The telethon, which streams live starting at 7pm EDT, will feature Barry as well as an array of special guests such as Brian Keeler, Jane Hamsher and more guests TBA. We'll also be live blogging the event on DailyKos and on Barry's Blog, the official campaign blog on BarryWelsh.org.
We're going to auction off some Democratic memorabilia and other stuff, we'll be selling the new Barry Welsh campaign T-Shirts, hats, mugs and a line of stuffed animals called Barry's Bears. Jane has also pledged a copy of Charlie Savage's new book Takeover which will be featured this Sunday during the FDL Book Salon and hosted by Glenn Greenwald. We hope you will join us Sunday on Blog Talk Radio at 7pm EDT/4pm PDT!
Lois Maxwell, who played Miss Moneypenny in 14 James Bond films, died of cancer last night at the age of 80. Moneypenney was the secretary to M, 007's boss and head of the secret service.
She appeared in more movies than any of the actors who played the lead role in the spy series, including Sir Sean Connery and Sir Roger Moore. Only Desmond Llewelyn, who played gadget man Q 17 times before his death in 1999, starred in more films.
Born Lois Hooker in Ontario, Canada, in 1927, her acting career started in radio, before she moved to the UK with the Entertainment Corps of the Canadian army at the age of 15.
In the late 1940s, she moved to Hollywood and picked up a best newcomer Golden Globe for her part in Shirley Temple comedy That Hagen Girl. After a spell working in Italy, she returned to the UK in the mid-1950s before goong on to appear in the 14 Bond films from 1962 to 1985.
She was 58 when she made her final Bond appearance, and was replaced by 26-year-old Caroline Bliss for The Living Daylights. Maxwell's husband, Peter Marriott, had died in 1973. She is survived by a daughter Melinda, 49, and son Christian, 48.
This video is near and dear to me, not just because I'm a fan of Melissa, but because it features a car that is near and dear to me. I have owned my "Cat" since 1982. FYI - That's a 1967 Pontiac Catalina ragtop; mine's black with a canvas top:
We returned home from Florida yesterday afternoon, after three long days and four very short nights in Kissimmee. Both flights were uneventful; we've flown Allegiant twice before, but this time I had stumbled across some rather unnerving news pre-flight. It turns out that the CEO of Allegiant Air used to run another small discount airliner. . .it's name was Jet Blue! In all fairness, Jet Blue became AirTran, and both they and Allegiant have maintained clean records for years.
Jody did alot of research over the last month or two, and discovered that it was as cheap to rent a home down there as it was to stay in a decent hotel, so that's what we did:
This was our home for most of the week. It was a beautiful and spacious villa with 4 bedrooms, three baths, and an enclosed pool. Jody's parents were able to fly down and share our accommodations as well. We didn't spend alot of time in it, but it was nice to come home to at night!
That's our crappy rental car in the driveway - a 2007 Ford Taurus with alignment issues. Heh. . .it was CHEAP! ;)
We arose at O-Dark-Hundred on Tuesday, and dragged our tired butts to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot Center. We'd both been to these before, on our honeymoon, but it was a first for the kids:
Samantha and Sabrina were fearless at the Magic Kingdom, and talked about nothing but Splash Mountain and Space Mountain! Epcot, which I found to be sorta boring 12 years ago, has some great newer rides: "Soarin" that simulates hang gliding over California - GM's Test Track in which YOU get to be the crash test dummy on the track - and a Mission to Mars space flight simulator that was nothing short of amazing!
On Wednesday, we tackled the Animal Kingdom and MGM Studios (MY favorite Disney park):
Posing with Mickey
Animal Kingdom is a newer Disney park, and we could have spend at least an entire day there, but we had to get to MGM so my little daredevils could ride the Tower of Terror. I'd told them all about it, and they couldn't wait to drop thirteen stories several times!
MGM magic places me in Frisco
We wrapped things op on Thursday, saving the best for last, and visited Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure:
In front of Universal (duh)
Universal Studios, IMHO, by far one of the best attractions in the USA! Sabrina FREAKED OUT on the Jaws Encounter boat tour! We scored front row seats on the boat, and I have to credit the "tour guide" who stayed totally in character despite Sabrina screaming in his face the entire time! He totally cracked up at the end of the ride, and said that she had THE best face he'd ever seen react to that ride. ;) She calmed down enough to have her picture taken in front of the hanging shark one block away:
Catchin' a Wave
It was a nice little adventure, but I think we'll make it a full 7-day tour next time around - there's just too much too see and do in a short time frame! And we didn't even venture beyond Disney and Universal.
Rudy skips minority debate to fundraise with Bo Derek
Brave New Films strikes again!
We can imagine how busy Rudy is. Running for president while distorting your record on 9/11, takes a lot of time and energy. So I can't say we were surprised to learn that Rudy (plus Romney, Thompson and McCain) was too busy to attend Thursday night's debate on minority issues hosted by Tavis Smiley.
