Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

ACA Upheld by Supreme Court; NPR Obfuscates on The Takeaway
June 29, 2012

The Supreme Court did uphold the ACA yesterday, with Chief Justice Roberts voting with the ‘liberals’ to uphold the law on the grounds of tax law rather than on the commerce clause. The consensus of the talking heads is that he did this in order to preserve the appearance of the Court’s integrity, apparently not realizing that all three people who believe the Court actually has any integrity left are locked up in an asylum somewhere in northern Maine.

I still hold that the Republican branch of the court is corrupt and that they have not the best interests of the people. Their interests are political, almost solely political, aimed at increasing the power of the right wing, the so-called conservatives who are rapidly morphing into authoritarians modeling fascism.

Immediately following the ruling the congressional Republicans announced that they would do everything they could to repeal the law, starting with a vote in the House July 11 to repeal, a vote that will undoubtedly succeed, and will do nothing other than set the stage for their assault of lies and deceit for the next four months. They have nothing to offer Americans that would contain the howling rise in health care costs or that would give everyone a fair shot at getting good healthcare. The Republican prescription is to let the insurance companies continue their vile predation on the people. That fellow from Florida, former Representative Alan Grayson, said it best: The Republican health care plan – Don’t get sick, and if you do get sick, die quickly.

That’s pretty much the sort of thinking that Romney uses in his plan for the country. Cut taxes on the wealthy, raise taxes on the middle class and the working poor, cut social and medical programs and benefits, and spend trillions more on the already bloated military. Oh, yeah, and one more thing – pick a fight with Russia, because they’re, you know, the real enemy. There’s no room in the Republican mind for providing for the common good of all the people – just the rich people. So their plan for the first glimmer of a program that moves toward universal health care, which every other advanced society on the planet has in place, is to kill the program – and any number of people who might otherwise live useful, productive lives.

One might expect a serious and useful discussion of this matter on National Public Radio, and perhaps somewhere on NPR such discussion occurs. But not on their morning flagship show.

NPR’s inept morning show, the Takeaway, performed its usual useless stunt of bringing in a liberal supporter and a conservative opponent of the law, letting hostess Celeste Headlee breathlessly bounce them against each other, thus guaranteeing we would hear spin and opinion rather than dispassionate, informed discussion of the facts of the law and the situation. Fortunately her co-host, John Hockenberry, was off today so we didn’t get both barrels of thoughtless, breathless nonsensical broadcasting. I do wish NPR would dump that show and provide some useful news and discussion in its place. The show is a waste of air time and bandwidth, fit for adolescent mindsets at best. With a little bit of effort, just the tiniest bit, the producers could tip the show into a bad parody of shows that parody news shows. The Takeaway is just another reason why the country has tipped into a civil war. It’s only a matter of time until the shouting and name-calling are replaced with bullets, at which point the complete inadequacy of health care in this country will be fully apparent.

Of course the Republicans, mindless and vicious in their pursuit of power and their worship of wealth, would welcome the sort of violence some of their members propose. The Republicans figure they can count on the blithering insanity of Wayne LaPierre’s NRA to provide them with the manpower and the weaponry to fight an actual shooting war, while the Democrats will spend their time blithering nuances and policy distinctions while they’re being lined up in sports arenas to be shot.

Perhaps Headlee and Hockenberry might provide bullet by bullet commentary. Or perhaps they might commentate on cage fights featuring liberals versus conservatives. That’s more their style, seasoned with reading tweets and emails which they pretend are actual useful news.

One can only hope that NPR decides to take them away. Perhaps with a nice severance package that includes health care.

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Falmouth Enterprise: Head In The Sand While Life Goes Extinct
June 27, 2012

The local news rag for Falmouth, Massachusetts on Cape Cod is called the Falmouth Enterprise, a small publishing empire comprising several towns on the west end of the Cape. The Enterprise, an old family concern, tends to be provincial in style – though perhaps parochial would better describe it. Though they do a decent job of covering the local news, I tend to suspect that they also manage to cover up things they deem it better for the public not to know. Selectmen driving drunk perhaps. Incompetent police chiefs maybe. Rich residents pulling political strings in town hall perhaps. The sorts of things local papers tend to do everywhere. The usual sins. And the writing is too often… well, a few of their writers could use a copy of Writing With Precision by Jefferson D. Bates – but on the whole they’ve gotten much better at writing than they used to do.

