Very interesting chart below via Doug Ross:
As I noted here in bullet point three, the predilection among too many is that presidents have some king/dictator-like power over the economy. This is silly, especially since Congress has control of the nation's purse strings.
But be sure to read Doug's own bullet points at the link above.
Man, the News Journal has never been a paragon of journalism, but the pathetic writing/editing of today's Rhonda Graham column is head-shaking. Check it:
And there certainly may be more that I missed.
All of which is a shame -- because, for once, with her topic of the week, Graham actually makes sense -- and that would be the buffoon that is Christine O'Donnell. Because CREW's allegations against the failed Senate candidate did not pan out, COD wants the feds to revoke the group's tax-exempt status for "knowingly filing false claims against her, damaging her reputation, and racially discriminating against black members of Congress." That last bit is what -- as you'd expect -- Graham concentrates on given her penchant for digging into all things racial. But in this case she's spot-on ... because it's so preposterously transparent on COD's part.
Puh-lease, Christine. This is just the latest bit of inanity from you in a long string of inanities. Don't go away mad, just ... go away.
Keith Olbermann on his new Current TV show (yeah, he's back on the air, with about a fraction of his previous viewers) calls NY Rep. Peter King "un-American" and "an asshole."
MSNBC "Morning Joe" panelists refer to Tea Partiers as "terrorists," "crazy," and like "suicide bombers."
Huffington Post writer Peter Goodman likewise referred to, this time the whole GOP, as "terrorists."
MSNBC's Martin Bashir tells Speaker John Boehner to "go the f*** to sleep."
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer on the GOP: "I think we’re playing Russian roulette with the nation’s credit-worthiness, and unfortunately, all the chambers seem to be loaded on the House side. They want to shoot every bullet they have at the President.”
The NY Times' Tom Friedman refers to the Tea Party as "the Hezbollah faction of the G.O.P."
Liberal pundit Bill Press fantasizes about Speaker John Boehner getting zapped by lightning.
Former Obama administration "green jobs czar" and still-Communist and 9/11 Truther Van Jones says that the GOP is "is putting a gun to the head of 310 million people, in regards to the current debate on the debt limit."
UPDATE: William Yeomans at Politico calls the Tea Party "full-blown terrorists."
Liberal pundit Margaret Carlson says the Tea Party is saying “Listen, we want to burn the place down. I mean, they’re not, they’ve strapped explosives to the Capitol ..."
So ... remind me again how is it that "progressives" got their collective panties in a bunch over a Sarah Palin political ad with targets indicating vulnerable Democratic politicians?
The next time these pathetic idiots raise such an issue, just meet them with the answer they deserve:
And the non-Council winners are here!
Pvt. Nasser Jason Abdo, an AWOL soldier from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, was arrested by the Killeen Police Department near Fort Hood and remains in custody there. Authorities, however, will not say if Abdo is the one who raised security concerns.
Abdo was found with weapons and explosives at the time of his arrest, a senior Army source confirms to Fox News. He was arrested at around 2 p.m. Wednesday after someone called authorities to report a suspicious individual.
Eric Vasys, a spokesman with the FBI's San Antonio Office, said authorities found firearms and bomb making components, which he described as smokeless gun powder, inside Abdo's motel room.
UPDATE: See what I mean? In this story, only one mention of the term, and then a big WTF:
Abdo was approved for conscientious objector status last year after he argued that his Muslim beliefs prohibited military service, but his discharge was put on hold pending resolution of the child pornography charges. Abdo said that he believed he was being discriminated against, NBC station WLEX-TV of Lexington, Ky., reported.
Um, how does one freely CHOOSE to join an all-volunteer army and then argue that his religion prohibits military service??
(h/t to Rhymes With Right.)
Never let a long-codified law get in the way of a politically correct statement.
Such is the case in Star Trek: The Next Generation. The last couple seasons of TNG got a bit ridicuous trying to make present-day-connecting (and politically correct) "messages," the most egregious of which was its last season's "Force of Nature" in which the utilization of warp drive has been tearing up the fabric of space-time ... a la greenhouse gasses and Earth's atmosphere, get it?. But there was also "Journey's End," also in the final season, where Wesley Crusher is shown to be (perhaps) the next step in human evolution.
This isn't the WTF Moment (because, although silly, is still science fiction); that goes to the scene where the inhabitants of Dorvan V -- who are descendants of North American Indians -- lecture Capt. Picard about his distant ancestor's involvement in massacring their distant relatives in the 17th century(!) Pueblo revolt. The problem is that this directly contradicts Star Trek's very own "law," even cited by Picard himself against the omnipotent Q in the series premiere, "Encounter at Farpoint." And this law says that "citizens may not be held responsible for crimes committed by their ancestors."
Though Picard never mentions this exculpatory law in "Journey's End," he clearly agonizes over the actions of his 700 year-old(!!) descendant as he works out a plan to remove the 24th century Indians from their planet (due to a Cardassian-Federation treaty). Weirdly, this long-standing law was good enough for Picard to use to argue in favor of humanity as a whole (despite its horrific past), yet it's not enough to assuage his own personal guilt over the actions of some 3/4 of a millenium-old ancestor who was involved in a battle against Native Americans.
That's what you say when you have no plan and you keep playing f***ing games:
One of the cooler science fiction series from my teenage days was "V." The premise: Supposedly friendly aliens come to Earth begging for our assistance to save their dying world, and in return we'll get some advanced technology. Unfortunately, the Visitors actualy want to harvest us for food -- because they're actually reptilian humanoids. Oh, and they also want ... our water.
The economics are obtaining liquid H2O from Earth are ridiculous, especially when there's plenty of water in outer space -- and it's extremely easy to obtain. Y'know, like a thing called a "comet?" How much easier would it be for a space-faring race to just nab a [dormant] comet (or, even better, a mostly all-ice asteroid), and tow it to where they want? The answer is MUCH easier. There's no need to store it in tanks, no need to use pumping machinery, and you can transport a LOT more of it.
This whole idea is as silly as the premise of, say, "Independence Day" where the aliens have come to steal our resources. Why would aliens want Earth's resources (and by the way, which resources, precisely?) when we humans have plundered them so thoroughly already ... and most of these resources are already readily available in outer space?
Inspired by a few hardcore "progressive" nuts (including our old pal Perry) over at Common Sense Political Thought, here are a few contemporary "progressive" thought contradictions. It's a list that, indeed, could make for a virtually interminable post. And, granted, many hardcore conservatives also engage in some of these (in a reverse way), especially when it comes to blaming or crediting a president alone for economic conditions, so please keep that in mind if you comment.
Feel free to extend the list in the comments.
And the non-Council nominations are here!
One of the dumber memes running around on the Left today is that today's Republican party is so extreme that Ronald Reagan couldn't win the GOP Presidential nomination were he to run. Del Wilber of the Washington Post tweeted that question earlier today.
I follow Mr. Wilber because he wrote the excellent Rawhide Down, an account of the assassination attempt on President Reagan in 1981. (One of the things I really enjoyed about it was that I genuinely had no idea after reading it if Wilber was conservative, liberal, or moderate, etc. It was just an unbiased recounting of the events of the time.) I responded to his tweet as follows:
of course Reagan could win GOP nomination today. McCain won it just three years ago.
Mr. Wilber acknowledged my point and retweeted it to his followers. But that's a point you often hear made by people who clearly have forgotten recent history. Are they that obsessed with Sarah Palin that they forget she was only the Vice-Presidential nominee a mere three years? Or are they just trying to score political points and try to scare people away from modern conservatism?
