Saturday, November 26, 2011

Music Break: Caetano Does Dylan

Caetano Veloso is often called "the Bob Dylan of Brazil." Which is a crock. It's just the media's compulsive need to pigeonhole everyone and everything. They're simply contemporaries, is all. But one thousand years from now, if there's still a human race, people will be playing their songs.

FROM one genius to another:

Friday, November 25, 2011

WINGNUT WATCH: Dedicated to Michele Bachmann, "Lyin' Ass Bitch"!

C'mon Michele, you crazy-ass Lyin'  B*%$ [or, insert appropriate adjective] ... Can't you recognize GOOD MUSIC when you hear it?


Just be thankful Jimmy Fallon didn't introduce you with this:

If You're A Female U.S. Citizen And Journalist In Egypt, State Will Protect You ... Maybe.

Count on getting off easy with fractured arms, beatings, and sexual assault. And the "fuckings" (also known as fascist thugs in these parts) could have been worse if not for the intervention of the State Department on behalf of award winning American journalist Mona Eltahawy, whose tweets describing her harrowing experience while "detained" in Cairo's Interior Ministry can be read here.

Isn't it ironic that the right in this country continues to believe such torture and sexual assault are just fine as long as Americans do it? After all, this assault on an American journalist in Cairo happened the same week Republican candidates for president presented a near-unanimous front trumpeting torture as a valuable foreign policy weapon, one candidate breezed past serious allegations of sexual assault (similar to what Ms Eltahawy suffered — the groping of her crotch area), and peaceful street demonstrators were harshly repressed by riot-geared military police (in the South American dictatorships of the 70s and 80s, these types were known as "milicos"), and sprayed with a known lethal agent.

Imagine the conversation between Egyptian authorities and the U.S. embassy in Cairo as it demanded the release of Ms Eltahawy: After watching the GOP debates on CNN and those images of peaceful demonstrators being pepper sprayed, they very likely laughed in our face. In truth, if not for all the military aid we give Egypt, we'd have zero leverage with them in such matters as conforming to international human rights law, much less the UN Convention against torture. Ms Eltahawy is one brave, plucky woman. They broke her bones but not her spirit. She posted this picture to make sure the thugs got the message. American exceptionalism:

Look Out MSM: The Ironic News Report Is On The Hunt

Julianna Forlano is very good; funny stuff:
This week's edition covers Herman Cain, The Vatican, and Occupy Wall Street. Can there be satire about Occupy Wall Street that doesn't denigrate Occupy Wall Street? We think so.

Hosted by Julianna Forlano, The Ironic News Report is a satirical news parody that skewers politics and current events.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

HISTORIANS RULE!

 Here's Why: Not long ago I wrote in this blog that historian Douglas Brinkley of Rice University was one of my favorites. Education counts. Scholars like Dr. Brinkley have dedicated their lives to making this world and the natural environment we enjoy, and ought to treasure, a better place by educating the rest of us of the desperate need to preserve our natural patrimony. Before it's too late.

Douglas Brinkley's credits are impressive, covering the broad sweep of American history, from the Louisiana Purchase to the present day, through the Cold War and a history of the Ford Motor Company, to Hurricane Katrina and points inbetween. Awesome. Incredibly awesome. But my favorite of Brinkley's credits, establishing his bona fides as a Georgian-born historian who totally ROCKS are these:
Brinkley is the literary executor for his late friend, the journalist Hunter S. Thompson. He is the editor of a three-volume collection of Thompson's letters:
  • Volume 1: The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967. Published April 7, 1998.
  • Volume 2: Fear And Loathing In America: The Brutal Odyssey of an Outlaw Journalist. Published December 13, 2000. 
  • Volume 3: The Mutineer: Rants, Ravings, and Missives from the Mountaintop, 1977-2005. Scheduled for 2012.
        Today at a Congressional hearing Professor Brinkley became the embodiment of enlightenment pushing back against the destructive blight of ignorance and wanton corporate greed, my own personal interpretation of Dylan Thomas's "do not go gentle into that good night ... Rage, rage against the dying of the light." The accelerating totality of tragic environmental news, of nature critically wounded by our own hand, renders any good news at all, however small, of someone standing up for our environment, against drilling in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge, standing up for what's right — a cause for celebration.

