Thursday, April 30, 2009

Springtime For Hitler: 30 April

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

Pardon The Complete Fucking Mess While We Remodel

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

Econo-Version Of History

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

Liz & Dick In "Boffo Performance"

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

Cheney in 2012!

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

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

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

DeGaulle Resigns, We're Resigned Too

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

"In His Image"

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

Consumer Products Round-Up®

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

Semi-Stripped-Down Edition Of History's Folly

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

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

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

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

To Worry, Or Not To Worry?

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

Still Kicking

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

Luuuuucyy!! You Got Some Splainin' To Do!

By The Associated Press 2 hrs 43 mins ago Today is Sunday, April 26, the 116th day of 2009. There are 249 days left in the year. Associated Press. Sound & light. UPI Almanac. Today's Highlight in History: On April 26, 1865, John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln, was surrounded by federal troops near Bowling Green, Va., and killed. On this date: In 1607, English colonists went ashore at present-day Cape Henry, Va., on an expedition to establish the first permanent English settlement in the Western Hemisphere. In 1909, Abdul Hamid II was deposed as sultan of the Ottoman Empire. In 1937, planes from Nazi Germany raided the Basque town of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. [And why is this especially important or interesting above the normal noise of human atrocity? —Ed.] In 1945, Marshal Henri Philippe Petain, the head of France's Vichy government during World War II, was arrested. In 1964, the African nations of Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to form Tanzania. In 1968, the United States exploded beneath the Nevada desert a 1.3 megaton nuclear device called "Boxcar." [Syntax, AP, syntax. — Ed.]In 1970, the Stephen Sondheim musical "Company" opened at the Alvin Theatre in New York. In 1986, the world's worst nuclear accident occurred at the Chernobyl plant in the Soviet Union. In 1989, actress-comedian Lucille Ball died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles at age 77. In 2000, Vermont Gov. Howard Dean signed the nation's first bill allowing same-sex couples to form civil unions. [It took until last wk. (nine yrs.) for this to ooze its way through all three branches of Vermont's gummint? — Ed.] Ten years ago: The head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Cornelio Sommaruga, met with three U.S. soldiers held captive by Yugoslavia. BBC anchorwoman Jill Dando, host of a crime-fighting program, was fatally shot on the steps of her London home. (Barry George was convicted in July 2001 of killing Dando; however, he was acquitted in a retrial.) Five years ago: Following conservative criticism of his anti-war activities during the Vietnam era, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry accused President George W. Bush of failing to prove whether he'd fulfilled his commitment to the National Guard during the same period. The government unveiled its new, colorized $50 bill. Author Hubert Selby Jr. died in Los Angeles at age 75. One year ago: Police in Austria arrested Josef Fritzl, freeing his daughter Elisabeth and her six children, whom he had fathered while holding her captive in a cellar for 24 years. (Fritzl was later sentenced to life in a psychiatric ward.) [Sounds like an ordinary day for most mammals. — Ed.] Yossi Harel, the ship commander whose attempt to bring Holocaust survivors to Palestine aboard the Exodus 1947 built support for Israel's founding, died in Tel Aviv at age 90. Avant-garde composer Henry Brant died in Santa Barbara, Calif., at age 94. Today's Birthdays: Actress-comedian Carol Burnett is 76. [One more yr. & you beat Lucy. — Ed.] R&B singer Maurice Williams is 71. Songwriter-musician Duane Eddy is 71. Singer Bobby Rydell is 67. Rock musician Gary Wright is 66. Actor Giancarlo Esposito is 51. Rock musician Roger Taylor (Duran Duran) is 49. Actress Joan Chen is 48. Rock musician Chris Mars is 48. Actor-singer Michael Damian is 47. Actor Jet Li is 46. Rock musician Jimmy Stafford (Train) is 45. Actor-comedian Kevin James is 44. Actress Marianne Jean-Baptiste is 42.  [ENTERTAINMENT LATER IF WE REMEMBER & CAN FIND IT SOMEWHERE. Ed. @0350PDT: Looks like the AP has taken the wknd. off. We couldn't even find the EntHist we posted yesterday. But we found interesting birthdays of the currently dead:] 121 - Antonius Marcus Aurelius, [Marcus A Verus], Emperor of Rome (161-180) 570 - Muhammed, founder of Islam, according to the Shi'a sect. Other sources suggest April 20. 1319 - Jean II, the Good, king of France (1350-64) 1564 - William Shakespeare, Stratford-on-Avon England, playwright (Hamlet) [Note that non-Shi'a credit madman Muhammed w/ sharing Hitler's b-day, and the alternative for Shakespeare, as mentioned here. — Ed.]
[Oh look, here's yesterday's Entertainment recap (@ 0010, 27 April 2009:]
Today In Entertainment History -- On April 26th, 1956, the first Godzilla movie, "Godzilla, King of the Monsters," premiered in New York.In 1969, Humble Pie was formed. In 1977, the New York disco Studio 54 opened. It fast became the "in" place to be among the glitterati. In 1982, singer Rod Stewart was mugged in Los Angeles in broad daylight. He was not hurt. Joe Strummer of The Clash disappeared for three weeks, forcing the band to cancel their tour of the UK. Strummer later explained that he had doubts about his career, so he went to Paris and had been "living like a bum." In 1984, jazz great Count Basie died of cancer at age 80. He's best remembered for songs like "Jumpin' At The Woodside" and "One O'Clock Jump."In 1991, "General Hospital" star Emily McLaughlin died of cancer. In 1989, Lucille Ball died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles at age 77. In 1995, singer Bobby Brown was charged with aggravated assault and disorderly conduct following a nightclub fight in Orlando, Fla.  Thought for Today: "Friends may come and go, but enemies accumulate." — Dr. Thomas F. Jones Jr., American college official (1916-1981). Copyright ©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reversed. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Birth, Life, Death, Infinity on 25 April

