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Continuing Newstalgia's look at Conventions past, here is the Keynote address by Mrs. Franklin Roosevelt at the 1956 Democratic Convention. Adlai Stevenson was once again the Standard Bearer and it was this convention that the name of Sen. John F. Kennedy was first foisted into the spotlight as potential Presidential material, by being considered a vice-Presidential running mate for Stevenson. Kennedy declined and the VP slot went to Estes Kefauver, whose Crime Committee hearings made him a household name to millions of voters.
Here is Eleanor Roosevelt's complete address from that convention.
The only surprise is that the Senate wasn't sent hush money campaign contributions from the defense contractors to kill the report. Not only have the US defense contractors been fleecing Americans with the normally bloated defense contracts but they're also ripping off Americans and putting US military in danger by selling cheap ripoff products, probably at the same price as the real...
Only two months after a national furor erupted over the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, Wisconsin Republicans are featuring a menacing-looking figure in a hoodie in a new piece of direct mail.
The mailer, which was paid for by the Republican State Leadership Committee, targets former state Sen. John Lehman, who is the Democratic nominee in the recall election in the decisive 21st state senate district (SD-21).
Daily Kos polling shows SD-21 to be the most competitive of the four upcoming state state recalls, with Lehman trailing Republican incumbent Van Wannggaard by a narrow 48-46 margin. Since the Wisconsin state senate is currently a 16-16 split between Democrats and Republicans, the outcome of this election will decide which party controls the chamber.
Campaign contributions aren't the only way to buy politicians.[...]
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Alternet has more:
TED curator Chris Anderson seemed most concerned that ?business managers and entrepreneurs would feel insulted? by some remarks about income inequality.
We?ve long heard complaints that TED is elitist. The annual conference in California costs $7,500 to attend and is nearly impossible to get into, even for those who can afford the price tag; it is widely considered to be ?unofficially invite-only.?
Interviews with writers are one of the things promised
for The New Yorker's new "Page-Turner" books blog
"If you were to boil your book down to a
few words, what would be its message?"
Last Tuesday The New Yorker inaugurated a new blog called "Page-Turner," blurbed as "Criticism, contention, and conversation about books that matter," and cartoon editor Bob Mankoff celebrated the blessed event in his newsletter-slash-blogpost last week, "The Great American Books Blog."
The blog in fact kicked off with a cartoon slide show curated by our Bob, "a selection of New Yorker cartoons about the literary life. The first actual books post followed: "What We're Reading: Tony Judt, Joan Didion, Hilary Mantel, and More," a superpost of "notes from the New Yorker staff on their literary engagements of the week" -- Dexter Filkins on Judt and Timothy Snyder's Thinking the Twentieth Century, Sarah Larson on Didion's out-of-print Miami (themed to a family vacation there), and Daniel Mendelsohn ("normally a one-book-at-a-time guy") doing a three-book parlay of Hilary Mantel's Bring Up the Bodies, Wesley Stace's Charles Jessold, Considered as a Murderer, and Rebecca West's Black Lamb and Gray Falcon.
As I write (on Monday; I planned this post for yesterday, but it gave way to my post remembering Robin Gibb), the most recent "Page-Turner" entry, posted by Maile Meloy, is "the first post in a series where we ask New Yorker writers what book they have revisited most often." Meloy muses on the phenomenon of rereading, or sometimes hearing audio-book versions of books already read, before settling on Maile Meloy the excellent, easy-to-understand choice of Nine Stories by J. D. Salinger, "the only book I've read three times (or more) on paper" ("It helped me understand what a story collection was, and should be"), with different sets of favorites each time.
IN HIS NEWSLETETER-BLOGPOST,BOB MANKOFF ASKS:
"Did you ever have a blog that you just couldn?t put down?
"Well, you?ve got one now," he says. "Page-Turner," you'll recall, spotlights "the three C's" about "books that matter," and Bob, combing The New Yorker's cartoon archives, has come up with illustrations for all three:
"Criticism" [cartoon by William Hamilton, born 1939]
"Sorry, old man. Because of the weak imagery,
scanty plot, and pedestrian language in your latest,
we've turned your table over to Joyce Carol Oates."
"Contention" [cartoon by Bruce Eric Kaplan]
"I don't just want to write. I want to be in literary feuds."
"Conversation" [cartoon by Chon Day, 1907-2000]
"Which ten books would you have brought, if you'd known?"
