Category Archives: Politics

Marco Rubio – Shut Congress for 2 years to Fix Economy

Marco Rubio’s preaching to his far right base with his latest comments:

“Well the problem is the people in Washington don’t understand what’s causing [unemployment and the economic recession]. They think that Presidents and Senators are job creators and they’re not. The job creators are people who have access to money, whether it’s their own or borrowed, who use that money to open up a new business or expand an existing one. And they’re not doing that right now because of the tax chaos and all the regulatory chaos and all of this uncertainty created in Washington DC. Perhaps the most stimulative thing they can do right now is take a two year recess or something.”

One thing to note:  Marco Rubio is running for the U.S. Senate seat in Florida that was vacated by Mel Martinez.  Rubio is a far right-wing conservative Republican who is challenging moderate Republican and current Florida governor Charlie Crist for the Senate seat.  Crist also supported President Obama’s stimulus plan.

Michael Steele previously stated that the government doesn’t create jobs and never did.

Steele and Rubio obviously forgot about all of the government employees who work for the politicians and the politicians themselves.  And he forgot about police, fire and rescue workers.  And teachers.  And postal workers.  And the military. 

How did the U.S. Interstate Highway System get made? 

Maybe we should get away from direct deposit so Rubio could look at his paycheck. 

If it wasn’t for government, lobbyists would not have jobs. 

If government shut down for 2 years, what would Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and scores of others talk about?

If government was shut down for 2 years, how could the Republicans bitch and moan, lie and obstruct all the way into the 2010 and 2012 election cycles?

Now let’s look briefly at what effect the stimulus program had on America.  The one President Obama said would help create jobs and the Republicans said would bankrupt our children and grandchildren.

According to the Obama  administration, the $787 billion stimulus program saved or created “1.5 million to 2 million jobs last year.”

These numbers do coincide with the estimates from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office but get ready for the Republican backlash.

The “regulatory chaos” that Rubio mentioned is the lack of any regulations, of course.  (sarcasm intended).  And let’s not get started on the tax benefits already established for corporations.

What would be nice is that with a government shutdown, I won’t have to hear the crap spewing from the Republicans. 

Sources:

Stimulus:  1.5 million jobs created, saved – Swamp Politics – Chicago Tribune

Stimulus saved or created up to 2 million jobs in 2009, White House says – LA Times

GOP Senate Candidate Marco Rubio Calls For Suspending Congress for Two Years to Fix the Economy – Think Progress

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Reflecting on the Biggest of 2009

Once again, a year has come to an end – faster than most of us would like.  This year has been no different providing us with a plethora of big stories, scandals, laughs and yes, a few tears.

The big news stories of 2009

Barack Obama inaugurated as 44th president. Eight years of Bush / Cheney have come to an end so along with that ended corporate bailouts, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, job loss, Gitmo closed and – oh well, never mind.  At least  Bush is out.  And Obama has his Nobel Peace Prize.

Healthcare Reform.  If a healthcare reform bill passes it looks like it will mean the status quo – only there will be a mandate to buy insurance when many cannot afford it.   If we didn’t have lobbyists, Fox News and politics over country, this would be a relatively simple bill to write.  This will be the story to watch in 2010 and the affect it will have on the midterm elections.

Afghan War.  With Obama winning the White House last year one thing was certain – the troops were coming out of Afghanistan.  Only Obama announced that the troops won’t begin coming home until 2011.  I’m not really seeing a change here.

Climategate.  Funniest story of the year.  A server is hacked which contains over a thousand emails from top notch Global Warming scientists where they apparently talked about ‘tricking’ the data to hide the decline in temperature and that it was a ‘travesty’ that the scientists ‘can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment’.  Skeptics claim this proves that Global Warming is a hoax meanwhile warmists say that those responsible for ‘hacking’ should go to jail but seem to ignore what was revealed with these emails.  Regardless, the Climate talks in Copenhagen were a huge stepping stone in dealing with greenhouse gas emissions.

