Friday, March 16, 2012

Game Changed

Yesterday afternoon, I finally watched HBO's Game Change starring Julianne Moore, Ed Harris, and Woody Harrelson. The book was a bestseller about the 2008 Presidential election. The dramatization concentrated solely on Sarah Palin and how she changed the political landscape.  Whether you are a democrat or republican, one thing must seem clear watching this movie, the fear and anger alighted by a black man running for President was and is disturbing.  If all the leaders of the Republican party would have stood up like Senator John McCain did to a supporter by correcting her misinformation about Obama, maybe the country could have been less divided.  I watched that scene replayed, verbatim, in the movie. McCain taking the mike back from the woman and correcting her on was deeply moving in real time when he did the right thing and again when re-enacted by Ed Harris.

I think that's why I am so disturbed by the Republican leadership.  Any Republican that has a voice and doesn't correct the crazy rhetoric or misinformation has helped fuel the anger, fear, and racism that has boiled over since 2008.  There are many bumper stickers filled with Racism for the 2012 election.  A FB friend posted a photo of a car that said "Don't Re-Nig in 2012."  Really?  Is that where we are?  (There's a link to many other stickers along those racist lines).  It feels inorganic not to stand up and say: stop it, no, you're wrong, we don't support those words. The hatred and racism re-shown in the movie called for more than Senator McCain to stand tall.  He was the only one. Believe me, I am not building McCain up too much, but he publicly called an ignorant woman out. Haven't seen it since.  Maybe it's happened but not on such a public stage.  

Now, the constant attack this election cycle is on women.  Everyday there is some other onslaught against women on the National stage and the State stage.  What is the point?  Yesterday Congress is arguing a bill about violence against women.  Republicans don't want to vote for it, Dems do.  Even if the narrative is getting captured by the Democrats on this one, the Republicans can't be the party against women.  They will lose.  Today, the Arizona legislating body wants to pass a bill that no company's insurance policy has to cover contraception.  Really?  Are you f***ing kidding me?  In Ohio, a legislator is trying to attack men's insurance coverage of Viagra as a defensive move.  Is that where we are?  Is that what's important?  The religiosity is killing our Government.  It is killing the Republican party.  It is killing our nation.  It is incredibly apparent  watching it play out in Game Change.  I am sure that most self proclaimed Republicans won't be watching the movie and if they do, they'll be offended, but if only the take away could be remembering what's right. It could be valuable viewing.

Sidebars:  Not sure I will be correct about the new Will Farrell movie. Opening up the same weekend as 21 Jump Street....Sad for so many reasons about Luck being cancelled. Not sure how much longer I can stick with Awake.  Not watching Missing, don't need it. Seeing Newsies on Broadway this weekend. And most importantly, I will be gone for two weeks and hopefully, disconnecting from the news.  We all could use that sometimes.  Be well and keep breathing.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

FB Politics

I can tell that this is going to be a very challenging election season particularly on Facebook.  I can see the postings getting more frequent and people's sensitivities are heightened.  I feel a little bit sick inside because I am so far from accepting the platform of the current Republican candidates. Having to hear the religious based rhetoric of Rick Santorum, makes me deeply uncomfortable. Listening to Mitt Romney fumble around and pander desperately to try to get votes is painful and humorous when you hear it filtered through a comedian.  I can't even give time to Newt Gingrich. Been there and done that. The reality is bleak.  

For anyone out there who reads my rants and says, "well, of course, you feel this way, you only vote Democrat," I say to you, I don't get an option.  When candidates of any party start to discuss women's rights, pro-life, anti-gay, creationism, and, in general, anything that pushes your beliefs onto my civil liberties...I'm out. I can't hear anything else that you might have to say, because I am now fighting for my life and my children's future.

In this election season, I am more appalled than ever before. Always, there are people that vote against their own self interests, yet this year feels far more divisive.  Is it because there is a black man in the White House?  I do think that has made some people crazier than they were previously.  The fear can't be hidden.  What happens if the general election is between a Mormon and a black man?  What if it's between an Evangelical Catholic and a black man?  Where does that leave the rest of us?  Why does it matter?  Why can't it be about policy?  Jobs? The economy? Healthcare costs? I don't want to hear about religion.  Not at all.  

This is going to be a very long and arduous Presidential election year. I will think twice before posting political items. My heart is a bit sick from it all and it's only March.

Sidebars:  Fashion Stars premiered last night.  If it works, it could prove to be revolutionary.  We shall see. I think that Will Farrell's new movie could prove him to be genius.  Clearly, if it opens big....Oh, did I say that Rick Santorum won in Mississippi and Alabama?

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Bachelor Spoiler, sort of....

