Wednesday Night Open Thread

BTD is out of town for a few days. The TL Kid and I are about to grill some steaks. I'll be back here later tonight.

In the meantime, check out Nanci Griffith's new album. Howie Klein at Huffington Post has the details and notes her performance at the Grammy Museum in LA this week, which is part of a new program called "The Drop." She got a five minute standing ovation.

Her album is a must-have, as he explains here.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

< Holocaust Museum Guard Dies After Shooting | Four Uighurs at Gitmo Released to Bermuda >
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    Top Chef Masters (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by nycstray on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 08:02:35 PM EST
    starts tonight at 10PM on Bravo for anyone who's a TC fan :)

    Was excited to see this on the schedule - (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Anne on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 08:12:47 PM EST
    I really enjoy Top Chef, but for the moment, am enjoying So You Think You Can Dance - seeing some really fun dance routines across a spectrum of styles.  Pure entertainment.

    Thank goodness we no longer have the standard TV season, with all the new stuff from September to May, and then nothing but re-runs all summer.


    20 men and 4 women (none / 0) (#13)
    by nycstray on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 09:15:34 PM EST
    {sigh}. At least they're doing it for charity :)

    I'm so glad cable and newer networks upped the scheduling of shows game. I still like some rereuns though because I can catch competing shows I missed.  I missed some Criminal Minds episodes etc. And it's comes in handy when my Yankees start sucking early in the game, lol!~  Actually, the old TV schedules when I was younger were partly the reason I became a baseball fan (and it's my competitive nature, lol!~) My Dad's responsible for my football habit.


    SYTYCD (none / 0) (#53)
    by sj on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 12:55:15 AM EST
    Was that not an amazing night?  I'm hard pressed to figure out who will be in the bottom three.  I think the Fox Trot just because it's not an exciting dance.  And the Wade Robeson thing didn't really do it for me, although I generally love his routines.  

    There was some amazing dancing tonight.


    Great birthday gift for me! (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by andgarden on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 08:18:23 PM EST
    Thanks for the reminder.

    It's your birthday? Well, happy day! (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Anne on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 08:21:39 PM EST
    Here's to a great year for you - make a wish and we'll all join in with good thoughts for making it come true!

    Thanks! (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by andgarden on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 08:28:37 PM EST
    Big HUGE Happy Birthday!!!! (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by nycstray on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 09:05:34 PM EST
    I hope you're working it for those free meals and drinks!

    Have a great upcoming year while yer at it!  ;)


    Will do (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by andgarden on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 09:12:56 PM EST
    All the freebees are this weekend. . .

    Is today your B-day? (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Radiowalla on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 09:02:27 PM EST
    If so, it's a hallowed day in my mind.  My late sister's birthday was today and I've been sending out loving thoughts all day.  I hope some fell upon you!

    I'm sorry, and thanks (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by andgarden on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 09:13:25 PM EST
    It's a good day to have a birthday.

    N'est-ce pas? (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by Radiowalla on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 09:36:16 PM EST
    Only the best have 6/10 as their birthday!

    It's not my birthday, but (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by Cream City on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 09:50:18 PM EST
    it's the anniversary of my divorce.  So years later, I picked this date again -- and it's also my (second) wedding anniversary. :-)

    It's a great date, as it's also the anniversary of the "First Bill of Rights for Women" signed in 1921, when that's what women called it: the first state ERA, an equal rights amendment to the state constitution of Wisconsin.

    New York State followed some years later, but very few since.  I hope a federal ERA becomes law on a June 10 someday.


    Love it! (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by Radiowalla on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 10:38:42 PM EST
    Long may you prosper!

    Inklings of Sotomayor's judicial philosophy (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by andgarden on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 11:58:48 PM EST

    Judge Sotomayor also criticized conservative attacks on Supreme Court decisions in recent terms that mentioned foreign law -- including decisions striking down the death penalty for juveniles and striking down a Texas law barring sodomy.

    "In both those cases the courts were very, very careful to note that they weren't using that law to decide the American question," she said. "They were just using that law to help us understand what the concepts meant to other countries, and to help us understand whether our understanding of our own constitutional rights fell into the mainstream of human thinking."

    So I think it's pretty clear that she's at least as left as Kennedy. Not good enough, but it's getting somewhere.

    I am glad (none / 0) (#42)
    by Steve M on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 12:19:16 AM EST
    you finally feel ready to draw such a bold conclusion, but I don't think it's actually as simple as lining up all the judges on a single left-right spectrum...

    Better than the substance, I think, is the fact that she's willing to take on some of these ridiculous arguments directly.  Mind you, I think for the duration of the confirmation process we can probably expect nothing but a long string of platitudes.


    I agree, it's good that she supports (none / 0) (#44)
    by andgarden on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 12:23:01 AM EST
    affirmative action. Too late for the Court, perhaps.

    And really, the left-right axis is just as good for the Court as it is for Congress. Which is to say, not perfect, but a starting place. I am not foolish enough to believe that the Court is any less political.


    happy birthday (none / 0) (#66)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 09:21:22 AM EST
    are you old enough to drink now

    heh, thanks (none / 0) (#73)
    by andgarden on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 09:54:58 AM EST
    It's been a few years now.

