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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Barack H.Obama, 44th President of the United States of America

Below, President Barack Obama's Inaugural Address, as prepared for delivery:

My fellow citizens:

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land - a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America - they will be met.

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted - for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things - some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.

Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions - that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act - not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions - who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them - that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works - whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account - to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day - because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control - and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart - not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort - even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West - know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment - a moment that will define a generation - it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends - hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism - these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility - a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence - the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed - why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

"Let it be told to the future world...that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive...that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]."

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

"We have chosen hope over fear/.........

This is continuous coverage from MSNBC of today's events.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Death of a Prisoner

From the Los Angeles Times

In the summer of 1968, the most important television series of my life premiered on CBS as a summer replacement for "The Jackie Gleason Show." A British import about a spy who, having resigned his position, is drugged and kidnapped and wakes up captive in a fanciful holiday resort, where he is hectored week after week to explain himself, “The Prisoner” starred and was co-created by Patrick McGoohan, who died in Los Angeles on Tuesday at the age of 80.

Pop culturally, we were near the end of an age of spies. McGoohan himself, who had passed on a chance to be James Bond, was already known to audiences as John Drake, the hero of "Secret Agent," whose theme song (written by Steve Barri and P.F. Sloan) became a hit for Johnny Rivers. "The Prisoner" was something different: Most every other spy, on movies and in television, was a glorified cop doing his (or, rarely, her) master's bidding. To the extent that he was free, it was expressed in a tendency to do things "his own way," but he was always first and foremost a company man. Whether his cause was just was something that he and we alike took for granted. It wasn't part of the deal to question it, or to ask any questions at all.

By contrast, "The Prisoner" was a television show of ideas -- the inalienable if inconvenient right to self in a world that demands your cooperation, if not capitulation -- which also distinguished it from pretty much every other television show I had ever seen. The fact that I was just then working out that my own junior high school was a kind of jail made its appearance timely and amplified its meaning, as did most everything else about that chaotic summer of the battlements.

"The Prisoner" was more than an idea, of course: It was an idea personified, and while it's fair to say that its artistic success was the lucky product of the work of many hands, it was McGoohan who made the series work. (That is perhaps why I am not yet more excited about AMC's coming remake, set to premiere sometime this year.) It was, metaphorically, his own story, having quit "Secret Agent" at the height of its success because it no longer suited him to play that role.

Nearly 40 at the time (and the father of three), he was heroic in a way that mixed the self-reliance of the classic secret agent with the comedy of the new age's anti-authoritarian tricksters. Good-looking, in an Everyman sort of way, he had a musical voice, a light step, a twinkling eye -- he was a bit of a John Lennon, come to think of it -- that in itself bespoke a kind of freedom. There was always humor in his contrariness, and if Number 6 was fated corporeally to remain a prisoner -- caught at the border by Rover, the bouncing ball from hell, or shown that his imagined escape was merely an illusion -- he remained himself. As hard as they tried, they could not wash his brain.

It is not McGoohan's fault that he is so closely connected with that role in my mind that I cannot clearly assess his larger gifts as an actor. He played many parts before it, and many parts over the remaining, second half of his life, including the 1977 series "Rafferty," several turns on "Columbo" and in the films "Silver Streak" and "Braveheart." I was always glad to see him working, because I felt I owed him something, and though he was not the busiest of actors, he may have been as busy as he liked.

Having early in his career deprived himself of an annuity by passing on Bond (and "The Saint," whose Roger Moore became Bond), he more recently turned down both the roles of Gandalf in "The Lord of the Rings" and Dumbledore in the Harry Potter films. This might have been for reasons of health, as has been reported, but I prefer to think of him once again exercising his right to be perverse: "I am not a wizard," he might well have said, "I am a free man."

Monday, January 12, 2009

United States of Tara (Full episode)

Suburban wife and mother Tara Gregson (Toni Collette), juggles her family and career while suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder.

I think I'm going to like this!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Insanity: Israeli strike near UN school kills at least 30

GAZA CITY, Gaza – An Israeli bombardment struck outside a U.N. school where hundreds of Palestinians had sought refuge on Tuesday, the U.N. and Palestinian medics said, killing at least 30 people — many of them children whose parents wailed in grief at a hospital filled with dead and wounded.

An Israeli official said its soldiers came under fire from militants hiding in the school and that the building stored Palestinian munitions.

Despite international criticism over civilian deaths and calls for a cease-fire, Israeli soldiers edged closer to two major Gaza towns. A total of 58 Palestinians were killed Tuesday — with just two confirmed as militants, health officials in Gaza said.

