Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Obama Moves Speech to Accomodate Debate

Image from source, FOX "News"
Okay, as I see it, this is not a particularly big deal. But it will be played up as though it is one. President Obama requested that he be given an audience of the House and Senate. It was scheduled for the same day as a Republican debate. There was a short pissing match, and then Obama decided to move the speech by a day. Big deal, right? The question of whether or not the White House considered the debate in advance, or if there was which was easier to move, speech or debate, is as far as I know unresolved. I don't really care. You?


Obama Accepts Request to Reschedule Jobs Speech Amid Conflict With GOP Debate

President Obama has accepted House Speaker John Boehner's request to postpone his planned jobs speech by a day, after the White House announced Wednesday that it was scheduling the address for the same night as a GOP 2012 primary debate in California. . .

Read more at: "Fair and Balanced" FOX "News"

Cenk Uygur: Bachmann and Christian Dominionism

I'm going to keep posting items about Christian Dominionism for as long as candidates such as Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Rick Perry remain in the race. It's a creepy, un-American philosophy.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Lawrence O'Donnell Shreds Rudy Giuliani

Rarely do you see the brutal honesty displayed by Lawrence O'Donnell from Tuesday's Last Word. With the 10th anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001 coming up, there are a lot of memories being stirred up. There are also a lot of whitewashed stories being told, most recently by George W. Bush and his Vice President, Dick Cheney.  Oddly--though most of us can remember many details of our lives that day--Bush's and Cheney's stories don't quite match.

But those guys aren't the only ones known for the parts they played that day. Rudolph Giuliani, then the Mayor of New York City, made his name on 9/11. He parlayed it into a failed run for the Presidency in 2008, and a rumored possible attempt for 2012. And all along the way, he never lets us forget that he was the "Mayor of 9/11." But what did he really do to make that a good thing anyway? Listen to Lawrence, and find out.

Cheney's New Book Tries to Re-Write History

Evil never dies. Image from source, Time
Also, water is wet. Las Vegas is hot in August. And Glenn Beck is still crazy. Really, could anything be more predictable than Dick Cheney using the occasion of his memoir to spin, polish the truth and outright lie? We'd really expect nothing less. The question is, how long is this heartless man (okay, his heart is still there, it just doesn't beat anymore) going to keep popping up? Goodness knows he really shouldn't even be walking free. Of the huge number of Bush Administration officials who should have long ago gone to jail, I can't think of any (except maybe Karl Rove) more deserving than Cheney.

One thing we do know is that he has continued to lie long after he ceased to have a pulse.


In New Memoir, Dick Cheney Tries to Rewrite History

Early critics have argued that Dick Cheney’s forthcoming memoir, held under strict embargo until its official release on Aug. 30, is a predictable reprise of old arguments. Like most examples of the genre, In My Time has plenty of those. But a careful reading of Cheney’s narrative, obtained by TIME, turns up quite a bit of new material. Sometimes subtly and sometimes starkly, the vice president’s story takes issue with the public record on pivotal events. . .

Read more at: Time

President GOD

I know I overuse things I find at Joe.My.God., but I simply can't help it this time.


Separated At Birth: Alex O'Loughlin and Jake Weber

Apropos of absolutely nothing, other than the fact that I'm watching Hawaii Five-O right now, doesn't star Alex O'Loughlin look a little like Allison DuBois' husband Joe, from Medium? I mean, not exactly, but enough to be brothers. Just sayin'. . .

Solar Plant at Nevada Border Creates New Jobs

Well, here we go, some good news. And smart too. No matter what your views on "green" energy (and I frankly don't understand opposition to it), you've got to admit that the Mojave Desert is a perfect place to harness some solar energy. I also think it would be a great place for some massive wind farms, but whatta I know?


Solar Plant Brings Jobs to Nevada

Hundreds of Nevada construction jobs are being created with a new solar power plant near Primm. The plant is just across the state line in California, but the company that is building it says it has big plans for Nevada. . .

Read more (with video) at: 8 News Now

Rick Perry Flip Flops on Constitutionality of Medicare

"Here's the book I writed." Image from
I'm already spectacularly underwhelmed with the "savior" of the 2012 GOP Presidential race, Rick Perry. So far, he seems kind of dim. He has that undeserved confidence thing that George W. Bush had. But he doesn't seem like an affable dunce, he seems like a dick. Plus, he's got that dominionist uber-Christian thing going for him. All of these things make me a bit verklempt. I have long ago lost any confidence in my fellow Americans, as to whom they can be won over by. But I'm hopeful that Obama's team can adequately spotlight things like this most recent flip flop. Perry wrote Fed Up! only a little over a year ago. But he is at turns suggesting that people read it, and also contradicting what it says. Clearly, there isn't much substance here. I just wonder if a public that could (sort of*) elect Bush twice, might not make the same mistake again.


