Apparently, branding yourself as “That crazy old guy who doesn’t think Obama was born in the U.S.” is not good for your ratings. Who knew?
Mr. Dobbs’ first began reporting on Obama birth certificate conspiracy theories on the night of Wednesday, July 15. In the roughly two weeks since then, from July 15 through July 28, Mr. Dobbs’ 7 p.m. show on CNN has averaged 653,000 total viewers and 157,000 in the 25-54 demo.
By contrast, during the first two weeks of the month (July 1 to July 14) Mr. Dobbs averaged 771,000 total viewers and 218,000 in the 25-54 demo. In other words, Mr. Dobbs’ audience has decreased 15 percent in total viewers and 27 percent in the demo since the start of the controversy.
Arguably, interest in cable news has slumped across the board since early July when attention over Michael Jackson’s death was still at a fever pitch.
But, that said, Mr. Dobbs’ ratings over the past two weeks, during the height of the “birthers” controversy, are also down significantly compared to his overall numbers during the second quarter of 2009 when he averaged 769,000 total viewers and 222,000 in the 25-54 demo.
In summary, if Mr. Dobbs’ affinity for “birthers” is a ratings ploy, it’s a pretty ineffective one.
All this “Obama needs to produce his birth certificate” stuff would have been a lot more effective if Obama hadn’t, y’know, produced his birth certificate.
I’ll believe it when I see a good bill emerge or a bad bill get shot down, but it’s nice to see House progressives actually flexing their muscles rather than just being railroaded into accepting Blue-Dog-friendly crap:
Liberals, Hispanics and African-American members — Pelosi’s most loyal base of support — are feeling betrayed after House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) reached an agreement with four of seven Blue Dogs on his committee who had been bottling up the bill over concerns about cost.
The compromise, which still must be reconciled with competing House and Senate versions, would significantly weaken the public option favored by liberals by delinking reimbursement rates to Medicare.
“Waxman made a deal that is unacceptable,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), one of about 10 progressives who met repeatedly with Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on Wednesday.
“We signed a pledge to reject any plan that doesn’t include a robust public option, and this plan doesn’t have a robust public option,” he added.
By sundown Wednesday, the outcry from the left had become so loud that Waxman was forced to scrap a scheduled markup of the compromise measure. He rescheduled the meeting for Thursday morning and convened a mass question-and-answer session for a deeply divided Democratic Caucus — a meeting that is expected to be extremely contentious.
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) predicted that House liberals, who believe they have compromised away several core issues to further President Barack Obama’s agenda, might finally buck leadership if they are force-fed a weakened public option.
“I don’t think it would pass the House — I wouldn’t vote for it,” Frank, a CPC member, told POLITICO.
He answered “yes” emphatically when asked if progressives were willing to delay the entire process as the Blue Dogs have done.
Frank said liberals are becoming increasingly leery of the clout wielded by Blue Dogs and are learning from the success they have had in leveraging their numbers — a fraction of the liberals’ — into real power.
“If you allow one wing of the House to exercise all this influence, you have to do something or you lose all of your influence,” he said.
Apparently our progressives is learning. Maybe the Blue Dogs’ reign of terror over the Democratic caucus is finally coming to an end. (I know, I know, I’m not holding my breath)
Stephen Carter, who apparently can’t or won’t distinguish between profits earned through hard work and superior products or services, and profits “earned” through gaming the system and deceiving their customers.
But hey, I guess as long as they’re making lots of money, they deserve our unconditional admiration and respect.
I’m pleasantly surprised that such a bill has even been drafted:
What with Congress taking up high-stakes issues such as health care reform, bank re-regulation and a new energy policy, the case for public financing of congressional elections has never been so obvious.
It takes a lot of money to run a modern Senate or House campaign, and lawmakers now have to compromise themselves by personally pleading for contributions from big-money interests. Also, the massive amount of time members must devote to fundraising makes them less effective.
One way to get cleaner elections and better government is for Congress to adopt a Connecticut-style reform being pushed by Democratic U.S. Rep. John B. Larson of East Hartford and Rep. Walter Jones Jr., Republican of North Carolina. Senate sponsors are DemocratsDick Durbin of Illinois and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania.
A hearing on the “Fair Elections Now Act” will be held by the House Administration Committee today. We heartily support Mr. Larson’s initiative.
