The Wires

The Ledes

Friday, November 27, 2015.

BBC News: "The Democratic Action party [of Venezuela] says Luis Manuel Diaz[, a regional leader of the party.] was killed by a man who approached the stage after a public meeting in central Guarico state. Opposition leaders blamed militias supporting the governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). President Nicolas Maduro denied this and said an inquiry had been launched."

AP: "Malian special forces have arrested two men over last week's attack on a luxury hotel in the capital that killed 19 people, according to a statement distributed Friday morning. The statement identified the two Malians, both arrested in Bamako, but provided no other details on their background or their potential roles in the attack."

Weekly Address

The President's Weekly Address

Nearly four centuries after the Mayflower set sail, the world is still full of pilgrims – men and women who want nothing more than the chance for a safer, better future for themselves and their families, What makes America America is that we offer that chance. -- President Obama
White House: "In this week's address, the President wished everyone a happy Thanksgiving, and reflected on America’s history of welcoming men and women seeking a safer, better future for themselves and their families":

White House Live Video
November 27

11:00 am ET: Michelle Obama accepts delivery of the White House Christmas tree

Go to


Michelle Obama accepts delivery of the White House Christmas tree, November 27:

Boston Globe: Michael Dukakis loves leftover turkey. A turkey carcass makes great soup, he said, inviting people to drop off turkey carcasses at his home. So they did.

Domenico Montanaro of NPR with everything you never wanted to know about the strange tradition of presidential "pardons" of turkeys.

Frank Rich reviews "Carol," the film based on Patricia Highsmith's 1952 novel The Price of Salt, published under a pseudonym. As usual, Rich goes deep.

New York Times: "Ta-Nehisi Coates won the National Book Award for nonfiction Wednesday[, Nov. 18,] night for “Between the World and Me,” a visceral, blunt exploration of his experience of being a black man in America, which was published this summer in the middle of a national dialogue about race relations and inequality.... The fiction award went to Adam Johnson for 'Fortune Smiles.'..."

Slate: Carly Simon told People magazine that "You're So Vain" is about Warren Beatty. CW: Somehow I think I knew that a long time ago.

Guardian: "Gawker, the gossip website..., is giving up on reporting gossip in order to refocus on politics and 'to hump the [2016 presidential] campaign'. The site, founded by British journalist Nick Denton in 2003, announced on Tuesday that Gawker was steering in a new direction that would “orient its editorial scope on political news, commentary and satire'.”

Washington Post: Actor "Charlie Sheen confirmed on Tuesday that he is HIV-positive, as rumored in recent days by an onslaught of tabloid stories. Sheen told Matt Lauer on the 'Today' show that he is going public with his illness for multiple reasons, including that he’s been blackmailed for upwards of $10 million since he was diagnosed four years ago."

Public Service Announcement

Washington Post (October 26): "A research division of the World Health Organization announced on Monday that bacon, sausage and other processed meats cause cancer, and that red meat probably does, too. The report by the influential group stakes out one of the most aggressive stances against meat yet taken by a major health organization, and it is expected to face stiff criticism in the United States."

New York Times (October 20: "The American Cancer Society, which has for years taken the most aggressive approach to [breast-cancer] screening, issued new guidelines on Tuesday, recommending that women with an average risk of breast cancer start having mammograms at 45 and continue once a year until 54, then every other year for as long as they are healthy and likely to live another 10 years. The organization also said it no longer recommended clinical breast exams, in which doctors or nurses feel for lumps, for women of any age who have had no symptoms of abnormality in the breasts."

... For about $880,000, you can purchase Julia Child's excellent little house in Provence; her kitchen is intact, except for the stove.

New York Times: "Archaeologists have over the years cataloged the rocks [forming Stonehenge], divined meaning from their placement — lined up for midsummer sunrise and midwinter sunset — and studied animal and human bones buried there. They have also long known about the other monuments — burial chambers, a 130-foot-tall mound of chalk known as Silbury Hill and many other circular structures. An aerial survey in 1925 revealed circles of timbers, now called Woodhenge, two miles from Stonehenge." With slide show.


