I’m Still Trying to Come Up With a Title for My Book

I just thought of another good one, “Philosophy is an Action.”

If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.  I’ve already written down some predictions of what people will think of it, and I want to check my work.

Joel, you first.  🙂

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And I Awoke With A Single Thought… (and a Word for the Day)

“Pull the trigger.”

So that’s the plan for this week.  The weapon is loaded, the charge is primed, there is a but a single action yet required to put the whole thing in motion.  I’m a bit scared of this one, and a close reading of my work (and world history) should be explanation enough for that fear.  However, after discussing it with my mother yesterday, I can do nothing but agree with her.

Fear is not a good argument for non-action when one knows an action is pure.

And now a word for today that I came across while researching a quote for my book (that would be the aforementioned “weapon”…see tabs above), mediabatory.

MEDIABATORY
(adverb, from mediabation, root to mediabate)

Of, or relating to, the media’s tendency to report the same damn thing over and over again when a story is breaking but there is nothing truly new to report. Generally used to suggest that the situation has shifted from reporting the news to masturbation of same.

Example: “The constant barrage of non-information regarding Caylee Anthony has become mediabatory.”

via

“Newswanking” is another good one.   Profiting off the gruesome death of a child would be another apt description, although that one isn’t applicable to all cases of mediabating.

Big Ears and His Weekly Address

Seriously, can someone please let him know that he has two choices to fix this problem.  Either grow back the fro or get a better background.

It was tough to follow his address as I kept trying to calculate how much spare “change” I could keep in those satellite dishes on the sides of his head.

I [heart] CNN’s Search Algorithm (More on Campbell Brown and Dan Senor)

Just looking through the logs and I found a link that led me to this search result on CNN.com.

Campbell Brown's Bullshit Program

Campbell Brown

This is as a result of doing some fact checking on Campbell Brown’s hit piece on Obama’s fundraising (or as she’d say it, how Obama lied to rake in millions)

The funny part is, after reading more about the story, I realized that CNN had done their own fact-checking…

The Verdict: Mostly true. Obama did indicate he would accept public financing if his opponent did the same. But he did not sign anything, as McCain states. Obama did not sit down with McCain before Obama’s decision on public financing, but members of both campaigns met with each other on the issue.

You would think it would take a bit more than a quibble to call someone a liar and thief, but not for Campbell Brown.
I wonder, now, if this has anything to do with the father of her children, and salesman for the War in Iraq (2003 and 2004 version), Dan Senor.  Dan is a budding young neocon, with a resume that already includes working for the Carlyle Group, the Council of Foreign Relations, and fucking up at least one Middle Eastern country.  He hopes to fuck up another one (Iran) and is currently writng a history of Israel.  Who would have thunk it?

Mr. Senor, a regular commentator on Fox News who is married to CNN anchor Campbell Brown, recently served as a campaign adviser to Mitt Romney. Before that, he worked for the Bush administration as an adviser to Paul Bremer, who was at one point charged with overseeing the reconstruction of post-invasion Iraq. Mr. Senor’s sister (his co-writer’s wife) heads the Jerusalem office of the pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC.

The book by Mr. Senor and Mr. Singer, titled Start Up Nation, will “explore Israel’s success in the global economy,” according to a description provided by Twelve’s publicity director Cary Goldstein. Twelve acquired the book in a preempt from U.K.-based literary agent Ed Victor.

BTW folks, if you really want to know why the Iraq War was such an expensive debacle, why why got lied into the war, why some journalists didn’t ask too many hard questions while working at or for the White House, and why someone with a complete and utter disdain for a culture was sent to rebuilt it, you can ask Dan Senor and Campbell Brown.  They have personal experience in the matter.

And it’s a funny cliche that Jon Stewart makes fun of all the time.

