Saturday, October 14, 2006

A tinker's cuss

I'd tinker with some of the language, but basically Anonymous Liberal has a good suggestion for a Democratic campaign ad.

It's times like these I really regret calling that Madonna cease-fire

May not have been so exciting?

You scored as The Fifth Doctor (Peter Davidson). The quiet Fifth Doctor is the one for you. He may not have been so exciting, but his steady calm kept you interested. Maybe you just like cricket.

The Fifth Doctor (Peter Davidson)


The Sixth Doctor (Colin Baker)


The Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker)


The Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy)


The Ninth Doctor (Christoper Eccleston)


The Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann)


The First Doctor (William Hartnell)


The Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee)


The Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton)


Which Doctor Who are you?
created with

Doctor Who geek-out moment follows while I unravel this. Those of you who don't speak the language may feel free to move on to the Godley & Creme video.

The above damnation with faint praise (not only that, they've spelt his name wrong) only goes to show you: Peter Davison is the Rodney Dangerfield of Doctors Who.

It wasn't his steady calm that kept me interested, it was that he was the best damn actor ever to play the Doctor, with some of my best-loved scripts. I expected to see him, Tom Baker, Christopher Eccelston and Sylvester McCoy in the top third or so.

They are my favorite Doctors, in roughly that order, though McCoy gives Eccelston more of a fight for third place if we're including the novel, New Adventures version. I am surprised to see Colin Baker score so high-though I suppose it's not him I think was so bad, just 98% of his scripts.

He had the worst ones until a few, shall we say, "controversial" episodes David Tennant (who doesn't appear on this list) was lumbered with. But: Paul McGann above Hartnell, Pertwee or Troughton?

I don't think so! If it were up to me, McGann would be relegated to Peter Cushing-like status. He'd certainly come after all of the above including Tennant in any list I made...

Geek-out moment ends.

Friday, October 13, 2006

It's the sound of my tears fallin', Or is it the rain?

I wanted to run this as a fitting conclusion, I thought, to the "songs that make me cry" post last month. But at the time the only versions YouTube had started with the most hideously inappropriate voice-over announcer I've ever heard.

Fortunately, I just looked again. Here's the excellent and beautiful "Cry."

Roger's (on the way) back!

Roger Ebert writes from rehab. No, not that kind...I mean physical rehab, as in he's having to learn how to walk again, but
During all of this, I didn't lose any marbles. My thinking is intact and my mental process doesn't require rehabilitation. Visits from colleagues at the Chicago Sun-Times, "Ebert & Roeper," ABC-7 and the film world kept me informed -- although, curiously, I found myself more interested in plunging into the depths of classic novels ("Persuasion," "Great Expectations," "The Ambassadors") than watching a lot of DVDs. I prefer to see the new Oliver Stone, Martin Scorsese and Clint Eastwood films on a big screen, for example.

I have discovered a goodness and decency in people as exhibited in all the letters, e-mails, flowers, gifts and prayers that have been directed my way. I am overwhelmed and humbled. I offer you my most sincere thanks and my deep and abiding gratitude. If I ever write my memoirs, I have some spellbinding material.

I don't know if he'll ever write those memoirs, but I'm anxiously waiting for my copy of the new anthology "Awake in the Dark: The Best of Roger Ebert" to come in at my local library.

No you didn't, Mel

I've been avoiding the Mel Gibson sit-and-spin tour '06. But then I read this. Gibson told Diane Sawyer,

he admitted that his anger towards the Jews might have been triggered by lingering resentment for charges of anti-Semitism he took in the aftermath of "Passion": "I had my rights an artist,"

No you didn't, Mel. You got to make your film, presumably the way you saw it in your head. You got to release your film. Widely. Your film even made lots of money, but if it hadn't, you still didn't have your rights violated as an artist.

Your rights as an artist do not include bullet-proof vests whenever someone wants to take a metaphorical shot at you. Your only rights as an artist should be the right to make what you want, the way you want, and get it seen and/or heard. You get to do that.

And on behalf of artists everywhere who are losing their minds trying to bring something beautiful into this world and finding nothing but walls everywhere they turn, fuck you. Fuck you for trying to trade on the "suffering artist" card.

Especially to cover-up the fact that a drunken slip of the lip revealed your bigoted feelings for what they are, but really, fuck you for doing it at all. You have artistic opportunities available to you that most of us can only hope for, and fuck you for pretending for one second that we should have sympathy for you because "the Jews made you feel bad."

In fact, goddamn you for treating your privilege so callously.

Vengance is mine, sayeth the writer

Better Off Dead writer/director Savage Steve Holland on his much-loved film:
Better Off Dead is a true story, pretty much. It’s an exaggerated true story.

So there was a girl you were that broken-hearted over?

SS: Oh yeah.

Have you ever spoken to her again? Does she know the movie is about her?

SS: That’s a great question. It’s really weird but she really broke my heart, and even through college I was still bummed out about it, but life went on. Then I made this funny movie. And like 6 years later, I got a call, I don’t know how she got my number, and she said, “I’ve been in therapy because I saw your movie and I had no idea."


Death of a comedy writer, slightly revised

Jerry Belson, Emmy-winning comedy writer, dies of cancer at 68

His best-known work is probably the sitcoms he wrote with his friend and former writing partner Garry Marshall in the 1960s and '70s, the two developed the series "The Odd Couple" from the play and film by Neil Simon.

He also did some good screenplay work, both credited and uncredited. I'm a particular fan of the 1975 film "Smile", a good satire of beauty pageants that Belson wrote 25 years before "Miss Congeniality." According to the IMDB, which we have every reason to trust, he contributed to Spielberg's 1989 film "Always," which I've long thought deserved a second look.

I remember seeing the 1987 film "Surrender," with Michael Caine, which Belson wrote and directed, and thinking that it had a lovely first act, rich with possibilities. Almost none of which grew into anything. And late in life I used to see his name on "The Drew Carey Show," but it probably wasn't his best work (and it certainly wasn't Carey's).

There are one or two good stories about Belson in Marshall's autobiography, "Wake Me When It's Funny." A couple of my favorites:

When he saw a new house my sister Penny had bought, he said, "What a lovely place to live if life were worth living."

When told about a ninety-eight-year-old woman who had died in an accident, he said, "Skiing?"

Given Belson's oft-remarked skill for the darkly comic, I like to think he'd have liked the fact that his obituaries are running on Friday the 13th.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

This is getting freaky

Hey, you guys remember a couple of weeks ago when I decided to try Law & Order: Criminal Intent, which I'd never seen before? And as luck would have it, found a guest star that week was Anton Yelchin, formerly Byrd on Huff?

Well tonight, I decided to give Supernatural a try again. The show had stopped doing it for me before the end of the first season, but I'd seen an ad for this week's episode that made it look good.

Next thing you know I'm watching the episode opening credits, and whose name should flash up as a guest star? Amber Benson, formerly the late, lamented witch Tara on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

A good and very un-Tara-like performance, I thought (and I mean that as a compliment). I wish the part had been larger, but I would, wouldn't I? I also noted with some satisfaction that the character seems to have possibilities for return. It seems likely there are some people writing to the producers and/or network to suggest that even as I type.

That's twice in less than a month I've tuned into shows I don't normally watch, only to find after the fact that actors I've admired in other series were appearing in them. Not only that, both were in series that disappointed me late in their runs (at least Buffy made it for five seasons before falling off, Huff lost me before the end of year two).

And just to complete this week's freaky feature, it happened right after I invoked the image of Buffy herself (see previous post). Oooooooooooh...

You know, Sarah Michelle Gellar really does have a very pretty face

I was waiting for somebody to say it-or, ok, the Woodward/State of Denial thing

With all the praise the new book's been getting, I've been wondering: Wasn't it less than a year ago that Bob Woodward was in a mess of trouble for being, as Firedoglake put it, "an official peddler of lies told by powerful people to whitewash their criminal activities"?

Why yes, yes it was.

Didn't he abdicate his responsibility as a newspaper writer in favor of launching his books at the bestseller lists?

Why yes, yes he did.

Isn't he just another one of the many journalists who simply didn't do their jobs, along with his colleagues at other major newspapers and broadcast networks?

Why yes, yes he is.

Why are we listening to him? Just because (now) he's come around to conclusions that some of us reached before 655,000 Iraqis and 3,000 Americans died? I'll listen to Bob Woodward, and this goes for any other celebrity Bush-boosters past or present, when they go on "Larry King Live" with someone like Howard Dean and say this:

"You were right, and I was wrong."

