Kilmeade and two colleagues were discussing a study that, based on research done in Finland and Sweden, showed people who stay married are less likely to suffer from Alzheimer's. Kilmeade questioned the results, though, saying, "We are -- we keep marrying other species and other ethnics and other ..."
At this point, his co-host tried to -- in that jokey morning show way -- tell Kilmeade he needed to shut up, and quick, for his own sake. But he didn't get the message, adding, "See, the problem is the Swedes have pure genes. Because they marry other Swedes .... Finns marry other Finns, so they have a pure society."
I don't know about you, but I think the Michael Jackson tribute was spot-on. The performances were heartfelt, the presentation appropriate, the eulogies funny and feisty, and the sentiments well expressed (though I think MLK's daughter Bernice dwelled a little too much on her own family rather than the Jacksons, but that's just my take...) Watch the entire thing here. Perhaps the most touching part of it was when his daughter Paris made that heartbreaking statement about her dad at the end. How wonderful that up until now, Michael's masks and veils, which we all thought were so odd, allowed them to have a childhood free of being hounded by fans and paparazzi, since few knew who they were. As the AP put it:
For all the hasty preparations, hand-wringing over security, breathless media competition to scoop details and soul-wrenching performances, the essence of Michael Jackson’s memorial service came down to 20 poignant, powerful seconds: the moment when 11-year-old Paris-Michael Jackson inched up to the microphone and, in a statement no one saw coming, referred to the late pop superstar as “Daddy.”
... And all at once, Jackson wasn’t the larger-than-life “King of Pop,” or Wacko Jacko the tabloid freak. He was a doting father who had left three adoring young children behind.
Perhaps the second most moving tribute came from Brooke Shields, who explained her lifelong friendship with Jackson, borne out of the common experience of childhood stardom. Having never really thought of Brooke Shields in that light, it was a stark reminder of what a strange, charmed life she, Jackson and other child stars live.
Meeanwhile, here are two pieces of proof that at the end of the day, what Michael Jackson was principally, was a very, very gifted performer. Cheers.
Here's Michael and the Jackson 5, performing "Ben," live (1975):
The mother of all televised dance performances: Michael performing "Billie Jean" at the Motown 25 special, back in 1983 (when I was in junior high school. Damn, I can still remember watching the special with my sister, my brother and my mom, and trying -- and failing -- to do those moves! The next day at school, everybody was trying to do them...)
And last but not least: links to my favorite "version" of Michael (the FINE version!) -- from his best album, in my opinion, "Off the Wall," here are "Rock With You" and my 12-year-old son's new favorite Youtube video: "Don't Stop till You Get Enough" (or as he calls it: the three Michael Jacksons video.) Enjoy!
Kendrick Meek sent out one of those "thank you for your support" emails this morning to his contributors, which contained the not surprising news that he has raised more than $3 million so far this year. With no real opposition, the question is whether a sense of urgency will grip Democrats not already enamored of the campaign's self-described "movement." In short, are softer potential supporters scared enough of Charlie Crist to keep digging deep during a recession?
Look for the July 12 campaign reports to be .... well ... interesting. Both Meek and Crist will report raising more than $3 mil -- Meek pulled in $1.8 million in the first quarter and $1.2 million or so in the second, while Charlie did the same in six weeks flat. The biggest difference: Crist will have to spend real money on a primary challenge, with all due respect to Bob Smith, from Marco Rubio and his band of mama's basement-dwelling bloggers, Club for Growth losers and tea party weirdos who think Barack Obama is like Adolf Hitler ... who may be funny to normal people, but who can at least help Marco raise some money ... while Kendrick can probably keep his spending down, and keep coasting along with his "petition tour," whose real aim is to pick up some name I.D. outside of Miami.
If you were going to quit your governorship in mid-stream, and you were a winger, who would you call? If you're Sarah Palin, add Rudy Giuliani (hopefully he didn't propose to her too much... or drool into the phone about how much she reminds him of his cousin...) Dick Cheney (who apparently discussed the ogre-like family's possible vacation trip to Alaska, during which 'm sure Sarah and her kin will keep their whale guns at the ready...) [sidebar: Jesus, Republicans are creepy!] ... and Florida's very own Charlie Crist to the list. Reports ABC News:
Palin's phone calls are shown on her official schedule for May 2009, obtained by Alaskan Andree McLeod through an open-records request with the state and shared with ABC News. McLeod has filed numerous open-records requests for Palin-related documents, as well as four ethics complaints against the governor and her aides.
"GOV: Telephone Call Into Governor Crist," reads a May 4 entry in Palin's schedule. A spokeswoman for Crist said she did not know who had initiated contact, or what the subject of conversation was to have been, but the two did not speak. "It was a courtesy call. They know each other, both being governors," said Crist spokeswoman Erin Isaac.
Crist may have had his own reasons to chat with Palin: to promote his candidacy for U.S. Senate, which Crist launched one week after Palin's phone call. Nine days later, Crist announced an endorsement by Sen. John McCain, Palin's 2008 GOP ticket-topper.
So will the Barricuda endorse the tan guy in Tallahassee over the RedState base's choice, Marco Rubio, or will she "go rogue" again and oppose McCain's choice and add fresh drama to the Florida GOP Senate primary? (Hell, at least their party HAS primary drama ...) The plot thickens...
Sarah Palin does her best Dick Nixon ... only without the gravitas or the jowls ... (and with a wading thingy on!) From CNN:
And now, Nixon's version:
Interesting that Nixon talked about money, just like Sarah. He was also a paranoid who spent more time lashing out at enemies -- real and perceived -- than governing, just like Sarah. Oh, and Nixon quit his job early, too, though Nixon had, to his credit, a long and distinguished career, serving in the military and in full terms in the House, Senate, as Vice President and President, before he crashed and burned in Watergate and jumped ship before he could be impeached. And therein lies the difference. Our friend Sarah is a better looking Nixon without the accomplishments or the brains.
Watch this completely flummoxed Fox News anchor try to steer commentator Liz Trotta back onto the winger reservation as she calles Sarah Palin "inarticulare," "undereducated" and the stuff of which William F. Buckley grave rolling is made:
Ha! The poor Fox guy was literally wringing his hands by the end!
How much more of this are we going to take before Black America just gets fed up and starts shutting the thug culture down, from hip-hop to gun lore to gangs?
Twelve people were shot shortly after midnight Monday when gunfire erupted at a birthday party in Overtown.
Several people are now in the hospital, some barely clinging to life, as Miami police search for three shooters responsible for the mayhem that occurred at 12:45 a.m. outside a home in the 500 block of Northwest Fifth Street.
Some at the block party were gunned down as they ran. Others were shot as they sipped their drinks and listened to rap music. Most were teenagers.
Four people were taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center in critical condition and six others were taken to Jackson, according to Miami Fire Rescue spokesman Ignatius Carroll. Two people remained in critical condition Monday morning, police reported.
Kedricka Hughes, a 16-year-old who attended the party, said there was a peaceful atmosphere all evening. More than 200 people were at the block party, put together for Lawrence Smith's 20th birthday, according to several friends. He had advertised it on MySpace and had even hired a disc jockey.
Miami police officers had stopped by the house early in the evening, responding to a ''loud music'' complaint, and everything seemed calm.
But as the night progressed, things got out of hand.
A 19-year-old woman, who withheld her name out of fear, said she saw a big boy in a white T-shirt and jeans light a TNT bomb. Another man, maybe in his 20s, was holding an assault rifle, she said.
Two sisters, who also wished to remain anonymous, said that more than a dozen teenage boys from two different gangs convened near the disc jockey just before 1 a.m. They were huddled around an AK-47 that was leaning against the home's wall, the barrel pointing up.
When one sister saw that, she slowly walked away from the home.
''Everything was fine,'' Hughes said. ``And then they just started shooting.''
And lest you think this was merely a collection of assorted gang bangers and lowlifes:
Almost 10 people were sprayed with bullets and one person was hit by a car, according to police.
One of those shot was Michelle Coleman, 23, a business administration student at Florida A&M University, according to her family. Larry Coleman, her uncle, walked out of Ryder Trauma Center on Monday morning with a somber look on his face.
''She's not going to make it,'' he told reporters.
Michelle was shot in the chest, kidney and liver, he said. Doctors told him the chances for her survival were slim.
''It's a tough day, I tell you,'' he said. ``A tough, tough day.''
He said his niece had returned from college in the spring to help her mother, who was struggling financially.
Barking dogs and bursts of gunfire alerted Rose Godbolt McFarlane to the shooting. Several kids ran to her porch, begging to come in.
''They rushed in, about eight kids, teenagers,'' she said. 'They said, `Thank you, thank you.' ''
The teens were crying, she said.
''It was like we were in Vietnam,'' said McFarlane, 58, who has lived in the neighborhood for 25 years.
