Monday, May 11, 2009

Health Care Talking Points

Rep. Nutcase of Minnesota did her bit to keep the discussion on the wrong page. (Two items down.) Here are some more droolers reciting their lines. (Just after two minutes in.)
Right. There'll be a "Congressional Committee" between patients & their doctors. Who elects these fucking morons?

Ms. Kathryn Jean Lopez On Dinner

Ugh. Courtesy of TNR, we are led to seriously disturbed religio-fascist & professional virgin K. Jean Lopez, of what is often fondly referred to as "America's Shittiest Website™," & her latest effort to disconnect herself & all the other sad Catholic spinsters in her fan-base from anything resembling reality.
She starts w/ "Laughter, Good or Bad?" & The Mayor of 9/11 appearing on SNL. 
We needed to laugh. Heaven knows, Giuliani must have needed it as much as anyone.
We'll bet. Between locating NYC's Emergency Operations Center at Ground Zero, & not funding proper communications equipment for the police & firefighters (There's blood on your hands, Rudy, & it won't wash off!) he probably did need a laugh.  The trivial aside, K-Lo starts toward denial.
We are at war. We are in a war not of our choosing. And the responsibility to protect and defend America weighed heavily on our elected leaders each day. 
Pardon us, Ms. Lopez, that little war in Iraq is completely & absolutely of our (if "our" means Dick Cheney's) choosing.
It was unpresidential when Bush did that (remember looking for weapons of mass destruction at the Radio and TV Correspondents’ Dinner?)
Mocking your own justification for a war that resulted in the murders of hundreds of thousands is exactly the same as saying your children are "grounded" for taking Air Force One on a joyride.
Somehow Dick Cheney, who continues to stand athwart unseriousness yelling “Stop,” is the enemy. Somehow Rush Limbaugh, conservative stalwart, the embodiment of capitalist success, a man who has struggled with adversity with an inspiring humility, is someone we’re to disdain so much as to laugh at the prospect of his kidneys’ failing.
The TNR writer noted "inspiring humility," as we did on first reading it. That is funny. Funny because it's not true.
More good Catholic writing:
Somehow we are supposed to be pining for one of the nastiest men on television to do something that everyone laughing at the joke presumably considers torture to Sean Hannity, who, agree with him or not, is the happiest of warriors compared with Keith Olbermann.
That is incomprehensible. More so in context, as the last two blockquotes compose one paragraph in Lopez World. Who's "one of the nastiest men on television?" It can't be Limbaugh, his tee vee show didn't last too long. She may mean Olbermann, who suddenly appears from nowhere at the end of the paragraph. And Hannity being "the happiest of warriors" compared to K. O.? In other words, everything Hannity says is bullshit, & he knows it. He's "happy" because he has a big scam going. Not a "warrior" of any kind. If Olbermann isn't a "happy warrior," it may be because he's not running a Hannity-style scam, but is actually concerned about the America that Ms. Lopez imagines to be better than dirty, un-happy hippies.
But that dinner Saturday night —in the jokes the president of the United States of America was willing to make and to laugh at — was beneath America.
Yeah, sure. Run the residents off, grab people from another continent to be chattel slaves, & so on. Didn't stop us for 30 seconds. Nothing is beneath this shithole of ignoramuses & hypocrites. Nothing.
Bonus: Dana Milbank of the WaPo & his readers make fun of "Rush Limbaugh, conservative stalwart, the embodiment of capitalist success, a man who has struggled with adversity with an inspiring humility."

Special Interests

Below: Representative Bachmann, w/ James Dobson. (Guilt by association.) Michele, doesn't it make the Infant Jeezis cry when you change your hair-color from the color that Gawd decided you should have?Rep. Michele Bachmann (Madwoman - Minnesota) weighs in at Townhall.com on people being able to obtain & afford medical care. Note that we typed that she "weighs in" on the subject. Really, she just grabs a bunch of crap from the Wall Street Journal & quotes it. (We didn't expect her to come up w/ too many ideas of her own.) And may we just add: YOU STUPID FUCKING BITCH!!!
Republicans want to make quality healthcare coverage affordable and accessible for every American, and we want people to retain the ability to make choices and choose options that fit their needs. A government takeover will raise taxes, ration care, and let government bureaucrats in Washington make decisions that should be made by families and their doctors. We cannot allow politicians and special interests to stand between patients and the care they need.
Where does this idea that private, for profit corporate entities will not ration or curtail your health care come from? What decisions are being made by families (What, individuals don't get health care? Health decisions should be made by one's family, who want to inherit one's vast fortune, for example?) & their doctors w/o the input of insurance co. bureaucrats & the "special interests" of profit? Just what are these mysterious "special interests" that stand between patients & care? 
We await an answer from the madwoman. C'mon, crazy, you can do it. 

11 May:

By The Associated Press 2 hrs 35 mins ago Today is Monday, May 11, the 131st day of 2009. There are 234 days left in the year. AP. A/V. UPI Almanac. Today's Highlight in History: On May 11, 1946, the first CARE packages arrived in Europe, at Le Havre, France. On this date: In 1502, Christopher Columbus left Cadiz, Spain, on his fourth and final trip to the Western Hemisphere. In 1647, Peter Stuyvesant arrived in New Amsterdam to become governor of New Netherland. In 1858, Minnesota became the 32nd state of the Union. In 1904, artist Salvador Dali was born in Figueras, Spain. In 1910, Glacier National Park in Montana was established. In 1944, Allied forces launched a major offensive against German lines in Italy. In 1949, Siam changed its name back to Thailand. In 1973, charges against Daniel Ellsberg for his role in the "Pentagon Papers" case were dismissed by Judge William M. Byrne, who cited government misconduct. In 1981, legendary reggae artist Bob Marley died in a Miami hospital at age 36. In 1985, 56 people died when a flash fire swept a jam-packed soccer stadium in Bradford, England. In 1996, an Atlanta-bound ValuJet DC-9 caught fire shortly after takeoff from Miami and crashed into the Florida Everglades, killing all 110 people on board. Ten years ago: Stung by an espionage scandal, Energy Secretary Bill Richardson said he would halt the Clinton administration's aggressive declassification of Cold War-era nuclear documents. In Beijing, protests outside the U.S. Embassy over NATO's bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade eased after state-run television aired U.S. and NATO apologies for the attack. Five years ago: A video on an al-Qaida-linked Web site showed the beheading of businessman Nick Berg, an American who'd been kidnapped in Iraq. Six Israeli soldiers were killed when their armored personnel carrier was blown up by Palestinian militants in Gaza City. Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant pleaded not guilty in a Colorado court to a rape charge. (Prosecutors later dropped the case.) One year ago: Serbia's pro-Western president, Boris Tadic, declared victory in parliamentary elections — a stunning upset over ultranationalists. A cease-fire ended weeks of bloody fighting in Baghdad's Sadr City district. Parvati Shallow was the last woman standing on CBS' "Survivor: Micronesia — Fans vs. Favorites." (Shallow had previously come in sixth place on "Survivor: Cook Islands.") Today's Birthdays: Comedian Mort Sahl is 82. Rock singer Eric Burdon (The Animals; War) is 68. Actress Shohreh Aghdashloo is 57. Actress Frances Fisher is 57. Actor Boyd Gaines is 56. Country musician Mark Herndon (Alabama) is 54. Actress Martha Quinn is 50. Country singer-musician Tim Raybon (The Raybon Brothers) is 46. Actor Jeffrey Donovan is 41. Country musician Keith West (Heartland) is 41. Actor Coby Bell is 34. Cellist Perttu Kivilaakso is 31. Today In Entertainment History -- In 1970, the three-record "Woodstock" soundtrack was released. It went gold within two weeks. In 1972, John Lennon said on "The Dick Cavett Show" that he thought he had been followed and had had his phone tapped the past few months. In 1979, Peaches and Herb received a platinum record for "Reunited." In 1981, musician Bob Marley died in a Miami hospital of a brain tumor at the age of 36. The previous fall, he had collapsed on stage. In 1990, singer Richie Valens was posthumously awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1991, Pearl Jam first started recording their debut album, "Ten." In 1996, a 17-year-old fan was crushed to death at a Smashing Pumpkins concert in Dublin. In 2002, Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton's home on Cape Cod caught fire and was burned to the ground. No one was hurt. Thought for Today: "Ability hits the mark where presumption overshoots and diffidence falls short." — Golda Meir, Israeli prime minister (1898-1978). 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, May 10, 2009

