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Saturday, May 31, 2008

MI and FL recieve half-delegate status from RBC

As was widely expected, the DNC's Rules and Bylaws Committee today agreed to seat half of Michigan and Florida's delegates. Their decision raises the magic number needed for the nomination to 2118, which Senator Obama is likely to meet by Tuesday evening. The fight for the 2008 Democratic nomination for president is now effectively over.

Make no mistake about it. The decision rendered today by the Democratic National Committee's rules panel showed that Barack Obama has displaced Hillary Rodham Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, as boss of the party.

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Young Hillary Clinton

Is this the first time Hillary Clinton has refused to drop out of a race? Never before seen footage of a Young Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Created by and starring Jerry O'Connell and Brandon Johnson. Also starring Laci Kay as Young Hillary Clinton.

Young Hilary Clinton is a 60Frames original series. For more information, please visit http://www.60frames.com.

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"Obama You're Not Alone"

A great new video from You Tuber not2singoutatune:

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Obama to pre-empt RNC convention

According to Politico, Barack Obama is likely to hold a huge rally Tuesday night in the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Tuesday is the night of the final Democratic primaries, and the choice of venue, the site of the Republican National Convention from Sept. 1 to 4, is a mischievous, aggressive way for Obama to unofficially kick off the general election campaign against John McCain . The location gives huge meaning to the moment, with Obama likely to frame a tough case against his new opponent in the very hall where McCain will accept his party’s nomination realization that they're stuck with him.

Local authorities have promised to exercise a firm grip over local incoming transportation facilities, particularly at the local airport, in a coordinated effort to block potentially disruptive members of Craig's List. Law enforcement officers have been duly instructed to "cite on shoot" any suspicious individuals.


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Michael Pfleger Sermon Comedy Jam

Hey, y'all! Give it up for the Reverand Michael Pfleger!!

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Pistol Opera - "Obama"

I received an email today from LA writer and musician Eli Braden along with a copy of his new song about Barack Obama. I. . LOVE. . IT! It reminds me of the Red Hot Chili Peppers!

"I have a band called Pistol Opera, and we recently recorded a catchy, upbeat original song called 'Obama' in support of Barack Obama's candidacy. It's funny, irreverent and light-hearted, but also (hopefully) a suitably inspirational tribute to this amazing candidate."

Eli asked that I use his work in connection with any effort to help Obama get elected this November. So, I am most happy to share it with you here this evening. The lyrics are posted after the clickable player below:

"OBAMA" lyrics
by Eli Braden - (c) 2008 Pistol Opera Music

Listen up, people, it's a brand new day
It's time to sweep the dim, dark past away - hear what I say!
Coming soon to the U.S.A.
The Technicolor sequel to J.F.K.

Barack Hussein Obama
No relation to Saddam or that jerk Osama
He's a man on a mission
A visionary poet slash politician

Separate the chaff from Obama the wheat
In a whitebread world, he got the meat
Makes the present state of politics obsolete
From Chicago, where fog comes on little cat feet

So haters stop running your trap talking smack
Get on the O train; stop acting wack
Like Abraham Lincoln crossed with The Mack
Once you go Barack, you never go back - Check it!

Botswana to Ghana / Nobu to Benihana
Run go tell your mama about / Obama, Obama
Iraq like Vietnam-a / Barack gonna end the drama
I think you're gonna wanna vote / Obama, Obama

Got charisma and style; smart as a whip
The child of a mixed-race relationship
Born in the 60s when everything was groovy
Heidi Klum and Seal can play his parents in the movie

Came from next-to-nothing; he's a self-made man, so DAMN
Stand up! Give the brother a hand!
He got a grand slam plan to save this land
And if he can't do it, nobody can

Honolulu to Jakarta, Boston to Chicago
Got principles like Doctor Zhivago
The polar opposite of Iago
Got more taste than foie gras from Spago

A soul brother 24/7
Think about the message to the world we'll be sending
If come this election, we stop this infection
Of fear that's been spreading / Come on now - elect him!

Taco Bell to Tijuana / Britney to Madonna
The hiphop Dalai Lama / Obama, Obama
Cornbread made of manna / A soulfood intifada
I think you're gonna wanna vote / Obama, Obama

Nice to Nicaragua / Nickleback to Nirvana
Run, go tell your mama about / Obama, Obama
Champaign to Urbana / Kutcher to Valderrama
I think you're gonna wanna vote / Obama, Obama

L.A. to Lackawanna / Avant-Garde to Dada
The hiphop Dalai Lama / Obama, Obama
Yonkers to Yokohama / Yamaha to Tama
I think you're gonna wanna vote / Obama, Obama

Drop by and visit Pistol Opera on their MySpace page!

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Friday Nite Retro

Welcome to Friday Nite Retro - The 80's Oddities Edition!

Taking their name from a fictional pop group mentioned in the novel "A Clockwork Orange" (where 'The Heaven Seventeen' are at number 4 in the charts with "Inside") , Heaven 17 formed when Ian Craig Marsh and Martyn Ware split from their earlier group The Human League:

Heaven 17 - "Let Me Go"

Animotion formed in 1983 from the remnants of a retro science-fiction band called Red Zone:

Animotion - "Obsession"

The song "I Wanna Be a Cowboy" was released in 1985. With it's deadpan humor and kitschy references, the song has been described as the perfect musical realization of a spaghetti western movie:

Boys Don't Cry - "I Wanna Be a Cowboy"

"White Horse" was an anti-drug abuse themed track about people who were lured into the drug culture/lifestyle ("White Horse" was another word for cocaine) that was commonplace in the 1980s, with its famous lyrics, "If you want to ride...don't ride the white horse", and, "If you want to be rich, you've got to be a bitch":