McFarlane said she held the hands of one of the shooting victims, who was bleeding and lying by a truck. She tried to calm him down until rescue workers got there.
'I said, `If you're alert, squeeze my hand.' He was struggling. I said, 'God will give you a second chance.' ''
Investigators believe the shooters had a specific target, according to Miami police Chief John Timoney. But that person was not among those sprayed by bullets. He was interviewed by detectives Monday.
Have we had enough yet? By the way, despite this and other horror stories, including the fact that the U.S. is THE gun shop for the hemisphere's ragtag assortment gangsters, kidnap rings and drug cartels, don't look to the Big 60 Democratic caucus in the Senate to bring back the assault weapons ban. Democrats are creatures of fear -- in this case, fear of the gun lobby. They leave it to the rest of us to fear our own neighborhoods.
News One vents their outrage at what was, if it proceeded as described, a truly disgraceful performance -- rapper Lil Wayne and some other guy performing the clean version of a porno song with a bunch of little girls dancing around on stage at the BET Awards. ... and then at the bottom of the post: 42 pictures of scantily clad starlets at the BET Awards! ... by the way, does anyone over 16 even watch BET anymore? And isn't NewsOne long-awaited online arm of Radio One, a company which operates mostly hip-hop and urban radio stations that traffic in the same musical pornography that's damaging the same children they're so very outraged on behalf of...? Just sayin ...
For months now, I have consulted with friends and family, and with the Lieutenant Governor, about what is best for our wonderful state. I even made a few administrative changes over that course in time in preparation for yesterday. We have accomplished so much and there's much more to do, but my family and I determined after prayerful consideration that sacrificing my title helps Alaska most.
Sacrificing her title? Isn't that how a Miss America steps down?
And by the way, Sarah's lawyer's got a message for that gol-derned mainstream media: stop or I'll sue ya!
When the going gets tough, the tough get going, also
(...and by going, I mean "gone.")
Sarah Palin shocked the political (and grammatical) world yesterday, by pulling a Ross Perot (just as nasally, but much less succinctly,) and quitting her job as governor of Alaska. To add insult to the injury she's now done to her political career (and the voters who elected her,) she tried and failed to pull what I'm sure she thought was a clever maneuver: scurrying out of the 18 months remaining in her term on the Friday before July Fourth. I guess nobody explained to Sarah the concepts of "slow news day" and "sSunday shows...") Here's a small part of Miss Wasila's rambling exit speech (which made Mark Sanford look like the sound bite king):
Watch the whole, tortured 14 minutes here. Or read the transcript if you dare, and good luck not getting a headache from all the verb splitting. Now, of course, basketball analogies aside, there seem to be about three possible scenarios that might cause Sister Sarah to quit on her base so suddenly:
1. Dead presidents. Palin said during her ramble that she and Todd have built up about $500,000 in legal bills defending Sarah's multiple ethics charges. By quitting as governor, she frees herself to hit the lecture (shudder) and TV circuit and make some cash. Hell, she may even get her own talk radio show (can you just imagine listening to her talk for three hours straight? Scary!)
2. The hounds are advancing. Some big, major ethics or criminal probe was about to hit her, so Sarah's getting out of dodge to avoid it. Maybe she even made a deal with prosecutors or investigators to resign rather than face the music. Wouldn't be the first time a politician did that one!
3. Cooped up in Alaska. Sarah loves the fame she's accumulated, and you get the feeling Sarah thinks she's way too big a star to be stuck in the governor's mansion. Her public needs her, and now she's free to give them her all, without the chirping of annoying "ethics complaints" every time she leaves the state. She'd much rather travel the country, stump for Republican candidates and build up some favors in advance of a hilarious 2012 run (personally, I'm hoping for this one.)
4. She and Todd have decided to go ahead and take that secessionist party national. Okay, just kidding on that one. Maybe. Actually, one Huffpo contributor, journo Geoffrey Dunn reminds that she quit her last statewide office too, suggesting she might just be a serial quitter.
5. She's figured out that despite her devoted following, her 15 minutes are waning. So she's decided to cash in while the gettin's good. After all, why should that little shit Levi get all the reality show love. The move also gives Sarah time to rush her book out before Levi's, since Levi's book clearly won't be helpful...
Of course, it could also be all three. Or she might be insane.
