Paul Krugman: Politicians, Promises, and Getting Real (NY Times)
How much does clarity about policy matter?
Josh Marshall: This Is Terribly Damaging For Trump (TPM)
This may go without saying for some. But I do not think that Democrats are giving Trump some help or throwing him a lifeline at the price of accomplishing something really critical in policy terms - protecting the Dreamers. I think that gets this exactly wrong. I think pressing Trump for this deal is doing immense damage to Trump. Indeed, the more successful it is, the greater the damage.
Josh Marshall: Trump Re-Ups "Many Sides" Talk About Charlottesville (TPM)
On Air Force One a short time ago, President Trump doubled down on his 'many sides' talk about Charlottesville. The exchange was specifically about Trump's meeting yesterday with Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, the only African-American Republican in Senate.
Alison Flood: Martin Amis rounds on Donald Trump and his 'army of neo-Nazis' (The Guardian)
British novelist, now based in the US, uses Guardian interview to compare the president to Mussolini, saying he is 'that crazy, that deluded.'
Mathilda Gregory: "My Immortal: why the famously awful Harry Potter fanfiction isn't bad at all" (The Guardian)
Now that the much ridiculed reworking of the boy wizard's world has had its author revealed, isn't it time to recognise its good points?
My immortal returns!
Seeing as fanfiction has no sense of humour and deleted so many great lulz, this site will be used to host the amazing Tara Gilesbie classic, My immortal. For those of you who do not know what My Immortal is, it is in short and most accurately completely retarded. My Immortal is a very loose Harry Potter fanfiction story about Ebony (or Enoby) Dark'ness Dementia Raven Way, a gothic teenage vampire girl who attends Hogwarts school. To say anymore may spoil the lulz. The story is infamous for its horrible abuse to the english language and extreme gothic attitude.
Mathilda Gregory: Fanfiction can be an eloquent tribute - it deserves more respect (The Guardian)
The maligned trend of retreading another author's footprints can be sublime or ridiculous, but there are some real gems out there.
Geoffrey O'Brien: Five Magnificent Years (NY Review of Books)
Half a century has passed since the shocking disappearance of Otis Redding at age twenty-six, when the twin-engine Beechcraft carrying him and most of his touring band the Bar-Kays to a concert crashed in a Wisconsin lake on December 10, 1967. For many who were around then, the time elapsed has not alleviated the shock.
David Bruce's Amazon Author Page
David Bruce's Smashwords Page
David Bruce's Blog
David Bruce's Lulu Storefront
David Bruce's Apple iBookstore
David Bruce has over 80 Kindle books on Amazon.com.
Michelle in AZ
David E Suggests
Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp
We are all only temporarily able bodied.
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
"ROLL LIKE A BIG WHEEL IN A GEORGIA COTTONFIELD"
NOT 'IN LIKE FLYNN'.
R.I.P. HARRY DEAN STANTON.
WATCH YOUR BACK!
'HOW TO READ DONALD TRUMP'.
THE "NASTY" PRESIDENT TRUMP.
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
Cooler than seasonal - quite nice.
Liquid Cats & Blood-Sucking Bats
Ig Nobel Awards
Can a cat be both liquid and solid at the same time? Have vampire bats developed a taste for human blood? Will holding a crocodile bolster or blunt your gambling drive?
These questions may appear improbable, yet they are important, say the organisers of the annual Ig Nobel awards "for achievements that first make people laugh, then make them think".
Researchers who invested time and money in solving these and other burning questions were honoured Thursday with Ig Nobels in 10 categories ranging from economics, anatomy and biology to fluid dynamics, medicine and cognition.
The awards were presented at Harvard University by bemused laureates of the perhaps better-known Nobel Prize, which the Ig Nobels have spoofed since 1991, tongue firmly in cheek.
"The winners this year have truly earned their prizes," master of ceremonies Mark Abrahams, editor of The Annals of Improbable Research -- a science humour magazine -- told guests as he unveiled this year's statuette: a mannequin head with a red question mark perched on top.
Ig Nobel Awards
Reignites Charlottesville Controversy
President-for-now Donald Trump (R-Crooked) has reopened the wounds of Charlottesville, once again equating the neo-Nazis protesting against the removal of a Confederate statue with the counter-protesters.
Mr Trump had met on Wednesday with Tim Scott, the only Republican African-American senator in the Senate.
On Thursday, on board Air Force One returning from Florida, he was asked about their conversation, at which Mr Scott was intending to make Mr Trump understand why white supremacists and their opponents were not the same thing.
Mr Trump replied: "We had a great talk yesterday." He then went on to reference Antifa, the anti-fascist protesters who use violence to take on fascists.
"I think especially in light of the advent of Antifa, if you look at what's going on there, you know, you have some pretty bad dudes on the other side also. And essentially that's what I said," he said.
