Friday, May 1, 2009

The Art of Telling Part of the Truth

Scott, CPR, PropagandaRick Scott, a man of many controversies, is looking out for personal choice in U.S. healthcare. Then again, to Scott, personal choice is a matter of personal profit -- his own. (Image: YouTube) Scott was a healthcare executive until 2001, when he was forced out during a scandal in which his company looted money from the Medicare system. Recently, Scott released several TV commercials promoting private healthcare -- I was compelled to write about a recent spot aired by his group.

Let's be clear, Rick Scott is very much associated with the Neo-Conservative movement. He owned the Texas Rangers during the early 1990s in partnership with George W. Bush. If that doesn't convince you of his alignment, take a look at this:

There is no choice in public healthcare? The government controls life and death?I guess I missed the memo when the government told me who my doctor was going to be. I don't know about you guys, but I feel safer with the government controlling life and death than an insurance company trying to squeeze a profit.

It's shocking that this type of advertisement will convince some people that the rest of the G8 is wrong and the U.S. is right. I found that some of his other commercials sound like good-old-fashion Red baiting. Someone needs to stand up to this stupidity and put an end to the lies.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Flu Pandemic Preparedness Part of Budgeting Cuts

Stimulus, Flu, RepublicansPreparing for a flu pandemic was part of the original stimulus plan but was deemed "extravagant" spending by Republicans and was dropped during the efforts to gain votes. That sure could have come in handy, couldn't it have? (Image: CNN) So, clearly it's not as simple as the article featured on The Huffington Post makes it sound. Surely no one could have saw this outbreak coming. Why should it have been stimulus?

It's actually pretty simple, but for different reasons that the mindless right-bashing efforts of the article on The Huffington Post. The flu money shouldn't have been in the stimulus because it was the right thing to do, but because it actually was important stimulus.

How was this stimulus? It would have maintained demand for flu vaccines and in effect prevent a shortage in supply as well as a drop in production. Because there was no stimulus, production levels of the vaccines are low because of the lack of demand during the recession. If the department that handles this was adequately funded, through funding such as the stimulus, there would be both a stockpile to start the pandemic control efforts and the vaccine manufacturers could have ramped up production sooner.

I'll leave you with an amusing video included in the article on The Huffington Post:


Monday, April 27, 2009

Public Health Emergency, No Health and Human Services Secretary

HHS, Flu, AbortionWhy is it that President Obama hasn't filled the top spot of the government agency responsible for handling an outbreak such as the recent threat posed by swine flu? Well, it isn't because Obama hasn't nominated someone. (Image: The Huffington Post) The nomination of Kathleen Sebelius for Health and Human Services Secretary -- following the failed nomination of Tom Daschle -- has been on hold. The Republicans in the Senate have been filibustering the nomination, refusing to allow the nomination to go to vote. Why?

Well, if you were expecting a fresh new reason, you'll be disappointed. The reason there is no Health and Human Services Secretary during the middle of a public health emergency is because she supports abortion. To be more specific, the Republicans believe she supports "late-term" abortion and takes money from abortion doctors.

Now, neither of these claims is more than a matter of talking points. Sebelius received donations to her campaigns totaling about $12,000 over 7 years and about double that to her political action committee later from said abortion doctors. This is not a very big number for a politician in America, especially over such a span of time. The late-term abortion claims enter muddy water over certain comments and different interpretations, but she is certainly a pro-choice politician.

Fortunately, several moderate GOP members are likely to vote to move forward with a vote on Tuesday in spite of hard-liners like Mitch McConnell who doesn't see how the flu outbreak factors in to the need for an HHS Secretary. Many expect Sebelius to be confirmed in spite of the "same old issues" causing partisan bickering and stone-walling by the GOP.

Assuming that this goes through, the HHS department has 14 other top spots vacant. Hopefully the same shenanigans don't continue to disrupt a time of genuine need.


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Fox "Investigations" Strike Again

O'Reilly, GE, DarknessThe last investigation by Fox News that I covered was the stalking of Think Progress reporter Amanda Terkel. O'Reilly summed up that stunt by placing the blame of MSNBC as the heart of evil -- naturally, this investigation went right into the heart of darkness. (Image: YouTube) The network O'Reilly hates with such a passion is a division of NBC, which is owned by General Electric (GE). At the recent GE shareholders' meeting was our good friend and stalker from the last investigation, Jesse Watters.

Here's a video from The O'Reilly Factor in which Bill introduced the work of Watters:

I want to just highlight one part of this clip (at the end):

"This is obviously a major story, when a powerful corporation, which controls a major part of the American media, may be using its power and the airwaves to influence politics in order to make money from government contracts. That kind of corruption would make Watergate look small."

While I disagree with everything said in this segment, I want to highlight those two points to address the larger issue. The first bolded segment speaks to the general hypocrisy of Fox News in this situation. Fox uses its power to influence politics in order to make money from a variety of sources. They draw a huge audience to sell to advertisers, and, of course, they all have a bit fatter of wallets when their guy wins and lowers taxes.

The second point I find more funny than anything else. I think true party-line conservatives associated with the Republican Party are still hung up on Nixon. Why? Because of this:

Nixon, 1972, win
This graphic comes by way of RealClearPolitics. The die-hard Republicans can't accept that their golden boy was caught in his web of lies. Discussing this "evil" at MSNBC is ridiculous -- especially to compare it to the term synonymous with political corruption. What's this all about? Was it supposed to link Obama to the heart of evil? Is Fox the only news organization allowed to have an open bias? Are the rich shareholders of GE that afraid of a left slant? Do they want another Fox News? Madness.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Texas Talking About Succession

Texas, Succession, TeaSince the extreme side of the Republican Party showed its face in the not-so-grassroots Tea Parties, Texas has been in the News. It started last weekend with the sirens on Drudge, and moved into the mainstream media during the week. (Image: Flickr) I honestly can't quite understand what's going on here. It seems to me that this tea party movement is causing some serious hysteria; but are the same forces behind succession talk?

Personally, I don't think corporate lobbyists that are funding the Tea Parties want Texas to leave the United States. There's no money to be had from that. Running these "grassroot protests" could potentially lower their taxes though. Then again, maybe working up a bunch of people into hysteria over tax in general after it was just cut isn't working out so well. Not the most friendly audience are forming.

