Tuesday, June 30, 2009

MSNBC in HD, If You're Lucky

MSNBC began broadcasting in high definition this week. I can tell by some spruced up sets, and some modified graphics. But that's all I have to go on, because Cox Communications here in Las Vegas is not offering the HD version in the valley.

I wrote a letter to them yesterday, asking about it:

"MSNBC debuted as an HDTV channel today (June 29, 2009). Can we expect it to be added to the Las Vegas HDTV channel lineup? If so, when? Thank you. "

I got this reply:

"Dear James:

At this time, there are no plans to carry this channel in the Las Vegas market. However, we are always evaluating our line-up in an effort to maintain customer satisfaction and bring the best value to our subscribers.

We value your feedback and work very hard to offer a variety of channels to meet the needs of our customers. We have forwarded your request to our Marketing Department for review.
Please note that there are many factors we consider when choosing to add or delete programming. These factors include programming costs, programming ratings, customer requests and the effect the addition or subtraction will have on the remaining line-up."

I was dissatisfied with this answer, so I followed up with this:

"If you don't mind my asking, why are FOX News and CNN carried in HDTV, but MSNBC will not be? And why are the other news channels grouped together, while MSNBC is way up the dial? I'm curious. And I watch a lot more MSNBC than I do the other channels. Please count my vote for MSNBC in HD. Thank you. "

The response doesn't quite gel with the first answer, in my opinion. See what you think.

"Dear James:

Thank you for your reply and we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

Please be advised that we are only stating that the MSNBC/HD channel is not yet available to the Cox Las Vegas System at this time. As soon as the MSNBC/HD programming content is made available, we will provide a release date for addition of the requested channel.

Cox is not responsible for channel designations. The channel designations are the responsiblity [sic] of the Network and other government agencies. "

I have to wonder, when I visit sites like TVNewser or the "FOX Fan" site, Johnny Dollar's Place, if the ratings comparisons between CNN, MSNBC and FOX "News" are apples-to apples-to apples. How many other cable outfits have MSNBC segregated like Las Vegas' Cox Cable does? How many are not providing the HD feed? Maybe all the gloating about FOX's ratings are a bit overblown?

Stuck on Crazy: FReepers Lament Franken Win

Image from Star-Tribune

I'll round out the evening's Al Franken posts with a bit of schadenfreude. As you might know, one of the wackiest far-right outposts on the internet is FreeRepublic. The denizens of this realm--known as FReepers--are in a lather about the ultimate win of Al Franken over Norm Coleman in the 2008 Minnesota Senate race.

I thought you might want to see some of the more unhinged responses to this long-in-coming eventuality. You'd think that they were sore losers or something.

And one more word before we begin. There is a PhotoShopped photo of Franken that keeps popping up on their site (and elsewhere in Right-Wing World). It depicts him in bunny ears, and a diaper, next to a package of "Luvs." The joke is lost on me, as I don't believe Franken has ever been rumored to be either a "furry" or into "adult baby" fetishism. But the FReepers seem to think the photo is genuine. Which gives Franken credit for having legs that would look good on a twenty-something. And gives the FReepers a big ol' gullibility trophy. On with the show. . .

"America takes another hit... "

"We as a nation have truly sunk to a new level of depravity and darkness."

"Seems like all we have been taking is hits lately ... Time to pray."

"America is effed. Glad all those people stayed home last November."


"I don’t know how much more of this sh*t I can take... this really sucks."

"reading this felt like a punch to the stomach after this week of death and destruction"

"Our long state nightmare has ended...our long national nightmare begins."

"How much more evidence do we need to prove that this Republic is lost forever?"

"Absolutely disgusting. Everything is totally upside down. WTH is going on???????????????????"

There's a whole lot more, if you dare at: FreeRepublic

"FOX Nation" Derides Sen.-elect Al Franken as "Stuart Smalley"

While I'm not sure that Senator-elect Al Franken (DFL-Minn.) considers it to be an insult, there can be little doubt that the yahoos at FOX Nation think calling him "Stuart Smalley" is a way to demean him. Stay classy, FOX. And suck it up, Franken will be Senator!

Franken Defeats Coleman Finally!

Image from source, MSNBC

Election 2008 is finally over. And while everybody is talking about the "60-seat super majority" now in the Democrats' hands, I'm not so sure it's going to matter. There is the infamous problem of Democrats lacking spines. There's the unwillingness to give the Republicans at least a little of their own medicine. And there is the fact that Al Franken's victory did not come with any pressure, or any chastisement to speak of.

Still, I've been a Franken fan for a very long time, and I'll be happy to see him in the Senate. Let the Al Franken Decade (or 5-1/2 years) begin at last!


Franken: 'So thrilled' at Minn. Senate race win

Al Franken ascended Tuesday from the hallowed ranks of former "Saturday Night Live" comedians to an even more exclusive club, outlasting Republican Norm Coleman in an eight-month recount and courtroom saga to win a seat in the U.S. Senate.

Read more (with video) at: MSNBC

Embarq Becomes CenturyLink

Image from source, Brand New

A couple of years ago, our local phone service went from Sprint to Embarq. I thought Embarq was an interesting name, and I have to admit I really liked the logo. It was sort of a paper airplane design, and I was fortunate enough to have the right color foils in my library at work to depict it without resorting to four-color process printing (which usually produce unacceptable dot patterns on my sign company's equipment).

But now, apparently, Embarq is becoming something new--already. It's changing to CenturyLink. I've got to say, I'm not a fan of either the logo or the name. And I'm only featuring it on the blog because I love the site BrandNew, and because I'm a big fan (and professional designer of) logos. And hey, at least they got rid of the swooshes. See what you think.


Visualizing the Link

Still waiting for federal regulatory approval on the transaction of the merger between CenturyTel and Embarq — two telecommunication companies that, together, will bring together more than two million broadband customers (you can learn more about what they each do here) — the combined entity has announced their new name, CenturyLink.

