Archive for April, 2007
Watched most of the Dems Debate dernier soir. Observations follow, distilled from an all too imperfect memory.
Hosted by MSNBC, it was obvious that the producers wanted to keep their foot on the accelerator from wire to wire unless threatened by a sharp curve appear ahead. All resemblances to a C SPAN production were most unwelcome.
Which raised a suspicion in my mind at least that the lower seeded candidates might not get their fair share of yak time. I think Gravel had the same notion and attacked the chair about being ignored. He sure raised his profile though.
So did Kucinich though only with a specific slice of the Dem electorate.
The top three (who need not be named) each acquitted themselves well, but so did Richardson. Further growth for the New mexico Governor, but there is much potential here.
Biden will be remembered for his one word answer. It was clever, and it worked. But it does not solve his fundamental problem, which is that he can never be embraced by Democratic progressives. His record forbids it.
The worst performance: Dodd. His apology for his role in constructing the current fascist Supreme Court reminded of how worse than useless are centrism and centrists in the Democratic Party and the larger body politic.
I’m back. After whatÂ must be aÂ couple of weeks (90 days in dog years) of no input here, I can no longer deny myself the pleasures of blogging. Let the riotous joy begin.
Before Imus gets to work on his golf game,Â orÂ whateverÂ heÂ doesÂ whenÂ he’sÂ onÂ vacation,Â heÂ hasÂ to faceÂ theÂ realityÂ ofÂ hisÂ showÂ hemorrhagingÂ sponsors:
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Companies including Procter & Gamble Co. and Staples Inc. are pulling advertisements from Don Imus’ show due to the shock jock’s on-air racial slur about the Rutgers University women’s basketball team.
Imus has apologized for referring to members of the team as “nappy-headed hos” on his April 4 show. CBS Radio and NBC Universal, which broadcasts the show on MSNBC cable television, suspended the popular personality for two weeks, beginning next Monday.
But that was not enough to satisfy Procter & Gamble, one of the world’s biggest makers of consumer products, or Staples, the world’s largest office supplies retailer, which had only recently sponsored the Imus MSNBC TV show.
“Based on recent comments that were made on the show, it prompted us to kind of take a look at our decision to advertise and as a result we decided to stop advertising on that program,” said Staples spokesman Paul Capelli said.
Cincinnati, Ohio-based P&G also withdrew its sponsorship.
“Effective Friday, April 6, we pulled all P&G’s brand advertising from the MSNBC daytime rotation,” said P&G spokeswoman Jeannie Tharrington. P&G would not advertise again “until we can evaluate the Imus situation fully,” she said.
P&GÂ hasÂ soldÂ aÂ lotÂ ofÂ soapÂ onÂ daytimeÂ teeveeÂ andÂ radioÂ beforeÂ thereÂ wasÂ teevee.Â TakingÂ itsÂ sponsorshipÂ fromÂ theÂ whole
MSNBCÂ daytimeÂ skedÂ hasÂ toÂ hurt.
Are the broadcasters paying attention yet?
A couple of months ago I sent an email to CNN asking who G lenn Beck’s sponsors are, but never got a reply. I gues I’ll have to watch the show, dammit.
Here’s why I think Beck might face the same kind of shitstorm Imus is up against right now:
Beck is famous for spouting controversial and inflammatory comments against Democrats, Muslims, Arabs, Mexicans, and female guests on his radio and television programs. Beck has called President Jimmy Carter a “waste of skin,” Mexican immigrants “dirt bags” and “lawbreakers,” Katrina victims “scumbags,” Cindy Sheehan a “prostitute,” and suggested using nuclear weapons against parts of the Middle East and Venezuela.
During a November 14, 2006, interview with Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), the first Muslim elected to Congress, Beck said to the congressman: “What I feel like saying is, ‘Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies.” (Beck later apologized for what he said was a “poorly worded question.”) On his shows, Beck repeatedly belittles the Muslim faith by mocking Muslim names and through actions such as “mark[ing] the death” of Al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi with a “Zarqawi bacon cake.”
Class act all the way, our Mr. Beck.
How did this happen? Deregulation was supposed to encourage entrepreneurial development. The U.S. is the freest country in the world and it was freedom that allowed it to gain it erstwhile technological primacy. And then to be outdone by Scandinavian socialism (mixed economy). Itâ€™s enough to make patriotic Republican heads explode.
Itâ€™s kind of like health care. Defenders of the capitalist faith like to talk about how American medicine is the best in the world, which means right now we have more MRI and patented pills than anybody else. Itâ€™s just that the health outcomes are lousy. The United States lags a number of other countries in such categories as life expectancy and infant mortality, which has nothing to do with 40 million uninsured and billions of dollars wasted by treating said uninsured in emergency rooms.
