Sunday Morning Video: Crowded House Live In 2007


The Crowdies rock the Masonic Hall Grand Lodge in New York on this episode of Live From The Artists Den:


Salmond Smoked: Watching The Noslide



Front page collage/montage via NBC News on Twitter.

I love watching election results. Following British politics is one of my nerdier hobbies. I love it when the two collide as they did last night during the Scottish Independence referendum or #indyref as the kooky kids on Twitter hashtagged it.

I had a grand old time last watching the BBC on CSPAN whilst tweeting up a storm. During past UK general elections, CSPAN has dicked us around a bit by offering tardy or incomplete coverage, which didn’t happen last night. That was obviously more irksome in the pre-internet days but I’d still rather sit on the sofa with Oscar nearby than watch a wobbly stream on the computer screen. Della is apolitical unless it involves the vital issue of feeding Della Street. Dr. A tends to boycott election coverage, especially when it’s all talking heads as it was during the early hours last evening. She’s much wiser than me. I’m just a wisecracker who lives on a wiseacre…

A few words about the post title. I made that Alex Salmond joke so often on Twitter that people threatened to lox me up and schmear me with cream cheese if I didn’t relent. The term noslide came from my friend Jeffrey. I’m not sure if he birthed it, but I thought I’d give him credit. I’d rather steal jokes from friends than strangers. More pandering to the pun community after the break.

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Big Chief Principal on the warpath; demands all students in his teepee use “redskin” to describe his tribe


Meet Rob McGee. No, he’s the other one…


Over my time in covering student newspapers and the battles they face when dealing with administrators, one thing has become abundantly clear: The more wrong the argument, the more vigorously the administrators enforce it.

This week in Pennsylvania, the adviser to the Neshaminy High School’s student newspaper was suspended for two days. In addition, the student newspaper was docked $1,200 from its printing budget, an obscene amount of money for anyone, let alone a student paper where money is tight to begin with.

The reason? Adviser Tara Huber refused to force her students to print the word “Redskin” in the newspaper.

The Playwickian editors determined last year that the school’s mascot was racist and that that it would not publish the name “Redskin” in the paper at all. When referring to teams, it would use a generic term like “team” or “players” or something like that. When the word emerged in a quote or some other case in which the word could not be changed, the staff agreed to use the Associate Press standard for derogatory terms by using dashes after the first letter (R——).

Principal Rob McGee told Huber she had to override the students’ decision and publish the word as it appeared in a letter to the editor or not publish the paper at all. When she refused, she got an unceremonious 48-hour vacation and a reprimand in her file. In addition, the paper’s editor in chief, Gillian McGoldrick, was suspended from the paper until the end of September.

I’ve trod this ground before when it came to the Fond du Lac situation, where the principal and superintendent demanded prior review for the publication in hopes of cutting stories that were “negative.” The concept of prior review is chilling to free press and it limits actual discourse on key issues that impact students. The idea of an administrator overstepping and demanding censorship is an ugly, stupid thing that should never be allowed.

However, this situation is far, far worse than anything that happened in Fond du Lac for a number of reasons. First, in Fond du Lac, it was a situation that limited expression in certain ways. It prohibited certain content and it held up publication in spots, but the paper came out and the remaining pieces were never withheld. The Neshaminy case is one where the principal is taking an “all or nothing” approach: either print the word or you don’t print the paper. In addition, he’s essentially FINING the paper for attempting to operate a free press.

Second, and more importantly, this goes well beyond the issue of censorship as it relates to student media. In most cases, the argument comes down to the Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier decision, which allows administrators to prohibit content that would disrupt the general workings of the school. The court ruled that the First Amendment isn’t absolute when it came to high school students and that principals and other administrators could step in so they can keep the school running. This has led to all sorts of misapplication of this law with the underlying premise of “I don’t like it so you can’t read it.”