The bill would create a voluntary program and would work like this: Participating candidates for the House and Senate would have to raise a large number of contributions, not to exceed $100 each, in order to qualify for public funding. Qualified House candidates would receive $900,000 in Fair Elections funding split 40 percent for the primary and 60 percent for the general election. Qualified Senate candidates would receive $1.25 million plus another $250,000 per congressional district in their states to take into account population differences. That funding, too, would be split 40-60. Qualified candidates would also be eligible to receive additional public funds if they continued to raise small donations from their home states.
The constant money chase, and corporations’ ability to pony up millions of dollars in campaign donations without batting an eye, has made our government completely corrupt. Just look at the impact the telecom industry had on retroactive immunity for warrantless wiretapping, the impact the financial industry had on the bailout, the impact the energy industry had on the cap-and-trade bill, and the impact the insurance industry is having on healthcare reform. The public good has been pretty obvious in each case, and it’s been overridden to favor corporations over citizens or even the rule of law.
This bill is exactly what we need, but I see two problems:
1) I don’t see any mention of presidential campaigns. An independent Congress is great, but I don’t want a corporate-owned president. We’ve had pro-corporate presidents since at least 1981, and yes, I’m including Obama.
2) I still don’t see how we’re going to get a majority of incumbents to vote for a system that favors incumbents. The only possible motivations are overwhelming public demand, which I don’t see, and fatigue at having to constantly ask for money, which could be a real factor. But when it comes down to it, I think most congresscritters are willing to do just about anything to hold on to their power and prestige.
I know I’m stating (and probably re-stating) the obvious here, but I just needed to spell it out and get it out of my system.
As the increasingly discouraging healthcare “reform” process plays out, the endgame makes the most sense when you remember that the Prime Directive for Obama and most of Congress is this:
First, do no harm… to the insurance companies.
Sure, Obama and the Democrats really do want to improve healthcare – it’s morally the right thing to do, and it would probably help them in 2010 and 2012 – but they just can’t bring themselves to place the physical health of $50 donors over the financial health of $50,000 (or $500,000) donors.
This is why single-payor is off the table (and how many of today’s public option advocates wouldn’t prefer single-payor if they thought it was attainable?) – it would kill the insurance industry outright (aside from the much smaller business of providing gap coverage), whereas a correctly managed (i.e., small or unsuccessful) public option would only wound them.
The fundamental problem is that the starting point has never been “How do we improve healthcare for our constituents?”, but rather, “How do we make sure this doesn’t hurt the insurance industry?”
But the pretend goal and the real goal are fundamentally incompatible – it’s like trying to turn Iraq into a democracy and a U.S. client state, or, say, trying to clean up our corrupt campaign finance system without making it easier for challengers to knock off incumbents.
Startling new evidence indicates the S.S. Titanic was attacked and sunk in 1912 near Newfoundland by laser shots fired from an alien submarine.
A team of scientific experts has concluded a barrage of laser shots sent the 800-foot-long luxury liner to a watery grave with a loss of more than 1,500 lives.
“We discovered three huge holes on the starboard side of the ship below the waterline,” said noted physicist Dr. Josef Hostettler at a press conference.
“We have concluded the holes could only have been made by a laser beam fired from an underwater craft,” Hostettler added.
Hostettler headed an international 10-member team of scientists who concluded that an alien spaceship capable of operating underwater was responsible for the Titanic disaster as well as the sinking of two other ships and an attack on a Greek trawler in the same area of the North Atlantic in mid-April 1912.
– The Swedish ship, Angelholm Bay, lost radio contact with the outside world after its captain reported seeing a mysterious, oval-shaped object hovering off the port side at 1300 hours on April 13 – the day before the Titanic disaster.
“The captain reported the strange aircraft landed on the sea 1,000 yards away and quickly submerged. That was the ship’s last communication,” Hostettler said. “Our divers discovered the wreckage of the Angelholm Bay at the bottom of the ocean off the Greenland coast. Six laser-type holes were found in the hull.”
– At 1530 hours of April 14, the captain of the Russian trawler Padomju Jaunathe radioed he was under attack by a strange-looking airship with the ability to also maneuver atop and underwater. The craft, he said, was “firing deadly rays of light.”