Read more at: Brand New

Frivolity Break: Sidewalk Fail

Well, I'm winding up my first month of my third year blogging, and I've got to say, interest in this blog has plummeted to the realm of irrelevance. Not that I ever had a huge audience, mind you. But, sumbitch, where did everybody go?

Still, I must forge ahead. And my usual ramblings of pop culture and current political doings are surely not garnering a huge following. So, what can I do to grab some eyeballs? Everybody covered Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett, so that won't do it. Gov. Sanford? What more can be said?

Well, I couldn't find anything scintillating or newsworthy. But I did find something funny over at FailBlog.org! So, enjoy the funny. Assuming that you're reading this. . .

Monday, June 29, 2009

Bad PhotoShop Job: FunGuide Racial Diversity

Image from source, National Post

"PhotoShopping" can be a hoot. I've done it for fun, used it for comic effect here on the blog, and use it in my work to superimpose signs onto buildings for customers. Most of what I've done (and I don't even use PhotoShop, I use Corel Photo-Paint) doesn't need to be 100% photo-realistic. But even my goofy attempts are more believable that the one featured in the excerpted article below. It pretty much jumps up and screams "PhotoShop Job!"


City digitally adds black guy to Fun Guide cover to make it more ‘inclusive’

The smiling, ethnically diverse family featured on the cover of Toronto's latest edition of its summer Fun Guide was digitally altered to make the photo more "inclusive," which city officials say is in keeping with a policy to reflect diversity. . .

Read more at: National Post

Thanks to Stupid Monkey Planet for the link.

US Begins Iraq Pullout. . .Uh. . .Mission Accomplished?

Image from source, MSNBC

Yeah, I'm not sure if this is good or bad either.


Fireworks over Baghdad as U.S. troops leave

Iraqi forces assumed formal control of Baghdad and other cities Tuesday after American troops handed over security in urban areas in a defining step toward ending the U.S. combat role in the country. A countdown clock broadcast on Iraqi TV ticked to zero as the midnight deadline passed for U.S. combat troops to finish their pullback to bases outside cities. . .

Read more at: MSNBC

Pat Boone a "Birther?"

Image from source, Wonkette

First of all, let me apologize for the photo at left, which is probably the most disturbing image you've seen all day. If your retinas have healed, and you're able to read this, that is.

There is a goofy contingent of right-wingers who are convinced that Barack Obama is not actually President. They claim he's never produced the "long form" version of his birth certificate, and they contend that it is because he wasn't actually born in this country. Thus, he cannot be a "natural born citizen" and is Constitutionally prohibited from being legally sworn in as POTUS. These people are (sometimes derisively) known as "birthers."

Birthers will tell you that Obama could obtain the needed document for $8 (or $10, or $12, or $15), and satisfy them utterly if said form showed conclusively that he was born in Hawaii. Until he does this, they will continue to believe that he was born in Kenya (or British Columbia, or Indonesia, or the middle of the Pacific Ocean, or Malaysia). Never mind that his mother was a US Citizen (or wasn't, or wasn't old enough to confer citizenship upon her son). Forget that there was a birth announcement in a Hawaiian newspaper in August of 1961 (planted! by a mother who apparently knew that her mixed-race child would one day become President). Forget that the State of Hawaii certified the document that Obama has released (which was good enough to get him a passport, and to allow him to become a State and then US Senator).

The fact of the matter is, Obama could do nothing that would satisfy them now. Enough time has elapsed that they would would say they had time to fake it, even if he had the doctor and nurse who delivered him on hand to testify. If Obama Sr. took a home movie of the blessed event, and it was now released on high-definition Blu-ray disc, the birthers would claim it was all CGI and Hollywood magic.

Which is a long way to go to say that white bread "rocker" Pat Boone is a birther. Wouldn't you like to be a birther too?


Elderly Wingnut ‘Teen Idol’ Also Wants Personal Copy of Obama’s Birth Certificate

What happens when you’re super angry about a Negro somehow becoming president, but there are no longer specific laws against a Negro becoming president? Make up something else! Better yet, make up something that can never be disproved, to you, because you can just dedicate yourself to saying, “Nah, that is FAKE somehow!” . . .

Read more at: Wonkette

Obama Talks to Gay Leaders: Was it Enough?

President Barack Obama presided over a commemorative gathering for the 40th anniversary of Stonewall today. Was it enough to quash the anger being felt by an ever growing segment of the gay community? If you don't know what the uproar is even about, check out this Stephen Colbert clip for the most entertaining summation possible. If you want to see how today's event was received, I can think of no better place to look than AmericaBlog, the blog perhaps most responsible for kicking off the "rebellion" in the first place.


Obama and the big gay party

Well, it's over.

The President gave his speech to the big gay A-listers at the White House (well, minus those who were blacklisted). Boy, that crowd was really into it. They clapped wildly when he said the words, "gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender." Just because he said the words. Even though Bill Clinton said those words - what? - 17 years ago? . . .

Read more at: AmericaBlog

Top 10 Conservative Idiots, June 29, 2009

I'm always happy when there is a new "Top 10 Conservative Idiots" column up over at Democratic Underground. For one thing, it gives me something interesting to link to on a Monday morning. And for another, the writer of the column (EarlG) is such an entertaining writer. Of course, then I feel inferior, but it only lasts for a little while. Anyway, enjoy!


The Top 10 Conservative Idiots, No. 367
June 29, 2009
International Man Of Mystery Edition

This week Gov. Mark Sanford (1,2) goes AWOL, Joe The Plumber (5) unfortunately doesn't go AWOL, and John Boehner (10) drops a turd. . .

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Red State Update: Appalachian Trail/Argentinian Tail

Jackie & Dunlap take on Governor Mark Sanford (R-South Carolina) and his bizarre, euphemistic adventure in Argentina (by way of the Appalachian Trail). Turn it down quiet or put on your earphones if at work, because some of the language is NSFW.

