Tuesday, May 31, 2011

House Republicans Vote Against Raising Debt Limit

Aren't these guys inspiring? Cantor, Boner Boehner and Yertle McConnell.
Image from source, Huffington Post
Yeah, I know this was a "test vote" all for shits and giggles and political posturing. But is this really something we should be playing chicken with? Do all parties involved realize that people can see what they're doing? I'm just wondering, because tampering with world markets just to score points seems to be an incredibly foolhardy game.

[Excerpt]

House Debt Limit Vote: Republicans Vote Against Raising Debt Ceiling

House Republicans dealt defeat to their own proposal for a $2.4 trillion increase in the nation's debt limit Tuesday, a political gambit designed to reinforce a demand for spending cuts to accompany any increase in government borrowing. . .

Read more at: Huffington Post

"Toughest Sheriff" Arpaio Can't Police Own Department?

Image from source, Think Progress
Well, well, well. So, Sheriff Joe, big tough guy, FOX "News" favorite? Apparently he can't even police his own men effectively. And if the FOX fans are true to form, there will be no impact on his popularity there. They forgive any ridiculous thing that Sarah Palin or Glenn Beck do, so they'll offer their sympathy, backed with their support, undoubtedly. What, me cynical?

[Excerpt]

Three Arpaio Employees Arrested For Drug And Human Trafficking

Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio has made a name for himself as “America’s toughest Sheriff.” For the past several years, Arpaio has waged a crusade against Maricopa County’s undocumented population through immigration sweeps and dehumanizing tactics. . .

Read more at: Think Progress

Thanks to Stupid Monkey Planet for the link.

Product Placement: Pinot Evil Wine

This one is for my good friend, Stupid Monkey Planet. I spied this brand of wine at our local apothecary (Lee's Discount Liquor), and was instantly reminded of him. It carries the infamous three monkeys: see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, and the brand name, Pinot Evil. I'm a big fan of red wine, and of monkey, so I may give it a try.

What Happens in Vegas: Mayor Goodman Prepares to Say Goodbye

I've lived in Las Vegas for over 16 years, but I don't really live in Las Vegas. I live in Paradise Township, which is where you've actually been when you've visited the Las Vegas Strip. You have to get north of the (now defunct) Sahara to enter Las Vegas proper, and a lot of people never even get there.  The mayor of what is north of the strip is Oscar Goodman, you may have heard of him.
The happiest mayor in the universe,
with Holly Madison.
Oscar usually does little to dissuade people from thinking he's the mayor of the whole Las Vegas valley, and I don't blame him, really. And when you think about it, since most people don't know there's a difference, Goodman sort of does represent all of us here. And he's been an effective presence, certainly the most visible mayor in the country (unless one is currently in a sex scandal or something). We'll miss him. Of course, if his wife wins the upcoming election, we won't have to look very hard for him.

[Excerpt]

Las Vegas Mayor Goodman Reluctantly Says Goodbye

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman surveyed the piles of memorabilia spilling from his City Hall office: the bowling ball disguised as an olive, the diamond-studded bottle of gin, the Red Bull mini-refrigerator. It all must go, but he can't bring himself to start packing. . .

Read more at: 8NewsNow

Thanks to Stupid Monkey Planet for the link.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Blast from the Past: The Lost 80s (Part 1)

What is "The Lost 80s?" It is music from the 1980s that you don't often hear, even on "I love the 80s" or your local "80s and More!" radio stations. These are the songs that were small to medium hits on MTV and your local radio stations. But they fell through the cracks somehow. They could be one-hit wonders. Or, they're the second or third hit from a flash in the pan. They could be the third tier hits from groups or acts that had a dozen hit songs. Somehow, people just forgot about them. But not me. . .





#1 - One in a Million, The Romantics - The group better known for their huge hit, Talking in Your Sleep, also had a fairly big hit with this forgotten tune.
#2 - The Sun Always Shines on TV, ah-ha - Sure, you remember Take on Me, but do you remember this one?
#3 - Living in a Dream, Pseudo Echo - This group barely made a ripple in the United States, but you might remember their remake of Lipps, Inc.'s Funkytown. This song was their first hit though, and nobody plays it today.
#4 - Room to Move, Animotion - Everybody knows Obsession. It was an 80s anthem. But this one gets no respect.
#5 - Hyperactive!, Thomas Dolby - Though accomplished in music, Thomas Dolby will always be remembered for She Blinded Me with Science. But Hyperactive! was a big hit back in the day. And do you remember the even rarer Airhead?
#6 - Baby Love, Regina - Who was Regina? Who knows? Everybody in the 80s just thought this was one of Madonna's new hits. It wasn't.

I labeled this Blast from the Past installment as Part 1 for a reason. There are a lot of these things. I may not run sequels in sequential weeks, but trust me there is more to come. Meanwhile, if you have the day off on Memorial Day, have a great extended weekend. If not, happy Monday!

Sarah Palin's Bus Tour: WTF?

Remember when advertising got all meta, and an ad for designer jeans might just feature naked people, with maybe a pair of jeans draped over a chair or something? You'd look at it and say, "Um. . .whut?" They started doing that in the mid 80s, and it comes around over and over. It's amazing how often I see a memorable commercial, and I can't remember the product.

Well, Sarah Palin has a spot out right now, and it has the opposite problem. I know the product: Caribou Barbie, the former half-term Governor of Alaska, you betcha. But damned if I know what the ad is for. Is she running for president? Does she have a book to sell? Is she selling flags or copies of the pledge of allegiance? She's sure to get "God" in there prominently, that part I didn't miss. But mostly what I got is a bunch if vague patriotic claptrap in Palin's insufferable screeching voice. The woman simply has one of the worst voices of all political celebrities, elected, televised or broadcast. She seriously needs to get Hillary Clinton's voice coach on the line, whatever the hell she's trying to sell us now.



