This Is What They Call a Metaphor

From Politics Daily:

The produce used on the Food Network's Jan. 3 Iron Chef of America two-hour special White House show was billed as being from the White House garden. But the show did not disclose that "stunt double vegetables" were used and not produce from the First Family's garden.
Somehow I'm not shocked at the phoniness. But it will be interesting to compare and contrast the coverage this actual phoniness receives with the bogus "fake turkey" story that even now is repeated by the clueless to slag Dubya.

Fearless Prediction on Carol Shea-Porter's ObamaCare Vote

Patrick Hynes' Now! Hampshire got an Instalink a few days back for this big news about my very own Congressperson:

One thing is clear: Unless Sen. Harry Reid and President Barack Obama back down on the excise tax in the health reform bills being merged in a secret conference committee, Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) will not vote for the final bill, the New York Times reports.

And that's not the only feature of the final bill Shea-Porter is likely to oppose.

The first link doesn't work; my guess is that this story is the one in question. Sure enough, it contains:
The House [version of the ObamaCare] bill, meanwhile, passed by only a five-vote margin, and at least three Democrats who voted for it -- Mr. Courtney, Phil Hare of Illinois and Carol Shea-Porter of New Hampshire -- have said they would oppose a final bill if it contained an excise tax [on so-called "Cadillac" insurance coverage] like the Senate version.
A previous Now! Hampshire article on Shea-Porter's likely vote said:
Influential liberal blog Fire Dog Lake is reporting that Democratic Congresswoman Carol Shea- Porter (NH-01) has "vowed to vote against any bill that does not have a public option."
Follow the link to Fire Dog Lake, however, and it appears it's been modified (without explanation). The relevant text now reads:
Carol Shea-Porter vowed to vote against any bill that does not have a public option has an excise tax, so she looks to piss off both liberals AND conservatives with a "yes" vote.
Hm, so what's the real story? Again, playing follow-the-link we get to:
This tough talk [from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka about the excise tax] was buffeted [?] by a labor liberal in Congress, Carol Shea-Porter, who over the weekend said she would vote against any bill which included the excise tax. While 190 Democrats have signed a letter rejecting the excise tax, I don't recall any member of Congress making this claim before. Shea-Porter, while generally a liberal, won her seat in 2006, and faces a fairly tough re-election battle. This movement on the health care bill may be as much about November as it is about any firmness on the excise tax.
… and the link goes back to the original Now! Hampshire story.

But wait, it gets worse. Later in that same article, there's an un-timestamped update:

UPDATE: Shea-Porter spokeswoman Jamie Radice just emailed a statement saying that the Congresswoman has NOT made an ultimatum on the excise tax:
"Both in private and in public, Congresswoman Shea-Porter has never said that she would vote for or against a final health care reform bill if it contained an excise tax. She has spoken out forcefully against this tax, which is contained in the Senate's health care reform bill, but she is waiting to see what the conference report looks like before making any final decisions. She remains in support of the House version."
So, um, there you go. She says she never said it.

My guess: she got leaned on, and she caved, on both the public option and excise tax issues. And my fearless prediction: if her "yes" vote is necessary to pass the monstrous legislative turd excreted by the current closed-door negotiations, she'll provide it.

Last Modified 2010-01-17 8:00 PM EDT

Ball of Fire

stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

A 1941 screwball comedy directed by Howard Hawks, from a Billy Wilder screenplay, with Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck. The main question: how could I have waited so long to watch it?

Cooper plays Professor Bertram Potts, the youngest member of a gang of eight scholars diligently working on a multi-year encyclopedia project. The project is funded, it's explained, by a benefactor who was outraged that the Encyclopedia Brittanica failed to properly credit his invention of the electric toaster. They live a monastic existence in a Manhattan brownstone. Potts is writing an article about slang, but a chance visit from a garbageman makes him realize that his grasp of the subject is woefully out of date.

So Potts goes out into early-40's New York, soaking up the colorful language of the street, poolhall, subway, and ballpark. He winds up at a nightclub, where the star performer is one Sugarpuss O'Shea (Miss Stanwyck). Potts wants Sugarpuss badly—for research purposes, of course! She's reluctant, but (as it turns out) the DA is after her to testify against her mob boss boyfriend. So she decides to hide out with the encyclopedists, with hilarious results.

There are a lot of things to like here. Nobody played brassy bad girl roles (with or without the optional "heart of gold" accessory) better than Barbara Stanwyck. Coop's pretty good at light comedy too. The dialogue is clever, and must have been considered pretty racy for 1941. The supporting cast contains lots of actors any old-movie fan will recognize, and they're all great here: Dana Andrews, in a rare comic role as the mob boss; Dan Duryea and Ralph Peters as his bumbling henchmen; Charles Lane as an officious lawyer; Henry Travers (Clarence himself), S. Z. Sakall (Carl himself), and Richard Haydn (the Caterpillar himself) as professors. And more.

And also Gene Krupa and his band. Whoa.

Last Modified 2012-10-05 5:17 AM EDT