Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Tuesday Stuff

I couldn’t let the year come to a close without acknowledging this story – here is more on the legendary genius of Alan Turing, and while I’m sure he had no desire to also be a ground-breaking figure on the issue of LGBT rights, that is what happened…



…and ZOMG! You mean our glorious private sector actually GETS STUFF WRONG??!! Color me shocked (yes, I’m removing my tongue from my cheek). But look – OBAMACARE WEB SITE OBAMACARE WEB SITE OBAMACARE WEB SITE FREEDOM FREEDOM FREEDOM SHUTUP SHUTUP SHUTUP!!!…



…and I suspect that, if your server tonight at Applebee’s or Macaroni Grill, for example, could tell you their story, it would go something like this (here)…



…and here’s a story of technology perhaps taken a bit too far…



…and I’m sure this question will be answered by a few people in a little while…



…and I firmly believe every word of this song – best wishes to one and all for a happy 2014.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Monday Stuff

Gosh, I didn’t know that Former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich was a get down, jammin’ kind of guy, as noted here (though, when it comes to tunes by Queen and the Repugs, the lyrics of “Death on Two Legs” are a better fit – good message as always, though)…



…and yeah, what about that Kenyan Muslim Socialist pre-zee-dint of ours and his supposedly worst fifth year in the history of the universe…



…and Texas U.S. House nut job (redundant?) Steve Stockman wants to clean guns with the tears of liberals, or something (here)? The only thing funnier than that is the thought of this looney tune running for the U.S. Senate. And the only thing funnier than that is what will happen to the fabled Repug “brand” if he actually wins…



…and here’s a little number for our “worst to first” Philadelphia Eagles – nice job.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Saturday Stuff

What a shame that ALEC is apparently struggling to keep members based on this – as an organization, I hope it dies a thousand deaths…



…and don’t think for a minute that the corporate-sponsored wingnuttia isn’t creeping all over academia too…



...and Rachel Maddow told us what Lex Luthor Scott is up to in FLA, but as this video tells us, he has a lot of ideological company, including the life form taking up space in the governor's mansion in Harrisburg...



...and a belated happy 50th birthday to Lars Ulrich of Metallica.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Thursday Stuff

(I also posted here, maybe for the last time at Wordpress...don't know yet.)

The day may have come and gone, but we're still in the season, people...



...and oh yes, Josh Barro and Richard Kim are all over Obama for the insurance quote - spare me (good for Chris Hayes for laying it on Stephen Fincher, though)...



...and the end of the last video is probably a good lead-in to this one, unfortunately...



...and I guess this tune marks the end of the holiday music season - sigh.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

All the best of the holiday season, as well as a great 2014 also, from me, Bill Evans, and Tony Bennett…



…and Nat too, of course.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Tuesday Stuff

If it's Christmas Eve, then it's time for Bing and Bowie...



...and this guy too.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Monday Stuff

Kudos to Drexel University sociologist Robert Brulle in these parts for “following the money” on climate change denial here (and as if we need any more of a reminder why this matters, the following clip from about 10 months ago tells us why)…



…and Rachel Maddow presents the truly epochal futility of the utterly wretched 113th Congress, including Mikey the Beloved (all the more reason to click here as far as I’m concerned)…



…turning to seasonal stuff…just sit back, watch, listen and enjoy.







Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sunday Stuff

Time for seasonal stuff – and yes, this is a Christmas song…



…and I think ol’ Pearl is onto something here…



…and here is something a little less secular…



…and this never gets old, though in a way, I wish it would.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Saturday Stuff

Rachel Maddow does a good job here of connecting the dots, as it were, between the utterly wretched Darrell Issa, chair of the House Oversight Committee, and Dan Burton, his predecessor who actually may have been worse, believe it or not (and to say nothing of our lap dog corporate media also of course)…



…and here is a great holiday story…



…and here’s a soulful seasonal tune…



…and I remember having big hair once like this guy did…sigh…



…and what the hell – why not some fun too…



…and the following is offered without comment.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday Stuff

Darn that Mark Fiore and his trenchant commentary – removing tongue from cheek (here)…



…and in a similar vein, I thought this was a good commentary by Lawrence O’Donnell about Judge Leon’s ruling on the NSA spying (and once again, let’s not forget that we’re talking about a Dubya appointee who ruled in favor of that insect Larry Klayman)…



…and I promised that I would avoid the “Duck Dynasty” nonsense, but I can’t resist this commentary from Jon Stewart…



…and I guess that’s a good lead-in to the seasonal stuff...



…and hey, Santa, pass us that bottle willya?...



…and I don’t know what possessed Seth MacFarlane to include Shatner in that Oscar skit this year, or whatever that was – don’t suppose we’ll ever find out.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Thursday Stuff

Gosh, “Tiger Beat On The Potomac” sez that Number 44 is having the worst fifth year ever? Really? Oh, and speaking of these cretins, a hat tip to Eschaton for this



…and this might be the most important video of this or any year (once more, a hat tip to Eschaton here)…



…now let’s turn to the seasonal stuff – and apparently, Brian Griffin will make a miraculous return shortly…



…and turning perilously close to country music, I give you this.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wednesday Stuff

(I also posted here.)

