Saturday, May 30, 2009


No, not the nominee... Rush & Newt: Base-Inflaming-Talkers-Cultivating-Hatred.

Play Like Grown-Ups

Peggy Noonan and I used to rendezvous 5 times a week. As morning news editors on competing stations located in the same building, we'd often ride the elevator to work with "bulldog editions" of the paper in hand, but in icy silence... Peggy, who eventually would be a speech writer for President Reagan, was miffed I had reported the results of the 1972 Presidential Election as Nixon 49 - America 1.

Weak in Review

Coincidentally, the misspelled TV ad appeared on the same day as the newest winner of the Scripps National Spelling Bee... who does know how to spell marriage.

No More Cash in 2012?

By Freakonomics

It turns out that 2012 is a kind of magnet for apocalyptic thinking. Justin Wolfers has predicted that the name Cash, currently riding a wave of popularity, will largely disappear by that date. Will actual cash — currency, greenbacks, dineros — survive much longer? David Wolman is the latest in a long line of people hoping the answer is no. While we’ve argued for ditching the penny, Wolman writes in praise of abolishing physical money altogether, in favor of a streamlined, emoney future. The technological solutions, he says, are in place. The policy solutions are, we think, another matter.

NY Times Freakonomics blog, May 29th

Friday, May 29, 2009

Dems Dump On Dealers?

Once A Cat

Steven Demetre Georgiou, born 21 July 1948 to parents of Greek Cypriot and Swedish ancestry), is best known by his former stage name Cat Stevens. The British musician, singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist became a prominent convert to Islam and spent 28 years working as an educator and philanthropist before returning to pop music in 2006, with. He now goes by the single name Yusuf.

Audio: BBC, PRI & WGBH's The World May 20th, Host: Marco Werman.

Say Benga, like Jenga

Ever have a lfe-changing musical experience?

That happened to Ian Eagleson, an indie rocker who studied Benga music from Nairobi for his Ph.D. thesis, then recuited another of his rock band buddies to form an American-African fusion with native Kenyans.

The resulting band is called "Extra Golden," whose third album, "Thank You Very Quickly," debuted in early 2009.

Here and Now’s Jill Ryan caught up with them on their current tour.

Audio: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now, May 20th.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

How you doin', Dawg?

Michael Vick's out of prison. Many of his fighting pitbulls have been rehabilitated and given a second chance... Vick himself? Opinions vary...

Mow The Lawn, Or Else!

Rising foreclosures have many communities dealing with abandoned homes with overgrown lawns and broken windows. The town of Indio, California has made that type of neglect a crime- punishable by fines that can surpass $25,000 and possible arrest. Indio Police Chief Brad Ramos says that most banks are complying and starting to keep up their properties.

Audio: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now, May 21st. Host: Robin Young.

2010 Attack Ads Already Started

Out of state star power, money and advertising play a huge role in American politics. As Obama & Harry Reid gathered at Caesar's Palace in front of contributors willing to pay $50 - $29,000+ to attend a Las Vegas fundraiser Tuesday evening (May 26th), the folks at home were subjected to a heavy schedule of attack ads placed on local television... a year and a half before Reid's potential re-election day. The early start to the effort to topple an opposition party leader in their home state is reminiscent of tactics used against former Senate Leader Tom Daschle, and it's why Reid has talked openly of needing a $25 million war chest for the 2010 campaign, despite the fact the state has a small population and only two media markets.

A decidedly anti Democratic Party outfit from Sacramento, California, calling itself the Our Country Deserves Better PAC sponsors this:

American Public Media's Kai Ryssdal, host of "Marketplace," talked political ads and how cable channels & broadcasters cash in on partisan controversy and seemingly perpetual campaigns with Ken Vogel, who writes about money and politics for Politico.

The Other Speaker

Scandal claims Speaker... Not Pelosi vs CIA, but UK's Michael Martin:

Gitmo gets mo than Average Joe

Upon returning to the United States after a visit to the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., insisted that the detainees there “get better health care than the average American citizen does.”

John Ensign is in his second term as Senator from Nevada, where looking the part is often a key to capturing Republican primaries. Despite his demonstrable failure as Chair of the Republican Senate Campaign Committee in 2008, the former veterinarian was promoted to lead the Senate Republican Policy Committee, the fourth highest office within his caucus.

Big Science

Hubble opened eyes to the expansion of the universe. What's next?

Wierd Science (1985)
Despite repeated efforts, teenage nerds have been unable to conjure up anything more than photos of Kelly LeBrock since the original movie in 1985.

MSNBC, however, has come up with a list of other big science projects on the edge of doability... No, not that kind of doability!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009