Archive for the Media Category

Before The Koch Brothers Buy The Tribune Company, Read This Excellent Opinion Piece On Guantanamo

Posted by Matt on Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

Yes, the Koch Brothers are looking to buy more pulpits from which to whine about how rough life is for the Captains of Industry in a country where the top 1% has only captured 93% of all income gains in recent years.

But before this happens, 2 Jenner & Block attorneys who represent Guantanamo detainees managed to sneak in an excellent piece/plea:

I recommend reading in full here, but among the highlights…

Now, more than three years later [after Obama's Executive Order], the prison remains open with 166 prisoners, including 86 men cleared for release in 2010 by the presidential task force! Moreover, in the intervening years, no new reviews have been undertaken. Most of the men still in Guantanamo Bay have been imprisoned there — without charge or trial — for seven to 11 years. Most are locked in small maximum security cells, shackled when moving outside, served poor food, provided third-rate medical care and prohibited from having any visitors except lawyers.


For the first three years of the prison’s existence, captives were held in wire mesh cages and in isolation from the world. Many were subjected to “enhanced interrogation techniques,” otherwise known as torture. They suffered daily degradation, physical and emotional distress, deep depression and a profound sense of hopelessness. Even now, the vast majority of these men — many of them totally innocent of any wrongdoing — have never been charged with a crime or given any hope of a trial at which their involvement in any alleged acts of terrorism could be fairly resolved. It is no wonder that they have reached the point of despair, which in turn has led to the current hunger strike.


The remedy must thus come from our fellow Illinois lawyer, President Obama. There simply is no reason — none — why charges cannot be filed and trials cannot proceed in an orderly manner against those detainees for whom the government has reasonable evidence of guilt, and the remainder returned to their home countries. Despite road blocks imposed by Congress, the president has adequate authority to do this, and we urge him to take steps to exercise that authority. The disgrace that is Guantanamo cuts to the very heart of America’s most fundamental commitment to the rule of law and the elementary concept of justice. It should be dealt with as Obama promised some four years ago.

Our legal system has had no problem charging and trying the Oklahoma City terrorists, individuals who have committed mass murder and other horrifying crimes, including major political assassinations. We are confident that the criminal proceedings against alleged terrorist Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, arrested last week in Watertown, Mass., will once again demonstrate how we respond to horrible acts with fidelity to the law. We should rely on our criminal justice system — the finest in the world — to properly charge and try the individuals at Guantanamo who warrant charges and trials. Although the United States Constitution does not permit preventive detention, that is precisely what we are doing at Guantanamo. To repeat what the president said in January 2009, our nation does not have “to continue with a false choice between our safety and our ideals.”

So the point still stands. Anytime you’re ready…


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Here I Secretly Live Blog Watching “Love Actually” With My Wife

Posted by Matt on Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

This might be my wife’s favorite movie.  I’ve always lied and said, “I’ve seen it,”  and “It sucks,” because (a) I’m an asshole and (b) see ‘A.’  Tonight we watch.  In fact, I have never seen more than a few minutes of it.  Merry Christmas.

