Sunday, January 31, 2010

What the Hell is the Far Left Wing?

So I'm watching Meet the Press and FOX "News" Sunday on the DVR today, and I've heard that President Obama should "move to the middle" or "move to the right" in order to more effectively govern. It's counter-intuitive, since doing this is what his own party thinks he's already done too much of. Despite the ridiculous right-wing image of socialist/Marxist/Communist, the President has made countless gestures to "reach across the aisle" in the health care program, in fiscal policy and elsewhere. The President's descending approval ratings have as much to do with the left's disappointment in his timidity as they do with the right's over the top attacks.

So, I'm digesting this really annoying "conventional wisdom" talking point, and then I hear another one. Senator Evan Bayh--in trying to discount the move-to-the-middle point--said that "far left blogs" were upset with concessions already made to the right. Huh? Who is he talking about there? The biggest left-wing blogs I can think of are Daily Kos, Huffington Post, FireDog Lake, and Democratic Underground. I wouldn't classify any of those as "far left." I'd be willing to bet that Bayh (and every FReeper) would call this blog far left, even though I am a former Republican with a few conservative opinions.

Do some far leftist readers comment at blogs like these (and mine)? Probably. Is there occasionally a post that would be out of the mainstream, even for a solid Democrat? Probably. But by and large, all of those blogs represent merely the left, not the far left. None of them is as staunchly extremist as say, the far right internet outpost. The weird part is, with the mainstreaming of people like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck--extremist far right-wingers by any definition--anything left-of-center is now seen as "far left." It isn't. And I didn't like seeing a prominent Democrat furthering that misperception.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Olbermann, Maddow & Matthews Report on President's GOP Debate

Something very unusual happened yesterday in politics. The Democratic President stood--alone--and answered the questions of an all GOP House of Representatives delegation. It was aired unedited on national television. I've never seen anything quite like it. Even my mother, an arch-right, reflexive Republican had to concede that it was impressive (though she thought he looked "uncomfortable").

MSNBC, which usually airs Countdown with Keith Olbermann and The Rachel Maddow Show between 5 and 7 (here in the Pacific Time Zone) instead combined those two programs with a dash of Hardball with Chris Matthews, and aired coverage of the event along with analysis. I saw this referred to derisively as an "Obama love fest," which is a typical charge against MSNBC. Forget that the network airs a three-hour morning show starring a conservative. Forget that if you actually watch their left-leaning commentary shows, you know that the hosts regularly and forcefully criticize the President and other Democrats. MSNBC's slogan is "The Place for Politics," not "America's Most Trusted News Source," or even "Fair & Balanced."

The commentary by Matthews, Olbermann and Maddow (particularly the latter two) is most assuredly from a left-leaning standpoint. And in this particular case, there was little to criticize from the President's performance. I personally agreed with their analysis, and thought much the same as they did based on what I saw. And I'm quite disappointed with much of the President's year in office. It was, I thought, one of the better cable news specials I'd seen in a while, and I'm glad they aired it this way (rather than cutting away like cowardly FOX "News" did). Take a look.

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Did Obama put the GOP in its Place?

I'd like to think so. What do you think?


Obama Goes To GOP Lions' Den -- And Mauls The Lions

President Obama traveled to a House Republican retreat in Baltimore on Friday and delivered a performance that was at once defiant, substantive and engaging. For roughly an hour and a half, Obama lectured GOP leaders and, in a protracted, nationally-televised question-and-answer session, deflected their policy critiques, corrected their misstatements and scolded them for playing petty politics. (Full video and transcript available HERE.)

Read more at: Huffington Post

Friday, January 29, 2010

Orrin Hatch For Reconcilliation Before He Was Against It

Politics can get very tiring sometimes. The lame "pot v. kettle" projection ploy is one of the most irritating. It's where whatever one side is loudly criticizing about their competition turns out to be something they themselves are guilty of. And somehow, there seems to be no public consequence to the person using it. Often times, there is even audio or video evidence that they themselves have participated in exactly the thing they are condemning. It just doesn't seem to matter.

If it's a right-wing politician (and it usually is) and he is called on his behavior on The Daily Show or Countdown with Keith Olbermann, the right-wing base will immediately dismiss the claim along with the source. If he's called on it on Meet the Press or another Sunday show, as long as the politician can evade the question when rephrased two or three times, he's in the clear. He's just got to get six or eight days down the road, until something new hits the news cycle, and voila! he's home free.

Now, I'm not saying that only the right does this. They just seem to do it more often, and more flagrantly. Remember the "nuclear option?" The threat by Republicans to eliminate the filibuster in the Senate, on the grounds that Democrats were abusing it? Now that the tables have turned, Republicans are using the filibuster more than Democrats ever did. Remember all that crappy talk about "up or down votes?" Doesn't seem to be an issue when Republicans obstruct is it? I guess the big difference is, Republicans are especially good at getting their message--no matter how untrue or hypocritical--into the "conventional wisdom" jetstream. Democrats suck at messaging. Even when they have the truth on their side.

Hatch Vows Reconciliation Will Lead To Permanent “War” Between Parties — But He Backed Many Reconciliation Bills
GOP Senator Orrin Hatch is now warning that if Dems pass health care reform via reconciliation it will lead to permanent “war” between the two parties — even though he voted for more than a half dozen GOP bills passed through the process known as…reconciliation.

