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Archive for October 15th, 2009

Pepsi Amps Up the Sexism with Pickup App

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 15th, 2009 4:50 am by HL

Pepsi Amps Up the Sexism with Pickup App
PepsiCo Inc. ran into trouble trying to be all hip and stuff with an iPhone app aimed at young male consumers of Amp energy drink. It was bad enough that the app was built around the charming idea of bagging 24 different types of women—and then posting the conquests online. Almost worse was the company’s Twittered apology after reception of its “Amp Up Before You Score” app fell flat. READ THE WHOLE ITEM

Amp Up Before You Score

PepsiCo Inc. ran into trouble trying to be all hip and stuff with an iPhone app aimed at young male consumers of Amp energy drink. It was bad enough that the app was built around the charming idea of bagging 24 different types of women—and then posting the conquests online. Almost worse was the company’s Twittered apology after reception of its “Amp Up Before You Score” app fell flat.

READ THE WHOLE ITEM

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Huff Radio: Arianna Discusses Obama Nobel Prize Fallout, Passing Health Reform On NPR’s “On Point” (AUDIO)

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 15th, 2009 4:48 am by HL

Huff Radio: Arianna Discusses Obama Nobel Prize Fallout, Passing Health Reform On NPR’s “On Point” (AUDIO)
Arianna appeared on the NPR show “On Point” today, along with Byron York and Jack Beatty, to discuss the fallout from both the left and…

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Matthew Palevsky: The Must-Read Healthcare Stories Of October
It might be insider baseball, but the split in reporting on how Democrats secured Snowe’s vote shows the extent to which the health care reform battle has gone on behind closed doors.


Conservative media fearmonger that Fox News is part of White House “enemies list”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 15th, 2009 4:47 am by HL

Conservative media fearmonger that Fox News is part of White House “enemies list”

Following White House criticism of Fox News for its ideological slant, conservative media figures are again fearmongering that the White House has an “enemies list,” and that Fox News is — in the words of Glenn Beck — “another enemy” that “warmongers” in the Obama administration would fight with “missiles pointed right at Fox.” Sean Hannity claimed the White House is “promising retribution,” and conservative radio host Mark Levin said, “[L]et me be clear — there is an enemies list, a political hit list that this administration has. Just as Castro did, and Chavez and Stalin.”

Conservatives claim Fox News is on a White House “enemies list,” suggest “retribution,” “assault”

Glenn Beck: There are missiles “pointed right at Fox.” On his Fox News show, Beck stated, “What a bunch of warmongers we have” in the White House, and that the United States is “fighting Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and now, these people have taken on another enemy — Fox News.” After purporting to point out Fox News’ location on a map of Manhattan to indicate “where the enemy is” and saying there are “missiles pointed right at Fox,” Beck stated: “[T]here was that enemy list with Nixon, but I think the enemy list — I believe that whole thing, that was just who’s not coming to state dinners. Could be wrong. I don’t think that they’ve used White House resources, your tax dollars, to target the media before.” Beck then claimed that “free speech [is] under attack,” and that he planned to show viewers “how this administration is consolidating power, and how your right to speak out and your right to hear, simply opposing voices, people who are asking legitimate questions, are all under assault.” [Glenn Beck, 10/12/09]

Sean Hannity: “[Y]ou’d think they would have … a little bit more in terms of their priorities rather than attacking a news organization and creating an enemies list.” On his Fox News show, Hannity said to Fox News contributor Mark Steyn, “What do you make of Anita Dunn in the propaganda office, in the White House attacking the Fox News Channel? You know, I would think that, you know, with unemployment at 9.8 percent, a general asking for 40,000 troops, and you know, a lot of problems this country has, you’d think they would have, you know, a little bit more in terms of their priorities rather than attacking a news organization and creating an enemies list.” [Hannity, 10/12/09]

Hannity: “The White House declared war on the Fox News Channel.” On his Fox News show, Hannity claimed that “the White House declared war on the Fox News Channel” and suggested it placed Fox News on an “enemies list” along with PricewaterhouseCoopers for its “flawed” analysis of the Senate Finance Committee health care bill. After Fox News contributor Dana Perino contended that “hey, this is politics,” Hannity said: “What you’re saying is that if you disagree with this White House, that they have an enemies list, that they’re promising retribution,” and suggested Perino would be “immediately on the enemies list” because she appeared on Fox News. Later in his show, after bringing up the White House’s purported “payback” for the health care report, Hannity said: “That sounds like an enemies list. I thought — I thought liberals were against enemies lists. Do you want a Republican administration going after NBC? Targeting them? Do you want an administration going after MoveOn.org or any — or you or anybody else by saying, quote, ‘There may be some retribution, because you speak out against them?’ ” [Hannity, 10/13/09]

