Monday, November 30, 2009
I must admit that film fans love making lists, and nowhere is that more apparent than "Film Comment" magazine, which features several lists in his front pages these days.
Here is a random list I made of the five most depressing films I've ever seen. Since I wrote it up in a mere five minutes, there are assuredly some downers I have overlooked....."Sounder" comes to mind.
All of these films are either foreign films or documentaries and "Night and Fog," a 1955 French documentary on The Holocaust is actually both!
I made the mistake of watching "The Bridge," a documentary about people who killed themselves by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco the same week I went to The Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC. (I don't recommend doing that). One of the people who committed suicide actually flew in from Houston to jump off the bridge.
"Pixote" is a 1981 Brazilian film about a boy whose mother is a prostitute (it will make the Apu triology seem uplifting!). It was so depressing that I literally could not get out of bed the day after I watched it.
The film's young star Fernando Ramos da Silva (1967-1987) would die from gun violence when police shot him to death at the age of 19. "Pixote" was his only film. the film's director Hector Babenco went on to make "Kiss of the Spiderwoman" and other critically-praised films.
"Streetwise" is a documentary about homeless people in Seattle. The plight of the children in the film make it especially difficult to watch.
And, "At/The Horse," a film which came out some 20 years ago from acclaimed director Ali Ozgenturk, is about a destitute Turkish villager who moves from the country to Istanbul with his son.
Amazingly enough, no German or Russian films made this list!:
1. "The Bridge" (doc)
2. "Streetwise" (doc)
4. "Night and Fog"
5. "At/The Horse."
PS_ After publishing this post, I decided to look to see if there was a group involved with preventing suicides from the Golden Gate Bridge. And, there is indeed a Golden Gate Suicide Barrier Coalition. Their web site is www.goldengatecitizens.com/suicide
I must confess to profound irony as I just gave my students at a community college in Mount Airy, NC, (not where I really work!) a spelling test and I could not spell Jimmy Buffett's name right (it has two 'f's and two 't's).
Nevertheless, the mayor of Margaritaville and long-time Key West, Fla., resident will be releasing a new cd called "Hotel Buffett" on Dec. 8. I am sure Parrottheads are all excited abou this one!
According to his web site, the track titles will include "Summerzcool," "A Lot To Drink About" and "Surfing In a Hurricane." (hmmm...that sounds like a VERY bad idea).
Here is today's quote from Buffett, whose name I am finally spelling correctly!:
"Let me remind you: We are party people, and things will get better."
Sunday, November 29, 2009
For the first time since listening to NPR's sports show "Only a Game" some ten years ago, I am regularly watching NBA basketball and sports in general.
My favorite team is the Orlando Magic because they have a player named J.J. Reddick, a former Duke star from my hometown of Roanoke, Va., and a Turkish player named Hedo Turkoglu, who was named the NBA's sixth man of the year a few seasons ago.
There was a piece in the liberal journal "The Nation" which appeared while the Magic were playing the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA finals last year which did cause me reason for concern. The article mentioned that the Magic were run by an arch conservative named Rich DeVos, the founder of Amway (coincidentally I found out we share a common birthday, though since he was born on March 4, 1926, DeVos is quite older than me), but nonetheless the Magic remain my favorite team. The Orlando Magic also feature stars Dwight Howard (pictured) and Vince Carter.
In NBA action today (Sunday), Orlando beat the New York Knicks 114-102. The Minnesota Timberwolves upset the Denver Nuggets 106-100. The Sacramento Kings defeated the New Orleans Hornets 112-96. And, the Boston Celtics won out over the Miami Heat 92-85.
Here is a complete list of my ten favorite NBA teams
1. Orlando Magic
2. Denver Nuggets
3. Washington Wizards
4. Utah Jazz
5. Charlotte Bobcats
6. Chicago Bulls (mascot is pictured)
7. Dallas Mavericks
8. New York Knicks
9. Boston Celtics
10. Sacramento Kings
PS_ I found out that Hedo Turkoglu is apparently now with The Toronto Raptors; I did not hear about the trade!