But where was Rudy going? John Ehrenfeld, a BNF field producer, volunteered to track him down. Turned out he would be right here in Southern California accepting an endorsement from widely discredited Pete Wilson, who's known for exploiting racial division for votes, and pushing the horrible proposition 187. Then off to a $2300-a-plate fundraiser at the Biltmore Four Seasons in Santa Barbara with Bo Derek.
John attended the "open to anyone" endorsement announcement, but was quickly escorted out when they learned he was from Brave New Films! (Read John's blog about the whole event) Quietly though, Phillip snuck through and got the full deal on tape. Always send two people!
Click the above graphic to visit the official campaign site and learn more about Michael.
Look out, Marky Mark! This young clean-cut progressive candidate resides in one of the two markets that put you over the top last fall. Do ya s'pose it's possible to carry the district by only winning Kosciusko and the rural areas . . . ?
Good evening and welcome to yet another edition of Friday Nite Retro. I couldn't be more pleased to be your guest host this evening as it is both an honor to stand in for your usual Congenial Host and a pleasure to feature one of America's most overlooked geniuses, Harry Chapin. I apologize in advance for the quality of the clips, but unfortunately, Harry's career ended at the dawn of the music video age. You take what you can get...
Harry Chapin was known in his time as the World's Greatest Storyteller because of his ability to weave intricate tales into his music. Unfortunately, this intricacy is also what helped keep him in relative obscurity as his songs tended to greatly exceed the 3 - 4 minute standard invoked by most radio stations for airplay. Because of this limitation his best known works are "Cat's in the Cradle" and "WOLD", both tunes about a wasted life. His other major contribution to pop culture "Taxi" was a hit in spite of its 6:44 length largely due to college radio, the birthplace of AOR (Album Oriented Radio).
Born December 7, 1942, just one year after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Harry was the second of four children born to Jim and Elspeth Chapin. His dad was a drummer for Big Band era acts such as Woody Herman. The Chapins divorced in 1950 and Elspeth retained custody of the children as Jim spent most of his time on the road. After graduating high school in 1960 Harry briefly attended the Air Force Academy and spent some time at Cornell University, though he never attained a degree. His original goal in life was to be a filmmaker and directed the documentary film Legendary Champions in 1968, which was nominated for an Academy Award. Eventually, his attention turned to music.
Following an unsuccessful early album recorded with brothers Tom and Steve, Harry released his debut album Heads and Tails in 1972 featuring his first Billboard hit "Taxi", which peaked at #24.
One of the unusual aspects of Harry's contract with Elektra Records was the bidding war over him between Elektra's Jac Holzman and Clive Davies of Columbia Records. The end result: Harry became the world's first artist to have a recording contract that stipulated free studio time. Over the course of his career this saved Chapin hundreds of thousands of dollars in recording costs.
Harry's follow-up album, Sniper & Other Love Songs, was a lesser success in the charts in spite of containing his signature anthem, "Circle". The overall tone of the album, with songs like the chilling cover track, "And the Baby Never Cries" and "Burning Herself" may have contributed to its lack of commercial appeal. Still, this one contains one of my all-time favorites about a night watchman and the girl he picks up in a diner called "A Better Place To Be".
A Better Place To Be
Harry waited over a year to release his next album, Short Stories, and that put him back on track commercially, reaching #61 on the Billboard charts, thanks in part to "W*O*L*D", which was the only hit he ever had in the UK. The album also contained my other favorite Chapin track, "Mr. Tanner", about a dry cleaner who wanted to be a singer.
Harry's next effort, Verities & Balderdash, contained his greatest commercial success, "Cat's in the Cradle", based on a poem written by his wife, Sandy. The poem was written out of the frustration borne by her husband's life on the road and raising her children alone. The album also highlights Harry's whimsical side with songs like "30,000 Pounds of Bananas" and "Six String Orchestra".
Cat's in the Cradle
30,000 Pounds of Bananas
Six String Orchestra
Harry pretty much peaked in 1976 with the release of Greatest Stories Live although he released five more albums after that. Highlights of the latter part of his career include the sad "Flowers Are Red" from Living Room Suite and the title track from his final album, "Sequel", a revamping of 1972's "Taxi" in which the two star-crossed lovers meet once again ten years later.
Flowers Are Red
Harry's death in 1981 was the result of an auto accident in which his Volkswagen Rabbit was struck by a Semi. It is uncertain whether the accident was the result of engine failure or a heart attack. Harry is sorely missed not only for his many talents but also for his humanitarian efforts to conquer hunger in America. He was a key player in the creation of the Presidential Commission on World Hunger and was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for his efforts. In addition he donated all sales of concert merchandise to World Hunger and donated an estimated third of his paid concerts to various charities.
Q: How do you separate the men from the boys in the Army? A: With a crowbar.