Liberals have some decent points to make; it's just hard to pick them out because of their preference for name-calling and misrepresentation of the facts.
Unrelated other headline: Appeals Court Rules Call to 'Shoot' Obama Protected Speech.
And yep, it was that ever-nutty Ninth Circuit which ruled on the latter.
From the "millions" killed by the two Japanese-bound A-bombs in WW2 to whites being "genetically predisposed" to racism, enjoy:
(h/t to Bluegrass Pundit.)
Interesting read today over at New American by Bruce Walker titled "When Marvel Comics was Anti-Communist." Overall, I think Bruce makes a solid case. During the "Marvel explosion" of the 1960s, Stan Lee (the main Marvel writer) had no compunctions about scribing overtly anti-Communist stories. Many of my fave character's, Iron Man's, early adventures in Tales of Suspense had him thwarting many Commie plots, whether they were Russian, Chinese or whatever. For example,
Walker's difficulty is that he concentrates on Captain America (due to the new movie). He mentions Cap's exploits against various Communist baddies in the 1950s; however, he omits how that was actually explained in Marvel continuity. After all, as we see in the new film, Cap was frozen in ice for decades, from the 1940s to his awakening in the modern era to fight alongside the super-team Avengers. This parallels exactly what we saw in the comics.
So ... if Cap was frozen, how did he fight Communists in the 1950s?
Marvel's answer came in the 1970s with writer Steve Englehart's landmark run on Captain America. As I wrote in February of 2010:
In the 1970s, aforementioned Marvel scribe Steve Englehart decided to "explain" the story behind the Captain America that was seen in the 1950s. (You may be aware that in "standard" Marvel continuity, Cap was thrown into suspended animation at WW II's end and thawed in the mid 1960s.) Essentially, a guy had stumbled upon, while doing research, the formula by which Steve Rogers became Capt. America. He approached some government highers-up and proposed that the "super soldier" program be started anew. However, the formula that had been unearthed isn't the perfected version that was used on Rogers. Tests showed that it caused the subject to slowly go insane. Nevertheless, our researcher befriended a new "Bucky" (the name of Cap's original partner) and both decided to use the [unperfected] formula on themselves. They then briefly go about "resuming" the roles of Capt. America and Bucky for a time.
Unfortunately, the whole aura of Cap fighting evil Communists in the 1950s is tarnished -- not because it wasn't the real Capt. America doing the fighting, but because in Englehart's story the substitute Cap is revealed to be a fascist bigot. Granted, it's explained that the "unperfected" version of the Super-Soldier serum that the faux Cap used slowly caused him to become mentally unstable, so that he began to see Commies everywhere ... quite Joe McCarthy-like. But you cannot escape the knowledge that we essentially had a nutcase fighting "for America" in the 50s.
Walker's lament of comics in the late 60s and 1970s switching from anti-Communist tales to those of social issues is understandable, but from the business viewpoint of Marvel (and DC), the choice was obvious. The social and political fabric of the USA had [irrevocably?] changed, and readers wanted stories to reflect the times. But even then, Marvel wasn't overt in "taking sides," if you will. Tony Stark (Iron Man) switched his company from weapons to more peaceful pursuits (like in the movie) such as pollution control and medical tech, but he still was the quintessential capitalist, and he still battled Communist badguys like the Mandarin, Titanium Man and Crimson Dynamo. Characters like Capt. America's partner, the Falcon, and the Black Panther dealt with racism and civil rights. So did the X-Men. It was, after all, the culmination of the civil rights era. But these characters still battled obvious badguys like those just noted.
Throughout the 70s and 80s, overt political posturing wasn't much of an issue. Talented writers did a good job hiding their biases. It wasn't until the 90s and first decade of the 2000s that overt [left-wing] politicking became commonplace, as we've documented quite thoroughly here at Colossus. As Walker notes, lately there has been a lack of pointing out, and then fighting, the obvious bad guys, including Communists. Remember the ridiculous controversy surrounding Frank Miller's [now greatly modified] "Holy Terror, Batman." Somehow, the Dark Knight taking on al Qaeda, of all things, was "too controversial." Unbelievable, I know. Not only does the liberal media (of which comics is currently a part) have a soft spot for Communism, as Walker states, it has a soft spot for any anti-Western entity.
Wilmington News Journal report of a nasty beating in Newark (DE):
The man who hit the victim is described as a 6-foot-tall 20-something who weighed 145 pounds. He was wearing a white tank top with blue jean shorts. He had a chin strap beard with "DC" shaved into the right side of his head and multiple tattoos on his arms.
The tiny Newark Post's description of same:
The suspect that stuck the victim with the bottle is described as a white male in his 20s, 6’00” tall, 145 lbs., wearing a white tank top, blue jean shorts, very tan complexion, a chin-strap beard with “DC” shaved into right side of his head and multiple tattoos on his arms.
How pathetic is it that the state's largest newspaper is also (by far) its most politically correct?
The tea party was not sent to washington to negotiate with you mr president. They were sent because your policies suck.
Northeast braces for temps near boiling point.
NEW YORK (AP) — The extreme heat that's been roasting the eastern U.S. is only expected to get worse, and residents are bracing themselves for temperatures near and above boiling point.
Weather service heat warnings and advisories have been issued Friday from Ohio to Maine.
The high temperatures and smothering humidity will force up the heat indexes. Boston's 99 degrees on Friday could feel like 105 degrees; Philadelphia's 102 degrees like 114 degrees and Washington, D.C.'s 103 degrees may seem the same as a melting 116 degrees.
Um, "boiling" (water) is 100 degrees using the Celsius scale. But in the United States we use the Fahrenheit scale -- where "boiling" is 212 degrees.
Did the AP stop to consider that if it was actually "boiling" that humans would be unable to, y'know, survive??
Here's a screen cap in case these morons realize how stupid they are.
I jest, of course.
Comment on a story in today's News Journal:
Looks amazingly like this, eh?
NRO's Kathryn Jean Lopez has a problem with Texas Gov. Rick Perry saying "That’s New York, and that’s their business, and that’s fine with me" regarding gay "marriage."
I realize that Rick Perry is a big state’s rights’ guy, but that is a fascinatingly shocking thing for someone supposedly running for the Republican nomination to say, and the weekend a new definition of marriage debuted in the state of New York. Seems to be conflict with the idea that he would be an obvious choice for social conservatives.
"Fascinatingly shocking"?? It's fascinatingly refreshing. And Perry is spot-on: As Rudy Giuliani recently said, "the “Republican Party would be well advised to get the heck out of people’s bedrooms and let these things get decided by states.” Why should the GOP care what an overwhelmingly blue state does? Isn't the GOP big on the 10th Amendment? If so, this is the time to show you mean it.
Defending yourself against politically-charged accusations by unknowingly revealing a source who happens to be a CIA agent? Criminal. Reveal the ID of the SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden because it makes a good photo op? Perfectly OK.
Par for the course.
You've got to fit in centuries of dispossession, unfounded myth and a Holocaust before you compare anti-Islam sentiment with anti-Semitism.
"Geezer" commenting over at the LGOMB:
If we thought like right-wingers, we could use this [Norway] horror as an excuse to round up all the right-wingers and put them in cages in Gitmo without explanation or charges. Because, y’know, they’re all potential terrorists.