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Today's entry is devoted to Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) who gave then presidential candidate Barack Obama a coveted endorsement. But, rather than do our usual blog entry giving background on the senator, I thought I would just go with some of her recent tweets on Twitter, which include mentions of the White House dinner which made headlines this week when a DC couple managed to somehow sneak past the Secret Service without an invitation!
The first of Sen. McCaskill's tweets is in reference to today's college football game between rivals Missouri and Kansas:
"Woooooohoo! What a game nothing better than beating the Jayhawks."
"Sat by David Axelrod last night, one of the truly good guys. Talked about family....and health care."
"Prime Minister Singh seemed genuinely moved by the warm welcome. Our alliance with India is very important I think tonight strengthened it."
Friday, November 27, 2009
Today's 'Dead or Alive' segment focuses on Joe Strummer, the lead singer of the punk rock band The Clash which lasted for a surprisingly short time (1977-86), yet their impact is undeniable. "Rolling Stone" proclaimed that The Clash was the 30th greatest rock artist of all time.
Strummer was born in Ankara, Turkey- of all places on Aug. 21, 1952. He was the son of a British diplomat.
I first became familiar with the band when I was 13 in 1983 when their music video "Rock the Casbah" was in high rotation on MTV.
The band's great hits include "Rudie Can't Fail," "Lost in the Supermarket," "Train in Vain (Stand By Me), "Should I Stay or I Should I Go," and their political anthem "London Calling," the title track of their 1979 smash album.
"Train in Vain (Stand By Me)" was recently featured in the soundtrack of the summer's indie hit film "500 Days of Summer."
The Clash was known for being 'a bit left of center,' and the band is credited with making punk music more political. Though the band sold lots of records, they never quite managed to become a political band which merged well with the mainstream that U2 has turned into though they were played on the radio more often than the 1990s left-wing American band Rage Against the Machine.
Strummer was joined by the likes of Mick Jones, Keith Levene and Terry Chices in creating the band's unique sound which featured a range of musical influences, including reggae!
The album cover to "London Calling" is now going to be on a British postage stamp.
Strummer was also a good actor, though he has appeared in only a few films, including "The King of Comedy," "Straight to Hell" and "Mystery Train," which is my favorite Jim Jarmusch film.
The band has many admirers, including my friend Todd Ristau who oversees a stage company in Roanoke, Va., called Studio Roanoke.
And, The Clash has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.
Though it does not include The Clash (I believe), the documentary "Kill Your Idols" about the New York punk scene in the 1980s is airing on The Sundance Channel this month.
I will conclude this entry with a great quote from Strummer who perhaps saw where the future of rock and roll was headed long before he left the stage:
"I think we're going to have to forget radio and just go by word of mouth."
Thursday, November 26, 2009
I am blogging today from a computer in Rock Hill, SC, which might be the new home of the world's largest Wal-Mart............I'd rather watch the last few minutes of the Detroit Lions-Green Bay Packers football game!
Incidentally, Weird Al Yankovic has a new two-disc greatest hits cd out, and he recently performed on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon."
And, my friend Chris Knight who has a blog called "The Knight Shift" is claiming that he will deep-fry a kitten every time he hears a Christmas song before Thanksgiving...........does "Father Christmas" by The Kinks count?
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
I joined Twitter a few months ago, and ever since I have followed political figures ranging from Al Gore to John McCain as well as some celebrities who have less sway on Capitol Hill. Among those is reality tv star/rich girl Kim Kardashian who shared what she was doing for the holidays with those of us who are following her (should I publicly admit this?!):
"How is everyone spending their Thanksgiving tomorrow? I am cooking! Any good recipes?"
I suppose since tomorrow is Thanksgiving we should be quoting Arlo Guthrie since he has that famous Turkey Day ballad "Alice's Restaurant," be we have opted to quip Bob Dylan as we are posting several special entries to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the Rock and Roll Hame of Fame's opening in Cleveland.
There is also a lovely $750 painting of Dylan at the Back Street Buzz Coffee House in Reidsville, NC, which would make a perfect gift for your aunt in Ocala, Fla. (I actually have an aunt in another part of Florida, but alas I will not be seeing her for Thanksgiving and Ocala is easier to spell).
