Archive for cuba

The Book Booth: The Waters of March Edition


Image: Rolling Stone

The Book Booth is a weekly feature at The Political Carnival, relating news, notes, and reflections from the world of books and publishing.  It is written by @SeattleDan and SeattleTammy, operators of an on-line bookstore (which you can find here) , who have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.

The Book Booth: The Waters of March Edition

We are getting the waters of March here in our town, with the pineapple express bringing us late winter rains. It's probably good that all northwesterners have webbed feet to help guide us along our soggy roads. And the Waters of March is one of the great tunes that the wonderful Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim has given us; you will see the youtube link at the bottom.

So I'm in a musical frame of mind and it just so happens, Rolling Stone recommends four new reads. I'm particularly intrigued by the new bio of Nina Simone, who's life was recently presented in documentary form by Netflix.
Nina Simone's Life/Rock Books

Great literature has lent itself to other art forms for centuries, including opera. But I had no idea that works like Grapes of Wrath, Lolita, and Moby Dick had made it to the stage.
Operatic Adaptions of Famous Novels

Elton John is no stranger to the musical stage. Beyond years and years of live performances, he also composed the score to The Lion King which has played on Broadway since the days of George M. Cohan.  Sir Elton is also a voracious reader and he does much of his book shopping at Book Soup in Hollywood.
Book Soup

Music legend and the "fifth" Beatle, George Martin passed away this past week at age 90. All Beatle fans know of his contributions to their songs. But the news of his passing led to panic among Game of Thrones fans who thought that George Martin had passed, prompting the author to deny rumors of his death.
George Martin Denies Being Dead (Game of Thrones)

Speaking of fanboys and fangals, it seems that President Obama is a big Peanuts fan and has written the preface to the last volume of 25 republished by Fantagraphics and due out soon.
President Obama Pays Tribute to Peanuts

As for myself, I am a huge, if not outsized, fan of Orson Welles. So it was a pleasure to read film critic Michael Wood's appreciation of the great American director, including some interesting thoughts on Welles' Chimes at Midnight, here in the New York Review of Books.
Michael Woods on Orson Welles

With the opening of relations with Cuba, Publishers Weekly has announced a petition campaign to end the book embargo against the island nation. About time, I'd say.
PW Says End the Book Embargo Against Cuba (Petition)

J.K. Rowling is keeping herself busy. She has just published the first part of a new series. Magic in North America, on the Pottermore site.
J.K. Rowling: 'Magic in North America'

Finally I note the passing of author Pat Conroy last week from cancer. He was a fine writer and The Prince of Tides is something of a masterpiece. If you haven't read his work before, give yourself the pleasure.
Pat Conroy

And as promised, The Waters of March as sung by its composer Antonio Carlos Jobim. Please enjoy and let us know what great books you've got going this weekend.
The Waters of March (on YouTube)


Bill Day: 'Havana Daydreamin''



Image: Bill Day (Read more about award-winning cartoonist Bill Day below.)

Bill Day's award-winning cartoons are syndicated in more than 900 newspapers worldwide four times a week through syndication service. Day has won the Green Eyeshade Award from the Society of Professional Journalists six times--in 2010, 2009, 2006, 2005, 2001, and 2000. The recipient of two Robert F. Kennedy Awards--2010 and 1985. He has also been honored with the National Headliner Award, the John Fischetti Award, the National Cartoonists Society's Reuben Award for Best Editorial Cartoons, The James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism, and a host of many other awards.

Day began his career in 1980 with the Philadelphia Bulletin. He has also worked for the Detroit Free Press and the Memphis Commercial Appeal. In 2009 he was laid off at The Commercial Appeal. Bill won three national awards the following year. Bill and his wife Susan have three teenage sons, Sam-19, Robby-16, and Zack-15.Bill and his wife Susan have three teenage sons, Sam-19, Robby-16, and Zack-15.



Overnight: The Hemingway Daiquiri (aka 'Papa Doble') - Recipe and Video



We started a new feature this week: The #WeekendCocktailMoment.