  • Is this really opening with a Hugh Grant voice over invoking 9/11 and including the words “Love Actually”?  I can only be pleasantly surprised.
  • So how many of these people does Liam Neeson kill with his skill set?
  • Can’t hold off.  Twist open that wine (ya, it’s a twist off). Made it to “Creative Producers” on opening credits!
  • Hey look Tim from The Office (UK)!
  • So much befuddlement.
  • This new girl is going to be Prime Minister Grant’s “Fiscal Cliff.”
  • Wife, “This movie almost didn’t get made, FYI.”
  • titties. +1
  • I lied. I already watched 4 Weddings and a Funeral with my Mom.  It was so repressed. Everything is crashing down.
  • “I hate her” Not sure who that was intended for.
  • “I love the hopeful music each time they’re going to tell you something good.”
  •  ”I don’t know what he’s been in, but he’s good-looking”
  • 4 Weeks Til Christmas!
  • (ok, not doing ths secretly anymore…)
  • Wife, “This is where they take their subtle digs at America…”  say it ain’t so.
  • Wisconsin babes? Good luck James Cook.
  • Emma Thompson is a fine looking boy.
  • “Let’s turn it up a little bit.”  good idea. you can’t quite hear the dramatic pauses.
  • “This is like my favorite part.”  Part I – (the British TRL Scene)
  • I once watched a porn and the guy was wearing a Santa hat, but there were no other XMas references in the entire scene. The woman started out in business casual.  It was kind of weird.
  • Ah, Portugal. Down South America way.
  • Billy Bob Bush Clinton Johnson Nixon
  • Hugh Grant listing great British achievements. Where is the Kenyan anti-colonial subtext I kept reading about?
  • “How come we don’t say PapiEh Mache?”
  • I wonder if these 2 people who just met and don’t speak the same language but are totally on the same wavelength will get together… and rob a bank, take the teller hostage, then kill her in a marathon session of autoerotic esphixiation before burning her corpse.
  • Keira Knightly shouldn’t go anywhere without the Indian soccer player.
  • “It’s weird she has to tuck her ears in her hat.” indeed.
  • Would Liam Neeson even go after his son if some Chechyn kidnapped him?
  • Correction:  ”Stepson” (exactly)
  • Robert Palmer what the fuck.
  • “Who wears devil horns at Christmas?!”
  • “This is one of my favorite parts of the whole movie!”  Part II (Sex Scene/Linney happy dance)
  •  Wife keeps asking me to judge adults with stuffed animals. Alas…
  • Couple Power Rankings:  1 –  Porn Stand Ins / 2 – Language Barrier / 3 – Grant-Oblivious Lewinsky / 4 – Linney-Handsome Boring Guy / 5. Thompson-Devil Ears-Neeson-Dogma Guy Shitshow / 6- Knightly-Guy Who likes West Wing.
  • Kids, this is a day of marriage (w/no kids):  Work -> travel vaccinations -> fight about baked potatoes -> Love Actually
  • Me:  Are those Linney’s breasts?  Cortney:  ”She believed in this movie enough…”
  • (I really said, “Tits”)
  • 1 Week To Christmas!
  • Silly Rabbit. There are no condoms in Fond du Lac.
  • Is Barney still around?  that fucking guy.
  • Man, I was just thinking this movie was missing some Matchbox 20.
  • Alright, these biscuits in the Wisconsin townie bar might as well be anatomically correct Abominable Snowmen.
  • Betty Draper is fucking miserable! Don’t do it!  (yeah ok, do it.)
  • In Love Actually 2, they rip off my story about meeting a single mother in a Middleton, WI dive bar and then having her mother (grandma) drive me back to my car in the morning. (It’s not going make the trailer…)
  • Claudia Schiffer:  perfectly dated reference.
  • Otis? Their music budget must’ve been insane. (maybe they just all believed in the project…)
  • Screw Uncle Jamie!
  • They’re romanticizing this fucking clown throwing Say Anything + cue cards at his best friend’s wife.
  • More tears.
  • In fairness, well done with the comical Washed Up Rock Star.
  • *clapping* and volume just got turned up.
  • “This is my favorite too.”  Part III  (Grant singing xmas carols)
  •  ”It’s all happening!” like it’s the 1st time she has seen this…
  • In the movies, it’s usually only the Mc’s with families this big + sweetly intrusive.
  • It’s all coming together!
  • Does it end with Grant giving her a subscription to Jelly of the Month Club?
  • “In the states they would never allow a lobster or whale at the birth of Jesus. this is awesome.”
  • “What? I just set the volume at 69.”
  • “She’s so pretty. I wonder what happeneed to her? hopefully not drugs.”
  • *snapping* + “I’m a really good snapper” Yea you are.
  • “there are a lot of fat jokes in this movie. I will admit it.”
  • Post-9/11 child running through security and then running (not on moving walkway) away from guards is exactly what christmas cinema is all about.  Salute.
  • Haha, that old, “Portuguese only care about qualified waitstaff” theory is so true!”
  • “She took English lessons too! that’s the best part…” *sobbing*  haha that’s awesome. I love my wife.
  • 1 Month Later!
  • Please nobody take my “Shannon Elizabeth Doing Accents” album idea.
  • Closing with a fat joke

Closing dialogue:

Wife:  ”It’s a good movie” *fighting back tears*

Me:  ”Yeah it wasn’t so bad. Not my favorite though.”