Ok...enough of our nonsense, here is the quote. It's a good one!:
"A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom."
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
If you want to board a Greyhound bus from Burlington, NC, or which ever town you might reside to get to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, you may want to book your tickets now.
..............or you can watch it on NBC Thursday morning
Monday, November 23, 2009
For the first since losing to the University of North Carolina in the opening round of the NCAA men's basketball tournament in Greensboro, NC, this spring, my alma mater Radford University, located in Radford, Va., came to Durham, NC, to play the Duke Blue Devils.
The result was alas more or less the same as Duke beat RU 104-67. Though more Duke alumni were probably focused on the Blue Devils' football game with the University of Miami (Fl) on the same afternoon, which Duke lost.
But, I expect good things from the Radford University men's basketball team, which I wrote about in the Greensboro alt weekly "Yes Weekly!" earlier this year (when RU was playing UNC).
The RU Highlanders, a team which is the defending Big South Conference champion, plays their conference opener at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC, on Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m.
The team's next home game will be against Roanoke College from Salem, Va., on Dec.
13. The Highlanders will be in the Triad on Jan. 19. 2010, to face High Point University.
Meanwhile, the next home game for the Blue Devils men's basketball team will be against St. John's on Sat., Dec. 5, and their ACC home opener will be against Clemson on Sat., Jan 3., 2010. I'm sure Coach K will have the team ready for both games.
I have to think if the Highlanders were to have played the Blue Devils at the Dedmon Center, RU's home gym, that the outcome would have probably different....we may have lost by just 36 points!
PS_ One team that Radford University fared better than was the English soccer team Wigan Athletic- they lost to Tottenham by a score of 9-1 yesterday! I also want to applaud my favorite Turkish soccer team Bursaspor for winning 1-0 over Gaziantep. In the MLS (the USA's main soccer league), Real Salt Lake edged out the Los Anglese Galaxy to win the MLS Cup.
I am sick and tired of being called a 'socialist' by people on the far-right and being called a closet conservative by folks on the far-left, so I am quoting both Jane Fonda and Barry Goldwater today on my respective blogs to show irony!
First, a quip from Jane, who I am NOT accusing of being a socialist but she is to the left of me:
"A good many dramatic situations begin with screaming."
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I don't know if Gavin Smith and Chris Chang, editors at "Film Comment," will sue me for millions of dollars for this but the New York-based film magazine has published a great list of the most memorable instances of people playing themselves. I couldn't resist sharing it with you here. Interestingly enough, while putting this together, I found out that Fred Dalton Thompson's 2008 campaign web site is still up even though he didn't even get the GOP nod!
1. The Beatles "A Hard Day's Night"
2. Fred Dalton Thompson (the bobble-head doll here) "Marie"
3. Edward McDonald "Goodfellas"
4. John Malkovich "Being John Malkovich"
5. Fritz Lang "Contempt"
6. Samuel Fuller "Pierrot le fou"
7. Marshall McLuhan "Annie Hall"
8. Babe Ruth "Speedy"
9. Muhamad Ali "The Greatest"
10. Steve Coogan "A Cock and Bull Story"
11. Evel Knievel "Viva Knievel!"
12. Kareem Abdul-Jaabar "Airplane!"
13. Howard Stern "Private Parts"
14. Tom Jones "Mars Attacks!"
15. Bill Murray "Zombieland"
16. Cecil B. DeMille "Sunset Boulevard"
17. Arlo Guthrie "Alice's Restaurant"
18. Mike Tyson "Black and White"
19. Burt Reynolds "Silent Movie"
20. Roger Moore "Canonball Run II"
To see more articles in the current issue of "Film Comment," go to www.filmlinc.com
We wish Kareem Abdul-Jabbar his best with his cancer battle.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Today to celebrate our 300th entry, we feature a photograph of Richard Nixon bowling. Ironically (or not), Richard Nixon is my favorite president even though I am definitely not a Republican! Of course, for those of you who have never bowled, 300 is the perfect score in bowling.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Today, we are commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's opening in Cleveland with some quips from folks who are there.