Laid Back - "White Horse"

After the Fire scored with their English-language cover of Austrian musician Falco's song, "Der Kommissar", which rocketed in to the U.S. top ten in 1983:

After The Fire - "Der Kommissar"

Thomas Dolby's main fame comes from this odd song and video. But Dolby also served as the keyboard player on Def Leppard's 1983 Pyromania album (Dolby appeared on Pyromania using the alias Booker T. Boffin). He also contributed the signature synthesizer sound on the track "Urgent" on Foreigner's 1981 album 4. On the same album he played the atmospheric synth intro to the mega-hit "Waiting For A Girl Like You":

Thomas Dolby - "She Blinded Me With Science"

Taco gained international stardom in 1982 when he recorded a distinctive cover record of the old Fred Astaire favorite, "Puttin' on the Ritz" in Germany, which hit #4 on the US charts:

Taco - "Puttin' on the Ritz"

You likely know them for their song "Tainted Love", but this was another smash hit from Marc Almond and the band:

Soft Cell - "Sex Dwarf"

That's a wrap for tonight's FNR - Have an excellent weekend!

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Scott McClellan on Countdown

Scott McClellan sat down with Keith Olbermann last night for a nearly hour-long interview to discuss his new book, "What Happened". The wide-ranging interview covered everything from the CIA leak to Fox News to McClellan's critics to the possibility of military action in Iran:

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Harvey Korman has died at 81

Farewell, Hedley. . .

Harvey Korman died today at the UCLA Medical Center after suffering complications from the rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm four months ago. Mr.Korman endured several major operations over the last few months; his survival of the initial aneurysm was considered miraculous.

A natural second banana, Korman first gained attention on "The Danny Kaye Show," which he appeared on from 1964 through 1967. That same year he became a cast member in the first season of "The Carol Burnett Show." Burnett and Korman developed into the perfect pair with their burlesques of classic movies such as "Gone With the Wind" (Went With the Wind) and soap operas like "As the World Turns" (their version was called "As the Stomach Turns") Here's a look at "Went With the Wind":

Another recurring skit featured them as "Ed and Eunice," a staid married couple who were constantly at odds with the wife's mother (a young Vickie Lawrence in a gray wig). This became the series "Mama's Family":

Korman's most memorable film role, and my personal favorite, was as the outlandish Hedley Lamarr (who was endlessly exasperated when people called him Hedy) in Mel Brooks' 1974 Western satire, "Blazing Saddles":

He also appeared in the Brooks comedies "High Anxiety," "The History of the World Part I" and "Dracula: Dead and Loving It," as well as two "Pink Panther" moves, "Trail of the Pink Panther" in 1982 and "Curse of the Pink Panther" in 1983. Other film credits included "Gypsy," "Huckleberry Finn", "Herbie Goes Bananas" and "Bud and Lou". He also provided the voice of Dictabird in the 1994 live-action feature "The Flintstones."

In addition to Danny Kaye and Carol Burnett's shows, Korman guest-starred in dozens of television series including "The Donna Reed Show," "Dr. Kildare," "Perry Mason," "The Wild Wild West," "The Muppet Show," "The Love Boat," "The Roseanne Show" and "Burke's Law."

Korman is survived by his wife, Deborah Fritz, and children Maria, Kate, Laura, and Christopher. The world just got a whole lot less funny. . .

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Obama's #1 "First 100 Days" goal

Imagine having a constitutional scholar in the White House:

Maybe it’s his background teaching constitutional law.

If elected president, Democratic White House hopeful Barack Obama said one of the first things he wants to do is ensure the constitutionality of all the laws and executive orders passed while Republican President George W. Bush has been in office.

Those that don’t pass muster will be overturned, he said.

During a fund-raiser in Denver, Obama — a former constitutional law professor at the University of Chicago Law School — was asked what he hoped to accomplish during his first 100 days in office.

“I would call my attorney general in and review every single executive order issued by George Bush and overturn those laws or executive decisions that I feel violate the constitution,” said Obama

Other goals for his first 100 days: work out a plan to withdraw troops from Iraq; make progress on alternative energy plans and launch legislation to reform the health care system.

I don't know about you, but I'm sleeping better tonight. . .


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Fox Attacks! - Rupert Murdock? ?

Obama is a rock star. It's fantastic. I love what he is saying about education. I want to meet him. I want to know if he's going to walk the walk.

- Rupert Murdock

Here comes the spin machine!:

Seriously, here's the REAL story:

CARLSBAD, California (Reuters) - News Corp Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch on Wednesday predicted a Democratic landslide in the U.S. presidential election against a gloomy economic backdrop over the next 18 months.

Murdoch has yet to endorse a U.S. presidential candidate but considers Barack Obama very promising, the media magnate said in an interview by two Wall Street Journal reporters at an annual conference for high-tech industry insiders.

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She Wants My ... Stimulus PACKAGE

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Star Trek Composer Alexander Courage dies at 88

Alexander Courage, who composed the original Star Trek theme, died on May 15 at the Sunrise assisted-living facility in Pacific Palisades, California. The Emmy-winning, Oscar-nominated arranger was 88 years old.

Mr.Courage had a long and storied career, but was best known for his eight-note brass signature for the starship Enterprise, rumored to be the single best-known fanfare in the world. The piece, written in 1965 for the first of two Star Trek pilots, was heard throughout the three original seasons of the show was reprised in all of the Trek feature films and several of the TV series, especially Star Trek: The Next Generation in the 1980s and '90s.

Courage's early
composing and conducting credits included the classic musicals Show Boat, The Band Wagon, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Guys and Dolls, It's Always Fair Weather, Funny Face, Gigi and others. He also scored a handful of films, but television quickly became his true calling. In addition to Star Trek, Courage composed for Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Daniel Boone, Lost in Space, Land of the Giants and other 1960's series.

