Friday, January 29, 2016

The Iowa GOP Debate Hangover in Tweets

The images of an elephant in a zoo (the animal is the unofficial mascot of the Republican Party), T.C. Panther the mascot for Northern Iowa U, and a still with Robert Redford in "The Candidate" (1973) one of the best films ever made about American politics start us off here this afternoon.

Here are some tweets from the Day After as well as some we overlooked last night during the Republican Debate Minus Donald Trump broadcast by Fox News in Des Moines, Iowa.:

1) Liz Mair (conservative): If Marco Rubio were gay, his hair would look better.

2) Rich Lowry (conservative): Another takeaway which may get lost, but this is the debate when Rubio lets his full disdain for Cruz show.

3) Lila Rose (conservative pro-life activist): Thank you, Rand Paul for sharing during GOPDebate that 'abortion is always wrong' and for spearheading legislation protecting the unborn.

4) Christopher Hayes (liberal): This campaign is starting to feel more and more like a long, national nervous breakdown.

5) Brian Stelter (CNN): The #s are in.....12.5 million people watched Fox's GOP debate last night.

6) John Fuselgang (liberal): I especially liked the 1 question about Flint 51 minutes into the GOPDebate that was quickly dodged by Kasich and then forgotten.

7) E.J. Dionne (liberal, Washington Post): Interesting. Jeb Bush seems more confident with Trump off the stage.

8) Tyler Morrison (stand-up comic): Jeb Bush reminds me of a supply teacher who is constantly losing control of his class.

9) Des Moines Register: Rand Paul and Marco Rubio took turns attacking Ted Cruz at the GOP Debate.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

GOP Debate from Iowa Minus Trump (3 of 3)

Before we get to our final entry on this blog about tonight's GOP debate from Des Moines, Iowa, let's say Gunaydin/ Good Morning to our American Ambassador John Bass in Ankara, Turkey, where it is now 8:30 a.m. Yes, I know there is a less than one percent chance he reads this blog....

For your knowledge, the man at the top is Gov. Chris Christie and the man at the bottom is Sen. Ted Cruz, the state capitol building in Des Mones (not where the Fox News debate took place) is in the middle.

Here are the tweets:

1) Peter Beinart: Chris Christie__ the fact that your wife was near Ground Zero on 9/11 is not a foreign policy credential.

2) David French (conservative): Jeb Bush is right_he's been out front on ISIS strategy__and getting lawyers off the damn backs of the military__Yes!

3) Andrew C. McCarthy (conservative, no not the brat pack actor from the '80s): You think something about Muslims is suspicious.....and Chris Christie says you're a Sharia crazy.

4) Meghan McCain (conservative, daughter of Sen. John McCain): This is a completely different and more substantive debate with Trump off the stage.

5) Patton Oswalt: Mohammad Atta tried to fly a plane into my wife on 9/11........Chris Christie....

6) Spartan Basketball: With 513 wins at Michigan State, Coach Tom Izzo moves ahead of Gene Keady for second-most victories at a Big Ten school (yeah, we did this to play a mind game on you)

7) Zeynep Tufekci: They were trying to out-Trump each other yet they got hit with tough Qs while Trump didn't? Umm.....maybe, I'll read this Art of the Deal book.....

8) Cenk Uygur (liberal): Ben Carson just copied and pasted his closing statement. Too much effort to come up with his own conclusion.

9) Michael Medved (conservative): Maybe Trump's strategy his absence, chief rival Cruz had his worst debate, by far.....

GOP Debate Minus Trump Tweets (2 of 3)

We continue the multiple blog entries about last night's debate (it is now past 9:00 a.m. in Dubai) with tweets from various folks across the political spectrum in America (ok, most of these folks seem to have a liberal bias as I do), and perhaps even Canada...

 (pictured are 1) Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly; 2) a windmill in Elkhorn, Iowa; and 3) Ben Carson):

1) Patton Oswalt: How ya gonna deal with Putin? With shootin-ass-batin' and root-a-man-hootin

2) Dean Obeidallah (standup comic and activist of Muslim heritage): Please turn off Ben Carson's microphone.

3) Edward Luce: Ben Carson was totally wise to boycott this debate.

4) Carlos Lozada (Washington Post): Finally, the Estonia question.

5) PBS Newshour: Jumping from religion back to foreign policy.

6) Kai Ryssdal (NPR's Marketplace): Hahahahahahahahahaha. President Ben Carson. Man that cracks me up.

7) Karen Tumulty (Washington Post): Rand Paul is having a debate with Rand Paul about abortion.

8) E.J. Dionne (Washington Post): Marco Rubio like John Kasich talks about faith and obligation to the poor. Interesting how Rubio mixes this with appeal to evangelicals.

9) Alexandra Petri (Washington Post): Ohhhhhh........nothing like the sight of a stage full o' men talking about abortion.

