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Archive for December 29th, 2011

Brown: U.S. Cheap Labor to Germans

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 29th, 2011 5:47 am by HL

Brown: U.S. Cheap Labor to Germans
Kevin C. Brown: In 2010, over 5.5 million cars were produced in Germany, twice the 2.7 million built in the United States. Average compensation (a figure including wages and employer-paid benefits) for autoworkers in Germany was 48.97 Euros per hour ($67.14 US), while compensation for auto work in the United States averaged $33.77 per hour, or about half as much as in Germany, all according to 2007 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For Germany-based auto producers, the U.S. is a low-wage country. Despite German companies’ relatively high labor costs in their home markets, these firms are quite profitable.



Lakeside Diner

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 29th, 2011 5:46 am by HL

Lakeside Diner
A variety of links to articles/interviews on current topics that may, or may not, be of interest.

“Big Foot's camp after Battle of Wounded Knee; U.S. soldiers amid scattered debris of camp” (photo: Library of Congress)

The coffee’s freshly ground, there’s a wide variety of teas and the sticky buns are homemade.

  • Free Bradley Manning!!! “The prosecution of Pvt. Bradley Manning for inconvenient truth-telling is more proof of how hypocritical Official Washington is, especially when Manning’s case is compared to how Bush administration officials walked despite clear evidence that they sanctioned torture and other war crimes, notes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.”
  • “The cost of borrowing faced by the Italian government has fallen sharply at its latest debt auction. The government raised 9bn euros ($11.8bn, £7.56bn) in short-term debt at half its previous interest rate. The interest on the six-month bills was 3.251%, down from 6.504% at the last similar auction in November.”
  • Mitch Jeserich of Letters & Politics talks with Paul Dixon about “The Bonus Army: The Original “Occupy” Movement.”
  • From Real News: “Voices From the Occupy Movement. Across the country, the Occupy Movement is developing new forms of exposing the 1%.”
  • Amy Goodman: “All eyes are on Iowa this week, as the hodgepodge field of Republican contenders gallivants across that farm state seeking a win, or at least “momentum,” in the campaign for the party’s presidential nomination. But behind the scenes, a battle is being waged by Republicans – not against each other, but against American voters.”
  • “Capital punishment faces its own death sentence in a growing number of US states as decades of ethical and political stalemate are being broken by a fresh focus on cold, hard cash. The weakened economy has recently drawn attention to an unexpected but stark fact: that sentencing someone to death costs more than life without parole.”

An anniversary – 121 years

When the first Europeans settled in what was to become the United States the country was home to a vast number of indigenous people. There were the Northeastern Woodlands tribes, the Southeastern Woodlands tribes, the Plains tribes and tribes further to the west. By the early 1800s most of the Northeastern and Southeastern tribes had either been killed off or forcibly moved to lands further to the west. The indigenous people of the Plains, however, continued their resistance to the invasion of the white man until the late 19th century.

On the morning of 29 December 1890 elements of the 7th Cavalry massacred between 150 and 300 (depending on the source) Miniconjou Lakota (Sioux) near Wounded Knee Creek on the Lakota Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. This band of Miniconjou, led by Spotted Elk, had been escorted to the location the previous day by the cavalry. Probably unknown to Spotted Elk and his people, Sitting Bull had been killed at the Pine Ridge agency by Agency Police 2 weeks earlier, on 15 December. For all intents and purposes the subjugation of America’s indigenous population was complete.

I did not know then how much was ended. When I look back now from this high hill of my old age, I can still see the butchered women and children lying heaped and scattered all along the crooked gulch as plain as when I saw them with eyes still young. And I can see that something else died there in the bloody mud, and was buried in the blizzard. A people’s dream died there. It was a beautiful dream . . . . the nation’s hoop is broken and scattered. There is no center any longer, and the sacred tree is dead.

—- Black Elk (Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux, John G Neihardt)

Native Americans have not given up their struggle with the US government, however. On 27 February 1973 a number of Oglala Lakota and American Indian Movement (AIM) members seized and occupied the town of Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Reservation and held it until 5 May. Earlier this year Native American ranchers and farmers agreed to a $680 million settlement with USDA. A land claim concerning the Black Hills is an ongoing dispute between the US government and the Lakota nation.

