mercredi 30 novembre 2011

American pie de Don McLean: l'origine (NY Times)

Où la célèbre chanson a-t-elle été composée? L'origine, aussi bien que la véritable signification des paroles, était mystérieuse. Nouvel éclairage.

"Mr. McLean put the legend to rest last weekend in an article in The Post-Star of Glens Falls, N.Y. He also debunked a parallel tale that claimed he first performed the song at Caffè Lena around the corner from the Tin & Lint.

Mr. McLean, 66, speaking from his home in Maine, laughed when asked about the story.

“ ‘American Pie’ is a little bit like the Mayflower,” he said on Monday. “Everybody’s on it.”

In the 1960s, Mr. McLean regularly performed at Caffè Lena, which nurtured the early careers of folk artists like Bob Dylan and Arlo Guthrie.

This much is true.

The rest of the story holds that one evening in 1970, after a late performance at the cafe, Mr. McLean retired to the Tin & Lint and set to work writing “American Pie.” In some versions, it was in a notebook; in others, on bar napkins. All end with Mr. McLean’s leaving the notes behind.

Jim Stanley, the Tin & Lint’s current owner, was the bar’s doorman in 1970. Mr. Stanley, 63, said he believed that another employee, a Skidmore College student known as Sloth, grabbed the notes and followed Mr. McLean to the street to return them.

“I agree — he didn’t write it all here,” Mr. Stanley said. “But I do believe he started it here and maybe finished it someplace else.”

Mr. McLean has heard the Saratoga story for years, and while he has tried to correct it — he said he wrote the song in Cold Spring, N.Y., and in Philadelphia — people hang on to their version.

On Monday night, patrons at the Tin & Lint insisted that the beginnings lay at the booth across the room. Mr. McLean said the stories did not bother him.

“People have claimed that song in many places, including New Rochelle, my hometown, but I’m really sure I remember where I wrote it,” he said. “I have vivid memories because I was working so hard on it.”"

Black Water: l'ancien directeur Erick Prince aurait fait de l'intimidation

Vous vous souvenez sans doute de cette "armée privée" utilisée par les États-Unis dans certaines de ses interventions (pensons à l'Irak). La représentante démocrate de l'Illinois Jan Schakowsky y va d'une déclaration fracassante.

"Blackwater has received more than $1 billion in federal contracts in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, and became infamous after four employees were charged with the deaths of 17 Iraqi civilians after allegedly opening fire in Nisour Square in Baghdad in 2007. In December 2009, a judge dismissed the charges citing missteps by the Department of Justice, but earlier this year an appeals court panel ordered the judge to reconsider the case.

Prince resigned in 2009, and the company was rechristened “Xe Services” when it was sold last year.

Schakowsky has introduced the Stop Outsourcing Security Act since 2007, as a way to phase out private contractors like Blackwater. “While the problem applies to other private contractors,” she said Wednesday, “there is one company that has become
synonymous with misconduct: Blackwater.”

“Recently,” she continued, “Mr. Prince has launched a video game, called Blackwater, glorifying the discredited company he started. And now, Mr. Prince has adopted yet another heavy-handed tactic: attempted intimidation of a member of Congress.”

The letter from his attorneys, she said, “characterizes my efforts to urge investigations into Mr. Prince as a violation of Congressional power, and describes possible legal action if I persist.”"

Caricature Herman Cain l'emportera par un nez...

Caricature Iran et les talons "aiguilles"

Caricatures Égypte et élections

Caricature The biggest looser: le Pentagone en avance!

Caricature inspirée de l'émission de télévision américaine...

Stephen Colbert à la défense de Cain

Le soutien de Colbert! J'espère que Cain apprécie...

Une fois sur le site, il faut cliquer sur l'émission du 29 novembre.

"Stephen Colbert has long been a staunch supporter of Herman Cain, and he’s not giving up on the former pizza CEO and one-time Republican presidential frontrunner over a paltry 13-year affair. But Colbert is worried we could lose him, after Cain said Tuesday he is “reassessing” his candidacy.

“Herman, don’t you leave this election-lovers pizza half baked,” Colbert said Tuesday. “There’s no reason for you to leave. A 13-year affair just proves you can carry on a stable relationship. Two, counting your marriage!”