Sunday Blogging Blues

Image from Despair.com

What do you do when you're a current events/political blogger, and nothing going on at the moment inspires you to write? Well, that is my current prediciment, though it is tempered by the fact that I've already declared myself on semi-blogging-vacation.

But today, I've been trying to catch up with the Sunday morning political shows, and I am not engaged. One quick way to get me to zone out is to put David Axelrod on the screen, dancing around questions for 15 minutes. Another way? Stick Sen. Lindsey Graham and Willard "Mitt" Romney next to each other, doing the same thing. Blecccch.

Part of the problem is the talk on health care. The problem isn't cost. It isn't big business vs. government control. It is that Democrats are apparently incable of using language effectively in their political battles. "Public option" and "single payer" are phrases that on their face mean nothing to me. The Republicans aren't always more clear, but a phrases like "socialized medicine" and "job killer" are certainly more visceral.

Where in the world is the Democratic Frank Luntz? I'm not suggesting that we find a slimy weasel like Luntz, just a person with a little marketing savvy, a little creativity. I'm actually sort of surprised that President Obama isn't better at it. Are David Axelrod and Robert Gibbs really the best that he could do? Oh, and by the way, "cap and trade" is also ridiculous and meaningless. It's very easy to demonize something that nobody understands.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Connection Between Michael Jackson and The Simpsons?

Image from source, TV Squad

I'll confess, some time very soon after hearing about Michael Jackson's death, Nancy Cartwright's voice as Bart Simpson went through my head: "Michael Jackson, I love you, man!" The controversial video for "Black or White" premiered during an episode of The Simpsons, and the singer did uncredited voice work on the show too. But apparently, there was more stuff that I was unaware of.


Michael Jackson's connection to The Simpsons runs deeper than you think

Michael Jackson's impact on TV's infallible mammoth The Simpsons goes far deeper than we previously suspected. In fact, Jackson is probably one of the many creative minds who helped the show and its characters move into more musical territory and become an even deeper part of global pop culture. When you're a king, you have all sorts of powers, so you might as well use them for the good of your kingdom. . .

Read more at: TV Squad

The Young Turks: Limbaugh Blames Sanford Affair on Obama

Rush Limbaugh is ridiculous. But you knew that.

Editor & The Other Half Celebrate 1st Anniversary!

Much to the chagrin of the "Yes on 8" group of party poopers, The Other Half and I today celebrate our first wedding anniversary. Yes, they may have stopped new same-sex marriages in California--for now--but they did not succeed in annulling the ones that had already happened. A heartfelt and resonant thpppppppp!!! to anyone who voted for Proposition 8, and yes that is a digital raspberry, with a certain recognizable hand gesture for good measure.

That said, it is a strange thing to celebrate our first anniversary when we've actually been together 11-1/2 years now. I suppose it's like those long-co-habitating couples who finally give in to the "why don't you get married?" pressure. Except for us, there was no pressure. There was a limited time-frame, and we knew it. As soon as same-sex marriages were legal in California, we knew it was only a matter of time before the religious right--forgetting the American ideal of separation of church and state--would blow out all the stops to revoke that right. Were we wrong?

As soon as we knew it was going to be legal, we made plans to go to Palm Springs, where a friend lives, and tie the knot. Happily, an "opposite married" couple of long-term friends made the trip with us, turning the trip into a mini-vacation. A good time was had by all, and the vows were exchanged. Photographic evidence exists, but may never be revealed, due to the extra pounds we were both packing last year.

Our marriage holds no official status in our adopted state of Nevada (thanks to a ridiculous, especially in Las Vegas, constitutional amendment). My home state of Ohio has something similar, though The Other Half's home state of Iowa is suddenly much more accommodating. But all of that isn't particularly relevant until DOMA is overturned, and Federal rights are acknowledged. I believe this will happen, though President Obama is being maddeningly inscrutable about it. Meanwhile, we are legally married if we drive 45 minutes to the state line, or should we visit Iowa, Connecticut, Maine (for now), New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and possibly New York, New Jersey and Washington DC.

And in our hearts, we've been married for a long time anyway. And we won't let constitutional amendments, ignorance, hatefulness, comparisons to polygamy, pedophilia and incest--by citizens, and by the government--change that. Go ahead and put your scare quotes around my "marriage" if it makes you feel better. It won't change a thing.

And honey, I'm sorry this turned into a rant. I don't always know where a piece is going when I start out! Happy anniversary.

Mark Sanford: Play Him Off, Keyboard Cat!


Friday, June 26, 2009

Stephen Colbert Explains Why "The Gays" are Upset with Obama

If you've been wondering why the gay community. . .ahem, excuse me, LGBTQ-E-I-E-I-O community is all pissed off at President Obama, I can think of no better--or more entertaining--way to explain it than Stephen Colbert does. From last night's Colbert Report.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Word - Stonewalling
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorMark Sanford

Praise Jesus, Pass the Ammo!

Image from source, NYTimes

Seriously. Do they toss the communion wafer into the air, and shout, "PULL!"?


Pastor Urges His Flock to Bring Guns to Church

Ken Pagano, the pastor of the New Bethel Church here, is passionate about gun rights. He shoots regularly at the local firing range, and his sermon two weeks ago was on “God, Guns, Gospel and Geometry.” And on Saturday night, he is inviting his congregation of 150 and others to wear or carry their firearms into the sanctuary to “celebrate our rights as Americans!” as a promotional flier for the “open carry celebration” puts it. . .

Read more at: New York Times

Thanks to Stupid Monkey Planet for the tip.

Thriller Sequel? Michael Jackson's Ghosts

UPDATE: Unbelieveably, I wrote this post just a few days ago. Given the untimely death of Michael Jackson yesterday, I thought it might be nice to bump this up, as I'm not sure many people are even aware of Ghosts, the short film Jackson made in the mid-90s. Enjoy.

ORIGINAL POST (06/22/09): A friend and former roommate of mine was in Las Vegas a few weeks ago, and I got to go have dinner with him at a mutual friend's house. This friend has the nearly unique distinction of having worked at Neverland Valley Ranch for several years, directly for Michael Jackson.

