Remembering Tony Curtis

I can't let the day end without mentioning the passing of Tony Curtis. I met Curtis just over one year ago at a dinner for long-time residents of Las Vegas hosted by former Lt. Governor and singer Lorraine Hunt. Once it was discovered that Tony Curtis was in attendance, many people lined up near his table in the hope of getting a chance to talk to the actor. He was in a wheelchair, not necessarily because he needed it, but it just made getting around easier for him due to years of physical ailments. Normally it's not in my nature to force a meeting with someone unless I'm sure I'm not imposing. Nonetheless, I waited to talk to Curtis while others bent his ear, Curtis glancing my way a few times. Finally, it was my turn and the first words out of his mouth were "I'm so sorry to have kept you waiting." Understand that this was a dinner in a large banquet room at the Orleans Hotel. He was under no obligation to talk to anybody, but he talked to everyone who approached his dinner table. This one sentence from the man told me everything I needed to know about who he really was.

We spoke briefly as I didn't want to take up a lot of his time (and wanted to let him eat!). I mentioned that I had just recently seen "The Sweet Smell of Success" and thought he was brilliant. He said, "You know, I watch some of these old movies and I'm still amazed to see that I was in them." In other words, he led a charmed life and he knew it.

A fuzzy, cell-phone picture is my little keepsake of our brief meeting, one moment I won't soon forget.

So long.

American Indian Tells Limbaugh To Go Home

This 8 minutes of Rush Limbaugh's show today is so good it's almost a crime.


A Pre-Worn Society

Allow me to wax philosophical for a moment. Went and got my mail today and in it was a catalog from Musician's Friend, from which I've bought some musical equipment from time to time. I leafed through and saw advertised a Fender '70s Jazz Bass...not one made in the '70s but one built in a 1970's design. However, the paint job on the guitar is done to make it look like it's been around since the '70s and had 3-to-4 decades of wear and tear touring with Rush (Geddy Lee, baby!). It reminds me of the blue-jeans the kids today like to buy that look like they've been worn by the Devil since the days before Vatican II. (Did that joke work?)

In other words, in this culture we seem to like have stuff that looks worn, but we can't be bothered to actually wear stuff down. We want things pre-worn, we want that look of experience, but we don't want to live the experience, we just want to appear somewhere near the end and say "look at me."

Perhaps I'm getting old before my time (I'm 37), but it's something I've been noticing lately. Strangely, the same people that wear these pre-worn jeans or play these pre-worn instruments will spend thousands of dollars to make sure their faces don't look worn at all.

And, that's it.


G-d Bless Jim DeMint

At a time when America needs heroes, DeMint steps up to the plate.

SEIU Being Investigated By FBI

(AP) — The FBI and the U.S. Labor Department are investigating prominent labor leader Andy Stern in their probe of corruption at the Service Employees International Union, according to two people who have been interviewed by federal agents.

Corruption in the SEIU? No way!

The two organized labor officials met with federal agents this summer to answer questions about a six-figure book contract that Stern landed in 2006 and his role in approving money to pay the salary of an SEIU leader in California who allegedly performed no work.

Interesting that in this poor job market, there always seem to be Democrats able to find no-show jobs.


Ben & Jerry With A Side Of Corn Syrup

Another story that tickles my fancy, as hippie ice cream moguls Ben & Jerry buckle under the pressure of a left-wing busy-body take-all-the-enjoyment-out-of-life health advocacy group called The Center for Science in the Public Interest.
SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. – Ice cream maker Ben & Jerry's is dropping the phrase "all natural" from all labels after a request from a health advocacy group.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest and the company confirmed the move Monday.

The CSPI told the company last month it should not use "all natural" if products contain alkalized cocoa, corn syrup, hydrogenated oil or other ingredients that are not natural.

In fairness, it's not actually Ben & Jerry calling the shots anymore, but corporate giant Unilever, but I still think this is at least a 5 on the irony meter.

Daniel Hannan Sends A Warning To America

Via Right Scoop, MEP Daniel Hannan has written a new book about how America is speeding down the road to serfdom and very politely ask that we please stop. Love this guy. He's interviewed by Sean Hannity who, as usual, spends too much time gushing over his guest, but still worth a look.