Rick Perry Flip Flops On Medicare, Claims He ‘Never Said It Was Unconstitutional’

When Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) released his book Fed Up! in late 2010, one of his main critiques was that, over the past 50 years, the federal government has misconstrued the Constitution to establish “the massive programs of Medicare and Medicaid.” Now that he’s running for president, Perry is trying to sing a different tune on Medicare. . .

Read more at: ThinkProgress

* The 2000 election was decided by the Supreme Court, by way of Katherine Harris. The 2004 election may have been goosed by Ken Blackwell. I remain unconvinced that W. legitimately won either election. Call me crazy.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Wisconsin Labor Group Bans Republicans from Labor Day Parade

Image from source, DailyKos
From the "This Makes So Much Sense" department, Republican officials have been banned from the The Wausau Labor Day Parade. Why--since the Republicans of Wisconsin (and elsewhere) are so openly hostile to  labor groups--would they even want to be included?


Wisconsin labor group bans Republican politicians from Labor Day parade 

It should come as no surprise that organizers choose not to invite elected officials who have openly attacked worker's rights or stood idly by while their political party fought to strip public workers of their right to collectively bargain. . .

Read more at: Daily Kos

Iowa Governor: No Link Between Anti-gay Rhetoric and Murder of Gay Kid

Yeah. You know what? If your political party is going to make hay at the expense of gay people, their rights and their lives, your party needs to own it, when bad things happen.

Marcellus Andrews, killed in
anti-gay attack in Iowa.
Image from TowleRoad


Iowa Governor: No Link Between Recent Fatal Anti-Gay Attack and Tenor of State's Debate Over Gay Marriage

Prompted by questioning from a reporter, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad commented on the recent murder of Waterloo, Iowa teen Marcellus Andrews, who was beaten to death by a group of people who preceded their attack with anti-gay slurs. . .

Read more: TowleRoad

Say Goodnight Irene, and Hello to Katia

They're so cute when they're little. Image from source.
Jose, we hardly knew you. Yes, Jose has come and almost gone already, while Irene sputters out. But there's a new one on the horizon already: Katia. Here's hoping she sputters out like Jose, and doesn't give us chapter two in: all hurricane news, all the time.


New tropical system forming in the Atlantic 

Just as Hurricane Irene was downgraded to a post-tropical system after grazing the East Coast, forecasters say a tropical wave south of the Cape Verde Islands, off Africa’s west coast, has a near 100 percent chance of developing into the next tropical cyclone of the season. If it reaches tropical storm force levels, it would become Katia, the 11th named system of the season. . .

Read more at: Summit County Citizens Voice

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Irene Peters Out, On to the Next Disaster!

Don't let 'em tell you nothing bad happened.
Image from source, MSNBC

So last week we had a rare earthquake in Virginia, felt all over the east coast and parts of the Midwest. Next came a powerful hurricane, riding the coastline, and targeted straight for New York and New England. It wasn't as rare as the earthquake, but unusual, just the same. And even though it didn't hit with the force they were predicting, it still wasn't pretty. I just hope that the hype didn't convince New Yorkers and others to ignore the next big storm.
Anyway, with all of that mother nature activity, it's unlikely that we're going to see a repeat this week. I just wonder how fast we'll get right back into the usual right vs. left.


Floods build in US as weakened Irene sloshes into Canada 

As Tropical Storm Irene chugged north into Canada, residents along the battered U.S. East Coast began surveying damage and fretted over the next danger: treacherous flooding. . .

Read more at: MSNBC

Blast from the Past: Cat Food! (Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow!)

Okay, so we just had friends over for some cards and some libations, and. . .well. . .I'm not really up for a whole bunch of exposition here. That doesn't mean you can't have fun with some of these videos, though. There's a whole lot of nostalgia here. You might have forgotten, but you'll go right back to the time these first aired. For example, what's the food cats ask for by name?

Happy Monday!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Ron Reagan Explains Marriage Equality to Rick Santorum

This past week, Ron Reagan subbed for Chris Matthews on Hardball, and while I don't usually watch the program, I did manage to catch the following clip. In the "Let Me Finish. . ." segment, Reagan--whose radio show I miss a great deal--explains why marriage equality won't lead to polygamous, incestuous or bestial  marriages. What, you didn't think it did in the first place? Me either, but Rick Santorum does. Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry probably do. The entirety of definitely does. So thanks to Ron for making the answer so easy. And thanks to him also for causing a few right-wing brain explosions for being a liberal, since his dad remains a Republican saint.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Separated at Birth: Michele Bachmann and Bat Boy

Source: Boy Culture

Funny or Die: Ass Pennies

Okay, so my blog seems to be doing weird things in both Internet Explorer and Firefox. So this is just a test post, to see if I can straighten things out. It's a Funny or Die bit from a while back and it's funny, if you're an overgrown sophomore like me. Meanwhile, I'll see if I can figure out what's going on around here. . .

