Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Draft Beverly Marrero for U.S. Senate

Beverly Marrero is a rising liberal star, Tennessee's very best. I'm sick and tired of the Democratic Party running dull and boring and conservative men in Tennessee. It's high time we had someone to get excited about. No one in this state excites the base quite like Beverly Marrero. Without a doubt, she is someone worth fighting for. That fact alone has the potential to wake up a whole lot of apathetic souls.

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HBO’s Sarah Palin Movie: 'Game Change' (Trailer)

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Catholic Church Vows to Disobey Law Mandating Reproductive Rights for Women

Reproductive rights for women? The Catholic Church vows to to fight against the law:

We cannot—we will not—comply with this unjust law. People of faith cannot be made second class citizens.

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Anti-Gay State Rep. Campfield Refused Service At Restaurant for Being a Bigot

Known far and wide as a bigot, idiot and sponsor of the Don't Say Gay bill, Tennessee State Rep. Stacey Campfield was denied service by the owner of Knoxville's Bistro at the Bijou because of his insanely bigoted and ignorant views.

This story makes my day!

"The sign in front of the Bistro today reads, 'Today's Special: Fried Chicken. Crispy Chicken Livers. No Stacey.'"

An employee of Bistro at the Bijou told Raw Story that owner Martha Boggs turned away state Sen. Stacey Campfield (R) over the weekend...“She just feels that he is a bully and she wanted to stand up to him,” the employee added.

Campfield had falsely claimed on Thursday that it was nearly impossible for someone to contract AIDS through heterosexual contact. . Boggs told the Knoxville News Sentinel that she felt like she had to take a stand after his latest remarks about AIDS.

“He’s gone from being stupid to dangerous,” she said. “It’s just my way of standing up to a bully.”

According to Campfield, the hostess called him a homophobe and accused him of hating homosexuals.

The Bistro at the Bijou on Facebook

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Brits Arrested & Deported from U.S. for Twitter Jokes About 'Destroying America & Digging Up Marilyn Monroe'

Arrested, jailed and deported because Homeland Security thought the Brits were coming here to "Destroy America" and 'dig up Marilyn Monroe.'

I am not kidding:

The Department of Homeland Security flagged him as a potential threat when he posted an excited tweet to his pals about his forthcoming trip to Hollywood which read: 'Free this week, for quick gossip/prep before I go and destroy America?'

Despite telling officials the term 'destroy' was British slang for 'party', they were held on suspicion of planning to 'commit crimes' and had their passports confiscated.

'They asked why we wanted to destroy America and we tried to explain it meant to get trashed and party. 'I almost burst out laughing when they asked me if I was going to be Leigh's lookout while he dug up Marilyn Monroe.

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Book Review: At The King's Pleasure

Title:          At The King's Pleasure
Author:      Kate Emerson
Publisher:  Simon & Schuster
Pub Date:  January 3, 2012

From the back cover:

Married to one man. Desiring another. Beautiful Lady Anne Stafford, lady-in-waiting to Queen Catherine of Aragon, is torn between her love for her husband, George, Lord Hastings . . . and the king’s boon companion, the attentive Sir William Compton. But when King Henry VIII, amorous as always, joins the men clustering around her, Anne realizes she has become perilously enmeshed in the intrigues of the court. Will she be forced to decide between the two men she desires—and the one she doesn’t?

My thoughts:  At The King's Pleasure was my first encounter with The Secrets of The Tudor Court series by Kate Emerson, and there were many things that I really liked about this book, and as well as several things that just didn't work for me. Emerson has a real feel for the period, not just the historical background but the small things, the sights, sounds and smells of the time. She is a master at evoking all five senses in her writing. The novel was like a backstage peak as it were of some of the minor courtiers who don't get much play compared to the big names of the Tudor period.  I enjoyed the few glimpses that the reader was given of the young Henry VIII, barely out of his teens and still wet behind the ears.  The book starts at the beginning of his reign and ends in the year 1520 with the execution of the Duke of Buckingham, a cousin of the King.

