The Newsroom: Opening Scene

A new Aaron Sorkin show called the “Newsroom” debuted on HBO Sunday night, and it stars Jeff Daniels as the brash, obnoxious news anchor who’s something of a conflicted diva genius.  The show overall was quite smart and well-written, but the opening scene, featuring Daniels’ character as part of a panel discussion at Northwestern University with generic liberal and generic conservative, was brilliant. 

At one point, a young girl asks the panel why they think America is the greatest country in the world. Daniels demurs, twice, before giving this answer: 

Just in case you accidentally wander into a voting booth one day, there are some things you should know, and one of them is that there is absolutely no evidence to support the statement that we’re the greatest country in the world. We’re seventh in literacy, twenty-seventh in math, twenty-second in science, forty-ninth in life expectancy, 178th in infant mortality, third in median household income, number four in labor force, and number four in exports. We lead the world in only three categories: number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real, and defense spending, where we spend more than the next twenty-six countries combined, twenty-five of whom are allies. None of this is the fault of a 20-year-old college student, but you, nonetheless, are without a doubt, a member of the WORST-period-GENERATION-period-EVER-period, so when you ask what makes us the greatest country in the world, I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about?! Yosemite?!!!

We sure used to be. We stood up for what was right! We fought for moral reasons, we passed and struck down laws for moral reasons. We waged wars on poverty, not poor people. We sacrificed, we cared about our neighbors, we put our money where our mouths were, and we never beat our chest. We built great big things, made ungodly technological advances, explored the universe, cured diseases, and cultivated the world’s greatest artists and the world’s greatest economy. We reached for the stars, and we acted like men. We aspired to intelligence; we didn’t belittle it; it didn’t make us feel inferior. We didn’t identify ourselves by who we voted for in the last election, and we didn’t scare so easy. And we were able to be all these things and do all these things because we were informed. By great men, men who were revered. The first step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one—America is not the greatest country in the world anymore.

WGRZ 2 Sides

In the event that you have a TV you’re in front of at 11:30am on a Monday, I’ll be joining Kristy Mazurek and whomever the stand-in for Stefan Mychajliw is on “WGRZ 2 Sides” today.  Thankfully, it’s down to a half-hour, so you won’t have to eat lunch at the same time. 

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Chris Collins' Internet Inefficiencies

ICYMI on Saturday, the Buffalo News’ Jerry Zremski wrote a piece about NY-27 detailing some of Chris Collins’ online travails, including the fact that his campaign website appeared absolutely nowhere on Google – something that’s been known for weeks, but not repaired.  

Perhaps he should have set up a Six Sigma inquisition into a more efficient way to set up and promote his web presence. 

What does show up when you Google “Collins for Congress”?  This website, prepared by a Florida Tea Party website, which details a variety of reasons why Collins is horrible. 

The Republican primary to select the candidate who will take on Kathy Hochul in November takes place this Tuesday. There seems to be a wide enthusiasm gap between Bellavia’s and Collins’ supporters, but Collins is out-spending Bellavia, at least as far as mailers are concerned – one political activist in the GLOW counties says it’s a 4:0 split. Collins is relying on money and mailers to get his message out, while Bellavia has been out pounding the pavement and shaking hands. Tuesday, we’ll see which one prevails. 

Chris Collins’ Internet Inefficiencies

ICYMI on Saturday, the Buffalo News’ Jerry Zremski wrote a piece about NY-27 detailing some of Chris Collins’ online travails, including the fact that his campaign website appeared absolutely nowhere on Google – something that’s been known for weeks, but not repaired.  

Perhaps he should have set up a Six Sigma inquisition into a more efficient way to set up and promote his web presence. 

What does show up when you Google “Collins for Congress”?  This website, prepared by a Florida Tea Party website, which details a variety of reasons why Collins is horrible. 

The Republican primary to select the candidate who will take on Kathy Hochul in November takes place this Tuesday. There seems to be a wide enthusiasm gap between Bellavia’s and Collins’ supporters, but Collins is out-spending Bellavia, at least as far as mailers are concerned – one political activist in the GLOW counties says it’s a 4:0 split. Collins is relying on money and mailers to get his message out, while Bellavia has been out pounding the pavement and shaking hands. Tuesday, we’ll see which one prevails. 

Unraveling the Phony "Fast & Furious" Fury

Short version: It’s all a big conspiracy to scare people into supporting some hypothetical, non-existent gun control effort Obama is planning. 

Alternate short version: Because the Republican Party is no longer about government, policy, or governing, it must gin up scandals like Whitewater, Paula Jones, Gennifer Flowers, and Fast & Furious for electoral gain. 

Enjoy. 

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Unraveling the Phony “Fast & Furious” Fury

Short version: It’s all a big conspiracy to scare people into supporting some hypothetical, non-existent gun control effort Obama is planning. 

