Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!

The Big Sombrero

When I hear those words above, I think of those big monster truck rallies held in the big sombrero…or what was the old Tampa Stadium. We lived near the stadium and I remember feeling the ground move on those Sunday night extravaganzas. Growing up near the stadium was super cool. When the Rolling Stones performed at the stadium, you could hear the concert by just sitting outside on the porch. Don’t know why I thought of this just now, maybe it is because the big game is coming up…or maybe I was just thinking about fond memories and cheap thrills…who knows. Anyway, on with this Sunday’s Reads.

Where to start? Hmm, how about here: President Obama previews State of the Union job pitch – Glenn Thrush – POLITICO.com So it looks like an email was sent out to O-fans ahead of the SOTU, it included a video of “Golden Boy,” like some sort of crappy movie trailer, the kind when you see it you immediately say to yourself…”Oh yeah, that is one to miss.” So, this little tidbit below should give y’all the feel of the production, I mean speech:

“Today, we’re in a different place. An economy that was shrinking is now growing again. But across the country, millions are struggling every day — to find work, to pay their bills, to provide for their families. It is clear that the moment we now face demands a vision for how we as a people will win the future,” reads the introduction to the video, sent to members of Organizing for America, the vestigial campaign apparatus from his 2008 campaign.

“And that vision — that agenda — will be the topic of my State of the Union address.”

Oh great, this reminds me of the same old Hope and Change.  Let me refer to a time when big hair was a fashion statement and there was another fine actor in the White House…barf me with a spoon! You want more? State of the Union: Address is a ‘fundamental moment’ for President Obama – latimes.com On second thought, I will just paraphrase it for you. Obama is moving more and more to the center. He is going to use the SOTU to highlight his move from the left, as a way to appeal to Independent voters. (And these people get paid to write this stuff?)

So I will move on to this link: The Barack Obama 2011 State of the Union Drinking Game. I am pretty sure that here on Sky Dancing we will be having a live blogging session during the State of the Union Address. So, my thought is to make it interesting. We can play this drinking game, and see just how crazy and convoluted the comment section gets.

RULES OF THE GAME:

Every time Barack H Obama mentions bipartisanship, everybody has to drink 2 shots of beer. If he talks about the lessons of Tucson, the last person to throw their arms in the air, fall to their knees and shout “Hallelujah!” has to drink 1 entire beer.

Everybody has to drink 2 shots of beer whenever John Boehner appears to cry. 1 shot of bourbon if he breaks down sobbing and disappears entirely from view.

Every time Barack H Obama says “Democratic leadership,” the first person to stop laughing is exempt from drinking 2 shots of beer.

[…]

If the Chief Executive winks at or points at Michelle, all 4 players swordfight with hot dogs. Whoever is left with an intact weenie does not have to eat an entire shot glass full of that weird green relish.

If the president mentions the Chinese President by name, the last person to ask “Hu Dat?” has to drink 2 shots of beer.

EXTRAS:

Optional: Have all players drink with left hand. Unless left- handed. If they are caught drinking with dominant hand, they must watch the entire Republican response and no drinking allowed.

Okay, you know I am joking, right? However, I think that any sort of mind numbing/altering substance would be extremely useful for anyone watching. I will have my bag of popcorn and a package of Nabisco’s Mallomars to get through the evening. Oh, who are we kidding, two packages of Mallomars…ya know they have fewer of these delicious morsels in their boxes of cookies now. Oops, I have wandered a bit, must be those damn fond childhood memories again.

I thought I would post this link, being that my family’s livelihood depends on Walmart…which in itself is something I thought I would never hear myself say. Is it time to rethink my opinion of Wal-Mart? – Eco-nomics – Stories from the Mother Nature Network – Forbes Yes, it is true that Walmart has teamed with FLOTUS to change some of its products and focus more on healthy eating. Also, each area Walmart store donates tons of money and food to local food banks.  I wonder if Walmart will also be placing warning labels on their healthier can goods.  Along the lines of,  Caution: “Let’s Move” exercise like  the ones that Michelle Obama suggest, may be hazardous to your health.  Warning: Walking across the street  and eating a can of peaches can cause serious injury, including death. That could be the next big push for the likes of Limbaugh and Malkin, after they tackle that “abortion problem.” However,  I do have another story to share about Walmart. We live in a very rural country banjo bible belt area, the new Walmart has saved a lot of families in my town.  Just yesterday, we needed to get new tires for the car and wanted to spend our money locally. But the few local business that sell tires were closed, we had no choice but to go to the TLE (tire lube express) at Wallyworld. Perhaps they were closed to mourn the passing of Roe v. Wade 38 years ago?

