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Jon Stewart Thinks Geraldo Shouldn’t Be So Quick to Give LeBron Fashion Advice

 

Jon Stewart reacted to Geraldo Rivera’s criticism of Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James, who wore a a t-shirt emblazoned with “I Can’t Breathe” to a recent game. Stewart said on Wednesday, “This should be a perfectly acceptable way to express one’s feelings about political issues.”

“Last time I checked, t-shirts don’t block traffic. They don’t prevent you from shopping at Macy’s,” Stewart said.

Geraldo Rivera said he wondered if LeBron should instead wear a shirt that said, “Be a better father to your son. Raise your children.”

Stewart said that LeBron (the father of three) actually lives that message. But added, “If he wants advice on shirts, I’m sure he’ll ask someone who wears one.”

Ooh. Ouch.

Pre-Christmas pro-tip: Don’t forget to talk to your kids — and parents — about responsible social media usage.

o-GERALDO-RIVERA-facebook

 

 

Posted at 10:46 pm on December 17th, 2014 by

[VIDEO] Jay Thomas Tells CNN That Getting Killed by NoKo Would Be a ‘Great End’ to Careers of Rogen and Franco

Yes, he was kidding. Maybe. Jay Thomas isn’t exactly known for holding back so CNN knew what they were getting into here. I can hardly wait for the demands for an apology and Thomas flatly refusing them.

Posted at 4:12 pm on December 17th, 2014 by

Psaki: Kim Jong-un Comedy Totally Different from Mohammed Film Slammed by State Dept.

Sony Pictures officially decided not to release The Interview on Dec. 25 as planned, citing the major theater chains that refused to show the movie after hackers made 9/11-style threats against screenings.

“We respect and understand our partners’ decision and, of course, completely share their paramount interest in the safety of employees and theater-goers,” the Sony statement said.

“Sony Pictures has been the victim of an unprecedented criminal assault against our employees, our customers, and our business. Those who attacked us stole our intellectual property, private emails, and sensitive and proprietary material, and sought to destroy our spirit and our morale — all apparently to thwart the release of a movie they did not like. We are deeply saddened at this brazen effort to suppress the distribution of a movie, and in the process do damage to our company, our employees, and the American public. We stand by our filmmakers and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by this outcome.”

The Associated Press reported moments ago that federal investigators have connected the hacking to North Korea.

At the State Department earlier today, Jen Psaki said department officials did meet with studio executives during production, as revealed in leaked emails, but disputed reports that they OK’d the picture. “We’re not in the business of signing off on content of movies or things along those lines,” she said.

“I can confirm for you that [Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel] Russel did have a conversation with Sony executives, as he does routinely with a wide range of private groups and individuals, to discuss foreign policy in Asia,” Psaki said. “[Special Envoy for North Korean Human Rights Issues] Bob King, contrary to reports, did not view the movie and did not have any contact directly with Sony.”

“As we have — as we’ve noted before, entertainers are free to make movies of their choosing, and we are not involved in that,” she added.

Psaki said she wouldn’t compare the comedy about the assassination of Kim Jong-un to the Mohammed film initially blamed for the Benghazi attack, a movie heavily criticized by the State Department.

“I would not put them in the same category, which I’m sure does not surprise you,” Psaki said. “We don’t have — it’s a fiction movie. It’s not a documentary about our relationship with the United — with North Korea. It’s not something we backed, supported or necessarily have an opinion on from here.”

After violent reactions to Innocence of Muslims in 2012, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said “the United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.”

“We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of other,” the U.S. Embassy in Cairo said back then.

While being asked questions about unilateral changes in Cuba policy today, White House press secretary Josh Earnest if they would relax sanctions on North Korea under the same theory.

“That if you open it up, that you put more pressure on them, maybe they’ll change their behavior?” a reporter asked.

“No. OK,” Earnest bluntly responded, drawing laughter.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted at 3:40 pm on December 17th, 2014 by

Studio Folds, Pulls ‘Interview’ – Norks Win, Sony ‘Saddened’

So there you have it:

With theater chains defecting en masse, Sony Pictures Entertainment has pulled the planned Christmas Day release of “The Interview.” In announcing the decision to cancel the holiday debut, Sony hit back at the hackers who threatened movie theaters and moviegoers and who have terrorized the studio and its employees for weeks.

“Those who attacked us stole our intellectual property, private emails and sensitive and proprietary material, and sought to destroy our spirit and our morale – all apparently to thwart the release of a movie they did not like,” the statement reads. “We are deeply saddened at this brazen effort to suppress the distribution of a movie, and in the process do damage to our company, our employees, and the American public,” it continues. “We stand by our filmmakers and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by this outcome.”

That’s telling ‘em! Sony is ”saddened,” the way you might be at the death of a puppy. And they’re “standing by” the filmmakers, although there is that little matter of canceling the movie’s Christmas  opening.

