Monday, October 12, 2009

Obama Aide Accuses Fox of Operating as GOP Arm

I don't think this should be news by now. The administration did the right thing to say as much. The rest of the mainstream press should stop pretending as well. FOXnews should be called out.

in reference to:

"White House Communications Director Anita Dunn told CNN's "Reliable Sources" on Sunday that Fox News operates "almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party.""
- Obama Aide Accuses Fox of Operating as GOP Arm - ABC News (view on Google Sidewiki)

- Discuss this issue here.

Fat baby can get coverage after all, insurer says

This is why we need health care reform. The insurance industry has the power of life or death. This is what the Republicans want to protect: greed.

in reference to:

"Rocky Mountain Health Plans said Monday it will no longer consider obesity a "pre-existing condition" barring coverage for hefty infants. The change comes after the insurer turned down a Grand Junction 4-month-old who weighs about 17 pounds. The insurer deemed Alex Lange obese and said the infant didn't qualify for coverage."
- Fat baby can get coverage after all, insurer says - Kids and parenting- (view on Google Sidewiki)

U.S. Can’t Trace Foreign Visitors on Expired Visas

Can you believe it? This is proof that this government is totally inept. Their argument is, we haven't been hit again so why worry. That is not an excuse or strategy.

in reference to:

"Eight years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and despite repeated mandates from Congress, the United States still has no reliable system for verifying that foreign visitors have left the country."
- U.S. Can’t Trace Foreign Visitors on Expired Visas - (view on Google Sidewiki)

Is Columbus Day Sailing Off the Calendar?

Another tradition that is dying.

in reference to:

"Another obstacle: Columbus Day hasn't transcended its original purpose, as some other holidays have. Sure, Columbus Day celebrates one of the world's great explorers. But Memorial Day and Labor Day also do double duty as summer's official bookends, whereas Columbus Day is stuck in mid-October, halfway between summertime and Christmas. And many Americans apparently prefer more days off around Christmas."
- Is Columbus Day Sailing Off the Calendar? - (view on Google Sidewiki)

Afghan outlook bleak as Taliban grabs territory

U.S. involvement in Afghanistan should be to look out for American interests, including thwarting the Taliban as much as possible, including in Pakistan, and preventing al Qaeda from returning. We should not be supporting a corrupt, weak, and ineffective government in Kabul. We should train reliable Afghan troops and police. Our forces should pull back to an easily defensible position from which we carry out attacks on Taliban positions. Increase our use of Predator drones and attacks on enemy positions with bombers. Additionally, it would behoove us to work with regional war lords that are hostile to the Taliban. We must also work to insure that militants don't overrun the Pakistan government. That would truly be disastrous.

in reference to:

"A best-case scenario for the country is that the U.S. and NATO train enough Afghan soldiers to protect the provincial capitals, and the U.S. maintains a small counter-terrorism force to watch over al-Qaida and Pakistan. The wild hinterlands will be left for the Taliban."
- The Associated Press: Afghan outlook bleak as Taliban grabs territory (view on Google Sidewiki)

Video: 'Today Show' Interview of Rush Limbaugh by Jamie Gangel

Partial transcript:
Rush Limbaugh realizes you don’t become America’s most popular radio talk-show host without having the hide of an elephant. And he’s long subscribed to a theory: His 21 million listeners know him and love him, and the other 280 million Americans, well, they don’t pay the bills.

“My objective is to satisfy [my] audience so they come back the next day,” Limbaugh told TODAY national correspondent Jamie Gangel in a wide-ranging, three-hour interview, excerpts of which air on TODAY Monday and Tuesday.

“Most of my critics don’t even listen to me; they are clueless,” Limbaugh said. “They just go to Web sites that report what I say out of context. I’m amazed at the Democrats and the media who do not know what’s going on in my world. I know what’s going on in theirs. I study ’em. I watch ’em every day.”

Indeed, while Limbaugh is first and foremost — he says solely — an entertainer who keeps listeners tuned in, his brand of liberal-baiting, on-air politics has made him a lightning rod. Perhaps the coup de grace came earlier this year, when White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel suggested Limbaugh may well now be the standard-bearer for the Republican Party.

The 58-year-old Limbaugh, who’s working through a whopping $400 million contract that will keep him on the airwaves through 2016, first laughed off Emanuel’s christening. Then he considered the source.

