Friday, June 20, 2008

Happy Summertime!

Break out the suntan lotion!

It's here - Summer - officially, today!

Between the price of gas, and a significant chunk of the country being flooded, I can appreciate if there is a lack of celebratory spirit to welcome in the new season.

So, we'll pitch to, hopefully, jump start you.

We hope, after you listen to this, you will agree that it is the hippest, coolest, most out-of-sight rendition of this classic gem.

We give you Angelique Kidjo.

Angelique Kidjo - Summertime

Bonus Riffs

Angélique Kidjo Website

More Angélique Kidjo videos

2008 Equinox, Solstice & Cross-Quarter Moments

Everything you need to know: solstice June 20, 2008

Bob Ryan's "Greatest of the green"

Another basketball post, as the new World Champion Boston Celtics got the Duck Boat treatment yesterday, with a Rolling Rally through downtown (Major cool if you are a fan ... A royal pain-in-the-ass if you work downtown, make deliveries, or otherwise, have to go there).

In yesterday's Boston Globe, Bob Ryan puts things into perspective, with his rundown on the All Time Top Ten Celtic teams.

I'm old enough to remember when Ryan came to the Globe, in the late 60's, becoming the beat writer covering the Celtics, then soon becoming the Supreme Deposit of Basketball Knowledge throughout the land.

Here's a snip of Ryan's piece;

This was a championship for a Lost Generation of Boston Celtics fans.

These are people for whom Bill Russell, the greatest winner in American team sports, and Bob Cousy, the legendary "Houdini of the Hardwood," are like figures out of King Arthur's tales. These are people for whom John Havlicek, basketball's consummate 'sixth man," and Dave Cowens, the mercurial redheaded center, are as personally relevant as comic book characters. These are people for whom even the great Larry Bird is just some guy wearing short-shorts who pops up occasionally on ESPN Classic.

The Celtics began winning championships in the Eisenhower Administration with players born either before or during the Great Depression. They continued winning through the Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and Reagan administrations before hitting a snag following the 1986 championship. Now, after a 22-year wait, they have won a championship under the stewardship of George Bush with players born after man first walked on the moon.

Check it out - Greatest of the green; New champs near the top in storied franchise's all-time Top 10

This Date ... On The Garlic

20 June 2006... On The Garlic

This Just In! - White House Says No Terror Alert Over Aide’s Conviction; Rove To Say “On Message” Smearing Dems; Nixed Bush Surprise Visit To Courthouse To Offer Testimony

Top Ten Cloves: Besides “Last Throes”, Other Things Dick Cheney May Have Underestimated

20 June, 2005... On The Garlic

Bush Threatens Spain With Axis Placement; President "Extremely Displeased" With Gay Marriage Vote

Officials Say Two Jacksons Cause of California Quakes; News of Laker Signing and Trial Acquittal Rattle Entire State

Rep Hunter May Leave Congress For Restaurant Biz; Says "Different Stress Level" But "More Fun In The Kitchen, Than On The Floor"

Top Ten Cloves: Things Overheard At The Iranian Election

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Life Imitates Art ... Or, Did Burt Lancaster Invent Google Earth?

And the livin' is easy
Kids are jumpin'
In other peoples' pools
A real irony would have been, back in the day, if the those bobby-socking teens raided George Gershwin's pool.

I espied this link this morning and did, sort of, a double-take, followed by a hearty laugh.

The Google Earth gatecrashers who take uninvited dips in home-owners' swimming pools
Would-be revellers are using satellite images on the internet to find houses with swimming pools - and then turning up uninvited for an impromptu dip.

The craze involves using the Google Earth programme, which provides high-quality aerial photos of Britain and other countries.

Once a target is chosen, the organisers use social networking sites such as Facebook and Bebo to arrange to meet, say police.

There's other accounts of it Here and Here.

Absolutely incredible!

And hysterical ...

Who woulda' thunk it?

"If you build it, they will use it ..."

And, to play this all the way out, extend this thought-process of looking up pools and then crashing them, you have to believe that every business involved with pools - from building them, to cleaning them, to catering pool parties, to those retro Chinese lanterns, to providing glo-in-the-dark floating devices, to those providing home security - are all locked in to Google Earth, and burning up the printer, shooting out customized sales letters.

Chimneysweepers, fire up those computers, and exercise whatever finger you're going to use to zoom in on the roofs.

And then, I broke out laughing all over again.

It's, kind of, a back-to-the-future, kind of thing ...