New York Times: "In an overheated art market where anything seems possible, a painting of an outstretched nude woman by the early-20th-century artist Amedeo Modigliani sold on Monday night for $170.4 million with fees, in a packed sales room at Christie’s. It was the second-highest price paid for an artwork at auction."

Artist's rendering of the main exhibition hall of the planned wing of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. CLICK ON PICTURE TO SEE LARGER IMAGE.New York Times: "In designing its $325 million addition on Columbus Avenue, the American Museum of Natural History has opted for an architectural concept that is both cautious and audacious, according to plans approved by its board on Wednesday. The design ... evokes Frank Gehry’s museum in Bilbao, Spain, in its undulating exterior and Turkey’s underground city of Cappadocia in its cavelike interior. The design, by the architect Jeanne Gang for the new Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation, aims to unite the museum’s various activities, solve its notorious circulation problems and provide a multistory showcase for the institution’s expanding role as a hub for scientific research and scholarship.”

New York Times: "... Jon Stewart has signed a production deal with the premium cable channel HBO, the channel announced on Tuesday. As part of the arrangement, Mr. Stewart will work on some digital short projects that are expected to appear on HBO’s apps like HBO Now and HBO Go. Mr. Stewart could also pursue movie or television projects with the network. The contract covers four years."

Guardian: "Facebook has announced plans to water down its controversial 'real names' policy, after lobbying from civil liberties groups worldwide."

If you'd like to know whatever happened to former NYT food columnist Mark Bittman, the Washington Post has the answer.

Jennifer Senior of the New York Times reviews Notorious R.G.B., by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik: "It’s an artisanal hagiography, a frank and admiring piece of fan nonfiction."

Digital Globe photo, via NASA, republished in the New York Times. CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE LARGER IMAGE.... New York Times: "Satellite pictures of a remote and treeless northern steppe reveal colossal earthworks — geometric figures of squares, crosses, lines and rings the size of several football fields, recognizable only from the air and the oldest estimated at 8,000 years old. The largest, near a Neolithic settlement, is a giant square of 101 raised mounds, its opposite corners connected by a diagonal cross, covering more terrain than the Great Pyramid of Cheops.... Described last year at an archaeology conference in Istanbul as unique and previously unstudied, the earthworks, in the Turgai region of northern Kazakhstan, number at least 260 — mounds, trenches and ramparts — arrayed in five basic shapes."

New York Times: "In a landmark study, scientists at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands reported that they had conducted an experiment that they say proved one of the most fundamental claims of quantum theory — that objects separated by great distance can instantaneously affect each other’s behavior. The finding is another blow to one of the bedrock principles of standard physics known as 'locality,' which states that an object is directly influenced only by its immediate surroundings. The Delft study, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, lends further credence to an idea that Einstein famously rejected. He said quantum theory necessitated 'spooky action at a distance,' and he refused to accept the notion that the universe could behave in such a strange and apparently random fashion." CW: Everything is relative, Al.

Gizmodo: On Halloween, "a rather large asteroid — discovered less than three weeks ago — is set to to fly past the Earth at a distance not seen in nearly a decade.... NASA says that 2015 TB145 will safely pass by the Earth and continue to following along its exceptionally eccentric and high-inclination orbit — which may explain why it wasn’t discovered until only a few weeks ago. During the flyby, the asteroid will reach a magnitude luminosity of 10, so it should be observable to astronomers with telescopes."

For $299,000 you could buy the house where Bruce Springsteen wrote "Born to Run." It looks like a dump prone to flooding every time it rains, but it's a block-and-a-half from the Jersey shore beach.

New York Post: "During his time in the White House, President Richard Nixon — pug-nosed, jowly, irascible, charmless-yet-devoted husband to Pat — was known to awkwardly hit on middle-aged female staffers. In 'The Last of the President’s Men' (Simon & Schuster), veteran journalist Bob Woodward quotes Alexander Butterfield, Nixon’s deputy assistant, about the commander-in-chief’s sad seduction techniques."