UPDATED TO ADD: I'd love to hear from a Palin enthusiast exactly what a Palin candidacy would entail. This is a woman who very clearly did not know much at all beyond her own Alaskan issues--if that--prior to 2008. She is also a  woman of thin skin, with an easily stoked counter punch, and a fragile ego. She's quick to feign and dodge, instead of being forthright. She's a product more than a person. WTF do you people see in this political confection?

Last Week's Over Time with Bill Maher, May 20, 2011

Again, catching up on a few odds and ends I forgot to post. This is last week's OverTime, the extended internet-only portion of Real Time with Bill Maher. I usually post this on the Saturday after a live show, but I missed it. But since Real Time wasn't on this week, maybe it's good that I saved it. Enjoy.


Rachel Maddow on Rick Santorum's Google Problem

This long weekend is an ideal time to catch up on a little blogging, but it's a bad time to feel like doing it. Still, I want some fresh stuff up on the blog, because you know me. I'm a giver. So, here is a clip I meant to post earlier, from The Rachel Maddow Show, late last week. In it, Rachel discusses Rick Santorum's Google problem, and how he's just made it worse. 


Sometimes a Weiner is Just a Weiner (or Wiener)

Image from source, Politico
So, internet scumbucket entrepreneur Andrew Breitbart--a man of zero credibility--is claiming that liberal favorite Anthony Weiner (D-NY) has tweeted an image of his wiener. Actually it's a picture of a pitched tent in a pair of boxer briefs, but why quibble? As there is nothing identifying in the shot, it would be impossible to say whose wiener it is. And like I said, Mr. Breitbart has a huge credibility problem. Anyway, the picture is risque, not pornographic, and hey, at least it's not a dinky winky. I guess this passes for news now. Breitbart has risen to such heights, hasn't he?

[Excerpt]

Anthony Weiner: Hackers posted lewd photos on Twitter



Rep. Anthony Weiner says social networking identity hacking is to blame for the lewd material that a conservative news website reported was sent from his Twitter and yfrog handles to an unidentified woman from Seattle, Washington.


The New York Democrat told POLITICO he thought it “obvious” that his account had been taken over, and he tweeted that his Facebook account had been hacked with the abbreviation “FB hacked. . .”

Read more at: Politico

And because you know you want to, the image in question can be seen here.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Fat Thing, Revisited. . .Again


In a fair and just world, this would be my "before" and "after"
pictures. Though I think I do look better than Ryan
Reynolds in a fat suit. Not saying I do, I just think I do.

Have you ever met someone who is so good looking, they're almost intimidating? I'm not talking about sexual attraction (though I wouldn't rule it out), I just mean that they're so attractive, it's overwhelming. There's a client who comes into our office from time to time who meets that description. He's dark haired, blue eyed, and has an intense gaze. He's got the reputation of a real womanizer, and I'm really not surprised about that. The first couple of times I saw him, in addition to taking all that in, I did notice that he was carrying 15-20 pounds around the middle that he could stand to lose. But the way he looked, he really pulled it off.

The next few times I saw him, I thought he probably should lay off the pizza and beer, because his 15-20 pounds had grown up to a good 30 or so. And the last time I saw him, he was pushing 45-50 more than he should. Only now, he's been carrying extra weight long enough, his hands and face are getting plump, along with the belly. Suddenly, he's not so intimidating anymore. Now, he's just starting to look like the rest of us!

At the age of 45, I find that without a great deal of effort, I quickly and easily go down the same road. I got an unfortunate blend of genes from my family: skinny genes and weight gain genes. If that seems like a contradiction, it's really not. I grew up a bean pole, literally able to eat as much and as often as I wanted, and never gained an an ounce. As I've segued from decade to decade, the metabolism has slowed down, and my "idle" weight has increased incrementally. I'm still a beanpole, with skinny arms, skinny legs, small chest and shoulders. But I've got the beans now too, with fat collecting around the stomach, butt and face. If I'm not dieting and exercising regularly, I get fat in those areas, and quickly.

At 20, my idle weight was 140. At 30, it was up to 150. At 40, It could be from 160-170, and now at 45? 180-185. Seriously. I don't have to eat a lot, I just have to eat normally and not exercise, and boom, tubbo. And like the good looking guy I mentioned, if I stay fat long enough, my hands get fat enough to change ring sizes, and my face--where the weight goes first, and leaves last--gets rounder, and rounder. Yeah, well, I'm not gonna take it.

Probably not for the last time (but who really knows), I'm hitting the Atkins Diet and the exercise again. I'd tipped the scales at at least 185 (I didn't really want to know), with only a couple of pairs of pants fitting. For a guy who wore a 28" waist in college, growing out of 34"s is just embarrassing. So, 23 out of the last 31 days, I've walked 2 to 5 miles a day. I've been low carbing it for three weeks now. I've got a ways to go, but I'm down to 177 or so. It comes off a lot more slowly than it goes on, as everyone knows.  I doubt I'll ever get down to 140 pounds again without a horrifying disease, but I will get down to less than clinically overweight, which for me is about 165. And though I'll never be so good looking that I'm intimidating, I'm kind of doubting that the guy in my example will again, either!

Senate Blocks Potential "Recess Appointments" by Obama

Image of the epically awesome Elizabeth Warren from
source, Raw Story
Huh. Big babies. Apparently this is all to prevent the appointment of Elizabeth Warren to a consumer protection position in the government. The article refers to Warren as "controversial." And that in a nutshell tells me more about the problems in our government than almost anything.

