Sparky: Heads up! It's two fronts! First, we've Bobby Jr. attacking the GOP for being giant cheaters and bullies. And now Joe Wilson going after the top traitors in the White House ...
HuffPoCo's Jamie Frevele studies political science and journalism at Hofstra University. She has been published in New York's Newsday and on Mediabistro’s FishbowlNY, TVNewser, and The Black Table. In addition to writing, Jamie also exercises her First Amendment rights by performing sketch comedy in New York City and appearing in (very, very) independent films. She writes:
“ ... Joe Wilson appeared on MSNBC's Countdown with Keith OlbermannVideo via MSNBC.com) to tell his side of the story after filing last week's lawsuitDick Cheney, his former chief of staff Scooter Libby and presidential "Turd Blossom" Karl Rove for blowing his wife Valerie Plame's covert status by leaking her identity to the press. This interview came directly on the heels (though it was promised last week upon the announcement of the suit) of conservative columnist and victim of verbal diarrhea Robert Novak , who was the only person to print Plame's name (Time Magazine's Matthew Cooper published it online), and kept mum for the past three years over whether he'd come under the scrutiny of Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's ceiling lamp in the proverbial hot seat. Novak often said during the investigation that if he was ever going to discuss who his sources were, he would write all about in a very special after-school column. Well, it finally happened on July 12, and not a minute too soon. One day before the Wilsons filed their suit, Novak published his "tell-some" column online (put in perspective by MediaMatters.org here), then appeared on this week's edition of "Meet the Press." What did he have to offer? The usual: a bit from column A - "She wasn't covert" - a bit from column B - "The media (in this case, New York's Newsday) misquoted me." ...
Then there's that somewhat awkward element of why, if the Wilsons were so concerned about being exposed in the public to threats, the couple agreed to pose for Vanity Fair and make appearances at the White House Correspondents Dinner. This made Wilson laugh a little bit, as if to say, "Well what was the point in hiding after being exposed by your own federal government? Oh, and did you think we would just let them get away with it?" He conceded that Plame worked in a "highly sensitive position in intelligence services" that did, indeed, expose them to a great deal of threats that have been dealt with by law enforcement. ( against Vice President
When asked if he was absolutely positive that the exposure of Plame was deliberate rather than, in Keith's words, "the inadvertent result of incompetent people playing with fire," Wilson pointed to the marked up copy of Wilson's original Op-Ed that belonged to the Vice President, saying, "The compromise of her identity was clearly deliberate." Going on with a big "Oh, no you didn't," Wilson says that in addition to the notes, the filings for the Libby trial (set for January 2007) show that the VP seems to have felt that he "had his manhood threatened." And that can lead me to do only one thing - post a link to the picture of Cheney's, er, manhood. (Hi, I'm 12.) Wilson added that having read three articles - his own, one by The New York Times'Nick Kristof and another by The New Republic's Spencer Ackerman and John Judis convinced the VP that it was being implied that he, himself, had sent Wilson on the trip to Niger. All three articles, Wilson says, maintain that the VP office rightly asked the question of the CIA about Saddam Hussein making attempts to acquire materials for nuclear weapons. According to Wilson, "I wrote my article, he [Cheney] just didn't read it very well." Rather than clear up the misstatements that made it into the 2003 State of the Union address, the administration instead tried to "justify a character assassination" and "smear campaign" by attacking Wilson and his wife. ...Wilson explains that the White House claims to just want to get the facts out there, but what they didn't want to get out there was the fact that White House officials did not want the President to be a witness of fact to the leak. (Of course, if you've been following the case, Newsweek had a story in their April 17, 2006 issue entitled, subtly, "The Leaker in Chief?") They also didn't want the letter from the National Intelligence Council getting out that described the consensus of the American Intelligence Community that the claims about Niger was "baseless" (Wilson's word). Wilson said that they facts they did release were "crap." ... ”
Bush said 'Shit' on the TV! Slip-up reveals Bush and Blair's gossip secrets
By Alec Russell in St Petersburg
It is the moment every politician dreads: the private conversation caught by the open microphone.
A chat between George W Bush and Tony Blair was recorded at yesterday's closing lunch at the G8 summit. As he munches on a bread roll Mr Bush confides:
"What they need to do is get Syria to get Hizbollah to stop doing this shit, and it's over." It is unclear who "they" are.
