Friday, April 30, 2010

Been Flirtin' With Disaster

In a nutshell, they drilled, it spilled and now a lot of wildlife will be killed. It has come to light that BP downplayed the possibility of a catastrophic accident at an offshore rig that exploded, causing the worst U.S. spill in decades along the Gulf coast and endangering shoreline habitat, documents suggest. BP repeatedly said it was virtually impossible for an accident to occur that would lead to a giant crude oil spill and serious damage to beaches, fish, mammals and fisheries.

Can we begin to connect the dots? Will we learn anything from these crisis? In Washington we have the spectacle of a deregulated Wall Street spinning wildly out of control and bringing the world economy to the brink. In West Virgina we have a mining company, Massey Energy who thumbs its nose at safety violations resulting in over 100 miner's death. In the gulf coast we have a massive oil rig spewing out oil and threatening several southern states with no end in sight.

What they all have in common is this: In the deregulated world of the unfettered free market with little government regulations, disasters are bound to happen. Why? Because every company works endlessly to do two things; increase profits and reduce costs. In reducing costs to meet investor demands they forego safety procedures, they defer maintenance, they buy cheaper shoddier equipment and if there is no entity holding your feet to the fire you'll do it until what you do creates a disaster. The government that governs least, we are now learning, courts disaster for the nation. What's really weird in the twisted irony is that these Republican loving southern states that will be damaged for decades have actually jeopardized their own livelihood by supporting the party of greed. Innocent wetlands, wildlife, and Gulf fishermen's own livelihood have been discarded in this "free market." Wake up America! I'm mostly talking to you red staters.

Environmental lawyer Michael Papantonio joined Ed Schultz and explained how this disaster could've been minimized. It turns out every country in the world who allow oil exploration require a fail safe system called the Acoustic Switch System that will immediately lock down a well in an emergency such as this one. The cost is $500K per ASS. However in our free market land of no oversight or regulation, the U.S. doesn't require them and since BP (and the others I'm sure) decided the almighty dollar outweighs the risk, we have a mega-disaster on our hands.

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The always idiotic Rush Limbaugh who is always quick to side with those with the most including corporations is claiming that the disaster might have been caused by environmental activists protesting Obama's expansion of off shore oil drilling. Seriously? It will be those very environmentalists cleaning oil off of birds and beavers or any other animal that can be saved. He also proudly proclaimed that this disaster would be Obama's Katrina. The truth of the matter is that the Coast Guard was on the scene almost immediately after this accident. The deputy secretary of the interior was on the ground the next day, and the administration's been coordinating closely with the local authorities and BP from the very beginning. Just last year Limpy actually said "Nature cleaned up itself" after Exxon Valdez oil spill. What a bunch of bullshit. The area still has remnants of the disaster partially because St. Ronnie let Exxon off the hook. How can anyone listen to this piece of chit?

Then there's the immense silence of the "Drill, baby drill - drill now" crowd. Excluding Sarah Palin's tweet that her prayers are with those who will be affected...instead of doing something that will actually be useful. Why doesn't she at least start a fund with some of that $12 million she bilked from her fans? Michael Steele? Rudy Guiliani? We can't hear you! Every asshole who ever chanted 'Drill baby drill' should have to report to the Gulf coast today for cleanup duty.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The View From The Deck - Week Ending 4/25/10

Thanks to our current SCOTUS, cruelty to animals is now protected by law!  It's not bad enough that they forced property owners to sell their homes to developers (who haven't by the way), or stopped the 2000 recount in Bush vs. Gore that likely would've found that Al Gore won.  Now they've decided that the Constitution protects animal abusers who torture dogs and record their violence for sale as videos because a law Congress passed in 1999 against animal cruelty was written too vaguely, and could have been used to outlaw hunting videos.  Really?  It's been effect for 11 years and all of a sudden there's a danger to hunting videos?  It was an eight to one decision, and the lone hold-out surprised me, it was Sam Alito.  Rebutting the majority's view that the law was too broad, Alito argued it could still be used to stop crush videos, which apparently appeal to some people's sexual fetish by showing women in stiletto heels crushing kittens to death.  Once again, animals being maimed and tortured will be widely available for the sick bastards that enjoy watching this stuff.  The fact that nasty horrible people can harm animals is despicable enough, but the fact that there's actually a market for this trash is nauseating.  I've read every article I could find about this decision and I still don't understand how this falls under "free speech."  It appears that common sense has been replaced by some poorly written part of the Constitution regarding free speech. There's a big difference between allowing abuse of animals, children or people on videos and "free speech."

