Thursday, September 30, 2010

Who's Paying for all of These Political Ads, Anyway?

Have you noticed there are a lot of political ads running these days? Of course you have, especially if you're in one of the "hot race" areas of the country like I am in Las Vegas.  A lot of the ads end or begin with "I'm So-and-so, and I approve this message." But this year there are also a lot of ads sponsored by patriotic-sounding groups you've never heard of, like Citizens for Lower Taxes and Freedomy Liberty!  But these groups can often be shadowy and mysterious.  Who are these people?  It would seem that they a) don't really want to know us who they are, and b) are effectively trying to buy elections all over the country.

Frivolity Break: Worst Movie Line Ever?

This is supposedly the worst movie line ever.  I'm not so sure about that, but it is most assuredly some of the worst acting ever.  For the worst line ever, you might want to watch M. Night Shyamalan's The Happening. Then again, you might not.

New DNC Anti-John Boner Boehner Ad

Well done, keep it up.

Religious Knowledge Study Has Surprising Results

Image from source, Pew Forum
I say "surprising" because it surprised some religious people. I wasn't too surprised though, after years of online discussions and personal interactions with religious people.  I'm agnostic-bordering-on-atheist, and the subject of religion comes up a lot. Especially when I mention the above.  Religious people, upon finding out my heathen status, often make it their personal mission to "witness" to me, in a vain attempt to convert me.

Oddly, I rarely approach these discussions with the intent of converting anybody to my way of thinking.  My role is usually just to explain why I believe--or rather don't believe--the way that I do.  It is roughly akin to banging my head into a wall, but I'm apparently a glutton for punishment.  But I've found in these discussions that I often--very often--know more about religion than the religious themselves do.  Oh, not chapter and verse. I was never much for memorization.  Still, I have reasons from my state of disbelief, and those reasons are based on the good book itself.  My knowledge of Hinduism, Islam and other non-Christian faiths is a little more spotty, but that's because I've rarely run into anyone from those religions trying to convert me.

The one thing that did surprise me is that a lot of Catholics don't know that transubstantiation--the conversion of the Eucharist and wine into Jesus' actual blood and flesh--is literal.  I can't say I blame them for attempting to wipe cannibalism from their minds.  Just, ewww.


U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey

Atheists and agnostics, Jews and Mormons are among the highest-scoring groups on a new survey of religious knowledge, outperforming evangelical Protestants, mainline Protestants and Catholics on questions about the core teachings, history and leading figures of major world religions. . .

Read more at: The Pew Forum

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tarryl Clark Fights "Crazy Eyes" Michele Bachmann

Yeah!  There is so much crazy to fight with Minnesota's Michele Bachmann, it had to be difficult for Democratic opponent Terryl Clark to choose just what to say about her. But the issue of Social Security is a good one, a nice solid hit. And since Bachmann looks crazy in most photos, a liberal sprinkling of them in this ad serves a dual purpose.  I just hope we see more of these kinds of ads.  Clear, concise and effective.

Meg Whitman Has a Little Illegal Alien Problem

Image from source, LA Times
Does Meg Whitman, the GOP candidate for Governor of California, count as a tea bagger? I'm not sure. I know she's spent a literal fortune to get herself elected. In fact, the second biggest trend for candidates from the GOP this year (the first being nominating crazy people) seems to be rich people effectively buying their way into office.  But conservative voters, be they the tea variety or original flavor, count illegal immigration in the top five things they are "angry" about.   So, how will Whitman's new scandal play in right-wing world?


Former Whitman housekeeper alleges she was treated like 'garbage'
The California governor's race took on a circus-like atmosphere Wednesday as a former housekeeper for Meg Whitman alleged the Republican gubernatorial nominee employed her for nearly nine years, even though Whitman knew the housekeeper was in the country illegally. . .

Read more at: Los Angeles Times

New York Tea Party Governor Candidate Has Staff Problems

For all of the accusations that President Barack Obama wasn't properly vetted, some of the tea baggers on the ballot this fall sure seem chock-full of oopsies in their pasts.  And their staffs.  Also keep in mind--while you ponder if "guilt by association" is appropriate--how often William Ayers and Reverand Jerimiah Wright were 24/7 stories in the conservative media.  M'mmkay?

Image from New York Daily News

Paladino Has Aides With Tainted Pasts

As he mounts an outrage-filled campaign for governor of New York, Carl P. Paladino has vowed to forcibly rid Albany of the wayward officials and misbehaving bureaucrats who he says have demeaned state government, promising to “take out the trash. . .”

