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Friday Morning News: Somewhat Self-Centered Edition


It’s Friday again, Conflucians. Sorry your breakfast post is so late this morning. Time is passing too quickly for me these days! I just have too much to do and not enough time to do it in. Sorry about being so late with the news this morning. Anyway, my lead story is a local one that stems from a huge national issue–the concentration of control of our media in the hands of a few giant corporations. Obviously, I’m really an old geezer, because it’s a story that made me really sad this week. I need to wallow in my nostalgia a bit this morning, and I hope you’ll forgive me for that.


This week–the week that marks the 40th anniversary of Woodstock–also saw the death of Boston’s legendary radio station, WBCN. The station went on the air in May of 1968, a year after I moved here–and it changed everything.

‘BCN was one of the first FM stations in the country to begin playing free-form progressive rock. But they played all kinds of music! The DJ’s were free to play anything they wanted, and would respond to all kinds of requests. I remember once late at night a friend of mine had an irresistable desire to hear Bill Monroe playing “Get Down on Your Knees and Pray.” He called it in to ‘BCN, and the DJ dug out the record and played it.

WBCN also covered politics. Like the underground newspapers that were popping up in the late ’60s, ‘BCN represented a decidedly “underground,” anti-establishment viewpoint. If an important political action was happening, you heard about it on WBCN. This week, WBCN was silenced, and apparently this is part of a national trend.

WBCN signs off the air in Boston radio shakeup

From Rolling Stone in July: “The Rock of Boston” WBCN Falls Victim to Rock Radio Decline

For the third time this year, an iconic rock radio station in a major city is shifting formats: Boston’s 104.1 WBCN, “The Rock of Boston,” will leave the airwaves on August 13th. The rock station had been broadcasting for 41 years. According to Billboard.biz, WBCN was a victim of CBS Radio’s desire to launch an all-sports talk radio station on the FM dial. The company’s Adult Top 40 Mix station will make the jump from 98.5 to 104.1, with the sports station taking over at 98.5.

From The Boston Globe: The glory days of the rock of Boston

THE YEAR was 1968. Young Americans were dying in an unpopular war halfway around the world. Protesters were battling police on campuses and in the streets throughout the country. A national upheaval was underway involving the anti-war, civil rights, feminist, and gay and lesbian movements. These revolutions would forever transform the nation socially, culturally, and politically. But you would never know it from listening to the radio, where fast-talking DJs played ads for acne cream along with Top 40 pop ballads like Frank and Nancy Sinatra’s “Something Stupid.’’

And then came WBCN-FM….WBCN began broadcasting from the back room of the Boston Tea Party [legendary Boston live music venue] on March 15, 1968. From the moment it hit the air, the station helped define, as well as promote, popular culture and politics in Boston for the ’60s/boomer generation in a way that nothing had before. And its impact quickly spilled over nationally….its role in launching music careers, including The Who, The J. Geils Band, Aerosmith, and U2, has been widely cited. But WBCN was more than a cultural innovator. It was a social and political force as well, particularly from 1968 to 1975, when, long before Facebook or MySpace, the station served as the social medium that connected a generation in Boston.

The Liberal blog, Down With Tyranny had a a long blog post about WBCN awhile back: WBCN: The thrill is long gone. Corporate mindlessness proudly kills another iconic radio station.

What set WBCN apart was not just the good taste of the people who worked there; it was its innate irreverence and humor. When I moved to Boston, I got to experience BCN firsthand for many years. Those qualities were a perfect match for the overwhelmingly youthful population (thanks to what seems like hundreds of colleges in the area) it served. Notice the word “served.” FCC licenses used to be granted to radio stations so that they could serve the community. Such a notion is still in the bylaws of the FCC charter, but it has been ignored and rendered meaningless by Washington slimebags who hold a different agenda. BCN was inspired radio as opposed to the paint-by-numbers, devoid-of-humanity radio now imposed on us by polyester-draped corporate yahoos who spend their days throwing buzzwords around, somehow convincing themselves that their joke lives have meaning. BCN arrived in the days when you could still tell the makes of the cars on your street apart without having to look for some damn logo that the car company paid someone a million bucks to “design.”