Original Star Trek Theme

In the
'70s and '80s, his work included The Waltons, Apple's Way, and Eight Is Enough. As composing work in TV waned, Courage returned once again to the silver screen, orchestrating scores including Fiddler on the Roof, The Poseidon Adventure, Hook, Jurassic Park, Basic Instinct, First Knight, The Mummy, Air Force One, Mulan and, ironically, Star Trek: First Contact and Star Trek: Insurrection.

Courage Tribute - Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Courage is survived by four stepchildren and six grandchildren. Plans for a memorial service are to be announced. Good night, Sandy, and thank you for a lifetime of memories. . .

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McCain ad features Obama supporter

McCain newest commercial is redefining bipartisanship. His supporters are actually -- Obama supporters. You can see a woman with whom McCain is speaking is already wearing a Barack Obama t-shirt. Check it out:

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Happy 100th Video to Barely Political!

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Hillary gets caught in yet another one. . .

As part of her despicable tirade last week about plodding on because "Bill didn't clinch the nomination until June, and Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June", Hillary has once again been caught stretching the facts. Only this time the snipers aren't Bosnian, they're closer to home. Namely, Bill Clinton:

When Was the 1992 Presidential Race Over?

My Life

Despite Sen. Hillary Clinton's insistence that her husband didn't clinch the Democratic presidential nomination until June 1992, Bill Clinton had a very different recollection in his own memoir, My Life.

He writes: "On April 7, we also won in Kansas, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. On April 9, Paul Tsongas announced that he would not reenter the race. The fight for the nomination was effectively over."


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Take the Bush/McCain Challenge!

Can you tell the difference between George Bush and John McCain? Answer five questions and see for yourself:

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Sydney Pollack has died at 73

Acclaimed director Sydney Pollack has succumbed to cancer at the age of 73. Mr.Pollack was known for star-laden movies like "The Way We Were," "Tootsie" and "Out of Africa".

One of the rare Hollywood talents who excelled at both acting and directing, Sydney Pollack fell haphazardly into a craft that eventually earned him three Oscar nominations and one Academy Award. Thanks to his early career as an acting coach, Pollack developed a reputation for being one of the best - if not the best - director for actors to work with. But his filmmaking style - or lack thereof - was without a signifying mark or defining element with which audiences could identify. In fact, it was quite easy to walk out of the theater having enjoyed the movie without ever knowing Pollack was the director. Be that as it may, Pollack crafted excellent films in his four decades as a filmmaker, adding such luminous titles like "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" (1969), "Three Days of the Condor" (1973), "Tootsie" (1982) and "Out of Africa" (1985) to the American filmmaking canon. Despite a lack of visual flare, American cinema would have suffered without Pollack's steady contributions.

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Dyer's - Home of the 91 year old hamburger

This Tennessee eatery has been using the same grease to cook it's burgers in since 1912. Apparently that's a successful formula, as they're still going strong and business is great. Be sure to watch for the gas prices on the service station sign about three minutes into the video - sure to bring a tear to your eye. . .

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Run, Herbie! RUN!!

A man who claims to have had sex with 1,000 cars has defended his "romantic" feelings towards vehicles:

Edward Smith, who lives with his current "girlfriend" – a white Volkswagen Beetle named Vanilla, insisted that he was not "sick" and had no desire to change his ways.

"I appreciate beauty and I go a little bit beyond appreciating the beauty of a car only to the point of what I feel is an expression of love," he said.

"Maybe I'm a little bit off the wall but when I see movies like Herbie and Knight Rider, where cars become loveable, huggable characters it's just wonderful.

Read more about this "auto-eroctica" here. No word yet on whether or not he's ever burned his mouth on a tail pipe. . .

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Barack Obama on Memorial Day

Obama gives a Memorial Day speech in Las Cruces, New Mexico:

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Thank You

A message to our finest from Democratic Representatives:

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Memorial Day

The following is a re-post from 2006:

In memory of Lt. Commander John Russell Good (1922-1999)

Viewing the officers in the second row, and looking right, my father is the fifth. This ship was his command during WW2. He also served in Korea, and tried to serve again in Viet Nam but was declined due to his age at that time.

Dad wore many hats in his life. He was an accomplished mason, taught English at Norwell High School, and served in several state law-enforcement and community-service positions. He and my mother were activist Democrats who worked on campaigns from JFK to local candidates J.Edward Roush and Birch Bayh. I was blessed to have them as my parents and I miss both of them dearly.

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Dick Martin has died at 86

Dick Martin, the wackier half of the Rowan and Martin comedic team, has died at the age of 86 from respiratory failure. Dan Rowan died from cancer in 1987. Martin played off straight man Rowan in "Laugh-In," who's stars garnered laughs with one-liners and double entendres from the psychedelic joke wall, and introduced phrases into the popular lexicon such as "Here comes da judge", "You bet your sweet bippy", and "sock it to me".

Martin, a native of Battle Creek, Michigan, performed in numerous venues with Rowan from 1952 until their "Laugh In" days. He went on to achieve great success as a director, most notably for "The Bob Newhart Show" and later, "Newhart".

Martin is survived by his wife Dolly Read, and sons, Richard and Cary. Per his request, there will be no funeral services.

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ANWR - The Facts

I continue to hear George Bush and big oil tout opening the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge as the answer to high oil prices. I've even heard this talking point from friends who should know better. But I understand how nearly impossible it is to know better when you're only presented with one side of the story. So I shall attempt to present the missing parts that may have been purposely kept from you.