The Washington Post thought it would be great journalism to feature Donald's Digs in their weekend edition.  You'll be happy to know that Trump's taste runs to the gaudy & garish. You can take the boy out of the boroughs but you can take the boroughs out of the boy. I'd call Donald's style Early Modern Lottery Winner. Here's a sampling:

... There's much more where that came from. Ugh. Here, by contrast, is the study in Michael Bloomberg's New York City pad. Bloomberg is quite a few $$BB richer than Trump.

CW: I've completely ignored the buzz about the film "Steve Jobs," so this was welcome:

... Sharon Shetty in Slate: "As the latest attempt to mine every last bit of meaning from the life of Apple’s late founder, Danny Boyle and Aaron Sorkin’s Steve Jobs will probably make lots of money and spark lots of debate. For those preemptively exhausted by that debate, there’s Conan O’Brien’s less controversial take on a tech biopic: Michael Dell":

AND contributor D. C. Clark was kind enough to remind us of Eva Cassidy:

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The Commentariat -- June 16 & 17, 2012

My column in today's New York Times eXaminer is on Maureen Dowd's column and is titled "Some Kind of Heroes." The NYTX front page is here.

Dolphus Shields, left, was the great-great-grandfather of Michelle Obama. His mother, Melvinia, was a slave. Research and DNA testing indicate that his father was a white man named Charles Marion Shields. Melvinia and Dolphus were owned by Henry Wells Shields, who was Charles’s father. Dolphus is pictured here with his son Willie. Courtesy of Jewell Barclay, via the New York Times.Rachel Swarns of the New York Times: "All four of Mrs. Obama’s grandparents had multiracial forebears." CW: Your History Lesson for Today is pretty compelling; read to the end. On Father's Day, it doesn't hurt to remember that there are fathers & there are fathers. Some of us have the kinds of fathers we buy ties & weed-eaters for; some of us don't.

Annie Gearan of the AP: "President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin will use their meeting Monday, the first since Putin returned to Russia's top job, to claim leverage in a mutually dependent but volatile relationship."

Washington Post: "Leaders of the University of Virginia's governing board ousted President Teresa Sullivan last week largely because of her unwillingness to consider dramatic program cuts in the face of dwindling resources and for her perceived reluctance to approach the school with the bottom-line mentality of a corporate chief executive. Sullivan's resignation after less than two years has prompted an unprecedented backlash...: a flurry of no-confidence votes and protest letters from groups of faculty, administrators and students; a 2,000-signature petition; and a Facebook protest page with more than 3,000 members." CW: strange there's no byline on this story.

Frances Kissling & Peter Singer in a Washington Post op-ed: "Global climate leaders will have a lot of pressing challenges on the table at the Rio+20 conference. It's time to take the meat off their plates."

David Fahrenthold of the Washington Post: "The Environmental Protection Agency was spying on Midwestern farmers with the same aerial 'drones' used to kill terrorists overseas. This month, the idea has been repeated in TV segments, on multiple blogs and by at least four congressmen. The only trouble is, it isn’t true.... The EPA isn't using drone aircraft -- in the Midwest or anywhere else. The hubbub over nonexistent drones provides a look at something hard to capture in American politics: the vibrant, almost viral, life cycle of a falsehood." CW: Yeah, and like all these false stories, this one is a zombie that lives on -- especially thanks to Fox "News" & a few Republican MOC's like Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska.

GOP Croupier Extraordinaire. Nicholas Confessore of the New York Times: "Sheldon Adelson, a wealthy casino owner, is committing to give at least an additional $10 million to conservative groups expected to play a major role in this year's presidential and Congressional elections, cementing his growing role as one of the country's leading political financiers."

Presidential Race

He Can Still Pander Now. Felicia Sonmez of the Washington Post: "Appearing via video at the Faith and Freedom Coalition's annual meeting Saturday morning, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R) delivered a speech that hinged on social issues but also focused in on what remains the top issue in the presidential election -- the economy.... At times, he struck a note that bore similarities to the message former senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) delivered on the campaign trail."

