Mitt Romney: Shut up and leave me alone

July 31, 2012

Since Mitt Romney has been on his overseas adventure, he has taken a total of three questions from the press. The press - as is their wont - keep asking questions, however. And this is now causing tantrums on Team Romney:

When members of the press tried to ask Romney about some of the mishaps on his trip, his traveling press secretary Rick Gorka verbally dressed down reporters.

Here’s a transcript of the questions and Gorka’s response:

CNN: “Governor Romney are you concerned about some of the mishaps of your trip?

NYT: “Governor Romney do you have a statement for the Palestinians?

Washington Post: “What about your gaffes?

NYT: “Governor Romney do you feel that your gaffes have overshadowed your foreign trip?”

CNN: “Governor Romney just a few questions sir, you haven’t taken but three questions on this trip from the press!

Gorka: “Show some respect”

NYT: “We haven’t had another chance to ask a question…”

Gorka: “Kiss my ass. This is a Holy site for the Polish people. Show some respect.”

Moments later, Gorka told Jonathan Martin, a reporter for Politico, to “shove it.” About a half-hour later, the aide called reporters to apologize.

Romney is setting a new precedent for media avoidance by a Presidential candidate. And it’s not out of fear he won’t be treated unfairly. It is because he knows that outside of Fox News, he won’t be treated favorably by default.  It also goes along with his refusal to release tax records, as well as a refusal to even say how he’ll govern.

Mitt Romney has embraced a budget plan that would entail cutting federal programs other than defense and Social Security by more than half. It does raise the question of how he plans to carry out such a sweeping goal. In an interview with the Weekly Standard, Romney says he’d eliminate a bunch of departments. But he won’t say which ones.

“One of the things I found in a short campaign against Ted Kennedy was that when I said, for instance, that I wanted to eliminate the Department of Education, that was used to suggest I don’t care about education,” Romney recalled. “So I think it’s important for me to point out that I anticipate that there will be departments and agencies that will either be eliminated or combined with other agencies.

Basically, Romney will just spend the next 99 days slamming Obama and making speeches full of cliches and red meat for his followers. But voters are not going to get any more than that.


NBC has Twitter suspend journalist critical of Olympics coverage - I’m done

July 30, 2012

I have been a big fan and user at Twitter for some time and feel it is a social media tool with incredible potential. That said, I’m out. Because of this:

Guy Adams is The Independent‘s Los Angeles bureau chief. During the Olympics so far, he has carved out a nice spot on the how-much-NBC’s-coverage-sucks beat. Now his Twitter account has been suspended—supposedly because NBC had it cut off after he complained.

Twitter’s reasoning or suspending Adams’ account is because he tweeted the corporate (and publicly available) e-mail address of NBC exec Gary Zenkel. Here is NBC’s statement:

We filed a complaint with Twitter because a user tweeted the personal information of one of our executives. According to Twitter, this is a violation of their privacy policy. Twitter alone levies discipline.

I am very shy about being involved with large corporations and I feel Twitter has allowed a massive corporation to shut up a critic. A corporate e-mail address is not “personal information” that demands privacy.

So, I am taking an indefinite leave of absence from Twitter. While I appreciate the support of my followers there, I don’t feel at all comfortable with this situation and am not interested in supporting Twitter in any after they so blithely suspended a journalist. This is what a slippery slope looks like, and it is not something I want to be a part of.

I’ll still be posting here, where I can do things like post the e-mail address of NBC exec Gary Zenkel - [email protected] - without fear of retribution.

Here is Adams’ take on the situation thus far.

Update: Twitter is partnered with NBC for the Olympics. Apparently they were the ones who initiated contact with NBC about Adams and how to get his account suspended.


Brazil’s Neymar - a gold medal would make up for that haircut

July 30, 2012

With two games down in the London Olympics, Brazil’s men’s soccer team has looked strong, scoring six goals on its way to two victories. Brazil’s most famous player - young attacker Neymar - is showing why European clubs are drooling over him, scoring twice and setting up two other goals.

Neymar is currently Brazil’s great hope, as his style and passion have already garnered trophies (Copa Libertadores, Copa do Brasil, etc.) for his club Santos. In Brazil, however, there is on trophy that has eluded the Seleçao - an Olympics gold medal. Yes, in its great history, Brazil has never taken home the gold. This talented Brazil side  is expected to fix that problem this year.

For Neymar, it would be another trophy as he works his way to be the star of Brazil’s 2014 World Cup team. Make no mistake, the kid is talented, stylish and seems to relish the spotlight. But he needs this Olympics win for multiple reasons. To me, the main one is to make up for making his silly hairstyle the most popular for Brazilian boys and young men:


Penn State deserves worse

July 23, 2012

Penn State just received a walloping from the NCAA for the Sandusky pedophilia ring. A penalty of $60 million, vacating all its wins from 1998 to 2011 and a ban from bowl games for four years.