And this affair, unlike the earlier allegations, was apparently consensual. “I’d say things are looking up,” Colbert said. “Compared to all that reaching-for-the-lady-parts-like-a-dachshund-going-after-a-ball-under-the-couch, these new allegations sound like leave it to … let’s not say beaver.”

Plus, Colbert added, if the allegations prove true, Cain’s only one extra-marital affair puts him well behind Newt Gingrich."

Dynastie Kennedy: le nouvel espoir!

Joe III pourrait se présenter suite à l'annonce du départ du représentant Barney Frank.

"Kennedy — the son of former U.S. Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II, grandson of Robert F. Kennedy and grandnephew of President John F. Kennedy — was one of several Democrats whose name has emerged as a possible contender for U.S. Rep. Barney Frank’s seat after the 16-term congressman announced his retirement two days ago.

“I think virtually everyone I know assumes at some point he’s going to be a candidate,” said Democratic strategist Michael Goldman. “No question he’s incredibly articulate. His entrance in the race would change the dynamic dramatically. He’d be the only candidate with a significant name recognition. ... The real question is: Is this the race that is a good place to run?”

Kennedy didn’t rule out a run for Congress yesterday as he did last year when political scuttlebutt had him eyeing the seat vacated by U.S. Rep. William Delahunt. And one source close to the family insisted Kennedy is seriously mulling throwing his hat in the ring.

“He looked at the Cape seat. Why wouldn’t he take a look at it?” the source said. “If you built a perfect Kennedy, it would be Joe the 3rd. Harvard Law degree, Stanford, speaks fluent Spanish, good looking, nice guy, and he has all the political discipline of his uncle (the late U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy). He’s humble ... and he wants to serve.”

But Kennedy has no current ties to Frank’s district. He just moved to Cambridge a few months ago, which is outside the district, and bounced around in Cambridge, Brighton and Marshfield growing up."

mardi 29 novembre 2011

Caricature Occupy Wall street: la critique!

Caricature Euro et le monde: opinion médicale

Red Sox: Bobby Valentine est le nouveau coach

Un caractère bouillant et une personnalité forte... Valentine a cependant un bon bagage d'expérience et je crois qu'il constitue un bon choix à court terme. Une bon entraîneur pour une équipe qui déborde de talent et qui peut aspirer aux grands honneurs dès l'en prochain malgré l'effondrement historique à la fin de la dernière saison. On mise sur le court terme.

"By choosing the high-energy, colorful and highly opinionated Valentine, the Red Sox are going with the more polarizing choice than the final candidate in the race, the laid-back and low-key Gene Lamont. Both are experienced baseball men, but Valentine clearly will command more attention and undoubtedly grab a great many headlines during his stint here.

Known for a firm grasp on the inside game of baseball, as well as a penchant for being outspoken and unconventional — he once donned a fake moustache and snuck back into the Mets dugout after being ejected — Valentine stayed out of public scrutiny in the initial round of interviews conducted by new general manager Ben Cherington.

A friend of president and CEO Larry Lucchino, Valentine will also likely have to deal with grumbling from some quarters that he is Lucchino’s pick rather than Cherington’s. Both the general manager and manager can be expected to work hard at dispensing with that perception immediately. Cherington, a first-time GM and long-time Red Sox, and Valentine, a long-time manager and first-time Red Sox, have a mutual interest to forge a working relationship every bit as fruitful as the one that former GM Theo Epstein and Francona had for nearly all of Francona’s eight seasons here."

Obama l'athéiste!

Only in America!

Caricature Herman Cain: nouveau slogan?

Sanctions contre la Syrie: guerre économique?

C'est ce que reproche la Syrie à la ligue arabe.

"“Syria cannot be treated like this,” Mr. Moallem said at a news conference broadcast live around the region. He was by turns indignant and incredulous that the Arab League had turned the tool of sanctions, which it had long reviled, on one of its own.

“Sanctions can cut both ways,” he said. And while he contended that he did not want to threaten anyone, he said, “We should study well Syria’s geographic location as a transit point for commercial traffic.”

Many airlines cross Syrian airspace, Mr. Moallem noted. In addition, Syria is part of the main route for heavy trucks heading from Europe and Turkey to the Persian Gulf, where Qatar and Saudi Arabia are among Syria’s harshest critics.

His remarks were the first official reaction to measures imposed by the Arab League on Sunday after weeks of wrangling over a peace plan that stipulates that the government of President Bashar al-Assad end all violence, withdraw its armed forces from civilian areas and allow Arab or other monitors to circulate freely within Syria.