Never. Give. Up.

Editorial cartoon

The truth will set you free but first it will piss you off.

They’re neck-to-neck as they circle the drain
The latest Iowa Republican poll is out trying to predict the caucus, a process of people often coalescing around their second choices — in this case, the person who hates gay people who have abortions the next most intensely.

The latest Iowa Republican poll is out trying to predict the caucus, a process of people often coalescing around their second choices — in this case, the person who hates gay people who have abortions the next most intensely.

And what does it show?

Twenty-five percent of people questioned say if the caucuses were held today, they’d most likely back Mitt Romney, with 22% saying they’d support Rep. Ron Paul of Texas. Romney’s three point margin is within the poll’s sampling error.

And what’s more, Rick Santorum’s support has tripled in the last few days, leading to a most unfortunate headline.


I’ll bet it is.


Mubarak Is Rolled Back Into Court

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 29th, 2011 5:45 am by HL

Mubarak Is Rolled Back Into Court
Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak shielded his face from onlookers as he was wheeled into a courtroom Wednesday to resume trial on alleged abuses of power and the killing of hundreds of protesters in the uprising that ousted him earlier this year. The trial was delayed for almost two months while the court located a suitable judge. Much of the trial, which could drag on for years, will be focused on who in Mubarak’s administration gave the orders to fire on the protesters. —ARK Reuters: … The multitude of witnesses and the complexity of the charges mean the case could drag on for months, perhaps years. Mubarak, his two sons, the former interior minister and senior police officers face charges ranging from corruption to involvement in the deaths of hundreds of protesters in the uprising that unseated him. “The court has responded to all the defendants’ lawyers requests,” said lawyer Khaled Abu Bakr, who represents families of people who died in the uprising. “Egypt has guaranteed for Mubarak a very fair trial, the judge has ensured that all the basics of justice are there … no one should object the final verdict” Read more

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak shielded his face from onlookers as he was wheeled into a courtroom Wednesday to resume trial on alleged abuses of power and the killing of hundreds of protesters in the uprising that ousted him earlier this year. The trial was delayed for almost two months while the court located a suitable judge.

Much of the trial, which could drag on for years, will be focused on who in Mubarak’s administration gave the orders to fire on the protesters. —ARK

Reuters:

… The multitude of witnesses and the complexity of the charges mean the case could drag on for months, perhaps years.

Mubarak, his two sons, the former interior minister and senior police officers face charges ranging from corruption to involvement in the deaths of hundreds of protesters in the uprising that unseated him.

“The court has responded to all the defendants’ lawyers requests,” said lawyer Khaled Abu Bakr, who represents families of people who died in the uprising. “Egypt has guaranteed for Mubarak a very fair trial, the judge has ensured that all the basics of justice are there … no one should object the final verdict”

Read more

Related Entries


Freed Egyptian Activist Speaks Out
“Democracy Now!” hears from Alaa Abd El Fattah, a prominent Egyptian activist and blogger just released after 56 days in one of the country’s worst prisons on charges of inciting violence against the military. Fattah, who denies the charges, is optimistic about the revolution “completely renegotiating the order of power in Egypt and across the Arab world.”

“Democracy Now!” hears from Alaa Abd El Fattah, a prominent Egyptian activist and blogger just released after 56 days in one of the country’s worst prisons on charges of inciting violence against the military. Fattah, who denies the charges, is optimistic about the revolution “completely renegotiating the order of power in Egypt and across the Arab world.”

Related Entries



Paul: Tea Party, Occupy Protesters ‘Are Just Tired Of It All’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 29th, 2011 5:44 am by HL

Paul: Tea Party, Occupy Protesters ‘Are Just Tired Of It All’
As rivals attacked him and Mitt Romney pulled ahead in a new CNN poll, Ron Paul touted his appeal among both Tea Party and Occupy…

Petraeus Almost Resigned Over Afghan Drawdown, New Book Claims
WASHINGTON — Four-star general-turned-CIA director David Petraeus almost resigned as Afghanistan war commander over President Barack Obama’s decision to quickly draw down surge forces, according…

Occupy Protesters Disrupt Ron Paul Event
DES MOINES, Iowa — Some 20 protesters interrupted the start of a Ron Paul event at the Iowa State Fairgrounds just as the GOP candidate…