Meanwhile, in other totally unsurprising news, CNN is reporting that, how about that, North Korea really is behind the cyber attack (which as Newt Gingrich notes, the U.S. just came out on the short end of):

The U.S. government is set to name North Korea as the source of the damaging cyberattack against Sony Pictures Entertainment, according to CNN Justice reporter Evan Perez. Anchor Wolf Blitzer announced the news break during a broadcast of The Situation Room. A news chyron on the cable channel read: “Sources: North Korean Leaders Ordered Attack On Sony.”

Following theater chains decision not to screen the film, Sony canceled the release of the North Korea themed assassination comedy on Wednesday.

Not that the U.S. is going to do anything about it, of course. About all that’s left to do now is await the inevitable regime change in Culver City,

 

Posted at 3:30 pm on December 17th, 2014 by

Ban Everything: Squirrels And Beavers Bigger Global Warming Culprits Than Previously Assumed

The science is something.

Rodents such as squirrels and beavers are contributing far more to global warming than previously thought, forcing climate scientists to alter the models they use to chart how the world is warming up.

Arctic ground squirrels churn up and warm soil in the Tundra, releasing carbon dioxide, while methane released by beavers contributes 200 times more methane than they did 100 years ago, according to scientists from the American Geophysical Union.

Faeces and urine produced by rodents are speeding up the release of carbon from the permafrost, the vast store of greenhouses spanning the Arctic Circle, researchers found.

Dr Sue Natali, from the AGU, said “We know wildlife impacts vegetation, and we know vegetation impacts thaw and soil carbon.

“It certainly has a bigger impact than we’ve considered and it’s something we will be considering more and more going into the future.”

It is probably a safe bet to say that there are a lot of factors like this that the AGW witch hunters have overlooked when developing computer models. After all, Fuzzy McBeaverton isn’t exactly the face of climate change that is going to sell the public on the tripling of their utility bills, is it?

This also serves to illustrate just how dangerous it can be to legislate based on computer models about climate change when the accuracy of those models depend entirely on the data used to create them.

If you’re wondering whether the data might be “massaged” a bit to have a given model allow its creator adhere to Climate Church orthodoxy, the answer is: definitely.

There’s big money in Big Green.

Posted at 3:08 pm on December 17th, 2014 by

Highlights from Longest-Serving Congressman Dingell’s Holiday Jingle

This month the House said goodbye to the last World War II veterans serving in Congress: Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), the retiring longest serving member of Congress in history, and Rep. Ralph Hall (R-Texas), who was defeated in his primary.

Dingell, 88, and Hall, 91, served a combined 46 terms, or 92 years, in the House.

Dingell decided to say farewell with a 2014 Holiday Jingle (the whole poem is on BuzzFeed):

‘Twas just days before Dems lost control of the Senate
Handing over the reins to whoever’s left in it.
But amidst all the partisan clanking and clatter
Thought I’d write you a poem and highlight a few matters
Looking back on my career and the year in reflection
For I’m hanging it up, after 30 elections.

… From Gruber to Ebola, I’ve survived this year’s banter.
Think the Tea Party’s dead? You should ask my friend Cantor.
Cruz’s latest ploy backfired, ushering through nominations
Like a new Surgeon General, and a head of immigration
Made our Cabinet stronger, reaffirmed our world power
If Ash Carter doesn’t work, well there’s always Tim Howard

…So the election’s now upon us, and amidst all the hintin’
There’ll be a line of new choices [and a Bush, and a Clinton]
As folks “actively explore,” and throw their hats in the ring
We must look at their records, and the experience they bring
As for me, I’ve never been one to create a big scene
So Happy Holidays to all, DINGELL 2016!

Posted at 3:08 pm on December 17th, 2014 by

No Truer Words: Gross Calls Himself ‘A Trusting Fool’

Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas:

Alan Gross has called himself a “trusting fool” for going to Cuba in the first place… His wife, Judy Gross, has called him a humanitarian and an idealist, someone who was “probably naïve” and did not realize the risks of going to Cuba as a subcontractor for the federal government’s U.S. Agency for International Development.

Gross was arrested in 2009 while working in the Communist-run country to set up Internet access for the island’s small Jewish community, access that bypassed local restrictions and monitoring. Cuba considers USAID’s programs illegal attempts by the U.S. to undermine its government. Gross was tried and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Yeah, well, no wonder the Cubans thought he was a spy:

In court in Cuba, Gross called himself a “trusting fool” who never meant any harm to the Cuban government. But reports he wrote about his work showed he knew it was dangerous.

“This is very risky business in no uncertain terms,” he wrote in one report. A 2012 investigation by The Associated Press found he was using sensitive technology typically available only to governments.