So there they were. In the blazing hot sun for yet another day. The soldiers had not had showers or decent food in days. They couldn't wait for the Sergeant to relieve them from their duties. Finally the Sarge arrives! "Well, men", he says. "I have some good news and some bad news for you." The good news is that you are all going to get a change of socks and underwear! YEAH!!! The soldiers were thrilled!!! One soldier just couldn't wait any longer. "What's the bad news" he shouts, fearing their mission was not yet over. "The bad news is... Bob, you change with Charlie, Dillon you with Robert..."
Saying it had the right to block "controversial or unsavory" text messages, Verizon Wireless has rejected a request from Naral Pro-Choice America, the abortion rights group, to make Verizon's mobile network available for a text-message program.
The other leading wireless carriers have accepted the program, which allows people to sign up for text messages from Naral by sending a message to a five-digit number known as a short code.
Text messaging is a growing political tool in the United States and a dominant one abroad, and such sign-up programs are used by many political candidates and advocacy groups to send updates to supporters.
Get that. THEY know what you should have/want, and they don't give a big patooey if you sign up for it, you're just plain not going to get it, nuh uh, not on their service.
I've been putting off checking into Working Assets, but it looks like today is the day I get to tell Verizon what I think about this crap and the retroactive immunity they want for spying on me.
Kiefer Sutherland was arrested on misdemeanor drunken driving charges early Tuesday after failing a field sobriety test, according to police.
The 24 star was spotted making an illegal U-turn at about 1:10 a.m. in West Los Angeles. He was pulled over and given a sobriety test which registered over the state's legal blood alcohol limit of .08 percent. Sutherland was released around 4 a.m. after posting $25,000 bail. A court date has been set for Oct. 16.
I am totally shocked that he was not able to escape the law! Heck, he could have just run and they never would have caught him because he can dodge bullets, never runs out of gas and his cell phone always works...and best of all... he never has to go to the bathroom!!! What was he thinking!!!???
Fort Wayne's economy survives yet another challenge as more than 2800 employees returned to work at the local GM plant following a two-day strike. Terms of the final agreement are still cloudy at this time but UAW representatives feel confidant its members will accept the new contract. UAW President Ron Gettelfinger was quoted as saying, "For active members, there will be some changes. I think overall they will be very, very pleased with the outcome of these negotiations and the job security associated with it."
WASHINGTON - A major expansion of government health insurance to nearly 4 million children passed the House of Representatives Tuesday, but without enough Republican support to overcome President Bush's promised veto.
The vote was 265-159, with 45 Republicans supporting the bill. It would take 289 votes to override the president's veto.
The measure, which is likely to receive even more lopsided support in the Senate this week, is the most ambitious effort to reduce the nation's 47 million uninsured people that Congress will consider before the 2008 election.
You can find the vote count here. I'm sorry to say that one Indiana Dem, Baron Hill, voted against it.
By E&P Staff Published: September 25, 2007 9:55 AM ET
CHICAGO Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert is the nation's most influential pundit, according to a new ranking by Forbes magazine.
Candidates were scored on "awareness and likeability" among respondents most prized by advertisers -- relatively high income college graduates aged between 25 and 54, Forbes said.
Comedian Bill Maher, who has a weekly talk show on HBO, was ranked second, followed by cable talker Bill O'Reilly; liberal radio host and comedian Al Franken; TV journalist Geraldo Rivera; comedian Rosie O'Donnell; film critic Leonard Maltin; legal commentator Greta Van Susteren; economics news commentator Lou Dobbs; and basketball analyst Bill Walton.
Everybody knows Michael J. Fox. Whether it's as Right Wing teenager Alex Keaton on Family Ties or Deputy Mayor Michael Flaherty on Spin City nobody can embody a scheming, self-serving personae like Michael. Of course, that's just an actor performing a role. In real life Fox has picked up the banner dropped by real-life superhero Christopher Reeve for a rational approach to stem cell research. In a recent interview with CBS News Fox shows respect for the feelings of those concerned over abuses that could include disregard for the unborn while at the same time pointing out that there are many alternative sources for stem cells that are being blocked by the current all-out ban on research.
Hopefully, the insight he has garnered through his various roles into the conservative mindset will help him in his ongoing battle with the real life scheming, self-serving politicians he'll be facing in the days ahead.
WASHINGTON – For years it has been one of the few issues that liberals and conservatives in Congress could agree on: continuing and expanding a state-federal partnership to provide health insurance for kids, mainly the children of the working poor.
So when senators of both parties reached a compromise this summer and then beat back efforts by House Democrats to triple the program’s budget, its many Republican backers thought they had a political victory that President Bush could embrace.
Instead, in a last-minute twist, the issue has become an ideological flash point, and Bush is threatening to cast what may become his most controversial veto of the year.
The much bigger stumbling block has turned out to be ideological. After 10 years of sailing along as a feel-good idea that just about everyone supported, the children’s medical insurance program has suddenly been drawn into the contentious debate over health care reform in general.
Bush has attacked the compromise bill because it would expand coverage to some middle-class families instead of retaining the plan’s original focus on those with low incomes. The bill could lay the groundwork for government-run national health care, he has said.
