burt bacharach

i typed 'i'm grabbing burt' in a group text as soon as i saw today that burt bacharach had passed away.  he was a songwriter.  his early partnership was with hal david.  mr. david passed away in 2012.  

together they wrote a string of hits.  holland-dozier-holland was a songwriting team that worked at 'motown' and wrote for diana ross & the supremes but also wrote for others.

hal and burt's chief artist in the 60s was dionne warwick.  she did an excellent job with their songs.  'do you know the way to san jose,' 'don't make me over,' 'anyone who had heart,' 'i say a little prayer for you,' 'message to michael,' 'you'll never get to heaven (if you break my heart),' 'i just don't know what to do with myself,' 'the windows of the world,' 'this girl's in love with you' and many, many more including my all time favorite 'walk on by.'

'walk on by' is perfection.  1st up you have the lyrics - if you see me walking down the street and i start to cry walk on by.'  they grab you immediately.  and the way dionne sings it with just the right amount of tension is amazing.  and then you've got the production that's so amazing and really highlights the music burt wrote for the song.  bomp-ba-bomp-ba-bomp.  i love that.  you hear that with nothing else and you know the song.  it's 1 of the best recordings of the 60s.  i don't mean 1 of the best recordings sung by dionne or 1 of the best recordings written by burt and hal.  i mean 1 of the best recordings out of everything recorded in the 60s.  historic and legendary.  

now other artists recorded burt and hal as well.  dusty springfield is one example.  she had a huge hit with 'wishin' and hopin' which you may know from the soundtrack to 'my best friend's wedding' (ani difranco covers it on the soundtrack). 

in fact the entire soundtrack to that film was people covering burt and hal songs.  dusty would also have a hit with 'the look of love' - which is featured in the 1st austin powers film with burt at the piano while mike meyers sings the song.   the 1st song of burt and hal's to chart was 1957's 'the story of my life' recorded by marty robbins.  in the 60s, jackie deshannon would take burt and hal's 'what the world needs now is love'  all the way to number 7 on the pop charts. 

the 5th dimension would climb all the way to number 2 on the pop charts with burt and hal's 'one less bell to answer.'  and it's a song that's been covered repeatedly - including by barbra streisand,  shirley bassey, vanessa williams and dionne.  

for the film 'butch cassidy and the sundance kid,' burt and hal wrote b.j. thomas' number 1 hit 'raindrops keep falling on my head.'  in the mid 70s, the 2 stopped writing together.

burt had always written with others.  he wrote 1 of the best hits for the shirelles 'baby it's you.'  in 1982, he married songwriter carole bayer sager.  before they divorced in 1991, they would write many hits together.  'stronger than before' was a hit for chaka khan, the theme to the movie 'arthur' (peter allen wrote that song with them), roberta flack's 'making love,' patti labelle and michael mcdonald's 'on my own,' and, of course, they wrote the huge hit 'that's what friends are for.'  carole bayer was a great writing partner for him. he would go on to work with elvis costello and they wrote 'toledo' among other songs from the album they did together entitled 'painted from memory.'  my favorite track on the album is 'god give me strength.' 

and that's the track that started the partnership.  they worked together for the allison anders' film 'grace of my heart.'  illeana douglas plays a songwriter in the 60s who is similar to caroe king.  she writes with eric stolz who is supposed to be like carole's first husband gerry goffin.  then, like carole, she gets divorced and moves from new york to california.  there she meets a brian wilson type (played by matt dillon) who records her in the studio singing 'god give me strength.'  after they wrote that song together, they recorded their album 'painted from memory.'

he was 1 of a kind.  a songwriting great whose hits were in the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s (tevin campbell charted in 1994 with burt's 'don't say goodbye, girl').  5 decades of hits - 5 decades of writing hits.  by that i mean, his hits weren't just covers of his 60s hits.  each of those decades he wrote new songs that charted.

carole king would probably be the closet to some 1 with that kind of distinction.  she wrote hits in the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.  1 decade less than burt.  she's the closet to being a true peer.  and, in terms of volume, she may have actually written more hits than burt.

her co-writing and solo writing of hit songs includes 'it's too late,' 'go away little girl,' 'the locomotion,' 'now and forever,' 'sweet seasons,' 'pleasant valley sunday,' '(you make me feel like) a natural woman,' 'i feel the earth move,' 'one fine day,' 'will you still love me tomorrow,' 'jazzman,' 'up on the roof,' 'chains,' 'only love is real,' 'something tells me i'm into something good,' 'oh, no, not my baby,' 'just once in my life,' 'don't bring me down,' 'you've got a friend,' 'take good care of my baby,' 'some kind of wonderful,' 'so far away,' 'nightingale,' 'been to canaan,' 'corazon,' 'believe in humainty' and 'one to one.' 

burt was 94 years old.  (carole's 81, if any 1's wondering.)

let's close with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

Thursday, February 9, 2023.  Today we look at truth, partisanship, lies and more.