Will the United States abandon its faith in unregulated commerce, and discover the communityâ€™s role in economic decision making? Not if the GOP has its way, which may be one reason why the Democratic Party is doing so well this week.
Just watched a piece of video posted at the Horse’s Mouth.Â AllÂ aboutÂ WAPO’sÂ editorialÂ stanceÂ opposingÂ Pelosi’sÂ visitÂ toÂ SyrianÂ prexyÂ Assad.
The right wing mouth pieces seem pretty over the top about this, which was puzzling to me at first. Now I have concluded that she is making W look bad by doing what he and/or Condi should be doing which is practicing diplomacy. What they do instead of course is to say they will refuse to talk to nation X until nation X stoops doing whatever it is doing that the Bushies don’t like. Only how can you persuade someone to change their behaviour if you don’t communicate with them.
Is this how W resolves disputes in his marriage? Poor Laura. She is so very brave.
I guess I am disappointed if not surprised at the way NPR has framed its series of reports on the drug war. By that I mean that NPR (still dependent on gummint money we must always recall) seems to accept theÂ basicÂ premiseÂ on which the drug war is based. . Mr. Mackey, the school counsellor on South Park seems to capture the war on drugs philosophy when he tells the kids that “Drugs are bad, mmmkay?”
Let us put aside the legal vs non legal issue and consider drugs as they affect individuals and society without preconceptions. If we do so, we cannot possibly consider all drugs equally bad – or good for that matter.
I would argue strenuously that some illegal drugs should be legalized and made available to most adults. I would jooin many others in arguing that some drugs that are currently legally perscribed should not be administered so liberally. I think it is stating the obvious to suggest that some illegal drugs have more potential for harm thanÂ others.Â PotÂ doesn’tÂ makeÂ yourÂ teethÂ fallÂ outÂ likeÂ methÂ doesÂ forÂ example.
I haven’t heard all of the stories in the NPR series, so perhaps I missed when they discussed why people want to alter their consciousness, and tried to figure out how religion is different from drug taking in that regard. Or maybe not.
AndÂ aboveÂ all,Â whyÂ doÂ theÂ powerÂ elitesÂ wantÂ someÂ drugsÂ toÂ beÂ available and not others. Why the martial Â metaphor (If I recall correctly, Nixon’s administration came up with the term, following LBJ’s war on poverty by just a few years).
In summary then, NPR seems to have succeeded in pleasing the current administration with its approach to the subject,Â butÂ failedÂ if it was trying to enlighten its listeners, many of whom were offended in the same ways I was.
I am glad that I am still outraged daily by the lies and other outrages perpetrated more than daily by (mostly) conservative politicians and media. It shows I still am suffused with idealism and hope.
In recent days I have been repeatedly outraged by media reports that W is angry with Speaker Pelosi because she visited Syria and its President. Not even NPR bothers to mention that Republican Congressmen have also visited that country in recent days. Not even at the White House press conference earlier this week did any journalist have the curiosity to ask about the apparent inconsistency on the part of the Uniter not the Divider.
Today, Iran released the 15 British sailors they had captured a few weeks ago, seizing the moral high ground from Bush and Blair. Syria claims to have helped. Who knows. But it puts pressure on the Bush administration to talk to Iraqâ€™s neighbours Iraq and other issues. Too bad Bush doesnâ€™t live in anything resembling the real world.
Why are the Republicans so desperate to discredit Carol Lam? Little Thomâ€™s Blog informs me that Senator Orrin Hatch said the following about the former US Attorney:
She’s a former law professor; no prosecutorial experience; and the former campaign manager in Southern California for Clinton.
Limbaugh repeated the same lies on the radio.
None of these things is true. Furthermore, they are easily disproven. Lam was a prosecutor in San Diego for 15 years before George W Bush appointed her to the US Atty position.
Again, the question is why the GOP is so desperate to discredit Lam that they resort to my dog ate my homework caliber fibs. There must be some real dynamite in Socal about ready to blow up some Republicans.Â otherwise,Â thisÂ behaviourÂ makesÂ noÂ sense.
Update 4/5/07 – Upon further review, and influenced by a perceptive postÂ fromÂ JMM,Â IÂ amÂ nowÂ ofÂ theÂ opinionÂ thatÂ HatchÂ andÂ LimbaughÂ don’tÂ careÂ ifÂ theyÂ areÂ shown to be making shit up. Swiftboating works, they seem to believe.