CNN’s harvest of shame

CNN‘s desperate attempts to raise its flagging ratings have led to actions that can be viewed as either sad or comical. CNN spent months devoting the majority of its coverage to the missing Malaysia Airlines flight, MH 370, beyond all reasonable proportion given that there were no new developments for days on end. The result was hours of cringworthy speculation, including the infamous moment where Don Lemon asked:

[W]hat if it was something, fully, that we don’t really understand? A lot of people have been asking me about that, about black holes and on and on and on, and all these conspiracy theories. Let’s look at this, ah, Noah says, ‘what else can you think? Black hole? Bermuda triangle?’ And then Deji says, ‘Huh? Just like in the movie LOST?’ It’s also referencing the Twilight Zone, which is a very similar plot. That’s what people are saying…  is it preposterous…?

Now that even CNN has had to curtail its MH 370 coverage due to lack of any news, CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker recently gave some hints as to his plans for CNN’s direction. What emerged is an audience-driven format that seems to bear little resemblance to actual news coverage.

GOP Death Spiral report card

Cliven Bundy

Cliven Bundy

After the Republican Party’s losses in the 2012 elections at the Presidential, Senate and House of Representatives, the GOP released an “Autopsy” report that called for Republican outreach to women, blacks, gays, Latinos and Asians. Several months later, Republican U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham said that the GOP was in a “demographic death spiral” that would continue unless and until the Republicans pass immigration reform and “get it off the table” in order to “get back in good graces with the Hispanic community.” Let’s see how that outreach is working for Republicans one year later:

Outside the belly of the beast at Ronald Reagan Library

IMG_0431
What happens when a couple of Democrats show up at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California? Well, the first thing is that they don’t go inside, because admission is $16 per person, and what sane Democrat would spend $16 to honor Ronald Reagan’s memory? But the outside of the Library is very telling, and of course they let you in the gift shop, because Republicans. We took photos that tell the full sordid story, so read on after the jump:

Bite-sizing climate change

Hurricane Sandy flooding, October 2012

Hurricane Sandy flooding, October 2012

Today, the U.S. Government released its annual National Climate Assessment (NCA) and it is deservedly scary. Just last month, the United Nations released its landmark report on climate change, and it also was duly scary. Both of these reports, like the ones published before them, indicate that climate change is here, that it is largely caused by human activity such as burning of fossil fuels, that climate change is partly responsible for severe weather events like storms and drought, that climate change, if unchecked, will cause massive economic and other upheavals, and that climate change can be mitigated by lowering greenhouse gas emissions and using more clean renewable energy. However, many people seem to find climate change too big and too scary, and thus feel frozen to do anything about it. Instead of treating climate change as such a big scary problem, as these reports often do, perhaps it is now time to bite-size climate change in order to solve it.

Messaging Maxim #7: You get the legislation or you get the issue

Thor's hammer, San Diego Comic-Con 2011

Thor’s hammer, San Diego Comic-Con 2011

Once again, Republicans in Congress have shot down a good proposal from the Democrats, this time a federal minimum wage hike. Instead of being dejected or just complaining about the “party of ‘no,’” Democrats should recognize that they have an important weapon, and it’s the hammer of having an issue on which to run.

Cliven Bundy’s problem isn’t racism, it’s hypocrisy


The media frenzy over Cliven Bundy kicked into high gear a little over a week ago, when Bundy gave a “news conference” (see video above) in which he talked about “the negro” now being “on government subsidy” and having “nothing to do”:

They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, were they better off as slaves picking cotton, having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidies?

President Obama slams Republicans on Affordable Care Act

President Obama held a press conference yesterday (see video above), and it turned into a masterful attack by the President against Republicans on the Affordable Care Act:

Everytown for Gun Safety takes on NRA with ad focusing on moms

Mayors against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America have joined forces to form Everytown for Gun Safety, a new group dedicated to fighting the National Rifle Association to campaign for sensible gun laws. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is putting his name, and at least $50 million of his money, into Everytown’s campaign.

Is President Obama getting his Democratic mojo back?


Yesterday, President Barack Obama gave a stirring speech at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas, to mark the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson‘s signing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. In his speech (see video above), Obama talked about America’s struggle over civil rights for minorities, the heroism of President Johnson in getting the law passed, and the continued fight over civil rights taking place in America today. Watching President Obama speak from his heart, one has to wonder whether the President has gotten his Democratic mojo back, and whether he intends to continue espousing Democratic Party ideals for the next three years.

How to beat the Republican billionaires

U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court

Last Wednesday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission left many Democrats and progressives dejected. The ruling from the Republican-dominated Supreme Court essentially removed any limits on aggregate political contributions by individuals, meaning that Republican billionaires like the Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson now can buy even more members of Congress and more elections by pumping more money into false TV attack ads against Democrats. So it’s the end of the world for Democrats, right? We say “wrong!” While Democrats of course should work to reverse McCutcheon and its predecessor Citizens United, here’s how Democrats can win elections in the meantime despite the Republicans’ dark money advantages: