Sunday, January 31, 2010

Method Actor

I see Rip Torn hasn't gotten all of the Stanislavski out of his system from when he played Richard Nixon.

State police responded to an alarm at the Litchfield Bancorp building in Salisbury, CT at 9:40 PM last night. Police say they found Torn "with a loaded revolver" and he was "highly intoxicated." Law enforcement sources tell us Torn gained access through a broken window, which they believe Torn broke himself.

Still no cure for cancer (or for many people even a job)

But thank goodness, we've finally rid humanity of it's greatest and most labor-intensive curse!

I guess pre-senile dementia can be added to the mix

Shorter Sarah Palin, "I will gladly say something on Tuesday (or have someone say something for me), that is completely contradicted by something I say on Thursday."

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Remember when I posted that very short list of things I'd miss about the NYT when it goes behind the paywall?  

I forgot one very important person:  Bob Herbert

It's like he just found out there's a 14-year Dominican Boy waiting for him

From the Miss America pageant (it still exists?) the pathetic balding man with his back to you on the left (ironically) is "pep-pill" popping dancing fool Rush Limbaugh. As the link says, Elaine Benes would be embarrassed by such foul-dance moves.

Smooth Criminal

The difference between Tony Blair and George Bush has always been that Blair is intelligent enough so that you believe he can persuade himself to swallow his own line of bullshit; while Bush comes to the same conclusion because he's not smart enough to recognize it.

So different method, same result.

But as Booman notes the bottom-line in regards to Blair yesterday is that he used honeyed-words to reveal that invading Iraq was going to be done even if it was illegal and that Britain just HAD TO BE a co-conspirator.

Which is pretty much "might makes right".

The Bush-Era intelligence gathering has a prototype

Really, the world of Republican "intelligence gathering" meets some guy with gigantic genital issues who turns into a gigantic teabagger.

Just how badly is this guy overcompensating?

That's about it

There's a difference between being perhaps too self-righteous and being an asshole and this is it:

Asked whether the left-leaning documentaries of Michael Moore do not do the same, Ms. Farkas said: “Michael Moore goes after the rich and powerful. James isn’t doing that. He goes after low-level bureaucrats and people who are trying to help low-income people.”

Well, that and Michael Moore has talent.

Oh, let there be only none

Can everyone lose this one? That would be lovely.

A commercial featuring Tim Tebow and his mother Pam that is likely to air during Super Bowl XLIV may be rife with inaccuracies, according to power lawyer Gloria Allred...

Friday, January 29, 2010

"Was it Over When the Germans Bombed Pearl Harbor?"

Someone needs to show this speech to Dick Durbin.

What a bunch of sniveling losers. 

Something our "open" society is too cowardly to do

Right now live (well, virtually live), if you have the BBC or BBCAmerica you can see Tony Blair testify live to the Iraq Inquiry.

I imagine there are places on the internet to do this as well.

The 1970s, sometimes awesome

Because I write for Firedoglake, I'm part of the listserve there. In between our conspiratorial natterings over how to make the United States into a Marxist Utopia there's the occasional even more worthwhile email -- such as this one from a San Francisco car dealer who must have not known he was "doing it live!"

Still, he's no Jack Rebney:

Believe it or not, the latter is now the subject of an award winning documentary -- because of this famous you tube clip.

"Senator, I just remembered who's President -- and it's guy!"

(pic from here)


I'd like to remind people that McCain had that exact look on his face as he crashed another navy jet in the 60s.

Fred Hiatt has a hissy fit

And rules the Washington Post news pages with a douche-iron fist.

He pulled an article from the paper's news section because it was critical of the Editorial know that Editorial Page that's allowed to be fact-free and war-loving.

...yet by Howard Kurtz's definition TOTALLY liberal.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I sure hear the natterings about Obama's approval

But things are getting a little mavericky in Arizona -- if "mavericky" means almost as unpopular as your BFF Joe Lieberman.

Just 40% of Arizonans approve of the job McCain is doing for them in D.C., according to the poll.

Those numbers are about the same as Harry Reid in Nevada.

McCain is being challenged in an upcoming Republican primary by noted crazy person and former Representative J.D. Hayworth.

If the latter somehow beats McCain, the GOP will have trouble holding on to the seat if the Dems put up a good candidate -- they may even if McCain pulls out a primary win.

So Harry Reid might be toast, but so will McCain.

Leaving him available finally for those Sunday morning chat show appearances he always has to cancel.

Brass Assholes

Compare and contrast, the Joint Chiefs when they think there's a chance to bomb more brown people until the melanin bounces off -- and when they hear that gay people might be able to truthfully serve their nation.

Some wrong song, same wanker, different day

Everytime Obama gives a major speech Giuliani seems to appear on television and demonstrates that he never listened to it, or doesn't give a shit.


And yet it will happen again the next time.

Alert Cokie Roberts

Michael Steele and the rest of the RNC is going all exotic this week!

As the president gave his first State of the Union address Wednesday against the backdrop of the nation’s wheezing economy, the opposition party marked the event by convening a conference here — on an “island paradise.”

“Imagine lush tropical gardens, waterfalls, exotic wildlife and priceless artwork,” boasts the website of the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa. “This one-of-a-kind Honolulu Hawaii hotel resort is the only true resort property in Waikiki.”

Concern Trolling isn't just for Sunday Mornings and Richard Cohen columns anymore

Oh, droopy days, Joe Lieberman is now whining in 140 characters or less.

I bet Mike Allen and John McCain were his first two favorited TWITterers.

Major, make that minor, boner

Ah, FoxNews, what you do as it destroys the nation's political system at least comes with a side-dish of hilarious incompetence.

In the run-up to the State of the Union address, Garrett offered Twitter followers a link to SOTU excerpts, but the condensed URL sent them to's classified ads for erotic services in Las Vegas, instead.

Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity consider this the best tweet ever.

(pic from here)

This was the best part of the speech

I agree with McJoan that this was the best part of the actually follow through.

The other great part was the visual framing of the camera-work, when Obama spoke about allowing gay people to serve in the military, at 0:30 it makes it look like the Joint Chiefs of Staff are the suffering victims of the DADT policy.