Mayoral Candidate Holds Voter Fraud Parties

Love this story, via Ace. You almost have to admire the pure reckless abandon of this man. I shudder to look, yet I cannot turn away.


A Reminder...

Blogging has been light recently due to my increased use of Twitter which you can see on the right sidebar. It's just been a good way to keep people updated on my thoughts as I've pretty much entered into a civil union with my iPhone (don't question our love!). Blogging will continue, however.


Why Leftists Are Elitist, And Delusional About It

You'd be hard-pressed to find a smarter blogger than Shannon Love at Chicago Boyz. Her latest column on elitism is a must-read.

Elitism isn’t defined by who benefits, elitism is defined by who decides.

Burn, Baby, Burn!

Love it!


Fullblown Insanity: Stephen Colbert To Testify Before Congress

It's like the Washington establishment wants the lashing they're going to get in November.

A Daily Caller exclusive:

Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert is slated to testify at a congressional hearing Friday on immigration titled “Protecting America’s Harvest,” two sources have told The Daily Caller.

One Republican source said Colbert will be testifying “in character,” the Bill O’Reilly-like muse Colbert uses for his show.

A Judiciary Committee spokeswoman, confirming Colbert would testify, said the hearing matter was a “serious issue . . . this is not a TV stunt.”

Some Republicans have already expressed unhappiness with Colbert witnessing at the hearing, thinking it would make light of a serious issue.

This simply has to be a joke or at the very least something that will be canceled very soon. I simply cannot wait for November 2nd.


Senator Ben Nelson Says "No Regrets"

On the "Cornhusker Kickback":

Nelson brushes off the notion that the “kickback” is haunting Democrats this fall. “I don’t regret trying to blow the whistle on $35 billion in unfunded mandates that were being passed onto the states — I was a whistle-blower,” he says. “If I’m disgruntled, it is because the GOP, before the ink was even dry, misrepresented the intent I had, which was to get the Medicaid expansion, the unfunded mandates, paid for or reduced for all the states and not just for Nebraska.”

Nebraska, get this fixed in 2012 or I won't be home for Christmas!

Daniel Hannan May Be On To Something, And Not Just For The EU

I've been spending so much time covering my latest man-crush Chris Christie that I've been neglecting my other man-crush Daniel Hannan over in "the Europe." (G-d I need a girlfriend!) Anywho, as a member of the European Union Parliament, Hannan has a novel idea:

Do I have to say it? Alright, I will. We should try that here!

Bell, California Puts Vegas To Shame

I just love this story. You know a city has achieved corruption of epic proportion when a Las Vegan is impressed. Essentially, the entire city government of Bell, California was arrested today.

In a police sweep this morning, former Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo, whose exorbitant salary sparked the furor that led to the investigations of the city, was arrested, along with former Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia.

The others included Mayor Oscar Hernandez, Vice Mayor Teresa Jacobo, council members George Mirabal and Luis Artiga, and former council members George Cole and Victor Bello. 

Anybody watch that show "Weeds" on Showtime? Kind of reminds me of its fictional town Agrestic, California where Kevin Nealon leads a corrupt city council of pop smokers. Too funny.

Another President, Another Woodward Book

Well, we're into the second year of Obama and we have our first Bob Woodward book on the administration that will be heavily excerpted but rarely read. Here's the big "bombshell" they're floating:

During an interview with Woodward in July, the president said, "We can absorb a terrorist attack. We'll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever . . . we absorbed it and we are stronger." 

Is Obama another Nietzsche? Probably not, but it's certainly a comment that's not gonna win him any admirers on the patriotic right. While his words are technically true, it's his mentality that is the problem. Yes, we can survive or "absorb" another attack, but remember, what gets absorbed is people's lives. We don't want to get hit with a terrorist attack and lose even one American life to terrorism ever again. While the goal may be unattainable, that's the goal we want our president to have.

Ultimately, this isn't the worst thing I've heard Obama say...far from it, but it's another piece of the puzzle that fits perfectly.