Casino Terror Attack in Mexico

Image from source, Huffington Post
Thankfully, this is not one of my usual What Happens in Vegas posts, but that doesn't make it less horrific. Even before September 11, 2001, I wondered about both terrorism and mishaps in the casinos here in Las Vegas. We all know of the big fires at the MGM Grand and Hilton in the 80s, but it's kind of amazing that since then the incidents have been few and far between. Accidents aside, there's no denying that big attractions like casinos (and amusement parks, and national monuments) are big, giant targets for potential mayhem. No matter how stringent they get at the airport (here's my shoes, my belt, my watch, my wallet, my Chapstick you sonovabitch!), what's gonna stop a crazy zealot from walking into a casino with a bazooka? I'm glad it hasn't happened here, but I'm also amazed that it hasn't. [Excerpt] Casino Royale Attack Leaves At Least 40 Dead In Northern Mexico    Two dozen gunmen burst into a casino in northern Mexico on Thursday, doused it with gasoline and started a fire that trapped gamblers inside, killing 40 people and injuring a dozen more, authorities said. . . Read more at: Huffington Post

Marcus & Michele Bachmann's Clinic Flashmobbed

Yeah, the video is low-quality, as is the sound. These guys and gals have the right idea, but need a media ally who can set it up right. Still, I'm glad they did it. And of course Lady Gaga's Born this Way is the perfect choice of song. The Bachmanns are still skating by in the mainstream media over their dramatically whacked-out (and often anti-gay) ideology.

Flash Mob Goes Gaga at Marcus Bachmann’s Minn. Office:

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Best Excuse Not to Do Laundry: It Causes Cancer

Image from Raw Story
Yep, good old new and improved laundry detergents and dryer sheets may cause cancer. At our house, we use an unscented/undyed variety. But let's face it, it's from Big Lots. Do you really think we're safer? Oy. Anyway, these scents are not regulated, and neither emissions from dryer vents. And some people want less regulations (or like Rick Perry, no regulations). Great idea.


Top-selling scented laundry products release hazardous chemicals: study

Laundry vents emit hazardous air pollutants when people use popular fragranced laundry detergents and dryer sheets, according to research published in Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health. . .

Read more at: Raw Story

Steve Jobs Steps Down from Apple

Image from source, The Last Word
Oh, the Cult of Mac must be in full swoon at this news. I've always thought that Steve Jobs was pretty cool (in the 80s he was kind of adorkable), though I've had unpleasant run-ins with his company's followers. I think that without Jobs, the 2000s and beyond would look a bit different, and probably not as plugged in. And even if Apple has produced some ugly things (the toilet seat notebook), some things that didn't age well (the original jellybean iMac), and some irritating fans, they've also pushed the computer and media world along with them. It's doubtful I'd have an Android phone/music player without Steve Jobs.


Steve Jobs steps down from Apple

The man who brought us the iPod, iPad and those tiny white "buds" that snugly tuck inside ears is stepping down from his position as Apple CEO. Steve Jobs formally announced his resignation today, sending shock-waves through the tech and business world. . .

Read more at: The Last Word

Sprint to Get iPhone 5? Bastards.

Image from source, Slash Gear
Great. Sprint, my mobile phone provider since 2004 is finally getting the iPhone. Five months after I signed a two-year contract. Five months after my old phone went for a swim in the washing machine right before a trip. Five months before I settled for an Android phone.

Well, the joke's on them. After toying with a Samsung Transform, I traded up to the Samsung Epic 4G. And even though that is going to be supplanted by a sequel phone (Epic 4G Touch), I totally dig my phone. I was holding out for the Apple iPhone 5, and was even willing to switch to Verizon or AT&T. But my little accident forced a quick decision. And for once, I'm not sorry.

Now, when my contract is up in 2013, and Apple is teasing the iPhone 7, then I may have a new decision to make. For now, I'm loving my 'droid. Still waiting for the Gingerbread upgrade, but I can wait.


iPhone 5 Release for Sprint in October

It appears that Sprint, one of the “big four” carriers in the USA to NOT have gotten their hands on any version of the iPhone thus far, will be amongst those lucky 3 (T-Mobile still not included) that are able to sell the next-generation device come October. . .

Read more at: Slash Gear

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Washington DC Earthquake: Photo of the Devastation

Rare Earthquake Hits Virginia, DC Area

I have felt only two earthquakes in my life, that I was aware of. The first was in Ohio in either my late teens or early 20s, and wasn't much of anything. The house was vibrating, but the ground itself didn't seem to be. The second one I felt was a major aftershock to the 1994 Northridge, California earthquake. This one was something like a 5.3, and it was a real rumbler. I was with my friend Dona at a Star Trek convention in Pasadena. It was a little disorienting, and possibly a little scary, though I don't remember fear being a primary emotion. Now, I realize that both of my experiences were before 9/11, and that the world has changed. But in neither previous event did I wonder what was going on. Earthquake, sure as shootin.' Earthquake. So I doing quite a bit of eye rolling at all the "scared" people pictures flooding the internets. Still, I hope there aren't any people with severely damaged property, or serious injuries. I'm sure it's possible that someone out there was in actual peril.