Read more at: New York Times

Fake ACORN "Pimp" Dude Tries to Punk CNN. FAIL.

What a dork this guy is.

FOX "News" Invents Controversy Over CSI Episode

Last week's season premiere of the long running CSI: Crime Scene Investigation featured an extremist political group, full of anti-government types. They were against driver licenses, corporations and other things.  They were depicted as a nutty fringe group, and guest star (and inexplicable teen sensation) Justin Bieber was part of it.  The storyline hinged on a terrorist bombing at a Las Vegas policeman's funeral, and this fringe group was involved.

Now, it's funny that FOX "News" jumped to the conclusion that this was a slam of tea baggers.  The Tea Party was never referenced by name, and the beliefs expressed by the group didn't line up. In fact, the "expert" consulted here--while slamming CSI and Hollywood in general--ticked off a list of ways the group was different from the tea party.  As though there are no extremist political groups in existence aside from the Tea Party.  Still, I somehow knew this would be on FOX "News" when I watched the premiere.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Did Christine O'Donnell Lie About Attending Oxford?

Image from source, TPM
No way! You mean in addition to all the crazy stuff she's said in the past (and present), she's also manufactured some of her biography? Shocking.  I'm sure she'll just come up with something cute to say about it, and all will be forgiven in Teabaggistan. Remember Sarah Palin writing on her hand?  She turned it into a virtue. Expect Palin's mini-me to do the same.


Christine O'Donnell Lies About Attending Oxford University

Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell (R-DE) proclaimed on her LinkedIn the University of Oxford under "education," but it turns out that's another exaggeration on her resume. The claim is that O'Donnell earned a certificate from an Oxford course which her campaign said is "overseen" by a summer seminar program called the Phoenix Institute. . .

Read more at: Talking Points Memo

Is Sharron Angle a Hypocrite for Taking Government Health Care?

Image from source,
Think Progress
Um, yes, yes she is.  And she's batshit crazy. Had to be said.


Sharron Angle And Her Husband Receive Government Health Care

Throughout her campaign for U.S. Senate in Nevada, GOP candidate and tea party favorite Sharron Angle has railed against government intervention in just about everything. Angle said she wants to “personalize” Social Security, and she even went so far as to suggest the possibility of an armed insurrection against the U.S. government to protect “against a tyrannical government. . .”

Read more at: Think Progress

Democratic Underground to Fight Copyright Infringement Claim

Good. I hope they win.


Political Forum Fights Back Against Righthaven Copyright Troll Suit

Las Vegas - The online political discussion forum Democratic Underground is fighting back against a lawsuit filed by copyright troll Righthaven LLC, arguing in court documents filed Monday that the short excerpt of a news article at issue in the suit is a clear case of fair use. . .

Read more at: Electronic Frontier Foundation

Stephen Colbert Takes on Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Shows like The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report help save my sanity some days. With all the politics I read to write the blog, it can feel like I'm living in Bizarro World sometimes. But it's difficult to watch these shows while on the computer, because you miss so much. No bit requires more attention than Colbert's The Word, where half the jokes are in the on-screen graphics.  It's worth the effort though, because the results are often inspired.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Word - Army of Mum
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionMarch to Keep Fear Alive

Bill O'Reilly Appears on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Last week, Jon Stewart appeared on The O'Reilly Factor, and this week, Bill O'Reilly returned the favor. It's not as good with O'Reilly in the hot seat, because Stewart still has to do all the heavy lifting. But the follow-up was great.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Bill O'Reilly
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Bill O'Reilly Post-Interview Analysis
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

Are Judges the Latest GOP/Tea Party Bogeyman?

Image of scary dude from source,
Think Progress
I had trouble writing the headline for this piece, because obviously, conservatives have been whining about "judicial activism" for a long time. But it does seem to be ramping up.  One of the more common phrases used is that "activist judges are legislating from the bench."  This phrase is baffling to me.  A judge has a case before him, he decides one way or the other, and then the law is affirmed or dismissed based upon that decision.  How exactly is this activism, or legislating from the bench?  Seemingly, it is when a judge rules in a way contrary to prevailing conservative opinion.  Do you remember any complaining from conservative quarters when the United States Supreme Court ruled that corporations can donate unlimited amounts of money to political campaigns (Citizens United)?  Didn't think so.

