Wednesday, December 28, 2005

I am not dead. I am away.

I will be incommunicado for several days.

Don't try and follow me.

And, no, I have not been renditioned. At least not yet.

Radical measures: Taking action to protect my privacy!

There's so much spying going on that I am now assuming that everything I say, everything I write, everything I do is being surveilled.

Thus, I have undertaken several measures to ensure that I retain at least a modicum of privacy.

First, I'm am speaking with my wife in a coded language that has taken us 20 years to develop and perfect. The code is unbreakable, as we are the only two who can possibly understand it. Here is a sample. See if you can decipher what we are really talking about...

MRS. J: Would you get off the computer and replace that light on the front porch? Why do I have to ask you a dozen times?

ME: Did you say something?

MRS. J: Replace the front porch light! That's thirteen times!

ME: I'm going for a ride now.

MRS. J: How long will you be gone? What about the front porch light?

ME: Well, I'd like to do about 60 miles. So that's probably four hours or so.

MRS J: All you do is blog and ride your damn bike. Meanwhile, I'm doing the laundry, cleaning the house, paying the bills, arranging the girls' social schedules, getting food so we can have a decent dinner, picking up--

ME: Did you say something?

MRS. J: Grsm frk crat jrok crus mmmfffff crap!!!!

ME: Did you say something about the front porch light?

No one, no one can break that code! Yet, in that little snippet, we discussed a number of critical issues in depth, including the fact that Cheney should be on the next rendition flight out of the U.S., bound for a country that enthusiastically endorses and employs torture.

Other measures I have put into place to protect my privacy include creating an ambient noise field in any environment. That may involve leaving water running when I'm in the bathroom or the kitchen, playing music at loud volumes in my office when handling calls, and whistling whenever I don't have running water or music. Of course, this kind of ambient noise-making has irritated a number of my family members, friends and co-workers, though I haven't seen too much evidence of their annoyance except for the fact that someone at work keeps swiping my lunch out of the fridge.

That led to me sending a coworker the following e-mail that is chock-full of letters that seem indecipherable to the average person, but make perfect sense to those who have an official Bob Johnson Decoder Ring®.

See if you can decode this e-mail to my co-worker:

From: Bob Johnson
To: Mike Shaughnessy
Subject: Mvodi jo gsjhf

Eje zpv fbu nz gvdljoh mvodi bhbjo?

Xibu uif gvdl, evef? Zpv cfuufs cvz nf b gvdljoh tboexjdi, bttipmf!

I'll leave it to you cryptographers to break the code. But you can be pretty damn sure that Shaughnessy bought me another goddamned sandwich to replace the one he swiped from the office fridge!

Finally, I am wearing disguises and using different voices when in public. Imagine the following comments uttered by yours truly while using a high, falsetto voice and wearing a blond wig, a black "party dress," fishnet stockings and heels:

"Look, asshole, I know you're a government agent, but I'm not who you think I am. My name is Roberta Johnson and I'm on my way to an appointment with a certain high-ranking administration official, if you catch my drift. And that high ranking official, whose initials are KR, would be very, very unhappy were I to miss our appointment, get it big fella'? Now butt out or I'll have your sorry ass sent to Guantanamo!"

Worked like a charm.

If you respond to this post, please do so in code. And contact me here if you'd like an official Bob Johnson Decoder Ring®.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

i spi on bob jonsen fer chainee

i em rex bob jonsens dog rytin. bob hee nevar skrach mi tumee ore gif mee sooshee lyk i wan. so i spi on him fer vyz prezdint chainee. bob roat letur to chainee wit dertee werdz in thair. hee shoot not doo that,

chainee sez hee gif mee sooshee skrach mi tumee an eefin beehyn mi eerz if i spi on bob jonsen. en hee sez i shoot tel himm efreethik bob jonsen doo lyk pik noz sleap at des at werk en eefin sai meen thin abowt chainee or boosh. i poot teenee mykrafoan in bob jonsens awfis.

an misheen maik this to prin fer mee to mail too chainee

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, did you feed Rex?
JOHNSON: Damn dog. All he'll eats is sushi. Just pour him a bowl of the dry stuff.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Okay. Come here, Rex!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You want your belly scratched, don't you, boy?
JOHNSON: He won't leave you alone now.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Rex! Rex! Quit humping my leg!
JOHNSON: Rex! Get down! Stop that!
JOHNSON: Rex. come here. Get under the table! Stay!

bob jonsen iz goin dowwn! i moof to wawshinktin an lif wit chainee! git sooshee efreedai an git tummee skrach an eer skrach! bob jonsen sai las week hee thin chainee iz krimunul. chainee sai gooboy rex!!!!

wawshinktin heer i soon bee!

ask me kweshtin too.


Friday, December 16, 2005

Official National Security Agency (NSA) logs on my calls and e-mails


Official: Bush authorized spying multiple times

NEW YORK - President Bush has personally authorized a secretive eavesdropping program in the United States more than three dozen times since October 2001, a senior intelligence official said Friday night.

Friends in high places. I have a few. One of them managed to get me the NSA logs of my e-mail and phone conversations dating from early 2002.

A sampling...

First, a phone call from Fall 2002:

October 2, 2002, 6:17 p.m., phone conversation transcript


BOB JOHNSON (BJ): Hi, honey, it's me. Craig and Jeff and I are meeting for a beer after work downtown.

UP: What about the bathroom?

BJ: The bath-- Oh shit!

UP: You said you were going to paint the bathroom tonight.

BJ: I'm sorry. I forgot about that.

UP: Great. That's just great.

BJ: I'll do it when I get home.

UP: Yeah, right. At 11:30 after you've had five or six beers.

BJ: I will!

UP: Whatever. [Unintelligible]

BJ: Please don't call me that.

[CLICK - hang up]

This e-mail exchange was from June 14, 2003:


TO: Julie Schwartz
FROM: Bob Johnson
SUBJECT: Photograph choices


While we loved the design and the choice of photographs, the client didn't like the photograph of the older gentleman hang gliding. They said that would scare the elderly audience, many of whom have hard time making it from their comfy chairs to the bathroom.

Can you try something more sedate?


TO: Bob Johnson
FROM: Julie Schwartz
SUBJECT: re: Photograph choices

So what do you want? Some older person wearing Depends?

TO: Julie Schwartz
FROM: Bob Johnson
SUBJECT: re: re: Photograph choices


Please don't do this to me. Life is hard enough. Just find something a little more relaxing than hang gliding.

TO: Bob Johnson
FROM: Julie Schwartz
SUBJECT: re: re: re: Photograph choices

Try this.

TO: Julie Schwartz
FROM: Bob Johnson
SUBJECT: re: re: re: re: Photograph choices

An old man in a coffin is not cool.

This phone call from early 2004 included a hand-written notation:

Cryptography is running these code numbers through systems attempting to discern the contents of this discussion. Will inform when cryptographic review is complete.

January 11, 2004, 7:18 p.m., phone conversation transcript


BOB JOHNSON: I'd like to place an order for delivery.

UP: Hode peace.


UP: I take order.

BJ: Two number threes, a number seven, a number 39, a number 46, and two number 49s.

UP: Two number three, number seven, number 39, number 36, two number 49.

BJ: Correct.

UP: Address.


UP: Cash or charge.

BJ: Charge, Mastercard [REDACTED], expiration [REDACTED]

UP: Any coupon?

BJ: Free spring rolls.

UP: Okay. Forty-five minute.

BJ: Okay.

[CLICK - hang up]

Finally, this e-mail from last week included the following hand-written notation, scrawled in large letters in red ink:

Who has blown our cover????!!! This is a BIG, BIG problem!!!!!!

TO: Bob Johnson
FROM: Lisa
SUBJECT: NSA sex in your area!

How would you like to meet hot women in your area looking for NSA sex? Our new web service links hot, sex-starved women with our members!

Just click here to join:


A response to the notation in red reads thusly:

I think in this case, NSA stands for "no strings attached." I think we're okay.

There are more just as exciting revelations from my NSA file. I will publish more later.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Dads can't babysit... but they can breastfeed!

Nope, dads cannot babysit.  At least that's what my wife has told me (many times).  That's because you don't "babysit" your own kids.  You stay home with them while your wife is out gallivanting about with her friends.

Okay, fine. So I can't babysit.  But according to this, Milkmen: Fathers Who Breastfeed, as a dad, I can contribute in a much more substantial way to childrearing!

From the link:

While my (now ex) husband David had no interest in nursing our son, we both were intrigued with the idea. We had just had our first unassisted homebirth and were excited about applying our positive thinking techniques to other aspects of our lives. Although Raphael had written about milk production through nipple stimulation, perhaps, we thought, David could do it simply through suggestion. He began telling himself that he would lactate, and within a week, one of his breasts swelled up and milk began dripping out. When we excitedly showed my father (a physician) David's breast he said, "Obviously there's something physiologically wrong with David." The fact that David had willed himself to do this, did not impress him. We knew, however, that this was yet another example of the power of the mind.

