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CNN Chief Jim Walton Is Quitting
By DAVID BAUDER 07/27/12 03:03 PM ET AP
NEW YORK — CNN chief Jim Walton said Friday he is quitting, saying the company needs new leadership at a time its flagship U.S. network is suffering through some of its poorest ratings ever.
Walton built the company into a profitable international news organization in his 10 years as president of CNN Worldwide, and said it is on track for record profits this year. But the U.S. network is the most visible part of the business and is now entrenched in third place behind rivals Fox News Channel and MSNBC in prime time.
He announced the decision in an email to staff members on Friday. He said he'll continue working until the end of the year during the company's search for a successor.
Walton said he's been talking to his boss, Turner Broadcasting Chairman Phil Kent, about leaving since the first few months of the year. CNN is owned by Time Warner...
A rather disturbing headline from Wired this morning in light of the shooting in Aurora CO.
Batman Should Join the NRA and 9 Other Unintentional Dark Knight Rises Lessons
* By Angela Watercutter
* July 20, 2012 |
* 6:30 am |
Like the previous two Batman films created by Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight Rises is a densely structured narrative filled with morally fluctuating characters. It's even got some thinly veiled messages about the state of our world.
But because there's so much there there, the movie also generates some insights that Nolan and his writing partner brother Jonathan Nolan most likely didn't intend. Some of these latent messages give a glimpse into life in their fictional Gotham, while others are merely plot holes. And nearly all are unintentionally funny.
That said, here are the 10 things we learned while watching The Dark Knight Rises – about Batman, about Bane, about filmmaking and about ourselves.
Batman Should Just Use Guns Already
Is Batman's anti-gun stance really necessary? It's noble and all, but Bane's dudes pack automatic weapons (as do Gotham City's cops), and the Dark Knight is left holding a Bat-knife at a gun fight. The two battles in which Bane and Batman go at it hand-to-hand are great, but at some point it becomes obvious that the Bat could've saved himself – and his back – a lot of pain if he'd just shot that dude in the face. Just sayin'.
Update: ABC News has found a "Jim Holmes" from Aurora, CO on a Tea Party site.
Sir Roger Moore does an outstandingly revealing and fascinating commentary on all his Bond movies on their DVD editions.
His 2005 commentary of the Live & Let Die movie reveals that while filming in Louisiana in 1972, Attorney General Jim Garrison invited him and the crew to tour his headquarters and they were shown a 8mm copy of--presumably--the Zapruder film of the JFK assassination. This is exactly what Sir Roger said beginning at 1:41 in the movie with his commentary turned on to superimpose over the soundtrack.
"One day when we were shooting in, eh...New Orleans, we were invited by Jim Garrison, who was the then District Attorney to visit the City Hall...we went and it was very Bond-like...we went into a garage and doors were shut behind us, elevator doors; we went up and the doors were shut in his office...and he then showed this 8mm footage of the assassination of President Kennedy...which backed-up his theory of....there being...shots from front and back....very Bond-like...
I thought that he was very credible....
I still do...
Also interesting is the way JFK helped to pave the way for the James Bond franchise...
In March 1960, Henry Brandon contacted Marion Leiter who arranged for Ian Fleming to have dinner with John F. Kennedy. The author of The Life of Ian Fleming (1966), John Pearson, has pointed out: "During the dinner the talk largely concerned itself with the more arcane aspects of American politics and Fleming was attentive but subdued. But with coffee and the entrance of Castro into the conversation he intervened in his most engaging style. Cuba was already high on the headache list of Washington politicians, and another of those what’s to-be-done conversations got underway. Fleming laughed ironically and began to develop the theme that the United States was making altogether too much fuss about Castro – they were building him into a world figure, inflating him instead of deflating him. It would be perfectly simple to apply one or two ideas which would take all the steam out of the Cuban." Kennedy asked him what would James Bond do about Fidel Castro. Fleming replied, “Ridicule, chiefly.” Kennedy must have passed the message to the CIA for on as the following day Brandon received a phone-call from Allen Dulles, asking for a meeting with Fleming.
Kennedy was a fan of Fleming's books. In March 1961, Hugh Sidey, published an article in Life Magazine, on President Kennedy's top ten favourite books. It was a list designed to show that Kennedy was both well-read and in tune with popular taste. It included Fleming's From Russia With Love. Up until this time, Fleming's books had not sold well in the United States, but with Kennedy's endorsement, his publishers decided to mount a major advertising campaign to promote his books. By the end of the year Fleming had become the largest-selling thriller writer in the United States.