Michael has--fairly or unfairly (or a combination of the two)--gotten a reputation as a weirdo more than he is remembered for being a consummate musician and entertainer. Which is a shame. My friend brought along a video, one I had never seen, that proves this point rather well. After all, this video is well produced and entertaining, right up there with Thriller. It was co-written by Jackson and Stephen King, and has special effects by the late, great Stan Winston. And yet if it was ever released in the US, nobody's ever heard of it.

Particularly interesting in Ghosts is the battle between the protagonist, a rich oddball in a big house, being hounded by the townsfolk for his eccentricities. Add to that the villain--played by. . .well, you figure it out--who is lobbing the sorts of accusations the real Michael has probably heard all too often. Throw in some special effects, and a creepy atmosphere, along with (almost an afterthought) some Jackson music, and this should have been a winner. It's just too bad the video quality of this clip isn't better. Anyway, enjoy.

Michael Jackson - Ghost (full version) @ Yahoo! Video

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michelle Bachman: Census = WWII Japanese Internment?

Just when you think that Rep. Michelle Bachman (R-Minn.) can't be any more batshit crazy, she pulls some more guano out from her nether regions.


Bachmann links Census to 1940s Japanese internment

Rep. Michele Bachmann, who may be redistricted out of a job based on next year’s Census findings, has already stated she won’t respond to certain Census questions required by law for fear that ACORN will get its hands on the info. Now she’s working to spread the fear — by conjuring the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. . .

Rememberences of Farrah Fawcett

Image from NY Daily News

Since Farrah's Story aired on NBC a few weeks ago, I've expected to get the news of Farrah Fawcett's death. It was made clear that she was terminal, and by the end of the documentary, she wasn't even lucid. So, her death--while no less sad--was not a surprise. More surprising, of course, was the out of the blue death of Michael Jackson on the very same day.

Which is sad all by itself, but doubly so for Farrah. As the celebrity reporter on MSNBC said, they were working on a Farrah Fawcett retrospective when they got the Jackson news. After that, Fawcett is now a footnote. And she deserved more than that.

I had Farrah's iconic poster on my wall as a 'tween, as all little boys (even us gay ones) did in 1976. I struggled to stay up late to watch Charlie's Angels, even though bedtime that year was 10:00 pm. I managed to catch up during the summer, and was excited that the show moved to 9:00 pm the next season. But where was Farrah? She'd left the show! My sadness was short-lived, due to the brilliant casting of Cheryl Ladd.

But Farrah still held my attention. I watched Logan's Run (still a favorite) and Saturn 3. The weeks when she was contracturally bound to appear in guest shots on Charlie's Angels, I was front and center. Years later, I'd be interested enough in her to check out movies like The Burning Bed, and Extremities, which I'd have been almost certain to skip otherwise.

When Farrah's Story aired, I was given a new perspective on Farrah, who had--lets face it--been rather strange in her last decade or so. She appeared dizzy (or drugged) on The Late Show with David Letterman and the William Shatner roast. So to see her so spirited, courageous and real may have been one of the best things to come out of an otherwise depressing program.

So, RIP, Farrah Fawcett. You are one of many pieces of my childhood, but one of the only ones I will always be able to picture--in that red bathing suit, with the dazzling smile--in perfect clarity, as you looked then. You may not get the same coverage as Michael Jackson, but you had quite an impact, just the same.

My Take on the Death of Michael Jackson

Image from GroupieBlog

Some celebrity deaths you anticipate. Ed McMahon, for example, was elderly and had been quite ill for some time. Farrah Fawcett, who also died today, had been terminally ill with cancer, so was also not a surprise. But, Michael Jackson? We're used to bizarre behavior, and out-of-left-field news items, but death at age 50? It's hard to digest.

In the hours since, I have been surprised some more. I heard a snippet of The Mark Levin Show on the radio (something I do not advise), and heard a rather dismissive air of the story. Later, I heard the local Las Vegas conservative talk radio show, The Casey Hendrickson Show with Heather Kydd. This was far worse. The show airs on KXNT, the local sponsor of the Sean Hannity "Freedom" Concerts. Kydd was something of a fan, and was uncharacteristically reserved. Hendrickson was not. He was unbelievably crass, expressing "happiness" that Jackson had died. This dovetailed with a few of the posts you might read on right-wing web site FreeRepublic, though tailered for radio.

The source of this nastiness is of course the allegations of pedophilia that will loom over any discussion of Jackson. It is worth noting that Jackson was acquitted of those charges. "Paid off" or not, no accuser ever proved his case. Having known a little of the background of the story, from the inside as it were, I personally don't believe the stories had merit. Regardless, expressing elation at someone's death--especially given the freshness of the news--is beyond crass.

The reaction of the rest of the news media frankly surprised me as well. I've mostly watched MSNBC, where Keith Olbermann has been handling the anchoring duties. It has been wall-to-wall Jackson, without commercials. I flipped to CNN and FOX "News," and found them covering it as well. If nothing else, it is a testament to Jackson's celebrity that more than a decade after having any fresh music, that it would garner such coverage.

I'll close by saying that I enjoyed--and will continue to enjoy--Michael Jackson's music. I'll concede that he was likely a troubled soul, and that he took "eccentric" to a whole 'nother level. If there is any truth to the more salacious allegations, I would of course find that awful. But since no truth has ever been proved, I will not judge him for it. And if it wasn't true? What a horrible thing that it hung over the last decades of his life. RIP, Michael.

Michael Jackson Has Heart Attack, Possibly Dead?

Image from BET

Still at work, still no time to write. Mercy. Big news day, and this one feels a little personal. More later.

More at: TMZ

Farrah Fawcett Has Died at 62

Image from source, MSNBC

At work, no time to write. Very sad. More later.

