November 29, 2007
"America's Mayor" used money from NYC's Loft Board and a disabilities office (among other agencies) to fund his extramarital affair in the Hamptons with Judith Nathan.
Click Rudy to watch him squirm his way through a ridiculously lame explanation:
November 23, 2007
November 22, 2007
November 16, 2007
A powerful moment from last night's Democratic Debate:
November 15, 2007
November 14, 2007
(Click to Listen)
Taken from the album E.T. The Extra Terrestrial as told By Gertie:
Found on WFMU's Beware of the Blog where you'll also find some choice cuts from Billy Joel's 1970 prog band Attila, Mr. French reciting Bob Dylan songs and LBJ ordering "about six pairs" of Haggar pants.
Watch this trailer for the new film Valkyrie featuring the actors Bill Nighy, Kenneth Branagh, Eddie Izzard, Stephen Fry, Tom Wilkinson and Terence Stamp. Oh, and some guy named Tom Cruise:
Can someone please stick a fork in Tom? He's once again in waaaaay over his head.
It takes a lot for me to admit this but Camille-the-Blowhard hits the nail on Hillary Clinton's head:
The mainstream media have been in a breathless tizzy about how Hillary Clinton waffled, tripped, stumbled or generally screwed up at the Democratic debate in Philadelphia two weeks ago.There's more but there's only so much Camille I can take ("A plus is a glimpse of Hillary's top aide, the elegant Huma Abedin..." WTF?!?!)
But Hillary's performance at prior debates was never as deft or "flawless" as the media claimed in the first place. Conventional wisdom has now flipped, and the air-headed lemmings of our free press have turned on a dime and are stampeding in the opposite direction. This is the same crew who passively swallowed administration propaganda about the urgency of an invasion of Iraq. Don't ask for critical acumen from this lot.
Hillary's stonewalling evasions and mercurial, soulless self-positionings have been going on since her first run for the U.S. Senate from New York, a state she had never lived in and knew virtually nothing about. The liberal Northeastern media were criminally complicit in enabling her queenlike, content-free "listening tour," where she took no hard questions and where her staff and security people (including her government-supplied Secret Service detail) staged events stocked with vetted sympathizers, and where they ensured that no protesters would ever come within camera range.
That compulsive micromanagement, ultimately emanating from Hillary herself, has come back to haunt her in her dismaying inability to field complex unscripted questions in a public forum. The presidential sweepstakes are too harsh an arena for tenderfoot novices. Hillary's much-vaunted "experience" has evidently not extended to the dynamic give-and-take of authentic debate. The mild challenges she has faced would be pitiful indeed by British standards, which favor a caustic style of witty put-downs that draw applause and gales of laughter in the House of Commons. Women had better toughen up if they aspire to be commander in chief.
Whether John Edwards or Barack Obama (toward whom I'm currently leaning) has conclusively demonstrated his superiority for the top of the ticket remains to be seen. They may unfortunately split the anti-Hillary vote (a majority of registered Democrats) so that she slips through. If Hillary is the Democratic nominee, I will certainly vote for her. But I continue to find it hard to believe that my party truly craves that long nightmare of déjà vu -- with scandal after scandal disgorged and an endless train of abused women returning from Bill Clinton's sordid, anti-feminist past.
An amusing video (posted by Matt Drudge) shows a row of American flags chaotically tumbling down behind and almost on top of Hillary last weekend--hardly an auspicious omen for Veterans Day. I like the way Hillary uses her flat, practical, real-life voice to admonish the event organizers about properly weighting the poles. A plus is a glimpse of Hillary's top aide, the elegant Huma Abedin, wielding one of her formidable designer handbags:
From some of the people who brought you the show about whiny thirtysomethings comes quarterlife, a new web series (and "social network") about whiny twentysomethings:
(Click if you must)
I tried watching for about five minutes and felt ashamed at the hate I was generating toward the show's characters. No, hate is not a strong enough word. And trust me, watching people blog or vlog or make friends on myspace or hook-up on facebook is about as exciting as actually doing any of those things (ie: not very).
Anti-Bush Sign Has Bridge World in an UproarIt's enough to make me give up playing bridge forever (if I played bridge, that is)."...a team of women who represented the United States at the world bridge championships in Shanghai last month is facing sanctions, including a yearlong ban from competition, for a spur-of-the-moment protest."
November 13, 2007
President George W. Bush on Tuesday vetoed a measure to fund education, job training and health programs, marking the sixth veto of his presidency and the latest salvo in a fight with congressional Democrats over domestic spending.Meanwhile, it looks like the cost of our failing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have ballooned to approximately $1.5 trillion. And the U.S. dollar? Oy:
But Bush signed a separate bill to give the Pentagon about $460 billion for the fiscal year that began on October 1, even though the White House was disappointed the military bill was $3.5 billion less than the administration requested.
The White House criticized the $600 billion labor, health, and human services legislation that Bush vetoed, calling it bloated and filled with special projects. It was about $10 billion more than what Bush requested.
