daybreak in iran

It’s 7:14 a.m. Monday in Tehran. It promises to be a fascinating day. Over the weekend authorities arrested the daughter and four other relatives of ex-President Hashemi Rafsanjani, still a powerful figure among the ruling class. The backstage struggle between clerics, and even fellow ayatollahs, intensifies — a hopeful sign for reformists. On Twitter word spreads of a general strike, with citizens told to stock up on medicines and supplies. We’ll know soon if the organizers were successful. Of course many of them are in jail — some arrested while seeking medical treatment. Security officers filled the streets of Tehran Sunday, and…

sheldon greenbriar’s summer hiatus spectacular

Sheldon, still recovering from his showdown with Leeza Gibbons, is on sabbatical this month. Substituting on The Blurbomat: Sheldon’s close friend, movie reviewer Pete Hammond — the critic celebrities trust most, according to Byron Allen. “The Proposal”: A riotously funny screwball farce is a strong candidate for the year’s best comedy – at least so far. “The Taking of Pelham 123″: Thirty-five years after the pulse-pounding thriller The Taking of Pelham One Two Three was made, this sleek, faster-paced remake not only improves on a good thing, it showcases a much different New York than its pre-9/11 predecessor. “Imagine That”: After the debacle…

the lowdown on the revolution

Worth reading: Leading opposition candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi isn’t an Iranian Nelson Mandela or a Lech Walesa. He’s not so much leading a revolt as he is skillfully surfing a wave of public displeasure. Of course he won the election. Iran’s government wouldn’t have shut down the phone system and the Internet if their guy had gotten a majority. The Iranian people spoke. They told Ahmadinejad and Khamenei to go away.

diagnosing the conservative malady

Leonard Pitts sums it up well: By contrast, modern conservatism is defined by an Alice-through-the-looking-glass incoherence: small government except when it is growing larger than ever, fiscal restraint except when we are spending like Michael Jackson in a Disney gift shop, foreign policy pragmatism except when we are trying to transform the Middle East. Indeed, sometimes it feels as if it is no longer defined by principles at all, nor by energy and ideas, but rather, by a limitless ability to feel put upon and slighted. To be a conservative these days is, or so they would have you believe, like being…

the supreme liar speaks

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s supreme leader sternly warned of a crackdown if protesters continue days of massive street rallies, escalating the government’s showdown with demonstrators demanding a new presidential election. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in his first response to the protests that the country’s disputed presidential vote had not been rigged, siding with hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and offering no concessions to the opposition. He effectively ruled out any chance for a new vote, lauding the June 12 election as an expression of the people’s will.

from the department of unsubstantiated rumors

If a rumor maligns someone you can’t stand, then by all means, spread it. From one of my Hollywood “sources,” re: Dustin Lance Black’s sex tape: I’m heard from EVERYONE that he released them himself with his publicist and they released the statement right after. I totally believe it. He has something in production and he trying to keep a high profile … Unfortunately it’s working. Anderson Cooper interviewed DLB last night about Obama’s broken promises to the gay community.

what do ahmadinejad and dobson have in common?

They’re both theocrats who blame the gays for everything. For good measure [Ahmadinejad] followed up with some more earthy language comparing claims of massive election fraud in last week’s poll to the passions of supporters of a beaten football team after a match. He then went on to accuse his opponents of “officially recognising thieves, homosexuals and scumbags” in exchange for their votes. (via Andy)