Hmmm… remind us again who those Cuban prisoners are?

The three Cubans released in exchange for Gross are part of the so-called Cuban Five — a group of men who were part of the “Wasp Network” sent by Cuba’s then-President Fidel Castro to spy in South Florida. The men, who are hailed as heroes in Cuba, were convicted in 2001 in Miami on charges including conspiracy and failure to register as foreign agents in the U.S. Two of the Cuban Five were previously released after finishing their sentences.

Right.

Posted at 1:27 pm on December 17th, 2014 by

Leadership: Sen. Wyden (D) Objects to Halting Welfare-For-Weed Loophole

On Wednesday, Senator Ron Wyden (D) of Washington was having none of Sen. David Vitter’s (R) proposed amendment that would prevent your tax dollars from being spent in weed shops. Lean forward or something:

Posted at 1:22 pm on December 17th, 2014 by

Hamas: All Countries Should Follow EU Court Decision and Remove from Terror List

The leader of Hamas in exile says the European Union General Court decision to remove Hamas from its list of terrorist organizations should pave the way for countries to follow suit.

In a statement to Middle East Monitor, Khaled Mashal said the EU’s “past position was not based on objective facts.”

“In addition to this, it was in violation of and contradictory to international law as well as legal and humanitarian norms that guarantee the right of nations to resist occupation. It would be in the European Union’s best interest to align itself with international law and with legal and humanitarian norms and to refrain from violating these laws under the misguided pressure of Israel and its exploitation of the international community,” Mashal said.

The Hamas leader urged leaders of EU countries “to accept and cooperate with the decision of the Court and to take measures to make a brave political decision to remove Hamas from the European Union’s terrorist list in coordination with the Court’s decision and with the values of justice and law, as well as out of respect of the people’s will and their rights.”

“I also urge the leaders and governments in EU states to avoid stalling or wasting time by taking measures or making appeals attempting to circumvent international law and objective facts,” Mashal added. “I also hope that all international forces, including the United States, take the initiative and right the wrong that has been made in the past, which, as everyone knows, is a result of Israeli pressure and not a result of the facts on the ground.”

State Department press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters today that the U.S. is reviewing the court’s findings.

“According to a statement by the European Union, this decision was based on procedural grounds. We understand that the E.U. sanctions Hamas remain in effect pending the E.U.’s decision on whether to appeal,” Psaki said. “The U.S. position on has not changed; Hamas is a designated foreign terrorist organization.”

“Hamas continues to engage in terrorist activity and has demonstrated its intentions during this summer’s conflicts with Israel. It fired thousands of rockets into Israeli civilian areas and attempted to infiltrate Israel through tunnels that extended into Israel,” Psaki continued.

“We will continue to work closely with the European Union on Hamas-related issues. We believe that the E.U. should maintain its terrorism sanctions on Hamas.”

Mashal said Hamas “continues to confine its legitimate resistance and struggle to Palestine and exercises this against the Israeli occupation.”

“This is a natural right for the movement and for all nations under foreign occupation and it is in accordance with our religious and international laws, just as the other nations in the East and the West resisted their occupying forces,” he said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was “not satisfied with the European Union’s explanation that the removal of Hamas from its list of terrorist organizations is a ‘technical matter.’”

“The burden of proof is on the European Union and we expect it to put Hamas back on the list forthwith given that it is understood by all that Hamas – a murderous terrorist organization, the covenant of which specifies the destruction of Israel as its goal – is an inseparable part of this list,” Netanyahu said. “We will continue to fight Hamas with strength and determination so that it never achieves this goal.”

Posted at 1:18 pm on December 17th, 2014 by

Rubio: Pope Francis Should ‘Take Up the Cause of Freedom and Democracy’ in Cuba

Catholic Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), while acknowledging the Vatican’s role in helping free USAID subcontractor Alan Gross from Cuba, said he hopes the Argentine pope continues to press for full human rights on the communist island.

“The Holy Father wishes to express his warm congratulations for the historic decision taken by the Governments of the United States of America and Cuba to establish diplomatic relations, with the aim of overcoming, in the interest of the citizens of both countries, the difficulties which have marked their recent history,” the Holy See said in a statement.

“In recent months, Pope Francis wrote letters to the President of the Republic of Cuba, His Excellency Mr Raúl Castro, and the President of the United States, The Honorable Barack H. Obama, and invited them to resolve humanitarian questions of common interest, including the situation of certain prisoners, in order to initiate a new phase in relations between the two Parties,” the statement continued.

“The Holy See received Delegations of the two countries in the Vatican last October and provided its good offices to facilitate a constructive dialogue on delicate matters, resulting in solutions acceptable to both Parties. The Holy See will continue to assure its support for initiatives which both nations will undertake to strengthen their bilateral relations and promote the wellbeing of their respective citizens.”

