Archive for February 25th, 2008

The Must-Have Device Of The Year!

sodaplayer.jpg

It’s a 4GB soda can that plays MP3 and video! Hot-tastic!!! (Soda not included – or supported)

(h/t PMP Today by way of Engadget)

1 comment February 25th, 2008 at 10:40pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Technology,Weirdness

Great Moments In Film Criticism

From Neil Best’s blog at Newsday, which is typically about sports. But since “Mike and the Mad Dog” (Mike Francesa and Chris Russo) decided to talk about the Oscars on their very popular sports talk radio show…

Mike just said he thought “Gentleman’s Agreement” was about Quakers.

I have no idea where that came from, but I found it very amusing.

And Chris just called Emile Zola “Emily” Zola.

I love this job.

(…)

(UPDATE: I think they just mixed up “Three Faces of Eve” and “All About Eve” and a movie that doesn’t exist called “Five Faces of Eve” but I just don’t know anymore. It’s all a blur now. I have to stop.)

(ANOTHER UPDATE: Chris called “Patton” a George C. Scott “farce” and “Gone With the Wind” a Vivien Leigh “farce.” Did he mean “tour de force?” I don’t know.)

They should probably stick to sports, where they are a farce to be reckoned with.

February 25th, 2008 at 09:12pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Movies,Sports

It All Depends On What The Meaning Of “Freedom” Is…

The Sons of Confederate Veterans remind us what the Civil War was all about:

The citizen-soldiers who fought for the Confederacy personified the best qualities of America. The preservation of liberty and freedom was the motivating factor in the South’s decision to fight the Second American Revolution. The tenacity with which Confederate soldiers fought underscored their belief in the rights guaranteed by the Constitution. These attributes are the underpinning of our democratic society and represent the foundation on which this nation was built.

Um, yeah. ‘Cuz if there’s one thing I associate the Confederacy with, it’s freedom, democracy and human rights. Okay, three things. I’ll come in again.

And now there’s a Republican state rep who wants Florida to sell Confederate flag license plates to fund these SCV bozos:

A Panhandle lawmaker wants a “Confederate Heritage” license plate to join the 109 specialty tags already available in Florida.

The extra $25 motorists would pay for the tag would go to educational programs run by Sons of Confederate Veterans, graveyard maintenance and museum exhibits.

Rep. Donald Brown, R-DeFuniak Springs, filed the bill (HB 1007) last week. The plate would feature a shield displaying the rebel battle flag symbol surrounded by several flags from the Civil War era. He says it would give motorists a way to show pride in their heritage.

Fantastic. For every Florida motorist “showing pride in their heritage,” I reckon there will be two or three others cringing in embarrassment or outright horror.

(h/t Stoller)

2 comments February 25th, 2008 at 07:57pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Racism,Republicans

Totally Not Suspicious At All, Nope.

First of all, in case you haven’t been following, the Don Siegelman case, in which Alabama’s Democratic former governor was convicted and imprisoned on trumped-up charges brought by a partisan Republican prosecutor at Karl Rove’s behest, finally hit 60 Minutes:

The CBS piece, for which I was repeatedly interviewed, came through on its promise to deliver several additional bombshells. The most significant of these was the disclosure that prosecutors pushed the case forward and secured a conviction relying on evidence that they knew or should have known was false, and that they failed to turnover potentially exculpatory evidence to defense counsel. The accusation was dramatically reinforced by the Justice Department’s failure to offer a denial. It delivered a fairly elaborate version of a “no comment,” and even that came a full twenty-four hours after it had conferred with the prosecutors in question. The gravity of the accusations made and the prosecutors’ failure to deny them further escalates concerns about the treatment of the former Alabama governor.

(…)

[Former Arizona] Attorney General [Grant] Woods has this to say about the Bush Justice Department’s prosecution of Siegelman: “I personally believe that what happened here is that they targeted Don Siegelman because they could not beat him fair and square. This was a Republican state and he was the one Democrat they could never get rid of.”

In other words, not being able to beat Siegelman at the polls, Woods believes that his own party corruptly used the criminal justice process to take out an adversary. This is an extraordinary, heavy accusation. Not something that a senior Republican would raise easily about his own party. And the facts back the accusation up, beginning to end.

(…)

[T]he evidence on which the Siegelman conviction was secured was false, and was known by the prosecutors to be false from the beginning. Indeed, the evidence of this is now so overpowering that the Justice Department refused to answer charges on camera, just as it has resisted Congressional demands to turn over documents and wrongfully failed to comply with FOIA requests. The key testimony at trial came from a man named Nick Bailey, who, unbeknownst to Siegelman, was a crook. He never contested that fact. And he’s now in prison, where CBS interviewed him—notwithstanding the Justice Department refusal to authorize an interview. The prosecutors nabbed him and then told him he could get a light sentence if he worked with them to nail Siegelman, their real target. This very process is a perversion of the justice system, which as former U.S. Attorney Jones very properly says, requires that prosecutors investigate crimes and not people. But it gets still worse. Bailey testifies that he saw a check change hands at a meeting at which Scrushy’s appointment to the oversight board was decided. This is the evidence that landed Siegelman in prison. And it was false. And the prosecutors knew that it was false.

JONES: They got a copy of the check. And the check was cut days after that meeting. There was no– there was no way possible for Siegelman to have walked out of that meeting with a check in his hand.

PELLEY: So, Siegelman could not have had that check–

JONES: No.

