The Wires

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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

Vanity Fair: "... Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times chief book reviewer and Pulitzer Prize winner, who has been, by a wide margin, the most powerful book critic in the English-speaking world, is stepping down.... Kakutani said that she could neither confirm nor comment. But sources familiar with her decision, which comes a year after the Times restructured its books coverage, told me that last year’s election had triggered a desire to branch out and write more essays about culture and politics in Trump’s America." -- CW 

... Washington Post: "... investigators believe they have discovered the 'smoking gun' that would support a decades-old theory that [Amelia] Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, were captured by the Japanese: a newly unearthed photograph from the National Archives that purportedly shows Earhart and Noonan — and their plane — on an atoll in the Marshall Islands.... Gary Tarpinian,  executive producer of the History documentary, told the Today show that they believe the Koshu, the Japanese merchant ship in the photo, took Earhart to Saipan, where she died in Japanese custody." -- CW 

Summer Beach Reading. James Hohmann of the Washington Post suggests Al Franken's Giant of the Senate. Hohmann's column hits some of the highlights. CW: Let us be thankful that Donald Trump is incapable of learning the lessons Franken learned from his team. If Trump were half as bright as Franken, he would be a succesful president & very effective dictator.

Politico: "MSNBC has parted ways with anchor Greta Van Susteren after just six months on air, as her show failed to live up to the network's ratings expectations. An MSNBC executive said the decision to remove the former Fox News host was purely for business reasons, based on ratings." -- CW 

Click on the picture to see larger image.... Low Society News. AP: "... Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump were among the guests as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (mih-NOO’-shin’s) married a Scottish actress. Mnuchin exchanged vows Saturday night with Louise Linton at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington. Mrs. Trump wore a pink blush dress" CW: which, if you follow Reality Chex, you will know was enhanced by some really costly baubles that remind the bride of Grace Kelly or happy times or something.

New Yorker: "In a paper in the journal Nature, an international team of researchers announced that they have pushed back the date of the earliest human remains to three hundred thousand years ago. And the specimens in question were found not in East Africa, which has become synonymous with a sort of paleoanthropological Garden of Eden, but clear on the other side of the continent — and the Sahara — in Morocco." -- 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

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 

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January 2 & 3 -- Iowa Predicitions

Okay, let's hear your predictions on which GOP presidential candidate will will the Iowa Caucuses. No, Iowa is not in the Caucasus Mountains. But it is extremely Caucasian.

Here is the Des Moines Register final poll to help you out: "The Des Moines Register’s latest Iowa Poll shows a surprise three-way match-up in contention to win the Iowa Republican caucuses: Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum." Public Policy Polling results are here:

Ridiculous answers are acceptable, as always. Speaking of ridiculous answers, @Forrest Morris's intrepid investigative reporting on the New Year's Resolutions of seven of the candidates, published in the Weekend Thread, may be of help.

Update: John Cassidy of the New Yorker has some Handy Handicapping Hints that might be more Helpful than Morris's. ...

... AND here's the latest from the super-reliable Nate Silver.

Update 3: All the news is Iowa, Iowa, Iowa, so let's keep at it.

Reader Comments (21)

Well it depends on what you call 'win'. In this game the 'winner' will have the support of less than 25% of the voters. The voters in the caucus are a minority of the total. In Iowa they only represent the majority of delusion in America. So in my view the winner is Barack Obama.

January 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarvin Schwalb

Oops! I wasn't aware when I posted the New Year's Resolutions that President Obama had signed (Saturday) the NDAA, National Defense Authorization Act, so should probably change my name and get the post removed. I'm much too old to sit in a detainment camp. Never did like camping.

January 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterforrest morris

@forrest morris. Try Morris Forrest. They'll never find ya.

January 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarie Burns

Shucks. I thought this was my first spam of the new year, but it turns out I got some spam yesterday, too. I guess I'm on a one-a-day spam diet.

January 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertag

A canard is a canard whether it's in a can or on the buffet table at one of the 1,774 Ioway caucusays.

And as the word itself derives from the French term for ducks (or, rather, duck decoys) the winner of this 'contest' may well be a dead one. With the exception of George W. Duck in 2000, the winner of the charade has never gone on to do much of anything except fell a few thousand trees and spill several hundred gallons of ink, spilled by bored dullards with nothing else to write about.

This morning I had the great misfortune to watch a selected group of Iowans make the case for those they thought stood the best chance of saving America from that commie, fascist, Kenyan usurper in the White House. Many of them spoke about 'fiscal austerity', a term, no doubt they've cleaved to based on the effervescence of Fox economic analysis. They certainly didn't think much of it when Republicans ruled the roost. But all of a sudden, it's a big thing.

Then we have the Teabagger influences. Added to the sad, paltry, and somewhat rancid ingredients of this caucus, a show that is given enormous significance even though it represents, largely the viewpoints of people like this,

and bears not the tiniest semblance to vast majority of Americans, the biggest question is not Who Will Win? but Who The Fuck Cares?

Perhaps Eric the Fish.

January 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

OR you could vote for this Tag Heuer dude.

WTF is this all about?

Someone needs to tell Herr Tag Heuer that the Indy 500 is in May and doesn't have much standing with Iowa voters. Unless, of course, the subliminal, double secret message is that time is running out on all of us and this is another (holy crap) conspiracy theory!!!!

Is time running out on the Thomas' English Muffin recipe??

Oh god! Wire congress!

January 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Okey dokey. I am with the Replica Yachtmaster guy. I think Tag Heur will win the Iowa caucuses--and the Indy 500. Certainly the most sensible and articulate candidate with the most original ideas. He knows that "most consumers dress ourselves through these types of replica aquaracer"...... And, unlike the other doofus candidates, he posits "it is possible to many things will possibly not know." That about sums it up for me with all of these clowns in Iowa. A media circus. Get your Kool Aid and popcorn at "the site containing are living chat."

January 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate Madison

Methinks Tag Heuer is on the wrong site. One of his watches is listed for $4975.00, and that's the sale price. That is exactly $4955.00 more than my ten year old Timex cost and it just keeps on ticking. So therefore I can't present my own particular great taste to get type and social located with only a Timex.

January 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterforrest morris

Oh, sorry, I just deleted Tag Heuer before I realized he was the subject of much discussion. Maybe you could go on writing about spam, which -- as Akhilleus suggests -- is just as useful as writing about Rick Santorum & Michele Bachmann's programs of fiscal austerity and personal chastity (the latter practiced only when not engaging in an unmentionable act ordained by god with the specific intent of procreation -- there is a reason those two have about 22 kids each).

Now that I think about it, wouldn't Michele & Rick make a cute couple? That scene with Brooks & Collins going at it in the metal filing cabinet seems way more plausible if you change out Brooks & Collins for Santorum & Bachmann. S & M (Santorum & Michele, I mean) are both so obviously sex-deprived. Maybe if they started "going together," they would quit sublimating by running for president.

Did I mention that my New Year's Resolution is not to be snide & bitchy ever again? How am I doing?

January 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarie Burns

Okay, I'm with Kate. The Tag Heuer dude gets my vote because how can you vote for a guy whose name has become synonymous with extracurricular effluence, or a guy who could be the stunt double for Flipper, or a woman believes that god expressed his displeasure with Democrats by killing people with hurricanes and earthquakes, or a former Speaker of the House who demands that voters blame his serial adultery on his love of America, or a guy who, for years has spouted hatred for gays, minorities, and Jews, but wants us to believe that he didn't actually say any of that?

Besides, anyone eloquent enough to suggest that we make an effort to specify our social located or even to present our own particular great taste to get type gets my vote.

Tag Heuer Dude for President!

January 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

@Today's Assignment;
I predict that the outcome of the Iowa caucus won't matter one whit.
As usual the RNC couldn't care less what the voters want or need, they've already decided that it's Mitt turn so he'll get the nod regardless of any poll or vote or caucus, if it starts looking like somebody else might beat him they'll change the rules just like they did in 2000 when it started looking like McCain could beat GWB. Or they'll find buried dirt just like they did to Cain last month, trotting out one republican operative (I'm not saying those women were making any of it up, I'm just saying it was the RNC that found them and gave them permission to talk) after another until he finally hollered "Enough!", you'll notice they let him keep the campaign money.... and he has gone dead silent.

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThe Doktor

@The Doktor-

..." I'm just saying it was the RNC that found them (Cain's women), and gave them permission to talk, until he finally hollered "Enough!", you'll notice they let him keep the campaign money.... and he has gone dead silent."