With Syria showing no signs of acceding to the demands of the Arab League, including that it stop using violence to suppress antigovernment protests, the regional confrontation deepened."

NASA: le Curiosity Rover!

Le lancement se déroulait samedi. Je suis impressionné par le raffinement technique et technologique de l'engin.

Un extrait de l'article:

"When it reaches the surface, the rover will begin the most comprehensive survey of the Martian geology to date, including searching for evidence that Mars supported, or can support, life.

But to do that, the rover will be relying on a buffet of scientific instruments, including “ChemCam,” the Chemistry and Camera instrument, a combination spectrometer/laser developed by Los Alamos National Laboratory that fires an ultra-precise, extremely high-powered invisible laser beam designed to vaporize Martian rocks and soil samples a millimeter at a time for further analysis of their composition. The resulting plasma cloud left in the wake of the vaporized matter is then recorded by the spectrometer’s telescope.

“ChemCam is designed to look for lighter elements such as carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen, all of which are crucial for life,” said Roger Wiens, principal investigator of the MSL mission’s ChemCam team, in a Los Alamos National Laboratory news release. “The system can provide immediate, unambiguous detection of water from frost or other sources on the surface as well as carbon—a basic building block of life as well as a possible byproduct of life. This makes the ChemCam a vital component of Curiosity’s mission.”

Wiers first came up with the idea for the device after seeing a colleague demonstrate a desktop version in 1997.

Now, tech specs published by the Los Alamos National Laboratory on Monday reveal that ChemCam’s beam can reach 10 megawatt intensity, on par with that of Boeing’s Chemical Oxygen Iodine Laser (COIL), the signature anti-missile weapon aboard the Defense Department’s Airborne Laser Test Bed, which successfully engaged and destroyed a boosting missile target in a February 2010 test.

However, as The Register points out, the ChemCam is an even more remarkable device given how comparatively small and light it is. Whereas the COIL device is on the order of 1.7 tons, so large as to necessitate being carried aboard a Boeing 747-400F, the entire Mars Curiosity rover weighs only 1 ton, including all of its 10 instruments, and the weight of the other equipment, such as its wheels and body. That said, Curiosity is 10 times the weight of each of the three previous Mars rovers."

Caricature conspiration DSK

Est-il prudent de traîner son cellulaire dans un Sofitel?

Caricature NBA: ils sont de retour!

Caricature Russie-États-Unis: mensonge?

Ventes "pré-post Noël": des commerçants plus agressifs!

Occupy WalMart: l'activisme du 99%

Un autre angle d'analyse...

lundi 28 novembre 2011

Caricature abris fiscaux

Herman Cain: l'homme qui "aide" ses amies

Une ancienne maîtresse qui effectue un retour spectaculaire ou une amie dans le besoin. Probablement l'une et l'autre! Déjà sa campagne était en perte de vitesse...

"Ginger White, the Atlanta businesswoman who is claiming that she had a 13-year affair with Herman Cain, has given details of the alleged relationship to the local Fox station in Atlanta.

White told the station that Cain would fly her out to cities where he was speaking, and that they would then stay nice hotels. She claims that their physical relationship ended about eight months ago, right before Cain launched his presidential campaign.

One juicy detail is what she said he signed on her copy of his recent book: “Friends are forever! Everything else is a bonus.”
White said she came forward because she was worried about potential media coverage about herself — and because of Cain’s attacks on the other women who have accused him of sexual harassment. “It bothered me that they were being demonized, sort of, they were treated as if they were automatically lying, and the burden of proof was on them,” White said. “I felt bad for them.”

White also showed the station evidence of some kind of contact with Cain — cell phone records, with Cain himself responding when the station tried the number:

She showed us some of her cell phone bills that included 61 phone calls or text messages to or from a number starting with 678. She says it is Herman Cain’s private cell phone. The calls were made during four different months— calls or texts made as early as 4:26 in the early morning, and as late as 7:52 at night. The latest were in September of this year.

“We’ve never worked together,” said White. “And I can’t imagine someone phoning or texting me for the last two and a half years, just because.”"

Caricature Navy Seals: une épreuve d'enfer!

Ma préférée de la journée!

Twitter, les élèves et la politique: le gouverneur du Texas s'excuse...