I should fully disclose that I’ve lived here, on and off, in the same house, for fifty-five years, and once worked for the Cape’s daily newspaper, now called the Cape Cod Times. And that I regard the Cape as a place utterly destroyed by the song stylings in 1957 of Patti Page, whose warbling, though pretty, encouraged hordes of tourists and settlers to overrun the place and destroy most of the beauty and charm. Ultimately greed destroyed the place. It ain’t pretty no more. It has pretty spots and it has the National Seashore on the Lower Cape, but on the whole, no, it ain’t pretty.

Be that as it may, the bigger issue is that Cape Cod is a low-lying seaside resort peninsula sticking out into an ocean that is, by all scientific accounts, dying, swelling, and rising. The science is in: there is no legitimate debate – this biosphere is dying, life is going extinct at an accelerating rate, the temperature is rising, and the seas are rising. And humans are responsible. Questioning the science is, at this point, irresponsible, if not criminally stupid.

The climate is a great planetary flywheel. Humans have put energy into that flywheel by filling the atmosphere with greenhouse gasses, and now the flywheel is energizing itself through feedback loops. To wit, the Arctic icecap melts, the open sea warms, thus melting more ice, warming the sea further, which warms the atmosphere, and soon the warmer planet begins to melt permafrost and release methane which increases planetary warming which melts more ice, and so on. We’ve kicked the system into runaway motion and other than a drastic and catastrophic curtailment of the use of fossil fuels nothing will stop it. It’s accelerating. Scientists discover that the predictions of  last year, indeed of last month, are no longer valid, that last years foot and a half sea level rise in this century has become six feet, or more, and sooner than any of them thought possible. And life in the sea is at risk, serious, deadly risk of massive extinction: in case you might think that, well, you’ll just eat cows and corn instead of fish, you might want to recall that one-third to one-half of our oxygen is produced by bacteria in the sea.

We might also keep in mind that scientists are notoriously conservative when making public pronouncements and predictions. So it would be fair to believe that right now the scientists are screaming ‘Fire!’

Obviously little is being done to mitigate global warming. Political will is lacking, crippled not only by politicians fearing for their jobs if they tell the truth and take appropriate actions, but also by corporate and wealthy elite interests doing their very best to sabotage not only any mitigative action but even any responsible discussion. In sum, the rich are willing to kill most life on the planet in order to line their pockets with more money gained from producing goods and services which are responsible for creating the greenhouse gases that are killing us. One might consider that the rich already have more money than they can spend in a hundred lifetimes, but they want, as the rich always do, more. I believe these people should be regarded as criminals.

We have also, of course, a culture of people who demand gewgaws and gimcracks like tablet computers and big cars and five hundred different models of cellphones to choose from, thus feeding into the whole system that is crashing down on their heads.

Then we have newspapers like the Enterprise that contribute to the childish and magical thinking that stifles the outrage people should be feeling, that would drive actual change for the good of the biosphere. Which brings me to the genesis of today’s rant in Grumpy Lion, that cause being an editorial appearing in the June 26, 2012 edition, on page five, said editorial titled ‘Planning For Sea Level Rise’. I’ve reproduced the editorial in full below.

A little context: Surf Drive is a beach road that is only a couple of feet above sea level. It is very pretty in an old Cape sort of way, or would be if the town had refused to allow people to turn private bathhouses into actual houses right on the narrow strip of beach sand between Surf Drive and the sea. The houses, sitting on stilts, are picturesque in one sense, and ugly, very ugly in a more profound sense. And the Cape, as noted, is a low-lying peninsula which depends for drinking water on lenses of underground water which are subject, should the sea rise somewhat, to saltwater infiltration.

Herewith the grand editorial of the Falmouth Enterprise on sea level rise:

Planning For Sea Level Rise

Sea level is rising faster along the Atlantic Coast of the US and globally, according to a study released this weekend by the US Geological Survey. And based on the data, USGS reported, the rate of sea level rise on the East Coast will continue to increase.

