Saturday, November 17, 2007

Fuck You, Joe Allen

When walking west on 46th Street in Manhattan (Restaurant Row), one of the first stops you hit is "Joe Allen". This is one of four Joe Allens owned by the restauratuer of the same name. The other three are in Miami Beach, London and Paris. These are just four of the dozen or so restaurants (including Orso) that Mr. Allen owns. Joe Allen also had the good fortune of Rosie O'Donnell's free advertising when she'd mention her latest adventure while dining there, back in the day when Rosie had a talk show and middle America loved her... you know, before the midwest housewives found out she was a lesbian.

I've often walked by and thought I might try the food, although the prospect of paying $13.50 for a cheeseburger seems a bit over the top. Well those thoughts are no longer a problem.

From the New York Times:

On Thursday night, the bars were surprisingly lively, especially the hush-hush upstairs joint on 46th Street owned and managed by Joe Allen, the restaurateur. Sinatra played, the low lights flattered older women, the veal was said to be delicious. Mr. Allen, fastidious in velvet, sat at a table passing on a story he had heard about the chief carpenter at the Belasco — or maybe it was the Minskoff — who was losing $8,000 a week because of the strike.

“Think about that for a moment,” Mr. Allen said. “Eight thousand a week. Times 52 weeks — or let’s just say he only works 30. That’s a lot of money in the bank.”

Sitting at the bar, an elegant bald man, who had ordered the veal, raised his fork and agreed.

Mr. Allen’s understanding of the situation is that years ago, when Broadway was “smoking,” the producers cut a deal with the stagehands’ union to pad the payroll and thus avoid a strike. Then, in recent years, a younger generation of producer came along, one who no longer wished to tolerate the union man who will sometimes sit, as it is said, on a beach chair in the back of a truck.

“I saw them picketing the other day on 44th Street and thought to myself, ‘That’s the hardest they’ve worked in years,’” Mr. Allen said.

Mr. Allen's "understanding of the situation" is completely false. My understanding of Mr. Allen is that he an elite snob. To think that his man, who probably never worked hard a day in his life, can sit there and exhort the situation of the union laborer while dressed in velvet, sitting in a restaurant that he owns while most likely hiring illegal immigrants at slave wages to work in his kitchen, makes my blood boil.

One can picture the velvet clad highbrow, with a cigar in one hand and a jewel-encrusted goblet in the other, trying to impress those who enter his establishment with his wisdom of how life works.

The unforunate part is that people will read this piece of shit and take it as fact. It's bad enough that the League of American Theaters and Producers are misquoting salaries and contract rules, but now this asshole is actually exaggerating the exaggerated!

Well, fuck you, Mr. Allen. I am making it my mission to see to it that every working man knows how you feel and they'll thank you by never stepping foot in your establishments. I know of at least 3000 union members that would have an opinion of how you perceive them.

Game on, brohim!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Democratic Cojones

Let's See If It Holds...

Senate Republicans on Friday blocked a $50 billion bill by Democrats that would have paid for several months of combat but also would have ordered troop withdrawals from Iraq to begin within 30 days. The measure, narrowly passed this week by the House, also would have set a goal of ending combat in December 2008.

Now, Democratic leaders say they won't send President Bush a war spending bill this year. They calculate the military has enough money to run through mid-February.

...Sen. Christopher Dodd was the lone Democrat opposing [the bill] because he said it did not go far enough to end the war. Other Democrats, including Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, said they too opposed the bill as too soft but that they supported advancing debate.

Now let's see if Reid and Pelosi will have the Democratic balls to stick to their plan of not bringing up any legislation to fund the occupation before the new year. I seriously hope they realize that they should finally side with the 76% of the population that rejects President Bush, his folly and the Republican agenda.

Barry Bonds Indicted

Who Cares?!

NY Times: Barry Bonds, baseball’s career home run leader, was indicted yesterday on five felony charges — four for perjury and one for obstruction of justice — for testifying before a federal grand jury in 2003 that he never used anabolic steroids or human growth hormone.
I'm a big baseball fan. I'm upset. I'm pissed off. But the reason I'm angry is because the Federal government spent four years and millions and millions of dollars on a case against a baseball player. A FUCKING BASEBALL PLAYER!

President Bush "is very disappointed to hear this," said White House spokesman, Tony Fratto.

Well maybe Bush can commute Bond's sentence if he is convicted. After all, it's only a perjury charge against the federal grand jury for lying about steroid use. It's not nearly as important as lying about revealing the name of a CIA operative, which used to be considered treasonous, but not in this day and age.

