Slowly Returning to Live Blogging

Greenlee Gazette is slowly returning to live blogging after moving over 2000 miles across the country. Please bear with me while I reacclimate, and find a new schedule that allows for regular updates. Thanks!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Busybody "Million Moms" Protest Amazon Over Gay Kindle Ad

You may have seen the following ad, whilst watching American Idol or Raising Hope, or some other network program:



And you may have noticed that the (very handsome, hot-legged) man in the ad turns out to be (surprise!) gay at the end. The ad is cute, and the twist is sort of novel for a mainstream company like Amazon, but overall, it is a very tame commercial.

Well the (very likely over-counted) One Million Moms have got their panties in a twist, and are calling for a boycott or a reshoot of the ad, or some such nonsense. Because (GASP!) kids might see it! Now, maybe I'm missing it, but watch the ad again. . .did you see any gay sex there? Were the two gay men even within spitting distance of each other? Could you even tell which of the other two guys was the man's husband? No. The Kindle ad merely presents a reality, that there are some guys out there who are married to other guys. It is a fact of life, everybody, like it or not. The commercial does not "promote" homosexuality (were such a thing even possible), it doesn't glorify the guy sex, and it doesn't portray gay marriage in a "positive light," but rather a matter-of-fact, neutral one.

As a gay forty-something, I found the ad refreshing (if a little goofy). Because--and listen up, less than a million moms--I've been a consumer of TV, movies, magazines and other media for most of my life, and I've seen an infinite number of heterosexual couples portrayed in much more graphic terms. Where kids can see!

[Excerpt]

One Million Moms concerned gay Kindle is the ruination of America

I knew without a doubt that this gay-friendly commercial would cheese off all the right people. I have been checking the One Million Moms website everyday since this commercial was first released. It took them a while, but true to form, today they went full on scold mode and are threatening a boycott of Amazon. . .


Read more at: DailyKos

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

How They Really Pick the Pope!

Lock the doors, tight!

Rep. Keith Ellison Rips Sean Hannity a New One

Lou Costello and Keith Ellison, from The Daily Caller
Here's an odd one. On Tuesday, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) was on Sean Hannity's show, and was extremely combative with the host, after Hannity aired a very distorted view of President Obama (surprise!). It is odd firstly because people like Hannity are rarely really taken to task, live on TV, on their own network. It is odd secondly because both sides--conservatives and liberals--were delighted by the segment. I'm giggly as a school girl when Hannity gets even a modicum of comeuppance. I think he's a doughy, mean-spirited moron. Conservatives somehow think Hannity came off the victor. . .I don't see how, but. . .okay. To me, Ellison's only error was even classifying what Hannity does as yellow journalism. He's no journalist, not even a bad one.

[Excerpt]

On-air fireworks erupt between FNC’s Sean Hannity and Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison


Live on Sean Hannity’s Fox News Channel show on Tuesday night, Minnesota Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison ripped into Hannity for airing a video of President Barack Obama’s remarks on the sequester to the tune of the “Carmina Burana” overture “O Fortuna” by Carl Orff.


Read more: The Daily Caller

What You Don't Know About Sequestration, and The Deficit

Chart from OurFuture.org
In this clip from the Rachel Maddow Show, Rachel notes an amazing list of things that happened on Tuesday (all linked here):

 - Alaska has passed a law that could arrest law enforcement officers if they enforce gun laws they don't like (wha?)
- Arkansas Governor vetoes anti-abortion ban
- Indiana Senate passes one of those "transvaginal ultrasound" laws just for those who want an "abortion pill" (but not two of them!)
- Illinois elected a new Congresswoman to replace Jesse Jackson Jr.
- Biden meets with retired military for help on gun control
- Patrick Leahy makes announcement on gun control
- Chuck Hagel got confirmed as Defense Secretary
- Pennsylvania GOP forging ahead with vote-rigging scheme
- SCOTUS is votion on the voting right act

 . . .and a whole, whole lot more. A lot happened, and this entire clip (not to mention the entire show) is worth watching. But, what I want you to watch--and get everybody else you know to watch--is the part that begins at 5:15, when Rachel starts talking the dreadful boring "sequestration," or "the sequester," if you prefer. Except she not only makes it not boring, she will teach you something you didn't know. [Story continues below]


Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
The amazing thing that you don't know (statistically speaking), is that the budget deficit has been dropping. Every year since President Obama has been in office, the deficit has been going down. Not up, down. Only 6% of Americans surveyed knew that, and far and away a majority think it has gone up. Oh, and the sequestration thing that is some sort of vague nod toward "getting serious" about the deficit. . .has no effect on the deficit.

So, watch it, please? Thanks. Oh, and here's another article if you want to know more:

Deficit Is Falling Dramatically, But Only 6% Know That

More Than 75 Prominent Republicans Rebuke Prop 8

So, Meg Whitman is now an ally?
Weird. Image from Towleroad.
Yes, two stories about the gay in a row. But hey, it's in the news! This one is particularly interesting. Though I'm not sure I agree with the reasoning of this group of Republicans, this is a case where the ends justify the means: major GOPers on the record against Proposition 8, the referendum that struck down same-sex marriage in California (after it was already legal).

