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Show me what you have – literally

A young Sarah PalinSo much of life is a matter of being in the right place at the right time.  Andy Warhol predicted a future that would make everyone famous for 15 minutes.  Combine that with the Peter Principle, which tells us in essence that everyone rises to the level of their incompetence, and you have Sarah Palin.

Mayor.  Governor.  Vice-Presidential candidate.  Now, author The erstwhile Republican overachiever has now written a book, largely as a way to make money and keep her name in the public eye as she contemplates her next move.  If achievement were tied to qualifications, her decision would be at which fast-food joint she should seek to flip burgers back in her hometown of Wasilla, Alaska.  But achievement has nothing to do with ascension in American politics, as the election of Barack Obama showed us, and now Palin is contemplating a run for the same office that Obama currently holds.

Her biggest drawback is also her biggest qualification for success in American politics in 2009:  she has no creditability.  She is polarizing.  You either love her, and believe every word she says, or you hate her, and disparage everything she says and does.  There is no middle ground, and there is no debate about what she says.  You either believe her or you don’t.  Conservatives, who have latched on in love, believe every word that comes from her mouth.  Liberals believe none of it.  The question becomes whether enough conservatives can coalesce to once again foist their opinion on the American population, as they have done in the not-too-distant past.

In a somewhat laughable way, Sarah Palin’s rise through the Republican ranks has mitigated the universal popularity she would have likely enjoyed for eternity if she had remained a small-town mayor.  In towns across America, there are a good number of small-town mayors who are extremely popular because they fit the role they are playing.  They are boosters for their town and do not become immersed in the political quandaries in which people find themselves bogged down at higher levels of the political food chain.

Palin was in the right place at the right time, however, and her small-town popularity as mayor propelled her to the governorship.  There, she encountered some controversy that came with the first signs that she was now in over her head.  Next came the vice-presidential nomination, which showed what an empty suit she is and what an empty head she has.

But her lack of qualification does not really matter.  Politics is as much about personality as it is about true traits of leadership.  And, for many Republican men, there is probably a bit of fantasy that they project as a connection between themselves and Sarah Palin, much in the way we were told women fantasized about Obama after his election.  Evidently, many Americans want politicians to “show me what you have,” but not in a mental way. – George Curcio

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Book Review 2: Michael Curtis’ “The Great Political Theories Vol. 1 and 2”

Michael Curtis is a distinguished Political Science professor in Rutgers University. He also taught in various well-known institutions such as Yale and Cornell University. So far, he has written fifteen books on political philosophies and theories, comparative politics, and others concerning affairs in the Middle East. Among his most celebrated works are his two volumes on The Great Political Theories that is now being used by many students as reference in their study of Political Science.

***

The political realm is a very interesting area to study. However, being a beginner to the science of politics can get a bit frustrating as one tries to understand its twists and turns. There are several theories and philosophies that have already intertwined with each other, which make it hard to truly grasp and fully understand everything all at once. One theory always leads to or contrasts another.

But, that does not mean that studying politics should necessarily be difficult. As the old saying goes, “If there’s a will, there’s a way.” And, in the study of political science, there is definitely a way to get through it without too much headache.

What better way to familiarize oneself to politics is through studying its beginnings and its evolution? The Great Political Theories covers just that as it brings its readers through the history of politics, how it evolved, and its attempt to go with the needs of the time. The two volumes spans through how the Greeks understood politics, to Thomas Hobbes, to Immanuel Kant, to Karl Marx, and to other more modern political theorists.

The best thing about the two volumes is that both are written in a manner that the reader seems to be reading a story. It does not feel uninteresting nor dragging as one is taken through time where political philosophies were born. Furthermore, Michael Curtis adds bits of interesting facts about authors and their time, which makes it a rather light for readers yet still full of details.

More than the facts, what makes Michael Curtis’ The Great Political Theories a recommended book by many is that it gives its readers an idea as to how to act as a citizen and as a group. He was able to show the actions of people from the past and all the consequences; then challenges readers to further develop the theories we have now.

As one of the students who were fortunate enough to have been introduced to these two volumes in Political Science class, I can honestly say that The Great Political Theories have really helped me in my study of politics and made me appreciate it even more.

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It’s on like Donkey Kong

Randi Kaye posted to the AC360 blog today and she wrote about education, a topic I hold dear to my heart.  While I see her good intentions, it’s going to take a whole lot more than that to win me over.  Anyone who is outside of education likes to make opinions  about education and we all know what opinions are like.

I’m excited.  See you in a few hours.

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Coverage on Mondays and Fridays + CNN Ratings

Hi all? You may have noticed that there has been no AC360 reviews on Mondays and Fridays. I’ve been covering those and have been extremely busy moving into a new place, working for tons of people all at the same time (I’m a freelance writer, translator, journalist, marketing expert and sales person…yah I know plus I own my own SEO/e-marketing business) Without trying to brag here about owning a business but just so you see how CRAZY busy I’ve been. Owning a business is nothing to brag about though. It’s SO much work.

Anyway, I won’t be able to do Mondays and Fridays anymore so I am looking for someone to do them for free, hopefully someone who loves the news and AC360 and wouldn’t mind doing this as a hobby. So bear with me, I may from time to time cover it myself when I’m super into AC360 but I am not now.

