Monthly Archives: February 2011

Charlie Sheen Interview: He’s Not Bi-Polar; He’s Bi-Winning

Okay.  I want the T-shirt rights to that.

Unfortunately, they're not letting people embed the video of Charlie Manson's Sheen's rantings, so you'll just have to watch it on YouTube.  I know Sheen is a punchline; I had no idea how deserving he is.

Bonus Sheen: “I am on a drug: it’s called Charlie Sheen. It’s not available ’cause if you try it, you will die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body."

Elsewhere in the interview, Sheen claims he has “tiger blood” running through his veins, adding: “My brain … fires in a way that is, I don’t know, maybe not from this particular terrestrial realm.”

I'll buy that.


Breaking: Obama Administrations Declares DOMA Unconstitutional And Will Not Defend It


The Obama Justice Department has decided that part of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional and will not defend it in court.

"After careful consideration, including a review of my recommendation, the President has concluded that given a number of factors, including a documented history of discrimination, classifications based on sexual orientation should be subject to a more heightened standard of scrutiny," Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement.

"The President has also concluded that Section 3 of DOMA, as applied to legally married same-sex couples, fails to meet that standard and is therefore unconstitutional," Holder said. "Given that conclusion, the President has instructed the Department not to defend the statute in such cases. I fully concur with the President's determination."

That wasn't too hard, was it?

Wonder why it took Obama so long.


Do Americans Favor Or Oppose Collective Bargaining Rights? [FOX lies about the answer]

There have been a few polls on this, but none from a non-partisan pollster.  Until yesterday. USA Today and Gallup released a new poll that found that a whopping 61 percent of Americans oppose efforts like those of Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) to strip public sector unions of collective bargaining rights. The poll also found that only a third of Americans support such a policy, indicating that Walker is pandering to the far-right of the American electorate and is hardly representative of mainstream political thought in this country.

This morning, the Fox News show Fox & Friends referenced the USA Today/Gallup poll. With incredible brazenness, the Fox hosts actually reversed the results of the poll in order to claim that two-thirds of Americans supported Wisconsin-style laws rather than opposed them.

That's right — they reversed the results to show the OPPOSITE of what the poll said.

Here's the video:


Indiana Deputy Attorney General On Wisconsin Protesters Tweets “Use Live Ammunition”

This is seriously messed up.

On a related note, Jay Bookman reports this morning that the Service Employees International Union will hold a rally in Atlanta today, at Georgia's state capitol. Conservative activists have been encouraged to attend – with firearms.

UPDATE:  The Indiana Deputy Attorney General is no longer employed in the Indiana AG's office.

On Modern Art

Having recently been to the MOMA, I recently came to the conclusion that modern art is bosh.  And it has been bosh since, well, Andy Warhol.  No, maybe even before Warhol.  Well, if I had been paying better attention at MOMA, I could tell you when modern art became bosh.  But it was within the past 50 or so years.

With that said, I recently saw Exit Through The Gift Shop on Netflix, and I really like Banksy, who, apparently, is popping up in L.A. lately.


I hope Exit wins the Best Documentary Oscar this year, even if (as some say) the whole documentary is a hoax.

Let’s Be Clear About Wisconsin

This is not about balancing the state's budget.

It's about taking advantage of a state's financial woes in order to bust unions.

In any financial crisis, somebody is going to get hurt financially.  Ideally, those who suffer are those who are can absorb the blow the most.  That would be the wealthiest members of society.

But in Wisconsin, the wealthiest members of society have financed the election of Republicans, who now run the state's governship and congress.  So who is getting shafted instead?  The working man.  The union man.

Anytime someone on the left begins to hint at raising taxes on the wealthy, Rush Limbaugh and his ilk cry out "Class warfare!  Class warfare!  The lower and middle classes are attacking the rich!"

Make no bones about it — there IS class warfare, but it is the wealthy attacking the middle and lower classes.  That's what is going on in Wisconsin.  And it's starting in Indiana, too.  And coming to a state near you.

The days of the corporate fat cats are back.

Here's an angry guy:


A Middle Age Man (Me) Reacts To The New Britney Spears Video


Oh, my.  An asteroid heading toward Earth.  This can't be good.

Whew.  Apparently the asteroid was merely providing power for this video.

They started shooting this video before the backup dancers were dressed.  How embarrassing for them.

One would have thought that Britney could afford a larger stage.

Britney in a wedding dress is defying gravity on the set of American Idiot (the Broadway musical).

I'm sure Groucho would be proud of his one-liner being used in this way.  Britney's next video: "I Once Shot An Elephant in My Pajamas"

Can't tell if this is autotuned or not. (Kidding….)