Quelle histoire étrange... Lors qu'elle participait à un projet avec d'autres élèves, Emma Sullivan, 18 ans, était au Capitol de son état pour entendre le gouverneur Sam Brownback dont elle ne partage pas les vues. Elle a "tweeté" ses opinions sur son compte. Le personnel du gouverneur a été informé de la teneur du message et a redirigé l'information au directeur de l'école fréquentée par Sullivan. La direction exigeait qu'elle rédige une lettre d'excuses pour le directeur, ce qu'elle a refusé de faire. Pendant ce temps, la fréquentation de son compte tweeter a explosé, passant de 65 membres à 8500 (à son sommet). Aujourd'hui le gouverneur s'excuse de la réaction exagéré des membres de son équipe et le district a décidé de ne pas exiger de lettre de la part de la jeune fille... Grandeurs et misères des médias sociaux!

"Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback apologized Monday for what he called his staff's "overreaction" to a disparaging tweet directed at him by a high school senior during a state Capitol visit.
Emma Sullivan, 18, said late Sunday that she would not write an apology letter to the governor -- as her principal had requested -- that was due Monday.
In a statement, Brownback did not reference Sullivan by name or mention the prospect of any apology letter. He did emphasize his support for "freedom of speech," while thanking "the thousands of Kansas educators who remind us daily of our liberties, as well as the values of civility and decorum."
"My staff overreacted to this tweet, and for that I apologize," the governor said. "Freedom of speech is among our most treasured freedoms.""

L'histoire au complet et des liens supplémentaires à:

Caricature critique de Moody's: classée 18 ans ou plus?

Peut-on entretenir des doutes sur les intentions du caricaturiste?

Caricature Hillary 2012!

Non seulement cette caricature est pertinente (pour plusieurs), mais elle est réussie au plan esthétique.

Caricature sommet de Durban 2...

Caricature Newt Gingrich et charges excédentaires!

Une caricature qui résume bien pourquoi malgré son intelligence et sa vaste expérience, Newt Gingrich peut difficilement l'emporter.

Caricature Europe et Wall street

Dominé par ses radicaux, la Parti républicain doit être défait (Washington post)

Je ne suis pas objectif dans ma sélection, je vous réfère un texte dont je partage entièrement la teneur. Je ne suis pas contre le Parti républicain, mais j'ai affirmé à plusieurs reprises que la faction radicale, particulièrement les membres liés au Tea party, ont une emprise trop grande sur les orientations. Sans compter que la faction radicale nous prive de la présence de candidats plus sérieux dans la course à l'investiture républicaine...

"Some of my middle-of-the-road columnist friends keep ascribing our difficulties to structural problems in our politics. A few call for a centrist third party. But the problem we face isn't about structures or the party system. It's about ideology -- specifically a right-wing ideology that has temporarily taken over the Republican Party and needs to be defeated before we can have a reasonable debate between moderate conservatives and moderate progressives about our country's future.

A centrist third party would divide the opposition to the right wing and ease its triumph. That's the last thing authentic moderates should want."

Caricature Égypte: le moment décisif...

Caricature Égypte: répression made in in the USA...

Le recours au gaz n'est pas toujours nécessaire pour verser quelques larmes...

Caricature sommet de Durban: question pertinente?

Caricature Égypte: change you can believe in?

Santa Claus et le ralentissement économique: il fera sa part!

J'ai réutilisé l'image de Santa Claus popularisée par la compagnie Coke pour illustrer le propos. Après tout, c'est à cette compagnie qui a popularisé la représentation que se font les américains du "Père Noël".

Le NY Times se penche ce matin sur la "formation" des Santas aux États-Unis et sur le fait qu'ils prendront en considération les limites financières des parents au moment de répondre aux demandes des enfants. Un autre aspect de la crise...

"Here, at the nation’s oldest, most celebrated, school for would-be Santa Clauses, much has stayed exactly the same over its nearly 75 years. A proper Claus ought to have pleasant breath, his beard curled just so and a hearty laugh that rumbles not from the throat but from deep below the diaphragm.

Yet this year, from the holiday parades, to the cheery carols piping from Main Street loudspeakers, to the “this way to Santa” lines at shopping centers, something more sobering has cast its shadow: the economic slump.