The rise is incremental – measured in millimeters a year – but significant. Cities such as Boston are taking the situation very seriously. The Boston Globe reported yesterday that the city has already begun mapping low-lying areas and the Boston Water and Sewer Commission will begin inspecting sewers, storm drain connections and pumping stations in order to assess what needs to be done to prepare for the rising sea level.

Sea level rise will obviously have the greatest impact on coastal cities and their billions of dollars of infrastructure, but coastal communities, including Falmouth, will have to plan for the eventuality as well.

As a Jeff Williams pointed out in an article published in the Enterprise last month, Falmouth is already experiencing the effects of sea level rise with increased erosion, and over wash of low areas such as Surf Drive and West Falmouth Harbor.

Falmouth officials have begun planning. Last year the town took part in the state StormSmart Coasts program.

But that program focused largely on emergency management systems. While that is good because it will help the town qualify for FEMA funding in the event of a large storm, it doesn’t address the larger issues. And some are large indeed. Low-lying roads will be affected. Many will remember that parts of Surf Drive were washed away during Hurricane Bob. Eventually it might be that it will take a lesser storm than a hurricane to do the same damage. How can such roads be protected? Or should they be abandoned? The answer to the latter is almost certainly not.

These are big questions, too big to be answered behind closed doors at Town Hall. Eventually the community will need to be involved with the planning process.

Aside from virtually ignoring real sea-level rise by pointing at occasional storm surges, the writer of this magical editorial chooses to engage in high-school cheerleading when he writes, “How can such roads be protected? Or should they be abandoned? The answer to the latter is almost certainly not.”

Really? Surf Drive is likely to be permanently under water within a few decades. It is likely that Main Street, less than a mile away in the center of the town, will follow soon after. In due time, by which I mean considerably less than the thousand years some predict, and considering the rate at which climate is changing, the town will be uninhabitable, if not entirely under water. It is not inconceivable that Falmouth could be uninhabitable, along with much of the Cape, within this century or the next. But the best the editorial board of the Enterprise, and papers like it around the country, the best they can come up with is ‘Rah! Rah! Rah! Let’s save Surf Drive!’

I find it interesting that a corollary discussion, that of sewering the town to protect five or six coastal ponds from nitrogen pollution at a cost of a half billion (yes, billion) dollars, has entirely avoided the issue of global warming and sea level rise. Those ponds will soon belong entirely to the ocean and those sewers, off which some people will make a considerable amount of money, will be utterly useless. The Enterprise has yet to produce a serious, ongoing discussion of that matter in relation to global warming.

I would suggest that perhaps the reason for such a pathetic piece of editorial work is that the powers-that-be at the paper seek to protect the commercial interests who might be upset that speaking truth might keep tourists away and money out of the merchants’ pockets; or perhaps some of those rich people who want more and more and more have had a word with the publishers, suggesting that they tone down any mention of the coming catastrophe, for the, you know, good of the community. I could, of course, be wrong. It could simply be that the combined weight of editorial thinking at the paper amounts to little more than what it seems – high school cheerleading in the face of madness.

But it doesn’t matter. The sea will rise no matter what the editors of the newspapers think, no matter what the politicians do or don’t do, no matter what the rich think they can get away with. The seas will rise, humanity will fall. The Enterprise and its ilk just insure that the fall will come faster and harder and that the survivors will be screaming, “Why didn’t you tell us the truth?”.  Said survivors would likely burn down the Enterprise offices if said offices were not by then well under the sea. Besides, given the availability of legitimate information on planetary warming these days, no one has the right to ask that question, now now, not in the future. But people do have the right to demand of the Enterprise and its kind why they focus on Surf Drive when civilization, indeed humankind itself, verges on extinction.

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MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan Beats Chris Matthews As Worst Interviewer
November 23, 2010

The Lion didn’t think anyone could conduct a more annoying interview than MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, a man who never shuts up, who interrupts his guests constantly, and puffs himself up as something really special.