The folks at dating site must be happy.

Lips!  It's Rocky Horror time!

One gets the feeling that Britney didn't really want to dance in this one.  She left all the heavy movement to the backup boys.

Hey, those dudes don't have eyes!  Ewwwww….

Is Britney fighting herself, or Courtney Love?  Not that it matters.  I want both of them to lose.

Multi-color paint spray glove.  I want.

Black leather Britney looks pumped.  She's still phoning in the dancing though.

Multi-colored question mark.  Indeed.

Rep. Jackie Speier’s Inspiring Speech

Yesterday's House debate on stripping Planned Parenthood of federal funding (aka the Pence Amendment) included a few bright spots, notably this moving, impassioned and dead-on speech from California Representative Jackie Speier. She didn't plan to talk about this, but after listening to Republican Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey, who read aloud from a book passage describing how a second-trimester abortion appears on an ultrasound and argued that women cavalierly undergo this procedure.


BTW, between Republicans in Congress trying to defund Planned Parenthood and what's happening in Wisconsin, if you're beginning to detect a pattern, you're not alone.  It seems pretty clear that Republicans are using the fiscal crises to roll back all kinds of social and economic improvements from the last century. 

Unions?  Sorry.  Reproductive freedom for women?  Can't do it anymore.

It was the GOP's fiscal policy that got this country into this mess in the first place.  And now they're trying to take advantage of their own crisis to roll this country backwards.

UPDATE:  I would remiss in noting that the GOP governor of Wisconsin came into office with a huge budget surplus.  Now, after giving away huge tax breaks to corporations, he finds his state in dire straits.  

Ezra Klein explained the situation nicely:

…The governor signed two business tax breaks and a conservative health-care policy experiment that lowers overall tax revenues. The new legislation was not offset, and it turned a surplus into a deficit. As Brian Beutler writes, "public workers are being asked to pick up the tab for this agenda."

But even that's not the full story here. Public employees aren't being asked to make a one-time payment into the state's coffers. Rather, Walker is proposing to sharply curtail their right to bargain collectively. A cyclical downturn that isn't their fault, plus an unexpected reversal in Wisconsin's budget picture that wasn't their doing, is being used to permanently end their ability to sit across the table from their employer and negotiate what their health insurance should look like.

That's how you keep a crisis from going to waste: You take a complicated problem that requires the apparent need for bold action and use it to achieve a longtime ideological objective. In this case, permanently weakening public-employee unions, a group much-loathed by Republicans in general and by the Republican legislators who have to battle them in elections in particular.

My Views On The Budget Debate

It's quite simple.  All I have to do is steal the first and last two paragraphs from Krugman:

There are three things you need to know about the current budget debate. First, it’s essentially fraudulent. Second, most people posing as deficit hawks are faking it. Third, while President Obama hasn’t fully avoided the fraudulence, he’s less bad than his opponents — and he deserves much more credit for fiscal responsibility than he’s getting.


This brings me to the seventh word of my summary of the real fiscal issues: if you’re serious about the deficit, you should be willing to consider closing at least part of this gap with higher taxes. True, higher taxes aren’t popular, but neither are cuts in government programs. So we should add to the roster of fundamentally unserious people anyone who talks about the deficit — as most of our prominent deficit scolds do — as if it were purely a spending issue.

The bottom line, then, is that while the budget is all over the news, we’re not having a real debate; it’s all sound, fury, and posturing, telling us a lot about the cynicism of politicians but signifying nothing in terms of actual deficit reduction. And we shouldn’t indulge those politicians by pretending otherwise.

Until there's discussion of raising taxes (on the upper brackets of course), then I don't buy any of this "theatre" going on regarding the budget and fiscal responsibility.

Borders Files For Chapter 11

Too bad.  I thought they were doing well and had a good business model.  The details:

Borders Group Inc. filed for Chapter 11 protection Wednesday and said it will close about 30% of its stores nationwide in the coming weeks.

The struggling operator of the Borders and Waldenbooks chains sought protection from its creditors in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan a month after it warned it may have to restructure the company in Chapter 11.

“It has become increasingly clear that in light of the environment of curtailed customer spending… and the company’s lack of liquidity, Borders Group does not have the capital resources it needs to be a viable competitor,” said Borders Group President Mike Edwards in a statement.


