The Wires

The Ledes

Saturday, March 25, 2017.

New York Times: "Five years after a child sex abuse scandal rocked Penn State, damaging its reputation, exposing a revered coach as a serial predator and sending him to prison, a jury on Friday convicted the former president of the university of child endangerment for failing to stop the abuse. On its second day of deliberations, the jury in Harrisburg, Pa., found Graham B. Spanier guilty of one misdemeanor count, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. He was also found not guilty of two felony charges, for his handling of allegations against Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant coach." -- CW 

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


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 ...

Guardian: A statement by the Academy of Motion Pictures said "that PwC – formerly Price Waterhouse Coopers, the accounting firm that has been used by the Academy to handle the voting process for 83 years – had taken full responsibility for 'breaches of established protocols' that led to the error.... On Monday afternoon, the Wall Street Journal reported that ... Brian Cullinan, one of two accountants whose job it was to hand out the winners’ envelopes..., had tweeted a behind-the-scenes photo of [best female actor winner Emma] Stone holding her statuette. The tweet, sent moments before the best picture announcement, raised the question of whether the accountant was distracted, handing Beatty the duplicate envelope." -- CW ...

... Actually, No, It Was Donald Trump's Fault. The Hill: "President Trump is calling Sunday’s Oscar ceremony 'sad,' saying the awards show was 'focused so hard on politics' it led to the epic mix-up over the best picture winner. 'I think they were focused so hard on politics that they didn’t get the act together at the end,' Trump said Monday in an interview with Breitbart News." CW: Because everything is about Drumpf. 

Los Angeles Times: "In one of the most surprising upsets and shocking moments in Oscar history, the poetic coming-of-age drama 'Moonlight' took home the top prize for best picture at the 89th Academy Awards, beating out the heavily favored 'La La Land,' which was actually announced as the winner. The win for 'Moonlight' came in a chaotic and confused moment that played out live in front of an audience of millions, as presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway initially presented the evening’s final award to 'La La Land,' only to have one of the film’s producers announce that 'Moonlight' had, in fact, won." -- CW 

Here's the LA Times' "live coverage" page.

CW: It would have been way better for the world if the Electoral College had admitted, as a body, that "There's been a mistake." Unfortunately, actors & film producers have more integrity than electors.

The New York Times embeds the February 23 late-nite's show responses to the latest political news.

Washington Post: "A newfound solar system just 39 light-years away contains seven warm, rocky planets, scientists say. The discovery, reported Wednesday in the journal Nature, represents the first time astronomers have detected so many terrestrial planets orbiting a single star. Researchers say the system is an ideal laboratory for studying distant worlds and could be the best place in the galaxy to search for life beyond Earth.... The newly discovered solar system resembles a scaled-down version of our own. The star at its center, an ultra-cool dwarf called TRAPPIST-1, is less than a tenth the size of our sun and about a quarter as warm. Its planets circle tightly around it; the closest takes just a day and a half to complete an orbit and the most distant takes about 20 days.... TRAPPIST-1 is so cool that all seven of the bodies are bathed in just the right amount of warmth to hold liquid water. And three of them receive the same amount of heat as Venus, Earth and Mars, putting them in 'the habitable zone,' that Goldilocks region where it's thought life can thrive." -- CW 

Here's a Houzz feature on Frederick Douglass's D.C. home. Since it's not far from Donald Trump's new (temporary) digs and is every bit as fancy, the Trumpster might want to pay a visit to someone who's done such "an amazing job" that he's "getting recognized more and more." SCROTUS may be surprised to discover that Mr. Douglass is not at home. Too bad, because if Mr. Douglass weren't dead, he could have showed Donaldo his portrait, which for some time was owned by W.E.B. Du Bois (or DeBois or whatever).

Politico's Late Nite Jokes:

Rosie O'Donnell's new Twitter profile pic. Thanks to Unwashed for the link. -- CW 

CNN: "The book publisher Penguin is printing more copies of George Orwell's dystopian classic '1984' in response to a sudden surge of demand. On Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning the book was #1 on Amazon's computer-generated list of best-selling books. The list reflects hourly book sales. The 68-year-old novel appeared on the list on Monday, hovered around the #6 spot for much of the day, rose to #2 by Tuesday afternoon and then hit #1." -- 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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