July 2009 Archives

Helen nails it

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Helen of Margaret and Helen nails it in this post. Emphasis added by me.

Margaret. Forgive me honey for I have sinned... I realize now that President Obama is not perfect. I was wrong to suggest that Obama would rid the world of evil and walk on water while doing it. I was wrong to believe he was the Messiah. I can now say that he is not the smartest human to have ever lived and quite frankly he throws like a girl. Whew. That feels good to get off my chest.

I am a big enough woman to admit when I am wrong. But there is one thing wrong with all of this. I never said any of those things in the first place and neither did any Democrat I know. I never said he was perfect. I never expected him to solve all the problems of the world. And I know lots of women who can throw a ball better than most men. I recognize that he is human and I am sure most people in their right minds know that as well. But you would never know any of this if you listen to Rush Limbaugh. Evidently we Democrats are deaf, dumb and blind when it comes to Obama.


I am not giving Obama a free pass. I'm giving him a chance. He has four years to "make it or break it" as they say. And considering what George Bush did to it, breaking it is the least of our worries. Healthcare in the United State is broken. Our reputation around the globe is broken. The banks are broken. The tax system... the school systems... the environment - all broken. Someone needs to try and fix it. So why not Obama?

When George Bush was President I didn't want him to fail. I wanted him to stop acting like an idiot. I wanted him to be honest and listen to the debate of the people. I didn't expect him to act like a Democrat. I expected him to act like an American. And I expected him to at least try to keep his campaign promises.

Exactly Margaret. She has more to say. Read the rest here.

Daring Fireball: Charging for Access to News Sites

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Via Jay Rosen on Twitter, contrary to the Financial Times editor's assertion that most news organizations will be charging for online content within the year, John Gruber gets "it" and states it clearly:

Undeniably, there is money to be made in digital publishing with free reader access, but whether that revenue leads to profits depends upon the scale and scope of the organization. The potential revenue does not appear to be of the magnitude that will support the massive operations of existing news organizations. What works in today's web landscape are lean and mean organizations with little or no management bureaucracy -- operations where nearly every employee is working on producing actual content. I'm an extreme example -- a literal one-man show. A better example is Josh Marshall's TPM Media, which is hiring political and news reporters. TPM is growing, not shrinking. But my understanding is that nearly everyone who works at TPM is working on editorial content.

Old-school news companies aren't like that -- the editorial staff makes up only a fraction of the total head count at major newspaper and magazine companies. The question these companies should be asking is, "How do we keep reporting and publishing good content?" Instead, though, they're asking "How do we keep making enough money to support our existing management and advertising divisions?" It's dinosaurs and mammals.

And it's not really surprising that they're failing to evolve. The decision-makers -- the executives sitting atop large non-editorial management bureaucracies -- are exactly the people who need to go if newspapers are going to remain profitable.

Precisely. Pay attention guys. Josh is showing you what to do.

SciFi medicine happening now

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This is really amazing.

I wonder what the status will be in just 5 years and how long it will take for these medical advances to be available to average health care consumers.

Cartoonists capture the truth

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Items of Interest

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~ Per the Guardian (London), during the recent Israeli incursion into Gaza, Israeli soldiers were told to 'open fire and don't ask questions'. Check out this article and the accompanying video. It doesn't look good for the IDF when its soldiers talk so nonchalantly about use of innocents as human shields and other abhorrent practices in support of the IDF's concern that the number of Israeli casualties be held to a minimum so that there was no outrage spurred within Israel against the action.

~ Good background article on the Uighur territory within China, formally known as the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR) via @maddow. Provides a little perspective on the events that forced the Chinese president Hu Jintao to miss the G8 summit.

~ Here's a thoughtful piece by Tim Fernholz on knee-jerk foreign policy as practiced by the current Republican party leaders. I couldn't agree more with his conclusion.

~ Cory Doctorow reviews Justin Fox's new book, The Myth of the Rational Market: A History of Risk, Reward, and Delusion on Wall Street. He describes it as "a book that chases down a provocative debate that the author discovered while working for Fortune magazine: the idea that the market is driven by fear, psychological quirks, fads, and other "irrational" factors, and as such, it does not represent a set of prices derived from the decisions of millions of actors, but rather a set of nearly impossible to predict fluctuations that are about as useful as a series of coin-tosses."

~ One more Boingboing entry sums up the sheer absurdity of the birther line about Obama's citizenship and the refusal of an Army major to deploy to Afghanistan because he's so stupid as to have bought into the birther nonsense.

~ Jon Favreau's alma mater has put up a nice piece about the young presidential speechwriter. Via Ben Smith.

~ Found via twitter somewhere, check out this junkyard tree shrine.