Fall Of The House Of Pelosi

Nervous times for the Congressional Democrats with some saying they would vote for someone other than Nancy Pelosi for Speaker should the Dems hold onto the majority. I don't think they'll have to worry about that, but obviously their comments are just for show with an expiration date of November 3.


Anthony Weiner Shows Us How It's Done

I heard Mark Levin on the radio on the way home from work last night and he was on a rant (surprise!) that the Democrats need to own up to the stuff they're supposedly proud of. They wanted Obamacare, they wanted the coming-soon higher taxes, they wanted porkulus...it's theirs, own it. Well, New York Congressman Anthony Weiner is following this advice.

“I wrote the bill,” Rep. Anthony Weiner said Monday at a town hall, referring to his party’s landmark reform of the nation’s health care system. “The bill and I are one.”

Good for him! You almost have to admire arrogance of this caliber.


Time To Take A Deep Breath And Remember History

This Delaware Senate race has led to a lot of debate and hurt feelings in the punditry. Allahpundit, Dan Riehl, Mark Levin, Ace, Patterico and many others have been mixing it up over what are (or were) the right moves in this and other primaries. This inevitably has led to arguments over purity of the party and the role of the moderates, and of course the moderates are crying they're an "endangered species" and there are fears the party will strive for "purity" so much the GOP will lose elections that could easily be won with people like Mike Castle.

Now is the time to take a deep breath and remember that the political mood at any given point in history is fleeting. Remember how conservatives thought in 1994 that they'd finally won the political wars once and for all? Remember just two short years ago these same conservatives thought socialism was unstoppable?

Of course you do.



Castle Gets Calls From Obama And Biden

Just weird. A Republican running in a primary for the U.S. Senate gets phones calls from the President and Vice President within 24 hours after losing the primary. While this Delaware situation has been a dumpster fire for the GOP and the Right-Blogosphere, the weird thing to me is how many people are so concerned for Mike Castle. I honestly hadn't heard his name much until the last few months. A northeastern liberal Republican serving as Delaware's only Congressman, he wasn't a guy that often made the rounds on cable news or the Sunday shows. Biden moves to the Vice Presidency and he sees his chance for the seat. Suddenly, you've got Karl Rove going to the wall for him, lot's of bloggers pleading he is the GOP's only shot for a Senate seat in Delaware and now phone calls from the Democrat White House.

Why is this guy so popular with the Washington elites? The Oliver Stone in me wonders if he inherited J. Edgar Hoover's old files or if he's the head of the Free Masons.

NRSC Pulls A Kerry

After dissing Christine O'Donnell as she was giving her victory speech last night by announcing they would not back her nor spend one dime on her campaign, the NRSC and Senator John Cornyn have flip-flopped:

Let there be no mistake: The National Republican Senatorial Committee – and I personally as the committee’s chairman – strongly stand by all of our Republican nominees, including Christine O’Donnell in Delaware.

Funny what a little grassroots pushback can do.

Edwin Newman Dies

One of my favorites from the old-school of television journalism.

NEW YORK (AP) — Edwin Newman, who brought literacy, wit and energy to NBC newscasts for more than three decades, and battled linguistic pretense and clutter in his best sellers "Strictly Speaking" and "A Civil Tongue," has died. He was 91.

Newman also made several appearances on Saturday Night Live including one skit where he manned a suicide hotline and corrected the callers on their grammar.

Newman also hosted a series called Speaking Freely where he did long-form in-depth interviews with important minds of the time, including an excellent interview with media guru Marshall McLuhan (very much worth your time if you have an interest in old and new media).


Justice Breyer Burns The First Amendment

Incredibly, we have a member of the Supreme Court (and probably 3 more) who has little understanding of the First Amendment. Zombie over at PJ Media dissects these recent statements:

Breyer: Indeed. And you can say with the Internet, you can say this: Holmes said it doesn’t mean you can shout ‘fire’ in a crowded theater. Well, what is it? Why? Because people will be trampled to death. And what is the ‘crowded theater’ today? What is ‘being trampled to death’?

This leads to a larger point that I'm hearing a lot in liberal circles today. The argument goes that the Constitution was fine in the get-go, but now in a country of 300-million and an interconnected planet of 5-to-6 billion, it's just too out of date. Look for this line of, ahem, "reasoning" a lot more in the future.