By the way, I'm still waiting for Pete Sessions to confirm whether or not he actually said that he "can't stand the sight of" President Obama (yep, looks like "flop sweat city" from the Repugs with this latest fit of desperation)...



...and uh-oh, it looks like it's also time to crank up the right-wing outrage meter again; I don't know about you, but though I know at heart he's a doctrinaire kind of guy, I'm liking this pope more and more (here)...



…and happy 70th birthday to Keith Richards



…and I would have liked a non-secular image or two mixed in here with the others, but it’s still nice to hear Nat sing this carol…



…and he didn’t even need the tomahawk while he sang this, surprisingly enough (dated boomer reference I know)…



…and I hope these people eventually signed with a major label – they deserve it.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tuesday Stuff

Here’s a novel idea – how about if our corporate media actually reports on REAL PEOPLE who are benefitting from the Affordable Care Law as opposed to going nuts over a web site? (more here)...



...and don't look now, but U.S. Senate Repugs actually AREN'T obstructing, and "The world's greatest deliberative body" is actually doing something - shocking!...



...and here are more seasonal favorites.







Monday, December 16, 2013

Monday Stuff

(I also posted here.)

'Tis the eason for more Repug wingnuttery, given a historical context here (actually, when it comes to demonizing those less fortunate, it's ALWAYS the season, particularly for the stupidest life form in the universe shown in the clip - video at the end looks kind of catchy)...



…and here is a program note about that Murphy guy again; my bad for being a day late, but it may get rerun (and just as a reminder, this is who the Teahadists elected instead a little over three years ago – and to do something about that, click here)…



…and I really shouldn’t waste my time over the latest with Fix Noise humanoid Megyn Kelly, but the stuff from Jon Stewart in particular in response is great…



...and here is more seasonal stuff.





Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sunday Stuff

RIP Peter O’Toole (sorry the film clips were edited out…a typically great speech, though – and gee, was Meryl Streep a little tanked, or what? And it is absolutely beyond criminal that he never won anything but an honorary Oscar)…



…and though there are so many great clips to choose from including O’Toole, I selected this one from “What’s New, Pussycat?” featuring Peter Sellers also (a bit of a guilty pleasure for your humble narrator, and a big-time ‘60s frolic for sure)…



…and no, I’m never going to stop beating this drum until we have federal gun laws in this country that are actually sane...



...and here's another seasonal selection.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Saturday Stuff

Rachel Maddow tells us more about Chris Christie and a certain bridge from NY to NYC, among other things…



…and a year ago – well, this happened, and this was our supposed response (and yet again)…



…and given that, these are the only two Christmas songs I feel like hearing right now.



Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday Stuff

Yeah, and if you believe this story, I’ve got a bridge to New Jersey to sell you, or NYC (actually, it’s true, though)…



…and Rachel Maddow (who also reported on the Christie thing – I’ll try to get to it later) tells us just how those in states with Dem governors are faring on health care reform (you can guess, but the evidence is in the clip)…



…and I guess this is Fix Noise humanoid Megyn Kelly’s greatest fear based on this item (h/t Atrios – definitely NSFW)…



…and speaking of seasonal stuff…



…and this is pretty mellow for a scientologist (true!)…



…and it looks like we might have this for real again tomorrow – anybody have a bicarbonate of soda?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Thursday Stuff

Yep, let’s hear it for the Volcker Rule, and screw those “Third Way” weasels…



…and leave it to Foxies for more “cutting edge” seasonal stuff here…



…and leading into that, one of my particular duties I don’t look forward to is putting up the net lights; make sure you get the right size, or else you’ll have to trim your bush (hey now!)…



…and Mrs. Doomsy is partial to the version of this song by Judy Garland; that’s good too, but I like Mr. S. better here.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wednesday Stuff

I now give you more liberal crazy talk (here)…



…and kudos to Chris Hayes for continuing to report on the stuff that matters, including showing up Rupert the Pirate for what he really is (as well as The Sainted Ronnie R, of course - and God, do I hate that "clean energy" commercial)...



…and I’m sure that, were He to return, He would be derided by the wingnuts as just another panhandling, “big gumint” welfare grifter…



…but to leave us with a bit of a smile for the season (I hope), I give you this.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tuesday Stuff

(I also posted here.)

I don’t give a crap about a handshake – what I care about is the fact that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations on this day in 1948, making it (quick calculation!) 65 years old…



…and Paul Ryan is waaay too happy here for me to not be totally suspicious of this thing signed today (“autopilot” spending? A little less wingnut code and a little more reality, you worm - and no stinking tax increases…unbelievable – anybody who votes for Ryan and his same-party clowns deserve what they get; and with all due respect to Patty Murray, how about “certainty” for people out of work or soon-to-be in that predicament)…



Update 12/11/13: More on this is here.

