Saturday, March 6, 2010

Spring Cleaning Wrap-Up

Must be a "manic" episode: Did two loads of laundry today AND consumed at two supermarkets. In the rain.

We'll be fully comatose for the next wk. or so.
Leave any packages around the back.

6 March: Whatever, Alamo, Yada

Today is Saturday, March 6, the 65th day of 2010. There are 300 days left in the year. The UPI Almanac.Today's Highlight in History:
On March 6, 1836, Mexican forces captured the Alamo in San Antonio killing the last of 187 defenders who had held out in the fortified mission for 13 days. Famous frontiersman Davy Crockett was among those killed on the final day.
On this date:
In 1806, poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning was born in Durham, England.
In 1820, the Missouri Compromise was enacted allowing Missouri to join the United States a slave state but leaving the rest of the northern part of the Louisiana Purchase territory slavery-free.
In 1834, the city of York in Upper Canada was incorporated as Toronto.
In 1853, Verdi's opera "La Traviata" premiered in Venice, Italy.
AP Highlight in History:
On March 6, 1857, the Supreme Court in Dred Scott v. Sandford ruled that Scott, a slave, was not an American citizen and could not sue for his freedom in federal court, and said Congress had no right to limit the expansion of slavery.
In 1933, a nationwide bank holiday declared by President Franklin D. Roosevelt went into effect.
In 1935, retired Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., died in Washington, two days shy of his 94th birthday.
In 1944, U.S. heavy bombers staged the first full-scale American raid on Berlin.
In 1957, the former British African colonies of the Gold Coast and Togoland became the independent state of Ghana.
In 1967, the daughter of Josef Stalin, Svetlana Alliluyeva, appeared at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi and declared her intention to defect to the West.
In 1970, a bomb being built inside a Greenwich Village townhouse by the radical Weathermen accidentally went off, destroying the house and killing three group members.
In 1981, Walter Cronkite gave his final broadcast as anchor for the "CBS Evening News."
Audio LinkCronkite signs off
In 1982, an Egyptian court sentenced five Muslim fundamentalists to death for the assassination of President Anwar Sadat. Seventeen others drew prison terms.
In 1983, in a case that drew much notoriety, Cheryl Araujo was gang-raped atop a pool table in a tavern in New Bedford, Mass., called Big Dan's; four men were later convicted of the attack. (Araujo was killed in a car accident in 1986.)
In 1987, 193 people died when the British ferry Herald of Free Enterprise capsized off the Belgian port of Zeebrugge. Also in 1987, an earthquake and flood in northeastern Ecuador killed more than 300 people and ruptured a main oil pipeline.
In 1991, U.S. President George H.W. Bush declared the Persian Gulf War over.
In 1997, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II launched the first official royal Web site.
In 1999, the emir of Bahrain (Sheik Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa), a key Western ally who had ruled for nearly four decades, died shortly after a meeting with Defense Secretary William Cohen; he was 65.
In 2000, three New York City officers were convicted of a cover-up in a brutal police station attack on Haitian immigrant Abner Louima. (The convictions of Thomas Wiese, Thomas Bruder and Charles Schwarz were later overturned, but Schwarz, whose conviction for participating in the attack was also overturned, was found guilty of perjury in a 2002 trial.)
In 2002, Robert Ray, who succeeded Kenneth Starr as special prosecutor, said there was sufficient evidence to convict U.S. President Bill Clinton of perjury and obstruction of justice in the Monica Lewinski case. But, he said Clinton had agreed to admit he gave false testimony under oath, thus avoiding prosecution.
In 2003, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said the United States could lead a coalition of nations that would disarm Iraq even without U.N. authority. Also in 2003, the U.S. Senate approved a U.S.-Russian agreement whereby each country would reduce deployed nuclear warheads to between 1,700 and 2,200 by 2012.
In 2004, President George W. Bush backed off on plans to require frequent Mexican travelers to the U.S. to be fingerprinted and photographed before crossing the border. A water taxi capsized in Baltimore's Inner Harbor, killing five people.
In 2005, Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena claimed American soldiers gave no warning before they opened fire on the car carrying her to the Baghdad airport, killing the Italian agent who'd just won her freedom after a month in captivity. The White House called the shooting a "horrific accident" and restated its promise to investigate fully. Hans Bethe, the winner of the 1967 Nobel Prize in physics who'd played a central role in the building of the atomic bomb, died in Ithaca, N.Y. at age 98.
In 2006, Gov. Mike Rounds signed legislation banning most abortions in South Dakota. (The ban was later rejected by the state's voters). Baseball Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett died at age 45. Also in 2006, officials said the 2005 hurricane season was the costliest disaster in U.S. history with Congress considering another $20 billion in relief. The federal government already had committed $88 billion to help areas devastated by hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma.
In 2007, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, was convicted of lying to FBI agents and to a grand jury and of obstructing an investigation into the 2003 leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity to the media.
In 2008, in the deadliest attack on Israeli citizens in two years, a Palestinian gunman fired hundreds of rounds of automatic weapons fire at the Mercaz Harav yeshiva in Jerusalem, killing eight students. Also in 2008, at least 68 people died in a series of coordinated bombings in a mostly Shiite shopping district in Baghdad.
In 2009, the government reported the jobless rate reached 8.1 percent in Feb. 2009. The figure represented the loss of 651,000 jobs. While acknowledging an "astounding" number of job losses, President Barack Obama told critics of his $787 billion economic recovery plan in Columbus, Ohio, that it was saving jobs and said, "I know we did the right thing." (The Congressional Budget Office now estimates the plan will cost $862 billion.) Also in 2009, the White House said President Barack Obama planned to reverse former President George W. Bush's policy limiting federal funding for stem-cell research.
Today's Birthdays: Orchestra conductor Julius Rudel is 89. Former FBI and CIA director William Webster is 86. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan is 84. Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez is 83. Orchestra conductor Lorin Maazel is 80. Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova is 73. Country singer Doug Dillard is 73. Sen. Christopher Bond, R-Mo., is 71. Actress-writer Joanna Miles is 70. Actor Ben Murphy is 68. Opera singer Dame Kiri Te Kanawa is 66. Singer Mary Wilson (The Supremes) is 66. Rock musician Hugh Grundy (The Zombies) is 65. Rock singer-musician David Gilmour (Pink Floyd) is 64. Actor-director Rob Reiner is 63. Singer Kiki Dee is 63. Rock singer-musician Phil Alvin (The Blasters) is 57. Actor Tom Arnold is 51. Former child actress Suzanne Crough is 47. Actor D.L. Hughley is 46. Country songwriter Skip Ewing is 46. Actress Yvette Wilson is 46. Actor Shuler Hensley is 43. Actress Connie Britton is 42. Actress Moira Kelly is 42. Actress Amy Pietz is 41. Rock musician Chris Broderick (Megadeth) is 40. NBA player Shaquille O'Neal is 38. Country singer Trent Willmon is 37. Country musician Shan Farmer (Ricochet) is 36. Rapper Beanie Sigel is 36. Rapper Bubba Sparxxx is 33. Rock musician Chris Tomson (Vampire Weekend) is 26. Actor Eli Marienthal is 24. Actor Jimmy Galeota is 24.
Those Born On This Date Include: Italian painter and sculptor Michelangelo (1475); French dramatist Cyrano de Bergerac (1619); Union Army Gen. Philip Sheridan (1831); humorist and short story writer Ring Lardner (1885); baseball pitcher Lefty Grove (1900); Texas swing bandleader Bob Wills (1905); comic actor Lou Costello (Abbott and Costello) (1906); one-armed professional baseball player Pete Gray (1915); TV personality Ed McMahon (1923); symphony conductor Sarah Caldwell (1924); Mercury astronaut L. Gordon Cooper (1927).
March 6 In Entertainment
In 1966, the British prime minister received a petition from Beatles fans, asking that the Cavern Club in Liverpool be reopened. The club, where the Beatles performed more than 300 dates, was closed because of financial problems.
In 1970, serial killer Charles Manson's album "Lie" was released.
In 1972, US immigration officials canceled John Lennon's visa extension, five days after it was granted.
In 1978, Billy Joel was awarded a rare platinum single for "Just The Way You Are."
In 1992, the last episode of "The Cosby Show" was taped in New York. New York Mayor David Dinkins and the group Boyz II Men were on hand.
In 1996, musicians Johnny and Edgar Winter sued DC Comics over a horror comic with two characters called Johnny and Edgar Autumn. The case went all the way to the California Supreme Court. The Winters lost.
In 1999, country singer George Jones nearly killed himself in a car accident near his home in Nashville. He later pleaded guilty to drunk driving.
In 2000, all the original members of Earth, Wind and Fire played together for the first time in 20 years as they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Maurice White had announced the previous week he had Parkinson's disease. Eric Clapton also became the first person to be inducted into the Rock Hall three times; among the newest honorees were James Taylor & Bonnie Raitt.
In 2005, actress Teresa Wright died in New Haven, Conn. at age 86.
Thought for Today: "Best be yourself, imperial, plain and true!" — Elizabeth Barrett Browning, English poet (1806-1861).