Lady Anne Stafford was an appealing heroine, feisty, stubborn and opinionated but also fiercely loyal. At the beginning of the novel, she is widowed and living at home with her brother and his family.  Another marriage is arranged, this time with George Hastings, who is 4 years younger than Anne.  At first Anne is unsure of the match, but she quickly realizes that while George is not quite as exciting as say, William Compton, he is stable and dependable, and the couple have great sex. Anyone who has watched the Showtime series The Tudors will probably remember her story.  In the series, Anne and Henry have an affair, and when her brother The Duke of Buckingham finds out, he is livid.  In Emerson's retelling of the story, Anne is innocent of the affair, but neither her brother nor her husband George Hastings is willing to believe her.  She is dragged away from court and shut up in a convent, after just discovering that she is pregnant with her first child. Despite her predicament, Anne doesn't take her situation lying down as it were.  She actively tries to change her situation. She even manages to forgive her husband for his doubts about her fidelity, certainly much quicker than I would have forgiven him!

The biggest weakness in the novel for me were the men.  Neither George Hastings, nor Will Compton, were appealing to me. I found George's continued jealousy over the years annoying to say the least, and Will Compton, although he knows that Anne is married, still continues to pursue her.  I found his behavior unpalatable and a bit stalkerish to tell the truth. The book also has the problem of the sagging middle, at least for me.  After the first excitement over Anne's predicament with her husband and brother, the book settles into a bit of a routine.  Anne and George have babies, they go to court, Anne flirts with Will Compton, George gets jealous, Anne placates George, lather, rinse, repeat.  Even when Anne finally succumbs to Will's advances, the affair is remarkably short-lived (although of course they have great sex).  She spends a few pages, lamenting that she's torn between two lovers, feeling like a fool, and then she's over it. Not even an inconvenient pregnancy to hide!

The characters spend a great deal of time being told about all the interesting things that are happening at court, like Henry's affair with Bessie Blount, and later his affair with Mary Boleyn, but we never actually see any of this. The chapter headings don't help, you finish one chapter and then discover that only a month has passed in the next chapter. I found myself looking foward to the scenes between Edward, the Duke of Buckingham and his mistress. If there can be said to be a villain in the novel that would be Edward Stafford, The Duke of Buckingham (is there something about the title. The Villiers Dukes of Buckingham were rogues and villains).  Descended from Edward III, he was also the son of Elizabeth Woodville's sister Katherine.  At the opening of the novel, he is the only non-royal Duke in the kingdom and very conscious of his position.  Soon others, such as Charles Brandon, receive honors that Stafford feels should be rightly his.  He's none too happy when both Brandon and Howard become the Dukes of Suffolk and Norfolk respectively. And don't even mention Cardinal Wolsey to him! (Imagine what the Duke would have made of Cromwell!).

Although there are some interesting moments at the Field of the Cloth of Gold, mostly involving Will Compton's bitter wife, the action in the book picks up pace again as events start spiralling out of control for The Duke of Buckingham.  Anne proves her loyalty to her brother, who has done nothing to deserve it.  Despite the back cover copy, the title of the book is most apt.  Everyone in the book is subject to The King's Pleasure, whether they like it or not.

The verdict: While this book wasn't a 'wow' for me, I would still consider picking up another book in the series.  I enjoyed getting to know the minor members of the Tudor Court.  Anne had some nice moments with Elizabeth Boleyn, mother of Anne and Mary, at court, giving us a rare glimpse of the woman known mainly for her children.

Obama: The Most Polarizing President. Ever.

One of the most consistent charges against Hillary Rodham Clinton in the 2008 campaign was that she was just too polarizing. Spinning himself as some post-partisan knight in shining armor, Obama charged repeatedly that unlike himself, Hillary was too polarizing. Of course it was all BS:

Obama: The most polarizing president. Ever.

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Angry Gov. Jan Brewer Wags Her Finger in President Obama's Face (Photo)

The ultra conservative Governor Jan Brewer greets, or scolds, President Obama in Phoenix, Arizona by wagging her finger in the President's face. Something you don't see very often.

