Saturday, August 7, 2010

Week Start, Weak End

Bill Radke's Marketplace Minute 8/6/10 on Vimeo.

Videos: ABC, CNN & MSNBC

How Broken Is The Senate?


Illustration: Steve Brodner/The New Yorker
As the Senate wraps up its Washington business for the summer, George Packer's article in The New Yorker, "The Empty Chamber," provides a scathing review. He blames an influx of hyper-partisan House members, constant pressure to raise money & even presence of C-SPAN's unblinking eye for their performance... Or lack thereof.
Audio Embed: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now 8/6/10, Host: Anthony Brooks.

War & Perpetual War

Sebastian Junger: American author, journalist, and documentary filmmaker. Embeds from June 2007 to 2008 to eastern Afghanistan's Korengal Valley with Tim Hetherington resulted in reports & pictures published in Vanity Fair (2008), the film "Restrepo" (2010), and Junger's best-selling book "War" (2010).

Andrew Bacevich: Author -- "Washington Rules: America's Path To Permanent War" -- Princeton PhD in international relations, professor at Boston University and a retired career officer (colonel) in the United States Army, West Point graduate whose service spans Vietnam through the Persian Gulf... And whose son, also an Army officer, died fighting the Iraq War (2007).

Videos: MSNBC

View Rearview

Video: CNN

Means, Motive, Murder

Deceased mass-murderer Omar Thornton via CBS News
In U.S. Criminal law, proving the accused had means, motive, and opportunity is a popular, but flawed, summary of what's needed to convince a jury of guilt. Motive is the factor that CSI-style forensics can't nail down and is not necessary to convict... Doubts about "why" may linger as juries render reasonable verdicts on unreasonable acts.

While we often think of the term "going postal," workplace shootings occur in many different kinds of jobs... But one thing that was really different about the murders at Manchester Connecticut's Budweiser distribution warehouse was the shooter's own call to 911.
Why... In his own words

Audio Embed: Dave Ross, KIRO-FM/Seattle, 8/6/10.

Fox News Blowhards

Jeff Flock braved a blast in GM's wind tunnel.

Fox  Biz anchor Jenna Lee still thinks he's a stand up guy.

Rachel won't say the same of Bill O'Reilly.

Videos: Fox Business & MSNBC

Friday, August 6, 2010

Wedge Issues, New & Old

Wedge issues are specifically used to split apart or create a "wedge" in the voting, and more importantly donating, public. Advertising, publicly airing and continually emphasizing controversial topics with the intent to weaken unity... Divide and conquer.

While the most successful uses of the tactic have been Republicans targeting social conservatives & culture warriors, Democrats are attempting to give a few wedgies of their own in the 2010 mid-terms.

Tea Party

Bush 43

And of course with a defeat in court, wedgers on the right will now try to exploit fear of gay bears...

California Gay Marriage Ruling

Audio Embed: Dave Ross for the vacationing Charles Osgood, 8/5/10.

So where's all the noise?

Videos: MSNBC

Politics is so often about using "weapons of mass distraction" on the electorate, and even the press, who both can be diverted as easily as you might distract a baby's attention with a shiny metal object.

Seahorse Silhouette

"Seahorse 2000" by underwater photographer and director Zena Holloway

Eat, Pray, Love, Promote

Still a week away from theaters, but all over TV...

The Trailer

The Author

The Actress

Videos: ABC, CBS & YouTube

Coping With Cheating

In her former life, Australian Holly Hill made her living as a mistress.

In her book "Sugarbabe", author Holly Hill preaches cheating is natural and couples can maintain healthy relationships by negotiating terms for inevitable infidelity. In her case sex without attachment is ok, while anything suggesting intimacy is off limits. It's controversial.

Videos: CNN &

Is Emotional Pain Necessary?

"Alone," photo by Tchaikovskycf
The American Psychiatric Association's DSM, a manual of mental disorders, had cautioned against including the bereaved, people who have just lost a loved one, among the clinically depressed.

The idea was that feelings of intense pain following loss of a loved one were normal, so they shouldn't be labeled as a disease. Now, the group's guidelines redefine the line between grief and depression.
Audio Embed: Morning Edition 8/2/10, Reporter: Alix Spiegel.
"The great art of life is sensation...
To feel that we exist, even in pain."

-- Lord George Gordon Byron, English Romantic poet & satirist (1788-1824)

An alternative... Just sayin'.

Final Solution For Stress

Video: Onion News Network

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Prop Hate Overturned

The concept of equal treatment under law was there from the start.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
-- Thomas Jefferson & the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Philadelphia Pennsylvania (July 4, 1776)
And rights are not ever the kinds of things that should be put to a vote. For that is when residual inequality and feelings of superiority conspire against democracy at its most sacred site... The ballot box.