        When Rep. Don Young, a right wing anti-environment crackpot from Alaska, mistakenly referred to Dr. Brinkley as "Mr. Rice" and called his pro-wildlife testimony "garbage," Dr. Brinkley responded in kind: "It's Dr. Brinkley. Rice is a university. I know you went to Yuba College and couldn't graduate." Dr. Brinkley stood his ground and said what he had come to say, as Rep. Young slunk back to the rock he'd crawled out from.


        In the spirit of Bobby Kennedy's "tiny ripple of hope," well done, sir. Well done.

        Lean Forward Suits Divine New Show For Poli-SEER

        Democratic Party rising star and MSNBC commentator with the perfect pundit's name, Kristal Ball, is slated to get her own network show with the perfect title — 'The Krystal Ball show — following the venerable Andrea Mitchell, according to sources close to this blog's imagination.

        The suits are excited about promoting the 'Three Amigas' back-to-back to back lineup of Alex Wagner, Andrea and Krystal. Ms Ball broke her maiden for the Dylan Ratigan stable of lovelies before being claimed by aggressive Dylan rival Martin Bashir, heightening tensions and sensitivities between the two. Meanwhile, Alex Wagner took the opportunity to poach from Dylan's power lineup the highly rated Euro import, Imogen Lloyd Webber, daughter of the great composer, prompting Dylan to accuse Martin of stealing his best guests after the talented Karen Finney showed up on Bashir's turf. "But Dylan," Martin retorted innocently, "you've still got Jimmy Williams."

        Krystal's first guests are to be Martin Bashir and Dylan Ratigan, with an innovation: Dylan will be making sage pronouncements from Krystal's crystal ball about our corrupt "auction-based" political system:


        PS — Just funnin' Dylan, Martin et al. Have a good holiday, gentlemen and lady!

        Romney Ad Postcript: Not Quite Jason ...

        But point taken. I've blasted MSNBC incessantly for not calling a spade a spade and a lie a LIE. Keith was the best at it, so much so that he parted ways with his corporate masters at MSNBC. Big Eddie has planted his working class flag and muscled the power to say it, and there isn't much the suits can do about it, given his following. But they always have the last word, ironically. The Rev's been good that way. Rachel, well, that's not her style, but she pretty much lays it out. And the Irish in Lawrence makes him good for it:


        But then MSNBC hires a professional partisan LIAR in Michael Steele to swell the ranks of its reactionary pundit-interlopers, and the clarity of truth is lost, just in time for the elections. Good one, GOP! Just make sure you give Michael whatever medal it is you have for MSM moles in whatever coven it is you conduct these secret ceremonies. BTW, Chris, your GOP elephant logo is WAY OUT OF DATE and incorrect. The stars aren't properly misaligned. Why isn't the GOP elephant logo truthfully represented in your graphics? Could it be ... SATAN!?

        Steele MSNBC Trainwreck Continues: "Michael. Michael. Michael ..."

        Michael Steele, Republican political hack par excellence disrupts Hardball segment by filibustering when asked, once again, to defend the indefensible latest outrageous LIE from the Romney campaign, as Chris loses control of the skit. That's what it's become, right, every time Michael comes on. (Don't say I didn't warn you suits, right from the get-go:) This guy is a GOP operative, a political hack who has contributed NOTHING to the honest political discourse that viewers of the only half-assed "progressive" cable channel are minimally entitled to. Instead, we get all this hard-baked spin, GOP talking points, and LIES from a loyal Republican mole. There is NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING Michael Steele has said about Republican politics that is in any way insightful or illuminating. Not that he doesn't have any illuminating insights; but he's NOT SHARING, because he remains a loyal Republican insider's insider. Michael Steele is NOT a free agent!

        Here's your proof, MSNBC imbeciles: Pull up the transcript and show your audience where, since becoming an MSNBC "political analyst," has Michael said this about any of the Republican candidates like, for instance, Newt Gingrich:
        Gingrich’s is an amazingly efficient candidacy, in that it embodies almost everything disagreeable about modern Washington. He’s the classic rental politician. People think his problem is his colorful personal life. He’s gonna hope people concentrate on that, rather than on, for example, ethanol. Al Gore has recanted ethanol. Not Newt Gingrich, who has served the ethanol lobby. Industrial policy of the sort that got us Solyndra — he’s all for it. Freddie Mac, he says, hired him as a "historian." He’s not a historian. Hire Sean Wilentz, hire Gordon Wood if you want a historian.
        Guess who said this on Sunday last — George F. Will. Yes, the very same archetypal, respected conservative pundit. How's that for prescient, incisive political analysis from one conservative to another, heaping merciless scorn on Newt Gingrich? Lawrence was positively giddy about reporting it; but isn't that the kind of candid political assessment that Steele was hired to deliver? You've been had, MSNBC suits. What a pathetic bunch of morons, increasing dead substance air time proportionate to Steele's appearances which the audience must choose (or not) to endure. Watch:


        We were spared more of the slo-mo Steele trainwreck when Chris, having totally lost control switched gears to the racist "uppity" remarks of Rush Limbaugh, the titular leader of the Republican Party. An opening for Steele as Chris and Democratic loser extraordinaire Bob Schrum remained monkishly silent. Steele didn't quite condemn it or call Limbaugh an outright racist, but he struck the right notes. Except for this. I'm looking at Michael Steele as the former Chairman of the RNC who did a creditable job leading his party to historic midterm victories. As an African American in that position, I think he was instrumental in convincing independents that the party was "normal" now — instead of the manipulative Michael Steele facade, and a handful of others' — such that the voters' initial unease, their suspicion this was still a racist party no longer obtained. But when asked why racist attitudes such as Limbaugh's still existed in his party, all Steele could muster was a tepid, "I don't know."

        That's not very convincing. Michael Steele is a master of the rationalization bordering on the outright partisan lie. He can spin with the best of them and he's been spinning hard ever since his arrival at MSNBC. I have never understood African Americans who are Republicans, especially those who choose to become party operatives while enduring a barrage of racism directed mostly at Democrats and toward our first African American president. But when Steele floats the BIG GOP LIE to Chris of the false equivalence between Republican and Democratic political ads, brushing off the Orwellian Romney ad which attributes to the President words he QUOTED from the McCain campaign — "If we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose" — as if the President said them of his own campaign, an outrageous LIE that is perfectly fine to the ethically obtuse, then Steele is nothing but a politician without a shred of honor for whom almost every lie or bigotry is "fair game" as long as the targets have a (D) before their names.

        During his sophomoric filibuster against noted Democratic loserman, Bob Schrum, Steele kept insisting the Democrats have done the same things, but couldn't come up with a single example. Here's your chance, Michael. Justify this:

        Tuesday, November 22, 2011

        Sieg Heil FOX! Wanna Play PEPPER Fraulein Megyn, Bill-O Ze Nasi Clown?

        According to the FOX whores, Bill-O Ze Nasi Clown and Fraulein Megyn, it's a "food product." Never mind that it burns the eyes, skin, causes inflammation of respiratory passages, lungs, respiratory distress, and is a lethal agent:
        In the 1990s, the Justice Department listed nearly 70 deaths it said were linked to the use of pepper-spray. A few years later, the ACLU pressed California's Supreme Court to classify pepper-spray as dangerous and cruel, likening it to "a kind of chemical cattle prod on nonviolent demonstrators resisting arrest." The organization further claimed that its use "constitutes excessive force and violates the Constitution."

        THE EFFECTS OF PEPPER SPRAY — SOURCE: UC POLICE DEPARTMENT

        HOW'S THIS "FOOD PRODUCT" FEEL, FOX WHORES, EH? C'MON BILL-O, BE A MAN AND TAKE IT. SHOW US HOW 'BENIGN' IT REALLY IS.

