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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

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DAYBOOK for Thursday: Anti-Muslim Madness, Plus Sean Penn, Meghan McCain, Neil Young, More

WELCOME TO DAYBOOK, our daily collection of media and politics hits/misses from a wide variety of sources plus fun videos and (at the bottom) a music pick. Return for updates during the day.   Keep up with fresh items via @gregmitch at Twitter. E-mail me at: epic1934@aol.com. To increase type size hit middle "A" above right.

THURSDAY's TOPPERs

Time magazine's new cover story: "Why Israel Doesn't Care About Peace." 

More attacks on Muslims in USA.   Two of today's episodes: fists fly at a hookah bar.  Man beats guy in turban, says, go home, : “You’re not even American, you’re Al-Qaeda.”    But those gunshots near mosque in Tennesee? May have just been opening of squirrel season.

Wash Post headline says it: "Twitter Breaks News on Discovery Channel Gunman." 

Here are some of liveliest quotes from Meghan McCain's new Dirty Sexy Politics book, so you don't have to buy or even skim it.  And Wash Post reviews it, suggesting there is some sexual tension in the cover photo of Meghan with an elephant, before concluding: "She ended the [2008] campaign feeling alienated from her party and worried about its domination by the Christian right.

New Bob Woodward book on Obama's first year in office, still untitled, with a lot of debate over Afghan policy, arriving Sept. 27.... Obama and George W. Bush, it turns out, hardly ever speak.

Coming from NYT Mag on Sunday--how London tabloid listened in on, and 'hacked," the elite, right up to "the royals."  Piece now posted....   We noted earlier that in his new memoir Tony Blair admitted that he "wept" for those killed due to the war in Iraq but he said he'd join the U.S. effort again.  But actually the book reveals very little, this review says.

COURT NOT IN SESSION  Pew survey: 53% admit they can't name chief justice of Supreme  Court (can't even guess)--only 28% know it's Roberts. 

MADDOW AND NOT TAKING IT ANYMORE  Rachel calls out GOPers for hypocisy on health care reform benefits.

BURNED CHUCK    NRA releasing Chuck Norris ad today to boost voter registration, titled "Trigger the Vote." 

BECK ADDICT  David Corn: Glenn Beck's "whopper" about touching George Washington document disputed. ....  And Kathleen Parker finds in him the "addictive" personality of a former addict and hopes he "gets well" soon.....Wash Post probes how  Beck has gotten away with being a Mormon, leading a Christian revival -- but many Christians don't even believe Mormons are Christians.   Perhaps his most of his followers are still in the dark about that -- as with so much else.....

BUNCH OF THE RIGHT STUFF  Excerpt from new book "Backlash" by Will Bunch on rightwing in era of Obama.

BECK CURSES CARDS    St. Louis Cardinals lose 5th straight to weak team, hurting pennant chances, since manager and star attended Beck rally--LaRusa and Pujols may need to go on Maddow to get curse lifted.

BITS & PIECES    Gail Collins:  Palin family America's new reality show darlings, so maybe Sarah ought to star in "Shooting With the Stars" ....    TPM analyzes recent polls and finds "mainstreaming" of anti-Muslim (and anti-Obama) beliefs, especially among GOPers.

TODAY's LAFF

Sean Penn latest celeb to endure interview "Between Two Ferns."   He may wish he's back in Haiti.

 

 TODAY's MUSIC

For obvious reasons, as we look to the skies in the east, it seems apt to hear Neil Young do his early classic "Like a Hurricane."

 

 

DAYBOOK for Wednesday: Obama 'Turns Page' On Iraq, New Profile Hits Palin, Arcade Fires Up, More

WELCOME TO DAYBOOK, our daily collection of media and politics hits/misses from a wide variety of sources plus fun videos and (at the bottom) a music pick. Return for updates all day.   Keep up with fresh items via @gregmitch at Twitter. E-mail me at: epic1934@aol.com. To increase type size hit the middle "A" above right.

WEDNESDAY ON

Brand new Vanity Fair profile of Sarah Palin sure to enrage fans--wait for backlash any minute now.  

Once again, a great Anthony Shadid piece on how many average Iraqis feel really "nothing's changed" in quality of their lives since Saddam ousted.... Rachel Maddow claims Obama in Iraq speech last night left war proponents off easy. It's a wonder Judy Miller didn't show up on Fox claiming WMD are still out there...  Proto-hawk Bill Kristol kinda liked the speech. 

Tom Friedman says Obama making audacious moves in Iraq and on Israel and Palestinians--expect progress in, maybe, one Friedman Unit.... Spencer Ackerman with 5 points on the speech (quicker Afghan exit? who says we're really gone soon in Iraq?)...  Too bad the thousands of troops and vets who have committed suicide in recent years not here to view Obama speech.