However, in this case, the Student Press Law Center doesn’t go that route in its rebuke of the administration of the school. Instead, it cites a Virginia v. Barnette, a 1943 case that explains that “no government official can compel a student to speak or adopt words with which she disagrees.” In this case, that’s exactly what McGee has done. Use the word “Redskin” or your paper is history.

Stop for just a moment and think about what that means. Let it really soak into the corners of your mind. It’s no longer a case of “I don’t like it so you can’t see it.” Now, it’s “I want it so you damned well better do it.”

What happens when this guy decides that the school mascot should be more even more prevalent in the paper, with references to teams being “scalped” or meetings as “powwows?”

What happens when he wants the boys to be called “braves” and girls to be called “squaws?”

Think beyond those instances and let’s really go for broke…

What happens when this guy decides that LGBTQ students should be referred to as “the queers?”

What happens when this guy decides that black students should be called “negroes?”

It’s easy enough to say, “Come on, Doc. Stop this slippery slope bullshit.” But here’s the thing and there’s really no way of getting around it: The way this is playing out, the principal has unfettered rights to dictate the word choices of others in the school. The bedrock principles of our country are exactly anathema to that idea.

I don’t expect Rob McGee to agree with me on this, nor do I expect anyone on the school board out there to come to grips with this concept any time soon.

After all, it’s hard to see how bad the rules are when you are the people making them.

Friday Ferretblogging


Good morning!


Friday Catblogging: Water Boxer

I recently transferred a raft of pictures from our Katrina-exile era Mac laptop to our current PC desktop. Here’s one of those ne’er lost but somewhat forgotten snapshots. Instead of shadow boxing, Della is water boxing:




Columbia College Chicago journalism professor Curtis Lawrence brought his class of aspiring reporters to listen to Rauner’s announcement about something or other and get some practice covering a political press conference, according to the Sun Times’ Natasha Korecki.

Rauner’s seasoned political team decided not to let the students into the event.

“Working media” only, they said before giving the boot to 12 up and comers.

Working. Yeah. Lemme tell you something, I worked harder as a student reporter on my laziest day than I ever did on my hardest day as a pro, in no small part because everybody around me was more interested in jerking off about their credentials and how much bigger their resumé was than in getting out of the goddamned way.

Let this serve as another reminder that Republicans only love reporters and the concept of press freedom when they can use them to score points.

God, this shit is so unnecessary. What is the harm in letting the kids in? What is the big fucking deal? Rauner, who here in Illinois is trying the Mitt Romney strategy of embracing his caricature as a rich, out-of-touch garden weasel, has nothing to lose at this point by having some students sit in. This is just being mean to be mean.

That didn’t work out so well for Mitt.


Pulp Fiction Thursday: Adam and Evil

It’s sleaze time here at First Draft. You Betty your ass:


Hear Ye, Hear Ye…Benghazi!

From Album 5

So, the grand, august Select Committee on Benghazi, chaired by Trey Gowdy — who both looks like a Trey AND someone who can’t resist the occasional costuming as a Confederate General from South Carolina because there were “men of honor on BOTH sides” — began…

Charles Pierce seemed surprised at the lack of fireworks…for now…though Dave Weigel suggested this track might be just the way to score points against Hillary Clinton.

But that demonstrates the whole nature of this clown show. I’m not naïve to the point of thinking Congressional Hearings are anything but political theater, but they tend to least premise themselves on something other than bloody shirt waving to a rabid base…and while Gowdy tried to play it cold and sober in the opening session, Weigel immediately emphasized the political ramifications.

Just me, but I side with Pierce on this one: the only real question is when-not-if-the mud starts flying. The nits and crazys addicted to Faux, Rush, et al, need their fix…

And the hearings themselves deserve no more than third billing at the amusement park.

Toothless Hicks and Where to Find Them

It’s so, so, so easy: 

And that’s the greatest motherfucking cosmic joke here: “there is little evidence that the expansion of health coverage will help Kentucky Democrats in this fall’s midterm elections” because obviously Kentuckians are ungrateful fucks who you just want to let loose on and say, “Go fuck yourself. We’re taking the diabetes treatment and the lung disease medicine and heading somewhere more hospitable.”

