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RandySF's Journal
RandySF's Journal
April 22, 2014

NBC Reportedly Hired A Psychological Consultant To Fix 'Meet The Press'

Desperate to reverse the fortunes of one of its flagship programs, NBC reportedly commissioned a psychological consultant to interview the friends and family of "Meet the Press" host David Gregory.

According to the Washington Post, the work was done last year to help turn around the Sunday morning talk show that once dominated the genre but has fallen to third place behind its rivals on CBS and ABC.

A spokeswoman for NBC told WaPo the consultant, who even interviewed Gregory's wife, was brought in "to get perspective and insight from people who know him best.”

The psychological assessment "struck some at NBC as odd, given that Gregory has been employed there for nearly 20 years," according to WaPo.

Gregory took over as moderator of "Meet the Press" in 2008 following the death of Tim Russert, who hosted the show for nearly two decades. With Russert at the helm, the show reigned over the Sunday morning landscape.

But despite the current ratings woes, NBC News president Deborah Turness told the Huffington Post last month that the network is "doubling down on David Gregory right now."

Update, 11:30 a.m.: On Monday morning, NBC spokeswoman Meghan Pianta disputed the Washington Post's report. She told Politico in an email that the network had hired a "brand consultant—not, as reported, a psychological one."


April 21, 2014

New poll proves that Stupid won the war for American minds.

Americans have little doubt about the scientific evidence that smoking can cause cancer. However, a bigger portion of Americans still the question some of the basic concepts of modern science, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll.

In the survey, with a representative sample of 1,012 U.S. adults age 18 or older, respondents were asked to rate their confidence in several statements about science and medicine.

What the survey revealed was surprising. Overall, Americans show more skepticism than confidence in the scientific concept that a Big Bang created the universe 13.8 billion years ago.

There was also considerable doubt about the science behind global warming and the age of the Earth.

The most broadly accepted scientific statement was that smoking causes cancer, with a whopping 82 percent of respondents saying they were extremely or very confident that it did.


April 20, 2014

Looks like CNN moved onto the next tragedy.

CNN must have squeezed every drop of milk they're going to get out of the Malaysia Airlines story. I looked over at their website and the screaming headlines are all about the Korean ferry disaster. They've devolved into nothing more than peddlers of disaster porn.

April 19, 2014

Mitch McConnell hindered harassment investigation of Bob Packwood.

With Republicans now in the majority, McConnell, as chair of the Senate ethics committee, took control of the Packwood inquiry. And the investigation suddenly slowed down. As the committee missed its projected deadline for voting on public hearings by several months, McConnell dodged questions about where the investigation stood.

In mid-May, the committee announced it had acquired sufficient evidence to hold public hearings on the allegations. Its investigation had substantiated "18 instances of kissing, grabbing, groping or propositioning women," often by force, the New York Times reported.

It was unprecedented for such serious ethics charges not to result in public hearings. But McConnell battled to keep the ensuing proceedings against Packwood closed. With Democrats demanding public hearings, McConnell canceled an ethics committee vote on holding such hearings without explanation. In the following weeks, he allowed committee debates over whether to hold public proceedings to drag on without a vote.

In July, fed-up Senate Democrats pushed for a vote before the full Senate on holding hearings. McConnell responded with a threat, according to the Washington Post:

Senate sources said McConnell told [Sen. Barbara] Boxer on Tuesday that he would hold [ethics] hearings on two prominent Democrats if Boxer persisted in plans to force the issue of public hearings on Packwood.

According to the sources, McConnell approached committee member Barbarba Mikulski, D-Md., and told her, "You go find Barbara Boxer and tell her if she brings this amendment to the Senate floor, I'll be having hearings on Daschle and Chappaquiddick."

This was a reference to the 1969 incident involving the drowning of a woman companion of Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and to allegations earlier this year that Senate Minority Leader Thomas Daschle, D-S.D., may have intervened improperly on behalf of South Dakota air charter company.

The sources said Boxer confronted McConnell later and asked him if he was threatening her.

He responded, "I'm not threatening you; I'm promising you," a source said.

The Associated Press recounted it this way:

"I want you to tell her (Boxer) if she does that, we will offer amendments for hearings on Daschle and Chappaquidick. It will work both ways," McConnell reportedly said. "I want you to tell her that right away."