On April 2, 2006, Brown married her second husband Daniel Samuel Senor (born 1971), a Republican consultant who regularly appears on Fox News.[3][4] Brown converted to Judaism, her husband’s faith;[5] the two were married in an Orthodox Jewish ceremony.[6]

Look, I got nothing against jewish people, particularly the older ones, (and most “real” jews wouldn’t consider Campbell one now anyway) so please don’t think that’s why I’m taking it so hard to Dan and Campbell.   I do think it is a bit revealing about why Dan Senor fucked up Iraq so badly, and why he showed complete and utter ignorance, bordering on contempt, for Muslim history and culture.

When you have enough personal knowledge of the history of Israel to write a book about a small part of that history, you probably spent more time studying that than Arabic, eh?  When your sister works for AIPAC, what do you think the tone around the dinner table is?

Don’t you think it would be a good idea to have a guy who speaks Arabic, or would even want to, with you as a “spokesman” when you invade an Arab country?  Naah, not for neocons.  For neocons, studying Israel’s economic history is perfect experience for your next job of rebuilding a Muslim country.  Kinda like how the North ran Reconstruction in the South after the Civil War here in the U.S.  Works great.  Just look at how efficiently Atlanta was rebuilt.

I’m taking it so hard to Dan because I watched his smarmy face spout lies and bullshit and idiocy about the Iraq war for a number of years.    I’m taking it so hard to Campbell because during one of the great failures of the media during our time, the one that should keep us out of stupid wars by calling bullshit on smarmy PR assholes, she was instead making doughy eyes and babies with the very person she was supposed to be calling bullshit on.

Good to see how professionalism is rewarded in “punditry” (if she ever was, Campbell Brown is no longer a “journalist”).

Campbell Brown’s Bullshit on Obama Fundraising (and Palin Wardrobe)

I saw the baby-bumping Campbell Brown on the Daily Show the other day.  I thought she did a decent job in the interview, although I’ve been noticing curious levels of b.s. emanating from the brunette for a bit now.

In the interview, she talks about the “false-equivalency” that the news media often tries to use to portray an air of impartiality.  She does a good job of both giving a good example of the practice in the intervew (re: Candidate A and Candidate B).

Sadly, however, she then goes on to forget that when you are going to call bullshit on what Candidate A says over what Candidate B says, you kinda have to first lay out which one is saying what. 

Her point was that she was going to do the layout and then call the bullshit.

Sadly, it looks like she is more focused on calling the bullshit.

Her first episode of this tendency was demonstrated when she called out “the media” for focusing on Sarah Palin’s $172,000 wardrobe/hairstyling/make-ups fees.  Forget the idiocy of Palin saying the clothes are “borrowed” or the hypocrisy of railing on Hollywood and then hiring their most expensive make-up artist.  No, that’s completely unfair.  You can’t focus on a woman being a woman.  It’s fine for her to charge the State of Alaska $21,000 grand for airfare and $17,000 for staying at home because, you know, she’s a working mom.

I’m sorry, but if any person, man or woman, that I have every worked with tried to pass travel or “amenities” expenses of that magnitude, they would be fired.  Flat out.  A couple of questions would be asked, and a couple have been, but given the answers (“I’m borrowing the clothes” and “My girls had to fly there and stay in a hotel to pick raffle tickets.“) they would be fired immediately.

John Edwards got raked over the coals for a $400 haircut, and got called a sissy for it.  Palin spent 100 TIMES THAT MUCH, and it’s a pass. 

But it’s o.k., because she’s a woman.  And a working mom.

Sorry, but that’s crap.  And it’s biased crap.   As a working mom herself, Brown is biased as hell about this.  As a working mom who’s income and success is largely dependent on looking fabulous in front of a camera, this is ludicrously biased crap.   I’m not saying this is Campbell’s fault, I’m just saying it’s a blind spot, and everyone has one.

They usually become revealed when someone becomes more agressive, as Campbell Brown has become recently.  It’s part of the game, welcome to it.

Which brings us to campaign fundraising questions, and the actual point of this article.

Campbell started out with some basics.

CNN) — You may have heard that Wednesday night Barack Obama will be on five different TV networks speaking directly to the American people.

He bought 30 minutes of airtime from the different networks, a very expensive purchase. But hey, he can afford it. Barack Obama is loaded, way more loaded than John McCain, way more loaded than any presidential candidate has ever been at this stage of the campaign.

