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Archive for August 27th, 2011

Late Late Night FDL: Muppet Show Theme Song

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 27th, 2011 4:45 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: Muppet Show Theme Song
OK Go and The MuppetsMuppet Show Theme Song. h/t Watertiger

OK Go and The MuppetsMuppet Show Theme Song.

Grab your popcorn, put your feet up on the coffee table, and try to keep the spitballs off the screen please.  This is Late Late Night FireDogLake, where off topic is the topic … so dive in.  What’s on your mind?

h/t Watertiger


The World’s Most Powerful Gay Man

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 27th, 2011 4:44 am by HL

The World’s Most Powerful Gay Man
The media ignore the fact that new Apple CEO Tim Cook is gay; the ratings of both the Republican and Democratic parties decline; and the consequences of the defeat of Gadhafi’s regime are still up in the air. These discoveries and more, below. On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that have found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies. The links below open in a new window. Newer ones are on top. Don’t Ignore Tim Cook’s sexuality Tim Cook is now the most powerful gay man in the world. This is newsworthy, no? But you won’t find it reported in any legacy/mainstream outlet. Americans Want More Pressure on Students, the Chinese Want Less With U.S. students underperforming in international tests, it may not be surprising that more than six-in-ten (64 percent) Americans say that parents do not put enough pressure on their children to do well in school. In sharp contrast, about two-thirds (68 percent) of the Chinese public take just the opposite position in saying that parents in their country, with its surging economy, put too much pressure on their children to succeed academically. Obama Leadership Image Takes a Hit, GOP Ratings Decline The public is profoundly discontented with conditions in the country, its government, political leadership and several of its major institutions. Steve Jobs and America Jon Taplin lists his take-aways from Steve Jobs’ departure from Apple. Too Soon to Declare Victory Moammar Gadhafi’s whereabouts are still unknown, and the defeat of his regime may be near at hand. But the consequences of that defeat remain uncertain. The secret the politicians and media won’t tell you: Government is legally required to create jobs The debate about the debt ceiling should have been a conversation about how to create jobs. It is time for progressives to remind the government that it has a legal duty to create jobs, and must act immediately—if not through Congress, then through the Federal Reserve. Number of women working in TV falls The number of women working as writers and directors on prime-time broadcast programs took a big tumble in the 2010-11 season, a new study reports—part of an overall decline in women’s employment as actresses and in key creative jobs behind the camera. Is Sleep Brain Defragmentation? After a period of heavy use, hard disks tend to get “fragmented.” Data get written all over random parts of the disk, and it gets inefficient to keep track of it all. Another ‘not gay’ legislator pays a young man for a good time Indiana State Rep. Phil Hinkle admitted Tuesday that he paid a young man $80 to have a good time. But Hinkle insisted he isn’t gay and doesn’t know why he did it. Russian court bans Mickey Mouse as Christ painting A court in central Russia has ruled that a painting of the Sermon on the Mount that features Mickey Mouse instead of Jesus Christ is extremist, the regional prosecutor’s office said Friday.

The media ignore the fact that new Apple CEO Tim Cook is gay; the ratings of both the Republican and Democratic parties decline; and the consequences of the defeat of Gadhafi’s regime are still up in the air. These discoveries and more, below.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that have found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies.

The links below open in a new window. Newer ones are on top.

Don’t Ignore Tim Cook’s sexuality
Tim Cook is now the most powerful gay man in the world. This is newsworthy, no? But you won’t find it reported in any legacy/mainstream outlet.

Americans Want More Pressure on Students, the Chinese Want Less
With U.S. students underperforming in international tests, it may not be surprising that more than six-in-ten (64 percent) Americans say that parents do not put enough pressure on their children to do well in school. In sharp contrast, about two-thirds (68 percent) of the Chinese public take just the opposite position in saying that parents in their country, with its surging economy, put too much pressure on their children to succeed academically.

Obama Leadership Image Takes a Hit, GOP Ratings Decline
The public is profoundly discontented with conditions in the country, its government, political leadership and several of its major institutions.

Steve Jobs and America
Jon Taplin lists his take-aways from Steve Jobs’ departure from Apple.