Meanwhile, in his memoirs, Tony Blair says he "wept" over lives lost in Iraq -- but still justifies invasion. 

NYT's James Glanz visits grave of a former colleague killed in Iraq..... As 6 more U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan,  19 in four days.  But hey, it's still early.

My new piece here re-visiting this day five years ago when my blog carried chilling news from New Orleans, with one newspaper site a life line for some.

David Corn: Glenn Beck's "whopper" about touching George Washington disputed. .... Wash Post probes how Glenn Beck has gotten away with being a Mormon, leading a Christian revival -- but many Christians don't even believe Mormons are Christians.   Perhaps his most of his followers are still in the dark about that -- as with so much else.... And Kathleen Parker finds in him the "addictive" personality of a former addict and hopes he "gets well" soon.

Today's episode:  Man beats guy in turban, says, go home, : “You’re not even American, you’re Al-Qaeda.” 

BUNCH OF THE RIGHT STUFF  Excerpt from new book "Backlash" by Will Bunch on rightwing in era of Obama.

ISLAM STEW   TPM analyzes recent polls and finds "mainstreaming" of anti-Muslim (and anti-Obama) beliefs, especially among GOPers.  

MEET MY FRIEND  Maureen Dowd on Obama's renovation of the Oval Office--but what he really needs is to pull an Al "Scarface" Pacino on GOP's "young guns."  

SALT ON WOUNDS   Massive cuts at Deseret News in Salt Lake City -- 43% of staff, and top publisher and editor,  gone.  They say the usual about now they can "innovate."   Yeah, like the Brits at Dresden.

BUY "AMERICAN"  Roger Ebert is not anti-"American" -- the new George Clooney thriller, in this case.

PALIN WIN  McClatchy:  Alaska absentee count brought  bad news for Murkowski.  And now she has officially conceded to Palin pal, Joe "Brawny" MIller.

BECK CURSES CARDS    St. Louis Cardinals lose 4th straight since manager and star attended Beck rally--may need to go on Maddow to get curse lifted....

TODAY's LAFF

I bet you didn't know about the hot if short-lived 1990s "chick duo" featuring two of Alaska's greatest native sons--err, daughters--Sarah Palin (on flute) and Jewel (on guitar).  They tried many names for the act before settling on Sarah Barracuda and The Jewel.  Now here's the shocking Behind the Music segment. 


 

TODAY's MUSIC

Coolest vid of week is interactive Arcade Fire experiment, best used on Google Chrome, for its great song off The Suburbs called "We Used to Wait."  It features, if you put in your home address or  (even better) childhood home, your neighborhood right in the video--aerial view and street view, courtesy of Google features.  Here's the link to how to get started and below is pretty much how it plays out, though not in this case with YOUR old home.   

  

As Disaster Unfolded: When I Blogged the Katrina Disaster—and Cries for Help

Five years ago this week, I covered the unfolding disaster in New Orleans from the Katrina flooding in a frequently updated blog at Editor & Publisher magazine, where I served as editor.  Day and night I found chilling reports and cries for help mainly at the blogs and readers'  forums at the Times-Picayune site (which never went down) and local TV station WWL.  This curating drew hundreds of thousands of readers, many of them still in New Orleans or recently evacuated and searching desperately for word, any word, about neighborhoods and in some cases loved ones left behind.

Here's some of what I reported on "day three" of the disaster, five years ago today, August 31, 2005. It only got worse. Much worse.

9:55 AM ET.   The Times-Picayune, which has relocated to Houma, published online-only again today, this time with a thirteen-page PDF version. The banner head reads: UNDER WATER.

Latest update from the paper's website: "The catastrophic flooding that filled the bowl that is New Orleans on Monday and Tuesday will only get worse over the next few days because rainfall from Hurricane Katrina continues to flow into Lake Pontchartrain from north shore rivers and streams, and east winds and a 17.5-foot storm crest on the Pearl River block the outflow water through the Rigolets and Chef Menteur Pass."

11:25 AM ET. Latest item, from the Times-Picayune: "It's an emotional time for everyone in south Louisiana—the media included. During a reading of odds and ends on WWL-TV this morning, Eric Paulson noted that St. Bernard Parish is entirely 'gone.'  It brought a moment of almost stunned silence among him, Meg Farris, and Sally Ann Roberts—followed by a heavy, audible sigh."

12:20 PM ET. From the Times-Picayune, a brief item titled "Floating the Dead": "WWL-TV reporter Karen Swensen related a particularly sad tale from a region overflowing with sad tales. One New Orleans woman waded through the streets of the city, trying to get her husband to Charity Hospital. He had died earlier and she floated his body through the inundated streets on a door that dome off their home."