Wife: “What? I’m gonna pee. Then we’re watching Ms. Universe.”


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What Does That Look Like To You? Is the Speech…? Is The Guy…?

Posted by Matt on Thursday, August 30th, 2012


Big speech tonight folks. Big speech.  I can’t believe it will be all for naught.  As conservatives always say, using teleprompters to convey what you want to say makes you a Reagan unpresidential dumbass.

TAMPA, Fla. — Mitt Romney stood on stage at the Tampa Bay Times Forum for several minutes Thursday afternoon while his teleprompters were adjusted ahead of his big address to delegates later in the evening.

Every speech on stage at the RNC has been run through prompters, save for Condoleeza Rice’s address, which she read from notes. Conservatives — including Paul Ryan, who also used a teleprompter in his convention speech — have long mocked President Obama’s use of the devices. Romney was one of the few Republicans to defend the practice and he appeared to take pains to make sure his prompters were just right.

Another TOTUS apologist.  Sheesh.  Next thing you know, Conservatives will be derisively whispering about how his dad was born in some country like Mexico.

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Fox News Nation. That Is All.

Posted by Matt on Monday, August 6th, 2012

I’ve never really been to the enchanted Fox Nation – the user ”community” associated with the Fox News website.  All I can say is that they had a unique response to the most recent terrorist massacre in Wisconsin.

Every Fox Nation story gets labeled with one of seven adjectives — offensive, funny, cool, obnoxious, scary, inspiring, and crazy — based on the number of votes received by each.


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REPOST!!! I Might Look Like A Robert Ford, But I Feel Just Like A Jesse James

Posted by Matt on Saturday, August 4th, 2012


Anyone remember Kevin Hassert?  Mitt Romney does.  Romney has tabbed the “economist” as front man to support the campaign’s forecast of a magical ‘Romney Economic Boom’ that’s going to be lowered on us upon Mitt’s election.

The discussion shook out something like this:

Mitt:  ”So our current proposals are going to raise taxes on 95% of Americans. How are we going to sell this and keep the huge tax cuts for our friends?”

Hassert:  ”If we keep it vague, I think we can assure huge job increases that will offset the huge losses in revenue.”

Mitt: “No problem there.”

Hassert:  ”I’m thinking we can project the addition of 6 million jobs as a result of some sort of ‘Boom.’”

Mitt: “Gee-Willikers…we can do that?”

Kassert:  ”That’s the great thing. We don’t need anything to back it up.  We just say a number, something something Reagan, and we’re good. Heck Mitt, why not 12 millions? yes. Let’s guarantee 12 million jobs.”

Mitt: “Fantastic. How ’bout a glass of milk?”

(Originally posted 9/9/10)

Kevin Hassett is best known for his spectacular failure as co-author of Dow 36,000: The New Strategy for Profiting from the Coming Rise in the Stock Market. Evidently, that’s enough to be considered an economics’ expert at the American Enterprise Institute.

Back when the AEI was cheering on the Bush Admin as they made up their nuclear-unicorns-of-mass-destruction evidence for invading Iraq, they had no problem sacrificing the children of the lower and middle-class in the fight for their right to think tank. Some things never change.

Now Kevin Hassert is back with some economics lessons in an article entitled “Your Fat Paycheck Keeps Your Neighbor Unemployed.” And listen up because he’s got some news for you selfish bastards. I’m talking to you – family of four with a $50,000 household income.

So here comes the leap into ice-cold water: The biggest problem with the labor market right now is that wages are too high. As Washington again turns to government spending as a cure for unemployment, some against-the-grain thinking is in order.

Economics teaches that full employment would be reached if wages adjust downward, to a level that better reflects current circumstances. At lower wages, employers would desire more workers. Labor markets generate persistent unemployment only if wages are sticky, failing to fall as demand declines.

Of course. It’s not like wages haven’t already been slashed, pensions renegotiated and  early retirements forced. Hassert then goes on to blame the rise in minimum wage and all those greedy siphons pulling in $7.25 an hour before unloading this little gem:

Third, the natural reluctance of workers to accept lower pay is amplified by how their wage helps define their identity. A $60,000-a-year office worker might have an extra-hard time coming to terms with becoming a $40,000-a-year worker.