Bieber Gets All Political

From his Rolling Stone interview:

  1. On sex before marriage: “I don't think you should have sex with anyone unless you love them.I think you should just wait for the person you're…in love with.”
  2. On health care: “Canada's the best country in the world. We go to the doctor and we don't need to worry about paying him, but here, your whole life, you're broke because of medical bills. My bodyguard's baby was premature, and now he has to pay for it. In Canada, if your baby's premature, he stays in the hospital as long as he needs to, and then you go home."
  3. On abortion: “I really don't believe in abortion. It's like killing a baby?”
  4. On abortion in cases of rape: “Um. Well, I think that's really sad, but everything happens for a reason. I guess I haven't been in that position, so I wouldn't be able to judge that.”
  5. On politics: “I'm not sure about the parties. But whatever they have in Korea, that's bad.”

“Secret” Coca-Cola Recipe

The recipe:
Fluid extract of Coca: 3 drams USP
Citric acid: 3 oz
Caffeine: 1 oz
Sugar: 30 (unclear quantity)
Water: 2.5 gal
Lime juice: 2 pints, 1 quart
Vanilla: 1 oz
Caramel: 1.5 oz or more for color

The secret 7X flavor (use 2 oz of flavor to 5 gals syrup):
Alcohol: 8 oz
Orange oil: 20 drops
Lemon oil: 30 drops
Nutmeg oil: 10 drops
Coriander: 5 drops
Neroli: 10 drops
Cinnamon: 10 drops

How I know this

My 2010 Oscar Predictions


The King's Speech

Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin


Colin Firth
The King's Speech


Christian Bale
The Fighter


Natalie Portman
Black Swan


Hailee Steinfeld
True Grit


Toy Story 3
Lee Unkrich


Guy Hendrix Dyas (Production Design); Larry Dias and Doug Mowat (Set Decoration)


Wally Pfister


The King's Speech
Jenny Beavan


The Social Network
David Fincher


Exit through the Gift Shop
Banksy and Jaimie D'Cruz


Poster Girl
Sara Nesson and Mitchell W. Block


The Fighter
Pamela Martin




The Way Back
Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng


Hans Zimmer


127 Hours
"If I Rise"
Music by A.R. Rahman; Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong


The Gruffalo
Jakob Schuh and Max Lang


The Crush
Michael Creagh


Toy Story 3
Tom Myers and Michael Silvers


The King's Speech
Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley


Alice in Wonderland
Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips


The Social Network
Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin


The King's Speech
Screenplay by David Seidler

Today in Middle America

(1)  A bill moving through the South Dakota legislature would make it legal to murder abortion providers:

A law under consideration in South Dakota would expand the definition of “justifiable homicide” to include killings that are intended to prevent harm to a fetus—a move that could make it legal to kill doctors who perform abortions. The Republican-backed legislation, House Bill 1171, has passed out of committee on a nine-to-three party-line vote, and is expected to face a floor vote in the state’s GOP-dominated House of Representatives soon.

The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Phil Jensen, a committed foe of abortion rights, alters the state’s legal definition of justifiable homicide by adding language stating that a homicide is permissible if committed by a person “while resisting an attempt to harm” that person’s unborn child or the unborn child of that person’s spouse, partner, parent, or child. If the bill passes, it could in theory allow a woman’s father, mother, son, daughter, or husband to kill anyone who tried to provide that woman an abortion—even if she wanted one.

(2)  GOP legislator Connie O’Brien in Kansas was speaking in favor of rescinding a pro-immigration law when she recounted a story about a student she saw while enrolling her son at Kansas City Kansas Community College last year.  She claimed that the student she saw was an illegal immigrant.  When asked by another lawmaker how she knew the student was an illegal immigrant, Ms. O'Brien replied:

“Well, she wasn’t black, she wasn’t Asian and she had the olive complexion.”


The “Very Very Heavy Burtation” Maybe Not So Funny

Reporter Serene Branson was outside the Staples Center for CBS 2 News in Los Angeles and was set to share the "highlights and backstage coverage" from the music awards show when things went wrong.


Massive journalism meltdown?

Maybe not.

Some news reports suggest she was hospitalized shortly after the report aired — possible stroke?  Other news reports deny it, and claims she was drunk.

In any event, a bizarre event.

UPDATE:  Sarah gets a Twitter account to deny the hospitalization rumors.  Which means we can all laugh at her now…. um…. unless it's a fake Twitter account.

ALSO, IN OTHER GRAMMY NEWS….. Elton did it first, Cee-Lo.


Wither Representative Christopher Lee

Which is funnier regarding the Rep. Christopher Lee (R-NY) story:

That Lee, a man with the finely-toned body of a PGA golfer, described himself as "a very fit fun classy guy" after lying about his profession, his martial status and his age. 


That in the post-Mark Foley era, a married US congressman with a child would be so naive as to think, in the digital age, that appealing to a strange woman on Criagslist whom he's never met with half nude photographs wouldn't wind up on a website like for public ridicule such as this.

