Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Where's Steve?

This just in: Steve Beshear is going to be present at the groundbreaking of the new Evolution Museum just one day after being present at the presser for the Creationist Theme Park.

I'm sorry, the information was wrong, Steve Beshear will actually be at the presser for the Jim Bunning Senatorial Library, the first library that will not have any actual books. We don't even know if they have a heart.

Oops. Wrong information. It's actually going to be a ribbon cutting of Rand Paul's new senatorial office. As a way of cutting the federal budget, please leave a large check at the door. And a canned good for those people recieving unemployment benefits. Earmarks are not allowed at this one.

Steve Beshear mocks real creationists, will attend press

As a creationist, I am dumbfounded that Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear is going to make a mockery of creationism. I believe in Divine Mosaic Law...we just don't know how long the seven days actually were.
Nov. 30, 2010

Gov. Beshear to hold press conference

■WHO: Gov. Steve Beshear
Cary Summers, consultant to Ark Encounter LLC Mike Zovath, senior vice president of Answers in Genesis and head of the Creation Museum project
Grant County Judge/Executive Darrell Link
■WHAT: New northern Kentucky tourism and economic development project announcement
■WHEN: Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. Eastern time
■WHERE: State CapitolRoom 110
Frankfort, Ky.
I'll have more after the Kentucky game on this.

Monday, November 29, 2010

My Plans for 2012

After much soul searching and talking with political friends, I've decided that the voter registration numbers are for a potential 2012 run are not in my favor. I gave much thought to this idea for the past month, I just don't have the numbers working in my favor.

On that note, I'm trying to get back to Chicago for good for the improv and sketch comedy scene. Eventually, New York or LA. The economy just hasn't been working in my favor but if you are in Louisville, you should take the time to see Second City: It Takes a Ville! at Actors Theatre of Louisville. Not only do I know the director but one of my friends was one of the writers of the show.

Until then, all I can do is work on sketch comedy and screenplays. I still have some tricks up my sleeve. Maybe another song by the end of this year. Possibly a rock song parody. I've got a grad school class to finish first before I can really get into working on said parody. I'm still nailing down which song will be parodied but the politician that it's going after has already been decided.

Really, Joe?!?

Reading this really upset me.

I love Canada for doing this

I love that Canada has come out in favor of another boycott.
Canada will boycott the third U.N. conference against racism, citing the charged anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rhetoric at its predecessors.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney at a Nov. 25 news conference said the U.N. General Assembly has chosen to "repeat and even augment the mistakes of the past" by holding an anniversary conference in New York next September, timed to coincide with the annual opening of the U.N. General Assembly.

"Canada will not participate in this charade," Kenney said. "Canada is clearly committed to the fight against racism, but the Durban process commemorates an agenda that actually promotes racism rather than combats it."

"We will not lend our good name to this Durban hate fest," Kenney said.

The conference is slated to mark the 10th anniversary of the 2001 meeting in South Africa aimed at defeating xenophobia and racism. Canada and several other countries walked out of that meeting after Iran and several other countries engaged in Israel-bashing.

The United States led a walkout of the first conference in Durban, South Africa, in 2001 after it devolved into an anti-Israel hate-fest. A number of Western nations kept away from its follow-up in 2009.

Canada was the first country to withdraw from Durban II last year in Geneva.

In a statement, opposition Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff said he "unequivocally" supports the government's decision to boycott the Durban III conference.

Canadian Jewish groups praised Ottawa's move.

"On this they are the international leaders, not the Canadian leader, they're leading the world," Bernie Farber, the CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress, told the Toronto Sun.

Frank Dimant, the CEO of B'nai Brith Canada, said that "Yet again, Canada is taking the lead on the world stage in terms of principled policymaking. We saw the writing on the wall with the failures of the first two Durban conferences, which promoted rather than combated racism against the Jewish people. The world should surely know by now that the Durban process is completely tainted."

A number of Jewish groups want the Obama administration to announce early on that it will not attend the next conference in order to rally a broad boycott.
Once again, Canada has beat the United States to the punch. If President Obama wants to win favor again with Jewish groups, he needs to second the Canadian government's plans to boycott the hate fest.

Now that's a great response!

Following Palin's comments, Judy McGuire comes up with some things that Sarah Palin should have done.

Dan Aykroyd talks Ghostbusters 3

Dan Aykroyd recently talked about Ghostbusters 3 regarding the latest casting rumors. Until things are pinned down right before production begins, fans should expect to hear just about everything. At one point, it was Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, and another name signing on.
Bloody Disgusting reader 'Jonas' reports in with a fresh Ghostbusters 3 update that confirms many of the casting rumors floating around the web. According to Jonas, producer/writer/star Dan Aykroyd was on WGN Radio Chicago where he commented on those pesky rumors. He confirmed that they are casting and open to finding some fresh faces, adding that both Bill Hader and Anna Faris have been mentioned as "strong possibilities", although it's still too earlier to call. Aykroyd, who plays Dr. Raymond Stantz in the franchise, also mentioned Eliza Dushku's name again, also confirming (what we already knew) that both Bill Murray and Sigourney Weaver are returning. Columbia Pictures is aiming at a May 2011 start date.
Eliza would make a great addition to the cast in my opinion.

I am serious. Stop calling me Shirley

Comic actor Leslie Nielsen died at the age of 84 yesterday as the result of complications from pneumonia. May he rest in peace.

KRS being investigated

The Kentucky Retirement Systems is being investigated by the SEC according to the Pay to Play Law Blog.
Since the SEC passed its pay-to-play rule in June, (reported on here), the feds have clearly been looking for a target to "make an example out of" as a way of showing they are serious about pay-to-play. A sacrificial lamb appears to have been found as SEC spokesman Kevin Callahan has put the public on notice that the SEC will be taking an increased interest in the role placement agents play following pay-to-play scandals in other states. Recently, the SEC opened an "informal inquiry" into the Kentucky Retirement Systems' ("KRS'") use of placement agents as a result of one of KRS's own internal audits. KRS oversees a $12.5 billion fund for state and county retirees.

KRS's audit identified one well-connected placement agent, Glen Sergeon (say it with me: "Baaaaaa"), as having done more work for the fund from 2004 to 2009 than any other agent. While the fund found no evidence of illegal activity, due to the possibility of perceived appearance of preferential treatment, KRS's compliance officer recommended that pension staff be required to publicly disclose all personal connections with placement agents going forward - a step beyond the policy the pension program put in place last year requiring disclosure of placement agent names and fees paid. The KRS Board of Trustees is also speaking with state auditors to conduct an independent review of KRS's use of placement agents.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

What is Disney's Tron agenda?

If you've watched TV or been to the movies lately, you've seen the trailers for Tron: Legacy. But did you see the first Tron movie? The one that was released in 1982?

If you didn't get the 20th anniversary DVD collector's edition when it came out in 2002, you are out of luck. Unless a bluray edition of the movie comes out in 2011, there is absolutely no legal way to watch the movie at a reasonable price. You'd have to buy it from a third party via ebay or Amazon. It won't be cheap.

A new conspiracy theory has cropped up online in advance of 'Tron: Legacy' hitting theaters next month; one that suggests Disney is hiding the original 'Tron' by keeping it off DVD shelves in order to -- and yes, this sounds weird -- keep people from seeing it for fear it will turn them off from watching its sequel this December. Rebecca Keegan over at the LA Times did some digging and noticed that a copy of 'Tron' was almost impossible to come by these days, with Netflix listing it as "availability unknown" and users on eBay charging through the roof for any used copies. Furthermore, a scan of 30 Blockbusters in Los Angeles resulted in only two having copies in stock.
Going back to Rebecca Keegan's story in the LA Times blog:
Director Steven Lisberger recently remastered the film, color correcting it and reframing certain shots for a planned Blu-ray edition. But Disney hasn’t yet set a release date for Lisberger’s new version, and as the studio’s marketing for ‘Tron: Legacy” has become ubiquitous, interest in the original is outstripping supply.

“They’re trying to figure out when the best time is to release it,” Lisberger says. “I don’t think there’s anything intentional going on to deprive ‘Tron’ fans of the new edition.”[...]

Disney has declined to say when the studio will release a new edition of “Tron,” but it’s possible the company is deliberately holding back on printing new copies of a movie that could alienate the broad, non-geek audiences they’ll need to make “Tron: Legacy” a success. [Update: Disney now says Lisberger's remastered version of "Tron" will be available sometime in 2011.]

“That film was ahead of its time,” says Jan Saxton, analyst at Adams Media Research. “But they want the focus to be on their new effort.”
It's a dire shame that Disney refuses to make the first movie available.

Netflix doesn't charge late fees so it is very possible that many customers are keeping the DVDs in their homes for a long time. Sure, they can do that but it's rather rude to other Netflix customers that want to watch the movie and legally be able to do so without shelling out a lot of money.

If Disney is afraid of the special effects of Tron affecting the effects of Tron: Legacy, they would have never greenlit a sequel. The effects of 1982 are very different than that of 2010. It's very dated for a movie of its time, too.

Does Disney not trust the current Tron audience demographics? I heard someone ask if this new one was a remake. I had to inform them that it was a sequel so something is off with Disney's marketing plan.

