Sheldon was on a roll last night:
Sheldon has agreed to put aside his feud with Oscar writer Bruce Vilanch and live blog the remainder of the telecast via Twitter.
(post-1970; check out the most egregious directing and writing snubs. Return tomorrow for the worst “Best Picture” winners.)
*Madeline Kahn, 1974, Lili Von Shtupp in “Blazing Saddles.” She lost to Ingrid Bergman for “Murder on the Orient Express.” Great comedians usually get jobbed — very tiring.
*Piper Laurie, 1976, Margaret White in “Carrie.” “Network” is a far better movie, but Beatrice Straight’s contributions were minimal, especially when compared to Laurie’s bravura turn as a fundamentalist crackpot.
*Kathy Bates, 2002, for “About Schmidt.” Bates disrobed; Catherine Zeta-Jones didn’t and still wins an Oscar for her role in the worst movie ever to win Best Picture.
*Holly Hunter, 2003, “Thirteen.” Lost to Renee Zellweger’s laughably bad Southern accent.
*Al Pacino, 1972, “The Godfather.” Back when he was brilliant, but Joel Grey wore make-up and won for “Cabaret.”
*Benicio del Toro, 2003, “21 Grams.” del Toro has never been better, and that’s saying something. Tim Robbins was the best thing about “Mystic River,” but that’s not saying much. Please, no more movies set among Boston’s working class.
*Denzel Washington, “Malcom X”; Clint Eastwood, “Unforgiven,” 1992. Al Pacino won for “Scent of a Woman,” and an insufferable ham was born.
*Anthony Hopkins, “The Remains of the Day,” 1993. A truly heartbreaking performance — the best of Hopkins’ career. Too bad his character had AIDS (see Hanks, Tom, “Philadelphia”).
*Robert DeNiro, “Taxi Driver”; William Holden, “Network,” 1976. Peter Finch was marvelous as Howard Beale, but his was a supporting role. Holden was the heart of “Network.” DeNiro was Travis Bickle.
*Peter Sellers, “Being There,” 1979. If I need to explain this one, you must be new to the Malcontent.
*Robert Duvall, “The Apostle,” 1997. Nicholson won for playing a variation of himself in “As Good as It Gets.” I can’t think of a more authentic performance than Duvall’s conflicted preacher. This may be the worst snub of all.
*Paul Newman, “The Verdict”; Dustin Hoffman, “Tootsie,” 1982. Ben Kingsley is a great actor, and a convincing Gandhi, but Newman gave the performance of his career. Hoffman was an unconvincing woman, but that was the point.
*Nick Nolte, “Affliction,” 1998. Robbed by the Italian Robin Williams, Roberto Benigni.
*Heath Ledger, “Brokeback Mountain,” 2005. Philip Seymour Hoffman was very good as Capote, but I didn’t much care for the movie. Was it expert mimicry, or brilliant acting? In the eye of the beholder, I guess.
*Ellen Burstyn, “Requiem for a Dream,” Laura Linney, “You Can Count on Me,” 2000. Winner: Julia Roberts, “Erin Brockovich”;
*Stockard Channing, “Six Degrees of Separation,” Angela Bassett, “What’s Love Got to Do with It,” Emma Thompson, “The Remains of the Day,” Debra Winger, “Shadowlands,” 1993. Winner: Holly Hunter, “The Piano”;
*Anyone besides Helen Hunt, “As Good as It Gets,” 1997. I liked her better in “Quarterback Princess“;
Topher Grace (who couldn’t win me over if he saved my life) + formula romantic comedy = Who comes up with this shit?
Over the past few years right-wing radio, in a seemingly coordinated effort, has cast George Soros as the Great Satan. I’m not sure how, or why, he became Public Enemy No. 1, but to conspiracy-minded conservatives he’s the puppet master of the shadowy Marxist underground plotting to take over the world.
But according to Neil Clark in the New Statesman, Soros’s role was crucial in the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe. From 1979, as an advocate of ‘open societies’, Soros financially supported dissidents including Poland’s Solidarity movement, Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia and Andrei Sakharov in the Soviet Union, donating $3 million a year according to Clark. In 1984, he founded his first Open Society Institute in Hungary and pumped millions of dollars into opposition movements and independent media.
Meanwhile, the left, in a seemingly coordinated effort, has come up with their own Soros, or Soroses. Anonymous a month ago, the Koch Brothers have emerged as archetypal robber barons funding a reverse class warfare.
The KOCH brothers must be stopped. They gave $40K to Scott Walker, the MAX allowed by state law. That’s small potatoes compared to the $100+ million they give to other organizations. These organizations will terrify you. If the anti-union thing weren’t enough, here are bigger and better reasons to stop the evil Kochs. They are trying to:
1. decriminalize drugs,
2. legalize gay marriage,
3. repeal the Patriot Act,
4. end the police state,
5. cut defense spending.
So about that third party …
Of all the juicy tidbits leaked from a former aide’s upcoming book about the reality show vet, this one rings truest:
Bailey writes that Palin drafted her own letters to the editor during her run for governor and sent them in under supporters’ names. Palin relayed the first one in an email to Bailey:
It’s been a pleasure watching our life-long Alaskan gal, Sarah Palin, campaign for governor these past six months. I am impressed with her leadership skills, experience, ethics, and energy. And I’m most impressed with how she communicates her message that is connecting with so many Alaskans. Sarah tells it like it is and is obviously not your typical politician. She doesn’t just go with the flow or test the waters with political polls before taking action. It’s clear Sarah is committed to just doing the right thing, even if her Republican Party bosses try to punish her for it,” the letter reads in part.
Bailey alleges the letter was the first of many they wrote in supporters’ names, to be sent to Alaska newspapers. Bailey writes “nothing struck me as wrong” with the faux letters, even though the campaign had become what he calls a “letter-manufacturing plant.”
And in one particularly un-self-aware moment, Palin begins an email string with Bailey saying, “I feel like we are the last of the innocents,” before encouraging the fake editorial letters:
“Good idea about the letters to the editor. Guys—let’s remember to tell people that when they offer to help but don’t know what to do. They can loan us their names for a letter, and they have to be ready to confirm that they authored the letter when all those various newspapers call them for confirmation.”
The huge ego, the breathtaking immaturity … I think we all recognize that Sarah Palin.
Libya’s embattled dictator Moammar Gadhafi gave a bizarre speech by phone today to claim the revolt was the work of Osama bin Laden, that rebellious youth had been given hallucinogens, and to complain that the Queen of England has ruled longer than him and no one is asking her to step down.
Libya’s seat on the U.N.’s top human rights body looks secure for now, as a Western-led initiative to condemn it for its violent response to anti-government protests stops short of calling for its expulsion.
The president today sounded as if he was discussing a pick-up basketball game with Jim Nantz — totally uninspired. He didn’t even mention Gaddafi by name and, unlike Angela Merkel, Obama wouldn’t commit to possible sanctions against the crumbling regime. Oh, but he’s sending Hillary Clinton to Geneva. On Monday.
Libyans took note.
“The Libyan public are angry with the statement that President Obama gave today,” an unidentified Tripoli woman told Anderson Cooper. “Everyone was disappointed. … I expected to read between the lines of his speech. Not me alone. Everyone was disappointed. We want America to support us.”
So much for Glenn Beck’s conspiracy theory (here’s a more credible conspiracy theory: Beck is the useful idiot of Arab dictators). Obama today seemed as if he could care less.
The Muslim world, the non-extremist part, doesn’t hate us for our freedom. They hate us for supporting thugs who suppress theirs. Nothing exceptional about that hypocrisy.
(Partisans, take note: Prior to the uprising, neocons had been working to “burnish Gaddafi’s image.”)
The state’s broke yet taxpayers will soon be asked to help fund an unnecessary stadium. We’ll be told that new stadiums pay for themselves, and then some, but that’s bullshit.
[W]hat they do is they use debt, public debt, to help build these stadiums. And, essentially, these are bonds that go out decades, if you will. And two things generally happen: either these stadiums don’t pay for themselves in many cases, which leaves taxpayers on the hook, or if the venue does happen to be successful — as in the case of the New Jersey Meadowlands — politicians can’t help milking these things. They take the revenues and they put them somewhere else and they don’t pay off the bonds. It’s kind of like the equivalent of not paying off your mortgage. And that eventually leaves taxpayers on the hook too.
Christian fundamentalist — and likely GOP presidential candidate — Rick Santorum claims the Crusades have been unfairly maligned.
Rick Santorum launched into a scathing attack on the left, charging during an appearance in South Carolina that the history of the Crusades has been corrupted by “the American left who hates Christendom.”
“The idea that the Crusades and the fight of Christendom against Islam is somehow an aggression on our part is absolutely anti-historical,” Santorum said in in Spartanburg on Tuesday . “And that is what the perception is by the American left who hates Christendom.”
While there was some provocation by Muslim Turks, the Crusades were fueled by the same messianic mindset that drives Islamic terrorists today.
Pope Urban II, one of the architects of the first Crusade, argued, “The West must march to the defense of the East. All should go, rich and poor alike. The Franks must stop their internal wars and squabbles. Let them go instead against the infidel and fight a righteous war.”
The results merit no rationale, though Santorum merits inclusion as one of the dimmest lights of the crazy right.
Some of our men cut off the heads of their enemies; others shot them with arrows, so that they fell from the towers; others tortured them longer by casting them into the flames. Piles of heads, hands and feet were to be seen in the streets of the city. It was necessary to pick one’s way over the bodies of men and horses. But these were small matters compared to what happened at the temple of Solomon, a place where religious services ware ordinarily chanted. What happened there? If I tell the truth, it will exceed your powers of belief. So let it suffice to say this much at least, that in the temple and portico of Solomon, men rode in blood up to their knees and bridle reins.
Courtesy of the Democrats’ secret weapon, tea party queen Michele Bachmann:
“When you add it all up — I’m a former federal tax lawyer — when you add up the tax burden on today’s kids — and I believe this is a low estimate — they are looking at in their peak years, at having 70 percent of their income to pay their tax bill.”
That’s a claim that Bachmann made at CPAC earlier this month when she claimed an even higher number — 75 percent, and according to the Washington Post, it simply isn’t true.
“The bottom line, when you ‘get out your calculator’ and add all this up: total taxes of about 25 percent, rather than the 75 percent in Bachmann’s telling,” wrote the Washington Post, which used tax experts to assist in its calculations of federal, state and local taxes.
As for fixing the deficit …
“We need to simply tell people the facts, like Glenn Beck, with that chalkboard, that man can explain anything. I think if we give Glenn Beck the numbers, he can solve this.”
Her presidential campaign (I’m betting she runs) will be a frightening train wreck.
(How many spellings of Khadafy are there, anyway?)
Should Libya block Internet traffic, as Egypt did, it will not affect http://bit.ly or any .ly domain.
A Libyan air force plane crashed near the eastern city of Benghazi after its crew bailed out because they refused to carry out orders to bomb the city, Libya’s Quryna newspaper cited a military source as saying.
Quryna’s online version quoted the source, a colonel at an air base near Benghazi, as saying captain Attia Abdel Salem al Abdali and his number two Ali Omar Gaddafi bailed out of the Russian-made Sukhoi-22 plane and parachuted to earth.