MSNBC has a blue star as its political logo that is exactly the same as the Dallas Cowboys star. They need to remove it immediately.
Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category
Over the last few years I’ve seen a bunch of news reporters in Bethesda. Ok, it’s not Hollywood, but we do get a bunch of TV news people here.
Here’s an incomplete list:
Howard Fineman, Huffington Post reporter and MNSBC regular – the Apple Store
John King, CNN, the Apple Store
Mike Viqueira, MSNBC – Fitness First
David Gregory, Meet the Press, MSNBC – Starbucks and Bethesda Avenue.
Tony Kornheiser, PTI – Bethesda Avenue, going to Landmark movies?
Lisa Sylvester, CNN – Bethesda Avenue
Greta Van Susteren, FOX – Capital Crescent Trail
Chris Matthews, Hardball, MSNBC – Landmark Theaters
Cokie Roberts, NPR – Regal Theaters
Wolf Blitzer, CNN – the Pines of Rome restaurant
George Smith, ESPN – Bethesda Avenue
Michael Wilbon, ESPN – Cafe Deluxe
David DuPree, sportswriter – Bethesda Avenue
Chris Gordon, local TV reporter – Bethesda Avenue
Tim Brandt, sports reporter – Bethesda Avenue
Years ago, not in Bethesda:
George Stephanopoulos, Austin Grill, Glover Park
Tim Russert, Cafe Deluxe, Glover Park
Chick Hernandez, Comcast Sportsnet – Chadwick’s in Chevy Chase
Laura Evans, FOX 5 News – Clyde’s in Chevy Chase
the list is pretty thin – all I can think of is Sandra Bullock, 2000, Atomic Billiards, Cleveland Park, and another bar in D.C. around the same time, and Gary Sinese, Old Ebbitt Grill, 2011.
I guess our celebrities are the news people. Next – sports figures.
A December CDC report states that nearly 15,000 Washington, D.C. homes that have had partial lead line replacements are at risk for high lead levels. See the article here on Examiner.com.
The problem started around 2000 when D.C. responded to a 1998 EPA mandate to reduce chlorine byproducts that could be carcinogenic. Chlorine was used to disinfect the water supply, but then chloramine was used to reduce chlorine byproducts. However, chloramine caused lead pipes to leach into the water, and much of the city’s infrastructure was made of lead pipes. Lead causes irreversible brain damage to fetuses and infants. After children tested high for lead from 2003 to 2004, two bad things happened. First, both the city and the CDC covered up the problem, lying about it, claiming that the water was safe when they knew it wasn’t. Second, the city embarked on a $100 million project to replace lead service lines with copper, but they stopped when they got to private property. The chloramine caused lead to leach from the water, causing a temporary spike in lead levels, making the problem worse.
Congress came out with a report last spring that said CDC used false data to mislead the public in a 2004 report. CDC then admitted wrongdoing, and two weeks ago published a report that stated that nearly 15,000 homes with partial lead line replacements were still at risk for high lead levels. Those homes should be tested.
I think that’s it, but it’s pretty confusing. Welcome to the D.C. lead in water fiasco, circa 2000-2010. Makes the Redskins problems seem not so bad.
Also, here is an article from June about a congressional report that said CDC misled the D.C. public about the safety of drinking water, which had high levels of lead from 2001 to 2004.
Funeral held for former Washington Bullet Manute Bol, 7’7″ giant devoted life to help war-torn SudanJuly 1, 2010
The funeral for former Washington Bullets 7’7″ center Manute Bol was held Tuesday at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. Bol played 10 seasons in the NBA and became a prolific shot blocker, but was best known for his humanitarian work in his native war-torn Sudan.
Bol died at the age of 47 of kidney failure and complications from the skin condition Stevens-Johnson syndrome at University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville June 19. Bol had made trips to Sudan in recent years and was given medication that may have resulted in side effects that caused Stevens-Johnson syndrome.
Approximately 150 people attended Bol’s funeral, where former National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane, U.S. Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kansas), friends, and relatives spoke. Former teammates including Chris Mullin attended the funeral, as did former Bullets General Manager Bob Ferry, who drafted Bol in the second round in 1985, and former NBA players Buck Williams and Rory Sparrow.
Bol was a great humanitarian and will be sorely missed. To see the rest of my article on Examiner.com, click here. All photos below by Mike Frandsen.
It’s a real shame that neither the media nor President Obama have given Hillary Clinton any credit at all for the new health care plan. It was more than 15 years ago that she basically drafted a similar plan. The media has always been anti-Hillary, and Obama only gave the Clintons a quick mention during the press conference a couple of weeks ago. He also stumbled across their names.
I couldn’t have said it better myself. Last week, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said to the U.S:
“Welcome to the club of states who don’t turn their back on the sick and the poor.
When we look at the American debate on reforming health care, it’s difficult to believe.
The very fact that there should have been such a violent debate simply on the fact that the poorest of Americans should not be left out in the streets without a cent to look after them … is something astonishing to us.
If you come to France and something happens to you, you won’t be asked for your credit card before you’re rushed to the hospital.”
After a while, the debate got so ridiculous, you almost had to laugh. As a country, we look bad when our healthy and wealthy people don’t want the poor and sick to have insurance. We also look bad when we want insurance companies to continue to be able to take insurance away from those who are sick.
We look bad when we say, “Who’s going to pay for it?” What if we had the same attitude about schools, libraries, police, and firemen?
People are either stupid or mean and lack empathy.
Of course, it’s easy to jump on a bandwagon and mock the French for opposing the Iraq war, implying that they’re weak and then never apologizing for it when it turns out they were right.
I thought President Obama made a good speech tonight on the case for national health care reform, stating that insurance companies have too much say over who and what is covered, nearly 50 million people don’t have health insurance, 14,000 people lose their health insurance each day, and insurance premiums have doubled in the last 10 years. Everyone should be covered, he said, and people shouldn’t be disqualified for certain conditions. Of course, Hillary Clinton tried to reform health care – 16 years ago when Obama was 30 years old. Something tells me this time around it will be better accepted. I hope it gets passed, but I’m not holding my breath. Anyway, there are a lot of areas that are in need of health care reform.
Autism Speaks (www.autismspeaks.org) has launched a TV ad campaign to try to combat the health care discrimination against people with autism that currently exists. Autism Speaks aims to ensure that autism is covered in any new national health care plan. Currently, most states do not require health insurers to cover certain medically necessary autism therapies. Therefore, parents of children with autism have a choice to spend money out of pocket for autism therapy, or go without. Many don’t have the choice because they can’t afford it anyway. Personally, I always feel a little bit guilty because the work that I do (www.coachmike.net) for kids with autism ends up being mainly for those whose parents are fairly affluent because they can afford it.
In addition to autism, mental illness should also be covered by any national health care plan. Currently, insurance companies can discriminate against people with mental illness by calling it a pre-existing condition. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “As many as 700,000 Americans are homeless on any given night. An estimated 20 to 25 percent of these people have a serious mental illness.” How can we afford to cover autism and mental illness? How can we afford not to? The savings in the long run will more than pay off the costs in the short run.
I have a stake in health insurance myself, as my kidney disease (see www.mikeneedsakidney.com) will eventually require a transplant from a donor. My current insurance will cover most of it, but “most” isn’t ideal since the cost of the surgery and the medications in the first two years could approach $200,000. Think of dealing with an insurance company on the phone, then think of doing it either just before or after you’ve had a transplant. Also, coverage ends after three years for transplant recipients even though immunosuppressant drugs are needed for a lifetime. Needless to say, people who have the same health insurance as Congress would have everything 100% covered.The moral of the story? Don’t get sick.
Also, see “Fun with Health Insurance” on my blog – go to the links on the right side, click, “Kidney Disease,” and scroll down to the second item. I cut and pasted a bunch of posts I read on a kidney disease site.
On another personal note, I can say anecdotally that there is still a lot of resistance to national health care. On match.com, I’ll sometimes communicate with women who list that they are “middle of the road” politically. I always say that there are a couple of issues that I feel strongly about. The first issue is the environment. I’m for a clean one. I believe that a lot of diseases, disorders, and deaths occur because of pollution in the environment. The second issue is health care. I say that I believe that everyone should have a fair chance at affordable health care regardless of whether they are rich or poor, healthy or sick. I don’t say much more or less than that. A bunch of times I’ve gotten a response from women, even in relatively liberal Maryland, Washington DC, and Northern Virginia similar to this one: “Wow. Maybe we shouldn’t meet.”*** – see below
You wouldn’t say that only certain people should get schooling paid for, or that only specific areas should get libraries, or that roads and bridges should be built and maintained in some areas but not others. But somehow, it’s ok to say that some people should get health insurance and others shouldn’t, or that some people should get their health insurance terminated for pre-existing conditions.
