Catching up on lost time, here is another hugely-fun video from the always-wonderful folks at Bad Lip Reading. This one focuses on the National Football League in time for the start of the new season, and it should be just as fun for people who don't care for sports as those who do.
The other day, the New York Times published a story on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, giving more details about a previously-mentioned woman, Deborah Ramirez, who claimed a sexual abuse encounter with him at Yale, and also reported on another classmate Max Steir who said he was present at another similar incident. The article further uncovered how even-more limited the FBI investigation was the earlier believed
Many Democratic candidates for president and others in the Senate have called for Justice Kavanaugh to be impeached, while some have said this shows there should be additional investigation.. However, all that are separate from two related issues that struck me.
The first is the dilemma this causes for Republicans. No doubt all Republican senators are going to dismiss such talk of impeachment. Or even resignation, should it come up. And that's understandable. However -- if Democrats take control of the Senate in the 2020 elections, and hold the House and win the presidency (all of which is very reasonably possible, though hardly certain), then as more evidence comes to the surface, Kavanaugh could conceivably be impeached (or resign) when a Democratic president would be in position to nominate his replacement. On the other hand, if Mr. Kavanaugh is impeached now (or resigns), Trump would still be able to nominate his successor.
So, what to do? Oh, my, what to do?
To be clear, I'm not suggesting what will happen, or won't. I'm just noting the dilemma that has been caused for the Republican Party.
(There's a bit of "whimsy" here, since the new McConnell Rule is to not confirm a Supreme Court nominee during the last year of a presidency, as is what happened with Merrick Garland with President Obama. Though, a few months back, Mitch McConnell laughingly said he'd have no problem confirming a Republican nominee under the same conditions. O the fun of galling anti-Democratic hypocrisy...)
The other thing that struck me is a comment Trump made about all of this, offering the cracker jack advice in a tweet that Brett Kavanaugh should sue for libel. (Since libel is a media matter, as opposed to slander, that can only mean he's suggesting a lawsuit against the New York Times.)
As you know, Trump is always fond of saying he is his own adviser. So, if this is the kind of "advice" he gives himself to make, no wonder things in his administration are so profoundly screwed up.
Sue the New York Times for libel??? (And yes, I know that his original tweet said, "liable," which has caused great ridicule in social media, but if a man can tweet out "kofeve," he can mistype "libel" And even if it wasn't a typo and he thought the word was actually "liable," there are far, far more damaging actions he's taken against society for me to get too bothered by how he spelled a word, funny though it may be.)
Putting the Second Amendment issue aside, the hurdle of proving malicious intent is profoundly high. And it's raised all the higher when all the New York Times did was add details to a story that already existed and investigated by the FBI -- and reported a charge made by a named individual. Even if this latter charge was wrong, then Kavanaugh's complaint would be against the person who made it, not the New York Times for reporting what they honestly and journalistically believed to be his words. And of course, if both stories are true, then that's not only the greatest defense against "libel" -- but suing over something that could be actually proven as true in court is a really, really lamebrain suggestion.
And that's what leads to the worst thing about the Trump "advice." The moment a lawsuit for libel was entered, the defense would be able to dive into the discovery phase of the trial. They could gather records, do more investigating for other information and, worst of all, subpoena witnesses to testify who were never allowed to be called during Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination hearing -- most notably Ms. Ramirez and (even worse) Kavanaugh's high school friend Mark Judge who wrote a memoir 22 years ago that told damning stories about a similarly-named, thinly-disguised person. For that matter, all of Kavanaugh's high school friends could be subpoenaed. And by "could be" I mean "would.be."
Ultimately, the details of all this are meaningless in terms of what might happen if Brett Kavanaugh actually sued for "libel." He won't. Because it was an incredibly idiotic piece of advice by Trump. And in the end, that's the point. This is what Trump thinks is Good Advice. Smart Advice. Wise Advice. And it's as stupid as you could get. And if any one thing (out of all the many hundreds available) defines the total lunk-headedness of the Trump administration, Trump advising Brett Kavanaugh to sue the New York Times for libel is right there at the top.
And that's today's Very Stable Genius Report.
The guest contestant on the 'Not My Job' segment of the NPR game show Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me! is former member of The Supremes, Mary Wilson. Her interview with guest host Tom Papa is charming and affectionate.
The guest on this week's Al Franken podcast is Austan Goolsbee, former Obama chief economist. As Al notes about the episode, Goolsbee "explains that 'in a crisis, the president’s credibility is all he has.' So, someday soon, The New York Times headline may read, 'World in Crisis, Turns Its Eyes to Donald Trump.' And other scary stuff."
From the archives. The contestant this week is Anne Nelson from Portland, Maine. Not a clue. Extremely nice, though. And very guessable. In fact, the composer style is one of my favorites, but I also seem not to get him. And while I could hear the hidden song, and it sounded SO familiar -- and it turned out to be -- I just couldn't get it, since most of it is so well hidden. In fact, even pianist Bruce Adolph acknowledged that if anyone could guess correctly they should get a special prize since he was so pleased with how well it was hidden. I didn't get the prize.
Let's head back to the garden where the ferns are for another episode of Zach Galifinakis's weird and very funny show, Between Two Ferns. His guest this week is Bradley Cooper, with whom he starred in the Hangover movies.
For the past while, I've posted a lot of videos of The Graham Norton Show from BBC America, a show which I like a lot. Norton was a guest himself on Stephen Colbert's show last week, though it was heavily edited. However, CBS posted the extended full interview online, and it's a lot of fun, even if you saw the original broadcast, mostly adding a discussion about what happens behind-the-scenes at a talk show.
I heard this story a couple of times this morning on MSNBC. I swear it's not April Fools Day in Hell.
The Trump State Department is trying to deport a baby (to repeat, in case that wasn't clear: a BABY) born to a surrogate in Canada for a legally-married, same-sex couple in the U.S, using the explanation that the baby was born "out of wedlock"!! Yes, the married couple is fighting this and said they're likely to win on precedence, there already being a similar ruling in another case, but -- seriously what kind of a national government even thinks of doing this??! The only thing I can think of is that the Trump administration thinks it isn't clear enough that they're insane, hate-filled, anti-gay, xenophobic, and fascist.
Are they concerned that the BABY is a terrorist? Or an "animal"?
One of the parents was asked what logic the government was using for their action. And his answer was the only proper one. "I don't know," that there doesn't seem to be any logic.
Again, this is the national government deciding on whether a legally adopted BABY can stay in the country. For every conservative who says they believe in the government staying out of their lives, they either would seemingly have to be outraged by this -- or have their life-sucking hypocrite card renewed to Lifetime Membership status.
The only good thing from this is knowing that the Trump administration doesn't single out Mexico alone as being not worthy of entering the United States, but also now includes Canada.
You can read more on the story here.
Earlier this week, Apple had their latest product launch. I thought you might like to see an inside look at what went on and what the company has in store. A special thanks to the good folks at Bad Lip Reading who got a jump on the competition and released this (okay, a year ago.).
This is slightly different from all their others, which rely solely on the bad lip reading and nothing added. This , however, (being a product launch) has had to make up graphics of the new "products" that their bad lip reading efforts have come up with it.
Yesterday, I wrote a bit about the movie musical The Happiest Millionaire, the last live-action movie that Walt Disney worked on. (Okay, I wrote more than "a bit.") As you might imagine, I have a little to add. There are a couple other songs from the charming score by the Sherman Brothers that I want to post.
As I noted, it's not a distinguished score, but very tuneful and a lot of fun. I want to post these two particular songs not because they're favorites -- they're aren't, though I like them both -- but because they each have something of interest in them.
The first is called "When a Man Has a Daughter" -- the video lists it as "What's Wrong with That?", but it's not. It's the same tune as a song in the score called "What's Wrong with That?" (which is sung a couple of times earlier) and is somewhat of a reprise of those, but the focus of the song here is entirely different. All though are sung by Fred MacMurray, which is the reason for posting it. I figured that most people might be intrigued to hear him sing. And in fact he does a very respectable job. He doesn't have a trained, strong voice but he can carry a tune nicely. In fact, in one of the versions of "What's Wrong with That?" -- a lively, petulant "character" number where he keeps defending his eccentric nature -- he ends with a seriously impressive high note. (I tried to find that, but couldn't, but I'll keep looking.) This sort-of-reprise is a much more tender number, sung to his daughter Cordelia, played by Lesley Ann Warren, who falls asleep in his arms.
The other song is "Watch Your Footwork," sung by the brothers of the aforementioned Cordelia, who warn one of her suitors about getting too forward when romancing her because of her skill as a boxer. (Her father, among his many off-beat interests, trains young men in boxing, and she's picked it up.) Playing the brothers are Paul Peterson and Eddie Hodges, and that's the reason for posting this. Some folks here may know of Paul Peterson, who's best-known for being on The Donna Reed Show, and had a bit of a singing career. But he's not why I've included this here. It's because of the other fellow in the scene, Eddie Hodges -- his name may be immediately familiar to a few people who wander these pages, but his most famous role absolutely will be to most everyone, since it's one of the most iconic supporting roles in Broadway history. As a very young boy, he was in the original Broadway cast of The Music Man and played the red-haired Winthrop Paroo, the shy lisping kid who breaks out to sing "The Wells Fargo Wagon" and "Gary, Indiana." I just think it's a treat to see him grown up and singing in a Walt Disney movie musical. And it's a fun number, as well.
Robert J. Elisberg is a two-time recipient of the Lucille Ball Award for comedy screenwriting. He's written for film, TV, the stage, and two best-selling novels, is a regular columnist for the Writers Guild of America and was for the Huffington Post. Among his other writing, he has a long-time column on technology (which he sometimes understands), and co-wrote a book on world travel. As a lyricist, he is a member of ASCAP, and has contributed to numerous publications.
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