1:05 PM ET. The vital Katrina blog at WWL-TV in New Orleans has just provided these chilling reports from Jefferson Parish emergency services director Walter Maestri: "Director Walter Maestri: We have no food or water for the evacuees. Says emergency workers have seized the food and water and drinks from Sam's Club, Wal-Mart and other groceries for evacuees, but he said that is all gone. Says water supply is gone. More water expected, but its not there right now. Says evacuees are getting upset and harried.… FEMA and national agencies not delivering the help nearly as fast as it is needed.… Evacuees from New Orleans and the east bank of Jefferson are flocking to the west bank, overwhelming the facilities."

WWL also reports: "Roving bands of looters are breaking into stores in Carrollton area to get food and supplies. They've also stolen guns and armed themselves."

3:40 PM ET. The most chilling report yet, long dreaded, just posted at the Times-Picayune: "The mayor said Wednesday that Hurricane Katrina probably killed thousands of people in New Orleans. 'We know there is a significant number of dead bodies in the water,' and others dead in attics, Mayor Ray Nagin said. Asked how many, he said: 'Minimum, hundreds. Most likely, thousands.'"

5:20 PM ET. A soldier in Iraq writes in a Times-Picayune forum: "Hello my name is Christopher Ducote and i am a Sgt. in the U.S army in iraq.  I am from Chalmette La. It's a very hard thing to be here and only be able to watch whats going on there on the tv. luckly my wife and kids got out and went to fla. before it hit, but now i am worried about my father because i dont know it he evacuated or not. I know that with every thing thats going on there its hard to find out anything about anyone, and i know that i am no different, but if anyone has any info please email me. 

"And dad if you should happen to read this somewhere i want u to know that i love u very much."

From the same forum: "I am writing for a friend, Marlena Template who evacuated New Orleans with her family and is safe. She has been in contact with her friend, Kristy Smith, an employee at Kindred Hospital in New Orleans and is concerned about conditions there. The generator is not working. Staff and patients need help!! Please try to get authorities there ASAP!!"

8:40 PM ET  From the Times-Picayune:"Neighbors in the area near Hickory and Short streets Uptown said a body has been floating nearby in five feet of water since the unidentified man was shot five times on Monday. Neighbors said the shooting was reported, but police and other officials apparently have been unable to respond."

Tuesday Daybook: Iraq Tragedy Continues, Beck Cashes In

WELCOME TO DAYBOOK, our daily collection of media and politics hits/misses from a wide variety of sources plus fun videos and (at the bottom) a music pick. Return for updates all day.   Keep up with fresh items via @gregmitch at Twitter. E-mail me at: epic1934@aol.com. To increase type size hit the middle "A" above right.

TUESDAY FIRST TAKES

Gallup weekly  poll shows generic GOP candidate beating generic Dem by 10 points 51-41% -- largest such gap ever. for a midterm election.  Could be somewhat misleading due to huge GOP edge in South.

Anthony Shadid with great, lengthy piece on Iraqis searching for answers on dead loved ones, including a five-year search that leads to one spot: "The horror of this war is its numbers, frozen in the portraits at the morgue."

As Obama readies nationally televised speech tonight on Iraq, Eugene Robinson points out we didn't really win there, amid "fog of ambiguity"....  Bob Herbert:  Yes, support the troops -- bring them home.  "We keep shipping other people’s children off to combat as if they were some sort of commodity, like coal or wheat, with no real regard for the terrible price so many have to pay, physically and psychologically."   Four more American troops killed in a roadside blast in Afghanistan.

MIchael O'Hanlon of Brookings, who helped get us into Iraq, now complains in op-ed we are "leaving" too soon and questions Obama speech and policy.

My new piece here re-visiting this day five years ago when my blog carried chilling news from New Orleans, with one newspaper site a life line for some. 

Newsweek poll finds 24% think Obama is a Muslim -- Pew had it at 18% and previous high was 12%. Stupidity surging?   Most GOPers claim Obama favors Muslims over Christians.

HITCH ON OPPRESSED WHITE FOLKS   Fine Hitchens piece on the "Waterworld" Beck rally, noting the odd complaints from white crowd and speakers about super-popular issues (Jesus and soldiers),  raising the question of what they are really unhappy about? Could it be, ahem, race? ...

A BUNCH OF BECK  Will Bunch:  It took Beck just 55 hours to start cashing in on rally.... Here's Beck's new "Blaze" site.  He notes: "There comes a time when you have to stop complaining and do something. And so we decided to hire some actual journalists to launch a new website.".... One item up there:  Huff Post pulled someone's promise of $100,000 for Beck sex tape or something else that would destroy him.  Plus not one but two ads for new Dick Armey book.

BECK's BIER?    Meanwhile, St. Louis Cards now have lost three straight to weak teams since manager LaRussa and star Pujols appeared at Beck rally.  Cursed?