See? It’s a status thing! You office workers are just imbued with too much pride. It’s not about the actual money. Or the actual bills. Or the actual education of your actual children. It’s about coming to terms with your new class in America’s 21st Century caste system.

While I certainly don’t want Hassert to take a pay cut so that  the AEI dunces start multiplying, someone may be missing something

[T]he top executives of the 50 firms with the most layoffs since the economic crisis started have taken home almost half again as much as the typical S&P 500 chieftain. The layoff crowd took home $12 million on average last year, the IPS said, compared with $8.4 million for the typical blue-chip company.“CEOs are clearly not hurting,” IPS researchers led by Sarah Anderson write in the institute’s 17th annual executive pay survey. “But they are, as we detail in these pages, causing others to needlessly hurt — by cutting jobs to feather their own already comfortable executive nests.”

The damage done by these champions of the cutback is enormous, the institute contends.  The companies in the top 50 layoff crowd cut 531,000 jobs between November 2008 and April 2010, accounting for three-quarters of layoffs at the biggest 500 U.S. companies.

IPS takes issue with headlines that hold CEOs have taken a paycut in recent years. It says the bigger problem by far is that while the average worker’s real wages — that is, adjusted for inflation — have been stagnant since the 1970s, executive pay has continued to rise at a rapid clip.

“After adjusting for inflation, CEO pay in 2009 more than doubled the CEO pay average for the decade of the 1990s, more than quadrupled the CEO pay average for the 1980s, and ran approximately eight times the CEO average for all the decades of the mid-20th century,” IPS writes.

The IPS study also names the 10 most heartless CEOs – those receiving the biggest 2009 paychecks while announcing the biggest layoffs over the crisis period.

Topping the list is former Schering-Plough chief Fred Hassan, who took home $49.7 million after selling the drugmaker to Merck (MRK) in a deal that led to 16,000 job cuts.


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Reactions To Chik-Fil-A Bigotry Are Totally Reasonable. Did I Say ‘Reasonable?’ I Meant ‘Totally Unhinged.’

Posted by Matt on Thursday, August 2nd, 2012


Last week, the esteemed President of Chik-Fil-A officially came out as a bigot.  While they had a long history of sponsoring anti-gay causes, this was a surprise to many and an apoplectic rain of hellfire for certain people. [President] Dan Cathy’s announcement instigated immediate boycotts by some and classic authoritarian overreach by a few public officials attempting to be the most indignant.


Chicago alderman Joe Moreno picked up the torch for the Chik-Fil-hAters.  He wants to block the city’s 2nd Chik-fil-A scheduled to be hatched in his ward.  He was soon followed by Chicago Mayor Emanuel, as well as Boston Mayor Thomas Menino.

Chicago’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel, [issued] his own statement: “Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values. They disrespect our fellow neighbors and residents. This would be a bad investment, since it would be empty.”

Seriously? I would never designate Emanuel as a liberal or progressive, but this is clearly an antiprogresive stance that is far from First Amendment friendly.  Are you really going to prevent entry into the market for every business that doesn’t align with your “values?”  How many Wal-Marts does the city have now?  (haha, just kidding – Rahm hates Labor and the ridiculous $10.50/hr they ask for.)

In general, I’m all for the “boycott.”  If Chicagoans don’t jive with Chik-Fil-A’s bigotry, or merely recognize Harold’s, Popeye’s, Crisp, etc…all provide much better products, soon the business will tuck its feathers between its legs and go back to whatever exurban shithole, cultural abyss it came from.  Emanuel’s overreach is unnecessary and undemocratic.

In the New Gilded Age, it’s really hard(for me) to avoid or boycott all products or businesses that don’t represent my “values.”

Get Some!

I used to try to boycott certain gas stations when I believed they were bad corporate citizens.  Eventually I ended up getting around via rickshaw because, wouldn’t-ya-know, they’re all self-serving, corrupt and exploitative.  Unfortunately, my rickshaw driver’s wife died choking on an undercooked potato, so he was vehemently anti-Irish.  I was soon back to square one.  Then I learned that the signs on the stations are fairly meaningless and sometimes you just need to stop at the Citgo.


