Friday, November 10, 2006

Come Take A Nashville Ride

You are invited to come join me as I guest blog at Nashville Is Talking this weekend.

Also, I will once again tomorrow offer up some free tickets to performances at the Comedy Festival being held next week in Las Vegas.

Check into Nashville Is Talking tomorrow morning for all the details and your chance to win.

Also, if you're a regular reader of my movie and entertainment posts on Fridays, you'll have to check out the Nashville blog for all the good stuff and the oddest entertainment news I can find. (Like that'll be tough to provide!!)

UPDATE: What is the connection between the remake of "Dawn of the Dead" and the NBC comedy "The Office"? You can find the answers in this post I just added to Nashville Is Talking.

Charges Sought Against Rumsfeld

I'm not sure the charges can stick, but since Donald Rumsfeld has resigned, he also loses immunity protections. However, I can't see the case proceeding very far. Still, a report in Time magazine says a case is moving through the legal system in Germany:

Just days after his resignation, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is about to face more repercussions for his involvement in the troubled wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. New legal documents, to be filed next week with Germany's top prosecutor, will seek a criminal investigation and prosecution of Rumsfeld, along with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, former CIA director George Tenet and other senior U.S. civilian and military officers, for their alleged roles in abuses committed at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison and at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba."

Free Comedy Festival Tickets!

I have some free tickets for you to see performances at the Comedy Festival in Las Vegas for next week. That means several lucky readers will get a chance to see Bob Saget and Jamie Kennedy or Nick Cannon or Maxim's Real Men of Comedy. Truly and no joke.

The Comedy Festival website is here, presented by HBO and AEG Live, and there are tons of great acts ahead. Performers for the event, November 14-18 include Dane Cook, Chris Rock, Bill Maher, Dave Capelle, Damon Wayans, Jimmy Fallon and many many more.

If you want two tickets to Saget and Kennedy or Maxim's event - be one of first two people to respond ASAP in the comments. Include an email address to win!!

These tickets are flying fast! Act immediately to win!! Contest here closes at 5 pm EST.

UPDATE: Well the window of opportunity has closed!! Not takers of the freebies mean some other folks will have a chance at the tickets.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Conservative Comedy

Had to do a double take when Colbert collided with Limbaugh.

At least Colbert honestly creates satire.

Limbaugh creates ... well, ratings and money, yes. But satire appears often by nature of the double-sided blade of "truthiness" he flails around with in his ever-diminishing effort to entertain his true believers.

First, take a look at Limbaugh's attempt to get away from the Republican defeat on Tuesday:

The way I feel is this: I feel liberated, and I'm going to tell you as plainly as I can why. I no longer am going to have to carry the water for people who I don't think deserve having their water carried. Now, you might say, "Well, why have you been doing it?" Because the stakes are high! Even though the Republican Party let us down, to me they represent a far better future for my beliefs and therefore the country's than the Democrat [sic] Party does and liberalism."

Now, comedian Stephen Colbert:

Tomorrow you'’re all going to wake up in a Brave New World, a world where the constitution gets trampled by an army of terrorist clones created in a stem cell research lab run by homosexual doctors who sterilize their instruments over burning American flags. Where Tax and Spend Democrats take all your hard-earned money and use it to buy electric cars for National Public Radio and teach evolution to illegal immigrants. Oh, and everybody'’s high!!! Whoo!!! I'’ve had it! You people don'’t deserve a Republican majority. Screw this, I quit!"

(hat tip to Liberadio)

For sheer lunacy, however, nobody can touch the witless drooling of Bill O'Reilly.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

If I Can Dream

It's the right time for some Elvis.

Goodbye To All That?

A double smackdown for Vice President Cheney has brought quick changes following the elections - Rumsfeld is out as Secretary of Defense (smack one) and Robert Gates, longtime ally of the first President Bush is in (smack two).