You also may have heard that CNN’s ratings have plummeted at the very bottom this past month, that CNN is behind every other news network, even MSNBC. I don’t know the exact stats and time frames so don’t ask…just google that.
But let’s not generalize. Because the fact is that AC360 and CNN have been last in October in only one demographic. It’s the most important demographic to advertisers, sure, but it’s just one single demographic.

AC360 is certainly not last in his time slot (total viewers). It’s also important to note that partisan news shows secure regular viewers much more than other types of news shows. It would be nice for AC360 to move to 8pm or change some of the format of its show to regain its edge, but I’m no producer, so you tell me.

I don’t know what’s been going wrong here but it’s probably a mix of viewers not being interested in compelling stories like wars and conflicts in Africa or not being interested in the segments CNN do; a lot of people love the ‘opinion shouting’ of other news channels. My ex-boyfriend was a CNN junkie but kept watching FOX news a lot…When I asked him why he said “they’re very entertaining…” I also used to watch Fox news a lot bc they make me laugh with some of the ridiculous lies they come up with (sorry Foxies babies) but I stopped watching it altogether after the 2008 presidential election. I was completely disgusted with the lies and racism exposed on this network and I don’t find those funny. I won’t give ratings to a news show that promotes intolerance, hate and lies.

On the other hand, CNN may have its flaws like maybe rehashing some of the same news a little too much or making annoying statements like ‘Latinos have spanish accents’ and I admit I don’t like the “Black in America” and “Latino is America”, it’s too much and it gives me a sick feeling to my stomach plus I’m hyper sensitive about ethnic stuff bc I’m biracial and have been pigeonholed, misunderstood all my life so that’s touchy with me, but even if that wasn’t the case for me I still don’t like those shows. I could give ten reaons but I’ll let you decide why for yourself.

…so I was saying that CNN may have those type of flaws but before being quick to judge, remember that NO other news networks travels so much to other countries to bring a story from the frontlines. While Keith Olbermann and Bill O’reilly are there pointing fingers and screaming ‘murder’, Anderson Cooper actually puts his life on the line and travels to dangerous places like Somalia, Niger, Afghanistan and more.

They say actions speak louder than words.

I hear a lot of people say that CNN is biased. Is it really? Why? Maybe some people believe truth to be biased because they believe in lies so truth will seem biased to them. I’m not saying CNN are saints and always have 100% facst right but I can tell you they’re certainly not the ‘crooks and liars’ some people make them out to be. Far from it.

The problem is that people need to stop caring so much about what they’ll eat for dinner and get for christmas and have a little more interest in other people’s suffering.

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Small Break: David Gergen Boogies and party in the parisian subway???

This is a little bit of a break from the serious news.

A Boys2Men style group singing in a parisian subway and getting people to dance along (well almost), Shakira gets nuts, and Gergen shaking it on the dance floor!

The reactions of the people in the subway is too funny and it has had more than 3 million hits. See that video below and skip my rant. I want these guys at my wedding and OMG why haven’t they had a recording contract yet??? hehe

I was browsing youtube videos to relax after a hard day of work and see what’s new. I’ve been watching a lot of old music videos lately and it makes me so nostalgic. Music is such a powerful reminder of a particular era in your life that’s past and that you may miss or regret or both. Nostalgic and going “woohooo” nevertheless. When you hear the tune, you go…yeeeahhh ! Know what I mean? I’m talking about middle nineties and early 2000. I’m really an old school hip hop, R&B person but I listen to really everything. I was so into music back then and it occupied most of my life…now it’s work and responsiblities 🙂 Alicia Keys ‘Falling’, The Fugees, Blackstreet, Bryan Adams, Nas, Old Jay-Z, Eminem ‘lose yourself’, Busta Rhymes, Madonna’s ‘Hung up’, Elton’s “candle in the wind” (and even the shallow 50cent songs ‘remember P.I.M.P ?? I’m laughing when I see that now esp. with that old iPod and blackberry. It also reminds me of 106&Park that I used to watch on BET…Wow, I would never watch that now!!! Grown up a lot since those days. I don’t even know what’s going on the music scene anymore except for the very obvious hits that are hard to miss because they play just everywhere constantly. I love my generation despite being called the Y gens who love their Ipods and youtube clips and can’t communicate properly except through technology!! That’s SO true. haha. But loving and using technology has its advantages that real face interaction can’t bring you. hehe.

Every song is like a treasure chest waiting to be opened and replay in your mind a specific experience. A chocolate memory that can be sweet or bitter (ever tasted that disgusting dark cocoa choc?)
Music really helps people get through a lot. Music is magic and music is deeper and more powerful than logic. (A ‘kill me’ statement) Sorry but it’s true. Music can melt hearts, unify people groups. Music is LARGELY to thank for young people today not caring about ethnicity. Look at hip hop and how it has unified people based on that movement and not on what race you are. I love Hip Hop (old school) and I can’t stop thinking of when I was 16 and hanging on the streets with professional Hip Hop dancers after school. They were breakdancing and taught me everything about Hip Hop. The real Hip Hop that is, not what you see today. I’m nostalgic…where has time gone by? In a racist school full of Nirvana infuated 15 year olds prone to acné, mood swings, and thinking that bullying others, smoking cigarettes and cannabis makes you a cool person, Hip Hop and its followers were radically different and preached tolerance and positivity. That was Hip Hop.