Rare earthquake shakes and shocks Eastern Seaboard

There were no major injuries reported nor severe damage, but the 45-second earthquake that hit the East Coast Tuesday afternoon gave millions of people a thorough and efficient education in what Westerners already know: earthquakes are frightening. . . 

Read more at: USA Today

News of the Weird: Bull Semen Forces Closure of Freeway Ramp

Thanks to Stupid Monkey Planet for the link and the pull quote:

"The bus did not know it lost its load and had continued on." 


Bull semen forces closure of interstate ramp

Canisters of bull semen caused quite a scare on the on-ramp to Interstate 65 South Tuesday morning. . .

Read more at:

Country Star Chely Wright Gets Married (to a Girl)

Ladies in white, image from source, Miami Herald
This particular event has got to be difficult for some people. I'm not talking about your grandma or your aunt Beulah who just don't "get" it. I'm talking about the rabid anti-gay crowd, particularly the guys. Usually, when we see pictures of a gay wedding, there are things they can either point and laugh at, or openly fling their scorn upon. Two guys of any sort will set them to squawking, always. A lesbian wedding will also usually do the trick, particularly when one or both of them are of proportions not suited to fashion photography. Even with the great pictures from Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, Ellen is boyish enough to draw their ire.

But what to do when both  of the brides are drop-dead gorgeous? I mean, we know these guys (the ones who are not themselves secretly closeted) love the girl/girl stuff if the girls are hot. This one has to make their heads explode. Uh, no pun intended. . .


Country singer Chely Wright tweets gay wedding photos

The wedding of reality television star Kim Kardashian was not only newsmaking nuptial this weekend. . .Read more: Miami Herald

Paul Ryan Not Running for President

"For the last time, I'm not Eddie Munster!"
I'm sure everyone is devastated at the news.


Paul Ryan says no to running for president in 2012

GOP congressman Paul Ryan said Monday he has ruled out running for president in 2012, amid another round of political speculation about his potential interest in the campaign. . .

Read more at: JSOnline

Monday, August 22, 2011

Keith Olbermann's Worst Persons in the World: Eric Cantor is "Idiot Tool of the Rich"

Blast from the Past: Cher!

So, it's come to this. After having run posts on Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Pat Benatar, Paula Abdul, and other divas of the 80s, 90s and beyond, I realized that I'd left out Cher. Cher's career began before I was born, and who knows, she'll probably outlast me. She was performing in Las Vegas long before I moved here in the 90s, and has made return engagements, both on tour and as a semi-permanent act. Her shows are so popular, she can't ever retire, despite having tried. In her mid-60s now, she's still making music, with an upcoming collaboration with Lady Gaga (who can only hope to have such a long-lived career).

For all the talk of the reinventions and comebacks of other stars, no one touches Cher. She was a hit with Sonny Bono in the 60s, as one half of Caesar and Cleo, which became Sonny & Cher. When their music started to stall, they won their own variety show on CBS. During the program, she launched a successful solo act. When the Bonos divorced, Cher had her own show, and then again partnered with Sonny on TV. 

Image from Wikipedia
In the late 70s, Cher's music faltered, so she dabbled with disco, and Las Vegas. When that didn't go so well, she started seriously acting, and. . .was very, very good at it. Go ahead and watch her in Silkwood, The Witches of Eastwick, Suspect, Moonstruck, Mask: She's terrific in all of them. While establishing herself in Hollywood, she relaunched her singing career in the mid-80s, and struck gold again. A string of albums, each with a hit or two followed. Her risque videos flustered MTV, and Cher just kept going. She made a couple of odd detours, including a run as an infomercial queen, but she managed to make most of us forget that by making new music and movies.

Recently, Cher showcased her voice and acting skills in Burlesque with Christina Aguilera. While the movie didn't do particularly well at the box office, it isn't because of Cher. In fact, if you are inclined to watch this sort of picture (think Chicago or Moulin Rouge) you'll probably get a kick out of it. So, long story short (I know, too late) Cher deserves far more recognition than she gets. She shouldn't be a guilty pleasure at all, just a pleasure. And it shouldn't go unmentioned that Cher has had a number one song in each of the last six decades. Top that, Gaga.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Saturday Night Live: Sigourney Weaver in Alienses

Saturday Night Live isn't as funny as you remember. I don't mean now versus yesterday, I mean it was never as funny as you remember. I've watched since the very first episode in 1975, and am an unabashed fan. Even with its wild swings in quality (often within the same episode), I've stuck with it through thick-and-thin, only abandoning it during the abysmal 1980 season (and even caught a couple of those). As terrific as it could sometimes be in its original years, and successive reboots, it's always been hit-and-miss, with nostalgia painting it "better than it was."

You know how sometimes these days, the "cold open" or the monologue, Weekend Update or the SNL Digital Short might be absolutely hilarious, and then the rest of the show might suck? Yeah, it's always been that way, really. I think it's the nature of live TV. You don't know what's going to work until it's over. A Debbie Downer might only be funny because all of the cast cracked up during the live show. A bit might only work with repetition. But one thing SNL has only rarely been is: funny all the way through.

