FDL Book Salon Welcomes Chad Nackers and Alex Blechman, The President of Vice: The Autobiography of Joe Biden (The Onion)

Welcome Chad Nackers and Alex Blechman (The Onion) and Host Watertiger (Dependable Renegade.com)

The President of Vice: The Autobiography of Joe Biden (The Onion)

We all know Vice President Joe Biden as the street smart, wisecracking, blue-collared right hand of President Barack Obama. We all know the well-worn public persona: the dedicated family man who spent four hours a day during his Senate tenure shlepping to and from Wilmington, Delaware to be with his offspring, instead of shacking up with a group of fellow politicos in a deluxe Georgetown brownstone, going home on alternate weekends to gladhand with campaign donors. And yes, we all know Joe Biden as the GILF fantasy of women from Bangor to Bangalore, and probably in Europe, too. He’s approachable, he’s funny, he’s smart, he drives a white Trans Am, and he’s dead sexy. He’s Joe Biden.

But there’s so much we didn’t know about the current Veep…until now. Thanks to Chad Nackers and Alex Blechman, two of his good friends at America’s newspaper of record, The Onion, Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. (“Diamond” Joe to his friends) has agreed to tell it like it really was–and is–about his life, from relaxing in the bassinet his father made from an empty Schlitz case, to his carefree youth spent wooing the ladies and discovering new ways to achieve peak inebriation, to the mind-altering Summer of ’87, to knocking boots with Olympia Snowe at the top of the Washington Monument. The President of Vice isn’t just a political animal; he’s a party animal!

Not only does the Master Debater fondly recount tales of sexual prowess and his misadventures roadtripping across America (and Mexico) in this autobiography, but he also provides helpful lists, such as cocktail recipes that will knock you on your sorry ass, his favorite hair metal songs, and the best places in the D.C. area in which to make the beast with two backs. Anyhow, I don’t want to reveal too many of the sensa-million factoids laced throughout this memoir, so let’s get this party started with Chad and Alex, “Diamond” Joe’s emissaries here for today’s Book Salon. (more…)

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Greg Palast and Ted Rall, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps

Welcome Greg Palast (GregPalast.com), Ted Rall (Rall/RallBlog.com) and Host Watertiger (Dependable Renegade)

Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps

Because Americans aren’t anxious enough forced to digest anemic monthly jobs numbers, an economy teetering on the precipice, the steady stream of illegal home foreclosures, a Democratic President poised to shiv Social Security and Medicare, and the country’s insidious metamorphosis into a security state, they also have to worry about something so basic as the right to vote. That’s because über-bully Karl Rove, not content to have put the Dauphin of Dumbfuckistan in the White House, decided that controlling the Executive Branch wasn’t enough. Like his Machiavellian comrade and patron, Charles Koch, he “want[ed] his fair share–and that’s all of it.” Hey, if that means depriving American citizens of their civil rights, well, so be it. There are always going to be winners and losers, amirite? Whaddya gonna do about it?

Enter Greg Palast. Let me rephrase: ENTER Greg Palast. Many of you may already be familiar with Palast’s investigative reports on everything from our decaying democracy to the looting of African economies that have appeared in The Guardian, the BBC, Rolling Stone, Harper’s and The Nation, among others. The author of New York Times bestsellers, he’s a muckraker of the best sort, nonpartisan and intrepid, digging for information while our lazy, turgid American media gets its information from PR flaks and cocktail weenie gossip.

Palast recognizes that the greatest threat to the survival of the American Experiment is the silencing of our collective voice. So he set out to follow the money behind the Koch-and-Rove Show’s organized effort to “shut it down”–if I may paraphrase Todd Akin [R-Ignorant Dipshit]. The result? Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps. With comics by the irrepressible Ted Rall, Palast’s latest outlines precisely how these sociopaths (I know, I use that word a lot, but hey, shoes that fit…) have begun to dismantle the voting process and what we, the people, can do to repair the damage and take back our country from these arrogant plutocrats. And yes, it’s up to us, because we can’t rely on the bought-and-paid-for government to do it for us.

