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.
Copyright ©2009 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reversed.

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.
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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.

MYOB, You Religio-Fascist

The Crunchy Con reveals something about himself when blathering about an eminently sensible (if you know what we mean) David Brooks column in which Brooks typed
[Blah blah blah ... Republicans] would ask: What threatens Americans' efforts to build orderly places to raise their kids? The answers would produce an agenda: the disruption caused by a boom and bust economy; the fragility of the American family; the explosion of public and private debt; the wild swings in energy costs; the fraying of the health care system; the segmentation of society and the way the ladders of social mobility seem to be dissolving.
Rod, however (Was that name a curse throughout his childhood? Is that, perhaps, why he has sex on the brain?) thinks that it's Demon Sex that's ruining everything.
[Y]ou cannot have community without order, and you cannot have a workable order as long as both economic and sexual decisions are wholly privatized -- that is, as long as they are considered only a matter of consequence between the parties making those decisions. Because in reality, they aren't: the entire community, one way or another, has to bear the burden of those decisions. So: David is right in that the Democrats seem to speak more the language of civic order and commitment today. But I don't see either party being willing to connect the dots that Wendell Berry, among others, have connected. You cannot have civic order based on a culture where people feel at liberty to conduct their economic lives entirely as they see fit, nor their sexual lives (particularly if that involves making babies without the means to rear them in an ordered manner).
Whatever happened to keeping sex private & personal? Crunchy refers to himself as a traditionalist. We can remember when tradition was not to stick your nose into other peoples' private lives. If these traditionalist goofballs could stop pretending that sex is an exclusively reproductive activity that must be ruled & regulated by any authority available we'd all be better off. Step one in reducing abortion & unwanted pregnancies is coming to grips w/ the fact that birth control is not even abortion, let alone "murder." 
We do enjoy Mr. D.'s devotion to order, though we wonder if he omits the "law" part of the phrase because Nixon/Agnew pretty much ruined it, or because he's much more interested in order than any legal impediments thereto.

Why Does He Stand There, Then?

We heard it somewhere else as well; it must be a trend. Stand by for attempts at "moral equivalence" between torture & abortion/birth control. [Searches merrily.] Here's one. This may be where it started, though we can't believe that anyone but sophisticated leftists looking for a laugh (or the apolitical who simply enjoy reading the English language as it is twisted into shapes more likely to occur in a universe w/ more than four dimensions than in our own) read this guy, let alone steal any of his ideas.
Moralists use divine revelation set forth in the Scriptures for their ethical profile. True moralists don’t budge. They do not dare for the Scriptures are from the God who stands at the Judgment Seat. Liberals have no fear whatsoever of God or the Judgment Seat. They never think of either, actually. They have woven their lifestyles so much around their own egos being gods that the Bible’s God does not exist.
Really. Get this, too.
Obama abhors waterboarding and anything like unto. However, when it comes to spreading torture via HIV/AIDS, all okay when it’s spread by homosexual license. After all, moral relativism works on situation ethics. If that kind of ethic gropes for sodomy, approved. Obama is typical political, religious, philosophical, pragmatic liberal to the nth. His followers are legion. That is why our nation is heading for the pits. His own hunch dictates for whom he will feel sympathy and to whom he X’s out.
Is there a medical term for this? Agraphia, or something? Is his speech as bizarre? And why didn't we title this "Groping For Sodomy, Approved?"

5 May: JAPS BOMB OREGON!!!

By The Associated Press 1 hr 18 mins ago Today is Tuesday, May 5, the 125th day of 2009. There are 240 days left in the year. Other Sources: AP. A/V from the AP. And, the UPI Almanac. Today's Highlight in History: On May 5, 1961, astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr. became America's first space traveler as he made a 15-minute suborbital flight in a capsule launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla.Shepard reports to Mission Control after the launch. On this date: In 1818, political philosopher Karl Marx was born in Prussia.In 1821, Napoleon Bonaparte, 51, died in exile on the island of St. Helena. In 1862, Mexican forces loyal to Benito Juarez defeated French troops sent by Napoleon III in the Battle of Puebla. In 1891, Carnegie Hall (then named "Music Hall") had its official opening night in New York City. In 1904, Cy Young pitched the American League's first perfect game as the Boston Americans defeated the Philadelphia Athletics 3-0. In 1925, schoolteacher John T. Scopes was charged in Tennessee with violating a state law that prohibited teaching the theory of evolution. (Scopes was found guilty, but his conviction was later set aside.) In 1942, during World War II, Japanese forces landed on the Philippine island of Corregidor. In 1945, in the only fatal attack of its kind during World War II, a Japanese balloon bomb exploded on Gearhart Mountain in Oregon, killing the pregnant wife of a minister and five children. In 1955, West Germany became a fully sovereign state.  In 1981, Irish Republican Army hunger-striker Bobby Sands died at the Maze Prison in Northern Ireland in his 66th day without food. In 2000, the tightest alignment in 38 years of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, the sun and the moon — as seen from Earth — took place. Ten years ago: President Bill Clinton began a morale-boosting trip to Europe that included a visit to Ramstein Air Base in Germany, where he met the three American soldiers just released by Yugoslavia. The first Kosovo refugees brought to the United States, 453 of them, arrived at Fort Dix in New Jersey. Five years ago: Seeking to calm international outrage, President George W. Bush acknowledged mistakes but stopped short of an apology as he condemned the abuse and deaths of Iraqi prisoners at the hands of U.S. soldiers during appearances on two Arabic-language TV networks. Picasso's 1905 painting "Boy with a Pipe" sold for $104 million at Sotheby's in New York, breaking the record at that time for an auctioned painting. One year ago: Three men were arrested and beaten by Philadelphia police officers after a vehicle chase in a scene videotaped by a TV news helicopter. (No charges have been filed against the officers; however, the three men have been ordered to stand trial on attempted murder charges for a triple shooting earlier that night.) Irvine Robbins, co-founder of the Baskin-Robbins ice cream chain, died in Rancho Mirage, Calif., at age 90. Today's Birthdays: Actress Pat Carroll is 82. AFL-CIO president John J. Sweeney is 75. Saxophonist Ace Cannon is 75. Country singer-musician Roni Stoneman is 71. Actor Michael Murphy is 71. Actor Lance Henriksen is 69. Comedian-actor Michael Palin is 66. Actor John Rhys-Davies is 65. Actor Roger Rees is 65. Rock correspondent Kurt Loder is 64. Rock musician Bill Ward is 61. Actor Richard E. Grant is 52. Broadcast journalist John Miller is 51. Rock singer Ian McCulloch (Echo and the Bunnymen) is 50. NBC News anchor Brian Williams is 50. Rock musician Shawn Drover (Megadeth) is 43. TV personality Kyan Douglas is 39. Actress Tina Yothers is 36. Today In Entertainment History -- In 1955, the baseball musical "Damn Yankees" opened on Broadway. In 1968, Buffalo Springfield performed its last concert in Long Beach, California. There had been reports of squabbling among the band members. Twenty-five years ago, in 1984, Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders and Jim Kerr of Simple Minds got married. They have since divorced. In 1986, Cleveland was named as the future site for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It opened nine years later. In 1990, "Crocodile Dundee" star Paul Hogan and co-star Linda Kozlowski were married in Sydney, Australia. In 1996, Def Leppard singer Joe Elliot and his girlfriend were arrested for allegedly beating each other up. That same week, Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen was charged with beating up his wife at the Los Angeles airport. In 1997, Charlton Heston was elected the vice president of the National Rifle Association. Thought for Today: "When in doubt, duck." — Malcolm Forbes, American publisher (1919-1990). 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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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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