Actually, it’s not his money we are talking about here.  I know this is a nitpick, but I think it’s a rather important one.  It’s his campaign’s money.   End of story.  He doesn’t get to keep it.

This is why John Edward’s $400 haircut became a story, it was bought with his campaign’s money.  This is why Palin’s wardrobe was a story, it was campaign money.  This is why it isn’t Obama’s or McCain’s money, it is campaign money.

And you are wrong about something else, Mrs. Brown, according to tax records (and cars and houses) McCain is the one who is loaded.  Obama is the one running the campaign that is inspiring people in record numbers to give “it” (the Campaign) money.   More on that later, when you insult us all.

Campbell continues…

Without question, Obama has set the bar at new height with a truly staggering sum of cash. And that is why as we approach this November, it is worth reminding ourselves what Barack Obama said last November.

One year ago, he made a promise. He pledged to accept public financing and to work with the Republican nominee to ensure that they both operated within those limits.

Then it became clear to Sen. Obama and his campaign that he was going to be able to raise on his own far more cash than he would get with public financing. So Obama went back on his word.

Now this is interesting, as one would assume to have a direct quote here.  When one is accused to going back on one’s word, it is usually considered polite to point out what the word was.

Campbell, like the hack she is becoming, doesn’t worry about stuff like that.  It’s a good thing too, because if she had spent a couple minutes, she would have seen words like this and her whole rant would have fallen apart.

Asked last September on a questionnaire from the Midwest Democracy Network whether he would “participate in the presidential public financing system” if his “major opponents agree to forgo private funding in the general election campaign,” Obama checked the box marked “yes,” then outlined his vision for the 2008 contest.

“In February 2007, I proposed a novel way to preserve the strength of the public financing system in the 2008 election,” he wrote. “My plan requires both major party candidates to agree on a fundraising truce, return excess money from donors, and stay within the public financing system for the general election... If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election.”

So you have a check box “word” and a bunch “words” that clarify a check-box.   I’m not going to split hairs here, but it seems pretty evident that accepting public financing came with some strings.

During the summer we got to see those strings.

At a meeting in Indianapolis on May 2,  “top [Obama] fundraisers… asked his campaign donors to refrain from contributing to liberal independent political organizations in hopes of controlling the tone and message of the general-election campaign.”

Meanwhile, McCain has adopted a hands-off stance, telling the Boston Herald earlier this month that he “can’t be a referee of every spot run on television.” The truth is, neither candidate can control what 527s do on their behalf; the groups simply don’t have to answer to federal or state political finance committees.

[source, from a longer article that covers the same question, which Campbell ignored]

What this comes down to is that Obama has asked people to give to his campaign, and not give money to people like MoveOn.org and other groups that can run whatever nasty crap they want.   McCain made it clear that he wasn’t going to even make the effort to influence these groups, and by accepting public financing (that $3 checkbox on your tax return) it frees up his regular donors to shower these groups with money.

That was the sticking point.  This is illustrated in the press leaks (the, “She said, “He said”” part of the program).

Trevor and I met at my office on June 6, and we discussed the June 18 panel and then, for 45 minutes, the public funding issue.

I asked him to address a serious of issues of concern to the Obama campaign — such as the McCain campaign’s active raising and spending of private money since February for a general election campaign, including for media, while we were still in the middle of a primary contest. He gave me his perspectives — the best arguments he could offer for an agreement on both sides to accept public financing — and it was clear to me that these offered no basis for any further exchange.

Not too long thereafter, John McCain announced he could not and would not “referee” 527 activity.

[source]

—-vs—-

Potter says this account is not factual “This is not true!” Potter says in an email. “I met with Bob Bauer on a different subject (a joint panel we had yesterday in Rhode Island sponsored by the National Assoc. of Attys General) about 10 days ago. During that meeting, he asked what Sen. McCain’s position was on public general election funding, and I said we were for it, and hoped Sen. Obama would participate as well. There was absolutely NO discussion of ‘negotiations’ about participating—the word was never mentioned. 