Not this:

On CNN's "Larry King Live," on Nov. 18, 2002, Woodward explained that Bush was "very reflective about how he digested the presidency, what he had learned, what he had learned from his father, some of the convictions he had." (In "State of Denial," we learn some of what Bush ignored from his father.) "Bush is in control," Woodward continued. (In "State of Denial," we learn some of what the president didn't know and when he didn't know it.) Woodward also rebutted the notion that Vice President Cheney had amassed unusual power in his office. "There is this idea out in the land that Cheney is really secretly running things, or somebody else is running things," Woodward explained. "Cheney is the first adviser in many ways, but the president makes the decisions. He's the one who makes the calls." (In "State of Denial," we learn about Cheney's unbound power.)

A month later, on Dec. 11, 2002, as Bush began ratcheting up the campaign for an invasion of Iraq, Woodward appeared again on "Larry King Live," to lend his credibility to Bush's motives. "He is very, being very practical about this," said Woodward. In "Bush at War" Woodward did what the administration could not do for itself. The renowned journalist lent his reputation to the image of Bush as Karl Rove wished him to be portrayed -- as a master of men. Bush's political strategist and others in the administration had figured out Woodward's method and timeworn plot structure and filled it up. They calculated that he would report without context and promote the carefully arranged access as the ultimate truth. The still glistening veneer of Watergate made the sheen Woodward put on Bush that much more believable. But in the run-up to the Iraq war, Woodward's informative method had the effect of helping to cover up the disinformation campaign. Woodward's objectivity was the most convincing mode for spin.

With a hat tip to BAGnewsnotes for both links.

Ratings-wise, I've got some good news and some bad news

The good news is that Tina Fey's sitcom fell flat right out of the gate, which would be enough to make me believe in god. But "The Nine" dropped again, and "Twenty Good Years" got an even lower rating than "30 Rock".

the real Wednesday stories may be NBC's sluggish new comedies and a big second week drop for "The Nine."

FOX was third with a 5.2/8 for baseball, just ahead of the premieres of NBC's endlessly promoted "30 Rock" (5.5/9) and "Twenty Good Years" (4.7/7).

"CSI: NY" helped CBS close the night strong with an 11.5/19. NBC's "Dateline" easily outperformed former time slot occupant "Kidnapped" and delivered higher ratings than "The Nine," which slumped to a 5.7/9 in its second week on ABC.

Given how much praise it's received, "The Nine" may be given some time to grow a few more ratings points, at least I'd like to think so. But there's little or no hope for "...Years," I'd imagine, given that its appeal seems to be limited.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

We're living on the edge now, Jeffrey. Women will often strike us.

I felt the pilot of Twenty Good Years, the new sitcom starring John Lithgow and Jeffrey Tambor, was very funny. And when I say that, I say it on this basis: It made me laugh. In keeping with my rebel tendencies, that seems to be a minority opinion, at least among critics.

Even those who think it was good seem to be crediting it more to the series stars' sharp way with a laugh line than the writing of the line itself. I'm not so sure. True, Lithgow and Tambor are everything you could want in a late-middle-age comedy team-not that there's a long waiting list.

But the jokes made me laugh because they genuinely surprised me, there's a snap! to the writing that I appreciated. I also wouldn't be as quick as this guy to dismiss the two younger actors who play Lithgow's daughter and Tambor's son, respectively, Heather Burns and Jake Sandvig, at least not after only one episode.

It's true Burns didn't get much chance to show what stuff she has, if any, but Sandivig had one good moment. His character is a male model, and the way his face fell when Tambor told him that he used to look just like him was worth a laugh.

Just as the show is worth a look. Try it, if my luck holds, it won't be around for long.

In a related story, the second episode of The Nine maintained the smarts of the first. I can't wait to tune in to the ratings sites tomorrow and see how much of the audience it's lost.

This is national Coming-Out Day

... [commemorating] the 1987 march on Washington for gay equal rights and [encouraging] gays and lesbians (and even politicians on the down low) to live their lives openly and honestly.

This is for anyone that did.

Lighting up the room like a table lamp

(Kirsten Dunst selling Marie Antoinette in Entertainment Weekly)

Sigh 2.