Tainted Chinese Drywall.  Another big story that is being ignored by the media.  Homes built with Chinese Dry Wall develop a sulphur-like smell and encounter corrosion of coils and pipes.  The owners also find that there fine silver quickly tarnished.  Most builders will not take responsibility and the American government will not hold China accountable.  Instead the line is that there isn’t enough evidence to support these claims.  I’ve been on the tainted Chinese imports since 2007 from my defunct website. 

We’ve had tainted pet food, chicken and fish feed, toothpaste, imported fish, honey, tires, children’s toys and now drywall.  But the American government doesn’t think there is enough evidence and our media doesn’t believe it is newsworthy. 

Sarah Palin goes Rouge and resigns.  Palin resigned as governor of Alaska in order to avoid being a lame duck governor since she was not planning on running for reelection.  She popularized the lie that the healthcare reform legislation would contain ‘death panels’ that would kill senior citizens and her followers bought it.  The far right love her and the far left hate her.  Everyone in between just hopes she retires to Wasilla to watch the sunset on the Russian horizon.  Meanwhile, her memoir ‘Going Rogue’ is still selling well after 3 months.

Comcast / GE / NBC Universal merger.  This merger will lead to nightmares reminiscent to the AOL Time Warner merger / divorce.  Providers owning content is not a good thing as it will hurt competition and drive up prices.  I’m going to watch the next move by Time Warner Cable, DirecTV and Dish Network.  I’ll also be watching the government as this merger should be shot down courtesy of antitrust laws.

The big scandals of 2009

David Letterman.  Letterman shocked his viewers with the revelation that he has had sex with people who work on his show.  This scandal comes equipped with an extortion case as CBS News producer Robert Halderman tried to shake him down for $2 million to prevent Halderman from writing a screenplay about Letterman’s escapades.  Letterman instead went to police and Halderman was arrested in a sting operation and Letterman went public with an on-air explanation and apology.

Tiger Woods.  He made us forget about Letterman.  He wrecked his car – was apparently attacked by his wife with a golf club – and women are still coming out of the woodwork.  He took a leave of absence from golf to work on his marriage yet he and his wife, Elin separated.   He’s losing his endorsement deals.  And the jokes about a Viagra endorsement deal are running wild.

Mark Sanford & John Ensign.  What would a year in scandals be without the obligatory political sex scandal?  As usual, there were many this year but the two most prominent were Mark Sanford and John Ensign. 

After President Clinton admitted to infidelity, Ensign called on Clinton to resign saying, “he has no credibility left”.  What does it say about Ensign’s credibility that he had an affair with the wife of a top aide?  And who can forget that Ensign’s parents attempted to give Cynthia Hampton $96,000?

Meanwhile, Sanford said that Clinton’s behavior was “reprehensible.”  In June, Sanford disappeared for about a week saying that he’d be hiking on the Appalachian Trail.  In reality, he flew to Argentina with his mistress.  Let’s just say that Sanford doesn’t think this affair was reprehensible enough to resign from office.  To her credit, Sanford’s wife has since filed for divorce. 

Balloon Boy.  Has anybody seen my son?  He’s in a box attached to a balloon flying over Colorado.  The National Guard was called in along with local police.  The balloons proximity to Denver International Airport caused the airport to close down.  When the balloon turned up empty speculation led to fears that the boy had fallen during the balloon’s 50-mile trek.  Turns out the boy was hiding in his house and during an interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN said ‘we did this for the show’.  And a scandal was born.

Glenn Beck – gold, loss of sponsors, crying.  The Fox News commentator began the year by saying in an appearance on Fox and Friends that President Obama has “a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture.”  He further stuck his foot in his mouth by saying “I’m not saying he doesn’t like white people.  I’m saying he has a problem.  This guy is, I believe, a racist.”  As a result, about 80 advertisers pulled their ads from his show and it looked as if Beck would not last much longer.  Beck then started going after Obama’s administration, first targeting White House Council on Environmental Quality, Van Jones – who later resigned.  He later went hard after ACORN.  Meanwhile, Beck continued to cry.