The Governor of Texas, Rick Perry, made these comments at one of the tax day Tea Parties:

That's quite interesting. Texas is managing its budget great. Oil demand will never fall. Despite these comments by Perry, Ron Paul insists that no one is talking about leaving the union seriously (he must have skipped that clip). He argues that succession is allowable and something we should support:

This type of insanity needs to stop. Or maybe not. Maybe a split of America would be better for everyone. The Bush family could continue to run Texas and any state that joins it and every voted to the north could continue to elect leaders like Obama. We'll see where this one goes...


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Bit Of Background On The Handshake Controversy

Obama, Chavez, CNBCToday I was desperately avoiding studying, so I stumbled around the internet until I ended up on the Huffington Post. Huffington has a headline article discussing how a CNBC anchor viewed the situation. (Image: Media Matters) I should give some background on CNBC. Besides being destroyed by the comedy-news-media as of late, CNBC has a rich history of slant and bias that is a distant second to Fox News.

Being a financial news channel, CNBC would naturally have a slant to the Right because of fiscal policy. However, more and more often, CNBC hosts are becoming social commentators aligned with the Neo-Conservatve movement -- replacing traditional conservative fiscal ideals with domestic and international fear mongering.

I want to share with you two clips that will provide the media context to which I was replying in my last post. The first clip is from Fox News; it covers the original argument that shaking hands with seemingly-faux-democratically-elected "dictators" is blasphemous.

Did anyone else notice his complete incompetence in explaining the difference between shaking hands and discussing? Does he think Obama would have provoked better conversation if he refused to shake hands and be polite? Moving along to the CNBC clip that shows an equally conflicted point-of-view:

So, Obama shakes hands like a Boyz N the Hood gangster? Also, it's more effective foreign policy to talk to friends and ignore anyone who isn't a friend? I thought we just tried that. This is exactly what I was talking about last post, the controversy makes no sense at all.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Obama Too Nice To Chavez? Nope.

Obama, ChavezThe President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, is infamous in American politics for referring to former President Bush as the devil during a speech to the United Nations. Earlier this week at the Summit of the Americas, Chavez shook President Obama's hand and gave him a book. (Image: The Huffington Post) Apparently, Obama's acceptance of the gift and willingness to shake Chavez's hand has caused a controversy. According to right-wing pundits, it is an endorsement of Chavez by Obama.

However, today a new video, discovered today by the LA Times originating from a Venezuelan news agency, depicts a different story. As described by the Times, Obama first moves to walk away from Chavez, but Chavez insists on talking. Obama proceeds to talk over Chavez and "point his finger several times at Chavez's chest."

Here's the video, by way of the LA Times:

So, is Obama still soft on Chavez? Looks to me like he was pretty direct and authoritative. But, being a liberal-minded blogger, I can't judge the quality of foreign relations efforts. I mean, it is after all the Democrats' fault that the world hates the U.S. ...


Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Future of Thinking:Revised

Revised, ThemeWell, now that the school term is over, I have a few decisions to make and a few less restrictions. Thinking:Revised will continue, but I'm still not sure about the details of what it look like. Well, there was a code of conduct I was mandated to follow when I started this blog for a course. While I will continue to follow the vast majority of it in order to build the integrity of this blog, there will be a few exceptions...

The two points I won't follow so closely are:
  • Keeping the language sparkle clean
  • Being nice to everyone
I need to convey how hard it was to talk about the antics of certain Fox News anchors or politicians without using any foul language. No, this won't become a blog comparable to Jerry Springer: Uncensored, but I don't see what's wrong with calling Rush Limbaugh an asshole. I'm sure Rush would admit that he's an asshole. Jerk, bigot and half-wit doesn't describe Rush as well.

Like-wise, it never hurts to be clear when you disagree with something. Being nice only takes you so far. Actually, there's nothing wrong with being nice, but there's no reason to be nice if you're dealing with someone who has no intention of returning the favour.

This blog will indeed continue. When I get some free-time, I'll start with some improvements. Maybe it's time to move away from Blogger and to WordPress. We'll see what happens.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Limbaugh Beat By Caller On Own Show

Rush, Cigar, MockedDuring a recent radio show, Rush Limbaugh accepted a call from a disgruntled right-of-centre voter. Much to Limbaugh's surprise, however, the caller turned on Limbaugh, blaming him for the Republican Party's woes. (Image: The Raw Feed) The caller makes a strong argument against Limbaugh's antics, calling him a "brainwashed Nazi" for his pro-torture position. Though this quote may seem extreme, the caller justifies his opinion to Rush.

Here's an audio clip of the entire conversation between Rush and the caller who identifies himself as Charles provided by MediaMatters:

You can read a transcript at The Huffington Post.

I think this is a great example of how flat the arguments of Republicans like Rush are in a factual sense. A key moment at the end of the clip, when Limbaugh must have muted the call, was when Rush accused Charles of not being a real Republican. But who is the real Republican?

I would argue that while Rush Limbaugh represents the current state of the Republican party, he doesn't represent the original values of the party. Rush Limbaugh is part of the neo-Conservative movement -- which is responsible for turning the empowering principles of true conservatism into the twisted power-grabbing desire that defines conservatives today.

I think the caller, Charles, really handled himself well and proved his point to any receptive audience. Limbaugh could not argue substantively, so Rush attacked the caller in order to hurt his credibility. Maybe Limbaugh should read the constitution again as well as the founding platform of the Republican party. Those two things he claims to represent are far removed from his antics.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Poll Results: Why We Care (And Don't Care)

Poll, Results, PoliticsI was interested to find out what exactly made you guys care about politics, and I was slightly surprised with the answers. They made sense, but I was expecting some slightly different trends. (Image: Laila Lalami) Relatively unanimously, participants were interested in politics because of their principles and to ensure they had a word in what affected them. Beyond those two points, the analysis becomes more complicated.

Here is the raw data on the poll:

Political, Poll, Results

To me, the most interesting number is the stated lack of interest in political leaders, when that often ends up being all campaign are about. People care about the scandal, promises, and attitude of potential leaders -- sometimes even more than they care about the policies they represent. Ideally a leader represents both themselves and their platform; however, it seems to me that if either aspect shows too many cracks, both problems with platforms or charisma can be equally damaging.

It doesn't surprise me that nearly a majority of respondents considered "Helping Everyone" to be a priority given that this is a progressive blog. The concept of fighting corruption doesn't always come up in the rhetoric of the left, but I noticed that some of my most popular posts deal with the issue of corruption. Thus, I found the low number of people concerned with corruption to be a bit surprising.