Harvard University Withdraws Fellowship
Harvard University on Friday withdrew a fellowship invitation to Chelsea Manning, the transgender U.S. Army soldier who was convicted of leaking classified data, after two top intelligence experts distanced themselves from the school over the invite.
Harvard Kennedy School of government announced on Wednesday that it had invited the controversial figure to be a visiting fellow and speak at a forum.
The invitation to speak at the university still stands, said Douglas Elmendorf, the dean of Harvard Kennedy School, in a statement.
"I now think that designating Chelsea Manning as a visiting fellow was a mistake, for which I accept responsibility," Elmendorf said. "I see more clearly now that many people view a visiting fellow title as an honorific, so we should weigh that consideration when offering invitations."
Manning said on Twitter that she was "honored to be 1st disinvited trans woman visiting Harvard fellow. They chill marginalized voices under CIA pressure."
Fox "News" Host Has A Meltdown
A Fox News radio host and columnist doesn't like the idea of Superman protecting immigrants from being massacred.
Todd Starnes slammed the Man of Steel for being an "illegal alien" and called him a "propaganda tool for the defenders of illegal aliens" in an opinion piece for the Fox News website.
In the scene in the latest edition of "Action Comics," an armed man decked out in an American flag bandana lines up a group of immigrants he blames for taking his job. As he opens fire, Superman steps in, deflects the bullets, rescues the immigrants and captures the would-be mass shooter.
Their legal status isn't mentioned, but Starnes assumes they are "illegal aliens," using variations of the derogatory term six times in the 13-sentence column.
"Remember when Superman stood for truth, justice and the American way?" he writes. "Then again, Clark Kent is technically an illegal alien - a native of Krypton."
Child Porn Probe
The Vatican has recalled a priest serving as an envoy in Washington and opened a child pornography investigation after US officials asked the church to lift his diplomatic immunity.
The Vatican said Friday that US officials complained in August "of a possible violation of laws relating to child pornography images by a member of the diplomatic corps of the Holy See."
In Washington, a State Department official confirmed to AFP that the diplomat in question had been allowed to leave the United States because he enjoys immunity from criminal prosecution.
"The United States formally requested that the Nunciature waive diplomatic immunity for the individual, but the Nunciature declined to do so," the official said, on condition of anonymity.
Neither the church nor US officials named the priest -- one of four assigned to the Apostolic Nunciature, the Vatican embassy in Washington -- but the Vatican said an investigation is underway.
Air Force Chaplain Says
A U.S. Air Force chaplain who ministers to thousands of men and women at an Ohio base is asserting that Christians in the U.S. Armed Forces "serve Satan" and are "grossly in error" if they support service members' right to practice other faiths.
In an article posted on BarbWire.com three days ago, Captain Sonny Hernandez, an Air Force Reserve chaplain for the 445th Airlift Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, criticized Christian service members who rely on the Constitution "and not Christ."
Hernandez continued: "Christian service members who openly profess and support the rights of Muslims, Buddhists, and all other anti-Christian worldviews to practice their religions-because the language in the Constitution permits-are grossly in error, and deceived."
All members of the U.S. military, including military chaplains, take an oath when they sign up for the Armed Servcies: "I , _____ , do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God.''
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) has filed multiple requests that Hernandez be investigated by the Department of Defense's (DoD) inspector general. In a statement, the MRFF said it has received "many complaints" about Hernandez from service members over the last few years. It filed an official request with the DoD for an investigation in April, and filed a new complaint related to the BarbWire.com essay this week. The MRFF said the article "blatantly and indisputably advocates the subordinating of the U.S. Constitution to his personal Christian ideology and violated his Oath of Office as a commissioned officer, as well as Title 18, U.S. Code § 2387's criminal prohibitions against counseling or urging insubordination, disloyalty, or 'refusal of duty' to other military members."
MRFF founder Michael Weinstein, a retired Air Force officer, says the article is evidence of the trickle-down effect of President-for-now Donald Trump's (R-Corrupt) relationship with the far fringes of the Christian right.
Mulls Changing Corporate Prosecution Policy
The U.S. Justice Department is reviewing its policies over how it prosecutes corporate white collar crimes and may be making some changes "in the near future," Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said on Thursday.
"It is under review, and I anticipate that there may be some changes to the policy on corporate prosecutions," Rosenstein said.
The memo's emphasis on individual accountability is likely to be preserved, given prior comments from Attorney General Jeff Sessions about the importance of punishing individuals for corporate crimes.
The Yates Memo is widely seen as a response to criticism of the Justice Department following the 2007-2009 financial crisis, when few of the top bankers were prosecuted for their roles in the collapse of the housing market.
Under the memo, prosecutors were instructed not to provide cooperation credit to a company during an investigation unless it disclosed all of the facts about the individuals who were involved in suspected wrongdoing.