"We call on Congress to take out the pork and reduce the overall spending levels and return it to the president," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino as Bush traveled to Indiana for a budget speech.
But House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, a Wisconsin Democrat, said the bill boosted spending on essential programs and that the money is dwarfed by Iraq war costs.
Bush, Obey said, "is now pretending to protect the deficit by refusing to provide a $6 billion increase to crucial domestic investments in education, health care, medical research and worker protections."
The dollar slipped against most major currencies on Tuesday, resuming a long-term decline after a respite in the previous session as investors expected further signs of housing weakness and sluggish consumer spending that could hurt U.S. growth.Heckuva job Georgie...
(Click the strips for more Get Your War On)
via Yahoo! "News":
Hilton tries to help drunk elephantsDrunk elephants are so not hot.Paris Hilton is being praised by conservationists for highlighting the problem of binge-drinking elephants in northeastern India.
Activists said a celebrity endorsement such as Hilton's was sure to raise awareness of the plight of the pachyderms that get drunk on farmers' homemade rice beer and then go on a rampage.
"The elephants get drunk all the time. It is becoming really dangerous. We need to stop making alcohol available to them," the 26-year-old socialite said in a report posted on World Entertainment News Network's Web site. Her comments were picked up by other Web sites and newspapers around the globe.
Last month, six wild elephants that broke into a farm in the state of Meghalaya were electrocuted after drinking the potent brew and then uprooting an electricity pole.
"There would have been more casualties if the villagers hadn't chased them away. And four elephants died in a similar way three years ago. It is just so sad," Hilton was quoted as saying in Tokyo last week. She was in Tokyo to judge a beauty contest.
In a Nov. 13 story, The Associated Press incorrectly reported that Paris Hilton was praised by conservationists for highlighting the problem of binge-drinking elephants in northeastern India. Lori Berk, a publicist for Hilton, said she never made any comments about helping drunken elephants in India.This corrective is such an injustice. Can't we continue to believe that Paris cares about drunken elephants? It helps me sleep at night.
November 12, 2007
Perhaps you have heard about the conclusions of the nonpartisan National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy's report on abstinence-only programs. In case you haven't, guess what? They don't work.
According to the report,
"At present there does not exist any strong evidence that any abstinence program delays the initiation of sex, hastens the return to abstinence or reduces the number of sexual partners" among teenagers.I love what this columnist in Texas wrote about the report:
The study found that while abstinence-only efforts appear to have little positive impact, more comprehensive sex education programs were having "positive outcomes" including teenagers "delaying the initiation of sex, reducing the frequency of sex, reducing the number of sexual partners and increasing condom or contraceptive use."
"...the study 'debunks myths' that comprehensive sex education promotes teenage sexual activity and sends mixed messages to children.Thanks to abstinence-only programs, kids are not being educated about condom use and, as a result, STDs and teen pregnancies are on the rise in many areas. But many schools are afraid of comprehensive programs. Why? They'll lose federal funding. Thanks W.
If it did, how come we don’t believe the same is true of drug education?"
The other week, the almost-always excellent Boston Legal featured a case of a 15 year old girl who becomes HIV-positive after having unprotected sex. She decides to sue her school for teaching abstinence-only. Luckily for her, she hired Emmy-award winner James Spader (a.k.a. "Alan Shore") to do the actual suing:
(Click to watch)
(Bush cartoon "courtesy" of CampusProgress.org.)
After a ridiculously warm fall, it would seem that we here in the Northeast have plunged head first into the depths of winter as well as the gloomy depression that comes with too little sun. Ah, but there's a cure: Seemingly upbeat music that is actually fairly depressing. That's right, there's nothing like someone else's blues to cheer up your winter doldrums. With that in mind, I bring you a choice cut from the latest incarnation of The Wedding Present, I'm from Further North Than You.
The "band" originally hailed from Leeds, England and has been around in one incarnation or another since 1985. The only constant through the years has been singer-songwriter-guitarist David Gedge who's unique voice always lets you know you are listening to The Wedding Present (or his temporary band from 1998-2004, Cinerama), whether the songs are loud and fast or quiet and slow.
I'm from Further North Than You (about a wild one night stand that morphs into a doomed relationship) is a typical tale of Gedge heartbreak but damn if it's not catchy (for an excellent review of the song, go here).
To listen/download, click on the Take Fountain CD cover above (you can get the entire album on mp3 here or on CD here).
November 09, 2007
November 08, 2007
Harry ("Derek Smalls") Shearer mashes The Beach Boys and our torturous government.
I think the current writer's strike is a perfect example of how greedy and selfish the rich have become, especially over the last six years. The gulf between the "haves and the been-hads" continues to widen at an alarming rate:
(A brief explanation of what the WGA is fighting for)
(Writer-Producers from The Office on Day 2 of the strike)
One of the most important things to keep in mind about this strike: "The Writers Guild of America is a middle-class union. Almost half our membership receives no income from Guild-covered employment in any given year. As a result, the median income of Guild members from screen and television writing work is $5,000 per year. That's right: five thousand. Among the lucky half who actually work, one quarter earns less than $37,700 a year."