Videos MSNBC
"The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice."
-- Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr., Montgomery Alabama (1965)

Unhealthy Disdaian

With only a 23% turnout, Republicans tout Missouri primary vote against health care law
From CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser, 8/4/10

Washington (CNN) - National Republicans are touting a primary result in Missouri where voters overwhelmingly rejected a key controversial part of the new health care law. But Democrats downplay the significance of the vote, the first in which the new health care law was on a ballot.

More than 70 percent of Missouri primary voters Tuesday cast ballots in favor of Proposition C. The measure would allow state residents to opt out of mandatory health insurance, a key part of the new health care reform law, which was pushed by President Obama and Congressional Democrats. The proposition prohibits the federal government from requiring people to have health insurance or penalizing them for not having insurance.
Of course, states have no power to regulate the federal government, but that fact is lost on Mr. Steele & Missouri's Republicans, too.

Video: On the Record w/ Greta Van Susteren/Fox News
So OK... Lose The Fat Heads!

Audio Embed: Dave Ross, KIRO-FM/Seattle, 8/4/10.

Basil Marceaux R-TN

Candidate For Governor in today's open primary:

Video: Jimmy Kimmel Live/ABC

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Republican Gubernatorial Primary Battle Watch '010 - Basil
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionFox News

Speaking of Wrecks...

The Titanic, 98 Years Later

Even before the 1997 movie, there was a certain romance to Titantic.

Since its sinking in 1912, the supposedly unsinkable state of the art luxury liner had been a source of mystery, intrigue and conspiracy theories. And director Jim Cameron's setting for the "king of the world" scene in the movie, looked humble, ghostly and austere in reality... Does it still look like the way it was found?

Dr. David Gallo, an undersea mapping expert from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, leads a group of scientists who will go back to the Titanic's resting place this month, to see how the shipwreck is holding up under fierce ocean currents. He's looking for evidence that the upper decks, walls and ceilings might be collapsing since the shipwreck was first located 25 years ago by Robert Ballard.

The team hopes to use new imaging technology to raise the ship virtually, allowing scientists and the public to see what state it’s in.
Audio Embed: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now 8/4/10, Host: Robin Young.

See more of Titantic's anchor & undersea "rover" robot explorer.

Not So Breitbart

Late Night with David Letterman/CBS


The Mariners already had a spectacular short stop with the then known perennially Golden Gloved, and later proven ageless, Omar Vizquel. But they had the draft pick to do it, picked A-Rod in 1994 and through 1999 he was half of the game's best young talent tandem.

When Junior retired earlier this year A-Rod told
"I had a front seat... And at 18 years old, I got to walk in the clubhouse and see the greatest player on the planet for a long time. He was 24, I was 18, and boy, I'll tell you, that was some type of special treat."
My point of view at the Kingdome was along the left field foul line... But the feeling was exactly the same. Ken Griffey Jr. had speed, strength, grace and a playful attitude. A superstar who made it all look easy on the field... A natural.

As of Wednesday afternoon, at the new Yankee Stadium, when Alex Rodriguez connected on No. 600 against the Blue Jays' Shaun Marcum, the club that Babe Ruth built in 1931 swelled to seven. columnist Anthony Castrovince recounts how it grew:
After Ruth founded the club on his way to No. 714, Willie Mays joined in 1969 and wound up finishing with 660. Hank Aaron followed in 1971, en route to 755.

For a long while, it was quiet. Then the door swung open and the horde came in. Barry Bonds in 2002. Sammy Sosa in '07. Ken Griffey Jr. in '08. And now, A-Rod.

Four guys in eight years. Not a normal pace.
3 of the 4 600 Club entrants since the turn of the century got there on steroid stats... Which we can toss like a used piece of gum...

Or at a minimum, record properly.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Appeal Of Repeal

Demonize & disenfranchise an ethnic minority... Sound familiar?

Unfortunately not another 1930's Nazi documentary from the History Channel.

Money For Nothing

How do you get Sam's Club conservatives to support policies that work against their own financial interests and further enrich wealthy Country Club conservatives?

First scare them... Then pick their pockets.

Video: MSNBC

Numbers justify fear.

50,000 abducted children, for example, or 50,000 predators prowling for kids online. That last figure was once touted by the NBC show "Dateline." But where did it come from?

As this piece from 2006 points out, 50,000 is something of a Goldilocks number in the media – not too big and not too small, but, for scaring the public, just right.
Audio: WNYC's On The Media rebroadcast 7/31/10, Host: Brooke Gladstone.

"Weird Al" Yankovic - Money For Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies (1989)

Free Press... Not Free Pass!

