Drown the Government in a Bathtub

January 22, 2009 at 10:02 am

Here is a list of conservative legislation designed to “drown the government in a bathtub” at the request of big business (note the Orwellian titles): Safety and Health Improvement and Regulatory Reform Act of 1995 – Written by a group of industry lobbyists to weaken OSHA The Telecommunications Act of […]

Who is the Government Giving Money To?

January 16, 2009 at 9:15 pm

USAspending.gov This is a wonderful, searchable site where you can view who is receiving money from the federal government for contracts, grants, and federal assistance. It contains a list of the top 100 contractors as well as being searchable by congressional district or agency. Here’s an example built using data […]

Bruce Ivins, Credibility, and our Financial Markets

August 9, 2008 at 12:10 pm

Something kept bothering me the other day as I listened to an interview on NPR discussing the evidence in the Bruce Ivins anthrax case. I thought about it and thought about it and then it hit me what it was: I didn’t believe the story. Now bear with me for […]

The Irony of “Blame Government” Politicians

March 2, 2008 at 5:22 pm

In the ’80s, conservatives introduced the frame of smaller government which has transformed itself into “government is bad” or the “blame government” frame: Here’s some statements you’ll frequently hear from “blame government” politicians: It’s inefficient The market can do a better job End “big government” Government supports welfare and entitlement […]

Truth Versus “Fair and Balanced” Part II

January 4, 2008 at 4:02 am

Don Lichter from the CMPA returned my e-mail: Dear Mr Akadjian, Thank you for your thoughtful note. For us the choice of outlets is a matter of resources and logistics – we simply can’t do more in real time. For several elections we did the 3 broadcast nets; we added […]

Truth Versus “Fair and Balanced”

January 1, 2008 at 4:25 pm

Dear Donald Rieck and the Center for Media and Public Affairs, While interesting, I’m worried that your election study showing FOX to be the most “fair and balanced” in election coverage uses a conservative definition of the media. Conservatives and FOX News would argue that to be “fair and balanced” […]

Historic Messages: Ben Franklin

December 16, 2007 at 11:47 pm

Here’s a selection of a few Benjamin Franklin (the original self-made man) quotes from Bartleby’s and his Autobiography to remind us of some of his thoughts on America. Liberty “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Historical Review of […]

On Norman Mailer on Iraq

August 17, 2007 at 10:23 pm

I think I love Norman Mailer. Let’s look at a few things Norman Mailer does in this video clip to communicate his values. The question that was asked of him was to talk about “honor” and “shame” when it comes to Iraq. He talks about loving America as if he […]

In Search of an Objective Media

June 24, 2007 at 3:33 pm

You know you’ve heard it. The dreaded “liberal media” label that has sent scores of journalists scurrying to defend themselves against accusations of bias. Conservatives love the liberal media frame because it has been tremendously effective for them. Rather than deal directly with an argument, just dismiss it as liberal. […]

Democrats’ Top Priority

June 4, 2007 at 10:37 pm

Democratic presidential hopefuls were asked what their top priority was in a recent CNN debate. Here’s a sampling of responses:

  • Edwards: “travel the world” and “re-establish America’s moral authority.”
  • Clinton: bring home U.S. troops from Iraq.
  • Obama: bring home U.S. troops and push for national health care.
  • New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson: upgrade U.S. schools and push a $40,000-a-year minimum wage for teachers.