Saturday, March 01, 2008

George Carlin: "It's Bad For Ya"

Warning, the clip below is George Carlin. If you're sensitive to the f-bomb you may want to mouse away from the play button.
This is clip is Carlin's unique, Ok, every Carlin take on everything is unique; this one's on how he feels about voting. I may not agree with him here, but his perspective is priceless. It's raw and it's real. He peels away the bullshit until all that's left is truth. There is a great interview with George on HuffPo by Rachel Sklar. He may be our wisest living American essayist and social critic. He is so much more than just a comedian. In fact, some of our more serious social critics are better characterized as comedians. Carlin just happens to be funny as he makes us see ourselves for what we are.

I sincerely regret that when I had a couple chances to see him live in a small venue in Hermosa Beach that I didn't. George has a special on HBO called "It's Bad For Ya". It's on HBO tonight at 10 p.m., tomorrow night at midnight and then throughout March on HBO2.

Jack & Hill

First the Daily Show appearance, now this. The Clinton campaign is pulling out all the stops. Is this some kind of March surprise strategy? Actually I think the Daily Show appearance is a coup. But I don't think it will make that much of a real difference on Tuesday.

Hillary Clinton to Appear on Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Hillary Clinton to appear on Monday's Daily Show with Jon Stewart. From the Daily Show web site:
Hillary Clinton -- the first viable presidential candidate with a working uterus -- will be a guest on the Daily Show this upcoming Monday night -- the eve of the March 4th primaries in Texas, Ohio and several other less sexy states -- to presumably talk about politics, patriotism and pant suits.

These clips are from an appearance in October of 2003. Notice how on The Daily Show that is popular, as they tell me, with the young folk, she slips in that during the blackout she happened to be sitting around a conference table with young people. How media savvy she was even then. I wonder Jon will soft ball her or will he ask some tough questions. It's sad when a good deal of our hopes for real journalism rest on a comedian with a fake talk show. Maybe she'll tear up again and win all four primary states in a landslide.

Friday, February 29, 2008

The Colbert Report: Stephen Colbert on William F. Buckley

Colbert makes the comparison between the father of modern intellectual conservatism, William F. Buckley and what we have today, e.g., Billo. His guest is Richard Brookhiser, a direct descendant of Mr. Buckley.

The Daily Show: Jon Stewart

In the middle of this Daily Show clip, there's footage of the Decider giving advice to Turkey about their invasion of Iraq without a single shred of irony. But then, that's what we've got Jon Stewart for.

Trending Away from Microtrends

An interesting and ironic analysis of why Barack Obama is winning by Arianna Huffington at Huffington Post. If you're tired of poll after poll, and coverage of tit-for-tat bickering between the candidates, and the other useless information you get from the best political team on television, or as I've just this moment decided to start calling them, the best political team in show business, and the rest of the MSM (of course except for the man Keith Olbermann), and want to read something that won't reduce your IQ by 5 points, check out her post.

Jay Rockefeller Endorses Obama

CNN has just reported that Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has endorsed Barack Obama.

McCain Calls Himself Liberal: A Limbaughian Slip

What happens when you let comedian Rush Limbaugh get inside your head.

Happy Leap Day!

This video is not only scintillating but educational. It explains why we have leap years, resulting in a day like today, February 29, every four years.

If those facts aren't enough to make your day, it is also Sadie Hawkins Day.

John McCain: the Slime and Sublime Tour 2008

Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo, in the second part of this video, explains how John McCain and the Republicans can simultaneously wallow in the muck and stay above the fray in the general election campaign against Barack Obama. They are already showing signs of their strategy if Obama is the nominee. Republican attack machine surrogates will do all the dirty work, sliming Obama with innuendo, while McCain and the party committee condemn them and remain squeaky clean.

It's the same strategy Bush used against McCain in 2000 with push pollers in South Carolina and later against John Kerry with the Swift Boaters. This is just the warm up. We can expect a lot more once the general election campaign is on. McCain has traded in the Straight Talk Express for the Slime and Sublime Tour.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

An Informed Voter Part Deux: Take Back the Mike

This is a follow up video to one I posted awhile back under the title, An Informed Voter is Beautiful. But there is a lot more to this informed voter than meets the eye, and more than was evident in the first video I shared. This video goes beyond the surface of this gentleman whose name is Derrick Ashong. And he presents an important and impassioned view that all Americans, especially young Americans should hear. He talks about the reasons he's informed and there are some interesting insights in what he shares here, as, if you've seen the video, you already know. The video is originally posted on Youtube and on Think on These Things blog.