Okay, so one of my television shows that is a not so dirty secret, is The Bachelor.  This season hit an all time low.  Just when I'd say, I can't watch this anymore, they pulled me back in, but yuck!  After surviving another season of 25 women and 1 man looking for true love, I have determined that it's not reality. Makes me laugh just writing that.  I know that The Bachelor or Bachelorette isn't reality or even reality television.  It is fantasy.  In every way, shape or form.  The dates are ridiculously over the top and fulfilling dreams and desires of the contestants.  In many ways, it should be no surprise that so few matches last.  After you get to travel all over the world and have the most incredibly romantic dates, you go back to work, bills start piling up, etc.

This season's Bachelor hit new lows, which I didn't think possible.  The producers created a villainous that took off from episode 1.  Courtney may have been the most divisive woman ever on the Bachelor.  She was nasty, snarky, sarcastic, and out and out mean.  None of the girls liked her and she, in turn, gave them what they all wanted, antagonism.  The producers must have loved it.  Drama.  Now, don't get me wrong, every season there are those that are liked, favored, and hated, but this season, Courtney and the producers took nasty to new heights.  Editing may just be what makes stars, stars.  Courtney was the girl America "loved to hate," as Chris Harrison, the host, kept saying.  Ellen DeGeneres took Chris Harrison to task on her show about Courtney. They did a whole "ripping Courtney to shreds" segment with all the girls on The Women Tell All episode. 

Why am I spending so much time on The Bachelor?  Good question, really. I think because more than any other season, I feel had.  Watching the finale and the update episode, I actually felt bad for Courtney. Maybe she is not what she was made out to be on TV.  I'd be interested in seeing an uncut version of The Bachelor.  I think that Courtney was nasty, you can't make her say what she said to people, but maybe the producers didn't show us the entire scenario.  So will Ben and Courtney make it?  Who knows?  They are bizarrely quirky enough that maybe they will and Ben's not the big catch that we thought he was at the beginning of the season.   

Sidebars: There is nothing that America and the media love more than building people up and tearing people down.  The latest pinata is Jeremy Lin.  He was the "it" guy for a few weeks and now....The Voice doesn't disappoint and if you aren't on the bandwagon, give it a try. 

Friday, March 9, 2012


Everyday, I receive in my email The Daily Beast.  I always check it out. I will read the headlines and if I am interested I will click on the headline to read more.  Today's Daily Beast headline is "Utah Passes Anti-Sex Bill."  Really?  I had to read more.  What, pray tell, is the State of Utah doing to women now.  Okay, people, it's worse than that.  They are for all intents and purposes banning sex education in public schools!  Really?  How will that help?  They don't want children to hear about contraception and sexually transmitted diseases.  They only want to concentrate on abstinence.  Believe me, I am all for abstinence for high schoolers, but I am not going to stick my head in the sand.  I know that some teenagers want to have sex and do have sex, so am I not going to arm my children with the info?  At my children's school, they have been teaching age appropriate sex ed since 4th grade.  I think it's great.  It doesn't take the responsibility out of the parents' hands but gives a jumping off point for discussion.  Do I believe for a second that, with this ban of sex education in public schools, kids will get the information they most desperately need?  NO.  Many parents don't feel comfortable speaking to their kids about sex.  I am guessing in Utah it may be even more difficult with the pervasive religious focus. 

This stance that money shouldn't be spent on education about sex or contraception with tax dollars is so incredibly ass backwards.  What happens if girls do get pregnant?  What are they going to do?  Where will they go? Who will they tell?  The close mindedness or ignorant thinking on this is staggering.  Information and education is power.  Not the other way around.  If children know the downside of having unprotected sex, maybe they will think twice.  All of these attacks feel personal to me.  It's really more laws made by men against women.  Women, stand up!  We fought this fight and won!  It should be moot, but year in and year out there are battle lines drawn popping up all over.  Don't take them lying down, ladies!  It will only serve to oppress us!

Sidebars:  Huge outcry from all over about Sue Simmons dismissal.  Don't think it will matter, but it must make her feel good and makes Comcast look bad! It's been an incredible week with my Mom and sister in town.  It feels like home, how it should always be, perfect.  Have a great weekend!  Don't forget to buy a copy of 
Don Kirshner: The Man With the Golden Ear. It's well worth it if you love music.