I wanted to note that these two pertinent stories hit the wires on Friday:

GOP efforts to purge the voter rolls in Florida and Colorado have so far come up with almost no noncitzens, NPR reports. The two states fought to gain access to an immigration database compiled by the Department of Homeland Security to compare against their voter rolls. Armed with this federal database, Florida claims the purge has identified “several” noncitizens out of 2,600 names, while Colorado admits they have “no confirmed noncitizens.”

And this:

After previously trying to restrict early voting, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted (R) today reversed course on his decision to block county boards of elections from setting their own early voting hours in the days leading up to the November election.

It’s something, but we need more. Much, much more. And with that, I want to welcome Greg Palast and Ted Rall to Firedoglake’s Book Salon!

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Greg Palast and Ted Rall, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps

Welcome Greg Palast (GregPalast.com), Ted Rall (Rall/RallBlog.com) and Host Watertiger (Dependable Renegade)

Billionaires & Ballot Bandits:  How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps

Because Americans aren’t anxious enough forced to digest anemic monthly jobs numbers, an economy teetering on the precipice, the steady stream of illegal home foreclosures, a Democratic President poised to shiv Social Security and Medicare, and the country’s insidious metamorphosis into a security state, they also have to worry about something so basic as the right to vote. That’s because über-bully Karl Rove, not content to have put the Dauphin of Dumbfuckistan in the White House, decided that controlling the Executive Branch wasn’t enough. Like his Machiavellian comrade and patron, Charles Koch, he “want[ed] his fair share–and that’s all of it.” Hey, if that means depriving American citizens of their civil rights, well, so be it. There are always going to be winners and losers, amirite? Whaddya gonna do about it?

Enter Greg Palast. Let me rephrase: ENTER Greg Palast. Many of you may already be familiar with Palast’s investigative reports on everything from our decaying democracy to the looting of African economies that have appeared in The Guardian, the BBC, Rolling Stone, Harper’s and The Nation, among others. The author of New York Times bestsellers, he’s a muckraker of the best sort, nonpartisan and intrepid, digging for information while our lazy, turgid American media gets its information from PR flaks and cocktail weenie gossip. (more…)

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Ted Rall, The Book of O(bama): From Hope and Change to the Age of Revolt

Welcome Ted Rall (Rall.com) and Host Watertiger (DependableRenegade)

The Book of O(bama): From Hope and Change to the Age of Revolt

Why do I rob banks? Because that’s where the money is.” – quote attributed to notorious heistmeister, Willie Sutton

It’s July 1, 2012. We’re rapidly approaching the fourth anniversary of the murder of the American middle class, the Dark Times when our corporate-controlled government, draped in the disguise of democracy, announced in (allegedly) Willie Sutton fashion, that the only way to save the country from financial ruin was to transfer all of our life savings into the offshore bank accounts of the 1%-ers like Jamie “Diamonds” Dimon, Lloyd “Blank Check” Blankfein, Vikram “the Bandit” Pandit, and Ken “Platinum Parachute” Lewis. Distracted by the presidential election circus of 2008, the American citizenry sat passively by as BushCo, having already looted the U.S. Treasury to pay for the administration’s Iraq Follies, decided now that they had gotten theirs, it was the banksters’ turn. The country was forced to watch, locked out of their bank-foreclosed homes as the government rehabilitated these murderers, this time by robbing from the private sector. (more…)

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Lee Papa, The Rude Pundit’s Almanack

Welcome Lee Papa, and Host, Watertiger.

[As a courtesy to our guests, please keep comments to the book. Please take other conversations to a previous thread. – bev]

The Rude Pundit’s Almanack

Watertiger, Host:

On September 29, 2003, several months after the launch of the Idiot King’s Great Debacle, a fresh, loud and rather impudent voice interrupted the hand-wringing fatalism infecting the left side of the blogosphere. Lee Papa, better known to the world as The Rude Pundit, had arrived to give our rage ventilation and civility the finger. His manifesto reads in part:

The Rude Pundit is left. You are wrong.