Girl Reporter In Tight Jeans Hates Attention?

Dumbest story yet. She sells herself as a sex symbol, then gets mad there are catcalls in an NFL locker room? There's a name for her, but she seems like the suing type so... have a good evening everybody!

To Castle, Or Not To Castle: That Is The Question

Well, this battle over Mike Castle and the soul of the Republican Party has officially gone off the rails. It'll shift tomorrow as the Delaware primary between Castle and O'Donnell will conclude (G-d don't let it be a tie!).

Here's a primer on what's happening:

*Mike Castle is a liberal Republican who has served in government since 1966. He's been a Governor, a Congressman and other smaller offices. With Biden now Vice President, his Senate seat is open. Castle jumped at the chance to add this office to his resume. Castle is very, very liberal serving a state that is very, very liberal. He often votes with the Democrats on big issues like Cap and Trade Tax, and the recent DISCLOSE Act. He did not vote for the massively unpopular Obamacare, but has hedged on whether he'd being willing to vote for its repeal. In short, if elected, Castle would be the most liberal Republican in the Senate; more liberal than Snowe, Collins, Graham or Lugar.

*Against Castle in the GOP primary is Christine O'Donnell, who is a Jim DeMint style conservative, however, she is a bit of a flake. She's had some shady financial issues/problems. She's sued a former employee for mental anguish, accused the Castle campaign of breaking into her office and a group advocating her election spread rumors that Castle is gay.

The race has created a huge split among conservatives. Mark Levin, Dan Riehl, Robert Stacy McCain and Erick Erickson head the pro-O'Donnell (or at the very least Anti-Castle) wing while National Review, the Weekly Standard, Power Line and others have come out for Castle feeling O'Donnell is just too much of a dumpster fire and only a liberal like Castle can win in Delaware, and with that, give the GOP a chance for Majority rule in the Senate. The Levin wing feels even if Castle gives the GOP the majority, he'll just vote with the Democrats at every opportunity. O'Donnell may be a flake, but she'll vote the right way.

The fight over this has been very intense.

I've gone back and forth on this, ultimately siding with the Levin wing though feeling we should support Castle if he wins the primary (the half-a-loaf theory), but then I heard something Rush Limbaugh said today that I think sums it up nicely:

"A Senate full of Mike Castles is not going to get us anywhere. It's gonna get a bunch of Republicans their Chairmanships on committees, but it's not going to do anything to reverse Obamaism, not one thing. If that's our majority with a bunch of Mike Castles there, we're in trouble.

There's nothing ideal about this battle in Delaware, but it's bigger than just deciding who might be the next Senator from that state. We simply have to get as many rock-ribbed conservatives into government as possible. There's just too much at stake.

To put an exclamation point on the issue, it's worth re-reading this Angelo Codevilla piece from a few weeks back: America's Ruling Class -- And the Perils of Revolution.


Sarah Palin's Greatest Sin

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Shannon Love over at Chicago Boyz is one of the smartest bloggers out there. She's cracked the case on why the left and the media hate Sarah Palin.

Obama And Media Begin Assault On Speaker Boehner

In a sign they've already conceded the House to the GOP, the Obama media led by the man himself are working to destroy John Boehner.


Media Standoff With Pastor More Pathetic Than SNL Skit

From the Washington Post via Hot Air, the MSM finally got fed up with Pastor Terry Jones and a classic exchange took place that tells you the whole story:

“So will you say you’re going to burn a Koran anytime you want press coverage?” snapped a reporter with a German accent…

“You’re just using us! We should all leave!” someone yelled from deep in the media pack.

Silence – for a moment. “Yeah! Let’s all leave!”

Jones’s response: “Fine, we’re not press hungry, go!”

But no one moved, until Jones turned and shuffled back to the church.

No more needs to be said.


More Sweet, Sweet Chris Christie Porn

Christie has made some missteps lately such as his lame above-it-all comments on the Ground Zero Mosque and trying to make Mike Castle sound like Ronald Reagan, but I'm sorry, I would march into hell with this man. My quibbles with a few of his stances are downright meaningless compared to what Christie is right about. I've been waiting years for a politician to stand up to unions the way he does. In this clip of sweet magic (Glenn Beck's gonna love this), he immediately lets a teacher know her showboating isn't gonna fly. Watch it all.