…and I need a pick-me-up after watching that – maybe a jog on the treadmill will do - oh, wait…



…and here’s another seasonal number.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Monday Stuff

This video goes out to the entire gaggle of idiots on the Bucks County Courier Times’ Op-Ed page who continually bash public school teachers and early childhood education overall (as opposed to those oh-so-pristine parochial schools, which, though they do great work also, are hardly perfect either...more here)…



…and as long as I’m trying to blow up some right wing BS with the prior video, maybe I should try it again with this (setting the record straight on the ACLU, a favorite “boogeyman” of the right, and Christmas)…



…and speaking of the holiday…



…and with the white stuff on the ground already and more on the way, I’m in the mood for this tune.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Saturday Stuff

Good for Jon Stewart to lay it on Fix Noise nematode Stuart Varney, among others (here)…



…and I realize this ostensibly is comedy also, but rest assured that I’m not laughing (here)…



…and now, time for more seasonal stuff – I guess this is appropriate for tonight (just leave the keys with a friend, people)…



…and I guess this is appropriate for tomorrow.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Friday Stuff

(I also posted here.)

This is the Rachel Maddow report on Nelson Mandela that I mentioned last night, with Congressman John Lewis…



…and Lee Camp tells us about becoming a debt slave here (definitely NSFW)…



…turning to seasonal stuff, it’s time to get down…



…and this is kind of country-ish, but it works for me.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Thursday Stuff

RIP Nelson Mandela, a titan of this century and the last – Rachel Maddow had a great report tonight that I hope to put here tomorrow…



…and here is a tune that I’ve always associated with Mandela and the struggle against apartheid…



…now to some seasonal stuff (always liked the originality of this one)…



…and as long as we’re meditating on the passing of a man who saw the future from inside his tiny jail cell all those years, I think this is an appropriate selection (about a better future for us all).

My Response To Sarah Palin

I have to say something in response to this.

The Crooks and Liars post tells us that a certain former half-term governor of Alaska recently opined that, because of the episode where Martin Bashir of MSNBC told Sarah Palin to eat shit (in so many words) for which Bashir resigned, that individuals could “(be) hesitant to jump in the arena anyway, to get out there and serve the public or start a business.”

Please excuse me for a minute or two while I try to unpackage all of this idiocy.

All of this started with an interview Palin gave to Jake Tapper, including the following (from here)…
TAPPER: So, you obviously feel very passionate about the national debt. The other day, you gave a speech in which you compared it to slavery.

PALIN: To slavery. Yes. And that’s not a racist thing to do, by the way, which I know somebody is going to claim it is.

TAPPER: Don’t you ever fear that by using hyperbole like that — obviously, you don’t literally mean it’s like slavery, which cost millions of people their lives and there was rape and torture. You’re using it as a metaphor.

But don’t you ever worry that by using that kind of language, you — you risk obscuring the point you’re trying to make?

PALIN: There is another definition of slavery and that is being beholden to some kind of master that is not of your choosing. And, yes, the national debt will be like slavery when the note comes due.

TAPPER: So you’re not — you’re not work — I mean I’m — I’m taking it as a no, but you’re not — you’re not concerned about the language —

PALIN: I’m not one to be politically correct, evidently.
Um, I guess not.

So in response, Martin Bashir said the following (from here, and no, he didn’t actually say “defecate in Palin’s mouth,” though he clearly implied it)…
BASHIR: It’ll be like slavery. Given her well-established reputation as a world class idiot, it’s hardly surprising that she should choose to mention slavery in a way that is abominable to anyone who knows anything about its barbaric history. So here’s an example.

One of the most comprehensive first-person accounts of slavery comes from the personal diary of a man called Thomas Thistlewood, who kept copious notes for 39 years. Thistlewood was the son of a tenant farmer who arrived on the island of Jamaica in April 1750, and assumed the position of overseer at a major plantation. What is most shocking about Thistlewood’s diary is not simply the fact that he assumes the right to own and possess other human beings, but is the sheer cruelty and brutality of his regime.

In 1756, he records that “A slave named Darby catched eating canes; had him well flogged and pickled, then made Hector, another slave, s-h-i-t in his mouth.” This became known as Darby’s dose, a punishment invented by Thistlewood that spoke only of the slave owners savagery and inhumanity.

And he mentions a similar incident again in 1756, this time in relation to a man he refers to as Punch. “Flogged Punch well, and then washed and rubbed salt pickle, lime juice and bird pepper; made Negro Joe piss in his eyes and mouth.” I could go on, but you get the point.

When Mrs. Palin invoked slavery, she doesn’t just prove her rank ignorance. She confirms that if anyone truly qualified for a dose of discipline from Thomas Thistlewood, then she would be the outstanding candidate.
And as the post tells us, Martin Bashir apologized. But of course that wasn’t good enough for the faux outrage machine, so now Bashir has resigned.

When it comes to stuff like this, I generally apply what I call the “Bill Orally Test,” named after a certain Fix Noise pundit, of course. And in a matter of words, here it is – no matter how outrageous a remark a media personality has made (as opposed to a politician, someone able to write or vote on actual legislation), as long as no one is physically injured or killed over it, if this person apologizes for it (even a half-assed one like Billo gave us here), then I will relent on that person.

And I’ve stuck to that, by the way, even while O’Reilly made those disgusting, inflammatory remarks about George Tiller, the family planning doctor and abortionist in Kansas who was ultimately murdered. Did O’Reilly pull the trigger? No. Does he share some measure of responsibility for his incessant “George Tiller, Baby Killer” rhetoric? Along with Glenn Beck, he sure does. Have I ever called for O’Reilly’s resignation? No. What he says is thoroughly idiotic at best, but it’s still free speech.