BIG TRAIN   To attract recruits, U.S. Army had to severely lower standards for recruits, and now has to change training rules because of the influx of the  overweight and unfit.   And of course, they're also allowing in a lot more mentally and criminally challenged.

MY PHOTO OF THE DAY  End of the summer, Wash Sq Park, NYC.

BITS & PIECES    Yves Smith:  Sorkin's story on bankers' splitting with Obama "misses the dead bodies".....   Amazing, if you feed a bedbug HIV, guess who dies? The virus....   Andy Borowitz: "When a CNN anchor says he's on Twitter, that just reminds viewers that they'd rather be on Twitter than watching CNN."  ....Another morning chuckle:  John Bolton not ruling out race for White House in 2012.

TODAY's LAFF

Tim Robbins'  fun but biting Bob Roberts film from early 1990s anticipated so much to come in media, politics, and Wall Street, and here's a clip of Tim / Bob as a kind of yuppie Glenn Beck. 

 

TODAY's MUSIC

Continuing our Bob Roberts tribute, here's Tim's prescient takeoff on the famous Dylan video.

 

DAYBOOK for Monday: Mosque Arson, Krugman on Obama 'Witchhunt', Stewart & Springsteen, More

WELCOME TO DAYBOOK, our daily collection of media and politics hits/misses from a wide variety of sources plus fun videos and (at the bottom) a music pick. Return for updates all day.   Keep up with fresh items via @gregmitch at Twitter. E-mail me at: epic1934@aol.com. To increase type size hit the middle "A" above right.

MONDAY MORNING MADNESS

Glenn Greenwald on the scary anti-mosque actions far from Ground Zero, including arson in Murfreesboro, Tenn. -- site of last week's Daily Show visit.   Update:  Report that shots now fired at mosque there.

Krugman on the conservative/GOP "witchhunt" against Obama, and "bear in mind, too, that unless something changes the political dynamics, Republicans will soon control at least one house of Congress. This is going to be very, very ugly."  And asks: " So where is this rage coming from? Why is it flourishing? What will it do to America?"

 My interview here w/ Harry Shearer about the "unnatural" disaster that was Katrina--and his new film airing tonight across USA.

Obama To Birthers: “I Can't Spend All My Time With My Birth Certificate Plastered On My Forehead.”  ...  One conservative place that, surprisingly, is moving somewhat to the left: Orange County, CA.  The OC....

New Newsweek cover story:  exploding the manyh  Fox-generation "myths"  about Obama ..... The turnout at Beck's "Whitestock" rally in perspective. ...  Although Ross Douthat of NYT now says he "underestimated" Beck based on rally.... David Koch, subject of that New Yorker piece on his rightwing funding, appears at big Tea Party event after denying connection. 

Andy Borowit: "When a CNN anchor says he's on Twitter, that just reminds viewers that they'd rather be on Twitter than watching CNN."

Another morning chuckle:  John Bolton not ruling out race for White House in 2012.

MILBANK  MOVES  Dana Milbank exits his column at Wash Post, moves to editorial page, officially calls himself "left of center." 

PUBLIC EDITOR ARRIVES   Grandfather--and namesake-- of NYT's new public ed Arthur Brisbane was the top Hearst editor and columnist nearly a century ago.  Debut column Sunday revealed that he voted for Obama--and Scott Brown in Mass.

ANOTHER  ANNIVERSARY  76 years ago Upton Sinclair, , the country's best-known socialist, swept the Democratic primary for governor leading the End Poverty in California movement--and to defeat him his opponents went out and invented the modern political campaign.  My book on this to be re-published this fall.

REPORTER GETS THE YOLK  Reporter covered the egg recall and then gets sick from eating...eggs: 

LOSING HIS RELIGION  Wash Post, in article citing Glenn Beck raising questions about Obama's form of Christianity (liberation style?), twice mentions recent polls finding  "confusion" among large number of people about Obama being Muslim--not "ignorance" or "result of lies."

BITS & PIECES   Disturbing story about prisoner repeatedly attacked, raped  and left comatose--while in protective lockup...... Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism wonders why major ProPublica story  didn't credit those who did earlier work on CDO issue .....  Rare NYT op-ed favorable to Palestinians....  If you missed Nation article on brave Friday Night Lights handling of abortion issue this season.... Bad karma from attending Beck rally? Lowly Washington Nationals beating the LaRussa-Pujols Cardinals two straight!

TODAY's LAFF

In honor of The Daily Show's big Emmy win last night  and the Beckapalooza in D.C. on Saturday  -- some called it "Whitestock" -- here's a classic Jon Stewart parody of Glenn Beck from last November that surely helped win the award.   