Too Soon to Declare Victory
Moammar Gadhafi’s whereabouts are still unknown, and the defeat of his regime may be near at hand. But the consequences of that defeat remain uncertain.

The secret the politicians and media won’t tell you: Government is legally required to create jobs
The debate about the debt ceiling should have been a conversation about how to create jobs. It is time for progressives to remind the government that it has a legal duty to create jobs, and must act immediately—if not through Congress, then through the Federal Reserve.

Number of women working in TV falls
The number of women working as writers and directors on prime-time broadcast programs took a big tumble in the 2010-11 season, a new study reports—part of an overall decline in women’s employment as actresses and in key creative jobs behind the camera.

Is Sleep Brain Defragmentation?
After a period of heavy use, hard disks tend to get “fragmented.” Data get written all over random parts of the disk, and it gets inefficient to keep track of it all.

Another ‘not gay’ legislator pays a young man for a good time
Indiana State Rep. Phil Hinkle admitted Tuesday that he paid a young man $80 to have a good time. But Hinkle insisted he isn’t gay and doesn’t know why he did it.

Russian court bans Mickey Mouse as Christ painting
A court in central Russia has ruled that a painting of the Sermon on the Mount that features Mickey Mouse instead of Jesus Christ is extremist, the regional prosecutor’s office said Friday.

Related Entries



Chris Weigant: King’s Eloquence Goes Far Beyond “I Have A Dream”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 27th, 2011 4:43 am by HL

Chris Weigant: King’s Eloquence Goes Far Beyond “I Have A Dream”
The best-known parts of “I Have A Dream” have entered into a sort of comfortable familiarity, which allows everyone to view them without being challenged by the more pointed things Dr. King had to say that day.

Laura Mola: Why Not Health First
Lately, both supporters and detractors can’t help but poke President Obama on his accomplishments and purported failures, insisting he should have attacked the job situation…

Obama Declares Emergency For New York
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has declared an emergency for New York state in anticipation of Hurricane Irene, which has New York City in its…


Red State Falsely Claims NLRB Lacks Authority To Issue Rule On Labor Notification

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 27th, 2011 4:42 am by HL

Red State Falsely Claims NLRB Lacks Authority To Issue Rule On Labor Notification

An August 25 Red State post falsely claimed the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) “skirt[ed] Congress” by issuing a recent rule requiring employers to notify employees of their labor rights. In fact, the NLRB has legal authority to issue rules which regulate employers under the National Labor Relations Act.

Red State Claims NLRB “Skirting Congress” By Issuing Rule On Labor Rights Notification Practices

Red State: NLRB “Skirting Congress [By] Requir[ing] All Employers Covered by the National Labor Relations Act To Post Union Notices In the Workplace.” An August 25 Red State post claimed:

Barack Obama’s union appointees at the National Labor Relations Board are continuing their assault on America’s job creators with yet another attempt at doing union bosses’ bidding by skirting Congress to require all employers covered by the National Labor Relations Act to post union notices in the workplace to advise employees of their ability to unionize their company. [Red State, 8/25/11]

However The NLRB Has Legal Authority To Independently Issue Rules Supporting The Labor Relations Act

National Labor Relations Act (NLRA): The NLRB Can “Make, Amend, And Rescind” Rules And Regulations In Order To Carry Out The Act. Section 6 of the NLRA, grants the NLRB authority to issue rules “to carry out the provisions of this Act. From the NLRA:

The Board shall have authority from time to time to make, amend, and rescind, in the manner prescribed by the Administrative Procedure Act, such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act. [National Labor Relations Act, nlrb.gov, accessed 8/26/11]

Additionally, Jurisprudence Supports The NLRB’s Rule Making Ability

Chevron U.S.A., Inc. V NRDC: “The Power Of An Administrative Agency … Necessarily Requires … The Making Of Rules.” In the majority opinion delivered by Associate Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens in the 1984 case Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., the court cited a previous case to point out that “If Congress has explicitly left a gap for the agency to fill, there is an express delegation … of authority to the agency to elucidate a specific provision of the statute by regulation.” Further, the court ruled that “[t]he power of an administrative agency to administer a congressionally created … program necessarily requires the formulation of policy and the making of rules to fill any gap left, implicitly or explicitly, by Congress.” [Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., accessed 8/26/11 via Cornell University Law School]


Report: Millions Donated To Islamophobic Groups Since 2001

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 27th, 2011 4:41 am by HL

Report: Millions Donated To Islamophobic Groups Since 2001
Seven foundations and wealthy donors gave Islamophobic groups $42.6M from 2001 through 2009, according to a new report from the Center for American Progress.