As far as I’m concerned, the biggest issue in 2009 involving Beck is his conflict of interest.  It came to light in, of all places, a feature on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.  They pointed out that Beck’s radio program is sponsored by Goldline International and aired a number of examples where Beck is promoting the investment in gold.

Personal notes of 2009

Seinfeld reunion.  Like millions of others, I was a huge Seinfeld fan.  I even had written an episode with the promise that my friend’s uncle who was an executive at NBC at the time would walk the episode over.  (My friend lied to me and never sent the script to his non-existent uncle at NBC.)  Though I enjoyed The Finale, I feel it came up a little flat.  I have also been a big fan of Curb Your Enthusiasm so I was thrilled to hear that they were doing a season long Seinfeld reunion arc similar to what they did with The Producers a few years ago.

The final episodes of the season was the walk-thru for ‘The Reunion’ and ended with Larry David watching the show on his television.  It was great to see the gang back on the air.  ‘Having said that’ it definitely made up for the finale.

10 year anniversary of Y2K.  It’s hard to believe that ten years have passed since the Y2K scam.  Companies around the world were panicking.  In preparation, we had to make certain that all of our computer programs and databases were capable of handling the 4-digit year.  Older languages and systems were at most risk so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that we were told to take out extra money from the bank in case bank computers got all messed up; power companies could shut down leaving millions, if not billions in the dark; do not fly as planes could fall out of the sky; and unexploded bombs could explode.  On a summer 1999 vacation in the mountains of North Carolina I saw a Year 2K supply store which sold Y2K survival kits.  I had to work that evening in case the computers shut down and I had to physically be on site in case remote access became a problem.

The scam that was perpetrated on the American public that came close to the level of Y2K was Geraldo Rivera opening Al Capone’s vault live on television 23 years ago.  Of course the vault was empty.

My2Buck$ on Twitter and new domain.  This year, My 2 Buck$ debuted on Twitter which has been fun.  I have determined that by following news sources, it is the best way to receive my news updates.  I can get details and stories that lacked coverage later.  I have also dropped ‘wordpress’ from my domain name which still seems to have Google confused.  Additionally, I have ghostwritten a couple of posts for a couple of friends on a Global Warming Facts blog. 

People / Things I hope stay in 2009 and never surface again.

This feature scares me now as last year I listed Billy Mays and he passed away in 2009.  Of course, during 2009, I became more of a fan of Mays especially since the Sham-Wow guy came on the scene.

Update on Joe the Plumber – still on the scene – sort of.  He was much quieter but did pop up occasionally.  And Sarah Palin – well we know what she’s been up to.  She’s the winner of the 15 minutes that won’t end.

For 2009, let me be clear – go away does not mean die.  RIP Billy. 

Rush Limbaugh / Glenn Beck / Sean Hannity.  Generally, anyone who would love to see Americans struggle and America disgraced for financial or political gain needs to go.  They clearly hate America.  That said, add nearly all Republicans who spent 2009 breaking filibuster records, obstructing progress and lying and distorting the truth.  And take the corporate lobbyists while you’re at it.  And Brett Favre.

2009 – A year of Loss

Each year the list hits closer to home.  We lost people I grew up with like original Charlie’s Angel Farrah Fawcett, Fantasy Island’s Mr. Roarke Ricardo Montalban, and Maude (Bea Arthur).

The news world lost pioneers Walter Cronkite and Don Hewitt.  Also, Tim Russert and Paul Harvey (‘Good Day’). 

Thank you to Larry Gelbart for adapting M*A*S*H for television which provided me years of laughs . . . and tears.

When MTV first explored programming other than videos, they ran a game show called Remote Control.  Host Ken Ober passed away November 15th.  (Adam Sandler came out of that show).

John Updike, Ron Silver, Natasha Richardson, Dom DeLuise, Ed McMahon, John Hughes, Les Paul,  Patrick Swayze, Henry Gibson also left this year along with scores of others.

Brittany Murphy dies at 32 presumably of natural causes – except there is nothing natural about dying at 32.  Nor is there anything natural about dying at 28 as Avenged Sevenfold drummer The Rev did yesterday.