Mitt Romney In Iowa: ‘Why Don’t We Just Caucus Right Now?’
NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa — Mitt Romney wrapped up the last of three events in Iowa Wednesday by permitting himself a rare moment of giddiness. “This…


Fox’s Year Of Class Warfare

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 29th, 2011 5:43 am by HL

Fox’s Year Of Class Warfare

In 2011, as President Obama and congressional Democrats pushed for increasing taxes on the wealthiest Americans, Fox ramped up its defense of the rich while accusing Obama of attempting to incite a class war. Along the way, Fox relentlessly attacked poor and unemployed Americans, union workers who fought back against attempts by Republicans to strip their right to collectively bargain, and the Occupy Wall Street movement, which has been highlighting increasing income inequality in America. Here, Media Matters looks back at Fox’s year of class warfare.

“We Should Be Supporting” The “Mega-Wealthy”: Fox Fiercely Defended The Rich

Throughout 2011, Fox figures obsessively defended the wealthy against any possible tax increases proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats — even claiming that the rich should pay less in taxes while the poor should pay more. Some Fox figures claimed that “most Americans say” that “patriotism is paying less taxes,” while others claimed that those making $200,000 a year are not rich and that increasing their taxes would be unfair.

wealthy

Laura Ingraham Complained That Raising The Tax Rate For The Wealthy Is “Demoniz[ing] The Rich.” On the April 12 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham referred to a plan to raise the taxes of the wealthiest Americans as a plan that “demoni[zes] the rich.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends,

John Stossel: People Affected By Government Shutdown “Shouldn’t Be Getting Those Handouts Anyway.” On the April 6 edition of Fox News’ Your World with Neil Cavuto, while talking about a possible government shutdown, Fox Business host John Stossel claimed that “most of us” wouldn’t notice a shutdown and that those “who would notice shouldn’t be getting those handouts anyway.” [Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto,

MINIMUM WAGE

Fox Guest Peter Schiff: “One Of The Most Anti-Poor People Rules Is The Minimum Wage.” On the September 21 edition of Fox & Friends, Kilmeade hosted author and businessman Peter Schiff, who claimed that minimum wage rules negatively affect employment for young and poor people. [Fox News, Fox & Friends,

Neil Cavuto: “More than Half Of American Households … Do Not Pay Any Taxes At All.” During the July 27 broadcast of Your World, host Neil Cavuto claimed that “the rich already pay a lot in taxes” and said that “more than half of American households … do not pay any taxes at all.” He then asked, “Is that fair?” [Fox News, Your World,

Jonathan Hoenig: “Unions Have Destroyed Every Company In Which They’ve Been Intimately Involved.” On the November 12 edition of Fox News’ Cashin’ In, Hoenig claimed, “Unions have destroyed every company in which they’ve been involved.” [Fox News, Cashin’ In,

Bolling Wore A Tinfoil Hat While Mocking Occupy Wall Street Protesters. During the October 14 broadcast of Fox News’ The Five, Bolling donned a tin foil hat and held a misspelled sign reading, “Ocupy The Five,” to mock Occupy Wall Street protesters. Co-host Andrea Tantaros added that the Occupy Wall Street protesters needed signs like Bolling’s because “they haven’t brushed their teeth in weeks. How else do they communicate?” [Fox News, The Five,

Doocy: “The President Is Talking About Raising Taxes, And, You Know, Effectively Class Warfare.” On the September 19 broadcast of Fox & Friends, Doocy claimed that Obama’s deficit reduction plan was “effectively class warfare.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 9/19/11, via Media Matters]

Sean Hannity: Obama “Could Not Help But Resort To Using The Same Kind Of Class Warfare” In His Speech On Jobs Bill. During the September 12 broadcast of his Fox News show, Sean Hannity said of Obama’s speech about his jobs plan: “And, as usual, the president could not help but resort to using the same kind of class warfare and false choices that we’ve gotten used to over the past two-and-a-half years.” [Fox News, Hannity, 9/12/11, via Media Matters]

