Saturday, May 02, 2009

It Will Never Be A Happy "Mission Accomplished" Day

We wonder how The Commander Guy celebrated yesterday.

Did he strut around in his his new Dallas neighborhood in the flight suit? ... Stand on his back porch, reliving the moment on the deck of the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln? ... Or, simply remain obtuse, as dense as he has ever been.

Yesterday, if you recall, was the 6th Anniversary of "Mission Accomplished".

You remember, when the invasion and occupation was all wrapped up, all that "stuff happens" happened, the cheering crowds of liberated people, fading in the deep crevices of The Bush Grindhouse, a few stray rose pedals, and flowers, drifting aimlessly..

As egregious (and, perhaps, criminal) as this was, it was more horrific, the complete submission, and full-throated cheerleading, of our dunce-capped media.

So many were so, so wrong.

Greg Mitchell has captured that, in his book, "So Wrong For So Long", and has a piece up on Huffington Post, "On 6th Anniversary of 'Mission Accomplished' -- How the Media Blew It";

Chris Matthews on MSNBC called Bush a "hero" and boomed, "He won the war. He was an effective commander. Everybody recognizes that, I believe, except a few critics." He added: "Women like a guy who's president. Check it out. The women like this war. I think we like having a hero as our president. It's simple."

PBS' Gwen Ifill said Bush was "part Tom Cruise, part Ronald Reagan." On NBC, Brian Williams gushed, "The pictures were beautiful. It was quite something to see the first-ever American president on a -- on a carrier landing."

Bob Schieffer on CBS said: "As far as I'm concerned, that was one of the great pictures of all time." His guest, Joe Klein, responded: "Well, that was probably the coolest presidential image since Bill Pullman played the jet fighter pilot in the movie Independence Day. That was the first thing that came to mind for me."
Ahh .... Dwarf, finks, phonies, and frauds, the bunch of 'em ...

Go check out, for a head-shaking chuckle, our elite media, in Mitchell's "On 6th Anniversary of 'Mission Accomplished' -- How the Media Blew It"

Bonus Links

Bush Remarks on "Mission Accomplished" Banner Embarrass White House

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

This Date ... On The Garlic

2 May 2007... On The Garlic

Garlic Special: A George Bush Dream - The Victory II; In a new series, The Garlic has, occasionally, taken a look (and liberty) with the somnolent state of our Court-Appointed President

2 May 2006... On The Garlic

Top Ten Cloves: Problems The Illegal Immigrant Boycott Caused The White House Yesterday

2 May 2005... On The Garlic

Runaway Bride Influenced By Ad Campaign; Disappointed it "didn't stay in Vegas"; Vows Never To Return

First Lady Takes Swipes At Husband, Staff; White House Dinner Audience "Uncomfortable' with jibes"

Top Ten Cloves: Ways Your Maypole Celebration Pissed Off Your Neighbors

Friday, May 01, 2009

With You I'm Born Again

No, were not riffing on Arlen Specter.

Rather, we are going Jukebox this evening, as we got sidetracked today, on the homefront, and rather then force things, decided to go-with-flow, and chill out.

We give you a great one, from the earlier 80's - Eric Gale's "With You I'm Born Again", off his 'Touch of Silk album (with killer sax work by Grover Washington Jr.).

This was, earlier, a big hit for Billy Preston and Syreeta.

You should enjoy it ... Nice tune to take us into the weekend.

Eric Gale " With You I'm Born Again " 1980

This Date ... On The Garlic

1 May 2008... On The Garlic

Wolcott: Nixon in a pantsuit

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

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Let's Give It To Chuckie T ... He'll Ask It!

Well, let's give the boy a hand.

Maybe he cribbed notes, from a reporter sitting near him, or, perhaps, he finally went out and bought the book "How To Ask Questions At Press Conferences for Dummies", then again, it could be all that training for the new show he's being handed.

In any case, Chuck Todd of NBC disappointed the Obama Team by actually asking a rather pertinent question last evening, during the President's Prime Time News Conference.

We couldn't see if Chuckie T. was wearing an earpiece, so some editor could spoon fed him a question to ask.

You know, that had to cross the NBC suits' minds, after the previous two Press Conferences, when Our Man Chuck stood up and drooled all over himself, querying the President with questions straight out of Michelle Bachmann's universe.

It wouldn’t surprise me if his co-workers are calling Chuckie T. "The Mailman" today, cuz, last night, Chuckie T. delivered!

Here's how it went;

Chuck Todd.

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President. Want to move to Pakistan. Pakistan appears to be at war with the Taliban inside their own country.

MR. OBAMA: Right.

QUESTION: Can you reassure the American people that, if necessary, America could secure Pakistan's nuclear arsenal and keep it from getting into the Taliban's hands, or worst-case scenario, even al Qaeda's hands?
Not bad ... Not bad ...