The Koran, The Imam And Sarah Palin On Delaware

News continues to break like the wind as Sarah Palin announces her endorsement of Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell and the idiot pastor in Florida now says he won't burn the Koran on 9/11. In a twist, he's saying a deal has been brokered for the Ground Zero Mosque to be moved, or something. What a world.


Sheriff Andy In A Whole Heap Of Trouble

Turns out the folks in Mayberry aren't too keen on Andy Griffith's latest foray into politics. His favorability rating had dropped 25 points in North Carolina since his recent commercials pimping for Obamacare. What's all the more shocking is that PPP seems willing to poll just about anyone and anything.


Lisa Murkowski Can't Be Satisfied

(With apologies to Muddy Waters). Lisa Murkowski said this about the Senate race:

"But what I'm looking at is my state and the future of my state for my kids. So, I have not made that determination that I'm going to give up. I'm not a quitter, never have been. And I'm still in this game," Murkowski said.

She lost but says she's still in the game. There's something seriously wrong with a politician who can't accept defeat. Used to be, you went home or took a cabinet appointment, now you exhaust every possible electoral shenanigans available. Sad.

Twitter Use On The Rise For The Popinjay

Hey gang, I know blogging has been a little light recently and I hope to rectify that soon, but in this go-go culture I've decided to use Twitter more often to give my thoughts on this crazy ol' world. You can find me on Twitter at @PopinjayRose, or just check Cartman's thought balloon in the sidebar. Some tweets may be nonsensical as they're replies to Twitter friends, but for the most part you'll find my tweets worthwhile.


Location:Cascade St,Las Vegas,United States

George Soros: Pure Evil

Roger L. Simon has an interesting writeup today on the Democrat Party's man behind the curtain, George Soros. I think the word "monster" is very, very apropos.

The Greatest Story In The History Of The World

Sometimes there are events that are just so perfect, they defy any kind of analysis: (Hat tip: Rush)

A 2009 Cadillac Escalade SUV belonging to Jesse Jackson was stolen and stripped of its wheels in Detroit last weekend while the civil rights leader was in town promoting green jobs.

That's 31 words, but it's worth 1,000.


Condi Rice Reveals Tension Of 9/11

In a Channel 4 documentary on 9/11, former NSA head Condi Rice tells the story of "ordering" President Bush to stay out of Washington:

"I said: 'You cannot come back here. The United States of America is under attack, you have to go to safety. We don't know what is going on here'.

"He said: 'I'm coming back'. I said: 'You can't'.

"I said to him in a raised voice, and I had never raised my voice to the president before, I said: 'You cannot come back here'. I hung up.

"The president was quite annoyed with me to say the least.

"I've known the president a long time and I knew that he wanted nothing more than to be there at the helm of the ship." 

One of my biggest annoyances with the Bush-bashers is the criticism of his actions immediately following 9/11: staying in the classroom to finish the reading of My Pet Goat and calmly letting people know what had happened and then exiting the room. If Bill Clinton or Barack Obama had done this, we'd still be singing their praises for their calm, cool leadership. Then they try to say he was afraid to come back to Washington, which obviously isn't true. You can disagree with a man political or philosophically, but when you make irrational charges, you've lost any respect you might have had coming.


Delaware Race Tears Right Blogosphere Apart

There's a race for the open Senate seat in Delaware vacated by Vice President Joe Biden. The GOP thinks they might be able to pick up the seat in the very blue-state, however, that has led to something of a dust-up within the ranks.

Longtime Delaware Congressman Mike Castle is running for the seat. He is a very liberal Republican. He has a challenger in political novice Christine O'Donnell who is more conservative and has earned the endorsement of Mark Levin.

The disagreement over whether to stick to principles and back O'Donnell or be pragmatic and back Castle has led to a split on the popular conservative blogs, with the likes of Ace of Spades saying the smart move is to back Castle, while Dan Riehl would (tentatively) back O'Donnell.

