Monday, December 26, 2011

Why you should keep everything ...

 at least if you're a reporter, journalist, interviewer, or whatever. You never know when you might need the information again. Take this piece from the Washington Post by Bob Woodward: ["In his debut in Washington’s power struggles, Gingrich threw a bomb"].
There are only two pages of the article available online - you have to pay for the rest - but you get the idea.
It's interesting that Woodward, who is probably better known now for his books than any reporting he did in the old days, never published this interview. Maybe he was working on a Republican revolution book that he never finished; maybe he sensed something was in the water.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Recommended Holiday Reading for the Caring, Agitated Mind

Guest perspective by Ralph Nader
1. America Beyond Capitalism by Gar Alperovitz (Democracy Collaborative Press and Dollars and Sense, 2011). If you want to see how community economies are spreading to displace the sales and influence of companies such as Bank of America, ExxonMobil, Aetna, ADM and McDonalds, this is your book. Democratic credit unions, local renewable and efficient energy, community health clinics and farmer-to-consumer markets are some of the possibilities outlined in this optimistic book.

2. Retirement Heist: How Companies Plunder and Profit from the Nest Eggs of American Workers by Ellen E. Schultz (Portfolio/Penguin Hardcover, 2011), award-winning reporter for The Wall Street Journal. This book meticulously documents how big business and their attorneys avariciously turned pension plans into piggy banks, tax shelters and profit centers, at the expense of millions of trusting, loyal workers. This is the searing story of corporate greed on steroids.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Congressional Tyranny, White House Surrender

 Guest perspective By Ralph Nader/In the Public Interest 
Paraphrasing Shakespeare, something is rotten in the state of Capitol Hill. A majority of Congress is just about to put the finishing touches on an amendment to the military budget authorization legislation that will finish off some critical American rights under our Constitution.

Here is how two retired 4 star marine generals, Charles C. Krulak and Joseph P. Hoar, described in the New York Times the stripmining of your freedom to resist tyranny in urging a veto by President Obama:
“One provision would authorize the military to indefinitely detain without charge people suspected of involvement with terrorism, including United States citizens apprehended on American soil. Due process would be a thing of the past….

Saturday, December 10, 2011

More data about the Top 1% and income inequality

Finally catching up on issues of the WSJ that have been sitting around this week and found this piece from Dec. 6, to be quite interesting: ["Tax Rates, Inequality and the 1%"].
While one might find anything written by a fellow from the Cato Institute suspect, there are a few nuggets of truth in here that are worthy of further analysis. 
First, the share of income increased by the Top 1% post 1979 seems to not be as drastic as first thought, especially when looking post 2007. It's 11.3 percent not 17 percent, according to Alan Reynolds' analysis.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Closing down the Noise chart

Late last month, TMax from the Noise emailed me to say that due to space limitations, he probably wasn't going to have room for Top 30 chart in this month's edition of the Noise. I told him that wasn't a problem since my computer was being fixed and I didn't have access to all the data and wouldn't have made the deadline this month.
We got to chatting over email and came to a decision that we should probably stop producing the chart. It had gotten cumbersome, since few radio stations were sending me the lists - I'd have to hunt them down or do audits on various websites - and I was missing the deadline for the print edition repeatedly. I have promised him that I will put together a top list of the year for the online edition, and then, we're going to call it a day.
Almost 10 years of tracking Boston radio station local music airplay. Quite an accomplishment, actually.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Not Made in America

Guest perspective by Ralph Nader
"Here, look at this handsome L.L. Bean catalog and tell me what you want for Christmas," said a relative over Thanksgiving weekend. I started leafing through the 88 page cornucopia with hundreds of clothing and household products, garnished by free gift cards and guaranteed free shipping. I wasn't perusing it for any suggested gifts; instead, I was going through every offering to see whether they were made in the U.S.A. or in other countries.

This is what I found: over 97 percent of all the items pictured and priced were noted "imported" by L.L. Bean. The only ones manufactured in the U.S. were fireplace gloves, an L.L. Bean jean belt, a dress chino belt, quilted faux-shearling-lined L.L. Bean boots (made in Maine), a personalized web collar and leash (for your pet), and symbolically enough, the "made in Maine using American-made cotton canvas are the Original Boat and Tote Bags" to carry all those goodies coming in from China and elsewhere.

Finalists for Lie of the Year

I'm on the PolitiFact email list but I admit that I don't get a chance to read many alerts these days. I'm just too busy with other things.
However, while clearing out email earlier today, I came across this email offering PolitiFact's Lie of the Year: ["Finalists announced for 2011 Lie of the Year"].
There are some pretty good whoppers there, from both sides of the political spectrum. :-) Personally, I think Congressional Republicans have introduced dozens of bills on social issues and other topics, but "zero on job creation" and The stimulus created "zero jobs" are the best - or in this case, worst - ones. Enjoy!