Tonight's Republican Debate from Iowa Minus Donald Trump in Tweets (1 of 3)

Here are tweets from tonight's debate from folks who are right, left, center and non-partisan. As everyone outside of Tashkent, Uzbekistan, probably knows Republican front-runner Donald Trump (pict. top) ironically boycotted the Fox News debate because of a feud with moderator Megyn Kelly.
The other images are of the eastern Iowa town of Nemaha (the debate was actually held in Des Moines) and an image of Jeb Bush (actually from an event in New Hampshire):

1) Erick Erickson (conservative): This is a brilliant part of the debate. Megyn Kelly's accountability project.

2) Cenk Uygur (liberal): I have to give credit to Fox News for asking really targeted and fair questions showing these candidates' clear hypocricy.

 3) David Corn (liberal): Asked about immigration, Ben Carson points out that he declared war on ISIS.

4) Molly Ball (The Atlantic): Ivanka is due in two weeks, but Trump is hoping she has baby in Iowa: 'It'd be great. I'd definitely win.'"

5) Michael Ian Black: "Carson: 'I recognize not all Mexicans are terrorists.' Brave."

6) Michigan State Spartans Basketball: "With 15:18 remaining, MSU leads 41-29." (They wound up winning the game over Northwestern; yeah, this has nothing to do with the debate).

7) Ana Marie Cox (liberal): 'Chris Christie: I will flip flop in public so you can totally trust me." (Yeah, he didn't actually say that).

8) Michael Medved (conservative): If Ted Cruz wants to win anything, anywhere, he MUST learn not to talk like a bad, slimy televangelist. (Yeah, Medved did actually tweet this!)...

9) Chris Cillizza (Washington Post): Jeb Bush is getting better as a debater. But, he's not natural at all."

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Remembering David Bowie (1947-2016): His Best Ten Records....according to Rolling Stone readers....

David Bowie (1947-2016) died of liver cancer just two days after his 69th birthday on Jan. 10, 2016, which happened to be the 71st birthday of Rod Stewart, another '70s and '80s rock music icon as well as the 63rd birthday of Pat Benatar, an '80s new wave pop sensation. His contemporaries were as diverse as the late Lou Reed and Billy Idol.

Bowie was also a remarkable actor who starred in "The Man Who Fell to Earth" (1976) and "Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence" (1983), and "The Hunger" (1983) with Susan Sarandon and he was one of the world's premiere art collectors.

Here are the ten best albums according to readers of "Rolling Stone" (dated Jan. 16, 2013):

1) The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972, pict. top)

2) "Hunky Dory" (1971)

3) "Station to Station" (1976)

4) "Low" (1977)
5) "Diamond Dogs" (1974)

6) "Aladdin Sane" (1973; pict. center)

7) "Scary Monsters....." (1980)

8) "Heroes" (1977; pict. bottom)

9) "Young Americans" (1975)

10) "The Man Who Sold the World" (1970)

Our Pictorial Tribute to Istanbul, Turkey.............

This is our 1,800th entry and we are dedicating to the city of Istanbul, Turkey, which was struck by what appears to be an ISIS terrorist. Ten people lost their lives yesterday, including reportedly nine German tourists and a Peruvian tourist. Another 15 people are reportedly injured.

The images from top to bottom are of: 1) A bus stop; 2) a Beyoglu streetcar; 3) simit, the pastry that is sold by hundreds of vendors throughout the city; 4) the gate of Dolmabahce Palace; 5) Burgaz Island, one of the five Princess Islands and 6) The Maiden's Tower in Uskudar.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

SOTU Blogathon (3 of 3): Bridging the Political Divide

With images of Cong. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins, and Cong. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), we go into our final tweets from tonight's SOTU from President Barack Obama:

1) The White House:  Obama:"I can promise that a year from now, when I no longer hold this office, I'll be right there with you as a citizen."

2) Nancy Pelosi: "Make me feel hopeful for continued progress. Thanks for Obama for all you've done for hard-working American families."

3) Virginia Democrats: Obama:"We have to end the practice of drawing our congressional districts so that politicians can pick their votes...."

4) Cong. Virginia Foxx (R-NC): "It's clear he doesn't understand the solutions that will get our nation back on track begin w/ American people, not Washington bureaucrats."

5) Cong. Bobby Scott (D-Va): Tonight the POTUS focused on the future and challenged Congress and the next president to go even further."

6) David Corn (Mother Jones): Obama aimed to inspire American confidence. But, he did not call out those who prevent the political system from working."

7) Glenn Kenny (film critic): Disappointed with lack of Bowie mentions/citations (Iconic pop singer David Bowie died on Sunday, we hope to post a tribute to him).

8) Hadas Gold (Politico): Top social moment according to Facebook: President Obama criticizes anti-Muslim sentiments."

9) Zeke Miller (Time): Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC)  during GOP response: "In this age of terrorism, we must not let in refugees whose intentions cannot be determined."

10) Gene Weingarten (Washington Post humorist): Nikki Haley is a vampire.

11) Ben Casselman (538 politics): Nikki Haley seems to be taking on Trump as much as Obama.

SOTU Blogathon (2 of 3): Does Bernie Sanders Like Moo Goo Gai Pan?

With images of President Barack Obama, Washington Wizards star John Wall, and Cong. Peter King (R-NY), we present with a second round of tonight's tweets regarding the SOTU:

1) John Harwood of CNBC: Obama: 'We're threatened less by evil empires and more by failing states."

