Archive for February 2011

Recovery Taxes Government Spending and Astonishing Stupidity

The current economy is routinely and universally referred to as the worst recession since the Great Depression.
It makes sense, therefore, to look back at government tax and spending policies during the Depression and what the results were.
1932 — Hoover raises the top tax rate from to 25 to 63 percent.
1933 — Roosevelt comes into office Read more

5 Tips that Might Change Your Facebook Experience

1. See what your profile looks like to other people by Previewing Your Profile.
Ever wonder what your Profile looks like to one of your friends? Their view won’t always be the same as yours depending on various privacy settings. To see what they see, go to your Account menu in the top right hand corner of any page. Choose Privacy Settings -> View Settings (under Connecting on Facebook) ->Preview My Profile (on the right) Read more

The Day Prince Williams Pal Held My Husbands Hand and Other InFlight Shockers

As those of you who have read my previous blogs will already know, my Labrador Bailey and I are preparing to move to New York to finally be with my New Yorker husband.
I must admit I’ve been feeling a little worried about what might happen if, upon take off, Bailey discovers he suffers from turbulence terror like me. My questions is: will he have a friendly paw to hold?
For years I regularly flew to Australia for work without a second thought. Twenty-four hours in the air and it didn’t bother me one bit.I’d even been known to unbuckle my seat belt and walk (escorted by a friend of course) to the restroom. On one occasion I even did it after take off Read more

An Unprecedented Attack From Polluters

As a new mother, it breaks my heart when I hear stories from parents who are struggling with their kids’ health problems. I know parents who live in fear of their child’s next asthma attack. Some can’t even let their kids play outside when local air pollution hits dangerous levels. We do everything we can to protect our kids, even before they’re born.
When I was expecting my daughter, I was careful not to eat fish known to have high levels of toxic mercury Read more

Dance as if Your Life Depended on it

This past Saturday, February 26, 2011, in more than 70 cities around the U.S., people danced at hospitals, at malls, in parks and in other public spaces — “As If Their Life Depended On It.” And, perhaps, it does. More than 200 hospitals in 95+ American cities are members of a coalition called Spirit of Women that every year, in February, hosts a Day of Dance for cardiovascular health in their community, demonstrating that better health can be fun and easier than we think. This year, a new dance was created in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’s Office on Women’s Health, called “Make The Call Read more

The Case for Culture

Jeff Chang and I teamed up for this piece in The American Prospect making the case that progressives need to build the infrastructure to support cultural strategy and cultural organizing.
Here’s an excerpt:
On Nov. 3, progressives awoke to find that they had returned to 2004. Despite important legislative victories, Democrats had been outflanked. Republicans had successfully sold themselves as the party of economic growth, the party of the angry out-of-work American, and, most dissonantly, the party of change Read more

Is Aerobic Exercise the Antidote to Alzheimers

It’s almost impossible to turn the exercise-averse or fitness-phobic couch potato into a workout-aholic. Believe me I’ve tried. No amount of touting the benefits of regular exercise, from looking and feeling better, to reducing risk factors of diabetes and cardiovascular disease has made a permanent difference in the behavior of people who just don’t like to break a sweat. Maybe because there’s plenty of drugs or common surgical procedures like angioplasty and bypasses to manage these diseases that these people may think, “I’ll just cross that bridge when I come it.” (Mom, are you reading this?)
Well, there is one disease that scares the be-jeezus out of most everyone who’s ever seen it up close and there is no drug or surgery that really works on it yet Read more

Do Fashion Show Reviews Matter

For his second and latest womenswear collection, Tom Ford once again chose to show his clothes to only the most elite group of print editors in his new London showroom. “I don’t want to be reviewed,” he told the Los Angeles Times. Ford made the statement even more explicit: “I’m not an artist with an opening; this is not a film. I’m just trying to make pretty clothes Read more

Entrapment as Journalism

In September 2009 conservative activists Hannah Giles and James O’Keefe released a video of ACORN employees allegedly giving the pair advice on how to run a prostitution ring and avoid taxes, among other activities. This led to a massive backlash against ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, a network of organizations that focused on voter registration and housing issues for those in low- and middle-income neighborhoods. This “scoop” led to a move to defund ACORN at both the federal and state level. A Republican legislator in Florida said, “The gig is up for ACORN.” He was right.
ACORN is now defunct, thanks to the effort following the release of Giles and O’Keefe’s tapes Read more

My Conversation With Filmmaker Charles Ferguson

The day after his Best Documentary win at this year’s Academy Awards, I sat down with filmmaker Charles Ferguson for a conversation about his film, Inside Job.