(Full story available at the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette website)
Alice Ghostley passed away at her Studio City, California home yesterday after a long battle with colon cancer and a series of strokes. She was 81 years old.
One of Ghostley's first roles was as one of the ugly step-sisters in the landmark 1957 musical television production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella", which starred Julie Andrews in the title role.
Since then she has portrayed several well-known recurring characters on situation comedies, beginning with Esmerelda, a shy witch who served as a maid and babysitter to the Stephens's household beginning in season six of "Bewitched". The character appeared in fifteen episodes, and is best known for her invisibility and for sneezes that produced unexpected magical effects. Ghostley had previously guest starred once as another character, Naomi, on the show's second season. During this period she also joined the cast of "Mayberry R.F.D.", playing "Cousin Alice" after Frances Bavier's character ("Aunt Bee") was written off the series.
Among her forays into motion pictures, Ghostley appeared in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), playing "Aunt Stephanie Crawford". She also appeared in the film version of Grease as shop teacher "Mrs. Murdock" (a role which does not exist in the Broadway version of the show).
Ghostley and Marion Lorne had cameos in one scene of 1967's "The Graduate" at the hotel where Mrs. Robinson and Benjamin have their first tryst. Ironically, on Bewitched, Ghostley's character, Esmerelda, was brought in to try to fill the void after Lorne, who played "Aunt Clara", died suddenly in 1968.
Between 1986 and 1993, Ghostley portrayed Bernice Clifton on "Designing Women", a kind but ditzy friend and client to the Sugarbakers. She later played "Irna Wallingsford" in six episodes of Evening Shade. Among many other guest starring roles, she appeared in a flashback episode as the crazed mother-in-law of Dorothy Zbornak (Bea Arthur) on The Golden Girls.
Ghostley was married to Felice Orlandi, an Italian-American actor, for fifty years (from 1953 until his death from lung cancer on May 21, 2003); they had no children.
Welcome to Friday Nite Retro! Tonight's edition is short and sweet, featuring a couple of monster 80's hits from Dale and Terry Bozzio and crew. The Bozzios met and married while working with Frank Zappa, and then went on to form Missing Persons:
Americans United for Change has released a new ad targeting John Boehner's "small price" comment:
Boehner has finally responded personally on television for the first time to all the criticism of his remark, a sign that the beating he's taking for it has gotten so bad that it's time for some heavy-duty damage control. Not surprisingly, the venue he selected for his response was an interview with Fox News.
But in the interview, Boehner dissembled so ostentatiously about his initial comments that even Fox News couldn't help but call him on it. Take a look:
Fred Thompson,John McCain,Mitt Romney,and Rudy Giuliani have all decided that black voters in America are of absolutely no importance to them. Well. . .they didn't come right out and say that, but all four of them have announced that they are shunning an upcoming debate at the historically black Morgan State University in Baltimore. Their four empty lecterns will send a silent message of contempt while the five remaining Republican contenders at least pretend to care about the concerns of black students.
Earlier this summer, every Republican presidential candidate except for McCain turned down invitations to participate in a debate sponsored by Spanish-language network Univision. Apparently the Latino vote holds even a lesser value than the black vote for this crowded field of old white men who profess to be the defenders of "family values" while covering up hypocritical indiscretions by the Tom Foleys and Larry Craigs of the party of Grand Old Perverts.
So, in summary, the Republican presidential candidates:
Dislike blacks so much that they won't even listen to their concerns.
Dislike hispanics to an even greater degree.
Vote against GLBT issues by day, yet pursue their lifestyle by night.
I recently read an article regarding how these neo-conservative "faux-Christians" were encouraging mass reproduction among their flocks in an attempt to overwhelm America by sheer numbers. Breed a huge amount of kids, sent them off to Jesus Camp, mobilize the mighty Christian White Chosen People Party to take back America. . .to the 1950's! When "Daddy" ruled the roost, "Mommy" served as "slave to her man and children", and all disfunctions were hidden behind a charade carried on for the benefit of the neighbors and the rest of the outside world. "Happy Days" weren't, in general, and "Father Knows Best" was from Dad's perspective only!
Alas, I am digressing once more as I am wont to do when the discussion turns to the paper tigers of the "family values" crowd. I work for a living - so does my wife. I bring home more money - she pays for our health insurance and covers our taxes. It's a partnership - we both contribute equally. We're neither the richest nor the poorest family in our neighborhood - we live fairly well, but still have our struggles. That's where MOST of America IS. . .or at least where it WAS before the middle class began disappearing under the tenure of "old white men who know what's best for us". . .
Would I like to earn enough money for one of us to stay home? HELL yeah! I'll even volunteer to be the one to stay at home and maintain the household; who wouldn't? For most of us, those days are long gone by. . .I'm satisfied by being able to put in my 10 hour day and still come home to cook a meal for my family, or do the laundry, or fall asleep at the computer after all of the above and wake up thinking "I need to get my ass to bed, and WHEN did I fall asleep anyway?".