I immediately thought about the odd, little (based on a John Cheever short story) Burt Lancaster film, 'The Swimmer';
On a sunny late summer day in Connecticut, Ned Merrill (Lancaster), an apparently successful, appealing and popular middle-aged businessman, emerges from the woods wearing only a pair of swimming trunks and decides to "swim" home across the county, dropping in on friends' swimming pools ...

At first he receives a warm welcome ... However, as the day wears on and he encounters those who have been closer to him more recently, the welcomes turn increasingly sour ...

If someone wants to remake this film, the kids have already given them the storyline ...

Start those office pools (no pun intended) for when this storyline (using Google Earth to raid swimming pools) makes its' way as the plot for CSI, or some other crime-busting show, next season (of course, there's either a dead body or kidnapping involved) ...

I almost guarantee it ...

They either figure it out in the first 10-15-minutes, and then it's a harried chase, to the end of the show (if it's a Sweeps Month broadcast, they can stretch this into a two-parter) ...

Or, there's a Eureka! moment, at around the 45-minute mark, and they simply trace a few computers to catch their criminal.

Ohhhhh ... Can they use Google Earth to crash in on those office pools?

This Date ... On The Garlic

19 June 2007... On The Garlic

Top Ten Cloves: How Being Named "Girl Scout For Life" Is Going To Cramp Dolly Parton's Style

Retro Garlic ... Cómo Se Dices "You're In The Army Now

19 June 2006... On The Garlic

Breaking News! - Staffers calling the President “Svengali”; Bush Threatens North Korea With Unannounced Visit If Missile Tested; Will Subject Kim Jong II To The “Look In The Eyes”; Boasts “Talk To Maliki or Gates If You Think I’m Bluffing”

Top Ten Cloves: Things The CIA Will Do To Boost Morale and Rebuild Spy Network

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Top Ten Cloves: Ways Obama Campaign Can Re-Introduce Michelle Obama

News Item: Michelle Obama Looks for a New Introduction

10. Have her do a memorial dance tribute to Cyd Charisse

9. Start rumors that she's in line to be next Moderator of Meet The Press

8. Place her in the Boston Celtics Rolling Rally and have her lead chant "Where is Kobe ... Where is Kobe"

7. For the July 4th holiday, set Michelle up in largest country fair, in a Fist Bump Booth

6. Have her start blogging, she quotes Associated Press content, they go after her, and she leads the Blogosphere to victory over the AP

5. To win over hardcore, Ron Paul rightwingers, have her chase Sean Hannity through parking lot

4. Tell 'The View' they have to dump Whoopie Goldberg and replace her with Michelle

3. Have her in a "Bake-Off" with Cindy McCain, only Michelle will use her own, un-plagiarized recipes

2. Announce Michelle will take over the rest of the years' tour schedule for Tiger Woods

1. If all else fails, one word - Rehab!

Bonus Links

Brilliant at Breakfast: Please don't turn her into Cindy McCain

The Brody File: EXCLUSIVE: Obama Expresses 'Deep Disappointment' in McCain's Silence on Wife Attacks

Alex Koppelman - Obama: "I think families are off limits"

James Joyner: Families Off Limits in Presidential Politics?

Ben Smith: Don't call it a makeover, and a warning for McCain

But Wait, There's More! ... AP Update

We buried the lead, sort of.

When we posted yesterday - No AP Here! - about the incredibly dumbass, stupid actions of the Associated Press, if we had waited a few hours, we could have included the "new" news;

AP sets up a toll booth for bloggers citing its stories

Where the group had previously invoked the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and sent cease-and-desist orders to at least one blogger, seeking the removal of excerpted content (in some cases as few as 17 words in length), now the press service has attached an "Excerpt for Web Use" charge for passages as short as five words in length.

The pricing scale for excerpting AP content begins at $12.50 for 5-25 words and goes as high as $100 for 251 words and up. Nonprofit organizations and educational institutions enjoy a discounted rate.

Yeah, you got it ... They want to charge bloggers for quoting - and, in many cases, linking back to - AP content.

Sorry, but that's not in my budget. I'm all tapped, for paying to see the sun rise every morning (I wish they offered a discounted subscription rate for that).

This is ridiculous.

Is AP, without telling anybody, making some sort of crazy, screwball, Mack Sennett-like comedy?

Are they sitting in their offices, gouging eyes, pulling ears, slapping noses, ala The Three Stooges.

If they are not, boy, do they need a new PR person.

