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And don't forget that you have to renew your registration with the National Do Not Call Registry next year or so... http://www.donotcall.gov.
(I ripped this out of my Money Magazine and thought you might be interested as well.)
This is definitely an adult show - they acknowledge and show all sorts of sexual perversions. It's not really the focus of the show but, it's mighty entertaining.
David Duchoveny (who I had never seen before - I know, I know, bad geek), plays a burnt out writer. He is still totally enamored with his ex-girlfriend who left him for a dull architect. His daughter is adorable and in a rock band. He's constantly getting himself into all kinds of hijinks and messes and he's still the good guy. He has a habit of sleeping around with women who get him into strange circumstances - I don't want to ruin anything, but things get very messy very quickly. The show manages to throw me pretty much every week with something new and unexpected - especially for tv. But it's not tv - it's Showtime!
Let's assume that you're really focused on this because it's the right thing to do - because these are American citizens who need your help and not because they're wealthy white Republicans (unlike the poor black Democrats in New Orleans). (Let's just give them the benefit of the doubt here. Cause I'm feeling magnanimous this morning.)
So you call a news conference to make sure that everyone knows that FEMA is there and they're helping everyone and doing good things for Americans. Whoops! You only give reporters 15 minutes notice before the press conference and provide them with an 800 number to dial in. Oh, did I mention that the 800 number only allows the reporters to listen - they can't ask questions.
The reporters dial in to the FEMA press conference and heard "reporters" asking seriously softball questions to the head of FEMA. You know, like "Do you think that FEMA is doing a good job?" After a little research, it turns out that FEMA had their OWN EMPLOYEES pose as reporters and ask questions.
Now, I was magnaminous above but seriously...I don't think that FEMA was innocent here. THEY DIDN'T WANT ANY TOUGH QUESTIONS! That's just the way this administration works. Either everything is a secret that the public can't be told about or lie so that you don't have to admit to your sins.
The kicker is that when Michael Chertoff, the head of Homeland Security (who oversees FEMA) had a press conference to denounce what FEMA did...FEMA only invited the AP and no other reporters.
My mom has been here taking care of me and it's been really nice. I've just basically sat back and let her make the decisions. We've been going for walks every day and enjoying the (chilly) fall weather.
Today's the first day I'm feeling like myself. I'll be posting more later about my outrage at FEMA in California (lying weasels).
Can't you smell it in the air? Can't you feel the anticipation growing?
That's right! It's Oscar movie release season!!!! My happiest entertainment time of the year (and, I'm kinda a fan of fall and fall clothing, btw).
I've started seeing the "serious" films that are being released for Oscar consideration. I do think that La Vie En Rose, which I saw months ago will receive at least a nomination for the lead actress, who did an amazing job in that flick.
George Clooney - one of my major crushes. I think the guy has really grown into an attractive man that could keep my interest...yet, for the most part, his "non-commerical" (read: not Oceans xx) films do not stay with me. I saw Michael Clayton recently and I can't remember what it was about. I had the same problem with Syriana last year. I'm pretty sure that when I was sitting in the theatre oogling George that I was also interested in the story. But for the life of me, I cannot remember the storyline of either of those flicks. Sad. Poor George.
Last night I saw "Into the Wild". I have to admit that I think that Sean Penn is very very talented. Yes, he's a little wacky sometimes, but I think that he's just a really passionate guy and when he cares, he gives it his all. When it comes to his creative work, I think the guy is a bit of a genius. This flick didn't disappoint. Visually, it's stunning - I mean, it's Alaska. That's a gorgeous place. The storyline was good - middle class smart kid throws it all away (including burning his dough) and hikes and hitches his way around the country till he ends up in Alaska. He's all angry young man-like - you know, the self righteous guys who tell you how messed up politics and corporations and Americans are and they're going to shut themselves off from it all. I do agree that politics and corporations and (many) Americans are really screwed up - but I don't think that walking away is the answer. Especially, walking away from everyone on the planet to be alone. I mean, I get lonely when I'm in a strange city by myself. Forget being miles away from everyone else on the planet by yourself. I'm good company, but after a while, my jokes get a little old.
I think we'll see nominations for cinematography, director, actor and best picture for this one. (Although, best picture may not happen if some really great pix are released between now and New Years). The guy who played the lead (Emile Hirsh) is totally getting a nomination cause he lost 6 or 700 pounds during the shoot. (Alright, it wasn't that much, but the kid was skin and bones at the end of the movie and the Academy loves that nearly as much as an actress making herself ugly or an actor playing a disabled person.)
Regardless, you should definitely check that one out. Michael Clayton is probably a fine movie that you should either Netflix or catch on a plane.
My current movie to do list:
Gone Baby Gone
Across the Universe
In the Shadow of the Moon
Lars and the Real Girl
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
I just found out Aldus Dumbledore is a homo. Now I'll have to re-read the books and look for clues.
In front of a full house of hardcore Potter fans at Carnegie Hall in New York, Rowling, sitting on the stage on a red velvet and carved wood throne, read from her seventh and final book, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," then took questions. One fan asked whether Albus Dumbledore, the head of the famed Hogwarts School of Wizardry and Witchcraft, had ever loved anyone. Rowling smiled. "Dumbledore is gay, actually," replied Rowling as the audience erupted in surprise. She added that, in her mind, Dumbledore had an unrequited love affair with Gellert Grindelwald, Voldemort's predecessor who appears in the seventh book. After several minutes of prolonged shouting and clapping from astonished fans, Rowling added. "I would have told you earlier if I knew it would make you so happy."
Please vote for this one about AT&T, the 4th Amendment, and warrantless wire taps:
This show totally convinced me that Bush is Cheney's lackey. They talked about how in other administrations, policy is decided and big decisions are made in the President's office, but in this administration, policy and major decisions are made in the VP's office. He's a strong man and I think that Bush is a weak one who is enamored with what Cheney is telling him.
They talked about when Congress discovered that Bush had been signing bills into law - and putting an addendum on (and not mentioning it) that basically said "okay, this is a law, but it doesn't apply to me". They don't believe in laws restricting the rights of the President.
This administration believes that Congress is an impediment to the President. They don't believe that the President is accountable to anyone.
The only thing that sorta amused me is when I thought about how crazy Cheney would be if Hillary won the election next year. Then, she would have all this power he's been fighting to grant this President. And you know that he doesn't trust her! Honestly, I don't trust her or any other individual to have this power and I don't believe that this is what the founders intended when they wrote that little ditty we often refer to as "The Constitution".
These are issues that are going to be with us long after Bush et al are gone. These people have grabbed power from Congress and our future Presidents are not going to be so quick to give it back.
Here's a clip:
Here's how the Frontline website describes the show:
For three decades, Vice President Dick Cheney has waged a secretive, and often bitter battle, to expand the power of the presidency. Now, in a direct confrontation with Congress as the administration asserts executive privilege to head off investigations into domestic wiretapping and the firing of U.S. attorneys, FRONTLINE meticulously traces the behind-closed-doors battle within the administration over the power of the presidency and the rule of law.
The show will also be available for viewing online. I'm sure I'll have an outraged posting or two after I watch it.
Click on the picture below...
A small private intelligence company that monitors Islamic terrorist groups obtained a new Osama bin Laden video ahead of its official release last month, and around 10 a.m. on Sept. 7, it notified the Bush administration of its secret acquisition. It gave two senior officials access on the condition that the officials not reveal they had it until the al-Qaeda release.
Within 20 minutes, a range of intelligence agencies had begun downloading it from the company's Web site. By midafternoon that day, the video and a transcript of its audio track had been leaked from within the Bush administration to cable television news and broadcast worldwide.
So, what was the result of our fine leader's choices? Al Qaeda realized they had a spy in their midst since they hadn't released the video publicly yet and they shut down their network.
The founder of the company, the SITE Intelligence Group, says this premature disclosure tipped al-Qaeda to a security breach and destroyed a years-long surveillance operation that the company has used to intercept and pass along secret messages, videos and advance warnings of suicide bombings from the terrorist group's communications network.
"Techniques that took years to develop are now ineffective and worthless," said Rita Katz, the firm's 44-year-old founder, who has garnered wide attention by publicizing statements and videos from extremist chat rooms and Web sites, while attracting controversy over the secrecy of SITE's methodology. Her firm provides intelligence about terrorist groups to a wide range of paying clients, including private firms and military and intelligence agencies from the United States and several other countries.
Yeah, but at least Fox News was on top of it...that's what really matters.
I took the train here from Rome on Sunday. It was easy enough - about 1 1/2 hours. I just listened to Kevin Smith podcasts and watched Italy go by. My hotel is not very far from the train station, but I am oh so glad that I took a taxi to get there. It's on a very small street off of a really small street.
Okay, I know that I'm spoiled 'n stuff, but have you ever stayed in a single room in Europe? You know, the kind where you have to hold in your stomach to walk in? And the bed is so small, you have to sleep on your side? (Perhaps I exaggerate a little - but not much.) I've had this experience before, so when I made my reservations, I asked the travel agent to request a king sized bed because I get all sorts of uncomfortable in such a small room.
Yeah, they ignored that. And of course, Pia came along so that obviously wouldn't work cause neither of us are the sleep on the floor kinda gals. In the first hotel, they kinda just upgraded us to a room that barely fit the two little beds, but there were two beds. I checked in here on my own and they gave me one of those singles. I went downstairs with my printout that showed the King sized bed info and they said that was just a request and that I had a reservation for a single room! Obviously, this wasn't going to work. Of course they were sold out, but they said that they would give me a complimentary upgrade on Tuesday. I talked to P and she decided to stay in Venice until today (Tuesday) so they're supposed to be moving my stuff to a larger room while I'm out today, which is good. I've been making peace with my little room.
Anyways, Florence is very different from Rome. The people are much more fashionable - very few locals in sneakers. And they have got the whole scarf thing down. I brought a pashmina with me that I got in India when I was there and I know a couple of ways to tie it, but I've been spying on the Florence women to see how they make it look so good and so casual...
Florence is definitely about the fashion and shopping. There are a zillion itsy bitsy shops - mostly selling clothing, shoes, leather goods. Today I walked across the river and over here it's all tiny shops selling antiques. When I say tiny, I mean 8x10 kinda places. I've taken a couple of pictures I'm super happy with, and a bunch I'm generally happy with. I'll let you know when my Florence pix are up, but definitely check out Rome and the Vatican in the meantime at http://amygeek.smugmug.com.
The Catholic thing is very big here in Italy. Some sort of theme or something. I rented headsets at all the places I went to yesterday, and that helped a lot because other than Jesus, I have no idea who all those guys are.