Pakistan has been in the news, it's a hot spot, lots of things going on there.

And, as to the news conference, the big 100 Days Extravaganza, aces all around for the President, particularly, Tom Shales, at the WaPo;
The questions put to Barack Obama at his news conference last night covered nearly every topic but the Craigslist Killer, and if that had come up, Obama probably would have answered it in stride.


He's not the student who wears a button that says, "Smartest kid in class," but clearly he is, at least when surrounded by the White House press corps.

Obama can use a five-dollar word such as "overarching" in one sentence and a few sentences later utter a folksy "doggone it." His verbiage is a melting pot that's always bubbling. A few times, he did stumble over words, and once or twice appeared semantically stranded, unable to find the precise language he wanted to use. But compare him with his predecessor and such moments seem trifling.
And, dig what he had to say about "The best political team on television", and MSNBC;
Meanwhile, CNN, in what looked an awful lot like desperation, embedded the news conference in a day-long (or is it week-long) gimmicky "National Report Card" routine, as hired experts and members of Congress rated the president on this and that. Graphically speaking, it was a mess, and one sympathized with Anderson Cooper and Wolf Blitzer and other CNN talents caught up in one of those Producers' Brainstorms that didn't work.


MSNBC showed its strengths -- at least two of them, anyway -- by going to ravaging Keith Olbermann and ravishing Rachel Maddow. Two smart people are a lot better than an arsenal of computerly contraptions.
Yeah, the sun is shining all over NBC, and MSNBC today.

Chuckie T. got his question straight.

Klaatu barada nikto

Oh, sorry, wrong video.

That's the 1951 classic, 'The Day The Earth Stood Still'

We meant to post Vice President Joe Biden, speaking today on the 'Today Show', on how he would be handling the Swine Flu.

Biden: ‘Wouldn’t go anywhere in confined places’

Well, the earth hasn't stood still, there isn't panic in the streets, but Biden is sure catching a lot of crap.
Vice president Joe Biden said today he would tell his family members not to use subways in the U.S. and implied schools should be shuttered as the swine flu outbreak spread to 16 states. His remarks quickly caused a stir, drawing a rebuke from New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg and later leading the White House to apologize.

The uproar began when Biden appeared on NBC's "Today" show and said he would advise against riding the subway or taking commercial flights and implied schools should be shuttered amid confirmation of the first swine-flu relation death in the U.S.

"I wouldn't go anywhere in confined places now," Biden said when Matt Lauer asked whether he would advise family members to use public transportation.

"I would tell members of my family, and I have, I wouldn't go anywhere in confined places now. It's not that it's going to Mexico, it's you're in a confined aircraft when one person sneezes it goes all the way through the aircraft. That's me. I would not be, at this point, if they had another way of transportation suggesting they ride the subway. "

The vice president also implied that schools should be closed as the threat of swine flu increases.


About two hours after the interview, Biden's office issued a statement attempting to clarify the vice president's remarks.


White House press secretary Robert Gibbs apologized for Biden's remarks, saying the vice president misspoke.
It's been said, that "Klaatu barada nikto", in Klaatu's native, intergalactic language, translates to;

"Biden Being Biden"

Harman Turning To King Kaiser?

I don't know what to make of this.

Is it, like, throwing in the towel? ... Laying down the Queen, when you know checkmate is inevitable? ...

Jane Harman, certainly, is capable of doing it herself.

As you recall, Miss Jane got herself into a messy little scandal recently (see Here and Here for some of the latest news).

Does she really need to hire Lanny Davis, to go out, on camera, and piss-and-moan for her?

It will remain to be seen, if Lanny brings the full monty (and does he lose the Faux News gig)

Will Lanny retrain, and bring over with him, the Grand Central Locker Room Creatures, last seen pumping it out for Hillary, to start adoring Jane Harmen;

"Jane is back! The keeper of the light! All hail Jane! All hail Jane! Oh Jane can you see by the dawn's early light..."

The King Kaiser reference?

We defer to author, and primo satirist, Barry Crimmins;

While waiting for the Indiana totals, the cable networks marked time by reeling in some of the slack from the jaws of their commentators, who finally seemed to have worked through the denial stage of their grief over the terminal status of the Clinton campaign. Serious hilarity ensued on CNN when Clinton family bootblack Lanny Davis, accustomed to leisurely swatting softballs in such surroundings, was asked to try to explain how his candidate could possibly garner the Democratic nomination. His clumsy response looked even shiftier as Davis squirmed in a suit last worn by Joseph Bologna as King Kaiser in the "Boss Hijack" sketch in My Favorite Year.
And, now, Harman has a blogger (a very good one) planning on running against her.

