Saturday, August 30, 2014

AUGUST 2014 BONEHEAD ABSURDITY OF THE MONTH


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There are six candidates this month:


1. Amy Coulter:  “Why can’t we deal with our border the way the nation of Israel deals with Hamas?”

Yes, we should be bombing poor and desperate children trying to cross our border.


2. Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama praising the House for standing strong on immigration:

 “While the Republican House has voted to protect our constituents and the Constitution, Senate Democrats have abandoned both in the face of this clear and present danger.”  Responding to criticism of inaction in the House, he offered this sick apologia: “A non-decision is a decision. Indecision is decision.”   


3. Distressed asset king Sam Zell:

“This country should not talk about envy of the 1 percent. The 1 percent work harder.”   


4. Cypress Semiconductor CEO TJ Rodgers:

 “President Obama is a member of a minority and as such I’m sure during his lifetime he has been prejudiced against . . . Now he’s doing the exact same thing, talking about the top 1 percent as if there’s something wrong with us.”   


5. When asked about the issue of same sex marriage, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker responded:

“I don’t think the Republican Party is fighting it. I’m not saying it’s not important, but Republicans have not been talking about this. We’ve been talking about economic and fiscal issues. It’s those on the left that are pushing it.”

This is a strange coming from a man on record supporting his state’s ban on equal marriage and currently defending it in court. Saying Republicans are done talking about it can't be welcomed news to the LGBTQ community or to the solid majority of Americans who now support same sex marriage and LGBTQ rights.


6.  At a secret strategy conference of conservative millionaire and billionaire donors hosted by the Koch brothers, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) had much to say.  He seemed to not know he was being recorded. 

Here’s some of what he said.

“The worst day of my political life was when President George W. Bush signed McCain-Feingold into law.”

Wow!  Lucky man not having to fret over Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, 9/11, Citizens United and other horrors.


“We now have the best Supreme Court in anybody’s memory on the issue of First Amendment political speech.”
“So all Citizens United did was to level the playing field for corporate speech . . .  “We now have, I think, the most free and open system we’ve had in modern times. . . “The Supreme Court allowed all of you to participate in the process in a variety of different ways.”

As if the millionaires and billionaires weren't previously participating.  Damn it, corporations are not persons!


Regarding the proposed constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United:

Well, you and I — and everyone else fighting these absurd and disastrous Supreme Court rulings — are defending the First Amendment.


He also touched on the ability of Republicans to control the budget by placing riders on the spending bill.  To thwart President Obama and the Democrats, he smugly announced:

"No money can be spent to do this or to do that.  We're going to go after them on healthcare, on financial services, on the Environmental Protection Agency, across the board . . .  All across the federal government, we're going to go after it."


 And the winner this month is . . . . .


Monday, August 18, 2014

WHILE THE RIGHT ORGANIZES, THE LEFT SLUMBERS

  By Ronald Fox  


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There was a time, not so long ago, when I lamented that America was in an extreme conservative moment. Now, I’m sorry to say, that moment appears to be much more enduring that I thought. Despite so many reasons why voters should turn away from ideological conservatives and their GOP brethren-- their declining appeal to women, Latinos, and young voters, hostility to policies that would benefit the overwhelming majority of Americans, such as healthcare, job creation, raising the minimum wage, a fairer tax structure, a greater investment in public works, and protection of the environment, and their blatant promotion of the interests of the wealthy-- conservative Republican fortunes appear to be on the rise with no end in sight.  

Recently three articles appeared in the New York Times that added salt to my oozing political wounds: outside group spending on political advertising is set to break $2 billion in congressional races, up nearly 70 percent since the 2010 midterm election; Republicans are now being given a 60% chance to take over majority control of the Senate; and, the Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld a law limiting collective bargaining rights for most public employees. Ouch! The future seems to hold only more ugliness for the left.  

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

O'BANNON WINS: THE NCAA GIVES SOME GROUND

  By Ronald Fox   

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A number of legal and policy developments have taken place since I posted The NCAA under Fire. This post will bring you up to date.   

O’Bannon v. the NCAA
 
On August 7, U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken issued her ruling on the O’Bannon v. the NCAA class action lawsuit. While it is sure to please the O’Bannon plaintiffs and future football and men's basketball players in power conferences, it raises many questions about fair competition and the future of college sports. In a 99-page decision, Wilken ruled that the NCAA’s decades-old rule barring payment to players for the use of their names, images and likenesses in video games and television broadcasts (names on their jerseys) was in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890.  This strikes down NCAA regulations that prohibit athletes from receiving anything other than scholarships and the cost of attending school.

In accordance with the decision, power conference athletes who enroll on or after July 1, 2016 can begin receiving payments in the form of deferred compensation.  Television and video game revenues will be put into a trust fund to pay Football Bowl Subdivision and men's Division I basketball players after they leave school. The NCAA, however, will be allowed to set a cap on the money to be paid to athletes, as long as it allows at least $5000 per athlete per year of competition. The ruling does not allow players to endorse products for money. 
 
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Ed O'Bannon Likeness in a Video Game

Monday, August 11, 2014

WHERE HAS ALL THE COLOR GONE? THE HOMOGENIZATION OF THE PGA TOUR




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By Ronald Fox

Although Jordan Spieth, the 20-year old golf phenom, has won only one PGA event, he appears poised to cash in big on endorsement contracts. After Spieth's tie for second at the 2014 Masters, Bob Dorfman, executive director at Baker Street Advertising in San Francisco, pointed to the young star as exactly what golf needs right now and companies will be lining up to sign him. Dorfman believes because Spieth is not flashy, outspoken or controversial, he will appeal to golf’s core audience. Acknowledging Spieth's lack of charisma and uniqueness, Dorfman thinks it’s the Dallas native’s squeaky-clean image that traditionalists can get behind.

Lacking charisma and uniqueness? Not flashy or unique? Squeaky-clean image is just what golf needs?  Is this what professional golf has come to?