Monday, May 4, 2009

Pooping On The Grand Old Pizza Party

A sincere & deeply felt "Fuck you, asshole," to perfectly-coiffed ignoramus/jerk-wad Mittens "Mitt" Romneyquoted in Slate as saying:
"Free pizza for everybody all day!" jokes Mitt Romney [...] Just kidding, Romney says: "This is not a Democrat establishment."
From pizza parlor to fudge factory, you can be damn sure that wherever Mitt "Richie" Romney is there's little democracy going on, Democratic Party or democratic. So why doesn't he shut his fucking Jello®-hole w/ the "Democrat" as adjective routine? Actual Point of This Effort: The outfit sponsoring the pizza-fest (Any controversy here? Is N. Virginia pizza different than Southern V. pizza? Or do the nat'l. corporate chains keep it consistently cardboard-y across the Commonwealth?) the just-formed NCNA, is composed of actual Republican office-holders, current & former. Guys whose power, wealth, self-esteem & underlying desire to "show mommy something" all depend on their being in office, or being very close to those who are. Guys whose party has lost the last two elections by serious margins. Not a collection of deranged bloggers & tee vee hosts who are really better served by opposition & contrarianism, but guys who have to win a few elections here & there. 
We might, therefore, want to pay attention to these dudes; they're the ones really losing if the Goofy Old Party succeeds in its present efforts at further self-marginalization. In other words: Desperation time. Any one have any ideas? Anything?
The point, according to one of its founders, is to "take the discussion outside of Washington, to make sure ideas shaping policy here in Washington is coming from outside and from the American people." [...] "This is not a quote 'rebranding' effort," said McCain on a conference call Thursday. "It's an effort to include as many Americans as possible from across the ideological spectrum and come up with solutions that help our country and our future."
OK. Whatever. We thought Newt Gingrich was capable of generating enough "ideas" for them, but for some non-"rebranding" project they have to turn to the great un-washed.
The NCNA makes its first foray Saturday, when it ventures deep into heartland America: a restaurant in Northern Virginia.
And good luck w/ your pizza parties, boys. 
Guys, boys, dudes, the reader might ask, what sort of pig are you? Surely there are some good cloth-coat Republican women involved w/ this? Maybe they're making 'phone calls or copies between runs to Starbucks®, but not at the top. (Part of the Party of Lincoln's problem?)
So who's in charge of this nonpartisan organization? Well, Republican House Minority Whip Eric Cantor is heading it up. Then there's House Minority Leader John Boehner, John McCain, Mitt Romney, Haley Barbour, Jeb Bush, Bobby Jindal, Mike Pence, Pete Sessions, Roy Blunt, Mitch McConnell, Jon Kyl, Lamar Alexander, John Cornyn, and John Thune. They've also reached out to Sarah Palin, but no word yet on whether she'll be participating.
High-speed connection or not, we aren't looking them all up, but an all-dude, all Xian (doubtless fundievangelical) except Rep. Cantor (who is a fundamentalist Jew, per Wikipedia: Mrs. Cantor's mother, Barbara Fine, lives and manages the cooking and shopping in the Cantor household, which is kosher[6]) all of them honkies, of course, except Gov. Jindal, & most of them from the former Confederate States.
How did their party ever end up where it — Oh, we meant how did their excursion to the wilds of Northern Virginny go? A clue:
For the kickoff event, a few dozen local Republicans—including names like Grover Norquist—packed into Pie-tanza, a small restaurant in a suburban strip mall, to see Romney, Cantor, and Bush discuss the GOP's future. The conversation steered clear of hot-button issues like gay marriage and immigration, focusing instead on the economy, health care, and education. Questions tended toward the softball. How would Republicans help small businesses? (Lower taxes, free up capital.) How does the Employee Free Choice Act affect business? (It's "the biggest misnomer I've seen," said Cantor.) How do we fight back against the Obama administration's high taxes and overreach? (Educate voters.)
Oh, this is going to be a long one. (Though maybe we should be keeping our eyes on Jeb Bush.) They're not even starting to stretch yet. And if Grover Norquist is there to check on them every time ...

Sunday, May 3, 2009

May 4: Four Dead In Ohio; Look, Jamaica!!

By The Associated Press 1 hr 44 mins ago Today is Monday, May 4, the 124th day of 2009. There are 241 days left in the year. Also AP. A/V. UPI Almanac. Today's Highlight in History: Fifty years ago, in 1959, the first-ever Grammy Awards ceremony was held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Domenico Modugno won Record of the Year and Song of the Year for "Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)"; Henry Mancini won Album of the Year for "The Music from Peter Gunn." On this date: In 1626, Dutch explorer Peter Minuit landed on present-day Manhattan Island. In 1886, at Haymarket Square in Chicago, a labor demonstration for an eight-hour work day turned into a deadly riot when a bomb exploded. In 1904, the United States took over construction of the Panama Canal. In 1916, responding to a demand from President Woodrow Wilson, Germany agreed to limit its submarine warfare, thereby averting a diplomatic break with Washington. (However, Germany resumed unrestricted submarine warfare the following year.) In 1932, mobster Al Capone, convicted of income-tax evasion, entered the federal penitentiary in Atlanta. (Capone was later transferred to Alcatraz Island.)In 1945, during World War II, German forces in the Netherlands, Denmark and northwest Germany agreed to surrender. In 1946, a two-day riot at Alcatraz prison in San Francisco Bay ended, the violence having claimed five lives. In 1961, a group of "Freedom Riders" left Washington, D.C., for New Orleans to challenge racial segregation on interstate buses and in bus terminals. In 1970, Ohio National Guardsmen opened fire on anti-war protesters at Kent State University, killing four students and wounding nine others. In 2001, Bonny Lee Bakley, wife of actor Robert Blake, was shot to death as she sat in a car in Los Angeles. (Blake, accused of the killing, was acquitted in a criminal trial but was found liable by a civil jury and ordered to pay damages.) Ten years ago: Work crews struggled to restore electricity across Serbia after NATO strikes on major power grids left Belgrade and other cities in the dark. Five New York City police officers went on trial for the torture of Haitian immigrant Abner Louima. (One officer later pleaded guilty to civil rights violations; a second later pleaded guilty to perjury; the remaining three were acquitted of brutality charges. Two of those three were later convicted of conspiring to obstruct justice; those convictions were overturned.) Tornadoes roared across the Plains for a second straight day. Five years ago: The Army disclosed that the deaths of 10 prisoners and abuse of 10 more in Iraq and Afghanistan were under criminal investigation, as U.S. commanders in Baghdad announced interrogation changes. The United States walked out of a U.N. meeting to protest its decision minutes later to give Sudan a third term on the Human Rights Commission. One year ago: President George W. Bush visited Greensburg, Kan., where he hailed the resilience of the town and its tiny high school graduating class, one year after a tornado barreled through with astonishing fury. A river boat sank in a remote Amazon region in northern Brazil, killing at least 48 people. Iraq's first lady, Hiro Ibrahim Ahmed, escaped unharmed from a bomb attack in downtown Baghdad that struck her motorcade. Today's Birthdays: The president of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, is 81. Opera singer Roberta Peters is 79. Jazz musician Ron Carter is 72. Rock musician Dick Dale is 72. Singer-songwriter Nick Ashford is 67. Pop singer Peggy Santiglia (The Angels) is 65. Actor Richard Jenkins is 62. Country singer Stella Parton is 60. Actor-turned-clergyman Hilly Hicks is 59. Irish musician Darryl Hunt (The Pogues) is 59. Singer Jackie Jackson (The Jacksons) is 58. R&B singer Oleta Adams is 56. R&B singer Sharon Jones is 53. Country singer Randy Travis is 50. Actress Mary McDonough is 48. Comedian Ana Gasteyer is 42. Actor Will Arnett is 39. Rock musician Mike Dirnt (Green Day) is 37. Contemporary Christian singer Chris Tomlin is 37. TV personality and fashion designer Kimora Lee Simmons is 34. Rock musician Jose Castellanos is 32. Singer Lance Bass ('N Sync) is 30.  Today In Entertainment History May 4 In 1957, the "Alan Freed Show" debuted on ABC. The first guests on his show included the Del-Vikings and Screamin' Jay Hawkins. In 1959, the first Grammy Awards were given out by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Henry Mancini won album of the year for "The Music from Peter Gunn." The Champs and the Kingston Trio were also winners. In 1964, the Moody Blues formed in Birmingham, England. In 1970, Neil Young wrote "Ohio" after four Kent State University students were killed by US National Guardsmen. In 1990, Madonna kicked off the US leg of her "Blonde Ambition" tour in Houston. Fans eventually got to see what went on behind the scenes in the documentary "Truth or Dare." In 1995, actor Gary Busey was found unconscious at his home in Malibu, California, apparently from a cocaine overdose.
 Thought for Today: "When your work speaks for itself, don't interrupt." — Henry J. Kaiser, American industrialist (1882-1967). Copyright ©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reversed. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
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Terrorists Have Won, Already

