! I WASN'T RUNNING FOR ANYTHING."

Right.

"IF I WAS GONNA RUN FOR SOMETHING IN PENNSYLVANIA, I'D RUN FOR SENATE. YOU KNOW, SO WE COULD SEND THAT WING-NUT SANTORUM BACK TO PITTSBURGH."

Please do that.

Early PA polls:

God (D) - 77%
Santorum (R) - 23%

"CHRIST, IF I WAS GONNA PUNISH SOMEONE, I'D PUNISH HIM."

Do it.

*

6. Finally:
"If I would do another 'Terminator' movie I would have Terminator travel back in time and tell Arnold not to have a special election," the former action film star joked.
Well...

I can handle that scene.

But, if you do another Terminator, Arnold, you have to set most of the thing in the future.

We have to see the machines fighting the rebels, we have to see John Connor kicking total ass, and we have to see him capturing and re-programming a couple of Terminators. (See T2 & T3.)

More on Sunday...

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