The Wires

Public Service Announcement

Safety/Irony Alert. CNBC (December 25): Your new home security system may be an open invitation to hackers to make you, and perhaps many others, unsafe.” -- CW

Washington Post: "Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus took a final, bittersweet bow Sunday, staging its last three shows [in Uniondale, N.Y.,] after 146 years of entertaining American audiences with gravity-defying trapeze stunts, comically clumsy clowns and trained tigers." -- CW 

Guardian: "Pippa Middleton [sister of Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge --] has married James Matthews in what has been called the society wedding of the year, in front of royalty, family and friends." -- CW

Politico's Late Nite Jokes:

CW: No idea why the picture is teeny-tiny.

Washington Post: "Two months before Monday’s [May 8] announcement that Sinclair Broadcast Group would pay $3.9 billion for Tribune Media and add to its dominance as the nation’s largest owner of local TV stations, a top executive at Sinclair beamed a short commentary piece to many of the company’s 173 stations.In the segment, which looks like it belongs in a newscast, Sinclair vice president for news Scott Livingston stands before a wall of video monitors and warns that 'some members of the national media are using their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control exactly what people think.' He accuses the national media of publishing 'fake news stories' — a direct echo of President Trump’s frequent complaint — and then asks viewers to visit the station’s website to share 'content concerns.' The piece was a 'must-run,' meaning news directors and station managers from Baltimore to Seattle had to find room for it.... While partisan coverage is a familiar staple of cable networks — Fox News on the right, MSNBC on the left — it remains mostly unheard of in broadcast TV, where it has generally been accepted that public airwaves should be used in the difficult-to-define public interest.” -- CW 

CNN: "21st Century Fox and the private equity firm Blackstone are in talks to launch a bid for Tribune Media, one of the nation's largest television broadcasting companies, a source with knowledge of the matter said Sunday. The deal currently under discussion would see Blackstone and Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox forming a joint venture. Blackstone would provide the cash for the acquisition while Fox would add all its owned-and-operated television stations to the joint venture." -- CW 

New York Times: "Prehistoric humans — perhaps Neanderthals or another lost species — occupied what is now California some 130,000 years ago, a team of scientists reported on Wednesday. The bold and fiercely disputed claim, published in the journal Nature, is based on a study of mastodon bones discovered near San Diego. If the scientists are right, they would significantly alter our understanding of how humans spread around the planet." -- CW 

If you're curious as to how realistic the New York City apartments of TV sitcom characters are -- in terms of what the characters could reasonably afford -- the Washington Post checks out several of the hovels & dream rentals of a number of shows. Kinda fun. CW: My husband & I (he paid the rent) had a fairly spacious two-bedroom with a galley kitchen (dishwasher included!) & dining room plus teensy closets on Washington Square in the 1980s & '90s. NYU owned the building & helped considerably with the rent.

Politico: "Comedian Hasan Minhaj will be this year's entertainer for the White House Correspondents' Dinner later this month, the association's president announced on Tuesday. Minhaj is a stand up comedian and senior correspondent on 'The Daily Show,' where he has performed caustic bits on ... Donald Trump, liberals and others in between. Minhaj has Washington experience already, having performed as host of last year's Radio and Television Correspondents' Association Dinner." -- CW 

AFP: "After months of uncertainty and controversy, Bob Dylan finally accepted the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature at a jovial, champagne-laced ceremony on Saturday, [April 1,] the Swedish Academy announced. The academy, which awards the coveted prize, ended prolonged speculation as to whether the 75-year-old troubadour would use a concert stopover in Stockholm to accept the gold medal and diploma awarded to him back in October." -- CW 


The Hill: "Arnold Schwarzeneggar says his first season as host of NBC's 'Celebrity Apprentice' is also his last. In remarks Friday, the former California governor cited President Trump, who has repeatedly mocked the ratings of his reality TV replacement, as his reason. 'Even if asked [to do it again] I would decline,' Schwarzenegger told Empire magazine.... 'With Trump being involved in the show people have a bad taste and don’t want to participate as a spectator or sponsor or in any other way support the show. It’s a very divisive period right now and I think the show got caught up in all that division.'" -- CW 

New York Times: "Penguin Random House will publish coming books by former President Barack Obama and the former first lady Michelle Obama, the publishing company announced Tuesday night, concluding a heated auction among multiple publishers. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but publishing industry executives with knowledge of the bidding process said it probably stretched well into eight figures." -- CW ...