At a press conference this afternoon, Rubio stressed that he’s “not criticized” the pope’s intervention in the release of Gross, who had been held by Cuba for more than five years.

“I would also ask His Holiness to take up the cause of freedom and democracy, which is critical for a free people, for a people to truly be free. I think the people of Cuba deserve the same chances to have democracy as the people of Argentina have had, where he comes from, as the people of Italy have, where he now lives,” Rubio said. “Obviously, the Vatican’s its own state, but very nearby.”

“My point is I hope that people with that sort of prestige on the world stage will take up the cause of freedom and democracy,” the senator added.

“The Cuban people are the only people in this hemisphere that have not been able to elect a leader in more than 55 or 60 years. It’s outrageous. And for us to basically — for this government under Barack Obama to unilaterally give up all the things they gave up in exchange for nothing on the side of democracy, is unacceptable in my mind.”

A senior administration official told reporters this morning on a conference call that the support of the pope “was important to us, given the esteem with which both the American and Cuban hold the Catholic Church.”

“When President Obama met with Pope Francis, for instance, earlier this year, Cuba was a topic of discussion that got as much attention as anything else that the two of them discussed,” the official said. “So I would — I would say that this — particularly the, you know, the exchange and transfer of prisoners was finalized in that meeting at the Vatican, but we also were able to review the steps that we would each be taking with the — with the Vatican, including the normalization of relations between the countries and the establishment of diplomatic relations. And the Vatican welcomed that news.”

Posted at 12:33 pm on December 17th, 2014 by

Team America: World Pussycat

Looks like the Korean hackers have won:

The country’s top five theater circuits have decided not to play Sony’s The Interview, a knowledgeable source tells The Hollywood Reporter.

Regal Entertainment, AMC Entertainment, Cinemark, Carmike Cinemas and Cineplex Entertainment have all decided against showing the film. Carmike Cinemas confirmed its decision to drop the film on Tuesday. The other chains did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Sony also had no immediate comment.

Hackers raised the threat level directed at the movie on Dec. 16, but Sony refused to back down from its plans to release the film on Dec. 25. Instead, in discussions with exhibitors, it told the exhibitors it was up to them whether or not they played the movie and that Sony would support whatever decision they made.

What next? Will Team America: World Police have to go back for a recut?

YouTube Preview Image

UPDATE: One Texas theater has decided to substitute Team America for the now-vanished Interview. Good for them.

Posted at 11:49 am on December 17th, 2014 by

U.S. Navy Reveals Underwater Spy-Fish-Drone

The U.S. Navy has revealed a new underwater drone named “Ghostswimmer” that looks like a giant blue fin tuna.

“GhostSwimmer will allow the Navy to have success during more types of missions while keeping divers and Sailors safe,” said Michael Rufo, director of Boston Engineering’s Advanced Systems Group. “It swims just like a fish does by oscillating its tail fin back and forth. The unit is a combination of unmanned systems engineering and unique propulsion and control capabilities.”

The spy-fish-drone is 5ft long and weighs 100 lbs. It can swim from 10 inches to 300 feet deep.

“This project and others that we are working on at the CRIC are important because we are harnessing the brainpower and talents of junior Sailors,” said Capt. Jim Loper, department head for Concepts and Innovation, Navy Warfare Development Command. “The opportunity for a young Sailor who has a good idea to get that idea hears, and to get it turned into action, is grater [now]than any other time in our Navy’s history.”

YouTube Preview Image

 

Posted at 11:05 am on December 17th, 2014 by

Scarborough: ‘Jeb and I Are Moderate … We Don’t Set Houses on Fire and Scare Kids’

Who is he referring to?

Posted at 10:24 am on December 17th, 2014 by

The Jarrett-Obama Administration Submits to Yet Another Slave State

First, here’s why our Matriarch-in-Chief Valerie Jarrett (who actually makes all the decisions of consequence) knows she can get away with this:

Compared to some of the other shell games Team Chicago has played on the American people the last 6 years from “if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor” to “if I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon” to “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam,” normalizing relations with Cuba should be easy. A people who no longer understand how to recognize and fight evil won’t understand the message this sends to tyrants and criminals the world over. CNN reports on another prisoner swap deal that should make every American feel a bit degraded:

(Clip via Nomorecocktails.com and Grabien)

The spin from Valerie Jarrett’s White House is that the pope supposedly had something to do with what progressives have wanted to do for decades:

Red State’s Erick Erickson explains the basic Reaganite principle of “peace through strength” and how acts like this undermine it, leading to more aggression from foreign policies:

Here’s the run-down on Alan Gross:

Anyone naive enough to think that this will bring any sort of economic prosperity to the Cuban people, set straight by Michael Moynihan:

Hot Air’s Noah C. Rothman reports on Florida Senator Marco Rubio’s reaction:

Next page: video of Rubio on Fox News responding.

