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Rosie O’Donnell: "When she was good, she was very, very…"

23 Feb
Rosie O’Donnell might be viewed by an uncharitable person as someone who keeps trying to fill a large hole with something: she’s keeps adopting kids, new ones with new spouses, as the original set age out; new houses; new spouses, who are actually spouses, not just lovers; food; drink; money; and disappearances from and reappearances in, TV shows like The View.

My natural inclinations do include those toward the uncharitable, because Rosie is one of those half wit, ill educated, fools, who get to influence the public in a pincer movement (the other side being state funded and credentialed academia).  Like Sandra Bernhard, Jon Stewart, Patricia Arquette, Roseanne Barr, and Ellen Degeneres, Rosie’s formal education was acquired in bars, comedy clubs, and popular magazines, before she got promoted to being educated by proglodyte cocktail parties and leftover network entertainment execs.

I really liked her original TV show, though Ellen did eclipse it in the same way Oprah was better than Donahue.  It had some problems.  The running gag, before she came out, where she claimed to be infatuated with the very heterosexual Tom Cruise, got old.  Since Degeneres was already out by the time she became a talk show queen of nice, she never had to do that.

Rosie has an HBO special in rotation this month that explains a lot of this drama.  She originally left her talk show to spend more time with her kids (in this special, which is mainly biographical and about her family life, her now teen daughter, upset that her mom can no longer intorduce her to the likes of Justin Bieber, tells her this was a “bad decision”).  She started The View when the kids got old enough to not need two at home moms, then left it when she got divorced.  She returned to the show when the kids got older.  She then married, nursed her new lipstick lesbian wife through cancer, adopted another baby, had a heart attack, and then left the show again when she divorced.  Now she is selling one of her houses.

But the special is good as comedy, somewhat free of political preaching, though horrifying in some of its details of her personal life.  It begins with a rather crude and thoughtless story about her son’s circumcision.  She thought she had; she told the doctor to do so.  Her friend Rita Wilson asked her why she didn’t, and Rosie, unfamiliar with what penises look like, said she didn’t realize the baby was uncircumcised.  So they call in Kate Capeshaw and Steven Speilberg’s mohel and did it later.  So the baby woudn’t “look different” or “have a funny penis.”  An odd choice for a preacher for gender non-conformity.

The bits pile up.  All well written, well timed, funny, and well delivered.  But somewhat horrifying, like her depiction of the competitive victim-off she has with her new wife (in a short lived marriage) over whether Rosie’s heart attack or the wife’s cancer was worse.

The set ends with Rosie saying God saved her after she prayed for the first time in years, with the intercession of her observant Catholic mother’s ghost, so she could be here to advocate for women’s cardiac health.  Somehow I don’t think Rosie would allow any conservative politician to make the same type of theological claims.

TV Weirdness Alert

21 Oct
More for the insomniacs than the libertarians, TV, particularly the Bravo channel, is having a fascinating outbreak of weirdness that surpasses even the fascist PR gymnastics of MSNBC.

On the next Andy Cohen interview, the guest is….OPRAH!

Queer Eye for the Straight Guy had a ten year reunion, also hosted by Andy Cohen.

And best of all,  a new unscripted show, The People’s Couch, features a demographically diverse group of people watching shows like The Walking Dead and the Kardashians and reacting dramatically.  I’d love to be on this casting couch!  On the episode I saw (#3) the couch potatoes were: three gay guys (a couple and a friend?); two black ladies; a bunch of Persian singles, from another Bravo show, Shahs of Sunset; a plump white family; and lesbian comic Julie Goldman, her wife and their dog.

Obama goes to Oprah’s new movie; decides black people should be seen and not heard