“I am not the leader of the Republican Party; don’t wanna be the leader of the Republican Party,” Limbaugh told Gangel. “It’s silly for them to keep talking about how I’m the leader of anything.”

But he was shocked when Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele picked up the ball lofted by Emanuel and lashed out at Limbaugh, calling his conservative rhetoric “incendiary” and “ugly”

“Michael Steele should be out there raising money and planning on ways to get people to vote for Republicans,” Limbaugh said. “Instead, he’s agreeing with false premises put forth by critics of the Republican Party and trying to agree with them.”

Still, when it comes to name-calling between liberals and conservatives, Limbaugh demonstrated on TODAY he’s up for the game. He told Gangel: “There’s a cliché about conservatives: racist, sexist, bigot, homophobic. Now, you announce you’re a conservative, you’re automatically all those things to the critics. Even though you’re not, that’s what they say you are.

“They are the real racist, sexist, bigots and homophobes. They are the ones that look at people and see skin color, gender, sex orientation, victim, group.

“They think they can discredit the Republican Party by making me the head of it. All they’re doing is elevating me.”

And also leaving Limbaugh laughing all the way to the bank. Having a Democrat in the White House no doubt leaves Limbaugh with at least four years of rich material to draw upon — and ensure his radio ratings remain intact.

Limbaugh told Gangel his daily, three-hour radio show is equal parts satire and serious commentary, but his detractors confuse the two. He points to the controversy over a parody song about President Obama titled “Barack the Magic Negro” as an example of the media’s hammering him without having their facts straight.

Should Students Be Paid to Do Well in School?

This is a bad idea. It's also called bribery. A good education should be enough of a reward. What this is saying is that the schools can't motivate school kids. That the only way to get results is by buying them off. What about the idea that we should attain things not necessarily for financial reasons. Education by itself should bring with it financial rewards. This cheapens the process. How do you put a price on education?

in reference to:

"This is exactly what's happening in a pilot program that started this month
at three vocational high schools in disadvantaged suburbs of Paris. Accounts
will be set up for two classes in each school, each containing around $3,000
apiece. If the students maintain good attendance records and reach
performance targets agreed upon with their teachers, reward payments will be
added to their class account. But here's the catch: the students can't go and
spend the money on a new iPod or an Xbox at the end of the year. Each
account, which could reach a maximum of $15,000, can only be used to finance
a school-related project or endeavor, such as a class trip abroad to improve
foreign-language skills, computer equipment for the classroom or driving
lessons to obtain a license. Still, not a bad deal."
- Students Paid to Go to Class and Get Good Grades - TIME (view on Google Sidewiki)

Tiananmen Dissident family Presses for his Release

The world has forgotten Tiananmen Square along with it's heoes. Will the U.S. government even lift a finger to help Zhou. Where are Bill and Hillary Clinton now?

in reference to:

"Family and lawyers of an exiled leader of the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests pressed for his release Monday, nearly a year after he was sent to a mainland Chinese jail while trying to return to his homeland."
- Newsvine - Tiananmen dissident family presses for his release (view on Google Sidewiki)

Ostrom, Williamson of U.S. Win Nobel Economics Prize

You'd think it would be a source of great pride to have so many Americans winning Nobel prizes. But there is barely a mention in the media. The winners' names to be forgotten instantly, other than Obama's award. This disconnect shows the lack of societal priorities. We put gossip and entertainment above intellectual attainments. If we glorified education and those that achieve scientific achievement we would begin to become a truly successful society.

in reference to:

"Elinor Ostrom and Oliver Williamson
of the U.S. won the Nobel Economics Prize for their work on
economic governance and the organization of cooperation, making
Ostrom the first woman to win the award."
- Ostrom, Williamson of U.S. Win Nobel Economics Prize (Update1) - (view on Google Sidewiki)

Officials: Criminals Cooperate Better than Police

No surprise here. We need to worry. What we are seeing is the return of the bad ole' days when drug trafficking was a crisis. The Mexican violence should be a warning. Law enforcement in America has less resources and the prisons are overwhelmed. The crime numbers don't show it yet. But, we need to wake up to an increasingly violent and chaotic world.

in reference to:

""It is fair to say that criminals are ahead of governments in exploiting the most advanced tools of globalization," such as international travel, banking and trade, U.S. Deputy Attorney General David Ogden said."
- Officials: Criminals cooperate better than police - Yahoo! News (view on Google Sidewiki)