Monday, June 30, 2008
skippy's monday nite music club
ben harper & the blind boys of alabama - shall not walk alone
Labels: skippy's music club
down the penrose lane
here i thought it was for this administration's lies leading to the needless death of millions, hunger, starvation, deprivation of needed medicines and overall human suffering through out iraq and the rest of the world...
general my general
when the general speaks, i listen. i listen to his words and watch in disgust at the current "jump on the band wagon" talking head types trying to spin his statements into something they are not. it only showcases the problem with our current electoral process. spin should not equate the truth. common sense and logical thinking should not be overshadowed by emotional nonsense and bloviating to make noise just for the sake of making noise to get on the air.
august 2001: mccain voted against increasing the amount available for medical care for veterans by $650,000,000.
april 2003: mccain urged other senate members to table a vote (which never passed) to provide more than $1 billion for national guard and reserve equipment in Iraq related to a shortage of helmets, tents, bullet-proof inserts, and tactical vests.
march 2004: mccain once again voted for abusive tax loopholes over veterans when he voted against creating a reserve fund to allow for an increase in veterans' medical care by $1.8 billion by eliminating abusive tax loopholes.
april 2006: mccain was one of only 13 senators to vote against $430,000,000 for the department of veteran affairs for medical services for outpatient care and treatment for veterans.
may 2006: mccain voted against an amendment that would provide $20 million to the department of veterans affairs (va) for health care facilities.
september 2007: mccain voted against the webb amendment calling for adequate troop rest between deployments.
tom swift boat and the amazing electronic fawning machine
the mccain camp, sensing an opportunity, complained that clark had “attacked john mccain’s military service record.” of course, clark had done nothing of the kind. he had questioned the relevance of mccain’s combat experience as a qualification to be president of the united states. this is a distinction that you’d expect any reasonably intelligent nine-year old to be able to grasp.
but many in the press have been unable to...
it’s crucially important that we have a political debate in this country that’s at least sophisticated enough to be able to handle the following rather basic idea: arguing that a person’s record of military service is not a qualification for the presidency does not constitute “attacking” their military credentials; nor can it be described as invoking their military service against them, or as denying their record of war heroism.
that’s not a very high bar for sophistication. but right now it’s one the press isn’t capable of clearing.
but we wonder ourselves about the advisability of attacking mcsame's pow record. not that we don't agree: while surviving as a prisoner of war is admirable and to be lauded, it doesn't necessarily automatically make you fit to be president.
however, going after mclame's status as a pow in front of the washington press corp is a bit like going to the bible belt and saying "just because he believes jesus is our savior is no reason to call him a christian."
altho d-day at digby's digs points out that this seems to be a planned approach on gen. clark's part, we will wait to see how advisable it will turn out to be.
addendum: steveaudio finds a petition from votevets applauding gen. clark for telling the truth, and listing things that mclame's pow experience doesn't make him qualified to deal with.
"damn, it's hot" question of the day...
(bonus question for cookie jill: are you trying to get incinerated? for the flying spaghetti monster's sake, get away from that part of california! it is nothing but bad for you, jill. run away, run away...)
19,500 firefighters battle 1,400 wildfires.
fasten your seatbelts...
as the economy stalls, state and local governments will see less tax revenue roll in. get ready for cuts in services
...arizona topped the businessweek.com list of the 10 states that took the biggest tax revenue hits, compiled using data from the nelson a. rockefeller Institute of government, the public policy research arm of the state university of new york. arizona's tax revenue dropped 13.6% in the quarter ending march compared with the same period last year. on thursday the arizona legislature approved a budget plan for the coming year that eliminated a $2 billion shortfall by cutting spending for college construction projects and expanding revenue by beefing up photo enforcement and the state lottery.- businessweek
Sunday, June 29, 2008
skippy's sunday nite music club
jake shimabukuro - star spangled banner
Labels: skippy's music club
the lovely jane
mccain's case of mind over matter: he doesn't mind and we dont' matter
mccain: oh, i don’t remember. now there’s secret service protection. but i’ve done it for many, many years. i don’t recall and frankly, i don’t see how it matters.
i’ve had hundreds and hundreds of town hall meetings, many as short a time ago as yesterday. i communicate with the people and they communicate with me very effectively.
apparently "taxes are for little people"
when you're poor, it can be hard to pay the bills. when you're rich, it's hard to keep track of all the bills that need paying. it's a lesson cindy mccain learned the hard way when newsweek raised questions about an overdue property-tax bill on a la jolla, calif., property owned by a trust that she oversees. mrs. mccain is a beer heiress with an estimated $100 million fortune and, along with her husband, she owns at least seven properties, including condos in california and arizona.