Holding off the original film but keeping it out of print doesnt sit well with new viewers. Keeping it out of print leads to piracy and that's what the studios are currently fighting. Disney really doesn't get it.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Survey finding considered to be disturbing

I find the findings of this survey that Peter Smith wrote about in today's Courier-Journal to be very disturbing. As a Jewish citizen that considers myself PROUD to be an American, I'm disturbed that Jewish-Americans are considered to be not American enough. I'm patriotic. There's not a single federal holiday in which I don't where a flag shirt...well except for the end of December or beginning of the year. Those are federal holidays for different reasons.
A new report finds a rise in people identifying being Christian as important to being “truly American.”

It's not nearly as important as various secular reasons people list, such as being a citizen or speaking English, which have almost unanimous support. But between the last two times Americans were asked about this — in 1996 and 2004 — people were more likely to identify Christianity as a factor even though the percentage of American Christians actually declined slightly between those years.

Overall, 49 percent of Americans said being Christian is very important, and nearly two-thirds said it's at least fairly important.

And while many in predominately white Christian groups identify being Christian with being truly American, black Protestants do so at higher levels. And there are strong hints that immigrant Christians do, too, even though supporters of a Christian America are more likely to want greater controls on immigration.

Researchers at Purdue University in Indiana speculate that Christians' declining share of the population — along with such things as 9/11, the Iraq War and disputes over immigration — have fueled a stronger desire among Christians to identify their faith with their patriotism.

Christians themselves, as expected, accounted for most of those who identify being American with being Christian, according to the researchers' newly published report in the journal “Sociology of Religion.” They analyzed results from polls conducted in 1996 and 2004 for the Chicago-based National Opinion Research Center, whose General Social Survey tracks long-term trends in American society.

Also as expected, the vast majority of non-Christians said being Christian is not an important part of American identity.

Proclamations of a Christian America have a “dispiriting impact on those it implicitly marginalizes,” said the report by Purdue researchers Jeremy Brooke Straughn and Scott L. Feld.

“Religious boundaries of national identity can have major political consequences, even rivaling those of race and national origin,” they wrote.
I guess these folks don't watch Jon Stewart. He's not American enough for them.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Thanksgiving Message - 2010 Edition

May you have a safe, healthy, and happy Thanksgiving.

On this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for my family and friends. Times have been rough, more so these past two years than possibly ever before. Those friends have come through for me in more ways than they could possibly imagine and for that, I'm grateful.

I am thankful for my great-grandparents getting out of Europe and Russia before the war started.

I am thankful for my public school education, although the state of Kentucky has a lot of work to do. The education system in this state needs work. Teachers need to teach, not show the movie Forrest Gump on a rainy day because they don't want to deal with students. No excuse for having seen that movie five times while in the public school system, especially when it had nothing to do with the curriculum. Seriously, teachers. Get with it. A history class? Sure. Other classes, no way.

I am thankful to those of you who have forgiven me for doing that which will not be mentioned, although it gave me my first fifteen minutes of fame. If you don't know what I am talking about here, please message me appropriately. Strike that. Last year, I was told by a friend of mine that used to be on mainstage at Second City that he loved it. These guys know what they are talking about. They do this for a living. It makes up for all the death threats that I recieved, whether those were done in a joking manner or not.

I am thankful for our troops serving us overseas even if I disagree with why we went over there in the first place, except for Afghanistan which was justified.

I am thankful to be living in a free country which allows the freedom of religion. On that note, especially this year, I am thankful for the Anshe Sholom community for their warm welcome following my move from Kentucky to Chicago in 2008. And their warm welcome each and every time that I go back to visit until I can get back their for good.

I am thankful for the Jewish comedians of the vaudeville and Borscht Belt eras for paving the way for comedians like Jerry Seinfeld and Jon Stewart.

I am thankful for President Bush for providing so much comedic material along with Sarah Palin as well. She's self-destructing when she doesn't realize it.

I am thankful that shows like The Daily Show, Conan, The Late Show with David Letterman, Saturday Night Live, How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, NCIS, CSI: NY, Modern Family, Community, Parks and Recreation, The Office, 30 Rock, Mad Men, $#!+ My Dad Says, Smallville, and The Colbert Report were approved by the networks so that I have television to enjoy.

I am thankful for the writing room of Caesar's Hour, considered to be the smartest and funniest room since Thomas Jefferson dined alone at the White House.

I am thankful for all my friends in the improv and sketch comedy scene, be it in Chicago, New York, or LA.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Child Nutrition Act

The reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act is in jeopardy.

Sarah Palin thinks North Korea is a US Ally.

Sarah Palin caught on the radio saying that North Korea is an American ally.

Trey Grayson won't challenge Conway

Secretary of State Trey Grayson, who is term limited, announced today of what his plans for 2011 will be.
advisors and others, I want to announce, today, that I will not be a candidate for Attorney General -- or any other office -- in 2011. While I am not ruling out a campaign in future years, I am confident that this is the best decision for my family and me.

I appreciate all the encouragement from past supporters as well as complete strangers to run for Attorney General. In the final analysis, at this time, I want to spend more time with Nancy and the girls than an elective office will allow.

This desire was brought home to me a few weeks ago during the annual post-election Republican State Central Committee meeting. It was great to see so many of the candidates who won on Election Day. There were smiles on the faces of everyone in the room, including my own, about the Election Day outcomes. On the inside, however, I was torn, because to attend the meeting, I had to miss my youngest daughter Kate’s first-ever basketball game. As the girls have grown older, these conflicts are becoming more common and more difficult to address.[...]

Some may say that this decision is related to Jack Conway’s announcement that he plans to seek re-election. It is not. I am confident of my ability to wage a successful campaign against Jack next November. I believe that more Kentuckians share my view that the Attorney General can and should play an important role in fighting the unconstitutional and anti-Kentucky actions of the federal government in areas like health care, energy and agricultural policy. I was looking forward to the two of us waging a vigorous but fair campaign, since we both respect each other. So, no, his announcement didn’t deter me from running.

What his announcement did, however, was move up my timetable. I had originally thought that I would discuss the decision in-depth with my family during Thanksgiving break, much as Nancy and I did during November 2002 about my first run for Secretary of State. So this weekend, in addition to working with the girls on dribbling, serving, raking leaves and making brownies, I spent a great deal of time thinking, praying and talking with Nancy. Ultimately, the decision was easy.[...]

Serving as your Secretary of State has been one of the highest honors of my life There can be no more noble cause than serving the Commonwealth and her citizens. I am so thankful that Kentuckians have entrusted me with this opportunity.[...]

The staff here -- merit and non-merit -- are outstanding. I am proud of our record of innovation and accomplishment in elections, business and technology. We have set the standard for Offices of the Secretary of State across the country. When people reflect upon my term in office, my hope is that they will say that we have made the Office better than it has ever been -- by using technology to tear down bureaucratic red tape, modernizing our elections, increasing the civic awareness of our citizens, and ushering in an era of transparency in Kentucky government. Most of all, I hope that they can say that we achieved all of this through the ethical leadership that Kentuckians demand and deserve.

I don’t have any specific plans for the future. Over the past few months, I have had a few meetings with friends and others to brainstorm about what a post-elected official career might entail. When I figure that out, I will let you know. Regardless, I will continue to serve my community, just as my parents raised me.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Justice is served

Not that I even watch the show but the word through the grapevine is that non-celebrity Bristol Palin was eliminated from Dancing with the Stars.

What makes her a star? Really. She's never released a music album, starred in a television series, or movie.

Adult Swim picks up NTSF:SD:SUV

I've been wondering when this would happen ever since I started watching Childrens Hospital on Adult Swim earlier this year.

Deadline reports:
Adult Swim's next series is a mouthful. The network has handed a 12-episode order to Paul Scheer's NTSF:SD:SUV which, as the title suggests, is a parody of the ubiquitous genre of crime procedurals. NTSF:SD:SUV, created by and starring Scheer, originated as a mock promo (video below) that aired on another Adult Swim parody series, Rob Corddry's Childrens Hospital, which spoofs medical shows. Scheer, who guest starred on Childrens Hospital, is writing NTSF:SD:SUV and will executive produce the series with Childrens Hospital executive producer Jon Stern. The project leapfrogged the pilot stage, going from the clip straight to series. The promo features other actors, including Rob Riggle, Brandon Johnson and and June Raphael. Some of them are expected to appear in episodes of NTSF:SD:SUV but not as regulars.
You can view the mock promo here.

Meet Today's Douchebag of the Week: Jim Gooch

Jim Gooch is the fucking douchebag of the week. Yea, that's right. The fucking douchebag of the week. You weren't expecting such harsh language from me, were you? I'm sorry you feel that way.

Jim Gooch is the same douchebag that denies climate change. Now, he's forwarding an email that circulated in 2006. What's really bad is that this legislator is a Democrat that sure acts like a Republican.

What he did is likely an ethics violation, too.

Page One has the email that Gooch sent out. Joe also makes mention, too.

Make it stop, please. Maybe we can have Conan's blimp talk Jim Gooch.

Rand Paul to write a book

Rand Paul is writing a book. During the first half, he presents his ideas. The second half, he contradicts the first half.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Remembering John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy

The world would be a better place if Jack Kennedy were still with us today.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Born Brookline, Mass. (83 Beals Street) May 29, 1917
Died Dallas, Texas November 22, 1963

-Published "Why England Slept" in 1940 despite writing it in 1938
-Graduated Harvard in 1940
-Joined the Navy in 1941 and rose to the rank of lieutenant while commanding a PT boat.
-United States Congressman from 1947-1953
-United States Senator from 1953-1961
-Published "Profiles in Courage" in 1953
-Published "A Nation of Immigrants" in 1958
-Earned the Democratic nomination for the presidency on July 13, 1960
-Elected President of the United States on November 8, 1960
-Sworn in as the 35th President on January 20, 1961

Notable quotes:
On September 12, 1960: "I am not the Catholic candidate for President. I am the Democratic Party's candidate for President who happens also to be a Catholic. I do not speak for my Church on public matters - and the Church does not speak for me."

