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Gender: Male
Hometown: Sacramento, California
Member since: Wed Nov 17, 2010, 01:02 PM
Number of posts: 8,559

Journal Archives

You are more likely to be killed by an arrogant cop.....

Posted by Playinghardball | Fri Oct 17, 2014, 12:58 PM (10 replies)

Toon:GOP 2016

Jack Ohman - Sacramento Bee
Posted by Playinghardball | Thu Oct 16, 2014, 07:15 PM (1 replies)

Toon: EBOLA!!

From Jack Ohman Editorial cartoonist The Sacramento Bee

Posted by Playinghardball | Thu Oct 16, 2014, 06:56 PM (9 replies)

Elizabeth Warren: The choice in IA is clear: Bruce Braley

Elizabeth WarrenVerified account
‏@elizabethforma The choice in IA is clear: @brucebraley supports #bankonstudents. Ernst wants to get rid of fed student loans
Posted by Playinghardball | Thu Oct 16, 2014, 06:40 PM (1 replies)

WATCH: Russell Brand Gets Kicked Out of Fox News Headquarters

For the last several weeks, actor Russell Brand has been filing regular reports on his YouTube channel that target various Fox News segments from hosts like Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity. In turn, his commentary has drawn the ire of Hannity along with The Five’s Greg Gutfeld, who denounced him as “commie scum” and a “fashionable fascist.”

Now, Brand has brought his web show “The Trews,” directly to the News Corp. building in New York City, where he showed up with his laptop this week in an attempt to confront the Fox News network head-on. Brand was doing his regular routine against one of O’Reilly’s recent segments when he was approached by building security.

“You can’t film here, this is private property,” he man told Brand, referring to the plaza in front of Fox headquarters. “You want to get arrested?” he asked when the actor initially refused to leave.

Later, Brand went into the lobby and attempted to get upstairs, claiming that he had been booked on Hannity but that the show canceled his appearance. “Tell Sean Hannity I dropped by to chat,” he told a receptionist.

After failing to make his way into the building, Brand said into the camera, “Whether the subject is Islamophobia or it’s just the freedom to be in a lobby, Fox is a difficult organization to work with. Whether it’s canceling booking for the Hannity show or kicking you out of their building, which they claim is owned by Beacon Management, it’s very difficult to have true freedom.”

Mediaite reached out to Fox News and according to Hannity executive producer Porter Berry, Brand was never booked on the show.

Watch video below, via Fox News:


Posted by Playinghardball | Thu Oct 16, 2014, 01:39 PM (17 replies)

Majority of Americans believe Ebola spreads through air: poll

(Reuters) - A majority of Americans believe the Ebola virus can be spread by sneezing or coughing and more than a third fear that they or someone in their immediate family may contract the deadly disease in the next year, according to a Harvard University poll.

Some 85 percent of people who responded to the Harvard School of Public Health/SSRS poll said they thought the disease spread through sneezing or coughing, despite the fact that the World Health Organization regards that type of transmission as unlikely.

The spread of the disease to nurses in Dallas who treated the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the United States likely raised Americans' concerns about how the virus is transmitted, said Gillian SteelFisher, a Harvard researcher.

"The fact that Ebola has spread in this context raises questions for people," SteelFisher said in an interview. "There is a lot of uncertainty about how Ebola is being spread in the public and they are basically saying they believe it is likely to be spread in any way that seems logical to them, without knowing the mechanics of contagion."
Posted by Playinghardball | Thu Oct 16, 2014, 01:33 PM (45 replies)

On Ebola and the Media Panic Industry

By Liberal Librarian

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the past few weeks—and if you have, you may want to skip this and stay there where it’s safe—you may have noticed the media has a shiny new toy.

The Ebola outbreak which has reached our shores—infecting less than ten people—has our failed media experiment in a veritable apoplexy. CNN, looking for something to replace it’s 24/7 coverage of MH370 and recapture those golden days of summer, has joined MSNBC and Fox in providing a constant stream of information on the breakout. And by “constant stream of information”, I mean dialing the panic button up to 12 and reporting as if half of the country has been infected with the virus. Rather than a contained outbreak, this Ebola infestation is a new Black Death, scything through the population with grim glee.