I wonder what drove them apart?  Was it David's unasked borrowing of Laura's nursing bras?  Was it that he ended up looking hotter in that slinky little black number than she did?  Was it because he insisted on showing his lactating breasts to anyone and everyone they met, even at the mall?

The author goes on to cite Dustin Hoffman:

Additional information:

(Updated Jan., 2005)

In the news, 12/23/04: "Meet the Fockers star Dustin Hoffman is celebrating after becoming a first-time grandfather earlier this month - but the good news has led to him developing breastfeeding urges. His daughter Jenna and her husband Seamus welcomed their son Augustus into the world just three weeks ago, and doting granddad Hoffman admits the experience has given him strange desires. He says, 'I have felt almost the tendency to lactate. We don't realize, but when we're formed in the womb, we have milk glands, before we're differentiated between male or female and before God knows whether to make you male of female. When you think about it, why should men have nipples? And yet we do. I didn't think about it until I started to drip!'"

What the hell.  If an old fogey like Dustin Hoffman can lactate, so can I!

So any new dads ready to take over the 2 a.m. feeding?
And, yes, I am currently breastfeeding my three-month-old twins!

NOTE: Okay, so I made up the part about brestfeeding my three-month-old twins. My kids are grown. One is in high school and one is in seventh grade. In fact, if they ever found out I posted anything as weird as this, they'd disown me. So please, keep this diary to yourself.


[Originally posted on Daily Kos on Januray 10, 2005.]

Poker in the Pokey: DeLay, Cunningham, Ney and Frist Plot Their Time in the Federal Pen

A government source handed me this transcript of a wiretapped conversation that took place last week at a local Beltway watering hole favored by Republicans...

CUNNINGHAM: You know, fellas, if we all get sent to the same federal pen, we have one helluva' a bridge game!

DELAY: Bridge? That's for pansy-asses! We're gambling!

FRIST: You can't gamble in a federal incarceration facility, Tom.

DELAY: Just the kind of pansy-ass response I'd expect from you, Doc. No wonder the Democrats kicked your ass in the Senate.

NEY: Yeah, there's nothing that a few greased palms can't fix!

CUNNINGHAM: Idiot. That's what got you in the shit you're in.

NEY: Pot meet kettle, eh, Duke?

CUNNINGHAM: Hey, I took more money than all of you guys combined. You're nickel-and-dimers compared to me. My own yacht, a Rolls Royce--

DELAY: Shut the fuck up, Duke. Just because we aren't stupid enough to flash it around like you, doesn't mean we didn't cash in.

FRIST: Hold on there a minute, Tom. All I did was bail on some family stock before it tanked.

DELAY: Pansy-ass. No drug company money under the table?

FRIST: Oh, sure, maybe a little...

DELAY: Jobs for your old lady and kids or other relatives?

FRIST: Here and there, sure...

NEY: Golf trips to Scotland on Lear jets?

FRIST: No, not that.

NEY: That was fun!

DELAY: You missed out there, Doc!

CUNNINGHAM: I didn't have time to golf. I was too busy buyin' shit.

NEY: You're always bragging, Duke.

CUNNINGHAM: I built a home theater that just kicks fucking ass. Cost one of the defense contractors $67,000 to build this thing out.

DELAY: Yeah, yeah, yeah, when we're all in the slammer, I'm gonna' clean your clock playing five card stud, Dukie. I'll own you by the time we get out.

FRIST: I hope I don't go.

DELAY: You're not gonna' start cryin' now, Doc, are ya'?

FRIST: I don't think I'd last in prison.

NEY: You and Martha Stewart.

CUNNINGHAM: Don't taunt him because he's crying. I cried when I admitted to all this shit.

NEY: Great act, by the way.

CUNNINGHAM: That was no act! I was picturing all this great shit just disappearing... the yacht, the Rolls, the home theater... Christ! No more watching "Die Hard" over and over on the huge screen with the volume blasting.

FRIST: Well, I'm not going!

DELAY: Bullshit, Doc. You're going. I'll own you in the joint, too.

FRIST: No! No! I'm not going! I'm not going!

NEY: These fuckin' Senate guys are such babies...

DELAY: No shit.

CUNNINGHAM: I'll miss my yacht.

DELAY: Shut up about your yacht, Duke. Anyone want to play dollar bill poker?

[BILL BENNETT walks up]

BENNETT: Someone say "poker?" I'm game!


Saturday, December 10, 2005

Dean: 'Joe Lieberman's war on Christmas has been lost'

This just in...