Bolling: “Class Warfare” Is “Emanating Out Of The White House.” During the August 22 edition of The Five, co-host Eric Bolling said to fellow panelist Dana Perino: “All right, Dana, what about the class warfare that seems to be, I don’t know, emanating out of the White House? Is it only the White House, or is it the right, too?” [Fox News, The Five, 8/22/11]

Doocy Called Obama’s Deficit Reduction Tour The “Soak The Rich Tour.” On the April 18 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy reacted to reports that Obama would travel to Nevada and California to promote his deficit reduction plan by saying, “Rather than the deficit reduction tour, call it the ‘Soak the Rich Tour.’ ” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 4/18/11]

Johnson: Obama’s “Clear Strategy” Is “Divide And Conquer” With “Class Warfare.” On the September 20 edition of Fox & Friends, Peter Johnson Jr. said that Obama’s deficit-reduction plan, which included increasing taxes on the wealthy, was evidence of Obama’s “clear strategy” to “divide and conquer” and “anger the middle … of America” with “class warfare.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 9/20/11, via Media Matters]

Molly Line Declared Obama “Wants To Use The Rich To Fix His Spending Problem.” On the July 18 edition of Fox & Friends, guest host Molly Line claimed that Obama “wants to use the rich to fix his spending problem.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 7/18/11, via Media Matters]

For more, see:

Trump: “Class Warfare” Is “Probably The Only Way [Obama] Thinks He Can Get Elected”

Sarah Palin: Obama Is Using Occupy Movement To “Perpetuate” Class Warfare

Morris Decides: Obama “Spends His Full Time Attacking People That Provide Jobs” And His Government Is “At War” With Employers

Broken Record: Doocy Again Complains Taxing The Wealthy Is “Class Warfare”

Fox’s Camerota On Obama Tax Plan: “Is The White House Inciting Class Warfare?”

Broken Record: Doocy Calls Obama’s Jobs Bill “Class Warfare … One Of Those Soak The Rich Things”

Doocy: Obama Is “Conducting What Is Clearly Class Warfare” In Calling For Balanced Approach To Lowering Debt


Kentucky’s ‘Ark Encounter’ Creationist Theme Park Struggles To Stay Afloat

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 29th, 2011 5:42 am by HL

Kentucky’s ‘Ark Encounter’ Creationist Theme Park Struggles To Stay Afloat
It’s been a while since we checked in with Kentucky’s planned “creationist theme park.” A local alternative magazine, LEO Weekly, reported this week that slow fundraising has delayed the Ark Encounter’s groundbreaking….


Video Shows Joe Arpaio’s Officer Used Taser On Latino Vet Who Later Died
Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office said Friday that his officer was the one who used a Taser on a Latino military veteran that later died. Along with the revelation, the agency also released more than eight hours of video footage showing the jailhouse scuffle that led to the veteran’s death.


Bad Memories of Christmas Past

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 29th, 2011 5:39 am by HL

Bad Memories of Christmas Past


Obama Campaign Builds Up the Grassroots

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 29th, 2011 5:38 am by HL

Obama Campaign Builds Up the Grassroots
President Obama’s campaign team has been organizing high turnout for the Iowa’s Democratic presidential caucuses, reports Politico, even though the president isn’t facing a serious primary challenge.

“Team Obama isn’t competing for turnout to rival the GOP field this time — or even match Obama’s own showing four years ago — but they would be happy to best the several thousand votes George W. Bush got there in 2004, campaign staffers say. It turns out that Obama’s Chicago-based political operation views the caucuses as a serious organizing tool and dry run for next November — and sees the relative lack of GOP boots on the ground in Iowa as the basis for a they-don’t-care-about-Iowa campaign theme in the 2012 general election.”

No Schmoozing
The New York Times notes President Obama “does not go out of his way to play the glad-handing, ego-stroking presidential role. While he does sometimes offer a ride on Air Force One to a senator or member of Congress, more often than not, he keeps Congress and official Washington at arm’s length, spending his down time with a small — and shrinking — inner circle of aides and old friends.”

“He typically golfs with a trio of mid- to low-level staff members little known outside the West Wing. He does not spend much time at Camp David, the retreat other presidents have used to woo Washington. His social life runs toward evenings playing Taboo with old friends and their families, Wii video games with his wife and daughters or basketball with Robert Wolf, a banker and the rare new best friend Mr. Obama has acquired since entering politics. He vacations with friends from Chicago on Martha’s Vineyard in August and in Hawaii at Christmas.”