On what planet is Elizabeth Warren controversial? I've seen her interviewed by several different people, and seldom have I seen a smarter, more articulate, more succinct, more capable or quite simply cooler woman! I am truly baffled. When a person this clearly qualified has to be blocked by a special trick maneuver, I have to wonder why. Could it be that they know she'd do a good job, and that they really don't want consumers to be protected?

[Excerpt]

Congress nixes chance of Obama recess appointments

Republican senators on Friday forced the US Senate to stay in session over its week-long Memorial Day break in a bid to prevent President Barack Obama from nominating a controversial head of a new consumer protection bureau.
Obama has the right to make so-called "recess appointments" any time the Senate breaks for four days or more. . .

Read more at: Raw Story

Friday, May 27, 2011

Right Wing World: Where Killing Medicare "Fixes" It

The Budget Munster is lying to you. Image from HuffPo.
There have seemingly always been spin doctors, and political finesse when it comes to policy and talking points.  What they're doing with the Paul Ryan "kill Medicare" plan is just the latest, most audacious example. There is a line that can be crossed from "polishing a turd" to "outright lying." And saying that Ryan's plan would "save" Medicare is outright lying.

[Excerpt]


Ryan Says His Plan Repeals The 'Raid' Obama Made To Medicare. It Doesn't


Besieged by attacks over House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's Medicare plan, Republican lawmakers are amplifying their message that it was President Barack Obama's health care law, not theirs, that pushed draconian cuts to the entitlement program. . .

Read more at: Huffington Post


Rolling Stone Chronicles Roger Ailes and FOX "News"

Image from excerpt source, Rolling Stone
And it ain't pretty. A week or so after New York Magazine delved into the genesis of FOX "News," and the main man behind it--Roger Ailes, not owner, Rupert Murdoch--Rolling Stone has an in-depth piece that is bound to tick you off. If you have a built-in revulsion for FOX "News" and/or Ailes, this article will give you even more (many more) tangible reasons to feel that way. And if you're a tea baggin', Sarah Palin lovin', Rush listenin' FOX fan, you'll be pissed for one of two reasons: 1) you've been had, or 2) you'll think the author, Tim Dickinson is a dirty, stinkin' socialist Obamabot!!11!1!!

But this article is thorough. Unlike the NYMag piece, this one names names. It has more sources. It has more detail of Ailes' past (past Ailes projects include the Nixon campaign stagecraft, The Maury Povich Show, The Rush Limbaugh Show on TV, A Current Affair, and the Willie Horton racist ploy). It points out that FOX "News" was born as a right-wing infused news channel, in fact was bred to be one.  It was in fact Ailes' second go at that sort of thing. Both even had "fair and balanced" as their motto. With FOX, he just managed to keep the bias--somehow--halfway under wraps. Like details about Ailes' late friend Liberace, there are things people know, that for some reason aren't openly discussed.

There is no doubt that the author of this piece has no love for Ailes or his tactics. I'm not sure that it would be possible, if you were discovering all of this stuff fresh and never heard of Ailes or FOX "News." It's pretty contemptible stuff. It's basically turning news into propaganda--on purpose--to strongly influence elections and policy, for the enrichment of corporate elites. It's an ends-justify-the-means story, where the ends are just as morally dubious as the means. It shows the man behind the curtain to be every bit as vile as you think he is. It explains what Karl Rove is doing at FOX "News." And the few FOX fans who will actually read this thing will likely not recognize this. They'll read the list of things that Fox watchers erroneously believe, and will have already been preconditioned to think those things are correct.

When the history of this era of America is written, I have a feeling that Roger Ailes will figure into the narrative, along with the Citizens United Supreme Court decision as a time when America changed direction drastically, from a democracy to a corporatocracy. Or, more hopefully, when it almost did.

[Excerpt]

How Roger Ailes Built the Fox News Fear Factory

. . .The key to decoding Fox News isn’t Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity. It isn’t even News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch. To understand what drives Fox News, and what its true purpose is, you must first understand Chairman Ailes. “He is Fox News,” says Jane Hall, a decade-long Fox commentator who defected over Ailes’ embrace of the fear-mongering Glenn Beck. “It’s his vision. It’s a reflection of him. . .”

Read (much) more at: Rolling Stone

Notable Quotable: Randi Rhodes on Ed Schultz's Suspension

Fun fact: I actually 'shopped this picture myself, and
Randi now has it on her website, which is cool!
"Ed Schultz has been suspended for a week from MSNBC for calling Laura Ingraham a slut. Really, Ed? There are so many more accurate things you could call Laura Ingraham. Ed apologized for the comments. He said calling Laura Ingraham a slut was 'vile and inappropriate.' It would have been better (and probably more accurate) if he had just called Laura Ingraham 'vile and inappropriate' in the first place."

Source: Randi Rhodes

MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Called Tina Fey a Slut!

Okay, okay. Technically, Andrea Mitchell called Liz Lemon a slut on 30 Rock on Thursday night's rerun. But, if the word is so offensive, how was that allowed? She's an employee of MSNBC, right? As is Ed Schultz, who was suspended for a week for calling Laura Ingraham a slut. Does Liz Lemon being a fictional character make it okay?  Because, I assure you "Laura Ingraham" on the radio is a fictional creation too. No way anybody's like that in real life. I hope.

[Excerpt]


WATCH: Andrea Mitchell Calls Liz Lemon “Slut” During 30 Rock Cameo

. . . But the funniest bit came when he threw to NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell, who walked on camera just in time to call Lemon “slut. . .”
 


Read more at: Mediaite

Florida Congressman Allen West's Unfortunate Gun Metaphor

Image from source, Think Progress
There are those who might say that we've gotten a little too sensitive about language in the months and weeks since Rep. Gabby Giffords was shot in Arizona. I'm one of them. Calls to civility are always welcome, and it is smart to keep rhetoric from overheating. Sometimes it goes to far though, when a common saying is attacked as though it is a literal call to violence. That's what we do in this country, either take things too far, or take things way too far.