Staggering Decline In Wildlife
Half of the vertebrate populations in Canada are in staggering decline, despite the country's vast outback, according to a WWF report Thursday that highlighted threats to beluga whales and caribou.
The World Wildlife Fund in its Living Planet Report pointed to 451 shrinking animal populations out of 903 monitored over a 45-year period that ended in 2014.
They included mammals, fish, birds, amphibians and reptiles. Many have declined up to 83 percent, WWF-Canada found.
Habitat loss from forestry, agriculture, urbanization and industrial development remains the greatest threat to wildlife in Canada, according to the report.
But pollution, climate change and invasive species were also factors cited by the conservation group.
Global Concert Tours
The Top 20 Global Concert Tours ranks artists by average box office gross per city and includes the average ticket price for shows Worldwide. The list is based on data provided to the trade publication Pollstar by concert promoters and venue managers.
1. U2; $7,836,364; $115.53.
2. Coldplay; $7,780,885; $88.60.
3. Guns N' Roses; $6,037,026; $102.14.
4. Metallica; $4,529,263; $109.00.
5. Celine Dion; $3,571,852; $144.46.
6. Lady Gaga; $3,455,069; $118.48.
7. Depeche Mode; $2,921,949; $75.02.
8. Dead & Company; $1,934,271; $73.49.
9. Roger Waters; $1,741,453; $122.57.
10. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers; $1,535,137; $91.97.
11. Ed Sheeran; $1,457,288; $83.32.
12. Bruno Mars; $1,449,033; $84.84.
13. André Rieu; $1,379,920; $86.77.
14. Neil Diamond; $1,338,844; $101.20.
15. The Weeknd; $1,283,267; $88.04.
16. Queen + Adam Lambert; $1,263,097; $97.44.
17. Enrique Iglesias / Pitbull; $1,259,920; $94.87.
18. Tim McGraw / Faith Hill; $1,190,596; $84.55.
19. Kendrick Lamar; $1,172,722; $93.65.
20. Florida Georgia Line; $1,137,107; $52.50.
Global Concert Tours
Harry Dean Stanton
Harry Dean Stanton, whose long career ranged from 1950s Westerns to this year's Twin Peaks and Lucky, died today of natural causes at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, his agent John S. Kelly told Deadline. He was 91.
Stanton has about 200 film and TV credits but is perhaps best known to younger audiences as Roman Grant, the oily patriarch of a polygamist family in HBO's 2000s series Big Love, and Carl Rudd, owner of the Fat Trout trailer park in David Lynch's Showtime revival of Twin Peaks and the 1992 prequel to the original series.
Born on July 14, 1926 in West Irvine, KY, Stanton served in the Navy in World War II and fought in the Battle of Okinawa. He moved to Los Angeles in the years after the war and did a stint at the Pasadena Playhouse. His first big-screen gig was the 1957 WesternTomahawk Trail and would work steadily after that for the next 60 years.
From the 1950s into the '80s, he guested on such classic TV series as The Rifleman, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Untouchables, Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Adam-12, The Fugitive and Laverne & Shirley. During that period he also appeared in such memorable films as How the West Was Won, Cool Hand Luke, Kelly's Heroes, The Godfather Part II, Alien, The Rose, Private Benjamin and Escape from New York - appearing opposite such screen legends as Paul Newman, Marlon Brando, Clint Eastwood and Stanton's lifelong friend Jack Nicholson.
Stanton's film career picked up in the mid-1980s, when he was in his early 60s. Wim Wenders cast him in Paris, Texas in 1984, and Alex Cox used him opposite Emilio Estevez in the cult film Repo Man that same year. In 1986, John Hughes cast Stanton against type as Molly Ringwold's working-class suburban dad in Pretty in Pink. He also appeared in Martin Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) and played an ill-fated private eye in Lynch's Wild at Heart (1990).
He continued to work on the big and small screens throughout the 1990s and into the new millennium. Perhaps his biggest role was in Big Love, the 2006-10 HBO drama starring Bill Paxton as a Utah man with three wives (Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloe Sevigny and Ginnifer Goodwin) who battles societal mores and a polygamist sect that's run by Stanton's Roman Grant and his son Alby (Matt Ross). The series earned back-to-back Golden Globe noms for Best TV Drama, a 2009 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Drama Series and made the AFI's list of 10 best TV shows of 2010.
Most recently, Stanton recurred on HBO's Getting On, had a voice role in the toon feature Rango and had a small role in The Avengers. He toplines the upcoming film Lucky. It follows the title character, a 90-year-old atheist, and the quirky characters that inhabit his off-the-map desert town. Having outlived and out-smoked all his contemporaries, the fiercely independent Lucky finds himself at the precipice of life, thrust into a journey of self-exploration, leading toward that which is so often unattainable: enlightenment. It opens September 29 via Magnolia Pictures.
Harry Dean Stanton