On September 14, 1960: "If by a 'Liberal' they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people — their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties — someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a 'Liberal,' then I'm proud to say I'm a 'Liberal.'"

Inaugural address on January 20, 1961: "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country"

Jack, we will forever miss you. Rest in peace.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

In baseball...

Derrick Goold takes a look at the 10 greatest living baseball players.
By definition, any list is doomed to be incomplete, like asking Tony La Russa to select his 10 favorite lineups.

Start with the sainted trinity of Musial, Mays and Aaron and then...where? Longevity like Nolan Ryan's has to be considered, but so too should brief brilliant bursts of excellence like Sandy Koufax's. Postseason performance, pennants and the glittering rings of championships should be a factor, but why penalize some of the game's best individuals who toiled on teams not good enough for October? Steroids stain the best pitcher and best hitter of the past 20 years, just as a lifetime ban for gambling keeps Pete Rose out of Cooperstown. Does that discolor their numbers, undermine their careers, diminish their greatness?

To help celebrate Stan Musial's 90th birthday, the Post-Dispatch considered all of the above and more in order to sort through all of the game's retired players and select baseball's 10 greatest living players.
The list includes Hank Aaron, Yogi Berra, Barry Bonds, Rickey Henderson, Sandy Koufax, Willie Mays, Stan Musial, Frank Robinson, Tom Seaver, and Mike Schmidt.

It's a pretty good list. However, I have to take issue with Bonds' inclusion on the list. The guy cheated and then lies about cheating.

Barbara Bush doesn't care for Sarah Palin

Former President George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara Bush, sat down with Larry King for an interview, which will air tomorrow night on CNN. They commented on a number of things. Here are some of the highlights:
Asked for her read on Palin, Barbara Bush responded:

"I sat next to her once, thought she was beautiful and I think she's very happy in Alaska — and I hope she'll stay there."[...]

On the Tea Party, the one-term president said "they're all right" and some of their ideas make sense, but he's a bit confused by what the Tea Party really is or how members fit in "to get Republicans in Congress to do something."

Kentucky featured on SNL Weekend Update

Seth Meyers: "Good ol' Kentucky: Where arguments end with forced beard-eating"

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Millionaires want tax cuts to expire

"Patriotic millionaires" are calling to have their Bush tax cuts expire. Will the Republicans bother to listen? In their letter:
We are writing to urge you to stand firm against those who would put politics ahead of their country.

For the fiscal health of our nation and the well-being of our fellow citizens, we ask that you allow tax cuts on incomes over $1,000,000 to expire at the end of this year as scheduled.

We make this request as loyal citizens who now or in the past earned an income of $1,000,000 per year or more.

We have done very well over the last several years. Now, during our nation's moment of need, we are eager to do our fair share. We don't need more tax cuts, and we understand that cutting our taxes will increase the deficit and the debt burden carried by other taxpayers. The country needs to meet its financial obligations in a just and responsible way.

Letting tax cuts for incomes over $1,000,000 expire, is an important step in that direction.
You can find the Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength on the web.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Fire Glenn Beck

Sign this petition to request that FOX News fire Glenn Beck.

15 Years Ago Today: The Beatles Anthology Aired on ABC

On November 19, 1995, ABC aired the first of a three-part documentary: The Beatles Anthology. They aired it after misleading ads: ABC stars talking about the Beatles. Soon after watching, I purchased Abbey Road and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. I don't know which was the first one that the cashier rang up but I have pretty much all of the mainstream albums that they released save for the re-issued Yellow Submarine following the movie's re-release a few years ago.

There's so many songs to choose from if I had to pick my absolute favorite. I feel like if I had to choose one, I'm not being fair to the other songs. As for favorite album...it's a close call between Sgt. Pepper's and Abbey Road. Honestly, you couldn't go wrong with any of them if you had to make a choice. They were the first band that came along that wrote, played the music, and sang. Back in those days, it was a rarity to find someone that could do all three.

Of course, it's a shame of the events that transpired in December 1980. Through music, the Beatles were able to digitally reunite and issue two more songs. There's been talk of another one but following George's death, it's impossible. Wouldn't it be cool if that happened? You bet it would!

But I really love the music video for Real Love, it makes it seem as if it is an actual reunion with all the old footage that they use of John, mixed in with the new footage of Paul, George, and Ringo.

I realize that I am linking to the mobile version of Reuters but this is one thing I want to touch on:
4. iTunes LP scores a big win
Ever since iTunes launched its "iTunes LP" album format in September 2009, the enhanced artwork, lyrics and videos it offered have failed to excite the mainstream digital music market.

Making the entire Beatles discography available only as iTunes LPs provides the format with its biggest marketing boost yet. It also helps justify the higher $12.99 retail price point for individual Beatles albums, which is a few dollars higher than the $9.99 that iTunes charges for albums by other heritage acts, like Led Zeppelin and (the solo) Paul McCartney.
The songs from the Beatles--they can't be listened to individually but through whole albums. The only exceptions could be the singles but that's what both Past Masters albums were for. They came out in the early days of CDs being the new music standards. Without those two volumes, getting ahold of the singles would have been made harder.

There's usually a song or two originally on the albums that I don't like but over time, you warm up to it to the point that you no longer skip it.

JJ on Beck-Soros

J.J. Goldberg offers his thoughts on Glenn Beck's recent tirade.

The Glenn Beck-George Soros story gets stranger by the day.

If you haven’t been following it: Glenn Beck devoted three evenings on his Fox News program last week, November 9, 10 and 11, to a three-part, three-hour documentary about George Soros. It’s titled “The Puppetmaster.” It purports to prove that Soros is the mastermind of a far-reaching plot to destroy the American economy and bring down the government. It’s a pretty shocking display of ignorance, innuendo, outright lies and not-too-subtle anti-Semitism. But as I’ve tried to piece together my take on it, I keep finding new and more surprising twists.

Right now I’m going to look at Beck’s inference that Soros’s teenage survival in Nazi-occupied Hungary made him a sort of Nazi collaborator, and I’ll compare Beck’s presentation of the thesis with Marty Peretz’s version of same from 2007. Next chance I get, hopefully tomorrow, I will look at the actual guts of Soros’s supposed plan, as it appears in Glenn Beck’s fevered imagination, and I’ll try to show how Beck’s description of Soros’s M.O. actually sounds less like Soros and more like Rupert Murdoch and the Koch brothers.
There's more and it really goes after Marty Peretz of The New Republic.

WTF, San Francisco?!?

In a country that allows for religious freedom, the city of San Francisco wants to ban male circumcisions. Has that city gone insane? Are they anti-Semitic or something? The brit milah has been a Jewish tradition for centuries. I liken it to a ban on abortions even when it is the case of rape, incest, or the mother's life being in danger.
In the California city that banned Happy Meal toys,outlawed sitting on sidewalks during daylight hours and fined residents for not sorting garbage into recycling, compost and trash, Lloyd Schofield wants to add a new law to the books in San Francisco: A ban on all male circumcisions.

Those who violate the ban could be jailed (not more than one year) or fined (not more than $1,000), under his proposal. Circumcisions even for religious reasons would not be allowed. At this point, Schofield's proposal is an idea that would have to clear several hurdles to be considered.

Schofield and like-minded advocates who call themselves "intactivists" seek to make it "unlawful to circumcise, excise, cut, or mutilate the whole or any part of the foreskin, testicles, or penis" of anyone 17 or younger in San Francisco.

Felix Hernandez takes home AL Cy Young

King Felix Hernandez took home the AL Cy Young. With Halladay in the National League, the AL award was fair game.
Despite posting just a 13-12 record, Hernandez finished well ahead of the Rays' David Price and Yankees 21-game winner CC Sabathia in the voting results released Thursday by the BBWAA.

While there were 17 AL pitchers with more victories this season, Hernandez impressed voters who looked deeper into his dominant season for a 61-101 Mariners club that scored the fewest runs per game of any Major League team since the designated hitter was introduced to the AL in 1973.

King Felix received 21 of a possible 28 first-place votes and finished with 167 voting points. Price, who went 19-6 for Tampa Bay, received four first-place votes and 111 points. Sabathia was named first on three ballots and garnered 102 points. Boston's Jon Lester and the Angels' Jered Weaver finished a distant fourth and fifth, respectively.[...]

Hernandez led the AL in ERA (2.27) and innings pitched (249 2/3) and struck out 232 batters, one behind Weaver for most in the league. Since the advent of the Cy Young Award in 1956, only 10 pitchers have led their league in those three categories. All 10 won Cy Youngs.

By virtually every statistical category, whether traditional or sabermatic, Hernandez had an incredible season. Yet his won-loss record created an interesting debate for the 28 Cy Young voters, two writers from each AL city.

No starting pitcher had ever won an AL Cy Young Award with fewer than 16 wins. Fernando Valenzuela captured the National League Cy Young Award with a 13-7 record in 1981, but that was a strike-shortened season in which teams played about 110 games.

Tim Lincecum's 15-7 record last year represented the lowest victory total by a starting pitcher who won the NL Cy Young in a full 162-game season.