Friday, March 5, 2010

Bored W/ All Humanity & Its Sad Efforts

Even more bored w/ our reactions/non-reactions thereto.

Though we might have something better to do.

Nope. Just bored limp.

Loons W/ Guns Wrap-Up

From The Daily Beast.
Any reflexive media attempts to tie the shooter to the Tea Party movement should be regarded as totally unfounded. He appears to have been more focused on his hatred of former Vice President Dick Cheney than President Barack Obama. Bedell seems to be less connected to right-wing politics than what I call “fright wing” politics—the murky ground beyond left and right where conspiracy theories reside.
Responsibility for the damage & death dealt by crazed gun owners can be laid directly at the feet of the NRA, gun lobby, etc., whose insistence that anyone who has the money should be able to have a gun allows people like us, for example, to keep, bear, clean & lovingly polish over & over again, w/ ... Uh, except for the guy w/ the plane. Pilots have to have an annual medical check-up. Why not gun owners?

No Meat Here!

How The East Sees Us (One In A Series Of Exceptionally Dull Pieces)

Saw this 18-odd hrs. ago. We were about to delete it but decided to look, figuring if we couldn't either gloat or bitch about the condescension involved, we could contrarianize & complain about the squares gentrifying the very murder out of the place, where's the excitement, good old days, you know.

The very first paragraph enabled us to go for the gloat, though, w/ no effort at all.
LOS ANGELES — Not since the Beach Boys were in peach fuzz and crew cuts has it been so safe to live and play in the City of Angels. Believe it: you are more likely to be murdered in Columbus, Ohio, or Tulsa, Okla., than in the nation’s second most populous city.
And of course,
in many parts of the city there are now more medical marijuana dispensers in Los Angeles than Starbucks outlets (regulated retailers creating an ecosystem of nonviolence)
Because at one time the streets ran red w/ the blood of innocents caught in the crossfire of the daily gun battles for weed-slinging turf among crazed herbalists. Guess the action's all moved to Columbus (Typo: Columbud, ha.) & Tulsa now.
At this rate, blood-chasing local television news stations will have to import footage from other cities to uphold their reputation for practicing the nation’s worst and silliest local reporting.

[...]

If a half-inch of rain calls for breathless TV updates and canceled social events, what would a serious earthquake do to the hard-won stability of the new civic order?
Don't worry, the local outlets will always find something bloody to share; at least the anticipation of violent death & carnage at the conclusion of an interminable high or even low speed freeway chase. (In what direction are traffic fatalities trending, we wonder, in contrast to the murder rate. Something's gotta give.)

When the eagerly-anticipated earthquake does hit, we're sticking w/ dystopia. People were loot-happy during our most recent riots (indeed, we're still kicking ourself for missing the Radio Shack & Circuit City that were in our then-neighborhood; the liquor stores were well protected by gun-wielding owners); if there's enough systemic breakdown & morbidity we'll see anarchy in L.A. as we have before. We can't wait.