Mark Sanford Removed from List of "Values" Speakers

I'm double-dipping into ThinkProgress stories here, only because I found this list of speakers at a right-wing nutjob event (Family Research Council’s Values Voters Summit 2009) inadvertently hilarious. The roster of A-list politicians includes such luminaries as failed presidential candidates (Law & Order actor) Fred Thompson, and (fudgepacker) Mitt Romney. Hopeful future candidate Tim Pawlenty--the guy who won't let Al Franken be Senator--is in there. Also, secessionist governor Rick Perry and oops! Somehow South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's picture got removed!

The rest of the list just gives me the willies. I like Gary Senise as an actor, but as a political/religious values speaker? Uber-creepy, uber-creaky religionistas Don Wildman and Phyllis Schlafly will be there to bring the fire and brimstone, along with (Blood! Mother! Blood!) Tony Perkins. I have no idea who Eduardo and Lila are, but they're hot, so maybe they're there to keep it chastefully sexy. Carrie Prejean can bring her fake boobies along with a heavy dash of stupid. And Ben Stein can play the substitute teacher, saying, "Sanford? Sanford? Bueller?"

I was unaware when I originally posted this that the image only includes a partial list of invited speakers (confirmed speakers are designated with an asterisk). Here are the others:

- Rep. Michelle (Batshit Crazy) Bachman
- Stephen Baldwin (I'm Not a Celebrity, So Why Am I Here?)
- Gary Bauer (Anti-gay Crusader)
- Glenn Beck (Crazy FOX "News" Guy)
- Ken Blackwell (Katherine Harris II)
- Rep John Boner Boehner
- "Uncle" Pat Buchanan
- Gov. Sarah (Caribou Barbie) Palin
- Sean (The Manatee) Hannity
- Sen. Mitch (Constipated Turtle) McConnell
- Mark (Hannity's Brain) Levin
- Kirk (Left Behind) Cameron
- Bill (We'll Do It Live!) O'Reilly
- Gov. Bobby (Kenneth the Page) Jindal
- Rush (Drug-addled Gasbag) Limbaugh

There are more, but you get the idea. Stomach-churning. If you want to see the rest, be my guest at: Value Voters Summit

Oh, My.

Burger King's Super Seven Incher.

Do you think they're trying to top (exuse the pun) Quizno's risque "put it in me" oven ads?

Source: D-Listed

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Rachel Breaks Down the Whole Gov. Sanford Thing. . .So Far

There are reasons why I dig The Rachel Maddow Show so much, and for why I post so many clips here on the blog. One of them is the snarky, but brainy attitude throughout. One of them is her ability to entertain with the goofy stuff, and then educate with the serious. Iran is one of the very serious things going on, and Rachel has probably been the best on-air commentator on the subject (excluding actual journalists like Richard Engel).

On a day like today, the goofy outweighs the serious because a) there is a near news blackout on Iran, and b) because the mystery about a goofy subject burst open, spewing lies and half-truths and confessions. . .it was fascinating. I'm sure there are news watchers that will lament the saturation coverage of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, and his peccadilloes. But just watch the clips here to see what I'm talking about. Rachel lays out the situation in her entertaining but informative way. She makes the points, and asks the questions I wanted someone to ask. And she actually talks to the reporter who started the ball rolling when she staked out the Atlanta Airport this morning. You would be unlikely to hear all the points covered this well anywhere else. And that includes Countdown with Keith Olbermann.

FOX "News" Identifies Gov. Mark Sanford with a (D)

Image from source, TVNewser

If there is a Democrat caught in a scandal, you can count on FOX "News" to drag it out for several weeks, making sure you know it's a Democrat. If there is a Republican caught in a scandal, you can count on FOX "News" to make sure you know they are a. . .Democrat? Seems that way.

This is not the first time FOX has done this, either. I have no idea if it is on purpose, of just a bad typist. It is odd though that "FOX Fans" will immediately counter that MSNBC or CNN neglect to name the party when it is a Democrat. I'd counter back that leaving out the party affiliation is a different beast than labeling it incorrectly.


Fox News Identifies (R) Gov. as a (D)

During his news conference this afternoon, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford was identified as a (D) on Fox News. Not only is he not a (D) he was, until today, the head of the RGA - Republican Governor's Association. The (D) on the lower third banner appeared for about 7 seconds. The banner was then switched to quotes Sanford was giving before the correct (R) designation was inserted. . .

Read more at: TVNewser

FBI Arrests Sean Hannity "Friend," Hal Turner

Photo from source, Think Progress

FOX "News" blowhole Sean Hannity is allegedly friends with--or was friends with--Hal Turner, a decidedly shady guy. This has been fodder for online arguments for many years, and seems to be true, but apparently Hannity himself either denies it, or declines comment. I don't know myself, but it is alluded to in the excerpted piece below. I wonder if this will get any coverage on Hannity?


FBI Arrests White Supremacist Blogger Hal Turner For Threatening To Kill Federal Judges

Today, FBI agents went to the New Jersey home of white supremacist blogger/radio host Hal Turner and arrested him “on a federal complaint filed in Chicago alleging that he made internet postings threatening to assault and murder three federal appeals court judges in Chicago in retaliation for their recent ruling upholding handgun bans in Chicago and a suburb,” according to a statement released by the Justice Department. . .

Read more at: Think Progress

Get Ready For Judgment Day; Pentagon Approves "Cyber Command"

Image from Nerdles.com

OK, I'll admit, the excerpted story below does not posit an entirely computer-run "SkyNet." But something about the phrasing of the headline gave be a big "oh noes" feeling anyway. And all of this talk about computer systems being probed sure sounds like something out of the Terminator series, doesn't it? Only which John Conner will save us?


Pentagon approves creation of cyber command

The Pentagon will create a Cyber Command to oversee the U.S. military's efforts to protect its computer networks and operate in cyberspace, under an order signed by Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Tuesday. . .

Read more at: Reuters

That Missing Governor from South Carolina

UPDATE: And here is the problem with blogging at night, and having to work all day. This story has changed eight ways to Sunday. . .and it got even better. As I'm sure you know by now, Gov. Sanford has admitted to an affair, and the entire backlog of excuses has proven to be a big whopping pile of lies. More later.