It was a reversal of fortunes for Hernandez, who finished second to Kansas City's Zack Greinke in the '09 AL Cy Young voting, outscored, 134-80, in that balloting as Greinke garnered 25 first-place votes to two for Hernandez.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Roy "Doc" Halladay wins first NL Cy Young

I meant to post this on Tuesday. Doc Halladay picked up his first Cy Young in the National League.
Phillies right-hander Roy Halladay won the 2010 National League Cy Young Award, as voted by members of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Halladay is the fourth Phillie to win the award, joining Hall of Famer and four-time winner Steve Carlton (1972, 1977, 1980, 1982), John Denny (1983) and Steve Bedrosian (1987).

For Halladay, 33, it is his second career Cy Young Award, having won it in the American League in 2003 as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays. He became the fifth pitcher in major league history to win the award in both leagues, along with Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry, Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson and former Phillie Pedro Martinez.

Halladay went 21-10 with a 2.44 ERA in 33 starts for the Phillies this past season, his third career 20-win season, and was the first Phillie to win 20 games since 1982 (Carlton). A 2010 NL All-Star (seventh selection), he led the league in wins, innings (250.2), complete games (9) and shutouts (4). Halladay pitched the 20th perfect game in major league history on May 29 against the Florida Marlins.[...]

In his first career postseason start, Halladay pitched just the second no-hitter in major league baseball's playoff history when he shut out the Cincinnati Reds. He became the sixth pitcher in major league history to have two no-hitters in the same calendar year and first since 1973 (Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan). Overall, he went 2-1 with a 2.45 ERA in three postseason starts.
More on Halladay's reaction:
Halladay has been considered one of the best pitchers in baseball -- if not the best -- for the past nine seasons.

Tuesday's honor moved him a little closer to the Hall of Fame.

"I think there are obviously things I would like to accomplish first," Halladay said during a conference call Tuesday, when asked about the Hall of Fame. "First and foremost, winning a World Series. I really just want to keep my focus on that at this point. I think my guess would be most players in the Hall of Fame didn't play to try to get into the Hall of Fame. They played to be good teammates and good competitors. Obviously, every player would hope to be there, love to be there, but my focus will always continue to be on trying to be the best teammate and hopefully getting a chance to win the big one."

Halladay remains committed to the ultimate team prize: a World Series ring.

But Tuesday was about his tremendous individual achievement.

Halladay, who won the 2003 American League Cy Young Award with the Toronto Blue Jays, went 21-10 with a 2.44 ERA in 33 starts. He led the league in wins, complete games (nine), shutouts (four) and innings pitched (250 2/3). He finished second in strikeouts (219) and walked just 30 batters.

Only six other pitchers have walked 30 or fewer batters in 250 or more innings in the modern era, and none has accomplished the feat since Grover Cleveland Alexander walked 30 in 305 innings in 1923 with the Chicago Cubs. The other pitchers include Cy Young (1904-06), Christy Mathewson (1913-14), Deacon Phillippe (1902-03), Addie Joss (1908) and Babe Adams (1919-20).

Alexander, Mathewson, Joss and Young are in the Hall of Fame.

The other four pitchers to win the Cy Young Award in both leagues? Gaylord Perry, Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez. Perry already is in the Hall of Fame. Johnson and Martinez are locks. Clemens would be a lock, except for the controversy surrounding his use of performance-enhancing substances.[...]

Halladay is a late bloomer of sorts, but a few more solid seasons and he will make a strong case for enshrinement. (He only has 169 wins.) He already has. Baseball-Reference.com uses a Hall of Fame Monitor. A score of 100 or more typically translates to a Hall of Fame player.

Halladay already has a score of 108.

Jewish Star Wars

The following is an interesting development to the Star Wars saga. Who knew? This comes from New Voices.
I began working through the Jedi Order from top down, starting with Yoda and Mace Windu. Both are the epitome of monastic. They quietly observe, trying always to remain detached and objective. But in my experience, Jewish people are not reserved, and they are certainly not quiet.

Jewish people are more aptly described as passionate and opinionated, characteristics displayed by Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Anakin Skywalker. All three portrayed rebellious streaks and were not afraid to express their feelings to their superiors. Among them, I think Kenobi appears most Jewish, not least because of his timely wit and brain power. He also has a penchant for sarcasm, thought-provoking questions, and dispute settlement (maybe his father dabbled in Galactic Law). On top of all that, the rabbinical-style beard he kept for most of his life all but confirms his Jewish ancestry.
As a Jew, I always find it interesting to go deeper into a movie to find things like this. I never identified the Jedi to be Jewish but they appear to have Jewish traits...

FOX News Mocks Sarah Palin?!?

Say it ain't so! FOX News mocked Sarah Palin during a commercial break. During the clip, commentators Judith Miller and Liz Trotta are showing agreeing with reviews bashing TLC's program, Sarah Palin's Alaska as being propaganda.

There's more on The Huffington Post.
And so, it seems likely that both Miller and Trotta, and even Palin herself, will deflect away the video as sound bites taken wholly out of context. An email to a Fox News spokesperson was not immediately returned.

Instead, what's more interesting is the fact that the video leaked in the first place. Off-air moments during the taping of a television show almost always produce more candid and newsworthy exchanges than those that take place on air. And increasingly, TV personalities, politicians and pundits have found themselves in compromising positions when they've been unaware, say, that their microphone is still on.

In this instance, however, someone within the Fox News structure appears to have taken the step of leaking video, with the motive of either embarrassing Miller and Trotta or, more likely, underscoring that not everyone at the network is on the Palin bandwagon.[...]

That said, the surfacing of Miller and Trotta's segment does pose a bit of a problem for those conservatives who have howled in the past when other media personalities have been caught off camera trashing Palin. If it's being done at Fox, then it's hard to tarnish the other outlets as "lamestream."


Last night, another vision came to me. A new song, maybe? We'll see what happens next...

I've got some ideas in mind. It's probably in the lines of folk rock a la Bob Dylan, The Byrds, Simon and Garfunkel, etc.

I'm sure Joe and Jake must like this one...

Survey says...

Third Way has issued a press release following a survey of voters that voted in 2008 for President Barack Obama. It has some interesting results. The key findings are as follows:
•Droppers are more than the base. The Obama voters who stayed home in 2010 encompass more than the Democratic base. In fact, 40% of droppers are Independent and 63% describe themselves as either moderate (31%) or conservative (32%). Moreover, droppers are concerned about fiscal discipline, with 58% saying they would be more likely to support President Obama again in 2012 if he makes a serious proposal to reduce the deficit.

•For switchers, it was more than the economy. 2010 was more than a referendum on the economy. Switchers—11% liberal, 45% moderate, and 39% conservative—are also dissatisfied with the Democratic policy agenda and the party brand, which they perceive as too liberal. Sixty-six percent of switchers said “too much government spending” was a major reason for their vote, and 68% say they would be more likely to support President Obama in 2012 if he offered a serious proposal to reduce the deficit.

•Republicans won a chance, not a mandate. Republicans should be wary of over-reading their victories. Just 20% of switchers say that a major reason for voting Republican was that “Republicans had better ideas.” Neither switchers nor droppers view the Republican Party as an ideologically perfect fit. Only 38% of droppers see Republicans as “where you are” ideologically, and 44% say Republicans are more conservative than they are.

Paul McCartney on SNL on December 11

On December 11, 2010, the legendary Paul McCartney will appear on Saturday Night Live. I believe this is the first time being the musical guest since Alec Baldwin hosted.

A few seasons ago, McCartney made a cameo apearance in a sketch with Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin, and Martin Short.

Tax codes

David Ignatius wonders why Congress is "protecting a tax code that benefits the rich." Without a doubt, it's a very good question. One that I would like to hear a good answer coming from Republicans. Sadly, they never offer a good answer just some crap about having an adult conversation. By protecting the rich, you ignore the country's real needs. Here's some excerpts:
It's a strange populism that denounces Wall Street in one breath and, in the next, shouts down tax changes that would treat the financiers' incomes like those of everyday folks.

But that pro-billionaire version of populism seems to have won big in the midterm elections. And it probably means the demise of a congressional effort to strike down one of the most outrageous provisions of our messed-up tax code, which is the special treatment of "carried-interest" compensation that's paid to many investment fund managers.

This loophole is so unfair that it gets criticized even by some of the tycoons who have benefited from it, such as former Treasury secretary Robert Rubin and other prominent investors I've queried. Basically, it taxes the money paid to managers of private-equity funds and similar partnerships at 15 percent, as if it were risk capital, rather than at ordinary income rates of 35 percent. (I'm assuming that the neopopulist Congress will balk at letting that rate rise to its old, pre-Bush level of 38 percent.)

As is so often the case with policies that benefit big business, the carried-interest break survives by invoking small business. It's argued that if congressional reformers have their way, they will gut compensation for all the little mom-and-pop partnerships that depend on carried interest. (Not to mention the hard-pressed little guys who own oil partnerships.)

A similar illogic leads many people to believe you are attacking Main Street if you suggest withdrawing the Bush-era tax cuts to people making more than $250,000. Perhaps it's part of the American ethos that we all think we're rich. Otherwise, it's hard to explain this popular defense of privilege - and the fact that the politically enfeebled Obama administration has caved to extending the tax cuts.