Southwest Beauty Nazis: Too Pretty to Fly!

Damn Beauty Nazis at Southwest! It's 2008. When civil rights for beautiful people in this country finally be realized? We shall overcooommmee...!!! The Beauty Nazis respond below.

-Beautiful people, fight the powers!

The Billboard Liberation Front Strikes AT&T and the NSA

This is great. Found it at More from the BBL here. An excerpt from the BBL's statement:
The Billboard Liberation Front today announced a major new advertising improvement campaign executed on behalf of clients AT&T and the National Security Agency. Focusing on billboards in the San Francisco area, this improvement action is designed to promote and celebrate the innovative collaboration of these two global communications giants.
First comment, also hilarious:
Oh, someone's going to Gitmo for this one.

-Fight the powers.

There's also video:

Rove's Denials Re: Don Siegelman Bound to Unravel

This story is not getting nearly as much traction as it should. I have only twice seen in on the home page of a major TV news organization's web site. Not on CNN, in fact I searched for it there a couple days ago and found zip, nada, zero. But the CNN web site's search sucks. It was on MSNBC's front page once and obviously it was on the CBS site. It's a very important story. It's about basic American freedoms and the justice system. It may generate the kind of publicity that will finally open up the US Attorney's Office scandal and force people like Josh Bolten, Harriet Miers, and Karl Rove to honor subpoenas and appear before congress.

The denials and stories from the Republican Party heads in Alabama are bound to start to unravel when phone and other records are checked and it turns out that Jill Simpson has been telling the truth about Karl Rove. Thanks Dan Abrams for bringing it to us. It may be the most important story in the news today.

What's in a "Middle" Name?

MSNBC's Dan Abrams completely blows this opportunity to point out precisely what is behind the far right's out of bounds attacks on Barack Obama in this lame interview of Republican congressman Jack Kingston of Georgia. First he lets the congressman repeat the charge that Michelle Obama said she was proud of her country for the first time in her adult life when he knows what was actually said, taken in full context, was that she was proud of the American political process for the first time. And he wasted half the interview on a minute point about the congressman wearing a flag lapel pin.

Much more egregious is the fact that he lets the congressman get away with calling things like using Obama's middle name repeatedly and pointedly, just a little back and forth "banter". Which is really all Abrams engaged in with this guy when he should have nailed him. This is a classic smoke screen the right uses by bringing up something that they know is incendiary and claiming that it is, or should be innocent. Using arguments like, well, that really is the guy's middle name and, we use other people's middle names. Or we show other politicians on diplomatic trips in the garb of other nations. When we all know that the intent of pointing these things out is to make an association with Obama and symbols that people fear.

This is all about the politics of fear and the problem with it is that it causes fear in people, some of whom are hateful, some of whom are violent, and some who are completely mentally unhinged. It is not the simple innocent fact that his middle name is Hussein or that he dressed in middle eastern clothes on a diplomatic trip. It is the attempt and intent to draw a parallel between him and terrorism in a way that could inspire a nut case to do something that could hurt the Senator or other innocent people. It is the repeated use of his middle name and that photo in an attempt to make people who may be a little on the edge question him in their minds. To make them ask, why does this guy keep pointing out his middle name is Hussein.

It's something old people, especially from the south, used to say when I was a kid; throwing a rock and hiding your hand. Pretending you did nothing when you have the worst intentions. It's getting as close as you possibly can to hate speech and still being able to deny it. It should never be tolerated or soft-balled in the way that Abrams did. Dan, you have to hammer these people because this is the same thing as using code words. We see it in the heated undocumented worker debate where supposed innocent speech by people like Lou Dobbs results in an increase in hate crimes against Latinos. And I don't mean in any way to compare Abrams to Dobbs. There's no comparison, but he let this guy off the hook. In fact in my next post I give Dan well deserved credit for what he's doing to expose the corruption involved in the Don Siegelman case. One of the most important stories not being covered enough at this time.

-Fight the Powers.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Help Speak Out for Don Siegelman

A post at the blog is targeting attacks by the Birmingham News on Don Siegelman, the unfairly indicted former Alabama Governor. I should make a practice of calling him what he his, because he is in effect a political prisoner of the Bush Administration. If you agree with the post, they are asking that you email or call the Birmingham News and let them know how many people know and care about this case of injustice. I plan to write them now.

-Fight the powers.

William F. Buckley Dies at 82

Conservative or liberal, whether you agreed with his ideas or not, you had to agree that William F. Buckley was a class act in the conservative movement. Far more so than what we have today. He was no Rush Limbaugh or any of the other ridiculous, chickenhawk, shock pundits and comedians we find in conservative talk radio and on Faux News. He was erudite and reasoned. I watched Firing Line often many years ago. Sometimes I agreed with him, and when I didn't he made me think. We will miss the dignity he brought to liberal v. conservative discourse.

Don't Let Comcast Shut You Up

I'm going to be lazy here and cut and paste the text from email I just got from Save the Internet. It's an important cause and here's what they said. just caught Comcast Corp. stacking a FCC hearing with paid (and apparently sleepy) seat-fillers.

The hearing was set up to investigate Comcast's recent blocking of the Internet. But Comcast packed the room so that the public couldn't get in to voice their support for Net Neutrality.

Comcast is blocking the public debate just like it is blocking the Internet: it wields its substantial political and market power to shut out debate and shut up people.
If you're not familiar with Net Neutrality or why it's important, visit and learn about it. It is crucial to your ability to use the internet on an equal playing field with everyone else, including large corporations. It is a key freedom of speech issue.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Obama v Clinton: Democratic Debate in Cleveland Ohio

The Democratic Debate in Cleveland Ohio between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in it's entirety. Enjoy.

-Fight the powers.

Rove Holds Up "Free Don Siegelman" Banner

A pretty gutsy gotcha by Bradblog contributor Alan Breslauer. Rove denies the allegations made by Dana Jill Simpson Sunday on CBS' 60 Minutes. Hit the Bradblog link to hear what he says. In denying the allegations Rove says "I'm a myth." And, "Anything you can't explain, blame on Rove." I'd like to see him use the myth defense before congress.

What's Wrong With This Picture?

All I have to say about this, actually it's a question; where do they find the brothers they have standing behind this guy? Where on earth do you dig up people like this, who will stand behind an obviously, let's call him, a not very open minded person? I wouldn't feel very comfortable in an environment with people like this. Maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm stereotyping. With people who could listen to this guy's rhetoric without flinching, I would feel like I was surrounded by the kind of people who wouldn't want me to move into their neighborhood or marry their daughter. Am I wrong?

Ok, actually I have one more thing to say. It's this, if this is really the kind of silliness we can expect in the general election campaign from the Republican nut cases, it's going to be a fun election. It's really shameful. It should embarrass most people and it won't present the kind of picture of our country that we want the world to see. But if that's the way they want to play, I say bring it on, because it's a sure way for the Republicans to loose. Maybe it shows that they are already just that worried about the prospect of running against Obama.

The Naked Violin: The Music Wants to be Free

Classical violinist Tasmin Little is offering a CD of her music free online here. The CD is entitled The Naked Violin. I've been listening to it all morning. I recognize and really enjoy the Gavotte en Rondeau from Partita No.3 in E major for Solo violin BWV1006 by J.S. Bach. It rocks! Figuratively speaking of course. Check it out.

I ran across it by way of this article in the Telegraph, wistful for the days of album art and liner notes, which I empathize with. Yet somehow the author uses it as an argument against giving music away free. As if we are some how deprived of something by only being able to pay inflated sums for music that's only available for purchase in a certain physical location. Instead of a few paragraphs of liner notes on a physical sleeve and front and back art cover, we have as much digital media, text, graphic and video, as we want over the web. Plus the ability to access our music almost wherever we want.

Even less valid is the argument that he old way of selling music was better for the artists. That having large corporations market them and take most of the profit for marketing departments and executives, leaving the artists pennies per album was better than what new media offers. They lament the decline of the music industry as if that is the same as the decline of the music business for artists. Corporations who got rich off many artists who died penniless. Which is why anti-piracy ads would make me laugh if they weren't sad. But I'm going on a bummer rant in a post about a good thing, free music. I'll finish on a positive note by saying that new media gives more artists the ability to deliver their music directly to their audience for more money in their pockets than the industry ever gave most of them.

Please enjoy this new CD from Tasmin Little, even if you think you're not into classical. Give it a listen, something on it may draw you in.

Just Words: A Couple Different Takes on Hillary's Anti-Words Message

I may date myself with this reference, but after Clinton's Many Faces of Hillary performances this weekend, at tonight's debate (on MSNBC) I'm expecting her head to spin in a complete circle Exorcist style. First at the end of the last debate she was Ms. Congeniality. Then she was a scolding parental figure, shouting, "Shame on you Barack Obama!" Next she was Night at the Improv featuring Hillary Clinton, with a mocking comedy routine. Except I wasn't sure whether to laugh with her or at her. Ok, I laughed at her.

The video above sardonically exposes Clinton's recent attacks on Barack Obama for just what they are, BS. And at Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington has a post (actually it was there yesterday, but I just got around to reading it this morning) that has a interesting and insightful deconstruction of the Clinton argument that Obama is all empty rhetoric and speeches. Definitely worth a read.

It's really getting harder and harder for even the most die hard Clinton supporters to defend her. Not to mention those of us who at least had some good will toward her, and would have voted for her if she was the nominee. Probably still would, but she's really pushing it with these performances. She's in desperation mode, which is sad to watch. But she put herself there from the beginning by triangulation and leaning whichever way the wind blows politically. Even so she had the chance to go out with a little class and style. That chance has just past her by.

-Fight the powers.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Obligatory Oscars Clip: Jon Stewart Monologue

Jon Stewart was once again excellent at the Oscars last night. Here's a piece of his monologue, very funny. And a post with a little levity to break up my sarcastic, but strident calls for impeachment of the current president, sandwiched between effectively calling Bush a fascist and comparing him with Fidel Castro. Because man cannot live by revolution alone.

-Fight the powers.

Bill Moyers: Mr Heath Goes to Washington

The video above is a preview of a Bill Moyer's exposé on earmarks. It is eye opening. When you see what the money really goes to and why, it makes you wonder who is really getting welfare in this country. Republican's like to carp about social program and entitlements. When you see people getting millions, even billions of government dollars for basically nothing, for things that are worthless, it makes entitlements look like...there isn't a word for what it makes it look like. It's like nano-chicken feed. The entire program can be seen here on the PBS site.

In Case You Missed It: 60 Minutes on Don Siegelman

Here's the 60 Minutes piece on Don Siegelman in two parts, above and below. It aired during the Oscars so you might have missed it. Not only that but with the McCain lobbyist/not really a sex scandal, Obamania, and the many faces of Hillary Clinton this weekend, a story like this could get overlooked.

It is understandable, after all, it's only about the president's chief political adviser politicizing the legal arm of the US government and making a former state governor a political prisoner. I mean, it's not like Bush got a blow job from an intern in the White House or anything. If that happened we'd have to go through another one of those pain in the a** impeachment trials. That'd really suck (no pun intended). But back to the Oscars, Jon Stewart was great wasn't he?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

SNL: The Press Has A Crush on Obama

Obama Girl is not the only one who's got it bad for Obama, at least, that is, through the lens of Saturday Night Live's satirical skit comedy. In this skit they slightly exaggerate the press' fawning over Barack Obama. A funny skit, but the guy playing Obama looks, or sounds nothing like him. Which is a bit of a let down, because SNL spent at least a news cycle hyping it. Making a big deal out of who their Fauxbama would be.

The guy they picked, just happens to be a white guy, which I have no problem with. Darrell Hammond did a great Jesse Jackson. Of course Jesse Jackson gives you a lot to work with in terms of speech patterns, facial expressions and body language. And that was part of the hype, that Obama's character and mannerisms were too generic to easily mimic. I don't know if that's true or a cop out for not having someone who could do him. Obama isn't as distinctive a character as Jesse, but there's definitely something to work with there. The skit worked anyway, bad Fauxbama notwithstanding, soooo.... Not live, over the internets, it's Saturday Night!

Oh BTW, Amy made a great Hillary Clinton, because she's Poehlerizing. Hahahahahahaha, get it, Poehlerizing! Whooooo, Ok, I'll stop.

SNL's Tina Fey: B*tch is the New Black!

Saturday Night Live returns to the tube, and actually the internets as well obviously, after a long hiatus due to the writer's strike. In this skit, Tina Fey, from the SNL anchor desk, delivers the women's news.