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US grants first deepwater drill permit since Gulf spill

US grants first deepwater drill permit since Gulf spill
  • The US government has granted the first permit for deepwater oil drilling since last year's disastrous spill at a BP-owned oil well in the Gulf of Mexico.
    In a , a US official said Noble Energy had demonstrated it could safely drill a well 70 miles (113km) off the Louisiana coast.
    The well is situated 6,500ft (1,981m) under the Gulf of Mexico.
    The April blast aboard BP's Deepwater Horizon rig killed 11 people and caused one of the worst oil spills in history.
    “This permit represents a significant milestone for us and for the offshore oil and gas industry, and is an important step towards safely developing deepwater energy supplies offshore,” said Michael Bromwich, director of the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement Read more
  • Garridos confess to Jaycee Dugard kidnapping

    Garridos confess to Jaycee Dugard kidnapping

    A lawyer has said the California couple accused of kidnapping a California girl and holding her prisoner for 18 years have confessed to detectives.
    Stephen Tapson, who represents Nancy Garrido, said she and Phillip Garrido had admitted snatching Jaycee Dugard from a California street in 1991.
    He said a plea deal was not yet agreed but prosecutors had proposed a 440-year sentence for him and 241 years for her.
    Garrido allegedly fathered Dugard's two daughters while keeping her captive.
    A lawyer for Phillip Garrido, Susan Gellman, declined to confirm or deny Mr Tapson's account Read more

    Yahoos Anna Robertson Streaming Videos on Facebook is a Huge Opportunity for Us

    Facebook pages are becoming increasingly video rich and an increasing number of small and large video publishers are streaming more of their videos “in-line,” meaning having their player on Facebook pages, not just providing links.Says Yahoo’s Anna Robertson, Director of Original Video & Social Media, the opportunities to stream videos on Facebook is a “huge opportunity for us.”She spoke during the Beet.TV Video Journalism Summit at the Washington Post earlier this month.Also addressing value of streaming on Facebook was Brightcove SVP Jeff Whatcott who noted that Facebook allows publishers to advertise on their players on Facebook.

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    OscarWinner Lisa Blount Is Remembered As Is and Still Loved

    The “In Memoriam” segment of the Academy Awards show is always a poignant moment. This year I watched with particular anticipation as Celine Dion sang so tenderly, waiting for that bittersweet honor to be paid to my friend, actress and Oscar-winning producer, Lisa Blount. But as the segment rolled to its conclusion, it was with stunned disappointment that I realized it did so without her face or name.
    In lieu of that inexplicable omission, I offer my own tribute:
    Friends made in our twenties resonate in a way that is particular to the decade; an intensity that comes with youth, so full of drive and hope Read more

    Who Else Would Get Through to Scott Walker

    Last week, a man impersonating billionaire Republican donor David Koch asked Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisc.), “Now what else could we do for you down there?” After taking tens of thousands of dollars in Koch-related donations for his election, and creating a budget filled with corporate special interest carve outs, it would seem to make more sense if Walker asked David Koch, “what else can Wisconsin do for you?”
    And that got me thinking. If he’ll spend 20 minutes shooting the breeze with a billionaire but he won’t spend two minutes negotiating with Senate Democrats or unions, who else would Gov. Walker take a call from?
    Certainly not nurses, or teachers, or cops, or firefighters standing in solidarity together against the political attack against the rights of workers Read more

    A Middle EastLike Revolution in Cuba Dont Hold Your Breath

    The people-power revolutions that ousted the decades-old autocratic governments of Ben Ali in Tunisia and Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, and continue to rock the rest of the Middle East have prompted Cuba-watchers yet again — to wonder whenthe last redoubt of Cold War dictatorship in the hemisphere is next.It isn’t, and we have U.S. policy partly to blame.
    For the last two decades, from Eastern Europe to Egypt, none of the countries that have experienced a people’s revolution have been under a U.S. embargo. Though it is about to be the target of focused sanctions as a result of its bloody response to the protestors (and deservedly so) before the current uprising, even Libya saw its sanctions ended in 2004 by the George W Read more