But he’s been outdone by Dylan Ratigan, who comes on in the hour before Matthews. Ratigan’s gift differs from Matthews’. Matthews will rattle off rapid fire questions and demonstrates vast impatience with anyone who actually tries to give a coherent answer. The viewer is left learning pretty much nothing.

Ratigan, however, never asks a question that is less than five minutes long and during which he rambles all over the map, all through time and history, and brings in every disparate element that apparently rattles through his brain at the moment.

By the time Ratigan gets to the end of his speech, virtually nobody knows what the hell he’s talking about or what the question is. The guests sit through these bumbling rambles looking as if it’s all they can do to not actually roll their eyes in irritation.

At least he usually lets them answer the question, although The Lion can never be sure if they’re answering the question Ratigan originally intended to ask or if they’re just riffing in the general area of the issue because they haven’t a clue what he’s talking about either.

Both these guys need some serious training in interviewing, reporting, and public speaking. The Lion doesn’t know or care what their ratings are, but if ratings were based on skill they’d be somewhere below the lowest basement level at the Nielsen building. Right now MSNBC is wasting three hours a day on Ratigan and Matthews.

Matthews and Ratigan might as well be handing ratings points to Faux News.

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Kiran Chetry Speaks Peanut At CNN
November 10, 2010

I was just watching Kiran Chetry of CNN “News” deliver a story of profound news value.

Ms. Chetry is sitting on a bar stool, all pert and cheery, dressed in a short black something, alongside her partner whatshisname, and announcing as news to the world that the Planters Peanut cartoon character sales icon is no longer a silent character. The company has given him an actor’s voice.

I said to Ms. Chetry, “Don’t you feel like a fucking idiot sitting up there announcing this to the world? You’re supposed to be a professional news anchor, not a public relations flack for some jagoff peanut marketing department.”

Apparently my comment didn’t bother her an iota. She just rattled on, and was still rattling this inanity when I switched off the television.

Seeing her sitting up on that stool reminded me of the hookers who sit in the windows of Amsterdam. Which, all things considered, seems appropriate for American television news.

Why Media Matters Matters
August 7, 2010

What follows is the full text of today’s early morning email commentary from Media Matters. If you’re not familiar with them, you should go there and check them out. They’re doing what the American press is supposed to do and has failed miserably at doing. They pull no punches about the sickness on the American political right. – The Lion

 

Media Matters: Of mosques and mendacity

If you’ve followed the conservative media over the past few weeks, you can be forgiven for thinking that it’s a tough time for white Christians in America right now, what with the New Black Panthers denying white people their voting rights and undocumented workers clogging up our civic machinery with "anchor babies." The message coming from Fox News and some of the more determined attention-seekers on the right is that we’re in a battle for white America’s Jesus-worshiping soul, beset as it is by immigrants and black USDA officials and, perhaps most threateningly, Muslims.

The New York City landmarks commission decided this week to act in the interest of New Yorkers rather than out-of-state conservative pundits and voted to clear the way for the construction of an Islamic center in lower Manhattan, a few blocks from the site where the World Trade Center once stood. This was unacceptable to said pundits, who insisted that this site of America’s mourning should be exempted from American values. "We’re all about religious freedom," explained Sarah Palin, but only "down the road." Newt Gingrich announced, "I favor religious freedom," but not "right at the edge of a place where, let’s be clear, thousands of Americans were killed in an attack by radical Islamists."

The argument from the right is relatively straightforward — Muslim terrorists destroyed the Twin Towers, therefore we should ban all things Muslim from the area, in the interest of healing and sympathy (although, as Salon noted, they were curiously silent when Muslims began praying in the Pentagon shortly after 9-11). That argument necessarily holds all Muslims accountable for the detestable acts of the small and violent minority of Muslims who take up the terrorist mantle. On its own, that would be offensive enough, but people like Palin and Gingrich purport to be sensitive to that distinction and nonetheless run roughshod over it. Palin famously took to her Twitter account to exhort "peaceful Muslims" to "refudiate" the Islamic center. Gingrich acknowledged the differences between "radical Islamists" and other Muslims before launching into an unhinged attack on the "Ground Zero mosque" and "Creeping Sharia in the United States."