TV Ratings:

Week two of NBC clinker Friday Night Lights lived up to that description, with a mere 4.4/ 7 in the overnights (#4), 6.28 million viewers (#4) and a 2.4/ 7 among adults 18-49 (#3) at 8 p.m. Compared to its already disappointing debut one week earlier (Overnights: 5.3/ 8; Viewers: 7.17 million; A18-49: 2.7/ 8 on Oct. 3), that was a decline of 17 percent in the overnights, 890,000 viewers and 11 percent among adults 18-49.

In retrospect, maybe the fact that a show about high school football appeals to someone like me who is so...not a high school football person, was a bad sign right there. But I'm still enjoying this series, howeversolong it may last.

The acting is particularly strong, and the directing style, lots of hand-held work accentuating close-ups, helps put it over. Another great score by Snuffy Walden, too. The writing is not flashy-great in the way of an Aaron Sorkin, but the words fall easily upon the ear. You believe the characters have depth and an existence away from that moment.

Also, the perhaps-surprising number of strong female characters is lovely.

Although Gilmore Girls on the CW remains a solid player at a fifth-place 4.0/ 6 in the overnights, 4.61 million viewers and a 2.0/ 6 among adults 18-49 at 8 p.m., lead-out Veronica Mars dipped to a 2.4/ 3 in the overnights, 2.99 million viewers and a 1.3/ 3 among adults 18-49 at 9 p.m. Retention was just 60 percent in the overnights, and 65 percent in both total viewers and adults 18-49. Even so, fans of Veronica Mars take note: Veronica was up a healthy 33 percent among women 18-34 (2.4) from it’s year-ago performance. As for Gilmore Girls, a third-place finish in the 8 p.m. hour among adults 18-34 (2.3/ 7) with growth from one week earlier earns it an honorable mention.

I glanced at Gilmore Girls again during the commercial breaks for FNL, and saw my first scene with Paris in the new season. I don't know if it was because I love Liza Weil, or just because she's such a ferociously intelligent actress (of course, those two things are not at all unrelated). But it was the first and only time so far I really felt at peace with GG under the new regime.

For the rest of it, based on what I've seen so far and the "next, on Gilmore Girls..." Well, before I say this, I hope you'll take into account what I hope is my well-established at this point love for strong women in general, the Gilmore girls in specific, and Lorelei Gilmore as she was for most of her first six seasons in particular. I don't say this lightly.

But at this point, all I'd really want to say to Lorelei if I could is "Get back with Luke, you stupid whore."


The second episode of Veronica Mars this season was a massive improvement over both the premiere last week and the second half of last season. It was so good it immidiately started me worrying that it would be just my luck if they made me like it again just in time for cancelation.

My friend Corey offers that it would be better if it ends on a high, if premature, note than if it gets good, gets renwewed, and then gets bad again. But I'm not so sure. I want to believe that Thomas and his team have regained control of the wheel, but I guess only time will tell.

The first half of this season is said to be a do-or-die time for Veronica ratingswise. If I read it right, the show doesn't seem to be dying on the vine just yet, but it could sure use some more viewers. So I'm going to do something I haven't done for a long time, I'm going to suggest you watch Veronica Mars.

I guess, even though they let me down last season, I'd still rather see them have a chance to race at the long track, even if they spin out again, than get cut before the flag.

One last item about last night's TV shows, even though it's not ratings-related. There's an article here about Boston Legal's endearing habit of letting the characters comment upon the fact that they're inside a TV show ("I've hardly seen you at all this episode").

The item doesn't mention this, but I've come to think of it as an homage, though this may not be intentional, to the Hope & Crosby road films which did the same thing. Come on, can't you see Crane & Shore in: The Road to Boston?

I think Denny's Bob Hope and Alan's Bing Crosby. Which, I guess, given that she's become the object of affection for both men, would make Candace Bergen Dorothy Lamour. Again, I can see it.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Oh, good

“There is another way, or other ways, to look at the race issue in America. Africa at the time of slavery was still primarily a jungle… Life there was savage … and those brought to America, and other countries, were in many ways better off.”
– Gerald Schoenewolf, a member of NARTH’s Science Advisory Committee.

The “Ex-gay” advocates of the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) have not denounced the above comments from Schoenwolf, a NYC psychotherapist and author of The Art of Hating, (”Many people talk about hate, but few know how to hate well.”)

Via Pandagon, where Pam's entry speaks for itself. But I'll add, to the members of this fine, upstanding group: You always gotta think about the acronym. How is anyone supposed to take your organization seriously when your name sounds like something Pinky would say?

Every minute of every hour - I love a sunflower


TV Ratings:

-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (NBC)

Unfortunately, the news remains bleak for NBC at 10 p.m. with week four of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip at a distant second-place 6.8/11 in the overnights, 8.76 million viewers and a 3.8/ 9 among adults 18-49. The one piece of good news for Studio 60: it beat ABC’s competing What About Brian.

-Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (Mon. 10 p.m.): Losing steam every week.

There's a musical called Merrily We Roll Along, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, which is one of the more famous underperformers-I'm being generous-in Broadway history. By all reports (I've never seen it staged) it has never fully worked succesfully, either in its original run or in a couple of revivals. Even though it contains one or two of Sondheim's best songs. "Not A Day Goes By" alone is worth a couple of shows.

I remember once reading someone speculate that one of the reasons it never worked is because the audiences didn't relate to the characters. Merrily We Roll Along, as I recall, is about a man who starts out wanting to write for Broadway and ends up "selling out" by writing commercial, pop music.

Well, this person speculated, not wanting to write for Broadway may be the worst betrayal Sondheim and his longtime directing partner, Hal Prince, could think of...but it's not a given that even a Broadway audience is going to care that much.

I wonder whether one of the reasons Studio 60 is doing so poorly (compared to, say, West Wing) is because: There simply aren't that many people to whom the running of a TV show is as interesting as, say, the running of the country.

No matter who's writing it. I mean obviously, they've got people like me-even if if this wasn't a Sorkin show, as a writer a show about a writer would interest me. But how many of us are there?

(Apparently, 8.76 million of us)

About last night's episode specifically: Last week a few of us were discussing over on Sherman's blog whether or not within the world of the series, Harriet's religious beliefs were well known. Enough so that they could be referred to on the show-within-the-show. Sherman wasn't sure, I thought they were.

I am much less sure that in this world or any other, a writer/director/producing team coming back to a late-night TV comedy show is cover story fodder for Vanity Fair. I mean, come on. How often do you see people like Lorne Michaels or even Al Franken (back before he launched his second career as a comedian) making like Jennifer Aniston?

Finally, it may interest those of you who watched to know that last night's plot was, presumably, based in part on a real incident. In his book about his time spent as a writer/performer on Saturday Night Live, (you could read my review here) Jay Mohr cops to having plagarized a sketch and being found out. If memory serves he did not, however, have the "get out of jail free" card Sorkin provided his characters at the end, a final twist I kinda wish they'd left out.

It's a weakness as well as a strength of Sorkin's writing that sometimes, he can't let people be too angry with each other for too long. The strenth of this is that all his characters are too well-rounded to be one-dimensional villains (or heroes). The weakness is that sometimes he lets conflict, or even potential conflict, dissapate too quickly.

Well, come hell or high water, I'm in with Studio 60 until they shut the lights out. I just wish there were more of us.

Monday, October 09, 2006

President Ursus

Ursus: The only thing that counts in the end is POWER! Naked merciless FORCE!

Glenn Greenwald has some horrifying-at least in their implications-observations about the North Korean nuclear test.

Our credibility to act in the world -- both diplomatically and militarily -- has to be close to, if not at, an all-time low. We are already fighting two wars (in Iraq and Afghanistan) which, by all accounts, have significantly depleted our military resources. And we have been overtly threatening -- and flirting with a passing of the point of no return -- to fight a war against a third country (Iran). We plainly don't have enough troops to devote to our current wars in order to win them, let alone start new ones. And we have close to 40,000 American troops on the border between North and South Korea who are veritable hostages in any military confrontation.

Time and again, the President has demonstrated that he is capable of seeing a complex world only in the simplest Manichean terms. Someone is either Good or they are Evil. And if they are Evil, it means you cannot deal with them or negotiate with them or rely upon diplomacy. By definition, Evil understands nothing but force and threats of force. The only thing that works with Evil is to crush it, not to manage or compromise and negotiate with it.