Legalistic Morons

Mentioned here some three wks. ago, the move to dissolve these United Snakes (California doesn't need any of you other states, so we're still formulating the Just Another Blog™ editorial policy on the subject.) is examined in more detail than we'd ever care to go into by an Ed Kilgore at THE DEMOCRATIC strategist. (Not much funny going on when the site has a name like that.)
Some funny (pathetic-funny, not laugh-funny) though, as Kilgore explains Texas Gov. Perry.
In other words, Rick Perry doesn't like "liberal" legislation, and now that his party is no longer in power in Washington, he's asserting the right to ignore any laws that don't comport with his own view of "the letter and spirit of the U.S. Constitution" or what's "oppressive" or "undue."
Oddly enough, we have that very same attitude about some laws ourself. We aren't sending any letters to Congreƒs though. Some people know when to keep their traps shut. 
Not, however, all those linked in this New Yorker blog, wherein senior NY'er editor Hertzberg admits to having been derelict in his duties.
I should have looked harder. I’m usually a careful reader of Talking Points Memo, but I had somehow missed Brian Beutler’s April 16th post
Guess so. It seems (from the date on our item) that's where we copped it. Mr. Elitist New Yorker is scooped by a nimrod in a one-room ap't. who was on a dial-up connection at the time. The Persecution and Assassination of the Old Media as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of America Under the Direction of M. Bouffant, one might say.
We're just going to read all the links in the items to which we linked, rather than regurgitate whatever's there here. (Thank you. Our pleasure not to exert ourself.) We're expecting all of it to be hee-larious, filled w/ Birchers  ("Birchers?" the reader may ask. Yes. The right-wing extremists are going back forty yrs., to the John Birch Society well, as the Reagan well has run dry when faced w/ socialist messiah Obama.)  & White Citizens Councils.

10 May: Rock Rock Rock & Roll (And "Pep Pills")

By The Associated Press 1 hr 29 mins ago Today is Sunday, May 10, the 130th day of 2009. There are 235 days left in the year. This is Mother's Day. [Only half the word? — Ed.] AP. A/V. UPI Almanac. Today's Highlight in History: One hundred forty years ago, in 1869, a golden spike was driven in Promontory, Utah, marking the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in the United States.On this date: Two hundred thirty-five years ago, in 1774, Louis XVI acceded to the throne of France. In 1775, Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys, along with Col. Benedict Arnold, captured the British-held fortress at Ticonderoga, N.Y. In 1865, Union forces captured Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Irwinville, Ga. In 1908, the first Mother's Day observance in the United States, inspired by Anna Jarvis, took place during church services in Grafton, W.Va., and Philadelphia. In 1924, J. Edgar Hoover was given the job of FBI director. In 1933, the Nazis staged massive public book burnings in Germany.In 1940, during World War II, German forces began invading the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium and France. That same day, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain resigned, and Winston Churchill formed a new government. In 1941, Adolf Hitler's deputy, Rudolf Hess, parachuted into Scotland on what he claimed was a peace mission. In 1968, preliminary Vietnam peace talks began in Paris. In 1978, Britain's Princess Margaret and the Earl of Snowdon announced they were divorcing after 18 years of marriage. In 1984, the International Court of Justice said the United States should halt any actions to blockade Nicaragua's ports (the U.S. had already said it would not recognize World Court jurisdiction on this issue). Ten years ago: China broke off talks on arms control with the United States, and allowed demonstrators to hurl stones at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing for a third day to protest NATO's bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Yugoslavia. A military jury at Camp Lejeune, N.C., sentenced Capt. Richard Ashby, a Marine pilot whose jet had clipped an Italian gondola cable, sending 20 people plunging to their deaths, to six months in prison and dismissed him from the corps for helping destroy a videotape made during the flight. (Ashby had been acquitted earlier of manslaughter.) Cartoonist, playwright and songwriter Shel Silverstein was found dead in his Key West, Fla., apartment; he was 66. Five years ago: President George W. Bush reacted with "deep disgust and disbelief" during a Pentagon visit as he examined new photos and video clips of American soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners. Citigroup agreed to pay $2.65 billion to settle a lawsuit brought by WorldCom investors who'd lost billions when the company went bankrupt in an accounting scandal. One year ago: Barack Obama erased Hillary Rodham Clinton's once-imposing lead among superdelegates as he added endorsements from Utah, Ohio and the Virgin Islands. A tornado in Picher, Okla., killed seven people. Jenna Bush married Henry Hager, the son of a Virginia Republican party official, at the Bush family ranch in Crawford, Texas. Today's Birthdays: Sportscaster Pat Summerall is 79. Author Barbara Taylor Bradford is 76. R&B singer Henry Fambrough (The Spinners) is 71. TV-radio personality Gary Owens is 70. Actor David Clennon is 66. Writer-producer-director Jim Abrahams is 65. Singer Donovan is 63. Singer Dave Mason is 63. R&B singer Ron Banks (The Dramatics) is 58. Actor Bruce Penhall is 52. Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) is 51. Actress Victoria Rowell is 50.Rock singer Bono (U2) is 49. Rock musician Danny Carey (Tool) is 48. Playwright Suzan-Lori Parks is 46. Model Linda Evangelista is 44. Rapper Young MC is 42. Actor Erik Palladino is 41. Rock singer Richard Patrick (Filter) is 41. Country musician David Wallace (Cole Deggs and the Lonesome) is 37. Race car driver Helio Castroneves is 34. Rock musician Jesse Vest is 32. Actor Kenan Thompson is 31. Today In Entertainment History -- In 1963, the Rolling Stones began their first recording session in London for Decca Records. The band recorded the Chuck Berry song "Come On" and Willie Dixon's "I Want To Be Loved." In 1967, Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones was formally charged with illegal possession of pep pills, while fellow Stone Keith Richards was charged with allowing pot to be smoked on his premises. As the case was going to court, police arrested another Stone, Brian Jones, at his London apartment and charged him with drug possession. Forty years ago, in 1969, The Turtles played at the White House at the invitation of Tricia Nixon. Stories later circulated that the band was snorting cocaine on Abraham Lincoln's desk. [We wouldn't put it past them to do it or to start the rumors. — Ed.]
[A yr. & a half later, still singing the same songs:]
In 1975, Human Kindness Day was celebrated in Washington with a concert by Stevie Wonder in front of the Washington Monument. About 125,000 people attended. In 1977, actress Joan Crawford died in New York. Adam and the Ants played their first public concert at a restaurant in London's Institute of Contemporary Arts. Singer Adam Ant had told the booker they were a country band but showed up wearing leather, a hood and chains. The booker paid them their $15 fee after one song and asked them to leave. In 1983, Metallica began recording their first album in Rochester, New York. In 1986, Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee married actress Heather Locklear. They later divorced. Lee married actress Pamela Lee, and Locklear married guitarist Richie Sambora of Bon Jovi. In 1991, Madonna's "Truth or Dare" concert tour documentary opened in North America. In 2005, model Heidi Klum married singer Seal. Thought for Today: "The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook." — William James, American psychologist and philosopher (1842-1910). 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 9, 2009