Listening to BCN in the early ’70s was like listening to The Daily Show, with music, and, you never knew who might drop by, often unannounced and unhyped. It could be anyone from David Bowie to guru Baba Ram Dass. It was just peer-to-peer conversation. You could even think of it as a cult. To its audience, BCN was an integral part of the day. To the straights or fearful repugs of the day, it was a vaguely menacing foreign-language station.

OK, enough of my self-centered wallowing. Now to the news of today.

The Health Care

The “Death Panels” canard is really taking root in the public consciousness.

Finance Committee to drop end-of-life provision

The Senate Finance Committee will drop a controversial provision on consultations for end-of-life care from its proposed healthcare bill, its top Republican member said Thursday.

The committee, which has worked on putting together a bipartisan healthcare reform bill, will drop the controversial provision after it was derided by conservatives as “death panels” to encourage euthanasia.

“On the Finance Committee, we are working very hard to avoid unintended consequences by methodically working through the complexities of all of these issues and policy options,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said in a statement. “We dropped end-of-life provisions from consideration entirely because of the way they could be misinterpreted and implemented incorrectly.”

Chuck Grassley is nuts, but President Obama still wants to work with him, according to Sam Stein at Huffington Post

Undaunted by Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley’s declaration that the Democratic health care agenda might empower the government to “pull the plug on grandma,” President Obama still hopes to achieve a bipartisan reform bill, his spokesman said Thursday.

Press secretary Robert Gibbs chose his words carefully on Thursday when asked to respond to comments made by Grassley, who is one of three key Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee tasked with crafting compromise legislation. Despite being heavily wooed by the White House, Grassley took up the fundamentally dishonest “death panels” line of attack at a town hall meeting on Tuesday.

Gibbs suggested the Iowa Republican talk to his Republican colleague, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska who deemed the death panel rumor an offensive myth designed to “gin up fear in the American public.”

The New York Times today says that the “death panels” attacks come from the same groups that defeated Bill Clinton’s health care initiative: False ‘Death Panel’ Rumor Has Some Familiar Roots

Why are all the “death panel” discussions in the press focused on the “end of life counseling” portions of the bill instead of the parts of the bill that establish a panel of government and insurance industry “experts” to decide what will be covered? Would it be a good idea to try to get some representatives of the people on that panel? Will there ever be an end to these distractions?

Never mind, that was a rhetorical question.

At his health care town hall in New Hampshire this week, President Obama insulted doctors who treat diabetics.

Asked about government panels that could restrict medical treatments, Mr. Obama said a panel of doctors and health experts would set guidelines for the most appropriate methods of care, and that is needed to eliminate wasteful practices.

He used the example of diabetes patients, saying currently insurers will only pay a “pittance” for a family doctor to monitor medication and diet of diabetes patients that can prevent costly problems later. But he said the insurance companies do not hesitate to pay $30,000 for a foot amputation for a diabetic who does not get good preventive care.

“Why not make sure we are reimbursing the care that can prevent the amputation?” he asked, saying changes are needed in medical reimbursement policies.

The President also insulted the U.S. Postal Service (see below under other news).


Are Democrats losing August?

Massive Campaign for Obama Hits Air

New treatments for cancer in the offing?

New Screening Could Lead to More Potent Cancer Drugs

Compound Targets, Destroys Cancer Stem Cells in Mice

Hillary Clinton’s “Meltdown”

The NYT Lede Blog tries to tell the truth about Hillary’s response to a stupid question.

It always seemed unlikely to The Lede that a translator working for Mrs. Clinton would make such a large error with a question asked in French — or that an African university student would say “Mr. Clinton” when he meant “Mr. Obama” — and my colleague Jeffrey Gettleman reports in Thursday’s New York Times that “further inspection of the audio recording of the event indicated that the translation was fine; the student had indeed said ‘Mr. Clinton.’ ” A second reporter traveling with Mrs. Clinton, a friend of your Lede blogger’s who is a magazine journalist, said the same thing in an e-mail exchange on Wednesday night, that a French-speaking colleague who was in the room confirmed that the student “did ask the question that way: ‘the mind of Mr. From the lips of Mrs.’ ”

Given that it now appears that the question was translated correctly — and that the male student wanted to know not just what Bill Clinton thought of Chinese relations with Congo but also what the former N.B.A. star Dikembe Mutumbo, who was present at the event, thought, too, but expressed no interest in the perspective of America’s female secretary of state — is it possible that Mrs. Clinton has gotten a raw deal from commentators in the United States for her angry reply?

