Google

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Me and Dick Cavett

I was surprised to accidentally discover tonight that Dick Cavett regularly blogs for the New York Times.
Now Dick Cavett and I go way back.
Not that we ever met or encountered each other, you understand. (Yeah, I know. You saw the title and thought, "Here's some neat little gossip." Well, sorry to disappoint you.)
I was a regular viewer of Cavett's late-night show on ABC. So I guess you could say we did meet, in a way. Late-night host Cavett was witty, charming and hip, all in one neat little box.
The great thing about "The Dick Cavett Show" was the guests. In a day when Johnny Carson was still the King of Late Night," Cavett had some incredibile guests.
On one show, he had John Lennon and Yoko Ono by themselves. On another, he hosted a bunch of rock musicians who'd just come from the Woodstock Music Festival. On another, he interviewed Bette Davis in an empty studio.
It was this repartee and knack for intimacy with his guests that made him beat Carson in substance where he couldn't beat him in ratings.
(Many of the great moments of "The Dick Cavett Show" have been released on a series of wondeful DVDs from Shout Factory. We recommend them highly.)
Cavett's writing today is much like his show was then. He's still low-key and very modest, though he loves to make remarks at his expense.
In his current column, he wanders into the subject of coming back to TV.

"A goodly number of you out there have written varied versions of “Why don’t you come back on TV?” I’m not sure. It does help if you’re asked."

It does, Dick. Hell, if we had the power and the resources, we'd ask. We hope there's someone smart enough who will.
So thanks for your great show.
And we highly recommend his column. We're glad the New York Times was smart enough to give him the blog.
Maybe some bright network guy will look away from the reality show blitz that is flooding TV these days and give Dick another shot.
He deserves it. As do we.





Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The writer's strike: We the viewers lose

As the writer's strike continues to continue, do you notice how things are getting the wee bit nastier, especially on the management side?
The recent relevation by Carson Daly that NBC issued an ultimatum to him -- go back to work or a bunch of people will get fired -- is scary.
What is so hard about passing on some of the money you make from internet and DVD sales to the people responsible for the existence of these programs and movies anyway?
But the studios seem to find some problem here. "It's our world. We control it. Tough luck."
Meanwhile, we the viewers have to put up with the increasing number of "reality" (e.g. faked crap) shows the networks are putting on place of what we would have gotten had the writers been working. Reality shows which are no better than professional wrestling. Check that. At least wrestling fans know that wrestling is fake. Reality show fans hold on to the belief that stuff like "Survivor" is real. Now, I have this bridge ...
If you agree with me, go to the Writer's Guild of America - West site and register your support, as we have done.
And let's hope management comes to its senses soon. Reality TV sucks.








Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Talk about romantic gifts ...

Did you hear what President Bush gave First Lady Laura Bush this year? A new
purse. And a
silver plate, according to CNN. To be fair, she didn't give him
sexy underwear, either. She gave him
mountain biking gear.
What's duller than those gifts? Having to read about them.







Monday, December 24, 2007

Random notes

Just as the title says ...

  • You probably are aware of the story of Mike Smith of the great Dave Clark 5, who were just selected for induction in the Rock Hall of Fame. Smith did an acclaimed (by all who saw him, if not the critics) tour of the U.S. last year. Upon returning home, he had a freak accident at home and is now confined to a wheelchair. He just was discharged from the hospital and finally sent home. The good news is that Smith, on his website, says he is making plans to attend the Rock Hall induction.
    From his website:
    Last night, David called us and told us the good news about the DC5 being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!!! Tonight, Margo Lewis, my agent from TCI in New York, called and congratulated me, and gave us all the details about when and where the induction will take place. This is something I have worked for all of my life, and to put it mildly, I am absolutely thrilled to death!!!!! Charlie and I are definitely already making plans for crossing the pond in March to receive my award, and we can't wait to see all of you again. David is coming over for dinner on Sunday and we will all celebrate the good news!!! I haven't spoken to the other boys yet but I can tell you that David and I are really honored, and thank everybody that voted for us. WOW WOW WOW!