The argument has many variables. O'Donnell has made some strange moves, admitting she uses campaign fund to pay her rent, doing poorly in radio interviews and considering a third-party run if she loses the primary. Delaware is a very blue state and Castle seems the best chance for a Republican to win a Senate seat there, however, we had similar views about Massachusetts when Scott Brown was running. While he's not a solid conservative, he's hardly a RINO. Castle, however, is RINO through and through.

I admit, I've gone back and forth on this one and I'm still not entirely sure what the smart play is. One one hand, Castle would be more trouble than he's worth, but on the other hand, if he ends up the 51st Republican in the Senate, he may be worth the headaches.

The commenters at Hot Air have been burning up the keyboards on this issue tonight. Fortunately, this will all be over on September 14th when Delaware has its primary.

Manufacturing Consent Unbound!

Karl over at Patterico's Pontifications has taken Ace's reworking of Noam Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent and given us a primer on how the Old Media and the New Media operate in the 21st Century. This one post is more valuable than an entire semester of journalism classes.
I usually treat the establishment’s media bias like the weather in Forks, WA — sought by vampires, simply endured by normal people. Nevertheless, I was recently tickled by Ace’s twist on Noam Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent:

Suppose there are five possible plausible public reactions to an event or initiative. A, B, C, D, and E, ranging from rightist to leftist, and A and E representing the extremes.

Media debate tends to package C and D — C, a centrist reaction, and D, a left-center but still mainstream-ish reaction — as the only two possible reactions, and debates the issue without reference to A, B, and E, as if they don’t exist, or, if they do mention them, they are dismissed peremptorily as extremist and wack-a-doo and “not serious.”

Thus, at the end of the day, the public does get to “choose”… but only from the two options the media has pre-screened as permissible, C and D. Thus, consent of the governed has been “manufactured” — sure, the public chooses between C and D, but their choice was forced — as a magician forces a card on you — by a media that carefully insulated them from genuine consideration of A, B, and E.

However, the toxicity of the current political environment is better explained by the slow collapse of this model.


George W. Bush v. The Belgians

I may just have to pick up the Tony Blair memoirs this weekend and read it. Sounds like there's some damned interesting stuff within, like this delicious nugget found by Marc Thiessen:

George had arrived bang on time for this first discussion and had not fully said hello to all the participants. He didn’t know or recognize Guy, whose advice he listened to with considerable astonishment.

He turned to me and whispered, “Who is this guy?”

“He’s the prime minister of Belgium,” I said.

“Belgium?” George said, clearly aghast at the possible full extent of his stupidity. “Belgium’s not part of the G8.”

“No,” I said, “but he is the president of Europe.”

“You got Belgians running Europe?” He shook his head, now aghast at our stupidity.

Heh! Blair has also pointed out in his book that it's downright stupid to believe that George W. was and is stupid:

"No one stumbles into that job, and the history of American presidential campaigns is littered with the corpses of those who were supposed to be brilliant, but who nonetheless failed because brilliance is not enough," Politico quoted him, as writing in his memoir.

"To succeed in US politics, or that of the UK, you have to be more than clever. You have to be able to connect and you have to be able to articulate that connection in plain language," Blair writes.

"The plainness of the language then leads people to look past the brainpower involved. Reagan was clever. Thatcher was clever. And sometimes the very plainness touches something else: a simplicity that is the product of a decisive nature," he adds.

Lame Duck Net Neutrality

It might just happen. The FCC is desperate to take control of the Internet and a lame duck Democrat session of Congress might be just the right time to make the power grab. Gird your loins.


Another Nail In The Global Warming Coffin

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (in the U.K.) is in hot water(!) after a report damning its research practices. (Hat tip: Mark Levin)

The panel was forced to admit its key claim in support of global warming was lifted from a 1999 magazine article. The report was based on an interview with a little-known Indian scientist who has since said his views were “speculation” and not backed by research.

Independent climate scientist Peter Taylor said last night: “The IPCC’s credibility has been deeply dented and something has to be done. It can’t just be a matter of adjusting the practices. They have got to look at what are the consequences of having got it wrong in terms of what the public think is going on. Admitting that it needs to reform means something has gone wrong and they really do need to look at the science.”