It's getting worse though.  Now, when a high-profile enough case irks the right-wing enough, the start campaigns to remove the judges in question.  This is a fairly new tactic, and kind of a disturbing one.  And it seems that this action is taken not for the merits of the decisions, but because the cases weren't decided in the right-wing's favor.  No sir, I don't like it.


Tea Party Nullifiers Seek Revenge Against Florida Supreme Court Justices

Earlier this year, the Florida Supreme Court nixed a state ballot initiative attempting to nullify part of the Affordable Care Act because the ballot language was misleading to voters.  In response, a Tea Party-affiliated group launched a campaign to remove two of the court’s justices from the bench. . .

Read more at: Think Progress

Monday, September 27, 2010

Christine O'Donnell's Greatest Hits

Segway Company Owner Dies When Segway Goes Off a Cliff

Image from source Raw Story
When I was in Creative Writing class, I was assigned a multi-media project, and had a few darkly humorous pieces in my work. Before I handed it in, I told my teacher that there were a few irreverent segments that were both humorous and about death.  She asked me--totally deadpan--"Do you think death can be funny?I said, "Well. . ." She saved me by saying, "Of course it can." 

Now, this poor man's death isn't funny. But it makes for a damned funny headline.


Segway owner dies after falling off river cliff

A wealthy British businessman who owns the company that makes the two-wheeled Segway has been found dead in a river in northern England after apparently falling off a cliff on one of the vehicles, police said Monday. . .

Read more at: Raw Story

A Possible Good Outcome for Democrats in November?

Image from DuctHide
No, it isn't a new poll, or some new study. It's just one possible outcome, because I needed something lighter to start my blogging today.


The Optimistic Scenario for Election Day

Tired of bleak political news? Here is an optimistic scenario of what just might happen on November 2: some Republican gains, but both houses of Congress remain Democratic. . .

Read more at: Huffington Post

Top 10 Conservative Idiots, September 27, 2010

So many idiots, so little time!

The Top 10 Conservative Idiots, No. 381
September 27, 2010

Pledge Of Darkness Edition

This week the Republican Party (1,3) makes the foolish mistake of actually saying what they're going to do if they get elected -- and it's all John Boehner's (2,7) fault! Elsewhere, Susan Collins (5) and Rand Paul (6) teach us all about fairness, and Christine O'Donnell (10) has a plan to... well, you'll see. . .

Read the rest at: Democratic Underground

Blast from the Past: Classic 70s Commercials!

I couldn't think of any one topic for this week's Blast from the Past, but I knew I wanted to get away from music, and focus on nostalgia alone.  While surfing the YouTubes, I found several old classic commercials from the 70s, but not for any one thing.  So, here's a hodge-podge of product pitches from this blogger's youth. . .

1. Hawaiian Punch - That poor tourist sap always got his punch.
2. Starkist Tuna - For some reason, Charlie the tuna wanted to be killed and eaten.
3. Life Cereal - This is probably one of the most famous commercials of the 70s, and yet whenever somebody asks "What's this stuff?" and I answer "some cereal" nobody ever gets it.
4. Connect Four - Pretty sneaky, sis. . .
5. Oscar Meyer Bologna - If the Life Cereal commercial is one of the 70s most famous, this one might be THE most famous. Oscar Meyer has a way with B-O-L-O-G-N-A!
6. Nestle Quick - Loved the Quick Bunny as a kid. It's so rich and thick, and chock-o-lit. . .
7. Purina Cat Chow - Crazy Cat Lady teaches cat to dance! Chow Chow Chow!
8. McDonald's Big Mac - Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun! Okay, now I'm hungry. . .

Happy Monday everybody!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell Debuts Monday

Image from source, NY Times
This summer, I've noticed that I'm in something of a rut.  It goes way beyond just this summer, but I started doing the math this year.  I watch Countdown with Keith Olbermann and The Rachel Maddow Show most weeknights, then come into my office to blog. . .and stay there the rest of the evening.  Now, I'm not just blogging, and it isn't all politics, but one way or another, I'm spending an awful lot of my awake time in front of an electronic screen of some sort.

MSNBC is trying to tempt me into making my "problem" worse, by debuting The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell.  I like the host--who has appeared as both a guest and a host of the other two shows--for his wit, tenacity and big juicy brain.  O'Donnell has worked both with the real Congress and the fictional, idealized White House (on The West Wing).  So, while it will be tempting to expand my nightly news/commentary intake, I think I'm going to have to beg off.  But I'm sure I'll sample it on occasion, and if something newsworthy comes out of the program, I'll feature clips here.  Oh, and if The Other Half is away, I might get lured into watching live.  But I wish O'Donnell luck, and ratings.