        OOPS ... Republicans Blamed For "Supercommittee" FAIL

        Look at it this way; most Republicans on the so-called "supercommittee" are forging their real careers as multi-millionaire lobbyists. Their hero isn't Ronald Reagan; it's Grover Norquist. And for iconic GOP legendary status in gaming the system, it's Jack Abramoff, America's most corrupt lobbyist. That 60 Minutes story exposing the boastful Norquist preening about his power over the GOP Congress was an eye-opener for millions of Americans. Unless they're really tuned into inside politics, most Americans have no idea who this "rathead" is, to coin his term for those who refused to sign the Norquist no-taxes pledge. But they can smell a rat and a phony when they see one. He's got most Republicans in Congress in his hip pocket.
        Voters blame Republicans over the president and his congressional allies 44% to 38%. Independent voters blame Republicans 44% to 35%.
        Interestingly, the Roll Call story, in a manner emblematic of Beltway Media bias, tries to make hay of the finding that a plurality of respondents favors a cuts-only approach. It's almost as if they're digging for dirt on Democrats, pulling this weed out: "But Hispanics, a key voting block in next year’s election, favored a cuts-only approach, 52% to 37%." Hmm ... Typical Latino voter: (a) no tax hikes for the super rich and cuts only to programs Latinos like, (b) electrified fences, and shoot-to-kill at the border, (c) papers please laws in red states (GOP program), versus immigration reform, expanding voter franchise, protecting programs popular with Latinos (Democrats) ... vamos pesar la balanza. "But Republicans can take heart that their approach has a plurality of support." Riiiight. Here's the poll finding, in context:
        A debt-reduction plan should include spending cuts only, 49 percent of voters say, while 39 percent want a mix of tax hikes and spending cuts. Support for spending cuts only is 73 - 21 percent among Republicans and 45 - 41 percent among independent voters, while Democrats want a mix of cuts and tax hikes 56 - 33 percent. Support for cuts only is 52 - 32 percent among voters making less than $30,000 per year, dropping to 51 - 41 percent among voters making more than $100,000 per year. White voters with a college degree support a mix of cuts and tax hikes 52 - 41 percent while white voters with no college degree want cuts only 55 - 33 percent.
        As usual, it all comes down to education. The more affluent and college educated the respondents are, the greater the support for a mix of cuts and tax hikes even though, theoretically, it might impact their pocketbooks. Why the poll makes a distinct finding for "white voters with a college education" is unclear and more than a bit disturbing. Thanks to the Idiot Punditocracy, to Beltway Media outlets like Roll Call, and the MSM generally for keeping American voters in a dumbed-down state of confusion unlike any other voters in developed democracies.

        Monday, November 21, 2011

        The Supercommittee Is Dead; Long Live Electoral Democracy!

        My favorite columnist, Nobel economics laureate Paul Krugman, writes what many progressives believe of the infamous "supercommittee" of Democrats and Republicans brought together to ostensibly find $1.2 trillion, give or take, in cuts to our budget. Reasonable progressives will agree with Paul that eventually we need to match spending and revenue, but that it is also a discussion about fundamental values. What kind of country are we, have been, and aspire to be? Those are the questions we should ask before a single cut is made to a social program, or Social Security, or Medicare/Medicaid.

        Now that the not so "super" committee of dubious constitutionality is officially dead, President Obama has vowed to veto any weasely scheme that attempts to exempt the $500 billion in defense cuts that would kick in automatically without an agreement. Democrats, for their part, refuse to entertain any cuts to Social Security and Medicare without a raise in taxes from the super rich. Would this sudden spine on the Democratic side have developed absent the Occupy Wall Street movement? The Occupy movement has changed the national conversation from budget austerity and cuts to the poor and middle class, to income inequality and policies that favor the super-rich at the exclusion of 99 percent of the population.

        This Tea Party Congress, it should be noted, which stands at 12 percent approval, has done nothing but obstruct Democrats from governing. It's time to take the issue to the voters. Democrats can, and will, solve the problem. They need a public mandate and a filibuster-proof Congress. In the alternative, the defeat of the Democrats and President Obama will enshrine the most extreme right wing Supreme Court in generations. Should that happen, it’s game over for the country. The next president will very likely have at least two Supreme Court appointments, one from the right wing 5-justice cabal, and another from the centrist 4-justice minority. This reality supersedes any efforts to “get money out of politics” or constitutional amendments which will go nowhere. Only a 5-4 center-left shift in the balance of power will ensure the reversal of the Citizens United decision.

        Those are the stakes. 

        Failure Is Good
        By PAUL KRUGMAN

        It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a complete turkey! It’s the supercommittee!

        By next Wednesday, the so-called supercommittee, a bipartisan group of legislators, is supposed to reach an agreement on how to reduce future deficits. Barring an evil miracle — I’ll explain the evil part later — the committee will fail to meet that deadline.

        If this news surprises you, you haven’t been paying attention. If it depresses you, cheer up: In this case, failure is good.

        Why was the supercommittee doomed to fail? Mainly because the gulf between our two major political parties is so wide. Republicans and Democrats don’t just have different priorities; they live in different intellectual and moral universes.

        In Democrat-world, up is up and down is down. Raising taxes increases revenue, and cutting spending while the economy is still depressed reduces employment. But in Republican-world, down is up. The way to increase revenue is to cut taxes on corporations and the wealthy, and slashing government spending is a job-creation strategy. Try getting a leading Republican to admit that the Bush tax cuts increased the deficit or that sharp cuts in government spending (except on the military) would hurt the economic recovery.