5 March: They Drop Like Flies, From The Skies, & Otherwise, Across The Centuries From Beantown To WeHo

Today is Friday, March 5, the 64th day of 2010. There are 301 days left in the year. The UPI Almanac.
Today's Highlight in History:
On March 5, 1970, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons went into effect after 43 nations ratified it.
On this date:
In 1770, the Boston Massacre took place as British soldiers who'd been taunted by a crowd of colonists opened fire, killing five people.
UPI Interpretation: In 1770, British troops killed five colonials in the so-called Boston Massacre, one of the events that led to the American Revolution. [No patriot we, but c'mon, Rev. Moon. — Ed.]
In 1849, Zachary Taylor was inaugurated as the 12th president of the United States. (The swearing-in was delayed by a day because March 4, 1849, fell on a Sunday.)
In 1867, an abortive Fenian uprising against English rule took place in Ireland.
In 1868, the Senate was organized into a Court of Impeachment to decide charges against President Andrew Johnson, who was later acquitted.
In 1933, in German parliamentary elections, the Nazi Party won 44 percent of the vote; the Nazis joined with a conservative nationalist party to gain a slender majority in the Reichstag.
In 1946, British statesman Winston Churchill referred to the Soviet Union's sphere of influence in Eastern Europe as an "iron curtain" in a speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Mo.
Audio LinkExcerpt from Churchill's "Iron Curtain" speech
In 1953, Soviet dictator Josef Stalin died after three decades in power.
In 1959, a fire at the Negro Boys Industrial School in Wrightsville, Ark., claimed the lives of 21 teenagers trapped inside a locked dormitory room. (Four dozen other boys managed to escape).
In 1960, Cuban newspaper photographer Alberto Korda took the now-famous picture of guerrilla leader Che Guevara during a memorial service in Havana for victims of a ship explosion. [So, AP, would it be TOO FUCKING MUCH TROUBLE to provide an image of said picture? — Ed.]
In 1979, NASA's Voyager 1 space probe flew past Jupiter, sending back photographs of the planet and its moons.
In 1984, the Standard Oil Co. of California, also known as Chevron, bought Gulf Corp. for more than $13 billion in the largest business merger in U.S. history at the time.
In 1991, rebellions against Saddam Hussein were reported in southeastern Iraq. U.S. military officials predicted the unrest probably would lead to his downfall.
In 1993, Canada's Ben Johnson, once called the world's fastest human, tested positive for drugs and was banned for life from track competition.
In 1997, representatives of North Korea and South Korea met for first time in 25 years for peace talks in New York. Switzerland announced plans to establish a $4.7 billion government-financed fund, using interest from its gold reserves, to compensate survivors of the Nazi Holocaust and their descendants.
In 1998, NASA announced that ice had been found at the moon's north and south poles.
In 1999, Italian Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema met at the White House with President Bill Clinton, a day after a military jury in North Carolina acquitted a Marine pilot in the Italian cable car accident that killed 20 people; D'Alema demanded justice, while Clinton expressed profound regret.
In 2000, Israel's Cabinet voted unanimously to withdraw its troops from south Lebanon by the following July. A Virginia subsidiary of PPL Therapeutics of Edinburgh, Scotland, the company that cloned Dolly the sheep, produced the first cloned pigs.
In 2001, Vice President Dick Cheney underwent an angioplasty for a partially blocked artery.
In 2004, Martha Stewart was convicted of obstructing justice and lying to the government about why she'd unloaded her Imclone Systems Inc. stock just before the price plummeted. Her ex-stockbroker, Peter Bacanovic, also was found guilty in the stock scandal. (Each later received a five-month prison sentence.)
In 2005, Syrian President Bashar Assad announced a two-stage pullback of his country's forces from Lebanon.
In 2006, Iran threatened to launch full-scale uranium enrichment if its nuclear program was referred to the U.N. Security Council for sanctions.
In 2007, on the eve of a five-nation tour of Latin America, U.S. President George W. Bush pledged hundreds of millions of dollars in financial aid for poor people of the region.
In 2008, John McCain, having sewn up the Republican presidential nomination, got a White House embrace from President George W. Bush, who praised the Arizona senator's "incredible courage and strength of character and perseverance." OPEC turned a deaf ear to President Bush's request for increased oil production, citing what some members called "mismanagement" of the U.S. economy as a major cause for high oil prices.
In 2009, President Barack Obama hosted a White House summit where he pumped allies and skeptics alike for ways to overhaul the nation's costly and frustrating health care system. As thousands demonstrated outside, California Supreme Court justices listened to legal arguments over the passage of Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage. NATO agreed, after intense internal debate, to restore normal relations with Russia seven months after it had frozen ties in response to Moscow's invasion of Georgia. Ten New Jersey co-workers said they were laying plans to split a $216 million Mega Millions jackpot -- and it only cost $5 a head. The winners, who worked for Chubb Commercial Insurance in Whitehouse Station, N.J., had a news conference after getting word of the win.
Today's Birthdays: Actor James Noble is 88. Actor James B. Sikking is 76. Actor Dean Stockwell is 74. Hall of Fame basketball coach Denny Crum is 73. Actor Fred Williamson is 72. Actress Samantha Eggar is 71. Actor Paul Sand is 66. Actor Michael Warren is 64. Actor Eddie Hodges is 63. Singer Eddy Grant is 62. Violinist Eugene Fodor is 60. Rock musician Alan Clark (Dire Straits) is 58. Actress-comedian Marsha Warfield is 56. Magician Penn Jillette is 55. Actress Adriana Barraza is 54. Pop singer Teena Marie is 54. Rock singers Craig and Charlie Reid (The Proclaimers) are 48. Rock musician John Frusciante (Red Hot Chili Peppers) is 40. Singer Rome is 40. Actor Kevin Connolly is 36. Actress Jill Ritchie is 36. Actress Jolene Blalock is 35. Actress Eva Mendes is 35. Model Niki Taylor is 35. Baseball player Paul Konerko is 34.
Those Born On This Date Include: Flemish mapmaker Gerardus Mercator (1512); the Rev. William Blackstone, the first settler in what is now Boston (1595); Antoine Cadillac, founder of Detroit (1658); poet Lucy Larcom (1824); lithographer James Ives, partner of Nathaniel Currier ( 1824); author Frank Norris (1870); water treatment pioneer Emmett J. Culligan (1893); actors Rex Harrison (1908), & Jack Cassidy (1927); and singer Andy Gibb (1958).
Today In Entertainment March 5
In 1955, Elvis Presley made his TV debut on the regional show "The Louisiana Hayride."
In 1960, Elvis Presley was discharged from the Army.
In 1963, country singers Patsy Cline, Cowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins were killed when their small plane crashed near Camden, Tennessee, that also claimed the life of pilot Randy Hughes (Cline's manager). They were returning to Nashville following a benefit concert.
In 1971, Badfinger began its first American tour, in Toledo, Ohio.
In 1975, singer Rod Stewart met actress Britt Ekland at a party in Los Angeles. Their romance became much publicized.
In 1979, MCA Records dissolved the ABC record label. Hundreds of staffers were fired.
In 1982, comedian John Belushi was found dead of a drug overdose in a rented bungalow in West Hollywood; he was 33.
In 1993, Paul McCartney kicked off a world tour in Perth, Australia, in support of his album "Off The Ground."
In 1999, actor Richard Kiley died in Warwick, N.Y., at age 76.
In 2002, "The Osbournes," a reality show following the life of rocker Ozzy Osbourne and his family, premiered on MTV.
Thought for Today: "Boredom is the root of all evil — the despairing refusal to be oneself." — Soren Kierkegaard, Danish philosopher (1813-1855).

Thursday, March 4, 2010

So Angry W/ Washington That They Forgot To Vote

Sez The NYT:

Mr. Perry’s campaign was buoyed Tuesday by a strong victory over his chief Republican rival, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. He won 51 percent of the vote to the senator’s 30 percent, in a race where turnout was 11 percent — more than twice as high as usual.

The strong showing of Debra Medina, a third candidate allied with the Tea Party movement who is more conservative than Mr. Perry on some issues and who received 18 percent of the vote, reflected the surging popular discontent on the right.


Thannks to the paper of record for fully explaining the stats. "11%?" Of ...? Registered Republicans? All registered voters? Either way, not much turn-out for a state just steaming, you hear, steaming at Washington & The Gubmint.

We Read The News Today. Hooo Boy!!

  1. Doctor Blames U.S. Weapons for Birth Defects in Fallujah
    Locals claim the medium-size town, where drinking water comes from a river polluted by war fallout, is home to 1,000 birth defects a year.
    Read original story in BBC | Thursday, March 4, 2010
  2. Sarah Palin Plans Second Book
    According to publisher HarperCollins, it will be a "celebration of American virtues and strengths."
    Read original story in Reuters | Thursday, March 4, 2010
What a strong & virtuous nation we are!!

The Secret Planet

We wonder what the amorphous "they" think they're hiding here. Yes, it's hidden, but it isn't exactly camouflaged.
LATER: We're not the only one who's noticed this.There's nothing that hasn't been obsessed over. Nothing.