The result is a Christmas season in which Santas — including the 115 of them in this year’s graduating class of the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School — must learn to swiftly size up families’ financial circumstances, gently scale back children’s Christmas gift requests and even how to answer the wish some say they have been hearing with more frequency — “Can you bring my parent a job?”

Santas here tell of children who appear on their laps with lists that include the latest, most expensive toys and their parents, standing off to the side, stealthily but imploringly shaking their heads no. On the flip side, some, like Fred Honerkamp, have been visited by children whose expectations seem to have sunk to match the gloom; not long ago, a boy asked him for only one item — a pair of sneakers that actually fit.

“In the end, Santas have to be sure to never promise anything,” said Mr. Honerkamp, an alumnus of the school who also lectures here. He has devised his own tale about a wayward elf and slowed toy production at the North Pole for children who are requesting a gift clearly beyond their family’s price range. “It’s hard to watch sometimes because the children are like little barometers, mirrors on what the country has been through.”"

La suite:

Pakistan et États-Unis: brumes de guerre

Point de rupture? Les deux partenaires ont-ils les moyens de sacrifier leurs "collaborations"?

"The NATO air attack that killed at least two dozen Pakistani soldiers over the weekend reflected a fundamental truth about American-Pakistani relations when it comes to securing the unruly border with Afghanistan: the tactics of war can easily undercut the broader strategy that leaders of both countries say they share.

The murky details complicated matters even more, with Pakistani officials saying the attack on two Pakistani border posts was unprovoked and Afghan officials asserting that Afghan and American commandos called in airstrikes after coming under fire from Pakistani territory. NATO has promised an investigation.

The reaction inside Pakistan nonetheless followed a now-familiar pattern of anger and tit-for-tat retaliation. So did the American response of regret laced with frustration and suspicion. Each side’s actions reflected a deepening distrust that gets harder to repair with each clash.

The question now, as one senior American official put it on Sunday, is “what kind of resilience is left” in a relationship that has sunk to new lows time after time this year — with the arrest in January of a C.I.A. officer, Raymond Davis, the killing of Osama bin Laden in May and the deaths of so many Pakistani soldiers.

In each of those cases, Pakistan had reason to feel that the United States had violated its sovereignty. Even if circumstances on the ground justified the American actions, they have nonetheless made it difficult to sustain political support inside Pakistan for the strategic cooperation that both countries acknowledge is vital to winning the war in Afghanistan. “Imagine how we would feel if it had been 24 American soldiers killed by Pakistani forces at this moment,” Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat from Illinois, said on “Fox News Sunday.” The rift is one result of the United States’ two-pronged strategy in Afghanistan, which relies on both negotiating and fighting to end the war."

La suite:

samedi 26 novembre 2011

Hoover, le film et l'histoire du F.B.I.: chronique à Ça me dit de prendre le temps

Ron Paul: le candidat du 18e siècle!

Je suis jaloux...En quelques lignes Gail Collins du NY Times résume très bien ce que je pense de Ron Paul depuis des années. Intelligent, sympathique et très près des gens, il vit dans une autre époque, dans un autre monde. Comment prétendre qu'on peut diriger les États-Unis de 2011 en retournant aux premières interprétations et limites de la Constitution? Le monde et les États-Unis changent, pas Ron Paul... Oui, il est intéressant et je comprends l'intérêt de plusieurs américains pour ses idées. Mais peut-on en faire un candidat sérieux à la Présidence? Pas en 2012...

"Basically, Paul seems to want to revert to the 18th century, when every bank could set its own monetary policy and every community ran its own schools — presuming, of course, the community wanted to pay for them.

“The founders of this country were well educated, mostly by being home-schooled or taught in schools associated with a church,” he reasons. Those of us who were not born in the gentry could presumably go back to sowing and reaping hay.

Naturally, a man with such a wide range of pet peeves is going to make waves in his own party.

“Chicken-hawks are individuals who dodged the draft when their numbers came up but who later became champions of senseless and undeclared wars when they were influencing foreign policy,” Paul writes in his chapter on conscription. “Former Vice President Cheney is the best example of this disgraceful behavior.”

Really, you can’t totally dislike the guy."

Le lien pour l'article:

Caricatures place Tahrir

Toutes les caricatures sont de EMAD HAJJAJ de Jordanie

John Brown's body et The battle hymn of the republic: deux chansons et toute une histoire!