*** Update, 7/25: This is an actual email exchange from today, word for word, nothing left out. When I saw her response I thought I must have provoked it but here is exactly what I wrote, followed by exactly what she wrote. If anything, my initial email was pretty boring and a little uninspired, but certainly not inflammatory in any way. So maybe health care reform doesn’t have much of a chance.
What I wrote:
“Hi. I liked your pics and profile. I like MD too. Would you like to meet sometime? There’s one thing. With the health care stuff you do and the middle of the road politics, what do you think about everyone deserving a fair chance at good health care? If you agree with that then you agree with me. anyway, let meknow what you think.
What she wrote back:
“Definitely probably not a good match then. I do not feel like paying for peoples’ health insurance who are too lazy to work and usurping the welfare system. Living in Baltimore, I already see this and it will only get worse. Also, I have seen first hand in other countries who have universal health care… the length of time it takes to get a doctors appointment and hopefully get the doctor you want. I can lead to unsatisfactory health care. Obama said it will not come off of the backs of the middle class but I do not believe that for a second. You want to pay for everyone elses healthcare? Go for it! I guess some of my views are more Conservative, this is one that I do not want to ruin my happy little employed life. I do feel sorry for those who have lost their jobs and I do think that there could be a package of some sort to help those folks, but other than that, I do not feel like paying for worthless slackers and people who do not choose to make their lives better. I certainly do not want to start a political debate with you, so please let’s not go there, but I have strong views on this and I do not want to get screwed anymore than I already have been. I already pay a huge amount of taxes and they do not seem to care that I am a single women and just barely scraping by. I am sure you will send a wonderful email back, so instead of having to bare hearing I am just going to block you. Good luck in your search and there are plenty of women, perhaps lower class that will agree with you… or you may just want to stick to DC because Baltimore women (at least the ones I have talked to) are on the Conservative side of this topic. I wish you all the luck in your search!”
Maybe it was a Freudian slip when she said, “I can lead to unsatisfactory health care.”
On the bright side, she does seem a little fiery. :)
Who is more awesome: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, or the fictional character Allison Taylor, the U.S. President on the TV show “24” played by Cherry Jones? This is an impossible question to answer.
How could anyone be more awesome than Hillary Clinton? Or 24′s President Allison Taylor?
They are both equally awesome. It is a tie.
I like Washington, DC. You don’t hear that very much nowadays. Presidential candidates, Senators and Congressmen constantly rip DC, and then try to get there or stay there. People who call it DC tend to like it, because the locals call it DC, whereas people from who knows where call it Washington. I saw a Bruce Springsteen concert once and he called Washington a “wicked place.” And he was playing in Washington. One thing I do agree about is that the number of lobbyists and lawyers upsets the balance of the city. However, there are a lot of great things about DC.
DC has more museums than any other city, and most of them are free. It’s nice to go to the zoo for free – that’s a big savings for a family. It’s a great sports town with the Redskins, Wizards, Capitals, Nationals, and DC United. The Nationals have a new stadium and the arena where the Wizards and the Caps play is home to a lot of things to do. There are several great universities – Georgetown, George Washington, American, and Howard, plus the University of Maryland just outside the city.
There are a bunch of areas in the city that have great character and nightlife such as Georgetown, Adams Morgan, and Penn Quarter. Next door there’s old town historic Alexandria, Virginia as well as upscale Bethesda, Maryland, with more restaurants per square mile than any city in the country. If you’re into the performing arts, DC has the Kennedy Center and other world class venues. DC also has an excellent subway system that is safe and efficient. You don’t need a car to live here.
You’d be hard pressed to find a large city with more trails than DC. In the DC area, there are more than 800 miles of jogging and biking trails and 230,000 acres of parkland. Because of Rock Creek Park, DC has more trees per square mile than just about any other city in the U.S. DC is an hour and a half from beaches to the east and an hour and a half from mountains to the west.
There’s more to DC than national politics. There are 600,000 residents, most of whom have nothing to do with the national scene. DC has a large international and multiracial population. And they are taxed without representation in Congress. So to show the two sides of DC, I put two pictures up here – one of me with a politician who bashes DC yet tried to get a job there – former Presidential candidate Mitt Romney – (a nice guy, though), and another of me with the current mayor of DC, Adrian Fenty. Fenty is an avid triathlete who often bikes the trails of the city.
The political commentary shows on MSNBC, such as Countdown, have really gone off the deep end. They were unbelievably biased in favor of Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries, and have been even more biased in favor of Obama over John McCain. Let me preface this by saying two things. 1) That I understand that Fox News is so one-sided that it has been a caricature for many years. What Fox and the Rush Limbaughs of the world did with their anti-Hillary rhetoric for no good reason for the last 15 years lasted long enough to impact her chances in this election. And 2), I’m about as Democratic as you can get. Why?
· I believe very strongly that poor and sick people should have the same opportunity at health insurance that wealthy and healthy people do. People shouldn’t die fighting insurance companies to cover their bills.
· I believe that we should not only try to minimize the damage from climate change, but that we should have a clean environment. Large corporations shouldn’t be allowed to pollute our air, water, and soil, causing the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat to be contaminated. I believe we need more regulation on businesses to ensure that the environment is safe, and we also need regulation to make sure that products don’t have dangerous chemicals. All of these problems are leading to birth defects and disease.
· And I believe that we need gun control so that automatic weapons, etc. aren’t easily available by anyone.
So I’m definitely pro-Democrat on most issues.
Back to MSNBC. Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, and Rachel Maddow have become even more to the left than Fox News is to the right. Strangely, they really jumped on the anti-Hillary bandwagon. It was odd, because Hillary and Obama had basically the same policies. They made Hillary out to be a villain, exaggerating each misstep during the primary campaign, delighting in and ignoring any of Obama’s flaws, being completely unwilling to criticize him at all. But it’s more than the anti-Hillary bias that seems odd. MSNBC was so vehemently against the Republicans that it became ponderous to watch.
Olbermann has been the worst culprit. I never would have thought that Olbermann, a former ESPN Sportscenter anchor, would be hosting his own national show on politics. The self-important Olbermann has such a bizarre style, yelling into the camera and constantly slamming his opponents. He is so over the top. There’s nothing worse than people who think they are much funnier than they are. I never thought I would defend George W. Bush, John McCain, and Sarah Palin, but Olbermann’s commentaries against them have become personal and nasty. Olbermann also had a couple of nasty special comments for Hillary Clinton, blowing campaign miscues way out of proportion.
One other thing – you have to wonder about someone who constantly yells and screams while on TV. It’s not professional. I’ve had the same criticism of Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon on ESPN. In sports it’s more understandable, but even then, stop yelling all the time.
I believe in telling it like it is, but Keith has gone way off the deep end. Olbermann is now wearing those wire rim glasses which fit him perfectly because he is so pretentious.
Matthews may be just as bad – because though his bias isn’t as blatant as Olbermann’s, his show is ostensibly more objective, as he interviews people from both the left and the right. However, he was clearly anti-Hillary, and his rhetoric was almost all pro-Obama against McCain. His stream of consciousness statements have become increasingly wacky. He interrupts answers of his interviewees constantly with non-sequiturs. Some of the panelists are amused by his humor; others clearly are laughing at him. His increasing bias has left him on the sidelines rather than in the game. He used to be a heavyweight; now he’s a lightweight.
Finally, if Rachel Maddow is so deserving of her own show, why would so many commentators have had to congratulate her so much for the first two months of her show?
CNN is probably a little more boring, but at least they are more objective.
Part of the problem is that politics has become too partisan. The shows are simply a moderator interviewing one person from the left and one from the right – each one equally biased. And these are the objective shows. Fox and MSNBC are heavily slanted in one direction. This us vs. them mentality isn’t anything new, but people can take news shows more seriously if they at least pretend to be objective. Whereas most people understand that Fox News is a joke, I think that most reasonable people are now understanding that MSNBC is too.
Keith: you’re a buffoon. Keith Olbermann – tonight’s WORST PERSON…IN THE WORLD!”
Maybe I should just watch PBS.
P.S. If there was any doubt that MSNBC was not a channel devoted to news, on Friday, November 28, just two days after the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, MSNBC showed a highlight show of the most wild videos caught on tape, or something like that, while the attacks were still going on.