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Scandalous Movie Review: A Dangerous Method

A Dangerous Method (2011)

Directed by David Cronenberg
Produced by Jeremy Thomas
Screenplay by Christopher Hampton Based on his play The Talking Cure (which was based on A Most Dangerous Method: the story of Jung, Freud and Sabina Spielrein by John Kerr published in 1993)

Distributed by Universal/Lionsgate/Sony Pictures Classics


Viggo Mortensen as Sigmund Freud
Michael Fassbender as Carl Jung
Keira Knightley as Sabina Spielrein
Vincent Cassel as Otto Gross
Sarah Gadon as Emma Jung
André Hennicke as Eugen Bleuler

My thoughts:  I saw this film over a week ago at Lincoln Plaza Cinemas, a small art house theatre here in New York, on Martin Luther King day.  Instead of writing my review immediately, I decided to let the movie simmer awhile. I'd also been going through some personal stuff which took my focus away from writing for a bit. I have to admit that my views on the film are somewhat colored by the fact that I have always leaned more towards Jung's theories than Freud's, ever since I first read about the two men in my high school psychology class.

A Dangerous Method is based on the turbulent relationships between Carl Jung, founder of analytical psychology, and Sigmund Freud considered to be the founder of the discipline of psychoanalysis, and a young patient of Jung's, Sabina Spielrein who later became a physician and one of the first female psychoanalysts.  The film starts in 1904 where Jung is working at the Burgholzi Hospital in Switzerland. A young Russian woman, Sabina Spielrein, arrives as a new patient.  She seems to be suffering from hysteria, which was one of those all-purpose diagnoses at the time. Contorting her body in impossible positions as she were being hit by hot poker, Spielrien's condition turns out be a great deal more complex than anyone realized. Employing Freud's controversial 'talking cure,' Jung soon discovers what has her knickers in a twist as it were.  Soon Sabina becomes much more than a patient, she begins assisting Jung with his treatments as well as attending medical school. Before long the two have become lovers, beginning what would become a pattern in Jung's life. At the same time, Jung has struck a correspondance with Freud, sharing details of his work with Spielrien.  The two men eventually meet, and Freud takes the young psychoanalyst under his wing, believing that Jung could be the future of psychoanalysis. But their friendship soon founders as Jung begins to move away from Freud's theories, developing his own unorthodox methods. Spielrien is caught in the middle between these two powerhouse men as she struggles to find her way in a male-dominated field.

While I found the subject of the film endlessly fascinating, I also found watching this film incredibly frustrating. My frustrations stem mainly from the treatment of the women in the film. For example, in the film, Emma Jung is portrayed as the dutiful little wifey, rather bland, whose sole function is to have babies and to provide a large fortune for Jung. There is no mention in the film that Emma Jung was a psychoanalyst in her own right, that she wrote books, or that she carried on her own correspondance with Freud, nor that at one point, Jung was treating his own wife!  As for Spielrein, apparently sleeping with Jung, was enough to cure her and send her on her merry way to medical school. I would have liked the film to have delved deeper into what drew Jung to Sabina, besides her being an interesting test case for him.  Was it her intelligence?  The kinkiness of their relationship? Little is made of Freud's own relationship Spielrein or how her own work eventualy informed both Freud and Jung's, particularly the death instinct. It's just sort of mentioned and brushed aside. There is one telling moment, when Freud suggests that Spielrien forget Jung and find a nice Jewish husband.

The film is on surer footing when it focuses on the relationship between Freud and Jung, and the tensions that ultimately led to its demise. The relationship between Freud and Jung is initially that of mentor and disciple.  Freud hopes that Jung would eventually lead the psychoanalytic movement, proving that it was more than just a Jewish 'science' and into the mainstream. But Jung goes rogue, dabbling in astrology and spiritualism, and developing his own theories which began to conflict with Freud's. One of those tensions was Jung's relationship with Sabina, and how Jung basically lied to Freud about it, claiming that Sabina was lying when she said they were lovers, to the point of saying that she was suffering from delusions. Nice guy! The unraveling of their bromance, and not the triangle between Freud, Jung, and Spielrein, is the most compelling aspect of the film.