    Relationship Marketing Innovators 5 Best Practices at Threadlesscom

    THE PROBLEM: How do you transform your organization’s relationships with customers? How do you get them to see your organization as a gathering-place, a destination for constructive interaction with others? We discussed these questions with Tom Ryan, CEO of the community-driven on-line apparel retailer
    THE SOLUTION: Implement Threadless’ Five Relationship Marketing Best Practices. Threadless sells tee shirts in very large numbers to a fanatically loyal on-line community. The art for the tee shirts is sourced from a worldwide community of artists and designers. Once the art is submitted, the community of over 1.4 million registered users cast their votes, which helps management decide which designs go on to become Threadless tee shirts.
    Per the Sloan Management Review: 95% of those purchasing from have voted and posted comments, before making a purchase.
    Each of CEO Tom Ryan’s five principles is a potential game-changer Read more

    Gaddafi The Fox Is Cornered

    Events in Libya are moving very fast, and their outcome remains uncertain. Leader” Muammar Gaddafi is hunkered down in Tripoli, defended by loyal army units from his tribe and mercenaries from black Africa. But opposition forces appear to be closing in on Tripoli as the threat of all-out civil war in Libya grows.
    Watching Col. Muammar Gaddafi deliver a bombastic, defiant speech last week from the ruins of Tripoli’s Bab al-Azizia barracks brought me back to 1987 when Libya’s leader led me by the hand through this same wreckage of his former residence Read more

    What Business Can Learn From OscarWinning Movies

    The King’s Speech: Resiliency wins. There is no magic bullet to being successful in business. The King didn’t show up one day to work with Lionel Logue and he was cured. It took decades of work for the King to make effective speeches Read more

    Tough Times at the LA Times Standing Behind Incorrect Teacher Ratings

    The newspaper business can’t be much fun these days. Editors and reporters are desperate to find ways to hold on to readers. Such desperation, however, can never justify misleading readers, publishing factual errors, and then doubling-down on those mistakes when confronted with the truth. Yet that’s where the Los Angeles Times now finds itself.
    It’s been three weeks since the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) released a reanalysis of the research underlying the August 2010 Times story that rated teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) based on an attempt to estimate the growth of their students’ test scores Read more

    Duke Snider Farewell My Hero

    They played more than half a century ago, so most of them are gone, the Brooklyn Dodgers that I knew. Gil Hodges and Jackie Robinson, so soon and only months apart. Jim Gilliam, Carl Furillo. After decades of brave endurance, Roy Campanella Read more

    Wallis Simpsons sensuous style up for auction

    Wallis Simpsons sensuous style up for auction
  • Items once owned by Wallis Simpson, the woman for whom Edward VIII renounced the throne, are set to be sold in an auction.
    A collection of her lingerie, handbags and luggage will be auctioned next week in central London.
    A scarlet chiffon nightdress from the 1940s to early 1950s is expected to fetch up to 1,000.
    Proceeds from the sale, at Kerry Taylor Auctions, will go to the Dodi International Charitable Foundation.
    It helps children in need of medical care and their families in Egypt, UK, France and US Read more
  • The Texas Politics and Tennis Tour

    This classroom where LBJ once taught grade school is now used by the state Department of Public Safety. (Photograph by Kenny Braun).
    This year, Texas marks the “terquasquicentennial” (a.k.a. the 175th anniversary) of its independence from Mexico. To commemorate the occasion Texas Monthly has dedicated its March issue to an insane 6,000-mile journey to 175 places that tell the story of the Lone Star State Read more

    Palin by the Numbers Being President Doesnt Add Up

    Back in October of 2008, I penned a piece for Politico predicting that Sarah Palin, despite all the hype and frothing over her selection as the first female on a Republican presidential ticket, would never get the Republican nomination for president in the future, let alone be elected president.
    I pointed out that during my lifetime (I was born in 1951, if you must know), only one non-incumbent vice presidential nominee on a losing ticket — Bob Dole, who ran with President Ford in 1976 — has ever come back to win their party’s nomination, and none has ever been elected president.
    And I must say, nearly every one of the lot who fit this category was a far more substantial and distinguished figure than Palin — U.S. Ambassador to the UN and former Republican Massachusetts Sen Read more