Feds Reportedly Capture Former Marine and Oath Keeper After Manhunt
Federal officials have reportedly captured former U.S. Marine and Oath Keeper Charles Dyer in Texas, following a manhunt after Dyer skipped a court appearance for a rape charge that he believed was concocted as part of a government conspiracy against him.



A Day in the Life of a GOP Congressman

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 27th, 2011 4:38 am by HL

A Day in the Life of a GOP Congressman


5 Reasons Progressives Should Treat Ron Paul with Extreme Caution — ‘Cuddly’ Libertarian Has Some Very Dark Politics

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 27th, 2011 4:37 am by HL

5 Reasons Progressives Should Treat Ron Paul with Extreme Caution — ‘Cuddly’ Libertarian Has Some Very Dark Politics
He’s anti-woman, anti-gay, anti-black, anti-senior-citizen, anti-equality and anti-education, and that’s just the start.

How Do We Stop the Relentless Expansion of the American Empire? First, Uncover the Truth About It
AlterNet has dedicated some serious editorial muscle to do investigative reporting on US military operations around the globe — can you help?


Whose Economy Is This, Obama’s or the Republicans’?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 27th, 2011 4:36 am by HL

Whose Economy Is This, Obama’s or the Republicans’?
A question. Who bears the blame for a depressed economy when the government’s actions are shaped more by the views of the opposition party than the president’s own policy preferences? It seems to me that as the 2012 election gets…


Anarchy In The UK… But Could It Hit The US?
Only a few weeks back, British columnists were jestingly describing the UK Parliament’s uproarious reaction to “Murdoch-gate” as “British Spring.” Newspaper articles were filled with playful puns on Arabic names, along with a mirthful contrast between the scale of the…


Review: ?Columbiana,? Sweet And Sour

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 27th, 2011 4:35 am by HL

Review: ?Columbiana,? Sweet And Sour
A programming note: I’m finally on the list for movie screenings in the DC area, so expect more reviews. And feel free to treat these reviews both as guidance on whether or not to go see something, and as open threads for discussion over the weekend. I went to see Colombiana, a movie about the […]

A programming note: I’m finally on the list for movie screenings in the DC area, so expect more reviews. And feel free to treat these reviews both as guidance on whether or not to go see something, and as open threads for discussion over the weekend.

I went to see Colombiana, a movie about the CIA’s involvement in drug trafficking, the moral justifications for assassinating Bernie Madoff, and Zoe Saldana’s naughty bits, hoping for a slickly nasty little late-summer action movie in a year that’s been somewhat short on female heroines, and on gleeful darkness. There are bits and pieces of an entertaining film here, notably an interagency rivalry between the CIA and the FBI and a downturn revenge fantasy. But Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, who wrote the movie, and the delightfully named Olivier Megaton, who directed it, are probably right to trust that the sight of Saldana dancing braless in her apartment or setting off plastic explosives in her skivvies are selling points in and of themselves.

The movie begins with a reasonably promising, if somewhat overacted, premise. After watching her family murdered by a drug cartel, a young Cataleya (a promising Amanda Stenberg, who has a key role in the movie adaptation of The Hunger Games and is a welcome reminder that not only white little girls can get tough) gets herself to Chicago and into the home of her uncle Emilio. “I used to want to be Xena: Warrior Princess,” she tells him. “I want to be a killer. Will you help me?” “Sure,” he promises, rather jauntily. I was hoping we might be on the road to a non-white version of Big Daddy and Hit Girl’s relationship in Kick-Ass, a gleefully twisted but genuinely loving father-daughter training movie. But after buying her way into a private school and shooting up a passing car to illustrate why she should attend classes, the movie skips forward 15 years, denying us the privilege of seeing Cataleya learn her stuff, and into the much less creative pleasures of letting us see her deploy it as she goes after Don Luis, the man who had her family killed, and the people who worked for and with him.