While speaking boldly for Rumsfeld last week, the fact was changes were being prompted by the president and Cheney's views on leadership were being pushed aside by President Bush.

But sources told NBC News’ military analyst Bill Arkin that prior to the election, Vice President Dick Cheney argued with other politicians over whether Rumsfeld should stay. White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and others said Rumsfeld should be removed, the source said. Both sides agreed the decision would be made after the election, when Bush would make the final call based on how Republicans did.

According to the source, Bush agreed Rumsfeld should be removed after seeing election results favoring Democrats. Cheney then lost another argument, protesting Gates’ nomination as Rumsfeld’s replacement."

I say long overdue.

Next: will John Murtha be the new majority leader in the House?

Republicans Held Accountable

Time for a change. That's what voters across the country said in a majority of ballots. The shrill voices demonizing anyone not a Republican were provided a simple message yesterday - shut up.

It's always astounded me that Right Wing cheerleaders like Coulter and Limbaugh and Vice-President Cheney were never satisfied that Republicans held the majority at the Federal level. Any and all policy failures or personal doubts weren't their fault. It was the Evil Liberal, the Godless Democrat minority, the folk they would have us believe are secretly aiding terrorists.

With a clear voice the majority of Americans called "Bullshit" on all that.

Coulter must be a whirling dervish today to realize the first woman to reach the position of House speaker is not only a Democrat but a Liberal one. The Coulters and Malkins and the tiny echoes of blog-repeaters need to take stock and realize America rejects their whining.

Not only did the Democrats take a majority of seats in the House of Representatives, they did not lose any either. They took a majority of governor's races too, and again, did not lose any. And it appears the Democrats have just enough wins to take the Senate to a more balanced population, and again, lost no seats.

Blaming a non-existent, non-patriotic enemy is a fool's argument. Republicans did not just lose a campaign - they lost the confidence of America to be more ethical or moral, to shrink government intrusion into the private sector, to grow the economy for all citizens, to provide for the national security.

Six years into his presidency, George Bush has finally realized he should take time to meet with those who don't walk in lock-step agreement with him. After all, it was Bush himself who declared he was a Uniter and not a Divider. Time to pony up.

In Tennessee, the election of Bob Corker was no simple task. It was a squeaker of a victory. A few thousand votes could easily have gone the other way. The pressure is on now for him to provide leadership, not to rubber-stamp the party's wishes. Should he begin to drift into following the lobbyists and the party bosses, I'd expect he'll find himself out of office and out of favor with voters quickly.

Nationwide voters told the GOP they have been held accountable and found wanting.

Democrats and democrat leaders need to rise to this moment - correct the course.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Big Political Changes or None?

This year's election will certainly be the most live-blogged and internet active election in the nation's history. And history shows a fascinating look at the projected changes in party control of Congress. Read on for more on that.

For a nationwide review of what's happening at the polls and the outcomes of all elections in the country, a good place to watch will be at CQ Politics --

Many have proclaimed already the House will turn to Democrat leadership, but few foresee changes in the Senate. This state's Senate race may be the deciding election

The CQ writers did have a very interesting historical perspective on their site yesterday:

Since 1914, there has never been an instance of the House changing hands without the Senate following. Such an event did happen following the 1910 elections, when many senators were still appointed by state legislatures. That year, Democrats gained 58 seats in the House, vaulting them into the majority. Republicans did lose seats in the Senate, but not enough for them to lose the majority in that chamber."

If I encounter anything worth writing about when I vote in an hour or so, I'll add it to the posts today.

The Million Dollar Referendum

Two voters will be one million dollars richer if a referendum passes in Arizona.

Now that's voter incentive!! Much better for the voter than say, the "bag-o-pork-rinds" you get for your vote in Appalachia.

Glenn Reynolds and others say this effort will just bring "stupid people" out to vote. How anyone can tell the difference between a stupid voter or non-stupid is puzzling to me.

