Saturday, October 06, 2007

This Just In! Marceau Fans Preventing Coroner, Family From Taking Body; Believes It Could Be New Routine

Officials Frustrated As Throng Stakes Out Front Of Home, Many in White Face and Mime Costumes, Waiting

Going on two-weeks after Marcel Marceau's death, huge throngs of fans, from all over France, and as far away as Japan and New Zealand, have blocked the Marceau family, and the Paris Coroner's office, from taking the body, believing the acclaimed master mime "is just working on a new routine".

The fans and supporters have taken to working in shifts, with food and supplies curried in for those keeping vigil.

"I believe," said one fan, in broken English, "that he is protesting war ... It has been a very powerful statement."

French officials are frustrated, as the crowd continues to grow, causing additional problems of traffic, and thousands of mimes, some accomplished and talented, others still working on their craft, annoying neighbors and local businesses.

Many, along with being in white face and black clothing, have taken to wearing a floppy top hat, with red flower, as worn by Marceau's best-known character, Bip.

Newly-elected French President Nicholas Sarkozy has made one appearance (however, his wife snubbed the mimes), appealing to the massive crowd, attempting to convince them that Marceau has, indeed, passed away, and that they should all leave.

Even former U.S. Senator Bill Frist was brought in, telling the crowd that, after viewing hours of videotape, he believes the famed mime is deceased.

There is discussions, and disagreement, between the French officials, on whether to bring in American actor and comic, Jerry Lewis, to see if he can disperse the crowd.

Lewis, whose work is revered in France, is sometimes referred to as the "French people's favourite clown", and has received France's highest civilian honor, the Legion of Honor Award.

Marceau, 84, died on 22 September, after a long, distinguished career, much it at the top of his field.

As reported by the BBC;

"Marceau was credited with single-handedly reviving the art of mime after World War II, after two decades of being eclipsed by the silent movie.

Marceau was inspired to become a mime by the great Hollywood actors of the silent era such as Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Harry Langdon.

His Compagnie Marcel Marceau was the only mime troupe in the world in the 1950s and 1960s - it enjoyed as much acclaim abroad as at home."
Sources tell The Garlic that contingency plans are being made, with, possibly, a mime made up to look like Marceau, will come to the window, thank the crowd and encourage them all to go home.

As one local official griped, "I don't know why they didn’t do that on the first day ... We could have avoided all of this."

There are also rumors that French officials are negotiating with those keeping vigil, on conducing a "mime funeral", however it is not clear if that would be acted out in mime, or, if a real burial will occur. Reports have surfaced on other tensions in the talks, such as will talking be allowed at the service and which color clothing should the mourners wear - black or white?.

More as this story develops


Obituary: Marcel Marceau - Legendary mime artist Marcel Marceau, who has died aged 84, captivated the world for decades.

Do the French really love Jerry Lewis?

Top Ten Cloves: Ways White House Aides Got President Bush To Claim "We Do Not Torture"

News Item: Bush says U.S. 'does not torture people'

10. Called in Scooter Libby, who threatened to spill-the-beans on the whole Valerie Plame outing unless he denies the torture

9. Convinced him it makes him sound "Shakespearian"

8. The more he denies it, the easier they can get the Blackwater business out of the headlines

7. Promised they'd let him see Dick Cheney's Secret Bunker

6. Still testing the marketing slogans, about how "Americans will die if we don’t ..."

5. Extraordinary Rendition - Got as far as half way across the Atlantic before he caved

4. Condi Rice said she'd let him reenact his Angela Merkel neck rub

3. Showed him data that there'd be a slight uptick in donations to the Bush Library and Freedom Institute if he continues to stonewall the torture thing

2. That he could wear General Petraeus's uniform for a day

1. Spelled out "We do not torture" phonetically for him

Bonus 'We Don't Torture" Links

Glen Greenwald: The latest revelations of lawbreaking, torture and extremism

Nat Hentoff - Bush to CIA: 'Leave No Marks'; With no sign of torture on a prisoner, then it didn't happen, right?

Top Ten Cloves: Torture Practices President Bush Will Definitely Fight Congress To Keep

Condi Rice said she'd let him reenact his Angela Merkel neck rub

Friday, October 05, 2007

More PetraeusReportPalooza - Sycophant Savior

You say Petraeus, I say Betrayus ...

