Saturday, January 03, 2015
Monday, May 13, 2013
Time will tell how well this works for Karl and his ilk. After all, he spent upwards of $104 million dollars on the 2012 election and had virtually nothing to show for it.
What I suspected during the fall of 2012, in particular when the floodgates opened in October, was that the public ear had been deafened by the non-stop screaming on both sides. The material fell flat before minds already made up, and methinks Hillary Clinton in 2016 will enjoy an "already known" factor exceeding what Obama had in 2012.
Hillary Clinton is a household name dating back to 1992. That's over 20 years with eight of them in the White House. Some folks believe they can tell the public what to think of her?
Saturday, November 17, 2012
The Conservative Entertainment Complex
Wednesday, October 03, 2012
A Thousand Words
Tuesday, October 02, 2012
The Big Little Conundrum
One tactic involves playing safe and intense focus on preventing any costly gaffes. History does show that mere competence and composure going eye-to-eye against a sitting President adds substantial stature and produces a favorable feather in the proverbial cap.
However, in this particular instance with the clock ticking and unfavorable polls, many are looking to Romney (most notably New Jersey Governor Chris Christie) to take a different approach and really swing out. But how? What creates a powerful moment, a home run sequence that truly alters perceptions in large numbers? These are almost impossible to plan. If you swing out hard and completely miss..... If you launch your nukes and everyone winces or breaks out laughing.....
I have to wonder about Christie's true motives for his bravado about our seeing "a different race" Thursday morning. I doubt (as do some others) it did Romney any favors.
With three debates, perhaps the first is not the one to go for a knock out, whatever that means. While ratings for the first debate exceed the those of the next two, "game changing" footage from any would be blasted on television until the election.
Of course, Obama also has a bat. Is Romney really going to stay vague about how to fund his 20% across the board tax cuts with Obama standing right there? Romney now cites his health care legislation as evidence of his compassion, but says he'll repeal similar legislation for the country. When moderator Jim Lehrer asks him about his reference to the 47%, what does he say that doesn't make him sound like a liar when people listen to his answer next to that clip? What specific deregulation is he talking about and how is that going to create jobs? Oh, Medicare and Medicaid with Ryan as VP?
No matter what happens, Rush and Fox, Inc. will shout the high heavens that Romney trounced Obama, but frankly, the debates are likely much ado about little. Almost everyone's vote is not only locked, but double locked. Odds approach lottery figures that Christie is going to see his prediction fulfilled. My sample space is limited, but I know no one whose vote is still subject to change.
The audience that may prove most significant tomorrow are those with fat checks choosing between the presidency and tightening Congressional elections. Stories of shifting from the former to the latter have already started.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Which groups? Big Oil? Big Pharma? Big Bank? Koch Brothers, Inc.?
So that's it. Our problems are caused by the undue influence of school teacher contributions to our politicians.
While I guess it's not alcohol, he must be drinking something.
Monday, September 24, 2012
Everyone also knows that after the election, win or lose, he'll simply file an amendment and grab back every thin red cent.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
City Funding of TREO Eliminated
What led to this development is the increasing insistence (and the fact that these demands would only grow louder until satisfied) on the part of city officials that TREO demonstrate in clear, factual terms the tangible results of its efforts in terms of jobs created, wealth produced, and dollars generated. Real data - that means names and dates and numbers.
Well, TREO just doesn't do that. Never has, never will. Instead, since its inception it has relied upon invented estimates, sheer fabrication (i.e. Cloth), and good old fashioned taking credit for events that would have occurred anyway, results produced by others (those who produce).
So, rather than continue to face the badgering for specific, measurable outcomes that can be verified by someone other than a suit in the overpaid goon squad, TREO CEO Snell decided to fold the city cards.
The move makes a lot of sense. Now the likes of Raytheon, Honeywell, Wells Fargo, TEP, and the rest can pay TREO the sums of their choice for the organization to do what it actually does - cheer leading.
There's nothing wrong with cheerleaders on the sidelines. They look good and jump around in cute costumes, cheering for the folks on the field. At salaries well over a hundred grand, it's not a bad gig.
Now that their role is honestly distinguished, the guys in the skirts can stop trying to convince everyone they scored all the touchdowns.
Tuesday, August 07, 2012
Romney: I haven’t calculated that. I’m happy to go back and look.
Romney never got back to ABC News.
At risk of stating the painfully obvious, everyone here is clear that Mitt Romney knows precisely what he pays in taxes every year.
