Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Blogger Uninspired, to Return on Wednesday

Sorry, guys. I can't find anything that inspires me to write tonight. Oh sure, I might happen upon something, and change my mind. But right now? I just can't. I mean, I don't care about sports or this Sterling guy who looks like an iguana. Cliven Bundy has petered out. Crimea and Russia are outside my wheelhouse. I can't stand the sound of Sarah Palin's voice, so I'm done with her for a while. And, tornadoes? Against 'em, basically. But what more is to be said?

So, not going to write tonight. I'll be back on Wednesday. Something's bound to happen!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Craig Ferguson Leaving CBS and The Late, Late Show

Image from source, Salon
On those nights when I'm having trouble sleeping, it's not unusual for me to turn over to The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson. It's an odd show. A very odd show. There's a gay, robot skeleton. A dancing horse. Sometimes, it's nothing but goofing around for the first half of the show, before a guest is brought out. And it's got a great theme song.

I wasn't surprised that CraigyFerg didn't get the plum Late Show slot being vacated by David Letterman, simply because Ferguson's show is so strange. I just can't see it playing at 11:30. So, whether Ferguson is upset by the lack of promotion, or if he simply feels it's time to leave, CBS will be tasked with finding a new host, or scrapping the show altogether. A shame, but hey, ten years is a pretty good run.

Craig Ferguson to leave CBS, and “Late Late Show”

Another seat in late night is now open, as “Late Late Show” host Craig Ferguson has announced he plans to leave CBS. Ferguson is the longtime host (since 2005) of the show airing immediately after David Letterman’s “Late Show,” and had been perceived as one among the potential successors to Letterman, who will be retiring next year. CBS opted to hire Comedy Central personality Stephen Colbert over their own employee, and Ferguson’s future seemed at once foreclosed. . .

Read more at: Salon

Monday, April 28, 2014

Bundy, Bundy (A Rocky Mountain Mike Song Parody)

There is a great hue and cry from Right Wing World over Cliven Bundy. Those who didn't either slowly back away from Bundy's racist comments, or just instantly denounce him, have decided that Bundy was taken out of context. Yes, the media apparently sneakily edited his hour-long press conference down to a useable length, in an effort to make this virtuous man sound like a bigot!

Not really, of course. There isn't any context that fixes the racism that permeates Bundy's comments. But at least there is humor to be mined from this whole sordid affair, and Rocky Mountain Mike knows how to pan for that gold! To the tune of The Mamas and the Papas' Monday, Monday, naturally.


Woman Dies After Texting How Happy "Happy" Makes Her

Image from source, MyFox8
I've gotten into trouble in the past for not considering the very real feelings of people connected to news stories. The easy--and natural--response to a story like this one is to be flip and irreverent. I mean, it's loaded with elements to riff on.

But it's a sad story, and a person died a pointless, needless death. So, I'm going snark-free on this one, and will just used it to illustrate the folly and danger of texting (or tweeting or posting) while driving. Don't do it.


Woman posts about ‘Happy’ song on Facebook seconds before fatal Business 85 crash

Investigators believe a driver was posting to Facebook seconds before she crashed and died. The wreck happened Thursday morning on Business 85 in High Point. Investigators say 32-year-old Courtney Ann Sanford crossed the median and crashed head-on into a truck. . .

Read more at: MyFox8

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Right Wing World: Sarah Palin Would Torture if She Were in Charge

Oh boy, we really dodged a bullet, didn't we? This gormless, ridiculous woman had a shot at the second-highest elected office in the land. Since she thankfully missed that shot, she's been on a relentless, lucrative, crazy train of embarrassing word salad pronouncements. And just keeps managing to top herself. Looking more and more like a (very masculine) drag queen version of herself, Sarah Palin appeared before the NRA. Apparently not understanding that the topic of the group is guns, Palin decided to announce that she's pro-torture. Well, it was presented as a "joke." And if she were remotely funny. . .well, never mind.  I watched a few moments of the clip linked below, and had to shut it off. That voice could cut glass.

Sarah Palin: If I Were President ‘Waterboarding Is How We’d Baptize Terrorists’

“. . .If I were in charge,” Palin said, “[America's enemies] would know that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists. . .”

Read more (with video) at: Mediaite

Over Time with Bill Maher, April 25, 2014

Blast from the Past: TV Shows with the Premise in the Theme!

TV theme songs have always been a favorite pop culture thing for me, and occasionally there are still some really good ones, even if they're much shorter than in TV's golden age. But one thing rarely heard anymore is the premise theme song. That's where the entire basis for the show is clearly spelled out in the lyrics of the theme song. Surprisingly there are quite a few.

1. The Brady Bunch (1969-1974) "It's the story of a lovely lady. . ." No matter that this show was rather mediocre, it made a huge splash in America's pop culture pond that continues to ripple. The theme song was a big part of it.

2. Gilligan's Island (1964-1967) "Just sit right back, and you'll hear a tale. . ." Just as unforgettable as the Bradys, and not coincidentally by the same guy, Sherwood Schwartz. Those shows were his two big successes, and he wrung them for every drop he could get out of them!

3. The Beverly Hillbillies (1962-1971) "Come and listen to a story 'bout a man named Jed. . ."
4. Green Acres (1965-1971) "Green Acres is the place to be, farm livin' is the life for me!"