But here’s the thing. This video was going around, and yeah, okay, toothless hicks.

You know what I see in here?


In the year 2014.

In America.

Which is not a thing that should be happening.

It is too goddamn easy to say fuck you, we’re taking our Magic Muslim Negro Health Care and leaving you alone with your one tooth and your pile of weird stuff and your … dogs, or whatever those are. On your floor in your … hut.

It is too easy to say fine, you don’t want a black president and everything else the 21st century has to offer? WE’LL JUST TAKE IT BACK THEN.

But we didn’t give people health insurance so that they’d vote Democratic. We gave them health insurance so they’d have health insurance. We gave them health insurance so maybe they would be able to keep some of their teeth. Or their lungs. Or their livers or their hearts.

It is hard enough, keeping your body together, when you are rich and have it easy.

It is not easy when you have it hard.

But the Rude Pundit can’t help but think that Democrats have no one to blame but themselves here. For months, they bought into the Republican lies that the ACA was going to be a huge failure and didn’t defend it when it needed defending the most. So even though Gov. Steven Beshear was a huge advocate, many Democrats allowed the narrative to be set by Fox “news” and by the goddamned cowards in our own party.

Which is true, but I’m not sure it would have mattered. Look at the story Rude’s talking about:

Kentucky is arguably one of the health law’s biggest early successes, with about 10 percent of the population getting coverage through the state’s online insurance marketplace — albeit mostly through Medicaid, not private plans — and none of the technology failures that plagued other enrollment websites. The uninsured rate here has fallen to 11.9 percent from 20.4 percent, according to a recent Gallup poll that found only Arkansas had experienced a steeper decline.

But there is little evidence that the expansion of health coverage will help Kentucky Democrats in this fall’s midterm elections.

At a certain point as a human being I have to say WHO GIVES A FUCK? From a sociological standpoint, this is interesting, but it’s also … beside the point?This is the kind of thinking that makes me want to glug Charlie’s anti-freeze, this “but how will it play in the midterms” Politico-spin on everything.

I would love it if suddenly everyone who benefitted from Obamacare turned into a bleeding heart liberal. I would love it if they started demanding single-payer, too, and stopped hating anybody who liked to hold hands with members of the same sex, and stopped talking about God like He was their cosmic concierge, and embraced science and media literacy. I would love all of that.

But that’s a bonus. That’s not the prize. The prize is keeping them alive.


Album Cover Art Wednesday: Teaser and the Firecat


The man with three names-Stephen Dimitri Georgiou, Cat Stevens, and Yusuf Islam-is back in the news, and in a good way. He’s planning his first US tour since 1976.  That’s why I thought the time was right to feature one of his album covers. Besides, I read about it on Mother Mary’s Facebook page and I fear her wrath. Not really, she’s one of Oscar’s favorite people, so what can I do?

The toughest thing about using Teaser and the Firecat in this feature is the variety of backdrops on the original LP. I saw at least 4 color schemes online and decided to go with the highest quality scan, which is this one. If it’s not the original, sue me.

Cat Stevens drew the covers for many of his LPs, and this is the one that speaks to me the most. It was based on drawings for a children’s book of the same name published in 1977. He was essentially a talented folk artist and that’s okay by me. He’s my countryman, after all. There are scans of the LP’s back cover and interior gatefold  after the break.

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Profiles In NFL Courage

The Minnesota Vikings finally did the right thing by placing the child beater on the “exempt/commissioner’s permission” list. BUT they did it in the worst possible way: via press release at 2 in the morning. The timing was craven and gutless, which sounds like an ambulance chasing law firm. That’s right, the jokes are back. I can only be samba for so long…

Some will applaud them, but I will not. It took extreme pressure from sponsors and prominent Minnesotans to force the team to retreat. The fact that Gov. Mark Dayton and Senator Al Franken called for the child beater’s suspension proved that playing him wasn’t necessarily popular with the fans. The criticism from Mr. Viking, Fran Tarkenton was almost surreal to me. I’m not surprised he was horrified by the reinstatement of Peterson, but he is not known for wading into controversy. Good on ya Governor, Al, and Tark. Maybe this will turn out to be the Al Franken decade…