While pundits have debated the issue, I would say voters will approve of this measure by a huge margin. Why indeed wait for some elusive outcome in the elections to provide a measurable benefit, when you can take a chance that your choice (no matter what it is) can make you an InstaMillionaire?

And does the "stupid people" reference indicate that some folks consider that some people need a 'stupidity test" in order to have the right to vote?

Then again, is voting so hateful and despised that a million dollar carrot has to be dangled out before you?

Arizona also has a referendum which if passed would require ballots be sent by mail to every eligible voter who could then vote by mail. And still someone in both primary and general elections will get the million clams.

Hmpf! In Tennessee, all we get is a non-binding referendum which allows for government to give property tax breaks to the elderly, with zero promise the government will actually create such a law. Oh and another stupid law (yes, I say there are only stupid acts of legislation, not stupid voters) to ban certain types of marriage even though we already HAVE a law banning certain types of marriage.

Yeesh. At least we could get a beer coupon or something.

UPDATE: The Arizona voters rejected the referendum and said no to a million dollar payoff. Whattaya know??

Monday, November 06, 2006

Send The Rubber-Stampers Home

If you are a voter who can't see the time is here to end the corruption and scandal in Congress, then no word or fact provided on this humble page will change your perspective. That's sad. Because we ignore such failings at the nation's peril.

I remain hopeful this election day will end with a majority of the leftover "Contract With America" Republicans going home again. I said when that idiotic pandering campaign of 1994 started that it was a sham and a shame. It has been both. Congress isn't able of structuring forced amendments to self-correct bad policy and corruption.

Voters do that.

To pretend otherwise is to pretend some party or some majority or some President has a supernatural ability to Always Be Right. And it is to pretend that your role as voter plays no important role. It does. Our country is not served best when voters are uninvolved, spun one way or another to assure party solidarity. Independence made this nation -- it remains as vital today that each of us holds Independence above Party Powers.

I know there are signs the GOP hold on the Congress is weak, and I truly hope the leadership changes. We have not been well represented by laws which insulate corporations from accountability, especially as the GOP leads efforts to privatize more and more government operations -- here's a fact for you: The government has not been "privatizing" it's responsibilities, it has been "corporatizing" them.

Billions in fraud and waste in Iraqi war operations alone have brought much pressure on corporations, thanks to a special committee created, despite much GOP opposition, to oversee the actions of corporate, no-bid contract winners. Sadly, that committee has just been eliminated by the Republican rubber-stampers, told how to act and how to vote by the Bush Administration. Why eliminate this committee? Not because they failed at their job -- but because they were successful.

To call out war profiteering for what it is has been the goal of a documentary film that should make every American furious and urge voters to change the leadership in Washington. Check out the Iraq For Sale Blog here, many clips from the movie are there, as well as the lies and deceits of companies who have been earning billions at the expense of continuing a badly executed military strategy. Robert Greenwald speaks about the "outing" of war profiteers:

To endorse the plan we've had is to endorse a long, drawn out but highly profitable war. Most real patriots simply feel ashamed when they see the facts. To blame a political party for the enemies' successes is to ignore the failures of the polices and strategies forced through a Congress which seldom cared if the ends justified the means. The fact is the "ends" have not materialized. And the "means" are dubious at best, criminal at worst.


Sunday, November 05, 2006

One Blogger Posts From Life and Death Struggle

However icy or "soggy-bottomed" your heart and soul might be, I dare you to take a few minutes and walk into the world of an East Tennessee blogger who has been posting about something amazing and terrifying - his 29-year-old wife's life and death struggle in the hospital, and his effort to somehow grasp what is happening and what might happen.

The events which have taken place over the course of a few days to blogger Atomic Tumor and his wife, who goes by the name Golden Apple Corp, will dwarf most any problem you have been having. To say it briefly, GAC became ill for some unknown reason and has remained critically ill. She remains so this morning. Many other bloggers in the state have already mentioned this, asking for your best thoughts and prayers and hopes.

