Saturday, May 03, 2008

Ding Ho Reunion For Laz

For those of you local to Boston and Greater Boston, there's a good deal coming Sunday and Monday that you should make an effort to attend.

It's a Ding Ho Reunion, to benefit comedian Bob Lazarus, who has been fighting a winning battle against Leukemia for the past year or so.

As Barry Crimmins put it, "Laz has been walloping the daylights out of leukemia, an unpaid, yet full-time endeavor. So the kids are putting on a couple of shows ..."

Spearheaded by Tony V and Jimmy Tingle, Sunday evening (4 May, and a second show has been added for Monday 5 May) at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, MA (in the heart of Arlington Center) is the Ding Ho Reunion, where you can catch Steven Wright, Barry Crimmins, Mike McDonald, Tony V , Ken Rogerson, Chance Langton, Bill Braudis, Jimmy Tingle, Piano Player Martin Olson, and, of course, Lazarus himself, as well as expected special guests.

And what is the Ding Ho?

It was the legendary comedy club in Inman Square, Cambridge, that launched stand-up comedy in Boston, and the careers of many performers you are familiar with.

From Cliff Garboden, in The Boston Phoenix;

Opening a comedy club in a Cambridge Chinese restaurant was a laughable idea unto itself. But around 1978, comic (and occasional Phoenix contributor) Barry Crimmins persuaded Inman Square restaurateur Shune Lee to let him book himself and other stand-up acts desperate for a venue. Those acts came to include Lenny Clarke, Jimmy Tingle, Bobcat Goldthwait, Denis Leary, Paula Poundstone, Steven Wright, and lots of other high-profile quipsters.

So, whether you want to end (or begin) the week laughing, get a fix for your compassion and generous spirit, or, if you just have a thing for people with Leukemia, the Ding Ho Reunion is where you want to be.

Be there or be square ...

Editor's Note ... Still Jammed Up ...

Good Morning Garlic Fans;

We hope you are all well ...

Boy, it has been a week, and then some ...

The saga of my caretaking gig, and elderly aunt, continues through this weekend and into the next week.

While she is doing well, pain-free and comfortable, she does need to have a procedure done, and we thought that would be taken care of Thursday.

However, due to a timid staff at the hospital, and the feisty disposition of my aunt, she train-wrecked the procedure by being uncooperative and combative, to the point they could not complete it ... Or get it started ...

And I say "timid" as they are deferring (against my stated wishes, direction and information) to a 95-year-old with dementia and memory loss, as opposed to being assumptively assertive and finessing things, to the point of not getting blood work done, and the above-referenced procedure.

During the procedure on Thursday, at one point, it became a Marx Brothers movie, with the doctor performing the procedure calling me on the telephone, and then relaying what I was saying, to my Aunt, who was sedated some, thereby eliminating even the faintest hope of comprehension, which is a long-shot to begin with, when she is not sedated.

So the game plan is they go into the Operating Room on Monday, and using a stronger sedative and/or some level of anesthesia, to get the procedure done .... Barring complications, it's likely she will come home Tuesday, or Wednesday.

My game plan is to attempt to carve out some time, either today, or tomorrow, and get a few posts up.

Not sure how that will play out, so hang in there ... We'll be back on track within a few days.

Once again, many thanks for visiting The Garlic.


This Date ... On The Garlic

Garlic History - On This Day

3 May 2007... On The Garlic

Top Ten Cloves: Things Overheard At The Republican Candidates' Debate

Chopped Garlic ... Lightning Striking Twice ... Of Success ... Who's In Command ... Pentagon vs. Soldiers ... And Those Al Qaeda Guys - Again

3 May 2006... On The Garlic

Top Ten Cloves: Other Unannounced Measures White House Has For Pandemic Flu Draft Response Plan

3 May 2005... On The Garlic

Neiman Marcus Sells Self Through Catalog; "Almost Threw Away Book In Recycling", Says Buyer

Visa Ends Triple Crown Sponsorship But Keeps Derby; Cites Pending Use of Child Jockeys As Means To Increase Brand

Top Ten Cloves: Other Than Saying They Were Kidnapped, Stories Runaway Brides Can Use

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Wolcott: Nixon in a pantsuit

Last month, The Village Voice gave us a look at the Right-Wing Blogosphere ("A confederacy of dunces", along with their headshots from Tom Tomorrow).

