Category Archives: Current Events

i can haz fox news?

I understand that journalists need to write catchy headlines in order to trick the public into reading their stories.  Take today’s leading headline, for instance:  “Obama’s first 100: Now comes the hard part” seems to promise some kind of poignant analysis of what’s to come, when really it’s just a rehash of all the Obama news we’ve seen this year coupled with commentary on why Obama’s acknowledging his 100th day at all.

Furthermore, I understand that news outlets often use headlines to misrepresent the content of an article just to get you to click. For example,  “What I learned about my husband in bed” is not the soft-core CNN porn you’re hoping for.

I’m pretty flexible with my news and I enjoy reading a variety of news sites each day.  But given that flexibility, I do not understand why Fox News has resorted to using lol-speak in it’s titles.


(The image in it’s original context is below)


Photographs via Fox News on the Interwebz.

Update: The Fox photo is permalinked here (for now).  Also, the story in question, which doesn’t have the photo, is here.


Posted by on April 29, 2009 in Current Events, Entertainment


Stop Making Blame Partisan

I’m really bored of hearing Fox News and Karl Rove try to mitigate blame away from Republicans after Obama’s State of the Nation Address.

From the Fox News “Fact Check”:

OBAMA: “Regulations were gutted for the sake of a quick profit at the expense of a healthy market. People bought homes they knew they couldn’t afford from banks and lenders who pushed those bad loans anyway. And all the while, critical debates and difficult decisions were put off for some other time on some other day.”

THE FACTS: This may be so, but it isn’t only Republicans who pushed for deregulation of the financial industries. The Clinton administration championed an easing of banking regulations, including legislation that ended the barrier between regular banks and Wall Street banks. That led to a deregulation that kept regular banks under tight federal regulation but extended lax regulation of Wall Street banks. Clinton Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, later an economic adviser to candidate Obama, was in the forefront in pushing for this deregulation.

Emphasis mine.

Obama didn’t mention the Republicans in that particular excerpt, and the author’s defensiveness seems misplaced. But Obama does frequently make implications about who is to blame for the mess he “inherited”, and about whose beliefs we are “rejecteing”.

In his piece, Karl Rove  picks up on Obama’s implied accusations, repeatedly questioning who exactly the President is blaming.

On Tuesday night, Mr. Obama told Congress and the nation, “I reject the view that . . . says government has no role in laying the foundation for our common prosperity.” Who exactly has that view? Certainly not congressional Republicans, who believe that through reasonable tax cuts, fiscal restraint, and prudent monetary policies government contributes to prosperity.

Rove is nit-picking the term “no role” here, and I understand that it’s a bit of an overstatement, but Republicans created this image for themselves.  Republicans push back on many federal fixes proposed by Democrats, and now they’re complaining about being type-cast. Yes, I believe that (in general) the GOP wants government to be all but absent from fixing society’s woes (“When my house is burning down, I want the market to decide whether the fire department should come save me”), but I have this belief because I listen to Republicans. Barack Obama does not need to plant these ideas in my head because I listen to people like Mr. Rove pushing them all the time.

But beyond that, over his entire speech, each time he did mention “Republicans” it was tightly coupled with the word  “Democrats”.  Obama is giving Republicans the opportunity to take part in what’s going to happen in his first term.  I think over the next four years we’ll see that the smart ones will take him up on it.

Rove story via The Heretik on Shakesville.


Posted by on March 1, 2009 in Current Events


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Getting Involved in Politics

A quantum of creativity and fun in an extremely busy time of life can keep me going through stress.  So, I’d like to introduce a personal project that I’ve been using as a way to keep balanced between ‘work’ and ‘other’.  It’s a website that catalogs Barack Obama’s Presidential neck ties and other neck wear.  Enjoy.

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Posted by on February 13, 2009 in Current Events, Entertainment


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It’s Trampling Time

Less than three weeks after reporting three preventable deaths on Black Friday, the media is back to feeding the holiday shopping frenzy.