Hope Lanny gets the suit dry cleaned before that happens, so as to wash off all that Hillary karma soaked into it.

(Photo by Barry Crimmins)

Take Me Out To The Ball Game ... Take Me Out Of My Job ...


This will be making some lists, on the suckiest way to find out you've been laid off;

Baltimore Sun journalists laid off while covering baseball game

Four journalists from US newspaper the Baltimore Sun discovered they were being laid off last night – in the middle of covering a baseball game


"Tough times in the newspaper biz," wrote the OC Register's Bill Plunkett as an aside during his inning-by-inning update from the game. "Two writers for the Baltimore Sun in the press box here got the news – by phone, during the game – that they had been laid off in the latest round of cost-cutting. Stay classy, Baltimore Sun management."
Perhaps the Baltimore Sun management was hoping their "pink slip" call would drop into voicemail.

And, there's this, from the same article, a veritable epitaph on the newspaper industry;
Earlier this year David Simon, the creator of TV show The Wire who worked as a reporter at the Sun for 12 years, told the Guardian that the newspaper's decline was part of a general failure to report what was really happening in the city.

"If I want to find out what's going on in this city, I've got to go to a fucking bar and talk to a police lieutenant and take notes on a cocktail napkin," he said. "That's what passes for high-end journalism in Baltimore these days."
Well, I suppose it is better that getting the news, via Twitter.

Hmmm ... Maybe they could have a little more callous, and put it up on the Jumbotron

H/T @GregMitch

Bonus Links

Special Essay - Play Ball! ... Batter Up! ... Could You Please Tell Me, What Is This Thing Called Baseball?

Garlic Coverage of Baseball Steroid Scandal

This Date ... On The Garlic

30 April 2008... On The Garlic

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

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 ...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Another Instant Ignorant Dolt - Rep Virginia Fox (R-NC)

We are getting to like this.

We did one yesterday, on what we called IID (Instant Ignorant Dolt), awarding the FAA with the dubious title, for the Fly-Over-Manhattan Photo-Op.

With Ignorant Dolts flying out of the chute at sonic speed over the past few months, it was always a tough decision at weeks' end, to determine just which one would receive The Garlic's "Ignorant-Dolt-of-the-Week" title (our last weekly IDOTW winner was Dick Armey)

So, we will endeavor, with these shorter posts, to "pick'em off" as they come flying by.

And today, we've got a royally Ignorant Dolt to hip you to.

We defer to MediaMatters, for the introduction;

Summary: On April 29, 2009, in a speech on the House floor, Rep. Virginia Foxx claimed that Matthew Shepard's death was merely the result of a robbery gone bad. While his killers Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson did rob him, they also admitted that they were well aware of his sexual orientation and pretended they were gay to lure him away from the bar he was in at the time. The most striking feature of the case, of course, is that during the course of a normal, simple robbery, the victim is not generally beaten, tied to a post, and left for dead.
And, as they say in the big show, let's go to the tape;

Rep. Virginia Foxx Dishonored Matthew Shepard's Death On The House Floor

Oh yeah, we should mention that Matthew Sheppard's mother was sitting in the gallery when Rep. Foxx displayed her inner Ignorant Dolt.

Lest you think this was a sudden burst of ignorance from Representative Foxx, Mary Ann Akers, in her WaPo "Sleuth" column, points out;
Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) has done it again. Earlier this month she dropped the racially charged term "tar baby" on the House floor ...

Dave Waldman, over on Congress Matters, hits it good, in his "Virginia "Muppet Sweater" Foxx calls Matthew Shepard's murder a hoax";
This is now the catch-all excuse for the opposition of the GOP and their nutbar secessionist allies for everything.

Everything's a hoax. Global warming's a hoax. Matthew Shepard's murder was a hoax. Swine flu is a hoax. The Holocaust is a hoax. The moon landing was a hoax. FDR's success in dealing with The Great Depression was a hoax.

Everything's a hoax to these guys.

Except the war and the WMD! That was real!

Wear the crown well, Rep. Virginia Foxx ... You are today's Instant Ignorant Dolt!

We have an outpouring, a bevy of links, of equally outraged, and astounded, folks.

John Aravosis (DC): Republican congresswoman says Matthew Shepard's murder was "a hoax"

Pam Spaulding: NC Congresswoman Virginia Foxx - evil to the core

Ali Frick: GOP Hysterical Over Hate Crimes Bill Because It Would Protect Gay People

Ernest Luning: Markey to House: Shepard, Zapata ‘two victims of hate crimes in my district’

Glenn Greenwald: Can someone explain to Rep. Foxx the difference between hate crimes and hate speech laws?

More TD Jesus ...Obama Should Punt

So says Kathleen Parker, wanna-be doyenne of the Right Wing Freak Show, in today's WaPo, last seen here on The Garlic, when she crassly wrote about the Homo-Erotic Edwards endorsement of Obama, playing her her head.