Here’s Hatch, in an
interview with the Salt Lake Tribune, claiming that if Dems use reconciliation it would constitute one of the most despotic acts in the history of the republic. . .

Read more at: PlumLine

Apple iPad: Maxi, Mini or USB?

As I've said before, I'm something of an Apple-phobe (MacPhobe? iPhobe?). After many years on the PC platform in the graphics industry--the sign industry being nearly exclusively PC--I have had many run-ins with obnoxious Mac artists. So it isn't an entirely irrational stance on my part. But for a liberal, I am staunchly against change in this area.

That doesn't mean that I don't recognize that some iProducts are kinda nifty. They've got a built-in "cool" quotient. But I do notice that the coolness wears off as soon as version 2.0 or the iSomethingNewer comes out. Remember the toilet seat iBook? Yeesh. And I get annoyed by products that are overly simplified. I like figuring out how things work, I don't need them to assume that I'm iStupid.

So I watched with a wary eye as the newest iThing, the iPad was introduced. OK, so it's a touch-screen computer with no keyboard. Um, OK. It's snazzy and stuff, but I'm a touch typist. No problem, it has an optional plug-in keyboard! Which makes it a touch-screen desktop computer. Whatevs, y'all. I'm probably missing the boat here, and it's going to be the wave of the future. Or something. But where have I seen that name before?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Who is Writing Sarah Palin's Facebook Page?

The bizarro world of is still enchanted with Sarah Palin. I just read a scathing review of President Obama's State of the Union Address, allegedly written by Palin, on the FR website. The comments section is rapturous for Caribou Barbie, dreaming of 2012 when she will--apparently--walk away with the Presidential election. Sometimes, they even wish for a Palin-Rush Limbaugh ticket! Which would be hilarious.

But something is amiss here. Well a lot of somethings. For one thing, Palin quit her job as Governor a little more than half way through, which isn't a good sign for being a viable candidate. Plus, she's dumb as a box of rocks, and can't talk extemporaneously on any subject without proving it. And her "pulpit" consists of FOX "News" and Facebook! But it gets weirder than that. Check out Saracudda's babbling FOX appearance, and then read her writings on the same subject. Something doesn't jive here. Who is writing the Facebook stuff? 'Cause it's not this bimbo.


The Credibility Gap (Saracuda SKEWERS the Narcissist's lecture!)

While I don’t wish to speak too harshly about President Obama’s state of the union address, we live in challenging times that call for candor. I call them as I see them, and I hope my frank assessment will be taken as an honest effort to move this conversation forward.

Last night, the president spoke of the “credibility gap” between the public’s expectations of their leaders and what those leaders actually deliver. “Credibility gap” is a good way to describe the chasm between rhetoric and reality in the president’s address. The contradictions seemed endless.

He called for Democrats and Republicans to “work through our differences,” but last year he dismissed any notion of bipartisanship when he smugly told Republicans, “I won. . .”

Read more of (not) Palin's Facebookin' (and the rapturous commentary) at:

Blogger Down! Blogger Down!

Here I sit, in front of my computer again. I've come home for the day, sicker than snot. I'd like to blame it on the copious amount of wine I had last night, but that isn't it. I felt rather chipper this morning, felt "off" about 8:15, and then went quickly downhill. If it's a hangover, it's a weird one.

Anyway, due to my parents' visit and now my hopefully-not-swine-flu bug, I haven't really been able to keep up with the news on the President's State of the Union address, or much of anything else. But I plan to start digging around here shortly. I just wanted to put up my excuse, in case I don't get anything done!

End of Don't Ask, Don't Tell?

I sure hope so. . . .


Obama urges repeal of ban on gays in military

Reaching out to a skeptical gay community, President Barack Obama on Wednesday urged Congress to repeal the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military, but neither made a commitment to suspend the practice in the interim nor issued a deadline.

Obama's reference to the so-called "don't ask, don't tell" practice took only 32 words of his State of the Union address, but drew criticism from Democratic allies and Republican opponents alike. It also underscored the challenge Obama faces, not just with Congress but also with the Pentagon, where some top officials have been strident in their support for the Clinton-era policy.

"This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are," Obama said. . .

Read more at: MSNBC

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Flash Mob at NYSE: David Naughton, Still A Pepper!

As far as flash mobs go, this one is a little underwhelming. But I do have a soft spot for David Naughton (An American Werewolf in London), the original "Dr. Pepper Guy." And I'm something of a Diet Pepper myself. So what the hey. . .

Canada Shaves Its Beaver

I couldn't resist.

Source: Joe.My.God.

Colbert Report: Has America Reached Peak Fatitude?

We're fat, and we can't get any fatter! So says Stephen Colbert.

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Jon Stewart on Supreme Court's "Corporations are People" Ruling

As usual, good stuff from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. I'm still trying to figure out why this is a left-right issue, and what in the world your average every day (read: not a politician) Republican sees in this that makes it a good thing.

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Funny or Sad? "No Rules for Radicals"

If you can make it all the way through this video, you have a much stronger stomach than I do. Have the Glenn Becks and Rush Limbaughs of the world convinced right-wingers that the Democrats are radicals? Because I don't know how they would have come up with that conclusion on their own.