ORIGINAL POST: I guess I probably should subtitle Greenlee Gazette "A Rachel Maddow Fan Blog," as often as I post clips from her show. But you know what? I post a lot fewer of them than I want to!

Anyway, last night's show disproves an allegation that Rachel (and MSNBC in general) do not allow Republican guests. The Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina, Andre Bauer (R) appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show to answer--as best as he was able--the questions about his state's missing Governor. Good stuff.

(Maybe by the time you see this, Governor Mark Sanford will have reappeared.)

Frivolity Break: "Wonderbra" for Men?

I was intrigued until I saw the demonstration. Sure, it looks great on the fit guys, but I'm not sure if it really worked on the pudgy guys. So boys, if you've already got it, this will make it look better. For the rest of us? I kinda doubt it. Oh, and there are "Wonderbritches" as well. . .

Dick Cheney to Write Memoirs

Oh. My. God. A memoir by former Vice President (and current) Dick Cheney? I can't imagine that he'd be willing to give us the true story. But if he did, I imagine it would look pretty much like the page at left.


Dick Cheney Memoir Planned For 2011: "I Want My Grandkids...To Be Able To Read It And Understand What I Did"

Former Vice President Dick Cheney has signed a book deal with a conservative imprint of Simon & Schuster and said he hopes readers of all ideologies will be interested in his story. The memoir by Cheney, widely considered the most powerful vice president in history, is expected to be published in Spring 2011, a few months after President George W. Bush's book comes out. . .

Read more at: Huffington Post

But before we get that craptastic tome, we'll have to endure. . .

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ed McMahon Dead at 86

Photo from source, Globe and Mail

Yeah, I know that everyone already knows this. But it didn't seem right to let it go unremarked upon. I don't think I could have considered myself an Ed McMahon fan exactly. But there's no doubt that he was a pop-culture figure all through my childhood and early adult years.

There was of course The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. But he was also there with Dick Clark on TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes, and Star Search and the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon. He was everywhere. And oddly, he seemed a product of a bygone era even at his eighties peak. In recent years, I'll admit to feeling a bit sorry for him, with his health and money problems. The Super Bowl ad he did for gold was, well it was just sad. And why didn't anyone tell him that the dual windshield-sized glasses ought to be replaced?

Anyway, rest in peace, Ed. Nobody my age will ever forget you.


Ed McMahon dies at 86

Ed McMahon was the loyal Tonight Show sidekick who bolstered boss Johnny Carson with guffaws and a resounding “H-e-e-e-e-e-ere's Johnny” for 30 years. . .

Read more at: Globe and Mail

Ann Coulter Has Officially Jumped the Shark.

Oh, I suppose it could be argued that Ann Coulter is the shark. But that might be an insult to sharks. I realize this woman (?) makes outrageous and incendiary statements to sell books and get on TV. And that's probably what she's doing here. But she won't make a dime off of this little bitty website, and I'm hoping that my very selective audience gets to see this, and it further confirms what an insane, blithering idiot Coulter is. The subject is Dr. George Tiller, the murdered abortion doctor. Take it away you crazy (oh, I want to go for the alliteration, but I'll settle for. . .) witch.

Rachel Maddow Interviews Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach

A little earlier, I posted a piece lamenting President Obama's reluctance to put an end to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Here, in a clip from The Rachel Maddow Show, is Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach, an amazingly decorated and acclaimed airman, who is being fired for being gay. It points out the utter absurdity of the policy, and makes me very, very angry with our President.

Sean Hannity Calls for Sen. John Ensign to Resign?

Since I don't subject myself to Sean Hannity anymore (for which The Other Half is grateful), watching a clip like this--even when the Manatee has to admit something he doesn't want to--is sort of painful. First off, Hannity still can't properly pronounce Nevada. Secondly he can't address the foibles of a Republican without slamming a tangentially related Democrat.

But worst of all, he seems to know less about Sen. John Ensign--the subject of his piece--than I do. Now, granted, Ensign is regrettably my Senator. But he's always been sort of in the shadows, unless an election is looming. Even so, I knew that Ensign was a "Promise Keeper." I knew that he's a heavy proponent of "traditional family values." I know that he's spoken out against Bill Clinton and Larry Craig, saying that both should've resigned because of their affairs. And I knew that he has fought against gay marriages, claiming that they somehow damage heterosexual marriages. Why didn't Mr. Hannity know any of that?

Why Won't President Obama Stop Don't Ask, Don't Tell?

Image from Stars and Stripes

After watching this evening's edition of The Rachel Maddow Show, I was reminded about Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach, a decorated airman who is being discharged for being gay. He was on the program again tonight, expressing hope that President Obama might sign an executive order stopping enforcement of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" while Congress mulls the law.

Fehrenbach could easily be the poster-child for this issue, being a prime example of why this law is so stupid. And he is apparently going to be meeting with the President on Monday, along with many other gay rights advocates. But if the story being reported at AmericaBlog holds true, Fehrenbach had better not get his hopes up too high. And Obama had better not think that he's nipped the "pesky gay problem" in the bud, either.


Obama won't use executive power to end gay discharges -- despite request from 77 members of Congress

. . .There's no explanation why the President won't use his executive authority to stop gays and lesbians from being kicked out of the military pending the legislative repeal. Apparently, we don't warrant an in-depth explanation as to why the president refuses to intervene. Interestingly, as John reported earlier today, the Obama administration is intervening to stop enforcement of an immigration law, requiring the deportation of foreign-born spouses when their husband or wife dies before they get citizenship, pending the legislative fix some time in the future. . .

Read more at: AmericaBlog

Al Franken/Norm Coleman Battle Wages On

Photo from source, Star-Ledger

Every time I see a new story about Al Franken and Norm Coleman, and their protracted battle to be Senator from Minnesota, I can't believe it's still going on. Moreover, I can't believe that Harry Reid and other Senate Democrats haven't made more of a stink about it. If the situation were reversed, Sean Hannity would be jabbing his chubby fingers at the camera, whining about it every night. In fact, if the situation were reversed, I can't imagine that it wouldn't have ended by now.