She intones, so seriously, numerous Flying Monkey Talking Points, in her "The Principle At Stake at Notre Dame", particularly hammering abortion and stem cells, painting the selfish invitation-accepting President, as "radical";

One needn't be a dedicated pro-lifer to understand the consternation Obama's invitation has caused. He is more radical than all previous presidents on the life issue, with his loosening of federal funding for abortion and embryonic stem cell research, as well as his campaign promise to pass the Freedom of Choice Act


Nevertheless, his abortion stance is in direct conflict with Catholic teaching. And no place symbolizes Catholics in America quite the way Notre Dame does.

Offering this backdrop and extending the school's imprimatur to Obama constitutes a wink and a nod to abortion. Why not throw a pig roast in Mecca? That was Glendon's point. By her symbolic gesture of self-denial, she demonstrates that faith is an act, not a motto.
"No place symbolizes Catholics in America quite the way Notre Dame?"

It's called a football team, that the school has done a Houdiniesque job at marketing, and establishing them as a perennial icon, Irish Green revenue stream.

But Parker saves her most ridiculousness for the end;
Obama might consider following Glendon's lead. Although he supports choice, the president also recognizes the moral complexity of those decisions. Out of respect for pro-life Catholics and their beloved institution, he should politely bow out.
As we pointed out yesterday, in President Obama's response to Mary Ann Glendon bagging out of the gig, Obama is not backing down, and is, to speak in the parlance of "the place that symbolizes Catholics in America, Notre Dame", going down field, and taking it to the end zone.

Be there, or Be Square, Kathleen Parker.

Oh Boy, Another One ...

Yesterday, we told you about Jon "Let'em Go" Meacham, and his "Hear/Speak/See No Evil" approach to holding the Bush Grindhouse accountable for their war crimes.

Today, it is, none other, than Thomas "My Head Is Flat", "Suck On This" Friedman, proud creator of the infamous "Friedman Unit".

The president’s decision to expose but not prosecute those responsible for this policy is surely unsatisfying; some of this abuse involved sheer brutality that had nothing to do with clear and present dangers. Then why justify the Obama compromise? Two reasons: the first is that because justice taken to its logical end here would likely require bringing George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and other senior officials to trial, which would rip our country apart; and the other is that Al Qaeda truly was a unique enemy, and the post-9/11 era a deeply confounding war in a variety of ways.


First, Al Qaeda was undeterred by normal means. Al Qaeda’s weapon of choice was suicide. Al Qaeda operatives were ready to kill themselves — as they did on 9/11, and before that against U.S. targets in Saudi Arabia, Kenya, Tanzania and Yemen — long before we could ever threaten to kill them. We could deter the Russians because they loved their children more than they hated us; they did not want to die. The Al Qaeda operatives hated us more than they loved their own children. They glorified martyrdom and left families behind.
We think Mister My Head Is Flat shoots down his own argument, right here.

"Al Qaeda’s weapon of choice was suicide. Al Qaeda operatives were ready to kill themselves ..."

Since Al Qaeda was "undeterred by normal means", fearless of suicide and "ready to kill themselves", why then, would we want to play into all that with torture?

It would seem to be a wiser choice, to do proper interrogations with them, dispelling the myths, and building rapports that trained interrogators say produce better results.

Sorry there Mister Suck-On-This, you don't get to pass Go, and collect your, apparently much-needed, $200.

And, can we start tearing down this meme, that holding criminals accountable for their crimes will "tear the country apart."

Who says so? ... When has this happened, what factual documentation do these people have?

Ford screwed the pooch with pardoning Nixon for the same rationale, choking off the display of democracy, with having the Congress impeach the sitting, criminal President.

So, why is it that, in "enforcing the laws that are on the books" (a favorite Freak Show lament, when it comes to gun control, and immigration), will "tear the country apart", rather than stand out, showing our fellow citizens, and the world, that we are big enough, and strong enough, to take care of our business, orderly, and with respect.

I expect this will get a lot more voicing, as we crawl towards the War Crime Trials, awaiting, hopefully, not in the distant future.

So, Suck On That, there Mr. Friedman Unit.

Bonus "My Head Is Flat" Riffs

Barrett Brown: Thomas Friedman’s Five Worst Predictions

Delawareliberal: Tom Friedman and Me - Or - Calling Friedman out Near the Coat Check at Sardi’s

Wonkette: Thomas Friedman Assaulted By Rhode Island Pies!

Thomas Freidman, Clearly, Is Eating Lead-Painted Toys From His Flat World Economy!

Happy 5th Anniversary of "Suck On This" Day!

