Archive for September 23, 2012
I have been on the road a lot this year. Geez am I sorry. I think we need a contest in Iowa to identify the worst stretch of paved road in Iowa. We already know that Iowa’s bridges are among the worst in the country. The good news is that after driving over Iowa’s railroad track roads, your car may well break down before reaching the bridge. Maybe we should be sell insurance policies at the borders to make money?
One of the worst stretches was finally fixed this summer, Hwy. 70 from West Liberty to Nichols. We used to talk of “bouncing” down to Nichols and we meant just that. But the rest of Hwy. 70 ain’t much better. I have been in all but the Northwest sector of Iowa recently and let’s face it, Iowa roads are generally bad. But we dare not raise a tax for fear that someone will squawk. Hey, Branstad, maybe fixing the roads and bridges would create some jobs?
Citizens United Lets Romney Buy A Nomination
See what Citizens United wrought. The Republican Party was all behind what many consider one of the 2 or 3 worst decisions ever made by the Supreme Court (Dred Scott and Plessy V. Ferguson come to mind). No doubt that in this age of media being all powerful, with some 90% of the media in Republican leaning hands, it sure looked like a shoo in that Republicans up and down the ticket could simply overwhelm everyone with advertisements and friendly news reports and like robots we would all vote Republican.
So Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum all dug into their deep pockets and the very deep pockets of rich men looking to buy a president and the money race was on. Mitt won because his own pockets are extremely deep as are those of his (no, not friends) uh, supporters (wannabe owners). And Mitt literally bought himself a nomination for President.
During the primary there were many disturbing signs of what kind of a candidate Mitt would be. By that I mean lousy. But the money bet on Romney and they would not be denied. Citizens United kind of gave themthe right to buy a candidate after all. So, hundreds of millions of dollars later, they are realizing that they have probably bought the worst candidate for president ever. If they had ever thought beyond their own pocketbooks and considered what kind of a president Romney would be they would probably shake in their boots like many of us do.
Running on a platform of ending Medicare and Social Security, giving more and bigger tax cuts to the rich while raising taxes on the middle and lower class, pulling back a chance at health care that was for many (one third or more) out of reach until Obama, treating women like property and treating any but white males as less than citizens, is a hard sale.
$250,000 is Middle Class?
When I hear lefty talk show hosts reacting to this comment by Mitt Romney on Meet the Press a couple of weeks ago as a sign of how out of touch Mitt is, I think they are missing another take on it. Mitt has very blatantly shown his disdain for anyone who doesn’t have money. That means those below a certain level. For us those “with money” start at the point of about $100,000/ year. For the rich, anyone below $250,000 / year are not worthy of their concern. More likely anyone below a million $s per year is worthy of disdain.
What You Can’t Buy, Steal or Supress.
As noted in the first part, Mitt Romney and his party figured they could buy the election. Thank goodness 50% + 1 appear do not want to be bought. So the back up plan still no doubt involves the computers that count our votes. Hopefully, the margins will be large that stealing votes will be obvious. Last line of offense for them is to suppress votes of those who don’t look like they may vote for Republicans. One of the major groups this year will be women.
So far courts have been stepping in to stop supression. Let us hope they can continue to do so right up to election day. They have one more line of suppression, a group called “True the Vote” that claims they will physically be at the polls to intimidate those who they don’t believe should vote. I am expecting this to fall flat on its face, but it sure is a good reason to vote by mail.
Women: A Very Good Reason Why Not To Change Your Name When Married.
One of the major suppression efforts is to stop those whose name on their birth certificate does not match the name on the voter rolls. Guess who that will affectthe most? Women who changed their last name to that of their husband’s upon marriage and somehow the local government has somehow lost record of the marriage.
Come November, Women Will Remember!
Well, it is that annual ritual of TV networks displaying their new wares for us to ignore. Now that there are a zillion TV stations, Netflix, computer and other places to get our entertainment, this annual sacrifice has become much less of a cultural big deal. But once upon a time, it was a very big deal. I am planning on going back a few years to see what you can remember or ever heard of on the early days of TV. Can’t do this all in one quiz, so we will revisit TV occasionally.
When I say early days, I mean let’s start in the 1940s. So go out on the porch and get those old copies of TV Guide and settle in for a few questions.
1) The first TV networks were quite rudimentary. They connected large cities mostly in the northeast. In 1946 there were 2 networks. NBC was one, what was the other?
2) What sport was one of nascent TV’s most popular offerings?
3) In the fall of 1949, a variety show debuted on CBS on Sunday night that would run for a long time as “The Ed Sullivan Show.” What was its original name?
a) The Great White Way
b) Showbiz Showcase
c) Your Show of Shows
d) The Toast of the Town.
4) In 1946, there were 2 networks and just a few shows. By 1949, there were four networks and pretty much a full schedule. What two new networks were added since 1946.
a) CBS and Dumont
b) CBS and ABC
c) Paramount and ABC
d) Mutual and ABC
5) Network evening schedules now start at 7PM central. What time did the evening network schedule begin in 1949 (central time)?
a) 7 PM same as today
b) 6:30 PM
c) 6 PM
d) 7:30 PM
6) Which network pioneered the network evening news in 1948?
7) How long was the evening news in 1948?
a) 10 minutes
b) 15 minutes
c) 30 minutes
d) a full hour
8) In 1949, many companies sponsored TV shows which featured their name. Often these were variety or anthology type programs. Which of the following companies DID NOT have their name on a show in 1949?
a) Procter and Gamble
9) In the 1949 season many of the new shows were adaptations of radio shows. Which show featured a blue collar dad with a wife, daughter and son who usually outsmarted him? Each week usually had a “revolting development.”
a) The Aldrich Family
b) The Goldbergs
c) The Life of Riley
d) The Ed Wynn Show
10) What is the oldest TV station in Iowa, signing on on Halloween of 1949?
a) WHO – Des Moines
b) WOC – Davenport
c) WMT – Cedar Rapids
d) KWWL – Waterloo
Talking about taking us back a long ways. Well, we’ll get a little more contemporary later. I am always curious about how things start. Network TV has been a major force in the US for 60 years. It is fun to see how it started.
So let’s see some answers:
1) b) the Dumont Network
2) a) boxing filled a lot of hours in early TV. Remember network TV was mostly broadcast from New York where prize fights were a daily occurrence.
3) d) The Toast of the Town
4) b) CBS and ABC
5) c) 6 PM central
6) d) CBS
7) b) 15 minutes
8) a) Procter and Gamble. But I’ll bet they advertised a bit.
9) c) The Life of Riley starring Jackie Gleason (what? check it out here)
10) b) WOC – most of the others signed on in 1953.