things are easy, here in the usa

Stay tuned for a political rant, folks.

If you haven't heard about the "Downing Street Memo", I don't blame you. The mainstream press has been woefully lacking in their coverage of what should be front page, somebody-call-a-hearing news. Before the UK's recent elections, the Times of London printed a document containing minutes transcribed during the British Prime Minister's meeting on 7/23/02 - a full eight months prior to the invasion of Iraq - that details the Bush administration's intentions to invade despite the lack of an imminent threat, and their need to "fix" intelligence in order to make the case for war.

Now, a lot of us already figured that this is what was going on, so this is not a big surprise. But this is actual proof, people. This is the smoking f**king gun (and it's not a mushroom cloud). Why is our government spending wads of cash reforming its intelligence system, when the "intelligence failures" were purposeful? Simply to cover the President's ass. Janeane Garofalo has been ranting about Bush's cherry-picking of intelligence for months & months, and guess what? She's not a lunatic conspiracy theorist. She is right (correct), and so is everyone else that has doubted the administration's credibility all along. Can't we impeach this guy, already?

The cowed U.S. media have shown this story little attention, to the dismay of Daily Kos, Atrios & other bloggers who realize the importance of this development. Thankfully, the trusty Paul Krugman takes on the issue in today's NY Times. But one editorial isn't going to do the trick - this info needs to get out into the public consciousness. Where is Jon Stewart on this? Maybe he'll cover it this week, though it's ridiculous that I expect a comedian to be on top of the news better than so-called "real" journalists.

End of rant. Now go read this. And tell your friends. Do it. Seriously, do it.

On to brighter, shinier things. Over the weekend, Frank Chromewaves clued me into some Arrested Development renewal rumors from Defamer via E!'s Kristin Veitch. There was even word from Jason Bateman that it might get a two year stay of execution, so it can make syndication money. Now I don't always trust what Kristin reports, so I'm being cautiously optimistic. We'll find out soon enough, when Fox announces their fall line-up at Thursday's (5/19) upfronts. Stay up to date with all things AD at The O.P. as always.

Now go buy the season one dvd. And sign the loyalty oath. I'm bossy today.

ETA: The rumors were true - renewed for a FULL 3RD SEASON! HUZZAH! Details & reaction at Defamer, the Futon Critic & The O.P. Talk Room.

Jersey's finest rockers are coming to town. Damn skippy. The Brooklyn-based Mr. Durant, Mr. Metzger, Mr. Southern & Mr. Thornton - otherwise known as RANA - are currently out touring the USA (free opening set tonite in Crystal Bay, NV, Reno tomorrow), and though it's not yet listed on their itinerary, I've received word that they will be playing my hometown of Mpls on May 31st (venue TBA). Yes, it's gonna be a Tuesday nite. But if you're local, I damn near require that you come out to see these guys. I haven't seen RANA since my jaunt off to NYC last summer, so it's been a while since I got my fill of the rawk, so you know I'll f**king be there. Consult the tour page to find out if & when they will be hitting your town. Do it, do it, do it.

MP3 RANA - "Good Book" (Knitting Factory NYC 3/22/02)
MP3 RANA - "Good Book" (Here in the USA, recorded 3/02)
MP3 RANA - "Good Book" (Tribeca Rock Club NYC 4/21/04)
MP3 RANA - "Good Book" (Tribeca Rock Club NYC 2/3/05)

If there were one signature monster RANA tune, it might be "Good Book" (though that statement is likely to start a row in some circles). Here are four different versions of the song, the first of which is an audience recording from a classic event I attended at the Knit NYC in March 2002. The next is the studio recording (which I linked to in March '04) from the band's debut Here in the USA LP, which was first released at CBGB's on 6/14/02. The third version comes from an April 2004 performance at NYC's Tribeca Rock Club, the entirety of which can be downloaded at The last "Good Book" is from the final event of this past spring's three week residency at TRC, a wild two set romp which you order on three disc set from This 2/3/05 version is also up at RANA's new MySpace page (via Matt's blog). Now listen to all four & compare/contrast them in the comments. Failure to do so will result in an incomplete, suckas.

ETA: Dang, I totally forgot to mention this Glide magazine article about RANA offshoot & fellow Brooklynites Sam Champion. Drummer Ryan Thornton will rejoin bandmates Noah Chernin, Jack Dolgen & Sean "Bones" Sullivan to hit the road in June, including a jaunt into the midwest to perform on-air at Cincinnati's WOXY (6/24) & Chicago's Empty Bottle (6/25 supporting NYC's Longwave). Sam Champion's debut album Slow Rewind will finally get a release on 8/16, through Razor & Tie, with a three song EP preceding it in June. Oh yeah, they have goodies at their MySpace page too.

Lastly, take note of tomorrow's notable dvd releases: the emmy-winning fourth season of Seinfeld (its best IMO) and the first season of the often underrated Scrubs. Check out what else may do damage to your pocketbook over at Largehearted Boy's always helpful weekly rundown. Ch-ching.

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Blogger James H. @ 5/16/2005 02:57:00 PM:

Excellent post! Thanks for the heads up on that memo. I totally missed those head lines.    

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