links for 2009-06-10

FRONTLINE Presents Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story

VCR/Tivo Alert:

PBS’s FRONTLINE wil be airing Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story this Tuesday. Check your local listings.

In the wake of yet another hard-fought and bitter presidential campaign, FRONTLINE presents a spirited and revealing biography of Lee Atwater, the charming, Machiavellian godfather of modern take-no-prisoners Republican political campaigns. Through eye-opening interviews with Atwater’s closest friends and adversaries, the film explores the life of the controversial political operative who mentored Karl Rove and George W. Bush, led the GOP to historic victories, and wrote the party’s winning playbook. The story tracks Atwater’s rise from his beginnings in South Carolina as a high school election kingmaker all the way to the White House and his subsequent battle with cancer and final search for forgiveness and redemption. To Democrats, Atwater was a political assassin who one Congresswoman dubbed “the most evil man in America,” but to Republicans he remains a hero for his deep understanding of the American voter and his unapologetic vision of politics as warfare.

And Atwater begat Rove. Insert some sort of Star Wars™ Sith Master/Apprentice or Tolkien Morgoth/Sauron reference here, as is your wont. Suffice to say, there will be another.

Lori Lipman Brown on The Colbert Report Tonight

This came in from the American Humanist Association folks:

Tonight, humanism and secular thought will be in the spotlight on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report, one of America’s most popular television shows. Stephen Colbert will interview Lori Lipman Brown, director of the Secular Coalition for America, an alliance that includes the American Humanist Association. From her office at AHA headquarters in Washington DC, Lori has worked tirelessly to defend the rights of nontheists and the separation of church and state. Now her message, and ours, will reach millions of mainstream Americans, particularly young people.

So tune in tonight. In most markets the show will air at 11:30pm / 10:30c, but check your local listings.

We know Lori and Paul from when they grew up and lived in Las Vegas some time ago. Good people and a good message.

Rachel Maddow to Replace Dan Abrams on MSNBC

Starting on September 8 after Olbermann. This does somewhat cement MSNBC’s unofficial rebranding as the ‘liberal’ alternative to Fox News. I will be watching for sure.

Rachel Maddow to Replace Dan Abrams on MSNBC

Just in time for the closing rush of the presidential election, MSNBC is shaking up its prime-time programming lineup, removing the long-time host –- and one-time general manager of the network — Dan Abrams from his 9 p.m. program and replacing him with Rachel Maddow, who has emerged as a favored political commentator for the all-news cable channel.

Rachel Maddow Comments On New Role

In a telephone interview on Tuesday, Rachel Maddow discussed her new role as the 9 p.m. host on MSNBC.

“This is great; getting a regular cable show is something I’ve wanted,” Ms. Maddow said. She acknowledged that the intensity of the presidential race meant that will remain the focus through the election and probably for the first 100 days of a new administration.

But she said she would likely reshape the show as more of a general news program after “this political Christmas” has come to an end. That is the kind of show she does on Air America, and she will continue that show after she joins MSNBC, she said.

As for being branded another partisan voice from the left, Ms. Maddow said she was no more partisan than any other host in cable. “I am who I am,” she said. She dismissed the expected criticism from the right, saying, “Everybody likes to work the refs to make their own kind of political hay.”

And from Olbermann himself:

Rachel Gets Her Own MSNBC Show
Happy Now?
The network will be formally announcing this tomorrow, but I am pleased to inform you in this fully authorized leak, that as of Monday, September 8, our mutual friend Ms. Maddow will become host of her own show, on MSNBC, at 9 PM Eastern Time.
And, yes, we will be making another unofficial announcement of this on tonight’s edition of Countdown. My guest to analyze the Rachel Maddow news will be Rachel Maddow.

Tunguska Centenary

What was it? Anti-matter explosion? Alien spacecraft? Or a meteoroid? Whatever it was, it happened 100 years ago today in remote Siberia…

The Tunguska Event or explosion

was most likely caused by the air burst of a large meteoroid or comet fragment at an altitude of 5–10 kilometres (3–6 miles) above Earth’s surface. Different studies have yielded varying estimates for the object’s size, with general agreement that it was a few tens of metres across.

Although the meteor or comet burst in the air rather than directly hitting the surface, this event is still referred to as an impact. Estimates of the energy of the blast range from 5 megatons to as high as 30 megatons of TNT, with 10–15 megatons the most likely – about 1000 times as powerful as the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan and about one third the power of the Tsar Bomba, the largest nuclear weapon ever detonated. The explosion knocked over an estimated 80 million trees over 2,150 square kilometres (830 square miles). It is estimated that the earthquake from the blast would have measured 5.0 on the Richter scale, which was not yet developed at the time. An explosion of this magnitude is capable of destroying a large metropolitan area. [Wikipedia]

Of course, anyone familiar with the X-Files knows the real story. 😉

links for 2008-03-11