Archive for the ‘the daily show’ tag
Here, I won’t refer to this flu strain as anything other than its quasi-official name, the 2009 H1N1 flu, and I’m glad to report, as of now, I don’t have it. Or else, I would probably be typing this from a hospital, and likely trying to hack an IV pump, hoping to access the Internet bedside. And you won’t hear any reference to that animal that wallows in its own feces anywhere in this post, thanks.
Now, to say that this thing has been blown giantly out of proportion, say like the avian flu or SARS, is probably an understatement, as media types everywhere toss the word “pandemic” around like a hacky sack (Yes, I’ve used that phraseology before). Folks, it’s a strain of the flu, no more, no less. It’s treatable by antiviral medicines, and if caught within the first two days or so, can make the patient feel better quite soon. It’s not HIV. It’s not the Black Plague. It’s the flu. So, if you get flu-like symptoms, get yourself to the doctor asap. But fears, irrational fears, still mount, most of them media-driven, despite the fact that the word “pandemic”
will be used ‘even if the new virus turns out to cause mainly mild symptoms.’ — The New York Times news blog, Blaming ‘Media Hype’ for Swine Flu Fears, May 1, 2009
Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show, brings light to the media’s enchantment with another worldwide catastrophe better than I ever could:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||M – Th 11p / 10c|
|Snoutbreak ’09 – The Last 100 Days|
First, let me emphasize this: While I don’t necessarily agree with all his policies, I think John McCain would be an able leader of this country. He’s got the expertise to keep the boat afloat. That is, if he can keep himself afloat.
The Republican party, and this is my own opinion, has put the country in jeopardy, awarding the VP nomination to someone with less experience, much less, than Barack Obama. Here’s a look at the two résumés:
NAME: Sarah Heath Palin.
AGE-BIRTH DATE-LOCATION: 44; born Feb. 11, 1964; Sandpoint, Idaho.
EXPERIENCE: Alaska governor since December 2006; unsuccessful run for Republican nomination for lieutenant governor in 2002; chairwoman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, 2003-2004; served two terms as Wasilla mayor and two terms on city council.
EDUCATION: Graduated University of Idaho, 1987, journalism.
FAMILY: Husband, Todd; five children.
BUSINESS: Worked as sports reporter for two Anchorage television stations; owned with her husband a snowmobile, watercraft, ATV business from 1994-97. Husband is a North Slope oil field worker. — The Associated Press
Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA
B.A. Political Science with specialization in international relations
Thesis topic: Soviet nuclear disarmament
Harvard Law School
J.D. magna cum laude 1988-1991
President, Harvard Law Review
Organizing and other work experience
1983-1984 Writer/Researcher for Business International Corporation. Helped companies understand overseas markets in the “Financing Foreign Operations” service and wrote for the “Business International Money Report”
1984-1985 Community Organizer for New York Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), promoting personal, community, and government reform at City College in Harlem.
1985-1988 Director of the Developing Communities Project (DCP), a church-based community organization originally comprising eight Catholic parishes in Greater Roseland on Chicago’s South Side. While director grew the DCP staff from 1 to 13 and their budget from $70,000 to $400,000.
1992 Led Chicago’s Project Vote! push. This effort resulted in a record number of voter registrations, over 600,000 in Chicago. 1)
1993-2004 Visiting Law and Government Fellow, then Senior Lecturer, in Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago Law School. Taught courses on the due process and equal protection areas of constitutional law, on voting rights, and on racism and law. Helped develop a casebook on voting rights.
1993-2002 Worked as an associate attorney with Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland. Represented non-profits and private individuals in urban development projects, voting rights cases, and wrongful firings. Filed major suit that forced the state of Illinois to enforce the Motor Voter Law and successfully argued a wrongful firing case before the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Illinois Senate 1996-2004
chairman, Health and Human Services Committee
Spearheaded a successful bipartisan effort in Illinois to pass the broadest ethics-reform legislation by any state in 25 years, and also gained bipartisan support for his successful bills reforming death penalty interrogations and ending racial profiling by police. Worked with the Republican-led effort to reform welfare
Also sponsored successful bills expanding tax credits and child-care subsidies for low-income working families, protecting overtime pay for workers, expanding health care for children, and providing job skills training for juveniles
Sponsored Bill Statistics
Number of sponsored bills: 65
Number of sponsored bills passed: 0
Number of co-sponsored bills 364
Number of co-sponsored bills passed: 5
www.opencongress.org (9/3/2008—-dankster keeps taking this out for some reason)
Alternative account: more than 800. Chart at http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2007/07/29/us/politics/20070730_OBAMA_GRAPHIC.html
United States Senate 2004-present
Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Chairman, Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on European Affairs
Member, Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Member, Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
Member, Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
Shares responsibility for the bipartisan Coburn-Obama Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006, requiring full online disclosure of all entities receiving federal funds, and the bipartisan Lugar-Obama Cooperative Proliferation Detection, Interdiction Assistance, and Conventional Threat Reduction Act of 2006, deepening non-proliferation work with WMD and including surface-to-air missiles, land mines, and other weapons that may be used by terrorists
Bills / Amendments Passed
Barack Obama has introduced nearly 300 bills during his time in the U.S. Senate, and cosponsored close to 1,000 others. If you would like a full look at his legislative efforts, search the 109th Congress at http://thomas.loc.gov/bss/d109query.html and 110th Congress at http://thomas.loc.gov/bss/d110query.html
S.AMDT.1041 to S.1082 To improve the safety and efficacy of genetic tests.