General Motors Co. has repaid $8.1 billion in loans it got from the U.S. and Canadian governments, a move CEO Edward Whitacre Jr.  says is a sign automaker is on the road to recovery.  But during bankruptcy, the U.S. government reduced the loan portion to $6.7 billion and converted the rest to company stock, while the Canadian governments held $1.4 billion in loans. Those loans were repaid Tuesday, five years ahead of schedule.  GM hopes to repay the remaining $45.3 billion to the U.S. government and $8.1 billion to Canada via a public stock offering, maybe later this year. The U.S. government now owns 61 percent of the company and Canada owns roughly 12 percent.  I'd like to add that the quality of U.S. vehicles go a vote of confidence in a new poll. An Associated Press-GfK survey finds that slightly more Americans now say the U.S. makes better-quality vehicles than Asia, with 38 percent saying U.S. cars are best and 33 percent preferring autos made by Asian companies.  No matter how anyone feels about American made cars, the fact of the matter is, this "loan" saved a ridiculous amount of jobs and kept people off the unemployment ledger.  I don't understand how the very same people that said "let them die," are concerned about the new HCR bill costing jobs!  The right wing has absolutely no consistency with their rants.  Do they even realize what they're saying is, "screw the blue collar worker, but make sure the health care industry is still able to continue ripping us off at their will."

The Florida Republican Party on Thursday invoked a "Party Loyalty Oath" forbidding its members from supporting Gov. Charlie Crist if he decides to run as an independent in the state's Senate race.  While it's not unheard of for a political party to require its leaders to support its candidates, the use of the specific phrase "loyalty oath" is a bit creepy and suggests that the Republicants haven't moved past the McCarthyite mindset of the 1950s. I would also point out that the Democratic Party did not pull this kind of a stunt when Joe Lieberman switched in 2006. The next time someone tries to call the Democrats the party of tyranny, just remind them of this.

You know that famous slogan that the Teabaggers have tried to make their own since the black guy won?  You know, the one Michele Bachmann and the gun nuts like to use for their own benefit?  Who knew that the famous "Don't Tread on Me" slogan would no longer be applicable in Arizona?!  On Friday, Rethuglican governor Jan Brewer signed a bill that allows Arizona cops to stop and demand documentation from anyone they suspect to be an illegal immigrant. It makes it a crime to not carry papers documenting your citizenship or your immigration status so if you don't have papers on you, handcuffs will be. I'm pretty sure they won't be on the lookout for Canadians.  We all concede there's an immigration problem, but let's not pretend this isn't racial profiling either.  This is a very slippery slope and I don't see how this is going to end well.

At one of the gun nuts rallies on Monday, April 19 (the 15 year anniversary of Oklahoma City), one whackjob claimed that their rally was actually a love fest, continuing, "OK. Now, there‘s a certain reporter made comments, Rachel Maddow—and I have to say to her: it‘s a good thing that this is a lovefest, otherwise we‘d tar and feather you."  Huh?  I have to assume it's because she narrated the documentary questioning whether the anti-government movement of today could end up with a Tim Mcveigh outcome.  How can these people not see the danger of the over-the-top rhetoric that is not only coming from them, but from right wing politicians basically giving them the green light for violence against the government?  I knew there would be a certain element of this country that would be upset over Obama's election, but I never thought it would get this ugly.

I'll close with a sports news item.  If arrangements go as planned, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will run the #3 Wrangler Chevrolet for JR Motorsports at Daytona International Speedway in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race on July 2. Sources have told that Earnhardt will revive his father's famous #3 in a collaborative effort initiated by JR Motorsports with Richard Childress Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc. A formal announcement is expected on April 29. According to team sources, a Hendrick Motorsports engine will power the car. Earnhardt Jr. currently has a personal services contract with Wrangler, continuing a family legacy between the brands. Wrangler first sponsored his father for the final race of his 1980 Cup championship season and the following year with Rod Osterlund for the first 16 races. This is big news for anyone that was a fan of "The Intimidater" because there has not been a #3 on the track in a Nascar event since February 18, 2001.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The View From The Deck - Week Ending 4/18/10

Goldman Sachs was busted this week by the SEC for fraud. So you'd think financial reform legislation would fly through the senate in a quick nearly unanimous matter, right? With the current environment of outrage from the voters against big banks and bailouts, this moment would be the push for regulation that we've all been clamouring for! If you thought that, you'd be wrong. All 41 Republican senators have signed a letter and sent it to Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) opposing the legislation. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is spreading the false claim (prepared by Frank Luntz: it's not what you say, it's what people here) that this bill entitles Wall St. to never ending bailouts. I think it's great news for Democrats, seriously. If Republicans are going to "bank" on fooling the voters in November with false claims about what is in this bill, any momentum they may have gathered over the misinformation spread during the HCR battle is going to be lost because the Democrats seemed to have learned a lesson and are fighting back. This bill in fact does the oppostite, it requires liquidation of the failed institution...something many wanted from the start. By taking the stance they are with opposing regulation, they've sided with the big banks. Good luck with winning over the true independents with that position.