In the past she's advocated dismantling much of the social safety net, privatization of social security, using "2nd amendment solutions" to overturn election results, and attacked the incumbent for unemployment while saying she wouldn't have intervened to save the 22,000 jobs he snatched from the fire.

Sharron Angle is the Republican nominee in the national party's quest to decapitate the Senate's Democratic majority by defeating leader Harry Reid. She's running for his seat, and running from any member of the press who wants to ask any question tougher than you'd see on a late night infomercial... Which became abundantly clear when she said as much.

Videos: MSNBC

I'm not always proud to live in Nevada, but it's great material.

Deflation Demon

October 29th's entry in Dan Young's 2009 painting a day series.

Some members of the Fed recently cited the threat of deflation -- a general decrease in prices -- which should not be occurring during an economic recovery. In many ways, it is more worrisome than inflation to an economy built on the premise that everything should get more expensive over time.
Audio Embed: All Things Considered 8/3/10, Reporter: Adam Davidson.

You've experienced inflation in the cost of gas & groceries and also in salaries or benefits received if that compensation included "cost of living adjustments." And beyond that overall rate, components like health care rose 7 times faster, university education 9 times and forget real estate, whose bursting bubble crashed the whole shebang.

Attempting to control inflation was always the great bugaboo cited by former Fed Chairman Alan Greeenspan, but since the series of corporate bailouts and falling interest rates began in 2008, inflation has been replaced as the buzzword. Some leading economists and investors are now beginning to worry about just the opposite. St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard explains.
Audio Embed: All Things Considered 8/3/10, Host: Michelle Norris.

Games In Super Easy Mode


You Like Pizza?

In May 2007, The Onion suggested that if Pizza Hut was really serious, a "Pizza Lover's Pizza" should be topped with smaller pizzas.

Ironically, you can't see any onions in the picture's toppings.

The idea surfaced again recently... A rip-off with a hip hop twist.

And then a version of the Yo Dawg meme appeared on The Next Web.

The twist here is that while TNW copped the "Yo dawg" title, they used a different uncredited picture... One that really takes the idea of pizza topped with pizza to a whole new level.

The true source of this larger, more interesting, 20 differently topped pies on top of another larger pizza, is Milwaukee artist and gallery owner John Riepenhoff's Physical Pizza Networking Theory:

It was an interactive piece. The exhibition was short-lived, but tasty.

At the "Just Whatever" blog, another unsourced multi-photo spread pronounced "The New Shape of Pizza" was a cone!

Traditional toppings inside make it like a "calzone" (the original hot pocket), but unlike "pizza rustica" (designed for portability to picnics and served on a plate), the cone shape is designed for a real big city "to go" experience.

It's hard to say where the idea really came from. But one co-owner of Manhattan's K! Pizzacone saw it previously in Italy, Portugal & Brazil and thought, "Why not in New York?"

Those pics came from photographer Enid Alvarez who accompanied reporter Erica Pearson for a 2/20/10 NY Daily News article which has more... Including video.

A little fun "slice of life," and credit where credit is due.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

It's Shark Week!

Caught on Tape at the Jersey Shore

Bigger Fish, Bigger Impact

Five miles of outer Cape Cod beaches were closed to swimmers, but summer tourists are fascinated. Tony Guida reports.

Shark Week on Discovery, now running in prime time.

Deficits & Deception

"We all do better when we all do better."
-- the late U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone, D-MN (1999)
The reason why W's 2001 tax cuts will expire at the beginning of the year comes directly from the way they became law... The same Senate rules that allowed them to be enacted with a filibuster-proof simple majority, also prohibit anything that increases the deficit for longer than 10 years.

In other words, the Republican majority of 2001 knew they were creating deficits, while the present day Republican minority of 2010 denies that would be a consequence of extending those tax rates.

But Washington is all about rewarding your patrons... None of whom were rewarded more handsomely during the previous decade than the already very wealthy: the Top 2%.

So why is it that a dollar spent on food stamps bubbles up to create more than five times the impact of a dollar trickling down from a tax cut to the rich?

It's basically because the poor pour their dollars into buying things, thereby fueling the 2/3 of the economy that's related to consumers. The rich, on the other hand, speculate on things they think will make them richer in the overblown casino economy that imperils the entire financial sector... Not enterprises that create jobs.

For all the rhetoric surrounding small business, more than 70% of U.S. businesses are either part time side projects or full time sole proprietors who have no employees in either boom or bust.

What creates jobs in any sized business is people wanting more goods or services than can be produced by the existing labor force... Our economy is, therefore, inherently demand-side and resistant to the alleged stimulative benefits of supply-side economic theory.