This month (actually, for the June issue), in Vanity Fair, James Wolcott pulls back the curtain to take a peek at the Liberal Blogosphere, warts and dirty laundry included, as well as a ton of snark.

When Democrats Go Post-al

Subtitled "The vicious Clinton-versus-Obama rupture at Daily Kos, the most activist site in the liberal blogosphere, reflects a party-wide split. What really rankles, as Democrats tear at one another, is the free pass they’ve given McCain—and the White House."

If you are already hip, than this is a pleasant stroll through the familiar, smiles and chuckles along the way ...

If you have never ventured off your AOL or Yahoo homepage, or looked beyond the boundaries of MySpace or Facebook, you're in for a loud, crashing, rollercoaster ride, that will leave you either shaking your head and running for the hills, or, or "Oh Boy, where do I sign up" ...

One passage I especially liked, for it nails HRC in a manner that seems so obvious, yet we missed it up until now;

For them, Hillary’s time had come, she had paid her dues, she had been thoroughly vetted, she had survived hairdos that would have sunk lesser mortals, and she didn’t let a little thing like being loathed by nearly half of the country bum her out and clog her transmission. Not since Nixon had there been such a show of grinding perseverance in the teeth of adversity, and Nixon in a pantsuit was never going to be an easy sell contrasted with the powerful embroidery of Obama’s eloquence—his very emergence on the political scene seemed like a feat of levitation. Hillary’s candidacy promised to make things better; Obama’s to make us better: outward improvement versus inward transformation. With Hillary, you would earn your merit badges; with Obama, your wings. Hillary’s candidacy was warmed-over meat loaf—comfort food for those too old or fearful to Dream.

Nixon in a pantsuit ...

Oh, how rich that is ...

If John McCain is the new Bob Dole, it makes for a wonderful yang to that ying that Hillary be the new Nixon.

Oh My!

Can't wait to hear her Checkers Speech.

Dissenting views, and non-Wolcott fans, here, here, here, here, here and here

This from Dan Collins (and be sure to click the link when he was in Wolcott's spotlight)

And one Bonus Link: Tinkerbell Meets Norma Rae - The Daily Kos Strike

This Date ... On The Garlic

Garlic History - On This Day

1 May 2007... On The Garlic

Breaking News! President To Reject Bill Under "Veto Accomplished" Banner; White House, To Counter Dems, Planning Own Elaborate Signing Ceremony; VP Office May Issue Update "Last Throes" Declaration; Military Bands and Wounded Vets Expected To Attend

Top Ten Cloves: Lengths White House Staff Will Go Today To Avoid Reminding President Of "Mission Accomplished"

Happy Law Day!

1 May 2006... On The Garlic

Top Ten Cloves: How Josh Bolten Plans On Getting White House’s MoJo Back

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

"The Wheels On The Bus Go Round and Round ..."

(Editor's Note: Peeling off a quick one here ... To follow-up, some complications with the Aunt in the hospital, and, likely, a procedure will be needed tomorrow, to correct the problem ... At least, hopefully, that will be the case - the other option is surgery)

Quick, someone update the Rodney Dangerfield line;

"Hey ... I went to a political campaign the other day ... And a bus caravan broke out ..."

So many bodies under buses lately.

Are we, have we, slipped down to being some backwater banana republic, where the candidate that promises to have the buses run on time (with or without bodies under them) will be the winner?

I think you only need one, or two, more to have a quorum.

And the big question, will this be a new metric for the Clinton Campaign, that they threw more (or less, if you want to base it on golf) people under the bus then Obama, therefore, that makes Hillary the rightful, fit, nominee, ready to throw more people under the bus on Day One!

Question - If you have already been thrown under a bus, can you still, is it possible, to throw someone else under the bus, while you are still under it?

Following the Jeremiah "I Ought To Be In Pictures" Wright World Tour, it was the MSM meme that he threw Barack Obama under the bus.

This wasn't promulgated by the MSM with a tremendous amount of sympathy for Obama, mere reporting "just the facts".