La-Di-Da! Trip Gabriel of the New York Times: "Jan Ebeling, Mrs. Romney's longtime riding tutor, and his horse Rafalca, co-owned by Mrs. Romney, earned a berth on the United States Olympic dressage team on Saturday.... While Mr. Romney was barnstorming on a bus tour of swing states, Mrs. Romney watched from a V.I.P. tent as Mr. Ebeling executed a smooth 'test' of flying changes, in which Rafalca seemed to skip down the arena, and piaffes, an in-place trot." CW: bit of a contrast between the Ann Romney & Michelle Obama stories in today's NYT. ...

... Stephen Colbert makes dressage his official sport of the summer:

The President's Weekly Address:

     ... The transcript is here. Mary Bruce of ABC News: "President Obama today blamed Republicans in Congress for the flailing economic recovery, saying 'every problem we face is within our power to solve. What's lacking is our politics.'"

Kyle Cheney of Politico: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg talks about the Court's decision on the Affordable Care Act -- and no, she does not reveal what it was. "Ginsburg noted that one ACA-related question the court must decide is whether the whole law must fall if the individual mandate is unconstitutional -- 'or may the mandate be chopped, like a head of broccoli, from the rest of it?'"

Adam Sorensen of Time: "The president's circumvention of Congress on the issue of deporting young undocumented immigrants is sure to rile Republicans, but as a short-term political tactic it's a masterstroke." CW: since the President is acting by executive order, any president can rescind it by executive order -- which is one more reason not to vote for "self-deportin'" Romney. ...

... Glenn Greenwald: "Like LGBT activists, Latinos continuously pressured Obama, and now they have an important victory to show for it." ...

... What He Said. I think the action that the president took today makes it more difficult to reach that long-term solution because an executive order is, of course, a short-term matter and can be reversed by subsequent presidents. -- Mitt Romney ...

... What He Means. I'll send the kids back to Mexico on Day One of my presidency. -- Mitt Romney, in his DREAMS

... Aaron Blake of the Washington Post: "Just hours after word leaked out that the Obama administration would stop deporting young illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States by their parents, the issue is already causing headaches for the Republican Party.... The company line from Mitt Romney's presidential campaign and prominent senators like Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) Friday was a process argument, in which they decry the decision to make the move without Congress’s consent." ...

... Entre la Espada y la Pared. Helene Cooper & Trip Gabriel of the New York Times: "... the president's announcement put Mr. Romney, whose party is already split on the issue, in a tough spot, pressuring him to choose between further alienating Latino voters who chafed at the anti-illegal immigration stances he took in the primary season and alienating conservatives who reject policies resembling amnesty." ...

... Alex Seitz-Wald of Salon: "After repeatedly vowing to veto the DREAM Act, [Mitt Romney] suggests he has no problem with Obama's new policy." CW: what Romney finagled was endorsement by proxy. Since President Obama's executive order is very similar to the watered-down DREAM Act Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said he was drafting (but never did), Rubio had to give Obama a limp thumbs-up (results good/process bad), so Romney sez "What Marco said." ...

... Romney Runs Aground. Steve Kornacki of Salon: Obama's move takes the wind out of Romney's likely course, which would be to tack to the middle & endorse Rubio's DREAM-y plan (which he had not yet done).

P. J. Crowley, a former assistant secretary of state under President Obama who quit under pressure after criticizing the mistreatment of Bradley Manning, writes a Washington Post op-ed about the utility of leaks. "The intelligence committees are suggesting that we should say less. But there is a strong argument that we must communicate more."

Gail Collins has her de Tocqueville moment: "Our biggest political division is the war between the empty places and the crowded places.... People who live in crowded places tend to appreciate government. It's the thing that sets boundaries on public behavior, protects them from burglars and cleans the streets.... The people who live in empty places don't see the point. If a burglar decides to break in, that's what they've got guns for. Other folks don't get in their way because their way is really, really remote. Who needs government?"