    Anyone see Michelle Obama's London (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 12:24:48 AM EST
    outfit. She looks like a tiered cake. What's up with this? Article here.

    Ummmmmmmm . . . (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by nycstray on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 12:31:11 AM EST

    Perhaps it's a young up and coming London designer she's spotlighting?! {speechless}

    Honestly, if she had ditched the belt and the pants (?) and it was a tad longer, it might look a heck of a lot better, depending where all the fluff fell on the body line.


    Her fashion sense is way, way (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 12:37:16 AM EST
    different than what I would classify as stylish. Her hair looks better when not plastered to her scalp, too.

    oy (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by sj on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 12:55:19 AM EST
    gevalt (none / 0) (#95)
    by NJDem on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 11:29:09 AM EST
    That is just terrible.  I'm sorry...

    She should (none / 0) (#75)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 10:24:15 AM EST
    either quit trying to be a fashionista or she should hire Rachel Zoe.

    Paging Tim Gunn... (none / 0) (#81)
    by Anne on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 10:53:48 AM EST
    I love Rachel Zoe, but Tim Gunn would have a field day with Michelle.

    On the bright side, thanks to Michelle, we are all fashionistas!


    You're right (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 11:01:41 AM EST
    I dont think I've seen anyone dress as badly as Michelle.

    And, get so much praise over her (none / 0) (#112)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 12:13:29 PM EST
    impecable taste!

    I look at that and think "artistic" (none / 0) (#113)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 12:23:45 PM EST
    I don't mind it.  It's interesting.

    I can't help myself (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by CoralGables on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 09:21:51 AM EST
    Stealing your spelling... would it be an orga$m only if achieved through the use of an expensive toy?

    Clapton and Winwood.... (5.00 / 0) (#70)
    by kdog on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 09:34:54 AM EST
    rocked whatever they are calling the Brendan Byrne Arena these days last night and rocked it hard.

    Ripping renditions of "Little Wing" and "Voodoo Chile"...the groove of "Presence of the Lord" gets me everytime.  Great to hear the Blind Faith stuff too.

    Jipped us on the encore a little built, just one song, but it was "Mr. Fantasy" so who can complain?  All in all a rockin' good time...the Slow Hand still got it, and Winwood's voice is just insane.  Check it out if they come your way.

    I'm jealous, kdog. (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by easilydistracted on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 10:42:55 AM EST
    the show has been sold out for months in Dallas. And I really wanted to see this one. These guys were smoking f**king hot in my psychedelic days (Presence of the Lord and orange sunshine were made for each other). You only confirm what I've already heard about the two Hendrix renditions. One question, though: how can you feel cheated by one song during the encore. Mr. Fantasy -- it had to last 15 minutes didn't it??? I'm thinking like the Dead concerts, where you would attend and hear maybe two or three songs the entire concert.

    I once saw the Dead and Santana together (none / 0) (#87)
    by nycstray on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 11:05:10 AM EST
    I think we heard about 6 songs . . .   {grin}

    Did they only (none / 0) (#90)
    by easilydistracted on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 11:13:44 AM EST
    play six songs or did you only hear six songs. Just kidding. I know exactly what you mean. BTW, that had to be a pretty darned good concert.  

    lol!~ that's actually a pretty good question (none / 0) (#92)
    by nycstray on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 11:19:49 AM EST
    as it was many moons ago  . . . {grin}

    It was a good show. I have pictures around here somewhere . . .


    I'm nitpicking I guess... (none / 0) (#93)
    by kdog on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 11:26:37 AM EST
    the mains set was pretty long...just when they went off to the roar of the crowd for 10 minutes, I'd thought they come back out for more than one number.

    Though they did jam out the "Mr. Fantasy"...as it should be.  They jammed everything out for that matter.  I guess with no opening act I just wasn't ready to go home:)  I gotta remember these cats are getting up there...though you wouldn't guess it from the way they sound.

    Looked like a sell-out here as well...no economy is bad enough to keep people home for this one.  I'd start lookin' for a scalper Easy D!


    Good advice (none / 0) (#110)
    by easilydistracted on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 11:59:45 AM EST
    Thanks for the preview... (none / 0) (#97)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 11:31:46 AM EST
    ...my man.  Looking forward to seeing the show when it makes its way West to the Queen City of the Plains.  Now, if only I could find a date...

    See above... (none / 0) (#99)
    by kdog on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 11:37:56 AM EST
    according to Conan, Paris is a cheap date Mile:)

    You're in for a treat brother, and good luck finding some pleasant company...I think the trick is to quit lookin':)


    Ewww. (none / 0) (#104)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 11:47:11 AM EST
    I'll have to pass on PH.  

    Not really looking right now anyway--my Moms is in for a visit, so I'm busy keeping her entertained.  Getting ready to go to a matinee at the theatre this afternoon--we're seeing a play called Quilters.  Her Mariner's are in town this weekend, so a ballgame this weekend if the weather cooperates (i.e., no more twisters or hail storms).  


