Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

On Letterman and the end of it all

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

The curious eddies and tributaries coming out of recollection of any “Great Moments” and memories of David Letterman’s career…

… something that if you go with, say a Top 50 List of things would slide in alongside all the “Madonna Meltdown” moments and, oh, the delivery of a fruit basket to GE … or, for that matter Andy Kaufrman on the original morning program… while the 2000s — an era of him more or less coasting — show any great moments of Letterman either needling politicos (McCain and Blagojevich), or the drama of the feud with Leno and his sex scandal …

And then, less press or more specialized press gets you this:  you’ve got Harvey Pekar making his political point about GE’s influence on the network news-coverage, zine-star Dishwasher Pete exchanging a friend to go on the show for him (he would later make an appearance after a book collection was released)…

But try this one.  It’s the Academy Awards.  On ABC, if you want to see his career spanning three networks.  And what does he do at the Oscars?


And this is when everyone in attendance knew (and I think it’s fair to say the applause at the end is somewhat tepid, nervous, and polite), and everyone watching at home knew: David Letterman was never going to host an Awards show ever again.  For he violated an unwritten rule:  you are not allowed to drop Cabin Boy in the Academy Awards.

It does take chutzpah, don’t it?

It’s worth mentioning, not mentioned in Conan O’brien’s thank you for coming on the show in 1994, (note to Conan O’brien: everyone’s watching all these shows on the Internet these days and not when it’s on the teevee) — when Letterman plucked out for his 12:35 program against Conan — and Letterman could have really killed Conan O’brien’s career at this moment, O’brien was not out of the woods — the man he replaced at 12:35 and stylistically something not competing against Conan … Tom Snyder — who, had his own set of interview subjects.

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

Same old, same old.

A Twitter post recently caught the eye of Bill McKibben, the environmental advocate and godfather of the Keystone XL pipeline protests. It included an image from “The Simpsons” showing Homer and his family basking in mountains of cash in their living room, followed by a report on Hillary Rodham Clinton’s appearing at a fund-raiser with a lobbyist from the Keystone fight.

Mr. McKibben’s environmental organization,, has been trying to raise awareness about the ties it sees between lobbyists for the oil pipeline and former aides to Mrs. Clinton. He promptly shared the post with his 150,000 Twitter followers, and the reaction was immediate.

“You expect different from a Clinton?” one person responded on Twitter. And from another: “Did you need another reason not to vote for Hillary Clinton?” Lost in the response was the source of the offending tweet. It was not another environmental organization or even a liberal challenger to Mrs. Clinton. Instead, it was a conservative group called America Rising PAC, which is trying, with laserlike focus, to weaken the woman who almost everyone believes will be the Democratic Party’s candidate for president in 2016.

According to the book on the Upton Sinclair’s 1934 California gubernatorial bid under the “EPIC” banner… the Republican funding machine plucked up and recruited, financed a down-ticket EPIC candidate or two… Not quite the same thing — they were doing the same thing that John Clyburn sort of blamed the Republicans ala getting Alvin Greene running…

… perhaps it’s along the lines of Richard Nixon trying to incite black America to demand a black vice president from the Democrats?

The question, as always, in confronting the “Two Party Duopoly” when you don’t want Hillary Clinton to be President, and the opposition brings up good points of contention on that score, but the opposition is… the opposition…

What do you do?

bumper stickers r us

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

Manning / Snowden 2016.

I almost get the feeling I’ll end up seeing more of these types of political statement — or apolitical statement — bumper sticker insignia than the “Hillary 2016″ (and brace myself for a smattering of Rand Paul — except for non Portlandians not too many more mainline Republicans will be bumper stickered in… like, wait a few months to see what that pick up truck derby dredges in.)

the demonstrators

Saturday, May 9th, 2015

I assume it had something to do with the appearance of Obama, a conservative counter-demonstration of some kind, but there was a giant convoy of pickup trucks each adorned with usually two but sometimes just one American flag driving into a central location.

This does present the interesting facet where, when there’s a Republican President coming to town you can pretty well spot the demonstrators as being on the “left”.  A Democrat — particularly one right here right now pursuing a neo-liberal agenda — will get left, further left, and right.


Who knows?