Except, of course, that the very left-wing site on which "Geezer" comments advocates doing that very thing to conservatives -- but even worse. It advocates killing them.
Just. Like. The. Norwegian terrorist.
RELATED: Can the Left Resist the Temptation to Exploit the Norway Attacks? As Insty says, "The answer is 'no.' Next question."
Hey, you blame every terror attack on the "conservative right-wing" -- directly or indirectly -- eventually one will actually stick. Y'know, stopped clock and all ...
A Pennsylvania Democratic mayor threatens Reason's Nick Gillespie, basically for being smarter than he is:
SPOILERS BELOW THE FOLD!
The background story is fairly true to the original comicbook tale (unlike the dreadful 1990 straight-to-video version that almost saw the theatre). Chris Evans does a good job in the title role of Steve Rogers, and the CGI effects used to portray him as a 98 lb. weakling pre-super soldier formula are amazing. The film is also supposed to portray, apparently, the "Ultimate" version of the hero -- the alternate reality "updated" Capt. America.
The film does what it's supposed to -- make the necessary connections to the various other Marvel movies of recent years ("Iron Man," "Iron Man 2," "Thor," "The Incredible Hulk") to lead us to next year's "The Avengers." Tony Stark's father, Howard, plays a big part in the film in the role of civilian technical adviser. He's also responsible for designing Cap's iconic shield. Hugo Weaving is superb as the Red Skull, oozing evil deviousness as well he should. His principal weapon, the Cosmic Cube, is mentioned to be one of Odin's artifacts from Asgard, a neat and obvious connection to "Thor."
Be sure, if you're a fanboy, to make careful note of the "World of Tomorrow" fair (or whatever the actual name was) that Steve and pal Bucky Barnes go to before Steve becomes Cap. You'll notice several homages to classic Marvel lore, notably Professor Phineas Horton's "synthezoid" -- who just happens to be the Original Human Torch standing in a large glass tube.
Bucky dies, true to the comic. It's falling from a train this time, though, not from a plane as in the comic.
There was no shortage of American flags and other red, white and blue!
Hayley Atwell as Agent Peggy Carter. YOWSAH!!
The ending: This is taken directly from the pages of The Ultimates, where SHIELD attempts to "ease" Cap back into the modern world by pretending he's still in the 1940s. When Steve realizes it's a ruse, he busts out of the building, tearing up SHIELD personnel along the way.
Frankly, the NY Post has a point in its criticism of the film. Where the hell are the Nazis?? The Red Skull is a Nazi, and while there are several references to Hitler and his fellow goose-steppers, the Skull is actually part of HYDRA, somehow made into an SS-like rogue subdivision of the Nazi Party. I can't even remember seeing a swastika in the film, for heaven's sake. And the sad thing is, there is absolutely no reason to make this change for the film. It just adds an unnecessary layer to the plot. Debbie Schlussel, who I usually cannot take, is spot-on in her criticism of this.
Then there was the lack of action. Or, I should clarify, the lack of hand-to-hand action that makes Cap what he is. There was too much "big" action -- Cap and the Howling Commandos tearing up that advanced HYDRA base, for example -- and a disappointing lack of Cap doing what he does best. The few scenes of such that there were were done very well.
The Red Skull is light-years smarter than Howard Stark? Since when?? The scene where Stark takes a gander at the submarine captured by Cap shortly after Professor Erskine's murder is befuddling. He says, "I don't recognize ANY of this stuff" (or something similar) which means the stuff is so advanced, the greatest scientific mind in the US is totally clueless! At first I was thinking that, since this is supposed to be the "Ultimate" version of Cap, the alien Chitauri/Skrulls were responsible for the advanced technology as they were in the first series of The Ultimates. But this was not the case! The Red Skull (and righthand man Arnim Zola) were genius enough to create weapons technology so far advanced that not even America's greatest mind could comprehend it. Right. Uh huh. How would that happen, precisely?
Historical accuracy. African-American troops didn't exactly serve alongside white troops during WW2. In fact, aside from only a few instances, they served exclusively in segregated units. But if we believe what we see in "Cap," it seems President Truman's order desegregating the military occurred five years earlier. If you think about it, this is really a silly nod to political correctness. There have been ample stories about Cap's unhappiness with the racism towards, and segregation of, blacks in the WW2 military (including an emotional one in an Ultimates annual). The film could have made a [powerful] statement about prejudice and bigotry (via Cap), especially since an African-American did indeed serve in the Howling Commandos: Gabe Jones.
While the background of Rogers was done pretty well, they leave out an important aspect: How he became the incredible fighter that he is. The film concentrates on him becoming a USO performer (which, admittedly, was done well and was a cool comic touch), but it just assumes that because he received the super soldier serum, he automatically becomes the best fighter the world has ever seen. Wrong! The transformation made Rogers a lot stronger and durable than the average guy. It didn't imbue him with fighting prowess. For a good example of how this story should be told, check out John Byrne's superb 40th anniversary issue of Cap, #255 from 1981.
Why did Cap have to crash the giant B-2-like aircraft at film's end? Peggy Carter -- rightly -- tells Steve that there are several sites where he can land the craft. For some inexplicable reason he says he can't do that, and he'll have to ditch it into the water. I assumed it was because of the plane's autopilot; however, Steve quickly pushes down on the jet's stick, causing it to descend rapidly. If he can control the jet, why can't he do what Carter said?
WTF? Dept.: Why in the hell were the [atomic?] bombs destined for various American cities painted with their city names on them in affectionate "Enola Gay"-like style? This made absolutely no sense considering the design of the lettering, not to mention it was all in English!
Too long. The flick could have trimmed at least 15 minutes and you wouldn't have missed anything of value.
HUBE'S RATING: 2.5 shields out of 5.
... about how hypocrisy only works one way. For today, we see this (tweet of the day):
It is time to "share in the sacrifice," declares the president who claimed itemized deductions of $78,269 last year. (Link.)
With a hearty hat tip to Soccer Dad, check out this excellent piece by Aussie Philip Mendes. It details how he went from a college-aged pro-Palestinian student to a pro-Israel common sense adult. It eerily mirrors my own experience on the topic.
And the non-Council winners are here!
From the NY Post: 'Captain America' goes soft on Hitler.
I'm seeing the film tomorrow (the official premiere day), so I'll chime in on whether this is an accurate assessment sometime after.
Henceforth, if a liberal complains about a conservative's "troubling past," ask them if they've appeared on Sharpton's show.
Yep, you got that right -- 'ol Al has got a new MSNBC gig.
... and that is "on the right." The mental pygmies over at the Philly Daily News have a cow over the fact that some conservatives made a big deal about Michelle Obama chowing down on a burger, fries and shake. Why did they whine about this? Because the First Lady is supposedly championing healthy eating, especially for kids. She's the first public figure to make the cover of Better Homes and Gardens, as a result, after all.
The DN writes,
Conservative media ran with the story, of course, charging Obama with rank hypocrisy and continuing their vicious ridicule of her campaign against childhood obesity. The attack has become so bizarre that the rotund Rush Limbaugh has taken to calling the svelte first lady fat.
How dare she conspire to lower our children's blood-sugar levels while increasing their energy and self-esteem?
Only Grade A prime idiocy could turn what used to be a staple of responsible parenting - getting children to eat what's good for them - into a sinister social-engineering plot. It's enough to make us sick to our stomachs.