    Good move... (none / 0) (#107)
    by kdog on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 11:50:51 AM EST
    you've already got health issues on your plate...don't want ya catchin' nuthin' (ba dum dum:)

    Have fun with Moms!


    breaking news (5.00 / 0) (#71)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 09:35:51 AM EST
    museum attack really the fault of muslims

    So What if Holocaust Museum Shooter is White Christian: We Know Who Crescented, er . . . Created This Atmosphere


    could these people get more craven and ridiculous in their enabling of their murderous playmates?
    I dont think so.

    follow up re MTT (5.00 / 0) (#134)
    by oculus on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 06:25:05 PM EST
    TMichael Tllson Thomas). Tonighrt - was privileged to hear 4alonen conduct the Philharminia Orchestra in Berg (hree pieces for orchestra and Mahler 7th Sympony. Gold standard.

    Conan O'Brien tonight made (2.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 12:08:51 AM EST
    a sexist joke about Paris Hilton, saying a billionaire paid her and another female to engage in a threesome and afterwards the billionaire said it was the best $5.00 he ever spent.

    Are you all upset about that as well, or just at Letterman because it was Bristol Palin? Why should Paris get less respect?

    Maybe because I was watching Letterman (none / 0) (#43)
    by nycstray on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 12:21:42 AM EST
    for the "apology"? I actually hadn't realized Conan had started up. Slightly distracted these days.

    And it wasn't just Bristol. The original joke was Willow (14), who was here with her mother, but his apology said it would be ok if it was Bristol because "she was 18 and had been knocked up" (apology?!) and it wasn't just one joke.

    Can I get mad at Conan tomorrow after I've seen it? I've had enough for tonight :) Now Chris Matthews is on Craig, time for Planet Green!!!!


    Pitchmen is replaying on Discovery (none / 0) (#45)
    by andgarden on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 12:23:43 AM EST
    I've got just enough of a buffer to skip the commercials!

    I don't think I could handle that right now (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by nycstray on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 12:36:17 AM EST
    I need something sort of soothing so I can relax and retire. I was so relaxed early after juicing a boatload of citrus to freeze for use this season and making some lemonade concentrate (lemon and honey) for those hot summer days.

    I did crack up about the commercials though :)


    Well, in fairness, the Letterman comment (none / 0) (#49)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 12:34:38 AM EST
    was made LAST night and took a chunk of time in broadcast and internet news today. That will probably happen tomorrow for Conan. It's only 10:24 here in PST, so none of the late night shows have begun.

    Thanks, though, for the heads up.

    Without needing to actually see the broadcast, I can say without hesitation that the joke about Paris Hilton was vile, fits into my impression of Conan, and is in the very same category of disgust that the Letterman jokes are. Paris is a celebrity who can easily get her time on tv, and in print responding to Conan's tasteless and sexist comment. Willow, on the other hand, is only 14 years old, and not quite up to defending herself from these things.

    Do you think the media will take on the Paris Hilton defense tomorrow?


    I have to give Paris props (5.00 / 0) (#52)
    by nycstray on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 12:43:42 AM EST
    for her response during the election.  I'd love to see her start responding to some of this other sh!t like that. She seems to be "settling" into herself. She may well have quite the last laugh when all is said and done ;)

    Aren't Conan and Craig both sort of products of Letterman or is it just Craig? I have to say, it's pretty freakin' depressing how mainstream late night is ruled by sexist bullies and frat boy behavior.  As is our media . . . . {sigh}


    That is sexist? (none / 0) (#60)
    by kdog on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 09:07:40 AM EST
    Even considering her claim to fame that spawned her over-extended 15 minutes is an amatuer pron tape?  

    Dog, you haven't lost that abrasive (none / 0) (#72)
    by easilydistracted on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 09:47:02 AM EST
    wit. I love it.

    Indeed (none / 0) (#80)
    by eric on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 10:48:17 AM EST
    and to me, its a joke about sex, which doesn't make it sexist.

    Conan also said the following, (none / 0) (#139)
    by lucky leftie on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 07:29:25 AM EST
    when Palin dropped the puck at a Flyers game-

    "Sarah Palin is going to drop the first puck at the Philadelphia Flyers' hockey game. Then Palin will spend the rest of the game trying to keep the hockey players out of her daughter's penalty box." --Conan O'Brien

    This seems to me no better than Letterman's jokes, yet there was no objection at the time.  Perhaps Palin is trying to whip up outrage over this because of Dave's teatment of McCain.    


    Hmm (none / 0) (#5)
    by kaleidescope on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 08:23:29 PM EST
    It's too bad that BTD is off.  Since David Letterman made his crack about Bristol Palin getting knocked up by Alex Rodriguez, I know BTD would want to make sure this blatant sexist misogyny is condemned.  For all of us who were outraged at DAvid Schuster's crack about the Clintons "pimping out" Chelsea, here's your chance to condemn sexism and not just ignore it the way BTD says so much of the left blogosphere did in the case of the attacks on HRC.

    I haven't seen anything here on Talk Left condemning Letterman.  Time to step up.