Here's another good one. New Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown was asked by a Boston Globe reporter why he's opposed to the bill, and doesn't really seem to know why as he responded with; "Well, what areas do you think should be fixed? I mean, you know, tell me. And then I'll go get a team and go fix it." Holy chit! He asked the reporter what to do! Congratulations Massachusetts, we have the male version of Sarah Palin representing us in the senate. Ted Kennedy must be rolling in his grave. Read more here. 

Earlier this week President Obama discussed why the U.S. must do it's best to resolve conflicts before they become too serious, but Sarah Palin doesn't think he made sense when he said, "It is a vital national security interest of the United States to reduce these conflicts because whether we like it or not, we remain a dominant military superpower, and when conflicts break out, one way or another we get pulled into them." Snowbilly grifter said, "I would hope that our leaders in Washington, D.C., understand we like to be a dominant superpower." Yes, let's listen to the woman that didn't know North Korea and South Korea were two seperate countries thinking the relationship was akin to North Dakota and South Dakota. OK, she enjoys the U.S. being pulled into conflict and having our tax dollars spent overseas, but doesn't want all Americans to have access to affordable health care. Gotta love those compassionate conservatives. I guess she also doesn't understand, or more likely doesn't care that sending our military into harms way to fight someone else's battle's is offensive to some of us. Apparently she also doesn't understand that our meddling in other countries affairs is why we're hated by many countries. Admittedly, strong national defense is important, pursuing world domination at any cost is wrong.
Didn't she quit her job as governor to spend more time with her family and get out of the limelight? Why is her voice still being heard? She's a danger with her nonsensical proclamations.

In what must be applauded as a positive step, President Obama ordered that nearly all hospitals allow patients to say who has visitation rights and who can help make medical decisions, including gay and lesbian partners. He instructed his Health and Human Services secretary, Kathleen Sebelius to draft rules requiring hospitals that receive Medicare and Medicaid payments to grant all patients the right to designate people who can visit and consult with them at crucial moments. Sounded like a great day for equal rights and then something a little weird happened...
The very same day this was announced, the White House ripped CBS for suggesting Solicitor General Elena Kagan, widely viewed as a leading candidate for the Supreme Court is gay. Um, is our White House playing it both ways? Such a strong denial and assertion seems like a pretty homophobic reaction that they've blown waaay out of proportion at the mere suggestion of Kagan's sexuality. I might not have even heard about it had they not behaved as such asshats. Personally, I don't care what her sexual orientation is, she's a conservative and I do not want her selected as the next Justice of the Supreme Court. This is one of those "elections have consequences" thingies that are of major importance. He needs to put someone in there who will not continue the trend of moving the court to the right. It is worth the fight, sir! I've said it before, this administration has me all over the place with what they're doing. One thing I haven't wavered on, fire closet conservative Rahm Emanual.

Wait 'til next year - stockings were hung January 5th

Let's discuss my beloved Boston Red Sox. This past off-season they let one of my favorite Sox walk when they didn't really put an honest effort into resigning Jason Bay. Apparently our braintrust didn't think 36 homeruns and 119 rbi's while playing a quality left field warranted the sought after 5 year contract. They instead signed pitcher John Lackey for 5 years at a tune of $82.5M (a guy that plays every 5th day instead of an everyday outfielder). They also signed journeyman SS Marco Scutaro, fielding wiz 3B Andre Beltre and 37 year old former gold glove often injured centerfielder Mike Cameron. Excluding Kevin Youkillis and Dustin Pedroia, there isn't a consistent bat in the line-up. Yes, there are still good hitters with Victor Martinez, JD Drew and Jacoby Ellsbury, but they're streaky. GM Theo Epstein and manager Terry Francona claimed that this years team was going to emphasize pitching and defense. That's code for, "we cheaped out for quality hitters." Furthermore, they were third in the league last year in fielding, not 3rd from the bottom. And yes they scored the third most runs in the majors, but guess who scored the most? The team they chase every year, the World Series Champion NY Yankees! And they added a bat, a basestealer and quality outfielder all rolled into one - Curtis Granderson!