Notice that the DN completely glosses over precisely why the conservative media harped on the story -- the highlighted "rank hypocrisy." Instead, they preach from on high (like good "progressives") that it doesn't matter -- that Obama's campaign and message are really what's important. Sorry -- that's total bullsh**. Don't dare preach to me about what I should do if you don't do it yourself, pal.
"Progressives" absolutely love to scream "hypocrisy" when, say, conservatives who regularly talk about "family values" get caught having an affair or a nasty divorce. And these "progressives" are right. But you won't see the Daily News writing an editorial titled "GOP senator has an affair - the world ends" now, would we? In such a case, it's not the message that counts, it's the hypocrisy.
"Progressives" love to tell us what to do. They just don't want to have to live by the same standards. "Cut your carbon footprint," they scream. Yet there they are jetting all over creation in private jets, and maintaining several mansions across the country. (Our First Lady just engaged in the former for a campaign event Tuesday.) "We need to pay more taxes" they scream. Yet there they are utilizing every tax break they can find, while at the same time not volunteering to pay any extra tax to Uncle Sam.
You can preach all you wish about whatever -- as long as you walk the walk. The 'ol mantra "Actions speak louder than words" has never died. Except for our current crop of "progressives," perhaps.
Watch Michael Steele educate the idiots Chris Matthews and Joan Walsh:
Possibly the biggest WTF in the seven seasons of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" goes to the sixth season's "Relics." This episode brings forth the popular Scotty from TOS (The Original Series) fame into the future. The premise is pretty cool: Marooned, the expert engineer rigs the transporter to continuously cycle, keeping him alive but as energy. Hopefully, someone will discover him before either the power fails or his [molecular] pattern degrades. Of course, the Enterprise-D stumbles upon Scotty's ship ...
The problem is where the famous engineer's ship had crashed. It's on the outer shell of a Dyson sphere, which would be -- by far -- the most incredible artifact the Federation has ever discovered, possibly ever. It's a shell constructed about one AU (astronomical unit) around a star, a complete envelopment to make use of virtually all of a sun's energy. The engineering to accomplish such a feat is, of course, mind-boggling ...
... but what does "Relics" concentrate on? Scotty -- his engineering wizardry and how he'll cope with being some 80 years out of time! The most amazing architectural specimen ever conceived and then discovered? Just a minor sub-plot. Sheesh.
As in Michael Lopez, formerly of Highered Intelligence ... and now again of Highered Intelligence!
Mike was one of my fave bloggers back in the day, and nothing has changed at all in that regard.
And the non-Council nominations are here!
Due out about a year from now:
It will be a mere ten years since Marvel's first Spidey flick starring Tobey Maguire. Is it too soon? In my opinion, a definitive yes. The nagging question surrounding this film is ... "why??"
you agree IF Murdoch is responsible 4 EVERY decision made in his HUGE Empire...then OBAMA is RESPONSIBLE 4 DOJ 'Gunrunner', yes?
And then some.
The Wilmington News Journal cannot even bring itself to utilize its very own photographs of crime suspects for its subsequent descriptions!!
PC at its sadly hilarious worst.
... for the climate of hate that led to to
Rupert James Murdoch getting "pied":
Amazing how lame security is, eh?
And that would be Sheila Jackson-Lee, who now injects race into the debt ceiling/budget debate:
"I am particularly sensitive to the fact that only this president, only this president, only this one has received the kind attacks and disagreements and inability to work. Only this one," Jackson Lee said on the House floor this afternoon.
"Read between the lines."
"What is different about this president that should put him in a position that he should not receive the same kind of respectful treatment of when it is necessary to raise the debt limit in order to pay our bills, something required by both statute and the 14th amendment?"
Past Jackson-Lee "winners":
MSNBC President Phil Griffin on Fox News:
I don’t think we’re nearly as based in ideology the way they are, but we definitely have tried to find a space the way they found their space.
Someone get Griffin's hallucinogens away from him -- pronto.
The businessman and GOP presidential candidate, who was said he wouldn't appoint a Muslim to his administration, now ups the ante:
Herman Cain, a Republican presidential candidate, says Americans have the right to ban Muslims from building mosques.
“They have the right to do that,” Cain said on Fox News Sunday, expressing his concerns with Sharia law. “I’m willing to take a harder look at people that might be terrorists.”
Um, hey Herm -- this the United States buddy. What Americans can rightly do is protest the building of a particular mosque, but they cannot ban them merely because they want to.
The GOP should say an emphatic "no" to people like Cain, quickly and forcefully, and pay more attention to people like Rudy Giuliani:
Rudy Giuliani thinks the Republican party should cease focusing on gay marriage.
Saying that he believed marriage should be between a man and a woman, Giuliani nonetheless told CNN’s Candy Crowley that the “Republican Party would be well advised to get the heck out of people’s bedrooms and let these things get decided by states.”
Rudy went on to note that the GOP "should focus on matters like the budget and Afghanistan."
Or, check out where some of Obama's vaunted stimulus funds went to:
The Omaha Public Schools used more than $130,000 in federal stimulus dollars to buy each teacher, administrator and staff member a manual on how to become more culturally sensitive.
The book by Virginia education consultants could raise some eyebrows with its viewpoints.
The authors assert that American government and institutions create advantages that “channel wealth and power to white people,” that color-blindness will not end racism and that educators should “take action for social justice.”
The book says that teachers should acknowledge historical systemic oppression in schools, including racism, sexism, homophobia and “ableism,” defined by the authors as discrimination or prejudice against people with disabilities.
The authors argue that public school teachers must raise their cultural awareness to better serve minority students and improve academic achievement.
*Sigh* Here we go again -- educational charlatanry masquerading as scientifically-based research. Just like the preposterous "Courageous Conversations" (or "Difficult Dialogues" or whatever the edu-jargon du jour is) we've dealt with previously, this sort of crap does nothing to (or, at least, doesn't show how to) improve minority student academic achievement. What it does do is promote resentment -- among students and among faculty. After all, if one has to accept the premise of what the authors want, exactly what sort of "conversations" can be had? And how are they "courageous" when there exists that premise of acceptance ... and the implicit aura of "do not dissent"? Check it:
... these are “conversations” that
... follow a structured format in which participants examine and embrace specific premises, such as the ubiquity of white privilege and racism, and thus raise the consciousness of whites.
Participants must “come to recognize that race impacts every aspect of your life 100 percent of the time.” Meanwhile, “anger, guilt and shame are just a few of the emotions” whites should expect to experience “as they move toward greater understanding of Whiteness.”
Again, we've been all through this before over the years here. It's bad enough when local/state funds are used to purchase such feces, but now bucks that are supposed to stimulate our economy are being used to purchase it. Again, such huckster-ish programs have never been able to prove they're effective at reducing the so-called achievement gap; however, they have been very successful at uniting folks from across the political spectrum. And this is not because of any intransigence about discussing -- or wanting to discuss -- race; it's because these programs demand adherence to one point of view about it. And that view is the program creators': radical Marxian-Maoist-Freireian victimology. Even more "mainstream" organizations like the National Education Association (NEA) have fallen victim to this as they advocate getting away from a color-blind belief, the more "classical" Martin Luther King Jr.-esque philosophy.
Such demands should be abhorrent to any rational political bent.
But these diversophiles would do well to heed the warnings of Hans Bader (to whom a big hat tip goes for this post): making belief/adherence to such [racial] philosophies (or even participation in such workshops) mandatory can invite legal trouble.
UPDATE: Good timing: Toronto School District decrees that only whites can be racist.