And in the Left Corner, Weighing In ...

“I’M one of those actors who finds the part in the wardrobe,” Lawrence O’Donnell said. “So this dressing like an anchorman thing is beginning to work. . .”

Read more at: New York Times

Really With Seth & Amy; Dueling Governor Pattersons (SNL)

SNL Kicks Off 36th Season with Amy Poehler

Image from Pop Culture Feministas
I've been a regular viewer of Saturday Night Live since (literally) the very beginning. But I'll admit, it's had its strong years and bad years, and lately it's been more bad than good.  It has always been rare for any show to be funny all the way through. If the "cold open," the monologue and Weekend Update are funny (or 2 out of 3), then it was a good show.  The musical guest, and anything after WU are given a pass if those other elements are good.  Last season, they sometimes weren't even hitting 2 out of 3.

If last night's show is any indication, they've done something to fix things.  Traditionally, the first show of the year is a disappointment, considering how much has happened over the summer, and how much material they have to work with. This year broke that streak with the strongest debut I can remember since the triumphant beginning of the Dana Carvey/Phil Hartman/Jon Lovitz/Jan Hooks/Dennis Miller era in 1986. That show--with guest host Sigourney Weaver--is one of the few examples of an SNL that was good all the way through.  On Saturday, guest host Amy Poehler helped pull off the same feat.

This is a clip from the cold open, with an excellent use of a topic that popped up while the show was on break. Kudos to the writers, and Kristin Wiig, who did a great job as CO'D.

Republicans Defend "Pledge" in Friendly Territory: FOX "News"

The big GOP "Pledge to America" thingy wasn't exactly a roaring success.  Democrats of course are not impressed, but neither were a bunch of Republicans. So, John of Orange Boner Boehner and Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) are defending the lemon pledge on FOX "News" Sunday. But even the vaguely creepy Chris Wallace sounds like he's not buying it, and McCarthy had to do a little flim-flam to find support for the pledge.


McCarthy Cites Editorial That Was Prearranged By GOP Leadership To Show Support For GOP ‘Pledge’

. . .McCarthy misrepresents the right-wing Wall Street Journal editorial page’s reaction to the Pledge.  In truth, the WSJ gave a the Pledge a decidedly mixed review, stating that the pledge is “less specific in offering new ideas than was the GOP’s 1994 Contract with America,” and it attacks the Pledge for its unambitious approach to earmarks, health care and tax policy. . .

Read more at: Think Progress

Saturday, September 25, 2010

President Obama Blasts GOP "Pledge" in Weekly Address

Good. Now, keep at it, and punch harder.


Obama Denounces GOP 'Pledge' as Echo of Failed Policies of Past

President Obama blasted the House Republicans' "Pledge to America" on Saturday, calling it the same old "worn out philosophy" of tax breaks for billionaires, cutting slack for Wall Street and other special interests, and letting the middle class "fend for itself. . ."

Read more at: Politics Daily

FOX "News": Still Not News

My DVR didn't catch last night's Real Time with Bill Maher, so I had to seek it out on the cable box, and was lucky enough to find it running in. . .well. . .real time this morning. After it was over, I wanted to just surf around the internets for a little while, so I needed to put the teevee machine on something that wouldn't distract me too much. FOX "News" fits the bill. It's good for little else, right?

Heh. Okay, so I'm doing this little experiment. Every so often, I'll stick it on FOX "News" at a time of day when they supposedly are doing "hard news," rather than news commentary. There is no such time of day, apparently. This morning, I landed on America's News HQ, which sounds like a news program. There were two blonde bombshell news readers talking about the GOP "Pledge to America." No, not really talking, pitching. They gave the conservative selling points of the pledge, and left it there, as though there was no counter-point.

Then, they moved on to other issues involving President Barack Obama and the 2010 election. There, they had no problem with counter-points! In fact--just like they do on Hannity, Glenn Beck, Huckabee, and The O'Reilly Factor--they had arguing pundits in split-screen to shout about it! Then they aired various clips of Democrats on the floors of Congress in moments of extreme agitation. . .various Democrats at various times, out of context. I didn't gather what story these clips were connected to, I think it was an attempt to show Democrats being crazy to counter-balance Christine O'Donnell.

Anyway, they managed to squeeze in a little bit of news, a flood, and the Iranian president (where they couldn't resist a little editorializing), but mostly my little experiment proved what it always does: FOX "News" is NOT news.