Politics lost the Liberal Lion, Ted Kennedy and his sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver.

Stunningly, the King, Michael Jackson makes this list.

And the television show Monk ended its 8 season run a few weeks ago.

Happy New Year.  In case this is the last post you read from me in 2009 – May you and yours have a happy and healthy 2010.    

Hope to see you in 2010.

Gene – My 2 Buck$

It’s Festivus – Time to air the grievances

One of the joyous traditions of Festivus is telling people how they have disappointed you over the past year.

“The tradition of Festivus begins with the Airing of Grievances. I got a lot of problems with you people! And now, you’re gonna hear about it.” – Frank Costanza

I got a lot of problems with you people – so without further ado:

Congressional Democrats

You are weak.  You have a huge majority in the House and Senate and you control the White House and all you can put together is a thousand page piece of trash for a healthcare reform bill.  You ought to be ashamed of yourselves.  You ought to be voted from office.

The most important goal of the healthcare reform bill was to make certain that 100 percent of Americans had access to quality and affordable healthcare without the financial risk now associated with catastrophic illness.  How does one write a healthcare reform bill that leaves about six percent of Americans without coverage?

And don’t get me started on those with inadequate coverage or costly coverage (like my plan).

What can be written on one thousand pages that pretty much keeps the status quo?  The Insurance companies are laughing.  Have you looked at their stock price recently?

There’s no public option, no single payer option.  States can opt out of the plan when Americans should be able to opt out of their employers plan for a better, more affordable plan. 

States can opt out of abortion coverage.  Let’s see how many cave to the pressure.

These bills (one in House and one in Senate) present Congress at its worst – one that is controlled by the squeaky wheel and the millions of dollars from the lobbyists for the insurance companies.

Instead of looking out for your constituents, you have looked out for yourselves. 

And when Congress gets together to hash out a final bill between the House and Senate versions, I’m sure we will be left with a bill no one can support.

All we wanted was an insurance plan similar to what you have (at the taxpayers expense). 

In 2008, Americans voted for change.  I’m guessing that in 2010, we’ll be voting for change – AGAIN!!!

 

Congressional Republicans

The purpose of the opposition party is not to oppose everything in front of you.  The opposition party should be looking out for the interests of the minority – NOT CORPORATE AMERICA.

The filibuster is becoming synonymous with Senate Republicans and that is a travesty.  Makes me wish that the GOP would have voted for that nuclear option.

Gallagher said this about 30 years ago:

“if the opposite of ‘PRO’ is ‘CON’ – what is the opposite of ‘PROGRESS’?

The answer is Republicans. 

You are a bunch of liars who constantly use name-calling as a way to divide the country between the people who read and think with those too lazy to research your lies and those who lack the common sense to know the difference.  (I know I’ve insulted a ton of people here, but come on – WAKE UP PEOPLE.  Do some reading.  Besides, this is in the true spirit of Festivus.)

Instead of offering real alternatives to the legislation the Democrats present, you just criticize and oppose. 

You’ve blamed Obama for a recession that began under Bush’s watch and was partially caused by the legislation you passed when you controlled Congress. 

Your approach is old, tired and stale and you need to be replaced. 

 

Media

You’re the worst of the lot. 

The Republicans call you the liberal, elite media when in fact you’re just lazy, incompetent and complicit. 

There is no such thing as investigative journalism anymore.  When interviewing people (politicians and pundits), you never offer a challenging follow up question.  If someone lies or offers misinformation, you let it go as fact. 

You put question marks on your headlines in order to exonerate yourself from responsibility.

Democrats are destroying America?

It’s been over 35 years since Watergate and real investigative journalism.  Since that time we have been hit with stories like Whitewater and Monica (Clinton) and terrorism (Bush).

You let the previous administration get away with everything without questioning them yet have called this administration out on everything using Republican talking points as fact. 

It’s amazing that in the era of 24 hour news you would think that we’d get more in-depth coverage of meaningful stories.  Instead we get more Tiger or complete analysis of David Letterman – ‘Was his apology good enough?’