Check out around 0:46 of this video promoted by the liberal Think Progress.
Yeah, shooting Glenn Beck in the head is perfectly fine!
UPDATE: On HBO's Bill Maher show, gay sex advice columnist Dan Savage says of the GOP: "I wish they were all f--king dead."
And the non-Council winners are here!
From The Oracle of Omaha:
I'm not the biggest U2 fan. I used to be but musically I lost interest after Zooropa and have been annoyed by the lecturing Bono has been giving us of late.
This, was really cool:
The guy playing guitar is blind and was holding a sign saying "blind guitarist, bring me up".
Liberal blog Think Progress demands Obama investigate Rupert Murdoch.
Not that I'm saying Eric Holder wouldn't do this -- he's been ridiculously political already -- but just imagine: The administration actually going after Fox News legally? And this -- while Jeffrey Immelt, head of GE which is the parent company of NBC, actually works for the administration??
Politically, we're talkin' deep doo-doo here.
Or, why we learn nothing (all in the name of political correctness). I saw this article last week and forwarded it to my blog "godfather," John Rosenberg (since he'd do a much better job dissecting it than I); however, he must be on vacation so I'll take a [very] brief stab:
Holder Launches Witch Hunt Against Biased Banks.
In what could be a repeat of the easy-lending cycle that led to the housing crisis, the Justice Department has asked several banks to relax their mortgage underwriting standards and approve loans for minorities with poor credit as part of a new crackdown on alleged discrimination, according to court documents reviewed by IBD.
Prosecutions have already generated more than $20 million in loan set-asides and other subsidies from banks that have settled out of court rather than battle the federal government and risk being branded racist. An additional 60 banks are under investigation, a DOJ spokeswoman says.
Holder and crew are using the 'ol "disparate impact" theory to judge whether an institution is "racist," much like the federal DoE is doing the same with schools with regards to discipline rates. But, arguably, while there is more of a subjective facet to school discipline, how can bank/loan figures lie? Either your credit is worthy or it's not. Either you make enough money to pay your mortgage or you don't.
In several cases, the government has ordered bank defendants to post in all their branches and marketing materials a notice informing minority customers that they cannot be turned down for credit because they receive public aid, such as unemployment benefits, welfare payments or food stamps.
Among other remedies: favorable interest rates and down-payment assistance for minority borrowers with weak credit.
For example, the government has ordered Midwest BankCentre to set aside almost $1 million in "special financing" for residents living in predominantly black areas of St. Louis. The program includes originating conventional home loans at fixed prime rates for African-American borrowers "who would ordinarily not qualify for such rates for reasons including the lack of required credit quality, income or down payment."
So ... someone on all sorts of governmental assistance could get the financing to buy a home, while your average joe six-pack busting his hump 60 hours a week but who may have missed a few bill payments here and there which has affected his credit ... gets turned down. Right. Got it. Sounds very fair.
Not only is this whole situation beyond insane (coming off of the too-recent previous housing crisis), but tell me -- how is it discriminatory to have set loan criteria that applies to all people?
Saw this article via Sharon from CSPT: Polygamist, Under Scrutiny in Utah, Plans Suit to Challenge Law.
Kody Brown is a proud polygamist, and a relatively famous one. Now Mr. Brown, his four wives and 16 children and stepchildren are going to court to keep from being punished for it.
The family is the focus of a reality TV show, “Sister Wives,” that first appeared in 2010. Law enforcement officials in the Browns’ home state, Utah, announced soon after the show began that the family was under investigation for violating the state law prohibiting polygamy.
On Wednesday, the Browns are expected to file a lawsuit to challenge the polygamy law.
Making polygamous unions illegal, they argue, violates the due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment, as well as the free exercise, establishment, free speech and freedom of association clauses of the First Amendment. (Link.)
They are not demanding that the state recognize polygamous marriage. Nevertheless, can that be far behind? Consider what yours truly wrote right here at your favorite blog, Colossus, about one year ago:
Actual quote from the judge's ruling today overturning California's Proposition 8: “Gender no longer forms an essential part of marriage.”
I've repeatedly opined here and elsewhere that if gay couples (in civil unions or "marriage") aren't allowed to get the same state benefits as straight couples, it seems like a pretty clear-cut violation of the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause. But that's not what Judge Walker has said. He said the above. (The full text of the ruling is here.) But ...
... if that's the case, what is to prevent some judge from claiming "The number involved in a relationship no longer forms an essential part of marriage"? Or some other manifestation thereof?
And the non-Council nominations are here!
... and you get on magazine covers:
But in reality?
Michelle Obama orders 1,700-calorie meal at Shake Shack.
First lady Michelle Obama ordered a whopper of a meal at the newly opened Washington diner Shake Shack during lunch on Monday.
A Washington Post journalist on the scene confirmed the first lady, who’s made a cause out of child nutrition, ordered a ShackBurger, fries, chocolate shake and a Diet Coke(!) while the street and sidewalk in front of the usually-packed Shake Shack were closed by security during her visit.
For some reason, if Michelle was a Republican, I've a feeling that the MSM wouldn't let this outright hypocrisy die ...
UPDATE: GE Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt -- The Messiah's chair of the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness -- said yesterday "that businesses needed to take the lead on job creation."
As the administration struggles to prod businesses to create jobs at home, GE has been busy sending them abroad. Since Immelt took over in 2001, GE has shed 34,000 jobs in the U.S., according to its most recent annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. But it’s added 25,000 jobs overseas.
And, don't forget that GE paid no federal income taxes in 2010, while earning over $14 billion in profit.
Suspect Lee Lewis must be a fan of this classic Jerky Boys bit.
We've already seen how "progressives" "value" free speech; here's yet another example:
Via Big Government:
The authors of the books we offered to ban were Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter, Andrew Breitbart, Ayn Rand, Michael Savage, Bill Clinton, Michael Moore, Karl Marx, Adolf Hitler and Barack Obama. While there were in fact less than two handfuls of individuals who did tell us they don’t think any books should be banned, unfortunately there were a shocking amount of guests at this book fair who were quite open to the idea, and in fact lined up quite excited for the opportunity to voice their opinion.
Participants overwhelming chose Sarah Palin who received 53 votes putting her at 36% overall, Glenn Beck at 23% and Ann Coulter at 22%.
All of the other choices received a very minimal amount of votes, with the next most popular to ban being Adolf Hitler at 0.5%. Ironically, Michael Savage, who has been banned from entering Britain over things he often says, did not receive one vote to have his words banned in Chicago.
How 'bout that -- Uncle Adolf coming in behind Palin, Beck and Coulter.
What can one say to such lunacy?
I am certainly interested in Duffy's views on this most remarkable soccer game from yesterday. In case you missed it, amid much controversy, the US women's soccer team made a remarkable comeback against Brazil at the Women's World Cup, winning it with penalty kicks:
The bottom line is that, although the refs ridiculously needlessly injected themselves into the game, the outcome was as it should have been had they not. The US team had to play for some 55 minutes one player short (due to the aforementioned red card), and showed grit and determination beyond imagining. The tying goal in stoppage time of extra time is one for the ages.
My daughter was combing through Fandango's website the other night looking for upcoming films, and she suddenly exclaims, "Hey papi -- 'The Thing' in October!!" I immediately thought, "Ah, the prequel."
