BartCop Entertainment Archives - Thursday, 26 March, 2020


24 March, 2020

(Updated Daily)

[606 days in a row]


Recommended Reading

from Bruce

Sophie Heawood: "Mark Wahlberg: 'I was a little rough around the edges'" (The Guardian)
From troubled youth to boy band to model to Hollywood royalty … Mark Wahlberg talks to Sophie Heawood about fighting, family and his newfound faith.

Martin Pengalley: "Dr Anthony Fauci counters Trump claims amid crisis: 'I just want to get the facts out'" (The Guardian)
The public face of the US scientific community amid coronavirus outbreak is tasked with countering president's false statements.

Steve Rose: "Heaven can wait: what will happen to the films delayed by coronavirus?" (The Guardian)
As postponements pile up due to Covid-19, we look at past shelved cinema releases to see what lessons we can learn.

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David Bruce has over 140 Kindle books on



Michael Egan

Michael Egan


Mike Pence Plans Gigantic National Exorcism to Combat Coronavirus - Michael Egan, Humor Times

Editorial and Political Cartoons


Trivia Question of the Day

The term "Suede" comes from the French gants de Suède, which literally means "____?____ from ____?____".


Send your answer to Marty

Trivia Question from Yesterday

In the British Empire, what was the only year with 355 days?

       1752                                                      Source

1752 (MDCCLII) was a leap year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar and a leap year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar, the 1752nd year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 752nd year of the 2nd millennium, the 52nd year of the 18th century, and the 3rd year of the 1750s decade. As of the start of 1752, the Gregorian calendar was 11 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.

In the British Empire, it was the only year with 355 days, as 3-13 September were skipped when the Empire adopted the Gregorian calendar.        Source

Mark. was first, and correct, with:

Alan J answered:

zorch said:
   1752 when they adopted the Gregorian calendar.

Roy, still Blue in Bright Red Tyler, TX wrote:
   The year 1752 was a leap year so that it consisted of 355 days (366 days less 11 omitted). I believe that was also the year the Brits switched from Julian's calendar to the Gregorian one, which added leap years. Pope Gregory's rules for the date of Easter were also adopted that year, supposedly to ensure it was always on a Sunday.

Mac Mac responded:

Cal in Vermont replied:
   1752 when the Gregorian calendar replaced the Julian calendar.

Jim from CA, retired to ID, said:
   As of the start of 1752, the Gregorian calendar was 11 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923. In the British Empire, it was the only year with 355 days,

Deborah wrote:
   Day something of Sheltering in Home: Maybe it's lack of caffeine but I cannot concentrate long enough to find the answer to today's TQ. I'm probably overloaded with news, and tired of ignoring a loud-mouth at the WH microphone in service of listening to the experts. It's draining, trying to keep up with the truth. 'Cause is sure isn't coming from #45.

Adam answered:

Daniel in The City replied:

Michelle in AZ responded:
   WAG 1917

Dave said:
   1752. I did not know that.

DJ Useo wrote:
   I dunno, so I asked some online Brit pals, & they had no idea, either. A good stumper,

David of Moon Valley answered:
  Eingooglestein posited that it was 1752…and we know it is Never Wrong….as i've hear before (no shit) 'well i read it on google so it must be true...'

mj took the day off.
Randall took the day off.
Billy in Cypress U$A took the day off.
Harry M. took the day off.
John I from Hawai`i took the day off.
Kenn B took the day off.
Joe ( -- Vote Blue, No Matter Who -- ) took the day off.
Jon L took the day off.
Stephen F took the day off.
Micki took the day off.
Barbara, of Peppy Tech fame took the day off.
Saskplanner took the day off.
Ed K took the day off.
Kevin K. in Washington, DC, took the day off.
Dave in Tucson took the day off.
Rosemary in Columbus took the day off.
Steve in Wonderful Sacramento, CA, took the day off.
Gary K took the day off.
Leo in Boise took the day off.
PGW. 94087 took the day off.
MarilynofTC took the day off.
George M. took the day off.
Gateway Mike took the day off.
Paul of Seattle took the day off.
Doug in Albuquerque took the day off.
Peter W took the day off.
Brian S. took the day off.
Gene took the day off.
Tony K. took the day off.
Noel S. took the day off.
James of Alhambra took the day off.