This is not one of those times. What Rep. Allen West (R-Naturally) said is just plain stupid.

[Excerpt]

Allen West Suggests Anti-War Congressmen Should ‘Get Shot At A Few Times’

In the wake of the killing of Osama Bin Laden, the House came closer than it ever has to voting for an end to the war in Afghanistan today when a bipartisan amendment that would have required President Obama to submit a timetable for withdrawal failed by just 12 votes, netting approval from 26 Republicans. . .

Read more at: Think Progress

Thursday, May 26, 2011

"Paul Ryan Plan" Voted Down in Senate

The Budget Munster, image from Daily Caller
Well, if there's one thing you can say about Paul Ryan, it's that many more people now know who he is now. He's the kill Medicare guy! And yeah, he's kinda handsome and buff if you don't notice the Eddie Munster thing. But is he losing his mojo? As recently as two weeks ago, Newt Gingrich stepped into a big pile of crap by dissing Ryan's plan (What? No, I never said that! I never mentioned Ryan! And if you quote what I said, you're lying!!!). Now, his plan has helped get a Democrat elected to a Republican district in New York, and his plan went down in flames in the Senate.

[Excerpt]

Senate rejects Ryan budget; vote puts GOP on the spot

Senate Democrats forced a vote Wednesday on the controversial fiscal plan drafted by House Budget chief Paul Ryan, splitting the Republican caucus and forcing several vulnerable GOP senators who are up for re-election to go on the record supporting or opposing sweeping changes to the nation’s Medicare system. . .

Read more at: MSNBC

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Jane Lynch and Lauren Potter (of Glee) on the "R-Word" (Retard)

It's been an awfully long time since I've used any of the disparaging words in this public service announcement. Except for retarded and retard. I'll admit it. And in the internet age, we've co-opted it (lib-tard, celebutard, etc.). I think it's proably because the "r" word came into common usage in my growing up years. We even had a room called "EMR" which was education for the mentally retarded. There were no sensitivity organizations, or empowerment movents around the issue. And it was rare indeed for any of us kids to actually make fun of the actually mentally retarded.

No, the "r" word was reserved for the willfully stupid, or the insufferably dense. Does that make it okay to use, that we weren't directing it at people with mental disabilities? No, I suppose it doesn't. It's similar to kids using "gay" when they mean stupid. I mean really similar. Except that today's kids are aware of the double meaning, and typically use it as an all-purpose smear. All in all, I will cop to having used the "r" word, and I will endeavor to stop doing it. And one day, it'll join the list of things we don't hurl at each other without feeling really bad about it.

Big Ed Schultz Suspended by MSNBC for Calling Laura Ingraham a "Slut"

Big Ed Out. Photo from source, Raw Story
Really? Okay, where is the line? You can call the President (deep breath): Marxist, Maoist, statist, communist, socialist, racist, Islamic, pro-terrorist and anti-American, and still keep your job on cable "news." You can say awful things about the first lady, Hillary Clinton, Madeline Albright (yeah, I remember), Janet Reno, and on and on.
I'll concede that "slut" is probably automatically out-of-bounds (though Dan Aykroyd used it on Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update referring to Jane Curtin in 1978). But if he'd said bimbo, would he have gotten away with it? I suspect so. Harpie? Shrew? Harlot? Skank? Where is the line?

Anyway, I'm pretty sure that Keith Olbermann is having a good belly laugh over this. Not only is he familiar with getting suspended by MSNBC, he used to date Laura Ingraham.

[Excerpt]

MSNBC host Ed Schultz apologizes for ‘right-wing slut’ remark

The liberal host of MSNBC’s The Ed Show and The Ed Schultz Show radio program was suspended without pay for one week by MSNBC because of sexist comments he made about a conservative radio host.



“President Obama is going to be visiting Joplin, Missouri on Sunday but you know what they’re talking about, like this right-wing slut, what’s her name?” Schultz asked on his radio program. “Laura Ingraham? Yeah, she’s a talk slut. . .”

Read more at: Raw Story

American Idol Crowns Another Winner

Just, no. Photo from source, MSNBC
And for the the second or third time, I so don't care! Sorry, I'm tired of it. I caught 1-1/2 episodes early on to see what Steven Tyler would do, and then just a few minutes of whatever it was they were supposed to be airing last night. Two cute teenagers who sing. . .country. Ugh. Tired, tired, tired.

If you care to see who won, go here: MSNBC

Sharron Angle Pulls Out of Congressional Special Election

Image from source, MyNews3
It would seem, much like the presidential race, the nuttiest politicians are bowing out of their races. Case in point, Sharron Angle, Nevada's own nut. She gives a reason for pulling out, but I don't care. I just didn't want her in office, so I'm happy.

[Excerpt]


Angle pulls out of House special election race


Former 2010 U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle said she will not take part in the special election for the vacant 2nd District U.S. House seat. . .

Read more at: MyNews3

HBO's True Blood is Back June 26th

I was a late convert to HBO's True Blood vampire series. Sure, I was also a late joiner to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, and (ahem) ate them up, so why wouldn't I like a vampire show, right? It just took me a while to check it out, I guess. I still haven't seen season one ($50 for the DVDs, are you freakin' serious?). But I caught up on the rest, and I'm hopelessly hooked on this cajun-fried fang banging sexy series. Check it out. You'll be hooked too.

Is Rudy Giuliani Going to Run?