Grumpy McCain Goes Way Off-Message: "Corporations Are Not People." Josh Israel of Think Progress: "Though he has been one of Mitt Romney's most visible supporters, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) took aim yesterday at both Romney's Super PAC and one of Romney's most controversial talking points.... McCain told Judy Woodruff that because casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson makes a huge portion of his profits from a casino in Macau, his massive spending in support of Mitt Romney and other right-wing candidates is a form of foreign money influencing American elections":

Steve Benen: "Rob Gray, a senior adviser on Romney's gubernatorial campaign who has no position in Romney's presidential campaign, says Republicans are "rooting against the economy" in hopes it will help their electoral prospects. Thanks to Jeanne B. for the link:

     (... Yo, Frank Bruni. Now, that is candor.)

Here's video of "reporter" Neil Munro of the conservative Daily Caller interrupting President Obama during his remarks yesterday. 99.9 percent of journalists know better. Video of the President's full remarks is in yesterday's News Ledes:

... Elizabeth Flock of US News: "In what may be a first for the White House Rose Garden, President Obama was heckled by a reporter during his speech on immigration Friday." Includes tweet from Tucker Carlson, who runs the Daily Caller: "We are very proud of Neil for doing his job." ...

... Brian Stelter of the New York Times has a comprehensive report, including reactions & background, including this: "Among Mr. Carlson's investors is Foster Friess, the financier who has donated millions to Republican candidates this year." ...

... "Frat-Boy Conservatism." Joan Walsh: "The right pretends to respect authority -- except when it's held by a Democrat.... It's unbelievable how wingnuts treat this man with such unprecedented and bullying disrespect: from Rep. Joe Wilson screaming 'You lie' ... to Speaker John Boehner denying him his choice of dates for another congressional address (for the first time in history) last fall, to Donald Trump's persistent, humiliating demands for the president to show him his papers (with no rebuke from ally Mitt Romney).... The Romney campaign has been glorying in this new form of frat-boy conservatism, first sending campaign supporters to heckle Obama adviser David Axelrod during a press conference, and yesterday sending its bus to circle and disrupt an Obama event, honking its horn."

... When You Need an Etiquette Lesson from Gawker..., You Don't Belong on the White House Lawn. Emma Carmichael of Gawker: "Press conferences have a very simple etiquette that is only heightened when the speaker in question is the leader of the free world. You listen to someone speak.... Munro, who was reportedly wearing 'temporary'" press badges today, now maintains that Obama was the rude party."

News Ledes, June 17

AP: "The Muslim Brotherhood declared early Monday that its candidate, Mohammed Morsi, won Egypt's presidential election, even as the military handed themselves the lion's share of power over the new president.... With parliament dissolved and martial law effectively in force, the generals made themselves the country's lawmakers, gave themselves control over the budget and will determine who writes the permanent constitution that will define the country's future." Washington Post story here.

AP: "Drawing on memories of her childhood and early career, Michelle Obama told Oregon State University graduates Sunday to live life for themselves, not for anyone else. The first lady spoke at the invitation of her older brother, Craig Robinson, the head men's basketball coach at Oregon State."

New York Times: "In a slow, somber procession, several thousand demonstrators conducted a silent march on Sunday down Fifth Avenue to protest the New York Police Department's stop-and-frisk policies, which the organizers say single out minority groups and create an atmosphere of martial law for the city’s black and Latino residents." The Daily News story puts the number at "tens of thousands."

New York Times: "Rodney G. King, whose 1991 videotaped beating by the Los Angeles police became a symbol of the nation's continuing racial tensions and subsequently led to a week of deadly race riots after the officers were acquitted, was found dead Sunday in a swimming pool at the home he shared with his fiancée in Rialto, Calif. He was 47." Los Angeles Times story here.

New York: "Just days after seven Republican senators on the Foreign Relations Committee urged President Obama to pick a new nominee for the ambassadorship to Iraq, the White House is doubling down on Brett McGurk."