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December 21 -- Whatever

I'm at a loss. Help me out.

BTW, I'm looking forward to again creating my annual "Worst Christmas Songs Ever" special gift to humbuggers. If you have favorites of the genre, let me know. A link would be helpful.

Also, if you're still shopping, commenters made excellent suggestions yesterday for books for adults and children.

AND I agree with Robert Pear of the New York Times: this part of Tea Party Scrooginess has not gotten enough attention: ""More than three million people stand to lose unemployment insurance benefits in the near future because of an impasse in Congress over how to extend the aid and how to offset the cost. Jobless benefits have been overshadowed by debate on a payroll tax cut, but have become a huge sticking point in negotiations on a bill that deals with both issues. Republicans would continue aid for some of the unemployed, but would sharply reduce the maximum duration of benefits and impose strict new requirements on people seeking or receiving aid." Having to pay a little more in payroll taxes will work hardships on some families; others will hardly notice. BUT. Almost everyone on unemployment insurance needs those payments to survive. And GOP protests to the contrary, people who collect unemployment benefits are not slackers living a life of luxury on the public's dime. They are looking for work: active job-hunting is a condition of collecting the checks.

Reader Comments (7)

@Akhilleus; Thanks for the book list; everyone of them sounded great. Now I need one more wish granted or two more wishes granted, those books and the time to read them.
@Songs of the season. "Jingle Bell Rock" I don't need to hear that again. It's like "Stairway to Heaven" or "Hotel California"; once a year is plenty. On the plus side there is a CD out which I think is called "Women of Christmas" it's pretty good.
Marie points out a sermon by a Rev Jim Rigby that mentions angels singing. Wouldn't it be great if there were more Revs like Rigby around? I don't know him from Adam's off ox so I suppose somebody will inform me that the Rev is responsible for the death of Rudolph of the Red Nose Clan but I did like his quote.
Oh, I don't ever need to hear any seasonal songs sung by those fucking chipmunks, ever, ever; Do you hear what I hear?

December 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJJG

For bad Christmas songs I don't think it's likely you'll find one stupider or more obnoxious than Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer. Insipid music, imbecilic lyrics and an inane storyline.

Did I say it was stupid?

Execrable any way you look at it.

For a good Christmas song--something a little different--we have Space Christmas by Shonen Knife, a great punk rock girl group from Japan who rode the J-pop wave in the 80s and 90s. I got to see them at CBGBs in NY in the early 90s.

Fun like you read about.

Another good non-trad Christmas song is Christmas Twist by indie rocker Syd Straw. I couldn't find a link to it but they're both on the CD A Different Kind of Christmas along with other stuff by those crazy guys from NRBQ, Bruce Cockburn, Dave Edmunds, and Shawn Colvin doing a very nice cover of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

And here's a link for that album:

Merry merry Christmas, happy, happy Christmas...

December 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

This is the only christmas song I can listen to/watch without feeling ill.

On another subject, sort of, tomorrow is the holiday Yule. So to the wicca among us I say "happy Yule."

December 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJames Singer

I've been very naughty by goofing off on this website this week... but once again I couldn't resist;

The best Christmas music ever, IMO is by Gary Hoey here are several links (some are Gary himself, others are other people "covering" his songs) "Frosty", "Carol Of The Bells", "Twelve Days Of Christmas", "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas", and let's finish things off with "Linus and Lucy"...
Rock On !!!

December 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThe Doktor

Christmas song: Tim Minchin "White Wine in the Sun". I think the lyrics pertain to the current discussions.
Albums: Bucko and Champs "Aussie Christmas" vols 1 & 2.
Merry Christmas to all.

December 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSharman Gloria

O.K.... on the slim chance that not everyone who frequents this website is into heavy metal guitar virtuosos... we actually got a really classy treat on SNL on Saturday...

December 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThe Doktor


Great call on the Gary Hoey tunes. I saw him in clubs around Boston when I lived there. For a while it seemed like he was everywhere. A great Strat man. Chops to burn. Plus he's one of the few guitarists who owns a wah peddle and knows what to do with it.

Rockin' around the Fender Deluxe Reverb.

December 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus
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