In dollars and cents.
As a percentage of gross income.
In 25+ other weird combinations and calculations none of us normal folk have ever seen.
For every year of the last 20 years.
Equally obvious is the fact that he is hiding something.
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Corporations seized upon this development and produced a PR bonanza that fooled most of the country including yours truly. At the time, I bought everything served by the mass media about the frivolous nature of this suit and the greed behind its motivation. Learn the truth, and well, not exactly.
Myth: The woman carelessly spilled her coffee while driving. Fact: The woman was a passenger and the car was parked, not moving.
Myth: The coffee was served at a standard serving temperature for coffee.
Fact: At the time, McDonald's procedure specified a serving pot temperature of 180-190 F. Your home machine will serve your cup at 145-155 F. Premium coffee shops do serve hotter, with Starbucks at 170 or so. A cup of coffee at 190 F is 20-30 degrees or more hotter than what most would reasonably expect.
Myth: The woman was greedy and out to make an easy fortune.
Fact: Liebeck sought to settle with McDonald's for $20,000 to cover her actual and anticipated expenses. Her past medical expenses were $10,500; her anticipated future medical expenses were approximately $2,500; and her loss of income was approximately $5,000 for a total of approximately $18,000. With this information, the company offered her $800.
Myth: She was the first person to ever complain of the hot temperature.
Fact: From McDonald's own documents that emerged in the case, from 1982 to 1992 McDonald's received over 700 formal written complaints from customers with scalded lips or tongues, mouth blisters, as well as spill induced burns very similar to those in the lawsuit. McDonald's took no action to address the complaints.
Note: For every formal, written complaint, consider how many customers (including myself) just swore when they accidentally burned themselves with a sip, not recognizing that the coffee was 30 degrees hotter than normal.
Myth: The burns were not that severe.
Fact: The woman suffered severe 3rd degree burns requiring skin grafting and surgeries.
The film uses the McDonald's coffee case as a launch point to expose and illustrate the organized effort on the part of corporations to thwart the ability of anyone to hold them to account for injuries or deaths that occur due to negligence or other malfeasance.
This effort includes the likes of Karl Rove electioneering the defeat of judges sympathetic to injured plaintiffs as well as the proliferation of small print language in just about every contract that waives the right to sue and requires the use of arbitration where the "third party" arbitrator is paid by the corporation involved and faces termination with any judgement in favor of the injured party.
By the way, after the case, McDonald's reduced the temperature of its coffee into the 170s.
Saturday, July 14, 2012
Friday, January 27, 2012
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Saturday, January 14, 2012
What We Can't Imagine
She was sitting in speech therapy holding a photo of a wooden chair and staring intently at it. She was trying, almost desperately, to describe what she was looking at.
"Spoon," she said again.
Angie Glenn, her speech therapist, a young woman of good humor and great patience, corrected her, "No, Gabby, not a spoon," she said, "It's something you sit in. You sit in a . . ."
"Spoon," Gabby said.
The next photo in Angie's pile was of a lamp.
"Yes, yes, yes," Gabby recognized it, but couldn't produce the word.
Angie provided a hint, "You turn on the . ."
Gabby stared at the picture on the table in front of her.
"Cheeseburger," she said, finally. She knew that wasn't it.
That's about when I entered the room, bearing tulips, which I presented to Gabby with a light kiss. It was the eve of Valentine's Day.
I asked her, "What kind of flowers are these?"
"Chicken," she told me.
In case any of you thought 2011 was a tough year.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
When Mitt Romney Came to Town
a) purchases a company
b) borrows tons of money in that company's name
c) steals all of the borrowed money
d) shuts the company down and fires all of its employees
Well, it's actually more complicated, but not much. This is not about creating real value. It's corporate cannibalism. In a sane society, it would be illegal and result in prison.
If only every American could see this piece. It's not perfect, but it's more truth than fiction.
By the way, Romney has now stated that American concerns about economic disparity is nothing but "envy."
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Thursday, December 15, 2011
A Face I Would Never See
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Media's Anti-Obama Bias
An analysis focused on the tone of news coverage of the GOP primary for president examined the treatment of the different candidates, finding that Rick Perry received the most favorable treatment of the candidates, while Newt Gingrich and Tim Pawlenty received the least favorable. (The study took place while Perry was the front runner.) For comparative purposes, the analysis included Barack Obama, and surprise, surprise:
One man running for president has suffered the most unrelentingly negative
treatment of all, the study found: Barack Obama. Though covered largely as president rather than a candidate, negative assessments of Obama have outweighed positive by a ratio of almost 4-1. Those assessments of the president have also been substantially more negative than positive every one of the 23 weeks studied. And in no week during these five months was more than 10% of the coverage about the president positive in tone.