Anyway - Getting back to my original point. . .these GOP "Pretenders to the Throne" would do well to pay attention to the growing consensus of statistics that point to their "old white guy" slice of the pie as being in the minority in the very near future. The world has moved on, yet these candidates remain stuck in another time period. Good luck, boys. You'll need it later, if not sooner. . .
Andrew Meyer, the 21 year old University of Florida student who was tasered by campus police last night, apparently has a history of taping his own practical jokes. I still find his treatment by police to be reprehensible, but have softened my outrage somewhat since learning more of the details of Mr.Meyer's prior behavior. Meyer was released from jail this morning on his own recognizance and refused all comment.
From an eyewitness account: Senator Kerry announced he would take questions from the students. There were two microphones placed on each side of the aisle. One on my side and the other on Andrew Meyer’s side. Senator Kerry began answering the student’s questions from each aisle. Eventually it was announced that there would only be a few more questions answered. Since Meyer and I were both in the back of each line, it did not seem likely that our questions would be answered.
However, while Senator Kerry was responding to a student’s question, all of a sudden Meyer rushed to the microphone with cops in pursuit. At that point no one knew what was going on. Could he have a gun, a bomb? Immediately, Meyer began yelling into the microphone that he had been waiting in line forever and that Senator Kerry should “spend time to answer everyone’s questions!” Senator Kerry tried to calm the student down by telling him that he would “stay here as long as it takes to get the questions answered.” The police approached Meyer who began taunting them by saying “what! are you going to taser me? are you going to arrest me?!” The police grabbed Meyer, but Senator Kerry asked the police to let him go and that he would answer his question. Senator Kerry finished answering the other student’s question and then proceeded with Meyer. (*This entire scene is not in any video I can find so far. This is why 2 cops are seen right behind Meyer at the start of some videos*).
Videos of the Monday night incident, posted on several Web sites and played repeatedly on television news, show University of Florida police officers pulling Meyer away from the microphone after he asks Kerry about impeaching President Bush and whether he and Bush were both members of the secret society Skull and Bones at Yale University:
Meyer was asked to leave the microphone after his allotted time was up, but refused to yield the microphone. His mike was then cut, and police approached him for removal. It gets a bit murky here. In another video I've viewed, a man behind the police officers is making signals to someone just offstage and then nods and sends the officers forward. I'd be very interested in knowing who that person was, and what the communication was about.
Senator Kerry can be heard saying, "That's all right, let me answer his question." as Meyer was being restrained, but did not directly intervene. Could the Senator have defused the situation by demanding the release of Meyer? Perhaps, but it appears that he felt the police were in charge of the situation, stating "Whatever happened, the police had a reason, had made their decision that there was something they needed to do. Then it's a law enforcement issue, not mine,".
Kerry said Tuesday he regretted that a healthy discussion was interrupted and that he never had a dialogue end that way in 37 years of public appearances. He also said he hoped neither the student nor police were injured.
On Meyer's website are several "comedy" videos that he appears in. In one, he stands in a street with a sign that says "Harry Dies" after the latest Harry Potter book was released. In another, he acts like a drunk while trying to pick up a woman in a bar. The site also has what is called a "disorganized diatribe" attributed to Meyer that criticizes the Iraq war, the news media for not covering the conflict enough and the American public for paying too much attention to celebrity news.
Senior intelligence and defense officials have expressed concerns that Bush and his inner circle are quietly repeating the same steps they took to sell the Iraq invasion; this time in order to sell an outright attack on Iran. The belief is that he does not want to leave office without first ensuring that Iran is not capable of developing a nuclear weapon.
In a chilling scenario of how war might come, a senior intelligence officer warned that public denunciation of Iranian meddling in Iraq - arming and training militants - would lead to cross border raids on Iranian training camps and bomb factories. This is hardly a mere scenario - this has already been playing out in real life over the summer.
The obvious target, the Fajr base in southern Iran, is home to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and is the manufacturing site for armour-piercing projectiles that some have claimed to have been used against British and US forces.
Under the theory - which is gaining credence in Washington security circles - US action would provoke a major Iranian response, perhaps in the form of moves to cut off Gulf oil supplies, providing a trigger for air strikes against Iran's nuclear facilities and even its armed forces. Indeed, Pentagon planners have already developed a list of up to 2,000 bombing targets in Iran.
Intelligence reports state that the US military has "two major contingency plans" for air strikes on Iran:
"One is to bomb only the nuclear facilities. The second option is for a much bigger strike that would - over two or three days - hit all of the significant military sites as well. This plan involves more than 2,000 targets."
This weekend, Rudy Giuliani launched a series of attacks on MoveOn.Org for exposing the White House spin on the "surge."
Giuliani is hoping to scare war critics into staying silent. But that isn't going to happen. MoveON has put together a rapid-response ad which demonstrates that Giuliani doesn't have a leg to stand on when it comes to leadership on Iraq: He was booted from the Iraq Study Group after missing meeting after meeting so he could make millions of dollars giving speeches.