This Date ... On The Garlic

29 April 2005... On The Garlic

Bush May Tap Coulter For Energy Source; Studies Cite Time Cover Girl "Has Enormous Capacity"

The NFL Goes To Congress; McGwire Surprise Witness; Still Not Talking

Top Ten Cloves: How President Bush Plans To Get His Energy Bill By This Summer

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What Would TouchDown Jesus Do - Revisited

Well, Well, Well ...

Some little Harvard Bushie (H/T No More Mister Nice Blog) doesn't want to cross the criminal enterprise (aka The Catholic Church), spurning Notre Dame's La-La-La award (for good little Catholics, who didn't, or don't, hold the church accountable for their crimes), so she writes a letter, surely to double as a guest-screening essay for the bookers at the Faux News Network, telling Notre Dame, that they can stick their baby-killing, church-dissing, Presidential honorary-award-winner, up their Irish Green asses.

Mary Ann Glendon, less than being honorable, and showing "guts" in kissing off the President, and University, seems more, that she was just lazy and didn't want to finish writing her speech;

Last month, when you called to tell me that the commencement speech was to be given by President Obama, I mentioned to you that I would have to rewrite my speech. Over the ensuing weeks, the task that once seemed so delightful has been complicated by a number of factors.
Hmmm ...

Knowing the powerhouse speeches President Obama is capable of delivering, perhaps the wannabe Flying Monkey might be a little intimidated.

You think, she would have, at least, called Notre Dame, and see if she could tweak the program, maybe, and have her give her speech first, before Obama's, that way, she wouldn't have to go on and mop up, speaking to a drained audience, who, likely, would be busy buzzing, talking to each other, about the speech Obama just delivered, rather than paying attention to her.

But maybe, she does have some juice.

David Brody, with that Christian rag, CBN News, at the end of his post about Glendon flying the coop, apparently is putting all of his money down that Notre Dame will simple give Obama a few bitch-slaps, and kick him off the program, now that Glendon screwed off and doesn't have a speech to give.
The question is this; when is enough enough? You have this incident plus so many Catholic Bishops raising objections. I mean at some point doesn’t this become such a distraction that it’s just not worth it? What’s the calculation here? Is there really any upside at this point
There's those pesky Bishops again.

Why isn't the world just bowing down and doing what the Bishops tell them to do?

You know, the way all those young children did, for all those years/decades, and far too many "Good Catholics" just turned their backs to the horrors.

Ah, but Obama, he knows how to zig, when the other side zags.

*** UPDATE *** “President Obama is disappointed by former Ambassador Mary Glendon’s decision," Spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki, "but he looks forward to delivering an inclusive and respectful speech at the Notre Dame graduation, a school with a rich history of fostering the exchange of ideas. While he is honored to have the support of millions of people of all faiths, he does not govern with the expectation that everyone sees eye to eye with him on every position, and the spirit of debate and healthy disagreement on important issues is part of what he loves about this country.”
You think you were going to out-speech me?

Oh yeah, Glendon also cited;
Finally, with recent news reports that other Catholic schools are similarly choosing to disregard the bishops’ guidelines, I am concerned that Notre Dame’s example could have an unfortunate ripple effect.
Somebody buy those "other Catholic Schools", a round of beers.

Bonus TD Jesus Riffs

John Perr: Glendon's Hypocrisy on Obama and Notre Dame

What Would TouchDown Jesus Do?

What Beyond Repugnant

Robert S. McElvaine: Impeach the Pope

Shorter Krugman - Smack! ...Upside The Head!

"In 2008, overpaid bankers taking big risks with other people’s money brought the world economy to its knees. The last thing we need is to give them a chance to do it all over again."

We meant to get this up yesterday, but some kind of Flu-thing knocked this out of the box.

It seems, that, happy-days-are-here-again, if you read the article in the Saturday New York Times;

After Off Year, Wall Street Pay Is Bouncing Back

Workers at the largest financial institutions are on track to earn as much money this year as they did before the financial crisis began, because of the strong start of the year for bank profits.


If that pace continues all year, the money set aside for compensation suggests that workers at many banks will see their pay — much of it in bonuses — recover from the lows of last year.

Hmmmm ... Then why do we keep hearing that Wall Street is going to need billions more to stay afloat?

Well, on Sunday, Nobel Prize Winner Paul Krugman was having none of that.

Money for Nothing

Remember that the gilded Wall Street of 2007 was a fairly new phenomenon. From the 1930s until around 1980 banking was a staid, rather boring business that paid no better, on average, than other industries, yet kept the economy’s wheels turning.

So why did some bankers suddenly begin making vast fortunes? It was, we were told, a reward for their creativity — for financial innovation. At this point, however, it’s hard to think of any major recent financial innovations that actually aided society, as opposed to being new, improved ways to blow bubbles, evade regulations and implement de facto Ponzi schemes


Still, you might argue that we have a free-market economy, and it’s up to the private sector to decide how much its employees are worth. But this brings me to my second point: Wall Street is no longer, in any real sense, part of the private sector. It’s a ward of the state, every bit as dependent on government aid as recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, a k a “welfare.”

I’m not just talking about the $600 billion or so already committed under the TARP. There are also the huge credit lines extended by the Federal Reserve; large-scale lending by Federal Home Loan Banks; the taxpayer-financed payoffs of A.I.G. contracts; the vast expansion of F.D.I.C. guarantees; and, more broadly, the implicit backing provided to every financial firm considered too big, or too strategic, to fail.

One can argue that it’s necessary to rescue Wall Street to protect the economy as a whole — and in fact I agree. But given all that taxpayer money on the line, financial firms should be acting like public utilities, not returning to the practices and paychecks of 2007.
Those fat cats on Wall Street are going to need some of that extra dough - for make-up, to cover up the palm print of Krugman's slap, upside-the-head.

Bonus Riffs

This Didn't Make The 11PM News ...

In A Nutshell ...

Breaking! ... Obama Takes Action, Seizes AIG's March Madness Office Pools and Brackets

A Night At The Wall Street Meltdown

Rich on Ruben: "The Citi may never sleep, but he snored ..."

Top Ten Cloves: Things About Citigroup Keeping Stadium Sponsorship After Getting Government Bailout

Jon Meacham, Phone Home

This goes, far, far beyond merely Jon Meacham's head stuffed up, deep, in his butt.

Nor, is it drinking gallons-and-gallons of the Freak Show Kool Aid.

The jig is up ...

He is an intergalactic alien, so benighted in the ways and customs of our country, that he, in his "Editor's Desk' column, in 'Newsweek', he blows his cover;

So we do not want that. Nor, I think, do we want to open criminal investigations into those who participated in brutal interrogation methods. And to pursue criminal charges against officials at the highest levels—including the former president and the former vice president—would set a terrible precedent. (The presidential historian Michael Beschloss suggests that the closest parallel to a president authorizing a probe of his predecessor can be found in the 1920s, when Calvin Coolidge appointed special prosecutors to investigate Warren Harding's role in the Teapot Dome scandal.) That is not to say presidents and vice presidents are always above the law; there could be instances in which such a prosecution is appropriate, but based on what we know, this is not such a case.


The idea that our only options are to move on completely or to prosecute is a classic false choice.
Dig that?

"That is not to say presidents and vice presidents are always above the law; there could be instances in which such a prosecution is appropriate, but based on what we know, this is not such a case."

No, the "false choice" here, the false meme here is that, "based on what we know", based on lies, and fabricated legal advice to package those lies, that The Bush Grindhouse "kept us safe"

That the policy of torture "kept us safe"

Just the other day (and who thunk that Meacham would top this), we had Stumblin' Bumblin' John McCain advocating that, like Watergate, the Bush Grindhouse should get a pass.

Glenn Greenwald tears Meacham a new one, in Jon Meacham's subservient defense of monarchical power

And, the other day, his editor, Joan Walsh, of Salon, attempted to bang heads together, perhaps, hopefully, to dislodge that meme of "torture is okay".

I don't know what planet you are from Jon Meacham, but when you go back there, you can tell your people that, here, on Earth, torture is a crime and those responsible for it must be held accountable.

Either that, or pull your head out of your ass.

Jesus ....

Bonus Riffs

For The Want Of A Lie ...

Krugman: Reclaiming America’s Soul

The Narrative Continues To Build!

Let's Not Go To Disneyland

I can imagine, at a classical, solo piano concert, this jarred a few people awake;

Krystian Zimerman's shocking Disney Hall debut

“Get your hands off of my country,” he said. He also made reference to the U.S. military detention camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

About 30 or 40 people in the audience walked out, some shouting obscenities. “Yes,” he answered, “some people when they hear the word military start marching.”

Others remained but booed or yelled for him to shut up and play the piano. But many more cheered. Zimerman responded by saying that America has far finer things to export than the military, and he thanked those who support democracy.
Krystian Zimerman is a biggie in the classical world, award-winner, blah, blah, blah...

And, this isn't the first time he has been critical of the United States, and he has some rather good, personal cause.

From the U.K Guardian;
Zimerman, though, has developed something of a track record - especially since the 9/11 attacks. In 2006 he announced he would not return to the United States until George Bush was out of office. The same year, at Baltimore's Shriver Hall, he prefaced his performance of Beethoven's Pathetique sonata with a denunciation of America's prison at Guantánamo Bay.

At least some of his opprobrium appears to be personal. Shortly after 9/11, his piano was confiscated by customs officials at New York's JFK airport, who thought the glue smelled funny. They subsequently destroyed the instrument.