Do I defend Martin Bashir’s highly offensive (and thoroughly atypical for him) imagery? Of course not. Did he encourage anyone to do physical violence to Sarah Palin? No. Did he genuinely apologize for what he said? Yes. However, as noted earlier, that will never be good enough for the wingnuts looking to shout us down every chance they get (I maintain that the worst thing Bashir did was to not just ignore Palin altogether, which is the treatment she deserves – I would still be doing that if it weren’t for her disgusting display of self-pity).

Also, here’s something else to consider. Though Palin was of course engaging in hyperbole with just about no relationship to the world of facts and evidence (as usual), she is typically WRONG to not point out that THE DEBT IS SHRINKING!!!, as noted here.

Finally, to emphasize Palin’s air-headedness (which should be plainly obvious), I give you the following from here):



Sarah Palin is probably the last person on earth who has a right to feel victimized by a TV commentator for inappropriate language. The fact that she always has a ready forum for her utterly brainless spasms of vocal ineptitude is a hallmark of our thoroughly compromised corporate media, which would be better served if it were to pass her by and stick a microphone in front of a flatulent animal instead.

Update 12/20/13: And in a related story, as they say, John Amato asks a great question here concerning that "Duck Dynasty" idiot.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Wednesday Stuff

(I also posted here.)

Good luck to the courageous fast-food workers striking for a livable wage, as noted in this report (and while it would be nice for “B. Barry Bamz” to follow this up with actual progressive legislation, perish the thought, the remarks about income inequality speak volumes in their own right)…



…and uh oh, It looks like that big gumint of Number 44 is at it again here (yeah, well, you can leave a wakeup call for me when 3,000 people die from a terrorist attack in our soil or Obama declares an illegal war, OK? And “Judeo-Crisco values” – hilarious)…



…next, time for more seasonal stuff…



…and I guess this is more appropriate for Friday night, or later in the season, but I think it works well now also.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Tuesday Stuff

I thought this was an interesting report from Chris Hayes about buying stuff, in time for the holiday shopping season (and former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich is on hand for a reality check, of course – I generally think Josh Barro is a bright guy, but I don’t totally agree with his “glass half full” assessment on the economy)…



…and I think, among other things, that this report from Rachel Maddow tells us just how big a tool Mississippi Repug (of course) Governor Phil Bryant really is on health care in particular (like to see a fraction of our corporate media coverage devoted to stories like this as opposed to that freaking web site!), to say nothing of “Man Tan” Boehner and his pals in the U.S. House, including Mikey the Beloved of course…



…and another milestone I missed was Joni Mitchell’s 70th birthday earlier this year – hope it was fun…



..and this is a fairly newer holiday tune; good stuff by John Legend.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Monday Stuff

(I also posted here.)

Oh yes, here comes another “Whatever shall the Republican Party do?” discussion – spare me (though the takeaway for me is more along the lines of “the more things change, the more things stay the same,” and to watch the slo-mo extinction of what was once the party of Abraham Lincoln)…



…and “Happy Meatless Monday” once more, people (here)…



…and from trying to save the planet, let’s now turn to economic inequality (here – more here; somehow I think that, if Bob Edgar were still with us, he would be right in the middle of this whole thing)…



…and I noted a few anniversaries this year, but one I utterly forgot (sorry about that) was the 40th of the death of Jim Croce and collaborator Maury Muehleisen in a plane crash on September 20th – I guess this would be a seasonal tribute.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Sunday Stuff

Is our politicians learning – this is aimed at NYC and Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio, but as the Daily Kos poster noted, it could be aimed everywhere else in this country too, including our beloved commonwealth of PA…



…and to commemorate the 25th World AIDS Day (since I haven’t been able to find any video from our news organizations with initials for names yet), I give you this scene from “And The Band Played On,” starring Matthew Modine, a 1993 production based on the book by Randy Shilts, showing some thoroughly appropriate outrage before the disease became basically a pandemic…



…and I thought this was a nice meditation on writer C.S. Lewis by Martin Bashir, who we also lost on 11/22/63…



…and yep, time for more seasonal stuff – “you’d better not pout, you’d better not cry, you’d better not violate your parole…”

Friday, November 29, 2013

Friday Stuff

You know that The Big Man in Rome has left a mark if Fix Noise nematode Stuart Varney was called upon to issue the corporate media rebuttal here, complete with FREEDOM FREEEDOM OWNERSHIP SOCIETY GREED IS GOOD!! all around…as noted here, though, Varney is routinely wrong on economic matters anyway…



…and I guess I can’t put this off any longer, especially since I put up the Hanukkah tune the other night – ye gods.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving 2013

I got a kick out of this (courtesy of Pixdaus and Daily Kos).

...and it looks like The Onion does it again...


Obama Outlines Moral, Philosophical Justifications For Turkey Pardon

...and here's another holiday fave, with an intro by Seth MacFarlane as Stewie Griffin (and again, the captions make this hilarious as far as I'm concerned)...



...and here's more holiday fun...



...and I kind of liked this also (hat tip for this and The Onion to Daily Kos)...



...and here's a Thanksgiving message for those wonderful folks at the TSA.



...and definitely a hat tip to Atrios for this.







Update 1: And here is another late addition.



Update 2: Might as well add this too.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wednesday Stuff

(I also posted here.)