Anyway, I wanted to share a feel-good youtube video or two. It’s a group singing in the Paris subway inside the train. They are soooooo good and there’s FIRE in da house!!!. It’s just nice and makes me smile. I just love how the guy in front of them doesn’t even flinch and move a hair at first but eventually some people start to dance along and clap cheerfully at the end, it probably brought a ray of sunshine to their day like it did for mine. This group is truly not the shy type, that’s for sure.

BTW, I don’t know if you saw Shakira on America’s Got Talent. I know Wolf Blitzer loves her. Well maybe for another post (or google it) but she was simulating a sex act with a… speaker, litterally, yes. No kidding. Funny that the Fcc didn’t fine her ass. She’s nuts…long gone are the days of ‘my hips don’t lie’. I find her ‘shewolf’ horrible. Okay the tune is catchy and I somewhat like it but the ‘Ayooooooo’ she screams out to imitate the scream of a wherewolf, or shewolf is just completely ridiculous and the entire dance routine is not dance at all but almost a porno performance. I’m a little disappointed by Shakira but to each their own, some people may like it. So gfy Shakira…

And lastly….DAVID GERGEN shaking what his mama gave him. I found that too by surfing youtube. Haha…. Too good…anyway enjoy.

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The Truth: I only had one hour of sleep and will scream if I have to cover the Ballon Boy (Keeping me Honest)

I’d like to thank Aaron and George for covering all week. You guys did a brilliantly fantastically super duper hyper mega nice greatly AMAZING job.

In keeping in tune with this week’s TRUTH theme on AC360, as George pointed out.

I can’t cover Friday’s AC360 although I’m on duty. I’ve been working on some business application and writing all night for someone applying for a 100,000 contest as well as writing for some other client. I’m still behind on work !!!

One hour of sleep and feeling that disgusting sensation of an empty stomach full of hot coffee (I dont even drink and like coffee but was forced to stay awake as I dont have Coke at home it makes me hyper !)

I will punch someone if I have to hear just for one second the word ‘ballon boy’ and anything that speculates about Obama.

Let me catch some zzzz please and let’s hope I don’t dream about the Ballon Hoax.

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October 15, 2009

I thought I would title this one, “24 minutes of balloon boy, and some other news,” but I decided to stick with convention.

anderson cooper

anderson cooper

Breaking News

Balloon boy.  AC called the dirigible a love child of a helium balloon and a jiffy pop.  Richard Heene, Falcon’s dad, from Wife Swap, seemed genuinely concerned about his son’s welfare and on Larry King got very angry when asked if the balloon ride was a publicity stunt.  Enjoy this clip of Heene (who is not at all defensive) :

In case you weren’t paying attention to the news today, the world held its breath while a makeshift inflatable craft drifted across the great plains of ….., seemingly with 6-year-old Falcon on board.  When the craft landed and was found empty, Falcon was found hiding in a box in the attic, prompting this trending tweet:

“Hey Balloon Boy, I’m real happy for you and Ima letchoo finish, but Anne Frank had the best attic hideout of all time.”

balloonboy fam

balloonboy fam

Digging Deeper – Marc Friedland and Garry Haruska

balloonboy panel

balloonboy panel

Friedland, Heene’s neighbor and deathly afraid of national television, commented on the nature of the aircraft.  Haruska commented on the technical nature of the balloon, saying that it was built from a kit.

Fifteen minutes in and the story is still running.  AC just asked the Haruska, a balloon expert, whether or not the balloon could possibly carry a 6-year-old child in it and he said it wasn’t likely.  Now, for a break, a clip of Heene on Wife Swappers:

Eighteen minutes and it’s time for the media analysis.

Now they’re playing the footage where Falcon said, “We did this for a show.”  Now, unlike the Twitterverse that hinges on every word on television, I don’t ascribe a great deal of truth to what kids say.

Please, no, no, no.  They’ve brought the big wall into the story!!  This is the same wall that got Obama elected.  Now it’s analyzing homemade flying saucers.  Thankfully, the wall brought some numbers.  Looks like the rescue mission cost about $28,000.

balloonboy wall

balloonboy wall

TWENTY FOUR MINUTES OF BALLOON BOY

360 Bulletin

Pakistan attacks kill dozens

Murder probe in sweat lodge deaths

The stimulus is working, according to new jobs data

A justice of the peace in Louisana refused an inter-racial marriage license

Developing Story-Randi Kaye

Randi Kaye

Randi Kaye

Randi spoke with a juror in the Cameron Todd Wilingham case.

Randi Kaye spoke with one of the jurors, who was friends with the lead investigator in the case.  Lawyers today say that her friendship with the investigator is enough to claim a mistrial.  Randi Kaye rubbed salt in the wounds by reminded the juror that arson science has evolved drastically in the past 10 years or so.

Perry again defended his choice to remove four members from the panel investigating the case.  Perry suggested that the former member who issued a report on the case was pursuing a political agenda.