My opinion at the time looking at this line-up was the rotation of Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, John Lackey, Tim Wakefield and Daisuke Matsuzaka while good, (based on lifetime ERA's) still meant that you need to score at least 4 runs per game for the first 3, 5 for "Wake" and you better have a rested bullpen for "Dice-K" and expect to take one on the chin. In fairness, Dice-K hasn't pitched yet as he's on the DL. His spot has been filled admirably by Clay Buchholz. I just didn't see how they were going to score runs consistently. And...

So far, I've been right, they can't score consistently. In fact, they've been outscored 54-47 through 11 games. To date, they're 11th in fielding! Also, young star Ellsbury was moved to left field from center to accommodate Mike "Cantrun" Cameron and while still learning the position crashed into Beltre injuring his ribs and hasn't played since. On top of that, no one in management is willing to accept that David Ortiz, once hailed as Big Papi is done! The man has struck out in half his at bats this season, but Tito keeps marching him out there every day while Mike Lowell languishes on the bench. It's not 2004-05 anymore. Manny's gone, the steroids are gone...move on. I don't want to hear about Tito and loyalty to his players. Where's his loyalty to Lowell? He not only brought a good bat to the line-up, before his hip injury was arguably the best third baseman the Sox ever had, at least in my lifetime.

Then there was last night, when supposed defensive wiz Cameron, dropped a fly ball pinning 4 unearned runs and a loss onto Clay Buchholz. Guess what, the losses in April count just as much as the one's in September. This isn't Nascar with the stupid "The Chase" system where the points are reset for the top 12 drivers for the last 10 races. My feeling is that they'll be lucky to finish 3rd in the AL East this year. The Yankees are a shoe-in for 1st, I think Tampa Bay will rebound from an off year and while Toronto is rebuilding, they got some good young players coming along. Don't count on Boston holding them out of 3rd. If I had to make a wager right now, I'd bet there will be no playoff games in Fenway Park this season...not even a wild card entry.

UPDATE: They got beat today 7-0 by Tampa Bay which means they have now been outscored 61-47 through twelve games and own a 4-8 record. Did I mention the Yankees are 9-3?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Tax Day Comedy - You Really Can't Fix Stupid

As you watch this new video brought to us by New Left Media, take note of how many actually want to abolish the U.S. Deprtment of Education when it's clearly needed more than ever. The usual nativist rhetoric and and praise of Fox News personalities ensued. As funny as it is to watch and listen to, it almost makes me want to cry that we've sunken so far.

This NEW LEFT MEDIA film was produced and edited by Chase Whiteside (interviewer) and Erick Stoll (camera operator) with additional camera work from Kasey Hosp.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

It's Tax Day...Coffee anyone?

The left pushes back...finally!  People in support of President Obama's policies showed up at various Tea Party events today. Unlike President Bush's 2001 tax cuts, which went to the wealthiest 2.2%, President Obama's tax cuts overwhelmingly benefit working and middle class families -- in fact, 95% of all Americans! Woo hoo!!!  Citizens for Tax Justice, a self-described non-partisan organization, released a report on Tuesday that read: "The 2009 economic stimulus bill actually reduced federal income taxes for tax year 2009 for 98 percent of all working families and individuals." This total includes the 95 percent of working families that will or have received tax credits in the range of $400 to $800. Huh, what do you know?  Obama got it right...much to right wing chagrin. I think the troubling message though is that polling numbers indicate that many Americans are barely aware of reality. Sadly, a good chunk of the country believes it has been saddled by this administration with tax hikes. Back in mid-February, 24 percent of respondents to a CBS News/New York Times poll said that their taxes had increased under Obama. Fifty-three percent said they had stayed the same. Only 12 percent thought their taxes had gone down. 


People crying about their taxes are seriously misguided. They are upset because they feel the government takes too much of their limited funds. The larger issue is that their wage isn't high enough, not that they pay too much taxes on it.  Wages have stagnated over the past 30 years while expenses (and corporate profit) have gone up. Earning power in relation to inflation leaves us with far less purchasing power than our parents or grandparents had. You can thank Corporate America via Ronald Reagan for that. Many families can't even get by with two incomes, while 50 years ago one income was more than enough to pursue the American Dream. But try explaining this to a member of the Tea Party. For them government is the problem...especially when led by a so-called black socialist, marxist, nazi guy; Unless it's a Republican government,who can do no wrong and must be obeyed without question.