    We heartily agree. Congrats, Mike. We can't wait to see you with the other guys in March.
    ----

  • Here's an interesting story we weren't aware of before. It's fairly well known that NBC talk show host
    Conan O'Brien attended Harvard in his college days. But here's the part we didn't know, from imdb.com:
    When asked to give a speech at Harvard about his role on "Batman" (1966/II), Burt Ward brought the original costume, said to be valued at half a million dollars. Some students came up to him dressed as security guards and told him they would keep the costume safe. Then in the middle of the speech, one student stood up and asked, "When is a costume not a costume? When it's stolen." The lights dimmed and the students grabbed the costume and made off. After snapping pictures with one another in the cape, they later called Ward and gave the costume back. The ringleader of the gang? Harvard Lampoon editor, Conan O'Brien.

    (That's from Conan's imdb.com bio. The story is also on Burt Ward's official site, too. Gotta wonder if Ward has ever appeared on Conan's show.)
    ----

  • Happy holidays, everyone!








  • Friday, December 21, 2007

    Wishing on a Wish Book

    So we went to Sears last night looking for a vacuum cleaner and I happened to pick up this year's version of the Sears Wish Book.
    Now, when I was younger, this was a holiday tradition. It was a huge catalog probably running about 400 pages and 90 percent of it was toys! All the toys you ever wanted to see -- and would never get to own -- were in it.
    The title became reality. Wish. Wish. Wish.
    Fast forward to 2008. This year's Wish Book is a mere 188 pages.
    And the toys don't start until page 86!
    I feel sorry for our youngsters. They don't know what they're missing. (Though it's probably all under the tree, anyway.)







    Wednesday, December 19, 2007

    We told you so ...

    When we said we were terrible at handicapping TIME's Person of the Year, we were right. And we were wrong in saying the winner wouldn't come out of TIME's short list. The winner is Vladimir Putin. We can't figure the reason why he was chosen.
    Like the headline said, we told you so.



    Tuesday, December 18, 2007

    It's THAT time of the year

    It's December. And you know what December brings, right?
    But there's something else that's always a part of December. It's the guessing game of who'll be TIME's Person of the Year. (That was the first thing you thought of, right?)
    This year, the list of potential winners is as varied as any. These include Vladimir Putin of Russia, Al Gore. J.K. Rowling, Hu Jintao of China, and Steve Jobs, all mentioned on TIME's site.
    Of course, calling it Person of the Year is almost a misnomer. What some people don't grasp is that the award goes to the person or persons that has affected our lives the most during the year.
    The name sounds like it's a good guy award, but through the years, some less than honorable folks have gotten the nod. Adolf Hitler won it in 1938, Josef Stalin in '39, then again in '42. We guess TIME didn't want to make anyone feel bad.
    Charles Lindbergh won the first one in 1927. Since then, it's been won by such well-known names as Gandhi, Churchill (twice), FDR (three times), Krushchev, DeGaulle, Queen Elizabeth, JFK, Pope John XXIII, Nixon (twice), Reagan (twice), Gorbachev (twice), Bill Clinton and both George Bushes (twice for the younger) and lesser knowns as the computer, U.S. soldiers, those under 25, middle Americans and YOU getting the surprising (some would say cop-out) award last year.
    So who will get it this year? We're a lousy handicapper, but from TIME's short list -- which you can almost guarantee doesn't contain the eventual winner -- we'd pick Steve Jobs.
    However, there are lots of other possibilites. Just remember the winner won't necessarily be someone we'll remember fondly.
    Britney Spears, anyone?



    Monday, December 17, 2007

    More Dark Knight stuff

    Yesterday, we posted three official trailers from the "Batman Begins" sequel, coming in the summer. Here's a few more goodies.


    A truck stunt, seen in one of the trailers, as it was filmed.


    And a little more behind-the-scenes footage

    And is that Heath Ledger as the Joker?







