Sunday Reads: Joan Leslie, Workers’ Comp and Dubya 

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Good Afternoon

A few days ago we lost an actress from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Joan Leslie, who starred in films with James Cagney…Fred Astaire. Gary Cooper, Ida Lupino, and others….(my favorites being Sargent York and The Hard WayThe Hard Way.) She was 90 years old.

Joan Leslie, a Hollywood Girl Next Door, Dies at 90 – The New York Times

Joan Leslie, an actress remembered for fresh-faced ingénue roles in movies of the 1940s, including “High Sierra,” “Sergeant York” and “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” died on Monday in Los Angeles. She was 90.

Her family confirmed the death.

Ms. Leslie, who was known in private life as Joan Leslie Caldwell, began her career in a vaudeville act with her two older sisters. Before she was out of her teens she had become known for film roles including Velma, the young disabled woman with whom Humphrey Bogart falls in love in “High Sierra” (1941); Gracie, the love interest of Gary Cooper in “Sergeant York” (1941), a role she landed on her 16th birthday; and Mary, the bride of George M. Cohan (played by James Cagney) in “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” released in 1942.18928fd7f1c4f870d8ea0f30d0e70876

[…]

The young, red-haired Ms. Leslie was admired by moviegoers for the girl-next-door innocence she brought to the screen.

“In my case, I really was a nice girl; my family sheltered me,” she told The Toronto Star in 1990. “Once, at a reception for exhibitors, Errol Flynn approached me” — he was a notorious roué — “and the photographers clicked away. Studio head Jack Warner was furious. He ordered the pictures destroyed, because it might damage my good-girl reputation!”

Joan Leslie Dead at 90: Starred in Sergeant York, Yankee Doodle Dandy | Variety

Joan Leslie Dead

Born in Detroit, Michigan on January 26, 1925, Leslie’s career began when her family relocated to Burbank, after Leslie’s older sister Mary was signed to a contract at MGM. Her first role was an uncredited part in George Cukor’s “Camille” at age 11.

2ab586bddf24e31fd69c41911652a848After marrying physician William G. Caldwell in 1950, Leslie shifted her focus to family, with occasional appearances on television shows and in commercials.

[…]

Leslie died on Oct. 12 in Los Angeles, her family announced. Funeral mass will be celebrated at 10:00 am on October 19 at Our Mother of Good Counsel Church.

On a personal note:

In March 1950, she married William Caldwell, an obstetrician.[6][45] Their identical twin daughters, Patrice and Ellen, were born on January 7, 1951.[46] Both daughters eventually became doctors.[47]

3c222461f50f4b1cad654dc67495995fLeslie was in the business of designing clothes, with her own eponymous brand. William died in 2000. A year later, she founded the Dr. William G. and Joan L. Caldwell Chair in Gynecologic Oncology for the University of Louisville. Leslie was an adopted alumna of the university for over 32 years.[48] She was involved with charity work for the St. Anne’s Maternity Home for more than 50 years.[49]

Joan Leslie dies at 90; actress of Hollywood’s Golden Age – LA Times

In the 1941 film noir classic “High Sierra,” Humphrey Bogart plays a tough guy who falls in love with a seemingly sweet, naive teenager played by Joan Leslie.

fb237896c0e710bc87ee6a7a72264e4aThe Bogie character later finds out, to his dismay, that the girl is not as naive as he thought.

The film industry made the same mistake about Leslie.

Though demure in most of her teen roles, as a young woman Leslie filed a lawsuit against Warner Bros. to get her out of a contract she described as “slavery.” And she persevered for years until studio executives finally gave in.

“They know I put up a fight for what I believed as right,” she said in a 1949 Times interview. “They know I didn’t weaken, and they don’t consider me now a perpetual ingenue.”

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c86b594dbbcbcf532ba141ec5ae628f589097419df1a8b5557d492537f5f15a3

[…]

413113cc2f4e929e18ddfc7730dd969dLeslie was a show business veteran by the time she got the role in “High Sierra.” When she was child, she and her two older sisters had a vaudeville singing and dancing act that toured widely in the U.S. and Canada. And she had several small, mostly uncredited parts in movies.