The facts are very clear: When it really mattered, Giuliani chose to make big money from speeches rather than helping figure out a strategy for Iraq.
The Iraq Study group was a bipartisan panel appointed by Congress in March of 2006 to evaluate the situation in Iraq and make policy recommendations on the war. Sometimes it's referred to as the Baker-Hamilton commission.
Giuliani originally said that he looked forward to participating in the group, but then he never showed up to any of the meetings.
Newsday reported earlier this year that, "Rudolph Giuliani's membership on an elite Iraq study panel came to an abrupt end last spring after he failed to show up for a single official meeting of the group, causing the panel's top Republican to give him a stark choice: either attend the meetings or quit, several sources said."
Giuliani later said that he couldn't participate in the group because of "time constraints." A close look at his financial records shows that those time constraints actually consisted of a series of speeches that he made millions of dollars on.
In April of last year. Giuliani skipped a meeting and made $200,000 giving a keynote speech at an economic conference in South Korea.
The next month he skipped another meeting to give a $100,000 speech on "leadership" in Atlanta. Later that day, he attended a $100-a-ticket political fundraiser for conservative activist Ralph Reed.
For Giuliani to claim any authority on handling the war in Iraq when he abdicated his responsibilities to the Iraq Study Group is a plain betrayal of the nation's trust. In fact, Stephen Hess, who served on the panel and has served in Republican and Democratic administrations, said, "Leaving that study group was not exactly an act of courage."
Monday AGAIN? Can't we simply pass legislation to start the work week on Tuesdays? Oh well, since you're already here, take a shot at today's make your own caption photo. This one's dedicated to all of you who are constantly "on the go". . .
Bush has apparently settled on retired NY federal judge Michael B. Mukasey to replace Gonzo as his AG. A formal announcement is expected tomorrow.
Bush supporters say Mukasey, who was chief judge of the high-profile courthouse in Manhattan for six years, has impeccable credentials, is a strong, law-and-order jurist, especially on national security issues, and will restore confidence in the Justice Department. Hard right legal conservatives and Republican activists have expressed reservations about Mukasey's legal record and past endorsements from liberals, and are already drafting a strategy to oppose his confirmation. Bush critics see the Mukasey nomination as evidence of Bush's weakened political clout as he heads into the final 15 months of his presidency. It's unclear how Senate Democrats will view Mukasey's credentials, but early indications are that he will face less opposition than a more hardline, partisan candidate like Ted Olson. Last week, Senate Democrats threatened to block confirmation of Olson if tapped. Olson represented Bush before the Supreme Court in the contested 2000 election.
Browne was born in Heidelberg, Germany on October 9, 1948. His father was an American serviceman who was stationed there. Truth in lyrics there - he really was 17 in '65!
Browne moved to the Highland Park district of Los Angeles, California at an early age and began singing folk music in local venues. In 1966, he joined the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Browne signed a publishing contract with Nina Music, and his songs were performed by Joan Baez, Tom Rush, The Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, the Byrds and Steve Noonan, among others.
After moving to Greenwich Village, Browne worked with Tim Buckley as well as Nico's Chelsea Girl, where he penned the classic song "These Days". After leaving New York City, Browne formed a folk band with Ned Doheney and Jack Wilce.
Browne signed with Asylum Records in 1971, and scored this first top ten hit from his debut album with them early the next year.
Doctor, My Eyes"
His next album, 1973's For Everyman, was less successful. It only sold a million copies. The upbeat "Take It Easy," co-written with The Eagles' Glenn Frey, had already been a big hit for that group, and the title track was the first of Browne's studies of personal exploration, soul-searching, and despair set against the backdrop of a decaying society.
Late for the Sky (1974) consolidated Browne's following, with some fans drawn in purely by the record's intriguing, Magritte-inspired cover. Highlights included the searching, heartbreaking title song, the elegiac "For a Dancer" and the apocalyptic "Before the Deluge". The arrangements featured the evocative violin and guitar of David Lindley, Jai Winding's outstanding piano, and the stellar harmonies of Doug Haywood. The title track was also featured in Martin Scorsese's film Taxi Driver. Around this time, Browne began his fractious but lifelong professional relationship with the brilliant but less successful singer/songwriter Warren Zevon, mentoring Zevon's first two Asylum albums through the studio as a producer after browbeating Asylum head David Geffen into giving Zevon a recording contract.
For a Dancer
Browne's disaffected, wondering character struck out even more starkly in his next album, The Pretender, which is arguably his darkest. It was released in 1976, after the suicide of his wife, Phyllis. The album features stronger production by Jon Landau and a mixture of styles, ranging from the Mariachi-inspired peppiness of "Linda Paloma" to the country-driven "Your Bright Baby Blues" to the near-hopeless sadness and surrender of "Sleep's Dark and Silent Gate". Title track "The Pretender" is Browne's magnum opus, a vivid account of romanticism losing the battle with the realities of day-to-day life. This is my favorite Browne song.