While Saldana’s total destruction of Don Luis’s compound (the man himself meets a singularly nasty, though mostly implied, end) is the climax of the movie, the really interesting fight in is between an Special Agent Ross, the FBI agent who is chasing Cataleya, and Special Agent Williams, the CIA liaison to Luis who wants to keep her as far away as possible from her intended victims. Ross (Lennie James, the victim of some unfortunate dialogue), starts out as a skeptic, insisting to the team investigating the 22 murders Cataleya’s committed, “We’re not looking for a woman. It’s not possible.” But he becomes a convert, particularly when Cataleya invades his home and threatens to blow him to kingdom come, or, alternatively, kill his whole family if he doesn’t help her get the information. “He’s protected by your government,” she complains. “Yes, but a part of my government I cannot reach,” he tells Cataleya, in a nice, however accidental, nod to the jostling between law enforcement agencies.

It’s one of the movie’s problems that Cataleya’s unpleasantness to Ross doesn’t feel particularly justified. But it helps that Williams is a uniquely nasty piece of work who is obstructing Ross’s investigation, so it’s a pleasure to see him get his comeuppance. When Cataleya puts a bullet through a picture of him in a grip-and-grin with President George W. Bush just to prove she can, it’s probably the most pointed political moment in the movie, and it reduces Williams to squeaky acquiescence.

The other political, if underdeveloped, subplot involves an assignment Cataleya takes to assassinate “the guy who was in the news for running a Ponzi scheme about a year ago.” Bernie Madoff is going to be a popular movie villain for a long time, whether he’s slickly played by Alan Alda in The Tower Heist, which I’m quite looking forward to, or as a grotesque lecher who makes the unwise decision to keep sharks under his patio as he is here. The fact that Cataleya’s committing murder for hire rather than being personally involved in the case, and that this is just another assignment rather than the main score, blunts some of the critique, tapping a vein of rage but just as quickly stanching it with cotton and gauze. It’s too bad. Don Luis and his slick-backed cronies are badly-dressed, if not totally indifferently acted, cliches. Great heroes deserve villains worth vanquishing, rather than leaving them to rot in Miami mansions.

The GOP Presidential Candidates On Health Care
The Kaiser Family Foundation has put together an invaluable table showing where all of the GOP presidential candidates stand on health care issues like Medicare, the insurance marketplace, health reform philosophy and Medicaid. Click over here for more, but suffice it to say, the party is looking to repeal the Affordable Care Act, deregulate the […]

The Kaiser Family Foundation has put together an invaluable table showing where all of the GOP presidential candidates stand on health care issues like Medicare, the insurance marketplace, health reform philosophy and Medicaid. Click over here for more, but suffice it to say, the party is looking to repeal the Affordable Care Act, deregulate the health industry, and shift more of the cost and risk of Medicare and Medicaid from the federal government and onto individuals and states.


Featured Advertiser

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 27th, 2011 4:34 am by HL

Featured Advertiser

GOP leaders trying to avoid a fight on 2012 spending

After months of partisan rancor over the record federal debt and spending cuts to reduce it, congressional Republicans are working to avoid the heated political warfare when Congress turns its attention to annual spending measures next month.

Even as a new bipartisan committee begins work on a difficult and potentially contentious strategy to reduce federal spending by more than a trillion dollars over the next decade, leaders of both parties have expressed optimism that there will be minimal acrimony as they work to complete a series of 12 spending bills to fund the work of federal agencies for the next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.

Read full article >>

Boehner asks Obama to detail $1 billion regulations

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is pressing President Obama for information on costly government regulations, days after the White House announced a plan to eliminate more than 500 federal rules in an effort to save $10 billion over the next five years.

In a letter sent to Obama on Friday, Boehner reiterated a request he made this time last year for the administration to provide details on regulations with a projected cost of more than $1 billion, arguing that new projections by the White House point to 219 new planned regulations at a nearly 15 percent increase in cost over last year.

Read full article >>

Hurricane Irene: How the federal government is preparing

Updated 3:28 p.m. ET

As Hurricane Irene approaches the East Coast, the Obama administration is preparing for what could be the largest storm to make landfall in the last three years.

“All indications point to this being a historic hurricane,” President Obama said Friday just hours before the storm is set to make landfall.

Read full article >>