san diego county officials, it turns out, have been sending out tax notices on the la jolla property, an oceanfront condo, for four years without receiving a response. county records show the bills, which were mailed to a phoenix address associated with mrs. mcmain's trust, were returned by the post office. according to a mccain campaign aide, who requested anonymity when discussing a private matter, an elderly aunt of mrs. mccain's lives in the condo, and the bank that manages the trust has not been receiving tax bills on the property. shortly after newsweek inquired about the matter, the mccain aide e-mailed a receipt dated friday, june 27, confirming payment by the trust to san diego county in the amount of $6,744.42. county officials say the trust still owes an additional $1,742 for this year, an amount that is overdue and will go into default july 1. told of the outstanding $1,742, the aide said: "the trust has paid all bills shown owing as of today and will pay all other bills due." - newsweek
"today, under george w. bush, there are two americas, not one: one america that does the work, another that reaps the reward. one america that pays the taxes, another america that gets the tax breaks. one america - middle-class america - whose needs washington has long forgotten, another america - narrow-interest america - whose every wish is washington's command. one america that is struggling to get by, another america that can buy anything it wants, even a congress and a president." - john edwardsupdate - mccains report more than $100,000 in credit card debt - the hill
smoke seen in south dakota
“these are not black hills fires,” said frank carroll, acting forest supervisor. “california is burning and we and much of the rest of the country are getting a taste of how severe the fires are there.”view the track of the smoke plume here.
black hills fire patrols are keeping an eye out for local fires. early saturday afternoon, lookouts were peering into the worsening air conditions to separate any possible black hills fires from incoming out-of-state smoke, carroll said.
great plains dispatch is receiving multiple calls of worried residents, and county emergency managers are receiving multiple calls as well. - george merchant's blog
fires enter yosemite
meet our neighbors
humpback whales are already in the santa barbara channel, and the "humpback experience" will be featured thursday in the guide section's print and online editions. but a much larger leviathan, the sleek and majestic blue whale, which can measure 100 feet and weigh 100-plus tons, will be the focus of a special trip being offered on july 12 by the american cetacean society's los angeles chapter.
the timing seems perfect. blue whales have been spotted recently in mexican waters near the coronado islands; off orange county; in the san pedro channel off los angeles; off san francisco and monterey. in other words, they've migrated into california waters and should soon settle where tiny, shrimp-like krill is most abundant. typically, the santa barbara channel, where upwelling of cold, nutrient-rich water makes for ideal conditions, is one such alluring location for what is believed to be the largest mammal ever to have inhabited the planet. - latte times
Saturday, June 28, 2008
skippy's saturday nite music club
when the going gets tough the tough get targeting
"well, wolf, i think that's up to the american people to decide if this is the right thing for the mccain camp to do. but i think many will admire the candor of charlie black here. and by disclosing their plans for attack now, black and the mccain team will in the long run save untold lives in ohio, florida and pennsylvania. people who otherwise would spend the day voting for their next president will remain home and safe from attack."
"candi crowley, part of the best political team on television, that is a good point."
mad about mccain's veep vetting team
not live from new york
a video from patagonia
patagonia....not your average company. not your average store. not your average blogger.
Friday, June 27, 2008
skippy's friday nite music club
gluecifer - easy living
Labels: skippy's music club
fun again from finnigan
having read your dismissive response to skippy, i'll address you in the tone that you apparently favor. i must say i wasn't surprised by the lack of respect and royal impatience your note conveyed. i guess peons like us should just be damn grateful you deigned to reply to the impertinent skippy. thank you, my liege! the unaccountable arrogance of our corporate press seems to be contagious, even when one of it's members turns to..(cough)..blogging. i'll be sure and see that the over 1 million visitors per week which read crooks and liars get a chance to sample how one of the denizens of our pathological press reacts to a legitimate question, politely posed.
thanks, mike! we appreciate your time and effort! and if anyone else wants to write andrew malcolm at email@example.com and let him know how unprofessional he is in the face of legitimate questions, far be it from us to stop you!
Labels: blogtopia vs. mmm
medicare or medi-non-care?
time after time, congress has jumped in at the last minute to block medicare payment cuts to doctors. will this be the time when time runs out?
a bill to block a 10.6% reduction in medicare reimbursements stalled in the senate yesterday. the cuts will take effect on july 1 — and a weeklong congressional recess starts tomorrow.
republicans and democrats seem to agree that the cuts are a bad thing. and a bill blocking them passed the house by an overwhelming 355-to-59 vote.
but senate republicans (and president bush) don’t like the way the bill finds money for docs by cutting subsidies to medicare advantage, the privately administered medicare plans. a procedural vote yesterday was 58-38 in favor of the legislation — but 60 votes were required for the bill to move ahead. - wsj
medicare advantage, instituted at the behest of conservatives who want to ultimately privatize medicare, cost taxpayers $7.1 billion more in 2006 than it would have cost of its participants were in the traditional fee-for-service medicare program, the government accountability office found in a february report (pdf). one reason, the gao says, is that on average only 87 cents of every dollar spent on medicare advantage actually go to health care; the rest goes for administrative and marketing costs—and, of course, insurance company profit.call these folks and ask why they hate old people. ask why they love supporting a tax wasting program over america's elderly's health and wellbeing.