“Boehner’s Boners,” huh? Cute (here – I thought the names became gradually less clever, though the points were well made)…



…and wow, a potential victory for our side for a change (here) – color me shocked…



…though there are still too many around this time of the year having to scramble, including the folks noted here who get crumbs, by comparison, from those smiley-faced bastards generating their immense wealth…



…and the festival of lights comes pretty early this year – hope it’s a good one for all who observe it.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tuesday Stuff

(I also posted here.)

Remember the conservatives yapping about how the Dems supposedly have no morality because of their affiliation with Hollywood? Well, do you think Number 44 will get any credit for this? Next question…



…and happy 74th birthday to Tina Turner (wonder how many folks remember that ‘80s movie?).

Monday, November 25, 2013

Monday Stuff

(I also posted here.)

I’m sure we’re getting a little fatigued (I am anyway) with pointing out just how relentless the Teahadist, movement conservative Republicans in Congress are when it comes to “afflicting the afflicted and comforting the comfortable,” to turn that phrase on its head, but it must be pointed out, especially now…



…and here’s our regional weather forecast (brrrrrr!).

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Saturday Stuff

And don’t even imagine asking what goes into the “secret” Big Mac sauce, by the way (here)…



…and it looks like it’s time to call the WHAAAAMBULANCE! for Sen. Mr. Elaine Chao (here)…



…and yep, he sure was (here – JFK, I mean)…



Update 11/25/13: HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! (h/t Daily Kos)

…and yeah, despite it all, I still believe too.

Friday, November 22, 2013

JFK Stuff

I was only five years old (home from kindergarten, I barely recall), but somehow I knew something was very wrong.

A tipoff was the hushed conversations from my parents and family (Presumably so I wouldn’t overhear? Never found out – oh well) and the sudden interest in what was taking place on TV (What, no cartoons?).

I can barely remember, but I guess, to a child’s thinking, you make the word and picture associations differently than you would if you were an adult. The president is mentioned? Well, maybe he made a speech somewhere or talked to reporters. And you see his face all over the place – well, he is the president, after all. And a younger and more photogenic one than those before him (the press did indeed cover the Kennedys in the White House as if they were royalty, which now might force people with “conventional views” to “repress a gag reflex,” as the utterly odious Richard Cohen could have put it).

In short order, though, I noticed the anxious, concerned look on my mom’s face and also noticed the tone of voice of the TV announcer (probably Walter Cronkite – God, what didn’t he cover?). Then the words – “shots fired,” “president taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital,” “conflicting reports.” And now you know it’s for real.

Then you start asking the questions, and the only answer you get is “I don’t know, let’s hope and pray that it isn’t true.”

And after what seems like hours pass, though they are only seconds, you find out that it is true. And there are no words to truly capture the shock and sense of horror and despair.

Oh, and though I’m sure this doesn’t need to be pointed out, I will anyway; at five years old, I had no political inclination about anything. I would have felt the same way if President Kennedy had been a Republican somehow.

To add the exclamation point to everything, by the way, Cronkite fights back tears and his voice breaking as he reads the news, a perfectly human reaction. And after a little while, when he’s done with reading the reports from the news staff of the assassination, he tells us that, now, we’re going to go to our reporter on the scene (or somewhere else, in the studio maybe), a younger man looking more serious than Cronkite with jet-black hair (or so it appears on the black and white and gray scale of our TVs) who we would later learn is a still-young correspondent named Dan Rather.

And as if you still wondered as to whether or not this was indeed an emergency, you could tell because some of the adults started coming home early from work. And you were sure the first thing they did when they arrived was to turn on their TVs (I think my mom wondered if this story made it to the afternoon edition of the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin).

After that, I can recall only what seemed like a maelstrom of news reports, profiles of the just-slain president, reactions from other politicians and world leaders, and of course reactions from family members and friends (we would later hear that, at the E.J. Korvette’s department store, a woman had actually yelled out that she was glad that Kennedy got what he deserved; I suppose that act alone means we above that Mason Dixon line have automatically forfeited any notion of moral superiority towards any other region in this country).

Since all of this happened on a Friday (how apropos), there wasn’t much to do the next day but turn on the TV to find out if anything else had happened (you knew that Lyndon Johnson, a guy who was only known as an intimidating force in the Senate by my parents, was now president). And then, at last, you saw the guy who murdered our now-deceased president being escorted to jail.

And in almost that same instance, you saw Oswald murdered also by Jack Ruby. On live TV, with all of the attendant chaos, yelling and confusion taking place in real time.

To a child’s way of thinking (speaking only for myself I guess), it was hard not to think of it as another episode of a TV show, even a low farce that wasn’t even remotely funny (I think, at that point, I was whisked away from the TV set by at least one set of adult hands, not in a punishing way, I want to emphasize).

There would be many other images, of course, brought to us from TV coverage that would become indelible (the picture of LBJ being sworn in on the plane next to the First Lady, wearing her still-blood-stained outfit, the funeral cortege, “John John” and his salute, etc.). And of course, politicians such as Gerald Ford and Arlen Specter would rise to prominence on the Warren Commission that, of course, concluded that Oswald acted alone.

And over time, the conspiracy theories would take their place alongside the conventional wisdom, with each holding sway, though I tend to side more with the conspiracy theories (not in their entirety, but in aggregate, because, in my opinion, they’re closer to the truth – put me down in the “I think the ‘lone gunman’ theory is bogus” column).