The great-and-powerful KOS weighed in ("More on the AP idiots"), offering to kick ass, then knock their teeth out for mumbling about it;
Lots of blogs are calling for boycotts of AP content. Not me. I'm going to keep using it. I will copy and paste as many words as I feel necessary to make my points and that I feel are within bounds of copyright law (and remember, I've got a JD and specialized in media law, so I know the rules pretty well). And I will keep doing so if I get an AP takedown notice (which I will make a big public show of ignoring). And then, either the AP -- an organization famous for taking its members work without credit -- will either back down and shut the hell up, or we'll have a judge resolve the easiest question of law in the history of copyright jurisprudence.

The AP doesn't get to negotiate copyright law. But now, perhaps, they'll threaten someone who can afford to fight back, instead of cowardly going after small bloggers.

Jane Hamsher, over on Firedoglake, in her "$12.50 For Five Words? “Bite Me” Indeed, AP", is also scratching her head;
I still can't wrap my head around the idea of charging someone to link to you. We've been witness to some staggeringly stupid acts on the internet, but this one really takes the cake.

Do they understand that if they sue Markos, he'll get all the traffic he can eat? Do they even understand the whole concept of traffic?

Yesterday, we asked for someone to send the AP Dale Carnegie's book "How To Win Friends and Influence People".

That's still needed.

For today, another request - Call the folks at the Darwin Awards, and see if we can streamline it for the Associated Press to zoom to the top of the list (perhaps in the area of Self-selection, which is "Cause of one's own demise").

Bonus Links

John Amato - C&L: The AP walked right into a buzz saw

Libby Spencer: AP update

Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, TMV Columnist - Associated Press: A Brief Look at Fair Use and a Lost Story of The Grateful Dead

This Date ... On The Garlic

18 June 2007... On The Garlic

Pissing With The Big Dogs ... Evolution Sundays, Here We Come ... The Results - The Garlic Weekly Poll

18 June 2005... On The Garlic

Weekend Special - Sautéed Cloves

Poll Results - The Garlic's Weekly Poll June 11 - June 17 2006: “For the comments she has made, insulting the Sept 11th widows while promoting her new book, Ann Coulter must have ....”

No.17! ... Celtics Demolish Lakers!

Oh, man, was this ever something ...

If the Los Angeles Lakers are "Showtime" then the Boston Celtics are "HBO".

World Championship No.17 was delivered tonight with a nearly unprecedented thrashing of the LA Fakers, the final score ringing in at 131-92, winning the title in six-games.

The Celtics, after a close first quarter took control of the game in the second, with suffocating defense, keying a potent offense and never looked back.

The Celts rode the 3rd and 4th quarter, throughout, with a 30+ point lead.

The Lakers, most of its' players having mailed it in, struggled to keep it that close, perhaps the only motivation was not to lose by 40+ points.

Terrorist suspects in Gitmo haven't come close to suffering an ass-whuppin' like the Laker got this evening.

Kobe Bryant as the next Michael Jordan?

No, Virginia, Kobe Bryant is not the Next Michael Jordan.

The Next Michael Jordan (whoever that may be), doesn't shoot 7-22, and allow his team to lose by 39-points in a "must-win" game.

It was embarrassing.

If I were the LA Laker Management, I'd make the team walk home to Los Angeles, for their thoroughly underwhelming, lack-of-urgency performance.

But enough about the Tinsel Town Tankers.

You'll be hard pressed to come up with a championship game, in any sport, where one team imposed its' will on the other in such an overwhelming, completely dominating fashion as the Celtics inflicted on the Lakers.

  • Paul Pierce, stepping up, named MVP of the series.
  • Ray Allen, dead-eye shooting, tying a series game record with seven three-pointers.
  • KG (Kevin Garnett), coming up big!
  • As a team (I haven't heard the final stats), came close (or tied, possible broke) to setting a series records for steals.
This is especially sweet, well, for one, the kicked the snot out of the Lakers, and, it's the first Celtic championship in 21-years (perhaps lifting the Len Bias curse; If Bias didn't die, we'd be celebrating, most likely, Championship No. 22 or 23).

But it also capped a truly storybook season, a team that went from 24 wins a year ago, to league-leading 66 wins this season.

It was a Secretariat, wire-to-wire, run for the Celts.

All is green, as the Boston Celtics are back atop the basketball world, emphatically putting their signature on this championship, unmistakably telling the hoop world "It's ours, baby, it's ours!"

And, as a bonus, they made me look good.

In our post last week, "Celtics-Lakers ... Not Quite The Old Days, But It Will Do", we made the call;
"Oh yeah, as to predictions ... Celts in six!"

Yes, 131-92!

That's not a typo ...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Retro Garlic: Someone Teach Arianna Huffington How To Use Google

I had a brief moment today, of feeling like the geeky guy, Riley, in 'National Treasure', that has the answer to a question of which neither of his two, more intelligent colleagues has, for the first (and, only) time in the movie.

