Wednesday, March 18, 2009

AIG, Bernie Madoff, President Bush, President Obama, American Idol, A Psychic Cat and Movies!!!

It is late in the evening on Wednesday, March 18. American Idol ended almost a half hour ago. Earlier today, our (yours and my) loud bitching about bonuses seems to have gotten the attention of all those AIG incompetents and failures who received the bonuses, and as of now, we're told they plan to return some (if not all) of the bonuses.

Again...that's as of now. If these greedy incomptent failures decide to change their minds, we won't be surprised, will we?

I mean folks are sooo pissed off about this bonus business. Off the charts pissed off! Our country might be in a depression and the people who helped put us IN THIS MESS think they're deserving of BONUSES?!?"

And then there's Bernie Madoff! Somebody wanna tell me how this guy is still ALIVE?!?

There were no howls of protest when Iowa Senator Charles Grassley said that AIG executives should consider killing themselves like some people in Japan have done when/after they've done something that's very dishonorable. Personally, I'm not advocating that, but I'm sympathetic to the thought because of what we're all facing during this terrible economic time.

But Bernie Madoff? What a smooth talker this piece of human garbage must be. A lot of smart people gave Madoff a lot of money because they believed he was an honorable man who was very good with money that you wanted to invest. Money that would allow you to live a wonderful life when you decided to retire.

Wellll...it turned out to be money that ended up allowing Mr. and Mrs. Madoff a wonderful life before THEY decided to retire. And ya know what? If all the deregulation and complete lack of oversight hadn't joined forces to show us all how stupid we all were by not demanding accountability which resulted in us almost totally collapsing economically, Madoff would probably still be free! WHY? Because no one asked Madoff to "cash out" until the proverbial economic shit "hit the fan".

Because what Madoff did DESTROYED so many people, I can't help but wonder why he's still alive. I know I'm not the only one wondering this and I have to believe that Mr. Madoff might end up being the most protected prisoner in our prison penal history.

PRESIDENT BUSH:

Did you hear about the new book President Bush plans to have in the book stores next year? He says it will be a book that will (among other things) deal with 10-12 decisions he made and why he made them. Because of what his former Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said on MSNBC's Hardball show recently, I will be very curious to read what President Bush writes about the decision he made to go to war in Iraq. Fleischer is still insisting that Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11. My first reaction is to get a megaphone and yell, "Earth to Fleischer! Earth to Fleischer!" , but if we read in President Bush's new book that HE believes that?....?

PRESIDENT OBAMA:

Look, none of our economic problems are President Obama's fault. In fact, he won't begin his 3rd month as President until March 20 and this economic mess was under a full head of steam before he got elected! Buuuut...isn't it time we started asking some serious questions about some of these people he has given high level jobs to? I mean it was bad enough when it seemed like everyone he was nominating or appointing had tax problems of one kind or another. I don't know about you, but if the guy you're picking to be Treasury Secretary has tax problems, the first thing I'M thinking is, "Is THIS the guy who should be responsible for the MONEY in this country?"

I had actually allowed myself to get past that appointment until I read about President Obama's new National Intelligence head honcho, Dennis Blair. He's a retired 4-star Navy Admiral who's also an Oxford guy, which is all good. He made a couple of decisions that raised some eyebrows, but a very recent decision made by Admiral Blair has everyone's attention. He appointed John Deutch, a former CIA director to a sensitive position. Blair's in charge of National Intelligence, Deutch is a former CIA director and at first glance, this looks like a good and sensible decision. UNTIL...we find out why Deutch resigned as CIA director in 1996, that his high level security clearances were stripped from him and that he felt he needed (and got) a Presidential Pardon from Bill Clinton. This new job he has requires an off the charts top-security clearance and Missouri Senator Kit Bond (for one) thinks this is outrageous and that this security clearance Deutch has been given "Should be reversed immediately!"

I won't bore you with the details as to why Deutch had his clearances taken away from him and why he resigned in 1996, but I will say that what he was guilty of had nothing to do with agents losing their lives, Deutch being a traitor or anything like that.

John Deutch simply seems to be a guy who (as the late baseball general manager, Al Campanis once said) "doesn't have the necessities!"

I happen to know Senator Kit Bond. I haven't seen him in a lot of years, I don't agree with him politically on most things, but I DO agree with Senator Bond about THIS! John Deutch should be removed and President Obama needs to figure out a way to quit hiring people who have question marks tattooed on them. When President Obama hires people who are "clean", he also needs to know that these people aren't inclined to hire subordinates who have question marks tattooed on them.

Bottom line? ENOUGH WITH THE QUESTION MARKS, MR. PRESIDENT!!!


Television:

If you saw American Idol, you know that Alexis was eliminated. American Idol has a new rule this year. The four judges can "save" the singer who has the lowest number of votes that week. Last week, two singers were eliminated and then they were required to sing. That's always been a requirement, a requirement that I think is a form of torture.

Tonight (Wednesday, March 18), Alexis was told the judges were thinking about "saving" her and it would depend on how she sang. RIGHT NOW!!!

My first thought is that the American Idol people who are coming up with stuff like this are people who will easily find a new job when American Idol finally goes off the air. And that new job will be in the film business writing new torture ideas for the "Saw" franchise. For those of you not familiar with the "Saw" franchise, there have been 5 or 6 "Saw" films made, they've been big hits and the "Saw" films are classified as torture-porn.

When Alexis sang, you could tell she was "rattled". Maybe she wasn't good enough. But under those conditions, she never had a chance.

One more American Idol observation...Tuesday night when all the A.I. singers sang, it was Country Music night. The great Randy Travis was their "coach". One of the singers decided to sing a Country Classic in a way that Travis didn't agree with at all. Travis was also taken aback by the fact that the male singer was wearing black nail polish.

I'm referring to Adam Lambert. And ya know what? I honestly thought that Lambert would get the lowest number of votes and I also thought that the judges would probably "save" him because of his "stage presence" and the fact that he really can sing.

But what Adam Lambert did to Johnny Cash's Country Classic, "Ring of Fire", was insulting. It was insulting to the memory of Cash and it was insulting to people who love Country Music.

Adam Lambert is a very talented performer and is a serious candidate to be the next American Idol. He is also a serious candidate to do something very stupid that will get his cocky ass eliminated.

AND SPEAKING OF TELEVISION...

Did you happen to see the new episode of "House" on Fox this past Monday night. "House" is on just before "24" on Mondays.

Except for "American Idol", "House" is the highest rated television show on Fox.

Anywayyyy...Monday night's "House" centered around what appeared to be a "psychic cat". I'm not making this up. An adorable, slightly mysterious and uber-cool charcoal cat. Gang, I'm a dog kind of guy. I LOVE dogs! But Monday night, when "House" ended, I was in love with that cat. Terrific, terrific episode!!!

THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT:

In 1972, I was in St. Louis and I saw a new film directed by a new director named Wes Craven. "Last House On The Left". The only thing I really remember about that film was that it scared the hell out of me and a notice that was attached to the ads for the film which said (I think) "Remember, it's only a MOVIE!"

A new version of Last House On The Left was released last Friday and I saw it a couple of days ago. Wes Craven isn't the director, but he is the producer.

It cost only 11 million dollars to make and it made more than 14 million this past weekend.

I don't think this version is anywhere near as scary as the original version, but there are certainly some terrible things that happen in this film. For what it is, I thought the writing was good, the film moved crisply and I was interested in what the outcome would be. And for me, that's pretty much what I require as a viewer.

MOVIES ON THE CABLE CIRCUIT:

For those of you who have read this blog when I'm writing about illegal immigrants, you know that I tend to think that illegal immigration is a bigger problem than most of our public officials do. A much bigger problem. Having said that, I'm always willing to listen to someone else's views on the subject. Yes, there are situations (rare) that I can be sympathetic about, but overall, if the criminal aspect of that behavior isn't acknowledged, I will usually have a problem being sympathetic.

There is a film that's currently being shown on the Starz channels that I highly recommend. It was released last year, but I don't think it was seen by many people. "The Visitor" stars Richard Jenkins and some other actors I'm not familiar with, but all the actors are good and Jenkins is always good. He plays a college professor in Connecticut who has an apartment he rarely uses in New York. He shows up unexpectedly at his apartment and discovers that a friend of his was letting two other people use it. A young man and a young woman. Foreigners. Illegals. But at that point of the film, we don't know that yet. The young man ends up teaching the Jenkins character how to play a tribal drum of some kind, they all like each other, the young man's mother shows up because the young man has been jailed for being an illegal, the Jenkins character tries to help, he ends up also liking the mother, etc., etc. and all of a sudden I'm watching a film I can't take my eyes off of. And yeah, it has a sad ending. Check it out. "The Visitor" on the Starz channels.

"Next". Did you see "Next" when it came out in 2007? I didn't. "Next" is also on the Starz channels now. It stars Nicolas Cage, Julianne Moore and Jessica Biel. Cage plays a guy who can "see the future", but only about 2 minutes or so of the future except when it involves the Biel character. Julianne Moore plays an FBI agent who knows about a terrorist attack that's in the works, but she doesn't the where or the when and she tries to recruit the very reluctant Cage character. "Next" is a fun thrill ride if you don't mind buying into a little science fiction, an area that Nic Cage seems to like to explore. While watching "Next", I was happy to explore it with Nicolas Cage.

"The Dead Girl". Did you see "The Dead Girl" when it came out in 2006? I didn't and "The Dead Girl" is currently on the Showtime channels. "The Dead Girl" was directed by Karen Moncrieff and five stories are told in this film about the murder of "The Dead Girl". The 5th and last story is the story in which we meet "The Dead Girl" just before she is/was murdered.

Nothing dead about the cast of "The Dead Girl". Check this cast list out. Yes, all of these people are in "The Dead Girl" and all of these people are major contributors. Alphabetically they are...Josh Brolin, Rose Byrne (currently one of the stars on "Damages"), Toni Collette (currently the star of "The United States Of Tara"), Bruce Davison, James Franco, Marcia Gay Harden, Mary Beth Hurt, Piper Laurie, Brittany Murphy (as "The Dead Girl") Giovani Ribisi, Nick Searcy, Mary Steenburgen and Kerry Washington. A healthy number of Oscars and Oscar nominations in this group of actors and "The Dead Girl" is a film I think you'll enjoy watching.

QUESTIONS AND OR COMMENTS? Please write to me at scottstjames@sbcglobal.net. If you write to the blog, there's no way for me to know your email address so I won't be able to respond. Everyone who writes to scottstjames@sbcglobal.net gets a written response from me.

THE NEXT BLOG? Barring unforseen circumstances, the next blog will be posted late next Wednesday night (March 25) or very early Thursday morning (March 26).

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