Friday, March 16, 2007


Open Thread

Right Said Thread!

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Yep, it's time for RAG to dabble into more Improv -- of the long-form variety.

If you happen to be in New York City Tuesday evening and you feel the urge to "spring" into Improv, come on by!

A fun time will be had by all!

Surprising long-form improv!!
You never know what's coming next.

Tuesday, March 20th
8 pm
/ $10

@ Gene Frankel Theatre

24 Bond St. (betw. Bleecker and Lafayette)

Directed by Kevin Scott

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Gettin' Your Irish Up

The New Improved Slightly Decaffeinated, but with that same Robust Flavor, Madscribe:
Well, now that my inability to wrestle with the Google empire has been mitigated, a little nod to the Greatest Irish Rock Band of all time during this fine St. Patty's Day Weekend. If you were thinking "U2," a pox (and the Ides of March) on your house. You may want to look at this quickly, as there's no telling who will be the next to sue YouTube and withdraw content!


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Friday Trivia! "Friday Night Light" edition

1. In Einstein's equation E=mc^2, what does "c" represent?

2. What poem included the lines:

Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do & die

3. Who played Angela Bower on the sitcom Who's the Boss?

4. Lt. Colonel Henry Lee, who served in the Continental Army during the American Revolution, and was also father to General Robert E. Lee, was better known by what nickname?

5. Cassius Clay won the 1960 Olympic gold medal for boxing in which weight division?

1. The speed of light
2. The Charge of the Light Brigade
3. Judith Light
4. Light Horse Harry
5. Light Heavyweight


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Thursday, March 15, 2007


More Fun Than The NCAAs... ESPN Sports Guy Bill Simmons' running diary while watching the games with his pals (particularly beneficial given the lack of close games early on).

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Judy, Judy, Judy

The former mayor's "Judy problem" (which, as the post indicates, partly comes down to a "too much information" problem.

This is significant because my erstwhile colleague, Ryan Sager, has been a Rudy-for-prez booster for some time.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Gonzales Watch

Possible growing tension between the White House and DOJ:

[Two] Republicans, who spoke anonymously so they could share private conversations with senior White House officials, said top aides to Mr. Bush, including Fred F. Fielding, the new White House counsel, were concerned that the controversy had so damaged Mr. Gonzales’s credibility that he would be unable to advance the White House agenda on national security matters, including terrorism prosecutions.

“I really think there’s a serious estrangement between the White House and Alberto now,” one of the Republicans said.
And it is always nice to see the re-emergence of the passive voice in regard to White House controversies: "Mistakes were made..."

By, you know,

UPDATE: Sen. John Sununu becomes first GOP-er to call for Gonzales' head.
UPDATE II: And Rep. James Sensenbrenner, veteran GOP member of the House Judiciary Committee, doesn't sound enthusiastic either.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007



Glenn Loury, professor of social sciences and economics at Brown University; Marcelo Suarez-Orozco, director of Immigration Studies at New York University and yours truly discuss the FBI, the Patriot Act and the the DC handgun ban decision.

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The Weekly Standard's Matthew Continetti on a potential Newt White House run.

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Monday, March 12, 2007


Quoth The Maven, Evermore

A casual meandering around the Web might find some RT posts showing up on this group blog, Political Mavens. The site features a rather eclectic group of writers, think tankers, politicians, movie directors and other creative sorts -- including various occasional RAG collaborators as Dan Gerstein, Julia Gorin and Dave Rosner. It's the brainchild of Binyamin Jolkovsky, editor of Jewish World Review. Binyamin has been trying to get me to contribute to the Mavens for some time. However, timing constraints prevented me from doing little more than simply crossposting RAG posts to PM.

Until now! Here is my first post unique to Political Mavens. Not surprisingly, it is about THE major event of last week -- and no, I'm not referring to the U.S. attorneys hearings.

So, check that out -- and the entire site.

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How Sad...

I hadn't heard about this.

I met stand-up comedian Richard Jeni about 15 years ago. For some odd reason, he was part of the entertainment hired by the Republican National Committee for its annual Gala fundraising event. Anyway, one of my colleagues, Brian Walsh, was in charge of chauffering Jeni around.

After the big event (memory fails me as to whether it was the same week or shortly thereafter), Jeni was appearing in a D.C. club somewhere and he provided comp tickets for Brian and myself.