BUT THAT'S NOT ALL THAT'S PROMISED . . .
. . . for "Page-Turner." There are also going to be:
"Staff recommendations" [cartoon by Harry Bliss]
"Updates from the publishing world" [cartoon by David Sipress]
"Great news! Your novel is in a medium-size pile in the middle of the floor about four feet from the left side of Oprah's assistant's desk."
And "interviews with writers," as illustrated by the cartoon by the great Edward Koren (born 1935) at the top of this post.
PLUS "MUCH, MUCH MORE," SAYS BOB,
including a fiction podcast (which will nevertheless be checked for accuracy by The New Yorker's legendary fact-checking department) and photography (I actually don't know what's going to be in this section, although I'm told it may feature racy shots of books au naturel, without their dust jackets). Have I left anything out? Mais certainement, la spécialité de la maison -- les cartoons. But don't worry, Francophobes, they're not in French, and there's a slide show right here -- bet you can't view just one.
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I get the low mordant chuckles whenever I hear Republican strategists complaining that [sniffle] it's so unfair that Democrats enjoy a significant advantage among Latino voters right now. Especially because I know that nativist wingnuts like Rep. Steve King will always be around to remind those voters exactly why they would never want to vote Republican, as he did yesterday:
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, compared immigrants to dogs at a town hall meeting yesterday, telling constituents that the U.S. should pick only the best immigrants the way one chooses the ?pick of the litter.?
King told the crowd in Pocahontas, Iowa, that he?s owned lots of bird dogs over the years and advised, ?You want a good bird dog? You want one that?s going to be aggressive? Pick the one that?s the friskiest ? not the one that?s over there sleeping in the corner.?
King suggested lazy immigrants should be avoided as well. ?You get the pick of the litter and you got yourself a pretty good bird dog. Well, we?ve got the pick of every donor civilization on the planet,? King said. ?We?ve got the vigor from the planet to come to America.?
This is nothing new for King. He's previously compared Latino immigrants to cattle, as well as farming commodities like beans and corn. It's all part of his longtime record of mainstreaming hateful rhetoric and demeaning falsehoods when discussing Latino immigrants.
Of course, Mitt Romney is out there trying to mend fences with Latino voters right now, in the vain hope that they'll forget he used vicious anti-Latino rhetoric during the GOP primaries. Indeed, the whole GOP outreach to Latino voters is not going very well right now.
And it just got measurably worse.
Besides the noxious dehumanization of Steve King's rhetoric -- which is bad enough -- I'd also like to address the contents of King's smear, particularly his clear characterization of Latino immigrants as lazy.
I and many other people know from long experience that not only is this a profound and vicious lie, it's about 180 degrees removed from the truth. Latino immigrants are, in fact, some of the hardest-working and most capable people we've added to the national gene pool in many generations.
Two experiences I had some forty years ago formed the basis for the high esteem in which I hold Latino workers.
One of the summer jobs I worked in high school in Idaho Falls, Idaho, entailed hauling irrigation pipe for a potato farm near the town of Shelley. It was brutally hard work and paid poorly, but it was a decent way to make some summer savings working outdoors in the sun. It also required a good work ethic, and frankly, most of us on the crew didn't have it. Though some of us tried to be the exceptions, most of the crew was unreliable, they did lousy work, and they complained incessantly.
A couple years after I graduated I stopped out to see my old boss on the farm. He had replaced his old crew of high-schoolers with an all-immigrant crew, and he couldn't have been happier. They were reliable, they laid their lines perfectly, and they not only never complained, they eagerly volunteered to help out around the farm in whatever other capacities the boss might need.
At first I thought it was a sad development, but the more I thought about it, the more I understood it was not just the right thing, but the best thing.
The summer before I visited him, I had come back to Idaho Falls from college to find summer work, and out of desperation took a labor job in a potato warehouse. This job entailed hauling around fifty-pound sacks of spuds on dollies and loading them into rail cars in stacks. This wasn't really a problem as long as the stack was relatively low, but once it got to above chest level, tossing these fifty-pound gunny sacks up into position became increasingly challenging.
Nearly all of my co-workers were Latino, and they were all short guys. I towered over most of them at six feet. But these guys could stack spuds all day and barely break a sweat, niftily tossing them up with a throwing technique that had been honed over long weeks and months and even years. I struggled to make it to lunch break, and I was in terrific shape at the time.