5 Sep

Posted By John Hudson, The Cable, Foreign Policy.com     Share

As an increasing number of African-American lawmakers voice dissent over the Obama administration’s war plans in Syria, the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) has asked members to “limit public comment” on the issue until they are briefed by senior administration officials.
A congressional aide to a CBC member called the request “eyebrow-raising,” in an interview withThe Cable, and said the request was designed to quiet dissent while shoring up support for President Obama’s Syria strategy.
The CBC, a crucial bloc of more than 40 votes the White House likely needs to authorize a military strike in Syria, is scheduled to be briefed by White House National Security Advisor Susan Rice on Monday. Until then, CBC chairwoman Marcia Fudge has asked colleagues to “limit public comment until [they] receive additional details,” Fudge spokeswoman Ayofemi Kirby told The Cable.
When asked if the White House requested the partial gag order, National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said “the Administration is reaching out to all Members to ensure they have the information they need to make an informed judgment on this issue.” Kirby said it was her boss’s request and was aimed at keeping members informed rather than silencing anti-war members.
In recent days, a number of black lawmakers from Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) to Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) to Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) have expressed skepticism over the administration’s plan to wage a surgical military strike in Syria. “We must learn the lessons of the past. Lessons from Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and others,” said Lee, who remains opposed to a Syrian intervention.
“If I felt for one minute that my nation was in danger, and I’m 83, I would volunteer and do something to protect her,” Rangel told The Cable on Wednesday. “But I’ll be damned if I see anything worth fighting for.”
Last week, Lee circulated a letter signed by 64 Democrats, including many members of the CBC, demanding congressional authorization for a strike in Syria.
“The Syria vote is splitting the party and from the CBC point of view, it’s very sensitive,” said the aide. “I think where they were coming from is ‘OK, I know you’re against military engagement, however, before you go public opposing involvement, wait and give us some time to convince you why we need to support the president.'”
Despite the request, some CBC members have felt compelled to let constituents know where they stand on an issue consuming the public’s attentions. “It’s my obligation to speak out and say what my thought process is,” Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), a member of the CBC and the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told The Cable. “I think it’s important for me to step forward and make some statements. These are very personal matters.”
Meeks said he’s currently undecided on Syria and wants to see the White House build an international coalition before he authorizes a strike. “This is an international violation, therefore it it needs an international response,” he said. “We don’t have NATO, we don’t have the Arab League, we don’t have the U.N.”
While Meeks remains open to White House arguments, others say they could never be convinced of another war in the Middle East. “Enough is enough,” said Rangel. “I don’t see how I could be persuaded.”
The House remains the most difficult battleground for the White House in its quest for military authorization. On Tuesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee agreed on a resolution allowing the president to carry out a strike within a 60-day period, with a 30-day extension. The House Foreign Affairs Committee, meanwhile, remains split with its Republican chairman concerned that a limited strike could turn into an escalation.
“The president promises a military operation in Syria of limited scope and duration,” Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) said Wednesday. “But the Assad regime would have a say in what happens next.”
If a resolution to authorize military force fails to pass in the House, it will likely be due to an odd pairing of conservative and libertarian Republicans and liberal Democrats, including Congressional Black Caucus members. When asked if his constituents had any appetite for a war with Syria, Rangel replied bluntly. “In answer to your question: Hell no.”

How do I Libertarian you? Let me count the ways…

14 Jan
Last week Glenn Beck upset some libertarians by saying he was going to create a libertarian TV network:
Glenn Beck Relaunching The Blaze As Global Libertarian News Network

Beck takes a shot at Fox as he expands his news network with foreign bureaus and a new show. “I consider myself a libertarian… I’m a lot closer to Penn Jillette than I am to Chuck Hagel.”

Glenn Beck announced plans Tuesday during his online television program to expand the news operation in his media company, The Blaze, and refocus it as a libertarian network, opening three foreign bureaus, debuting a nightly newsmagazine show, and relocating his New York staff to showy new offices.                   
Beck introduced his ambitious plans by standing in front of a split screen with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews on one side and Fox News’s Sean Hannity on the other, and bemoaning the fact that cable news has devolved into the “far left [and] far right… yelling at each other.”
“We’re not gonna play in that crazy space as a network,” he said, adding, “I consider myself a libertarian… I’m a lot closer to Penn Jillette than I am to Chuck Hagel.”
He said over the next 60 days, The Blaze will open three foreign bureaus in cities that are “important to America.” He will also relocate his New York staff from their current midtown offices into a building that will “send a very clear message to everyone in New York… it will piss everyone off.”
Beck also showed a teaser for a new nightly 30-minute newsmagazine show calledFor the Record.