Christine O'Donnell Skit on Real Time with Bill Maher

I realize that the blog has been a little video-heavy, and a little Bill Maher-heavy, but I couldn't resist this clip. From Friday's Real Time with Bill Maher.

GOP's "Pledge to America" Would Add $11 TRILLION to Deficit?

Good grief! For all of the deficit squawking by conservatives, you'd think their recent "Pledge to America" would trouble the Republican base (tea baggers).  All of that tax cutting has to be paid for somehow. So, how would they do it? Well, they don't really say.  If this story is to be believed, the price would be around $11,000,000,000,000 over ten years.  Eleven TRILLION? Is there even that much money in the world?


Republicans Ludicrously Assert That Their ‘Pledge’ Will Lead To Smaller Deficits And Less Federal Debt

Yesterday, House Republicans released their “Pledge to America,” which contains the policy steps they would supposedly take immediately, were they so empowered. The document is chock-full of lofty rhetoric about reducing the size of government, but while it lays out plenty of budget-busting tax cuts — to the tune of $4 trillion — it has precious little in terms of actual spending cuts. . .

Read more at: Think Progress

Nightline Profiles Aaron Sorkin

I've said in the past that the White House should hire Aaron Sorkin as--if nothing else--a speech writer for President Barack Obama.  Obama needs a "President Andrew Shepherd" or "President Jed Bartlett" moment now more than ever. ABC's Nightline ran a profile of Sorkin on the eve of his Facebook movie, The Social Network's release.  In it, I'm more convinced than ever that Democrats should tap this man's brain.  His comments on Sarah Palin, and the rest of the GOP clown car are spot on.

Christine O'Donnell's Views on Evolution

From Friday's Real Time with Bill Maher.

Overtime with Bill Maher: September 24, 2010

Friday, September 24, 2010

Rep. Alan Grayson's Epic Re-election Ad

I'm just a blogger who doesn't live in Florida, but I approve this message! 

Stephen Colbert Appears--in Character--in Front of Congress

This is so meta, I don't know quite what to do with it.

Source: Huffington Post

Gay Kids of America: It Gets Better

There is a new movement, started (I think) by advice columnist Dan Savage, called "It Gets Better."  It's for kids in school who are gay, bisexual, or otherwise different.  They get picked on, or at least think they will be if they come out. I was there, boy howdy. But the message is, don't get depressed, don't get all down on yourself, it gets better.  And this is the best video I've seen that expresses that.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Jon Stewart on The O'Reilly Factor

Bush Administration Wanted Iraq War from the Beginning

Image from source, PressTV
Anyone with a functional brain pretty much knows that George W. Bush and his administration wanted to go to war with Iraq before, not because of 9/11.  We suspected for years, as official "reasons" for the invasion shifted from one ridiculous thing to another.  Then the "Downing Street Memo" pretty much confirmed it, though it really didn't come to much.  Now, it seems that it's certifiably true. And still? Not much.  It's really amazing that Democrats wield this big club, and won't use it. Even the prospect of an impeachment-in-search-of-a-cause from the other side probably won't do it.  I can't wait to see what ridiculous "high crime and misdemeanor" the Republicans try this time. It would take a doozy to outdo "lying about a blowjob."  Maybe smoking in a no-smoking area?


'Bush team wanted Iraq war from start'

Declassified documents have reveled that advisors to former US president George W. Bush had focused on justifying a new war on Iraq as soon as he took office.

Official document released on Wednesday show that a few hours after the 2001 attacks on the Twin Towers in New York, the then Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld spoke of attacking Iraq.

Papers posted by the Washington-based National Security Archive shows Rumsfeld discussing war plans for Iraq just two months after the 2001 US invasion of Afghanistan. . .

Read more at: PressTV

Tea Partiers with Costumes and Signs Against Glenn Beck

Recently, self proclaimed tea party "outsider" Glenn Beck appealed to the tea baggers to stop wearing silly costumes, and holding badly spelled signs.  Which would sap them of their "look at that shiny thing" media magnetism.  I hope they go for it. but if they don't. . .

Found at: AmericaBlog

Michael Moore Gives Up on Democrats?

Thursday's edition of Countdown with Keith Olbermann featured Michael Moore, stalwart defender of liberalism, and he seems to have given up. And I have to say, I'm not far behind him. Day after day, we see conservatives making hay out of things that simply shouldn't work.  They demonize almost everybody, talk about privatizing popular programs like Medicare and Social Security. They take credit for things they opposed, and oppose everything else.  They have no other plan than what they've done before, John Boner Boehner going so far as to say they are not going to change.  Same old policies that were proven not to work. And they're still on track to make great gains in November.