They seem to think that the approval ratings for President Obama and the Democrats are down because America has rejected their "radicalism." But they really don't get it. The right has been firmly in the "against" column since before Obama was even sworn in. The left by contrast is not in a snit because of any radical moves. They're upset because the Democrats haven't been radical enough. The Democrats have tacked right at nearly every turn in a misguided attempt to gain some bipartisan votes (hint: they're not coming). Everyone is saying that Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid need to move to the center. Wrong move. The right will still say "no," but then so will the left. And still, swill like that contained in this video is churned out, with the bizarre notion that the Democrats are "far left." Far from it.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What Happens in Vegas: Blogger Goes to Freemont Street Experience!

Image from LasVegasLogue

I've had a lot of visitors the last couple of days. So as is usual when my blog gets an uptick in interest, I have other things to do! My Mom and Step-dad are in town for a visit, and you know what that means: hitting the strip and downtown Las Vegas! It's somethings long-time locals like me and The Other Half don't do very often. In fact, we haven't seen the Freemont Street Experience since it's most recent upgrade.

So please, if you've happened by here expecting the lastest and greatest, please. . .come back?

Good night!

Boy Wonder Conservative "Journalist" Busted in Louisiana

Image from source, MSNBC

Excuse my schadenfreude, but it's been a crappy run of days lately in politics, and this one was needed for "our side." A young man who has been touted as the future of journalism by the right-wing has been hoisted by his own petard. This could possibly turn out to be little more than a prank. But when you pull a prank at a US government facility, with the implication of doing damage to a United States Senator? Well, that turns a prank into a criminal offense, even if he only gets a slap on the wrist for it.


Activist filmmaker arrested in senator’s office

A conservative filmmaker who posed as a pimp to target the liberal activist group ACORN was arrested with the son of a federal prosecutor and two other men and accused of plotting to tamper with the New Orleans offices of Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La.

Activist James O'Keefe, 25, recorded two of the other suspects with his cell phone as they walked into the office dressed like telephone repairmen and said they needed to fix problems with the phone system, according to an FBI affidavit. . .

Read more at: MSNBC

Frivolity Break: Bear vs. Cat

Go, Kitty, go!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Republican Meow Mix: No, No, No, No!

Cute? Too cute?

FOX "News" Host Wants to Get Stoned?

Image from source, Raw Story

Well, why not. Their morning crew at the (very oddly named) FOX & Friends seems half-baked on any given day. Or tweaking. Or something. So, fire 'em up FOX hosts! It certainly could make you any worse. Oh wait, she didn't say FOX hosts, she said "Republicans?" What's the difference?


Fox host defends Republicans’ right to smoke pot

Even Republicans should be able to get stoned, according to a Fox News anchor. While interviewing Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong, Fox News' Gretchen Carlson found herself in the curious position of advocating for marijuana rights Friday.

Chong told Carlson that he wants to see marijuana legalized -- but not for Republicans. "We want to legalize pot for everyone that wants to smoke it. You know, we don't want to legalize it for Republicans. . ."

Read more at: Raw Story

Rachel Maddow Grills White House Rep. on Spending Freeze

Rachel Maddow made a bit of news tonight, grilling Vice President Joe Biden's financial advisor, Jared Bernstein, on the breaking news of a White House "spending freeze." I still don't know what it all means, but you'd never get this substantive an interview out of Sean Hannity.

This is Not a Rerun: Faux Outrage Over Obama's "Disrespect" for Office

Image from source, Media Matters

Sigh. After eight long years of an overgrown frat-boy in the White House, it's amazing to me that right-wingers are trying to pin a similar label to President Obama. It's kind of like when they pick on him for using a teleprompter, when George W. Bush used one. Or for Obama's speech patterns, when Bush could barely utter a coherent sentence (even with a teleprompter). Or countless other things.

But this one in particular is getting incredibly stale. They've already gone after Obama for not wearing a tie in the Oval Office, and for putting his feet on his desk. It's like that episode of South Park where Butters (as "Major Chaos") is trying to come up with an outrageous plan, only to have "General Disarray" tell him, "The Simpsons already did it!" In this case, Bush already did it. Endlessly. Obama bowed to a dictator? Hell, Bush held hands with and kissed one! On and on. So why are they back to this again?


Dear Fox Nation: Was Bush disrespecting the Oval Office, too?

The Fox Nation is currently highlighting a picture of President Obama with his feet up on his Oval Office desk, accompanied by the headline, "Is Pres. Obama disrespecting the Oval Office?"

If this sounds familiar, it should. . .

Read more at: Media Matters

RNC Sends Out Fake "Census" Again

Image from AppletreeBlog

I live by a rule when it comes to salesmen and sales pitches: if you're trying to trick me, you have nothing I want to buy. This goes for SPAM emails, junk faxes, junk mail, car salesmen with nebulous "fees," religious hucksters and political campaigns and committees. Not only do I think that these kinds of swindles are distasteful, but I've got to wonder, what do they think of me? If I'm tricked by this pitch, and they make their sale, I'm no better than a mark. A rube.

That's not so terrible for a salesman. What do they care if I'm gullible? Hey, they made a sale. But for a politician or group of them, if they're looking at me like a sap, they're going to govern like I'm a sap. I already know that people like Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh must have contempt for their audiences with the load of bull they're selling. But the actual, official politicians? They're trying to build a reliable constituency. That's why undelivered campaign promises tend to turn some voters away from a party. What happens if it's worse than that, and they actually set out to sucker people?