“His last communique was picked up by a ham radio operator in Iceland,” Hostettler said. “The Padomju Jaunathe never reached its destination.”
– The Greek trawler, Constantine, limped into Newfoundland shortly before dawn on April 15, less than 24 hours after the tragic sinking of the Titanic. “Capt. Aris Nickolaidis reported that his ship had been attacked by a strange aircraft that ‘melted’ his ship,” Hostettler said. “Sixteen crew members gave identical accounts of the attack, but there is no record their stories were ever investigated.”
Hostettler thinks the fates of these other ships were forgotten because the world was focused on the Titanic.
And the shame of it is that James Cameron was totally capable of showing what really happened.
SOUTHAVEN, Miss. — Police say a 24-year-old woman has been charged with carjacking and assault after taking a car and trying to rob a Southaven business, all while wearing swimming attire.
Police Chief Tom Long said Morgan Haley of Horn Lake forced a woman to give up her car Thursday.
Long said the victim gave up the car without a fight to a bikini-clad Haley, asking only for time to remove her young children from inside.
Long said Haley then drove the stolen car to a business, where she told employees she had a gun and demanded money. The employees did not believe Haley’s claim and restrained her until officers arrived.
Police said Haley appeared to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the carjacking and attempted robbery.
It’s the spectacle of a woman in a bikini trying to convince people that she has a gun that elevates this from weird to brilliant.
See how he pretends to accept the Blue Dogs’ claims at face value, that the only reason that they’re trying to kill meaningful healthcare reform is out of a misguided sense of fiscal responsibity:
The main worry expressed by the Blue Dogs is that the Congressional Budget Office has predicted that leading bills on Capitol Hill won’t bring down medical inflation. The irony is that the Blue Dogs’ argument — that a new public insurance plan designed to compete with private insurers should be smaller and less powerful, and that Medicare and this new plan should pay more generous rates to rural providers — would make reform more expensive, not less. The further irony is that the federal premium assistance that the Blue Dogs worry is too costly is the reform that would make health-care affordable for a large share of their constituents.
The Blue Dogs are right to hold Obama and Democratic leaders to their commitment to real cost control. But they are wrong to see this goal as conflicting with a new national public health insurance plan for Americans younger than 65. In fact, such a plan, empowered to work with Medicare, is Congress’s single most powerful lever for reforming the way care is paid for and delivered. With appropriate authority, it can encourage private plans to develop innovations in payment and care coordination that could spread through the private sector, as have past public-sector innovations.
Increasing what doctors and hospitals are paid by the new public plan, as the Blue Dogs desire, would only raise premiums and health costs for their constituents. It would also fail to address excessive payments to hospitals and specialists that private insurers say they have lacked the leverage to bring down. Offering public plan rates at close to Medicare levels while giving doctors and hospitals the choice of accepting them — as the House legislation does — is a way to test the market. If providers accept the rates, as the CBO projects they will, the Blue Dogs will get what they want: lower costs. If not, the bill in the House contains provisions for adjusting the rates, including nearly $10 billion to raise rates in rural areas if an independent study determines that higher rates are needed.
Many Blue Dogs fret that a new public health insurance plan will become too large, despite the CBO’s projection that the overwhelming majority of working people will have employer coverage and that the public plan will enroll less than 5 percent of the population. Their concern should be that a public plan will be too weak. A public health plan will be particularly vital for Americans in the rural areas that many Blue Dogs represent. These areas feature both limited insurance competition and shockingly large numbers of residents without adequate coverage. By providing a backup plan that competes with private insurers, the public plan will broaden coverage and encourage private plans to reduce their premiums. Perhaps that’s why support for a public plan is virtually as high in generally conservative rural areas as it is nationwide, with 71 percent of voters expressing enthusiasm.
Yet the Blue Dogs have mostly ignored the huge benefits of a new public plan for their districts. They have also largely ignored the disproportionate benefits promised by new federal subsidies for low- and medium-income workers. Right now, large swaths of farmers, ranchers and self-employed workers can barely afford a policy in the individual market or are uninsured. They will benefit greatly from the premium assistance in the House legislation promised for workers whose earnings are up to 400 percent of the poverty line, from additional subsidies for small businesses to cover their workers, and from a new national purchasing pool, or “exchange,” giving those employers access to low-cost group health insurance that’s now out of reach.
