Saturday, September 19, 2009

That Was The Week That Was

Willie Geist:

NY Times Sam Tenenhaus, sandwiched between two slices of silly:

Kent Jones:

Strangest Bedfellow

Questioning Faith

Czar Wars

The Congressional Research Service prepared a 2007 report on which presidential appointees require Senate confirmation.

SNL: The "You Lie" Guy

Real Live Robots

Friday, September 18, 2009


It is not something that is won. It is a recognition that requires an act of Congress. It is the nation's highest award for valor, and in our current conflicts its cost is an extraordinary example of sacrifice.


Missing Man Formation

In Massachusetts, the campaign is on to fill Kennedy's seat. This week, WBUR's Radio Boston examined whether the electorate would look for someone of similar political bent to fill his shoes.

Download the podcast.

Examing Extreme Talk

Soy un perdedor
I'm a loser baby, so why dont you kill me?

Joe & Mika's radio show, a lead-in to Limbaugh on WABC, competes directly against Glenn Beck's on WOR in New York City.

In August Beck's former TV boss, CNN/U.S. president Jon Klein, asked his show producers to avoid booking talk radio hosts. "Complex issues require world class reporting," Klein is quoted as saying, adding that talk radio hosts too often add to the noise, and that what they say is "all too predictable."

Meanwhile in Minnesota, the outgoing Republican Governor and would be Presidential contender took a stand on the nonexistent.

Beck would approve.

Remember Barry Goldwater's acceptance speech (”Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.”)?

In November 1964, in the current context of the Johnson/Goldwater campaign, historian Richard Hofstader examined "The Paranoid Style in American Politics" as a longstanding phenomenon. His essay in Harper's Magazine also inspired this article in Wikipedia.

Harper's revisited the subject in August 2007, when Scott Horton cited then current examples, but further explained:
In Hofstadter’s view this “paranoid style” was not necessarily right-wing, or the province of the G.O.P. Moreover the G.O.P. had arisen and been nurtured as a counter-movement to one of the earliest manifestations of the paranoid style, a political movement derided by Abraham Lincoln and called the 'Know-Nothings'.
But at the time Republicanism was a liberal movement.

The head of the Rand Corporation blames America's increasing politic polarization on "new media."


Summer's Almost Gone

Thursday, September 17, 2009


We had to wait months for this piece of crap?

Fact Free Faction

Carter Critique

Numerous conservative commentators have either cynically or mistakenly conflated President Carter's charge of racism underpinning the animosity directed against Presdient Obama with Representative Wilson's outburst last Wednesday... That isn't what he said at all. Think about the signs among the angry crowds that demean the man in a way that couldn't be applied to a white man with similar political views...

Meep, Meep, Splat

Real Human Interface

Under the Radar

Ten and a half weeks of laying low paid off:

It would be out of character to descibe the interview as "in depth," but Jordan did have more to say.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Carter Calls 'Em Out

The original piece from NBC Nightly News:

See viewer comments on Newsvine.

The reaction on cable:


Grass(roots) My Ass(troturf)

Scribe - Mundo de Papel

World of paper... World of advertising.

Visual imagery speaks volumes in any language.

Keanu Goes To Jail


Jordan Lloyd, $500,000 winner on Big Brother 11
Jordan Lloyd, the 22 year old waitress from North Carolina, has won Big Brother 11 by a vote of 5-2, including a jury of 6 ejected former "house guests" and the plurality of America's nearly 11 million web & text votes.

If you translate her strategy to NASCAR, she drafted her way to the win... Emerging from the shadow of mentor/protector/showmance partner Jeff Shroeder after his eviction and winning two key victories near the end, on her own.

Although seeming to be remarkably deficient in general knowledge, including trouble telling time, in contests dependent on remembering the game and fellow contestants, she proved sharper than the simple goofy country girl persona which aided her "stay off the radar" strategy would have suggested.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Rage On

Mad Men

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Mad Men
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealthcare Protests

What Is Socialism in 2009?

Michael Reynolds/European Pressphoto Agency
It seems that whatever President Obama talks about — whether it’s overhauling health care, or regulating Wall Street, or telling schoolchildren to study hard — his opponents have called him a socialist. “Socialism” was an epithet on many placards at protests in Washington over the weekend. What does the word mean today, nearly 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall? What role has the label played in American political history?

Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor, The Nation
Andrew Hartman, historian
Terence Ball, political scientist
Steven F. Hayward, scholar, American Enterprise Institute
Charles Dunn, professor of government

From the New York Times "Room for Debate" blog

Practical Socialism

In 1934, Psychologist Abraham Maslow postulated a "hierarchy of needs" for individuals. It wasn't all-inclusive.

