7/31/10

Bring Out Your Dead

video

King of Anything

7/29/10

Seth MacFarlane

Sunland Sunflowers

The NewYorker

The Supremes (TAMI Show 10/64)

video

7/26/10

Crusin' Seattle Lakes

Perfect Tune

The Fickle & Fucked Up Electorate

Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Washington —
As campaign foils go, George W. Bush was a very effective one for Democrats in 2006 and 2008, even though his name never appeared on a ballot. But now, as the party seeks to defend the majorities it built based in part on Bush fatigue, Democrats find that invoking the former president's name doesn't pack quite the same punch.

New polling shows that Bush's standing among the electorate remains weak, and that voters for the most part still fault him for the nation's ailing economy. But as President Obama's popularity has stagnated, Democratic strategists say that drawing simple comparisons between the two leaders is not a surefire strategy to move voters their way.

"Our current data brings into question the notion that you can run against Bush and win," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Obviously Bush is not popular. The question is: Does it help Obama to run against the past in debating the future?"

A Quinnipiac survey last week found that Obama's "political honeymoon ended," and put his job approval rating at a new low of 44%. When voters were asked whether he was a better president than Bush, 42% said yes, and 32% said no. The gap was narrower among voters who identify themselves as independents, a potentially troublesome finding for Democrats.

A survey from Gallup released last week found that Bush's personal favorability rating had increased 10 points since the last such poll in 2009. At 45%, it was just 7 points behind Obama's, bringing into question whether attacking the Bush legacy would be very effective.

"All elections are about the future. If Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi [D- San Francisco] doesn't understand that, she might as well hand over the gavel right now," said Scott Stanzel, a former deputy press secretary for the Bush White House.

Democratic strategists concede that they won't be able to use the former president against Republican candidates as they did in past cycles. But they say candidates can find success if they make an aggressive case about whether voters want to return to the policies the Bush administration pursued.

"I think that voters this year are a little bit too smart for boogeyman. You can't just throw out a name and hope that it's going to have an impact," said Nathan Daschle, executive director of the Democratic Governors Assn.

A recent survey from Benenson Strategy Group, which has polled for the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee, specifically tested the potency of the Bush message. When asked to choose between a candidate who would support the Obama economic policies or one who "will start from scratch with new ideas to shrink government, cut taxes and grow the economy," respondents preferred the latter by more than a 2-1 ratio.

But when the generic conservative message is substituted with asking about a candidate "who will go back to President Bush's economic policies," voters chose a candidate who would support the Obama policies by a 15-point margin.

The challenge for Democrats is that the same poll found that only 25% of voters believed a new Republican majority in Congress would promote "a new economic agenda that is different from George W. Bush's policies."

"It's an opportunity to make sure that voters understand that electing these Republicans will mean a return to the policies of the past," said Eric Schultz, a spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Bush has maintained a fairly low profile in his post-presidency. That may change with the release of his autobiography this year. But the planned timing of that release is notable: Nov. 9, one week after the midterm election.

mmemoli@tribune.com

Copyright © 2010, The Los Angeles Times

7/22/10

My Apology by Woody Allen

video

KO

7/21/10

Francisco Cuts Down the Shamel Ash

video

Stacking Pita

video

I Apologize (08/06)