When Michael Mukasey is confirmed as the new Attorney General after refusing to give a straight answer on waterboarding, when the former AG, Alberto "Torquemada" Gonzales is starting a defense fund even though he's an honorable man according to his former boss, when our troops are still in harm's way in Iraq with no end in sight, when hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians are dead because of our illegal occupation, when military contractors have no accountability for their actions, when companies like Halliburton are using the occupation to loot the US Treasury coffers and then move their offices to Dubai to avoid paying taxes, I'm sooo glad they took the time and money to investigate and indict a man in a non-essential job to make an example of.

All these things taken into account, I can now sleep better knowing that Barry Bonds, if convicted, will get a pardon from President Bush. Won't he? I mean, if Scooter Libby received a pardon for lying to a grand jury, surely Barry Bonds will also.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

House Passes Surveillance Bill Sans Telecom Immunity

...The Democratic bill, approved 227-189, was a rebuke to President Bush, who has promised to veto any legislation that does not shield telecom companies from civil lawsuits. About 40 civil suits have been filed alleging the companies broke wiretapping and privacy lawsuits for monitoring phone calls and e-mails without permission of a secret court created 30 years ago for that purpose.

....Bush argues that such lawsuits could bankrupt the telecoms, reveal classified information and discourage cooperation with legal surveillance requests.

..The House bill would allow unfettered telephone and e-mail surveillance of foreign intelligence targets but would require special authorization if the foreign targets are likely to be in contact with people inside the United States, a provision designed to safeguard Americans' privacy.

Just get a warrant, you moron.

God's Perfect Creation... The Banana?!

Bob Cesca's blog, which is a must read gave us this gem. Never seen it before, but it's supposed to be a classic.

My favorite lines? The first and the last: "Behold, the atheist's nightmare!" and "The whole of creation testifies to the genius of God's creative hand."

And this we know because of the banana. God exists because of the design of a banana... wow! I'm convinced.
Is that Kirk Cameron?!

A New Look and A New Name... Same Rant

I can't believe it's been a year since I started this blog. I thought I'd give it a little update, sort of like returning a leased car for a newer model. Let me know what you think.

Also "Broadway Carl's Blog-O-Mania" was always intended as a temporary name when I initially set up the page because I couldn't think of anything at the time. Now that I see I'm actually sticking to this blogging, or as I like to call it, "affordable therapy", I'm looking for a new name, perhaps even a logo! And I still can't think of anything... something that might get a stray hit or two from surfers would be nice.

If you're new to this site, take a look around to get a feel for what I obsess on. Maybe you can help me think of a name. If you frequent this page, chances are you probably know me personally, so that can help you in the decision.

I'd offer a prize for the best new name, but I don't make promises I can't keep. And I don't have anything to give but my unending gratitude.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Hillary's Bad Week & Wingnut Hyposcrisy... AGAIN!

This week Hillary Clinton was skewered for having a question planted in Grinell, Iowa. Rotten. Not necessary. Not cool. Then came the CNN interview of the 19-year old college student that states that she wasn't the only planted question... ouch. Bad.

And the wingnuts go wild. Michelle "Internment Camps are Good" Malkin, Rush "These are prescribed!"Limbaugh, Sean "Giuliani Makes Me Hot" Hannity, etc., froth at the mouth. Fine. She was caught. Good for them.

But does anyone remember these "non-stories?"

Jeff Gannon Guckert: "...for nearly two years the White House press office had credentialed Mr. Guckert, even though, as Dana Milbank of The Washington Post explained on Mr. Olbermann's show, he "was representing a phony media company that doesn't really have any such thing as circulation or readership."
How this happened is a mystery that has yet to be solved. "Jeff" has now quit Talon News not because he and it have been exposed as fakes but because of other embarrassing blogosphere revelations linking him to sites like and to an apparently promising career as an X-rated $200-per-hour "escort."

Bushies screen audience and have manuals on techniques to be used: "Those entering must be screened in case they are hiding secret signs. Any anti-Bush demonstrators who manage to get in anyway should be shouted down by 'rally squads' stationed in strategic locations. And if that does not work, they should be thrown out."
...Those invited into a VIP section on or near the stage, for instance, must be 'extremely supportive of the Administration.'"...

And my personal favorite, Bush stages "spontaneous" video conference with troops in Iraq: In the words of Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, the feed "showed a full-blown rehearsal of the president's questions, in advance, along with the soldiers' answers and coaching from the administration," although the live video event was billed as a spontaneous exchange between the president and the troops.

The WHOLE, FUCKING conference.

So what did Malkin have to say about that?
MALKIN: "NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell was breathless last night over her military-bashing “scoop” about the “staging” of a Q&A between President Bush and the troops."