Bill O’Reilly compared situation to Nixon enemies list. On Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor, host Bill O’Reilly said that “the White House is not happy with Fox News because it believes it favors, the White House believes, it favors the Republican Party. There is scant, s-c-a-n-t evidence to support that, but the White House made a big deal out of it anyway.” He subsequently said to Fox News contributor Monica Crowley, “Now you worked for Richard Nixon,” adding, “And he had a Nixon enemies list. The difference was the White House pretty upfront about this. I mean, they’re not secret. They don’t like us. And Nixon — that enemies list when he was in the White House was kind of private, right?” Crowley replied that the “lesson” for Obama was that Nixon’s list “backfire[d]” and, “When you try to isolate a certain news organization, and say that’s it, we’re going to freeze them out, we’re tossing them off the press plane, not just on a temporary basis for a week or two as a punishment because he didn’t like a story or certain coverage. But for a long, protracted period of time like Obama’s doing to Fox News in the last year.” [The O’Reilly Factor, 10/13/09]

Mark Levin: White House has an “enemies list,” “just as Castro did, and Chavez and Stalin.” On his show, conservative radio host Mark Levin said: “The White House has made it clear that Fox News is on the enemies list — and so let me be clear — there is an enemies list, a political hit list that this administration has. Just as Castro did, and Chavez and Stalin. Oh, Mark, and Nixon — well, maybe so, and the media used to hate Nixon. But have you heard a single, liberal media outlet object to this? No, and you won’t. Have you heard a single so-called civil liberties group object to this? No, and you won’t. This administration is at war politically with its opponents, and it seeks to silence them and defund them and destroy them. That’s what’s going on. When he talks about redistributing wealth, Obama doesn’t just mean economic wealth, he means giving power and rights to his allies and denying them to his adversaries. This is a real battle for liberty.”

Hotair.com: “Being number one on the White House enemies list must be worth millions in free publicity.” Discussing the contention between the White House and Fox News on the conservative blog Hotair.com, blogger Allahpundit wrote: “Exit question: Did Roger Ailes slip [White House adviser David] Axelrod a briefcase full of money or something at that tete-a-tete last month in return for his promise to keep demagoging FNC? Being number one on the White House enemies list must be worth millions in free publicity.”

Conservative media have previously touted “enemies list” conspiracy theory

Conservative media previously claimed email recipients may be on WH “enemies list.” Conservative media figures previously baselessly suggested that people who reportedly claimed to have received unsolicited email from Axelrod may have been added to a White House “enemies list” after emails they sent that were critical of the Obama administration were purportedly forwarded to flag@whitehouse.gov. These media figures, such as Rush Limbaugh, Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade, and Fox News’ Bill Sammon, failed to provide any credible evidence in support of this conspiracy theory.


Montana AG Suspends Probe Of American Private Police Force

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 15th, 2009 4:46 am by HL

Montana AG Suspends Probe Of American Private Police Force
The attorney general of Montana has suspended a short-lived probe of the American Private Police Force, saying that “Captain” Michael Hilton’s failure to answer the AG’s questions “speaks volumes about his company’s legitimacy.”


Failing Upward: Many SECers Who Failed To Catch Madoff Haven’t Paid A Price
Many of the SEC officials who missed Bernie Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme have landed lucrative private sector jobs, or been promoted within the agency.



Space Aliens Monitor Glenn Beck!

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 15th, 2009 4:42 am by HL

Space Aliens Monitor Glenn Beck!


Before You Start Your Morning…

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 15th, 2009 4:41 am by HL

Before You Start Your Morning…
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A Construction Materials Company’s Curious Role in the Bizarre Merger Between Wells Fargo and Wachovia

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 15th, 2009 4:40 am by HL

A Construction Materials Company’s Curious Role in the Bizarre Merger Between Wells Fargo and Wachovia

Why did Wells Fargo, a reasonably healthy bank, merge with a debt-laden disaster like Wachovia in the middle of the financial crisis? Ask Vulcan Materials Co.

Should Liberals Watch More TV?

Vanessa Richmond's article about progressives watching television stirred some furious debate. Here are the highlights.

Without Drastic CO2 Cuts Immediately, the World Faces a Massive ‘Oh Shit’ Moment

A frightening new climate change study says the United States must eliminate its enormous rate of carbon emission within ten years.

Why Does America Leave It to NFL Owners to Tell Rush Limbaugh Where to Go?

Shock jock Limbaugh was thinking about buying a piece of the St. Louis Rams and was promptly told that he and his divisive comments are not welcome in the NFL.

Not Your Father’s Chamber of Commerce: National Organization Is Now a Tool of the Radical Right

Once a sane advocate and even community-minded organization, the Chamber of Commerce has been captured by the Republican Party.


Nobel Open Thread

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 15th, 2009 4:39 am by HL

Nobel Open Thread
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Leaked Ahmadinejad Diary Proves Iran Prez Is Jewish
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Who are we?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 15th, 2009 4:38 am by HL

Who are we?