Al Franken-Norm Coleman Minnesota Senate race: It ain't over 'til . . . when?

What in the world is taking so long?

We're talking about deciding who won last fall's
Minnesota U.S. Senate race and putting someone in that seat in Washington. It's been empty some six months now while the nation installed a new president, took on billions of dollars in new debt to rescue Wall Street's big banks and the auto companies, and began the monumental task of reshaping the country's costly health care system and fashioning new regulations for the stricken financial industry. It's more serious work than Washington normally witnesses in a decade. But Minnesota has had only one Senate voice in the process, not two. . .

Read more at: The Star-Ledger

More on Nevada's John Ensign, Senator With a Sex Scandal

Photo from source, The Daily Beast

I've never paid much attention to Senator John Ensign, until recently. He's a pleasantly attractive, but politically unnoteworthy guy. I can't name a single initiative he's proposed, or count even one noteworthy thing he's said. He has spoken on a few of the news items of the day, and I was aware he was sort of a holy-roller--an odd thing coming from Nevada. So, even though I didn't support him because of his party, he seemed rather benign and harmless.

The past several days have shone a light on the man who didn't seem to rear his pretty head unless an election was afoot. And it has been kind of fascinating to watch. I don't think this one is anywhere near over.


Sin City Senator

The old adage that Democratic scandals are about sex and Republican scandals are about money is proving true as Republican Senator John Ensign’s extramarital affair and coverup unfolds. . .

Read more at: The Daily Beast

Monday, June 22, 2009

South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford Missing?

Image from source, TheState

Well, this is interesting. . .


Sanford taking a hike, governor's office says

S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford’s staff said late Monday that the governor is hiking on the Appalachian Trail, ending four days during which staff and state officials said they had not heard from him.

Neither Sanford’s office nor the State Law Enforcement Division, which provides security for governors, had been able to reach Sanford since he left the mansion Thursday in a black Suburban SUV assigned to his security detail, said state Sen. Jake Knotts , R-Lexington, and three others familiar with the situation, but who declined to be identified. . .

Read more (with video) at: TheState

So What's Up With That Ann Coulter Voter Fraud Deal?

Photo from source, Brad Blog

OK, so FOX "News" and right-wing talk radio are always all over ACORN for alleged "voter fraud," right? Even though what they're really talking about is voter registration fraud, which nets a paltry number of actual fraudulent votes, it gets the conservabots really, really energized.

So why is it that Ann Coulter, an actual (alleged) fraudulent voter, still gets to be on FOX "News" and on talk radio, and the righties still eagerly hang on her every word? Wouldn't you think they'd want her investigated, just to be logically consistent? Sorry, what was I thinking.

Anyway, if you're wondering where that investigation is going, here's an update.


Justice Delayed? Why the Hold-Up in Connecticut's Investigation into Ann Coulter's 'Voter Fraud'?

It's been nearly five months since the official complaint about Ann Coulter's alleged voter fraud in 2002 and 2004 was filed in Connecticut, yet state election officials continue to refuse comment on the status of the case beyond acknowledging that it's "still pending," as recently confirmed by The BRAD BLOG. . .

Read more at: BradBlog

FOX "News" Fans Still Berating Shepard Smith

Photo from source, Huffington Post

Yipes. I've already said that I'm blogging a little lighter lately to recharge my blogging batteries. But I still intended to put a few posts up this evening. Problem is, I've been tremendously uninspired by today's happenings.

Of course, the happenings in Iran are the biggest newsworthy event, but I'm hardly an expert on the Middle East, and have very little to add there that would be new, or noteworthy. The train crash in DC was alarming, but I don't know what to do with that. Perez Hilton was attacked by Will.i.am., but he probably deserved it. So, what else? Sotomayer? Meh. President Obama still sneaks an occasional smoke? Who cares. But wait, there's FOX "News" news? OK!

I'm not at all surprised that FOX "News" watchers tend toward the crazy. Are you?


Fox News Anchor Draws Ratings, and Ire of Conservative Critics

At various points on his Fox News program, the anchor Shepard Smith irritated Rush Limbaugh, teased Glenn Beck and grilled Samuel J. Wurzelbacher (a k a Joe the Plumber) over his attacks on President Obama. But it was not until he forcefully confronted the topic of hateful e-mail — some from Fox’s own viewers — that he drew fire over his approach. . .

Read more at: Huffington Post

"English Only" Conference Has English Problem

One thing I've figured out--at least in online correspondence--if you pick on someone's grammar, you'll probably make a grammatical error while doing so. If you complain about their punctuation, you'll forget an apostrophe somewhere. If you call somebody an idiot, you'll mistype something that makes you look stupid.

So if you're holding a conference to support English as the only official language, it might be best to proofread your banner. . .

Source: Joe.My.God.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Skip the Politics, Happy Father's Day!

Photos of my step-dad, Len (with Pickles the cat) and my dad, Jake

Meet the Press is pre-empted by golf this morning, and This Week is delayed in my time zone. That leaves the dreadful FOX "News" Sunday and Face the Nation, but I think I may just take this opportunity to skip the sunday political talk for the day. I started watching F"N"S, and heard Congresscritters from both sides opine on the Iranian situation. Neither Evan Bayh nor Pete Hoekstra sounded particularly knowledgeable to me, and both of them pronounce the word "nuclear" as new-kyoo-lerr, which saps their credibility.

So, I'm popping in my new Blu-ray disc of Friday the 13th (the remake)! How's that for a protest against these boring shows? Anyway, have a good Father's Day Sunday, everybody. I'm sure there isn't going to be a huge crowd reading the blogs anyway.