The daily Huffington Post Daily Brief dropped in and, I see this headline;

John McCain: The Second Coming of Bob Dole

Hmmm ... That sounds mighty familiar ...

It linked to the post, by Arianna Huffington, "John McCain's Flashback Campaign", in which she, of course, paints Stumblin' Bumblin' John McCain with the Bob Dole brush.

Again, this was today.

The Retro Part?
Wednesday, January 30, 2008 - The Bob Dole For The New Millennium

Now, maybe she was real busy, and threw that post together on-the-fly.

But I'd like to think that she, or perhaps an assistant did a Google Search, you know, to see if there were any other John McCain-Is-Bob-Dole posts out there.

No, no references in her post to any.

Gee, how's about a tag, there, princess ... How much of an effort would that have taken?

Oh well ...

Bonus HuffPo Riffs

Breaking News! GM Cancels UAW In Favor of Adopting Huffington Post Business Model; Celebrities, Auto Enthusiasts and Bloggers To Build Cars For Free; Huge Spike In Profits Forecast

Yoo Hooey

No, were not trying to get the Bush Grindhouse Chief Torturer's attention.

We're calling him out with the "hooey", as in "nonsense" or "bullshit"

A simple analogy would be to say this is like hiring Willie Sutton as a bank guard.

It's pretty remarkable, with their lies being exposed, with their Neocon policies in shreds, with continually being rebuked by the courts, that people still pay these people to repeat and rehash the same lies.

John "It's Not Torture, It's Enhanced Interrogation" Yoo graces the pages of Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal today

The Supreme Court Goes to War

Last week's Supreme Court decision in Boumediene v. Bush has been painted as a stinging rebuke of the administration's antiterrorism policies. From the celebrations on most U.S. editorial pages, one might think that the court had stopped a dictator from trampling civil liberties. Boumediene did anything but. The 5-4 ruling is judicial imperialism of the highest order.

Ahhh, wrong, right there, in the first paragraph, Johnny Boy.

The Supreme Court decision only slowed down the Dictator, or Emperor, you know, the one you aided and enabled.

This same of long streak of stagnated piss (love that line, from the tremendous Bob Hoskins film, 'The Long Good Friday') that has trampled - and all but destroyed - civil liberties.

The one, who today, deems criticism as "slandering America", while his Mini-Me falls completely in step.

And here's what these Nitwitcons are hanging on to;
The only real hope of returning the Supreme Court to its normal wartime role rests in the November elections. Sometimes it is difficult to tell Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain apart on issues like campaign finance or global warming. But they have real differences on Supreme Court appointments. Mr. Obama had nothing but praise for Boumediene, while Mr. McCain attacked it and promised to choose judges like Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, both dissenters.

Because of the advancing age of several justices (Justice Stevens is 88, and several others are above 70), the next president will be in a position to appoint a new Court that can reverse the damage done to the nation's security.

Here's a couple of other smackdowns of John "It's Not Torture, It's Enhanced Interrogation" Yoo;

Glenn Greenwald: John Yoo's ongoing falsehoods in service of limitless government power

Cernig: The Biggest Lie Yoo Told

Also, a good one from Sadly No: Nightmare on Gitmo Street

Just remember, if you vote for Stumblin' Bumblin' John McCain, you are asking to keep this crap going.

Lanny Davis To Cry Fox Tears

In today's "I'm shocked, shocked to find gambling going on here ..."

Lanny Davis joins Fox News

Davis has been trending Fox News' way for some time now, first as a supporter of Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman during his reelection fight in 2006 and then as a Clinton surrogate this year. During one appearance he made on the network in May, under prompting from conservative radio host Laura Ingraham about allegations of bias against Clinton, Davis said he "now know[s] what it feels like to be a Republican" and added that, in his view, Fox was the most balanced of the cable networks.
No doubt, THIS might have helped him land the gig.

We had him pegged last month, when he melted down on CNN, pissing-and-moaning, all the way;

Don't Cry For Me, Lanny Davis ...

We'll just have to wait and see what is louder - the Fox News graphics, or Lanny Davis's suits ...

No AP Here!

Quick, somebody ... Anybody, go out and send Dale Carnegie's book "How To Win Friends and Influence People" to the Associated Press.

This has been a gathering storm for the past few days.