If you missed Wonk’s most excellent post yesterday, be sure you check it out: Saturday: Roe turns 38! « Sky Dancing She has some wonderful links and real information that every woman should read, so if you have any woman you care about…send her the link. While I am at it, I will post links to two other post from yesterday on Sky Dancing: Gaslighting America « Sky Dancing and Seymour Hersh Comments Evoke Media Overreactions « Sky Dancing It was just a great day for blog post yesterday, and that is all I will say about that!

It looks like talks with Iran have broken down. Iran Nuclear Talks Break Down | FDL News Desk and Iran nuclear talks end at impasse – Laura Rozen – POLITICO.com What I find interesting is when you read the Iran’s side of the nuclear talks. Check out Google News from Tehran. Everyone has their own way of reporting news…right? It is up to you and me to digest and dig into what is reported today. That is just being responsible readers and listeners. I think that most of us do this already, that is what makes reading and watching the news fun…to use constructive and cognitive brain processes to get at what really is being said.

*Update below* Duvalier is not being allowed to leave Haiti, according to BBC:

Mr Duvalier is barred from leaving the country pending the outcome of an investigation into his alleged crimes…

[…]

One theory offered by analysts and lawyers to explain Mr Duvalier’s return is that he was trying to stave off attempts by Switzerland to donate to Haiti nearly $6m (£3.7) frozen in Swiss bank accounts.

Under a new Swiss law that comes into force on 1 February, the funds can be released even if Haiti has not made a legal move to get them.

Mr Duvalier wrongly predicted that he might be able to avoid prosecution, observers say.

“If Duvalier goes back to Haiti and is not prosecuted, then he could say ‘I was available for prosecution, and you didn’t prosecute me: Give me my money back,'” said Reed Brody, a lawyer at Human Rights Watch. [BBC]

I thought this was interesting and tried to find more information about the new law, Baby Doc assets may soon be returned from Switzerland to Haiti under new law. – swissinfo Seems that this law was made specifically for this situation and has something to do with statute of limitations.

In February 2010 the Swiss government issued an emergency decree to keep the money blocked until a new dictator-assets law could be published. The government decree was a reaction to the country’s top court ruling in January 2010 that the money must be returned to Duvalier’s family because the statute of limitations had expired.

The new law on returning illicit dictator funds, backed by the House of Representatives and the Senate, is due to enter into force on February 1, 2011.

Under the law, the cabinet can block contentious assets and will have up to ten years to launch action to confiscate the assets once they have been blocked. The confiscation of assets must be declared by the Federal Administrative Court.

“It would be unfortunate if there is a problem with the return of the Duvalier funds as this law was tailor-made for such a case,” Olivier Longchamp, a legal expert at the Swiss non-governmental organisation, Berne Declaration, told swissinfo.ch.

Just think, all that money going back to the Duvalier family…makes you shiver doesn’t it? The “Duvalier Law” is supposed to stop this from happening:

…analysts say that the former dictator returned to Haiti to make a claim on the money he does have left—some $6 million frozen in a Swiss bank account. Last year, a Swiss court ruled that $4.6 million of the money could be released to the Duvaliers (the ruling was handed down only hours before the earthquake hit) but public anger prompted officials to do a 180, passing the so-called “Duvalier law” to keep dictators from using Switzerland as a safe haven for ill-begotten cash. With that law set to go into effect on Feb. 1, analysts tell the NYT that Baby Doc’s homecoming was probably an attempt to sneak in and out of the country—thus proving that Haiti had no interest in prosecuting him—in order to make a case for the money. (Duvalier laywer Gervais Charles maintains that his client only wanted to donate the money to the Red Cross.)

*Updated: Opinion: Now We Know — Former Dictator Jean-Claude ‘Baby Doc’ Duvalier Just Wants to ‘Help’ Haiti

Friday, when he finally found a place to hold a press conference, at a rented guest house, the ex-dictator said he returned to “participate … in this collaboration for the national reconstruction.” Which make sense, since that’s why everyone’s in Haiti. Though Duvalier’s team doesn’t have T-shirts yet. Or a slogan.

[…]

Friday, we also discovered that Duvalier is now represented by an American legal team — “we’re not his lawyers” — from Snellville, Ga.: Mike Puglise, Ed Marger, and former U.S. congressman Bob Barr.