I thought the era of ‘Yellow journalism’ was an embarrassment but the media in the last 1-2 decades has been even worse. 

Real newsmen like Walter Cronkite and Edward R Murrow are turning in their grave seeing what you have done to the industry they held in the highest regard.

You can’t fill a program with opinion and pundits and call it a news program.  That’s dishonest. 

‘We Report.  You Decide.” Is a nice slogan but you’re really not reporting anything.   You’re opining.

 

Sarah Palin

You quit as Governor of Alaska (which of course was good for Alaska) but your reasons were crap. 

You claim that you did it because you could do more outside of the office than you could as governor.  You also said that you’d be prevented from doing things as a lame duck since you were not planning on running for re-election.

Oh, please.

According to Alaskan law, you would have been prevented from getting the profits you made from your book if you were in office.

You say that we don’t like you because you’re religious, a strong woman and a mom.   To be honest, those are the 3 traits I like the MOST. 

Saying that Obama pals around with terrorists is a lie – AND YOU KNOW IT.

Saying that the government was going to hold ‘death panels’ in the healthcare reform bill was a lie – AND YOU KNOW IT.

Your folksy charm is nothing of the sort. 

I want my president to be extremely smart – not extremely deceitful and nasty. 

Please do us all a favor and go back into sports reporting.  Maybe ESPN will hire you now – if not, Fox Sports will. 

You betcha. 

 

I have problems with a lot more people but I wanted to stop around 1000 words. 

This “Airing of Grievances” has been great.

It’s time for the Feats of Strength.  Who shall I let try and pin me? 

Hey Beck – stop your crying and get over here.

Happy Festivus to all!

 

 

Gene – My 2 Buck$

Crist – Rubio tied in Florida Senate GOP Primary poll

The race is on for the battle to fill the United States Senate seat in Florida recently vacated by Republican Mel Martinez.  Florida Governor Charlie Crist entered the race with a commanding lead in the polling for the Republican primary.  The seat is currently being kept warm by George LeMieux.

As recently as mid-October 2009, Crist easily led main competitor Marco Rubio 52.8% to 29.4%.  Rubio was closer to the remainder of the pack – 17.8%.

A Rasmussen survey of 471 likely Republican voters finished in a dead heat – 43% to 43%.

“Stunning is a good word for it,” said Scott Rasmussen, the pollster. “I’ll be honest, when we first polled on this primary matchup, I didn’t expect it to be very competitive. What’s happened is the political mood around the country has evolved in a way that’s very bad for Charlie Crist.”

This is not stunning in the least bit.  The Republican Party is seeking their identity and apparently it is with the more Conservative candidates.  Talking heads like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck are promoting these far right wing candidates.

Just look at what happened last month in NY-23 as a great example.

Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava was rejected by a portion of her party for not being conservative enough.  As a result, Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman (a favorite of Glenn Beck’s) joined the General Election.  Scozzafava withdrew from the race endorsing Democratic candidate and victor Bill Owens. 

Yes, the Republican endorsed the Democrat over the Conservative. 

If Rasmussen truly was stunned, then he is not familiar with the landscape (which I find difficult to believe as he is a pollster) or he doesn’t understand Florida politics.

Florida is a relatively balanced state with more registered Democrats than Republicans.  In statewide elections, we generally go with the incumbent, the most popular candidate or with the national political trend and is not a guaranteed win for either party.

Florida’s Congress is heavily slanted toward the Republicans (about 67%-33%) courtesy of gerrymandered districts. 

If Crist and Rubio battled in the November General Election, Crist would win in a cakewalk but this battle is for the Republican primary.

Daily Kos noted that “there’s no way [Crist] can out teabag Rubio.”

True words, indeed.

Here is what I said about Marco Rubio in a post on December 4, 2008.

“Former Florida Speaker of the House, he is a strong conservative and has been at odds with Republican Governor Charlie Crist because Crist is too moderate.”