David Martin, Wilingham’s attorney, believes that Wilingham was guilty.  AC asked him about the arson evidence.  Martin, with an affected drawl, read from the report into the case.  Martin read passages not related with the science, but with the writer’s prose.

Steve Mills, an investigative reporter from the Chicago Tribune, spoke more about the arson evidence.  Furthermore, he reported that fire experts have turned their opinions around.  Unfortunately, David Martin couldn’t shut his trap.

Martin said that a defense attorney’s job is to test the prosecution’s evidence.  Even if the defendant is guilty, he said, he can be proclaimed not guilty.  How guilt is ascertained, initially, is apparently a matter of interpretation.  Martin, for a lawyer, has shaky logic.  He said that if you pour lighter fluid on a carpet and light it, it will look like the carpet in Wilingham’s house.  If A, then B.  He goes on to say that if B, then A.  My last word on this guy: whenever he heard something he didn’t like, he cocked his head to the side and groaned loudly, sometimes saying, “I don’t know about that,” or, “I’m absurd.”  “I WAS THE TRIAL ATTORNEY!”

Raw Politics-Candy Crowley

President Obama visited New Orleans today for the first time as president.  Residents of New Orleans are unhappy and frustrated with Obama for spending only four hours on the ground.

Candy Crowley

Candy Crowley

The administration has sent lots of people to New Orleans, but the president is aware of the power of his own presence.  He heard some of the local frustrations, including the red tape necessary to receive funding for building projects.

Gupta Book Plug aka Up  Close

Swank Norweigan

Swank Norweigan

Sanjay Gupta reported on Anna Bagenholm, who was dead for 2 hours and found frozen.  Dr. Mads Gilbert, whose English is amazingly idiomatic (doubled-edged sword), spoke on the resuscitation.  Anna is now a doctor, herself.

What what what what what?  No Shot?  No Politicians Behaving Badly?

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Anderson is going to be on Regis and Kelly on Friday

Anderson is going to be on Regis and Kelly on Friday

Screenshot

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‘News Networks ‘Surge’ in Afghanistan’ by Broadcasting & Cable

Interesting story I found today. It’s from the news site Broadcasting & Cable talking about how news networks seek out dangerous news stories on purpose…and how Afghanistan is now their cherished target. There’s an Anderson Cooper quote somewhere in there, but frankly the whole article is just interesting.

  By Marisa Guthrie

“Oct. 7 marks the eighth anniversary of the war in Afghanistan, and with the White House facing critical choices on troop augmentation, news organizations have begun their own surge in coverage.

For cash-strapped networks emerging from intense multi-year coverage of the Iraq war, Afghanistan is a minefield of risk, not the least because news personnel have been repeatedly kidnapped by the Taliban and their civilian cohorts.

“Baghdad was a civil war and it was very easy to get caught in the middle of that,” says NBC News’ Richard Engel during a phone call from Kabul. “Here, it’s an insurrection. You can’t just get into a car and drive up to Kunar province. You probably wouldn’t come back. It would be a one-way trip.”

Indeed, reporters are increasingly getting caught in the crossfire. An Associated Press reporter lost a foot in an IED attack in August, the same month that CBS News Radio correspondent Cami McCormick was seriously injured during an attack in Logar province that killed an American soldier.”

Read More Now

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Pro life, to the point of death

Cameron Todd Willingham and family

Cameron Todd Willingham and family

The finality of a death sentence and its irreversible nature if errant is at the forefront of a case in Texas that was the subject of an AC360 report on Friday night.

Cameron Todd Willingham was convicted of arson in a 1991 fire that killed his three daughters.  In 2004, he was executed for the crime.  Now, with Governor Rick Perry facing reelection next year, it appears Perry may be trying to derail an investigation into Willingham’s death that may possible determine that Willingham was innocent of arson, as three investigations into the fire have since concluded.

For Perry, as he seeks reelection next year, such a conclusion would make him the first sitting governor to have ordered the execution of an innocent man.  It appears the Governor is not willing to find out if that is true and whether an investigatory conclusion would be a death sentence for his career.

Instead, Perry this week ousted three members of the investigatory Texas Forensic Science Commission and began replacing them with political allies who are now trying to stall the investigation.  This is where the search for truth exits and the politics come in.

It’s a funny thing about death penalty advocates.  They proclaim themselves to be pro-life but fail to recognize the possible errantry that contradicts that when they also proclaim themselves to be pro-death in cases such as Willingham’s.  For all its flaws, the Catholic Church, of which I am no fan, deserves kudos for being the only organized advocates of abortion who also oppose the death penalty.

For all others, consistency and integrity in their stance takes second place to politics, such as is the case with Gov. Rick Perry.  Having abandoned the stance of consistency and integrity, he now seeks to abandon the search for truth in the fear it may tarnish his reputation.  No wonder politics has the bad name it does.