the bill, hr 6331, would have shifted $14 billion over five years from the insurance companies in medicare advantage so that medicate fee-for-service doctors would be properly reimbursed for their costs. without that shift, no doubt thousands of the 600,000 doctors now participating in the medicare program would simply stop accepting medicare patients. the bush administration issued a veto threat, and the block-and-blame conservatives in the senate lined up behind it. - blog for our future
the medical blog moving meat has an interesting "fun fact" - mccain has not shown up to the senate to cast a vote since april. his would have been the deciding vote.
mainstream media bites roo
we received a response from andrew malcolm of the latimes blog top of the ticket. readers of this space know we have quoted and linked to top of the ticket before, and have nothing but respect for their work. but apparently the guys who write top of the ticket don't know that.
[please be aware of two things are you read mr. malcolm's answer to skippy: firstly, we accidentally ascribed jake tapper's quote about obama to mr. malcolm in our original email, ergo we had to write a second, apologetic and amended letter. and secondly, skippy, hoping to get farther in communication with real jouranalists(tm), not only used his real name in his signature, he used capital letters. that's how important he thought it was.]
mr. malcolm wrote to skippy:
people laughing and snickering at the seal detracts from the messages he wants to deliver, which is the professional measure of such tools.
haven’t come across sen. mccain’s pretend presidential seal yet. in fact, from our inquiries, we understand he doesn’t really like podiums, which might explain his poor deliveries at them. but if we do, you’ll see it roundly humorized on the ticket with a huge photo, especially if he attaches some faux latin motto. for now, we’re stuck with criticizing his crummy fundraising and policy inconsistencies. thanks for reading, though hope you do also get around to scanning our items not on your candidate.
this still is not really addressing my question, is it, though? please rest assured that you are not the only journalists i wrote to about this, and i am not sure what in my letter would give you that impression. i would say that assuming i am questioning you alone is itself defensive, if not downright egotistic. but that's just my initial reaction to your incorrect premise that i only wrote one email and it was to you.
the "universal derision" you point to was among the press corps and beltway pundits. and i actually did not say that it was a good idea or bad idea, so asking me why he's not still using it has little to do with my original point.
what i asked was, why did you so quickly fit obama's use of the presidential seal as a prototype for a campaign logo into a narrative about obama's arrogance when mccain's own caucus uses the same seal as a prototype for a campaign logo, and yet you don't mention that.
if it is because you don't know about mccain's caucus logos, i respectfully suggest that you read the link i sent you, do some research and then publish a follow up pointing out that the republicans are doing the exact same thing the democrats are doing (though, as i said in my original letter, for senatorial campaigns and not presidential campaigns).
again, when you say "people, [are laughing]" what you really mean is "the press corps." it is my contention that the press corps should not be the final arbiter of what a candidate offers to the public, especially when the opposing candidate is offering the same sort of thing, but the press corps ignores it.
please follow the link i provided, though, again, it's for senatorial campaigns, and not presidential campaigns. but the link does provide republican faux seals based on the presidential seal.
obama is not my candidate, thank you very much. as i have said on my blog post concerning your coverage of the seal, i'm not after a fair shake for obama, i'm after a fair press corps.
two minor points. my name is not skippy, that's the nom de plume i use on my blog. i gave you my name in both my original email and my follow up. i would point out that your refusal to use of my real name indicates either lack of respect for me, your reader, or more sarcasm, or just plain sloppiness on your part.
and i re-read my original email. i don't see any place in which i was sarcastic, caustic or snide towards you and your work. i believe quite strongly that i was polite, professional and adult in my approach in asking my question. not only did you completely fail to address my question in your response, i certainly don't feel you returned the respect i showed to you.
i may not have the readership that you do with my blog. but even if i was just one reader without a blog and with a question for you, does that give you the right to be snide in your response to me? seriously? is that the professionalism you wish to show to the world?
i think such attitude reflects poorly on you as a journalist and as an adult doing business in the world, and i would respectfully suggest you try to be more polite in future dialogues with your readers, lest they think you are an asshole.
ps. i'm not sure if you realize it, but "humorize" means "to humor," as in, to placate, to appease. it does not mean "to make fun of." so basically what you are saying is that the next time you see mccain make a goof, you'll placate him. a slip rather freudian, i would posit.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
skippy's thursday nite music club
skippy's thursday nite music club - bonus trax
thanks to driftglass for reminding us...barack's not the only one who wanted this:
dr. hook & the medicine show - cover of the rolling stone
man, are these guys wasted...