"Here Come Those Tears Again" was cowritten by Nancy Farnsworth, the mother of Browne's first wife Phyllis Major, following Phyllis' untimely death. I was unable to find video for this one, but here's the audio:
By then, Browne's work had gained a reputation for its compelling melodies, clear, honest, and insightful lyrics, and a flair for composition rarely seen in the world of rock and roll. He was often referred to as "a thinking man's rock star."
Browne began recording his next LP while on tour, and Running on Empty (1977) became his biggest commercial success. Breaking the usual conventions for a live album, Browne used all new material and combined live concert performances with recordings made on buses, in hotel rooms, and back stage, creating the audio equivalent of a road movie. Running on Empty contains many renowned songs, such as the propulsive title track, "Running on Empty", "The Road" (written and recorded in 1972 by Danny O'Keefe), "Rosie", and "The Load-Out/Stay" (Browne's affectionate and knowing send-off to his concert audiences and roadies).
Runnin' on Empty
His next album Hold Out (1980) was commercially successful — his only number 1 record on the U.S. pop albums chart.
The following year he released the single "Somebody's Baby" from the Fast Times at Ridgemont High soundtrack, which became his biggest hit, peaking at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The 1983 Lawyers in Love followed,(My 2nd fave Browne tune) signaling a discernable change from the personal to the political in his lyrics.
Lawyers in Love
During the 1980s, Browne frequently performed at benefit concerts for causes he believed in, including Farm Aid; Amnesty International (making several appearances on the 1986 A Conspiracy of Hope Tour); post-Somoza, revolutionary Nicaragua; and the Christic Institute. The album, World in Motion, released in 1989, was even more politically-oriented and polarizing.
Four years after his previous album, Browne returned with I'm Alive, a critically acclaimed album with a more personal perspective that had no hits but still sold respectably — indeed, the ninth track from the album, Sky Blue and Black, was used during the pilot episode of the situation comedy Friends. He also sang a duet with Jann Arden, "Unloved", on her 1995 album Living Under June.
In the Shape of a Heart
And THAT is a wrap on tonight's FNR - Have a great weekend!!
Yes, kids, it's finally come to pass - after months of quickly creeping up on the Loofa Boy, Olbermann finally spanked him on Friday night in the ever-important 25-54 demographic group:
O'Reilly: 324,000 Olbermann: 365,000
O'Reilly has certainly helped Keith in his quest to overtake him in the ratings. He never let an opportunity pass where he had a chance to poke fun at Olbermann. Thanks to that sort of exposure, people who'd never even heard of Keith tuned in out of curiosity. Apparently large numbers of them liked what they saw and became new fans!
Olbermann summed it up best with his advice to O'Reilly: "When you're in a fight, always punch UP, never punch DOWN".
Six years after the 9/11 terror attacks on the U.S., it seems the media still have some educational work to do. A new CBS/New York Times poll (taken last week) reveals that, even today, 1 in 3 Americans believe that "Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the September 11th, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon." This notion, although thoroughly debunked by official sources, including George Bush himself, continues on. Polls have shown that belief in this untruth was a prime component in support for the attack on Iraq. 40% of Republicans still hold this view, compared with 32% of Independents and 27% of Democrats. Those are scary numbers, particularly the last two who probably don't put much stock in the reports from Faux News!
I feel that it is my duty to declare here and now that IRAN had NOTHING to do with 9/11!!! In fact, we've actually had NO contact with Iran since Ronnie Ray-gun brokered the "hostages for election-win deal" back in 1979. . .talk about your traitorous, un-American behavior. Good thing he lost his mind; otherwise we'd have been forced to hold him accountable for his mindless behavior. . .and his Contra Band. I'm having an Emily Latella moment. . .I didn't even know he played. I thought he was merely a bad actor. . .
It seems that General Petraeus's superior, Admiral William Fallon of CENTCOM, doesn't think very highly of his charge. Fallon derided him as a sycophant during their first meeting in Baghdad last March, and said that he considered him to be "an ass-kissing little chickenshit" adding, "I hate people like that". That remark reportedly came after Petraeus began the meeting by making ingratiating remarks that Fallon interpreted as attempts to gain his favor.
Fallon's derision toward Petraeus reflects not only the CENTCOM commander's personal distaste for his operating style and their fundamental policy differences over Iraq, but how Petraeus was installed as Bush's "front man" for the surge. That's widely viewed as a highly unusual political role for an officer who'd never assumed a war command before. According to a 2-7-07 WaPo report, Petraeus was placed in the office of Minority Leader Bitch McConnell (R-Closet) where he plead the case for the surge to senators who were approached on the floor and invited to hear his words in private. Fallon correctly interpreted Petraeus's role as pitch man for the surge policy in Iraq as putting his own interests ahead of a sound military posture in the Middle East and Southwest Asia -- the area for which Fallon's CENTCOM is responsible.
