Friday, March 20, 2009

Ted Haggard - Media Whore Again!

Just when you think a tired story has thankfully disappeared from the media radar, here it comes again! Ted Haggard, former evangelical preacher and media whore is making a joint appearance with his wife in court. Not just any court though, but TV's "Divorce Court"!

Appropriately the show will air April 1, and these two April Fools will be discussing how Ted's "struggle with homosexuality" has made their marriage stronger. Funny place to do it on a show about divorce?

According to Huffington Post:

The couple will be paid an undisclosed amount for the interview, the latest in a
series of public appearances that started in January when Ted Haggard began
promoting an HBO documentary about his time in exile.

Come out Ted! We have all had enough of your tortured existence in the media. Let your wife go and find a nice twink to settle down with. Give us all a rest!

Michael Steele - Open Mouth, Insert Foot!

Seems Michael Steele just can't quit talking. The beleagured GOP party figure-head is back on the airwaves and he charasticly makes another gaff. This time he misquotes the First Ammendment to the Constitution. You know the one about freedom of the press, religion and freedom to assemble?

Well on Bill Bennett's radio show today he agreed with a caller who said that trying to tax Wall Street Bailout recipients was against the first ammendment, "the first amendment…specifically states that a law cannot be passed to specifically target a person or a group of people.”

Well actually that's way off the mark. Perhaps he was referring to Article I of the U.S. Constitution which bans bills of attainder. Or perhaps he was just carried away with the moment. Either way, he continues to be an easy target for those who want him gone.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

City Council Members Call For Judge Lander To Resign

When I hear calls for Judge C. Victor Lander to resign I am awestruck. He has been accused of using racially charged language when he praised District Attorney Craig Watkins. Judge Lander said, "black folks have been cleaning up white folks' messes for hundreds of years."

Truer words have rarely been spoken and though they were intended as a dose of irony, some have taken it without a grin. Lander is an African-American judge who as been on the bench for 12 years and with that time has come a lot of wisdom and a good understanding of irony. Apparently, some on the city council live in an "irony free zone".

I sincerely hope the judge stays put. As for the city council? Well maybe they should lighten up and understand that there is a lot of truth behind the remark Judge Lander said.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

US Signs UN Gay Rights Declaration

It's about time! The US will finally signed the UN declaration calling for the worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality. Obama is doing what Bush refused to do and brings us into accord with 27 European Union members as well as Japan, Australia, Mexico and three dozen other countries.

When the United States the supposed beacon of freedom in the world is one of the last to sign this declaration, it's pretty sad. I am grateful that President Obama is bringing us into the 21st Century!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

AIG Bonus Contract Exposed!

God bless Barney Frank and Andrew Cuomo! They have rooted out the rats at AIG and exposed their shenanigans to daylight.

The bonuses paid as "retention bonuses" are nothing of the sort. Eleven (11) of the people receiving them no longer work for AIG which I believe would be the opposite of retention.

According to Cuomo's office the following details were revealed when the contracts were examined:

  • The top recipient received more than $6.4 million;
  • The top seven bonus recipients received more than $4 million each;
  • The top ten bonus recipients received a combined $42 million;
  • 22 individuals received bonuses of $2 million or more, and combined they
    received more than $72 million;
  • 73 individuals received bonuses of $1 million or more; and
  • Eleven of the individuals who received "retention" bonuses of $1 million
    or more are no longer working at AIG, including one who received $4.6

    Again, these payments were all made to individuals in the subsidiary whose performance
    led to crushing losses and the near failure of AIG. Thus, last week, AIG made more than 73
    millionaires in the unit which lost so much money that it brought the firm to its knees, forcing taxpayer bailout. Something is deeply wrong with this outcome. I hope the Committee will
    address it head on.

    We have also now obtained the contracts under which AIG decided to make these
    payments. The contracts shockingly contain a provision that required most individuals' bonuses to be 100% of their 2007 bonuses. Thus, in the Spring of last year, AIG chose to lock in bonuses for 2008 at 2007 levels despite obvious signs that 2008 performance would be disastrous in comparison to the year before. My Office has thus begun to closely examine the circumstances under which the plan was created.

More details are available including a scan of the letter from the New York Attorney General are available on Huffington Post.

Oy! Danny Boy. Happy St. Paddy's Day

Pope Says Condoms Don't Prevent AIDS - Say What?

Pope Benedict XVI is doing his part to help spread the HIV virus. He boldly proclaimed on his way to Africa that "You can't resolve it with the distribution of condoms...on the contrary, it increases the problem."

The Vatican apparently is living in the fantasy world that the GOP inhabits when they push abstinence only sex education and watch the pregnancy rate and STD rates rise. I suspect the pope feels that by admitting that condoms can indeed stop the spread of the disease he would in some way undermine the church's stand on procreation. Whatever his reason it is a strange position for the man who claims the right as the "Vicker of Christ" to take. He would rather see people infected and die than use any method of birth control. That is a really odd "sanctity of life" argument.

The spread of AIDS is not just an African problem. In a recent study, our nation's capital has an astounding infection rate of 3% of the population. That is 2% higher than the official benchmark at which a disease becomes a "generalized and severe" epidemic. In Africa things are even worse and one would think the sanctity of preserving life would trump the idology of condeming condom use, but I guess I am just not pious enough to get it.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Alan Livingston - Creator of Bozo Dies

My friend, the late Larry Harmon, used to bristle at the name Alan Livingston. Livingston was the man who created Bozo the Clown for Capitol Records back in 1946. Larry was the man who rescued Bozo from obscurity and turned the red haired clown into a national brand long after the 78rmp records of Bozo at the Circus had joined the landfills.

Today comes news that Alan Livingston has died at age 91. Alan outlived Larry by about 7 months. Both men were part of a childhood tradition for millions of Americans. Though the creator and chief evangelist for Bozo are gone, Bozo still lives on. I suspect that someday the venerable clown will make a comeback.

Steele Will Limit His Media Exposure...Forever?

The long slow descent of Michael Steele continues. Word comes now that he will curtail his media appearances for a while...meaning he will quietly fade away.

The Washington Post says that Steele will take some time off from his media appearance to work on the "nuts and bolts" of the party. I suspect nest will be his taking time away to "spend more time with his family". That is GOP doublespeak for getting canned!

Steele has made one gaff after another with the "base" of the Republican Party. I suspect most are not happy to see a diverse face on the GOP. The base of the party knows what it is and Steele is not even close.

The illusion that the GOP is a "big Tent" faded a log time ago and to try to continue that by adding a few minorities in places of prominence is a side show, not the main event.