Democrats tried to stand up to pressure from the billionaires' lobby on the carried-interest loophole. Barack Obama campaigned against the provision in 2008, and he included the repeal in his first two budgets. The House passed a version of the reform on May 28, denying capital-gains rates for what the House report rightly said was "investment management services income."[...]

That political legerdemain is making America more unequal every year, and the polls show people are mad as hell at Wall Street and Washington, both. And yet the popular chorus continues: Save the tax breaks for the rich.

Texans mess with Texas

This is insane. It shows further proof that the tea party activists are crazy. If you are going to campaign against someone, can you try and veer it towards policy proposals rather than the politician's religion. First, the Texas state board of education decides to revise history. Least we forget they sent Rand Paul to Kentucky. Now this mess? Crazy.
State Rep. Joe Straus (R-TX) appears to have the votes to win, but a coalition of Tea Party and right-wing Republican groups — including the state chapter of Americans for Prosperity, the Austin Tea Party Patriots, the Texas Pastor Council, and Texas Eagle Forum — are staging an effort to elect a more radical right Speaker. This morning, the Dallas Morning News reported that several of the Tea Party activists in the aforementioned coalition have been circulating e-mails with anti-Semitic messages against Strauss, who is Jewish.[...]

These Tea Party groups work within the larger mainstream conservative movement. Myers, Morrison, and others have signed letters and worked in conjunction with major right-wing and Republican groups, like Americans for Prosperity. Americans for Prosperity, funded and financed by billionaires David and Charles Koch, is one of the most prominent conservative organizations in the country. Its leader, Tim Phillips, ran a similarly anti-Semitic campaign before being asked by David Koch to manage Americans for Prosperity.[...]

Tea Party groups want a more conservative Speaker than Straus to push Texas to the far right. State Rep. Leo Berman (R-TX), who ThinkProgress’ Scott Keyes wrote about earlier today, said he wanted a more conservative Speaker than Straus to push through anti-immigrant bills, an anti-Obama birther bill, and an effort to privatize public schools.
They say not to mess with Texas. I'm sorry Texas, but it's time we have an intervention. Enough is enough.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Friedman commends Cooper

Thomas Friedman commended Anderson Cooper on his reporting earlier this month, debunking conservative lies about President Barack Obama's trip to Asia.
On Nov. 4, Anderson Cooper did the country a favor. He expertly deconstructed on his CNN show the bogus rumor that President Obama’s trip to Asia would cost $200 million a day. This was an important “story.” It underscored just how far ahead of his time Mark Twain was when he said a century before the Internet, “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” But it also showed that there is an antidote to malicious journalism — and that’s good journalism.

In case you missed it, a story circulated around the Web on the eve of President Obama’s trip that it would cost U.S. taxpayers $200 million a day — about $2 billion for the entire trip. Cooper said he felt impelled to check it out because the evening before he had had Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, a Republican and Tea Party favorite, on his show and had asked her where exactly Republicans will cut the budget.

Instead of giving specifics, Bachmann used her airtime to inject a phony story into the mainstream. She answered: “I think we know that just within a day or so the president of the United States will be taking a trip over to India that is expected to cost the taxpayers $200 million a day. He’s taking 2,000 people with him. He’ll be renting over 870 rooms in India, and these are five-star hotel rooms at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. This is the kind of over-the-top spending.”

The next night, Cooper explained that he felt compelled to trace that story back to its source, since someone had used his show to circulate it. His research, he said, found that it had originated from a quote by “an alleged Indian provincial official,” from the Indian state of Maharashtra, “reported by India’s Press Trust, their equivalent of our A.P. or Reuters. I say ‘alleged,’ provincial official,” Cooper added, “because we have no idea who this person is, no name was given.”[...]

“It was an anonymous quote,” said Cooper. “Some reporter in India wrote this article with this figure in it. No proof was given; no follow-up reporting was done. Now you’d think if a member of Congress was going to use this figure as a fact, she would want to be pretty darn sure it was accurate, right? But there hasn’t been any follow-up reporting on this Indian story. The Indian article was picked up by The Drudge Report and other sites online, and it quickly made its way into conservative talk radio.”

Cooper then showed the following snippets: Rush Limbaugh talking about Obama’s trip: “In two days from now, he’ll be in India at $200 million a day.” Then Glenn Beck, on his radio show, saying: “Have you ever seen the president, ever seen the president go over for a vacation where you needed 34 warships, $2 billion — $2 billion, 34 warships. We are sending — he’s traveling with 3,000 people.” In Beck’s rendition, the president’s official state visit to India became “a vacation” accompanied by one-tenth of the U.S. Navy. Ditto the conservative radio talk-show host Michael Savage. He said, “$200 million? $200 million each day on security and other aspects of this incredible royalist visit; 3,000 people, including Secret Service agents.”

Cooper then added: “Again, no one really seemed to care to check the facts. For security reasons, the White House doesn’t comment on logistics of presidential trips, but they have made an exception this time. He then quoted Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, as saying, “I am not going to go into how much it costs to protect the president, [but this trip] is comparable to when President Clinton and when President Bush traveled abroad. This trip doesn’t cost $200 million a day.” Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary, said: “I will take the liberty this time of dismissing as absolutely absurd, this notion that somehow we were deploying 10 percent of the Navy and some 34 ships and an aircraft carrier in support of the president’s trip to Asia. That’s just comical. Nothing close to that is being done.”

Warren Buffet pens open letter

In the New York Times and cross-posted on CNBC's website, Warren Buffett has penned an open letter. It's more of a thank you note to the government.

Oh, the hypocracy

You gotta love this--especially after the one incoming Republican congressman complained that he won't have health care benefits kick in until a month after his term begins. The irony of it all is that the tea party candidates campaigned on overthrowing the recent health care legislation.
group of House Democrats has released a letter to Republican congressional leaders calling on them to announce which of their members will be forgoing their congressional benefit health insurance (which is subsidized by the government) in light of their party's opposition to health care reform overhaul legislation.

"If your conference wants to deny millions of Americans affordable health care, your members should walk that walk," four Democrats write in the letter, which is addressed to Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and House Republican leader John Boehner. "You cannot enroll in the very kind of coverage that you want for yourselves, and then turn around and deny it to Americans who don't happen to be Members of Congress."

According to the letter, the federal government pays more than $10,000 of the premiums of each member of Congress who has a family policy under the most selected plan.

The signatories on the letter are four liberal lawmakers: Joseph Crowley of New York, Linda T. Sanchez of California, Donna Edwards of Maryland and Tim Ryan of Ohio. They sent a separate letter to other Democratic colleagues asking them to sign onto the effort.

The Democrats say they were spurred to press Republicans to announce their position by news that Andy Harris, a conservative incoming Republican House freshman, had complained that he would not receive his government-subsidized health care coverage until Feb. 1, a month after he is sworn into office.

Harris campaigned against the health care bill, which is projected to provide coverage to more than 30 million previously uninsured Americans, and his party is vowing to "repeal and replace" it.

In their letter, the Democrats write they were "surprised" to see Harris complain that "there is a delay before benefits take effect. Ironically, this is the same predicament millions of Americans currently find themselves in."

John Yarmuth talks taxes

John Yarmuth took to the House floor to talk about the growing wealth disparities amid the debate as to whether the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans should continue.

Sarah Palin believes she's an idiot

Despite a poll saying TWO THIRDS OF AMERICANS believe Sarah Palin to be unqualified for the presidency, she somehow believes she can beat President Barack Obama in 2012. I'm sorry but I would vote for George W. Bush before I ever voted for Sarah Palin.
Asked Barbara Walters: "If you ran for president, could you beat Barack Obama?"

"I believe so," Palin said.


Howard Fineman brings up the idea of a very interesting presidential ticket.
There's no campaign yet, and there may never be, but New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and MSNBC's morning talk-show host Joe Scarborough have begun trying to figure out whether they could be an independent presidential ticket in 2012 -- and who would be better to be on top if it happens.

They're the Odd Couple of Guys Outside the System.

The two are friends and, in both public and private, mutual admirers. They spent the day before the midterm elections complimenting each other at a Harvard symposium -- Vanity Fair was there to document it all for a spring issue -- bemoaning the same political rift they may try to exploit to win the White House.

Well-placed sources tell The Huffington Post that the mayor and the host have talked about running together, with Bloomberg in the top spot. In an interview, Scarborough, a former GOP congressman from Florida, issued a firm yet carefully-worded denial. "We haven't discussed it directly," he said, adding, "Have people discussed it in his sphere and in my sphere? I think so."[...]

On "Morning Joe," Scarborough has repeatedly praised the mayor and talked up the likelihood -- and the necessity -- of an independent presidential bid by someone, even if it isn't going to be Bloomberg leading it.

It can get effusive. "I don't know anybody who has seen what Bloomberg's done for this city," the host said on his morning program in October, "who would not say that he is one of the best administrators we have had in American politics in quite some time."[...]

While no one in Manhattan doubts that Bloomberg wants to be president, the consensus among his friends and confidants is that several things have to happen between now and next fall to move him to declare.

The already-bitter partisan divide in Congress has to widen; the Republican Party has to become a subsidiary of the tea party; the Democrats must become a rump parliament of liberals; the tone of politics must get even nastier, Jon Stewart notwithstanding; and the economy has to remain enfeebled.
We'll keep a close on on this development.

Two states?!?