The Rude Pundit owes you nothing. He is free from all obligations. Unlike you, he can say whatever he wants. He will always speak the truth. He will always try to make you uncomfortable.

The Rude Pundit knows that the majority of the country believes in liberal policies. They just don’t know it. Yet.

The Rude Pundit believes that the reason the left has failed to get an open following is that it has allowed rudeness to become the language of the right. Thomas Paine was rude. W.E.B. DuBois was rude. Abbie Hoffman was rude. The Rude Pundit could list more people, but he doesn’t want to waste time on your history lesson. Go read a fucking book.

The Rude Pundit takes no prisoners. If something pisses him off, he lets you know in certain and often x-rated terms. He delights in taunting the “civility” trolls, prudes who blush at his exotic prose and dismiss his foul-mouthed arguments as unserious, probably because they (1) hate that he’s right and (2) are secretly turned on by him. Amidst the gray tut-tutting of the “sensible” pundits and bloggers, Lee’s posts are a rainbow of neon lights. (more…)

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Lee Papa, The Rude Pundit’s Almanack

Welcome Lee Papa, and Host, Watertiger.

[As a courtesy to our guests, please keep comments to the book.  Please take other conversations to a previous thread. – bev]

The Rude Pundit’s Almanack

Watertiger, Host:

On September 29, 2003, several months after the launch of the Idiot King’s Great Debacle, a fresh, loud and rather impudent voice interrupted the hand-wringing fatalism infecting the left side of the blogosphere. Lee Papa, better known to the world as The Rude Pundit, had arrived to give our rage ventilation and civility the finger. His manifesto reads in part:

The Rude Pundit is left. You are wrong.

The Rude Pundit owes you nothing. He is free from all obligations. Unlike you, he can say whatever he wants. He will always speak the truth. He will always try to make you uncomfortable.

The Rude Pundit knows that the majority of the country believes in liberal policies. They just don’t know it. Yet.

The Rude Pundit believes that the reason the left has failed to get an open following is that it has allowed rudeness to become the language of the right. Thomas Paine was rude. W.E.B. DuBois was rude. Abbie Hoffman was rude. The Rude Pundit could list more people, but he doesn’t want to waste time on your history lesson. Go read a fucking book.

The Rude Pundit takes no prisoners. If something pisses him off, he lets you know in certain and often x-rated terms. He delights in taunting the “civility” trolls, prudes who blush at his exotic prose and dismiss his foul-mouthed arguments as unserious, probably because they (1) hate that he’s right and (2) are secretly turned on by him. Amidst the gray tut-tutting of the “sensible” pundits and bloggers, Lee’s posts are a rainbow of neon lights. (more…)

Liveblogging The WGA Awards

Hey, kids. I’m representing FDL at the WGAE Awards tonight. Very exciting.

The Writers Guild of America represents writers in motion pictures, television, cable, digital media, and broadcast news. Just as important, it is the voice of these artists at the legislative level. Tonight, the WGAE is working in tandem with its West Coast sister to present their awards.

Kristen Schaal, the host for the evening, takes the podium. You may know her from “Flight of the Conchords”, and “The Daily Show”. She cracks wise almost instantly, She says nobody leaves this auditorium until “Mubarak steps down”.

You can view the list of nominees here.

Wow, they get the smaller awards out of the way pretty quickly with this group.

Episodic Comedy: Robert Carlock, 30 Rock.

On-Air Promotions: Ann DeVega for CSI.

Graphic Design: Sunday Morning By Design.

Screenwriters for Video Games: Assassin’s Creek

A very pregnant Gretchen Mol has taken the stage to present long form adaptation. And the winner is The Pacific, Part 8!

