• Tips gratefully accepted here. Thanks!:

  • Recent Comments

    William on Last GoT post, I promise
    HerstoryRepeating on Last GoT post, I promise
    Kathleen A Wynne on Last GoT post, I promise
    William on Last GoT post, I promise
    William on Last GoT post, I promise
    Kathleen A Wynne on Last GoT post, I promise
    bellecat on Last GoT post, I promise
    William on Last GoT post, I promise
    William on Last GoT post, I promise
    William on Last GoT post, I promise
    Propertius on GoT finale: Art imitates …
    Catscatscats on Last GoT post, I promise
    Catscatscats on Last GoT post, I promise
    bellecat on That damn crossbow
    HerStoryRepeating on That damn crossbow
  • Categories


  • Tags

    abortion Add new tag Afghanistan Al Franken Anglachel Atrios bankers Barack Obama Bernie Sanders big pharma Bill Clinton cocktails Conflucians Say Dailykos Democratic Party Democrats Digby DNC Donald Trump Donna Brazile Economy Elizabeth Warren feminism Florida Fox News General Glenn Beck Glenn Greenwald Goldman Sachs health care Health Care Reform Hillary Clinton Howard Dean John Edwards John McCain Jon Corzine Karl Rove Matt Taibbi Media medicare Michelle Obama Michigan misogyny Mitt Romney Morning Edition Morning News Links Nancy Pelosi New Jersey news NO WE WON'T Obama Obamacare OccupyWallStreet occupy wall street Open thread Paul Krugman Politics Presidential Election 2008 PUMA racism Republicans research Sarah Palin sexism Single Payer snark Social Security Supreme Court Terry Gross Texas Tim Geithner unemployment Wall Street WikiLeaks women
  • Archives

  • History

    May 2019
    S M T W T F S
    « Apr    
     1234
    567891011
    12131415161718
    19202122232425
    262728293031  
  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • Everyone’s Noticed The Oncoming US/China Cold War
        Horowitz calls it a tech cold war, but it is unlikely to stay that way. Cutting Huawei off from all non-open source Google services, including the play store, and not allowing it to buy US components is a huge blow to Huawei. Huawei is ahead in 5G, and American allies have been reluctant to […]
  • Top Posts

  • Advertisements

Lighter Notes

Jaysus this week has been depressing. Let’s lighten things up around here.

For those of you who are Serial fans, Adnan Syed may be getting a new trial. Based on the evidence that was presented in a hearing a few months ago, his conviction was vacated. I think that’s a fancy way of saying, “technically, you’re innocent but we’re not done with you yet”. It’s hard to believe he could have been convicted in the first place based on such flimsy evidence -and that’s probably why I have never been selected as a juror. I’m just a f&*(ing pain in the ass with questions and not going along with the crowd. Anyway, hope he’s home soon.

************************************************************

It’s hard to believe that anything about Hillary’s email can be considered light hearted but it always amuses me when I listen to Poltical Gabfest where David Plotz, John Dickerson and Emily Bazelon twist themselves into knots over them. You can hear the frustration in their voices over the 8 years of a very secret presidency where the press that elected Obama has been fed nothing but eensy-weensy nuggets of nothing. It’s a bit ironic that the only person who we have any tinge of scandal about is Hillary and that only because the Republicans have been relentless over Benghazi. I’m sure everyone who is anyone in Washington has a private email account where they squirrel things away and it probably comes with a lot of encryption and poison pills these days.

Bazelon was uncharacteristically flummoxed over the legal reasoning why James Comey did not pursue Hillary for “gross negligence”. But I think we can all logic this out.

1.) There was no criminal intent and no evidence of any legal wrongdoing.

2.) Comey, knowing he was on the hook to deliver the goods, gives an unprecedented press conference to discuss his findings and why he isn’t going to indict. It’s the best he can do for Gowdy’s committee. There’s nothing to charge her with but he can smear her for carelessness and make her behavior look negligent and inexcusable.

3.) The problem is it wasn’t even gross negligence, which is why he was trying so hard to signal this to Gowdy et al during the hearing. He was telling them that the attack ad he gave in the press conference was as far as he could legally go. As I understand it, the State Department’s probe is going to pick up where it left off before it was so rudely interrupted and the truth about the emails is going to come out. Comey’s pronouncements were purely subjective statements that indicated the borders of his abilities to prosecute. He can’t get her for doing anything illegally with criminal intent AND he can’t get her for “gross negligence” because it doesn’t even make that threshhold either.

There’s nothing there.

Emily Bazelon, legal scholar, is smart enough to figure this out so I don’t know why she sounds so mystified about it. It’s staring her right in the face but she doesn’t want to admit it. The Comey press conference was a political hit job. It was a PERSONAL email server with nothing important on it and while the State department might have rules and guidelines, no laws were broken and no one even knew it existed until Benghazi went looking for gotcha emails.

Why do we need to see what’s in her personal email anyway, Emily? I mean, if there’s nothing classified in them of any interest, not even for the Chinese, why do we need to be snooping? I don’t think Emily has a good reason for this except that Hillary made it harder for them to do it and avoided FOIA requests. But then, the whole administration has been avoiding FOIA requests and has zipped it good and have left the media kicking the curb. They didn’t get any juicy scandal to report about for 8 long years. Later on in the podcast, they discuss a White House released description of Obama’s evening routines and note that there’s not even mention of Michelle and the girls in it. There are, however, details of exactly how many salted almonds Obama eats each evening. It’s exactly 7. It’s hillarious how the White House jerks the media’s chains especially after they were so extremely helpful getting him elected in the first place.