It's a tough call.

[h/t: Brilliant at Breakfast]

P.S.  For those keeping score… Number of resignations from the "new" Republican-controlled House: 2;  Number of legislative bills passed: 0

UPDATE:  The Left Coaster suggests that we make this a "teachable moment" for our kids:

Let's salvage something from Christopher Lee's misadventure and seize the opportunity to explain to our children that it's cool to have a phone that can take a picture and it's wonderful to have a mirror where we can do a little prep work before we go out in public, but when you stand in front of mirror with your phone camera and start clicking, you really have to expect that the resulting photos may show up anywhere.

Yes.  Especially if you are famous or in a position of public trust. 

Mitt Romney Rewrites Himself To Appeal To Teabaggers

Did he think that nobody would notice?

In the hardcover version of Mitt Romney's book No Apology, Romney wrote that the economic stimulus by Obama was a good start, but not enough.  Now, several months later, Romney's book is being released in paperback version, and Romney's take on the stimulus has been edited to the exact opposite.  Now the stimulus was a bad idea to begin with.

And there are more examples.

It's a rather blatent attempt to appease the teabaggers at the expense of his own integrity and honesty.  Way to go, Mitt.

Fox News Makes Stuff Up, Says Insider

At Media Matters: FOX NEWS INSIDER- “Stuff Is Just Made Up”.

A former Fox News employee who recently agreed to talk with Media Matters confirmed what critics have been saying for years about Murdoch’s cable channel. Namely, that Fox News is run as a purely partisan operation, virtually every news story is actively spun by the staff, its primary goal is to prop up Republicans and knock down Democrats, and that staffers at Fox News routinely operate without the slightest regard for fairness or fact checking.  

“It is their M.O. to undermine the administration and to undermine Democrats,” says the source. “They’re a propaganda outfit but they call themselves news.”

And that’s the word from inside Fox News.

Unfortunately, this isn't the kind of story that's going to blow the lid off of Fox News.  Reliance on one anonymous source, who repeats conventional wisdom, hardly constitutes proof of anything.

What So Proudly We Watched At The Twilight’s Last Gleaming…

I was going to give Christine Aguilera a pass for her National Anthem flub in yesterday's Supre Bowl.  "Of course she knew the words.  She was just nervous.  It happens".  I was ready to say that.

Except maybe she didn't know the words.  Because

[a]ccording to the Daily Mail, her gaffe matched erroneous lyrics published on Wikipedia, which have since been corrected.

So apparently she went to Wikipedia to get the words, and got punked.

Really, Christine?  Really?

For those who missed it….


Fox News Having More Biblical Problems

It stated off with Bill O'Reilly, trying to explain why religion isn't a scam:

"Tide goes in, tide goes out. Never a miscommunication. You can't explain that. You can't explain why the tide goes in."

As I and many others pointed out, even schoolchildren can explain why the tide goes in and out, and you don't need to resort to the Bible.

It continued on Fox News with Bill O'Reilly again, apparently irked at the laughter directed his way by his own stupidity.  He released a video for "premium members" of his website, including a challenge to those who've scoffed at his evidence of the supernatural.

"Okay, how did the Moon get there? How'd the Moon get there? Look, you pinheads who attacked me for this, you guys are just desperate. How'd the Moon get there? How'd the Sun get there? How'd it get there? Can you explain that to me? How come we have that and Mars doesn't have it? Venus doesn't have it. How come? Why not? How'd it get here?"

We have the Moon because of a large impact on Earth, the pieces of which eventually coalesced to form the Moon.  

And the reason we have the Moon and not Mars and Venus don't have the Moon is… uh, well because we have our moon and Mars and Venus have their moons.

So Bill is 0 for 2.

And now Fox Nation is having its own religion problems.

President Obama spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast at the White House yesterday, and cited a familiar Biblical verse. As far as the Fox News website is concerned, the president "botched" the Scriptural reference. Fox Nation reported (on its front page, as if this were important):

President Obama misquoted a familiar Bible verse during a faith-based address at the National Prayer Breakfast.

"Those who wait on the Lord will soar on wings like eagles, and they will run and not be weary, and they will walk and not faint," the president said during a speech to several thousand people at the breakfast.

But the actual passage, from Isaiah 40:31, states: "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."

Fox News apparently isn't aware that there are several versions of the Bible.  Obama was quoting from the New International Version.  Fox News apparently thinks it's KJV or the highway.

But did Obama get it "wrong"?  Hardly.

Maybe Fox News should get out of the theology biz for a while.