It began with this;

AP Files 7 DMCA Takedowns Against Drudge Retort

I'm currently engaged in a legal disagreement with the Associated Press, which claims that Drudge Retort users linking to its stories are violating its copyright and committing "'hot news' misappropriation under New York state law." An AP attorney filed six Digital Millenium Copyright Act takedown requests this week demanding the removal of blog entries and another for a user comment.
And, in the spirit of "when you a Jet you’re a Jet all the way ...", bloggers and writers from as far as the eye could rallied around.
Here’s Our New Policy On A.P. stories: They’re Banned

AP boycott working

AP, hole, dig

The Associated Press, kind of, realized, the screwed the pooch ("Associated Press to Set Guidelines for Using Its Articles in Blogs"), which, is like calling someone an asshole, and then apologizing with "I'm sorry that you are an asshole".

It didn't fly, and Steve Benen, over on The Carpetbagger Report has a good rundown on it.

Here, on The Garlic, I can say with some confidence, we haven't linked to the AP very much (I think a bunch of Yahoo News tags may be AP content), and, if you are a regular reader, you know that, more often than not, we bypass the MSM, highligting and tagging (linking) other bloggers and writers (which we do generously - there's a lot of great stuff out there).

So, we will stand guard and definitely ignore the Associated Press and we hope, that you, our readers, will also make an effort to avoid their content.

Visit the Unassociated Press to stay on top of this, and, sign their petition.

Hmmm ... A Sign of Things To Come?

This was rather interesting.

Is it a fluke, a convenience of schedule, somebody they grabbed at the last minute?

Or, is it a sign of the post-Russert-influence of NBC/MSNBC news?

We speak of Amy Goodman's appearance on Chris Matthew's 'Hardball' last evening, where she whiffed Heidi Harris on three pitches, in a discussion of whether woman will vote for Stumblin' Bumblin' John McCain.

Now Amy Goodman has been on MSNBC in the past, but about as often as Keith Olbermann compliments Bill O'Reilly, so it was rather jarring to see her pop on the screen.

And, as you will see, she made mincemeat of Harris, seemingly, to the approval of Tweety, himself

Democracy Now! On Hardball_08_Women Voters

Check out, as well, Oregon Rep. Chip Shields' post, "Amy Goodman breaks through. Kicks ass".

If you're not hip to Amy Goodman, jump on over to Democracy Now, and do so ...

This Date ... On The Garlic

17 June, 2005... On The Garlic

Late Push Puts Nader On Iranian Ballot; Says Wants To Beat Iraq To Democracy; Cites No British Memos On Him

Frist Considering Abandoning Videotape Practice; Senate Leader Under Fire For Backpedaling From Schiavo Diagnosis

Top Ten Cloves: Other Apologies The Senate Is Planning To Offer

Monday, June 16, 2008

Developing Story - MSNBC Making Pitches To Become Eulogy Channel

Sources tell The Garlic that executives at NBC and MSNBC, buoyed by, surprisingly, extremely strong overnight ratings, have quickly put together a crack team of producers and advertising salespeople and are, quietly, pitching to Fortune 500 companies, as well as other large public and private institutions, the opportunity to have their leaders eulogized and remembered in the same manner that NBC/MSNBC has done for, the now departed, Tim Russert.

To drive the sense of urgency to the prospective purchasers of what NBC/MSNBC is calling "Eulogy Packages", the sales brochure is being sent with a complimentary Buffalo Bills cap, and miniature erasable white board.

As we continue to review the voluminous sales package provided by our source, NBC/MSNBC are offering a vast array of options, from special, highlighted news item mentions, to by-the-hour tributes, to multiple day, 24/7 broadcasting, complete with NBC/MSNBC, and CNBC on-air talent.

"This is extremely ambitious," offered Bruno Anthony, editor of "The Final Close-Up", an on-line newsletter that tracks the amount of time television news programs allot to the death of prominent persons. "This has never been done before ... Proactively selling airtime for this purpose ... For death ..."

"It's one thing if the deceased is already in the news, a promient politician, businessman, or, celebrity," continued Anthony. "But this can open up serious ethical and standards questions ... Like, if you don't pay, will NBC not report your death?"

Pricing is steep, ranging from high-five-and-six-figures, and significantly higher.

One package, the top, or Gold Plan, is the most expensive.

The Gold Plan is available only to those person who have been interviewed, on-air, by the late Tim Russert.

This is a multiple-day tribute package, with the Russert interview of the deceased customer being broadcast in prime time.

And to protect the exclusivity of this Gold Plan, NBC/MSNBC, as they continue, into the 4th day now, their "Remembering Tim Russert", will only broadcast B-Roll of Russert interviewing colleagues, or making appearances on the various NBC or MSNBC programs.

All NBC/MSNBC on-air talent under contract are available for these Eulogy Packages, with three - Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann and Andrea Mitchell - positioned at the higher pricing.