By The Associated Press Sat Apr 25, 12:01 am ET Today is Saturday, April 25, the 115th day of 2009. There are 250 days left in the year. [Nice even number. — Ed.] Also see: AP. AP A/V. The UPI Almanac. Today's Highlight in History: In 1945, during World War II, U.S. and Soviet forces linked up on the Elbe River, a meeting that dramatized the collapse of Nazi Germany's defenses.On this date: In 1507, German cartographer Martin Waldseemueller named a huge land mass in the Western Hemisphere "America," in honor of Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci.In 1792, highwayman Nicolas Jacques Pelletier became the first person under French law to be executed by the guillotine. One hundred and fifty years ago, in 1859, ground was broken for the Suez Canal. In 1898, the United States formally declared war on Spain. In 1901, New York Gov. Benjamin Barker Odell Junior signed an automobile registration bill making New York the first state to require license plates on automobiles. The bill also imposed a 15 mph speed limit on highways. [Little did we know this would become the de facto limit on L. A.'s freeways. — Ed.] In 1915, during World War I, Allied soldiers invaded the Gallipoli Peninsula in an unsuccessful attempt to take the Ottoman Empire out of the war. In 1945, delegates from some 50 countries met in San Francisco to organize the United Nations. Fifty years ago, in 1959, the St. Lawrence Seaway opened to shipping. In 1983, Soviet leader Yuri V. Andropov invited Samantha Smith to visit his country after receiving a letter in which the Manchester, Maine, schoolgirl expressed fears about nuclear war. In 1990, Violeta Barrios de Chamorro was inaugurated as president of Nicaragua, ending 11 years of leftist Sandinista rule. Ten years ago: On the third and final day of their Washington summit, NATO leaders promised military protection and economic aid to Yugoslavia's neighbors for standing with the West against Slobodan Milosevic. More than 70,000 mourners gathered in Littleton, Colo., to remember the victims of the Columbine High School massacre. Lord Killanin, former president of the International Olympic Committee, died in Dublin at age 84. In 2003, Georgia lawmakers voted to scrap the Dixie cross from the state's flag. [Dixie Cross? WTF is that? The Stars & Bars have a new name? — Ed.] Five years ago: Hundreds of thousands of abortion-rights supporters marched in Washington, D.C. to protest Bush administration policies. One year ago: Three New York police detectives were acquitted in the 50-shot killing of Sean Bell, an unarmed groom-to-be, on his wedding day. Triathlete David Martin, 66, was killed by a great white shark in the waters off San Diego County. Today's Birthdays: Movie director-writer Paul Mazursky is 79. Songwriter Jerry Leiber is 76. Actor Al Pacino is 69. Rock musician Stu Cook (Creedence Clearwater Revival) is 64. Singer Bjorn Ulvaeus (ABBA) is 64. Actress Talia Shire is 63. Actor Jeffrey DeMunn is 62. Rock musician Michael Brown (The Left Banke) is 60. Rock musician Steve Ferrone (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers) is 59. Country singer-songwriter Rob Crosby is 55. Actor Hank Azaria is 45. Rock singer Andy Bell (Erasure) is 45. Rock musician Eric Avery (Jane's Addiction) is 44. TV personality Jane Clayson is 42. Actress Renee Zellweger is 40. Actress Gina Torres is 40. Actor Jason Lee is 39. Actress Marguerite Moreau is 32. Today In Entertainment History -- In 1968, The Beatles refused to perform for the Queen of England, saying regardless of the cause, they don't do benefits. [Ringo didn't like the menu. — Ed.] In 1977, Elvis Presley made what would be the last recordings of his life, at a concert in Saginaw, Michigan. Three songs appeared in the posthumously released album "Moody Blue." Thirty years ago, in 1979, the film "Rock and Roll High School" featuring The Ramones premiered. [We'll repeat that: Thirty years ago! Now two Ramones are dead. — Ed.] In 1981, the band Wings broke up after guitarist Denny Laine quit the group. In 1990, tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon died in Philadelphia of kidney failure at the age of 67. He helped define the be-bop movement, performing with such artists as Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie.
In 1995, actress-dancer Ginger Rogers died in Rancho Mirage, California. She was 83.In 2002, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes of TLC was killed in a car crash in Honduras. She was 30. 
Thought for Today: "There are two great rules of life, the one general and the other particular. The first is that everyone can, in the end, get what he wants if he only tries. This is the general rule. The particular rule is that every individual is more or less an exception to the general rule." — Samuel Butler, English author (1835-1902). Copyright ©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reversed. The information contained in the AP News report may well be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. So there.
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Friday, April 24, 2009

