Archive for May 10, 2011

WaPo Employees Want Same Raise as Boss

Gosh, what a concept:  Washington Post Union Wants Same Raise As [Trust Fund Kid] Publisher:

Union leaders representing newsroom and other employees at The Washington Post want the same 16.4% pay raise that Publisher Katharine Weymouth

received this year, according to a message to rank-and-file members that also criticized management contract demands regarding holidays and salary issues.

The salary request occurred during this week’s first round of contract negotiations. The Guild’s current contract with the Post expires on June 7, 2011.

There are people at the Post who’ve been there longer and who are three times Weymouth’s age who are making less than she is.

Some of you will say the boss deserves the biggest raise, so let’s compromise.  Weymouth gets a 16.4% raise and  rank-and-file members get a 14% raise.  How about that?

Hell yes.  Act up.  Make Noise!

Since when has your salary gone up 14%, much less 16.4% in one year?

May 10, 2011 at 9:30 PM Leave a comment

How Republicans Screwed Us Today — 5/10/11

So, what did we learn today about how Republicans are f**king us?  Here’s what:

Alabama’s GOP Delegation Voted Against Funding for Tornado Forecasting

U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL) spent the better part of two days last week touring areas of his state devastted by killer tornadoes. Bachus was in Tuscaloosa when President Obama toured perhaps the hardest hit area in Alabama.  And Bachus issued a somber statement, calling on citizens to come together to help comfort those affected by the storms.

Bachus, however, apparently neglected to mention that he and other Republicans in Alabama’s Congressional delegation voted against funding for satellites that are critical for accurate storm forecasting. The Web site climateprogress.org reports that Bachus and his fellow Alabama Republicans–Martha Roby, Mo Brooks, Robert Aderholt, Mike Rogers, and Jo Bonner–voted against a bill that would replace aging satellites that are the heart of America’s weather-forecasting system.

Boehner Goes to Wall Street and Says Hi Guys, I Work For You!

House Speaker John Boehner will step up his efforts Monday to lay out a strategy for raising the debt ceiling to a crowd heavy on Wall Street players who are anxiously watching the fierce debate over the debt ceiling unfold.

In a speech to the Economic Club of New York in Midtown Manhattan, the Ohio Republican is set to reiterate to leading financial executives that he believes that reforming Medicare should be part of negotiations in raising the debt ceiling, saying that there needs to be “an honest conversation,” because the program is on an “unsustainable path if changes are not made,” according to sources familiar with the speech. Boehner also is expected to advocate for immediate cuts rather than deficit and debt targets preferred by some Democrats.

“Reforming Medicare.”  Yeah, right.  The “reform” Republicans are pushing is about pouring Medicare and Medicaid dollars into the “health care” corporatocracy.  They’re salivating at the thought and Boehner aims to deliver, with our tax dollars.

Florida City Paying $2,500 A Day To Radical Union-Busting Firm To Stop Workers From Organizing:

Now, the city of Winter Park, Florida, is going to new lengths to stop nearly 150 city workers from joining a union. Apparently more concerned with stopping the union than saving money, Winter Park hired consultants at Kulture LLC, “a firm specializing in labor relations” at the rate of $2,500 a day to persuade workers to vote against organizing this summer.

Don’t you just love how they have money out the wazoo for their favorite things but not for ours?

May 10, 2011 at 8:21 PM Leave a comment

Inside the FAA and Those “Control Tower Incidents”

On April 19, amid the rash of what I now think of as a suspicious raft of reports about air traffic controllers sleeping on the job and the potential dangers thereof, I posted about how a plane carrying Michelle Obama was involved in a “potentially deadly” air traffic control incident.  In that post, I expressed some deep frustration:

Geez. I can’t help but thinking there must be a back-story to this.  Is the FAA trimming its budget by not replacing controllers who retire or otherwise leave, thus causing the controllers who remain to work such long hours they’re falling asleep and messing up like this?  The fact that there have been so many incidents in such a sort people of time, I mean, it can’t be a coincidence.