4 March: Inauguration Day; Other Crap You Won't Catch Us Caring About

Today is Thursday, March 4, the 63rd day of 2010. There are 302 days left in the year. The UPI Almanac.
Today's Highlight in History:
On March 4, 1789, the Constitution of the United States went into effect as the first Federal Congress met in New York. (The lawmakers then adjourned for lack of a quorum.) [Adjourned to the nearest tavern. — Ed.]
On this date:
In 1681, England's King Charles II granted a charter to William Penn for an area of land that later became Pennsylvania.
In 1791, Vermont became the 14th state.
In 1801, Thomas Jefferson became the first president to be inaugurated in Washington.
In 1837, the Illinois state legislature granted a city charter to Chicago.
In 1858, Sen. James Henry Hammond of South Carolina declared "Cotton is king" in a speech to the U.S. Senate.
In 1861, Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated as the 16th president of the United States.
In 1902, the American Automobile Association was founded in Chicago.
In 1908, a fire at Lake View School in Collinwood, Ohio, claimed the lives of 172 children and three adults.
In 1909, William Howard Taft took the oath of office as the 27th president of the United States.
In 1913, Woodrow Wilson was sworn as the 28th president of the United States.
In 1917, Republican Jeanette Rankin of Montana took her seat as the first woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
In 1930, Coolidge Dam in Arizona was dedicated by its namesake, former President Calvin Coolidge.
AP Highlight in History:
On March 4, 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt was inaugurated as the 32nd president, pledging to lead the country out of the Great Depression.
Read the original AP story
Audio LinkRoosevelt: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
Frances Perkins became the first woman to serve in the Cabinet when she took over as secretary of labor.
In 1940, Kings Canyon National Park in California was established.
In 1958, the U.S. atomic submarine Nautilus reached the North Pole by passing beneath the Arctic ice cap.
In 1960, baritone Leonard Warren, 50, collapsed and died while performing in Verdi's "La forza del destino" (The Force of Destiny) at New York's Metropolitan Opera. An explosives-laden French freighter, La Coubre, exploded in Havana's harbor, killing at least 75 people.
In 1977, some 1,500 people were killed in an earthquake that shook southern and eastern Europe.
In 1987, President Ronald Reagan addressed the nation on the Iran-Contra affair, acknowledging his overtures to Iran had "deteriorated" into an arms-for-hostages deal.
In 1989, Time Inc. and Warner Communications Inc. announced plans for a huge media merger.
In 1993, authorities announced the arrest of Mohammad Salameh, who was later convicted of playing a key role in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York City.
In 1994, four men were found guilty in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.
In 1996, a bombing at a shopping mall in Tel Aviv, Israel, killed 14 people.
In 1997, President Bill Clinton barred spending federal money on human cloning.
In 1999, outraging Italian authorities, a military jury in North Carolina cleared a Marine pilot of charges he was flying recklessly when his jet sliced through a ski gondola cable in the Alps, sending 20 people plunging to their deaths. Retired Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun, who wrote the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide, died in Arlington, Va., at age 90.
In 2000, ahead of Super Tuesday, Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush charged John McCain with "clouded" education views while the Arizona senator asked, "Where's the outrage?" over a late surge of money to pay for negative TV ads.
In 2002, after more than 40 people died violently in a week, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said he aimed to kill as many Palestinians as possible to force negotiation.
In 2003, Philippine authorities blamed two bombings on the island of Mindanao on Islamic separatists. Twenty-two people, including a U.S. missionary, were killed and 150 injured in one blast and one died and three were hurt in the other.
In 2004, Mounir el Motassadeq, convicted in Germany in connection with the 9/11 attacks, won a retrial from an appeals court. (El Motassadeq was later convicted of helping three of the suicide hijackers and was sentenced to 15 years in prison, the maximum possible under German law.) As U.S. Marines mobilized and patrolled the streets of Port-au-Prince, rebel forces proclaiming themselves Haiti's reinvented military after the president fled said they would lay down their weapons.
In 2005, American troops in Iraq fired on a car carrying just-freed Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena, killing Nicola Calipari, the intelligence officer who'd helped negotiate her release and injuring the reporter. Martha Stewart, imprisoned for five months for her role in a stock scandal, left federal prison to start five months of home confinement. President George W. Bush nominated career scientist Stephen L. Johnson to head the Environmental Protection Agency.
In 2007, Sunni insurgents killed and wounded hundreds of Shiite Muslim pilgrims traveling to the holy city of Karbala in Iraq. At least 77 died at Hilla in the worst of the four-day series of attacks.
In 2008, Republican John McCain clinched his party's presidential nomination with primary wins in Ohio, Texas, Rhode Island and Vermont. Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton won primary victories in Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island, while Barack Obama prevailed in Vermont. Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre retired after 17 seasons, saying he was "tired." (Favre later made a comeback with the New York Jets before retiring again.) [And then ... — Ed.]
In 2009, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, addressing a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress, called on Americans to look beyond their own tumbling financial markets to see a world gripped by an "economic hurricane" that could be turned around with U.S. help. The international criminal court issued an arrest warrant for Sudan President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir at The Hague, Netherlands, for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Darfur region of Western Sudan. It was the first ICC warrant against a sitting president.
Today's Birthdays: Actress Paula Prentiss is 72. Movie director Adrian Lyne is 69. Singer Bobby Womack is 66. Rock musician Chris Squire (Yes) is 62. Singer Shakin' Stevens is 62. Author James Ellroy is 62. Texas Gov. Rick Perry is 60. Singer Chris Rea is 59. Actor Ronn Moss is 58. Actress Kay Lenz is 57. Musician Emilio Estefan is 57. Movie director Scott Hicks is 57. Actress Catherine O'Hara is 56. Actress Patricia Heaton is 52. Actor Steven Weber is 49. Rock musician Jason Newsted is 47. Actress Stacy Edwards is 45. Rapper Grand Puba is 44. Rock musician Patrick Hannan (The Sundays) is 44. Rock singer Evan Dando (Lemonheads) is 43. Actress Patsy Kensit is 42. Gay rights activist Chaz Bono is 41. Actor Nick Stabile is 40. Rock musician Fergal Lawler (The Cranberries) is 39. Country singer Jason Sellers is 39. Jazz musician Jason Marsalis is 33. TV personality Whitney Port is 25.
Those Born On This Date Include: Portuguese Prince Henry, the Navigator (1394); composer Antonio Vivaldi (1678); Polish-born American patriot Casimir Pulaski (1747); legendary Notre Dame football Coach Knute Rockne (1888); actor John Garfield (1913); actress/singer Barbara McNair (1934); English auto racing champion Jimmy Clark (1936).
This Date In Entertainment History March 4
In 1952, actor Ronald Reagan and actress Nancy Davis were married in North Hollywood, California.
In 1966, London newspaper "The Evening Standard" published an interview with John Lennon with his now-infamous quote, "We're more popular than Jesus Christ right now."
In 1967, a British newspaper reported that brothers Steve and Muff Winwood were leaving the Spencer Davis Group. Steve Winwood went on to form Traffic.
In 1973, Pink Floyd began a US tour in Wisconsin. ["Thank you, Philadelphia!" — Ed.] The band was supporting the album "Dark Side of the Moon."
In 1990, commentator Andy Rooney returned to "60 Minutes" after being suspended for allegedly making racial remarks.
In 1993, singer Patti LaBelle got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In 1994, producers Chris and Bob Herbert placed an ad in a British magazine for female singers who can dance. Nearly 400 auditioned, and five were chosen for a group that became The Spice Girls.
In 1996, Grand Ole Opry star Minnie Pearl died at the age of 83 after suffering a stroke. Also in 1996, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr turned down a $225 million dollar offer to tour North America, Europe and Japan.
In 2008, Dungeons & Dragons co-creator Gary Gygax died in Lake Geneva, Wisc., at age 69.
In 2009, playwright Horton Foote, who'd won an Oscar for his screen adaptation of "To Kill a Mockingbird," died in Hartford, Conn. at age 92.
Thought for Today: "Beauty is whatever gives joy." — Edna St. Vincent Millay, American author and poet (1892-1950).

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Back To Iwo

Where's Ira Hayes?

Stone The Oxen

Just a matter of time until the (only) Good Book was brought into it. Gawker noted it, & T.P. connects some political dots.
The American Family Association, the powerful right-wing Christian political organization, blogged that, “If the counsel of the Judeo-Christian tradition had been followed,” Beancheau would have never died. AFA blogger Bryan Fischer reasoned that according to Exodus, an animal like Tilikum should have been stoned back in 1991, and if biblical law were to be followed, the owners of Tilikum should be put to death:
Chalk another death up to animal rights insanity and to the ongoing failure of the West to take counsel on practical matters from the Scripture. [...] Says the ancient civil code of Israel, “When an ox gores a man or woman to death, the ox shall be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten, but the owner shall not be liable.” (Exodus 21:28) So, your animal kills somebody, your moral responsibility is to put that animal to death. You have no moral culpability in the death, because you didn’t know the animal was going to go postal on somebody. But, the Scripture soberly warns, if one of your animals kills a second time because you didn’t kill it after it claimed its first human victim, this time you die right along with your animal. To use the example from Exodus, if your ox kills a second time, “the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death.” (Exodus 21:29)
The AFA is known for its annual “War on Christmas” campaign against retailers who refuse to appropriately celebrate the Christmas holiday. For the rest of the year, AFA pushes a vitriolic social agenda campaign, including advocacy that all homosexual activity should be outlawed.

But despite its constant promotion of theological government and hate rhetoric, the AFA is not fringe in terms of influence. There are many powerful GOP lawmakers and leaders who regularly frequent the AFA radio program and AFA events, such as Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Steve King (R-IA), Trent Franks (R-AZ), Tom Price (R-GA), as well as Sens. Jim DeMint (R-SC), Mike Johanns (R-NE), and Sam Brownback (R-KS). (HT: Gawker)

Our Two Principal Weapons Are “Fear;” “Extreme Negative Feelings Toward Existing Administration” and “Reactionary.” No, Our Three ...