Because, as Donald Sutherland’s made-up character (based on L. Fletcher Prouty and Richard C. Nagell?) in Oliver Stone’s movie put it in the clip below, in so many words, the who and when of it is a parlor game. What matters the most, of course, is why.

And trying to answer that question…well, it has taken years (assuming it ever could be answered), and it will undoubtedly take many more, even after records into the investigation are unsealed in 2017.

There is so much history from that time, to say nothing of innuendo and speculation, that has been processed over and over into all manner of pop culture flotsam (as well as actual scholarship), to the point where, hell, if you were born or grew up around that time, you MUST have an opinion on the subject.

You think Oswald acted alone? Are you a Republican (maybe not)? Do you think JFK was about to “expose the illuminati” or something? Are you a Democrat (maybe not)?

How about Bobby Kennedy’s persecution of Jimmy Hoffa – do you think organized crime collaborated with rogue, anti-Castro elements mad at JFK for the Bay of Pigs? And gosh, wasn’t it a coincidence that Allen Dulles, fired by JFK, ended up serving on the Warren Commission and authorizing its report? Do you think the generals, including Curtis LeMay, signed off on it because they were mad at Kennedy for acting like he wanted to bail on Vietnam and pursuing a nuclear test ban treaty with Khrushchev of the Soviet Union? Maybe Sam Giancana took the lead because he was mad at JFK for the stuff with Judith Exner? Or maybe there were people PO’ed at father Joe Kennedy for his “bootlegging” during Prohibition, so they decided to exact reprisals on one son now (Jack) and another later (Bobby)?

And there are so many other angles on this that I can’t even get to - and isn’t it a coincidence that these assassinations (JFK, Bobby, Martin Luther King) stopped when J. Edgar Hoover died?

I have no new facts, nothing to tilt the argument one way or the other; just “sounding off” of course, which means my opinion is no better or worse than anyone else.

With the passage of time, though, I think what I still have a hard time trying to reconcile is the fact not just that the assassination of a U.S. president took place the way that it did, on what appeared to be a grand stage in a motorcade, but the fact that such an act was even possible.

This is not meant to attack the fine men and women of the Secret Service, by the way. However, it does lead one to believe that something indeed on a grand scale was afoot. The fact that the conditions could be orchestrated in such a way to allow that to happen is at least as chilling to me as the fact that it happened at all. The fact that so many forces, I believe, could coalesce the way they did and manufacture this event, the killing of an incumbent United States president, is truly the stuff of nightmares.

And I don’t have an answer to any of this; all I have are my observations (and to point out, as Oliver Stone did in his “Untold History of the United States,” that the Kennedy assassination would open the door for ever-greater horrors to come – there was a lot of great stuff that happened in the 1960s, but there were also many moments when you felt like the whole world was coming apart).

So I think we should mourn President Kennedy on this day, the 50th anniversary of his death. However, I think we should also mourn for ourselves a bit, as we consider what might have been yet realized in the remainder of his first term of office, and quite possibly a second starting in 1964 (the Dallas trip, it was later noted, was the unofficial start of his re-election campaign).

However, I think we can also use this opportunity to reflect on his accomplishments; former New York Times columnist Bob Herbert wrote about JFK here. Also, here are Kennedy’s remarks attacking the steel companies (and if you want to get an idea as to why JFK got the wingnuts all upset, David Brooks – sticking with The Old Gray Lady – gives us an insight on that here…BoBo is pretty much comic relief on this subject, it should be noted – last bullet).

So with that out of the way, I give you the beginning of the reporting with Cronkite's voice-over only - just the "CBS Bulletin" background...



...and Cronkite gave us the official word at about 6:22 here...



...and I think this articulates pretty well, rightly or wrongly, the shadow that has surrounded this fateful event...



…and though there are a few tunes that are appropriate for this day, I thought this was the best selection.



Update: I thought this commentary from R.J. Eskow was well done.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thursday Stuff

This just in – Harry Reid finds his spine; film at 11:00 (and Sen. Mr. Elaine Chao apparently needs a lesson in remedial math - and God, do I hate that natural gas commercial; the guy sounds like an egotistical jerk)...



...and on this issue, what a shame the U.S. Senate Repugs didn’t pay attention to the title of this song (but good for the Dems).

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wednesday Stuff

I know Martin Bashir really messed up on the Palin thing, but I think he, Joy Reid and Jared Bernstein are all spot-on here on the whole health care business...