The GOP/RNC have sent me many pieces of campaign literature, since I was until a few years ago a registered Republican. They essentially lost me in 1992, but I didn't make it official until 2006. So I get their sales pitches. And more than one of their mailers has been a "push poll," designed to look like something more official. I've reported several of them here. But at a time when an actual census is being mailed out, and when Americans are required by law to respond to them, a fake "census" is particularly egregious. The truth is clear: The RNC and GOP have no respect for their constituents.


Maloney, Clay, McHenry criticize RNC 'census' mailer

Officials of both parties are sharply criticizing a fundraising mailing from Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele they say could be confused with official correspondence regarding this year’s Census.

The fundraising letter comes in the form of a “survey,” a frequently used device for partisan fundraising, but this one has a twist: calling itself the “Congressional District Census,” the letter comes in an envelope starkly printed with the words, “DO NOT DESTROY OFFICIAL DOCUMENT” and describes itself, on the outside of the envelope, as a “census document. . .”

Read more at: Politico

Featured Site:

Happy Monday, everybody! I couldn't find anything out on the interwebs that was particularly newsworthy (at least that I found interesting), so here's something fun instead. Careful, keep track of time, 'cause it's pretty funny stuff. I hope to be back later today, if I can dig up some good stuff.

Source: FailBook

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday Update, Part II: Repetition and Talking Points

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tx.) is on my DVR at the moment from FOX "News" Sunday. He's repeating a couple of phrases that I just heard Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell say on Meet the Press. If you pay attention--and believe me, that can be difficult on these cerebrally numbing shows--you can catch what the new talking points are.

A "step-by-step" reworking of health care reform, after "starting over" from scratch. Those two phrases were worked in by Cornyn in exactly the same fashion as McChinless. Several other things he said were nearly verbatim as well, along with conclusions drawn about Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts this week. And of course, the fictional assertion that Republicans are ready to work with Democrats if they're only "given a seat at the table." They've been sitting at the table! They've just been saying "no!"

Sunday Update: Politics, Politics, Politics

Here I sit again. . .I said I wouldn't do it. . .but here I am. Watching Meet the Press with David Gregory. First up, Valerie Jarrett for the President's team. Milquetoasty, whisper-voiced, jacked up with political jargon: ineffective. Next was Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Shelley the Turtle). He's so annoying. Very repetitive, though he's working in a new response to replace or supplement his claim that the American people are saying "please don't pass this bill." Now he's adding, "let's start over, start from scratch, step by step." He won't answer a direct question--even if it is posed three times (Gregory's limit)--but he will pretend that a) Republicans haven't merely opposed everything from Democrats, and that b) Republicans will work "in a bipartisan" manner if only the President would move to the center, and not from the "far-left."

This is such a load of hooey. There is no "far-left" in this country. There is far-right, right, right-center, center, left-center and left. There is quite simply no counter-balance--at least no vocal one--to far-right voices. I'd love to see a list of "far-left" voices. Rachel Maddow? Nope, fairly straight-down-the-line liberal. Olbermann? Same thing. The political spectrum is so skewed due to the fact that far-right voices like Rush Limbaugh have been proclaimed to be mainstream.

And this President has moved to the center. His approval rating is low because liberals are pissed that he's drifting rightward. I got into a brief argument with my mother the other day, saying my problem with Obama is not that he's done too much, it is that he hasn't done enough. She was incredulous. Because she watches FOX "News" and thinks Obama is far-left. Horse pucky.

I may be back with a part II if I don't throw something through the screen.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Conan O'Brien's Closing Tonight Show Speech

Keith Olbermann Responds to Jon Stewart

There's been a little back-and-forth between The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and two shows on MSNBC, Countdown with Keith Olbermann and The Rachel Maddow Show. All three programs are on my "must see" list most nights, so I kinda feel like a kid whose parents are fighting. Of course, it isn't really that serious. Stewart is a comedian, and a damned good one. I can't get too offended if he takes a few pot shots at my "team." And in their responses, both Olbermann and Maddow have responded in a measured way.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Sleep Talkin' Man Revealed!

Image from source, AOL

One of the more interesting and refreshing blog diversions of late is Sleep Talkin' Man. If you want to find out more about just who he--and his intrepid dream journalin' wife--are, check this out.


Sleep Talkin' Man: "Put the Lobster Down"

For London newlyweds Adam and Karen Lennard, the most hilarious marital moments have often come at midnight. One evening last February, Karen was awakened by Adam mumbling a strange phrase in his sleep. As his sleep-talking continued, she began recording his musings. . .

Read more at: AOLHealth

Retro Review: Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City

Back in 1993, something extraordinary happened on broadcast television. A mini-series based on Armistead Maupin's novel, Tales of the City was aired on PBS. Why is that so extraordinary? Well, to start, Tales started out as a daily column in a San Francisco newspaper in the mid-70s. Then it was collected in book form, a series that eventually spanned seven books. I think it's kind of amazing that a serialized newspaper column made such an engaging, and popular set of books.

More amazing is the fact that when it was finally brought to television, the timing was perfect for a flashback to 1970s San Francisco. 70s nostalgia was all the rage then, and the mini-series was spot-on. So what had once been a contemporary slice-of-life story had the added element of being a period piece.