Two states control the majority of the Democratic House Caucus.
Percentage of Democratic U.S. House Seats from California and New York soars to a record high of 28.1 percent after the 2010 elections

Despite losing six U.S. House seats in New York on November 2nd (with defeats in NY-01 and NY-25 still tentative), the Democratic Party nonetheless continues to be ever more a party of two coasts - with a particular emphasis on the Empire and Golden States.

Party leadership still the same

Despite the political pundits saying that Americans voted for change, the party leadership is still the same in each chamber. Nothing has changed.
Outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi has decided she'll stay on come January as leader of the minority. Maryland's Steny Hoyer will have the No. 2 job and Pelosi has crafted an ill-defined compromise to make South Carolina's James Clyburn, the highest-ranking African American in Congress, something called assistant leader. Anything to keep the same old trio atop the smaller pile.

Leadership affairs on the Republican side of Capitol Hill are already settled with Ohio's ex-Speaker John Boehner to become the new speaker, Virginia's Eric Cantor as his No. 2 and Kentucky's Mitch McConnell still GOP minority leader in the Senate with Arizona's Jon Kyl as his No. 2. Harry Reid will still lead the diminished Democratic majority.

The chairman of the Democratic National Committee is the same, President's Obama's favorite bilingual, Harvard-educated ex-governor, Tim Kaine.


I'm sure that President Barack Obama's children don't talk like this. It's not safe for work and apparently, one of Sarah Palin's daughters uses homophobic slurs.

David Camp wants to raise your taxes

Congressman David Camp, the incoming chairman of the Ways and Means committee, wants to raise your taxes if you make under $250,000.
The Republicans' top tax guy in the House threatened in the clearest possible terms today that he and the rest of the GOP would vote to block any tax cut for the middle class during the lame duck session unless tax cuts for the wealthy are extended for the same period of time.

In a policy speech at the business-friendly Tax Council today, incoming Ways and Means Committee chairman David Camp called the Democratic plan for tax cuts -- a permanent tax cut extension for all income up to $200,000, and a temporary extension for income above that level -- "a terrible idea and a total nonstarter."

"We would be foolish to fall for it," Camp said.
It's a shame when the permanent tax cuts for the middle class are being held hostage by the Republicans. I wonder how many of the middle class identify as Republican and voted for Republicans, not knowing that their caucus would be in favor of raising their taxes.

PBS censors Tina Fey

I've read Tina Fey's comments and there is nothing that would have been censored by the networks, unless PBS still wants a little funding from the government although they mainly survive on donations.
Fey, this year's recipient of the prize, caused a few ripples during her acceptance speech at the ceremony on Tuesday when she mock-praised "conservative women" like Sarah Palin, whom Fey has so memorably impersonated on "Saturday Night Live."

"And, you know, politics aside, the success of Sarah Palin and women like her is good for all women - except, of course --those who will end up, you know, like, paying for their own rape 'kit 'n' stuff," Fey said. "But for everybody else, it's a win-win. Unless you're a gay woman who wants to marry your partner of 20 years - whatever. But for most women, the success of conservative women is good for all of us. Unless you believe in evolution. You know - actually, I take it back. The whole thing's a disaster."

But that's not what viewers heard when PBS and WETA (channel 26) broadcast an edited version of Fey's speech on Sunday.

The part about rape kits and evolution was gone, leaving only Fey's more harmonious -- and blander -- comments about Palin and politics: "I would be a liar and an idiot if I didn't thank Sarah Palin for helping get me here tonight. My partial resemblance and her crazy voice are the two luckiest things that ever happened to me. All kidding aside, I'm so proud to represent American humor, I am proud to be an American, and I am proud to make my home in the 'not real' America. And I am most proud that during trying times, like an orange [terror] alert, a bad economy or a contentious election that we as a nation retain our sense of humor."

Was PBS shielding its viewers from Fey's more pointed remarks?

"It was not a political decision," responded Peter Kaminsky, one of the broadcast's executive producers. "We had zero problems with anything she said."

But with the 90-minute show running about 19 minutes long after the taping Tuesday night, a few things had to give, Kaminsky said. "We took a lot out," he said. "We snipped from everyone."
If you click here, the key comments are found in the second video, starting at the 12:30 mark. Transcript can be found here.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dancing with the Stars is rigged

I don't watch Dancing with the Stars. I'm an aspiring actor-comedian-screenwriter. These shows take jobs away from people that are working their asses off to get into the television and film industry. I don't watch this series at well.

In what way is Bristol Palin considered a star? To put it simply, she isn't. She's the daughter of ex-Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin, a failed vice presidential candidate in her own right. Palin, if you recall, chose the slow Fourth of July weekend in 2009 to resign her governorship. You know what that means? She doesn't want to lead. The hell with Sarah Palin being talked about a presidential candidate...

No, a cameo in The Secret Life of the American Teenager does not count. That was a cameo of a show that does relate to teenage mothers. However, Bristol Palin had maybe one or two lines. She was not a recurring character.

She has never released a record album, played profressional sports, or acted in the movies. That is what a star, for the sake of the show's name, would have done to earn a spot on the show.

It's one thing of Sarah Palin had been a sports broadcaster and her daughter was breaking into the business. Or if Sarah Palin was an actress and her daughter was breaking in. But Sarah Palin isn't any of these. She's a politician. A politician that also was hired by FOX News shortly after resigning her governorship in Alaska because she wanted to continue to build a base and raise money for Republican candidates.

But Bristol Palin is not a star. Last I checked, she was the daughter of Sarah Palin and somehow managed to have premarital sex and got pregnant as a result. The worst part of this is that the Republican Party says they are the party that believes in family values. When has unprotected sex for an unmarried couple (and not even an engaged one at that) ever been a family value?

Let's get the facts straight. Brandy and her dancing partner scored a 57. Of the remaining four, Bristol Palin and her dancing partner scored the lowest of the four with a 53. Yet, in some ridiculous way, Brandy is eliminated and Bristol Palin survives another week.

What in the hell is wrong with America? This is not golf, where the lowest score wins.

UPDATE: Since posting this, USA Today ran a piece saying Bristol's run fuels conspiracy theories but goes on to spice up the fact that Sarah Palin's supporters are voting for the non-star on a star-studded show.
Green notes that DWTS, which has one of TV's oldest viewing demographics, may feel maternal toward young contestants such as Palin, who had no background as an entertainer or dancer, unlike most of the celebrities who've appeared over 11 seasons. "People love the story of the ordinary person. Bristol embodies that."

Clearly, Bristol's ties to Sarah — who has appeared in the DWTS audience twice — as well as websites such as conservatives4palin.com and Hillbuzz.org, which have shown readers how and where to vote, have helped. Hillbuzz editor Kevin DuJan has been promoting her DWTS run since the season's debut. He has personally voted for Bristol "hundreds of times" via 40 e-mail addresses. "Each address is allowed to vote 10 times. You can also telephone. You can easily vote hundreds of times if you want to take the time to do it," says DuJan.
He suggests Bristol's support isn't political. "I think it's moms, sisters, grandmoms, dads — people who are voting with their hearts, not with a political agenda."

The grassroots support isn't unprecedented. Past DWTS competitors, such as Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, may have not demonstrated keen prowess on the dance floor. But they've used social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook and fan websites to drum up support for extended DWTS appearances.
FORTY EMAIL ADDRESSES. I'm sorry but how is that not rigging the vote in Palin's favor. What the hell happened to alowing IP addresses to vote so many times.

The Bush tax cut debate

You know it's sad when Republicans refuse to even acknowledge that President George W. Bush and the Republicans holding both chambers of Congress are the reason we have the big deficit that we do. It's because under REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP, tax cuts were given to the wealthiest Americans. This was before Afghanistan. Before Iraq. What happened in 2003? They were extended until the end of 2010. About that? The Iraq war got very expensive and the Republicans that supported it? Either they lost their seat by retiring or being defeated in the 2006 or 2008 elections. The war against the Taliban in Afghanistan was completely justified and no one disputes that. The war in Iraq? Not justifiable one bit and now the Republicans say it should not be funded because they don't wish to revert tax rates for the wealthy to the rates under the Clinton years. If I recall, this country prospered under those years.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka commented on the whole debate about the tax cuts.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said on Tuesday that his group has been "working diligently with lawmakers and the White House" about its legislative preference for the expiring tax rates. Though he wouldn't elaborate on the substance of those discussions, Turmka explained that "to date, no one that I'm aware of said that's not a good strategy, that's not good policy, and that's not good for the country."

In recent days, the union federation has led the charge to hold a solitary vote during the lame duck session of Congress, one that would extend the current tax rates for those making less than $250,000-a-year while allowing the others to revert to pre-Bush levels.

The logic has been simple. Democrats still control both chambers of Congress as well as the White House. It's in their hands to determine what bill is considered. But the strategy is not without risk. After December 31, all the current rates will revert to pre-Bush levels and Republicans have shown a willingness to allow that to happen if extensions (whether permanent or temporary) aren't passed for the wealthy as well. Asked on Tuesday's call whether he too would be willing to hold the entire tax cut debate hostage in order to insist that only the middle-class cuts be extended, Trumka didn't rule it out.

"I'm always willing to fight for good policy, remember the health care fight, we were out front fighting for what we thought was good policy. So the answer is, I believe that is the best solution and the best policy, so we will fight for it," he said. "Am I'm willing to take all the consequences that are attached to fighting for good policy."