The *real* reason for the switch was the beating they were taking from sponsors and big money corporations like Radisson, Nike, and the 16 ton weight of sports sponsors, Anheuser Busch. Big bad Budweiser threatened to stomp on the NFL if they didn’t do a better job of handling the Peterson-Rice scandals. In short, the makers of Bud Lite are heavyweights who threatened to open a can of frothy whoop ass on the NFL.

Money is what the NFL has always been about and it was pressure from the big money boys that caused the Vikings to cave. It’s the NFL way. As we all know, money makes the NFL go round:

Oh yeah, one more thing. Adrian Peterson will collect his massive pay checks while suspended or whatever you want to call it. Money does indeed make the NFL world go round.

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Adrian Peterson did not spank his son, he beat him

My long-time readers know that I never moralize or tell people how to run their lives. I never use the M word in either written or verbal discourse. I am not a fan of corporal punishment, especially when it’s done in anger, but I don’t think people who spank their children should be imprisoned or ostracized. Adrian Peterson did not spank his 4 year old, he beat him. The term child abuse is too generic and polite for this situation, this NFL superstar is a child beater. The word switch is also too polite: he beat his 4 year old son with a stick.

Adrian Peterson is a hall of fame caliber running back and a world class louse. He should be ostracized, but he’s too big of a star for the NFL to act swiftly and decisively.  So much for the hanging judge Commissioner. I’ll write more about Goodell, Ray Rice, and domestic battery in an upcoming malaka of the week post.

Keith Olbermann did a classic rant on this topic yesterday. If you haven’t seen it, please do so now. I’ll resume my own rant after the videos and the break:

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Others who have no slush fund

What was that about FEMA camps again? 

Long Island resident Gary Silberman got a letter in the mail asking him to repay FEMA some $17,000 he received after losing the home he shared with his father to the hurricane. A FEMA review found that both he and his father received aid — a violation of FEMA’s “double dipping” policy — and that they had failed to get flood insurance following an earlier FEMA payment for damages caused by Hurricane Irene, in 2011.

“I lost my home. I lost everything,” Silberman told the AP. “I don’t have $17,000 to give back.”


A Slush Fund

Because why not: 

For the past few weeks, dropping bombs on militant positions and sustaining a few hundred American military advisers in Iraq has cost roughly $7.5 million per day, according to the only estimate the Pentagon has provided. That is just over what taxpayers currently pay for each hour of the war effort in Afghanistan (about $5.7 million).

Of course the Pentagon has to get that money from somewhere, even if it isn’t much, relatively speaking. And given that Congress has yet to authorize the mission, readers may be wondering about the source of that daily $7.5 million.

It turns out that the Pentagon is relying on the overseas contingency operations budget, or OCO—basically a slush fund for the Afghan war. Last year, Congress appropriated $85.2 billion for the fund, well above the $79.4 billion the Pentagon requested.

There’s plenty of money in the pot for the remainder of the year, which ends at the end of the month, Pentagon officials said. And for the foreseeable future, the OCO will remain generously funded.

Of course it will. Why wouldn’t it? It’s not like we’re spending all damn day long drug-testing welfare recipients or jawing about the brand of cereal purchased by the poor because HURR DURR TAX DOLLARRRSS, right?

It’s not like we’re telling people who can’t get their kids’ teeth fixed to sell some bling, right?

It’s not like teachers are buying school supplies with their own money, right?

It’s not like we’re trying to decide which pensioners to fuck over this week, right?

We’ve got all that shit covered. We’re on it. So we can afford to keep a slush fund OVERFUNDED, while our cities run deficits that make Russia look well-managed. We can fling millions of dollars down the demilitarized toilet known as what we’ve left of the Middle East, because we’re on top of everything else.