Um.  Yeah.  There are 10 days left until Christmas.  And if you don’t shop, like a lot, before then…  you don’t want to know what happens when the clock reaches zero.  You really want to know?  Well, it involves toothless elves who don’t like the sound of tortured squirrels writhing in pain half as much as they like giving you a root canal before they chew your arms off.  That’s right, they eat your arms, bones and all, with no teeth.

There are two types of headlines that are popular this year:

“OMG There Are Sales!  Hurry Or You Might Not Get 25% Off This Merch That’s Been Marked Up 50%!”


“OMG There’s A Recession!  Maybe You Shouldn’t Be Shopping So Much?”

We just can’t win.

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Posted by on December 16, 2008 in Current Events


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A Nebraska Divided

There are two states that can divide their electoral votes in a presidential election:  Maine and Nebraska.  This year, Nebraska actually exercised this ability due to heavy Obama support in Omaha.  Thus far, however, I have not found a mainstream news source that reported this (CNN, for example, lists the state as being in the McCain column).

Thankfully, O’Foghlú just put me on to the awesome NPR electoral results map, which does report 1 out of the 5 Nebraskan electoral votes as going to Obama.

This is special.  Nebraska is strongly Republican, like always.  Not only did Obama swing all the swing states, he tipped the balance in a staunch republican stronghold.  I wonder how the election results would be different if all states could split their votes?

(for an explanation of the splitting system, see NPR)

Update: On closer inspection, I see that CNN’s election results do list the electoral vote breakdown for Nebraska.  I must have missed it earlier.  In any case, I like NPRs coverage better.  Note that you can also get the break down for the 2000/2004 elections by changing the URL.

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Posted by on November 19, 2008 in Current Events


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Knock it Off

“That’s so gay” has been around for a while, and I feel like recently it’s reached an equilibrium point where people know it’s messed up to say it, but they say it anyways with a smirk as if saying something while knowing that it’s offensive makes it all better.  Kinda out of nowhere, Hillary Duff calls this behavior out:

What do you think of this ad?  Is it a message that will get through?  Or is it saying something that’s already known, and therefore won’t make a difference?  This reminds me of Illdoctrine’s “No Homo”.

via Feministing.

UPDATE3 down, 47 to go.

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Posted by on October 10, 2008 in Current Events, Entertainment


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Forty Days Left

White privilege is being able to dump your first wife after she’s disfigured in a car crash so you can take up with a multi-millionaire beauty queen (who you then go on to call the c-word in public) and still be thought of as a man of strong family values, while if you’re black and married for nearly 20 years to the same woman, your family is viewed as un-American and your gestures of affection for each other are called “terrorist fist bumps.”

Tim Wise, “This is Your Nation on White Privilege”

Everything I read about the presidential election at this point seems to have distinct and specific appeal for one candidate or the other. Each side is continually building it’s stockpile of attacks.  This ain’t a political scene, it’s an arms race. We often hear that the undecided voters will determine the outcome of the election, but sometimes I think the “undecided voter” is a bit of a cryptid.  Whose votes are really being fought over here?  Is the purpose of campaigning and debate to serve as more of a stop-gap measure to prevent attrition of a candidate’s (decided) supporters?  In any case, I love (identifying) double standards, and the Wise piece does a good job of that.

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Posted by on September 24, 2008 in Current Events


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Refugee Crisis and Xenophobic Violence in South Africa

Robbie Silverman is doing a summer internship at the South Africa Human Rights Commission. Just over two weeks ago he sent an email back to the states describing the shocking conditions that Zimbabwean immigrants are meeting in South African refugee camps. This email got passed onto an editor at the Boston Globe, and it was eventually published in the Passport section. It’s a somewhat surreal and depressing read, and I find it difficult to wrap my head around the whole situation, but knowing that I went to high school with the author kind of helps me internalize it.

There are a few notable editorial changes in the published version (e.g., a jab at the Bush administration was removed, as well as mentions of Obama and the Celtics). Overall it’s very close to the original email.

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Posted by on July 2, 2008 in Current Events


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