At least someone noticed.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
The Mormon Question - Again
(Click on the image above to see it enlarged and easier to read.)
Mitt Romney’s crawl towards the 2012 Republican nomination for president has generated initial salvos across the bow of Romney’s Mormon background. Two fundamental assertions have emerged: 1) A Perry backer has asserted that the Mormons are a cult, and 2) several conservative Christians have declared that Mormons are not Christians.
Back in 2006 when Romney was running for president, I wrote a piece on Mormonism and the idea of a Mormon president. In response to the recent hoopla, Richard Mouw, President of Fuller Theological Seminary, points out (correctly) that Mormonism doesn’t really fit the fundamental components of a cult. Certainly, it gathers believers together into an organization promoting the notion that they possess a superior truth and a higher status with God than those with other beliefs. That applies to most organized western religions.
The Mormon Church does rigorously commandeer 10% of one’s income and reviews individual tax returns, but they do NOT have the flock surrender all possessions or pay enormous sums for church activities. The indoctrinations do foster an “us and them” mindset, but Mormons are not isolated from society. Charismatic leaders don’t seduce pretty wives and daughters. They're no Jones camp in a jungle or Heaven’s Gate preparing for a comet. They are not Scientology slaves in Sea Org.
Mormonism is not a cult.
The second assertion is more complex depending on the semantics of "Christian," and Mouw refuses to touch it. Still, barring a severe twist on the meaning of "Christian," it is correct. Mormons are not Christians.
They do believe Jesus Christ is the direct son of God, but crucial components of the Christian faith are utterly contradicted by the key cornerstones of Mormon belief. Perhaps most notable is the Mormon conviction that God was once a man, a human being, and that men (good Mormon men) have the potential to become what God is now, with their own universe over which they have dominion (and often more than a few wives). God has a physical body just like a man.
Mormon founder Joseph Smith wrote:
God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted Man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens...I say, if you were to see him to-day, you would see him like a man in form -- like yourselves, in all the person, image, and very form as a man....it is necessary that we should understand the character and being of God, and how he came to be so; for I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity, I will refute that idea, and will take away and do away the veil, so that you may see....and that he was once a man like us; yea, that God himself the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth the same as Jesus Christ himself did. - (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 6, p. 3).
LDS church writings have some troubling remarks likely to see daylight should Romney become the nominee. Some have been exaggerated or twisted by those hostile to Mormonism, but consider this publication posted at Brigham Young University's site by the Mormons themselves. The ideas there are not slanted or distorted or those of an extreme fringe. They are fundamental.
In what has some slant but says a lot in eight minutes, this "Banned" Video on Mormonism (8:42) provides a taste of some of what's going on.
Monday, October 10, 2011
Who's Funding Whom?
The New York Times notes the following in its coverage of the latest FEC reports for the 2012 presidential election.
Mitt Romney's $18.4 million dwarfs all of his primary challengers, with the next closest candidates (Paul and Pawlenty) at $4.5 M. All fall short of Obama's $46 M war chest, but more far more interesting than the total funds raised are the nature of the contributions themselves.
MITT ROMNEY CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS ($18.4 M)
We've been treated to ample assertions about class warfare, which is probably a good thing, since most metrics (take your pick) show it's been happening since the 1980s and started in earnest with Bush's election in 2000.
Half of the contributions for President Obama are less than $200. For those contributing to Mitt Romney, 70% are the maximum legal limit.
The reader does realize that this is small change compared to the now unregulated billions in PAC electioneering unleashed by the Supreme Court, but it's enough to make it all too clear who is behind whom.
Sunday, October 09, 2011
Increased Support: Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, told CBS News, "They are basically sending us a message that says, 'Don't create a society where one percent basically has all the wealth.'"
Occupy Wall St Quiz: Who said each of the following? (Answers at the link.)
1. I for one am increasingly concerned about the growing mobs occupying Wall Street and the other cities across the country.
2. I think it expresses the frustration the American people feel.
3. They blame, with some justification, the problems in the financial sector for getting us into this mess, and they’re dissatisfied with the policy response here in Washington. And at some level, I can’t blame them.
