Saturday, December 18, 2004

Intermission

Going to be on vacation next week, and it doesn't look like I'll have easy access to the blog, so hopefully we can reconvene after Christmas. Until then...courage.

Friday, December 17, 2004

The Passion of the Right

Frank Rich (I love this guy) hits another one out of the park in his look at the passion behind THE PASSION, and what precisely it says about the political climate of our day.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

The Trouble with Amazon

You're not likely to find a bigger booster for Amazon.com than yours truly. Still, there's one problem that I noticed a while ago, and according to this article, I wasn't the only one. Luckily, I am one of those people who thought to to Google the words "Amazon" and "phone number."

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Recommended Reading

A great piece by Fred Kaplan about Donald Rumsfeld's inexplicable continued political survival.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Book of the Year

Publishers Weekly has named Jon Stewart's AMERICA as the best book of the year. Read all about it here. Buy the book here. Check out clips from THE DAILY SHOW here.

The Morals Myth

I know we've already flogged this horse into submission pretty well, but here again is another interesting read (registration may be required) that shoots holes in what is basically a media manufactured myth that those nebulous "moral values" trumped issues of terrorism and the economy in deciding the last election.

The Disappearing Middle

Interesting article here, talking about how the recent election has effectively eradicated the moderates in America's political discourse, leaving us basically with two extremes of right and left. Of note, this excerpt which really points out the fact that we don't have as much of a choice in this country as we think when we're talking about Republicans and Democrats:
If you are a conservative state Democrat "you're voting with Bush as much as you possibly can," said Sabato, who said siding with the president will be a matter of surival rather than conviction for some Democrats.

"They want to be re-elected," he said.

If the rift narrows, it will probably be because Democrats become more like conservative Republicans -- rather than the other way around.

Friendly Fire Follies

After the made-for-the-media story of Pfc. Jessica Lynch imploded and was disavowed by Lynch herself, the US Military Media Machine had seemingly found a surrogate in the form of the late Pat Tillman.

What wasn't to love about the all-star footballer who walked away from athletic glory and millions in endorsements to fight for the ol' Red, White, and Blue? Add to this the wrinkle of being tragically gunned down fighting Afghan insurgents (or whatever they're calling them these days), and faster than you can say WAG THE DOG, you've got a story that could give Karl Rove palpitations.

Now, with Tillman's story receding into distant memory, the AP gives us this, implying fairly strongly that Tillman's death was less Alamo and more F-TROOP.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

One More Shoe...

With Tom Ridge's resignation, followed immediately by Bush's nomination of Bernard Kerik as his replacement, it seems as if the administration is marching true to form...at least if you look at Ellis Hannican's play-by-play of Kerik's various "accomplishments."

As a side note, it seems odd to me that the one person who's job you'd think should be in real danger, Rumsfeld, was personally asked by the president to stay at his post. What does that say to you?

Friday, December 03, 2004

Batty

Warner Brothers has released the teaser one-sheet for next summer's BATMAN BEGINS, starring Christian Bale.


  • Needless to say, it appears that they're doing everything possible to consign the memories of Joel Schumacher's ill-conceived BATMAN FOREVER and BATMAN & ROBIN to the dustheap usually reserved for cancelled sitcoms and Pauly Shore vehicles. This is going to be one to watch. You can check out the teaser trailer for this one here.

    The States of TV News

    Frank Rich is back, this time dissecting the news media's current Red State obsession. Here's a bit about Tom Brokaw's replacement, fellow white-guy-in-a-suit Brian Williams:
    ...Mr. Williams, who officially took over as anchor on Dec. 2, is seeking a very specific mandate. "The New York-Washington axis can be a journalist's worst enemy," he told Mr. Johnson, promising to spend his nights in the field in "Dayton and Toledo and Cincinnati and Denver and the middle of Kansas." (So much for San Francisco - or Baghdad.)
    Read more at the link above.

    Wednesday, December 01, 2004

    Recommended Reading

    Thomas Raleigh, a former army colonel, discusses the continuing impact of the Fallujah mosque shootings in this piece written for The Chicago Tribune.

    Some highlights:

    Regardless of what any investigation may eventually reveal (and one hopes that the investigation is transparent), the shooting is bound to have significant foreign policy implications for the United States.
    If the Bush administration fails to swiftly respond to that shooting, that incident will undermine whatever scarce international support remains for the war, and further fan the flames of hostility in the Arab and Muslim worlds toward the United States. The incident could be as damaging to broad U.S. interests in the region as were the abuses uncovered at Abu Ghraib.
    And later:
    The United States must take responsibility for what happened in that mosque. We must unambiguously tell the Arab and Muslim worlds that such behavior is unacceptable. Should we do this, we will at the same time take a significant step toward regaining the trust and confidence of our traditional allies; a trust that we continue to fritter away in stupid and avoidable ways.