[source]

This all cuminated, BTW, in Obama releasing this video.

Campbell dismisses this video by ignoring CNN’s very own ads (I’m looking for the one that I keep seeing on CNN about how Obama will destroy small businesses…with his lazer eyes, I would assume…can’t find it).

[Obama] broke his promise and he explained it by arguing that the system is broken and that Republicans know how to work the system to their advantage. He argued he would need all that cash to fight the ruthless attacks of 527s, those independent groups like the Swift Boat Veterans. It’s funny though, those attacks never really materialized.

Really?!  Nobody has been using crazy attacks to go after Obama?  No attacks at all?

Strange….other people in swing states seem to be seeing them a lot.

John McCain would be wise not to condemn the National Republican Trust PAC’s latest ad regarding Jeremiah Wright. Running in key states such as Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, the ad points to Obama’s association with the anti-American pastor. Perhaps more importantly, it points out that Obama had no problem sitting in Wright’s church until doing so became a political liability.

When it became clear that McCain would be following this nutjob blogger’s advice (like he followed that other nutjob blogger’s [Adam Brickley] advice and picked Palin) and not stopping the kinds of attack he himself is too honorable to make, it really became silly for Obama to hamstring his own’s campaign’s ability to respond to the bullshit.

Especially since he had already inspired so many to give.

Campbell then insults a few million people by mischaracterizing “pointing out the obvious” as “courage”.

The courageous among Obama’s own supporters concede this decision was really made for one reason, simply because it was to Obama’s financial advantage.

Well, that’s true, except for the lie that it is Obama’s money.   We want Obama to win.  That’s why we’ve given him so much money.  We want him and Joe Biden to take the White House.  BADLY.

That’s why we’re giving so much money.  To fight the bullshit you are saying doesn’t even exist (hmm, kinda “HYPOCRITICAL” isn’t it Campbell?).

What, exactly, are you insinutating, BTW, by your constant assertion that it is Obama, personally, that is raking in the dough.

I mean, you even use that word…

For this last week, Sen. Obama will be rolling in dough. His commercials, his get-out-the-vote effort will, as the pundits have said, dwarf the McCain campaign’s final push. But in fairness, you have to admit, he is getting there in part on a broken promise.

That’s not fairness, Mrs. Brown, that’s bullshit.

Much like this one-sided hit piece.

How Do I Turn Off Tony Kornheiser?

Tony Kornheiser was a passable general sportcaster and I guess a decent columnist at some point in his career.

I never read his crap so I can’t say for sure.  After having to listen to him on Monday Night Football for a couple years, now I just want to punch him in the balls.  Repeatedly.  Until he shuts up.

He has an obvious chip on his shoulder against the Cowboys, which is fine, all sorts of idiots do, but he’s also one of my biggest pet peeves in sportscasters….ones who never played the game (second behind people who played for the Redskins named Joe Theisman).

Why can’t I have Troy Aikman and Big Head do the commentary?  Oh yeah….because everyone in the country who has cable has to pay for ESPN and they had enough cash to buy Monday Night Football.  And ESPN picked some fast-talking northerner who they already had on contract.

Yet the questions remains…how do I turn off Tony Kornheiser?  Maybe just filter his comments?  Replace his voice with a computerized one and random words?  Maybe with the auto-announcer from Madden?  I’m not talking about whacking him or anything, I just want to never hear his voice again and think it should be against federal law to transmit it over the airwaves.

BTW, so far the Cowboy/Eagle game has been pretty classic, with two idiotic plays and three amazing ones, in the first half.

Go Cowboys.

Oh, and by the way, jackass Kornheiser, real fans in Dallas don’t “assume” the Superbowl.  We just want to make it to the playoffs and win one game there.  What happens after that is after that.  Baby steps.

You see..we actually know football down here…unlike your yankee ass.

Damn Redskin fans.

UPDATE: What a dickhole.  If I had had Tony Kornheiser censored I woldn’t have heard about Andy Reed’s sons in jail, again.   Why bring that up again?  What does that have to do with the game of football?  Damn tabloid “journalist”.  STFU.