Make the rich pay their fair share.  Let's get a progressive tax rate and close the God damn loopholes that are slowly turning us into a third world country. If anyone thinks that can't happen here, they're not paying attention.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

SNL and Tina Fey bring us "The Sarah Palin Network"

The only good thing about Sarah Palin's love of being in the spotlight is that it keeps Tina Fey returning to "Saturday Night Live." This is too good to be missed.

Quick Thoughts:  Not happy with various rumors about who Obama may replace liberal outgoing Justice Stevens with. Every article I read says he doesn't want the fight and will pick a conservative. Two possible replacements, Judge Merrick Garland of the federal appeals court in the District of Columbia, and Solicitor General Elena Kagan seem to be front-runners. If this turns out to be true, what's the sense of having a Democratic President? These appointments are for life!  I'm not expecting a super-liberal, but I want someone left leaning. In my opinion, the Supreme Court picks are a large part of any president's legacy. For all the complaining he did, even during his State of the Union speech about SCOTUS 5-4 ruling allowing unlimited corporate spending in campaigns, you'd think he'd be looking left. Maybe he'll surprise us, but he's kicked the more liberal part of his base in the teeth every chance he's gotten so far...single-payer was never considered, he took the public option off the table by claiming it wasn't essential, 30K more troops sent to Afghanistan, even though most General's agree that the time is now to remove DADT, he decided on a one year study to decide if homophobic rednecks with really big guns can handle knowing that they might be serving with someone who's got "the gay!" Obama is still better than what our other option was, but he's been a disappointment in a lot of ways...

I would love an honest explanation of what kind of thought process MSNBC President Phil Griffin uses on a day to day basis.  This week, David Schuster was suspended indefinitely for shooting a pilot for a possible new CNN show. Griffin was well within his right to do that to Schuster who has a no compete contract with MSNBC. However, their rift began a few months ago when Schuster "tweeted" his opinion about conservative punk, Faux Newz "confibutor" James O'Keefe breaking into senator Mary Landrieu's office. His role has been diminishing on the network ever since. Apparently Schuster felt he had no future at the network and took a stupid risk. Now for my issue; why is it that Schuster was reprimanded for the O'Keefe situation, but last week on Chris Matthews' Hardball, Pat Buchanan was allowed to spew white supremist, pro-confederacy rhetoric, talking over Karen Finney throughout? Buchanan behaves and speaks like that on a regular basis.  Rachel Maddow had it out with him on the air last year when he spouted a bunch of racist nonsense and he hasn't appeared on her show since; likewise he hasn't been on Keith Olbermann's Countdown either. However, Joe Scarborough, Matthews and Griffin seem to be just fine with nasty Pat...

Finally, I rented Michael Moore's "Capitalism: A Love Story" and give it two thumbs up. There are even segment's that conservatives will appreciate, excluding blind ideologues. I know Moore is a lightning rod, and I understand why, but the very fact the he (a wealthy man himself) consistently upsets the apple cart of the rich and powerful is enough reason to at least consider what he's saying.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Will They Ever Learn? Coburn Baby Burn

Rachel Maddow once again uses wit and trademark sarcasm, having fun at Senator Tom Coburn's(OK-R)expense as she reacts to him accusing her of being too emotional. I guess he didn't see what happened to Scott Brown a couple weeks ago!
Also pretty funny that in his statement, he claimed he didn't want conservatives to win on the basis of emotion! Seriously?! Let's just look at a few of their antics. There are still elected Republicans continuing to challenge Obama's legitimacy as President by questioning if he was born in Hawaii. They spent the better part of a year tugging at their base' raw emotions with death panel and kill grandma talk over health care reform. Newt Gingrich is calling the current administration, the most radical in American history. Yeah, but even-tempered Rachel Maddow goes after Coburn based on emotion. Riiight. These guys are ruthless, hypocritical liars.

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As promised, Rachel responds. Here she addresses Coburn's hypocrisy in voting for things not paid for and responds to his accusation that she's too emotional by asking him a few basic questions.

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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Bachmann-Palin Overdrive 2010 Tour

Takin' Care of Business Redux 2010 (by Captain - Portside Politics)

You get up every morning
From your alarm clock's warning
Wake at 6:15 with some pity
Look for big brother above
Sarah pushin', Michele shovin'
Two mean girls who try to look pretty

And if their brain's were fine
You could put aside the whine
And start your slaving job to get your pay
If you ever get annoyed
Remember Fox keeps them employed
They love to watch you work for nothing all day

And they'll be...
Making stupid comments every day
Making hateful comments every way
They'll been making careless statements feeling fine
Making sure any business can make you work overtime
Work more!

