Author Archive for GottaLaff

Laffy leaves #TPC, moves to RadioOrNot.com full-time!

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

LaffyTPCGoodbyeChangesw386h205

Sometime back in 2007, my dear friend and mentor, Cliff Schecter invited me to blog at his new site, which eventually morphed into The Political Carnival. Cliff left for greener pastures, and another dear friend, Paddy Kraska, and I took the reins and the site took off. We had such a great run together, placed in the top 100 political blogs according to the various blogsphere ratings agencies (out of millions!), and established TPC as an eclectic mix of Humor and Serious that continues to this day.

But when Paddy unexpectedly passed away (not long after my dad did),I went into a tailspin, and the blog underwent some major changes. It took me six months or so to find just the right combination of writers, writers who had huge Paddy shoes to fill, and who had to be more than just writers. They had to have passion, dedication, and heart.

Lwdgrfx and Sher came to the rescue, as did regular contributor David Garber. Nicole Sandler joined us, and TPC got back on its feet and started thriving again. But the same can't be said for its remaining co-founder, yours truly. The entire ordeal took a toll, one that I'm still working through.

My doctors wanted me to stop writing and "retire" from politics. Impossible. But I have tried every which-way to de-stress. Unfortunately, the responsibility of writing and managing a site 24/7 was still having negative effects on my health. I had to find a solution. That finally happened.  I made a really, really tough decision.

I will be leaving The Political Carnival and teaming up with Nicole Sandler at her RadioOrNot.com site.

nicole sandler radio or not logo

We do at least one radio show per week together, plus we're very good friends, so it's a natural fit. I already have a "Laffy's Place" tab there, and that page is where my new digs will be whenever I feel compelled to post. I will now be able to concentrate more on my "real" life and doing radio (and maybe even get back to my BLUNT videos, who knows?) instead of posting so many articles on a regular basis, as I've done for the past seven-plus years.

Lwdgrfx and Sherry will continue on here at The Political Carnival. So please give them your support and readership as you always have. They simply rock. The TPC Facebook page will stay as is.

You'll be able to find me at Radio Or Not and as always, on Twitter (@GottaLaff) and Facebook (Gotta L. Aff).

I love you, TPC, always have, always will. But even more, I love our readers. Thank you guys, every last one of you, for all the love and support you've given me all these years. It is you who have kept me/us going, and hopefully still will. See you at Nicole's place!

end of an era

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

This week’s Media Bias Sunday Talk scoreboard! GOP 6, Dems 5

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

media bias meet the right

Tomorrow is Media Bias Sunday! Or as I like to call it, Librul Media My Ass Sunday aka John McCain/Lindsey Graham Sunday aka Sunday Talk Talk Talk Over Each Other. And I keep a running tally of all things unfair, unbalanced via the infamous TPC Media Bias Sunday Talk scoreboard.

And guess what? Grampy McBombBomb is back! Sadly, his sidekick Li'l Lindsey won't be in McCain's orthopedic side car this week. But the ubiquitous Grampy will be making an appearance, true to form.

Let’s take a sneak preview of what’s coming up on the Big Media Bias Sunday Talker Line-Up, per the Los Angeles Times... okay? Okay.

This is not a complete list; Lucian (@lwdgrfx) will provide that to you in a post coming your way soon. Please note: Sometimes it’s hard to tell if the lists include panel members, so bear with me if sometimes those commentators are included… or not. I try not to because panels usually include mostly Republicans, and if there are “Democrats,” they’re about as “liberal” as, well, Harold Ford.

And as you may have noticed, Fox is not included, because, well come on, what’s the point?

ABC’s “This Week” — Rep. Tom Cole (R); former Gov. Bill Richardson(D)

NBC’s “Meet the Press” — Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D)

CBS’ "Face the Nation" — Sen. John McCain (R); Rep. Adam Smith (D); Rep. Peter T. King (R.

CNN’s “State of the Union”Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D); Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R); Sen. Robert Menendez (D; Gov. Rick Perry (R); Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R)

It’s time to do the math:

Red Rs + Red Rs, carry the pi, divided by D, times Bias, minus even-handedness… calculating…

Total: 6 Rs, 5 Ds. Please feel free to check the addition and political affiliations.

There it is: Your librul media at work.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

OK to put Uzi in child's hands, but not OK to comfort kids with hugs

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

guns 9 year old with UziImage via YouTube courtesy of The Independent

What possible reason could any parent have to encourage their child to use an Uzi? Despite how "mature" the 9-year-old who accidentally fatally shot her range instructor seemed to everyone involved, IMHO there is no justification for allowing her to shoot a sub-machine gun. I can hardly write about this, I am that outraged, angry, and stunned.

Instead, here are today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

What an outrageous display of irresponsibility at this Arizona gun range. ( “Uzi accident is fatal,” Aug. 27)

I am not only talking about the girl’s parents or the gun instructor.

More to the point, it is the senselessness of voters in this country who insist that legally possessing a gun designed solely to rapidly kill multiple people represents 2nd Amendment freedom.

Ron Landesman, Los Angeles

..

Smoke was coming out of my ears while I read this article. In what universe does a sane, reasonably intelligent person show a 9-year old how to fire an Uzi?

Lord knows I’m no firearms expert, but even I know the recoil could be substantial if the shooter weighs about 60 pounds, the average weight of a 9-year old girl.

Benjamin Franklin famously answered a question about the new nation, calling it “a republic — if you can keep it.”

Has our country’s passion for guns overtaken our capacity to reason? And does that passion threaten our liberty? I think the Founding Fathers would be spinning in their graves if they saw how the extraordinary republic they created interprets the “right to bear arms” amendment today.

Danielle Karson, Pasadena

..

Kids cope by internalizing responsibility for terrible things that happen — even if it’s not their fault — in situations far less dramatic than this.

So I have one question: How will these children (and God only knows how many more) — who, at their ages, are cognizant enough to understand what happened — cope with the tremendous guilt for the rest of their lives?

David Fritz, Reseda

..

The tragic death of the gun instructor is puzzling on so many levels. First, why was he teaching a 9-year-old to fire an Uzi? And why were this child’s parents bringing her to a range to learn to shoot an Uzi?

We all know Arizona , like many other states, has issues with crime, illegal immigration and drug smuggling, but has it really come to arming children with Uzis? I sure hope not.

Marty Foster, Ventura

..

My thoughts are with the 9-year-old girl, her family and the family of the deceased. Having said this, among the questions I have are:

When are we Americans going to learn to divorce ourselves from this love affair we seem to have with guns?

How much more tragedy must we endure at the hands of guns?

Hugo Pastore, Torrance

..

When is it ever necessary in the U.S. for anyone under the age of 10 to use an Uzi? What is wrong with us as citizens? We should be howling in outrage.

Please, can we finally legislate control of automatic weapons? There is no need for them in daily life.

This was an avoidable tragedy on so many levels.

Susan Van Buren, Newbury Park

..

The mind boggles. Most parents would not allow their 9-year-old to cross the street by themselves, not to mention handling dangerous machinery.

What earthly reason is there for putting a fatal assault weapon in the hands of a child?

Is this how far the reach of the NRA goes?

Nancy Lazerson, Encinitas

..

If I have the facts right from your news article and your Op-Ed piece, then we are allowed to put an Uzi into the hands of a 9-year-old girl, but we are prohibited from hugging her when she realizes that she has taken a human life. (“Too litigious for hugs,” Opinion, Aug. 27) 

Wayland Marie, Riverside

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Joan Rivers in stable condition, stops breathing during throat procedure

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Joan Rivers via APImage via AP

UPDATE: On a personal note, I am appalled at the tweets I'm getting mocking Joan Rivers' condition and wishing her dead because they were offended by her humor re: Gaza. Or because of her serial cosmetic surgery.

If you disagree with someone, no problem. Hate them even. But to respond to her health crisis with tasteless jokes and vicious comments? Grow up and show some respect and common decency. She's a human being who is suffering right now. Her family is going through a real scare.

I'm being called an "apologist" for feeling this way. Show me where I apologized for anything or anyone. I am calling for civility, not agreement. That's pretty obvious to anyone with the ability to read my words and process them.

Nothing justifies responding to a comedian's jokes, even tasteless ones-- or her physical appearance-- with insensitive, nasty, infantile bile that celebrate her pain and even possible demise. Nothing.

UPDATE: MSNBC calls her condition "stable but critical," mainly due to her age. They're still calling her "stable," and sound very optimistic.

Joan Rivers, 81, was reported to be in critical condition.But now HollywoodLife.com is updating:

UPDATE: E!’s Ken Baker announced on Live From E! that Joan is in stable condition.

Via People:

Joan Rivers has been rushed to the hospital after she stopped breathing during surgery on Thursday.

Rivers, 81, was at a New York City clinic for a throat procedure on her vocal cords when the complications occurred, reports TMZ.

NBC adds more, including an overview of her amazing career. She works constantly, including a reality show and regular stints on the Emmys and QVC.

In interviews throughout the last decade, Rivers said she had no intention of slowing down. 

"I'll only stop the day I die," she told the Las Vegas Sun in 2007

Not yet, please. Thinking all good thoughts.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

GOP wrong again: Weekly jobless claims fall, budget deficit shrinks #BlameObama

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

what you know, wrong

This is getting tedious, but a blog's gotta do what a blogs's gotta do. Republicans, you're wrong again. Wrongier than wrong. Wrong wrong wrong:

Via the Los Angeles Times:

The federal deficit continues to decline thanks to budget cuts and slower growth in Medicare costs, but lower than expected corporate tax revenues dimmed some of the improved outlook, according to a report Wednesday from the Congressional Budget Office.

And Benen piles on. More at the link:

This remains a basic budgetary truism that Republicans continue to resist. Indeed, last year, when top marginal rates increased on households making more than $400,000 a year, a variety of GOP lawmakers argued that this would likely cause the deficit to go up – as they saw it, higher taxes on the wealthy would slow growth, which would mean fewer jobs, which would mean fewer people paying income taxes, which would mean a larger deficit.

And we now know they were wrong – again – though this will probably do nothing to shake the Beltway perception of the GOP as the “fiscally responsible” party.

Let’s also note that the shrinking deficit – we’re seeing the fastest reduction since the end of World War II – is also one of the nation’s best-kept secrets. [...] [T]he reality is, we’re witnessing deficit reduction at a truly remarkable clip. Every conservative complaint about fiscal recklessness and irresponsibility in the Obama era is completely divorced from reality.

but wait there's more smaller

Per the most reliable news source in the whole wide world, Fox Biz, comes this upbeat news via a couple of email alerts:

The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits fell last week to 298,000 from an upwardly revised 299,000 the week prior. Economists expected claims to rise to 300,000 from an initially reported 298,000.

The Commerce Department reports the economy expanded at an annualized pace of 4.2% in the second quarter, higher than an original estimate of 4%, also beating expectations of 3.9%.

the more you know msnbc bergdahl

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Cliff Notes: 9-year-old kills instructor by mistake; NRA pisses off wrong nerd genius

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

cliff schecter on Today show 9-year-old girl shoots instructor

My dear friend and mentor, Cliff Schecter, has a new post up; Cliff has given me permission to share his work with you, so I’ll give you the latest edition of what I call Cliff Notes. Below are a few excerpts from his latest, with permission. Please read the whole thing, because he has way more than I’ve included here.

Kudos are in order; Cliff's been showing up all over MSNBC and NBC these days, because they know how good he is at what he does. The above clip is from the Today show, and below is last night's appearance on The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell. The videos and excerpts focus on the horrific accidental killing of a shooting range instructor by a 9-year-old girl, as well as Bill Gates' million dollar donation for universal background checks:

Here is Cliff pointing out the impact that Bill Gates could have with his support of popular, common sense gun laws. Please link over for the entire post:  

Gates has the ability to grab headlines and make an issue go viral with the constant media coverage he receives, and the financial ability, if he wins, to fund similar efforts around the country. His involvement could be the answer to the public health crisis that makes American children 93 percent of those murdered in the 26 high-income countries around the world.

Meanwhile, the NRA has…Chuck Norris, doing its “Trigger The Vote” Campaign. [...]

Who knows, with that kind of dough, maybe even measures that “only” enjoy 56 percent support like bans on assault weapons and/or high-capacity magazines could pass via direct voting by uncorrupted American citizens. Or perhaps state legislators and members of Congress who bend easily to the will of these Lords of War could be swapped out for those who live in a closer neighborhood to the best interests of the American populace.

Likely the NRA will try to do to Gates what it has attempted to do to Bloomberg for a few years now, and seek to make this fight about him and not its right-wing radicalism in the service of avarice. He’s a billionaire trying to influence our political process, after all, unlike Manhattan resident David Koch, who along with his brother Charles has polluted our political process to no end, including funding the NRA.

Sure, in an ideal world big money wouldn’t play such an outsize role in our elections, such as this hugely important ballot initiative in Washington state. But that’s not what the NRA wants. It just wants its big money still to be all that decides the outcome, and it isn’t. Which is why Wayne LaPierre’s having a bad day.

Please read the entire post at The Daily Beast, here.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Webcams vs. TV news aka Real News vs. Speculative Blather

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

objectivity, webcams v news

There's a fascinating article about the recent crisis in Ferguson, Missouri in today's Los Angeles Times... in the Calendar section of all places. It compares and contrasts webcams points of view and TV news coverage of identical events. Per the author of the article, Robert Lloyd, "The news is by necessity, even by definition, exclusionary. But by triple-underlining the most notable or exciting aspects of a story — the "dramatic" elements..." it decides things for the viewer.

In other words, a stationary camera allows the onlooker to scrutinize details and activities beyond the flashy headlines.

TV news runs and reruns the most memorable or sensational clips ad nauseam, while webcams capture reality as it unfolds, impartially, albeit limited by its angle and vantage point. Details become focal points, if the audience is patient enough to notice them.

Sometimes the camera looked up the street and sometimes it looked down, but in either case it sat and looked. [...] Obviously, if you want to understand what's been happening in Ferguson, you need more than a Web stream. But it offers another way of looking at things and, in some ways, a more profound one.

The news is by necessity, even by definition, exclusionary. But by triple-underlining the most notable or exciting aspects of a story — the "dramatic" elements — the media also deform the reality they report upon...

Regular readers know that one of my pet peeves is media coverage, with all the endless speculation and misinformation out there, often just to boost ratings. And don't get me started on empty time-filling convos. Robert Lloyd pointed out a mutual gripe-- mind reading:

TV news cuts things up, cuts away and litters the screen with boxes and text and throws up a wall of speculating talking heads to clot the air with opinion, speculation and mind-reading.

Wolf Blitzer to Jake Tapper, on CNN, outside Brown's funeral: "I'm sure the Brown family is pleased that three officials from the White House have decided to attend this funeral today, right?"

Tapper: "I'm sure they are."

He went on to describe the contrast between Michael Brown's funeral service as depicted in select TV clips vs. observing the ceremony in real time from beginning to end, followed by a constant and objective video feed following mourners to the cemetery, including the surroundings. It can be more enlightening to watch the tedious but unblinking coverage by webcams than dramatic cable news sound bites that interpret developments for us.

As Lloyd put it, webcams continued to record what happened after the funeral: "Life went on." But we'll never see footage of that on TV.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare