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Thursday, February 22, 2007

When is a leak not a leak?

There's a very interesting article on Slate.com about how the San Francisco Chronicle's interest in reporting the BALCO scandal actually led it to basically allow Troy Ellerman, recently outed at the individual who leaked the testimony reporters Mark Fainaru Wada and Lance Williams quoted in their news stories and later their book, to use them. Ellerman lied publicly that he was the leaker but he also filed a motion for his BALCO clients that the Chronicle reports had jeopardized their rights to a fair trial.
As Slate points out, the Chronicle stood idly by and watched Ellerman file his motion about the case and said nothing.
This is freedom of the press? It's certainly not a responsible press. And all the while, the Chronicle whined about its reporters' First Amendment rights being jeopardized.
We never really had much sympathy for the Chron reporters to begin with. Though quoting the secret grand jury testimony wasn't illegal, getting it was. It's not surprising that there was something shady behind it all.
It was really no surprise to anyone in the local press that the Chron didn't win a Pulitzer for the BALCO coverage based on stolen grand jury transcripts. Now that we see how sleazy they acted, it's all poetic justice.

Anna Nicole -- more interesting dead than alive

Who didn't watch the Anna Nicole Smith hearings? We've seen them on CNN Pipeline and if it wasn't so ludicrous, it'd be fascinating. Even more crazy: The judge sobbed while making the ruling! This guy ought to be taken off the bench. What a joke. Actually, he probably will leave the bench -- after getting a lucrative offer to be a TV judge. He's Judge Judy and what's her name from the People's Court all in one.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

QUOTABLES FROM SNL'S 'WEEKEND UPDATE WITH AMY POEHLER & SETH MEYERS'

QUOTABLES FROM SNL'S 'WEEKEND UPDATE WITH AMY POEHLER & SETH MEYERS'
Published: February 12, 2007

(Saturdays, 11:30 p.m. – 1:00 a.m. ET)

"WEEKEND UPDATE" CO-ANCHOR AMY POEHLER -- "Earlier today, Senator Barack Obama announced his candidacy for President. Upon hearing the news, Hillary Clinton punched a pillow so hard it turned into a diamond."

POEHLER -- "This week, Senator Obama answered doubts about his experience by saying he has gained tremendous insight from his work as a community organizer, civil rights attorney, constitutional law professor, Key Club president, 4H treasurer, lunchroom monitor, two years of jazz and four years of tap."

POEHLER -- "Many Republicans are upset with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's recent demand for regular use of the Air Force's C-32, the same type of aircraft that the Vice President and the First Lady use. They're also not thrilled with her demand to be carried around Washington 'Cleopatra-Style.'"

"WEEKEND UPDATE" CO-ANCHOR SETH MEYERS -- "Senator Joseph Lieberman said Tuesday that Congress should consider 'war-on-terrorism taxes.' Or, as they're currently known, 'taxes.'"

MEYERS -- "The FDA on Wednesday approved over-the-counter sales of the weight loss drug Orlistat. Next up for the FDA? Recalling Orlistat."

POEHLER -- "This week, in an ironic twist, while making a speech on global warming, Al Gore froze to death."

POEHLER -- "A new survey shows that America's Jewish population has reached 7.4 million. But for you, 5 million."

POEHLER -- "A London hair stylist has been using bull semen to soften his clients' hair. Worse, it's 'Bull' from 'Night Court.'"

MEYERS -- "Richard Knoebel, a police chief in Wisconsin, wrote himself a $235 dollar traffic ticket, and docked himself four points on his driving record for driving past a stopped school bus with its emergency lights flashing. Knoebel then argued the ticket and beat himself half to death."

MEYERS -- "The Reverend Ted Haggard, who was forced out of his church after a former male prostitute alleged that Haggard Paird him for sex, says that he is now 'completely heterosexual' after attending an intensive three-week counseling program. Hear that gay people? Three weeks. Stop being so lazy."

MEYERS -- "An Illinois man, who is a Chicago Bears fan, will legally change his name to Peyton Manning after losing a Super Bowl bet. Though as far as his family is concerned, he'll always remain 'Rex Grossman.'"

MEYERS -- "The Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, has been named a presidential distinguished professor at Emory University. The Dalai Lama says that while it is an honorary position, he will still try to use it to bone some undergrads."

POEHLER -- "A 76-year-old woman from Malaysia, has been reunited with her family 25 years after she got on the wrong bus. And, just as they'd feared, she forgot to pick up eggs."

POEHLER -- "For many of the Super Bowl's 93 million viewers, the highlight of the broadcast was Prince's halftime performance. Let's face it, no one plays their huge, erect penis better than Prince."

MEYERS -- "This past weekend, a woman in Atlantic City, New Jersey gave birth to her baby in a casino...and then another...and then a lemon ... agh, so close! Even worse, during the delivery, she crapped out."

MEYERS -- "Archaeologists in Italy have discovered a couple buried 6,000 years ago, still hugging each other...which I'm sure was her idea."

And a reminder from John Lennon

A step in the right direction

Yesterday's vote on the House resolution on the Iraq war was non-binding, but don't let that fool you. It sends a pointed rebuke to the president. Not to mention the fact that 17 Republicans sided with the Democratic majority.
The days of wine and roses are over, King George.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The ice cream named Stephen Colbert


Stephen Colbert has made it. He now has an ice cream named for him by Ben and Jerry's, reports the Associated Press. Proceeds will go to charity.
The word is SWEET!

YouTube turns the tables on pirates

YouTube is no longer a safe haven for uploading copyrighted videos if what has happened today means anything. E! Online reports that YouTube and LiveDigital have turned over names of two users who uploaded episodes of "24" and "The Simpsons" before they aired to 20th Century Fox.
"We intend to use the information provided to pursue all available legal remedies against those who infringed our copyrights," 20th Century Fox media relations VP Chris Alexander said in a statement to E! Online.
"As we have long maintained, Fox is committed to vigorously protecting our content from illegal Internet distribution and other forms of piracy."
Copyrighted clips are still easy to find there, but YouTube is going after those who upload them in adverse to studio rights. Indeed, YouTube has agreements with some studios, among them Viacom, to allow some copyrighted clips.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

You'll either love it or hate it.



This video comes from YouTube. It's to promote the band the Bastard Fairies. What do you think? Does it go too far? It has sparked a lot of reaction on YouTube (search under Coolest 8 Year Old in the World). Anyway, what's your reaction?

Nice going, Mr. Mayor

Check out this story . Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell this week vetoed a measure to make English the official language of Nashville. He called the bill "mean-spirited."
Indeed it was.

From the story:


The Metro Council passed a measure 23-14 last week that would have required all government communication to be in English. But there was a huge loophole: The bill allowed multilingual communication whenever required by federal rules or when needed "to protect or promote public health, safety or welfare."

Purcell said his legal staff had advised him the measure violated the U.S. and state constitutions, and likely legal challenges would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend -- "for no good reason."

Purcell sent the measure back to the Metro Council, where he hoped "it will remain, never to be seen again."

Nice going. A mayor with a real conscience. A rarity for sure.





Monday, February 12, 2007

Dixie Chicks click! It's a liberal plot


The Dixie Chicks perform a live version of "Goodbye, Earl."

How about those Dixie Chicks winning four Grammy Awards last night, including album of the year!
And how quickly many conservatives pounced on the occasion to say how much talent they don't have.
C'mon. Just because they had the guts to complain about Bush's stupid Iraq policies, can't you come up with a better excuse to slag the Chicks?
And why is it such a surprise that the music industry backed them? The music industry has been political since its earliest days. (Remember those Depression blues songs?)
So congrats, Dixies. You go girls! You deserveed the awards ... and thanks for your bravery. They don't give awards for that, but they should.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Fox bloop



If you haven't seen this Fox News blooper by Shepard Smith, it's worth a look.

Welcome to Black History Month


Martin Luther King Jr.: "I have a dream."

February, as you probably know, is Black History Month. So why is it so hard for some people to celebrate it?
Any mention of Black History Month for these people brings out all sorts of excuses. We've seen some crazy arguments on the Internet among so-called conservatives -- from wanting to celebrate white history month to dressing in blackface to pay tribute to blacks.
Stupid and pathetic. Archie Bunker should be dead. But unfortunately, the spirit of Archie Bunker still lives in the minds of many Americans.
Black History Month celebrates a culture. People who can't live with that need to have an attitude check.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Quotables from Keith Olbermann (courtesy NBC)

SECAUCUS, N.J. – February 5, 2007 – Following are quotes from "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" for January 29-February 2. "Countdown airs weeknights, 8-9 p.m. ET on MSNBC. Complete program transcripts are available at www.tv.msnbc.com .


"Even Simon Cowell says a singing competition has turned into a freak show. Been sitting next to Paula Abdul for six seasons and now he's worried about a freak show?"


"Speaking of questions, an abundance of caution notwithstanding, how do officials shut down a city over 10 items that basically look like the little men on the 'Walk' 'Don't Walk' signs?"


"Besides the culinary accomplishments of Mr. Yosses [the new executive pastry chef at the White House], he goes to work for the Bushes having written the best-selling cookbook, 'Desserts for Dummies.'"


"Lindsay Lohan is reportedly making more enemies in rehab than friends… other participants in her AA meetings are upset with her… because every time she shows up to a meeting – the paparazzi in tow, snapping pictures of everyone – which would make it hard to keep the Alcoholics Anonymous meetings anonymous."

# # #

Friday, February 2, 2007

Florida wises up .. a little too late

The New York Times is reporting today that Florida is moving to a voting system with a paper trail.
The paper said the move by Florida, plus new federal voting legislation expected to pass this year, could mark the end for the paperless electronic touch-screen machines. The Florida action is planned to take place before the 2008 presidential election. If it happens, it would be the nation’s biggest repudiation yet of touch-screen voting. Unfortunately, this comes too late after the election debacle in 2000 and the shady Ohio dealing in 2004. Even the Republican Party of Florida sent out fliers before the 2004 presidential election urging voters to use absentee ballots because of the absence of a paper trail.
The story notes that former Governor Bush, the younger brother of President Bush, has generally defended touch-screen voting during his tenure and said skeptics had fallen prey to “conspiracy theories.”
Given what happened in 2000, why is that not a surprise? Fortunately, smarter heads appear to be prevailing.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

How bad is it for Bush?

It's so bad that Dems and Repubs are working together against the "surge" (a better word is escallatio) plan Bush has for Iraq. CNN reports Virginia Republican Sen. John Warner and Michigan Democrat Sen. Carl Levin had been sponsoring competing measures opposing Bush's strategy of sending 21,500 more U.S. troops to Iraq. Warner's less harshly worded version was getting interest from Republicans.
But now they'll work together.
There's a lesson there, King George. What do you bet Shrub doesn't pick it up?

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