It is the firm & absolute editorial position of this web log that the singing of the exceptionalist anthem "God Bless America" during the seventh-inning stretch must be stopped. We already have to listen to the hideously melodied American war anthem before the game. Enough is enough. Singing "GBA" in public is not going to make This Great Nation of Ours™ safer from the, you know ...
(Aficionados of images of bald eagles superimposed on American flags will greatly enjoy this Google™ search. And, the image we restrained ourself from running. It's "dirty." No Stupid Foreigners Wanted.)(Note improved, high-tech around here. A functioning .gif image. Gawd a-mighty, what next?)

HONK HONK, You Moran!!

"Teabagger" in PA or somewhere, before:Our "friends" at TWC who make this all possible.And after another semi-literate has had a go at the sign:Damn right you did! We could scan our copy of the check & run it for you, sucker. Moochers & losers triumph!!

World Video Up-Date Wrap-Up

Now that we can again watch them, we offer you videos from all over the Associated Press, to wit: Thirty Seconds Over Afghanistan (footage of A-10s on the line & taxiing) & the May Day police violence wrap-up.
Is this what is the fuck-tuck-tucking hell the AP's been on about? We can't even embed their videos (we've been all over their websites looking, believe you us) yet they threaten small-not-even-business people for mentioning them. And linking to their videos. Where people are often forced to look at ads. So we use some of the same words they do. (In the exact order that they typed them.) What of it, really?

James Joseph Brown: "I Love You, I Love America, I Love Everybody, I Feel Good."

Born 3 May 1933, died 25 Decemnber 2006.

3 May: Up The Irish

By The Associated Press 2 hrs 41 mins. ago Today is Sunday, May 3, the 123rd day of 2009. There are 242 days left in the year. From the AP, yet not quite the same. Their A/V. And the UPI Almanac. Today's Highlight in History: On May 3, 1909, a wireless news dispatch was transmitted from The New York Times to the Chicago Tribune in the first such communication between the two cities. On this date: In 1469, political theorist Niccolo Machiavelli was born in Florence, Italy. In 1802, Washington, D.C., was incorporated as a city. In 1916, Irish nationalist Padraic Pearse and two others were executed by the British for their roles in the Easter Rising. In 1933, Nellie T. Ross became the first female director of the U.S. Mint. In 1944, U.S. wartime rationing of most grades of meats ended. In 1945, during World War II, Allied forces captured Rangoon, Burma, from the Japanese. In 1948, the Supreme Court, in Shelley v. Kraemer, ruled that covenants prohibiting the sale of real estate to blacks or members of other racial groups were legally unenforceable. The "CBS Evening News" premiered, with Douglas Edwards as anchor. In 1978, "Sun Day" fell on a Wednesday as thousands of people extolling the virtues of solar energy held events across the country. In 1979, Conservative Party leader Margaret Thatcher was chosen to become Britain's first female prime minister as the Tories ousted the incumbent Labor government in parliamentary elections.  In 1986, in NASA's first post-Challenger launch, an unmanned Delta rocket lost power in its main engine shortly after liftoff, forcing safety officers to destroy it by remote control. In 1988, the White House acknowledged that first lady Nancy Reagan had used astrological advice to help schedule President Ronald Reagan's activities. In 1989, former national security aide Oliver North was found guilty on three charges but innocent of nine others in the Iran-Contra scandal. Ten years ago: Some 70 tornadoes roared across Oklahoma and Kansas, killing 46 people and injuring hundreds. The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 11,000, just 24 trading days after passing 10,000. Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi met with President Bill Clinton at the White House during the first official U.S. visit by a Japanese premier in 12 years. Five years ago: The U.S. military said it had reprimanded seven officers in the abuse of inmates at Baghdad's notorious Abu Ghraib prison, the first known punishments in the case; two of the officers were relieved of their duties. Former postmaster general Marvin Runyon died in Nashville, Tenn., at age 79. One year ago: Barack Obama defeated Hillary Rodham Clinton by seven votes in the Guam Democratic presidential caucuses, meaning the candidates split the pledged delegate votes. Big Brown won the Kentucky Derby by 4 3/4 lengths. (Filly Eight Belles finished second and then broke both front ankles; she was euthanized on the track.) Today's Birthdays: Folk singer Pete Seeger is 90. Actress Ann B. Davis is 83. Singer Frankie Valli is 75. Sports announcer Greg Gumbel is 63. Pop singer Mary Hopkin is 59. Singer Christopher Cross is 58. Rock musician David Ball (Soft Cell) is 50. Today in Entertainment History In 1937, Margaret Mitchell won a Pulitzer Prize for her novel, "Gone With the Wind." In 1960, the musical "The Fantasticks" opened off-Broadway, beginning a record run of nearly 42 years and 17,162 performances. In 1968, The Beach Boys began a US tour that featured the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. For the most part, audiences were turned off by the Maharishi's lectures, so half of the tour dates were canceled. In 1969, Jimi Hendrix was arrested at Toronto International Airport for possession of narcotics. He was released on $10,000 bail. [And a yr. & a half to live. — Ed.] In 1971, Grand Funk Railroad agreed to meet with reporters, despite their previously rocky relationship with the press. The band's manager invited 150 reporters, but only six showed up. [Yes, the manager was a real dilrod. We've mercifully forgotten his name. — Ed.] In 1976, Paul McCartney performed his first US concert in ten years when he opened his "Wings Over America" tour. In 1978, the movie "FM" premiered in Los Angeles. More people bought the soundtrack than saw the movie. In 1986, Dolly Parton opened Dollywood Amusement Park near Gatlinburg, Tennessee. In 1988, Madonna debuted on Broadway in "Speed the Plow." She received mixed reviews. In 1991, the last episode of "Dallas" aired on CBS. In 2002, the movie "Spider-Man" opened. In 2003, "Friends" star Matt LeBlanc married Melissa McKnight in Hawaii after five years of engagement. They split after three years of marriage. Thought for Today: "God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things which should be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other." — Reinhold Niebuhr, American clergyman and author (1892-1971). [God, eat shit & leave us alone, we're begging you. — Ed.]
[Try the UPI Daily Dose:] A thought for the day: Gore Vidal said, "Apparently, a democracy is a place where numerous elections are held at great cost without issues and with interchangeable candidates." Copyright ©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reversed. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
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Saturday, May 2, 2009