Here is one from the late Grateful Dead singer Jerry Garcia.
Since I am not far-left politically (or a libertarian), I am not immediately inclined to fully agree with it, but he does have a point!:
"Death comes at you no matter what you do in this life, and to equate drugs with death is a facile comparison."
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Today, we are featuring Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) in our series. Pryor represents what is becoming the norm for red state Democrats that is a political figure who would be conservative enough to be a Republican in New England, but it is progressive enough to be a Democrat in Dixie.
Pryor was born on Jan. 10, 1963, in Fayetville, Ark. He is currently the third youngest U.S. senator behind Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Col.) and Kristen Gilibrand (D-NY), who is Hillary Clinton's succesor.
Pryor is the junior senator from Arkansas behind Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark) who is also out of favor with some national Democrats for being too conservative.
Pryor was elected in 2002. He beat out incumbent Sen. Tim Hutchinson (R-Ark.) in part of the Republican's divorce from his wife of 29 years which subsequently lead to his marriage to a congressional aide.
Mark Pryor holds the same seat that his father David Pryor held from 1979 to 1997, when the senior Pryor was replaced by Hutchinson. Mark Pryor was the only Democrat to unseat an incumbent Republican in the U.S. senate during the 2002 election cycle.
Pryor was featured in the Bill Maher documentary "Religulous," which questions the reasoning and logic behind the world's three most popular faiths: Christianity, Islam and Judaism.
In an interview with Maher during the film, Pryor was very open about his evangelical views. Pryor is also a member of the secretive evangelical politicians group known as The Family, which has recently been plagued with scandals since two of its members Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev) and Gov. Mark Sanford (R) of South Carolina have publicly acknowledged extra-maritial affairs.
Pryor was one of 12 Democratic senaotrs to vote for the controversial Military Commisions Act of 2006, which admits evidence obtained through torture. He was also one of six Democrats to vote for the confirmation of former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales though he called on him to resign in 2007 when questions about Gonzales' handling of the office came into light.
The Arkansas senator endorsed Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama for the Demoratic primary.
Pryor surprsingly faced no Republican opponent during last year's election cycle, and his term will expire in five years.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Since he was a World War II veteran and today is Veteran's Day, we are posting a quip from filmmaker Robert Altman, who was the subject of a recent character assasination by a film critic Richard Shickel, who many of us in the film fans community greatly deplore.
Altman (1925-2006), shown here wearing a Savannah Sea Gnats baseball cap (minor league team in the South Atlantic League) was a maverick filmmaker and he often made films with a left-of-center statement, including "MASH" and "Nashville." He also took on the filmmaking world in one of his last masterpieces "The Player" (1992).
To show irony, we are quoting another WW II vet film director Frank Capra, who was a conservative, on our other blog "Politics, Culture and Other Wastes of Time."
I make no secret of the fact that I am a huge Altman admirer, though I did write a critical review of his last film "A Prarie Home Companion."
Here is the quote:
"What's a cult? It just means not enough people to make a minority."
Halloween maybe behind us, but we are quoting Hungarian-born actor Bela Lugosi, best known for his starring role in "Dracula" (1931), because (according to Wikipedia) he was inspiration for the "Sesame Street" character Count von Count.
The PBS children's series is celebrating its 40th anniversary, but The Count first appeared in 1972. He is still voiced by Jerry Nelson, who first provided the voice for Count von Count.
He is perhaps my favorite "Sesame Street" character.
Last year, the minor league baseball team The St. Paul Saints in St. Paul, Minn., offered Count von Recount dolls with Al Franken and Norm Coleman's heads on them as the state was determining who would hold its senate seat.
Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), the winner of that much-contested race, was profiled in our "Know Your Congressman and Senators" series earlier this summer.
It should be pointed out that the subject of our previous entry, Klaus Kinski also played a vampire in Werner Herzog's 1978 remake of "Nosferatu."
Here is the quote from Lugosi, which we initially forgot to post here!:
"Every actor is somewhat mad, or else he'd be a plumber or a bookkeeper or a salesman."
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
We conclude our three entries devouted to the fall of the Berlin Wall by asking our blog visitors if the egotistical German actor Klaus Kinski is dead or alive.