    I am not (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by eric on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 08:48:39 PM EST
    going to get into this too deep, but I would observe this:  David Schuster is (purportedly anyway) a journalist.  David Letterman is a comedian.  This is probably a material difference.

    He's still offensive (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by nycstray on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 09:23:16 PM EST
    comedian or not, he crosses the line with some of his "jokes". And now it seems to be open season on women. This last election set us back something fierce, imo.

    Letterman Can Sometimes Be Funny (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by kaleidescope on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 09:26:05 PM EST
    But I have always thought he was a bully to women.  That said, I have probably watched about two hours of Letterman in the past twenty years.

    The way he treated the mother of his son (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 12:12:18 AM EST
    is proof enough that Letterman is underwhelming in his attitude toward women.

    Contessa Brewer couldn't see why (none / 0) (#23)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 10:20:42 PM EST
    Sarah Palin was upset by the comments. Letterman is making a statement tonight, they say...that he meant Bristol, not Willow, the one who was actually AT the game where the daughter was supposedly knocked up by A-Rod.

    Say it ain't so! (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by nycstray on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 10:25:13 PM EST
    He meant the other daughter?! OY. {headdesk}

    Here it is: (none / 0) (#26)
    by ding7777 on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 10:30:49 PM EST
    But if the female he meant to make the (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by Anne on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 10:46:34 PM EST
    jokes about is 18, then that's okay?  Is he kidding?  And rape is funny?  Who knew?

    What an ignorant a$$.


    Rape? (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 10:59:20 PM EST
    who ever said anything about rape? Try to at least stick with the story.

    Uh, Letterman did, in the quoted (none / 0) (#56)
    by Anne on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 07:11:26 AM EST
    material you put up:

    I would never, never make jokes about raping or having sex of any description with a 14-year-old girl....

    But, if "the girl" is 18, well then, it's open season, right?

    One wonders if it would make a difference if any of these so-called comedians had daughters - Leno has no children, Letterman has a son, and I have no idea whether Conan's children are male or female - and whether they would find it as amusing if someone were making these kinds of "jokes" about their daughters - and about their wives.  Or mothers - isn't Letterman's mother a regular feature on his show?  

    I hope his ratings tank.


    He has a 5 year old son, and he JUST (5.00 / 2) (#117)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 01:36:37 PM EST
    recently married his son's mother. So, he must feel a personal right to speak jokingly about "knocking up" a woman and avoiding a commitment for 5 years afterward. He's the kind of man I prefer not to be around.

    Oops - just realized it wasn't you who (none / 0) (#69)
    by Anne on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 09:29:10 AM EST
    put up the material where Letterman refers to rape.



    If he calls this a f***ing apology (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by nycstray on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 10:57:12 PM EST
    {watching it now} he's in for a whole world of hurt.

    Which I guess (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 11:00:55 PM EST
    goes to show that everyone sees things differently. I thought he was making a joke about A-Rod.

    Did you watch the whole "apology"? (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by nycstray on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 11:14:02 PM EST
    Oh, and when the girl that he is referencing being knocked up is 14, it is rape under the law. He apparently had the daughters mixed up. It's ok that he meant the other one though (according to him) because she's 18 "and was knocked up". And how is it a joke about A-Rod when he was using the Palin women and their visit to NY to promote male conquest (Spitzer also)?? And saying Palin looks like a "slutty fight attendant"?!

    Sorry. I'm just f***ing sick of this sh!t. His apology was all about him and making more jokes. Even used it for his opening.


    Because A-rod (5.00 / 0) (#35)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 11:19:10 PM EST
    is the butt of jokes in NY papers regularly concerning his "women". Guess as a baseball fan I assumed it was A-rod and Bristol since she was the one pregnant and he's always rumored with someone new.

    Sure, A-Rod is the butt of his own life jokes (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by nycstray on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 11:43:00 PM EST
    but neither daughter should have been used for a laugh in that way and he was basically just ripping on Palin, which was also not ok in the manner of some of the jokes.

    Honestly, her visit here was low key and she was at an Autism event with her sister and nephew (who has Autism) along with her 14yo daughter and husband.

    His apology was pathetic as all get out. Going on about how he would never say it about a 14 yo but the other was ok. The rest was very mememememe and  still later during his segment with Kathy G.. He could have shown a tiny bit of class and made a simple straight forward apology and not joked about Palin in the opening and pull the whiny a** sh!t later.


    he didn't apologize (5.00 / 0) (#47)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 12:27:05 AM EST
    Or pretend to. It was his explanation. He mainly was saying he was referring to Bristol who is 18 and not the 14 year old.

    I would agree (2.00 / 1) (#64)
    by CoralGables on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 09:18:46 AM EST
    Seems to me that making a joke about a male womanizing baseball player rumored to be with Kate Hudson, Madonna, and his personal Vegas stripper that he flew around the country, "knocking up" an adult female that has gone on television to profess the benefits of born again virgininity, really doesn't need an apology.

    I didn't see any humor in it, nor anything that would make me flinch. It's what comedians do. Some jokes fly, some fall flat, some stir the pot when people try to make more of the joke than what was there.