Potentially far more embarrassing for Downing Street is the exchange over the possibility of a trip by Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, to the Middle East.
Mr Blair makes it clear he would be delighted to go instead of Miss Rice or to pave the way for her on the grounds, apparently, that he is such a weakened leader that it would not matter if his trip failed.
"She's going. I think Condi's going to go pretty soon," said the president after Mr Blair pressed him on the need for someone to get the "lie of the land".
"I told her your offer too," Mr Bush added in a reference to an apparent earlier offer by the prime minister to visit the region.
"It's only if she needs the ground prepared as it were," Mr Blair said. "Obviously if she goes out she's got to succeed as it were, whereas I can just go out and talk."
The recording will be seized on eagerly by the leaders' critics, who have long argued that Mr Blair is over-keen to please Washington and that Mr Bush sees the world in rather simple terms.
Mr Bush also appeared unconvinced by the approach of the UN Secretary General. "What about Kofi Annan? I don't like the sequence of it," the president said. "His attitude is basically ceasefire and everything else happens."
Mr Bush displays his trademark informality joking with leaders about their journey home. "Yo Blair, how you doin'?" he says at one point. "You leaving?"
"You get home in eight hours?" he says to another leader. "Me too! Russia's a big country and you're a big country. Gotta go home. Got something to do tonight."
"Thanks for the sweater," he says of his 60th birthday present from the prime minister. "Awfully thoughtful of you. I know you picked it out yourself."
The tone of America's public debate is far more rarefied than Britain's, and Mr Bush has over the years been careful to avoid being overheard swearing. The last time he was caught out in such a way was six years ago, before he was in the White House when he was overheard describing a New York Times correspondent as a "major-league asshole".
He may not be too concerned at this latest slip, given that the target of his abuse was Hizbollah, one of Middle America's oldest villains. When Vice President Dick Cheney used far stronger language in 2004 telling a Democratic congressman to leave him alone, opinion polls suggested many on the Christian Right approved.
The recording also picks up Mr Bush speaking to other leaders, bantering about his preference for Diet Coke, and making clear his irritation at the formalities of summitry.
The thought of making an after-lunch farewell toast clearly does not appeal - nor does the prospect of listening to fellow leaders some of whom he clearly thinks are far too in love with the sound of their own voices. "I'm just going to make it up. I'm not going to talk too damn long like the rest of them. Some of these guys talk too long."
Now that will certainly meet general approval.
Last week's The Venture Bros immortalized Hunter S. Thompson.
|The Venture Bros. episode|
|Episode No.||Season 2 |
|Airdate||9 July 2006|
|Next||"Escape to the House of Mummies Part II"|
"Assassinanny 911" is an episode of the animated television series The Venture Bros., the third episode of the second season. Molotov Cocktease returns and is both an assassin and the "nanny" in "Assassinanny."
The episode starts with a flashback to Brock Samson's first day at the Office of Secret Intelligence (OSI) 27 years ago. The man responsible for training the crewcut young Samson to become an agent is Colonel Hunter Gathers, who strongly resembles the late Hunter S. Thompson. After a brief conversation filled with abuse and oblique conspiracy references, Hunter throws a jetpack to the confused recruit and opens a retracting wall to reveal that the office appears to be inside an airplane in flight.
In the present day, Brock calls on his unconsummated love interest, the mercenary Molotov Cocktease, to watch over the Ventures while he carries out a field mission for the Office of Secret Intelligence. Although "Mol" feels both respect and attraction for Brock, she makes no secret of her contempt for the Ventures and what she perceives as Brock's role in babysitting them. (As if to prove her point, Brock performs a head lice inspection on the boys and gives Dr. Venture fashion advice during their discussion.) She begs Brock to abandon his duties so they can become a mercenary team, but he refuses.
Venture seems highly dubious of Molotov's qualifications, but Brock vouches for her and explains that her payment is a shipment of blue jeans. As he opens the cargo hold of the X-1, a "manaconda" -- part-man but mostly snake -- emerges threateningly. Brock prepares to attack the creature, but pauses when he hears a high-pitched yell. Sure enough, Molotov throws herself on the manaconda's back before slicing it in two with her sword. A few larval creatures squirm from the severed lower half, leading Dean to speculate that it must have been a "wo-manaconda." After Brock leaves in a black limousine, Venture flirts with Cocktease in a typically awkward fashion. Molotov icily explains to the Ventures that she plans to help her friend by whipping them into shape. Hank, enchanted by the shapely assassin, looks joyous while Dean looks apprehensive and Dr. Venture nervously swallows a "diet pill."
Inside the limo, Brock is greeted by a handler who thanks him for accepting the mission and offers him an OSI agent field kit. Samson discards each item dismissively until he comes across a pack of cigarettes, which he also tosses aside after learning that it is another "spy gadget." He eloquently demonstrates that his trusty knife is the only field kit he needs by stabbing a case folder sitting between the young man's legs. Brock examines the file and finds to his surprise that his mission is to track down and kill his mentor Hunter. The older agent has gone AWOL with $40 million of the agency's money and a head full of secret information. Brock reflects that Gathers was the "second closest thing" he ever had to a father but reluctantly accepts the mission. The handler wishes him good luck and jumps from the speeding limo, followed quickly by the driver. Brock calmly fastens his seat belt as the vehicle hurtles off a pier and into the water. He unhurriedly swims from the sunken car towards a waiting submarine.
In another flashback, he recalls his training for underwater work at Gathers' hands. The colonel insists that Brock lacks motivation, which he provides in the form of live grenades. As Samson swims to avoid the blasts, a sliding door opens to release a hammerhead shark and two speargun-wielding frogmen. Hunter watches the pool's surface with glee as the bodies of the two divers surface with several of their own harpoons protruding from their backs. The water erupts as Brock hurtles overhead, straddling the shark; the hammerhead has one diver's SCUBA tank in its mouth while Brock beats it with the other tank.
At the Venture compound, Cocktease casually fires a submachine gun at the Ventures as they awkwardly scatter. If she had been an actual hostile, she explains, they would already be dead.
Brock, now wearing an elegant tuxedo, enjoys a lobster-and-champagne dinner while an officer with a British accent briefs him further on the upcoming mission. Colonel Gathers was last traced to Macronesia after abducting a prominent plastic surgeon. When Brock inquires how he will reach Macronesia in a timely manner, the officer indicates what appears to be a torpedo.
Molotov instructs the boys on various martial arts techniques ("the maimers"). She demonstrates briefly on H.E.L.P.eR. and commands the boys to spar. Dean manages to deck Hank with a feeble punch, but Hank retaliates by stabbing his brother in the foot with a pencil. She applauds his effort while scolding him for using a weapon, then orders him to pin the now-unconscious Dean. As Hank complies, warning alarms begin to sound. She contacts Brock, who is in a cramped space surrounded by noisy, vibrating machinery, via the communicator watch. He forgot to mention that Native American ghosts haunt the compound (which is, of course, built on a burial ground) on a regular basis, but Dr. Orpheus should be able to clear the matter up. Brock disconnects and dons a pair of goggles as the compartment -- which is inside a missile-like projectile -- splits open with a blast. He free-falls for a few moments, then pulls a cord inside his tux. The suit inflates into a giant sphere, from which only Samson's head protrudes. After splashing down, a propellor emerges and steers towards a nearby island.
Dr. Orpheus apologizes while banishing the restless spirits; apparently the Apaches had no concept of a leap year, causing the necromancer to lose track of the anniversary. His brief introduction to Molotov is cut short by jealous Hank, who tries to hurry Orpheus out the door. Venture puts forth a suave (or at least, what he considers to be suave) offer of a "nightcap" of cooking sherry, which Cocktease pointedly ignores; to his dismay, however, Orpheus accepts the invitation.
Brock cuts himself out of the floating tuxedo as he reaches the shore of "Hoolang Beach." He notices a length of rope partially hidden in the sand, which he traces to a young native woman wearing a white bikini. After they exchange codephrases, she scolds him for arriving too late to proceed with the mission for now. Brock suggestively asks how they will pass the time, and in response she produces a six-pack of beer and removes her top.
