As in “Grand Old Pity Party.”
During this week’s edition of “The Word”, Steven Colbert could not even pretend to like Sarah Palin.
|The Colbert Report||Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|The Word – Grand Old Pity Party|
Sarah Palin’s book, Going Rogue, was released this week. Why “rogue?” Well Merriam Webster defines “rogue (adj.)” as: “resembling or suggesting a rogue elephant especially in being isolated, aberrant, dangerous, or uncontrollable.” Perfect!
Sarah blasted Newsweek on her Facebook page.
“The choice of photo for the cover of this week’s Newsweek is unfortunate. When it comes to Sarah Palin, this ‘news’ magazine has relished focusing on the irrelevant rather than the relevant. The out-of-context Newsweek approach is sexist and oh-so-expected by now.”
Funny… I read a review of the book on NPR today. Here’s what Rod Dreher wrote:
Going Rogue is a book designed to re-introduce Palin as a national political force, and — though she’s coy about this — to lay the groundwork for a 2012 presidential run.
The rap on Palin is that she’s too shallow and inexperienced for the presidency — a conclusion that early Palin supporters like me came to during the 2008 campaign. Alas, for conservatives in search of a champion, there’s nothing in Going Rogue to challenge that conclusion. It’s like this: Palin spends seven pages dishing about her appearance on Saturday Night Live, but just over one page discussing her national security views.
When you consider what weight she gave to National Security versus SNL, the Newsweek cover seems very relevant to the degree of her intellect.
But she doesn’t think so: she told Barbara Walters that she found the photo “a wee bit degrading.” So it’s degrading now but it wasn’t when she posed for Runner’s World just three months ago? Well that doesn’t make any sense, but it’s the response that is “oh-so-expected” from her, and she didn’t let us down.
Oxford University announced the Oxford Word of the Year 2009:
unfriend – verb – To remove someone as a ‘friend’ on a social networking site such as Facebook.
Whatever…. Doesn’t everyone know that it’s ‘defriend’ not ‘unfriend’?
Here is a partial list of some other notable words in 2009:
hashtag – a # [hash] sign added to a word or phrase that enables Twitter users to search for tweets (postings on the Twitter site) that contain similarly tagged items and view thematic sets
intexticated – distracted because texting on a cellphone while driving a vehicle
netbook – a small, very portable laptop computer with limited memory
paywall – a way of blocking access to a part of a website which is only available to paying subscribers
sexting – the sending of sexually explicit texts and pictures by cellphone
freemium – a business model in which some basic services are provided for free, with the aim of enticing users to pay for additional, premium features or content
funemployed – taking advantage of one’s newly unemployed status to have fun or pursue other interests
zombie bank – a financial institution whose liabilities are greater than its assets, but which continues to operate because of government support
Politics and Current Affairs
Ardi – (Ardipithecus ramidus) oldest known hominid, discovered in Ethiopia during the 1990s and announced to the public in 2009
birther – a conspiracy theorist who challenges President Obama’s birth certificate
choice mom – a person who chooses to be a single mother
death panel – a theoretical body that determines which patients deserve to live, when care is rationed
teabagger -a person, who protests President Obama’s tax policies and stimulus package, often through local demonstrations known as “Tea Party” protests (in allusion to the Boston Tea Party of 1773)
brown state – a US state that does not have strict environmental regulations
green state – a US state that has strict environmental regulations
ecotown – a town built and run on eco-friendly principles
deleb – a dead celebrity
tramp stamp – a tattoo on the lower back, usually on a woman
Geffen Records released a DVD/CD of Nirvana live at Reading Festival from 1992. Here’s a bootleg video of “In Bloom” from that concert. Sub Pop also released a 20th Anniversary, remastered edition of Bleach.
One Fast Move or I’m Gone- A Movie about how Jack Kerouac came to write Big Sur. Highly Recommended! It’s available in a DVD/CD package. The music is by Jay Farrar and Benjamin Gibbard. Great stuff.
A video about the recording of Chuck Prophet’s new album, ¡Let Freedom Ring!, that he recorded in Mexico. My copy came with a souvenir swine flu surgical mask that might come in handy some day soon.
I read Nicholas Kristof’s column in The New York Times today, and he called out one Republican, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), who last June said that the United States has “the best health care system in the world.” But who else in the party has made that claim? Turns out a lot of them have. Here are a few quotes:
Representative Mike Pence (R-IA), ”And ‘we the people’ have the ability to protect the finest health care system this world has ever known and demand real health care reform that will reduce the cost of health care without growing government.”
Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), ”America’s health care system has a lot of problems, there is no question, and we ought to be addressing those problems. But, don’t forget it’s the best health care system in the World.“
Rudy Giuliani (R-former NYC Mayor), ”The reality is that, with all of its infirmities and difficulties, we have the best health care system in the world. And it may be because we have a system that still is, if not wholly, at least in large part still private.”
Rush Limbaugh (R – Disinfotainer), “Well, you don’t have to convince me. I think it’s the best health care system in the world. We never hear anything good about it from the leaders of the Democrat Party.”
They all said it and they are all wrong. Why do they keep saying it? Because for them - wealthy people – there’s no problem. They get all the health care they need from the best doctors. They are privileged and they’re covered, and the current system works great for them, so there’s no problem. They want to believe we have the best system because they can’t believe that they would participate in anything but the best system.
Kristof throws out a few inconvenient truths about our health care system that say otherwise:
The United States ranks 31st in life expectancy (tied with Kuwait and Chile)
We rank 37th in infant mortality (partly because of many premature births) and 34th in maternal mortality.
Canadians live longer than Americans do after kidney transplants and after dialysis, and that may be typical of cross-border differences. One review examined 10 studies of how the American and Canadian systems dealt with various medical issues. The United States did better in two, Canada did better in five and in three they were similar or it was difficult to determine.
[In a study of how] well 19 developed countries succeeded in avoiding “preventable deaths,” such as those where a disease could be cured or forestalled. What Senator Shelby called “the best health care system” ranked in last place.
…in the United States, 90 percent of hernia surgery is performed on an outpatient basis. In Britain, only 40 percent is, according to a report by the McKinsey Global Institute.
Americans take 10 percent fewer drugs than citizens in other countries — but pay 118 percent more per pill that they do take, McKinsey said.
Kristof closed with this point that blows apart the Republican argument that a government healthcare plan will destroy the best health care system in the world.
…there is one American health statistic that is strikingly above average: life expectancy for Americans who have already reached the age of 65. At that point, they can expect to live longer than the average in industrialized countries. That’s because Americans above age 65 actually have universal health care coverage: Medicare. Suddenly, a diverse population with pockets of poverty is no longer such a drawback.
Here is the World Health Organization’s 2000 ranking of of health care systems in all countries around the world:
1 France (and they make great wine too)
2 Italy (they also make great wine)
3 San Marino
7 Spain (some good wines from here)
9 Austria (really good reislings)
12 Portugal (port!)
14 Greece (wine is not so good)
18 United Kingdom
25 Germany (fine white wines)
26 Saudi Arabia
27 United Arab Emirates
30 Canada (beer)
32 Australia (shiraz)
36 Costa Rica (damn good coffee)
37 United States of America (But they make really great wine)
41 New Zealand (but they make really greate wine)
48 Czech Republic
51 Dominican Republic
53 Jamaica (damn good weed)
58 South Korea
67 Trinidad and Tobago
68 Saint Lucia
74 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
76 Sri Lanka
80 Solomon Islands
86 Antigua and Barbuda
92 Indonesia (they grow some awesome coffee)
100 Saint Kitts and Nevis
103 Iraq (boom)
107 Cook Islands
113 Cape Verde
115 El Salvador
132 Burkina Faso
133 Sao Tome and Principe
137 Ivory Coast
141 Marshall Islands
148 Papua New Guinea
167 North Korea
171 Equatorial Guinea
173 Afghanistan (boom boom)
175 South Africa
188 Democratic Republic of the Congo
189 Central African Republic
NPR has an online poll to choose the 50 greatest voices of all time. There are 126 candidates from which to choose the top 50. Those who made the cut were chosen based on reader comments submitted over the past month or so.
The web page they created is pretty cool. The nominees are displayed in a photo grid that you can sort by name, year of birth, or randomly. When you hover your cursor over a photo you get the singer’s name, and when you click you get to hear a song clip, some bio information, and a pop-up that allows you to vote and enter a comment.
I hovered over all the nominees, and was a little disappointmed to not find Nick Cave, Nick Urata, P.J. Harvey, Mark Lanegan, or Patti Smith in the grid. You fans of more classically trained voices will probably be just as disappointed to not find Luciano Pavarotti.
I voted anyway and these are my five picks: Johnny Cash, Neko Case, Jeff Buckley, Bob Marley, and Tom Waits.
Take five to visit the site and cast your vote.
Today I spent some time between the Vikings vs. Packers game and game 4 of the World Series filling out my mail-in ballot for the Washington State, King County, Seattle elections. (Damn I miss going to my neighborhood polling place to vote.) Anyway, when I got to the Referendum 71 box, I recalled a great segment from The Colbert Report last week.
If you are not sure why you should approve Referendum 71, watch and learn.
|The Colbert Report||Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|The Word – Don’t Ask Don’t Tell|