Tuesday, October 06, 2009
THE future of top-rating TV comedian David Letterman is uncertain as the CBS Network that airs his Late Show contemplates investigating his past relationships with female staff, following a bizarre extortion plot. Letterman stunned his audience last week when he revealed on his nightly program that he was the victim of a $2million blackmail attempt.
Stephanie Birkitt [above], a personal assistant to Letterman, has emerged as the woman at the centre of Robert Halderman's blackmail attempt. Halderman lived with her briefly and allegedly used some photos and correspondence involving Letterman to set up the extortion, saying he planned to write a damning screenplay unless the star paid him.
A second woman who was previously an intern on the Letterman show, Holly Hester, has came forward as another former fling. She told The New York Daily News she had been madly in love with Letterman and would have married him. "He was hilarious," she said.
After making fun of other people's wacky sex lives for years, Letterman last week said that a man had threatened to expose his past relationships with women who worked for him on the Late Show. The television comedian went out of his way to be seen to do the right thing by going straight to police and co-operating in a sting that led to the arrest of Halderman, a disgruntled network producer. Halderman, an Emmy-award winning producer for the CBS series 48 Hours, faces up to 15 years' jail after demanding money in return for keeping quiet about evidence he had of Letterman's past dalliances.
While Letterman is not accused of any wrongdoing by police, the issue has presented CBS with a conundrum. So far the network is standing by Letterman, who is enjoying a ratings resurgence since the rival Tonight Show was taken over by Conan O'Brien. Under the terms of his contract, Letterman's quaintly named company Worldwide Pants leases airtime on CBS, so he is not an employee. The network is believed to be concerned about some sections of its audience with puritanical views.
Another comment on the wandering trousers: "As one of America’s most successful television comedians, David Letterman built an entertainment empire on jokes about sex — notably involving former President Bill Clinton’s trousers. Yesterday the joke was on Letterman as his own complicated sex life dominated US tabloid headlines and provided his late-night comic rivals with an irresistible source of new material including a shapely blonde, a salacious diary, mystery photographs and a peculiarly inept blackmail plot. “If you came here tonight for sex with a talk show host,” said Jay Leno, Letterman’s most formidable late-night rival, “you’ve come to the wrong studio.” For Bill and Hillary Clinton and countless other victims of Letterman’s rancid barbs — notably Sarah Palin, the former governor of Alaska to whom he recently apologised for off-colour jokes about her family — there may have been a certain grim satisfaction in seeing the perennially cocky comedian admitting to “creepy” behaviour."
Barack Obama furious at General Stanley McChrystal speech on Afghanistan
The relationship between President Barack Obama and the commander of Nato forces in Afghanistan has been put under severe strain by Gen Stanley McChrystal's comments on strategy for the war. According to sources close to the administration, Gen McChrystal shocked and angered presidential advisers with the bluntness of a speech given in London last week.
The next day he was summoned to an awkward 25-minute face-to-face meeting on board Air Force One on the tarmac in Copenhagen, where the president had arrived to tout Chicago's unsuccessful Olympic bid.
Gen James Jones, the national security adviser, yesterday did little to allay the impression the meeting had been awkward. Asked if the president had told the general to tone down his remarks, he told CBS: "I wasn't there so I can't answer that question. But it was an opportunity for them to get to know each other a little bit better. I am sure they exchanged direct views." An adviser to the administration said: "People aren't sure whether McChrystal is being naïve or an upstart. To my mind he doesn't seem ready for this Washington hard-ball and is just speaking his mind too plainly."
In London, Gen McChrystal, who heads the 68,000 US troops in Afghanistan as well as the 100,000 Nato forces, flatly rejected proposals to switch to a strategy more reliant on drone missile strikes and special forces operations against al-Qaeda. He told the Institute of International and Strategic Studies that the formula, which is favoured by Vice-President Joe Biden, would lead to "Chaos-istan". When asked whether he would support it, he said: "The short answer is: No." He went on to say: "Waiting does not prolong a favorable outcome. This effort will not remain winnable indefinitely, and nor will public support." The remarks have been seen by some in the Obama administration as a barbed reference to the slow pace of debate within the White House.
Gen McChrystal delivered a report on Afghanistan requested by the president on Aug 31, but Mr Obama held only his second "principals meeting" on the issue last week. He will hold at least one more this week, but a decision on how far to follow Gen McChrystal's recommendation to send 40,000 more US troops will not be made for several weeks. A military expert said: "They still have working relationship but all in all it's not great for now." Some commentators regarded the general's London comments as verging on insubordination.
