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Archive for October, 2007

Hardball | Hardwood.

“‘Whether it’s fair or not fair, the fact of the matter is that my colleague from New York, Senator Clinton, there are 50 percent of the American public that say they’re not going to vote for her. I’m not saying anything that people don’t know already. I don’t necessarily like it, but those are the facts,’ Dodd said.Edwards, Obama, and Dodd (finally) release the hounds at last night’s Democratic debate in Philadelphia. Said Edwards: “I mean, another perspective on why the Republicans keep talking about Senator Clinton is, Senator, they may actually want to run against you, and that’s the reason they keep bringing you up.” (Update: Edwards’ Youtube team pounces on the politics of parsing.)To be honest, I DVR’ed the debate and haven’t watched it yet, partly because I’m rather dispirited about the whole process (among other things) these days, and partly because the NBA’s opening-night double-header was on TNT…which means, if nothing else, there should be something on TV most nights from now until June. (The Knicks start Friday.)

Mrs. Smith & Mr. McAvoy.

The Matrixish trailer for Timur Bekmambetov’s Wanted is now online. Based on a Mark Millar graphic novel I haven’t read, it stars James McAvoy, Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freeman, Terrence Stamp, and Thomas Kretschmann. Well, that’s a solid cast, but I dunno…this looks goofy, and I didn’t really cotton to Night Watch.

Night of the Joker.

Happy Halloween, everyone. While my Shaun of the Dead costume got favorable reviews last October, I’ve been entertaining vague notions of dressing up as Heath Ledger’s Joker this year. (And, as for Berk, my sister Tessa suggested something along the lines of this, which he’d probably prefer to Yoda again.) But, as it turns out, neither Berk nor I have any costume-oriented festivities on the social calendar, so we’ll just be sitting home in plainclothes doling out sweets. Still, if you’re up for it, the viral marketers at Warner Brothers have initiated a second round of Jokerish shenanigans (a la Comic-Con) over at whysoserious.com, which involves a photo scavenger hunt across several major cities. If you play along, watch out for Bats. Update: As per the norm, that didn’t take long. The hidden message, give or take a few letters, reads: “The only sensible way to live in this world is without rules.” So, what happens next? Update 2: Guess I should’ve made that costume after all. After revealing this new pic, the new site (http://www.rorysdeathkiss.com) asks for people to dress as the clown in question and take a pic in front of a famous landmark. Have fun with it, y’all.

Judges for sale…

“‘The reputation of the American judiciary is in the hands of the state courts,’ Breyer said. The rising demands on judges to raise money for their expensive campaigns — plus the spending of outside groups — could lead to the impression that the courthouse door ‘is open to some rather than the door is open to all.‘” Having managed to corrupt thoroughly our other two branches of government, unchecked torrents of campaign cash now work to undermine elected judgeships. “The spending increases in large part reflect a decision by business groups to get involved in the contests. The National Association of Manufacturers announced in 2005 that it was establishing the American Justice Partnership to promote tort reform in the states, and the resulting battles between trial lawyers and business groups such as the Chamber of Commerce have led to some of the most expensive campaign battles.

…and the Dems, Bought and Paid For.

The wealthiest 1 percent of Americans earn more than 21 percent of all income. That’s a postwar record. The bottom 50 percent of all Americans, when all their wages are combined, earn just 12.8 percent of the nation’s income…If the Democrats stand for anything, it’s a fair allocation of the responsibility for paying the costs of maintaining this nation. So far, neither the Democratic candidates for president nor the Senate Democrats have shown much eagerness to advocate this fundamental principle. It seems the rich have bought them out.” Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich laments the cooptation of the Democrats by the super-rich. “It turns out that Democrats are getting more campaign contributions these days from hedge-fund and private-equity partners than Republicans are getting. In the run-up to the 2006 election, donations from hedge-fund employees were running better than 2-to-1 Democratic. The party doesn’t want to bite the hands that feed.

Trials by Fire.

I’ve been derelict in posting here the past week, but obviously there’ve been some pretty dismal stories in the news of late, from the fiery swath of destruction visited upon California to the horrifying house fire that claimed seven South Carolinians. To those who’ve lost friends or family (or homes) in the recent conflagrations, my heart goes out to you. (And one bright spot amid the tales of woe, congrats to the 2007 BoSox for their second World Series sweep this decade. The Curse is now assuredly laid to rest.)

Tenth and Fifth.

Fifth incarnation (and All Creatures Great and Small vet) Peter Davison will suit up as the Doctor once more in a special scene with current doc David Tennant for charity. I wonder if he’s gotten over the whole Adric thing. (Via Ed Rants) Update: It’s now online.

The Sage in Bloom is like Perfume.

Congratulations and best wishes to high school friend Eric and his new wife Wendy, who tied the knot over the weekend in Houston. (I was in attendance, completing my 2007 wedding tour that’s included stops in Louisville and Berkeley…Congrats again to all.)

Albus Out.

“‘Oh, my god,’ Rowling, 42, concluded with a laugh, ‘the fan fiction.’” So, as you probably heard, in a moment of retroactive characterization (a la Elisabeth Rohm on Law and Order), J.K. Rowling revealed that Albus Dumbledore is gay. Well, ok then. “A spokesman for gay rights group Stonewall added: ‘It’s great that JK has said this. It shows that there’s no limit to what gay and lesbian people can do, even being a wizard headmaster.’” And if nothing else, the news should make the witchcraft yahoos that much more livid.

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