…and I think somebody spiked Tweety’s Geritol or something – nice work here (echoing some of the prior clip, I realize)…



…and I think Stephen Colbert is pushing the tongue-in-cheek meter here a bit, though he’s also spot-on when it comes to “the most trusted name in news”…



…and for no particular reason, here is a tune from this century.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tuesday Stuff

Once again, Sen. Elizabeth Warren talks about the stuff that matters (here)…



…and it looks like we may actually have common cause with the wingnuts on something after all – color me shocked…



…and these memorable words were spoken 150 years ago today…



…and whenever I think of a song having to do with sanctifying sacrifice or elevating something to a higher plane, I think of this.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Monday Stuff

Happy 85th birthday to Steamboat Willie, a precursor to a certain famous rodent (and no, I haven’t forgotten what Walt Disney truly was)…



…and given this latest awfulness concerning the smiley-faced bastards, I thought it best to revisit this “Worse” selection from K.O. – my sympathies to Deborah Shank…



…and God bless Chris Hayes for this commentary on health care reform – listen to every blessed word…



…and as far as “Obama’s Katrina” goes, I guess it’s necessary to remind some people of what Katrina really was – apparently they’ve forgotten.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Saturday Stuff

Among other things, this tells you just how purposely out of touch “Man Tan” Boehner and the Repug U.S. House “leadership” really is (and it tells you also how courageous, at least on ENDA, Repug U.S. Senator Mark Kirk really is, to say nothing of overcoming the affects of a devastating stroke)…



Update 1/7/14: Serves me right for actually giving a Republican credit for anything (here).

…and kudos to Bill Maher for this commentary on the less-than-Supremes (NSFW)…



Update 11/19/13: And the beat goes on, sadly (here).

…and kudos also to Yeb Sano for his courage on display here



…and perhaps in an unintended context, I’m thinking of the title of this song as a response to the previous clip.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday Stuff

(I also posted here.)

I'm not the biggest fan in the world of Mary Landrieu's plan either, but a version of it may be the least bad option...



…and seriously, I’m glad Stephen Colbert is also roasting Richard Cohen here for that “parenthetical” remark about New York City Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio’s wife being a lesbian – umm, and who exactly is it that is supposed to care?...



…and speaking of race, I think some of these people Elon James White is referring to have left comments at the Bucks County Courier Times web site, though I’m sure they didn’t use their real names :-) - NSFW…



...and I thought this was an introspective interlude to begin our weekend.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thursday Stuff

Want to hear a health care reform success story? Here you go…



…and about raising the minimum wage, I give you this…



…and this has nothing to do with politics, but I still think it’s pretty damn amazing (hat tip to Mrs. Doomsy for this)…



…and I think this is actually a homemade video, but as far as I’m concerned, it works.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wednesday Stuff

One of these days, he’ll just go away – and no, I don’t wish any physical harm, despite what he did to many of us; of all the people Dubya played, the children of Israel were pretty damn high on the list – they should now know how we lefties felt for, oh, about eight years (and I don’t know what happened in Rachel’s first segment)…



…and hey, a story combining the Teahadists, Repug “governance” and the Atlanta Braves (“sports socialism,” as Lawrence O’Donnell points out)? What’s not to hate?...



…and Lee Camp brings us more oily antics from the usual suspects (here – NSFW…need to crank up the volume with Chris Hedges, though the line “you can’t talk about hope unless you actively resist” is a keeper)…



…and kudos to Philly for joining the “Meatless Monday” campaign (here)…



…and in the mood for comic relief? Well, Jon Stewart tells us of the latest doings on Fix Noise (referring to the network here – nothing against Stewart, of course)…



…and happy belated 60th (!) birthday to indie rock icon Marshall Crenshaw.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Monday Stuff

A big thank you goes out to our veterans on this day in particular, among all days – I probably shouldn’t introduce politics into this, but the facts are undeniable (and here’s that Murphy guy again)…



…and I thought this was a hell of a video about Detroit and its courageous workers and retirees (like to see something like this about Philly too, particularly the public schools…hey, corporate courtier media? Instead of fawning over Governor Bully, here’s a real story, and you don’t even have to leave the Beltway to learn about it)…



…and I couldn’t ignore this recent segment from Bill Maher (NSFW of course)…



…and in line with spiritual matters, I give you this from a truly underrated “prog rock” band.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Friday Stuff

(I also posted here.)

I wonder if Matt Katz and the other Christie fluffers at the Philadelphia Inquirer will pay attention to the first item in this report (not rocket science to realize that people vote with their wallets, so to speak – and yep, time to look at raising Social Security, which is more liberal crazy talk I realize)…



…and speaking of crazy talk, I give you the following…



…and what a great story here, indeed timed for Veterans Day on Monday; good luck to Jim Wolf (and thanks for his service)…



…and I never quite figured out exactly why this guy’s career didn’t take off – hopefully this tune will do it.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Thursday Stuff

Sure, Repugs – you want to believe that last Tuesday went OK for you, you do that if it works for you (and gee, could “The Cucc” be more of a big baby? And Dem pollster Celinda Lake makes a hell of a point about the shut down at the end)…



…and I guess this tune fits, given all of this stuff.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Wednesday Stuff

I thought Ed Schultz had some pearls of wisdom here…



…and oh yeah, Governor Bully won big last night as expected, aided in no small part by Big Media Love and the spineless quiescence of the “Democrats” in the New Jersey general assembly…



…and as noted here from Julianna Forlano, J.P. Morgan Chase has a history of ripping off customers predating both this century and the prior one; so why exactly should we trust them now, or ever for that matter…



…and oh yeah, in other election news, John Lewis and Mark Moffa didn’t quite make it in the Lower Makefield supervisors contest, but here is the big story, boys and girls…

Hallelujah! Yes, Simple Simon and his cohort were defeated by Deb Wachspress and Josh Waldorf – great work – I thought this analysis from Deb was telling a bit…
“There is a population in the Republican party that was done with Simon Campbell and they were just looking for candidates who were going to bring more civility and a sense of working as a team (to the board),” Wachspress said Tuesday night.
So, for all the hoopla, it took Republicans getting mad at Campbell for him to get taken out, as they say; kind of depressing that we Dems don’t have the strength in numbers – yet – to do stuff like that on our own…have to keep working towards that day.

