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Harry Shearer
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Entries by Harry Shearer

How We Arrived At The Current State Of Our Politics

(80) Comments | Posted November 12, 2014 | 8:17 PM

This post will take you all the way from the invention of the Tonight and Today shows through the dysfunction of modern politics. It's a bumpy ride, so please stow your tray table.

There used to be a thing called "mass media." First magazines and newspapers, then radio, then...

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What's With Honey Poo Poo? Episode #4

(9) Comments | Posted September 22, 2013 | 10:40 PM

Here's episode 4 of our continuing look at another child beauty queen and her lovely family.

If you've missed them til now, be sure to check episodes 1, 2 and 3, too. Lotsa reality.

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Your Money or Your Life

(42) Comments | Posted June 10, 2013 | 5:36 PM

I'm writing this post for free. Bad idea. You're reading it for free. Bad idea.

In the debate -- welcomed by President Obama, though it wouldn't be occurring without the leaks he's trying to punish -- over government pursuit of our data, some folks are pointing out, as...

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In Praise of Waste, Fraud and Abuse

(254) Comments | Posted August 28, 2012 | 10:40 AM

LONDON -- As we wait to see what effect Isaac will have on the Army Corps of Engineers $10 billion-plus "hurricane risk reduction system" in New Orleans, I can't help thinking about last week's news release from the activist group levees.org. Attempting to find out the...

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Giddy Britain

(83) Comments | Posted August 14, 2012 | 1:31 AM

LONDON -- Be careful if you run into Brits for the next little while: They're under a spell. Specifically, they have a bad case of Olympic Fever.

They're giddy because nothing bad happened at the Games, because the British team won a lot of medals -- and, oh yes,...

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Could New York Be More Wrong About New Orleans?

(367) Comments | Posted May 28, 2012 | 7:47 PM

LOS ANGELES -- As most anybody knows who cares about newspapers, the absentee owners of the New Orleans Times-Picayune have announced plans to quit daily print publication of the paper, turning to a Wednesday-Friday-Sunday schedule, giving rise to my new name for the publication: The Sometimes-Picayune.

I...

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Don't Demonize Political Opponents, Infantilize Them

(350) Comments | Posted November 19, 2011 | 4:42 PM

Last week in New Orleans, James Carville and Mary Matalin hosted a day-long conference on "Taking the Poison Out of Partisanship", the latest in many attempts to get the partisan voices lowered in what passes for political discourse in this country.

But I wasn't there, I...

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The Two Things Obama Got Wrong

(831) Comments | Posted September 5, 2011 | 5:03 PM

August. The month that Democrats seem to think doesn't count. Think John Kerry in 2004. Think Barack Obama the last two years. Somebody had better look at Washington Democrats' calendars and circle August in red. It might help.

This August, in addition to the media swoonfest over Michele Bachmann's meaningless...

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"Katrina" Plus Six

(477) Comments | Posted August 28, 2011 | 6:37 PM

NEW ORLEANS--So now we're at the six-year anniversary of the event which everyone calls Katrina, even though, as has been explicated in these pixels many times, the flooding of this city was, in the words of a co-author of one of the two independent investigations of the event, "the greatest...

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USA 3.0

(786) Comments | Posted July 3, 2011 | 7:38 PM

LONDON -- As I write this I'm flying back to America, specifically New Orleans, to celebrate July 4 by watching fireworks over the Mississippi River. I say that right up here at the top to establish my Yank bonafides. In addition, my parents sought out this country as a refuge...

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A Letter From New Orleans: Year 6 of a 5-Year Lifespan

(220) Comments | Posted June 2, 2011 | 3:34 PM

NEW ORLEANS -- It's righteously hot at the beginning of June, a time for this area to take an involuntary intake of breath, if not a full-on gasp, before getting on with finding some shade. June 1 is the official start of the hurricane season. No whistles blow, no bands...

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General McChrystal's New Job: How Tone-Deaf Is This Administration?

(457) Comments | Posted April 11, 2011 | 8:10 PM

The news reports about General Stanley McChrystal's new position, "leading a three-member advisory board... to help service members and their families," don't fail to mention the mildly scandalous Rolling Stone article that got the General relieved of command in Afghanistan. That just makes it sound like...

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What the New Census Data Can, and Can't, Tell Us About New Orleans

(281) Comments | Posted February 15, 2011 | 4:14 PM

NEW ORLEANS -- The 2010 census figures about New Orleans made news (here, here, and here, for example), but the stories all came out at the height of the uprising in Egyptian cities, so you may have missed them. But, since they were all...

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The President's Panacea for Business Regs: The Cost-Benefit Ratio

(176) Comments | Posted January 19, 2011 | 2:43 PM

NEW YORK -- Not content with having crafted a recovery plan that helped banks and financial services firms recover far more nicely than other folks, President Obama has reached out to the rest of the business community with a plan for all federal agencies to reexamine their regulations,...

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Who's Illegitimate? The Presidents. Who Says?

(132) Comments | Posted January 11, 2011 | 8:48 PM

If mental disturbance is, as it seems (and as I discussed in my last post), at the root of the shootings in Tucson, that leaves another question: what's at the root of all the rancor about political rancor?

Sure, some of it is outrage that outrage on the other side...

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Why There Are So Many Mentally Ill Among Us

(767) Comments | Posted January 10, 2011 | 11:02 AM

NEW ORLEANS -- In the race to "explain" the Tucson shooting, the sprinters have been those who've found the cause in the rhetoric of one side or the other of the political spectrum. Close behind them have been those who see once again the folly of a society, almost unique...

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The News Doesn't Sleep -- Except on Weekends

(68) Comments | Posted January 9, 2011 | 6:57 PM

NEW ORLEANS -- Back when Princess Diana died, it was already happening. Now it's gotten much worse.

"It" is the thinning out of news -- especially broadcast news -- ranks on the weekends. Princess Di's horrific accident happened on a Saturday, just like the shocking shooting incident in Tuscon....

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Mr. O and Mr. A

(726) Comments | Posted December 23, 2010 | 10:33 AM

LONDON -- We're being urged by the Washington-NYC punditocracy to regard the post-shellacking performance of the lame-duck Congress as some sort of revival of President Obama as a getting-things-done-type leader. After all, look at what's been passed by the Dem leadership on their way out the door.

Okay, let's look....

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Thankful for the Truth-Tellers

(144) Comments | Posted November 25, 2010 | 9:56 AM

NEW ORLEANS--It's a beautiful, warm, sunny Thanksgiving Day in the Crescent City. The Saints are winning, the Hornets--despite stumbling this week--are winning, the oysters (though expensive) are back. There's much to be thankful for here.

But my gratitude this season is directed at three people I've met who have had...

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Fact-Checking the Bush Memoir: New Orleans

(478) Comments | Posted November 23, 2010 | 5:02 PM

My friend David Corn has done yeoman work in fact-checking Decision Points regarding the issues surrounding the Iraq War and the outing of Valerie Plame (available at mojo.com). A Twitter buddy sent me the chapter concerning Hurricane Katrina, expecting that I'd have some factual light to shed on...

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