Back In The Saddle Again

Fully digitized. Now excuse the hell out of us as we compensate for mos. & mos. (not to mention the yrs. of our faded youth when our parental units deprived us of tee vee socialization, American style) of non-telebision. See y'all next mo. or so ...

Today: 2 May

By The Associated Press 1 hr 41 mins ago Today is Saturday, May 2, the 122nd day of 2009. There are 243 days left in the year. AP. A/V. UPI Almanac. Today's Highlight in History: On May 2, 1945, the Soviet Union announced the fall of Berlin, and the Allies announced the surrender of Nazi troops in Italy and parts of Austria. On this date: In 1519, artist Leonardo da Vinci died at Cloux, France, at 67. In 1670, the Hudson Bay Company was chartered by England's King Charles II. In 1863, Confederate Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson was accidentally wounded by his own men at Chancellorsville, Va.; he died eight days later. In 1890, the Oklahoma Territory was organized. In 1908, the original version of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," with music by Albert Von Tilzer and lyrics by Jack Norworth, was copyrighted by Von Tilzer's York Music Co. In 1936, "Peter and the Wolf," a symphonic tale for children by Sergei Prokofiev, had its world premiere in Moscow. Seventy years ago, in 1939, New York Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig's streak of 2,130 consecutive games played came to an end when the ailing slugger removed himself from the lineup.In 1957, Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy, the controversial Republican from Wisconsin, died at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland. In 1960, Caryl Chessman, who became a best-selling author while on death row for kidnapping, robbery and sexual offenses, was executed at San Quentin Prison in California. In 1965, Intelsat 1, also known as the Early Bird satellite, was first used to transmit television pictures across the Atlantic. In 1972, J. Edgar Hoover died in Washington at age 77 after serving 48 years as head of the FBI. Ten years ago: Yugoslav authorities handed over to the Rev. Jesse Jackson three American prisoners of war who'd been held for a month. Actor Oliver Reed died in Malta at age 61 while making the movie "Gladiator." Five years ago: American truck driver Thomas Hamill escaped from his kidnappers in Iraq; that same day, nine U.S. servicemen were killed across the country. Martin Torrijos, the son of a former dictator, won Panama's first presidential vote since the handover of the Panama Canal in December 1999. One year ago: President George W. Bush sent lawmakers a $70 billion request to fund U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan into the following spring. Al-Jazeera TV cameraman Sami al-Haj was released from U.S. custody in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and returned home to Sudan after six years in prison. Tropical Cyclone Nargis struck Myanmar, leading to an eventual official death toll of 84,537, with 53,836 listed as missing. Mildred Loving, a black woman whose challenge to Virginia's ban on interracial marriage led to a landmark Supreme Court ruling striking down such laws across the United States, died in Milford, Va., at age 68. Today's Birthdays: Actor Theodore ["Rance Muhammitz"] Bikel is 85. Singer Engelbert Humperdinck is 73. Actress and political activist Bianca Jagger is 64. Country singer R.C. Bannon is 64. Singer Lesley Gore is 63. Actor David Suchet is 63. Singer-songwriter Larry Gatlin is 61. Rock singer Lou Gramm (Foreigner) is 59. Actress Christine Baranski is 57. Singer Angela Bofill is 55. Movie director Steven Daldry ("The Reader") is 49. Actress Elizabeth Berridge is 47. Country singer Ty Herndon is 47. Rock musician Todd Sucherman (Styx) is 40. Wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is 37. Soccer star David Beckham is 34. Actress Jenna Von Oy is 32. Actor Gaius Charles ("Friday Night Lights") is 26. Pop singer Lily Allen is 24. Olympic gold medal skater Sarah Hughes is 24.  Today in Entertainment History -- In 1932, Jack Benny's first radio show debuted on the NBC Blue Network. In 1957, Elvis Presley recorded the song "Jailhouse Rock," the title song to his next movie. In the film, Elvis choreographed the dance sequence that accompanied the song. In 1960, Ben E. King left The Drifters to go solo. In 1967, Capitol Records announced that The Beach Boys had abandoned their "Smile" album project. In 1979, "Quadrophenia," the film based on The Who's album of the same name, opened in London. On the same day, The Who played its first concert with new drummer Kenney Jones, who replaced the late Keith Moon. In 1980, the South African government banned the Pink Floyd song "Another Brick in the Wall (Part Two)." The song, which includes children chanting the chorus, "We don't need no education," had been adopted as the anthem for black children who boycotted schools because of inferior education standards. In 1982, Adam and the Ants disbanded after singer Stuart Goddard decided to go solo rather than find replacements for his departed bassist and drummer. Goddard then became known as Adam Ant. Thought for Today: "Even a liar tells a hundred truths to one lie; he has to, to make the lie good for anything." — Henry Ward Beecher, American clergyman (1813-1887). Copyright ©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reversed. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
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Friday, May 1, 2009

Waiting For TiVo*

Time marches on, & all we do is wait. And wait. Reason to live beyond DSL (item immediately below) was, according to the FedEx tracking site, due by 1630 today. Have already had to change the date for the Time-Warner Cable contractor from today until tomorrow because the fucking set sat in the FedEx "local facility" all yesterday (it wasn't "scheduled for delivery"). Just what was that $79.99  we paid for "three-day shipping" really for? Four-day shipping, it looks like.
So we consulted the FedEx tracking thing, which indicated that the tee vee had been on the truck since 0804 today. When it got close to 1900 & we re-checked, it was revealed that the package was at the local FedEx facility as of 1834. 
A 'phone call revealed there'd been "trouble w/ the truck, or driver, or something" & our happiness should be here by 2130.  If the fucking thing has been damaged by being bounced around in a truck all day, or if the driver was drunk & ran the truck over a cliff & they show up w/ a less than perfect set, we can guarantee you that earthquakes & race riots will be the least of Southern California's concerns, as the skies will blacken w/ the smoke of FedEx facilities from the desert to the sea, & from S. D. to S.B.
How much emotional damage can we claim from being denied the chance to watch the Dodger game tonight?
*No, we aren't getting TiVo. We can operate DVD & VHS recorders w/o any trouble, unlike most AmeriKKKans. But we thought the play on play-title was worth it.

Television Skies

A representation of the late great Duke (covering milk crates, in classic M. Bouffant style) waits for a telebision set to be delivered & set up atop it.