Now, I know that it’s hard filling in the time between commercials. A news producer’s job is never easy. But there seems to be something disreputable about media organizations latching on to a very minor outbreak and building it up to be an existential threat to humanity. And, of course, the coverage was nowhere near as manic when the Ebola pandemic was restricted to west African nations. Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea are facing real catastrophic consequences to their economies and social fabric; but, they’re far away, and in Africa, so not worthy of foaming at the mouth coverage.

When something like Ebola hits, the real force multiplier is panic and ignorance. Many people in villages in affected African nations turn on the health workers, thinking they’re bringing the disease. But the media and governments in those countries are trying to stanch the spread of fear, so that the disease can be contained. Here in the US, however, the media, rather than providing calm reasoned information, is doing the opposite, entertaining every wild theory, covering our minor outbreak as if the Apocalypse is nigh, and stoking the very fear and panic which can turn a minor infection into the cataclysm they claim they’re trying to avoid. Is it air transmissible? Should you invest in a hazmat suit? Should you hole up in your basement with canned beans and a stock of weapons? In other words, the media isn’t helping.

But the media hasn’t helped matters on anything of import for decades. Just before Ebola, it was the specter of ISIL cadres swimming across the Rio Grande to wreak havoc on American cities. The US media has settled into a routine of injecting a huge dose of panic into topics which require calmness and reason, because, again, they have to fill up those minutes between commercials somehow. Anyone who thinks that our news media’s first principle is to inform the public should have that notion knocked out of his head by its performance for the past two weeks. The media’s first mission is to deliver eyeballs to its advertisers.

However, it’s finding it increasingly difficult to do that. Ratings keep plummeting. Fox, the “number 1 rated news network”, has a peak viewership which would doom any network entertainment show.

Yet despite the low viewership, that’s not to say that cable news doesn’t have influence. Of course it does. And that influence is pernicious. It dumbs down every topic of complexity to an indigestible mush. The “liberal media” is a myth, like unicorns, or the check being in the mail. Cable news is there to deliver entertainment by other means. But what makes it especially destructive is that entertainment shouldn’t be anywhere in its brief. The press has a major role to play in any democracy. It’s a forum for debate, and a means of conveying analysis and comment. The media has jettisoned any such pretense, instead engaged in a quest for the next hot story which will fill in all that time.

And nothing sells more than panic. When panic grips, people watch. Not to be informed, but to have a sense of community in the panic. Atomized in our homes and cars, seeing a news organization feeding back our fears to us is somehow comforting. “See, we’re right to be scared. The news says so.” We’re like junkies; the news media wouldn’t act the way it does if there weren’t buyers.

As I always say at the end of one of my media critiques: turn off the television. None of the cable news outfits offer anything of substance. They’re metastasized gummy bears, sugar and calories and nothing more. The sooner they either reform or go the way of other failed technologies, the better it will be for our democracy.

Posted by Playinghardball | Thu Oct 16, 2014, 01:28 PM (2 replies)

Sen. Bernie Sanders: "If they're too big to fail, they are too big to exist"...

Posted by Playinghardball | Wed Oct 15, 2014, 02:46 PM (4 replies)

Bernie Sanders: VA Seeks Personnel Nationwide

By: Rick Jurgens

Valley News

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Lebanon — Caregiver shortages that have forced veterans to wait for care from the Veterans Health Administration are early indicators of a more general problem in health care, the Cabinet secretary who oversees the 340,000-employee medical care system that serves the nation’s veterans said Monday.

“We are approaching a national train wreck,” Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald said in a speech to about 150 people at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center that was broadcast on closed circuit television at colleges in northern New England.

Nationally, the VA needs to hire 20,000 to 30,000 new medical personnel, said U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., chairman the Veterans Affairs Committee, who joined McDonald for the event.

“We do not have enough doctors,” Sanders said. “We do not have enough nurses.”

In White River Junction, the VA has 100 vacancies to fill, said Deborah Amdur, director of the VA Medical Center there.

Posted by Playinghardball | Wed Oct 15, 2014, 02:42 PM (1 replies)

There is a popular saying in Texas that goes like this:

Posted by Playinghardball | Wed Oct 15, 2014, 02:26 PM (36 replies)
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