Will anyone pay attention? Never mind, that was another rhetorical questions. BTW, MABlue says the big story in Germany is Hillary’s fight to end the use of rape as an instrument of war in the Congo. Whatever. For the U.S. media the only story is that Hillary is a “mad bitch.”

An Eclectic Selection of Other News

This is scary: US Report: NASA Can’t Track Deadly Asteroids

A new U.S. government report says the U.S. space agency does not have enough money to find asteroids that could destroy life on Earth.

The National Academy of Sciences said Wednesday that Congress has yet to give NASA the money it needs to build telescopes to track the potentially deadly space objects.

(h/t Dakinikat)

Air traffic controller suspended, was chatting on phone with girlfriend during Hudson River crash

President Obama insulted postal workers while pushing health reform in NH (h/t Stateofdisbelief)

The President and the Postal Service

Can I get one of these to catch the little field mice that keep sneaking into my kitchen?


BBC: Giant ‘meat-eating’ plant found

A new species of giant carnivorous plant has been discovered in the highlands of the central Philippines.

The pitcher plant is among the largest of all pitchers and is so big that it can catch rats as well as insects in its leafy trap.

A window into the brain: Researchers use MRI to track memories

When we absorb new information, the human brain reshapes itself to store this newfound knowledge. But where exactly is the new knowledge kept, and how does that capacity to adapt reflect our risk for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of senile dementia later in our lives?

Will universities soon start following paper newspapers into irrelevancy?

How Web-Savvy Edupunks Are Transforming American Higher Education

MIT’s courseware may be free, yet an MIT degree still costs upward of $189,000. College tuition has gone up more than any other good or service since 1990, and our nation’s students and graduates hold a staggering $714 billion in outstanding student-loan debt. Once the world’s most educated country, the United States today ranks 10th globally in the percentage of young people with postsecondary degrees. “Colleges have become outrageously expensive, yet there remains a general refusal to acknowledge the implications of new technologies,” says Jim Groom, an “instructional technologist” at Virginia’s University of Mary Washington and a prominent voice in the blogosphere for blowing up college as we know it Groom…coined the term “edupunk” to describe the growing movement toward high-tech do-it-yourself education….

The edupunks are on the march. From VC-funded startups to the ivied walls of Harvard, new experiments and business models are springing up from entrepreneurs, professors, and students alike. Want a class that’s structured like a role-playing game? An accredited bachelor’s degree for a few thousand dollars? A free, peer-to-peer Wiki university? These all exist today, the overture to a complete educational remix….”If universities can’t find the will to innovate and adapt to changes in the world around them,” professor David Wiley of Brigham Young University has written, “universities will be irrelevant by 2020.”

Gel condom to empower women

A new gel could make a “vaginal condom” that would physically entrap semen and anything it contains, including sperm and viruses such as HIV.

The gel is liquid as long as it is in contact with the acidity that is normal in a vagina, but will turn solid when it encounters semen, which is slightly alkaline. Any particles wider than 50 nanometres – including sperm, HIV and other viruses such as the herpes virus and the papilloma virus, which causes cervical cancer – are trapped, so the gel could double up as both a protectant and a contraceptive.

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88 Responses

  1. Do young people listen to radio anymore?

    I thought they just downloaded music to their iPods these days.

    • Yes, that’s true. But I’m not a young person any more. Can I be forgiven for a little nostalgia? I hope so….

      • Our local AM radio station went off the air at midnight when I was a kid. They were still doing it when I was in late teens – my first car didn’t have an FM radio. If the weather conditions were right we could pick up XROC out of somewhere on the Tex-Mex border.