We take you back to September 13th, 2001:
Falwell: "The pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way-all of them who have tried to secularize America - I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen.'"
Robertson: "I totally concur."
Click the pro-gay, pro-choice suck-up adulterer and the hypocritical "Christian" leader to listen to the comic stylings of Falwell & Robertson.
November 06, 2007
"We thought we were electing the Seven Samurai or at least the Three Amigos. Instead, we got a handful of Barney Fifes."
Keith Olbermann nails Bush the Liar:
(Click to watch)
Here's the transcript of Keith's "The presidency is now a criminal conspiracy" Special Comment.
More on Daniel Levin, the man who would not lie for President Bush.
Video "courtesy" of onegoodmove.
November 05, 2007
Poet, activist, hip hopper Saul Williams has teamed up with Nine Inch Nailer Trent Reznor to release THE INEVITABLE RISE AND LIBERATION OF NIGGYTARDUST! available only on the internet for (get this) free or 5 bucks. I'm guessing Jimmy Iovine is not pleased.
Not sure I wanted to plunk down $5 for something I had never heard (even though I agree with Saul who said "Five bucks seemed pretty fair. It's the cost of a good latte, so you'd hope people would pay that much for a good record"), I decided to download it for free. Halfway through listening to it, I went back to the site and virtually plunked down my 5 bucks to "directly support the artists involved in the creation of this music." The "album" is a killer: Nine Inch Nails meets Public Enemy yet oddly more accessible than either of those groups (maybe because there's a little non-hatable Lenny Kravitzy stuff going on as well). Here's a sample:
Click to listen to Saul Williams' "WTF!" (NSFW)
Did you like? Then you know what to do...
November 01, 2007
(via stereogum) ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead frontman Conrad Keely announces the band's departure from Interscope Records:
So as has already been announced, ...Trail of Dead has once again made history, this time being the first band to drop Interscope. OK, we're not the first. Actually, Trent Reznor beat us to it. Let's just say we're the first rock band to do so... this year. Ever since label head Jimmy Iovine started dating the lead singer guy of the Pussycat Dolls it became impossible to get him on the phone, so that was a first bad sign. Then their idea of marketing became keeping it a secret that we'd released a record. The industry is in a strange place these days, and the only way they can make money is to sell urban pop music. Which is what I thought we were writing, but apparently I was wrong.I've been a big fan of this band for years (twice running they've made my "Number Ones That Never Were" best of the year comps) and I was amazed that their last couple of albums more or less fizzled. Now I know why (and I apologize profusely for calling them a "once-overrated band").
That's not saying the label didn't do great things for us. At the expense of a massive debt to them of half a million dollars, they really helped us to grow. They've taught us about the worthlessness of A&R people, how to yell at idiots running an art department, and how to shake hands with smiling retailers who have no idea who you are. And I love Jimmy Iovine for having worked with John Lennon and Phil Spector on the Rock and Roll sessions. I mean, that was thirty years ago, and the Rock and Roll sessions sound pretty bad over all, and John Lennon is now dead and Phil Spector has murdered people since then, but hey, that was really cool that Jimmy did that, thirty years ago, back then, and dated Stevie Nicks. He's had a great dating record, he just won't have the next TOD record.
(full rant can be found here)
To hear some ...Trail of Dead greatness, click the non-Interscope album above and groove to "Gargoyle Waiting" -- and throw the band some love and help them reduce their debt by buying their CDs or mp3s.
Ironically, I watched the 4 hour (!) Tom Petty documentary the other night and thoroughly enjoyed Jimmy Iovine's interview bites. He's quite an enthusiastic, humorous fellow (who produced some great albums, including Patti Smith's Easter and Tom Petty's Damn the Torpedoes), but clearly he's also a prick:
Well, we definitely know "our" President isn't human:
President Bush, seeking to salvage the embattled nomination of Michael Mukasey as attorney general, on Thursday defended the former judge's refusal to say whether he considers waterboarding as illegal torture. But the nomination was expected to suffer another setback in the Senate.What an asshole.
Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., was expected to announce his opposition to Mukasey in a speech on the Senate floor.
Bush said it was unfair to ask Mukasey about interrogation techniques on which he has not been briefed. "He doesn't know whether we use that technique or not," the president told a group of reporters invited into the Oval Office.
Further, Bush said, "It doesn't make any sense to tell an enemy what we're doing."
This same Tonight Show featured Tom Cruise and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul. I wonder how many viewers hung on for the Pistols?
UPDATE: Here's Ron (I'll spare you our modern day Tyrone Power):
So much of what the guy says makes sense. Hard to believe he's a Republican (actually, he's more of a true, old-school Republican than anyone else who is running). As far as his chances of winning go, I'd have to say he's this year's Howard Dean, minus the scream.