But I’m back to the question — who or what were those flag adorned pickup trucks heading toward?

analyzing the surprise British election returns

Saturday, May 9th, 2015

David Cameron wins another term in office.  Confirming the postulation of a “Shy Tory Syndrome”, the idea that the vote for the political party and candidacy is under-reported in the polls, from 1992′s election of the dorky culturally out of touch John Major from the party that had just thrown out the now unpopular Margaret Thatcher as the Party of Greed and self interest — people were embarrassed to admit they’d vote to put John

This year you would think this would have been off-set by a “Shy Labor Party” — with people embarrassed to admit that they would vote to put the very much mocked Ed Milibrand in power — who was “defeated by a bacon sandwich” and was mocked as Wallace of Wallace and Gromit.  But no… The Torys were shier than the Shy Laborites.  Everyone’s embarrassed by their candidates — but one side was more willing to admit to swallowing their spit and say they were voting for theirs.

meeting of the minds

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

Well, this is… a confluence of … one flavor of insane meeting with another flavor of insane.

Warning of a coming race war, talk-radio host Michael Savage, appearing as a guest on Alex Jones “Infowars” program Monday, said President Obama would deputize and arm gang members such as the “Crips and the Bloods” to keep order in American streets.

“Remember my last book, ‘Stop the Coming Civil War’? Guess what. It started,” said Savage.

“Has there been a civil war? Yeah, it’s a slow-burning civil war. What do you think we are looking at here? It’s a race war. These are their shock troops, they don’t have the brown shirts yet, they don’t have the armbands, but soon Obama could deputize them. Isn’t that a natural army for him, Alex? Take the Crips and the Bloods, give them a green uniform and give them a weapon and they’ll keep order in the streets. Won’t they?”

Meanwhile, the actual Obama is in Portland today to talk up Nike, and getting some comments from candidate Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.  If you want to know why Bernie Sanders is running, it is so that when he makes comments there will be a news story about it.  It works about the Overton Window, in much the same way that we have something where high affiliate radio host Michael Savage nodding toward cult radio host Alex Jones doing the same.

contemplating 2 new entrants in the presidential derby

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

Over under for Bernie Sanders.  Examining his “Liberty Union” party era voting totals.

United States Senate special election in Vermont, 1972
Bernie Sanders (Liberty Union) – 1,571 (2.2%)

Vermont gubernatorial election, 1972
Bernie Sanders (LU) – 2,175 (1.1%)

United States Senate election in Vermont, 1974
Bernie Sanders (LU) – 5,901 (4.13%)

Vermont gubernatorial election, 1976
Bernie Sanders (LU) – 11,317 (6.1%)

What states will he beat out the 6.1 percent thresh-hold?

I also note Carly Fiorina has thrown her hat in the ring.  In 2004, the Democrats — wanting to blunt the impact of Al Sharpton being in the race — brought in Carol Mosley Braun.  I wonder if the Republicans urged Carly Fiorina in for some gender political purposes in getting some attacks against Hillary Clinton out that would no suffice from a man.

Also, should be “in it to win it” — so to speak — can we please get a reprise of the “Demon Sheep” ad she ran to win the Republican nomination for California governor — maybe have a whole zoo full of demon animals for each of her opponents?

don’t know much, but it’s interesting… the big market collapse

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

So.  Just what happened that one day in 2010 when… out of nowhere… the stock market dived and collapsed?

Some guy did it.

On Tuesday, United States prosecutors said that much of the blame for the event could be pinned on a single person: a 36-year-old man who had been boldly manipulating markets from his suburban rowhouse just a few minutes from Heathrow Airport outside London, where he was arrested. [...]

For the latest case, it took the authorities five years to track down a rogue actor making enormous trades. And, they were led to him only with the help of an outside whistle-blower.

Reading this skeptical report...

The flash crash was essentially over in five minutes. But it took regulators nearly five months to come up with a theory about what happened. And in late September 2010, when the SEC and the CFTC—the same agency now charging Sarao with causing the crash—released a joint report on what happened, they didn’t mention spoofing, let alone Sarao. Instead, they blamed a large trade by a firm out of Kansas City.

It’s not even clear that the feds’ new explanation is correct. As Matt Levine notes over at Bloomberg View, regulators believe that Sarao continued to place massive fake sell orders in the years after the flash crash, but somehow that activity never triggered another crisis…

In any event, more questions from sources that at first glance strike me  not without their own agenda.

Shall we believe that a single low-tech trader living in a leafy street of a London suburb contributed in any significant way to the Flash Crash?
Who said the Age of the Lone Amateur unencumbered by the Massive Organization is dead?

Was Waddell & Reed behind the unnamed whistleblower in an effort to clean its name and enhance its reputation?
Leading question.

Wasn’t one Flash Crash enough to better police the markets and stop Sarao for good?

the final month

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Speculators and speculating that Jay Leno on David Letterman

… as it seems confirmed that whatshisname… Bill Murray, guest number one on both the NBC and CBS program … will pop in for the last program.

One more possible final guest?  The one I think everyone wants to see… a favorite from the old Daytime tv show and the early years of the late night show.

Andy Kaufman.  That would be very much like him, wouldn’t it?