But getting that plum role in the film that also starred Ida Lupino (then a bigger star than Bogart, and thus top billed), directed by Raoul Walsh and co-written by John Huston, was a life-changer.

“I was only 15, you know,” she said in a 1994 interview with a fan, Barry Iddon, while in London to support a children’s hospital. “I wish I had gotten it a little bit later in my career. I think I could have done better by it.”

1ca300427adfa3e6b721626673a3dff6But she was entirely believable as Velma, a partly disabled small-town girl traveling west with her family in a beat-up car when they have an encounter with Roy “Mad Dog” Earle, played by Bogart.

In a memorable, tender scene early in the film, the two gaze at the stars and he talks about how the earth feels “like a little ball that’s turning through the night, with us hanging on to it.”

“Why that sounds like poetry, Roy,” she tells him. “It’s pretty.”

When Leslie was 16, Warner Bros., which had her under contract, gave her a new Buick and more importantly, the female lead part opposite Gary Cooper in the biopic “Sergeant York,” about an unlikely World War I hero.

0b2c2e6d76ecf28f1968cfffa4b5d6d4Despite the car, she was still treated by some, including Cooper, as a child. “Gary gave me a doll on the set,” Leslie said in a 1990 Toronto Star interview. “That’s how he saw me.”

Her screen persona was even immortalized in song. In the wartime “Hollywood Canteen” (1944), the Andrews Sisters sang “Corns for My Country” about the condition of their feet after dancing long hours with soldiers on leave. One line of the song:

We’re not petite as sweet Joan Leslie.

But by the mid-1940s, Leslie had had it with the roles Warner Bros. gave her, and when the studio refused to offer her meatier parts, she sued, claiming the contract she signed as a teenager was invalid. She won her case in lower courts, but the studio won in the state Supreme Court.

4b822593edaa38e089133b9f1f29f79bLeslie pushed on, saying she would file a $2-million civil suit against Warner Bros. The studio gave in, canceling her contract. “I hope this will present me as an entirely new personality,” she said in the Times interview.

But the damage was done to her career, in part because she had been out of the public eye while the court battle dragged on. “I couldn’t work those two years, not even on radio,” she told the Toronto Star. “It was a huge setback for me.”

 

Remembering Joan Leslie | Leonard Maltin

I was saddened to hear of Joan Leslie’s death earlier this week at the age of 90. She was one of my favorite interviews in recent years. She was incredibly nice, yet at the same time she belied her screen image as a sweet young thing, as you’ll see in this excerpt from our conversation. 67d8cc8c4ed28139a2000e2c1cc3e2c3She had savvy and ambition, and it was no accident that she succeeded in Hollywood. (You can read the complete interview in the book Leonard Maltin’s Movie Crazy, compiled from back issues of my newsletter of the same name.) She even endured a studio blackballing in the 1950s after leaving her longtime home at Warner Bros. and was forced to work at Republic Pictures—which she did, without complaint.

In 1940 the pretty, adolescent Joan Brodel won the leading role in a Warner Bros. short-subject called Alice in Movieland about a girl’s dreamlike experience in Hollywood: spotted on the set, given the lead in a major movie, becoming a star and winning an Academy Award. Never was casting more ironic—or prophetic—because Brodel’s real-life story wasn’t so different from that piece of fluffy fiction. 59863f161658c95ded9793b1e06e16dfAfter several years of appearing in tiny roles she was signed by Warner Bros. and, as Joan Leslie, costarred with Gary Cooper in Sergeant York, Humphrey Bogart in High Sierra, James Cagney in Yankee Doodle Dandy, and Fred Astaire in The Sky’s The Limit—all before she turned eighteen!  (Not so incidentally, Warner Bros. reissued Alice in Movieland and re-filmed the main titles to feature Leslie’s “new” name as well as her star billing. You can see the short on Turner Classic Movies, or on the Warner Home Video DVD of The Sea Hawk)

Joan Leslie gave many interviews about her career and her notable costars—she adds a great deal to the hour-long DVD documentary on the making of Yankee Doodle Dandyf7be4ed9ae1fba83a8b152ffd7d0c056but I was curious about her earliest experiences in Hollywood, and I wanted to learn more about day-to-day life as a contract player under the studio system. She was happy to oblige, in 2006, although when I made the mistake of referring to her as a onetime extra she politely but firmly corrected me.