Blue Dogs may be dumb, but they’re not that dumb. They’re not worried about the cost, they’re worried about how much damage a strong public option will do to their insurance company donors. But at least this op-ed makes it a little harder for them to maintain their pretense.
US Patent Number 5,894,079, belonging Colorado’s Larry Proctor, has been struck down. Proctor brought home some yellow beans from a Mexican market and filed for a patent on them in the 1990s, neglecting to tell the USPTO that the beans had been a dietary staple in latinamerica for over a century.
Proctor called them “Enola beans” and began to receive a toll on every Enola bean imported into the US from latinamerica. He used this money to fund a series of defenses to challenges on his patent. Because the patent system continues to enforce challenged patents while the gears of litigation turn, for every year that went by, Proctor found himself richer and better-able to fund his defense, while the people who had grown and eaten the beans for a century got poorer.
While I’m happy to hear that this asshat finally lost his patent, I’d feel a lot better if he were facing some kind of legal sanction for this kind of predatory fraud. Preferably something harsh enough to deter others from doing the same. Forcing him to return all the money he stole and/or throwing him in prison for several years (preferably one with a sizable Latino population) would be a good start.
People complain that we are buying — importing from the Middle East — oil and gas. And then they find out that we have it all right here. We don’t have to do that. If their argument there is “Well, we don’t want to use oil and gas because we think it pollutes” — which it doesn’t — but if that’s their argument, then why are we willing to import it from Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Middle East?
[T]here was some good news last week, and it came from watching Dobbs’ slow motion train wreck unfold on the airwaves. It came from seeing how eagerly — how convincingly — the birther claims were debunked, not only online by progressives, but within the mainstream press as well — the same mainstream press that’s often reluctant to show up high-profile media players such as Dobbs, no matter how badly it has botched the facts. And let’s not forgetconservatives, who dismissed and ridiculed the birther claims.
In the case of the birthers, though, Dobbs’ corporate media colleagues were utterly relentless in their fact-checking. I still don’t think Dobbs knows what hit him. And frankly, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen such a well-deserved media pile-on. It’s hard to see how Dobbs’ career survives the humiliation.
[T]he birthers, who had spent months lurking on the sidelines, needed to be called out on national TV; they needed to be ridiculed mercilessly and have their cheerleaders thoroughly mocked. They needed to be turned into the butt of a joke, and thanks to Lou Dobbs, last week they were.
Indeed, the rhetorical media beat down that Dobbs suffered seemed to reach every conceivable media forum, with reporters and pundits, anchors and TV hosts all lining up to smack the birther piñata Dobbs had so proudly hung.
Have you noticed Limbaugh’s deafening silence about the birthers since July 20th? Have you noticed how the birther movement was in the news virtually every day last week, how the mainstream press was debunking it and calling out the right-wing nonsense, how NBC’s Nightly News referred to Limbaugh in its birther report, yet Limbaugh remained mum? Rather than step forward in his natural role as a birther defender and attacker of all-things Obama, Limbaugh has sat out the birther controversy and watched its members get mowed down in the press.
Limbaugh’s scared to talk about the birthers and won’t defend them because he has seen how Dobbs and the movement got manhandled by the press — including by conservative commentators. In fact, Limbaugh himself took some friendly fire from Philip Klein at the far-right American Spectator who, under the headline, “Shame on Rush,” announced: “To any sane human being, there is no controversy.”
Joe Resnick is the adopted son of computer expert, Professor Ian “Mac” McClaine, inventor of the BIG RAT, (Brain Impulse Galvanoscope Record And Transfer), a device that allows knowledge and experience to be copied from the minds of top experts in their fields to another person. Mac’s friend, Sam Loover, a secret agent for the World Intelligence Network (WIN), persuades Mac to let Joe use the machine to work for WIN. After the requisite skill is transferred, and provided Joe is wearing special spectacles containing hidden electrodes, he is able to fly jet fighters, perform surgery, and so on, while appearing to be just an innocent little boy in the eyes of his enemies.