    Sunday, December 16, 2007

    You can't keep anything a secret anymore ...


    A teaser for "The Dark Knight"

    Just happened to scout around on YouTube tonight for the trailer from the forthcoming "Batman" film called "The Dark Knight."
    Good grief, Batman! There are a ton of videos there. Now, certainly, the majority are fake, but there are some vids with stills and at least a couple with footage that appears to be legit. The two posted here are, it appears, actual teasers.
    Can't wait till next summer.
    (For a little more info, MTV has a long article about the film here.)




    Another "Dark Knight" teaser


    This last one has the best look at the Joker. Cesar Romero he won't be.


    Late addition: Here's the seven-minute prologue for the film. Not the greatest quality, but ....




    Friday, December 14, 2007

    Mad Magazine's 20 dumbest people, events and things of 2007

    This is the January issue cover story that just arrived at our house. (And no, I'm not the one with the subscription.)
    Anyway, here's a rundown of the list. Notice how all the political ones involve conservatives. Does Mad have a liberal bias? (ha ha!):
    20. Sanjaya (Indian bummer)
    19. The latest animal to go on the endangered species list (the family pet, due to tainted pet food. Hey, I didn't say they were all funny.)
    18. The Senator in the bathroom stall (Craig's lust)
    17. Alberto Gonzales (the nation's chief flawed officer)
    16. Lindsay Lohan (human crash test dummy)
    15. "If I Did It" by O.J. Simpson (Murder, he wrote)
    14. The creation museums (You can't Darwin them all.)
    13. The Sopranos finale (Bada Bing! Bada Boo!)
    12. Scooter Libby (A man for all treasons)
    11. Wild horses' ass (Keith Richards sniffs his father's ashes)
    10. Isiah Washington bashes homosexuals (Gay's animosity.)
    9. The Giant Toy Recall (a China pattern)
    8. The crazy diapered astronaut (Houston, we have a mental problem)
    7. Paris Hilton (the ultimate dumb blonde joke)
    6. The Anna Nicole Smith paternity trial (Who's your daddy?)
    5. Walter Reed Army Hospital scandal (toying with men's lives)
    4. Britney Spears (strife in the fast lane)
    3. Imus (Nappy headed host)
    2. Bush breaks presidential record for time off. (Vacation daze)
    1. Michael Vick's bad newz kennel (Pitbullsh*t)

    All he was saying was give peace a chance



    The sad anniversary of John Lennon's death was earlier this week. Yoko Ono, as she usually does, issued a statement.

    December 8, 2007

    I miss you, John. 27 years later, I still wish I could turn back the clock to the Summer of 1980. I remember everything - sharing our morning coffee, walking in the park together on a beautiful day, and seeing your hand stretched to mine - holding it, reassuring me that I shouldn't worry about anything because our life was good.

    I had no idea that life was about to teach me the toughest lesson of all. I learned the intense pain of losing a loved one suddenly, without warning, and without having the time for a final hug and the chance to say, "I love you," for the last time. The pain and shock of that sudden loss is with me every moment of every day. When I touched John's side of our bed on the night of December 8th, 1980, I realized that it was still warm. That moment has haunted me for the past 27 years - and will stay with me forever.

    Even harder for me is watching what was taken away from our beautiful boy, Sean. ?He lives in silent anger over not having his Dad, whom he loved so much, around to share his life with. I know we are not alone. Our pain is one shared by many other families who are suffering as the victims of senseless violence. This pain has to stop.

    Let's not waste the lives of those we have lost. Let's, together, make the world a place of love and joy and not a place of fear and anger. This day of John's passing has become more and more important for so many people around the world as the day to remember his message of Peace and Love and to do what each of us can to work on healing this planet we cherish.

    Let's: Think Peace, Act Peace, and Spread Peace. John worked for it all his life. He said, "there's no problem, only solutions."

    Remember, we are all together. We can do it, we must. I love you!