Labels: skippy's music club
my beloved big sur
california officials closed a stretch of the state's scenic coastal highway around historic big sur on thursday as a wildfire threatened 500 homes in the remote area known for its contemplative retreats.keep abreast of fire movement on the blog xasauan today.
firefighters have been battling hundreds of blazes across california sparked by lightning strikes over the past weekend, including two that merged into the single fire around big sur, an artists' haven that was once home to writer henry miller.
the big sur fire has burned more than 23,500 acres (9,510 hectares) and destroyed 16 homes and two other buildings.
big sur, on california's central coast, is heavily wooded, with steep slopes running down to the pacific ocean. the terrain creates one of california's most dramatic landscapes -- and slow going for almost 700 firefighters on the scene. - reuters
the audacity of "the audacity of hype" - action alert
in the addendum, chet scoville brought to our attention this piece on mike nickolas' blog, which points out that john mccain's own caucus, the national republican senatorial committee, uses the presidential seal as a prototype for their own money-raising efforts, exactly as obama tried to earlier this week.
in our research, we found this washington examiner piece about obama's ill-fated seal attempt, which pointed out the snide reactions of three national reporters:
journalists said the seal, which features an eagle clutching arrows and an olive branch, smacks of arrogance. john mccain's camp had a field day, calling the seal “laughable, ridiculous, preposterous and revealing - all at the same time.”
the seal was conspicuously missing from obama's lectern when he spoke to a group of women in albuquerque on monday. not surprising, given how much grief obama took from a normally laudatory press corps after unveiling the seal at an appearance in chicago on friday.
“what a bizarre and dumb idea,” railed nbc political director chuck todd. “it really feeds the arrogance narrative.”..
the audacity of hype,” cracked abc's jake tapper. “no word on whether they played a remix of 'hail to the chief' as obama walked in.”
andrew malcolm of the los angeles times observed that obama “has decided not to wait for any of the formalities like a presidential election, an inauguration or even a nomination, which he still hasn't actually officially won yet.”
it's not as if people all over america agreed that the seal was over the top and silly. the american people didn't even get the chance. the village press corps already sniped obama's idea out of existence, with the "arrogant" narrative.
and since mcsame and the repubbblicans had already done the exact same thing (using the presidential seal as a prototype for a logo in their campaign), there was literally no justification for the press corps to take an active part in the decisions made in the presidential race.
so we decided to write a letter to the three journalists mentioned in the examiner piece:
hello, i write a political blog which has been on occasion cited by, among other national media, cnn, msnbc, and the daily show w/jon stewart. i have a question for you.
i read in the washington examiner (in a piece by bill sammon http://www.politicalbase.com/profile/mark%20nickolas/blog/&blogid=2590) that you were quoted as saying about the obama campaign's seal:
[specific quote from each journalist**]
as you are most certainly aware, john mccain's own caucus, the national republican senatorial committee, uses at least three different permutations of the presidential seal for their campaigns (granted they are senatorial campaigns and not presidential campaigns).
for proof of this claim, please see this article http://www.politicalbase.com/profile/mark%20nickolas/blog/&blogid=2590 in which the author used google to find examples of the republican use of the seal. but i am sure that, as a journalist, you have already done this research yourself.
my question to you, sir, is two-fold:
why would you characterize sen. obama as "arrogant" (or "hype") and yet not say anything about the republicans' similar use of the presidential seal, and any implied arrogance on their part?
and, do you not feel it is your duty as a journalist to report to the public this same usage of the seal by the republicans, thus providing context to events, as opposed to letting a narrative get fed into, when there is, at least in this case, no basis for that narrative to exist?
i am publishing this letter to you on my blog, and i eagerly await your response (as do my readers).
skippy the bush kangaroo
if and when we receive answers, we will post them here. in the meantime, if you're feeling feisty, you can ask the media the same questions: why do journalists feel justified in perpetuating narratives, especially in cases when the narrative does not even fit reality?
here's chuck todd's email (from an old media matters page). here's andrew malcolm's email (based on the email formula on their contact page). here's a feedback form for abc news (we prefaced our submission with the fact that it was directed to jake tapper, you may want to do the same).
be polite. use cites and quotes. ask reasonable questions. don't give them the opportunity to dismiss you as "obmabots."
because, after all, the point is not to get a fair deal for obama. the point is to get a fair press corps.
well, we can dream, can't we?
from the emails we never bothered responding to dept:
please how are you, hope you are fine and in perfect condition of health.i went through your profile and i read it and took interest in it,please if you don't mind i will like you to write me on this id(firstname.lastname@example.org) hope to hear from you soon,and i will be waiting for your mail because i have something very important to tell you. lots of love jenny! my id jenny26unet/@/y/a/h/o/o/./c/o/m
(considering skippy's profile consists of the two words "bush kangaroo," we are a bit suspicious of why jenny took interest in it.)
quote of the day
his seal featured an eagle emblazoned with his logo, and included a latin version of his campaign slogan. this was an attempt by sen. obama to make himself appear more presidential. but most people saw in the seal something else – chutzpah – and he's stopped using it. such arrogance – even self-centeredness – have featured often in the obama campaign.
"did you see him do that? before he stopped doing that, he sure was arrogant! boy, if he had kept on doing that, we could have really called him arrogant! man, he was so arrogant for those two days he was doing that! that two-day arrogant person!"
we would define "arrogant" as the quality of assuming the american public cares as much as you do about things that no longer really matter all that much.
addendum: chet scoville points out that when rove says "obama is the first to redesign the presidential seal," he's actually not telling the truth. go figure!
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
skippy's wednesday nite music club
clint black - good run of bad luck
from the film maverick, which was actually quite entertaining.
Labels: skippy's music club
welcome to the bushco america
on saturday, i called 911 twice to report seven fires, six of which only appeared on a map yesterday! i called calfire, the united states forest service (two ranger districts), the humboldt county sheriff department, the trinity county sheriff department, and our local volunteer fire department. i wanted to know what road i could take out of our valley if i needed to escape the firestorm. the response, “ma’am, there are fires everywhere. we don’t know where they are or what roads are open.” i felt trapped, and we began putting dozer lines around our meadow, hooking up more sprinklers, and connecting fire hoses to the pump in our pond.
friends of ours in mendocino were told by cdf, “we have so many fires, you are on your own.” you are on your own! five days later, there has still not been any agency to help with their fire; however, the blm showed up to tell them to stop using private bulldozers to put fire lines in around the blaze on public land. they were told they would be arrested; they didn’t listen and protected their homes on their own.
the california wildfires are not only threatening homes and lives but the california condor population. birds had to be evacuated from a sanctuary in big sur, while the so-called gallery fire continues to burn nearby.
more than 1,000 wildfires raging in california have created competition for resources to battle the blazes choking nevada, sierra and placer counties, and a fire official wednesday said an air inversion layer will have to lift before smoky conditions improve.
“we’re competing for resources,” said carlton joseph, incident commander for the yuba river complex of fires in nevada and sierra counties. on wednesday, only 295 firefighters had been assigned to the complex because fire crews “are at a premium.”
wildfires continue to rage across northern california (video)2,500 firefighters from oregon have arrived to help california crews battle the estimated 800 fires that are burning between the san francisco area and the central valley. the fires have charred tens of thousands of acres and forced hundreds of evacuations.
a wildfire in los padres national forest has already burned 16 homes and is moving closer to the scenic community of big sur. officials say the blaze is only 3 percent contained and has burned nearly 30 square miles near the coast, about a mile south of big sur. about 500 residences are threatened by the fire.
cal fire reports that in addition to fires and evacuations, a number of related highway closures on state highways and local roads which are closed throughout northern california due to wildfire activities.
closures are in place for state highway 32, 36, 70, 89, 96. delays are in place for state highway 299. it is reported that numerous county and local roads are closed as well. travelers are advised to check with law enforcement agencies prior to traveling.
worsening wildfire smoke spurred a rare forecast of unhealthy air for much of the East Bay today with the general public — not just sick people — being advised to limit strenuous outdoor exercise and exposure to smoky air.
until today, the worst air pollution in the bay area from the many northern california fires was "moderate," triggering advisories for children, the elderly and people with respiratory problems to limit outdoor exercise.
but the smoke keeps blowing in.
so far more than 100 fires in mendocino county have burned 20,300 acres, causing a preliminary damage estimate of $3.1 million.
...in mendocino county, about 900 rural residences are threatened, nearly double the number from earlier in the week, according to the state command team now in charge of firefighting efforts. evacuation centers have been set up at point arena and willits high schools.
you're looking at a pattern that's climatologically rare. we typically don't see this happen at this time of summer," said john juskie, a science officer with the national weather service in sacramento. "to see 8,000 (lighting strikes), that's way up there on the scale." - the insurance journal
when grown media cry
via whiskeyfire, we delight in atta j. turk and other readers' ability to piss off michael scherer over at swampland.
skip the boring post itself, and read the comments, wherein readers take scherer and other media pundits to task for not doing their job.
now, that in itself is interesting enough. but scherer responds with such petulence and whining that he pretty much proves everybody's points.
whachu talkin bout, nader?
"there's only one thing different about barack obama when it comes to being a democratic presidential candidate. he's half african-american," nader said. "whether that will make any difference, i don't know. i haven't heard him have a strong crackdown on economic exploitation in the ghettos. payday loans, predatory lending, asbestos, lead. what's keeping him from doing that? is it because he wants to talk white? he doesn't want to appear like jesse jackson? we'll see all that play out in the next few months and if he gets elected afterwards."…
asked to clarify whether he thought obama does try to "talk white," nader said: "of course."
meme's the word
which sounds to us like something close to sen. clinton's claim that she has experience and obama does not.
and how'd that work out for her?
down the penrose lane
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
skippy's monday nite music club
emma kirkby, james bowman & the academy of ancient music - stabat mater by giovanni battista pergolesi
pergolesi was one of the earliest operatic composers, having worked in the mid-18th century. but this religious piece is perhaps his most famous work. wikipedia tells us it was the most frequently printed work in the 18th century.
originally written for two castradi, here it is sung by the redoubtable dame carolyn emma kirkby, one of the premiere specialists in early music, and counter-tenor james bowman. the academy of ancient music is conducted by christopher hogwood.
Labels: skippy's music club
fire! uh, uh, uh....fire!
obama might have a similar bottom line, core principles for which, in some sense, he is willing to die. if so, we don't know what they are. nothing so far in his life approaches mccain's decision to refuse repatriation as a pow so as to deny his jailors a propaganda coup. in fact, there is scant evidence the illinois senator takes positions that challenge his base or otherwise threaten him politically. that's why his reversal on campaign financing and his transparently false justification of it matter more than similar acts by mccain.
a presidential race is only incidentally about issues. it's really about likability and character. obama is, to paraphrase what he said about hillary clinton, more than "likable enough" -- in fact, so much so that he is the most charismatic presidential candidate i've seen since robert f. kennedy. but the character question hangs -- not because of any evidence to the contrary and not in any moral sense, either, but because he is still young and lacks the job references mccain picked up in a north vietnamese prison. mccain has a bottom line. obama just moved his.
we, probably much like you, were incredulous as we attempted to interpret what cohen was saying.
mcsame has more character? the headline of the piece itself was "mccain's core advantage," obviously a reference to mclame's "core," his ethics, his values.
that's right. the man whose second marriage was to the woman with whom he was cheating on his first wife.
how in heaven's name could columnist richard cohen tout mcsame as having "character" worth admiring, while overlooking such flaws like his adulterous behavior?
from about.com's biography of peter jennings:
aaah, it all begins to make sense...
david copperfield, or: 20,000 leagues under the sea
she's one of the ten finalists. and of course, mad celebrates with...a limerick!
good luck mad! and have a drink at the algonquin for us!
your librul media at work
in the fall of 2007, mccain opted into the public financing system for the gop primaries, which meant he'd later receive just over $5 million in public funds in exchange for agreeing to a fundraising limit of around $54 million for the entire primary process, which ends when he accepts the nomination at the republican national convention in september.
by late november, his campaign was practically broke, so mccain took out a pair of $1 million loans, using the public funds he would receive as collateral.
cut to super tuesday, when mccain had the republican nomination all but wrapped up. suddenly, he didn't want to be bound by that $54 million limit, so his campaign did a 180 and opted back out of the public financing system.
but as david mason, the republican-appointed chair of the fec, has pointed out, you can't just unilaterally opt out -- especially after securing a loan based on having opted in. the response of the mccain campaign is quite simply to ignore mason. and because the fec currently lacks a quorum (thanks to stalling tactics by that human roadblock to reform, mitch mcconnell) that's where things stand, pending a ruling on a lawsuit filed by the dnc.
yet few in the swift boat media saw fit to point out this glaring contradiction in mccain's cries about broken commitments made to the american people. indeed, as media matters points out, the new york times, the los angeles times, the philadelphia inquirer, the cbs evening news, nbc's nightly news, fox news' special report, and cnn all dutifully reported mccain's "big deal" claim without mentioning mccain's campaign finance chicanery.
one notable exception was cnn's john roberts. when mccain surrogate nancy pfotenhauer tried to contrast obama opting out of public financing and mccain's steadfast resolve in the face of torture at the hanoi hilton, roberts, as noted by our jason linkins, firmly raised the question of whether mccain cheated the campaign financing system.
on the day after obama announced he wouldn't take public funding, monica wouldn't let the gop talking head spew talking points without admitting that mclame also refused public funding in the primaries.
but aside from these minor exceptions, the media is operating just as arianna suggests...screaming that obama is a flip-flopper, while ignoring the fact that mcsame has done the exact same thing.
addendum: at least there's one more on our side: crooks&liars has the video of rep. robert wexler on cnn pointing out that mclame broke his own campaign finance law.
in the words of one republican
Monday, June 23, 2008
skippy's monday nite music club
marvin gaye - what's going on/what's happening brother
Labels: skippy's music club
you gotta keep a sense of humour
with 800 fires raging in california
the governor's office said "the governator" will skip a planned address to the 47th annual capital prayer breakfast on tuesday to appear with republican presidential hopeful john mccain at an environmentally themed campaign event in santa barbara.
organizers believe it is the first time a sitting governor has declined to address the annual gathering, although there is no official record. for years, the event was referred to as the governor's prayer breakfast. - san mercury rising news
...tuesday's event, at the santa barbara museum of natural history, is just north of a 25-acre coastal enclave schwarzenegger and his wife, maria shriver, bought this spring for $4.7 million. a former santa barbara county ranch in carpinteria is being transformed into privately owned estates. - signonsandyeggo
an estimated 6,000 lightening strikes ignited more than 800 blazes, the a*hole press reported monday. - the press (starship) enterprise
it's like being for family values while divorcing your first wife after her car accident and calling your second wife a "cunt"
nifty graphic courtesy of blueintheface
commenting at balloon juice
jane hamsher at firedoglake (actually tracy russo, formerly of the edwards campaign) asks a perfectly reasonably question about john mccain:
addendum: according to ben smith, mccain aide mark soohoo assures us that mccain is aware of the internet. but the question remains, is he aware of all internet traditions?
double addendum: john cole at balloon juice beat us to the "all internet traditions" punchline!
triple addendum: so did newshoggers!
sometimes the jokes just write themselves
joe klein writes a headline over at swampland: too good to check
what, is that his autobiography?
Labels: multi-millionaire media
rip george carlin
brilliant at breakfast
the moderate voice
crooks & liars
the carpetbagger report
a video tribute at mediabloodhound
the rude pundit
lawyers, guns and money
blue girl, red state
pam's house blend
all we can say is...motherfucker shit! piss fuck cunt! cocksucker! tits!
addendum: the sailor over at vidiotspeak was privileged enough to have worked w/george carlin once...and his remembrance of that night shows what made carlin a professional.
double addendum: with the passing of carlin, and stan winston earlier this week, as well as dick martin & sydney pollack recently, harrison ford's line as indiana jones in the new film kingdom of the crystal skull seems especially poignant: we seem to have reached the age where life stops giving us things and starts taking them away.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
skippy's sunday nite music club
the pretenders - i'll stand by you
we just heart chrissy hynde
Labels: skippy's music club
sunday nite at the movies
mrs. skippy shares skippy's luv of netflix, the best distribution system for movies since independent tv stations of the 50's and 60's. mrs. skippy dutifully watched every episode of sex and the city before dragging skippy to see the big screen version on opening weekend a few weeks ago. (believe us, folks, there was more estrogen in that theater that day than in a year's suppy of yaz birth control pills.)
similarly, it was mrs. skippy's idea to watch the first three indiana jones movies in order before seeing the newest one. and several things became apparent:
- tho the second film, indiana jones and the temple of doom, is quite obviously the worst of the bunch (very gory, very violent, very xenophobic), it is the one of the first three in which indiana takes an active role in defeating the bad guys in the end. in films one and three, it's the mysterious forces (of the ark of the covenant in one and of the holy grail resting place in three) that kill the villains. in the second one, indy actually out-fights the old-fashioned way, by hand and by wits, sans magic.
- for family-friendly movies, there are a hell of a lot of people who get killed in these flicks;
- the movies' structure and execution get better with each successive film; tho the first one was most remembered, for plot, pace, humor and engaging story, the third film is the best of the original trilogy, and this new one is the best yet;
- the late denholm elliot (referenced but not in the new film) carried far more of the movies than you actually knew;
- likewise, sean connery as indiana's dad (also referenced but not appearing) could have juiced up the crystal skull a little;
- worse, john rhys-davies' character, sallah, was not even mentioned, let alone appearing;
- karen allen's character of marion ravenwood became stupider, more passive and less interesting in the last 20 years;
- tho jill of brilliant at breakfast said that terence stamp is the hottest 69 year old in the universe (on our post about the get smart film), we'd say harrison ford held up pretty well, too;
all in all, we'd say the crystal skull is a fine way to spend an afternoon. humor, fast-paced chase scenes, a touch of nostaligia (both for the 50's, in which the film is set, and for the first three movies) and harrison ford make for a pleasant diversion.
on a related, and sadder note, the great oscar-winning effects artist stan winston died last sunday.
aside from parts of the kingdom of the crystal skull, stan's work was more often than not the biggest part of the movies it appeared in. stan was responsible for the t-rex in jurassic park, the cyborgs in terminator two, the queen mother in alien 3, and the armor of ironman.
following in the tradition of ray harryhausen, stan was one of the last of a breed in this day of computer generated effects. latimes:
so just how unevenly weighted is the balance between disciplines at this point exactly? is there a certain danger of winston's art being lost along with him? "i think a lot of filmmakers have a love-hate relationship with cg," says director jonathan mostow, who worked with winston on "terminator 3." "it makes anything you can imagine possible, but you have to surrender a degree of control to legions of computer technicians, many of whom you may never meet."
our congresscritter lois capps
“this is a dodge, a smokescreen,” capps said, “to keep our eyes off what we should be focusing on to really address the problem.” by that, capps said, congress and the federal government should be promoting conservation and alternative energy sources, including solar, wind, and biomass-derived fuels.
we "heart" our congresscritter. she's reality based.
for a man who proposes off shore oil drilling
presumptive republican presidential nominee john mccain will be in santa barbara on monday, june 23, for a private fundraiser with some of the bigwig local republicans — the same group who brought former candidate rudy giuliani to santa barbara twice during his run. the reception will be held at the home of carol and bill foley at 4181 creciente drive. mccain will also hold a fundraising event in fresno that day, and two more in southern california the day following. the mccain supporters are also planning a green energy event in santa barbara for tuesday morning. details were unavailable. - sbindependent
give or raise $43,100
four tickets to
chair and co-chair reception
with two photo opportunities
give or raise $10,000
two tickets to
chair and co-chair reception
with one photo opportunity
president bush openly supports torture; john mccain, a fighter for the power of perception, publicly decries torture but supports it while voting in the senate.