Le radical John Brown fut considéré comme le premier martyr de la cause abolitionniste après sa pendaison en 1859. L'hymne composé pour souligner sa mort va connaître un sort particulier et "inspirer" un autre air célèbre. Retour sur l'origine de Battle hymn of the republic. À lire au complet pour les passionnés d'histoire.

"On Nov. 17, 1861, Julia Ward Howe traveled with her husband Samuel, then director of the Army’s Sanitary Commission, to review a Union camp outside of Washington. Howe recalled the troops singing “the army songs so popular at the time,” noting especially their enthusiasm for the lyrics, “John Brown’s body lies a-mouldering in the ground; His soul is marching on.” One of Howe’s companions, the Rev. James Freeman Clarke, made a suggestion: “Mrs. Howe, why do you not write some good words for that stirring tune?”

Howe never explained the reasons why Brown, the radical abolitionist, was deemed an unsatisfactory subject, but she woke up “in the gray of the [following] morning” with new lyrics in her head. “I sprang out of bed,” she recalled, “and found in the dimness an old stump of a pen [and] I scrawled the verses almost without looking at the paper.”

Howe’s “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” written in the early morning of Nov. 18, 1861, and eventually published in The Atlantic Monthly in February 1862, became one of the most memorable patriotic songs in American history. When Abraham Lincoln first heard it, he reportedly cried, then requested an encore."

Voici une interprétation de John Brown's body:

Interprétation de Battle Hymn of the republic:

Pour l'article au complet:

Égypte: les risques de la position américaine

Démocratie ou stabilité? En favorisant "la rue" contre l'armée l'administration pose un geste cohérent dont les retombées pourraient cependant être lourdes...

"In so doing, the president opened up a litany of risks, exposing a fault line between the United States and the Egyptian military which, perhaps more than any other entity in the region, has for 30 years served as the bulwark protecting a critical American concern in the Middle East: the 1979 Camp David peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.

In explicitly warning the military to swiftly begin a “full transfer of power” to a civilian government in a “just and inclusive manner,” the White House served notice that the army in Egypt would continue to receive the Obama administration’s support only if it, in turn, supported a real democratic transition.

The statement, issued at 3:03 a.m. in Washington, was timed to greet the news of the military’s selection of a new prime minister in Egypt and to get in front of protests in Cairo that drew hundreds of thousands, the largest turnout of a tumultuous week. It signaled, foreign policy experts said, the beginning of a shift in how the United States deals with a fast-changing Arab region and tries to preserve the Egypt-Israel peace accord."

La suite:

vendredi 25 novembre 2011

Google: la fin de Google wave

Ce ne fut pas la révolution attendue...

"A number of theories have been proposed as to why Google Wave, like so many of the company’s products outside of search (cough cough, Google Buzz) didn’t work out.

I have one, too, of course: Google Wave’s editable, real-time conversation threading — which allowed users to go back to earlier messages (waves) and respond to them by injecting messages immediately following them vertically — was an innovative idea on paper, but in practice it didn’t make much sense.

That’s not how people read anything really, by jumping around from place to place, except maybe a “Choose Your Own Adventure” Novel.”

I think it could have worked had Google Wave simply had a primarily horizontal orientation, with responses to earlier waves appearing vertically below the original wave.

Still, it remains to be seen whether Google harvests any of the innovations of Wave for future products, perhaps even something in Google + Chat."

Black friday: jusqu'où iriez-vous pour "économiser"?

Je n'avais jamais imaginé cette possibilité: utiliser le poivre de cayenne pour devancer mes "rivaux"!

"Pepper spray: It’s not just for peacefully protesting college students anymore.

The usual Black Friday shenanigans across the country were marked by the emergence of a new trend: pepper spraying people at Wal-Mart. On both coasts, shoppers scrambling for video games at the discount retailer were met with a face full of burning as clouds of Megyn Kelly’s “food product” were blasted into the unruly hordes.

In the first case, police report a shopper attempted to gain a competitive advantage over her fellow patrons at a Wal-Mart store in Porter Ranch, Calif., at about 10 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. Here’s what that was like, according to witness accounts in the Los Angeles Times:

Witness Matthew Lopez described a chaotic scene in the San Fernando Valley store among shoppers looking for video games soon after the sale began.
“I heard screaming and I heard yelling,” said Lopez, 18. “Moments later, my throat stung. I was coughing really bad and watering up.”