And it wasn't until Obama's press conference yesterday, that the MSM could shift into their latest meme, the morphing of Obama, from, as you may remember, he entered this campaign with the question mark of "Is he black enough" ... That soon morphed, with a healthy push from the McCain-hugging, 3AM Bashing from Hillary Clinton, to "Is he experienced enough" ... And now, with the Obama denunciation of Wright yesterday, we have "Is he angry enough" in play.

Rather than note, and discuss, how Obama has taken a substantial problem (that is both political and personal), and not once, but twice now, handled it, took it straight on, looked it dead in the eyes, and articulated, with great eloquence, and simple language, what his position is, what his thoughts are, what he wants to do with it, what he will do with it.

Obama gave Wright back, in his press conference yesterday, and to paraphrase Wright, "You think you're going to come in here and throw my campaign under a bus ... You got another coming!"

And, from what I saw last yesterday afternoon, and evening, that wasn't the meme coming from the pundits.

It was "why did he wait so long" and "why didn't he do it sooner" and, as Margaret "Marcie" Carlson noted how he handled it, it was a "disaster".

Yeah, they're right, Obama should have handled last week ... Or., maybe two months ago ... No, back when he first decided to run for president ... Still late, he should have done it when he was in college ... No, perhaps back when he was a toddler, or, even, still, in the womb ...

And let's not forget how the MSM (and certainly the RWFS) will pile on now, with additional memes, of why did he join this church, why did he stay with this church, why did he even go to church ... Wright's rage will be painted on Obama directly, subtly, through smears and innuendo, perhaps prompting Obama to come up to the plate a third time on all of this ...

This should put a stake in the heart of "guilt by association" for Obama, but, likely it won't.

And don't you think, for a moment, that Hillary Clinton and her campaign, aren't retro-fitting those kitchen sinks to accommodate holding Obama, Wright, and a bus, or two, in them.

I'm hoping, that maybe, now with Obama's press conference yesterday, the natural order of the news business can be restored, and the week's mega story - Hannah Montana's Pin-Up Girl Photos - can finally land on the front page, and dominate cable news - and, of course, Brian Williams, on the NBC Nightly News.

Big, Roomy Bus Links

Andrew Sullivan: Obama Divorces Wright

Richard Blair: Delicate Flowers

Greg Sargent: Obama On Wright: "I Might Not Know Him As Well As I Thought"

Steven Benen: When Obama gets pissed

Errol Louis: Is Jeremiah Wright a colossal disaster for Barack Obama or a press trick?

Rush Calls Operation Chaos Pause

This Date ... On The Garlic ...

Garlic History - On This Day

30 April 2007... On The Garlic

Movie Industry Titan, and LBJ Lackey, Rolls His Final Credits - Jack Valenti Obit

Yes, Wolfie, People Will Be Talking, For Years, About You ... The Results - The Garlic Weekly Poll

30 April, 2006... On The Garlic

Weekend Special - Sautéed Cloves

Garlic Poll Results - Before Scott McClellan Leaves His Job As Press Secretary, He Should ...

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Monday, April 28, 2008

Editor's Note: Maybe, Only Treading Water For The Next Day, or Two ...

Good Evening Garlic Fans;

Just a quick note of trouble on the homefront today.

I had to take the Aunt that I am caretaker for to the hospital, and there went the day ...

I won't go into all the details, other than it was a close call to make, as to taking her to the hospital, however, with what went down this past winter, better to roll the Safe-Rather-Than-Sorry dice.

She's doing fine (yelping to come home), the prognosis is to keep her overnight for observation and monitoring and, likely, she'll be back home sometime tomorrow.

I am, possibly, going to attempt to get a post up later this evening (finishing one I started early this morning, before all the excitement commenced) ... If I don't, and only manage the housekeep Garlic History posts, don't hold it against me ...

Many Thanks, as always, for visiting The Garlic


This Date ... On The Garlic

Garlic History - On This Day

28 April 2005... On The Garlic

DeLay Now Facing Additional Charges; Stowaway On Air Force One Effort To Avoid House Investigation

Police Investigate Arson Incident At Apple; CEO Jobs, Others Questioned Over Small Fire

Top Ten Cloves: Other PBS Reality Shows In The Works

Sunday, April 27, 2008

What Did You Expect - Jerry Springer!