S.AMDT.3073 to H.R.1585 To provide for transparency and accountability in military and security contracting.
S.AMDT.3078 to H.R.1585 Relating to administrative separations of members of the Armed Forces for personality disorder.
S.AMDT.41 to S.1 To require lobbyists to disclose the candidates, leadership PACs, or political parties for whom they collect or arrange contributions, and the aggregate amount of the contributions collected or arranged.
S.AMDT.524 to S.CON.RES.21 To provide $100 million for the Summer Term Education Program supporting summer learning opportunities for low-income students in the early grades to lessen summer learning losses that contribute to the achievement gaps separating low-income students from their middle-class peers.
S.AMDT.599 to S.CON.RES.21 To add $200 million for Function 270 (Energy) for the demonstration and monitoring of carbon capture and sequestration technology by the Department of Energy.
S.AMDT.905 to S.761 To require the Director of Mathematics, Science, and Engineering Education to establish a program to recruit and provide mentors for women and underrepresented minorities who are interested in careers in mathematics, science, and engineering.
S.AMDT.923 to S.761 To expand the pipeline of individuals entering the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields to support United States innovation and competitiveness.
S.AMDT.924 to S.761 To establish summer term education programs.
S.AMDT.2519 to H.R.2638 To provide that one of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used to enter into a contract in an amount greater than $5 million or to award a grant in excess of such amount unless the prospective contractor or grantee certifies in writing to the agency awarding the contract or grant that the contractor or grantee owes no past due Federal tax liability.
S.AMDT.2588 to H.R.976 To provide certain employment protections for family members who are caring for members of the Armed Forces recovering from illnesses and injuries incurred on active duty.
S.AMDT.2658 to H.R.2642 To provide that none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used to enter into a contract in an amount greater than $5,000,000 or to award a grant in excess of such amount unless the prospective contractor or grantee makes certain certifications regarding Federal tax liability.
S.AMDT.2692 to H.R.2764 To require a comprehensive nuclear threat reduction and security plan.
S.AMDT.2799 to H.R.3074 To provide that none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used to enter into a contract in an amount greater than $5,000,000 or to award a grant in excess of such amount unless the prospective contractor or grantee makes certain certifications regarding Federal tax liability.
S.AMDT.3137 to H.R.3222 To provide that none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used to enter into a contract in an amount greater than $5,000,000 or to award a grant in excess of such amount unless the prospective contractor or grantee makes certain certifications regarding Federal tax liability.
S.AMDT.3234 to H.R.3093 To provide that none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used to enter into a contract in an amount greater than $5,000,000 or to award a grant in excess of such amount unless the prospective contractor or grantee makes certain certifications regarding Federal tax liability.
S.AMDT.3331 to H.R.3043 To provide that none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used to enter into a contract in an amount greater than $5,000,000 or to award a grant in excess of such amount unless the prospective contractor or grantee makes certain certifications regarding Federal tax liability.
Senate Resolutions Passed:
S.RES.133 : A resolution celebrating the life of Bishop Gilbert Earl Patterson.
S.RES.268 : A resolution designating July 12, 2007, as “National Summer Learning Day”.
Other Bills Introduced
S.J.RES.23: A joint resolution clarifying that the use of force against Iran is not authorized by the Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq, any resolution previously adopted, or any other provision of law.
S. 453: Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act of 2007. The Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act of 2007 (H.R.1281), (S.453), would establish criminal penalties for acts of voter deception. Those who knowingly disseminate false information with the intention of keeping others from voting would face up to five years in prison under the legislation. The Act was sponsored by Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) and 60 cosponsors in the House, and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and 15 cosponsors in the Senate. (20 Cosponsors)
S. 2030: A bill to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to require reporting relating to bundled contributions made by persons other than registered lobbyists. (1 Cosponsor)
S. 2111: Positive Behavior for Effective Schools Act. A bill to amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to allow State educational agencies, local educational agencies, and schools to increase implementation of early intervention services, particularly school-wide positive behavior supports. (3 Cosponsors)
S. 2066: Back to School: Improving Standards for Nutrition and Physical Education in Schools Act of 2007. A bill to establish nutrition and physical education standards for schools.