Well, Well, Well ... We thought the PetraeusReportPalooza floats had been deflated, the confetti swept up and all the Hooahs fading away into the smallest of echoes ...

But, lo-and-behold, the Conservatives are joining the fray - and Pat Buchanan's magazine to boot ...

American Conservative magazine has the cover story "Sycophant Savior: General Petraeus wins a battle in Washington—if not in Baghdad. ", written by Andrew J. Bacevich, the father of a son killed in Iraq.

Here's some of the bon mots Bacevich drops at the feet of the General Extraordinaire ;

David Petraeus is a political general. Yet in presenting his recent assessment of the Iraq War and in describing the “way forward,” Petraeus demonstrated that he is a political general of the worst kind—one who indulges in the politics of accommodation that is Washington’s bread and butter but has thereby deferred a far more urgent political imperative, namely, bringing our military policies into harmony with our political purposes.

Over the previous eight months, a discredited president had effectively abdicated responsibility for managing the war. “I trust David Petraeus” became George W. Bush’s mantra, suggesting an astonishing level of presidential deference.

Petraeus has chosen a middle course, carefully crafted to cause the least amount of consternation among various Washington constituencies he is eager to accommodate. This is the politics of give and take, of horse trading, of putting lipstick on a pig. Ultimately, it is the politics of avoidance.

The general’s relationships with official Washington remain intact. Yet he has broken faith with the soldiers he commands and the Army to which he has devoted his life. He has failed his country. History will not judge him kindly."

While you wait for "the cheeseburger that sweets" (courtesy of Barry Crimmins), radio's Rush Limbaugh, to firmly denounce Bacevich as a supporter of those "phony soldiers", and the limp noodle Congress (the Senate, in particular) to huff-and-puff on another, responsibility-avoiding, meaningless resolution, check out Joan Walsh, of Salon, weighing in on it with her "Conservatives blast Petraeus as "sycophant savior"

Or, just sit quiet and listen for the deafening silence from the Matt Sludge and rightwing freakshow

Or, Cue up Que Sera Sera...

Bonus Golden Boy General Links

Arianna Huffington: Petraeus Ex Machina

Think Progress - REPORT: Petraeus Spent At Least 17 Days In August Flacking For Bush’s Escalation

Good Post Alert - Launching Brand Petraeus

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Free Burma!

Free Burma!

  • Free Burma!

    Burma Links

    Free Burma!

    Democratic Voice of Burma

    BBC Burmese

    Joe Gandelman's The Moderate Voice and their tremendous Burma posts

    The Burma posts of Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés

    Wednesday, October 03, 2007

    Breaking News! Burma Junta Contracting Blackwater For Internal Security

    Could Mean Exit From Iraq For Embattled Mercenary Firm; Radio's Limbaugh Charges "Phony Monks" Stirring Up Trouble

    On the heels of it's CEO, Erik Prince, testifying before Congress yesterday, the Myanmar Junta Leader, of the country formerly known as Burma (Ed. Note: The term Burma, following Michael Stickings of The Reaction lead, will be used by The Garlic), Senior General Than Shwe announced today that he has contracted with Blackwater USA for "internal security".

    "I don't know what the Iraqi's problems are," Shwe was overheard saying, following the announcement, "We certainly don't mind if these Blackwater soldiers take out a few civilians... In fact, I am expecting such results."

    The pro-democracy protest, with 10,000+ demonstrators led by the country's Buddhist Monks that began last month, has been met with brutal violence by armed forces, including the killing, caught on television, of a Japanese journalist.

    In the major city of Rangoon, shots have been fired into crowds and monks beaten. Reports coming from Burma, where the military junta has shut down the internet and have curfews in place, say that thousands have been murdered, including monks, whose bodies have been dumped in the jungles.

    Led by Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest for much of the past 12-years, Burmese citizens have called on the military junta to step down, following the 1990 election, the first in nearly 30-years, that elevated the pro-democracy party of Suu Kyi to a majority position, but then was annulled by the military rulers.

    Shwe junta forces are continuing their repression, even at the United Nations attempts to intervene.

