The World's Foremost Authority

A confluence of policy and the absurd occurred yesterday at the funeral of funnyman Soupy Sales.

Professor Irwin Corey had to be removed from the podium after his eulogy turned into a diatribe about health-care reform, in which he insisted that Soupy—along with Odetta, Eartha Kitt and Miriam Makeba—died prematurely because of inadequate treatment.

Way to pull a Marlon Brando there, skippy.


If we do have another Great Depression, can’t we just treat it with a Great Zoloft?

Jernolizm and the Great Sunday Assholes of the Washington Post

Papa Bonk and I have been recently wondering how all of this “town hall” nonsense would be covered in the “mainstream media.” Would they faithfully report that these “activists” are backed by gobs of corporate munny from groups who have lascivious interests in this particular issue?

No. A bumper from the MSNBC newsbot this morning:

Still ahead: Politicians feeling more heat at town hall meetings. Will it have any affect on what the White House does next?

The piece that followed, an interview with talking head Bob Franken, doesn’t mention corporate backing but instead treats this as an actual grassroots event.

I am not certain when this started on TV news; when, exactly, an acceptable way to “cover” a news story was to conduct a canned interview with a talking bobble-head. I also wonder when most TV news abdicated its responsibility to call a bullshitter a bullshitter.

Dan Rather in today’s The Washington Post addresses the issue of media. He calls for some sort of Presidential inquiry. Sure, Dan. That would go over really well. He bemoans the nation’s mass collapse of newspapers. He is right on this point, that newspapers are the backbone of a good news infrastructure. My own experience in the newspaper industry is that these newspapers do it to themselves. They cave to their advertisers. They tear down the Berlin Wall what used to be between editorial and advertising. I can’t tell you how many times an ad rep would ask me to do a “business feature” on a company BECAUSE THEY HAD BOUGHT A FRIGGIN’ AD. They call that “community journalism.” If your newspaper runs a double-truck of photographs from your local prom night, you can bet that 90 percent of its editorial content is driven directly by your ad department.

If a person or a company doesn’t do its job, it may fail. A newspaper that doesn’t put news first isn’t doing its job. Therefore…

Anyway, there is a much better article in today’s Outlook section to help explain why newspapers are failing. Headlined: “Schools Need Teachers Like Me. I Just Can’t Stay.” Newspapers are failing because schools are shitting on teachers and turning out morons. If you’re not teaching civics, you’re not creating readers of newspapers. Duh.

Anyway. By way of “opinions are like assholes…”

  • Lindsay Graham, in an opinion piece called “Outspoken,” speaks out against a public option for health care, but then somehow makes its case a few grafs later:

    Third-party payment is unique to health care. It makes the consumer two or three steps removed from their purchase. Cost containment to me is trying to tie the consumer to the service. When I go to get a car, I can walk out of the dealership. But if I have a pulmonary embolism and am on a gurney, it’s hard to comparison shop.

    You know a good way to shove the consumer closer to the process, Lindsay? SINGLE PAYER.

  • Henry A. Kissinger outlines the political cost of having sent President Clinton to North Korea. In light of all this weird criticism regarding Clinton’s mission, one has to ask: What would have been the political cost of letting two young women go off to 12 years of hard labor? What, traditionally, is the political cost in America of failing to resolve a high-profile hostage crisis? Can you think of any presidents in recent U.S. history who failed to resolve a high-profile hostage crisis who stumbled politically as a result? Would Obama be in a better or worse position to deal with North Korea if a failure to resolve that crisis weakened him politically here at home? WHY DO WE STILL LISTEN TO KISSINGER?

Brady's Definition of Liberals and Conservatives

A liberal is somebody who, when he first encounters Voltaire’s declaration that “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it,” gets misty-eyed and says, “That’s beautiful.” A conservative is somebody who, when he first encounters the quote, clenches his fist and says, “Who’s this Voltaire faggot?”

Holyfield Bowe II

Am content as hell having eaten the finest burrito plate at the finest restaurant in all the land and coming home to find that ESPN is showing the classic second bout between Holyfield and Riddick Bowe. Did you know Bowe was 12th of 13 children? And that he got stopped at the gold in Olympic competition by one Lennox Lewis?

Damnit Jim, though. I came in to late to see the parachuter.

During dinner, I got to take a really good look at The Washington Post, something I don’t do often. It was interesting.

  • My Congressman, Jim Moran, had a rather surreal op-ed piece that said that if they needed to put some of those Gitmo prisoners here in America, by gods they could come to Alexandria. I shit you negative. Don’t get me wrong. I love my congressman. He voted correctly on the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002. For that he’s got my vote forever, even if he’s still in Congress and needs help wiping himself. But between this and the man’s opposition to television commercials that discuss man-boners, well, at the very best he’s god-damned entertaining.
  • Congratulations to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who on Friday officially declared his intention to seek a second term. I for one hope you’ll thank the man who made it all possible for you, the Immediate Past and Miserably Failed President of these Untied States, who scared the shit out of your constituents when he invaded your neighbor like a crazy person and then called your country “evil.” I assume after that most Iranians decided they needed to elect a crazy bastard to office as well. I kind of hope Iran has its own Barack Obama waiting in the wings. Not that it matters because the truth is that this guy has basically no power. For that, keep an eye on this guy.
  • Higher congratulations to Jacob Zuma (was there not a malt beverage named for this man at some point?), who looks to be the next president of South Africa. The question dogging Zuma these days isn’t over policy or scandal or anything, apparently. It’s which of his three wives will be his First Lady. Rock on, dog.
  • Marion Berry voted against D.C.’s recent bid to recognize gay marriages from other jurisdictions. Screw you, man.
  • Otherwise, the paper’s lead eddy today is a prime example of how to create a straw man and then how to lob off his head. What else is new?

