Biden’s In Baghdad, Conan’s On The Beach, Cows Under Attack In NY

Following a week of on-again, off-again rainfall,  Los Angeles is finally being given a couple of days to dry out.    The Nat’l Weather Service says we won’t see more rain until Tuesday, with a 60% probability of  “showers.”

VP Joe Biden is in Baghdad, where he has made a pledge that the U.S. will appeal a decision that let five Blackwater guards off the hook for a shooting of 17 Iraqis in 2007.   The Blackwater guys were guarding our diplomats at the time.  These are our private soldiers.  Our mercenaries, sent to Iraq by the Rumsfeld/Cheney/Wolfowitz & Bush Administration.  This case, which has us attempting to  haul our own people back into court after they have been found not guilty of manslaughter is the kind of mess you can expect when you try and privatize a war.  It’s just one more reason for the United States to get out of Iraq as soon as is reasonably possible.   We cannot fix their troubles, they don’t want us there, let’s get the hell out.

It’s not a question of wearing out our welcome.  It’s a question of no one wanting us there in the first place and the United States having no valid reason to go.   Just a curtain of lies stitched together by a few Iraqi ex-pats who thought they could go back in and take over the country, if only the U.S. could be duped into sending in its troops to overthrow Saddam Hussein.  Our ongoing presence only continues to tarnish our image and drain our finances.

The political and theocratic mess the country is in is highlighted by the fact that now you can’t even get a beer in Baghdad.   The LA Times reports that a prohibition against alcoholic beverages is in place in spite of constitutionally guaranteed “freedoms.”

“Our new constitution guarantees all freedoms for all Iraqi people,” said Ahmed Jassim Hamza, whose Deluxe nightclub on the Tigris River was among those raided by soldiers and ordered to close. “But the political powers in control are Islamic, and they can’t handle social freedoms such as alcohol because their minds are narrowed by religion.”  -L.A. Times

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From my former colleagues at KTLA-TV comes a tweet on a story I had to re-read, due to it’s bizarre nature.

“COPAKE, N.Y. — State police in New York say an upstate dairy farmer shot and killed 51 of his milk cows in his barn before turning the rifle on himself.

State police found the body of 59-year-old Dean Pierson in his Copake barn on Thursday. A visitor found a note Pierson had left on the barn door that said not to come in and to call police.

State police would only say that Pierson was having personal issues.” -KTLA

The story ends by saying the locals didn’t want to talk about the incident, but one did say that these are difficult times for farmers.

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From Washington, the AP is reporting that President Obama ‘can’t imagine “anything more devastating to the public interest” than the Supreme Court’s decision to ease limits on campaign spending by corporations and labor unions.’

I keep waiting for more of the local broadcast media to pick up on this story, as this decision by the Supremes will undoubtedly turn out to be one of the most important decisions the high court has ever made.  Thing is, many broadcast news outlets just don’t like politics.

Politics is difficult to explain and there aren’t a lot of pretty pictures you can use with the story.  Things like tornadoes tearing apart a town or cops in pursuit of a murder suspect with lots of red lights flashing.  It’s what those of us in the news biz used to call “eye candy.”  Anything to grab the viewers attention to get the ratings up.

Politics, is just way too difficult to understand and even more difficult to explain in a way that will enable most folks to grasp how and why their lives are being controlled by a gang of politicians on Capitol Hill who are supposed to answer to “we the people,” and not a handful of corporate wonks.   Corporations are not people.  Or maybe, now they are?  Not that it matters.   Let them all go back into their coma.  When the awaken, if they awaken, the damage will have been done and they won’t know who to blame.  They’ll probably try and pin on Bill Clinton again.  Worked the first time.

Don’t want to get too cynical here.  I was lectured last night by Conan O’Brien, as he did his last “Tonight Show” for NBC, advising his fans (and others) that he just can’t stand cynicism.  Right, Conan.  So you say, as you exit the building with a check for $45-million in your pocket after a run of only 7 months,  starting each show by licking your fingers, smoothing your eyebrows and then tweaking your nipples.   What a class act.   This is what happens when network bosses try and keep advertisers happy by going after the youth market.    The franchise that Steve Allen and Johnny Carson built falls to pieces.   Perhaps the tv execs should concentrate on getting back into the business of broadcasting by going after the broadest slice of the audience possible?  That’s why they call it broad-casting, dummy.   Oops.  Getting cynical again.

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