"Tho what if I look like Nothferatu, and thound like Thylvethter
the cat! 9/11!!!" Image from source.
I just have to say that (September 11th) I never imagined that (9/11) Rudy Giuliani would even consider (ground zero) another shot at the presidency. There was a time (September the eleventh) when Rudy seemed like he might have a shot. But he flamed out so abruptly and so utterly in his 2008 attempt, what on earth makes him think something has changed? Are they going to prop up Fred Thompson, and give him a go too?  Ugh. No, Rudy isn't even attractive a candidate as ol' Law & Order. He looks like a cross between Gary Oldman as Dracula and C. Montgomery Burns as Dracula. Ugh. Spare us!

[Excerpt]

Rudy redux: What's behind the Giuliani-for-President rumors?

Rudy Giuliani really might jump into the race for the 2010 Republican presidential nomination. That’s according to his friend Peter King, a GOP congressman who represents chunks of Long Island. Representative King told reporters on Monday that Mr. Giuliani “is very close to saying he’s going to run. . .”

Read more at: Christian Science Monitor

6 Unconstitutional Laws the GOP Has Foisted Upon Us

Image from source, AlterNet
This is a partial list you understand. So much for the laser-like focus on "jobs, jobs, jobs." Instead we get legislation against Sharia Law! Abortion! Homosexuals! (Rant! Froth! Belch!) Sooooo predictable, but somehow every time the pendulum swings back to the right, the voting public seems to forget. This time, I think the pendulum hit one of those Angry Birds TNT crates, and is about to bo careening back to the left. But that's just a guess.

[Excerpt]

6 Crazy, Unconstitutional Laws Right-Wingers Are Blowing Your Money On
They rode into power on a wave of conservative populism, vowing to rein in spending, slash deficits (remember how the Tea Partiers swore they weren't focusing on those “wedge” social issues anymore?), and above all, restore our fealty to the Constitution, a document they claim to hold an almost religious reverence for. . .
Read (much) more at: AlterNet
Thanks to Stupid Monkey Planet for the link.

Democrat Wins Solid Republican District in New York

How's that killin' medicare thingy workin' out for ya?

[Excerpt]

Democrat Kathy Hochul Wins NY Special Election For House Seat

In a victory certain to be read by many as a positive omen for House Democrats looking forward to the 2012 general elections and a warning for Republicans, Democrat Kathy Hochul won the closely watched special election to fill a vacant seat in a congressional district that until now has been reliably Republican. . .

Read more at: WVIZ

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tennessee Governor Strips LGBT Protections, Statewide

What are you going to do with that fist, Governor?
Image from source, Joe.My.God.
I'd really like for a conservative/Republican/tea partier to explain this to me. Let's assume a county or city passes some discrimination protections for gay people (or any other group). Why on earth should (or would) a governor sign a law to strip those protections away? What is gained here? Beyond basic meanness, what public good is served by wiping away laws made by elected officials? We're not talking un-Constitutional laws, we're talking about laws that are disliked by the fringe edge of a political party.

I'm aware that this sort of political regression is likely to die out over the next 10-30 years. The Governor of Tennessee is pandering to an aging group of homophobes that will eventually croak. And by the time I'm in my dotage, gay people won't have to put up with being political footballs anymore. But I tell you, I'm getting pretty fucking sick of this shit. And no, I don't feel the need to sugar coat it.

[Excerpt]

TENNESSEE: Governor Signs Bill Banning All Local LGBT Rights Laws

GOP Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today signed the bill overturning Nashville's non-discrimination ordinance. The bill also effectively outlaws all local LGBT rights laws statewide as it bans any discrimination protections not already offered by the state. . .

Read more at: Joe.My.God.

Harold Camping: Oops, My Bad! Apocalypse Will be in October

"I forgot to carry the 1. . ." Image from source
Oh, dude, just give it up! Seriously? Is there a living being alive who'd be suckered by this guy not once, not twice but thrice? Anyone who believes this guy, and sends their money to him deserves to lose it. Suckers.

[Excerpt]

Radio host says world's end actually coming in Oct

As crestfallen followers of a California preacher who foresaw the world's end strained to find meaning in their lives, Harold Camping revised his apocalyptic prophecy Monday, saying he was off by five months because the Earth actually will be obliterated on Oct. 21. . .

Read more at: XFinity News

Calling a Spade a Deity: Jesus Appears on a Shovel!

Oh, Jesus. Is there no place You and Your Mother won't show up?

[Excerpt]

Bethesda woman sees Jesus in a garden shovel

A BETHESDA woman claims to have spotted an apparition of Jesus Christ on, of all things, her boyfriend’s garden shovel!



Andrea Jones was having a cigarette in her garden when she noticed this ‘image’ in the shovel which was leaning against a rabbit hutch. . .

Read more at: The Online Mail


Previously:
Jesus! That's Pizza Sauce!



Jesus Appears on a Steam Iron

Science is Cool: New Internet Tech Goes 26 Terabytes Per Second!

Okay, technology is officially now going too fast. It wasn't too long ago when we were asking, "What comes after gigabyte?" The answer is terabyte, and it has become increasingly more common to measure data at that scale. It's not unusual to find a full terabyte hard drive on new computers. If you're really getting spendy, you might get two. And as with gigabytes, megabytes and kilobytes before, we always think, "I'd never need more space than that!" We manage to grow into it somehow.

But the different measurements are also used to denote the speed at which you can upload and download things. And in that case, we're still pretty solidly in the mega- range, not the giga- or tera-. But now it may be possible to transfer data at scary fast speeds. If this becomes commonplace, using computers in "race the clock" type action movies isn't really going to work anymore is it? "Somebody's coming! Hurry! Oh, you're done? Great!"  By the way, if you're wondering what comes after terabyte, the next leaps in technology will be: petabyte, exabyte, zettabyte and yottabyte. After that, we start moving through time, I think.

