On Olympic Medals and Sharing Grief

rochetteap

Charley James: Grief in the 21st century may have some distinctly modern elements – memorial services with shamelessly cool production values; e-mailed condolences; death announcements by Twitter – but what everyone discovers is that grieving takes up an inordinate amount of personal time, no matter how fast-paced a society we’ve become.

Scrooge Is Premier of Alberta, Canada

Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach

Charley James: t turns out that Scrooge – Ebenezer or McDuck, take your pick – is alive and well and running the Canadian province of Alberta. On Thursday, Conservative Premier Ed Stelmach told reporters the provincial government wouldn’t be donating a nickel of its lush, oil-and-gas royalty enriched treasury stash to aid in Haitian relief efforts.

Uncle Joe, Uncle Norman, JFK and Me

John F Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe

Charley James: Families with any luck whatsoever have a relative who is larger than life, a genuine character that leaves behind a trail of remarkable anecdotes that celebrate a life well lived. Mine was doubly blessed because we had two, Joe and Norman.

DHS Announces New Security Precaution: Underwear Inspection

Boxer Shorts

Charley James: According to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, news reports that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab – the man accused to trying to blow up NW253 – concealed explosives in his underpants are accurate “so we want to be sure that, along with making people walk barefoot through check points, and banning shampoo and deodorant, no one is trying to sneak explosives aboard in their knickers.”

Neo-Con Renews Call to Bomb Iran in NY Times Op-Ed

Nuclear-wire

Charley James: The saddest thing about Kuperman is that the Times gave him serious space in a supposedly serious newspaper to spout the same discredited nonsense that got us into a mess in the Middle East at the same time President Obama is trying to extricate the world from the chaos unleashed the last time the neo-con war mongers had their way.

Republicans Running Possible War Criminal for Congress?

allenwest

Florida’s 22nd Congressional district is where Allen West, a former lieutenant colonel who was drummed out of the Army for torturing an Iraqi prisoner by holding a mock execution after allowing men under his command to repeatedly beat the detainee, has the GOP endorsement to run for Congress in 2010

Joe Lieberman Is “Unbalanced”

Lieberman

At the same time, senior Senate aides from both sides of the aisle report that while Lieberman has always been unpredictable and difficult to work with, it’s a trait that became magnified after he lost his primary challenge to Ned Lamont in 2006.

Bah Humbug! Holiday Movies So Cute I Could Puke

Catherine Deneuve in Un Conte de Noël

I turn on television and the words “John Hughes,” “Chevy Chase,” “Tim Allen” and “Dan Aykroyd” pop up on the screen, my blood runs cold, my temples throb and I switch over to Fat Boy Hackeysack on ESPN2, or faux history shows like Ancestors in the Attic and Ice Road Truckers. I’d rather watch more bad news from Afghanistan on BBC World, or even Céline Dion on Ice.

Paul Volcker Body Slams World Bankers

volcker250

Why didn’t Obama deliver this speech when he spoke to bankers on Wall Street a few months ago? Better late than never, I suppose, and bankers are slightly more likely to pay attention to Volcker than to Obama as evidenced by the fact that several major US bank CEOs turned down the invitation to hear the president speak.

We Can’t “Train” Our Way Out of Afghanistan

Drill-Instructor

It’s reported that, as part of Obama’s surge, one brigade of the 82nd Airborne will be deployed to serve as trainers.. But the 82nd Airborne is a regular Army brigade trained hard and tough to fight; unit members are not trained to train. What a farce.

Obama’s Afghan Box Canyon

Escalation

Although Obama may enjoy a brief up-tick in poll numbers after his talk, as soon as larger numbers of American bodies come home in flag-draped coffins, and Walter Reed fills up again with the damaged bodies and minds of soldiers whose lives have been ruined, the country will turn against what it thought, in November, 2009, was a good idea.

Like Leaves, Life Always Drifts Back To Earth

golden retriever

Sorry to tell you this Chuck Grassley and Sarah Palin and Virginia Fox and Glenn Beck and the rest of the Teabaggers and people who think the richest nation on earth is doing just fine having one-third of its population uninsured or underinsured: The only death panel is the one inside each of us.

Reviewing Goofy Sarah’s Goofy Book

sarah's-wink

Sadly, the book only increases her appeal to that very base of the shrinking GOP while leaving moderate Republicans, independents and anyone else who actually thinks about things out in the Alaskan cold.

RedState.com’s Erick Erickson’s Head Officially Explodes

Khalid Sheik Mohammad

Uhm, I remember seeing video of Osama bin Laden and several al-Qaeda spokesmen publicly stating after September 11 that the group wants to destroy everything America stands for. Well, it seems Erickson is all in favour of letting the terrorists have their way, going so far as to demand Washington finish the job those four groups of highjackers started by destroying the rule of law.

To Hell and Beck

Glenn Beck Clown

Who other than His Nuttiness would praise nurses for their knowledge, care, and understanding when they tended to him after he was hospitalised following botched hemorrhoid surgery only to turn on them a year later for supporting health care reform so people who don’t have Fox News’ lush group plan can get insurance?

Humana Trolls College Campuses for Whores

Internet-crime

Humana is trolling college campuses looking for whores willing to accept money to be on-line promoters of an anti-reform policy that’s against the student’s own, best interests – or will be, once they leave school and are on their own. Given the state of the economy, no doubt Humana will be overwhelmed with applications.

Confessions of a Techno-Luddite

Technology

While Pew concludes that cell “refuseniks” generally are less educated and poorer than people who have them, it concedes grudgingly there is “a subset of adults who resist cell phones simply because they do not want them.

Yet Again, The Army Fails Its Troops

Afghanistan-war

No doubt the Pentagon was relieved because the report tears a strip off the Army for not giving commanders in Iraq – and, by extension, Afghanistan – the necessary tools, training and guidance to handle at-risk soldiers.

Was Jesus a Socialist?

Outside a Traverse City, Michigan, theatre. Photo courtesy MichaelMoore.com.

What didn’t register at the first screening was the profound theological message Michael Moore, a devout Catholic, wires into his new film.

Not the Belly of the Beast

locked-out

Thanks Max Baucus and the ObstructaDems and the GOP and Fox and the medico-insurance complex. You’ve really done a number on America. The question for the rest of us is: Why are we sitting at home reading this instead of storming Washington demanding the change we voted for?

Glenn Beck Can’t Take Glenn Beck’s Heat

Glenn-Beck

Mr. Beck, what I feel like writing is, sir, prove to me that you are not completely unhinged. And, anyway, why won’t you deny rumors that you raped and murdered a young girl in 1991 so this whole thing can be put to rest?

What A Surprise! “Values Voters” Pick Racist Huckabee

Huckabee_Mike

Huckabee, the silver-tongued, jovial Baptist preacher now best known for losing weight, charmed the crowd gathered in Washington over Rosh Hashanah weekend – Shanatova, en shallah to all – by dog whistling coded racist messages that wowed folks in the ballroom.

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