It seems that Barack Obama's appearance on Fox News Sunday, the Chris Wallace Show, has ruffled feathers far-and-wide today.

There's camps that believe he's a traitor, and vow, now, not to vote for him.

Others, crestfallen that he didn't duke it out.

A pretty wide swath of the pragmatic, that note he did a fine, admirable, even good interview

And, as always, there's the those for whom reality is someplace, anyplace, they are not.

Taylor Marsh does her typical "All Hail Hillary" drone (aka "Everything Hillary says or does is great; Everything Obama says or does sucks")

Ann Althouse goes all Dr. Phil on all the candidates ... And Un Poco Cojones Verde (LGF) lives vicariously, leering with glee at the reactions from those on the Blue side of things ...

You can go out to Memeorandum and wade, ankle, or knee-deep, in all the reactions.

For those of you who either believe he's a traitor, or disappointed he didn't come running on the set, screaming "There Will Be Blood", what the hell did you expect - Jerry Springer!

You want broken chairs and bodies strewn across the stage? Bouncing camera shots of Obama, Wallace and others, heatedly screaming at each other?

The last thing, especially right now, that Obama needs is to have a combative, confrontational Fox News interview, that gets looped to the high heavens (Fox would, likely, launch yet another new network just for that only), so for the next week, all that gets talked about is Obama's combative and confrontational Fox interview?

No, Thank You.

So, he goes Eddie Haskell, smiles at his host, drives his points home, and comes out of there without a ripped shirt.

What's that old newspaper saw - you never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel?

Libby, at Newshoggers, hits it about right, when she says "He's walking a tightrope in this race and while he didn't dazzle with any impressive tricks, he didn't fall off either."

When Obama gets the nomination, he's going to be on Fox News, oh, probably every other minute, and no doubt, they'll be slamming and smearing him.

So, having a edited video clip, of Wallace complimenting, or agreeing with him, that will be something the Obama Camp can have to buttress themselves

Chalk this up to Obama keeping, and acting on, one of his policies - That we should talk to our enemies.

Fair and Balanced Bonus Links


The Raw Story: Barack Obama interview with Fox’s Chris Wallace

Josh Marshall: Obama on Fox (Video Highlights)

Creature on State of Day: Obama behind enemy lines

Jerome Armstrong: Obama on Fox transcript

Andrew Sullivan: Yglesias Award Nominee

You Say Lapel Pins ... I Say Lunatics...

Enough of this childish, little, small-minded pettiness.

Screw these tiny Lapel Flag Pins!

I want to see the candidates, and every blowhard, Fox News, Right Wing Freak Show, and their Flying Monkeys, ham-handed "patriot" start wearing actual United States of America Flags on their chests.

That's right, anything less then the full Old Glory and you must be an appeaser, rooting for the terrorists, wanting "them" to win!

And it damn-well better be a flag made right here, in the good, ol' U.S of A.!

No excuses!

You're either with us, or against us!

While I write in jest, that may, very well, be where this ante gets raised to, before the general election campaign begins.

We had this yesterday;

Obama on Those Who Say He Doesn't Respect the Flag: 'It's a Lie'
At a town hall in Kokomo, Ind., Friday a woman told Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., that her mother wasn’t going to vote for him because he didn’t "address the flag."

"This is a phony issue," Obama said. "So let me address it right now."
And address it he did.

After a lengthy, two, or three-point detailed answer, Obama called it for what it is;
Obama continued, saying "so I make this comment. suddenly a bunch of these, you know, TV commentators and bloggers (say) 'Obama is disrespecting people who wear flag pins.' Well, that's just not true. Also, another way of saying it is, it's a lie."

Steve Benen, over on The Carpetbagger Report offered good support;
I’d just like to ask these folks who purport to care whether they mind if Hillary Clinton’s or John McCain’s lapels are flagless. Whether they minded that Ronald Reagan, JFK, Eisenhower, and FDR didn’t wear pins. Whether they think George W. Bush was unpatriotic before 9/11, when his lapels were bare. I doubt it.

I doubt Obama would do this, but I can imagine a town-hall meeting in which this comes up and the senator asks everyone in the room wearing a flag lapel pin (probably made in China) to raise their hand. When a small fraction of the crowd does, Obama can ask them, “Do those of you who didn’t raise your hand love the country as much as those who did?”

