Review-ABC's "Commander-in-Chief";Blast from Past; Fishgiggles-Fart Jokes Still Funny.

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”Commander-in-Chief”-Wholly Improbable, Only Slightly Believable

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a female President and all that the gender might entail, with a male Vice-President who is a tough General and isn’t afraid to speak the truth?

Said female President would, of course, be an Independent, while the Vice-President would be her former opponent.

Naturally the only way, given our current political scene, that this would happen is through a series of weird circumstances and taken opportunities.

With only two years until the next election, as the plot for ABC’s “Commander in Chief” (Tuesdays-9 pm) would have us believe, and with no chance for re-election, these two odd bedfellows could change the world with no mind to politics and the burden of campaigning.

It’s an improbable set of circumstances but that’s what fiction is in so many ways. For the moment, let’s say the concept intrigues.

While, as a self-confessed political junkee, I enjoy the show, already I’m thinking of boycotting it.

Because didn’t Donald Southerland, who portrays the nasty Speaker of the House in the series, go overseas and bash the United States of America?

Of course the ACTOR has the right to speak his mind given that free speech thing. It’s bothersome to me that someone who plays a powerful politician in a TV series is all of a sudden blessed with the wisdom to be granted an international audience.

To add to Southerland’s outrage, the man totally boo-hooed to the world forum over the despicable state of his country, a country so damn bad that he must cry over the entire mess it has become.

Obviously, given the statements he made about the administration being corrupt and so evidently a proponent of the rich, Southerland has problems with the current executive leadership.

Hey, somebody tell Mr. Boo-Hoo Southerland that the current occupant of the White House was ELECTED by the people. The common people who carry this country on their backs and are not rich ACTORS with a world forum to watch sad tears descend from ACTING eyeballs.

By a margin of four, count ‘em, FOUR MILLION votes.

Then I guess we are all idiots for not obeying the wisdom of Hollywood elites who do, what with all those ACTORS, know way more than us schlubs.

If I don’t boycott the series for Southerland’s total lack of class, I might for the improbability of the plot.

NBC’s “West Wing” is a wishful form of political-think, (my review on this series HERE), but it is way more realistic in terms of working within the existing political system with all of its faults and warts.

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McKenzie Allen, played fairly well by Geena Davis, becomes President by virtue of the fact that the President died suddenly with Allen as his Independent VP.

A couple more improbable plot stretches from the most recent episode (Tuesday, 10/4/05). Allen’s eldest daughter manages to misplace her diary. Which causes, as one might imagine, an uproar because should such a thing land in the wrong hands the tabloids and gossip columns would run amok.

First, this child’s mother had been the country’s Vice-President before her strange ascendancy to the nation’s highest office. It’s not like this first daughter wouldn’t be aware of the political sensitivity of having a diary, written in her own hand, hardly kept under lock and key but shoved into a dresser drawer.

Second, how many teenage girls really keep diaries like this any more?

This is not to say that teenage girls still don’t have deep thoughts and adolescent confusion as in the days before Word Processors with deeply embedded passwords.

An adolescent in such a sensitive situation would more likely keep her private thoughts on a personal computer or at the least, go with me here, have it under some sort of lock and key!

In a strange twist, the former President’s wife also resides in the White House living quarters. This oddity is explained away by the fact that Eleanor Roosevelt remained in the White House for several months after her husband died.

It’s obvious that the former First Lady, Grace Bridges, is going to play a part in this series. In the first episode of “Commander-in-Chief”, Grace was very encouraging to McKenzie.

Perfect. Have a real insider from the Bridges administration right on the spot to advise and inform.

I find it totally not believable.

Which is not to say that “Commander-in-Chief” is without its believable drama. The troubles and dilemmas of the “First Husband”, for example, are interesting. Something Bill Clinton might soon face.

And there’s plenty of political in-fighting to give the series a dose of reality. There’s even some sort of Nancy Pelosi clone, the Senate Majority leader on the series, who threatens Allen with punishment should she not go along with the flow.

Tentatively I will watch the next episode of the series as the political junkee in me can’t resist. If I hear one more thing about the ACTOR Donald Southerland boo-hooing in foreign countries about our elected officials, and I’d feel the same way no matter who was in the White House if they were fairly elected, then I will watch no more.