Long Form original: Peter Morgan, the Special Relationship

Hey, it’s Boardwalk Empire’s Vincent Piazza to present the award for documentary: Rob Rapley for “Wyatt Earp”, part of PBS’ “American Experience”

Documentary, current events: Rick Young, Frontline’s “Flying Cheap” [cont’d] (more…)

Saturday Art: Liveblogging The WGA Awards

Hey, kids.  I’m representing FDL at the WGAE Awards tonight. Very exciting.

The Writers Guild of America represents writers in motion pictures, televisino, cable, digita media, and broadcast news. Just as important, it is the voice of these artists at the legislative level. Tonight, the WGAE is working in tandem with its West Coast sister to present their awards.

Kristen Schaal, the host for the evening, takes the podium. You may know her from “Flight of the Conchords”, and “The Daily Show”. She cracks wise almost instantly, She says nobody leaves this auditorium until “Mubarak steps down”.

You can view the list of nominees here.

Wow, they get the smaller awards out of the way pretty quickly with this group.

Episodic Comedy:  Robert Carlock, 30 Rock.

On-Air Promotions: Ann DeVega for CSI.

Graphic Design: Sunday Morning By Design.

Screenwriters for Video Games: Assassin’s Creek

A very pregnant Gretchen Mol has taken the stage to present long form adaptation. And the winner is The Pacific, Part 8!

Long Form original: Peter Morgan, the Special Relationship

Hey, it’s Boardwalk Empire’s Vincent Piazza to present the award for documentary: Rob Rapley for “Wyatt Earp”, part of PBS’ “American Experience”

Documentary, current events: Rick Young, Frontline’s “Flying Cheap”

Kristen Schaal takes the stage one more time, imitating Christian Bale. That’s acting for you…

Best Children’s Script, longform or special: Julie Sherman Wolf and Amy Talkington, for”Avalon High”

Children’s Animation:  “Imagination Movers: Happy Ha-Ha-Holidays”, Michael G. Stern, et al…

Animation: Futurama’s “Irreconciable Differences,” Patrick Verrone

Michael Winship, the president of WGAE on stage. On a somber note, he recounts the attacks on journalists in Egypt, and the risks investigative reporters (yes, they’re still out there) take every day.

He presents the John Merriman Award for the study of broadcast journalism  to Jeremy Borden of American University.

Analysis,   Feature or Commentary: Jenny Dubin, 60 Minutes, “Resurrecting Eden”

Regularly Scheduled, Breaking Report, or Bulletin:  “Sunday Morning Almanac”

True Blood’s Dennis O’Hare presents for

Episodic Drama (one episode): “Mad Men” – “the Chrysanthemum & the Sword”

Episodic Drama: The writers of “Mad Men” take home the award for Episodic Drama Series.

Tony Gilroy,  is presenting the Ian McLellan Hunter Lifetime Achievement Award to screenwriter, playwright, novelist…his father, Frank Gilroy (Now I know why they don’t televise these shows – they’d have to do a lot of bleeping.) You may be familiar with “The Subject Was Roses”?

Oh, my! It’s John Waters! Presenting for adapted screenplay

…and the winner is:  Aaron Sorkin for “The Social Network”! Mr. Sorkin is accepting his award in L.A. Are we surprised?

The WGA has a new award this year – New Media. WOOT!

I think I need to watch “Gossip Girl”, because Matthew Settle has a great speaking voice. He’s presenting the New Media awards:

Outstanding Achievement in Writing, New Media: Susan Miller and Tina Cesa Ward, www.AnyoneButMeSeries.com

New Media, Derivative: “Frank v. Lutz,” John Haller, nbc.com

The Daily Show’s very, very funny Wyatt Cenac presents for Radio:

Radio Documentary: Gail Lee, “2009 Year in Review,” CBS Radio

News Regularly Scheduled, Bulletin or Breaking Report: Paul Farey, CBS World News Roundup

News Analysis, Feature or Commentary, Gail Lee, CBS Radio

Wow. It’s Lee Grant! For those who don’t know this little tidbit, she was Joe McCarthy’s blacklist in the 50’s and was married to a blacklisted writer,  so she should know from courage and repression. Ms. Grant presents the Evelyn F. Burkey Award to the Academy of Arts & Science Foundation’s Archive of American Television.