And based on the work of some of their scrambling, desperate legal advisers trying to delay its implementation, they deserve that camera shot.

Hey Sammy, Joe Wilson would like you to tone it down

My favorite moment of the State of the Union address, as noted and captured by John Aravosis at AmericaBlog was Justice Samuel Alito's reaction to being mildly criticized.

One of the sillier customs of the SOTU Address (don't call it a "speech") along with the ritualistic, half-hearted, rapturous standing ovations is that the Supreme Court comes to sit there and do their impression of the Sphinx. They don't stand, they don't applaud, the just sit there. But it is a custom and it is to be rigorously observed.

But when Obama criticized the recent Citizens United vs. FEC decision as ignorning precedent and opening the floodgates to profligate special interests (especially corporate) spending...Alito, who next year will be there in his "Quaker State, NAPA Autoparts, Viagra, Black Velvet Whisky Robe", was not amused:

Alito has now spoken more in the House Chamber than Clarence Thomas has in the Supreme Court.

Of course, the post-speech reaction of Chris Matthews, is always a "special" uh, thing, he claimed to have liked the speech so much that for at least an hour, he almost forgot Obama was a black guy. Tell you what Chris, next year he'll enter the House Chamber with the musical accompaniment of "Sweet Georgia Brown" to help you out.

[Cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Howard Zinn: 1922 - 2010

Howard Zinn has died

I was lucky enough to take a couple of classes with Professor Zinn.  I was almost entirely ignorant about the way power is wielded when I started the first class.    Not so much at the conclusion of our time together.  

Condolences to his family and friends. 

Just wondering...

Which right-wing organizations, officials, news outfits, and/or bloggers knew about the attempt to wiretap Mary Landrieu's office and when did they know it?

But I’m not as interested, for the moment, in O’Keefe as I am in his alleged accomplice, Robert Flanagan.

You see, Flanagan is the son of the acting US Attorney for Western LA, William Flanagan. Flanagan, Sr., had only been in charge for a week–since January 18, when Bush’s US Attorney for the district, Donald Washington, stepped down–when his son got busted on federal property elsewhere in the state.

But that’s not the only neat connection that Robert Flanagan has. Last year–from January to April–Flanagan, Jr., interned for Congresswoman Mary Fallin (R-OK). And Fallin is one of just 31 Representatives who co-sponsored a resolution honoring James O’Keefe and his ACORN-filming accomplice, Hannah Giles. (Fallin was joined on the resolution by such notables as Joe Barton, Louis Gohmert, Steve King, and Jean Schmidt.)

It’s all very cozy, apparently, in Republican corruption circles.

Oh, and speaking of corrupt Republicans, you might be interested in knowing that Obama’s nominee to be US Attorney for LA’s Western District, Stephanie Finley, the woman who will replace Flanagan, Sr., is being blocked by LA’s other Senator, David “Diapers” Vitter. Why? Because he wants to make sure LA’s US Attorney for the Eastern District–the one who will be prosecuting Messrs. O’Keefe and Flanagan, now–stays in office for a while longer.

I hope Marcy Wheeler doesn't mind me poaching almost her entire post.

And FoxNews will go "la la la"

Never to be mentioned when Cheney or Spawn start describing the delights of torturing people.

December 2007:


Then, April 2009 comes along:
U.S. Government documents released in April 2009 indicate that Kiriakou's account that Abu Zubaydah broke after only one water boarding session was incorrect. According to a footnote in newly released, previously classified "Top Secret" memos, the CIA used the water board "at least 83 times during August 2002 in the interrogation of Zubaydah."

Following the release of the documents, Kiriakou said: "When I spoke to ABC News in December 2007 I was aware of Abu Zubaydah being water boarded on one occasion. It was after this one occasion that he revealed information related to a planned terrorist attack. As I said in the original interview, my information was second-hand. I never participated in the use of enhanced techniques on Abu Zubaydah or on any other prisoner, nor did I witness the use of such techniques."

Rather quietly reported at the time -- and when Cheney & spawn have been on news shows since, they have never been confronted with this -- one cannot be impolite with a Republican by questioning their bullshit apparently.

And now TODAY:

Now comes John Kiriakou, again, with a wholly different story. On the next-to-last page of a new memoir, The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA's War on Terror (written with Michael Ruby), Kiriakou now rather off handedly admits that he basically made it all up.

"What I told Brian Ross in late 2007 was wrong on a couple counts," he writes. "I suggested that Abu Zubaydah had lasted only thirty or thirty-five seconds during his waterboarding before he begged his interrogators to stop; after that, I said he opened up and gave the agency actionable intelligence."

But never mind, he says now.

"I wasn't there when the interrogation took place; instead, I relied on what I'd heard and read inside the agency at the time."

And Brian Ross -- not for the first time -- gets caught tossing out complete and utter bullshit that justifies a war crime.

And the Cheney's will NEVER be challenged.

When did Richard Cohen start writing for Balloon Juice?

Not John Cole, but DougJ:

I don’t like Jon Stewart. He mugs for the camera too much, he’s not as smart or cute as he thinks he is, he’s smug, and the only thing that saves his show from being a bore is his crack staff and funny correspondents. I don’t expect any of you to agree with me about this. I’m just calling it like I see it.

And apparently, we've found the one living Craig Kilborn fan in comments -- unless Craig Kilborn is still alive, I really don't know.

I agree. Craig Kilborn was better—stayed in character, rather than constantly mugging and drawing attention to himself and the fake-ness of the show.

I know it's all subjective and opinions are like assholes -- but, what?!

I suppose that guy dislikes Craig Ferguson too.

I know the answer

Because he's an asshole.

Let's save the T-Shirts of Che!

Okay right-wingers here's the deal. Prisoner swap...

Mumia for James O'Keefe.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What Book Are You Reading?

I just finished this.  It was oh so precious. 

Just before that I read this.  Definitely not precious.  Fascinating. And, I'm afraid, where we are headed.   Highly recommended.