John Hodgman (The PC Guy) at the RTCA Dinner

Did you see any of the the Radio & TV Correspondents' Dinner? I only caught President Obama's bit, and this one, from The Daily Show's John Hodgman ("PC" from the Apple commercials). I'll spare you Obama. Not that he wasn't funny--he was--but it wasn't good enough to share. Hodgman, on the other hand, is my kind of comic. Cerebral, dry and nerdy. Loved it.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Republican Health Care Horror Show!

I like it! Well, not the Republicans, or their scare tactics, or their claim that we have "the best health care system in the world." But this video is well done. Kudos for getting most of my favorite horror movie icons in there!

The Young Turks on Hannity, Rove and "Unprecedented Access"

I know I've commented on this story before, but Cenk Uygur's take on this is too good not to post.

Bill Maher's AMA Commercial for Health Care

Yeah, it's mostly videos for me here this weekend (and in general lately). It's all part of my semi-vacation from the blog. As you've probably noticed, I'm still here every day, but not posting quite as much. I'll probably continue this way for the rest of the summer, but I'll try not to "go dark" for any stretch of time. Just a little bit lighter for a while, for my sanity.

This clip is from Friday night's Real Time with Bill Maher, and it isn't only funny, it might explain a little bit if you don't quite get the whole health care situation.

Auto-Tune the News #5: Lettuce Regulation, American Blessing

Why not, it's weird and it's fun. . .

Who Knew Cookie Dough Could be Bad for You?

Image from source, 1010News

Honestly, can you imagine that eating spoonful after spoonful of raw cookie dough would be anything other than an utterly safe, wholesome experience? Actually, I've eaten many a spoonful myself over the years (though not in a long time), but I've always heard warnings about salmonella poisoning from the raw eggs. I just didn't heed the warnings.

But I never heard of E. coli poisoning through cookie dough. I always thought E. coli came from feces, and I'm pretty sure that poo isn't a "secret ingredient" in Toll House cookies. Still, I think it's wise to avoid the poopie-dough cookies for a while. Which should be easy enough, as it would seem every chocolate chip cookie dough package has been pulled at my local grocery store. Not just Nestle's, all of them.


Nestle Recalls Toll House Cookie Dough Products

The federal Centers for Disease Control said its preliminary investigation shows ``a strong association'' between eating raw refrigerated cookie dough made by Nestle and the illnesses of 65 people in 29 states whose lab results have turned up E. coli bacteria since March. . .

Read more at: 1010News

Maddow: Sen. John Ensign Scandal Widens

I know that Rachel Maddow has become my "go to" gal for blog posts about Senator John Ensign. But it's because she is so succinct--and snarky--in her explanations. Also, the freeze frame of Senator Hairdo is great.

Bill Maher's New Rules, June 19, 2009

Because I always post it, and there's always something good in there. Trust me.

Friday, June 19, 2009

FOX "News": Your Hypocrisy is Showing

As shown in the last post, the latest Republican faux outrage is manufactured. And if you didn't believe me the first time, here is video proof of the hypocrisy it would take to get outraged about ABC News and Barack Obama if you did not get upset about FOX "News" and George W. Bush.

Latest Faux Outrage: ABC's Access to President Obama

I spent a lot of the last eight years being absolutely baffled by politics. I don't mean that I couldn't follow it, or didn't understand what was going on. I just couldn't wrap my head around exactly how some of the big stories of the day played out like they did.

Say President Bush said something stupid. Initially, the news networks might report the stupid thing he said. Then, a larger story might be made about him being taken out of context--even if the full context was used. Then, FOX "News" (or talk radio, or both) might make the story about the evil librul media, who is distorting the words of the President. And that would become the story! And this is just a harmless example. More often, it would be a far more easily proven and more serious matter, being spun despite audio and video evidence to the contrary.

While this sort of thing is no longer quite as common, it is still happening to this day. Take for example the faux outrage about ABC News getting "unprecedented access" to the Obama White House. First, you must take as a given that this is a bad thing. But then, you have to believe that "unprecedented" means "it's happened before, but this is worse." Somehow.

We're supposed to forget the lavish infomercial for President Bush's legacy FOX "News" did back in 2008. That was unprecedented access to the President. We're also supposed to forget FOX's cheerleading for the Bush Administration practically 24/7 for eight years. If there was ever a popaganda organ for the White House, FOX "News" would qualify in every way. Try reading the following headline without bursting into laughter.


Rove: I’m Horrified That A News Network Would Be A ‘Cooperating Partner’ Of The White House

On Wednesday, Fox News’ Sean Hannity brought on former Bush White House adviser Karl Rove to gripe about ABC’s upcoming “Questions for the President: Prescription for America,” which will feature President Obama answering “questions offered by audience members ’selected by ABC News who have divergent opinions‘” on health care. Rove called it “unprecedented access to the White House and more importantly an unprecedented use of the White House. . .”

Read more at: Think Progress

Did You Know The PUMAs Are Still Around?

Image from RiverDaughter

Remember the PUMAs? No, not tennis shoes, the group that got their acronym from "Party Unity, My Ass!" and later--correctly inferring that the phrase was rather classless--changed it to "People United Means Action" which is just inscrutable. But not as inscrutable as this video!

I had a run-in or two with the PUMAs during the waning days of the Democratic Presidential Primaries. They were a group of "disenfranchised" Hillary Clinton supporters with a huge axe (battle axe?) to grind. And they despised Barack Obama. To them, Hillary was robbed, and Obama done the robbing. They dealt in baseless accusations and a curiously one-sided take on "dirty politics." They started websites containing far more vile words than were ever hurled at Mrs. Clinton, though they inspired many in-kind replies. Oh, and they were basically just frickin' nuts.

Anyway, the PUMAs are still around (apparently hoping that somehow ol' Hillary is still gonna pull this thing off!), and they have an instructional video showing what they are all about. It plays like a cult indoctrination. A really bad cult. Low production values, bad still photography captures and terrible voice over narration doom the thing. That and the fact that the message is utterly incoherent. Anyway, check it out if you have a couple of minutes to kill.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...