PELLEY: –in his hand that Bailey–

JONES: It was–

PELLEY: –testified to seeing?

JONES: Absolutely impossible and they knew that, absolutely impossible.

PELLEY: That would seem like a problem with the prosecution’s case…

JONES: It was a huge problem especially when you’ve got a guy whose credibility was going to be the linchpin of that case. It was a huge problem.

…[The Justice Department] stated that Siegelman’s case was pursued and developed by career prosecutors, that it was based on the law, and justified by fair evidence.

(…)

First, we know that the first two career prosecutors assigned to the case, including the most experienced prosecutors who worked on it, came to the same conclusion that Grant Woods did: no reasonable prosecutor would ever have charged this case.
The Justice Department has consistently made false statements about the roles of the two earlier prosecutors, and their role only emerged in the last few months. It’s extremely noteworthy that throughout the history of this case, whenever a career prosecutor concluded that charges should not be brought, that career prosecutor ran into a bump in his career and was off the case. The message to the remaining career prosecutors was plenty clear. In fact it is clear that the career prosecutors’ views were overridden by political appointees driven by a strong partisan political agenda.

Second, they claim that the case was brought on a fair reading of the law. It was not, and indeed reasonable career prosecutors never would have acted on the basis of the reading they advanced, and a fair detached judge never would have allowed the case to go forward. This case offered neither.

Third, they claim that evidence was produced to sustain the charges. But the key evidence that the prosecutors brought forward was false, and they knew it was false. In this case proceeding on the basis of that false evidence was a corrupt wielding of prosecutorial power, pursued for a corrupt partisan political end – the elimination of a political adversary. They withheld the Bailey notes which would have demonstrated that his memory on this was conflicted or wrong and would therefore have devastated his testimony. There is mounting evidence that one or more witnesses were unethically pressured to give false evidence or face retaliation. This suspicion surrounds not only Nick Bailey, but also Jefferson County Republican Commissioner Gary White. Note the affidavit of his wife, which a federal judge in Birmingham stated only two weeks ago he found “established a prima facie case of impermissible conduct” by the prosecutors. The claim put forward there goes precisely to these facts. White was pressured to give false evidence supporting Bailey on his false claims about the meeting. It is suggested that he would be prosecuted if he failed to do so. He refused, saying the testimony would be false. And he was prosecuted. This seems to summarize the crooked criminal justice system that Karl Rove and his friends have promoted in Alabama.

CBS conducted dozens of interviews and has much more that it hasn’t shown. The additional footage concerns the Canary team—husband Billy who advised the campaign of Republican gubernatorial candidates against Siegelman, and wife Leura Canary, whose prosecution of Siegelman was essential to the G.O.P.’s efforts to secure the Montgomery statehouse. And they have much more on the inexplicable conduct of federal Judge Mark Fuller, appointed by George W. Bush, a former member of the Alabama G.O.P.’s Executive Committee, and a man who publicly stated that Siegelman had a grudge against him—but who refused to recuse himself from the case.

As if all of that isn’t disgusting enough, here is the rancid icing on the corruption cake:

I am now hearing from readers all across Northern Alabama—from Decatur to Huntsville and considerably on down—that a mysterious “service interruption” blocked the broadcast of only the Siegelman segment of 60 Minutes this evening. The broadcaster is Channel 19 WHNT, which serves Northern Alabama and Southern Tennessee. This station was noteworthy for its hostility to Siegelman and support for his Republican adversary. The station ran a trailer stating “We apologize that you missed the first segment of 60 Minutes tonight featuring ‘The Prosecution of Don Siegelman.’ It was a techincal problem with CBS out of New York.” I contacted CBS News in New York and was told that “There were no transmission difficulties. The problems were peculiar to Channel 19, which had the signal and had functioning transmitters.”…

Gee, what are the odds of a mysterious “outage” overlapping almost exactly with the time of the Siegelman segment on 60 Minutes? Sure does sound like GOP corruption in Alabama is both broad and deep, doesn’t it.

If you want to participate in moving either of these stories forward, Scott Horton urges his readers to use CBS’s Contact Us form to demand that they follow up on the issues they didn’t fully resolve, and to contact Channel 19 WHNT’s management group, Oak Hill Partners, though Rhonda Barnat at 212-371-5999 or rb@abmac.com.

(h/t Christy)

2 comments February 25th, 2008 at 06:41pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Media,Politics,Republicans,Wankers

Monday Media Blogging – I Feel GREAT!!!

Parody of a Nutrigrain commercial. At least I think it’s a parody…

Favorite details: What the first coworker is holding when the guy who feels great bursts in on him; the female coworker’s, um, use of paper.

1 comment February 25th, 2008 at 11:48am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Monday Media Blogging

Commemorative Oscar Spam

I thought this bit of spam seemed appropriate for the day after the Oscars, since it sounds a lot like a movie review:

courageous!uprooting!unalterably exasperating?…

Hell, I’d go see it.

February 25th, 2008 at 11:11am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Spamoptikon

I Approve

For once, I’m not disgusted with any of the major Oscar winners. No Country For Old Men was excellent, as were Javier Bardem and Daniel Day-Lewis.

My biggest complaint is that Juno got nominated for Best Picture and Eastern Promises didn’t. Reminds me a bit of the travesty in ’88 when Working Girl was nominated and Eight Men Out wasn’t. Sometimes I wonder what is wrong with these people.

1 comment February 25th, 2008 at 07:01am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Movies


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