Said James Carville: “This is not a Lincoln bedroom guy. In fact, he’s the anti-Lincoln bedroom guy. He doesn’t seem to relish, or even like, having politicians around.”

Lawmakers Say Gingrich Lobbied Them
Newt Gingrich (R) has been adamant that he did not lobby after leaving Congress in 1999, but the Des Moines Register spoke with Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and former Rep. Butch Otter (R-ID) who claim that Gingrich “helped persuade reluctant Republicans to vote for the Medicare prescription-drug program, which barely passed” in 2003.

Said Flake, “He told us, ‘If you can’t pass this bill, you don’t deserve to govern as Republicans.’… If that’s not lobbying, I don’t know what is.”

Nevertheless, the director of the ethics watchdog Center for Responsive Politics affirmed that “what Gingrich did probably was not technically lobbying.”

Controversy Centers on California Redistricting
Politico looks at the brewing redistricting battle in California, as a recent ProPublica report alleged that Democrats sought to “systematically game” the newly created independent Citizens Redistricting Commission.

“Drawing on dozens of internal emails and documents, the story reported that Democrats at the highest levels plotted and executed a secret plan to place witnesses before the commission to persuade them to draw a map that is expected to land Democrats several seats in 2012… For Democrats, the fierce pushback underscores the high stakes surrounding the state’s new map. California Republicans had already launched a referendum drive to overturn the commission-drawn state Senate plan before the article was published — and Democrats worry the story will fuel public doubts about the commission’s work and aid Republicans who want to paint the line-drawing as compromised.”


The Return of ‘The Right’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 29th, 2011 5:37 am by HL

The Return of ‘The Right’
I surprise nobody by remarking what a difficult time this is for Israelis and Palestinians. In many ways, the sides are closer than ever to sensing what a modus vivendi?feels like, as the institutions and economy of a Palestinian state…


An Offer To The President
Mr. President, we heard what you said last week in Kansas – about the dangers to our economy and democracy of the increasing concentration of income and wealth at the top. We agree. And many of us are prepared to…

Climate Change Talks and the Treaty Fetish
Reading assessments of the recent Durban conference by leading climate wonks, many of them argue that the issue of a binding treaty — to eventually take the place of the Kyoto Protocol — must be viewed against a broader backdrop….


New EPA Mercury Rules Are a Bona Fide Big Deal

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 29th, 2011 5:36 am by HL

New EPA Mercury Rules Are a Bona Fide Big Deal
by David Roberts, cross-posted from Grist Wednesday, at long last, the EPA unveiled its new rule covering mercury and other toxic emissions from coal- and oil-fired power plants. Anyone who pays attention to green news will have spent the last two years hearing a torrent of stories about EPA rules and the political fights over […]

by David Roberts, cross-posted from Grist

Wednesday, at long last, the EPA unveiled its new rule covering mercury and other toxic emissions from coal- and oil-fired power plants.

Anyone who pays attention to green news will have spent the last two years hearing a torrent of stories about EPA rules and the political fights over them. It can get tedious. After a certain point even my eyes glaze over, and I’m paid to follow this stuff.

But this one is a Big Deal. It’s worth lifting our heads out of the news cycle and taking a moment to appreciate that history is being made. Finally controlling mercury and toxics will be an advance on par with getting lead out of gasoline. It will save save tens of thousands of lives every year and prevent birth defects, learning disabilities, and respiratory diseases. It will make America a more decent, just, and humane place to live.

A couple of background facts to contextualize what the new rule means:

First, remember that the original Clean Air Act “grandfathered” in dozens of existing coal plants back in 1977, on the assumption that they were nearing the end of their lives and would be shut soon anyway. Well, funny story … they never shut down! There are still dozens of coal plants in the U.S. that don’t meet the pollution standards in the original 1970 Clean Air Act, much less the 1990 amendments. These old, filthy jalopies from the early 20th century, mostly along the eastern seaboard and scattered around the Midwest, are responsible for a vastly disproportionate amount of the air pollution generated by the electricity sector in America, including most of the mercury. They have been environmentalists’ bête noire for over 30 years now.