What do I think?

I think Bush is the gorilla general, we're the human civilization that killed the baby chimp more than decades ago and North Korea is the cult that worships the bomb.

So as you can see I'm quite optimistic about how all this is going to turn out.

Four women in increasingly less clothing

If "increasingly less" is not a contradiction in terms...

Sarah Michelle Gellar, impersonating an old couch, standing next to Amber Tamblyn, who has some very nice-looking legs. [Via Pink Is The New Blog]

Scarlett Johansson, wearing leather, standing next to Dita von Teese, wearing a necklace and heels. [Source]

I choose to believe this is some kind of an anti-leather statement.

Happy Monday, everybody...

Thank god for weblogs

If you missed David Rakoff’s interview on “The Daily Show," as I did, you'll want to follow this link and watch the clip. It's hilarious.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Terry Gilliam reduced to hustling on the street

Shame, really.

No, no, but seriously though, this is him trying to whip up some support for his new movie Tideland. Which may be about to get an extremely abbreviated and only limited theatrical run before going straight to DVD.

Which really would be a shame, since he remains my favorite director. Seeing him again and again find himself on troubled productions, while the terrible Tim Burton goes from hit to hit, gives me a pain in the back of the head like a needle, a big, ice-hot needle.

I'd hoped Tideland might be my longed-for "pure" Gilliam film. One that seems, as co-writer Charles McKeon described Brazil, like taking off the top of his head and peering around inside. Early reviews suggest that may not be the case.

I'll still be watching it, whether on the big screen or small, hoping to love it. It's been too long.

Oh, man. What the hell was that?

Nothing, baby.

"When Album Covers Attack"

If you don't Look Sharp you might get Crushed.

Stephen Colbert probably isn't reading this

According to this article, he doesn't look at the blogs much, though he does sometimes ask his wife to do so and give him a report. Good evening Mrs. Colbert, my you look lovely today. The article's only so-so; it's better for its Colbert quotes than for the intrusions by the author, Adam Sternbergh.

Sternbergh comes off as the kind of guy who tries to tell jokes but forgets punchlines and thinks a little, but not enough. How else do you explain his trying to descibe Colbert's trademark "Word" bits while leaving out the answer-back commentary captions that makes it funny?

Worse is his digression into a not-fully-thought-out equation of Colbert with Ann Coulter. I think I know what he was trying to say with that, but to my mind he didn't close the loop. Though I have thought about whether there is an equation for Colbert, not with Coulter but with Andrew Dice Clay.

Like Colbert, Clay became rich and famous saying hateful things. He always reacted to criticism of his act by hiding behind the notion that it was "just a character." Colbert, of course, makes similar claims about his on-air persona.

The difference is, Colbert always finds a way to signal from within that character, and without breaking it, what his true thoughts are. Also, he's genuinely funny, another thing that separates him from the Diceman.

Whose sole lasting contribution to our culture remains the "OH!" sample on "Unbelivable" by EMF.

Random Flickr-Blogging: IMG_7382

From the rarely-seen "Paul and Jamie experiment with bondage" episode of Mad About You.

Original source credit here.

I would just revel in these poll numbers, but...

Rather astonishing item in Newsweek. What's astonishing is not the words like--

the president’s approval rating has fallen to a new all-time low

--those words have come to be as predictable as a change of seasons. But a headline to the story asks the question: How Low Can The Republicans Go?

In Newsweek. Not a Democratic blog like Maha or Pandagon or even this one. Not a more moderate but still Bush-disliking blog like News From Me.

Frickin' Newsweek. Wow.

Meanwhile, the president’s approval rating has fallen to a new all-time low for the Newsweek poll: 33 percent, down from an already anemic 36 percent in August. Only 25 percent of Americans are satisfied with the direction of the country, while 67 percent say they are not. Foley’s disgrace certainly plays a role in Republican unpopularity: 27 percent of registered voters say the scandal and how the Republican leadership in the House handled it makes them less likely to vote for a Republican Congressional candidate; but 65 percent say it won’t make much difference in determining how they vote. And Americans are equally divided over whether or not Speaker Hastert should resign over mishandling the situation (43 percent say he should, but 36 percent say he shouldn’t).