    Do you think he would have made the joke if (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by nycstray on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 10:20:12 AM EST
    she were 17? (I do) After all "she was knocked up" when she was 17. And really, the fact that she is trying to help other teens not to end up like her makes it ok to say that kinda of thing about her? I guess that comment about the Clinton's p!mping their daughter is ok since she was out in public supporting her parents . . .

    My bad (none / 0) (#55)
    by nycstray on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 01:00:21 AM EST
    I thought he was making a statement to be equal to an apology. (not make it worse!) He would have been better off leaving it alone, imo, if he wasn't going to apologize because he sure didn't seem to think he was in the wrong (in a sincere way). It was almost equal to the "I am sorry you were offended apology" we usually get, but I think it reached deeper into the doodoo . . . continuing to joke about them while "explaining" we misunderstood is a surefire killer of any conviction to his words.

    Letterman should apologize (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by samsguy18 on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 09:21:48 PM EST
    There is no excuse for these comments on any level!!!!What seems to be overlooked is the Palin daughter who attended the baseball game was the 14 year old. As a mother I was disgusted. I will never watch letterman again.

    I thought it was an unwritten rule (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by nycstray on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 09:26:37 PM EST
    peoples kids are hands (jokes) off? Or maybe that's just select comics who feel that way?

    No females are off limits. (none / 0) (#27)
    by caseyOR on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 10:38:09 PM EST
    Not to Letterman; not to any jerk who decides to take a shot. Bob Somerby consistently covers this better than most. Today he takes on Letterman.

    Thanks (none / 0) (#41)
    by nycstray on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 12:13:26 AM EST
    I hadn't seen that. So depressing.

    How's your growing going?


    I was disgusted to hear of it (5.00 / 6) (#22)
    by Cream City on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 09:58:11 PM EST
    but not surprised, because I just never have liked Letterman.  He's not nice to women and other living things.

    However, I was both disgusted and surprised that an alleged journalist at an alleged news organization, allegedly practicing objectivity in covering an election campaign for president in this late, great democracy, would stoop as low as, well, a Letterman. . . .

    There is a difference.  At least, for the rest of us.  For Bristol Palin and her family, I'm sure that it all hurts the same.  

    And just as we are condemning right-wingers for creating a climate that would encourage some of the farthest right to go too far to murder, I would hope that left-wing bloggers would see that creating a climate on the left wing that constantly mocks Bristol Palin, her mother, the rest of her family, etc., has encouraged the likes of what was done on Letterman last night.

    The Palin attacks already have gone too far here, too, so let it stop.  Even if it is hard to take responsibility for the nasty climate, perhaps it will stop if lefties realize it cost them votes.


    excellent, thank you Cream City (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by DXP on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 01:28:07 PM EST
    What Made You Think (none / 0) (#34)
    by kaleidescope on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 11:18:05 PM EST
    David Schuster ever pretended to objectivity.  Perhaps when he was covering the Libby trial for NBC, but not when he was on the stupid scream fest shows, which is where he made his offensive comment about Chelsea Clinton.

    If he wanted to pick on Chelsea, by the way, all he needed to say was that with wealthy connected parents who could've helped her get work anywhere she wanted, Chelsea chose to work for a hedge fund.


    The phrase is a modifier (none / 0) (#36)
    by Cream City on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 11:36:13 PM EST
    of "news organization," not "journalist" -- although Shuster certainly claimed to be one in covering the campaign, too.  As you point out, he isn't even skillful at snark.  

    Note to self... (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by kdog on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 09:24:09 AM EST
    stay out of the comedy game.

    Can't IMAGINE what these folks.,.. (5.00 / 0) (#76)
    by Dadler on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 10:24:34 AM EST
    ...would have to say about Lenny Bruce or Richard Pryor at their height of fame.  Comedians live on the edge, or should be if they are any good.  Asking comedians to apologize for jokes, people, is EXTREMELY questionable in terms of respect for genuine freedome of expression.  This is what I mean about too many of us: we are really too weak and easy to offend for freedom to really be granted us.  When on earth did we become so pathetic and weak when it comes to speech?

    I don't know man... (5.00 / 0) (#88)
    by kdog on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 11:05:49 AM EST
    maybe right about the time when everybody became special and we artificiallly roided everybodys self-esteem...who knows.

    One thing for sure, once "can I say that?" creeps into a comic's brain, they're not likely to be a very good comic.  


    Comics (none / 0) (#89)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 11:09:14 AM EST
    self-censor all the time.  Otherwise, some of them (Pryor, for example) could never have gone on regular TV.

    If they can't be funny without being overly abrasive, they should find another line of work.

    People like Jim Gaffigan have found a way to do it right.


    Never heard of Jim Gaffigan... (5.00 / 0) (#94)
    by kdog on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 11:29:02 AM EST
    but that doesn't surpise me.

    He's (none / 0) (#101)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 11:41:02 AM EST
    all over You Tube.



    "funny without being overly abrasive" (5.00 / 0) (#96)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 11:29:26 AM EST
    if only Lenny Bruce was alive to respond to that.

    From what you've said (none / 0) (#100)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 11:39:50 AM EST
    I suspect many people wouldn't find Lenny Bruce the least bit funny.