So, with this fresh in our minds, here is a tune for Simple Simon.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Tuesday Stuff

I can’t help but think that Tom Harkin would have stayed in the Senate if Harry Reid had pursued meaningful filibuster reform – we definitely need his voice (here)…



Update 11/06/13: Great stuff on this by Bob Cesca here...

…and here’s a tune and video from this decade – last week, actually, I think (like the bass line).

Monday, November 04, 2013

Monday Stuff

Tomorrow is election day, people. Here are the folks who need our support…

Deb Wachspress and Josh Waldorf for the Pennsbury School Board (here)…

…so we can give this guy the boot at long last (Simon Campbell published the salaries of the Pennsbury School Board employees again in another of his heinous booklets last weekend, along with our total school taxes, threatening a 23 percent increase that will never happen were he to be voted out, along with our appraised home value – typical low life move)…

…also, John Lewis and Mark Moffa for Lower Makefield Township, Bucks County supervisors (here, to help move this along a bit too)…

…and Barbara Buono needs our help big time in NJ, in the face of all the “Get Christie Love” from our corporate media (click here)…



…and here is more on other elections (I think Josh Barro is a bright guy, but he needs to dig just a tad deeper in his analysis – maybe he did after the commercial :-)…



…and this idea from Bill Maher is way too progressive for the Teahadists…



…and happy 65th birthday to Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie (who?), singing her biggest hit.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Sunday Stuff

Really, New Jersey? You’re prepared to give this clown another term?

To do something to see that that doesn’t happen, click here (and time truly is short)…



Update 11/04/13: Case closed.

…and I guess this is one musical response, though I suppose there are many others also.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Saturday Stuff

Happy 100th birthday (no longer with us, of course) to Burt Lancaster, legendary Hollywood actor and one of the finest Democrats who ever lived.

It’s hard to find a particular role when looking for one highlight in particular – “Judgment at Nuremberg,” “Birdman of Alcatraz,” “The Killers” (remade later with The Sainted Ronnie R as the bad guy who slapped Angie Dickinson), “The Rainmaker,” “Atlantic City,” or his Oscar-winning portrayal in “Elmer Gantry,” but I chose this clip as larger-than-life critic J. J. Hunsecker in “Sweet Smell of Success,” with some of the finest movie dialogue of all time from Clifford Odets, Alexander Mackendrick and Ernest Lehman from Lehman’s novel…



…and I’ve been meaning to get to this from a local guy for a little while, so here it is.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Friday Stuff

To me, this is one of the most under (or non) reported stories of the ruinous years of Dubya, along with the fact that he put people in charge of agencies of government in the same cavalier fashion as if he were playing a practical joke (which, in a very real sense, I believe he was) – outstanding reporting on this…



…and I guess, for that among other reasons, Martin Bashir brings us these sage words (shocking yet commendable insight from Repug Ohio Governor John Kasich)…



…as does Jon Stewart – gosh, I can’t imagine what it is that’s getting bleeped…can you? Stupid...



…and I know I already put up a tune as a tribute to Lou Reed, but here is one of his most “muscular” performances, made so in no small way by amazing guitar work from Steve Hunter.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Thursday Stuff

Chris Hayes delivers some incisive reporting on potentially more cuts to food stamps (here), which, in addition to being thoroughly non-stimulative to the economy, is also deeply immoral (but of course, our media punditocracy has to “kick the poors” and LEAVE THOSE ‘JOB CREATORS’ ALOOOONE, or else they aren’t “serious” – oh, and by the way, paging the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops…)…



…and this item about Baby Newton Leroy is too ridiculous to not completely deserve the following response…



…and here’s more on “the Cucc” from Cenk Uygur…



...and once more, Happy Halloween....



...and what the hell - what's Halloween anyway without a laugh or two?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wednesday Stuff

I believe that this is so patently offensive that the clip that follows is the most appropriate response…



…and speaking of offensive, kudos to Ed Schultz for throwing down the gauntlet, as it were, towards our thoroughly compromised corporate media here on the issue of health care reform…



…and Jon Stewart takes it to the news networks with initials for names as only he can (here)…



…and yep, here’s another tune for Halloween.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tuesday Stuff

(I also posted here.)

Definitely not your father's Republican Party in action here, people (nice work if you can get it)...



...and here is another seasonal number.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Monday Stuff

Man, somebody’s gotta rein in those wacky Arabs and their gonzo sense of humor, praise Allah :-)…



…and dialing back things a bit, here is an important reminder for another “meatless Monday” in the midst of the climate crisis…



…and kudos to Dem Governor Steve Beshear for speaking truth to stoo-pid here (I almost wish that someone would water board Fluffyhead – almost)…



…and here’s kind of a seasonal favorite – I’ll try to feature other Halloween tunes this week.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday Stuff

RIP Lou Reed – he did stupid things to himself (drugs, booze), but there’s no denying his impact as a musician…



…as well as a performance artist, on display here (sympathies to family and friends).