Kinski collaborated with German director Werner Herzog five times even though the two openly despised each other. The making of one of those films "Fitzcarraldo"
(1982) is the subject of an excellent documentary entitled "The Burden of Dreams" by my friend Les Blank.
The German actor was born on Oct. 18, 1926, in what is now Sopot, Poland. He grew up in Berlin and was drafted into the German army. He was taken prisoner by British forces in Holland.
Kinski was married and divroced four times, and he is the father of actress Nastassja Kinski, best known for her starring role in Roman Polanski's "Tess."
Though he starred in some classic films of German cinema, Kinski also starred in some infamous or dreadful films like "Venus in Furs" (1969) from the sometimes notorious Spanish filmmaker Jesus Franco.
Kinski also turned down the role of the villain for "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981) because he thought the script was awful?!
PS- The subject of our last entry in this series Christopher Lee is indeed alive and well, and still starring in films.
We are continuing to add blog entries in honor of the Berlin Wall coming down twenty years ago this week.
I saw that the subject is a cover story in the current issue of "Reason" magazine, a libertarian publication (since I am a centrist Democrat, I subscribe to "The New Republic" instead).
And, when I lived closer to Washington, DC, a few years ago, I saw a great exhibit on the Berlin at the Newsuem.
The collapse of the Berlin Wall also made for an interesting recent entry from my friend Christopher Knight's blog "The Knight Shift" (theknightshift.blogspot.com)
Ironically, this photo was not taken in Berlin, but London, England. Apparently, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who is the subject of a very amusing anti-Thatcher anthem by Elvis Costello on his "Spike" album, was one of the few western leaders who expressed reservation about the unification of Germany in 1989.
Since it has been 40 years since the Berlin Wall came down, I thought I would quip a legendary musician who was part of the Berlin music scene in the '70s. We have quoted Lou Reed, former lead singer of the Velvet Underground, before and even though he is not German he seems like the perfect person to quote.
I especially like this commentary given how a film critic, who I refuse to name, esentially wrote a character assasination of filmmaking legend Robert Altman a few weeks back:
"I don't know anyone who actually cares what a critic says."
Monday, November 9, 2009
Last week, we said we had quoted John Waters more than any filmmaker on our blogs except Woody Allen and Jean-Luc Godard.
So, today, of course, we have to quip Allen and Godard (the French auter's quote can be found on our sister blog "Politics, Culture and Other Wastes of Time"- see links section).
Allen turns 74 on Dec. 1.
His latest film "Whatever Works," starring Larry David, is now available on dvd.
Being an English teacher, I can identify with this one:
"I took a speed reading course and read 'War and Peace' in twenty minutes. It involves Russia."
PS_ We have now passed 50,000 hits.........thanks for visiting.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
The National Rifle Association (NRA), The Heritage Foundation and The Christian Coalition now have one of their own in Richmond, Va., as arch conservative Bob McDonnell defeated Democratic moderate Creigh Deeds to become governor of my home state.
McDonnell is an alumnus of Pat Robertson's Regent University in Virginia Beach, and he once wrote a thesis about how women need to spend more time at home raising children (hmm.......perhaps Islamic fundamentalists will like this guy too).
Low voter turn-out, apathy and a lack of young voters at the polls are three of the explanations as to why a state which Barack Obama carried went to McDonnell as well as the two other Republicans on the ticket.
It should also be pointed out that Virginia's new attorney general-elect Ken Cuchinelli is also quite far too the right. He has actually pledged to turn down federal funding once elected. Even though the Gingrich/Reagan model for micro-government has been proven ineffective, there are still right-wing nuts like McDonnell and Cuchinelli who subscribe to it.
It should be an interesting four years in Virginia. Even though I now live in North Carolina, I am very saddened by what has transpired in my home state where moderate Republicans like former Congressman Tom Davis and former Sen. John Warner have reitred. Their replacements appear to be guys who listen to Glenn Beck, shoot racoons and go to mega-churches.
This should be a lesson to all fellow Democrats, indepedents and even moderate Republicans. If you don't get involved with local politics, you may have to deal with this very same nightmare scenario.