Unlike "Tea Party" organizers or Glen Beck, Maslow deliberately excluded mentally ill, delusional or neurotic people, writing that "the study of crippled, stunted, immature, and unhealthy specimens can yield only a cripple psychology and a cripple philosophy."

Beyond Maslow, I'd argue that in addition to individual needs, there are familial, community and societal needs... Each with their own hierarchies, which must provide for their collective needs.

Would anyone seriously oppose fire departments, roads, airports, water systems or prisons?

All these public enterprises are organized at community level or higher for a perceived benefit to society.

Emmy Winner, You Betcha

Carlos on Kanye

The man who had too much to say Sunday and too little to say Monday, as portrayed by Carlos Mencia & Aries Spears...

Mind of Mencia (2006)
Kanye West is a Crazy Nigga

False Profits

NBC's Erin Burnett & Dylan Ratigan with Matt Lauer 9/14...

Dylan solo 8/15...

Too Big To Fix?

A Revolting Development

In December 2008 Ann Minch of Red Bluff, CA paid 12.99% interest on an outstanding credit card balance with B of A. In July 2009, the rate was 30%. Ms Minch has closed her accounts and posted this video...

The state crime of usury (an unconscionable or exorbitant rate or amount of interest charged to a borrower for the use of money), was effectively repealed in 1978 by Marquette vs. First Omaha Service Corp., in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a national bank could charge the highest interest rate allowed in their home state to customers living anywhere in the United States, including states with restrictive interest caps.

As a result major credit card issuers are based in states (like South Dakota) without usury laws and interest rate caps on credit cards.

Ironically, the page enititled "Credit card companies sidestep usury laws" at that served as a source for this post is headed with a banner ad for Bank of America.

British Perspective

This is how ITN, England's Independent Television News, encapsulated President Obama's address to Congress on proposals for "healthcare."

Of course these issues are totally alien to the Brtish public, as that nation does have its own government provided National Health Service, which has become a punching bag for some critics of proposals to remake the U.S. health care system. Britons are offended by how some politicians & U.S. media outlets have singled the British system out for what not to do.

Video: ITN September 10
Audio: NPR's NPR's Morning Edition August 18

Foreign Fix

There are some aspects of healthcare in the U.S. that parallel systems found in other countries.

While some features are comparable to Canada & Spain, the World Health Organization compiles statistics about healthcare globally and consistently finds (in total) both Canada & Spain are rated higher in sucessful outcomes and lower in cost than the United States.

The American airwaves are full of political ads these days slamming the Canadian health care system. The ads say in Canada, care is delayed or denied and some patients wait a year for vital surgeries. Is the Canadian system really that bad? Sarah Varney of member station KQED in San Francisco traveled to Vancouver to find out.

Audio: NPR's Morning Edition August 10, Host: Steve Inskeep

Spain's single-payer health care system is ranked seventh best in the world by the World Health Organization. The system offers universal coverage as a constitutionally-guaranteed right and no out-of-pocket expenses — aside from prescription drugs. Patients do complain, however, about the long wait to see specialists and undergo certain procedures.

Audio: NPR's Morning Edition August 19, Host: Steve Inskeep

Kristy recounts an experiece in Madrid from 4 years ago:

"I got pink eye (conjunctivitis) and all I had to do was to go to the farmacia down the road, point to my eye and the woman sold me prescription-strength eye drops for two euros... TWO. ($2.90) No scheduling a doctor’s visit. No examination. No twenty-dollar co-pay. No questions. Just immediate, effective, and cheap solutions. Eye cleared up in 24 hours. España, you’ve got yourself a life-long fan."

Bob speaks little or no Spanish, or the local dialect of Catalan spoken in Barcelona, but he asked to be assigned there by his international company, whose American Health Insurance carrier required him to pay over $400 a month out of pocket for the frequent doctor visits and drugs his chronic condition requires.

Like all who are in Spain legally, he has access to a full service local clinic, and the freedom to change doctors if he wishes. His total presciption drug cost per month is $15, about 10.32 euros.

Lessons of the Past

Echoes Of 1930s In Health Care Debate
Monday, August 28, 2009

The current health care debate had precedents in a series that ran on the radio more than 50 years ago. NBC's Town Meeting of the Air offered a lively discussion of new health care options, many of which sound familiar today.

Don't Get Sick In America
Wednesday, August 05, 2009

NPR Senior News Analyst Daniel Schorr says the sharpening summer debate about how to overhaul America's health insurance system echoes decades of bickering and inaction. Schorr wrote a book on health care financing called Don't Get Sick in America, published some 39 years ago.

Audio: NPR's All Things Considered August 29 & 5

Dumping On Darwin

The Wall Street Journal pitted opposing essayists on the to respond independently to the question "Where does evolution leave God?" and published the results on September 12.