video

7/20/10

Wanna Be

video

7/19/10

7/18/10

Harper's Index

Total campaign contributions Barack Obama received from BP between 2004 and 2009 : $77,051
Number of politicians who accepted more in donations from BP during that period : 0
Factor by which BP’s 2010 first-quarter profits exceed its $75-million liability cap for the Gulf oil spill : 75
Percentage of “willful” violations by U.S. oil refiners since 2007 that occurred at BP plants, according to OSHA : 97
Percentage of stock-dividend payments made by British companies last year that were from BP : 12
Percentage of all U.S. derivatives that are currently held by five finance firms : 97
Projected amount U.S. state and local governments will lose this year on interest-rate swaps with banks : $1,600,000,000
Estimated amount the Greek government will lose due to tax evasion : $18,000,000,000
Percentage of their personal income Americans paid in taxes last year : 17
Last year in which Americans paid so little : 1971
Percentage of all U.S. personal income last year that came from wages and government programs, respectively : 52, 17
Number of years since record keeping began in 1929 that these fi gures have been so low and so high, respectively : 0
Percentage change since 2007 in the hourly wage of an American man with a postgraduate degree : +26
Percentage change for a high school dropout : –16
Percentage change since 2007 in the median wealth of white Americans and African Americans, respectively : –34, –77
Minimum number of African Americans running as Republicans in this year’s congressional elections : 32
Last year in which an African-American Republican was elected to the House : 2001
Number of immigrants deported during George W. Bush’s first year as president : 116,782
Number deported during Obama’s first year : 387,790
Percentage of Americans in a May survey who thought hiring an illegal immigrant should be a criminal offense : 73
Percentage who thought churches should be required to report illegal immigrants : 33
Percentage of Pakistanis who hold a favorable opinion of China and of the United States, respectively : 84, 16
Number of nuclear reactors currently under construction in China : 23
Date on which the only confirmed survivor of both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic-bomb attacks died : 1/4/2010
Number of Medals of Honor awarded to U.S. soldiers in World War II : 464
Number awarded so far in Iraq and Afghanistan : 6
Percentage of all countries that hold “prisoners of conscience,” according to Amnesty International : 30
Percentage of G-20 countries that do : 42
Price of an I ♥ DPRK FOOTBALL onesie from a North Carolina sports-apparel company : $12.99
Percentage of Israeli Jews in an April survey who said Israel allows “too much freedom of expression” : 50
Percentage change since 2001 in the number of personal-injury lawsuits filed against New York City police officers : +97
Chance that a U.S. criminologist thinks abolishing the death penalty would increase the murder rate : 1 in 10
Number of states that have eased restrictions on Sunday alcohol sales since the beginning of the recession : 5
Number of states where it is legal for employers to discriminate on the basis of physical appearance : 49
Percentage of gay marriages performed in Iowa that have been between residents of the state : 40
Percentage of unmarried American men over 45 who use condoms when they have sex : 29
Chance that a sexually active U.S. teenage boy would be “pleased” if he “got a female pregnant” : 1 in 5
Chance that a teenage girl has used the rhythm method for contraception : 1 in 6
Percentage of U.S. Catholics who believe there is “spiritual energy” in trees and mountains : 29
Percentage who believe in the “evil eye”: 17

Jones

Central Park Babes

7/16/10

7/14/10

7/12/10

Holbrook's Twain

Nikki Yanofsky

Kevin Pollak's Chat Show

7/11/10

Ruined at Intiman Theatre / Trailer

Tysabri Therapy

Tysabri Monotherapy and Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy -

February 5, 2010

Thirty-one cases of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) have been reported in patients receiving natalizumab (Tysabri) monotherapy for multiple sclerosis (MS) worldwide. As of late January, 2010, eight patients had died. The data suggests that PML incidence increases with the number of natalizumab infusions. Worldwide, the rate of PML with natailizumab increases from 0.5 cases/1,000 patients after 1 or more doses, to 0.8 cases/1,000 patients after 12 or more doses, and to 1.3 cases/1,000 patients after 24 or more doses. To date, none of the reported postmarketing cases of PML have included patients using natalizumab for Crohn disease. PML is a viral infection of the central nervous system, mainly seen in immunosuppressed patients. Symptoms of PML include decreased mental function, speech difficulty, partial blindness, and difficulty walking.

In addition, patients who develop PML and discontinue natalizumab are at risk for a rare, severe inflammatory reaction known as Immune Reconstitution Inflammatory Syndrome (IRIS). Patients can develop IRIS while the patient is immunosuppressed or after immune recovery. In patients who were treated with plasma exchange or immunoadsorption, IRIS developed days to weeks after discontinuing natalizumab because of PML.

Natalizumab injection (Tysabri) is a monoclonal antibody approved for the treatment of relapsing MS and Crohn disease. Natalizumab is only available to patients through the TOUCH Prescribing Program. Risk for PML is considered to be higher in patients receiving concurrent immunomodulators with natalizumab compared to natalizumab monotherapy.