Before that: Ozick.  My first.  I liked it. 

Next up:  maybe this.   Update: or should I read Dombey and Son?  If I am nuts about Great Expectations, what should my next Dickens be?  I've also got Our Mutual Friend sitting here.  Already read David Copperfield.   

And While I'm Bitching & Moaning

It is not now, nor has it ever it been Teddy's Seat. It's Massachusetts' seat. We'd be in a somewhat better place if the House of Lords Senate got that through its collective skull.

My Frustration Continues Unabated

...still, this is interesting.

Heckuva Job Washington Post

Such a liberal paper, just ask Howie the Putz -- nice filtering of questions:

Re: tort reform: Why have Dems been so slow to embrace things like tort reform, death tax reform, and preventing young bucks from buying T-bone steaks with their welfare checks?

Ben Pershing: I just covered tort reform. Dems haven’t pursued estate tax reform because they don’t want to give up the government revenue. As for T-bone steaks, I would personally fight any proposal that discouraged their purchase. I like steak.

Later somebody called out letting such racist bullshit into the conversation, but how much effort would that have taken, these questions are screened ... and this wasn't noticed?

Where's our check Arianna?

Apparently everybody's Twitter account was pretty much being published. So as a published HuffPo contributor (like both Tony Blankley and various and sundry adult entertainers) we would like our share of your alimonial estate!

Can't freeze this kind of spending

No -- this kind of money NEEDS to be spent:

Drotleff's three-year service in the Marines ended with an other-than-honorable discharge in 2001 and a military record that included offenses for seven unauthorized absences, two failures to obey an order, assault, disrespect toward a noncommissioned officer and falsely altering a military ID card. Before his service with Blackwater in Afghanistan, the 29-year-old also faced a number of state convictions for reckless driving, disturbing the peace, assault and battery, resisting arrest and DWI.

Cannon, 27, was discharged from the Army after going AWOL and testing positive for cocaine. He later petitioned successfully to have his military records officially changed to an honorable discharge.

So no money on wasteful shit like expanded health care coverage, let alone universal health care. No more money on shit like food assistance (those people are ANIMALS!). No money spent on keeping people in their houses. No, that shit has GOT to stop.

But more spending on the military stuff -- especially mercenaries who are military washouts -- AB-SO-FUCKING-LUTELY!

Que Lee Greewood!

Portrait of a Young Douchebag

Ah, Ross Douthat, at Harvard -- though I went to a small liberal arts school and public university for my more than expensive enough post-graduate education -- I more than recognize the type.

His room is adorned with posters of Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe - stars from Hollywood's glamour heyday - as well as a towering tribute to Gladiator. "I think that Russell Crowe's evocation of manhood is something all men should aspire to", he explains

We had the same, young, repressed, dysfunctional and angrily virginal right-wing assholes and their "alternative" newspaper writers -- looking down their noses at the libertines who actually got laid with or without the assistance of alcohol. Nothing seemed to work for them, especially their piggish personalities -- and their amazing strategem of holding the woman (they were ALWAYS guys) they were trying to sleep with in open contempt.

Bad harbinger, but good times.

That's great

Now how about actually doing something about it?

The Hill newspaper is now reporting that Obama will mention DADT in his State of the Union adress.

Three-year spending freeze still sucks.

It's getting harder and harder*

To focus specifically on Republicans as being uniquely and tragically mockable (well, and Lieberman).

But one-year after finally toppling waiting-out, the worst President in American History (hey, stage your rally Buchanan people!) by electing at the very worst a hopey-changey center leftest. Well a year in, we've lost the hopey, we've lost the changey, we long ago lost the leftest -- and apparently we've lost the center too.

A three-effing-year spending freeze on every thing but our ability to build bigger, better, bombs and stage more occupations of others. The National Security State gets another bonus so that most every actual American gets little security while every non-American gets to worry about the opposite of security. Seems like an idea David Broder could love, like an idea only John McCain and a Republican could have.

Good thing we made that guy President, huh?

Congrats on coming back to the Obama team, David Plouffe -- hope you like beating up the people who voted for your guy, he sure seems to. Yesterday the President stated he would rather be a good one-term President than a mediocre two-term President.

Well, Barack, how about a little of each? Because you seem determined to get there.

[Cross-posted at Firedoglake]

*that's what she said

Monday, January 25, 2010

Plouffe 2.0

I just got my first email from Plouffe 2.0. He did not have the gall to ask me for money. Good call.

On a related note, I've been pondering this possibility since last Wednesday. I'm not going to watch, because although I am royally fed up with BHO at the moment, I don't think I could bear whatever antics the Republicans have planned for the SOTU.

Feeling Minnesota

If this doesn't fit into the stoic nordic stereotype of the long-suffering Viking fan I don't know what does:

Emmett Pearson, a farmer who lives in rural Welch, watched the Minnesota Vikings lose the 1974 Super Bowl to the Pittsburgh Steelers and immediately began growing a beard. The 79-year-old hasn't shaved since, and doesn't plan to until the Vikings win the big game — whenever that might be.

"I made a vow and I'm going to stick with it," he said. "But I think my wife would just as soon I give it up."...

Pearson's allegiance remains unwavering.

"We don't watch anything else," said his wife. "We don't read anything else. I don't think he owns any other clothing."

As I was saying...

The wealthy, they're just better than the rest of us, just ask 'em and they'll tell you -- after they first accuse you of wanting to start "class warfare" ("you proles lost, get over it!")

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. securities regulators originally treated the New York Federal Reserve's bid to keep secret many of the details of the American International Group bailout like a request to protect matters of national security, according to emails obtained by Reuters.

Geithner was the head of the NY Fed at the time.

Well that was poignant

Well, the Vikings outgained the Saints about 2 to 1 and dominated in ever conceivable fashion, shutting down the Saints' high-powered offense.

...oh, except for that whole turnover thing (tell-tale sign of a team selling out too much). Favre's late interception when the Vikings were in position to kick the winning Field Goal was poignant (and painful).

Oh, the pain as Dr. Zachary Smith would say.

Congrats to the Saints though.