First, some facts about common misconceptions regarding the outrageous price of oil that we are all enduring right now:

  1. There ares no oil shortages causing the recent spikes in price. Repeat - there are no oil shortages. Yes, we are drawing close to the tipping point, but we're not quite to that point just yet.
  2. American demand for oil is not driving the price upwards. Nor will conservation efforts by us have any real impact on prices. Demand from other nations, particularly in east Asia, has dramatically increased over the last 20-30 years. So, unless you can get China to kick it's newfound thirst for fossil fuels, our hands are tied.
  3. Any way that the data is analyzed, experts agree that oil should be selling for around $65 per barrel right now. What has driven the price to it's record highs is futures trading. Oil has become the new "dot com" for speculators, and it's paying them off handsomely.
How much oil is there in ANWR and how long would it take to access it?

Actually, not that much. What would we gain by allowing heavy industry into the refuge? Very little. Oil from the refuge would hardly make a dent in our dependence on foreign imports, leaving our economy and way of life just as exposed to wild swings in worldwide oil prices and supply as it is today. The truth is, we simply can't drill our way to energy independence.

Although drilling proponents often say there are 16 billion barrels of oil under the refuge's coastal plain, the U.S. Geological Service's estimate of the amount that could be recovered economically, that is, the amount likely to be profitably extracted and sold, represents less than one year's U.S. supply.

It would take
10 years for any Arctic Refuge oil to reach the market, and even when production peaks the refuge would produce a paltry 1 or 2 percent of America's daily consumption which is roughly 20 millions barrels per day!. Whatever oil the refuge might produce is simply irrelevant to the larger issue of meeting America's future energy needs.

What impact would drilling in ANWR have on the environment?

Oil produced from the Arctic Refuge would come at enormous, and irreversible, cost. The refuge is among the world's last true wildernesses, and it is one of the largest sanctuaries for Arctic animals. Traversed by a dozen rivers and framed by jagged peaks, this spectacular wilderness is a vital birthing ground for polar bears, grizzlies, Arctic wolves, caribou and the endangered shaggy musk ox, a mammoth-like survivor of the last Ice Age.

Prudhoe Bay

For a sense of what big oil's heavy machinery would do to the refuge, just look 60 miles west to Prudhoe Bay, a gargantuan oil complex that has turned 1,000 square miles of fragile tundra into a sprawling industrial zone containing 1,500 miles of roads and pipelines, 1,400 producing wells and three jetports. The result is a landscape defaced by mountains of sewage sludge, scrap metal, garbage and more than 60 contaminated waste sites that contain, and often leak, acids, lead, pesticides, solvents and diesel fuel.

ANWR (Just 100 miles east of Prudhoe Bay)

While proponents of drilling insist the Arctic Refuge could be developed by disturbing as little as 2,000 acres within the 1.5-million-acre coastal plain, a recent analysis by NRDC reveals this to be pure myth. Why? Because U.S. Geological Survey studies have found that oil in the refuge isn't concentrated in a single, large reservoir. Rather, it's spread across the coastal plain in more than 30 small deposits, which would require vast networks of roads and pipelines that would fragment the habitat, disturbing and displacing wildlife.

Green Day and the NRDC

The drive to drill the Arctic Refuge is about oil company profits and lifting barriers to future exploration in protected lands, pure and simple. It has nothing to do with energy independence. Opening the Arctic Refuge to energy development is about transferring our public estate into corporate hands, so it can be liquidated for a quick buck. We simply cannot let that happen.

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Pork and Beans

Weezer pays tribute to YouTube in their video for the song "Pork and Beans". See how many familiar faces you recognize!

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Obama leads McCain in Ohio, California

A new SUSA poll shows Barack Obama with a 9 point lead over John McCain in the swing state of Ohio. You know, one of those hard working white folks states that only Hillary Clinton can carry. . .

Click the image below to view larger:

And in the Golden State:

If the general election were held today, likely voters in California would favor Obama over McCain by 17 points (54% to 37%). Since March (49% to 40%), Obama’s lead over McCain has increased 8 points.

Obama has strong support among Democrats (81%) and majority support among independents (55%),while McCain enjoys strong support among Republicans (73%). Obama leads McCain among both men and women. Half of whites and 69 percent of Latinos say they would vote for Obama over McCain.

Obama leads McCain by a double-digit margin among likely voters with annual household incomes less than $40,000 (55% to 35%), $40,000 to $80,000 (55% to 36%), and $80,000 or more (53% to 37%).

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Special Comment: "You invoked a nightmare"

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Friday, May 23, 2008

Get 'em while ya can!

During the Sunday, May 25 Minneapolis Saints game, the first 2,500 fans in attendance will receive a bobblefoot. The design is a bathroom stall, with a foot that peaks out of the bottom and "taps" up and down. The day coincides with National Tap Dance Day.

No word as of yet on whether or not having a "wide stance" will entitle you to an extra bobblefoot. Our sources for this story have all been "tapped out". . .

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Could it happen again?

Clinton's bizarre behavior should end any talk of a "dream ticket". . .

Via Wikipedia:

LBJ conspiracy

Vice-President Lyndon Johnson became President as a result of the assassination after JFK's death.

Kennedy's selection of Johnson as running mate in 1960 was largely an attempt to provide a ´regional balance´ to the party's ticket.[72] It was rumored, however, that Kennedy was considering dropping LBJ in the 1964 election. Richard Nixon, who was in Dallas on November 20, 1963 until just an hour before Kennedy arrived, was quoted in the November 22, 1963 Dallas Morning News as saying he believed Kennedy would drop Johnson from the 1964 Democratic ticket because Johnson was embroiled in several high-profile political scandals.[73] Evelyn Lincoln, JFK's secretary, in 1968 wrote that just days before the assassination, she asked President Kennedy who his running mate in 1964 would be. He answered: "It will not be Lyndon." Jackie Kennedy denied that her husband ever considered removing LBJ from the 1964 ticket.[74]

Madeleine Duncan Brown claims to have had a 21 year relationship with Johnson, one that produced a son, though LBJ never acknowledged him publicly.[75] According to Brown, Johnson told her the night prior to the assassination that "after tomorrow, those goddamned Kennedys are never going to embarrass me again; that's not a threat, that's a promise", and that following New Year's Eve, stated to her that "the oil people and the CIA" were behind the assassination.