This story wouldn’t be complete without reaction from our Conservative Protectors.  Huckabee, Santorum, Palin, etc., climbed all over each other to blast the boycotters and make sure everyone knew how they would swim JetSki the Potomac to get their hands on a processed partial-chicken nugget.

Yesterday, Mike Huckabee organized Chik-Fil-A Appreciation Day.  He encouraged all his minions to ”Stand Up for Chik-Fil-A (but not too quickly or they might get light-headed).” This was a genius move by Huckabee. Nothing motivates “Real Americans” like hatred and fried food from chain restaraunts.  Cars stretched around the block – because they sure-as-shit weren’t walking. Communities celebrated. The Insulin flowed like water. Kindred spirits copulated in the bathrooms (Mile Wide Club). In the end, Chik-fil-A had its biggest single day of sales in company history.

Why were they doing this?  Because of their strict adherence to the Bible and some words scribbled on a scroll thousands of years ago.

Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind, it is abomination. Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things  Leviticus 18:22, 24

See that, NOH8?! We are ordered not to defile ourselves with gayness.  We are not bigots. We just blindly adhere to every word in the Good Book.


Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Well, just ignore this + eat up, fatties.  To profess your Tribal bigotry, you can hide behind your faith but probably not that load-bearing pole.  For y’all, it’s much easier to hate a group of people than treat your body like a temple.

I can’t wait for the next chapter.

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Rush Limbaugh: For The Record…

Posted by Matt on Saturday, July 21st, 2012

In November, following the Grand Jury Presentment that included Paterno’s testimony that McQueary told him Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulted a child in the PSU showers.


Rush Limbaugh – always on the right side of history.  At least he didn’t blame the victims this time.  The victim was clearly Joe Pa.

Full hilarity from Rush about how ”The Left Wants Everybody To Believe” That People With “Impeccable Reputations” Are “Scumbags” over at Media Matters.  Per ususal, the illogical circuitous ramblings end up at…wait for it…Bill Clinton.


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Bristol Palin’s Kid Can Already Say A Two-Syllable Anti-Gay Slur!

Posted by Matt on Friday, July 20th, 2012

We maintain a pretty strict no-Palin policy because really, what is there to say?

However, this Childless Man is going to judge the shit out of Bristol Palin.  What the hell is going on here?  Kids say the darndest of homophobic things. NO THEY DON’T!

I’d put all the blame on the mother for feeding this word to her poor prop-child; but let’s be honest, there are a lot of candidates.

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Watch The Lego Wire Because You Can

Posted by Matt on Friday, July 20th, 2012

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Hoo-ray! Tucker Carlson Exhibits Original Thought…And It’s As Terrible As You Might Expect

Posted by Matt on Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

I accidentally watched 10 minutes of Erin Burnett last week.  She conveyed no substantive information except to remind me that America’s Media is doing its best to ensure we’ll enter another needless War.  It will be a great story to push once election season is over.  The lessons of Iraq are certainly not lost on the Media: Sit in Washington, stoke the flames of baseless threats, cover the invasion, then ignore the next decade of carnage. Wash, rinse, pat yourselves on the back. 

The Imperial Wheel of Fortune is spinning again. Whose turn is it now? A country who hasn’t unilaterally invaded another sovereign nation in centuries? Naturally.

Tucker Carlson took a break from pushing ‘earth shattering’ unsourced stories about Media Matters being a liberal outlet (oh no!) to chat Iran with Fox News.

Make your mark, you decrepit mutant spawn of the american media monolith and pot pie aristocracy…

CARLSON: I think we are the only country with the moral authority [...] sufficient to do that. [The U.S. is] the only country that doesn’t seek hegemony in the world. I do think, I’m sure I’m the lone voice in saying this, that Iran deserves to be annihilated. I think they’re lunatics. I think they’re evil.

Haha. Hegemony? Someone get this guy a dictionary.  Also, maybe Newt can swing by for some historical context – namely that the US + Britain orchestrated the overthrow of the democratically-elected Iranian government back in 1953.  Hegemony? hilarious.

But seriously, all 70+ million Iranians (even the vocal opposition to the current regime) are evil lunatics.  Evil faux-lunatic Tucker Carlson said so.


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Gratuitous World Blog

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