That both Michael Fassbender (as Jung) and Viggo Mortenson (as Freud) give stellar performances is a given. Fassbender starts of the film as this sort of uptight figure, clearly the son of a Presbyterian minister, who slowly starts to indulge his appetites.  There is a telling scene when he visits Freud at his home for dinner. As they talk, Jung keeps piling more and more food on his plate, as the Freud's look on horrified, wondering if there is going to be anything left for them to eat! Mortenson is almost unrecognizable as Freud, his face obscured by the constant cloud of cigar smoke. However I found myself most impressed by Keira Knightley's performance as Sabina. On the surface, the role doesn't seem to be a natural fit.  Knightley is generally cast in films where she gets to look beautiful and wear great costumes, as an unobtainable object of desire, but as Sabina she had to convincingly play a woman who was afraid, tormented, and filled with guilt and disgust. In the beginning of the film, Sabina is like a wild animal, unable to be tamed until she finally admits to the secrets that she has been keeping. It is a remarkably mature and assured performance from Knightley.  A shame that in came in a year when there were so many great performances by women in film. I was amazed when I read in an article that Julia Roberts was originally offered the role.

My verdict:  I give the film a thumbs up for the relationship between the two giants of pyschoanalysis, and a thumbs down on the portrayal of Emma Jung.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Newt Wins South Carolina

Newt Gingrich has won the South Carolina primary. Lest you doubted that mental health tests should be required before anyone is allowed to run for president. . .

Newt Gingrich Proposed the Death Penalty for Pot -- Even Though He Admitted to Smoking It

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Stop the 'Ok To Bully Gay Kids' Bill: Sign the Petition

You guessed it. This horrendously cruel and immoral bill comes from the Homophobic State of Tennessee. It would make it okay to bully gay kids if it's done in the name of religion. Nothing quite like Christian values.

Haven't enough gay kids committed suicide? And do Tennessee lawmakers really want future suicides on their consciences?

Sign the petition.

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Friday, January 20, 2012

Near-Universal Contraceptive Coverage Coming to America, Finally

It's been a long time coming and doesn't help all the women who are without health insurance, but it's progress (if, in fact, it actually happens):

Today, in a huge victory for women’s health, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that most employers will be required to cover contraception in their health plans, along with other preventive services, with no cost-sharing such as co-pays or deductibles. This means that after years of trying to get birth control covered to the same extent that health plans cover Viagra, our country will finally have nearly universal coverage of contraception.

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Colbert Rocks Morning Joe (Video)

Nobody points out the injustice of the U.S. political system better than Stephen Colbert:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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Colbert Super PAC Ad: Vote Herman Cain (Video)

At long last, "None of the Above" is on the ballot:

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Recall Scott Walker: Democrats File 1 Million Signatures

The Recall is on! Dems needed half a million signatures. They filed twice that many:

Madison - Democrats and organizers filed petitions Tuesday afternoon with more than a million signatures as they sought to force a recall election against Gov. Scott Walker - a massive number that seems to cement a historic recall election against him for later this year.

The sheer number of signatures being filed against Walker - nearly as many as the total votes cast for the governor in November 2010 and almost twice as many as those needed to trigger a recall election - ensure the election will be held, said officials with the state Democratic Party and United Wisconsin, the group that launched the Walker recall.

"It is beyond legal challenge," said Ryan Lawler, vice chairman of United Wisconsin.

REUTERS: Enough signatures collected to recall Wisconsin governor

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Sexist Quote of the Day

“The question then comes, ‘Is it God’s highest desire, that is, his biblically expressed will, … to have a woman rule the institutions of the family, the church, and the state?’”
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Obama Flip-Flops on Signing Statements (Video)

"We're not going to use signing statements as a way of doing an end run around Congress." -- That was Barack Obama back in 2008. In 2012, President Obama is using signing statements to do "an end run around Congress." The President expects us to trust him, he won't detain his own citizens indefinitely without due process. Really:

"Obama's action … is a blight on his legacy because he will forever be known as the president who signed indefinite detention without charge or trial into law.” -- ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero

Obama amended the NDAA with a signing statement on New Year's Eve, insisting that while the Act does indeed give him the power to detain his own citizens indefinitely without charge, that doesn’t mean he will do so. Specifically, Obama wrote that his administration “will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens.”