S. Con. Res. 46: A concurrent resolution supporting the goals and ideals of Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month
S. 2044: Independent Contractor Proper Classification Act of 2007. A bill to provide procedures for the proper classification of employees and independent contractors, and for other purposes. (6 Cosponsors)
S. 2519: Contracting and Tax Accountability Act of 2007. A bill to prohibit the awarding of a contract or grant in excess of the simplified acquisition threshold unless the prospective contractor or grantee certifies in writing to the agency awarding the contract or grant that the contractor or grantee has no seriously delinquent tax debts, and for other purposes.
S. 2433: Global Poverty Act of 2007. A bill to require the President to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to further the United States foreign policy objective of promoting the reduction of global poverty, the elimination of extreme global poverty, and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people worldwide, between 1990 and 2015, who live on less than $1 per day. (9 Cosponsors)
S. 2330: Veterans Homelessness Prevention Act. A bill to authorize a pilot program within the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development with the goal of preventing at-risk veterans and veteran families from falling into homelessness, and for other purposes. (1 Cosponsor) — http://obamasresume.org/
If Palin had a longer résumé available online somewhere, I would post it. One can check out her bio on her Web site: http://gov.state.ak.us/bio.html
My point being: McCain is the second-oldest, first-time, major party presidential nominee. (Bob Dole would be the oldest). He’s had bouts with cancer. I like the dude immensely and wish him well, but I have to ask. What is McCain is elected and, God forbid, doesn’t make it through four years and Palin is elected? What then? There is no way anyone can convince me this person is ready to be president. Period. Much less more ready than Obama. This has nothing to do with gender whatsoever. Hillary Clinton, for all her ghosts, would have been capable of keeping the boat afloat. But I feel the Republican party has played a dangerous endgame with the well-being of this country, and did it solely for political reasons. If you truly think Palin was the best pick to lead this country in McCain’s stead, you are either uninformed or so hyped on the “hockey-mom” thing that you can’t see straight. If something happens to Obama, Joe Biden can at least keep the wheels on the wagon. Experience is not everything, as I have said, to make a case for Obama’s competency to lead. But if Palin came off to me as someone who was competent, corruption-free, and capable of leading this country, my statement would be different. But viewing her track record, as provided by the Anchorage Daily News, I can’t say that. See here:
She is brilliant at the podium. She’s a firecracker. She’s charismatic and eloquent. But she’s also ruthless and seems to do whatever it takes, ethical or not, to get ahead and weed out those who dissent. And as far as international experience? That’s nearly, or in whole, nonexistent.
I like the guy. I really do. He’s warm and convivial. He has a sense of humor. He seems to perform well on the stump. He clearly loves his country, and if you can push through all the sometimes inaccurate portrayals of Barack Obama’s policies and McCain’s exaggerated claims his own intentions, I think one will find a person that genuinely believes he’s got the best plan to move the nation forward.
But I’m not sure what else John McCain has to prove at this point. While his war-torn stories already give the man the highest praise that we can bestow for his, often-physically excruciating, sacrifice for our country — which are obviously above and beyond anything John Kerry, George Bush or Bill Clinton can claim regarding military service — and his long service in the Senate is impressive, what more can he hope to achieve? Is he hoping for a coup de grace to cap his career before his mind goes dim or his embattled body finally gives up the fight? Is he hoping to avenge his defeat in 2000?
And by all that’s right and good, we have got to keep him on the stump and off of the “big speech” stages, which are more aptly dominated by Barack Obama and Sarah Palin. In front of the TelePrompTer, McCain is awkward, smiles at unusual times in the speech and seems robotic or mechanical. I suppose that’s par-for-the-course for a 72-year-old, but still …. I digress.
Regardless, other than vagaries, he has yet to show us specifically how we will institute change in Washington, clean up the rampant lobbying, etc. In fact, as Jon Stewart recently showed on “The Daily Show,” many of the promises made by McCain are nearly exactly the same promises made by first-term candidate George Bush in his election bid. This can be seen here:
Thus, McCain and the gang know they aren’t going to bring any significantly different. When was the last time a new person was elected to the White House and a year later, you thought, “Wow, he has drastically shaken things up.” It’s certainly not going to happen with McCain and even given Obama’s high-in-the-sky rhetoric, change is unlikely to come with him either. That said, that doesn’t necessarily mean I don’t seek an end to lobbyist influence in Washington, that I don’t seek the best and quickest way out of the Iraq boondoggle, that I don’t want the economy to right itself post haste and gas prices to slither downward. I certainly do. But we will be dealing with political rhetoric, not reality, now until Nov. 4. And that’s about as much straight talk as we’re going to get at this point.