I can think of two episodes that were. One was a show hosted by Roseanne Barr (Arnold). And the other was the episode hosted by Sigourney Weaver in 1986. Hers was the premiere episode of the season, after the abysmal single season that marked Lorne Michaels' return to the show after a long absence. Though the 1985 season introduced Dennis Miller, Nora Dunn and Jon Lovitz to America, the rest of the cast (which included Robert Downey Jr., Randy Quaid and Anthony Michael Hall) never clicked, and the show was nearly cancelled. Madonna (the host of the 1985 premiere) even came back to declare the whole season a "horrible, horrible dream."

But in 1986, Lorne Michaels hired perhaps the best cast in SNL history, barring the original. For the next several years, the cast remained intact, and segued along nicely for many more. 1986 saw the introduction of Dana Carvey, Victoria Jackson (batshit teabagger, these days), the fabulous Jan Hooks, Kevin Nealon and the sadly departed Phil Hartman. And in that first episode (which also featured Weaver's friend, playwright Christopher Durang and musician Buster Poindexter), SNL aired probably their strongest premiere episode ever, including the first Church Chat, featuring "church lady" Enid Strict. There was the great "Quiz Masters" game show segment. Also, the Derek Stevens "Chopping Broccoli" bit.  Then there was the timely Aliens parody, spoofing Weaver's huge hit movie, called Alienses.

I found and watched this episode (after having had it saved on videotape for years, since discarded) on Netflix. I was disappointed to find that Alienses and a duet with Buster Poindexter (and any other possibly included musical guest) were curiously missing from the episode. Why on earth they would do this, I have no idea. I know that sometimes bits that didn't go ever well are excised in reruns. But Alienses is a fan favorite, with Carvey's colonial marine aping Bill Paxton's character:  "We're shredded wheat, man! We're grated cheese, man!" So after that (very) long introduction, here is Alienses. . .

Sigourney Weaver in "Alienses" by alienfan

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Axis of Awesome: Four Chords

I found the link to this video while reading about Journey's Don't Stop Believin' on Wikipedia after having heard it on Pandora on my Google Android phone while out walking. Which is a small snapshot of how I get a lot of my ideas. Don't Stop Believin' is a song with an unusual structure. Its chorus doesn't hit until almost the very end, sort of what they did with Michael Jackson's Thriller when they did the video version. But the song has a very distinctive, very familiar four chords. Watch the video, and you'll understand.

Presidents and Vacations, Explained by Rachel Maddow

Politics can be stupid, and some of the "scandals" or "outrages" that catch the public fancy can be very stupid. And very suspicious. It's one of those things that really does come from both sides of the aisle about the other side, though not necessarily with equal frequency or justification. For instance, during George W. Bush's tenure as President, he went on vacation a lot. He got criticized by some liberals for it. I for one was sick to death of his cowboy swagger as he "cleared brush" from his non-working ranch.

Now that there is a Democrat in office, he is being criticized for his vacation days. Even though Obama's number of vacation days is about average among recent presidents, Right Wing World is askew it its orbit over it. They're also upset about Obama's fancy bus he's traveling around in, even though there is a twin bus a-waiting for the eventual GOP nominee. That's right, they've got one too. Doesn't matter though. Rush Limbaugh and all of his colleagues, imitators, and followers have been told that these are the things they are to be outraged about, and so they are.


Rachel Maddow Tackles The GOP’s ‘Brazenly Stupid’ Hypocrisy In Attacking Obama Vacation

. . .While President Obama has taken 61 vacation days, she noted, President Reagan took 112, and President George W. Bush took 180. And President Obama’s will be in Martha’s Vineyard, a place Romney poked fun at today for having plenty of Democrats, but in which he will be having a fundraiser this week. “I know that hypocrisy is the crime that has no punishment in politics,” Maddow sighed, but still found “something salient in how brazenly stupid it is. . .”

Read more at: Mediaite

Friday, August 19, 2011

What Happens in Vegas: Changes and Lies!

Don't you love utilities? They can basically do and charge whatever they like, because they are essentially the only game in town. The trash company surely is, and the cable company is, unless you want to pay for extra equipment and sign a multi-year contract for your cable/internet/phone. And I don't.

So, I find it funny when one of the companies makes a big change. We're essentially helpless against any changes they might want to make. So why are they so coy with their language?

Click to embiggen
Here is the message from Cox Cable, verbatim:

"Dear Cox Customer,

Ready for a better HD experience? Starting August 9, 2011, your HD channels are moving from the 700s to the 1000s--making it even easier to find your favorite shows."

Really? Easier? Because it is somehow easier to punch in four digits rather than three? Sure. Then there's the trash company. Here is their note, again, verbatim:

"Your neighborhood collection days are changing to better provide service in the community"

No, I don't think that's the reason. Because before, we had a two-days-per-week trash pickup, and now we'll have a two-days-per-week trash pickup. The service will be exactly the same, just on different days. 