It’s not even a long story. In 1972 I was political director for the presidential campaign of Sen. George McGovern. That July, just as a rather chaotic Democratic National Convention in Miami agreed to make McGovern the party’s nominee, I convened a group of top campaign officials to come up with some options for the candidate to consider as his running mate. Armed with a poll showing Walter Cronkite to be the most trusted man in America, I proposed that the senator put forward Walter Cronkite for vice president.
My idea met with instant, and unanimous, disapproval. He’d never accept, and we’d look bad, colleagues said. Our candidate would seem to be grasping at straws, I was told. McGovern was still very much in the race: Polls showed us five to seven points behind President Nixon. The consensus was that we needed a mainstream political figure, acceptable to most of the Democratic constituencies. We came up with a few names, led by Sen. Thomas Eagleton of Missouri. Eagleton had a lot going for him: He was antiwar, Roman Catholic, supported by labor, had a good record in three or four statewide elections. He was also free of scandal.
I had no allies among the top McGovern operatives. We settled on Eagleton, an ideal nominee by all the normal standards. The senator, alas, had neglected to tell us he had been hospitalized three times for what he termed “melancholy,” a condition for which he had received electric shock treatment. He had to leave the ticket, and the resulting crisis over a replacement cost McGovern heavily; indeed, pollsters said it doomed his campaign.
Decades later, at a meeting of a corporate board on which they both served, George McGovern mentioned to Walter Cronkite that his name had been proposed as the vice presidential nominee at that stage of the campaign but was rejected because we were certain he would have turned us down. “On the contrary, George,” the senator told me Cronkite replied, “I’d have accepted in a minute; anything to help end that dreadful war.” At a later board meeting, Cronkite told a larger group that he would gladly have accepted the invitation to run with McGovern.
My suspicion is that if the ticket had been
McGovern-Cronkite instead of McGovern-
Eagleton, McGovern might well have won that 1972 election, or at least have made it close. Had the latter happened, after the forced resignation of Richard Nixon in 1974, McGovern probably would have been triumphantly renominated — and elected — president in 1976, with the most trusted man in America at his side.
Republicans like David McKalip and Diane Black and Dean Grose aren’t really racists, they’re just ordinary Americans who think racist images are hilariously funny and should be shared with all their equally non-racist friends.
All they care about is winning elections, and they don’t care how many lives they sacrifice in the process. The Democrats did very well in the last two elections as a result of everything going to hell while the Republicans were in power – but the Republicans were driving the fail bus then, too. There are a lot of Democrats willing to go along with them, but regardless of who’s in power, the Republicans are still the primary source of fail.
I know you’re all very sad about Sarah Palin’s departure from the governorship of Alaska, but as the Weekly World News reports, in tragedy there is opportunity:
Sarah Palin, having resigned from being Alaska’s governor, is moving out of the governor’s mansion. To help speed the process she is holding an enormous yard sale.Outside of the mansion folding tables were filled with personal bric-a-brac and state treasures, each labeled with a hand-drawn price tag.
Fifteen mounted heads from Sasquatches Palin had shot were on sale. Each came with a certificate of authenticity citing that it was indeed a genuine Sasquatch, and detailing how it had died. Also available were 36 stuffed wolves the former governor had shot from a helicopter. They were all sold to one gentleman who said he wanted to start a pre-school.
A gold nugget, mined from the Alaskan Yukon in 1845 and formerly displayed in the mansion’s rotunda, was tied to a price tag that read $18,000. At the time of printing this item had been reduced to $16,500 with still no buyers.
Available as a set were 18 Alaskan breed mole men, coming complete with steel cage. The mole men stood an average of 2 and a half feet tall, and had previously been used to do Sarah Palin’s dry cleaning, and snow-mobile repair.
Of particular interest was a large filing cabinet which had been painted with red letters “Top Secret Files.” When asked what used to go into this filing cabinet Palin replied “Oh Nothin.’ Just… recipes.” Security agents kept reporters from investigating a large bonfire being held in the back yard at the same time.
Among the remaining doilies, quilts, and “Last Minute Pardons” available for sale, was a large anti-aircraft cannon. The price tag indicated that Mrs. Palin had used this to keep the Russians at bay from her back yard. Moscow denied any official comment regarding whether their planes were ever fended off by anti-aircraft fire from Mrs. Palin. The cannon is currently being shipped to the top of the Weekly World News headquarters in New York City.