I can relate to all of these pre-mentioned options in the poll, but obviously I don't have any trouble caring about politics so I urge anyone who reads the blog regularly and voted for "It's hard to care" to let me know why. Obviously a much larger percent of the population feels this way given the exceptionally low turn-out in the last Canadian election. Even though there was a huge election in the U.S., I think it would have been bigger with a similar level of excitement a few decades ago.

Thankfully no one voted I don't know. I think this was a pretty interesting poll and to those who voted, and those who didn't, write a comment and let me know why you care about the things you do. I'm interested to hear it.


Monday, April 6, 2009

What Does Digg Like? A Cultural Study

Digg, Culture, Insanity
Digg is a huge social networking site that some claim has created a subcultural of its own. Following the model of participant observation inspired by the venture of a well-known social anthropologist, I decided to read digg and write this post. Digg's culture is certainly not without it quirks. Some would argue that Digg is nothing more than a collection of quirks. What is clear from my research is what Digg likes...

From watching the front-page for the past few days, I can tell that Digg likes:
  1. Ending monarchies that are complacent in the rise of residential coyote attacks related to cooking with bacon.
  2. Doing wheelies near dubai while obsessively staring into the eyes of the tumbling economy
  3. Making netbooks based on Disney-cloned vampires that enjoy fast and furious web development tutorials
  4. Quantum mathematics related to marijuana users on Wordpress that talk at TED in search of lithium at Microsoft
  5. Switching Babies with manatees in 1957 during car crashes in Russia covered by Bush-era torture memos
I wasn't totally satisfied with this conclusion, so I decided to create a plot out of this following the model of the Tom Clancy Plot Generator using frequently appearing terms and ideas:

Under the staring eyes of baby manatees, Monarchs devise a scheme to increase coyotee attacks for ransom. The plot twists when the Monarchs threaten to blow up the Disney-cloned vampire netbooks even after their demands are met. Millions of lives are at stake unless a turncoat quantum pot-head blogging mathematician can gain the courage to do the right thing and stop the Monarchs once and for all. The movie ends with a mildly comical and ironic scene in which the Monarchs blow up or go to Dubai. Another satisfying tale of political intrigue and personal redemption closes, and we all walk away from this movie a little poorer as the market plummets.


Google Getting More Evil; Bad Indexing

Google, Evil, MonopolyDespite the iconic slogan -- "Don't be Evil" -- it seems to me that Google is becoming more and more evil. All the while, I think its search result quality is becoming worse and worse. (Image: Google) How is Google becoming evil? Simply speaking, I believe that Google has decided to buy everything and anything in order to create a monopolized web experience.

A monopolized internet? Impossible. In the truest sense it is impossible, but often we find ourselves resorting to a Google search to start our browsing. Google also controls YouTube; the site that draws in millions daily from the U.S. alone. Google is also involved in many other markets: AdSense and AdWords for advertising, Blogger for citizen publishing, Gmail for email, the Android operating system for cellphones, Google Earth, Checkout for online transactions, Analytics for web traffic monitoring, and those are just a few highlights.

Google has bought up many technologies; they were even in the running for FaceBook and Twitter, though neither appears to be for sale yet. Google has also been complacent in the efforts of China to lockdown it's Internet users from outside content. The list goes on. Google is a business. It is an extremely effective business. As such, it seems to be that they are seeking a monopoly, and getting it in the quickest way possible.

While they do all of this, I've noticed that their search quality is dropping. Maybe I'm going crazy, but I think Google has more spam beating its filter than ever before. Maybe it was bound to happen, like some would argue Windows was bound to get viruses due to its hold on 80% of the market.

In typical fashion, I decided to Goolge "is google getting worse." The results were a bit surprising -- they actually confirmed what I thought. Webmasters were angry over the amount of spam and lacking indexing efforts.

To me it seems that Google has lost focus on its core business (though advertising is likely its true core business). Even YouTube is getting worse: embedded advertisements over the video, automatic content removal, automatic soundtrack removal, and content region restrictions have all invaded YouTube. A company like Google could do good, but now the just seem to be doing evil.


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Media Ban on Return of Fallen Soldiers: Insult or Respect?

Returning, troop, mediaIn many countries involved in recent wars, some have questioned whether or not the media should have access to the return of fallen soldiers to the mainland. In the United States a media ban was in effect for 18 years until the ban was lifted early this year. (Image: NY TImes blogs) In Canada, there was a short-lived ban imposed by the Conservative government in mid 2006. An outcry by the public and military along with the families of the soldiers forced the government to end the ban a month later.

As a compromise in Canada, the family must agree to allow media coverage. All next-of-kin members must make this decision unanimously. This condition also appears in the Obama decision. Before the ban in the United States was lifted, the media could not record:
  • The return of the coffin
  • Any ceremonies at the airbase
  • And, the transportation of the coffin from the base
I personally agree with the decision to allow consensual coverage of the return. While the notion of media coverage may seem to trivialize the importance of the life of a human who went to war with the best intentions in mind, no one will view these reports as entertainment or any other type of disrespect. People want to respect and honour what the soldiers gave to their countries. They did not die because the wanted to be viewed as heroes, but, if the coverage is done right, they deserve the moment of recognition this will give them.

The first returning soldier to receive media coverage in the United States will be Air Force Staff Sergeant Phillip Myers of Hopewell, Viriginia, who died in Afghanistan on April 4th.


Saturday, April 4, 2009

Palin Bid Ending Before It Starts?

Palin, Levi, ControversyOver the past few weeks Sarah Palin has had her share of controversies, from earmarks to bailout money to getting shunned by her own party. Recently, yet another story has been sent into the mainstream news to the chagrin of Palin. (Image: Huffington Post) As many of you may recall, Governor Palin's 18 year-old daughter, Bristol, was infamously revealed as pregnant soon after Palin was selected by McCain as his running mate. This news renewed the debate of education against teaching abstinence, but now the story is back in the news.

Mere weeks after Bristol stated that abstinence was "not realistic" during an interview with Fox News, her former fiancée appeared in an interview of his own. Levi Johnston, who called off the wedding, will be appearing on The Tyra Banks Show. A preview of the show released on Friday featured several controversial claims by Johnston.

For the sake of keeping this short, I will focus on only one of his statements that has drawn the most attention. Levi implied the Governor Palin knew of his sexual activity with Bristol because she was aware that he and Bristol shared a bedroom. This comment raised a lot of questions about how actively Palin enforced her policies in her own household.