Dean, visibly battered by the intensive training sessions, staggers into the boys' bedroom and collapses on his bed. Hank strides cheerfully in after him and begins taking down his cherished posters: Danica Patrick and Mary Lou Retton. With an exaggerated air of worldliness and maturity, he tells Dean that he has become a man; his brother wonders aloud if this means that he has grown pubic hair.
The next morning, Hank (clad in an attempt at a Chippendales outfit) serves breakfast in bed to Molotov. Unfortunately, the former Soviet agent's training was very similar to Brock's, and she grabs him by the neck before she is fully awake. Coughing, he answers a call on his watch from Brock, who is checking in with the family. As Molotov speaks to Brock, Hank lovingly sniffs her hair. Dr. Venture wanders in and begins talking about the errands he has today for Cocktease, and Brock disconnects to gaze through a small telescope at a building in the jungle.
Another flashback reveals Brock and Hunter disguised (Samson as a stereotypical Frenchman, Gathers --somewhat significantly -- as a rather ugly woman) atop a Parisian rooftop. Gathers stares through the scope of a sniper's rifle as he discusses "the rules" of assassination with Brock. First and foremost: no women, no children. There are no exceptions, even for female enemy agents or vampires. Brock suddenly spots a woman on the opposing rooftop... and she is none other than Molotov, with both eyes intact.
The boys' training regimen continues, with Molotov ordering Hank to swim fifty laps and tossing a knife and GRU Spetsnaz manual to Dean. Hank enthusiastically begins swimming and Dean begins looking doubtfully through the book.
In a room whose windows look into the pool, Molotov busies herself with packing toilet paper. Venture approaches her from behind, and she delivers a vicious kick to his face that sends him across the room. She brusquely apologizes and helps him to his feet again.
Outside, Triana Orpheus and a friend drop by to use the pool. As Dean begins describing their ordeal to the girls, Hank dives to the bottom of the pool, where he looks in on Molotov and Venture. Dr. Venture apologizes for his unwelcome advances and asks if he and Cocktease can be friends. Hank sees Molotov smiling at his father, and then notices a bit of blood on Dr. Venture's collar (from the blow Molotov delivered earlier) and assumes that it is her lipstick. Still underwater, Hank screams in anguish... and then grabs his throat and sinks. Oblivious to this scene, Venture asks Molotov about the Russian mail-order bride business, to which she walks away in disgust once more.
Triana's friend asks where Hank ("that Scooby-Doo kid") is, and Dean finally notices his brother at the bottom of the pool. In the guest room, Dr. Venture chides Molotov for lighting a cigarette, causing her to launch into another tirade. Dean knocks at the window and points urgently towards the bottom of the pool. The scene cuts to Molotov administering the breath of life to Hank, who quickly wakes up and attempts to turn the situation into a tongue kiss. Revolted by his "milk breath," Cocktease stalks away. Hank seems to be in a blissful world of his own until Dean points out the "teepee" in his swim trunks, leading Hank to run around screaming that his pants are haunted.
Back in Macronesia, Brock shakes the native woman lying next to him but she does not stir. As he turns her, he sees a message scrawled in red across his stomach: "No more secrets. -H." Brock concludes in disappointment that his mentor has abandoned all of his former principles and has indeed turned. He quietly departs; seconds later, the woman sits up and groggily asks what time it is.
As a robe-wearing Molotov heads towards the bathroom for a shower, she notices Brock's room and enters. At the same time, Hank finds her discarded clothing in the guest room. Cocktease notices with delight that Brock keeps a jar on his nightstand containing her missing left eye and enters a flashback of her own. Shortly after Brock spotted her on the Paris rooftop, he confronts her in a small bedroom. As they kiss passionately, she extends blades from the heels of her boots and drives them into his sides. He yells in pain and collapses on the bed, and she pins him there with two sai. She gives him a brief kiss before lighting a cigarette and setting the room on fire (eliciting a response of "F--king amazing" from Brock). As she vaults lightly out the window, Brock screams in frustration, astonishment, and aggravation... not only is he trapped in a burning room after fruitless foreplay, but he has no cigarettes. In answer, a smoke flicks back through the window and onto his chest.