I'm half of one of the 18,000+ couples who were married in California in 2008, and though my marriage is "grandfathered," it is still in something of a limbo, a "pocket universe," or something. The Supreme Court could--should, dare I say--strike Prop. 8 down this spring.  Though that may only affect California, it's possible that it could cause the dominoes to fall, particularly if they also strike down all or part of DOMA. Fingers crossed. . .

[Excerpt]

75+ Prominent Republicans Sign Brief Urging Supreme Court to Strike Down Proposition 8

More than 75 current and former GOP elected officials including former Reagan and Bush cabinet members, former governors, and key GOP consultants and strategists have signed on to an amicus brief to be filed on Thursday urging the Supreme Court to strike down Proposition 8. . .


Read more: Towleroad


Illinois One Step Closer to Marriage Equality

Happy Illinois legislators, from Chicago Tribune
Baby steps. Every phase of a civil rights struggle is made in baby steps. It's frustrating though, when it feels like the finish line should be behind us, and yet the tiny little steps haven't yet gotten us quite over the line. In Illinois--the latest state to take up marriage equality with any gusto--another hurdle has been crossed (and my metaphor becomes more strained). After a particularly nasty last effort by the anti-gay busybodies, a Illinois House committee has passed a marriage equality bill. Though there are officially two hurdles left--the full House vote, and the signature of the Governor--the last one has already been assured. Crossing my fingers, though it will mean two of The Other Half's home states will have legal same-sex marriage, while both of mine still don't. Still, it's good news!

[Excerpt]

Illinois House committee advances gay marriage bill

A bill legalizing gay marriage cleared a Democratic-led committee late Tuesday and now moves to the full House, where the issue is expected to meet its toughest test. The proposal, approved on a 6-5 vote in the House Executive Committee shortly before 10 p.m., is coming under increasingly heavy fire from church organizations who say same-sex marriage violates moral and religious principles. But advocates have ratcheted up calls for swift action. . .

Read more at: Chicago Tribune

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Blogger Break! Back on Tuesday Night


Kids, if there was a better time to take a break from blogging for at least a day, this "sequester" nonsense in Congress is definitely it. I'm sorry, I don't give two craps about it, and I need a day off. I'll be back Tuesday night (or so). Heck, if I see something interesting before then, I'll pop it on the blog. But I just can't get motivated at the moment. Y'all understand, right?

And actually, I have bin bizzy!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Sequestration (Rocky Mountain Mike Song Parody)

The whole Congressional faux crisis over "sequestration" is sure to overwhelm all other news this week unless a megawatt celebrity dies or something, so get ready for a long slog of a week if you pay attention to the news. But a good Rocky Mountain Mike parody on the subject--to the tune of the Beach Boys' Good Vibrations--might help it go down easier. Enjoy!

 

Michelle Obama's Surprise Oscar Appearance Sure to Inflame the Right

Ha! Instantly I was sure--and my Twitter feed was sure too--that the surprise appearance of First Lady Michelle Obama during the Best Picture award presentation of the Academy Awards would send the right wing into orbit. Good, let them stew. She was lovely. She had a gorgeous gown on. She was introduced by Jack Nicholson. And she was introducing the award for Argo as Best Picture, a film about behind-the-scenes daring-do during the Carter administration. Again, ha!

Aside from all of that, the Oscars was--as it usually is--a blend of comedy, variety, hokum, cheese, pageantry, out-of-place production numbers, excruciating acceptance speeches, live faux pas, and the seemingly inevitable bad audio (WTF is that about?). Host Seth MacFarlane is polarizing from the start, and was bound to create controversy of his own. But he's also a mulch-talented performer, and I was mostly cool with his patter. The opening was slow and flat--as it was clearly supposed to be--to be interrupted by William Shatner as James T. Kirk, coming back from the future to warn MacFarlane of his pitfalls as host. The show got better from there, though it suffered--again, as it always does--from just too much stuff.

I think the "In Memorium" segment gave too many deceased celebrities were overlooked (Andy Griffith?), and the tributes to Chicago were curious. But I thought it was okay, if overlong. They steam-rollered it at the end, to wrap things up, which was appreciated. And MacFarlane--who will be vilified and trashed over this, no doubt--was actually better than he will be remembered for.

[Excerpt]

Michelle Obama makes surprise Oscars appearance

 . . .Appearing via streaming video from the White House, Mrs. Obama said all of the nominees demonstrated that "we can overcome any obstacle." She said that message is "especially important for our young people" and thanked Hollywood for encouraging children "to open their imaginations. . ."

Read more at:  CBS News

Blast from the Past: Oscar's Best Pictures of My Lifetime

This past weekend was an odd one for me. I had more part-time graphics work than usual. We had a friend in from out of town. I got started watching Downton Abbey (after an attempt at finding Homeland on demand failed), from episode 1, season 1. I quite liked it, but even without commercials or interruptions, that takes time. Also, I managed some couch-time for reading, though my couch is more interested in making me fall asleep.