For all the talk of politicians who are more interested in keeping their jobs than fighting for the people, you sure couldn't tell it from most Democrats. They don't even seem to be trying, and there's plenty that they could be doing, not only to save their jobs, but also to fight for the people. It's enormously frustrating.

Senate Office Posts Homophobic Slur, Conservatives Say "So What?"

Image from source, Joe.My.God.
Yesterday, I was watching my  Twitter feed and Facebook page, and saw the developing story of a post from Senator Saxby Chambliss' office become news.  The proprietor of Joe.My.God. got a comment saying "All faggots must die."  He sought help tracking it down. And he was successful.  Predictably, the people who frequent FreeRepublic, and FOXNation were doubtful. They didn't see the developing story, only the conclusion.  But it happened. I saw it.  Surprise, there are homophobic Republicans.  I trust that doesn't ruin anyone's world view.


Sen. Saxby Chambliss Admits: It Was My Guy That Said "All Faggots Must Die"

The office of GOP Sen. Saxby Chamblis has admitted that it was their staffer that left the comment "All faggots must die" on this blog yesterday. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. . .

Read more at: Joe.My.God.

GOP Introduces "Pledge to America"

So they're going to dust our furniture?  I like Pledge, though I sometimes get Endust or a store brand.  Oh, this is something real? Really? Is it different from the goofy 1994 Contract with America? No? Pretty much the same? Okay then. . .


GOP ready to make 'Pledge to America'

Drawing on ideas favored by conservatives and stoked by "tea party" activists, House Republicans will unveil a manifesto Thursday that calls for cuts in government spending, repeal of the new healthcare law and a strict constitutional test for every proposed law, according to a draft. . .

Read more at: Los Angeles Times

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Touched by a Missionary (FailBlog)

So, I wanted something to start the day that was kinda light, away from all the heavy political stuff. How's this?


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Rachel Maddow Blasts GOP Excuses for DADT Vote to Pieces

The attached video clip is fairly long. But if you want to see the difference between a typical cable news commentary show and The Rachel Maddow Show, you couldn't do much better than this clip.  While the entire Tuesday night program was full of information and refutations of misinformation (much of it on the Don't Ask, Don't Tell/defense bill vote), this clip contains a complete knock down of the official GOP reasons for filibustering the defense bill.  She's not shouting, she doesn't have four or five windows with arguing talking heads.  She just lays it out, and proves her point with quotes and video.  Love her, seriously.

FOX "News" Shows Edited Tape (Again) to Make Political Point

Image from source, Raw Story
Rather than taking Andrew Breitbart's embarrassing selective video editing as a lesson, FOX "News" seems intent upon implementing it as a policy.  One more time: FOX "News" is not news.


Fox News show edits clip to make it seem like Obama can’t lower taxes

Weeks after Sean Hannity was caught selectively editing a clip of President Barack Obama to paint him in a negative light, the Fox News channel has done it again. . .

Read more at: Raw Story

Insurers Get Around Health Care Reform: They Just Won't Insure Children!

Image from
Whatever your feelings about health care reform, most people would agree that getting rid of a "preexisting condition" being a disqualifier for insurance is a good thing. Particularly for children.  But the ingenious insurance companies have found a way around that: don't insure children at all!  Brilliant! And diabolical.


Health Insurers Up The Ante Over Pre-existing Conditions Rule By Denying Coverage To Children. What Next?

Well! That worked well, didn't it? (As opposed to Medicare for all, I mean.) Possibly the president and our congressional leadership is beginning to understand just what happens when you invite the health insurance vampires into your house: . .

Read more at: Crooks and Liars

Senate Office Used to Send Homophobic Message

Image from source, Joe.My.God.
An interesting story is making the journey from the blogosphere to the mainstream, and you may not have heard it yet.  One of my favorite blog sites--which I link to and excerpt from time to time--got a very nasty comment on Tuesday, "All faggots must die."  Nasty, right?  Oh well, it's an anonymous posting, what can you do?  Well, Joe Jervis the author of the blog, Joe.My.God, didn't want to leave it at that.  After a little detective work, he tracked the comment to the offices of Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss. It's about to get interesting.