Eric Alterman, among others, weighs in on the Republican National Committee's "Fun in Fundraising" presentation.
In many ways, the document is a parody of what liberals think conservatives are actually like.
Whatever. No surprise that Republican fund-raisers are especially cynical assholes. They may well have been self-satirizing.

A little more important:
The document raises a number of issues with regard to the media coverage Republicans have been earning of late. For instance, while Politico’s Ben Smith deserves kudos for breaking the story, what the hell are we to make of this piece that ran just last week by Kenneth Vogel in the same publication, as well as this one in the Los Angeles Times? Both take the tack—based on the skimpiest of evidence that moderates are actually in the process of taking the Republican Party back from the people building bunkers and demanding birth certificates. "I'm very optimistic the elections this year are going to bring back a resurgence of the center,” says Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, duly and respectfully reported by the L.A. Times’ Janet Hook. Sure it “seems paradoxical” to Hook, because absolutely everything the Republicans have said and done since losing the 2008 election belies this, but what the hell? And Tom Tancredo’s shockingly racist Tea Party speech calling for literacy tests and condemning the election of "Barack Hussein Obama” was not, according to Vogel, “widely condemned by conservative intellectuals or media,” but why allow so wonderfully contrarian a trend to be weighed down by a lack of evidence?

In a nod to the need for mindless objectivity, Smith asserts in his story on the memo that “Democrats raised millions off George W. Bush in similar terms” to those presented by the Republican memo, but presents not a shred of evidence for it. Here again, he would be hard-pressed to do so. But the reality of this revelation is so far beyond any precedent for official party fundraising practices before it, even the reporter who unearths it feels a need to minimize just how far beyond the political pale it reaches.

Ironically, this memo might present Democrats with just the kick in the ass they so desperately need. This is the party demanding compromise and bipartisanship? These are the votes they’re chasing? Perhaps instead, they’d decide it’s time to fight fire with fire….
Holding our breath, as usual.

From The AP Archives: This Date In History Rodney King Bullied By Bullies

From the AP archive: March 5, 1991
Videotape shows officers beating man; probe launched

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Authorities are investigating a videotape that shows what appears to be a group of police officers beating a man with nightsticks and kicking him as other officers look on.

A copy of the videotape was turned over to the police department's Internal Affairs Division for investigation of possible excessive use of force, said Deputy Police Chief William Booth.

The incident was recorded by George Holliday, 31, who said he videotaped the incident early Sunday morning from the balcony of his apartment in Lake View Terrace, an unincorporated community 24 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

Holliday said he and his wife watched as a white sedan was pulled over by about 10 squad cars. The driver got out of the car and lay face down on the pavement when three officers began striking him about the head and shoulders with their nightsticks, Holliday said.

The beating continued for more than a minute with officers swinging their nightsticks with both hands. In addition to his head and shoulders, the man was beaten around the kidney area and legs and kicked in the head, Holliday said.

The victim, dressed in pants and a T-shirt, attempted to cover his head with his arms and rolled about on the ground.

During the incident, two passengers, who appeared to be male, remained in the sedan, Holliday said.

It was uncertain whether race played a role in the incident. As shown on local television, the videotape is not clear enough to positively ascertain what the race of the victim and the police officers are.

In the videotape it appeared that one officer held a wire tied about the victim's neck. Afterward, the man's wrists and ankles were tied behind his back and he remained on the ground until he was taken away in an ambulance, Holliday said.

"Before they started hitting him he was pretty much cooperative," Holliday said. "It was a weird feeling. I was trying to think what could he have done to deserve that? I was thinking, it's terrible that that's happening, I was feeling for the guy. ... But I didn't know what the guy did."

Police on Monday did not identify the man they took into custody nor explain the reason he was stopped.

Humanoids Begin Final Descent Into Madness

No surprise that it started in Japan's crazy-making anthill society.

A growing number of people are living their lives encased head-to-toe in Lycra. Will Doig goes inside the fad that began in Japan and is coming to an American suburb near you. Plus, view our gallery of the outfits in action.

And you didn't think that the damn furries would let this go by, did you?

3 March: "Bombs Bursting In Air" War Anthem Adopted By Hoover, Cab Calloway Cuts "Minnie The Moocher"; Gladstone Quits For Good This Time; Pigs Kick King's Ass; Airline Death Toll: 371