president bush prefers jen; john mccain prefers angelina.
president bush wanted annie hall to get back together with alvy singer; john mccain agreed with her decision to stay in los angeles with tony lacey.
president bush shows nothing but respect for his wife; john mccain, emblematic of his unyielding independence, publicly called his wife a cunt.
president bush is taller.
president bush prefers the caramel popcorn in a box of cracker jacks; john mccain prefers the peanuts. also, the president gets much more excited about the prize.
president bush is a breast man; john mccain is an ass man.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
skippy's saturday nite music club
local h - copasetic (bound for the floor)
Labels: skippy's music club
just a coincidence?
Friday, June 20, 2008
skippy's friday nite music club
barrett strong - money
written (and produced) by berry gordy hizownself!
Labels: skippy's music club
top 4 reasons we knew the "get smart" movie would be a dog
however, we came to realize weeks ago that the new version of would be terrible, and for 4 different reasons:
- to be fair, there were a couple of genuinely funny moments in the coming attractions, to wit: when smart tries to outmaneuver his adversary by throwing a phone receiver at him, only to have it spring back on the phone cord, and when smart tries to surreptitiously part the beaded curtain, making the beads all fall down off the strings, scattering all across the floor.
these are actually quite good physical bits. but upon reflection, we remembered that these two bits of schtick were actually from the original tv show, first performed by don adams. and the rule of hollywood today is put all your best jokes in the coming attractions. ergo, if the best jokes in the movie are stolen from a 40 year old tv show, what does that tell you?
- the film purports to be an "origin" story, that is, the explanation of how the character came to be. in and of itself, this makes little sense to anybody who adored the tv show.
there was no need to explain how max got to be the top agent in control. control was a mess. everyone was incompetent and loony (except perhaps the chief, as portrayed by the late great edward platt, whose character was obviously out of his league trying to keep on top of the goofiness). it only made sense that max smart was the best control had to offer.
but the film apparently tells how desk-bound data analyst max smart gets kicked upstairs to head spy when all of control's real spies get killed.
gee, that sounds promising, eh? like a little backstory explaining how a bumbler could get such a lofty position.
it could have been. if rowan atkinson hadn't already used the exact same "every agent gets killed so goofy guy gets promoted" plot device for his own (terrible) spy spoof johnny english.
a movie about a bumbling american spy that steals its premise from a really, really bad movie about a bumbling english spy? what does that tell you?
- from the beginning, the get smart film was hawked as an "action comedy." now, the thought mel brooks and buck henry (the originators of the tv show) brings many things to mind, but "action" is one not one of them.
brooks and henry did not spoof action movies with their show. and believe us, there were plenty of action movies (specifically sean connery spy films) back then they could have spoofed. no, they were comedians rooted firmly in borscht belt vaudeville schtick, and that's what they gave us.
the physical gags were done in a room, not off the wings of an airplane plummeting to earth. the cone of silence made things so quiet that the conversationalists couldn't actually hear the conversation. agent 13 was usually stuck in a trash can or bowling ball return for a disguise. action, schmaction, we got the jokes!
jokes which were just as liable to be plays on words as plays on spy conventions. (one of our fav moments in the old series: spanish informant tamara dies in max's arms. 99 says "you mean -?" and max replies, deadpan, "yes, 99...there is no tamara." also, check out george c. scott's filmography to get the joke for the episode titled "the mess of adrian listenger.")
our point? the tv show was a spoof, more along the lines of today's scary movie franchise (if the scary movie franchise was actually funny, that is)...simply an excuse to string goofy punchlines together. there was never a chance that max and 99 were in danger. you knew max would get out of the bog of synthetic sand ("how is that different than quick sand?" "it's quicker") without a scratch. who needs action sequences, when you've got barbara feldon to look at?
there was no need for risk. that was a different genre. (and there was no need for brooks and henry to do an action spoof...james coburn had done two excellent bond parodies w/his derek flint series, and there's always the regrettable peter sellers failure, casino royale...all action-packed goofball spy spoofs.)
so this, to us, represents the current filmmakers' inability to understand the actual oore of what made maxwell smart so appealing. we don't need no stinkin' action. not if we've got jokes.
- and this brings us to what looks to be a terribly miscast terence stamp as siegfried, max's nemisis from kaos.
now, there is probably nobody working in movies today that can portray a cold-blooded psycho better than terence stamp. his steely eyes staring at you would stop your heart and put it down in your bowels.
and that's the problem. siegfried, as played by bernie koppel (another borscht belt-rooted comic) was anything but petrifying. he was as goofy as max. again, this appears to be a terrible miscalculation on the part of the filmmakers as to what get smart is about.
we don't want general zod as max's enemy! we want doc from love boat!
we haven't seen get smart the movie. we actually would prefer not to. so we might be 100% wrong in our trepidation.
but we don't think so.