Additionally, throughout the sales package, upselling of combo-talent, having multiple NBC/MSNBC persons waxing on about the deceased, is encouraged.

Only two CNBC on-air talent - Erin Burnett and Margaret Brennan - are referenced as being available in these Eulogy Packages.

As to non-NBC/MSNBC on-air talent, the talking heads, those are priced ala carte, and subject to availability.

Of those mentioned in the sales package, included Mike Barnicle, Lawrence O'Donnell, Bob Shrum, Al Hunt, Hillary Rosen, Eugene Robinson, Rachel Maddow, and a host of others, with the deceased having to provide scripts of what they want discussed, or how the pundits should describe the dead customer.

Former MSNBC on-air talent Rita Cosby is not offered in any of the Eulogy Packages, however, MSNBC will provide contact information for the deceased purchasing a plan to negotiate with Cosby directly.

Special Doc Blocks are also available, with pricing noted as TBD.

The NBC/MSNBC sales package also notes that all costs reflect in-studio work only.

The deceased purchasing any of the Eulogy Package plans will incur additional costs if they wish to have on-site events included, such as funerals, memorial services, hospital watches, and candlelight vigils.

Protesters can also be included for an additional fee.

One whimsical offering comes with the 'Today' Program.

As with most of the Eulogy Packages, for an additional fee, the deceased's burial location can be included as a stop, in the 'Today' program's feature, "Where In The World Is Matt Lauer", with the 'Today' program of that day being built around the deceased package purchaser.

Anthony sees this as a heavy push for NBC/MSNBC, with a "striking while the iron is hot" mentality.

"It could be big, they can see the dollar signs adding up," says Anthony.

"And, you're likely to see them continuing to roll out "Remembering Tim Russert" programming... That's their biggest sales tool ... This will go on for days ... Probably, weeks ... "

Bonus Remember Tim Russert Riffs

Barry Crimmins: Overkill

Dennis Perrin: No Moment Of Silence

We've Gone Well Past The 15-Minutes Thing ...

Little Russ Gone ...

You're Kidding ... Bug Shit!

"Surprise, surprise, surprise!".

And, as a former filling station attendant, by the name of Gomer Pyle, may exclaim - "Shazam!"

In a way, it almost sounds like something Gomer might have come up with.

Scientists find bugs that eat waste and excrete petrol; Silicon Valley is experimenting with bacteria that have been genetically altered to provide 'renewable petroleum'

Inside LS9’s cluttered laboratory – funded by $20 million of start-up capital from investors including Vinod Khosla, the Indian-American entrepreneur who co-founded Sun Micro-systems – Mr Pal explains that LS9’s bugs are single-cell organisms, each a fraction of a billionth the size of an ant. They start out as industrial yeast or nonpathogenic strains of E. coli, but LS9 modifies them by custom-de-signing their DNA. “Five to seven years ago, that process would have taken months and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars,” he says. “Now it can take weeks and cost maybe $20,000.”

Because crude oil (which can be refined into other products, such as petroleum or jet fuel) is only a few molecular stages removed from the fatty acids normally excreted by yeast or E. coli during fermentation, it does not take much fiddling to get the desired result.

Fill It Up With High Test ... And Check The Bugs!

If this thing pans out, you can expect a stampede to eBay, with people looking for those old, Gilbert Chemestry sets.

You can trade in the greasy overalls, for a starched-white lab coat.

Out goes the family room, or that finished basement, as the masses, to compliment the solar panels and rainwater buckets, begin farming their own LS9 bugs.

In fact, it could make gas stations obsolete, or, at minimum, they convert over to becoming "bug stations".

I just hope this isn't a hoax ...

It looks mighty interesting ...

Bonus Links

Top Ten Cloves: Ways Exxon Will Celebrate Largest Annual Profit Ever For A U.S. Company

White House Besieged With Would-Be Energy Inventors As Bush Backtracks From Pledge; All Looking To Cash In On President's New Energy Initiative - If Only President Meant It

Top Ten Cloves: Things About The Rocket Scientists' Party, Yuri Night

This Date ... On The Garlic

16 June 2007... On The Garlic

Developing Story! Chiquita Case Emerges With Ties To Bush, DOJ, CIA

16 June 2006... On The Garlic

House GOP Bends Rules, Yields Floor Time and Allows Coulter To Cast Iraq Vote; Conservative Doyenne Says Dems, Liberals “Enjoying Soldiers Deaths”; Ties Pelosi To 911 Widows

Top Ten Cloves: Things About The New English Translation of the Mass The Bishops Approved

16 June 2005... On The Garlic

Frist Threatened 'Nuclear Option' Over Lynching Bill; Said No Videotape To Review To Authenticate Measure

Tomlinson Investigated Over CPC Lobbyists; Chairman Continues Push For Congress To Slash All PBS Funding

Top Ten Cloves: Possible Plot Lines Of Proposed Jackson Family Reality TV Show

Sunday, June 15, 2008

We've Gone Well Past The 15-Minutes Thing ...