Posted at 9:46 am on December 17th, 2014 by

Journalism: 72 Million Ways to Die

The suicide of American journalism, and the “objective” ideal I grew up with as a young reporter, continues apace, as I noted in this space yesterday and the IBD website mentions today:

Media Malfeasance: In less than two weeks, bombshell stories of a vicious gang rape and a millionaire teen investor were exposed as frauds that never would have made it into print but for gross negligence and liberal bias.

Over the weekend, Jessica Pressler, a “star reporter” at New York magazine, told the story of an underage teen who’d already made $72 million trading stocks on his lunch break. It was part of a series on why people should love the city. The story spread like wildfire, showing up in the New York Post, Marketwatch, the New York Daily News, Fox News and others.

Too good to check, except perfunctorily. The idea that a high school kid (bonus points for his name: Mohammed Islam) could beat the market was irresistible, given the feel-good, Narrative-framing tendencies of the magazine’s writers and editors.

Meanwhile, the University of Virginia gang rape story continues to unravel, exposing new depths of laziness, recklessness and bias at Rolling Stone.

It’s now clear that there were so many holes in “Jackie’s” rape claims that anyone who’d done the minimum of unbiased reporting would have dismissed her as not credible and moved on. But Jackie’s story supported the current liberal belief that sexual assaults are rampant on college campuses. So why doubt her?

Why indeed? There’s a reason that, back in the day, every revolution began be seizing the newspapers and radio stations. The Left understands, far more than the Right, that propaganda is everything — and if it has to kill American journalism to make its points, then so be it.

Over at Sultan Knish, Daniel Greenfield has some typically perceptive thoughts on “Life in Post-Truth America.” Well worth a read.

 

Posted at 9:46 am on December 17th, 2014 by

Final 2014 Election Over: Martha McSally Wins in AZ

167 votes.

It’s been 43 days since Election Day, and Republican Martha McSally has finally and officially been declared the winner in a very close Congressional race.

McSally has won by 167 votes, a Superior Court judge announced this morning.

The original vote count was so close that a recount was required. The original tally showed McSally winning by 161 votes.

McSally ousted incumbent Ron Barber, a Democrat who served one full term and one partial term after Rep. Gabrielle Giffords resigned to recover from injuries from a mass shooting in Tucson in 2011.

Giffords was a fairly centrist Democrat (and former Republican) so the GOP had hoped to maybe pick this seat off in 2012 but they ran an absolutely horrible candidate. This is my hometown, which has been moving very leftward for decades so this pickup is significant, even by such a slim margin.

Posted at 9:22 am on December 17th, 2014 by

N. Korean Hackers Threaten ’9/11′ Attacks — Does the US Government Care?

Bombs away

Bombs away

The dog in the night-time: somebody is making explicit threats against the United States of America over a silly movie but, unless I’ve missed it (other than the routine, obligatory FBI investigation) nobody in Washington seems to care. From Variety:

The Sony hackers have threatened a 9/11-like attack on movie theaters that screen Seth Rogen and James Franco’s North Korean comedy “The Interview,” substantially escalating the stakes surrounding the release of the movie.

“The world will be full of fear,” the message reads. “Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time. (If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.) Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment.”

One would like to think that the aces in Foggy Bottom would be all over this, sending quiet signals to North Korea that a “9/11″-style attack would be met with the strongest possible (i.e. incinerating) response, but Secretary Kerry is probably too busy trying to bring the Israelis to heel to worry about such things.

There have been suspicions that the attack may have been launched by North Korea in retaliation for “The Interview’s” depiction of an assassination attempt on Kim Jong-un. The country has denied involvement but praised the attacks.

The note also threatens people who attend the premiere of “The Interview.” A New York premiere of the film is scheduled to take place Thursday at Sunshine Cinema and has already been scaled down, according to a report in the New York Post. A special screening of the film took place in Los Angeles last week without incident.

Memo to Washington: we in Hollywood will be very, very upset if the Norks nuke the Hollywood Sign.

UPDATE: According to the Daily Beast, Washington green-lighted the film’s ending:

The Daily Beast has unearthed several emails that reveal at least two U.S. government officials screened a rough cut of the Kim Jong-Un assassination comedy The Interview in late June and gave the film—including a final scene that sees the dictator’s head explode—their blessing.

The claim that the State Department played an active role in the decision to include the film’s gruesome death scene is likely to cause fury in Pyongyang. Emails between the Sony Entertainment CEO and a security consultant even appear to suggest the U.S. government may support the notion that The Interview would be useful propaganda against the North Korean regime.