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And an ACTJ Lover….

wow…what did we not get today? We’ve had a site hater and now a site lover. We’ve had blind fact checkers who check anything but facts….my day is full…off to watch desperate housewives… See the Lover’s post below:

JimmyBean
October 1, 2009 at 9:25 am
· Edit
I don’t know If I said it already but …Cool site, love the info. I do a lot of research online on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks,

A definite great read..Jim Bean

See you tomorrow for CNN HEROES 2009 coverage 🙂

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For the last time: We are not Anderson Cooper

LOOK THERE >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

 Yes on the right hand side…it says: ” We are not affiliated with CNN nor Anderson Cooper, we are not CNN nor Anderson Cooper

Why not look around on a blog to say what it says before jumping straight to comments to start fussing and arguing…?

you accuse us of not ‘fact checking’, yet YOU do the exact same thing….accusing this site without even checking it out first ?

Ok I gave you your 3 seconds of fame, moving on to something else…I won’t give this any attention next time.

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Our very first ACTJ Hater…

 

**Update: Please see my most recent post about this incident : Sorry for Cussing on the ACTJ Hater Post

First official hater. We were waiting on you…why have you waited so long to come? Laugh your heart out at this hater’s post….seriously I’ve never read anything this  ridiculous and hillarious in my life and wait until you see my reply to him….Thanks to you, ‘BiteMe’ for making me laugh outloud today !!! I think I did ‘bite’ you indeed…do come back if you have more entertaining ‘Bozo the clown’ type of posts. I have to say I was starting to wonder where were the haters. Even Jesus had haters, just to tell you that every good thing must have haters. It’s a requirement or else you know you’re not doing something right…so thanks, hater, for reminding us WE ARE doing something very right here. Like Mariah would say ‘Just shake it off ‘…

PS: I am not comparing myself to Jesus by the way. Just saying that the greatest and most famous man who ever lived had haters all over…

 

BiteMe October 1, 2009 at 9:55 pm · Edit

This site is trash, riding on the popularity of Anderson Cooper. A leech of dismal credibility written by those without future in journalism. This piece is nothing short of propaganda, a pro-Arroyo mouthpiece written by a loser detached from the Philippine reality. Sorry, Cynthia Bugsey, if that’s even your real name. You may emulate Anderson Cooper in writing and reporting style, but you’re not a third of the dirt on his fingernails while on location if you don’t know how to fact check. PS: I bet you moderate comments so well because the article is so badly written, you’re afraid to post all the negative comments. Bring it on! Reply

The News Machine October 1, 2009 at 10:42 pm · Edit

Hi I am the site owner and not Cynthia here, and I will address your post:

 1 – “This site is trash, riding on the popularity of Anderson Cooper.”

Easier to destroy other people’s work but to build something yourself. Well…the idea of this site is not to ride on Cooper’s popularity but to respect his work…you truly cannot judge about something you don’t understand. And you truly don’t understand. You are a mean spirited, negative person, and this is enough for me to know that anything you say is not credible. I don’t make a dime off this site, you punck. I started this bc I love journalism and Cooper’s reporting style. Most sites on the net focus on Cooper’s private life and not enough on his work yet he is such a brilliant journalist. If I make money off this site in the future, it will be to pay my current great quality writers and add other writers. I will never make a dime off this site. You know what is ‘trash’ ??? peres hilton, tmz, d-listed, adult friend finder,…those are trash sites… This site reports on the NEWS and we write about HUMAN RIGHTS….if you call this trash than you are trash yourself, my friend. I suggest you go get some contact lenses because I see no trash on this site.

2-”You may emulate Anderson Cooper in writing and reporting style, but you’re not a third of the dirt on his fingernails while on location if you don’t know how to fact check.”

Ok, Cynthia never pretended to be Anderson Cooper. This is her own unique perspective. Agree or not with her but do RESPECT her. like I said easier to trash other people but build them up.

3-”I bet you moderate comments so well because the article is so badly written, you’re afraid to post all the negative comments”

Cynthia does not moderate comments, I do. and you are so immature to insult someone you don’t even know. You judge someone by one post, which is her own personal opinion. do you think you are perfect??? You certainly sound like a (fill in the blanks) or else you’d be spending your time writing more productive things instead of bringing other people down.

4-…”those without future in journalism”

– are you God poor ignorant clown?? who made you the one who decides who has a future in journalism and who doesn’t. Go take your hate on real bad people like murderers and rapists, they are the ones who need to be yelled at, not honest people like Cynthia who works hard and is not afraid to talk about her opinions even if she gets heat for them…. what about YOUR future in journalism ?? I bet you have NONE whatsoever.  

CONCLUSION = you’re an ass. bye.

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Request to AC360:Please consider this as a ‘Shot’

Hi to AC360, to  Anderson Cooper and the producers. This is by far the funniest video I have ever seen in my life. It’s Hooked on a Feeling by David Hasselhoff. Please add it to ‘the Shot’ one of these days, that would be great to share some laughs with others… a big thank you !!!!

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Technology: Do we control it, or does it control us?

Thomas Friedman

Thomas Friedman

A column by Thomas Friedman in yesterday’s New York Times provided the focal point of an AC360 discussion Wednesday night that focused on the rawness of American politics at present.  Those discussing the issue with Anderson Cooper were Democrat strategist James Carville and Republican former Cabinet member William Bennett, and the conversation ran along predictable ground, with Bennett nay saying the concern over possible conservative violence and Carville expressing some limited unease with how the trend is going.