Alternate short version: Because the Republican Party is no longer about government, policy, or governing, it must gin up scandals like Whitewater, Paula Jones, Gennifer Flowers, and Fast & Furious for electoral gain. 

Enjoy. 

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Happy Father's Day! Love, Carl

On Sunday, Governor Andrew Cuomo (through his campaign apparatus) sent out an email honoring Father’s Day. It doesn’t get less controversial than this: 

Dear Friend,

Nothing is more important to me than my role as a father. Watching my three daughters grow up to become thoughtful, beautiful and strong young women has been, and is, the greatest joy in my life.
 
I can only hope that I can be the role model for them that my father has been for me my entire life. He taught me the importance of family, friendship and public service. I continue to turn to him for his wisdom and support.
 
This Sunday, I hope that you will be able to share this special time with your loved ones.
 
Happy Father’s Day from my family to yours.

Sincerely,

Andrew M. Cuomo Signature

 

Buffalo’s own Sarah Palin, Carl Paladino, took to Facebook to say this about his former election opponent: 

You know what else good fathers and role models do? They keep their mouths shut. They aren’t homophobes. 

They don’t have multiple families that they keep hidden. They don’t sire children out-of-wedlock. They don’t party ’til the wee hours in Allentown drinking holes. They don’t make up lies about “legendary prowess“. They don’t giggle at anal horse porn, or send around racist and mysoginistic e-mails.  

But above all, good fathers know to dummy up when it comes to hypocritically attacking the morality of others. 

Happy Father’s Day! Love, Carl

On Sunday, Governor Andrew Cuomo (through his campaign apparatus) sent out an email honoring Father’s Day. It doesn’t get less controversial than this: 

Dear Friend,

Nothing is more important to me than my role as a father. Watching my three daughters grow up to become thoughtful, beautiful and strong young women has been, and is, the greatest joy in my life.
 
I can only hope that I can be the role model for them that my father has been for me my entire life. He taught me the importance of family, friendship and public service. I continue to turn to him for his wisdom and support.
 
This Sunday, I hope that you will be able to share this special time with your loved ones.
 
Happy Father’s Day from my family to yours.

Sincerely,

Andrew M. Cuomo Signature

 

Buffalo’s own Sarah Palin, Carl Paladino, took to Facebook to say this about his former election opponent: 

You know what else good fathers and role models do? They keep their mouths shut. They aren’t homophobes. 

They don’t have multiple families that they keep hidden. They don’t sire children out-of-wedlock. They don’t party ’til the wee hours in Allentown drinking holes. They don’t make up lies about “legendary prowess“. They don’t giggle at anal horse porn, or send around racist and mysoginistic e-mails.  

But above all, good fathers know to dummy up when it comes to hypocritically attacking the morality of others. 

Lucky Buffalo

If you have 20 minutes to spare, please watch this compelling short by local filmmaker Rachel Stover. 

Sending the Bus Monitor on Vacation

I bring this to you in spite of the fact that it’s barely local (Rochester area) and has already become typical dumb-media fodder. I bring it to you because I have kids, and teach them  to be nice people. One of my kids is about the age of the kids in this video, and if I ever found out that she treated another human being the way these kids treated Greece, NY bus monitor Karen Klein, I’d completely lose my shit, and I’d personally hand her over to the cops. 

On a school bus in suburban Rochester on Monday, a group of tween males verbally and physically abused the shit out of their bus monitor, ultimately making her cry. These kids were as relentless as they were ruthless, and the things that came out of their young mouths were utterly despicable. They should be prosecuted, and they should be banned from riding the buses for the remainder of their school careers – they’ve lost that privilege. All of them. 

To underscore how stupid and feckless these little precious snowflakes are, they had their friends video record the whole thing, and it made its way onto YouTube yesterday. After finding its way onto Reddit and 4Chan it went viral and at least one of the videos has been seen well over a million times. (NSFW language)

There are companion videos on YouTube taken by other kids from different angles, some of them showing the perpetrators’ faces. The most heartbreaking is this, from an interview of Ms. Klein by a Rochester reporter: 

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/PatriceWalsh13/status/215496073161084929″]

Just heartbreaking. You want to go hug this woman and tell her it’s ok – that these kids are worthless assholes. 

That’s where the internet comes in. 

As this Mashable article details, the outraged reaction was swift and furious. The kids were identified, as was the victim. But more significantly, Ms. Klein’s own Facebook account reveals that she’s by no means wealthy and doesn’t work as a bus monitor because she loves being harassed by tween idiots. So, an IndieGoGo fundraiser was begun to send her on vacation, or for whatever use she wants. 

As of this writing, here’s the tally: 

So, within a 24-hour period, we see the absolute worst of human behavior, and the very best. 

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