[Excerpt]


New Internet tech transmits data at 26 terabytes per second
 
In a dramatic breakthrough, scientists have learned how to use optical fiber to transmit data over a single laser at speeds that dwarf even today's fastest Internet connections. . .
 
Read more at: Raw Story

Monday, May 23, 2011

Would Somebody Please Leave Me a Comment?


No, I'm not begging for attention. I tried to leave a reply to a comment, and I can't make my computer do it. It keeps getting stuck in a loop. I don't know if it is a Blogger issue, or if it's my computer. So, say anything you like. . .I can take it!!!

2012 GOP Checklist Update

Okay, Mitch Daniels is out. And in my last checklist, I inadvertantly left out (say it loudly) John Bolton, Buddy Roemer (who?) and Jon Huntsman.

Even FOX "News" Head Honcho Agrees: Sarah Palin is an Idiot

I knew it! This is a bit of a shocker, but even though FOX "News" serves heaping helpings of stupid, crazy and lies, behind the scenes, they actually have to know the score, right? That said, though the headline is great, the New York Magazine article it is based on is even better. So, by all means, check out the article excerpted below, but if you've got the time, read the in depth article here. And thanks to Stupid Monkey Planet for pointing it out.

[Excerpt]

Fox News President Roger Ailes thinks Sarah Palin ‘is an idiot’

Roger Ailes, the president of the Fox News Channel, is not fond of former Alaska governor and Fox News contributor Sarah Palin, according to sources. . .

Read more at: Raw Story

Blast from the Past: Pat Benatar

Image from Pat Benatar's Official Fan Club
For this week's Blast from the Past, I thought I'd go to one of my favorite 80s singers (or of any era, frankly), Pat Benatar. This isn't my first Benatar post over these past four years of blogging. But I think I'm due again. As I've said before, I think it's semi-tragic that Benatar's music seems to be pegged solely to the 80s, and that she didn't seem to be able to reboot her career, even though she did put out some good music in the 90s and the 2000s. I'd like to see her land a gig on Celebrity Apprentice or something, to boost her image, and get her a comeback!

Benatar had a lot of his songs, and a whole lot of well-known songs that weren't quite hits. Even though she was an MTV staple, she also had a lot of airplay on "album oriented rock" stations, where songs like Hell is for Children could make a name for itself even though it wasn't a single. So the following is a grouping of major hits, minor hits, and other songs that are just good. I'm limited by the YouTube and Daily Motion selections, but this is the top of that list.





Sunday, May 22, 2011

SNL Digital Short: 3 Way (The Golden rule)

Saturday Night Live's season finale was this weekend, and it was one of the better ones of late. It was still uneven, but with Justin Timberlake as host, and Lady Gaga as musical guest, you had two game players there. The best bit was a sequel to Dick in a Box and Mother Lover, with Timberlake and Andy Samberg doing their cheeseball boy band characters. Susan Sarandon was back again too.

The World Didn't End. That is All.

Movies I Can't Wait to See: the new Fright Night

The original gang of the original Fright Night
In the 80s, I had the good fortune to be the right age at the right time for the home video explosion. VCRs (video cassette recorders, if you didn't know) were finally affordable to the masses. Mine had a wired remote! And video rental stores popped up all over the damned place. My favorite was called West Coast Video, because they had a seemingly endless supply of cheesy, bad--but so good--horror movies. And my old, VCR with the wired remote? It was cheap enough--oddly enough, a Samsung, which today produces my awesome new cell phone--that the MacroVision copy protection could be thwarted with some simple RCA patch cables! My pirated VHS cassette collection was legend--wait for it--dary!

And it is now landfill. But back in the day, I had everything. And one of the ones that got the most play was Fright Night (1985). This was one of those "genre savvy" movies, where the characters have an inkling that they are in a horror movie scenario. But of course, none of the adults believe them. Also, the movie was chock full of wink-and-a-nod pop culture references, and a definite vein of humor to it. Add to that stellar performances by the actors (William Ragsdale of Herman's Head, Amanda Bearse of Married. . .with Children, the gorgeous Chris Sarandon, ex of Susan, Stephen Geoffreys of gay porn, and the also gay, but fabulous Roddy McDowell), and you have what should be a masterpiece of cinema. A timeless mixture of genres for the ages. But it isn't.

The original Fright Night was one of my favorite movies for many years. But I put it down for 10 or 15 years, and revisited it. Annnnnd. . . you know what? It doesn't hold up. The 80s music and fashions just wreck the picture. There are still things about I like. But it must be viewed as a period piece. In fact, maybe if you go into it with the notion: "Back in the 80s, Charlie Brewster faught the sexy, suave vampire, Jerry Dandridge, with the assistance of cheeseball horror movie host, Peter Vincent," then maybe it would be okay. So, a remake of one of my (former) favorite movies is not a stake to the heart after all. And this preview? Rocks. And Colin Ferrell? Fangtastic. And (squeeeeee!) it's set in my backyard in Las Vegas? AWESOME!!!

The Rapture That Wasn't. . .And What it Could Have Been

This is spectacular, and spectacularly funny. . .



Once again found at: Joe.My.God.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

My New, New Phone: Samsung Epic 4G

In this space just two weeks ago, I wrote a story about the tragic drowning death of my old Samsung Rant cell phone. The Other Half was doing laundry, and I had left the two-and-a-half year-old phone in my cargo pants. This in itself was not a tragedy. We'd been holding out for news on the iPhone 5, thinking that when it finally comes out, it will knock the iPhone 4 down to the cheap price. We were looking into switching out of Sprint and onto either Verizon or AT&T. Until laundry day. [Story continues below]



It turns out, that we were leaving for the weekend, the next day. And following that, The Other Half was going to be gone for several days. I knew that I would be without a phone for 5+ days, if I didn't pick a new phone right away. So, we went to the Sprint store, and browsed while we waited. I knew I was going to get a Google Android phone, the closest thing to an iPhone that Sprint carries. But there are quite a few Android phones, by LG, HTC, and Samsung, and in entry-level, mid-range and high-end versions.