Then there is the subject matter, a very frank take on sex, drugs, gay sex. . .all sort of taboo on broadcast television, let alone PBS. Even more incredibly, same-sex kissing, joint smoking, coke snorting, even nudity appear in the series, quite casually. As raunchy as it would seem on the surface, Tales has an oddly innocent feel to it. Of course, it still rather squicked out some tight asses, and PBS was forced to offer a censored version to their affiliates. Luckily for me, our station (WOSU Columbus, where I lived at the time) aired the uncensored version.

This came at a time in my life when I was teetering on the edge of big changes in my life. I was 27, and had led a mostly chaste and boring life. But for a year or so, I'd dipped my toe into the dating pool. I wasn't doing laps yet though, and I hadn't yet "come out" to very many people. Tales of the City was a revelation to me. The frankness and matter-of-factness of it rather solidified my feeling of "OK" with who I was. I'd already pretty much figured out that there was nothing wrong with me, but with those who disapproved of gay people. Tales helped cement that feeling.

After watching the first mini-series, I immediately scooped up all six of the initial run of books. I think this is an excellent way to get into Tales: watch the first mini, then read all of the books. The cast is so terrific, they stay in your mind, and make envisioning the characters in the books very, very easy. Marcus D'Amico is adorable (almost painfully so) as Michael "Mouse" Tolliver, a gay man in San Francisco by way of Orlando, Florida (in the era of Anita Bryant). Mouse was dipping a toe in too, but in the heyday of the sexual revolution. Laura Linney is perfect as Mary Ann Singleton, the naive transplant from Cleveland, Ohio. That'd make me a combination of Mary Ann and Mouse. Olympia Dukakis is terrific as Mrs. Madrigal, the enigmatic landlady of the apartment house most of the characters inhabit. No one in the production is miscast, but then again, I saw the mini before I read the book. Maybe the other way around doesn't work as well, but I doubt it.

Anyway, I know that the timing in the course of my own life made Tales more relevant and interesting. But this week, I borrowed the original from the library, and I watched the entire 300-minute set in the space of last night and this morning. It's still just as good, still just as addictive. And Marcus D'Amico is even more adorable (what the heck ever happened to him?). I even went further, watching the first three episodes of More Tales of the City, a five-years-later sequel. More Tales featured many cast changes, with Chloe Webb, Paul Gross, D'Amico and others replaced with other actors. The most jarring replacement is Mouse. While Paul Hopkins really did just fine in the role, he had the thankless job of following what many believed to be THE Michael Mouse. Fortunately, there were just enough of the same actors, with a dash of new characters (Burke Andrew played by Colin Ferguson, and Jackie Burroughs as Mother Mucca) to gloss over the cast changes. More Tales lacks a bit of the nostalgic WOW factor of the first, but I'm finding it fun as well.

I think most people could really enjoy both the mini-series(es), as well as the books. Only the most prudish person wouldn't be quickly won over by the material. There is a charm to it that is difficult to describe. A lot of people liken Armistead Maupin's writing style to Charles Dickens. I don't know about that, but I'm sure Maupin wouldn't complain about the comparison.

A word of warning if you're looking to buy the DVD collection. There is apparently a censored version that is still billed as an un-censored version. I don't know how you tell the difference, either. As I said, the set I got was from the library, and it has all the swear words and nudity I remember. The version I got is a 3-disk set, 300 minutes, and not rated, from Acorn Media. Here's a taste to get you started. . .

Olbermann's Quick Comment on Mainstream Media

I don't know how I missed this one. Countdown with Keith Olbermann's "Quick Comment" on the mainstream media's reaction to this week's Supreme Court decision on corporate personhood is good. More than that, it's very instructive, using an analogy that most of America will understand. A sports analogy. Good stuff.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Supreme Court Justice Stevens to Retire?

Image from Wikipedia

You know, for all the infighting among Democrats now about President Obama. What he hasn't done, what he has done. . . One thing can't be denied: it is important to have a Democratic President when it comes to Supreme Court nominations. Already, the court is skewed to the right, with Justice Kennedy being the swing vote that often swings rightward (as seen this week with the "Corporations are people" decision). Unfortunately, those justices who seem to be ready to retire are the liberal ones. Still, if we had President McCain, those liberals would be replaced with conservatives, and the makeup of the court would be lopsided for a generation.


Ruling Renews Rumors of Justice Stevens' Retirement

When the Supreme Court overturned long-standing campaign fiance reform limits with a ruling announced Thursday, it also renewed speculation about the future of its longest-serving -- and most liberal -- member. Court-watchers are wondering whether Justice John Paul Stevens has had enough and may retire this spring. . .

Read more at: Sphere

Jon Stewart's Special Comment on Olbermann's Special Comment

I'm a big fan of Countdown with Keith Olbermann, and especially Olbermann's "Special Comments" and "Quick Comments." Occasionally, they can be hyperbolic and over the top, sure. But so few national voices exist saying what Olbermann says (liberal media, my ass), I give him a pass. That doesn't mean that a comedian like Jon Stewart can't take pot-shots at his style. I enjoyed Stewart's jabs as much as I did the original comment. Something tells me Olbermann can appreciate it too. I guess we'll see on Monday!

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Frivolity Break: 100 Cheesiest Movie Lines of All Time

Quote of the Day

Found at Voenix Rising. . .