New York Times: "The Southern Baptist Convention, a denomination born in 1845 in defense of slavery and a spiritual home to white supremacists for much of the 20th century, is poised to elect its first African-American president. The Rev. Fred Luter Jr., 55, a New Orleans pastor who got his start preaching on the streets of the Lower Ninth Ward, is expected to be the only candidate for office on Tuesday when Southern Baptists gather [in New Orleans] for their annual meeting."

New York Times: "President François Hollande's Socialists and their allies won an absolute majority in runoff parliamentary elections on Sunday, strengthening the hand of Mr. Hollande both at home and in Europe, where he is pressing for less austerity and more growth in the face of a deepening recession."

New York Times: "Greeks turned out on Sunday to vote in elections that once again are being seen as a referendum on the country's membership in the euro." ...

     ... Update: "Greek voters on Sunday gave a narrow victory in parliamentary elections to a party that had supported a bailout for the country's failed economy. The vote was widely seen as a last chance for Greece to remain in the euro zone, and the results had an early rallying effect on world markets."

New York Times: "Egyptians turned out at the polls in lower-than-expected numbers again Sunday for the second day of the runoff to choose their first president since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, a sign of a low morale and lack of enthusiasm as military rulers tightened their grip on the government." ...

... Haaretz: "Israeli security officials say that the rockets that landed on Friday in the area near Ovda and Mitzpeh Ramon, were launched after a request by senior leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt."

New York Times: "The United Nations said Saturday that it was suspending its observer mission in Syria because of the escalating violence, the most severe blow yet to months of international efforts to negotiate a peace plan and prevent Syria's descent into civil war."

Washington Post: "A June 1 attack on a U.S. outpost near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border was much worse than originally disclosed by the military as insurgents pounded the base with a truck bomb, killing two Americans and seriously wounding about three dozen troops, officials acknowledged Saturday. The blast flattened the dining hall and post exchange at Forward Operating Base Salerno in Khost province, a frequent target of insurgents in the past. Five Afghan civilians were killed and more than 100 other U.S. troops were treated for minor injuries. U.S. officials estimated that the truck was carrying 1,500 pounds of explosives."

News Ledes, June 16

New York Times: "Polls opened on Saturday as Egyptians began two days of voting in the country's presidential runoff election, choosing between ousted former President Hosni Mubarak's former prime minister and an Islamist candidate."

AP: "China launched its most ambitious space mission yet on Saturday, carrying its first female astronaut and two male colleagues in an attempt to dock with an orbiting module and work on board for more than a week."

AP: "Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Saturday ordered the restart of two nuclear reactors, a move that returns Japan to atomic power but also counters public concern about its dangers."

Washington Post: "A Secret Service employee implicated in the agency's prostitution scandal in Cartagena, Colombia, this year was a supervisor with security information about President Obama's visit there. Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan ... delayed two weeks before disclosing that information to congressional oversight committees in the wake of the public revelations about the scandal...."

AP: "Sharpening an election-year confrontation over religious freedom and government health insurance rules, the nation's Catholic hospitals on Friday rejected President Barack Obama's compromise for providing birth control coverage to their women employees."

AP: "Crown Prince Nayef, the hardline interior minister who spearheaded Saudi Arabia's fierce crackdown crushing al-Qaida's branch in the country after the 9/11 attacks in the United States and then rose to become next in line to the throne, has died. He was in his late 70s."

AP: "There was 'wind coming from every which way,' mist so powerful it clouded his vision and an unfamiliar wire beneath him, but daredevil Nik Wallenda didn't let that stop him from becoming the first person to walk on a tightrope across the Niagara Falls."

Reader Comments (6)

Errrrrk! I think I am going to lose my lunch, dinner and tomorrow morning's breakfast. Forgive me, but I need to whine. A lot! I do not think I can make it 'till November 6, 2012--unless I smash my Tee Vee, disable my computer (even more than it already is), and discontinue news feeds on my "dumb phone." I will keep reading you, Marie, because you are truthful and sardonic. But after being stuck in the Houston airport on an endless layover last weekend, with only Fox News blaring in the waiting area, I began to feel quite unreal. Where, oh where, was my Velveteen Rabbit when I needed her?