And it’s not enough.

On its own, Penn State University needs to drop its football program for at least five years. Pulling Joe Paterno’s statue down and pretending like the last 40 years didn’t happen isn’t enough.

I feel for the young men who signed with Penn State to play football. I truly hope the NCAA helps them - and other students - transfer easily to other schools.

But make no mistake about it, these penalties by the NCAA will hurt. They’ll hurt State College and the surrounding area. They’ll hurt students. But we need to keep our eyes open to reality. We need to remember our priorities as civilized people.

Joe Paterno let Jerry Sandusky turn Penn State into a pedophilia camp. Let us not forget how heinous the crimes were at Penn State. And they were covered up because of football.

Penn State needs to dump the football program. And Americans need some time to think about how far we are willing to allow our love of sports take us off the path of basic humanity.


Mitt Romney: There’s no there there

July 23, 2012

There is no there there.

This allegation has long been lobbed at Mitt Romney. In the GOP primaries of 2008, it wasn’t much of a secret that Romney was generally despised by the other GOP candidates. And Presidential looks be damned, the public didn’t show Romney much love, either.

But Romney followed the game plan of Bob Dole, John McCain and others in the Republican party - he waited until it was his turn. The year is 2012, this is Mitt Romney’s turn.

While Romney may have flummoxed the hard-right portion of the GOP, he has come out of the gate showing the potential to be the worst candidate for any office ever in the history of everywhere.

Truly, it is hard to fathom just how bad Romney is with being a candidate. Let’s start with the biggest issues. Bain Capital? Remember, he left Bain (supposedly) years ago. He’s been running for President forever. He still doesn’t have a story for Bain? That’s just shocking. His whole campaign is going to pieces over things that happened in the 1990s.

Releasing tax forms? Ok, just what in the hell does he have in there, anyway? Is there evidence of murder? Probably not, but there must be something devastating in there. Something Romney has known about for the last eight years when he’s been running for President non-stop. Romney has taken something that should be slightly embarrassing and turned it into something that could destroy him.

By the way, have you ever noticed that Romney is always given a net worth of $250 million? I’m thinking someone should double check that.

This leads to his inability to deal with his wealth. You can be obscenely rich and at least pretend to understand the commoners. But Romney truly doesn’t get it. What the media calls gaffes is just how Romney talks. He may accuse the poor of envying his riches, but he literally has no interest whatsoever in the poor.

It just goes on and on. He avoids the press outside of Fox News. He not only has not given any detailed plan of how he will govern, he has bragged about not giving out his plans. He spoke to the NAACP in baby talk then slammed them later that night. His ability to stand on two sides of every issue is not just annoying, it’s pathological.

To say Mitt Romney is an empty suit is an affront to the depth of suits.

I honestly don’t think a lot of Republicans want Romney to win. Better to focus on congressional races and spend the next four years obstructing Obama. Because Romney will say whatever he likes, but no one has a clue on how he’ll actually govern.

Because when it comes to Mitt Romney, there’s no there there. Hell, it’s even worse than that.



Keeping up with Kroo - Skippy the Bush Kangaroo celebrates 10 years of blogging

July 11, 2012

When I first met the blogger known as Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, I was a 15-year-old Romanian immigrant looking for guidance. Skippy took we under his wing, feeding me and reading me bedtime tales of Saul Alinsky slaying dragons.

As the years went on, Skippy made a name for himself in the cut-throat world of blogging. Not content with naming himself after a popular Australian TV kangaroo, Skippy faced issues on a daily basis with the integrity of Murrow and charisma of Madonna.

More than just shooting his own mouth off, Skippy encouraged others to shoot their mouths off, as well. Bloggers with low readerships have no greater friend than Skippy, who is quick with a link and a light of your smoke.  Working with the late, great Jon Swift (Al Weisel), Skippy created Blogroll Amnesty Day, which saw all of us get the opportunity both to share our work and to read the work of others.

Skippy is celebrating 10 years of blogging (the “Golden Cheeto” anniversary) and this is something to be admired. While others, like myself, have gone on to fame, fortune and adulation, Skippy has continued to pound out post after post after post.

It’s all kind of tragic if you really think about it, so, let us not really think about it. Let us instead congratulate for a job well done and thank him for all he’s done these 3,650 days. He’s been a great ally to all of us and will continue to be. This Romanian immigrant, for one, holds him in the highest of esteem.

It was Robert Frost who once said “Jesus, 10 years of blogging?? WTF??” Here’s looking forward to the next 10 years.