I'm not a fan of the Twitter dumps.  I don't see them as reporting.  They're Tweets.  They're not reporting.  I've also noted that if a deal is made with Elon Musk to have access to the Tweets in the first place, that deal can't be private.  Basic journalism has always made that clear.

With that in mind, let me now call out the embarrassing AOC at yesterday's House Oversight and Accountability Committee hearing entitled Protecting Speech from Government Interference and Social Media Bias, Part 1: Twitter's Role in Suppressing the Biden Laptop Sotry.  Republicans are now in control of the House so the chair of the Committee is James Comer -- a man who needs to buy a comb. (Although, scary, I was told yesterday that he's actually going for that look.  You're a fifty-year-old man in Congress, you're not playing Amanda Woodward on MELROSE PLACE, lose you're very bad attempt at 'bed hair.') Jamie Raskin is the Ranking Member.  As the Republicans on the Committee noted in a press release, "Under the leadership of former Twitter employees Vijaya Gadde, James Baker, and Yoel Roth, Twitter coordinated extensively with the FBI to disproportionately target Republican leaders, conservative activists, and certain media outlets. In October 2020, Twitter censored the NEW YORK POST's story about the Biden family’s business schemes based on the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop, despite the article not violating any Twitter policies."  That sentence is probably the least controversial -- and truest -- of any remarks made about or during the hearing.

But we can't deal with reality.  I'm about to call out a number of Democrats and before someone whines that the Republicans also obscure and spin, yes, they do.  They do it very often and if I was a fan of that, I would be a Republican.  

I'm not a fan of it and I do not like organized attempts to lie.  I don't like organized attempts to trick people.  

Something truly disgusting happened when THE NEW YORK POST was censored.  But instead of working for We The People, Democrats on the Committee and the White House tried to turn it into a football match.  I'm so sorry to break it to you but democracy is much more important than any Superbowl ring.  The only 'side' that anyone should aspire to is truth.  But instead, Democrats worked from a playbook to attack the hearing itself and to avoid the reality of what was done.

For example, AOC idiotically huffed, "A whole hearing about a 24 hiccup in a right-wing political operation! We could be talking about health care, bringing down the cost of prescription drugs, abortion rights, voting rights, civil rights, but instead we're talking about Hunter Biden's half-baked laptop story."

Cool your jets, Entitlement Barbie.

First off, all you do -- all you have ever done -- is talk.  You're all talk.  You take no stands.  You not only wouldn't take part in Force The Vote, you then claimed that calling you out for that was a physical attack, a threat.  When you wonder why more young people aren't in Congress, look no further than AOC whose vast immaturity does no one a favor.

The hearing is not a waste of time.  The oldest daily paper in the United States was censored.  That's worth looking into.

I'm not a fan of THE NEW YORK POST.  It's slightly above garbage.  But it was only slightly above garbage when Dorothy Schiff owned and mis-ran it all those years, serving those stupid roast beef sandwiches to various leaders -- the ones who were Democrats would get raves in her paper.  Rupert Murdoch did not destroy the paper, he just had it do more of the same.


THE NEW YORK POST, ahead of the 2020 election, broke the story on the laptop.  And it was censored for that.  And it was attacked for that.  THE NEW YORK TIMES, for example, invested no money, no resources, no reporters into investigating the laptop.  They did put resources and money into the hit job they did on THE POST where multiple anonymice were given space to attack THE POST and we were told that the newsroom was in an uproar over the publication of the story.


It was never true.  

The article was suppressed.  Some are insisting that another report is being suppressed and that we are part of a group suppressing it.

COLUMBIA JOURNALISM REVIEW has an article about how Russia-gate was lies and how THE NEW YORK TIMES and THE WASHINGTON POST.  Why, oh, why, are we ignoring it, e-mails ask.

First off, we never spread the lies, we called them out in real time.  So we don't need to do a corrective.

Secondly, those hailing the article are idiots with no knowledge at all.

I don't scapegoat Asian-Americans.  