The odd moment, in which Thomas winks at Johnson aboard Air Force One.
The odd moment, in which Thomas winks at Johnson aboard Air Force One.

In his book Death of a President, William Manchester describes an odd scene. On the morning of the assassination, word reached Johnson that a new seating arrangement in the motorcade would place his friend, Texas Governor John Connally, in the limousine with Kennedy. The previous seating arrangement had put Johnson's bitter enemy Senator Ralph Yarborough in the President's car, with Connally riding further behind with LBJ. Upon learning of the seating change, Johnson, furious, stormed into Kennedy's suite. Loud arguing could be heard from outside, the word "Yarborough" shouted more than once. Johnson finally stormed out "like a pistol." He did not get his way. John Connally was seriously wounded in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

At the moment of Kennedy's death, Johnson legally became President of the United States. However, he insisted upon being sworn in on Air Force One, even asking the photographer "where he wanted them."[76] A second or so after the famous swearing-in shot, the photographer also captured an odd moment: Texas congressman Albert Thomas winking at LBJ.[77] The photos were taken by Cecil W. Stoughton. [78]

Jack Ruby, Oswald's assassin, implicitly and explicitly implicated Lyndon Johnson in the death of John F. Kennedy.[79] However, Ruby denied he had any role in any conspiracy, and his opinion appears to have been based on things he read.

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Friday Nite Retro

Welcome to Friday Nite Retro! Tonight we're servin' up a big old plateful of Ambrosia. . .the members of Ambrosia decided on the moniker in 1970 as it connoted a vision of their music: all shades, textures, colors and styles. While most people are familiar with Ambrosia's radio hits of the 1970s, the songs on their five albums range from progressive to experimental. Their initial musical influences, like many of their generation, came from The Beach Boys and The Beatles. Ambrosia fused symphonic art rock with a slickly produced pop sound. The band is as comfortable with ballads as they are with driving rock and roll. They can be meaningful or mischievous; however, the music is continuously copious and the harmonies are magnificently intermingled. The following is a nice mix of their music:

2006 Career Achievement Award for Hit Songs

The first album, Ambrosia, was released in 1975. It spawned the chart singles Holdin' on to Yesterday as well as the FM classic Nice, Nice, Very Nice:

Holdin' on to Yesterday

In 1978, Life Beyond LA was released; Ambrosia's third album. It marked a bit of a move away from their progressive rock style and the lush arrangements and introduced a more Pop/Jazz influence. The album marked their biggest pop breakthrough, scoring their first gold hit, How Much I Feel:

How Much I Feel

In 1980, Warner Bros. released One Eighty, a smash LP that produced two of the year's biggest hits, "You're the Only Woman", reaching number thirteen, and "Biggest Part of Me", which reached number three. The LP earned the band three Grammy nominations, including Best Pop Vocal Group. A headlining world tour soon followed. One of the biggest honors bestowed upon the band was Quincy Jones' declaration that "Biggest Part of Me" was one of his all time favorite songs. The title of the album, One Eighty was believed by fans to signal the group's 180-degree change in direction. In actuality, it was so named because it was recorded in January of 1980 (1/80):

Biggest Part of Me

You and I (You're the Only Woman)

In 1982, Ambrosia released their fifth and last album, Road Island. With it's dark central themes, Road Island was a conceptual, adventurous work of art that brought forward Ambrosia's exceptional talents. It also marked the end of an era for the band. Critics and fans alike poorly received it and in the wake of the album's disappointing performance, the band broke up, ending their run of chart success:

How Can You Love Me

In 1989, Ambrosia reunited with all four original members and began playing live shows again, mostly on the West Coast. In 1995 the band began to expand their annual touring schedule. In 1997, Warner Bros. released Ambrosia's long awaited greatest hits CD, Anthology, an album that spanned the group's entire career and included three new tracks. In addition to Anthology, the entire Ambrosia catalog has been re-mastered and released on CD for the first time. The Year 2000 marked the 30th anniversary of Ambrosia, and the band celebrated with a very busy touring schedule that reaped box office success.

In 2002 the band released a live album, Live At The Galaxy, and a best-of album with the tracks remastered, titled The Essentials, which includes a broad spectrum of their music. In 2004, they released yet another best-of album titled How Much I Feel And Other Hits, which contains mainly ballads. There have been no new albums since 1982, but they have written and performed new material, so a CD of all-new songs is a possibility.

Check out the band's website here.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

It's only a Flesh Wound!

This pretty much defines where we're at in the 2008 Democratic primary campaign. . .

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Who would Kirk vote for?

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Strange Proverbs

Fools rush in where fools have been before.

It’s called “take home” pay because you can’t afford to go anywhere else with it.

Success is relative — the greater the success, the more relatives.

If at first you succeed, try to hide your astonishment.

You must have learned from others’ mistakes. You haven’t had time to think all those up yourself.

People like criticism — just keep it positive and flattering.

It’s OK to let your mind go blank, but please turn off the sound.

Worry kills more people than work because more people worry than work.

Middle age is when broadness of the mind and narrowness of the waist change places.

When you’re getting kicked from behind, that means you’re in front.

Misers aren’t much fun to live with, but they make great ancestors.

Opportunities always look bigger going than coming.

The real reason you can’t take it with you is that it goes before you do.

Junk is something you throw away three weeks before you need it.

Hospitality is making your guests feel at home, even if you wish they were.

The world is full of willing people — some willing to work and some willing to let them.

Some people are like blisters. They don’t show up until the work is done.

A babysitter is a teen-ager acting like an adult while the adults are out acting like teen-agers.

Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you a mechanic.

Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognise a mistake when you make it again.

The one who snores will fall asleep first.

The length of a marriage is inversely proportional to the amount of money spent on the wedding.

Never get overly excited about a man or woman by just the way they look from behind.

The probability of meeting someone you know increases greatly when you are out with someone you do not want to be seen with..


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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Obama/Kennedy vs. McCain/Goldwater

Via - Salon

If John McCain is running for George W. Bush's third presidential term, as Democrats have suggested, Barack Obama is campaigning for John F. Kennedy's second term.

That was driven home again this week when the Obama and McCain campaigns squared off over the question of whether the United States should negotiate with its enemies. Obama said this kind of diplomacy is a sign of strength. "Strong countries and strong presidents talk to their adversaries," the Democratic candidate told a rally in Oregon on Monday.

To McCain, however, this kind of talk demonstrates Obama's naiveté and "reckless judgment." Bush himself jump-started the latest round in this fracas, suggesting that Obama's calls for diplomatic engagement amounted to "appeasement" of the forces of terror.

Is talking with our enemies a sign of strong and intelligent -- or weak and deluded -- leadership? This debate is shaping up as one of the major themes of the 2008 campaign -- just as it was in the 1964 presidential race before JFK was shot down in Dallas in November 1963.

Obama clearly understands this historical parallel and has often invoked JFK's inaugural address to support his calls for diplomacy, reminding Americans that Kennedy said we should "never negotiate out of fear, but ... never fear to negotiate." This was a controversial idea during the deep chill of the Cold War -- after years of bellicose propaganda that demonized Communist leaders as evil and untrustworthy foes who only understood force. And it is equally controversial idea today, after the Bush-Cheney regime's endless war on terror.

By 1963, John Kennedy had developed the courage and vision to directly challenge the Cold War -- the state of permanent fear and tension that had nearly led to the end of the world in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Kennedy knew that his opponent in his upcoming re-election campaign would likely be champion of the rising right, Senator Barry Goldwater, and he knew the battle lines between them on questions of war and peace would be starkly drawn. JFK predicted, in fact, that peace would become the major theme of the 1964 race.

Goldwater -- who was idolized by a future senator from Arizona, John McCain -- saw the Cold War world through the eyes of the Pentagon commanders who were constantly clashing with President Kennedy during his presidency. Like these military chiefs, Goldwater thought war -- even nuclear war -- with the Soviet enemy was inevitable, and he characterized Kennedy's efforts at diplomacy as "weak" and "soft."

But JFK, who had seen and felt the horrors of war, was determined to avoid a nuclear holocaust. He told his defense secretary, Robert McNamara, that he wanted his epitaph to read, "He kept the peace."

Working with his poetic speechwriter, Ted Sorensen -- a young, Unitarian conscientious objector - Kennedy would craft the most eloquent pleas for world peace ever delivered by a modern president. (There's a neat, historical symmetry in the fact that Sorensen is now working for Obama.) The language of these speeches, which JFK delivered in the summer and fall of 1963, from American University to the Mormon Tabernacle -- and of the speech he was to deliver at the Dallas Trade Mart -- still has the power to shock and inspire.

Imagine a president who believed in talking with and even trading with our enemies, and rejected bluster and swagger? This was Kennedy, in a September 1963 speech before a conservative Mormon audience in Salt Lake City: "We must realize that foreign policy in the modern world does not lend itself to easy, simple black and white solutions. If we were to have diplomatic relations only with those countries whose principles we approve of, we would have relations with very few countries in a very short time ... If we were to treat foreign policy merely as a medium for delivering self-righteous sermons to supposedly inferior people, we would give up all thought of world influence or world leadership." The Utah audience greeted Kennedy's speech with a loud burst of sustained applause.

Imagine a president who acknowledged the common humanity of our enemies, and the right of their children to live in peace. That is what JFK did at American University in June 1963, when he said, "We all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal."

And imagine a president with the fortitude to travel into enemy political territory, a Dallas seething with anti-Kennedy resentments, to deliver this speech: Americans must stop listening to the voices of "nonsense" that blared "peace is a sign of weakness." The most effective way to show our strength was not by strutting belligerently around the globe -- it was to live up to our democratic principles, "practicing what (we) preach about equal rights and social justice."

We will never know how his Dallas audience would have responded to these provocative remarks, because Kennedy was cut down in his limousine on the way to deliver this speech.

But in a strong sense, Barack Obama has resumed delivering this message to America, about who we are and who we must be to reclaim a place of respect in the world. The 2008 presidential race is turning into the debate over war and peace that President Kennedy and Senator Goldwater never got to hold.

A 71-year-old former military man is clearly not the leader America needs at this moment in its history. We need a leader who recognizes "that the United States is neither omnipotent or omniscient, that we cannot impose our will upon the other 94 percent of mankind, that we cannot right every wrong or reverse each adversity, and that therefore there cannot be an American solution to every world problem." A president who understands that "equating negotiations with appeasement and substituting rigidity for firmness" is "the pathway to war."

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Obama gets "parroted"

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Obama slams McCain for Lobbyist Flip Flops

Just twelve years ago, when John McCain was politically recuperating from his involvement in the Keating Five scandal, he introduced legislation that would, if implemented today, cripple his presidential campaign.