HD TV Observations

The gov't. bought us one of those Hi-Def Tee Vee sets, just in time to see the musical luminaries of 30 to 40 yrs. ago in their highly-defined, wrinkled, leathery, balding glory before they, too, pass from this earth.

Tonight, Cream & Robert Plant. Not on the same bill, mind you. Also available was one of the guys who isn't Syd Barrett from Pink Floyd. We're sure he's been ravaged by time, fame & money, but we'd have had to listen to see.

New Hope For Wretched Repubs?

OK, we found a funny. For background, examine Jonah Goldberg's meta-post  (Ha ha. "Meta" our ass. He's just pimping himself.) where he pines for a Great Brown Hope to save the GOP. 
Goldberg, of course, has been too busy doing whatever it is he does to maintain an arm's length or more from reality to notice that there's a nest of Cuban-American Republicans whose votes have been impeding sensible relations between their ancestral homeland & the United Snakes, & handing Florida's electoral vote to the Rs for 40 some yrs. 
(And he is painfully stupid. Too dense to feel the pain himself? Perhaps.  
But most of all, an Hispanic candidate would help win back Republican moderates. Remember how important Colin Powell and the diversity pageant at the 2000 GOP convention were. It was never the intent to win over huge numbers of black voters. Rather, it was to send the message to soccer moms and the like that it wasn't "racist" to vote for the GOP. An Hispanic candidate could have the same effect.
Yes, he comes right out & says it's all pretty much tokenism. Bring on the "diversity pageant" for television to convince white people who aren't Klan members that voting Republican isn't racist. Then forget about it for two conventions. And all the time between, of course. Remember the pageant of diversity that the 2008 convention was? 
Next, get a moderate Hispanic to pander to black people's fear of immigrants taking all the high-paying service jobs, & that'll get the black moderates under that big old tent of theirs. The next step should be to get an Asian person to convince non-Cuban Hispanics to join, right? What the hell?) 
At The Weekly Standard, where they may be not expected to turn a profit but are part of a greed-driven corporate empire that understands more than nepotism & legacy hires, actual work is being done to further the cause
When Republicans in Florida get to know Rubio, they will discover a dynamic speaker with an appealing biography and a deeply held conservative philosophy.
Heard that somewhere? All they need is a leader. When the right used-car salesman or motivational speaker comes along & bamboozles the body politic into falling for the same old crap (sorry, tried & true principles that have not in any way contributed to recent military troubles & economic meltdowns) they'll be on top again. Except even purer.
Deeply held philosophy? More like a cafeteria Catholic who goes to the local smorgasbord too.
Raised and confirmed a Catholic, Rubio worships with his family at an evangelical church.
Not an elitist either. He's a lawyer (Everyone likes them, don't they?) & he's been producing & creating jobs & meeting a payroll in private practice all his life.
Rubio rose rapidly in politics. Elected to the state house in 2000, he served as majority whip and majority leader before being named speaker for the 2007 and 2008 legislative sessions. He recently retired, as required by term-limits.
Termed out at 37. That is a rapid rise. He must have made a fortune producing & creating between law school & entering politics.
Rubio's pitch for the paper's endorsement back in 1998 in a race for city commissioner.
Nope, looks like a career parasite. Been trying to get one of those cushy gov't. jobs for at least eleven yrs. And not a Civil Service  job, w/ a test, & standards, but those gummint gigs where the only test one must pass is how well one lies, & how willing one is to lie. Electoral politics. 
But as Goldberg whined, it's all a "popularity contest." (More of the anti-democracy sentiments that are bubbling up. It's fine when you're popular though, isn't it, Jonah?) 
Like Obama, Rubio can thrill an audience. On April 13, he addressed the College Republicans and Students for a Free Cuba at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Cuba, he said, presents us with "an opportunity just 90 miles off our shores to defend and stand up for the constitutional and Founding principles of this country." Rubio called the U.S. embargo "our last and only leverage point" for negotiating Cuban freedom with a successor regime. He added, "I wish we could do in China what I hope we'll do in Cuba, but we can't. There are geopolitical realities." The students--a sympathetic audience--were wowed by the speech, delivered without notes.
Oh, no TelePrompTer? Wowie zowie. And a sympathetic audience. How impartial of  author McCormack to mention that. Rubio came up w/ "defend and stand up for the constitutional and Founding principles of this country" all by himself? Would it be too much to ask Mr. No Notes just what we're defending against here? Cuba is another country, no matter how much Rubio may wish to return it to the corporate American interests that were in charge in the 1950s, & "standing up for the constitutional & Founding principles of this country" in someplace not-this-country sounds an awful lot like a desire to invade somewhere. What does he think "we" will do in Cuba, embargo them all to death? And what does he want to do in China? His grasp of "geopolitical realities" is not what he thinks it is. He does have a firm grasp on hypocrisy though.
Rubio opposes a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants
Sure, free pass to middle-class pigs fleeing evil communist economic policies, but people fleeing the ravages of capitalism can go fuck themselves. That will convince most immigrants to go GOP.
And for the coup-de-grâce, fiscal conservatism.
Rubio criticized Crist's property tax reduction as "a cosmetic fix to a very serious problem." Rubio had unsuccessfully fought to abolish the property tax and replace it with a 2.5 percent consumption tax. [...] Some voters may be turned off by his endorsement of Mike Huckabee in 2008, whom he backed mainly for supporting the "fair tax."
Consumption taxes. "Fair" taxes. Rubio is going to have to be one hell of a "dynamic speaker with an appealing biography" to cram a pair of ideas like that down the throats of the glorious & freedom-loving American people.
Not that he's getting past Charlie Crist anyway. Which never keeps 'em down.
Still, Rubio has a bright political future whether or not he wins the nomination. Even an unsuccessful campaign will raise his profile for the day, sooner or later, when voters decide that liberalism is not the change we need.
We agree. Liberalism is much too weak for the radical changes required. (Points to McCormack for not screaming "Socialist!!" & running around the room screaming about Marx & Mohamed.) But if the American people were really center-right, McCain would be president now; in a center-right America, everyone who, in real America, voted for Obama over J. Sidney would have voted for Bob Barr or the Constitution Party, rather than go O.