Unfortunately, attention was given to Friedman’s opening comparison of present American circumstances in Israel shortly before the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995.  By focusing their attention on that portion of Friedman’s statements, the discussion participants failed to recognize the legitimacy of other comments Friedman made.  These included:

The American political system was, as the saying goes, “designed by geniuses so it could be run by idiots.” But a cocktail of political and technological trends have converged in the last decade that are making it possible for the idiots of all political stripes to overwhelm and paralyze the genius of our system.

Those factors are: the wild excess of money in politics; the gerrymandering of political districts, making them permanently Republican or Democratic and erasing the political middle; a 24/7 cable news cycle that makes all politics a daily battle of tactics that overwhelm strategic thinking; and a blogosphere that at its best enriches our debates, adding new checks on the establishment, and at its worst coarsens our debates to a whole new level, giving a new power to anonymous slanderers to send lies around the world. Finally, on top of it all, we now have a permanent presidential campaign that encourages all partisanship, all the time among our leading politicians.

I would argue that together these changes add up to a difference of degree that is a difference in kind — a different kind of American political scene that makes me wonder whether we can seriously discuss serious issues any longer and make decisions on the basis of the national interest.

The last two items listed by Friedman are the ones most contributory to the current declining state of American politics.  Fanning the flames of 24/7 news channels are bloggers who appear at their virtual will with no training in areas of journalistic responsibility.  Journalism once ranked as a high profession in which substantial training was involved.  This included a restraint from getting people unnecessarily and irresponsibly aroused and observing a proper decorum.

That is no longer the case for neither a large portion of what is presented on cable news or what is written in the blogosphere.  There is more prominence being given to arousal of emotional fear, leading Friedman to note:

And Mr. Obama is now having his legitimacy attacked by a concerted campaign from the right fringe. They are using everything from smears that he is a closet “socialist” to calling him a “liar” in the middle of a joint session of Congress to fabricating doubts about his birth in America and whether he is even a citizen. And these attacks are not just coming from the fringe. Now they come from Lou Dobbs on CNN and from members of the House of Representatives.

The irony is that we are succumbing to the technology that we pretend to control but which, in reality, controls us.  We do not know how to use it responsibly, feeling some sort of need to use it whenever possible.  In American politics, as elsewhere in our lives, we are allowing it to erode rather than the buttress the good aspects. – George Curcio

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Congress looks after own interests, not those of constituents

Michael Moore

Michael Moore

The future of the public option was front and center on Tuesday evening’s AC360, with discussion by David Gergen and Candy Crowley prefaced by the comments of liberal filmmaker Michael Moore.  The up shoot:  the current healthcare reform debate is stifled  by a paralysis among American conservatives, both in Congress and at the grass roots level, to enact meaningful legislation.

The crux of the argument is simple.  There are Americans lacking health care coverage who need some sort of reform to the industry (reform that Democrats have sought for 70 years) so that illness is not a prescription for death among them and will allow them to get the health care attention they need and deserve as humans.  Republicans and Democrats who draw their support from insurance companies are against the public option for one simple reason:  it would force insurance companies to actually have to compete in seeking to offer a more attractive option than the public one.

As Republican David Gergen admitted on Tuesday’s AC360, the present plan, minus the public option, changes a few insurance mandates but does not reform health care.  It does not lower costs nor does it actually change the way doctors practice their profession.  In short, it rearranges the deck chairs while the ship continues to sink, all because politicians are afraid to take the action that is necessary.

Rather than decrease competition, as opponents allege, the public option would actually increase competition as it would add one  more choice to those of consumers seeking health care protection.  But in doing so, it would force the insurance companies to actually compete and , most likely, see a decline in their profit margins.  Having to compete is actually the insurance companies biggest fear, as it is for the politicians who rely on insurance companies for the largest portion of their campaign contributions.  It is a very unseemly coincidence that in this whole debate, a lawmakers’ stance seems in direct correlations to their reliance on the insurance industry for support, regardless of their individual party affiliation.

Moore, who is basically a rabble rouser who preaches to the liberal choir, made a sincere but toothless threat in vowing to campaign against Democrats who do not support the public option.  Basically, there is nowhere for Democrats to go, and Moore’s threat, based on historical precedence,  would only replace one feckless Congress person with another.

The shame of the matter is the millions of Americans who are still without coverage and probably will not find relief when a compromise bill is passed through Congress, which is looking more at its reelection chances than it is at serving its citizens. – George Curcio

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Time to Call Batman vs The Mad Hatter

There are speeches and there are just speeches. Myriads of speeches, in fact, are cheered and applauded. One however will stand out in history and that was what Israeli Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered before the UN a day after Iranian tyrant Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke before the UN saying nothing new really, except his incessant attack on Israel and the United States. It would be safe to presume that the delegations representing different countries who walked out were too bored or too decent to give lunatic an audience. It was a lot more amusing however the last time, AhMADdinejad gave a speech. At least then, there were two other clowns who joined his party. The two clowns, however, were arrested by UN security that failed to arrest the biggest clown there then, all because he delivering one of his nutty speeches.