We tried to warn them but did they listen?

At one point, Bazelon likens Hillary’s behavior to that of Chelsea Manning’s. This shows just how disconnected the media has become over Clinton’s email. There’s no comparison between Manning and Clinton. Manning, regardless of how you feel about her motives, intentionally broke the law and leaked undeniably classified information of national importance. It’s not like apples and oranges, it’s like apples and platypuses. They’re not even in the same kingdoms.

Give it up, guys. If you pursue this, it’s going to depress your ratings. I guarantee that the only people who want this to come up in a debate between Trump and Clinton are the diehard Trump supporters and a small group of Bernie supporters experiencing a temporary psychogenic fugue state. The rest of us won’t watch the debates or will switch them off the minute the emails come up. There’s a resistant conspiracy culture growing around this issue that’s unhealthy and counterproductive going into the general election. The media has great power but it hasn’t been very responsible lately.

Yes, Emily, John and David, I’m talking about YOU and your colleagues. Grow up already.

********************************************************

Joy Womack, principal dancer for the Kremlin Ballet, is going to the International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria. Ballet fans know that Joy was one of the first American students to graduate from the Bolshoi ballet academy and then joined the Bolshoi itself as a soloist. But she never really got an opportunity to dance at the Bolshoi. She was in the company in the year when the director was splashed in the face with acid, an attack that was arranged by another dancer over the treatment of his girlfriend, an up and coming dancer. Joy herself was told that if she ever wanted to dance on stage, she would have to pay for the privilege. So, she left, and the Kremlin Ballet picked her up. In the last few years, she’s been working hard on classical repertoire, which bores me to tears, but whatever. She’s good at it. She’s gone through a lot of ups and downs, like alcoholic partners and unpleasant co-workers who take their anti-Americanism out on her. Plus, the pay sucks. She supports herself on her little company that makes Prima Bars.

Varna may change that. If she does well, it could give her more opportunities to dance as a guest artist for companies. I think that’s what she’s shooting for here.

Here’s one of her rehearsals for Varna with one of her more reliable and complementary partners, principal dancer Misha Martynuk and her ballet teacher, Zhanna. She’s the seated woman shouting corrections in Russian. They’re rehearsing the pas de deux for Le Corsaire first, followed by Diane and Acteon. Keep an eye out for the lift at about the 5:30 mark.  I’ve watched a lot of youtube videos of this pas and have never seen it done so effortlessly. Not even Vishneva and Acosta are this breathtaking.

Advertisements

End of Summer Bliss: Ballet on the Beach

Have I got a ballet treat for you, even if you don’t think you like ballet.  Joy Womack, formerly of the Bolshoi and now a principal dancer at the Kremlin Ballet, was filmed (what a quaint word) dancing on the beach this summer.  I’m guessing the beach was somewhere in California where Joy’s family lives.

This video captures the athleticism and strength of modern ballet.  Pointe shoes not required.

Enjoy!

Joy in the Morning

Joy Womack quit the Bolshoi a few days ago.  For those of you not following this story, Joy Womack was one of the first Americans to graduate from the famed Bolshoi training academy last year.  She got a contract with the Bolshoi Ballet shortly afterwards.

Her director Sergei Filin was attacked by a couple of thugs earlier this year who threw acid in his face.  He suffered third degree burns and lost the sight in one of his eyes.  It was a shocking event not only because of the viciousness of the attack but because it was apparently organized by a dancer, Pavel Dmitrichenko, in revenge for the poor treatment his girlfriend was getting from Filin.  The trial is going on now.  Apparently, Dmitrichenko asked the guys he hired to rough Filin up.  He never asked for the acid treatment.

Anyway, long story short, this week, Joy alleges that she was told by a higher up in the company that if she wanted to dance a solo she was going for, she’d have to fork over $10K.  She didn’t say who asked for the money but it’s interesting to note that Filin is back and 300 Bolshoi dancers have signed a petition in support of Dmitrichenko.  Filin, in response to Joy’s resignation, says that she belongs in the Corps.  And you know, at her age with her experience, it wouldn’t be strange to find her in the corps.  The problem is that she is getting paid very sporadically, if at all, and the terms of her contract are pretty strange.  But dancers at the Bolshoi are paid very poorly in general and are encouraged to get “patrons”.

I’m sure that suggestion didn’t go over well with Womack, who calls herself a “dancer for Jesus”.  Other than that annoying little tidbit of religious smugness, I think Joy is a talented dancer and Filin’s remarks about her were harsh and unfair.

Here’s an example of Joy’s dancing from her graduation ballet from the Bolshoi, La Fille Mal Gardee (The badly guarded girl).  Womack and fellow American Mario Labrador danced the leads.  There’s a pretty little pas under an umbrella that starts at minute mark 3:00 that shows Joy off nicely if you don’t want to sit through the whole thing. But if you have time, it’s a nice morning diversion.

EnJoy!