Obama sued over indefinite detention and torture of Americans act: The decision to take the commander-in-chief to court comes as a response to President Obama’s December 31 signing of the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, a legislation that allows the US military to detain American citizens indefinitely at off-site torture prisons like Guantanamo Bay.

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Santorum South Carolina TV Attack Ad: Romney Is More Liberal than Kennedy (Video)

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Bigoted Tennessee Lawmakers to Vote on 'Don't Say Gay' Bill

Tennessee is making great strides in the contest to be the most bigoted state in the union. The 'Don't Say Gay' bill is up for a vote on January 18 at 3:30 PM. File this one under embarrassed and ashamed to be in the State of Tennessee.

The Tennessee Equality Project sent this to my inbox:

Tell members of the Tennessee House Education Subcommittee to vote against the "Don't Say Gay" bill before their meeting on Wednesday, January 18 at 3:30 PM. As originally proposed, HB0229/SB0049 states that " no public elementary or middle school shall provide any instruction or material that discusses sexual orientation other than heterosexuality." HB0229 will create a hostile school environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning students. Even with new language adopted by the Senate, this bill is a threat to the safety and well-being of Tennessee students. This embarrassing bill invited ridicule of our Tennessee government from within and outside our state. It's time to end the madness of unnecessary legislation like HB0229.

Tennessee 'Bathroom Bill' Bans Transgendered Folks from Bathrooms

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CNN Contributor Dana Loesch: 'I'd Urinate on Dead Bodies Too'

Ewww. Where does CNN find their right-wing shock and awe contributors? Apparently, they find them in caves. CNN Contributor Dana Loesch thinks it's fine that U.S. Marines urinate on dead bodies. Laush says: "I'd Drop Trou And Do It Too."

CNN Contributor On Marines Urinating On Dead Bodies: "Supposed To Be A Scandal"? "I'd Drop Trou And Do It Too" from Media Matters on Vimeo.

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

GOP Sponsor Of Bill Mandating Drug Testing For Welfare Arrested For DUI

Another day, another idiotic and bigoted Republican lawmaker caught being an idiot:

A Georgia Republican (State Rep. Kip Smith) who wants all welfare recipients subject to drug tests failed one himself after he ran a red light on Friday morning. . . The officer said Smith finally agreed to blow into the device. The report stated that Smith blew a .091., which is above the legal limit of .08.

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Colbert Super PAC Ad: If Corporations Are People, Mitt Romney Is A Serial Killer (Video)

Colbert's Super PAC just released this ad in South Carolina: Stop Mitt the Ripper!

“I have no control over that ad. I am not calling anybody a serial killer. I can’t tell Americans for a Better Tomorrow Tomorrow what to do.”

Press Release about the ad here:
The Definitely Not Coordinating With Stephen Colbert Super PAC: "The new spot begins airing today in a major ad buy that will blanket South Carolina from Charleston all the way to North Charleston. . . The Definitely Not Coordinated With Stephen Colbert Super PAC, officially known as Americans For A Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow, is an independent, expenditure-only committee that's been proudly serving the community since late Thursday."

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Colbert Announces Presidential Run, Jon Stewart Takes Over Colbert Super PAC (VIDEO)

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Tennessee 'Bathroom Bill' Bans Transgendered Folks from Bathrooms

Weirdo State Rep. Richard Floyd (R), is getting lots of national press over his bizarre Bathroom Bill , a bill that would prohibit transgendered folks from using public bathrooms. The Rep says he is sick and tired of people who are not just like him. He fears that people will soon be "marrying cats and dogs and horses." Yeah, well, with men out there like Rep. Richard Floyd (R), who wouldn't prefer to marry their kitty cat?

"I'm just sick and tired of society having to adjust to every little alternate life style, or little whim or someone who thinks they're different."