The explosions marked the second time in hours a U.N. school came under attack. It was the deadliest assault since Israel sent ground forces into Gaza last weekend as part of a larger offensive against the ruling Hamas militant group that has killed nearly 600 Palestinians.

Nearly half of the dead are civilians, according to U.N. and Palestinian officials.

"There's nowhere safe in Gaza. Everyone here is terrorized and traumatized," John Ging, the top U.N. official in Gaza, said after the first strike on the compound of a U.N. school killed three people in a courtyard. The school has served as a shelter for Gaza City refugees fleeing the blistering 11-day offensive.

A Palestinian rocket — one of two dozen fired from Gaza on Tuesday — wounded an Israeli infant.

Dr. Bassam Abu Warda, director of Kamal Radwan Hospital, said 34 people were killed in an Israeli strike outside a second U.N. school in the northern Gaza town of Jebaliya. The United Nations confirmed 30 were killed and 55 injured by tank shells.

But an Israeli official said "hostile fire" was directed at the soldiers from within the school. He said soldiers returned fire and multiple explosions went off, presumably emanating from munitions stored there. The official spoke on condition of anonymity pending a formal army announcement.

The attack occurred at midafternoon, at a time when many people in the densely populated Jebaliya refugee camp were out and about. Many of the refugees apparently had stepped outside the shelter to get some air, thinking an area around a school was safe.

Palestinian militants frequently fire from residential areas. However, Mohammed Nassar, a medic who treated the wounded, said he did not see any gunmen among the casualties.

Footage broadcast on Hamas' Al Aqsa TV showed gruesome scenes at the hospital. At first, medics carried in at least five younger boys who were laid out on the hospital floor. It was not clear whether they were still alive.

Other medics then started unloading bodies of older men who had been stacked up in the back of an ambulance, three high, and were dragged without stretchers. One man's legs had been turned into bloody stumps that dragged on the ground as he was pulled from the ambulance.

In later scenes, the emergency room was packed, with all beds occupied and barely a patch of ground where there was not a body or a doctor standing. In other rooms, there were blood stains on the floor and other bodies lying there, with medics running to each of them to take their pulses.

"I saw a lot of women and children wheeled in," said Fares Ghanem, another hospital official. "A lot of the wounded were missing limbs and a lot of the dead were in pieces."

Majed Hamdan, an AP photographer, said he rushed to the scene shortly after the attacks. At the hospital, he said, many children were among the dead.

"I saw women and men — parents — slapping their faces in grief, screaming, some of them collapsed to the floor. They knew their children were dead," he said. "In the morgue, most of the killed appeared to be children. In the hospital, there wasn't enough space for the wounded."

He said there were marks of five separate explosions, all in the same area near the school as the refugees were outside at midday to escape the confines of the crowded building.

U.N. officials say they provided their location coordinates to Israel's army to ensure that their buildings in Gaza are not targeted.

Speaking shortly after the first attack, Maxwell Gaylard, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator for the Palestinian territories, demanded an investigation.

"As one of the most densely populated places in the world, it is clear that more civilians will be killed," he said. "These tragic incidents need to be investigated, and if international humanitarian law has been contravened, those responsible must held accountable."

The international Red Cross said an ambulance post was hit as well on Tuesday, injuring one medical worker.

Israel launched its offensive on Dec. 27 to halt repeated Palestinian rocket attacks on its southern towns. After a weeklong air campaign, Israeli ground forces invaded Gaza over the weekend.

Nearly 600 Palestinians have been killed. Ten Israelis have died since the operation began, including a soldier who was shot on Tuesday.

United Nations staff estimate around 15,000 people have fled to 23 U.N.-run schools they have turned into makeshift refuges. U.N. food aid has halted in the northern Gaza Strip because officials fear residents would risk their lives to reach distribution centers.

Tanks rumbled closer to the towns of Khan Younis and Dir el Balah in south and central Gaza but were still several kilometers (miles) outside, witnesses said, adding that the sounds of fighting could be heard from around the new Israeli positions. Israel already has encircled Gaza City, the area's biggest city.

The rising civilian death toll has drawn international condemnations and raised concerns of a looming humanitarian disaster. Many Gazans are without electricity or running water, thousands have been displaced from their homes and residents say that without distribution disrupted, food supplies are running thin.

"This is not a crisis, it's a disaster," said water utility official Munzir Shiblak. "We are not even able to respond to the cry of the people." He said about 800,000 residents in Gaza City and northern parts of the territory had no access to running water from Tuesday. Gaza's overall population is 1.4 million people.