    Yoko Ono Lennon

    But hearing the man himself is like being lifted up.
    Go to http://www.imaginepeace.com and click on the video of John. It's an extended discussion by John of peace. There's footage there that I don't recall seeing before. But hearing him talk about it again is uplifting. It's sad he's not here to say it in person.
    The site, an authorized site from Yoko Ono, also has a statement from Yoko (different from the one above) and a downloadable jpg of the WAR IS OVER! IF YOU WANT IT! poster that John and Yoko spread round in the late '60s to use as you want.
    Good idea. War is over. If you want it.
    Thanks, John.
    (And thank you, Yoko. Happy Xmas.)

    Wednesday, December 12, 2007

    And the war drags on ...

    Congress is on the verge of giving President Bush more money to spend in Iraq. Another $70 billion, to be exact. That's an obscene amount.
    And CNN reports the deal isn't even linked to a commitment to end the fighting and bring the troops home.
    Americans should be furious. More than furious. They should be outraged. How long will this stupid war go on?
    As another folk song says, "When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn?"


    Imus boosts WABC

    No surprise really that Don Imus' first week back on the air did well in the ratings.
    Mediaweek reports that a special tabulation of portable people meter data in New York released by Arbitron Monday showed that the number of meters exposed to Imus’ first show between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. increased an average 87 percent compared to morning drive the previous 10 Mondays.
    It's too soon to say if this will be permanent. If Imus gets wider distribution, it certainly will be.
    For now, those of you outside of New York can hear Imus at http://www.imusonair.com/.

    Monday, December 10, 2007

    Quotables from "Countdown With Keith Olbermann" Nov. 26-30, 2007

    NEW YORK – December 5, 2007 – Following are quotes from "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" for the week of November 26-30. "Countdown With Keith Olbermann." Complete program transcripts are available at www.tv.msnbc.com.


    [Referring to the dog that bit a player during the Auburn vs. Alabama football game] Olbermann: "The dog was escorted from the sidelines and caught the first flight to Atlanta for the Michael Vick sentencing."

    Olbermann: "The value of celebrity endorsements [in Presidential elections] is in doubt, however, according to a recent Pew Poll that shows newspapers carry more weight than celebrities, that and endorsements from, say, Bill O'Reilly would give the recipient a 10 percent net loss of support."

    [Referring to reports that Britney Spears is pregnant]
    Joel McHale, E!'s "The Soup": "She [Britney Spears] said her life would be turned around by having a baby. You are right. It would be an entire 360."
    Olbermann: "And the skid marks would be seen up and down the boulevard."

    Olbermann: "Gail Knight, a 26-year-old student in London, England, seeing a need and coming up with an idea. Just going into service there; if you text the word 'toilet' from your cell phone to SatLab service, it will send you back a text message telling you where the nearest public toilet is. Anybody tell Senator Larry Craig?"

    # # #

    NBC wins Freedom Watch tussle, despite righties' spin

    NBC, after a battle with the right-wing group Freedom Watch, has decided to run their ad sending holiday wishes to the troops without the group's URL, the sticking point for the network.
    It was NBC's decision that the URL makes the ad political. Freedom Watch removed the URL. The ad will run.

    "We have reviewed and changed our ad standards guidelines and made the decision that our policy will apply to content only and not to a referenced Web site. Based on these amended standards the Freedom's Watch ad will begin to run as early as Sunday," NBC was quoted by the Associated Press

    But righties, notably dumb cluck pseudo pundit Michelle Malkin, are spinning it as NBC did the dreaded flip flop.
    So tell me Michelle. How does Freedom Watch caving in become a flip flop? Only you would draw a conclusion like that.

    Saturday, December 8, 2007

    We miss you, John Lennon

    Yoko Ono released the following statement for this, the anniversary of John's death:

    December 8, 2007

    I miss you, John. 27 years later, I still wish I could turn back the clock to the Summer of 1980. I remember everything - sharing our morning coffee, walking in the park together on a beautiful day, and seeing your hand stretched to mine - holding it, reassuring me that I shouldn't worry about anything because our life was good.