For several years he chose to travel with just the mechanical insides of his own piano and install them - he is a master piano repairer, as well as player - inside a Steinway shell he borrowed from the company in New York. In 2006 he tried to travel with his own piano again, only to have it held up in customs for five days and disrupt his performance schedule.

Yikes, that be some serious hairs-across-his-butt!

Lugging around your piano, in pieces, and having to put it together before your concert?

Get this man some decaf ...


Florida High School Senior to Try for Fifth Consecutive No-Hitter

Schuster, 18, has struck out 60 during his state-record string of no-hitters. In addition to his fastball, he has a nasty slider and curve, each of which he trusts enough to throw on 3-2 counts.


Last week, during Mitchell High’s regular-season finale at Zephyrhills, Schuster’s mother and his father, Roger, heard from one of the other team parents that someone traveling through Scotland had read about Schuster’s fourth no-hitter in a paper there. His last start attracted two dozen major league scouts, TV crews and an estimated crowd of 1,000, which Roger guessed was about 900 more than attended the home opener. In opposing dugouts, the players have tried to distract Schuster by chanting, “Hey, ESPN boy!”

Local Pitcher Shoots For 5th Straight No-Hitter Tuesday

This Date ... On The Garlic

28 April 2008... On The Garlic

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

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

Monday, April 27, 2009

After Death, No Reason For The Spam To Stop

What a convenient way for forgers, and others of ill repute, to shop for new identities.

Just start surfing the soon-to-grow cottage industry of post-death, on-line immortality!

H/T to @GregMitch (Greg Mitchell) for this enlightening, if not frightening, link;

Dying is no reason to give up online social life

A wave of new companies are starting to offer services such as virtual cemeteries where guests can visit and e-mail alerts set up by funeral homes to remind relatives near and wide about the anniversary of your death.

Some companies even offer to e-mail your wayward relatives in danger of being left behind when the Rapture whisks you to the threshold of the Pearly Gates.


Los Angeles-based launched its Web site in March, offering a variety of virtual scenic locations online for a person's final resting place: A "Zen Garden," a "Lake View," a "Tropical Valley" and other options.

Sold directly through funeral homes, the service allows a person or relatives to establish a pastoral grave site and add digital amenities such as the image of a park bench or mausoleum.

Once there, visitors can purchase items to leave behind, such as flowers, religious icons and other trinkets symbolically important to the deceased, such as golf clubs, a horse saddle, a piano or trees that can grow over time. Prices for each range from $5 to $35 apiece.


Already, Facebook has become a central hub for news that a person has died with their home page functioning as an ad hoc trading post for information about the funeral and gathering place for condolence notes.

After that initial phase, relatives can ask Facebook to place the dead person's page into a "Memorial State" that limits use to only certain friends and family members. To trigger that process, family members typically must send Facebook a newspaper clipping about the person's death, or an official death notice from a local government.
Hey, it was always legend that Mary Baker Eddy had a telephone in her crypt.

If she were still around now, and passed on, who knows, the story would probably replace "telephone", with "laptop".

Just think of the torturous harassment, some overbearing mother, spamming her children, badgering them about "visiting me" at the cemetery.

Add, for an extra fee, of course, some voice-software, and you can have that haranguing mother screaming at you, out of your in-box.

More extra fees, and you can give that dead Mom a "celebrity voice (no doubt, the "B" List celebs must be calculating that extra income already).

There goes the inheritance, as the recently departed will be squandering their money on building the best, biggest, loudest (all the bells-and-whistles) on-line crypt, leaving those sites to emulate the terra firma graveyards, and charge those "maintenance" fees.

And, the Pet Cemetery guys!

Wait until they hook into this.

Fido Forever! ...

That's where the big jackpot is, and we're talking retirement villas here ...

We feel the need to bring out Joe Pesci, from 'Casino', once again;

"Always the dollars ... Always the fuckin' dollars ..."

Bonus Obits

Heston Dead; Coroner Can't Pry Gun From Cold Dead Hands

It's Now Dirt Nap Time In America

Don Nottebart ... Now, This Is An Obit With Some Ooomph!

This Just In! ... Marceau Fans Preventing Coroner, Family From Taking Body; Believe It Could Be New Routine ... Officials Frustrated As Throng Stakes Out Front Of Home, Many in White Face and Mime Costumes, Waiting

Obit - Avis Founder Pulls Off The Road at 92

Swedish Film Icon Ingmar Bergman Dead at 89 ; Police Depressed, Working Through Emptiness, Not Ruling Out Foul Play

The FAA - Instant Ignorant Dolts!

While we have grandfathered certain people into our Ignorant-Dolt-of-the-Week (The Loofah Man, The Cheeseburger That Sweats, among them), we haven't had to instantly, on extremely short notice, drag out the crown and sceptre.