These questions provoked a representative of the Palin family (no, Palin never talks for herself anymore) to release a statement. The statement says nothing about the claims made by Levi, but instead attacks him for taking an interview to seek "fame, attention, and fortune." Besides the fact that Bristol was just interviewed, recently, the Palin representative offers no response except to attack Levi.

I'll leave you with the whole clip released from The Tyra Banks Show by MSNBC:


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Can't We All Just Get Along? Yes... Sort of.

G-20, Meeting, RegulationThis week United States President Barack Obama is in Europe for the G-20 Conference and meetings with world leaders. The G-20 Conference is a meeting of the 20 wealthiest nations to discuss global economic policy. (Image: Huffington Post) The weeks started out with a stark division between rough alliances headed by the United States with the U.K. and France with Germany. The French President was skeptical that Obama would be open to regulations and had pre-emptively threatened to leave the meetings because of this suspicion.

However, this is where it differs from the petty politics of the U.S. Congress and the Canadian Parliament -- they ended up getting along. In fact, Obama readily admitted that America was a major factor in the downturn. Four major decisions came out of this meeting:
  • A $1 Trillion global investment in the World Bank
  • New crackdowns on Tax Haven areas
  • Hedge fund regulations
  • And, a global economic oversight body to spot problems
These decisions tackle the financial situation on almost all fronts. The partisan politician of the federal U.S. Congress and similar bodies around the world could learn a lot from the G-20 meeting. If the political parties were as open to diplomacy as the leaders at this global summit, there would be a lot more being done that helps everyone.

It's time to kick those hard-line political ideologies aside. In a recession such as this, or any other time of crisis, the government needs to work. Party-politics is simply not an option.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Incase You Forgot What TV News Was About....

Letterman, News, RecapOn a recent episode of the The Late Show with David Letterman, Letterman provided a recap of what was in the news. The video (below) should serve as a reminder about the quality of cable news. (Image: Huffington Post) I think the video speaks for itself, but this is especially amusing given the week of news we've had. As I said in a recent post, we're all a bit tired of it too...

Video at the Huffington Post:

Letterman, News, Recap

Doesn't that just capture television news perfectly? I think so.


Palin Losing Internal GOP Battle? (Lies about it)

GOP, Palin, BattleYesterday evening, the Huffington Post reported that Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska had lost an important role at a major fundraising event. The event Palin will no longer attend is the joint dinner of Senate and House members, a critical source of fundraising for many campaigns. (Image: CNN) Palin was scheduled to be the keynote speaker, but has been replaced by Newt Gingrich. While a representative for the event claimed Palin had responsibilities in Alaska preventing her from attending, Palin's group denies these claims.

A representative for Palin claimed that she was never on board for the event. This denial is in spite of a previous press release confirming her involvement. According to a report by Fox News -- they tend to get Republican party stories right -- Palin decided not to attend the event after the decision was made to replace her with Newt Gingrich.

One source confirmed to Fox News that Palin was initially confirmed, but "she was a disaster" and not a leader. A Republican Congressional Committee spokesperson told Fox News that Gingrich "is a leader" and would be welcomed. Further, Fox revealed that this is the second time such an event had occurred. Palin was originally to speak at the eventful Conservative Political Action Conference, but cancelled that as well.

Both Fox News and the Huffington Post believe that Palin was unwillingly removed from this latest event, so I think It's safe to assume that is the fact in this case. Why would Palin lie about accepting the original invitation when the organizers of the event gave her an easy out by claiming she was busy in Alaska? Who knows. This is Sarah Palin after all.


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Republican Party: Party of "No" or Party of "Zero"

GOP, Party, ZeroSince the sweeping Democratic victory, bipartisanship has been at an astonishing low. The Republican party is floundering without an identity and has increasingly become irrelevant. (Image: Wikipedia) The GOP has been extremely critical of the Obama budget plan. The budget, of course, runs up a deficit that was already brought to new depths by Bush. What critics fail to mention is the fact that the democratic budget cuts the annual deficit in half by the end of Obama's first term.

So, regardless of this often-overlooked point, what has the GOP done to improve the budget? Well, this should sound familiar: nothing. Instead of releasing an alternative budget, as is traditional for any opposition party in a democracy trying to prove it can run the country better, the Republican party released a budget that is no more than a manifesto of conservative ideals.

As it turns out, the GOP's budget has no numbers. Why would this be? Well, the GOP knows it would lose the ability to criticize the Obama budget if Americans saw the level of debt they would continue to run up. Here's an ad released by the Democratic National Committee on the Republican budget:

I think it's more appropriate to call the GOP the party of "Zero" instead of the party of "No" because that is the number of Republicans in support of financial recovery and this budget alike. That's the number of numbers in their budget. It's the number of leaders within the party. Most importantly, it seems to be the number of ideas they have on the future of America.


Monday, March 30, 2009

Non-Scientific Consensus: Everyone Sick of Bailouts

Simpsons, TARPI was reading the Huffington Post this afternoon while taking a break from writing some essays when I came across a story labelled "Comedy" on their front page. The story was about the latest episode of The Simpsons getting in on the mocking. (Image: Huffington Post) After seeing this, and watching CNN for 20 minutes, it became pretty clear to me that this is a growing consensus. During the span of 20 minutes, Wolf Blitzer hit on bailout related stories 5 times.

Here's an image, via the Huffington Post, of The Simpsons bailout-mocking during the traditional chalkboard scene of the shows' opening:

Simpsons, TARP

For those of you, like me until 2 weeks ago, who don't know what "TARP" stands for, it's the first financial bailout called the "Troubled Asset Relief Program." The bill, a holdover from the last administration, paid hundreds of billions to banks to try to prop them up and restart the flow of money lending.

Needless to say, it hasn't worked so far. So, more and more often, we hear jokes about the irresponsibility of bailouts and feel that government is protecting the rich as everyone else suffers. Bailouts might be needed to protect our money and investments from completely disappearing as banks collapse, but I think more has to be done now to help everyone.

(And no, to my right-wing readers, tax breaks are not the solution. Especially for the relatively unaffected rich.)