    I had no idea that life was about to teach me the toughest lesson of all. I learned the intense pain of losing a loved one suddenly, without warning, and without having the time for a final hug and the chance to say, "I love you," for the last time. The pain and shock of that sudden loss is with me every moment of every day. When I touched John's side of our bed on the night of December 8th, 1980, I realized that it was still warm. That moment has haunted me for the past 27 years - and will stay with me forever.

    Even harder for me is watching what was taken away from our beautiful boy, Sean. ?He lives in silent anger over not having his Dad, whom he loved so much, around to share his life with. I know we are not alone. Our pain is one shared by many other families who are suffering as the victims of senseless violence. This pain has to stop.

    Let's not waste the lives of those we have lost. Let's, together, make the world a place of love and joy and not a place of fear and anger. This day of John's passing has become more and more important for so many people around the world as the day to remember his message of Peace and Love and to do what each of us can to work on healing this planet we cherish.

    Let's: Think Peace, Act Peace, and Spread Peace. John worked for it all his life. He said, "there's no problem, only solutions."

    Remember, we are all together. We can do it, we must. I love you!

    Yoko Ono Lennon

    Friday, December 7, 2007

    A supersize rumor about Osama bin Laden

    You probably know the name Morgan Spurlock. He's the inventive guy who made "Supersize Me" a couple of years ago. That's the documentary about his diet of McDonald's supersize meals and what it did to him.
    If you've heard the rumors that have been circulating, Sperlock's scored more than a McDonald's double bacon cheeseburger. He may have scored Osama bin Laden, according to a story on MSNBC.
    Trouble is he's not saying one way or the other. But quotes from people who have seen an excerpt of the film, which will premiere at Sundance next year, have mentioned "the Holy Grail" in describing it.
    Is this all hype? We suspect we'll hear one way or the other before it premieres if he found him.
    Just wondering, though. Why the secrecy if he did?

    Wednesday, December 5, 2007

    Just sitting here thinking ...

    One thing that boggles my mind is the intense fascination -- no, makes that slobbering worship -- modern society has with celebrities. Gossip columns and websites follow their every change of clothes, every haircut, every meal, every everything!
    I almost feel sorry for them.
    I'll bet a couple of celebs would love to have everything they did on video.
    But what if -- all the photogs would just leave the celebs alone for a day or two. Which celebrities would be happy -- and which would actually miss them?

    Tuesday, December 4, 2007

    Michael Savage makes some noise (as usual)

    Conservative hate-monger and talk show host Michael Savage has filed a lawsuit against CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) for copyright violations for using excerpts of his broadcasts in a campaign to get advertisers to drop his show.
    Here are some excerpts from the suit:

    "“The Savage Nation” is unique among so-called “Talk Radio” in that it combines serious intellectual analysis with dramatic and emotional soul baring that the show advertises as “Psychological Nudity”. This performance aspect of the show is critical in that it conveys an emotional power and a fundamental honesty to the programming that is meaningful to the listening audience."

    Right.
    CAIR has misappropriated copyright protected material from Michael Savage and made this material available on its website. This is actionable regardless of whether or not CAIR had a genuine charitable purpose in using Michael Savage’s material. Even genuine charities must gain the permission of a copyright holder before using the copyrighted work for fund raising or other purposes.

    The CAIR misappropriation was done for political purposes unrelated to civil rights and unrelated to CAIR’s tax exempt status.

    The copyright infringement was done to raise funds for CAIR so that it could self perpetuate and continue to disseminate propaganda on behalf of foreign interests that are opposed to the continued existence of the United States of America as a free nation.

    CAIR repackaged the content of Michael Savage’s show and manipulated that stolen content so that it could be used by CAIR to raise funds. Little or none of the money raised went to alleged “civil rights” activities.

    The CAIR repackaging damaged the work and damaged the public image of the work because it was taken out of context, the introductory remarks were omitted and the context of “The Savage Nation” were removed. It was deliberately designed to obscure the specific message conveyed by Michael Savage. The actual message while highly provocative and strongly worded, was not intended as an attack on people of faith and in fact, Michael Savage is well known as a person of faith."