CONFIRMED: Sen. Saxby Chambliss Admits "All Faggots Must Die" Comment Came From His Atlanta Headquarters

I've just gotten off the phone with Atlanta Journal-Constitution political writer Jim Galloway who says that Sen. Saxby Chambliss has confirmed that the "All faggots must die" comment left here on JMG earlier today did indeed come from his Atlanta office. Galloway reports that Chambliss told him his office is conducting an internal investigation. For now Chambliss' spokesperson has issued a preliminary statement. . .

Read more at: Joe.My.God.

Senator Al Franken on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

Tuesday, the Republicans in the Senate (joined by two gutless Democrats) filibustered the defense bill.  Two amendments to the bill, the "Dream" act--an immigration bill--and a authorization to end "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) caused friction, but the reasons given for the filibuster don't really jibe with reality.  More on that later. First, one of my favorite Senators, Al Franken of Minnesota, had good things to say about ending the archaic policy. I thought I'd share.

Captain Obvious: John McCain Filibuster Dishonest and Calculated

There has been a lot of squawking from the right about the "Dream" Act and an amendment to begin the end of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in the defense appropriations bill.  John McCain led a filibuster of the bill based on these two issues.  But he's being dishonest, and recalibrating his actions based on the hard-right turn in the conservative electorate. 

Let's get a couple of things clear here:

- Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) was enacted in a defense appropriations bill.
- John McCain said previously that if military leaders were for repeal, he would be too.
- Military leaders are now for appeal.
- Republicans used to be proponents of the "Dream" Act.

John McCain is flip-flopping more than a fish on a dock. So when you hear that the Democrats and Harry Reid were trying to "cram" these things "down our throats," it is dishonest, calculated and just flat-out wrong.

So Was The Event An Event?

Image of Jason Ritter from source, LA Times
All summer long, we've been bombarded with promos for The Event, NBC's apparent replacement for Heroes, in the serialized sci-fi/adventure genre.  They had me with Jason Ritter. I've always had a soft spot for his late father, John Ritter, having grown up on Three's Company.  When I saw the younger Ritter's comedy The Class, I was an instant fan, and was sorry to see it cancelled so fast.  Ever since then, I've been hoping he'd land on his feet in a good solid show.  So is The Event that show?

Maybe.  It has the non-linear storytelling so fashionable in these types of shows, bouncing between the present, a few minutes ago, several weeks ago, etc.  It also has a little of Vantage Point thrown in, with the same scenes played out from different perspectives.  What could come off as confusing or off-putting was handled pretty well. I never felt lost (though it felt a little like Lost).  We didn't get to exactly what "the event" itself is, but have tantalizing clues, particularly right at the end of the episode.

The problem with shows of this type are many.  The big reveal could be a letdown.  The story could get too complex for new viewers to jump in.  Or the show could be cancelled before anything is resolved.  Last season's FlashForward had a lot of the same buzz The Event has gotten, and it flamed out in one season.  But hey, I held on until the bitter end of that one, so with the assistance of the DVR, I'll probably do the same with this one. Unless they kill off Jason Ritter.

(Incidentally, I also caught Hawaii Five-O, and though I'm not going to write a seperate review, it was good. Very good. Great stunts, good looking actors, great theme. I predict: big hit.)


Television review: 'The Event'

Welcome back to the big leagues, NBC.

With Monday night's premiere of "The Event," the network that as recently as last year seemed hopelessly mired in creative and financial chaos has finally located a tent pole, a new show as big, brash and promising as "Heroes" was a few years back. . .

Read more at: Los Angeles Times

Monday, September 20, 2010

Top 10 Conservative Idiots: September 20, 2010

Oh, how I've missed this feature while it has been on hiatus! And there were so many weeks when it was sorely needed.  It may only be back for a short run, but it'll be fun while it lasts. Enjoy!


The Top 10 Conservative Idiots, No. 380

September 20, 2010

Teabag Takeover Edition
Surprise! Yes, the Top 10 is back for a special limited run. I'll be checking in with weekly editions between now and the elections on November 2 -- so let's get started! This week The GOP (1) has created a storm in a teacup, which has only gotten stronger thanks to the shenanigans of Christine O'Donnell (2,3). Elsewhere, Sean Hannity (6) is up to his usual tricks, Newt Gingrich (7) is a racist, and Mitch McConnell (8) knows who the real victims of the recession are. . .

Read more at: Democratic Underground

Your Moment of Crazy: Christine O'Donnell and Mice With Human Brains!

If Bill Maher is serious about throwing up videos out once a week, this is gonna be fun. This one isn't even from Maher, but he did get the ball rolling. Something tells me there's going to be more than one thing a week to laugh at and/or be terrified by.