I wound up only lasting two weeks in that job. But I did make some good friends there.
So when I hear blithering morons like Steve King opining, a la racist caricatures about Mexicans from the 1920s, that Latino immigrants are lazy and disinclined to work, it's enough to make me laugh out loud. Or cry.
"... this fully operational battlestation."I've lost count of how many of these studies have been done at this point, but I guess it's time to add another one to the pile. Watching Fox News makes you less informed about events than not watching any news at all.
According to a new study by Farleigh Dickinson University, Fox viewers are the least knowledgeable audience of any outlet, and they know even less about politics and current events than people who watch no news at all.Now, let's just reflect on this. Let's say you decided to make a little fort out of your couch cushions, crawl inside, and just stay there. No television, no newspapers, no contact with the outside world whatsoever. Let's say you only ventured out to hunt your own food in the backyard, so that your meals consisted mainly of crabgrass and possums. Let's say that, for companionship, you made a little stick figure out of paper clips, named him, oh, I don't know, let's say "Skippy," and devoted yourself to long, meandering conversations with him about nothing in particular. Then you got mad at him and broke his little paper clip leg, panicked and buried him in the yard.
Respondents to the survey were able to answer correctly an average of 1.8 of 4 questions about international news and 1.6 out of 5 questions about domestic affairs. ?Based on these results, people who don?t watch any news at all are expected to answer correctly on average 1.22 of the questions about domestic politics, just by guessing or relying on existing basic knowledge,? said Dan Cassino, the poll?s analyst.
?The study concludes that media sources have a significant impact on the number of questions that people were able to answer correctly,? wrote Cassino and his colleagues. ?The largest effect is that of Fox News: all else being equal, someone who watched only Fox News would be expected to answer just 1.04 domestic questions correctly?a figure which is significantly worse than if they had reported watching no media at all. On the other hand, if they listened only to NPR, they would be expected to answer 1.51 questions correctly.?
You'd still know more about the world than if you watched goddamn Fox News.
On Monday, Fox News CEO Roger Ailes was giving one of his patented "I iz so smart, Fox iz so great" college lectures. This one was filled with gems like "one thing that qualifies me to run a journalism organization is the fact that I don?t have a journalism degree" and that reporters for the New York Times were "a bunch of lying scum." Oh, and that everybody in the media is just outrageously liberal, everywhere, all the time.
You would think that having studies show that your "news network" actively causes viewers to know less about the news than when they started would put a bit of a damper on your ol' public displays of self-aggrandizement. Then again, if you're the head of Fox News, you probably just say those studies are figments of the imagination, or were commissioned by dirty rotten hippies, and get on with your day. Or maybe you just have Steve Doocy say that stuff, because you can't be bothered and because Steve Doocy will freaking say anything you put in front of him.
So given that public shaming is right out?I'm sure Roger would be first to tell you that the purpose of the news is not to inform people, after all?what's left? Maybe a truth in advertising law, so that if your viewers score abominably in tests of basic world events, you're no longer allowed to call yourself "news" anymore? Federal marshals come to paint over the "News" part of all your signs? (Say what you will, but I believe passing laws with hilarious consequences is just not something we do enough of?at least, not intentionally. Unintentionally, we do it all the time.)
At the least, I might politely assert here that if your "news" programs result in people not knowing the news, or believing false things about the news, it's not "news" anymore. It's propaganda. You can puff out your chest and talk about your patriotism and great business sense all you want, but the rest of us don't have to actually respect you for it. You're still just a huckster in a nice suit.
The jockeying for prime-time speaking slots in Tampa is on:
This is unwelcome news for Mitt Romney: Florida Gov. Rick Scott expects a high-profile speaking slot at the Republican National Convention.
“I would hope so,” he told a newspaper editorial board this week when asked whether he anticipates giving a prime-time speech in Tampa.
We’re 100 days out, and convention organizers are just starting to tackle one of the trickiest and most important elements of the convention — selecting the speakers.
It’s a matter of juggling monumental political egos, precious little time for maximum TV exposure, appeasing people whose help is needed and ensuring the best message comes through to win over swing voters just starting to focus on the presidential contest. -Politico
There will likely be a state-wide Republican politician from Florida speaking in a key timeslot. But his name won't be Rick Scott.