And Geena Davis, the ACTRESS, better not get all wise and think she’s the new national guru on all things political.

ACTORS and ACTRESSES have a right to free speech, of course.

I do not have to watch their self-aggrandizing speech, however.

Or do I have to watch their strange and oddly-plotted TV series.
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June 2005
It was only three months ago. But it was an era before Katrina and Rita. When we were worrying about earthquakes in California, Club Gitmo, and egads, the Runaway Bride!

Copied in its entirety below.

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Five in California this past week!

A moderate earthquake occurred at 1:53:25 PM (PDT) on Thursday, June 16, 2005.
The magnitude 5.3 event occurred 5 km (3 miles) NE of Yucaipa, CA.
The hypocentral depth is 12 km ( 8 miles).

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Congress: Durbin Speaketh
If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime--Pol Pot or others--that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners.

24/7-Should We Close Down Gitmo?
But of course.

And as Rush suggested, move them all to Delaware.

Meanwhile I chance upon this article from one of my favorite Journalists, Claudia Rosett. She depicts prison life in Libya. Libya, governed by Gadhafi, darling of this administration.

Why isn’t Biden checking out this prison system?

Some of Gadhafi's critics have vanished into places such as Abu Salim prison, near Tripoli--where state authorities massacred hundreds of inmates during a prison revolt in 1996, and where Mr. Eljahmi served time in 2002-03. Many have been harassed or beaten up, or simply disappeared. At the moment, Libya's dissident diaspora is sending around stories of the murder of a Libyan journalist, 32-year-old Daif Al Ghazal, whose bruised and stabbed body was found June 2 in the city of Benghazi, according to the Paris-based monitoring group Reporters Without Borders. Mr. Al Ghazal, after working for years for a pro-Gadhafi newspaper (no other kind is permitted in Libya) had begun writing articles critical of corruption within the Libyan regime, published on an Arabic London-based Web site, ("Libya Today").

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This Just In
Downing Street Memo a fake?

Seems the basis for John Conyers’ impeachment hearings was a document “re-typed” from originals.

It also seems the originals were destroyed.
Captains Quarters Blog
Until tonight, however, no one questioned the authenticity of the documents provided by the Times of London. That has now changed, as Times reporter Michael Smith admitted that the memos he used are not originals, but retyped copies (via LGF and CQ reader Sapper):

The eight memos — all labeled "secret" or "confidential" — were first obtained by British reporter Michael Smith, who has written about them in The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Times. Smith told AP he protected the identity of the source he had obtained the documents from by typing copies of them on plain paper and destroying the originals.

The AP obtained copies of six of the memos (the other two have circulated widely). A senior British official who reviewed the copies said their content appeared authentic. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of the secret nature of the material.

Yes, absolutely I believe this. The reporter typed the memos on an old-fashioned typewriter (WHY?) then destroyed the originals.


Why would I doubt such a story?
Jackson, Schiavo, Runaway Bride
Jackson got some California justice. Thus he was not guilty on all counts. Oh, and one of his jurors showed up a celebration at a casino in honor of his victory.

The autopsy report on Terri Schiavo was released. Took four months to rehydrate the brain after she was denied water until death. The autopsy pretty much proves nothing.
An autopsy on Terri Schiavo backed her husband's contention that she was in a persistent vegetative state, finding that she had massive and irreversible brain damage and was blind, the medical examiner's office said Wednesday. It also found no evidence that she was strangled or otherwise abused.

But what caused her collapse 15 years remained a mystery.

And Jennifer Wilbanks got a movie and book deal for being an idiot and scaring people to death. She will also be interviewed by Perky Katie.
10 WCAU: Tuesday, June 21 8:00 PM
Special, News, Documentary

Jennifer Wilbanks discusses why she fabricated her own abduction in order to avoid marrying fiance John Mason.

God Bless America.
Natalee Holloway, Revolving Suspects and Aruba
Tomorrow’s weekly true crime update will have a more in-depth review of events swirling about the investigation of the disappearance of Alabama native, Natalee Holloway.

Below are links to posts made on this Blog last week as they unfolded.

The latest on this case is the detainment of a fourth “suspect” and, oddly, the father of one of the suspects is also being held for questioning.