    Blackwater USA, coming under fire in both Iraq and the United States, issued a brief statement, indicating they were pleased to serve the Government of Myanmar and look forward to the work of bringing order to the country.

    A spokesperson for Blackwater refused to answer questions if the new Burma contract meant Blackwater would be exiting Iraq.

    One element of the contract was leaked to the media, showing that the Myanmar Government will have a Blackwater liaison, who will be responsible for investigating complaints and writing official reports on the results of any queries.

    When asked about Blackwater now working for Burma, Homeland Security Advisor Fran Townsend referred questions about Blackwater to the State Department, but added "I didn't know there was a Burma before there was a Myanmar."

    And in a related matter, radio talkshow host Rush Limbaugh, already embroiled in a heated dust-up over criticizing U.S. soldiers opposed to the Bush Grindhouse's Iraq policy, charged today that much of the unrest in Burma was being lead by "phony monks".

    "These guys," chortled the rotund, drug-taking Limbaugh, "shave their heads, put on orange clothes and start prancing around and we're all supposed to think this is something sacrosanct ... Hogwash! ... Seeing some of the news footage on this, I think I recognize some of these phony monks ... They hit me up at the airport recently, asking for money, or if I wanted to take a free personality test ... Yeah, right ... I got a personality test for them ..."

    When a caller later in the hour chastised Limbaugh for making fun of the Burmese Monks, Limbaugh berated the caller, saying he was only speaking about one, particular phony monk.

    More as this story develops

    Bonus Burma

    There's a bevy of good info on-line on what's going on in Burma, and we want to take the opportunity today to point out Joe Gandelman's The Moderate Voice and their tremendous Burma posts - and in particular, the Burma posts of Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés

    Saxophonist Wayne Shorter wrote a tribute song to Aung San Suu Kyi

    It's MLB Playoff Time ... That Means Time For The Garlic Baseball Primer Essay

    Editor's Note: New York Mets Fans ... You can click to another post

    It's Major League Baseball Playoff Time! ... The beginning of the steps to the Fall Classic, the World Series

    And it's become now, a public service for The Garlic.

    So many have written, thanking The Garlic for enlightening them, not making feel like their sitting in the corner, wearing a dunce cap, while attending a baseball playoff party.

    They've had no need to jump up and go to The Google, to look up what "He'll be taking in this situation" or trying to find the "Utility Field" that the "Utilityfielder" plays at. "He's working the count" will no longer be mystery.

    Don't be anxious or lost any longer ... Just read The Garlic's legendary essay;

    Could You Please Tell Me, What Is This Thing Called Baseball?

    And here's some of the latest testimonials that have come in.

    Dear Garlic;

    You can pass on to your readers that I will be turning the Internet back on, only so we can keep track of the baseball playoffs ... Thanks for your essay ... I've been busy lately and it was a big help

    Senior General Than Shwe
    Union of Myanmar

    Hey, Garlic;

    Great article! ... I sure can tell you one thing, there aren't any phony players in the playoffs this year ...

    Rush Limbaugh
    Bloated Radio Talking Head

    P.S. I'm rooting for whoever Media Matters is rooting against!

    Dear The Garlic;

    Thanks for the great baseball article ... I'm so glad the kids are with their father now ... I can have some piece-and-quiet, knock back a few beers while watching the games

    Britney Spears

    Dear Garlic;

    Man, I had the chance to read your baseball essay while I was waiting for my court appearance ... Really solid! ... I'm so glad I made bail so I can watch the playoffs on my big screen TV (Oops - Don't tell the Goldmans' or they'll be coming after me for it).