I suppose they're just trying to be nice. They don't have to be, obviously. But do they have to lie to us to make us feel better?

More on Rick Perry's and Michele Bachmann's "Dominionism"

I want to know if this is true. Because if it is, there should be an uprising against both Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann. With all the talk from conservative Republicans about the fear of Sharia Law, it is deeply ironic that potential candidates for President of the United States may be advocates for the exact same thing, only from the Christian perspective.

GOP Presidential Field Still Lacking

Eddie Munster, Lookin' to get into the race? from HuffPo
Back in March of 2007, I attended an early Democratic forum with the prospective candidates for the 2008 Presidential election, with friend and contributor Stupid Monkey Planet. On the stage for that event were Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Christopher Dodd, Bill Richardson, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich and  John Edwards. Of that batch, Gravel was kind of "our" Ron Paul, and Kucinich, a pure liberal with no chance of getting elected. But otherwise, this was a stage full of capable, intelligent candidates. Though we certainly dodged a bullet with Edwards, nobody could have known that yet. It was often said that the Democrats had an wealth of quality candidates to pick from. In fact, when it came caucus time and my Edwards vote didn't count (thank you, guardians of fate), I basically flipped a coin to make my choice between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, satisfied with either one of them.

Now, during the run-up to the same election, Republicans weren't quite as happy with their choices. They had a line-up of cartoon characters to rival 1970s Saturday mornings. Only when they finally settled on Grampy McCain, with ironically the biggest cartoon of them all, Sarah Palin, did they seem happy. They are now retroactively un-happy with the McCain choice.

But that was then. This time around, we're quite a bit later on the clock than when I attended the forum, and there is no Democratic contest. The Republicans have yet another lineup of cartoon characters, a couple of them repeats. Here and there, a few have declined to run or quit, and a few have entered the fray. Each time, for a couple of days, the new entrant is a star. And then the media goes on a hunt for the next one. If you go visit a couple of right-wing sites, you'll find that each GOP contender has their fans and detractors. With the economy the way it is, and the prospects for Congressional support to try to fix things remote, it can only be good for President Obama to have the GOP so fragmented and unhappy.


Days After Ames 'Clarified' Race, Everyone's Back To Looking For A Savior For The 2012 GOP Field 

Most of the media presented the aftermath of the Ames Straw Poll as a newly clarified field of candidates. The 2012 ranks were rid of Tim Palwenty, the bland guy nobody liked who couldn't stand up to Mitt Romney. The field gained a new cartoon political superstar in the form of Rick Perry. Michele Bachmann was anointed anew with frontrunner juice (with a hint of "diva" backlash brewing in the background). And Ron Paul's second place finish was dismissed, despite the obvious influence his long-held politics were having over the race. . .

Read more at: Huffington Post

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Christine (Not a Witch) O'Donnell Walks Off of Piers Morgan

Image from Gawker
Back during the 2010 elections (boy, they never seem to end, do they?), two candidates for US Senate were inextricably linked, Christine O'Donnell of Delaware, and Nevada's own Sharron Angle. What the two shared were that they were extremely conservative (by today's definition of the word), and extremely odd. They did not behave like ordinary candidates by any measure, and stood out, even in the chock-full-of-teabaggers ticket of 2010. And as bad as the Democrats fared in that election, we were thrilled that at least O'Donnell and Angle (along with a few other extremey-pants candidates) didn't win.

But now, O'Donnell can add another similarity to Angle. During the 2010 race, Sharron Angle was notorious for wanting to set the agenda in any interview. On those rare occasions when she wasn't being interviewed by the friendly people at FOX "News," she wanted to answer the questions she wanted to answer, not those asked by the interviewer. Christine O'Donnell also appears to think that the host of a program should only ask pre-picked questions. Even though CNN's Piers Morgan was asking her about topics contained in her (sure to be thrilling) new book, she was so ticked off, she walked off the show. Not a witch, maybe. But she rhymes with one.

Countdown: Janene Garofalo on Racism and Herman Cain

From Wednesday's Countdown with Keith Olbermann.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Michele Bachmann: Too Much Religion in Her Politics?

As an atheistic agnostic (that's the best I can narrow it down for you), I'm distressed by the injection of religion into politics. Even before I'd sorted out my (lack of) beliefs, I learned that our founding fathers sought to keep religion and state separate. Even as a kid, I glossed over the "under God" in the pledge of allegiance. Since the age of fourteen, and solidifying as I got older, I've seen all religions as--let's just put it charitably--highly unlikely to be true.

All of that said, I'm not usually militant about it. As long as people aren't trying to force me to follow their religions tenets, especially by writing them into laws, I really don't care what others believe. I'm able to sit through a religious service (such as a funeral) without fidgeting--much--at all the overt religiosity. In fact, I'd say I give a lot more respect toward other people's beliefs than I get in return as a non-believer. I overlook Presidents and other politicians invoking God in speeches and at special events, even though to me it is like praising the Great Gazoo. But there is a line that is being crossed that I can not tolerate.

