Saturday, March 14, 2015

Bill O'Reilly May Have Lied About Experiencing 'Firefight,' Extreme Combat Zone In El Salvador

Bill O'Reilly May Have Lied About Experiencing 'Firefight,' Extreme Combat Zone In El Salvador

I think all these tough guy, war reporter, "I saw combat" tall tales are compensation for the fact that somehow he managed not to be in the military himself, even though he was of draft age during the Viet Nam war. I have no idea what went on between him and Selective Service in terms of deferments, and I'm not condemning him for not joining up. But he is a right wing war-monger who is constantly demanding that our troops be sent off to kill and die. He is vulnerable on this because he has no military experience and he wants other people to do what he didn't, when he had the chance. So he feels the need to give himself some "I've been there" credibility. He has none, so he makes it up. And then he viciously attacks anybody who points that out. The only wars he has been involved in were about TV ratings.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Martin O'Malley is about to shake up Hillary Clinton's control freak world

I think former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley​ is about to shake up Hillary Clinton's planned coronation ceremony.  He's been laying the groundwork for quite some time, and now there are two more bits of information: (1) he decided not to run for Barbara Mikulski's Senate seat, from which she is retiring--she's his political mentor and if he wanted it, it was his; and (2) he's just visited South Carolina and is now on his way to New Hampshire.

As for Clinton, apparently she has been planning an uncontested primary season, culminating in a love-fest at the convention.  She hasn't even announced yet but has been hoovering up so much money that any potential challenger is supposed to look on her works and despair.  Elizabeth Warren seems to have decided not to even explore a run.  All this is according to Clinton's plan, but then things started to get wobbly.

Two weeks ago some of her key supporters started feuding bitterly and publicly among themselves, which is typical of her campaigns, especially 2008. She seems to be unable to lead a campaign and get a team of advisors pointed in the same direction.  Now there's the flap over her control-freak private email practices, which is guaranteed not to go away anytime soon.  She won't even talk about it in public, which is because there's no good explanation.  The problem is that she decided to put all her email, governmental and private, on her own private server. Everything is commingled.  The government emails must be disclosed, which she claims to have done, but in reality she withheld what she considered her personal email.  Now nobody can be sure that she really disclosed all the government email, given that she and her staff decided what to turn over and what to withhold. No matter what the State Department does or says, Republicans in the House and Senate will never, ever stop demanding every single piece of email she sent while she was Secretary of State. Banana bread recipes, notes to the gardener, everything--and of course they are looking for anything that makes her look bad.  And she put herself in this position.  The whole thing is completely predictable.

O'Malley may be thinking, as Obama thought in 2007, that Hillary Clinton isn't all that great a campaigner and can be beaten despite all the conventional wisdom about her inevitability

Thursday, March 5, 2015

How Chicago's grassroots coalition forced Mayor Rahm Emanuel into a runoff

This article tells the story. The answer is, a whole lot of grassroots organizing involving many organizations that managed to join forces behind challenger Jesus "Chuy" Garcia to unseat the mayor. The runoff between Chuy and Rahm is April 7, so stay tuned. It will be exciting, and based on my own analysis of the numbers, it is possible for Chuy to win this.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The public wants O'Reilly to pay for lying

Huffington Post / YouGov Public Opinion Polls

70% of the public wants him to resign, be suspended, or at least apologize and explain why he has told so many lies.

Amid drought, a turf war between residents and homeowners associations - LA Times

Amid drought, a turf war between residents and homeowners associations - LA Times

People in Southern California are dealing with drought conditions by not watering their lawns.  That seems sensible enough, except that many HOAs continue enforcing their absurd requirements for green lawns.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Young voters, political participation, and the 2016 election

This is a work in progress, and I am posting it in the hope that people will read it and react to it. Tell me where I’m right, and tell me where I’m wrong or missing something.
I teach Political Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and in years past I taught at a liberal arts college in Pennsylvania and a large state university in California. Among other courses, I teach big introductory classes in American Government that are full of first and second year students, so I have been talking with a lot of young people about politics for 25 years. As a political scientist, I have also been reading what little is available in our literature about their attitudes toward politics and their political participation.  Add to that the fact that I have three children between the ages of 17 and 23, all of whom are interested in politics, and I’d say I have a solid base to offer some opinions on young people and political participation.
 Here is what I know about how the 18-29 demographic views political participation. I think it means that Hillary Clinton and the Democrats are in trouble in 2016 unless they make some changes in their approach to young people. I am intentionally oversimplifying here and overstating the differences between young and older people in order to sharpen the contrast.  If I seem to be saying “all,” please understand that I mean a disproportionate amount. But as a practical matter these differences are determinative of election outcomes, and these are reasons why young people must be appealed to differently or they will not vote.
How are young voters different than older voters?

Right wing young rising star says HIllary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren are rich white males

Thus spake 22 year old South Dakota TV personality and apparently rising star on the lunatic right. She was busily dismantling the myth that Republicans are rich white males. After pointing out that she, herself, is not a rich white male, she concluded with this show stopper:

"So, I think we’ve gone through this: Old, rich, white males. I want to remind you, let’s look at the top three Democrats for 2016. You’ve got Hillary, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden? Old, rich, white, and if the pantsuit fits, male too?"

A truly brilliant insight. I think that should solidify the young female vote for the Republicans, don't you?

USA Today: "For Bill O'Reilly, the facts are a factor"

USA Today ran a fairly remarkable editorial. It says that Fox News should distance itself from their highest rated...whatever he is, Bill O'Reilly, but that they won't.  Why? Because Fox isn't in the truth business. Fox is in the business of telling right wingers what they want to hear, or as USA Today puts it, "Fox News was not created to be neutral but rather to feed a hunger among conservatives for a network they could relate to."  

So, there will be no consequences for serial fabulist O'Reilly, they say:

"It's unfortunate that neither the network nor its star sees a need for allegiance to the truth. But for O'Reilly and Fox, the perceived vast liberal conspiracy that helped create the network two decades ago means not having to say you're sorry today."

USA Today has by far the highest circulation of any newspaper, at over 4 million, and they just launched a broadside at the biggest cable news show on the biggest cable network, accusing them of having no respect for the truth.  That's saying, in essence, "you are not in the journalism business."  And at the same time, USA Today expects no reaction from Fox, who refused even to comment on the editorial.  If the mainstream media are now comfortable calling Fox what it is not--journalism--will they begin to call Fox what it is--right wing propaganda?

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Malfunctioning elevators leave residents of Northwest Miami-Dade condominium stranded

A condo association has had malfunctioning elevators for six years and hasn't fixed them properly because they say they can't afford it. Now they are facing $5 million in fines. I wonder if they can afford that.

Pasco County HOA calls homes unsafe

In the sense that they might fall down in a high wind.