In a My 2 Buck$ post on January 13, 2009 where I offered my opinion on the Democratic field to replace Martinez.  I spoke more on Rubio concluding with:

“The winner [of the Democratic Party primary] will most likely lose to whoever the Republicans put up in the election.  I do find it hard to imagine Marco Rubio not coming out on top.”

In replying to a comment mocking me on my Rubio projection, I responded with:

“He’s Republican.  He was Speaker of the House.  He’ll have the Rove machine behind him.  Who do you think could beat him?”

I admit I fully expected Crist to run for re-election as governor however a Rubio primary victory cannot be a shocker. 

Crist has tried to be a People’s governor – when he isn’t running for election.

  • He is against off-shore drilling (as long as he isn’t trying to become a Republican VP nominee)
  • He extended early voting hours for the November 2008 General Election which favored Democratic voters as Florida does have more registered Democrats.
  • He struck a deal with the Seminole Indians on a casino deal that so angered Rubio and Conservatives that they took him to court over the decision.
  • He backed President Obama’s stimulus plan even introducing him before a speech.
  • He drove the Florida Congress to pass the Cover Florida Heath Care Access Program which makes ‘affordable health coverage available to 3.8 million uninsured Floridians’.

With the Fox News machine behind Rubio, there is no way Crist can win the Republican Party.

Kos offered a few suggestions for Crist.

  1. Drop out of the Senate race and run for re-election as governor.
  2. Change parties and run as a Democrat
  3. Run for the Senate as an Independent – like Joe Lieberman.

I have thought about each of these options for a number of weeks.  I doubt that Crist drops out of the race as it would be a sign of weakness and the Conservative wing will introduce some other hard line person to beat Crist for governor – they may even dig up Katherine Harris.  It does seem that the Conservative wing would prefer to lose than support a more moderate candidate.

Crist would probably do well as a Democratic candidate for the Senate.  There is no one with the state-wide name recognition of Crist nor will any candidate rise as high as Crist before the primaries. 

Crist will repeatedly air the picture of him introducing President Obama and I’d be surprised if Obama didn’t come to Florida to return the support.

The third option is Crist riding this primary out and losing to Rubio.  Crist then runs in the General Election as an Independent like Joe Lieberman.  Crist easily gets the support of moderate Republicans and Democrats and Republicans who feel betrayed by their more right wing base and Democrats who feel betrayed by their party’s inability to pass any real Progressive legislation during the first two years of Obama’s term.

If you liked Jeb Bush’s conservative positions and how he stuck to his guns, you will love Marco Rubio.   I’m sure Sarah Palin will be here campaiging for Rubio and he’ll get plenty of air time on Beck, Hannity and Limbaugh.

If you prefer a politician who repeatedly puts people before party, then Charlie Crist is your candidate. 

 My 2 Buck$

Rush Limbaugh is really a Democrat

Rush Limbaugh is brilliant.  He is an entertainer.  And after 8 years of Bush is clearly . . . a Democrat.

There is no other way to explain it. 

What Limbaugh does as well as anyone is create division.  He motivates his lemmings dittoheads by using buzzwords like ‘socialist’.  

He has led the Republicans in a charge of obstructionism never before seen in politics.  Being the opposition party is not about saying ‘no’ to everything.  It is about working with the other party in order to reach a workable compromise.  But after years of forcing right wing legislation down Americans throats, the Republicans have evidently decided to reject anything that comes from the Democratic Party.

But it doesn’t stop there.

Rush Limbaugh has also made it his mission to go after any Republican who is willing to work with the Democrats in order to reach a compromise.  He is attacking any Republican for not being ‘conservative enough’.

Look at the debacle in the NY-23.  The Republican candidate withdrew from the election after a Conservative candidate entered the race and said the Republican was not conservative enough.  The Republican ended up endorsing the Democrat and the Conservative candidate lost.

Limbaugh is now targeting popular Republican Florida Governor Charlie Crist in his U.S. Senate quest instead going with rightwing Marco Rubio. 

