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16 Aug 2011 22:26


U.S.: John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi both very unpopular

  • -24 net approval of Speaker John Boehner
  • -24 net approval of former Speaker Nancy Pelosi source
  • » The moral of the story? Don’t become Speaker of the House. Boehner’s approval ratings have fallen thirty-one points (!) since he assumed the Speaker’s chair; Pelosi, meanwhile, is just as hated as when she handed over the gavel. These numbers comport with surveys showing Congressional disapproval ratings at their highest levels in thirty years.

16 Aug 2011 21:39


U.S.: Out-of-context Perry quote leads to race controversy

  • controversy On Tuesday, Rick Perry gave a speech in which he referred to a “big black cloud” hanging over America. The propagation of this quote by Ed Schultz and ABC News led to charges of racism against Perry.
  • explanation Both the Ed Schultz edit and the ABC quotation excluded Perry’s full comments, wherein he makes it explicitly clear that the “big black cloud” to which he refers is the nation’s debt. Not, as Schultz claimed, the President. source
  • » There are several different elements to this. First and foremost, two respected media outlets provided a half-quote when they should have provided a full quote. The intent (if any) behind the ABC article is debatable—they later updated it to make Perry’s comments clearer—but Ed Schultz was being flatly disingenuous when he said that “[the] black cloud Perry is talking about is President Barack Obama.” It wasn’t, and that was clear in the original quote. However, it is legitimate to ask whether or not the phrase “big black cloud” was consciously chosen to evoke—however subconsciously—racial imagery. The whole strategy behind race-baiting is to suggest race with a veil of plausible deniability, and while it’s not at all clear that Perry was doing this, it’s at least a fair question to ask. What do you think?

16 Aug 2011 20:35


Politics: Rand Paul: Government should prioritize “national defense”

  • There are a few things the federal government should be doing, and one of them is national defense and the other is taking care of veterans.
  • Sen. Rand Paul • Speaking to a group of veterans regarding the funding set aside for them. Now, obviously, Rand Paul isn’t exactly like his dad, but he shares enough of his views that this makes us scratch our heads just a little. Not so much the second part — it’s clear that if he’s in a room of veterans, he’s going to say that — but the first. Is this a deviation between him and his father, or is he simply emphasizing the need for a limited military streak that involves having a defense mechanism? Wonder what you guys think. source

16 Aug 2011 20:32


U.S.: Ron Paul cops a move from T-Paw’s playbook

  • Tim Pawlenty may no longer be running for president, but his influence on the race continues to be felt. If you don’t believe us, check out this new Ron Paul commercial, which mimics Pawlenty’s wonderful Michael Bay-style campaign ads. Paul’s take is admittedly a bit more toned-down, but the general approach is the same–trick young (or disengaged) voters into thinking they’re watching a movie trailer, then flip it on ’em and start pitching the candidate. This ad appeals to electability, making the spurious claim that only Ron Paul can defeat President Obama in the general election. It’s an attempt to widen his appeal, which is devoted (to say the least), but still rather narrow. source

16 Aug 2011 20:30


Politics: Gaffe of the day: Michele Bachmann confuses Elvis’ birth with Elvis’ death

  • Let’s emphasize something: It’s August of 2011. There is a whole year and three months of this election mess to go. This politician is a frontrunner in a presidential race that’s proven full of gaffes so far. If she’s saying things like this now, is she gonna learn to not do this a year from now? Or is she going to keep making gaffes like these? Even beyond the many issues she has politically, how many people are going to go for a president that regularly makes stupid mistakes like this? Elvis is rolling in his grave … eating fried peanut butter and banana birthday cake. source

16 Aug 2011 20:10


Tech, World: A growing market: Kenyans buying $80 Android phones left and right

  • This isn’t the fastest Android phone you can buy. Nor does it have the largest screen — in fact, at 2.8 inches, it’s downright tiny. And battery life is reportedly so short that it can cause problems for those without nearby electrical sources. But the Huawei IDEOS has a major advantage for Kenyan consumers — it costs just $80 without a contract. The result? In a country where 4 in 10 people live on less than $2 per day, they’ve sold in the hundreds of thousands. The moral of the story? There is a huge market in the developing world for phones like these — region-specific apps, too. Other companies, including Apple, are rumored to be trying for this market. But can they hit an $80 price point with their phones? That’s the real question. source

16 Aug 2011 16:14


World: France and Germany are doing their best to help the economy

  • Germany and France feel absolutely determined to strengthen the Euro as our common currency and further develop it.
  • Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor • Talking about Germany and France’s new plan of joint taxation. They’re drawing up plans to have a common corporate tax rate beginning in 2013. Both countries are having difficult economic issues, in fact Germany’s GDP only grew 0.1% from March to June, which means it’s basically at a standstill. Germany and France are hoping that joint taxation would strengthen confidence in the Euro, which would be great for both their economies.  source

16 Aug 2011 15:55


World: New evidence might really hurt the Murdochs’ testimony

  • thenJames Murdoch pleaded ignorance when he went in front of Parliament last month as part of the phone hacking scandal that felled News of the World. Though it kinda seemed unlikely that Murdoch would know nothing of the phone hackings, there was no evidence against him.
  • nowThe law firm that previously represented News International has begun testifying against them — labeling their testimony as having “serious innaccuracies.” Murdoch might be questioned again, and he’ll have new evidence and testimony to answer for. source

16 Aug 2011 15:23


World: Violence, further displacement strikes Palestinian refugees in Syria

  • 10,000 refugees flee Syrian camp under fire source
  • » So says the U.N. Relief and Works Agency: There was for a time a big camp full of Palestinian refugees established in Latakia, a Syrian port city. Now, there isn’t. Over the course of the last three days, the U.N. agency has asserted, Syrian security forces began firing on the refugee camp and threatening those within that they’d better move out. U.N. spokesman Christopher Gunness says that while they’ve been denied access to the camp, reliable sources suggest that after three days of this treatment, the camp has been left relatively deserted — about 10,000 refugees unaccounted for. “A forgotten population has now become a disappeared population,” he said.

16 Aug 2011 14:13


Politics: Rick Perry describes Federal Reserve policies as almost “treasonous”

  • Printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treacherous — or treasonous in my opinion.
  • GOP Presidential hopeful Rick Perry • Laying into the Federal Reserve during an event in Cedar Rapids. Perry also said, of Fed chairman Ben Bernanke, “I don’t know what y’all would do to him in Iowa, but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas.” This demonstrates an interesting sea change in GOP politics in recent years, and one that Ron Paul himself commented on during last week’s Iowa debate — anti-Federal Reserve rhetoric has flourished with the rise of the Tea Party, and thus the GOP is now trying to catch up to Paul on one of his signature punching bags over his long congressional career. source