While the British media are openly speculating on how many hours we have until Bush launches an attack on Iran, USA TODAY's founder Al Neuharth finally put GW Bush on the list of all time worst presidents. More on that in a minute, but first y'all get yourselves in the mood with some thematic Presidentially relevant tuneage...
Paula Cole - My Hero Mr President
Slackers - International War Criminal
Jackie Mitoo - President Roots
Subhumans ( Canada ) - World At War
In an editorial published on President's Day, now retired Gannett publisher/editor Al Neuharth, outed Bush as beyond lame in his online column aka "blog":
Our great country has had 43 presidents. Many very good. A few pretty bad. On Presidents Day next Monday, it's appropriate to commemorate them all.
I remember every president since Herbert Hoover, when I was a grade school kid. He was one of the worst. I've personally met every president since Dwight Eisenhower. He was one of the best.
A year ago I criticized Hillary Clinton for saying "this (Bush) administration will go down in history as one of the worst."
"She's wrong," I wrote. Then I rated these five presidents, in this order, as the worst: Andrew Jackson, James Buchanan, Ulysses Grant, Hoover and Richard Nixon. "It's very unlikely Bush can crack that list," I added.
I was wrong. This is my mea culpa. Not only has Bush cracked that list, but he is planted firmly at the top.
Meanwhile, I just read today that in a press conference on Feb 14th Bush tellingly told reporterswith candor in his best "Aw, shucks, I'm schoolin' ya hear fellas" voice :
"Money trumps peace sometimes. In other words commercial interests are very powerful interests..."
Flying Lizards - Money
Neil Young - Let's Impeach The President
Speaking of gov't's and following the moolah...
Rare is it when we see a remedy or even a challenge succeed against the gov't and it's labyrinth of unaccountability that ordinary citizens face in such cases. Well , Tuesday provided one of those rare small glimmers of light in the uphill battle against bureaucratic b.s.
L.A bureaucrats at the county's Registrar-Recorder's office have been put on notice by a California state judge for failing to get their work done on time. Apparently what got the case started was county official Conny B. McCormack's refusal to get staff to file the standard , but legally necessary paperwork for property titles & deeds within the two business day limit set by law. Citizens were previously unable to check on the stautus of their cases for days, financial lives and property transactions hung in the balance, and gov't preferred profiteers with unequal access to the "unfiled" data were making a profit. A current class action lawsuit could see the county end up paying out up to some $200 million in penalties requested by plaintiffs p.o'd about some 400,000 reconveyances allegedly not filed on time and another $16.6 million per month for continuing violations until the county complies with Sec. 2941(c). The judge gave LA county until March 7th to get their act in order.
Southern California, where I will be spending most of my weekend, has lots of other news as usual, not surprising since it is where most of the state's population lives.
Amongst stories on the radar there, is Barack Obama wooing Hollywood Democrat donors and picking up more than a million at a $2,300 a plate Beverly Hills fundraiser. His itinerary also included an even more exclusive late night private dinner for 40 really, really big ticket donors at David Geffen's estate.
The earlier larger scale event at the Beverly Hilton was hosted by Geffen and his Dreamworks partner's Steven Spielberg & Jeffrey Katzenberg. The star power sightings included Jennifer Aniston, Norman Lear, Ron Howard, Morgan Freeman, Tom Hanks, Eddie Murphy, Ben Stiller and producer Brad Grey, current head of Paramount Studios.
Interestingly, Obama kept his media time to a minimum, answering questions only to the Los Angeles Sentinel, an African American weekly newspaper, which aides said would be his only California press interview.
California has attempted to increase it's political clout this year by moving it's 08 presidential primary to February 5th. Now less than a year away, Obama , just 11 days into his "campaign" is the 1st high profile democratic hopeful to rake the state's wealthy for checks...
Obama, moves on to the far less star studded environs of Des Moines today... bypassing a Labor Forum in Nevada where most other top democratic hopefuls were appearing.