    O.J. Simpson

    Bonus B-Ball Links

    Baseball Almanac: Post Season

    Breaking News! ... Baseball Bombshell Expands Steroid Scandal; Giants’ Bonds Tests Positive For Landis Testosterone; Cyclist Said To Be Kingpin Of Lucrative Doping Ring, Selling His Own DNA

    Politics and Sports Collide; Paperwork Mix-Up Has Feingold Censuring Bonds and MLB Investigating Bush

    South Dakota Not Waiting, Bans All Home Runs; MLB Mulling Changing Status Of Home Runs In Wake Of New Bonds Allegations

    Second Palmeiro Bombshell: Tests Positive For Cialis

    Wheaties Official Breakfast Cereal of MLB; Box To Feature Steroids; Drops Bombshell In Break From Tradition Established in 1934

    Top Ten Cloves: Reasons Leading To Newt Gingrich Deciding Not To Run For President

    News Item: No Newt

    10. There was a special, pre-nuptial clause in Gingrich's Contract for America that prevents him for running for President

    9. Told an aid, that with Hillary in the Senate, "You can bet-your-ass she'll try to impeach me"

    8. Doesn't have any spiffy nicknames for himself, like The Decider/Commander/Shakespeare Guy President Bush

    7. Claims he said only if the New York Mets made the playoffs, would he run for President

    6. Doesn't feel like dealing with - if she gets the Democratic Nomination - Hillary Clinton and her laugh

    5. Doesn't want to chance having Ann Coulter call him a "Fag"

    4. Tough campaigning, since he already adopted his own policy of restricting Free Speech

    3. Deathly afraid Rush Limbaugh will start calling him a "Phony Politician"

    2. His own group, American Solutions, issued a white paper indicating how bad a Gingrich presidency would be for the country

    1. Might have to go to dinner at Sylvia's Restaurant in Harlem with Al Sharpton and doesn't want to show-up Bill O'Reilly by not coming out with racist comments

    Bonus Newt Riffs

    Michael Scherer - Newt: I'm shocked, shocked by Abramoff scandal! - From his lofty perch on the sidelines, the ethically challenged former speaker denounces corruption in politics.

    David Sirota: Newt's New Con

    Crooks and Liars: Newt Blames The Victims of Katrina

    Tuesday, October 02, 2007

    "They will have flies walking across their eyeballs"

    No, the above title isn't from an upcoming Discovery Channel program, nor is it booming out of a trailer of bloody, gore-filled scenes of a Quentin Tarantino-Robert Rodriguez movie.

    It is from J. Cofer Black, former CIA veteran and now vice chairman of Blackwater USA, allegedly describing to President Bush the outcome of invading Afghanistan after September 11th, from one of a trio of articles in Salon today.

    Boy, I'll bet that phrase gives the Neocons - Norman Podhoretz, Jonah Goldberg, Little Billy Kristol, and, heck, even Vice President Dick Cheney - raging hard-ons.

    And what a missed opportunity to aid the Army in meeting their recruiting goals.

    Just think, they could have replaced the iconic "Uncle Sam Wants You" posters, with much more graphic, horrific depictions, of dead terrorists lying in the desert, a close-up of one (so you can see the flies walking across their eyeballs), and more littered in the distance.

    A wave of Army recruiters, sitting in the living rooms across Nowheresville, USA, going through their pitch, about the benefits, the call-to-duty, serving your country, and building up to the chest-thumping, lump-in-the-throat clincher, how you, little John Doe recruit, will see the blazing day of righteous victory when you watch the flies walking across their eyeballs (Far-Fetched? It seems quite clear The Commander Guy bought it).

    Perhaps the CIA could have had one of their deep-cover, front companies put out a video game, a war video game, where, for all the terrorists you kill, you earn the flies that you will gleefully (and, if you have Neocon tendencies, with hard-on) place on their eyeballs (which the above-referenced Army Recruiter gives a copy to the little John Doe recruits, as a "gift")

    Instead of telling us to "go shopping" The Commander Guy could have rallied the country around the collection of flies.

    "No flies on his head" would become a jingoistic talking point, rather then a derisive put-down.

    Instead of waterboarding, we'd be talking about "flyboarding".

    The Republicans could have, instead of taunting their counterparts in Congress with "Defeatocrats" and "Cut and Run", could have, with veins popping on their foreheads, voices coursed from passion, saying the Democrats want to "protect the flies" ... "Fly Appeasers" and the like.

    Who knows the impact this would have had, if the military dropped leaflets, that new "Flies-Walking-Across-Eyeballs" recruiting poster sketch, that maybe the insurgents, terrorists, Al Qaeda in Iraq, even those infamous "dead-enders" would have paled at such a thought and immediately thrown down their arms ... Heck, they may even would have been at the head-of-the-list on planning the "Liberation Parades" throughout Baghdad.

