Tuli Can't Stop Talking

These are just my thoughts on contemporary issues and an attempt to open up a dialogue.

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Location: New York City

A citizen who cares deeply about the United States Constitution and the Rule of Law.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Stephen Colbert: WOW!

I just finished watching the Whitehouse Correspondents’ Association Dinner last night which was replayed on C-Span. Well, if Stephen’s email and phone calls weren’t being monitored by the NSA before, they are now. His appearance at the Dinner last night was spectacular. So, I would suggest a flack jacket and probably a food taster from now on. Of course the audience made up of the MSM, and administration toadies, wasn’t all that receptive. This was probably because the President and his press minders were there and you wouldn’t want to upset him, or them, now would you because it might limit your access to the propaganda that they feed you on a daily basis.

That said, Colbert was incredible and his bit with Helen Thomas, “Why did we go to war in Iraq,” was priceless. Now some have suggested that Bush was pissed, as in loaded, as in drunk, I couldn’t tell if he was, but he was pissed, as in pissed off and irate.

Stephen Colbert is a very brave guy in that he brought “Truthiness” with Truth to this fawning yearly event. You will recall the laughing hordes of press as the President made jokes about looking for WMD under his desk at a past WHCD. Well, they didn’t react that way to Colbert. Apparently the President gets laughs where critics and truth tellers don’t. Ah, yes the liberal press.

You have to wonder what Smith was thinking when he signed Colbert to the gig. I for one am happy he did. Maybe that is why he is on the way out.

Crooks and Liars has the Colbert piece. I don’t know when C-Span will or will not replay the whole thing but if you get a chance see it. It is only an hour and a half and though I normally don’t get to watch TV that often it was so well worth it. Especially, the repeated reaction shots of Bush. Not a happy camper.

So, Stephen Colbert versus the MSM: Colbert 10, MSM 0.

I am not going to repeat any of the jokes or indictments. You need to see the whole thing. Do it!

And the winner was: Truth versus Truthiness!

Watch your back Stephen!

John Kenneth Galbraith


1908 - 2006

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Jane Jacobs


1916 - 2006

Neil Young is Streaming!

And he is screaming for us. Here is the site of “Living With War” and with the lyrics as well.

Here are the lyrics for the much hyped “Let’s Impeach the President:”

Let's impeach the president for lying
And leading our country into war
Abusing all the power that we gave him
And shipping all our money out the door

He's the man who hired all the criminals
The White House shadows who hide behind closed doors
And bend the facts to fit with their new stories
Of why we have to send our men to war

Let's impeach the president for spying
On citizens inside their own homes
Breaking every law in the country
By tapping our computers and telephones

What if Al Qaeda blew up the levees
Would New Orleans have been safer that way
Sheltered by our government's protection
Or was someone just not home that day?

Let's impeach the president
For hijacking our religion and using it to get elected
Dividing our country into colors
And still leaving black people neglected

Thank god he's cracking down on steroids
Since he sold his old baseball team
There's lot of people looking at big trouble
But of course the president is clean

Thank God

The last track on the album is “America the Beautiful.” I cried and after listening to the album you will too for the hope embodied in the dream of “America the Beautiful.”

Yes, my friends the changes are blowing in the wind. And as one Canadian I am very proud of this other Canadian and poet, Neil Young.

Update: This is the Fox News assessment:

Neil Young’s new album, "Living with War," is an incendiary, moving, totally American document of peaceful protest that is going to make a lot of people crazy one way or another.

And there’s no doubt that the centerpiece of the album, a song called “Let’s Impeach the President,” performed as a melodic, rocking campfire ode, will be what causes the most controversy.

For one thing, though Young has lived in California since the late 1960s, his naysayers will decry him as a Canadian. Others will call him unpatriotic or treasonous.

But there are just as many fans of Neil Young who will cite him as a political poet, a hero and a troubadour working in the most traditional vein of American music.

Certainly “Living with War” contains the most pungent attacks on a U.S. president in pop-rock since The Ramones recorded “Bonzo Goes to Bitburg” in the late 1980s.