If that doesn't explain why we're not highlighting the article, how about this: Jeff Gerth wrote it.

The liar Jeff who destroyed Wen Ho Lee's life.  I'm sorry that you  don't know history.  I'm sorry you are so stupid that you glorify a presstitute like Gerth who not only nearly got Wen Ho Lee tossed into prison with his lies and bad reporting but it could have led to Wen Ho Lee being executed.  

No, this is not a site that's ever going to praise Jeff Gerth.  And, no, I'm never going to offer an apology for not highlighting the writing of a man who trafficked in lies and stereotypes to convict an innocent person in the press.  Were Wen Ho Lee not Taiwanese-American, he wouldn't have been the target.  

So, no, not interested in promoting The Garbage That Is Gerth. 

We didn't spread lies about Russia, so there is no reason for us to offer Gerth's article.  And it's not being banned on FACEBOOK and Twitter.  People are sharing it -- people who want to.  It is not the same thing as the government working to suppress a newspaper article.  And the government did work to suppress it.  

It should be remembered that the article didn't just emerge out of nowhere.  Already questions were being raised about Hunter's dealings.  Sarah Chayes had rightly called out the unethical nature of Hunter's business dealings.  Joe was going around saying A) His son did nothing wrong and B) His son did nothing illegal.  His son clearly did something wrong.  Legality is a matter for the courts.  Into this world, THE POST broke their story.  And it was a valid story.  But instead of exploring the facts, it became attack and silence THE NEW YORK POST.

In September of 2020, at THE ATLANTIC, Sarah Chayes wrote:

Let’s start with Hunter Biden. In April 2014, he became a director of Burisma, the largest natural-gas producer in Ukraine. He had no prior experience in the gas industry, nor with Ukrainian regulatory affairs, his ostensible purview at Burisma. He did have one priceless qualification: his unique position as the son of the vice president of the United States, newborn Ukraine’s most crucial ally. Weeks before Biden came on, Ukraine’s government had collapsed amid a popular revolution, giving its gas a newly strategic importance as an alternative to Russia’s, housed in a potentially democratic country. Hunter’s father was comfortably into his second term as vice president—and was a prospective future president himself.
There was already a template, in those days, for how insiders in a gas-rich kleptocracy could exploit such a crisis using Western “advisers” to facilitate and legitimize their plunder—and how those Westerners could profit handsomely from it. A dozen-plus years earlier, amid the collapse of the U.S.S.R. of which Ukraine was a part, a clutch of oligarchs rifled the crown jewels of a vast nation. We know some of their names, in some cases because of the work of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office: Oleg Deripaska, Viktor Vekselberg, Dmitry Rybolovlev, Leonard Blavatnik. That heist also was assisted by U.S. consultants, many of whom had posts at Harvard and at least one of whom was a protégé of future Treasury Secretary Larry Summers.
Burisma’s story is of that stripe. The company had been founded by Mykola Zlochevsky, who, as Yanukovych’s minister of ecology and natural resources, had overseen Ukraine’s fossil-fuel deposits. When Hunter Biden joined Burisma’s board, $23 million of Zlochevsky’s riches were being frozen by the British government in a corruption probe. Zlochevsky fled Ukraine. The younger Biden enlisted his law firm, Boies Schiller Flexner, to provide what The New Yorker describes as “advice on how to improve the company’s corporate governance.” Eventually, the asset freeze on Zlochevsky was lifted. Deripaska defeated U.S. sanctions with similar help from other high-profile Americans.
Recently, Hunter Biden told The New Yorker that “the decisions that I made were the right decisions for my family and for me” and suggested Trump was merely using him as the “tip of the spear” to undermine Joe Biden politically. There are no indications that Hunter’s activities swayed any decision his father made as vice president. Joe Biden did pressure Ukraine’s fledgling post-Yanukovych president to remove a public prosecutor—as part of concerted U.S. policy. So did every other Western government and dozens of Ukrainian and international pro-democracy activists. The problem was not that the prosecutor was too aggressive with corrupt businessman-politicians like Hunter Biden’s boss; it was that he was too lenient.

Attention had been on how Hunter had used his father's influence -- without Joe's knowledge or participation, Joe insisted back then -- and here was Hunter's abandoned laptop with various details on it.  

The response was to attack. 