Truly, there is no "news" channel I can watch without wanting to scream. The MSM has finished me off. And the "non" MSM is non-existent. Even the bloggers (yes, even the Progressives and Radicals) have become so repetitive and predictable that they bore me silly. I have unsubscribed to Information Clearing House, and hope I do not run into Chris Hedges at an Occupy rally in Newport! Only Bill Maher seems to have enough humor and disgust to make the moment interesting.

I read the comments here at Reality Chex with admiration and respect. I hope you all can hang in there as I exit stage left. Thank you for listening.

June 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate Madison

Re: Kate Madison, Hey any wait in an airport will make you feel like that; Houston, multiply by ten. And, you missed the playwright's note: the bear exits stage left; you are to be flown out.
Ah, the simple days before the DNAs
"It's a wise man that know his own father."
I'd say, "Happy Fathers day, Pops!" He'd say, "Prove it."
Here's to everyone's Dad, good or bad.

June 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJJG

'Taking meat off the market' again raises the issue that no politician from any party has the guts to deal with. The earth already has more humans than it can sustain.
For me the good news today is that I have an excuse to eat badly, without meat, but with some rumor of a chocolate thing for dessert.

June 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarvin Schwalb

OK back to politics. Here is some really fun local news. Our glorious leader has proposed tax cuts based on the wonderful recovery of NJ business that he of course in responsible for. Tiny problem. Over the last three months his revenue projections have not happened exactly. Off by about $35M a month. No problem, the governor assured us that on July 1, the new fiscal year revenues will jump through the roof. So the Dems came up with a really brilliant idea. They are going to approve the tax cuts with a tiny added item in the bill. The cuts only take place on Jan1, 2013 if the governors numbers are correct. In other words, every NJ resident will find out if our leader really is the bullshit artist in chief. I am really looking forward to New Years Day.
P.S. The word is that Christie will be the keynote speaker at the Republican convention. I am sure he will boast about his great recovery. Lucky for him the event is before Jan.1. The fact that by the time of the convention, the NJ revenue will be short about $400-500M a year will not stop him for a second.

June 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarvin Schwalb

Kate: I commiserate with you, because just in the last few weeks my thoughts have revolved around the same notion that you expressed: how to make it to November without starting to look like a model for The Scream. Seriously, I share your angst. Romney is a puppet unsuited for the great office he seeks, yet a tidal wave of right-wing dollars coupled with Citizens Unitedand general Republican lack of scruples gives him an excellent shot at succeeding, against a far better man in President Obama. I can't imagine how distraught I would feel were I to be stuck in an airport in Texas. In my blue state, you rarely see Fox news in public spaces (although CNN is bad enough!). I also relate to your comment about this wonderful space; I so enjoy Marie's choice of material and her own candid and often humorous comments. And the comments from readers like you.... I hope you got home safely Keep the faith!

June 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria D.

I'm with youse guys. My old desktop computer monitor/TV broke down last week, so I just installed a new, bigger one yesterday. I heard David Maraniss was going to be on "Press the Meat" this week, so I thought maybe I could stomach watching it while I was doing other stuff. Big mistake. I watched David Plouffe for a while; then Grumpy McCain was the next guest -- when hard-hitting journalist David Gregory asked him why he was so into bombing Iran (or Syria or whatever Middle East country he was into bombing today) when people were dying & being raped in Darfur, ferinstance, too, McCain's answer was pretty much "Because I want to bomb the Middle East." Okay, good enough.

Then for his roundtable panel, Gregory had on Maraniss & Doris Kearns Goodwin -- Kearns Goodwin never said a word before I changed channels -- and Mark Halperin, the Wall Street Journal editorial page editor Kim Strassel, and for "liberal balance" -- Harold Ford! This is why people in the heartland think it's reasonable to vote for Mitt Romney. Victoria D. sent me a good piece on Halperin by Charles Pierce, which I never got around to linking, but it's worth a read -- tho it may render you, as she says "a model for The Scream."

June 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarie Burns
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