The Recession is Over! Can Everyone Calm Down Now?

Image from source, Huffington Post
Yeah, no, not so much.  After all, this study says the recession ended last year.  But because of disproportionate income and other factors, we're not really feeling it yet. Probably won't for a while.  One thing this will do in the history books--provided things slowly get better, rather than worse--is that conservatives trying to dub it "The Obama Recession" will lose that moniker. After all, if it started in 2007 during George W. Bush's term, and concluded in Obama's first year?  I'd call that The Obama Recovery.  I know, it's not much to hang your hat on. Particularly when--if Republicans squeak out control of the House and/or Senate--we're going to hit the reset button, and go back to the policies that were in place in. . .2007. Ugh.  Jane, get me off this crazy thing!


The Recession Is OVER, Says Economic Panel

It's official: The longest recession the country has endured since World War II ended in June 2009, according to a group that dates the beginning and end of recessions. . .

Read more at: Huffington Post

The Truth About the Tea Parties (Steven Weber)

When I started this blog, we were deep into the waning years of the second Bush Administration.  I was deeply frustrated, and wanted to scream out loud my point of view, which seemed to have no--or very little--place in American discourse.  The tone shifted abruptly with the run up to the 2008 election, and immediately after.  How refreshing it was to not only have my side represented again, but to feel like things were returning to sanity.  I knew (and wrote about here) that the conservatives wouldn't take defeat lying down.  I knew that they'd be on the attack from day one of the new Obama Administration.

I didn't count on all the crazy and all the stupid.  I thought Bush was the end game of those categories. Who could predict the vague but angry tea baggers?  The birthers, the deathers? The growing popularity of Sarah Palin? Sharron Angle? Christine O'Donnell?  I worry about the country being plunged into a new political era that is stupider, crazier, and more dangerous than the eight years that just about drove me around the bend.  That's why I'm glad there are shows like Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report and Real Time with Bill Maher.  At least I can see that somebody out there sees what I see.  And then there is Steven Weber, the actor and blogger at Huffington Post that always seems to write what I'm thinking, with a wit and style that I can only aspire to.  Here is his latest piece, which I wish I'd written.


"They", Tea and Me

. . .See, "they"---that is, the corporate behemoths intent on creating a nation of mindless consumers---are doing to We The People what they also do periodically to foreign countries with phlegm-producing names and brownish people who wear weird headdresses and who have something we want: weaving a fictional scenario in which said foreign peoples are demonized and dehumanized in order to elicit a gut (and therefore thoughtless) response from We The People so We The People will do what "they" want. . .

Read more at: Huffington Post

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Blast from the Past: Classic MTV Videos, Part II

Last week, after MTV's Video Music Awards, I noted that there was a time when MTV actually played music, and that they really set the tone for pop culture in the 1980s.  Not a profound thought, I know. But those videos were a lot of fun. I said at the time that the post probably deserved a sequel, so here you go. . .

1. "Strip" by Adam Ant - Punk rock and "new wave" became mainstream by the time of the MTV generation, and by the time this song came out, even Adam Ant was too. He was still something of a rebel, but not by much.
2. "I'm Still Standing" by Elton John - There was a time when the world still didn't know that Elton John was gay. This video should have given them a clue.
3. "Hurts so Good" by John Cougar - I love I remember being surprised that John Cougar (later Mellencamp) had an earring. Wow, things have changed a lot since 1982.
4. "Sharp Dressed Man" by ZZ Top - ZZ Top had always been more a staple of AOR, but in the 80s, even they got in on the video music craze.
5. "You Might Think" by The Cars - The Cars was another group that pre-dated MTV, but they made the transition well, logging several video hits. This one was always a favorite.
6. "Open Your Heart" by Madonna- As a long-time Madonna fan, I even shocked myself for leaving her out of my first batch. Here's one of her best videos.
7. "Somebody's Watching Me" by Rockwell - I used a Michael Jackson video in Part I, and he makes a minor (background vocals) appearance here, in a novelty hit by one-hit-wonder, Rockwell.
8. "Crazy in the Night" by Kim Carnes - The really big 80s hit for Kim Carnes was of course Bette Davis Eyes. But it was overplayed so much back then, I'm still sick of it. The Rockwell song reminded me of this Carnes hit, one I always liked better anyway.

That's it for Part II.  I'll take a break for next week's Blast from the Past, but I may revisit it again with a Part III.  There are a whole lot more great 80s tunes, and still lots of stars I've left out.  Happy Monday!
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