Most Americans over the age of 20 can recall Roger Daughtry’s Daltry (lead singer for The Who) searing voice as he wailed, “Who are you?” Who Are You is also the theme music for the very popular drama CSI. As we look back over the first nine months of Barack Obama’s presidency, I think it is important for us, as Americans, to try to come to grips with who we are.

Thirty years ago, I think the answer was obvious. We were the good guys. We just elected a new president, Ronald Reagan. If we didn’t know that we were the good guys, he was more than happy to tell us. Those other guys, the Russians, they were the bad guys. We were honest, law-abiding citizens. More importantly, there was a collective America. Everyone seemed to want to share the responsibility of making America better. From the janitor pushing a broom to the CEO in an Armani suit, we were all working to make America better.

Something changed. The change probably started in the late ’60s and early ’70s, but it began to be really easily noticed in the late ’80s. We stopped working for us and began working for ourselves. This can best be seen by looking at our major corporations. Our major corporations throughout the ’60s and ’70s were good corporate citizens. It was unheard of at the time for a corporation to move its operation overseas and shut down plants here in the United States. That just wasn’t done. Corporations paid a fair wage. In return, Americans bought American products. Everyone profited.

annual wage growth, by group, 1973-2006 epi
click on image for larger version

Over the next 30 years, CEO wages skyrocketed. Corporate profits ballooned to unimaginable levels. The Dow Jones industrial averages doubled, tripled, quintupled and more in a short period of time (see chart below). The investment crowd made billions of dollars, yet wages stagnated (see chart above). Corporations moved overseas in search of cheaper labor and friendlier environmental laws. Small towns withered on the vine. Huge sections of large cities like Detroit, St. Louis and Baltimore became ghost towns. One income was not good enough to keep the family afloat. Now we needed two incomes. Even with two full-time working parents, household budgets are still strained.

djia 1976-2009

click on image for larger version, From Morningstar

After the economic collapse which started almost exactly a year ago, there is talk in Washington about new regulations. We also need to talk about who we are. How should our corporations act? Should they act in the best interest of their stockholders? Should these large corporations act in the best interests of America? Sometimes the two interests are not the same. Shouldn’t we expect corporations who hire hundreds of thousands of Americans to act in our best interest? We, as Americans, created an environment which made these corporations successful. Samantha Stevens, the beautifully seductive witch from Bewitched, did not twinkle her nose to get us into this predicament. Instead, hard-working Americans helped these corporations meet and exceed their goals. So, should we expect something in return… something more than just a job?

I expect good corporate citizenship. We all should expect good corporate citizenship. There’s a reason why General Motors, IBM, Dow Chemicals and other Fortune 500 companies did not arise in China, Mexico or Dubai. They arose here in the United States because we created an atmosphere that was friendly to business. Now we need Congress to restore some of the balance that was lost over the last 30 years. Corporations need to be taxed for sending things out of the country and having them processed and then transporting them back here for sale. These taxes need to make it prohibitively expensive to ship jobs out of the United States. Secondly, corporations are not people. Congress needs to pass a law stating that the rights of people should always usurp the rights of corporations (this would seem obvious but is, amazingly, hugely controversial in the Courts). Thirdly, Congress needs to pass health care reform that truly fixes the way healthcare is delivered in the United States. Finally, Congress needs to pass the Employee Free Choice Act. This makes it easier for people to unionize. If we can get Congress to do this once and for all, we then create jobs. We actually create better paying jobs and a better lifestyle for all of us. Only then can I answer the question of who we are. We are the same as we’ve always been, a country of the people, for the people and by the people.


Jon Stewart hits Fox for ignoring gay rights march after aggressively promoting 9/12 March.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 15th, 2009 4:37 am by HL

Jon Stewart hits Fox for ignoring gay rights march after aggressively promoting 9/12 March.
During the tea party protests and the more recent 9/12 march, Fox News argued that it was justified in covering them incessantly because the network doesn’t “pick and choose these rallies and protests” — it covers them all. At the same time, it slammed other networks for not giving enough coverage to the right-wing rallies. […]

During the tea party protests and the more recent 9/12 march, Fox News argued that it was justified in covering them incessantly because the network doesn’t “pick and choose these rallies and protests” — it covers them all. At the same time, it slammed other networks for not giving enough coverage to the right-wing rallies. But as Jon Stewart noted on The Daily Show last night, Fox ignored the weekend’s National Equality March, whose turnout was comparable to the 9/12 March. “You didn’t even send your own camera crew?” exclaimed Stewart. “You have a Washington bureau! Tell them to go to the window and point the camera down!” Watch it:

Stewart also pointed out that Fox was more than happy to get out the tv cameras and an on-air reporter to cover an empty sidewalk where there had apparently been a protest about students singing a pro-Obama song. (HT: Andrew Sullivan and Raw Story)