Today is Wednesday, March 3, the 62nd day of 2010. There are 303 days left in the year. The UPI Almanac.Today's Highlight in History:
On March 3, 1931, President Herbert Hoover signed a measure making "The Star-Spangled Banner" the national anthem of the United States.
On this date:
In 1845, Florida became the 27th state.
In 1847, Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland.
In 1849, the Home Department, forerunner of the Interior Department, was established, & Congress created the Minnesota Territory.
In 1875, "Carmen" by Georges Bizet premiered in Paris.
In 1879, attorney Belva Ann Lockwood became the first woman to argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 1887, Anne Sullivan arrived at the Alabama home of Capt. and Mrs. Arthur H. Keller to become the teacher of their blind and deaf 6-year-old daughter, Helen. [Pathos ensues. — Ed.]
In 1894, British Prime Minister William Gladstone submitted his resignation to Queen Victoria, ending his fourth and final premiership.
In 1918, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, the Ottoman Empire and Russia signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which ended Russian participation in World War I. (The treaty was rendered moot by the November 1918 armistice.)
In 1945, the Allies fully secured the Philippine capital of Manila from Japanese forces.
In 1959, the United States launched the Pioneer 4 spacecraft, which flew by the moon.
In 1969, Apollo 9 blasted off from Cape Kennedy on a mission to test the lunar module.
In 1974, a Turkish Airlines DC-10 crashed shortly after takeoff from Orly Airport in Paris, killing all 346 people on board.
In 1985, British coal miners ended a yearlong strike, the longest and costliest labor dispute in British history.
In 1986, the President's Commission on Organized Crime, ending a 32-month investigation, called for drug testing of most working Americans, including all federal employees.
In 1991, motorist Rodney King was severely beaten by Los Angeles police officers in a scene captured on amateur video.
Read the original AP story.
Twenty-five people were killed when a United Airlines Boeing 737-200 crashed while approaching the Colorado Springs airport. Also in 1991, residents of the Soviet republics of Latvia and Estonia voted overwhelmingly for independence.
In 1993, Dr. Albert Sabin, the medical pioneer who helped conquer polio, died at his home of heart failure at age 86.
In 1995, the last U.N. peacekeepers left Somalia.
In 1996, a bus bombing in Jerusalem killed 19 people.
In 1997, U.S. Vice President Al Gore admitted he made fundraising calls from the White House but said he'd been advised there was no law against it. Also in 1997, former CIA official Harold Nicholson pleaded guilty to spying for Russia. He was sentenced to 23 years and seven months in prison.
In 1999, the Supreme Court ruled that public schools had to finance one-on-one nursing care for some disabled students throughout the school day. Monica Lewinsky, in an ABC interview timed to coincide with the publication of her book, recounted for Barbara Walters some of the fondest, as well as most painful, aspects of her relationship with President Bill Clinton. An estimated 70 million people tuned in.
In 2000, former dictator General Augusto Pinochet returned to Chile a free man, 16 months after he was detained in Britain on torture charges. Bob Jones University, a fundamentalist Christian college, said it was lifting its ban on interracial dating. (University president Bob Jones III made the announcement on CNN's "Larry King Live.")
In 2001, foot-and-mouth disease, which had flared in Britain, was reported in France and Belgium where livestock were quarantined on two farms.
In 2002, voters in Switzerland approved joining the United Nations, abandoning almost 200 years of formal neutrality.
In 2004, former WorldCom Chief Executive Officer Bernard Ebbers pleaded innocent to an indictment on federal fraud and conspiracy charges. The company's 2002 bankruptcy was the largest in U.S. history. Multnomah County, Ore., began issuing same-sex marriage licenses. The Walt Disney Co.'s board voted to strip Michael Eisner of his chairman's post while retaining him as CEO.
In 2005, President George W. Bush visited CIA headquarters, where he promised agency employees they would retain an "incredibly vital" role in safeguarding the nation's security despite the creation of a new post of national director of intelligence. Millionaire adventurer Steve Fossett became the first person to fly around the world alone without stopping or refueling, touching down in central Kansas after a 67-hour, 23,000-mile journey. Also in 2005, North Korea announced it was dropping its self-imposed moratorium on long-range missile testing, in place since 1999. The U.S. military death toll in Iraq reached 1,500.
In 2006, former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, R-Calif., was sentenced by a federal judge to more than eight years in prison for taking $2.4 million in bribes from military contractors for help in landing lucrative government contracts.
In 2007, cleanup operations were under way in Alabama, Georgia and Missouri, where tornadoes killed 20 people, destroyed a hospital and a school and left hundreds homeless.
In 2008, the U.N. Security Council adopted a third round of sanctions against Iran for its refusal to stop enriching uranium. The resolution authorized cargo inspections in and out of Iran suspected of carrying prohibited equipment and tightens monitoring of Iranian financial institutions. Democrat Barack Obama said his campaign had never given Canada back-channel assurances that his harsh words about the North American Free Trade Agreement were for political show, despite a Canadian memo indicating otherwise. A gunman opened fire inside a Wendy's restaurant in West Palm Beach, Fla., killing a paramedic who'd gone back to fetch a missing meal toy for his child; the gunman wounded five others before turning the gun on himself. Operatic tenor Giuseppe Di Stefano died in Santa Maria Hoe, Italy, at age 86.
In 2009, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, during a visit to Israel, promised to work with the incoming government, but said movement toward establishment of a Palestinian state was "inescapable." Guinea-Bissau's parliamentary leader Raimundo Pereira was sworn in as the country's new president, following the assassination of Joao Bernardo "Nino" Vieira. Also in 2009, Mexico officials said 1,000 more police personnel would be sent to crime-riddled Ciudad Juarez along with a military buildup to bring the number of troops to around 7,000 to join in the violent drug wars. Gunmen attacked a bus carrying the Sri Lankan national cricket team in Lahore, Pakistan. Six Pakistani police officers were slain and seven cricketeers were wounded.
Today's Birthdays: Socialite Lee Radziwill is 77. [Nice work if you can get it. — Ed.] Movie producer-director George Miller is 65. Actress Hattie Winston is 65. Singer Jennifer Warnes is 63. Actor-director Tim Kazurinsky is 60. Singer-musician Robyn Hitchcock is 57. Rock musician John Lilley is 56. Actress Miranda Richardson is 52. Radio personality Ira Glass is 51. Actress Mary Page Keller is 49. Olympic track and field gold medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee is 48. College Football Hall of Famer Herschel Walker is 48. Rapper-actor Tone-Loc is 44. Hockey player Brian Leetch is 42. Rock musician John Bigham is 41. Actress Julie Bowen is 40. Country singer Brett Warren (The Warren Brothers) is 39. Actor David Faustino is 36. Singer Ronan Keating (Boyzone) is 33. Rapper Lil' Flip is 29. Actress Jessica Biel is 28. Football player Santonio Holmes is 26. Rock musician Blower (aka Joe Garvey) (Hinder) is 26.
Those Born On This Date Include: English poet Edmund Waller (1606); industrialist George Pullman, inventor of the railway sleeping car (1831); Charles Ponzi, convicted of fraud for a pyramid scheme that now bears his name (1882); U.S. Army Gen. Matthew Ridgway (1895); movie star Jean Harlow (1911); James Doohan (1920); & fashion designer Perry Ellis (1940).
Today In Entertainment March 3
In 1931, Cab Calloway recorded "Minnie the Moocher." It was the first jazz album to sell a million copies.
In 1940, Artie Shaw and his orchestra recorded "Frenesi" for RCA Victor.
In 1959, comedian Lou Costello died of a heart attack in East Los Angeles, Calif., three days before his 53rd birthday.
In 1960, actress-comedian Lucille Ball filed for divorce from her husband, Desi Arnaz, a day after they'd finished filming the last episode of "The Luci-Desi Comedy Hour" ("Lucy Meets the Mustache") on Arnaz's 43rd birthday. Remember, it's show business. — Ed.]
In 1966, Buffalo Springfield was formed, featuring Neil Young, Stephen Stills, Richie Furay, Dewey Martin and Bruce Palmer.
In 1967, Eric Burdon and The Animals refused to do a show in Ottawa, Ontario, unless they were paid in advance. The audience went on a rampage, causing $5,000 in damage. Also in 1967, the Jeff Beck Group made its stage debut in London.
In 1973, "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" by Roberta Flack was named Song and Record of the Year at the Grammys. "The Concert for Bangla Desh" won the best album award.
In 1991, ballroom dancing king Arthur Murray died in Hawaii at the age of 95.
In 1995, R.E.M. drummer Bill Berry underwent brain surgery for a ruptured aneurysm in Switzerland.
In 2006, new age musician Yanni was arrested for domestic battery at his home outside Palm Springs, Florida. He was not charged.
In 2009, Sydney Chaplin, Charlie Chaplin's son and himself a Tony-winning actor, died in Rancho Mirage, Calif. at age 82.
Thought for Today: "We are creatures of the moment; we live from one little space to another; and only one interest at a time fills these." — William Dean Howells, American author and editor (1837-1920).

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Family Circle

This approaches amusement.

Texas Tea Party: Where Are The Tea Bags?

Hey there, Tea-Bagging douchewads, how'd that Debra Medina candidacy work out for you? Got your country back yet?
Hutchison Concedes Texas G.O.P. Primary for Governor to Perry
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison Tuesday night conceded the Texas Republican primary for governor to the incumbent, Rick Perry, saying the party should unite behind the governor so he can win in November.
Read More: http://www.nytimes.com?emc=na
What? No? There aren't enough of you fools in all of Texas to vote one of you into a state-wide office? That's too damn bad. Are you going to shut the fuck up & go away now?

Turn Out In Tejas

Primary Day in Texas

Texas voters head to the polls today and the race most watched is the Republican gubernatorial primary between Gov. Rick Perry (R), Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) and Debra Medina (R).

The Dallas Morning News notes the "unprecedented battle between the two-term governor and three-term senator has stretched more than a year and consumed tens of millions of dollars. But for all the TV ads and attacks on each other, the dynamic appears little changed in months. Perry, riding a wave of anti-Washington sentiment, appears to have a comfortable lead, while Hutchison is trying to keep her bid alive for a few more weeks with a runoff."

At one point Medina "appeared to be battling Hutchison for second place but may have slipped in recent days because of a lack of money for television ads and a failure to quickly disavow a possible government conspiracy in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks."

Austin American Statesman: "If early voting in the state's big counties was any indication, turnout for today's election will be high. About 306,000 people voted early in the Republican primary this year in the state's 15 largest counties, more than doubling early vote turnout in those counties compared with the 2006 Republican primary for governor."


Blather four items below: Will Tea Party People turn out? What does this jump in the early numbers mean, beyond greater familiarity & comfort w/ early-voting?