Dean says Lieberman's war on Christmas is 'toast'

WASHINGTON (Rooters) - In an effort to unite three key "hot topic" issues currently embroiling politics and the Democratic Party, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean today declared that, "Joe Lieberman's war on Christmas has been lost."

Dean made the comments during an interview on a local radio show. Later, a DNC spokesperson said that Dean's statements were an attempt to "bring together the pertinent political issues of the day into one, big, offensive statement."

In the interview with radio host Bill Methis, Dean noted that Lieberman admitted that he had never had a Christmas tree. Dean said Lieberman, "even refuses to hang stockings from hooks attached to his fireplace mantle. That's just un-American."

When pressed by Methis, Dean said Lieberman had long waged war on Christmas "more by what he doesn't say and do, than by his actual words or actions."

"It's kind of sneaky, when you think about it," Dean said.

When Methis pointed out that Lieberman was an Orthodox Jew, and, thus, unlikely to celebrate Christmas, Dean replied, "Sure, but he's never even had a Nativity scene in his office around the holidays."

Methis could then be heard banging his head against his microphone.

Dean finished by saying, "Lieberman's war on Christmas is toast. Baby Jesus wins."

When reached for comment, Lieberman would only say, "I don't quite understand all this."

Dean said later in the day that he was "just trying to throw all the current crap into one big bowl so Republicans won't know who to shoot at."

"Do they shoot at Lieberman because he's anti-Christmas," Dean asked, "or do they praise him because he backs their position on the war? And what do they do about me? I sound like I'm backing O'Reilly's inane 'War on Christmas' nonsense."

Dean then laughed so hard that his eyes teared up, his body shook, and he gasped for breath.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Hillary Clinton to quit Senate

Sen. Clinton co-sponsors anti-flag burning law

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is supporting new legislation to criminalize desecration of the United States flag _ though she still opposes a constitutional ban on flag attacks.

Clinton, D-N.Y., has agreed to co-sponsor a measure by Republican Sen. Bob Bennett of Utah, which has been written in hopes of surviving any constitutional challenge following a 2003 Supreme Court ruling on the subject.

There has been speculation that Senator Clinton co-sponsored this legislation to burnish her centrist/moderate credentials for conservative southern, midwestern and western voters ahead of an `08 presidential run. I, for one, didn't believe that explanation, instead, viewing Clinton's co-sponsorship of this measure as a reasonable expression of a patriotic Senator.

But then I read this...

Sen. Clinton opts out of Senate race to become NASCAR driver, elk hunter, bass fisherwoman

WASHINGTON (Rooters) _ Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton today stunned her Senate colleagues and New York voters by announcing that she will not continue her quest for a second term as New York's junior senator.

Appearing at a Capitol Hill press conference in a NASCAR cap memorializing the #3 of the late stock car driver, Dale Earnhardt, and sporting a satin jacket adorned with the logos of the Penske Racing Team and its myriad of sponsors, Clinton said she was quitting the Senate to pursue her "long held dream of becoming a stock car racer."

"I've always been in love with the smell of the pits, the roar of the engines, the flat-out, white-knuckle speed of stock car racing," Clinton said, in announcing the withdrawal of her candidacy for a second term. "This has been a secret passion of mine for many, many years, as have elk hunting and bass fishing."

Her Senate colleague from New York, Charles Schumer, was baffled by her announcement.

"It must have been a double secret passion," Schumer said. "I've been around Hillary quite a bit over the past six years and I can't recall her ever mentioning NASCAR or stock car racing. Nevermind bass fishing or elk hunting."

Former President Bill Clinton noted that his wife harbors a number of secret of passions which might surprise voters.

"She's always got a chaw in her mouth when we're working around the house," the former president said. "I have to practically follow her around with a spitoon."

In response to questions from reporters, Senator Clinton denied that her decision to quit the Senate to drive stock cars was part of a political strategy designed to knock down her image as a liberal while attracting conservative voters in southern, midwestern and western states.

"Absolutely not," Clinton said, adamantly, in repsonse to one question, while donning a pair of mirrored sunglasses. "I love hunting and fishing and stock car racing. I can't wait to gut an elk, filet a bass and put the pedal to the metal. Oh, and I love Jesus, too."

At that, Clinton began singing a gospel song, clapping her hands, waving them over her head while swaying back and forth, and asking press corp members and others in attendance join in.

A spokesman for the Penske Racing Team said that Clinton would be an integral part of their plans for the 2006 season.