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The 11/3 Project
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

 

 TODAY's MUSIC

Also at the Emmys -- Bruce Springsteen, at least in the form of Jimmy Fallon (we still like his Neil Young  better).  As we noted a few days back, there's a big Springsteen release coming this fall, a box featuring outtakes from his 1978 Darkness on the Edge of Town album along with DVDs including the new documentary on the making of that record.   Here's an excerpt from that below:

 

Katrina as 'Unnatural' Disaster: Harry Shearer on His Important New Film

When Harry Shearer decided to make his new documentary The Big Uneasy, airing in more than 150 theaters Monday night, he did not know that in the yet-to-air HBO series Treme one of the key characters becomes famous for his YouTube rants declaring the post-Katrina flooding of New Orleans an "unnatural disaster."

The character, a local professor played by John Goodman, complains that the media and the government have basically gotten the story wrong from the beginning, and even worse, the feds have not fully fixed the failed levee system to this day. Frustrated, the character goes off the deep end by the end of the series—literally and figuratively, apparently never to be heard from again.

Shearer cast Goodman, a fellow part-time New Orleans resident, as an occasional comic presence in The Big Uneasy (another Treme star, Wendell Pierce, adds some narration). But the rest of the eye-opening documentary is dead serious, and it's far from a polemic. Instead, it relies on expert witnesses, most of whom could be considered "whistle-blowers" who expose and detail the main claim that Katrina's impact on New Orleans was not a "natural" disaster but one largely man-made—and the response to it man un-made.

The Army Corps of Engineers gets much of the blame, for pre- and post-Katrina failures. The whistle-blowers meet their nearly inevitable fate of crushed or stalled careers.

The film will be shown one night only in movie theaters Monday. Go to the film site here for background, a trailer and much more.

Shearer, of course, is known to some from his many film roles, including This is Spinal Tap, his stint on SNL and his voicing of many characters on The Simpsons. But he's also long been a presence on the left thanks to his writing and blogging and many years of helming his national radio program Le Show.

Here's some of what he said from his home in New Orleans when I chatted with him on Friday.

I know you live in New Orleans part of the year, but what made you take the step of making this full-scale feature documentary?

It was a magical moment, watching Obama's town hall meeting in New Orleans last year when he said in passing that the flood was a natural disaster—and my head exploded. It was a hijacking of this city's narrative.

So I asked myself, "But what can one person do?" I decided making a documentary could be my answer.

But do most people even in New Orleans believe in that narrative?

People here know it's an unnatural disaster. This leads to profound frustration here that national media just don't get it.

Not even now, five years later? Have you been monitoring coverage this past week?

I'm not seeing much improvement. I don't think most have learned very much. They still focus on "the wrath of Katrina." The levees gets mentioned in passing, but that doesn't get fingered as the exact cause of the disaster.

So why does the media keep getting it wrong?

The real story is hard to explain, damn it, you have to do some work. But damn it, that's their job. It's not my job, and I feel I've had to come in and clean up their mess for them. One nationally known anchor said to me, "We just think the emotional stories are more compelling for our audience." That's a New York media meme about New Orleans—it's a place for emotional stories.

You've gotten a good deal of media coverage for the film, including that excellent PBS "Need to Know" segment—you were even on Mike "Brownie" Brown's radio show—but no full airing of the film?

We went to HBO early on, we said we know you have a Spike [Lee] thing in the works, but what about our film? They said, maybe, but after hearing the premise they said it sounds like "Nat Geo" [the National Geographic channel]. NPR has refused to do anything.

What was the local reaction to your premiere in New Orleans last week?

It was overwhelming, and I was very moved by it, but I told them the film was not made for them but for rest of the country. Dr. John came up to me and said, "Thank God it's not just us anymore." But we also had a press screenings in DC and New York and they went well.

I was trying to do something radical, I suppose, to assume the posture and responsibility of a journalist and not be a celebrity and appear all over it, and I think people saw that was what I was doing. It's a tangled story.

What was the strangest thing that happened in making the film?

Maybe the oddest thing—in the location shooting we were taking photos across from the Corps of Engineers building here and were told we could not even take pictures. Believe it or not, the building is on Leake Street.

 
 

Friday DAYBOOK: Taibbi vs. Tea Party, Stewart Hits Beck Rally, New 'Mosque' Video, More

WELCOME TO DAYBOOK, our daily collection of media and politics hits/misses from a wide variety of sources plus fun videos and (at the bottom) a music pick. Return for updates all day.   Keep up with fresh items via @gregmitch at Twitter. E-mail me at: epic1934@aol.com. To increase type size hit the middle "A" above right.

FRIDAY ON OUR MIND

Big Ben Bernanke speech today. Strong Krugman column lays it on the line with its title: "This is not a recovery." And he's not referring to Tiger Woods.  AP "The government is about to confirm what many people have felt for some time: The economy barely has a pulse."