And indeed, that's what it is. The prequel will have the same title as John Carpenter's classic 1982 horror fest (and that of the 1951 original, although it also has the sub-header "from another world" in it) and will detail the Norwegian Antarctic outpost's unearthing of an alien spaceship (buried under the ice) which houses The Thing. (In the Carpenter film, Kurt Russell and co. discover, belatedly, what had happened to the Norwegian camp ... see at left.) But here's the problem: The prequel will offer nothing new. It will be essentially exactly what we saw in Carpenter's flick! Consider: In the 1982 offering, the Americans freak themselves out wondering 1) just what the f*** the alien is, and 2) who among them is infected by the alien organism. Aside from the actual discovery and unearthing of The Thing's ship, how will the prequel be any different? Answer: It won't. It'll be just like 1982.
This is akin to the debacle known as "Alien 3." Early drafts for the sequel called for something like that which we saw in the second "Alien vs. Predator" movie: the Aliens get loose among a heavily populated human settlement. They also offered unseen takes on how the Alien infestation progressed. But what we actually got was really in no way different from the original "Alien" film, but sans the original's abject horror and suspense.
Just as the discarded drafts for "Alien 3" would have been more daring and original, I think a sequel to Carpenter's film would have been better than a prequel. Consider: At that flick's end, only MacReady (Kurt Russell) and Childs (Keith David) remain. Their outpost is totally destroyed (thanks to Russell and two other now-dead companions in their effort to destroy The Thing), and once the fires die down MacReady and Childs will slowly freeze to death. The more-than-obvious question Carpenter wants us to ponder is ... is MacReady or Childs infected with The Thing's alien organism? Or, was The Thing really killed by Mac and company's efforts? A good sequel, using contemporary CGI tech, would do well to do the following: Have an expedition discover Mac and Child's corpses, one of which, when thawed, is revealed to be The Thing. (Or, have the expedition discover that The Thing was not obliterated by Mac and co.'s attempts.) The key, however, is to have The Thing be revealed back in civilization -- not the remoteness of the Antarctic. Recall the dread you felt when you saw Doc Blair's (Wilford Brimley) computer screen projecting that the entire world population would be infected with the alien germ 27,000 hours after first contact!
Imagine how suspenseful it would be watching authorities attempting to quarantine the alien plague, all the while various people are slowly and inexorably being transformed into Things. The ending could be the perfect dystopian terror: Planet Earth becomes a whole new world ... of Things.
Mark Steyn has an item up from last night about our esteemed Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu. Chu, you might recall, once stated that “we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.“ Aside from the fact that Chu appears to be getting his wish (notice how gas prices, after a slight dip the last couple weeks, are rapidly heading back up?), check out this smugly conceited piece of dreck he recently spewed forth regarding old-style light bulbs:
We are taking away a choice that continues to let people waste their own money.
Get it? People like Chu think it is their job to decide what you do with your money. As Steyn writes, "So what? I waste my own money on all kinds of things." As do I, most especially on golf. Maybe I should contact Chu and ask him to suggest a better choice ... oh, wait, that would have to be mandate a better choice for spending my money.
In conclusion, Steyn says it best:
Secretary Chu and his colleagues took a trillion dollars of “stimulus” and, for all the stimulating it did, might as well have given it in large bills to Charlie Sheen to snort coke off his hookers’ bellies with.
The province of Alberta added more jobs in June than the entire U.S.
Communist Van Jones lectures us on "patriotism":
Via Breitbart TV: The Octomom's kids run wild on the "Today" set:
From 1986: Classic William Shatner appearance on "Saturday Night Live" where the Enterprise has been turned into a restaurant ("Cap'n Kirk's"). Dana Carvey as arch-villain Khan is so dead-on, just try not to die laughing!
Now, a new U.N. report has more than tripled that number to $1.9 trillion per year for 40 years.
So let's do the math: That works out to a grand total of $76 trillion, over 40 years -- or more than five times the entire Gross Domestic Product of the United States ($14.66 trillion a year).
Oh, OK then. Let's just do that then. Anything else? Oh, there's this: The new 251-page report with the benign sounding name of the “World Economic and Social Survey 2011” is rife with goodies calling for “a radically new economic strategy” and “global governance/ That's it? Just a total restructuring of our economy and government. The environmental movement stopped being about pollution a long time ago. It's about power and control. Somewhere along the line, Leftists figured out that their policies were both unpopular and unworkable. To get around this problem they've used judicial fiat and regulation to advance their agenda.
That's what now-executed killer Humberto Leal shouted as he was injected with the lethal mix of drugs that would kill him.
Now, was this a deliberate play for the media, attorneys and politicians since there was a whole imbroglio over his citizenship leading up to his execution ... or was it an expression of his true nationalistic pride? Keep in mind that the guy has lived in the United States since he was a toddler. Check it:
Leal was just a toddler when he and his family moved to the U.S. from Monterrey, Mexico, but his citizenship became a key element of his attorneys' efforts to win a stay. They said police never told him following his arrest that he could seek legal assistance from the Mexican government under an international treaty.
Consider: As I noted here, Mexicans (and other foreign nationals) who've been here that long are considered "essentially Americans" because they're granted driver's licenses, in-state college tuition, and the like. In addition, we've seen how "progressives" and the Left have portrayed efforts like Arizona's in dealing with the huge influx of illegals, so just imagine the hassle the police that arrested Leal would have dealt with had they made an issue of determining his actual residency status. I can hear it now: "police state!" "Nazis!" "Papers please!" Etc.
All of which makes me salute the US Supreme Court 1) for initially saying "sorry" to our government because, since no legislation was passed by Congress to properly enact that appropriate international convention, it therefore didn't legally apply (which allowed Leal contact with a Mexican consulate), and 2) for refusing to stay Leal's execution last night on the basis of this still-unpassed legislation. (Congress had over two years to pass the damn law, after all.)
¡Viva El Tribunal Supremo de Los Estados Unidos!
And the non-Council results are here!
If you haven't already noticed (but it is easy to miss), I've added a new comics blog to the roll. It's that of none other than Jim Shooter -- former editor-in-chief at Marvel and one of the best comics writers of all-time.
If you're an older comics fan, you'll recall Shooter's reign. Many of his blog entries deal with inside stories of anecdotes we've only heard snippets of. I spent about two hours yesterday reading through some of them.
Al Sharpton on GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain: He's too racially obsessed.
VDH (Victor Davis Hanson) lists 3 themes of Obama campaign: Bush did it, GOP wants to throw Granny over the cliff, BHO opponents are either illiberal or racist.
Wilmington News Journal report about a motel robbery:
MOTEL ROBBED: A clerk at a New Castle-area motel was robbed at gunpoint early Tuesday by two men -- one disguised in a blue bandana. The robbery occurred about 4:15 a.m. at the Budget Motor Lodge at 140 S. Du Pont Highway, police said. The two men walked into the motel and confronted the 54-year-old clerk with a handgun, demanding money. The clerk gave the bandits an undisclosed sum of cash and the pair ran out of the motel.
WDEL.com report of same:
State Police are looking for 2 men who robbed a New Castle motel. Police say the suspects, one of whom had a gun, demanded and got cash from the clerk at the Budget Motel in the 100 block of South DuPont Highway around 4:15 Tuesday morning.
The suspects are described as black, one between 20 and 25 years old, about 6-2 and 180 pounds, wearing a beige T-shirt and blue jeans.
The other suspect is about 5-11 and 200 pounds wearing a beige shirt and blue jeans, and had a blue cloth covering his face.
Now, who does a better public service?
UPDATE: More on the scandal here. I'm hardly unsympathetic to those who believe that NCLB is drastically flawed (as is its bulkier brother, Race to the Top), but to resort to cheating and deception (you're teaching KIDS!!) garners absolutely no sympathy.
There's a Mexican national who's about to be executed in Texas and The Messiah is intervening ... even though the US Supreme Court said it was up to Congress if the execution was to be thwarted:
In 2004, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial body of the United Nations, determined that Leal and some 50 other Mexican Nationals on death row in the United States were entitled to judicial hearings to determine whether there had been a breach of their rights.
After the ruling, then President George W. Bush directed state courts to review the cases. But Texas pushed back, arguing that state courts were not subject to the rulings of an International Court.
In 2008, the issue reached the Supreme Court (Medellin v. Texas -- Hube), which said that Congress would have to pass legislation in order for the ICJ decision to be enforced.
Vermont's Patrick Leahy submitted legislation -- but too late. Only the US Supreme Court or Texas Gov. Rick Perry can halt the execution now. The Messiah's attorney's are asking the former to do just that. Why? "... officials ... do not want to send a message abroad that foreigners in custody have no right to consular notification."
Which I can understand -- to a degree. But our government doesn't do well in the common sense dept. when it cites Iran detaining those three hikers back in 2009 as a reason why we need abide by the initial ICJ ruling. Even though Iran is a party to the relevant Convention, does anyone seriously believe that this major state sponsor of terrorism follows such lawful dictates when it is not even remotely in its interest to do so?
Next, I thought Obama and the Democrats consider illegals who've been here as long as Humberto Leal has (since he was two) to be essentially "Americans" anyway, hence things they push like the DREAM Act. "Progressives" want illegals to be able to get drivers licenses, healthcare, and education, and hell -- our own 14th Amendment to the Constitution already guarantees that, much more often than not, non-citizens are to be afforded the same rights as citizens. So ... why all of a sudden the desire to make Leal out to be Mexican? Could it be that ... election 2012 is right around the corner and "the base" has to be mollified?
And the non-Council nominations are here!
Remember the love affair between Noam Chomsky and Hugo Chavez? Well, that's over. It seems Chomsky finally saw him for the thug he is:
"Concentration of executive power, unless it's very temporary and for specific circumstances, such as fighting world war two, is an assault on democracy. You can debate whether [Venezuela's] circumstances require it: internal circumstances and the external threat of attack, that's a legitimate debate. But my own judgment in that debate is that it does not."
One cheer for intellectual honesty. Only an intellectual would have taken so long to arrive at such an obvious conclusion.
"The science is settled" they say. That translates as "don't look at the data too closely it messes up my grant money and my political party"
I'm old enough to remember the fears of the next ice age. We were all going to freeze to death. One scenario in particular was that when the Soviets nuked us the impact of those weapons would blot out the sun and we'd freeze and starve.
Then about 20 years ago, we were told we were going to melt and drown. All this warmingness was going to cause the sea to surge by as much as 3 inches in the next hundred years. Heaven forfend.
I'm not alone in my skepticism. Some oppose the idea simply because of who's supporting it. For me it's been about scale. Nature has a way of thwarting that which man often wishes to do. It adapts to changes in environment (often contrary to our desired ends). The Salton Sea is a prime example. It was initially an engineering disaster that spawned a unique ecosystem that is now valued and protected.
In recent years the refrain of "Global Warming" has become "Climate Change". Why? For one, the globe is no longer warming and they know it. Between the Hockey Stick graph and the "hide the decline" nonsense many believe the emperor has no clothes.
(Odd that people who's entire political platform for the last 30 years has been "change" are now fighting one particular type of change.)
Why is climate change so bad? Warming gives us more arable farmland. If climate change is bad, what is the optimum temperature? Is it a global mean? How is it measured? How is the proper temperature determined?
If indeed the Earth's climate cools beyond this magical mean, will these same people encourage us to drive SUV's and emit more CO2 to compensate?
Is there any solution to this problem that does not require restricting human behavior or increasing government power or both?
The Earth is not warming. It is cooling.
World temperatures did not rise from 1998 to 2008, while manmade emissions of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuel grew by nearly a third, various data show.
The researchers from Boston and Harvard Universities and Finland's University of Turku said pollution, and specifically sulphur emissions, from coal-fueled growth in Asia was responsible for the cooling effect.
The study said that the halt in warming had fueled doubts about anthropogenic climate change, where scientists say manmade greenhouse gas emissions are heating the Earth.
"It has been unclear why global surface temperatures did not rise between 1998 and 2008," said the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States.
A peak in temperatures in 1998 coincided with a strong El Nino weather event, a natural shift which brings warm waters to the surface of the Pacific Ocean every few years.
Where was this reported? Was there any politician who's been talking about this? Has any of the Concerned Scientists (TM) retracted their earlier claims? Or asked for their signature to be removed from the Brave Statement About What Is To Be Done? No. To do so would jeopardize their grant funding and/or their politics.
"But Duffy, you're just a rube like the rest of them. Only lumpenproles and the low sloping forheads believe this."
On the whole, the most scientifically literate and numerate subjects were slightly less likely, not more, to see climate change as a serious threat than the least scientifically literate and numerate ones.
It's about money and control. It has nothing to do with their desire to save the planet or anything of the sort. They continue to fly on private jets live in huge homes, drive hither and yon with impunity. (Frankly the only person I'm prepared to hear a lecture from about my lifestyle is Ed Begley Jr. He's the only person I see that's practicing what he preaches.)
Because NOBODY demanded it but because I know you all look to me for the pinnacle in creative and cultural insight(!!), I now present to you the official Hube James Bond Films Ranking Index.
The number in parentheses is the number of the film (chronologically).
1. CASINO ROYALE (21). Daniel Craig explodes onto the scene as the sixth James Bond ... and the best. "Casino" signals a "rebooting" of the franchise with Bond as a meaner, grittier and less perfect agent. So good, I watch it in its entirety every time it's on.
2. GOLDFINGER (3). Original Bond Sean Connery's best outing, featuring one of the best Bond villains ever, Oddjob; one of the best lines ever ("No Mr. Bond, I expect you to DIE!"); and, of course, probably the best gadget of all, the spy-equipped Aston Martin. Oh, and need I mention the best Bond Girl name of all -- Pussy Galore?
3. FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE (2). Connery has to deal with a beautiful fake Soviet defector, as well as a sociopathic (Soviet) assassin Robert Shaw.
4. LICENSE TO KILL (16). I know I'll get grief for this choice, but Robert Davi's portrayal of drug lord Franz Sanchez makes this second (and last) Timothy Dalton-as-Bond film a keeper, not to mention possibly the most beautiful Bond Girl of all, Cary Lowell.
5. YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE (5). Connery kills it again in this epic featuring snatched spacecraft, "marrying" a kickin' Japanese babe, and SPECTRE's Ernst Blofeld.
6. THUNDERBALL/NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN (4, 13.5). Put together because the latter was a(n) [unauthorized] remake of the former (starring Sean Connery making a comeback), albeit with the added subplot of James Bond becoming an aging agent. The plot: SPECTRE threatens the planet with stolen nuclear weapons.
7. MOONRAKER (11). I'll get grief for this choice, too, but this fourth Roger Moore offering has non-stop action in worldwide locales, a classic villain (Jaws), and it unabashedly latched on to the late-70s "Star Wars" science fiction craze. There's never a dull moment, despite some silliness.
8. DR. NO (1). Set the stage, though it arguably doesn't hold up very well in contemporary viewings. Ursula Andress is the first-ever Bond Girl, and it was a damn good choice.
9. THE SPY WHO LOVED ME (10). My least favorite Bond, Roger Moore's, third outing features hottie Barbara Bach as a Russian agent with whom he must team up. Introduces Jaws and villain Karl Stromberg is deliciously evil (even though he keeps calling our hero "Mr. Bund").
10. DIE ANOTHER DAY (20). Pierce Brosnan's last outing is his best as he goes after the North Korean despot who once escaped him (and is responsible for his torture). And Halle Berry as the Bond Girl? HOO-YAH!!
11. DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER (7). Connery's "adiós" to the role (until the non-sanctioned "Never Say Never Again") where he's put on a few LBs and has to deal with a sexually androgynous duo of assassins. But hey, an incredibly sexy Jill St. John livens up things nicely.
12. TOMORROW NEVER DIES (18). The second Brosnan outing, Bond takes on a ... media mogul? Yep, but he's nicely portrayed by Jonathan Pryce ("Brazil," "Glengarry Glen Ross"). Bond Girls Teri Hatcher and Michelle Yeoh make the film verrrry easy on the eyes.
13. THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH (19). The third Brosnan outing features Sophie Marceau and Denise Richards as the Bond Babes. That's enough for this one!
14. QUANTUM OF SOLACE (22). Daniel Craig's second outing is a precipitous drop in quality from his premiere, but that's a bit expected when that debut is the best of all-time. Bond continues his search for the baddies behind the Quantum Corporation.
15. OCTOPUSSY (13). Roger Moore's second-to-last effort is better than you recall, for the most part. Louis Jourdan is neatly diabolical as the baddie and a still-hot Maud Adams is the main chick.
16. GOLDENEYE (17). Pierce Brosnan's debut is a rather boring affair, though Pierce himself definitely lives up to his long-desired role. Bonus points for the totally hot Famke Janssen as the sociopathic female baddie.
17. ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE (6). A brief break on the Connery era stars George Lazenby (an Aussie!) as Bond, Telly Savalas as Blofeld, and Diana Rigg (of "Avengers" fame) as Bond's eventual wife.
18. FOR YOUR EYES ONLY (12). Rather lame Roger Moore effort features Bond in a race against time to retrieve a submarine computer system. Trivia: Cassandra Harris, who has a small part in the film, was married to Pierce Brosnan. She had wished her husband would eventually get the role of Bond, but unfortunately she died of ovarian cancer four years before it actually happened.
19. THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN (9). Even Hervé Villechaize ("Tattoo") as Nick Nack cannot make this one interesting, but at least Roger Moore is young enough in this one to at least make one believe he could actually be MI6.
20. LIVE AND LET DIE (8). Moore's first outing as Bond and all it does is mimic the "blacksploitation" craze of the 1970s. At least a [very] young Jane Seymour makes it easy on the eyes.
21. THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS (15). Timothy Dalton's debut as 007 only induces a lot of yawning. At least he went out with a bang with "License to Kill" a couple years later.
22. A VIEW TO A KILL (14). Since it's hard to know who's older -- Roger Moore or costar Patrick Macnee ("Avengers") -- this means that Moore is way past his prime to play 007. Even Chris Walken and Grace Jones can't save this dreck.
“Races didn’t bother the Americans. They were something a lot better than any race. They were a People. They were the first self-constituted, self-declared, self-created People in the history of the world.”
- Archibald MacLeish
Check out the discussion of our most magnificent document from ABC's "This Week." As usual, George Will intellectually towers over the rest of the panel (and he is, to no surprise, the only conservative among the five at the table), especially since one guest, Michael Eric Dyson, views everything from the lens of race and gender; another, Jill Lepore, amazingly replies that her favorite Founding Father is Ben Franklin's sister; and the last, Richard Stengel, is the author of the pathetic recent Time magazine article on the Constitution.
Via the Newsbusters tip line (which goes out to many contributors, not just me):
The diffrent [sic] forms of white supremacy is amazing, also a really bad term when it should simply be narcissist. When you THINK that you are the greatest in authority,rank or importance it is extremely easy to think nothing you do or say can ever be wrong or immoral. Here's a sitting president who gets verbally lynched on the hour, who has not put 6,000 young soldiers to death based on lies (WMD'S) Saddams [sic] gonna cause a mushroom cloud in america [sic], he also is friends with Bin laden [sic] and helped knock down world trade. We have to act american [sic] people before it's to [sic] late, besides the dead and wounded how much did that cost??
8 years of Reagan remember contra [sic] aid congress refused the funds Reagan lets the CIA become drug dealers to get the loot, all of a sudden O'le [sic] Reagan got forgetful before he really got forgetful no phune [sic] intened [sic]. Well 8 yrs of reagan [sic] + 16 yrs of the bushes=24 yrs of scandle [sic] deficits, war = up for big buisness, ceo's [sic], oil companys [sic] and the filthy rich. So for some of us to think these like minded narcissist [sic] to do anything that would aid this black president to even look successful would like a oxycontin junkie sitting behind a mic telling people how to be a dildo opps i mean dido [sic] head and follow junkie madness. Take a look at the profile of a sociopath and listen to members of congress. Obama signed 2-3 repub bills and they backed away from their own proposal just to make him look bad, so what ever [sic] he does or says they will say the oppisite [sic] if he says yea they will say nea, if he says nea they will say yea. If it were the 50's or 60's he would be dead, but now a days [sic] it would be HELL to pay and the cowards know this. To see a man hated so bad right in front of our face is something folks. I tell ya 50+yrs ago must have been a tremendous hell for the people.This note won't go far in this setting truth to a narcissist is like daylight to dracula [sic] because the only truth is their truth right sheataunn [sic]...
Soccer Dad sends me an interesting link via e-mail:
The immortal founders of the Green Lantern Corps are an ancient race of aliens that, no joke, bare a striking resemblance to the State of Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion. The similarity is no urban legend - when the alien race the “Guardians of the Universe” were first drawn in Volume 2 #1 (July, 1960), the illustrators didn’t want to create unusual looking aliens, but opted to make them more human, more approachable. For whatever reason, the blue-skinned aliens with large heads and white hair were all modeled off of Ben-Gurion. Over the last 50 years, Israel’s Prime Minister has been in the comic books, cartoons, and now - a feature film.
"Name two things Obama has shown he doesn't know how to do?"
::opening the envelope::
That's the title of his latest weekly radio address. The man has no shame.
For you kids out there who don't get the reference, here's an example of Carnac in action:
Via Nat Brown at Media Blog -- check out British Labour Party Leader Ed Miliband, "who gives the same generalized, formulaic answer to the every one of the BBC’s questions concerning public-sector strikes":
Just remember: "Reckless and provocative manner."
Hey, how 'bout that? Men who have children -- who they need to support -- actually put in more work hours to make more money!! Who'da thunk it?
Check out Senator Dick Durbin speaking to illegal immigrants:
Yep, you heard that right. He said,
When I look around this room, I see America’s future, our doctors, our teachers, our nurses, our engineers, our scientists, our soldiers, our congressmen, our senators, and maybe our president.
Dick might -- just might -- wanna take a glance at this:
No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.
The country's in the very best of hands.
And the non-Council results are here!