Also: Huffington Post: Odious New Anti-Transgender Bill Introduced in Tennessee General Assembly
Towleroad: TN Lawmaker Files Bill to Prevented 'Perverted' Trans People from Attacking His Wife in Dressing Rooms: VIDEO

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Corporate Raider: When Mitt Romney Came To Town (Video)

What Mitt Romney was doing when he wasn't strapping dogs to the top of his car:

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Friday, January 13, 2012

The Scandalous Women of One Life to Live

Today is a particularly sad day for me, not only is it Friday the 13th, but it is brings the final episode of One Life to Live after 42 years on the air. One Life to Live was created by Agnes Nixon in 1968, and from the beginning of its run, it featured strong women who were not afraid to go after what they wanted, no matter who or what got in their way. I started watching the show in junior high, and was fascinated by the wide array of female characters from the ridiculous to the sublime. While there have been some fascinating male characters on daytime and on One Life to Live in particular (Marco Dane, Todd Manning, David Vickers), soaps have always been a more female centric medium. These ten women are just the tip of the iceberg and my personal favorites during the past 43 years.

Carla Gray – the story of Carla Gray was a ground-breaking and controversial storyline for daytime in the late 60’s, and put OLTL on the map as a soap that wasn’t afraid to be different. The audience was shocked as Carla romanced not only her boss, the much older Dr. Jim Craig, but also a black intern at Llanview Hospital. They were even more shocked to discover that Carla was not white, but the light-skinned estranged daughter of Sadie Gray, the hospital housekeeper, who was passing for white. Carla and her mother eventually reconciled but she lost both the men in her life.

Karen Wolek (played by the immensely talented Judith Light who won an Emmy for the role). Karen Wolek was initially played as a gold-digging sex kitten looking for the easy life as the wife of Dr. Larry Wolek until Judith Light took over. Suddenly Karen was a walking bundle of jagged nerves with low self-esteem and a secret life Kept on a tight budget by her fiscally conscious hubby, Karen begins to indulge in a little “afternoon delight” with some of Llanview’s wealthy businessmen to pay for the luxuries that she craved. When her former lover and con artist Marco Dane discovers her little secret, he forces her to become a “housewife/prostitute” to prevent Larry for learning the truth. The storyline came to a head when Viki Lord was on trial for Marco’s murder. Under blistering cross-examination by Herb Callison, Karen confessed to the truth of her double life, falling apart on the stand. Karen later became involved in a baby switch storyline when her sister Jenny Wolek’s baby died at birth. Karen and Marco Dane (who turned out not to be so dead after all) switched Jenny’s dead baby with the healthy baby born to Katrina Carr, a fellow prostitute.

Dorian Cramer Lord – Amoral, greedy, ambitious, careless, and a murderer (allegedly), these are just some of the adjectives that could be used to describe Dr. Dorian Cramer Lord Callison Vickers Buchanan etc. during her years in Llanview. There was nothing that Dorian wouldn’t do to get what she wanted; she even pretended to be a lesbian in order to win election as mayor of Llanview. She’s also been a doctor, a publisher, the ambassador to Mendorra, and now a U.S. Senator. While Dorian married a plethora of men, her greatest love story was with Viki Lord Buchanan. For over 30 years, Dorian waged war with her frenemy and former step-daughter Viki, fighting over men and the late, and unlamented Victor Lord. See Dorian married Victor Lord have she lost her job at Llanview Hospital (she accidentally gave a patient a lethal dose. Oops!), and managed to finagle the lion’s share of his fortune after his death. She even went so far as to seduce Viki’s youngest Joey. What viewer didn’t live for the episodes where Dorian and Viki ended up trapped in a room somewhere? While Dorian could be vindictive and conniving (and that’s just before lunch), she could also be protective and caring, particularly towards the Cramer women, three generations of women, which included not just her daughters but also her nieces and her two sisters.

Tina Lord – When Tina Clayton arrived in Llanview; she was a sweet, innocent, teenager who had just lost her mother, and had come to live with Viki Lord Riley. Within months, she had been used by Marco Dane in his vendetta against Viki, and used by her father to try and bilk money out of Viki. But Tina’s story really kicked into gear when she discovered that she was Victor Lord’s illegitimate daughter. See Victor had seduced Tina’s mom, Viki’s best friend. What a dad! During her years in Llanview, Tina often did some questionable things (not telling people that her niece Jessica was really one of her alters Tess, trying to bilk Viki out of her fortune, etc.) Tina always had a good heart. Her taste in men is another story. Through the years, she always found herself attracted to the bad boys of Llanview, everyone from Mitch Laurence, Max Holden to con artists Cain Rogen &David Vickers, but her true love was always cowboy Cord Roberts. Despite the fact that Tina married him knowing that he was Clint Buchanan’s long lost son before he did, and pretending another woman’s baby was theirs, Cord just couldn’t quit Tina. No matter how many crazy schemes she came up with, and Tina was nothing if not creative, Cord always forgave her and took her back.