Boardwalk Empire Thread: Different dogs, same fucking bones

Vanity thy name is Capone

It’s going to be a short one this week. The Good Listener was an episode that set the stage for the rest of the season so Imma keep it brief.

Al Capone is on top of the world, ma. He’s a celebrity who gives interviews in his underwear while being fitted by a tailor. His world, however, is about to come crumbling down later in year: the IRS is on his trail.

Nucky’s world is not so rosy. He took a hit in the 1929 crash; so much for legitimate investments. Now he’s trying to get some respectables to go into business with him when prohibition ends. They diss him by pretending not to know who he is. Only one of them gives him the time of day, Joseph P. Kennedy. I hope we’ll see more of old Joe. He might even have Gloria Swanson in tow…

Being dissed by the respectables is the least of the Nuckster’s problems: Charlie Lucky wants him dead. Nucky sends  a stern message by having our old friend Tonino (the Gypster’s right hand man) dispatched and deposited on the doorstep of one of Luciano’s bordellos. Minus an ear, which is his Cuban body guard, Arquimedes’ signature. He may not say much but the man knows how to use a knife. Slice.

Jillian returns. She’s in the loony bin instead of jail for murdering the Jimmy lookalike. She’s keeping her head down and trying to stay out of trouble. She is the ultimate survivor, after all. Trouble comes to her in the presence of the laughing academy’s dominatrix/keeper-type who finds her irresistible. I’m not sure I care for this plot line. It’s a bit on the stereotypical side.

We see Eli Thompson and former agent Van Weirdo in Chicago. They comprise the oddest couple of all. They get into hot water with Scarface Al, and rob Jake Greasy Thumb Guzik to pay Capone the $20k they owe. Jake was a member of the Chicago Outfit and Capone’s bag man. That’s right, y’all, they robbed Capone to pay him back. This is not going to end well.

There was no sign of my man Chalky White and what happened to him after he escaped the chain gang. But he’ll be back next week and, hopefully, Jeffrey Wright as Dr. Narcisse will be along for the ride as well.

Oh yeah, Detective/Mr. Prezbo (Jim True-Frost) makes a brief appearance as Eliot Ness. It’s pretty darn good casting. But I have a feeling they won’t be playing this music in the episode:

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – “Freud’s not here” edition

Good morning, all!

I was going to ignore this particular drum of psychosexual Freeper Id-with-a-lid, but we’d better open it up before it explodes and gushes its ecstatic release all over the Iso room.


Michael Sam cut by Rams ^ | 8/30/2014 | Nick Wagoner and Adam Schefter

Posted on 8‎/‎30‎/‎2014‎ ‎3‎:‎08‎:‎15‎ ‎PM by GreenAccord

EARTH CITY, Mo. — The St. Louis Rams released defensive end Michael Sam on Saturday, according to multiple league sources.

Sam’s efforts to become the first openly gay player in NFL history came up just short in a competition against undrafted rookie Ethan Westbrooks.

Westbrooks is one of nine defensive linemen to land a roster spot.

Sam officially hit waivers Saturday at 4 p.m. ET when all NFL teams had to trim their rosters down to the league-mandated 53 players. From there, the other 31 teams will have 24 hours to put in a claim for Sam.


And the attorney retainer has already been paid…
1 posted on 8‎/‎30‎/‎2014‎ ‎3‎:‎08‎:‎15‎ ‎PM by GreenAccord
Of course it has, sweetheart – because NFL players NEVER have lawyers unless they have teh gay.
So  – are we going to get some insightful analysis of the ebb and flow of contract negotiation?
To: GreenAccord
13 posted on 8‎/‎30‎/‎2014‎ ‎3‎:‎18‎:‎21‎ ‎PM by conservative98

To: GreenAccord

Personal foul. Spearing. 15 yard penalty. Disqualification.