We went to the show (one of only a handful of live comedy shows I had seen at that point). He was very funny -- far more "adult" in his humor than at the RNC gala (big surprise). He was something of crude version of Tim Allen -- or Chris Rock without the social commentary. In short, mostly kind of a blue-collar look at male-female relationships. Elayne Boosler captures the flavor of his stuff.

I remember laughing a lot. I also remember Brian chatting with Jeni after the show and asking him if he wanted to catch a drink with us; Jeni declined, saying that he had his eye on one of the ladies in the audience (a message delivered in slightly cruder terms, if memory serves).

Anyway, I didn't closely follow his career after that, but would occasionally catch him on HBO or Comedy Central and stop for a moment to listen to one of his routines. He seemed to have made a rather successful career in the tough world of stand-up comedy.

And now, I learn he committed suicide over the weekend.

Very sad.

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When Conservative Catholics Clash

An interesting exchange between Fox News' Sean Hannity and a very conservative Catholic theologian, Rev. Thomas Euteneuer, over the issue of public Catholics and their appropriate adherence to church dogma:

It's funny to see someone get to the right of Sean and accuse him of a "superficial presentation of one aspect of the faith" (a charge that many left-wing Christians make of those on the right who focus on social questions such -- such as abortion or homosexuality -- but don't sign on to "liberation theology" ore economic causes).

Of course, throwing the church's sex abuse scandal in the priest's face is somewhat dirty pool on Hannity's part.

Colmes' line, "You guys need a Jew to break this up," is one of the funniest things I've ever heard from him.

(Hat tip: Andrew Sullivan)

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You Say "Halli", I Say "Dubai"

Oh, come on. Halliburton should just admit it: The reason the company is moving to the United Arab Emirates has nothing to do with the better tax advantages!

The company just wants a better shot at getting the contract on running U.S. ports the next time the contract is open!

Of course, I'm joking.

Or maybe not.

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What's "Ailin'" The Netroots?

Okay, given whom I work for in my day job (New York Post which, like the Fox New Channel, is part of the News Corp media conglomerate), I shouldn't be weighing in on this at all: The folks at headquarters might not want me making a comment -- and critics of Fox News will undoubtedly accuse me of just shilling for "The Man."

So, with all these caveats out of the way, the reason given Friday for the Democratic presidential candidates pulling out of the August debate co-sponsored by the Fox News Channel really doesn't make sense.

Now, let me be clear here: If the Democrats believe the channel is biased and won't report things said in the debate fairly or it will "set them up" in some way -- fine, it's their choice (though I can't recall a similar situation where Republicans cancelled a debate or event despite how they believe media institutions cover them).

But this is weird:

They said a comment by Ailes during a Thursday night speech to a group of radio and television news directors indicated the network was biased against their party.

"It's true that Barack Obama is on the move," Ailes said, deliberately confusing the Illinois senator's name with that of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. "I don't know if it's true President Bush called [Pakistan President Pervez] Musharraf and said, 'Why can't we catch this guy?'"
Now, to be candid, this isn't the first time I've heard Ailes make a version of this joke. The other times were in what could be considered "friendly" environments -- other executives and colleagues of his whom one would generally think shared his politics.

Which is why my mouth dropped the first time I heard the joke. Obama isn't the target of the joke: George W. Bush -- and his lack of intelligence -- is. The only way the joke is funny is with the understanding of the president being so dumb that he has to call the president of Pakistan for help in tracking down "Obama."

So, if the Kos and Kompany are using this joke as evidence of Fox bias, that's gotta be some of the thinnest gruel that I've ever seen.

Again, I'm hardly someone to be deemed "un-biased", but I sorta-kinda no how a joke is set up and delivered. Of course, that's gotten me into trouble before.

So it goes.

(Thanks to Fred in the Open Thread comments section for reminding me of this.)

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Sunday, March 11, 2007


Miller Millions

The fanboy-approved comics/celluloid/CGC marriage continues in a huge way.

This is the second comic-related movie in three weeks to survive so-so reviews to rule the box-office. Previously, Marvel's Ghost Rider with Nicholas Cage opened with $44.5 million.

And we're less than two months away from Spider-Man 3 -- and a little more than three from The Rise of The Silver Surfer. This looks to be a good year.

300 creator Frank Miller talks about his craft and the difference between working in comics and working in Hollywood. Good interview (thanks to ERA for the heads-up).

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