Be sure to look at that link and read the interview. it is great….

Okay, remember during the debate I mentioned how Bernie Sanders reminded me of Larry David’s George Steinbrenner?

Well, check this out…

Larry David Just Played Bernie Sanders on SNL—And the Internet Is Going Nuts Over It | Mother Jones

 

e494d0b1a8e46001cdc4782e3bb9e7d0“We’re doomed!” Larry David plays the best Bernie Sanders yet on “Saturday Night Live” – Salon.com

When Larry David was on “Saturday Night Live” he only got one sketch on the air and the audience didn’t laugh. Thirty years later, the Seinfeld creator returned as Bernie Sanders and the Internet lost its mind with David trending on Twitter well into this morning. […]

The sketch mocked the first democratic debate with a smiley Lincoln Chafee talking about how fun it was to be a senator, Alec Baldwin as Jim Webb who was angry, of course, because he didn’t get to talk before he was introduced, the Hillary Clinton her staff put together for the debate, and Bernie “We’re Doomed” Sanders.

43e691af5b293b23769d4ec904e34144With a perfect Sanders accent and broad hand gestures and finger points, David shouted about revolution asking why the hell the big banks chain all their pens to the desk. His solution for Wall Street reform was to break up the big banks into little pieces and then flush them down the toilet. “Then ya make the bankers pay for college for everyone, and America is fixed! Hey!” he said shrugging and gesticulating wildly. Hillary puts a damper on the idealism saying Bernie is promising a “golden goose” but Bernie assured the debate audience he’s found geese before and he can find them again. “They congregate near ponds. It’s not rocket science!”

 After Bernie repeated the famous email line Hillary shook his hand and thanked him, commenting that it must be nice to scream and cuss in public. “I have to do it into tiny little jars.”

 

 

 

67b59fd4a5534460fcf75dc094d07912Bernie Sanders to Larry David: Come join on me campaign trail! – Salon.com

Bernie Sanders has a pretty good sense of humor. He responded to Larry David’s “Saturday Night Live” impression of him by telling George Stephanopoulos on “This Week” that he’d like to take him out campaigning with him.

 “I think we’ll use Larry at our next rally. He does better than I do,” Sanders said.

Now that is all for laughs, because the next link is disturbing as hell.

Opting out: Inside corporate America’s push to ditch workers’ comp – ProPublica

This is an important article, read it in full. I think a this quote will be a good example:

Minick and other proponents say while plans can make exceptions, such rules ensure workers get medical care as soon as possible, speeding their recovery.

996f90cfa5c46ad37643d8d6d488f205But public health experts say workers might not report minor injuries right away for valid reasons: They fear looking like troublemakers or worry about child care if they need to see a doctor or stay late filling out forms.

Or, like Rebecca Amador, they simply might not realize an injury’s severity.

Amador, a nursing assistant, was helping a patient transfer to a wheelchair at a Stephenville, Texas, nursing home in November 2013, when the chair’s brake unlocked, causing her to support the patient’s weight.

“I felt like a pinch in my back and I thought well, it’s been a long day, I’m tired,” said Amador, then 51. “So I paid no mind to it. I figured it would go away. Usually it goes away.”

21a3587f3f28ef72f55c6238dab5fdb8She took a hot shower and went to bed. By the next morning, she remembers being in so much pain she could hardly breathe.

As soon as she got to work, Amador told her supervisor, who sent her to the hospital. Only 19 hours had passed. But her employer, Fundamental Long Term Care, rejected her claim, saying she had failed to report it by the end of her shift.