In short, I ran out of time for blogging, and actually spent quite a lot less time using my desktop computer this weekend than I have in years. So, please excuse this rerun, but at least it is apropos to the Academy Awards (which I also watched, thus whittling my time down even further!).

***

Nearly every year, I watch the Academy Awards, and seemingly as often, I haven't seen any of the films up for Best Picture.  Almost certainly, I haven't seen the winning movie. I'll be 46 47 this April, meaning that there have been 45 46 Oscar telecasts since I was born (the 46 47th begins in moments, as I type this). And I've seen enough Best Pictures to fill this column, nothing more. Here they are:



1. Midnight Cowboy (1969) - For some reason X-rated. It's a very good film, but uncomfortable to watch.
2. The French Connection (1971) - I caught this one on "Telecinema" the precursor to HBO, when I was no more than 10 or 11. But Gene Hackman is good in everything.


3. The Sting (1973) - Another caught as a youth. Other than the stars and the theme, The Entertainer, I remember very little of it.

4. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) - Wow, I guess I caught a lot of these on Telecinema. More memorable (to me) for the Mad Magazine parody with "Nurse Wretched" than the movie itself.


5. Driving Miss Daisy (1989) - Yes, the stretch is this long. So, not only did I miss both Godfather movies, I also have never seen Rocky, The Deer Hunter, Rain Man, Out of Africa, Terms of Endearment, Ordinary People, Chariots of Fire, Gandhi, Kramer vs. Kramer, Annie Hall or Amadeus!

6. Dances With Wolves (1990) - Apparently, in this stretch, I was going to the movies a bit. This particular one was of course, epic. But I never understood why "Stands with a Fist" had such perfect, blow-dried hair.


7. The Silence of the Lambs (1991) - By far my favorite from this list. Jodie Foster is amazing, and Anthony Hopkins kills! With fava beans and a nice Chianti.

8. Schindler's List (1993) - It took me a good many years to get around to it, but I finally watched this one. And I'm very glad I did.


9. Forrest Gump (1994) - Again, I didn't watch this one right away, but got around to it on video. It was good, but the hype was a bit overblown. Tom Hanks is brilliant in the movie, but the story was ludicrous in parts.

10. Titanic (1997) - I saw this movie on two different dates with two different men! The second time was with my current husband in 1998, so you could say the movie got things rolling. Fortunately we have only hit minor icebergs along the way. I do remember we both had to pee very, very badly by the end of this very long movie!


11. Shakespeare in Love (1998) - Another seen in the early days with my hubby. Another big favorite for both of us.

12. Gladiator (2000) - Big, epic. . .overblown. I like Russell Crowe, but, meh.


13. Chicago (2003) With rare exceptions--Best Little Whorehouse in Texas; Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Once More, with Feeling!--I'm not a fan of musicals. But this one? I thought they did a pretty good job!

14. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2004) - The Other Half loves this movie and its sequels. Never having read the Tolkien books? This is a big interminable first part of a big interminable movie series. Torturous.

And that's it! 14 out of 45 46! I'm sure I've seen a few that came before my birth, but that is a longer list. And the holes in my list here really should be filled if I'm going to continue thinking of myself as a pop culture genius. I can only guarantee one thing: I haven't seen the film that will win tonight (last night, to you Monday readers)!




Saturday, February 23, 2013

A New GOP McCarthyism?

Rachel Maddow deconstructs the behavior of high profile arguments in Congress, particularly that of freshman Senator Ted Cruz (TX, naturally), and their shamelessly McCarthy-like style.


Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy



Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Friday, February 22, 2013

Frivolity Break: Maru's Magnificent Paws

Because any day can be made better with a little more Maru.

What Happens in Vegas: More Now Known About Shooting on Las Vegas Strip


If Thursday's breaking-news shooting and car crash on the Las Vegas Strip proves anything, it's that CSI: Crime Scene Investigation is highly exaggerated. Events like this one--which did seem like it came from Hollywood--would barely be newsworthy if they happened as often as they do on that show. As it is, it was the number one news story on most news outlets, and trended on Twitter. Which may have--in some small way--been appreciated by the Maserati-driving aspiring rapper who met his end in front of Caesars Palace.

Image from source, Las Vegas Review-Journal

As for the "Las Vegas is dangerous" angle on the story, this kind of thing really could have happened anywhere that has happening night spots. I suppose we have more of them than most cities, but I can't see how this is the fault of Las Vegas. The news said that the driver of the Maserati made a video, rapping about girls and guns. As hard as it is for me to conflate pop culture (music, television, movies, video games) with real-life violence, this one seems to have played out enough times to show just a bit of causality. But it's really a shame it had to happen, and that innocent people have been hurt and killed. And I really hope they catch the bad guys.

[Excerpt]

Argument at Aria involving Las Vegas rapper leads to deadly Strip shooting, crash

Kenny Cherry relished a dangerous lifestyle. The 27-year-old aspiring rapper, who called himself "Kenny Clutch," posed with guns and drugs in one YouTube video. In another, Cherry drove through the Las Vegas streets at night in a two-door Maserati, rapping about pimping women and shooting guns. . .