This year's crop of GOP presidential hopefuls is chock full of overtly religious candidates. One of them, Rick Perry, just had a big "pray for Texas" rally. Michele Bachmann is also extremely quick to lay on the religious talk. There are others like Rick (don't Google me) Santorum, who are irritatingly willing to mix religion and politics. But it is Perry and his associated preachers, and Bachmann who worry me the most. They are both alleged to be "dominionists." This goes beyond merely religious. Unless I'm misreading the subject, dominionists wish to supplant the United States Government with their own version of Christianity. That is not what the United States of America is about. And it puts a lie to the alleged allegiance these people claim to have to the Constitution. In fact, it makes them just about as un-American as you can be.


Frank Schaeffer: Bachmann wants to replace American democracy with Christian theocracy

Former evangelical Christian Frank Schaeffer told Democracy Now on Wednesday that Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann wanted to turn the United States into the Christian version of modern-day Iran. . .

Read more at: Raw Story

Rick Santorum Has His Own Embarrassing Food Photo!

Well whattaya know. Look what you can find when you do a Google search with "Rick Santorum" and "corn dog." I figured I'd see if Rick (don't just Google his name) Santorum had an embarrassing shot like Michele and Marcus Bachmann, and Rick Perry. Sadly, no. But I think this one is just as good, and even more deserving of some PhotoShop fun.

And this will draw to a close the Greenlee Gazette Republicans fellating food items run of posts. Provided that the candidates stop. . .you know. . .fellating food items. Ahem.

Image found at: The Political Carnival

What Happens in Vegas: Snooki Looms Over the Strip

On my way to jury duty today (which resulted in a month's delay. . .no idea if I have to serve), I passed two enormous billboards, featuring Jersey Shore's "Snooki." Now, I realize that at 45 years old, I am no longer MTV's target audience (though I certainly was when they debuted). But I'm both puzzled and saddened by the fact that this program and this woman are attractive to anyone.

I'm hopeful that we're going through a phase. A very long phase, that we'll look back upon with shame, or only vague nostalgia. Like when the first wave of "reality television" hit TV, with That's Incredible! and Real People. Because even though there are some fantastic programs out there (The Walking Dead, True Blood, Dexter), it is the garbage that seems to turn on the kids of today. While I've never watched a single episode, I've gleaned enough to see that Jersey Shore is crap. I've seen enough of its stars to know that they have no real reason to be famous. Like the four Kardashian shows that Bruce Jenner's step-daughters have, and the Real Housewives of wherever, this odd looking Snooki person has no discernible talent, isn't particularly attractive, and is a squillionaire anyway.

But beyond the "famous for being famous" irritation, I'm even more irritated that my city of Las Vegas regularly puts up giant billboards touting these no-talents (and have for years) as "hosts" of parties at the various top-shelf nightclubs. I'm sad that these lesser lights get as much or more attention than the genuine stars performing here, and I'm sad that this apparently works. The beautiful youth of the day must actually look at a poster of Snooki, and say, "Now THAT'S the place I've got to be on Friday night!" Not exactly a ringing endorsement for today's young adults.

If you want to join Snooki, click here. I won't tell anybody.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Kathy Griffin Asked Michele Bachmann if She Was Born a Bigot

Which is a damned good question! Michele didn't have an answer.

Rick Perry's Big Idea: A Moratorium on ALL Regulations

Why oh why couldn't it be a corn dog?
Image from source, ThinkProgress
Brilliant! Stop government regulation of everything! Does our national politics really need to be this stupid? Really?


Perry Reveals Plan For Total U.S. Anarchy: ‘Put A Moratorium On All Regulations’ 
Today, Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) issued the first policy position of his presidential campaign by asking the White House to issue a “moratorium on regulations across this country”. . .

Under such a moratorium, the Food and Drug Administration would stop approving new drugs and preventing human experimentation. . .

Read more at: ThinkProgress


I was only joking before! Image from Queerty

Featured Blog: Bachmann-Eyezed!

One (and the only deserving one) of many
people with Michele Bachmann's eyes.

Ever find one of those silly sites, where the more you look at, the funnier it gets, until you're a crying, laughing, hiccuping, farting mess? This one will do it.


Again, found at the (obviously brilliant) Joe.My.God.

Photo of the Day: Rick Perry's Unfortunate Pose

Heil there. Um, I mean, hi there! This photo is sure to be a Hitler hit! Somebody really needs to fill these candidates in about unfortunate poses, don't they?

Found at: Joe.My.God.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The 2012 GOP Presidential Checklist (Updated)

Since T-Paw dropped out this weekend, and Rick Perry is in, it's time (already) for another updated chart. And so you can see a little glimpse into how I build this here blog thingy, here's what sits off to the side, on my CorelDRAW pasteboard, staring at the rest of these politicians. It makes me chuckle every time I see him there, and that's why I haven't deleted him!