    And BTW (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 11:44:54 AM EST
    It's one thing to use some foul languange, it's another to call someone's daughter -- who is barely of age -- a wh*re.

    And Palin had a point in her response to the Letterman comment:  Which politicians' daughters are fair game...?

    Obama's daughters definitely wouldn't be.


    The best comics... (5.00 / 0) (#106)
    by kdog on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 11:48:10 AM EST
    leave no soul unridiculed...we are all fair game.

    Not too many jokes about (none / 0) (#114)
    by DXP on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 01:26:45 PM EST
    raping boys - ie Letterman's young teenage son.

    I guess I'm just an Eddie Izzard fan.


    Maybe not from Letterman... (5.00 / 0) (#118)
    by kdog on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 01:41:36 PM EST
    but I've heard jokes about boy rape...usually involving a priest.

    I hope you guys never catch "The Aristocrats" on cable...


    That's sad (none / 0) (#119)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 01:54:48 PM EST
    I knew 3 young men who committed suicide after the tormented years they spent after being victims of our parish priest. That's a hard subject for me to find humor in.

    Sorry to hear that.... (none / 0) (#125)
    by kdog on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 03:18:45 PM EST
    but that is exactly why I have to find humor in such jokes...to stay semi-sane in this cruel f*cked up world.

    Well (none / 0) (#126)
    by jbindc on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 03:30:06 PM EST
    Maybe Letterman will follow up tonight with a joke about why Samson Obama, the president's half-brother, isn't allowed in the White House because of what he might do to the little girls.

    That would be a knee slapper, although we know comedians are still not allowed to make jokes about Obama.


    Write the joke... (none / 0) (#129)
    by kdog on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 03:51:06 PM EST
    and send it to Dave...if it is funny, I'd bet he'd use it.

    "Barack invited his half-brother Sampson to the White House. In other news, his mother-in-law packed the girls in a secret service suv for a field-trip in search in search of Cheney's bunker."


    Just a tad lowball (none / 0) (#131)
    by jondee on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 04:32:56 PM EST
    jb, but hey, maybe that's what we need: another Lucianne Goldberg to talk about the President fingering his own daughter -- because if she didnt do it no one in "the liberal media" would.

    Btw, I've been hearing plenty of jokes; I dont know who you've been listening to.


    The point was (none / 0) (#137)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 08:17:52 AM EST
    which you obviously missed, is that it would not be ok for for him to make that joke, but apparently it's still ok to make jokes about Sarah Palin's family.

    I missed the point (none / 0) (#138)
    by jondee on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 02:49:41 PM EST
    because I didnt know about the Palin joke.

    I thought it was pretty well established that Letterman likes to beat up on Bush, McCain and Born Again moose-molesting tundra trash, somaybe the best thing to do would be not to tune in.


    I know Im way behind the times (none / 0) (#133)
    by jondee on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 04:55:00 PM EST
    but I just read the Philly D.A's report on the pedophile priests in their area. I reccomend it only to people with a strong stomach and a jaded sense of outrage.

    In a few words: Hey Vatican! Wake your senile, benighted, gold-brocaded as*es up: celibacy dosnt work -- unless the project is to prove Freud right, vis a vis the repressed returning in a perverse, distorted form.

    What a horrible thing, Gadg. Im very sorry.


    Kdog I can vouch for that one (none / 0) (#135)
    by CoralGables on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 06:57:58 PM EST
    Letterman had a joke about the Miami priest that was suspended from the Catholic Church because he had a girlfriend.

    Maybe more true than joking, making it quite funny in a somewhat warped sense.

    He said something like... Father Cutie' might be defrocked after being seen fondling an adult woman. If he'd been caught with an altar boy, they probably would have just transferred him to another parish.


    Young teenage son? (none / 0) (#116)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 01:31:08 PM EST
    I don't think he's even school age yet. Well, 5 years old gets him to kindergarten.

    Denigrating children for a laugh (none / 0) (#77)
    by samsguy18 on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 10:42:41 AM EST
    When freedom of expression means denigrating children for a laugh and it is acceptable our society is a lost cause !!!!

    And people forget (none / 0) (#84)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 11:01:41 AM EST
    the freedom of expression works two ways.

    Letterman can say any idiotic thing he wants and I can say he's a jack*** for it and refuse to watch his show.

    However, the premise is incorrect to begin  with.  Privately owned media have censored speech since inception, via sponsors, etc. "Freedom of expression" doesn't apply to television -- nor this blog, for that matter.  You can get fired for what you say...or kicked off for what you say.


    I still relish somewhat (none / 0) (#132)
    by jondee on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 04:43:11 PM EST
    the memory of Harvey Pekar coming on Letterman and ranting about General Electric.

    On the other hand, Dave's extremely classy treatment of Warren Zevon and, more recently, the late Bill Hicks mother, puts his stock pretty high in my book right now.


    She's an adult. (none / 0) (#91)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 11:14:04 AM EST
    And aren't all adults someone's child?

    Actually she is not an adult (none / 0) (#102)
    by samsguy18 on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 11:41:17 AM EST
    It was the 14 year old daughter who attended the game.

