Tuesday, March 31, 2009


You've been warned.

Although I must say that I second his enthusiasm. I, too, love 30 Rock.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Economics 101

Being exceptionally bad at math and terrified of risk, I've never been able to paint a clear picture of Wall Street for myself. I still struggle with understanding the ins and outs of the crisis we're in, even though NPR's This American Life and Planet Money are doing the best they can to get me to follow along.

Sometimes, you just need the visuals:

via Londonist

Action of the Day

Benefit human rights advocacy with a simple click! Make a badge and $5 will be donated to Heartland Alliance from a matching grant:

I know I'm only making it worse...

But Glenn Beck's insanity knows no bounds, people.

Please keep in mind that this man has millions - I say again MILLIONS - of listeners and viewers.

Hey, but at least he backed off the FEMA prison thing... until he can't not prove it again.

Friday, March 27, 2009

FFYI: Friday For Your Information

Item 1) Michael Ian Black has written a children's book. For real.

Item 2) It is about butts.

Item 3) He reads it out loud in a chicken suit here. Enjoy!

Also, via The Moderate Voice, The GOP revealed their brilliant budget plan yesterday which was 15 pages with no projections, an even bigger tax cut for the wealthy than the Bush tax cuts and off shore drilling. Rather than linking out to this work of genius, the GOP strategy can be summed up via the following:

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Recommended Viewing

Hello! I realize it's been eleventy billion years since I last updated, but things have been happening. In a nutshell - ill grandparents, dog with diarrhea, meetings in Normal, work, friends. Mainly, I blame Twitter.

I'm hoping to get back in the swing of things and thank the two of you for sticking with me! Last night, the next movie on our queue arrived, selected by Alex:

This was a fascinating film. Embarrassingly, I was aware of Kissinger, but not in anyway knowledgeable. To my mind, he fit that 'elder statesman' role in our national lexicon, but what he actually did as Secretary of State wasn't something I knew much about. Recognizing that this film has an agenda, it is an important view at this point in time being sixty-odd days out from the Bush Administration. The case against Kissinger is a major reason why America doesn't recognize international criminal court and is a huge indicator that members of the previous administration will not be brought to justice for sanctioning torture as proven by the Red Cross.

How the previous administration's "indiscretions" are handled is a huge problem for the Obama administration because if he does put together a Truth and Reconciliation commission, it won't be able to conclude anything other than prosicution. This is something that Obama seems to be aware of and he has eased off the idea recently. Seeing what was committed under Kissinger and how nothing (aside from a film and a book) has been done to even recognize the human rights violations does not bode well.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Ain't Nothin' but a Tweet Thang, Baby

I am on Twitter. There's no denying it. I like it a lot, but it took me along time to figure out the functionality of it. If you think of it more as an RSS feed rather than a constant facebook status update (which would be totally useless as far as I'm concerned), it can really bring you in touch with a great deal of information.

That being said, today I saw Twitter jump the proverbial shark. I witnessed an interview between George Stephanopoulos and John McCain done entirely via Tweet (Twinterview?). Not only was this exercise pointless, but my reaction was two fold:

1. This is what happens when old people try to 'harness new technology'. I'm not spring chicken, but let's just admit that we're talking about old guys who are learning about the internets from interns and/or lowly staffers. Talk about the digital divide.

2. As if interviews weren't convoluted enough, now they're 140 characters with tons of lag-time between questions to better generate a canned answer through your staff!

Please, internet God, let this be the last time I see this go down...

Friday, March 13, 2009

MAD Money

The Jon Stewart - Jim Cramer interview was a real cultural moment. You should really watch the extended interview if you haven't already.

For the rest, click here.

I was impressed with Jon Stewart and I'm glad to see actual reporting happening again. This interview really makes you squirm with awkwardness and it helps to let Jon rage for you at all of the craziness that takes place in our country's financial sector.

That being said, I have a few problems with the interview. I felt like a lot of anger was misdirected at Cramer. He's essentially a Wall Street Pundit who puts on an entertainment show. I think the point is valid that he may be disingenously promoting himself to be an all-knowing guide through the economic storm, but who really expects the SELL, SELL, SELL guy to be a spokesman for an entire network?

People are mad right now and we have the right to be. We should be examining how we all played a part in the economic meltdown, the traders and the borrowers. No one has really discussed how the media let us down on this one, and I'm glad to see the conversation get started. But let's be clear: Stewart is accusing CNBC of not doing 'investigative financial journalism'. Is that really the expectation that veiwers have of CNBC? To get them all the facts and expose those corrupt CEOs? I would argue that that exectation does not exsit.

I view CNBC in the same light as the E! channel. It has a particular demographic that wants to hear vaguly reassuring/ interesting tidbits of information. Perhaps you'll look forward to an E! Hollywood Story, but I'm not going to bank my entire future on what E! tells me a high school friend says about Mickey Rourke. CNBC exists for traders and for the E-trade market warriors of the world, but shouldn't be and isn't the sole financial beakon for serious people. At least Cramer talks to people about what to look for and the importance of doing their own research before investing.

I think there is plenty of blame to go around with respect to financial reporting, but I think it's soft to go after a cable news financial network for being defferentail to titans of Wall Street.

Still, this is some awesome TV. I'm Netflix-ing Frost/Nixon right this minute.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Civil Discussion

Did you see Meghan McCain on Rachel Maddow last night? It was honestly quite refreshing:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Notice that they were decidedly light on the politics, but I am really glad to hear that there are some people in the Republican party who realize the importance of moderate voices. The fact that someone in office can't have this discussion in public is exactly what keeps the GOP from moving forward with the country.

Deep down in my progressive soul, I sort of enjoy watching the Republicans crash and burn. As an American, however, I would love to see them develop into an actual opposition party that can offer real ideas and bring something to the political table. Perhaps the people that are brought into the GOP by Meghan McCain will have a part in shaping that party.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Ad Men

I was listening to a really interesting Diane Rehm Show podcast yesterday about Barbie celebrating 50 years. It really made reflect on how I was totally influenced by advertising as a kid. I was that that kid that was really disappointed when I had non-Jello brand pudding pops. I received a doll for a gift that was Barbie's size but not actually Barbie... and I noticed right away. During this reflection, I congratulated myself for overcoming that indoctrination and being a really savy, cool consumer now.

Mmmbut then I saw this ad for T-mobile this morning:

And it got me. Hook, line, sinker... I just think this looks like a blast. I love all of the non dancers stuck in the choreography and how much fun they're having. So, way to go marketers... I just can't get away from you.

(via Andrew Sullivan)