    It wasn't? He is? How laughable is that.
    "The stolen material as repackaged by CAIR was intended to portray both the material and the creator of the material, Michael Savage as having a blanket opposition to a particular religion. This was not the context of the statement and it is not consistent with the content of the programming as a whole."

    Savage, in the excerpts of the show he's being sued for, called the Quran a "book of hate" and said Muslims "need deportation." Right. No hate there. Sigh.
    Savage puts out this type of crap for his listeners on a daily basis. That conservatives give him any credit at all puts them on the low end of the human spectrum.
    Savage is a publicity hound and it wouldn't surprise us if this lawsuit is just to say he's suing Muslims. We're not a lawyer, but someone should tell Savage he's a public figure and people using excerpts of his program fall under the Fair Use law. In other words, his lawsuit is frivolous.
    For anyone interested, the full lawsuit is here.

    Monday, December 3, 2007

    Welcome back, Don Imus

    Though we didn't object to his firing, we're glad to see Don Imus is back on the air. What's refreshing is that in his opening today, he was honest about the events of the last eight months.
    “I will never say anything in my lifetime that will make any of these young women at Rutgers regret or feel foolish that they accepted my apology and forgave me," he told the live audience at his show taping. “ “And no one else will say anything else on my program that will make anyone think that I didn’t deserve a second chance.”
    Imus said when he would get mad about being fired, “I would remind myself that if I hadn’t said what I said, then we wouldn’t be having this discussion.”
    “I think things worked out the way they should have worked out,” he said. “We now have the opportunity to have a better program, to obviously diversify the cast.”
    A lot of people will be listening his radio show. And watching Imus. We think he's learned his lesson. We hope so.

    Sunday, December 2, 2007

    Will Bush veto bill with tighter fuel economy mandates?

    A bill, H.R. 6, providing for a 40 percent increase in fuel efficiency for new cars and light trucks by 2020 for a fleetwide average of 35 miles per gallon appears to be headed for passage in the House and Senate, reports the Associated Press.
    "A 35-mpg standard is something that just a year and a half ago, most people in Washington thought would never see the light of day," said Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., as quoted by the AP.
    Just what the doctor ordered, huh?
    You'd think so.
    The bill also includes provisions for use of ethanol in gasoline, plus the groundwork for alternative energy sources such as solar power for electricity.
    Democratic leaders hope they can get the bill to the president's desk before the end of the year.
    But the big question is will the president sign it? The AP story says some Republicans have complained that the bill does not do enough to increase domestic production of oil.
    Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, the top Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said in a statement Saturday that if the bill clears Congress, he would recommend that Bush veto it.
    Under a 1975 law passed after the Arab oil embargo, each automaker's fleet of cars must average 27.5 miles per gallon and its light trucks, including sport utility vehicles, pickups and minivans, 22.2 miles per gallon.
    For years, a group of Republicans wary of regulation and Democrats from vehicle-producing states - with fierce lobbying by U.S. auto companies and auto unions - have opposed tougher standards, contending it would lead to lighter, less-safe vehicles, threaten auto industry jobs and limit consumer choice.
    Just two years ago, during consideration of the last big energy bill, a proposal to increase the standard to 40 miles per gallon by 2016 drew just 28 votes in the 100-member Senate.
    But with $4 a gallon gasoline looming, those arguments may become irrelevant.
    And some of those arguing for tougher fuel economy standards argue it's a national security issue, in that it would lesson our dependence on foreign oil.
    But something has to be done. We demand it. We need it now. Hell, we needed this at least a decade ago.
    Given the situation, how can the president not sign this bill?

    Here's a Senate press release about the bill.