I'll happily add my voice to theirs.

Even though AT and GAC and I have never met face to face, we are fine friends - that's what happens when you begin to make daily contact with someone who writes online about themselves and their thoughts. I may only visit online, but I stop there more than once a day, I add my comments, and I discover the world through the eyes of another person.

I know the pain and the worry and the fear devour whole galaxies of thought and emotion for families whose members fill hospitals across the world. These Oak Ridge folks are most fortunate they have many members of family and friends to help them now. But I also know it doesn't seem like Fortune is being their ally at this time.

It takes some kind of unknown ability to do what AT has been doing - not just the minute to minute and hour to hour courage to cope with a critical illness which has ravaged the one he loves - but to write about it so openly, so honestly and with such joy and pain, I know that takes something truly unique.

I've had to deal with it myself recently and here's what I learned: pouring your hurts into an online blog is beyond difficult. To do it at all, much less to do it well, that takes great strength.

You can begin the storyline here - from taking her to the hospital to AT's most recent post. I hope you take the time to read all of the posts of this dire event. That you meet them and their friends at Team AT - Bosphorus, Mrs. Eaves, and many others like me who stop and visit there.

What is being shared is rare and powerful and will take you straight into this struggle. You cannot emerge untouched. You'll meet some amazing people, and adding your hopes can only help.

A few excerpts from a variety of posts:

She'’s responding again. She hasn'’t opened her eyes, but she squeezed my hand. She raised her eyebrows. She got onto me for self depreciating humor.

I no longer have any doubt that she'’s in there communicating with me. Well, not that I did, based on the last post, but things like this are so hard. I don'’t like not understanding things, and the world that she is in now I don'’t understand.

I hate to leave her. I hate to see her that way. God, I love her."
"I want to tell you guys stories about her, about GAC, but I can'’t think of any. I want to say something that will touch you, something that will make you think of the person in your life, and how things happen out of nowhere, how tennis turns into praying for your wife'’s heathen soul to be allowed into heaven, because I can'’t bear the idea of being separated from her, and because I was sure that her end was imminent.

Guys, this is hard. I'’m too drained to think of any of these stories, and I really want to. I want to for myself.

And I want to cuddle her. I want to breath in the scent of her hair. I want to kiss the back of her neck, and tickle the tiny hairs back there. I want to rub her feet. I want to hear her voice."
"At night, if GAC is sick, it gets a little worse. I hear thats normal, to some extent. Maybe the pull of the sun does something to our cells. I was outside earlier, looking at the sky, and the stars, and the significant things, and thinking about the cells in her body. Thinking about the world in her head. A world bigger than the sun, and the stars.

Somebody once told me that Stephen Hawking said that he believed when you die, you become as a god, because the energy that consciousness is turns inward, or something like that. Maybe it was that because of the whole matter/energy thing. I don'’t remember.

How many days can be like today? How many people go through this, silently, in the next car. When the world is normal, and you'’re worried about getting to work on time, or realized you forgot a dental appointment, or just mad at your wife for something stupid that you don'’t remember, how many people around you are feeling this?"

"At night, when everybody else is asleep, I'’m going to let the gravity of this hit me, and I'’ll write posts like I did. Tonight I want to tell you how we met. I have a lot of stories, and I want to share them, if you'’ll listen. Or if not, don'’t really matter. I like writing.

Ironically, writing is easy. A few weeks ago I was in a bit of a funk, and couldn'’t write much. Now I can'’t stop my fingers."

"Thanks for being there. I can feel you, peering through the 1s and 0s into my grief and my terror.

GAC will read this, right?"

Again, I hope you take some time to read all of his posts and the comments from around the Web.

I hope most of all that GAC gets all her health and strength back soon, that she is in the arms of the man who loves her, surrounded by her children and her family and friends who value her above all the wealth in the world.

UPDATE: The latest post for this Monday morning is here. AT updates often , so please add your hopes and prayers just as often.