Inquisitional Evangelical Fundamentalism

CNN makes it easy. We needn't even read the damn thing, as they've selected the hot parts for us:
  • 742 American adults surveyed on use of torture against suspected terrorists
  • 54 percent of those who go to services at least weekly say it's often or sometimes OK
  • In survey, people unaffiliated with any religious group were least likely to back torture
  • President of National Association of Evangelicals yet to comment on survey
We don't think that's what the "God of Love" meant by "suffer the little children," but we know so little of King James' English.

MAY DAY! No Fucking Work For Us!!
Workers of The World, Unite!!!

By The Associated Press Fri May 1, 12:01 am ET Today is Friday, May 1, the 121st day of 2009. There are 244 days left in the year.
A visual & auditory excursion to the past, May Day or not. Today's Highlight in History: One hundred years ago, on May 1, 1909, Walter Reed General Hospital (later a part of Walter Reed Army Medical Center) in Washington, D.C., admitted its first patients. On this date: In 1707, the Kingdom of Great Britain was created as a treaty merging England and Scotland took effect. In 1786, Mozart's opera "The Marriage of Figaro" premiered in Vienna. In 1884, construction began on the first skyscraper, a 10-story structure in Chicago built by the Home Insurance Co. of New York. In 1893, the World's Columbian Exposition opened to the public in Chicago. In 1898, Commodore George Dewey gave the command, "You may fire when you are ready, Gridley," as an American naval force destroyed a Spanish squadron in Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War. In 1931, New York's 102-story Empire State Building was dedicated. In 1960, the Soviet Union shot down an American U-2 reconnaissance plane near Sverdlovsk and captured its pilot, Francis Gary Powers. In 1963, James W. Whittaker became the first American to conquer Mount Everest as he and a Sherpa guide reached the summit. In 1978, Ernest Morial was inaugurated as the first black mayor of New Orleans. In 1982, the 1982 World's Fair opened in Knoxville, Tenn. Ten years ago: Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic agreed to hand over three captured U.S. soldiers to the Rev. Jesse Jackson. Despite protests, the National Rifle Association held its annual meeting in Denver 11 days after the Columbine shootings. The Liberty Bell 7, the Mercury space capsule flown by Gus Grissom, was found in the Atlantic 300 miles southeast of Cape Canaveral, Fla., 38 years after it sank. An amphibious boat (known as a "duck") sank at Hot Springs, Ark., killing 13. Charismatic, a 30-1 shot, charged to victory in the 125th Kentucky Derby. Five years ago: Attackers stormed the offices of Houston-based ABB Lumps Global Inc. in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia, killing six Westerners and a Saudi; all four attackers were killed after an hour-long police chase in which they dragged the body of an American from the bumper of their car. Smarty Jones won the Kentucky Derby, becoming the first unbeaten Derby winner since Seattle Slew in 1977. One year ago: Three dozen people were killed in a double suicide bombing during a wedding procession in Balad Ruz, Iraq. A military jury at Fort Hood, Texas, acquitted Army Sgt. Leonard Trevino of premeditated murder in the death of an unarmed Iraqi insurgent. A U.S. missile strike in central Somalia killed the reputed leader of al-Qaida in Somalia. President George W. Bush imposed new sanctions against property owned or controlled by the military junta in Myanmar. Deborah Jeane Palfrey, convicted of being the "D.C. Madam," hanged herself in Tarpon Springs, Fla. Philipp Freiherr von Boeselager, believed to be the last surviving member of the inner circle of plotters who attempted to kill Adolf Hitler, died in Altenahr, Germany, at age 90. Today's Birthdays: Former astronaut Scott Carpenter is 84. Country singer Sonny James is 80. Singer Judy Collins is 70. Actor Stephen Macht is 67. Singer Rita Coolidge is 64. Pop singer Nick Fortuna (The Buckinghams) is 63. Actor-director Douglas Barr is 60. Actor Dann Florek is 58. Singer-songwriter Ray Parker Jr. is 55. Hall of Fame jockey Steve Cauthen is 49. Actress Maia Morgenstern is 47. Country singer Wayne Hancock is 44. Actor Charlie Schlatter is 43. Country singer Tim McGraw is 42. Rock musician Johnny Colt is 41. Rock musician D'Arcy is 41. Movie director Wes Anderson is 40. Washington Redskins long snapper Ethan Albright is 38.  Today in Entertainment History Associated Press - May 1, 2009 3:13 AM ET On May first, 1967, Elvis Presley married Priscilla Beaulieu in Las Vegas. She was the daughter of an army officer Elvis had met while in Germany. She had been living at Elvis' mansion in Memphis for several years before they were married. In 1973, Bachman-Turner Overdrive released its first album. In 1979, Elton John became the first pop music star to perform in Israel. In 1988, Billy Joel escaped punishment for defamation charges brought against him by Jack Powers, whom he had called a "creep" during an interview with Playboy. The judge cited the First Amendment and dropped all charges. In 1989, police in California were called to a jewelry store after employees reported a suspicious person who turned out to be Michael Jackson. He had put on a disguise to go shopping. In 1991, cable music channels banned the video for the Garth Brooks song "The Thunder Rolls" because it depicted adultery, domestic violence and murder. Brooks refused to alter the video. In 1994, rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg made his TV debut, playing himself on the sit-com "Martin." In 1995, director Kevin Reynolds quit his job with the Kevin Costner film "Waterworld." In 1996, talk show host Kathie Lee Gifford broke into tears on "Live With Regis and Kathie Lee." She was defending herself over accusations that a line of clothing bearing her name used children working in sweatshops. In 1999, drummer Darrell Sweet of Nazareth died of a heart attack as the band arrived for a show in New Albany, Indiana. He was 51. In 2003, Metallica filmed the video for "St. Anger" at San Quentin State Prison in California.
Thought for Today: "He who is swift to believe is swift to forget." — Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, Polish-born scholar (1907-1972). Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. Copyright © 2009 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Springtime For Hitler: 30 April