White House Making Strict Bailout Demands

GM, Wagoner, ObamaIn a somewhat surprising turn of events Rick Wagoner, the General Motors CEO expected to resign later this year, has stepped down effective immediately at request of the White House. The White House is planning to announce its auto recovery plans tomorrow. (Image: LeftLane News) According to reports, President Obama pushed for Wagoner's resignation before announcing his plans. General Motors has been in the middle of the auto bailout controversy, as it tries to recover from years in the red.

General Motors has tried to answer the calls for quality coming from car buyers, but has been unable to shine its tarnished brand. Under Wagoner, quality at General Motors has improved, but sales have continued to slide as a result of momentum towards key competitors. Unlike Ford, who has been able to turn around financially, General Motors has sought funding from congress to prevent the company from entering bankruptcy.

As I mentioned earlier, Obama is on the verge of announcing his administration's plan for the ailing industry. Chrysler and GM are both in desperate need of help, and we will see how the administration answers these calls tomorrow. I hope that GM gets some help, but really think Cerberus needs to step up and help its company, Chrysler. A private company shouldn't be getting public funds; it just doesn't make sense!

Wagoner has done relatively well in a bad situation, but for the sake of public perception this type of move might be needed. Out with the old, in with the new. I'll leave you with this video from Wagoner and other CEOs appeal to Congress for money:


Sunday, March 29, 2009

D.L. Hughley's Show Cancelled by CNN

CNN, Hughley, CancelledNow, I'm not a huge fan of Hughley or of his most antics, but I think his short-lived show on CNN was pretty good. A month ago CNN quietly announced that the show was ending and that this weekend's show would be the last episode. (Image: CNN) The show was a comedic take on daily news that featured some surprisingly frank discussions. I felt Hughley's humour wasn't the best and often didn't laugh at his attempts, but he grew into his role over the last month.

Twice on this blog I referred to D.L. Hughley Breaks the News:These shows demonstrated the quality of debate Hughley was able to pull from his guests. Hughley also recently interviewed Ron Paul, a 2008 candidate for President of the United States, and had an entertaining discussion. Here's a clip from the interview that includes Hughley belittling Steele for apologizing to Limbaugh:

Hughley may not have the deepest insight into the political scene, but he provided an honest take on the news. Ultimately, I don't think CNN gave Hughley enough time to get on his feet. Ron Paul isn't my favourite political figure because I believe he's quite narrow-minded in his views, but he is very open. Hughley did a great job with this interview and it is just further evidence that Hughely was getting much better.

It's a shame Hughley is now gone from CNN's line up, but he will continue with the network as a correspondent from Los Angles. For now, I'm sure CNN is scrambling to put something else together to fill the void, but hopefully they don't give that next show the same treatment.

What's important to note here is that Hughley grew into his role only around the same time the show was cancelled. I'm really disappointed with CNN over this irresponsible decision.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Poll Results: No Option on Bailouts?

Poll, Bailout, StimulusMany of you voted on my most recent poll asking if you believe letting companies fail is a viable solution. Besides a few outlying votes, most of you believe that we won't solve anything by letting companies fail. (Image: CNN) Though the vote was split between Maybe and No, I tend to agree with the sentiment that we have seen enough damage to Wall Street. So what do we do? Bail out every business in this economy? Every citizen too?

Here are the results:

No, obviously that doesn't work. We witnessed the stock market crash after the Bush Adminsitration let Lehman Brothers go bankrupt. That single major investment bank's failure is credited with the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipping to 8000. But who should the government target to prop up?

Well, the theory of putting the money into banks seems logical. Failing financial institutions would make money disappear and cost the federal government more than bailouts. Why? The federal government insures your bank account up to a certain figure; that means that if a bank fails, the government gives you the money covered.

So banks make sense, but what about other industries? Let's speak quickly about the auto industry. Publicly held companies with no other backing like Ford and GM represent a valid option because they employ so many. Many industries like auto parts also rely on these companies. But, what about Chrysler? Chyrsler is privately held. It's parent company, Cerberus, has holdings that can prop up the business, but it has refused to thus far. This is why I agree with the "Maybe" stance more in this poll.

Major industry-driving companies and banks are fair game for bailouts in my opinion. I draw the line with smaller, privately held companies. I also think businesses should be required to do more. GM and Ford are going somewhere with their plans, but Chrysler is a big mess. The company matters! Smart bailouts help; too many bailouts burden.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Olbermann Angered Over O'Reilly's Antics

O'Reilly, Olbermann, TerkelKeith Olbermann, host of his own show on MSNBC, interviewed the victim of O'Reilly's latest attack on bloggers. As I mentioned in a recent post, Amanda Terkel of Think Progress was the recipient of a O'Reilly ambush interview while on vacation. (Image: Huffington Post) It turns out that Terkel was likely stalked for over two hours, across state lines, by O'Reilly Factor producer Jesse Watters. Watters' interview with Terkel was heavily edited to imply indifference towards rape victims.

Here is a video of the Olbermann response to O'Reilly, via MSNBC:

I think they really covered all the bases with this interview. O'Reilly has no real response, only the same tired efforts to discredit instead of disprove. FOX has so little credibility with people outside of it's base, but it's base is so big. I think FOX has more responsibility that it often is required to live up to. Unfortunately it's too late to do anything about it in U.S. media regulation. However, this type of behaviour by O'Reilly is slanderous and should be prosecuted.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

CBC Mini-Series Blames Death of Old Media on Internet

CBC, The End, InternetWell, as big of a role as the Internet may have on the death of traditional media, there’s more to it. Newspaper, Radio, and Television coexisted for nearly a century despite being introduced as replacements. (Image: CBC) So why is it that the Internet is suddenly destroying the traditional media? Why are publishers stopping the presses or radio stations consolidating? It is the promise of the Internet that caused these things, not the medium itself.

The promise of the Internet is interactivity; we have control as users. We’ve made the shift from passive consumers to active creators. Something newspaper, radio, and television cannot provide at the same level as the Internet. Below are responses to each segment in the series:

The End of Radio

The focus of this episode is on the ability of a user to pick what they want to hear. User selection is an important shift enabled by the Internet, but it is not a shift in the industry. More content is exposed, but profitability is still key. Podcasts let people share their thoughts to many, listen when and how you want, and reach more people, but it’s still the same model. Satellite or Internet broadcasting is growing, staying, but is not a revolution.

The End of Television

Television continuing in a new form is what CBC should hope for as a broadcaster. TV was linear, but is now showing up on more and more devices however and whenever you want. Video blogs do not replace this medium; for them to match the production and content creation levels of television, the same bureaucracy would need to be recreated.

Portable devices can show both professional content and amateur content. The Internet enables this equality and opportunity; it doesn’t mean the end of big media. There's a shift in delivery, not in the inevitability of big players coming into existence.

The End of Print

Print is dying, CBC would have us understand, because of blogging growth. Regular people’s blogs are becoming self-sustained small-businesses -- that is definitely a fact. The consensus of the interviews is that the gatekeeper is removed, resulting in a more active democracy. CBC’s failure to focus on this interactivity damages the overall discussion.

Journalists interviewed in the episode reject the power of bloggers; claiming they lack credibility. What they have that these journalists don’t is the collective intelligence. Margaret Atwood claims there is a physical connection to books; they are convenient and real. These are the sentiments of past generations. The Internet may only access 5% of the world’s knowledge, but how much does a book access? How much does a library? The Internet is growing and expanding; it is ahead now and will always be ahead.

Audio, Video, and Text are here to stay. Devices change and evolve. Technological advances consolidate many access methods into few, but that doesn’t change the structure of the system. Big media exists because popularity happens; because there is money to be made. CBC may be right that paper, television sets, and radio receivers are on their way out, but the industry isn’t. Integration and consolidation is the future.


Bill O'Reilly's Blogger Witch-hunt

O'Reilly, Fox, TerkelMaking fun of Bill O'Reilly on a blog might be a bad idea, unless you enjoy being stalked by his producers. I think it's safe to say the O'Reilly Factor won't be hunting me down, but they recently attacked a blogger over at Think Progress. (Image: Huffington Post) Earlier today, The Huffington Post reported on a confrontation between between a O'Reilly Factor reporter and a blogger. Bill O'Reilly's henchmen followed a Think Progress blogger around on her vacation following comments she posted on the blog.

Basically what happened was the blogger pointed out the irony of Bill O'Reilly speaking for a group that helps rape victims because he has placed blame on raped women on his show before. The following comments, via The Huffington Post, were said by O'Reilly on the subject:

"Now Moore, Jennifer Moore, 18, on her way to college. She was 5-foot-2, 105 pounds, wearing a miniskirt and a halter top with a bare midriff. Now, again, there you go. So every predator in the world is gonna pick that up at two in the morning. She's walking by herself on the West Side Highway, and she gets picked up by a thug. All right. Now she's out of her mind, drunk."

Here's a video of O'Reilly's response to the blooger, Amanda Terkel, during a recent show:

So let's summarize that clip; he says:
  • The blogger is evil
  • Attacking him was aimed at hurting the rape foundation
  • NBC is a lie-filled news broadcast
  • NBC controls the Blogosphere
  • He doesn't defend his statements, only that they were 3 years ago
This is so filled with hypocrisy it's beyond belief. This is FOX! What more? O'Reilly dispatched a producer to stalk a female blogger who questioned him on rape. The producer asks leading, weird questions.

If this distortion wasn't enough, he insists NBC is the heart of all evil. I don't know what to think about this conspiracy theory, but it's really over the top. O'Reilly should have owned up for his comments, played something to prove his comments were out of context, or offered some defense. But he didn't. Maybe that's because there is no defense for such comments as the one I posted earlier.

So why do you guys think O'Reilly targeted a small blogger and not the hosts at MSNBC or other major outlets reporting this? Maybe because he can't bully them on vacations and get away with it.


AIG Renaming Insurance Operations (?!)

AIG, AIU, RenameThe "AIG" brand name has apparently become too tainted over the past few months to appeal to customers. So yesterday, at the AIG headquarters in New York, the sign that proudly displayed the AIG logo is now blank. (Image: MSNBC) As most of my devoted readers would know, AIG has caused quite a bit of trouble in recent weeks. Whether dishing out bonuses to no-longer-serving executives or having the pleasure of being associated with Rush Limbaugh, AIG has stayed in the news. So, what i pseudo s this-publicly-owned company going to be called?

Well, since "AIG" is so tainted, they decided to call the new company AIU Holdings, LLC. Yes, AIG's major insurance division is now called AIU: American International Underwriters. Much better; problem solved. To be clear, AIG still exists as a parent company, but the property/casualty insurance division -- that covers items such as car, business, and home insurance -- is now AIU Holdings, LLC.

Who would ever associate AIU with AIG though? AIU sounds like a very different company. Not to mention how much better it is to say AIU than AIG. Sarcasm aside (that was sarcasm), what exactly is AIG trying to accomplish? Well, actually it may be simpler than it seems. As mentioned in the MSNBC report, AIU will eventually have its own initial public offering. This means that AIU will get to sell stock to the market and receive its own cash infusion. Not too shabby.

Here's MSNBC's television report on the renaming of AIG's major division:

This is going to be an interesting week...


Monday, March 23, 2009

Palin Flip-Flopping on Stimulus

Palin, StimulusAs I mentioned in an earlier post, Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska has rejected stimulus money after lobbying for the bill weeks earlier. Since then, she has decided to reject only half of the money, and now recently has decided to take it all. (Image: Huffington Post) Palin has drawn the ire of several pundits quick to point out that she had flip-flopped on this in a similar way to how she flip-flopped on funding for the Bridge to Nowhere. For those of you who forget, she supported the bridge before denouncing the project while keeping the money.

Palin recently annoyed news agencies by dispatching her communications director to challenge ABC for reporting on her earmark requests. This type of behaviour adds to the amusement factor of how she deals with, what many Republican pundits call, government welfare. Alaska is a per-capita leader on earmark requests and is a big beneficiary of the stimulus bill.

I want to make the order of events clear here, because I find it really ridiculous:
  1. Palin goes to D.C. to lobby for stimulus bill
  2. Palin states desire to reject money
  3. Palin thinks she might take half of the money
  4. Palin willing to take it all
Did everyone get that? This is just silly. It's more of the same from the campaign. I thought it would be fitting to leave you with a clip summarizing the beginning of Palin's downfall. It call comes back to the money. Here's an MSNBC report via YouTube.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Bush Torture Memos To Be Declassified

Torture, MemosReports surfaced today that memos on the torture of detainees considered to be of "high value" at U.S. prison camps will be declassified soon. These memos are said to reveal disturbing practices by the CIA during the Bush Administration. (Image: Newsweek) This news comes a week after former Vice President Dick Cheney appeared on CNN's State of the Union with John King, claiming that Obama's anti-torture policies hurt the security of the United States. So, what's at stake here?