Hardybear, aka Sher, posted a great recipe for The Hemingway Daiquiri and, week that it was, I decided to try it out myself.

Here's her post: The Hemingway Daiquiri

I can tell, just from the ingredients, that I'm going to like it and am off to the liquor store as soon as I finish this post. It's been that kind of week.

One thing you will notice in the recipe is that Sher adds a simple sugar syrup. She makes note of the fact that Hemingway preferred his without it. One of the YouTube commenters maintains that Hemingway was a diabetic. I've read a lot about Hemingway through the years and if this is true, it's news to me - I plan to research this.

From the 'About' section of the video on YouTube:

Bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler demonstrates how to make Ernest Hemingway's favorite daiquiri.



Maddow blasts conservative media for "bullpucky" headLIES, hypocrisy


maddow show hooker line and sinker

Last night Rachel Maddow rightfully blasted the conservative "news" media for creating false headlines, spreading "bullpucky," inventing their own news, and indulging in the worst kind of self-serving hypocrisy and propaganda. Here is the entire segment, well worth a watch. Further down is a much shorter clip in which Maddow skillfully and effectively gets to the heart of the matter.

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Maddow bullet pointed several scandals, including this one:

Hooker scandals are about as rare in politics as hot days in July. We have a lot of them. But just because we have them all the time... it doesn't mean that they're ever anything but awkward. But here, perhaps, is the mother of them all.

vitter pillVitter madame phone list

And then she documented the blatant hypocrisy of the right wing commentator who founded the conservative media outlet The Daily Caller, Tucker Carlson.

They [the conservative media] decided that Sen. David Vitter's history with hookers just wasn't a big deal. Nothing that we should 'bother' the Senator about. Tucker Carlson [said], "That's barely illegal."

Tuck compared that felony to "double parking." Yes. He said that. Just watch the video above, it's at about 16:20. He tossed that out just before he blurted out that "one out of three women" patronizing New Orleans restaurants was "for sale." And then he claimed he'd defend any Democrat as zealously as he defended Vitter. An equal opportunity defender of hooking up with hookers. What a guy.

Maddow's Moment of Mockitude followed:

Who among us has not paid a hooker for sex while serving in the United States Senate? Can't these people solicit hookers in peace without us bothering them?

But oops! Carlson's own Daily Caller called out Democratic Senator Bob Menendez for... guess what?

daily caller gop fail hypocrisy hooker scandal

Of course, the Daily Caller pushed the story hard, and before you know it, that paragon of accurate reporting, Fox, ran with it. And ran with it. And ran with it. Right before the 2012 election. Of course, the story turned out to be bogus, but hey, that never stops the liberal right wing media, now does it? Oh, and Menendez won the election.

As it turns out, the only time the GOP defends paying for sex is when their fellow Republicans engage. But the minute a Democrat gets caught with his pants down, fugetaboutit. All bets are off. Peddle that story. Sell it hard. Make it sound legit. Smear the opponent. Condemn the Dem.

Here is how Rachel Maddow ended the segment. It's a concise history of right wing "news" headlies. That's no typo, it isn't meant to read "headlines." It's headlies. Because that's what they sell, and that's what eager and/or willfully ignorant and/or gullible audiences buy.

The most pointed part of the Rachel Rant came at the end. Here's the clip:

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...Bullpucky that has been invented by and for the conservative media who are happy to tell each other for years that this is news and not just stuff they made up. While the real media, and frankly the politicians who have to swim in that sewer, have to worry about this parallel track of paranoid, fake information, that traffics as news on the American political right, but that is disproven everywhere else outside their echo chamber...

It is one thing for us to be domestically inventing this stuff for ourselves. It's another thing for this weird, fake channel in our supposed news media to allegedly, at least, to become a conveyor belt to foreign countries' disinformation about U.S. government officials...

[This] has to do with our own intelligence as a nation and what the consequences are for all of us, of a conservative movement that has now spent a full generation telling people, telling Americans, "Do not trust the actual news," and to instead invent their own conservative version of it. And they did that. And this is where it got us.

And apparently, at least, Cuba, maybe, appears to be delighted with the results.