Crist would most likely win big in the General Election but because Limbaugh says he isn’t conservative enough is opting for the polarizing Rubio – who potentially could push moderates and independents to the Democratic candidate.

Limbaugh has even taken to criticizing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for not outright rejecting the Healthcare Reform Bill.  Limbaugh acknowledges that McConnell is against the bill but is adding amendments to the existing bill instead of rejecting it. 

“They just need to say no; there’s nothing wrong with saying no to this!”

The Democrats do enough to shoot themselves in the foot.  They introduced a poor healthcare reform bill that didn’t allow for compromise as it eliminated the liberal preferred single-payer option and are now negotiating the removal of the public option.  The bill smells of corporate interests and does nothing to improve healthcare coverage for Americans.

If Republicans work toward this ‘compromise’, they will come out huge winners.  This bill will push many moderates and independents toward the Republicans and will discourage liberals and progressives from voting next year.

Progressives and liberals are thinking that with an overwhelming majority in Congress and the White House behind healthcare reform legislation, a decent bill that provides quality healthcare coverage to all Americans and doesn’t cater to insurance and pharmaceutical companies should have been easy to pass.

Instead, what we see is a thousand plus page embarrassment of a bill that does nothing to change the mess we’re in.

All Limbaugh and company had to do was sit back and point to the garbage legislation that is coming from the Democrats.  ‘Look, the Republicans are working to try to improve that rubbish by introducing amendments to the bill …”

But Limbaugh criticizes the more moderate in his party trying to take the Republicans even further to the right.  In a year (2010) that was expected to see an incredible swing back towards the Republicans, is Limbaugh supporting candidates that are generally unelectable in state-wide elections. 

Rubio is strong in his Republican district but if the Democrats put up a viable option, the Republicans could lose the state that they have controlled in the Governor’s mansion for 12 years.  Moderates and Independents most likely would wind up voting for the Democrat over a far rightwing Republican especially when their preferred candidate – Crist – was thrown under the bus by his own party.

Where Limbaugh is intelligent, he certainly has to know that by supporting far-right candidates he will push the moderates and independents to the left – allowing for Democrats to have a successful 2010 campaign.  As long as he keeps this up, I’m glad to have him part of the Democratic Party.

On a personal note:  I am a fan of Charlie Crist – except when he is running for office.  If the Republicans don’t want him and choose Rubio in their primary, I hope Crist pulls a ‘Joe Lieberman’ – either running as an Independent or as a Democrat. 

My 2 Buck$

Comcast to buy stake in NBC – Antitrust laws put to the test

Time to dust off the antitrust laws.  Comcast is purchasing 51 percent of NBC Universal from General Electric.  There really is nothing positive about this merger.

First the deal:

General Electric, which owns 80 percent of NBC Universal, has reached an agreement to purchase the 20 percent owned by French media giant Vivendi for $5.8 billion.

GE will in turn sell 51 percent of NBC Universal to Comcast (the number 1 U.S. cable company) for $13.75 billion.

About Comcast:

Comcast is the number 1 cable company in the United States serving roughly one-quarter of all American households in 39 states.  They own Versus, The Golf Channel, E! Entertainment and regional sports channels.

About NBC Universal:

NBC Universal owns NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, Universal Studios, NBC Universal Television Group, USA, Syfy, Bravo, iVillage, qubo, Telemundo, The Weather Channel, Hulu.  They also own more than 25 television stations across the country and theme parks.

Concerns & Impacts:

The sales pitch written in the papers addressed movies appearing on cable faster.  I guess they’re not talking about the straight-to-cable trash that shows up now.  And Comcast may allow television shows to become available on cell phones and other devices.  (A Hulu app for the iPhone?  There really is an app for everything!)

We have heard rumors that Hulu’s free days could be coming to an end.  This purchase could ensure that.

There could also be a big concern with Comcast restricting access to content that they own or by raising the costs for that content to their competition.  DirecTV has already dropped Comcast-owned Versus because of an alleged rate increase.  (about 21 cents to 26 cents per subscriber per month).  Versus brings phenomenal programming like National Hockey League games and bull riding. 