The company’s decision left Amador in a Catch-22. Even though her injury happened at work, the company’s Texas plan wouldn’t cover it. But because it was work-related, neither would her health insurance or short-term disability plan. Had she worked for Fundamental in one of the other states where it operates, her injury would have been covered under workers comp.

7a928ee09b17bfd72821fbef48e04038Amador sought help at a publicly funded health clinic, where her doctor recommended a specialist. But she couldn’t afford one. She tried light-duty work until her doctor warned she could do further damage.

Since then, Amador said, she’s been living off her son’s Social Security benefits and borrowing from a lawsuit settlement fund set up for him after his father died of mesothelioma. Her daughters help pay for medications, and she’s applying for Social Security disability.

Sitting in her trailer nearly two years after the incident, she said her back burns like she’s in a fire, and she can’t even carry a two-liter soda bottle.

“I would probably still be working there” if Fundamental had workers’ comp, Amador said. “Maybe I could have gotten better, maybe I could have gotten my therapy done, and I wouldn’t be in the situation I’m in.”

5342d5d5bcbc3cfd257c858d8e6db7d8That story is mild compared to some of the others….

More stories of horror here, from March of this year:

The Fallout of Workers’ Comp ‘Reforms’: 5 Tales of Harm – ProPublica

Injured workers share their stories, revealing the real-life impact of rollbacks that have been spreading across the country.

Price Check: How Companies Value Body Parts

Injured workers are entitled to compensation for permanent disabilities under state workers’ comp laws. But Texas has long allowed companies to opt out and write their own benefit plans. Benefits for the same body part can differ dramatically depending on which company you work for.

a35eeb405b88474fab2c6d135d459b94And a couple other articles from the series, these from earlier in the year.

The Demolition of Workers’ Compensation – ProPublica

Over the past decade, states have slashed workers’ compensation benefits, denying injured workers help when they need it most and shifting the costs of workplace accidents to taxpayers.

How Much Is Your Arm Worth? For Workers’ Compensation, That Depends on Where You Work – ProPublica

Each state determines its own workers’ compensation benefits, which means workers in neighboring states can end up with dramatically different compensation for identical injuries.

For the entire series of articles, photos and updates:

Insult to Injury – ProPublica

 

There are 17 articles at that link. You can spend a shitload of time at that page….

The rest of the links below in dump fashion, because the day is getting late.

2d426f81026c3f5873a85299b1f4cc39Was George W. Bush President On 9/11? An Investigation Into The Controversy Tearing The GOP Apart | ThinkProgress

On Friday, Donald Trump generated substantial controversy when he asserted that George W. Bush was president at the time of the 9/11 attacks.

“When you talk about George Bush, I mean, say what you want, the World Trade Center came down during his time,” Trump said. “He was president, O.K.?

Jeb Bush immediately pushed back, calling Trump’s comments “pathetic” and insisting “my brother kept us safe.”

The media jumped on to the burgeoning controversy. According to The New York Times the idea that Bush was president on 9/11 and failed to stop the attack is a “break from the GOP.”

f135e48ef422eb57a5837ae1785035a8CNN host destroys Jeb Bush: You blame Hillary for Benghazi but insist brother blameless for 9/11

epublican presidential candidate Jeb Bush struggled on Sunday to explain how he could blame Hillary Clinton for the attacks in Benghazi while insisting that George W. Bush was blameless for the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

While speaking to Bloomberg last week, Trump reminded the interviewer that George Bush was president when the World Trade Center was attacked in New York.

“He was president, OK?” Trump said. “Blame him, or don’t blame him, but he was president. The World Trade Center came down during his reign.”

The comments sparked Bush to respond by calling Trump “pathetic” in a Twitter post. And on Sunday, he continued to defend the 43rd president during an interview with CNN.

dfc8829c5617f143c2d53be1515fd394“My brother responded to a crisis and united the country, he organized our country and he kept us safe,” the GOP hopeful told Tapper. “And there’s no denying that. And the great majority of Americans believe that. And I don’t know why he keeps bringing this up.”