        Moreover, the parties have sharply different views of what constitutes economic justice.

        Democrats see social insurance programs, from Social Security to food stamps, as serving the moral imperative of providing basic security to our fellow citizens and helping those in need.

        Republicans have a totally different view. They may soft-pedal that view in public — in last year’s elections, they even managed to pose as defenders of Medicare — but, in private, they view the welfare state as immoral, a matter of forcing citizens at gunpoint to hand their money over to other people. By creating Social Security, declared Rick Perry in his book “Fed Up!”, F.D.R. was “violently tossing aside any respect for our founding principles.” Does anyone doubt that he was speaking for many in his party?

        So the supercommittee brought together legislators who disagree completely both about how the world works and about the proper role of government. Why did anyone think this would work?

        Well, maybe the idea was that the parties would compromise out of fear that there would be a political price for seeming intransigent. But this could only happen if the news media were willing to point out who is really refusing to compromise. And they aren’t. If and when the supercommittee fails, virtually all news reports will be he-said, she-said, quoting Democrats who blame Republicans and vice versa without ever explaining the truth.

        Oh, and let me give a special shout-out to “centrist” pundits who won’t admit that President Obama has already given them what they want. The dialogue seems to go like this. Pundit: “Why won’t the president come out for a mix of spending cuts and tax hikes?” Mr. Obama: “I support a mix of spending cuts and tax hikes.” Pundit: “Why won’t the president come out for a mix of spending cuts and tax hikes?”

        You see, admitting that one side is willing to make concessions, while the other isn’t, would tarnish one’s centrist credentials. And the result is that the G.O.P. pays no price for refusing to give an inch.

        So the supercommittee will fail — and that’s good.

        For one thing, history tells us that the Republican Party would renege on its side of any deal as soon as it got the chance. Remember, the U.S. fiscal outlook was pretty good in 2000, but, as soon as Republicans gained control of the White House, they squandered the surplus on tax cuts and unfunded wars. So any deal reached now would, in practice, be nothing more than a deal to slash Social Security and Medicare, with no lasting improvement in the deficit.

        Also, any deal reached now would almost surely end up worsening the economic slump. Slashing spending while the economy is depressed destroys jobs, and it’s probably even counterproductive in terms of deficit reduction, since it leads to lower revenue both now and in the future. And current projections, like those of the Federal Reserve, suggest that the economy will remain depressed at least through 2014. Better to have no deal than a deal that imposes spending cuts in the next few years.

        But don’t we eventually have to match spending and revenue? Yes, we do. But the decision about how to do that isn’t about accounting. It’s about fundamental values — and it’s a decision that should be made by voters, not by some committee that allegedly transcends the partisan divide.

        Eventually, one side or the other of that divide will get the kind of popular mandate it needs to resolve our long-run budget issues. Until then, attempts to strike a Grand Bargain are fundamentally destructive. If the supercommittee fails, as expected, it will be time to celebrate.

        MSNBC WATCH: Alex Wagner Tries to Bridge The Gulf Between “Morality” And The GOP. Ouch.

        With a little help from Michael “I spent several years in a monastery” Steele, Megan “I’m such a confused independent Republican but can pronounce ‘New Hamp-SHAR’ like an airhead valley girl” McCain, Willie “The Wingnut” Geist, and well … who cares; might as well tune into Fox for the red meat instead of Alex’s tea parlor wingnut parley. All I can say about Alex: Smart, but youthfully “why can’t we all get along” na├»ve. Alex, we’re so past that. Unless you want to have a frank, no-holds-barred discussion of why that is, such that Michael will start babbling “youse guys” this and “youse guys” that. Call him the LIAR that he is. He really loses his cool because he knows it’s true. And Michael, speaking as a Catholic, there are child abusers who went to monastery, so I'm not impressed.

        Michael, he's one big windbag bullshit machine in need of bursting. Start with the false equivalency on GOP misdeeds (video ad lies) compared to Democrats, and expand outward. And challenge Megan to show her true colors. The smarter she talks, the less she sounds like an airhead. And if Melissa thinks there's no difference between MSNBC and Fox, well then ... never mind.