2 March: Sam Houston Born, Tejas Declares Independence; GOP Steals Another Election; King Kong Premieres; Miles Cuts "Kind Of Blue"

Today is Tuesday, March 2, the 61st day of 2010. There are 304 days left in the year. The UPI Almanac.Today's Highlight in History:
On March 2, 1836, the Republic of Texas formally declared its independence from Mexico.
On this date:
In 1793, the first president of the Republic of Texas, Sam Houston, was born near Lexington, Va.
In 1807, Congress outlawed the importation of slaves to the United States, effective the following year.
In 1877, Republican Rutherford B. Hayes was declared the winner of the 1876 presidential election over Democrat Samuel J. Tilden, even though Tilden had won the popular vote. [Do you see a pattern here? — Ed.]
In 1899, Mount Rainier National Park in Washington state was established.
In 1917, Puerto Ricans were granted U.S. citizenship as President Woodrow Wilson signed the Jones-Shafroth Act.
In 1923, Time magazine debuted.
In 1925, the first system of interstate highway numbering was introduced in the United States.
In 1930, English author and poet D.H. Lawrence died in Vence, France at age 44.
In 1939, the Massachusetts legislature voted to ratify the Bill of Rights, 147 years after the first 10 amendments to the US Constitution had gone into effect. (Georgia and Connecticut soon followed.) Roman Catholic Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli was elected pope on his 63rd birthday; he took the name Pius the 12th.
In 1943, the Battle of the Bismarck Sea began; U.S. and Australian warplanes were able to inflict heavy damage on a Japanese convoy.
In 1945, units of the U.S. 9th Army reached the Rhine River opposite Dusseldorf, Germany.
In 1949, a U.S. Air Force B-50 Superfortress, the Lucky Lady II, piloted by Capt. James Gallagher, landed at Fort Worth, Texas, after completing the first non-stop, around-the-world flight in just more than 94 hours.
In 1958, a multinational expedition led by British explorer Vivian Fuchs completed the first overland crossing of Antarctica by way of the South Pole in 99 days.
In 1962, Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia Warriors scored an NBA record 100 points in a game against the New York Knicks.
In 1977, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted a strict code of ethics.
In 1985, The federal government approved a screening test for AIDS that detected antibodies to the virus, allowing possibly contaminated blood to be excluded from the blood supply.
In 1989, representatives from the 12 European Community nations agreed to ban all production of CFC's (chlorofluorocarbons) by the end of the 20th century.
In 1990, more than 6,000 drivers went on strike against Greyhound Lines Inc. (the company, later declaring an impasse in negotiations, fired the strikers).
In 1991, Yugoslavia's federal army was sent to Croatia to protect Serbs after violence erupted between Croatian security forces and villagers.
In 1992, U.S. President George H.W. Bush vetoed a bill linking improvements in human rights to continued most-favored-nation trade status for China.
In 1997, it was revealed that Vice President Al Gore had made fund-raising calls for the 1996 election on phones installed in government buildings for that purpose.
In 1999, Texas Governor George W. Bush announced he was forming a presidential exploratory committee. Conservative commentator Pat Buchanan launched a third White House bid.
In 2000, former Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet left Britain for his homeland, hours after he was ruled mentally unfit to stand trial on charges of human rights abuses. [According to the UPI:] The British government abruptly dropped extradition proceedings against former Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet, who had been under house arrest in London for 16 months as Spain sought to try him for crimes committed during his regime. A federal jury in Washington convicted Maria Hsia, a friend and political supporter of Vice President Al Gore, of arranging more than $100,000 in illegal donations during the 1996 presidential campaign. (Hsia was later sentenced to three months of home confinement.)
In 2004, a series of coordinated blasts in Iraq killed 181 people at shrines in Karbala and Baghdad as thousands of Shiite Muslim pilgrims gathered for a religious festival. Also in 2004, U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., locked up the Democratic presidential nomination with a series of primary victories. Former WorldCom CEO Bernard Ebbers was charged with falsifying the books at the long-distance company; his chief financial officer, Scott Sullivan, pleaded guilty to fraud and agreed to testify against him. (Ebbers was later convicted of securities fraud and conspiracy and sentenced to 25 years in prison; Sullivan was sentenced to five years.) Marge Schott, the controversial former owner of the Cincinnati Reds, died at age 75.
In 2005, the number of U.S. military deaths in Iraq reached 1,500. The woman who'd accused NBA star Kobe Bryant of rape settled her lawsuit against him, ending the case. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan urged Congress to scrutinize spending and taxes to help solve the problem of federal budget deficits that he called "unsustainable."
In 2006, the U.S. Senate gave final congressional approval to a long-term extension of the USA Patriot Act, after settling disputes over privacy rights of U.S. citizens. The law had been enacted in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Also in 2006, the United States and India announced agreement on a plan to allow India to buy U.S. nuclear fuel and reactor components. India in return reportedly would separate military and civilian nuclear programs and allow inspections.
In 2007, U.S. Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey announced his resignation amid charges of poor conditions for patients at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington.
In 2008, Dmitry Medvedev, Vladimir Putin's hand-picked successor, scored a crushing victory in Russia's presidential election. Also in 2008, the latest clash between Israel and Hamas continued to escalate with more than 100 Palestinians killed in five days of intense fighting. Four adults and two children were slain in a shooting and stabbing rampage at a Memphis house; three children survived. Jessie Dotson, brother of one of the victims, is charged with six counts of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder.
In 2009, President Barack Obama appointed Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to be secretary of health and human services. Soldiers assassinated the president of Guinea-Bissau, Joao Bernardo "Nino" Vieira. American International Group, the insurance giant whose massive failure helped bring on the global financial crisis, reported a record U.S. quarterly loss of $61.7 billion. The federal government in bailout and extended financing paid AIG about $180 billion to keep the firm afloat. Also in 2009, the Central Intelligence Agency was accused of destroying 92 tapes recording harsh interrogation proceedings with the al-Qaida terror suspects.
Today's Birthdays: Bluegrass singer-musician Doc Watson is 87. Actor John Cullum is 80. Author Tom Wolfe is 80. Former Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev is 79. Actress Barbara Luna is 71. Actor Jon Finch is 69. Author John Irving is 68. Singer Lou Reed is 68. Actress Gates McFadden is 61.
Actress Cassie Yates is 59. Actress Laraine Newman is 58. Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wisc., is 57. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is 55. Singer Jay Osmond is 55. Pop musician John Cowsill (The Cowsills) is 54. Tennis player Kevin Curren is 52. Country singer Larry Stewart (Restless Heart) is 51. Rock singer Jon Bon Jovi is 48. Blues singer-musician Alvin Youngblood Hart is 47. Actor Daniel Craig is 42. Rock musician Casey (Jimmie's Chicken Shack) is 34. Rock singer Chris Martin (Coldplay) is 33. Actress Heather McComb is 33. Actress Bryce Dallas Howard is 29. NFL quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is 28. Actor Robert Iler ("The Sopranos") is 25.
(Stations: Rock musician Casey, one name, is correct)
Those Born On This Date Include: Statesman DeWitt Clinton, chief sponsor of the Erie Canal project (1769); Pope Leo XIII (1810); journalist, politician and reformer Carl Schurz (1829); publisher Max Schuster (1897); German composer Kurt Weill (1900); children's author "Dr. Seuss," Theodor Geisel (1904); baseball player Mel Ott (1909); entertainer Desi Arnaz (1917); actress Jennifer Jones (1919); author Philip K. Dick (1928); guitarist Rory Gallagher (1949); singer Karen Carpenter (1950).
Today In Entertainment March 2
In 1933, the movie "King Kong" had its world premiere in New York.
In 1944, "Casablanca" won the best picture Academy Award. Jennifer Jones was named best actress for her role in "The Song of Bernadette." Paul Lukas won best actor award for "Watch on the Rhine."
In 1959, jazz trumpeter Miles Davis held the first of two recording sessions that yielded the album "Kind of Blue."
In 1964, The Beatles began work in London on the film "A Hard Day's Night."
In 1965, the movie version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "The Sound of Music" had its world premiere in New York.
In 1967, Frank Sinatra's "Strangers In The Night" was named Record of the Year at the Grammy Awards. The Song of the Year award went to John Lennon and Paul McCartney for "Michelle."
In 1988, Paul Simon won record of the year for "Graceland," the first time a winning record did not hit the top 40. U2's "The Joshua Tree" won album of the year. Little Richard got a standing ovation for announcing himself as winner for best new artist and complaining the Grammys never gave him anything.
In 1989, Madonna's Pepsi commercial premiered on TV. It was set to her new single "Like A Prayer." The ad was pulled a few days later because of its controversial religious images. Also in 1989, singer J.P. Pennington announced he was leaving the band Exile. [Who? What? Anyone? — Ed.]
In 1992, actress Sandy Dennis died in Connecticut at age 54.
In 1999, singer Dusty Springfield died, after battling breast cancer, at her home outside London. She was 59.
In 2004, Academy Award-winning actress Mercedes McCambridge died in La Jolla, Calif., at age 87.
In 2006, singer Gary Glitter was convicted of obscene acts with two young Vietnamese girls. He was sentenced to prison.
Thought for Today: "The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side." — James Baldwin, American author (1924-1987).