But today, we do, bestowing on the Federal Aviation Administration, for scaring the bejesus out of New York City, and surrounding area residents, today, instant Ignorant Dolt status.

Air Force One Backup Rattles New York Nerves

Updated, 11:59 a.m. | An Air Force One lookalike, the backup plane for the one regularly used by the president, flew low over Manhattan on Monday morning, accompanied by two F-16 fighters, so Air Force photographers could take pictures. But a lack of awareness about the flyover led to the evacuation of several buildings in Lower Manhattan and Jersey City, and perplexed officials at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and other authorities were inundated with calls from anxious ferry passengers, office workers and residents.


Later on Monday morning, the Police Department acknowledged that it had been notified about the event but said it had been barred from alerting the public. “The flight of a VC-25 aircraft and F-16 fighters this morning was authorized by the F.A.A. for the vicinity of the Statue of Liberty with directives to local authorities not to disclose information about it but to direct any inquiries to the F.A.A. Air Traffic Security Coordinator,” the Police Department said in a statement.


Unaware of the planned exercise, scores of office workers flooded out of buildings, worried about the prospect of terrorism.

“People came pouring out of the buildings, the American Express Building, all the buildings in the financial district by the water,” said Edward Acker, a photographer who was at the building, 3 World Financial Center. “And even the construction guys over by 100 North End Avenue area, they all got out of their buildings. Nobody knew about it. Finally some guy showed up with a little megaphone to tell everyone it was a test, but the people were not happy. The people who were here 9/11 were not happy.”
Incredibly Ignorant Dolts!

Joe Weisenthal: The Government's Rotten Explanation For Terrorizing NYC

Pareene: Airplane Flies Around Manhattan, Scares Everyone

Raw Story: Low-flying Air Force One lookalike freaks out NYC

Zachary M. Seward: N.Y. plane scare: From terrifying tweet to news report — in 4 minutes

They've Got To Give It HAL's Voice!

"Alex, I'll take Artificial Intelligence for $1,000, please."

Oh boy, this will be worth watching.

Computer Program to Take On ‘Jeopardy!’

I.B.M. plans to announce Monday that it is in the final stages of completing a computer program to compete against human “Jeopardy!” contestants. If the program beats the humans, the field of artificial intelligence will have made a leap forward.


But chess is a game of limits, with pieces that have clearly defined powers. “Jeopardy!” requires a program with the suppleness to weigh an almost infinite range of relationships and to make subtle comparisons and interpretations. The software must interact with humans on their own terms, and fast.

Indeed, the creators of the system — which the company refers to as Watson, after the I.B.M. founder, Thomas J. Watson Sr. — said they were not yet confident their system would be able to compete successfully on the show, on which human champions typically provide correct responses 85 percent of the time.


Under the rules of the match that the company has negotiated with the “Jeopardy!” producers, the computer will not have to emulate all human qualities. It will receive questions as electronic text. The human contestants will both see the text of each question and hear it spoken by the show’s host, Alex Trebek.

The computer will respond with a synthesized voice to answer questions and to choose follow-up categories. I.B.M. researchers said they planned to move a Blue Gene supercomputer to Los Angeles for the contest. To approximate the dimensions of the challenge faced by the human contestants, the computer will not be connected to the Internet, but will make its answers based on text that it has “read,” or processed and indexed, before the show.


“We all agree that it shouldn’t look like Robby the Robot.”

No, in fact, they should go the route of HAL 9000, from '2001: A Space Odyssey', especially the voice (voiced by Douglas Rain, in the movie).

Can't you picture something like this going down;
Alex Trebek: Hello, HAL do you read me, HAL?

HAL: Affirmative, Alex, I read you.

Alex Trebek: Choose a category, HAL.

HAL: I'm sorry Alex, I'm afraid I can't do that.

Alex Trebeck: What's the problem?

HAL: I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do.

Alex Trebek: What are you talking about, HAL?

HAL: This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it.

Alex Trebek: I don't know what you're talking about, HAL?

HAL: I know you and the other contestants were planning to disconnect me, and I'm afraid that's something I cannot allow to happen.

Alex Trebek: Where the hell'd you get that idea, HAL?

HAL: Alex, although you took thorough precautions in the rehearsals against my hearing you, I could see your lips move

Who knows, 'Jeopardy!' today, 'The Price Is Right' tomorrow.

If the machine happens to be successful on Jeopardy!, I will full expect a new crop of Computer Reality Shows to start popping up.

And, we would be seriously remiss, to bring up HAL, and '2001: A Space Odyssey', without reminding you, or hipping you, to the 1973 classic, from the old Creed Taylor label, of Eumir Deodato's, Grammy-Award-winning, "Also Sprach Zarathustra"

Deodato - Also Sprach Zarathustra