    L. Paul Bremmer, and The Commander Guy, wouldn't have had to dismantle the Iraqi Army.

    The donations to the Bush Library, or the Freedom Institute, would be flooding in at record pace

    The references to his presidency wouldn't hover around Hoover, but, rather, resplendently ride next Roosevelt.

    Bush would become "Lord of the Flies", the de facto leader of the Neocon tribe.

    Hmmm ... Wait a minute ... None of that is even close, and he's already become something like that ....

    Never Mind ...

    The Salon Blackwater Trio Links

    Ben Van Heuvelen: The Bush administration's ties to Blackwater; Blamed in the deaths of Iraqi civilians, the private security firm has long ties to the White House and prominent Republicans, including Ken Starr.

    P.W. Singer: The dark truth about Blackwater; Outsourcing the war to private military contractors such as Blackwater has shattered the United States' moral authority and its ability to win the nation's wars -- including Iraq.

    Blackwater by the numbers; A congressional memo looks into the private security contractor's activities in Iraq, the State Department's responses and taxpayer costs.

    Top Ten Cloves: Things Overheard On First Day of Supreme Court

    News Item: US Supreme Court starts new term

    10. We might have to do something this term ... I think, while we were on vacation, the NSA was tapping my phone

    9. Hey, even if we don't have a case in front of us, can we rule against Hillary Clinton, and ban her from using that laugh?

    8. Should we leave room on the calendar for Britney Spears? ... I mean, if she comes in here not wearing any panties, she's got my vote

    7. Anybody check the news? The President didn't declare any of us dead, like he did with Mandela, did he?

    6. Hey, let's fuck with the Congress this year ... We don't reach any decisions... We just issue, non-binding "Senses of the Supreme Court"

    5. If Roberts has another one of his seizures, and, God-forbid, anything happens, I got dibs on his office

    4. If we get the Isiah Thomas case, I think Clarence, and Ruth, should recuse themselves ... Just to play it safe

    3. That was a nice touch by the Chief Justice ... Giving us all Welcome Back gifts ... Bongs in the shape of a gavel

    2. I just heard their replacing our Secret Service details with Blackwater guys

    1. No Clarence, even with the discount, I don't want to buy your book

    Bonus Nine-In-Black Riffs

    White House Stresses Roberts' Wife "Not A CIA Agent"; No Knowledge of WMD's; No Plans To Send Husband To Niger

    Congress Getting "Weary" Of Roberts' Visits; Senators Feeling Stalked; Roberts Relentlessly Using Meet-and-Greets To Boast Chances

    Scalia: "No Pink Robes Needed Here"; Conservative Justice Reacts To Roberts Disclosure On Gay Rights Case; Justice Roberts Sunday In The Making

    Monday, October 01, 2007

    Retro Garlic - Life Imitating Satire ... Again ... Iran Study Group

    Well bust my buttons, we find ourselves with another Retro Garlic, this time, a bit more on the frightening side.

    Quite the hubbub the past few days (actually, months, if you've been listening to the Bush Grindhouse-beaten drums) on the ever-increasing prospects of The Commander Guy issuing orders to start bombing Iran.

    The ever-shining journalist Sy Hersh (take note, you rest of the stenography school of MSM) has some new news on that Bombing Iran front, that appears in the New Yorker's current issue;

    Annals of National Security - Shifting Targets: The Administration’s plan for Iran.

    Of the bevy of links and discussion on this, John Amato, over at Crooks and Liars, in his post "Sy Hersh on Bush and Iran: Shifting targets: New Propaganda push to attack their Revolutionary Guard" noted this;

    UPDATED: Sy Hersh joined CNN’s Late Edition and discussed his new article out in the NewYorker: “Shifting Targets,” which says that the WH has a new talking point which it will sell attacking Iran and as usual, our media will lap it up. The CIA has created an Iran Study Group with dozens of new members with the goal of launching a strike against Iran, including ground forces. Bush feels that using the nuclear threat as the reason to bomb Iran has failed miserably, so they switched talking points and are going to say they are defending themselves against Iranian meddling in Iraq. We told you so….