Okay. Off to C-SPAN to watch what the Twitter-freaks are calling the #nerdprom, the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

Potpourri Wednesday

  • Norm Coleman is not a good American. He is thwarting small-d democracy by dragging his feet on a conclusion to this ridiculous Senate race (He’s asked the state supreme court to give him more time for his appeal. That’s horseshit. He’s just biding time to keep us from 60 and to raise munny. Norm. Buddy. You lost.) Prior to The Immediate Former President’s outright theft of the office with the help of the Untied States Supreme Court, there was at least a veneer of gentlemanly behavior to be observed. One would realize that the jig was probably up and concede. Now, it’s just how can you sue your way to office. Talk about overly-litigious weenies. It’s not the trial lawyers. It’s the politicians.
  • Dick Cheney is not an American at all. He is a simple fascist. No good American as prominent as he would be standing up and saying the things he’s saying about the Obama-led America. Fortunately, Mr. Obama is a genius at rising above. I am not worried one iota about Obama. Cheney’s soul, or what’s left of it, now, that’s an entirely different question.
  • Bernie Sanders is awesome.
  • Greenwald points out something sad: It’s become referred to generically now as “the torture debate.” This is sad and stupid. There’s no debate on “torture.” You’re not supposed to do it. Period. Next question.
  • “Torture” is only utilized for two reasons. One, you are a government keen on terrorizing your own people and keeping them in line. Two, to make people say what you want them to say. New word out of an Armed Services Committee report that, indeed, what The Immediate Past President wanted them to say was that Saddam did it. Say it with me one more time: The War Is Stupid.
  • New category, what the hell, named of course after a Frank Zappa song. “The Torture Never Stops.”
  • Here’s an interesting idea. Nominate a guy to head FEMA who was the director of Florida’s Division of Emergency Management, as opposed to the former head of the Arabian Horsey Association.


So the Obamas are going to have Bo with them everywhere they go when they travel rather than kenneling him.

This is due to the ban on Portuguese Water boarding.

(Stolen on the Tweeter @delrayser…)


Bits and Pieces

First, how about that Ed Schultz? He says today that that the television show won’t interfere with his radio show, which is gud. So starting Munday, Schultz can be Tivo’d. Bootiful.

Second, a link for Papa Bonk: Thomas Frank: Lock ‘Em Up—Jailing kids is a proud American tradition

Third: I never understood Twitter until yesterday. Now, I’m an addict. I’m at Follow me!

Fourth: Tivo alert…8 p.m. April 11. HBO. Thrilla in Manila. Though I’m skeptical because it looks to possibly be an Ali hatchet job.

Isn't That Cute?

Chuck Norris waxes seditious with Glenn Beck.


Awesome Funny Ron Kuby Moment of The Day:

Ron: Do we have any Tibetan freedom music, Chris?
Chris (a little disgusted): No, Ron! We don’t!

Question of the Day
Regarding the ongoing kerfuffle between CNBC’s Jim Cramer and World-Class Journalist Jon Stewart:

Why is a media employee of a publicly-traded media company even allowed to give blatant trading advice on the air? Does not the parent company risk running afoul of anti-trust laws? If not, why not?

Jon Stewart is doing such a good job these days. F Cramer.

Tim Geitner, Etc…

Gleaned from CSPAN Radio this morning: Geitner has support from Schumer and former Fed Volcker…the heavy hitters are coming out for Obama’s Treasury pik. Later: Remind me to look up the congresslady (I think it was Catnwell) asking geitner about “exotic tools…” not just for the infantile comic value of it, neither…it was a good line of questioning…

The Senate Committee on Finance is:

Bullshit Artists

Mr. Hartmann raises an excellent point regarding the Justice Roberts flub, re: the symbolism of it all. It’s the last thing the Bush administration will have anything to do with in any official capacity, the Bush-appointed Roberts swearing in the new President. And he screwed THAT up.

Filed under “Holy Shit” and “So This Is What A Preznit Looks Like”:

  • President Obama’s request to suspend all war crimes trials at Guantanamo was promptly accepted by military judges Wednesday in what may be the beginning of the end for the Bush administration’s system of trying alleged terrorists.
  • President Barack Obama’s first public act in office Wednesday was to institute new limits on lobbyists in his White House and to freeze the salaries of high-paid aides, in a nod to the country’s economic turmoil.
  • The new Obama administration circulated a draft executive order Wednesday that calls for closing the controversial detention center at Guantanamo Bay within a year and halting any war crimes trials in the meantime.
  • Early this afternoon at 1:15, the President will attend a swearing-in ceremony for the White House staff in the Vice President’s Ceremonial Suite on the 2nd floor of the EEOB. After the ceremony, the President will sign executive orders on Executive Branch ethics.