Saturday, April 21, 2007

Headline of the Day: All Your Mariano Rivera Are Belong To Us

Boston Red Sox's Coco Crisp hits a two-run triple off New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera in the ninth inning of their baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, April 20, 2007. The Sox won 7-6. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Surviving Grady: All Your Mariano Rivera Are Belong To Us

Take that, all my Yankee-loving relatives.

Bush The Idiot


FirstDraft: Your President Speaks

Abu Gonzales Testimony: A Joke

So we must turn to Jon Stewart for analysis:

'Parliamentary Inquiry, Mr. Speaker: Does Whining Come Out of My Time?'

Barney Frank kills a Republican procedural tactic with wit and humor. Watch and enjoy.

Karl Rove Running Justice Department

The Bush political team has been running the Justice Department as their own political witchhunting organization. Karl Rove's little minions are calling US Attorneys right and left. No wonder there were so many investigations of Democrats, and so few investigations of corrupt Republicans (of 309 politicians investigated by US Attorneys 2000-2006, 262 were Democrats, 37 Republicans, 10 Independents)

Need proof of this? Look at the chart Rhode Island Senator (and former US Attorney) Sheldon Whitehouse used in his questioning of Alberto "Mini-Chimperor" Gonzales. The US Attorneys are supposed to be independent. Under Bill Clinton, there were only four people who were allowed to contact US Attorneys regarding cases: the President, the Vice President, the White House Counsel, and the Deputy White House Counsel. No one else was allowed to contact US Attorneys.

Under the Bush Administration, 447 officials -- mostly staff -- are allowed to contact US Attorneys; as ThinkProgress points out, that is a 10,325 % increase. 417 loyal Bushies White House officials (many working from their RNC email accounts, I suspect) and 30 loyal Bushies Department of Justice officials were allowed direct contact with US Attorneys.

The corruption of this administration is unparalleled.

dailykos: "The Chart" is the smoking gun of WH/DOJ political Influence

Friday, April 20, 2007

The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same 2.0

That's Gerry Callahan on the left, next to John Dennis. What do these five have in common? Hmmm.

The local Boston talk radio station that carried Don Imus's radio show, 96.9 WTTK, is looking for another show for the Imus time slot.

And what new voice are they considering? Of course they're not considering a new voice. They're not considering a woman's voice. They're not considering a black voice. They're looking backwards to an old voice, an old pair of voices with their own long, sad history of racist and sexist comments.

BostonHerald: 96.9 eyes ‘Dennis & Callahan’ for Imus slot

"Dennis and Callahan" is a local sports radio station which is most famous for a September, 2003 bit in which they compared an escaped gorilla to a poor black kid bussed out to suburban schools. Classy:

METCO Controversy

On September 29, 2003, during a segment called 'headlines', where they read and comment about current news stories, Callahan and his morning co-host John Dennis made what were taken to be racially insensitive remarks while discussing a story about an escaped gorilla.[3] The gorilla had escaped from the Franklin Park Zoo and had been recaptured at a bus stop. According to newspaper articles, the exchange allegedly was: [4]

Callahan: "They caught him at a bus stop, right -- he was like waiting to catch a bus out of town."

Dennis: "Yeah, yeah -- he's a METCO gorilla."

Callahan: "Heading out to Lexington."

Dennis: "Exactly."

METCO is a state program that buses inner-city Boston students to nearby suburban schools. Many perceived the comments to be comparing poor, mostly African-American children to gorillas. WEEI general manager Tom Baker suspended both hosts for two days, then extended the suspension to two weeks after the Blue Cross-Blue Shield (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts) pulled $27,000 in ads and in turn donated that money to METCO (another report alleged that Blue Cross increased its advertising by $27,000 one week later [5]). Dunkin' Donuts responded by ceasing all advertising that involved the voices of John Dennis or Gerry Callahan. [6] Both hosts apologized and were sent to sensitivity training.

Are they sexist? I've certainly always thought so, from the fact that they very rarely have women on their program and never cover women's sports. According to the blog 'The Starting Five', during the Imus controversy (I didn't hear it myself) Dennis and Callahan claimed the Rutgers women's basketball team were guilty of extortion, and that they were anything but victims because they certainly had hip hop songs like 50 Cent on their iPods. Well, thousands of iPod owners probably have offensive lyrics on their iPods. Does that mean national TV/radio hosts can attack them with impunity, with racist and sexist taunts? Apparently Dennis and Callahan think so. And they're in line to get the Imus slot.

We may be having a national conversation on racism and sexism, but the guys in the suits filling the airwaves aren't listening.

The Challenge of the Super-Duper Friends

Hillary, Obama, Edwards and Gore use their superpowers to thwart the administration's [attempted] conquest of the universe. SuperDuperFriends website.

The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

Gwen Ifill, still not invited on morning TV

Gwen Ifill, moderator of PBS's "Washington Week", listens during a taping of "Meet the Press" at the NBC Studios in Washington April 15, 2007. REUTERS/Meet The Press/Alex Wong/Handout (UNITED STATES).

I turn on the TV this morning to see whether Abu Gonzales has had the good sense to resign yet. (Silly me! He is an idiot and will never resign. Bush will never leave Iraq. Gonzales will never resign.)

On MSNBC, David Gregory is now hosting the morning show. He is interviewing Tim Russert. Stretch and LilRuss.

So do I have this right? Don Imus lost his job because he made offensive sexist and racist remarks, and now his show has been replaced by his old white male guests?

When we come back, David Gregory will be joined by Dr. Keith Ablow. The following hour, Mary Matalin. Then Mike Barnicle. White men and a white woman who was one of Imus's regular guests.

What happened to all those new faces we saw on TV last week discussing the demise of Imus?

John McCain, Rockin and a-reelin

The fool on the hill

Today John McCain answered a question about Iran by singing "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran," to the tune of the Beach Boys' song "Barbara Ann." And he wonders why he's tanking in the polls. He should be singing The Beatles "I'm A Loser:" And so it's true, pride comes before a fall.

I'm a loser
I'm a loser
And I'm not what I appear to be

Of all the love I have won or have lost
there is one love I should never have crossed
She was a girl in a million, my friend
I should have known she would win in the end

I'm a loser
And I lost someone who's near to me
I'm a loser
And I'm not what I appear to be

Although I laugh and I act like a clown
Beneath this mask I am wearing a frown
My tears are falling like rain from the sky
Is it for her or myself that I cry

I'm a loser
And I lost someone who's near to me
I'm a loser
And I'm not what I appear to be

What have I done to deserve such a fate
I realize I have left it too late
And so it's true, pride comes before a fall
I'm telling you so that you won't lose all

I'm a loser
And I lost someone who's near to me
I'm a loser
And I'm not what I appear to be

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Courtney Prince Smeared

The Gothamist asked: Who Even Knew The Rangers Had Cheerleaders?

Courtney Prince, the former New York Ranger dancer/skater/cheerleader, is being slimed by Madison Square Garden. MSG has filed a third motion for summary judgment (having lost the first two) and has filed "hundreds of pages of documents" (according to the New York Daily News) characterizing Prince as "a mentally ill pervert" (the Daily News take) and claiming that, according to MSG attorney Melissa Rodriguez, "she suffered from bipolar disorder, a classic symptom of which is hypersexuality." (a direct quote from MSG attorney Rodriguez according to the Daily News.)

Defendants in sexual harassment cases always attack the character of the accuser. Any hint of sexuality on the part of a victim of sexual harassment is suddenly a sin. Easy enough in this case: The Rangers cheerleaders are hired to flaunt their sexuality. Look at the tight outfits!

If the defendant can't find sex, they call her crazy. MSG has just combined both tactics here. She's crazy and hypersexual. And Prince, who was paid $150 per game by MSG, is being attacked with the opinion of a doctor who charges hundreds of dollars per hour for his time. Isn't it ironic?

I was curious about the attorney named as representing Madison Square Garden in the Daily News article, Melissa Rodriguez. I think it's Melissa C. Rodriguez of Morgan, Lewis. (I didn't find any definite corroboration of this, but Morgan, Lewis represents Madison Square Garden in the Isaiah Thomas/Anucha Browne Sanders sexual harassment lawsuit (pdf link, p. 12), and Morgan, Lewis is one of the large national firms that represents employers.)

Michelle C. Rodriguez, Morgan Lewis

Kind of a come hither photo for a law firm bio, no? People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Rodriguez is a fifth year lawyer with an impressive pedigree (Yale, Columbia Law), but not a lot of experience to be the lead lawyer in a high-profile case. I wonder if she is the lead attorney on the case? Or is she just being used to put out the smear so the big name partner who is handling the case doesn't have to get his/her hands dirty? Is MSG using a woman (and a minority) as window dressing? I handled many sex discrimination cases where young female lawyers were included on the defense team for that very reason.

Anyway, this sounds like typical defense smear tactics, overreaching included. Did you see the movie The Insider? It was the story of the witness, Jeffrey Wigand, who brought down Big Tobacco by revealing how they had covered up scientific research for years. Brown & Williamson had compiled a 500-page dossier of Wigand's alleged misdeeds; it was mostly BS. I suspect MSG complaints about Prince are much the same.

Isn't it funny how MSG promoted Prince to be captain of the Ranger cheerleaders after she'd been there a year, but now she's a hypersexual crazy person? Funny how that happens.

NYDailyNews: Rangers cheerleader sex-crazed, say attorneys

deadspin: MSG Pulling No Punches In Dance Skater Lawsuit

Opinion [on Summary Judgment motions], Prince v. Madison Square Garden, et al., April 10, 2006 [pdf file] [or view here in HTML format]

NYMagazineDailyIntelligencer: Hungry Cheerleader Claims Harassment Over Tater Tots

Red Sox Fans Do It With Pizza and Beer

I'm back after a (fortunately) brief foray into a parallel universe where the only available computer is a paperweight. I actually read a book! Missed this awesome pizza-throwing incident at a recent Red Sox game.

Sawx fan hit with pizza -- short version

Sawx fan hit with pizza -- long NESN version, much giggling by RemDawg and Don Orsillo