Wealthy people

They're just better than you -- therefore, it's important that their investments prosper while the rest of us, we little people suffer.


What's a principle worth, when principal is involved?

Hard as it is to believe, John McCain was on a Sunday Talk Show yesterday. I'll give you a moment to get over your shock…


In the wake of last week's atrocious Supreme Court Decision Citizens United v. FEC (aka NASCAR as political model) Mr. Maverick revealed the commitment he has to the one issue he's actually had a modest legislative success in:

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), co-crafter of landmark campaign finance legislation in his career, said he thought not much could be done to counter the Supreme Court's decision Thursday to lift long-held restrictions on corporate donations to political candidates.

McCain would obviously have been completely worthless if he was around when Plessy v. Ferguson or Dred Scott came down -- oh, that's right he was.

But then again, shrugging and saying "oh well" does seem to be bipartisan.

[Cross-Posted at Firedoglake]

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Nice State ya' got there

The State that gave us the start of the Civil War, Mark Thurmond, and euphemisms for international infidelity still keeps producing leaders of the highest caliber in low morality:

Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer has compared giving people government assistance to "feeding stray animals."...

"My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed. You're facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don't think too much further than that. And so what you've got to do is you've got to curtail that type of behavior. They don't know any better," Bauer said.

In South Carolina, 58 percent of students participate in the free and reduced-price lunch program.

(via TPM)

Oh God, he's so right!

In a post noticing that the whole Conan/Leno thing is part of a piece of feeling like the Baby-Boomers will never get the fuck out of the way comes this insightful bit from DougJ at Balloon Juice:

The worst part is that when the boomers do get out of the way, it will only be to hand the reins over to their own children (Luke Russert, Meghan McCain, etc.).


Saturday, January 23, 2010


If you want to lose a seat you should win, it doesn't help to run in a tough environment -- BUT -- the killer was the fact that Scott Brown ran a good campaign and Martha Coakley was about as bad a candidate as a person can be:

A reporter from the Boston Globe asked if she was being too passive. “As opposed to standing outside Fenway Park? In the cold? Shaking hands?'' Coakley bristled.

Yeah, that's what politicians do bonehead. You deserved to lose -- probably bigger than you did.

Can This Presidency Be Saved?

(I am posting on a PDA, so please excuse the typos.)

Did you read Bob Herbert today? If not, you should, even though I can't figure out how to link to it right now.

Herbert is right -- an entire year has neen wasted dicking around, only to result in a health care bill the public doesn't understand, the congress won't defend, and the president won't support. The only thing worse than Dems who lose, apparently, are Dems who actually win.

Last night, a friend and I discussed whether Obama is salvageable. Our conclusion is that he is, but only if he gets his shit together right now.

The Senate should do Obama a favor and can Bernanke. The hope is that it will wake Obama up, prompt him to kick Geithner to the curb, and send Summers (and maybe Emmanuel) to an island someplace..

My hedgie friends keep telling me that the second half of the dip is imminent. Obama ought to get the team he needs to deal with that in place now.

Don't let the Senate make the decision for you, Mr. President. They are, by nature, a collection of preening, bloviating, anti-Democratic fucktards. Cut your losses, don't look back, and lead now.

P.S. To Chris Dodd re your warning that the economy will go into a "tailspin" if Bernanke is not re-confirmed; go to hell, which is to say, go be a lobbyist already. You"re obviously qualified for the job.

If you combined their IQs you "might" have a MENSA member

Though you might have to toss in George Bush's IQ just to safely cross the threshold.

After months of speculation that popular talk show host and former Rep. JD Hayworth might challenge Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) for his senate seat

Have fun there Arizona.


If this comes to pass, it isn't much of an example:

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is engaged with House progressives, trying to tease out a solution to the health care reform impasse--but he says that at the highest levels of the Senate and the White House, there's still no plan, and he doubts whether President Obama will insert himself forcefully into the process.

Friday, January 22, 2010


We elected a Black Man in 2008 so that by January 2010 we could be ruled by a White Penis and Joe Lieberman.

Sorry, at the end I was being redundant.


Dear God...NOOO!!!!!!!!!



Real pissa' there Massachusetts

Full-frontal, leading his daughters to Girls Gone Wild auditions, and now this:

Here's [Scott Brown's] wife Gail Huff in a bikini, coaxing a tube of sunscreen to metaphoric orgasm, in a music video from 1982...Before she was a Boston news anchor (and now a senator's wife) Gail Huff was the pouty, tousled-hair video girl who romps in the ocean, sheds her bikini top, and creates sexual innuendo by squeezing a tube of sunscreen, making it squirt all over the place.

Starring in a video about somebody named Digney Fingus.

Look out Sarah Palin you're old news now.

Okay, well back to the important stuff

Oh, lordy, save me from the analysis of Alessandra Stanley.

All the comedians have been funny about their plight, but at the moment it’s their lack of humor that is the spectacle. Viewers are transfixed like schoolchildren watching their teachers break into a food fight — delighted, but also disoriented.

Ridiculous, this is the MOST entertaining late night has been in years (Stanley as factually accurate as ever). Plus in the wake of Massachusetts and the naively missed, yet always occurring, Democratic self-destruction, it's keeping me highly entertained and blogging. I'm not disoriented -- about this at least.

The looming return of Lochner

I know I've already blogged about this, but I cannot tell you how much the opinion in Citizens United bothers me. In fact, it disturbs me so much I may even post about it as much as I do the Late Night Talk Show Wars -- it's that important!

I put up the "not so much snark" description of Dave Weigel yesterday. However, no CEO of a company making such a profit and salary through tax payer assistance is going to leave for a job so limited in compensation. It will be pass through the trough of someone like the Chamber of Commerce. The latter is now free to endorse all the Birthers and Global Warming deniers it wishes - because all those FoxNews-aired commercials about how awesome overturning the minimum wage and maximum hour laws will be highly pervasive. Being for workers compensation laws as the "new" height of treason can be found in your 2010 political advertising.

The justices easily could have ruled on narrow statutory grounds. Instead, last summer, they announced a rushed re-argument, making clear they were itching to overturn a century of constitutional doctrine, even though the case offered no factual or trial record on the broad question of corporate spending. This week the justices struck down laws in 22 states and overturned key decisions from 1990 and 2003 -- all in the middle of a new election cycle. It is hard to remember an instance where the justices reached so far to make major constitutional law. It will have immediate political consequences. Business managers now will be able to spend at will Bloomberg-level sums in congressional races across the country. In partisan and political impact, this rivals Bush v. Gore.

And where will the Roberts Court go next? Those "non-activist" judges have managed to ignore precedent and create new pro-business laws yet again.

When will this five-judge majority officially bring back the Lochner Era...just for old-times sake?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

"You're Fired"

That's what I'd say if my subordinate publicly bucked me.

(And on an entirely unrelated note: God damn it.)

This week can't end soon enough.

About sums it up

Goodbye last vestige of this...

Actually mattering:

Today’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC abolishes the previously settled distinction between corporate and individual expenditures in American elections and would appear to apply to state and local elections as well as Federal ones given that the Court recognizes such a First Amendment right. This is literally an earth shattering change in the lay of the land in campaign finance, and it will have ramifications in every way imaginable for the foreseeable future.

The underwritten world of teabaggery is the new free speech...because if there's one thing that will be true about it, getting heard will NOT be free at all.

Well Letterman bookers here's your plan

Here we go:

NBC and representatives for Conan O'Brien have finally signed their long-anticipated deal for O'Brien to leave "The Tonight Show" and the network, a person close to the negotiations said early Thursday.

A formal announcement is expected later today...

Once O'Brien signs off Friday, the deal with NBC give "Tonight Show staff just a few weeks to clear out of their newly built offices on the Universal City lot. A non-dispargement clause will prevent O'Brien or NBC from directly taking potshots at each other in the press

O'Brien is expected to keep a low profile in the weeks after he leaves "Tonight," most likely not doing interviews or talk show appearances right away.

Leno re-steals the tonight show where he can wantonly steal material and make jokes about Letterman's fidelity after the Olympics end in early March.

Let me be -- what must be by now the 10,000th person to suggest that Letterman's first guests on Leno's first night back be...

...Conan O'Brien and Andy Richter. Dave can just sit there making wisecracks and Conan can sing his refusal to comment.

And his next...

...the Masturbating Bear, with his cousin the Masturbating FOX (I guess that would be Bill O'Reilly).

And are you still opposed to same sex marriage?

Well, are you?

John Edwards issues statement to NBC admitting that he fathered a child with Rielle Hunter.

Interesting it's the wives of politicians (Elizabeth Edwards, Cindy McCain) that are able to have opinions on these things that are, y'know, tolerant.

Everybody rips off everybody

Oh not as much as Jay Leno or Dane Cook, but eventually, as even this post shows. Apparently, there is nothing that the porn industry will not rip off (the horror, I always thought they drew the moral line at exploiting runaways, abused broken people, drug addicts, and donkey rape). This reminds me (well, someone else actually) that even James Cameron ripped off the concepts of others.

The real question is when will we see "Not Schindler's List XXX"?

In case it hasn't come across already

I know I'm just a blogger at this rather non-descript little blog, but what Res says.

Again, the problem with losing in Massachusetts -- a very blue state -- is that enough blue voters look at the Democrats, Congress, and yes, the Obama Administration and wonder, "why bother?". From their perspective, why get out and vote for a bunch of guys who seemed trapped in the box of "we can't get those votes, so why even try for what we believe?" (warning, naively assumes beliefs).

Not a great way to motivate the ol' base.

So Democrats, you've got ten months -- I suggest you at least start dispensing the shinola.

Literally, rearranging deckchairs

As the death toll builds in Haiti -- climbing toward 200,000, one American corporation has made a necessary and horrifying donation. While Lowe's has donated $1 million and set up an opportunity through customers to donate more, less reported is this from Kos diarist FishOutOfWater:

Thanks to Lowes Hardware for donating hack saws to my general surgeon, Dr. J, who's going to Haiti this weekend.

Those are necessary for amputations.

Meanwhile, the cruise industry -- which just last month set up a new ship welcoming pier in Haiti for tourists (while, pretty much shutting out Haitians from meaningful employment) -- donated this:

An American cruise company that is continuing to deliver tourists to a private beach less than 100 miles from Port-au-Prince yesterday said it would donate spare sun loungers and beach furniture to a makeshift hospital for victims of the earthquake.

Sounds like something straight out of the Jonah "Beyond Thunderdome" Goldberg school of disaster relief for non-whites.

Once again, here are actual places to donate to help.

(pic from here)

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Dear Dems

As Booman says, take a look at these numbers and stop dicking around.   "Ooooo! But that's liberal Massachusetts," you shriek.  

Keep telling yourselves that.


P.S.  You, too, Obama. 

Sounds about right

And what's the GOOD News?

America is a wonderful country.

Where else can  a Teabagging nude centerfold become a member of "the world's greatest deliberative body"?

Where else can a half-wit beauty queen come within a hair's breadth of being a heartbeat away from the most powerful job on the planet?

Where else can a prostitute transform himself into a journalist and gain access to the White House 196 times in two years?

On this day, we really should be celebrating the endless possibilities for self-reinvention that our wonderful country offers.

Or we should drink heavily. 

Well, one bit of good news

I just walked my dog in the midst of an ice-storm...and I didn't fall down, let alone go all "John Cole" on my shoulder.

It's a one-year anniversary of the Obama Inaugural Miracle (and it's the only one today).


That went well.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"He was always pumping me . . . He never talked about his wife."

Wow. I never knew this:

IF you thought the affair between Vogue's Anna Wintour and reggae star Bob Marley was a shocker, how about the fling between Sally Quinn, the wife of legendary Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee, and the late Hunter S. Thompson? In the new oral biography "Gonzo: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson," Quinn reveals she met Thompson during the 1972 election and that he was obsessed with D.C. gossip, reports. "He was always pumping me . . . He never talked about his wife," Quinn is quoted.

I'll bet he was.

Well, I can see that

She probably used the same technique to get Ben Bradley to dump his wife.

America's Villagers ladies and gentlemen.

CPAC Panel Suggestion

Teabagging nude centerfold Scott Brown chats with teabagging-fantasy-provoking nude centerfold Levi Johnston on the future of the Republican party.

How Can We Miss You When You Won't Go Away?

Thing's I wont miss when the NYT goes back behind a firewall:
  1. David Brooks
  2. Thomas Friedman
  3. Maureen Dowd
  4. Andrew Ross Sorkin
  5. Adam Nagourney
  6. Jeff Zeleny
  7. The odious Styles section
  8. Escapes
  9. The ever-aspirational real estate section
  10. Hand-wringing Metro articles about gentrification (which always come down on the side of advocating for more of it)
  11. Withholding important stories (e.g., about violations of Americans' civil liberties) at the request of the Republican party
  12. Fake trend stories prompted by writers' late-night conversations with their sorority sisters
  13. He Said/She Said framing
  14. Doctoring photographs to fit a writer's meme (h/t watertiger)
Things I will miss when the NYT goes back behind a firewall:
  1. Paul Krugman (except that enterprising folks will post all his columns within minutes of them going up on the Times site, so I won't miss him after all)
  2. Mark Bittman (except that he collects his recipes in regularly released cookbooks, so I won't miss him, either)

Shorter David Brooks

America -- In Summary by David Brooks

It's a good-thing Applebee's has a sneeze-guard on that fictional salad bar I give it -- because if I was ever in one -- fat chance! -- I'd need it when I read one of the non-sticking-together pages of my copy of the Federalist Pages.

I swear this moron thinks someday today's column will form the narrative of a Levi's ad.

Well, at least they woke up about one thing...

In America...that Jay Leno is a back-stabbing, uriah-heep AND a mediocrity:

A funny thing happened on the way back to 11:35: Leno's Vegas comedy show has slashed ticket prices to BOGO mall Santa discount levels. He's the only member of the Mirage Hotel's "Headliners" series to be forced to do so.

Meanwhile, Letterman's brilliant response to being called "gutless" and "chicken-hearted" by NBC suit Dick Ebersol (includes timeless Jay Leno impression and not so subtle jab at the latter as a corporate tool):

(again sorry about the horrible ad at the beginning -- there's some way to get rid of those but I don't know how. Can anyone help?)

America's Concern Troll

In today's very special edition (oh, who am I kidding, it's an incredible limpid mess) Richard Cohen reveals a secret. Shorter Cohen:

I'm more than just a shitty thinker and even worse writer. I'm also a transvestite.

The Super Bowl of Hypocrisy

I know we've picked on Fox -- especially its news network for years for being nothing but Republican Agitprop. However, as Daily Kos diarist Mistersite notes, CBS is getting ready to show some real hypocrisy as well.

A few years ago, when they last had the Super Bowl -- which is, by the way, the Super Bowl of Advertising -- CBS rejected an ad from the United Church of Christ which encouraged tolerance in the Christian Faith, including the acceptance of gay and lesbians as congregants. The reason was it took a position on a controversial subject. Apparently, it's controversial if gay people go to church. It also rejected other message ads...most from progressive groups.

We now reach the present. And CBS is apparently going to have no problem allowing an anti-choice ad from Tim Tebow (ironically, a Brett Favre-like object of a media man crush -- except imagine Brett Favre as a proselytizing bible-thumper, yeah it's that horrific). Last year, NBC rejected an anti-abortion buy. The ad is from Focus on the Family, America's exclusive source for the wisdom of James Dobson -- from beating your dog to showing your son your junk in the shower being the height of fatherhood.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Monday, January 18, 2010


I just took a long walk with my friend J, who told me that earlier today, her beau had the television tuned to some morning program (no idea if it was network or cable) and that the bottle-blonde hostess said the following (paraphrasing, but I've got the best bits):

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!  If MLK were alive today, what would his relationship with Barack Obama be like?  Some people say they'd be frenemies ....

I need one of you Hegemaniacs to come over here and kill me right now.  I quit cable over a year ago and as a result, I only turn on my TV to watch "Frontline", "60 Minutes", and the occasional sporting event (e.g., last night's Jets/Chargers game), but even hearing about some of the nonsense that goes on in our media makes me insane.  

Update:  I just had an email from J:  it was MSNBC.  Why am I not surprised?

I remember when they played together in the "Revolution'

Has there ever been a shot of two more different men associated with one state and one-color at the same time?

Here's a li'l bit of capitalism

To piss you off a bit.

Labadee is a private beach sixty miles from ruined Haitian capital Port au Prince. Some cruise goers find this a little close for comfort: Squalor really ruins the view, and what if the desperate poor folk breach the 12-ft walls and armed guards to steal our fineries, like clean water and food? Royal Caribbean pledged $1M to Haitian relief effort, which is less than two percent of the $55M they recently spent renovating Labadee. They're also donating a sliver of their proceeds to Haitian relief, but seriously? Either dedicate real resources to helping the suffering (Labadee's material resources and "armed guard" manpower come to mind) or cover your face and slink off to some other post-colonial paradise, where your cavalier selfishness will only be moderately disturbing.

It is non sequitur to chastise every action as inferior to helping Haiti, but if there is one activity worthy of this criticism, then docking your mega luxurious cruise ship in Haiti and partying on a private beach there is probably it.

What's Pashto for "Tet"?

This can't be good.

Taliban militants struck at heart of the Afghan government Monday, launching attacks at key targets in the center of the city in a clear sign the insurgents plan to escalate the fight as the U.S. and its allies ramp up their own campaign to end the war.

It can't be all disdain all the time

I've been blogging about my distaste for George W. Bush as president for nearly six years now -- and I had four years of loathing going in. He was a flippin' disaster both foreign and domestic -- something that's always important to remember when we slag on the current Administration and it's various failings and disappointments -- if nothing else to keep things in perspective.