Israel says it won't stop the assault until its southern towns are freed of the threat of Palestinian rocket fire and it receives international guarantees that Hamas, a militant group backed by Iran and Syria, will not restock its weapons stockpile. It blames Hamas for the civilian casualties, saying the group intentionally seeks cover in crowded residential areas.

Visiting southern Israel, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said he hoped to stop the offensive soon, but said it would depend on Hamas' willingness to stop attacks and stop its smuggling of weapons into Gaza from neighboring Egypt.

"We have no interest in endlessly continuing the campaign. It will stop when the conditions that are essential for Israel's security are met," he said in the rocket-scarred town of Sderot.

The army says it has dealt a harsh blow to Hamas, killing 130 militants in the past two days and greatly reducing the rocket fire. Hamas is believed to have 20,000 fighters.

Israeli forces have seized the main Gaza highway in several places, cutting the strip into northern, southern and central sectors and preventing movement between them. Israel also has taken over high-rise buildings in Gaza City and destroyed dozens of smuggling tunnels — Hamas' main lifeline — along the Egyptian border.

Late Monday, a paratroop officer and three Israeli infantrymen were killed in two separate friendly fire incidents, the military said. Heavy Israeli casualties could threaten to undermine what so far has been wide public support for the operation.

A high-level European Union delegation met with President Shimon Peres on Tuesday in a futile bid to end the violence. Commissioner Benita Ferraro-Waldner acknowledged Israel's right to self-defense, but said its response was disproportionate.

"We have come to Israel in order to advance the initiative for a humanitarian cease-fire and I will tell you, Mr. President, that you have a serious problem with international advocacy, and that Israel's image is being destroyed," she said, according to a statement from Peres' office.

In Geneva, the international Red Cross said Gaza was in a "full-blown" humanitarian crisis. Its head of operations, Pierre Kraehenbuehl, said the few remaining power supplies could collapse at any moment.

Israeli leaders say there is no humanitarian crisis and that they have allowed the delivery of vital supplies.

The EU delegation was one of a flurry of diplomatic efforts to forge a cease-fire. French President Nicolas Sarkozy left Israel after a day of meetings with leaders.

Europe "wants a cease-fire as quickly as possible," Sarkozy said Monday, urging Israel to halt the offensive, while blaming Hamas for acting "irresponsibly and unpardonably."

International Mideast envoy Tony Blair said ensuring weapons smuggling to Hamas is halted would be a key step to restoring calm.

Speaking to reporters in Jerusalem, Blair said that stopping Hamas' rocket supply would be a "very significant advance in terms of Israel's security," which would allow Israel to halt its offensive and relieve the suffering of Gaza's civilians.

He would not give details of an international proposal to stop the flow of weapons into Gaza from Egypt.

Israel's operation has angered many across the Arab world and has drawn criticism from countries such as Turkey, Egypt and Jordan, which have ties with Israel and have been intimately involved in Mideast peacemaking.

My point: and I am sure that there will be people calling me and anti-this and an anti-that, but the bottom line is that I am anti-stupid. There are Isrealis and Palestinians who would just want to live out thier lives in some sembalance of peace, but if it is not for someone dressing thier little kid in a t-shirt amd grenaades to blow up some shopping mall, it it someone other person on the other side taking scorched-earth-policy to frightening levels.

Each side in this idocy has determined that the only way for one side to survive is to eliminate the other totally. And all of this death and hatred and more death over what is basically beachfront property.

Meanwhile children are starving and women are dying. And neither the Isrealis or Hamas god give a good damn.

In short, these people are insane. And it is about time we started treating them as such.

Someone needs to stand up to both of these fools and tell them to thier faces, this is insanity, and a threat to the security of our country, You have taken our money and our weapons so you two can out your Armageddonist fantasies at the expense of your children.

It is time to tell these two: permanant peace.....or else.

And just remind them that we invented "or else."

It's not going to happen, though. Not one President has had that kind of courage. Niether do most of the American people. We don't want to offend anyone....but look at this...

If that is not am offense to whatever God one worships, I don't know what is.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Worst Persons: 1.5.09

Well, well. Keith Olbermann's back from staycation.

And thankfully for us, evidence that in 2009, it will not be the end of comedy as we know it!

Franken vs. O'Reilly

Flashback: On C-Span, Al Franken Chews Up Bill O'Reilly for Lunch And Spits Out Nails

On Saturday, May 31 (2002), C-SPAN and BookTV broadcast a Book Expo author luncheon panel with Pat Schroeder (moderator), Molly Ivins, Bill O'Reilly, and Al Franken.