I am so dismayed by what happened in Virginia that I may have to subscribe to "The Nation," even though its opinions are to the left of mine!
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
My good friend Moviezzz has informed that one of my personal favorite bad movies "Under the Rainbow" (1981), which previously been profiled here, is being released on dvd today.
The movie features Carrie Fisher and Chevy Chase, and it revolves around the production of "The Wizard of Oz." I saw this film when it came out. I was 11 years old when I saw it at the Valley Cinema in Salem, Va., which still exists today.
It was an exceptionally bad movie with one flat gag after another, yet it is also a very interesting film with an eloborate set and unique characters.
I don't know if I can recommend that you view it, but it would make a perfect film for a bad movie house party.
My cousin Shannon Sturgis recently saw Fisher's one woman show "wishful Drinking" at the Roundabout Theatre in New York, and she said it was an absolutely amazing show.
Ben Brantley of "The New York Times" gave the production a positive review. The show revolves around Fisher's marriage to Paul Simon, "Star Wars" and her bout with mental illness.
For tickets one call (212)-719-3100. The show runs through Jan. 3, 2010.
We have quips from both Fisher and Chase on our two respective blogs. But we quip Princess Leia here:
"I really love the internet. They say chatrooms are the trailer park of the internet but I find it amazing."
Monday, November 2, 2009
This week, we are posting our Silly Photo to Fill Space on Monday instead of Tuesday for two reasons.
The main one is that as a Virginian who still works in Virginia (though I live in North Carolina), I desperately want to see Democratic state senator Creigh Deeds (pictured here) upset Republican attorney general Bob McDonnell, an alumnus of Pat Robertson's Regent University, tomorrow......!!!!!
So, I am posting this by saying if we indeed win tomorrow, I will personally come to your home and wash your dog.......that is as long as you are a resident of Virginia and you vote for Deeds. I don't care if you live in the far southwestern Virginia town of Grundy or in a busy DC suburb like Alexandria.........we really, really need this one folks and most polls show McDonnell with a substantial lead right now.
I volunteered for Deeds when he ran for attorney general against McDonnell four years. He lost by a mere 700 votes. He is a wonderful, warm and charming guy.
In order to make sure this entry is not purely political, I also want to use it to give attention to the Salem Animal Shelter in my hometown of Salem, Va., regardless if you are a Democrat or a Republican, these animals need a good home, and my mom already has too many pets!
Their web site is http://www.salempets.org
You can also log onto http://www.rvspca.org
John Waters and Alan Ball will be among the guests at this year's Virginia Film Festival in Charlottesville on Thursday. Waters' classic film "Pink Flamingos," which I myself am a bit to squeamish to view though perhaps it's not as bad as last night's episode of "Dexter," will be among the films screened in C'ville.
When I lived in Virginia, I had gone to it some ten or eleven years in a row. Even though I now live in North Carolina (well just over the border), I am still considering going there this year but I am a person who drives an hour to work during the freaking week!
Nevertheless, regardless if I attend or not, it should be an interesting event.
We use the occasion to once again quote Waters, who divides his time between Baltimore and Provincetown, Mass.
We have perhaps quipped Waters more often than any film director except perhaps Woody Allen and Jean-Luc Godard:
"I thank God I was raised Catholic, so sex will always be dirty."
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Since we are known to be a bit cheeky here at "The Daily Vampire," we thought we'd profile Cong. Chris Lee (R-NY) for our entry in this series (our last entry was on British actor Christopher Lee).
Cong. Lee is a freshman representative who was sworn into office on Jan. 6. He represents the 26th district in western New York. The congressman was born on April 1, 1964, in Kenmore, NY. His residency is Clarence, NY.
Lee has a business background, and his web site promises to lower taxes and create jobs. He worked for Microtech Labs in California before returning to New York to work for Enidine Inc.
Lee also serves as the director of Patrick Lee Foundation which promotes awareness, education and prevention of cancer and mental illness.
Lee serves on the Financial Services Committee, which is chaired by Cong. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and includes my congressional rep Cong. Brad Miller (D-NC).