15 posted on 8‎/‎30‎/‎2014‎ ‎3‎:‎18‎:‎39‎ ‎PM by Darren McCarty (Abortion – legalized murder for convenience)

To: GreenAccord
He billed himself as an outstanding tight end and a receiver but strangely would not answer whether he was a pitcher or a catcher.

16 posted on 8‎/‎30‎/‎2014‎ ‎3‎:‎18‎:‎53‎ ‎PM by 17th Miss Regt

To: GreenAccord
“came up just short in a competition”

What a choice of words. Does he now leave town lickety-split?

28 posted on 8‎/‎30‎/‎2014‎ ‎3‎:‎24‎:‎16‎ ‎PM by safetysign

To: GreenAccord

They were unimpressed with his time in the 40 yard prance.

31 posted on ‎8‎/‎30‎/‎2014‎ ‎3‎:‎25‎:‎18‎ ‎PM by GreenHornet

To: GreenAccord
Michael Sam cut by Rams That sucks ass…….er……that blows……er…… Bummer
61 posted on 8‎/‎30‎/‎2014‎ ‎3‎:‎44‎:‎59‎ ‎PM by Toddsterpatriot (Science is hard. Harder if you’re stupid.)
To: GreenAccord

Sam is not a Ram. But could he be a Packer?

67 posted on 8‎/‎30‎/‎2014‎ ‎3‎:‎47‎:‎47‎ ‎PM by NautiNurse (Obama sends U.S. Marines to pick up his dog & basketballs. Benghazi? Nope.)

To: DoodleDawg

This is just too hard too swallow. A solution will surely come from Sam’s mouth.

104 posted on 8‎/‎30‎/‎2014‎ ‎4‎:‎46‎:‎00‎ ‎PM by safetysign

….and so on.
You know, I used to compare the “American Beauty” Id of the Freeperati to that of giggling twelve-year-olds, but that’s really doing a disservice to twelve-year-olds.
More after the thingy.
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‘your brand and your reputation is hit’

I really think other words might have been better here: 

Keyshawn Johnson led the discussion, recalling when police were called to his home over a domestic dispute. He said that ESPN refrained from pilloring him pending the resolution of the charges (Johnson was later cleared of the charges), and argued that due process was a right that extended to all players. “Anytime your name is run through the mud, and not let due process take its place, your brand and your reputation is hit,” Johnson said.

Several things, in order:

1. Plenty of people who are good at their jobs are also total assholes. Ty Cobb was a good goddamn ballplayer. So was Pete Rose. There are people I’ve worked with who I wouldn’t throw a rope to if they were drowning, but they were what I needed at the time. What’s more important, being a good guy or being good at the job? This is a problem because …

2. The NFL is not entirely clear on what “the job” is. Is it to play football? Or is it to be a role model and upstanding citizen in all things? If it’s the former, then firing people for shitty things they do off the field seems unfair. They’re in the mess they’re in over the Ray Rice sitch because the standards were and are unclear. Is there a “no felons” policy? Should there be?

(If you can’t get a job washing dishes in a restaurant because you have a felony on your record maybe you shouldn’t be able to play football for a bazillion dollars.)

3. At some point we have decided that “somebody saying mean things about me on the TV machine” is equivalent to actual prison time, in that it is a consequence that should be “enough” without bringing criminal charges into it. This is FUCKING INSANE.

4. Talking about this whole shit-tastic sports week with some friends over the weekend we decided that if we were highly paid professional athletes we would hire someone to follow us around and do things like make sure we took cabs instead of risking DUIs, and only had sex with enthusiastic adult people.

5. When you set up a structure that you think parallels the criminal justice system in some way, you feel like you’re handling shit on your own and you don’t need the cops. See also the Catholic Church and this bullshit with Penn State. Let the goddamn cops do their jobs. This isn’t a matter for HR to settle.


SMV: Midnight Oil Live At Wave Aid

Midnight Oil Wave Aid

The Oils played a Sydney reunion gig in 2005 (the video says 2006 but it’s wrong) to benefit victims of the Boxing Day Tsunami. It’s a tight, concise but still rocking 40 minute set:


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