Update: Also, Skippy coined the term “Blogtopia,” which by law I have to mention.


Two scientists meet at a party …

July 10, 2012

Two scientists meet at a party …

Scientist No. 1: Hey, so what have you been working on?

Scientist No. 2: I helped discover what we believe is the Higgs-Boson Particle, which is what supplies the mass of an atom. It’s a tremendous discovery and a big step in our goals for a unified theory of everything. What have you been up to?

Scientist No. 1:  I just finished a study that shows if you sit on your ass too much, it’s not healthy.

Scientist No. 2: Well now, isn’t that something? Good for you. Would you like to look at my watch? It’s nice and shiny.


Just leave the kid alone

July 10, 2012

I didn’t much care about a 13-year-old conservative firebrand. And I find I don’t care when a 17-year-old becomes a former-conservative firebrand.

Maybe it’s just me, but I think there’s more than enough children involved in political discourse already. I hope Jonathan Krohn gets a good education and lives a full and happy life. That’s about it. I don’t need every liberal web site and radio show to try and get him to repeat the mistakes of his pre-teen years but as a liberal. Leave the kid alone.





Newsroom: A stupid, poorly acted show with an extra serving of sexism

July 9, 2012

Here's hoping Dev Patel survives the monstrosity that is "Newsroom."

What if all your dreams of a responsible, honest media came true? What if, for once, reporters asked the right follow-up questions and were informed on the day’s events? What if the media took responsibility for reporting the truth rather than some twisted form of he-said, she-said equivalency? What if the media took journalistic integrity seriously? Really, really, really, really seriously?

Such is what Aaron Sorkin is trying to accomplish with HBO’s “The Newsroom.” I know this, because it’s mentioned roughly 135 times each show.

Newsroom is essentially a show about what would happen if a group of gung-ho college kids took over a cable news show. Check that. “Newsroom” is essentially what would happen if you gave a group of gung-ho college kids an hour a week on HBO to make a show about a cable news show taken over by gung-ho college kids.

If “The Newsroom” were any more preachy, it would have to change its name to the 700 Club.

In Episode three of the series - after having Anchor Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) publicly apologize for everything he’s ever done while hurling the rest of the media under the bus - Sorkin takes on the Tea Party.

Aside from getting the creation of the Tea Party wrong (this was not some spontaneous grassroots effort that was hijacked by corporate and political interests, it was corporate interests creating a a “grassroots movement.”) the show makes the exact same mistake the U.S. Media has long made with the Tea Party – it gives them far too much credit. The irony is not to be missed – in a show that will tell you every five minutes that journalism should be about facts and not ratings, it shakes the Tea Party tree as strongly as possible to give the show buzz.

By the way, “The Newsroom” is a show about the moral integrity of being a journalist.

While the show pounds you over the head repeatedly with its message, the acting is even more over-the-top. It is a credit to Sorkin that he’s somehow put together a formidable cast but has directed them to act as though they are all rank amateurs blasted on crystal meth.

While the show itself seems to be done by college kids, with high-school level acting, the storylines are broad enough to have been drawn by grade schoolers. While consistently mocking the stupidity of the media and conservatives, “The Newsroom” treats its own audience like idiots, spoon feeding them every moment of the way.

Oh, and in case I haven’t mentioned it enough, “The Newsroom” is about journalistic integrity. Seriously. Ask Sorkin, he’ll tell you. Forever.

More than anything, though, it is “The Newsroom’s” treatment of women that take it from being just a preachy, poorly acted fantasy to the all-out train wreck that it is. In the first three episodes, Sorkin has burnished his oft-commented on misogynistic cred. Basically, Sorkin’s treatment of his female characters could only be worse if he had each of them scream “I Need A Man!!” several times a show.

There is Executive Producer Mackenzie McHale (played by Emily Mortimer in the worst performance of her career), a “highly respected executive producer,” who is also the ex-girlfriend of McAvoy. We are to believe that McHale has thrived with an embedded crew in Iraq, but falls completely to pieces when around McAvoy. When McAvoy has a date (three dates, actually. With women who may of well just had “Bimbo” flashing above their heads.), McHale suddenly becomes a desperate housewife.

There is Associate Producer Margaret Jordan (played by Alison Pill in what might be the worst performance on HBO since Gallagher.) Involved in an inner-office relationship, Jordan falls apart four or five times an episode because of relationship problems and needs to leave meetings due to panic attacks.

There is up-and-coming host Sloan Sabbith (played by Olivia Munn, who may escape this dreck with a career). As of now, all we know about her is that she’s whip-smart and was promoted because she has great legs.