5. The Fresh Prince of Bel Air (1990-1996) "Now this is the story all about how my life got flipped. . ." A much more recent theme, but already over 20 years old!

6. The Jeffersons (1975-1985) "Well, we're movin' on up!" Arguably, the theme didn't tell the whole story, but if you knew them from All in the Family, the theme told you what happened next!

7. The Dukes of Hazzard (1979-1985) "Just the good ol' boys. . ."
8. WKRP in Cincinnati (1978-1982)

And now you know the story! Or stories. Anyway, that wraps another weekend folks. No fighting it, it's time to start another week. Join me, and try to have a happy Monday!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Surprised that Cliven Bundy is a Racist? You Shouldn't Be.

I know I've used Rachel Maddow on the blog a lot recently, but this is the best breakdown I've seen on this story. Over the last day or so, it's come out that Cliven Bundy, the latest rightwing hero, is a seriously politically tone-deaf racist. But if you've been paying attention to the story, that really shouldn't be a surprise. Because the "sovereign citizen" movement that Bundy is a part of is rooted in white supremacist lore. This crazy, "the federal government doesn't exist" crap that Bundy has been espousing should have tipped off dolts like Sean Hannity (and the rest of FOX "News" and Right Wing World) that this guy was a little off.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Jon Stewart Volleys Back to Sean Hannity Over Cliven Bundy

When will FOX "News" and Sean Hannity learn? You can't beat The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. You can't do it, but please keep trying. It's comedy gold, and you're spiking that ball right into Stewart's sweet spot. Hilarious. And now that Cliven Bundy--Hannity's favorite 'merican--has proven to be an unapologetic racist? Even sweeter. Glad it became known before Stewart tapes for the day!

Scandal: IRS Scandal-ette Turns Out to be Scandal Free

The IRS "scandal" has always stuck in my craw for really not being a scandal, or more specifically, a completely miscast one. The scandal was never who the IRS targeted in their probe, it was that they ended up giving tax exempt status to political groups at all. But Right Wing World was frothing at the mouth that Tea Party groups were targeted for auditing. How dare the IRS examine a political group for claiming to not be a political group! I mean, it was ridiculous.

But it's turned out to be even less than they thought it was. What are the odds that FOX "News" and right-wing talk radio set the record straight now? I'm guessing, never. But maybe Darrell Issa will finally shut up. At least about this subject.


New Records: IRS Targeted Progressive Groups More Extensively Than Tea Party

Image from source, Think Progress
A series of IRS documents, provided to ThinkProgress under the Freedom of Information Act, appears to contradict the claims by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and his House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that only Tea Party organizations applying for tax-exempt status “received systematic scrutiny because of their political beliefs.” The 22 “Be On the Look Out” keywords lists, distributed to staff reviewing applications between August 12, 2010 and April 19, 2013, included more explicit references to progressive groups, ACORN successors, and medical marijuana organizations than to Tea Party entities. . .

Read more at: Think Progress

The Gay Thing: Jodi Foster Got Married

I've been a fan of Jodie Foster since she was a little girl, and I was a littler boy. Freaky Friday was an early favorite, as well as the (very creepy) The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane. She was a child prodigy, and absolutely perfect actress from a young age. So, I'm glad that she's finally comfortable enough to be herself, and publicly acknowledge her marriage to a lucky woman. She played coy so long, it's just nice to see the curtain drop.

Makes me wonder though. The more we see these long-term glass closets open (Ricky Martin, Anderson Cooper, etc.), will we start to see the really big ones open too? And of course, I mean a couple of very famous scientologists. . . Anyway, congratulations, Jodie!

Image from ABC News


Jodie Foster has married her girlfriend Alexandra Hedison, E! News' Marc Malkin reports: I can exclusively reveal that the Oscar winner and her photographer girlfriend of almost a year got married this past weekend. A rep for Foster confirms the happy news. . .

Read more at: TowleRoad

FOX "News" Uses Biased (Koch Brothers) Source in "Voter Fraud" Story

For years, conservatives have used George Soros, a liberal billionaire, as an all-purpose bogeyman, who is supposedly secretly funding myriad and varied progressive groups. Virtually every well-known liberal voice has been alleged to have Soros as a backer. But the right has a real sugar daddy. And if you follow the money, they really are behind a whole lot of seemingly "grass roots" and independent-sounding groups, like "Americans for Prosperity" and "FreedomWorks." The difference is, the Kochs--two of the richest people in the world--do all of this to further enrich themselves. And they don't stop with these groups, they've apparently inserted themselves into Right Wing World itself, at its hub: FOX "News."


Koch Brothers Front Group Feeds Fox News Phony Figures On Voter Fraud
A report by Fox News alleges that “Over 40,000 voters are registered in both Virginia and Maryland.” It’s a shocking statistic that stirs fears of massive election fraud that could sway the results of pivotal campaigns and upset the balance of power in Congress. . .

Read more at: NewsCorpse

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sean Hannity's WEAK Response to Jon Stewart's Takedown

As I said earlier, the more you find out about the Cliven Bundy cattle grazing story, the more wobbly the tea bagger posse side's "freedom fight" becomes. But Sean Hannity took up the cause, and Bundy has hailed him as a hero. So, Hannity can't very well abandon the goofy cause, right? So, when Jon Stewart took the whole story down in an inspired Daily Show on Monday night, Hannity was obliged to respond.