Read more (with video) at: Las Vegas Review-Journal

Thursday, February 21, 2013

What Happens in Vegas: Shootout and Exploding Taxi on Las Vegas Strip



Wild. Nothing to add at this point, have to get to work!

[Excerpt]

Las Vegas Strip Shooting, Crash Leave 3 Dead


Three people are dead and at least three more injured from a shooting and multi-car crash on Las Vegas Boulevard near Flamingo Road. Metro Police say a shooting ensued on the Strip in front of the casino early Thursday morning which set off a multi-car accident. . .

Read more at: 8 News Now 






 

Right Wing World: Outrage Over Obama's Down Time

People are always trying to say that "both sides do it" whenever there is an argument with a political divide. Of course, there is often also false equivalence, where the preponderance of wrongdoing is on one side or the other. But there is one place where we have some similarity, and one of those would be: presidential vacations. At least for this and the previous president, opponents have bitched about how much downtime they take, what else might be going on, what else they should be doing, and how much it all costs.

Let 'em eat cake!
Did I complain about Dubya's vacationing, and traipsing around? Sure. I really, really, really disliked George W. Bush, and a high percentage of his administration (though I saved my hatin' for Dick Cheney). I don't even like seeing video of Bush, or hearing his or Darth's voice. Ugh. But I'm pretty sure it was fairly low on my list of grievances at the time. The only one that really stands out is the time Dubya was having cake with John McCain, and learning how to play the guitar with country singer Mark Wills, while Hurricane Katrina was bearing down.

So, yeah, I complained. But as far as I know, I didn't make shit up about it. I didn't exaggerate to a ridiculous degree, and then start to believe my own exaggerations. I thought Bush was a dolt, I thought little positive or negative of Laura, but I don't think my rancor--public or private--came anywhere near where the right goes on President Obama. The thinly veiled or openly naked racism, laced with pure hatred is really quite stunning. So, there is an area where "both sides do it," but one side does it much, much worse. Bush Derangement Syndrome may have been over-the-top, but Obama Derangement Syndrome is oh-so-very-low.

It ought to be pointed out that a) all presidents and their family get perks like travel, lodging, fine food, and other niceties; b) Obama's vacation and leisure time is not out of scale (and is actually less) than his immediate predecessor and most other presidents; and c) Michelle Obama has been trashed by the right--for no real (non-racist) reason--far more than any other first lady ever has.

Image from Wonkette
Here's an article from Wonkette, because a story this rancid can only be tolerated with a heaping helping of humor. This is proven often by The Daily Show, The Colbert Report and on a good day, Saturday Night Live. The article focuses on right-wing world's insane reaction to the Obamas' Valentine's Day, and is a prime example of the kind of thing I'm talking about.

[Excerpt]

Americans Very Angry King Barack And Ugly Wife Did Not Have Mac And Cheese With Cut-Up Hot Dogs For Valentine’s Dinner

. . .Yes, Barack Obama flew home from Atlanta in time for his dinner date with the beautiful First Lady, and Yahoo News commenters went full Victoria Jackson. (Because Barack Obama was not supposed to fly home from Atlanta, we guess, but should have either taken a Greyhound bus or stayed in Atlanta forever.) There are your usual comments about monkeys and heaping platters of baby back ribs and buckets of KFC, but those are to be expected, because “postracial. . .”

Read more at: Wonkette

Mitch McConnell Falls for Obvious Satire

Oh, McTortoise. How embarrassing.

[Excerpt]

Mitch McConnell falls for parody news report about Guantanamo Bay prisoners being eligible for GI Bill benefits

A fake news story claiming that Guantanamo Bay prisoners can apply for GI Bill benefits found a credulous victim in Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who posed a serious query to the Pentagon about the unbelievable report. Wired reported that McConnell fell for a far-fetched story on The Duffel Blog, a parody news site with fake reports about the military. . .


Read more: New York Daily News

CPAC? More Like L-PAC (The "L" is for Loser!)

This is just some of them. Laugh or cry?


They say it only happens once per year. But it seems more often, doesn't it?


The stars of the annual CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) shindig are always an eye-roller for most liberals, and this year is no exception. Except that one of the previous speakers--Ann Coulter--predicted the doom of the Republican ticket if Mitt Romney was selected, and she was right. And the keynote is going to be given by said Romney. Throw in Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Paul Ryan and Sarah Palin, and you've got Loser-PAC. And that's not even mentioning the State of the Union also-rans Rand Paul and Marco Rubio. Stir in a little infighting this year, and it should all be quite entertaining.



Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Science is Cool: Biologists Create Zombie Cells


Ermahgerd. I'm not going to pretend that I understand the science. Or even, really, if this is Science is Cool or Science is Terrifying. But I thought I should present it here, so that you're aware. And watching. . .

[Excerpt]

Be afraid, be very afraid. . .Image from source, HuffPo.
Biologists Create 'Zombie Cells' In The Lab Which Outperform Living Counterparts

Biological researchers have created dead 'zombie' cells in the lab which outperform living cells. Seriously. . .