    The Retro Part

    From Wednesday, November 15, 2006, on The Garlic;

    Breaking News! New White House Discord Pits Neocons Versus Bush, Baker; Cheney Launches Iran Study Group; Planning To Up Ante, Outgun Baker’s Recommendation; Rumsfeld Installed As Co-Chair; WHIG Moves Into Secret Bunker, As Neocons Draw Line, Choose Sides

    And here's a Google Search Link to show it.

    Bonus Here-We-Go-Again Links

    Guardian Unlimited: Cheney pushes Bush to act on Iran; Military solution back in favour as Rice loses out; President 'not prepared to leave conflict unresolved'

    Greg Sargent/TPM: Kyl-Lieberman Iran Amendment Passes By Huge Margin

    Guardian Unlimited: Bolton calls for bombing of Iran

    Think Progress: Bolton Podhoretz: ‘I Believe Bush Is Going To Order Airstrikes On Iran Before He Leaves Office’

    Another "I'm Shocked ... Shocked To Find Gambling Going On Here" Moment ...

    Another "I'm Shocked ... Shocked To Find Gambling Going On Here" Moment ...

    Josh Marshall, over on TPM, has a winner today ...

    And yes, another shining moment for the Bush Grindhouse...

    I could lay down a quote from it, but it plays much, much better if you read it yourselves ...

    Have at it!

    Parody Surge Hits Mil Contractors in Iraq

    I wonder if John Boehner and the Republican Minority will draft another measure, banning criticism of the Bush crony contractors... It may be the only fitting shoe to drop on this ...

    Sunday, September 30, 2007

    Must Read! Barry Crimmins: Time's up for Thomas L. Freepass

    Well, if I want to use a Friedman Unit, I think I can safely say that The New York Times will, over the next year, to six-months, continue to carry the horseshit that Thomas Friedman promulgates in the Grey Lady's pages.

    He has another doozy today, leaving behind The Commander's Guy gem advice that we should go shopping, Friedman is ringing the clarion bell for businessmen, particularly from Europe, to fly more ... Indulge in more air travel to the United States so we, as a nation, can move from the day of 9-11, to the day of 9-12.

    That's only the tip of it and satirist Barry Crimmins has a spot-on, most hysterical take on Friedman's column today - “9/11 has made us stupid.”

    "In explaining the concept of the 9/12 candidate as if it is so complex only he can demystify it , Friedman begins by asking: What does that mean? This: 9/11 has made us stupid. I honor, and weep for, all those murdered on that day. But our reaction to 9/11 – mine included – has knocked America completely out of balance, and it is time to get things right again.

    Yours included, Tom? Say it ain't so! Friedman knows nothing of jokes but he sure can make you gag with crap like his ham-handed installation of the "mine included" escape hatch. (I mean after six years of being wrong, the guy takes absolute minimal responsibility by sticking two words between two hyphens. Now there's some tough self-love!)"

    So, get over there to the Barry Crimmins Website and read Time's up for Thomas L. Freepass

    Bonus Friedman Slapdowns

    Libby: Friedman forsakes 9/11 mentality

    Atrios: Now He Tells Us

    Good (Belated) Post Alert: The Day Louis Armstrong Made Noise

    Sorry, Garlic Fans, as I had meant to post this last week.

    In the middle and heat of the Jena Six, we had a great story on Satchmo, and how 50-years ago, he took a stand in support of the Little Rock Nine.

    While not out in the forefront of protest, in the way Folk and Rock have captured the headlines, Jazz hasn't had it's head-in-the-sand.

    You can go back to Charlie Parker, and his tune "Now's The Time", protesting for desegregation and Brown v. Board of Education.

    And there's John Coltrane's mournful lament with "Alabama", after the 1963 bombing of 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham that killed the four little girls.

    Fables of Faubus weighed on on the same Little Rock situation, with his "Fables of Faubus", lampooning the Governor and Segregationist Orville Faubus and there's the jumping, jamming anti-war protest from Les McCann with his "Compared To What".

    But back in 1957, Louis Armstrong made news, in of all places, Grand Forks, North Dakota, with the aid of a young journalism student.

    Armstrong's appearance in Grand Forks came two-weeks after the Little Rock Nine were banned from attending Central High School.

