Berry Craig: A few of the purveyors of this bigoted nonsense might actually believe it. Most of them, however, are merely seeking political gain by inviting white voters to question the motives and good faith of the nation’s first African-American president. This is really about tearing Barack Obama down.
Sylvia Moore: John Amato is frustrated about the state of American politics. But he hasn’t let that frustration bring him down. Instead, for the last decade, Amato has been wielding his sword against the American right-wing machine from his computer.
Anthony Samad: The players in this free agency cycle leveraged the owners to the hilt, as well they should’ve. They are talent that makes the league profit. And they’re not slaves. Curt Flood is smiling from above. One day, the owners are going to get over it and put him in the baseball Hall of Fame.
Michaelangelo Price: And what about O’Reilly’s “alone time” fantasy, fake writer Ann Coulter? Can you imagine her piggish self-interest in social climbing the dregs of Long Island society has anything at all to do with genuine patriotism?
H. Scott Prosterman: I suppose the point of all this is that stuffing as many hot dogs into one’s mouth as possible in 10 minutes is good, clean, healthy fun, and that all young Americans should aspire to such ambitions. If you get really good at it, you can turn pro and sign endorsement contracts. After all, eaters are athletes.
Michael Sigman: Roger Nygard’s new documentary The Nature of Existence gives us a good-natured glimpse into the imaginations of brilliant thinkers from science, religion and other disciplines on life’s fundamental questions. If we try to let our imaginations run free and work shoulder to shoulder on real problems instead of fantasizing about self-aggrandizement — my own particular fave being high school basketball greatness — maybe we can become an imagine-nation and begin to turn things around.
Sylvia Moore: Hastings, a freelance reporter, is being criticized for exposing the insults and embarrassing behavior. Lara Logan, a foreign correspondent for CBS, blasted Hastings on CNN for what she felt was a breach of trust on his part that could possibly damage journalists’ relations with the military.
John Amato Speaking at LA Media Reform Fundraiser in Beverly Hills on July 16: In Over the Cliff: How Obama’s Election Drove the American Right Insane, John Amato and coauthor David Neiwert show that the Tea Party “movement” was not the organic uprising it was made to appear, but rather was kick-started by FOX News and follows in a long tradition of movement conservative activism that harkens back to the street theater days of Jack Abramoff, Ralph Reed, and Grover Norquist.
Michael Sigman: Joe Donnelly and Laurie Ochoa — the deputy editor and editor, respectively, of LA Weekly until both were forced out by corporate overlords from Phoenix in recent years — have joined forces to produce the debut issue of the quarterly Slake Los Angeles. It’s a gorgeous, 232-page quarterly mix of journalism, fiction, poetry, photography and art.
Lydia Howell: When one considers how many scoundrels remain in powerful positions in both public and private life, the swiftness with which Helen Thomas was dumped after 50 years of reporting on U.S. presidents was breathtaking. More so when you listen to TV talking-heads blandly repeating corporate and Pentagon PR as “news” and Faux News blowhards like Beck and Limbaugh shamelessly make vicious slanders, perpetrate outright lies and create disinformation.
Tina Dupuy: But the story is also a poignant criticism of technological advancement. The current struggle between “old media” and “new media” is one of reporting versus digesting news. One hundred years ago a lecturer in Forster’s tale pronounces, ”Beware of first-hand ideas! First hand-ideas do not really exist…Let your ideas be second-hand, and if possible tenth-hand, for then they will be far removed from the disturbing element – direct observation.” It’s a rundown of blogging verses journalism.
Mark Bowen: In baseball, as in life, we need people like Bud Selig to exercise their judgment as to when certain challenges have gone too far. But in baseball, as in life, we’ll eventually get to the point where our paranoia over imagined unintended consequences gives way to our recognition of the value of doing the job right.
Mike Price: Here is really what’s germane to the plot. I blundered, realized it, and told you about it as soon as possible, fully realizing that such a bizarre course of action goes against everything we’re accustomed to getting from Haliburton, Haliburton subsidiaries, BP executives, right-wingydings, politicians, radio blabbers, media whores, talk-show “experts,” broadcast prognosticators, blondish corporate spokesmodels, and the entire Fox News menagerie of well-coiffed ignorami.
Joseph Palermo: For example, contrary to the mythology that sometimes fogs President Ronald Reagan’s overall fiscal record, the tax burden of working Americans increased during the 1980s, as did the national debt, and the overall size of the government. By 1986, the cumulative federal debt had reached $2 trillion, which was more than the United States had accumulated in its entire previous history.
Michaelangelo Price: Rock Hudson was, literally, too big for the boat. The sumptuous main cabin had standing-room of 6 feet 2 inches, but it wasn’t enough airspace for him, and he must have cracked his skull against the overhead a thousand times during those first few days. He never got upset about it, though. About anything, as a matter of fact.
Michael Sigman: Given the commodification of dissent in corporate America, it’s doubtful Fey or anyone else will achieve Twain’s trifecta of talent, courage and mass popularity. But worrying about what we can’t control will only invite the kind of unhappiness that caused the great man himself to reflect that, “My life has been a series of disasters, most of which never happened.”
Joseph Palermo: The wide dissemination of Beck’s views wouldn’t matter much if the United States were in better shape today. But the status quo that is emerging cannot help but create a highly volatile electorate for years to come. Class lines are hardening, mobility is stifled, unemployment will remain near double digits for many years, there is a sea of angry voters who are susceptible to jingoistic appeals and conspiracy theories (like the ones Beck promotes). The ongoing fiscal crisis at the local, state, and federal levels has led to the heartless rollback of public institutions at exactly the time when they are needed the most.
Michael Sigman: Reacher fascinates more because his isolation isn’t metaphorical. He has no home, no family, no ongoing relationships, no cell phone and no possessions. He buys a new set of generic clothes every few days, and earns pocket money via odd jobs as he randomly drifts from place to place, encountering more troubles than Job and more liaisons than Ricky Nelson’s Travelin’ Man.