Read more at: Huffington Post

Facepalm: Tea Party Says Obama is America's Hitler






I can't even. . .



Found at: Joe.My.God



Science is Cool: Evidence of Ancient Massive Asteroid Strike in Australia

I love this stuff. Let's be thankful that the recent asteroid that buzzed by us didn't hit. And that it wasn't this big! Of course, if you're a young-earth creationist, you're scoffing, and calling this story blasphemy. 300 million years, hah! But then, you'd also be turned off by the phrase, "science is cool," I guess.

[Excerpt]

Image from source, Raw Story
Massive 300 million-year-old asteroid impact zone discovered in Australian outback

Scientists have discovered a massive 200-kilometre (124-mile) impact zone in the Australian outback they believe was caused by an asteroid which smashed into Earth more than 300 million years ago.
Andrew Glikson, a visiting fellow at the Australian National University, said the asteroid measuring 10 to 20 kilometres in diameter was a giant compared to the plunging meteor which exploded above Russia a week ago. . .

Read more at: Raw Story

Joe Heck Considers Gabby Giffords a "Prop" for Gun Control Advocates

Image of Gabby Giffords from source, Think Progress
Joe Heck has been a politician in Nevada for as long as I can remember, and I've been here for over 18 years. Sometimes he wins, sometimes he loses. But he hit the jackpot in the 2010 GOP wave election, defeating freshman Congreswoman Dina Titus (who was swept back into congress in the 2012 election), and is now a two-term US Congressman. My take on Heck was mildly negative, for admittedly shallow reasons: he is a Republican, and he reminds me of a sister wife, minus the upswept hairdo. I don't know why, maybe it was just his photo on his campaign signs. Anyway. . .

My negative opinion of Heck has gained a little depth since my original assessment. I've since heard Heck several times in interviews and call-in segments on local Las Vegas talk radio. And from what I've heard, Heck is Meet the Press ready, with canned GOP answers for every question. Sure, the answer may not fit the question to a T, but it is guaranteed to match whatever the talking points of the day are. And now, Heck may have said too much to one of those local hosts, a blowhard named Alan Stock. I think Heck may have gotten to conversational, too comfortable in the right-wing echo chamber.

[Excerpt]

Congressman Considers Gabby Giffords A ‘Prop’ For Gun Regulations

Congressman Joe Heck (R-NV) on Tuesday agreed that he considers former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ), who was a victim of an assassination attempt two years ago, a “prop” in the debate over gun regulations. . .

Read more at: Think Progress

Hate Group Using DC Comics' Superman for Publicity

The image NOMBlog is using to promote their brand.
Are you paying attention DC?
Ugh. I'll admit that when I heard that there was a boycott afoot over a proposed writer for a Superman comic, I was torn. First, I'm a DC Comics fan from way back when comics cost 20 cents, so the character is more than just another superhero to me. Second, I'm gay, and this writer dude Orson Scott Card is profoundly, loudly and proudly anti-gay. So, while I have some issues with interfering with an individual's career over his personal views, I also feel a personal connection to the character he's writing, and am appalled that he's going to be writing it.

But the issue is a little more clear when you realize that this isn't one guy's personal views. Card is on the board of the National Organization for Marriage, a hate group that exists not--as they purport--to "protect" marriage, but to thwart equal rights for gay people. One need not follow NOM's writings for long to suss out that "marriage" is only part of their agenda. Their championing of the Boy Scouts of America's anti-gay policy, their campaigns against domestic partnerships and civil unions, and many other issues illustrate clearly that NOM is an anti-gay organization, first and foremost. So, to my mind, Card isn't just some poor schmuck with an opinion.

DC Comics, for their part, has pretty much to this point stood by their man. And I get that. They don't want interest groups combing through each writer's and artist's pasts for something to object to. I get that. But I'm also one of many gay former kids for whom DC Comics and Superman played a large part in our growing up. And a lot of us still read comics. And how much can DC or parent company Warner Bros. want their flagship character to be used by a hate group? Because that is what NOM is doing with Superman.

[Excerpt]

ConservativeHQ: Buy A Comic Book To Stand For Marriage

. . .Orson Scott Card, a talented science fiction writer, is part of a team of writers and artists assembled by DC Comics to create an “Adventures of Superman” comic series ahead of the release of the summer Superman film Man of Steel.* Card is also a believer in the Biblical definition of marriage who has the courage to say so. . .

Source: NOMBlog (If you have a strong stomach, click through, and read some of their postings, but be warned. . .the comments sections are poisonous.)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Hubris: Selling the Iraq War


Having followed much of the news regarding the run-up to the Iraq war--both at the time, and in the years after--there wasn't much in Hubris: Selling the Iraq War that I didn't already know. Except that it was presented in Rachel Maddow's typically straightforward, educational style, succinctly and all in a 1-hour package, featuring people who know. It also reawakens old ire in this American, a fire that was largely put out when Bush/Cheney slunk away into (near) obscurity.  When Barack Obama took over, many liberals like myself felt like we could finally take a breath. And though we were initially upset with Obama when he said that we were "looking forward" and not back to the crimes of the Bush era, the fight was largely out of us by then. This documentary brings it all back. We were lied into war, plain and simple.