Nevertheless, you cannot allow every damn thing that happens to turn into a partisan slug-fest or you lose every trace of humanity. Once you are there, except for the fact that you're factually far more accurate than Rush Limbaugh, you're just as soulless and craven -- and in modern politics that's quite a dubious achievement.

So good for Obama in bringing Bush on board with Clinton to help in raising money for the victims of Haiti [and yes, even with all the foolish actions taken by the Bush Administration years ago]. And credit to Bush for saying this (in his usual ineloquence) about Limbaugh and Beck's unrelenting inhumanity.

"I don't know if -- what they're talking about," Bush declared during an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press." "I've been briefed by the President about the response. And as I said in my opening comment, I appreciate the president's quick response to this disaster."

Of course, the sad thing is the GOP has become so right-wing that George W. Bush might as well be forced to show his birth-certificate.

But you still have to try.

Here are a number of places to go to give relief aid for Haiti.

(photo Reuters/Larry Downing)

[Cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Sunday, January 17, 2010


I just saw this and it was absolutely terrific. 

And last night I saw this gentleman perform at Madison Square Garden and he made me laugh.  He's brainy and charming, like Attaturk in eyeliner.  Any comedian who can do six minutes of jokes about Latin is okay by me.  

These are the kinds of weekends when I feel very lucky to live where I live, the cold windy driving rain outside at the moment notwithstanding. 

"Intellectual Property"

I love the fact that when Letterman left NBC in 1993 the Network proclaimed many of the characters and skits on his old show to be the intellectual property of NBC. Being Letterman, he made it into a whole series of sketches and easily got around the restrictions.

But what did NBC really get?

...the name Larry 'Bud' Mehlman and "Pea-Boy".

Now the network has done this to Conan O'Brien. What do they get?

...the Masturbating Bear.

Well, I guess they can give him one of Leno's abandoned prime time hours, sounds like it could draw at least a 1.4 in the demo like Leno did.

He's the President, not the decider

One of the things I most disliked about the last Bush Administration (and believe me it's a varied, large, and tasteless buffet) was the use of War Powers to make the President more powerful than the office should be, and then stoking the dangerous and FoxNews perpetuated idea that the President personally is keeping you from being blown up in your sleep by a swarthy "evil-doer"...this was too much even in an age where the office has become way too centralized.

I think this is also the mistake that some on the left have in being overly critical Obama. Not that he shouldn't be criticized, far from it (I mean the tag-team of Tim Geithner & Larry Summers -- that's some nice appointin' there, Mr. President, how's that workin' out for ya'?), but far be it from me that some on the left are either too naive or too cynical to join their jaundiced kinsfolk on the right.

The President isn't and shouldn't be your all powerful parental figure. Not all failures, or successes, fall upon the shoulders of "President Daddy". The foot-stomping and desire to view everything out of the White House as some calculated plan to "screw you" personally and/or play you for a sucker is as funny as it is petty. Much of this comes from the never reformed Hillary is 44 folk. Which is really funny because for the life of me I'm trying to imaging a world where Hillary Clinton achieves as much as Obama has or would have made different decisions that were "more liberal" and then actually obtained them.

It's one thing to constructively criticize Obama, and as with any President he deserves criticizing. But you have to acknowledge at the same time he's got both a lot of roadblocks, enablers, and douchebags to deal with. The even funnier theory is that it's all Rahm Emanuel's doing...which is a little like thinking that Bush wouldn't be so bad but for Karl Rove.


This, I guess, is why he's so venerable and revered...his keen insights.

The world of scams, fostered by a GOP propoganda channel

Frank Rich is dead on:

Tea partiers hate the G.O.P. establishment and its Wall Street allies, starting with the Bushies who created TARP, almost as much as they do Obama and his Wall Street pals. When Steele and Palin pay lip service to the movement, they are happy to glom on to its anti-tax, anti-Obama, anti-government, anti-big-bank vitriol. But they don’t call for any actual action against the bailed-out perpetrators of the financial crisis. They’d never ask for investments to put ordinary Americans back to work. They have no policies to forestall foreclosures or protect health insurance for the tea partiers who’ve been shafted by hard times. Their only economic principle beside tax cuts is vilification of the stimulus that did save countless jobs for firefighters, police officers and teachers at the state and local level.

The Democrats’ efforts to counter the deprivation and bitterness spawned by the Great Recession are indeed timid and imperfect. The right has a point when it says that the Senate health care votes of Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana were bought with pork. But at least their constituents can share the pigout. Hustlers like Steele and Palin take the money and run. All their followers get in exchange is a lousy tea party T-shirt. Or a ghost-written self-promotional book. Or a tepid racial sideshow far beneath the incendiary standards of the party whose history from Strom to “macaca” has driven away nearly every black American except Steele for the past 40 years.

The teaparty movement is an entire scam dreamed up and propogated by the fact there's an entire news network and a handful of talking heads on radio that make money exploiting items against the interests of those aggrieved...just to be aggrieved.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Why we don't have regular get togethers

1. We're not a very big blog. K-Lo mockery is a niche industry.

2. We're not great, orange, nor Satan.

3. I've never met some of this blog's contributors, let alone commenters.

4. Paul Krugman doesn't read this blog -- oh, and I'm no economist.

5. Wolverine doesn't read this blog either.

6. I didn't even get an appearance fee at that one Yearly Attaturk.


It's Saturday morning, I was up late, slept late (by my standards) and am completely out of ideas -- as I have been for several years but at least I'm up front about it -- so let me note that as Digby notes (as opposed to Digby says) Rush Limbaugh is doubling down on the offensive.

Let's summarize it, as the commentor there noted...

Limbaugh is disparaging a humanitarian effort by the U.S. military. He is disparaging a mission that should make our military proud. He is disparaging our military! Why is he on Armed Services Radio?

Brown people are to be bombed, not helped -- when you can't blow 'em up, let 'em be crushed, bled, or starved to death. Oh, no it's not racism.