Chris Matthews with two House members of opposing views:

Videos: MSNBC
"Every class struggle is a political struggle."
-- Karl Marx, "The Communist Manifesto" (1848)

Money Suckers

Enrollment at for-profit colleges has almost tripled over the last 10 years, making them the fastest growing sector in higher education. They received over $26 billion dollars in federal student aid last year and wouldn't exist in such numbers, or at all, without it.

The schools serve disproportionate numbers of immigrants, low-income and first generation colleges students. Members of Congress and the White House are worried about the high levels of debt these students take on and the quality of degrees they get, and are proposing tighter regulation of the industry. Liz Willen, associate editor of the non-partisan and non-profit Hechinger Report explains what you can learn at a for-profit college, why students choose it even when it’s sometimes 17-times more expensive than a community college.

A hint... Sucking up that $26 billion has a lot to do with it.
Audio Embed: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now 8/3/10, Host: Robin Young.

Illustrations: (top) & (above)

Money Bags

Baggage Check by "Ponzarelli" via (2008)

Sure having any airline charge for baggage is annoying... So why does Spirit Airlines' policy (charging for all carry-ons and half again as much to move anything that won't fit in the cabin compartments below to the hold) make sense?
Spirit Gets It Right

Audio Embed: Dave Ross, KIRO-FM/Seattle, 8/2/10.

She's Out!

After 13 days of a 90 day sentence...

Jake Byrd's lonely vigil ended Monday, 8/2/10.

And They're Out, Too

Videos: AP, CBS & Second City Network

Ali Chose Roberto

And He Proposed

A fairy tale ending for those who believe in love at first sight.

Photo & Videos: ABC

Monday, August 2, 2010

Where'd It All Go?

BP Scaling Back Clean-Up, Bailing on Bayou?

BP announced it will reduce the size of the cleanup effort in the Gulf and that has some locals fearing that it may be too soon for the oil giant to pull out. Don Teague reports 7/31/10.

Lingering Questions About Toxicity

The effort to skim, burn and break down oil in the Gulf with chemical dispersants is proving effective but there are concerns about the possible toxic effects of BP's primary used dispersant. Don Teague once more from 8/1/10.

Videos: CBS

Doesn't seem like the propaganda is scaling back at all... The ads boasting about what they're not doing anymore are still going strong.

The Future Is Now

The vision began with Philip K. Dick's 1956 sci-fi short story...

Countdown To Zero

Nuking the Earth 1945-1998

Videos: CNN & Isao Hashimoto

Then The Fireman Rushes In

On A Clean Machine

In Liverpool, a single fireman may respond to an incident quicker on a bike outfitted with some basic tools and tanks of water & foam.

Not every alarm is equal. And as telephoning 999 replaced sidewalk alarm boxes, dispatchers can readily obtain details that let them determine which fires don't require a full brigade... Although they'll be ready with reinforcements should the first responder radio for aid.

Photos: Peter Byrne/(UK)Press Association from The Independent, via dvice blog.

What Does A Woman Want?

Q: "Was will das Weib?" was Freud's original... The German verb "wollen" can mean want, wish, like, intend, desire or need.

A: To be perceived as beautiful, always, whatever her other wishes.

So what does forever have to do with 31?


Lauren's going for her masters in Journalism at Missouri and is still 7 or 8 years from the survey's peak, but my guess is she'll have lots of admirers for many more years to come.

Statistics aren't really the way to deal with the question. And finding a mathematical average is just mean! (intended entendre)

Even without victims of body dismorphic disorder, who won't ever be satisfied or reassured, women want to feel good about their beauty. And it starts with hair.

A new do or color is the quickest obvious change. And in that pesky England, that gave us the that peak year poop, comes word that statistically a women will change her hair more than 100 times between ages 15 and 65. On average, they wear 3 different colors, but not at once.

Kelly Clarkson, winner of American Idol, Season 1

If you settle on a single color, the same confounded survey says that contrary to the airhead reputation, blondes in the U.K. earn more than brunettes and red-heads... North American mileage may vary.

It's important to choose a hair color that suits you. Complexion, skin tone, and eye color are some of the factors to consider. Warm and cool shades figure prominently moving past plausible toward ideal.

Hepburn, Bardot, Fawcett, Rosellini, Aniston & Moss

Most hair changes will involve moving between contemporary icons and a range of favorites worn before, not something totally out of left field... Unless on vacation.

Kelly Pickler, also of American Idol and now hair notoriety

Vacation Braids? He No Likey!

Audio Embed: My Big Yap with Yukon Jack, 7/26/10 from CFBR-FM/Edmonton AB.

So except to remind that "I love it" will figure importantly in any guy's life, ranking right behind "I love you," I'll shut my big yap, too. And if you know what's good for you, you will, too, when confronted with new hair... Except to quote selectively from the previous sentence with frequency and sincerity.

Alana Davis sings Ani DiFanco