Second, mercury rules get directly at these plants in a way no other rules have. There’s no trading system for mercury like there is for SO2 (the Bush administration tried to set one up, but the court struck it down). There are no short-cuts either. Every plant that’s out of compliance has to install the “maximum available control technology.” There is some flexibility — more than industry admits — but there’s no getting around the fact that this is going to be an expensive rule. It’s going to kick off a huge wave of coal-plant retirements and investments in pollution-control technology. That is, despite what conservatives say, a good thing, since the public-health benefits will be far greater than the costs. Every country on earth is modernizing its electric fleet. Even China’s ahead of us. These crappy old plants are an embarrassment and good riddance to them.

Third, this has been a long time coming. (Nicholas Bianco has some good history here.) An assessment of mercury was part of the Clean Air Act amendments of 1990. EPA stalled and stalled, got sued, and finally did the assessment. Sure enough, as had been known for years, they found mercury is harmful to public health. Then more stalling and more stalling until the Bush administration’s malformed 2004 proposal, which instantly got caught up in (and struck down by) the courts. So when the mercury rule finally goes into effect in 2014, 24 years will have passed since Congress said mercury needs regulating. It’s been a fight for enviros every step of the way.

So anyway, this is an historic day and a real step forward for the forces of civilization. It’s the beginning of the end of one of the last of the old-school, 20th-century air pollution problems. (Polluters and their rented conservatives will try to kick up dust about this, but check out this letter to Congress [PDF] from a group of health scientists, which says “exposure to mercury in any form places a heavy burden on the biochemical machinery within cells of all living organisms.”) Long after everyone has forgotten who “won the morning” in the fight over these rules, or what effect they had on Obama’s electoral chances, the rule’s legacy will live on in a healthier, happier American people.

David Roberts is a staff writer for Grist. You can follow his Twitter feed at twitter.com/drgrist. This piece was originally published at Grist.

In (Qualified) Defense of Product Placement
It turns out that poor, pokey NBC, home of much beloved, wildly creative sitcoms like Community and Parks and Recreation, is the network most willing to trade product placement for financial support for its shows. And while I suppose I should be up in arms about the marching corporatization of our entertainment, I can’t say […]

It turns out that poor, pokey NBC, home of much beloved, wildly creative sitcoms like Community and Parks and Recreation, is the network most willing to trade product placement for financial support for its shows. And while I suppose I should be up in arms about the marching corporatization of our entertainment, I can’t say that the supposed evils of product placement are at the top of my list.

First, there’s a difference between using product placement to make already-cheap shows cheaper, as is the case with reality television as NBC does with The Biggest Loser and The Celebrity Apprentice, and using product placement to subsidize quality but low-rated programming as NBC has done with Friday Night Lights and Chuck. Using donated products to carry out the same repetitive rituals doesn’t actually make the formula of a predictable competition show any more predictable, or the emotional arc of the show any less manufactured. And the small but dedicated audiences for those other kinds of shows are aware enough to recognize artifice when they see it, and to appreciate that they’re enjoying something that’s been kept alive by something other than pure audience size. Better Chuck with the Subway references than no Chuck at all, I guess.

More to the point, the assumption that characters wouldn’t use brands and talk about products actually runs counter to reality. We all have irrational brand loyalties, and talk about products, and recommend stuff to each other. It’s not some dramatic distortion of the universe of the show, as long as the characters aren’t Amish or live in a socialist future, for characters to talk about the things they buy and why they like them.

And finally, for the most part, we’re not dumb. People know what product integration is, and that it’s being done to them. Not every show is going to be 30 Rock and laugh at the concept even as it uses it:

But even if people end up buying a Snapple because Liz Lemon likes it, or shampoo because it makes Robin’s hair look fantastic on How I Met Your Mother (I just started watching, and her hair), or test-driving a car because the main character on Castle does it, this is hardly the worst thing to happen. And for the most part, I suspect people know why they’re doing what they’re doing. It may be foolish to think that I can ever look like Jennifer Morrison without a set full of dresses, extensive plastic surgery, and a magical application of extra tallness. But if I spend a few dollars occasionally because I dig her eye shadow, no harm, no foul, in the indulgence of the fantasy and its immediate debunking.