Meanshile, the pundits react:
... but Politico leaves off the best reaction of all, by Ed Rollins:
And while Sarah's biggest devotee, Roger Simon, apparently couldn't bear to write a critical word about his Sarah, the rest of the staff at Politico had at it. Jonathan Martin reports Republicans divided ... Glenn Thrush has five questions ... Mike Allen provides some back-up for my scenarios 1 and 3 ...
More good stuff:
The Anchorage Daily News reports on the thrills and chills Palin's decision is sending through Alaska politics.
Tehrani source close to those detained says some have been beaten heavily and waterboarded with hot water #iranelection
In my younger years, I would simply expect this news to be greeted with universal outrage, knowing that the techniques being described had long been deemed to be well across the Bridge Too Far. Now that I've lived through the Bush administration, however, I am forced to contemplate the possibility that Iran is merely taking legitimate steps to obtain critical information in their nations' vital national security interests. One mustn't preclude the possibility that many of those being waterboarded are privy to information about "time bombs" that may, at this moment, be "ticking." ...
I ain't sayin' she's a gold digger... Debbie Rowe wants the kids
The lady with the Jay Leno Chin, who has alternately described herself as merely a "vessel" and a "thoroughbred," for the production of Michael Jackson's progeny; who said she merely "offered her womb to Michael as a gift" (and for the gift of money for herself,) and who has said that she has no relationship with the children she served as surrogate mother for, and that she doesn't want to see them, now says, totally coincidentally a day after Jackson's will was released, and perhaps after figuring out exactly how much money is on the table, says she wants "her" children. Debbie Rowe is apparently willing to separate Paris and Prince Jackson from their younger brother and the only family they know, and take them from their grandmother ... because...?
Rowe would apparently have a strong legal case, if not a moral one, even though she may be no more the biological mother of those children than Jackson was the biological father (though he actually was a parent to them, unlike, say ... her...) and we could even see the surrogate mother of the third child, "Blanket," come forward for her piece of the action ... I mean the love of her child ... too. Well, if it's headed to court, here are a few alleged Debbie Rowe statements the court might want to take into consideration:
"I offered him my womb - it was a gift. It was something I did to keep him happy."
"I got paid for it, and I've moved on. I know I will never see my children again."
"I was never a good mother, I never felt any attachment to them. It was a better feeling giving them to him than it was keeping them as my own.
So what changed, Debbie dear? Well ... maybe it's this, as reported by TMZ:
We've learned who's getting what in Michael Jackson's trust. Here's how it breaks down.
Katherine Jackson will get 40% of the assets. Michael's 3 kids will get another 40%. And the remaining 20% goes to several children's charities. We're told the charities have not been designated yet and are not specified in the trust.
What's 40% of $1 billion? I'll bet Debbie's done the math ... and would it be too much to create a charity called The Deborah Jean Rowe Foundation, like, yesteray???
Care to vote on whether she should get custody of the money ... I mean the kids? Here you go!
Flashback: Debbie before she gave birth to their second child, pretends to be really married to Michael, but admits their "friendship is more important." Now, of course, she's blabbing to anyone who'll talk to her that their marriage was a sham (not to mention outing Jackson as not the kids' bio father.)
Flashback 2: Debbie defends giving up custody of her kids back in 2003, adding: "my kids don't call me mom because I don't want them to." Watch:
Plus: will the nanny also enter the custody sweepstakes?
when you want something done right, get Teddy Kennedy to do it. It seems Kennedy has swooped in and delivered a health care planwith a public option that has the support of all 13 Democrats on the relevant Senate committee, called HELP. The cost of the bill is also way down: from $1 trillion for the previous try, to $611 billion, with 97 percent of Americans covered. Nice. It's called the Affordable Health Choices Act. Read it for yourself here. The committee members are as follows. As you'll see, the committee doesn't include any of the Democrat Refusniks. The Republican side: not so much (includes the cranky old man himself, John Sydney McCain.)
Democrats by Rank:
Edward Kennedy (MA) - Chairman Christopher Dodd (CT) Tom Harkin (IA) Barbara A. Mikulski (MD) Jeff Bingaman (NM) Patty Murray (WA) Jack Reed (RI) Bernard Sanders (I) (VT) Sherrod Brown (OH) Robert P. Casey, Jr. (PA) Kay Hagan (NC) Jeff Merkley (OR)
Republicans by Rank:
Michael B. Enzi (WY) - Ranking member Judd Gregg (NH) Lamar Alexander (TN) Richard Burr (NC) Johnny Isakson (GA) John McCain (AZ) Orrin G. Hatch (UT) Lisa Murkowski (AK) Tom Coburn, M.D. (OK) Pat Roberts (KS)
Crazed wingers hoping Osama bin Laden can save America
... by attacking us, preferably with a "major weapon." Seriously. You know, when you get called out by people at the Free Republic and Little Green Footballs, you know you're on the wrong track. Here's crazy Glenn Beck and his Fox News guest, former head of the CIA's Bin Laden unit (seriously...) and self-described "lifelong Republican," Michael Sheuer, who appears to have been driven mad by the revocation of Bush-era rendition, torture and domestic spying policies. (And note how Beck does his best to channel Osama's thoughts):
When your husband calls somebody other than you his "soul mate," and talks openly about having the fall back in love with you? It's time to admit it's over. (Just ask any of Rudy Giuliani's former wives, including the one who was dumped on television...) Meanwhile, the freshness date has clearly expired on Mark Sanford's political future. Or has it...?
Nobody really knows who Alex Sink and Kendrick Meek are ... but at least they're not Michael Arth and Corinne Brown. Sink fares best among the members of the vaunted Democratic "unity slate" (gagging ...) posting 24% favorable ratings, just 9% unfavorable, 28% neutral and 39% "Alex who???" Meek gets 11% favorable, 5% unfavorable, 22% neutral and a whopping 62% "you want me to sign what? And who are you again...???" Their would-be primary challengers (stop laughing!) don't do as well. Hell, I'm a political junkie and I'm with the 93% who have no earthly idea who Arth is, and while Corinne's dunnos are a percentage point lower than Kendrick's, her unfavorables outweigh the love by nearly three to one (15% vs. 4%.)
Out of the handful of Republicans who know who Marco Rubio is, and the 100 percent who know who Charlie Crist is, they like to two about equally. Crist still crushes Rubio in a head-to-head when you factor all Republicans in (51% to 23% with 26% undecided,) but in what is perhaps the only interesting news in the poll, when you factor in Republicans who know both candidates, Crist and Rubio are essentially tied, 33% to 31% with 36% undecided. That should provide a kernel of hope to Rubio: though 48% of those polled have no idea who he is and the percentage who have formed no opinion about him equals his favorers (23% and 24% respectively,) he seems to have some room for growth -- if his Club for Growth and RedState.com winger friends can raise enough dough to buy him some name recognition outside Miami and those god-awful tea parties...
Bill McCollum has managed to leave barely any impression on Floridians, even after 10 terms in Congress in two different districts, two runs for governor and his current stint as attorney general. McCollum, who might as well change his middle name to Whatever, is 6 points ahead of Alex Sink, but that's small consolation since, to reiterate point one, not a lot of peole know who she is. McCollum has the highest "neutral" ratings of any of the somewhat known candidates, at 45%. Sad, since he's been swimming in Florida's political bloodstream longer than anybody running. Still, at 13%, McCollum's unfavorables are remarkably low for a guy whose crowning achievement was being a member of the Clinton impeachment brigade. The key factor for Sink is women -- if she can improve her name ID, and do better than her current margin of error lead over Bland Bill with women voters, she should be in pretty good shape.
Florida is still not a blue state (I keep telling my Democratic friends this, but they don't believe me. I think it's the Obama Uphoria.) The large share of the state that leans independent, still seems to favor Republicans over Democrats. Indies in this poll favored McCollum over Sink (41% to 27%), Crist over Meek (47% to 23%.) Democrats will have to change that if they mean to win.
Floridians like Charlie Crist, but not as much as the media says they do. Crist gets a 49 percent favorable rating in this poll, a far cry from his 60 percent plus approval ratings in other polls. Still, with the GOP brand being currently flushed down the toilet by people like Sarah "It Came From Wasila" Palin, John "The Homewrecker" Ensign and Mark "TMI" Sanford, Crist's rating, and the fact that at least for now, he would grab an incredible 28% of Democrats if he faces Kendrick Meek, and 34% if for some reason Kendrick quites the race to become ambassador to Haiti and Corinne Brown gets the nomination by default, makes him practically a GOP Jonas Brother.
Nobody cares about the other cabinet races. The undecideds are in the 70s for the most part, and none of the candidates has a dime's worth of name I.D. Wow, sure wish we had an exciting main event primary going on on the Democratic side, so voters would tune in and maybe check out the other races ... oops, never mind!
Care to read the polls for yourself? Here you go, you political nerd, you!