Archive for July 30th, 2009

No-One Could Have Anticipated…

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.

1 comment July 30th, 2009 at 10:44pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Media,Obama,Racism,Republicans,Wankers

About Damn Time.

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)

July 30th, 2009 at 09:48pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Democrats,Healthcare,Politics

Wanker Of The Day

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.

July 30th, 2009 at 07:59pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Economy,Media,Republicans,Wankers

More Zany Umbrella Circus Photoblogging

A few more shots from the Zany Umbrella Circus.  I told you they had doubled in size.

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July 30th, 2009 at 11:28am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: People,Photoblogging,Pittsburgh

What. I’ve. Been. Saying.

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 Democrats Dick 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.

July 30th, 2009 at 07:27am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Elections,Politics

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