This publicity resulted in Fleming signed a film deal with the producers Albert Broccoli and Harry Saltzman. Dr No, starring Sean Connery, opened in the autumn of 1962 and was an immediate box-office success. As soon as it was released Kennedy demanded a showing in his private cinema in the White House.
Remember that he also lent some assistance to the producers of Seven Days in May...
In the film the leader of the plot, head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), Air Force General James Mattoon Scott, is compared to General Edwin A. Walker.
It is believed that Knebel got the idea for the book after a conversation with President Kennedy. It was Knebel's first novel. According to John Frankenheimer, the director, Pierre Salinger conveyed to him that JFK wanted the film be made, "these were the days of General Walker" and, though the Pentagon did not want the film made, the President would conveniently arrange to visit Hyannis Port for a weekend when the film needed to shoot outside the White House...
Where was General Curtis LeMay at the time president Kennedy was assassinated?
Was he on vacation hunting and fishing in upstate Michigan, as his official biographies attest, or was he at Camp X or at a secret command & control bunker overseeing the Dealey Plaza operation? ...
“Camp X was the unofficial name of a Second World War paramilitary and commando training installation, on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario between Whitby and Oshawa in Ontario, Canada. The area is known today as Intrepid Park, after the code name for Sir William Stephenson of the British Security Coordination.” ...
Patrick Fitzgerald's Legacy: Letting Rove And Cheney Go
Posted: 07/03/2012 11:55 pm Updated: 07/05/2012 10:49 am
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald’s prosecution of former CIA officer John Kiriakou for talking to journalists about the Bush/Cheney torture program has at least one thing in common with his conviction of I. Lewis (“Scooter”) Libby in 2007.
In both cases, Fitzgerald went for the little fish. But the big fish got away. (See related story on the Kiriakou case.)
In the Plame case, Fitzgerald prosecuted Libby, then-vice president Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, for perjury and obstruction of justice related to the leak of Valerie Plame Wilson’s identity as a covert CIA operative. But he stopped short of charging Cheney or top presidential adviser Karl Rove -- both of whom had been targets of his investigation.
Fitzgerald was appointed as a special prosecutor in late 2003 to investigate the July 2003 leak of Plame’s identity, which came during a White House effort to discredit her husband, former U.S. Ambassador Joe Wilson.
Wilson was trying to expose how the administration had twisted intelligence to make its case for the war in Iraq, launched a few months earlier, and the White House was desperate to prevent that narrative from establishing itself before the 2004 elections.
The evidence that came out at trial clearly established that Cheney was the first person to tell Libby about Plame’s identity and that Cheney wrote talking points that likely prompted Libby and others to raise Plame’s role with reporters.
Libby, before falsely claiming he had heard about Plame from NBC News host Tim Russert, told FBI agents he might have discussed Plame’s employment with reporters at Cheney’s direction.
In his closing arguments in the Libby case, Fitzgerald famously declared: “There is a cloud over what the vice president did that week. … That cloud remains because the defendant has obstructed justice and lied about what happened.”
In a subsequent court filing, Fitzgerald wrote that “there was reason to believe” the leak had been coordinated by Cheney and that the vice president may have had a role in the cover-up. “When the investigation began, Mr. Libby kept the vice president apprised of his shifting accounts of how he claimed to have learned about Ms. Wilson’s CIA employment,” Fitzgerald wrote.
But Cheney was never charged...
Also read: Squelching Secrets: Why Are Obama's Prosecutors Pursuing John Kiriakou?
Patrick Fitzgerald Resigns as U. S. Attorney - DU
Fair Game (2010) - RI
Fair Game - DU
LOS ANGELES (AP) — An unmanned Air Force space plane steered itself to a landing early Saturday at a California military base, capping a 15-month clandestine mission.
The spacecraft, which was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida in March 2011, conducted in-orbit experiments during the mission, officials said. It was the second such autonomous landing at the Vandenberg Air Force Base, 130 miles northwest of Los Angeles. In 2010, an identical unmanned spacecraft returned to Earth after seven months and 91 million miles in orbit.
The latest homecoming was set in motion when the stubby-winged robotic X-37B fired its engine to slip out of orbit, then pierced through the atmosphere and glided down the runway like an airplane.
“With the retirement of the Space Shuttle fleet, the X-37B OTV program brings a singular capability to space technology development,” said Lt. Col. Tom McIntyre, the X-37B’s program manager. “The return capability allows the Air Force to test new technologies without the same risk commitment faced by other programs. We‘re proud of the entire team’s successful efforts to bring this mission to an outstanding conclusion.”
