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Archive for September, 2005

Here’s Johnny.

In today’s trailer bin, struggling writer Jack Nicholson learns a little something about love, life, and family at the Overlook Hotel in the must-see heartwarming comedy of the year, Shining. (Via Lots of Co & Freakgirl.)

Houston, we’ve had a problem.

“‘It is now commonly accepted that was not the right path,’ Griffin said. ‘We are now trying to change the path while doing as little damage as we can.'” In an interview with USA Today, NASA head Michael Griffin calls the Space Shuttle and ISS programs mistakes. Hmmm, interesting. This article reminded me of a quote I’ve seen attributed to Jerry Pournelle: “I always knew I’d live to see the first man walk on the Moon. I never dreamed I’d see the last.

Mudholes and Apes.

AICN posts screen caps of the Episode III DVD’s deleted scenes, which seem to include an extended (and more grisly) opening and Yoda’s touch-down on Dagobah. Also on the fanboy front, Wired‘s cover story this month is a discussion with a svelte Peter Jackson on King Kong and KongisKing.Net, with accompanying photo gallery. Is Naomi Watts trying to make a run at Tilda’s Nico?

Release the Kraken.

And, would you believe it? Boss DeLay wasn’t the only nefarious and nightmarish tentacled creature to be captured in the past twenty-four hours. For the first time ever, Japanese scientists have succeeded in photographing a giant squid in its natural habitat. (I read about this late last night and had some very disturbing dreams about it. After all, there are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.) [Last link inspired by MysVamp.]

Empire Falls.

(Ring-)Breaking news: As with two of his Texas cronies, John Colyandro and Jim Ellis, Boss DeLay has been indicted on criminal conspiracy charges this morning, in connection with the grand jury probe into money laundering at TRMPAC. (TRMPAC itself was indicted a few weeks ago.) As a result, DeLay will be forced to step down as Majority Leader, to be replaced by (corrected, after a possible last-minute switcheroo) Roy Blunt of Missouri. (Of course, even if he beats this indictment, Boss DeLay is also being investigated by federal authorities for his role in the Casino Jack story.)

In 1994, the Republican Contract with America stated that the GOP would “restore accountability to Congress [and] end its cycle of scandal and disgrace.” Today, with the Republicans controlling both sides of Congress and the Oval Office, their leader in the House has been indicted as a criminal, their leader in the Senate is under dual investigations for insider trading, and the top moneyman in the White House was arrested only last week for lying and obstruction. (And that’s not even counting the inquiries into footsoldiers like Casino Jack Abramoff and Randy “Duke” Cunningham, or the continued investigation into Karl Rove’s role in Plamegate.) Simply put, the GOP leadership have broken their promise and embarrassed the nation with their rampant cronyism and illegality. It is time for them to go.

Update: While a vituperative Boss DeLay calls the chargesone of the weakest, most baseless indictments in American history,” (now that‘s a bold statement), the GOP look to Roy Blunt of Missouri (who will share power with Dreier) as their new leader.

They’ll need a bigger boat.

Richard Dreyfuss revels in his sell-out status in a CHUD interview concerning Wolfgang Petersen’s forthcoming Poseidon Adventure remake. Doesn’t sound like it has Oscar potential, does it?

“Devin: So I understand that you retired from films in 2004. What brought you back?

Dreyfuss: Money.
Devin: OK. But what was it about Poseidon in particular that really got your interest?
Dreyfuss: The money they offered.

The Trouble with Dems.

“The core difficulty for Democrats is that they must solve two problems simultaneously — and solving one problem can get in the way of solving the other. Over time Democrats need to reduce the conservative advantage over liberals in the electorate, which means the party needs to take clear stands that could detach voters from their allegiance to conservatism…But even indeterminate talk of a ‘national’ message makes many Democrats holding those 41 pro-Bush House seats (and Democratic senators from red states) nervous.” E.J. Dionne attempts to explain the structural basis for our party leadership’s frequent disarray, which was in full evidence again on the Roberts vote.

New Deal, Raw Deal.

“It was during the administrations of Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman that such great progressive policies as Social Security, protective labor laws and the GI Bill were adopted. But with them came something else that was quite destructive for the nation: what I have called ‘affirmative action for whites.’ During Jim Crow’s last hurrah in the 1930s and 1940s, when southern members of Congress controlled the gateways to legislation, policy decisions dealing with welfare, work and war either excluded the vast majority of African Americans or treated them differently from others.” With Katrina as a newspeg, Columbia’s own Ira Katznelson previews his new book on New Deal racial exclusion in the Washington Post.

Dubya’s 2nd Round Draft Pick.

“I will pick a person who can do the job. But I am mindful that diversity is one of the strengths of the country.” As the Roberts nod goes to the full Senate (my thoughts on Roberts below), Dubya hints at a woman and/or minority justice for O’Connor’s seat. With these parameters in mind, Salon‘s Tim Grieve surveys the most likely choices. Among them are faces familiar — Edith Clement, Priscilla Owen, and Janice Rogers Brown, for example — and unfamiliar, such as Maureen Mahoney, the “female John Roberts.” (And, of course, there’s always Gonzales, although his star seems to have dimmed.)

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