"We've run her through our usual battery of tests and she shows good reactions and a nice sense of the road," said Travis Bickle, Director of Media Relations for Penske. "She's got a ways to go to learn the ins and outs of stock car racing, and I imagine that a few of the boys will have some fun with her out on the race track, but we think she's the real deal. And she brings a ton of publicity to the team and the sport. That's all good."

Former Clinton presidential political advisor, James Carville, called Clinton's move "brilliant politics."

Said Carville, "Look, a sitting senator generally gets his or her rear end kicked in a presidential race, anyway. So this move takes her out of that Beltway sphere and puts her right into the mix where she needs to be. To tell you the truth, if I was Bill Clinton, I'd be a little careful around her when she had a rifle in her hands."

Are Hillary in `08 bumperstickers against a confederate flag backdrop far behind?

Sunday, December 04, 2005

2008 Dem Hopefuls Spar in Secret Forum

The first debate for the 2008 Democratic presidential aspirants was held at an undisclosed location this week as the first event of Howard Dean's new DNC Candidate Training Ground (DNC-CTG) program.

What follows is a partial transcript of the event, moderated by former CBS news anchor, Dan Rather:

RATHER: Welcome, all, to the--

H. CLINTON: I'll fight you, Dan Rather!

RATHER: What?  What did you--

H. CLINTON:  I'll fight you!  I'll take on you and the rest of the terrorists, single-handedly if I have to, to protect the American people!


J. BIDEN:  Look Hillary, I like you.  I think you're a super, super gal, but --  OUCH!  Goddamn it!

H. CLINTON:  I'll bite you again, Biden!  And I'll bite the Syrians, the Iranians, the Saudis, the Kuwaitis, the Yemenis, the--


B. RICHARDSON: Sorry for slugging her...

RATHER:  You pack a West Texas wallop.  Continue, Governor Richardson.

B. RICHARDSON: Where are the donuts?

J. KERRY: When I was in Vietnam, we didn't have donuts.  We ate rations out of tin cans and made armor for our boats out of the cans when we were done eating.  It was a laborious process.  First, you had to cut the can with a--

RATHER: Thank you, Senator Kerry.  We'll come back to you.  Senator Bayh--

E. BAYH: Family.  It's all about family.  Not the homos.  And marriage.  That's big, too.

RATHER: Okay...  Anything else to add, Senator Bayh?

E. BAYH: The homos.

RATHER:  Uh... great.  Moving on...

J. BIDEN: That bitch drew blood!  I'll have to get a tetanus shot.

M. WARNER: Down South, we call that a "love bite."

J. EDWARDS: No we don't, Mark!  You're thinkin' of a hickey!

M. WARNER:  Oh, maybe you're right...

RATHER: Senator Edwards...

J. EDWARDS: There are two Americas--

E. BAYH:  Oh!  I know!  I know!  North America and South America!

J. EDWARDS:  Great.  The second coming of Dan Quayle...

RATHER: General Clark, you've been quiet.

W. CLARK: I can't decide if I'm going to run.  I'm waiting by the phone for a call from Bill Clinton.

RATHER: Uh, former president Clinton already has a dog in this fight, General Clark.

W. CLARK: But I figure he might hedge his bets.  His dog has rabies.

J. LIEBERMAN: Hey!  Sorry I'm late!  I was out in the parking lot wrestling Al Gore to the pavement!

J. BIDEN: You wrestled Al Gore to the pavement?!

J. LIEBERMAN: After I ran him over with my Hummer.  When he tried to get up after he crawled out from underneath the vehicle, I clocked him a good one.  From behind.

E. BAYH: Gore is a homo.  He has a lisp.



B. RICHARDSON: Sorry about sluggin' her again. Hey, I was drafted by the Kansas City Athletics.

RATHER: Not true, Governor Richardson, now--


RATHER: I'll tell Dean to order some more.

E. BAYH: Dean's a homo.

J. BIDEN: Now, I like you, Evan.  You're a good guy, but--


B. RICHARDSON: Sorry about that, everyone.  I get cranky without donuts.  Biden will be fine...

J. KERRY: When I was in Vietnam, I--  Holy shit!  Lieberman!  You can't drive your Hummer inside the debate facility!


RATHER: He's drivin' like a bat outta' hell on a one-way ticket punched to nowheresville...



J. LIEBERMAN: Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!  I got them all!  I got them-- AGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!

H. CLINTON: I'll bite your other ear off, too, Lieberman!

R. FEINGOLD: What the-- I'm glad I got here late! I love the Van Gogh look, Joe!


[Edited from a post which originally appeared on Daily Kos on March 2, 2005.]