Fallon believes that we should be withdrawing troops from Iraq urgently, largely because of the greater dangers elsewhere in the region. He's very focused on Pakistan, which has once again become the main safe haven for al Qaeda as well as being an extremely unstable state with both nuclear weapons and the world's largest population of Islamic extremists, as well as trying to maintain a difficult status quo with Iran. Plans for continued high troop levels in Iraq leave no troops available for other contingencies in these regional hot spots.
One of Fallon's first moves upon taking command of CENTCOM was to order his subordinates to avoid the term "long war" - a phrase Bush and Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates had used to describe the fight against terrorism - due to his concerns that the concept of a long war would alienate Middle East citizens by suggesting that U.S. troops would remain in the region indefinitely. The conflict between Fallon and Petraeus over Iraq came to a head earlier this month, when Fallon expressed views on Iraq that were sharply at odds with those of Petraeus in a three-way conversation with the White House. While Petraeus argued for keeping as many troops in Iraq for as long as possible to cement any security progress, Fallon argued that a strategic withdrawal from Iraq was necessary to have sufficient forces to deal with other potential threats in the region.
Fallon's presentation to Bush of the case against Petraeus's recommendation for keeping troop levels in Iraq at the highest possible level just before Petraeus was to go public with his recommendations was yet another sign that Petraeus's role as chief spokesperson for the surge policy has created a deep rift between him and the nation's highest military leaders. As stubborn as we know Bush to be, he presumably would not have chosen to invite an opponent of the surge policy to make such a presentation without lobbying by the top brass.
TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED the 1930's, 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's!!
First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked while they were pregnant.
They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.
Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.
As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts or air bags.
Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.
We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.
We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.
We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank Kool-aid made with sugar, but we weren't overweight because, WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.
No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.
We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.
We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD's, no surround-sound or CD's, no cell phones, no personal computer! s, no Internet or chat rooms.......
WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them! We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.
We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.
We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.
We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them!
Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!
The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!
These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever!
The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!
If YOU are one of them. CONGRATULATIONS!
You might want to share this with others who have had the blessing to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good . While you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave (and blessed) their parents were.
Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it?!
Received today from MoveOn.Org. I couldn't say it any better, so here's their letter:
Yesterday, General David Petraeus misled the country.
He used faulty statistics and cherry-picked intelligence to argue that American troops should stay in Iraq for the foreseeable future. The general said we're making major progress1—and we have to stay the course. Sadly, independent assessments show that things in Iraq have gone from bad to worse (see below for more on how Petraeus stretched the truth).
Some of you have emailed to say it reminds you of the day four and a half years ago when President Bush sent General Colin Powell to the U.N. to make a trumped-up case for war.
Powell's WMDs helped justify the invasion of Iraq, and Petraeus' version of "progress"—if it goes unchallenged—will justify keeping troops there for years. Can you take a few minutes to write a letter-to-the editor reminding folks that the "surge" didn't work—and that the responsible thing to do is bring our troops home?
Petraeus based much of his assessment on the claim that violence in Iraq is dropping.2 That just isn't true:
Petraeus is using "funny math." According to the Washington Post, Petraeus and the Pentagon are using a bizarre formula for measuring violence in the country. For example, deaths by car bombs don't count.3 And assassinations count only if you're shot in the back of the head—not in the front.4
Iraqis believe the surge has failed. According to a massive new ABC/BBC poll, every single Iraqi polled in Baghdad, the primary target of the "surge," said it had made security worse. Iraqis themselves overwhelmingly think the situation in Iraq is deteriorating, in terms of security, political cooperation, the economy, and other measures. Overall, 70% think the escalation worsened rather than improved security conditions. 5
The independent GAO report found that violence is up. A comprehensive Government Accountability Office report ordered by Congress found that "average number of daily attacks against civilians have remained unchanged from February to July 2007."6 In August, things got worse, with civilian casualties rising according to the Associated Press7 and the Los Angeles Times.8
For our troops, it's the bloodiest summer yet. More U.S. troops died every month this year compared to the same month last year.9
Petraeus claimed that he compiled his report without conferring with the White House. But the Washington Post recently reported that Petraeus or his staff joined daily conference calls with the White House and former RNC chairman Ed Gillespie this summer to "map out ways of selling the surge." The Post reported that Gillespie's White House political unit was "hard-wired" to Petraeus' military unit.10
We would all like to see life improving in Iraq. But it's not—it's getting worse. And if US forces stay in Iraq both Americans and Iraqis will pay a terrible price.
Today is the anniversary of the worst terrorist attack in American history. The wounds of 9/11 are still fresh for many of us. After 9/11, President Bush used fear, lies and trumped-up intelligence to stampede us into Iraq. Now, America is bogged down in an unwinnable civil war, and Al Qaeda has regained enough strength to once again menace the United States.11
It would be a tragic irony if, six years later, the administration used skewed intelligence to head off the growing momentum for an exit strategy from Iraq.
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