Of course, AhMADdinejad made it clear his commitment. Not to commit himself to an insane asylum as he should probably have, but his commitment to destroy Israel. It was also a speech that, once again, denied the Holocaust, which is another of this tyrant’s favorite subject. Oh no, the Holocaust never happened according to this bastard, but he probably believes with all his heart that camels fly and some god talks to him. The nerve of this tyrant whose people he continues to slaughter for twittering what is really happening in his country to once again, deny that the Holocaust never happened. Thus, Netanyahu had to ask those who sat throughout the speech (most of them who believe in flying camels incidentally), “Have you no shame?”. It isn’t hard to disagree with Netanhayu when he inquires what has become of the United Nations, supposedly a forum to promote world peace. Why did it allow this Iranian NUT to use the UN forum to threaten another country?

Have we forgotten those he shot dead in the streets for protesting his cheating in the last Iranian elections? Anyone who did not walk out of this Iranian despot’s speech is a fruitcake or has a penchant for listening to sadists who wish to threaten his own people and the world. Yes, anyone with a wee sense of decency should have left the floor. Netanhayu held THE COPY of the minutes of the meeting of the 1942 Wannsee-Hitler plan to exterminate all Jews, gypsies adn homosexuals and asked : “ Is this protocol a lie?” He then showed the UN the old original architectural plans of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp and asked : “Are these plans of the camp where one million Jews were murdered a lie too?” I agree with Netanyahu that there is reason to doubt the United Nations after giving the Mad Hatter of Iran a hearing, It is not a question of the Palestinian people ONLY, people– particularly women — are oppressed at Congo, Nigeria, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, and other countries. And neither is the answer to the Palestinian problem “baiting Israel”. Thankfully, I am not Mr. Netanyahu lest I give this Iranian fruitcake something that rhymes with cukes.

It isn’t about the Palestinian people MORE than it is a war between the civilization and barbarism.

“What a perversion of truth…“. Indeed.

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AC360 Monday night

Will be blogged about later tonight…it’s late I know…but it’s my half day/evening off…going to the movies and I couldn’t blog it this morning…I slept !!!

The show tonight will be covered faithfully by Aaron, he always blogs as the show runs, so you’ll get your AC360 and news fix on time…

Wishing you a Cooper-less afternoon…

Site owner

PS: just go to http://www.ac360.com for all the latest news or to http://www.cnn.com

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September 15, 2009

Top of the show

The show opened with Anderson Cooper, thankfully back from Afghanistan, staring characteristically into the camera in a frame that seems just a little cramped.  This show had not one, not two, but three panel discussions on issues from racism, Joe Wilson, and medical malpractice.  The show was very fast-paced tonight and jam-packed with news (quite unlike the Afghan bathroom reporting of last week).  Quite a bit of Breaking News, too.

10:00: Waiting for announcement from Yale regarding the detainment of a suspect in the murder of Annie Le.

Breaking News

AC
Former President Jimmy Cartersaid that racism is behind much of the animosity towards President Obama.  AC gives us the deep insight that racism still exists in America.

10:05 :  Demonstrating the fact that nothing divides this country like race, Anderson opens a panel discussion between Mark Williams, organizer of the Tea Party Express and Roland S. Martin, a CNN political analyst.  It is a curious selection of panelists: one white Republican and one black Democrat.  Did anybody think this was going to yield anything but bickering?  Thanks to rolandsmartin.com for the video!

I was unable to capture the interview (hardware isn’t here yet), so I’ll hope that CNN posts the video tomorrow.  In the event that the interviews don’t make it up, I tried to summarize:

Mark Williams:  Racism is absolutely not a factor in anti-Obama sentiment or the Tea Party Express. Editor’s note: Look at this picture of the rally.  Conduct your own demographic analysis

Roland S. Martin: Race is clearly a factor.  Glen Beck said that President Obama hates white people.  There has been a 400% increase in threats against the President’s life.

Mark: Roland, you’re practicing hyperbole!  These death threats are a result of the fact that the Obama administration is trying to steal from everyday Americans and borrow from the Chinese to undermine this country.  Obama, don’t apologize for me.

Roland: Well, George W. Bush

Mark: ROLAND ROLAND ROLAND

Roland: Well, George W. Bush

Mark: ROLAND ROLAND ROLAND

Anderson Cooper: Look, it’s no use talking over each other; the viewers will just turn the show off.  Go on, Roland.
Martin and Williams

Roland: Obama inherited this economic turmoil from George W. Bush.

AC: (to Roland) Several people called George W. Bush a Nazi.  Is this as serious as that?

Roland: Different points of view give different truths.  There are things that a white person can know that a black person can’t and vice versa.

Mark: What was racist in my taking part in the unseating of Doolittle?  Since I’ve been angry at white people, too, how can I be racist?  Tax parties started against Bush.  Obama came in with fertilizer and “czar nuts.”  Really, I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.

Roland: Race has not left this country.  We have to be willing to call people out.

AC: (to Mark) You have said that the racist element is a small fringe element in the Tea Party Express.  Lots of media attention is given to their signs, including the witch doctor sign.

from examiner.com

from examiner.com

AC: (still to Mark) Given the option, would you tell the people in the Tea Parties to avoid using such signs.