Echo DiSavoy – Countess Echo DiSavoy came to town, like so many tourists do to Llanview, seeking revenge, which never works out well. Played by the talented Kim Zimmer, Echo made her mission to seduce Clint Buchanan, and then framed him for her “murder” all because she blamed him for her mother’s death. Of course, he didn’t kill her mother, it was someone else. Echo finally came forward and told the truth. But leopards never really change their spots. Echo came back years later with a secret; she and Clint had a son, Rex, who was now living in Llanview. Still a schemer, she used her alcoholism to get close to Viki’s new husband Charlie Banks (and her ex-lover) who she claimed was Rex’s father. They started a torrid affair until Charlie discovered the truth. She then tried to ruin Dorian 's to David Vickers Buchanan, getting his co-star to try and seduce him, but it didn't work.

Allison Perkins was another one of those good girls who turn bad.  She was a candy striper at Llanview Hospital until she fell under the spell of evangelist Mitch Laurence and joined his cult.  Mitch convinced her to kidnap Viki Lord Buchanan’s new born daughter Jessica while dressed as one of Viki’s alters Nikki Smith.  Although she ultimately returned her, Allison ends up at St. Anne’s, the local mental institution. Was Allison always crazy or did Mitch just bring it out in her? Years later, she was still doing Mitch Laurence’s bidding.  Claiming to be well, she was released from St. Anne’s.  The 2nd part of Mitch Laurence’s grand plan came to fruition, it turned out that Allison had switched babies all those years ago.  Now Viki’s real daughter came to town to wreak havoc, helped along by Allison who pours poison in her ears about what is rightfully hers and by extension Allison. Allison was the gift that just kept on giving whether you wanted her to or not over the years.  Despite being sent to prison for 20 years, she managed not only to break out Statesville twice but also St. Anne’s.

Alexandra "Alex" Olanov Wentworth Hesser Buchanan Stuart Vickers (played by Tonja Walker) – Alex Olanov came to town as the FBI agent who was trying to help Bob Buchanan find his wife Sarah Gordon who had been kidnapped by mob boss Carlo Hesser.  When Sarah was presumed dead, Alex became just a little obsessed with Bo, who didn’t return her feelings.  Misunderstood or charming sociopath? Hard to tell with Alex.  Even when she did something good, it was for the wrong reason (Bringing back Bo’s wife Sarah on his wedding day to Cassie Callison). During Alex’s tenure in Llanview, she married Bo’s dad, Asa Buchanan (twice), became mayor of Llanview, married Carlo Hesser, was arrested for the murder of Carlo Hesser, worked as a stripper, faked having a sex addiction, and abandoned her two children as kids.  Over the years, Alex schemed to get her share of the Buchanan fortune, going so far to marry David Vickers, thinking that he was Asa’s long lost son.  Like a cat, Alex always seemed to land on her feet.

Blair Cramer Manning – Blair Cramer is probably the only character in soap history, who started out as Asian-American, and then ended up being replaced by a Caucasian actress. Later regimes had fun playing up that little fact.  Blair Daimler as she was called came to town in 1991.  Unbeknownst to everybody, she was Dorian Lord’s niece, conceived when her mother was raped while a patient in a mental institution. That would give anyone a chip on their shoulder! Blair first tried to ruin Dorian by trying to get her to sign a document confessing to the murder of Victor Lord.  She changed her tune when she discovered that Dorian had thought her sister Addie, Blair’s mother, had died.  Blair then decided to go after Asa Buchanan, one of the richest men in town, becoming wife number 5 or 6 but who is counting? The night before her wedding, Blair had sex with Max Holden in barn.  Despite the romp, she married Asa anyway.  Trying to stake a claim on the Buchanan fortune, she faked a pregnancy (this would not be the first time Blair tried this trick). When Asa had a heart attack after founding out the truth, Blair left him to die.  She left town for a while and then returned, taller, blonde and with a southern accent.  Blonde Blair went after town pariah Todd Manning (illegitmate son of Victor Lord, rapist, thug, terrorized Nora Buchanan), after unsuccessful romances with Max Holden and Cord Roberts, beginning one of the most dysfunctional relationships in Soap history.  During their many estrangements, Blair had relationships with Patrick Thornhart, Kevin Buchanan, Sam Rappaport, John McBain and Max Holden (again).  Blair’s weak spot has always been Todd Manning, despite the fact that he sold their son Jack because he was convinced he was fathered by someone else, and told Blair the baby had died.  Like her Aunt Dorian, she’s always been extremely loyal to the Cramer women, defending them to death, even as they squabble amongst themselves.