That's right Michelle, when caught with your pants down, just use the old tried-and-true "they hate the troops" crap and then deny, deny, deny. Chapter 4, Section 3b on how to deflect questions regarding the indefensible.

Another example in the ever growing list of right wing hypocrisy. Isn't everyone just getting a little tired of the defenders of the Destroyer of the Constitution with a 24% approval rating? I know I am. Cut your losses, admit that he's awful and try better next time. But who am I kidding?

While I'm at it, why is this funny?

Senator Clinton, ending a press conference, turns to walk away. Behind her are your normal school classroom flagpoles. Someone opens the curtains behind the flags, inadvertantly tipping one over and causing a domino effect. The flags fall... and it's Hillary's fault. Watch the video:

HA!HA!HA! Hysterical, isn't it?... Yeah, I didn't think so either. But let's do a quick Google search on "Hillary Clinton Flags Fall" and see what we get. (Emphasis mine to show the spin.)

ABCNews Blogs: " There were no planted questions to worry about, but on this Veterans Day the flags dropping all around the Senator created quite a stir among the press before Clinton fled the scene." "At a news conference yesterday, four big American flags fell down ON presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton; right now she's hoping that that's not symbolic or anything."

CNN Political Ticker: When flag poles attack (CNN?! Jesus Christ...)

The Hillary Project: "You have to wonder if this really is a sign from above of things to come if Hillary should win the Presidency."

Yes, I'm sure that's what it is. The God of the Republicans (...Ronald Reagan?) tried to smite Hillary down as she left the conference. His aim, being what it was, missed by a few feet and knock down a few flagpoles. (Perhaps they should have sent Cheney with a shotgun.) Ominous? Who can tell? Apparently, the right-wing political hacks can.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a big Hillary fan, but this is beyond ridiculous.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Reagan Pundit Wars

Rachel Maddow's show started off with a good topic today.

The subject: Paul Krugman's new book, "Conscience of a Liberal" and how it has started a string of right wing attacks on Krugman, especially from David Brooks, for daring to criticize Ronald Reagan. Yes, that right wing diety, Ronald Reagan.

Brooks: Today, I’m going to write about a slur. It’s a distortion that’s been around for a while, but has spread like a weed over the past few months...

The distortion concerns a speech Ronald Reagan gave during the 1980 campaign in Philadelphia, Miss., which is where three civil rights workers had been murdered 16 years earlier. An increasing number of left-wing commentators assert that Reagan kicked off his 1980 presidential campaign with a states’ rights speech in Philadelphia to send a signal to white racists that he was on their side. The speech is taken as proof that the Republican majority was built on racism.

The truth is more complicated.

Paul Krugman then fires back. Now remember that these men work for the same newspaper, so it's pretty rare that op-eds in the same paper take swipes at each other.

Krugman: So there's a campaign on to exonerate Ronald Reagan from the charge that he deliberately made use of Nixon's Southern strategy. When he went to Philadelphia, Mississippi, in 1980, the town where the civil rights workers had been murdered, and declared that 'I believe in states' rights,' he didn't mean to signal support for white racists. It was all just an innocent mistake.

Indeed, you do really have to feel sorry for Reagan. He just kept making those innocent mistakes.

But was Reagan a racist or does Brooks have it right in saying it is blown out of proportion? Here's Bob Herbert, another op-ed columnist from the same paper!

Herbert: Everybody watching the 1980 campaign knew what Reagan was signaling at the fair. Whites and blacks, Democrats and Republicans — they all knew. The news media knew. The race haters and the people appalled by racial hatred knew. And Reagan knew. ...

...And Reagan meant it. He was opposed to the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, which was the same year that Goodman, Schwerner and Chaney were slaughtered. As president, he actually tried to weaken the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He opposed a national holiday for the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He tried to get rid of the federal ban on tax exemptions for private schools that practiced racial discrimination. And in 1988, he vetoed a bill to expand the reach of federal civil rights legislation.

Congress overrode the veto.

Reagan also vetoed the imposition of sanctions on the apartheid regime in South Africa. Congress overrode that veto, too.

So was Reagan a racist? In the meantime, what are all those GOP primary candidates going to do? Keep echoing Reagan's name at every debate as the great leader they think he was or shy away from St. Ronald of the Right Wing?

Timothy Noah at Slate has a more complete history of the feud.

You Don't Say!

F.B.I. Says Guards Killed 14 Iraqis Without Cause

WASHINGTON, Nov. 13 — Federal agents investigating the Sept. 16 episode in which Blackwater security personnel shot and killed 17 Iraqi civilians have found that at least 14 of the shootings were unjustified and violated deadly-force rules in effect for security contractors in Iraq, according to civilian and military officials briefed on the case.

...The case could be one of the first thorny issues to be decided by Michael B. Mukasey, who was sworn in as attorney general last week. He may be faced with a decision to turn down a prosecution on legal grounds at a time when a furor has erupted in Congress about the administration’s failure to hold security contractors accountable for their misdeeds.

Hmmm... I wonder how his first case is going to pan out...

A Fine Time for Feinstein

...a coalition of progressive Democrats upset with Feinstein's controversial votes will ask the California Democratic Party to censure her at its executive board meeting this weekend, the Huffington Post has learned.

The move comes as Feinstein again finds herself under fire for saying Thursday that she now supports granting legal immunity to telecom companies that shared customer email and phone messages with the federal government as part of the warrantless surveillance program.

"Dianne Feinstein does not listen to the people of California," said Rick Jacobs, president of the Courage Campaign, a progressive organization in California. "She supports George Bush's agenda time after time."

The resolution states:

Whereas Senator Dianne Feinstein voted to support the nomination of Judge Michael Mukasey as United States Attorney General, thereby elevating to the highest position in law enforcement a man who refused to renounce the right of the President to resort to torture and who refused to recognize waterboarding as a form of torture, and by this action Senator Feinstein failed to oppose President Bush and failed to stand for the ideals of the Democratic Party, which abhors torture and stands firmly against its use by the United States at all times and places; and
Whereas Senator Feinstein voted to confirm Judge Leslie Southwick for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit despite his clear record of racism and gender discrimination, thus failing to stand firmly with the Democratic Party, which supports gender equality and opposes racism in any of its manifestations; and
Whereas these examples are far from the only instances where Senator Feinstein, after seeking and securing the support and endorsement of the California Democratic Party, has failed to support the policies and principles of our party
Therefore be it resolved that the California Democratic Party expresses its disappointment at, and censure of, Senator Feinstein for ignoring Democratic principles and falling so far below the standard of what we expect of our elected officials.

The E-mail Trail

Not that it matters much, but here's a good story.

WASHINGTON - A federal judge Monday ordered the White House to preserve copies of all its e-mails, a move that Bush administration lawyers had argued strongly against.

U.S. District Judge Henry Kennedy directed the Executive Office of the President to safeguard the material in response to two lawsuits that seek to determine whether the White House has destroyed e-mails in violation of federal law.

...The court order issued by Kennedy, an appointee of President Clinton, is directed at maintaining backup tapes which contain copies of White House e-mails.

The Federal Records Act details strict standards prohibiting the destruction of government documents including electronic messages, unless first approved by the archivist of the United States.

...The judge’s order “should stop any future destruction of e-mails, but the White House stopped archiving its e-mail in 2003 and we don’t know if some backup tapes for those e-mails were already taped over before we went to court. It’s a mystery,” said Meredith Fuchs, a lawyer for the National Security Archive.

CREW and the National Security Archive are seeking to force the White House to immediately explain in court what happened to its e-mail, an issue that first surfaced nearly two years ago in the leak probe of administration officials who disclosed Valerie Plame’s CIA identity to reporters.

What will happen to those responsible in the Bush administration once it is revealed that they violated the Federal Records Act since 2003, by destroying those e-mails? Probably nothing.

Look, A Bunny!

Uh, oh...

Turkish helicopter gunships attacked abandoned villages inside Iraq on Tuesday, Iraqi officials said, the first such airstrike since border tensions have escalated in recent months.

It also was the first major Turkish action against Kurdish rebels since Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan met President Bush in Washington earlier this month. The United States and Iraq have pressured Turkey to avoid a large-scale attack on rebel bases in northern Iraq, fearing such an operation would destabilize what has been the calmest region in the country.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Broadway Stagehands Strike

Don't know if it's news to you or not, my loyal reader, but we are in the midst of a strike.
Local One held a press conference held on Sunday, November 11th, one day after the Broadway stagehands union struck. Negotiations broke down three weeks prior. The stagehands have been working without a contract since July 31st, and after the breakdown in talks, the League of American Theatres and Producers imposed work rules on the union.

Here is the entire press conference:








Jesus, Hillary!

From David Sirota:

Hillary Clinton Thinks Iowans Are Stupid

"Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton says she wants to take a close look at foreign trade deals. She says she'll call a 'time out' on trade agreement if she wins the White House.'" - Associated Press, 11/12/07
"Clinton Says Yes to Peru Deal...Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, after prodding from a rival campaign, has issued positions on several trade deals currently before Congress, including her support for an agreement with Peru that is dividing her party." - New York Times, 11/8/07