        • From what I’ve been reading, radio is moving away from playing music period. The big push is for talk radio. It makes me sad. I do still enjoy listening to the radio, especially in the car. But, let’s face it, America just wants people my age to get on an ice floe and die as quickly as we possibly can.

      • Jerks…..CBS took down our beloved radio station too. They must have thing for selling 98.5 because those were the numbers on the dial also. KOME went silent in 98. Let’s just say they would play on the call letters on air and with bumper stickers and license plate frames.

        I miss that radio station. They even hit the ‘cover of the Rolling Stone.’

        Sorry you had to see yours go the same way. Nothing has even KOME close to replacing it. 😉

    • Why isn’t that bastard in JAIL? I really have little respect for cops — especially poorly trained and dangerous jerks like this bastard. HE put her life at risk.

      • She plans to sue. Good.

        Fire the bastard and put him on trial for assault and attempted murder.

      • For you up your ass defenders of cops no matter what they do.

        This bastard cop is so damned typical of a whole lot of male drivers in general.

        The ONLY crime of this woman was that she is FEMALE. She was stopped for NO OTHER reason than being GUILTY of being female.

        Most men do NOT understand that we women get stopped a LOT for no damned reason — other than we are guilty of being female. Many women don’t realize that they are being target by ass hole cops for the crime of being female.

        I was at a conference and at a dinner started comparing how many times I had been stopped — for the crime of being female with a couple of black guys who had also been stopped for the crime of being black in a white neighborhood. It turns out that the females had been stopped more often — one had been beaten by a pig cop.

        Also the crack by male chauvinist pig mikie below — in many areas MALES in rural areas get out of the car to talk to the cop — THIS IS EXPECT — YOU JERK.

        A simplistic knee jerk response of making the pig cops always right — put US in an authoritarian nazi like state. Most cops are males and a whole lot of this pigs hate women.

        Also many male on the road seem to think that women have no place on the road. I thought that a large percentage of males just drive like jerks — I started asked the well socialized males if they have seen XYZ rage like driving behavior from other males — they didn’t know what I was talking about — BUT THE WOMEN KNEW AND MANY WOMEN HAVE SEEN males acting like savage beasts because you happen to be female while driving.

        What this cop did is a prime example of misogynistic behavior. Personally I believe that creep should be castrated and put in a slave labor camp for the rest of his life. I am sick and tired of males acting like raving savages when they encounter women.

        Thankfully there are still a few nice sane rational — civilized males in this world. Mikie you are not in that group.

    • Never, ever do anything unless the cop instructs you to.

      • And you are an apologist for m*ther f*ucking COPS!

        Fu*k you!

        The cop was LYING and she called him on his LIES.

        A huge number of traffic stops for speeding at pure LIES by the PIGS! This is how cities get revenue send out the m*ther f*Ucking Cops to stop and harass citizens.

        No excuses EVER for that sort of assault — for you to defend that pig in any way puts you on my shit list forever. Go to hell.

  2. I remember real radio. The little bitty town I grew up in had WAKN. Back in the day, even many small towns had a genuine radio station that was local, with dj’s who picked the music and covered local news in colorful ways. Now it’s all canned.

    Good roundup, too, bb!

    • Thanks, WMCB. Yes, stations that cover local news are an endangered species too. It’s all part of the corporate media monoply.

  3. Woodstock was a silly East Coast thing. Hummmm….. (kidding – I know you all that it so seriously.)

    I’m getting a lot of propaganda from conservative friends — and they are buying into the Government is all bad line. The latest is how terrible Medicaid is. This latest propaganda comes straight from the “health” insurance companies — in an effort to white wash the way they ration medicine. What isn’t mentioned in this latest propaganda is that (correct me if I’m wrong here) — but Medicaid is run by the states — and many states turn over the administration of Medicaid to INSURANCE COMPANIES.

    I know that this happens in Montana — there are individuals working for BOTH the state and for the Insurance company who are overseeing Medicaid. How can the insurance companies be monitored if the “monitors” work for the insurance company?