“Our Nightline will be a nightly half hour broadcast to update you on a topic that no one else quite frankly has the balls to do. I will,” he said.
The trailer for the show — which he said will be “the most expensive show on the network, including mine” — featured future episodes exposing the NSA for turning America into a “surveillance state,” and warning that the UN “want[s] your guns,” both big issues in libertarian circles.
After the in-your-face trailer ended, Beck chuckled, “Security is going to be a real issue for the people in our company.”
The Blaze also has plans to hire investigative journalists and plans to produce more documentaries, Beck said.
“We are currently looking for our own Woodwards and Bernsteins,” he said. “Maybe they don’t exist anymore, and if that’s the case I don’t really care. We’ll grow our own!”
Beck launched his online TV network, then called GBTV, in 2011, and has brought all his media properties — including a news and opinion site, a monthly magazine, and an online radio network — under umbrella of The Blaze brand. Last year, the network began airing on a Dish Network channel, and last week, Beck revealed that he tried to buy the channel currently airing Al Gore’s Current TV — a sign that he hopes to expand into cable soon.
But Beck’s decision to orient the network’s programming around libertarian politics — or at least brand it that way — could be a play for younger, conservative viewers, who find the Republican Party, and the network that most closely aligns with its ideals, Fox, distasteful.

I’ve been watching Beck since he was on HLN in the late afternoon, long before he went to FOX News.  I was unhappy to see FOX cancel him, as I thought he was the best thing on their show.

It was fun but awkward to watch him back then when he interviewed Penn Jillette.  He clearly likes Jillette; one suspects he appreciates his showmanship, since Beck is very much the showman, much more than most TV presenters.  (Beck is probably more skilled than Oprah at the medium of television, and his talent simply isn’t, and probably cannot be, recognized by those with partisan blinders.)  At least once I have seen Beck ask if Jillette would invite him into his home even though they disagree about religion, opining that he (Beck) would invite an otherwise agreeable atheist like Jillette to meet his family; on one such occasion Jillette pulled back and seemed to announce that his atheism was orthodox and biblical in its ritual purity, with no mixing of mystics and non-mystics in the home, and no otherworldly influences allowed on his children.  Awkward!

I can see how libertarians could get in a snit (here/) over Beck creating a libertarian TV network.  Libertarianism is becoming more popular.  When it does you can’t control who will be representing it and what spin they will put on it, and  some people who really aren’t libertarian on every issue (but are way libertarian compared to the political establishment), will call themselves libertarians.  Ron Paul had his past odious associations, including those newsletter authors; and still he brought people into the movement.  Rand Paul may not be a libertarian on every issue, and once or twice has said things he shouldn’t have; and yet he still is so far superior to what we have now that I think it is silly and counterproductive to criticize him.  Why not let go at Jillette or Drew Carey as well for some reason or other – not being great beauties or being “too” critical of religion?  I think we may be repeating the Rand/Rothbard problem, where instead of simply criticizing each other’s ideas, drama, high dudgeon, and calls for ostracism abound.

Given all that I think it is funny that I keep coming across people around the world naming their ventures “Libertarian” when they have even less to do with politics or policy than a TV network would.

Here is a milliner in England who makes fanciful hats, who calls her company The Libertarian:

And then there is a property management company, that calls itself The Libertarian:










T
















The Libertarian is a family owned and managed commercial property company based in London Bridge. We have properties in London Bridge and Romford.

Why come to us?We are 100% family owned so our sole priority is with our tenants rather than external investors. We are open, flexible and always responsive to our tenants’ requirements. We have a hands on approach where you will always have a direct line of communication with us to make sure you have the easiest and most stress free transition into your new home for your business.Nick Riley, Director/Owner – nick@libertarian.uk.comNick started in the business from an early age, when instead of being taken to football matches by his father, he was taken to work and given a shovel. He graduated with a Masters in mechanical engineering in 2000 and spent the following years working as a Project Engineer/Manager for Tyco Infrastructure and Bovis Lend Lease in Australia. He assumed the role of director and company secretary of The Libertarian in 2009 and has steered the business towards the acquisition of further property and the modernisation of the existing stock. Nick is co-owner with his sister, Melissa Riley.



So Beck wants to call his TV network libertarian?  What’s the problem?  He’s been evolving in a libertarian direction for years.  He’s almost the only TV presenter (aside from Stossel, Napolitano and Cavuto) who has a clue about inflationism and deficit financing of state expansion and how it causes business cycles, the core and major and unremarked political issue of the past century.

The problem of a growing liberty movement is not going away.  For example, every time a state Libertarian Party gets permanent ballot status (as my Congressional campaign just produced in the District of Columbia), control of that party rests with organized groups of people who choose to register as Libertarians, whomever they may be.  If you don’t like their positions you will actually have to educate and persuade them, beyond telling them they are not libertarians.