Tapper wondered if Bush’s loyalty to his brother “might be in some ways a political or policy liability blinding you to mistakes he made.”

“It’s what you do after that matters,” Bush insisted. “Does anybody actually blame my brother for the attacks on 9/11? If they do, they’re totally marginalized in our society. It’s what he did afterwards that mattered, and I’m proud of him. And so are a bunch of other people.”

bd6c62e0d9349d2b939a771fac9e0246“Obviously al Qaeda was responsible for the terrorist attacks of 9/11,” the CNN host pressed. “But how do you respond to critics who ask if your brother and his administration bear no responsibility at all, how do you then make the jump that President Obama and Secretary Clinton are responsible for what happened at Benghazi?”

Bush stammered in response: “Well, I — the question on Benghazi, which we will now finally get the truth to, is was the place secure? They had a responsibility at the Department of State to have proper security.”

“And how was the response in the aftermath of the attack?” he continued. “Was there a chance that these four American lives could have been saved? That’s what the investigation is about, it’s not a political issue… Were we doing the job of protecting our embassies and our consulates, and during the period, those hours after the attacks started, could they have been saved?”

6bc6d342d77e563d7e16dcb99038721a“That’s kind of proving the point of the critics,” Tapper noted. “You don’t want you brother to bear responsibility for 9/11 — and I understand that argument and al Qaeda is responsible — but why are the terrorists not the ones that are responsible for these attacks in Libya?”

“They are!” Bush replied. “But if the ambassador was asking for additional security and they didn’t get it, that’s a proper point. And if it’s proven that the security was adequate compared to other embassies, then fine, we’ll move on.”

 

b83b725d1dadb29ad5675bd9d2a9f5a1CNN’s Jake Tapper Exposes Republicans’ Double Standard In Assigning Blame For 9/11 And Benghazi | Video | Media Matters for America

Jeb Bush, Donald Trump continue 9/11 fight – Business Insider

4398fe1fb694d6ba9f54debafc4305e2Jeb Bush: Trump’s 9/11 comments prove he’s an ‘actor’ in candidate’s clothes | US news | The Guardian

Would-be Speaker could lose his House seat next year | TheHill

Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) is running full-steam ahead in his long-shot bid for Speaker, while looming redistricting plans in his state threaten his congressional seat.

Webster’s reelection chances in his current district suffered a severe blow Oct. 9 when a circuit court judge give tentative approval to a redistricting proposal favoring Democrats in his area.

While the map plans have yet to be finalized, it raises the prospect that if successful in his leadership bid, Webster could assume the Speaker’s gavel without having solid reelection prospects.

 

a32fc13e54763e9ddd335f1e26e79ae8Dumbghazi » Balloon Juice

Well, it turns out that Hillary’s emails do contain some scandalous info.   The Daily Mail:

A bombshell White House memo has revealed for the first time details of the ‘deal in blood’ forged by Tony Blair and George Bush over the Iraq War.

The sensational leak shows that Blair had given an unqualified pledge to sign up to the conflict a year before the invasion started.

It flies in the face of the Prime Minister’s public claims at the time that he was seeking a diplomatic solution to the crisis.1be5f67feba2766c2910fadc65fa5a6b

He told voters: ‘We’re not proposing military action’ – in direct contrast to what the secret email now reveals.

[…]

The documents, obtained by The Mail on Sunday, are part of a batch of secret emails held on the private server of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton which U.S. courts have forced her to reveal.

Breathless tabloid prose aside, it’s still pretty funny that perhaps the most important discovery from a committee that has held almost as many hearings as the 9/11 committee concerns one of W’s fuckups.

a5543dd9bf92ea59e57f6c2eceae7e8cMiss. judge: People charged w crimes are criminals | Al Jazeera America

 

Hillary bashes closures of AL driver’s license offices in black communities as ‘blast from Jim Crow past’

 

Former mistress of GOPer David Vitter claims he got her pregnant and asked her to abort

 

Mitt Romney: I’m Glad I’m Not In The 2016 GOP Race

 

edf0dcbe4d1cfb1e4a3b1145e7141614California mudslides and chaos offer a preview of what El Niño could bring – LA Times

 

Reputed NY mobster faces trial for 1978 ‘Goodfellas’ heist

For nearly four decades, it remained one of America’s most infamous unsolved crimes: on Dec. 11, 1978, a crew of masked men stole $6 million in cash and jewelry from a Lufthansa Airlines cargo building at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York.

The brazen heist, which helped inspire the gangster movie “Goodfellas,” left authorities largely frustrated until last year, when federal prosecutors in Brooklyn charged Vincent Asaro, a member of the Bonanno organized crime family, with participating in the theft.

df1c75e086c34019a3f22461d716f07cHis criminal trial is set to begin on Monday in Brooklyn federal court before an anonymous jury.

Most of the other suspected participants in the robbery disappeared, were killed or died, making it difficult for authorities to piece the case together.

“Once you kill one guy, you gotta kill them all, because otherwise they’ll get scared,” said Howard Abadinsky, an organized crime expert and a professor at St John’s University in New York. “He’s one of the few guys that’s still alive.”

 

1b685b803243687f2ea7bfccbdf4311bIn Honor of Angela Lansbury’s 90th Birthday, Here Are 90 Photos of Angela Lansbury

Pictures of Joan Leslie: (5) JOAN LESLIE 1925-2015 on Pinterest | Dandy, Actresses and Photo Galleries

 

So what are you all reading about today?

 

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22 Comments on “Sunday Reads: Joan Leslie, Workers’ Comp and Dubya ”

    • A New Low For Conservatives: Saying Bush Was President During 9/11 Is A ‘Liberal Conspiracy’ «

      It’s difficult to summarize the sheer surreal lunacy of the Republican right-wing in 2015, but allow me to try.

      This year, Republicans spent their days aggressively arguing that the Confederate flag wasn’t racist. The Holocaust could have been prevented if Germany’s Jews had the 2nd Amendment. And now, perhaps most egregiously of all, that George W. Bush was not, in fact, president during 9/11, and therefore, bears no responsibility for the attacks.

      The renewed interest in when exactly Bush became president was kickstarted recently by professional pot-stirrer Donald Trump, who lashed out at Jeb Bush by noting how little his brother did to protect America from terrorism while he was president. Jeb responded (with an arguably “low energy“) retort of calling Trump “pathetic.” To which Trump detonated this A-bomb of a tweet.

      No @JebBush, you’re pathetic for saying nothing happened during your brother’s term when the World Trade Center was attacked and came down.

      — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2015

      If two Republican presidential candidates openly fighting about how terrible the last Republican president was isn’t bizarre enough, the insane fervor with which the right-wing punditry has come to Bush’s defense takes the cake.

      Bush, the conservative movement argues, can’t be held responsible for 9/11 because the attacks happened *only* nine months into his presidency. (And as ThinkProgress‘s Judd Legum pointed out, Bush spent all of August of that year on vacation.) For Republicans, the first year of a person’s presidency is apparently a guilt-free trial run. Unless, of course, you’re a black man named Obama, then all bets are off.

      From a June 2009 edition of “Hannity” pic.twitter.com/cXtoS4ASfT

      — Simon Maloy (@SimonMaloy) October 17, 2015

      Writing for Commentary magazine, conservative apologist Noah Rothman went further. He slammed Trump for perputating a “liberal conspiracy.” The conspiracy? That Bush was president during 9/11.

      “You always have to look to the person at the top,” Trump said in a telephone interview on Saturday. “Do I blame George Bush? I only say that he was the president at the time, and you know, you could say the buck stops here.”

      So, in an obtuse fashion, the answer is yes. Trump had blamed George W. Bush for failing to prevent the September 11th attacks.