If it were easy as bitchin'
You could be a politician
If you could make sounds loud or hollow
Get a fancy foreign car
Chances are you'll go far
If you get in with the right bunch of sellouts

If they see you having fun
Just a-lying in the sun
They'll assume it's the socialist way
It's reality that they avoid
They're just a couple hemmoroids
They prefer to watch you work for nothing all day

And they'll be...
Making hateful comments every day
Making lying comments every way
They'll been making careless statements feeling fine
Making sure any business can make you work overtime
Work more!

(Spoken) Making hateful comments
When their awake, every day whoo!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Not surprisingly, there's a Fox in the Nielson house

Last week saw the release of the quarterly ratings performance data for television programming. Most of the reporting yammers on and on about the dominant position Fox News retains in the cable news sector. The claim is that Fox News smothered the competition and experienced rapid growth while other news programmers stagnated or declined. The reason I decided to write about this topic is that it's an ongoing battle on Huffington Post and other lefty blog sites that I frequent. Every time the new numbers are released, the right wing trolls decide to taunt all of us MSNBC viewers and I really get sick of it.  They never argue about content, it's always about ratings.  Here's part of my response to that.  If Chris Matthews, Ed Schultz, Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow are so insignificant, why are conservatives so unnerved by their reporting?  Matthews plays to whoever's in the room, so I don't think a whole lot of him...and he voted for Bush, which says plenty.  Schultz is making a name for himself as being Joe Everyman, which you'd think would be a good thing except that he's an admitted Democrat.  Olbermann gets hammered by righties for exposing right wing lies, especially those coming from Fox, Limbaugh and other hate talkers.  I'm glad someone's doing it because CNN, HLN, ABC, CBS and PBS sure aren't willing to take them on to set the record straight.  Maddow not only exposes the lies, she digs deeper and presents the hypocrisy.  Guess what wingnutz?  When politicians are naming you and attempting to discredit you with even more lies, they know you're not insignificant!  My other point about ratings?  Last week, over 20 million people watched both American Idol and Dancing With the Stars. I'm guessing the Discovery Channel and The History Channel didn't do quite that well.

Before I send you off to the possible Fox fraud situation, let's look at some other facts. Check out the poll conducted by DailyKos/Research2000.  Republicans and southerners almost completely shut out any cable news source other than Fox News.  They are the most sharply segmented groups in the survey when asked on viewing of CNN and MSNBC.  The rest of the nation doesn't much care for the right-wing hack network.  78% of the northeast never watches Fox, 70% of the midwest never watches Fox, 68% of the west never does and even 51% of the south doesn't!  Also notable is the terrible performance of Fox amongst young voters (18-29) and minorities, at least 80% of whom report that they never watch Fox News.  If Nielsen data were to confirm this, advertisers might alter the way they allocate their budgets. Also, cable operators might adjust their channel offerings, which could help to resolve the distribution problem that MSNBC has been hampered by.  And why won't Nielson do that?

This might be why.  Do you ever wonder how Fox News can be so consistently lead the ratings despite their obvious position and programming focus on a small segment of the viewers? The last time I saw a poll, only 23% of registered voters admitted to be Republicans. Evidently, Nielsen entered the high-tech era of TV market research in the early 2000's with People Meter methodology.  It was during this time, that Fox News began its climb to ratings dominance. It has recently been discovered that the Wegener Corporation, the manufacturer of the set-top devices that Nielsen uses, has a long association with Rupert Murdoch and the News Corporation, the parent of Fox News. It would not be difficult to encode an electronic device so that it would purposefully miscalculate survey data. Diebold anyone?  So you have to ask; with a continuous 24/7 right wing propaganda effort, if Fox were as persuasive as they claim, why haven't they been able to move the country to their far right positions?  Yes, they've got the teabaggers doing some of their dirty work now, but they're just Foxbots.  This is not the large anti-government, anti-Obama pushback that Fox is selling to their viewers. According to the following article, Murdoch has paid millions for his cover-up of various media manipulations. Not only are there allegations about Nielson, he has also undermined competitor Dish Network.  For those out there who dispise this man, and are considering satellite tv, you should know that he owns DirectTV as well.  The connection to Murdoch's covert operations and his history of unlawful corporate espionage should not continue to be ignored. If Nielsen doesn't want it's credibility completely dismissed, it should investigate their equipment providers and perform intensive examinations of the devices they place in viewers' homes.  To be fair, the suspicions have not been confirmed, but it really makes you wonder.  Don't forget, this is the man who was continuously rebuffed in 1996 from putting his new network on NY's cable systems.  It wasn't until he got Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, Gov. George E. Pataki and Dennis C. Vacco, the State Attorney General involved.  Source: NY Times

For more detail, read Fox News Caught In Massive Ratings Fraud at DailyKos (their compilation of various articles).  I figured I better use that disclaimer before I get the, "what would you expect from a leftist, socialist, marxist blog like DailyKos."