BttbBob   has returned to semi-retired status.

  March 24 Birthdays - Celebrities Born March 24 | Famous Birthdays

Sally has retired.

MAM     In memory.




Middle Class Political Economist



Reader Suggestion

Michelle in AZ

Trump signals change in coronavirus strategy that could clash with health experts | World news | The Guardian

Students across the US are being asked to work remotely. But 22% of homes don't have internet | Dana Floberg | Opinion | The Guardian

Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro says coronavirus crisis is a media trick | World news | The Guardian

Rupert Murdoch Put His Son in Charge of Fox. It Was a Dangerous Mistake. - SFGate

Feds: Virus frauds spread, preying on Medicare recipients - SFGate

Yes, Trump likes the idea of his political opponents dying. He proved it yesterday

The Greatest Scandal In American History: The Trump Cover Up Of A Looming Public Health Crisis.

A message from Harbor Freight

Rand Paul may now be in a very dark place

In an Interview, Dr. Fauci Tells the Truth and Likely Soon Will be Sidelined or Sacked

On the Beach

Air Force Reserve Removes Shameless Proselytizing Video After MRFF Demand

Senate to try again on coronavirus stimulus after Democrats block $500 billion corporate slush fund

Sunday night owls. Perlstein: 'The long roots of corporate irresponsibility'

Michael Hiltzik: Follow the New Deal - protect families from hardship - Los Angeles Times

PG&E pleads guilty to involuntary manslaughter in Camp Fire - Los Angeles Times

Coronavirus Can Be Stopped Only by Harsh Steps, Experts Say - The New York Times

Red vs. Blue on Coronavirus Concern: The Gap Is Still Big but Closing - The New York Times

The Plastic-Hunting Pirates of the Cornish Coast - The New York Times

What was Rand Paul thinking? - The Washington Post

White House Not Using Defense Production Act To Boost Medical Supplies : NPR

'American Poison' Aims To Show How Race Is At the Root Of America's Problems : NPR

Valley man dies, wife hospitalized after taking chemicals to protect from coronavirus

Wife of man who died after taking chloroquine: we saw Trump on TV, he told us it was safe

Updated: Trump's Monday press conference is a Disaster on top of the disaster.

Trump's reckless promotion of unapproved chloroquine likely just killed a man

Hobby Lobby founder tells workers that God spoke to his wife and forgot to mention paid sick leave

CDC: Coronavirus Survived In Princess Cruise Ship Cabins For Up To 17 Days After Passengers Left

Nuclear Industry Effort to Exploit Coronavirus Crisis for Backdoor Bailout Decried as 'Disaster Capitalism at its Worst' | Common Dreams News

State and local governments clamor for Trump to finally lead on coronavirus

Governor Doug Ducey issues executive order that makes cities coordinate 'stay at home' orders

Louisville Courier-Journal's Response To Senator Rand Paul's Coronavirus Actions.

Vasili Arkhipov - Soviet Hero that Prevented WW 3

This president has no empathy - The Washington Post

Thanks, Michelle!



New Venture

Michael Egan

A Cartoon Page for Non-Cartoonists

Michael Egan

Editorial and Political Cartoons



from Bruce



• Spanish cellist Pablo Casals was one of the world's greatest musicians. When he was a young, unknown musician, he performed privately for Charles Lamoureux, an important French conductor. Mr. Casals played the Lalo concerto from memory, and when he had finished playing, Mr. Lamoureux had tears in his eyes. He told Mr. Casals, "My dear boy, you are one of the elect."

• Conductor Frederic Prausnitz enjoyed joking with his orchestra. After a dance rehearsal at which Mr. Prausnitz' orchestra played, choreographer José Limón told him that he was pleased with how the musicians had played. Mr. Prausnitz called out, "Orchestra! Mr. Limón just paid you a compliment and you didn't even hear him. He said you are doing very well. I say you talk too much!"


• Sometimes a person is acclaimed as "the greatest" because there is little basis for comparison. For example, violinist Jan Kubelik was acclaimed as "the greatest" during his first tour of the United States, but when impresario Sol Hurok brought him back to the United States in 1923, several people thought that he had slipped a little. However, Sol Elman, the father of violinist Mischa Elman, thought differently. He said, "My dear friends, Kubelik played the Paganini concerto tonight as splendidly as ever he did. Today you have a different standard. You have Elman, Heifetz, and the rest. All of you have developed and grown in artistry, technique, and, above all, in knowledge and appreciation. The point is: you know more; not that Kubelik plays less well."