I fiddled around with them for a while to get a feel for the differences. The Kyocero Echo with two screens was certainly nifty. But what I wanted to keep from my lowly old Rant phone was the slide-out keyboard. Sure, the on-screen ones are serviceable (and I still haven't learned what "Swype" is, really), but I like the tactile keys. So, it was down to the Samsung Transform ($99) or Samsung Epic 4G ($149). I frankly barely noticed the Popular HTC Evo phones. . .and there's even one with a keyboard. Ultimately, I opted for the cheaper phone. It looked nice, it was a dramatic step up, and the price was fine.

Oh, but then I got it home. At first, I had a blast playing with it. Downloading apps, customizing it. But, wait, why doesn't Angry Birds play on the Transform? I looked it up, and well, it just doesn't. But the new Angry Birds Rio did work, so I was mollified. The game is fun and addictive, but also slow and glitchy. Hey, it's a phone, not a game platform, deal with it, right? But the more I read about the  Transform, the more regret I started to feel. It's not that the Transform sucks, it doesn't. As a phone alone, or a texting device, it's terrific.

But I didn't just buy a phone. To use the Android OS, you have to pony up an extra $10 a month. Why do that, if the phone is slow and glitchy? I compared the phone, feature-for-feature with a couple of different ones online. The Transform lines up roughly with the iPhone 3, though I'm betting the iPhone is a little smoother, and better with memory. And I've got to live with this phone for two years. Regret turned to, "aw, hell no." This is my fourth phone, and I just didn't want to have that grudging feeling about mine this time. I decided to trade up before the 30-day period was up.

At the Sprint store, I played around with the phones again. The Epic 4G was there, looking gorgeous. It has a "Super AMOLED" screen, which is meaningless to me, except that it's made of awesome. Very clear, very colorful. . .it's like going from regular to HDTV. The full QWERTY keyboard has features that are both better than, and less than the Transform's. The Transform had a dedicated "@" key, and a dedicated "?" key. Both phones have an accessible ".com" key. Most importantly, the Epic 4G has a row of dedicated number keys. Awesome.

But I didn't jump too quickly. I checked out the HTC Evo 4G, and it looked nice. It even has a slightly larger screen than the Epic. But I really wanted the dedicated keyboard. HTC also makes an Evo Shift 4G with a keyboard, but its smaller, less brilliant screen loses instantly to the Epic. So I got it, even with the $35 restocking fee.

My friend Dona tells a story, about purchasing a refrigerator. She had the option of buying one without an ice maker, or the same model for $100 more with an ice maker. She said, "For $100, I can make ice!" And fifteen years later, she was still making ice! And hating her decision. That's what motivated me to trade up, even with the extra cost. I'm going to have this phone for at least two years. I didn't want to start out those two years being disappointed. In that span of time, there are bound to be better, more whiz-tastic phones. Apple will undoubtedly be out with the iPhone 6 by the time I even start looking again. I might as well start out loving my phone, and not feeling like I made a mistake.

When The Other Half finally trades his Rant in for something new, we'll already have a lot of hands-on experience with both of these Samsung phones. I already have the knowledge that if a phone is $50 more, but wayyy better? Buy it. But when he's ready, and he gets a better phone than the Epic? Well, then I'll be back here whining again!

Anderson Cooper: The Sissy-Boy Experiment

I don't know which thing is more startling: a) that there is a show on CNN called "The Sissy-Boy Experiment," b) that parents would put their child through the abusive treatment that is reparative therapy, c) that Anderson Cooper would allow his name in the title, d) that Anderson Cooper would tackle the issue or e) that the kid in the photo looks just like me as a kid.

The British Have it Right: Creationism is NOT Science

Image from source, Telegraph UK
Creationism--sometimes euphemistically (and ironically)  called "intelligent design"--has long been one of those heated topics that interests me. From the waning days of the Prodigy online service, I've gotten into arguments with supporters of teaching creationism in science classrooms (and of course all the other religion vs. science arguments). Whatever you think about the topic, there is a central, inarguable truth: creationism isn't  science. It's theology.

As such, I'd have no problem with the subject being taught in a comparative religion class, or a "Bible Lit." class, or a philosophy class. But it can't be presented as the literal truth, and it can't be presented as science. At least in England, they understand this. Our country, on the other hand, is more likely to let public opinion have a say over facts.

[Excerpt]

Creationism 'banned from free schools'

Creationism, intelligent design and other theories that contradict evolution are to be banned from being taught as science in free schools. . .


Read more at: The Telegraph UK

It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

Image from source, MSNBC
It is rare for a news or pop-culture event to unite so many people. But this "Rapture on May 21" business seems to have united most sane Americans in laughter. Sure, there may be a few of the dimmer evangelicals who are having panic attacks. And the legions of readers of Left Behind (some of the worst popular writing ever committed to paper) may be getting nervous. But by-and-large, most people are making fun of this one. And the prank in the picture? Loving it.

[Excerpt]

Oh, Rapture! Pranks are in the works

If you see scenes like this in your neighborhood, DON'T PANIC! Cast-off clothes are not a sign that the elect have been taken up in Saturday's scheduled Rapture. It's more likely to be a prank suggested by Jonathan Elliot, a self-described "architect of the liberal conspiracy" from New Zealand. Other pranksters have suggested filling blow-up dolls with helium and sending them heavenward ... or calling your boss at 5:58 p.m. local time and leaving a message about how much you love your job, then ending the call in midsentence. If you do such things, let folks know by sending Twitter updates with the #raptureprank or #rapturebomb hashtag. We'll see who has the last laugh this weekend. . .