Posted at 8:08 am on December 17th, 2014 by

Elvis Costello Had SNL‘s Number Back in 1977

Elvis Costello

Thirty-seven years ago tonight, Elvis “I wanna bite the hand that’s feeds me” Costello got himself banned from Saturday Night Live.

The full story is here, and in the cosmic scheme of things, it’s kind of goofy:

The Sex Pistols were actually booked for the Dec. 17, 1977, show, but couldn’t make it, which opened the door for Costello, whose debut ‘My Aim Is True’ had just come out in the U.S. Allegedly, Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren had mismanaged their visa applications, so Costello’s drummer, Pete Thomas, sported a T-shirt on ‘SNL’ that night that read, “Thanks, Malc.” The show’s producers also reportedly approached the Ramones about filling in, but they refused. (…)

Costello and the Attractions were touring the area at the time and agreed to perform. His new label tried to tell him what to play on the show — namely, his latest U.K. single ‘Less Than Zero.’ But Costello felt that the song (about a particularly vilified English politician named Oswald Mosley, leader of the Union of Fascists) wasn’t likely to resonate with Americans.

So, a few bars in, Costello stepped to the microphone on live television and said, “I’m sorry, ladies and gentlemen, but there’s no reason to do this song here.” The Attractions then launched into a scorching version of ‘Radio Radio,’ creating a decades-plus rift between Costello and ‘SNL.’

Young readers are probably (rightly) going, “Uh, so what?”

But if you’re as old as I am, the kerfuffle was a really big deal at the time.

We know all the details by heart.

What can I say? We didn’t have a lot else to do.

Except I learned some new tidbits from UltimateClassicRock…

Posted at 7:56 am on December 17th, 2014 by

John Thune for President?

The third-ranking Senate Republican, who stirred anxiety in the Democratic National Committee with fears that he would run in 2012, hasn’t ruled out a run for the White House in 2016.

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), 53, has been in the upper chamber since his high-profile oust of Majority Leader Tom Daschle in the 2004 election. He is currently chairman of the Republican Conference.

Thune told The Hill that the 2016 option isn’t on or off the table.

“The things I need to be doing right now I’m not doing and a lot of other people are,” he said. “But you never close the door on anything, you never know what’s going to happen. But as of right now, no.”

Thune, who is up for Senate re-election in 2016, is expected to take the chairmanship of the Senate Commerce Committee in the new GOP-majority 114th Congress.

“I am not actively pursuing [the presidency] at the moment; I’ve got my work cut out for me in the Senate,” he said. “I think being in the majority, and if all things work out here, the committee chairmanship, is going to keep me extremely busy.”

In July 2010, DNC Executive Director Jennifer O’Malley Dillon told the Huffington Post that there was just one prospective Republican candidate who scared her, and he was never a Pennsylvania senator.

“This is personal but John Thune is somebody that I have nightmares about,” she said. “I’ve worked for Tim Johnson and Tom Daschle and he is just a guy you can’t ever count out. He has his head down and is doing some policy stuff. [You] just got to start looking at him.”

Posted at 7:30 am on December 17th, 2014 by

Afghan Taliban That Kills Children Condemns Pakistani Taliban for Killing Children

The Taliban in Afghanistan, who have tried to mold themselves into negotiating partners as they continue attacks on civilians and military across the country, issued a statement condemning the Pakistani Taliban attack on a public school that killed 145 — most of those children.

“An attack has occurred on a school in the city of Peshawar in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan this morning at around 10:00 am local time. Information from the area suggests that so far some 200 people have been killed and wounded in the incident most of whom are said to be children,” spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement.

“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan expresses its condolences over the incident and mourns with the families of killed children,” he said. “The intentional killing of innocent people, women and children goes against the principles of Islam and every Islamic government and movement must adhere to this fundamental essence.”

“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has always condemned the killing of children and innocent people at every juncture. Messages of condolences were also released a while back regarding the blasts at a playground in Yahya Khel district of Paktika province and a mosque in Nangarhar province and those acts were considered against the principles of Islam.”

The Afghan Taliban have short memories, as just a couple of weeks ago they murdered a South African father running an education charity and his two children in Kabul. In a March attack on the Hotel Serena in Kabul, the Taliban murdered two young girls, taking out a 2-year-old boy’s entire family. Marketplace bombs indiscriminately kill young and old. The Afghan Taliban throw acid on girls as they try to go to school, and throw hand grenades into girls’ classrooms.  And last month in Farah province an Afghan mother took up arms and took out a number of Taliban after they killed her son, vowing to defend her family from the terrorists to the last bullet.

At the Pentagon yesterday, press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said the U.S. wouldn’t “target Taliban simply by virtue of the fact that they’re Taliban.”

“It’s about what you’re doing, and if you’re going to conduct terrorist attacks, it doesn’t matter what I.D. cards you’re carrying. We have the authorities to act in our own self-defense and self-defense of our Afghan partners.”

