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

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 

Los Angeles Times: "The nominations for the 89th Academy Awards were revealed this morning in Los Angeles. 'La La Land' did what 800-lb gorillas are supposed to do: dominate the Oscar nominations tally, pulling down 14, including actor, actress, director and picture. Ava Duvernay’s '13th' joins 'O.J.: Made in America' among best documentary feature nominees, continuing our ongoing conversation about race in the United States. Speaking of which, with Viola Davis, Dev Patel, Octavia Spencer, Denzel Washington, Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris and Ruth Negga getting acting nominations, the 89th Academy Awards will definitely not be so white." This article includes a complete list of the nominees.

New York Times: "Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus announced on Saturday night that after 146 years of performances, it was folding its big tent forever. In a statement on the company’s website, Kenneth Feld, the chief executive of Feld Entertainment, the producer of Ringling, said the circus would hold its final performances in May. He cited declining ticket sales, which dropped even more drastically after elephants were phased out from the shows last year." -- CW 

The Washington Post publishes a series of photos of the Vice President's residence.

Los Angeles Times: "Perhaps fittingly for an industry that has been trying to console itself in the wake of a presidential election result few saw coming, the 74th Golden Globes, held at the Beverly Hilton, proved a big night for the fizzy romantic musical 'La La Land,' a love letter to Hollywood itself that is widely considered the film to beat in this year’s best picture race." -- CW ...

Marisa Kashino of the Washingtonian: "... multiple real-estate sources say [Ivanka] Trump and husband Jared Kushner will move into 2449 Tracy Pl, NW, in Kalorama. That will put the couple less than two blocks from the Obamas, who will reportedly move here post-White House." Realtors' photos of the Kushner-Trump house are here. The six-bedroom house ... sold on December 22nd for $5.5 million, though it is unclear whether Trump and Kushner bought it, or will rent it from the recent buyer." -- CW 

Daniel Politi of Slate: "Los Angeles residents got a little surprise when they woke up on the first day of the year and realized one of the city’s most famous landmarks had been vandalized to read 'HOLLYWeeD' — at least for a few hours. Police say the vandal used tarps to change the sign’s O’s into E’s. Security cameras caught the vandal — likely a man — changing the sign between midnight and 2 a.m. but police can’t tell the person’s race or height from the footage, reports KTLA. If caught, the vandal could face a misdemeanor trespassing charge." -- 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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