With the second X-37B on the ground, the Air Force planned to launch the first one again in the fall. An exact date has not been set.
The twin X-37B vehicles are part of a military program testing robotically controlled reusable spacecraft technologies. Though the Air Force has emphasized the goal is to test the space plane itself, there’s a classified payload on board — a detail that has led to much speculation about the mission’s ultimate purpose.
Some amateur trackers think the craft carried an experimental spy satellite sensor judging by its low orbit and inclination, suggesting reconnaissance or intelligence gathering rather than communications.
Harvard astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell, who runs Jonathan’s Space Report, which tracks the world’s space launches and satellites, said it’s possible it was testing some form of new imaging.
The latest X-37B was boosted into orbit atop an Atlas 5 rocket. It was designed to stay aloft for nine months, but the Air Force wanted to test its endurance. After determining the space plane was performing well, the military decided in December to extend the mission.
Little has been said publicly about the second X-37B flight and operations. At a budget hearing before the Senate Armed Services subcommittee in March, William Shelton, head of the Air Force Space Command, made a passing mention.
That the second X-37B has stayed longer in space than the first shows “the flexibility of this unique system,” he told lawmakers.
Good point. I was never a big Kirk Douglas fan but thought he was very good in this. Plus you have to admire what he did behind the scenes...
Seven Days in May and General Walker
Posted 24 June 2009 - 07:30 AM
Last night I watched "Seven Days in May". The film stands up very well. I was especially impressed with the acting and the script by Rod Serling.
The film is based on the novel by Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey II and published in 1962. The author, Knebel, got the idea for the book after interviewing the Air Force Chief of Staff Curtis LeMay. At the time LeMay had spoken to some of his staff about removing the President from power.
In the film the leader of the plot, head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), Air Force General James Mattoon Scott, is compared to General Edwin A. Walker.
It is believed that Knebel got the idea for the book after a conversation with President Kennedy. It was Knebel's first novel. According to John Frankenheimer, the director, Pierre Salinger conveyed to him that JFK wanted the film be made, "these were the days of General Walker" and, though the Pentagon did not want the film made, the President would conveniently arrange to visit Hyannis Port for a weekend when the film needed to shoot outside the White House.
The main figure behind the film was not John Frankenheimer but Kirk Douglas and his film company, Joel Productions. It was Douglas who broke the blacklist with producing Spartacus in 1960. Joe McCarthy along with General Walker gets a mention in the film.
In the book, the secret United States Army combat unit created and controlled by Scott's conspiracy is based in Texas near Fort Bliss. However, in the film the venue is changed to San Diego. I wonder why?
Rod Serling is an interesting choice to write the script. He had very left-wing views and was very frustrated by the amount of political censorship he suffered. In 1959, he began producing The Twilight Zone. He stated in an interview that the science fiction format would not be controversial and would escape censorship unlike his earlier work on television. In reality the show gave him the opportunity to communicate social messages in a more veiled context.
Serling died of a heart-attack at the age of 50.
Here's a little history Kirk Douglas had with Stanley Kubrick:
...Haidt needlessly complicates a straightforward matter. Propaganda works. Propaganda constricts our perception of acceptable solutions. Propaganda tells people to concentrate their fury on THIS issue instead of THAT issue.
Propaganda can convince anyone to do anything. Think of all the soldiers -- on all sides, in all wars -- who, motivated by propaganda, have run headlong into bullets. Propaganda has literally convinced people to kill themselves...
Read more » http://cannonfire.blogspot.com/2012/06/can...
She grew up on her family's Virginia farm, riding before she could walk. She led around her father's polo ponies and was an accomplished steeplechase rider in her late teens. She majored in political science at Columbia and interned for the Kennedy administration, handling the White House mail. Then fate took Phyliss Mills down hard.
In 1962, at 21, she broke her neck in an auto accident. Although she never again would walk unaided, that couldn't break her spirit. She modeled for and married noted painter Jamie Wyeth. She fought for the rights of the disabled. She became a champion driver of carriage horses. She bred jumpers for 40 years, but unlike her parents, James and Alice duPont Mills, she never owned a star like Glad Rags, Devil's Bag or Gone West.
In March 2009, while wheelchair-bound at 68, Phyliss Mills Wyeth got lucky. Her mating of Dixie Union with Tempo, a mare she inherited from her mother, produced a rangy bay colt with a white blaze and three white socks. On her accountant's advice, and against her wishes, she sold him for $145,000 at the August 2010 Saratoga yearling sale to Long Island-based IEAH Stables. Soon she had seller's remorse. Six months later, her friend and adviser, 76-year-old Russell Jones, told her the colt would be auctioned again, at a Florida sale for 2-year-olds in training. She ordered Jones: "Get him! Just get him. I'll borrow from the bank."
