Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Who's the Ventriloquist, and Who's the Dummy?

By Paul

The blogs have been abuzz with Keith Olbermann's plea for the President and Vice President to resign. Ain't gonna happen, of course, but kudos to the MSNBC talking head for his hard-hitting commentary.

Who's the ventriloquist and who's the dummy?

Olbermann says it doesn't matter. Both the POTUS and the VEEP should hang up their jocks for the good of the country. In case you missed the eloquent 10-minute essay, here are the text and video.

And here's a brief excerpt:
I accuse you, Mr. Bush, of lying this country into war.

I accuse you of fabricating in the minds of your own people, a false implied link between Saddam Hussein and 9/11.

I accuse you of firing the generals who told you that the plans for Iraq were disastrously insufficient.

I accuse you of causing in Iraq the needless deaths of 3,586 of our brothers and sons, and sisters and daughters, and friends and neighbors.

I accuse you of subverting the Constitution, not in some misguided but sincerely-motivated struggle to combat terrorists, but to stifle dissent.

I accuse you of fomenting fear among your own people, of creating the very terror you claim to have fought.

I accuse you of exploiting that unreasoning fear, the natural fear of your own people who just want to live their lives in peace, as a political tool to slander your critics and libel your opponents.

I accuse you of handing part of this Republic over to a Vice President who is without conscience, and letting him run roughshod over it.


Former Senator Thompson, age 64, has survived cancer and the rigorous work schedule of network television. On Sunday, The New York Times asked: "Is America ready for a president with a trophy wife?" The newspaper was referring to Jeri Thompson, 40, though no one knows the age of her decolletage. "Oh, Fred, I don't care if Ann Romney wouldn't wear this dress."

Yesterday, on the NBC Nightly News, national correspondent Jennifer London reported on the heat wave in the northeast.

"The weather can be summed up in just three words. Very hot, hot."

Well, her arithmetic is correct, though her prose leaves something to be desired.

A.O. Scott in The New York Times, blisters the comedy, "License to Wed."

As for myself, I will confess that the only thing that kept me watching “License to Wed” until the end (apart from being paid to do so) was the faith, perhaps misplaced, that I will not see a worse movie this year.


If you can write like "Chinatown's" Robert Towne, you oughta be in pictures.

Jake Gittes: I just want to know what you're worth. Over ten million?
Noah Cross: Oh my, yes.
Jake Gittes: Why are you doing it? How much better can you eat? What can you buy that you can't already afford?
Noah Cross: The future, Mr. Gitts, the future.

My clock is ticking. Meaning Fall is coming. In precisely 80 days, Penn State will host Notre Dame in an early season match-up. I'll be there, and I can hardly wait.

It will be a full Beaver Stadium, nearly 110,000 crazies crammed into the old steel structure, a 6 p.m. national network broadcast, and two teams with rich traditions going full tilt.

Regular readers know of my fanatical devotion to my alma mater, a place where Joe Paterno quotes Shakespeare as well as Vince Lombardi. Paterno, who started coaching when Harry Truman was President (and some of us wish Harry still was), emphasizes academics as well as athletics.

The motto at Penn State Athletics is "Success with Honor," and it's more than just a catchphrase. Last year's star linebacker Paul Posluszny was both a football and academic All American. (Photo posted for benefit of Patty, Cornelia & Jacqueline, long-time football mavens).

For those who just can't wait for football season to start, check out this inspiring sports video.

Fight on State,

Paul, the Old Lion


  1. Thanks for the great 6-pack shot, Paulie. At first I thought it was another picture of you with your shirt off.

    I saw the Olbermann piece the night he gave it. Made me want to cheer.

  2. Olbermann's Special Comments are always well done, but I was cheering along with Patty at this last one.

    And his Zola-like "J'accuse!"was so damn appropriate.

  3. "A nation of well informed men, who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them, cannot be enslaved.
    It is in the region of ignorance that tyranny begins."
    Benjamin Franklin
    I would dare say that the region between W-ya's ears IS a region devoid of any intelligence.


  4. "J'accuse!"

    I agree with Louise. I think Olbermann intentionally his charges on the famous Zola article attacking the French government.

    Should Olbermann be worried? Emile Zola died in his sleep of carbon monoxide poisoning. Many believe that political enemies paid off a worker to tamper with Zola's chimney.

    Should anything similar befall Olbermann, would someone please sniff Karl Rove's hands?

  5. I left out a verb.

    I meant to say: "Olbermann MODELED his charges..."

  6. Again, now I feel bad I pick on Oblerman on this coming Thursday. And it's purely personal. I pick on O'Reilly too. But he's an easy target.

    I love Paterno except he's the only one who can catch St. Bowden for most wins.

    I'll still root for Penn State over Notre Dame. I didn't like how they treated the Hunchback.


  7. Hi! It's Me, Margie.

    Well, at least there's a naked torso shot up in here - it's a start!

    And I try to stay out of politics - it gives me a headache, but Gonzales needs to be on the list for the Movers. You know, like Three Guys and a Truck.

    Olbermann is the total shit.

  8. Damn, Paul. I had forgotten that part of the Zola story.

  9. Jim, baby,
    No. No. No. We should disagree on issues & personalities. Too much like-thinking on our blog.

    We need someone who thinks Donald Rumsfeld was the greatest military strategist of all time. That "W" was chosen by God to defend us from evil. That Dick Cheyney is...well...not Torquemada.

  10. Paul,

    I'll be the bad guy here.

    I like Olbermann, especially because we don't have anyone else saying things that need to be said, but I think he goes way overboard on these special comments.

    Often I find Olbermann too self-important, as if W and Cheney actually give a flying fuck what Keith says.

    He wants to be Ed Murrow and he's not Ed Murrow.

    And the constant kicking O'Reilly in the ass, as though that's a tough target, is tiresome.

    It makes Keith too easy to dismiss.

    There, a disagreement. Maybe not claiming Rummy is Clausewitz incarnate or W is the new Sun King, but it's the best I can do.

    And you should know that my wife loves Keith. In fact, she would probably agree with Margie that Keith is the total shit.

  11. David,
    I'll grant you that Olbermann can come off with a hint of pomposity. And I'm sure you're right that W doesn't give a shit if Keith is the "total shit," which I assume is a positive description.

    (I think Olbermann probably has 750,000 viewers, so why should W care?)

    W also doesn't care about Bill Maher blasting him on HBO or the Air America hosts peeing on him on radio.

    But it's important that these folks (and many more) go after him. The spineless Dems in Congress need all the backup they can get.

    If nothing else, Olbermann got people talking. The Net was abuzz.

  12. Yes, Paul, the sequaciousness of some of the bloging here is nausiating....as is the occasional verbigeration. On the other hand, how can ANYONE argue that Bush isn't the Scarecrow, Cheney the Tinman, and congress The Cowardly Lion......c'mon sing it out...if I only had a brain... a heart....the nerve.


  13. Paul,
    The problemn is we do think fairly alike. I mute my comments for personal reasons but you know how I feel.

    But David really hit my problem with Olbermann. He's pompous. My post Thursday says it all.

    Now David and I disagree on some issue but we listen to each other, or I should say, he lets me listen to him and we always have a good time when together.

    We need an issue not every one agrees on.


  14. I didn't see pompous. I saw someone progressing from saying something he thought needed to be said, to real anger at the people that brought this country to the place it's at. Not five minutes before Olbermann ended with "Good night, and good luck," I turned to my husband and said, "He's totally channelling Murrow." (OK, so I'm only 32 and my reference came from Strathairn playing Murrow.) What mattered to me was that it was obvious Olbermann cared. So I can forgive a little pomposity for that.

  15. A couple of weeks ago, we saw JoePa at the beach - the guy couldn't walk half a block without someone stopping him to pay their respects, extend congratulations, or just say hello.

    And this was in South Jersey - not even his home turf. heh.

    My Dad is a Penn State Alum, so we always root for the Nittany Lions. Now, if we could just get our wonderful Pitt v Penn State game back on the schedule....

  16. Christa,

    I can forgive Olberman's passion. Hell, no one, and I mean no one, is more angry than I am over the fix we're in thanks to le petit dauphin's corrupt and incompetent reign. I've sported an Impeach W sticker on my car for quite a while.

    But I'd like Keith to dial it back. The problem is not with his message so much as his writing.

    (Wow, we actually got back to writing!)

    Keith overwrites. That's my problem, and it comes off as bombast.

    And yes, I do let Jim Born hear my opinions. Not that he listens. But in return he politely refrains from putting me in a headlock, for which I am grateful.

    And as a boy from DuBois, PA, I grew up in the long shadow of Joe Paterno. I don't think I've ever heard anyone say anything negative about the man and in these days that's saying something.

  17. Oh, yes, I accuse all right - thanks for the diversity of your post, Paul, and for covering Olbermann's "I accuse" plea for the two hell riders to resign. One thick as two short planks and dangerous in his sick hubris, and the other a very dark and wicked night of the soul all wrapped up in one person.

    And though I'm not exactly a football maven (more of a rugby woman myself), I sure appreciate the pic of the bloke at the end of your post! Very nice, I must say. Very easy on the eyes.

  18. Kathy,
    Long story about the unfortunate end of the Penn State v. Pitt series, having to do with a blow-up over the abortive Eastern Conference years ago that would have put Penn State, Syracuse, Pitt, West Virginia, Boston College and a couple of others in a football/basketball conference. I miss those games, too.

  19. David,
    I know people from Dubois.
    For the sophisticated folks out there, we should point out the town is pronounced "Doo-boys" and not "Du-bwa."

    We should talk.

  20. Thank you, Paul, for posting the Olbermann link. I missed it the first time. (Too much baseball, I think.)

    Not a graduate of Penn State, but a Joe Paterno fan from way back. How can you be a librarian, and not love Joe Paterno? I have an autographed picture from him, that tells me to keep up the good work! What a man, and what a coach.

  21. The dummy is obviously Born.

    What? That wasn't the question? Still - my answer is correct.

    And I hate to say it, Paul, but - Irish 24 Penn State 13.