And Young reaches back to the original rock protest singer, Bob Dylan, calling out to him in one of the songs.

But this album is no giddy hit and run. It’s far more serious and searing in its assessment of contemporary life than that, and it wouldn’t matter if it came from someone born in Kansas City or Ottawa.

When "Living with War" starts streaming on www.neilyoung.com on Friday, my guess is the servers will overheat. The real test will come next week, when the album is available for downloading on several sites.

For now, though, here are the lyrics many parents are going to be hearing their kids singing in the next few days. Young has been clever enough to write the catchiest protest song since Country Joe and the Fish’s anti-Vietnam ditty, “I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die.”

Sunday, April 23, 2006

And Now For Your Musical Pleasure!

Political music is everywhere now. The first that came to my attention was Iraq the Musical” an Indy entry.

Then we had the Dixie Chicks, a definitely mainstream entry.

Now we get very serious with Pink.

Then we get a little silly, but none-the-less serious, with a very good take on “I Am the Walrus.”

And we all can look forward to Neil Young’s forthcoming entry on the Impeachment of GWB.

Visions of Pete Seeger, Dylan, and the 60’s. Yes, it is in the music and there will be more to come. Once it enters the mainstream it can’t be stopped.

Feel the magic! It's blowing in the wind!

The Easter Egg Diversion

Yes, our Dear Leader, the Decider, had children, fresh from the destruction heaped on them from Katrina, singing his praises at the Easter Egg Hunt at the Whitehouse. So, the abuser had the abused entertain him with false tales of competence and thanks.

Pretty disgusting as far as I am concerned.

The truth however can not be covered up or disguised and it is certainly not entertaining in any possible meaning of the word.

Scout over at First Draft has presented us with another of her fabulous videos that lays out the truth and breaks a few eggs in the process.

Watch it.

It’s what the Whitehouse wants you to forget.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Bush Administration & Congress: Pay Attention!

The Union of Concerned Scientists, on their site, has an alarming animation of the probable results and implications for the “strategic” use of “Tactical Nuclear Bombs” in the coming “War on Iran.” This also begs the question of why would the U.S. want to build these weapons if it didn’t intend to use them?

Frankly, it just points out the logic that any sentient being already understands. The important part of this discussion is the word “sentient.”

Put this together with Crooks & Liars video on Gardiner’s interview on CNN.

Then ask yourself if the people in this Administration are to be trusted and/or sane.

As someone who lived through the Cuban Missile Crisis, I say bring back Kennedy and Khrushchev. Unfortunately, they are both gone. And so it seems is sentient thought in the upper echelons of this government.

And for those of you out there who aren’t sure what all of this is about read Seymour Hirsh’s article in The New Yorker. And for further thoughts read Billmon’s take. Both are must reads.

Be very afraid!

h/t C&L

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Hitchens Take Down.

I watched with total disbelief the video of Christopher Hitchens on Hardball the other day. My disbelief wasn’t that Hitchens was out of control, but that HE WAS ON HARDBALL! WTF is with that? Has Matthews gone so far over the edge that he doesn’t know what is going on and in his desire to have right-wing hacks on his show he will stoop to anyone?

Hitchens has repeatedly, to be polite, acted up on the show and been even more inappropriate than Matthews. Okay, so maybe they are in a contest to prove who is more divorced from reality.

Well, in this contest Hitchens won. And Counterpunch has a great takedown And quite a snarky takedown it is!

I can’t help myself, so here is the whole thing and copyright infringement be damned:

A disheveled Christopher Hitchens caused a flurry last night on MSNBC's Hardball program, compered by Chris Matthews, by describing Richard Armitage, Colin Powell's long-term aide at the Pentagon and State Department as "his bitch". In homosexual argot, "bitch" is a somewhat contemptuous term for the "female" partner in a gay relationship. The Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang defines this usage briskly as "a male homosexual who plays the female role in copulation".