By The Associated Press 1 hr 22 mins ago Today is Thursday, April 30, the 120th day of 2009. There are 245 days left in the year. AP. A/V. UPI Almanac. Today's Highlight in History: One hundred and fifty years ago, in April 30, 1859, the Charles Dickens novel "A Tale of Two Cities" was first published in serial form in the premiere issue of All the Year Round, a literary magazine owned by Dickens. (The novel was presented in 31 weekly installments.) On this date: Two hundred and twenty years ago, in 1789, George Washington took office in New York as the first president of the United States. In 1803, the United States purchased the Louisiana Territory from France for 60 million francs, the equivalent of about $15 million. In 1812, Louisiana became the 18th state of the Union. [That was quick! — Ed.] In 1904, the Louisiana Purchase Exposition opened in St. Louis. One hundred years ago, in 1909, Juliana, queen of the Netherlands from 1948 to 1980, was born in The Hague. Seventy years ago, in 1939, the New York World's Fair officially opened with a ceremony that included an address by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. In 1945, as Russian troops approached his Berlin bunker, Adolf Hitler committed suicide along with his wife of one day, Eva Braun.In 1948, the Charter of the Organization of American States was signed in Bogota, Colombia. In 1970, President Richard M. Nixon announced the U.S. was sending troops into Cambodia, an action that sparked widespread protest. In 1973, Nixon announced the resignations of top aides H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, along with Attorney General Richard G. Kleindienst and White House counsel John Dean. In 1975, The South Vietnamese capital of Saigon fell to Communist forces. Original AP story. [Ho! Ho! Ho Chi Minh! NLF is gonna win! And we did, too! — Ed.]Ten years ago: A bomb exploded at a gay pub in London, killing three people and injuring more than 70. (David Copeland, a white supremacist, was later convicted of murder for a series of bombings in London and sentenced to six life sentences.) The Rev. Jesse Jackson met with each of the three U.S. soldiers being held prisoner by Yugoslavia. Five years ago: Arabs expressed outrage at graphic photographs of naked Iraqi prisoners being humiliated by U.S. military police; President George W. Bush condemned the mistreatment of prisoners, saying "that's not the way we do things in America." On ABC's "Nightline," Ted Koppel read aloud the names of 721 U.S. servicemen and women killed in the Iraq war (the Sinclair Broadcast Group refused to air the program on seven ABC stations). Michael Jackson pleaded not-guilty in Santa Maria, Calif., to a grand jury indictment that expanded the child molestation case against him. (Jackson was acquitted at trial.) Former NBA star Jayson Williams was acquitted of aggravated manslaughter in the shotgun slaying of a limousine driver at his New Jersey mansion, but found guilty of trying to cover up the shooting. (Williams faces retrial on a reckless manslaughter count.) One year ago: The Federal Reserve cut interest rates for a seventh straight time, reducing the federal funds rate a quarter-point to 2 percent. An avalanche in Italy's northwestern Alps killed five French ski-mountaineers. Today's Birthdays: Actress Cloris Leachman is 83. Singer Willie Nelson is 76. Actor Gary Collins is 71. Actor Burt Young is 69. Singer Bobby Vee is 66. Actress Jill Clayburgh is 65. Movie director Allan Arkush is 61. Actor Perry King is 61. Singer Merrill Osmond is 56. Movie director Jane Campion is 55. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is 50. Actor Paul Gross is 50. FIU coach Isiah Thomas is 48. Country musician Robert Reynolds (The Mavericks) is 47. Actor Adrian Pasdar is 44. Rapper Turbo B (Snap) is 42. Rock musician Clark Vogeler is 40. R&B singer Chris "Choc" Dalyrimple (Soul For Real) is 38. Rock musician Chris Henderson (3 Doors Down) is 38. Country singer Carolyn Dawn Johnson is 38. Actress Lisa Dean Ryan is 37. R&B singer Akon is 36. R&B singer Jeff Timmons (98 Degrees) is 36. Actor Johnny Galecki is 34. Singer-musician Cole Deggs (Cole Deggs and the Lonesome) is 33. Also born on this date: Actress Eve Arden (in 1908), & the person on the left in the photo below (not telling.)Today in Entertainment History In 1945, "Arthur Godfrey Time" made its debut on the CBS radio network. In 1965, The Kinks began their first headlining tour of the UK. The Yardbirds were the opening act. In 1966, folk artist Richard Farina died in a motorcycle accident in California. He had just been at a party to promote his book "Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me." Farina was 29. In 1968, Blood, Sweat and Tears founder Al Kooper, along with saxophonist Randy Brecker, left the band after recording the group's first album, "Child is Father to the Man." In 1980, the Roger Daltrey film "McVicar" opened in London. Daltrey's hit from the soundtrack was called "Free Me." In 1983, blues singer and guitarist Muddy Waters died in suburban Chicago at the age of 68.In 1997, Ellen DeGeneres' character Ellen came out as gay on the sit-com "Ellen." [Bringing telebision & then the world to the very edge of the abyss, huh? — Ed.] Also in 1997, Frank Gifford, Kathie Lee Gifford's husband, was caught on videotape in a hotel embracing an ex-flight attendant. In 1999, Marilyn Manson canceled his concert near Denver in the wake of the shootings at Columbine High School.
Thought for Today: "Upper classes are a nation's past; the middle class is its future." — Ayn Rand, Russian-born author (1905-1982).  [Maybe someone should point this out to her wealth-worshipping followers. — Ed.] Copyright ©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reversed. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pardon The Complete Fucking Mess While We Remodel

Look, we're as tired of these excusesreasons our output has been negligible of late as you are. More tired, even; we have to type them (which is actual damn work, believe it or shove it) while all you moochers & losers just sit there in your comfy chairs reading.
So let us also tease the eff out of y'all w/ the possibility that by sometime this wknd., barring the sort of difficulties we've come to expect w/ existence, corporate entities, humanoids & the many other banes of our time here, we may be publishing some highly amusing & dated (part of the amusement) video & audio footage, above & beyond the usual Full-Service Bloggery™ available here all day & all night & all afternoon.
And if all works out, we'll be panning for those few nuggets of gold from the river of Internet shit much faster. There's a lot of crud to dig through, & we really have to pick up the pace before we're covered in it. Fingers crossed.

Econo-Version Of History

By The Associated Press The Associated Press Wed Apr 29, 12:01 am ET Today is Wednesday, April 29, the 119th day of 2009. There are 246 days left in the year. UPI. Today's Highlight in History: On April 29, 1945, during World War II, American soldiers liberated the Dachau concentration camp; the same day, Adolf Hitler married Eva Braun and designated Adm. Karl Doenitz president. On this date: In 1429, Joan of Arc entered the besieged city of Orleans to lead a French victory over the English. In 1798, Joseph Haydn's oratorio "The Creation" was rehearsed in Vienna, Austria, before an invited audience. In 1861, Maryland's House of Delegates voted against seceding from the Union. In 1901, Japanese Emperor Hirohito was born in Tokyo. In 1916, the Easter Rising in Dublin collapsed as Irish nationalists surrendered to British authorities. In 1946, 28 former Japanese officials went on trial in Tokyo as war criminals; seven ended up being sentenced to death. In 1968, the counterculture musical "Hair" opened on Broadway following limited engagements off-Broadway. In 1974, President Richard M. Nixon announced he was releasing edited transcripts of some secretly made White House tape recordings related to Watergate. In 1983, Harold Washington was sworn in as the first black mayor of Chicago. In 1992, deadly rioting erupted in Los Angeles after a jury in Simi Valley, Calif., acquitted four Los Angeles police officers of almost all state charges in the videotaped beating of Rodney King. Ten years ago: Yugoslavia filed World Court cases against 10 alliance members, including the United States, claiming their bombing campaign breached international law. (The World Court ended up rejecting Yugoslavia's request for an immediate cease-fire.) The Rev. Jesse Jackson arrived in Belgrade on a mission to win freedom for three American POWs held by Yugoslavia. Five years ago: President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney met behind closed doors with the Sept. 11th commission. A national monument to the 16 million U.S. men and women who'd served during World War II opened to the public in Washington, D.C. Internet search engine leader Google Inc. filed its long-awaited IPO plans. One year ago: Democrat Barack Obama angrily denounced his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, for what he termed "divisive and destructive" remarks on race. Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann, the discoverer of LSD, died in Burg im Leimental, Switzerland, at 102. Today's Birthdays: Actress Celeste Holm is 92. R&B singer Carl Gardner (The Coasters) is 81. Poet Rod McKuen is 76. Actor Keith Baxter is 76. Bluesman Otis Rush is 75. Conductor Zubin Mehta is 73. Pop singer Bob Miranda (The Happenings) is 67. Country singer Duane Allen (The Oak Ridge Boys) is 66. Singer Tommy James is 62. Movie director Phillip Noyce is 59. Country musician Wayne Secrest (Confederate Railroad) is 59. Comedian Jerry Seinfeld is 55. Actor Leslie Jordan is 54. Actress Kate Mulgrew is 54. Actor Daniel Day-Lewis is 52. Actress Michelle Pfeiffer is 51. Actress Eve Plumb is 51. Rock musician Phil King is 49. Country singer Stephanie Bentley is 46. Singer Carnie Wilson (Wilson Phillips) is 41. Actress Uma Thurman is 39. Tennis player Andre Agassi is 39. Rapper Master P is 39. Country singer James Bonamy is 37. Gospel/R&B singer Erica Campbell (Mary Mary) is 37. Rock musician Mike Hogan (The Cranberries) is 36. Actor Tyler Labine is 31. Chicago Bears defensive tackle Tommie Harris is 26. Actor Zane Carney is 24. Today in Entertainment History In 1962, Jerry Lee Lewis returned to performing in Britain -- and was a success. News that he married his 13-year-old cousin caused a scandal four years before, and he was hounded out of the country. In 1967, Aretha Franklin released the single "Respect." In 1970, George Harrison announced plans to begin recording his first solo project following the breakup of The Beatles. At the time, he said the band eventually would reunite. In 1976, security guards removed Bruce Springsteen from the grounds of Graceland. Springsteen was in Memphis on tour at the time and wanted to visit Elvis. In 1990, 13 people were hospitalized after thousands of fans tried to get into a sold-out New Kids On the Block concert in Brighton, England. In 1992, singer Paula Abdul and actor Emilio Estevez were married in a judge's chambers in Santa Monica, California. They have since split up. In 1993, Smashing Pumpkins released their "Siamese Dream" album. Thought for Today: "Human beings are perhaps never more frightening than when they are convinced beyond doubt that they are right." — Sir Laurens van der Post, South African author (1906-1996). Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Liz & Dick In "Boffo Performance"