April 16, 2014

I still cannot get used to working on Good Friday

I was born and raised in the Great Lakes part of the Midwest and, throughout all my life in school, college and work as a local public employee, I had Good Friday off. In the eight years since I cannot get used to the idea of going into work that day. I'm not very religious, but it still bothers my Midwestern sensibilities to the point that I take it off every year. Has anyone ensue gone through this or something similar?

April 9, 2014

Brown Headed for a Landslide Win in California

A new Field poll in California shows Gov. Jerry Brown (D) with an all-time high approval rate of 59%.

In the June open primary -- with candidates from all parties competing together -- Brown leads with 57%, followed by Tim Donnelly (R) at 17% and all other candidates in the low single digits.


April 9, 2014

9.3 million more people have health coverage because of Obama

RAND’s Health Reform Opinion Study (HROS), a survey conducted using the RAND American Life Panel, allows us to estimate how many people have become enrolled in all sources of health care coverage since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The analysis presented here examines changes in health insurance enrollment between September 2013 and March 2014; overall, we estimate that 9.3 million more people had health care coverage in March 2014, lowering the unin- sured rate from 20.5 percent to 15.8 percent. This increase in coverage is driven not only by enrollment in health insurance marketplace plans, but also by gains in employer-sponsored insurance and Medicaid. Enrollment in employer-sponsored insurance plans increased by 8.2 million and Medicaid enroll- ment increased by 5.9 million, although some individuals did lose insurance. We also found that 3.9 million people are now covered through the state and federal marketplace—the so- called insurance exchanges—and less than 1 million people who previously had individual-market insurance became unin- sured during the period in question. While the survey cannot tell if the people in this latter group lost their insurance due to cancellation or because they simply felt the cost was too high, the overall number is very small, representing less than 1 per- cent of people between the ages of 18 and 64.


April 9, 2014

Yep, the party elders are rallying around Jeb!

Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour defended Jeb Bush’s recent comments that some illegal immigration is an “act of love,” saying it’s very similar to what former President Ronald Reagan thought.

“What people want you to do: Tell the truth,” Barbour said Tuesday at the LBJ Presidential Library’s Civil Rights Summit. “And if Jeb feels that way about it — it sort of reminds me of my boss, Ronald Reagan.”

Barbour, who was an aide in Reagan’s administration described what the president used to call the “gates test” during a panel Tuesday with Democratic San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro.

“Ronald Reagan used to say, ‘When the ‘Blame America first’ crowd gets out of hand, then you need to apply the gates test,’” Barbour said.


April 7, 2014

Ron Johnson was asked to keep silent in ex-aide’s alleged assault

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson (Wis.) and his chief of staff did not tell police, Senate or Wisconsin officials that a former aide was allegedly sexually assaulted by a state lawmaker in April 2011, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Johnson and Tony Blando, the senator’s chief of staff, were asked by the woman and her attorney to keep the incident confidential, according to a statement from the Wisconsin Republican’s office.

But when Wisconsin state Rep. Bill Kramer - who had been elected majority leader of the Wisconsin State Assembly in Sept. 2013 - was alleged to have improperly touched and harassed two women at a February fundraiser in Washington, D.C., the former Johnson aide came forward and filed a criminal complaint against him. Kramer was charged on March 28 with two felony counts of second-degree sexual assault stemming from the April 2011 incident.

Kramer has been stripped of the post of majority leader and has announced he will not run for reelection, but he still remains in office.


April 6, 2014

Michigan woman beaten after same-sex marriage featured in the news.

(CNN) -- Nine days after her same-sex wedding, a 28-year-old Michigan woman was set upon on her way home from work, knocked unconscious by three men who kicked and punched her while shouting anti-gay epithets.

"Hey b----, aren't you that f----- from the news?" one of the men asked, according to police.

The assailants in Monday's assault recognized her from local TV news coverage of her wedding, said Derrick Jackson, a spokesman for the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office. She and her partner were among the many gay and lesbian couples to recently make their unions official after a federal court struck down a Michigan amendment restricting marriage to one man and one woman.

The victim, who doesn't want to be identified, got herself to a hospital with significant bruising and swelling to the right side of her face as well as her torso and arm, Jackson said. Police in Washtenaw County -- about 30 miles west of Detroit -- were looking for the attackers.


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Current location: San Francisco, CA
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About RandySF

Partner, father and liberal Democrat. I am a native Michigander living in San Francisco who is a citizen of the world.
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