YAWN

Tweety Redux

Somewhere in the dawn of time (like, a day or two ago) we mentioned Christopher "Tweety" Matthews implying who knows what about poor old Arlen Specter.
Howard Fineman & Joan Walsh explain that Specter got screwed (or let himself be screwed) which is why the Senator's wandering around in a daze. Tweety seems to think Arlen's just lost it. At this point, is it possible to care any less?

9 May: A Vast Wasteland, W/ No Real Highlights At All

By The Associated Press 2 hrs 16 mins ago Today is Saturday, May 9, the 129th day of 2009. There are 236 days left. A/V. UPI Almanac. Today's Highlight in History: On May 9, 1754, a cartoon in Benjamin Franklin's Pennsylvania Gazette showed a snake cut into sections, each part representing an American colony; the caption read, "JOIN, or DIE." [Possibly the dullest day ever? The Highlight in History at the AP website: "On May 9, 1960, the Food and Drug Administration approved use of a birth control pill." Man, just nothing. — Ed.] On this date: In 1502, Christopher Columbus left Cadiz, Spain, on his fourth and final trip to the Western Hemisphere. In 1883, Spanish philosopher Jose Ortega y Gasset was born in Madrid. In 1913, the 17th amendment to the Constitution, providing for the popular election of U.S. senators, was ratified. In 1926, Americans Richard Byrd and Floyd Bennett made what they claimed was the first airplane flight over the North Pole. (Evidence suggests they may have missed their target by 150 miles.) In 1936, Italy annexed Ethiopia. [How'd that work out for you, Benito? Haile Selassie kicked your wop-a-dago ass, huh? — Ed.] In 1945, U.S. officials announced that a midnight entertainment curfew was being lifted immediately. In 1961, FCC chairman Newton N. Minow deplored the majority of television programming as a "vast wasteland" in a speech to the National Association of Broadcasters. Thirty-five years ago, in 1974, the House Judiciary Committee opened public hearings on whether to recommend the impeachment of President Richard M. Nixon. In 1978, the bullet-riddled body of former Italian prime minister Aldo Moro, who'd been abducted by the Red Brigades, was found in an automobile in Rome. [Does this give any left-wing extremists any ideas? — Ed.] In 1980, 35 people were killed when a freighter rammed the Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay in Florida, causing a 1,400-foot section to collapse. In 1987, 183 people were killed when a New York-bound Polish jetliner crashed while attempting an emergency return to Warsaw. In 1994, South Africa's newly elected parliament chose Nelson Mandela to be the country's first black president. Ten years ago: A chartered bus carrying members of a casino club on a Mother's Day gambling excursion ran off a highway in New Orleans, killing 22 people. Furious Chinese demonstrators hurled rocks and debris into the U.S. Embassy in a second day of protests against NATO's bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Yugoslavia. Five years ago: A bomb destroyed the VIP section at a stadium during a Victory Day celebration in the Chechen capital of Grozny, killing some two dozen people, including the province's president, Akhmad Kadyrov. Canada rallied to beat Sweden for the second straight year in the gold-medal game at the world hockey championships, 5-3. Comedian Alan King died in New York at age 76. One year ago: Democrat Barack Obama picked up the backing of nine superdelegates, all but erasing Hillary Rodham Clinton's once-imposing lead. Jury selection began in the Chicago trial of R&B superstar R. Kelly, accused of videotaping himself having sex with a girl as young as 13. (Kelly was later acquitted on all counts.) Journalist-feminist Nuala O'Faolain, who'd gained international fame with her outspoken memoir "Are You Somebody?" in 1966, died in Dublin at age 68. Today's Birthdays: CBS News correspondent Mike Wallace is 91. Actress Geraldine McEwan is 77. Actor-writer Alan Bennett is 75. Rock musician Nokie Edwards (The Ventures) is 74. Actor Albert Finney is 73. Actress-turned-politician Glenda Jackson is 73. Musician Sonny Curtis (Buddy Holly and the Crickets) is 72. Producer-director James L. Brooks is 69. Singer Tommy Roe is 67. Singer-musician Richie Furay (Buffalo Springfield and Poco) is 65. Actress Candice Bergen is 63.Pop singer Clint Holmes is 63. Actor Anthony Higgins is 62. Singer Billy Joel is 60. Blues singer-musician Bob Margolin is 60. Rock singer-musician Tom Petersson (Cheap Trick) is 59. Actress Alley Mills is 58. Actress Wendy Crewson is 53. Actor John Corbett is 48. Singer Dave Gahan (Depeche Mode) is 47. Rapper Ghostface Killah is 39. Country musician Mike Myerson (Heartland) is 38. R&B singer Tamia is 34. Rock musician Dan Regan (Reel Big Fish) is 32. Rock singer Pierre Bouvier (Simple Plan) is 30. Actress Rosario Dawson is 30. Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon Webb is 30. Actress Rachel Boston is 27. Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder is 25. TV personality Audrina Patridge is 24. Today In Entertainment History -- In 1965, Bob Dylan played the first of two sold-out performances at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Both shows had sold out in less than four hours. Donovan and The Beatles were in the audience for opening night. In 1970, Lynyrd Skynyrd first performed "Free Bird" in public, at the grand opening of the Jacksonville Art Museum in Jacksonville, Florida. In 1974, Bruce Springsteen performed a concert in Cambridge, Mass., that prompted rock critic Jon Landau to write, "I saw rock and roll future and it's name is Bruce Springsteen." [He was right. The future of rock & roll was nothing. — Ed.] In 1978, singer Fee Waybill of The Tubes fell off the stage during a concert in England and broke his leg. [As opposed to Frank Zappa, who was pushed off a stage & broke his leg in London in 1972. Six yrs. earlier, yet. — Ed.] In 1982, the musical "Nine," inspired by the Federico Fellini film "8 1/2," opened on Broadway. [Inflation. It was everywhere. — Ed.] Twenty years ago, in 1989, country singer Keith Whitley was found dead at his Nashville-area home. A coroner ruled he died of an overdose of alcohol. He was 33. In 1990, singer Sinead O'Connor refused to appear with comedian Andrew Dice Clay on "Saturday Night Live." In 1994, singer Willie Nelson was arrested on a misdemeanor drug charge after police in Hewitt, Texas, found the butt of a joint in the ashtray of his Mercedes-Benz. In 2000, singer Marc Anthony married former Miss Universe Dayanara Torres in Las Vegas. They have since divorced. [Good thing too, considering he's currently married to what's 'er name (Jenny?) from the block. — Ed.]
Thought for Today: "There is nothing to fear except the persistent refusal to find out the truth, the persistent refusal to analyze the causes of happenings." — Dorothy Thompson, American journalist and author (1894-1961). 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.
Copyright © 2009 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reversed.