Viewers on Wednesday night first saw Matthews talking about Powell's reservations about the war in Iraq, in the context of the possibility of an attack on Iran. Then the camera shifts to a trim-looking Evan Thomas:

Thomas: "He (Powell) wasn't against the war. He was against doing the war right then. If you talk to Richard Armitage -- his aide, they were ready to go to war -- they just didn't want to do it that year..."

From off camera came a slurred voice:

Hitchens: "his aid? (garbled) ... his bitch you mean."

The camera then turns to a seedy, corpulent figure with a five-day shadow and a shirt that had seen extended service. This heap of bohemian flotsam , it emerged, was Hitchens.

Matthews (startled): "His what?"

Hitchens (still slurred): "His bitch, why aren't you, why are you calling Colin Powell a good soldier ..."

In subsequent replays Matthews edited out Hitchens' description.

It seems likely there will be a hiatus in MSNBC's relationship with Hitchens. His description of Armitage's role, as Powell's assistant, had some metaphorical resonance, but even in these days of robust public name-calling the networks don't care to have a former deputy secretary of state publicly identified as a catamite.

Of course it takes one to know one. Hitchens' journalistic role these days is to act as Dick Cheney's bitch with an energetic fervor that Armitage could only envy.

He probably does not dwell too lengthily on these aspects of his past in briefings with Cheney's aides, but Hitchens in former times would dwell in detail on his own personal services to Tom Driberg, a British Labor MP of notoriously gay preferences, of whom Winston Churchill once said, "Driberg, Driberg, isn't he the man bringing sodomy into disrepute?"

Thomas is “trim,” Hitchens on the other hand is “disheveled,” “seedy,” and a “corpulent figure with a five day shadow and a shirt that had seen extended service.” Okay, I am not too crazy about the slandering of bohemians, but the flotsam remark is right on.

So, that said, this is a ”hiatus” that is so long overdue. Hitchens is an embarrassment to the Nation (pun intended.) Hopefully, others will take note and Hitchens will be persona non grata finally in the MSM.

Can Ann Coulter be far behind? A girl’s got to dream.

Oh, and while you are at it hang around Counterpunch for a while and find many good voices.

William Sloane Coffin

1924 - 2006

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Whew, What a Week!

I have to wonder if the GOP can keep this up. Since the President won that mandate in 2004, it has been just drip, drip, drip. Oh, okay, with the occasional deluge. But last week was one of those weeks that was!

Let’s recap, shall we. First the Bugman, Exterminator, Hammer gave up his seat in Congress because he wants to spend more time not with his family or lawyer, but with the religious right and for the benefit of the republic. Of course, this is strictly a coincidence and is in no way connected to the fact the second of his former aides had just pleaded guilty to conspiracy in the Abramoff-GOP-Bribery-Theft Scandal (though this particular aid was also connected to the other Abramoff-Gangland-Style-Murder-Fraud Scandal). The former best friend of Jack “The Bagman” Abramoff assured America that Rudy’s plea had no connection to his resigning from his Congressional Seat thus leaving his constituents with “Taxation without Representation.”

Then we had the news that the Department of Homeland Security was harboring a pedophile, and a known pornography aficionado, who was in a very high profile job and as we all know the first mission of DHS is security and a background check is the first defense against the terrorist threat.

And then the coup de grace, the President through Dick Cheney, according to Scooter Libby, wanted to spread selected classified propaganda from the NIE to selected reporters in an effort to discredit one of his critics with discredited propaganda. Yes, that is right; the guy in the Whitehouse, George W. Bush, who is so opposed to leaks is in favor of leaks but only if he approves of them for political smear purposes.

I am Shocked, Shocked, I tell you!

You know I don’t believe for a minute the GOP, in its current incarnation, can keep this up. Not that I would mind, but my jaw last week was pained from the repeated dropping and subsequent grinning. So, on the one hand my jaw can’t take anymore protracted pain, but on the other hand my jaw is willing to put up with more pain for the good of the country in the hopes that the American Public will get up off their behinds and vote these fraudulent “Public Servants” out of office.