Hillary Clinton though is expected later this week to the LA area, but unlike Obama who showed up in Crenshaw at a lively outdoor rally for 7,000, Hillary has no public events scheduled. Her LA itinerary appears to be heavy on meetings with high powered financiers in Pacific Palisades and deep pocketed execs, like those at Creative Artists Agency in Century City. There's a fundraising event at the office of Ninja Turtles mogul Haim Saban, as well as an event sponsored by Iranian immigrants. According to the LA Times, Clinton has also scheduled two other California trips next month to raise more money, in some cases from donors also giving to Obama.
The Frogs - I Only Play for Money
Diplo - Money Power Respect
John Belushi - Money, That's What I Want
"I am deeply sorry that I hit, kicked, and scratched you and called you a liar. By taking these unprovoked actions, I have contradicted the pluralism, peace and tolerance about which I so often preach. I have also violated the humanitarian teachings of Judaism regarding kindness and respect for others that I am bound to uphold."so wrote Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller, who for 30 years has been the director of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life at UCLA. He is currently on "sabbatical".
After the brief scuffle which started when Seidler-Feller reportedly deflected Neuwirth's pointing fingers & grabbed her wrists, she called him a "capo", an insult meant to infer he would have capitulated to the Nazi's. Despite Neuwirth's claims that she was roughed up at the time, Seidler-Feller was never charged with assault by police.
"damages for battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress and negligent retention."
At the time of the incident, Yigel Arens of the Southern California based Information Sciences Institute (which is affiliated with USC), wrote "Neuwirth is an otherwise normal person who has a compulsive obsession with those whose position on Israel and Israeli policies she disputes. She has made it her life’s mission to hound such people and groups and has by now become a constant disruptive presence at all meetings, demonstrations, etc., that support Palestinian rights in Los Angeles. She is not to be reasoned with."
Uh, You Go Girl, Cash That Check!
John & The Sisters - Money Changes Everything
In a move telling of the ongoing Google-fication of the online world...
As predicted in a January report in The Wall Street Journal, Google has purchased video game advertising agency Adscape Media for $23 million. Execs at Adscape, will eventually begin nesting at the multi-building Google-plex in Mountain View CA and figure ways to slip Google's "AdSense" clients into the online gaming realm.
rare .mp3 track of the minute:
The Nazz ( featuring Todd Rundgren) - It's Not That Easy
This puts the NYSE behind London and Hong Kong, and has financiers worried and blaming the passage of Sarbanes-Oxley. Recently it was reported in the NY Sun that the "financial secretary of Hong Kong, Henry Tang, recently thanked Messrs. Sarbanes and Oxley for sending so much business his way".
Another sign that America is losing it's way... well, pundits in conservative run US media are aghast that a So Cal legislator named Lloyd Levine has proposed eventually eliminating incandescent bulbs from the state's marketplaces. Editorials have sprung up around the country, speculating how stupid it is that nutty Californian's and their sick liberal values are seeking to control our consumer desires, make us live in darkness by banning our lightbulbs and starve us without access to satisfying saturated trans fatty acid rich diets...
California legislators are going forward despite being lampooned in the conservative media for a bill that would limit incandescent bulbs from being sold in the state. Despite Fox News attempting to ridicule the measure and rile the sleeping masses of overweight viewers by telling cosumers their freedom of choice is threatened, it just makes sense. Even electrical manufacturing giant Philips has announced plans to stop making incandescent bulbs by 2016.
With ready availibility of compact fluorescents and even light emitting diode technologies long available, the need for the old fashioned energy inefficient light bulb has declined.
In fact California may even be behind the curve...for the lead, we can look down under...
Australia is promising it will be the 1st country to get rid of the bulbs altogether. Australian Enviornmental Minister Malcolm Turnbull pledges to do away with the outmoded technology by 2010. Turnbull has told media reps
"Electric lighting is a vital part of our lives; globally it generates emissions equal to 70 percent of those from all the world's passenger vehicles."