“And just in case anyone at the DNC is listening, if the national Democratic Party ever wants a minute of my time, a joule of my energy, a dime of my money or a deibold of my vote again, the request had better arrive on my doorstep pinned to Joe Lieberman’s pike-transfixed head and wrapped in an open letter from the President of these United States in which he refers to the GOP as the 'flesh eating virus of democracy,' Fox news as 'Reich-kibble for the cognitively-impaired' and the national press as 'meth-tweaked lemmings.'”

Cindy McCain Pro-Gay Marriage? (Updated)

Image from source, NOH8

EDITOR'S NOTE: Read the update below.

Original Post:

Wow. Those "Diana from V" eyes are still in evidence, but I never thought I'd see Mrs. John McCain publicly showing her support for same-sex marriage! Meghan must've recruited her! In any event, kudos to Cindy for coming down on the right side of history for something!


Read more at: NOH8

UPDATE: Just a note to show how quickly (and how hideously) the far-right can turn on its own. I found this image at the crown jewel of Teabaggistan on the interwebs. There, Mrs. McCain is being excoriated for her pro-gay (and gasp! pro-choice) stance. The vitriol (which you can find here) is accompanied by this rather tasteless "fun with PhotoShop" job. Gotta love that teabagger humor. . .

Time Magazine Covers the Death of Air America Radio

Image from source, Time

This is a pretty good post-mortem of Air America Radio, which has gone out of business. My fondness for the network is mostly nostalgic, as the only program I still listen to from that source is The Ron Reagan Show. I hope Ron secures a new syndicate for his program, as it is most enjoyable (particularly the first 20 minutes).


RIP: Air America Goes Off the Air

Air America Radio was born at noon, eastern time, on Mar. 31, 2004, and on that first show the host, Al Franken, proclaimed his first mission: to defeat George W. Bush in that year's presidential election. It died a year and a day after Barack Obama's Inauguration, and two days after Obama's Democrats all but officially became a minority party in the U.S. Senate. The liberal radio network — which provided Franken, the ex-Saturday Night Live comedian, with a conduit to his own Senate seat, and gave the first significant exposure to MSNBC darling Rachel Maddow — expired nine weeks short of its sixth birthday, after waging a heroic battle against advertiser indifference and listener apathy.

Read more at: TIME

John Edwards Admits to Love Child, That He's a Scumbucket

Image from Politics Daily

Wow. However Democrats like me feel about President Obama thus far, I think we can all breathe a sigh of relief that John Edwards didn't manage to win the Democratic nomination. While I don't think it's particularly fair that Edwards' career in politics is deemed "over" when members of the opposition (*cough* Newt Gingrich! *cough*) have been just as naughty. But I tell you, I'm done with him. And I caucused for this guy in Nevada! Snowed by that pretty face, I was. Watch out Scott Brown fans!

John Edwards Admits Paternity of Rielle Hunter's Child, Quinn

In a statement given to NBC News, former Democratic senator John Edwards admitted Thursday that he fathered a child with a campaign videographer during his 2008 presidential run. Edwards had previously denied paternity of Quinn Hunter, now 22 months old.

"I am Quinn's father," Edwards said in his statement. "I will do everything in my power to provide her with the love and support she deserves. I have been able to spend time with her during the past year and trust that future efforts to show her the love and affection she deserves can be done privately and in peace. . ."

Read more at: Politics Daily

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Air America Radio Finally Succumbs

After hanging in there for almost 6 years, Air America Radio has finally bitten the dust. The right wing--already thrilled with Scott Brown's victory in the Massachusetts Senate race and (inexplicably) the Supreme Court decision on corporations--is doing a happy dance. But if you listen to them, all you hear is that liberals can't compete on radio, because nobody wants to listen to them. They'll say that they failed in a fair marketplace. Which isn't really what happened.

AAR always had behind the scenes troubles. They were heady with ideas, but they weren't really radio people. They didn't suss out what they were doing before they began doing it, and nearly failed on more than one occasion. Talent wasn't really the problem. They started up with Lizz Winstead, Rachel Maddow, Al Franken, Mike Malloy, Randi Rhodes, Marc Maron, and several others. But they made a lot of bad decisions, and the marketplace was stacked against them.

There are many other better-equipped blog sites that can explain the intricacies of radio, and why this wasn't exactly a fair fight. Suffice it to say that the stations that aired AAR were mostly smaller, low-wattage outfits who couldn't compete with the conservatives in signal strength. Whether or not they could compete if all things were equal really may never be known. Even in markets where the format did well, it was often squelched and replaced with lesser performing formats. It was a noble experiment, and it did manage a couple of pretty nifty tricks.

One was to help prepare Al Franken for Senate. Another was to season Rachel Maddow for television. And it got me deeper into politics, and much more informed on the issues. And though I tend to listen to liberal talk radio most days at work, oddly, this unfortunate event won't change my listening patterns much.

In recent years, AAR lost some of its on-air talent. And since we never had an affiliate here in Las Vegas (in the bluest of the counties in Nevada) I listened via the Internet. I started streaming the feed from KTLK-AM out of Los Angeles long ago, and they only feature AAR shows in the evening these days. I listen to The Stephanie Miller Show (not AAR), The Thom Hartmann Program (not AAR), The Randi Rhodes Show (not AAR) and The Ron Reagan Show (AAR). I'm sure KTLK will fill the last hours of my work day rather quickly, so my listening day will be pretty much the same.

