Colbert’s Heir Does See Race

Jan 28 2015 @ 11:00am

Max Ufberg looks back at the first week of The Nightly Show:

So far, [host Larry] Wilmore has already mocked the Academy Awards, poked fun at Al Sharpton, and taken down Bill Cosby (“That motherfucker did it”). The response has been favorable. Critics have praised Wilmore’s affability and wryness, even his “ideological unpredictability.” He has, as the New York Times’ Alessandra Stanley puts it, “a disarming way of laughing at his own jokes and those of others.” The show’s closing Bill Maher-style roundtable discussion format, while less of an immediate hit, certainly offers long-term potential.

Genetta M. Adams observes that Wilmore “comes at current events in the same manner that brothers at the barber shop or sisters at the hair salon do: straight up and no-holds-barred”:

And even if Wilmore’s takes on topics like Cosby aren’t particularly new, as Slate’s Willa Paskin rightly points out, “There has previously been no black perspective on late night to take these subjects on with such matter-of-fact vigor.” His signature segment, “Keep It 100,” can lead to some squirm-in-their-chairs moments for panelists who have to answer a question honestly or face the prospect of getting some “weak tea”—literally—as they’re handed tea bags. Rapper-activist Talib Kweli had such a moment when he was asked, “When it comes to black images, is hip-hop part of the problem or part of the solution?” …

Variety’s Brian Lowry wondered if The Nightly Show’s format and edgier take on the day’s news would make the show a “no-go zone” for newsmakers and celebrities who wanted to pitch their movies or books. But who cares? The last thing late night needs is another show for celebs to pimp their products.

Rawiya Kameir makes another key point:

One of Wilmore’s most important and praiseworthy attributes is his implicit acknowledgment that “minority issues” are really just American issues, and that they deserve to be treated as such.

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We can’t argue with this contribution:

Humanity’s greatest invention? That’s obvious.


Think about it. Wolves are terrifying, but no animal is more loving than a dog. Wolves compete with us in the food chain – even hunt us in the food chain! – but dogs have an ancient tradition of being our best hunting partners. They could rip out our throats, but all they want to do is please us. What other animal is eager and effective at offering comfort in times of grief? And they’re often better at it humans.

Frankly, I like dogs a lot more than I like people. One of the few times I’m wary of a dog is when I see one being walked next to a baby in a stroller. It’s hard to know what that dog will do if you get too close to the baby. And when you think about it, doesn’t that really say it all?

The above video says even more. Another reader on the question at hand:

Indoor plumbing. I know there is a God because I don’t have to shit in the woods. So no one needed to invent religion. All we needed was indoor plumbing and you kill two birds with one stone.

The Hunker Mindset, Ctd

Jan 28 2015 @ 9:09am


A lot of readers can relate to this state of mind:

​My daughter, who is a graduate student in England, says that the rush to buy bread, milk, and eggs before a storm is referred to there as “the French toast panic”.

Another suggests a different meal:

On one level, I can see this as a reasonable approach; with those three staples, you can make a reasonable meal of toast and omelet, providing you have power or a working cooking surface (like a propane grill). You can even keep them fresh in a power outage by simply putting them out in the snow by your door.

I think the urge to get these particular supplies is strongest in a certain age group: those who grew up in the Depression through the early 1950s, when such commodities were delivered daily to your door … and a major storm could halt deliveries for a few days.

A few more readers sound off:

It’s not about hunkering down. It’s about milk, bread, and eggs being items that have to be bought frequently.

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And Then They Came For The Gays

Jan 28 2015 @ 8:16am


Liam Hoare reflects on yesterday’s 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitiz:

Whether at the cement plant in Sachsenhausen, the underground V2 rocket factory in Buchenwald, or the stone quarry at Flossenbürg, homosexuals were subject to deadly assignments and a scarring, bone-shattering system of punishments. Sixty percent of gay internees died in the camps.

For those who remained alive, humiliation was an inevitable part of daily life. The Polish LGBTQ rights activist Robert Biedroń notes that homosexuals in the camps “were forced to sleep in nightshirts and to hold their hands outside the covers,” ostensibly in order to prevent masturbation. In Flossenbürg, homosexuals were required to visit female prostitutes—Jewish and Roma prisoners from a nearby camp—as a form of treatment. “The Nazis cut holes in the walls through which they could observe the ‘behavior’ of their homosexual prisoners,” Biedroń writes.