They didn't want Donald Trump re-elected.  I didn't want that to happen either but we covered the laptop here because it was news.  And because I trust people to be mature enough to vote for who they want to vote.  The only wasted vote is a vote you don't believe in.  I don't mean years later, I don't think we're a nation of psychics. That's the only wasted vote.  And not voting is also a vote.  Sorry, poli sci major as an undergrad (double majored as an under grad, triple majored in grad school).  We are not the USSR so I'd never be proud of a 100% voter turnout or even a 90%.  We're a democracy where we have the right to vote.  And if someone earns your vote, you'll vote for them -- provided you can jump through all the hurdles which include registration, changing locations, understaffed locations, etc, etc.  I'm all for a voting holiday -- a national holiday.  Even then, I wouldn't expect 100% voter turnout or see that as a good thing.  100% of the people aren't following the issues and shouldn't be voting.  Again, the USSR had huge voter turnout.  I never thought that was a good thing or actually reflective of the people's belief in that system.

'Oh, no, you critiqued the USSR!'  I critique all governments.  

A major story emerges immediately before an election and the corporate press -- and the trashy beggar media like THE NATION, et al -- work to silence the story.  

If that doesn't bother AOC then she is even more stupid than I thought she was.

This was an attack on the freedom of the press.  It was also the press picking who they wanted to spin for.  And Donald Trump supporters aren't the only ones bothered by it.  But, yes, Donald's supporters are bothered by it -- as is Donald himself -- and he and his supporters have every reason to be upset.  AOC wants the press to treat her like a national celebrity but she doesn't want to be a national politician.  If she did, she'd stop offering lies and grasp that whole groups of people will never listen to her or trust her because of garbage like ""

"A whole hearing about a 24 hiccup in a right-wing political operation! We could be talking about health care, bringing down the cost of prescription drugs, abortion rights, voting rights, civil rights, but instead we're talking about Hunter Biden's half-baked laptop story" -- she declared.  It's not an either/or.  You can talk about those things and pursue what took place with regards to the laptop.  Is she afraid it might make her late to The Met.  Does she have another trashy outfit to put on?  Exactly what is the hearing keeping her from that's so important?


She's lying and dismissing because she doesn't like the reality of the laptop.  By attacking and dismissing, she can distract others and possibly avoid dealing with it.

Corruption needs to be called out.  And if she doesn't get that Congress is obligated to provide oversight with regards to potential corruption, that bad hair dye she's been using must be leaking through her scalp onto her brain.  I'm always amazed by someone who will spend a fortune on an outfit but, when it comes to her hair, goes for something out of the box that she can do at home.  Not knocking anyone who has no choice in the matter due to economics but AOC doesn't have budget issues.

I'm tired of it.  I'm tired of the dishonesty.  

I don't like members of Congress who mistake our lives as their partisan fight.  I'm tired of all the spinning.  Again, if Liked spinning and lying and partisan fights, I'd be a Republican.

Hunter Biden used his father -- his father's name and, yes, access to his father -- to make money.  That's unethical.  It's a real issue.  And since we now know Joe knew about it, it also goes to corruption above Hunter.  

US House Rep Barbara Lee is a constant embarrassment and this continued today as she insisted -- offering no proof -- that this hearing was going to allow people to get a pass on using speech that incites.  I'm not sure that 76 year old Barbara understands, first off, the internet and, second off, how Twitter works.  Everything on there is basically inciting something.  That is how Twitter works -- or doesn't work.  We've always had laws on the books -- laws that still exist today -- to address any truly inciting speech.  And I'm not sure that Americans want to turn over the censoring tools to the likes of Barbie Lee.  

She's bothered, she insisted, by the treatment of the poor Twitter employees.  

Why doesn't she deal with their actions.  I don't give a damn about Yoel Roth's 'hard times.'  He did actions at Twitter that he shouldn't have.  Does that mean he should have been smeared as a pedophile?  No and we called that out here in real time.  But don't confuse two responses: Harsh critique and response from the people over his role in the censorship and then a response from people who always run crazy on every topic.  

Eleanor Holmes Norton.  Is there a reason that stupid and elderly woman (85) is still in Congress.  I know she's got no real power, she's the DC delegte, but she's an idiot and she's a liar.  In late 2009, I lost all use for her.  She'd been lying to the press for months about something that on the face of it was obviously a lie.  And then a Barack appointee comes before the Committee and Eleanor goes into the lie and thee man stops her and correct her.  Later that day, she's back before reporters repeating the lie as though the expert witness from Barack's administration hadn't just corrected her on the claim she's been falsely making.  (It was a lie that Matthew Rothschild pimped at THE PROGRESSIVE as well.  They were heavily invested in the lie.)