Monday, March 1, 2010

Even More Senate Fun

Allegations that inexperienced unknown Mickey Kaus (rumored to be some sort of centrist union-hating blogger) will run (apparently in the Democratic primary) against incumbent Sen. Barbara Boxer are best summed up by this:
Absent a political base of any sort in California, I'll assume this is about something other than, you know, becoming a Senator. Fostering debate on the great issues? Weakening Boxer for the Republicans in November? Blog traffic? Unknown, but it could be interesting for awhile.
Depending, of course on the definition of "awhile." Also revealed is that Mr. Kaus has not posted since 24 February. Not that we'd noticed. Maybe more good will come of this.

LATER: Reaction.

Bad News For Fans Of Humor & Abuse

Harold E. Ford Jr. Decides Not to Run for New York Senate Seat

Under intense pressure from Democratic Party officials, Harold E. Ford Jr., the former Tennessee congressman, has decided not to challenge Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand in the primary this fall, according to two people told of his plans.

He has told friends that, while he is convinced he could prevail against Ms. Gillibrand, he feared the winner of the primary would have little money and remain highly vulnerable to a well-financed Republican challenger at a time when the Democratic party controls the Senate by a slim majority.
We won't have a Ford to kick around anymore.

How Businessperson Carly Fiorina Got Her Golden Parachute

The New York Times has today's installment of our Failing Upwards series.
“Tom Campbell has a distinctly different point of view than I do,” Ms. Fiorina said. “He believes the way to close budget deficits is to raise taxes. I think that’s the wrong approach.”
Do you now, iCarly? We'll bet you can't wait to fire as many state employees as possible & cut the salaries of the remaining unfortunates to close those deficits. Surely when HP was being run into the ground you took major salary cuts, right? And you must have considered bankruptcy for HP, yes?
Ms. Fiorina suggested the other day that California file for bankruptcy; that is legally not possible.
Business & government: Not the same fucking thing, damnit!!

"Major league asshole" ("Big Time!") Nagourney takes Chuck D. to the bridge:
Mr. DeVore has been unsparing in his attacks on her.

“She has some personal wealth — but she was fired from Hewett-Packard,” he said. “She only voted six times in her life. She has a condo in Georgetown at the Ritz-Carlton that is 13,000 square feet bigger than my house — and she confessed she got it with the golden parachute money she got when she was fired. These sort of flaws will be played up significantly by Boxer.”

Mr. DeVore may be the wild card in the race. He has won the backing of an influential conservative political action committee created by Senator Jim DeMint, Republican of South Carolina. And his candidacy will offer a test of the strength of the Tea Party movement in this state. A poll taken in California in January found that 70 percent of Republicans had heard of the Tea Party movement, with 52 percent of them identifying with its ideas somewhat or “a lot.”

But Mr. DeVore, who is known as Chuck, is struggling to raise money, and remains barely known by most Californians. He said he was hopeful that as his profile rose, he would draw a wave of Tea Party contributions from across the country.

“This is eminently winnable for all three Republicans,” Mr. DeVore said of the Boxer race, “but I would argue, counterintuitively, that I am the most dangerous threat. Because I am the guy who is the toast of the Tea Partiers.”
Hasn't been an actual right-wing wig-case Sen. from these parts since S. I. Hayakawa (1977-83) & he was as much a wig-case, period, as a knee-jerk right-winger; like Reagan in his gubernatorial campaigns, he parlayed the media coverage he received in those turbulent '60s into a Senate term. (What's w/ linguists, anyway?) Boxer's seat has been held by a liberal Dem since 1969, but that (See Govs. Reagan & Schwarzenegger.) like everything we've typed here, doesn't mean squat, the political/electoral future being unknown. It's Magic 8 Ball® time.

And we are curious about those T.P. people. Will independents & Libertarian/Constitutional Partiers change registration (Note to self: See what the primary rules are this time around, Mr. Big Shot Know-It-All Political Pundit.) to vote for the toast? Are the "I want my country back!" voters even going to be noticed in the exit polls?

Our suspicion/instinct/straight-from-our-aging-colon assumption is that a good percentage of the dissatisfied white guys over 40 who like to be on tee vee in crowds don't vote very often (Presidential elections, probably, but not necessarily the primaries) or obsessively vote for Ron Paul types. Blather & poll until the cows have all been slaughtered & shipped, but if they don't show up on primary day & show us all, we'll know they've given up on change w/in the system & are probably busy stockpiling guns & ammo for the impending civil war/apocalypse. Can't wait a whole three months for that.

Tom Tancredo Describes Being Screamed At By John Sidney McCain III

His loathing for McCain has a long history. “I don’t like him,” Tancredo said. “He is not a very pleasant person. He is nasty, mean; the skin of an onion would look deep compared to his. He has a short fuse, he is almost peculiarly unstable.”

He still remembers his first encounter with the senator from Arizona. In 1999, Tancredo was elected to the House with 54 percent of the votes in his Colorado district. “When you win with less than 55 percent of the vote, you are seen as vulnerable. So then the party will go out to the superstars and say, can you please pick one or two vulnerables and do a fundraiser for them.” Somebody in McCain’s office picked him. “And I go, that’s great!” Tancredo recalled.

One day, he went over to the Senate and bumped into McCain in the elevator. “I had never met him. So I shake his hand to thank him for doing the fundraiser.” The senator then asked if he could count on Tancredo’s support for McCain-Feingold (a bipartisan campaign reform act McCain had drafted with Democratic senator Russell Feingold). Tancredo opposed this proposed regulation of political campaign financing, and he told McCain. “So I go: ‘I am voting no, I don’t like it. I actually think it’s terrible’.”

“It was like a bomb went off in his head. He exploded! He was screaming at me! It was, ‘When I come across the fucking street, you are…’ And, ‘You don’t know what the fuck you are talking about!’ And I said, ‘What?!’ I was just so taken aback. But then I went after him: ‘Hey, nobody told me you are coming to help me for a quid pro quo for a shit bill!’ It just got worse. It was really bad, I remember us getting out of the elevator and people stepped back way up because they couldn’t handle the screaming.”

The two never reconciled. “From there, it only went downhill,’’ according to Tancredo.

So what you are saying is, he would have been a really bad president?

“A terrible president.’’
Fine judge of character, Mr T. And very smart, w/ evolving definitions & everything.
What makes him [You know who.] a socialist?

“Well, first of all, the definition of socialism is constantly evolving it seems. And given today’s definition, I guess I should have used the word ‘euro socialism’. European type socialists think that big government is acceptable. You don’t own the means of production but you tax the hell out of them for the purpose of redistribution of wealth. That’s closer to his position than the textbook definition in which the government own the means of production.’’

So it’s not necessarily true that he is socialist?

“No. But the ends are the same. You have a flattening income curve and redistribution of wealth mostly based on taxation. He has talked about that. He likes that idea. He talks about the people that have influenced him, and some of them are committed Marxists. So he thinks that way, he works with people who think like that, and he really has no qualms about the government taking over General Motors. I mean, the government saying who can be the chairman of GM? I do not understand that anybody can look at that and say, ‘No that’s not socialism’.’’
Blah blah blah. And blah. Your 15 mins. are up, Tommy.