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Week in Right Wing World - 3/29-4/4

What did we find out this past week, you might ask?

Michael Steele's RNC spent nearly two grand at a sex-themed Los Angeles nightclub. They also spent $982 of its donors' money on "office supplies" from the Boyden Valley Winery last December. Between December and February, the RNC bought over $700 worth of so-called "office supplies" from Congressional Liquors, a booze and sandwich shop on Washington, D.C.'s Capitol Hill. In December, the RNC reimbursed RNC Deputy Finance Director Debbie LeHardy for $453 worth of "meals" from Henri Bendel, a posh boutique on New York's Fifth Avenue. Bendel's is an upscale source for costume jewelery, handbags and make-up. The store bills itself as a "Girls' Playground for trendsetting young women from around the world." She also received reimbursement for $282 spent at Boca Grande Outfitters, which bills itself as "the area's most complete saltwater fly fishing and light tackle outfitter." The report designates the reimbursement for "meals." Aaron Sutcliffe, a clerk at BGO, said the store doesn't sell food. The RNC also sent out a mailer that included a phone number directing callers to a phone sex line! Man, these right wingers know how to spend other people's money...what is it they say about Democrats again?!

Florida urologist Jack Cassell posted a sign on his office door reading, "If you voted for Obama ... seek urologic care elsewhere. Changes to your health care begin right now, not in four years." This prompted Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) to say, "Maybe he thinks the Hippocratic Oath says, 'Do no good', adding "If this is the face of the right wing in America, it's the face of cruelty. ... Why don't they change the name of the Republican Party to the Sore Loser Party?"

Bat-shit crazy Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) appeared on Hannity's show accusing Speaker Nancy Pelosi this week of trying to "incite something" by choosing to walk through a Tea Party rally being held outside the U.S. Capitol on the day health care reform passed last month. Seriously? If Pelosi and the other Democrats had come in through the "back door" or wherever Bachmann thinks they should've walked, the story would've been that they were ashamed to walk through the protesters. She also denied that protesters hurled racial slurs or spit on a congressman during the demonstration, adding that the Tea Party is being unjustly smeared by the media and Democrats. Here's the best one! She said, "The media wants you to believe that Tea Party Patriots are toothless hillbillies...This is a very sophisticated crowd." Now that's funny! Why is it that no one on the 'right' is capable of using google or youtube for the proof that anyone not glued to Fox has already seen? I despise Republicans a little more with each passing day.

Sarah Palin's "Real American Stories" debuted on Fox Thursday to a rather lackluster viewership. It generated a fair share of controversy after both LL Cool J and Toby Keith — who were billed among the special's celebrity guests — cried foul and claimed the network was reusing old footage for the Palin special. The show was down 28% from gal pal Greta's previous Thursday night audience. TVNewser also notes, based on quarter-hour viewing data, that the special lost viewers from start to finish. The final 15 minutes were down 18% in total viewers and 22% in A25-54 viewers compared to the first 15 minutes. Finally, it appears the more people are seeing of her, the less they want to see...even from the Republican channel!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Creepy Hannity and Fans Salute Timothy McVeigh

During an epidsode of Fox News' Sean Hannity's program this week which was held inside the Reagan Library (with guests California Republican Congressmen David Drier and Kevin McCarthy), Hannity discussed ways for Republicans to take back power in the mid-term elections. The discussion was filled with such falsehoods, as McCarthy’s claim that President Obama personally, doubled the debt of all 43 prior presidents combined. Then he made a rather startling claim that conservatives won the debate regarding health care. Ok, whatever...let them have their fantasy. Typical right-wing rhetoric that his rabid followers swallowed up without question.

However, what came next was genuinely appalling. He approvingly labeled the Tea Baggers as “Tim McVeigh wannabes.” Using McVeigh, a domestic terrorist found guilty for killing 168 innocent citizens (19 were kids), and injuring more than 600 as someone to look up to is frightening. What's worse, his fans erupted in cheers!