As did Oliver Willis;

Since I’ve been following politics closely and especially since I moved back to the DC area to work in the industry (more or less), one of the things I have never understood has been the liberal/Democratic reluctance to call something a lie. When Al Franken wrote his book Lies And The Lying Liars Who Tell Them, I am certain that the forthright way in which he called out something as a lie was a pivotal element of its success. In 2000, and especially 2004, Al Gore and John Kerry drove me batty with their constant rhetoric that something was “a falsehood” or that someone “misled”. They just never came out and said George Bush and the Republican party and the conservative noise machine were just filthy liars.

And, of course, the inhabitants of the RWFS just have to keep pumping this up, gripping on it like a dog, gnawing on a juicy bone ... You can see them here, here and here, all polishing their own lapel pins of stupidity

When it comes time for the general election debates, against Stumblin' Bumblin' John McCain, and if he could get away with it (just think how the RWFS would explode if he did!), as satire, as a statement, Obama should wear the Hamas Flag Lapel Pin.

I'd bet more then half of the nitwits wouldn't notice.

Bonus Lapel Links

Barry Crimmins: The ABC/HUAC Democratic Inquisition

ABC Plants Its Flag

Boy, And We Thought Russert and Williams Sucked

Elizabeth Edwards: "The Cliff Notes of the news"

“Did you, for example, ever know a single fact about Joe Biden’s health care plan? … But let me guess, you know Barack Obama’s bowling score.”


You go there, Elizabeth, you go girl!

Man, something like this today has the thought creeping into your mind that, maybe, the wrong Edwards was running for President.

We speak of Elizabeth Edwards' NYT Op-Ed, "Bowling 1, Health Care 0"

Mrs. Edwards rips into the MSM, for covering the silly, the pap, and not being the beacon bulldogs of a robust democracy.
Why? Here’s my guess: The vigorous press that was deemed an essential part of democracy at our country’s inception is now consigned to smaller venues, to the Internet and, in the mainstream media, to occasional articles. I am not suggesting that every journalist for a mainstream media outlet is neglecting his or her duties to the public. And I know that serious newspapers and magazines run analytical articles, and public television broadcasts longer, more probing segments.

But I am saying that every analysis that is shortened, every corner that is cut, moves us further away from the truth until what is left is the Cliffs Notes of the news, or what I call strobe-light journalism, in which the outlines are accurate enough but we cannot really see the whole picture.

She laments that lack-of-coverage for all the candidates, people like Joe Biden and Chris Dodd, whose good policy plans went, virtually, unnoticed.

Or, as she questions "who decided that Fred Thompson was a serious candidate."
I’m not the only one who noticed this shallow news coverage. A report by the Project for Excellence in Journalism and the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy found that during the early months of the 2008 presidential campaign, 63 percent of the campaign stories focused on political strategy while only 15 percent discussed the candidates’ ideas and proposals.

Watching the campaign unfold, I saw how the press gravitated toward a narrative template for the campaign, searching out characters as if for a novel: on one side, a self-described 9/11 hero with a colorful personal life, a former senator who had played a president in the movies, a genuine war hero with a stunning wife and an intriguing temperament, and a handsome governor with a beautiful family and a high school sweetheart as his bride. And on the other side, a senator who had been first lady, a young African-American senator with an Ivy League diploma, a Hispanic governor with a self-deprecating sense of humor and even a former senator from the South standing loyally beside his ill wife. Issues that could make a difference in the lives of Americans didn’t fit into the narrative template and, therefore, took a back seat to these superficialities.

The essay is on-the-money and a good read.

And it has generated (for the most part; There's a few in the RWFS out there dissing it) good kudos.

Kevin Hayden: Strobe-light journalism: the ADD of campaign 2008

Bang The Drum: Elizabeth Edwards, I’d Vote for YOU

Mark Halperin: Elizabeth Edwards Points Finger at News Media

Take some time and read Elizabeth Edwards' "Bowling 1, Health Care 0"

The Anatomy of Idiots

Too bad, if this ever gets made into a movie, Otto Preminger and Duke Ellington aren't around to direct and score it.