Each panelist was given 15 minutes to talk about their own upcoming book. After Molly Ivins and Bill O'Reilly had taken their turns, Al Franken took the microphone. His book, which is unfinished, is entitled, "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right" and features pictures of four conservative personalities on the cover. Bill O'Reilly was one of them. At the start of his talk, Franken made a point of showing the cover to O'Reilly and asking if he could get a better photo to use. O'Reilly was clearly upset: silent, but spitting DU-tipped bullets from his eyes.

Franken spent the next 20 minutes or so giving examples of tight wing lies from his book. By then he had already overshot his time slot, but he launched into an account of how he had personally caught Bill O'Reilly in a big lie, which was this: O'Reilly had stated on at least two or three occasions that his former show, Inside Edition, was the winner of two prestigious Peabody Awards.

The story of how Franken tracked down and debunked this claim ran on for 10 or 15 minutes, in excruciating detail. O'Reilly, still silent through most of it, was beside himself and looked to be ready to jump out of his chair and tackle the speaker.

Realize the following, of course: Had Al Franken been a guest on The No-Spin Zone, O'Reilly would certainly have shouted him down and probably disconnected his mic almost as soon as he showed the cover of his book. But O'Reilly couldn't shut down C-SPAN. His frustration was palpable. Finally, he erupted and called Al Franken a lot of things including, "a very vicious person" (if I recall correctly).

By this time, Al Franken had also changed. No longer the kidding-on-the-square humorist, he was deadly serious and emotionally invested in the theme of his book. His lip was quivering and I was afraid he would actually burst into tears. When he said that "they're lying and we shouldn't take it [pause]...anymore", it was every bit as spellbinding as any Howard Beale moment in the movie "Network."

Addendum, in light of recent events:

Holiday -- sorry, Bill O'Christmas -- vacation is over. Monday morning will have the megamouths more than ready to take back the Lords of Loud seats from unlistened to, exaggerated drama-queens and notso best-ofs. The broadcast guys and gals will choppin' at the bit to get to the real business of demeaning Dems and putting a wedge between Americans. And they'll be more than ready. Rush, Sean, Glenn and the wannabes who received the gift of an overwhelming Republican defeat will spend the next couple weeks building up the momentum so that January 20th will kick off at two, four or more years of blaming the new President and Democrats in power. You think tearing apart every word and move by President Obama won't be a helluva lot more fun than the defending of the Bush debacle? It's exhausting trying to nail the powerless Democats for the demise of America. Behind closed mikes, they'd admit that blaming the recession on a president-elect was a contortion of logic that even the Velvet Fog of talk radio, Mark Levin, probably found a bit unweildy.

Not that they didn't all try. As Mencken was purported to say, "you will never lose money underestimating the American people." If you want to double your winnings put your money on the Factor Folks.

O'Reilly who will soon be retiring (i.e. radio failure) from the radio waves so that he can spend more time with his TV Factor family will again push his independent fairness. Perhaps Michael Smerconish, sometimes an O'Reilly fill-in, is the only other "conservative" host who says he's objective. Difference is, Smerconish is the only one of the two who many times actually is. Bill's task will be headier than the rest. He'll not only face a Democratic juggernaut, he'll have to swallow the reality of his worst nightmare...

Senator Al Franken.

He's good enough, smart enough, and doggone it, he's got votes enough to have nipped incumbent Norm Coleman in the race for the Minnesota senate seat.

So fun.

First Bill loses his hilarious attempt to sue for slander over Franken's book, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, sending Al's books sales and bank account into the stratosphere, then he dismisses Franken's run for Senate as "no chance," which had to send some undecideds into the Franken corner. And now he's faced with six... that's right... six years of trying to come up with different ways to try and smear Franken. While the other talkers admittedly relish the opportunity to attack their opponents, Bill's ever-clumsy attempts at trying to appear balanced, are fueled only by hate and his bitterness at never being accepted by the big-boy's club at the networks. The result just ends up as a bonanza for Keith Olbermann who'll need very little original writing or research to fill his "Worst Person of the Day" segment.

Meanwhile, across the dial, expect the next two weeks to be full of insincere wishes for President Obama's success along with a heaping helping of Ann Coulter. The Lean Queen of Mean will be pimping her newest screed, Guilty: Liberal Victims and Their Assault On America, and the broadcast-right will be more than happy to supply Annie with plenty of oxygen to fuel her precious prose.

Talk radio and TV. That, Mr. Cavett, is entertainment.