I'm curious whether the MSNBC documentary will reignite the same anger in other people, or whether its source network and host will cause it to be dismissed by people who consider MSNBC to be the counterpart to FOX "News." Though I  think it would be hard to argue that Hubris is liberally biased, beyond--say--the musical score. Don't believe me, check it out, the whole thing:


Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Monday, February 18, 2013

John McCain Doesn't Understand Own Conspiracy Theory

This blog post from Rachel Maddow's MaddowBlog asks the same question I've been asking about the Benghazi attack on September 11 of last year. That being, what is being covered up? If you listen any day, almost any time, on FOX "News," you'll hear that there is a Benghazi coverup. Oddly, right-wing world is very, very concerned about what Susan Rice had to say five days later on the Sunday political shows. Why they're focused like a laser on that day, that spokesperson, those facts is something of a mystery, but to them, that is the crux of everything. [Story continues below]


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To me, it's especially odd that it's Lindsey Graham and John McCain squawking about it the most--unironically--on those same Sunday shows. It would be an easy project to comb through the records of Meet the Press, Face the Nation and FOX "News" Sunday to find misstatements and outright falsehoods from both McCain and Graham on topics smaller and larger than Benghazi.  And yet there is John McCain, still going on about a conspiracy theory, a cover up. But the oddest part is that McCain cannot articulate what the cover up even was. When pressed, he sputters about the four dead Americans. Nobody is happy about four dead Americans, and to allege that you can't be both sad and disinterested in conspiracy theories about Benghazi is just stupid.

[Excerpt]

McCain lost in a fog of partisan rage


Looking back at the tragic and deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi last fall, we know quite a bit about what happened. We also know, thanks to an independent investigation, that "Republican charges of a cover-up" were "pure fiction."

But as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) argued yesterday, he can't be bothered with facts -- he has a partisan vendetta to pursue. . .

Read more at: MaddowBlog

Djesus Uncrossed Skit on SNL Inspires Butt Hurt from Usual Suspects

I have not seen Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino's latest movie, but it was obvious--both by the jokes being made, and by the lead actor--that Saturday Night Live had twin targets for their Djesus Uncrossed skit. Those targets were Tarantino's films in general, and the incongruities between the historical Jesus and the modern far right, gun-loving Christians. [Story continues below]


As an atheist who was raised Christian, I suppose I'm more forgiving of "blasphemy." And I also take a  perverse glee in seeing the usual suspects--them being "conspicuous Christians"--getting bent out of shape. In my experience, the more overt a Christian is about how much they love the Jesus, the more likely they are to be an asshole (with some exceptions, of course). And these same people always seem to be looking to be offended, like it's their part-time job. Get over it. If Jesus and God are all that you guys say they are, they're strong enough to take some ribbing.

[Excerpt]

WND Slams SNL's Djesus Uncrossed

Its subject matter can only be described with one word: blasphemous. If anything in our PC culture should be considered obviously offensive, this is it. Can you imagine the uproar that would occur if SNL made a parody, ‘Muhammad Unleashed?’. . .

Read more at: Joe.My.God.

Blast from the Past: Presidential TV Shows!

It's President's Day, and I have a surprise day off from work. So, woohoo, right? But what am I going to do for Blast from the Past this week? And even though I'm off from my regular job, I had quite a bit of weekend part-time work, so I'm brain fried. But how about this? How many TV Shows were there about the President of the United States, and/or the White House? Surprisingly, quite a few. . .


1. The West Wing (1999-2006) - Obviously, this is (so far) the most successful of the bunch. It was supposed to be just about the President's staff, but Martin Sheen was so good at being Josiah "Jed" Bartlett, he became an integral part of the show.

2. Hail to the Chief  (1985) - An attempt to do a sitcom about the first female president (Patty Duke) failed, but maybe Hillary Clinton can pull it off for real in 2016?



3. Mr. President (1987-1988) - Even with the gravitas of George C. Scott as the president, a comedy about the White House just didn't seem to take. It featured Madeline Kahn though, and for that it's worth remembering.

4. The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer (1998) - A comedy about the Lincoln White House? Yes, that happened, with Chi McBride as the president's valet, and Dann Florek as Abraham Lincoln.



5. Commander in Chief (2005-2006) - Another series, this time a drama, about the first woman president, with Geena Davis. A good show, with a West Wing vibe about it, but it didn't work.

6. That's My Bush! (2001) - A comedy about George W. Bush sounds like a match made in heaven, particularly with South Park's Trey Parker & Matt Stone at the helm. But, it was very early in Bush's run (there would be much more fodder later), and if it had taken off, they would have had to deal with September 11 and the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. A little heavy, don't you think? Featured Timothy Bottoms as Dubya.

It's worth pointing out that there are currently three shows about the executive branch on television at the moment, 1600 Penn with Bill Pullman as prez, The First Family with Christopher B. Duncan, and Veep with Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Vice President. But those shows are not a Blast from the Past, and frankly, this week's edition was laborious and time consuming. So, though there may be more examples of White House-centric television, we're going to have to leave at at six for now!