It's funny though, most conservative talk fans (defacto enemies of liberal talk) are under the illusion that all liberal talk is Air America. I heard the often clueless and always irritating Mark Levin today wondering gleefully "Where's Ed Schultz going to go now?" Shultz isn't even on Air America, genius. Still, I'm sad to see the network go, even if I sorta stopped listening to most of their shows. It was a valiant effort, and I for one have grown from the experience of having listened to it.


Air America, the Talk Radio Network, Will Go Off the Air

Air America, the long-suffering progressive talk radio network, abruptly shut down on Thursday, bowing to what it called a “very difficult economic environment.”

The chairman of Air America Media, Charlie Kireker, said in a statement that the company would file under Chapter 7 bankruptcy “to carry out an orderly winding-down of the business. . .”

Read more at: New York Times

Olbermann's Special Comment on Supreme Court Corporations Decision

Is it possible to be simultaneously thrilled and horrified? For me, this "Special Comment" from Countdown with Keith Olbermann inspired both emotions. Thrilled that Olbermann tackled this in such a thorough, vigorous, passionate way. Horrified at the implications of the Supreme Court's decision today to let corporations become not just persons under the Constitution, but in effect super persons. I'm sure this will not be the last you hear of this, least of all from me. But if Olbermann is correct, our ability to effectively talk about it or do anything about it may be in danger.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Jon Stewart Compares Media Reaction to Scott Brown Victory

As usual, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart said it much better than I could. . .and with inappropriate humor! Neat!

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Can't Be Real: An All White Basketball League?

UPDATE: Thanks to friend and contributor Stupid Monkey Planet for doing the legwork and confirming that it is indeed a hoax. Had to be! Thanks, Monkey.


Really? It's not April Fool's Day, Ashton Kutcher stopped making Punk'd years ago, and this doesn't seem to be from The Onion. But I'm still suspicious. Could there really be a group of people so out-of-touch in 2010? Really? I'm just having a hard time believing it's true.


New basketball league open to whites only, to get away from the ‘street-ball’ played by ‘people of color.’

new professional basketball league called the All-American Basketball Alliance (AABA) sent out a press release on Sunday saying that it intends to start its inaugural season in June, with teams in 12 U.S. cities. However, the AABA is different from other sports leagues because only players who are “natural born United States citizens with both parents of Caucasian race are eligible to play in the league.” AABA commissioner Don “Moose” Lewis insists that he’s not racist, but he just wants to get away from the “street-ball” played by “people of color” and back to “fundamental basketball.” Lewis cited the recent incidents of bad behavior by NBA players, implying that such actions would never happen with white players. . .
Read more at: Think Progress

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Letterman Lets Loose on Leno

(How's that for alliteration?)

So, before Haiti shook apart, and before the Democrats' majority shrunk to a mere 59-41 in the Senate, there was the Jay Leno/Conan O'Brien/NBC late night kerfuffle. 'Member that? Here's a witty take on it, from David Letterman.

FOX "News" Has 2012 GOP Presidential Roster on Payroll

Isn't it high time that FOX "News" just rebrand themselves GOP-TV? Or maybe GOP & Teabagger TV? Last week's addition of Sarah Palin to FOX's roster brings to a total of three the number of prime candidates for Republican Presidential candidate on FOX's payroll. That's if you discount Karl Rove, Liz Cheney, and other high-wattage GOPers who also work at the "news" channel. C'mon you guys. Even most of your most ardent supporters will concede that your "fair and balanced" slogan refers to balancing other channels.


Fox News has almost every Republican presidential candidate for 2012 on its payroll. Are they the Kingmakers?

The fair and balanced network has a little problem, I believe, and one that the media never seem to address. If they are just another news organization and are defended by Howard Kurtz and Jack Tapper as such, then why do they employ almost the entire field of Republican presidential candidates for 2012? . . .

Read more at: Crooks & Liars

Pundits Weigh in On Massachusett's Senate Vote

I'm not sure how much I want to focus on the results of the Massachusetts special Senate election, which historically went to Scott Brown. The Republicans for the first time in eons. Why don't I think I want to focus on it? It's not because I'm a Democrat. I'm nearly as frustrated with them as I am with the GOP. And exactly what does last night's election really portend for the future of US politics. I don't know, but I'm not the only one. Check out the chattering class. . .they haven't quite got it figured out either.

Scott Brown Wins Senate Race in Massachusetts

Image from source, MSNBC

Meh. Chalk one up for the tea baggers (and don't forget FOX "News"). It'll make things interesting, but I'm afraid it's gonna come with massive doses of stupid.


Brown wins Mass. Senate race in epic upset

In an epic upset in liberal Massachusetts, Republican Scott Brown rode a wave of voter anger to win the U.S. Senate seat held by the late Edward M. Kennedy for nearly half a century, leaving President Barack Obama's health care overhaul in doubt and marring the end of his first year in office. . .

Read more at: MSNBC

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Drama in Massachusetts: Guess Who FOX "News" is Rooting For?

I'm off this evening to see Garrison Keillor at UNLV here in Las Vegas, so I won't be able to monitor the election results out of Massachusetts, darn it. As of this writing, Scott Brown has a small lead. Other than the election of President Barack Obama, every vote I eagerly watch seems to go the same way: "my" side has a slight lead, it slowly dwindles, and then the "other" side gains, and ultimately wins. Maybe it will be the reverse tonight?