• In Batignano, Italy, Musica nel Chiostro (Music in the Cloisters) produced The Turn of the Screw. Singers in the opera often stopped by the kitchen to help with preparations of the meal, where they often sang as they worked. One day, with the right number and right kinds of voices present, they sang Act II of The Marriage of Figaro. As they sang, Adam Pollack was in a nearby room speaking with the most influential opera critic in Rome, attempting to get him to come to The Turn of the Screw. The critic heard the singing in the background and asked, "Is that rehearsals going on?" "No," Mr. Pollack replied, "that's just the kitchen staff." The critic came, and he gave The Turn of the Screw a glowing review.

• The first time Frances Alda sang at the Metropolitan Opera, she received very bad reviews. Afterward, her throat was sore, so she sought the advice of a physician. Dr. Clarence Rice examined her throat, and then told her, "Here is my prescription. Forget about your throat. Go down to the Library in Astor Place, ask for the newspaper files, and read the reviews of Emma Eames', of Farrar's, of Jean de Reszké's first performance. If your throat still bothers you tomorrow, come back and let me look at it." She followed the physician's advice and discovered that the same critics who had hated her, had also hated these other great opera singers. Her throat problem disappeared.

• When Mary Garden became director of the Chicago Grand Opera Company, she immediately began to receive anonymous threats, and sometimes people sent her knives or guns in the mail. Once, she even received a box of bullets, along with this note: "Remember that there should be twelve bullets in this box. Count them. There are only eleven. The twelfth is for you." She laughed at such threats.

• After the opening of the musical Girl Crazy, in which Ethel Merman got her big break, she met George Gershwin for lunch. Ms. Merman hadn't read the reviews yet, but Mr. Gershwin showed them to her - the critics raved about her performance and said that a star had been born. Ms. Merman, who never lacked self-confidence, said, "It figured."

© Copyright Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

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Bonus Links

Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp

Should we rally around the president in a time of crisis? Definitely not this one | Salon | Digby

There Goes the Rule of Law | Common Dreams | Bill Moyers

Trump Won't Order Vital Coronavirus Supplies Because Corporate CEOs Asked Him Not To | Vanity Fair

Disaster Capitalism and the Real Culprit in the Italian Covid-19 Catastrophe | Common Dreams

Trump's excuses for not using the Defense Production Act are wrong - and dangerous | Vox

Trump won't rule out that his business will benefit from emergency coronavirus legislation | Vox

Trump refuses to promise his own company won't get a taxpayer bailout: "Let's just see what happens" | Salon

Pelosi proposal would ban corporations receiving coronavirus aid from lobbying | Politico

The Republican Corporate Bailout Is Obscene | HuffPost

How the House Democrats' stimulus plan compares to the Senate's | Politico

Trump's slush fund: 6 reasons the GOP bailout bill is great for the rich but not for most workers | Front Page Live

Fox News Stars Begin Pushing Trump to End Coronavirus Restrictions | Daily Beast

Texas Lt. Gov.: Grandparents would be willing to die to save the economy | Axios

Dr. Anthony Fauci reveals his ongoing battle to reason with Trump in surprisingly candid interview: 'You have to say things 1, 2, 3, 4 times' | AlterNet

Fox Business Reporter Hits Trump for Wanting to End Social Distancing | Daily Beast

Trump says China "should have told us" about coronavirus. He removed the official meant to do that. | Vox

Surgeon General Shuts Down 'Fox & Friends' for Hyping Unproven Coronavirus Cure | Daily Beast

Dr. Bandy Lee: Trump is spreading a "mental health pandemic" that's making coronavirus worse | Salon

How polarization shaped Americans' responses to coronavirus, in one chart | Vox

Pence's Idea Is a Good Way to 'Kill Hundreds & Thousands,' Expert Says | Daily Beast

Governors Beg for Medical Supplies as Trump Refuses to Act | Slate

Trump's Megachurch Allies Promise COVID-19 Snake Oil and 'Miracles' | Daily Beast

Cry Havoc And Trump Will Appear | The Shinbone Star

How Rand Paul's coronavirus diagnosis could weaken Mitch McConnell's hand in negotiations | Vox