Hank passionately sniffs one of Molotov's boots, accidentally triggering the blade (which jabs him in the neck). The wound induces a hallucination in which Cocktease seductively tells him that Dr. Venture is keeping them from being together. She exposes her breasts (each of which is Hank's head) and coos that killing his father is "the only way." In a daze, he grabs a machete mounted on the wall and staggers down the hallway. Molotov, who has been wrapped up in fantasy, spots him passing. The ensuing scene alternates between Hank's patricidal stalking of his father and Brock nearing his target.
In Macronesia, Brock enters what appears to be the ruins of an abandoned temple, in which sheets of plastic hang from the ceiling to form a makeshift operating theater. Dean lumbers into the laboratory, where Venture hunches over a microscope. As Brock discovers Hunter, unconscious on an operating table, Hank menacingly approaches his father, who ignores him studiously. Molotov bursts into the lab to stop Hank as the surgeon begs Brock to leave Hunter in peace. After a brief pause, Hank charges and shadows on the wall show him repeatedly swinging the machete at Dr. Venture's head, apparently murdering the elder Venture.
The plastic surgeon reads Brock a note Hunter wrote, stating that he was tired of the "secrets and lies." Unmoved, Brock rips back the sheet for the kill... but notices Gathers' pair of still-bandaged breasts. Realization dawns on Brock: his mentor had no intention of defecting, but instead had disappeared in order to have a sex-change operation. After one last check under the sheet (and a resulting shiver of revulsion), Brock leaves his mentor to start the new life he had sought (since, after all, there are no exceptions to the "no women and children" rule).
After the credits, Brock says his farewells to Molotov as Dean and an unscathed Dr. Venture look on. Still puzzled by his dedication to the Ventures, Cocktease asks if Brock misses the old days; he reaffirms that he intends to stay in his current assignment. As Molotov speeds away in her sports car, Brock asks Dr. Venture where Hank is. Venture begins explaining that Hank is grounded after whacking him with a papier-mâché sword, peeing his pants and passing out. From his room, Hank tearfully watches Cocktease's departure and presses his hand to the window.
- Hunter: (lighting Brock's biographical dossier on fire) The Brock Samson you knew and were is dead! Happy birthday, Frankenstein! You're OSI's baby now. Are you prepared to do whatever your country asks of you?
Hunter: Can you keep your head about you when confronted with mind-blowing weirdness at every turn?
Hunter: Are you ready for anything?
Hunter: Are you still ready for anything?
(Hunter clubs him across the knee suddenly)
Brock: (collapsed on the floor in pain) Son of a bitch!
Hunter: Lesson number one, trust no one. The minute God crapped out the third caveman, a conspiracy was hatched against one of them. Get up, damn you! (he tosses a jetpack to Brock) Strap her on, kid. Your training starts now. When I'm through with you, you'll be a member of the elite agency that's been thanklessly defending this big-ass country since the second American Revolution. (dramatic closeup of his face) The invisible one.
- Dean: Ha! It works! I never used to beat Hank! (strutting in celebration) Who da master?! Who da master?!
Molotov: Focus, Hank! Your opponent has you on your back! Are you going to let him win?
(Hank stabs Dean in the foot with a pencil)
- Hunter: No women, no children. Them's the rules. Separates us from the baddies.
Brock: Well... what if she's an enemy agent?
Brock: An assassin?
Brock: (considering) A double-agent assassin who just killed the president?
Hunter: No sir. Non-lethal takedown only. President's not the president anyway, you know that.
Brock: (somewhat disappointed) Oh. (brightens) Hey, how about... you know, a, uh... a lady Dracula?
Hunter: (pausing and looking thoughtfully over his shoulder at Brock) You mean.. le vampyr? Nosferatu?
Brock: Uh, I guess.
Hunter: (briskly) Undead. Not technically a woman in that regard, so you got no beef there. Also, fictitious.
- Triana: Hey, we came over to use the pool. Is that cool?
Dean: No, it's not cool. Nothing is cool.
Triana: You seem a little weird... are you guys okay?
Dean: (in a low desperate voice) She's killing us!
- Dean: ...and Hank, I don't know what his deal is, it's like he's actually enjoying this.
Kim: The Scooby-Doo kid? Where'd he go? (Hank is noted for having a similar appearance to Fred from Scooby-Doo)
Dean: He's swimming laps... uh oh. (Hank is unconscious at the bottom of the pool)
- Hank: (running madly in circles) My pants are haunted! My pants are haunted!