I don't know much about either candidate, only that Brown was a nudie model back in the day, and that he's soft-pedaling his political stance as "moderate" when he's more likely from Teabagistan. Throughout the day, I checked a couple of times on the major news sites to see if there was any news. Most of them featured large stories about Haiti, with a small link somewhere about Massachusetts. Not FOX "News"! The race in MA was front-and-center (OK, maybe front-and-upper-left). The image is from earlier today. Such drama. Later in the day was an image of a polling place with grim reapers voting, and a headline along the lines of "Dead Men Voting?" Subtle. Keep it classy, FOX!

Goodnight for now, I'll try to check in later.

Jon Stewart: A Majority of 100 is 60?

This is one of the better clips The Daily Show with Jon Stewart has done in a while. How Democrats got cowed into believing that they need 60 votes to get anything done--and still can't manage to do anything without watering it down--is one of the most baffling political facts around. Jon puts all of our frustrations (and by "our" I mean we "far left liberals") into a very funny, and very true rant. Excellent.

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Ad For Scott Brown in Massachusetts WAY Over the Top

Image from The Political Class

Today there's a really weird thing going down. Massachusetts is holding a special election for U.S. Senate (why now? I dunno). That's not the weird part. It's for the seat held by Ted Kennedy for 47 years. Kennedy spearheaded health care reform as an issue for many, many years. And now, it is not unlikely that the seat could go to a Republican. What's more, because it would remove the Democrats' filibuster-proof majority, it could kill the health care reform bill.

In case you missed it, that's the weird part. Well that, and the notion that Massachusetts would elect a Republican to the seat after all of these years. Now, I'm no huge fan of the reform bills as they've turned out. They're nowhere near liberal enough, which is ironic, since Republicans are acting like it's the end of America as we know it. They talk about taking their country back, and that President Obama and the Democrats are tyrannical, which is laughable. After all, the Democrats bent over backward (and forward? ahem), and damned near gutted the thing in a futile attempt at "bipartisanship."

But you wouldn't know that from this whopper of an ad for Scott Brown. The music! The imagery! The fear! Olbermann! Maddow! Eeeeeeek! It's one of the most over-the-top things I've ever seen. John Waters couldn't top it. And Scott Brown is a miracle? I'll grant he was pretty hot back in his nude modeling days (and not so bad these days either). But a miracle? One thing's for sure, whatever happens, it will be interesting, with a heaping helping of stupid. Just like anything else political these days.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Frivolity Break: PhotoBombs! Kid Edition.

Image from source, Huffington Post

I love photo bombs. If you don't know what they are, they usually involve something in the background that is more interesting than what is in the foreground. Kind of like the best bits of an Airplane! or Hot Shots! movie. Sometimes they're on purpose, sometimes they're accidental, but they're usually funny. Enjoy.


The Best Little Kid Photobombs Of All Time

We recently brought you the funniest animal photobombs of all time, so it goes without saying that the only appropriate follow up would be little kids. We don't know if these kids are fully aware of the pranks they're pulling, but there's no denying that they've got talent. These photobombers have bright futures. . . .

See them all at: Huffington Post

Rifle Scopes for Jesus!

So the maker of these scopes used by our military--inscribed with Bible quotes--claims only non-Christians are offended by them. Ya think? And who exactly are we fighting?

To Be or Not to Be?

I spend a lot of time (sometimes to the detriment of my relationship with The Other Half) working on this blog. I really enjoy blogging, and I have no other real hobbies. But after paying attention to the blog hits recently, I have to wonder. Is it worth it? I've had like 45 visitors today [Sunday]. Is that enough of an audience to continue spending so much time working (after hours) on a project that pays no real dividends? I don't know.

I doubt I'll break the blogging habit any time soon. But sometimes I wonder. What am I doing this for? Tomorrow, I'll probably wonder why I wrote this.

UPDATE: Wow, I was crabby last night, wasn't I? Keep reading, I'm not going anywhere.

Top 10 Conservative Idiots Takes a Break

If you're wondering why I haven't posted a link lately to Democratic Underground's Top 10 Conservative Idiots (one of my favorite columns), it's because it's now officially on hiatus. They promise to be back (and I can't wait), so I'll be posting whatever they have whenever they have it. In the meantime, here is the update:


Last week I noted that a combination of factors, which include important upgrades to DU over the coming weeks and months, as well as some very time-consuming stuff going on in my personal life (nothing bad - just time-consuming), were likely to prevent me from writing the Top 10 for a while. I'm sorry to announce that the hiatus starts now.

I want to thank everyone who expressed well-wishes to my son last week (he's doing much better now) and to everyone who basically told me to STFU with the apologizing and take care of my family. I really appreciate it.

I can't say for sure when the Top 10 will be back, but I will say that you haven't heard the last of me. And by the way, when I do get back, I would prefer not to have to write about the teabagging antics of Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) *gag* so do me a favor and please get out the vote for Martha Coakley this Tuesday.See you, I hope, sooner rather than later,-- EarlG

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Science is Cool: Beer Cures Cancer? Woo-Hoo!!!

Image from Around the Sphere

Well, then I just might live forever!


Why beer is the latest hope in fight against cancer

It might be your preference to crack open a bottle of red wine at the end of a hard day but you may be better off pouring a pint.

Researchers at the German Cancer Research Centre in Heidelberg have discovered that beer contains a powerful molecule that helps protect against breast and prostate cancers. . .

Read more at: Daily Mail

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