Call it "Nuts & Dolts"?  Matt Taibbi: Tea Party threat growing and "Fox hate" reaching new levels this summer-- almost like "Radio Rwanda." .... Tim Egan piece title says it all: "Building a Nation of Know-Nothings." ....  Albert Pujols and rightwing manager Tony LaRussa to attend Beck's rally tomorrow. 

Latest animation from those Taiwanese wacko geniuses: the "mosque" controversy, right up to cabbie stabbing. 


Huff Post with videos made by guy who slashed Muslim cabbie -- some on PTSD, plus a "Funny or Die."  Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Daily Show last night strongy defended "mosque" project near Ground Zero.

Times-Picayune photographers remember Hurricane Katrina. 

John Goodman, who didn't die in "Treme" after all, appears in Harry Shearer's "The Big Uneasy" doc on "unnatural disaster" that struck NOLA, in 150 theaters on Monday.   Wendell Pierce lends his voice, too.   PBS's "Need to Know" tonight features Harry and excerpts.

DEDICATED FOLLOWERS OF FASHION  Girls will be boys: how Kinks song "Lola" describes "cross-dressing phase" of modern political economies. (h/t Barbara Bedway)

CHICAGO BLUES:  My new article here: On my political baptism by fire -- at 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago, 42 years ago this week.

REMAINS OF WAR   Mother Jones:  A photographic tally of what America is really leaving behind in Iraq. 

FINE AUTO-TUNING  The gang tackles --hysterical but accurate -- that big NPR/ ProPublica probe of how bankers self-dealing fueled financial crisis.

  

VITTER MEDICINE  From TPM: Sen. David Vitter lawyers threatened media on behalf of girlfriend stabbing staffer.

BITS & PIECES   USA Today to lay off 130 staffers, "deemphasize" print edition......PBS show "Need to Know" tonight with major segment on the controversy around "fracking" gas drilling.... PolitiFact rates most 'honest" pundits on Obama and "Muslim" claim, with Bill O'Reilly at bottom..... Meanwhiile, comes word l O'Reilly attended screening of porn classic "Devil in Miss Jones" for Boston Phoenix in 1974... .

-- TODAY's LAFF

Yes, we used "I Have a Scheme" first, but Jon Stewart still did a bitingly funny segment on Glenn Beck's big Lincoln Memorial rally this weekend.  Plus Colbert, like Beck, launches his own "university," watch here.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
I Have a Scheme
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

 

-- TODAY's MUSIC

For 47th anniversary of MLK Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, here's Peter, Paul & Mary doing "Blowin' in the WInd" that day.

 

DAYBOOK for Thursday: With the Usual Afternoon Updates

WELCOME TO DAYBOOK, our daily collection of media and politics hits/misses from a wide variety of sources plus fun videos and (at the bottom) a music pick. Return for updates all day.   Keep up with fresh items via @gregmitch at Twitter. E-mail me at: epic1934@aol.com. To increase type size hit the middle "A" above right.

THURSDAY's A.M. TOPS & P.M.  UPDATES

Mother Jones:  A photographic tally of what America is really leaving behind in Iraq.  

Huff Post with videos made by guy who slashed Muslim cabbie -- some on PTSD, plus a "Funny or Die."  MIke Bloomberg on Daily Show tonight, no doubt defending "ground zero mosque." 

Bill O'Reilly attended screening of porn classic "Devil in Miss Jones" for Boston Phoenix in 1974.

Girls will be boys: how Kinks song "Lola" describes "cross-dressing phase" of modern political economies. (h/t Barbara Bedway)

Top NYT scoop by FIlkins and Mazzetti: Top Karzai aide, accused of  corruption, paid by CIA, it turns out, "underscoring deep contradictions in American policy there."  And Times editorial hits Karzai on corruption.

More on NYC Muslim cab driver stabbed by passenger, a young film student.   Statement by victim, whose four kids were all born in USA.  Odd details on perp: former embed in Afghanistan, works w/ church group that backs controversial "mosque."  Update: He kept an anti-Muslim rant diary.

Great Daily Show segment as it visits anti-mosque protest far from Ground Zero -- in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Tennessee No Evil
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

 

Krugman at blog:  Obama must fire Alan SImpson from deficit commission.  "When you have a commission dedicated to the common good, and the co-chair dismisses Social Security as a 'milk cow with 310 million tits,'  you either have to get rid of him or admit that you’re completely, um, cowed by the right wing."   .... Dean Baker:  SImpson is not just horrid, but ignorant.

Veteran reporter, now with NYT, Anthony Shadid tweets: "Brutal day in Baghdad yesterday. Thought fights between the Iraqi army and police were telling.." Article here on surge in attacks. Obama to address nation from Oval Office on Iraq next Tuesday.  More attacks there Monday?