The fourth suspect being held is a Deejay and works on a tourist party boat called “Tattoo”. His name is Steve Croes.
Political Cartoon of the Week
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The Next Food Network Star

Being a person of unabashed interest in cooking, I've tuned in with a righteousness to Fox's offering of "Hell's Kitchen". Only to be supremely disappointed in that the show was more about a certain chef and less about cooking and food preparation. Review my recent posts on Blogcritics for my diatribes about this cooking reality series.

So this past Sunday night, completely by accident, I chance upon Food Network's reality series "The Next Food Network Star".

I totally loved this show.

The series is based roughly on so many reality shows in that there are finalists, they compete, one is eliminated and the competition goes on. According to the hype, the audience will get a chance to vote as the field of contenders narrows. The winner of the competition will get their own Food Network series.

The first reason I enjoyed this show is the contestants are so interesting. Every one of these entrants desperately wants to be a Food Network star and have impressive credentials and a cooking background to accompany their quest.

Susannah is a lady who lost beaucoup pounds on a recent diet. Her quest is to have a series about low-calorie cooking.

Michael is a would-be chef who has wild and wooly hair and a spectacular personality with just enough of a hint of wacko to maintain interest.

Dan & Steve are an admitted gay couple who think the world's ready for a cooking series hosted by a pair of loving homosexuals who can cook.

There are other interesting contestants. So far these three finalists are among my consideration for the top three.

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The second reason I enjoyed the show is that it's very interesting.

Each of the contestants had to not only cook, but they had to learn how to cook for the camera, run the appliances backward, read the cue cards, and mind the time. Viewers were treated to snippets of these learning sessions and it kept me rapt.

Contestants also had to make a smashing presentation to the three judges of their plan for a Food Network series. This session too was presented to viewers and again I was mesmerized by the thought and ingenuity of the contestants.

But yes, they cook. In this past episode each had to prepare a pizza under the tutelage of Food Network star Mario Batali.

Some of those pizzas were really, really strange.

The contest has a diverse and interesting appeal beyond a chef yelling at charges or endless video of chopping and slicing is what I'm saying here.

Below From the Foodnet Work Web Site are snippets about the next two contest episodes.

Foodies, check it out!

June 26th at 9/8c FINALE
Special 90 minute episode; winner revealed on LIVE TV
The remaining finalists meet with Rachael Ray to develop a mini-pilot and film on the 30 Minute Meals set, before leaving their fate up to the audience.


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Find Out How Long You Will Live

Watch the age prediction on the top left of the screen change as you answer the various questions.

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Farts Are Funny

One day I met a sweet gentleman and fell in love. When it became apparent that we would marry, I made the supreme sacrifice and gave up beans.

Some months later, on my birthday, my car broke down on the way home from work. Since I lived in the countryside I called my husband and told him that I would be late because I had to walk home.

On my way, I passed by a small diner and the odor of baked beans was more than I could stand. With miles to walk, I figured that I would
walk off any ill effects by the time I reached home, so I stopped at the diner and before I knew it, I had consumed three large orders of baked

All the way home, I made sure that I released all the gas. Upon my arrival, my husband seemed excited to see me and exclaimed delightedly: "Darling I have a surprise for dinner tonight."

He then blindfolded me and led me to my chair at the dinner table. I took a seat and just as he was about to remove my blindfold, the telephone rang.

He made me promise not to touch the blindfold until he returned and went to answer the call.

The baked beans I had consumed were still affecting me and the pressure was becoming most unbearable, so while my husband was out
of the room I seized the opportunity, shifted my weight to one leg and let one go.

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It was not only loud, but it smelled like a fertilizer truck running over a skunk in front of a pulpwood mill. I took my napkin from my lap and fanned the air around me vigorously.

Then, shifting to the other cheek, I ripped off three more. The stink was worse than cooked cabbage.

Keeping my ears carefully tuned to the conversation in the other room,I went on like this for another few minutes. The pleasure was

When eventually the telephone farewells signaled the end of my freedom, I quickly fanned the air a few more times with my napkin, placed it on my lap and folded my hands back on it feeling very relieved and pleased with myself.

My face must have been the picture of innocence when my husband returned, apologizing for taking so long. He asked me if I had peeked through the blindfold, and I assured him I had not.

At this point, he removed the blindfold, and twelve dinner guests seated around the table chorused: "Happy Birthday!"

I fainted!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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