    Also — the insurance companies are regulated on a state by state basis. So far none of the anti — health care email I’ve gotten from my conservative friends (moderate Republicans) mention anything negative about the “health” insurance companies — and yet when they aren’t forwarding this stuff straight from the insurance companies war room — they complain just like the rest of “ordinary” Americans about the cost of “health” insurance — and fighting with the bean counters over what is and is not covered under their insurance policy.

    On the “liberal” side — the euphoria over 0zero seems to be wearing off — The Environmental ones seem to be singing a new tune which sure sounds similar to their pleas during the early years of the GWB era.

    • I thought Woodstock was silly back in 1969. I was offered chances to go, but I wasn’t interested. I hate crowds and I don’t like being outside in pouring rain. I had friends who went and left early because it was a horror show. I loved the music though…

      • Amazingly, when I was teaching high school-age students this summer, several of them asked me if I went to Woodstock. And they were familiar with a lot of the musicians from the late ’60s and early ’70s too. A couple of the students complained that there isn’t good new music like that today. I’m sure there is good music, but maybe the corporate culture doesn’t let it get out where it can be generally appreciated.

      • Yeah, the peace & love generation trashed the area cost local farmers a lot of money and were too cheap to buy tickets to support the venue or the artists.

      • I was going to go, but when I heard about how many people were expected, and the traffic and the rain and possibly being trapped and unable to get out, it started sounding like hell on earth. My boyfriend went without me and dumped me for someone he met there. But I never regretted not going – I would have hated it.

  4. The Shrill One:

    “I am in this race because I don’t want to see us spend the next year re-fighting the Washington battles of the 1990s. I don’t want to pit Blue America against Red America; I want to lead a United States of America.” So declared Barack Obama in November 2007, making the case that Democrats should nominate him, rather than one of his rivals, because he could free the nation from the bitter partisanship of the past.

    Some of us were skeptical. A couple of months after Mr. Obama gave that speech, I warned that his vision of a “different kind of politics” was a vain hope, that any Democrat who made it to the White House would face “an unending procession of wild charges and fake scandals, dutifully given credence by major media organizations that somehow can’t bring themselves to declare the accusations unequivocally false.”

    So, how’s it going?

    • Duh! We told them so.

    • More:

      So far, at least, the Obama administration’s response to the outpouring of hate on the right has had a deer-in-the-headlights quality. It’s as if officials still can’t wrap their minds around the fact that things like this can happen to people who aren’t named Clinton, as if they keep expecting the nonsense to just go away.

      Schadenfruede is a guilty pleasure.

      • I think The Shrill One has been on roll lately, on his blog and on his op-ed page.

        He did a spectacular job quoting himself yesterday:

        First, those who don’t want to nominate Hillary Clinton because they don’t want to return to the nastiness of the 1990s — a sizable group, at least in the punditocracy — are deluding themselves. Any Democrat who makes it to the White House can expect the same treatment: an unending procession of wild charges and fake scandals, dutifully given credence by major media organizations that somehow can’t bring themselves to declare the accusations unequivocally false (at least not on Page 1).

        The point is that while there are valid reasons one might support Mr. Obama over Mrs. Clinton, the desire to avoid unpleasantness isn’t one of them.

        This was probably my biggest point of contention with those “progressives” who said Obama would be a better candidate because Republicans would not hate him and try to sabotage whatever he does as they would if it were Hillary Clinton.

        Nice going guys.

        • The only thing that surprised me is that the wingers stayed fairly quiet until now.

          I expected this kind of stuff last year during the election. They were so well-behaved last year that Obama and the Failbots had to make stuff up about them.

          • They wanted Obama too….well at least their $$$ backers did. The swift boaters stayed in dry dock
            due to lack of funds… Also I believe the two parties
            bases are currently being stoked so it will seem there is a difference in DC over this bill. There isn’t .
            Both parties want the insurance compaines to come out with lots more money and lots less sick people….these town halls also create a bigger sense of ” win ” for Obama…..caving in is recreated into triumphing .

        • I disagree with Krugman here. Not much is “dutifully given credence” by major media organizations” about Obama.