I believe we may be witnessing historic television evolution.

With the 24/7, non-stop cheerleading of Tim Russerts' career, I suspect MSNBC has taken the bold, innovative step of doing a live, in-real-time Doc Block.

On one hand, it was "Lock-Up America", with their non-stop, talk-to-anyone-who-passed-by-Tim Russert, barrage of patting Russert, and themselves, on the back.

On the other hand, that Russert would be the subject of a Doc Block is, to some degree, apropos.

The MSNBC Doc Blocks, typically, focus on the sleazy, or the underside of society's belly.

Russert's brand of journalism certainly fits those requirements.

Whether it was "grilling" a candidate for office, or fluffing a sitting Vice President, Russert rarely went beyond the line of a junior high journalism class, dressed up by slick camera angles and pop-up "gotcha" graphics.

If the 5 W's are the bedrock of journalism, Russert, lazily, maybe, paid attention to two, or three.

But, if you've tuned into MSNBC (or NBC) these past few days, the parade of talking heads, present and former colleagues, competitors, you would be lead to believe that Russert not only was the first to talk about politics on television, but that he invented both the political and television universe.

One, falling after another (perhaps, in some case, pushing the platitudes through clenched teeth, for fear of retribution), were only a few decibels below Billy Mays, in hawking Russerts work, his work ethics, the "job he did".

Russert has been so pumped up by his adoring colleagues, I fully expect to see a grinning replica of the former MTP host flying high over this years' Macy Thanksgiving Day parade.

Tbogg, over on Firedoglake, hit the nail on the head, with his observation "I'd hate to think that we're going into this political season and all of his talking head peers are going to be wearing a "TR" patch on their sleeves as if the election is all about them and we should be voting because "Tim would have wanted it that way".

"He was hard working ... He did his homework ... He was prepared ..."

What, no credit for breathing, or tying his shoes in the morning?

The sun didn't rise on Russert's cue?

NBC, long ago, should have renamed the program "Meet The Party Line", "Meet The Gatekeeper", or perhaps, "Meet The Ultimate Insider".

The show could have, just as easily, been taped on a patio down on Martha's Vineyard, tall drinks with little umbrellas stationed on the table, as in its' Washington studio.

Week, after week, the nearly identical onslaught of seemingly cloned media and political elites, the insiders, fellow gatekeepers and corporate media scribes, who sat at the table, pontificating on who was in, who was out, much to the orchestration of the "son of Buffalo".

Much was made in this never-ending tribute (if Russert gets this, what happens on the sad day that Walter Cronkite passes away? To even come close, the entire world will have to shut down) of Russert being at the top.

His narrow guest list and even narrower topics certainly cemented that platitude.

As Barry Crimmins noted today, in his excellent "Overkill" post;

Many of these people referred to Russert as a "journalists' journalist" and as "the most important person in the Washington media," and it's likely they believed what they were saying. If Russert deserved the title of Washington Journalist of the Era, it sure was a nasty thing to point out about someone whose corpse had yet to cool. Because during Russert's reign as NBC News Washington Bureau Chief and Meet the Press host, about the only thing politicians were held accountable for was one blow job. Other than that, the treasury has been privatized, our country has been marched into two violent quagmires, the rich have gotten richer and the poor have gotten stomped, and the Bill of Rights has been shredded and tossed as confetti at a tickertape parade celebrating jingoism.

Russert as the "Everyman"

Boy, did that ever get displayed, by a somber Chris Matthews on Friday evening, beaming in from France.

Keith Olbermann, anchoring the first 100-hours, or so, of the Russertpalooza, asked Matthews, for his reaction, recollections, etc.

And Matthews, I assume, was attempting to praise Russert, ended up, IMHO, as shitting all over him, stating the obvious, known to the many who don't drink the MTP and/or corporate media Kool Aid.

Matthews waxed on about how Russert was the "everyman", how he broke things down so the guy on the street could understand things and then put forth, how he and Russert were speaking, with Matthews asking Russert, alluding to his own skepticism, how Russert could support the Iraq War, and citing Russert's answer as "the nuclear thing", that if "they had a nuclear bomb".

Matthews chose to use that to cement Russert's "everyman" legend, I think.

