It seems like a good day to have another song parody from Randy Rainbow. This is a little different from most of the others, coming as it does from a Trump campaign rally in 2016. And while the production value is pretty straight forward, it adds wonderfully to the goofiness and humor. Besides, this seems like an appropriate song to post today, given that it's a parody of the George M. Cohan patriotic number, "Over There."
I don't know if there's a whole lot to add at this point as Trump has headed off to meet with Vladimir Putin in secret -- days after the Justice Department has indicted 12 Russian GRU military operatives who were directed by Putin to attack the United States during the 2016 elections, yet with absolutely no expression of outrage from the White House. And a day after Trump said that he believes America's greatest foe globally is not Russia (who has and is attacking us), not North Korea, not Iran, not Isis, but...the European Union.
Instead, to keep collective heads from exploding, I think that it's best to take a step back and let Matt Munro take over with some soothing music to calm the souls. Here he is singing the 1963 title song from the second James Bond movie (with words and music, quite whimsically as it happens, written by none other than Lionel Bart, author of Oliver!) -- From Russia with Love.
Follow the bouncing fascist --
From Russia with Love I fly to you.
Much wiser since my goodbye to you.
I've traveled the world to learn
I must return from Russia with Love.
Host Peter Sagal's guest contestant today on 'Not My Job' segment of the NPR quiz show, Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me! is comedian and actor Louie Anderson. Given that a good part of the interview deals with him putting together his comedy act, it's very funny. But then, so are his tales about his Emmy-winning role on the series Baskets.
A few weeks back, I wrote that whoever handles the Merriam-Webster Twitter account repeatedly shows why they deserve a raise. And a hug. And I have to give bonus points to management for allowing it. (If you missed that one from the other day, do check it out here.)
And they did it again. After Trump tweeted that the EU is America's foe, Merriam-Webster posted the following on their Twitter feed --
So, there was Trump over in Europe trashing the United States judicial and political process, calling the Special Counsel investigation a "witch hunt." And trashing the First Amendment by calling CNN "fake news" and trying to "punish" their reporter Jim Acosta by not calling on him, and trying to claim that MSNBC reporter Kristen Welker is a liar -- and all I could think was 2003 when the Dixie Chicks, at the time far-and-away the most wildly popular country music group in America, were touring in England and said (and this is all they said) that they were ashamed that President George Bush was from Texas, they were crushingly vilified for criticizing America on foreign soil and basically had their career ruined.
Radio airplay on country music stations stopped. And for a long while, so did their touring as a group. And group albums. Happily, they've continued to make music -- though generally not as a trio, but either solo or paired together, touring and recording. And then in 2013 (six years after their last tour together as a trio), the full Dixie Chicks reformed and toured Canada. Three years later, they had their first European tour in a decade, which they in turn extended into North America with 40 shows. And they even had a wonderful documentary made about them -- more on that in a moment.
So, I just decided I wanted to post some Dixie Chicks.
For starters, here's their song that was sort of a response to it all. "Not Ready to Make Nice."
As I said, there is a terrific documentary about the Dixie Chicks and this whole controversy, Shut Up & Sing, which is available here on Neflix. It's well-worth checking out -- thoughtful, fun, infuriating and ennobling, co-directed by Barbara Kopple (who made the Oscar-winning Harlan County, U.S.A) and Cecilia Peck (daughter of Gregory, and who also directed the recent well-regarded documentary, Brave Miss World).
And just because they deserve the attention -- most especially compared to what Trump just did (and beyond), here's some more, one of their fun tunes, "There's Your Trouble."
And as a bonus, here are the Dixie Chicks teaming up with Beyoncé at the 2016 CMA awards, on her song "Daddy Lessons." And yes, it shouldn't surprise you that the performance was met by country music fans with racist hate.
From the archives. This week's contest is Christina Stone of Houston, Texas. The hidden song is pretty clear, but as much as could tell I should know it, I just didn't guess it. And yes, I knew it, and should have gotten it. But I did at least get the composer style. And I'll add that listening this time around again -- not remembering it from before -- I still didn't get the hidden song...BUT I did get the composer style. So, that's a semi-huzzah.
Late last night, I found out something I totally missed earlier – and I suspect many people did, if not most,
It turns out that when Rod Rosenstein announced the indictments yesterday of 12 Russian military intelligence officials, he said that responsibility for prosecution of them was transferred from the Special Counsel's office to the national security division of the Justice Department. While it’s unlikely that such a trial would ever go forward, given the profound unlikelihood of their being extradited, what this means though is that since this division is now officially handling it, even if Trump was able to shut down the Special Counsel's investigation, this would still go forward.
But more than that, it would be difficult for the White House to gain much access to the material, given what the department is. Someone described this division as being “a top secret part of the Department of Justice. Mortals are not welcome: only spooks. They'll compartmentalize it, and even Trump would be blind. Even Trump's new head of the DOJ's Criminal Division -- Brian Benczkowski, with ties to a Russian bank -- who Republicans confirmed on Wednesday, wouldn’t have access to it.
As has often been said, while the Trump administration is playing checkers (or at times, it seems, tiddlywinks), Robert Mueller is playing chess.
Good news! They finally found the 400-pound guy who lives in his parents basement!! As it happens, he lives in London! Bad news -- he isn't the hacker. It turns out it was 12 Russian military agents.
There were expected to be 50,000 protesters in London today marching in the streets against Trump. According to estimates, it appears that they number was five times large, around 250,000 -- protesting not just a foreign leader, but the foreign leader of the nation with whom the United Kingdom has a long, Special Relationship.
In honor and appreciation of the city, I thought I'd post this song from the 1969 movie musical, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, that starred Peter O'Toole and Petula Clarke. It's actually a pretty good movie, though the score by Leslie Bricusse ranges between enjoyable and mediocre. This is one of my favorite numbers from it -- a bit over-the-top, though that's sort of the point of it in the context of the film, as the withdrawn, bookish schoolteacher Mr. Chipping is dragged against his wishes to see a major vaudeville show at the Palladium. Which leads to the big showstopping number with the show's popular star Katherine Bridges -- "London is London."
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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