"It is still TARP two," Trumka said of extending the rates for the wealthy. "As I said early, it is absolutely insane in these tough economic times that some people want to continue the George Bush tax giveaway to millionaires. Working people are losing their jobs, their benefits and their homes and they are the ones who need help. We ought to be focusing on job creation by giving tax breaks to the middle-class families that are going to take the money and actually spend it, not to millionaires who don't need it and won't spend it... Millionaires on Wall Street already had their party. That tanked our economy and it left Main Street stuck with paying the bill... this is not the time to be giving more welfare to millionaires."

For one long and winding road, let it be...

John Grisham was one of the latest holdouts when it comes to digital reading--I'm not a fan of reading that way. Just get me a book off the shelf. When you are Shomer Shabbas, there's no point in having a digital reader during the summer when you can either read or take a nice, lengthy nap.

Anyway, it was announced yesterday that the Beatles and Apple have reached a deal that places the band's historic catalog on iTunes.
Apple Inc. is preparing to disclose that its iTunes Store will soon start carrying music by the Beatles, according to people familiar with the situation, a move that would fill a glaring gap in the collection of the world's largest music retailer.

The deal resulted from talks that were taking place as recently as last week among executives of Apple, representatives of the Beatles and their record label, EMI Group Ltd., according to these people. These people cautioned that Apple could change plans at the last minute.[...]

Even as recorded-music sales have plummeted, the Beatles have remained one of the most reliable franchises in the business. In 2009, 39 years after breaking up, they sold the third-highest number of albums of any act in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan, with 3.3 million copies sold.

The Beatles aren't the only big iTunes holdout. AC/DC, Bob Seger and Kid Rock all have withheld their music from the online store. Other longtime digital wallflowers such as Metallica and Led Zeppelin have relented in recent years.

The Beatles' deal with iTunes was delayed in part by ongoing trademark litigation, the most recent round of which was resolved in 2007.

The Fab Four's arrival in the digital age comes very late compared to most other major acts'. The group also was a latecomer to the CD era, waiting until 1987 to issue their main body of work on a medium that the industry had embraced in the early to mid part of the decade.

People who have done business with the group and its corporate entity, Apple Corps Ltd., describe a very slow-moving process in which the two surviving members, and the heirs of the other two, can take a long time to reach consensus.
The Republicans miss Bill Clinton! Hey, there's Senator Airport, Rub, and Tug!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mitch McConnell says NO to what he loves doing...

For the first time in 24 years, give or take, Senator Mitch McConnell has decided he no longer wants to bring money back to the Commonwealth of Kentucky. McConnell decides that he loves Rand Paul and thinks the world of Rand Paul to the point that what Rand Paul says goes. Mitch, please grow some balls. You used to have them but then you morphed into a tea party senator. What happened to the senator that said he looked up to the late Henry Clay, one of the greatest politicians this state has ever sent to Washington, DC.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell capitulated to the Tea Party movement on Monday and endorsed a Republican-led moratorium on “earmarks,” the thousands of local projects stuffed into legislation that add up to billions of federal dollars.

“Nearly every day that the Senate’s been in session for the past two years, I have come down to this spot and said that Democrats are ignoring the wishes of the American people,” McConnell said Monday in a surprise announcement from the Senate floor. “When it comes to earmarks, I won’t be guilty of the same thing.”

The reversal by McConnell, who based his 2008 re-election campaign on his ability to deliver projects to Kentucky, suggests a political win for Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C. DeMint was poised to force an internal vote among incoming GOP senators Tuesday on freezing all requests for earmarks, which legislators seek to pay for pet projects in their home states.
In a related announcement, Mitch McConnell's campaign donors will pay for the tolls on the bridges. Well, he doesn't want to bring money to the state now, it seems...

Centerville takes a step to the right...

E.J. Dionne, in an op-ed that appeared in the Washington Post last week, talks about how Democrats need to hold their ground. Listen up, moderates. This post is for you.

With the tea party movement, the Republicans have dragged the center further to the right. As Democrats, we need to hold our ground right where we are. Without getting into the specifics of policy issues, I identify as center-left on the political spectrum. Mainly, it’s because Howard Dean was able to tap into the anger of the far left during his presidential campaign in 2004. It’s mainly how there’s this segment of Democrats that are anti-Israel. It’s one of the reasons why I don’t really visit Daily Kos all that much. However, when I took one of those political quizzes, I scored a classification of “Liberal” on it. It does not surprise me at all given the Republican agenda.

I was talking with some cousins the other day. They are registered Republicans and one of their kids would be classified as “very conservative.” Of the entire family, they are the only ones in the branch that are Republican. Maybe, they have that one gene, or lack thereof, that has been talked about in the media as of late. This was the first time I had seen them since the election and my cousin mentioned that he would consider himself to be either a conservative Democrat or a liberal Republican.

I’m standing there thinking—have they looked at what happened with Arlen Specter, who fits the very category that they do. He was too liberal for the Republican Party. While it is true that he was beaten during the Democratic primary this year, he would have easily been defeated by the tea party movement during the Republican primary.

It’s sadder when conservatives ask Democrats to compromise on important policy issues when it is very clear that the GOP is not going to try and find common ground. It’s their ground or nothing. That’s they sorry state of the GOP at the moment. If they want compromise, they have to be willing to work things out. They have to be willing to concede on issues.

Some excerpts from EJ's op-ed:
Democrats who stand up to say they were right to reform health care and stimulate a staggering economy are told they "don't get it" and are "in denial." Liberals who refuse to let one election loss alter their commitments are dismissed as "doubling down" on a bad bet.

President Obama made the word "audacity" popular, but conservative Republicans practice it.

Mainstream commentary typically bends to the more audacious side. As a result, there was far less middle-of-the-road advice in 2008 urging Republicans to move to the center than there were warnings to Obama not to read too much into his victory. The United States, we were told, was still a "center-right" country. The actual election result didn't seem to matter back then.

Funny that when progressives win, they are told to moderate their hopes, but when conservatives win, progressives are told to retreat.

Worse, Democrats tend to internalize the views of their opponents. Already, some moderate Democrats are claiming that all would have been well if Obama had not tried to reform health care or "overreached" in other ways. Never mind that Obama's biggest single mistake (beyond the administration's projection that unemployment would peak around 8 percent) was giving in to Senate moderates and not demanding the much bigger stimulus plan a weak economy plainly needed.

In fact, moderate Democrats would do better calling attention to how extreme and out of touch the conservative program actually is. Moderates should be more offended than anyone that the GOP's ideological obsessions (health-care repeal, tax cuts for the wealthy, deregulation) have little connection to solving the country's problems, particularly the economic difficulties in the electorally pivotal Midwest.

The best news for Democrats is that the Republicans' fixation on repealing the health-care law will give its supporters a 10th inning - an unexpected second chance to win the struggle for public opinion.

The most politically potent attack on the health-care effort was not on the plan itself. It was the argument that Democrats should have spent less time on this bill and more on job creation. Every moment the Republicans devote to destroying this year's reform opens them up to exactly the same criticism.

Moreover, reopening the health-care debate will allow the law's supporters to defend its particulars. What, exactly, do the Republicans want to repeal? Tax breaks helping businesses cover their employees? Individual tax credits? (Yes, repealing the health bill would be a big tax increase.) Protections for people with pre-existing conditions or for adult children under age 26?

Republicans are also showing who and what they really care about by their other big priority: making sure the Bush tax cuts are extended for the wealthy in the coming lame-duck congressional session that Democrats will still control.[...]

Yes, the moderate, middle-of-the-road position is the one held by the president. Why sell it out? Raising the $250,000 ceiling a bit might be called a compromise. Any wholesale extension would be a shameful and abject capitulation that would just prove how easy it is to bully Democrats.

Give Republicans credit for this: They don't chase the center, they try to move it. Democrats can play a loser's game of scrambling after a center being pushed ever rightward. Or they can stand their ground and show how far their opponents are from moderate, problem-solving governance. Why should Democrats take Republican advice that Republicans themselves would never be foolish enough to follow?
Good points, EJ. Good points.

I didn't see this coming

The headline says it all: Obama to Seek Compromise with GOP on Birthplace Claims.

President Barack Obama:
It's time to stop playing the old Washington games. We need to work together to do what's best for the American people. Disagreements are so... well... disagreeable. Everyone's point of view must be respected and given its due. To that end, I am appointing a bipartisan commission to investigate and adjudicate the merits of the arguments my conservative brothers and sisters have made about my Kenyan origins.
According to the press release:
The commission will be co-chaired by Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson and Karl Rove, former advisor to President George W. Bush. In a joint statement issued after the President's remarks, Mr. Nelson and Mr. Rove said, "We are committed to putting partisan differences aside, and objectively determining exactly which Muslim nation the President was born in."
Has it really come to this?!?

Just kidding, I knew it was satire from the start...

Will Leitch has important news

Will Leitch has some important news. If you don't know who Will Leitch is, please step outside of your cave right now. Will has given me tons of traffic over the years. Anyway, here is his big news:
As anyone who has ever read anything I’ve ever produced knows, my career writing about sports was a total accident. I went into writing because I wanted to be a film critic, because I wanted to be Roger Ebert. I stumbled into the sports thing, and Deadspin, because I like sports and sports are endlessly fun to write about. But it wasn’t the initial plan. If you’ve seen my lengthy, wordy and pretentious movie reviews on this site, you know writing about movies has always been my true love.