And they “helped” us better understand Duvalier, too.Marger, on the dictator’s human rights record: “Regardless of what many people say or do or think about what happened during the Duvalier regimes, at least there was stability in the country, and the people, in great measure, were progressing.”

At least? Yes. Except for the tens of thousands dead, tortured or “disappeared.”

He has a team of US lawyers? Which includes a former US Congressman, Bob Barr…WTH?

* ‘Baby Doc’ wants to use Swiss money ‘to help Haiti’

Duvalier ”is very interested in trying to get those funds freed up, not for himself, but so they can be used to help the situation in Haiti,” said Mr Barr, who went with Duvalier to Port-au-Prince.

On Saturday Duvalier, 59, also known as ”Baby Doc”, apologised to victims of abuses during his government, vowed to help the quake-ravaged nation rebuild and said he expected to face ”persecution” upon his return.

He declared himself ”impressed by the welcome I have received, especially from the crowd of young people who don’t know me”.

But their attendance at the villa in the upmarket Montagne Noire neighbourhood was engineered. ”We were paid 10 gourdes ($A25¢) to show up,” said one.

So the people were paid to show their “support” for Duvalier? Some things never change.

From Minx’s Missing Link File: I thought many would find this entertaining: Speak the speech … Shakespeare’s plays to be performed in 38 languages | Culture | The Guardian

Anyone who struggles with Shakespeare in English will next year be able to see if it is any easier in Lithuanian. Or Portuguese, Italian or Spanish, perhaps. And if all that fails – Troilus and Cressida in Maori?

In fact, there will be 38 different ways to experience it, as Shakespeare’s Globe presents all of the Bard’s plays, each in a different language, as part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

It is, perhaps, the most ambitious multilingual Shakespeare project ever attempted and the Globe’s artistic director, Dominic Dromgoole, said today it was “a terrifically clear and simple and slightly bananas idea”, but one, he hoped, that would show how Shakespeare has become an international language.

This is something so cool! The process of staging these plays must be extremely time consuming and requires some patience to get it all put together correctly. “Slightly bananas?” Yes, but wonderfully creative!

Easy like Sunday Morning Link: Another story about one of those writers that influenced a generation: Saving Hemingway’s home in Cuba – CNN.com

Ernest Hemingway hasn’t lived here in over 50 years but Finca Vigia is still his home.

In the garden there’s his boat “the Pilar” used to hunt marlin and then Nazi subs off Cuba during World War II. Scrawled on a bathroom wall next to a scale are the daily records of what the writer weighed.

Lizards and frogs he caught rest in jars filled with formaldehyde. Antelopes and buffalo heads taken as trophies from African safaris decorate the walls. Yellowing Time and The Field magazines are still on the shelves.

Now a museum, a visitor to Finca Vigia or “lookout farm,” could be mistaken for thinking Hemingway might walk in the door at any second.

“Our philosophy was to recover the environment and surroundings,” said Ada Rosa Alfonso Rosales, the museum’s curator. “This was not just a mere house, this was his home.”

Hemingway lived in the home on a hilltop on the outskirts of Havana from 1939 to 1960. The years were pivotal ones for the famed American writer and for his adopted home of Cuba.

There is a video at this link, watch it when you have a chance. My kids are named for a Hemingway book, The Sun Also Rises, so it is a special article to read.

What are you all reading today? Give it up!

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22 Comments on “Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!”

  1. Minkoff Minx says:

    Some links to Emptywheel:

    Jeff Immelt | Emptywheel

    Enjoy…

  2. Pat Johnson says:

    The State of the Union speeches all sound alike to me. The most annoying is the constant clapping and jumping to their feet each time the speaker arrives at a period at the end of a sentence.

    No, the “fun” for me will be listening to Michele Bachmann and her “rebuttal” to this usual claptrap. This surely promises to be the highlight of any viral video issued for the week.

    Tell me this dingbat is not running for president and I will tell you that the tons of white surrounding my house is not snow. If nothing else, she delivers the batsh*t crazy to perfection.

  3. Silent Kate says:

    I just listened to our new governor give his state of the state address. I think Obama is going to push business, just like all these “business” governors. It will be corporate speak, just like what was said here in Michigan. As a teacher, I am worried about the money for schools. Our governor said we all have to share in the pain or some such garbage but he will be giving another speech in April that will probably be more specific. The governor’s speech was short on specifics for how to do what he wants to do. I’m sure President Obama will give a similar speech! On Sirius radio I heard someone say the pain would “trickle up”. He was making fun of Reagan of course. We know the pain will trickle up just like the wealth trickled down. The wealthy won’t feel the pain, those at the bottom will feel the bite!