The second Wal-Mart spraying (so far) was more in line with what we’ve come to expect when it comes to pepper spray and crowds: an off-duty police officer working store security used the weapon in the midst of a mass of unarmed shoppers. This time it was Kinston, N.C., where the painful spray wafted through a Wal-Mart.

“Sgt. Roland Davis of Kinston Public Safety says Walmart hired off-duty police officers to help with security during their Black Friday event today,” reports WITN-TV. “Davis says an officer was trying to quell a disturbance and make an arrest, and used pepper spray.”"

Caricature Black friday!

Hillary Clinton à la Vice-présidence: encore des rumeurs (Wall street journal)

En dernier recours! Vous imaginez Bill Clinton de retour à la Maison-Blanche? Choisir Hillary Clinton n'est pas un mauvais choix, mais quel risque pour Obama!

"So what to do if running for re-election in these terrible times? Many people have asked if I think President Obama will be re-elected. No, as long as the Republicans pick a viable candidate, he stands likely to be defeated. But it seems possible that the Democrat Party will pre-emptively decide that the time has come for some fresh thinking about its ticket.

Democratic pollsters Patrick Caddell and Douglas Schoen have urged the president to forgo re-election for the good of his party and the nation. But those don't seem like factors that would necessarily influence this president. Instead we might see him decide to switch to a vice presidential candidate who will be stronger, better, and change the thinking of a majority of the Democrats--namely, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Last December a USA Today/Gallup poll found Mrs. Clinton to be the most admired woman in politics. A poll in March found that 66% viewed Mrs. Clinton favorably and just 31% unfavorably. Mr. Obama's numbers, which have since declined, were 54% and 43%; Vice President Joe Biden's, 46% to 41%. An October Time poll of last October pitted Mrs. Clinton against Republican candidates. She led Mitt Romney by 17%, Rick Perry by 26% and Herman Cain by 22%. Mr. Obama's leads in the same poll were 3%, 12% and 12%, respectively.

Paul Starr, co-editor of The American Prospect, a liberal-left magazine, has observed that 45 percent of the people who disapprove of Mr. Obama's performance view Mrs. Clinton favorably. It is fair to say that Mrs. Clinton's addition to the ticket would be a substantial gain for President Obama that he badly needs next November, since she is, as Mr. Starr notes, a member of the part of his administration that has the highest approval rating, and more important she has not at all been a part of the disastrous economic policies that have caused the Obama drop in popularity. Even better for Election Day, she would gain support among older white voters, who did not support Mr. Obama very much in 2008. Mr. Starr also cites a Suffolk University Florida poll that shows that Mrs. Clinton on the Obama ticket would win Florida for the two of them, even if Sen. Marco Rubio is the Republican's vice presidential candidate.

One more advantage: With Mrs. Clinton comes her husband, who would very much want to get his wife elected, and also might be interested in a position in the Obama-Clinton administration."

Obama 2012: si la politique vous intéresse!

On parle peu de leur travail actuellement, mais les membres de l'équipe Obama 2012 sont très actifs. Voici une "vue de l'intérieur" de leurs préparatifs et de leurs interventions. Intéressant si on aime (on qu'on souhaite en apprendre plus) le "jeu politique". Le responsable de la campagne est Jim Messina qui est autre centre de la photo.

"Unshackled from the day-to-day machinations of governing, and unburdened by the partisan intensity of official Washington, the Chicago team is energized by the clarity of its purpose: getting Obama reelected. That means focusing not on Washington, but on laying the campaign groundwork in the key battleground states that will decide the contest.

That also means working on issues, large and small, in corners of the country far removed from Washington: aiding a state Senate race in eastern Iowa; helping to coordinate a volunteer effort to elect a Democratic mayor in Tucson; recruiting a nationwide stable of lawyers in preparation for possible lawsuits and voter-registration fights from Florida to Wisconsin.

In contrast to the Republican primary campaign, which is dominating the media’s attention, the Obama reelection effort is relatively under the radar. Staff members at the Chicago headquarters seem almost oblivious to the inside-the-Beltway issues consuming the presidency.

“Washington is on pins and needles about the day-to-day congressional negotiations,” campaign manager Jim Messina said recently, hundreds of miles away from the capital, where lawmakers were still mired in talks about the national debt."

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