Erica Slezak, better known as “Vicki Lord” of “One Life to Live,” presents the award for  “Daytime Drama”: the WGA Award goes to the writers of  “As The World Turns”. Bittersweet, since the show was finally cancelled after 54 years.

Jenny Lumet and Marshall Brickman presents the Michael Collyer Memorial Fellowship in Screenwriting. The award goes to a student crazy enough to try to make a living writing scripts! Congratulations to James Delapo, who is studying at NYU. Damned precocious kids.

The actor John Larroquette takes the stage to present for Best Series…

…and “Boardwalk Empire” takes home the award!

And Best Comedy Series…”Modern Family”.

Merritt Weaver from “Nurse Jackie” presents for Comedy/Variety Series…

…the writers of  “The  Colbert Report” take home the prize!

Music, Awards, Tributes: “National Memorial Day Concert 2010″

And the big awards now: Best Original  Screenplay, presented by Kathleen Turner:

and the award goes to Christopher Nolan for “Inception”!

And the last one…Documentary Screenplay:  “Inside Job”,  Charles Ferguson, Chad Beck, and Adam Bolt.

The WGA Awards have drawn to a close. Let us hope that the WGA, and unions in general, can perservere  in the  anti-worker climate the country has become mired in.

Late Night: Gory, Gory, Hallelujah?

While the pundits argue over whether Ronald Reagan was suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease during his tenure as President, the former president’s self-proclaimed heir apparent appeared on Sean Hannity’s pity party earlier this evening, to honor, no doubt, the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. and to display her own symptoms of  advanced foot-in-mouth disease.

Of course, timing is everything, as the casting director of “Aryans on Ice”, Pat Buchanan, who defended Palin’s use of  “blood libel” against her detractors, yesterday likened the attacks on Palin last week to a “lynch mob.”

And now, Pat Buchanan has added a new hyperbolic comparison to the list, describing President Obama’s speech on Wednesday as”a fairly stern admonition, especially to the far left in this country, which has been quite frankly conducting something of a lynch mob against Glenn Beck, against Sarah Palin, against Rush Limbaugh.”

Nice, Pat. Very nice. Just in time for this particular national holiday. Yes, yes, look at the poor, oppressed rich white people who stepped in piles of their own steaming feces and now want to blame their virulent stupidity on everyone else.

But what’s really laughable is the video that went viral today in which two . . . ardent . . . fans of the Quitternator literally sing her “praises.”

They got one thing right: it’ll be a cold day in Washington (a.k.a. “Hell”) when Sarah Palin is elected President.

And just because, I thought I’d give a “Battle Hymn of the Republic” rewrite a try:

She waltzes ’round the issues with the elegance of Shrek.
Her cheerleader-in-chief is an idiot named Glenn Beck.
Watching her backpedal is like viewing a train wreck,
Her star’s on the decline.

Gore-y lovin’ Sarah Palin
English grammar? She be failin’.
On Alaska, she is bailin’.
Her star’s on the decline.

She’d start a war with Africa is she knew just where it was;
She ran for V.P. but has no idea what the V.P. does;
Her political acuity equals that of dryer fuzz,
Her star’s on the decline.

Rifle-totin’ Sarah Palin,
English grammar? She be failin’.
On Alaska, she is bailin’.
Her star’s on the decline.

She’d rig a TV dance contest to score herself a win.
You can only love your country if you wear a flag pin.
That Levi hasn’t spilled the beans is such a bloody sin,
Her star’s on the decline.

College-hoppin’ Sarah Palin,
English grammar? She be failin’.
On Alaska, she is bailin’.
Her star’s on the decline.

Thanks again, John McCain.