Newsweek Addresses Bachmann Cover Flap

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Blast from the Past: Nonsense Lyrics

This edition of Blast from the Past was inspired by my daily 4-mile walks, listening to Pandora on my mobile phone (I predict the death of the iPod in short order). While walking alone, it's very easy to get lost in the lyrics of a song, and you find out. . .hey, some lyrics don't make much sense.

I'm not talking about intentional nonsense (Obladi, Oblada), or songs with made up words (Sussudio). I'm talking about songs that sound like they're telling a straight-ahead story with their lyrics, but are nonsense when read aloud. The song I happened to hear that tripped off the subject in my head was by Roxette, the Swedish group of the 1990s. And perhaps we can chalk up the word salad to a bad translation. Here is a portion of Joyride, a hit from their second album: "She has a train going downtown, She's got a club on the moon.
And she's telling all her secrets in a wonderful balloon. Oh she's the heart of the funfair. She's got me whistling her private tune. And it all begins where it ends, and she's all mine, my magic friend."
WTF, Per and Marie? Is that supposed to mean something? And some of their other songs were just as awkward.

Now, from the same time period (ish) we come to Savage Garden's I Want You, a fun little peppy number. And I suppose the lyrics are intended to be gibberish. If so, they succeeded: "Anytime I need to see your face I just close my eyes And I am taken to a place where your crystal mind and Magenta feelings take up shelter in the base of my spine Sweet like a chica cherry cola."

But these are minor offenders. Two groups embody the nonsense lyric like no other to my pop-culture knowledge. Sugar Ray ranks second only because they had a more abbreviated career than the all-time champs, who we'll come to in a second. Sugar Ray's first hit was the made-for-radio Fly, a hit that was omni-present in 1997. It's a pleasing pop music confection, and it is utterly indecipherable: "All around the world statues crumble for me, who knows how long I've loved you, everywhere I go people stop and they see, twenty-five years old my mother God rest her soul."

And Sugar Ray never got much clearer than that. From Someday"Some say better things will come our way, no matter what they try to say, you were always there for me. Some way, when the sun begins to shine, I hear a song from another time and they fade away." Um, yeah.

But the all-time champ-een nonsense lyrics singers are 80s faves Duran Duran. As far as I can tell, they've never sung a hit song that made a lick of sense. Here, their first big hit in the USA was Hungry Like the Wolf. Can you decipher this? "In touch with the ground, I'm on the hunt I'm after you. Smell like I sound, I'm lost in the crowd. And I'm hungry like the wolf. Straddle the line, in discord and rhyme. . ." The whole song reads that way.

But they were just getting started. How about these New Moon on Monday lyrics: "Shake up the picture the lizard mixture, with your dance on the eventide. You got me coming up with answers, all of which I deny. I said it again, could I please rephrase it. Maybe I can catch a ride. . ."

Sure, okay.  Or how about The Reflex: "You've gone too far this time. But I'm dancing on the valentine. I tell you somebody's fooling around with my chances on the dangerline. . .The reflex is an only child he's waiting in the park. The reflex is in charge of finding treasure in the dark."

And we can keep going with this. In Union of the Snake, Simon Le Bon makes no more sense than in any of the above: "Telegram force and ready. I knew this was a big mistake. There's a fine line drawing my senses together, and I think it's about to break. If I listen, I can hear them singers, voices in your body coming through on the radio." But I think you get the idea.

So with that, I'll wrap, and call it a weekend. Happy Monday, everybody!

Indiana State Fair Tragedy

Image from source, HuffPo
Yesterday, I took in a movie with friend and contributor, Stupid Monkey Planet. We chose Final Destination 5, the latest in a franchise of horror movies with grisly death scenes. The movie was very entertaining, for what it was. But on our separate ways home, both of us kept seeing potential death traps. It took a while to shake it. And then, we were both amazed to see the collapse of the stage at the Indiana State Fair, something that could have been straight out of one of the Final Destination films.

Having a background in the amusement industry, I'm always pulled back into it when a tragedy like this happens. Wondering if the tragedy could have been prevented, if anyone is to blame, or if it truly was just an act of nature that couldn't be predicted. In any event, I'm sad for the injured and killed people and their families. It's always jarring when something like this happens in an entertainment venue.


Indiana State Fair stage collapse: 5 dead; singer relates horror

The death toll has risen to five in the stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair in which 45 people were also injured.
The main stage collapsed on a crowd waiting for a Sugarland performance Saturday night at the Indianapolis fair after being blasted by winds as strong as 60 to 70 mph, according to the National Weather Service. . .

Read more at: LA Times

Tim Pawlenty Drops Out

Winnowing out the boring, leaving in
the crazy. Image from HuffPo
T-Paw, we hardly knew ye. . .


Tim Pawlenty Quits: Former Governor Drops Out Of Presidential Race 

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty dropped out of the race for the GOP presidential nomination on Sunday, hours after finishing a disappointing third in the Iowa straw poll. . .

Read more at: Huffington Post
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