As always feel free to re-post or forward to a friend.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Say It Ain't Sue

Having opened the New York Post to see that Sue Simmons is being tossed to the side by WNBC, everything else I was going to rant about, fell to the wayside. How can that be?  How can the powers that be at Comcast in Philadelphia not understand the importance of Sue Simmons to the New York scene?  She has been on the air as long as I have lived in New York.  She has been hilarious, bitter, sad, and yet, through thick and thin, solid as a rock.  Sue Simmons and Chuck Scarborough always together.  Their on-air partnership was like none other.  They liked each other, had respect, had each other's backs, and got the news done Monday through Friday. Over the years, their airtime may have shifted to more or less due to ratings, shifts in ownership, management.  Always looking for ways to save money and impact the bottomline.  Sue Simmons is the highest paid female anchor in the country.  I think every penny she earns is worth it.  She is the epitome of a New Yorker. She's been here her whole life and seen and done it all. 

Comcast let Sue go and re-signed Chuck for 3 years.  They are both 68 years old.  Can sexism be the reason?  It can't be ageism.  Wouldn't it have been incredible if Comcast would've let Chuck and Sue ride off together in the sunset?  It would have been such a great ending for the most successful local news team.  Sue is a diehard New Yorker and all things New York.  There will never be another news anchor like Sue.  They are going to continue hiring younger, less experienced non-New Yorkers (which must mean cheaper talent) to fill the openings.  It is quite disconcerting to see all the changes on the local WNBC station.  Most are bland and must have just graduated from college.  I don't like change, but I do appreciate authenticity and there is nothing phony about Sue Simmons.  She's either in a good mood or not. You either like her or hate her. She doesn't "put on" for anyone and losing her will leave a gigantic void in local New York television that will never be filled.

If you want to read Cindy Adams, copy and paste the following link:

Sidebars:  Today is my 100th "Diana's Rants and Ruminations."  I am very happy to be writing and very happy that there are people reading.  If you have any ideas about what to write, let me know.  If you know me, I have an opinion on everything.  If you don't know me, know that to be a fact.  Please keep reading, commenting, sharing, forwarding, and re-posting.  I thoroughly appreciate all of you taking the time to read this.  Here's to the next 100 rants!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Stand Up!

As I have repeatedly said over the last few months, I am a very pragmatic, practical person.  I learn from other people's mistakes.  Why does that seem so rare?  The Republican Party is a disaster right now.  Didn't they learn from the last Presidential election with McCain and the disastrous pick of Sarah Palin?  McCain might have actually won the election if he had picked a smart, educated VP, but for some political suicide, he went with Sarah Palin.  I know that it's been analyzed and written about, but I am still not clear why he did that. There were so many great choices all over this country that would have made Obama and Biden really sweat.  

So now, we are in this election cycle.  The Republicans keep tripping up, getting more extreme, not standing up for what's right, and staying silent when it matters.  This insane conversation about contraception is a no win for the Republicans.  No win!  Women won't take it and most men won't take it.  The invasive bent about women and their bodies that is happening from State to State is appalling.  It is so upsetting and disturbing that white men are making decisions again about women's bodies.  Why are we here again?  Why are women taking it?  I still can't understand why the Republican women in the limelight don't stand up for women instead of the Republican party.  Why didn't Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum shout loudly that they didn't like what Rush Limbaugh said about Sandra Fluke?  Why isn't that the natural reaction?  I can't believe in either of their hearts they approve with what Rush said.  I really can't believe it.  Seriously.  

It's despicable of all Republicans not to stand up against Rush Limbaugh.  He's just a talking head with millions of listeners. He seems to have more power than any other Republican.  He is a hugely rich and successful radio personality. Why has the Republican party not stood up to what's right?  I don't get it at all.  I really don't.  Does anyone have an answer?  Are there any Republicans that read this and have a counter argument?  I'd love to hear, because I think they have gone so far to the right that a candidate can never win a general election.  How does that help?  Anyone out there?

Sidebars:  The Voice still rules as the best "talent" competition. The Bachelor episode was definitely enhanced by DVR.  A two hour show seen in one hour and twenty. It was a bitch and complaining session to rev us up for the finale next week.  Can't get there soon enough. It's winter like weather here today.  Bundle up.  A smile for the day from The Borowitz Report:  Embattled radio host Rush Limbaugh suffered another major desertion today as he lost the support of one of his longtime sponsors, Satan.