Just a quick peep (we've stuff to do before 1800 tomorrow) at what The NYT has purchased to replace Bill Kristol.  (Is this Douthat's first appearance there?) 
Watching Dick Cheney defend the Bush administration’s interrogation policies, it’s been hard to escape the impression that both the Republican Party and the country would be better off today if Cheney, rather than John McCain, had been a candidate for president in 2008.
Well, we might have been, because the Goofy Old Party wouldn't have merely suffered a defeat at the polls, it would have been necessary to invent a new word to describe the depth & breadth of the loss.  We can't figure why the Times bothered to change from Kristol (we suppose Douthat works cheaper) though. Both seem to want to establish a Cheney dynasty. Sez Bill:

Cheney in 2012!

Of course, everyone’s first choice for president in 2012 is Dick Cheney. But Liz Cheney’s boffo performance yesterday in the lefties’ den, MSNBC, defending sensible interrogation policies in the war on terror, surely puts her in contention for the runner-up position.

And torture too. Oooh, tingly feeling down the leg there, Bill? Let's not forget Douthat, who seems to be as wrong/wilfully ignorant as Kristol.

George W. Bush seems happy to be back in civilian life, but Cheney has taken the fight to the Obama White House like a man who wouldn’t have minded campaigning for a third Bush-Cheney term.
Ross, son, the presidency, no matter how you want it to be occupied by a knight in shining armor or whatever pre-enlightenment fantasy you practice, is a civilian office. There's supposed to be civilian control of the military in This Great Nation of Ours™.
Of course it only gets worse, even when given a cursory scan. Will we look at it later? Doubtful. Breath-holding optional.

DeGaulle Resigns, We're Resigned Too

By The Associated Press 1 hr 50 mins ago Today is Tuesday, April 28, the 118th day of 2009. There are 247 days left in the year. AP, UPI Almanac, AP's A/V. Today's Highlight in History: On April 28, 1789, there was a mutiny on HMS Bounty as the crew of the British ship set Capt. William Bligh and 18 sailors adrift in a launch in the South Pacific. (Bligh and most of the men with him managed to reach Timor in 47 days.) On this date: In 1758, the fifth president of the United States, James Monroe, was born in Westmoreland County, Va. In 1788, Maryland became the seventh state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. In 1918, Gavrilo Princip, the assassin of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and the archduke's wife, Sophie, died in prison of tuberculosis. In 1945, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and his mistress, Clara Petacci, were executed by Italian partisans as they attempted to flee the country. In 1952, war with Japan officially ended as a treaty signed in San Francisco the year before took effect. In 1958, the United States conducted the first of 35 nuclear test explosions in the Pacific Proving Ground as part of Operation Hardtack I. Vice President Richard Nixon and his wife, Pat, began a goodwill tour of Latin America that was marred by hostile mobs in Lima, Peru, and Caracas, Venezuela. In 1967, heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali refused to be inducted into the Army,the same day Gen. William C. Westmoreland told Congress the U.S. "would prevail in Vietnam." [See "In 1975," below. — Ed.] In 1969, French President Charles de Gaulle resigned. (He was succeeded by Georges Pompidou.) In 1975, the last U.S. civilians were evacuated from South Vietnam as North Vietnamese forces tightened their noose around Saigon. [See "In 1967," above. — Ed.] In 1988, a flight attendant was killed and more than 60 people injured when part of the roof of an Aloha Airlines Boeing 737 tore off during a flight from Hilo to Honolulu. In 1996, a man armed with a semiautomatic rifle opened fire on tourists on the Australian island of Tasmania, killing 35 people; Martin Bryant was captured by police after a 12-hour standoff at a guest cottage. (Bryant is serving a life sentence.) Ten years ago: In a sharp repudiation of President Bill Clinton's policies, the House rejected, on a tie vote of 213-213, a measure expressing support for NATO's five-week-old air campaign against Yugoslavia; the House also voted 249-180 to limit the president's authority to use ground forces in Yugoslavia. Actor Rory Calhoun died in Burbank, Calif., at 76. Five years ago: First photos of the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal were shown on CBS' "60 Minutes II." A Spanish judge indicted Amer Azizi, a Moroccan fugitive, on charges of helping to plan the Sept. 11th hijackings. The U.N. Security Council put terrorists, black marketeers and crooked scientists on notice that they faced punishment for trafficking in weapons of mass destruction. Cable giant Comcast Corp. dropped its two-month-old unsolicited bid for The Walt Disney Co. One year ago: The first tax rebates were direct-deposited into bank accounts from a $168 billion stimulus package. In a defiant appearance at the National Press Club in Washington, Democrat Barack Obama's longtime pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, said criticism surrounding his fiery sermons was an attack on black churches, and he rejected those who'd labeled him unpatriotic. Today's Birthdays: Author Harper Lee is 83. Former Secretary of State James A. Baker III is 79. Actress-singer Ann-Margret is 68. Actress Marcia Strassman is 61.Actor Paul Guilfoyle ("CSI") is 60. "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno is 59. Rock musician Chuck Leavell is 57. Actress Mary McDonnell is 56. Rock singer-musician Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth) is 56.Rapper Too Short is 43. Actress Simbi Khali is 38. Actress Bridget Moynahan is 38. Actor Chris Young is 38. Rapper Big Gipp is 36. Actor Jorge Garcia is 36.Actress Elisabeth Rohm is 36. Actress Penelope Cruz is 35. Football player Jamal Williams is 33. Actor Nate Richert is 31. Actress Jessica Alba is 28. Actress Aleisha Allen is 18. Today in Entertainment History  In 1963, music business publicist Andrew Oldham saw the Rolling Stones perform. The next day, the band members signed a contract that made Oldham their manager. Their first official recording session was held about two weeks later. In 1968, the rock musical "Hair" opened on Broadway. It had been playing off-Broadway for several months. "Hair" ran for 1,729 performances. In 1978, Cheap Trick performed a concert in Tokyo's Budokan Hall that was recorded for a live album called "Cheap Trick at Budokan." In 1980, Tommy Caldwell of the Marshall Tucker Band died in Spartanburg, South Carolina, of injuries he had suffered in a car crash. He was 30. In 1989, Jon Bon Jovi married his high school sweetheart, Dorothea Hurley, at the Graceland wedding chapel in Las Vegas. In 1991, musician Bonnie Raitt married actor Michael O'Keefe. In 1990, the musical "A Chorus Line" closed after 6,137 performances on Broadway. It had opened in 1975. Many of the original cast members came on stage after the finale. In 1997, Maori leaders in New Zealand protested when the Spice Girls performed a traditional male war dance. The Spice Girls said they had learned it from two rugby players. In 1999, The Verve announced their breakup.
Thought for Today: "The world does not require so much to be informed as reminded." — Hannah More, English religious writer (1745-1833). Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
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Monday, April 27, 2009

