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Saturday, July 24, 2010

In memory of Winston



Tribute to Winston
Our family dog Winston passes away this morning. His liver shut down. We have chosen “home hospice” for his as he did not appear to be in pain and still appeared to want to be with us and his companion, our other dog Mimi. He seemed to appreciate it, even as his health declined. Winston was Laura’s mom’s dog. We are not sure how old he was when she adopted him, but Betty has been gone for nine years, the victim of brain cancer.  That would make our wolfhound mix, who also spent a few years with Laura’s sister Maggie, at least 15 years old, or over 105 in dog years. I have to remember the younger Winston who would slobber and lick me, happy to see me when we would visit Laura’s mom. She loved this dog, her "Winnie." Maybe he will join her after he leaves this life.

Who is at fault for unemployment and the lack of jobs?

From Political Daily.com

Andrew Breitbart Debacle Just a Warm-Up for Racial Politics Ahead

Eleanor Clift
Contributor


Now that we've had a day or two to reflect after the latest paroxysm of what passes for an examination of racial attitudes, I'm certain of only one thing: a star is born. Shirley Sherrod, the woman at the center of the storm, handled herself with such class and grace that her future is limitless. She gets to do her social justice and civil-rights work on a bigger scale if she chooses, helping bail out the politicians who bailed on her, or maybe she'll run for office herself. She's suddenly a hot property in the very best sense.
Beyond that, I hope the new president at the NAACP, Ben Jealous, and the new administration in Washington learn they shouldn't get cowed by conservative media. How sweet it was to hear Fox's Bill O'Reilly apologize for jumping to conclusions based on a selectively edited videotape – and all in just a few days' time.
For the administration to summarily fire Sherrod out of fear of Glenn Beck is pathetic. And Jealous was way too eager to demonstrate the NAACP's even-handedness in stamping out black racism that he didn't bother to get the full story from a woman with a storied last name in civil rights circles. William Sherrod, Shirley's husband, was a founder of SNCC, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.
The whole sorry episode pulled back the curtain on how the Right uses race as a wedge issue. Andrew Breitbart, the conservative blogger who circulated the doctored videotape of Sherrod, had plenty of role models.
In the 1988 presidential battle between George H.W. Bush and Michael Dukakis,a conservative activist named Floyd Brown produced a low-budget cable ad attacking Dukakis' support of a prison furlough program that the Right criticized as coddling criminals. It featured convicted the face of killer Willie Horton, an African-American, and opened up the Bush campaign to charges of inciting racial fears.
Although the official Bush campaign aired subtler ads of its own, Republican strategist Lee Atwater, who was known as the godfather of negative campaigning, ran Bush's campaign and was credited or blamed, depending on your perspective, for the ads. Interestingly, it was Al Gore, during a 1988 Democratic primary debate in New York City, who first raised Willie Horton and the Massachusetts furlough law against Michael Dukakis.
And so, even though there were other fingerprints on the remarkably cruel character assassination -- and, yes racist -- campaign of '88, it was Atwater who on his deathbed apologized to Dukakis, and those regrets are what inform my opinion 20 years later.
We taped the McLaughlin Group Friday afternoon, and moderator John McLaughlin suggested that after this week's events, what a disappointment Obama is after having promised us a post-racial presidency. Panelist Clarence Page pointed out that nowhere did Obama claim such a thing, that the post-racial presidency is a media creation. Yes, candidate Obama gave a thoughtful speech on race in Philadelphia after racially incendiary tapes of his pastor's sermons surfaced, but it was more to save his campaign than to assert himself as the paragon of a new racial paradigm.
Getting elected president did that, sending a message that there is a new and diverse America, but since Obama has taken office, undermining him and questioning his legitimacy has had an element of racial fear to it, stoked by people who know better and who are practiced in politics. Talking with Clarence Page after the show, he made the point that playing the race card in the past was done from the assumption that blacks were inferior – now when the race card is played it suggests that blacks are superior, and that's what has white folks worried.
In the prediction segment of the show, panelist Pat Buchanan predicted that white turnout for Republicans would soar this November, prompted by this week's events and the administration's challenge of the Arizona immigration law. I think there are lots of reasons why the turnout in November could resemble the angry white men's revolt of 1994 that turned the Democrats out of office on Capitol Hill, but I think high unemployment will have a lot more to do with it than racial divisions. Both parties play the race card when it suits them, but only one party has made the Southern Strategy of racial division the core of its electoral strategy since the 1970s. I expect no different this November and during the lead-up to 2012. Everyone should brace for more raw politics around race. This week was just a warm-up.

A bright future for 'Futurama?'


Futurama


By ERIN MAXWELL
The battle to keep "Futurama" on the air has been rife with plot twists and intrigue. So fans rejoiced today when the entire original cast, along with series creators David X. Cohen and Matt Groening, gathered at Comic-Con to answer questions and show clips of the new season.
It appears that, finally, the on-again, off-again sci-fi toon really does have a future.
The show debuted on Fox in 1999 and was canceled in 2003. The show then ran in reruns for the next four years on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim until the syndication contract expired. This was followed by four DVD pics and a new syndie deal between Fox and Comedy Central in 2009. That year, the laffer net picked up the show for 26 new episodes to air on Comedy Central.
It seemed that "Futurama" had a new lease on life. But fresh issues arose when the cast claimed Fox would not meet their salary demands. At last year's Comic-Con, the future of "Futurama" seemed dim when none of the cast appeared for the panel. The dispute was resolved, however, and the original cast was back in place to voice the new episodes.
"It alternates from good to bad at these 'Futurama' panels year to year," observed Cohen. "It's so good to be here on a good year."
The panel featured a table read by the cast of an upcoming episode titled "Benderama," set to air next summer. After the read, panelists took questions from an appreciative audience that appeared happy to see the gang back together again.
The writers could probably get away with a lot more at the comedy net than at their former home on Fox. But the writers say that they have yet to explore their new-found freedom.
"We have the opportunity to go further," Cohen said. "We are trying to restrain ourselves. The second episode of this season featured Chris Elliot as a giant robot that censors everything. In one line, we bleeped a word out, and the execs said, 'Well, what was it? Maybe you can say it.'"