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Musings From Atop America

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I'm in the back of a Sikorsky 420 Helicopter sipping an obscure Chilean Pinot Noir and flying over the Grand Canyon with my dear friends Jimmy Carter and Mos Def. There's a nip in the air. The sun is rising over the lip of the canyon. Mos, Jimmy and I are silent as we look down on the Nation's greatest natural wonder and I can't help but reflect on how a country with so much could accept so little from it's leadership.

Actually I'm really at my desk in a T-shirt and sweats waiting for my five-month-old daughter to wake up. But just for a second I wanted to pretend my life was as exciting as Arianna's (I think right now she's on vacation with Lars Von Trier and Wayne Gretsky on a surfaced Trident sub in the Black Sea). If her life is out of a Mark Leyner novel, mine is out of a book by Tom Perotta.

So as I listen to the sounds of the Wild Thornberrys playing on Nickelodean (my five year old is now awake) and not the distant crash of the Caspian sea, I thought I'd Larrry King it again with some random thoughts. Cause let's face it, if it's good enough for King then not only is it good enough for me, it's good enough for America. Remember, immediately following this post we'll air a three hour show with me interviewing the former cast of Family Ties minus Michael J Fox. It's going to be a special show, so tune in...

-- Call me a glass half empty gent, but when the recent poll came out showing that seventy five percent of Americans thought the White House was not cooperating with the CIA leak investigation, I couldn't help but focus on the twenty five percent who think the White House is co-operating. I'm very curious who these people are, and if that's their idea of co-operation I'd hate to have to play a game of password with them...

Me: Fruit
The 25%: We are not commenting as there is an ongoing investigation.
Me: Red
The 25%: Once again you are trying to get me to answer and we will not do that during an ongoing investigation.
Me: Eden
The 25%: Karl did not say Valerie Plame's name. He said "Wilson's wife."

-- So Larry Brown is leaving the Pistons. Someone's to blame here and no one's talking. Either Brown walked or the Pistons cut him loose. So either Brown is crazy and has some abandonment issue where he has to leave his team every two years or Joe Dumars and the Pistons are high on some kind of wood stainer. Cause the bottom line is, this was Brown's greatest team and if he quit then it's a real shame.

-- General Westmoreland passed away earlier this week. He died believing one thing: that the Viet Nam War was a success. Rather than admit the war was tricky and maybe ill conceived he always blamed the negativity of the press for the withering support of the "police action." Maybe he's right. After all, if the papers has just printed the word "VICTORY" as a headline for fourteen straight years maybe the war would have lasted another fourteen years. It's funny how the press wasn't an issue during World War Two or Serbia or Afghanistan. Hmmm.

-- So Eric Rudolph, aka the Olympic bomber, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. He said he'd do everything over again and that he believed abortion is murder. He must be feeling pretty good after seeing who W Bush nominated for the Supreme Court.

-- Four more bombs in London. I admit. That scares me. But I'm still not running out and voting for guys who want to attack countries that had nothing to do with it and who want to hand over our government to big business. Let's just catch these fuckers and not lose our minds.

-- I just saw the new DVD copy of Robert Altman's California Split. Good God is that a good movie. Altman had the guts to end movies on a psychological level, blurring the line between conscious intention and sub-consious desire. And he gets it to work. And Elliot Gould is amazing, as is George Seagal. I grew up with Seagal playing the banjo on Carson and doing the sit-com "Just Shoot Me." You forget he was in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and was really talented.

-- Dale Jr. got his first win of the Nascar season in Chicago. Good for you, Jr. Thing aren't right in racing without an Earnhardt in the top fifteen. Although nothing would make me laugh harder than to hear you thank Noam Chomsky and Bill Moyers in Victory Lane after the race. Or just real quick say, "and praise Allah." Please, please, please.

-- Saw a screening of 40 Year Old Virgin starring Steve Carrell and it is big time funny. It's like a filthy version of Office Space. Seth Rogan is the true discovery as the tatted-up Sonic Youth listening storage room guy. Go see it with big late night crowds.

-- I really feel like people are starting to understand the pile of lies the current Republican Party is based on and I think they're starting to say, "enough." This includes a lot of Republicans who feel betrayed by budget deficits and security leaks. But what scares me is that even if we get a decent leader in after Bush, be it McCain or Clinton or whomever, and the Congress starts to shift away from hacks like Frist and Delay, will the people remember how we got here? Nixon used the same technique of secrecy, fear and big money to polarize our country thirty years ago and then we went and did it all again. Let's try really hard to remember this time. Like maybe teach classes on consolidated power in Social Studies classes... Man that is never going to happen. I feel tired.

-- Does anyone remember the words "minimum wage increase." I think they're from some ancient society.

-- I was in Birmingham recently and was pleasantly surpised at what a neat city it is. The Lakeview Oyster House and Botega's are fantastic restaurants and the whole city has not in anyway been corporate centered over. The streets seem like you're in a Gregory Peck movie. (Okay, I'm kidding about the Larry King thing, but that last one really felt like something Larry King would write. I'm worried.)

-- Shows like Fear Factor, Big Brother and The Apprentice seem to me like the emotional equivilent of the Roman Colliseum. We are fascinated by how much emotional and psychological abuse these people will take or heap on each other. Now here's the thing, if I were alive during Roman times I would hopefully decry the barbarism of the Colliseum, but at the same time it would be hard not to buy a ticket to the Six Aegean Slaves Vs a Rhinocerus matinee. Or how could you turn away from the Four Ostriches With Razors on the Talons Vs Two Monkeys and a Cobra. It's the same with these TV shows. Donald Trump is so awful and idiotic to these perspiring wannabe entrepenuers, it's enthralling. I can't wait for the day when one contestant says to Trump "What are you talking about Don? You inherited your seed money."

-- Been watching the Las Vegas NBA summer league and this kid Gerald Green that the Celtics got with the 18th pick in the draft is stone cold for real. They also got a steal in the second round with Ryan Gomes out of Providence. He's a Corliss Williamson clone with a better 19 foot jumper. You're on fire, Danny Ainge.

-- I know it's been a few years now but I still haven't gotten over Donald Rumsfeld in the days after 9/11 saying that we should bomb Iraq because that's where all the good targets are. How did everyone let this fly by? That's Strangelove crazy.

-- Speaking of downplayed stories, what is the deal with the story of the leader of Iraq visiting Iran? I know Arianna already blogged on this but what the hell? That's huge.

Alright, that's it. It's hot as hell and I truly hope Laurie David is wrong when she ties it to global warming. Though in my encounters with her she's not wrong much. And please check out our two-parter with Robert Goulet's son Shaun Goulet airing in CNN tonight at 6, 8, and 11 pm. It's a keeper.