Domestic terrorism is a legitimate threat. Not only does Hannity owe an apology to everyone who was directly affected by that terrible day in Oklahoma City in 1995, how does the right wing get off complaining that the upcoming MSNBC documentary might lead people to compare today's teabaggers to McVeigh now? “The McVeigh Tapes: Confessions of an American Terrorist” presented by Rachel Maddow will air from 9-11PM EST Monday, April 19, the 15th anniversary of the massacre. The film reveals the bomber’s descriptions of the planning and execution of the horrific attack and offers insight into how a decorated American soldier became a dangerous, anti-government terrorist.

I've read a few right wing blogs who are going nuts over this documentary and speculating what it may contain. I don't know if MSNBC's documentary is linking the anti-government protesters of today with McVeigh or not, I haven't seen more than a clip of his confession in a preview, but so what if they are! Look at the right wing rage and behavior sice President Obama's inauguration. In addition, look at rhetoric that right wing politicians are allowing to fester by not denouncing the threats against Democrats. Bill O'Reilly even denied that there is any proof that the teabaggers that Fox proudly sponsors have been anything more than peaceful protesters. Note to Bill, just because Fox refuses to air the footage doesn't mean it can't be found on a variety of sources, most especially youtube! Spitting on congressman, yelling out slurs of all types, threats against the party in power have been embraced by the right wing who still can't get over the fact that the black guy won, and it wasn't even close enough to finagle an alternate outcome. Did this week's arrest of nine members of a Christian militia group called Hutaree that was readying for battle with the Antichrist and who were charged Monday with plotting to kill a police officer and slaughter scores more by bombing the funeral — all in hopes of touching off an uprising against the U.S. government teach them anything? I doubt it. They'll just say it was a few nuts...that most armed militias are really nothing more than responsible, concerned Americans!

Yeah, Hannity and O'Reilly (among others)...keep egging them on for your own ratings, power and money. I will not forgive them (or you) even though they know not what they do. Any basically good person knows the difference between right and wrong. Having a difference opinion in this country was once respected, not a call for arms or incitement. You are feeding the radical fringe whether you want to own responsibility for it or not. This is not a game.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Now you get mad!?

I thought this was really good and wanted to pass it along...

We had eight years of Bush and Cheney, Now you get mad!?

You didn't get mad when the Supreme Court stopped a legal recount and appointed a President.

You didn't get mad when Cheney allowed Energy company officials to dictate energy policy.

You didn't get mad when a covert CIA operative got outed.

You didn't get mad when the Patriot Act got passed.

You didn't get mad when we illegally invaded a country that posed no threat to us.

You didn't get mad when we spent over 700 billion (and counting) on said illegal war.

You didn't get mad when over 10 billion dollars just disappeared in Iraq.

You didn't get mad when you found out we were torturing people.

You didn't get mad when the government was illegally wiretapping Americans.

You didn't get mad when we didn't catch Bin Laden.

You didn't get mad when you saw the horrible conditions at Walter Reed.

You didn't get mad when we let a major US city, New Orleans, drown.

You didn't get mad when we gave a 900 billion tax break to the rich.

You didn't get mad when the deficit hit the trillion dollar mark.

You finally got mad when the government decided that people in America deserved the right to see a doctor if they are sick. Yes, illegal wars, lies, corruption, torture, stealing your tax dollars to make the rich richer, are all okay with you, but helping other Americans...oh hell no.

Here's a couple links of interest:

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Saga of a Father of Fallen Marine Caught in Legal Battle Continues

Since my full time job isn't blogging, there are days (many of them) that I don't have time to write (or vent), but want you to be aware of a certain issue or story. Tonight is another one of those times. On March 16, I wrote about fallen Marine Matthew Snyder's funeral, awash with anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church protesters --- a really disgusting display of so-called humanity by people who claim to be children of God. On tonight's Hardball, Chris Matthews interviewed the soldiers father, Al Snyder and Michael Smerconish about this important and to date, unjust story. Mr. Snyder was ordered to pay the legal fees of the WBC that he sued for protesting at his son's funeral. Talk about blind justice. In this ongoing battle, I hope Mr. Snyder and true justice will prevail.

Donations to can be made here.

#Maddow Birthday Project

A fellow fan is organizing an attempt to get #maddow to trend on twitter today, Rachel’s 37th birthday. I thought I'd do my part to pass it along. Happy Birthday Rachel!

UPDATE @ 8PM: #Maddow trended at #9 earlier today. I'm confident that the 1,641,284 twitter followers that Rachel has are wishing her a Happy Birthday whether or not they were able to help with the "trend."

UPDATE @ 9:48PM - Rachel says thank you to her fans.