Mark: Yes

Roland: Have you?

Mark: I don’t mandate to people what they should believe.   I’m not a race-baiter like Roland, Jesse Jackson, or Al Sharpton.
I really hope some video from this interview is posted on the website.  I’ll keep an eye on Youtube.

Raw Politics

Capitol Waste of Time – Joe Johns

In the midst of the economic downfall, health care crisis, education speeches, and Kanye West, the most raw of all raw politics is Joe Wilson shouting, “You lie.”  Some people think that the whole discussion of Joe Wilson is a waste of time.  Joe Jones interviewed a Democratic representative, who said that he didn’t think it wise to spend a great deal of time on this issue.  The interview was not particulary interesting, but the protestor in the background was.  Again, I really hope I can find a clip or some footage.   He sign said something about saying no to beer summits and yes to prayer.

AC asked Joe why the Democrats went through this long ordeal when none really wanted to.  The answer: fund raising.

Digging Deeper

Panel discussion number 2!  We’ve got Alex Castellanos and Paul Begala discussing Joe Wilson, even though AC had just implicitly agreed that the debate over Joe Wilson was a waste of time.  This debate was less exciting than the first, so we’ll get a synopsis rather than a play-by-play.

The best point of Alex Castellanos was that if we are going to demonize someone for saying “you lie” to someone else, then the President is eqully culpable.  Here’s a link to the speech.  Search for “It’s a lie”.  Anderson, then, called Alex out for equating Obama’s refutation of death panels to Joe Wilson’s outcry.  Alex’s key quote is: “Democrats say weird things like…’Bush allowed planes to fly into the 9/11.'”  Again, couldn’t have plucked that one from my imagination even if I wanted to.

Paul Begala didn’t have much to say about Joe Wilson, but once the discussion shifted to the Tea Party Express and accusations of racism, he chimed in by saying that “part of opposition is having the courage to purge the movement of the crazies.”  Yes, he used the word crazies.  He hearkened back to one of Kanye West’s early exploits, that of saying that George W. Bush didn’t care about black people.  Go to 1:35 and watch the horror.

10:30:  Teaser for police press conference in New Haven.  Instead…

Breaking News

Tom Foreman

Police have not yet made an arrest in the case, but they have taken someone into custody.  His name is Raymond Clark.  Clark is not officially  a suspect, but is a person of interest.

During this segment, 3 pictures of Le kept looping on the screen.  In one she was learning forward towards the camera, hunched over what might have been her lunch.  The police said that there are over 700 hours of video to search through and loads of evidence to sort, so they are not yet comfortable announcing Clark as a suspect (even though he was later shown being led away in handcuffs).   Part of the hesitance is due to the fact that the lab in which Le was working was an animal lab and was thus filled with mouse DNA.

Digging Deeper…and deeper

Panel discussion #3.  Dr. Cyril Wecht and Jack Levin.  Thankfully, both men agreed on most points.  Annie Le’s killer must have known the building, because they body was found in a wall and the clothes in a ceiling.  The killer probably had a routine because nobody was seen rushing out.  A burglar, on the other hand, would flee the scene of the crime.  Dr. Wecht said that the only reason that Raymond Clark hasn’t been formally charged is that Yale was hasty to accuse a professor in a case a few years ago and ruined his life, even though he was innocent.

10:39 Police have stormed the apartment of Raymond Clark.

In the second part of the talk, Anderson asked why the police hadn’t released the autopsy report.  Dr. Wecht answered that usually the police hold off on releasing records until after they get statements from the suspects.  Levin said that he believed the murder was tied to Le’s upcoming wedding, but Wecht wouldn’t go that far.

Breaking News

Police searching property of Phil Garrido – Dan Simonn

Police are looking for evidence that may tie Phil and Nancy Garrido to two kidnappings from20 years ago.  Jaycee Dugard and one of the other abducted children looked similar back then and a drawing of suspect in that disapperance is eerily similar to Garrido at the time.

News and Business Bulletin with Erica Hill

* Ben Bernake says that the recession is very likely over Yay!

* Former speechwriter for George W. Bush recalls him saying, re Sarah Palin, “I’m trying to remember if I’ve met her before.  Is she the governor of Guam?”

Of Obama: “No clue, I promise you.”

Of Hillary Clinton: “Wait til her fat keister is sitting here.”

* Obama on Kanye West: He’s a jackass.

* Jessica Simpson’s dog snatched by a coyote.  Offering a reward.

10:53: Pictures of Raymond Clark in handcuffs.  He’s a big guy in a white t-shirt.

Medical Malpractice: Who Pays?

Gary Tuchman

Medical mistakes are more deadly than breast cancer.  What can be done to prevent this while still saving money for Obama’s healthcare plan?

Here Gary talks with 2 top insurance lawyers.  I didn’t catch their names, but it’s not important.  We might as well call them “the insurance lawyers who speak with once voice.”  Their basic point, which they made while sitting comfortably in expensive suits, is that the government should stay out of insurance or else instead of unnecessary medical expenses, which are used to stave off medical malpractice claims, we’re going to see medical negligence instead.

All in all, an action-packed show.

-Aaron Fowles

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