Trump's most dangerous flim-flam: False hope and quack advice | Salon

CDC says coronavirus survived in Princess Cruise ship cabins for up to 17 days after passengers left | CNBC

Court grapples with White House's right to suspend press passes | Politico

Trump Is in a Frenzy Over the Economy-Not So Much the Virus | Daily Beast

Trump after hearing Romney is in self-quarantine: 'Gee, that's too bad' | The Hill

Appeals court won't review Trump Twitter case | Politico

Nuclear Industry Effort to Exploit Coronavirus Crisis for Backdoor Bailout Decried as 'Disaster Capitalism at its Worst' | Common Dreams

Sanders wins Democrats Abroad primary | Politico

Woody Allen's Memoir Finds New Publisher Who Hails Him as "Respected Artist" | Slate



Reader Comment

Current Events

Predator makes it worse

The POS squatting in the WH is a danger to everyone:

"Valdez and lupus patients around the country have learned in recent days that an extraordinary force has upended the supply chain they all rely on: President Donald Trump.

These days, Plaquenil is better known by its generic name, hydroxychloroquine. It is the medication Trump has been hyping as a potential treatment for the novel coronavirus, even though it is not approved for this use and there is scant medical evidence so far that it works to treat the virus."

Lupus patients can't get crucial medication after President Trump pushes unproven coronavirus treatment

Linda   >^..^<
     We are all only temporarily able bodied.

Thanks, Linda!





Selected Readings

from that Mad Cat, JD

JD is on vacation.

Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music


In The Chaos Household

Last Night

Don't hear a lot of car traffic at night anymore. Don't hear that much during the day, either.

Tonight, Tuesday:

CBS begins the night with a FRESH 'NCIS', follwoed by a FRESH 'FBI', then a FRESH 'FBI: Most Wanted'.
On a RERUN Stephen Colbert (from 11/21/19) are Sen. Kamala Harris and Lady Antebellum.
On a RERUN James Corden, OBE, (from 9/23/19) are Rob Corddry, Lake Bell, and Anna Drezen.

NBC starts the night with a FRESH 'Ellen's Game Of Games', followed by a FRESH 'This Is Us' (runs 2 minutes long), then a FRESH 'Council Of Dads'.
On a RERUN (with a FRESH open) Jimmy Fallon (from 3/12/20) are Mandy Moore, Dr. Mehmet Oz, and Dane DeHaan.
On a RERUN Seth Meyers (from 9/5/19) are Sen. Bernie Sanders, Julio Torres, DeRay Mckesson, and Carter McLean.
On a RERUN Lilly Singh (from 2/25/20) is Karen Gillan.

ABC opens the night with a FRESH The Conners', followed by a FRESH 'Bless This Mess', then a FRESH 'mixed-ish', followed by a FRESH 'black-ish', then a FRESH 'For Life'.
On a RERUN Jimmy Kimmel (from 3/4/20) are Elle Fanning, Dave "Lil Dicky" Burd, and Local Natives.

The CW offers a RERUN 'The Flash', followed by a RERUN 'DC's Legends Of Tomorrow'.

Faux has a FRESH 'The Resident', followed by a FRESH 'Empire'.

MY recycles an old 'Chicago PD', followed by another old 'Chicago PD'.

A&E has all old 'The First 48' all night.

AMC offers the movie 'The Matrix', followed by the movie 'The Matrix Reloaded'.

BBC  -   
 [6:00AM]   STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE - Invasive Procedures
 [7:00AM]   STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE - Cardassians
 [9:00AM]   STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE - Rules of Acquisition
 [10:00AM]   STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE - Necessary Evil
 [11:00AM]   STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE - Second Sight
 [12:00PM]   STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE - Sanctuary
 [2:00PM]   STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE - The Alternate
 [3:00PM]   STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE - Armageddon Game
 [4:00PM]   STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE - Whispers
 [5:00PM]   STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE - Paradise
 [6:00PM]   STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE - Shadowplay
 [7:00PM]   STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE - Playing God

Bravo has 'Vanderpump Rules', another 'Vanderpump Rules', followed by a FRESH 'Vanderpump Rules', 'Family Karma', then a FRESH 'Watch What Happens: Live'.

Comedy Central has 2 hours of old 'The Office', followed by 2 hours of old 'Tosh.0'.
Scheduled on a FRESH The Daily Show it's The Daily Social Distancing Show with Trevor Noah.
Lights Out with David Spade is pre-empted.

FX has the movie 'Transformers: The Last Knight', followed by the movie 'Transformers: The Last Knight'.

History has 'The Curse Of Oak Island', followed by a FRESH 'The Curse Of Oak Island: Digging Deeper', then a FRESH 'The Curse Of Oak Island', followed by a FRESH 'Project Blue Book'.

IFC  -   
 [6:00A]   The Three Stooges - I'll Never Heil Again
 [6:05A]   The Three Stooges - We Want Our Mummy
 [6:30A]   Grindhouse Presents: Planet Terror
 [8:45A]   Grindhouse Presents: Death Proof
 [11:15A]   Mission: Impossible II
 [2:15P]   Rambo III
 [4:30P]   Rocky IV
 [6:30P]   Rocky V
 [9:00P]   American Sniper
 [12:00A]   Rocky IV
 [2:00A]   Rocky V
 [4:30A]   That '70s Show
 [5:00A]   That '70s Show
 [5:30A]   That '70s Show     (ALL TIMES EST)

Sundance  -   
 [6:15am]   The Andy Griffith Show
 [6:45am]   The Andy Griffith Show
 [7:15am]   The Andy Griffith Show
 [7:45am]   The Andy Griffith Show
 [8:15am]   The Andy Griffith Show
 [8:45am]   The Andy Griffith Show
 [9:15am]   The Andy Griffith Show
 [9:45am]   The Andy Griffith Show
 [10:15am]   The Andy Griffith Show
 [10:45am]   The Professional
 [1:15pm]   Sniper
 [3:30pm]   Anaconda
 [5:30pm]   Road House
 [8:00pm]   Kickboxer
 [10:15pm]   Kickboxer
 [12:30am]   The General's Daughter
 [3:00am]   The Taking of Pelham 123
 [5:30am]   The Andy Griffith Show     (ALL TIMES EST)

SyFy has the movie 'Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them', followed by the movie 'Harry Potter & The Sorcerer's Stone'.

On a RERUN Conan (from 12/5/20) is Jameela Jamil.

TCM celebrates Steve McQueen, who was born on this day in 1930, during the daylight hours, then salutes the first woman filmmaker, Alice Guy Blache
 [6:00 AM]      The Honeymoon Machine (1961)
 [7:45 AM]      Soldier in the Rain (1963)
 [9:45 AM]      The Great Escape (1963)
 [12:45 PM]      The Cincinnati Kid (1965)
 [2:45 PM]      The Sand Pebbles (1966)
 [6:00 PM]      An Enemy of the People (1978)

 [8:00 PM]      Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché (2018)
 [10:00 PM]      Falling Leaves (1912)    SILENT 
 [10:15 PM]      The Ocean Waif (1916)    SILENT 
 [11:00 PM]      The Birth, the Life and the Death of Christ (1906)    SILENT 
 [12:00 AM]      Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché (2018)
 [2:00 AM]      A House Divided (1913)    SILENT 
 [2:15 AM]      Canned Harmony (1912)    SILENT 
 [2:35 AM]      Algie, The Miner (1912)    SILENT 
 [2:45 AM]      Matrimony's Speed Limit (1913)    SILENT 

 [3:15 AM]      The Comedians (1967)    (ALL TIMES EST)

Wednesday   -  03/25/20

TCM features Maureen O'Hara during the daylight hours, then spends the night with Joe E. Brown.

[6:00 AM]      A Woman's Secret (1949)
 [7:45 AM]      Jamaica Inn (1939)
 [9:45 AM]      The Fallen Sparrow (1943)
 [11:30 AM]      The Wings of Eagles (1957)
 [1:45 PM]      This Land Is Mine (1943)
 [3:30 PM]      McLintock! (1963)
 [5:45 PM]      The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)

 [8:00 PM]      Some Like It Hot (1959)
 [10:15 PM]      A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935)
 [1:00 AM]      It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963)
 [4:00 AM]      The Comedy of Terrors (1964)
 [5:30 AM]      Around the World in 80 Days (1956)

USA has a FRESH 'The Biggest Loser'.

Antenna TV - Johnny Carson (from 03/21/85) - Candice Bergen, George Carl, and Tim Reid.

Bounce TV



Comet TV

Cozi TV


Decades TV Network


Find Justice - Justice Network

FNX - First Nations Experience

Get TV

Grit - Television With Backbone - Grit

Heroes and Icons

ION Television - Positively Entertaining

Laff - You Know You Want To. - Laff


MOVIES! TV Network

Quest Television Network

RTV - The Retro Television Network

Start TV

TBD - Schedule

the works

This TV

Any opinions?   Marty

Or reviews?   Marty

Support the e-page!

(See below for addresses)



The Sideshow - by Avedon Carol



Robert De Niro

The actor channeled his character from the 2000 movie Meet the Parents - a former CIA agent who intimidates his daughter's love interest, played by Ben Stiller - in a new public service announcement about the coronavirus. The 24-second video is one of several featuring celebrities that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office released in the last day to try and persuade New Yorkers to stay home and prevent the virus from spreading.

Another clip stars Stiller himself, although his bit is that he's staying home to take on a new, albeit unusual, hobby.

In another PSA, La La Anthony appeals to people's emotions: "If you care about your older loved ones, if you care about each other, you'll stay inside."

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia star Danny DeVito, meanwhile, just laid it all out.

Alec Baldwin starred in yet another video, admitting that he was suspicious of being told to avoid going out into the world, but he isn't anymore.

Robert De Niro



Charity Donates $5 Million


Rihanna is the latest celebrity doing their part to help combat coronavirus. The singer's charity organization, the Clara Lionel Foundation, has donated $5 million to support the global fight against the pandemic.

"CLF is supporting on-the-ground partners working on the frontlines of disaster response especially those focused on protecting and serving marginalized communities-helping the most vulnerable in the United States, the Caribbean and in Africa prepare for what is to come," read a statement from the foundation, according to People magazine.

The generous donation will reportedly help benefit organizations such as Feeding America, Direct Relief, Partners in Health, the International Rescue Committee, and the World Health Organization's COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. Rihanna and her foundation will also aim to help local food banks serve at-risk communities and the elderly in the United States, accelerate testing efforts in countries such as Haiti and Malawi, and aim to provide protective equipment for medical professional and diagnostic lab workers who are working to develop vaccines to combat the virus.

"Never has it been more important or urgent to protect and prepare marginalized and underserved communities-those who will be hit hardest by this pandemic," commented Justine Lucas, executive director of CLF.



Newhead News


Must Meet Higher Threshold

Byron Allen

The Supreme Court sided with Comcast over Byron Allen in his racial discrimination case against the cable giant, ruling that in order for his lawsuit to survive, he bears the burden of showing racial discrimination was the "but for" cause in the cable giant's refusal to carry his entertainment channels.

The justices, in a unanimous decision, ruled that to prevail, "a plaintiff must initially plead and ultimately prove that, but for race, it would not have suffered the loss of a legally protected right," according to the opinion. (Read it here).

The decision means that Allen's lawsuit will go back to the lower court, where he can again try to prove his case, but he will have a much greater threshold to meet for his case to survive.

At issue was whether Allen's $20 billion lawsuit should have survived beyond the pleading stage by merely proving that, in Comcast's decision to deny carriage of his Entertainment Studios' channels, his race was a "motivating factor" or whether it was the sole cause, also known as "but for" in legalese. The ruling was viewed as having a potentially significant impact on future racial discrimination cases.

The Ninth Circuit ruled in favor of Allen last year, but in oral arguments some of the justices found fault with the lower court's reasoning. The justices showed clear skepticism of issuing a definitive ruling that established a lower threshold in racial discrimination cases when a case is first filed, and a higher one if it reaches a trial.

Byron Allen



New Publisher

Woody Allen

Woody Allen's memoir, dropped by its original publisher after widespread criticism, has found a new home, The Associated Press has learned.

The 400-page book, still called "Apropos of Nothing," was released Monday by Arcade Publishing.

"The book is a candid and comprehensive personal account by Woody Allen of his life," Arcade announced, "ranging from his childhood in Brooklyn through his acclaimed career in film, theater, television, print and standup comedy, as well as exploring his relationships with family and friends."

With little advance notice, the 84-year-old filmmaker's book arrives at a time when much of the world is otherwise preoccupied with the coronavirus pandemic. Arcade is an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing and a Skyhorse spokeswoman said no decisions had been made on whether he would give any interviews. Financial details for his deal with Arcade were not released and the spokeswoman had no immediate comment on whether the book would come out in Europe, where publishers in several countries have expressed interest.

Woody Allen


Digby's Hullabaloo


Blocking Critics

First Amendment

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit denied the White House's request for en banc review of a ruling that Donald Trump (R-Greed Weasel) violated the First Amendment by blocking critics of the president on Twitter.

The Trump administration had appealed for a review of the unanimous three-judge ruling by the 2nd Circuit in July 2019 finding that Trump's @realDonaldTrump Twitter account constitutes a "public forum" under the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment.

That upheld a 2018 U.S. District Court judge's ruling that Trump's blocking of individual accounts on Twitter was unconstitutional, rejecting the argument from the president's lawyers that Trump's own First Amendment rights would be abridged if he was disallowed from blocking users. The district court ordered Trump to unblock the plaintiffs' accounts on Twitter, and barred him from blocking speakers on the basis of political views.

Regarding the 2nd Circuit's rejection Monday of the request for a rehearing, two dissenting circuit court judges contended that Trump's use of his personal @realDonaldTrump to conduct official business does not amount to state action. But U.S. Circuit Judge Barrington D. Parker, in a statement, wrote that "This argument is refuted by even a cursory perusal of examples of the tweets in question."

The lawsuit against Trump was filed in 2017 by Columbia University's Knight First Amendment Institute and seven individuals who said Trump blocked them from the @realDonaldTrump account after they criticized him in comments.

First Amendment



States Can Bar

Insanity Defense

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday limited the rights of criminal defendants, declaring that states can bar them from using the so-called insanity defense in a ruling involving a Kansas man sentenced to death for killing four members of his family.

The justices ruled 6-3 that a 1995 Kansas law eliminating the insanity defense - which bars holding criminally responsible mentally impaired defendants who do not know right from wrong - did not violate the U.S. Constitution. The justices affirmed a 2018 decision by the Kansas Supreme Court upholding the conviction of the man at the center of the case, James Kraig Kahler.

Under the Kansas law, defendants cannot argue they were insane and unable to make a moral judgment as an excuse to criminal liability. But the law allowed defendants to argue that, due to mental defect, they did not intend to commit the crime.

In a ruling authored by liberal Justice Elena Kagan, the court rejected the argument that the Constitution's guarantee of due process requires the acquittal of any defendant who is unable to tell right from wrong.

Insanity Defense



Earth's Deepest Land Gorge

Denman Canyon

East Antarctic's Denman Canyon is the deepest land gorge on Earth, reaching 3,500m below sea-level.

It's also filled top to bottom with ice, which US space agency (Nasa) scientists reveal in a new report has a significant vulnerability to melting.

Retreating and thinning sections of the glacier suggest it is being eroded by encroaching warm ocean water.

Denman is one to watch for the future. If its ice were hollowed out, it would raise the global sea surface by 1.5m.

"How fast this can happen? Hard to say, since there are many factors coming into play, for example the narrowness of the channel along which Denman is retreating may slow down the retreat," explained Dr Virginia Brancato, from Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a former scholar at the University of California at Irvine (UCI).

Denman Canyon



Ancestor Of All Animals


The tiny, wormlike creature, named Ikaria wariootia, is the earliest bilaterian, or organism with a front and back, two symmetrical sides, and openings at either end connected by a gut. The paper is published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The earliest multicellular organisms, such as sponges and algal mats, had variable shapes. Collectively known as the Ediacaran Biota, this group contains the oldest fossils of complex, multicellular organisms. However, most of these are not directly related to animals around today, including lily pad-shaped creatures known as Dickinsonia that lack basic features of most animals, such as a mouth or gut.

The development of bilateral symmetry was a critical step in the evolution of animal life, giving organisms the ability to move purposefully and a common, yet successful way to organize their bodies. A multitude of animals, from worms to insects to dinosaurs to humans, are organized around this same basic bilaterian body plan.

Evolutionary biologists studying the genetics of modern animals predicted the oldest ancestor of all bilaterians would have been simple and small, with rudimentary sensory organs. Preserving and identifying the fossilized remains of such an animal was thought to be difficult, if not impossible.







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