Well, first and foremost is the image of the United States. No matter who the state is torturing, it reflects badly on the morals of the country. Performing barbaric torture is not taking the high road, which is what the United States should do. America views itself as the leader of the free word, but this type of behaviour could seriously discredit that image.

Also affected by the coming declassification of these memos is the movement to investigate the Bush Administration. A commission, being referred to as the truth commission, has been demanded by a growing number of legislators to investigate the practices of the CIA and other agencies between 2000 and 2008.

The goal of this commission is to reveal what went wrong in order to move forward correctly. However, despite these commendable goals, the end result will likely be an embarrassing report on the damaging practices of intelligence agencies under Bush. As mentioned earlier, Obama has already ordered the stop of torture practices. Legislators close to his administration support the cries for a truth commission and, as evidenced by these memo declassifications, Obama does as well.

Moving forward, I believe a commission is important. It may hurt the U.S. image in the short-term, but it will improve the country in the long-term. These memos will likely be enough to get the commission going.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Harper Dividing Country; CBC Complacent again

Galloway, CanadaPrime Minister Stephen Harper is again trying to divide Canadians sharply on issues. Meanwhile, the CBC seems to be practicing Yellow Journalism yet again as they report on the latest move by the current government. (Image: BBC) Stephen Harper's government decided to bar British Member of Parliament George Galloway from Canada due to supposed links to Hamas. Hamas has been deemed a terrorist organization by Canada; Galloway is accused of funding Hamas because of his attempts at providing relief to Palestinians after the 2008 invasion by Isreal.

The ties are weak at best, but Galloway is outspoken in his support for Palestinians and for peace in the Middle East. His support of Palestine has drawn negative attention from Jewish groups who see Galloway's efforts as supporting a group that seeks to destroy Isreal. Harper is playing into these divisions and politicizing the issue. So what has the CBC done that I find questionable?

Well, in the printed Globe and Mail and practically all results of a Google Image Search, Galloway is wearing normal attire, but CBC selected an image of Galloway wearing a Keffiyeh scarf -- a traditional patterned headdress for Arab men that is now often wrongly associated with Islamic terrorism. This type of association is often made by those who are passingly aware of the symbol. CBC's selection of this image is questionable at best -- the image goes one further due the the background architecture. Here is the image used by the CBC:

CBC, Galloway

This is the second time I have blogged about irresponsible reporting by the CBC in a way that seems to satisfy the current government. Seeing this trend makes me question the CBC's independence from the government. I would expect this type of Yellow Journalism from a small-time, openly-biased paper like the London Free Press, but the CBC is supposed to be Canada's public, neutral news organization. The ironic part is that the CBC pulls such a manipulative trick while writing about free speech.

I encourage you all to read the Globe and Mail article and compare the background information they give to the information the CBC gives. Whether I agree or not with Galloway, I think everyone deserves a fair shake. Manipulative journalism denies everyone the information they need.


Friday, March 20, 2009

Accessible Politics: United States Edition

Confused, McCainWow, this one was hard to do. This summary of the American political system has a very narrow focus, so you won't know everything after reading this. This should straighten a few things out though. (Image: CNN) So, the American system is very complicated compared to the Canadian system. Why? The system in the U.S. was designed to have many fail-safes -- the end result has been a lot of bureaucracy and its fair share of corruption.

What Exactly is Congress?

Congress is a simple, but complicated thing. The U.S. Congress is composed of the Senate and House of Representatives. This can be a bit confusing because the title "Congressman" or "Member of Congress" usually refers specifically to a member of the House of Representatives. Despite this oddity, Senators are also members of Congress and, with a few exceptions described below, the two groups that compose Congress are equally important to the legislative process.


The House has 435 voting members and several non-voting members. The Speaker of the House, currently Nancy Pelosi, maintains order and has some agenda setting authority. Behind the Vice President, the Speaker is the second in line for Presidency in any situation where the President loses power. The two parties' House of Representative leaders are the "Majority Leader" and "Minority leader" -- these leaders are elected by the Members of Congress of their party and help set party agenda.

The House of Representatives and Senate both must approve legislation for it to pass, but each has special rights the other lacks. The most important ability of the House is to impeach a President or vote to elect the President if the electoral college is tied. Members of Congress serve four-year terms and represent smaller districts than Senators.


Senators serve six year terms and represent large areas with diverse populations -- as a result there are only 100 Senators. The Senate has Majority and Minority leaders as well -- they have similar power as their House counterparts. The Senate is under the leadership of the Vice President, who is first in line for Presidency if the President loses power.

The longer term of Senators is designed to provide balance throughout electoral cycles. While they lack the power to impeach or elect Presidents, the Senate is responsible for many foreign relation tasks the House is not allowed to handle, such as the signing of treaties.

Where does the President fit in?

The President of the United States is in charge of the executive branch of government. Where as the U.S. Congress handles legislative endeavors, the Executive branch handles most tasks associated with running the country. The President has power to set agenda and oppose legislation by vetoing bills presented to him by Congress. He also can issue executive orders that are orders by the President to shape laws and governing practices.

As mentioned earlier, it is possible for a President to lose power. This happens if the President dies, is impeached, or is incapacitated.

Some Other Key Details:

Party Chairmen

Michael Steele, the Chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC) has recently drawn some fire for going on his own marketing campaign to rebrand the party. But, this is not odd behaviour for party chairmen. The Chairmen of the RNC or Democratic National Committee (DNC) are not directly leaders of the party. The RNC and DNC are committees which set the party platform as well as fund and plan campaigns. While Steele is doing his job, his critics may be justified in saying he isn't doing it well.

Seeking Nomination

To seek nomination for the President, a candidate must take part in publicly voted primaries and caucuses to win delegates. These delegates vote on the nominees when at their party's convention, typically two to three months before the election. Delegates are not bound by the will of their electorate and there are members of the RNC and DNC with special privilege to vote how they wish alongside delegates.

There are many complicated ins-and-outs of this process, but this process of citizens voting in primaries and caucuses is why U.S. election cycles seem so long.

The Electoral College

The Electoral College votes on the President of the United States in line with the will of members' electorate. Electoral Votes are granted to states according to population. Like delegates, voters of the Electoral College are not bound to vote as the public has voted, but it is extremely rare for them to defy the will of the people. It is possible for the electoral college to be tied at a score of 273-273, but this is rare. As mentioned earlier, if this does occur, the House of Representatives votes on the President.


I hope you have a better understanding after reading this, but I must admit that it has been hard to compile and took longer than expected. I am adding a sidebar widget for the Introduction, Canadian, and this edition of the Accessible Politics series. It will always be there if you ever get confused by the political maze of either system.

Most of this information comes by way of Wikipedia, and, if interested, I encourage you to read the articles on the U.S. political system.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Join Thinking:Revised on Facebook!

Facebook, networkingAs you may have noticed over the past few days, Thinking:Revised now has a Facebook presence. What's this all about? Why Facebook? (Image: Facebook) Simply put, the Facebook page for Thinking:Revised is a way to spread word about the blog. It's also a way for all of you to show your support for the site and get an advanced heads-up about posts. That said, why Facebook? What are the goals of this little venture into social networking?

Facebook is simple and few people don't have it. The page lets you share Thinking:Revised with any of your friends you think might be interested in the blog. The networking potential of a simple page like this is huge. To help me gain some new followers, click on the link earlier in this post or in the blog sidebar and become a fan of the page on Facebook. If you think you know anyone who would like Thinking:Revised, pass the link along to them or use the "Share" button on the Facebook page.

Thanks to all of you who visit daily; and, of course, thanks to those of you who join or share the Facebook page. Rest assured, I've got some good content lined up for tomorrow.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Limbaugh: American People are "Peasants with Pitchforks"

Limbaugh, Obama, AIGI feel like Rush-Watch is becoming a staple of my content here. As much as I really don't want to talk about Rush, he just says too many over the top and ridiculous things to ignore (Image: What's the latest attack thrown down by Limbaugh? Well, he compared the American people who are angry over AIG bonuses to "peasants with pitchforks" and the legislators trying to recover the funds as communist dictators.

Here's an audio clip posted on DailyKos by way of MediaMatters:

So what's going on here? Are we all getting pulled into some huge communist dictator situation because we're demanding a pay-limit on executives and bonus returns? Well, you know, maybe we would be -- if AIG wasn't 80% owned by the American taxpayers.

I ask you guys, who's reading the teleprompter for direction? Obama and congress who are outraged over what's happened or Rush Limbaugh for sticking to Republican talking points?

I'll leave you guys with another clip from Limbaugh's show (directly from MediaMatters) in which he mocks Barney Frank and the American people alike, claiming there is "hate" directed at capitalism:


Carlson Still Upset With Jon Stewart

Carlson, StewartThis one has a bit of a background story. Tucker Carlson -- previously a failed host on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox -- has returned to CNN as an analyst. Carlson experienced the most success early in his career at CNN, hosting the show CrossFire. (Image: YouTube) Jon Stewart fits into this because Stewart is often credited with destroying CrossFire by lecturing the hosts during his appearance (video later). Tucker tended to make huge claims, eventually get caught in lies, and became a joke to viewers. So, what's this all about?

As many of you know, Jon Stewart recently ripped into Jim Cramer on his show (Strong language in link), and Cramer accepted the criticism of himself and MSNBC without much opposition. Now, with this in the news, Tucker Carlson appears on CNN's Reliable Sources to attack Jon Stewart:

From that clip, Carlson seems a bit confused about what partisan means in practice. In the United States there are two political parties representing the two sides of politics. Just because Carlson wants to pretend he isn't associated with the Republican party, I would bet that he has never voted for a Democrat in any election. He may not exemplify the party-ties part of partisan, but he is exactly what's wrong with the political system. He won't listen to reason, only his side.

Jon Stewart was not even discussing politics on his show, as much as Carlson likes to pretend Stewart's outrage over CNBC's irresponsibility is due to partisan politics. CNBC got media attention recently by going after the budget, and they were put under a microscope as a result. Cramer went after Stewart as a result of Stewart insulting CNBC generally, and the result was Cramer getting ripped by Stewart for being totally irresponsible.

Carlson needs to let the past go and grow up a bit. He's kept around for entertainment, but he ends up just coming off as a bit stupid. I'll leave you with this clip of Jon Stewart talking sense on CrossFire, leading to its demise:


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Fox Says Obama Administration Worse Than Madoff

Madoff, Obama, FoxBernie Madoff is the recently convicted man behind the largest ponzi scheme in history. A ponzi scheme, practically a pyramid scheme, claims to be an investment, but pays returns to its investors with the money of other investors. (Image: DailyKos) Basically, what this means is that some scammer pretends to be investing money in the market, but is really just taking the money for their own use. Madoff got away with his scheme for decades -- robbing thousands of investors of billions.

So, what has the Obama administration done to be compared to Bernie Madoff's scam? Well, according to Fox the bailouts are equally big schemes aimed at ruining the lives of many. Check out this video posted on DailyKos:

If this isn't yellow journalism, I don't know what is. How do you feel about this? Outraged? Annoyed? Or maybe you're like me and are just getting sick of Fox pretending to be a news organization. If this is how the Conservative movement continues to answer the positive message that Obama carried to victory, they'll be in for a shock the next election.


Poll Results: America has a Huge Influence

American politicsAbout a week ago, I placed a poll in the sidebar asking you guys what level of influence you thought United States politics had on the world. It seems there is a clear consensus that the U.S. has a pretty big influence. (image: CNN) I agree with these results, as I'm sure most of you can tell by my endless flow of U.S. news on this blog. Sure, Michael Steele acting foolish doesn't hurt or help Canada and the world; but, generally speaking, U.S. policies set the precedence for other countries to follow.

Here are the results of the poll:

American politics, results

While a few disagree with my stance (and the stance of the majority), I think this paints a pretty clear picture. During the last election cycle in Canada, the United States Presidential election seemed to take up more of the newspapers. Is this a bad thing? Maybe.

We often hear concerns over the amount of American content pumped into Canadian households; should those concerns include political news? I think politics is different. It is like other content disputes in that the U.S. content is generally more interesting, but in this case it actually matters tremendously. Having more Canadian movies, television, or radio helps to ensure an independent cultural industry, but is Canada's democracy threatened by U.S. political news?

Maybe it is. When we examine the last election cycle and assume my observations were correct about American election content outweighing Canadian election content, it may explain why Canada's turnout was a nearly historic low. Do Canadians care more about American politics? Hopefully all it takes is an inspirational figure in our system. When will we get that? Who knows...

Look for a new poll tomorrow!