Others simply can’t be bothered to even pretend to understand that "Muslim" does not equal "terrorist." A "recruiting tool for domestic extremists" was how Rush Limbaugh described the Islamic center. Glenn Beck called it an "Allah tells me to blow up America mosque." Comments like these badly mischaracterize what the "Ground Zero mosque" actually is and the role it will play in America’s unsettled relationship with the Muslim world.

The people behind the mosque are Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and his wife, Daisy Khan, and contrary to what the right wing would have you believe, Time magazine says they’re "actually the kind of Muslim leaders right-wing commentators fantasize about: modernists and moderates who openly condemn the death cult of al-Qaeda and its adherents." Rauf has written a book titled What’s Right with Islam Is What’s Right with America. In late 2001, after the 9-11 attacks, Rauf was quoted in New Jersey’s Bergen County Record as saying that Islam must "define its ‘American-ness,’ that is, adapt to the American culture." The Atlantic‘s Jeffrey Goldberg, who knows Rauf, describes him as representing "what Bin Laden fears most: a Muslim who believes that it is possible to remain true to the values of Islam and, at the same time, to be a loyal citizen of a Western, non-Muslim country."

That message, however, is unimportant to right-wingers who are more interested in turning the "Ground Zero mosque" into a wedge issue and stoking Islamophobia for political benefit. The tragic farce of it all, as described by Slate‘s William Saletan, is that people like Palin and Gingrich, who purport to be standing up against terror and for America, are actually promulgating the same message as Osama bin Laden — that "the United States represents Christianity, al-Qaida represents Muslims, Christians won’t protect Muslims, the West hates mosques, peaceful coexistence is a fraud, and the ‘war on terrorism’ is really a war on Islam." It’s hard to argue with that assessment when you hear the likes of Limbaugh claiming that the "Ground Zero mosque" means Muslims are "planting the flag of victory."

Jonathan Chait surveyed the right-wing opposition to the mosque and concluded that "a lot of people are going to eventually feel ashamed about where they stood." That might be true, but all signs seem to indicate that these people are about as familiar with the concept of shame as they are with religious freedom.

A big week for "judicial activism"

If the conservative media have taught us anything else — and they haven’t — it’s that members of the judiciary who are progressive and don’t adhere strictly to right-wingers’ shifting interpretations of the law are "judicial activists" who "legislate from the bench" and see the Constitution as a "living document" and so forth. Of course, the conservative faction of the Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts is carving out quite a legacy of judicial activism, but that doesn’t count because they’re conservatives.

And speaking of the Roberts court, it picked up its newest member this week as Elena Kagan, President Obama’s pick to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens, was confirmed by the Senate in a largely party-line vote that, while it got the job done, did not portend well for future nominations. She will be the next associate justice of the Supreme Court in spite of a spirited smear campaign by conservatives who were not about to limit themselves to cries of "judicial activism." They hurled just about every attack they could at Kagan throughout the nomination process, and it’s still going strong even though the deed is done.

Just this week alone, conservatives attempted to force a delay on Kagan’s vote by screaming that she lied to the Judiciary Committee about her stance on partial birth abortion. When that failed, they claimed she does not believe in and seeks to destroy the Constitution, they attacked her looks, and even called her a stealth Muslim.

But as intense as the attacks on Kagan were, the fusillade against Judge Vaughn Walker was even worse. Walker ruled this week that California’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, and right-wingers lit into him not just because he ruled against their interests, but because he’s gay. "Nero, like Judge Vaughn, wanted the community to embrace his unnatural way of life," declared The Washington Times, perhaps subconsciously acknowledging the stale antiquity of its position. The Times also insisted that Walker should have recused himself from the case because he is gay, a ludicrous argument that earned swift rebukes from people who actually know what they’re talking about.

The intense right-wing focus on Judge Walker’s personal life, however, managed to overlook one aspect of his background — the fact that he was nominated as a federal judge by Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

But such things are bound to happen to "judicial activists" when they do clearly unconstitutional things like stand up for equal rights.