- Molotov: Do you want me, Hank?
Molotov: Your father will never let us be together. He's a big old doodyhead who wants me all to himself.
Hank: He's a jerk!
Molotov: Yes, Hank, he is. But what are you going to do about it? (she reveals her breasts, which are in fact duplicates of Hank's head)
Hank-head breasts: Kill pop! Kill pop! Kill pop! You should totally kill pop.
- (Doctor Orpheus kisses Molotov's gloved hand. Hank shoves his way in between them.)
Dr. Orpheus: Oh, actually I don't have to be anywhere right n-
Hank: (Tersely, as he shoves Dr. O away) I said good day, sir.
- The episode's title combines "assassin" (referring to both Brock and Molotov) and the FOX reality series Nanny 911.
- Upon their first meeting, Hunter tells Brock not to salute or address him as "Sir," because "you're not in the Marines anymore." However, in "Past Tense" when he was leaving college, Brock claimed he was joining the army.
- The OSI uniforms worn by Gathers and Brock in the flashback to their first meeting are reminiscent of the ones worn by Nick Fury and his S.H.I.E.L.D. agents: blue bodysuits with contrasting white shoulder holsters.
- This episode features numerous homages to James Bond, to whom Brock is obviously linked as a secret agent with a license to kill.
- The scene where Molotov cuts the "mandaconda" in half and babies crawl out from inside it is recycled from a scene Publick was forced to cut from the pilot episode where Brock did the same to an alligator.
- Molotov barking "Serpentine!" at the Ventures as they dodge automatic weapons fire may be a reference to the 1979 film The In-Laws, in which Peter Falk similarly advises Alan Arkin.
- Dean and Hank's sparring outfits resemble costumes used in The Karate Kid. Dean taunting Hank with "Who da master?" and Hank's reply of "Sho'nuff!" are references to The Last Dragon.
- The rooftop sniping scene, including the line "no women, no children," recalls the movie Léon.
- Molotov's weapon-shoes comprise a visual pun in which stiletto blades are concealed within her stiletto-heeled boots.
- Hank waking Molotov only to be choked is similar to a scene in the episode "Eeney, Meeney, Miney... Magic!" in which Hank did the same thing with Brock, with the same results.
- The scene in which Hank French-kisses Molotov while she is performing CPR on him is taken from the film The Sandlot.
- The character "Hunter" is an obvious homage to Hunter S. Thompson, mirroring the late gonzo journalist's appearance, mannerisms and personality; his manner of speaking is especially Thompsonesque with clipped, rapid speech peppered with bizarre phrases.
- In the credits, Hunter's full name is listed as "Hunter Gathers," a play on the term hunter-gatherer.
- The scene in which Molotov exposes her breasts to Hank is vaguely reminiscent of the film American Beauty.
- The scenes which show Brock sneaking up to kill Hunter and Hank sneaking up to kill Dr. Venture takes elements from one of the climactic scenes from Apocalypse Now.
- While hallucinating that he must kill Dr. Venture, Hank quotes The Doors' song "The End" ("Father... Yes, son? I want to kill you... Mother, I want to..."). This song was used prominently in Apocalypse Now.
- The scene in which Brock repeatedly slaps the doctor, who cries out with every strike "Your mother! Your father!" culminating in "Your mother and your father!" is a spoof of one of the final scenes in Chinatown.
- This episode marks the first instance in the series of Brock saying "Go Team Venture!" (usually uttered by Hank and Dean).
- The World Leaders Entertainment logo for this episode is a caricature of Napoleon Bonaparte apparently on marionette strings.
- Hank's assault on his father, who he perceives stands in his way with a sexual relationship with Molotov, is an obscure reference to the Oedipus Complex his father accused him of having in Home Insecurity. In fact, Hank even voices The Killer's Oedipal declaration from The End as mentioned above.
- When Brock learns that his "target" is Hunter, a brief shot of the folder's contents is displayed. The entire image is backwards, including text.
- During the sequence that splices together scenes of both Brock and Hank preparing to kill, there is a slip-up. Just as Brock is about to kill Hunter and the surgeon stops him (from the camera angle underneath the doctor's arm) Hunter's breasts are exposed for a split second.