Huff Post's Amanda Terkel interviews former GOP boss Ken Mehlman, who finally came out as gay yesterday and claims there is room for gays in the party.  Also, room for Islamaphobes.

Nate Silver's grim new projections for 538.com find Dems now losing 6 or 7 Senate seats. This marks debut of his new blog for NYT.  Video of him discussing Senate contests on Maddow here. ... Politico gang quotes (anonymous) Dem saying "House majority is gone" come November.  But E.J. Dionne says Dems still have hope because of right-winging of GOP.

CHICAGO BLUES:  My new article here: On my political baptism by fire -- at 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago, 42 years ago this week.

McCAIN LOSES!  Or so claimed Stephen Colbert last night, meaning, you know, the good old McCain, defeated by imposter, bad new McCain.

The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
John McCain's Victorious Defeat
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes 2010 Election Fox News

 

MILLER TIME IN ALASKA?  Likely Alaska GOP Senate candidate Joe "Brawny" Miller:  "We haven’t heard there’s man-made global warming." .... Race over, but Daily Show comes up w/ best description of losing Arizona Senate candidate J.D. Hayworth: "a flesh-covered ventriloquist's dummy."

BUNCH OF TROUBLE FOR BECK   Will Bunch, who has new book titled "Backlash," at  CNN.com on how Glenn Beck is re-writing U.S. history -- and the danger if we let him get away with it: 

BITS & PIECES   Time magazine's Grunwald with favorable piece on stimulus spending.... The Koch brothers respond to New Yorker's exposing them as major Tea Party funders ....  Major Garrett exiting Fox News, leaves White House spot open for Breitbart, Ingraham, Carlson...."Strangelove" and "Paths of Glory" on my all-time top 10 -- now Kubrick's widow talks to The Guardian.

TODAY's LAFF 

Time Inc. announces new magazine: "Time Magazine for Adults." Finally admits that regular Time aimed at kids.   No more silly cover stories and graphics aimed at youth!  Story broken by The Onion, of course.

 

 

TODAY's MUSIC

One of the soundtrack highlights from TIm Robbins' great death penalty film Dead Man Walking was Eddie Vedder and  the legendary Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan  doing "Face of Love."    

Wednesday DAYBOOK: McCain and Meek (and Palin?) Win, 'True Blood' Spoof, New Dylan, More

WELCOME TO DAYBOOK, our daily collection of media and politics hits/misses from a wide variety of sources plus fun videos and (and at the bottom) musical picks. Return for updates all day. Keep up with fresh items via @gregmitch at Twitter. E-mail me at: epic1934@aol.com. To increase type size hit the middle "A" above right.

WEDNESDAY MOURNING & AFTERNOON UPDATES

NY cab driver stabbed by passenger who asked "Are You Muslim?"  Statement by victim, whose four kids were all born in USA.   Update: Perp to be charged with attempted murder and hate crime.

Coordinated wave of attacks in 13 towns and cities in Iraq kill dozens, raise fear of possible future "Tet" offensive? 

Major Garrett exiting Fox News, leaves White House spot open for Breitbart, Ingraham, Carlson.

Nate Silver's grim new projections for 538.com find Dems now losing 6 or 7 Senate seats. This marks debut of his new blog for NYT.

Follow up on editor's suicide at Virginia Quarterly Review: top editor had drawn blame, staffers defend now.

Big ProPublica story -- New Orleans cops were given okay to shoot and kill looters.  Will be featured on PBS Frontline tonight.

For Tuesday's primary results and analysis check TPM first.  Among the highlights:  Easy win for John McCain in Arizona, as move to right pays off.  Ben Quayle wins 10-person GOP race there also....  And Kendrick Meek inherits the turf in Florida, and will oppose Rubio and Crist.  Scott defeats McCollum for Fla. GOP nod for governor... Palin-backed candidate seems to pull shocking upset in Alaska over Murkowski, though not final.

Mayor Mike Bloomberg again shames most Democrats with another strong pro-Islam Center speech.  .... Chris Matthews slams NY candidate  Rick Lazio over "mosque" claims (video) ... ....NYT:  Area just south of Ground Zero in NYC  was once dominated by Arab-Americans and known as Little Syria.

Top Wash Post story:  Grave new threat of al-Qaeda upsurge in Yemen....  The Onion:  "Obama Declares Victory, Sort of, Depending on How You Look At It, In Iraq." 

From Politics Daily: 10 reasons to lift the Cuba embargo

ON THE CAN-PAIN TRAIL   That Taiwan news site that does wacky animations of big news stories usually highlights things like Tiger Wood's car assault but for some reason decided to look at midterm elections in the USA, and we're glad they did:

 

BECK AND CALL  Media Matters: How Fox is unofficial sponsor of Glenn Beck's big D.C. rally.....My old bud Joe Strupp w/ scoop on former WH Corresp chief Ed Chen calling Fox getting top WH seat a "travesty."