4. Don’t blame Wall Street, don’t blame the big banks, if you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself!
5. We are the 1 percent.
6. God bless them for their spontaneity. It’s young, it’s spontaneous, it’s focused and it’s going to be effective.
7. This is like the Tea Party — only it’s real. By the time this is over, it will make the Tea Party look like … a tea party.
8. I think it’s dangerous, this class warfare.
9. What they’re trying to do is take away the jobs of people working in the city, take away the tax base that we have.
10. I’m very, very understanding of where they’re coming from.
By the way, care to venture a guess as to the income and net worth of those voicing criticisms of this "mob"?
Consider that this is just beginning and will get interesting.
Saturday, October 08, 2011
Cantor's Hypocrisy Chokes God
Clearly, the Republicans don't know what to think. GOP candidate for President Herman Cain remarked of the Occupy Wall St protesters, "Don’t blame Wall Street."
Cain said, "Don’t blame the big banks. If you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself!"
Only most rarely does the Supreme Being comment on American politics, but even the Lord God gasped when Cantor had the hypocrisy, after years of embracing Tea Party lynchings of Obama and Pelosi effigies, vandalism of representative offices, and death threats, to denounce the Occupy Wall St participants as "pitting Americans against Americans."
Closer to reality, Vice President Biden recognized the parallels between the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Street movement, "The Tea Party started why? TARP. They thought it was unfair, we're bailing out the big guys. What are the people up on the other side of the spectrum saying? The same thing."
In the same statement where he condemned the new movement, Eric Cantor, as America faces the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, two unfunded wars, crushing unemployment, 50 million Americans without health insurance, crumbling transportation infrastructure, and a collapsing education system, promised that if the Republicans win both houses and the presidency in 2012, they will defund Planned Parenthood.
The Lord heaved, "Well, that will fix everything."
Friday, October 07, 2011
Fox News Distorts Occupy Wall St. Information
They are ideas submitted by a single individual, Lloyd J Hart, whose name and phone number appear at the bottom of his list. Another individual has also posted a Demand and Action List for Congress to be considered by others associating themselves with the movement.
Of course the corporate controlled media will subtly or not so subtly place its slant on the events as they unfold. We can anticipate that Fox News, which has no problem doctoring photographs and editing videos to mislead its viewers, will present the most glaring distortions.
I have already encountered individuals who think Occupy Wall St. is calling for completely open borders, a mandatory minimum wage of $20, and the forgiveness of all debt.
This is going to get ugly.
Thursday, October 06, 2011
99 and 1
First, let's note that the 99% and the 1% can refer to two separate financial measures, wealth and income. One could argue that the two are so closely related that either measure points to the same realities.
Starting with income distribution, to get straight with some of the figures, the Wealth and Want Website has sound statistics regarding the facts of income distribution in the United States including links to additional references allowing one to dive as deep as desired into the data.
As they list there, summarizing for the key 8 groups:
P0-89 (bottom 90%)
9/10 households — income below $104,696
P90-100 (top 10%)
1/10 households — income above $104,696
P90-95 (next 5%)
1/20 households — income between $104,696 and $148,423
P95-99 (next 4%)
4/100 households — income between $148,423 and $382,593
P99-100 (top 1%)
1/100 households — income above $382,593
P99.5-100 (top 0.5%)
1/200 households — income above $597,584
P99.9-100 (top 0.1%)
1/1,000 households — income above $1,898,200
P99.99-100 (top .01%)
1/10,000 households — income above $10,659,283
Putting the above into some simple sentences, you are in the 1% club for income if you gross over $382,593 per year in 2006 dollars, or $430,000 in 2011 dollars.
Make less than $430,000 / year, and you are in the 99% group.
When examining wealth, the inequality is far worse, with the richest 20% owning over 4/5 (84%) of EVERYTHING. The richest 1% own almost half the country, and we wonder why they control everything, including our media, and virtually run the country to serve their own interests.
One of the ways they do this is to dramatically understate and effectively obfuscate the reality of poverty and its existence in the United States. The national psyche simply does not get how poor we are. Andrew Price at Good Politics wrote Americans Are Horribly Misinformed About Who Has Money last month.
Helping illuminate the situation is an excellent paper, Building a Better America One Quintile at a Time [PDF], by Michael I. Norton (Harvard Business School) and Dan Ariely (Duke University).
Price in his post notes that the nation is becoming a a plutocracy.
We're already there.