Not being an airline or an FAA insider, I could only write about my suspicions but today reader “J” (I’ll leave it up to her to “expose” herself via the comments section below) made a comment on that post.  Her insider knowledge of the workings of the FAA nailed what I was trying to say:

I’m currently a student in a program that readies me to apply to the FAA to be a controller. I have to say, these stories are NEVER as bad as they sound. There have been incidents where aircraft were actually never in danger and were thousands of feet apart, but somehow the media says they were mere inches away and ready to collide. Take it all with a grain of salt.

And, as to the controllers falling asleep, imagine working swing shifts every single day… one day you work evenings, then you have to be in at 6 AM, then until midnight the next day, then overnight, etc, etc… and then imagine after all of that, you have a shift until 5AM, when there’s barely any traffic and you’re in the tower alone. You aren’t allowed to have a radio, a TV, a book, nothing to stimulate you to keep you awake and yet there’s barely any traffic to control and communicate with. How do you keep yourself awake for that?

Oh, and great idea from Ray LaHood to make it a rule that controllers aren’t even allowed to nap on their breaks. How does that even make sense?

Bravo and yep, that’s what I thought. The controllers are overworked and shit on but natch, the Fox Newses of the world and the broader “liberal media” blame it on them, not on their supervisors.

(H/t and many thanks to J.)

May 10, 2011 at 7:43 PM Leave a comment

America’s FISA Court Rubber Stamps Surveillance Requests

Prosecutors can be biased, sloppy, egomaniacal and overzealous so when I read that their requests to the FISA court to electronically surveil American citizens were approved 100% of the time last year  — 1,506 times to be exact —  I couldn’t help but be skeptical about the court’s objectivity.

We’re supposed to believe that not one — not one — of those 1,506 FBI requests was vague and/or suspicious enough to be rejected?  Guess so:

Newly released government data shows that FBI surveillance is on the rise. In 2010, the FBI more than doubled the number of U.S. persons it targeted with National Security Letters. Meanwhile, the number of electronic and physical searches under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act increased by 13 percent. The secretive FISA court was asked to approve 1,506 requests last year for secret electronic surveillance—the court approved every one.

May 10, 2011 at 6:14 PM Leave a comment

Beyond Drunk

An Illinois man is facing DUI charges after driving his truck out onto this partially constructed bridge.

Man oh man, that’s some serious drunk.

Photo: Laura Edmonds

More photos and info here.

May 10, 2011 at 4:29 PM Leave a comment

Dang That Liberal Media

One week after President Obama kills Osama bin Laden, who does the “liberal media” book for the Sunday shows?  Former Bush administration officials, by a ratio of three to one:

The capture and killing of Osama bin Laden is unarguably the biggest foreign policy news to occur during the Obama Administration, and arguably the biggest foreign policy development of the last ten years. So how did the Sunday morning talk shows treat this huge news? By booking a bunch of former officials from the Bush administration. Or a Rachel Maddow asked last night, “Is the biggest story in American politics right now ‘retiree’s from the Bush administration and how they feel about stuff?’”

Maddow correctly points out that the Sunday morning political talk shows are considered by many to be the “apex” of political discourse in this country, likening an invitation to appear on any number of these shows to getting a “seat at the grownups table.” So one can reasonably wonder what the bookers for these shows were thinking when the invited guests from the right outnumbered those from the left at a ratio of three to one.

More…

So kids.  Let’s banish the myth about the “liberal media” once and for all, OK?

May 10, 2011 at 4:22 PM 1 comment

Name Bristol Palin’s Reality Show

Yesterday we learned that Sarah Palin’s daughter, Bristol, has signed on to do a reality show.  HyperVocal got right on it and solicited potential names for the show.

Here they are and some of them are pretty darn funny:

Real Unwed Housewives of Wasilla (@politicalbaron)
Northern Overexposure (@JrSamplesBR549 and @DouglasCP and @RobLazlo)
American Idle (@DCDebbie)
Leave It To My Beaver (@slackadjuster)
How I Met Your Unwed Mother (@heavenlyfodder)
Star Wreck: Next Generation (@Spectricide)
Willing & Graceless (@LilMissSocial)
Everybody Loves Payment (@LilMissSocial)
From Tango to Cash (@NewtWittier)
Pimp My Free Ride (@Katyushina)
Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (@heavenlyfodder)
Celebrity Appendage (@Ronnie_XXIII)
My Price Is Right (@subratabanik)
Paid Programming (@inmylife4747)
Fawlty Condoms (@ShredderFeeder)
T*R*A*S*H (@AzureGhost)
S*N*A*T*C*H (@BowedOak)
Ice Road F*ckers (@Patrice_ORourke)
PokeMeee (@TksABunchJohn)
Biggest Loser – Family Edition (@ThatGirlRuns)
60 Minutes (You’ll Never Get Back) (@LilMissSocial)
Here’s Loosey (@hashup)
No Men And A Baby (@randomangrymale)
The Yukon Shore (@Patrice_ORourke)
Grandma Knows Least (@thetruthwillout)
My So Called Talent (@BowedOak)
Fool House (@steelcityjames)
Resigning Women (@OneLegSandpiper)
That 70s IQ (@ShredderFeeder)
America’s Most Useless Celebrity (@JustinOtherinch)
Meritocracy? You Betcha! (@DrLearnALot)
Teenage Wasteland (@OsborneInk)
14:59(@hypervocal)

And last but not least, their favorite:

Canceled

—————————————————

My faves are:

Star Wreck:  Next Generation

Celebrity Appendage

Teenage Wasteland

(Meow.)

May 10, 2011 at 3:05 PM 2 comments

The Final Edition of the New York Times

Oh my God.  The people over at Slate put together a website spoofing the “final edition” of the New York Times.  Check it out.  Note the various headlines.  It. Is.  Hilarious.

This is my favorite picture — yep, The Donald still running for prez years from now:

And this is my favorite headline:  Governor Christie Explodes in Trenton:

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey exploded this morning while signing a bill in Trenton officially changing Labor Day to Management Day. Doctors had been warning the Governor for some time that he ran the risk of exploding, not simply from morbid obesity – his weight had climbed from 382 pounds at his inauguration to well over 700 – but also from a colossal build-up of methane in his internal organs due to an inability or unwillingness, to expel bodily waste from his system.

[...]

Adipose tissue and fecal matter rained down on Mercer County for several hours after the explosion.

Ouch.

May 10, 2011 at 11:53 AM Leave a comment

Now The Koch Brothers Are Picking Our University Professors

This is not good:

A conservative billionaire who opposes government meddling in business has bought a rare commodity: the right to interfere in faculty hiring at a publicly funded university.

A foundation bankrolled by Libertarian businessman Charles G. Koch has pledged $1.5 million for positions in Florida State University’s economics department. In return, his representatives get to screen and sign off on any hires for a new program promoting “political economy and free enterprise.”

Traditionally, university donors have little official input into choosing the person who fills a chair they’ve funded. The power of university faculty and officials to choose professors without outside interference is considered a hallmark of academic freedom.

Under the agreement with the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, however, faculty only retain the illusion of control. The contract specifies that an advisory committee appointed by Koch decides which candidates should be considered. The foundation can also withdraw its funding if it’s not happy with the faculty’s choice or if the hires don’t meet “objectives” set by Koch during annual evaluations.

Wow.  Now that’s a dangerous precedent.

May 10, 2011 at 11:05 AM Leave a comment

Looks Like Donald Trump Just Got Fired

This is almost funny given the arrogance with which Donald Trump burst on the scene seven or eight weeks ago:

Donald Trump has had one of the quickest rises and falls in the history of Presidential politics. Last month we found him leading the Republican field with 26%. In the space of just four weeks he’s dropped all the way down to 8%, putting him in a tie for fifth place with Ron Paul.

Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney are at the top of the GOP race with 19% and 18% respectively. Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin are further back at 13% and 12%, followed by Trump and Paul at 8%, Michele Bachmann at 7%, and Tim Pawlenty at 5%.

As Trump got more and more exposure over the last month Republicans didn’t just decide they weren’t interested in having him as their nominee- they also decided they flat don’t like him. Only 34% of GOP voters now have a favorable opinion of Trump to 53% who view him in a negative light.

May 10, 2011 at 10:36 AM Leave a comment

What Did Maria See in Arnold to Begin With?

The big Hollywood gossip today is that Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger have separated.  According to TMZ, Maria has had it with Arnold’s “out of control ego.”

They were married for 25 years.  Seems to me his ego was out of control 25 years ago too.  I never understood what she saw in him to begin with.

May 10, 2011 at 10:12 AM Leave a comment


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