A reporter from the region asked if the Pentagon sees a difference between Pakistani and Afghan Taliban, noting that “Talibans are Taliban, whether they’re Pakistani or Afghani, because they were all once trained and financed by the Pakistans inside Pakistan.”

“I’m sure you don’t expect me to try to defend the murder and the slaughter of innocent kids at a school. So I’m not even going to try to do that,” Kirby said.

“On your question about the Taliban, and we’ve said this before, we don’t look at them as one homogeneous group. Do they share certain ideologies? Yes. And a radical view of the Muslim faith? Yes. And a belief that terror and murder and violence is a way to pursue those goals? Yes,” he continued.

“But we also recognize that there are sub-groups within those who call themselves Taliban who have different, more specific goals and objectives, whether it’s geographically bound or ideologically bound. So, I am not an expert on all the different groups, but we know some are more directed at Afghanistan. They direct their activities in Afghanistan. Some direct their efforts more inside Pakistan against the Pakistani government and Pakistani people. The point is that they — it’s all terrorism. And it’s all a common threat that we face along that spine between Afghanistan and Pakistan, a border which exists only on the map as you look at it, and not necessarily in the eyes of the people that live there, and certainly not in the eyes of the terrorists that use it as safe haven and sanctuary. Which is why we’ve been for so long pursuing a tripartite relationship, at least from the American perspective, between us, Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

In May, the Obama administration traded five senior Taliban leaders for the exchange of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. That follows long-running attempts from the White House to negotiate with the Taliban before the planned exit of U.S. troops at the end of the year.

Posted at 6:56 am on December 17th, 2014 by

Open Letter to Theater Owners about The Interview: Please Show This Terrible Movie

Dear Theater Owners of America,

Please resist the temptation to cancel showings of the new Seth Rogen/James Franco movie The Interview, merely because anonymous, possibly North Korean, hackers have threatened to turn your multiplexi into lakes of fire.

I’m not asking you to show this movie because I want to see it: I don’t. I won’t. From the previews, it looks like most Hollywood comedies — a plausible comedic scenario skinned bare of surprise and delight by sophomoric sex jokes and overly graphic violence. Subtlety is dead. Or as they say in Hollywood: “Subtlety is F%$&#ing dead from having its face melted off and head exploded in extreme closeup during sex with an amputee stripper.”

And I’m not even pressing you to show it on Christmas day, as planned. You should release it now, the sooner the better, for national security reasons.

That’s because Seth Rogen and James Franco — two affable mediocrities — represent the heart of what makes this country great. Only in America can you create such a tawdry and tedious work of artless, and get paid a combined $15 million for several months of work. In the process, Rogen and Franco’s debauch of Crosby & Hope has employed countless thousands of people, most of whom are vastly more skilled than the dyspeptic duo above the title.

But it’s not for economic reasons you must show it. It’s because…America!

Now, I understand why Sony is backpedaling from its own production. To a foreign firm America may simply mean fatter margins to go with the wider theater seats. But to us, America means that a man can stand up and say any cockamamy thing that passes through his public-schooled brain without fear of government retribution, and certainly without kowtowing before the porcine princeling of Pyongyang.

While the hackers have threatened 9/11-style attacks on theaters and nearby subdivisions, their threat bears the earmarks of the Kim dynasty.

Warning

We will clearly show it to you at the very time and places “The Interview” be shown, including the premiere, how bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to.

Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made.

The world will be full of fear.

Remember the 11th of September 2001.

We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time.

(If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.)

Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

All the world will denounce the SONY.

CUT TO: Theater audience roaring with laughter.

Posted at 6:46 am on December 17th, 2014 by

It’s Called Obama Privilege

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In an interview with People magazine, Michelle Obama gets serious about “the impact of stereotypes” in the “wake” of the Brown and Garner incidents:

“Before that, Barack Obama was a black man that lived on the South Side of Chicago, who had his share of troubles catching cabs,” Mrs. Obama said in the Dec. 10 interview appearing in the new issue of PEOPLE. 

“I tell this story – I mean, even as the first lady – during that wonderfully publicized trip I took to Target, not highly disguised, the only person who came up to me in the store was a woman who asked me to help her take something off a shelf. Because she didn’t see me as the first lady, she saw me as someone who could help her. Those kinds of things happen in life. So it isn’t anything new.” 

Word to the wise: The next time someone asks you to help them with an item on a shelf, they’re obviously racist. Michelle probably wanted to reply, “Can’t you see I’m the first lady?!” but instead checked her privilege. I’m sure she rewarded herself for that at Bergdorf’s later.

The president also chimed in:

Posted at 6:23 am on December 17th, 2014 by

Obama Signs Massive $1.1T Spending Bill into Law

Yesterday, President Obama quietly signed the contentious $1.1 trillion spending bill into law. The bill will keep the government funded for nine more months.