THAT MAKES TWO OF US  Andy Borowitz "BREAKING: DEA admits they had no idea what people were saying in The Wire."

ISABELLA GOES BUGGY ON US  Jon Stewart last night had some fun last night with excerpts from what seemed like a truly bizarre video featuring Isabella Rossellini exploring....bed bugs.  So here's her full video:

 

THE DWIGHT APPROACH  Rainn Wilson tweets: "I'm all for science when it doesn't conflict with my political or religious views."

BITS & PIECES   Felix Salmon:  New housing price report bad? It will get worse. .... Sad:  Death of young LPGA golfer ruled a suicide, but scene "altered."....Pro Publica: Local officials say lack of oxygen likely killing thousands of fish in the Gulf.....U.S. drone strike destroys house full of children in Pakistan.

SHIRLEY A MAJOR  DECISION  Shirley Sherrod declines offer return to Agriculture Department.   Roger Simon of Politico reports that Tom Vilsack did offer to quit over his handling of her firing. 

-- TODAY's LAFF   

True Blood in 60 seconds.

 

 

-- TODAY's MUSIC 

Columbia Records announced yesterday that its next installment in the official Bob Dylan "bootleg" series would be a collection of acoustic demo songs cut between 1962-1964, some never heard before.  It's also putting out his first eight albums in mono, on both vinyl and CD.  So here's a rarely seen (and very odd) live TV version of his classic "Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll" from that period.

DAYBOOK for Tuesday: Jon Stewart Mocks Fox on 'Mosque,' Plus Afternoon Updates

WELCOME TO DAYBOOK, our daily collection of media and politics hits/misses from a wide variety of sources plus fun videos and (and at the bottom) musical picks. Return for updates all day. Keep up with fresh items via @gregmitch at Twitter. E-mail me at: epic1934@aol.com. To increase type size hit the middle "A" above right.

TUESDAY's TOPS &  AFTERNOON UPDATES

U.S. drone strike destroys house full of children in Pakistan.

Pro Publica: Local officials say lack of oxygen likely killing thousands of fish in the Gulf.

Great Daily Show segment on Fox News blasting  the "mosque" terror funder (who it turns out happens to own part of Fox) -- is Fox stupid or evil?  Also, go here for the unedited version of Jon Stewart's rough handling of interview guest Rod Blagojevich.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The Parent Company Trap
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

 

Rainn Wilson tweets: "I'm all for science when it doesn't conflict with my political or religious views."

PolitFact rules that it is correct to call the NYC "mosque" a mosque.... Foreign Policy: George W. Bush won 70% of the Muslim vote, surprise, but now they are flocking to Dems, no surprise....  Ron Paul: anti-"mosque" campaign "is all about hate and Islamaphobia."   Unfortunately, his son, Rand, disagrees strongly.....

Vet leader and buddy Paul Rieckhoff tweets:  "Clearly one of big winners of Ground Zero Islamic Center controversy: Burlington Coat Factory. Mountains of free press." 

New kind of "press gang"?  Gang members arrested while leaving journalism class at community college.

MONEY FOR NOTHING AND THE CHECKS FOR FREE?  Griff Witte with key piece in Wash Post on billions of dollars in aid getting us little goodwill in Pakistan.

MOONING   Yes, folks, I moonlight as a photographer (sometimes under moon light). 

CHUCK's STAKE   GOPer Chuck Hagel endorses Democrat Joe Sestak  in Pa. race for U.S. Senate, and will campaign for him.... Major USA Today piece on hyper-funding for fall election campaigns... Primaries today feature John McCain, Ben Quayle, big Florida races,  more fun. 

SHIRLEY A MAJOR  DECISION  Shirley Sherrod declines offer return to Agriculture Department. 

WATTS UP  My new piece with brand new trailer for upcoming Hollywood film on Plame / CIA Leak Case, starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn.

THE BRISTOL STOMP  Bristol Palin to get $14,000 for speech.   DAvid Waldman tweets:  "Maybe Levi Johnston should sue Bristol for half her teen pregnancy speaking fees."

SARAH SMILED  My new piece at The Nation on how the media REALLY created Sarah Palin.  Hint:  It happened ever before McCain picked her as veep candidate.

-- TODAY's LAFF

Stephen Colbert devotes his "threat down" to all things aqua--including oysters getting herpes due to global warming (or sex with humans?)  

The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Aqua ThreatDown - Oyster Sluts, Japanese Hackers & Israeli Regulators
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes 2010 Election Fox News

 

-- TODAY's MUSIC

Man who wrote "Can't Help Falling in Love," "The Lion Sleeps Tonite" and  "What a Wonderful World" has died.  Here's the great Satchmo (Music Man of the Century) doing the latter.  

 

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