          The mainstream “liberal” press hated Clinton almost as much as the right wing did. Yes, they let the wingers do most of the really nasty stuff, but then they polished it a little for mainstream consumption and gleefully parroted every damn lie.

          That is NOT the case with Obama. There are two things arrayed against him: FOX and talk radio. Every other paper, network, news service, etc, is carrying water for his ass and propping him up with everything they’ve got.

          Quit re-writing both history and the present, Paul. I was there, and I am here. To say that Obama is getting “the Clinton treatment” in the mainstream press is a bald-faced f*cking lie.

          • The members of the so-called “liberal” media that didn’t join in sat silently and let it happen.

            Bob Somerby has documented their failures.

          • but then they polished it a little for mainstream consumption and gleefully parroted every damn lie.


            The main stream press worked like the lap dogs they are to legitimize all the crazy right wing stuff. Right wing would start something , MSM would chime in a short time later as the original concern trolls .” Questions have been raised! Questions have been swirling!…..” Really I never saw them work that hard until they sold the war, and their 2008 version of Obamacare,….( does his Precious want a fluffy pillow? )

            24 hours cable news as we know it, was created to bash Clintons around the clock .

          • NEITHER PARTY wants a true classic liberal centrist in power. And BOTH will fight it to the death when that sort of common-sense governing rears it ugly head, every time. And the media will help them do it.

            An independent-minded centrist is anathema to the Beltway political power-brokering wings on either side. It’s their worst nightmare.

          • myiq2xu, I like Bob Somerby’s writing but can’t stand to read too much because nothing about the media has changed all that much. It gets depressing being reminded how the print and broadcast “journalists” FUBARed us with Bush.

      • LOL! After that, Krugman is back in my good graces.

    • It’s going pretty crappy. But until Paul Krugman gets his head out of his…until he wakes up and realizes he’s advocating national Romney-Care, precisely because Obama is trying to deliver, as promised, bipartisan policy, then what can I say? I really don’t respect his recent kool-aid induced observations.

      • Thank you. They got to Paul. Lord knows how. I believe Those behind Bush and Obama tell such people what they will do on the personal level and the nationally level if they are resisted and most crumble. We have seen a number of quick reversals over the years. I cannot say I would not do the same.

    • Any time I visit the Orange Place I’m struck with the irony, that a year ago most of these folks were crowing about how non-partisan they were. They seem to spend 3/4 of their time now engaging in simple-minded us-against-them bile – against Republicans, baby boomers, Blue Dogs, senior citizens, whoever. Not that I don’t also at times, but not to the degree that these post-partisans do. It’s so smug and self-congratulatory and it gets really boring. And I have yet to hear anyone over there admit to having shouted down the people who tried to tell them that non-partisanship wasn’t going to happen.

  5. Massive Campaign for Obama Hits Air

    That’s how you know what’s being pushed is wrong for the average person…big money is behind it. They don’t pay to HELP the little guy. Just like during the campaign : whoever the press loves , is the wrong choice. It’s an infallible guide.

    Last time this group spent media millions defeating a Dem POTUS health bill. Now they will spend millions promoting a Dem POTUS bill. I suggest folks with the money bags aren’t the ones who have changed since1993.

    • It’s the Dems who are in bed with the industry this time, and the “progressive” media is too damn stupid to point that out.

      I actually heard some Democratic tool last night on the news express genuine puzzlement over why anyone would oppose Obamacare. His stated reasoning? “But… all the stakeholders are on board. The insurance companies, the pharmaceutical industry, all the big industry experts say this is a good plan….” And he was shaking his head, and marveling that the idiot voters didn’t agree that this was a sure sign that the plan is just nifty as can be.

      I don’t think he was dissembling. He was genuinely puzzled why this wasn’t a done deal, considering who was “on board”. His brain could not wrap around the concept of how those pesky insignificant voters could be stalling this, since anyone who matters is all for it.

      The disconnect was breathtaking.

      • But… all the stakeholders are on board. The insurance companies, the pharmaceutical industry, all the big industry experts say this is a good plan….”

