I’ll admit it. I’m one of those who prefers the commercials to the game. But thanks to that disgusting ad for Doritos, I’ll likely never eat one again. Probably not the reaction they were looking for, but this could lead the way to a whole new diet industry – vomit-inducing advertising.
Aside from that commercial, the worst part of last night was the Black Eyed Peas. I would have been as surprised as the majority of my twitter stream when they defaced the song from Dirty Dancing, but since I have an 11-year old daughter who didn’t inherit my musical snobbery, I was already familiar with that debacle. Who knew it could sound worse live than in its studio version?
I did enjoy being able to root for a team (even though I don’t give a damn about football). I based my pick on politics. (Go figure!) The Green Bay Packers are Socialist! Seriously. According to wikipedia:
The Packers are the only non-profit, community-owned franchise in American professional sports major leagues. Typically, a team is owned by one person, partnership, or corporate entity, i.e., a “team owner.” The lack of a dominant owner has been stated as one of the reasons the Green Bay Packers have never been moved from the city of Green Bay, a city of only 102,313 people as of the 2000 census.…
Based on the original “Articles of Incorporation for the (then) Green Bay Football Corporation” put into place in 1923, if the Packers franchise were to have been sold, after the payment of all expenses, any remaining money would go to the Sullivan Post of the American Legion in order to build “a proper soldier’s memorial.” This stipulation was enacted to ensure the club remained in Green Bay and that there could never be any financial enhancement for the shareholders. At the November 1997 annual meeting, shareholders voted to change the beneficiary from the Sullivan-Wallen Post to the Green Bay Packers Foundation, which makes donations to many charities and institutions throughout Wisconsin.
So, hurray! The Commies won. (I’m sure some right wing blog will take that totally out of context…)
Now that the “big game” is over, it’s on to the real world. I have to thank Bill O’Reilly. Just when I’m feeling not very kindly towards our president, he interviews him. President Obama showed Bill-O just how it’s done!
I felt like I was living in an episode of the Twilight Zone yesterday as the world seemed to have gone Reagan mad. I understand that yesterday would have been Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday, but the accolades being heaped on the man who started the beginning of the end of the greatness of America was sickening. (Right up there with the Doritos commercial!)
To bring a little bit of reality to the proceedings, we’ll listen to Mike Stark’s takedown of Rush Limbaugh on the issue,
then talk to my friend Will Bunch, whose first book was called Tear Down This Myth: The Right-Wing Distortion of the Reagan Legacy.
So how do you feel about talking about talking about Egypt or the legacy of Ronald Reagan? Because if you were watching the Sunday shows, that was pretty much it.
On the subject of Reagan, this weekend being the centennial of his birth, I am constantly struck by the disconnect between the deification of Reagan within the conservative movement and the reality of who the man is. Richard Norton Smith, who is a former director of the Reagan Presidential Library, wrote an article for Time Magazine on Reagan’s legacy, and pointed out that the main difference between Reagan and the conservatives today is that Reagan was inclusive, while the conservatives of today thrive on divisiveness. On C-Span’s Washington Journal, the host remarked that LBJ’s centennial in 2008 seemed to go by without a blip. And Smith highlights perfectly how so many Americans celebrate the style of Reagan over the substance of LBJ: (relevant part in the last 30 seconds of clip)
You could make the case that the last forty years of American political history is in many ways a response to LBJ and “The Great Society”. When you think of what Johnson—what we take for granted – HeadStart, Medicare, Medicaid, the Voting Rights Act, the National Endowment for the Arts, PBS, clean water and air legislation, all sorts of environmental legislation, and on and on and on… More legislation than FDR passed. And most of it is still on the books. And it’s a very interesting thing, one of the really fascinating tests lies ahead: is to what degree modern-day conservatives want to undo elements of The Great Society? Because so far, I haven’t heard a lot of people calling for the repeal of HeadStart, for example.
Clearly, Smith has not been listening to those politicians pandering to the tea parties, since abolishing federal funding for education has been a top item and Head Start is one of the many programs that on the chopping block in this time of “austerity”. But more importantly, LBJ worked domestically to ensure social justice, to mitigate racial and economic disparities. Reagan used coded language to play into the unease that white voters felt that the strides in civil rights took away their own deserved privilege and gave it to minorities. My colleague Jon Perr highlighted all the ways that Reagan would not find support in his own party nowadays. (post includes Sarah Palin’s speech at Reagan’s centennial opening ceremony, which is good for another discussion—the whole thing is such an meaningless word salad I’m not sure what’s the best section of the 13 minute clip, the first minute is pretty indicative of the whole. We can also talk about Sarah criticizing Obama on Christian Broadcasting Network over how he’s dealt with Egypt. There’s no audio of that interview as yet, but the transcripts are more idiocracy on parade:
“And nobody yet has, nobody yet has explained to the American public what they know, and surely they know more than the rest of us know who it is who will be taking the place of Mubarak and no, not, not real enthused about what it is that that’s being done on a national level and from D.C. in regards to understanding all the situation there in Egypt. And, in these areas that are so volatile right now, because obviously it’s not just Egypt but the other countries too where we are seeing uprisings, we know that now more than ever, we need strength and sound mind there in the White House. We need to know what it is that America stands for so we know who it is that America will stand with. And, we do not have all that information yet.”
Go ahead, read that paragraph and tell me what means. I’ve read it several times and I’m no closer to figuring it out. By the way, last week Sarah Palin tried to trademark her name—but forgot to sign the forms—so we’ll need to come up with our own moniker so as to not violate the trademark. Personally, I’m leaning towards Half Governor Word Salad.)
Back to Sunday shows, Candy Crowley spoke to the Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, who claimed that all of the arrests and detaining of journalists in Egypt were unintentional. Oh really? ABC published a list of dozens of incidences of violence involving journalists on Thursday. Since then, two other Al Jazeera journalists have been arrested. The fact of the matter is this: the Egyptian government cannot allow journalists to accurate report what’s happening on the ground, which is that it is pro-government forces that have instigated violence in Tahrir Square and elsewhere. The only way to shut up the journalists is to either lock them up or intimidate them.
Speaking of intimidation, one of the most impressive spokespersons for the Egyptian people has been Mona Eltahawy. She went toe-to-toe with Alan Dershowitz, who actually had the bad taste (and poor debating skills) to go Godwin on her with his focus that the US must place its relationship with Israel first and foremost over the self-determination of the Egyptian people. (relevant portion approximately 2:40-3:40). Frankly, I agree with Eltahawy, Dershowitz is talking nonsense. The Egyptian people should not be forced to subjugate their own lives and live under a repressive dictatorship for the comfort of another country. If Israel wants to maintain a good relationship with Egypt, it’s incumbent upon them to seek out good diplomatic relations with them.
And then we have Alan Simpson. Mr. Potty Mouth is really upset that his Catfood Commission recommendations are not being implemented. He complains about politicians not being interested in doing anything but getting re-elected and Americans not being interested in sacrifice, and no one could possibly understand the dire economic circumstances we find ourselves more than he and his fellow commissioners. But if that’s true, why do all their recommendations come on the backs of those that can least afford it? Candy Crowley waxes nostalgic about the Eisenhower years and the shared sacrifices of Americans, but neither admits that the top marginal tax rate during Eisenhower was almost 90%. So exactly who is doing the sacrificing? If we followed Simpson’s suggestions, it will be our children and grandchildren, who will have to wait until 68 to collect Social Security, and even then, at a lower rate than the current group does.