    Journalism student Larry Lubenow was sent over to get an interview, if he could and after getting access to Armstrong, Lubenow was in for the scoop of his life;

    "But soon he brought up Little Rock, and he could not believe what he heard. “It’s getting almost so bad a colored man hasn’t got any country,” a furious Mr. Armstrong told him. President Eisenhower, he charged, was “two faced,” and had “no guts.” For Governor Faubus, he used a double-barreled hyphenated expletive, utterly unfit for print. The two settled on something safer: “uneducated plow boy.” The euphemism, Mr. Lubenow says, was far more his than Mr. Armstrong’s."

    His editors didn't believe him, so Lubenow went back to see if he could get the verification they sought.
    "Then Mr. Lubenow showed Mr. Armstrong what he’d written. “Don’t take nothing out of that story,” Mr. Armstrong declared. “That’s just what I said, and still say.” He then wrote “solid” on the bottom of the yellow copy paper, and signed his name."

    And the rest is history, with Armstrong contacting President Eisenhower;
    "But it didn’t really matter. On Sept. 24, President Eisenhower sent 1,200 paratroopers from the 101st Airborne into Little Rock, and the next day soldiers escorted the nine students into Central High School. Mr. Armstrong exulted. “If you decide to walk into the schools with the little colored kids, take me along, Daddy,” he wired the president. “God bless you.”

    Check it out, it's a good read.

    David Margolick: The Day Louis Armstrong Made Noise

    Bonus Satchmo Links

    The Official Site of the Louis Armstrong House

    Time 100/Stanley Crouch - Louis Armstrong: With dazzling virtuosity on the trumpet and an innovative singing style, Satchmo was the fountainhead of a thoroughly original American sound

    Louis Armstrong on Wikipedia

    Louis Armstrong Music

    Another gorgeous clip from Ken Burns' landmark series, JAZZ. Louis Armstrong's West End Blues, possibly the most perfect three minutes of music ever recorded, and set to a montage of contemporary images.

    Louis Armstrong - Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen (1962)

    Louis Armstrong - C'est si bon (1962)

    The best version of Stardust I've ever heard -thanks Pops

    Louis Armstrong in Germany - Mack the Knife

    Louis Armstrong & Jack Teagarden - Rockin' Chair @ Newport Jazz Festival 1958

    Chopped Garlic: Tinfoil Hats, or Canaries In The Proverbial War Zone?

    A funny thing happened on the way to democracy in Iraq ... And it could end up being called "Iran".

    We've had the PetraeusReportPalooza, and the now spotlight-sharing AhmadinejadPalooza ... The Bush Grindhouse is asking for for more money than ever, to continue the war-making machine they are so wedded to ... The spineless Congress (Democrats in particular) cave, abandoning common sense, and the lessons of their errors in the build-up to the invasion and occupation of Iraq, with passing - supposedly a non-binding resolution, unless you've been paying attention to Senator Jim Webb - the chest-thumping Kyl-Lieberman Iran Amendment.

    Transcripts surface showing The Commander Guy lying... Today, a new report offers that the Golden Boy General does admit that violence has increased in Iraq ...

    And nobody seems to care ... Business-as-usual ... Keep going shopping

    Well, a few people do seem to have their eyes on the ball.

    One is the man who helped expose the lies of the Viet Nam War, Daniel Ellsberg, in a recent speech titled 'A Coup Has Occurred'.

    The other is Juan Cole, looking at those Spanish transcripts and concluding "Transcript Reveals Impeachable Offenses by Bush Re: Iraq War".

    Let us hope that Glen Greenwald, and his sources, have it right, with his post "The U.S. military's role in preventing the bombing of Iran".

    Otherwise ...

    Cue up Que Sera Sera...

    Bonus Link

    Seymour M. Hersh: Shifting Targets - The Administration’s plan for Iran.

    Koppel On Discovery: Iran

    "For The Debate, Mr. Russert, Will You Be Wearing A Suit, Or The Brown Shirt And Jack Boots?"

    There was clarity, all right ...

    I scoured the news, beyond the shouting headlines of how the top tier candidates wouldn't commit to ending the Iraq Invasion and Occupation in their first terms, and it appears I may have been the only one to noticed the hatchet job Little Timmy Russert pulled during the New Hampshire Democratic Presidential Candidates Debate.