Happy Monday and happy President's Day!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

SNL Skewers FOX & Friends Again

It's a mystery to me why Saturday Night Live so often puts an awkward or bad sketch early in the show, and then put a gem after Weekend Update. I swear, if I have to watch another The Californians sketch, I may have to take a sabbatical from one of the weaker seasons of SNL. But who am I kidding, I've been watching since season 1, episode 1, through the bad and the good. And any time they skewer FOX "News," particularly the oddly-named FOX & Friends, I know it's going to be fun..



And if you don't want to pause the video to see all of the F&F "corrections," here's a link to all of them, including, Zumba is not a secret form of Santeria. North Korea is not a Cloud City. A "pin code" and a "pine cone" are two different things!  

Marco Rubio's Choke on the Water (Rocky Mountain Mike Song Parody)

Perfect!

Over Time with Bill Maher February 15, 2013

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Why Aren't Conservatives Funny?

Yuck. Image from source, The Big Slice
I've visited this topic several times, and I still don't have a perfect answer to the question, why isn't conservative "humor" funny? FOX "News" tried a humor-themed program years ago called the 1/2-hour News Hour, and it was famously dreadful. FOX's RedEye lasted longer, but even their best attempts at humor were usually equally offensive, and often times hateful. Dennis Miller jumped from moderate/liberal to conservative, and promptly became as subtle as an anvil, and deathly unfunny. And not coincidentally, his best gig these days is the same FOX "News." If you seek out conservative humor on far-right sites like FreeRepublic.com, you'd better have a tough constitution, and absolutely no ability to be offended. To say they have a mean-spirited streak would be to undersell it, and point out the very, very obvious.

The best answer from the article excerpted below is that conservative humor lacks empathy. Even scathing, balls-out humor needs to have self-deprecation, and empathy to be tolerable. Yes, there are "shock" comics throughout comedy history like Andrew Dice Clay, Don Rickles and Lisa Lampenelli. But everyone knew Rickles' act was schtick, and that Lisa really digs black guys and gay people. Clay was a different story, though clearly a character like Pee-Wee Herman or Elvira. But Clay burned out, didn't he? He had no empathy, no self deprecation. His humor was abrasive, and guilty funny, but it became old and tired quickly. Conservative humor doesn't even garner guilty funny, and it sounds old at the very beginning. But I'll boil it down beyond all of that: conservatives are mean. Mean without empathy is not funny.

[Excerpt]

Why Conservatives Aren’t Funny

Something conservatives lack when it comes to politics is humor.  Everyone takes their politics seriously, but conservatives, whether of the home-spun or Paul Ryan variety, pride themselves in being serious and straightforward.  It is this iron(y) deficiency that makes for a stolid political class and an almost completely humorless pack of pundits. . .

Read more at:  The Big Slice

Friday, February 15, 2013

Elizabeth Warren for Prez or VP in 2016!

I'm serious she's awesome. Don't believe me? Check this out. And then, let's get the Hillary Clinton/Elizabeth Warren or the Elizabeth Warren/Alan Grayson ticket moving!

[Excerpt]

Here, Let Liz Warren Help You Enjoy The Rest of Your Day!



We wish that we could have a video like this one EVERY MORNING, that is how much it pleases us to watch Elizabeth Warren embarrass bank regulators in front of a live audience. She should take this show on the road because we are INTO IT! . . .

Read more at: Wonkette

Could Pope's Resignation Be Due to Scandal?

Image from everywhere on the internets.
C'mon, we all thought it. As soon as we heard that Pope Benedict XVI was resigning--particularly when we learned it had been hundreds of years since any pope had--we thought it. Does this have anything to do with the child sex abuse scandals in the Catholic church? It's even been a recent subject, with Joseph Ratzinger (said Pope) being--ahem--fingered in the HBO documentary Mea Maxima Culpa. Could it be more than just speculation? Would it really surprise anyone?

[Excerpt]

Pope Allegedly Sought Immunity For Abuse Crimes Just Before Resigning

We knew something had to be up with the resignation of Pope Benedict. After all, Popes don’t just resign; in fact, this is the first time a Pope has resigned in 600 years. Therefore, the hoopla surrounding this is more than understandable. However, as per usual with the Catholic Church, there seems to be a catch, and, lo and behold, it likely surrounds the infamous abuse scandals that have plagued the church’s image for so long. . .

Read more at: Addicting Info


Hat tip to my brother, Jason Greenlee, for the link.

Poop Boat Triumph Returns from Floating at Sea



The big story at the moment dominating cable news (as events sometimes do), is the return of derelict Carnival Cruise Lines ship, Triumph. But to be honest, the thing that cracks me up is the focus on poop. And the fact that it's called Triumph. First, it was anything but a triumph. And secondly, Triumph is the name of a famously crude puppet with a book called called Come Poop with Me. I mean, come on! I'm supposed to be empathizing, when all I can think of is sophomoric jokes?