In March 1996 and again the following year, McCain offered a bill that, in his own words, "would ban a candidate or a candidate's authorized committee from paying registered lobbyists."

John McCain has agreed with me on some of the steps we need to make our government more ethical and accountable. Almost a decade ago, he offered a bill that, in his words, would ban a candidate from paying registered lobbyists. Let me repeat that. This -- ten years ago, John McCain offered a bill that said he would ban a candidate from paying registered lobbyists. And he did this because he said that having lobbyists on your campaign was a conflict of interest. This is what he said ten years ago.

"Well, I'll tell you that John McCain then would be pretty disappointed with John McCain now, because he hired some of the biggest lobbyists in Washington to run his campaign. And when he was called on it, his top lobbyists actually had the nerve to say, 'The American people won't care about this.'

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Adolph Hitler: God's chosen hunter

John Hagee claims Hitler was "doing God's will".

John Hagee, the controversial evangelical leader and endorser of Senator John McCain, argued in a late 1990s sermon that the Nazis had operated on God's behalf to chase the Jews from Europe and shepherd them to Palestine. According to the Reverend, Adolph Hitler was a "hunter," sent by God, who was tasked with expediting God's will of having the Jews re-establish a state of Israel:

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Jim Webb on Morning Joe

Discussing possibility of VP slot, oil prices, alternative fuels. . .

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Obama reaches majority of pledged delegates

With the addition of two more delegates from Tuesday's Kentucky contest, CNN projects that Barack Obama now has 1,628 pledged delegates — a majority of the 3253 pledged delegates available in this year's Democratic presidential nominating contests.

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Ted Kennedy: Working Class Hero

By now, you are all aware of the battle that Ted Kennedy faces in his struggle against cancer. I have nothing to add to that coverage other than my empathy as as someone who's lost a parent to that horrible disease. Instead, I'd like to share one of my favorite Ted Kennedy moments with you, to show what a great friend he has been to America's working class men and women. The senator has been fighting these good fights for us for most of his life:

God bless you, Ted. You've given so much for us all; we're all pulling for you now in your own time of need.

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Sole NYC GOP Congressman not seeking re-election

Vito Fossella is leaving politics to spend more time with his families:

Fossella, who is married with three children, was arrested on a DUI charge on May 1 . He was bailed out by his mistress, Laura Fay, whom he has admitted to fathering a daughter with. I think I would have preferred to stay in jail then to return to the warm welcome he must have received that night. . .

After the relationship was revealed, Fossella said he had no immediate plans to resign, but the disclosures were considered by many as a crippling blow to the career of a lawmaker once viewed a potential candidate for mayor of New York City. Those close to the congressman, say he has made his decision to not seek re-election this fall.

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Obama opens up 16 point lead over Clinton

Gallup Poll Daily tracking finds Barack Obama with his largest advantage over Hillary Clinton in Democratic voters' nomination preferences thus far, 55% to 39%:

Obama's previous largest lead was 11 percentage points, in May 15-17 and April 12-14 polling. His widening lead over Clinton has been evident in each of the last three days of tracking, after the two had been more closely matched earlier in the month.

Clinton's largest lead in the Gallup Poll Daily tracking was 20 points in mid-January, when she led Obama 48% to 28% (John Edwards was still in the race at that time). (To view the complete trend since Jan. 3, 2008, click here.)

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McCain's Charlie Black problem

John McCain's chief adviser, lobbyist Charlie Black, worked for some of the world's worst dictators—mass murderers, terrorists, and tyrants. Voters need to know about this (and McCain needs to fire Charlie Black!).

Charlie Black's firm made millions working for people like:

  • Ferdinand Marcos, who executed thousands of his own citizens in the Philippines,
  • Zaire's Mobutu, who publicly hanged his opponents and looted his country's vast mineral wealth, and
  • rebel leader Jonas Savimbi, a mass murderer, who covered Angola with landmines.3
For thorough documentation of Charlie Black's lobbying work, click here.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder

Vincent Bugliosi, the famed Manson prosecutor, has a new case to present to us. The case of We The People VS George W. Bush for MURDER. . .In his new book, pictured at left (Click the picture to learn more), Bugliosi discusses his amazement at the "kid glove" treatment of Bush by the so-called "liberal media", and their complete and utter lack of follow through to what he has determined to be a clear and solid case against the president for trial for murder:

"Perhaps the most amazing thing to me about the belief of many that George Bush lied to the American public in starting his war with Iraq is that the liberal columnists who have accused him of doing this merely make this point, and then go on to the next paragraph in their columns. Only very infrequently does a columnist add that because of it Bush should be impeached. If the charges are true, of course Bush should have been impeached, convicted, and removed from office. That's almost too self-evident to state. But he deserves much more than impeachment. I mean, in America, we apparently impeach presidents for having consensual sex outside of marriage and trying to cover it up. If we impeach presidents for that, then if the president takes the country to war on a lie where thousands of American soldiers die horrible, violent deaths and over 100,000 innocent Iraqi civilians, including women and children, even babies are killed, the punishment obviously has to be much, much more severe. That's just common sense. If Bush were impeached, convicted in the Senate, and removed from office, he'd still be a free man, still be able to wake up in the morning with his cup of coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice and read the morning paper, still travel widely and lead a life of privilege, still belong to his country club and get standing ovations whenever he chose to speak to the Republican faithful. This, for being responsible for over 100,000 horrible deaths?* For anyone interested in true justice, impeachment alone would be a joke for what Bush did."

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Earth Outreach KML: Climate Change In Our World

Explore and learn about the impacts of climate change and find out how you can make a difference with Climate Change in our World. The Met Office Hadley Centre, British Antarctic Survey and UK Government have harnessed Google Earth technology to present you with an interactive animation showing how climate change and global temperature rises could affect our world over the next 100 years.