    Who was Russert carrying the water for?

    Was it the Martha's Vineyard crowd, or did Dick Cheney's office give him marching, or in this case, hatcheting, orders.

    Roughly 90+ minutes into the debate, Russert, with a look like someone said to him how much the Buffalo Bills suck, lasered into to candidates Mike Gravel and Congressman Dennis Kucinich, with extremely pointed questioning, that he did not pose to any of the other candidates.

    Questioning that carried the tone of "You don't belong here" and "Who do you think you are, running for President."

    RUSSERT: I wanted to ask Senator Gravel—you talked about running for president of the United States. In 1980, your condo business went bankrupt.

    GRAVEL: Correct.

    RUSSERT: In 2004, you filed for personal bankruptcy...

    GRAVEL: Correct.

    RUSSERT: ... leaving $85,000 in credit bills unpaid.

    RUSSERT: How can someone who did not take care of his business, could not manage his own personal finances, say that he is capable of managing the country?

    GRAVEL: Well, first off, if you want to make a judgment of who can be the greediest people in the world when they get to public office, you can just look at the people up here. Many of them have done very, very well in public office.

    I left the Senate no better than when I went in. Now, you say the condo business. I will tell you, Donald Trump has been bankrupt 100 times. So I went bankrupt once in business. And the other—who did I bankrupt? I stuck the credit card companies with $90,000 worth of bills and they deserved it because I used the money...


    They deserved it—and I used the money to finance the empowerment of the American people with a national initiative, so you can make the laws.

    Now, Tim, let me just point one thing out. You were asking about special interests.

    RUSSERT: You’ve made your point.

    GRAVEL: Well, I wanted to make a better point.


    RUSSERT: We’ll leave it at that, because I’ve got to give everyone a chance.

    He then turned to Kucinich, with the same look and a glint of "Gotcha" in his eyes.

    Fortunately, Kucinch didn't play it for laughs, volleying back and shoving Russert's bullshit back down his throat;

    RUSSERT: Congressman Kucinich, when you were mayor of Cleveland, you let Cleveland go into bankruptcy, the first time that happened since the Depression. The voters of Cleveland rewarded you by throwing you out of office and electing a Republican mayor of Cleveland.

    How can you claim that you have the ability to manage the United States of America when you let Cleveland go bankrupt?

    KUCINICH: You know, Tim, that was NBC’s story. Now I want the people to know what the real story was.

    I took a stand on behalf of the people of Cleveland to save a municipal electric system. The banks and the utilities in Cleveland, the private utilities, were trying to force me to sell that system.

    And so on December 15th, 1978, I told the head of the biggest bank, when he told me I had to sell the system in order to get the city’s credit renewed, that I wasn’t going to do it because, you know, I remember where I came from. I remembered my parents counting pennies to pay the utility bills in one of the many apartments we lived in.

    And so I know why I went into public office. I went in to stand up for the people. And the people in Cleveland in 1994 asked me to come back to public life because at that point they expanded a municipal electric system that the banks demanded that I sell.

    KUCINICH: And I showed the ability to stand up for the people.

    You know, my campaign in ‘94 was “Because he was right.” And people put me in the Ohio Senate for that reason. ‘96, it was “Light up Congress,” as a symbol of saving the municipal electric system. And this year, it’s going to be “Light up America,” because I’m going to challenge those interest groups.

    I put my job on the line. How many people would be willing to put their job on the line in the face of pressure from banks and utilities?

    As this story gets told, people will want me to be their next president, because they’ll see in me not only the ability to take a stand, but the ability to live with integrity.

    Thank you.
    He missed his time. Little Timmy Russert would probably look quite stylish in a brown shirt.

    Bonus Links You Won't Find On Russert's Little White Board

    Jack Shafer: How To Beat Tim Russert; Get inside his head and shake vigorously.

    James Wolcott: When White America Wants Answers, Tim Russert Coughs Up the Questions.

    Michael Scherer: What you missed while watching the new "Bionic Woman"; Salon watches the latest (1970s TV edition) Democratic presidential debate so you don't have to: A better, stronger, faster Clinton, a kung fu Kucinich and more.