You know the old saying what goes around, comes around and these guys are getting theirs. And then there is the wisdom of Lord Acton where he reminds us that “power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

So, I won’t even bother to mention all of the other "Party of God and Family Values" Scandals going on. You know, the entire Ohio Republican Party and Administration, San Diego, which is a Republican Cesspool, and Duke, etc., Halliburton, Bechtel, K Street, hell the list is endless. So, just go to the WAPO Politics page and get it daily and with background. And then go to The Daily Muck for the roundup of the continuing and mounting outrages.

Good Advice from Mr. TBogg.

The rhetoric on the right is getting pretty despicable concerning immigration reform. TBogg, in an effort to be reasonable, offers some advice to them.


Far be it from me to warn the Republicans against striking a match when they smell gas at party headquarters, but don't they ever learn?

No they never learn. And frankly, as long as the party headquarters is in an unpopulated area, I say, in a decidedly unreasonable moment, let them strike the match.

Read the rest.

Monday, April 10, 2006

What is the News?

In a sane world this would be ridiculous. However, it appears that we do not live in either a sane or egalitarian world. So, apparently Katie Couric sitting in the anchor’s chair and reading from a teleprompter for a major network’s nightly news is sadly the news!

Jill Abramson, the first woman to be the Washington Bureau Chief of the New York Times, and then later its Managing Editor, is tired of the First Woman to Do Something meme. I have to agree with her somewhat disheartendly. Unfortunately we still do have the First Woman meme.

That this one is at such a low level is totally disheartening, we are not talking about the leader of the Free World Here Folks! The fact that it is getting such press is even more disturbing. This is merely the job of reading the news. I haven’t heard that Katie Couric is going to be the Managing Editor of the CBS Evening News. Maybe I missed that. Correct me if I am wrong. My understanding is that she is going to be reading, and presenting, the news as devised by others.

Abramson states:

Despite the gains at the entrance gate, Ms. Couric's power is still unusual. None of the network chiefs are female and until one of their suits is worn by a woman it will be hard to say that women have really achieved equal clout in television news. Ms. Couric has hard reporting experience (she covered the Pentagon and the first Iraq war for NBC), but for the past 15 years on "Today" she's endeared herself with audiences through her chatty interviews and segments including her televised colonoscopy and dancing with Antonio Banderas.

With CBS eager to attract new and younger viewers, Ms. Couric will likely transport something stylistically different to the teleprompter. She clearly hasn't shed any of her girl-next-door demeanor. Last week, she composed and recited, with camp girl enthusiasm, doggerel for a Matrix award presentation to her pal, Cynthia Leive, the editor of Glamour, and interviewed Joan Rivers about her on-line dating experiences.

Every time I make a public appearance, I am asked whether 2008 will see the election of Condi or Hillary. Will a woman become president in my lifetime or my daughter's? I have no idea. But on Monday, I did meet Geena Davis, whose award was presented by her "Thelma and Louise" co-star, Susan Sarandon. Ms. Davis did get to be president, but her ABC show, "Commander in Chief," has struggled.

This is yet another transitional moment for professional women. The pioneers, like Betty Friedan and Sandra Day O'Connor, are gone or moving offstage. In our celebrity-besotted culture a woman can, like Martha Stewart, be down and then come back.

There will now be a female solo anchor. But there are still few women successfully leading the cornerstone institutions of our society. Maybe Katie Couric will become one of them. But unlike Walter Cronkite, I don't envy her.

Nor should any of us envy her. Ms. Couric has “big” shoes to fill and she will be held to a standard that none of those “shoes” who went before would be able to meet.

So, for all those readers out there who know that I love the Toronto Star, and Antonia, in particular, here is what she had to say on the subject, just because we always need the Canadian perspective:

First, because it's pathetic that it took so long for such a "milestone" to be met. The New York Times alone moved three stories.

But this isn't the Oval Office. It's sitting behind a desk and reading five minutes, tops, of intros and extros off a teleprompter while looking serious when the story is sad and perky when the story isn't.