I know it had to suck, but nobody died. It was a hellish experience, but the people on the boat will have stories for the rest of their lives, and maybe get a nifty settlement deal out of it. Well, assuming that they haven't absolved Carnival of all guilt by going on CNN or MSNBC talking about how great the crew was, and that there was nothing more they could do! Not thinking, these folks. 15 minutes of fame versus 15 grand? I dunno. . .

[Excerpt]

Carnival Triumph Docking: Disabled Cruise Ship Reaches Mobile, Alabama, Port

A cruise ship disabled for five nightmarish days in the Gulf finally docked with some 4,200 people aboard late Thursday, passengers raucously cheering the end to an ocean odyssey they say was marked by overflowing toilets, food shortages and foul odors. . .


Read more at: Huffington Post

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day from Greenlee Gazette!

If you can't get the awkward slideshow to launch, here's a link to their main site: Awkward Family Photos.

So, This is a Thing: Lay's Chicken & Waffles Potato Chips

Yep. Image from Washington Post
My friend Les is a fantastic cook, and one night he introduced me to chicken and waffles. It was really good, and it featured a savory waffle, topped with a shredded chicken concoction in gravy. It put to rest the idea I had in my head of chicken and waffles, of some deep fried chicken and some butter-and-syrupy waffles. Much to my surprise, both are actual "things."

Also a thing--and obviously based on the latter dish and not the former--is a potato chip flavored like chicken and waffles. As bizarre as the dish sounds, the potato chip sounds even weirder. But I so want to try both!

[Excerpt]

Lay’s rolls out fan-nominated Chicken & Waffles, Cheesy Garlic Bread and Sriracha potato chips

The next Lay’s potato chip will taste like chicken and waffles. Or cheesy garlic bread. Or Sriracha, a hot sauce often used in Thai dishes. Lay’s is letting potato chip lovers decide which one of the three will be its newest flavor. All of them will be sold at retailers nationwide starting next week. After trying them, fans have until May to vote for their favorites. The flavor with the most votes will stay on store shelves. . .

Read more at: Washington Post

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Science is Cool: Asteroid to Buzz Earth on Friday


Could the Mayans have been off by a few months? The asteroid that is going to buzz by the Earth on Friday is as long as a football field, and will pass much closer by than the moon does. It could even potentially take out a satellite. Which would be cool. Let's just hope our scientists are very, very accurate with their predictions. "Off by a hair" is a pretty big deal when you're dealing with things of this scale!

Image from source, Space.com
[Excerpt]

Asteroid 2012 DA14's Friday Flyby: A Stargazer's Guide

Scientists and amateur observers alike are eagerly awaiting Friday's historic flyby of asteroid 2012 DA14, which will zoom inside Earth's ring of geosynchronous satellites. . .

Read more at: Space.com

Meanwhile on Facebook: Charlie McCarthy and Marco Rubio

Part of the fun of following a Twitter feed during a national event like the State of the Union address, is being really in the moment, while other people are too. I know it sounds odd that hovering over your computer can feel so social, but it's really a fun experience. And the bonus is watching memes be born. After Marco Rubio's now infamous "God, I'm so thirsty!" moment, the jokes were flying instantly, and the meme making only shortly after. My favorite--by far--was this one from Kenny Pick, already famous from The Stephanie Miller Show.

 

Ted Nugent Manages Not to Disrupt SOTU

Keep it classy, Ted. Image from source, BuzzFeed.
While Republicans often decry the cult of celebrity, and belittle "Hollywood liberals," they have their own stars, such as they are. It's a much smaller group, and much less. . .um. . .stellar, to say the least. Moreover, it is often difficult to discern why they're elevated to such lofty positions. Ted Nugent is only the most recent example.

Nugent is a musician whose heyday has long passed, who bills himself as an uber-patriotic activist, even though he was once a draft-dodger (with a decidedly unsavory story to go with it). But, he loves weapons, particularly guns, and he likes to shoot his mouth off. He also is very vocal in his opposition to President Obama and to Democrats in general. Because of this, he is granted wide latitude, with even his most extreme utterances not just tolerated, but applauded by the rabble and by the punditry such as Sean Hannity.

Back during the Bush administration, a country band called The Dixie Chicks made a mild disparaging comment about President Bush, and they were all but deported for it. But pseudo-celebrities like Nugent can say anything they want--no matter how vile--about President Obama or Hillary Clinton, and they barely raise an eyebrow on the right. Nugent was even investigated by the Secret Service for his perceived threatening comments. All's fair, I guess, as the right is still acting all back-slappy about The Nuge, and calling him "Uncle Ted." It should be pointed out that if any celebrity  guest of a Democrat attended the State of the Union in jeans, boots, a frumpy jacket, scraggly hair and a goofy soul patch, the likes of Sean Hannity wouldn't stop talking about it, ever.

[Excerpt]

Bored Ted Nugent Slams Obama's Gun Control Plans


Aging rocker Ted Nugent may have avoided making a spectacle during President Barack Obama's State of the Union address much to the chagrin in the scores of reporters on hand, but he had harsh words for the administration's gun control plans after the speech. . .

Read more at: BuzzFeed
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