        Understand, these people are to a significant extent in the grip of generational right wing brainwashing and denial of reality. Watching the show is like watching progressives in name becoming their captors; a progressives “Stockholm Syndrome.” It’s so typical; Melissa, with her natural inclination to get along and be nice, be compassionate, find common ground, until she and Alex leave their intellect, their outrage, and their skepticism in a jar by the door. It’s a common affliction of progressives and liberal-minded people known unofficially as the ‘get along to go along’ syndrome. And so we get this:

        Melissa (paraphrasing): "Well it all depends on what "media" we're talking about — what will MSNBC say about the Tea Party, and what will Fox say about OWS?" HUH ... Nice, Melissa. Really nice. You're a part-time MSNBC host/pundit-without-portfolio (or a clue, I'm beginning to think), and you blithely lump MSNBC together with Fox? Even I wouldn't go that far, but after watching a disgusting snippet or two of Alex's show ... I sort of get your point; I can’t see much difference between the two.

        Next topic: Michelle Obama booed at NASCAR event. Between Michael (think pompous ass politico), “Stepping back and looking at the political landscape ...” Oh, STFU Michael. Please. Just STFU. … And Melissa, are your priorities straight? … “I wouldn’t boo President or Mrs. Bush …” Oh really. Here’s the thing, Melissa: I WOULD BOO President Bush because it’s his policies and actions as president that drove us to where we are today. But I would NOT boo Mrs. Bush because it’s not only disrespectful but it isn’t personal. Neither she nor their kids are politicians promoting destructive policies. The same standard applies to Mrs. Obama. Booing her at a NASCAR event is disrespectful. Booing the President may be, if it's a (borderline; everything's political) nonpolitical event, but it's cricket; those guys and gals are wingnut yahoos and, well, it’s a free country, and if they don’t want health care or a black president, or something ... boo. Hoo.

        Alex, I don’t know to which “family” you refer, but it doesn’t include a large portion of your natural audience. Trust me on this.

        COPS BEHAVING LIKE FASCIST PIGS AT UC-DAVIS

        How can ANYONE justify this at UC-Davis?! The dehumanizing way this fascist scumbag went about spraying these kids as if he's spraying weeds indicates the NAZI RATBASTARD in riot gear has NO BUSINESS BEING A "LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER" OF ANY STRIPE.



        That he and another NAZI were placed on "paid administrative leave" by the university pending an "inquiry" is itself outrageous. WTF do you need to "inquire" about other than what you see on the video and pictures?! RESIGN NOW, UC-DAVIS CHANCELLOR KATEHI! Watch Katehi's WALK OF SHAME past students protesting in silence following a press conference; the student (vid below) who was among those pepper sprayed led the silent shaming of Chancellor Katehi. Here is an eyewitness account:
        A pretty remarkable thing just happened. A press conference, scheduled for *4:00pm* between the UC Davis Chancellor and police with local press on campus, did not end in an hour, as planned. Instead, a mass of Occupy Davis students and sympathizers mobilized outside, demanding to have their voice heard. After some initial confusion, UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi refused to leave the building, attempting to give the media the impression that the students were somehow holding her hostage.

        A group of highly organized students formed a large gap for the chancellor to leave. They chanted “we are peaceful” and “just walk home,” but nothing changed for several hours. Eventually student representatives convinced the chancellor to leave after telling their fellow students to sit down and lock arms (around 7:00pm).

        ME: Chancellor, do you still feel threatened by the students?

        KATEHI: No. No.

        One of the students pepper sprayed yesterday by chemicals that blew into his mouth (he was standing near the students huddled on the ground), a young man wearing a brown down coat over a tie-dye shirt, said he met with Katehi and personally showed her a video of the pepper spraying attack. Speaking to about a thousand students with the “human mic,” the young man said he personally asked for her resignation

        Sunday, November 20, 2011

        Bend It One Last Time, Beckham

        The impact David Beckham has had on U.S. professional soccer cannot be minimized. It's as if one can draw a demarcation line with BB (Before Beckham) on the left side and AB (After Beckham) on the right to trace the league's enhanced national and international profile. More than a "franchise player" for the LA Galaxy, David Beckham has become the "league player" for the MLS.