    OK, I guess I'm confused. (none / 0) (#105)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 11:47:32 AM EST
    If it was the 14 y/o he was referring to then your comment is spot on.

    My impression (5.00 / 0) (#108)
    by Steve M on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 11:52:42 AM EST
    is that Letterman thought he was making a joke about the older daughter, not knowing that it was actually the younger daughter who went to the game.  Even though Letterman is a self-proclaimed jerk, I don't think it's plausible that he intended to make that joke about a 14-year old.

    Thanks. That would certainly make sense (none / 0) (#109)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 11:55:53 AM EST
    and clears up the confusion.

    He should not have made the comment period ! (none / 0) (#111)
    by samsguy18 on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 11:59:58 AM EST
    Bristol Palin is only 18 years old !

    indeed (none / 0) (#79)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 10:45:33 AM EST
    case in point:

    Brad Luna, a spokesman for HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN, warns the movie should come with disclaimer:

    "We strongly feel that Sacha Baron Cohen and UNIVERSAL PICTURES have a responsibility to remind the viewing public right there in the theater that this is intended to expose homophobia."


    irony is indeed dead.


    having said that (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 10:55:13 AM EST
    I have always despised Letterman and for that matter most "late night hosts" because the, unlike Lenny Bruce, have pretty much always aimed for the dumbest preadolescence tendencies of their viewing audience.

    Haven't watched Letterman in a long time (none / 0) (#82)
    by ruffian on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 10:55:06 AM EST
    I think he has gotten less and less funny as time has gone by, or maybe it's just me.

    I did hear his 'apology' on the radio this morning. I had no context for it since I did not hear the original so-called joke, but it seemed like he dug whatever hole he was in deeper to me.

    I defend his right to say whatever he wants on his own show, but I sure don't have to watch it, or support his sponsors. I think picking on the personal lives of 14 or 18 yr old daughters (or sons for that matter) of politicians is about the cheapest form of humor there could be. If that is all he has left in his joke bag, maybe it's time for him to quit.


    The on again off again (none / 0) (#6)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 08:26:08 PM EST
    Soap Opera that is Carrie Prejean is done for the time being as she was stripped of her Miss California Title today for failure to live up to her contract.

    According to Donald Trump..
    "Carrie refused to appear at around 30 events on behalf of Miss California USA. He says Prejean was contractually bound to appear and she just wouldn't do it. He doesn't think her attitude has anything to do with her politics."

    "To me she was the sweetest thing. Everyone else -- she treated like s**t."

    Hearing About Donald Trump Makes Me (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by kaleidescope on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 09:27:44 PM EST
    Long for the days of Spy Magazine.  Graydon Carter is slumming as editor of Vanity Fair.

    You get props (5.00 / 0) (#20)
    by Radiowalla on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 09:37:45 PM EST
    for mentioning Spy Magazine!

    Ah, those were the days!


    The official White House Photostream (none / 0) (#25)
    by ding7777 on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 10:25:38 PM EST
    on flickr

    Italian woman who missed the (none / 0) (#61)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 09:10:38 AM EST
    doomed Air France flight from Rio has died in a car accident. Her husband, who also missed the flight, survived the car crash.

    If that's not fate, I don't know what is.

    Swine Flu is officially (none / 0) (#62)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 09:11:04 AM EST
    being raised to full pandemic level today.

    Why do I think someone is (none / 0) (#86)
    by Anne on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 11:04:23 AM EST
    going to have a field day with this:

    "Judge Sonia Sotomayor once described herself as `a product of affirmative action' who was admitted to two Ivy League schools despite scoring lower on standardized tests than many classmates," according to videos released to the Senate Judiciary Committee. She also defended the value of diversity, saying, "I accept that different experiences in and of itself, bring merit to the system."

    I think I already hear the right-wing noise machine cranking up...

    Carradine (none / 0) (#120)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 02:48:48 PM EST
    did not commit suicide.

    I always thought that was bull.  how do you hang yourself with both hand tied?

    How do you explain that, apparently, (none / 0) (#121)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 02:51:52 PM EST
    there was no struggle to get him tied up and strung up?

    who knows (none / 0) (#122)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 02:54:26 PM EST
    maybe he didnt mind getting tied up and strung up but did not expect to die?

    That would explain it. (none / 0) (#127)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 03:41:34 PM EST
    Autoerotic asphixiation? (none / 0) (#123)
    by jbindc on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 03:16:39 PM EST
    wouldn't be a struggle - especially as his (ahem) te$ticles were tied up too.

    Yikes. (none / 0) (#128)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 03:42:03 PM EST
    IRS weighs rules for taxing work cell phones (none / 0) (#124)
    by jbindc on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 03:18:21 PM EST

    WASHINGTON -- The IRS is weighing a proposal to deem one-quarter of employees' use of work cellphones as personal use and therefore subject to tax as a fringe benefit.

    The proposal is one of several options the IRS put forward this week on the tax treatment of employer-provided cellphones. Current law already requires that the value of those cellphone services be included in a worker's gross income, unless the employee keeps detailed records showing that the cellphone is used for work only.