Catching up from the week, there was a minor fru-fru with the Right Wing Freak Show, over the case of Pulitzer Prize-winning Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein.

Hussein was the recipient of the Bush Grindhouse brand of justice, held for allegedly aiding terrorists (or, a terrorist himself, if you
are in the RWFS, or an official RWFS Flying Monkey).

From Wikipedia;

On September 17, 2006, it was reported that Hussein has been imprisoned by the United States military since April 2006 without publicly known charges or hearing because of "imperative reasons of security" under United Nations resolutions.[1] Hussein was taken into U.S. custody on April 12, 2006 from the Iraqi city of Ramadi and has since been held without charge.[1][2] On November 20, 2007, the US military announced that they would soon be bringing criminal charges against Hussein, and would be turning the case over to Iraqi judges. [3] On April 9, 2008 an Iraqi judicial panel ordered his release, ruling (according to the AP) that he was covered by an Iraqi amnesty law.[4] On April 14, 2008 the US military announced it would release Hussein from custody by April 16, 2008, saying only that "he no longer presents an imperative threat to security".[5] [6]
That's the proverbial "Reader's Digest" version of it.

To get a more detailed account, a most delicious take-down of the RWFS, run, don't walk over to Media Matters and ...

Eric Boehlert's
"Michelle Malkin and the warbloggers get everything wrong -- again"

Here's a tease of it;
"What's so amazing -- and truly frightening -- about the Bilal Hussein story is that the U.S. government may have actually turned to warbloggers for information. At least one source even allegedly credited the laughable Jawa Report blog for helping put Bilal Hussein behind bars for two years while the U.S. military in Iraq pondered his fate. That warbloggers are right less often than a stopped clock is one thing. That CENTCOM officials have apparently deputized the clueless Inspector Clouseaus in the War on Terror represents a national embarrassment."
And a "Batman" style POW!;
They all dutifully typed up the military's dark claims about Hussein and pounded their chests about how warbloggers had uncovered a terrorist inside the AP. But when the Army decided Hussein no longer posed a threat, the warbloggers all played dumb. (Trust me, it's an art form for them at this point.)

That's bad enough. And if warbloggers had simply ignored the Hussein news last week, that would have been one thing. Instead, those who did acknowledge the development tried to insist they were still right about Hussein's terrorist ties and that he'd simply been released on a technicality.
Need more?

Here's an endorsement from Pale Rider, over on Blue Girl, Red State;
Eric Bohlert then goes on to give one of the most detailed examinations of the "reality-challenged" crowd--complete with excellent links a-plenty and enough smart commentary and observation to go around. I love pieces like this--you can lose yourself in them for an hour, see documented and detailed lies, distortions and misadventures, and it just reinforces why we do what we do here.

And for a little historical context (actually, Bohlert links to this in the piece) from Glenn Greenwald's "The "credibility" of the right-wing blogosphere";

These right-wing bloggers operate at a level several beneath the National Enquirer, literally. They simply fabricate facts and recklessly and maliciously launch serious accusations against the media whenever doing so advances their political agenda.

Read "Michelle Malkin and the warbloggers get everything wrong -- again".

It will be a good primer, kind of like stretching out and limbering up, before the Fall Election.

Bonus RWFS/Flying Monkey Riffs

A Headshot Guide to the Right-Wing Blogosphere - The Village Voice's visual election-season manual from Tom Tomorrow

Mirror, Mirror ... She's Still The Sickest! ... But The Bush Grindhouse Is Gaining Ground ... Follow-Up On The Graeme Frost Conflagration

There's Sucker's Born Every Minute ...

Where's Ernest Borgnine when you need him?

"The morning after always looks grim if you happen to be wearing last night's dress"

This Date ... On The Garlic

Garlic History - On This Day

27 April 2006... On The Garlic

Top Ten Cloves: Things That Came Out In Karl Rove’s 5th Grand Jury Appearance Yesterday

27 April 2005... On The Garlic

Bush Plan For Iraq Statehood In Jeopardy

Syria Leaves Lebanon After 29-Year Stay; Bill Unpaid; Towels and Soap Missing

Top Ten Cloves: Early Signs That Steroids May Be Out of Baseball