"In His Image"

From a two-pager on the "brewing" (Hee hee. Get it?) rebellion on the right, some of the most irksome & inflammatory passages.
Ralph Reed, the longtime Christian conservative activist and former chair of the Georgia GOP, predicted that opposition to same-sex marriage would become, like abortion, a litmus test, if a lower-profile one. "There used to be muscular and vocal disagreement in the party on our pro-life plank," he recalled. "That has largely been resolved. Nobody raises the issue of changing the pro-life plank."
In English: It's official. The loonies are in full control of the asylum. It can no longer be denied that the GOP is a party of & for Christians, & very specific Christians at that.
Meanwhile, the hottest new conservative outfit is the National Republican Trust PAC, which raised a stunning $6 million in the waning days of the 2008 contest from millions of small donors who helped fund a slashing television advertisement attacking Obama for his ties to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. It’s taken a similar approach to recent congressional races. Rick Wilson, a consultant to the group, explained the outlook of “real Republicans” when it comes to Obama. “They think this guy has grabbed the reins of power and that he is racing as fast as he can first off to reshape the economy and the culture in his image – they are mortified at that and they are terrified of it.”
"In his image?" What, pray tell, does that mean? Scared that "real Republicans" will somehow be turned into mulattoes? Or is it not some sort of racism but an anti-Christ dog-whistle for the mortified, terrified base?
The bigger point of the two "pages" is that although 
consensus is emerging among GOP elites that the party needs to move away from discordant social issues [...] outside Washington, the reality is very different. Rank-and-file Republicans remain, by all indications, staunchly conservative, and they appear to have no desire to moderate their views. GOP activists and operatives say they hear intense anger at the White House and at the party’s own leaders on familiar issues – taxes, homosexuality, and immigration. Within the party, conservative groups have grown stronger absent the emergence of any organized moderate faction.
Popcorn, hell. Call out for pizza, this is going to be a long one.

Consumer Products Round-Up®

Tolerable (Should not cause you to scream meaningless intensifiers at store employees.):
Trader Joe's® Chicken Tikka Marsala with Basmati Rice. Pretty yummy, & "No Gluten Ingredients Used." Whatever that means. Patchouli-drenched cretins.
From the 99.99¢ only® store (Prices are up all over.): Mrs. Freshley's® Creme Filled Cookies. Specifically, the Oatmeal Cremes. The cookies aren't that great, really (Not quite as good as Little Debbie's®, but whaddaya expect?) but the "100% Recycled Paperboard" box is an effective cockroach squashing device.

Semi-Stripped-Down Edition Of History's Folly

By The Associated Press 2 hrs 45 mins ago Today is Monday, April 27, the 117th day of 2009. There are 248 days left in the year. AP. A/V. UPI Almanac. Today's Highlight in History: Five hundred years ago, on April 27, 1509, Pope Julius II placed the Republic of Venice under an interdict following its refusal to give up lands claimed by the Papal States. (The pope lifted the sanction the following year.) On this date: In 1521, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan was killed by natives in the Philippines. In 1570, Pope Pius V excommunicated Queen Elizabeth I. In 1805, during the First Barbary War, an U.S.-led force of Marines and mercenaries captured the city of Derna, on the shores of Tripoli, Libya. In 1822, the 18th president of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant, was born in Point Pleasant, Ohio. In 1865, the steamer Sultana exploded on the Mississippi River near Memphis, Tenn., killing more than 1,400 people, mostly freed Union prisoners of war. In 1932, American poet Hart Crane, 32, drowned after jumping from a steamer into the Gulf of Mexico while en route to New York. In 1965, broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow died in Pawling, N.Y., two days after turning 57. In 1967, Expo '67 was officially opened in Montreal by Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson. In 1973, acting FBI Director L. Patrick Gray resigned after it was revealed that he had handed over bureau files on the Watergate burglary to the Nixon White House. In 1978, convicted Watergate defendant John D. Ehrlichman was released from an Arizona prison after serving 18 months. Fifty-one construction workers plunged to their deaths when a scaffold inside a cooling tower at the Pleasants Power Station site in West Virginia fell 168 feet to the ground. Ten years ago: A week after the Columbine High School massacre, President Bill Clinton called for new gun control measures, saying, "People's lives are at stake here." Jazz trumpeter Al Hirt died in New Orleans at 76. Five years ago: Iraqi police moved into the streets of the besieged city of Fallujah following hours of pounding by U.S. warplanes and artillery on Sunni insurgents. A ruptured pipeline began spilling 123,774 gallons of diesel fuel into Suisun Bay, east of San Francisco. Republican Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania beat back a tough primary threat, barely defeating conservative Congressman Pat Toomey. One year ago: Afghan President Hamid Karzai escaped an attempt on his life during a ceremony in Kabul marking Afghanistan's victory over Soviet occupation in the 1980s; three other people were killed in the shooting. Ashley Force, 25, became the first woman to win a national Funny Car race. She beat her father, drag-racing icon John Force, in the final round of the 28th annual Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals in Commerce, Ga. Today's Birthdays: Actor Jack Klugman is 87. Actress Anouk Aimee is 77.Announcer Casey Kasem is 77. Actress Judy Carne is 70. R&B singer Cuba Gooding Sr. is 65. Singer Ann Peebles is 62. Rock singer Kate Pierson (The B-52's) is 61. R&B singer Herbie Murrell (The Stylistics) is 60. Actor Douglas Sheehan is 60. Rock musician Ace Frehley is 58. Pop singer Sheena Easton is 50. Actor James Le Gros is 47. Rock musician Rob Squires (Big Head Todd and the Monsters) is 44. Singer Mica Paris is 40. Actress Sally Hawkins is 33. Today in Entertainment History Associated Press - April 27, 2009 3:13 AM ET In 1964, John Lennon's book, "In His Own Write," was published in the U.S. In 1968, Simon and Garfunkel released the single "Mrs. Robinson." In 1981, Ringo Starr and actress Barbara Bach got married. Paul McCartney and George Harrison attended the ceremony. In 1990, David Bowie began the U.S. leg of his "Sound and Vision" world tour. He said the tour would mark the last time he performed his old hits. Singer Axl Rose of Guns N' Roses married Erin Everly, Don Everly's daughter. The marriage lasted 27 days. In 1999, trumpeter Al Hirt died of liver failure at his home in New Orleans. He was 76. Thought for Today: "Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences. No one can eliminate prejudices — just recognize them." — Edward R. Murrow, American broadcast journalist (1908-1965). Copyright ©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reversed. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Wild Goose Chase To Hell & Back (Audie Murphy Stylee) Twice