Eleanor decried that the hearing was about partisanship while . . . making the hearing about partisanship.

It was "a match to a powder keg," she insited looking like the senile, old fool she's always been.

The playbook the Democrats were working from was to distract from reality and to try to get a 'win' for the new gipper Joe Biden.

They weren't working for the people -- despite the House long being seen as the people's House.  

And it's disgusting.

THE NEW YORK POST was censored.  The laptop has been 'vetted' by THE NEW YORK TIMES, POLITICO and THE WASHINGTON POST.  Yes, they and other outlets waited years to do so but we all know -- unless we're liars like AOC -- that the laptop is for real.

Who did AOC, Eleanor and others think they were reaching?

They sat there raving about Joe Biden's snazzy wardrobe while most of the country already knew the emperor had no clothes on.

They just lied.  And the lie had already been exposed as a lie long before the hearing.  So they worked from a playbook that made a large part of the country yesterday see them as liars -- see them as they really were, I guess.  

I don't see how that is good for the Democratic Party but I know it's not good for democracy.

Donald Trump, while president, asked Twitter to censor.  That emerged in the hearing. 

Good, call that out.  It needs to be called out.   It needs to be expanded on.  

We need to know all the censorship that has taken place. 

Which is why more hearings are necessary.

But grasp that when you sit through a hearing attacking a known fact repeatedly and then your ears perk up over Donald also doing something wrong -- no one sees you as trustworthy or fair.  And, thing is, you're not a star in a reality show, you're a member of Congress and, as such, you need to have some integrity.  When you demonstrate -- when you sport -- your whorish side in front of the people, don't expect anyone to show you any respect.  Whores get money, whores get gifts, but they don't get respect.

"There's a peace action coming up and you're not promoting it!"

No, I'm not promoting that 'peace' action.  THE VANGUARD did a great job in the video below covering the problems with that action.

At the end of last month, we wrote "David Swanson finds his Maddie Albright moment" at THIRD:


With 935 words, you'd think David Swanson could make a point.  You'd think.  

"How Dare I Oppose War with Libertarians" is how you find the column but, grasp, even if you find the column, you'll never find the point.

He's getting complaints, he writes, for announcing he'll be speaking at an anti-war rally with Libertarians.

Which Libertarians is the obvious question.

This isn't just about the government's war, a fact that escapes David.

A lot changed on June 24, 2022.  Prior to that, we could easily speak with non-leftists against the war.  There were rights and legal protections.

Then DOBBS was handed down and ROE V WADE was struck down while Justico Clarry Thomas made clear in his concurring opinion that he now wanted to take on birth control rights (do away with them), to take on marriage equality (do away with it) and to take on what two adults do in the privacy of their own bedroom.  Justico Thomas -- a huge consumer of porn -- suddenly sees himself monitoring every bed room.   

No, we're not going to stand next to anti-abortion crazies, homophobes or people who want to terrorize trans persons.

Is that who David is going to be standing with?  We have no idea because, despite using 935 words, he never names any speaker he'll be appearing with on stage.

That does make us wonder: Is he doing that intentionally?  Does he grasp that he has to cover these people up or he won't get support?

We have no idea but without knowing who he is standing with, in the climate we now live in, he's on his own and he made it that way.  

We found out who he is standing with and it's homophobes and it's registered sex offender Scott Ritter and so many other disasters.

Aaron Mate, did you read the comments to THE VANGUARD segment?  One of your fan bois is hoping you would never stand with Scott Ritter.  They missed the part where you already had stood with him, had brought the convicted sex offender on your program THE GREY ZONE and promoted him (and never noted his conviction).  

THE VANGUARD didn't really go into that.  I think they were being kind.  But a lot of people on the left who were participating and have now dropped out because of the backlash?  They've been embracing Scott Ritter for the last year.  We've been calling them out for that right here.  

THE VANGUARD wrongly praised BLACK AGENDA REPORT for calling the faux-test out.  One article that didn't mention names called the faux-test out . . . for being White.  The reality is that BAR's Danny had Scott Ritter as a guest on the LEFT LENS over five times in the last six months of 2022 and that BAR published Scott Ritter as 2022 was winding down.  Margaret Kimberley reTweeted him.  

Too many people have decided to get into bed with a pedophile.  That's on them.  But don't make the mistake that THE VANGUARD did of thinking people have called Ritter out when they haven't, when instead they've promoted him.

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