    But as a practical matter, many companies don't enforce the record-keeping requirements. The IRS proposals from this week aim to simplify the requirements and aid enforcement of the law.

    The IRS notice might re-energize an effort by cellphone companies such as Verizon Communications Inc. and Sprint Nextel Corp. to repeal the 20-year-old law that classifies work cellphones as a fringe benefit subject to personal income tax.

    The IRS in the past couple of years has begun to question employer deductions for cellphone services during tax audits, said Jot Carpenter, vice president of government affairs for CTIA-The Wireless Association, a trade group of cellphone equipment manufacturers and service providers.

    Mr. Carpenter has been pressing lawmakers to repeal the requirement, arguing that the current widespread use of cellphones for work wasn't contemplated by the 1989 law, which targeted "CEOs and rich people."

    "The idea that you should keep a log saying, 'I made a call saying I will be late for dinner again,' that's a totally cumbersome and burdensome requirement that most employers and employees are not going to comply with," said Mr. Carpenter.

    The IRS, in a Monday notice, proposed options intended to simplify the requirement for employers. One proposal is a "safe harbor" that would deem 75% of work cellphone usage to be for work, and 25% to be personal. Under that scenario, employer deductions would be limited accordingly and employees would be taxed on the value of the personal use.

    As an alternative approach, employees could satisfy the requirement by showing proof that they maintain a personal cellphone for use during work hours. Or, IRS could set a certain number of minutes that would be considered "minimal personal use" and thus disregarded for tax purposes.

    In a third option, employers could use statistical sampling to determine what portion of their workers' use of cellphones is personal and how much work-related.

    Senate passes bill giving FDA tobacco authority (none / 0) (#130)
    by nycstray on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 04:29:26 PM EST
    A similar measure has already passed the U.S. House of Representatives. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said earlier on Thursday she wanted to look closely at the Senate's bill. "But from what I have seen so far, I believe it will be possible for us to accept their bill and send it right on to the president."


    No mention of the Detainee photo amendment:


    Harry Reid slipped Lieberman-Graham into the supplemental almost without notice on May 21:

        Mr. REID. Therefore, Mr. President, I make a point of order en bloc that all pending amendments are not in order postcloture except the following: Leahy, No. 1191; Brown, No. 1161; Corker, No. 1173; Kaufman, No. 1179, as modified; McCain, No. 1188; and Lieberman-Graham, No. 1157; further, that amendments No. 1161, No. 1173, No. 1188, and No. 1157 be modified with changes at the desk, and once those are modified, the above six amendments, as modified if modified, be agreed to en bloc; that the motions to reconsider be laid on the table en bloc; and the following amendments be considered and agreed to in the order listed: Lincoln, No. 1181 and Hutchison amendment No. 1176, as modified; and that the motion to reconsider be laid on the table; further, that the bill, as amended, be read a third time and the Senate proceed to vote on passage of the bill; that upon passage, the Senate insist on its amendment, request a conference with the House, and that the Chair be authorized to appoint conferees, with the Senate Appropriations Committee appointed as conferees.

    Joe Lieberman will add this to every bill to go out of the Senate and Harry Reid will help him, because he doesn't want Lieberman to force a big showdown where all the Democrats in the Senate are forced to oppose the President in order to oppose the bill.

    Obama writes a letter opposing (none / 0) (#136)
    by Anne on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 08:19:30 PM EST
    Graham-Lieberman (which was incorporated in an amendment offered by Mitch McConnell).

    But don't get too excited just yet.

    Here's the letter, with what I think are the most important parts of it in bold:

    June 11, 2009

    The Honorable David R. Obey
    House of Representatives
    Washington, D.C. 20515

    The Honorable Daniel K. Inouye
    United States Senate
    Washington, D.C. 20510

    Dear Chairman Obey and Chairman Inouye:

    I am writing to urge you to oppose the McConnell Amendment, which is being offered in conference on the supplemental appropriations bill.

    As you know, I have no higher priority than ensuring the safety of our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. Given the singular importance of providing funding for our troops, it is essential that Congress pass the supplemental appropriations bill.  Passage of the McConnell Amendment would unnecessarily complicate the essential objective of supporting the troops, and would accomplish no substantive purpose.

    On May 13, I announced I would resist the release of additional detainee photos because I did not believe it would add any additional benefit to our understanding of what happened in the past, and that the most direct consequence of releasing hem would be to further inflame anti-American opinion and to put our troops in great danger.  Earlier today, the Second Circuit granted the Government's motion that will stay the earlier court order to release the detainee photos, and we will now move forward with a petition to the Supreme Court to appeal the case.

    I deeply appreciate all you have done to help with the effort to secure funding for the troops, and assure you that I will continue to take every legal and administrative remedy available to me to ensure the DoD detainee photographs are not released.  Should a legislative solution prove necessary, I am committed to working with Congress to enact legislation that achieves the objectives we share.

    I look forward to working with ou on this and other issues affecting the security of our nation.


    Barack Obama

    So, he opposes the amendment for now...unless the Supreme Court rules against the government, and then it looks like he will be seeking Congress' help to keep the photos secret.