Other than the two, very recent publications - Scott McClellan's book, and the Senate Intelligence Committee's report - that exposed the lies of the Bush Grindhouse, lies already years-old and known to a significant percentage of the world.

Along with unwittingly defining the how hapless Russert was, Matthews also reaffirmed Cheney's offices' assessment that Russert was a pushover, that he'd eat up whatever they put out like happy soup.

Here's Crimmins, again, on Russert's "Everyman" mirror;
True to his roots, Russert worked hard -- he worked hard for the man who let him sit in the private dining room and taught him which fork to use for the salad. But what was his job beyond fitting in? And did he even know he was doing it? It always seemed to me that his job was to appear to be a tough journalist while never actually scratching the surface of what was really going on. For doing this he got status, celebrity and wealth. Again and again his response was to say "what a country!" But he never probed very deeply into the country that allowed his hometown of Buffalo to oxidize. Speaking of the upstate NY city, Russert was all Chamber of Commerce and professional sports booster but never one to draw attention to the crushing poverty found in our nation's second poorest city. Russert seemed to think enthusiastic boosterism was all Buffalo needed and that's all it ever got from its favorite son.

And Russert, for his status as "Everyman" sure could play the holier-than-thou role when he came across a guest, rather obviously, he didn't like, or otherwise respect.

That was never more evident when Russert interviewed (or, should we say, looked down on, disapprovingly) the faux presidential candidate, Steven Colbert.

In a word, it was embarrassing.

From The Garlic's On Colbert & Russert: "The citizens of Dresden didn't endure as much of a bombing as this";
"And to be fair to Colbert, Little Timmy was as much the culprit, with attempting to adopt the same persona as Colbert in which to interview this faux candidate.

Which is most ironic, being that, when Little Timmy is in his own persona, week-after-week, he, pretty much, is a softball-throwing, vice-presidential-favorite, faux newsman anyway.

The citizens of Dresden didn't endure as much of a bombing as this.

Over-the-top, you say?

Russert droned on with an absolutely, going-nowhere Sesame Street riff, complete with holding up a Ernie doll ...
(You can watch that disaster Here and Here)

What next?

Can the FCC step in and stop NBC/MSNBC? Are there any violations, decency clauses, something ...

Are we to get the funeral in living color, as well?

A horse-drawn caisson through the streets of Buffalo?

The big cathedral shots, world and business leaders looking somber, the isolated money-shot of a white board and Buffalo Bills cap, sitting lonely, the words 'Russert, Russert, Russert" running down it.

On Friday, Peggy Noonan, the longstanding Reagan Groupie, with enough false sincerity to fill Lake Erie, squeezed out of those upward-tilting nostrils that "this is a loss for the nation".

Some hours later, John Cole, over on Balloon Juice, got it down, perfectly;
MSNBC has been running nothing but a 5 hour (and presumably it will go until 11 pm or beyond) marathon of Russert remembrance. CNN has done their due diligence, and Fox news has spent at least the last half hour talking non-stop about him.
But let’s get something straight- what I am watching right now on the cable news shows is indicative of the problem- no clearer demonstration of the fact that they consider themselves to be players and the insiders and, well, part of the village, is needed. This is precisely the problem. They have walked the corridors of power so long that they honestly think they are the story. It is creepy and sick and the reason politicians get away with all the crap they get away with these days.

Tim Russert was a newsman. He was not the Pope. This is not the JFK assassination, or Reagan’s death, or the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion. A newsman died. We know you miss him, but please shut up and get back to work.
Fat Chance.

I do have sympathies for Russert's family, as well as empathy, having lost my father at the same age, only, not suddenly (which, as things were, would have been merciful), but in an almost three-year tangle with the insidious ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease.

If Russert were only half the great guy, and tremendous family man, as the biblical flood of tributes carry, then, they were a lucky family.

After this display from NBC/MSNBC, it should be out of their system, and there shouldn't be a need to have any of their further election coverage draped in black bunting, and hauling out the hosannas by the pound (don't bet against it , I suppose, is the safe warning).

We've gone well past the 15-minutes thing already ...

Bonus White Board Riffs, Riffs, Riffs

Oliver Willis: Proportion

Emptywheel: At the Risk of Being Churlish

Brilliant at Breakfast: I have nothing more to add to this

Adam Nagourney: Recalling Russert as Political Operative in New York

Steve Benen: If it’s Sunday…

Riding The Woody Allen Train To Last Night's MSNBC Democrat Debate

Top Ten Cloves: Reasons Tim Russert Didn't Ask Scooter Libby About Joe Wilson and His Wife

Little Russ Gone ...