Friday, May 8, 2009

8 May: That Sounds Familiar

By The Associated Press 24 mins ago Today is Friday, May 8, the 128th day of 2009. There are 237 days left. From the AP, also. A/V. UPI Almanac. Today's Highlight in History: In 1945, President Harry S. Truman announced in a radio address that Nazi Germany's forces had surrendered in World War II, and that "the flags of freedom fly all over Europe." The Trumanator speaks.On this date: In 1541, Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto reached the Mississippi River. In 1794, Antoine Lavoisier, the father of modern chemistry, was executed on the guillotine during France's Reign of Terror. [À bas la science!! — Ed.} In 1846, the first major battle of the Mexican-American War was fought at Palo Alto, Texas; U.S. forces led by Gen. Zachary Taylor were able to beat back the Mexican forces. 125 years ago, in 1884, the 33rd president of the United States, Harry S. Truman, was born in Lamar, Mo. In 1886, Atlanta pharmacist John Styth Pemberton invented the flavor syrup for Coca-Cola. [Making America as we know & love her possible, through cocaine, water & sugar high-fructose corn syrup. — Ed.] In 1958, Vice President Richard Nixon was shoved, stoned, booed and spat upon by anti-American protesters in Lima, Peru. [We'll add a "Boo!!" & a hiss. And some sputum. What the hell, right? — Ed.] In 1970, anti-war protests took place across the United States and around the world; in New York, construction workers broke up a demonstration on Wall Street. In 1973, militant American Indians who'd held the South Dakota hamlet of Wounded Knee for 10 weeks surrendered. In 1978, David R. Berkowitz pleaded guilty in a Brooklyn courtroom to murder, attempted murder and assault in connection with the "Son of Sam" shootings that had terrified New Yorkers. Twenty-five years ago, in 1984, the Soviet Union announced it would boycott the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Ten years ago: NATO expressed regret for a mistaken attack on the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, but pledged to pursue the bombing campaign; demonstrators in Beijing threw rocks and smashed cars at the U.S. Embassy. The Citadel, South Carolina's formerly all-male military school, graduated its first female cadet, Nancy Ruth Mace. British actor Sir Dirk Bogarde died in London at age 78. Five years ago: Former Iraq hostage Thomas Hamill returned home to a chorus of cheering family and friends in Mississippi. One year ago: Sen. Barack Obama got a front-runner's welcome back at the U.S. Capitol, where he was surrounded by well-wishers calling him "Mr. President" and reaching out to pat him on the back or shake his hand. Silvio Berlusconi was sworn in as Italy's premier. Country music star Eddy Arnold died near Nashville, Tenn., at age 89. Today's Birthdays: Comedian Don Rickles is 83.
Naturalist Sir David Attenborough is 83. Singer Toni Tennille is 69.Actor James Mitchum is 68. Country singer Jack Blanchard is 67. Jazz musician Keith Jarrett is 64. Singer Philip Bailey (Earth, Wind and Fire) is 58. Rock musician Chris Frantz (Talking Heads) is 58. Rockabilly singer Billy Burnette is 56. Drummer Alex Van Halen is 56. Actor David Keith is 55. Actor Stephen Furst is 55. Actress Melissa Gilbert is 45. Rock musician Dave Rowntree (Blur) is 45. Today In Entertainment History -- In 1961, Ricky Nelson marked his 21st birthday by officially changing his stage name to Rick. [You have to "officially" change your stage name? We may be in trouble. — Ed.] In 1962, the musical comedy "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" opened on Broadway. In 1965, Bob Dylan made one of the earliest videos when he filmed a promotional clip for his current single, "Subterranean Homesick Blues." It shows him flipping through cards with words and short phrases while standing in an alley in London.
[That's Allen Ginsberg w/ the beard & bald pate on the left. — Ed.] In 1968, George D. Hay died. He was the originator of the Grand Ole Opry broadcasts over station WSM in Nashville. The program, originally called the "Barn Dance," was first broadcast on November 28th, 1925.
In 1970, the Beatles' final original album, "Let It Be," was released. In 1972, Billy Preston became the first rock performer to headline at Radio City Music Hall in New York. In 1981, the debut album by Loverboy was certified gold in the US. In 1990, a Los Angeles judge ordered Frito-Lay and an advertising agency to pay singer Tom Waits almost $2.5 million dollars. The agency had hired a Waits imitator to sing a jingle praising Frito-Lay's corn chips. In 1991, Epic Records released Pearl Jam's first US promo single, with the songs "Alive" and "Wash" and a cover of The Beatles' "I've Got A Feeling." In 1992, Genesis opened its "We Can't Dance" tour in Irving, Texas. In 1996, actress Julie Andrews turned down her Tony nomination for "Victor/Victoria" to protest her "overlooked colleagues," including her husband, director Blake Edwards. In 1999, actress Dana Plato of "Diff'rent Strokes" fame died of an apparent accidental drug overdose in Moore, Oklahoma. She was 34.  Thought for Today: "Men don't change. The only thing new in the world is the history you don't know." — President Harry S. Truman (1884-1972). 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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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Got To Be Free

Two chapter titles from our up-coming best-seller "How Come I Ain't Married? Funny You Should Ask. Set Yerse'f Down Fer A Minute Or Two & I'll Tell Ya." I still secretly eat it when my spouse goes on business trips. My spouse won’t let it in the house. These sad titles from two commenters at Sadly, No! Thanks for reminding us why we're single, lonely, & loving it. Oh, the forbidden "it?" Kraft® Macaroni & Cheese. Yikes. Family food fascism.

Yesterday's News From This Morning's Fishwrapper

Just hrs. ago, there was joy aplenty in Mudville, home of the Incredible Shrinking Newspaper™:
[T]he Dodgers, [...] went on to claim a 10-3 victory to become the first modern-day team in major league history to win its first 13 home games. The Detroit Tigers won their first 12 home games, and that was in 1911. [...] The Dodgers took their 23rd decision in their last 26 games at Dodger Stadium, dating to Aug. 21, 2008. Starting from the day Manny Ramirez became a Dodger -- Aug. 1, 2008 -- they are 31-7 at home. With four games remaining in a season-long 11-game homestand, the Dodgers extended their lead in the National League West to 6 1/2 games and their winning streak to seven games. They improved their record to 21-8.
Said record being the best in the majors. Which doesn't mean shit a wk. into May, but was worth the Times' baseball typist whipping out a few hundred words, of which these were most important:
They're laying waste to the National League West, but so were the Arizona Diamondbacks this time last year. They're 13-0 at home, but they're 8-8 on the road. They don't make the schedule and don't need to apologize for it, but they have played the worst team in the NL East, the worst team in the NL Central and the rest of the NL West, and that's it.
And this the most important quote:
"You like to see the team get off to a good start," [Dodgers' GM Ned] Colletti said. "We'll have to face adversity."
Truer words never said, & probably more adversity much sooner than anticipated for Collettti.