He meant what he said, he said what he meant, Fox News stood by him, 1,000 percent

It’s been clear for some time now that the culture of accountability at Fox News doesn’t, you know … exist. If you’re a Fox News employee, you can get away with pretty much anything. Photoshopping the faces of New York Times reporters to make them ugly caricatures of themselves? No problem. Bringing on a racist anti-Semite to attack the African-American presidential candidate? Nothing to worry about. Cropping video of the president to claim he spoke for terrorist sympathizers? Give that man a raise!

But if there’s a poster child for Fox News’ permissive attitude toward media malpractice, it’s Glenn Beck. After all, this is the guy whose attack on the president as a "racist" cost the network millions in ad revenue, and the worst he got was Rupert Murdoch’s enthusiastic "good on ya!" (a Fox News spokesman later said Murdoch "does not … think the president is a racist"). And this week we learned that there really doesn’t seem to be anything Beck can do that will get him in trouble with his bosses.

It all started back on May 28, when Beck attacked Simon Greer of the Jewish Funds for Justice, who had called Beck a "con man" for "bottling [his] ideological agenda and labeling it theology." Beck responded by saying that Greer’s philosophy "leads to death camps. A Jew, of all people, should know that. This is exactly the kind of talk that led to the death camps in Germany. Put humankind and the common good first." After Beck attacked this prominent Jewish individual for helping to promote a second Holocaust, Fox News executives decided it might be a good idea to meet with Greer on behalf of their once-again wayward star and talk things over.

According to TVNewser, Fox News senior vice president Joel Cheatwood made clear to Greer that, in spite of Beck’s horribly offensive rhetoric concerning one of the worst instances of genocide the world has ever known, Fox News "absolutely stood behind Glenn Beck 1000%."

So while this is obviously a disheartening development for society at large, Fox News hosts should be excited. If Fox executives will allow Glenn Beck to accuse Jews of, in the words of Greer, " paving the way for fascism," then they’re free to get as creative as they want and attack anyone for pretty much anything.

Of course, they already do that anyway, but at least now it’s official.

Simon Maloy is a Research Fellow at Media Matters for America.

Glenn Beck, We Actually Are Coming To Get You
July 31, 2010

Glenn Beck, the television blitherer who looks a lot like a fat-cheeked chipmunk, thinks progressives are out to kill him. At least that’s what one would have to gather from his daily blitherings on radio and television.

Glenn, who calls himself a conservative so that the crazoids who believe him will consider him an authentic authority, is little more than a loudmouthed liar who says outrageous things in order to get ratings. Either that or he’s a certifiable nutcase who believes his own virulent incitements to violence.

Some of his stuff, from Media Matters:

  • Suggested Obama is pushing America toward civil war and deliberately "trying to destroy the country."
  • Capped two weeks of violent fear mongering about progressives by warning that when their attempts at a "soft revolution" fail, eventually progressives "just start shooting people."
  • Said the "people around the president" support "armed insurrection" and "bombing."
  • Repeatedly insinuated that the Obama administration will kill him.
  • Used a quote from Jefferson to launch into a warning about coming "rivers of blood."
  • Compared himself to "Israeli Nazi hunters" and announced that "to the day I die, I am going to be a progressive hunter."
  • Included in his advice to Liberty University grads that they should "shoot to kill," and that graduates "have a responsibility" to speak out, or "blood…will be on our hands."
  • Informed viewers that the "world is on edge" and said that "those who survive" will "stand in the truth" and "listen."
  • Said that some progressive groups don’t have "a problem with blood in the streets."

Well, The Lion has had enough of Mr. Glenn Beck’s attempted destruction of liberty, freedom, democracy, and people’s lives, and has decided to make Glenn’s wildest fantasies come true.

Right now, Glenn, this very moment, Progressive hit squads are watching you and planning their moves. Because you are a stain on democracy and freedom, a serial abuser of power, and because you incite violence with your lies and distortions and vile hatred and bigotry, our people are going to remove you from the public airwaves.

You won’t see it coming, Glenn, but you will feel it. Our squads have been instructed to inflict some serious pain on you before the final act, just so you know the reality of what’s happening to you – the same reality you think it’s okay to inflict on others. We’re thinking liposuction without anesthesia, for starters.

