Monday, November 30, 2009
Kennedy has not addressed an ongoing feud with Bishop Thomas Tobin over the issue of publicly funded abortion in legislation expanding the nation's health insurance system.
Kennedy earlier this month said Tobin banned him from receiving Holy Communion because of his support for abortion rights. Tobin said he asked Kennedy to stop receiving the sacrament in 2007.
Police removed perennial Rhode Island political candidate Christopher Young from the discussion after he shouted at Kennedy and tossed a boxed movie at the congressman. The item landed harmlessly on a table.
The Guardian also has story today on "the religious right" mounting new assault on abortion rights in U.S. And below: a report today on new law in Baltimore which makes so-called "pro-life" counseling centers display signs informing visitors that they do NOT provide info on birth control or referrals for abortions.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Jason Jones: Behind the Veil - Persians of Interest|
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Nice guys. Their families, complete with toddlers and large dogs, greeted us all at the airport. I went to an airport hotel, hung out at the pool in the a.m., and flew home. How deep was my love? Not very, but I got a fun article out of it. The brothers at their peak:
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
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Thursday, November 26, 2009
My new Huff Post piece on all this is here.
Below is the third movement in two parts at YouTube, part I, and below that Part II. And following that, as it figures in the final scene of recent movie Copying Beethoven:
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Wide received David CLowney hasn't had much of a year, and his team, the New York Jets have flopped - so how could it get worse for him? Tonight his Twitter account was hacked and it still has not been dealt with, despite a tip from Mashable. "Clowney" basically is telling fans where to get off, usually referring to them as "bitch," all the more embarrasing since the real Clowney at the top of the page professes his love for God. Most recently the invader tweeted, "I am not a rogue hackker! I am a professional muthfucka. So get it right." UPDATE Clowney has now tweeted: "Everybody this is David!! I am so sorry, these comments ARE NOT me." No new rogue tweets now for 10 hours.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Leaked British government documents call into question ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair's public statements on the buildup to the Iraq war and show plans for the U.S.-led 2003 invasion were being made more than a year earlier, a newspaper says.
Britain's Sunday Telegraph published details of private statements made by senior British military figures claiming plans were in place months before the March 2003 invasion, but were so badly drafted they left troops poorly equipped and ill-prepared for the conflict.
The documents — transcripts of interviews from an internal defense ministry review of the conflict — disclose that some planning for the Iraq war had begun in February 2002. Maj. Gen. Graeme Lamb, then head of Britain's special forces, was quoted as saying he had been "working the war up since early 2002," according to the newspaper.
In July 2002, Blair told lawmakers at a House of Commons committee session that there were no preparations to invade Iraq.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
From their press release tonight: "The new AOL brand identity is a simple, confident logotype, revealed by ever changing images. It’s one consistent logo with countless ways to reveal. The new brand identity will be fully unveiled on December 10, when AOL common stock begins trading on the New York Stock Exchange...."
Saturday, November 21, 2009
"This was not soft porn. This was no longer two unclothed women caressing and kissing on a bed. There was something primitive about it now, this woman-on-woman violence, as though in the room filled with shadows, Pegeen were a magical composite of shaman, acrobat, and animal. It was as if she were wearing a mask on her genitals, a weird totem mask, that made her into what she was not and was not supposed to be. There was something dangerous about it. His heart thumped with excitement – the god Pan looking on from a distance with his spying, lascivious gaze."
Among other things, Joe calls President Obama's ideology "UnAmerican," but that's to be expected. We have the whole thing up at the E&P site--and that's Charles with Joe pictured above--but here is the surprising quote in which Joe, despite admiring his pal Sarah Palin, comes out AGAINST her running for president in 2012.
Regarding Sarah Palin, the former Republican vice presidential candidate now making her rounds across the country on a book tour, Wurzelbacher told E&P he hopes she is not a candidate for president in 2012.
"I hope she doesn't (run) because I think she could do a lot for America outside of office," Wurzelbacher said. "And I think she could rally Americans to get together and make some changes from the grassroots level. I think she could be an incredible rallying point, and I think that's where she could serve America best."
To those who charge Wurzelbacher has "capitalized on my 15 minutes of fame," he disagrees, telling E&P, "I'm a year into this, and I am not rich by no means. My book is out of print. I'm selling the last remaining copies. I did not expect enormous dollars from it. It's just what it is. I haven't gotten behind any merchandise. I haven't sold out."
"In an interview, Mr. Beck chose his words carefully about his plans and would not say how directly he might support particular candidates. But he made clear that he intends to help elect politicians aligned with his limited-government world view. On Saturday he was to hold a campaign-style rally in The Villages in Florida, north of Orlando, and announce his plans." Mediaite with long summary and excerpts from his "plan" here. He previews it in video below:
She is the country’s first WWE politician — a cartoon combatant who inspires stadiums full of frustrated middle American followers who will cheer for her against whichever villain they trot out, be it Newsweek, Barack Obama, Katie Couric, Steve Schmidt, the Mad Russian, Randy Orton or whoever. Her followers will not know that she is the perfect patsy for our system, designed as it is to channel popular anger in any direction but a useful one, and to keep the public tied up endlessly in pointless media melees over meaningless nonsense (melees of the sort that develop organically around Palin everywhere she goes). Like George W. Bush, even Palin herself doesn’t know this, another reason she’s such a perfect political tool.
Meanwhile, the Senate debate has proved nowhere near as entertaining as the House debate two weeks ago, when it took about half the slots on Twitter's trending topics with even CSPAN getting a shout out as one of them. Unlike the House debate, this one features long speeches and the people making them are not quite as wacky (usually) as some of their House colleagues. Still waiting for first senator to bring baby to the floor. Too bad John Edwards no longer there.
About a month later, my friend and editor Peter Knobler and I were the only two journos to accept a press junket invite to tag along with Bruce and his band when they made their debut -- playing for the cons at Sing Sing prison, up in Don Draper's hometown of Ossining. The date was December 7, 1972 -- my birthday as it happened. Peter and I were so knocked out we then caught Bruce in a club that weekend (with about a dozen other attendees) and decided to feature him in Crawdaddy, it what became a landmark 10,000-word piece, the first magazine article on the boy.
And the rest, as they say, is history. We became friends and, in 2008, he wrote a brief preface for my book on Iraq and the media. Here's a clip from that Max's gig (sometimes wrongly attributed to the Gaslight). Growing Up, then and now.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Coming this Sunday in the NYT Magazine, a Q & A with that lone House Republican who voted for the Democrats' health reform plan two weeks ago. Of course, this is Rep. Joseph Cao of Lousiana. He tells Deborah Solomon that he has been scolded “by Republicans all over the United States…But not at all from the party’s leadership.” In fact, he says he’d just had lunch with party leder Rep. Eric Cantor down in NOLA and “he was very supportive of who I am and what I have to do to represent the district.”
But Cao claims he voted not to curry favor with his mostly black constituents but on principle, following “the politics of the Gospel. You have to take care of the poor…help those who can’t help themselves.” He became a Republican only because of their “strong pro-life stance.”
Cao admits that there is only one other Asian-American among the 177 House Republicans, but doesn't think that's why Cantor and others support him. He also admits he is only 5-foot-2, which makes him “look 18, even though I’m 42.” He also claims that Louisiana might have been a den of corruption in the past but now “we are squeaky clean.”
Only genuine passion for an extraordinary and powerful project could bring together artists ranging from Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Randy Newman and Eddie Vedder to John Legend, Jackson Browne and Lupe Fiasco for exclusive live performances. They and others are heard on The People Speak (Verve/UMe), the soundtrack of the documentary being released December 8, 2009, in conjunction with the December 13 broadcast of the film set to air on History.
The film celebrates democracy, based on the lives and experiences of ordinary Americans who, through their words and actions, changed the course of history, from the founding of this country to the civil rights movement and beyond. ...The People Speak features some of the world's most renowned artists, like Springsteen, who performs with just a guitar and harmonica in his New Jersey home recording studio, and Legend who sings solo backed by a piano at a Boston theatre, as well as others (including Taj Mahal, Allison Moorer, The Black Crowes' Rich Robinson and X's Exene Cervenka and John Doe) at the Malibu Performing Arts Center, where they perform both vintage and recent protest-music classics for The People Speak.
With a sense of timelessness, Springsteen reprises the John Steinbeck/Woody Guthrie-inspired "The Ghost of Tom Joad" from his 1995 album of the same name; Dylan sings Guthrie's "Do Re Mi"; and Dylan's early '60s gems "Masters Of War" and "Only A Pawn In Their Game" are performed by Vedder and Robinson, respectively.
One of the best-known songs of the Great Depression, "Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?," is sung by Moorer; Newman is at his piano for one of his finest works, "Sail Away," the title track from his 1972 album; Legend performs Marvin Gaye's '70s anthem "What's Going On"; Mahal lays down the immortal "Blues With A Feeling"; and Cervenka and Doe revive X's roots rocker "See How We Are" from 1987. Bringing protest music up to date are Fiasco's "American Terrorist," first heard on his 2006 debut album; Pink's "Dear Mr. President," heard on her album of that same year; and Browne's "The Drums Of War," which debuted on his 2008 album.
The People Speak documentary is inspired by co-executive producer Howard Zinn's 1980 book, A People's History Of The United States, which has sold more than two million copies, and 2004's Voices Of A People's History Of The United States, which Zinn co-wrote with co-executive producer Anthony Arnove. The film, narrated by Howard Zinn, features dramatic performances chronicling this country's history -- including charter documents, letters, diaries and more -- by such celebrities as Damon, Brolin, Marisa Tomei, Don Cheadle, and Sandra Oh, woven together with archival footage. A DVD of the film and a separate DVD of music performances will be issued in 2010.
You can purchase Why Obama Won (Sinclair Books) online. Order it for $16 via Amazon by clicking the book cover to the left, or go right to Amazon, or through other online outlets. See below for a list.
To watch my appearance on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show, go here. Susan Gardner, a top editor at DailyKos, has a very favorable review here. A weeklong discussion about the book and the issues it raises for the future began at Talking Points Memo.
One reason the book is different: I wrote about the campaign almost daily from a rare position, as a blogger at three of the most popular political sites (Huff Post, TPM and DailyKos), and as the editor of "mainstream" Editor & Publisher magazine. My Twitter feed here.
"A great early snapshot....It really raises the question of how the 2008 campaign might have played out in an earlier era, before private citizens and small publications had the ability to get video and soundbites out to millions of people." -- Will Bunch, Philadelphia Daily News, author of Tear Down This Myth.
In chronicling the entire race, Why Obama Won shows how politics and campaigns in America will never be the same. To get a flavor of the book, check out my current article on how the old media screwed up at Mother Jones. An excerpt from the book on the "new media" revolution is up at Alternet. Here's my piece on Stephen Colbert's brief candidacy -- plus some of the most wacky quotes from the campaign. Return to the days when we still had Bill Kristol and Sarah Palin to kick around.
My previous books on classic American campaigns, both for Random House, are Tricky Dick and the Pink Lady and The Campaign of the Century, winner of the Goldsmith Book Prize. Among other books, I co-authored two with Robert Jay Lifton, Hiroshima in America and, on capital punishment, Who Owns Death?
"Future investigators are going to have to pay attention to both the content and the argument presented in Why Obama Won." -- Paul Street, author, Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics.
Contact me for interviews or some such at: firstname.lastname@example.org. From the Amazon description of the book:
In the first book of its kind, Greg Mitchell, award-winning author and editor of Editor & Publisher, probes the historic 2008 race for president, from the first primary to the aftermath of the election -- from the "netroots" to the national media....Mitchell is the author of nine books for major publishers, most recently, "So Wrong for So Long," on Iraq and the media, acclaimed by Bill Moyers, Glenn Greenwald, Arianna Huffington and Bruce Springsteen, among many others.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
The poll asked this question: "Do you think that Barack Obama legitimately won the Presidential election last year, or do you think that ACORN stole it for him?" The overall top-line is legitimately won 62%, ACORN stole it 26%.
Among Republicans, however, only 27% say Obama actually won the race, with 52% -- an outright majority -- saying that ACORN stole it, and 21% are undecided. Among McCain voters, the breakdown is 31%-49%-20%. By comparison, independents weigh in at 72%-18%-10%, and Democrats are 86%-9%-4%.
NYT today catches up to new craze: plastering a quote from, or reference to, lines from Psalm 109 which hopes for Obama's end of days, and it goes on from there. Started on bumper stickers, now t-shirts and more. After hoping for end of his days, it continues: "Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.// Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places."
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Exclusive - Lou Dobbs Extended Interview Pt. 1|
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
The Sarah Palin book has no index, so people she might have praised or slammed have to either stand up in a bookstore and skim the whole thing or actually buy it. Now the Washington Post has provided a handy people index, which is searchable, or you can read all the remarks--PLUS comments from some of the people.
Who knew that she was upset that Kid Rock would not show up at a rally just for her--would do it only if McCain there? Also, she calls him the fine type of "common sense conservative." Kid Rock?
And her revelation re: pastor Rick Warren: "Palin mentions talking to and praying with Warren while in the shower, 'in a few inches of water with a shower curtain for a wardrobe.'"
A couple of days ago, when an excerpt related to her SNL appearance surfaced, I wrote that I hope Alec Baldwin would fact-check. Now he has. Here is the Wash Post bit. It relates to Palin's claim that the show unfairly cut her line reminding Baldwin that he had promised to leave the country if John Kerry lost in 2004.
According to EW, Baldwin’s rep says the reason that line was turned down was because the actor never made that claim. "'They nixed the joke because the underlying premise just wasn’t true," Baldwin’s rep, Matt Hiltzik, tells EW on behalf of Baldwin. . . . But once Palin knew that, after telling her [it wasn't true], she said, "Well, let’s say it anyway," like she needed it to be true.'”
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
On a lighter note: Who can forget that day in January 2007 when Sen. Biden offered his infamous quip about "the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy." He was referring to the man who is now his new boss, Barack Obama. But by now, you have surely forgotten that this took place on the very day Biden announced his race for president -- and that he happened to appear that night on "The Daily Show."
There he said (as I reported at the time) that he was simply trying to be "complimentary" toward Obama, but wasn't "artful" in doing so. He told Stewart that the "word that really got me in trouble" was calling Obama "clean....I should have said fresh. What I meant was he's got new ideas."
He said he had already called Obama, to which Stewart quipped, "I bet you did." Biden then said he also called former candidates Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, to which Stewart added: "And Michael Jordan?"
When Biden first appeared on stage, Stewart teased, "How's your day been?" Biden said, "It's a tough game," and crossed himself (he is Catholic).
Stewart reminded him that just yesterday he had told the Philadelphia Inquirer that he had learned from previous campaigns to be careful, since "words matter." Stewart said, "And then you came out with this one," quoting the lines about Obama.
Stewart advised in a whisper, "When you are about to say one of those things, take a deep breath and count to 10."
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|