    • dakinikat says:

      No, not yet. I did sign a petition from FDL on treatment of Manning not that it will do much good.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        I signed the petition too…

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        Hells yeah! We can sip mojitos and dance the conga, I’ll do your hair like Carmen Miranda and you can distract the guards while BB passes us some cigars and a couple cups of hot cafe con leche through the bars. Cause you know it is party all the time down there.

      • Branjor says:

        Strange business this, joking about doing time at Gitmo. I’ll know it’s about to happen when the jokes stop. I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but if signing the petition for Manning will get you sent to Gitmo, you’ll have to put up with me too, because I also signed it.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        Well then Branjor, you can play the maracas while Dak entertains the guards, and BB and I get the cigars and coffee. I envision a Hogan’s Heroes kind of thing, only in a tropical climate. (I know making fun is not funny. But my defenses are up and that I how I deal with things.)

  4. dakinikat says:

    RE: SOTU address

    get ready for capitulation

    Obama to Press Centrist Agenda in His Address

    President Obama will outline an agenda for “winning the future” in his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, striking a theme of national unity and renewal as he stresses the need for government spending in key areas and an attack on the budget deficit.

    Mr. Obama previewed the themes in a video e-mailed Saturday evening to supporters who had helped in his election campaign. But the video made plain that his speech would be geared more broadly toward the political center, to independent voters and business owners and executives alienated by the expansion of government and the partisan legislative fights of the past two years.

    “My No. 1 focus,” he said, “is going to be making sure that we are competitive, and we are creating jobs not just now but well into the future.”

    Wasn’t that how the last year’s SOTU address was sold? It’s all about jobs jobs jobs?

  5. Woman Voter says:

    BREAKING NEWS FDL TWEET:

    janehamsher Jane Hamsher
    We’re literally being detained without any explanation at Quantico 40 min now. Won’t let us leave. #Wikileaks

    They are asking for their Social Security Numbers???

    • Woman Voter says:

      Turns out they were trying to deliver the petition for Bradley Manning.

      janehamsher Jane Hamsher
      At Quantico w @DavidMHouse to deliver 42,000 sigs 4 Bradley Maning to brig. Holding us at gate, never happened before: action.firedoglake.com/page/s/bradley…

    • dakinikat says:

      Name, Rank, and serial number for the TSA!

  6. bostonboomer says:

    We used to have those “Sunday Sunday Sunday!” ads where I grew up in Indiana. Actually, it was “Sunday Sunday Sunday at US 30 dragstrip!”

    I never went to any of the drag races, unfortunately.

    Great post Minx! I love your sense of humor.

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      I tell you BB, things are so depressing that I just have to find some sort of humor in it all. If not, you will find me in a padded cell with my hair disheveled and a bit of drool running down my chin. 😉

      Actually no, I would not be in a padded cell, cause that would mean I am actually getting some kind of mental health care.

  7. Minkoff Minx says:

    Cannonfire

    Do left-wing bloggers exist?
    I’m late to the party — actually, no-one would ever invite the odiferous likes of me to any sort of respeckable party — but we should say a few words about Freddie DeBoer’s argument that there is no real left in blogworld.

    The immediate problem with the argument is this: “Blogosphere” is defined in terms of paid punditry — Kaus, Hamsher, Levin, Yglesias and so forth. But why should we concern ourselves with the likes of them? Smaller blogs exist. There is a niche for everyone.

    DeBoer wants genuine lefties to have seat at the cool kids’ table, and that ain’t never gonna happen. This fact of life never posed a problem for me, due to my life-long interest in the extremes and my disdain for elites. More people pay attention to Alex Jones than to Matthew Yglesias. That’s why Jones, vile as he is, is on my radar — while Yglesias (whom I kinda sorta liked back when he would occasionally do something worthy of notice) is not.

    • dakinikat says:

      I’m still thinking Noam Chomsky and BAR’s Glen Ford are about the only ones. I had marxists in some of my university classes when I was sitting in them years ago. One was a guy from Kenya. The other was from Argentina and used to dress like Che. The rest of us used to get good giggles at their expense. Now, I only wish a few would show up in my class so kids could see what real lefties look like.