    U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation
    For Immediate Release
    June 21st, 2007
    U.S. SENATE APPROVES INCREASE IN FUEL ECONOMY STANDARD
    Adopted Energy Act Increases Fleetwide Fuel Economy Average to 35 MPGs by Model Year 2020
    WASHINGTON, D.C. – For the first time in more than three decades, the U.S. Senate voted to increase the average fuel economy standard for cars, trucks, and SUVs by 10 miles per gallon over ten years. The fuel economy provision comes as part of the Senate-amended H.R. 6, the Energy Act, which the full Senate adopted today by a vote of 65-27.



    Committee Vice Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and Senator Thomas Carper (D-Del.) proposed the adopted compromise provision, with the cosponsorship of Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Committee Chairman Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii), and Committee Members including Senators Trent Lott (R-Miss.), John Kerry, (D-Mass.), Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), and John Sununu (R-N.H.).



    The bipartisan compromise fuel efficiency language preserves the core of the Ten-in-Ten Fuel Economy Act introduced earlier this Congress by Senators Feinstein and Snowe, which was reported by the Commerce Committee in May.



    Senator Inouye issued the following statement on the bipartisan compromise amendment included in the Energy Act.




    “Mr. President, I rise in support of Amendment 1792, filed by Senators Stevens, Snowe, Alexander, and Carper, and cosponsored by Senators Feinstein and Kerry, among others. This bipartisan compromise reflects the input of Members, industry, and consumers, and is good policy for our nation.



    I particularly wish to congratulate Senator Dianne Feinstein for her dedicated efforts over the years to update our nation’s fuel economy standards. The success of the amendment today is a tribute to her tenacious and skilled advocacy.



    At every step of the legislative process following the introduction of S. 357, the Ten-in-Ten Fuel Economy Act, by Senators Feinstein and Olympia Snowe, the authors and cosponsors of S. 357 and Members of the Senate Commerce Committee have worked together in a bipartisan manner to address the concerns of the automotive industry. In particular, this group worked hard to ensure that automakers will not face a significant burden when meeting the first improvements to fuel economy standards in more than 30 years.



    I am pleased that Members from both sides of the aisle continued to work together to produce the amendment adopted today. While addressing a number of the concerns raised by automakers regarding the Feinstein-Snowe Ten-in-Ten Fuel Economy Act as reported by the Commerce Committee, the amendment preserves the core goals and fuel savings of Ten-in-Ten.



    The amendment directs the Secretary of Transportation to increase fuel economy for automobiles to 35 miles per gallon by 2020, as in Ten-in-Ten. But in the years that follow from 2021 to 2030, the Secretary shall increase fuel economy at a maximum feasible rate instead of at a pace of 4 percent per annum.



    If we have a breakthrough in battery technology, then 4 percent per year may well be too low. If there are unforeseen problems, 4 percent may be too high. The amendment will allow the Secretary to set an appropriate standard in the future.



    The Kerry-Cantwell second degree amendment to the Stevens-Carper-Feinstein-Snowe-Kerry amendment also directs the Secretary to establish and implement an action plan to ensure that 50 percent of the vehicles for sale in 2015 are alternative fuel automobiles. We must encourage manufacturers to improve their fleets’ fuel economy by exploring new technologies and producing alternative fuel vehicles. I commend Senators Kerry and Cantwell for developing this compromise amendment that addresses this important goal.



    By adopting the bipartisan compromise amendment and H.R. 6 as amended, we will place the country on a path toward reducing our nation’s dependence on foreign oil, protecting the environment, and helping consumers deal with rising gas prices.



    Finally, I wish to express my appreciation for the excellent efforts of the dedicated staff on the Senate Commerce Committee including David Strickland, Alex Hoehn-Saric, Ken Nahigian, Mia Petrini, and Jared Bomberg.”


    Here's a press release from Sen. Susan Collins of Maine about the bill.

    Saturday, December 1, 2007

    And here is the big matchup ... ALF vs. O'Reilly



    This is actually very funny. Unlike the Stephen Colbert interview, O'Reilly actually loosened up. ALF managed to get in a few digs, too.

    Enjoy!

    Most Popular On HuffPost