        In the run-up to the MLS 2011 final between the LA Galaxy and the Houston Dynamo tonight at 9 pm eastern on ESPN, the Galaxy got past Real Salt Lake in a thrilling 3-1 game that had everything except a Beckham goal — he had an assist, which is almost as good. I tuned in and was caught up immediately, despite the football on the other channels. I hope you'll do the same. It promises to be a great final, with Robbie Keane, the Irish goal-scoring machine, hopefully repeating his "hat trick" from the semi, which notched him two great goals. Watch:


        Although Beckham's 5-year stint in the MLS with the LA Galaxy was marred by the failure to deliver a championship — close but no cigar — and by injury — a ruptured achilles tendon in a meaningless off-season game for Milan which kept him out for most of the 2010 MLS season — he came roaring back in 2011 to become MLS Comeback Player of the Year, leading the Galaxy to another championship final with greater prospects for success this time around. At 36, David Beckham may be in the twilight of his playing career, but he has an enviable work ethic for a professional athlete. Said MLS Commissioner Don Garber:
        “The fact that this has been his best year at 36 is pretty remarkable. It’s a tribute to the incredible machine he is and how focused he is on training. He has this identity as a fashionable cultural icon, but at the end of the day, he’s a hard-working, focused sportsman.”
        And it's not a question of being a big fish in a small pond. Beckham is one among many stars in the League today, from French international Thierry Henry for the New York Red Bulls to Landon Donovan and the irrepressible Irish international Robbie Keane for the Galaxy itself. Rather, Beckham's impact was to popularize the game among fans who love him as much for his off-the-field cultural iconic status as for his on-the-field heroics. Ultimately, they're indivisible. That's who David Beckham is. Anyone who's seen the charming film, Bend It Like Beckham, about a young immigrant Indian girl who loves soccer and idolizes Beckham, coming of age in England with dreams of bending a shot like one of David's beauties, understands his positive contribution to that universal culture of dreams and fun and excellence that inspires young people the world over.

        Robbie comes to this final having played two games for Ireland inbetween, but Beckham isn't worried: “Robbie’s Robbie. He wants to play in every game possible. He’ll get his legs back. He’ll be fine.” For David, who is in the final year of his contract, this may be his last game in the MLS. His millions of fans are hoping he'll go out the champion that he is, and that he'll feast our eyes for one more final, one last time, with the magic of his goal-scoring prowess:


        David, whatever you do today, and from this day forward: THANK YOU.
        UPDATE: Galaxy wins the MLS Cup, 1-0, a Landon Donovan goal with a sweet pass from Robbie Keane. It was Beckham to Keane to Donovan = goal. In the post-game interview, Donovan said Beckham was masking a hamstring pull suffered in training and played "on one leg" the entire game. He said it was "an honor" to be David's teammate. These guys are consummate pros and gamers. In the last play of the game, David had a foul shot perfectly profiled for his right foot. He bent it in alright. The goalkeeper made a sturdy save. Congrats to the Galaxy, America's first world class soccer superclub.

        WINGNUT WATCH: Andrew Breitbart Gets Colonial Blowjob; Little Jimmy O'Keefe His Comeuppance ...

        At the risk of inspiring yet another of Rachel's dubious "art project" discoveries, Andrew Breitbart's "acting" debut featuring an "accidental blowjob" is so dreadful that we couldn't have produced a better "Tea Party" mockery if we tried. Look for a coming episode in the Koch Brothers slave quarters of an envelope-pushing TRIcornerHatSOME involving a drunk Andrew Breitbart, a lecherous Grover Norquist and their favorite boy-toy, James (I still lives with my parents in Jersey) O'Keefe. Called Courage, New Hampshire (Vote For Ron Paul), this vanity Tea Party production will get its first screening at a Monrovia, CA movie theater, hosted by gay-bashing Islamophobe idiot Victoria Jackson, best described in a favorite blog as the "has-been-who-never-really was."
        "Since the sound of grown men weeping tends to arouse Breitbart, he then rips off his knickerbockers and receives a blowjob from a man in a tricorner hat. (1:00 in video.) The High Sheriff is subsequently entangled in a gay sex scandal involving a bulletin board in the center of town called Ye Olde Grindour, and lithographed images of his genitals. Surprisingly progressive show."
        BREITBART, THE HARD SHERIFF GRUNTS GUTTURALLY: "AAAAHNHRRRGHH ..." 
        Considering his abject failure at landing a job which will get him out of his parents' home and keep him out of jail, Little Jimmy O'Keefe is now being sued by his own jackals-in-crime as the gang who couldn't shoot, much less point a camera, straight. And with his penchant for wearing provocative outfits, like Scottish kilts (typically worn with no underwear) and fuck-me-I'm-a-whitey-pretend pimp hand-me-downs, it stands to reason Little Jimmy would be in high demand in the sexually repressed male bastions of Rightwingville: