A little early for April Fool’s jokes…

…but what the heck. Salon.com’s “Bradsheet” is worth a look.

Yes, that’s BRADsheet…as in Brad Pitt. They’ve turned their women’s-issues blog, Broadsheet, into a Brad-blog for one day only. And the results are a hoot:

Why Brad? Because he is simultaneously reifying and challenging hegemonic codes of race, class, gender and regional or national identity. As one of this generation’s most popular actors, Pitt has explored many of the cultural and marital tensions of our emerging postmodern era. Depicting masculine American whiteness in various states of crisis and various hair colors, his characters enact complex postmodern agencies; they are never wholly coherent, they are often self-destructive, and they rely on a certain amount of play — between stability and instability, between life and death, between autonomy and alter-dependency, between control and abandon, between Maddox and Zahara. His characters explore the complex and changing postmodern cultural landscape. Tracing Brad’s work and personal life through a variety of theoretical texts and celebrity-interest publications, we hope to explain his multidimensional postmodernity and raise essential questions, especially given recent events, about whether or not he is God’s gift to women.

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Posted in The Nausea. Comments Off »

Everything’s coming up roses for Helen Thomas!

Posted in Uppity Wimmin. Comments Off »

Fat Tony’s “Vaffanculo” moment has consequences for the wrong person

It’s always so lovely to see when church authorities have their priorities straight. Take, for example, the case of a freelance photographer working for a diocesan newspaper and SCOTUS judge Antonin “Fat Tony Vaffanculo” Scalia:

A freelance photographer has been fired by the Archdiocese of Boston’s newspaper for releasing a picture of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia making a controversial gesture in the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on Sunday.

Peter Smith, who had freelanced for The Pilot newspaper for a decade, lost the job yesterday after the Herald ran his photo on its front page. Smith said he has no regrets about releasing it.

"I did the right thing. I did the ethical thing," said Smith, 51, an assistant photojournalism professor at Boston University.

Smith snapped the photo of Scalia flicking his hand under his chin after a Herald reporter asked the conservative jurist his response to people who question his impartiality on matters of church and state.

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Posted in Do As I Say..., Law-Law Land, Pissing Jesus Off. Comments Off »

Festive Left Friday Blogging: March of the Penguins, Venezuelan style

Penguins are socialist!

Marching “socialist” penguins herald the opening of the Latin American Free Software Installation Fair, promoting the use of Linux over Microsoft. Events are being held all over Latin America; this one’s in Caracas.

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Quotable: Stirling Newberry on Andy Card’s burnout

“Andy Card kept more of his own sense of self than most people who can survive George W. Bush, who is roughly like handling a psychotic homocidal maniac, in that the slightest peeve or tick is enough to get someone ruined – they call disagreeing with Bush ‘Walking into the propeller’ in the White House. Bush believes that the way out is to get more dedicated Yes men in place.”

Stirling Newberry

Posted in Quotable Notables. Comments Off »

9-11 Truth movement comes to Caracas!

Looks like Hugo Chavez’s weekly talk show, Alo Presidente, could get mighty interesting, mighty soon:

Billionaire philanthropist Jimmy Walter and WTC survivor William Rodriguez this week embarked on a groundbreaking trip to Caracas Venezuela in which they met with with the President of the Assembly and will soon meet with Venezuelan President himself Hugo Chavez in anticipation of an official Venezuelan government investigation into 9/11.

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Posted in Huguito Chavecito, The War on Terra. Comments Off »

Hooters Air goes tits-up

Posted in The "Well, DUH!" Files. Comments Off »

Okay, this really fucking pisses me off…

Pardon the indelicate and unladylike language, but when you see what follows, I’m sure you’ll agree with me for using it:

Possibly even more earsplitting than the chatter about Katie Couric’s plans to leave her post at NBC’s “Today” show for the “CBS Evening News” is the talk about whether she can cut it. Again and again commentators have mouthed off on whether they think she has the “gravitas” to handle the position. An article in the New York Observer asks an interesting question: What is gravitas? It’s not Couric’s oft-cited attributes (or weaknesses, depending on whom you ask): her legs and perky giggle. (Never mind her interviewing skills or ability to hold her own on-air for three-hour stretches.)

How exactly has the term gained traction as the defining characteristic of a worthy evening news anchor? It seems that “dignity” or “trustworthiness” would be sufficient. If you ask Connie Chung, gravitas requires something more specific: balls. Well, the Observer says that “delicacy prevented” Chung from actually defining it as such, but the suggestion was made nonetheless (leave it to Broadsheet to throw delicacy to the wayside). She did say that “it is essentially a chauvinistic word.”

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Charles Taylor gets bundled off home

Will Pat Robertson’s favorite strong-armed dictator finally face justice in Liberia? Looks like it…

A plane carrying exiled former Liberian president and war crimes suspect Charles Taylor has arrived in his home country from Nigeria.

He was put on a UN helicopter expected to be heading to Sierra Leone, where he is wanted by the war crimes tribunal for his alleged role in the civil war.

He was extradited from Nigeria after he was caught trying to escape custody – ending his exile of nearly three years.

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Bolivia says bye to the IMF

Well, this has got to be a foregone conclusion: Bolivia looks about set to kick the IMF to the curb for good.

Here are some of the damning bits:

The track record of the Fund’s involvement in Bolivia over the last 20 years raises serious questions about its policy advice. As noted above, the country’s income per person remains below its level of 20 years ago. The government’s fiscal situation is still seriously weakened from the 1998 privatization of Bolivia’s social security system, which was one of the reforms that the country implemented under the advice and promotion of the IMF/World Bank. When switching from a "pay-as-you-go" system, as the United States currently has, to a system of private accounts, there are very large transition costs. Current retirees must be paid for a period of decades, without the revenue that had previously been provided from payroll taxes, while the private accounts accumulate enough savings to pay a retirement income. The government is currently spending 4.1 percent of GDP annually on pensions, more than the entire public sector deficit. Most of this spending is the result of Social Security privatization. Thus, this one structural reform is responsible for most of the government’s current budget deficit, as well as a significant amount of debt accumulation since 1998.

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