So, now that word is starting to leak out, I should fess up: I’m going to be writing about movies full-time, daily. Yahoo — I never know whether or not to include the exclamation point; someday I hope to found a company with interjectory punctuation — has hired me to run a movie blog for them. What Yahoo has been doing with their sports blogs and their news blog The Upshot has been exciting for me, as a reader, to watch happen. I’ll be working with Jamie Mottram — his career and my career have been circling each other for years — the estimable (and fellow June 5 bride) Courtney Reimer and the great Mark Lisanti, who honestly might be my favorite blogger of all time. To be able to be a part of that, writing about my favorite topic, was a no-brainer.

Particularly because the blog is going to have a very Mattoon feel: My co-editor on the site is going to be Tim Grierson, the vice president of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and my closest friend since we were in the eighth grade. This has been a lifelong dream for the both of us. Plus, he’s light years better than I am at writing about movies, so I’m just going to try to keep up with him.

I am not leaving New York magazine, by the way: I’ll be doing this while still covering sports for them. (It is, after all, my favorite magazine.) I look forward to New York having better film coverage than Yahoo and Yahoo having better sports coverage than New York. It’s not every day you get to take down two media organizations at once.
Best of luck, Will!

NBC shakes up lineup

NBC, struggling for viewers, has shaken up their lineup for the midseason schedule starting in January.

8-9 p.m. – “Chuck”
9-10 p.m. – “THE CAPE” will premiere with a two-hour episode on Sunday, January 9 (9-11 p.m.). New episodes start in its regular time period on January 17 (9-10 p.m.)
10-11 p.m. – “HARRY’S LAW’ (beginning January 17)
9-10 p.m. – “The Event” (returns on February 28, 9-11 p.m.; resumes in its regular time slot March 7)
10-11 p.m. -- “Parenthood” (debuts in this slot March 7 with all originals)

8-10 p.m. -- “The Biggest Loser: Couples” (beginning January 4)
10-11 p.m. – “Parenthood” (beginning January 4 for four episodes)
10-11 p.m. -- “Law & Order: Los Angeles” (beginning February

8-9 p.m. -- “Minute to Win It” (beginning January 5)
9-10 p.m. –“Chase” (beginning January 12)
10-11 p.m. – “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (originals beginning January 5 with two-hour episode, 9-11 p.m. ET)
9-10 p.m. – “AMERICA’S NEXT GREAT RESTAURANT” (beginning March 16)

THURSDAYS (all beginning January 20)
8-8:30 p.m. – “Community”
8:30-9 p.m. – “PERFECT COUPLES”
9-9:30 p.m. – “The Office”
9:30-10 p.m. – “Parks and Recreation”
10-10:30 p.m. – “30 Rock”
10:30-11 p.m. – “Outsourced”

8-9 p.m. -- “Who Do You Think You Are?” (beginning January 21)
9-11 p.m. – “Dateline NBC” (beginning January 7)

7-8 p.m. – “Dateline NBC
8-9 p.m. – “The Marriage Ref” (beginning March 6)
9-11 p.m. – “The Celebrity Apprentice” (beginning March 6)

Jon Stewart on Rachel Maddow

Have a lot of free time on your hand? Mainly 50ish minutes. Watch Rachel Maddow interview Jon Stewart...completely uncut.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

ESPN's Colin Cowherd gets CBS sitcom deal

According to The Hollywood Reporter, ESPN commentator Colin Cowherd is getting a sitcom development deal with CBS. It's interesting because the last time that an ESPN commentator did something like this, it was for the sportscaster that Cowherd replaced. Remember Tony Kornheiser? He had sitcom deal with CBS as well, if I recall correctly. How did that work out? Jason Alexander played the lead in Listen Up!. The show was soon canceled.
A popular sports radio talk show host has sold his life story to CBS for a sitcom deal.

A project based on ESPN talk show host Colin Cowherd was picked up by the network.

His radio show, The Herd with Colin Cowherd, is a syndicated program is known for Cowherd's obnoxious commentary that sometimes results in headline-making arguments with players and fans.[...]

The Cowherd script sold as a multi-camera comedy to CBS, with writers Bill Martin and Mike Schiff attached (Hank, Grounded For Life), as well as executive producers Eric and Kim Tannenbaum (Two and a Half Men).

Cowherd himself has a producer credit on the untitled project, which is at CBS TV Studios.
Listen Up! aired for 22 episodes during the 2004-2005 season. The show was canceled in May 2005.

This is going to be interesting. One would have thought Cowherd would sell the show to ABC since Disney owns ESPN.

Whether or not the show goes to pilot and gets picked up next season, we'll see. All the new CBS comedies were picked up for a full season. I really don't see room on the network schedule unless they add another half hour block of comedies or shorten an order for another show on the network. What show would have that shortened order? Certainly not How I Met Your Mother or The Big Bang Theory. I don't know how much longer Two and a Half Men will air with Charlie Sheen's personal problems.

President Bill Clinton cameos in Hangover sequel

Former President Bill Clinton will cameo in the sequel to The Hangover.
TMZ reports that the former president shot a cameo for 'The Hangover 2' in Thailand on Saturday.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Todd Lally: A Sore Loser

If you saw yesterday's Courier Journal forum page, then you saw that Todd Lally was a sore loser. Here it is:
Oh, the hypocrisy of this Forum and newspaper! On Veterans Days, you dole out the usual platitudes toward our “brave, courageous” military personnel. For one day, you acknowledge us as a cut above the rest and how we deserve this nation's respect and admiration.

However, when a veteran runs for Congress against your beloved John Yarmuth, this paper labels him an extremist and “wrong for Louisville.” I have served in three wars and answered every single time my country has called for over two decades.

I have on my desk a rushed J.C. Penny photo taken with my youngest daughter right before I deployed to Iraq. The sole purpose of this picture was to make sure we had at least one professional photo of us together in case I didn't return. Maybe, that is extreme! Perhaps, wrong for Louisville! That is the kind of sacrifice that military members make 365 days a year.

Todd Lally must have forgotten that retired Lt. Col. Andrew Horne ran against John Yarmuth in the initial 2006 Democratic Primary. Horne, in his defeat that year, showed class and character. Andrew Horne is a friend of mine. Lally, you sir, are no Andrew Horne.

Just because someone has served their country does not mean they deserve a free ride to Congress. It is because of the ideas and vision that they offer.

Ted Koppel pens Op-Ed

Ted Koppel takes on the cable news industry in a op-ed appearing in the WaPo.

George W. Bush: LAZY

It was reported that ex-President George W. Bush lifted word-for-word verbatim DIRECTLY from those books that were published by his advisors. It's one thing to have a ghostwriter when writing a memoir like this but this is frankly something that is uncalled for. If you are going to pull the words of your advisors and put them in blockquotes, that's fine. But to take them as if they were your own, it is completely wrong.
When Crown Publishing inked a deal with George W. Bush for his memoirs, the publisher knew it wasn't getting Faulkner. But the book, at least, promises "gripping, never-before-heard detail" about the former president's key decisions, offering to bring readers "aboard Air Force One on 9/11, in the hours after America's most devastating attack since Pearl Harbor; at the head of the table in the Situation Room in the moments before launching the war in Iraq," and other undisclosed and weighty locations.

Crown also got a mash-up of worn-out anecdotes from previously published memoirs written by his subordinates, from which Bush lifts quotes word for word, passing them off as his own recollections. He took equal license in lifting from nonfiction books about his presidency or newspaper or magazine articles from the time. Far from shedding light on how the president approached the crucial "decision points" of his presidency, the clip jobs illuminate something shallower and less surprising about Bush's character: He's too lazy to write his own memoir.

Bush, on his book tour, makes much of the fact that he largely wrote the book himself, guffawing that critics who suspected he didn't know how to read are now getting a comeuppance. Not only does Bush know how to read, it turns out, he knows how to Google, too. Or his assistant does. Bush notes in his acknowledgments that "[m]uch of the research for this book was conducted by the brilliant and tireless Peter Rough. Peter spent the past 18 months digging through archives, searching the internet[s], and sifting through reams of paper." Bush also collaborated on the book with his former speechwriter, Christopher Michel.

Many of Bush's literary misdemeanors exemplify pedestrian sloth, but others are higher crimes against the craft of memoir. In one prime instance, Bush relates a poignant meeting between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and a Tajik warlord on Karzai's Inauguration Day. It's the kind of scene that offers a glimpse of a hopeful future for the beleaguered nation. Witnessing such an exchange could color a president's outlook, could explain perhaps Bush's more optimistic outlook and give insight into his future decisions. Except Bush didn't witness it. Because, as he himself writes later in the book, he wasn't at Karzai's inauguration.[...]

In most instances of Bush's literary swiping, he was at least present for the scene. But the point of a memoir is that it is the author's version of events. Bush's book is a collection of other people's versions of events. But that's not what Bush promises readers. "Decision Points is based primarily on my recollections. With help from researchers, I have confirmed my account with government documents, personal interviews, news reports, and other sources, some of which remain classified," he offers. Bush, in his memoir, confesses to authorizing waterboarding, which is a war crime, so the lifting of a few passages might seem like a minor infraction. But Bush's laziness undermines the historical value of the memoir. Bush "recollects" - in a more literal sense of the term - quotes by pulling his and others verbatim from other books, calling into question what he genuinely remembers from the time and casting doubt on any conclusions he draws about what his mindset was at the time.

In a final irony, Bush appears to draw heavily from several of Bob Woodward's books and also from Robert Draper's "Dead Certain". The Bush White House called the books' accuracy into question when they were initially published.
Frankly, this is just way too funny.