UPDATE2: The Cowboys won 41-37 in a classic, marred forever by any number of asinine observations, topped by the biggest whopper of them all.  When it was all said in done, summed up in the way on he can, Tony Kornheiser was heard to cliche, “How ’bout ‘dem Cowboys.”

I threw my TV out the window.

It was the quickest way I could solve the problem.  Tony, I’m sending you the bill.

Military Industrial Complex Shuts Down Olbermann and Matthews on MSNBC (owned by GE)

(and Microsoft).  Microsoft doesn’t want to pay their taxes anymore than you do.

GE has a number of interests.  Some on them deeply involved in the could hundred billion dollars a year business of “defense”.   They don’t like Obama, or his change.

Oblermann and Mathews do.

So they’re gone.

MSNBC Takes Incendiary Hosts From Anchor Seat

MSNBC tried a bold experiment this year by putting two politically incendiary hosts, Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews, in the anchor chair to lead the cable news channel’s coverage of the election.

That experiment appears to be over.

After months of accusations of political bias and simmering animosity between MSNBC and its parent network NBC, the channel decided over the weekend that the NBC News correspondent and MSNBC host David Gregory would anchor news coverage of the coming debates and election night. Mr. Olbermann and Mr. Matthews will remain as analysts during the coverage.

The change — which comes in the home stretch of the long election cycle — is a direct result of tensions associated with the channel’s perceived shift to the political left.

Although MSNBC nearly doubled its total audience compared with the 2004 conventions, its competitive position did not improve, as it remained in last place among the broadcast and cable news networks. In prime time, the channel averaged 2.2 million viewers during the Democratic convention and 1.7 million viewers during the Republican convention.

The success of the Fox News Channel in the past decade along with the growth of political blogs have convinced many media companies that provocative commentary attracts viewers and lures Web browsers more than straight news delivered dispassionately.

“In a rapidly changing media environment, this is the great philosophical debate,” Phil Griffin, the president of MSNBC, said in a telephone interview Saturday. Fighting the ratings game, he added, “the bottom line is that we’re experiencing incredible success.”

[full story]

The problem is that the “president of MSNBC” isn’t the presiden of MSNBC, of ya follow, as they are owned by other companies.  They are big gears in a bigger machine, and the bigger machine makes a whole lot more money the way things are, than they would if things were to change.

Real change.  So it’s pretty evident who they support in this election, and who represents a “changing of the guard” if you will…

BTW, this happened before.  Before the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Donahue’s final show will be Friday night. The news show that precedes him on the air, “Countdown: Iraq,” temporarily will be expanded to two hours to replace him.

“We’re proud of the program and we’re disappointed that the show was not able to attract the viewership we had hoped for and expected,” said Erik Sorenson, MSNBC president. “We thank Phil and his staff for their dedication, commitment and passion.”

Donahue’s office referred calls to his agent on Thursday, and he did not immediately return a call for comment.

The move was not a surprise. MSNBC hoped “Donahue” would provide a liberal counterweight to Fox News Channel’s competing “The O’Reilly Factor,” but the ratings started poorly and didn’t improve.

[full story]

Donahue was very much against the invasion of Iraq. It was an unpopular opinion at the time, both with the general public and his bosses (and their bosses). 

He’s still not so hot on it. 

I wonder what his ratings would be if he had been broadcasting for the last five years.  I wonder if we’d still be there now.  That’s how powerful a TV program can be.  Don’t fool yourself.  People can only make decisions on the information they have at hand.  Visual, visceral images can be *very powerful* forms of information.  Often the people who bring you information try to find experts to trust to analyze and simplify complex information and situations. 

We can’t all be experts at everything, but some of us try to be quick studies on as many things as possible.  And try to see how the inter-relate.  And try to see what is happening now.

We write journals about it.  Some people call us journalists.  Nowadays a subset of that group is called bloggers.  I thought this was important enough to write about.

Because I’ve seen it before.  I’ve seen the same people do the same thing.  And I’ve seen the result. 

 Interesting times, we have here, that’s for sure.