Lindsay Rappaport – Lindsay was always one of my favorite Scandalous Women on OLTL.  She wasn't amoral or vicious like some of the women on this list.  Lindsay just wanted to be loved.  Unfortunately the mean that she loved either didn't love her back, or due to her insecurities, she manipulated them by lying and scheming.  For instance, telling Bo Buchanan that he was sterile after his son Drew's death, leading his wife Nora to sleep with her old beau and Lindsay's ex-husband to have sex (to give Bo a child to replace Drew).  Then she manipulated the DNA test to make it look like Matthew was Sam's child and not Bo's.  See Lindsay grew up knowing that her father preferred her younger sister Melanie to her, he made no secret of it. Than learning that her husband Sam had never really gotten over his first love, Nora, lead her to have an affair with her brother-in-law. Her rivalry with Nora led to her decision to get back at Nora by stealing her husband Bo. Her hatred of Nora led her to help Colin kidnap and drug Nora until she lost her memory.

Lindsay was one of those women who were lonely and just a little desperate. Sure she shot and killed her ex-husband Sam, but she had been manipulated by Mitch Laurence. And yes, she imprisoned Troy McIver on a giant carnival wheel and left him to die, when she discovered that he was playing her.  Haven't we all had thoughts like those, we just haven't acted on them? Still she loved her two children Will and Jennifer fiercely. And she even once saved her old enemy Nora Hanen Gannon Buchanen from a fire.  Over the years, Lindsay softened and became less manipulative. If only the show had really given the romance between her and RJ Gannon a chance.

Margaret Cochran –A quiet and lonely accountant who worked at Buchanan Enterprises, when she was approached by Todd Manning for dirt on his rival Kevin Buchanan (who had slept with his ex-wife Blair).  Todd, being Todd, led Margaret to believe that he had feelings for her.  Imagine her surprise when she found out that Todd and Blair had reconciled for the umpteenth time. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned! Margaret, however, was not about to give up on the man of her dreams. She fakes a photo of her and Todd in bed together and shows it to Blair.  Thank god for Photoshop! Blair, coming from a family of mentally unstable females, is not taken in by Margaret’s little art project.  So Margaret kidnaps Todd and Blair’s son, which gets her a one way ticket to St. Anne’s.  Since the mental health professionals in Llanview are easily fooled, Margaret is eventually released. Having spent her time in St. Anne’s re-reading Stephen King’s Misery, Margaret shoots Todd in the knees on his wedding day to Blair, holding him hostage in a remote cabin. Blair, who also must have read Misery, manages to track Margaret to the cabin.  When she tries to save Todd, Margaret locks her in the trunk of a car.  Not content with just kidnapping, she adds rape to her list of crimes.  Todd is eventually rescued, but now Margaret is pregnant with his child which infuriates Todd. When she is found dead, Todd is tried and convicted of her murder and sentenced to die by lethal injection.  But like Jason in the Friday the 13th movies, Margaret is not dead, but alive thus freeing Todd.  Margaret finally gets her comeuppance when she is killed in a car accident.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Draft Hillary Effort Continues

Quote of the Day

"We, the undersigned Democrats, want a new Democratic nominee for President who can win in 2012. We are convinced that the only person with the national stature, experience, and high enough approval ratings who can win the general election in November of 2012 is Hillary Rodham Clinton. Mr. President, we thank you for your service. However, we must ask you to do the right thing for your Party and your country and step aside."

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