Is This Sort Of Thing For Which The AP Wants To Imprison The Blog-O-Sphere?

By The Associated Press 39 mins ago Today is Friday, April 24, the 114th day of 2009. There are 251 days left in the year. The other AP. Their A/V. And the UPI Almanac. Today's Highlight in History: On April 24, 1898, Spain declared war on the United States after rejecting America's ultimatum to withdraw from Cuba. (The United States responded in kind the next day.) On this date: In 1792, the national anthem of France, "La Marseillaise," was composed by Capt. Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle. In 1800, Congress approved a bill establishing the Library of Congress. In 1877, federal troops were ordered out of New Orleans, ending the North's post-Civil War rule in the South. [At that rate AmeriKKKan baby-killers should be out of Iraq by 2020. — Ed.] In 1915, the Ottoman Empire rounded up Armenian political and cultural leaders in Constantinople at the start of what many scholars regard as the first genocide of the 20th century in which an estimated 1.5 million Armenians died. In 1916, some 1,600 Irish nationalists launched the Easter Rising by seizing several key sites in Dublin. (The rising was put down by British forces almost a week later.) In 1953, British statesman Winston Churchill was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. In 1962, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology achieved the first satellite relay of a television signal, between Camp Parks, Calif., and Westford, Mass. In 1968, leftist students at Columbia University in New York City began a weeklong occupation of several campus buildings.In 1970, the People's Republic of China launched its first satellite, which kept transmitting "The East is Red." [And don't forget it, round-eyes!! — Ed.] In 1980, the United States launched an unsuccessful attempt to free the American hostages in Iran, a mission that resulted in the deaths of eight U.S. servicemen. President Carter announces the failed mission.In 1990, the space shuttle Discovery blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Fla., carrying the $1.5 billion Hubble Space Telescope.Ten years ago: On the second day of a NATO summit, the alliance ran into objections from Russia and questions among its own members about enforcing an oil embargo against Yugoslavia by searching ships at sea. President Bill Clinton urged Americans to be patient with the bombing strategy in the meantime. Five years ago: Suicide boat bombers attacked Iraqi oil facilities in the Persian Gulf, killing three Americans and disabling Iraq's biggest terminal for more than 24 hours. A U.N. plan to reunify the war-divided island of Cyprus collapsed when Greek Cypriots rejected the proposal in one referendum and Turkish Cypriots endorsed it in another. In Los Angeles, Vitali Klitschko stopped Corrie Sanders late in the eighth round to win the WBC heavyweight title vacated by the retirement of Lennox Lewis. Cosmetics queen Estee Lauder died in New York at 97. One year ago: The White House accused North Korea of assisting Syria's secret nuclear program, saying a Syrian nuclear reactor destroyed by Israel in 2007 was not intended for "peaceful purposes." The U.S. government reported new home sales fell 8.5 percent in March to their lowest level since the 1990s. The housing backlog was reported to be the largest since 1981. Today's Birthdays: Film and drama critic Stanley Kauffmann is 93. Movie director-producer Richard Donner is 79. Actress Shirley MacLaine is 75. Author Sue Grafton is 69. Actor-singer Michael Parks is 69. Actress-singer-director Barbra Streisand is 67. Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley is 67. Country singer Richard Sterban (The Oak Ridge Boys) is 66. Rock musician Doug Clifford (Creedence Clearwater Revival) is 64. Rock singer-musician Rob Hyman is 59. Actor-playwright Eric Bogosian is 56. Actor Michael O'Keefe is 54. Rock musician David J (Bauhaus) is 52. Actor-comedian Cedric the Entertainer is 45. Actor Djimon Hounsou is 45. Rock musician Patty Schemel is 42.  Today in Entertainment History: In 1957, Ricky Nelson released his first record, "Teenager's Romance" backed with a cover of Fats Domino's "I'm Walkin'." In 1958, Dion and the Belmonts' first single, "I Wonder Why" backed with "Teen Angel," was released. In 1961, Bob Dylan made his recording debut, playing harmonica on Harry Belafonte's "Midnight Special" album. He was paid $50. In 1969, Muddy Waters recorded the live album "Fathers and Sons," with a host of special guests, including Paul Butterfield and Mike Bloomfield. In 1972, several people were injured and at least six teenage girls fainted in a stampede prior to a Jethro Tull concert in New York. About 2,500 people rushed the lobby of the concert hall trying to get tickets. In 1974, comedian Bud Abbott of Abbott and Costello died in Woodland Hills, Calif. He was 78. In 1990, the road crew for Roger Waters of Pink Floyd discovered an unexploded World War Two-era bomb while constructing the set for "The Wall" in Potsdamer Platz, Germany. In 1992, singer David Bowie and fashion model Iman (EE'-mahn) got married in a secret ceremony in Switzerland. News of the wedding was not announced until more than a week later. [Probably because no one cared then or the next wk. — Ed.] In 1993, about 40,000 people turned out for Willie Nelson's Farm Aid Six concert in Ames, Iowa. Nelson was joined by Neil Young, John Mellencamp and more than 40 other top artists. In 2002, Jewel broke her collarbone and a rib when she was thrown from a horse at her boyfriend's ranch.
Thought for Today: "To change and to improve are two different things." — German proverb. Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reversed. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
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Thursday, April 23, 2009

23 April: Dropping Like Flies Throughout History

By The Associated Press 2 hrs 47 mins ago Today is Thursday, April 23, the 113th day of 2009. There are 252 days left in the year. Ass. Press. Ass. Press A/V. UPI Almanac. Today's Highlight in History: April 23, 1564, is believed to be the birthday of English poet and dramatist William Shakespeare; he died 52 years later, also on April 23. [Rather convenient & coincidental, innit? — Ed.] On this date: In 1616, the Spanish poet Cervantes died in Madrid. In 1789, President-elect George Washington moved into the first executive mansion, the Franklin House, in New York. In 1791, the 15th president of the United States, James Buchanan, was born in Franklin County, Pa. [Some say he was almost as bad a president as Bush 43. — Ed.] In 1896, the Vitascope system for projecting movies onto a screen was publicly demonstrated in New York City. In 1940, about 200 people died in the Rhythm Night Club Fire in Natchez, Miss. In 1954, Hank Aaron of the Milwaukee Braves hit the first of his eventual 755 home runs, in a game against the St. Louis Cardinals. (The Braves won, 7-5.) Aaron's career total is second only to Barry Bonds.In 1968, student protesters began occupying buildings on the campus of Columbia University in New York; police put down the protests a week later. In 1969, Sirhan Sirhan was sentenced to death for assassinating New York Senator Robert F. Kennedy. (The sentence was later reduced to life in prison.) In 1985, the Coca-Cola Co. announced it was changing the secret flavor formula for Coke. (Negative public reaction forced the company to resume selling the original version). Former U.S. Sen. Sam Ervin died at age 88. The North Carolina Democrat directed the Senate Watergate investigation that led to U.S. President Richard Nixon's resignation. In 1988, a federal ban on smoking during domestic airline flights of two hours or less went into effect. In 1993, labor leader Cesar Chavez died at age 66. In 1995, sportscaster Howard Cosell died at age 77. In 1998, James Earl Ray, who'd confessed to assassinating the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and then insisted he'd been framed, died at a Nashville, Tenn., hospital at age 70. Ten years ago: On the first day of a 50th anniversary NATO summit in Washington, Western leaders pledged to intensify military strikes against Yugoslavia and vowed "no compromise" on demands that Slobodan Milosevic withdraw his troops from Kosovo. Five years ago: President George W. Bush eased Reagan-era sanctions against Libya in return for Moammar Gadhafi's giving up weapons of mass destruction. South African President Thabo Mbeki was elected unopposed for a second term.
In 2007, Boris Yeltsin, the first freely elected Russian president, died at age 76. Journalist and author David Halberstam died in a car crash at age 73.
One year ago: President Bush, pushing for a Mideast peace agreement, met at the White House with Jordan's King Abdullah II. Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced that Army Gen. David Petraeus would be nominated by Bush to be the next commander of U.S. Central Command. The Supreme Court unanimously affirmed that police have the power to conduct searches and seize evidence, even when done during an arrest that turns out to have violated state law. The Chicago Cubs won their 10,000th game, joining only the Giants franchise in reaching that mark with a 7-6 victory in 10 innings at Colorado. Today's Birthdays: Actress-turned-diplomat Shirley Temple Black is 81. Actor Alan Oppenheimer is 79. Actor David Birney is 70. Actor Lee Majors is 70. Irish nationalist Bernadette Devlin McAliskey is 62. Actress Blair Brown is 61. Writer-director Paul Brickman is 60. Actress Joyce DeWitt is 60. Actor James Russo is 56. Filmmaker-author Michael Moore is 55. Actress Judy Davis is 54. Actress Jan Hooks is 52. Actress Valerie Bertinelli is 49. Actor Craig Sheffer is 49. Actor George Lopez is 48. Rock musician Gen is 45. U.S. Olympic gold medal skier Donna Weinbrecht is 44. Actress Melina Kanakaredes is 42. Rock musician Stan Frazier (Sugar Ray) is 41. Actor Scott Bairstow is 39. Actor Barry Watson is 35. Actor Kal Penn is 32.   Today In Entertainment History -- On April 23rd, 1956, Elvis Presley made his Las Vegas debut, opening for comedian Shecky Greene. Presley's engagement was canceled after a week because of poor ticket sales, and he didn't return to Vegas for 13 years. Forty years ago, in 1969, the Los Angeles club the Ash Grove was destroyed by fire. Many artists, like Canned Heat and the Chambers Brothers, got their starts there. [That address on Melrose is now The Improv. Show biz never dies, it just smells worse. — Ed.] In 1971, the Rolling Stones album "Sticky Fingers" was released. In 1975, Peter Ham of Badfinger hanged himself. He was reported to be depressed about the band's financial problems. He was 27. In 1987, singer Carole King sued record company owner Lou Adler for breach of contract. She claimed she was owed more than $400,000 in royalties and demanded the rights to her old recordings. [But did she kill herself? No. — Ed.] In 1991, guitarist Johnny Thunders of The New York Dolls died of a drug overdose in New Orleans. He was 40.In 1996, actress Margot Kidder was found dazed and disheveled, hiding in bushes in a stranger's yard in Los Angeles after disappearing for three days.In 2002, Jerry Lee Lewis announced he and his sixth wife, Kerrie, were divorcing after 17 years of marriage. Thought for Today: "Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them." — From "Twelfth Night," by William Shakespeare (1564-1616). Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
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