(Photo: Mug shot of homosexual Auschwitz prisoner August Pfeiffer, servant, born Aug. 8, 1895, in Weferlingen. He arrived to Auschwitz Nov. 1, 1941, and died there Dec. 28, 1941. From the State Museum of Auschwitz, Oswiecim, Poland)

The Meaning Of ’90s Sitcoms, Ctd

Jan 28 2015 @ 7:34am

Readers keep the thread going:

In discussing how the sitcom Friends dealt with homosexuality, it is important to note Episode 11 of Season 2, which was titled “The One With The Lesbian Wedding”. It’s funny that even though it was 1996 there was no mention of “commitment ceremonies” or “domestic partnerships”. It was a wedding, plain and simple, no questions asked.

A few more readers delve deeper into that episode and others:

Yes, Chandler at times goes too far in some of his jokes and comments – and actual living. But he also has an incredibly endearing relationship with Joey that he is never afraid to express – largely through hugs, but also through actual words. Their love may not be sexual, but it is real, and unconditional – a bromance not really rivaled until JD and Turk on Scrubs. I know it’s not the same – but Friends does show a tight, healthy friendship between two guys without fear of homophobic reactions. And Chandler continues to evolve, especially after he gets married, embracing his less-than-“manly” side and not making the same kind of jokes.

Also, Friends was the show that featured a gay wedding – and did not play it for laughs.

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The View From Your Blizzard

Jan 27 2015 @ 8:30pm

Littleton, Massachusetts, 9.20 am. Many more below:

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Sargent spots a divide in the GOP presidential field:

Marco Rubio, Mitt Romney, and Jeb Bush are calling for respect for the courts’ decisions on this matter and/or respect and understanding for people on both sides of the issue. But Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal are suggesting continued resistance; both have talked about a Constitutional marriage amendment.

He wonders how this will impact the primaries:

Candidates who are striving for (relative) moderation on gay marriage, such as Bush, Rubio, and Romney, are framing their position as rooted in conservative values: Respect for the rule of law and/or for those (even gays and lesbians) who want to enshrine lifetime commitments to one another. Will that assuage GOP primary voters?

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Face Of The Day

Jan 27 2015 @ 7:19pm

Commemorations Are Held For The 70th Anniversary Of The Liberation Of Auschwitz

A member of an association of Auschwitz concentration camp survivors walks through the infamous entrance gate in Oswiecim, Poland after laying wreaths with other members at the execution wall on January 27, 2015. International heads of state, dignitaries, and over 300 Auschwitz survivors are attending the commemorations for the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by Soviet troops on 27th January, 1945. Auschwitz was among the most notorious of the concentration camps run by the Nazis during WWII, and whilst it is impossible to put an exact figure on the death toll, about a million people lost their lives in the camp, the majority of whom were Jewish. By Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

Goldblog pulls his hair out over Bibi’s absurd decision to treat Obama as an adversary and try to sabotage the Iran deal:

Israeli prime ministers [have] two main tasks. The first is to protect their country from existential threats. The second: To work very hard to stay on the good side of the president and people of the United States. Success in accomplishing this first task is sometimes predicated on achieving this second task.

Israel has been, for several decades, a bipartisan cause in Washington. Bipartisan support accounts for the ease with which Israeli prime ministers have historically been heard in Washington; it accounts for the generous aid packages Israel receives; and it also explains America’s commitment to maintaining Israel’s qualitative military edge. Netanyahu’s management of his relationship with Obama threatens the bipartisan nature of Israel’s American support.

Most of all, Jeffrey insists that

It is immaterial whether an Israeli prime minister finds an American president agreeable or not. A sitting president cannot be written off by a small, dependent ally, without terrible consequences.

Michael Koplow made a similar argument last week. Corn elaborates on the shortsightedness of Bibi’s actions:

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Obama’s Meetup With Modi

Jan 27 2015 @ 5:57pm


Bruce Einhorn checks in on the summit:

The visit is Obama’s second to India as president, and relations are clearly warming. The two leaders on Sunday announced a deal on civilian nuclear projects after years of delays. The U.S. will drop its insistence on tracking nuclear fuel sold to India to ensure it’s not used for military purposes, and in return the Indians will set up an insurance pool (initially funded at $122 million, with more money to come later) to shield from liability nuclear power plant suppliers such as General Electric and Westinghouse Electric.

Howard LaFranchi gets at the mutual importance of the trip Obama and Modi:

[J]ust as India figures prominently in Obama’s “rebalancing” of US interests to Asia, the United States is emerging for Modi as a key partner in his efforts to revitalize a stagnant economy and to reinforce India’s position in the region and on the global stage.

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