      The extent to which Trump has had a coarsening effect the nation’s political dialogue is deeply lamentable, but his resurrection and legitimization of this tired liberal conspiracy theory is downright irresponsible.

      Note the bait-and-switch. Trump — correctly — points out that Bush was president during 9/11, and therefore, Jeb’s claim that his brother “kept America safe” is ludicrous. Jeb and other Republicans have repeatedly claimed that their party can protect Americans from terrorists, while Democrats will shrink away. Although probably not his intention, Trump is merely acknowledging that this assumption is a pants-on-fire lie. Could Bush have stopped 9/11? It’s hard to say, but one thing is absolutely clear: He certainly didn’t. In uncharacteristically restrained fashion, he didn’t go much further than that. Rothman, in his Herculean effort to defend the Bush family, takes those demonstrable facts and claims that this whole thing is a liberal conspiracy theory to make conservatives look bad.

      It’s worth pointing out that Bush was president just seven years ago. Even though it may seem like our entire society suffers from having the memory capacity of a goldfish, this was not that long ago. One might be able to trick people into thinking the Confederate flag wasn’t racist or the Jews could have beat Hitler with an AR-15, but suggesting that the last president wasn’t president during his presidency is going to be a hard sell.

      But it really isn’t a hard sell.

      Sadly, a contingent of the Republican Party is already eating it up. Political strategists are already speculating that Trump’s comments about Bush will do real damage to his popularity. They may be facts, but his supporters don’t want to be reminded that George W. Bush was a pretty awful president. The political movement that believes you can fight climate change by not saying “climate change” out loud and that you can end racism by not talking about racism, now believes they can take George W. Bush’s tattered reputation and turn it into gold by simply never accepting that any of the bad things that happened under Bush… actually happened.

      Reality, as they say, has a liberal bias — and now it’s a liberal conspiracy as well.

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Thanks for the story on the Lufthansa heist. I hadn’t seen that.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Thanks also for the info on Joan Leslie. I loved High Sierra, but I didn’t remember her. I’ll have to watch it again sometime.

  2. NW Luna says:

    JJ, really important story on Workers’ Comp. It’s far too easy — and accepted — for employers to game the system and get out of their responsibilities. They also get to deduct their legal expenses incurred when contesting claims. How many laid-off or fired injured workers have the money to pursue a claim? Injuries and disability which would mean large compensation in any other case get settled for trivial amounts in Workers’ Compensation cases. Injured workers are viewed with suspicion when very few are scammers. It’s the employers who are scamming the system.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    Joe Biden’s hands get chummy with Korea President Park Geun-hye.

    After a little while had passed, Park’s motorcade arrived, and she and Biden departed the area where the pool reporter had access.

    “I think we have some lunch out the back if you guys are hungry,” he told Davis.

    “Then with an ‘OK?’ and a thumbs up,” Davis wrote, “he turned, placed his hand on President Park’s back and led her inside for their luncheon.”

  4. Fannie says:

    Thanks JJ, I had no recollection of the actress, Joan Leslie. She was beautiful, and sounds like she was fierce when it came to asserting her rights as an female actress. She had the same color hair as my granddaughter does.

    She lived a nice long life! R.I.P. Joan Leslie.

  5. Beata says:

    About an hour ago, Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA) sent this message via his Twitter account:

    “I have a very good source close to Joe that tells me VP Biden will run for Prez”

    If this information is true, Brendan Boyle is an interesting source for the “leak”. In 2014, Brendan Boyle defeated Chelsea Clinton’s mother-in-law, former Rep. Marjorie Margolies, in Pennsylvania’s 13th District Democratic primary. The Clintons campaigned for her.

    • janicen says:

      She lost her seat because she was targeted by Republicans after becoming the deciding vote on Bill Clinton’s budget. She was going to vote against it but changed her vote after Big Dawg called her. I remember the Repubs in the chamber were chanting and singing good-bye Marjorie or something like that.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Biden’s love fest with the media will end as soon as he announces. I feel sorry for Jill having to deal with all that baggage.