Nobody would bat an eye in Canada if Alison Smith or Lisa LaFlamme were to step into the anchor roles at CBC or CTV.

Second, because implied in yesterday's copious coverage of this not unexpected "news" is that Couric, 49, who announced her departure on her 15th anniversary as co-host of Today, may not have the chops for the job.

Noted David Carr in the Times last month: "In the morning, Ms Couric is on for three hours at a stretch, pivoting between dead Marines and cute dolphins at marine parks. Her husky giggle, which has been music to audiences for almost 15 years, would not get much of a workout at night, and her legs, admired everywhere, would disappear under the anchor desk."

Which, upon second reading, is not as sexist as you might think.

That's because, as Carr concludes, "the fact that networks seem willing to concede that the best man for the job is clearly a woman means that it just isn't the same job any more."

And that's the point: The shows have lost their weight, influence — and audiences.

As Jeff Jarvis jawed yesterday:

I can’t help shaking my head at the hiring of Katie Couric to anchor the CBS Evening News. All the talk about getting rid of the oracular voice of news is meaningless. They simply replaced the goofy if stern-faced oracle with the perky and still-cute oracle. And the truth is, it’s not about the voice at all. It’s about the name. It’s about celebrity. This is halfway to hiring George Clooney to read the news (’I may not be a journalist, but I played one in a theater near you’).

A little sexist, no? The woman did do two hours a day of live TV for 15 years -- and kept her program at the top of the ratings. Sure there were cooking segments in there. But she also stick-handled some very tough interviews. That makes her more than capable of sitting behind a desk and pretending to shuffle some papers while reading a script.

(By the way, I have heard from a number of top Canadian TV female journalists today, who all agreed with my take. Ladies, please feel free to comment!!)

CBS' moldiest crust of bread Andy Rooney was really welcoming. Not.

I think everybody likes Katie Couric, I mean how can you not like Katie Couric. But, I don’t know anybody at CBS News who is pleased that she’s coming here.

Meanwhile, the right-wing buzzards have already moved into attack mode, going after both Couric and her replacement on Today, Meredith Vieira.

Appearing on the August 30, 2004 edition of the ABC daytime show "The View," Vieira - a former CBS "60 Minutes" reporter - echoed the most virulent hate speech of the far left, telling viewers that she attended the anti-Bush protest held in New York City on the Sunday before the Republican convention opened, insisting: "I didn't go anti-Bush or pro-Kerry. I'm still so upset about this war and I'm so proud I live in a country where you can protest."

According to the Media Research Center's NewsBusters.org blog, Vieira displayed a photo of herself marching with her pre-teen daughter and her husband, Richard, who was the senior political producer at CBS News for most of the 1980s. Behind her in the photo is a protest sign featuring a "W," for George W. Bush, with a slash through it.

That was not an isolated incident, NewsBusters reported, noting that earlier in 2004, while speaking of the Iraq war, Vieira said, "Everything's been built on lies. Everything! I mean the entire pretext for war." Moreover, in March 2003, as the United States prepared to go to war, Vieira argued that anti-war protests "should be consistent and repeated every day, I believe."

Golly. A reporter telling it like it is.

Funny, this makes me like Vieira even more.

Well, I want to know why Christiane Amanpour, another opinioned woman, isn’t the CBS news anchor. Maybe she doesn’t want to be tied down to the desk. But she is someone we could trust and believe in. She has heft! Though we don’t know about her legs or her shoe preferences!

JMHO in the year 2006, does the term Misogynist mean anything folks?

Sunday, April 02, 2006

NOLA: The Killing of a City Revisited.

Scout via First Draft reminds us of the U.S.A.’s shame with another video:

This is a videoI just completed about Jose Fernandes a photographer who lived in New Orleans. He is Portuguese but is going to become an American citizen. In my eyes he already is. He stayed in NOLA during Katrina and went out the day after Katrina struck to photograph people. He was back in NOLA at the time I was there to again photograph his city and its people.

Scout has put together his stills with video and music all to a very powerful effect.