Once you have opened this KML, click on the icons to find out more about how people around the world are already being affected by changing weather patterns and see the predicted effects of climate change across the globe between now and 2100.

On opening up the KML you can find out more about how we produced these files, and what is happening on a global and domestic scale to prevent and combat the effects of climate change.

Viewing tip: To view this animation at a slower speed, click the button on the left of the timeline bar and set the speed slider to its lowest setting.

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Byrd endorses Obama

Senior West Virginian Senator bucks local electorate:

From The Charleston Gazette:

Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., endorsed Barack Obama for president shortly after noon today, focusing on his hope to end the Iraq War.

"As people all across this great nation know, I have been one of the most outspoken opponents of the Bush administration's misguided war in Iraq and its saber rattling around the globe," Byrd said.

He said he had "no intention of involving myself in the Democratic campaign for President in the midst of West Virginia's primary election. But the stakes this November could not be higher."

Byrd praised both Obama and Hillary Clinton, saying their "integrity, honor, love for this country and strong belief in our Constitution I deeply respect...

"Barack Obama is a noble-hearted patriot and humble Christian, and he has my full faith and support," Byrd concluded.

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You Tell Me

A little sightseeing adventure for your Monday morning? Checking out one's own reflection? YOU tell ME!


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The License Plate Game

We've all played a version of the license plate game. Today we bring the fun indoors. Using your memory and subtle clues (slogans, scenery and state flags), determine which state each plate came from. Click the license plate below to play, and then let us know how you did!

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Obama Draws Crowd of 75,000

Via: The Washington Post

Barack Obama has seen his share of large crowds over the last 15 months, but his campaign said they have not approached the numbers gathered along the waterfront here right now.

The campaign, citing figures from Duane Bray, battalion chief of Portland Fire & Rescue, estimated that 75,000 people are watching him speak.

The scene suggests this is not an exaggeration. The sea of heads stretches for half a mile along the grassy embankment, while others watch from kayaks and power boats bobbing on the Willamette River. More hug the rails of the steel bridge that stretches across the water and crowds are even watching from jetties on the opposite shore.

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Quote of the Day

The GOP image is so stale that "if we were a dog food, they would take us off the shelf" because nobody is buying it.

-Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.)

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The Real McCain II

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The Cheesy Rock Ballads Quiz

You know them from the dentist's office, high school dances, and possibly even the shower stall, but do you know who actually sings these heart-wrenching numbers? Match the saccharine sweet love song to the stars willing to put their hearts on the line. Oh, and if the quiz comes across a little easy, that's intentional. Love hurts, but that doesn't mean quizzes on love songs have to. Click the pic to take the quiz:

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

If you get up that way. . .

Sigurdur Hjartarson is missing a human penis. But he's not worried: four men have promised to donate theirs to him when they die. And besides, he has this mighty elephant phallus (at left) to hold onto in the meantime.

Hjartarson is founder and owner of the Icelandic Phallological Museum, which offers visitors from around the world a close-up look at the long and the short of the male reproductive organ.

His collection, which began in 1974 with a single bull's penis that looked something like a riding crop, now boasts 261 preserved members from 90 species.
The largest, from a sperm whale, is 70 kg (154 lb) and 1.7 meters (5.58 ft) long. The smallest, a hamster penis bone, is just 2 mm and must be viewed through a magnifying glass.

One species conspicuous by its absence is homo sapiens, but that may soon be rectified since a German, an American, an Icelander and a Briton have promised to donate their organs after death, according to certificates on display

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Troglodyte homunculus

Bill O'Reilly's producer. . .

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Understanding the economic stimulus rebate


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Friday, May 16, 2008

Robert Mondavi has died at 94

The man who turned Napa Valley California into a world center in the wine industry died peacefully at home in that valley today.

When Mondavi opened his winery, in 1966, California was still primarily known for cheap jug wines. But he set out to change that, championing use of cold fermentation, stainless steel tanks and French oak barrels, all commonplace in the industry today. He introduced blind tastings in Napa Valley, putting his wines up against French vintages, a bold move.

Ten years later, his confidence was rewarded when California wines beat some well-known French vintages in the famous tasting known as the Judgment of Paris. The enthusiastic ambassador for wine traveled the world into his 90s promoting the health, cultural and social benefits of its moderate consumption. He is survived by sons Michael and Tim, and daughter Marcia.

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Obama takes on Bush and McCain

"If George Bush and John McCain want to have a debate about protecting the United States of America, that is a debate that I am happy to have, anytime, any place, and that is a debate that I will win because George Bush and John McCain have alot to answer for. . ."

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Friday Nite Retro

Gooood evening and welcome to Friday Nite Retro! Tonight's featured artist just proves that you can find ANYTHING on the internets. . .back from relative obscurity - Franke Previte and friends! As Franke and the Knockouts they had a short-lived, early 1980s career. The group had three U.S. Top 40 singles and two Top 50 albums.

The biggest single, "Sweetheart," was written by Previte and Guitarist Billy Elworthy and became a Top 10 hit in 1981, peaking at #10 on the charts. The group's other two Top 40 hits were "You're My Girl" and "Without You (Not Another Lonely Night)."


This one was always a favorite of mine. . .

Without You

Keep on Fighting

What *I* didn't realize was that they also wrote and released the original versions of Eric Carmen's 1987 hit single "Hungry Eyes" as well as the song "(I've Had) The Time of My Life," (both of which were featured in the 1987 film Dirty Dancing). Previte would later be an Academy Award winner. The band switched to MCA in 1984 and had several album releases but they disbanded in 1986.

Learn more about the band HERE.

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