Now, if you want a sight to behold, it's when the reverse happens. If Stewart is attacked by a FOX "News" personality, for instance, his responses are legendary. Sometimes complete with a gospel choir! Hannity? Not so much. The man is a dolt. He couldn't argue his way into a refund at Home Depot. Here's the evidence.


Sean Hannity hits back: Why didn’t ‘suck-up’ Jon Stewart ask Obama about Bill Ayers?

Fox News host Sean Hannity responded on Tuesday to criticism from The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart — by virtually ignoring Stewart’s whole argument. “He’s kind of obsessed with this program,” Hannity said. “Then he took clips of me from previous shows — by the way, dating back more than eight years — to try and discredit what I was saying and that I was being hypocritical when it comes to following the rule of law. . .”

Read more at: Raw Story

What Happens in NEAR Vegas : Cliven Bundy' Claims to "Ancestral Land" Bunk

1800s, huh? Sure, dude, whatever. The longer this story goes on, and the more I learn, the more I think the supporters of Cliven Bundy are just mental cases. What exactly is the claim of "freedom" here?

Tell us another one, Clive. Image from source,

I-Team: Bundy's 'ancestral rights' come under scrutiny

Federal authorities remain silent about their next plans to confront Cliven Bundy at his Bunkerville ranch. Both sides are fighting over history, with federal courts denying Bundy's claims of "ancestral rights" on the Virgin River valley. The I-Team dug into century-old records to examine Bundy's claims. . .

Read more at: 8NewsNow

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Debunktion Junction: Rachel Maddow Debunks Cardinal Dolan and More

An entertaining segment that shows Cardinal Timothy Dolan to be decidedly uninformed on the subject of contraception. Which really isn't too surprising when you think about it, but you know, they've got him opining on a news show, so. . . you know. . . maybe they shouldn't do that.

Frivolity Break: Final Season of True Blood is Coming!

I didn't ever read the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris, and didn't catch the latest "vampire craze" wave (I was a Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel fan, from the previous wave) at first. I caught a few episodes of season 3 of True Blood, and was hooked. I immediately watched every episode I could, and at the time that meant season 2 and then the rest of season 3 in real time. Soon enough, I sought out the first season, and picked up season 4, 5 and 6 also as they happened. And I like it nearly as much as Buffy, which is really saying something.

Of course, being on HBO, they get to go much, much further with both the sex and the violence. Naked Jason Stackhouse and Eric Northman are enough for a whole contingent of viewers, plot or no plot! But the sex and violence are in the context of a very compelling (and sometimes repellant) alternate world, where vampires, werewolves, shape-shifters, witches and other horror movie staples, are real. The "coming out of the coffin" and "God hates fangs" lines kind of give you a sense of the flavor of dark humor in the show. There are similarities to Buffy, and big differences. But, it's just addictive, ridiculous, scary, loopy fun. And it's coming to an end. Season 7 is the last, though I have to say, they really could squeeze a lot more out of the concept. I understand after this long, you tend to lose cast members. But I'd love to see a True Blood: The Next Generation in a couple of years.

Jon Stewart Doesn't "Get" Cliven Bundy Protest Either

Image from source, Mediaite
Turns out, my confusion over exactly what supporters of Cliven Bundy are standing up for isn't really confusion. They don't really know either. Their thinking that the government response to twenty years of delinquent payments was "excessive," is pretty much all they've got. Beyond that, you've got Bundy--who claims to not recognize the existence or authority of the United States government--a fringy nut, who owes the government a whole lot of money, but doesn't want to pay. How that drew out a demented tea bagger posse, I have no idea. But I suspect they've been itching for "go time" (armed insurrection) for some time, and they took this as a trial run.

Jon Stewart, of course, has a funnier take than I do. That's why he gets paid the big bucks.


‘Who the Hell Is on This Guy’s Side?’ Stewart Tears into Hannity for Bundy Hypocrisy

Jon Stewart tackled the Cliven Bundy situation (which he described as a classic “boy has cow, boy breaks law for 20 years, boy loses cow story”) Monday night, tearing into Sean Hannity in particular for hypocrisy when it comes to “people scamming off the taxpayers. . .”

Read more at: Mediaite or watch the video here.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Blast from the Past: The Hits of 1966

Why 1966? Because my birthday was this weekend, and that's the year I was born. And since I really didn't get any chance to celebrate, due to The Other Half's schedule and our home improvement projects, I thought I owed it to myself to mark the occasion somehow. So, here it is, some of the best songs of 1966. Some hold up really well, I think.

1. Monday, Monday by The Mamas and the Papas - Mom thought this song was number one when I was born, but I think it really hit soon after. And it was number 7 for the year.

2. (You're My) Soul and Inspiration by The Righteous Brothers - This song actually was number one the day I was born.

3. These Boots are Made for Walkin' by Nancy Sinatra - Went all the way to number 13 for the year, and dear old dad hit the charts in '66 too.
4. Devil with a Blue Dress/Good Golly, Miss Molly by Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels - Number 32.

5. Uptight (Everything's Alright) by Stevie Wonder - One of Stevie's best, I always thought. It hit number 59 for the year.

6. Winchester Cathedral by The New Vaudeville Band - A weird one, sounding a bit like The Beatles' more "granny music" stuff.  It was number 18 in 1966.

7. Yellow Submarine by The Beatles - Weird, even for The Beatles, but good enough for number 96.

8. Wipeout by The Surfaris - Every drummer's challenge. It was the number 63 song of 1966.

9. Secret Agent Man by Johnny Rivers - Almost cracked the year's top 50 at number 53.
10. The Sound of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel - See? I told you it was a good year for music. But still only number 54.

And there's a whole lot more. I got my data from the Wikipedia page for Billboard's Hot 100 for 1966. Check it out for a bunch of other great songs, from The Beach Boys (Barbara Ann, Sloop John B), to Cher (Bang, Bang), to Neil Diamond (Cherry, Cherry).

But that will wrap it up for the weekend. Have a great week, and Happy Monday!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Liberal Talker Randi Rhodes Ending Show in May

Ouch. Well, at least this time, we Randi Rhodes fans got a little warning. Twice, we've endured sudden absences. As recently as a few months ago, The Randi Rhodes Show was slated for cancellation by Premiere Networks, and got a surprise year-long reprieve. So, this news is surprising, and not at all welcome.

The AM radio landscape is dying, led by a sponsor revolt at the whole format, mostly due to acerbic conservative host, Rush Limbaugh. Add to that the overall changes in media over the last couple of decades, and the concerted effort by radio network and station owners to squeeze liberal talk out of the market. Yes, yes, I'm aware that conservatives maintain that the people have spoken, and that they don't want liberal talk. If they'd ever gotten liberal talk on anything close to a level playing field, I might agree. But they haven't, and they didn't.

Randi, as well as The Stephanie Miller Show and others, were squeezed out of even Miller's own flagship station in Los Angeles in favor of Limbaugh, and the usual slate of conservative talkers. And is doing terribly. In fact, the whole genre is now doing terribly, and the right-wing side is only kept afloat by conservative think-tanks and like-minded groups. On the progressive side, not only are they fighting an uphill battle for programming, they don't seem to have the ear of monied liberal groups.

Randi has been hinting at a departure lately, and I figured this was coming. I thought it would be later this year, though. I know she has a good man in her life, and a home in Costa Rica, so maybe she's just sick of battling for a slot on the air. She seemed really bothered by several recent news stories, and has flat out said (paraphrasing) "it's time to go." As in leave this country.

In that, I wish her well. But I'll miss her New Yorker voice. Ironically, she herself admits she does not have a voice for radio! And she wasn't for all tastes. But since the days when I first found her, while looking for a new show called "The O'Franken Factor," way back in 2004, I've been a fan. And I'm hoping for some kind of revival at some point. Rest up, Randi, and come back in a new format!


Premiere: Randi Rhodes Show To End May 16th

A statement from PREMIERE said that RHODES "has decided to end her national radio program. We’ve had a successful partnership with RANDI for several years, and we wish her all the best for the future. PREMIERE NETWORKS will conclude syndication and production of RANDI RHODES on MAY 16th, 2014. . ."

Read more at: All Access

ObamaCare Hits 8 Million

Okay, so if this thing actually turns out to have worked, how long until the "ObamaCare™" name is dropped, and ACA or some other variation becomes the name?


Obamacare Enrollment Hits 8 Million

President Obama announced on Thursday that 8 million people have signed up for plans through Obamacare’s new insurance exchanges. Although March 31 was originally the final deadline to enroll in Obamacare, administration officials extended the open enrollment period until April 15 to accommodate the people who may have struggled to complete their applications due to technological issues. . .

Read more at: Think Progress

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Rachel Maddow: FOX "News" Wants a New Waco; Ruby Ridge

Who knows why FOX "News" seems to want to egg on arch-conservatives, in order to turn the "Bundy Ranch" thing into another Waco or Ruby Ridge. But they sure seem to.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Gay Thing (Again): Ohio Must Recognize Out-of-State Marriages

While this is great news for my home state, which does have one of the nation's more draconian anti-gay marriage constitutional amendments, it seems like it shouldn't be news. Of course Ohio should have to recognize marriages performed in other states. The already do. The straight ones. And they even recognize marriages of closer relations (like first cousins) if performed in other states. Not doing so previously, really didn't make a lot of sense. So, good! But of course, allowing the couple down the street who were married out of state to be married, while preventing the one down the block from getting married doesn't make a lot of sense either. So, this is ultimately another domino on the road to 50-state marriage equality. Can't happen soon enough.

Image from source, USAToday

Judge: Ohio must recognize other states' gay marriages

A federal judge Monday ordered Ohio authorities to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples performed in other states, the latest court victory for gay-rights supporters. Judge Timothy Black called Ohio's gay marriage ban both unconstitutional and unenforceable. . .

Read more at: USA Today

Grazing Cattle! (Another Rocky Mountain Mike Parody)

I'll freely admit to still not really getting this whole Cliven Bundy cattle grazing dispute. I mean I get that this Bundy guy is peeved and doesn't want to pay the rev-en-ooers. But try as I might, I can't figure out what kind of leg he has to stand on, or exactly what the "freedom" principle is here.  But the good news is, it's provided fodder for yet another Rocky Mountain Mike parody, and this one is inspired: Blazing Saddles, writ large! It's great! And it makes as much sense as anything else. And how weird is it. . .Cliven. . .Cleavon?!?

The Gay Thing: Louisiana Votes to Retain Sodomy Law

There are pockets of mean and pockets of stupid in this country. And they tend to make news, and they often converge. For what other reason than a blend of stupidity and meanness would a state keep a law on the books that was ruled unconstitutional more than a decade ago? But Louisiana did it, retaining a law against sodomy. Which means, the conservative government of the Bayou State wants government big enough to peek into your bedroom, and let you know that only state approved sex acts are allowed.


Louisiana House votes 27-66 to keep unconstitutional anti-sodomy law on the books

The Louisiana House of Representatives rejected legislation, on Tuesday, that would remove the state's symbolic ban on certain kinds of sodomy. The bill failed by a wide margin on a vote of 27-67, with 11 members not voting. . .

Read more at: The Times-Picayune

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Science is Cool: Darwin Fish, for Real

This fish, a transitionary form between an ordinary fish and a land animal, was actually discovered several years ago, and is in the news because of new book. But I missed it, and so it's new to me! And it's cool. Ugly, but cool. A fish with a neck? And armlike fins? It also shows a minor advantage to climate change: the Arctic was melted enough for them to find the thing.

Image from source, Mother Jones

This Fish Crawled Out of the Water…and Into Creationists' Nightmares

We all know the Darwin fish, the car-bumper send-up of the Christian "ichthys" symbol, or Jesus fish. Unlike the Christian symbol, the Darwin fish has, you know, legs. Har har. But the Darwin fish isn't merely a clever joke; in effect, it contains a testable scientific prediction. If evolution is true, and if life on Earth originated in water, then there must have once been fish species possessing primitive limbs, which enabled them to spend some part of their lives on land. And these species, in turn, must be the ancestors of four-limbed, land-living vertebrates like us. . .

Read more at: Mother Jones

Conspiracy Corner: Hillary Clinton and the "Shoe Truthers"

Yes. Because if you're the presumptive front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, you want to get embarrassed by having someone throw a shoe at you in public.


‘Shoe Truthers’ Wonder If Hillary Staged Shoe Throwing Incident

Wisconsin GOP Committee Votes for Right to Secede

Dixieland up north? Image from ThinkProgress
Attention, you faux patriots: you cannot love America and favor secession. You can't be patriotic, and want to separate from the country. One thing cancels out the other. Morons.

Thank you for your attention.


Wisconsin Republican Committee Votes To Uphold ‘Wisconsin’s Right… To Secede’
Earlier this month, the Wisconsin Republican Party’s Resolutions Committee voted to endorse a proposal expressing the party’s support for “legislation that upholds Wisconsin’s right, under extreme circumstances, to secede.” A stronger version of this resolution passed one of the state GOP’s eight regional caucuses in March. That version provided that “we strongly insist our state representatives work to uphold Wisconsin’s 10th Amendment rights, and our right to secede, passing legislation affirming this to the U.S. Federal Government. . .”

Read more at: Think Progress

The Funniest, Dirtiest, Rudest Benghazi Write-up You'll Ever Read

The incomparable Lee Papa, The Rude Pundit
There are some perennial Right Wing World outrages, during the Obama Era. The undercurrent is always the same: we hate this guy, and oppose anything he's for, even if we'd otherwise agree with it. But they keep coming back to several topics, and they pop up like Whack-A-Mole, in between whatever big stories are in the news cycle. ObamaCare™ has been one of the biggest ones, but when it wanes (and no plane has recently gone missing), up crops the IRS "scandal," NSA privacy issues (this one bugs both sides, me included), Michelle and the girls travelling (horrors), and of course, Benghazi!!!

Benghazi was the thing that was going to stop Barack Obama's second term. Then it was going to be his undoing, after the election. Now, they're hoping they can hang it around presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton's neck. But the truth is, as terrible as the attack on Benghazi was, most people don't consider it to be a scandal, and most of the rest don't care. Benghazi excites the base (they're an excitable bunch), but it doesn't rile anyone else. Now, it seems even some prominent conservatives are getting the message that Benghazi is pretty much over as an issue. But that doesn't mean they're happy about it.


Boehner's Benghazi Blues

Man, the GOP wanted Benghazi to be more than just another c**ktease. To be sure, Benghazi was good at it, rubbing its scandal-tightened ass up against the GOP's groin until the GOP was aching with a desire to furiously f**k Benghazi. Goddamn, what a little slut Benghazi was, all whored out in a little skirt and see-through top with a red lacy bra under it. Just those lips, those tarted-up, red-lipsticked, d**k-sucking lips, invited the GOP to get it up and get ready to. . .

Read the rudeness at: The Rude Pundit

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Bundy Bunch ( A Rocky Mountain Mike Song Parody)

I'm gonna step right up and say, I don't get the Bundy cattle dispute with the BLM here in Nevada, 85 miles northeast of Las Vegas. I know that the BLM claims Bundy owes $1 million in grazing fees, and that Bundy doesn't want to pay it. I know that Bundy claims the land isn't the federal government's, but I have heard no claim that Bundy owns it himself, only that his family has ranched it since the 1870s. Somehow, this became the teabagger cause of the decade, and I don't get it. Let's see if Rocky Mountain Mike can help. . .

Sunday, April 13, 2014

SNL: Paul Ryan and Jeb Bush Reach for the Youth Vote at Coachella

Over Time with Bill Maher, April 11, 2014

Blast from the Past: Clean & Fresh!

I'm in the tail-end phase of a home improvement project that just snowballed through the entire first quarter of the year, on into spring. We'll complete the effort over the next week or so, but in the meantime, things are in a bit of disarray. As such, there's a constant need for cleaning, and that got me to thinking of all the cleaning products that used to be advertised when I was growing up. Loads of them are still around today, of course, but the commercials aren't as classic.

1. Mr. Clean (1978)
2. Calgon (1970s) - I've used this before, but can't resist.

3. Palmolive (1981) - With Madge the manicurist
4. Dow Scrubbing Bubbles (1978)

5. Spic and Span (1970s) - With Minnie Pearl!
6. S.O.S Pads (1981)

7. Atlantic Bee Mop (1987)
8. Mop & Glo (1988)

9. Clorox 2 (1986) - The magic of Clorox 2!
10. Wisk (1971) - Ring around the collar!

And with that, I'll wish you a good (clean & fresh) week, and a happy Monday!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Miami-Dade Polling Places to Close Bathrooms? For Fairness?

Only in Florida, man. Miami-Dade election officials have responded to a question regarding restroom accessibility for the disabled by closing all restrooms. That's right, in polling places with hours-long lines, there will be no potty breaks. Tough it out, or go home. A third option would be to pop a squat right there in line, I suppose. But this strikes me as just ridiculous. You?


New Rule Prohibits Voters In Miami-Dade County From Using The Restroom, No Matter How Long The Line

During the 2012 presidential election, voters reportedly waited on line for upwards of six hours. That wait alone is enough to deter would-be voters from going to the polls. But now residents in Florida’s most populous county will have another disincentive: they won’t be able to go to the bathroom. . .

Read more at: Think Progress

Stephen Colbert to Take Over for David Letterman on The Late Show

I'm of mixed feelings about this one. As a Daily Show with Jon Stewart fan since it was . . .with Craig Kilborn, I of course have watched The Colbert Report since the beginning. At first, I wasn't sure he could sustain his pompus, "educated Archie Bunker" news reporter character through a regular series. But sure enough, he could and did. Colbert's show was the perfect follow-up to Stewart's, and the interplay was terrific. And it has to be said, Colbert's in-character roasting of George W. Bush at the White House Correspondent's' Dinner was masterful.

I've also watched The Late Show with David Letterman since it was Late Night. I watched from episode for all of the above. And though, more often than not, I watch the Comedy Central line up instead of CBS's, I'd come back to Dave whenever Jon and Stephen were in reruns. And it's only due to those guys that I ever left. I still find Dave preferable to the Jimmys. But Dave is leaving. And Stephen is moving in!

But not Stephen Cole-bear. This will be Stephen Cole-BURT. The real guy, not the character. Having seen the real Stephen in other things--not to mention being able to see through the character to the brilliance of the real dude--I'm cool with that. While he'll surely need to tone down the politics a bit, and will have to spoon-feed a little more to the larger general audience, I believe he's deft enough to pull it off. Still, I'm hoping he retains the old guy in some capacity. Whether it's a Colbert Report show-within-a-show segment, or just one of a roster of characters, I'd hate to see that persona retired forever.

As for Comedy Central, I think they may have as tough a choice as CBS had. They fortunately have a lengthy list of performers to choose from, many from The Daily Show, past and present, or from other Comedy Central shows. They'd be wise to create  something in the mold of either Stewart's or Colbert's current shows, to be a companion to The Daily Show, rather than trying to plug in a Tosh.O or Workaholics, and hoping it keeps the audience.

My choice--though I'd miss his current new-ish show--is Chris Hardwick. His @Midnight is a hoot, and I never miss The Talking Dead. He's smart, funny, irreverent, cute and nerdish. The perfect combination. But I'll bet you John Oliver is sorry he deserted for a weekly HBO show.


Why Stephen Colbert is the perfect choice for CBS

CBS nailed this. Stephen Colbert, just named to replace David Letterman, might seem in some ways an odd choice for a late-night broadcast host: He's an intensely satirical comedian who at least until now has hosted his show in the guise of a self-righteous buffoon. But he may also be the smartest person in late night. And the most likable. . .

Read more at: MSN

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Mass Stabbing at Pennsylvania School

When I first heard about this, it was presented like yet another school shooting, then I heard stabbing. What? Stabbing? Yes. And predictably, much of the response from Right Wing World was, "See, it's not just guns! Should we take knives away from people now?" First, yes, at least at schools we should take away the knives. But secondly, it should be noted that though there were some critical injuries, nobody--at least of this writing--has died. Which is the only good news beyond the fact that the kid responsible is alive also, and in custody.

I'm waiting to hear that the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a knife is a good guy with a knife.


Student named, charged as adult in Pennsylvania stabbing rampage: police

[Continued after the break because of an auto-playing video I can't turn off.]

Could Religious Fundamentalism Be a Curable Mental Disorder?

"Dark sided!"
As an atheist, it can be tempting for me to look at this headline and say, "Well, obviously! All religions are crazy!" But by that, I really just mean preposterous. And by that, I mean to me. But I think even a religious person could acknowledge that some people take their brand of religiosity a bit (or a lot) too far. I mean, there are religiously-driven people whose entire livelihood hangs on trying to turn gay people into second-class citizens. Or worse. That's nuts, right?

Turns out, maybe so.


Kathleen Taylor, Neuroscientist, Says Religious Fundamentalism Could Be Treated As A Mental Illness
An Oxford University researcher and author specializing in neuroscience has suggested that one day religious fundamentalism may be treated as a curable mental illness. Kathleen Taylor, who describes herself as a "science writer affiliated to the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics," made the suggestion during a presentation on brain research at the Hay Literary Festival in Wales on Wednesday. . .

Read more (with video) at: Huffington Post

Louie Gohmert is an Idiot, Part #87

Texas should be embarrassed. Eric Holder deserves a medal for putting up with Gohmert, and for the masterful asparagus dig.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Frivolity Break: Would You Have Sex with Paul Rudd?

I'm tired, and didn't get around to blogging for Wednesday. Sorry. Here's something funny to watch instead. Oh, and the obvious answer to the above is, "Yes, please."

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Jon Stewart Rips Rumsfeld & Cheney on Torture

EDITOR'S NOTE: I'm playing with Raw Story's "post it legally" feature. Of course, as far as I know, I always post things legally. but I thought I'd give it a go. And since I didn't have anything to add to this one beyond, "You, go, Jon Stewart!," I thought this was a good enough post to try it on. I have a feeling I'm going to have to do some tweaking of this service in the future though.

Jon Stewart rips Rumsfeld and Cheney: ‘Look how f*cking proud’ they are to avoid discussing torture (via Raw Story )
Daily Show host Jon Stewart observed on Monday that, as the Senate moves closer to declassifying a report trashing the Central Intelligence Agency’s “enhanced interrogation” techniques, the political figures behind it — including former Vice…

The Gay thing: Supreme Court Declines Photographer "Religious Freedom" Case

When marriage equality activism started reaping widespread results, and began to seem inevitable in all 50 states, counter-forces tried a new tactic. Christian business owners began to claim that it was a violation of their "religious freedom" to have to sell products or services to gay couples for their weddings. There were several things wrong with these cases.

In most, there were public accommodations laws which forbid discrimination toward gay people. In most, oddly enough, there wasn't even legal "gay marriage" in the localities involved, at least not at the time. And in several, notably bakeries, the dispute wasn't even a gay wedding, but the reception after. Which is kind of strange, since receptions are seldom religious affairs.

Image from source, Washington Post
There were other problems, such as why a company would care who they sell a cake or flowers to. Why a customer's religious beliefs should have to align with the sellers. And then the practical implications, like, would it be the clerk's or the owner's religious beliefs that had to be followed? Which religions get this exemption? Which businesses should get this exemption? What law would be immune from being potentially exempted? It's a can of worms in a Pandora's Box. And it's still not clear how selling something would violate religious freedom.

The case that was before the Supreme Court was a wedding photographer. Or, more precisely, a commitment ceremony photographer,* who didn't want to take pictures for a gay couple. But SCOTUS declined to hear the case, so the lower court decision stands: the photographer loses.

*It should be noted that in the marriage equality fight, we're often confronted with the "why do they have to call it marriage?" argument. Allegedly, if we were to only be happy with civil unions, domestic partnerships and commitment ceremonies, all would be well, and the battle would end. Except that in this case, as with several others, there was no legal marriage.


Supreme Court declines case of photographer who denied service to gay couple
The Supreme Court declined on Monday to consider whether a New Mexico photographer had a right to refuse service to a same-sex couple who wanted her to record their commitment ceremony. . .

Read more at: Washington Post

So, That Happened: Star Trek's Kate Mulgrew Narrates Wacky Geocentrist Documentary

Why, Kate, why? I know that Star Trek: Voyager never got the respect it deserved. And I know that jobs can be scarce for actresses "of a certain age," who have some trouble getting work. But you've got Orange is the New Black going for you! It's a hit! Why oh why would you narrate some pseudo scientific clap-trap documentary, where Earth is the center of the universe? Don't you know that your voice gives gravitas to this ludicrous "theory?" Oh, Kate.

In all seriousness, I'm a Star Trek fan, and always liked Voyager, despite all of the fan whining. I got to meet Kate Mulgrew right when she first got the gig, on an autograph line in Pasadena. She was elegant, poised, friendly, and amazingly composed sitting out there in the hot California sun. Since then, I've seen her a few times at conventions. She is--without fail--one of the most interesting panelists, with compelling stories, and tangents into topics you just wouldn't expect. She's a little Shirley McClain spacey for a few moments, then comes back and ties it all together. In short, she's great. So this is a disappointment. I'll be very interested to hear her reasoning on this gig.


‘Star Trek’ actress lends her gravitas to film promoting idea that sun revolves around Earth

A new documentary film, narrated by a former Star Trek actress, promotes the long-ago disproven idea that the sun revolves around the Earth. “Everything we think we know about our universe is wrong,” says actress Kate Mulgrew as she narrates the trailer for “The Principle.” The film, which is set to be released sometime this spring, was bankrolled in part by the ultra-conservative and anti-Semitic Robert Sungenis, who maintains the blog “Galileo Was Wrong. . .”

Read more at: Raw Story

Monday, April 7, 2014

Mickey Rooney Dead at 93

Image from source, Variety
I liked Mickey Rooney in most everything I saw him in. But I'll be honest, I wasn't sure I knew he was still alive. He's got to be one of the last of his generation to pass, at least for a star of his caliber. It's nice that he got such a long life. And maybe got the last laugh on a lot of his critics. RIP, Mickey!


Mickey Rooney, Legendary Actor, Dies at 93

Mickey Rooney, the pint-sized actor who was one of MGM’s giant box office attractions in the late ’30s and early ’40s, died on Sunday. He was 93.

As adept at comedy as drama and an excellent singer and dancer, Rooney was regarded as the consummate entertainer. During a prolific career on stage and screen that spanned eight decades (“I’ve been working all my life, but it seems longer,” he once said), he was nominated for four Academy Awards and received two special Oscars, the Juvenile Award in 1939 (shared with Deanna Durbin) and one in 1983 for his body of work. . .

Read more at: Variety

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Blast from the Past: Remade in the 80s (and 90s)

I have a friend who first heard the song Ticket to Ride as The Carpenters' version, and to him it's the "real" version of the song. The Beatles' original version is to him the lesser of the two. That's crazy, I know, but it really does seem to be the one you heard first that sticks and feels "real" to you. As a consequence, lots of people alive in the 1980s are far more familiar with remakes made of earlier songs, and think it is the 80s cheese that reigns supreme.

1. & 2. You Keep Me Hangin' On - Kim Wilde vs. Diana Ross & The Supremes

3. & 4. Venus - Bananarama vs. Shocking Blue

5. & 6. Hazy Shade of Winter - The Bangles vs. Simon & Garfunkel

7. & 8. Lean on Me - Club Nouveau vs. Bill Withers

9. & 10. Take a Chance on Me - Erasure vs. ABBA

I really saved the best for last there, didn't I? I could watch those two over and over!

Happy Monday, everybody.

SNL: "Fox & Friends" Gets Skewered Again

Always funny. And the best part is the "corrections" at the end of the segment. Keep the pause button ready!


Over Time with Bill Maher, April 4, 2014

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Gay Thing: Mississippi Governor Signs "Turn Away the Gay" Bill into Law

By and large, gay rights news over the last few years has been extremely good. We've got public sentiment on the rise, and the wind at our backs. And so, the anti-gay contingent had to shift gears, and come up with a new way to be a thorn in gay peoples' sides: "religious freedom."

The argument is a bit odd. Suddenly--and this is fairly new, as far as I know--there is some sort of religious objection to selling products and services to "unrepentant sinners." Translation: gay people (because these folks are not screening their other customers for random sin violations). Where in the Bible it says "thou shalt not festoon a party with thine goods, for men who lay with men as they would a woman," but they're saying it suddenly is in there. Or something.

Going where Jan Brewer feared to tread. Ass.
Image from source, Huffington Post.
But it's tremendously short sighted. Just wait until they realize that they're not the only religion in Mississippi. Wait until they're on the receiving end of a legal carve-out for a Muslim business. Or some newly made-up religion made for the express purpose of dodging a law. But most of all? Wait until the lawsuits start rolling in. The best thing to say about this is: it's Mississippi. It's very easy to avoid.


Mississippi Governor Signs Anti-Gay Bill

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed a bill Thursday that supporters say will assure unfettered practice of religion without government interference but that opponents worry could lead to state-sanctioned discrimination against gays and lesbians. The bill, called the Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act, will become law July 1. It also will add "In God We Trust" to the state seal. . .

Read more at: Huffington Post

Thursday, April 3, 2014

David Letterman Set to Retire

Dave with Betty White, coincidentally, also a Mary
Tyler Moore costar. Image from source, Huffington Post.
Back in the 1970s, America's Sweetheart, Mary Tyler Moore had a critically-acclaimed and massively popular sitcom, called (oddly enough) The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Then she quit, and the show ended while on top. But Mary wasn't tired of TV, she just wanted to do a variety show, and so she did, called (oddly enough) Mary. This show was neither critically-acclaimed, nor massively popular. But it had one very important ingredient: repertory player David Letterman.

A couple years later, somebody realized that Dave was a talented and funny guy. There was a big media campaign to get us to watch the daytime series, The David Letterman Show (where do they get these names?). It tanked, fast. But somehow, the schmucks behind the scenes at NBC realized they had something on their hands, and they created Late Night with David Letterman, to follow The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson. It was a cult hit right off the bat, and became a late night institution.

I am old enough to remember all of the above. Though I don't think I caught much of Mary or Dave's original daytime show, I was enough of a pop culture sponge to have seen both, and was up on the stories behind them. And I watched Late Night from episode one.  I followed Dave to CBS when NBC snubbed him for Jay Leno. And though I long ago became a Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, I still often catch Dave on Fridays, on Daily Show/Colbert Report rerun weeks, and whenever he has Rachel Maddow on! So, congratulations to Dave Letterman on three-plus very successful decades on late night TV. I'll miss him when he goes, even if I don't always watch.


David Letterman Retiring After 33 Years As Late Night Host
David Letterman is retiring in 2015 after 33 years as a late night host. Letterman announced the news during a taping of Thursday's episode of "Late Show." He called CBS president Leslie Moonves before the program, "And I said ‘Leslie, it’s been great, you’ve been great, and the network has been great, but I’m retiring.'" The late night host explained that "Moonves, he and I have had a relationship for years and years and years, and we have had this conversation in the past, and we agreed that we would work together on this circumstance and the timing of this circumstance. . ."

Read more at: Huffington Post

And here is a video from Mary with the star singing "With a Little Luck" with her cast, including David Letterman, Swoozie Kurtz and David Letterman. It's pretty bad.


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