2) Lizz Winstead: Peter King needs some Activa.

3) Roll Call: Obama: 'The United States of America is the most powerful nation on Earth. But, there are still threats.'

4) Miriti Murungi: Bernie's about to order Chinese food (image of him pulling out iPhone was beneath tweet).

5) Ken Rudin (NPR): A little history here. This is the first SOTU where the two men standing behind the president debated each other in the last election.

6) Jonah Goldberg (National Review): Wait.....WAIT!! Barack Obama killed Osama Bin Laden? I never heard that before."

7) The Onion (satire news): Biden Urges Paul Ryan To Check Out Nude Scenes from 'Porky's' on Phone.

8) Politico: Obama: "If you doubt America's commitment or mine to see that justice is done, ask Osama bin Laden."

9) The Weekly Standard (conservative magazine): Obama's talking foreign policy at SOTU right now. But, he's leaving out the sailors detained by Iran today.

10) Catholic Democrats: Did anyone ever think 8 years ago that a Democratic president would be quoting a pope in his SOTU?

11) Nicholas Kristof (New York Times): Obama has been mostly in law professor mode. But he showed passion when he denounced attacks on Islam as unfair and counterproductive.

SOTU Blogathon: Let's Drop the Gloves (1 of 3)

With our hearts and minds on the ISIS terrorism victims from today's senseless ISIS attack in Istanbul, Turkey, which we hope to dwell into later this week, we focus on tweets from tonight's State of the Union Address (SOTU), the final one for President Barack Obama.

Picture here we have Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), Alex Ovechkin captain of the Washington Capitals, and new Speaker of the House Cong. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.).....

Here are tweets from right, left and center.........

1) Ana Marie Cox: Paul Ryan thinking about how tomorrow is legs day.

2) Mormon Democrats: Obama calls for bipartisan work on criminal justice reform.

3) Susan Davis (NPR): Prescription drug abuse is one of those issues that crosses party lines. Big and growing problem in both red and blue states.

4) Molly Ball (The Atlantic): Oh god, the WH livestream is full of cheesy graphics.

5) Larry Sabato: Camera focused on Bernie. Those stars in his eyes are actually polling numbers.

6) Chris Cillizza: Direct Trump shot: "Promising to restore past glory if just get some group or idea that was threatening America under control."

7) Michael Crowley (Time): Only two sentences on Iran in this speech.

8) Washington Week: Obama asks: "How can we make our politics reflect what's best in us, and no what's worst."

9) New Republic: Paul Ryan and Joe Biden: Awwkwarrdddd

10) NBC Nightly News: Former Congresswoman Gabbie Giffords is attending tonight's SOTU.

11) Post Politics: Obama: 'I want to focus on the next five years, ten years, and beyond. I want to focus on our future. '

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Last Ten Films We've Seen: Lots of Whodunits....

Here are the last ten films we have seen; this idea came to us from "Film Comment" magazine, which has declared "Carol," directed by Todd Haynes and starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara as the best film of 2015. Blanchett actually played Bob Dylan in "I'm Not There" (2007).

One of these films "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia," which starred Kristi McNichol was one of the few films that Mark Hamill played in besides being Luke Skywalker in "Star Wars."

1. The Last of Sheila (1971)

2. A Teacher (2013)

3. The Hateful Eight (2015)

4. Third Person (2013)

5. The Cheap Detective (1978)

6. The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia (1981)

7. Mommo (Turkey. 2009)

8. The Yakuza (1974 w/Robert Mitchum)

9. Marfa Girl (2012)

10. Manson Family Vacation (2015)

Saturday, January 9, 2016

The Best 20 Films of 2015 ............according to me, anyway.............

Yes, it has been more than two months since our last entry!

In film, 2015 was the year of reality as many of the most exceptional films we saw were either documentaries or based on true stories.

There are exceptions, of course, including "Mad Max: Fury Road" chosen as the best film of the year by Bilge Ebiri of "New York" magazine as well as film critics Manohla Dargis and Wesley Morris.

Meanwhile, Amy Nicolson of "The Village Voice" named Quentin Taratino's much-anticipated western "The Hateful Eight" as the third best film of the year even though it did not make the "Film Comment" top 50 list, which had the Todd Haynes film "Carol" as the top film of the year.

Here is our top 20..........since we reside in a small market, we are hoping to catch up as we explain in our entry in our sister blog "Politics, Culture and Other Wastes of Time" which we cheekily entitle "The Best Films of 2015 That We Haven't Seen.".............

1. Listen to Me Marlon (documentary; pict. top)

2. Spotlight

3. Best of Enemies (documentary)

4. Trumbo

5. Steve Jobs (pict. center)

6. The End Of the Tour

7. Mad Max: Fury Road

8. About Elly (Iran)

9. Amy (doc; pict. bottom)

10. The Wolfpack (doc)

11. White God (Hungary)

12. Wild Tales (Argentina)

13. Phoenix (Germany)

14. The Big Short

15. The Hateful Eight

16. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

17. What We Do in the Shadows

18. Time Out of Mind

19. Mistress America

20. Love and Mercy