So be careful where you go, Glenn. We’re gonna get you. We’re gonna hurt you.

And because you have managed somehow to breed, Glenn, other squads have been pointed towards your home and whoever might be inside; towards your girlfriend’s apartment; and towards your boyfriend’s snug little cabin. Also, your dealer, the one with the half-blonde pony tail and the designer jeans, he’s been paid to add a little something extra to your purchases.

The jig is up, Glenn. We’re everywhere, and we look just like everyone else. We’ve even got a couple of people on your staff, Glenn, a couple of good undercover operatives. We know where you go, what you do, what you eat for breakfast, how you like your eggs, that disgusting thing you do to your girlfriend, where you keep your money. We own you, Glenn, we own you.

This paranoid fantasy has been brought to you by Glenn Beck’s mind, what little there is of it. Reap what you sow, Chipmunk.

Of course, Glenn, we really don’t condone violence: we’re not like you. This entire piece of writing is merely satire and parody, a sort of reverse Glenn Beck. We haven’t really told anyone to hurt you or your family or your confederates. Not that we wouldn’t be just all thrilled if someone did do you, but it’s more likely to be one of your dupes who sees the light, realizes what a sick, lying little sack of greed and insanity you are, and decides he’s going to get his money back or take it out of your chipmunk hide. That’s who you really have to fear, Glenn, the people around you, the people close to you, and the people you dupe. Look around, Glenn, look around.

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Quick Hits…
May 24, 2010

NASCAR aptness…

imageConsidering the amount of advertising plastered on the cars and on the drivers’ uniforms, this Globe photo strikes The Lion as particularly apropos.

Church 500 years behind the times, as usual…

image Five hundred years after the Catholic Church ordered Nicolaus Copernicus buried as a heretic in an unmarked grave, the Church finally dug him up and buried him properly.

His heresy? Doing science that suggested that the stupid, dirty old men running the Vatican weren’t the center of the universe after all.

‘Lost’ is finally lost after six years…

The Lion just doesn’t care.

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CNN: The Anti-News Non-News Organization. What Oil Spill?
May 3, 2010

CNN once again shows its utter failure to comprehend news, and to put advertiser dollars ahead of truth. Way ahead.

What are they devoting most of their on-air time to these days?

A failed, amateur bomb scare in New York City. Nothing happened. Nothing is happening, but CNN is going on and on and on about it.

And in the meantime, what gets short shrift?

The Gulf of Mexico British Petroleum oil spill catastrophe that will cost billions, no, tens of billions of dollars at a minimum; that is right now destroying the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people along the Gulf Coast, and more as the economic effects spread inland; that promises to be an unparalleled environmental disaster.

That’s what CNN is softballing.

Instead of investigating BP and Congress and the regulators, instead of doing some genuine investigative work, instead of even paying attention, they put up anecdotal stories about restaurants facing the loss of their business. Or as of right now, a long live feed about the Iranian president speaking at the United Nations, presenting his usual propaganda.

And all that’s more important than the expected collapse of the Gulf economy, the Gulf fisheries, and potentially the Atlantic fisheries if the spill makes its way to the Gulf Stream?

Oh me oh my, how much money does BP spend advertising on CNN?

Oh me oh my, how big a whore is CNN, obviously down on its knees in front of BP? How come when they do manage to talk about the spill, they barely mention BP?

And right now their big story – a teenage girl made a dress from juice pouches.

CNN, once again the World’s Worst News Network.

Later note: CNN anchors have consistently referred to the oil seeping from the well, or to the seepage. Someone should tell these bozos that five thousand barrels a day is not seepage. It’s a goddam gusher.

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Quickies (Before The Ship Of State Follows The Titanic)
March 17, 2010

Eric Holder hands Bin Laden a weapon…

In a Congressional hearing yesterday United States Attorney General handed Osama Bin Laden, the most hunted man in the world, a weapon.