Radical Republicans

An interesting tidbit from TIME® about the Republican April Fools' budget. You may remember; the one w/ the three or four circles & a line joining them? As we know budgets & all iterations of economics are bullshit, we paid little to no attention at the time, & someone else may have revealed all this a mo. ago., but this booster shot of schoolin' won't hurt. Much.
It's a radical document, making Bush's tax cuts permanent while adding about $3 trillion in new tax cuts skewed toward the rich. It would replace almost all the stimulus — including tax cuts for workers as well as spending on schools, infrastructure and clean energy — with a capital gains–tax holiday for investors. Oh, and it would shrink the budget by replacing Medicare with vouchers, turning Medicaid into block grants, means-testing Social Security and freezing everything else except defense and veterans' spending for five years, putting programs for food safety, financial regulation, flu vaccines and every other sacred government cow on the potential chopping block.
Looking more like the Party of Hoover each day. Which is what the larger TIME® story is about. We haven't read to the counter-point yet, but it's heading in the direction of "Yes, it's over."
A former talking Republican head (Who came across as a strident jerk on the tube, by the way.) Ed Rogers
recently decided to quit being a talking head: "I had a meeting with myself, and I said, Do we really need more white lobbyists with gray hair on TV?" But it's not clear that more diverse spokesmen or better tweets can woo a new generation to the GOP; support for gay rights is soaring, and polls show that voters prefer Democratic approaches to health care, education and the economy. "The outlook for Republicans is even worse than people think," says Ruy Teixeira, author of The Emerging Democratic Majority. "Their biggest problem is that they really believe what they believe."
That can be an insurmountable problem.

Where Are The FCC & The FEC?

Leg-tinglin' Tweety seems to be doing his best to make American (Pennslyvanian, really) voters think Arlen Specter has lost his mental edge. (That would be throughout today's Hardball on MSNBC, if you want a source. Perhaps there will be links here later.) Call us cynical, but even though Mr. Matthews recently denied interest in a run for the PA Senate slot next yr., the sudden recusal of Tom Ridge from the race & a mis-statement or two from Sen. Specter can only have Chris thinking he might not have to work too hard for it now. That always whets the political animal's appetite.
And now, the rest of the story: Like, when was the last time Old Yellow Hair lived in the State of William Penn? How soon would the  fucking carpetbagger have to move to PA to be eligible?
More story remainders: In a similar vein.

Oh, Man

The day after the Dodgers set the major league record for most wins at home to start a season (13) Manny Ramirez got his sorry ass suspended for 50 (Count 'em, 50.) fucking games.

The Personal Becomes Political, Or Vice Versa

Right-wing extremist or seriously disturbed stalker? The distinction is blurred. (Possibly because there's little actual difference.)
Sources said that Morgan and Justin-Jinich knew each other from Colorado although they are still trying to determine the depth of the relationship or why Morgan decided to drive across the country to kill her. Police said Morgan may be targeting the campus and its Jewish community. In addition to the threats to Justin-Jinich, Morgan's journal entries made threats against Wesleyan and its Jewish students, officials have said.
We'll have to wait until Morgan's reading list is revealed before we can irresponsibly speculate further, as authorities haven't yet provided enough fuel for the fire.
Police would not say why they believe Morgan may target the university or Jews.
Maybe more later.

We Made Grunting Laugh-Like Noises

The rather vague concept of "secession" appears to be more popular w/ Southern Republicans than other easy demographic divisions, if you can believe that. A commenter:
I'd be interested in a survey that asked how people felt about other states' leaving the union. I'd be willing to bet that the support for Texan secession, for example, would be pretty high in the Northeast. Posted by: noncarb on May 6, 2009 at 4:41 PM
We'd almost pay to see those results.

Annals Of FatherHomeland Security

Here's something worthy of our attention.
What kind of white supremacist are you, honky?
Ku Klux Klan 
Neo-Nazi 
Racist skinhead
Aryan prison gang
Christian Identity 
Odinism/Wotanism Six flavors to choose from.

Nothing, Y'Hear!! Not A Damn Thing!

Didn't type an original word yesterday, did we? Ha ha ha. You don't care, & neither do we.

7 May: A Very Ironic Date

By The Associated Press Thu May 7, 12:01 am ET Today is Thursday, May 7, the 127th day of 2009. There are 238 days left in the year. The AP Also Rises. A/V. UPI Almanac. Today's Highlight in History: On May 7, 1915, nearly 1,200 people died when a German torpedo sank the British liner RMS Lusitania off the Irish coast.On this date: In 1763, Ottawa Indian chief Pontiac led a major uprising against the British at Detroit. [Now they just closed the automobile company named after the chief. — Ed.] In 1789, the first inaugural ball was held in New York in honor of President George Washington and his wife, Martha. In 1833, composer Johannes Brahms was born in Hamburg, Germany. In 1840, composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky was born in Votkinsk, Russia. In 1909, Edwin H. Land, inventor of polarizing filters and Polaroid instant photography, was born in Bridgeport, Conn. In 1939, Germany and Italy announced a military and political alliance known as the Rome-Berlin Axis. In 1945, Germany signed an unconditional surrender at Allied headquarters in Rheims, France.In 1954, the 55-day Battle of Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam ended with Vietnamese insurgents overrunning French forces. In 1960, Leonid Brezhnev replaced Marshal Kliment Voroshilov as president of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet. In 1975, President Gerald R. Ford formally declared an end to the "Vietnam era." In Ho Chi Minh City — formerly Saigon — the Viet Cong celebrated its takeover. In 1977, Seattle Slew won the Kentucky Derby, the first of his Triple Crown victories. (On this date in 2002, Seattle Slew died.) In 1984, a $180 million out-of-court settlement was announced in the Agent Orange class-action suit brought by Vietnam veterans who charged they'd suffered injury from exposure to the defoliant. In 1992, a 203-year-old proposed constitutional amendment barring Congress from giving itself a midterm pay raise was ratified when Michigan became the 38th state to approve it. [203 yrs.!? — Ed.] In 1998, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz agreed to buy Chrysler Corp. for more than $37 billion. Ten years ago: NATO jets struck the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, killing three people and injuring 20; President Bill Clinton called the attack a "tragic mistake." A jury in Pontiac, Mich., ordered "The Jenny Jones Show" to pay $25 million to the family of Scott Amedure, a gay man who was shot to death after revealing a crush on Jonathan Schmitz, a fellow guest on the talk show. (However, the Michigan Court of Appeals later overturned the award, and the Michigan Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal.) Five years ago: Army Pfc. Lynndie England, shown in photographs smiling and pointing at naked Iraqi prisoners, was charged by the military with assaulting the detainees and conspiring to mistreat them. (England was later convicted of conspiracy, mistreating detainees and committing an indecent act, and sentenced to 36 months; she served half that term.)Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld offered "my deepest apology" to abused Iraqi prisoners and warned that videos and photos yet to come could further inflame worldwide outrage. One year ago: President George W. Bush, addressing the Council of Americas, said Cuba's post-Fidel Castro leadership had made only "empty gestures at reform" as he rejected calls for easing of U.S. restrictions on the communist island. Dmitry Medvedev was sworn in as Russia's president. Today's Birthdays: Former Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., is 77. Singer Jimmy Ruffin is 70. Singer Johnny Maestro is 70. Actress Robin Strasser is 64. Singer-songwriter Bill Danoff is 63. R&B singer Thelma Houston is 63. Rock musician Bill Kreutzmann (The Dead) is 63. Rock musician Prairie Prince is 59. Actor Robert Hegyes is 58. Movie writer-director Amy Heckerling is 55. Actor Michael E. Knight is 50. Rock musician Phil Campbell (Motorhead) is 48. Country musician Rick Schell is 46. Rock singer-musician Chris O'Connor (Primitive Radio Gods) is 44. Actress Traci Lords is 40. Singer Eagle-Eye Cherry is 38. Actor Breckin Meyer is 35.  Today In Entertainment History -- In 1941, Glenn Miller and his Orchestra recorded "Chattanooga Choo Choo" for RCA Victor.In 1972, the Rolling Stones released the album "Exile on Main Street," featuring the song "Tumbling Dice." In 1973, George Harrison released "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)." In 1990, Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys crashed a news conference to announce that he was fit to handle his own affairs. Wilson's cousin Stan Love was going to announce that he wanted to become a legal overseer of Wilson's life and estate. In 1991, singer Wilson Pickett was arrested in Englewood, New Jersey, after driving over the lawn of Mayor Donald Aronson, who was his neighbor. Pickett was charged with drunk driving and with threatening the mayor. In 1996, actor Martin Lawrence was hospitalized after he was found screaming in a busy intersection in Los Angeles. His doctor said Lawrence was being treated for exhaustion. On 1997, Marilyn Manson won his lawsuit against the New Jersey Sports and Exhibition Authority, who tried to prevent him from playing with Ozzfest at Giants Stadium. In 1998, singer Eddie Rabbitt died of lung cancer in Nashville. He was 56. Thought for Today: "We all live in suspense, from day to day, from hour to hour; in other words, we are the hero of our own story." — Mary McCarthy, American author (1912-1989). 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.
Copyright ©2009 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reversed.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

6 May: "Oh, The Humanity"

By The Associated Press 1 hr 27 mins ago Today is Wednesday, May 6, the 126th day of 2009. There are 239 days left in the year. And also: AP. A/V. UPI Almanac. Today's Highlight in History: On May 6, 1937, the hydrogen-filled German airship Hindenburg burned and crashed in Lakehurst, N.J., killing 35 of the 97 people on board and a Navy crewman on the ground.Radio reporter Herb Morrison's eyewitness account. On this date: In 1840, a tornado that touched down in eastern Louisiana and crossed the Mississippi River into Natchez, Miss., killed 317 people - most of them on boats in the river. In 1859, Georgia miner John H. Gregory discovered a lode of gold in Colorado. In 1861, Arkansas seceded from the Union. [Again we must ask: "Who let the Arkansans back in?" — Ed.] In 1889, the Paris Exposition formally opened, featuring the just-completed Eiffel Tower. In 1910, Britain's King Edward VII died; he was succeeded by George V. In 1915, Babe Ruth of the Boston Red Sox hit the first of his 714 major league home runs in a 4-3 loss to the New York Yankees at the Polo Grounds. In 1942, during World War II some 15,000 Americans and Filipinos on Corregidor surrendered to the Japanese. In 1954, medical student Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile during a track meet in Oxford, England, in three minutes, 59.4 seconds. In 1960, Britain's Princess Margaret married Antony Armstrong-Jones, a commoner, at Westminster Abbey. (They divorced in 1978.) In 1981, Yale architecture student Maya Ying Lin was named winner of a competition to design the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. In 1994, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and French President Francois Mitterrand formally opened the Channel Tunnel between their countries. In 1996, the body of former CIA director William E. Colby was found washed up on a riverbank in southern Maryland, eight days after he'd disappeared. In 2002, right-wing Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn was shot and killed in Hilversum, Netherlands. (Volkert van der Graaf was later convicted of killing Fortuyn and was sentenced to 18 years in prison.) Ten years ago: Russia and the major Western powers set aside their differences over NATO airstrikes and drafted a joint plan to end the Kosovo conflict. President Bill Clinton met with Kosovo refugees in Germany, listening to chilling stories of murder, rape and terror and promising them, "You will go home again in safety and in freedom." Reversing decades of overwhelming loyalty to Britain's governing Labor Party, Scottish and Welsh voters elected strong nationalist oppositions to their first separate assemblies of modern times. Five years ago: President George W. Bush apologized for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers, calling it "a stain on our country's honor"; he rejected calls for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's resignation. The FBI arrested Oregon lawyer Brandon Mayfield as part of the investigation into the Madrid train bombings; however, the bureau later said Mayfield's arrest had been a mistake, and apologized. An estimated 51.1 million people tuned in for the final first-run episode of "Friends" on NBC. One year ago: Barack Obama swept to a convincing victory in the North Carolina Democratic primary while Hillary Rodham Clinton eked out a win in Indiana. A Georgia man who'd killed his live-in girlfriend was executed; William Earl Lynd was the first inmate put to death since the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of lethal injections. Kobe Bryant won his first MVP award after leading the Los Angeles Lakers to the best record in the Western Conference. Today's Birthdays: Baseball Hall-of-Famer Willie Mays is 78.Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., is 75. Rock singer Bob Seger is 64. Singer Jimmie Dale Gilmore is 64. Gospel singer-comedian Lulu Roman is 63. Actor Alan Dale is 62. Actor Ben Masters is 62. Actor Gregg Henry is 57. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is 56. TV personality Tom Bergeron is 54. Actress Roma Downey is 49. Rock singer John Flansburgh (They Might Be Giants) is 49. Actor George Clooney is 48. Actor Clay O'Brien is 48. Rock singer-musician Tony Scalzo (Fastball) is 45. Actress Leslie Hope is 44. Rock musician Mark Bryan (Hootie and the Blowfish) is 42. Rock musician Chris Shiflett (Foo Fighters) is 38. Today In Entertainment History -- On May sixth, 1965, guitarist Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones came up with the riff that formed the foundation of the song "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction." He was staying at a motel in Clearwater, Florida, at the time. In 1971, Ike and Tina Turner received their only gold single, for their version of "Proud Mary." In 1973, Paul Simon began his first solo tour in Boston, three years after splitting with Art Garfunkel. Recordings from some of the shows were released as the "Live Rhymin"' album. In 1977, Led Zeppelin broke their own world record for largest audience at a single-act concert when they attracted over 76,000 fans to the Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan. In 1984, Tina Turner's comeback hit, "What's Love Got To Do With It," was released. In 1991, a judge in Macon, Georgia, threw out a lawsuit claiming that Ozzy Osbourne's music drove a 16-year-old boy to suicide. The parents of Michael Waller alleged that their son listened repeatedly to Osbourne's "Suicide Solution," then shot himself. In 1992, actress Marlene Dietrich died at her home in Paris at age 90. Whitney Houston announced her engagement to Bobby Brown, during her first TV special, "This Is My Life." In 1994, Pearl Jam filed a complaint with the U. S. Justice Department against Ticketmaster. The band charged that the company had a monopoly on the concert ticket-selling business. In 1997, Neil Young boycotted his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of Buffalo Springfield. Young objected to rampant commercialism and the $1,200-a-plate dinner. Actor David Duchovny and actress Tea Leoni were married in New York. In 2004, the last episode of "Friends" aired.In 2005, Audioslave became the first American rock band to play an outdoor concert in Cuba, with a show in Havana. Thought for Today: "No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks." — Mary Wollstonecraft, British writer and philosopher (1759-1797). 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.
Copyright ©2009 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reversed.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Annals Of Self-Polarization