Yes indeedy, dead silent! Probably bleeding to death slowly and painfully, after the missus cut off his dick with a Girl Scout knife. I have no sympathy for Herman Cain. He dug his own grave, and was never serious about running--only about selling books and laughing... all the way to the bank! We are passengers on the ship of fools, for sure--led like lemmings by the MSM to believe whatever keeps them employed and the news corporations happy. A rich, Black restaurant tycoon, more malaproprious than Dan Quayle, is a serious candidate for President? Sure thing. Remember, IT IS ALWAYS ABOUT THE MONEY! Just ask Newtie. But fugidabout Rick Sanitarium. He is serious--in his own sick way.

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate Madison

@Kate Madison;
Unfortunately she played along, dutifully standing behind him....
the really sad part is that so many people were so easily fooled by such a charlatan! He did everything he could to discredit himself from a practical standpoint; his economic plan was a farce, he had no foreign policy, he didn't go to campaign stops, he went to book signings, and that commercial with the "Pimp Smile" and the smoking!?!?! And those fools ate it up! Somewhere in spacetime P.T. Barnum is howling laughing!
These guys may have said it best
...but hey, I'm just a Rock&Roll kinda guy!
well, it's time for more pain meds and get to work for me...

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThe Doktor

I don't know who's going to take all of Iowa today. Whoever will probably want to give it back in a week or so.
I do know that rich people really like watches. I don't know why. Time is the one thing they can't buy.
"Hey, buddy do you want to buy a watch real cheap..."
@Morris Forrest, your secret is safe with me.

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJJG

Hey, is it too late for Pat Buchanan and Lyndon Larouche to run? They might attract some of the crazy-bigot/conspiracy nut vote. How about Libby Dole? Nah...way to normal for this bunch. Same with Bob. Ross Perot still alive? He might attract votes from any groups who claim to hate government but would be dead without it.

Well, dang. That settles it.

There should be a write-in campaign for Darth Cheney! He wouldn't bother with weenie-ass debates. He'd just open up and start shooting people in the face with his duck hunting shotgun. And if he didn't win, he'd call Nino and Sammy and Little Johnny Roberts and demand that he be handed the victory.

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

After long and hard consideration (upwards of a minute), I have chosen Rick Santorum as My Guy in Iowhy.

First, it's Rick' turn. Everybody else in the race has had front-runner status, so it's only fair Rick gets his day -- which is the last possible day -- in Iowa.

Also, it will be great to see him getting more media attention. It's really important for American voters to know that all the GOP candidates are insane or liars or both.

Finally, I'll likely mention Santorum in my NYTX column tomorrow, so it would be nice to have a crazy frontrunner in my sights.

Bonus: as the commenter formerly known as forrest morris suggested, it is important to keep Santorum's number one Google page in its top spot.

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarie Burns

I predict that the people of Ioway will give it to Rick S. simply because of his stand on homosexuality (he likens it to man on dog) as opposed, I guess, to dog on car. Learning so much--always thought that was bestiality. Don't hear much from any of them about things like infrastructure, or taxes or anything of substance. I think they all need new writers, maybe enlist some from the Comedy Channel; oh, come to think, they must have done that months ago!

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterforrest morris

Quote of the Day. "I don't want to make black people's lives better by giving them somebody else's money. I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money and provide for themselves and their families." -- Rick Caucasian Santorum

If you are not a straight white dude, you do not want to live in Rick Santorum's world.

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarie Burns

Okay, I was 9 votes off. Santorum came in behind Willard by 8 votes, according to the head of the Iowa Republican party, who spoke at about 2:30 am ET. But that's damned close.

I'm so sorry 9 Santorum supporters couldn't pull themselves up off their couches & get their lazy asses down to the local grade school to caucus. I really wanted to see a racially-bigoted, openly, flagrantly homophobic, anti-choice, anti-contraception guy as the GOP frontrunner. At least for a little while.

January 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarie Burns

@Marie; I'm a straight,white dude; OK, slightly hobbled, tan-pink, old coot and I don't want to live in Rickie's world. Hard to explain but when you are a born-into-it member of a club (white, straight, male) you are expected to act and think a certain way. When you reject your clubs point of view you are casting yourself as a outsider. There was a time in this country when it was considered laudable to reject convention. Bible-thumpers were viewed as quirky and minding your own damn business was the norm. Now we got Rickie. I don't think I'm the only straight, white dude that feels this way.

January 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJJG

I totally second that, I loves me some curvy women!!! I'm cool with weapons, I don't mind if you believe in some invisible man in the sky as long as you don't expect me to believe in him too. There is a lot more evidence for outerspace aliens than there is for deities IMHO.

January 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThe Doktor
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