If only the U.S.A. cared about a city that has been murdered and the lives that have been destroyed!

Immigration Reformation!

The Rude One has some rude things to say about Senator Hatch and his thoughts concerning immigration “reform.” And as he is the Rude One he can also be rather crude, and right on, and he nailed the message to the door!

Here is a piece of his mind:

So it was that Orrin Hatch was nowhere to be found in yesterday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on immigration reform, voting by proxy against the strangely civilized proposal put forth by Ted Kennedy and John McCain. Hatch's reasoning was that the temporary worker program in the bill amounted to "amnesty" for the people who mow his lawn, pick his fruit, wash his car, clean his toilets, cook his food, build his buildings, stock the shelves at his grocery store, etc, etc. The bill still passed the committee on a truly bipartisan vote of 11-6, and the Republicans in the cruel House of Representatives imploded with rage. Hatch's lackey blathered something about not rewarding people who break the law, which, considering Hatch's hackery for the administration, could be a definition of "irony."

The reason to focus on Hatch here is that the Utah Senator fell all over himself to praise Hispanics during the "debate" over the nomination of Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General. "We work with Hispanic people all over America who are every bit as devoted to our country as any citizen who has ever been in this country. I personally love Hispanic people," Hatch gushed, rubbing salsa all over his scrotum and taint in support. Then, in an amazingly prophetic threat, Hatch said of those who would not support Gonzales, "Frankly, I know my friends in the Hispanic community, and Hispanic people all over America, are watching this debate, and they are sensing something very unfair going on here." One might wonder what Gonzales, whose father was a migrant worker, might say about this. One might wonder what Hatch's "friends" in the Hispanic community might say.

Now from my point of view I find this whole dialogue, if one can call it that, really racist and offensive. Most of the arguments are between the Republican Corporatists who are all for indentured servitude with a guest worker program and those Republicans who want to criminalize and make felons of 11 million folks.

The whole idea of building a fence to keep out “illegal aliens” is obviously racist as the whole discussion is based on our Southern border. I have yet to hear anyone talking about building a fence on our Northern border. Could that be because it is assumed that there are no “illegal aliens” here from Canada? Is it that we are not to mention that those “illegal aliens” would be assumed to be “White?” Well, of course there is the point that what sane Canadian (disclosure: I am a Canadian U.S. Citizen who wants to live only in Manhattan, well maybe Toronto or Montreal if forced) would want to be an “illegal alien” in the United States of America (ostensibly coming to the USA for a better life) when they are a resident and citizen of Canada, but that is a discussion for another day. Just the same, why the focus on Mexicans? Why aren’t we focused on the “illegal Irish aliens”?

It seems to me that in order to solve this PROBLEM, if that is what the discussion and food fight is about, the Right’s answer is that we would have to build a fence around the entire Friggin country. We would also have to eliminate take out food, nannies and other child caregivers, landscapers, construction workers (they are not just Hispanic, but White Irish as well), restaurant workers, delivery services, housekeeping services, and all you folks who work in offices would actually have to clean-up after your sloppy-selves, etc., etc., well you can see where this is going. We would also have to send the folks from Tyson, Wal-Mart, et al., to jail not just some little hand slapping fine.

If the Right was honest about this discussion, and not just trying to drive another election wedge in the body politic maybe we could work through this problem that effects each and everyone of our daily lives. But that isn’t going to happen.

That said, I think it is time to stop bashing Mexicans and being racist shits and maybe talk about the failure of NAFTA, and the soon to come failure of CAFTA, a living wage, and get back to the Reality-Based Community where we can all act like “human beings” and not “aliens.”

I guess gay bashing isn’t working all that well these days as a get out the vote strategy.

Best Take Yet on the Scalia Kerfuffle.

From the OTHER Roger Ailes:

Coming Soon: Paul Mirengoff and John "Assrocket" Hindraker debate whether Fat Tony Scalia can be impeached for using a foreign obscenity rather than an American obscenity or a British common law obscenity in use at the time of the ratification of the U.S. Constitution.

Right on point as all us lawyers say!