There is another battle between the two companies over Comcast-owned regional sports networks. 

No doubt, Comcast will pull the same garbage over their new NBC networks.  They could charge higher prices to the competition (DirecTV, uVerse, Dish) for the stations they own (NBC, USA, SyFy, etc) thus making it financially beneficial for customers to jump to Comcast.  They could wind up being the only company offering USA and MSNBC in some markets. 

Isn’t that one of the reasons why the antitrust laws are in place?

After the problems Comcast has already caused for DirecTV, don’t be surprised if DirecTV and AT&T (uVerse) try to purchase other media companies in order to compete and keep Comcast in line.  This would undoubtedly reduce competition.

The last time we saw a merger like this was the debacle merger between AOL and Time Warner.  As a result, Time Warner Cable has spun off into its own company and AOL is spinning off this week. 

Another potential issue is station placement.  Don’t think for a second that Comcast wouldn’t move all of its company-owned content to premiere locations or on basic packages while the competition is on less desirable channels / tiers. 

MSNBC (Comcast owned) can reside on their basic tier package while competitors Fox News and CNN could wind up on higher channel numbers and more expensive packages. 

It’s a bit ironic really.  Fox News and its conservative leanings believe in this capitalist corporate takeover mentality.  As a result of a deal like this one, their station could find themselves in a higher channel location hidden between a religious station and C-SPAN 3 or on a higher tier which charges more money to customers in order to receive the channel. 

As the Fox News demographic is older – most have cable rather than satellite.   Few spend the extra money for the higher packaged tiers.  Many residing in condominiums take the basic cable package which often is included in their homeowner’s fees.  So, if Fox News was in the highest tier package, many seniors (Fox News viewers) would be left out. 

Ruppert Murdock should be calling all Republicans demanding that they come out against this merger – unless he can purchase Disney which will provide Murdock with a stronger bargaining position. 

It’s time we stand up and make sure that this Comcast / NBC Universal deal does not occur.  It is bad for competition and bad for customers.

Sources:

Comcast-NBC deal moves closer after GE to buy Vivendi’s NBC stake for $5.8B – Daily Finance

Mega-Media Era Begins:  GE/Vivendi Deal Clears Way for Comcast/NBC Merger – The Huffington Post

Comcast’s big bet:  Deal for control of NBC Universal comes with risks and opposition – Sun-Sentinel

Comcast Gets NBC From G.E. in Deal That Reshapes TV – The New York Times

The NBC Universal sale by the numbers –  The New York Times

Going Rogue and Going Rouge: the coloring book – Can anyone tell the difference?

Sarah Palin’s memoir Going Rogue:  An American Tale Life is on bookshelves now.  David Letterman has offered a series of more enjoyable options to reading her story; like getting impaled by a rod and getting crushed by a dumpster. 

News sources have quickly begun fact checking her book and there are plenty.  Even John McCain’s camp has challenged a couple of points from the book.

Either way, it sits atop the best seller list.  I know many books have been ‘sold’ in bulk sales but still many, many people are lining up to purchase this book.  I’m certain her lemmings supporters will display this book proudly on their coffee tables and sit on every word written by ghostwriter Lynn Vincent (as told to her by Palin).

Meanwhile, her detractors are lining up to buy the book in order to rip it to shreds.

Regardless, it adds up to huge book sales for Palin – which is in no way a surprise.

Here is an invitation to a ‘Going Rogue’ Book Launch Social.  Doesn’t that seem like fun?

Fact #1:  I will not buy the book nor will I read the book.

Here is a wonderful alternative:  Going Rouge:  Sarah Palin An American Nightmare which is a collection of essays written by 23 collaborators and was the innovation of the editors of The Nation magazine.  Though the writing is probably right up my alley, I will not be able to sit for too long with this book nor would I be able to have this book displayed anywhere in my home. 

I suspect that her conservative base may mistakenly purchase Going Rouge: The Sarah Palin Rogue Coloring & Activity Book.

You betcha – it’s a coloring book.  😉

My 2 Buck$