There is Leona Lansing, owner of the entire cable giant that runs Newsroom. Played by Jane Fonda (who was apparently cast to guarantee that no Conservative will ever watch the show),  Lansing gets talked down to by  President of the News Division Charlie Skinner (played by Sam Waterson as a cross between Uncle Billy Bailey of “It’s a Wonderful Life” and every last wise older male in every movie ever made) . Skinner gives Lansing a general lesson on media ethics 101, which is something we hadn’t heard in more than three full minutes.

For the record, “The Newsroom” is about the media and the importance of being a true journalist and the moral integrity it takes to tell the truth by standing up to the spin with integrity and showing integrity in the face of integrity of journalism. In case you forgot.

I don’t know much of Sorkin’s previous work on television, having never watched “West Wing” or “SportsNight,” but it’s entirely possible Sorkin has extreme problems with women. Or maybe he’s never actually meant one. It’s really something he should look into.

Overall, “The Newsroom” is an awful, preachy, sexist show that encapsulates the stupidity it tries to berate. A fictional show about a cable news station is, in itself, a nice idea. Maybe Sorkin should try doing a show like that after this monstrosity is cancelled.

To be fair, there are two bright spots to “The Newsroom,” in my opinion. For one, Dev Patel is a likeable actor. Two, “Breaking Bad” starts next week, so we can stop talking about “The Newsroom” once and for all and enjoy a show that doesn’t think its viewers are morons and doesn’t feel the need to smash its message over viewer’s heads 14 times a show.

Journalistic integrity.


68 Years ago today - The Court Martial of Jackie Robinson

July 6, 2012

Just 68 years ago, this:

On July 6, 1944, exactly one month after D-day—assault landings in which black soldiers had participated—Lieutenant Jackie Robinson was forcibly reminded of how thoroughly Jim Crow still dominated the scene. As he was returning that evening to the hospital, Southwestern Bus Company driver Milton Reneger brusquely instructed the lieutenant to move to a seat farther back from the one where he sat next to a fellow officer’s light-skinned wife. Robinson, perhaps conscious of being an officer and a husky one at that, refused, suggesting that the driver tend to driving instead.

Robinson’s sharpness of response may have been at least partially attributable to recollection of previous bus incidents at Hood and other installations regarding what blacks saw as a pattern of unfairness. As one of the 761st’s officers remembered, “There were so many problems with the bus situation that battalion commanders and the company commanders almost let us have trucks at will to go to the town . . . rather than mess with what went on with the bus.”

Later, at his stop, Robinson and the driver continued to argue, joined by the latter’s bus dispatcher, Beverly Younger, who casually referred to Robinson in his presence as “a nigger.” When military policemen arrived at the scene, a crowd of indignant whites, both civilian and military, had formed, adding to turmoil and confusion. The MPs on site, none of whom outranked the lieutenant, asked him to go with them to the police headquarters to straighten out the situation. He agreed to do so. However, when they arrived at the station to meet with the camp’s assistant provost marshal, a white MP ran up to the vehicle and excitedly inquired if they had “the nigger lieutenant” with them. The utterance of this unexpected and especially offensive racial epithet served to set Robinson off and he threatened “to break in two” anyone, whatever their rank or status, who employed that word.

Jackie Robinson went on to become the first African-American player in Major League Baseball.

You know people who are at least 68 years old. Time to stop thinking that in 2012 America is such an evolved place. We have a long way to go yet.


Friday Movie Idea: Stooges meet Saw

July 6, 2012

So here’s an idea for a movie. I saw that for some reason the Farrelly brothers thought a modern “Three Stooges” movie was a good idea. It tanked and got awful reviews, tho.

So the idea here is to make a sequel to that movie, but have it so the Stooges get abducted by a crazed, cannibalistic serial killer. Throughout the movie, the Stooges try their humor bits and then the killer cuts off their fingers to make them stop, and so on. In the end, all three Stooges die heinously and are devoured. The final shot is Shemp & Curly Joe at the funeral crying their eyes out and swearing revenge.

The theme behind the movie is that you should be nicer to your friends. I think people would watch and come away with something.


Jesus died for White people’s sins

July 5, 2012

Something smells a little Klanny.


This is all the education some can afford

July 2, 2012

Mitt Romney’s theory that kids should “get as much education”as they can afford” is highly unoriginal. Many nations have that philosophy. Like here in Brazil where kids will quit school in the third grade so they can get a job begging.


The difference between Congressional Republicans and monkeys

July 2, 2012

Q: What’s the difference between Republicans in Congress and monkeys?

A: After monkeys hurl their feces all over the place, they don’t blame someone else for things being shitty.


Chris Christie - Cowardly punk

July 2, 2012

I’m not a psychologist, but it doesn’t take a degree to diagnose that Chris Christie is a cowardly punk. And don’t forget, he’s the GOP’s favorite rising star.


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