AND if you missed Jon Stewart:

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Friday, March 2, 2012

Right is Wrong

The Right is wrong in so many ways, but their silence is deafening if it compromises their cause.  And right there is what is wrong with the Right.   It shouldn't be a "cause."  They are so afraid to give an inch that they have dug in their heels even if it's time to stand up and shout, "You are going too far" or "we don't support that rhetoric,"  or better yet, "You are acting like an a**hole." Most recently, their silence about Rush Limbaugh's rant against a law school student, Sandra Fluke, and her testimony during Senate hearings about birth control and women's health insurance rights , is astonishing.  Are they so terrified of Rush that they can't say, "whoa, that ain't right?" Rush called this young woman a slut, he denigrated her as a woman and in turn, all women.  Where is the outrage from Sarah Palin?  Christine O'Donnell?  Jan Brewer?  Michelle Bachman? It doesn't have to be women on the Right but it would be a start!  I don't get the whole hypocritical Christian movement.  The bullying that it's the Christian way or the highway.  How have we gotten here?  If Jesus were alive, he'd be appalled how his teachings have been so distorted for the sake of judging others, controlling others, bullying others.  It's astonishing that the Right that keeps talking about family values, morals, can't see what is right and not distort it. Live and let live.  Each to his own. Love thy neighbor. People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.  

How much I would admire Republicans if they stood up for what is right and not worry about the ignorant base of the party.  If Mitt Romney could be who Mitt Romney is and not having to pander to win the Republican primaries, it would be a better race and it would be authentic.  That's why he is having so much trouble.  He made a mistake and he should have been his real self, not this which ever way the wind blows guy. Why didn't he stand up against Rush?  Why didn't Santorum?  Newt?  It's so disgraceful and distasteful.  The spinelessness is tragic. That a blowhard like Rush Limbaugh can have so much power....Really?? Really? How do Republicans face themselves in the mirror?  I just am yearning for politicians that can be true to themselves, no matter what the cost.  I am rambling on this because it causes such outrage in my whole being. 

If you missed Rush Limbaugh's deplorable rant, here's a link or you can Google it yourself:

Sidebars:  A follow-up to yesterday's Rant and Rumination: The Orthodox Jewish Day School is getting to compete. They changed the schedule when a lawsuit was filed on behalf of the boys basketball team. Yay for justice! Only sorry it took a lawsuit for the organizers to do what is right. 
The only thing that really matters today is that it's my Mommy's birthday and my sister is here to celebrate too.  How great it is to be together.  Happy weekend everyone!

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

I'm a Believer

For my generation, one of the earliest soundtracks of our lives was The Monkees. Not only the weekly series for two seasons, but the songs that have lived on and on through childhood memories and now through our children's generation that were Shrek lovers.  The news that Davy Jones died of a massive heart attack yesterday, made the internet and social media outlets light up.  As we have just finished the tragic and over the top burial of Whitney Houston, for my group, this hits deeper.  This is the music that we sang from 7 years old and up. The Monkees were the answer to The Beatles. Clearly, the members of the band weren't as talented as The Beatles, not even close, but like The Beatles the songs have been sung for 45 years and will continue to be sung. Their songs are like comfort food.  A whole warm glow covers  me when I hear I'm a Believer or Last Train to Clarksville. Even more when I hear my children sing the songs when they hear them on the radio.  It is a sad day to lose Davy Jones.  Of all The Monkees to lose, he's gone too soon.  Peter Tork and Mickey Dolenz have been interviewed or quoted.  Any word from crabby Mike Nesmith?  I have enjoyed all the YouTube videos of their performances that have been posted.  Loving him was easy.

A 180 degree turn.  The front page of the The New York Times Sports section this week highlighted a story about a high school basketball tournament in Texas. One of the teams that qualified is a Boy's Jewish Day School.  First of all, that there is a Jewish Day School in Texas at all, surprised me, but the story was that the governing body of the tournament wouldn't allow the teams to reschedule games so they didn't fall on the Jewish Sabbath.  The schools were amenable to changing the schedule to accomodate the religious observance.  The Head wasn't. Sorry. You read the rules when you joined this and now you have to pay the consequences. The Jewish team had to bow out of the tourney. They will not compromise their religious beliefs for basketball.  Today there was another article. The Mayor of Houston has appealed to the head of the tournament.  The former coach of the Houston Rockets, Jeff Van Gundy, also tried to intervene and said that there is no embarrassment to change their stance and do what's right. Strangers reportedly sent letters and asked the tournament head to change the schedule.  He is holding firm.  The Jewish team is still practicing just in case they get a reprieve. It's anti-semitic of the powers that be.  There's no two ways about it.  Maybe they should just allow Christians and atheists in the tournament so there are no conflicts. Let's be honest...everyone gets Sunday off.  That's the acceptable Sabbath in Texas.

Sidebars:  American Idol, girl's night. I tried to watch but switched to watching the Knicks. The whole thing is tired, though I still love to listen to Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez.  Randy Jackson, not so much.  Law and Order: SVU didn't skip a beat with Chris Meloni's departure.  The writing is still strong.  Revenge needs to conclude soon.  I still can't figure out how they are going to get a second season out of it. 
On a personal note, my Mom and sister are coming to town. So excited and can't wait for the reunion.  Two incredible women. I am very lucky.  

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