Fox News writes: “The measure retains cuts negotiated in previous budget battles and rolls back some banking regulations. But it also retains spending for Obama’s health care law and pays for the administration’s fight against Ebola.”

The Department of Homeland Security will only be funded until February 27, 2015.

The agreement, negotiated mainly by Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid and House and Senate Republican leaders, was the result of a determined effort by House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell to avoid a government shutdown like the partial one in 2013 that damaged the GOP’s standing with the public.

Not all Republicans were pleased with the negotiations. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) “chafed” at Republican leadership’s refusal to use the spending bill to challenge Obama’s executive amnesty plan that would “shield more than 4 million immigrants from deportation and make them eligible for work permits.”

On the other hand, liberals were unhappy with a provision “that did away with a requirement that large banks spin off their lucrative derivatives business into separate subsidiaries” and certain changes to campaign finance reform laws.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted at 4:22 am on December 17th, 2014 by

James Franco, Seth Rogen Cancel Press Tour after Threats Surround The Interview

After hackers threatened a “9/11 style” attack against the The Interview premiere, the movie’s stars have cancelled their press tour.

The movie is a comedy about a pair of journalists who are enlisted by the CIA to assassinate Kim Jung-un.

The duo cancelled appearances on “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “Watch What Happens Live,” a Yahoo interview, and a Buzzfeed Brews event in New York on Tuesday that was cancelled just a few hours before it was supposed to take place.

“The world will be full of fear,” states the scary message. “Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time. (If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.) Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment.”

North Korea is thought to be behind the attack because of the movie’s subject matter, but they have denied any involvement in the attacks but said the hack was “righteous deed.”

 

 

Posted at 3:50 am on December 17th, 2014 by

Cheers! Menus to List Calorie Count of Alcohol Drinks

More from the nanny statists at the Food and Drug Administration:

Restaurant menus will now list the calorie count for your booze of choice.

New menu labeling rules from the Food and Drug Administration will require chain restaurants with 20 or more outlets to list the amount of calories in alcoholic drinks, along with other foods, on menus by next November. The idea is that people often don’t know – or even think about – how many calories they are imbibing.

I don’t buy this at all. If people care about calories, they know the calorie count of what they eat and drink. How many apps are there available to download on one’s cell phone that provide calorie counts to those who are interested in such information? A lot.

Fortunately, alcoholic beverages ordered at the bar or drinks that are not listed on the main menu will not be required to list calorie counts. Hint to restaurants: have a separate menu for your alcohol.

Public health advocates, aka “busybodies,” say the required restaurant labeling is a first step.

“Alcoholic beverages are a key contributor to the calories Americans are consuming, and most of the time when people have a drink they have absolutely no idea what its caloric impact is,” says Margo Wootan of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Her group petitioned the government more than a decade ago to require that bottles and cans be labeled with robust nutritional information.

Initially, the FDA exempted alcohol-based drinks from listing the calorie count. “The FDA’s proposed menu labeling rules in 2011 exempted alcohol. But FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said the agency decided to include it in the final rules this year after those who commented on the rule were largely in favor of such labeling because of its potential impact on public health.”

Of course there was pushback from the liquor industry. They argued the industry was already regulated by the Treasury Department (and of course, where do you think the “A” in “ATF” comes from? The DOJ.)  The alcohol industry argued that Treasury’s regulation has “well served the consuming public.”

For those keeping count, the alcohol industry is regulated by no fewer than THREE agencies: Treasury, the DOJ and the FDA.

But take heart, the requirements are meant not to be “burdensome” for the industry or for restaurants. The FDA will allow “estimates” to be used for the countless combinations of fancy mixed drinks.  “That means menus will list the average amount of calories in a glass of red or white wine, but won’t list calories by every brand of wine on the wine list. Same with beers and spirits.”

The labeling rules have “more of an indirect effect on our business,” says Wendell Lee of the California-based Wine Institute. Lee says brand-specific menu calorie labels could be especially burdensome on the wine industry, where every vintage and varietal is different.

Yet another regulating agency, the Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Trade and Tax Bureau told the liquor industry they could put serving sizes and calorie count on their labels. Alcohol labeling laws are “complicated” because of course they are.

Wines containing 14 percent or more alcohol by volume must list alcohol content. Wines that are 7 percent to 14 percent alcohol by volume may list alcohol content or put “light” or “table” wine on the label. “Light” beers must list calorie and carbohydrate content. Liquor must list percent alcohol content by volume and may also list proof, a measure of alcoholic strength.

The Alcohol and Tobacco Trade and Tax Bureau said it’s important that the labeling doesn’t “mislead the consumer.”

Posted at 3:33 am on December 17th, 2014 by