        Joe Biden and the allure of the non-candidate

        Those calling for his candidacy say his integrity and honesty compare favorably with the party’s front runner, Hillary Clinton. He doesn’t have a closet full of scandals and question marks that she does. If only he would run!

        We forget, of course, why he didn’t win in 1988 or 2008. He wasn’t an especially good candidate. His flubs and gaffes made as many headlines as his policy proposals. He had a tendency to talk for interminable lengths. (The best part of Biden’s speech, the old line went, were the first three hours.)

        Has Tuesday’s Democratic presidential debate quelled the fervor? The latest word is that if, as some have suggested, Clinton dispelled many of the questions surrounding her, maybe there would be no need for Biden to run. That could be the thing that saves his legacy. Otherwise, he could get in the race and all the intrigue and excitement could disappear in a flash. He would become like everyone else.

        This time the mistress could come out. I really hate to see him do this to his family.

        • bostonboomer says:

          On top of all this, Biden is now saying he might wait a few more weeks before getting in!

          • janicen says:

            Hah! And I just read somewhere that he would announce on Saturday. If it weren’t for the fact that the leaks were coming from Democratic Congresspeople, I’d attribute it to Rethug trickery to create confusion. It still may be because we don’t know where the leakers are getting their info.

          • NW Luna says:

            “Waffle Joe” Biden. Yeah, that really looks like a decisive Presidential candidate! /s

        • Fannie says:

          I really don’t think he’s going to run! Old Grand Joe better make other plans.

    • Beata says:

      My guess is that Boyle’s “very good source close to Joe” is Rep. Bob Brady (D-PA), Biden’s long-time friend from Philadelphia who has been pushing for Joe to run. Brady was Boyle’s major political backer in his 2014 race for Pennsylvania’s 13th District seat. Brady is also the guy who stole the Pope’s water glass.

      Now back to regular programming…

  6. bostonboomer says:

    Joan Walsh: The Democratic Primary Doesn’t Need Joe Biden.

    There’s also a missing political and policy rationale for a Biden candidacy. He can’t really run to Clinton’s left; in the 110th Congress he was the 33rd-most-liberal senator; she was 11th. Sanders was first, and the junior senator from Illinois came in 23rd. Clinton may have represented Wall Street (an unfortunate phrasing Tuesday night), but he represented Delaware’s credit-card industry, and played a big role in legislation making it tougher for consumers to declare bankruptcy. Senator Elizabeth Warren called him out for it in her last book.

    In a campaign that’s been shaped by the Black Lives Matter movement, Biden would have to defend his role in every major piece of anti-crime and anti-drug legislation of the 1990s, including the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act signed by President Clinton, which he wrote.

    Finally, challenging the woman with the best chance to become president in American history, he’d have to answer for a decent but decidedly mixed record on women’s issues. He deserves plaudits for making the Violence Against Women Act the law of the land; he gets less love from feminist groups for supporting the Hyde Amendment, prohibiting Medicaid from paying for poor women’s abortions. He is also remembered with some bitterness for his role in confirming Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. He refused to allow witnesses who would have corroborated Anita Hill’s testimony, while letting Republican senators treat the feminist hero shabbily. Fair or not, if he jumps in this late, many feminists would feel he was treating another woman shabbily: Hillary Clinton.

  7. NW Luna says:

    …and yet another Preventable Stupid Gun Tragedy:

    Police say an 18-year-old man in Idaho accidentally shot and killed a 15-year-old boy while playing with a gun he believed was unloaded. KBOI-TV reports that police say the older teen pointed the handgun at the boy’s head and pulled the trigger, not realizing it was loaded.

    Meridian police say they found the 15-year-old with a gunshot wound and at first believed he had committed suicide.

    Officers say several people were in the room when the shooting occurred, all of them smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol. Police say they began playing with two handguns, which eventually led to the accidental shooting.

    Police say at least two other adults were in the home when the shooting happened. The 18-year-old has been charged with involuntary manslaughter.