Brain-dead conservatives? No, it’s the elitist critics at room temperature
“Is Conservatism Dead?” screamed the headline on page one of the Washington Post’s Outlook section Sunday. Behind that headline is the photo of a nude white male body being medically resuscitated, seemingly without success, along with small black letters: “Nope. Maybe Just Brain Dead.” The article was by Steven F. Hayward, described as the F.K. Weyerhaeuser Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
Just a couple of days before, the New York Times’s David Brooks was flailing at conservative radio “talk jocks” Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck whose intellectual shortcomings, he charged, are the real reason behind the decline of the Republican Party. About the only place in America where there is not an unemployment problem is in the ranks of one-time conservative elitists getting checks from the liberal media —to attack conservatives. How else could Kathleen Parker be on a legitimate payroll?
What is the real sin of Limbaugh and Beck in the eyes of these liberal media darlings? Is it their ability to communicate with the American people? Is that why “tea baggers” so offend the learned Fellow Mr. Hayward?
What these elitists don’t seem to understand is that more and more people are turning to Glenn Beck because he is the best place to go for exposes on powerful forces like ACORN and Presidential Czar Van Jones. The facts speak for themselves. Day after day, Beck was reporting the facts about the corrupting political forces behind ACORN and the real Van Jones resume which should have made him unemployable to anyone outside Washington’s far left. There was nothing about ACORN or Jones in the Post or the Times whose ombudsman actually had to launch an investigation to explain how his news institution could miss the ACORN story.
But as soon as the truth behind ACORN and Jones was unearthed by Beck (with help from today’s version of Candid Camera) they overnight were as popular in Washington as a strain of swine flu. Before Beck’s reporting, ACORN had an automatic, Congressionally fueled pipeline into the federal budget —good for tens of millions. The Obama White House was pointing to Jones as a green-age prophet. After Beck’s reporting, Congress could not move fast enough to begin defunding ACORN—and Jones was run out of town in the middle of the night.
You can bet you didn’t get any reporting on these dubious characters from Brooks or the F.K. Weyerhaeuser couch at AEI. In fairness to Hayward, if you read him far enough you will find he does have some appreciation for Beck —when he is interviewing professors.
Now I am not so much of a populist as to be thrilled by Beck’s every show. Those focus groups with Mothers are too much for me, and as for Frank Luntz’s regular appearances, I can only figure he has pictures.
Sometimes when Rush has been out on golfing outings, his usually extraordinarily insightful shows don’t carry the informational punch as when he is in close touch with what is happening beyond the sunny paradise of south Florida. But in these times you can’t be in touch with what’s really happening without listening to Rush and watching Beck. That’s more than you can say about their elitist critics.
Olympic failure is Bush's fault!: "Some Chicago officials say anti-American resentment likely played a role in Chicago's Olympic bid dying in the first round Friday. President Obama could not undo in one year the resentment against America that President Bush and others built up for years, they said. "There must be" resentment against America, the Rev. Jesse Jackson said, near the stage where he had hoped to give a victory speech in Daley Center Plaza. "The way we [refused to sign] the Kyoto Treaty, we misled the world into Iraq. The world had a very bad taste in its mouth about us. But there was such a turnaround after last November. The world now feels better about America and about Americans. That's why I thought the president's going was the deal-maker."
This mission is not McChrystal clear: "Deep down, national-security conservatives know President Obama will not wage a decisive war against America’s enemies in Afghanistan. They also know that the young men and women we already have there are sitting ducks. Ralph Peters notes that our commanders, obsessed with avoiding civilian casualties, have imposed mind-boggling rules of engagement (ROE) on our forces, compelling them to retreat from contact with the enemy and denying them resort to overwhelming force — including the denial of artillery and air cover when they are under siege. As the Washington Examiner’s Byron York recently reported, even some Afghans are telling our commanders to ’stop being so fussy … and kill the enemy.’ Yet the national-security Right is urging that we up the ante and put another 40,000 American lives at risk in this hostile theater, under this commander in chief and the same military leadership that dreamed up the ROE. Why? To attempt, under the rubric of ‘counterinsurgency,’ the unlikeliest of social-engineering experiments: bringing big, modern, collectivist, secular government to a segmented, corrupt, tribal Islamic society — a society that has been at war with itself for three dozen years, which is to say, since the first futile effort to impose big, modern, collectivist, secular government ran smack into Afghanistan’s tribal Islamic ways.”
Now will Congress investigate ACORN?: "Evidence continues to accumulate from far and wide that the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now is lousy with corruption. The latest revelations come from Louisiana and Oklahoma. In the former, the local ACORN Housing Corp. office received contracts worth a combined $625,000 from the City of New Orleans for repairing existing low-income housing and developing new units in poor neighborhoods. The contracts were paid for with funds from federal Community Development Block Grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. An investigation by the Pelican Institute think tank of New Orleans, however, found that no work was actually performed to fulfill the contracts. Worse, Pelican couldn't talk to the ACORN official managing the contracts because he had left the organization months ago. One more thing: The office address listed on the contracts for ACORN turned out to be a vacant lot, although new plumbing connections indicated a trailer had recently been located on the site."
The recovery that isn’t: "For those market boosters who are prattling on about the possibility of a ‘jobless recovery,’ I offer an invitation to join me for a breakfast of ‘fat-free bacon,’ ‘eggless omelets,’ and ‘no-carb bread.’ As unappetizing as such a meal may sound, it would nevertheless offer more substance than the oxymoronic concept of an economic resurgence without job creation. Those who do cling to the absurd belief that, absent exponential productivity gains, the economy can expand while workers are being laid off will undergo a massive test of their convictions now that it’s clear the employment picture is bleak.”
Revolutionary Anti-Semitism: "Meet one of Honduras's most vocal advocates for the return of deposed president Manuel Zelaya to office. He's not your average radio jock. He started in Honduran politics as a radical activist and was one of the founders of the hard-left People's Revolutionary Union, which had links to Honduran terrorists in 1980s. A few years ago he was convicted and served time in prison for raping his own daughter. Today Mr. Romero Ellner is pure zelayista, hungry for power and not ashamed to say so. This explains why he has joined Venezuela's Hugo Chávez and Mr. Zelaya in targeting Jews. Mr. Chávez has allied himself with Iran to further his ability to rule unchecked in the hemisphere. He hosts Hezbollah terrorists and seeks Iranian help to become a nuclear power. He and his acolytes cement their ties to Iranian dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by echoing his anti-Semitic rants. Mr. Zelaya, recall, was arrested, deposed and deported on June 28 because he violated the Honduran Constitution. He snuck back into the country on Sept. 21 and found refuge at the Brazilian Embassy in the capital. Mr. Romero Ellner's calumny against Jews was a follow-up to Mr. Zelaya's claim that he was being "subjected to high-frequency radiation" from outside the embassy and that he thought "Israeli mercenaries" were behind it. The verbal attack on Jews from a zelayista is consistent with a pattern emerging in the region."
Iran's Big Victory in Geneva: "The most widely touted outcome of last week's Geneva talks with Iran was the "agreement in principle" to send approximately one nuclear-weapon's worth of Iran's low enriched uranium (LEU) to Russia for enrichment to 19.75% and fabrication into fuel rods for Tehran's research reactor. President Barack Obama says the deal represents progress, a significant confidence-building measure. In fact, the agreement constitutes another in the long string of Iranian negotiating victories over the West. Any momentum toward stricter sanctions has been dissipated, and Iran's fraudulent, repressive regime again hobnobs with the U.N. Security Council's permanent members."
Test of laser from C-130H melts hood of car: "New video released by the Air Force and Boeing Co. show what happens when a C-130H Hercules aims the Advanced Tactical Laser at the hood of car. In the video recorded Aug. 30 during a test flight at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., the laser melts the hood and sparks a fire. A press statement from Boeing said the laser ‘killed the vehicle.’ The weapon uses a chemical laser that fills the cargo hold of C-130 to produce a laser beam fired from a turret mounted in the belly of a C-130.”
Pakistan: Billions in US aid never reached Pak army: "The United States has long suspected that much of the billions of dollars it has sent Pakistan to battle militants has been diverted to the domestic economy and other causes, such as fighting India. Now the scope and longevity of the misuse is becoming clear: Between 2002 and 2008, while Al Qaeda regrouped, only $500 million of the $6.6 billion in American aid actually made it to the Pakistani military, two army generals tell The Associated Press. The account of the generals, who asked to remain anonymous because military rules forbid them from speaking publicly, was backed up by other retired and active generals, former bureaucrats and government ministers.”
Oppressive airport security again: "Those who do not deal with border crossings — either personally or through the movement of goods and/or services — do not understand what the establishment of Fortress America is doing to the reputation, economic well being and character of the U.S. By Fortress America, I mean the wall of aggressive bureaucratic obstruction and control over everyone and everything that enters the U.S. The most obvious examples are the U.S. airports which, from personal experience, I can attest are more totalitarian, dehumanizing and time-consuming by far than those in Communist China. One of the most common requests foreigners (that is, non-Americans) now make to travel agents is for flights that do not transfer or touchdown in the States; indeed, foreign airlines are advertising this ‘feature’ as a selling point and sometimes charge 100s more for the ’service.’”
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)
Posted by JR at 1:40 AM