While being questioned by one of those Republicans who have no faith in the judicial system of the United States, a system which the Republicans under their last President rendered corrupt to a degree that would have been unbelievable only a few years before, Holder said:

“The reality is that we will be reading Miranda rights to the corpse of Osama bin Laden. He will never appear in an American courtroom. That’s the reality. … He will be killed by us, or he will be killed by his own people so he’s not captured by us. We know that.”

Bin Laden should be licking his chops over that. All he has to do now to score another coup against the U.S. is to walk into an embassy of a European country and surrender.

If he’s killed extrajudicially the American legal system looks like crap to the world, and he becomes a martyr driving recruitment from the ranks of the disaffected into the terrorist cadres.

If he is instead held by a European country, there will be a long, drawn out legal battle because Europeans don’t have the death penalty and won’t extradite to the United States, which does make a practice of killing people in little rooms in the middle of the night.

If the U.S. agrees to extradition without the death penalty being applicable, the right wing nutcases (read Republicans) will have a field day as they try to drive the country to be more like Afghanistan.

If there is a public trial, it will drag on, and Bin Laden’s cohorts will benefit from the publicity. If there is a secret trial, the terrorists have a martyr. If he is killed, they have a martyr. If he dies from a heart attack, they have a martyr. If he chokes to death on some hummus, they have a martyr.

Thanks for all that, Attorney General Holder. By trying to appease the mouth-breathers on the right, you may have created a real monster of a problem.

[Just so we don’t forget, the United States has destroyed two countries; has fought two wars for nine and eight years respectively; has spent hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of lives; has killed tens, if not hundreds of thousands of innocent people; has thrown a large part of the world into dangerous turmoil; and shows no signs of giving up their horror show of slaughter and destruction for a saner, more productive policy, and still has no idea where bin Laden is, or even if he is alive.]

Michael Moore; Flint, Michigan; and Health Insurance Greed…

Michael Moore writes a good piece on the bullshit health insurance support legislation heading for a vote this weekend in Congress.

One of the points he makes:

And how big will the fines be if the insurance companies do deny someone coverage for having a pre-existing condition? Are you sitting down? A hundred dollars a day! That’s it! So if you’re the insurance company, and Judy is a customer of yours, and Judy needs an operation that will cost $100,000, what do you do? You take the fine! Let’s say Judy lives another year after you’ve sentenced her to death, your $100-a-day fine will only cost you $36,500! That’s a savings of $63,500! And trust me, my friends, that’s EXACTLY what’s going to happen.

If this bill goes through without a strong public option to control insurance company greed and sociopathic behavior, the American people will get screwed again, and again, and again, by Congress, by the insurance companies, and by every other corporate entity that sees how easy it is to buy a piece of the taxpayer pie while pulling the wool over the eyes of Congressmen and Senators and regulators who only have eyes for corporate dollars.

CNN sinks deeper into a morass of ugliness and calls it news…

CNN, ostensibly a television news network, or at least it was once upon a time, has sunk to a new low, according to Talking Points Memo.

CNN’s newest acquisition in a bid for ratings is a chubby fellow named Erick Erickson, a right wing sicko in the mold of fellow sociopathic loudmouths Glenn Beck and Rush ‘Fat Man’ Limbaugh. Erickson is the editor of the blog RedState, and will be a ‘political contributor’ to John King’s show, which was formerly touted as a straight news show. Apparently the ratings tanked and the brass at CNN decided they had to get vile.

In Tuesday’s announcement, CNN political director Sam Feist lauded Erickson as being a voice for small-town values.

"Erick’s a perfect fit for John King, USA, because not only is he an agenda-setter whose words are closely watched in Washington, but as a person who still lives in small-town America, Erick is in touch with the very people John hopes to reach," Feist said.

A few of Mr. Erickson’s memorable moments, quoting the TPM piece:

He’s called a Supreme Court justice a "goat-fucking child molester." Last month, he told "ugly" "feminazis" to "return to their kitchens." He’s compared an administration official to a Nazi and called First Lady Michelle Obama a "Marxist harpy."

Makes one wonder about those small-town values the right wing  always touts as the solution to the nation’s problems.

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Achillean Rage, Right On The Button
March 10, 2010