But, as I say up there, there's something that stops me from just reveling in these poll numbers as one or two other bloggers are almost certainly doing. And that is that I'm wondering: Shouldn't the Democratic leadership (I know, I know, contradiction in terms) have said or done something about Foley's disgrace by now?

I mean yeah, it's great that the Republican leaders keep slipping in the mud they've been slinging for years. But the response of the Democrats seems to be to laugh and smile and say "Hey, you're all dirty, man."

Attack the motherfuckers! They're weak! How many times, how many chances, how many opportunities do you have to get to step up, on and over the Republican hari-karis they're leaving in their wake?

A later paragraph states that

The scandal’s more significant impact seems to be a widening of the yawning credibility gap developing between the President, his party and the nation.

Unfortunately, that credibility gap exists for the Democrats, too, thanks to Nancy "no time for responsibility" Pelosi. What do I mean by that? More in a moment.

... While 52 percent of Americans believe Hastert was aware of Foley’s actions and tried to cover them up, it’s part of a larger loss of faith in Republican leadership, thanks mostly to the war in Iraq. For instance, for the first time in the NEWSWEEK poll, a majority of Americans now believe the Bush administration knowingly misled the American people in building its case for war against Saddam Hussein: 58 percent vs. 36 percent who believe it didn’t. And pessimism over Iraq is at record highs on every score: nearly two in three Americans, 64 percent, believe the United States is losing ground there; 66 percent say the war has not made America safer from terrorism (just 29 percent believe it has); and 53 percent believe it was a mistake to go to war at all, again the first time the NEWSWEEK poll has registered a majority in that camp.

Emphasis mine.

Can we impeach him nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow?

The answer: No, no we can't, because as re-stated most recently in this item, the Democrats wouldn't impeach Bush if he shot a child in the back of the head on national television.

Rep. Pete Stark, the decidedly liberal Democrat on the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, said: "The '08 contest for the White House will be the major moderating influence. I don't think we're going to run out and impeach Rumsfeld and Bush, although a lot of my constituents would like to."

Pelosi, mindful of the power of the Republican charge that the Democrats will spend the next two years on partisan payback, explicitly ruled out impeachment of Bush. "Absolutely," she said in an interview on Thursday. "We don't have time for that."

It's not partisan payback, you stupid, appeasing...! Partisan payback is what they were doing to Clinton!

Clinton lied to cover-up inappropriate behaivor. Bush lied to put American lives in danger and get the country into war. How much more explict a rationale for impeachment could you possibly need?

Okay. Clearly, I need something good here. You regulars know what that means...

This is a video that I first saw when I was around 11. Maybe that's why although some would say it's silly or even stupid, it always carried more weight with me than that, especially the last few shots.

For all that the '80s get caricatured as a decade of low-volume values and high-volume hair, a big part of being a child then was living with the knowledge that there were these bombs out there that could destroy the world. Are you gonna drop the bomb or not, as Alphaville starkly asked.

But this is not that song, and this is not that band. Even if you don't like the video, close your eyes and listen to the song. It's almost 25 years old and it could have been written last month.

And I think I'll stop reading political blogs. I'd say "and start watching more videos and listening to more music from when I was 11," but that hardly seems possible.

This isn't irony, but I like it

SNL Topped By It's Doppleganger
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 10/5/2006 4:28:00 PM
The debut of the 32nd season of Saturday Night Live Sept. 30 averaged a 3.2 rating/13 share in the 18-49 demo. That's up a tad (3%) from last year's season opener.

But it was not enough to top the NBC show about Saturday Night Live, NBC's Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, about a Friday night comedy show on NBS, which averaged a 3.5/9 for its episode Monday night on NBC.

Minor quibble w/the above:

For what it's worth, I think Studio 60 is "about" Saturday Night Live about as much as The West Wing was "about" the Clinton or Bush administrations or Sports Night was "about" ESPN. Drama is not about its setting, it's about-please hold for pretention-the mind, soul and heart of its creator.

Oh, and in reference to my "haven't been paying Amy Poehler the attention she deserves" theory: Having done my token watching of an episode of SNL for the year, I can now safely say this.

Wide, tall, and proud bush or not, the woman is on a show that is only fitfully funny at best. And although she is far from the least funny person on it-that would be Darrell Hammond-it's like not being on the lowest deck of the Titanic...