Dig Fox News Anchor Kimberly Guilfoyle, speaking for Constitutional "Intentionalism" (although we doubt she understands the entire talking point someone fed her) while declaring that the President nominating & the Senate approving a SCOTUS candidate is a violation of separation of powers. Honest.
And then her fellow "Great American" Panelists start: "There is no evidence that he [the president] has any moderation in him at all."(1:30) "Community organizers on the Supreme Court? C'mon. This is ridiculous."(1:45) "Barack Obama is a radical activist. His whole life has been about radicalism. His whole agenda in the first 100 plus days has been a radical left agenda: Socialist economy and weakening of our national defenses."(3:28) They're so polarized it's as if they've set off on an ice-floe toward one or the other of the poles.                     (Tip of the Bouffant chapeau to a "J. A. F. Rusty Shackleford" who brought up the video in a comment at Balloon Juice.)

Weiner Nation

Michael (Savage, vicious) Weiner
gets carried away. Enjoy the Brit-bashing. (Who wrote those jokes? Does he have a joke-book?)
He brings up the First Amendment in reference to a British "Do Not Enter" list, calls British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith a tinhorn dictator, & so on. (We think that's what he said. Go ahead & listen.) She & Janet Napolitano are doubtless in a feminist conspiracy to destroy their agencies to hurry the Mohammedan conquest. Actual fun begins (6:45) in, & is over quickly. 
Learn more about today's story by clicking here.
إذا كان واحد منكم ولو همسا “المالي واجب” على مقربة مني ، وذلك يساعدني الله سأقدم لكم لكمة في العنق اللعينة

TIME-WARNER CABLE

Well, well. Cable telebision has been installed here in our editorial offices since Saturday afternoon (almost 72 hrs. ago) & we are currently about an hr. into the first of no doubt many "outages," as we're sure they'd euphemize it.
We suppose satellite reception isn't fool-proof either, but it's not as likely to be interfered w/ by a drunk hitting a 'phone pole. As the Road Runner® DSL is still functioning, we'll assume this "outage" is the fault of Time-Warner CABLE,rather than random accident.
Hey, look! As we type (1402 PDT) the sound & vision have returned! Bitch & one is rewarded. 

See? There's His Picture, Right Next To The Definition Of Cretinous Ignoramus

That guy who used to be a plumber's assistant has the economic situation figured out.
But, you also have to take into consideration that the Democrats say they are for people in poverty. They're not. [...] People in poverty keep them in power — that's what people have to understand.
Then 52% of the American electorate must be poor, we suppose. No wonder the economy sucks. You wouldn't think more than half of the voters in the U. S. were poor, but that's the reality that Joe understands. If only there were some way for people to start businesses & lift themselves up by their bootstraps. Plumbing, maybe. You need water & waste disposal no matter what shape the economy's in.

Moral Blurriness And Spots

The David Brooks column mentioned below (In our scathing ruination of Crunchy Con Dreher, we modestly mention.) has some obvious points that haven't yet been assimilated by the Republican hive-mind, & brings John Ford into it.
Republicans like the way Westerns seem to celebrate their core themes — freedom, individualism, opportunity and moral clarity.
Moral clarity. The ignorance & stupidity behind those two words always slays us. Anyway ...
But the greatest of all Western directors, John Ford, actually used Westerns to tell a different story. Ford’s movies didn’t really celebrate the rugged individual. They celebrated civic order.
Alright, Ford was a bit fascistic. Still.
But the Republican Party has mis-learned that history. The party sometimes seems cut off from the concrete relationships of neighborhood life. Republicans are so much the party of individualism and freedom these days that they are no longer the party of community and order. This puts them out of touch with the young, who are exceptionally community-oriented. It gives them nothing to say to the lower middle class, who fear that capitalism has gone haywire. It gives them little to say to the upper middle class, who are interested in the environment and other common concerns. The Republicans talk more about the market than about society, more about income than quality of life. They celebrate capitalism, which is a means, and are inarticulate about the good life, which is the end. They take things like tax cuts, which are tactics that are good in some circumstances, and elevate them to holy principle, to be pursued in all circumstances.
Why, they do, don't they? Those less charitable might say they were merely greedy jerks, equipped w/ a certain animal cunning but little actual intelligence, & that their string is about to run out. 
Brooks does recognize the big problem: Farmers & swineherds versus the producers & doers of urban areas.
The emphasis on freedom and individual choice may work in the sparsely populated parts of the country. People there naturally want to do whatever they want on their own land. But it doesn’t work in the densely populated parts of the country: the cities and suburbs where Republicans are getting slaughtered. People in these areas understand that their lives are profoundly influenced by other people’s individual choices. People there are used to worrying about the health of the communal order. In these places, Democrats have been able to establish themselves as the safe and orderly party. President Obama has made responsibility his core theme and has emerged as a calm, reassuring presence (even as he runs up the debt and intervenes rashly in sector after sector).
We thought debt meant nothing. Someone proved that. And the rash intervention. Horrors. [Make a pearl-clutching gesture here.] Wouldn't want to be "rash" just because the financial system & economy are making a nose-dive to the toilet. David does go on to solve the problem, in his always reasonable way, w/ a knight on a white horse:
If the Republicans are going to rebound, they will have to re-establish themselves as the party of civic order. First, they will have to stylistically decontaminate their brand. That means they will have to find a leader who is calm, prudent, reassuring and reasonable.
What? No charisma, no Reaganesque inspiration? Let's remind ourselves of the list from our last item yesterday: Republican House Minority Whip Eric Cantor. House Minority Leader John Boehner. Senator John McCain. Mitt Romney. Haley Barbour. Jeb Bush. Governor Bobby Jindal. Mike Pence. Pete Sessions. Roy Blunt. Senator Mitch McConnell. Senator Jon Kyl. Lamar Alexander. Senator John Cornyn. John Thune. Also, perhaps, Sarah Palin
Maybe they should all throw themselves on their swords. This draws itself out to ridiculous length. Die, already.

Popularity. Like Junior High. This is mostly because I'm curious. You should all be ashamed.