Words escape us, but the fury mounts. Wasted a good portion of Saturday afternoon & evening riding from near downtown Los Angeles to the unspeakable hell of Burbank (not even the "beautiful downtown" consumerist part, the grim industrial zone near the Bob Hope Airport) for what turned out to be no reason at all, & then did it again. 
Obviously no sane or rational humanoid would do such a thing (twice) for no reason, & even if we don't qualify as "sane," we are rational to the point of pessimism. When the expedition to the wasteland beyond the hills started, we were fully expecting to pick up (& stuff into the back of a long-time friend & associate's real VW bug) one of those 40" diagonal, high-definition, digital telebision sets, pre-ordered on-line. (Yes, you can put a 50x39x8 box in a 40-yr. old bug, but the rear seat & front passenger seat have to go, & the box is literally jammed against the door. Subtext: Your reporter was in the front passenger space & on the floorboards from hell & back, unable to see anything [seriously cuts into passenger side imaginary brake application] w/ 50 lbs. of tee vee pushing us toward the glove box.)
Traffic fine, we arrive at Fry's Electronics, park, and are, amazingly in front of a register immediately. Those fortunate enough never to have set foot in one of these temples of commodity fetishism will not know that the sheep, holding their assembled-by-the-slave-laborers-of-the-Greater-East-Asia-Co-Prosperity Sphere gadgets, are herded to a final gauntlet of consumption, an eighty-ft. long, single-file line, where they are surrounded on both sides not by the whirling blades of the abattoir, but a collection of cheesy, loud & brightly colored gimcracks & gewgaws ("Double Disco Balls") as well as gums & candies so the whiny brats of Consumer Nation can annoy their P. U.s until they add to the Fry's profit margin. Fortunately, our fellow 55-yr. old brat was as amazed as we were by the lack of a line, & neither of us had time to whine about anything.
An easy cruise back to civilization (You're know you're in trouble when your idea of civilization is the downtown L. A. skyline seen from the Hollywood Freeway, but that's another story.) another violation of the laws of probability in finding a parking space almost in front of the editorial offices (A space in the same blk. was the miracle. The fact it was three doors from the gate, on the same side of the street is, in this ZIP Code, mere gravy.) & we are inside our tenement w/ the boob tube. (Is "boob tube" about to go the way of "dialing" a 'phone?)
There we are, about to link to the new high-tech digital world, blah, blah. The day's events having gone so well, friend & associate Mikalino is wondering what's going to go wrong. We found out soon enough, opening the box to discover a telebision set, but w/o power cord, remote control, operating manual, or warranty card, and (insult to injury) only two of the four screws needed to attach the pedestal to the set. Two 'phone calls, & the only recourse is a return to hell.
Another twenty-minute ride back to the store (not actually uncomfortable, despite our "subtext" above) where we are informed that we had received the last one they had in stock. That is, we got the one that had been opened & stripped of everything, which they decided not to unload on anyone until all the others were gone. Nice, huh? Probably a floor model that had been running continually for a yr. or so. No other explanation. They were looking to rook us w/ a used set, but weren't even competent enough to put the accessories back in the box. Why the economy sucks: You are a species of cretinous pigs who can't even do a con job right. 
We remind all that these horrors occurred at Fry's Electronics. Don't waste your precious time & money patronizing these unspeakable pirates. You've been amply warned.
As a patriotic citizen, we were only trying our best to get the economy moving, both by consuming & by slipping our under-employed friend & associate gas & time money for the whole pointless event from our fabulous gov't. grant that President Obama personally wires into the Just Another Blog™ acc't. each mo. Alas, we were unable to show this "teabagging" illiterate & his ilk what for.No honking, but we did get off a diatribe to the other suckers in the customer service zone suggesting that the assholes of Fry's Electronics were wasting their fucking time & were only looking to rip them off. This was delivered on the way out the door, & we were amused to note that the five or six ass wipes in their white shirts & black ties ("Management," not Mormon missionaries, or are they? Who owns Fry's, anyway? Why do they make their employees dress like that?) who'd been standing around doing nothing as the line of people waiting to return crap lengthened, take note of our righteous anger & begin to head toward us. Too fast for you, corporate scum!!
(We were going to make arson threats — we're too cheap, lazy & ignorant for bomb-building — but as our recent encounters w/ probability have indicated, the place would probably burn down as soon as we published our impotent threats, whether from Fry's' incompetence or because another indignant customer has taken justice into his or her hands, & we'd get spotted on the web as suspect numero uno. So please do not take this as even the slightest suggestion that we would dump can after can of gas or another flammable all around the perimeter of Fry's Electronics, casually flick the lit butt of one of our Camel straights into the liquid pooled around the building & run like hell, pausing only to enjoy our handiwork adding light to the already hellish skies of Burbank. Don't even imagine that for one minute, Burbank Arson Squad.)
On top of all this agony, we needed a set to be in place in the editorial offices tomorrow, as the cable co. contractor was due, to install the cable & broadband. It'll be Friday now before we are fully connected to the pseudo-world, & that's assuming nothing else goes wrong, & we can get hold of a telebision by then. And at this stage, we're sitting here w/ fingers crossed & worry beads rattling.
Ah well, back to the world of on-line telebision shopping. Via dial-up. Shoot us now. Quickly.

To Worry, Or Not To Worry?

Poorly scanned representation of an image of President Leslie Lynch King, Jr.Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr. getting a swine flu shot in 1976.Breaking News Alert The New York Times Sunday, April 26, 2009 -- 1:47 PM ET ----- Swine Flu Prompts U.S. to Declare Public Health Emergency American health officials Sunday declared a public health emergency, saying they had confirmed 20 cases of the swine flu in the United States & expected to see more as investigators fan out to track down the path of the outbreak. Officials said that most of the cases had been mild and urged Americans not to panic. The emergency declaration frees resources for diagnosing or preventing additional cases, & releases money for more antiviral drugs. Read More [Or don't. — Ed.]: And breaking news from 30 yrs. ago (Relevant today? We link, YOU decide. Just like FOX News.)

Still Kicking

Pardon the recent absence of anything of much substance. (Yes, we laugh too.) Rationale if not excuse coming soon. 
On the other hand, we could easily have typed or edited more of the eventual longish rant in the time it took to find this picture.