Read more at: MSNBC

John Lithgow Gives Newt Gingrich's Press Release a Dramatic Reading

Awesome. From Thursday night's Colbert Report.

Friday, May 20, 2011

"End of the World" Church Still Open for Business on Monday

Image from source, CNN
If he can't even convince his own staff, how can Harold Camping expect to convince the rest of us? Of course, if there are a couple of earthquakes tomorrow morning (or eeek, tonight) it's going to freak people out!

[Excerpt]

Doomsday church: Still open for business

By now, you've probably heard of the religious group that's predicting the end of the world starts this weekend.



Harold Camping and his devoted followers claim a massive earthquake will mark the second coming of Jesus, or so-called Judgment Day on Saturday, May 21, ushering in a five month period of catastrophes before the world comes to a complete end in October. . .

Read more at: CNN

Keith Olbermann on Late Show with David Letterman

Keith discusses his new Countdown show on CurrentTV, from Thursday night's Late Show.

Newt Gingrich Attempts to Salvage His Campaign

Newt! NEXT! Image from Think Progress
Ever take a shower, get dressed, and then do something--drool toothpaste down your shirt, drop a sausage link on your pants--that makes it all feel like it was for nothing? That must've been what it felt like for Newt Gingrich to announce his candidacy for the 2012 presidential election, and then promptly step in political doo-doo.  Not that he was ever particularly viable to begin with mind you. And who was the genius who made his official logo "NEWT 2012"? Among Gingrich's many liabilities is his ridiculous first name. I know that Hillary Clinton went with "Hillary" on her signs, but "NEWT?" I think "Newt", and I think of Aliens: "They mostly come out at night. . .mostly."

Anyway, after Newtie's little flub, dissing Paul Ryan's "kill Medicare" plan, he's trying really hard to backpedal his way out of a political quagmire.  And Newt spent enough time in the FOX "News" alternate reality machine to think that anything he says will erase anything he said previously. But a man with so many negatives has very little leeway. Newt's toast.

[Excerpt]


Gingrich Tells Limbaugh That His Phrase ‘Right-Wing Social Engineering’ Was Not A Reference To Ryan Plan



All week, Newt Gingrich has been mired in controversy for his statement on Meet the Press that Paul Ryan’s budget plan, embraced by virtually the entire House Republican caucus, was “right-wing social engineering.” Gingrich’s answer was in direct response to a question about whether or not he supported the central component of the Ryan plan. . .
 
Read more at: Think Progress

Secret Service Doesn't Like the FOX "News"

This is awesome. If the guy who tweeted it gets into any kind of trouble, than it will be ridiculous. As of now, it's very funny.

Source: Joe.My.God.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

That's So Takei!

The incredibly stupid "Don't Say Gay" bill in Tennessee has had one positive benefit. Star Trek's Mr. Sulu, George Takei has given us new euphamism. So maybe you can't say "gay," but you can say "Takei!

Fall TV Season: Charlie's Angels Looks. . .Bad

The original and true Charlie's Angels
I'm a big fan of cheesy 70s TV shows, especially the ABC "jiggle" era, since it was the beginning of my pop-culture awareness. I was 10 in 1976, which is about the time I started buying 45 records, and cluing in to Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, ABBA, and Charlie's Angels. There is something special about the era, and the products of that era that can't be recaptured for people who weren't there (though the brilliant-but-cancelled Swingtown came close).

Charlie's Angels, the original TV show, wasn't by today's standards a great show. There was a looseness and a languidness about 70s TV dramas. Today's dramas probably have two to three times as much script as they had in those days. And you can't say the acting was terrific (though Kate Jackson was a pro), but it was serviceable, and better than it had any right to be. What the original Charlie's Angels had was an intangible but obivous magic. It captured lightning in a bottle, with a cast that clicked spectacularly, and an energy that is undeniable. When Farrah Fawcett left the show (after one short season) in a tragic contract dispute, they captured the lightning again, amazingly enough, with the casting of Cheryl Ladd as Fawcett's character's sister. It should have failed. The writers didn't even try to be clever with that one, but Ladd fit right in as if nothing ever happened.  Jackson still crackled with her "smart one" routine, and Jacklyn Smith's "streetwise" character got fleshed out more. It was all going great.

The later, fake Charlie's Angels
But when Jackson left, the show became a shadow of its former self. Neither Shelley Hack nor Tanya Roberts clicked at all, and the show sputtered out after five years. After that, there were abortive attempts at a TV reboot, and then two feature films featuring Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu and Cameron Diaz. The movies were successful commercially, but not critically. That in itself isn't any different from the TV show, which never got critical respect.  But the movies had little to do with the series beyond the setup, and an attempt at continuity with the original (Smith appeared in part two). I never really understood how there could be three Bosleys (David Doyle, Bill Murray and  Bernie Mac) in that continuity, but whatever.

The biggest problem was, the movie Charlie's Angels made the girls into superheroes, sort of a trio of kick ass James Bonds. In fact, the movies seemed to be a blend of 007 and The Matrix. The 70s series was just a group of very pretty women who used to be cops, who were now private investigators. They weren't gifted karate pros, or supernaturally spritely waif-fu experts. I'd hoped, when I heard that the show was being rebooted, that they'd take it back to its roots, but spruce it up with modern storytelling. Looks like they went the movie route. Pity. It looks like it's going to suck. It looks like it will follow Bionic Woman, Knight Rider and V into the remake abyss.

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