2013 Year Old Man

video

The NewYorker

LeBron James Looks Neither Royal nor Loyal.

LeBron James looks neither royal nor loyal.
On an ESPN show, the King shows up a supportive community.
Bill Plaschke

LeBron James is the King, all right.

The King of Crass. The King of Callous. The King of Cowardice.

What kind of man arranges and stars in a nationally televised infomercial during which he kicks his hometown to the curb? What kind of man summons a crowd of millions to watch him break up with a city that has loved and supported him for 25 years?

LeBron James dragged the Cleveland Cavaliers to the center table of the most crowded, well-lighted joint on the sports landscape Thursday night, then loudly dumped them on the spot.

The basketball news is that two-time defending most valuable player James has announced he will be joining stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on the Miami Heat.

The human news is that, almost overnight, one of basketball's most likable figures has turned into a complete jerk.

James has every right to use free agency to leave a place where he didn't feel he could win a championship. But he had no right to publicly humiliate his neighbors in the process.

That hourlong ESPN program produced and directed by the 25-year-old James and his team of young sycophants Thursday was called "The Decision." It turns out the biggest decision was by James to strip himself of the most basic human decency, and he will again never look the same.

If you are going to leave the team where you've spent all seven seasons, leave the area where you've spent all 25 years, doesn't decorum dictate that you do it quietly, gently, gracefully? Given that this town hasn't enjoyed a major sports championship in 46 years, and given that your departure could keep them from winning anything for many more years, don't you think of them first? Did no part of last season's $15.8-million salary mandate, you know, manners?

You want to leave this place where you are so beloved, fine. Leave it like a man. Issue a news release announcing your decision and thanking Cleveland for its support. Hold a local news conference with the Cleveland media to reiterate those thanks. Then, and only then, do you appear on a national ESPN show to talk about your decision.

But no, years of coddling have filled James with such narcissism that he no longer sees anyone but himself. While reaping financial rewards as this country's most successful basketball prodigy, James has paid the price in a failure to develop integrity or character. Hey, if you can dunk on someone, why do you have to be sensitive to them?

(I interrupt this rant to remind the dear reader of another notion that James has conveniently ignored in his quest for fame. He. Has. Won. Zero. Championships.)

So anyway, the hell with Cleveland. James stepped on the makeshift ESPN stage at a youth gym in Greenwich, Conn., on Thursday wearing a tight shirt and a weird grin. He stretched the suspense for 30 full minutes, then finally announced he was "taking my talents to South Beach" while admitting that the Cavaliers were also hearing this for the first time.

That was why this show was so wrong. It wasn't about a lack of journalistic ethics, but human ethics. James used his awesome power not to inform or entertain, but to belittle. After his announcement, there appeared video of Cleveland fans screaming at a bar television, then burning a James shirt in the street. Maybe this would have happened if James had been a little more discerning, but I doubt it. Cleveland had been nationally embarrassed, and reacted in the small way that James made it feel.

I thought he would never arrange the show if he wasn't going to Cleveland. I thought wrong. It turns out, when it comes to LeBron James, I thought wrong about a lot of things.

I thought he was a leader. But by going to a team that already has an established superstar who has already won one NBA title, he showed he is a follower. He doesn't want the ball in the final minute. He doesn't want the pressure in the final month. The way he crumbled against Boston in this year's postseason was not a blip. The King doesn't have the stomach to be the Man.

Don't buy the spin that, because he could have made a guaranteed $30 million more on a potential Cavaliers contract, James is leaving Cleveland only because he wants to win. Cleveland did win while he was there, making it to the NBA Finals once and finishing with basketball's best record twice. He left because he didn't have the innards to take the final step with complementary players that the Cavaliers continued to acquire.

At the end of his infomercial Thursday, while pumping the Boys & Girls clubs who benefited from the commercials sold for this mess, James talked about helping the children and kindly noted, "One day we might have another LeBron."

Lord, I hope not.

Utah Saints/Something Good 2008






Utah Saints - Something Good 2008
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