        It’s so depressing to see what the Dem party has been reduced to . In our current set up, whatever party gets in, it’s a win for the upper crust . There really is no Dem party as understand the term. There’s GOP 1 and 2.

      • Who said you had to have critical thinking skills to be a Democrat. Look at all the O’bots.

  6. Aww, how cute.

    Howie Dean is threatening to primary anyone who doesn’t support ObamaCare.

    I’m sure my blue dog Congressman is shaking in his Italian loafers. The only candidate that could conceivably beat him would be another blue dog. He’s in “dead girl – live boy” territory. (His predecessor got the boot because of a dead girl.)

    The GOP didn’t even run a token candidate against him last year.

  7. Re: Are universities becoming irrelevant? I was a junior at a university in upstate NY when Woodstock took place not all that far away. Lot of people I knew attended, but it wasn’t the sort of gathering that appealed to me–either then or now. Anyway, my parents paid $2500 a year for my room, board and tuition at the time. That same university costs $48,000 per year to attend today. Can you think of anything else (other than hospital stays) that has escalated in price as much as this?

    • I frankly don’t know how universities and collages are going to make it. And it’s the lack of decent jobs when students have finished the 4 years that will kill them. Why take on nearly 200,000 of debt at 25% if you will wait tables afterwards anyway? This sort of thing and the home bubble have permanently impoverished whole generations…just as being made to buy ever higher health insurance will…and is designed to do so

      In ’74 my parents paid 500.00 for a term of five ( yes ,5 ) art classes…that might buy you a half a crit these days! lol!

    • In 1969, gas prices averaged 35 cents per gallon, rents averaged $135 per month, and an average new car cost $3,270. Can you believe it?


      • My mom told me the other day that she paid more for her current car than she paid for her house.

        • My parents first house cost $12,000 in 1959. That is more than most new cars today. When we moved to a large four-bedroom house around 1963, they only paid $25,000.

      • Yes, but none of those items increased in price by 20 times as much. If they had, gasoline would be $7.00 per gallon, and that new car would be over $60,000. IMO, education and health care costs in this country are both totally out of control.

        • I agree. I just thought the amounts were interesting to see and remember.

          • They are interesting. I simply wanted to demonstrate what a 20 times multiple translates to in current dollars. It helps in determining how obscene these education and health care cost increases have become.

        • My mom used to call it thinning the herd. Can’t have too many of the unwashed masses fighting for those legacy spots.

          Raise the prices and only the elite can compete.

      • Pick up trucks, even 4wds cost less than a car back then too.

        • I remember that as well. It was like a backdoor way of getting a good vehicle.

          Though trucks weren’t as plush as they are now but they ran forever.

      • i remember it..yes it is true

      • I made $90/week, took home $70, and supported myself comfortably in Manhattan.

  8. I started reading Paranoid Nation last night. According to the book Bush asked Marco Rubio to change the date of the Fla primary election. Call me paranoid, but does anyone think this was Bush’s idea? I have always said the backtrack was Karl Roves wet dream. He did what the republicans could not, divided the democrats and set them up to fail. The action gave Dean, Kerry and Gore all who hate the Clintons as way to undermine Hillary Clinton, and select what they thought would be a useful tool.



    • sounds right to me…why not? ultimately their loyalties group around their class, not a party

    • I’d subtract Al Gore from that, remember he held off endorsing anybody.

      • I’ve been a big fan of Al, but that was just being chickensheeet. It had the same effect as an endorsement of teh one.

  9. This is an interesting article. Insight from Bill Clinton – Big Doggie! http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/14/bill-clinton-the-time-is-now/

  10. This is an interesting piece. Insight from Bill Clinton – AKA Big Dog. And delivered in Pittsburgh too!

    • I find it very interesting that two strangers show up posting a nearly identical comment to tell us all that “Big Dawg!” just loves him some Obamacare.

      Very interesting indeed.

      Considering that most of that article consists not of quotes from Bill, but “interpretation” of what he said by the author, I’ll withhold judgement. But you know what? PUMA’s, as much as we love our Bill, think for ourselves. And I have no problem telling Big Dawg he’s full of shit if and when he is on occasion.

      • Oh yeah…Very weird.

        • That’s what you get for advertising on Craigslist. Axelrod should screen his applicants better. Maybe put “ability not to be obvious” in the job requirements.

      • Hmmm…veeerrrrryyy interesting! But what kind of name is Tommie? Are we being astroturfed by a kindergarten class? Axelrod must be getting desperate.

      • Actually, he spoke in typical Bill Clinton speak:

        “It is “politically imperative for the Democrats to pass a health care bill now. One thing we know and that I’ve lived through — if you get out there and you don’t prevail — the victors get to rewrite history.””

        Politically imperative…he didn’t say this was some great health plan. He also said focus on what has broad support, ie a public plan, not what doesn’t, ie death panels.

        He also said he had been waiting 40 years for this time. Well, 40 years ago Medicare was passed, so I don’t think he would have offered half-loaf Obama-Care.

        • He also spoke of throwing out what was bad in the bill. So it’s not quite the “glowing endorsement” they are portraying.

          However, I will say that both Bill and Hillary will fudge what they really think in order to “support the party”. All politicians will. And I hate that trait. It’s one of the reasons why we have such a mess today. I know why they do it, and short-term it’s probably sincere, a desire to not tear down and get something worse (like Newt). But long term that type of “support the party” mentality is killing this country, from both sides. Bill knows damn well he would not have done this bill, this way himself, nor would Hillary have. But party loyalties won’t let them say that. And yes, I think that’s a net-negative strategy, no matter how well-intended.

        • Bill has to pay for the sin of his great success in North Korea. Usually it bugs me that as SOS, Hill is out of politics . But the super duper upside is, I don’t have to watch her try to save Governor Goldman Sachs sorry butt in NJ… .

      • Actually, I posted because of his discussion — that I’ve not seen anywhere before — about “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell”.

    • Country before party.

  11. Tommie? Marcia? Are you two doppelgangers? Did you receive the same email? LOL!

  12. http://crookedtimber.org/2009/08/14/rights-and-democracy/

    I can not understand if this guy is for or against this new law.
    A small country passes a law against violence against women.



  13. http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=45&aid=168461

    Slowly the local voices are being silenced.



  14. Easy to see why they went off the air.

    “The company’s Adult Top 40 Mix station will make the jump from 98.5 to 104.1, with the sports station taking over at 98.5.”

    The missus, no red neck, has started to listen to country stations because of the mindless repetition on “Top 40” radio.
    Sort of like the news, mindless repetition by “journalists” of talking points of whoever’s butt they are kissing.

  15. http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=45&aid=168464

    Isn’t it odd backtrack and bunch and obots can call everyone racist but if you call backtrack a racist sponsors run away faster then a roadrunner.



  16. http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/GOP-thinks-the-unthinkable-Victory-in-2010-8103193-53174842.html

    Can one of the front pagers do a post on this. It seems to be a good topic.



  17. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/aug/14/afghanistan-womens-rights-rape

    why are we in Afghanistan? If this is the kind of government we are fight for we should leave now.
    Any woman from there should be given asylum if she asked for it.



  18. http://www.aldenteblog.com/2009/08/are-you-the-cucumber-bandit.html

    just for fun.

    I don’t even want to ask what they are being used for.



  19. http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columns/Three-big-stories-the-media_s-_homers_-missed-8096266.html

    I thought is was very interesting. How long will it take for msm to understand that their job is to report news not ignore or cover it up?



  20. Stock market’s not doing so well today on this news:

    the latest Reuters/University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment at 10 a.m. Eastern. The measure fell to 63.2 in August from 66.0 in July. That was a stark disappointment compared to analysts’ consensus expectation for a rise in the index to 68.5.

    The sentiment report followed a weaker-than-expected retail sales report and a less-than-encouraging outlook from Wal-Mart Stores for the critical back-to-school shopping season on Thursday.


    • The discount stores worry me. Costco and Target had bad numbers as well.
      That says to me that folks have no money. Even when you can’t afford a dept store, you can afford WalMart. If you can’t, we have a big problem.

  21. oh my when wally world slows down we know we are in deep doo doo.

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