And that's how Phyliss Wyeth lost and regained her horse of a lifetime, Union Rags, one of the favorites for Saturday's Kentucky Derby. If it sounds like a movie, it is: Ed Tettemer's engaging documentary "Union Rags: An American Love Story." Adding to the Disney-like plot, Michael Matz, who developed the 2006 Derby winner, the beloved, ill-fated Barbaro, also trains Union Rags. "She's a wonderful person to work for," Matz said. "She told me when she got on the plane to come down here, she cried."
Woodward and Bernstein: 40 years after Watergate, Nixon was far worse than we thought
By Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, Friday, June 8, 1:35 PM
As Sen. Sam Ervin completed his 20-year Senate career in 1974 and issued his final report as chairman of the Senate Watergate committee, he posed the question: “What was Watergate?” ...
Today, much more than when we first covered this story as young Washington Post reporters, an abundant record provides unambiguous answers and evidence about Watergate and its meaning. This record has expanded continuously over the decades with the transcription of hundreds of hours of Nixon’s secret tapes, adding detail and context to the hearings in the Senate and House of Representatives; the trials and guilty pleas of some 40 Nixon aides and associates who went to jail; and the memoirs of Nixon and his deputies. Such documentation makes it possible to trace the president’s personal dominance over a massive campaign of political espionage, sabotage and other illegal activities against his real or perceived opponents.
In the course of his five-and-a-half-year presidency, beginning in 1969, Nixon launched and managed five successive and overlapping wars — against the anti-Vietnam War movement, the news media, the Democrats, the justice system and, finally, against history itself. All reflected a mind-set and a pattern of behavior that were uniquely and pervasively Nixon’s: a willingness to disregard the law for political advantage, and a quest for dirt and secrets about his opponents as an organizing principle of his presidency.
Long before the Watergate break-in, gumshoeing, burglary, wiretapping and political sabotage had become a way of life in the Nixon White House.
What was Watergate? It was Nixon’s five wars...
Read more » http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/woo...
The Wisconsin Recall Aftermath: Scott Walker Steps Right Up into the Pocket of Those Who Got Him The
The Wisconsin Recall Aftermath: Scott Walker Steps Right Up into the Pocket of Those Who Got Him There
By Charles P. Pierce
As hard as he may pretend to be a "reasonable" Republican, Walker knows he is a political creature of the forces that put him back in office. They are going to move further toward the extreme and he's going to move with them, because now he has a role to play.
WAUKESHA, Wisconsin — Make no mistake. A star was born last night. You will now see Scott Walker, the goggle-eyed homunculus hired by Koch Industries to run their midwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Wisconsin, everywhere in the energetic precincts of the revived American right. He will be on the covers of their startlingly advertising-free little magazines. He will be the darling of every wingnut blogger in the extended monkeyhouse; poo will be flung high and far in celebration of him. He will have a high-profile speaking role in Tampa this August, and it is very likely that there are people in Iowa who already are booking house parties for the late autumn of 2015 in his honor. He will be a bigger presence on Fox News than are Brit Hume's jowls or Shep Smith's gradually swelling public rage. I will tell you what: Willard Romney better be damned glad that he's already clinched the nomination, and that Walker didn't win this recall a year ago. And, because they are a timid flock of ruminants, the rest of the elite political press corps will wander, sheeplike, in his general direction, grazing amid the unmitigated manure of his victory speech here last night. Oh, Lord, are we going to be hearing about what a "turning point" in Walker's career that speech was.
He's going national. We know that now because last night, in his triumph, we got the humble act. He thanked God for "His abundant grace." We heard about "moms and dads and grandmas and grandads." He told us about how moved he was to visit Independence Hall and see "the desks and the chairs" that the Founders used, and how the Founders were men of courage who put their lives on the line because they made "the tough decisions." Breaking away from the British Empire. Gutting the benefits of elementary school teachers. You'd have to be blind not to see the parallels...
Read more: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/wisc...
The ten most recent threads posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums.
FL GOP tries to close state pension system to new workers, yet take THEIR pension at 2X accrual rate
FL GOP denies $51 billion federal Medicaid to poor, yet order cheap health care for themselves
Happy Mother's Day
I love DU2!
Florida Senate President Don Gaetz (R) ran company now accused of Medicaid fraud (Rick Scott redux)
Mediterranean diet cuts risk of heart dis-ease
By No Elephants
The ten most recommended threads posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums in the last 24 hours.
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