I'm sure if this had happened in say, Great Britain, or even Russia or Japan nowadays there'd be a lot less talk of such matters. Hell, during the Bush Administration there was a massive earthquake in Qum, Iran or Pakistan a few years ago that we provided massive assistance to, not a peep out of Limbaugh. When the US military provided the lead in humanitarian assistance in the wake of the horrible tsunami I'm pretty confident the Limbaugh archives would be loaded with praise of the military's response. But Gawd-forbid a Democrat do the same thing, especially a black Democrat assisting with humanitarian relief to a predominantly black country on our god-damned doorstep.

I'm sure this is exactly what Jesus would do right?

The right-wing assholes (and truly they are assholes) are unrelenting in equating the keystone cop actions of the Nigerian Ball-Burner and the Obama Administration's response (which even on the literal level was twice as prompt as the Bush Administrations --- doubly ironic as it's one of the handful of actions I have NO problem with the Bush Administration's actions -- along with in, what triple irony -- their reaction to the Christmas Tsunami) to how the response was made to a humanitarian disaster of epic proportions.

More than 50,000 people -- poor black people which no doubt plays a part in their rank inhumanity -- died in this tragic event.

So in one fell swoop, mocking the poor, mocking the dead, mocking the black, mocking the American military, mocking morality, mocking humanity. All in one fell foul swoop.

Has Howie "the Putz" Kurtz mentioned it yet?

Certainly not on his Twitter page... several mentions of Conan O'Brien though, following his obsession with Tiger Woods and David Letterman's private lives.

That's our Putz for ya'.

The leaders of the conservative movement ladies and gentlemen, never to be called to account.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Big Blues

I learned everything I know about football from Attaturk's Trusty NFL Picks and from growing up with a father who reminded me, at certain key moments, of Bill Parcells, which is to say, I know enough to know what I don't know, but last night I watched Big Fan, which is about football (specifically, Giants) fans and I'm here to recommend it, even though I was really disturbed by the whole thing. Here's Roger Ebert's review of the movie. I found "Big Fan" almost painful to watch, and not just because it kept reminding me of The King of Comedy. Check it out this weekend between bursts of football trash-talking.

Who Is Alex Pareene?

I don't know, but you should build an altar to him in your house and worship at it daily:
It is bizarre and sickening and terrible that large segments of the modern Democratic party do not consider "regulating the financial industry" or even "standing up to bankers" as basically the party's most important core platform, especially this fucking year. Thanks, Clintons and the DLC, for coming up with a way to end the Democratic party's Reagan-era fundraisng problem! It is just too bad that the method you came up with entails "running as the party that is much less crazy than the Republicans and also sometimes tolerates gays and is occasionally willing to defend a woman's right to control her own body unless we
really need Ben Nelson's vote." In addiction to the whole racism and white rage thing, this is a good part of the reason why these Tea Party things seem so popular! Because once you declare economic populism off-limits, all that's left
is meaningless cultural populism and "taking our country back."

Crude, not funny, and certainly ironic

Rush Limbaugh defends his statements about Haiti by accusing a caller of having tampons in her ears.

Wow, clever.

The same Rush Limbaugh who nearly went deaf from OxyContin abuse.

Yeah, as I was saying, how clever.

It's really an overcovered trivial story

But I do delight in having Jay Leno mocked...and here's Jimmy Kimmel doing it to his face.

Hey Leno, Brett Favre called and even he thinks you're a douchebag on this.


The destruction in Haiti is just stunning. A visual tour.

How to help.

Craig Ferguson had a classy segment on putting the late night wars and the reprehensible Rush Limbaugh into context...

Just to follow up on something in comments, while Tiger's given $3 million, no word on how much Brit Hume has given.

Tiger Woods just donated $3 million.

Oh lordy, too bad I won't watch

Not really.

Tim Hasselbeck and his infinitely-more-famous wife will swap places on Tuesday, meaning he'll host The View while Elisabeth fills in on NFL Live.

Two third-string intellects (including one-literal third-stringer) having their media empires grow.

And it's not the Jay Leno story.

Media incompetence, explained in a few seconds

Recently we viewed George Stephanopoulos interviewing Rudy Giuliani and not following up on the latter's claim about who was President during 9/11. Our jaws slackened until we looked like a Limbaugh-listener or Leno-viewer (I'm with you CoCo!). Anyway, maybe such rank malfeasance is not all malevolence perhaps it just comes with the vacuous territory?

Yesterday morning, on America's favorite source for Pat Buchanan appearances outside of a glass booth Morning Joe there was a discussion of how Sarah Palin took a few minutes to come up with any founder for Glenn Beck to misrepresent before she finally thought of "Washington!" (think she could have thought of another on camera if given a week?).

There was general passive/aggressive merriment...and then Buchanan and ever vigilant Palin defender Mike Brzezinski discussed their favorite founders (will no one ever mention Button Gwinnett?):

Buchanan chimed in, "I would've gone with Hamilton, myself, Joe." Shortly thereafter Brzezinski said from off-camera, "Me, Linc-, Lincoln, but okay."

If she lives four score and seven years, she should not be allowed to forget that one.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Hmmm, the size sounds familiar...

President Barack Obama will ask Congress for an additional $33 billion to fight unpopular wars in Afghanistan and Iraq on top of a record $708 billion for the Defense Department next year, The Associated Press has learned - a request that could be an especially hard sell to some of the administration's Democratic allies.

Oh but the GOP will love it.

The military budget plus the supplement (let's ignore the other supplements) now is about equal to the $745 billion dollar stimulus after President Snowe cut it down.

But if Obama comes forth with an additional jobs package, taxing Wall Street Bonuses tax dollars created, not to mention health care reform that may actually help, y'know, Americans, they'll be hell to pay.

Completely silent in reaction to this request for more war money will be David Broder, Pete Peterson and the Pete Peterson Mighty Penis Coalition, and all manner of budget scolds.

You have to understand his position

Of course Rush "Baby Doc" Limbaugh made an over-the-top racial polemic against Obama to exploit a horrible natural disaster in Haiti.

But you have to understand the man is worried about all those young nubile youths on the island of Hispaniola because just in Haiti's "backdoor" is the Dominican Republic.

We all know there's only one good way to act during a human catastrophe!